kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Hello! You are a person! You are probably lovely! I like people!

This journal ends up being a bit of a mix of Srs Business (rants; things I've learned from counselling; &c), fannish & scientific joy, linkspams, & misc life updates. I tag fairly compulsively, though not always helpfully; I use content notes; I aim to maintain this as a safer space, and appreciate (but do not expect!) call-outs when I mess up. Possibly helpful: a little about (some of) the important people in my life.

I like it if you introduce yourself when you subscribe, but it's definitely not required. Probably 30% of this journal is access-locked; I give access very readily. Fanworks are always public; AO3 is the canonical place to find my list of works. I'm very happy for you to link to anything that's public, and I'll be even happier if you let me know you're doing it. :-)


permanent wishlist -- care & feeding () -- contact info ()

[archiveofourown.org profile] kaberett -- at the LashBlog -- [ravelry.com profile] kaberett -- BPAL.org -- kabe@rett.org.uk
kaberett: An xkcd stick figure with a blue arrow tattooed on its head, controlling water, earth, fire and air. (a:tla)
(I appear to be avoiding both my mother and my counsellor. Hmm.)

1. Baby's first paper! (Sadly now lacking the phrase "the hair loss of a rabbit", oh well.)

2. I have learned Yet More about how to bend matplotlib to my will.

3. Awesome ex-housemate C is coming over for dinner & to get caught up on Korra s3.

4. Hel came over again yesterday and we watched what is possibly my favourite Elementaepisode ever (1x04, "people are the most fascinating puzzles there are") and talked a lot and I made enough food that I had lunch today. Also many talking. (And they've offered to bring me dinner @ work next Wednesday when I'll be mass-speccing!)

5. [personal profile] elisem keeps right on making beautiful art; the thing that is currently producing jaw-dropped awe on my part is Time For The Second Act (other's I've adored from this batch - also now gone! - are Alluvial Magic, Night Protocols, How The Message Travels).

6. I have wrenched the work inbox back under 10 e-mails in total (i.e. things I need to keep half an eye on and maybe chased up), plus actually done some chasing on one of the things.

7. All of you folk for the hugs/tea/congratulations/interesting conversation over the past few days -- sorry I haven't responded individually <3

8. We have been having persistent problems with our house plumbing. Last weekend housemate acquired a heavy-duty plunger; since then I have twice effected a 90-second fix that would otherwise have taken us a week of stress and contacting the estate agent. Such an improvement to our quality of life. (Speaking of, I should really, er, tidy the pantry? We kind of bought ~15kg of flour and ~10kg of pasta a week or two ago and haven't yet rearranged the pasta shelf sufficient to accommodate it all...)

9. Watching A:tLA with t'housemate. It continues the show of my heaaaaaart, and even at this stage - on what has to be my fourth or fifth complete watch-through since I first met it in summer 2011 - I am spotting new things and bursting into tears at gloriously careful and precise foreshadowing and how much these children grow up and how much trauma they survive and how none of it - none of it - is treated flippantly or dismissively. (And reading the awesome Avatar!Katara fic [personal profile] jedusaur's been reccing everywhere! I'm not entirely convinced by the writing style but I think the way it's set up is very clever and frequently heartbreaking; I devoured the first 120k words over the course of yesterday, when I mostly refused to get out of bed, and I have the rest to work on... but I'm going to try to get my Hugo reading, at least the written fiction categories, done first.)

10. I just... am incredibly aware of how lucky I am to have this housemate I get on with so comfortably and so well, with whom I actively enjoy living, who is good for me & who I can be good for, and just... yes. Yes. Good.
kaberett: Aang waterbending an octopus around himself (aang-octopus)
[I am telling my housemate about the meeting with my supervisor, which included supervisor asking me how I'd put together the plot in the mantle sulphides doc. "Erm," I said, "matplotlib? I wrote a Python script?"]

"... and then she gave me a look. It was kind of the look of why the fuck do you think this is easier than just using a pre-built package with a GUI-- oh, never mind, it's clearly working, whatever makes you happy."

"... fucking programmers," said my housemate.

"Only as a hobby," I sleepily replied.

And paused.

"... I think that contained more double entendres than I intended," I said.

"... you're going to have to explain to me," said my housemate. "I am also asleep."

Dear Dreamwidth: I thought you might enjoy laughing at me.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
So I've not been so desperately into BPAL since I acquired an interest in trad niche perfumery, but despite having not actually seen the film and having no intention to a decant circle for Only Lovers Left Alive caught my attention -- specifically, Hal, which is described as
saffron-infused bourbon vanilla, blackened honey, Kashmir wood, Atlas cedar, ambrette seed, hay, and Egyptian jasmine absolute
. Caveat: I used a jasmine-scented shower gel recently, so I'm likely to amp that note at the moment, but I'd quite like to get a sense of what this is like. So!

Before it starts interacting with my skin, this does actually smell like a warm barn with honeyed vanilla over the top. No, really, like a barn with hay stacked up to the roof because the summer mowing's just been baled up and stored but we haven't yet got anywhere near autumn. Straight on, it's saffron & jasmine, sweeted by honey & vanilla around the edges but nonetheless trying to do the cat-pee thing. And - oh damn - once again the BPAL jasmine is making my lungs unhappy. I was sort of hoping that wouldn't apply to this note every time they used it (it's not a problem with every jasmine scent ever - see above re shower gel, but also re some of my niche perfumes - the jasmine in ELdO's Fils de Dieu and Tauer's Lonestar Memories are both fine! - though I suppose in the case of the latter it might be because the thing just goes straight to WD40 on me).

First dry, it's almost cloyingly floral - you know the way novels sometimes go on about clouds of night-blooming jasmine hanging heavy in the humid air? That. Also some of it is trying to bubble-bath on me (again, this is something that BPAL perfumes unfortunately seem prone to do on me), but the cat piss is gone. There is still an edge - I think it's the saffron - but I'm not really getting the hay any more, nor anything convincing of the woods. There's something a bit green and composty?



Jul. 22nd, 2014 02:53 pm
kaberett: A series of phrases commonly used in academic papers, accompanied by humourous "translations". (science!)
That mantle sulphides doc I wrote up based on having gone "no, you know what, this stuff is important and we should think about it"? My supervisor agrees to the extent that she's intending to use it as the basis for a grant application and setting up some more potentially exciting collaborations for me. And while the writing deffo stands to be improved, I actually got "good" scrawled on the thing at a couple of points.

This really massively feels like a major milestone in terms of The Self As Researcher: it is the first time in my PhD that I have properly gone "nobody has done this before and I think we need to look at it", and -- I was right. I was right and I'm taking ownership of my project and setting direction. I was right and my supervisor is going to write a grant proposal based on my document, and let me see how the thing is done.


Jul. 18th, 2014 10:29 pm
kaberett: Sketch of a "colourless, hamsterish"  animal having a paddy. (anxiety creature)
I have spent the past two days housebound in an attempt to let my lungs recover. Because reasons I had to pop over the road just now.

I still can't leave the house without coughing fits bad enough to prevent me walking.

I hate being this ill. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
It is actively triggering. Please please please put it behind a descriptive cut. Please use content notes. Please let me know so I can not. read. it. -- because it does not play nicely at all with my history of disordered eating.

This goes for numbers. It goes for calorie-counting. It goes for target amounts lost. I do. not. want. to. know. If you're not willing to use content notes/cuts, please tell me now so I can unsubscribe, because I need to not see it.

For reasons I completely fail to understand we're now at three in about the past month. I have absolutely run out of cope for asking people politely and individually. Please just don't fucking show me that shit.


Jul. 17th, 2014 04:57 pm
kaberett: a dalek stands at the foot of a flight of stairs, thinking "fuck." (dalek)
So far today:
  • e-mailed sleep log to counsellor
  • counselling
  • one difficult conversation
  • daylight lamp
  • eaten two meals
  • e-mailed the research group's mailing list asking people to do the thing to my samples I was unable to do today because I'm housebound
  • e-mailed my supervisor, see previous
  • e-mailed occupational health
  • read & responded to (helpful!!!) e-mail that just came in from my union rep, including a reply to her e-mail from yesterday to let her know I've contacted occupational health
  • e-mailed counsellor to set up next week's session
  • actually taken any of my meds
  • tracked down the way to request a slot at the walk-in clinic, tracked down opening times of walk-in slot, stuck reminder to self in diary, for sexual health screening
  • read e-mail union rep just sent to the building managers she's being amazing ;__________;
  • wrote first draft a letter to the DWP about how my situation's deteriorated since I made my application
Still to do:

  • work out how to summarise the impact my health issues have on my life for the GP
kaberett: Photograph of clementine with perplexed face drawn on. (clementine)
CN: difficulty with breathing, all the ongoing stuff.

Read more... )

eta sent, having checked in with about five different people over a variety of media; please feel free to make reassuring noises at me.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Data from Shannon, R. D. (1976). Acta Cryst. A32, 751-767.

Read more... )
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
1. My psych meds are now on repeat prescription; I get two months' worth at a time, two issues before review is required, with the intention that I'll still drop in to talk to the GP once every 5-6 weeks. This gives me so much more flexibility. (I ran out of my ~official~ meds Sunday. Good thing I have a stockpile.)

2. Dude actually responded really well to me being extremely stark and uncompromising about how little risk there was in giving me access to sufficient medication.

3. HE HAS GIVEN ME A COPY OF THE DWP FORM. I AM TO FILL OUT THE BITS HE DOESN'T KNOW THE ANSWERS TO/WRITE SUGGESTED ANSWERS, THEN RETURN IT. :D (There was the point at which he went "... you clearly know a lot about this, probably more than me, which makes you easy to work with.")

4. I've referrals for spirometry and a chest x-ray: he agrees that whatever's going on with my lungs is Weird and deserving of extra investigation, and was Clearly Unimpressed that the last time I'd had a spirometry appt at the practice the nurse had gone "yeah wevs" and just done peak flow on me instead.

5. I asked, in passing at the end of the session, about physio with someone hypermobility-aware, because all the standard physio I've had has been actively unhelpful. "She's on holiday at the moment," he sez, "but remind me next time and I'll refer you to our in-practice person who is really good at hypermobility."

Major fucking props to [personal profile] sebastienne, who came down to London late last night in order to accompany me to this morning's appointment (and ate food I prepared, which always makes me happy, and also tolerated me going "BUT SUNDIALS THOUGH" in the Science Museum briefly). I have such amazing people in my life (yes, you): I am so lucky, and I am so grateful.

(Entertainment: twice this week people have forgotten/wordmistaken on the topic of whether [personal profile] sebastienne and I are dating. Polymer chemistry!)
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
You can tell, because I got home at around 8.30pm after a 12+-hour day at work - most of it in lab - and because actual food sounds difficult and like effort... I have a from-scratch quiche in the oven (membrillo paste made by my mum, caramelised onions, a metric fucktonne of vintage cheddar, rosemary crust), new potatoes coming to a boil on the stove, and dough for chelsea buns murbling away to itself in the breadmaker.

Important Alex Facts: when food is too much like effort, I do this kind of nonsense, because it is ritual and calming and the process is an ends in itself, and as and when everything is done I'll suddenly go "... huh. Food. Sufficient food for the next few days. ... APPARENTLY I AM HUNGRY."

(Meanwhile all the washing up has happened - or at least the first round - and I've sorted the recycling. Domestic bliss, or something.)
kaberett: a dalek stands at the foot of a flight of stairs, thinking "fuck." (dalek)
who the hell am I supposed to contact given:
  • smokers are (illegally!) rendering my building so toxic that I can't actually enter/exit it without rendering myself unable to breathe
  • an initial e-mail 4 months ago to disability services & building manager has resulted in no useful follow-up, and nor have the two most recent chasing e-mails

... because this isn't actually sustainable. I can't do my job without entering the building; I can't enter the building without getting poisoned, and if I were actually on a contract I'd be seriously thinking about constructive dismissal, but that's not how PhD stipends work.

(No, really, at least two hundred metres of corridor and the entire central stairwell are currently not actually usable by me without causing damage. The only mostly-safe route to my areas of work has no working lifts. I literally cannot get to my desk +wheelchair without exposure, or to my lab at all unless I time breathing very carefully. As for getting to my desk without chair, it's about six flights of stairs, which isn't sustainable given my joints. It is shit.)
kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
... which I was already contemplating making this morning, but feel even more in need of now.

It is a list of Best Things About Being A Wheelchair User, to be added to as I go along.

1. Wearing shoes I can't walk in.
2. Never being without a seat on public transport.
3. Going downhill.
4. Wheelies.


Jul. 14th, 2014 12:58 pm
kaberett: a dalek stands at the foot of a flight of stairs, thinking "fuck." (dalek)
It is 1pm; I have not yet managed to leave the house, in part because neither getting my wheelchair up the stairs then dealing with buses nor getting the tube then walking 2x500m sounds like a thing I want to deal with.

~the DWP still thinks I'm not disabled~
kaberett: Stylized volcano against a stormy sky, with streams of lava running down its sides. (volcano)
... are pretty much all you're going to get me to talk about 'til Wednesay. *chinhands*

(Here is a thing: because I do the staggeringly stereotypical Thing where I find it quite hard to organise large volumes of complex information into a structure that makes sense to anyone who isn't me, Supervisor has me doing a series of writing exercises - 2 pages + a diagram on a topic relevant to my thesis, to potentially be eventually incorporated. First one due Weds; I requested it be on the thing I was already perseverating about, viz, mantle sulphides. So, er, now the first document I'm prepping as a thing I was already a bit scared of... is also an attempt to persuade my supervisor that there's mileage in this idea I've had, and she wants to go to the effort of sourcing me samples to actually do the reconnaisance study. You know I keep muttering about being stressed about work despite really enjoying it? Yeah.)
kaberett: photograph of the Moon taken from the northern hemisphere by GH Revera (moon)
Longstanding family friend - one of my mum's best friends for decades - is not going to be with us much longer; we weren't close but he's always been a fixture and I am fond of the guy. He's a good man and it's a shit way to go. So... I'm going to be a bit wobbly, I suspect. (And rearranging my lab schedule to fit in the funeral, if considered appropriate.)

(That makes two of her people this year. How do I share the memories of these men with you, these men who were human and flawed and almost always one step removed from me and nonetheless important? I will try, I think, like this: Andy was, as best I recall, the first person ever to say that my poetry was good, and to ask if I was considering submitting for publication; Jake let me be slow and quiet and gentle with his dogs, and watched Ebony closely, and she let me hold one of her tiny squirmy eyes-still-shut legs-all-wonky puppies on my lap, and he was kind and impressed and let me practice commands on gun-dogs. On Christmas Eve every year a card would come through the door without a ring or knock & we'd listen for it in the interests of grabbing him and giving him a mince pie and a drink.)
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
1. A tiny quilt arrived from [personal profile] jelazakazone! It is gorgeous! It is lava! I squeaked and flapped with delight in the lift and have been showing it to anyone who'll stay still long enough!

2. ... also in my work post! A book from my largest smallcousin! I have been sending her care packages, frequently including books and occasionally painkillers, so she got the collected works of Arthur C Clarke delivered to me because she is apparently appalled that I've read barely any of his stuff.

3. Yesterday in e-mail! My poster abstract for a conference this autumn has been accepted, with the slightly baffling additional bit of
At the moment, your contribution is high on the reserve list of oral presentations, but is not yet scheduled for a talk and currently we are only able to offer you a poster contribution. We anticipate that there may well be some contributors who withdraw, in which case a slot may open up. We will let you know as soon as an opportunity occurs to move you into the talk schedule.
... opinion among those I've polled is divided on whether this is a bizarre courtesy measure or something they actually mean.

4. Interactions with housemate continue just routinely absolutely fab. <3

5. Have heard from a friend in a way that suggests that (1) he doesn't hate me and (2) the reason he dropped off the face of the earth around March is not another major depressive episode but instead that he has been arranging to move in with his girlfriend.

6. ... I just became the trans rep for Imperial's staff LGBT network. Accidentally. This is probably good, in that I will be able to be useful, but also a bit facepalmy.

7. I voted on some action to be taken by my institutional branch of my union, for the first time, which feels like being a very particular kind of grown-up.

8. It was spitting this morning - raining gently enough that it was quite pleasant to be out in in t-shirt, but hard enough that the normal congregatory points for smokers on my way into work were mercifully mostly clear. And the rain'll be good for the garden - the hebe was starting to look a bit sad but I hadn't quite got my act together to water it.

9. There's another really enthusiastically happy hebe on my way into work - currently lots of big purple floral spikes, and behind it a tree with graduated pink-to-white floral spikes that I don't understand at all but suspect is another NZ species given how that one's planted up more generally; I should take photos and get my mother to identify it, I suspect...

10. Yesterday was extremely wobbly, but I was sensible and took care of myself and today I am managing to leave not only my room but also the house again, HURRAH.


kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

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