Profile

bbc_robinhood: (Default)
Robin Hood BBC Fan Community

Most Popular Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
newredshoes: vintage-y lady + parking lot full of cars (<3 | costumes and settings)
[personal profile] newredshoes
My phone tells me that I climbed 51 flights of stairs today.

But on the plus side, everything I don't plan on tossing from Old Place is now in New Place, and I drove a large van in freaking Brooklyn and didn't damage anything (a true first for me driving rented vehicles in a city!).

My nephew is worth his weight in gold, and I am so glad we get to reconnect like we are.

A good day.

Tell them stories, twenty years on

Oct. 19th, 2017 07:34 am
dolorosa_12: (emily hanna)
[personal profile] dolorosa_12
I wrote this two days ago on my Wordpress reviewing blog, but I thought it was worth reposting here on Dreamwidth as well.

Twenty years ago (or nineteen years, nine months, and about twenty days ago, if you want to get really technical), I was a restless thirteen-year-old, stuck inside during a rainy week on holiday down the south coast of New South Wales. It was the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, which meant that I was carting around a massive haul of books, given to me for both my birthday and Christmas. I had read all my new books -- all except one, whose cover put me off. My younger sister, fed up with me moping around the house complaining of 'nothing to read,' made the very sensible point that I hadn't read that book. 'I don't like books about animals,' I objected. She insisted. I am forever grateful that she did. Feeling resentful, I sat down to read Northern Lights (or, as my edition was called, The Golden Compass), the first in Philip Pullman's sweeping, expansive children's trilogy, His Dark Materials. I was hooked from the first page, inhaled the book in one sitting, and, once I'd finished it, opened it up at the beginning and reread it without pause. I reread the book four times over the course of that one-week holiday.

It's hard to describe what it felt like, to read that story as a thirteen-year-old. I was already a voracious reader, and I had already encountered many beloved stories, books I would reread incessantly, or borrow repeatedly from the local library. There were already books I felt fannish about, and whose characters I identified with and drew courage from. But this was different. It was like being seen for the first time. It was as if ideas, beliefs and fears I had long felt but was not yet able to articulate had been given voice and shape on the page. As a teenager, my many rereads of Northern Lights (and, after impatient waits of one year and three years, respectively, for its follow-ups The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) helped guide both my reading tastes, and my burgeoning sense of political awareness. My love of the series got me a paid newspaper reviewing gig at the age of sixteen, and I continued to freelance as a reviewer for various Australian broadsheets for ten years after that.

Ten years ago (or, if you want to get technical, ten years, nine months, and a couple of days ago), I was in a bad place. I had returned to my hometown after graduating university, and although I had a good job and a lot of family support, I was desperately unhappy, and felt isolated and directionless. All my friends seemed to have adjusted to adult life in a way that I was incapable of, and I felt left behind. In a fit of desperation I — who mistrusted the internet and who barely went online except to check email — typed 'His Dark Materials fansite' into Google. I found something that saved me. 2007 was not a good year, but it was made infinitely more bearable by the incredible collection of people — most of whom lived on the other side of the world — who hung out in the forums of that site. Most of them had been there for years, and were all talked out about His Dark Materials, so instead they analysed other books, shared music tips, or just vented about their daily lives. Although by their standards I was a latecomer, they welcomed me with open arms. For a long time, the only thing that got me through the day was the prospect of hanging out in the IRC chat room they'd set up — the international composition of this group of fans (plus the fact that most of them were students or otherwise kept odd hours) meant that someone was always around at all hours. This was my first foray into online fandom, and I made friends for life. Meeting the sraffies — as we called ourselves — was like coming home. Being with them was, like reading the books that had brought us all together, like being seen for the first time. I was able to relax and be myself and feel safe in a way that I hadn't really anywhere since becoming an adult. Ten years have passed since then, and the group of us have gone through so many things together. We've graduated from university, changed jobs and careers, had books and academic articles published, moved cities, emigrated, fallen in and out of love (in some cases, with each other), mourned deaths, and supported each other through whatever life threw at us. We travel specifically to meet up with each other, and if work, study, or holidays bring us by chance to each others' cities, we make a point to hang out. One of the friends I met through His Dark Materials was even a bridesmaid at my wedding.

I recently did a reread of the trilogy, wanting to refresh my memory before reading Pullman's much anticipated foray back into the world of His Dark Materials. I was anxious that it wouldn't affect me as it had when I was younger, that I would pick up on flaws, that its emotional notes would leave me unmoved. I shouldn't have worried. Reading Pullman's words again, returning to that world, was like falling into water. Like the best and most meaningful of stories, it gave me something different, as it had done with each reread, and reading it as a thirty-two-year-old woman was different to reading it as a thirteen-year-old girl, or when I was in my twenties. But, like Lyra relearning to read the alethiometer as an adult after losing the unconscious ease with which she read it as a child, it was a deeper, richer experience — not better, not worse, just different. In the years since I first opened Northern Lights and read those resonant first words, Lyra and her dæmon, I've finished high school. I've graduated three times from two different universities, with an Honours degree, MPhil, and doctorate. I've changed careers three times. I've emigrated, lived in two new countries, acquired a new citizenship, learnt two new languages (as well as many dead languages), presented at conferences, been published academically in two very different fields, fallen in love, had my heart broken, and fallen in love again. In those years, I found my home, and I found myself again. In other words, I've done exactly what His Dark Materials urges: live, as much as I can, feel, as much as I can bear, and learn, as much as I am able. On Thursday, I will collect my preordered copy of La Belle Sauvage, the first of Pullman's prequel trilogy that will return readers to the world of His Dark Materials. I will sit down and read it in a desperate, yearning rush. I wonder what the twenty years that follow will bring. I know that having read this new book — and those that follow — will help me cope with whatever those next years throw at me.
newredshoes: I am so hot for Bucky Barnes in his dress uniform. (cap | shipping out tomorrow)
[personal profile] newredshoes
I'm here! I'm intact! I'm in my new place! I'm about 90% moved in, but, lololol, the things that are still at the old place are, for some reason, things like all my regular clothes and my blankets and sheets. Betta Barnes will probably come with me tomorrow, and a friend with access to a creepy van (for setting up races) maaaaaay be able to help me collect everything that's left (mostly kitchen and random stuff). Five amazing Russian men completely disassembled my apartment in 90 minutes yesterday, four flights of stairs and all, and the whole move was done in just over three hours. As I was standing on the sidewalk with my bike, talking to the guys about how to get to the new place, who but Terrible Neighbor comes sauntering by, with her two kids right there. "Bye, bitch," she says, like she's ~got me (or something???). I thought up all this clever shit I could have said later, but... no more. It's almost over.

So now I'm picking out paint colors and trying to find where I packed things like my remote controls. I am determined to have at least one small corner plastered with flamingo wallpaper. An awesome Puerto Rican guy from the Bronx set up my internet tonight; we traded pet photos and stories, and he told me all about his brother, a retired Marine, who lives on the island with a service pig named Cleopatra. (He also told me that he thought I was an autoresponse robot when I picked up his call, because my voice was so "creamy," which is a freaking delightful compliment.)

I kind of don't have much more to say at the moment. Therapy was good today. Things are just... looking up, and that's great. ♥
newredshoes: Woman in religious ecstasy, surrounded by art implements (<3 | patron saint)
[personal profile] newredshoes
Some dates have been set, some things are happening, I am trying not to take late-afternoon/early evening naps! Moving trucks on Tuesday afternoon, three years to the day after I moved in here. Getting internet at the new place on Monday afternoon (in theory), and so should be getting keys... on Monday afternoon? Apparently this is very complicated. I already sense a pattern with this leasing company (ho ho, no shit!), but fingers crossed I just won't need anything ever. IT WILL BE FINE. Everything will be fine once I am in a new space!

Packing is starting to feel like psychological warfare, though. I have tried to make a list of what's left, which would in some ways be easier to handle if I could get access to my apartment, which legally becomes mine tomorrow. But it's like... the kitchen and the decision-fatigue-inducing papers and knickknacks and the "can I run all over Brooklyn and Manhattan to donate this before Tuesday and still get all my work done?" stuff. I suspect there will be a lot of Tuesday morning "throw it into a garbage bag! God will know his own!" going on.

TV is still good at the moment, though. Riverdale is peak ridonk, The Good Place is making me SO OUTRAGEOUSLY HAPPY and Jane the Virgin is finally back and I'm so overwhelmed by love that I can only watch it in chunks. I finally saw Kung Fury with my friend H, who came over last night for loafing; it was staggering, and it leaves Netflix in a week, so get on that, friends.

Neighbor has not messed with me since Monday night, at least. They seemed to be gone for a few days, but they're definitely back now. I'm worried about that window when the movers are coming in and out for a bit, but there's no way around it and hopefully, well. Movers.

I am still crashing and all my books are in boxes.
newredshoes: Angie Martinelli making a funny face mid-word (agent carter | angie thinks it's bunk)
[personal profile] newredshoes
Things my neighbor yelled while pounding on my front door:
  • "Answer the door, bitch!"
  • "Keep my name out of your mouth, bitch!"
  • "I'm gonna trap you, bitch!"
  • (Aside, when I wouldn't answer) "What, is she taking a shit?" (While funny, also suggesting she wasn't alone, which, cool!!!!)

    She waited until [personal profile] theladyscribe left after spending the whole afternoon helping me pack, sort things for donation and tossing, and watch the first two episodes of Wynonna Earp (which, what!!!!! by the way!). Neighbor also kept yelling at me through our shared walls when I wouldn't come out when shouted at from the landing. Yes, I am freaked out! Yes, I am unhappy! I'm not so sure it's a good idea now for me to go to therapy tomorrow morning while also carrying huge bags of books to donate, in case she jumps me while I'm leaving. (I truly would not put it past her!)

    Everyone under the sun told me to call the police next time something like that happened, but I get my keys to my new place on Sunday, and I want to be out of here as fast as possible after that. She will 100% retaliate, if she hasn't already done something unspeakable to my door. (I know that also suggests I could call anyway, since she'll retaliate anyway, but. I do not want to deal with any of that.)

    I stayed quiet in the apartment for a while, because, well, earnestly freaking out. But then I put on iTunes shuffle, starting with the Office Space rap cover of "Take This Job and Shove It," and shuffle has been been very good to me, bringing all my most obnoxious-but-beloved tracks (Delirium, Neutral Milk Hotel, Lhasa, solo Paul McCartney, Simon & Garfunkel live; now it's playing a country cover of "We Can Work It Out").

    Honest to god, I am just so ready to leave. Would appreciate any moral support, though, I won't lie.