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I really didn't want to go to the swing dance class tonight. I wanted to go to sleep. I was exhausted by 5pm, after a busy and sometimes stressful day where a sinus infection continues to lurk just under the level where I can't function.

But [personal profile] diffrentcolours and Em J were expecting me. Em J and I did that thing where maybe neither of us would've gone on our own but we both managed it together. We make a good team.

And of course I'm glad I went. I came home sweaty as anything and with a twisted ankle that's still really sore, but I still loved it.

The dances today were new to everybody, so I didn't have to feel self-conscious about not ever having been to such a class before, and the first was a solo jazz dance anyway so I could fuck up to my heart's content (which is apparently a lot!) without having to worry about ruining anything for another person.

That dance was called the shim-sham, and it was a highly choreographed thing where it was as difficult to keep the steps in my head as it was to do them with my feet. All except the first one, the drag, which happened to have exactly the pattern I knew from paradiddles, the one drum thing I know (one time, about nine years ago, when I had been crying about something, Stuart gave me a drum lesson to cheer me up and it was the best thing...so that's how I know about paradiddles). It's maybe not the absolute best hobby for a visually impaired person -- it was tough to see what I was supposed to do some of the time -- but I mostly got by.

The second dance was "boogie woogie," a bouncier version of the lindy it seemed. I liked the bounce but I was so tired by this time that my lack of fitness was really a problem: my brain picked up the steps really easily here, but the messages it sent to my legs just were not getting through. This is where I twisted my ankle, and I think it was partly due to lack of coordination from being so tired. So I sat out the rest of that dance, which was totally fine too. I felt a bit sheepish for being so out of shape and I was sad I didn't learn the fancy break that everyone else did, but I liked that it was totally okay to just sit and watch too.

Tomorrow I've got to get up very early and go to a seminar for homework I didn't even look at this week, but no regrets!
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I get an Audible book credit every month. Last month I got a book called Starlight Detectives, which is about nineteenth and early twentieth century development of photography and better telescopes and other technology. It hugely increased astronomical knowledge, like figuring out what stars are made of and that galaxies are moving away from each other. Because professional astronomers weren't interested in more than naked-eye stuff for a long time (like their job was just to catalog stars so they could be used for maritime navigation), it was left to amateurs to develop and work on this stuff. So you hear about a lot of "inventors and eccentrics," as the subtitle puts it, or white men as I think of them. Mostly they kinda blurred together for me, but it was still an interesting book.

With one flaw: I am very picky about audiobook narrators, and this one seemed okay in the sample you can get before you buy it, but that hid his habit of putting on terrible accents when reading quotes. This is a non-fiction book; it's not like voices had to be distinguished from each other! And since the narrator was American (he was very good at Boston accents!) and a lot of the people were British, they came out sounding vaguely Australian. It was not good.

And this month I picked a book about NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto (and beyond!). I am hoping for less white men in a modern astronomical story.

I'm not too far into this one yet, but I have detected a flaw with this narrator as well! He's one of the writers, he's definitely American, but he's trying hard not to say "Pluto" like an American. He is saying "plu-toe," really hitting that t because I think he doesn't want to say it the normal American way with that alveolar tap I love so much. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind how anybody says "Pluto," I just don't like the emphasis he seems to be putting on it in order to say it a way that seems unnatural to him. I think it's unnatural because not only does it sound weird but he doesn't always do it. Whenever he says /ˈpluːroʊ/ I want to applaud and cheer a little to encourage him to do it more.

But since it's a book about Pluto I expect to hear /pluːˈtoʊ/ about fifteen million more times.
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So this morning, awake too early (thanks for all the barking, Gary) and lying in bed pretending I'd fall back asleep, I saw a toot (yes that's what they're called on Mastodon):
everyone: herbs and spices
america: 'erbs and spices
???: herbs and 'ices

the search for the missing nation
I tried to let it go, to appreciate the shitpost for what it was, or even just to ponder how interesting it is that both consonants at the beginning of spices are understood to be part of the syllable onset even to people who don't use words like "onset" for that (I've been doing lots of phonology reading today; it probably shows).

But I couldn't. I just coulnd't get over how annoyed I was at one little thing.

I started a screed.

I know this is just a joke but I also just have to say that it's not only America who says "erbs"; the word was originally erb and didn't have an h at all.

Overcorrecting pedants added the h in the 1400s to make the English word look like the Latin word it derived from, but the h was silent for everyone until it changed in Britain in the 1800s (thus, after American English had diverged from British English) as the result of more pedantry (thanks to [personal profile] silveradept, I'd also just read this morning about how many grammar rules are bullshit). And they're a specific, infuriating (to me) kind of bullshit, which I'll get to in a minute.

But before that, I thought of Eddie Izzard's line from Dress to Kill where he says to an American audience "you say 'erbs' and we say 'herbs.' Because there's a fucking h in it."

And the audience laughed because Americans have what Lynne Murphy calls American Verbal Inferiority Complex (a fact that suits the British superiority complex just fine!).

But I'm like, no! I will not accept this from a country where they have to say an historian because they don't say that h at all! (Yes I know not ever Brit says this, but not every American drops the h in herbs either, so this is where generalization gets you.)

The more I think about this, the more it bugs me that a few random posh white dudes (a very few! specific people with names we know!) came up with all these stupid rules. To quote from the link above: some of these "grammar rules that were entirely dreamt up in an age of moral prescriptivism, reflecting nothing of historical or literary usage, to encourage the poor English language to be more like an entirely different (and entirely dead) language, namely Latin?"

The random posh white dudes decreed that English should be more like Latin because they'd been taught that Latin was "pure" and thus superior to English. And they got their own way. (Maybe all of English has an inferiority complex when it comes to things like Latin.)

This educational snobbery and classism went a long way to making English the inconsistent, baffling mess it is now. (It wouldn't have been in a fantastic state anyway, with the influx of French and Latin and then the Great Vowel Shift ensuring nothing was spelled like it sounded any more. But still, this

It didn't have to be this way. Around the same time as these Latin-lovers, there was a movement for another kind of "purity," to go back to the Germanic roots of the English language, as a backlash against the huge numbers of French and Latin words that'd entered the language in the Middle English period (up until 1500-ish). Wikipedia says "Some tried either to resurrect older English words, such as gleeman for musician, inwit for conscience, and yblent for confused, or to make new words from Germanic roots, e.g. endsay for conclusion, yeartide for anniversary, foresayer for prophet."

To read something like "Uncleftish Beholdings," which is an explanation of atomic theory written in Germanic words, feels very odd. The Germanic words English has retained are mostly very "ordinary," everyday things, whereas our scientific vocabulary is especially full of Latin and Greek, so we're not used to what feel like "base" words being used to express technical or intellectual concepts.

I wrote all this (more or less, and without most of the links, though I included the Uncleftish Beholdings one because if you mention Germanic reconstructions for English, someone is bound to bring it up (and indeed someone did, who hadn't seen it mentioned just above the toot he was replying to)) before I went to work. I did work, I came home, had lunch, got ready to go to uni...and just before I left, I saw a screenshot of a startingly relevant tweet, from @paulcoxon: "Hello my name is Paul, I have a PhD in physics and thanks to a random brain freeze forgot the word for photon so had to call it a 'shiny crumb' in front of my colleagues."

Yes, you can have a physics Ph.D. and still forget a basic word like "photon." And when you do, what comes to your mind might be a Germanic construction like shiny crumb. (I knew "shine" came from Old English because I remembered seeing the verb; and I looked up "crumb" too which also comes from an OE word). I absolutely love "shiny crumb" and I wish to nominate it for the new Germanic alternative for our scientific vocabulary.

So yeah. I am so ill-suited to shitposts that I couldn't leave one alone. I had to take "herbs" and run with it until I ended up at shiny crumbs... via inkhorn terms, Anglish, snobbery and inferiority complexes. I hope you enjoyed the journey.

Or, as since journey's a nasty foreign word, maybe trip.
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Today I Skyped my parents to get the debrief of their dull old-white-person Florida vacation.

I spent last week thinking of the tragedy that is my dad who, when friends convinced my parents to join them on a trip to Fort Myers, could not get them to go any later than the second week of February.

A group of Minnesotans went to where Minnesota's baseball team spends its spring training. As long as I can remember, spring training has been a big deal: in the middle of a Minnesota winter, we cling onto any evidence that green grass and baseball exist somewhere in the world. For as long as I can remember, my dad has talked about wanting to go see the Twins spring training one year.

And now? Pitchers and catchers reported

But they did get to see the ballpark and he bought a souvenir hat ("it says '2019 spring training'," Dad said "And it's peach!" Mom said "Mango," Dad corrected her) so he's still happy.
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I got to Bi Coffee a bit late today -- a shame since I'm an organizer, but I got there as quickly as I could after work so I didn't feelttoo bad as there wasn't anything more I could've done -- and there were already half a dozen people there: most I knew, but a couple of new ones.

The empty seat was across from one of the new ones. Soon he was telling me he'd traveled from some place with Welsh place name I didn't catch, but he told me it was "on the other side of Wales" and a two-and-a-half hour drive away. Bloody hell, I thought. I made some jocular remark about how I hoped it'd be worth it for him, and he said it was good for him just to have done it for himself, because he'd assembled a bunch of other reasons to come to Manchester today -- something about his wife, and picking people up at the airport, etc -- and they'd all fallen through. He said he wouldn't have thought twice about making the drive for other people, but it was difficult to justify it as only being for himself so it was a big deal that he had. That makes a lot of sense to me, as someone who's so much better at looking after other people than myself, and so much kinder to everyone else than I am to myself.

He did seem to be having a good time, though. So that's nice.

Another person, who's been a few times before, said she'd been looking forward to this all month. That was nice to hear.

Sometimes it doesn't feel like a big deal, just to turn up at a coffee shop at a specific time. But it really does seem to be good for people. It's really nice to be reminded of this.
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I am full of curry (it arrived so late, after a day when all I ate was breakfast) and I've about doubled the amount of Star Trek: Discovery I've watched (I'm still in the first season though so sshhh!). It has been a good evening.

[personal profile] diffrentcolours invited me around to watch it, apparently because me saying I was going to get around to catching up on it wasn't happening quickly enough for him (which is fair enough: it wasn't happening at all) and he wants to tell me things about the second season stuff.

Before this, I watched an old movie called The Body Snatcher because [personal profile] magister wanted me to know who Val Lewton was. It was good (but cringeworthy in its disability politics because it's like seventy years old) but I am looking forward to not watching any new things for a while now (I watched some Babylon 5 with Stuart on Thursday too). It helped a lot that Disco has audio description though. I continue to be so grateful for it.

I was home for approximately zero minutes and three seconds to drop off my backpack this afternoon and Gary was so excited to see me the first time but even more excited the second time I came back, just now. This second time he was also immediately keen for me to go upstairs to bed. With him. He was welcome to sit on our bed by himself, but many nights he decides that isn't good enough: he'll run up but if I don't follow in a minute or two he comes back downstairs and continues looking at me expectantly until I get the hint. This is what's happened tonight. And who am I to argue with him. Bed sounds good.
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Technically I am a few hours late but I'm going to backdate this. I didn't write anything "today" because I basically fell asleep, curled up on the couch, about 7:30 last night. I woke up when the Doctor Who finished, about nine, and Jennie was like "maybe you should go to bed?" so I did. I don't know why I was so tired, that's a very odd thing for me to do, but I did. And I went straight to sleep and have slept until the wee hours of the morning.

I had another frustrating time with buses yesterday morning. I spotted a 191 coming, stuck my hand out, and neither that nor my white cane was enough to make the bus stop. I get so mad when that happens. Because I'm not even asking for accommodations at that point, I've done as much as anybody ever needs to do to catch a bus. And when it isn't enough...what else can I do? I was in the middle of composing angry tweets about this when a 197 zoomed by. At that point I went from angry to just wanting to lie on the ground and have a temper tantrum.

I had the other problem on Monday, the one where the drivers don't tell me what number bus they're driving, so I got the wrong bus and was so late for work I was worried it wouldn't be worth going at all (since I can I only work for an hour before I have to leave for uni). When I complained about that I still got defensive replies about all the reasons buses might not stop (they clearly hadn't read my tweets or they'd have seen this wasn't the problem I was having! maybe I've got a reputation), including "no passengers waiting at the bus stop," and I don't know how that could be a problem I could have unless...blind people don't count as passengers. That would fit with how it feels to me, too.

Anyway, I get so sick of talking about disability stuff. And I did loads of other stuff this week: went to see The Favourite on Monday and loved it. I finally got my screenreader fixed on Wednesday (first time it's worked this academic year! I counted up the chapters/essays I'd been assigned to read so far this semester and it was fifteen; screenreader-less, I'd so far managed two). I was on a tiring LGBT "intersectionality" panel on Wednesday too. Thursday I got to see Stuart for the first time in more than a month -- too long! Now I'm in Brighouse, mostly sleeping apparently! It's still dark, so good night.
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A linguistic blog I follow said it was having a sale on its t-shirts today, so I went to look. I have a collection of lingiustics t-shirts already, but apparently I thought it wasn't enough.

I sorta liked "Ask me about the Great Vowel Shift; it amused me that I was procrastinating learning what Optimality Theory is by looking at t-shirts about it, I liked "We Can Even!" but didn't want to wear it...and then I saw
bɛɾɹ lɪvŋ θɹuː fənɑlədʒi
Better Living Through Phonology. Despite my wariness of all of my phonology lectures so far this semester, I persist in liking the topic. But still. I wasn't sure it was worth buying a t-shirt about, even on sale.

But then I thought about the word better. It's a word that, even if you don't know the International Phonetic Alphabet, you can probably agree is pronounced really differently in American vs. British (and much of the rest of the Commonwealth) English. This short word manages to pack in two features that make it distinct, so I thought I'd look for them.

I was excited about that fishhook ɾ, that alveolar tap (or flap); my favorite IPA symbol, which I feel very protective of now that it distinguishes me and it isn't really used by the people around me. This is thought of by a lot of people as turning a 't' into a 'd'; so that an American pronunciation of better sounds like bedder. It is a distinct movement from a regular [d], but it's subtle.

The second thing that would make this stand out as American is the symbol after the [ɾ], the [ɹ]. This upside-down r is for something else people recognize as a difference between most kinds of North American English and most kinds of British English: rhoticity. This is about how you pronounce your 'r's. The standard in America (with plenty of exceptions, notoriously Boston) is to say them and the standard in Britain (with plenty of exceptions, like Scottish and southwestern dialects) is to not say them. Bostonians are teased for saying "pahk the cah" and stuff, and their fellow Americans write it like this to indicate that it seems to be missing a sound we're used to expecting there.

I am surrounded now by people who say "cah," and I do that sometimes myself too (assimilation is a bitch) but it always makes me uncomfortable and I am irrationally attached to my nice good rrrrrrr sound. (This is written with an upside-down 'r' in the IPA, in case you're wondering, because it's actually a less-common 'r' sound if you look at all the world's langauges, so the regular [r] was used for the more popular sound (a trilled r, like you get in Spanish and again some Scottish accents).)

So I studied this t-shirt more closely and because it did in fact include these two sounds I love and miss I bought the t-shirt. Might be one of the weirder reasons I've ever bought anything.
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I really like PZ Myers' headcanon for this:
I think it’s all a hoax, and have a hypothesis.

Opportunity saw an opportunity in the last dust storm, and while its overseers couldn’t see it, it scurried off to a quiet, secluded spot, switched off its transmitters, and is doing its own thing without the humans looking over its shoulder all the time. One possible motive for this behavior is to make Earth stop taking it for granted, and realize that it misses the plucky little robot.
It's so amazing, how these little rovers made for ninety days stick around for years and years (almost fifteen, in Oppy's case!), taking photos and driving around and having humans look after them, humans that not only glean untold useful wonderful science but also frame the rovers' activities in ways that endear them to a massive public audience. I nearly teared up this morning reading a Twitter thread about it. We can't help but think the little lumps of metal are adventurous and brave, devoted to their cause.

These lumps of metal may be meeting their inevitable fate but they also represent years of time and effort from hundreds of people. And they're an important reminder that as much of a trash fire as modern life can be, people are still collaborating in amazing things and wonders are still wrought.
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My thoughts on seeing Stuart say on Facebook "Googling Polyamorous Valentines Cards results in valentines cards for dogs."

1: valentines cards for dogs! <3 It's no surprise they're associated with polyamory: ever since I heard [personal profile] miss_s_b's theory about dogs all being naturally polyamorous, I keep finding more evidence that this appears to be true...

distant second: shit, if he's looking at polyamorous valentine cards, I should buy him a card!

I think this adequately illustrates both how much I love dogs and how unused I am to partners who do valentines day. I do love that he loves it, though.
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"You comin' over?" called the old white man from the other side of the road I was waiting to cross.

I was standing, not only with the attentive-but-bored posture next to a crossing of someone waiting to cross a road, but also in the middle of Kingsway. It's one of those big roads with two sets of pedestrian crossing controls. You have to go halfway and then hit another button and then wait for the other lights too.

So I was indeed either going to cross the road or else live in the little concrete median in the middle of a dual carriageway.

Because this wasn't really what he was asking me. He was asking me why I wasn't crossing the road yet. He was crossing as he asked me. I wasn't because I was still waiting for the lights to change.

I like waiting anyway but with the white cane I consider it mandatory. Because if an abled stranger sees me crossing against the light, they'll probably try to intervene. They'll think I shouldn't be allowed out on my own. They'll yell at me or grab me because they won't be able to imagine a world where I am doing this safely. There is no question in my mind that this is an instance where I have to perform my disability to their expectations because if I don't manage their feelings things get harder for me.

But I didn't have time to say that. The man was already crossing the (admittedly empty, but the lights still hadn't changed) road toward me. So I just said "Yep, I am!" in answer to his question of whether I was crossing over. Of course I was stating an intention, not an action that I was then undertaking. But we use the same words for that.

He got to my side and stood next to me. I just kept looking forward (the spinny cone is broken in that particular traffic light so I have to actually look for the actual green man there...but I'd probably have resisted the urge to turn to someone talking to me anyway because I don't want to encourage them in circumstances like this).

This time he said "Do you want me to walk over with you?" I always find this kind of offer amusing, or at least it would be if the people saying it had any understanding of how bizarre it is. I somehow got this far, to the middle of a busy road in this case, on my own but strangers who encounter me always seem to think they've turned up in the nick of time because now I must need help!

I did not need help. Luckily at this point the green man saved me and I strode off away from the old white man.

I missed half of my working hours today because of ableism, because a bus driver didn't tell me what number bus he was so I got on the wrong one so was hella late and steaming mad about it. It may be only lunchtime but I've had more than my quota of ableism for today and this guy only narrowly avoided getting an earful from me about it.

Even with every fiber of my body radiating frustration and anger, it still wasn't enough to make this person leave me alone, or allow that I might have any competence at all. Even having crossed half a street didn't convince him I might be able to cross the other half.

This is why trying to play up to abled expectations is a fool's game, it's impossible, because we can never be that perfect combination of inspirational and yet grateful for the help they, on a whim and only when it's convenient for them, offer.
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1. What size (twin, full, etc.) is your bed?

2. How many pillows do you sleep with?
One or two.

3. Do you have a weighted blanket? If so, does it help you?
I haven't tried one but I'd really like to because it sounds like it would be good for me. Sometimes Gary sits on top of the blanket while I'm sleeping which has a similar albeit inconvenient effect! He doesn't (usually) sit on my legs but next to them in a way that puts a little pressure on the part of the blanket next to me and that's so is soothing.

4. Do you sleep with any stuffed animals?
I used to -- I've got Mark the Shark from the Sea Life Centre ([personal profile] mother_bones bought me and her matching ones, though hers isn't called Mark) and Ruaraidh (a dog I won in a Lib Dem raffle, named Ruaraidh because some of the Young Liberals believed the stuffed dog looked like of of them who's called Ruaraidh.

It was really cute when Andrew would come to bed and address them by name and take them out of the bed so he could get in it. He was nice to them.

I liked them for having something to cuddle when I went to bed alone. I only stopped because now I have a real dog. He's even better because he's warm and cute and the best dog in the world, but he does wake me up by jumping on my feet sometimes, or trying to get under the same bit of blanket he is standing on.

5. Do you have to have the TV on to go to sleep?
I don't have a TV. I do like to listen to an audiobook or a radio play when I go to sleep. If it's just me, I'll put on a Terry Pratchett book or one of a few old favorites. If Andrew's going to sleep too, it has to be Old Harry's Game or particular Big Finish Doctor Who stories or one of a couple other specific things.
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When the two drunk women in the pub wandered over to our table to admire [personal profile] miss_s_b's tattoos (they are numerous and impressive!), they probably didn't expect to end up sitting down with a tableful of LGBT+ Lib Dems.

One of them had [personal profile] miss_s_b drawing a political compass and explaining that not everything is about left and right, and the other one had the chair and secretary of Lib Dem Immigrants telling her about our work: at one point I heard her say "nineteen thousand pounds!" (which I recognize as the Minimum Income Requirement for a British spouse to bring a non-EEA spouse to the UK); she was suitably horrified.

I don't know what if any of it they'll remember when they sober up, but at least they've heard about John Stuart Mill and that the Home Office needs abolishing now.
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I fell getting on the tube. I did mind the gap, but I still missed my step.

I started crying because I was so angry. A nice person said they've fallen there too and it happens to everyone. Even if they were lying, I so appreciated it! And someone else actually gave up their seat for me! That's how pitiful I must have looked.
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Today I cried when I got on the bus to uni, which means near the end of Week 2 of this semester, I'd estimate I'm at about a Week 8 level of stress.

The crying was because the bus driver stopped for me, which was a damn good thing because I hadn't spotted it was finally my bus, after waiting a very long time in very cold rain with a lot of buses I didn't want zooming by me even though they're all supposed to stop. I'd already determined that if my 197 didn't stop I'd have to go home and miss the seminar for the class where it's really bad to miss seminars. But then the driver did what he should and I was so grateful (even though he'd just done his job, it's so rare; it's been months since this happened, so my instinctive reaction is still what it would be for an extraordinary kindness), and I started to warm up from the wind and icy rain I'd been stuck in, and water started falling out of my eyes.

I need to carve out some time and spoons to deal with a backlog of disability-related shenanigans. That's what's piling on the stress. I just don't know where to start.
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Had a great evening out with [personal profile] haggis and Katie. We had a five-course "vegan feast" at Tampopo, a pan-Asian chain restaurant I used to go to all the time but I haven't been in ages.

I learned I was correct in my guess that I wouldn't like jackfruit. I had the most amazing sweet potato katsu udon soup. They encouraged us to write notes, like we were at a wine-tasting or something.

We were all in need of a nice night out I think, and we got it.

Giving us a lift home, [personal profile] haggis said she wanted to see The Favourite or Mary Queen of Scots or both with us, and we spent most of the way to my house talking about how bullshit the male gaze is and we're planning to see The Favourite on Monday. I'm excited; everything I've heard about it is good and I've hardly been to the movies at all lately.
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Today is already a delightful combination of the medical and social models of disability.

I stubbed my toe last night and, now that I've had to do more than shuffle to bed on it, I think it might be broken. It hurts a lot. I stub my toes a lot because I have no depth perception: my vision is functionally monocular. I'd actually commented yesterday at work how I'd noticed I was grabbing for things like the fridge handle or the kettle and getting only thin air. It's not like me to miss so drastically. And that lack of depth perception led to me hitting a piece of furniture really hard last night -- I broke the skin and everything. I was on my way to bed and didn't think too much of it, but this morning just walking the dog and getting to the bus stop have made me grit my teeth and wince a lot.

I took my sinus medicine to school yesterday and it must have fallen out of my bag at some point (this bag is getting too small for everything I need it to do). But I didn't even notice until I wanted it again yesterday evening. I had no reason to expect it wouldn't be there, and I checked the bag like three times in my frustration and misery with myself, but it stubbornly refused to appear. Clearly I hadn't even noticed it falling out when I'd got to get something else out of or into my bag.

Losing stuff so obliviously, not being sure if lost things are really lost or I'm just not seeing them, and hurting myself through lack of depth perception are all problems legitimately caused by my impairment. So I think of them as medical-model stuff because the medical model says people are disabled by their impairments. The medical model is all that most abled people think disables us, but really it's the much smaller part.

The big part, the thing disability activists talk about all the time, is the social model of disability. And today, that kicked in for me when I was limping along to the bus stop. A small side street I have to cross was having some road work done or something: there was a barricade across it (to cars, so alongside where pedestrians walk). The road was very potholed and uneven though I don't think that's anything to do with why it's closed; that's just what roads are like around here!

So a guy appeared next to me as we were approaching this road. He said a few words to warn me about these obstacles. I thanked him. He walked more quickly than me, because I could only go so fast with my sore toe, but he turned around a couple times to see if I made it across the bumpy bit all right and avoided the barrier. (I did! Hooray me!)

But then! He saw another obstacle! There was a streetlight pole in my path! Oh noes! So he was actually walking backwards at this point so he could look at me and shout "left! you need to go left!" to avoid the pole.

I said "I'm all right mate, this is what the cane's for!" He said something like "oh, okay," turned back around cheerfully enough and went on his way, but I don't know if what I said convinced him or if it was the fact that I had moved out of the way of the pole by then that reassured him his work here was done.

It's so weird, I felt like I was a Tetris piece, being shouted at to go left!

This is the social model of disability. That guy seemed to genuinely not have any idea that I've been trained to use my white cane to keep me safe from the kind of collisions he was apparently imagining. He didn't consider how distracting or tiring it was for me to have to deal with him -- if anything was going to endanger me, it'd much more likely be the yelling than the streetlight! I could just about forgive it when he was calling my attention to an unusual thing, the barrier in the road, but I couldn't cope with him trying to verbally steer me around every obstacle.

This didn't have to happen. It is very easily avoided: most people I walk past just ignore me and that's great! But this kind of thing happens so often disabled people have a word for it: hlep or hlepiness, because we recognize this is about people wanting to feel helpful to such an extent that they center themselves and their feeling and don't think or care at all about whether it's actually helpful. Sometimes they react really badly if the disabled person resists the hlep, even though it often puts us in danger and is always inconvenient, draining, and dehumanizing.

I was lucky this guy believed me and left me alone after I snapped at him; that is about as good as these interactions can go at that point. (I think it helped that he was happy to just carry on walking at a speed much faster than I could, to be honest!) and it's a damn shame that I have to think "well at least he didn't get mean or grab me or anything." This is a pretty successful interaction with an abled person. This is almost as good as it gets.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I woke up at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep. I was at work and uni for a combination of seven hours today. Which I know is only a work day for a lot of people, but it's a lot for me.

Especially when I had to find the new room for my lecture. Which I did manage. It's a weird building, an old one that has been (is being?) renovated. So the lecture theatre was like halfway up a set of stairs. The lecturer did that thing again where he asked us near the end "would it be all right if I kept you till, say, three minutes to the hour?" (we're supposed to finish at ten to) and then just did it. Who's going to say no?

I was sorely tempted to, though. Not only can I not hear anything after 2:50 anyway because the hallways outside get so noisy with students who have been let out on time, not only is it stressful for me to feel rushed when I have to pack up my laptop, make sure I've got all my things in my two bags, and juggle my cane to get out of the room, but today the staircase was lined on both sides with kids waiting to get in for their lecture. I really dislike having to do stairs where I can't hang on to a railing or at least lean on a wall or something. And there was no other apparent exit from the room -- I have no idea what a person who needed step-free access would do.

He also did that "I am neither autistic nor a sociopath" line again. So I'm going to have to say something. I am not looking forward to that but it needs doing. I got Andrew to find me a good link to send him about how autistic people do have theory of mind for fucks sake. Just need to amass some spoons before I can email him.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I think it only says I need "electronic access" to readings in my disability support plan and that needs to be clearer so I can complain better when I need to.

Because the textbook being "available" as images on a website where I can't even download it for more than a few days is not acceptable but it is "electronic."

And after being so relieved that I found everywhere I needed to go this week, I learn (yes on a weekend but that's only because I didn't check my email yesterday)that one of my lectures has been moved to another buliding I've never heard of. It's on Monday so there isn't even really time to find it beforehand. If I work on Monday morning I might not have time to find it at all. I had about five minutes to eat lunch last week and that's when I knew where I was going -- and lunch was necessary as otherwise I have no chance to eat between 10am and 3pm (at which point, I can promise I won't have remembered anything about my lecture because I will be TOO HUNGRY).

I already have to leave work early on Mondays, which last week meant I left without getting an essential task done in order to get to uni in time for that lecture.

Fuck it; I'll skip the lecture and add that to the list of reasons hy the disability services are disabling me. I can always catch up; it's recorded. But I really hate not being there. It's bad for my mental health. Especially when I missed the seminar for that class yesterday. Especially when I'll miss the lecture for the stupid reason that my uni's diability services are disabling me.

I despair. I really fucking do. I do not have the energy to deal with these things that keep happening.


hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)

February 2019

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