kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
Things are not in fact all doom and gloom - I think I'm depressed at the moment, but that weird pseudodepression minus anhedonia I get and never really spot in good time because what even - so here is a list of the things I am enjoying.

  1. Hel came over for dinner last night! Housemate is out on Wednesday nights; I'm terrible at leaving work and making there be eveningfood if I don't have someone to feed; so Hel and I are doing this thing where they do me the favour that is coming round and being fed and letting me show them Korra season 1 (currently; next up: Elementary iHope!).
  2. That One Lady made me a necklace and it is lovely. :-)
  3. And she has agreed to accompany me to the London WtNV recording! Which I was basically only interested in doing if it was a thing she wanted to do and was willing to spend the evening with me (audiovisual processing is hard, I'm way behind on WtNV since the episode last year with the computer that broke my brain in audio processing ways, etc).
  4. Good conversation with supervisor yesterday, which actually breaks down into twothree parts. The first is that I had a potentially stressful meeting with my supervisor and didn't have my anxiety pre-meeting exceed baseline for possibly the first time ever in my history of having project supervisors; the second is that she has usefully strategised on ways to help me get my head round some of the issues with writing; and the third is that there is a particular thing that's been jumping up and down going PAY ATTENTION TO ME for the past week or so, and we have agreed that if in my first of these writing exercises I can convince her that following this line of investigation is worth doing, I get to give her a list of samples and she'll acquire them for me. :D
  5. the boything got me a new enormous teal towel to go with the existing enormous teal towel, so now I can offer guests an actually clean towel that isn't a small :-)
  6. I am ludicrously smug about the fact that That One Gent liked some of my vim set-up (configured while at OSBridge) enough that he's nicked it.
  7. Aloe drink! Aloe drink with rosewater and takmuria. Food that is texturesssss.
  8. Counselling session on Friday (assuming counsellor doesn't have to cancel. I will actually have a tantrum if they do.)
  9. Oh, right, another point from the supervisor meeting -- several months ago I went "BUGGRE ALLE THIS FOR A LARK" and redeployed some lab equipment in a way that was more useful and massively reduced my frustration levels (and plastic waste!). I told supervisor I'd done it (rather than asking permission) at the time; last week she had cause to be doing chemistry with the MSci student in such a way that she encountered this change I had made in, as it were, the field. "THAT IS SO MUCH BETTER," she said, relief and gratitude all over. :D
  10. The internet is still full of photographs of tiny turtles going "WHY AM I ON TOP OF STRAWBERRY WHAT DO D:"
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Like The Zoya Factor, I read this in one sitting; and it's still about journalists and journalism, but this one is also about freedom of the press and about families and so on and so forth.

I will get the one thing that had me pulling the D:-face continuously out of the way first: a racial slur ) was used repeatedly throughout the book - five or six times - in a completely non-problematised way that was super-exoticising and othering. It was... a bit grim.

-- the big thing I noticed during this one is that actually these books (perhaps unsurprisingly, given that they're rom-coms) hit a lot of the same narrative buttons as Regency romances, except they're set in 1980s India.

So! Yes. I enjoyed this. I enjoyed this a lot. There was some absolutely fantastic uncle- and aunty-ing, that had me burying my face in my hands and laughing pretty heartfelt groans: it was affectionately skewered, and it was spot-on, and it was great.

There was a paragraph I was obliged to copy out and send to That One Lady:
"I'm sorry about that crack too," she says. "And for holding up a this-is-not-a-date flag. I realize it was presumptuous. I mean, obviously you have a girlfriend."

Dylan, trained journalist that he is, knows that statements are questions. But he doesn't want to answer this one.

"What a big word," he says lightly. "Presumptuous. I bet you go around saying presumptuous things just so you can use presumptuous when you apologize and impress the other person with your usage of presumptuous."

"Oh, please," Debjani dismisses this with unconscious snobbery. "I know much bigger words than that."

This wasn't about cricket so it's perhaps less surprising that I enjoyed it (because, really, when am I not going to enjoy a book about press freedom and families found-and-made and The Difficulty Of Siblings and lots of women interacting), but -- I did, it was good, I liked it, maybe you will too.

(There is currently no-one else in the UK on [personal profile] deepad's list, so if you'd like me to sort out getting these to you once my housemate is done with them -- per Deepa's post, the deal is that it'd be nice if you wrote a review of them but the main thing is sending them on to someone else -- give us a shout and I will Arrange Matters.)
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
Highlights include: the Dvorak 'cello concerto in the Royal Festival Hall with That One Lady on Thursday night, followed by a late dinner; watching the food I made vanish into people, and especially watching people discover that they really liked food they thought they didn't (and watching the food I'd made mostly vanish in ways that were pleasing); Saturday morning brunch, involving breaking in the new griddle pan; the binders I got from E&C; TOL got me Perfumes: the A-Z guide which I proper squealed over; introducing many, many people; date with That One Gent on Saturday afternoon; P. brought me champagne and strawberries from Paris (he lives there at the moment, to be fair!); the cake came out very well for my first attempt, such that I now feel I've undergone yet another rite of passage; the concert my mother played in on Saturday night, where I got to see my favourite bits of the clan and my favourite small cousins, and medium smallcousin gave me a present into which I actually burst into tears about (it's an ink-and-approximately-watercolour painting she's done of the view out to sea from the steps at the bottom of the garden at the Mouldering Ancestral Pile); I visited C. this morning and was reminded just how much I enjoy spending time with them, and how much I want to spend more; I spent the afternoon sitting in a pub surrounded by a crowd of people talking, and I mostly dozed but had a brilliant time of it; my mother gave me a Scrabble set from the attic of the Mouldering Ancestral Pile plus a stuffed chough plus a jar of blackberry & apple jam; and she fed us more Haus-u.-Hof Torte and Schlag[obers] and strawberries; and we collapsed collectively in helpless giggles on the patio as we sorted out Grossmutti's furs. And I am home with a very dear friend curled up to sleep on my floor and I have drafted an abstract and rediscovered a skirt I am going to love wearing when I have had top surgery (it and nothing else; it is black floaty linen) and I furthermore managed to bring home with me one of my saddle stools so working at my desk is going to be less vile for me. And there was the Elementary finale and I have the Masterchef finale yet to watch and, and and and.

This is not the half of it.

It has not been a terribly quiet weekend, but oh-- it has been so good to me; I have had such a fantastic birthday. Thank you, lots, to absolutely all of you; thank you for making the time to celebrate with me, and I am sorry I didn't give more of it to you, and I'm sorry I couldn't fit you all in, but I had an amazing time and I am grateful and delighted and peaceful and very, very happy. Thank you.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I got myself into bed last night then overwhelming world-is-wrong. So I reemerged and spent about an hour with TOL talking me down (I continue genuinely impressed that I'm willing to have her touch me when I'm panic-attacking) via media various, halfway through which I managed to talk myself into taking diazepam, and now via necking a pint and a bit of water and two mouthfuls of very weak tea I am starting to emerge from the hangover. (I should... probably remember to drink more water when I take benzos, heh.)

Highlights include: twenty minutes spent crying hysterically onto her ankles, absolute executive dysfunction fail, and having a screaming fit in the shower because unexpected texture. On the upside, I have discovered that having someone turn a shower on for me provides exactly the right kind of background white noise that... makes my brain suddenly start working again? So that's nice.

SO YES I think that's the (spontaneously) maddest TOL has seen me since 2012. Iiii'm going to increase my meds.
kaberett: Euphorbia cf. serrata, green crown of leaves/flowers central to image. (spurge)
This is something I have apparently spent a lot of time working on, just because it makes life easier. In a lot of ways it's a superset of other skills I've learned: sometimes more conscious - like when I deliberately switch into Posh White Lady mode - and sometimes it's completely automatic, like the way I codeswitch defensively (I tend to reflect the accent of whoever I'm talking to).

I chatted about this a few weeks ago with TOL - I'd sent an offer-culture-esque e-mail to the tune of "I'd still really like to see you but I know you've got a lot on your plate at the moment, so if e.g. x or y means you'd rather postpone that's fine", and she'd had to read it a couple of times to reassure herself that I wasn't trying to get her to cancel for me. We talked through ways to avoid hitting that particular miscommunication-in-potentia in future; I said I was happy to phrase such e-mails in whatever way worked best for her, because it was effort-neutral for me.

And then we clarified: it's actually that I'm already translating-to-allistic, and which variey-of-allistic I translate to ist mir egal; but not translating isn't any easier, because code-switching to "natural" speaking - with someone who doesn't ping me as autistic - is just as much effort as anything else.

And... that's the thing. There is such comfort in the ways that I can, with other autistic folk, frequently just... talk. Relax the monitoring and the double-checking against my learned scripts and just get on with it -- but so much of it is so automatic at this point that I don't notice I'm doing it until I'm... not. Which in turn makes it hard to pass on the skillset, because when the answer is "I have a checklist for how to handle a situation where someone has just received news of a bereavement and I follow it automatically" it can be... quite difficult even to expand what the checklist is, never mind help the other party absorb all the checklists for all the different possible situations to the extent that they come that automatically. (I have talked a little about how the intersection of autism + being an abuse survivor means I have very consciously learned to... interact in ways that look like "gaming people". It isn't actually that simple.)

I don't, I'm afraid, have any tidy conclusions; I just know that passing-for-allistic is at this stage something I do reflexively, except that when I'm triggered/exhausted/whatever I find it much, much harder to do the "basic" shit like reflecting the language and modes of communication other people are using with me, and I think that ties into being perceived as hostile/aggressive.

(In turn, I seriously need to work on the extent to which I freak out when people say that they're perceiving/experiencing me as same - I know why I freak, but it is a criticism I need to be able to hear. It's on the list for discussion with my counsellor next time I see them.)

I've watched people wince when I am Obviously Autistic In Public, because I'm exhausted or overwhelmed or whatever. And maybe that's actually the conclusion, I suppose: successfully passing for allistic takes energy, but is still less work than persuading people to interact with me in ways that are easier-for-me, at least for me, because of how long I've been learning this particular lesson. This is some of what I mean when I say I've "run out of people" or "am not fit for human company" - there's a bit of constructing-self-as-monster in there, on which topic I have a first draft of something that is approximately a prose poem - and some of why it hurts so much when I get told that I'm unfairly dictating modes of communication (through e.g. advocating active listening over formal debate in one-on-one informal interactions, to pick an actual example).

And on that note I shall sleep before I ramble more, I think.


Apr. 9th, 2014 08:33 pm
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
Yesterday I woke up at around 6; by 6.15 had started to worry that I was this awake without my alarm having gone off and checked the time; and at 6.20 decided I wasn't getting back to sleep and might as well go into work. So I did, and I got a lot done, and oh but it is light at six, and the air was crisp and lovely as I made my (grouchy, limping) way up Exhibition Road; I was in lab by 7.30, whereupon I started the process of drying beakers, weighing out rock powder, and faffing about with HF. That I was quite so underslept and quite so ill goes a long way towards explaining why I had a Minor Incident (but no exposure; deets in a locked post). But! I got more Science Progress done than I'd even been hoping to manage, which puts me in a really good position for next week; and then I printed off and posted some documents for [personal profile] alexseanchai; and then in sunshine and relief I made my way home and ate apple cake my housemate had Produced (as if by magic!) while packing.

And then I got myself onto a train - in, still, the sunshine; you might be spotting a theme here - towards the dwelling of Those Two People; and upon arrival I took the gentle wander up the hill and smiled with delight about all the cherry blossom, and also about the fact that everything is getting ready for Holy Week: the forsythia and catkins are all exactly as they should be.

Upon arrival I was greeted by That Fucking Cat. I was, in fact, accosted at the top of the stairs, and required to scritch her. Including her belly. (She does this utterly bizarre thing of rolling over onto her back, looking appealingly at you until you scritch her belly, and then closing her eyes in bliss and not attacking your hand at all. The closest she comes is very gently bracing a back paw against your forearm, claws carefully and delicately sheathed. It is bizarre.) That One Lady ended up glancing over from the sofa to see why I was taking so long to actually make it into the house proper and say a proper hello, and then burst out laughing.

Obligatory image of the terrible animal. )

Read more... )

It's amazing how productive I can be when I'm avoiding sewing and hoovering.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
That One Lady brought her bottle of it along this evening for me to make friends with.

I think it is important that I tell you that normally, she eats spiky. She eats spiky and turns it smooth and sweet and smiley and lovely. Vetiver won't hold on her. Nothing will hold on her.

This is not, in general, at all true of me.

Nonetheless, on TOL Bulgari Black ends up somewhere that she describes as "High Femme Drag".

About this perfume, [personal profile] rydra_wong says:
... this doesn't seem to be stocked in department stores at all here, but is splendidly cheap to buy online. And it has a marvellously tactile bottle, simple and heavy and coated in matte black rubber. And it's another fun one for bizarre reviews; it's notorious for its "burnt rubber" note (anyone who secretly enjoys the smell of petrol at gas stations, this is your scent), but the intense smokiness is derived partly from tea (Lapsang Souchong), and it's also extremely wearable.

In many ways it's close to Dzing!, but the burnt rubber/smoky tea is more upfront (versus Dzing!'s discreet Bandaid note, its ginger/saffron strangeness), and it then turns into a plainer, richer vanilla (whereas Dzing! has vanilla in it but dries down to more of a thin sweet wood/musk). Leather coupled with rubber, obviously. Comfortable kink.

And [personal profile] vass adds to the conversation. The notes of this perfume are, in theory, lapsang souchong, rosewood, bergamot, cedar wood, oak moss, vanilla, amber, sandalwood and musk.

On me, it starts out smelling unabashedly and unavoidably of vodka. No, really, someone opened a bottle of really expensive vodka and let it infuse the air.

And then after five minutes they tipped a bottle of cheap vanilla essence into it.

After ten minutes, it is briefly acrid and smoky, and after half an hour? Pure unadulterated vanilla biscuits, warm out of the oven and satisfyingly buttery, all the way down. Forever.

kaberett: Photo of a cassowary with head tilted to one side (cassowary)

[A spotted Bengal cat sits smugly in the middle of an approximately brown beanbag in front of a laptop.]

This. Is the spotted murderbeast. Or the hellbeast. Or That Dreadful Cat. Or, frequently, that fucking cat.

She owns two of my partners.

Here is an illustrative anecdote about why I refer to her this way:
I was lying in bed without glasses on. She jumped onto the bed next to my feet, walked up to my head, sniffed my nose for a few seconds in the way that cats do, then withdrew just enough to make a speculative but very directed swipe at one of my eyes, with claws extended, to see what happened.

... she got kicked out of the room

... and sulked about it


And here is another, from this weekend:
We have reached an uneasy truce consisting of (1) timeshare and (2) pretending to hate each other. Unfortunately somewhere along the line we seem to have inadvertently become fond - as far as I can tell, we are both baffled by this - and turn out to miss one another if I don't visit in a while. She woke me up at 4.30am on Sunday morning by speculatively attempting to shred one of my favourite shirts; I told her "no" without even getting out of bed & she stopped. This constitutes a Great Victory, because (1) she actually very obviously waited to see if it was a thing I was okay with her doing, and (2) THIS TIME IT WASN'T MY LITERAL EYES.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. My strategy for dealing with my insomnia last night (leave main light on, read book until can't any more, pretend is afternoon nap) was good for 4 hours' sleep, which I think is more than I'd have managed otherwise. Hurrah for coping strategies.

2. I have now finished the first Mary Oliver collection I borrowed from the Saison Poetry Library, and it's amazing and I love her (You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.).

3. I need to be in work this afternoon (and building steam has been turned back on, which means that the clean lab isn't at ambient outdoor temperature, hurrah). I was starting from Oxfordshire, via Paddington. I had my wheelchair with me. Paddington is conveniently just north of Hyde Park, which is just north of work. I had an absolutely fantastic explore along the Serpentine - ridiculous waterfowl, several types of snowdrop, narcissi, silver-fern bramble (one of my favourites), a whole pile of beautiful gradated dogwoods interspersed with salix, gorse in flower, birches with pink bark peeling, a tree with astonishing pink catkins, hellebores and mahonias and...

4. ... and yesterday afternoon I visited the Oxford Botanics with That One Lady. They are tiny and adorable and have a whole series of beds organised by which medical discipline the plants were or are used in. Also, lots of my absolute favourite iris (they're predominantly a sort of pale sky blue in person).

5. The 1am bugfuck nuts appears to have been followed by starting a bleed. Thanks, body, for your utter predictability; on the plus side, in the middle of going "EVERYTHING IS SPIDERS" I did at least manage to spot that that was likely what was happening.

6. Actually, one of the other ways I dealt with the insomnia was putting together a tentative setlist for the 10-minute poetry reading I'm doing as part of a General Evening, in late May. I'm going to have to think a bit carefully, because I've selected 9 poems and put them in a coherent order, so that + patter is clearly going to be too long... e-mail to the organisers time, I think.

7. In fact, the General Evening is a monthly event I performed at with Lashings last night. I remain absolutely astonished by my ability to make a room burst out laughing via the medium of improvisation on an approximate theme of my lines; perhaps I shouldn't be, because after all I've been managing that for nearly five years now, but hey.

8. The Situation with the Partner continues to Make Progress. We've managed another several good & useful conversations; things aren't fixed but we are stubborn enough that we're pretty sure we're going to manage, at this point, and we've got a stopgap in place.

9. It's nearly 5pm and the sun hasn't finished setting, yet; currently it is painting the sky gold, and it is glorious.

10. Thank you to, like, half the Internet for taking care of me during meltdown last night - so, so grateful that you will make the time for me. <3 Special shout-out to [personal profile] flippac, who handled the brunt of it solo with no warning. ♥
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
That One Lady & I saw Kill Your Darlings this weekend - we chose it by going "we should see a film together, that would be nice"; trying to work out if there was anything on we were interested in; TOL went "wait, I've got film listings right here"; we flipped through and didn't spot anything we were interested in; then we got distracted by an interview with Daniel Radcliffe to the tune of "but isn't he a sweetheart though"; and about thirty seconds after we'd moved on to flip through the listings some more, I went "hold on, doesn't he have a film out at the moment?" "Oh," said TOL. "Ginsberg! Yes." "... who?" sed I. "Gay poet," said TOL. And thus a plan was born...

... and now I am having feelings. Some of them are standard-inadequacy feelings about how I should stop trying to play with the big kids and let the Real Poets get on with things; some of them are about wanting to create more, to create better; some of them are about how poetry isn't necessarily the best way to express a thought or feeling, but can perfectly well be a best way.

And then some of them are about themes in my poetry, and about whether I am being boring and trite - specifically with how often I am returning to the image of shards and rebuilding [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 ] at the moment (which is not to mention long nights and daylight) - but then again: I am writing for myself, and this is an image I keep being drawn toward. On rereading, it actually feels a little less like I'm repeating myself, more like I am playing with the same idea from lots of different viewpoints, which helps me a little; and in fact I think I might be settling into the idea that I don't have to fit all these disparate pieces together in one poem, and as though separate they stand in their own right (having said which, one of the other ideas I've been toying with is collecting them all in one place and pretending that the thematic consistency is a feature, not a bug...)

So. Mmm. Lots of insecurity trying to snare me. I'm doing my best to just sit with it, but as you can see that's not squashing all of the doubts.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. We have a new dishwasher at home. It theoretically works. (I haven't been around to test this.)

2. One of my best friends is in the country. We are making food together and giggling a lot and sharing poetry, and it is nice.

3. I am introducing him to TOL & TOG & some of the rest of the local polymer, and that is likewise going well (as far as I can tell!)

4. I really, really enjoyed Wired Love (thank you so much to [personal profile] skygiants-I-think-it-was for suggesting it!), and the various other books I have been reading (I am going through a patch of Fluff, and it is nice; it is on Gutenberg and it is lovely.)

5. CN has posted their brownie recipe on the internet why did I not know this thing

6. I got another round of digestions going on Friday, despite only being in work for about three hours, and I didn't kill anyone with HF.

7. I talked about my code some more with That One Gentleman and he showed me some ways to make it better (there were some horrible hard-coded bits that are still hard-coded but now less horrible!).

8. Got to introduce more people to Neruda.

9. Got to introduce P to my Lioness shinies (ps: 50% off sale on til the end of Sunday, I am attempting to not buy anything else...)

10. ... because my previous gorgeous shiny has probably only just shipped after I spent an age faffing about it (yes even though I want that other one too... >_>)
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
[This was requested for tomorrow; but I am operating on five hours' sleep and 10 hours' in-and-out-of-lab today, so I am going to leave "working out my gender identity" for tomorrow, when I am more likely to be able to do it justice. There's still a masterpost!]

I ended up explaining to [personal profile] sebastienne the other evening that I distinguish the concepts of clan and of chosen family: the latter is approximately what I think family should be like, and the former is we may be unruly and fractious and liable to explosive disagreements, but by the gods you are mine and I will do my duty by you, no matter what.

I am going to restrict this post to brief discussions of people I consider clan, and people I'm dating, and the intersection; because if I started talking about everyone I would firmly & without hesitation call chosen family, this would be a very long post and I'd need to run it by about a million people to check they were okay with me describing them in those terms, and - perhaps another time. (For some examples of important-to-me relationships I'm not going to discuss further here, see my post on talking about poetry.)

So: there's my mother, and my entire maternal side of the family. I think with my mother I will leave it at: it was only in late November that I got around to explicitly telling her how important it is to me that close and long-standing friends get to meet her, get to see us interacting, because it is the best way I know to explain an enormous amount about who and why I am, and - she is important to me, and I want people to know that and recognise it and understand it. (I said this, and she went suddenly bright-eyed and abandoned her violin practice to give me a very tight hug.) I spent tens of hours every year picking redcurrants for her, and tens of hours peeling and stewing and preserving kilo upon kilo of apples, and most times I go home I make up a huge batch of shortcrust pastry, some of which gets frozen. This is important, this is right, because it is what she did for Mama when she went home, and - this is what we give each other, all the way back.

Grandparents; WWII. )

The cousins, various. My ridiculous baby brother, with his easy grin and his strength and the guitar and bicycles he's built piece by piece, and how very, very proud of him I am.

And - the reason this came up in discussion with [personal profile] sebastienne is that I was remarking that the way I feel about this ridiculous polymer I've found myself in is, increasingly, that it is clan.

Dear polymer: please feel free to identify yourselves in comments if you want to! )

I think that's more-or-less a summary; if you've got more questions about any of them, do please feel free to ask away! Though I am going to be a bit more circumspect about answering questions about other people than about myself, obviously. But - yes, yes, this is how one builds a life.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. One poem draft complete and sent off to a couple of people to beta before it goes up here later in the week...

2. ... and a second is beginning to try to take form: meta-commentary on writing love poetry.

3. I wrote some actual code for actual work and it works and I did it almost entirely solo. (It's also ugly and hacky and took me half a day instead of half an hour, but I learned stuff and it still took me less time than wrangling the data manually would have done, and will mean every time I have to do that bit of data wrangling in the future it will Just Work, and I suspect will save my group collectively a lot of time once I've slapped a GUI on top of it and added in a bit of flexibility instead of hardcoding everything.) Seriously, I am so proud of myself - I think this is actually the first time I've gone and written something by myself and had it mostly go, and is definitely the first time I've done so for work (as opposed to for DW volunteering, but I pretty much always have people holding my hand for DW bugfixes), and - yes, yes, this is a thing I can do.

4. ... and I scraped up the courage to send off the actual code to TOG, who is interested for several reasons. (This is some hardcore brain rewiring on my part - I'm really, really twitchy about showing people things, in ways that I maybe want to ramble about with respect to posting poetry drafts here, actually. Hmm.)

5. Relatedly, I got to spend some Proper Time with That One Lady this weekend, which was very nice.

6. ... and I got to feed people a bit, which ditto.

7. I just finished reading a gloriously terrible werewolf romance, and have moved on to another round of Borges, which is not necessarily sensible. (The other two things I currently have on the go are Teaching As A Design Science and some feminist sociolinguistics from the 80s, both of which are very interesting and pretty heavy going given the day job.)

8. All you lovely folk leaving me prompts for the December-a-day thing, which I am finding stimulating and engaging and enjoyable for all that I'm only writing you a couple of paragraphs a day, on the day.

9. Exciting new I'm A Great Big Queer jewelry arrived from The Internet (specifically, a rainbow ear cuff from PictsieCrafts)...

10. ... and the Internet has also sent me a tiny daylight-temperature light bulb for the office, and if I'm lucky a thing I can plug it into will arrive before Thursday.

(Also, house-hunting again is a thing that is happening. Fingers crossed. But basically -- yes, good. I am tired but doing tentatively okay.)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[Thing the zeroth: if you'd like to reply to this post, please don't feel you have to respond to both points!]

Thing the first: I am currently after recs for metal with clever, feminism-compatible lyrics and competent guitar lines.

Thing the second: this is because the new boy is a metalhead and a guitarist, and as we know I am very, very lyrics-driven.

Every time I've been anywhere in public with That One Gentleman, I'm pretty certain we've been read as a cishet couple. (Well, except when we were also out with That One Lady, at which point I still get read as a cis woman but people's heads explode a little more.)

As a result, I am currently bristling pre-emptively about the charge that I'm only pretending to be interested because my boyfriend is, which is typically levelled at women, and is clearly bullshit. So: it's misogynist in terms of dismissing women's legit interests as subsumed to A Big Strong Manly Male, and of constructing women as conniving and only out for money; and it's shitty on a human level, because it negates the power of introducing stuff you love to people you love (and reciprocally, taking an interest in stuff that people you love love).

And it is also ableist as all get-out. Because, actually, listening to unfamiliar music takes a lot of my brain and energy, more so when it's in an unfamiliar genre I don't understand the conventions of. (To be clear: when I listen to unfamiliar music - even new music by an artist I know I like - I begin by disliking it. How intense that dislike is lets me know whether it's worth persevering.) Having someone think about what I already like, and make deliberate and careful choices about where to get me started to minimise the shock, is a really big deal - it massively reduces the barrier to getting into a new thing. But it doesn't remove it, so of course I am going to prioritise energy allocation on those things that have the most potential to make people I love happy.

There. That's a bit of a rant. Over to you.
kaberett: Yellow gingko leaf against teal background (gingko)
As has been hard to avoid noticing, I've been having a bit of a misery with my new institution plus my name. I finally got around to logging back into the library system today, to find that my name has actually been updated (i.e. the system has presumably been updated as a whole to pull from the preferred name field). I sent an apology for having been radio-silence to the bloke who's been handling the issue, plus v heartfelt thanks, and have just rec'd in response:
No problem - figured you would holler if not sorted. Learnt something about data sharing and College records along the way so all good.

... I kind of want to ask him if I can buy him a drink.

I get a ridiculous grin every time I think about my lovely freshers.

Other things that result in ridiculous grinning: this weekend, as a whole, which involved (1) going to the Globe to see the Lightning Child with a subset of the polymer; I got given flowers by someone other than my mother for I think the first time in my life (the cast threw roses into the audience, as it was the last night; the audience threw them back; in the second round of same, That One Lady caught one and handed it to me; and then of course I had to catch one and give it back...) and it recovered very nicely upon being placed in water when I eventually got home on Sunday evening; and I have possibly Acquired another Person in at least some capacity, which - smiles everywhere.

Korra! Elementary! This particular episode of Elementary, my goodness, I can't even begin to tell you how delighted I am with the... references to current affairs. In other fannish news, I am anticipatory and a little scared about having signed up to Yuletide for the first time ever.

And tomorrow is my first day in the lab... which I will spend mostly washing beakers.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
Absolutely wonderful weekend with the polymer to cap off a surprisingly frenetic first week in which very little actually got done; I managed to get my Housing Benefit application in then hare off across town for dinner + gig with people, then home to curl up and go to sleep on the boything, and then... the weekend was just lovely. (Huh. Apparently I consider the boything's place home now, in some senses. That's nice.) And now I'm curled up in my own bed in a different home - my parental home - having drunk wine (NZ GrooVee, not that I expect that to mean anything to anyone else, but it is special to us) and played Scrabble and done work and got another kilo of redcurrants in and - tomorrow morning I will have to get an early-ish train in order to get back to London in time for me 11am meeting, and nonetheless: yes. Families, lost and found and chosen.

Most of my DW presence this week has been over at [community profile] poetree, where I've written a series of posts loosely grouped around the theme of change: on loss; on bodies; on motion; on communication; and on hope.

One way and another, I am feeling very much part of a whole, and very much connected - between chosen family and my clan-of-origin and [personal profile] liv's insight and advice and generosity when it comes to my feelings about how I'm about to start teaching and - just yes, really. Yes.


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

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