hollymath: (Default)
Here's a cool thing I didn't know: if you commented on DW with OpenID (a LiveJournal account or somesuch) and now you have a Dreamwidth account, you can connect the comments that you made with OpenID so that they will look like you left them with your Dreamwidth account.

On another note, last night I read this from [personal profile] solarbird and laughed because it was so familiar.
It is freakish to be on an LJ-style site and see stuff just… happening everywhere. Do you know how long it’s been since I said “jfc my friendslist is busy”? DO YOU? Okay, about two hours, but I mean before that.

I went and played a short round of Overwatch at 11:30pm. When I came back there were like five new posts. And a bunch of comments. And two friends requests. From strangers. Which were not bots.

I wrote a Fascist Watch newsletter starting around midnight. More new posts. Another friends request. Comments.

It’s not 2004 anymore, but it sure as hell isn’t 2015 either.
Yeah, I thought I'd outgrown that tendency I had in the mid-2000s to bounce up to strangers on LJ and go "hi! Wanna be friends?" I thought I wasn't in college any more, I wasn't new to a new country, people Just Don't Do This Sort of Thing any more...

Nah. Turns out I'm exactly the same as I was ten or fifteen years ago if I'm given opportunity to be.

I've been friending a lot of people from [community profile] 2017revival, it seems impossible not to. There are a lot of queer people, a lot of women, a lot of poly people, disabled people, people in their 30s and 40s... people like me and my Real Life friends. I always associated DW with fandom which I've never been any good at and while that's still well-represented, it's hardly mandatory or making me feel excluded (and it's super-easy for me to feel excluded, something else I thought I'd outgrown and am recently learning to my dismay I have not).

A friend, when sad and grumpy about the demise of LJ, said they'd never have the same affection for Dreamwidth. I'm lucky enough, having moved over here first in 2009 after I-don't-even-remember-which affront to LJkind, that my affection for this place is long established. A lot of people from demographics that suffer on most of the Internet are thriving here; I love that.
hollymath: (Default)
Friends who are leaving LJ for DW (or just might like more friends) may find [community profile] 2017revival useful. There was one like it on LJ where I was making tons of new friends before The Event.

Also, lovely [personal profile] nanila has started there a post linking LJ identities to DW identities, especially useful if like me you don't have the same name on both.*

* I don't think I've ever used the same username for any two online services...it's not intentional, it's just that whatever seems like the best idea at the time seems to change every time!


Apr. 4th, 2017 06:49 pm
hollymath: (Default)
An ominous foreign-language repressive-regine change to the terms and conditions might finally be the end that Dreamwidth was prepared for back when LJ was first sold to a Russian company.

I'm very grateful DW is here, and to the people who've spent years both keeping the code running and providing good content. Most of all, I'm grateful for the guiding principles that make this as valuable a community as it is.

I'll have more to say about Dreamwidth, I hope, when I am less tired. In the meantime, any of my LJ friends who don't know and want to follow me, I'm there as [personal profile] hollymath.
hollymath: (Default)
I changed the title of my blog yesterday. That's what people see at the top of my Dreamwidth page, or if they go to comment on one of my entries or something.

I just noticed that [personal profile] miss_s_b must have changed hers recently, too.

To the same thing.

Yes, it's a line from a current and popular movie that we both really liked. But still! I never expected such a thing would happen. Made me smile.

(I think everyone I know who might care has seen it by now, but just in case please note that comments now contain a spoiler for the identity of a cameo at the end of Ghostbusters.)
hollymath: (Default)
This is something I wrote a while ago and never posted, for reasons I no longer remember. It's not a resolution, but it seems as good a manifesto to start off this new year as any.

I started on LJ with a very annoying style, that of the cute precocious kid who was too old for that twee stuff now but hadn't yet learned what to replace the too-clever, artfully structured, neatly-tied-up-with-a-moral-at-the-end kind of writing that'd made my high school English teachers love me.

I like to think I've improved a bit since then, but I do still tend to write only when I've got something that will amuse or interest what I imagine my readership to be. So vehemently did I resist the everyday updateishness kind of journaling that my LJ wasn't a very good way to find out what was going on in my life: I'd happily write all about having Chipotle for breakfast but never mentioned that I had a girlfriend, or failed a class, or moved, or the kind of basic stuff that people usually tell each other when they catch up after some time apart.

It's a bit hypocritical of me, because I love to read that kind of thing from other people: I love reading about your dreams and how you got caught in the rain on your way to the bus stop and what you're making for dinner and what you drank last night and how work went and everything. Absolutely love it. But I've never been very good at telling that stuff for its own sake myself.

So it was kind of interesting for me to read this article on how writing about the ordinary experiences of your life can be even more cheering to you when you go back and read them as the extraordinary ones.

It turns out, people are bad at predicting how much they'll enjoy reading back what they've wrriten about their lives.

Which, actually, doesn't surprise me because I had to read Our Town in high school and it fucked up my brain, it appears, permanently. It's a play about ordinary boring small-town early-20th-C. Americans who do ordinary things like be born and deliver the milk and get married and all that.

The part that's always stuck with me is Emily, at the end. She's a young wife who's died in childbirth, and we see her among the dead, people she recognizes from her little town where nothing ever changes much. Those who've been dead any length of time don't feel any great connection to the living world or the things that mattered to them while they were in it, but Emily is new and still attached to what she loves. She wants to re-live her life. The old dead folks tell her that it's possible but advise her against it. She insists, though, and sees her twelfth birthday: her mother is up early nagging the children to get ready for school, her father comes home with a present for her. Small talk is made about the cold.

Emily starts out very excited -- "Oh,that's the town I knew as a little girl. And, look, there's the old white fence that used to be around our house. Oh, I'd forgotten that! Oh, I love it so!" "Oh! how young Mama looks! I didn't know Mama was ever that young" -- but as she watches the conversation unfold, she starts to get agitated: "I can't bear it. They're so young and beautiful. Why did they ever have to get old? Mama, I'm here. I'm grown up. I love you all, everything. I can't look at everything hard enough."

Finally she says, "I can't. I can't go on....I didn't realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed."

Well, ever since then, I've fucking noticed. Reading that play made me cry, not in class but after, and I think quite a few of my tears since have been shed thanks to this, in some way. Because I too grew up in a small town where nothing ever seems to change much, and while of course I didn't die I did move away, and that has had a similar effect to me: I'm still here, I can see it all in my memory, but they can't see me and they don't know how much I treasure these images, these people, their ordinary lives.

So I'm trying to practice writing about the everyday stuff that I have so long been so bad at. Let's see if it gets me anywhere.
hollymath: (Default)
January: I've got a splitting headache -- still sinuses, but the amount of red wine I imbibed can't be helping -- but I wanted to say something about what a nice evening I had.

February: This is an article about how badly prejudiced our society is against autistic people.

March: Of course I'm fond of the one I grew up‎ with, but that's no reason to leave it that way forever!

April: Lady and small child carefully examining this train which has just pulled into the station.

May: My dad didn't just get a gold watch when he retired. He got a gold hard hat.

June: Exemplary text from Andrew yesterday:
Waiting for man chest hair train semicolon expected time gets one minute later every minute
July: A song came on the radio while we were eating breakfast and all of a sudden my dad said, "Who's this singing, is it Katy Perry?"

August: Today I met new people off of LiveJournal!

September: There's an xkcd survey. It's just full of random questions, like a poll from the good old days on LJ.

October: This is a good point, but its use of "blind" to mean "doesn't know/doesn't care" about something did made me laugh.

November: Ten.


December: My habit of throwing things like clothes up the stairs, even though I know they won't go all the way I know they'll be in my way the next time I do go up the stairs and I can put them wherever they need to be (or throw them again, this time from the landing over the staircase to our bedroom), combined with my habit of wandering around the house without my glasses on, meant I just thought I'd encountered a monster on the stairs.
hollymath: (Default)
Today I met new people off of LiveJournal! One of them recognized me as A Person From LiveJournal and everything!

It's such a delightfully old-school thing to do.

So hello to [livejournal.com profile] biascut and [livejournal.com profile] glitzfrau! And their amazing baby, who recognized my rainbow-colored plastic bracelet for the baby toy/teething aid it clearly was destined to be.


Jan. 19th, 2015 10:33 am
hollymath: (Default)
I think it's really cool that, on a Dreamwidth entry, the tags now have little arrows each side of them; clicking the left-pointing arrow takes you to the previous entry that tag was used in, and the right-pointing one takes you to the next one.

This has already led me to a random but fun perusal of some of my previous writing.
hollymath: (Default)
Paul Magrs, the writer of many of my favorite Doctor Who stories, asked me how I was doing as Andrew went to the counter to order our coffees. "Oh, all right," I lied.

And then this nice-seeming man I'd just met, who I wished would like me because I already liked him based on the evidence of his writing, said some of the most bone-chilling words in the English language: "You've got a LiveJournal, don't you?"

A fine start! Any hope I had of impressing him obviously had to die right there. But I was mystified: Andrew never mentions my writing because he's much more cautious than me about sharing his private life (such as it is!) on the internet, and obviously I talk about him all the time here. So how did he know? Andrew and Paul Magrs are friendly acquaintances at best, and hadn't really spent much time together. I had to introduce myself at POD because Andrew hadn't thought to mention he'd be bringing me along.

I'm left to conclude that I just...look like someone who has a LiveJournal. Heh.
hollymath: (Default)
Hooray, I got a month's paid Dreamwidth account time from [personal profile] miss_s_b!

She got the points for it from being nominated in [personal profile] rmc28's points giveaway.

Andrew told me he was the one who nominated her.

So I feel like I have three friends to thank for this. It's nice.
hollymath: (Default)
I love, love, this meme going around my flist/circle where people offer dates they can write blog entries and ask for suggestions of things to write about.

I keep thinking I'd love to participate, but then I keep reminding myself that I write as much or more than almost everyone else, and clearly don't need any more incentive to do so!

But do feel free to suggest stuff you'd like to see me write, if you'd like.


Meanwhile, I really should be asleep. I need to be up early for breakfast -- I'm away at a hotel/conference centre for three days for work. Tomorrow's only the second day and it already feels like I've been here a week. This always happens: they're packed, busy days that leave my brain feeling so Full of Things that I worry some will slosh out my ears if I move my head too quickly.

I'm not looking forward to the trip home -- I got a lift down here but have to get a train to London, two tubes across to Euston, wait for the off-peak train at seven and then get on a train back to Manchester that will no doubt be rammed on which I cannot have a seat reservation -- but I'm looking forward to being home again. Life's been so hectic lately, I'm glad I've got a nice chilled weekend to look forward to.

I do miss Andrew but it's lovely to have the cricket on as I go to bed without him whinging and making me turn it off.
hollymath: (Default)
My stupid phone accidentally Googled the link to my blog rather than just opening it, but that meant I got to look at the top google results of my own writing, which was a nice few minutes' diversions.

There's a couple of things I'm proud of -- that thing about immigration, a thing called "Who deserves the internet?" -- but I can't think there's any correlation between what's ranked highly and what's worthy, as there's also a few lines about a piece of music and me talking to Jennie about the word "cock".

And there are a few I'm happy to be reminded of: my delight at being read to and the lovely trip to Dundee. It's funny how, for a place I nearly didn't go, I loved it so much, because of this museum with the penguins outside it.

This has been a great year for me going places; there's that, the Leicester Space Centre, Jodrell Bank, a few trips on the ferry across the Mersey, Edinburgh (shown here next to Manchester's Sea Life Centre), York with Andrew for our anniversary, another trip to see lovely Cinerama at the National Media Museum... I feel very lucky.
hollymath: (Default)
Hey, here's an awesome thing.

I woke up to loads of good stuff to read on my friends list this morning.

I was able to spend a full half-hour (nothing compared to The Good Old Days of LJ, but a lot better than usual in recent years!) lying in bed reading about life, loss, work, activism, kids, writing, introspection...it was awesome.

It's funny how time spent on e.g. Facebook always leaves me feeling unsatisfied and slightly guilty, like kissing someone I shouldn't. But time spent on LJ always makes me happy (even when I'm reading about things that aren't; I'm sad for people but still glad they can share their thoughts or feelings and I have some hope it helps them because it so often helps me).

So I guess what I'm really saying is:

Hey, Here's an awesome thing.

hollymath: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] theljstaff at Help Us Support Planned Parenthood

Join us in standing up for reproductive health and education. Planned Parenthood, the organization that delivers reproductive health care, sex education and information to millions of people worldwide, has come under fire in the U.S. lately, with many politicians on both state and federal level seeking to end funding (and in a few cases succeeding).

During the month of May, you can send a specially designed Planned Parenthood vgift to your friends to help support this cause. (And if you need someone to send it to, [livejournal.com profile] frank is always happy to receive gifts!) There are three variations ($1, $5 and $10) for you to choose from, but they'd all look good on your profile when your friends know that you stand by something so important.


Thank you all for your help in our support for Planned Parenthood. This promotion ends June 1, 2012; LiveJournal is not affiliated with Parent Parenthood. For more information about Planned Parenthood, please visit: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/

-The LiveJournal Team

(If you'd like to help spread the word that we're raising funds for Planned Parenthood, you can crosspost this entry in your own journal or community by using the repost button below!)
hollymath: (down)
...but I thought I'd give LJ Idol a try despite that. (I'm uncool.)

Thank Ewe!

Apr. 26th, 2010 10:38 am
hollymath: (i love)

I have more to say in a minute, but first I must thank whoever gave me the anonymous gift of two months’ paid LJ time, and added this virtual gift to my profile. “An anonymous sender wants you to keep writing!” it tells me when I hover my mouse over it.

I shall. Thank you so much for renewing my faith in myself by adding yours to it, whoever you are.
hollymath: (down)
Facebook sucks. It’s like 2001 all over again. Don’t get me wrong, 2001 was great... IN 2001. Do you remember 2001 - when almost everyone updated several times a day and entries were generally shorter? Some people updated like they were Twittering when there wasn’t even any such thing as Twitter. But do you know why people on lj stopped don that for the most part? Because it’s BORING. Because it lacks meaningful interaction. Because it was too much chatter. It was great for a while - when we couldn’t stand to be away from each other for longer than a couple hours. But our relationship matured beyond that constant need for reassurance and feedback and then those constant, short updates became an annoyance.
I liked the playfulness, but I wanted more, too. I wanted substance; I wanted meaningful interaction. My journal began to change then, and so did my friends list. I wasn’t the only one. I saw lots of complaints over the next few years about frequent, low substance updaters. The tide had changed. And so did my friends page. There were fewer and fewer one or two line updates and more and more longer posts. I got to know you better. Some people became essay writers. More of us got digital cameras and began adding photos to our posts.

But that change also brought pressure to “properly prepare” an entry. There was an unspoken rule against the one-line entry, or more than x number of entries in a day. Entries had to be detailed and forthcoming because the vague post (except maybe with acknowledgement and apologies) was also out of vogue. And then there were the days that were too full to allow time to sit and write up a ‘proper’ entry and we were afraid of ‘cluttering’ each other’s friends pages with multiple entries, so we wouldn’t write one, and that happened more and more often until we were out of the habit of sharing with each other, largely for fear of not following the new rules.
So I have been rethinking what *I* want to see on my friends page and what *I* want from LJ. What I want from LJ is simple: I want you; I want us. And we can’t have that if aren’t making the effort to talk to each other - and if we don’t feel free to do it.
- You know what? I don’t actually have an objection to more frequent and shorter posts.
- I do object to continuous posting without ever revealing what the fuck you’re talking about. Being cryptic is even less cool now that it was 8 years ago. If I can’t figure out what you’re talking about from reading the previous 3 entries in your journal, then uh.. no. More info or shush.
- I also have to admit that I’m not fond of the Twitter stuff. The formatting makes it difficult to read and so much of it is one part of a conversation between two or more people that I probably don’t know on a topic I can’t identify. I don’t read them and I don’t even register them as ‘updates’ any more.
- I love photos. Always have.
- I like recipes and lists and schedules and plans and timelines and summaries.
- I love travelogues, even if you only went to the dentist.
- I want to know what your kids are doing, how your mother is and why you want to strngle her this week.
- I like to hear your interpretation of things,what you think it all means.
- I want to hear about your goals, successes and failures, and when you just came out even.
- Your work, your play, your health... all of it.

And I like to hear it in 50 words or 850... whatever works best for you. So I’m doing the same.


Mar. 19th, 2009 10:41 am
hollymath: (postmark)
A survey thing from my friends and their friends:

How did you come to start your LJ?

I remember it bizarrely well for something that happened so long ago. My friend Tess and I (was she called Tess yet then? okay so I don’t remember this part, but I think so) were waiting to watch the Parliamentary Debate round at a college speech tournament. We were there to see a high-school friend of mine who was in this category.

I was moping about how I never wrote anything any more, after having both time and inclination to write cute little essays in my spare time as a teenager -- think of something with the useful content of your usual LJ entry (the one I remember best was called “Evil Salad Dressing”) and the fun of a school essay (the Evil Salad Dressing story had a moral), and she said, “I’ll give you a code for LiveJournal,” because that was back when you needed an invite code (ah, those halcyon days! and then how upset people weree when they got rid of the codes and we figured LJ would buckle under the strain of the illiterate self-centered boring emo influx, remember that?).

And so I nodded and said “yeah, okay” as if I knew what I was talking about, as if I’d ever heard of LiveJournal.

The first entry I ever wrote, on my roommate’s computer because I didn’t have my own then, was about how I’d just confessed to my boyfriend that I didn’t want to go out any more and to one of my best friends, one of those people you’ve been not-dating for years and years, making a point of it because everybody’s telling you both that you should but you don’t listen because you think they’re just pea-brained high-schoolers who can’t fathom being friends with someone of the opposite sex (remember those days when I used to think like that? I just had to delete “people of opposing genders being friends” because it’s such an anachronism for the time period I’m talking about here; these are not people who expected there to be more than two genders or anyone who lusted after someone of their own gender).

So I came to start my LJ when I also started being in love for the first time. There are worse beginnings.

How did you find your first friends?

Well I had Tess, who was now [livejournal.com profile] soltice. I found out that my friend Darren had already started an LJ a few months before, and somehow because of my evangelistic obsession and of course the fine example of my actual LJ, most of my real-life friends started one, though most didn’t stick with it for long.

One of the first “people I didn’t know already” who added me was then-tjej, who talked about bassoons with me. Thanks to her [livejournal.com profile] miss_newham (who then had the Icelandic username) added me and thanks to her I have almost all the friends I made in London. Then a couple of years later when I was in Manchester and had no friends and whined about this on LJ, [livejournal.com profile] irrtum invited me along to the Cornerhouse quiz because I had lots of mutual friends in common with her, also thanks to tjej who’d been a friend of hers for years and years. It’s only because of tjej and [livejournal.com profile] theladiesloos that I have any friends in the UK at all, honestly.

Are those first friends still on your FL?

Like I said a lot of my actual friends didn’t stick with LJ long, though most are still on my list. I was a bit sad when tjej took me off her friends list last year, though I acknowledged that that was a bit silly as we never talked that much and it was probably just for historical reasons that I had any reason to be disappointed, though I do like her or at least did when I last saw her but that was about four years ago, thus proving my point about how it’s not unreasonable for her to delete me from her list.

[livejournal.com profile] miss_newham‘s still making me smile whenever she writes almost anything. Looking over the actual friends-list now, I see no one else who, in my experience, has been such a stalwart LJer for anything like as long.

How long have you been on LJ?

I started in October 2002. That’s SIX AND A HALF YEARS. It is by far the longest time I’ve done anything, other than things like “breathing” or “liking cheese.”

Do you have more friends or communities on your FL?

Way more friends. Communities used to be more important to me, and right now I’m sort of missing [livejournal.com profile] theladiesloos, but I don’t find them as exciting as I used to when I was looking for new friends and, I dunno, actually interested in things. Now I have no attention span for anything unless I like the person who’s telling me about it.

Do you do a lot of friends cuts?

I never do the kind of dramatic “I’m doing a big friends cut!” thing, mostly because I’m not organized enough with my approach to LJ. I’ll just suddenly decide “I have too many friends!” and pare off three or four (usually adding back another five or six I’ve taken off my list during previous attacks of this same whim but who have kept me as a friend so they still show up on my list). They rarely notice... though I did have a weird period where a couple of people left dismissive comments on my LJ (“sorry for whatever, have a nice life”) that totally baffled me until I realized that some kind of LJ glitch was telling people I’d taken them off my friends list when I hadn’t.

What do you like in an LJ friend?

Good spelling and punctuation. Sorry, I’m a slave to grammar. Actually I’ve no need to apologize to you lot because you have it. It warms my heart that these are not really lost arts in the way some grumpy people would have you believe.

I like people who are not afraid of the little details in their life; there are good ways to tell me about your work or something your kid has done or whatever it is that’s happened to you today, and a lot of you find that a lot of the time. Vivid little peeks into worlds so different from my own, I love that. I also have a well-established weakness for anybody who’s willing to be dorkishly excited about anything, whose enthusiasm for some topic means it wouldn’t even occur to them to be self-conscious about sharing it.

What do you dislike?

Some of what I think of as internet slang is really starting to rub me the wrong way (random things: “om nom nom,” “FTW,” I don’t know why) and some people who talk in fandom-related gibberish really leaves me cold because I probably haven’t seen or read it (but especially seen) whatever the hell you’re talking about and so the clever allusions go right over my head. And of course I don’t like people who are stupid or mean. But obviously if you’re reading this I like you though so don’t worry.

What would make you un-friend someone immediately?

Ha, I actually did this a couple of days ago. Our LJ friendship exists on a weird sawtooth curve where I get annoyed with something he says, decide I can’t look at any of his words ever again, and then after a while of that I forget what I was so upset about and look he’s left a nice comment to something I said, I’ll put him back. The thing that made me immediately unfriend him I don’t remember, but it was something about politics... I genuinely don’t mind people who disagree with me (my family gave me lots of practice at this), but to take something so badly out of context for no reason I can see other than willful ignorance or a desire to feel sarcastically superior, in that case it doesn’t matter if we agree or not; I still don’t want to hear about it.

Have you been caught up in a lot of LJ drama?

It doesn’t feel like it. I’m not generally a dramatic person and they don’t flock to me.

I think the closest I came was a real-life bit of drama precipitated by LJ; once I had a pretty good friend who seemed to think I was her sidekick and when I started making proper friends on the internet and things got a bit salacious on my LJ for a while, she did her best to butt in and show the men who liked me that she was actually the fantastically interesting one. They mostly saw through her and continued talking to me because they thought I was clever and funny, and while my friend could be clever and funny too she rarely wasted these traits on guys she wanted to like her, because she never had to try that hard to get what she wanted from them. We quietly disliked all each other’s boyfriends so when she started saying bad things about the likes of Andrew, Dave (who I’ll see on Friday!) and Peter (who I hope to visit soon! five years late but who’s counting?) I knew they must be keepers.

Do RL friends and family members know you have a journal on LJ?

Most of my RL friends have an LJ, or had. Very few wouldn’t know that I have one.

My family? Oh lord. I thank my lucky stars that my parents can barely check their e-mail. I am not the person my family thinks I am but I don’t want them to know that.

Do you also have Facebook and if so, what do you prefer – LJ or FB?

I had Facebook for a while, because all those friends who aren’t on LJ any more told me they’d talk to me more if I joined. I found it singularly unsatisfying: they didn’t talk much, and even I squirmed at such pointless carelessness with personal details. Plus people from work found it and it was all a bit useless and stupid, so I deleted it.

And I’m still here on LJ. It has its peaks and troughs but I always love it.

What about Twitter?

I resisted Twitter for ages, and there are lots of things I don’t like about it, such as the fact that I’m supposed to call its messages “tweets” and the process of making them “tweeting,” which I flat-out refuse to do. I’m sure no one else notices but I have taken a stand on this. There’s also the way that lists of people’s messages end up just like being in a room with someone who’s on the phone and only hearing their half of the conversation. I do my best to make my contributions interesting even if they do have someone else’s name at the beginning.

One of the best things about Twitter is that it’s allowed me to talk to a couple of my friends a lot more than I would otherwise, and to make friends with one of their friends solely based on it.

And hey, Buddhists say Twitter makes people happy. They seem like people who know about happiness.

Do you blog on any other sites?

I have a wordpress blog but it’s pretty dormant now. Keeping up here is more than enough for me.

How often do you check in on LJ?

Whenever I have nothing else to do and an internet connection. It’s worth having my LJ just to read all of yours.

What do you rarely or never post about?

God I talk about everything. My mental ill-health, the most unseemly parts of my character, sex... I always used to worry that I talk too much. And yet everyone has things they don’t talk about, so I’m sure I can think of some.

My job.

What else? I’m actually really crap at most kinds of sensible updates on things that are going on my life: I’m moving next Saturday, I have friends from the US visiting most of the time between now and then, that I’m finally trying to get referred for counselling, and it’s entirely possible for some of my close friends not to know about this because I don’t talk about that here, shunning it in favor of talking about football and my first nosebleed and stuff like that.

I fell in love in August and it turned ugly in September and I haven’t been able to talk about that. I haven’t been able to talk about much else in that time either. I mention this now because I hope that is finally improving.

Why don’t you post about that?

I don’t talk about my job partly because I’m very aware of patient confidentiality, but also because usually by the time I get home it’s the last thing I want to think about. It has its anecdotable moments and some of those do work their way into my entries (Andrew’s been known to ask me, when I say something about what someone said or did at work, whether it was a staff or a patient; it’s sometimes amusingly difficult to tell).

I don’t talk about What’s Actually Going On In My Life because I like to tell stories and I don’t have any good stories about finding a new flat or about the exciting NHS process of getting on a waiting list. I try to keep the to-do list aspects out of my LJ, but the problem is that I’m too successful at that and don’t have any kind of list anywhere.

To do today: make list.

Have you ever thought about deleting your journal?

I did delete it for about a week a year ago, just because I was spending too much time on the internet. It was sort of reassuring, to quiet the noise in my head, but I worried a lot of my friends, got some silly, sweet e-mails from people whose first instinct -- as mine is too -- is to equate a username with a person and not want to see a line through any of my friends.

I still spend too much time on the internet. Personal drama has left me lacking energy and things to say lately so I’ve vaguely thought of deleting it again but I couldn’t leave it gone forever. As cringeworthy as the first few... years were, it’s mine and I love it.

Have you ever changed your username?

As I’m sure almost all of you know, I used to be called holly_lama. I like this name better even though even fewer people get it.

Why did you choose your current username?

Because moving away from Minnesota sharpened it in my mind into something very important to me. I have to tell people I’m American but I’m not really. I’ve never been to New York or Disneyland. I’m not from America, I’m from Minnesota. I need bitterly cold winters and mosquito-filled summers or else I feel unsettled. I miss hotdish at Lutheran church potlucks and high-school sports tournaments and talk of how the soybeans are coming along and how Neil has another new tractor. I laugh at Garrison Keillor in recognition when I think the people around me are laughing in disbelief that there could be such silly, weird things in the world and sometimes I just want to give him a hug for being able to articulate what matters to me a lot better than I can.

The other half of the name comes from bodhisattva, which is a Buddhist notion: a person who’s achieved enlightenment but put off nirvana in order to help others reach it too. I have seen the value in all these things I just mentioned and if I can do anything to make other people feel as good as this makes me, I would be happy indeed.

If you’re looking for new friends, how do you find them?

I’m really not now, but I used to do it all kinds of ways. There used to be a way you could search for the people who had the most interests in common with you; I really miss that. I used to nab people I had interesting conversations with in communities or friends’ journals -- and sometimes they found me; once I hooked up with someone based on an icon I was using (the postmark one, actually; hooray for Minnesota!) in a comment to a friend. I added lots of random people (and subtracted them almost as capriciously) for years but now I’ve reached a steady state, with new friends being mostly people I’ve met or friends of theirs that I forget I haven’t yet, like [livejournal.com profile] alicephilippa.

Are you taking new people on to your Friends List just now?

I’d never say no but I’m really not seeking them out.

Finally, tell us the reasons why you keep an online journal.

I started it to get myself writing again, and I had an audience of one for quite a while. I was more content in that than I ever would be now; now I do it largely for the interaction with my friends, some of whom I know mostly or entirely through this medium. Yet despite or because I am not paying attention to the writing, LJ has done wonders for my writing skills. I haven’t written anything else much in all this time, despite having lots of friends who were telling me for a while that I should write a book, or even just publish my LJ as one.

Most of all I do it because I have all these thoughts in my head and I am happiest when they can go somewhere.
hollymath: (magnadoodle)
Association Meme: Comment to this post and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ and elaborate on the subjects given.

Here’s what [livejournal.com profile] miss_s_b gave me:

Long, thoughtful LJ posts
Hoo boy, I think this one’s totally derelict by now. I used to, I’d like to... but lately?

To remind us of better times, here are some long, hopefully thoughtful, LJ posts I have written that I like. On choosing a (English) football team, seeing Leonard Cohen perform, here’s one about seasons and holidays and the rhythms and noteworthiness of life, here’s the thing most important to me in the world, Tom Waits, why I don’t think Pluto should be a planet (and now it isn’t! hail Eris), here’s one about the first helpful dream I had about my brother, here’s the best comment thread ever on my LJ, here’s Lutheran Church Basement Women, here’s why I’m glad I learned to love music before I had the internet, here’s where I come from, here’s me being blind... okay, that’s enough.

I think this one is shared amongst a lot of my British friends; several have told me they think of me when they think of Minnesota, or vice versa. I think my new LJ name suits me; I do really feel like an ambassador for the place I am from. I dearly love the accents, the wide horizons and tight-knit communities I call home, the woods and lakes up north with air so clear it tastes good, the Twin Cities, the skyways and lakes again and Uptown and the light rail and all the sports teams I ever cared about...

I love its history of, for its time and place, progressive politics, I love “Minnesota nice” even though I don’t know if it’s real, it may as well be. I love the cold winters and the hot summers, as different from one another as the prairies and the forests, but all part of my state and I love it all, miss it terribly, and think about it all the time.

Mutti and Vatti (I probably spelt that wrong, didn’t I?)
Not by much, SB; it’s “mutti & vati,” short for Mutter and Vater, the German words for mother and father. I started the habit of calling mine by this name (on my LJ I mean, not to their faces; it’d only confuse them) when I started this journal. At the time my roommate brought home a book called Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, which was made into a movie I never saw with a less-good name, but at the time we thought of it only as a teenage version of Bridget Jones. In the book the diary-writer calls her parents Mutti and Vati because she is taking German. I was too, that year, so I started to do so as well. I’ve mostly fallen out of the habit of doing so in the journal itself in the last, what, six and a half years... but the tag I use when I talk about my parents is still called “mutti & vati.”

And I talk about my parents a fair bit. A lot of my love for Minnesota is about the general, as listed in #3 above, but a lot of it is specific to my family, irrevocably associated with it. Growing up with only a brother who didn’t like me and very few friends, my parents had a large part to play in making me the person I am today, and thus I have lots to say about them. And they weigh heavily on my mind now that I’m here. I never thought I’d live so far away from them, you know. I never had any great desire to live outside the U.S., though I think that might be partially due to the fact that it never occurred to me I could have the chance. Obviously I am happy that I did, but I miss them enormously and because rather than despite the fact that they were so supportive, I still have pangs of guilt at abandoning them, especially so soon after they lost their only other child in a far more extreme and permanent way. They’ve mostly lost me too, and it breaks my heart but they tell me they want me to be happy, so I do my best.

The only time this word has surfaced in my LJ is here -- and, in a morphic resonance kind of way, it really was a few days after I’d first thought of it and was already writing in my head an LJ entry that never got written, with that as its title.

I suppose this illustrates both my love of doing silly things with my name (many of you who still remember me as holly-lama can attest to this; I also used to make lame-ass handmade cards for my friends when I was in high school and write “Hollymark” on the back, doing my best to make it look like the Hallmark logo; things like this abound) and, well, if you google for “hollyamory” it asks you “Did you mean polyamory?” In both concept and practice, polyamory has made my life much different than it would otherwise have been. It has not always been easier, but it’s always been worth it.

Its literal meaning should not go forgotten; I have benefited enormously from those who practice Hollyamory; the love, kindness, generosity and concern of my friends has absolutely made me the person I am today, and I can’t thank you all enough.

I get this -- well, I used to, when I actually wrote about things, see point #1 -- from time to time; I get compliments from friends who say that they admire the way I explain the things I see and think about. It’s kind of amusing considering how bad I am at perceiving normal things, with my actual eyes.

But maybe that’s why; my disability and my overprotective parents destined me to a childhood of being on my own reading books rather than being allowed to play baseball and basketball like I wanted to. I learned to read so young I don’t remember learning how, and I didn’t know you had to learn so I was mystified when my brother couldn’t manage it right away. So I was always reading several years above my grade level, thus I always worried that I was weird because my books made me feel a part of a world where people thought and talked about things that I never heard a word about in my house.

As I’ve grown I’ve met lots of “weird” friends and talked about all kinds of things I never evenread about in books. But still they say I see things differently from other people; they call me perceptive. It’s weird.

Right, as per the rules you can now ask me for five things I associate with you, and so the chain continues!
hollymath: (eyebrow)
Content-free since 2002!

So, minnesattva, your LiveJournal reveals...

You are... 1% unique and 4% herdlike (partly because you, like everyone else, enjoy sex). When it comes to friends you are popular. In terms of the way you relate to people, you are wary of trusting strangers. Your writing style (based on a recent public entry) is intellectual.

Your overall weirdness is: 53

(The average level of weirdness is: 27.
You are weirder than 91% of other LJers.)

Find out what your weirdness level is!


hollymath: (Default)

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