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Ilya Popov
24 September 2013 @ 09:34 pm
Oh hello there Livejournal, you're still going? And people are still writing here? Spectacular!

As I've been dealing with the whole New Job Thing (and its associated pressures) writing (much less reading) has until recently been a bit of a non-thing. Since, who wants to sit and write after working at a computer all day?

Now if you could just tell me why am I one of only two guys sporting a beard on the trading floor? Are beards not a thing in the finance world?

Before I close this post, I am going to type the word "Matthew Woodring Stover" in the hopes that some random web-bot will notice this text, and spread it out unto the web like a rogue tidal wave, and succeed in my helping me in my nefarious plan to make Matt the successful writer he ought to damn well be.

That is all.
Ilya Popov
23 January 2013 @ 12:57 am
12:38. A week ago 12 hours from now, it'll have been a week since I returned from Russia. The jetlag persists like some persistent cat scratching and mewing (do cats mew?) to get in when the owner has accidentally locked the cat-flap.

In the morning will come a funeral for a friend who died too young, and who effortlessly made me laugh, supported others with simple kindness and understated wisdom during hard patches in their life, and unleashed witticisms with the kind of casual ease that would make Fry and Laurie proud. And we all miss him terribly.

All this comes midway through a week that's fraught with excitement, if excitement can be said to have ever been fraught. Fraught with tension? Certainly. But fraught with excitement? It seems somehow wrong, but it'll do for the moment. There's a shiny new apartment awaiting one of my best friends and I, several suburbs removed from our current one, and maybe even a pie. And certainly pad thai dinner with a friend (if there is pad thai in Moscow, I did not find it), and the very last ever Wheel of Time novel.

Years and years ago, it was my intention to do a Great and Glorious Reread of the Entire Wheel of Time series, some time just prior to the publication of The Gathering Storm. That plan never materialised, and for a few years I all but stopped reading, when my mental health fiercely deteriorated. Years later, fully functional, and reading like some sort of troika on a mad gallop across a wintry landscape, devouring all forms of fiction in my path, one of the least likely (or so I once thought) hurdles would be the *final* Wheel of Time book. And much to my utter amazement, there really seems to be just no need for a reread. All the details are crystal clear in my mind. My teenage self has held on to the events of those books with a stunning level of clarity that I wish could be borrowed, loaned, rented, and perhaps even mortgaged out to my older, 31 year old self.

....Looking back on this post, I know that there was a point to this ceaseless rambling, but I've no idea what the hell it could possibly be at this point. Not even the slightest. And I am content to let the internet judge me for this conscpicuous lack of foresight and planning accordingly. Yea, I offer unto thee, Mighty Intarwebs, my humblest pleases of unworthiness and Insiginificance and seek forgiveness for myne most evident proclivity towards an unsystematised hodgepodgery of words, meanings and thoughts.
Current Mood: Reflective
Current Music: Loreena McKennitt - The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Ilya Popov
29 November 2012 @ 04:38 pm
There are days when I am reminded of why I love my job. Today is the day I finished, and sent to press, a 4,548 page manuscript. After having spent dozens upon dozens of ours, suffered various irksome setbacks, dealt with bizarre, inexplainable problems, the largest project of my professional career thus far has come to a close. And despite being excruciatingly exhausted, it was worth it. The manuscript is clean, the problems are solved, and a great deal of new skills were picked up along the way.

Job satisfaction? You bet. Damn I love working as an editor.
Current Mood: happy
Ilya Popov
07 November 2012 @ 09:58 pm
It’s been a good day. And it’s been a fantastic month. And an amazing year.

President Barack Obama was re-elected for a second term. A friend finally finished her thesis, and is due to graduate, after having spent 9 years striving towards finishing her undergrad degree. A few more friends are but months away from wrapping up their degrees. A married friend received her permanent residency. And as a bonus, so did I (after waiting for nearly three and a half years). And a year from now, I’ll be sitting a citizenship exam, one which will allow me, a few months later, at a formal inauguration, to say "I am Australian".

2012, you have been a wonderful year. Thank you.
Current Mood: ecstatic
Ilya Popov
18 June 2012 @ 10:49 pm
I have several degrees. It took me a while to get them. Some of them are a bit useless, I think (a grad dip in Business Management? I still don’t know what I’m ever going to do with that), but some of them are a bit useful, like my degree in Western Culture and Civilisation (I know, bit of a mouthful, that one, isn’t it?). The unfinished minor in theology? Not so much. An athiest with a degree in theology is obviously a gag unto itself. But it’s not useful. Understanding artwork? Somewhat useful.

It makes going to museums a pleasureable experience. I’ve gone to art galleries where I’ve seen (no joke) a piece named ‘Untitled No 2′. It was rectangular, and was divided into two panels. The first (left) side featured a pink bunny. The second (right) featured the back half of a ute. The front half was missing. All of this was illustrated against a white backdrop. (For those wondering where this painting can be found, visit MOMA, in New York City) For years I’ve assumed that the answer a comedian would give to account for the missing front-half of the ute would be: “The bunny clearly ate it”. Me? I just said it was surreal. Because honestly, that is a bit surreal.

Sometimes though, people don’t get surrealism. Or they just don’t understand how to use the term properly. If you’re uncertain as to how surrealism works, the painting above is one example. If you’d like another, nothing quite gets the point across like Australian comedian Adam Hills’s brilliant (and somewhat circuitous) explanation as to what surrealism in fact is.

Ilya Popov
28 May 2012 @ 07:33 pm
I delight in the absurdities and oddities of languages. For example, you say? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here’s a word for you, brought by the Department of What You Can Learn By Watching Doctor Who.

Main Entry: pantophobia
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a fear of everything; also called panphobia
Etymology: Greek pantos ‘all’
Ilya Popov
10 May 2012 @ 07:33 pm
Apparently one of the features of the upcoming London Olympics is its missile defence system.

That’s right. Missile Defence System. It’s all very 80′s kitsch scifi come to life. Does anyone not expect someone to be sitting in the audience, dressed as Snake Plissken? I’ll be quite disappointed if the geeks don’t do their bit to satirise the clearly batshit insane policies of those behind some of the colossally comical decisions being made by the Olympic Committee.

Of course, it could just be that the English are completely mad.

William Gibson’s twitter-followers, being the savvy and entertaining crowd that they are, have provided amusement in the form of this youtube video, wherein a man attempts to find out why missiles are being attached to his roof. Because nothing says Olympics like surface-to-air missiles on one’s roof.
Ilya Popov
09 May 2012 @ 08:45 am
We’re singing some funky American earth hymnals in choir. It’s like taking boring old Jesus songs, booting Jesus the fuck out, and then adding trees and swans instead. Music is much better when it has trees than Jesus. Sorry Jesus, nothing personal, but you’re a bit of a tired instrument, y’know? I’d say it’s not you, but…it is.

So we were singing, yeah? And as a bass 1, I can only go so high. There’s this low e that I never can seem to hit unless I’m not actually focusing on the notes at hand, and don’t feel pressure to actually hit any particular note. That may seem like a particularly stupid way to sing, but it does seem to help me relax when singing.

But last night, we were singing a song where we (the basses) have to jump from a low G to an insanely high D, and swing up to an E before zooming back down to the C and then crescendoing* towards the finale. And lo and behold, because the conductor was being silly and not putting any pressure on us to sing the song in a staccato-like manner (as the song calls for) the impossible E and I collided in a friendly manner.

And Jesus had nothing to do with it. Which isn’t really the moral of the story. If you’re wondering what that would be, it’s this: always have a silly conductor – it’ll make everything much more magical.

*Not a word? It is now!
Ilya Popov
28 April 2012 @ 10:48 am
I saw a Delorean on Parramatta Road the other day, and texted my housemate excitedly to let her know that I saw a Delorean on Parramatta Road, and she didn't think it was a big deal. Sometimes, I think that people forget important things, like the fact that Deloreans are cool.