kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
1. Food. )

2. I received a quotation for the wheelchair repairs currently ongoing; they're somewhere under half of what I was bracing myself for, which is a great relief.

3. Excellent lunch with a good friend in a small friendly deli in South London. I was particularly intrigued by (but alas did not sample) the tiny gluten-free strawberry-and-elderflower cheesecake.

4. The trip to and from same: a beautiful cherry-blossom mural on a building's front wall; a garden riotous with poppies somewhere between bud and full bloom; irises and weird little fuzzy orange things and colours everywhere.

5. Physio, on the train to and from, and reading books with it: still working on Hope In The Dark, but I'm about halfway through now and then I'll move on to Hugo reading.

6. I dyed A's hair again last night, and am pleased with the result. (It is all-over red, because red seems to wash out of his hair more quickly than blue, in the interests of i. checking whether the new red is actually a red and ii. getting it to a state where I can actually try putting a rainbow in it with minimal rebleaching of previously-bleached hair. In fact, because this means I put a lot of red on over blue, he's got what is in essence a red-into-deep-purple ombre going on, with a darker red layer on top and a lighter red layer underneath.)

7. I am delighted by the conversation that's going on in comments over at the enchilada recipe. Thank you, folk, I keep cackling with delight. <3

8. Academia. )

9. I am continuing to sincerely enjoy Pokemon Go.

10. Chelsea Manning.

\o/

Mar. 16th, 2015 05:15 pm
kaberett: Grinning emoticon. (:D)
Gave presentation to supervisor (which, because I am an incompetent, was in fact my first run-through verbally as opposed to just sitting and staring at it). She liked it and thinks I am going to be fine. I get on Really Well with people whose attitude to praise is that a dismissive "you'll be fine" means "I am impressed and pleased", heh. I'm bang on the permitted time, and I was talking a little fast but we've rejigged flow so that I'll need to repeat myself less, and aaaaaaaaaaahhh she liked it. She thinks it flows! She thinks I am clear and talk at my audience sufficiently! She has suggested a joke I can tell! (It is a relevant joke.)

(what I am actually doing in person is going "ssssssss" very quietly; it is a small victory hiss)

:-)

Feb. 17th, 2015 09:12 am
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
1. So I was saying that I hoped my supervisor was suitably pleased with my pile of data from this run? SHE WAS. She was, by her standards, extremely effusive; I am basking gently in the glow of having been told that I made the right judgement calls about the slightly difficult mass spec session, that I got a significant amount of good data, that the reproducibility of results was great, that I've done really well with my standard deviations given how low the concentrations I'm working with are. She was just really really nice about my dataset just being... really good work. Basking.

2. I crashed out at 9pm and woke up spontaneously at 6; I had a nice relaxed morning pottering about (packing bag for tonight, eating breakfast, making hot chocolate), got into work at 8am, had my supervisor tease me gently about it (she normally gets in around 7 but today I beat her...), faffed with some more data (including fixing the problem in my 'orrible plotting script that I identified last night after I'd put computers away to sLEEP), tidied my desk, replied to some e-mails, ... yeah, pretty pleased with myself. And I slept super well, so.

3. Help help I am seriously considering setting up a side-tumblr called "kaberants" for the sake of engaging with irritatingly wrong text posts without having them clutter up my set of nice pretty pictures??? (Today's discovery-via-tumblr of the morning: Emily Blincoe's photography.)

4. It is a source of great pleasure to me that it's now light at 7am; soon I will start getting the District line into work again (because it runs aboveground for most of the trip, whereas the Piccadilly is underground for this section). Also, I tamed my hair.

5. Indelicates gig tonight! And I have reason to believe they'll be playing lots of stuff from the upcoming album, which appears to be about SPACE SCIENCE and SPACE ROBOTS and CHOICES and consequently I cry everywhere at it every time :D :D :D :D

(and 6: facesfriend points out to me that if I think he is being ludicrously indulgent of me because he adjusts the toaster to provide me with toast slightly burnter than he prefers it, this is possibly an indication that my perception of myself as Really Difficult To Deal With and Always Making People Go Out Of Their Way is skewed.)
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
1. My breath was misting when I left the house this morning. I am dressed accordingly, in standard winter uniform including medium-weight corduroy trousers; because I'm Having Trouble with clothing on my torso (sensory stuff) at the moment, top half was vest top, lightweight shirt, linen waistcoat, scarf, coat. ... it is thirty bloody degrees down here. I have removed most of the layers on my top half and am contemplating how likely it is that anyone is actually going to turn up in lab if I make similar adjustments elsewise.

2. ... okay I have legit got data for >40 samples this run. Which considering the first 48 hours were consumed by a misbehaving introduction system... well, I hope my supervisor is suitably pleased, THAT IS ALL I AM SAYING. (And it is quite exciting and I am looking forward to plotting it up!) (For context, I've got multiple measurements of the majority of them; it takes about an hour to measure two samples when you're actually measuring; and there's lots of intermediate steps in terms of checking concentrations, making things up to the right dilution, etc etc).

3. Also I gritted my teeth and... fixed some of my shonky code... and it wasn't anything like as involved or irritating as I thought it would be? And in the process I made the whole thing less hacky? SO THAT WAS NICE.

4. Also nice: having managed to actually have a proper hot shower and brush and wash my hair late last night (it's... been a fairly hefty work week, I think today is going to be my fourth or fifth >12-hour day not counting the bits of support-work-not-PhD-work I've been doing); having slept well last night; gradual improvement in my cognitive function as measured by how frustrated I get by logic puzzles (as compared to a couple of weeks ago); significant progress on my list of shit I've been putting off.

5. Getting over my tail end of a sore throat means my voice actually does what I expect when I sing again, which is a great relief and great comfort.

6. Okay I know I keep going on about this, but it is so satisfying to have a session I rather grimly thought would turn into a disaster (and nearly cancelled last week!) go so well, and it's additionally satisfying that I... get to look at the data as it comes off and go "yeah, that makes sense" -- I now understand what is going on sufficiently well for this chapter of the thesis to make predictions, to have the predictions met, and to have some idea of mechanisms, and it's kind of magic; I need to remember this when I move on to zinc and none of it makes any sense again. (Except based on my thallium data I do actually have a model for what's going on, so I can take zinc in relation to that...)

7. I am rereading your blue-eyed boys, now having osmosed rather more of canon, and as ever it is a great comfort.

8. I am tired and I am low on executive function but I'm also... okay? Yeah. I'm okay, and I'm contented, and I'm happy, and I'm looking forward to trundling off to facesfriend's when I'm done here.
kaberett: Stylized volcano against a stormy sky, with streams of lava running down its sides. (volcano)
I feel the urge to note that we have a copy of this PhD comic up on the noticeboard in the mass spec lab.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
Two irritations, first of all: Read more... )

Better things:
  1. Vienna Teng. Still on a kick. Lots of Antebellum (title) and Recessional (I want to search for her in the offhand remarks; who are you, a stranger in the shell of a lover? dark curtains drawn by the passage of time...) at the moment. (Also quietly but consistently, Blue Caravan: my true love is a man that I haven't seen in years/he said go where you have to, for I belong to you/until my dying day; so like a fool blue caravan/I believed him and I walked away...)
  2. I got my act together to phone Student Finance England back. I mostly didn't explode in a shower of anxiety, though I did end up slightly snappishly saying "if you're going to use my name all the time, call me Alex", but I think that given that she was, well, using it every other sentence; and I had introduced myself as Alex at the beginning of the call... I did also end up interrupting some, but that was because she was reading off a hideously unclear script that wasn't really relevant. Apparently they really do want me to send them duplicate copies of the letters detailing my endometriosis that they already have, because sending them the exact same copies will mean that I've still got the incurable condition I had at undergrad that I might otherwise have got better from...? Anyway, this is turning into a rant, but the point is, I Did The Thing.
  3. I continue to enjoy the Toby Daye books.
  4. Guiltknitting is on the home stretch - last block of colour, final bit of beading, then finishing.
  5. I have in the oven more of the puttanesca pasta bake, which is brilliant because it means that I am sorted for meals for the rest of the mass spec run.
  6. Supervisor and lab manager concurred it wasn't my fault that the mass spec was playing up (and with any luck it'll behave itself over night so I can start getting data tomorrow).
  7. I have successfully bought the tupperware my supervisor instructed me to, and additionally replenished our stocks of Sainsbury's Basics Italian Hard Cheese and Osem parev chicken-style stock powder.
  8. I have a microwaveable waterproof soup pot thing that has a steam release vent. Realisation of the morning: I can prep hot chocolate in it and microwave it once I'm at work. WINNING HERE.
  9. I tricked myself into rendering the kitchen semi-habitable while dinner was cooking, hurrah, including some long-overdue breadpet-management. (On the downside my hands are still recovering from some insect bites - even with antihistamines in my system I react quite impressively - and are consequently Not Best Pleased with me for the washing-up. No, I can't wear gloves, they're almost all latex and I refuse to use disposables.)
  10. ... yeah, actually, I'm really pleased with myself about work stuff - productive conversation with my supervisor in which I requested a meeting to discuss two different areas of the literature in addition to talking about conference wossnames and my 21-month assessment. Maybe if I'm feeling really enthusiastic I'll have an outline of the talk to bring with to said meeting. It is really nice feeling semi-competent.


(oh, oh let me be your Augustine)
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
1. The machine is working??? Approximately??? Barry worked magic and my first set of standards came off looking decent and I have a halfways-to-plausible plan for the next few days.

2. I am not freaking out about psychiatrist tomorrow morning. This is a little bit unsettling looked at straight-on, if only because it says a lot about how much I've decided to trust my GP.

3. I've been given the go-ahead to submit my abstract! Nearly a week before deadline! I'm going to hold onto it until I get first data-numbers off the machine tomorrow, though.

4. I have the firm intention of finishing the actual knitting part of the guiltknitting tomorrow or, at the outside, Übermorgen.

5. I tamed my hair! (context: it is waist-length; when I went proper crazy in 2011/2012 I stopped being able to brush it every day and haven't been able to reestablish the habit reliably; lulz ensue)

6. I tidied my room a little (it was starting to look like I'd spent most of the past fortnight passing through on my way to and from lab and hadn't had time to clean, and it was starting to stress me out).

7. [personal profile] recessional made there be another your blue-eyed boys-'verse ficlet. About a useless kitten.

8. Facesfriend's response to me saying that I strongly suspect that my primary partner is the world's most expensive etch-a-sketch was to make a desultory effort to turn up examples of more expensive etch-a-sketches. I was extremely smug when they failed to turn anything up (though to be fair this is largely because at that price point it's all "if you have to ask you can't afford it"...)

9. Access to sensory wossnames in a range of calming and soothing formats. I am very lucky.

10. ... I am just having a lot of feelings about Stars and about Vienna Teng, okay. They are very comforting at the moment. They both manage the kind of mood I am after having on tap. It is great. Technology is magic.
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. :-)
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
-- is partly because I'm pulling fairly long days for the next fortnight (finishing up chemistry this week for five days of machine time next week; teaching Tuesday mornings and throughout Fridays), partly because I'm reading a pile of books, partly because of guiltknitting (nearly done!), partly because I spent this weekend being utterly teenaged with facesfriend (and also eating and sleeping a lot, hurrah), and partly because I will be spending next weekend with P in Stockholm, where we will probably read a lot of poetry and watch a lot of Elementary and spend less time out of the house than we ~ort~. Much affection to you all and apologies for commenting less than I'd like. <3
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
[personal profile] sebastienne is a rock star, okay. (This is literal as well as metaphorical, which is why it's my favourite way to describe them being incredible. I mean, in part it's just a lot of fun to explain to people that they're having a bath LIKE A ROCK STAR but! also!)

-- right, so, today I had a GP appointment about whether a PTSD diagnosis might be appropriate. Upshot: hurrah my GP is awesome.

More details. )

s. was brilliant about letting me hold their hand & Just Dealing With It when I went "um, I'm really sorry, I can't unpack, can you explain what I mean by and then facesfriend pulled a face and Dan Was In My House?" and then letting me drag them around the Natural History Museum (new stegosaurus! an entire minerals gallery I'd been oblivious to because it's sociology-of-minerals not the scientific collection!) to calm myself down and then letting me feed them such that I ate dinner - housemate is off having dinner with my boything tonight, eyeroll ;) - and. yes. things? things happened.

And I got home and wrote a first draft of the sodding conference abstract; it will need lots of reworking BUT I HAVE WORDS DOWN ON PAPER. I win.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. I do actively like getting up with dawn and being in work by 8am. If I could find a way to do that sustainably (given insomnia, fatigue, etc) then I'd be all over it. (Two days running this week; aiming to replicate tomorrow. Though, to be fair, I did come home very early this afternoon and then sleep. But -- I got labwork done before 9am, I taught for three hours, and I booked mass spec time. And I'm doing some more faff at home. Writing abstracts is haaard. I mean, actually I think formal writing is hard, but perhaps I will work out how to get past this, sigh.)

2. Facesfriend is great, though - I stayed over at theirs last night, and sometime in the wee hours they very gently woke me up enough for me to disentangle myself from the nightmare I was having (whimpery rather than screamy, thank goodness; once a year or so I wake myself up screaming, and I'm always very embarrassed about the disruption to other people) and then they coaxed me back to sleep and... gosh, that was nice.

3. Guiltknitting progresses apace. It was supposed to be done 18 months ago. I was stalled on it for all sorts of reasons, largely boiling down to "autism" (it became apparent I hadn't bought enough of the main colour; no more of that dye lot was to be had; I couldn't work out what on earth to do about this; and then for the primary gifting period largest smallcousin bought me some very tasteful yarn, some medium-tasteful yarn, and some yarn that um looks kind of like a sunset got overly excited and has a terrible hangover; the sunset yarn goes very well with the purple). I am unblocked and nearly halfway through the section I charted up. Weaving in the ends is going to be a pain and a half - why I thought learning to do intarsia with two strands no less in the context of double-knitting I have no idea but hey, it's working and legible, so.

4. I have acquired the rest of the Toby Daye books in paperback from eBay, to my immense frustration, because apparently it's impossible to buy the ebooks from anyone but Amazon in the UK, and my preferred UK booksellers aren't carrying the volumes I want, so... eBay. And in attempting to locate the short stories I have spoiled myself for something that was starting to really irritate me, so I can now read on secure in the knowledge that the characters are going to stop being so infuriatingly oblivious sometime soon (well, two books' time, but). (I am also feeling kind of guilty for spending money on books by white folk - [personal profile] calissa posted recently about diversity and reading; one of the ways I try to (1) ~broaden my horizons~ and (2) restrict my spending on books, in addition to "don't buy anything while the to-read pile on the ereader is greater than $number" [currently 25, previously 50], is to by-and-large avoid buying books by whitey? On the grounds that I get loaned lots of them and I can satisfy most of my desire-to-read-white-people via loans, so. AND ON THE OTHER HAND I am working super hard this month in lab terms, I'm helping teach a maths course which is a massive deal, I am a bit ill, paper books are good for reading in lab because not metal, and for all I'm finding them gently frustrating they are excellent brain-candy.)

5. I really do need to set up that review blog. Which in turn means that I need to get my act together to choose a CMS for my personal website, siiigh.

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).
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
Clearly I am not terrible at writing in general; clearly, in general, I enjoy writing, hence the fic and the poetry and the blog essays. I'm even pretty comfortable sitting down and bashing out an explanation of my work for lay folk.

I think my key issue is probably audience: not knowing what knowledge it is reasonable to expect, and so on. I think this is something that will get easier with (1) practice and (2) better-defined writing exercises - the kind of detail required for a transfer report is apparently huge amounts of extraneous background that you would never include in a paper, and that's some of the stuff that trips me up.

Currently I am working on trying to practice doing at least a tiny amount of technical writing for a known target audience every day. It is hard and maybe my supervisor will hate it, but then again maybe she won't and I'll have a draft paper I can rework then submit?

I also seriously need to work on the fact that I genuinely have trauma around this (partly arising from the winter of my discontent; partly from various other things where I have Done It Wrong and been hideously stressed, as cumulative thingy) (wow I really need that formal PTSD diagnosis) - I go into panic reaction when I start trying to write, I have to come at it sideways - open the file up, do something else, remind myself what else I needed, do something else, open up the necessary adjuncts, do something else, etc - and this is a problem. And. I kept shying away from writing this post because I don't believe I really have trauma; I'm putting it up half-baked as it is because it hurts to look at straight on.

This is a step.
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
nts: Rhodri Davies on LLSVPs as purely thermal; statistical analysis --> plumes actually initiate prompted by downgoing slabs

pattern of downgone slabs? ages? association with age of AOC? globally widespread? modern-day plumes shouldn't care about 2.5Ga subducted slabs - but enough subducted crap lying around to explain it? Rather than LLSVPs, entrain mix of wossnames from lower mantle ("slab graveyard") allowing for more interesting complexity than LLSVP?

fuck. yes.

Sep. 3rd, 2014 03:41 am
kaberett: Grinning emoticon. (:D)
my hands and shoulders hate me - as well they might, I spent most of yesterday pipetting and a startling amount of today typing - but I have DONE THE THINGS. Or at least first drafts of the things. And I think I found something out earlier this week at around this time of the morning. And I have an alarm going off in four hours in order to get the next batch of chemistry done so I can keel over without feeling guilty tomorrow evening (seriously if I am not in bed by 8pm local PLEASE shout at me) before, um, Thursday + Friday on the mass spec. (which if I feel proper rotten tomorrow morning I will convert to friday+saturday, saturday's currently free, so I can do that no penalties).

i am the human being of only-wanting-to-set-CHX-on-fire-about-twice, probably-has-an-appointment-before-2015, holy-crap-the-wait-for-phlebotomy-was-preposterous.

BUT. I have lunch ready to go for tomorrow, i have washed my water bottle so it's usable, I should... really put my wheels on to charge, wow, no way am I walking anywhere worth a damn tomorrow, I can still write terrible code when half-asleep, I've tamed the work inbox to some degree, head of group apparently likes the short piece of writing I have done on thallium+lead=bffs???, and I have SENT OFF A FIRST DRAFT OF THE POSTER. Which, er, I need to print on Monday. did I mention my supervisor's on a boat somewhere off the coast of Taiwan working 12-hour shifts with fuck-all internet? yeaaaaaaaaaaaah. did I also mention I was supposed to have this two her by the 21st of August? yeah, well, medication happened, it was a bit shit, this is kind of why I'm thinking about going part-time. on the upside, I wasn't supposed to have the lead+thallium doc to her til the 11th, but that's already happened...

... and it was sunny and I ate fantastic food with [personal profile] sebastienne and geeked gender and reading and brains and life goals and fanfic and shit and it was pretty awesome, and i made pasta bake for dinner, and I should really do the washing up again one of these weeks before my housemate entirely justifiedly stream-of-consciousness glib metaphorical murder??? ) (either my s key' gone very sticky or my hands are even more fucked than i thought) (wrist braces + antiinflammatory gel tonight OH my) and I read a bunch of tiny bit of fiction by queer PoC so that was pretty awesome

and i have taken bedmeds and, via hand-care, SLEEP.

ps i still really like Scribus

also feel free to place bets on how long it takes me to disappear into avoidance and pretending i don't have a work e-mail address again

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