kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
greenhouse: gutted, flayed, dismembered! to my astonishment we... did not? break any glass? we bent a strut but that! appears to be all! we managed to unload the glass at the other end and it was all still in one piece??? HURRAH for toughened safety glass.

we did not erect it again at the allotment for A Variety Of Reasons, including (1) it was 6.30pm by the time we'd finished unloading and was Getting Dark, but more pertinently (2) there are gale-force winds predicted this week and I need to buy the necessary aluminium brackets (... and some quick-setting concrete...) to actually anchor it to the ground. (... also I need to level the ground a bit more and probably dig up the grape vine, BUT HEY.)

So my allotment is currently... mostly... covered... in dismembered greenhouse but IT'S OKAY I might make people take me to a garden centre tomorrow morning so I can spend the next week stubbornly constructing it solo.

And then I made A dinner, very gratefully, and disappeared off down the hill to listen to the concert I wasn't playing in. There was a new composition by Our Patron including A Paean To Voyager, and the second Mozart horn concerto played by a kiddo from the local borough music service, and the Beethoven Pastoral, and I enjoyed all of it and AS A BONUS my godmother + her children were present (in addition to her husband), so I got to very cheerfully greet all of them and chat a lot and also! my godmother! signed a bunch of paperwork for me! including witnessing me finalising the application paperwork for SMI and also MY IRISH PASSPORT APPLICATION. FINALLY.

SMI paperwork is in the post; passport application I'm gonna finalise tomorrow and then take into the post office on Monday. It is good to feel in motion.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. On Sunday, A & I went to The Postal Museum, including a ride on the Mail Rail. It was great. It was a SMALL TRAIN that went through POST TUNNELS and I was very excited and flappy. Be warned that it's quite cramped; I sat and watched one of the videos and it included a lot of elderly engineers ergo there followed a nontrivial quantity of inexplicable-to-onlookers weeping; I learned things about how the Royal Mail started out (genuinely just for royalty), the origins of the post horn (I knew perfectly well what it was for on Alpine post buses but hadn't put together how it started), the existence of both air mail pillar boxes and pillar boxes with integrated stamp dispensers (which were really very short lived because they fundamentally didn't work very well), and about Travelling Post Offices a preserved iteration of which we're now planning to make a visit to. I also fell down the rabbit-hole of trying to look up procedural differences in how first- and second-class post are handled; A found me a not-as-informative-as-I'd-hoped Freedom of Information request, and I found a video with obnoxious ableism/ageism and backing music but some interesting if irrelevant stuff (phosphorus detectors!). A+ nerding all round, would visit again.

2. A & I have got started on Leverage courtesy of a loan of the box sets from [personal profile] sebastienne and [personal profile] shortcipher.

3. Early this evening I submitted my first first-author paper. It took me four hours to get from "okay, I'm ready to submit" to actually hitting the submit button on the website. Good grief but the interface is terrible. I am feeling pretty good about this, and especially good that the latest night I've had working on it was Monday, when I was poking at it til shortly before midnight and then went to bed and... my supervisor made functionally 0 corrections to the bit I put together (from scratch) in that session.

4. New horn case is excellent, is indeed encouraging me to practice more, and I am very rapidly observing the benefits... just in time for Saturday's concert, or not, as the case may be. But: hopefully will manage to keep up the momentum.

5. I don't think I mentioned here that I finished the Duolingo Turkish tree last week, but I did and for all there are huge chunks that I am Really Not Very Good At Yet I am fundamentally pretty proud of myself for that one, too.

6. I have been spending more social time with people over the last few weeks than I had prior to that and it's been really good. Thank you, all. <3
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
  1. NEW HORN CASE NEW HORN CASE NEW HORN CASE. I have been meaning to get one for Literally Years -- basically since I got this horn, in fact -- because my horn... doesn't actually fit... in the case that was supplied with it... such that I had to remove a slide every time I put it away, and this massively raised the barrier to doing practice at home. More recently, the zips have been gradually giving up. SO. On Saturday A accompanied me on an exciting adventure to Paxman, whose step-free entrance is hilariously locked up at weekends so Everybody Learned Something, and I now own a case that (a) my horn fits in, (b) has working zips, (c) fits on my lap much better for wheelchairing, and (c) is BLUE. Detachable-bell, space for a mute, I totally failed to spot it on the website, props to Paxman for pointing it out to me (it was actually slightly cheaper than the thing I'd gone in expecting to buy).
  2. Because Borough Market is right there if you've visited Paxman, we had excellent fresh pasta for lunch (I had the pumpkin and ricotta tortelloni; they were brilliant). Further inspiration for the Surprise Charity-Shop Pasta Machine, etc. I just looked up how to make tortelloni.
  3. On Sunday I finally got around to adjusting Lightweight Wheelchair: I'd extremely belatedly spotted that the pushrims were on the wider of their two settings, and if I moved them on to the narrower the chair would probably need slightly less finessing to get through the front door. However, changing the setting involved removing the tyres and inners and both layers of rim tape, so I didn't get around to it until Sunday afternoon (sat on the picnic bench on the decking in the sunshine, with the patio doors open). I only holed one of the inners, promptly remembered that set of tyre levers always does that, and added them to the charity-shop pile! The chair fits through the door comfortably! My wrists are still somewhat sore (my hand strength isn't great and these are Schwalbe Marathon Plus on 1" rims, okay), but I am pretty pleased with myself, and with finally living somewhere that all my chairs are actually trivially usable. Give or take getting another cushion so I don't gotta swap them around as much.
  4. I absolutely adore The Ruin of Angels (the latest in Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence, the first five books are available as an ebook omnibus for under a tenner, highly recommended) to the point that I'm researching what the blue mineral most likely to be local to Kavekana is so I can Have A Relevant Theological Necklace. (I'm gravitating toward sodalite, but have tweeted the author to ask...) (... and he hasn't responded but I did on Etsy find an Exactly Correct pendant bead so, er, whoops? Whoops.)
  5. I am having Feelings about the latest Check, Please! and partnership and mutual support and interaction. (Cup I - Playoffs, future Alex.)
  6. When my baby brother got into the van at Bristol Parkway on our way down to Cornwall the other weekend, he handed me a milk chocolate trilobite that he'd picked up at a museum because it was a trilobite and obviously. Naturally I have not yet been able to bring myself to eat it, so I keep finding it when I'm shuffling things around in the kitchen and grinning again.
  7. PASTA PASTA PROOF-OF-CONCEPT PASTA. Ricotta tortellini with sage butter; and then we ran out of ricotta, so tagliatelle with Italian Hard Cheese, pepper and Parsley From The Tub On The Patio (which is looking very cheerfully established, HURRAH). Turns out tortellini are actually easier than tagliatelle at least at the proof-of-concept who-cares-if-they're-all-the-same-size stage; I have learned Many Thing and am looking forward to trying again, and am genuinely impressed with how well the dough worked given that I arrived at it by eyeballing a Graun How To Make The Perfect... column and then fiddling with ratios to achieve a quantity I thought we could actually eat.
  8. Having seen Night At The Museum 2 doing the rounds on Tumblr (specifically the scene with the Tuskegee Airmen and Amelia Earheart), when I stumbled upon Night At The Museum in a charity shop for £1.10 last week I jumped upon it, having got the two confused. Happily, today I discovered the sequel for £1 in a charity shop, so next time I am feeling Sad and want to Curl Up On The Sofa Watching Something I have that lined up. I will cry.
  9. I continue Greatly Enjoying Pokemon, and am particularly smug because today I took part in a raid and ended up with a Suicune with shit IVs, so I... caught it on my second Pinap berry, for 12 candy, because double-candy event. (I will explain this in more detail if anyone is actually interested & doesn't understand!) (Also I really need to write up my Fascinating Sociological Study in Pokemon Go at some point, but for now suffice it to say that the person I've most made friends with is currently ill? And I ran into her mum outside the sorting office yesterday morning, and we had a brief chat about the world, because obviously.)
  10. I am about to embark on a His Dark Materials reread, not least because A has acquired us tickets to An Evening Of Conversation in the relatively near future, with ticket price including a copy of The Book of Dust -- so given how hideously behind I am on new releases, I think I'm just going to do the reread and then read the new one once I have it. But AAAAAAAAH. :D
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
I have very clear memories of my ten-year-old self being immensely, deeply unimpressed by Rothko and Mondrian. I was very angry about why this constituted "art"; my definition of art explicitly excluded square canvases painted a single colour.

My ten-year-old self is gently unimpressed every time I stop dead in front of a six-foot-square matte black canvas in an art gallery, wonderstruck, and go "hmm, yes, isn't it fascinating what's being done here, isn't this good."

I am nursing a theory that the main differences between me-then and me-now are:
  1. I'm no longer in a situation where my autism is actively decried, and have internalised that it's okay for particular colours or shapes to make me happy, just because, and (as a superset, really)
  2. I've started believing that it's okay for me to have and experience emotions full stop (and am sufficiently well medicated that I can and do).

Which means that, over the past few years, I've stopped interpreting modern and especially abstract art as, fundamentally, threats: I've stopped responding automatically with defensive suspicion and fury to forms of art that (crudely!) exist to make me feel things.

There is nuance to this, of course. Seeing the Barbara Hepworth exhibit at the Tate Britain, the (possible? probable?) reasons for my emotional response clicked into place when I read that a lot of her more abstract work was in response to or in dialogue with her feelings of being cradled by landscape, and particularly by the Lake District and by Cornwall; all of a sudden it was obvious to me that the sense of home-and-safety-and-familiarity I get off those sculptures is, in fact, the same sense of awe and belonging and recognition I get staring out to sea or feeling dwarfed on valley floors or what-have-you.

That was followed up by another visit to the Tate Britain, one day I wound up in the right area of London with some time to kill, where what I'd intended to do was poke my nose into some of the public galleries. I saw War Damaged Musical Instruments advertised on the website and ignored it -- and then stopped dead in the middle of the hall it occupied, the moment I got there, and spent twenty minutes sat there crying.

One of the things I've been gently sad about for quite a long time is that I'm a classically-trained musician who is mostly very, very bad at listening to classical music unless it's something I've played or am preparing to play, such that I'm listening as a technical study. (I think I've talked before about mostly relating to music as either a technical study or a vehicle for lyrics, but if not I can give it a go.) I'm starting to think it might be time to have another go.
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Helen Arney and Marian Call are fantastic geek songstresses -- I saw them both perform last night, at An Evening Of Unnecessary Detail, which was great -- and over the next week they're playing Bath (today), Edinburgh (tomorrow), Manchester (1st), London (again; the 2nd) and Cambridge (the third). More details at the link; I hadn't realised I needed the Elements Song filked about unobtanium and phlogiston but I really did. More info
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
CN Lester is crowdfunding their new album, Come Home. I wasn't able to attend the first performance of it but I've heard the live recording: it's lush and lyrical and sharp, as all their work is, and is something I end up identifying with a lot, very frequently.

There's a pair of songs on their last album, one from the perspective of an audience member and one from the perspective of a performer. The former features the lyric I forgot my perpetual moving/because he marked time with a pen in his hand, which stills me and settles me and, well, it's not a wonder that fades with distance or knowing how it's done/it's hearing my thoughts, unspoken, on someone else's tongue: I have had that crush, more than once. The other -- well, the other is called You. That video has content notes for slurs and abuse, but it -- the pair together -- make me cry, every time.

Dave Hughes, about whom I am written before, has a memorial EP available for pre-order: all proceeds go to a specific charity (content notes: cancer; death).
kaberett: Stylized volcano against a stormy sky, with streams of lava running down its sides. (volcano)
Quoth [profile] sporkyrat:
For some reason, when I imagine Kaberett at a rock concert, I imagine a lot of confusion as to where the actual geological rocks are.
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
1. Werecats. Cute; not quite my thing.

2. The Potentials. Surprise queer feminist Buffy-tribute punk-rock. Chorus of THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS THE FRIENDZONE. Lots of "this is about Xander not about Nicholas Brandon, who's having a really hard time at the moment". Yes good delighted.

3. ... some band whose name I honestly didn't catch, but like. Sort of pleasantly wall-of-noise-y but did not greatly inspire me? -- lol, okay, I legit just went looking at the listings to see if I could identify them and link to them in case any of you all were interested in spite of my lacklustre write-up, and the gig listing legit just says "+1 more band TBC." WELP.

4. Jesus and his Judgemental Father. THIS IS WHO I WAS HERE TO SEE AND I WAS FUCKING DELIGHTED. They decided the correct option, presumably given their mini-tour with The Potentials, was to open with the Buffy theme tune. They subsequently decided that the correct option was also to close with it. They actually managed to hold it together through the giggles. It was fab. They opened with two breakup songs I will perpetually find immensely cathartic (every single time I've titled a wangsty entry "what now? I get over you somehow" THAT WAS THEM and IT'S WHAT THEY OPENED WITH okay), then did Kings & Queens which, well, I am never not going to fucking adore it (major fuckin trigger warning for discussion of murder of a trans woman if you go looking), and they did some new shit including a song called Cis White Noise that I am super looking forward to hearing again when I see them next week, and a;sdkfja;slkdfj this band YES SPLENDID EXCELLENT.

5. No Ditching. Five femme-presenting people up on a stage doing punk rock about, right, how you know what it's like when you've got that one friend? only they're a dog? and they don't live with your family and you super want to hang out with that dog but you really, really don't want to hang out with the family the dog lives with? ... also cute anecdotes about cows. I am absolutely on board with this and I also liked the sound they made.

I already had tickets for JAHJF's London gig next Friday night, tickets a tenner, see you there yeah and then I got the heads-up that they were doing this too and I had no clue who any of the other acts were, but you know what, it was £4 and I adore this ridiculous band -- and it was so worth it and I am def chucking money at these support acts, okay.
kaberett: Malachite structure strongly resembling cock & balls (geococks)
Er, kab, said [personal profile] sgsabbage after my last post on the topic, do you actually like Frank Turner? I can't tell.

Well, something to that effect.


[personal profile] swaldman noted he'd liked I Still Believe (iirc) when it was performed at the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, or something (I was actually completely oblivious to the fact the guy was performing at that point, but then I was kind of screamingly crazy and also in Edinburgh at the time), but hadn't particularly cared for the others or found them memorable.

And that, you see, is the crux of the matter, and it is this: Frank Turner has written one good song and a lot of variations on it, and he's also written a lot of intensely misogynist bro-y crap. (For my go-to example of the latter, look up the lyrics to Worse Things Happen At Sea, which has content notes for threats of stalking and domestic violence.)

The good song, to be clear, is I Still Believe, and all the songs that sound like it: the rock-anthem paeans to holding fierce & tight & viciously exulting to life (let's grab life by the throat/and then live it to pieces), with an endearingly misguided veneer of assertions that any of this shit is meaningfully punk rock. It's misogynist around the edges, because fundamentally there is absolutely no fucking way I would last longer than five minutes in a pub with this guy before I was yelling at him that the fucking reason he's stuck on I have to say that, honestly,/I still haven't found/the person who can take the strain/.../so I'll do this on my own is that he's straight and he doesn't think of women as people, and he doesn't want a partner he wants a Manic Pixie fucking Dream Girl, and perhaps if he could think of higher praise than Tre's the safest girl I know and if he could conceive of women having complex interiorities with motivations beyond being the addressee of but darling, if you're there, gentle voice and soothing hands,/to quiet my despair, to shore up all my plans he'd have more satisfying relationships--

-- all that aside, right, I Still Believe, and here's a run-down of its variants.
Read more... )

But seriously there are so many other people you could spend time and money on instead. The Indelicates, obviously, though they don't particularly do much of a line in grimly-clinging-on-to-positivity-rock-anthems (and the one they have written I can't share with you, sorry, but they're perfect anyway and you should listen to them); Freshlyground (start with Doo Be Doo and Air Hostess); Matt Fishel, particularly Testament (NSFW music video; it's ok to keep your head held high/and it's ok to doubt yourself sometimes/and it's ok to fall in love), and if you're into Orphan Black please watch this then tell me that Felix isn't into the guy; Muncie Girls (Feel It Soon); everything by ONSIND. Yeah.
kaberett: photograph of the Moon taken from the northern hemisphere by GH Revera (moon)

The Indelicates have just released Elevator Music (spot the URL it's worth it), or at least they've opened it up for pre-order -- and if you pre-order physical media they'll send you the digital album by return of e-mail.

And here's the thing, right -- I've listened to the singles, I've heard a couple of the tracks played at gigs, I've got my hands on two generations of demos, and I am still crying over this album. It's about (very loosely) human society as a network, and what happens if that network becomes self-aware, and cynicism about the space age(s), and being in love, and at least two of the tracks make me cry every single time, and I really really REALLY want these people to be able to afford to keep making music, so please please please consider checking it out.

And yes, I do in fact own the t-shirt that says I'm proud to be a part of the Indelicates' marketing strategy. I'm trying to work out what good-ESA-news-of-earlier means I can afford in terms of packages. (Probably I am going to wait until the lump sum hits then call it a present for having dealt with this shit.) But seriously, I love this band, I love their music, and here's a VR single for the song off this album that makes me cry most.

kaberett: Lin Beifong, looking hopeful (lin-hope)
So a week ago I was poking idly at YouTube, and it recommended me a Frank Turner track I hadn't heard of before, and so I listened to it and went "yeah okay I'd happily yell myself hoarse to this at a gig, wonder why I haven't heard of it before"... and then noticed a new album, titled Positive Songs for Negative People, had been released the day before.

So I ordered it. (And in the process noticed I'd missed an intervening release, 2013, Tape Deck Heart, and on reading the lyrics I was very glad I had, because it's an entire album afaict about how he's still really self-pitying about his breakup with Amy and her invisible llama, like, it doesn't even seem to include the Traditional Tuneless Libertarian Track.) And because I am a glutton for punishment (and it was an extra £2 for an extra ten tracks) I ordered the deluxe version, and it arrived yesterday, and I rolled my eyes so hard I think I might have sprained something, right. Because I have only myself to blame, if I'll keep buying the deluxe releases, but, right, it's a double album made up like a tiny vinyl double album - cardboard sleeves that fold out to reveal a centre spread, CDs in each cardboard sleeve inside their own thematically-printed paper slipcases, liner notes, etc, and dear sweet ike he is such a wanker why do I keep buying his music--

(-- because he writes shit like I Still Believe and and on the worst days/when it feels like life weighs/ten thousand tonnes/I sleep with my passport/one eye on the back door/so I can always run/yeah I can wake up, shower/and in half an hour/I'll be gone, along with a bunch of incredibly self-indulgent misogyny and libertarianism--)

-- and I sat down and I listened to it, and I spent most of the album going "yeah, I'd happily yell myself hoarse to this at a gig, not an utter waste of money" -- and then. The last track happened. And then I cried my fucking eyes out and put it on repeat for a quarter of an hour and cried some more and then listened to the entire damn album again and cried more.

Because, you see, spoilers and also content notes that are themselves a spoiler but relate to depression--

Spoilers. )

I'm trying to get better cuz I haven't been my best
she took a plain black marker, started writing on my chest
she drew a line across the middle of my broken heart
and said c'mon now, let's fix this mess
we can get better
because we're not dead yet
Get Better, Frank Turner
kaberett: Reflections of a bare tree in river ice in Stockholm somehow end up clad in light. (tree-of-light)
1. Today I was introduced to a roomful of professionals and musicians at a dress rehearsal as "Alex, who did research and translation". It was weird. It was even weirder to hear translations I'd done forming part of an opera. I... actually helped make a thing. And it sold out. And has resulted in a creative collaboration with a charity. ???? etc.

2. So yesterday I decided that the correct approach to dinner was cold couscous salad, with parsley and mint and very finely diced raw fennel and pomegranate seeds. I made a lot. Tonight I decided the correct approach to dinner was to dump a spoonful of that plus eggs scrambled with cheese & smoked paprika plus hot sauce on a wrap. I was completely right and I'm doing it again for breakfast.

3. All of [personal profile] recessional's fic; in particular I'm currently doing a partial reread of (even if i could) make a deal with god, for shorts associated with your blue-eyed boys, and... yes.

4. Strawberries. Got a punnet from the market; they are tasty. (And the pears I picked up at the same time will soon be ripe enough to eat!)

5. ... there's a new Frank Turner album, released yesterday, which I stumbled upon via YouTube recommendations; it appears to be the case that I actually like most of the stuff off this album that's been released there, which was a pleasant surprise. (Meanwhile I am facepalming about the fact that I apparently missed a 2013 release that is entirely about his ongoing massively self-absorbed self-pity about a breakup, and folk, this is me facepalming over that shit, okay. So I'm glad to have missed it at the time, and having pulled An Increasingly Incredulous Face while reading lyrics on his website... yeah, no, I'm good to not be completionist about this one. I can pick up the bonus track about tattoos somewhere else.)

6. I'm actually really appreciating currently having enough brain to (i) sort through a bunch of stuff via the medium of discursive posts and (ii) do DW work, both of which I am finding soothing and consequently Helpful.

7. You lot. Relatedly. <3

8. ... yeah I am actually getting more functional as the sertraline leaves my system, which is nice but also a bit horrifying. Start the new thing on Monday, it'll be exciting, etc, but in the meantime I'm really rather enjoying having something that more plausibly resembles a sleep cycle and significantly less insomnia.

9. I got to sit around in a cafe post-dress rehearsal Setting The World To Rights with one good friend and one person I keep wanting to Actually Friends With (as compared with the current situation of mutually sympathetic acquaintancish, and catching up with one another's Major Life Events largely via mutual friends).

10. Jesus & His Judgemental Father are gigging locally at the beginning of October and my useless ex has made there be tickets. <3 (I adore them. MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNING for cissexism, violence, and murder on the track Kings & Queens, if you go looking, but it's brilliantly done.)

Oh, and bonus 11: [personal profile] ann_leckie has started posting Ancillary Mercy at a rate of a paragraph per day (with the entire first chapter due to be released by her publisher in a month's time).
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. Dinner last night (and lunch today) was a modified version of Smitten Kitchen's baked chickpeas with pita chips and yoghurt. I am delighted that I now have The Knowledge Of The Pita Chips, which I adore but have not been able to find at prices that don't make me cry in this country, and we consumed the lot. Variations were: I couldn't face acquiring tahini to make up the yoghurt dressing as described and just ate yoghurt; I also didn't bother with the pine nuts. The salad-y thing was equal volumes tomato, cucumber and parsley, and I didn't bother dressing it. (I really like parsley.) It was tasty. Would eat again.

2. Via [personal profile] inoru_no_hoshi on the tweetrz, an exciting ScienceDaily summary of a Nature Geosciences paper on the topic of iron, the Earth, how it got here, and why it is where it is. tl;dr the vaporisation pressure of iron is significantly lower than we thought it was, which is why the Moon has sod-all of the stuff and not all of it on Earth has ended up in the core, even with the Late Veneer. There is the truism that Nature Geosciences papers are always wrong (extensible to some extent to Nature itself), but this looks pretty exciting to me.

3. My favourite band are releasing a new album called Elevator Music and it makes me cry every single time. It is bitter and vicious and cynical about the space age and space exploration and generation ships and existentialism and forgettability, and I adore it. The Last Man Who Walked On The Moon breaks my heart every single time, even the first time they played it in public and Simon warned us in advance that he hadn't finished writing the lyrics yet and did indeed end up singing "something something something something -ation" in the middle, because -- soon there will be no-one/left that I can call/just space suits in museums/with mission details on the wall. And then breath/they simulate our breath/to make us feel at home. And. This band.

4. Dave Hughes and the Renegade Folk Punk Band have also just released a new album, Rise, Again. I have not got my act together to listen to it yet (see also: depression), but expect to find it comforting, because I love a lot of what these folk do. (Currently the lyric of theirs stuck in my head is is it a love song/if I tell you that I love you/but I can't see me sharing your bed?//though there are days/when I don't think of you/they rarely outnumber/those I do...)

5. P thought it important I meet this baffling collection of photographs of unspoons.

6. Music I have particularly enjoyed recently: Singzu Joint - Fly and this one Taiwanese music video about marriage equality (has English subs; warning: WILL MAKE YOU CRY)
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
1. Okay, hold onto your hats, folk who've been around for a while: middle brother and I haven't argued yet. Not only that, we have cooperated in moving furniture for my mum (and despite having worked construction over last summer he didn't think crippy ol' me was totally useless, which was nice ;) and have managed to talk about science in a way that didn't end in bloodshed! I am... kind of astonished, and really hoping it manages to hold for the next few days. (I leave on the 27th, you see.)

2. I swung by college when in town running errands earlier, and spent a little while sat in the chapel and a little while sat on the back wall swinging my legs over the river. Seven or eight years ago I stood on that bridge and looked into the library windows and said "I'm going to be one of them"; it turned out the floor I was looking at was the sciences one. So -- yes, I sat on the wall with my legs over the river and the punts dry-docked behind me and watched people walk over the bridge and listened to the single solitary punt guide and -- yes. This, too, is home.

3. DRD HAS PUBLISHED THAT ONE PAPER I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR HIM TO GET AROUND TO PUBLISHING. Seriously pleased about this. It is A Big Deal in terms of mantle plumes, and I think his work is solid.

4. I have played the piano some! Really badly, but less badly than I did this weekend. My hands and elbows and shoulder blades really bloody hate me and, well, this is why I don't play any more, and it's extremely bittersweet to be stumbling over playing stuff that is fundamentally still in my muscle-memory and completely incapable of sightreading, but -- I made music, I made music, and I didn't end up crying on the sofa like I did this weekend just gone, and -- it is a comfort and a blessing that I still have this. Also, I am starting to remind myself how to sight-sing.

5. I have had a lovely time interacting with baby brother also. We have been being gently rude at each other and very affectionate (hugs! hair-ruffling! sarcasm!) and he popped his head round my door earlier to be all "SO I thought of a PRESENT for you do you want a slow-cooker" and I was all "that's very sweet but thank you no my housemate has one" and he was all "awwwwwww I was gonna say, coz I want a blender, and if we both just had to go to the same shop..." -- so I provided him a list of DVDs I'm after in decreasing order of priority (and I think he's picked up lots of them?!) and then I was mildly profligate but it is a blender that should last him a good long time, so. I also acquired gjetost for my mother and consequently we have a mildly ridiculous cheeseboard, which makes me very happy. (It is my major contribution.)

6. My mother is making tiramisu as we speak. :-)

7. I am hoovering up Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis series courtesy of my housemate's copies, and am Forming Several Opinions. Some of them are favourable; some of them are really not; but I am at least enjoying thinking about them.

8. I appear to have been wearing Liminal and only Liminal pretty solidly since Friday. It feels right for this time of year, and for reorienting myself and taking a moment to be inwards, and so on.

9. My mother made a somewhat involved and very tasty dinner, and we had it with wine from one of my favourite Austrian grapes that I very rarely actually get around to drinking, because it's not really worth getting a bottle when it takes me well over a month to get through one if I am working at it, and I think of it as A Special Treat To Be Savoured because it's slightly hard to acquire and therefore wince at people gulping it; perhaps the moral of the story is that I should host more dinner parties, but in any case, it was tasty and I am happy and contented.

10. Kinda intimidating emotional work/conversations have been going well, and it is a relief and a comfort. AND I SOLVED AN ENTIRE GRAUN CRYPTIC CLUE ON MY OWN. ONE WHOLE ONE. Now to try for a few more. ;) (Why do I list them together? Partly because I have run out of ten, but also partly because they feel like similar amounts of thinking sideways around a corner to work out solutions.)

kaberett: curled decorative end of curtain rail casts a heart-shaped shadow on a wall (heartfruit)
Oh goodness. Over the past few weeks I have (as has been obvious) been on a Vienna Teng kick: Stray Italian Greyhound, Hymn of Acxiom, The Last Snowfall (this is not the last snowfall ... but if I were that kind of grateful, what would I try to say?), Never Look Away (let me uncover the silver in your dark hair/the weight of your bones). Finding hope & wonder & looking forward.

Then Stars: No One Is Lost (put your hands up if you ever feel afraid!) and How Much More (I told you I was brave but I lied).

Before that: Seanan McGuire, Writing Again and Dear Thomas and Sycamore Tree and Cartography; and the Indigo Girls, Watershed and Least Complicated and Hope Alone; P!nk, Who Knew; CN Lester's new album, Sparks and Your Hands; a stack of break-up songs, as we go backwards in time.

Before that it starts to feel hazier and less immediate. But this, this is the music I have listened to most over the last little bit, this and the selkie song (Still Catch The Tide). Lots of things about, well, about confusion and about bravery and about finding beauty and about looking forward. Which, well. Yes.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
When you've counted the cost, repeat after us
No one is lost
No one is lost
No one is lost

(thank you thank you thank you [personal profile] littlebutfierce; if you're that way inclined you can stream it at Spotify or buy direct from the band.)
kaberett: Stylized volcano against a stormy sky, with streams of lava running down its sides. (volcano)
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: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

April 2019

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