Oct. 31st, 2010

  • 1:23 AM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] WHAT NOW.)
Things I have learned from my first few weeks flying solo:

1. Getting the skin off a whole chicken is hard. Trackers and videogame cowboys make skinning animals look easy, but that is a LIE. Though in my defense, they likely did not have to worry about trying to cut around all the string so the chicken doesn't just fall apart in their crock pot. Just saying.
2. Finding bits of remaining viscera while doing said skinning is gross.
3. I've now also rummaged around inside uncooked poultry, with spices and sauces and things. Okay, so that's not actually something I've learned, but it is, I feel, still a landmark moment. What can I say, I usually just buy breasts or thighs.
4. Butternut squash is completely ridiculous, and probably contains less calories than it makes you burn trying to slice it.
5. Leeks are bigger on the inside than they are on the outside.

More things:

A] I made a Halloween costume! It was awesome. It was also more than a little annoying and uncomfortable to wear, but what can I say. I suffer for my art~. Unfortunately, I don't think I have any photos of it, so I shall just have to wait until someone else uploads some to Facebook.

B] Have I mentioned yet that I somehow managed to land myself on the committee of the Museum Society? It's the kind of thing that will look great on CVs, but sdkfksldfj horrifying. The entire society is run by Museum Studies MA students, of whom 100% are there on a one year program, meaning there is precisely zero administrative continuity, and each successive year is left fumbling around in the dark trying to figure out what on earth last year's committee has left them. Why... Anyway, we somehow have actually managed to register 50+ paying members, are having a fund-raising bake sale on Wednesday at which we expect to register more, are finalising the details for a day trip and personalised tour+talk to a museum in Oxford, and are In Talks with at least two possible guest speakers. What is this I don't even.

C] I have thoughts on some things I've seen going around LJ/Facebook/Twitter, mainly concerning the mocking and maligning of All Those Girls who dress up as 'slutty nurse/witch/fairy/cat/mouse/etc.' for Halloween. I doubt I can really articulate them properly, since it's 2am AGAIN HOW DID THIS HAPPEN I AM GOING TO BE AWAKE FOREVERRRR, but mostly it boils down to: not cool. It's the whole social/marketing combo... thing (see what I mean about articulation?) that deserves derision and scorn, not the girls for whom, in the absence of mega budget and/or sewing skillz and/or the time and ability to MacGuyver together household supplies into a costume, 'slutty [noun]' has become more or less the only acceptable way to dress up within their particular age bracket or social group. So... yeah. That's been bothering me.

D] Also bothersome: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I genuinely hated both protagonists, and everything it seems like the movie was trying to sell me. I liked: Knives, Wallace, Stacey, videogame lulz, and Mae Whitman's well-deserved 'bi-furious'...ness? ...ity? whatever. Just, ugh. Nearly everyone in that movie deserved each other.

E] Also also bothersome: the way I have woken up late nearly every morning this week, with my phone clutched in my hand/under my pillow/jamming into my back and no memory whatsoever of getting up to turn off the alarm. Regular sleep schedule, please come back. I swear I'll treat you right this time. :((((

Oct. 10th, 2010

  • 8:53 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] WHAT NOW.)
I made cake! And jambalaya. And chicken pineapple teriyaki. And cola pot roast (om nom red meat, we needs the iron, precious). And people over here keep calling me/each other 'my love' (trufax exchange: "Table for two, please." / "Brilliant. Sit yourself down here, my love - the specials today are..."), and it is ADORABLE, and I am pretty sure I am overcome by an embarrassingly touristy *_* expression every time it happens. Also, I can already hear myself starting to ape the Midlands accent. I am in for a world of mockery when I go home.

My mum called me on Friday night at 2 am (don't ask), and then again at like 10am on Saturday morning (YOU CALLED ME AT 2AM, OF COURSE I AM STILL ASLEEP MUM), and then tonight when I was on the verge of collapse from exhaustion, she waited until half an hour past our designated Call Time to phone.

Our first all-day museum study trip is on Thursday; we give group presentations on said trip in front of the class on Friday; our first essay is due in on Monday.


the end

Oct. 6th, 2010

  • 8:08 PM
sophistry: ([beaton] we are as gooooods)
Tomorrow (for my 9am lecture), everyone in my tutorial group has to bring in an object which they feel tells a story about themselves. Since my room is full of SFF/Patrick O'Brian/zombie books and nerdy posters, and I don't want to be That Person, I have instead tentatively settled on my creepy red-stained rubber gloves - from when I spray-painted a pair of canvases to mount said nerdy posters on, last week. If nothing else, I can at least subtly highlight how I totally understand how the display and spatial context of a given object can make all the difference in the world to the audience. Or... something.

Oh well. At least I managed to make it all the way to postgrad level before having to do a Show And Tell.

ETA: The lecture is two hours on intangible culture, memory, and oral history, in case you were wondering. It is very srs bsns indeed.


Oct. 5th, 2010

  • 12:01 AM
sophistry: ([Avatar] KITTENS)

- sweating all over the registration room, ew,
- some soup,
- a two-hour induction,
- a two-hour lecture-workshoppy-game-thing,
- and free departmental wine,

I wandered off with a few of the people I ended up sitting beside/workshopping with to find some precious solid food.

We ended up sitting in a bar-staurant for four and a half hours talking about AtLA, conventions, cosplay, Marvel vs. DC, comic book movie adaptations, Christopher Nolan, Disney princesses, Deadwood, Sherlock, Hayao Miyazaki, the 90s Batman cartoon, zombie movies, True Blood, etc. etc. ad infinitum.

Day 1, Week 1: awesome.

Oct. 4th, 2010

  • 2:32 AM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] om nom nom)
I did not take any photos of my culinary endeavours tonight (I actually went back to my room to grab my camera, and forgot that the battery was sitting in the charger; good job, self), BUT IT LOOKED DELICIOUS. Juicy stir-fried meat, colourful vegetables - so many vegetables - and yummy, toasty rice. Idk, my bff rice cooker? It also tasted delicious (the dinner, not the rice cooker), although unfortunately something did not quite sit right with my stomach. Nothing terrible, just a slight feeling of oog an hour or two later and some minor rumblings, but still. I suspect it may have been the basil, and because I intend to be scientific about this shit, I am going to replicate the meal tomorrow night without the basil to find out. I will be sad if it was, though. Basil. :((((

On the subject of food, some people were curious about these, which, translated from my nonsensical quasi-mathematical equations, are actually Oreo truffles. Extremely scientific recipe as follows:

3 x packet of Oreos
3 x 100g milk chocolate bar
1 x white chocolate bar
1 x 250g mascarpone (or cream cheese of your choice)

1] Reduce Oreos to tasty brown dust in blender. This gets messy.

2] Plop in about 2/3rds of the tub of cream cheese, and mix it with the Oreo dust until you have one big turd-like lump of brown goo. You'll try to do this with a fork or whatever, but trust me, it's easier with your hands. Also? Messy.

3] Get baking tray. Feel free to line it with parchment paper, but I just used one of those foil trays, so... whatever. Using a teaspoon, your hands, a melon baller, or whatever works best for you, turn your one big lump of brown goo into lots of little balls of brown goo. And yes, if anyone walks in, it will look even more like you are playing with poop. Them's the breaks.

4] Break your chocolate bars into a bowl, and pop it into the microwave. Heat in short bursts (like, 20 seconds or so), poking at it frequently with a wooden spoon to make sure it hasn't suddenly metamorphosed into some crusty, immovable, lava-like substance that will never, ever, ever come off your bowl. When this happens, it happens really quickly (and I speak from experience), so be careful.

5] When your chocolate is nice and gooey/runny, coat your Oreo-cheese poop balls in it while making embarrassing "hot! hot! hot!" noises, and pop them back on the tray. There should be juuuust enough chocolate to do them all, but if you'd rather just dunk all of them into a steamy hot chocolate bath, then... just get more chocolate.

6] Melt white chocolate as above, and using a fork, drizzle it over the nascent truffles. This is probably the most important step, as it makes them look actually edible - or even, gasp, appetising - instead of... well. What they look like before this step.

7] Refrigerate until hard (about 45 minutes).

NB: Make your truffles smaller than the ones in my picture, because they are very, very rich, and very, very heavy. Eat two of mine, and you're pretty much done. I mean, I don't know what else I was expecting, since they're made of pureed Oreos and a cheese that is like 40% fat, but there you go.

In other news, I have class tomorrow,1 and can't sleep. Whoops. Instead, I am back to obsessively contemplating my dorm décor. I am very happy with it at the moment; as I believe I mentioned, it is in large part very froofy and girly, but currently on the walls are this, this (both mounted on cunningly-coordinated canvas panels, so I can switch the rest of the BSG set in and out at will and have them all still match), a framed Good Omens riff on the Keep Calm posters, and, er, a few years' worth of Dragon*Con badges. In reserve: my AtLA print, a bunch of mumblemumbleautographsmumble, and all the Imaginism Studios (+ others) free art cards from D*C, a full set of badass Rome promo postcards, the rest of those BSG propaganda posters, a huge-ass The Girl Who Leapt Through Time poster, etc. And I want to put them all up, but I just don't have roooooom. Or frames. Or time to find frames. *angsts*

1Maybe. I have departmental registration, at least, which is when I assume I will finally get handed some kind of timetable along with my library card, etc. But I theoretically have class tomorrow, is the point.

Oct. 2nd, 2010

  • 10:51 PM
sophistry: ([beaton] FUCK FUCK FUCK)
Pop quiz!

What did Sophie spend her Saturday doing?

A) Spending more time indulging her inner decorating/DIY freak and getting her dorm room ~just so~.

B) Taking advantage of one of the only crisp, sunny, non-pissing-rain days this week to further explore the city that will be her home for the next year.

C) Doing some reading for class, which starts on Monday.

D) Putting in a little more prep time in the kitchen so as not to have to worry her pretty little head about the coming (also hectic) week's dinners.

E) Grabbing some well-deserved down-time and catching up on leisure reading and/or tv shows.

F) Spending some quality bonding time with the flatmates.

If you picked G) Spending the entire day fighting the first computer virus she has picked up in years, with only partial success, you are correct! Unfortunately, there are no prizes for our lucky winners this week, because AGLKSKDFIVMCMREIOJFHSLSL;NHFSLKDJFLAS.

On the bright side, I have not yet gotten food poisoning from My Very First Slow-Cooked Whole Chicken, and the university's new second-hand textbook shop may or may not be opening tomorrow. I will have to see if I can make it down in between all the other shit I didn't get to do today, because insider information~ (a.k.a. the guy I talked to at the Student Services Fair) says there may be some relevant Museum Studies textbooks lurking on the shelves. Silver lining, inner peace, etc.
sophistry: (Default)

Pies! On the right, the finished product; on the left, one I thoughtfully made without the upper crust in order to illustrate the contents, and not because the box of puff pastry only had enough for 1.5 pies. Yes. Anyway. There's half a chicken split between those babies; the other half is now frozen in handily-precooked portion-sized amounts for a few evenings' worth of stir-fries/whatever. The week's evening meals: sorted.

([{oreos x blender} + cream cheese]/12) + milk chocolate + (white chocolate/[milk chocolate/3])

quasi-itemised update

  • Sep. 28th, 2010 at 9:52 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] sexyjack)
Flatmates: seem lovely! I have met three out of five; the other two - to complete our flat of six - have yet to move in. Or if they have arrived, I haven't run into them yet. All girls and all postgrads so far, and in a grand show of anti-feminism (or... something) we all made friends whilst cleaning the kitchen on our first night here. Seriously you guys it was so gross. SO GROSS. I am talking sinks full of unwashed dishes, rice cookers with rice still in them, dirty plates in the cupboards, a highly-suspect-smelling fridge, and so on. Technically housekeeping is supposed to take care of all of that, but I guess we are way down on their backlog, and just. Ew. EW. On the bright side, all the squealing girlishly in revulsion was a bonding experience, and in amongst all the binloads of ICK that we chucked out we did discover that the previous inhabitants had bequeathed us a bunch of stuff that, with a bit of elbow grease, turned out as good as nearly-new; several decent saucepans and a badass wok, some even more badass chopping knives, a non-disgusting rice cooker, and a bunch of unopened noodles and spices. Thanks, previous inhabitants!

Room: is coming together! I'm mostly unpacked, although the flat surfaces in my room are still a little cluttered, and I still have to hang my posters and pictures and what-have-you. But my diy'd lamps and froofy bedding are super-cute, everything more or less has a place, and I even have a little extra table that was not in any of the dorm photos, and which I have decided will be my Table of Serenity and Happiness. It is currently home to one of the aforementioned lamps, Koalaguel (avec scrabble tile), a pair of pretty pumps (idea for attractive clothing subbing as decoration stolen from Apartment Therapy), and a small pink Buddha (to go with my Bellerophon poster). Obviously, I should just look to [livejournal.com profile] unravels for 90% of my decorating needs.

Welcome Programme: tiring. Good, but tiring. This month has been all go, all the time; first Dragon*Con, then two weeks of solid pre-moving panic, and then, uh, moving. And now I have to get up! And do things! And meet people! And take lots of tours! And get to grips with only having two thirds of a shelf in the fridge, and one third of a shelf in the freezer. And having everything be somehow uphill both coming and going. @_@ But the Students' Union building is mind-boggling (it has concert spaces! and bars! MULTIPLE BARS!), and the library is super mega foxy awesome hot. So... yay?

Phone: I HAVE A PHONE. WHAT MADNESS IS THIS. It's this. In pink. I DIDN'T EVEN ASK FOR IT IN PINK. HOW DID THEY KNOW. It is cute and terrifying, and I am still getting to grips with it. The concept of having something that can browse the internets in the palm of my hand is still kind of WAT for me. For reference, my last mobile was before the advent of mp3 ringtones. Yeah.

Leicester: also seems lovely? I haven't exactly seen much of it outside of my dorms/campus/the supermarket, but I did hop on a free bus tour today, courtesy of the welcome programme, and find myself rather intrigued. I also now know where the comic book shop is. I mean what.

Other, Non-Leicester Places: so close, and yet so far. Please imagine me looking wistfully in the direction of Oxford/London/etc. while shaking a fist at the frankly scandalous price of train tickets. Although, again courtesy of the welcome programme, there is a £10 trip to Nottingham Castle this coming Saturday, over which I am experiencing much internal conflict. On the one hand: NOTTINGHAM. I mean, come on. The flyers have Russell Crowe on them. On the other: SLEEP. Class starts on Monday, and a weekend of downtime sounds pretty sweet right now. Thinkyface. :|

Sep. 26th, 2010

  • 5:49 PM
sophistry: (Default)
Well, I made it. If I can ever bring myself to talk about the drive here, I will post about the epic fail of it all, but right now, I am here. I am here, and the internet works, and my key works, and I have a bed. That is all I care about right now.

I'm on a boat

  • Sep. 25th, 2010 at 1:25 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] Surprise is on our side)


  • Sep. 23rd, 2010 at 4:38 PM
sophistry: ([Misc] DO NOT WANT)
1) It's my birthday!

2) I'm leaving the country the day after tomorrow to go do my MA.


Yep. That about sums it up.
sophistry: ([Misc] never seen a sight so fine)
...and in case you were fortunate enough not to be subjected to my Twitter-based sniffle-fest/vicious victory stomp/frenzied copypasting of some of my favourite bits of the conclusion:

Proposition 8 has been ruled unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses by the US District Court (California), and Judge Vaughn Walker (BAMF).

There'll be appeals, but you know what?

Fuck 'em.

"The evidence shows that, by every available metric, opposite-sex couples are not better than their same-sex counterparts; instead, as partners, parents and citizens, opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples are equal."
- p.132

Read it and weep, bitches.

(I know I did.)


  • Jul. 26th, 2010 at 6:29 PM

- Anyone who is going to D*C this year (usual suspects, I am looking at you),
- Who has also seen A Very Potter Musical, AND/OR
- Has the basic elements of a Harry Potter costume lying about.
- Any of your friends you know who fit the above criteria that you would be so kind as to link here.

I can't just GO to Pigfarts. IT'S ON MARS. )



Jun. 23rd, 2010

  • 4:11 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] Surprise is on our side)
Soooo, I just gave in my notice at [place of internship], which is exciting and scary and a little sad! I finish this Friday, and after that, I will have three not-so-very-long months until I jet off to Leicester to start my MA. Which is also exciting and scary, not least because I will be living on my own for the first time; one of the things living in Dublin spoils you for is being within an easy commute of two of the top universities in the country, including my first choice for my undergrad. Needless to say, I am eyeing the whole thing with some trepidation, since unlike yon happy-go-lucky undergraduates I haven't got the cushion of a first-year workload and catered halls to help me get to grips with surviving solo. I'll be rocking out postgrad-style, October to October, and I've got to hit the ground running. With that in mind, I've decided that the next three months are going to be devoted to getting my shit together - both in the sense of actual necessary material possessions (clothes! textbooks! storage! stationery!), and in the sense of forming Good Habits and Life Skills, so I can ninj my way through the basic chores of daily living, and don't steer myself into a nervous breakdown any earlier than I have to.

Therefore, for the next three months, I am going to:

make lists. I mean what? )

Y'all have seen this list, now. You are witnesses, and should guilt me appropriately if I flake out on any of the above.

You will also notice that the above battle plan does not contain an entry for 'work to save up some money, you goddamn lazy bum'. That's because, aside from the fact that there aren't jobs to be had, never mind for people who are going to vanish after three months to pursue some ~fancy learnin'~, it's simply... not a priority. I'm lucky enough (SO LUCKY) that I can afford not to, and, well. I'm going into a 12-month program. It's going to be intense. Leicester's School of Museum Studies is one of the foremost museology centres in the world. They literally write the books on this stuff. I cannot afford to burn out and fuck up - and those of you who were witness to my last year of undergrad are probably aware of the gusto with which I can burn out and fuck up. Case in point: that last year of undergrad became my technically-second-last year of undergrad. Whoops!

My point being that this summer is going to be about preparing for grad school in more than one way, and that I need to be two things when I land in Leicester at the end of this September: competent, and relaxed. I know myself, and the delightful pitfalls that come with being Highly StrungTM. I know that the best way I can spend the summer is in training myself in the art of how to function like a normal person, and in recharging my batteries. And I know my delightfully practical and sympathetic Professional Headology Lady would agree with me.

That still doesn't make me any more sanguine about the prospect of breaking this to my parents.


Jun. 16th, 2010

  • 5:24 PM
sophistry: ([Aubreyad] Surprise is on our side)
Oh yeah, and since I haven't made a public post since April 19th: I also got into all four of the programs I applied to for my MA, including one of the most prestigious of its kind in the world, have had a lot of bad days recently, but have also had distinctly good days, went to a surprise free Tegan and Sara concert yesterday (see: good days), and am currently gently freaking out about moving abroad and/or going back into academia and/or the fact that Leicester won't send me my official packet so I can confirm accommodation or start prep reading and/or how much I need to start exercising and/or writing-related things and/or interpersonal relationship things and/or where did I leave my headphones!!!

SO YEAH, HI LJ. Any further questions?

Jun. 16th, 2010

  • 4:36 PM
sophistry: ([Trek] performing admirably)
Breaking my (mostly inadvertant) posting hiatus to do a little signalboosting.

By now you've probably all caught wind of the latest installment of Fandom RaceFail, in which an SPN writer decides that setting her 80k AU doctor!Jensen/reporter!Jared Big Bang slashfic against the ~exotic, ravaged backdrop~ of post-earthquake Haiti is the BEST IDEA EVER, YOU GUYS. Complete with gentle giant Haitian sidekick, PoC characters 'gibbering' and 'jabbering' in Creole, and oh yeah, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of brown people and the unimaginable suffering of countless others as a mechanism to illustrate the brooding manpain, noble heroism, and eventual sexytiems of our two white, American leads.

Wait, what's that? You haven't?


Well, then you should probably go and check out [livejournal.com profile] amazonziti's link round-up, shouldn't you?

(CAUTION: if you intend to read any of the posted excerpts from the story, you may want to set aside some time out of your schedule for RAGING.)

In related news, Red Dead Redemption. Has anyone been playing it? I have, and have been enjoying it immensely - so much so that I actually spent far longer than I needed to simply trolling around the gorgeously rendered New Austin landscape, chasing down outlaws and shooting wildlife indiscriminately. COME AT ME, WOLF PACKS, FUCK YEAH. Except then, uhhhhh. Cut for spoilers. )

Soooo... there's that.

Now, granted, I haven't actually progressed too far in the above storyline; I hit the wall of SQUICK quite early, and pieced together the rest (as far as the plotline goes, anyway) by way of some judicious googling to see if things really were as shady as they seemed, or whether I was simply interrogating the text from the wrong perspective~. And I gotta say, it... really doesn't look like I was. But who knows; maybe I was being too sensitive. Maybe, if I'm bored enough or if I hear differently, I'll decide to give the game the benefit of the doubt and play on. Maybe things aren't as iffy as they seem, and maybe they are handled more gracefully and with greater nuance than can be conveyed in a few wiki articles and cut-scenes. If such is the case, I will happily recant.

So, uh.

To get back to my original question: has anyone else played through this bit? Am I way off in my summary of events, or in the vibe I'm getting off things? Is This Just Me?

Apr. 19th, 2010

  • 10:32 AM
sophistry: (Default)
Soooo, the last little while has been... hellish, to put it mildly. Personally, family-wise, vis-á-vis the actual real grown-up world, et cetera. BUT! There is light at the end of the tunnel on a few of these fronts, and I have promised myself that as a reward, after I am done with a bunch of shit that I need to do, I am going to blow an inadvisable amount of money on BookDepository.co.uk. Free international shipping, YEEEEEAAAAAHHHHH.

Which means: book recs! Let you show me them.

I'm definitely skewing towards the stress-free summertime brain candy end of the spectrum here, rather than your weighty literary endeavours of Joycean complexity. So, bring unto me your addictively badass YA fantasy, your charming period romps, your punchy manga, your favouritest favourite characters ever, authors that make you drop everything to run out and buy their newest work, and basically anything that made you kick your shoes off in a fit of glee while reading it. I could use some kicky glee right now.

My basket so far:

A College of Magics - Caroline Stevermer
Violent Messiahs, vol. 1 - Joshua M. Dysart
Silver Phoenix - Cindy Pon
The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan
Magic Under Glass - Jaclyn Dolamore
Blackout - Connie Willis
Horns - Joe Hill
Guardian of the Dead - Karen Healy
[The space where Mockingjay would be if I didn't have to wait until AUGUST for it to come out. >:|]
Fire - Kristin Cashore [maybe. I loved Graceling, but... I loved Graceling. I think I just want more Katsa and Po and Bitterblue and Raffin and Bann. not sure about this companion novel malarkey.]

So, someone please tell me:

  • Mar. 10th, 2010 at 6:33 PM
sophistry: ([beaton] SO MUCH)
Does the prose style of The Red Necklace get any less 'herp derp oh wait I forgot to mention at the beginning of this joke that the horse was blue' as the book goes on? Because I have heard so many good things about it, but after two bus rides' worth of reading, I seriously just want to take a giant red pen to the text and ship it back to the publisher.


breaking radio silence to bring you:

  • Mar. 5th, 2010 at 8:48 PM
sophistry: ([Rome] big things)
EW: Exclusive: HBO series 'Rome' may finally be headed to the big screen

I feel that the strength and intensity of my sentiments on this matter can only truly be expressed in .gif form - with perhaps a judicious sprinkling of capslock. Therefore: