October 14th, 2002

end of a decade

about to lose my job, I think

The windows in my office have stuck again. It happens every time the weather gets damp. My boss is away on a study week. My boss's boss and my boss's boss's boss are just down the corridoor but I don't want to talk to them about this. Looks like the problem I have phoning [a coworker] over in Democratic Services is still in place. Of course. I go looking for comfort with [another coworker] who suggests I might join the union "they're letting foorball coaches and lollipop ladies join, and you work with young people just as much as they do!" but I'm thinking about what I've seen of the Union in the last year and how they've not (as far as I can see) managed to solve any of the myriad staff problems currently extant, and thinking, oh yeah, more money down the toilet, there's an idea. At least [a hosting company] have tuned on their ansaphone now, so I know that something's gone wrong with their routers, but that's the third problem in a couple of months now which means ... well, it means that I need to find a new host, really, doesn't it? And I don't have the first f***ing idea about how to transfer my site. And, I'd argue, on my salary, I shouldn't, know this sh*t, either. Frelling helling belling ...

Er... OK, problems sorted now, new stuff up, just a couple of hours behind schedule is all. Jeez, web admin is so ... tempestuous!

Oh, and one of the hallkeepers just turned up to drain the radiator, and dealt with the window at the same time, while telling me about the time he came in on a monday morning to find the basement under 2 ft of water. I'm much better now. Other people's misfortune is one of the surest routes to happiness.
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end of a decade

i was going to get clever and complicated but i ran out of time

Isn't daylight savings time over yet? I want to sink into winter now. The ground is plastered with wet leaves and the heaters are toasting my comics collection. I'm sore and tired and all the time feeling sick or wobbly.

Oh christ, can't I touch anything without it breaking? Presumably [a coworker] did something muy dumb, but even so. Idiot me.

Gah, this conversation sucks. Can you think of anything sensible to say about getting the vote at 16? When I was sixteen I was into amnesty and comics and Paradise Lost and probably believed in dumb-ass slogans like "if voting changed anything they wouldn't let you do it" if I thought about party politics at all.

It's Local Democracy Week this week. What's your local council doing?

And, in other news:

While I was away from the Oxfam Bookshop some noble soul came and bought the full set of Dragonlance books. Now we just have a complete set of Guy N Smith paperbacks (including a very lurid Sucking Pit and three different editions of Night of the Crabs) to dispose of. Wish us luck.

While on holiday I read:

1. Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murukami which must have been a publisher's proof edition as it's not yet available in paperback. One of the benefits of working in the Oxfam Bookshop! Hate to say it of one of my favourite authors, but this reads like he strung together the chapters he didn't consider good enough for A Wild Sheep Chase with a few bits of unrelated stuff from the bottom of his bits and pieces drawer in a "the mortgage payments are due!" panic. One of the characters is an overrated middle-aged golf-playing cult writer. Danger! Danger!

2. The Complete Knowledge of Sally Fry by Sylvia Murphy, which is about being a female academic, children, and all the rest of that stuff. Funny format (as an encyclopaedia, of sorts), anti-romantic, not too much in the way of compromises or happily ever afters. Not bad. Left it in the cabin for the next person.

3. Heartbreak on the High Sierra by Fiona Cooper, a rip-roaring thigh-slapping lesbian western. More novella than novel, I'd have happily read a dozen more chapters than there were, but, well, you take what you're given. A bit too much sobbing at the end -- I'm more of a fighter than a hanky-waver -- but all in all very fine if you like that sort of thing which of course I do.

4. Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov, very hip at the moment because of its very cute cover, title and premise (struggling writer lives with a King Penguin he bought from Moscow Zoo). The writing's OK, too, in an emotionally-stunted-hero-caught-in-evil-plots sort of way (think Leon, with added penguin and haplessness) but it feels a bit like it ended a chapter early, possibly even two chapters early. Fun though, so I passed it on to Adrian.

5. Suckers by Anne Billson, a shockingly awful vampire-slaying story set in the resin of docklands yuppiedom in the 80s boomtime. As it predates the emergence of the shagging and slaying genre by some years, it has to wheel out the tedious old "is it all in her head?" chestnut which goes with the whole vampire apocalypse plot, er, not at all. Also contains some cackhanded social/psychological commentary and some horrible sucker punches of unsignalled gore. Unfortunately failed to leave it on the areoplane, not sure what to do with it. Art, maybe?
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