Jun. 24th, 2017 09:26 am
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Had one of those "feel like I didn't do anything" days yesterday but I did loads of stuff.

I think I felt like that because I did spend the morning in my pajamas wasting time on Twitter. But also, I was fielding comments on a Lib Dem Voice article introducing our new group, Lib Dem Immigrants (which I am super excited about). Unfortunately, anything about immigration attracts some trolls, even if it's as innocuous as "here's a new internal party body" (I did like that we also got a comment saying "we waste too much time on internal party shit!"). I found this set of comments dismaying for an interesting new kind of separating the wheat-from-the-chaff approach to immigration: even the people telling me they want to end freedom of movement and other such things tell me that they support me having rights, and right away, because I married a British citizen. Hm.

Anyway, I eventually made myself do a bit of tidying, sort out the room booking for Plus's AGM at Autumn Conference (which I don't know if I'll be able to go to because I can't afford accommodation, which is making me very sad), call up our soon-to-be-ex-home-insurance-company which gosh that phone call made me glad of because it was agonizing, get a Plus parcel ready to post and send it off, go to the shops to buy boring things like a light bulb, stand precariously on a too-short ladder to replace the light bulb, go see my friend Katie for a couple of hours, come back via a different shop to buy dog poo bags which we were suddenly out of, and watch Lego Batman with Andrew which we'd been trying to find time and energy for all week.

That is an okay day. I didn't do all the things I wanted to do, but I did a lot of good things.

Today I'm going to see fictive-nephew (who's almost eight already, how is that even possible) in some local am-dram production, and then Games Night has restarted so I get to see my Brighouse people twice in three days! This should be a good day too.

what i saw June 23, 2017 at 01:17PM

Jun. 23rd, 2017 08:17 pm
ironymaiden: (beholder)
[personal profile] ironymaiden

Just another day at the office. (Enjoying being outside before the heat hits this weekend.) something i saw

(no subject)

Jun. 22nd, 2017 06:57 pm
ironymaiden: (taciturn man)
[personal profile] ironymaiden
I've missed a few D&D sessions due to the film festival.

there was a point last week (I think it was when I chained the slaver to the human sacrifice tree with the manacles he had used to chain slaves, and left him there) where C said "[personal profile] ironymaiden is back!"

I like to say that I know the love of a taciturn man, but what if we're really Dianda and Patrick Lorden*?

*there are no good links. She's a murder mermaid, he's her conscience. I may have to build out their stub on the fandom wiki.


Jun. 21st, 2017 10:37 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
It's been so hot and my hair's so thick that I shaved most of it off this evening.
A selfie where I try to show off that the sides of my head are shaved. My dark hair is longer on the top and combed off to one side.
Feels much better now. But no doubt this means the heatwave is over. You're welcome.

It's the longest day of the year in this hemisphere, a bittersweet occasion for me because I'm sad to think the days are getting shorter now already. It feels like I haven't had a chance to get used to or appreciate them yet. It's been a real catastrophe curve of a year, so time passes without me noticing it.


Jun. 21st, 2017 05:04 pm
tara: (Marvel: Pietro Son of M)
[personal profile] tara
So the place I spoke about last entry? Turns out it was completely full of bees. Bees that were on fire. At least four different types of building defect, including sub standard fire safety, which was an excellent thing to read (not) just after the awful tower block fire in London. Despite this, we put in a low offer, which allowed for us to set aside lots of money for upcoming levies, and this was rejected. I am kind of glad of this, because I have never seen a property with so many bees, but E is sad because she really loved the place. And it was a very nice place. We just probably would've burnt to death in it after it fell on top of us and crushed us.

There's another place that we saw last weekend that I think would be a very sensible option. It is not our dream home but, let's face it, we're never going to get that for our bottom-of-the-market budget anyway. It is significantly below budget, and it's right near a train station (and a LIBRARY) and only a few years old so, apart from the defects that go hand-in-hand with any Australian property built after about 2000, we shouldn't have to do a damn thing to it. Worst issue is that it's up 2 flights of stairs, which my body will hate, but it has a sexy kitchen, which should partially make up for that ;p So now we're waiting on the s32 for that property. E is not particularly enthused about it, but I am quite enthused about the extra disposable income that we'd have with half the mortgage we'd get if it were top of budget ;)

I'm still in at PROV three days a week and it's a hard slog, because there's a lot of boring stuff and squinting at awful handwriting to get at the occasional interesting story. But the Ritalin helps and so does playing music through headphones, which also blocks out the noise of the other people there. I need to fiddle with my website to add a research section and hopefully start to post some interesting stories there, because there's a huge emphasis on an online presence these days for academics. To that end, I've also separated out a private twitter because my nonsense about TV shows is probably best kept away from my so-called professional twitter.

Stayed in Warragul last night, so I had my mum-and-Tricky time which was nice. Tricky is a very old boy now so I am trying to get as many Tricky cuddles in as possible these days. I love him so much.

In excellent news, I have just started a new game of Dragon Age 2, my first with a female Hawke. I am also playing as a mage and as an aggressive Hawke for the first time. Not sure yet whether I'll be romancing Isabella or Merril - will depend which works better with my Hawke. Will romance the other one next time anyway :D

Speaking of Dragon Age, it was our first wedding anniversary on Saturday and E got me the Dragon Age tarot cards I have been coveting enormously forever. I have zero idea how to read tarot but the art is incredible and I like the idea of learning how to read the cards because I think they're a great way to tap into your subconscious and help direct your thoughts for decision making. So that will be an upcoming project. The cards are v v pretty, as is my wife. I very much like being married to her :)

Oh! And on Saturday night we saw Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. at the Malty. I got the tickets for E's Christmas present and it wasn't an excellent choice given that we both liked the beginning and then liked it less and less as it went on, but it's always nice to see theatre even if it's not 100% yay.

what i saw June 20, 2017 at 10:25AM

Jun. 20th, 2017 05:25 pm
ironymaiden: (beholder)
[personal profile] ironymaiden

Eclipse sat by me on the bus today. She takes herself to the dog park a few times a week. Note the bus pass. something i saw

Doctor Who Big Finish audio

Jun. 18th, 2017 09:03 pm
ironymaiden: (9)
[personal profile] ironymaiden
i've been curious about the Big Finish audio plays, but i didn't know they were a thing until after 2005 (when one could argue that they were no longer needed) and then i was always put off by the cost.*

but hey, [personal profile] circular_time did a lot of work to collect the ones that are on Spotify and provide links. also, since i already have Napster, it turns out there are quite a few there as well.

*i know this is silly, i have a nice job and should pay for things i want to support. and i do, but "new" types of things take a while to get on the list of things i can buy. inside i'm still an unpaid intern living on costco canned fruit and the change in the couch cushions.

Lincoln Dinner

Jun. 18th, 2017 08:26 pm
ironymaiden: (AB)
[personal profile] ironymaiden
i've been involved in a series of dinners inspired by historic menus. (this started with King Midas' funerary feast a few years ago and has spiraled out of control from there.)

this one was based on the dinner menu for Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural (an annotated reference).

the damn thing is basically half meat and half desserts. by the time i had time to think about a dish (since i spent most of the last month+ in and out of movie theaters) the desserts were well-represented, so i decided to rep the "en geléé" portion of the menu. we also had oyster stew, chicken salad, chicken fricassee, tongue, fruit tarts, poundcake, and a charlotte. we watched a couple hours of Gettysburg, ate the savories, watched the rest, ate dessert.

i made this meat aspic recipe with beef.


  • i did the initial beef boiling in the crock pot on low during the work day, lifted out the (disintegrating) meat, then poured the liquid into a pot through a colander lined with coffee filters.

  • then i added the beef to the pot and i basically followed the recipe on the stove top from the adding of the aromatics point on. if i had to do it again, i would have bagged up the aromatics in cheese cloth like a bouquet garni - picking hot floppy onion and peppercorns out of a pile of hot meat is not super fun. if i had been home on the day i made it, i would have done the aromatic stage in the crock as well.

  • i was surprised at how little food a couple pounds of chuck roast turned into - one loaf pan plus one small dessert dish (my tester).

  • i was afraid that the amount of gelatin it called for was excessive, but it was perfect - a set soft enough to melt in the mouth, but firm enough to unmold neatly. i embedded flat leaf parsley on the top and the bottom, in case the tester tasted good but didn't unmold well.

  • i had nothing to fear:
    loaf of meat in clear gel with embedded parsley on top

    you eat it in slices (it takes a very sharp knife, cleaned between slices, to cut the meat neatly) with a bit of grainy mustard. i was surprised at how much i liked it, and it was a hit with everyone but C (who couldn't overcome the texture of the gelatin).


Jun. 18th, 2017 08:35 am
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Think I've actually managed to book for a yoga class this morning online?! That never used to work. Living right across from the gym, it wasn't a big deal: I just had to go over there with my card and scan it, but this is even better because I can do it before they open this morning.

When I went to the website I was asked to do a little survey, so I got to vent a bit there about how ableist they've been.

Went to yoga on Wednesday for the first time in a while and it was great as usual but, having started this at New Year, I'm not used to being sweaty while I'm doing it! It makes my hands slippery which is no good when the likes of Three-Legged Dog is hard enough for me anyway. I suppose I can be grateful that this isn't a problem I'm going to have most of the year.

(Man, this morning I've already washed all the dishes and tried to clean the coffee off the kitchen floor (I always miss some, because everything in our kitchen is black!), did laundry and hung it out in the sunshine, and went to yoga. And it's only 10:30. I feel far too virtuous a person and am glad I had crisps for breakfast so I have some evidence that I'm not.)

Coping mechanisms

Jun. 15th, 2017 10:11 am
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
What a day. Usually I say "when Lib Dems get annoyed about something we write policy motions" but tonight I'm setting up a whole SAO to represent a raft of policy.

The party leader stepped down quite suddenly yesterday. Among other things I like him because he really "gets" immigration and has always said it's an actually good thing and not just something we have to hold our nose and put up with for the good of the economy, which is the best you'll hear from most politicians, if you're lucky.

Since some friends and I had been talking about setting up a group within the party (that's what SAO means) to advocate for and support good policy for immigrants, we're doing it hopefully quickly now so ideally we can make sure whoever the new leader is, is at least as good on stuff that affects immigrants.

May Books

Jun. 14th, 2017 11:26 pm
kay_brooke: A stack of old books (books)
[personal profile] kay_brooke
Yeah, even though we're halfway through June already. I really thought I'd posted this way back at the beginning of the month.

Anyway, I read seven books in May, as follows:

1. Ghosts of India by Mark Morris - 3.5/5 stars. The first Doctor Who book to feature Donna, and one I hadn't already listened to the audiobook for before. This one features Gandhi, stuck-up British people, a tricksy alien, and the Doctor getting possessed again. Donna on the page is actually kind of more compelling than Donna on the screen? But then I was never as big a fan of Donna as a lot of other people seem to be.

2. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes - 4/5 stars. A story about a time traveling serial killer and the badass female newspaper intern who takes him down. There's a lot of interesting stuff in this book and I enjoyed it a lot. It loses a star for a rushed ending and a kind of skeevy relationship between the early 20s female protagonist and her 50+ male mentor.

3. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood - 3/5 stars. I'll stop after this, I promise. First book in the Maddaddam trilogy. Features one of the most frustratingly incurious protagonists ever. In the book, civilization has ended and humanity is dead. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. Fortunately, the bulk of the book is a series of flashbacks that explain what happened. Unfortunately, they are told from the POV of a completely clueless character who doesn't really give a shit about anything but obsessing over various girls he's had crushes on.

4. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood - 4/5 stars. Second book in the Maddaddam trilogy. This one is better than the first book because it features POVs from two different characters, both of whom are more interesting and competent than the loser from the first book. A lot of the frustrating gaps from the first book are filled in here, and the ending left me kind of excited for the third book...

5. Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood - 3/5 stars. ...which kind of sucked again. The bulk of the story is the history of a side character from the first two books that I didn't really care enough about to want to know his history. Of the two strong, interesting female characters who narrated the second book, one gets completely sidelined (she has maybe a dozen lines in the whole book) and the other regresses into a jealous, petty teenager because the guy she likes might be fucking someone else. There's a gross focus on getting all the fertile women left pregnant, and it was while reading this that I think I finally hit upon what really annoys me about Atwood. She just hates humanity, right? Every word she writes is just dripping with disdain and condescension toward her own characters and human society as a whole. I'm not asking for 24/7 happy fun times, but wow do I hate feeling like I'm being lectured by a pretentious blowhard. I read these books because they've been on my to-read list for years. I promise I'm done with Atwood now.

6. The Scar by China Mieville - 3.5/5 stars. My other favorite pretentious blowhard author. This book was the main reason I only read seven books in May. I made myself finish it before I started anything new, because I didn't want to abandon it again. Wow, is it a slog. It gets a lot more interesting as it nears the climax, but it takes such a long time to get there. And the ending suffers from the same flaw as Perdido Street Station - it's as if immediately after the climax Mieville got bored, so the story just ends without much resolution. I wish I liked these books better, because Bas-Lag is a fascinating world.

7. Night Shift by Stephen King - 3/5 stars. Re-read. King's first short story collection, originally published in 1979 and featuring many of the older shorts King sold to magazines before he hit it big with novels. A lot of the stories are classic Stephen King horror (including "Trucks," "The Lawnmower Man," "Children of the Corn," and a couple short stories addendum to Salem's Lot), but it's definitely not his strongest collection. There's a decent amount of variety here, but some of the stories get a bit same-y.

Kind of a middling batch in May, honestly. I can give you a sneak peek and say that June is already more promising.

Special Interest Icon Engaged!

Jun. 14th, 2017 05:40 pm
tara: (Sweet Valley: Double Love)
[personal profile] tara
My resolution to journal more and keep up with DW has not been going so well, thanks to house hunting taking up all of my energy and brain space. However, I have been told (more later) that I should really be going back to regularly journaling as a way of sorting out my thoughts and decisions so I will try harder to do so from now on.

Firstly, house stuff: Oh god I am so over it already. I can't handle real estate agents and not knowing where I am going to end up and it is all just so stressful and terrible and ugh. There is a place we really want, though, and we're waiting on a section 32 to make sure it isn't "full of bees" as E puts it, and then we will send things off to our lawyer and make an offer and hopefully they accept it and all this can be OVER. That said, we're still waiting on mortgage pre-approval so that is also a thing. I do not like house hunting. I do not like it at all.

Secondly, this isn't something that I have told many people about (um, three, other than E and Mum, I think) but I had an autism assessment a few weeks ago. Basically, this year I have put a focus on Getting My Shit Sorted as much as possible, hence the ADHD assessment a while back and now the autism assessment. The latter was v.expensive, which is why it took so long, but I ended up using all my savings on it (and some credit card cough) because I just wanted to know finally, one way or another. Anyway, it turns out that I am a total Aspie (not that they use that term officially any more) and I am so autistic that she wasn't sure whether I was level 1 or 2 and she's pretty sure I'd be 2 if it weren't for Mum and E basically helping me to be more 'normal' ;p One of the things I was worried about with getting assessed was that it would end up being a borderline call, so I'm rather glad that it ended up being a very clear cut case.

So basically a lot of the things that I have always struggled with and done wrong are because I am autistic, not because I am evil. That will take a long time to come to terms with, but I'm hoping this diagnosis will eventually help me to hate myself a little less.

The psychologist agrees that I have co-morbid ADHD, but thinks that the bipolar is actually just autism. That makes sense to me, and the important thing is that the bipolar meds help me, not what they are prescribed to help.

The journalling thing is something she recommended to help me become a little more mentally independent from Mum. The best thing, though, is that she said that my special interests are therapy, and that I should make sure I spend time engaging in them. I currently feel so guilty when I do the things I really love, even though I know that my mental health is 1000 times better when I allow myself to indulge in my comfort stuff, so it's nice to be told that I have to watch Britcom or play Dragon Age or whatever.

I'm probably going to have a few further sessions to help me with emotion regulation, but I can't deal with that while house hunting is going on, so I'll arrange it later.

So yes, that's my big news.


Jun. 13th, 2017 10:47 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
This month's WI committee meeting wasn't quite the standard I've become used to. Most of us did stay for a drink after, but the conversation got around to politics and one of my favorite WI people turns out to have exactly the opinions about immigrants that the tabloids want her to: conflating them with refugees and asylum seekers, and generally thinking they're handed a much easier life than she has had.

We tried to tell her (I'm not the only immigrant sitting around this table, and the other one had actually worked with refugees and asylum seekers), but you can't reason somebody out of a position they didn't get into rationally.

Eventually someone had to leave to catch a bus and a bunch of the rest of us left too. I got home and had a hug from Andrew and made myself something easy to eat. But I'm still feeling rubbish.

You work so hard, and people are still going to think the group you're part of is the cause of all society's ills. And that it's somehow okay to tell you this when you're supposed to be out having a nice time (and planning for all the nice things we're going to do).
ironymaiden: (siff)
[personal profile] ironymaiden
Lady Macbeth


and that's a wrap. what a fine last film for me. no, it's not the play. but there is a woman, and there are people in her way who need to be eliminated. also sex and windswept moors. yes please and thank you.

and they're doing laundry at the Marqueen, so the wait for the bus is toasty warm and fresh-smelling. good night!


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Wang Xi-feng

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