askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
As started by [personal profile] nanila, below are my answers to the [bolded] topic headings. If you'd like to meet some more dw people please reply to this post with your answers and let's get meeting new folks!

People in this journal

Mostly it's all about ME....not really out of any sense of rampant egotism, more just that I'm currently single and live alone. Occasionally my family and some close friends turn up but whenever that happens I try and stick a sentence or link in to explain who they are in my life to the casual reader.

About my job
I recently (2016) finished a PhD. Right now, I'm swimming/drowning in the variable world of precarious academic employment. I am actively pursuing job applications to become a permanent university lecturer in sexuality and social sciences related fields. I am something of an anomaly in that I enjoy teaching as much as researching, although I don't tend to talk about any specifics relating to teaching for professional privacy reasons but have been known to talk in the abstract about how I feel about the experience of teaching and some more philosophical reflections.

Some random facts
I really like tagging my posts in a nice neat order?! All the links in this post are to search pages of pertinent tags.

I've recently realised I would like to become a parent in the next 5 years and this has come as a bit of a shock, and been accompanied by a new interest in other people's children. It's all rather unsettling.

I'm queer, and I'm a feminist. That pretty much describes my political, moral, and social outlook.

Things I like to do

Sewing
I love making shit. Unfortunately, I don't need anywhere near the amount of stuff I want to make. Fortunately, I have indulgent friends who gladly accept things I make for them. I also run a little Etsy shop for a very niche market (see 'fandom' below)

Travelling
Half a lifetime ago I did a big ol' round the world ramble. Whenever I have a bit of cash and a lot of time I like to leave the country and see somewhere new. I love coming home, but I get itchy feet.

Taking in the City

I live in one of my favourite cities in the world, and there's rarely a day that goes by that I don't thank my good fortune (and life-wrangling) I get to live here. I like photographing the little bits of the city that I feel make it mine. I like strolling through the crowds, down the promenade, through the back alleys and streets taking in the rhythm of the city. I like sitting on the beach, in all seasons, looking out to sea and letting the niggles of life wash away. I love watching the city spill on to the streets when the sun shines and crowd into bars when the rain lashes.

Fandom
I'm a fully paid up Manics fan and have been for 12 years now. I don't really read fanfic and have never attempted to write it so in that respect my fandom interests have no impact on the content of this here journal. On the other hand, I occasionally get overcome by the urge to blog about the many glories of Manic Street Preachers

Social media usage
I've been doing meaningful social interaction online since around 2000-2001 time. I spent most of my time in those days on two message boards, one called Stay Beautiful which was a Manics fan forum and is sadly now defunct. The other forum was a rather peculiar one which I, and a number of blog friends, escaped and now refer to, in irony laden tones, as OFMB but only for in jokes and ribbing, so don't worry about that.

I have a second blog where I write single-issue posts about my life with a long term mental health condition - cyclothymia, a bipolar spectrum disorder.

I tweet under this name, I tumblr under this name although all those accounts have distinct, slightly less coherent. personalities.

>Subscriptions, access and commenting
I subscribe to anyone and everyone who takes my fancy. I like to reply when I am moved to do so but consistently read everything on my subscription list.

I'm quite happy to grant access to any journal I can see is used/active/filled with posts that demonstrate it's run by a real human but I only grant access if people actually ask for it - many of my access-locked posts discuss emotional/personal/philosophical issues that I think could be described as 'full-on' and I don't want to thrust excessive intimacy on people who are subscribing to read my lighter/ephemeral posts.

tl;dr; if you want access, shout up. Otherwise, feel free to subscribe!


What I’d like to get from my participation here
To discover some more dw users who blog about a range of issues, serious and light, work and home. Always glad to increase my reading list.
askygoneonfire: 'Love' painted on to four fingers of a hand (love hand)
So I was given 5 questions by [livejournal.com profile] meepettemu. I am supposed to say that if you comment and ask, I'll give you 5. And I will.

1: do you have specific plans for after your PhD, and if so, what are they?
This is the question that keeps me up at night. The simple answer is, I don't. The more involved answer is I want to stay in academia but to do that I need to pull my finger out and publish something and be prepared for a few years of continued precarious employment and be open to moving anywhere in the country to chase down any positions. The thought of starting all over again somewhere else in the country seems exhausting. But so does applying for jobs just in Brighton. I think there is a cruelty to the treadmill of academia where, at your lowest ebb, you need to muster the most energy to secure yourself employment and career. Whatever happens, it will surely be narrated here.

2: Is there a significance behind your raven tattoo? If so, what?
It's a carrion crow, not a raven. And yes, there is a significance. It's more of a narrative, really;

I love crows, I think they are wonderful, engaging animals and I enjoy every interaction I have with them. They are also, to me, quite strongly tied to Brighton, I have only ever lived closely with crows here in Brighton as they dominate the university's campus and I often sit and watch them at lunch, on breaks, and during my office hours (one memorable day, I saw a crow disembowel a dead rabbit, it was hilariously gruesome). They are also, of course, members of the corvid family. An exceptionally clever genus (corvus) they include the new caledonian crow which makes and uses tools, and the raven which can solve puzzles quicker than a 5 year old human. Good old, common, familiar carrion crows have also been shown to mourn their dead.

There is considerable mythology surrounding the crow, some of it I believe is clearly linked to observable behaviour (such as their feasting on carrion, mourning their dead, and intelligence and rational approach to problems) and the rest is the usual imaginative leaps of man. In particular, I like the mythology which says they are messengers for the dead/from the dead/of the dead, and that they are said to be able to see forward in time.

When my friend died, I felt something huge had shifted in the world. It came at a time I was trying to decide the direction of my life. The night I learnt she'd died I vowed to move back to Brighton, take control of my life and direct it in the way which my gut told me to go, and not be guided by financial fears or ideas of what I 'should' be doing. I did all of those things before the year was out.

I knew I needed a tattoo to mark this shift in my life, as a tribute and reminder of Lux, and an emblem of my new outlook and determination. I had also been considering a cover up of a tattoo I had got when I was 19 and trying to remind myself of my own strength and ability to stay alive. So, bearing in mind all of the above, I chose a crow - conveniently being an ideal colour for a cover up tattoo.

My crow is facing forwards - as we must always do - but looking backwards - remembering what has gone, seeing the lessons and people that came before. And he knows death, but he does not fear it, he simply knows it is a part of life and an essential part at that.

3: When you were a teenager, what were your career aspirations?
I never had a strong sense of where I wanted to go or who I wanted to be. The only career I ever really wanted was to be either a vet or a zoologist. Those dreams were quickly quashed by a) going to a shit comprehensive that ignored talent and neglected to aid underachievement and b) spending ages 15-19 being fucking miserable and very nearly getting no A Levels. I was not good enough at Maths or Science by the time I was in Sixth Form - largely because I was depressed, stoned, and in a dreadful school - for that to be a realistic dream so I let it go.

I'm not sure how I feel about it.

4: How old were you when you first realised you might not be straight?
The thing with being bi/queer/pan/whatever is not being straight doesn't come into focus as early as it seems to for your out-and-out gay folk. You can rattle along quite happily fancying men and assuming your feelings for women are comparable to the idol worship of your straight female friends. The clues were always in the men I fancied - they were never handsome or rugged or butch. They were all beautiful, delicate, thoughtful, queer, and vaguely off beat. I was never going to be the 'right' kind of heterosexual.

I think I was about 13 or 14 by the time I actually started having sexual feelings for women - which is around the time I started having sexual feelings for men, now I come to reflect on it. And I was 15 or 16 when I started coming out. As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, David Bowie was part of how I came to be sure. And so was Nicky Wire. 

I think I was about 19 or 20 before I heard the term pansexual and finally found a word to describe my specific desires, and adoration of the Bowies and Wires of this world. Queer entered my lexicon when I did my Masters at 22 and added another dimension to my self expression. 

5: Where in the UK would you choose to live if it could be anywhere?
Brighton. Where I am right now. Where I can't afford to stay and am unlikely to be in a year's time. And that is already breaking my heart.
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
Thank you to jadedlibertine over on LJ for my 5 questions.  I believe the meme goes that if you reply asking for questions I wlll provide you with 5.  I make no guarantees on this front, but I might.

1) How many times have you seen the Manics and which was your favourite of those gigs?
I have now seen the Manics 12 times (helpfully listed here with links to setlists).  

It is phenomenally hard to pick a favourite but I think my favourite was at the Brighton Dome in 2009.  

It was the first time I had ever been on the barrier at a gig; I risked getting fired by closing the shop I was managing early in order to RUN the 5 minutes to the Dome; it was the first (and so far, only) gig I've been to alone - and I still don't have a single regret on that front. It was also the tour where they played the entire album, in order, followed by a short break, then the usual greatest hits set - which is a HUGE undertaking by any standards, but it also meant that Nicky sang William's Last Words, and, being positioned directly in front of him, I saw him fight tears, cry, and then flee the stage before the final note had died.  It was always going to be an emotional gig, but that did something to me that I can't describe and will never forget.

2) If you had £100,000 to give to a charity but you were only allowed to donate to a single charity which one would it be and why?
I thought about this question ever since it was posed a week or two ago, I think I would choose Amnesty International.  They do incredible work and whilst (at the moment) I don't support them with a monthly donation (currently I give to WSPA and on the next pay rise - if and when - I will be donating to Amnesty as well) I think they get forgotten too often in favour of other humanitarian charities who can easily put a face to their cause whilst Amnesty would struggle to put a universal face to their campaigns.  Their campaigns, in particular for freedom relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, outstrip any other organisation I know of and are obviously close to my heart - one cannot experience freedom from persecution for expressing a sexual identity and not be aware how lucky you are to live in a country which does not kill, rape and persecute you for it*.

3) Is there any country you would refuse to visit even if all expenses were paid and your safety guaranteed, if so which one and why?
There are actually quite a few, but the one which leaps readily to mind is Saudi Arabia.  For a [oil] rich country, their treatment of women is inexplicable; as the only country in the world which bans women from driving there is a nice neat way to judge how certain freedoms, no doubt enjoyed by some women in Saudi, are hollow when such a non-political activity is denied to them. 

4) Did you have a favourite toy growing up, if so what?
I had two toy dogs, one was called Spot and he was made for me by my Grandma.  I used to tie a bit of string around his neck and 'walk' him everywhere, as such his legs splayed out in a rather distressing fashion and his feet were all worn down.  I still have him in my wardrobe. My second toy dog was a pound Puppy called 'Rosenna' or, more commonly, 'Mother' because she had 3 puppies which could be stored away in a velcro-close pouch in her stomach (which, on reflection, is weird)   I bought her from Argos with my savings of 5ps, 10ps and 20ps.  I remember distinctly pouring all this out on the counter and a vaguely annoyed Argos employee slowly counting it out.  Any and all games could be played with these two so it did the job.

5) If you could wake up tomorrow with the ability to play any musical instrument perfectly which instrument would you choose?
Guitar! I love how guitar sounds.  I would love to fill gaps in my evenings by learning to play songs by bands I love and I adore the fact that, like piano, you only need one instrument to carry a recognisable tune that everyone will join in with whilst, unlike piano, it is very portable!  Also, I have owned a guitar for the last 10 years and still haven't learnt to playing the cocking thing!



* Yes, I know we have a long way to go, and yes all those things still happen as a result of persecution for sexuality in this country, but they are not defended, endorsed or encouraged by our laws and government.

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askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
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May 2017

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