snippets

Mar. 25th, 2017 10:03 pm
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
  1. The English sofa is a loan from Turkish. The Turkish for the English sofa, however, is kanape, as a loan from the French canapé, which has the original meaning of English sofa and, by figurative extension, the meaning of English canapé, because you've got a little piece of bread or pastry or something that looks like a sofa with the topping perched on top of it. ([personal profile] sebastienne conjectured this etymology when I was grumbling about the Turkish last week; they were surprised and delighted to be correct.)
  2. Fox/vixen is the solitary surviving example in modern English of the Germanic feminine suffix -en, -in: Fuchs/Füchsin.
  3. The English/French foyer is rendered, in Swedish orthography, foajé. It is pronounced the way one might reasonably expect foyer to be pronounced. See also: restaurang.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
1. Walking down the hill in the sunshine to buy sourdough and orange juice for breakfast, to go with strawberries left over from strawberry-mint-lemonade I made last night.

2. Cinnamon-sourdough toast, strawberries, and orange juice for breakfast.

3. ... followed by sourdough toast topped with kimchi for lunch.

4. For reasons that do not need exploring at this juncture, I am putting together a costume (that is going to involve anti-gravity space-wheelchair). All components except make-up and one last bit of jewelry are now sorted and I am very excited about this. Proof of concept works and I am pleased (and currently working out the optimal way to trace a design for a temporary tattoo what do you mean a full-bicep temporary tattoo is overkill NO IT ISN'T).

5. I am rereading Max Gladstone's Craft books and finding them really very soothing.

6. I have had a string of slightly difficult conversations this week, and all involved have been kind and supportive and fantastic, for which I am v grateful. (Relatedly, having had a pretty rocky time of it on Wednesday night, I coped astonishingly well with Thursday despite several flashpoints that could plausibly have seriously set me off and... didn't.)

7. OUR LITTLE FEETY POTATOES are currently ravening maws poking out over the top of the nest making little cheeping noises. (We have a blackbird's nest right above our front door in the ivy; it is FAB and this is the second clutch this spring/summer.)

8. Tonight I am going to curl up in a pile with my housemate and catch up on Orphan Black and talk and eat ratatouille and it'll be great.

9. More M-fic this morning...

10. ... and a second e-mail from the AO3, informing me that someone who read one of my bits of A:tLA fic and liked Katara's homesick insomnia and commented to tell me so actually liked it enough that they're working through the rest of my stuff, which always makes me smile when it happens.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
(The Word, Tony Hoagland.)

This morning I have been Making A Contribution To Medical Science, and consequently I have a plaster with a dinosaur on it. The ?nurse was very apologetic about it being paediatrics plasters, until I went DOES IT HAVE A DINOSAUR ON, at which point we were excitable at each other about Sophie the stegosaurus. As we were getting to finishing up paperwork, having spotted the quearring also, I tentatively enquired as to whether I might ask an intrusively personal question. "... yes," he said, warily. "You've been very carefully saying partner..." I said, and he ducked his head and looked at his ring and said "yeah, husband, we've been together for ten years and married for five", and then we had a cheerful little discussion about queers and how his husband's one of very few male midwives in the country, and they've just bought a house together and are looking forward to the long weekend, and CATS and PAINTING THE HALLWAY and in general domestic bliss, and it was lovely.

And I am updating you all on this from Homerton College Cambridge Cambs, where I am sat in the sunshine in a scented garden next to a sundial and a water feature gently applying desensitisation therapy and leeching eduroam, and when I am done I shall pack up my computer and head over the railway bridge to have lunch with my mum.
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
1. I got home to find a Terrifying Letter From The DWP... letting me know that my DLA's been autorenewed through to 2016 without me needing to do anything about it. :-)

2. I am now down to two half-written poems in the stack - one's a villanelle and will be hard; one might grow up to be a sonnet but is probably going to just be my usual style of thing.

3. Domestic bliss: doing the washing up while P curled up on the sofa with my complete works of Donaghy (he of Machines and Midriver), dipping in and out and reading me bits.

4. Swedennn. Snow and sunsets and AMINALS and RIDICULOUS FOOD (the ridiculous round thing with the whole in the middle, of which I have eaten approx my own bodyweight with butter and cloudberry jam over the past few days; ditto pepparkakor; ditto ajvar; I am a predictable human with predictable tastes) and exciting new food! Semla were not a thing I had previously consumed. (hahahahaha yes I win "simnel" is indeed finest wheat flour, semolina, which means semla is too, surprise)

5. Poking around etymonline.com after triangulating through all our mutual language; the -lic of garlic is in fact the same word as leek, and the Swedish for onion and (with modifiers) misc allium, and the German for misc allium. (Spem in allium, etc etc.) We were pleased.

6. Being helpful at my mother. :-) I mean, it is deeply weird to be grown-up enough to be helpful when it comes to casting an eye over CVs etc, but pleasant! Also she e-mailed me about pirates (and did not give me any updates on the rugby).

7. ... Elementary, though, okay. ELEMENTARY. SHOW.

8. Useful work done! Retweaked abstract (hopefully I'll be able to submit it tomorrow) for baby's first talk; did a quick blitz on an area I wasn't terribly clear on the specifics of and needed to be, wrote myself a summary, and have some questions for discussion with my supervisor; did an extremely sketchy first pass on the thesis outline I'm required to submit for my 21-month assessment, and slightly to my astonishment realised that it... continues to approximately make sense?

9. Mush. (SUCH TEENAGE.)

10. I am really really enjoying hair-adornment in the shape of tulmas courtesy of [personal profile] khalinche - they're beaded, and I reckon they're kind of like blue roses and P reckons they're kind of like a peacock and either way they make managing my hair marginally easier when it's hanging down in a braid, and are very very pleasing when I manage to arrange them either side of a bun. Sensory misc. Yes. :-)

a note--

Jan. 11th, 2015 12:29 pm
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
-- to say that I am doing very well! The absence here has been because I have slightly-to-my-surprise been busy.

I am currently actively reading Saladin Ahmed's The Throne of the Crescent Moon for book club; I have poetry by Audre Lorde, Stephen Dunn, Carol Ann Duffy and Rilke out on loan; I have just finished reading a book by Nnedi Okorafor (Zhara, the Windseeker) and am now intending to read everything else she has ever written. I continue listening to Vienna Teng on loop; I have just watched Elementary S0309 twice and am having lots of feelings about it!

Yesterday I made three huge vats of curry, some rice, and some chapati. I fed lots of people. It will keep feeding lots more of us.

I have code that increasingly does what I want. My slightly scary meeting with my supervisor on Friday was in fact incredibly exciting: I plotted up all of the data I've spent the past 15 months acquiring, and some really intriguing things popped out. The paper we were conceiving as "the ocean island basalts" paper - relating to intraplate volcanism only - looks like I might actually have things to say about all volcanism on the planet. And ergo mantle processes in a much broader sense than expected. Which -- yessss. All of a sudden I feel like my project is taking shape and making sense.

Also received a very pleasing compliment-shaped-thing on the topic of my poetry, aaah.

I have just flung myself through the shower and am heading out to Kew for a little while now with my useless ex and my housemate; this evening we are going to watch a free livestreamed CN Lester gig at 8pm GMT (I seriously seriously recommend CN if you haven't come across them - singer-songwriter, pianist, dealing awesomely with interpersonal interactions and mental illness; plus they're genderqueer so, you know).

-

Dec. 20th, 2014 04:44 pm
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
I am curled up on a sofa in a bay window overlooking the Ouse, on which lights are reflecting, listening to P remind himself how pianos work. His parents are through in the kitchen putting together dinner (I helped with food last night). We bimbled briefly through town this morning - along a stretch of the wall around the minster, via a cafe that served us pistachio-rose-cardamom cake - and I spent much of the afternoon napping while he caught up on marking at his desk. Over breakfast I managed to actually help with a couple of Araucaria clues - P's mother had been saving the crossword for the next time he was around. This is proper lovely.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
We practise with building bricks and breccias.
Just so--a castle. Just so--in my embrace
if only I hold fast enough, you'll be transformed--
your fragments grown into a plated armoured whole--
your red unblinking eyes your sturdy heart.
As with all complex structures, engineering is required
on every scale from child's play to mountain range;
chance and happenstance tend tenderly toward decay.
With these hands I thee knit together
or a sweater or a scarf; with these hands I thee play
music, best I can; I write for thee solemnities
in careful lines. I create for thee this waxing
waning love, albeit it small, or great--
and at close of day we'll sweep
the sawdust from the floor, we'll bank the fire,
we'll knead the bread--from these quiet domesticities
is all love made.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
And if the Earth should be too great a gift
(too inconvenient, too delicate, too messy)
then I will give my self to you instead
(for all the same might well be said of me).
I conceive myself in motion. I believe
myself most wholly in these momentary
scraps of grace; perhaps what scares me most
is to be still. The closest, I suspect, that I will come
is falling into orbit around your indifferent sun.

Better.

Oct. 8th, 2014 12:14 am
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
Poetry in St Paul's this evening, which was not quite what I'd been after but which left me with a lot of thoughts and a very comforting place to doze gently; then dinner; then a walk from St Paul's to Waterloo along the Thames (including crossing it!) with Nik, who remains one of the people I am fondest of in all the world, at least some of which was an amiable amble underneath illuminated trees with his arm slung round my shoulders and my arm round his waist and the river next to us. Good.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
Thank you so much for letting me play with your ideas. Mass spec time largely done now - data! - but if you still wanna leave something please by all means do and I'll try to get to it. <3

Poetry
Ficlets
Other
kaberett: Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson sit side by side, facing forward, heads slightly tilted towards each other. (elementary-faces)
I occasionally mention the concept of making. the job. smaller. Overwhelmed by a task? Okay, alter your concept of "success" to something manageable. You're not going to write a novel today, but you can write the prologue. Or half a chapter. Or whatever. And then you can do another half chapter tomorrow. And then you get to the end, and you look up, and there's a novel.

Counselling and mindfulness and a whole host of other things have, over the years, trained me to at least consider the possibility of don't make the job larger. That's not a framing it's been given explicitly, but it's not exactly an unrecognised phenomenon: to some extent, think sneaky hate spiral (ALL OF THE THINGS ARE PROBLEMS), but also catastrophising (THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD).

For me, it tends to go a bit like this: the Thing is terrible. If I am already overwhelmed, it is even worse than that. I cannot possibly control or have any effect on the Thing [note that this is a distortion: instead of making the job smaller, to make it less overwhelming, I abnegate agency and power in order to do away with choice and responsibility, both of which are Hard]. Anxiety about the Thing then gets displaced onto anything that looks even slightly similar within a large radius: "there is no point in even trying to Deal with the Thing, because it's not like I can handle the Badger either." And thus I spiral further and further into telling myself I'm shit and incapable and incompetent and can't manage anything, and get distressed about wider irrelevant putative problems that may not even be problems, and all the while the Thing looms larger and larger above the foothills of self-hatred.

Mindfulness techniques, as it turns out, have really helped me with this. The meditative practice of sitting with thoughts but gently redirecting one's focus to one's breath, or heartbeat, or whatever, has an awful lot in common with looking at the thought that goes you are too incompetent/ill/crippy/lazy to be on this PhD programme, you can't even adequately read and synthesise literature, there's no point even trying to fix the transfer report, you might as well fail out now and be done with it and - not ignore it, but nod at it, show it to the waiting area, and return to the pargraph at hand.

I sometimes summarise this - possibly via Pratchett - as you do the job in front of you. There's no "just" about it - like I said, it's taken me years to get to the point where I can semi-reliably do this under pressure - but over the course of this evening I've realised just how far I've come in this respect, and I am enormously grateful.
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
Last night's dream: arriving home (an amalgam of several rooms in college) to find that it had been broken into, and all my paperwork neatly filed and all my big stuff - my chairs and the like - scattered broken across a lawn out of sight until one went searching. (I say "more subtle than usual" because teeth ). This one at least was novel!)

I passed the transfer viva in spite of epically screwing up (I sent an old version of the report to my examiner, that didn't include most of the two weeks' frantic work; I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I MANAGED THIS but on the plus side my report is vastly the better for it and I learned a lot during the process).

I did the thing.

And now I am going to have pancakes with [personal profile] sebastienne and TOL, and after that TOG is likely to be visiting me, and Mia made more stunningly gorgeous art, and... yes. Yes.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
The sky's beginning to turn deep blue. I appear, accidentally, to be watching sunrise around a solstice again, more or less.

Here are some things that have happened: yesterday, I finally (finally) got 24-hour access to our buildings; this was supposed to have been granted back when I started. And in spite of the fact that I was in the middle of a mass spec run, I actually managed to head home from work before 8pm; and my first use of the access was getting in at 6.45am to check on how my run was going (my machine time technically finished yesterday, but today's user wasn't going to get started til 10am, which gave me a solid 12 hours for an overnight run even if I'd got it started late), and the answer was good and I have data and tasty TASTY data.

I spent a significant chunk of the day sorting out the data-from-the-machine into something useful in my master spreadsheet; another chunk messing about with some of my incredibly shonky python; some on final tweaks to the transfer report (still need to write some and replot some graphs then send it off tomorrow, oops); and yet another on a flurry of e-mails about the solid month of labwork I've got planned once I return from the US trip, along with sitting around with my supervisor being excitable about rocks. I've got ten grams of a mica previously analysed as containing 550 parts per billion (ppb) of thallium; bear in mind that the average concentration of thallium in the mantle is ~2ppb, and most of my samples have concentrations around 30ppb. For these typical samples, 100 milligrams is enough to get three to six measurements out of -- what on Earth we're going to do with ten grams of 550ppb I am not entirely sure and nor's my supervisor, but that's the smallest quantity they'd sell it us in. (Exciting times in analytical terms, incidentally: of the three sample sets I'm wanting to shove through chemistry in July, #1 is of direct and immediate relevance to the PhD in terms of being actual data relating to the central question; #2 is tangentially related and getting me second authorship on a paper that's basically ready to go apart from firming up the numbers; and #3 is a set of geological reference materials nobody's measured my element-of-interest in properly before, which (1) have direct relevance to the PhD in terms of helping work out why I'm seeing what I'm seeing in the whole-rock samples, and (2) will make a nice little technical paper in their own right, which I have hopes of submitting by the end of the year.)

I also spent some time on the phone to Air Canada, who I am finding somewhat infuriating (oh crap, must remember to fill out my visa waiver application...), and was left sufficiently pissed off that I went "buggre all this for a larke" and jumped on a train to Brighton, where my useless ex + the Boything + [personal profile] sebastienne + Entomancy + I ate dinner at Giggling Squid before a subset of us headed off to a gig. [personal profile] sebastienne was there for David Devant & His Spirit Wife; I was there for 30 minutes of Indelicates, and because they were a support act and the rest of the audience were being awful and talking I got to sing along without feeling bad about it. (Also, I am so so SO looking forward to the repeat CNdeliMechs show happening in London in September -- CN Lester, The Indelicates, The Mechanisms as triple headliners, please join me, it'll be fantastic, I'll link to the deets once they've actually been announced...)

-- and then meandered my way home via the last train from Brighton to London, and shenanigans with night buses (I keep thinking I should maybe do something a bit more rigorous than go "I know roughly where I want to go and I'm comfortable navigating by a mix of dead reckoning and Boris map" for the occasions when I get back into London at gone 1 with no idea how to get home except a certainty that I can wing it) and walks: I do still adore walking round central London at 2, 3 in the morning (having said which, highly unusually for me I was wearing a skirt in public today and got noticeably more hassle than usual, though not enough to actually upset me).

Right. Yes. To sleep as the sun is rising, the better to be human when That One Lady gets into town later today...
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. On the bus from Paddington back to the general vinicity of Hammersmith, the tired-looking lady opposite had one of her many bags fall over. It disgorged a plastic clip and a thesaurus and before she had managed to muster the cope to stand up I had got it back upright and handed the book back to her and she was... astonishingly grateful. We got chatting. She's Swedish, she's a dayjob as a teacher, and we geeked a bit about languages... and she insists that I get in touch with her so she can make me a necklace. asdf;laksdflksdj chance encounters on public transit restoring my ability to cope with people.

2. My new backpack continues awesome, to the tune of having working zips and also being massive and pretty fantastic at weight distribution. And all the pockets.

3. I am putting together a tea order for my household. In particular, NothingButTea currently carries creme brulee redbush.

4. It turns out that That One Gent had come across a picture of a lovely rockface with a waterfall down it that just happened to resemble spread thighs & labia. Naturally, he thought of me. I therefore know that this is a place in the world, and am appropriately delighted.

5. Polymer group outing for lunch and board games (and cinema, though I skived off that bit) -- and to my gentle astonishment I managed to watch people play a game, and to kind of pick up the rules, without completely freaking out. I would not have coped well with playing, but I now have useful data. (& in re lunch -- turns out I really like ridiculous veggie burgers with rocket, red onion marmalade, goats' cheese, and refried beans. I shall bear this in mind for the future.)

6. ... holy crap I did a poetry reading. I was a small mess about it - quiet, very apologetic, didn't give the audience enough opportunity to come with me - but I got some laughs and I got some compliments and I am super, super grateful to the organisers of Quiltbag Cabaret for having me. And, do you know, it was a success -- in that I have now done that thing, and I will be able to do it better next time.

7. Sunshine. I have been photosynthesising cheerfully all day. I actually had to get the suncream out, which was nice :-)

8. I am feeling vaguely useful -- I have not achieved putting bread on tonight and kind of want to get around to it, but I have done the washing up and conditioned my griddle pan and cleaned the bit of the hob that needed it; and I've - I think - sent all the e-mails that needed sending (links to various things I'd bought that people wanted specific recs for; a couple of chatty messages), plus read a Scary One, plus faffed some logistics (incl attempting to get together a group to see a Morgan & West show; I think Awesome Ex-Housemate C will really enjoy them if I can actually pin her down; I've got all the Hugo nominees into Calibre, thence to my ereader; and not only have I sorted out meds for the next week, I've put a note in the shared calendar asking people to tell me off if I haven't replaced the vitB I buy in bulk and am nearly at the end of. Also, I have done some minimal work on The Thing That Shall Not Be Named.

9. I failed to actually see my mum and baby brother today, but I have chatted to my mum quite a bit (carefully eliding any discussion of TTTSNBN, because I don't appear to be able to can on that front unless in person and dodgily even then; nothing world-ending and I will probably talk about it when it's over).

10. I managed to wake up with a rather unpleasant crick in my neck on Saturday morning, but range of motion is restoring itself. :-) Not all the way yet, but a good deal better!
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: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
A little while ago I put a cake in the oven. The tin is from my grandma; the Kenwood mixer I used from Papa; and the recipe was e-mailed me by my mother: she transcribed from Grossmutti's copy of the recipe in Cornwall, which she in her turn transcribed from Grausi's recipe in Feldkirchen, probably sometime in the forties.

Happy birthday, me. :-)
kaberett: Stylized volcano against a stormy sky, with streams of lava running down its sides. (volcano)
because it is 1am and I've just wolfed leftovers quesidilla and spilled the tomato sauce all over myself and my housemate left the hall light on for me and I'm about to wash and clothes are the worst and I spent 14 hours at work today and got data and I am buzzing--

-- and yes it is the euphoria of sleep deprivation but it's also the euphoria of data and of I love my job (and some of the exuberant delight in it is precisely because every single person up my line management looks at me and goes "... for fuck's sake get some goddamn sleep" instead of telling me to do more work), and -- this, this, this is why I do research completely divorced from social implications, this is why I care about shit that maybe 20 people ever will really engage with if I'm lucky --

because I get this from it, and that is enough to keep me going through the endless trans 101 and the queerbashing and the ableism and the bullshit. When I am needed I do my real work, and the rest of the time I fuck around with volcanoes, and actually that's pretty fucking brilliant.

(I mean it about Wednesday as downtime. Thursday through Sunday is going to be kinda hectic again, but I'm then intending to spend most of Monday asleep also once I've bundled P. out the door in the direction of the Eurostar; I know I'm kind of giddy at the moment and this maybe looks a bit concerning, but I promise you don't need to worry unless I don't get the downtime I'm committing to. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night and I pass by my not-exactly-an-altar and I smile at the art on my walls and I say "today I will try to make good choices", and those choices include that downtime, when it's scheduled. And by "downtime" I don't mean "the evening", I mean "I am unlikely to get out of bed for longer than it takes to shower", and in the meantime -- this, this, this. Only this.)
kaberett: A stick figure wearing safety goggles taps their fingers together, standing over a pressure cooker on a stove. (xkcd-science)
... having asked me how long I'd been on the machine for. (Answer: since Saturday afternoon.) I told him I was going to spend Wednesday asleep. He grinned and told me this was the correct decision -- but I wasn't to fall asleep right then. (I mentioned in passing to my supervisor that I was contemplating sleeping here tonight. "... you have the code to [the head of group]'s office, right?" she asked -- because the PIs got so sick of PhD students refusing to go home during machine time that they shelled out for a sofa specifically for us to sleep on that lives in HoG's room.)

On Saturday morning my body decided I hadn't noticed sufficiently that I'm quite stressed at the moment, and concluded that a good way to get my attention was FACIAL HERPES. Meanwhile I've been walking too much: I can tell because the knee with the old cartilage injury has started screaming every time I walk down stairs. I am fairly certain that the last time I washed was Friday. I think I am still wearing yesterday's clothes; I can't remember if I changed them this morning or not.

But this sprint on the machine is nearly over - I have til midnight tomorrow - and I am getting data (and still eating regular meals!). And I am spending Wednesday alternating between sleep and cooking all the things, and in the two hours I spent home yesterday evening while the machine was running without me I cooked dinner and did the washing up and put away laundry and sorted out my pills for the next week and hoovered.

As mentioned, I chatted to my supervisor briefly this afternoon and asked her - she's been poking the very expensive vacuum leak when she gets in at 7am; I'm tending to stay til chucking-out at midnight - whether I'd got it tuned up okay. (There are eleven electromagnets, two quads, and three axes of torch position to adjust every single time you start a run; in addition to the sweep gas flow rate that is currently needing tweaking every hour or so, which is suboptimal, and the nebuliser pressure, and and and. This is why the first day on the machine is, for me, tuning up. Always.) She grinned and told me it was perfect - that she'd gone through two iterations of attempting to improve the tuning right down to the fine-grained settings, and hadn't changed a thing.

And you know what? That was pretty nice.

(Last night I got locked into the building through misjudging how fine I could cut it when leaving for the second time. I had to phone security - "ImpSec" in my phone, obviously - to be let out; thankfully I got someone nice. And then I got a night bus, because at 00:15 on a Monday morning in London there are still buses, which took me halfway home; and I walked the other half reading Octavia Butler and hugging the gingko trees along the A4, a little giddy on sleep deprivation. On Sunday morning I got to bed at 3am, via the Oxford Tube to Notting Hill Gate and hoping like hell there'd be a suitable night bus - and, again, at 2.15am, I only had to wait 5 minutes for one, after I'd got myself turned around twice trying to drowsily follow a map having slept on the Tube. My body is quite right to be kind of unimpressed with me, to be honest, but I haven't yet slammed into the wall. There is no way I can keep pushing myself this hard, but at the moment -- oh, right now, just right now, it's kind of glorious.)
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
It is light outside when I wake up for early starts. It is light while I eat breakfast, when I walk over the road to the station. I sit on the District line with sunshine through the windows: it's above ground between home and work. There's some clematis and - a plant I know only as "abominable potato weed", sorry[1] - growing enthusiastically in a garden that backs onto the platforms.

Breakfast was apple-and-pear juice, a beautifully ripe satsuma, and a pear and hazelnut muffin made for me by CN Lester because of the boything.

I finished reading Saladin Ahmed's Engraved on the Eye (free collection of short stories; it's fantastic). I turned to [personal profile] alexconall's poetry collection Lavender Blue (and other poems) (also available for free), discovered it's dedicated to me, and promptly burst into happy tears on the tube at 7am.

I got in to work in good time, via the gingko coming out outside the Royal Albert Hall and a string of beautiful I-believe-military horses being trotted down Exhibition Road. I've started my columns, and so far they're running nicely. I'm wearing Fils de Dieu and continuing to adore it. I'm reading Audre Lorde's The Black Unicorn in lab, and it's fantastic.

Today is pretty brilliant so far.


[1] It's not Lycianthes rantonnetii or Solanum rantonnetti ("Royal Robe"). Hmm. Looks like this var. "blue potato bush", but none of the other photos for that search term are quite right - it's definitely got the pointier petals that point back upwards, and the flower clusters. - ah ha! Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin', there we go. [ETA for interest -- my initial search term was "potato weed purple flowers" and that was the chain of results I followed to get an answer. :-) ]
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
Huh, apparently I haven't actually recced A Litany for Survival here, at least not any place I can find it readily? So let's start with that.

A Litany for Survival )

from Walking Our Boundaries

The sun is watery warm
our voices
seem too loud for this small yard
too tentative for women
so in love
the siding has come loose in spots
our footsteps hold this place
together
as our place
our joint decisions make the possible
whole.
I do not know when
we shall laugh again
but next week
we will spade up another plot
for this spring's seeding.


from Eulogy for Alvin Frost )

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

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