Oct. 2nd, 2017 02:35 pm
hollymath: (Default)
Plumber was here for two hours to sort out a complicated job. Andrew and Gary both find it really stressful, even though the plumber was nice and great this time.

I've spent most of the hour since on the phone with Student Finance England, the most inscrutable and arbitrary bastards I've dealt with since the Home Office.

Now I have to go talk to a bank where I don't remember the answers to my security questions. That's always fun. Put this off until tomorrow because I needed a nap.

Then I have to go to class! Via some ableist bullshit.

What a day.
hollymath: (Default)
Stressful day. I'm still an edge case, this time when it comes to Student Finance England, who don't know what to do with someone who's a UK citizen but doesn't have a UK passport or birth certificate. After three lots of contradictory advice that couldn't be verified on a website that was down, after I shouted and stomped and lost my temper with poor Andrew who wasn't the cause of any of my anger or stress, we established that I had to send my passport and my naturalization certificate. Originals, no copies would do.

My most vital documents. I felt like I was going to throw up, handing them over at the post office. I literally have nightmares about losing them.

And as soon as I get them back, I'll have to post them away again, to get a UK passport.

Having moaned on Facebook I wanted a drink, [personal profile] diffrentcolours offered to meet me inna pub this evening. It's been ages since I've been in a pub when it wasn't part of a WI committee meeting or a Biphoria thing. It's been ages since I've seen [personal profile] diffrentcolours for something other than Lib Demmery (and even today there was a bit of that because he handed over stuff for me to mail to this week's Pride). We were just friends having some time together and it was great.

Then I got home, already sleepy, and ended up talking to Andrew for a long time about a song a friend of ours asked me to write. He's doing this big musical/opera kind of thing, full of great ideas. He wanted me to write a song about the Shipping Forecast, and I've been not doing it for years, but tonight we started working on it and I'm so excited about it now. Based on a sea shanty, with instrumentation like oboe, moog and Neptune (recorded by NASA), it's turning out fiendishly clever.
hollymath: (Default)
Urgh, I've been so quiet while there's so much going on.

But there's been so much going on! After the drama of Friday, I had a weekend full of socializing with bisexuals (including lovely [personal profile] barakta helping me with disability forms for uni), then a flying trip to Brighouse, then [personal profile] innerbrat coming to visit on Monday.

She's been here all week, and it's been really good for me. I had an excuse to tidy, to sit around acting like I'm on holiday too (Andrew making a point of offering our guest cups of tea meant I got more cups of tea too!), to go out for the day yesterday (we went to Liverpool where Debi had never been before!) and today to see [personal profile] diffrentcolours in town, eat and drink a lot of things.

We had brunch at the Vienna Coffee House, where they'll give you french toast with eggs and bacon on it now (or eggs and halloumi if you're vegetarian like we are!), and the cookie dough cheesecake was amazing; then "green juice" made from all the fruit and vegetables at the weird pseudo-American diner in the Northern Quarter, and a banana, vanilla and turmeric milk shake.

In between we took Debi to places she could buy stuff for cosplay, bought tat for Pride (bubble gun! bubble "swords"! rainbow unicorn headbands!), bought me a big notebook and the best pens (InkJoy) for university... I looked at a lot of other stuff, some of which I was able to find at home so didn't need to buy, some other of which I couldn't find quite the right thing.

There's nothing so intoxicating as the potential of new stationery for a new school year to make you feel like you could become an entirely new and better person. I am warier of that now, which I'm hoping is a good sign.

The other two both bought purple Helix Oxford "maths sets," the protractor and the compasses and everything in the little tin box, because they were cheap and made both them happy in a Proustian way I couldn't quite share but could appreciate.

Tomorrow I'm going to an open day at the university. I'm bringing Andrew with for moral support/being my seeing-eye human, and Debi because she's interested. Should be fun. But I"m exhausted and we have to leave early tomorrow so I'm off to sleep!

Good day

Jul. 9th, 2017 09:54 pm
hollymath: (Default)
  • Spent half the night awake, but still managed to get up when my alarm went off to go to yoga. (I've been trying to go either Wednesday evening or Sunday morning or both. I did neither last week but both this week. And when I got there I found that it was my usual teacher's first time back after a twelve-day holiday, which means the sessions I missed last week would've been taught by the person I had on Wednesday night who was...perfectly nice but not so well suited to me as this guy is. So then I felt less bad about being unable to go last week.)
  • Was so hungry I ate breakfast even though I was going out for brunch with friends, which ended up being very useful because our food got hugely delayed.
  • Food was very good when it turned up, including my hummus and spiced cashew salad that [personal profile] haggis was rightly FOMO about (I ordered it from a page that was missing from her menu!) but luckily she was still happy with the food she did order.
  • Went for a nice walk in the sunshine, through Stretford and along the Bridgewater canal, which made me happy to be near water again, something my Minnesota upbringing has taught me to always expect to be near to.
  • Talked to parents back from their vacation Up North: fishing and swimming and campfires. And my family being their usual selves. My grandma went and had a nice time, which is good because she hasn't been going every year lately. My cousin's kid, now seven, still asks about me even though she hasn't seen me in two years bremembers me because no one else will go kayaking or swimming or caterpillar-finding with her like I did then.
  • We actually went near a place on the canal today where you can go kayaking, I guess. Me and Katie are talking about trying it sometime. I'd love to, I really miss being on the water.
  • And I did a job application for a LGBT charity, with help from Andrew on getting through the person spec. I always lose the will to live before I get halfway through, and he's genuinely convinced that I am as great as he's saying I am so it works out really well. I should remember to exploit him for this more often!


Jun. 24th, 2017 09:26 am
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Had one of those "feel like I didn't do anything" days yesterday but I did loads of stuff.

I think I felt like that because I did spend the morning in my pajamas wasting time on Twitter. But also, I was fielding comments on a Lib Dem Voice article introducing our new group, Lib Dem Immigrants (which I am super excited about). Unfortunately, anything about immigration attracts some trolls, even if it's as innocuous as "here's a new internal party body" (I did like that we also got a comment saying "we waste too much time on internal party shit!"). I found this set of comments dismaying for an interesting new kind of separating the wheat-from-the-chaff approach to immigration: even the people telling me they want to end freedom of movement and other such things tell me that they support me having rights, and right away, because I married a British citizen. Hm.

Anyway, I eventually made myself do a bit of tidying, sort out the room booking for Plus's AGM at Autumn Conference (which I don't know if I'll be able to go to because I can't afford accommodation, which is making me very sad), call up our soon-to-be-ex-home-insurance-company which gosh that phone call made me glad of because it was agonizing, get a Plus parcel ready to post and send it off, go to the shops to buy boring things like a light bulb, stand precariously on a too-short ladder to replace the light bulb, go see my friend Katie for a couple of hours, come back via a different shop to buy dog poo bags which we were suddenly out of, and watch Lego Batman with Andrew which we'd been trying to find time and energy for all week.

That is an okay day. I didn't do all the things I wanted to do, but I did a lot of good things.

Today I'm going to see fictive-nephew (who's almost eight already, how is that even possible) in some local am-dram production, and then Games Night has restarted so I get to see my Brighouse people twice in three days! This should be a good day too.


Jun. 6th, 2017 07:54 pm
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People, in April: "OMG if it's like this now how hot will the summer be?"

Me, in June: *wears winter clothes* *considers putting heat on*

Good things

Jun. 1st, 2017 09:47 pm
hollymath: (Default)
I felt so rubbish this morning. I nearly couldn't get myself out of the house at all.

But once I got here, I saw extra doggies, had a sandwich I didn't have to make myself, dozed while listening to the cricket, had a nap, James told me a bunch of things I didn't know about cricke which was really fun, and I've just had tasty food with homemade cake and ice cream for dessert.

Then i was going to go to bed because I was falling asleep, but we started watching a movie called Bloodbath at the House of Death and it was so much fun I had to stay up and watch it, which is a rare experience for me!

I really needed a good day. I'm glad I got one.


Apr. 22nd, 2017 09:52 pm
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I went to Levy market for the first time this year (almost two months after it started up again!), vaguely thinking I might get my dad something for his birthday, but instead the only thing I interacted with much was a stall where a guy was selling perfume.

They were in tiny bottles, not sprays but a kind of oil thing, with an applicator a teeny version of a roll-on deodorant one.

The man encouraged me to try a bunch and told me about them. The oils are from Dubai, he says. Some were jasmine, musk, rose, even caramel. One was so fruity it smelled almost like bubblegum. I found a couple of "woody" scents I liked, including the specific cedar as well as two non-specified "woody" ones. It was one of those I bought.

I was really excited because I can't usually do perfumes: most scents and definitely anything that you spray is hard on Andrew's asthmatic lungs. I can't even have spray deodorant without him coughing and complaining I make the whole room "smell pink." (Usually, I think once it smelled purple.)

But since these were oily rub-on things (the guy made a point of saying several times they're alcohol-free), I figured they'd be more likely to be okay, like the solid Lush perfume I used to have.

So I think I like the smell of the one I got, but even hours and hamd-washes later, my wrists and the backs of my hands still smell like a whore's drawers, as the locals would say.
hollymath: (Default)
Had a nice time with [personal profile] po8crg and one of his co-workers, going for a drink and then a delicious Italian meal for his birthday. We talked about everything from Usenet to foods missed from the U.S. (where [personal profile] po8crg's co-worker had lived for several years) to the difficulty of learning French.

I made some progress in my determination to like tomatoes! (I did this same thing for mushrooms a few years ago, and for the same reason: they so often turn up in vegetarian dishes, if I don't have to avoid them it really increases my options. I used to detest mushrooms and now I love them, so I'm hopeful something similar could be possible with tomatoes too.)

The veggie starter on the set menu was bruschetta, and it arrived as a pile of halved tiny tomatoes on toast. Possibly it was the sweetness of such tiny things, possibly it was the single glass of wine I'd had so far, but I ate them without any problem! I am ridiculously pleased with myself.
hollymath: (Default)
Got my jammies on, trying to warm up under the duvet. I know even little kids don't go to bed this early but I don't care.

Today I went to the gym for the first time in like two weeks (one off due to mental health, one due to physical health) and it sucked no more than it usually does.

Home, showered, then out again to submit my biometric data to the UK government, which I really wish I didn't have to do and which was made far more grim by ableism I'm too tired to explain.

Then I got thoroughly lost trying to get someplace I hadn't been before (but in the process a workman stopped a huge truck coming out of a building site so that I could cross in front of it, and when I did the reflexive "sorry!" for the perceived inconvenience I have Ben taught to believe I am causing, the man said "you're worth waiting for!" which surprised me with and helped dispel the effects of the ableism just previous).

Spent four hours putting stuff in envelopes. I suspect there will be lots more of this in my near future, with a by-election on my doorstep, but this is just routine stuff.

While I was doing that, [personal profile] mother_bones called and asked if I could come over to do some gardening for her. I was glad to. So I did some pulling of weeds and smelling the soil underneath, it was quite therapeutic really. Although as always with gardening I was surprised at how physical it was. A snack and tea revived me a little, but I still soon reached the point where I had to go home before I was too tired (and too unwilling to go out in the cold!). I only narrowly avoided having to live in their house forever.

I got home, just about managed to heat up leftover pizza and eat it, and when Andrew suggested I go to bed, pointing out I'd been out and busy for almost twelve hours, the only reason I could think of not to was that I'd hardly seen him all day. Or the dog, but I've taken the dog to bed with me to keep him from distracting Andrew while he works.
hollymath: (Default)
Having one of those "I'm not doing anything" days because I slept or lazed around all morning.

But since then I've
  • gone to WI craft group where I learned a whole new kind of craft (book folding)
  • a bit of Lib Demmery, including inviting a new Lib Dem to local #libdempint, passing on important e-mails to the people who can do things about them, and agreeing to go to a meeting in a few days
  • e-mailed Metrolink & Northern to try to set up a meeting about how inaccessible Manchester Victoria is (as leader of the VI Steering Group)
  • e-mailed the council guy and the RNIB about the taser thing
  • printed off stuff I need for my book
  • did an update (accidentally two updates) for my Kickstarter backers. The previous update hadn't worked (not surprising when these two nearly didn't either) so the poor fuckers hadn't heard from me since June!
  • ordered new printer ink when I didn't have enough to print off what I needed
I think I still have to convince myself it is okay not to go to yoga tonight. I keep forgetting I have a yoga mat of my own now so I might do a bit here but I think I am still too sinus-infected to go to the class I usually do.


Feb. 24th, 2017 10:31 am
hollymath: (Default)
Sinus infection.

The amount of standing around in the cold waiting for inadequate public transport last night probably couldn't have helped, though the scratchy throat was there before I left, when the last bus of the night left me stranded.

The visit was useful anyway, getting help from a friend for a job interview I've gotten sorta by accident which I felt totally out of my depth for. I'm feeling out of my depth in other ways now, but better aware of the things I should do and worry about if I'm going to this interview.

Someone's calling me in an hour who's doing research on LGBT migration and looking for people to talk to I guess. Other than that, so far me and the dog are staying in bed today. I've started reading "The Story of Your Life," which Arrival is based on. I loved the movie, and apparently the book is even better.
hollymath: (Default)
* According to Facebook's On This Day feature, anyway.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

If I was a normal person I would probably have thought this was a nice, relaxing day. But since I'm me and don't know how to relax I've only done this because I'm too stressed and anxious (cf yesterday, it kinda carried on into this morning) to do anything else.
hollymath: (Default)
I had enough sleep, did some cleaning in preparation for in-laws descending on us (vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, took out a lot of garbage which is hard to do when your bin has been stolen!), was sociable with them for a couple hours, did two loads of laundry, walked to Burnage and back to fetch Gary after the second half of his holiday there...

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe I'll get back to normal tomorrow too. My normal isn't so great that I'm really looking forward to getting back to it, but it's better than this.


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

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

The house is cold and I haven't slept in so long I don't know what day it is, so I've gotten into my warm new Vikings pajamas (for all I was grateful to get back here, the pajamas smell like my mom's laundry soap and that make me homesick) and under an extra duvet with an old favorite audiobook, but I'm not tired. Not in the sense of "sleepy because it's the end of the day," anyway. I guess I am tired in the "I need a holiday to recover from this 'holiday' " sense.

Busy day

Nov. 20th, 2016 09:08 am
hollymath: (Default)
Busy day!

Levenshulme is gathering for a walk through a park where a woman was raped earlier this week. This is close enough in my house that a friend rang me to tell me about it because she thought it was the park I walk Gary in (it's not, except on occasion, but it's certainly a park I've been to plenty of times, with dogs and friends and kids as well as on my own). So we're having a "walk without fear" through the park that I want to be at this morning.

And then it's Manchester Bi Coffee, a social meetup, which I've promised to be at as an organizer this month after leaving poor [personal profile] haggis to deal with it alone for a few months as it seems to always be a week I'm away. This time she's away, so that's only fair.

And then I'm meeting some friends from the WI.

And then I hope to get to Manchester's Trans Day of Remembrance event.

Volunteering-wise, after woefully ignoring the One Day Without Us stuff, I'm signed up to the forum, I'm tweeting again, and I'm trying to work out whether I can arrange a meeting in the first week of December like the national organizers are encouraging everyone to do. I'm worried no one will show up.
hollymath: (Default)
I fell asleep for a few hours, woke up to lots of nice messages this morning, which helped a lot. Went back to sleep, woke up mid-afternoon. Went to see if the dog needed to be let out but he didn't. He did sneak upstairs, though, and despite having been badly behaved when allowed in our bedroom previously which is why he's shut downstairs at night, he just dived under the covers and slept at my feet. A warm, comforting welcome presence that I was particularly grateful for today.

[personal profile] mother_bones offered to visit, which ended up being the only thing that got me out of bed. She's just left, after many hours of lovely chatting and lovely takeaway. It's helped me so much.

I'm starting to feel teary again, but I'm better than I was. Annoyed I can't find the beta blockers I was prescribed for exactly the kind of debilitating anxiety I've got now. I don't need them often so fuck knows where they've gone. I teased Andrew this afternoon that it's a shame he never filled the diazepam prescriptions he got when his stress was so bad because I could use one now.
hollymath: (Default)
By 12:30 this afternoon, I had...
  • gotten out of bed very early (around eight), feeling relatively rested (though my "relative" baselne here is not good right now)
  • did laundry and hung it outside (hooray for sunshine!)
  • walked the dog
  • remembered to take my meds
  • took recycling out, took bins out, and put them back when they were empty
  • wrote a little version of my "migrant story" for this website
  • texted a friend to make plans to get together this week
  • ordered a massive, overdue online grocery shop, which will be here tomorrow afternoon
  • typed up my shitty longhand notes from the LGBT+ Lib Dems conference I was at recently and sent them off
  • went with Andrew to a GP appointment
  • ordered new prescriptions for Andrew and I before we've even run out of the existing ones (though it'll be close, for me!)
  • ate reasonably well/appropriately
And yet I feel like I've done nothing, everything is overwhelming and crushing me.


May. 24th, 2016 08:10 pm
hollymath: (Default)
The eye hospital appointment I wasn't looking forward to this morning was actually really good. A year ago I had a low-vision assessment, which basically consisted of "gadgets, can we give you them" -- it's where I got what they call a telescope, which I call a monocular because that's what I was told it was called when I got a much more low-tech one in grade school, and because telescopes are for looking at planets, not train departure displays. The orthoptist I saw the last time I was at the eye hospital told me he'd make sure I got my 12-month follow-up low vision assessment like was planned at th my 12-months-ago low vision assessment, and I got the impression I'd be discharged from MREH then to the care of my GP and optician as my condition's stable and...well, basically, I only had anything to do with them in the first place because I had to, to get registered blind.

This time I got a trainee who only introduced herself by her first name (Gemma), and she was really great. Somehow I ended up talking about the assessment I'd had from the council last summer, my frustrations with Henshaws who seem to limit their interest in me to trying to get me on a course I don't think suits me, my struggles with the new swimming baths -- I was talking to somebody who was a trained lifeguard, so she really lit up at that and was very confident about the advice she gave there, which was kind of great. We talked for absolutely ages, it was oddly therapeutic and entirely unexpected. I did come out of it with another gadget, though I wish they made it with a slot for each kind of coin or something; pound coins are some of the easiest to find because they're twice as thick as the others.

Anyway, I went straight from the eye hospital this morning to helping Morag with her Ph.D. research, which just meant walking around on a wonderfully hot and sunny afternoon and wittering as much as I liked, so basically perfect for me. Again, oddly therapeutic even though I don't think I was very good at answering questions specifically about Manchester which is what I was technically supposed to be doing, but Morag seemed very happy by the end of it, and I had a good time.

I also failed entirely to eat anything until after this, which might have contributed to me going home (and, admittedly, after a sandwich and a yogurt) crashing out hard. I didn't get much sleep last night, I got home just after Andrew had left for his pre-Brian-Wilson-gig pub meet, the dog was being cuddly and sleepy, so we both just crashed out.

I woke up not feeling up to going to the WI meeting tonight -- which is a shame because I missed the craft group yesterday for basically the same reason -- and am now struggling a bit: I feel like I should have done more with my day, even though there was a lot of thinking involved in both of the things I was out doing today. I was so good at keeping on top of the housework when Mom and Dad were here and that has inevitably fallen by the wayside since, which I'm vaguely disappointed about...but of course not enough that I've actually tidied or vacuumed or done the dishes. I ended up talking a bit to Morag about my Kickstarter book, and now I'm feeling guilty about not doing anything on that, either.

But also it occurred to me that two weeks ago I was frantically tidying and fixing and stressing ahead of my parents' visit, and that everything has been pretty exhausting since. I just worry when I'm so lacking in motivation, when I just shut down any time that there isn't some external pressure getting me to do something.

Oh also I had a phone call on Sunday about the fat-girl focus group thing, which in the process answered the question my friends and I are pondering there about what's meant by "an outfit you feel really good in" -- like Sass and I feared, it seems to be a "what makes you feel sexy" type of thing they're after, which...I don't ever do? To me, an outfit I feel good in is trousers with lots of pockets and a t-shirt with something funny written on it. But I can work on that tomorrow -- homework's not due until then!

The lady who rang me seemed to think I'd be awesome at this...once again that thing about me that Em J so diplomatically refers to as "being direct" is a feature and not a bug like I usually worry it is. Apparently this is an unusual setup in that there will actually be senior people from the company paired up with us to hear what we have to say, and with the practiced delivery of someone who's had to reassure many fat girls, this woman said "they'll be more scared than you are." Me, not needing reassurance of course, was like "quite right! bring it on!" (only to myself though...but I probably gave that impression anyway in what I did say, which might be why she said I was going to be awesome at this). Should be a laugh, anyway.


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