Interview

Jul. 20th, 2017 03:36 pm
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I told people I didn't have my heart set on the job I interviewed for today, but they ended up running a half hour late by the time I got asked on, and I spent that half hour in the café talking to the finance/admin person, who was basically there to open the door before the café opened and chat to people. We talked about our dogs (she has lurchers!) and bringing family over to visit (she's Dutch) and what this place is like to work for (friendly and relaxed, and it seemed lovely when I saw her interacting with co-workers). I saw the person I vaguely know which is how I found out about this job, and she chatted with me about the local Pride planning since that's how I know her, and she complimented the brooches on my waistcoat (well, neither brooches nor waistcoat are mine, [personal profile] mother_bones loaned it to me so I didn't have to wear a suit jacket in heat or humidity) and...

In one way it was really nice not to have to just sit and wind myself up while I waited. The bus timetable meant I got there about fifteen minutes early, too, because it was either that or be late, so I'd actually been sitting quite a while and it didn't seem like it at all with someone nice to talk to.

But it did mean I ended up really really hoping I get this. Which is really really inconvenient.

I had vague answers at some points where I think specific ones would be better. But the interviewers seemed more impressed with me than I would've been if I were them, so I dunno if I'm being too hard on myself or they're just really nice. Well, they are really nice, but I don't know how much that was masking their thoughts!

They said they hope to have an answer for us by the end of today or else tomorrow. So at least I don't have long to wait.

I woke up long enough before my alarm this morning thst I was both extra-bothered by needing a haircut and actually had time to do it. So I did, and I took picture after I got dressed (in my fancy clothes, not the grubby ones I walked the dog and went to the post office on first) and put it online and have had a lot of nice and supportive comments. I know selfies can boost self-esteem but I don't think I'd ever actually had it happen to me before! So that was fun.

hollymath: (Default)
...I will go to another job interview and pretend I am not the kind of person who starts their interview prep the night before.

Ugh. I have to do a presentation and I hate presentations. At least it doesn't have to be powerpoint.

Bleh

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:48 pm
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It would be nice to have one goddam day with no nap needed in the evening, no anxiety attack in the wee hours, no debilitating headache...

Yesterday was anxiety attack in the middle of the night again. Today was blinding headache so I was in bed by eight o'clock (I'm awake again now to tell you this because somebody thought 11:30 on a Tuesday night was a good time to set off fireworks that sounded like they were right outside my bedroom window).

Something every day. Seems kind of crazy I'm trying to find work again, when these symptoms are worse than they've been in years.
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Honestly the thing I want to do now is watch the finale knowing the new Doctor isn't another white man. Because I watched that with such trepidation that when it finished and James asked me what I thought of it, I said I liked it but then just went on to be really pessimistic about the breadcrumbs towards a woman playing the Doctor.

I absolutely didn't trust this show not to give me another white man, and I surprised myself with how incapable I was of getting my hopes up. And my guardedness really dampened my ability to enjoy or even evaluate the last episode.

It'll be interesting to watch it again and see if what I feel about it changes. Where's my DVD box set already?! (I want to watch most of this season again, and have ever since I finished watching the episodes the first time.)
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I had to remember to put my phone on silent before I went to church.

I don't think I've been to church since i had a phone to put on silent, except going along occasionally with my mom when I'm back visiting and I can't use my phone in Minnesota anyway.

I haven't gotten myself to church since I was, what, nineteen? Somewhere in my first or second year in college I went from the holdover of fairly evangelical Christianity I'd finished high school with to wanting to sleep in, and then working night shifts on Saturdays and somewhere amidst the practicalities my keenness drained away and my belief drained away altogether without me noticing until long after it had.

I've been to the odd wedding (including my own!) or funeral in church since, but not anything so closely resembling a normal service until today.

And today wasn't that normal; it was the baptism service for my fictive nephew, who was not christened or baptised as a baby and decided of his own volition this year that he wanted to be. He just turned eight today.

It was strangely familiar: the liturgy is more modern than I grew up with, but a lot, especially the congregation's responses, is pretty much word-for-word what I was used to, and it surprised me how much came back to my mind, just in time for me to say it. I fumbled through prayers, only remembering one line as I finished the previous one, and even remembering one of the hymns (though not from my fusty old church but from the Bible camps of my teenage years).

But it was also very different: so much more relaxed not just from the officiants at the front (both women!) but also from the congregation, who chatted incessantly beforehand, who didn't mind their kids running over to talk to their friends somewhere else, who clapped when a six-year-old read the gospel (and having a six-year-old reading the gospel at all!).

It was really special, including Jack using his dad's christening shawl in the baptism. And his Bible as, basically, a prop. "Jack's dad is giving him the Bible he had as a child," the vicar said, and the honesty of small children compelled Jack to say "but I have to give it back to him afterward," which got the biggest laugh of the event.

I'd never seen anyone baptised who wasn't a baby. Indeed my mom was fretful and slightly judgmental of family members who'd never baptised their children; baptism had an air of insurance about it, it was a layer of protection to get in place as soon as possible "just in case..."

The more evangelical Christians I fell in with as a teenager left me with the idea that baptism should be a meaningful decision made by the individual at an age where they can make it. But of course all the baptisms I saw were at my mom's Lutheran church or my dad's Catholic one, where the only way one differed from another was whether or not the baby cried when it got water on its face (and, when I was old enough to spot this, whether the family were regular churchgoers according to the grumbling judgment of my own family).

Whereas this clearly had Jack's personality stamped all over it, and I thought that was lovely. He bounded around, bounding to and from the front of the church as need be, reading out lines he'd practiced both in the baptismal service itself and as part of the communion service, disappeared to talk to a friend one time when he was about to be needed up front again, delivering that line about having to give his dad's Bible back with perfect comedic timing, and a million little things that made me feel lucky to know him well enough to recognize him here and to be a part of his special day.

At the end of the service the deacon said, "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Stopping for coffee along the way." And it just made me grin. The first part I'm so familiar with, the second wasnt even an implicit part of the doxology I grew up with; at my mom's church people lingered to chat but at ours everybody scattered as soon as we shook hands with the priest on the way out. And even my mom's was too formal to have the coffee being mentioned.

When I got home and changed, I still heard my necklace rattling around on its chain around my neck. I wear them too infrequently these days, I'd forgotten all about it. It says "We're all stories, in the end" and I wore it because I got it as a Christmas gift from Jack's mum one year.

It was fitting anyway for today, a day where near-fossilized stories about my childhood joined up to stories about the people I'm glad to have in my life now that things are mostly so very different but still can be linked back to the old ones.

Only much later did I learn my necklace was a quote from Doctor Who, since I never watched all the Tennant episodes, and that made it a nice choice for today too, when I got home just in time for the news of who the new Doctor is, and the potential for lots of new stories.

Good boys

Jul. 15th, 2017 01:44 pm
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Had an anxiety attack last night. Middle of the night, already tucked up in bed. Even let the dog upstairs (and he was a very Good Boy). So exhausting.

Eventually I got to sleep, but I kept waking up. But every time I woke up I had Andrew glomming onto one side of me and the dog pressed right up against my leg on the other side, and the pressure and warmth were intense enough to be really comforting. I was always able to get back to sleep, until a reasonable time this morning.

[food]

Jul. 15th, 2017 01:25 pm
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Did that thing where I made enough food for two meals, then ate it all because it was so tasty.

Ginger, garlic, chili flakes and orange juice blended together for a sauce added to quorn chicken pieces. With sugar snap peas, red pepper and noodles.

All gone now!
hollymath: (Default)
Note to self: find out how Andrew wants to restructure this paragraph in light of the fact that EDM is not a new musical fad.

Bless him. He rightly writes about 60s music most of the time, since he knows nothing about most music made in his lifetime. But when one of those 60s bands carries on until now, he can run up against some issues.

Admittedly not as many as the Beach Boys fans he told me about the other day, who are pleased that one of them is doing a song with the guy from Sugar Ray because it means he's helping "young musicians." The guy's in his forties and Sugar Ray was a thing when I was in high school...

Being as charitable as I can: to people obsessed with musicians in their seventies, this guy must seem like quite the whippersnapper. But really, I suspect they just think that anyone they haven't heard of can't really be famous yet.
hollymath: (Default)
The first thing I signed up for when Trump got elected was the campaign to impeach him. They've just sent me this e-mail:

Yesterday, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA, 30th District) and Congressman Al Green (D-TX, 9th District) introduced an Article of Impeachment (H.Res. 438) against President Trump for High Crimes and Misdemeanors. The article focuses on obstruction of justice.

We’ve reached a critical threshold in this campaign, but we have to keep working together!

How can you help?

The House Judiciary Committee must now be pressed to hold hearings on this article of impeachment, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte needs to hear from you.

Please call the House Judiciary Committee at (202) 225-3951. When someone answers, ask to leave a message:

Hello, my name is ____________. I am calling to urge Chairman Goodlatte to hold hearings on the Article of Impeachment introduced this week by Congressman Brad Sherman and Congressman Al Green. Our democracy is counting on the House Judiciary Committee to take action. Thank you!

To read the full Article of Impeachment introduced on Wednesday, click here.
hollymath: (Default)
There's something delicious in proofreading a sentence criticizing a lyric that includes "someone whose job it is to work with words should understand the difference between the dative and the nominative" when it's not the dative case he's talking about, it's the accusative.

I try so hard to be a kind proofreader, because we all fuck up, but I think it's Language Log that have the rule that goes something like "if you criticize someone else's grammar, you're bound to make a grammatical mistake in the process of doing so"? And it just made me smile.
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I went to see my friends' new house today and I was kind of an asshole about it. Because it was so great, and I'm so happy for them, but it was also hard not to be envious.

I don't like my house nearly as much and there was so much I wanted to change when we got it that immediately became unaffordable when I lost my job. It was such a long time ago and we're so much poorer now with little prospect of being able to afford the things that were supposed to happen then, much less anything I want changed cosmetically or less-essentially.

I thought I'd gotten better about this but last couple of months, it's been worse again. I just feel like I have no control over my environment, and I'm getting mopey and resentful and all the bad emotions about that.

I wish being happy for my friends didn't have to be mixed up with all this ugly shit in my own head and life.
hollymath: (Default)
Yesterday I got an e-mail inviting me to an interview for the job I applied for, and my first thought, honestly, was "great, one more fucking thing."

That's the same thought I had about the last one. It is so inconvenient having depression, it really is.

Good day

Jul. 9th, 2017 09:54 pm
hollymath: (Default)
  • Spent half the night awake, but still managed to get up when my alarm went off to go to yoga. (I've been trying to go either Wednesday evening or Sunday morning or both. I did neither last week but both this week. And when I got there I found that it was my usual teacher's first time back after a twelve-day holiday, which means the sessions I missed last week would've been taught by the person I had on Wednesday night who was...perfectly nice but not so well suited to me as this guy is. So then I felt less bad about being unable to go last week.)
  • Was so hungry I ate breakfast even though I was going out for brunch with friends, which ended up being very useful because our food got hugely delayed.
  • Food was very good when it turned up, including my hummus and spiced cashew salad that [personal profile] haggis was rightly FOMO about (I ordered it from a page that was missing from her menu!) but luckily she was still happy with the food she did order.
  • Went for a nice walk in the sunshine, through Stretford and along the Bridgewater canal, which made me happy to be near water again, something my Minnesota upbringing has taught me to always expect to be near to.
  • Talked to parents back from their vacation Up North: fishing and swimming and campfires. And my family being their usual selves. My grandma went and had a nice time, which is good because she hasn't been going every year lately. My cousin's kid, now seven, still asks about me even though she hasn't seen me in two years bremembers me because no one else will go kayaking or swimming or caterpillar-finding with her like I did then.
  • We actually went near a place on the canal today where you can go kayaking, I guess. Me and Katie are talking about trying it sometime. I'd love to, I really miss being on the water.
  • And I did a job application for a LGBT charity, with help from Andrew on getting through the person spec. I always lose the will to live before I get halfway through, and he's genuinely convinced that I am as great as he's saying I am so it works out really well. I should remember to exploit him for this more often!
hollymath: (Default)
So I had some ginger that really needs using.

And a lime...

And I thought, what do I want that I can make with lime and ginger in it?

So naturally, I thought of rum.

I googled and found a recipe for something to make at a cocktail party, but I just made it myself. Cilantro! What a good idea.

Of course, when I say I made it I don't mean I followed the recipe. I didn't have quite enough sugar, I probably had too much ginger (because it needed using up), my rum bottle was emptier than I thought so there wasn't quite enough... but it still tastes great.

And since I swapped all my potatoes and onions in the veg box this week for salad veg (and prayed for good weather! what I've got is perfect), I made a big salad for my dinner: last week's lettuce which still needed using, ridiculously fresh and tasty red pepper, cucumber, sugar snap peas (which I always get excited about when the seasonal veg box brings them to me), homemade croutons and dressing. With a Quorn-chicken fillet sliced over the top.

It all just tastes so nice, and it reminds me of how shamefully recently I wouldn't have made salad dressings or croutons and just wouldn't have eaten like this at all. I didn't grow up with any of this kind of food.

I've been thinking a lot lately of everything I struggle with or don't know how to do; it's nice to be reminded of some things I have learned.

A meme

Jul. 8th, 2017 01:13 pm
hollymath: (Default)
Nicked this from [personal profile] mrs_leroy_brown because I was just getting myself riled up looking at twitter, and figured I could use something brainless to do.

Are you named after someone?
My middle name is Michelle because I share my birthday with my dad's brother, Michael.

Cut to save your scrolling fingers )
hollymath: (Default)
I have been really quiet here lately -- reading a lot, commenting as much as I can, but having nothing to say for myself. For the simple reason that depression has been kicking my ass.

I'd been so anxious before this that now that the anxiety's gone I have nothing sufficiently stressing me out for me to do it. I've been sleeping a lot because what's the point of being awake? I've been failing to apply for jobs either because I misremembered the deadline or because I decided a few months of badly-paid admin wasn't worth applying for, even if it is for a charity I care about.

I follow lots of things for immigrants, disability, and queer people on Twitter, and when they advertise job vacancies I sometimes apply because I care about these things, but something always goes wrong. It's not a very good process to find a job, but I'm wary of stepping into the big world of job hunting because it tends to give me panic attacks and because I know most jobs would just make me more mental in six months than I am now. And I'm at far too high a baseline of mentalness right now to risk that.

I really need a low-stress job and so many things stress me out, and it's not something you can filter for. "Are the people who work here nice? Will they yell at me for things I don't know how to do?" These questions are not easily answered; it's probably no surprise a lot of my jobs have come from knowing someone who already works there, which helps answer these kinds of questions. But that's not something I can wait around for, either.

I have lately been harboring fantasies of going back to college (university, I'd have to learn to call it), which is surprising, frankly. And no help at all.

Eng v SL

Jul. 4th, 2017 02:04 am
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It's horrible that women's cricket is so unpopular. It doesn't bring in huge crowds or lots of money.

But it's great that that means it's cheap and you can just turn up and get good seats. This is where we sat yesterday, at the County Ground in Taunton.

After an early start (I had to get up at 5:30!), and an extremely pleasant trip down (a friend of Ali's from her old cricket team joined us, and we chatted nonstop so the time went really fast), we found ourselves in these seats. Good cricket fans that we are, most of us had brought warm and waterproof clothes as well as our sunscreen and hats (I couldn't find my big floppy sun hat so had to bring my Twins hat, from a totally different ball game), but it was definitely a day for the latter: the weather was perfect: hot and sunny all day.

Sri Lanka won the toss and batted first, which I ended up being really glad of because we watched their innings with rapt attention, having pinned Tas's Sri Lanka flag to the fence in front of our front-row seats at the old pavilion end. Tas told us more stories (there had been a few in the car) about what it's like going to watch cricket in Sri Lanka, where she says it's like a religion and she'd wander in to matches after finishing school for the day, once taking a Dutch student friend who hadn't known anything about cricket and got caught up in it and soon was hooked. She told us about how, despite that, women's cricket gets little investment. The players are expected to cover costs themselves, and they're not likely to be well-off. "There's no one from Columbo on the team," she said. "These are village girls."

When the first wicket fell, I was sad but also I had been looking forward to seeing Athapaththu, who had shattered the record by getting 178 runs earlier in the week against Australia (a match that Sri Lanka, heartbreakingly, still lost). So of course she got out for only one run! Tas had just been telling a story of her dad or uncle or somesuch who went to see Don Bradman one day and he got out for a duck, the moral of which was that there's no batter who is immune from the bad day or the unlucky shot. Cricket people love to wax lyrical about this, about how batting is the loneliest thing in any sport and how arbitrary the amount of time that you get to play can be.

We reapplied sunscreen and ate sandwiches we'd brought with us, even had a couple of cans of cider (shared between three of us, since one of them had been caught at the bag checks as we came in, so Maz who was watching us laughed and said we looked like twelve-year-olds at a bus stop, passing the cans back and forth). Three other matches in the Women's World Cup were happening at the same time as ours: India v Pakistan, South Africa v West Indies, and Australia v New Zealand. During a drinks break, the scores for those matches were read out, including 42-7 for the West Indies. Ali and I had been following the scores and knew they'd been 35-5 or something, but also 16-5 so really it could have been worse and maybe they could still turn it around? But 42-7 was tragic. Soon after, while the game ahead of us was going on, an announcement was made over the tannoy that West Indies were all out for 48, news we met with audible gasps.

Still, at least it meant when things were looking a little ropey for Sri Lanka in the thirty-something overs, Tas could console herself with "at least we aren't the West Indies..." and laugh. She was pretty sanguine really: at least no ducks, at least no one's embarrassed themselves...I recognized this as the kinds of small-market fan goals that I'm used to setting for my Minnesota teams.

Tas also told us about the way that Sri Lankan names are put together, after seeing Ranasinghe's come up. Rana- and jaya- and -singhe and -wardena, she told us about old kings and lions and beauty and it was just great to have some of the unfamiliarity of the names worn off a little bit. All I know about Sri Lankan names I know from cricket, but even then I was able to notice some of the patterns and the elements of them, which I always like.

By one o'clock things were looking salvagable for Sri Lanka and I hoped they'd hit 200 runs. But at the same time, we saw that South Africa had already won their game, passing the West Indies score in six overs. "We'd already be int he pub by now!" we told each other. It seemed inconceivable while we were still watching the first team bat here. Though I knew such things were possible: two years ago I saw what was supposed to be an ODI at Old Trafford -- that was Eng v SL too, though men's that time -- which didn't even last as long as a T20 game, because Sri Lanka (batting first) were out for about 63 I think. Though soon after rain would have stopped play anyway. It was the saddest cricket imaginable.

Sri Lanka did manage all their overs, and 204 runs. It was time for the lunch break, and a few of us went inside for a while to get a break from the sun. Tas ended up chatting about Wi stuff, as she inevitably does -- she is the best president, always thinking about things and networking with people -- and we generally had a nice enough time that we didn't notice cricket had started again until after it had. We went outside again and I drank a beer (not as expensive as I feared, once I learned you got a quid back when you returned the plastic cup) and all too soon the boringly good England team had scored enough runs to win. They lost three wickets doing so, one right at the end from someone that Tas said she expected to see out the match, and it's nice to see that even when it was unlikely to matter, Sri Lanka weren't giving up. I had almost given up watching, being very warm and sleepy by then!

Just as we were leaving, Ali told us that the New Zealand cricketer she'd previously mentioned as the first to play international cricket who was born in the 2000s had gotten two Australians out on two balls, one of them being Meg Lanning! And Pakistan were not doing much better than the West Indies; they also had about 55 at the point their score was read to our crowd, again getting groans and gasps (they ended up with 74). Women's cricket is still such an uneven game, prone to score differences like these making me think about which countries are putting money into it (though my understanding from what I heard yesterday is that better is expected of the West Indies). It's sort of a shame knowing there's only a few teams I'm likely to see in the final in a couple of weeks -- though I'm still looking forward to it, of course! There are things that I prefer about the women's game, but there are frustrations with it too.

Krikkit

Jun. 28th, 2017 09:10 pm
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The other day Ali, one of my WI chums, messaged me and another one, Tas, to remind us of something we'd forgotten about: at one of our first committee meetings this year we got chatting about cricket and I mentioned the tickets to the Women's World Cup final that I have (only a few weeks now! can't wait!). Ali looked into other matches from that, to see if we could go see something at Old Trafford or whatever, and Tas asked if we could see Sri Lanka because she's from Sri Lanka.

"They are playing...in Taunton," Ali said, and Tas clapped her hands in anticipatory delight before asking where Taunton is.

"Somerset, I think?"

"Far away, anyway!"

And then, probably not entirely coincidentally, it dropped off the radar for all of us.

Until now! Ali not only reminded us of this but had looked up ticket prices (only £10; it's criminal that tickets sell for so much less if it's women playing sports than if it's men, but it's handy for me because I'm poor, so I'm conflicted...) and best of all she's willing to drive there and back on the day.

In America a hundred years is a long time, and in England a hundred miles is a long way. While I would've grown up thinking nothing of a road trip like this -- it wouldn't happen all the time, but it wouldn't be hugely remarkable either -- here, people don't drive to somewhere 200 miles away and back in the same day. So I feel really lucky that Ali is willing to do this, especially as I of course can be no help with the driving and I don't think Tas drives either. So for the price of admission and chipping in for petrol, we're suddenly having this amazing day out.

I was so excited as we were planning this that I was chair-dancing. Tas is so excited because she's planning to bring her Sri Lankan flag to wave, which my Anyone But England self couldn't be happier with (though I think that applies more to men's cricket; I've never felt such animosity to the women's team...). I think Ali has an English flag to bring, anyway. Also she's bringing a friend she used to play cricket with (she plays cricket!) and when Tas said the one time she's seen cricket she got on TV because she and her Sri Lanka flag were with a British friend of hers with a British flag, Ali said "If any of my friends who are current/former women's team players are going, they can get a bit raucous too! We've been mentioned on the Sky Sports a number of times..."

So yeah, I guess, look out for me on TV on Sunday?

Yesterday

Jun. 24th, 2017 09:26 am
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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.

Solstice

Jun. 21st, 2017 10:37 pm
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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.

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