kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. Yesterday afternoon, at 4.30pm, I sent off the latest draft of the current paper to my co-authors in advance of our meeting on Tuesday. I had been working at it steadily, in small chunks every day. At no point did I stay up past midnight working on it. It isn't perfect, partly because it can never be and partly because most of the outstanding stuff relies on getting input from a co-author who's been avoiding my e-mails since April; I'm very pleased with myself for maintaining sensible sleep cycles, and for sending it off "unfinished", because I don't think there is actually much to gain from me carefully polishing the presentation and formatting of an appendix that is not yet complete.

2. The casserole my mother bought me (I think when I started the PhD) is currently full of apples I brought home from my parents' on Saturday evening; I've done about half the bag, and everything smells correct. (It's James Grieve; they're mostly not available commercially, but they're what I grew up with, and I'm always faintly disappointed by apples that aren't them. So: I gathered up a quantity of them, and I'll gather up a quantity more when I go for dinner tomorrow, and I'll jar them, and I'll have enough to put on yoghurt and in crumble and in cake for the next year, I hope.)

3. Passing a pound-a-bowl market earlier today, it transpired that the cardboard crates of two-or-so kilos of blueberries really were one quid each. So I got one of those (I was not going to buy more, to get home on public transport), and I need to decide how many to freeze and whether o jam any and if I want to make clafoutis happen, and so on and so forth. This is a lovely problem to have.

4. Shortly afterwards, while poking around charity shops looking for yet more tablecloths (pace the Graun), on my way home from a hospital appointment that was uninspiring but unproblematic, I found a pasta maker for fifteen quid. Nobody I asked said it was a bad idea quickly enough, and that's how I ended up heading home on public transport with a lap full of pasta machine and two kilos of blueberries. "...", said a friend. "How does this stuff even happen to you so much" "I really don't know how you live like this" "But well done" -- which I will take. (This also, conveniently, provides me with My Next Cooking Goal. I think I probably don't care about the spaghetti attachment but I am eyeing up the ravioli one...)

5. I am sitting in the corner of my sofa, facing the French windows, looking out on the grass and the sunshine. (I love this house.)

6. I am now, after today's adventures in public transport, most of the way through CN Lester's book Trans Like Me. I keep crying over it in public. I have been earwormed with a song off Come Home, Not Again (and have just put it on: I'm used to breaking - but not this time/Of all the things you've taken, I'm not giving me from mine/I know I'm better lonely but alive).

7. On which tangentially-related topic, I recently got my act together to actually listen to Jesus & His Judgemental Father's latest, It Might Get Better, and I just absolutely adore the lyric my breakfast is an existential crisis. And I have a whole pile of books to curl up and wallow in, which I'm very much looking forward to -- Provenance, which I haven't yet had brain for, and the new Max Gladstone, and the new Nnedi Okorafor along with some of her back catalogue, and all the Kai Ashante Wilson I just acquired, and...

8. Board games! On Sunday I went to a board game social being run by my BSL-teacher-now-friend (having been a longstanding friend of A's)! I negotiated social anxiety in the run-up! I played two new-to-me games, with one person in the group each time that I didn't previously know, and it... worked? I didn't cry? I panicked a bit at the start of the second one but actually it was okay? I did the thing? I won one of them? I... am really, really proud of myself. I am so aware of how much progress this is: eighteen months ago, or thereabouts, I finally finally managed to persuade myself to sit down with a rulebook and an Adam in our living room and have a go at playing Thud!, which I'd wanted to basically since I saw it being play-tested at a Discworld convention. I think I ended up crying twice just reading the rulebook, while A was in the kitchen carefully giving me space to have a panic? I ended up crying a bunch more over the course of our couple of experimental collaborative games? ... I just played two new-to-me games with strangers, on no more prep than breezily informing people that I have hilarious boardgame-related trauma, would want to spend five minutes anxiously reading the rules in silence before starting, and that if I asked a question about game mechanic and it wasn't addressed to you by name then pretend I didn't say anything and let A answer. I... am so pleased with myself.

9. ... slipper socks. I sort of resent that I like them so much, and they are the precise opposite of what the podiatrists I was seeing wanted me to do for wearing around the house, but fundamentally I really hate slippers and would by defaul be barefoot but also my feet get really cold really quickly. So now I own two pairs of ridiculous slipper socks, and I wear other socks underneath and slouch around in them, and I spend much less time with my feet painfully cold?

10. ... and on Thursday I'm heading down to Brighton for The October Ritual, an aquarium trip, and Terre á Terre, which I've been curious about for a while.

There is lots that is good that is going on. I'm spending the weekend in Cornwall (well, driving to and from -- a lightning visit is To Be Made), and while there will be Wrangling To Be Done I am also, very much, looking forward to going (however briefly) home.
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
(at which point I'm moving house) (we are picking up the keys on Thursday morning) (NEW HOUSE NEW HOUSE NEW HOUSE)

We -- [personal profile] me_and, [personal profile] sebastienne, [personal profile] shortcipher -- got into London Euston at a quarter to seven this morning, having taken the sleeper down from Edinburgh. We got up to the Fringe on Saturday and spent most of the time there running between shows (sorry to everyone I totally failed to give a heads-up to, or to visit!), and I am Very Happy about this, and was also Very Tired. So I spent quite a lot of this afternoon -- after a medical appointment at the wrong end of town -- asleep; A, meanwhile, went into work and then promptly fell asleep in my lap more or less as soon as we'd eaten dinner after he got in. I have spent the intervening time doing paperwork of variously terrifying nature (HOUSE and also PhD), getting slo-o-owly caught up on parts various of the internet, and being gradually encroached on.

Some edited highlights:Read more... )
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.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
  1. food )
  2. Also food. )
  3. Still food! )
  4. I am still chewing over last week's Elementary, and redemption arcs and chosen family and boundaries and necessities and narrative imperative in tension with multiple kinds of emotional satisfaction, and the things I find myself wanting -- superficially -- from the story, given points-of-view, and the odd and bittersweet relief at instead getting what I need. The murder plots make no sense, but then they mostly didn't ever; I am still very much here for the characters.
  5. My new CEA card arrived in the post yesterday, which means I will stop feeling faintly guilty about "wasting money" every time I go to the cinema. This is a Good Thing, given how much I'm looking forward to Hidden Figures.
  6. I'm having a really tough time writing an abstract this week, for a variety of reasons, but in the face of that I got a draft in more than 18 hours before the deadline that I was actually reasonably happy with, via the iterative-improvement approach to writing. It needs substantially rewriting, but I've demonstrated that my techniques work, and I've got reasonable confidence that the substatial rewriting wasn't in fact me wildly misinterpreting what was going on.
  7. I said no to someone, and it was fine. (And indeed several other someones, which was less fine but which left me feeling better than I would've if I'd stayed silent.) I told someone I'd screwed something up, face-to-face and more-or-less straight away rather than stewing for six hours over sending an e-mail, and it was fine. Both were really difficult, and I did them.
  8. I appear, via UCH, to have found a sustainable set of strength-building exercises to do that are resulting in measurable improvements. I'm dealing with a lot of complicated Feelings about this pretty well.
  9. Some stripy tulips were much reduced in the supermarket last week; they've been sat in a glass jar on the dining table slowly drying out and turning interesting shapes ever since, and they make me feel soothed and safe and at home.
  10. I am forever gently amused by the thing where, when A is around, we sleep under a single lightweight duvet and are frequently too warm. When he's away, I end up nesting in a pile of that duvet, my three-season much-larger covered-in-dinosaurs duvet, a weighted blanket, and a big soft non-allergenic stripy blue blanket -- and I end up comfortably warm, and with a lot of weight on me, and it's very nice to have occasionally.
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
1. Rose lemonade. Read more... )

2. Pad thai. Read more... )

3. Orphan Black. It turns out that I am still very emotionally invested, okay: I have to keep pausing it to squeak. (I also paused it to stare, narrow-eyed, at the perplexing geology, and then to, um, take a screenshot. to keep staring at. later.)

4. Cyanocitta stelleri (Steller's Jay), and #dreamwidth, who identified the source of this image in particular for me. Excellent blue; ridiculous crest.

5. Aphelocoma californica (Western Scrub Jay). Also an excellent blue.

6. This hedgehog, which tumblr thought it was important for me to see.

7. A Brief History Of Tax Evasion In Britain (Or: Panama Is For Posers, Now Brick Up Your Windows).

8. Check, Please! fandom is giving me lots of people-adoring-each-other to roll around in, and is also giving me lots of really thorough and thoughtful incredibly iddy fic ([personal profile] staranise wrote a really detailed soulmates AU that I just want to smoosh my face on, okay?).

9. An amble round the charity shops in the sunshine this afternoon yielded a film and a gift, in addition to, you know, the part where I got sunshine.

10. I am having a possibly ridiculous number of Feelings about continuity-of-community and shit about this thing in passing, and I... really need to be asleep so I'm not even slightly going to go into the details in any depth now, but I've been having A Rough Week Or So on several related topics so this was A Good, alright.

ALRIGHT. Sleep. xx
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
Tulipa 'Gavota'
Circular bed of interplanted tulips and primroses. The primroses are Primula 'Stella Snow White' (white) and Primula 'Stella Lunar Gold' (yellow); the tulip is Tulipa 'Gavota', with tall pointed petals that are a very deep rich red on their body, with brilliant yellow edges.

+3 )

  1. Yesterday, after doing a lot of tedious and stressful administrivia, I dragged myself over to Kew on the grounds that it was sunny and I should take the opportunity while it existed. (Today has been drizzle interspersed with hail; I made the right choice to drag myself out there yesterday.) The various Prunus are doing excellently; the camellias are gorgeous, though I'm still working out which white double cultivar I'm after; the rhododendron are not quite there yet; and the tulips are magnificent.
  2. I am enjoying SL Huang's Russell's Attic series immensely. Huang is an MIT maths graduate; the eponymous Cas Russell is very, very good at maths, and uses this to work decidedly illegal job markets very competently. I'm not in a position to judge how good the mathematics is, but I will say that the villainous supervolcano lair subplot in book 2 only made me pull a face very briefly, and one of the principal characters is a wheelchair user who's done competently. They're fun; I'm tearing through them; if you have issues with mind or memory control, or gore, or violence, these are probably not for you, but perhaps go read Huang's short stories instead?
  3. This afternoon's foray into capitalism involved the acquisition of Mad Max: Fury Road and some ceramic baking beans that were substantially reduced. (This evening's plans involve "curling up in bed with hot chocolate and MM:FR".)
  4. Food! )
  5. Food! )
  6. Food! )
  7. My xkcd Garden contains a tortoise! And, bafflingly, two humans, and some things that are possibly pet rocks. A. informs me that his contains an octopus, and I am deeply envious; on the whole I am finding this comic strip a much more soothing implementation of the general idea of Mountain, and to be perfectly frank if anyone gets around to writing an Android app I will be all over that.
  8. It is seven twenty pee em and it is still properly light. I came back from a brief shopping trip at eight forty-five last night and the sky wasn't completely dark yet. You had better believe I am basking in this.
  9. I have some (slightly unexpected) clarity on health misc, which involved less of a fight than I expected it to (I am so, so tempted by the noncompliance is a social skill t-shirt), and I'm doing a good job of sorting through brain misc as well.
  10. I have outline notes for all the sections of the job app; I'm going to turn them into first-pass sentences, because apparently this iterative work thing is good for me, and then I'm going to curl up with a film, I think. Yes. Good.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
Tuesday afternoon I went to Otherworlds with [personal profile] sebastienne -- an exhibition of space landscape photography -- and it was so good, people, so good. It was so good I started crying less than fifteen seconds after entering (good little space robot). I accidentally left with a scarf and two postcards. I am going to drag [personal profile] me_and along and let him wander the hall while I sit and cry over my favourites. I am willing to take absolutely anyone else along at all to wander the hall while I... sit and cry over my favourites, with breaks for getting loud and overenthusiastic at you about how geology is fucking FANTASTIC, okay, BECAUSE, right, [a totally relevant and utterly enthralling fact]. The curation is brilliant (you get to see reflections of other photographs in the black backgrounds of the ones you're looking at). I just -- I had a lot of feelings, okay, and then they leaked out of my face.

(And then we went and recuperated in the Members' Room for fifteen minutes before braving the thronged hallways of It's The Natural History Museum And It's The Easter Holidays once more, and a small child sat thoughtfully on the sofa said to its mother, "I wish the WHOLE WORLD was made of candy... except for us," and then in the queue for the accessible loo I had a fantastic chat with another three small children about why I use a wheelchair, and how it's polite to ask people before you touch their wheelchairs, and how they could give me a quick push to see how easy it was, and how I could do wheelies. OFFICIALLY COOLEST GROWN-UP IN THE TOILET, okay.)

And then! An Evening Of Unnecessary Detail! This month's -- it is a monthly thing -- featured Tom Scott (talking about emoji), Morgan and West (the time-travelling magicians), and a couple of other people [personal profile] sebastienne and [personal profile] shortcipher were actively interested in, I think; it was a show in three thirds, each third being subdivided into three acts; there was one act I Actively Disliked (a whole bunch of misc oppression-perpetuating not-actually-very-funny jokes strung together as a thinly-disguised ad for an upcoming show), but the other eight + MCing were great. I am now actively into Helen Arney and Marian Call (particularly Good Morning, Moon), and I also learned a great deal about how to cook in hotel rooms from [twitter.com profile] georgeegg (it had not occurred to me that balancing a cereal bowl on top of the kettle would give you a double boiler, e.g.).

Meanwhile I have been reading a lot of excellent short fiction. Over the past few days I have particularly enjoyed John Chu's Hold-Time Violations (the politics of physics; content note for ill mothers) and Restore the Heart into Love (orthography); SL Huang's By Degrees and Dilatory Time (transhumanism and aids and vision; content note for cancer and surgery), and the diptych Hunting Monsters (content note for abuse) and Fighting Demons (... I mean this also has content notes but I am struggling to word them); and I have finally got around to starting T Kingfisher's The Raven & The Reindeer, which thus far I am finding very comforting.

And there is sunshine, and I am basking in it.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
1. One of the picture prompts Duolingo gives you when you're learning German and it asks you to translate "the sugar"? Is a bowl of sugar with vanilla pods in. I am charmed, and also sort of curious about whether it does that for other languages and I just... haven't noticed.

2. I am signed up to the London Business School Behavioral Research Lab, which means I sometimes get an e-mail inviting me to participate in a study in exchange for cold hard cash. This morning I got to drink a small quantity of beetroot & passionfruit juice (selected from a tray containing a variety of juices), read some feedback about it, and then give my own. It took about 15 minutes all told, I got paid a tenner for it, and I continued very gently learning to like beetroot. (It was surprisingly tasty, and paid for half my new ereader. This makes it a win all round.)

3. I've actually been managing to swap e-mails with P over the past few days! He's been responding! It's been lovely, not least because he pointed out an excellent bit of costuming that occurred in Elementary 4x17 that completely passed me by -- namely, Read more... ).

4. I think I have worked out why some of the creme brulee attempts have gone grainy! I'm pretty sure (I have not kept adequately detailed notes) that it happens when I pick up cheap extra-thick double cream and let it out with a little milk, as opposed to just using double cream. So that is a mystery solved, for all the mechanism remains somewhat opaque to me. (Ideas?)

5. ... A. just brought the last creme brulee through, with the last of the strawberries he picked up for me last week on top, and two spoons, and proceeded to lean companionably against me while telling me all about how en-GB-oed is his problematic fave. hashtag domestic bliss, etc etc etc.

6. I got to stick my name at the top of a file in the Dreamwidth codebase, today, because I'd written more than 10% of it (or 100 lines, whichever is smaller; in this instance, 10%). It's a tiny feature that like one person (possibly two people?) is going to (be able to) use, but I think that's still actually the first time I've got to do that, and I am Contented.

7. I had shakshuka and bagel for breakfast, and bagel and cheddar and cucumber and a strawberry for lunch, and textures and flavours and yes.

8. I was on time to (or early for!) all my appointments in spite of Tube Shenaniganry (the Piccadilly line just wasn't for much of this morning, okay), and the staff at my local station did a top-notch job of looking out for me, and then pleasant brief commiseration occurred on my way back in. (People who have had that much of a morning 100% get me explicitly thanking them and wishing that the rest of their day gets better.) (I gotta say, given what today's been like for them, I really hope they enjoy tomorrow's strike.) And then I made a phone call I really didn't want to, and removed another source of uncertainty; and then I dealt with some other stressors. Yes.

9. I am so endlessly, immensely grateful for having a warm and comfortable bed that makes me hurt less and that soothes me. (I have a memory foam topper from freecycle; memory foam pillows from my mother; a weighted blanket of my very own; soft duvet covers, and soft micofleece blankets, and stripy tulip pillow cases my mother thought I should have.)

10. Have a ridiculous song. (Oh right, what was actually going to go here was mild amusement at the intersection of interests of public transport, graphic design, zoological illustration and a specific animal species that means I've probably managed to luck into sorting A a Very Appropriate Present -- this is not spoilers, I've had a chat with him about how much effort I'm willing to go to in order to achieve the thing -- but I sort of wandered off into being distracted. So have two cheerful things for the price of one.)
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
1. My medical appointment this morning passed off astonishingly quickly and smoothly -- I was obliged to attend the triage clinic for a minor irritation, and my regular GP turned out to be the duty doctor. I now have a follow-up phone appointment with him for next Tuesday (not the three-weeks'-time my own attempts to get to talk to him anyway was going to land me with), and have as instructed e-mailed him the name of the respiratory specialist I want to be packed off to. (His instruction to e-mail is important, because last time I sent anything non-routine -- all e-mail has to go via reception -- I got told off a bit.) On my way out he sort of raised an eyebrow at me and said "I like your badge", and I grinned back and thanked him and was off on my way; the badge in question is an I SUPPORT JUNIOR DOCTORS sticker I was kindly given when I had a hospital appointment during the last 48-hour strike.

2. I pushed through Hyde Park to Green Park Station rather than getting the bus, and in consequence saw (a) concrete and recycled glass plaques commemorating the Great Exhibition, which I'd not previously met because I don't normally go around that part of the Park, (b) a cavalry drill behind Knightsbridge barracks, complete with swords and bugles (and, yes, shouting sergeant-majors). Which is the first time I'd seen the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment at anything above a rather prissy trot, and (c) a wide and riotous array of crocuses and daffodils various.

3. The post brought me a new-to-me e-reader! My previous one was alas dying a very definite if somewhat lingering death; I am Very Excited about having a new technology friend. It can connect to wifi! It is faster! The buttons work! I have ORGANISED IT. (Relatedly, calibre is great.)

4. The kitchen contains lemon macarons and also custard ready for bruleeing; A brought me pears last night, so lunch was the last of some very nice goats' cheese and some sourdough toast and a pear. (Breakfast, to fortify me against Leaving The House At That Kind Of Time, was fried mushrooms with garlic and parsley, also on sourdough toast.)

5. I am very much enjoying having a tiny sun set up. I basks in it, yes I do.

6. I am absolutely delighted at someone having made a pinboard for Mercedes, who is one of [personal profile] recessional's OCs in your blue-eyed boys, not least becauuuuuuuuse either the OP also has a non-obvious DW oooooooor someone actually appreciated me dropping the link to the post in which M. finds Someone Who Looks Like Mercedes in comments on ybeb, i.e. I am not the only person who makes a point of rereading all the comments on all the parts of the fic every time I reread the thing on the internets. >>;

7. Fact: the Tallis Spem, Spem in Alium, is a very very famous piece of early choral music in forty parts. Fact: Allium is the genus that contains onions, garlic, leeks, spring onions, etc. (Subsidiary fact: the -lic of garlic is the leek word, and it shows up much much more in allium names in Swedish). ... fact: this means that there is a Certain Type Of Person who mutters spem in allium any time they're cooking with a member of the allium family. So when I'm reblogging pictures of allium flowers on tumblr that is obviously the tag I use, and then this happened and I was delighted forever.

8. Thus spake Carly Rae: a song of Friedrich Nietzsche, in the event that you had not yet met it. (Stare into the abyss and the abyss will call you, maybe.)

9. I have managed to acquire blue corduroy slippers that meet the requirements outlined by podiatry, in plenty of time to take them along to next week's podiatry appointment.

10. I currently have a palindromic number of support points, and for bonus minor smug it is the first four-figure palindrome, and I am actually just completely delighted about it. I get a small jolt of glee every time I think about it. BRAINS: sometimes they can be pretty great.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
1. I have been aware, over the past few weeks, of a tendency toward negativity and cynicism, arising from and being reinforced by circumstance. And I noticed it, and I caught it, and not only have I been able to remember that I have established habits to aid reframing and shifting of focus but I am -- thankfully, and gratefully -- able to employ those skills.

Read more... )
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
1. Tumblr, as you may be aware, makes the convincing and thorough case for black Hermione Granger. Jewish Hermione headcanon just crossed my dash. Consequently I have abruptly acquired the unshakeable conviction that Hermione is an Ethiopian Jew.

2. On a related note, since people are apparently occasionally surprised by this, I reiterate that my main tumblr is 100% a space for stuff that will make me smile (or cry in good ways) when I look back through it. That is the entire purpose. If small iridescent blue squid are your jam, and you don't object to occasional botany and frequent mineralogy spam, there's a thing. (I have been looking back at my tumblr archive a fair amount over the past week.)

3. Passing cissexism with a happy ending: Read more... )

4. I accidentally two kilos of parsnips for eighteen p sorry [personal profile] me_and your fridge is full of parsnips

5. I wrote in to Clue with a bug report and a PS of gratitude for the fact that the innards of the app are incredibly consistently gender-neutral and competent, because genderqueer + endometriosis, and got back a message saying "thanks for the bug report, I'm punting it to dev, I'M GENDERQUEER TOO :D :D :D :D and are there any features that would help you with endometriosis management? we're thinking about what else we can implement!" So that was a lovely experience of customer service, too.

6. I rewatched Captain America: The First Avenger this evening, and I picked up some more bits I could tell I'd missed from ybeb, and it is nice to have that a bit more solid (also wow I'd... really not have got on with these films terribly well if I hadn't had ybeb as a lens).

7. I have mostly learned the words for the gig I'm performing next week.

8. Finger splints and increased NSAID really do seem to be bringing my background pain down some.

9. Duolingo is still hitting easy-measurable-success buttons (I'm currently using it to drill gender of German nouns, and the forms of the second person I'm crap at because heritage speaker), and is leading to me learning all sorts of weird North German words. It is a fascinating cultural experience.

10. I am managing a degree of self-awareness and coping-strategy-application, and this is in fact a good thing much as I would prefer to have enough grip in the first place to not need it.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Thing that are not terrible and also do not begin with P:

1. My baby brother phoned me this evening to vent about SPSS and request tech support as an excuse for catching up with me and it was lovely.

2. I heard someone asking a member of cleaning staff how to get to Leicester Square. There was perplexity and some problem with accents. I provided assistance in the form of detailed instructions, then checked the Earl's Court Thought for the Day on my way out, and it was about unexpected kindness, and I briefly felt less like shit.

3. I'm really enjoying seeing all the Canadians I know on tumblr being dazed and tentatively hopeful about politics. There are multiple aboriginal/Native ministers. The cabinet is 50% women, because it's 2015. The Minister for Science is a scientist who's served on the IPCC. 50% female cabinet appointments lead to 5000% increase in guys who suddenly care about merit in cabinet.

4. My local bike shop has got in a replacement pump head and a new set of tyres for me, and I have in all the necessary parts to peer suspiciously over [personal profile] me_and's shoulder while he applies a theoretically-straightforward fix to my power brick, whereupon taken altogether my big chair will work properly again and it will be a great relief.

5. Hot chocolate. Utterly ridiculous hot chocolate with mixed spice and condensed milk and plum brandy.

6. After having an enormous grump late last week and early this about my literature review (and massive thanks to each & every one of you who provided pep talks) I'm now feeling rather more confident about my framing and approach and am kind of enjoying working on it? Obvious sources of stress are obvious, but. Enjoying working on it. That's definitely a thing.

7. your blue-eyed boys. my e-reader.

8. I have acquired all the necessary ingredients for planned baking (bar buttermilk, which I am happy to work my way around not having). Ergo tomorrow all I have to do is Cook All The Things. (Planned: macaroni cheese, Apfelstrudel, two varieties of apple cake, as much stewed apple as I have jars for, a vat of chickpea thing, a vat of chilli, and the start of lemon meringue pie.) (Prep done tonight: loaf of bread started; fennel and garlic laid out for roasting.)

9. I picked up another bag of apples from my parents' this afternoon, and additionally liberated a jar of quince jelly made by my mother's own fair hand, an avocado, and the aforementioned fennel.

10. I'm not enjoying the shit my brain is throwing at me but I am at least recognising it as distortions, and employing coping mechanisms around it.
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
1. I've dealt with two scary e-mails this evening.

2. DW work! Cackling with [personal profile] azurelunatic over spite-driven development, updating the list of babydev bait in [site community profile] dw_dev_training, staring in horror at the codebase a bit but then writing a fix that seems (after very cursory testing) to largely behave as intended (so I have submitted a PR so [staff profile] karzilla can tell me to nest conditions instead of replacing them). (The horror in question: the if-statement that determines whether notifications of new entries/comments/whatever provide http or https links? Currently lives in LJ::User::Styles. NOPE NOPE NOPE.)

3. Bimbling about my mother's garden this evening; I've got a box or so of blackberries to take back to London with me, my hands still smell of Liebstoeckel, and I got to eat ripe raspberries and figs straight off their respective plants.

4. Three games of Scrabble with my mother over the past few days! And it is sort of telling that they just went, unlike the last several months, which strongly suggests that this round of antidepressant is starting to work properly. (I normally score 350-400ish. Game the first: opened with three bingos, ended up scoring over five hundred slightly to my surprise. Game the second: I remain extremely pleased about GAZeTTED for 92 and WASH/Ski/Ham for 50ish, finishing comfortably over 400 and on a tie prior to sorting out deductions. Game the third: actually significantly more lacklustre scorewise, but I was still pleased at getting out with OO/bOa/rOte for 15.)

5. I picked up beads for the shawls on Tuesday, and have been cooing gently over them ever since. They are tactile and pleasing and I am making a scientific joke with them that I find far, far too amusing.

6. Cambridge-Oxford-Cambridge over 5 days is actually a really sensible way to spend time: it means middle brother and I aren't in the same building for more than 48 hours at a stretch, which means that we don't hit him actually starting to set me off badly but we do get a high incidence background neutral-to-positive interactions.

7. Lovely grounding restorative reassuring extended conversation with [personal profile] sebastienne this afternoon once I'd finally dragged myself out of bed. I have more of a sense of purpose and more of a sense of where I'm going.

8. That first tattoo makes me think that all of a sudden I know what I actually want Westminster Bridge to be, if I get it. An idea to sit with for sure, but seeing that photo felt like things clicking into place.

9. Pushing home up the hill from the bus stop, toward fiercely atmospheric sunset clouds, followed by turning toward a nearly full moon suspended in the pale blue sky.

10. Here is temporarily who I am.
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: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
1. Counselling is just around the corner from the V&A. [personal profile] aella_irene likes the V&A. Ergo we had lunch sat on the art installation You Know You Cannot See Yourself So Well as by Reflection, having spent the morning hanging out in the ironwork collection. (My plan for next time involves making friends with the glass gallery; wrought iron is something I just... find incredibly soothing, for reasons I haven't quite articulated but that include the fact that it's very stark in terms of colours involved, and has lots of nice bold lines and repeating patterns.)

2. Relatedly, plants: the hydrangeas up the sides of the central courtyard are currently fantastic, as are the other plantings, and [personal profile] aella_irene very generously gave me a bag of her household's surplus raspberries, so that was a joy and a delight.

3. Our internet connection is unstable enough (and I'm undermedicated enough) that I don't particularly feel like coding; nonetheless I made lots of progress with my Dreamwidth todo list today.

4. Benefits-related discussion. )

5. Peak 90s Kid: my mum frantically facebook IMing me for tech support. I sort of provided it, ineffectually, and she actually sorted the problem out by herself, and that means there exist more photos on the internet of me & largest smallcousin.

6. We had tinned pineapple in the house; we now have pineapple upside-down cake.

7. Another batch of rosemary sourdough is rising on the side, to be breakfast-and-lunch food.

8. I have Steam installed on the new laptop and it was rapid and painless and completely unlike most of my other attempts to install Steam under Debian. This means that I now have a MOUNTAIN yes yes.

9. Every time I reread your blue-eyed boys I find more things in it, and they are comfort and they are in their fragmentary way moments of peace.

10. Externally-sourced self-worth: my comments on the MeFi thread are getting favourited by lots of people & positively engaged with. Hurrah for managing to say things that are useful to people.
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: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. There is a blackbird nesting directly above our front door.

2. I was sufficiently sad on my way back from this afternoon's errands that I ended up buying a pair of sparkly metallic blue skinny jeans from a charity shop on my way home. It has a terrible blue faux-rhinestone button.

3. I have achieved food by dint of stopping off at a food market in the William Morris Square in Hammersmith. It was just closing up and apparently I looked sufficiently smallsad that aunty decided the correct response was two of onion bhaji. Consequently I have also taken some painkillers.

4. Sent scary e-mail #1 pulling out of teaching on Monday.

5. Sent scary e-mail #2 requesting some more bloody paperwork for the council.

6. E-mailed my supervisor a status update.

7. Booked an in-person GP appointment (it is not for a fortnight but I cannot in point of fact bring myself to care).

8. Printed out train tickets for this weekend.

9. Printed out some more benefits-related paperwork.

10. Washed and clothesed and spent some time outside.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
1. I have MORE FEELINGS about Jupiter Ascending, and Jupiter's agency, and biology-as-theology, and learning to trust yourself. Would any of you have any interest in me typing them up here?

2. Poaching stonefruit in spiced white wine syrup continues pretty much my favourite thing. (The deal is: you dump misc spices - I tend towards some mixture of cardamom, allspice, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, occasionally bay - and sugar, preferably vanilla, and white wine, and halved stone-fruit, and their pits, in an ovenproof dish; and then you bake 'em covered at 180ish for as long as you can be bothered with, and they are delicious.)

3. ... facesfriend keeps insisting on buying me pretty much any foodstuff I look at briefly in a shop and then move on from because it's not a thing I feel comfortable getting into the habit of buying, from an augh-my-finances point of view, and. I just feel ridiculously spoiled. (I mean, it means that yesterday for dinner he got kale chips + peas-and-carrot-curry-ish + lemon rice + poached peaches, and today he got kale chips + wine-braised-fennel quiche + boiled potatoes + steamed broccoli + poached plums, so he asserts he's doing pretty well out of the deal, but hey. Spoiled. Yes.)

4. I have caved and am borrowing the first six MCU films from facesfriend, the better to understand your blue-eyed boys & related works. (This led to me having a very earnest discussion over breakfast about all of the bits of MCU trivia I have acquired via tumblr-catalysed osmotic processes).

5. ... in related "domestic bliss" news, I spent some of this afternoon very happily singing along to the Indelicates while turning dried rosemary branches into a more useful-for-storage form factor.

6. Sunshine. I am so enjoying the evenings getting longer.

7. Hot beverages in general; hot chocolate in specific. (My current favourite, as I believe I have mentioned: hazelnut milk, dark chocolate/cocoa of some description, allspice, cinnamon.) Relatedly: milk pans. (I wants one, precious.)

8. I am doing a very, very relaxing comfort-reread of some pulpy urban fantasy that is full of chosen family kicking arse and looking out for each other. Yes Good basically.

9. I finished the Möbius scarf! Photographs to follow when I get my act together. It's a simple reversible lace that I more-or-less made up as I went along; it is big and snuggly and very adjustable for whether I'm on the tube or in an ICY BLAST and hurrah.

10. I have spent the weekend mostly actually having a breathing space from work, and it has been utterly lovely.


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

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