Wonder Woman

We are not sinister or intimidating. We are merely following you and watching you

I keep avoiding posting on this because I haven't yet finished that bloody Sherlock Holmes fic. My laptop broke and I pretty much lost everything I had written up to that point, which was quite dispiriting. I've just managed to snaffle a free copy of Word, and I've rewritten about 1000 words which I could post up if anyone was interested? It might spur me on a bit getting posting again, idk.

So! I got a new job. Check that out. I've spent the last week feeling pretty overwhelmed and underqualified. I'm working in marketing, but making prospectuses and shit.

I give it a month.

Let me recommend some splendid things:

  • The Junior Officers' Reading Club. This is a good book, so good that it actually manages to give you an insight into what happens to a soldier when he goes to war. I listened to the audiobook and he is wonderfully posh.

  • Holy Flying Circus. If you haven't watched this then what the hell have you been doing. It is just wonderful and indeed gave me all the feelings, but even aside all my strange pecadillos for INCREDIBLY TENSE and A BIT PRICKLY but RATHER HEARTFELT relationships between dudes, it's witty and clever and manages to capture perfectly a really odd and not very flattering side of British society. Also I would like to add that the man who played Terry Jones was far too attractive for the part and it made me go a bit confused.

  • Supernatural. I know this is an odd one to put in here but after a fairly rocky first episode I've actually found the writing pretty bloody decent this season. It's funny and creepy and Sam is actually likeable again. It's not really a return to the form of the first two seasons but I've been enjoying it.

How've you chaps been doing? Tell me your news.
Wonder Woman

I'm sorry I semi-abandoned you, LJ. I have made you a thing

Bacteriology, Part I (A Study in Scarlet/The War of the Worlds)

Warning: This is well long, and Watson-heavy - very little Sherlock in this part.

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

War of the Worlds, Chapter 1


Being a reprint from the reminiscences of


late of the Royal Army Medical Corps



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Wonder Woman

International House of Woman

International Women's Day, isn't it?

I'm guessing everyone has seen this by now, but I'm going to post it for posterity, anyway:

We're equals, aren't we 007?

Judi Dench reads some scary statistics while Daniel Craig smoulders in a tasteful wrap dress.

Also, Kate Beaton has decided that Marge Gunderson off of Fargo is the perfect solution to Charlie Sheen.

I want to know if there's a filter somewhere that would put that second to last panel at the top-right hand corner of every image and story of Charlie Sheen. I think it would help.

I'm going to round this off with my favourite Angry Ladies song: The Indelicates - Our Daughters Will Never Be Free

Though it's come to my attention that I don't have nearly enough Angry Lady Songs in my possession. I demand to be educated! Song recs, please.

I'm reading (well, listening to; it's an audiobook. Does it count as reading? OH THE CONUNDRUM) The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime by Judith Flanders. It's really good - kind of fascinating watching how the police and the law slowly evolved into things you can recognise from something almost medieval. Up until 1819 you could still trial by combat - they very quickly removed it after someone tried it in court (actually threw down a gauntlet and everything) and they found that it was totally legal to do so. There are some fairly mental court cases in there, where 'good character' or 'bad character' basically overrode everything, including, you know, evidence.

Actually the most depressing thing about the book is realising that newspapers haven't changed much in 200 years - they're still pretty much as hysterical and stupid and corrupt now as they were back in the 19th century. I actually saw this story on the front page of the BBC website while I was listening to the book. I mean for fuck's sake.

RIGHT WELL. Is everyone aware of cherryice and her marvellous fanvids? If you are going to watch any of them, you should watch Attention: Gotham City, because IT IS A CRACKER. (but no, really you should go watch all of them).
Wonder Woman

I hope your dad's flight this afternoon is ok after the panorama he had last week.

(Quote courtesy of my Grandmother this afternoon)

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God I love the internet.

How are we ladies? I have been ill like the dog for the last few days - feeling better now, but still pissed off I had to cancel a whole load of fun Christmas things because I was to limp and feeble to leave the house. Badly timed, virus, badly timed.

In more exciting news, I've bought a new car - a VW Beetle. HOORAY oh dear I owe a lot of money. I got it off a family friend who offered to sell it to me, so it was all pretty out of the blue, but in a nice way.

We had 20cm of snow fall in 3 hours yesterday, which was impressive by British standards. It's a pain in the arse to drive around in but all the houses' fairy lights in the snow make it look pretty bloody Christmassy.
Wonder Woman

To summarise my last hour:

  • Decided that room was too dark to work in, so open the curtains
  • Decided that room was too cold with the curtains open, so moved all the furniture out of the way of the radiator to let more heat into the room
  • Decided I was still too cold, so shuffled makeshift desk closer to the radiator
  • In moving all furniture, uncovered insect graveyard and dust bunnies the size of my fist
  • Hoovered these up
  • Hoovered rest of room
  • Had quick tidy, to create ordered and zen workplace. For absolutely no reason, turned fairy lights on
  • Had sip of tea to celebrate - discovered that tea was cold
  • Made more tea
  • Decided it was probably time for a tea break anyway
  • Ate banana; stared at snow for about ten minutes
  • Came back to makeshift desk, answered emails, made list of things to do once back in office
  • Opened relevant window in advent calendar
  • Checked weather report
  • Checked Guardian.co.uk/news
  • Checked Guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle
  • Checked Twitter
  • Checked LJ

I haven't really got the hang of this whole 'work at home' business.
Wonder Woman

'I may have made a couple of booboos.' 'You owe us 8 million pounds.' 'Like I said, booboos.'

More pancakes this morning. We haven’t quite got the hang of them due to the mix being too thick and us trying to French them up. Bloody American pancakes. I (Emma) had two cups of coffee and sent my body into crisis. Laura almost set the pan on fire. For some reason we are still alive after 10 days without supervision.

We walked through the non-touristy part of Chinatown. Laura had to restrain herself from buying all of the lychees. We were the only non-Chinese people on the street for about 5 minutes, until we were overtaken by another tourist who said “who needs to go to China?” Indeed. It was pretty incredible. Then all of a sudden we were in Little Italy. They mark the neighborhoods by putting the colours on the lampposts. Little Italy had, as one might guess, the Italian flag colours. Castro had the rainbow stripes. Chinatown had dragons. There were people doing Tai Chi in the park, which shouldn’t have surprised Laura, she says, but did.

Oh god I’ve eaten so many biscuits.

Anyway, then we went to the Beat Museum looked at exhibits in a serious and learny manner. Then we went to the City Lights bookshop, the central hub for all the beatniks back in the day - we bought books and got free books as well (books that were being given away, I’ve gotten over my kleptomania phase). Then we had coffee (see: crisis). Laura was seriously happy. I know this because she made that noise, like a chipmunk being shot over a cliff, as well as punching my arm and nudging me into traffic in glee.

We got a streetcar (which was unnamed but for the purposes of this blog post shall be called ‘Desire’, which pleases Laura as she just went ‘yayyyy’ next to me. Joint effort, this. Shocking, isn’t it). Our driver had the most amazing growly voice (probably due to throat cancer but Laura chooses to romanticise this).

We dumped our books at the hostel and caught the bus to Haight Ashbury, only it wasn’t quite Haight Ashbury, it was Haight Masonic, a whole 40 feet away so Laura promptly marched us off in the opposite direction. (‘I can honestly say, hand on my heart, whoops! Sorry’ - Laura). About 10 minutes of up-and-down hilling I started to have some sort of caffeine crash and went very quiet so was tenderly led into a cafe and fed dry bagels until I looked more human.

I (Laura) have gained control of Emma's blog.

We retraced our steps and finally made it to Haight Ashbury - dominated by a giant Ben and Jerry’s - how very counter culture. I did take a picture of the clock stuck at 4.20: bong o’clock, but we concluded that it was basically Camden. Different social movement but same overpriced t-shirts.

Then we walked down the hill to Castro and took many many photos of the giant rainbow flag against the sunset. We saw Castro Camera, Harvey Milk’s shop which is now a tribute to him. Then we stopped for a drink in a place called Twin Peaks (they did not serve pie or damn fine coffee - for shame). We nearly froze waiting for the streetcar back to Union Square so distracted ourselves by taking more photos of the giant rainbow flag.

When we got back to Union Square they were starting to put the Christmas decorations up. The palm trees were covered in fairy lights, every window in Macy’s had a wreath in it and men in cherry pickers were putting up baubles bigger than their own heads onto a hundred foot Christmas tree. All of the shops had put up their Christmas window displays during the day. It is officially Christmas in San Fransisco. I made the noise of a chipmunk being fired over a cliff again (I have been reliably informed).

Tonight we dine on cheap white wine, chocolate cookies and Reese’s peanut butter cups (it has taken us three attempts to remember what they are called, even though the packet is in front of us). Gosh this miniature bottle of white wine has gone to my head.

In conclusion: we like Frisco very much. Eeee!

Wonder Woman

I Came to America to do Stupid Things

Right, I promised you guys an update on our progress, didn't I?


Ok, so Las Vegas is terrifying. I said to Laura, looking over the balcony of the 26th floor of the Luxor to the casino below: "It's like we've checked into a dystopian nightmare..."
"Emma, think about it, this is a dystopian nightmare."
"...Oh yeah."

We managed a cheeky upgrade due to being checked into a room where people already were (awkward) and so managed to get a properly lush room with views right across Las Vegas. The best part of Las Vegas was probably that room - looking out over the tiny cars going up and down the streets and watching the sun sink behind the mountains. We walked up the strip, then stopped for Mojito Slushies outside Caesar's Palace where we discussed why exactly we were disturbed - Laura was coming from an anti-excessive consumerism perspective while I disliked the fact that the female staff of the casinos had to basically wear underwear for their uniform and there were people on every street corner trying to push calling cards fro prostitutes into your face. You know those cards that you find in phone boxes back home? Those ones. They flick them together to make an angry noise and then shove them into your face. Every street corner. I found a takeaway salad and then we ran back to hide in our room.

On the way back we saw
  • A man dressed as Elvis (of course) who winked at us
  • A man dressed in a Picachu costume looking miserable and sullen outside Paris Casino
  • Two guys sitting on a bridge begging for their 'Marijuana Research Fund' - "we promise we won't spend it on food - only on getting high"
  • A Stormtrooper harassing R2D2.

Las Vegas seems like it would be brilliant fun if I wasn't such an angry feminist. Hrm.


We had breakfast in Starbucks the morning after, where I found out the hard way that they use sweetened soya milk as par for the course. This resulted in a fairly twitchy, sweaty sugar headache on my part. The perfect state of mind to drive out into Death Valley.

Do you know when is a brilliant time to realise you don't know where you are? Not in the middle of Death Valley. We had a fairly tense moment where it appeared that the satnav had gone mad and we were trying to work out where exactly we were. Turned out we were on the right road but bloody Nora, let's not do that again. A coyote watched us from the side of the road, condescendingly, the way locals do to tourists.

We went to Badwater, salt flats which are the remains of an evaporated lake - it's the 2nd lowest land elevation in the world I think. It is pretty hot. This was commented on, many times mainly by me. Laura tried to ignore me and amused herself by stamping all over the salt flats. The sign on the way in asked us to tread lightly to try and preserve this natural phenomenon. Laura took this as a sign to balance on top of the ridges.
"David Attenborough would be very disappointed."

We drove through Artist's Drive, where the mountains are striped all different colours due to geology or something. We did it at sunset which was pretty beautiful. The road looked new - they had painted yellow lines over the loose rocks that lay on the side of the road and most of them were still in their same position. Lazy road painters. Laura climbed up things that she couldn't get down from again and I watched her do it like a dowdy, overcautious mother. When the sun set we drove to our favourite motel yet, in a little town called Beatty Nevada. The Atomic Inn is visable from the road because it is covered in fairy lights. There is a framed photo of a mushroom cloud hanging above the beds, there are pens with little aliens on sale in the reception and the password for the wireless network is 'meninblack'. It was insane. We got a discount on our room because the receptionist liked our snazzy pink British driving licenses.


In the morning we headed out to Rhyolite, an actual, no fooling ghost town. It was epic. We were wandering in and out of buildings which still felt a bit uncomfortable, like we were breaking and entering. Laura was pretty much in her element. It was completely deserted and silent when we arrived, which is where I debuted my new and annoying habit of accidentally leaning against the horn. A-whoops. I have since done this twice, once this morning in a San Francisco gas station.

After that I made Laura walk 45 minutes out into the desert and 45 minutes back so we could walk along sand dunes. Although that's just what she claims - I reckon it was a mutual decision. Either way it was pretty stupid, especially when there was a much easier way to get there down the road. Still, it was totally worth it and we got some exercise? Again, whoops.

We got gas and icy drinks from Stovepipe Wells service station (which looked like it was from the 1950s) and we headed out towards Yosemite. We had to swing under the Sierra Nevada since it was winter and the mountains are just too damn big to deal with. We got to drive through Sequoia National Forest. GOD IT WAS LOVELY. I am going to retire to one of those tiny villages outside of the park - they had creeks and fields and trees turning yellow and dramatic rolling hills and I want it ok. I WANT IT.

We reached Yosemite in the dark. The roads were pitch black, winding and steep. There was hardly anyone else on it and we were listening to The Woman in Black. On top of this I had the recurring thought of 'please don't be bears please don't be bears please don't be bears'. I missed a turning, did a three point turn and set off again on the left hand side of the road. Perhaps in all the tension and uncertainty I was subconsciously searching for something good and pure and true. Anyway it was into oncoming traffic.

L: Right side of the road! RIGHT SIDE OF THE ROAD!
E: Well that was a stupid thing to do.

We got to the hostel, had proper food and wine! Actual wine. Oh it was good. And we slept that night, so we decided to repeat the experiment the following night with a bottle. Success once again.


We missed the bus into the park the following morning, despite running and only being 5 minutes late. We were wearing sports bras though, so that was good. We were also wearing thermals. Not so good. We drove into the park ourselves, with a detour since a massive rock-slide had taken out part of the road - dangerous business, nature. Mule Deer were pretty tame here as well. We saw quite a few when we were driving in and then when we were walking around. They are big silly things. No bears though, which relieved me and disappointed Laura because she has no sense. We hiked up the side of a waterfall - me tripping up everything the whole way. Noticing a theme I bowed out when the steps became wet and slippy. Laura left me her backpack and headed the rest of the way herself. After 5 minutes of getting cold and upbraiding myself for being a pussy I walked up myself, with two backpacks. TWO. BACKPACKS. I met Laura near the top when she was coming back down. I was panting, sweating, almost crying, holding out her backpack for her to take back. We headed back up to the top. VICTORY. We had victory hummus and headed back down. By the time we were near the bottom the weather had started to roll in - apparently this side of the Sierra Nevada is where they keep all of the weather. We got back to the hostel before it started snowing. 

We went through all the food that had been left by other lodgers and put it on top of baked potatoes we made. Interesting meal. Then we spent the money we saved on wine and chocolate. The chocolate may have been the mistake as the cafe was crawling with kids who fixed us with terrifying solemn stares until we gave up our m&m's - or rather Laura did, that was totally not my plan for that chocolate. Apparently one of the kids was not allowed chocolate at home, so they're never sleeping again.


It snowed during the night, but was raining by the time we got up. The rain followed us across the state to Napa, where we stopped at a Gilmore Girls-esque tiny expensive town called St Helena. In fact we had sweet potato fries at somewhere called Gilwoods Cafe. We also found the world's second biggest Robert Louis Stevenson museum, which seems like an odd claim to fame. We were the only people in there and were given a private tour by a little old lady who looked at us blankly whenever we asked her a question before returning to whatever internal script she was reading from. Very odd. It would have been a beautiful place if we could have seen it through the rain. We went on to San Francisco where the rain turned into a full-on thunderstorm - driving rain, lightning, the works. Poor Laura - she managed to negotiate her way into the city across the Bay Bridge and find a parking space while we weren't able to see road markings due to them being under water. "I am that good" says Laura.

We'd been pretty much on the go for a week and by the time we got into the hostel in San Francisco we (psychologically) crashed and crashed hard. We made food and watched an episode of Supernatural before sleeping like the dead.


We felt a bit brighter this morning and walked around San Francisco in the sunshine. We headed north along Route 101 in the afternoon - over the Golden Gate bridge and through a tunnel decorated with rainbows. We have since seen GIANT redwood trees, about a million condors, more snow, clouds rising out of the forest and a rainbow that actually came to rest on the road in front of us. I have never seen the end of a rainbow before - very strange. It moved to the right by the time we hit that point in the road.

We're in Arcata, which is apparently a really nice town, but it's cold and wet outside, and we're slumped in our motel room, watching bad telly and eating dry cereal from plastic cups. Living the dream. The tap on our sink works by yanking in almost out of its socket before it'll relinquish any water. Laura came out of the bathroom to tell me that it was almost worth coming here just to see how mental people are (in regards to the tap set-up). She then disappeared back into the bathroom and I heard the tap go on and off again another 7 times. Another early night I think.