fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
For me, personally, the final evidence of the guilt of British criminal Hanratty, of anarchist Nicola Sacco. and of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg - however different the circumstances - have been a personal shock. They are the undeniable proof that people can lie even in the face of death and eternity, that claims of innocence from the scaffold are no more reliable than from any other point. The case of Sacco's fellow-accused Bartolomeo Vanzetti seems even darker: he was probably himself innocent, but he knew that Sacco was guilty as Hell, and he deliberately died with a lie on his lips, for the sake of his imagined revolution. (And to add a further taste of futility to his false sacrifice, the historical fact is that the only party who benefited from his and Sacco's executions were the Communists, who had organized all the protests against their executions, and who were sworn enemies of Vanzetti's Anarchists and would have murdered him a good deal more nastily if he had ever fallen into their hands.) But perhaps the most significant of these is the lie of Hanratty, because that had nothing of the ideological justifications of Vanzetti and the Rosenbergs. Hanratty was not fighting for any "cause", however bad: he was a rapist and murderer with no ulterior motives. And he declared his innocence right to the point of death with a passionate intensity that deceived generations of activists including myself.
fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
AAAA0002

Nativity scene now complete, with Baby in crib and three kings. Sorry about the lighting, I don't have a camera flash.
fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
I don't know how to do this, so I'll come straight out with it. For pretty much the first time in my life, I am going to be stuck in London on my own on Christmas and Boxing Day, and related dates. I have something to do on the 24th, then nothing. If any of my friends who reside or happen to be in or near London would care to invite me to anything, I would try to be a decent guest and I would be very grateful. I have long wanted to meet my various e-friends in the flesh, since the few times I have been able to have always been great times, and this sounds like a good opportunity.

Haaaaallp!

Jul. 10th, 2012 03:09 pm
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God help me. I've had a splendid, couldn't-possibly-fail plot bunny for a Harry Potter and Buffy crossover - for a long fic, which is a kind of thing I practically never managed before, and at a time when I couldn't have less time to spare. But the idea is so damn good I hate to give it up.
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The dressing for my infected wound has been taken down at last. It seems my wound is just about cured, and, though I will have to wear special stockings for the rest of my life, I can now go back to walking like a real person. I will also have to buy a new pair of shoes, but at this point, who cares.
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Now, if there is one thing that is undoubted, it is that yours truly is fat. Seriously fat. XXXXXXXXL plus fat.
For the last four or five years I had a bathroom scales that showed a particular weight. Just recently I bought a new set.
The difference between the results of the two is thirty kilograms.
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1) To lose weight
2) To complete my book about 1918-1923 before the end of the year, and if at all possible to publish a collection of my essays and start publishing my History of Britain 407-597 through Lulu or the like.
3) To stay out of debt.
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And I am awake because of the heat. Anyone who told me that London in the last days of December would have been hotter than Rome and hotter than it had ever been at the height of summer would have got a blank stare and a dismissive "well, maybe".
EDITED IN: Well, of course, I was awake, but not exactly in top form. Who'd expect me? otherwise I'd not have taken September for December.
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Now I finally decided to sort out my computer archives, I find myself so overloaded with work that I am wondering whether I will actually finish it. Keep in mind:
1) I had one computer stolen and several crashing, with me trying to rescue the internal HDs and eventually saving their content here and there;
2) a lot of my memories are kept on CDs and even on old floppies which I had the sense never to throw away;
3) the main body of them was dispersed across no less than four external HDs, which included hundreds of video and audio files as well as years of writing, reading and downloading;
4) A large folder - the "My Music" folder - just vanished in the process of being transfered from one external HD to another, and I had to use recovery software to retrieve it. Only the recovery software didn't just retrieve the lost music - it retrieved pretty much everything that had ever hit that HD, including such things as advertising shorts I and other stuff I positively didn't want.
5) Just now, I have discovered another folder full of stuff (12.7 Gigabytes, OK?) which I absolutely didn't remember making.
This is exhausting work, mostly very boring, but necessary and full of rewards. I am retrieving hundreds of notes for research and for fics that I hardly remembered starting, and I am simply besieged with good ideas for stuff. I hope that in the next few days this LJ will see a sharp increase in interesting posts - if I don't just die from dislocating my jaw yawning, first.
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[Error: unknown template qotd]

Once upon a time I used to do a lot of comics reviewing, especially in the area of independent and small-press comics; and I found myself having a lot of good to say about a supernatural-themed comic called MERCEDES. (Anyone remember it?) I was well disorganized in those days (dear me, how things change... NOT!) and one morning I woke up and realized that I did not have a single t-shirt or shirt fit to wear. They all needed washing. Then the postman knocked at the door. There was a large flat parcel for me - and I was expecting nothing.

It was a free t-shirt from the MERCEDES authors, to thank me for the numerous positive reviews. And as it turned out, they'd got my measurements exactly right.
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...is to struggle to try and re-install Windows XP on a computer you suspect but do not know to be broken. So far I'm being led all sorts of a dance without actually achieving an installed OS.
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If you break contacts with a man, whatever the reason, you cannot keep in touch with his wife, even if she is your friend and has been so since before she married. Because you are in danger of becoming a cause of argument between the two of them, which is worse than anything else you could do. To the person I defriended: please don't feel bad about it - it is because I value your marriage and family nearly as much as you do.
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Today I finished my first paying job since the catastrophe. It was a kind of work I particularly hate - a company budget, full of tables and accounting terms - and I think I was right to warn the outsourcer that it was not my favourite kind of work, but they were as desperate as I was and I took the job. And I did it! And that in spite of a damned unreliable computer with a fondness for eating paragraphs at random and shutting down whole programs without warning. You could have heard my screams as I worked from central London; but I got the job done in time and to specifications. Maybe I can start building up a business again.

My mother

May. 20th, 2010 06:04 pm
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My mother is, in some ways, Double Concentrated Essence of Mother. She can be hard to take even in small doses: opinionated (she is a classical Berlusconi hater), very difficult to hold back - one has to repeat about five times, at increasing volume, that one would rather change the subject - and so used to doing everything herself that she can't help interfering with anything you do yourself. ("Too many cooks spoil the broth, Mamma!" "Sure, Fabio. Now what we should do is....") And while I appreciate her concern for my health, I know that I am fat and worryingly overweight and don't really need it pointed out every seven minutes. But in the end, I am lucky to have her. She is loyalty itself, has put up with family members anyone else would have dumped, will always find ways to help when asked (which is why I do anything in my power not to), has the family love for books and music ("but they always look shabby!" "Which show you are using them, Mamma. There is no better evidence of illiteracy than a neat, well-arranged, well-dusted bookcase." "->laughter<-"), is livelier than most women one third as old, and is endlessly generous. There are people who would not be alive now if not for her readiness to take in waifs and strays; the most recent case being a completely broken-down, homeless contemporary who is so ill she can hardly walk, and whose only claim on my mother was that forty years ago she briefly nannied me and my sister. This woman is now my mother's guest until a permanent situation can be found for her. My mother can be infuriating, but when I heard that I went over and gave her a kiss, because I did not think words were quit enough. I hope one day I can be half as helpful to anyone as she has been to so many people.
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...I have come to the conclusion that it is probably not actually broken. It must be chipped or something, because it still hurts, and it's stiff and a bit swollen, but I can type with it. As a matter of fact, type is the only thing I can do, because anything that asks for more strength is pretty much out. I have a feeling that it is getting better, but it still provides a background of steady, unpleasant bone pain to everything I do during the day.
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I just had a rather silly revelation.

A while ago, I asked my friend [profile] sanscouronne how she would see herself if she were to cast herself as a superhero or fantasy character. She chose "a Tolkien elf! Paradoxically old but young, whimsical, very perceptive, with sharp senses, able to flit about soundlessly, adept with a bow and arrow.." So - for the first time ever in forty-seven years - I found myself asking myself how I would cast myself. I came up with a beast-warrior - a fat, lumbering, fierce brown bear.

I wonder if any of you have any idea along these lines.
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I don't listen to The Beatles nearly often enough.
fpb: (Default)
Today I had a fit of cleaning. It's a kind of illness I would not recommend to anyone. 8-)
fpb: (Default)
Neighbours are a punishment. At least the kind of neighbour I have now. I am hoping to be let off a good deal of Purgatory after I die, on her account.
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Ever had to translate and type more than 10,000 words in a few hours?

Well, how about: ever had to translate and type more than 10,000 words in a few hours when your employer is going mad (and letting you know it) because her ultimate employer is an Italian government minister who needs it NOW for something international?

It my own stupid fault I was late, too. Which did not make my nevers and exhaustion any better. I hope to God they don't examine closely what I typed, because I was producing a typo every ten seconds.

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