Log in

Slogging on

Okay, these are now past:
1) Giving paper to a seminar series that is perhaps somewhat tangential to What I Do, on new research stuff, this evening.
And I think went quite well, if I say it as shouldn't, people seemed to be enjoying it and getting things out of it even if it wasn't what they expected, and not only asked questions afterwards, came up to me over post-talk drinks to say how much they liked it, ask more questions, etc
2) Dentist - permanent crown to replace the temporary crown, fixing cracked tooth.
Which, you know, as dental stuff goes, could have been worse.

But I am so tired - yesterday I felt quite muzzy with tiredness and not much better today, and I can't think why, because had a relatively restful weekend as weekends go, have been sleeping a reasonable amount for me.

Okay, am still getting used to the new glasses, not only a new prescription but they seem to sit entirely differently to the old pair and I daresay it is just a matter of getting accustomed, but perhaps this is a kind of low-level stress and discomfort thing that is tiring?

Or maybe The Event took more out of me than I thought? (even if great success, institution in question is 'perhaps we could do this again?', and I got presented with some John Lewis vouchers at work in recognition, even if I considered it Just Doing My Duty).

It's not particularly the having-a-virus kind of tired, it's much more like overnight-flight-and-jetlag tired, which makes no particular sense. This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/2228689.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

Exhausted already

This week is being an unfortunate confluence of commitments, none of which are entirely awful on their own (okay, no 4 is something I would never be looking forward to) but altogether, causing my heart to sink.

1) Giving paper to a seminar series that is perhaps somewhat tangential to What I Do, on new research stuff, this evening.

2) Dentist - permanent crown to replace the temporary crown, fixing cracked tooth.

3) Meeting with a national body about project we are handing off to them, which might not be too bad if it was not timed in such a way as probably to unravel all the benefits of my yoga class.

4) Second trip out of London to box up papers of Deceased Eminent Person In Their Field which are a) copious b) significantly disorganised c) in a cold cold house which is not near anywhere convenient, that has not actually been inhabited for some years. (This visit has also been the subject of ongoing Scheduling Hell.)

All this is precluding what might be mood-lifting visits to gym until (at best) Friday (when I may be completely flattened anyway).

Anything cheering would be very gladly received. This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/2227313.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

Had a bank account and dressed to kill

This week it feels like I am spending money like a drunken sailor.

That is, if the sailor in question was having dental work done as the result of first visit to dentist in 2 years, finding themself having to pony up for new glasses as the result of eye test, etc.

Okay, maybe the boots (but probably not going to see what was in Ecco's online sale having found two of existing pairs had sprung leaks).

Also, making travel arrangements. This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/2215436.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

Not the full spiny sea-urchin...

But I was feeling in a rather bad mood this morning.

I wonder if part of it is a combination of the slump after some particularly intense period of demands (also possibly the 2 am migraine, even if imigran did its trick) -

Plus, all those things which were being put on hold for the duration and still have to be sorted and are not fun things. (Telephone engineers - if any of my dr rdrz have any thoughts about telephone engineers - BT Callout Service? Private firms? should be v grateful to hear.) (Also, dentists, North London, any testimonials to? My former dentist has moved to the farthest end of the Northern Line, and while it is at least the right end from the point of view of my current location, it is possibly rather further than I would want to sit on a tube train after a root canal.)

I suppose the travel things might be fun, if I could get some clarity on the research leave angle. This is one of those things where I am dependent on other people getting their act together. Except that the actual booking process, seldom a bundle of larfs.

I had been hoping to get cracking on with the big cataloguing job today but most of my time was eaten by various necessary niggling things (like being polite to somebody whose proposed research gives my codfish arm twitches).

However -

Bright side!

A splendiferous rainbow over Euston Road this afternoon.

Possibility of some physio chargeable to work health plan, heyhey.

A really good yoga class.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/2056892.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

Escalator free association

At the side of the up escalator, ads for something promising 'Hot White Teeth in 2 weeks'.

To which my response was, are not hot teeth rather uncomfortable? or perhaps it is just a pleasing warmth.

Even so, perhaps not optimum for eating ice-cream with.

Which led me to think about that (though apparently it's a spoof?) Ben and Jerry literary-themed Oliver Twist ice-cream -

Um, gruel-flavoured ice-cream*? this is like sardine toffee and I don't think even Heston could bring it off, the concept is not want-more-ish, more push-the-dish-away-half-eaten.

Heston: 6th Michelin star

*Though on looking this up, I see that it's suggested as 'rich dark chocolate and simple vanilla flavors with a smattering of English Toffee'.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1970151.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.


In the ads down the side of my FB page:
Groundbreaking implants

Of the dental variety, but this seems to me to imply that you could also use them for your springtime gardening needs.

Or pioneering in the unploughed plains...

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1847648.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

Cool gales do fan the glade

It was raining when I got up, but mostly today has been overcast and really windy. Which is actually a lot nicer for the walk, even though there were still quite a lot of quaggy bits and slidey places. However, we ended up on the sandy path, which had already dried out and was quite loose in patches (it is a slog across the Sahara in dry weather).

And in spite of initially having been held back from my usual speed by a chatty lady, eventually found myself up there out front with the trainer and woman who makes a living doing sports coaching, so not so bad for a woman of my years and my recent period of stress and dental work (and am having subsequent problems which require another visit to the dentist next week).

Not to mention, my v relaaaaaaxing seaweed wrap with dry float this morning (bliss), which I thought might have slowed me down.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1773671.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

Thinggzzz at random

If one is being earwormed by a particular piece of music (or, in my case, sometimes just part of a piece of music), is there some reason for this (apart, that is, from the week when I was writing a blog post for Another Blog on charity balls, and could not get rid of 'Let's Face the Music and Dance', but I was actually deploying that in the post)?

Perhaps it is some indication of internal emotional weather, though why some mornings it's Brahm's Alto Rhapsody, and on others, the opening bars of 'Hoochie-Coochie Man', deponent knoweth not and can't even guesseth.


Although, as aforementioned, I did do 14 lectures (etc) in 11 months this year, at least they did not involve vast amounts of foreign or intercontinental travel, unlike 01/02, when it was 15 lectures (etc) in 12 months, on 3 continents and 6 countries, including enough visits to the Netherlands that I became somewhat over-familiar with Schipol Airport. However, one is 10 years older now...


Sometimes I am miffed by sudden and unannounced changes on the staff catering menus ('I was looking forward to X for my lunch, but it turns out X NO.CAN.HAZ') but just sometimes it works the other way. Today the menu as published was distinctly meh, but there was SURPRIZ MULLIGATAWNY SOUP - there is no bad.


With luck, today saw the last act of the prolonged dental saga until my next checkup in 6 months time. I hope.


Also in Dept of At Bloody Last, have received a communication from The Incompetent Financial Institution indicating that they have, finally, managed to set up a direct debit. We shall see.


Dept of Book-Related Ponceyness: A new public library in the Netherlands called Book Mountain has been winning plaudits from architects for its striking design. A mountain of 50,000 books covered by a glass shell, the building just outside Rotterdam is shaped like a pyramid. Architects may swoon, but we have yet to hear from librarians, conservators, and users. Some of us remember - and it's not that long ago, I don't think I'm being a Living Archive here - the debacle of the new Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and its innovative, yet conservationally disastrous, deployment of masses of glass.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1768012.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

State of things

Hope everybody in the areas affected by Sandy is safe, dry, warm and not too inconvenienced by the ongoing issues of loss of power and transport, etc.


Am beginning, I think, to feel somewhat better than I did two weeks ago, and also improved since last week. Some slight indications of returning energy and oomph - e.g. actually doing reading that's not comfort re-reading, and making some small essays on my paper for the seminar in 2 weeks time.


Good thing: advance copies of The Textbook!!!


Bad thing: still having trouble with the Financial Institution about my savings account - two extended phone-calls (and the first one involved such a marathon of phone menus that I hovered between nearly losing the will to live and the desire to take up an axe and kill something) and still no-one can tell me what's going on, I have another number, and I need different security information to give them, and.... aaaaaaaaaargh.


Not quite so bad thing: had to make another trip to the dentist at their behest to take further impressions for the new caps. At least they did not charge me. Could have done without this, though.


Extremely irritating thing: LJ's new reading page. In my case the text of entries runs out at the edge of the screen. How is this desirable.


Question (not that this would happen soon if I did it): further to a couple of comments, supposing I ebooked the novels I wrote some good while since that gained the interest of an agent but no actual publishing deal, would anyone be, you know, interested in reading them if I did so?

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1758888.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

Very boring - yet more about teeth

What I thought might be the final dental appointment turned out not to be: the root canal per se is done but there is still some kind of adjacent infection leading to a further course of antibiotics, o joy -

So the actual cap is not yet back -

And, just to pile thingumtijig on wotsit -

X-ray reveals possible patch of decay under the next door, gold-crowned tooth.

So, revolving door. Can't make it next week (have Thingz all week, most of them not even on home-ground), but have two further appointments scheduled in subsequent weeks.

Stay me with flagons, and comfort me with, actually not apples, I would like something more of the comfort food category, probably under the heading of 'pobbies' (not literally bread and milk, but something on those lines of soft, warm, and comforting).

However, have heart-warming story about adorable baby walrus (and is that his bukkit we observe in the tank behind him, awww, blessikins).

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1746721.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

Hedjog, state of: pluses and minuses

Dept of Health:

The tooth is lots better, although the inside of my cheek is still sore. I felt like an elephant had rolled on me on Friday morning, rang into work and went back to bed, but I was feeling much better on Saturday, well enough to go to a friend's 60th birthday party in one of those areas of N London forgotten by Transport for London except for a very occasional bus puttering between such places. However, I shall be delighted when I finish this course of antibiotics, as they are messing with my innards.

Dept of, mi akademyk activitiez, I show u them:

You may be asking, where is [personal profile] oursin and what have I done with her, when I report turning down 2, not one, but 2, invitations to speak. One is early next month - I am already scheduled to be giving 4 papers within 4 weeks and don't even have anything already written that I could dust off for the purpose, plus, it would be outside London and I have quite enough travelling to look forward (?) to. The other one was initially enticing, but while I consider myself reasonably up to speed on Victorian sapphism and female attachments, it would involve having to do more reading than I would really want to do about a Certain Eminent Victorian (one of the eponymous Stracheyan EVs), which would be really somewhat peripheral to my general interests.

Dept of consumerism:

Marks and Sparks have at long last brought back the classic stretch waist khaki cords, but are still falling down over the round- or crew-neck classic black lambswool sweater.

O NOEZ - Roger and Gallet seem to have discontinued their vetyver soap, woez woez. Can anyone recommend any other brand of vetyver soap?

Dept of Being An Archivist:

Cleared up one or two outstanding procrastinated things at work, and even managed to get in a little cataloguing time. However, the designated sorting area is currently freezing bloody cold and even if I take a cardigan with me next time, about an hour of it is all I can stand.

Dept of Internetz:

Broadband draaaaaaama yesterday, as in, internet no can haz, but I sorted it out with support after hanging on the line with the suspicion that on Sundays, 'all our operatives are busy' = one guy and a phone queue. It's not altogether clear to me that anything he did fixed it as opposed to its fixing itself, but anyway, it was fixed. He recommends leaving the router on - your thoughts, Y/N?

Dept of Gross Self-Indulgence:

And I am taking a few days at Grayshott late in November.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1745839.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

Dental matters update

So I managed to see my dentist today, who identified the problem as infection of the root of the tooth next to the one I thought it was.

So, I'm booked in for a root canal on Thursday and sent away with a course of antibiotics.

My malaise last week was, I guess, probably pretty much due to the infection creeping up, which I suppose is somewhat better than my fear that I was in for a recurrence of the mysterious lingering debilitating virus of '08.

But aaaaaargh, root canal.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1742702.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.


Dulce domum

Back after reasonable journey as these things go.

Bread in oven, washing done, etc.

The bad news is, last night (which was quite restless and insomniac enough without it) one of my crowned back teeth started aching and while this does respond, more or less, to ibuprofen, it doesn't actually go away, so I think I'm going to have to contact my dentist stat.

But at least it is a definite thing, as opposed to a vague and imprecise feeling of malaise and fatigue.

Even if it is a definite thing I would much rather do without.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1741677.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

Modernity past its sell-by date

Because I'm still thinking about innovations and uptake and whathaveyou, and because people were mentioning modern conservative dentistry (as opposed to 'whip the lot out and get a nice set of false ones') as something it would be hard to do without.

Thinking this time about ideas that were once (presumably) the cutting edge of modernity and best-practice and now have us going 'They what?!'

Many years ago, my dearios, I struggled through Thomas Mann's Dr Faustus (it was probably a good thing that this was before I became a Nexpert on Teh Pox, and therefore there were no instances of large library edition hitting wall with great velocity).

Anyway, this is not about T Mann's venereology FAIL, but about the very curious dental analogy he has his protag make.

Adrian Leverkuhn, the radical composer who is the central figure in the novel and the one who makes the Faustian bargain - 'intentionally contracts syphilis, which deepens his artistic inspiration through madness'* - at one point delivers himself of a peroration about What Is Wrong With Music Today.

In which he claims that his contemporaries are like dentists pottering about doing root-canal treatment when they should be whipping the rotten lot out completely and fitting dentures. The latter bears some relation to his own agenda as a composer, go figure.

This strikes a modern observer as a 'Huh? Say What?' moment.

NB I think this is before Leverkuhn starts raving as a result of cerebral syph, and in fact his pals/acolytes take up the analogy and start describing works as 'root canal treatment'.

I feel there's also an analogy here to be made with the sort of post-war urban planning that was about rip it all down and build shiny new tower blocks.

I am not sure a great deal has been written about changing fashions in dentistry: I once sat through a Foucauldian analysis of dental hygiene practices (You Could Not Make It Up, srsly), but I feel that out there, waiting to be written, is the story of the shifts from 'own teeth nasty: remove and give false' to 'dentures last resort': and that it is probably Complicated.

*So much RONG.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1633340.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

Does anyone actually notice this?

Brought to you by currently undergoing a round of dental treatment involving, among other things, replacement of a crown.

(I'm not entirely sure whether it's just that I have awful teeth, or whether I am now, and have been for some while, seeing the fallout from earlier dental overtreatment.)

Anyway, the cap thing involves taking moulds, and ultimately inserting the replacement crown, and the dentist asking me at various stages of the process to bite down. And then asking me 'Is that the way you normally bite?'

A question which causes me deep existential angst like unto the centipede asked how it walked, because when I'm actually biting things that aren't dental moulding gunk and so on in a dentistry-related context, I don't actually think about the process.

I'm more, 'I don't know, I think it's the way I normally bite, but after all, this is a somewhat artificial situation, what with the rubbery gunky stuff and so forth, not to mention the fingers in my mouth and the gurgly swooshy thing, etc'.

It's All More Complicated, the dentistry version.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1556783.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

Recycled city

This morning I had occasion to go out to Golders Green to look at some archives.

It was one of those lovely sombre slightly misty and Impressionist North London autumn days.

Between the Tube station and my destination I passed a Victorian church of no great architectural distinction which is now a Hindu Temple.

London: it has layers.


In other news, this has been the week at the beginning of which I was 'and I shall be getting stuck into my new cataloguing project', which only finally happened this afternoon. Partly because the small cataloguing job incorporating an additional accession into an existing collection just took longer than anticipated, and partly due to unanticipated Incoming Stuff of various kinds.

Also: Dept of Lost and Found. Had been looking for the details of the current employment private health coverage scheme, since I suspect my dentist has finally gone completely private. Not in any obvious place. Finally turned up in the Old File Case, which I didn't think had anything current in it. Plus, could not find my elisem nameless labradorite pendant anywhere. Eventually discovered in a pocket in my handbag which is not the place I put jewellery if I have to take it off.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/1537894.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

State of the hedgehog, and some links

Went to the gym and did a moderate work-out yesterday evening, which made me feel as if all the bits of me were finally back in the same place. And then this morning I went to the dentist for part 1 of 'that cap needs replacing', and now condition = stunned mullet once more.


Was going to do an 'on this day we should commemorate Emily Wilding Davison', as the account of her intersection with the King's horse at the Derby was in that bit of the Guardian in which they put a snippet of bygone news. Except a) it's not on their website and b) it turns out on further investigation that it was 4th June when she did it (these days it would be all round the world within an hour and huge hoohahs already going on in people's blogs). But anyway, it is always worth remembering the campaigners for female suffrage.

And on the subject of feminism, there's a headbangy para in a column on Star Wars also in today's Guardian:

But the poor treatment of women is so usual in Hollywood that it's not worth singling out Lucas as a prime offender. Better to have no women at all than have tokens who're only there to be ridiculed, harmed, eyed or vilified.... It's a shame, too, that the industry hasn't noticed the powerful feminist voice within science fiction generally. One of the most impressive works is Marion Zimmer Bradley's influential Darkover series, but there are many others, and the internet has many sites celebrating and critiquing the work of science fiction sheroes.

Sheroes? - send for the English-usage ninjas! Plus, general WTF-ery at this take on feminist voices within sf.


In other news: C13th Northumberland Bestiary manuscript now on display at the Getty: hiss-boo that it has not been retained in UK, moderate cheer that it is at least now available to the public.

And: Close friendships among teenagers appear to be declining. At least they're only talking about since 1986, and not evoking some idyllic golden-agey Blytonesque past, but I'm still a bit 'hmmmm....' about it.

*Scrapes barrel*, or, in search of a post

What I learned today: that it is probably not a brilliant idea to schedule a dental appointment for a filling on the morning of the day I have undertaken to stay late at work to do a presentation for a group that can't come during normal working hours.


Odd dream last night in which partner and I were throwing a party, but in the front room of the house in which I grew up, now my sister's, and were waiting for the guests to turn up, or just at that point just before it's reasonable to expect anyone to arrive. There was a mixture of anticipation/excitement and worry that no-one would come. People were pouring into a party at the house next door, including some that I recognised (but don't think we'd invited them to ours). Then we went out (to buy more booze?) and when we came back my workmates were waiting on the doorstep to get in, at least one of them carrying flowers.