hollymath: (Default)
This is so obvious but I don't think I've read about it anywhere.

It's pretty well understood in my circles, which involve a lot of disabled people and a lot of politics people, that disabled people get a lot of shit from the DWP.

Very few people realize how strikingly similar am experience immigrants can have in dealing with the Home Office.

There really are a lot of parallels. Look at this Guardian article I read today:

It starts right in the subhead.
the Home Office is driven not by reason but by keeping numbers down.
And it just goes on.
Not only is the Home Office understaffed and under-resourced as the result of public sector cuts, it is also under pressure to deliver whatever results the government needs to stand any chance of meeting its immigration targets
The guiding Home Office principle seems to be reject first, ask questions later, and in the meantime hope the applicant does not have the connections or resources to appeal. Immigration lawyers have told me that officials were at one point being incentivised, on the basis of how many applications they rejected, with Marks & Spencer vouchers.
the Home Office in particular, and the immigration system in general, has long made decisions not on the basis of merit or reason, but as a way of filtering out as many applicants as possible – either via exhaustion of resources or impossibly high barriers.
If the waiting or the rejections or the appeals don’t exhaust the anxious applicant, the costs involved in protecting themselves from the relentless machine surely will.
Already there are reports of EU citizens being questioned about their right to use the NHS, and concerns about poor and elderly people who may struggle to fortify themselves against whatever ultimate decision will be made about their status.
these deficiencies yield great consequences for ordinary people who suffer when a bureaucracy turns brutal. It has also revealed the extent to which immigration law is damaged by populist thinking and underfunding.
Having tried and mostly failed to get blood out of the stone that is the DWP, I don't relish dealing with another system that is similar in any way (and I heartily wish I'd been able to do this while Andrew still had a steady and quite healthy income, because I'm terrified of how expensive this could be... I know I Kickstarted the money for the application fee but, as this article alludes, anything that doesn't go perfectly smoothly will cost a lot more).

But now that Christmas is out of the way and I have a nice long stretch ahead of me where I don't expect to need my passport, it's time to put the final touches on my citizenship application and send it off.
hollymath: (Default)
I couldn't call my parents when we got back from the airport to say we'd arrived fine, like I usually do, because Andrew had unplugged the computers and router and the phone, which is cordless. (Calling tem from my cellphone would be prohibitively expensive) so I sent an e-mail instead (over 4G, becasu the wi-fi was inexplicably fucked even when I did make sure everything was connected up and plugged in again) to say we were back fine and I got a reply from my dad basically saying good, thanks.

And then the weekend came and went, it was New Year's so I was sort of relieved and we hadn't been gone a whole week yet so it didn't seem like a big deal.

Then last weekeend arrived. I was a lot less busy. And I'd actually...kind of missed my parents. I feel like this isn't a thing I usually get to do. Usually having to talk every Sunday regardless of whether I feel like I have anything to say, I can get resentful. It feels oppressive. It's really a chore. I appreciate the regularity of talking around the same time every week, I know my parents really like that, but I am the ungrateful, ungraceful child.

Sunday wore on and I hadn't heard from them. Eventually I sent them an e-mail asking if they were around to talk, which I don't know has ever happened before? I mean, we don't talk every Sunday and it's become less rigid since Dad retired -- it used to be the only day in the week he was guaranteed not to be working, and now they're as likely as I am not to be around on Sundays, as they're settling into their life of day trips and season tickets to the local am-dram and whatnot -- but usually if they're not going to be around Mom will have already e-mailed me to let me know. She's really good about this stuff, much better than I am.

But this time I went to bed not having heard back, which left me feeling a little unsettled. Not upset or worried or anything, but it was odd.

I got an e-mail from Mom the next day saying sorry and was I around then. I wasn't, I was trying out a yoga class (it was my first time trying yoga and I ended up really liking it). She was busy yesterday having a meeting about the kitcheen renovation they're having done.

So finally we caught up today. She couldn't get the video working on the iPad, which is a ritual that happens probably 50% of the time and she'll probably never learn to hold it in such a way that I'm not looking up her nose. She interrupted my dad lifting weights to get him to talk to me too. They told me my grandma's sight in her right eye is getting better, enough to read her mail and read the newspaper a little it, which seems to have had a pretty awesome effect on her quality of life.

Mom also told me they'd been having prolems with their e-mail: somehow she thinks their e-mail address has been changed to one that's about bikers?...or something... and from her description I have no idea what kind of problem they've managed to make for themselves this time: she says she has to "go out into the e-mail and delete that and put our e-mail address in," and then when she comes back to send another e-mail that one's back so she has to do it again. So she thinks their e-mail has been hacked, but luckily she knows little enough about hacking that she isn't worried abbout this. And their e-mails have looked perfectly normal by the time they've arrived with me. How do parents manage to do these things?

It was just nice to see them again, nice to see my mom's very My-Mom kind of top she was wearing and the bits of the house I could see as she walkd with the iPad down to see my dad. Nice to catch up on all this normal stuff. Nice to miss them.
hollymath: (Default)
Finally got the last of the unpacking done. I've never left it as long as this! A week and a half.

It's not hard work -- I just folded and (mostly) put away a load of laundry with about as much difficulty -- except that it's hard emotional labor.

New stuff. And we don't need more stuff.

There's nowhere to put what we already had.

I need a better system.

I need fewer t-shirts.

And sweaters.

I need Andrew to tell me which clothes he doesn't wear any more.

It's hard to get rid of stuff my parents got me, though. There is so little of them in my life as it is.

But... Some of what they've given me is control-top tights and I'm never gonna wear those; I've got tights that actually fit and aren't trying to make me into a different person!

I'd sort of like to be a different person in other ways, though. I'm angry so much of the time lately, which is so weird for me so it's disconcerting too.

I'm connumicating badly, to the extent it might've cost me one of my volunteering roles -- something that's still too stressful to think about enough to write it, but suffice it to say it's the one I'll miss least.

It'd be a relief not to be doing it except I don't know what's gonna happen with that thing now and I do really want it to happen, and because I think I was unfairly maligned which hurts my pride but honestly pride is pretty far down on the list of things I get to worry about.


Jan. 8th, 2017 11:22 pm
hollymath: (Default)
Before I forget: I went to see Poppycock on Friday!

This is a big deal because I've been meaning to since my friend Stuart joined the band a while ago. He's the drummer, and the only man of the eight or so of them in the band. It is a thing that's brought him much happiness and sense of achievement at a time in his life when there are not enough things to do that, so for that alone I'd be grateful but it turns out they're a great band too.

It was the first time I'd been to A Gig By A Band That My Friend Is In for quite a while, and it was possibly the best one yet. All three bands were from the label Poppycock is on, which Stuart told me has rules like "If you sound like Oasis, Coldplay or [something else he forgot but you can probably get the idea], don't bother with us." Andrew and I had both bought tickets but he wasn't feeling up to going which is a shame because I think he'd have really appreciated this. He used to be an a band, and thus listen to other bands, at a time when everybody did want to sound like Oasis, or the Fall, or whatever. Except him. He still wants to be in bands that don't have guitars in them and wishes for things like a bass harmonica or a harpsichord.

Poppycock have guitars, a fairly standard line-up really -- though everyone but the rhythm section and one singer played more than one thing and there was a flute put to good use in some of the songs -- but they still stand out. Just having that many women on stage gave me a weird feeling I am starting to have more often, like when I saw Ghostbusters last year: there's something crazy about seeing more than one woman in any group, and her not being "the girl one." And they are great at it, and Una writes good songs, and it was so good to see Stuart play guitar again.

I call him a friend but he's not just that; he's an ex too, singular in several ways because he's the only one I really talk to and also the only one I really miss. It was bittersweet to watch him play again, reminded me of going to see his old band (and there I really was there just because he was in it! -- they were all right but not really my cup of tea) and feeling like I might burst with pride and happiness at getting to know and be involved with such a person, and just having the joy of watching someone do something they're really good at.

Extra-surprisingly for going-to-see-your-mate's-band, the other two on the bill were pretty good too! First was Four Candles, whose set I arrived halfway through and the second half I confess I mostly spent catching up with Stuart and [livejournal.com profile] scarletts_web because it was the first time I'd seen her in four years, how did that happen!?

It's extra a-thing-that-should-not-have-happened because she's a huge fan of Poppycock and travels from the other side of Warrington to see them play in Manchester all the time and this was the first gig I'd managed to get to and that only because it's literally a five-minute walk from my house.

Anyway, Stuart said of the first band "brilliantly venomous and heartfelt lyrics combined with fantastically inventive playing from guitar, bass and drums." The singer had been in a band called The Hamsters before and people seemed to know and like him.

And the second band, Patchwork Rattlebag (good name but oh my god everybody I talked to kept forgetting it, it's just lots of interchangeable nouns!) I probably liked more than most; [livejournal.com profile] scarletts_web pronounced them a bit fey but I love that kind of chilled out music, it's what I play whenever Andrew's not around. So that wouldn't have been his favorite, but he'd have had to agree the singer had an incredible voice, strong and laden with emotion over the electronica background, I was a bit disappointed none of the merch at the little stall was their music (though I was reassured it's on the way) or else I'd have bought some. Which is really much more an Andrew thing to do than a me thing to do; I think the last time I bought a CD at a gig was at the IPO (International Pop Overthrow, a fun thing in Liverpool) maaany years ago and mostly that was because the guy made me laugh by asking if anyone had heard of Des Moines and then didn't believe me when I said I'd been there.

And then Poppycock, but not before some in-between, setting-up music which I thought I recognized as one of my favorite albums from last year -- it's a few years old but I didn't hear it until last year -- by The Imagined Village. As it was playing I was chatting to someone who said "oh, this is Poppycock...they've started?" I chuckled and said no, this was Eliza Carthy singing, but that as far as I was concerned if they could be mistaken for sounding like this I'd be pleased.

And I was!

Afterward I helped a little (hoping I wasn't more of a hindrance) get the gear packed up and out to the car, stuck around for a drink (someone I remember from the last time I was at this place, getting drunk on Han's birthday, bought me a pint and we talked about 80s Bob Dylan; old men with beards and rollies are so easy for me to get along with) and I'd meant to stick around and say hi to Stuart again but there was Important Band Meeting going on so I just went home. All gigs should be so fun and so easy to get to.
hollymath: (Default)
* According to Facebook's On This Day feature, anyway.

Went swimming with [personal profile] haggis and Katie today, first time I've been able to join them in more than a week of trying to go together. [personal profile] haggis and I are going to try out the yoga class tomorrow evening, whiich I'm intrigued by. I've never done yoga.

Then Tea Hive, then [personal profile] haggis got me my Christmas present, which was to drive me to B&Q and buy me a ladder because it'd be impossible for me to get one home on the bus.

This is unreasonabbly exciting. A lot of stuff at B&Q was exciting: well-designed kitchens! Nice light fixtures! I had a moment of oh god I'm so old and boring..., etc., but part of me didn't even feel it as I was thinking it. Part of me was already thinking well, actually... DIY stores were always boring as hell when I was a kid but that doesn't mean being an adult is boring.

I was bored when I was a kid because I didn't have any say in the choices being made, couldn't pick a new light fittng or be allowed up a ladder so of course I was bored. Now I can do what I want (well exept I have no money but still), and that's never boring. In a similar way, grocery shopping, which I considered its own circle of hell as a kid, got a lot more fun when I went to college and could buy whatever I wanted (until my money ran out).

It might be exhausting (there's a lot of decision-fatigue in my life!), but not boring.

I wouldn't want to be a kid again. I feel enough like one when I'm back at my parents, and that's bbad enough even knowing now what I didn't know then (like that the internet exists, and I can escape in a week!).


Jan. 7th, 2017 09:50 pm
hollymath: (Default)
I've done nothing but lie on the couch all day, reading and watching stuff on Netflix (mostly Master of None which I'm really enjoying).

If I was a normal person I would probably have thought this was a nice, relaxing day. But since I'm me and don't know how to relax I've only done this because I'm too stressed and anxious (cf yesterday, it kinda carried on into this morning) to do anything else.
hollymath: (Default)
I found myself humming "awesome, wow!" when I was walking the dog this morning and realised that if Groffsauce doesn't spend the twentieth of January singing "do you know how hard it is to lead?" and "oceans rise, empires fall" and basically all the rest of "What Comes Next?" for us, I will be sorely disappointed.
hollymath: (Default)
Bit late, but here's something awesome I first saw this Christmas season.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in Anglo-Saxon meter, by Philip Craig Chapman-Bell. Via Etymonline on Facebook, who says “An Internet classic; but I can no longer find it where I first found it (Cathy Ball’s Old English reference pages).”
Incipit gestis Rudolphi rangifer tarandus

Hwæt, Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor –
Næfde þæt nieten unsciende næsðyrlas!
Glitenode and gladode godlice nosgrisele.
Ða hofberendas mid huscwordum hine gehefigodon;
Nolden þa geneatas Hrodulf næftig
To gomene hraniscum geador ætsomne.
Þa in Cristesmæsseæfne stormigum clommum,
Halga Claus þæt gemunde to him maðelode:
“Neahfreond nihteage nosubeorhtende!
Min hroden hrædwæn gelæd ðu, Hrodulf!”
Ða gelufodon hira laddeor þa lyftflogan –
Wæs glædnes and gliwdream; hornede sum gegieddode
“Hwæt, Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor,
Brad springð þin blæd: breme eart þu!”

Rendered literally into modern English:
Here begins the deeds of Rudolph, Tundra-Wanderer

Lo, Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer –
That beast didn’t have unshiny nostrils!
The goodly nose-cartilage glittered and glowed.
The hoof-bearers taunted him with proud words;
The comrades wouldn’t allow wretched Hrodulf
To join the reindeer games.
Then, on Christmas Eve bound in storms
Santa Claus remembered that, spoke formally to him:
“Dear night-sighted friend, nose-bright one!
You, Hrodulf, shall lead my adorned rapid-wagon!”
Then the sky-flyers praised their lead-deer –
There was gladness and music; one of the horned ones sang
“Lo, Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer,
Your fame spreads broadly, you are renowned!”

I was delighted when I first read this that it really is following Old-English rules of poetry, which didn't expect rhymes like modern English poetry but rather Anglo-Saxon meter, which has alliteration rather than rhyme and uses a lot of compound nouns (known as kennings).

My (sadly never finished, thanks nervous breakdown!) senior-seminar in college was about Old English riddles, which meant I had to read and write so much about kennings, clever/poetic ways of describing things (like "hoof-bearers" or "sky-flyers" in this). Often, it seems these clever constructions were not intended as solely poetic, artistic turns of phrase but created in order to keep to the rules about alliteration. Even if you don't know how the Old English is supposed to sound, you can probably see the alliteration in most of the lines about good old Hrudolf here.

From the same website, All Things Linguistic, where I learned about Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor, I also recently discovered the existence of the History of English podcast which goes into all this stuff in so much detail it's about thirty episodes before you get to anything recognizably English at all. I'm used to the history of English beginning after the Romans left Britain, and this is so much better, going all the way back to Proto-Indo-European and covering thousands of years of linguistic development as it affects English. It might be too detailed for a lots of people but I'm absolutely loving it.
hollymath: (Default)
I had enough sleep, did some cleaning in preparation for in-laws descending on us (vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, took out a lot of garbage which is hard to do when your bin has been stolen!), was sociable with them for a couple hours, did two loads of laundry, walked to Burnage and back to fetch Gary after the second half of his holiday there...

...and still feel like I've done nothing and am way behind already and need to get started.

This is the problem I have with all this New Year motivation and ambition...doing what I do never feels like enough.

Though really this problem has been going on since I got back from my parents', just because I think I felt so frustrated there and so badly missing all the things I couldn't do, from going to the gym to working on my book, that now in the evenings when the day has calmed down I just feel exhausted and overwhelmed and incapable of doing anything but waiting for it to be bedtime.

I think I'm finally caught up on sleep, which I didn't need so much for feeling-tired purposes as my-brain-needing-to-sort-things-out purposes. I don't feel like that's happened but at least I was able to do all the chores and stuff today.

And I'd have gone to the gym if they'd been open past four; I've been hampered by their reduced hours since I got back and am looking forward to it getting back to normal tomorrow. And to stores being open normally again tomorrow -- we need food, too.

Maybe I'll get back to normal tomorrow too. My normal isn't so great that I'm really looking forward to getting back to it, but it's better than this.
hollymath: (Default)
Various friends have done this and I liked the idea: what should be my new year resolutions? Feel free to suggest anything at all, serious or silly, and I'll pick some I like.
hollymath: (Default)
I just saw something on facebook about Water Aid trying to encourage people to drink only water for the month of January. "Had one too many?" it asks, making broad assumptions of shared culture.

It makes me laugh, because I might be the only person I know who looks forward to Christmas finishing so I can get back to rich food and strong flavors and alcohol and indulgence and all the things I'm getting back just when everyone's supposed to want to give them up!

Girl Hours

Dec. 30th, 2016 08:59 am
hollymath: (Default)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] meepalicious who, upon seeing Adrienne Rich's "Planetarium" linked to in my post about Vera Rubin, told me about another poem about another space-science woman which I absolutely adore: "Girl Hours".
Oh bright rain, brave clouds, oh stars,
oh stars.

Two thousand four hundred fires
and uncharted, unstudied,
the hours, the hours, the hours.


Dec. 29th, 2016 07:32 pm
hollymath: (Default)
I'm not tired but I can't think of anything I can do. Having spent the last nine days either cooking or being sociable with the family or being bored to tears by what my parents call "relaxing" (time when I had nothing to do but knit, read, or spod on the internet), which was always interspersed by chores anyway...my brain and body are now rebeling.

I can't enjoy knitting or reading or social media or watching movies because these things are now associated with my last resort from crushing tedium. I started unpacking but we have so much new stuff now -- more clothes than there's room or desire for, mostly -- that I'm too disheartened and overwhelmed to finish it.

The house is cold and I haven't slept in so long I don't know what day it is, so I've gotten into my warm new Vikings pajamas (for all I was grateful to get back here, the pajamas smell like my mom's laundry soap and that make me homesick) and under an extra duvet with an old favorite audiobook, but I'm not tired. Not in the sense of "sleepy because it's the end of the day," anyway. I guess I am tired in the "I need a holiday to recover from this 'holiday' " sense.
hollymath: (Default)
Honestly, I've been pretty sanguine about the death toll of 2016. I think this is probably because I had a lot less to do with pop culture than most of my friends, either through being slightly younger, living a boring sheltered life, or what. I don't feel personally connected to them so I don't feel like I'm losing that bit of myself when we lose them.

But what I think my calm acceptance is about (and I don't trust this thought because I really think I'm rationalizing my lack of emotional connection) is that most of these great people can and should be emulated. The good that they do should, and hopefully does, live on after them in the people they inspire to do the kinds of things they did which made us like them.

So while I recognize that (to give a recent example) David Bowie, Prince and George Michael expanded the boundaries of what men can be like, I also believe that this good and important work can and should continue beyond them. That maybe the best way to honor them is to emulate the things we liked about them and even push some boundaries, like they did.

However! There is one death I'm actually sad and angry about, and it's not because it's someone who personally had a big impact on my life but because it says something sad and angry-making about our world.

Vera Rubin discovered dark matter in the 1970s. She also died on Christmas Day.

This means, among other things, that she will now never get the Nobel Prize her work so richly deserves, because they're only awarded to living people.

As this article about her said in June, "It’s like the [Nobel] committee cannot see her, although nearly all of astrophysics feels her influence." This, of course, could also be a description of her famous discovery: dark matter is called that because astronomers can't "see" it (or detect it in any other way) and yet it must be there to explain the behavior of the matter we can see -- like stars and galaxies.

Only two women have ever won the Nobel Prize in physics, the most recent in 1963 (and even that was a woman sharing it with two men). Even with how difficult it is for women to get in, stay in, and succeed in scientific fields, it happens more often than twice a century!

Like all women in predominantly-male careers, Vera Rubin had to be extra aggressive and persistent. Stories like the one where she had to modify a bathroom sign because until then there'd been no ladies' room where she worked sound endearing and admirable at first...but then realization dawns: how could there have been only men's toilets?! How is this a thing anyone has to put up with? Rubin herself said in 2000 she was "fed up... What’s wrong with this story is that nothing’s changing, or it’s changing so slowly.”

This is why I'm sad and angry. We owed her so much better.
I found out about Vera Rubin's death from the twitter of Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, one of a few space-science women I follow there. I used to follow some men too but only the women talk about what really interests me, which is space (where they say the same kinds of things as the men of course) and social justice here on Earth. Dr. Chanda P-W is Jewish and a woman of color as well, so I find her perspective especially valuable in this, plus she just sounds like a fun person to know.
The following tweets you can see if you click on that one give a good idea of what Vera Rubin was like as a person, not just as the discoverer of a bit of science so famous we've all heard of it even if we don't really know what it is.

Other good stuff about Vera Rubin I found yesterday:
“I first observed at Palomar one long dark December night in 1965,” she recalled later. “My assigned bedroom was on the second floor of the dormitory, and there was a velvet rope at the first floor, blocking the stairs. When an astronomer asked why the rope was there, the answer was ‘because Vera Rubin is upstairs.’”

I live and work with three basic assumptions," Rubin once wrote:
1) There is no problem in science that can be solved by a man that cannot be solved by a woman.
2) Worldwide, half of all brains are in women.
3) We all need permission to do science, but, for reasons that are deeply ingrained in history, this permission is more often given to men than to women."

And here are a few clips from the BBC of Rubin talking about her work.
hollymath: (Default)
Somebody asked me how I'm doing and I said "i have no idea because I'm decoupling the things I have to do from any emotions or opinions I might have had about them."
hollymath: (Default)
I love this interview. But this is definitely my favorite bit.
But, it seems, we humans can’t help but sometimes think of our robots as being just like us.
“There is a personality there,” Spilker said of the Cassini spacecraft, “and I think it is a reflection of the Cassini team. We take good care of her and watch over her, making sure everything goes right. And if she curls up in the middle of the night and says ‘Help!’ we all come in and want to fix her and get her running again.”
hollymath: (Default)
Can't remember if I've mentioned this here, but I'm regional lead for One Day Without Us, the immigrant strike/day of action planned for February.

I volunteered for this in the usual way, by asking on Twitter if anything was happening in Manchester back when they were trying to encourage various regional groups to start. And the answer was basically "no, do you want to?"

And (largely because I was applying for Job I Really Wanted at the time, and thought it'd look good on my CV, to be honest) I said okay. I was told that there were people who were interested in a group who lived in the area, just none of them wanted to lead on it -- a scenario familiar to any volunteer. And I thought, yeah, no problem. I started a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

Nothing really happened. I vaguely wondered if I should be being more proactive, but also I was busy with a bunch of other things and I had signed up to project-manage this, not do everything.

The occasional e-mail or phone call from the national org asked me how it was going and I was like "...where are the people?! I was promised people?" I was told well, most groups are just a group of friends at this point, so where are your friends? I did the mental equivalent of surveying the room and thought Oh. You wanted someone more middle-class for this, you should've said. My friends are all busy working tiring jobs, and poor, and probably chronically ill or disabled in some way. My friends are already volunteering. My friends are already doing all they can.

But of course they're also union reps or working in social housing or otherwise able to talk to people and put feelers out and stuff. And, of course, when I didn't get The Job I Really Wanted, the person from that organization I'd talked to over the summer put me in touch with the person who did get it -- which stung a little, like the ex you haven't gotten over telling you how great their new partner is, but it was clear to me even before I met her yesterday that they absolutely should've chosen her and not me.

One thing ODWU encouraged the regional groups to do was organize a face-to-face meeting early in December to brainstorm ideas for what we'd like to do on the One Day.

I arranged Manchester's for last night, pimped it out to my friends and even my local Wi (having been encouraged that it's Our Sort of Thing, which was nice) and... to cut a depressing story short, after a comedy of errors in getting there, turned up half an hour late to find the place dark and locked and with no indication of a meeting there. And out of all the people who might have turned up, only one was still there (and I think that was partly because she was waiting for her husband to drive back and give her a lift home as planned!), the person who got the job, R.

We ended up having the "meeting," her and Andrew and Em J I'd brought along with me for moral support, in a nearby takeaway over fizzy drinks. Some useful stuff got done, though! R is knowledgeable, unflappable (she was actually reassuring me about how okay it was that the meeting hadn't worked out as planned, despite her having been the one stuck outside a confusingly locked building in a strange area in the cold!) and the kind of welcoming that will make her great at a job that consists of having meetings with all kinds of different people and groups.

I gave her the information I'd excitedly printed out, she already wants me to come to meetings with her to talk about this and (since I ended up confessing I'd gone for the same job, which bless her made her feel bad and say that I should've gotten it, which made me feel bad...we're both immigrants, yet both still so capable of the British hang-ups) said she wanted to take me (and even Andrew and Em J if they want!) to a meeting she has to go to in London in January to showcase volunteers she's working with.

One of her reasons for saying I should've gotten the job instead is that it's a lot of work: lots of reading to catch up on, lots of meetings all over the place and co-ordinating public transport to get to and from. I knew this is the kind of thing that the job entailed, of course, and I kinda feel like I might've been more able to take it on if I'd gotten it because having the job would've meant I had a job, if you see what I mean: I'd have worried less about money and I'd probably have picked fewer fights with Andrew and that sort of thing: I might have had more energy to devote to it. But I was a little relieved when she talked about the work because it kinda does sound like too much for me.

I made a joke about how if it's too much for her she should tell them she needed help and they should give me a job, but I don't quite think it was successful -- she seemed to take it seriously and make good points about why that couldn't happen (she's too new at the job herself to have any kind of clout, of course) but also that's when she started inviting me to some of her meetings with people who she says might be interested in One Day Without Us and suggesting places we can meet, and that kind of thing.

I got home and I was...rightly spotted by Katie who rang me soon after as having a kind of low-level anxiety attack. I felt like a spring wound too tight. I'm unhappy with the venue that arranged the meeting as normal and then was closed. I'm unhappy with how much more difficult it's been than it should be to find people in Manchester who want to do something for immigrants for one day in February. I'm annoyed at myself for probably being shit at both of those things which is why they're in such a sorry state. I'm annoyed at how awkward I was about a job I didn't get and feel like I'm having my feels about not getting a job on someone who totally should have gotten it instead.
hollymath: (Default)
First, I just want to say that I don't hate 2016.

Maybe this is because I live in a country where most of the celebrity deaths don't hit me personally. Leonard Cohen's music and poetry has been enormously important to me in the eight years I've known about it, but if ever there were a death that the deceased himself attempted to prepare us for as thoroughly as he himself was, it was him...so what do I have to be sad about there? I'm still digesting his new album and I'm sure I'll never hear everything that he could tell me.

Easy for me to say when my formative heroes aren't leaving me, but I don't hate 2016. Maybe moving countries has left me already feeling like I'd lost a lot of my cultural touchstones and milestones? Maybe I was always out-of-sync with pop culture -- listening to music at least three times as old as me from the time I was twelve, so terrible at consuming visual media that it's only with a year's worth of audio-described movies and BBC documentaries that I realized how terrible I was. I don't know. But I don't hate 2016 for that.

And I don't hate 2016 for its politics either, because Brexit and the purloined election in the U.S. were borne of problems and patterns that didn't start this year and won't end this year. The coming flip of the calendar brings me no consolation, so the previous one can have brought me no dread either.

I wrote that last night and then today read an article that puts it better than I could:
last month Oxford Dictionaries named ‘post-truth’ the word of the year, describing circumstances when objective facts are less influential than appeals to emotion and beliefs.

Our media feeds are echo chambers. And those echo chambers don’t just reflect our political beliefs; they reflect our feelings about human progress.

Bad news is a bubble too.
With all that said, here are the answers to a meme I've done at the end of most of the years I've been blogging. )
hollymath: (Default)
Just caught sight of myself in the mirror and thought, as always lately, damn I'm scruffy because my hair is in that horrible sticks-out-everywhere stage of growing out...

...and then I scratched my head, and something about the way I looked as I was doing this made me think no I'm not, I'm Columbo!

Nearly all of my recent visits to Brighouse have featured watching an episode or two with [personal profile] miss_s_b, and this had been so much fun -- I hadn't seen Columbo since my dad watched it when I was young enough to think it was excruciatingly boring, but now I get it and it brings all kinds of joy, especially watching it with Jennie -- but I never expected it'd be good for my self-image too!

You couldn't even say that he doesn't care about his appearance, because he does -- he knows people will underestimate him if he dresses like that and has a slouchy posture and drives a terrible car, and seems to love using this to his advantage -- but you also get the impression that this is just him being himself, he'd do the same even if it did him no good. Truly an inspiration.
hollymath: (Default)
Got my first holiday card* this year, from [livejournal.com profile] starbrow. Inside there is a very nice message and a signature on the right side of the card. On the left side is just written

* I've seen a few "if you want a holiday card let me know" posts. I have been rubbish at answering them because I was hoping I could offer reciprocal cards this year...and it turns out that is in no way a possibility. Sad times. But if you are still willing to send a card to someone who can't send one to you, please add me to your list because I love getting cards and I really need more cheerful things right now. Will happily give out my address if you need it.


hollymath: (Default)

February 2017

   123 4
5678 91011
12131415 16 17 18


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags