hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I want to write about some stupid medical bureaucracy shit that happened to me this morning (nothing urgent or scary, just tiring), but right now I'm so goddam tired and it's so depressing. So have instead a conversation I wrote down between Andrew and I before we went to sleep lsat night -- or, technically, today:


Andrew has refined the numbers of which Brooklyn 99 characters he is down to 50% Boyle, 40% Holt, 10% Scully).

I said I wasn't going to ask him who I was because when I did that online quiz that said I was Rosa he disagreed and told me I was Amy and I was outraged.

"Yeah, you are Amy!" he said so of course I was outraged again (acknowledging that denial of Amy-ness is probably a sign of being an Amy, just like wanting to be Rosa irrevocably disqualifies me from being Rosa).

"l wish I was as organized as Amy!" I said. "She'd be horrified at me, I can't even write a to-do list! How the hell am I like Amy?!"

"You're organized," Andrew said although I had just proven I am not. "You have binders and folders and things!" he said. "You own stationery."

Reader, I couldn't stop laughing.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Me at work today: washing dishes

Other people in room: quietly looking at stuff on phones

L, reading something out that he found on the internet: "Old lady to small child: 'How long have you been in your wheelchair?' "

Me, thinks: If I used a wheelchair and somebody asked me that, I'd have to answer with something like, "This morning."

L, continuing: "Small child says, 'Since eleven o'clock this morning.' "

Me: "Ha! That's how I would answer that question!"

L: "Holly...are you sure you're neurotypical?" (L is autistic.)

Me: "Increasingly less so!"

I have been assured you can't catch autism. And I have theories about how both my visual impairment and my immigrant status give me more overlap with autistic traits than is normal for neurotypicals. But it amuses me to place some of the "blame" on my partners--all of whom are autistic, none of whom thought they were when I fell for them--and my many friends who are not neurotypical.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
This morning on Mastodon I saw somebody say
15 years old: listening to Billy Joel authentically

26 years old: listening to billy joel ironically

32 years old: listening to billy joel authentically
and I realized that if you take about 12 years off of all those ages, the same is true of me and Bruce Springsteen.

So then naturally I had to listen to some Bruce Springsteen. I danced around the kitchen while I was making my french toast for breakfast.

Andrew woke up and came downstairs so I turned off the music when I sat down to eat. He was clearly still earwormed though, because he started singing the guitar riff from "Born to Run."

I laughed and said "You're actually pretty good at singing like his guitar! It's not like one of those things you think you're good at but I don't..."

"It's also the Blondie guitar sound!" he added helpfully.

"...Oh yeah," I said, thinking particularly of "Atomic." "I suppose that makes sense, they're sorta from the same kind of era..."

"And they're from the same geographical area!" Andrew said.

I laughed. "...Yeah I don't think guitar sounds evolve into local populations like that."

"There's a very famous guitar tree on the New Jersey turnpike," he told me very earnestly. I laughed a lot.

Spoons

Nov. 11th, 2016 06:05 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Me: "I'm starting to think [person] has a crush on me."

Andrew: "Well that would make sense, because you are best!"
[This is pretty much what he's told me every time this has ever happened. It still makes me smile, even though I don't believe it.]

Andrew: "I'd rather you didn't get any more boyfriends right now!"

Me: "I'm not planning on it!"

Andrew: "I'm not saying you can't. Just that I'd rather you didn't."

Me: "Yeah, I know, but it's still not gonna happen! I don't have time or energy for anything as it is!"

Andrew: "Polyamory is for people with spoons."

Me: "Yeah."
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I'm so lucky that my life is far enough removed from the gendered expectations of the dominant culture that both Andrew and James noticed I'd shaved my armpits as soon as they'd seen me after I did it. They both seemed concerned or confused, and asked me why I'd done it.

I've totally forgotten that bodies like mine are expected to be hairless. And it's largely down to these two men.

Also, this happened:
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Andrew's bemoaning how most people fail to distinguish the signal from the noise (referendums are bad for him).

"They should all listen to me," he says. "I could tell them all the information."

"Yeah, what you're talking about there is a monarchy, though," I say.

"They wouldn't have to vote like I told them. But at least they'd know."

"You aren't even very good at knowing about your own life," I tease. "Much less about everything." I point out a hospital appointment on Monday that he didn't even remember he forgot about until bedtime yesterday.‎

"I know that you should go to hospital appointments if you have arthritis!" he says.

"But you don't know when it is."

"No. That's administration. Not policy."

I think about this for a second. "You really do think I'm the civil service in the Monarchy of Andrew, don't you?"

"Not think as such. More like, know..."‎
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
[personal profile] haggis and I went out for lunch. (Yay! It was so nice to see her again.)

When the waitress brought our food, she asked if I wanted any sauces for my salad. "Salad cream?" she suggested.

I politely declined, but when she left muttered "Salad cream! Bah. Stupid Britain."

[personal profile] haggis laughed. "It's not just the Queen, huh?" We had just been talking about the odious [twitter.com profile] cleanforqueen campaign (my take: if the Queen wants my scruffy bit of Manchester to be clean, she can give some of her millions of pounds to pay more council street cleaners).

I fear I could make quite a long list: it is indeed Not Just The Queen.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
"I'm sorry," I told Andrew after he'd endured a day of pain and feigned neurotypicality for me.

"You didn't invent axial tilt, or the Abrahamic religions, or the capitalist system that gives us only a few days off a year," he reassured me.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
me: I've already been "doctor-who-fan-splained" at this morning, which was entertaining. Apparently I'm wrong cos I'm not "a life-long fan since episode 1" like this guy is. Of course he's called Andrew, too. [I included this because it amused me, having listened to Andrew -- the usual one -- and James talk about different things that one or both of them liked (TV, bands, films) all of which seemed to have exhaustive books published on them by someone who was disproportionately-often called Andrew.]

[personal profile] magister So what were you wrong about?

me: My jokey thing about how Time Peers is a better name for them than Time Lords cos it's gender-neutral. Apparently Time Lords is already neutral because the inquisitor in Trial of a Time Lord, etc.etc. yawn. But then I reminded him that Missy corrected someone the other week who called her a Time Lord and Romana calls herself a Time Lady too.

me: He especially irked me cos the original post was my friend Chella saying "I would love to play The Doctor one day, but as long as Moffatt is in charge, I'll automatically be cast as one of his interchangeable pointy-faced older brunette nemesis crone vixens." Whether that's fair or not, it's clear women need progress among human writers of Who at least as much as we need in-story progress among Gallifreyans. But I don't think the Andrew could understand that.

[personal profile] magister Don't think the Inquisitor is ever referred to as either time lord or time lady - not sure it's ever specified one way or the other. Anyway, it's 6 years into the programme before the term time lord appears and then another 9 years before you see one who isn't male, so not sure what difference watching since 1963 makes.

me: Andrew said too that he didn't think she was ever called a time lord or lady. I think it's telling that this other Andrew just assumed/remembers it that way.

[personal profile] magister Yeah. There's nothing to disprove his theory, therefore he assumes it supports him.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
"[livejournal.com profile] softfruit should be in the House of Lords!" Andrew said, apropos of nothing.

"...Okay, yeah!" I said as soon as my brain caught up. I didn't need to know what brought this about about in order to agree.

"And I'd say [livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours should be, too, if being a lord didn't give him even more excuses to take on too much more than he can do," Andrew went on.

I still couldn't disagree with any of this...but now that there was getting to be a list, I wanted to know why I wasn't on it. Especially since [personal profile] miss_s_b's renewed drunken interest in getting me a peerage to call attention to ho difficult it is for non-EU citizens to attain UK citizenship. So I asked him, "What about me? Why can't I be in the House of Lords?"

"I think it'd do your head in," Andrew said. "You'd just spend all your time thinking 'Ahhh, what is even going on here, how can this be a real thing?!' I'm only thinking about my Holly's fragile mental health here!"

Ha. He may have a point there.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
[personal profile] magister and I managed to have five or ten minutes of reasonable conversation about Jeremy Corbyn (probably not either the messiah or the death of the Labour Party, we reckon) and the future of his party (dunno yet) before something made me say "And I wish people* would stop comparing him to Bernie Sanders. He's nothing like Bernie Sanders!"

"Yeah." I was relieved to hear James agree with this. But then he added, "His brother doesn't make fried chicken."

We carried on talking about how anyone called Sanders could be Colonel Sanders because we don't know whaat Colonel Sanders' first name is, until James said he really wanted some fried chicken. This is about the level and amount of political commentary I'm happy with, right now.

* Mostly Britsplainers, but I read it in at least one American article too. Parliamentary politics is different enough from presidential politics that I find a good comparison really difficult; the best I've got this afternoon is "Nancy Pelosi but with the hype of 2008-Obama."
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
...and how it's different from what British people mean when they tell me they don't feel British.
I tweeted this yesterday morning, and a couple of things happened. First, a bunch of people kindly retweeted it. That led to some "fun", like the guy who told me everyone was welcome here and if I didn't feel welcome it was my own fault and why wasn't I more grateful that he was welcoming me (which, bless them, seemed to shock and horrify my friends with his rudeness, whereas I thought I'd gotten off lightly to have only attracted one of the well-meaning Britsplainers and not any of the proper nasty bigots...#everydayxenophobia, eh?).

Anyway, the retweets also elicited this:Now, I've heard "I don't even feel British" from people who are, technically, British a lot. Pretty much any time I talk about my status in the UK, I'm met with this. When I was fretting over having to take the awful Life in the UK test, co-workers and in-laws were always intrigued by my book of practice questions but when none of them -- all native Brits! -- could answer them, they inevitably laughed it off by saying that having to take a test like this was itself an un-British thing. The think-pieces about "what it means to be British" work along similar lines: it's like "the true meaning of Christmas," something a certain kind of person likes to noodle about and everyone always comes to the same conclusion about: it's not only impossible to pin down, but that very ineffability is part of what makes it so great. Et cetera.

Through no fault of his own, Daniel's tweet made something snap in my head. It wasn't the first time my articulating how hostile I find "Britishness" and how little I feel it's anything to do with me got this kind of reaction. Indeed, I don't think I've ever talked about this without one or more friends -- and very close friends! and partners! -- saying "I don't feel that British either."

Of course people are welcome to affiliate themselves with "Britishness" as much or as little as they like. But I think they can't help but mean something very different by it than what I mean when I say "I don't feel British." I certainly empathize with Daniel's reluctance to align himself with some of the actions of his country's government -- of course I do, I'm from the U.S.! The first time I visited the UK in 2004 I was delighted my accent so often got me mistaken for Canadian because I'd have much rather been from a country that wasn't determined to bomb the shit out of all the brown people.

But even if I were to say "I don't feel American" when I don't agree with its government...it is in my head an entirely different thing to what I mean when I say "I don't feel British." And I kind of despaired of being able to explain this at all, much less in Twitter's character restrictions, so I just said And this got the responses it always does: people born in Britain who've lived here most or all of their lives saying they don't feel British and "feeling British" isn't a meaningful phrase to them. They're good people who I know love me, but things (temporarily!) seemed to be getting worse instead of better. I doubted my ability to explain to myself what bothered me about this, much less to loved ones whose identity I might be treading on, much less on Twitter.

But I figured if I was going to try, I might as well try it on James -- poor guy, these are the perks of being my partner: more unrefined unsolicited thoughts! .And I added this, more generally. And he understood it better than I understood what I was saying myself at the time, because he's good. Yes. Luxury. Unavailable luxury. This I think was the description I'd been groping for. It was the kind of luxury that means white people don't have to think about race, cis people don't have to think about gender, non-disabled people don't have to think about accessibility, and so on. (A point something like that was made by [twitter.com profile] pickwick.)

But it helped a lot to see someone else saying that, and not having to say it myself. This is true not only for personal reasons of it feeling so nice to be understood and have my perspective valued...but also because it's not just my identity that people feel free to argue with, it's also any opinions I might have about theirs -- like the guy who said Britain is welcoming and if I don't think so I'm wrong -- he told me "rubbish" when I challenged that, but he didn't say anything to the British people allying themselves with my side of the argument. So it's nice to have James saying these things partly because he makes me happy but also he doesn't run such a risk of attracting the kind of animosity I would have to worry about if I said the same things. And not only can Twitter randoms argue with it...the Home Secretary can argue with it. A nasty headline or a few minutes of Radio 4 on the subject of immigration can ruin my mental health for the day. I know my passport says I have Indefinite Leave to Remain now, but I don't really believe that. You can be working illegally, or more difficult to give a job to, once the passport that has your ILR in it expires. You can be deported if your British spouse isn't making enough money. The ILR stamp in my passport says I am officially "Settled" in the UK, but I'm really not. I'm decidedly unsettled, that's just how the system wants me, and that's what I mean when I say I don't feel British.

My well-meaning chums who've never lived anywhere else and think passports are for holidays rather than for when a family member dies or might die...they might not feel British because they disapprove of the actions of their government, but at least they can vote. They can stand for election and try to improve that government. I can't. The label they'd toss away carries privileges and securities I can only dream of.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
"Oh, stop ogling," James teased Jennie. Someone she's been known to admire had just walked away, in the direction back over my shoulder.

"What?" she said indignantly. "I wasn't admiring his bum, I was admiring Holly's tits!"

I do appreciate the honesty of my autistic friends.

That he apparently had no objection to.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Andrew, running his fingers along my hand: "Your finger's all...lumpy, there!"
Me: "That's my knuckle, love."

The world is forever full of surprises for my dear husband. It must be fun, if it ever stops being confusing.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
"I'll come to bed as soon as I've finished this puzzle game [personal profile] andrewducker​​ linked to..." Andrew said.

"Oh, great," I replied. "Remember the last time you said that, when you lost a month to playing 2048?"

"At least you got a break from me for a while," he said in the small voice he uses when he knows I'm right.

"Except I didn't, because you kept yelling things like 'It's a DDoS attack on my brain!' "
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Andrew put away most of the laundry last night but left on the bed a few things of mine he didn't know where to put.

I folded my tops and put them away. Or so I thought! But when he tucked me in bed (I was in pain and feeling sorry for myself and wanted a story read to me) he said "what's this?"

I'd not noticed a t-shirt that had blended in with the duvet. He picked it up. "Oh, it's your Kinsey 8 t-shirt."

(Some years ago for Pride a bunch of people had t-shirts made that illustrated the diversity of bisexual (and bi-ally) attractions. They were made to look like football players' tops, with "Kinsey" across the shoulderblades and the big number underneath. I thought it was such a great idea, and looks great when there are a bunch of people wearing them in a group.)

"Three!" I said. "That's a 3!" (Even three is a bit much for me. I'd ordered a 2 but the t-shirts got mixed up and I'm happy enough with the 3, even if it doesn't really reflect my life (so far at least!)) "It only goes up to six!"

"You're probably still an eight," Andrew said, in that way he does when he likes to be right even when he doesn't know what he's talking about.

"The higher the number is, the gayer you are!" I explained, but my husband seemed totally undeterred, bless him.

Commentary

Oct. 3rd, 2014 02:49 pm
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The Allman Brothers' "Jessica" came on Andrew's random mp3 shuffle.

"There's not a British person who can hear this without thinking of the snooker," Andrew said. And then attempted to correct himself: "I mean, racing."

"No," I said. "You mean Top Gear."

"Oh yeah," he said. "I got my sports mixed up."

I agreed. He also got snooker and motor racing confused with sports.

"I knew it was a car program!" he said. "A man program."
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Andrew wrote this on Facebook yesterday:
I am going to hold a referendum on whether my house should declare independence. There are arguments on both sides. On the "no" side, there's the fact that the [our address]ish economy is largely reliant on imports for such vital supplies as kebabs and superhero comics, while on the "yes" side it's incredibly unlikely that a post-independence [our address] would have a Tory government any time soon.
Registration for the referendum is at an unprecedented 100% of residents, not counting the 50% of residents who don't get a vote because they're foreign. Early polling remains inconclusive, and tensions remain high, with at least one prominent "no" spokesperson expected to issue a statement shortly that the [our address] electorate should "stop messing around on Facebook and go and do the dishes like you said you were going to half an hour ago".
Naturally my first comment was
The spokesperson would also like to point out how lax this campaign is being with sensitive personal information like its home address. If an independent house can't be trusted with such basic information, how can it expect us to trust it has our best interests at heart?
Andrew said:
The Yes campaign would like to refute those disgraceful slurs, by which it means rebut as all politicians do when they say refute, by pointing out the need for all campaign literature to carry an imprint stating the address at which it was published, and further pointing out that it's a friends-locked post and all our friends either know where we live anyway or don't care
One of his friends chimed in with:
The independant house would be welcomed into the global community of independant dwellings, geodysic domes, manses, and yurts.
then adding the acronym: "Gcidgdmy!"

Then it was me again:
The No campaign isn't interested in your empty rhetoric, it is only interested in action. So make sure you put the bins out when you go get your kebab.
(At least we were not, I should say, in the same room when we were talking to each other like this. I had been trying to take a nap before this assault on my dwelling (and indeed my status in it! calling me a foreigner in my own house?!).

Andrew said
I am proud to stand on my record. A record of doing the dishes, a promise of putting the bins out when I can be bothered to stand up again.
To which another of his friends made the very good point: "If only more manifestos contained 'when I can be bothered' I might believe them. There's a swing to the Yesses here." Following this up with "I realise that I am not eligible to vote in this election, but I'm English so naturally thought you'd appreciate knowing what I think even though it's your election." For some inexplicable reason, this got lots of 'like's.

Again I worried, as I always do when Andrew and I have conversations on the internet, that people will fret for us and think we're having a violent argument. I don't know if it's more or less fret-worthy that this is our idea of fun!
If only the house had a Devo Max option. We could have been cranking up the nu wave hits right now.
Andrew's friend Sarah said again (well actually soon after all this nonsense she sent me a Facebook friend request too! so she can be my friend as well now).And then another friend said something that really made me laugh:
Just to add another English, not involved but going to tell you anyway comment...( Include me in the 'don't care re. address' and 'highly worried that you're having a domestic' demographic of non-voters )... Thought you might like to know that Daves on his way to persuade you to vote 'no'. Bolt your doors and put the oil on.
Then from Debi, an important question:
Also English and not involved, therefore have an opinion: what will be the policy on immigration into the independent state?
Considering the dim approach Andrew takes to most humans and his fondness for being left on his own, I speculated that not only would immigration be frowned upon but that mere tourist come-over-for-a-cup-of-tea-or-board-games-or-crash-in-our-spare-room visas would be impossible to come by for all but a lucky handful of people. Indeed, the Yes campaign takes a dim view of emigration too, telling me after a few hours out of the house, or even asleep when he's still downstairs, how much he misses me.

Whatever happens, I just hope the bloody referendum happens soon, before we all get sick of hearing about it.

Many hands

Jan. 6th, 2014 09:37 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
"It's not many hands that make light work," Andrew said. "It's Holly!"

"Yep," I said.

"Do you see what I did there?" I could hear the self-congratulatory grin in his voice.

"Yep," I said.

It's because I made [the] light [in the kitchen that hadn't worked since Friday night] work.

But actually it's feeling pretty true anyway. I feel like I should have many hands, to get done all the work that needs doing.
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 Andrew up to say goodbye before I left, and he said he'd been dreaming about me fancying Eric Idle.

I assured him that the waking version of me has no interest in Eric Idle.

He said "You fancy tall posh blokes."

"I do not!" There are many things I could rightly be accused of, but neither tallness or poshness has a particular effect on me (and being 5'3" and American, it doesn't take a lot for someone to be relatively tall or relatively posh, so I'd lead a much more distracted life if those were my criteria!).

"I'm going to tell [personal profile] magister you said that!" Andrew said.

"...Okay!" I said. "What, you think he's posh?"

"He is posh! He talks posh."

"No he doesn't. He talks a lot like you!"

"And I'm going to tell [livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours!" Andrew persisted.

"Fine," I laughed, so confident that the tall posh blokes I know can distinguish "I don't particularly fancy random characteristics you possess" from "I don't like you any more" that...well, that I'm telling the story myself!

Ha.

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