moment by moment

Jul. 27th, 2014 11:30 pm
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
[personal profile] kaberett
On Friday evening we sat on a fifth-floor balcony under darkening skies with cheese and bread and fig jam and alcohol. I dangled my legs through the railings and admired the railings across the way. We talked and talked and talked some more. I gave him the selected works of Neruda I'd picked up in the branch of Foyles at St Pancras on my way over; I note with sadness that it shuts at the end of the month. (Still in England, barely outside London, the train passed a field of red double-decker buses that had been put out to pasture.)

On Saturday we ate at an intriguing vegetarian restaurant recommended by a friend (welcome to identify yourself in comments, just wasn't sure whether you'd be okay w/ naming <3) who was very kind about texting back & forth enthusiastically over the course of the morning. The afternoon we spent at the Louvre, where I was very fond of dragons and the cuticles/lines on a Nisus&Euryalis; and there was a tiny gallery of watches about which I was very excited because there was actually a set-up I'd never seen before -- watches with inbuilt sundials + compasses, presumably so that when they wound down/went too badly out you could establish the time in order to correct them! (Really, really excited - I've visited enough horology galleries to be genuinely surprised to come across styles of timepiece I haven't met before.) Said gallery also featured a very nice implementation of the hourglasses-displaying-subdivisions thing -- instead of a rack of 3-4 hourglasses to be turned simultaneously, it was a column of glass blobs that (one infers) emptied sequentially on the quarter hour. AND there was a gallery of scientific instruments and tiny portable armillary spheres, which always make me happy.

In addition there's currently a formal-gardens competition going on -- Notre Dame and a few other associated places seem to have decided on a theme of "The Illusion", by which they mean they've dumped a bunch of 5' tall mirrors in flowerbeds, which is fascinating if slightly creepy.

AND in the EVENING, after a route home via the confusingly-named Luxembourg park that to its credit contained an excellent brass band, we had EIERSCHWAMMERL. I was staggeringly excited to find them at the shop round the corner from P's, because they are very difficult to get hold of in any appropriate form at any appropriate price in the UK, but I got to do all the appropriate things with respect to frying them in butter with garlic and then drowning them in parsley, and lo it was good :-) (At same said stall I was delighted to find that at least in some parts of France the thing I would call Zwetschke is a questche! Not sure which way the etymology goes but will have a go at hunting it down.)

And then TODAY I slept a lot and then feasted well for breakfast (both mornings P popped to the bakery around the corner and returned with a bag of fresh croissant & pain au chocolat while I murbled around still being asleep in bed; it was great) and eventually we left the house; we walked past bookshops & coffee shops & through parks & the Musee d'Armee (nice dome!) & paused to eat fresh bread & fig jam & Selles-sur-Cher, which is my favourite goat cheese and much more readily available in France than in the UK; and ended up at the Musee d'Orsay, where I fell in love with the giant clock faces as architectural features on the top floor and also suddenly got the point of art galleries in front of le jardin de Monet, les iris -- or at least, I suddenly understood why someone might want to just sit and stare at a painting for hours. Additionally: lots of very nice stuff in the Art Nouveau exhibits, and once we got chucked out we hung around on the bank of the Seine to see the Tour de France go past -- P sort of felt he ought to, and so did I, as I'd ignored it in both Cambridge and London and it was right there and due to go by pretty much as the museum was closing...

... and that, having skipped over a fair amount of the intervening raspberry-and-pistachio-ice-cream, was that; I waved at the Centre Pompidou, managed through cunning overscheduling to fail to make it to Etat Libre d'Orange's flagship shop, for which my wallet no doubt thanks me, exclaimed with delight over a very great deal of architecture and a large number of flowerbeds, was delighted to come face-to-face with ponies, swore a lot about how much I hate people, was very glad I'd taken the wheelchair with me, and ate cherries. I continue impressed by how thoroughly pleasant it is to travel by Eurostar with chair - flat rate gets you business lounge & business premier & actually genuinely tasty food on board, so! I was happy and will do the thing again in the future.

Yes. Good weekend. No work, lots of reading of books, good company. Good.

A quick note on mobility

Jul. 26th, 2014 10:19 am
kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
[personal profile] kaberett
Over the course of this DLA application, I have over and over again caught myself thinking oh, but my walking is so much better than it was last time I applied, what do?!

And the answer is: actually, that assertion's bullshit on at least two counts. Namely:

(1) none of my DLA award was for my physical mobility impairments
(2) the reason my walking appears to be so much better is that I have a wheelchair. This means I'm not walking (so much) even when I really shouldn't be, which means I'm less tired & more capable on "good" days.

In conclusion: mobility aids are great, and I still need to write the essay about how I got over myself enough to start using them.


Jul. 26th, 2014 02:12 am
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
[personal profile] sophie
I'm living with my parents again.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. :/

In Paris!

Jul. 25th, 2014 11:11 pm
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
[personal profile] kaberett
Excellent balcony, well fed, slightly drunk; world has been set to rights.

Con Schedule!

Jul. 25th, 2014 08:02 pm
such_heights: amy surrounded by sunflowers (who: amy [sunflowers])
[personal profile] such_heights
So like quite a few other people on my rlist, I am attending both Nine Worlds and Worldcon in London this summer. If you are also attending either con and want to hang out, let me know!

Nine Worlds

I will be at Nine Worlds from Thursday - Sunday. Mostly I am doing vid things and Doctor Who things.

list of panels )


I will be at WorldCon on Saturday and Sunday hanging out with the transformative works track doing vid shows.

two panels )

ten good things

Jul. 24th, 2014 02:53 pm
kaberett: An xkcd stick figure with a blue arrow tattooed on its head, controlling water, earth, fire and air. (a:tla)
[personal profile] kaberett
(I appear to be avoiding both my mother and my counsellor. Hmm.)

1. Baby's first paper! (Sadly now lacking the phrase "the hair loss of a rabbit", oh well.)

2. I have learned Yet More about how to bend matplotlib to my will.

3. Awesome ex-housemate C is coming over for dinner & to get caught up on Korra s3.

4. Hel came over again yesterday and we watched what is possibly my favourite Elementaepisode ever (1x04, "people are the most fascinating puzzles there are") and talked a lot and I made enough food that I had lunch today. Also many talking. (And they've offered to bring me dinner @ work next Wednesday when I'll be mass-speccing!)

5. [personal profile] elisem keeps right on making beautiful art; the thing that is currently producing jaw-dropped awe on my part is Time For The Second Act (other's I've adored from this batch - also now gone! - are Alluvial Magic, Night Protocols, How The Message Travels).

6. I have wrenched the work inbox back under 10 e-mails in total (i.e. things I need to keep half an eye on and maybe chased up), plus actually done some chasing on one of the things.

7. All of you folk for the hugs/tea/congratulations/interesting conversation over the past few days -- sorry I haven't responded individually <3

8. We have been having persistent problems with our house plumbing. Last weekend housemate acquired a heavy-duty plunger; since then I have twice effected a 90-second fix that would otherwise have taken us a week of stress and contacting the estate agent. Such an improvement to our quality of life. (Speaking of, I should really, er, tidy the pantry? We kind of bought ~15kg of flour and ~10kg of pasta a week or two ago and haven't yet rearranged the pasta shelf sufficient to accommodate it all...)

9. Watching A:tLA with t'housemate. It continues the show of my heaaaaaart, and even at this stage - on what has to be my fourth or fifth complete watch-through since I first met it in summer 2011 - I am spotting new things and bursting into tears at gloriously careful and precise foreshadowing and how much these children grow up and how much trauma they survive and how none of it - none of it - is treated flippantly or dismissively. (And reading the awesome Avatar!Katara fic [personal profile] jedusaur's been reccing everywhere! I'm not entirely convinced by the writing style but I think the way it's set up is very clever and frequently heartbreaking; I devoured the first 120k words over the course of yesterday, when I mostly refused to get out of bed, and I have the rest to work on... but I'm going to try to get my Hugo reading, at least the written fiction categories, done first.)

10. I just... am incredibly aware of how lucky I am to have this housemate I get on with so comfortably and so well, with whom I actively enjoy living, who is good for me & who I can be good for, and just... yes. Yes. Good.

A snippet from last night

Jul. 24th, 2014 12:11 am
kaberett: Aang waterbending an octopus around himself (aang-octopus)
[personal profile] kaberett
[I am telling my housemate about the meeting with my supervisor, which included supervisor asking me how I'd put together the plot in the mantle sulphides doc. "Erm," I said, "matplotlib? I wrote a Python script?"]

"... and then she gave me a look. It was kind of the look of why the fuck do you think this is easier than just using a pre-built package with a GUI-- oh, never mind, it's clearly working, whatever makes you happy."

"... fucking programmers," said my housemate.

"Only as a hobby," I sleepily replied.

And paused.

"... I think that contained more double entendres than I intended," I said.

"... you're going to have to explain to me," said my housemate. "I am also asleep."

Dear Dreamwidth: I thought you might enjoy laughing at me.

[perfume] BPAL: Hal

Jul. 23rd, 2014 06:38 pm
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
[personal profile] kaberett
So I've not been so desperately into BPAL since I acquired an interest in trad niche perfumery, but despite having not actually seen the film and having no intention to a decant circle for Only Lovers Left Alive caught my attention -- specifically, Hal, which is described as
saffron-infused bourbon vanilla, blackened honey, Kashmir wood, Atlas cedar, ambrette seed, hay, and Egyptian jasmine absolute
. Caveat: I used a jasmine-scented shower gel recently, so I'm likely to amp that note at the moment, but I'd quite like to get a sense of what this is like. So!

Before it starts interacting with my skin, this does actually smell like a warm barn with honeyed vanilla over the top. No, really, like a barn with hay stacked up to the roof because the summer mowing's just been baled up and stored but we haven't yet got anywhere near autumn. Straight on, it's saffron & jasmine, sweeted by honey & vanilla around the edges but nonetheless trying to do the cat-pee thing. And - oh damn - once again the BPAL jasmine is making my lungs unhappy. I was sort of hoping that wouldn't apply to this note every time they used it (it's not a problem with every jasmine scent ever - see above re shower gel, but also re some of my niche perfumes - the jasmine in ELdO's Fils de Dieu and Tauer's Lonestar Memories are both fine! - though I suppose in the case of the latter it might be because the thing just goes straight to WD40 on me).

First dry, it's almost cloyingly floral - you know the way novels sometimes go on about clouds of night-blooming jasmine hanging heavy in the humid air? That. Also some of it is trying to bubble-bath on me (again, this is something that BPAL perfumes unfortunately seem prone to do on me), but the cat piss is gone. There is still an edge - I think it's the saffron - but I'm not really getting the hay any more, nor anything convincing of the woods. There's something a bit green and composty?



Jul. 22nd, 2014 02:53 pm
kaberett: A series of phrases commonly used in academic papers, accompanied by humourous "translations". (science!)
[personal profile] kaberett
That mantle sulphides doc I wrote up based on having gone "no, you know what, this stuff is important and we should think about it"? My supervisor agrees to the extent that she's intending to use it as the basis for a grant application and setting up some more potentially exciting collaborations for me. And while the writing deffo stands to be improved, I actually got "good" scrawled on the thing at a couple of points.

This really massively feels like a major milestone in terms of The Self As Researcher: it is the first time in my PhD that I have properly gone "nobody has done this before and I think we need to look at it", and -- I was right. I was right and I'm taking ownership of my project and setting direction. I was right and my supervisor is going to write a grant proposal based on my document, and let me see how the thing is done.
such_heights: buffy kissing faith's forehead (btvs: buffy/faith)
[personal profile] such_heights
Level Up
by [personal profile] such_heights
fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
music: Level Up - Vienna Teng
content notes: none
summary: "I always think, 'What would Buffy do?' You're my hero."
download: 48MB zipped .avi
notes: A very belated birthday present for [personal profile] purplefringe. Many thanks to [personal profile] silly_cleo and [personal profile] raven for beta. also on tumblr.

embed )

Dear Journal: Happy 10th Birthday

Jul. 19th, 2014 10:44 am
hairyears: (Woolly Moustache)
[personal profile] hairyears
Today my LiveJournal is ten years old. Appropriately enough, it started with a pun .

I could do a series of indulgent 'on this day' reposts, but a quick review of the LiveJournal calendar reveals the awful truth: there are some highlights, but much of what I write is rather dull.

So tell me: What's your favourite Hairyears post?

And, as the greater part of any LJ is the comments, given and received: What's your favourite Hairyears comment?

Bits of Hairyears-on-LJ trivia for you... )

There are people I should thank a *lot*. But, for the big things in life, we never do: the best we can hope for is to pay it 'forward', rather than pay it back, passing on the grace to others.


Jul. 18th, 2014 10:29 pm
kaberett: Sketch of a "colourless, hamsterish"  animal having a paddy. (anxiety creature)
[personal profile] kaberett
I have spent the past two days housebound in an attempt to let my lungs recover. Because reasons I had to pop over the road just now.

I still can't leave the house without coughing fits bad enough to prevent me walking.

I hate being this ill. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
It is actively triggering. Please please please put it behind a descriptive cut. Please use content notes. Please let me know so I can not. read. it. -- because it does not play nicely at all with my history of disordered eating.

This goes for numbers. It goes for calorie-counting. It goes for target amounts lost. I do. not. want. to. know. If you're not willing to use content notes/cuts, please tell me now so I can unsubscribe, because I need to not see it.

For reasons I completely fail to understand we're now at three in about the past month. I have absolutely run out of cope for asking people politely and individually. Please just don't fucking show me that shit.


Jul. 17th, 2014 04:57 pm
kaberett: a dalek stands at the foot of a flight of stairs, thinking "fuck." (dalek)
[personal profile] kaberett
So far today:
  • e-mailed sleep log to counsellor
  • counselling
  • one difficult conversation
  • daylight lamp
  • eaten two meals
  • e-mailed the research group's mailing list asking people to do the thing to my samples I was unable to do today because I'm housebound
  • e-mailed my supervisor, see previous
  • e-mailed occupational health
  • read & responded to (helpful!!!) e-mail that just came in from my union rep, including a reply to her e-mail from yesterday to let her know I've contacted occupational health
  • e-mailed counsellor to set up next week's session
  • actually taken any of my meds
  • tracked down the way to request a slot at the walk-in clinic, tracked down opening times of walk-in slot, stuck reminder to self in diary, for sexual health screening
  • read e-mail union rep just sent to the building managers she's being amazing ;__________;
  • wrote first draft a letter to the DWP about how my situation's deteriorated since I made my application
Still to do:

  • work out how to summarise the impact my health issues have on my life for the GP
kaberett: Photograph of clementine with perplexed face drawn on. (clementine)
[personal profile] kaberett
CN: difficulty with breathing, all the ongoing stuff.

Read more... )

eta sent, having checked in with about five different people over a variety of media; please feel free to make reassuring noises at me.

GP went vastly better than expected!

Jul. 16th, 2014 01:10 pm
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
[personal profile] kaberett
1. My psych meds are now on repeat prescription; I get two months' worth at a time, two issues before review is required, with the intention that I'll still drop in to talk to the GP once every 5-6 weeks. This gives me so much more flexibility. (I ran out of my ~official~ meds Sunday. Good thing I have a stockpile.)

2. Dude actually responded really well to me being extremely stark and uncompromising about how little risk there was in giving me access to sufficient medication.

3. HE HAS GIVEN ME A COPY OF THE DWP FORM. I AM TO FILL OUT THE BITS HE DOESN'T KNOW THE ANSWERS TO/WRITE SUGGESTED ANSWERS, THEN RETURN IT. :D (There was the point at which he went "... you clearly know a lot about this, probably more than me, which makes you easy to work with.")

4. I've referrals for spirometry and a chest x-ray: he agrees that whatever's going on with my lungs is Weird and deserving of extra investigation, and was Clearly Unimpressed that the last time I'd had a spirometry appt at the practice the nurse had gone "yeah wevs" and just done peak flow on me instead.

5. I asked, in passing at the end of the session, about physio with someone hypermobility-aware, because all the standard physio I've had has been actively unhelpful. "She's on holiday at the moment," he sez, "but remind me next time and I'll refer you to our in-practice person who is really good at hypermobility."

Major fucking props to [personal profile] sebastienne, who came down to London late last night in order to accompany me to this morning's appointment (and ate food I prepared, which always makes me happy, and also tolerated me going "BUT SUNDIALS THOUGH" in the Science Museum briefly). I have such amazing people in my life (yes, you): I am so lucky, and I am so grateful.

(Entertainment: twice this week people have forgotten/wordmistaken on the topic of whether [personal profile] sebastienne and I are dating. Polymer chemistry!)
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
[personal profile] kaberett
You can tell, because I got home at around 8.30pm after a 12+-hour day at work - most of it in lab - and because actual food sounds difficult and like effort... I have a from-scratch quiche in the oven (membrillo paste made by my mum, caramelised onions, a metric fucktonne of vintage cheddar, rosemary crust), new potatoes coming to a boil on the stove, and dough for chelsea buns murbling away to itself in the breadmaker.

Important Alex Facts: when food is too much like effort, I do this kind of nonsense, because it is ritual and calming and the process is an ends in itself, and as and when everything is done I'll suddenly go "... huh. Food. Sufficient food for the next few days. ... APPARENTLY I AM HUNGRY."

(Meanwhile all the washing up has happened - or at least the first round - and I've sorted the recycling. Domestic bliss, or something.)

In all seriousness

Jul. 15th, 2014 02:08 pm
kaberett: a dalek stands at the foot of a flight of stairs, thinking "fuck." (dalek)
[personal profile] kaberett
who the hell am I supposed to contact given:
  • smokers are (illegally!) rendering my building so toxic that I can't actually enter/exit it without rendering myself unable to breathe
  • an initial e-mail 4 months ago to disability services & building manager has resulted in no useful follow-up, and nor have the two most recent chasing e-mails

... because this isn't actually sustainable. I can't do my job without entering the building; I can't enter the building without getting poisoned, and if I were actually on a contract I'd be seriously thinking about constructive dismissal, but that's not how PhD stipends work.

(No, really, at least two hundred metres of corridor and the entire central stairwell are currently not actually usable by me without causing damage. The only mostly-safe route to my areas of work has no working lifts. I literally cannot get to my desk +wheelchair without exposure, or to my lab at all unless I time breathing very carefully. As for getting to my desk without chair, it's about six flights of stairs, which isn't sustainable given my joints. It is shit.)

An almost entirely facetious list

Jul. 14th, 2014 04:23 pm
kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
[personal profile] kaberett
... which I was already contemplating making this morning, but feel even more in need of now.

It is a list of Best Things About Being A Wheelchair User, to be added to as I go along.

1. Wearing shoes I can't walk in.
2. Never being without a seat on public transport.
3. Going downhill.
4. Wheelies.