naye: robin from one piece reading, with the words "book love" (book love)
[personal profile] naye
This week of farewells (and teaching my replacement as much as I can cram in without making her head explode) is... exhausting. Good, because I feel appreciated and missed, but also it's weird to have what have been my everyday interactions tinged with so many emotions now.


Books have been a blessed distraction from all the things these past couple of weeks, and since my last post I've finished...

Maelstrom (Whyborne & Griffin, #7) by Jordan L Hawk
Fallow (Whyborne & Griffin, #8) by Jordan L Hawk
Undertow (Whyborne & Griffin, #8.5) by Jordan L Hawk
Draakenwood (Whyborne & Griffin, #9) by Jordan L Hawk

These are all so perfect I can't even. They hit right in the feels, every single time, and I'm such a sucker for the ongoing themes of found family (which grows as the series goes along!), adorable husbands, and copious amounts of h/c and assorted peril. I have so many favorite things about this whole series, but one of them was the incredibly sweet and different f/f romance that develops in Undertow.

Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, #3) by Ben Aaronovitch
Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4) by Ben Aaronovitch

My re-read by way of listening to Kobna Holdbrook-Smith narrate the Peter Grant books continue, and continues to be hugely enjoyable. After five years here I understand that dialects are a thing and I can make a rough sort of distinction between North and South; between posh and working class; between England and Scotland and Wales - but I can never "hear" them properly when I read the books myself. With Holdbrook-Smith's narration it's all right there and it really enriches the experience of the story. Plus I do love the forays into tube tunnels, sewers and brutalist architecture we get in these two books. (Also the plot does the thing which I can never brace for and always hits really hard.)

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by KJ Charles
Remnant: A Caldwell & Feximal/Whyborne & Griffin Mystery
by KJ Charles and Jordan L Hawke

Yes so I got to the Simon Feximal book because I wanted to read the crossover with Whyborne & Griffin (of course I did) and then I was rather happily swept up in the characters and their paranormal Victorian adventures and romance - so different from the sweet Whyborne & Griffin one, but nevertheless hugely charming and absorbing. And the crossover did NOT disappoint! I may in fact have made a few dolphin noises reading it...

An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities, #1) by KJ Charles
An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities, #2) by KJ Charles
An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities, #3) by KJ Charles

And having been so enthralled by KJ Charles' writing I had to go seek out some more, and I was so pleased to find this series! It's one plot told over three books featuring an overlapping set of characters in Victorian London. Each has two main POVs - the characters who (spoiler?) - get together in the course of the book - so these are different in each. It's a really neat device that works a treat here.

I was incredibly charmed by the POV characters, many of whom are struggling with how the world sees them; how what makes them who they are is something that their society or family just won't (or don't want to) accept. It was quite wonderful to see aspects of my own relationship in all of these - but particularly #1 and #3 has things (such as a non-binary character with a pansexual eventual partner) that really, really resonates with me. And that I don't think I'd come across in fiction before!

I'm currently reading...
A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant, #5) by Ben Aaronovitch

As for what I'm reading next - honestly, probably a lot more KJ Charles and similar, because they are sweet and comforting and I need all the sweetness and comfort I can get as I spend over a month separated from the love of my own life.

A strange and dangerous sky

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:44 pm
naye: gif of creepy road in the dark (dark road)
[personal profile] naye
We didn't feel very much of Storm Ophelia over here - it's so often gusty it was like any other cranky October day, wind-wise. But we did get the strange clouds; the light breaking as if through panes of amber.

I can't recall seeing anything like it before - not even when in literal Gobi dust clouds in Japan. My phone camera tried to "fix" the white balance, but I argued with it, and we came to a compromise that captures some of that strange jaundiced atmosphere:


If it wasn't bedtime, I think I would do some research to find out what this phenomena is called and why it happens...
naye: (new beginnings)
[personal profile] naye
I'm back from my first week at my new job in Sweden. Tomorrow I'm going to start my last week at my old job inducing my successor. And technically I came back Friday night but yesterday I was so exhausted I did very little except cuddle my wife, cuddle my cats, eat food and rewatch sweet, comforting Yuri on Ice.

In short - it was overwhelming, but good? Stressful, but not more than I could handle. A random mix of happy fizzy feelings and vague dread that I wouldn't be good enough. Mostly the happy fizz, but also spikes of anxiety with highlights such as OH NO I BROKE MY AIRBNB HOST'S SHELF and OH NO I SET OFF THE ALARM AND I'M THE ONLY ONE IN THE BUILDING.

And more low-level anxiety such as having 1-on-1 introduction meetings scheduled for an hour with each and every one of my 20 or so colleagues. I'm still not done with those, obviously, but it's a lot to take in. Fun, in many cases, but also intensely social and I am good at that sort of thing (at least in these circumstances with clear parameters - find out more about what everyone does; engage in small talk if it arises naturally) but also easily exhausted by too much extroversion.

I can't even do a "week in brief" thing because there was nothing brief about my week. But I can write some of it up with pictures, because - pictures!

That's what's below the cut )

But those are just the mishaps and fun after-work adventures I've been having. There was an enormous amount of work-related things happening, which were fun and exciting and informative but would take far too much explaining to be interesting to anyone not already familiar with the particulars of Swedish academic libraries.

In brief, it was really weird to be back in Sweden, but in a wonderful way. I've never missed Sweden much, but the longer I've been away from things I used to take for granted, the more magical they seem. Like: all education in Sweden - including at university - is free for all citizens. FREE EDUCATION. Totally free. Wow. So universities aren't paid for by students or alumni - though they do accept donations! - but by the government. Which makes them government ministries, just like the Migration Agency or the military. (Which, by the way, receives less government funding than universities do in Sweden!)

Also: Unions are a thing! And they're useful and people take them seriously!

And people speak Swedish! Which is something I've done very little of this past decade, but being back in a Swedish-speaking environment listening to all of the dialects I hadn't heard for so long was like hearing a familiar but forgotten melody, all nostalgic and sweet. So strange, this thing with languages and nations and what makes a place a home...

Anyway! There was a lot more to the week, but instead of going on and on about it I'll post some more of those pictures I promised:

Street art and office comparisons )


Oct. 10th, 2017 10:08 am
serpentine: (Default)
[personal profile] serpentine
I've set up a Gofundme for the Harry Potter conference that I want to go to badly. Here's the text that accompanies it:

"Hi! I'm Tom and I've been planning to go to a Harry Potter academic conference in Philadelphia, PA for some time, but I ran into some financial issues and while I have everything booked as well as having bought my train ticket and conference registration, my financial issues mean that I still need money so I can pay for my hotel room, food (outside of the lunch I get with my conference registration), transportation within the area (my plan is to use public transport) and extra expensives.
For this, I've estimated needing 300 dollars. Half of that will go to the hotel room.

The conference takes place on Friday, October 20th and I'm willing to offer a bracelet in one of the four Hogwarts House colors to anyone who donates 20 or more dollars to my campaign. I'm only asking for money to be able to do this because I've had a hard year and I've been really wanting to be able to do something fun and nice for myself that also got me out of the house. This would help me a lot mentally and get me to meet people and possibly make contacts.

I also plan on doing a write up with photos of the event that I can share with all of you if this is funded. Thank you!"

Please donate or signal boost if you can! Thank you!

Blah Blah Blah and a Rec

Oct. 9th, 2017 01:30 pm
ikneko: (Riku Blue)
[personal profile] ikneko
Sometimes I get so sad that I think about crying but I can't cry. Like the feeling and emotions are there, but my tears are just gone. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. And I know I'm in a depressive mood and things aren't as bad as I always make them seem here, however sometimes i have no other outlet to express this sadness. I just need to get it out in some way.There is no one I can speak to about my feelings in person since I keep everything bottled up.


People think I have this perfect relationship and this happy life.

It's such bullshit.

My partner continues to talk about moving in with his irresponsible family members, buying a house for them to ALL live in or moving out to a different apartment although we can't afford more than what we are already paying.

Buying a house in my area is at least an easy $300,000- $500,000 for a small house. Not to mention property taxes, utilities, upkeep... all of that is money we do not have.

I still have 15,000+ in student loans plus 2,000 in credit card debt. He has 40,000+ in loans, car payments, insurance payment, and we are helping out his family.

I can't think of living with them. They are kind of slobs plus dont know how to care for things and will run up bills ridiculously high. Oh, and the "children" dont go to work or school. So they eat all the food, come and go whenever they feel like it, and then play video games without showering for days.

That house is hell.

Not to mention that dog abuse that no one listens to me about.

I hate calling it abuse but in every sense of the word, that is what happens.

A dog shouldn't be afraid to bark or to walk around. They shouldn't flinch or act hostile if you walk by them. it's a bunch of bullshit going on with the dogs.

-end rant-

Anyways I came upon a new author whose books I'm starting to adore.

I'm currently reading "Dying to Live: The Shifter City Complete Series" by Liam Kingsley. I was just searching for an easy book to read since I've been reading a lot of angsty work, and although their work was surprisingly emotional, it was also good. I love his style of writing so far and how the characters interact in the first book.

It's a scifi MM Shifter series but it includes a latina female Alpha, and talks a lot about counseling and dealing with trauma. It's not a self-help book so don not expect it to be a clear cut good rep about rehab and mental health, however it does give the notion that rehab is better than just the standard criminal institution in the US.

Aside from all that subtlety the romance is so sweet and chaotic. It's a beginning of a relationship that's going to need a lot of work, but something are never just easy, especially of they're worth it.


Imma sign off now.

(no subject)

Oct. 9th, 2017 11:22 am
ikneko: (OnepunchBaldy)
[personal profile] ikneko
I just want to write and possibly publish a few things.

The only problem with that is that I have ideas, begin writing, but never finish a god damned thing.

I get so unfocused while writing and then bored. Then everything I write feels like trash.

What I really need is a side hustle so i can earn more and pay off my student loans quicker. Maybe I should look into a part-time job?

Departing for new beginnings

Oct. 8th, 2017 02:10 pm
naye: (new beginnings)
[personal profile] naye
Spent yesterday huddling inside nursing a mild cold while rain lashed the windows. Skuld, amazing partner that she is, cooked one of my favorite dishes for dinner (chaliapin steak don from Food Wars), gave me lots of snuggles, and watched many episodes of The Good Place with me.

I tried putting off packing, as if that would somehow change the inevitable departure today, but in the end Skuld not only cheerleaded me into that, but also applied her amazing YouTube-trained skills in space-saving packing. (Which is basically magic! I had an overflowing pile in my suitcase, and she folded it into a bundle that left plenty of space over around it for other items...)

But yes today is Inevitable Departure Day. My cold is even milder than yesterday, and the sun has been shining enough that I turned the jaunt to the station to pick up train tickets in advance into a short run... which left me more exhausted than usual. So maybe it was wise to stay inside yesterday even before the rain bore down.

I'm starting my new job tomorrow. Tomorrow. At 8.30am I am meeting my new boss for the first time in person. NEW BOSS. NEW JOB. NEW COLLEAGUES. NEW TOWN. Not quite new flat yet because I have to stay in two consecutive AirBnBs before I can start moving in to our flat, but there's a LOT of new stuff happening and I am excited and terrified (so many new people) and also really sad because I hate being separated from my wife. Even if it's just for five days now, it's going to be forty days next time. And that's just too long. I know because we were long distance for a couple of years, and I remember how much I missed her every single day. And now I'll have the cats to miss, too.

But hey. Library job! And Skuld has a new job lined up, and her immigration paperwork is all approved, and once November is over everything will be great. Stressful and dark, but we will be together, and we will have a new flat, and the cats will come with us to start this new life.

So all I have to do is hang in there and not get overwhelmed by a week full of one-on-one induction meetings, recharge during my ten days back in Cambridge, and then grit my teeth and power through the end of October and November.

It's going to be okay.

It's going to be fantastic.

I might cry a lot first, but I think it will be worth it.

September Kitty Pic Post <3

Oct. 7th, 2017 12:07 pm
naye: two cats looking happy (our kitties)
[personal profile] naye
It's 2017, so of course it's been A Week. Again.

It's also been more than a month since my last kitty pic roundup! So here to insert some fluff and silliness on your dash are Meenie and Nora.

20170930_151204 IMG_20170928_225311_353 IMG_20170925_205617_686 IMG_20170923_220854_643

All cats, all the time )

I love these little cats so much. ♥ They are bringers of joy and silliness; they improve my mood; they make me feel less lonely when I'm home alone. And they are absolute miracles: after I developed cat allergies I was devastated that I had to give up my dream of adopting a cat... But then I found LaPerms, and while we did get them from a breeder rather than a shelter I can hold them in my arms without as much as a sneeze. I can rest my head against their warm bodies and kiss their little furry heads without choking up, or my eyes swelling shut, or rashes all over my skin.

Expanding our family by two furry critters is the second best decision we've ever made. (The best was to get married. ♥)
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