May. 6th, 2016 10:28 am
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
Sort of sweet watching my Scottish Green friends (of which for some reason I have several, maybe because it's a better party than the England & Wales Greens?) being devastated that apparently-good women candidates missed out on actually being elected -- which made me think yep, now you know how the Lib Dems already feel -- and baffled/terrified/outraged at where all these Tory voters came from -- which made me think yep, now you know how the north of England already feels!
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
...I've got too much of a headache to write anything myself, but I wanted to highlight a couple of links I found again today, that say a lot of the things I would be saying.

What it's like to be legally blind does such a good job of describing the state between fully sighted and totally blind that is so little understood, so rarely expected by the sighted world to even exist at all.

"I don’t fit most people’s image of a blind person. I look at things."

I especially like the "there's no easy answer to 'what can you see?' " point, having recently realized this myself when an earlier blog entry about my partial-sightedness inspired that question, and I gave the kind of answer I'd been used to giving since childhood, that I see "pretty well" considering, and with examples of common things that help people know how to interact with me -- that I can see the face of someone having a normal conversation with me, that I can read normal print, and so on. But the more I thought about this answer, the less adequate I found it. I have good days and bad days. My eyes tire easily thanks to the nystagmus, and are susceptible to any tiredness, stress or illness I might have at the time. The environment I'm in can make a big difference to how well I can see -- is it crowded with stuff, what's moving and how fast? -- as can whether I'msomewhere I'm familiar with or not. Yes, part of that's cheating, I know I don't "really" look at a lot of things in my house or on my route to the bus stop I usually travel from...but also part of it's that when I know what's familiar it's easier to spot things that differ from what I'm expecting, and of course those are usually the ones more likely to be important for me to know about.

So, I think I've written about this before, but please don't ask a visually impaired person what we can see. I don't know what you can see, so if nothing else it's like being expected to answer a question in a language you don't even speak.

This is good, too:
I spend my life figuratively putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to get some visual semblance of my world. Have you ever tried to put together a jigsaw puzzle without having a picture of what you were putting together? That’s what every day is like for me, except I don’t even know if I have all the pieces.
The other link I think is so good is what a white cane really means. This too is written by a partially sighted woman who, like me, was well into her adult life before starting to use a cane. She went from finding no need for it, to using it when it was useful to her but getting confused looks when people also saw her do something like ride a bike or read a printed book, not understanding the special circumstances in which she put herself in order to do those things (following her husband on his bike or holding the book two inches from her nose or whatever), to carrying it all the time to avoid those comments, and then feeling annoyed by the ways in which it is inconvenient or cumbersome. I nodded along especially vehemently when she was talking about the internal debate on whether to take the cane on leaving the house:
At the same time, I try not to bow to social pressure and to only carry my cane when I truly need it physically or socially. But the repetitive conversations make that hard. There are many moments, when I stand by the front door struggling with myself. I'm not going anywhere with cars or I'm going to be with my husband every minute and I don't really need the cane to tell people I can't see in this circumstance. And yet I know I'll have to explain myself and the thought of the embarrassment makes me tend toward the cane. And the cane keeps me moving slow and cumbersome. I miss the days of freedom when I could have my hands free and move quickly without getting comments.
I remember hearing about this on an episode of In Touch, the Radio 4 show about blindness and blind people, in an episode that I happened to catch by the luckiest of chances because it seemed to be about someone in a position a lot like mine.

Here's a few minutes of this woman's interview, which I've just quickly transcribed. "I feel it actually disables me further. I'm quite able to get out and about on my own as long as I'm slow and careful. The last thing I need to do is tie up one hand with this stick which basically is not serving much practical purpose, it's just sending out a message to people around me." She says she has small children and wants/needs to hold their hand in public, and if you're carrying shopping, school bags, scooters, bus passes, "the last thing you need is to basically tie the other hand around your back. I need my hands!"

There's also the issue of not wanting to muddy the waters, not wanting to diminish the understanding that people who use white canes are "properly" blind, while also not wanting to be perceived as a fake for any sign that you're not completely sightless.
I've certainly heard horror stories of people who've been at bus stops and who've folded away their symbol cane to get on the bus and got on able to mount the steps without any problem and smile at the driver, and the people around them slightly suck their teeth. As in 'mm, you're faking it!'

At the same time, what I'm aware of when I'm out with my children without the white cane: my daughter said to me tearfully in a confessional sort of way she admitted that she sometimes finds it quite difficult being out with me without the white cane. Because she's aware of the people around me being unsure of why I'm hesitant at the top of stairs or why I'm slow in crowds or I might bump into people. I'm quite oblivious of their reactions, but she can see it because she's there with me, in some ways sort of helping me, and she says she finds this very distressing.

And I found this worrying, I found it sad for her, but at the same time I felt sorry for the people around us who are exasperated by me, because I think that people would like to have the chance to be supportive. I think if they understood more about the spectrum of visual impairment and about the different degrees, then people would step in and be much more helpful and patient.
And I think that too, actually: I think people would like to be more helpful and less exasperated, and that a lot of them would be if they knew, and I think I'd like to be less impatient and exasperated too. She didn't have an easy answer for another way to indicate partial sight, and I don't either.

I think that's because the solution to this is massive, industrial-scale public education about disability -- sight loss in particular but also disability in general, because this is basically the same problem that wheelchair users who ever stand, walk or ride bikes (what the hell is it with people thinking disabled people don't ever ride bikes?) get when someone thinks you can't possibly do any of those things and also benefit from a wheelchair. And that's way harder than I can sort out right now, because it's bedtime.
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
This Pink News story irritates me.

I mean, not the story -- congrats to the newlyweds and good luck to the religious officials defying institutional homophobia -- but the way it's told.

Just because it's in North Carolina they mention HB2, the bill that removed all LGBT anti-discrimination ordinances and bans trans people from using public bathrooms. This nice white cis gay couple are thus seemingly the face of the fight against a bill that mostly terrorizes trans people.

And it's a story about equal marriage, the very thing that trans activists warned cis gay activists for years would distract from other fights for protections and rights and that we couldn't stop fighting once we got it.

Having lost the marriage battle, conservatives have moved swiftly on to increasing the misery and danger to trans people, and no amount of same-sex weddings is going to do anything to change that.
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
Octonauts, bedtime stories, then I get to eat crisps (my host having remembered I prefer savory snacks to sweet, which makes me feel well-looked-after) and snuggle under a blanket to watch documentaries on Netflix about aliens. And in an hour or something, a couple of tipsy friends will come back and be terribly grateful that I have done this.


Apr. 18th, 2016 09:13 pm
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)

Weekend before last I ended up doing a lot of walking, which was really good for me after a week of brainweasels (they've been really bad lately: I lost a couple of days to just being asleep more than I was awake, I got way behind in dishes and laundry and cooking and eating and pretty much everything, and i just felt terrible all the time, while also feeling terrible about not doing anything).

This picture of all our muddy shoes is from my new WI's walking group. The weather was good, despite appearances (it'd been rainy the day before, and a few places we went still had standing water), in that very British way weather can be good: we didn't actually get rained on, it just kept seeming like we were about to!

We got the train to Wilmslow and walked along the Bollin to Styal, a village that was built for the workers at Quarry Bank Mill, and a lot of its houses are part of the estate (now owned by the National Trust).

It was a good day: packed lunches and stopping for tea in the cheap community-run cafe instead of the posh National Trust cafe, dogs running through the mud puddles, we even saw a cow that had the bad luck to be lying right near the footpath to Quarry Bank Mill so had an audience of people wondering why she was lying on her side. When one of our WI ladies suggested she might be calving, another said sympathetically "We all know what that's like!" For all Levenshulme WI is full of some not-what-you'd-expect-for-a-WI ladies, I was the only one of the half-dozen of us who wasn't the mother of grown-up children.

I contributed to the WI-ishness cliches though by having cakes with me that I shared and people said nice things about and wanted the recipe for. Everyone I've introduced to Jack Monroe's peanut butter banana muffins to seems to love them (and these didn't even have the chocolate in, because I didn't have any; I figured they'd be perfectly nice anyway and they were!). Vegan and flourless and good for anybody as long as they can have nuts and like bananas.

The day before, I'd gone to Etherow Country Park with JT & Claire & Small T,someplace they've been a lot (it's not far from them, and Claire drives; it'd be more challenging to get to by public transport), but which I hadn't been to before. It's really nice, with level paths around the water and steeper ones going up the hills and all around. We didn't have a ton of time to spend there and with a six-year-old didn't make the quickest or most direct progress, so I didn't see as much of the hills as I might have liked but I got enough of an idea of how beautiful it is.

Small had a great time feeding the ducks and geese a stale barm cake brought along specially for the purpose.

This one had followed us along the path, which runs next to the water, for quite a way... as long as Small had bread left in his plastic bag, anyway.

And I love this picture, dad pointing things out to boy. Reminds me so much of being a kid myself.

We again had lots of dogs to admire, didn't actually get rained on, ate our picnic lunch (they brought a flask of Winter Spice Ribena, which basically tastes like mulled wine but sadly has no wine in it), took Small to a nearby children's play area where he made friends with another kid who wanted to ride on the tire swing at the same time he did, and had an ice cream. A lovely day out, all in all.

I'm keen to do more of this sort of thing now that the weather's starting to improve (...sort of, I mean; we did get hail and some places had snow last Saturday). Exercise and sunshine and company; I'm looking forward to summer.
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
For my birthday present this year, [personal profile] magister bought my ticket to Haunted Studies: The Ghost Stories of M.R. James. We'd been along to the tail end of this last year, when [personal profile] sir_guinglain was interviewing Lawrence Gordon Clark before the showing of one of the things he directed, A Warning to the Curious. We had free wine and it was the first time I'd seen any of those "ghost stories for Christmas" kinds of things (heretical foreigner that I am; I got the box set last Christmas/birthday, though, so I shall catch up eventually and be ever-closer to a proper person, don't worry British friends), so I had a great night.

The venue added a lot to it, too: the conference was held at The Leeds Library...not a public library, a subscription library. It's small and picturesque, a great atmosphere for the kinds of people who go to M.R. James conferences -- be they academics like [personal profile] sir_guinglain and [ profile] strange_complex or not, like [personal profile] magister and me. The four of us went along this year, and had a great time.

The four of us all went along to the whole day conference this time, and really enjoyed it. First we heard from the chief exec of the Leeds Library, an unassuming guy who told us about the history of the place -- longest-surviving subscription library in the country, able to be so because it built itself above a couple of shops that it also built, from which it gets some income. As wonderful a thing as it was, I'm glad he didn't seem at all precious about it. "You won't find a white glove in the place," he said, and the books were clearly there to be used. I hate it when you see books on shelves behind glass or otherwise reduced to a decoration, a status symbol, or a way for some kinds of rooms to tell you what they are; it makes me sad to see the books denied their useful purpose. That was certainly not the case here; we even had drinks and lunch (sandwiches and fruit were catered for everyone) in admist all the books. And readers! The library was open its usual hours (just with signs saying the New Room was being used by the conference); people were reading newspapers and chatting and taking books out as we meandered about on our breaks and lunch. By the morning break, I think, [personal profile] magister was already talking about wanting to present a paper next year, and he had a couple of great ideas for one. Conversations about which, and the kind of company and environment I was in, woke up long-dormant English-major parts of my brain and made me probably over-enthusiastically offer to help.

[ profile] strange_complex seemed to know most of the people there, through the Dracula Society she belongs to, or I guess just living in Leeds and being the kind of person who'd like a conference about M.R. James...either way there were always friendly people to be introduced to and chat to during the breaks as well. There was also Art to look at, in the form of a work-in-progress Haunted Dollhouse (from the James story of the same name, natch) that lit up and everything, and a M.R. James-themed top-trumps card game called Monsters & Miscreants, which is even more beautiful in real life than the (somewhat-unfortunately-rendered, for me at least) website makes it look. I ended up buying a copy for [personal profile] magister (having to leave my cup of tea in a rush at the afternoon break, having heard that the guy'd almost sold out all that he'd brought with him), and the four of us ended up playing it in the pub (where I couldn't resist a pint of the Ghost ale due to the force of nominative rectitude, and very tasty it was too!)that evening before we had to catch a train back home.

It was a fun game, and it's really beautiful as well. We ended up missing our first train so had time for another pint and a lot more laughing and me shouting things like "Guardian of the Treasure!" which I'm sure made everyone in Foleys think we're even weirder than we are.

My favorite speaker of the day was Jacqueline Simpson, who talked about folklore. She started out by saying that people always expect folklore to be some grand dame telling stories to a collection of children sitting on the floor in her little cottage -- that the best stories are always thought to be two generations in the past, to have happened to our grandparents -- and ended up making me and at least one other person I chatted to think that she should be that grand dame and we wanted to hear her stories. She's also the person who co-wrote The Folklore of Discworld, which I'd read part of a few years ago, the person about whom the story that'd stuck in my mind, from the book's prologue about how Terry met her when he was going through a time of asking everybody in book-signing queues how many rhymes about magpies they knew, got a pause from her and an answer I can't remember but somewhere in the high teens. She was very interesting on the subject of how James's stories fit or differed from Danish folklore, particularly -- the padlocks in "Count Magnus" and the post in "The Rose Garden" are the ones I particularly remember (I meant to write this up much sooner, before I'd forgotten quite so much, but life has not been friendly to me lately).

My favorite part of the day was watching [personal profile] magister wander around the books in the library during all the breaks, eventually inquiring how much membership cost and how it worked. It ended up being one of those things where you can pay an instalment each month....except for the first year, which they want all of up front. I well recognized the kind of problem this left him with -- basically another kind of Vimes's Economic Law of Boots: he could pay the monthly fee easily, but couldn't pay enough to get to the monthly payments in the first place. After I checked the logistics with Andrew, though, I was glad to be able to tell him we could help him out, and that he could pay us back one month at a time. So by the wine reception at the end of this year's conference (there was no director to interview or film to watch this time; there was some kind of video art installation but basically the evening finished a lot earlier this year than it had last), he was disappearing among the books with a much more note-taking air about him, clearly piling things up in his memory to be taken out, and with many hugs and thank-yous to me for helping make this possible.

It was more than worth it to see the look on his face -- plus he's brought me along as a guest twice already now. That I live an impractical distance from Leeds is the only reason I didn't keep the membership for myself; I am in love with that place almost as much as he is I swear. Both times I've been with him to look around, I've eventually had to stop and sit and wait for him because I feel buried under the sheer weight of books I really really want to read there!

Of course I know there are other libraries available -- one at the end of my road now, for which I've even managed to get a library card (not having had one of those since I frequented Withington Library, according to the details on the computer system), but that library's not as big, not as well-loved, and not even as staffed: as with so many things, there's starting to be a big difference when you go private! Which might be there's something of a resurgance in subscription libraries (there is a lovely picture of the room we had the conference in from Leeds Library in that article).

The whole thing had got me thinking there must be a subscription library closer than Leeds...and I should've known having seen the sign for it often enough when I'm in one of my very favorite pubs in the city centre, but it's The Portico Library, which also has public areas like a gallery and a café. I've often thought I should check it out but I haven't yet.

Anyway, [personal profile] magister was showing everyone his M.R. James Top Trumps the next day, he's taken at least his own weight in books out of the library in his many trips there so far, I've not only sped through The Folklore of Discworld (liking it all the more now that I'm able to imagine bits in both authors' voices) but I'm reading other stuff thanks to [ profile] FolkloreThurs and everything it links to... I think it's fair to say this day left a pretty big impression on us. I'm really glad we got to go.
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
I really miss executive function. I hope mine comes back soon.
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
On the days when I mope and fret and hate myself because I don't have a job and I tell myself it's all because I'm lazy and afraid and weak and making excuses...

... I guess maybe I should see days like this, where I need a nap by 10:30 in the morning and I end up in a full-on hysterical anxiety attack just because I can't find something that's in the place where I put it, where even after a good day I always feel like I'm at the end of my rope...I should see days like this as some kind of an answer to what I keep asking myself: how can you not even have a job yet?
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
So a year or so ago I got a few e-mails from someone with a similar enough name that she accidentally used my first-initial-and-surname e-mail address. There were a few more automatically-generated e-mails for Hannelore that I had no way of telling her were getting to me instead of her, but they stopped after a couple of days and I didn't think any more about it.

Until now.

It wasn't her! But this time I got what appears to be a friendly, chatty e-mail -- as far as I can tell; my German's not very good -- for someone called Hiltrud. Hiltrud! I never knew there was such a name. But apparently there was a Hiltrud[e] who was a eighth-century countess of Upper Alsace!
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
I owe LJ/DW an update on the rest of my life, but the belowmentioned busy-ness and computer woes mean it'll have to wait. Here's the main thing for this week, anyway!

Many apologies for the long-overdue update; I've been busy and I haven't had a working laptop most of this week.

And I've been dying to tell you all how delighted, surprised, impressed, humbled and really robustly supported I feel that thanks to all of you I reached my project goal in less than a week. The amount of people willing to back this project, to the degree you have. Thanks for all the shares too; some of these names are not familiar to me which I know means my friends have done a sterling job of spreading the word! I wouldn't have been at all surprised if this was a book only ever read by people who know me, so really this has already exceeded my expectations in so many ways.

But I've still almost three weeks left to reach the £1,236 the government is now actually asking for the thing that I thought would be £1,008! For this, I now need only a further £154, so it's still worth encouraging people to share and back the project if you feel moved to do so!

I'm not sure what the stretch goal reward will be; I'm more than happy to take suggestions if any of you have them (you can message me here or get in touch with me by the usual means if you have other ones...also comments can be left on my Kickstarter project page that everyone can see Much as I love the idea of the stretch goal going toward booze for the party I will undoubtedly have when I get to be a citizen or what subversive t-shirt I should wear to my citizenship ceremony, the idea of stretch goals is more properly to improve the project people are funding, so I'm thinking of adding a chapter to the book on a subject you backers would get to vote on, or maybe a kind of Q&A chapter/appendix if you have questions you'd like to see covered in the book. What do you think?

Peak Dad

Mar. 26th, 2016 09:26 pm
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
I thought my dad telling me that they'd been to see Zootopia last week and really liked it was going to be the most surprising news of that phone call, but then he told me he'd gotten an iPad (they went to look at new phones and a contract that better suited them, and I know he's been vaguely interested in smartphones but not in a hurry to get one for years now, having seen co-workers looking at YouTube and Facebook and whatnot; I actually think whoever in the Verizon store steered him towards a tablet rather than a smartphone did the right thing for him) and hey there's this thing called Skype that means we can call you for free...

This after we got webcams as a wedding present from a friend of my parents', who already had offspring halfway across the country and was Skyping to see her grandchildren and whatnot. I set up one camera for them, installed the drivers, installed Skype, wrote down very hand-holdy instructions for how to use it...and then nothing happened. They never ever used the sweet, clever, thoughtful present. Ten years later, I get asked if I've heard of Skype. Bless them. I still can't convince him he doesn't need my phone number to use it. And he still can't use it, he's going to take it back to the store because it sounds like he has some very old-person problem with using the app.

But in the meantime he seems to be using his iPad for two of his favorite things: weather and geography.

He told me that Middlewich, where Andrew's family live, is south of Manchester which I didn't know I'd needed telling (it's in Cheshire) but apparently he'd been thinking it was west of here. I know he's always said, since his first visit, that he can never get his cardinal directions the right way round here, he has trouble visualizing the relative positions of things, and that really disorients him.

I've always been meaning to get him a map, but finding one with the right kind of detail and not so much irrelevant stuff as to be confusing to him has proved basically impossible. Sounds like now he's got it anyway. "And then I saw the airport, and then Didsbury [where we lived the first couple of times they came to visit] and Levenshulme [where we've lived since]..."

He was clearly delighted, and I was impressed he remembered the names, even though he's actually pretty awesome at that. Hence being disoriented bothering him so much: my mom couldn't tell you most of the cities she's been to here, much less what number bus we get into town, what parts of Manchester we've lived in, or the name of a coffee shop chain, but she's happy like that and has no interest in knowing more detail than she does. My dad knows all that stuff and still feels a bit adrift, bless him.

And yes I know all of this has been freely available on the internet forever but my dad basically never uses the internet, doesn't even use the computer for much, so I don't think it'd either have occurred to him or been enjoyable to him to look at Google Maps or similar this way. Whereas he's just the kind of person who'll love being able to sit in his comfy armchair and drag his fingers in what he probably actually thinks is an intuitive way across a map, zooming in and out.

If he ever finds out about Street View, he'll be showing my house off at family get-togethers, I can just picture it.

In today's phone call I'd forgotten all about the iPad until he asked me if it was "still" raining, which baffled me, but then he told me it'd been raining in Ireland for two days straight now and he'd figured it'd get over , Manchester at some point (he has a very "lived in the middle of a continent his whole life" faith that whatever weather's off to the west of you I what you're going to have next; I figure in this instance the more likely explanation is that it rains in Ireland a lot, it rains in Manchester a lot, and any apparent cause-and-effect relationship between these two facts is probably coincidental...but hey, if it makes him happy there's no reason to argue).

He knows the temperature and precipitation where I am better than I do now, because his local TV meteorologists have to satisfy old-cranky-man needs for weather precision (especially when some of the old cranky men, and others, are farmers whose livelihoods really do depend on the weather and how accurately it's predicted), and I don't even have a TV to watch the news on and consume only national radio which seems to think the likes of "sunny spells" and "dry except in the northwest of England where it'll rain" (I have heard that way too many times) are sufficient weather data.

If I could find him an app that tracks (and converts!) local-to-me petrol prices, he'll be able to have all the Dad conversations with me. It'd be almost like I never left home! Or at least, not for anywhere actually very different, anyway.
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
I had possibly the most "me" dreams ever last night: Lin-Manuel Miranda came to BiCon, Levenshulme started a kind of social-justice commune featuring me and a bunch of people I know from around here, that I know from the WI and such.

Even the parts of the dream that were nightmares featured friends of mine supporting me and protecting me from the bad things afterward.
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
I'm writing a book about being an immigrant!

People have already offered me money! Which is hugely flattering and exciting. And lots more people are sharing the link, which is no less flattering and exciting (and slightly less intimidating, really!). Please have a look, and consider helping me out -- spreading the word helps as much as giving me money does! I'm not going to get rich from this, I just want immigrants to be listened to instead of just being talked about like we're not in the room.


Mar. 12th, 2016 08:29 pm
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
I dyed my hair purple a week or two ago.

I loved that color (slightly to my surprise! purple isn't what I'd normally go for first, but I didn't choose this; I got it from a friend who had too little left to dye her own hair again but it was the perfect amount for mine), but it started fading almost immediately.

Now it's got very faint traces of purple, but is mostly kind of silvery-grey that makes me (and Andrew, who told me this without knowing I was already thinking it) think maybe this is what I'll look like when I'm old.

It's better than the "brassy" blond I was otherwise, seeing as how no matter how I bleach my hair it never goes lighter than orange!

a thing!

Mar. 11th, 2016 11:30 am
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
Sometimes things happen to me which amuse me because they seem symbolic in a way that I don't feel they actually are.

Today I was that I wanted some boxers to wear, because they're the comfiest with these trousers, but I couldn't see any in my underwear drawer because all the bras were in the way.

It's not a sign of gender fluidity or anything, it's just a thing that happened.
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
I was trying to write "visually impaired" but my phone changed it to "visually important."

Yes, phone. That too.
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
The theme of the last week or so has been helping other people with their illnesses/disabilities/as-yet-unidentified conditions.

I saw two GP surgeries that weren't my own, one hospital, and only missed a Welfare Rights office appointment to help someone else with their PIP application (knowing I'd recently gotten it myself, he seemed to be treating me as a good-luck charm in helping him prepare) because of the hospital appointment.

And all this while worrying about my mom, who had a consultation on Monday and a biopsy of an artery/vein (she's told me different things at different times...) in her head.

At least I got to talk to her tonight; she seems reasonably optimistic about her prognosis and didn't seem to find the procedure any worse than it needs to be -- that she was worried mostly about stuff like her hair looking stupid and it being inconvenient as a glasses-wearer for a while I am taking as a good sign. Plus her consultant sounds awesome -- I guess it's the same one my dad had for his cataracts? and he really likes the guy, too.

By Friday afternoon, I was done with the last bit of being moral support for somebody else's appointments, came home and did basically nothing for the rest of the day. Yesterday I started catching up on laundry and other household stuff that'd gotten neglected, and also managed to catch up with [ profile] diffrentcolours for lunch (first time in ages!) and a quick bimble around Levy Market and the new gym/library complex.

Which was good, actually, as I hadn't seen more of it than just the pool on my first visit there a week earlier, and between the assholes setting off smoke alarms thus evacuating the place and losing my glasses there (with little interest from the staff, thus little hope of getting them back, and indeed I was brushed off again when I asked about them yesterday), I hadn't had the greatest first impression of the place. Now I know where the gym is, which is handy, and what to expect from the library (they have a scanner you can use! handy as I need to scan my passport...).

Today I got a truly ridiculous amount of sleep, a couple of days' worth. And even then I couldn't make myself get out of bed for a while, which is very unlike me. Usually as soon as I'm awake I get bored and restless and have to get out of bed. Today if it hadn't been for eventually worrying I was being antisocial I might be there still.

I have done very little indeed today -- some overdue dishes, made something actually approaching an actual roast dinner for Andrew, and started copying-and-pasting ten or eleven years' worth of LJ entries into a document that I am now calling a book. I also bought myself an MLB TV subscription and have been happily watching Twins' spring training games in the background while I've been doing this other stuff. I didn't feel able to afford it last year but now I can tell myself the whole year is just one week's worth of my PIP. So it's very nice to see and hear such familiar things again, even if the commentators are All Wrong (Dan Gladden, blech, and dull Cory Provus).

Tomorrow I can go to the WI craft group -- there's a bigger, busier evening version and a quieter, smaller group that meet alternate Monday afternoons which sounds more my speed, and I know Em J's been and likes it. Tuesday I have a meeting to sort out the MOSI exhibit's tour for visually impaired people that has kind of lain dormant since before Christmas -- there are some great new handling objects for it that make the exhibit much more managable and exciting for us to talk people through. Think that's about it for plans this week, which means I'm suspicious that I've forgotten something!
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
So, technically, Duel for Citizenship (still the book's provisional title) has 20,000 words in it now.

They're all copypasta LJ entries and similar, not even in any kind of order yet, just stuff I think I may want to include. Big gaps in the story I want to tell, and tons of editing and revising to be done. But in a silly way, I feel like I'm off to a good start?

Not bad for a day when I slept until half past two in the afternoon and then stayed in bed for another hour...!
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
Hey, remember that book I was gonna write/Kickstarter about being an immigrant, to pay for citizenship application fees?

Yeah, I forgot about it for a while too. Life has been...busy.

But! I finally sat down and got the Kickstarter 'project' set up, it just needs to wait a couple of days to be verified or whatever and then it'll be a proper thing people can contribute to and that I absolutely have to finish.

I'm nervous and excited and impatient to show it to you all but also never wanting to in case anyone says anything bad about it ever.

Sound facts

Mar. 4th, 2016 12:50 pm
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
I just found this as a note on my phone, saved several months ago. No idea why I wrote it. Figured I'd share it.

Andrew's just answered the phone and said "hello?"




"Does sound have a weight? No."‎

‎I think that might be an even better phone call from his dad than the time he rang to ask Andrew who the singer is that wasn't Roy Orbison.


hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
too short to be haughty, too nutty to be naughty

May 2016

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