Big day today

Sep. 19th, 2017 04:06 pm
zimena: (Misc - Meow!)
[personal profile] zimena
Today has been a very exciting day!

First, I had an appointment at the car workshop in the morning. They needed me to be there while they made some adjustments, so I've seen the new car again, too. This time with the lift and special floor installed, so this time I was even allowed to sit in it. Let's just say it's still an absolute dream. I just wish that my driving skills matched the feeling of being in the car... actually driving still scares me, though. But okay, old news and all that, and this is supposed to be an excitement post, so...

... they also said that the car might be ready in 3-4 weeks' time, depending on when the traffic authorities decide to approve the adjustments. Yes, there is apparently a separate procedure of approval for this.

On a different note, we also did something nice after finishing the car stuff: We bought a new TV. We've had a lot of issues with our old one, so this is something we've been discussing and thinking of doing for a long time already. At the same time, we're also going to change our TV and net provider (back to the company we used to be with before), so I'm excited about that... and a little nervous, because it will mean a bit of stress with having people over, and probably also a bit of stress before everything is set up to work the way it should.

Should work better than our current setup, anyway. Slow net and flawed TV picture (with a lot of short sound/picture failures if you try to watch anything) has been the order of the day for way too long, now.

Finally... this also means one more thing: We will not have a landline phone anymore after this switch.

I'll be honest and admit that it has been hard for me to accept that this is a sensible decision. Of course it's true that I hardly ever use the landline phone, and I haven't been using it for a good few years. The only people who call on it are telemarketers and - until recently - mom's friend who kept living with the misconception that calling someone on their mobile phone is ridiculously expensive, so better use the landline if you can. Even that friend has now cancelled her landline phone subscription, though...

... so why has it been hard for me to get rid of it? Simply because the landline phone number we have has been the same for practically all of my life. That phone number is us, in some way. It's ours, and getting rid of it feels a bit like getting rid of some part of myself; some part of my own history. Does that even make sense?

Now I just need to hear from the TV/net installation folks, so that I know when they're coming by to set things up.

Soon, preferably. Because this should be exciting!
scarlettina: (Default)
[personal profile] scarlettina
It's like clockwork around here: Labor Day comes and Mother Nature flicks a switch. Though Seattle summers are usually mild, this year, we're going from scorching hot days to cooler temps and now the rains have come. They started yesterday and continue today; I think we've seen the last of the sun for a while.

I'm not quite ready for autumn. I haven't changed over my wardrobe; I suppose that happens this week and weekend. Last night I changed my blanket from summer- to winter-weight. I don't have quite the right shoes for this weather; the boots that I've worn for three years now have got holes in them--perhaps not the quality I thought they were when I bought them.

And Rosh Hashannah is bearing down upon us with me, once again, not having tickets for services anywhere because I don't belong to a synagogue and because it's the busiest time of year for me at work. (Most synagogues don't know what to do with me anyway; they're set up for families, not for independent Women of a Certain Age.) I failed to get tickets for services at UW's Hillel, which I've done before. I live within walking distance of the local Chabad House (the only congregation in town that doesn't require a donation for High Holiday tickets), but I wasn't brought up Orthodox. And though their outreach is friendly and welcoming, I'm a little intimidated by the prospect of what will surely be a less-than-egalitarian approach to services. I'm not the sitting-in-the-back-row type. And so I'm once again a little bereft at this time of year.

And, as mentioned above, it's the busiest time of year at work, which means I've got tons of work to do, oftentimes overseen by a million managers, all of whom want to have check-in meetings to ensure the work is getting done. Which means talking to my actual manager about the irony of negotiating the work needing to be done versus attending meetings to report on said work. I can meet or I can execute; I can't do both effectively simultaneously. This year, it seems like it's worse than it's ever been. I keep putting off or declining meetings, and the managers who run said meetings want just five minutes, which often ends up turning into an hour anyway. And then I have to explain myself and my work to everyone. Especially irritating are the compliance managers, who insist that they don't have to be familiar with our website (on which I work) but then insist that I give them a tour to ensure I'm doing the work. It's maddening.

So, yeah. The turn of the calendar comes and the darker, cooler, wetter days, the busier days, come along with it. I miss living somewhere with a more gradual segue into autumn and winter. But every now and then we get a glimpse of the beauty that autumn can offer and I'm pleased.

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:45 am
balsamandash: Peggy Carter (Agent Carter) running in profile (mcu] a moving target's hard to hit)
[personal profile] balsamandash
We are in the car on our way to the airport. I am excited but mostly terrified.

Gonna try and take pictures while we're up there. Gonna try not to have a panic attack on the plane, too. XD

But I am excited, under the nerves. Travel! New places! [personal profile] forests_of_fire! Should be fun.

Interesting Links for 19-09-2017

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:00 pm

Well, I survived.

Sep. 19th, 2017 11:17 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I did GLEEEE and it felt like it was a good one and I got a whole four hours' sleep and I chaired the first debate of the morning and it didn't all go horribly wrong and nobody tried to suspend standing orders on me.

The next thing is Not The Leaders' Speech. Which, the way things are going, will be in the sodding directory by Spring.
radiantfracture: (Default)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
I was nearly welded today.

Our main building, containing cafeteria, store, offices, classrooms, is under construction. An enormous scaffold surrounds the front doors. Today, exiting with a sustaining bannana in one hand, I heard the burr of welding and then felt a sudden hot-cold shower on the left side of my head, just about the region of the parietal lobe. I put up my hand and plucked a speck of grit from my hair.

As I crossed the quad and mounted the stairs to my building, I began to work out that I'd been sprayed with tiny bits of metal -- little curled chips of aluminum were in my hair and speckled my sweater-vest like glittering lint.

It was not a great cascade of sparks or anything -- just a smattering and a peculiar sensation -- but Jesus. That could have gone into my eye. I spent the whole of my lesson on proper quotation partially convinced that a speckling of tiny holes might newly pepper my skull, like a thought-colander.

The Thought-Colander

After Ted Hughes

I imagine this midday moment's sensation-salad:
Something hot but lifeless
burrows into the occipital
makes a blank page of this field where
newly kindled hallucinations move

(etc.)

Sorry, Here's "The Thought-Fox" to Make Up for That

Actually by Ted Hughes

I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox,
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.


* * * * *

I feel like "midnight moment's forest" must have kinship with Hopkins' "morning's morning's minion" from "The Windhover." Discuss.

Fine, Here's "The Windhover" As Well

Gerard Manley Hopkins

I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

* * * * *

Nobody alliterates like our Gerry.


Downdates (What an Update Isn't)

I skipped the monthly reading post for August because, well, there was so little to discuss. I have trouble directing sustained attention under conditions of anxiety (such as term prep). Combining with September will give the list a more respectable heft.

At least I'm transparent in my machinations.

Likewise I think if I'm writing a report on how the term is going -- which is an idea I like a lot as a way to chronicle the development of this course I love -- it'll have to be a biweekly report at best.

A propos of some (very positive) recent events -- I wish I didn't feel so terrible when happy things breathe themselves across the membrane.1

Something wonderful takes place and afterwards it feels like a crisis -- I can't be happy because I'm so convinced that it was secretly a disaster or I am about to make it one.

Too much jouissance. Not enough swimming laps and meditation.

{rf}

1. Isn't transpire a great word? All those spire words are a gift basket from Latin: conspire (to breathe together); inspire (to breathe in); aspire (to breathe on); expire (to breathe out) -- my library card is about to breathe its last -- what else? What others? I love them.

2. Actually, if I weren't so tired I might write though the whole of "The Thought-Fox" just for the exercise.

these are musical musings, of a sort

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:51 pm
[personal profile] chanter_greenie
Forgive me for a second, folks. Chanter's going to ramble about Broadway.

So, the mayor/storyteller/one of the primary narrators in Come From Away intrigued me from almost the moment I heard his voice and his lines. As information for those who haven't heard the soundtrack, and I'm trying to avoid the heck out of spoilers here, there are multiple people describing events in Gander as they happen during the show, some openly timestamped, some not. We get perspectives from both local folks and plane people throughout - that's the whole framework of the musical - but as true narration goes, it's the Ganderites who get the timestamped snippets. There's a newbie reporter, two or three different schoolteachers whose time references are less to-the-minute but still important, at least one man whose name is never revealed, and the town's mayor. It's that last who also, and again I won't spoil without employing a cut tag, proves himself quite the spoken word storyteller in the course of the play. Aaaaand of course, my interest was well and truly snagged when he did so.

Oh, and just to be clear, I'm musing about the character in the musical here, not the real man or the actor who plays him, neither of whom I'm going to name.

Probably inaccurate daydreaming and shameless elaboration under the cut. Here there be mild but present Come From Away spoilers! )

After I wrote the lion's share of this down, I found a very recent article talking about the real people who inspired this musical. There was a quote in there from the real man, the actual mayor, and though I won't muse about him, it is a little eerie just how easily what he said about religion and skin color not mattering when people are in need could have come out of the musical version of the man's mouth, or the storyteller's as I imagine him. If somehow I've gotten his appearance right, I... Part of me wants to know, and part of me does oh so very not. I got close with his age, which is eerie enough; the article gave it as of 2017, and if you backdate to 2001, it's right on. Creepy! I definitely don't want to know if I've somehow got the actor's description - no thanks.

A little further daydreaming. Wherein Chanter is obvious. )

Do I need a Broadway tag? Or a 'Chanter has issues' tag? ... A maple leaves and warm fuzzies tag? Ah frak.

Departure

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:38 pm
liv: ribbon diagram of a p53 monomer (p53)
[personal profile] liv
I've never left a job before. I spent my 20s as a contract researcher, and when my project came to an end, I just... didn't work in that lab any more. So I didn't know how to give notice, how to do the tax paperwork, it was all completely new to me. Also, the people I've been working closely with for the past eight years were all actually sad to see me go and wanted to mark the rite of passage. That was new to me too, in a mostly touching but slightly bittersweet way.

last days )

I started my new job the following Monday. I need to work out how much I should talk about that in detail here; for one thing it's looking to involve somewhat more blogging and social media presence as my professional persona than the old job did. Also I am still adjusting to living in Cambridge full time, which is probably another post, and I'm up to my eyes preparing for the High Holy Days beginning on Wednesday, so I am going to stick with posting about leaving rather than about arriving for now.
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Running round like a blue arsed fly.
Have chaired first thing - health spokesperson Q&A with Liz Barker, Joan Walmsley, and Norman Lamb. I think it went quite well. Have also done MOAR aideing, HSLD AGM, and am now preparing for GLEEEEEEE.
I voted on some stuff, but none of it was controversial.

I have also undertaken to do a post (after conf) on How To Fill In a Speaker's Card, with examples. I am looking forward to doing this. Right, must dash...

Friday Five for a Monday morning

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:10 am
scarlettina: (Default)
[personal profile] scarlettina
1. If you had a year off (with pay, to make it interesting), what would you do with it?
First thing that came to my mind was get in my car and travel the country, the most massive road trip ever. There are so many places I want to see that I never have, and I have friends all over the country so it wouldn't be a solitary trip. Of course, I'd want to travel overseas as well; I'm not nearly done with international travel. But I have neglected seeing the US and the number of places I still want to go is huge: the Grand Canyon (which I'll actually be seeing in the spring), Red Rocks, Big Sur, Devil's Tower, Mt. Rushmore, the Big 5 in Utah, Crater Lake, the Newseum in DC, Nantucket, Fenway Park, Ellis Island (yeah, typical New Yorker), Kennedy Space Center, the Everglades and on and on and on. . . .

2. What are two things you would do to improve the country if you were in complete charge?
Single payer medical insurance. Democratic president.

3. What three TV shows do you like watching?
Very different question than what are your favorite shows; interesting way to put it. I like watching Project Runway though I haven't in a while, Game of Thrones though I'm a season behind, and Downton Abbey.

4. What are your four favorite ethnic dishes?
Lasagna, chicken tikka masala, phad see eiw.

5. What are five words you love to use?
Hilarious, bananas, booby (as in blue-footed).

Even sillier than meerkats

Sep. 18th, 2017 12:49 pm
hunningham: (Default)
[personal profile] hunningham
You have all seen this, haven't you? If not, then enjoy. My pleasure.


And some things get better - clause 28 gone the way of the dodo.
hunningham: (Default)
[personal profile] hunningham
We've been on holiday, we came home on Friday and have had a weekend at home before work and normal life resume on Monday. It's been really nice.

I have ploughed through a stonking great to-do list of All The Things which I didn't have the time or the energy to do before we went away. I'm not going to list them all because (a) boring for me to type out and (b) boring for you to read, but I would just like everyone to know that I have ... been to the gym ...AND... mopped the kitchen floor.

Amazement. Shock and Awe.

Interesting Links for 17-09-2017

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm

Long day!

Sep. 17th, 2017 02:46 am
azurelunatic: Polyamory infinite hearts, in a polymer-like grid (polymer)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Breakfast with partner and metamour Leopard Girl.

Seanan McGuire event in Silverdale. We brought tribute, and were briefly Seanan's favorite. (Diet Dr Pepper and candy corn. Seanan is a being of predictable tastes.)

Mini muffin tin quest!

Partner made a note they should chat with our mutual friend in London about stuff. Hooray, viable communities.

Dinner for the extended polycule, with many dishes thanks to Trader Joe's. (Rice, orange chicken with extra zesty sauce but no carrots since we ran out, BBQ pork buns, pot stickers, spring rolls, and green beans. The rice and green beans weren't pre-packaged, and I do a little customization to the chicken by adding orange peel and scallions. The gyoza and bao steam over the rice, and the spring rolls could bake with the chicken. The green beans start frozen and get gently fried with seasonings. Usually it's butter and Montreal steak seasoning, but Stray Puppy Girl is very lactose intolerant, and Leopard Girl dislikes red pepper. So I went for sesame oil, garlic, onion, pepper, salt, ginger, a packet of soy sauce that needed using, and the excess teriyaki sauce from the other night. It turned out well. To my immense gratification, my partner really likes all the iterations of the green beans that I have made so far. Generally they disappear immediately.)

Club night. Without going into excessive detail, one of the groups near the people I was with were having a hilarious time, and kept setting each other off giggling. That prompted our group to giggle. The glee was infectious.

Everyone is spending the night. We hauled the camping pads out of the alleged guest room (it is currently not in a state for guests as my textiles have exploded all over it) and they're set up next to the futon in case it turns from cozy to crowded in the middle of the night. Things are well set up for breakfast, and there should be cheesecake at some point (thus the mini muffin tins).
miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I went to the Opening of conference, and was impressed by how quickly El Presdente got it done - because she knew what was coming. The FCC report was passed, as is custom, and then the debate about suspending standing orders happened. There was a counted vote, despite some idiot protesting it wasn't necessary (IMHO on these contentious things you don't want to leave ANY room for doubt) so we know the exact margin, and it was 4-1 in favour of suspension. Obviously I voted in favour of suspending standing orders. I voted to pass the FPC report, and then it was time for an FCC Meeting. Now that we knew what was going to happen in F17, we had to plan it.

Then, because I was going to be stage aide on F6 The Paris Agreement, Zoe (who was chairing it) & I went to plan the session - deciding what order to call speakers, etc. When it came to The Paris Agreement debate itself, as I got on stage I suddenly realised I had parted my hair the wrong side, and every time I looked at the speaker I was presenting a curtain of hair to the audience. Also, if I needed further incentive to lose a little weight, I can only just fit my ample derriere into the chair provided...

I grabbed a (rather manky) toastie, and then lurked in the back of the First timers' Q&A session, mainly to check that the sort of answers I have been giving when newbies ask me stuff had some congruence with official answers. Then there was more debate planning, this time for F10 The Natural Environment. Apparently while I was doing this I missed some barnstorming speeches in the Impact of Brexit on Public Services debate. Still, as I was Hall Aide rather than Stage Aide for the Natural Environment motion, I actually got to vote in the debate - my first policy vote of the conference. I voted in favour of the amendment, then in favour of the motion as amended, as did pretty much everyone else.

Then, while everyone else was at the rally, I had Safeguarding Training - compulsory for FCC members - followed by a quick dash to the pub to obtain food. We dragged a journo along with us and talked to him about trains. I think he secretly quite liked being at conference. Then there was the First timers' Reception -this is another thing I have to do as a committee member. Go and wander round looking approachable and asking people how they are finding conference. I think I was actually helpful to some people - showing them a speaker's card and explaining how to fill it in and things.

Then, for the first time ever, I was inveigled into going to the lib dem Disco. It started with headbanging to rage against the machine and ended with a drunken impromtu rendition of Poisoning Pigeons In The Park on the street outside.

All in all a reasonably successful day. Today is a bit less full on, although I do have ALL THE LGBT+ THINGS tonight... Now have to dash to the venu to get to (you guessed it) an FCC meeting.

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