hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
"You comin' over?" called the old white man from the other side of the road I was waiting to cross.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is why trying to play up to abled expectations is a fool's game, it's impossible, because we can never be that perfect combination of inspirational and yet grateful for the help they, on a whim and only when it's convenient for them, offer.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Today is already a delightful combination of the medical and social models of disability.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was lucky this guy believed me and left me alone after I snapped at him; that is about as good as these interactions can go at that point. (I think it helped that he was happy to just carry on walking at a speed much faster than I could, to be honest!) and it's a damn shame that I have to think "well at least he didn't get mean or grab me or anything." This is a pretty successful interaction with an abled person. This is almost as good as it gets.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k asked for "a truly weird encounter with a stranger" but I misremembered it as being just "a truly weird encounter" so you're getting ones from my family, sorry.

I can't do a proper poll on DW any more but feel free to vote in comments.

Which is the weirdest thing an aunt said to me this Christmas?:

1) The one yesterday who said in a shocked/wary tone: "Your hair is longer than it was when I saw you in September."


2) The one today who said, "Is Manchester like a little suburb of London then?"

(She also told me "I like your dress, it's very London" and I don't know what that means except that it's not going to be something I find complimentary!)
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Apparently it was World UFO Day yesterday, and the Minnesota Public Radio news I follow was as in need of a local angle as anyone else, so they ran this story about a guy who'd...ran into one with his car? in 1979.

Apparently this is famous and the car's in the local museum where people still come to see it, so I'm disappointed I hadn't heard of it before! I have loved UFO stories for as long as I could remember, and I never noticed any Minnesota ones in the dodgy books and TV shows I so loved (sometimes still do). It has some classic elements of the UFO story: middle of the night, quiet rural road, missing time.

But it doesn't feature a central character who's that interested in telling his story. His wife was run ragged by phone calls, they had little kids, he didn't seem comfortable with the attention he had gotten.

He explains this in what sounds to me like the most Minnesotan way ever.
"We'd sit in the back yard with lemonade and talk," he said. "They'd tell me what they thought happened to me and I'd nod at the appropriate times. Eventually they'd go away."
Sounds like what I bet my dad would think, in this guy's situation.


Sep. 14th, 2017 10:19 am
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
My friends' new tiny kitten

My friend Katie rang me yesterday morning, unexpectedly. She said "I'm off work sick, and we have a kitten! Dn you want to come and see her? She's been sleeping on my lap all morning, and she's tiny, and she's called Luna. And she's adorable. And she's tiny." Katie was using that soft voice people do around new babies.

I was free so I went over and she was right. I'd never seen a cat as small as Luna away from its mother. Katie and her partner were told she was eight weeks old but she looked smaller. (For all her tininess, she eats well and she's even litter-trained already.)

Still, they were told her mother hadn't shown much interest in looking after her, which might explain how tiny she is.

And how bold! Knowing my friends had only gotten this kitten the night before, I wasn't expecting to see much of her at all, but almost as soon as I sat down Katie went to make us tea, and when she was out of the room Luna came over so I could take this picture. She jumped up onto my lap after that! All still in the time it took Katie to make tea.

Of course she's just been separated from her mother and her littermates, so she may not always be this snuggly, but it was very cute that she curled up in my oversized hoodie in between bouts of exploring the living room. I am of course more a dog person than a cat person, but I do like cats too and this one is Irresistible.

Katie is absolutely smitten with her and also lives near a posh shop full of cat things, and it sounds like she wasn't in a good place before whereas she will definitely be doted on here, so I'm happy for Luna.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Spent yesterday afternoon with my friend Amy, who was in Manchester for a work thing. After she finished work we had lots of food and lots of beer and it was great.

Couple weeks ago I got to see my friend Mary when she was here because she was flying out of Manchester airport.

I approve of this "faraway friends suddenly telling me they'll be here in a few days" trend; this should happen more.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I had the strangest day on Friday.

In the morning, I saw that [twitter.com profile] SurvivorKatie had linked a tweet at me about a focus group Scope were doing for visually impaired people. "It's a chance to get paid for what you do anyway!" she said, which made me smile. I told her I'd e-mail the guy for information like the tweet said to, but that I'd bet it's in London.

I e-mailed the guy and he e-mailed me back questions and details that didn't mention the word "London" anywhere (usually there's just a postcode or borough name hidden somewhere...) but yep, it was in London. So I wrote back to nicely suggest that they might like to include that fact in publicity for future such things because it saves the likes of me wasting their time (but I didn't say it like that, I said it in a nice way).

And I actually got a nicer reply than I expected: the guy said he'd only moved to London a couple of years ago and he'd gotten annoyed at how London-centric everything had been too. And he asked where I live since there are other things like this in other places.

We were e-mailing back and forth in between me getting ready for the day: I got dressed, walked the dog, all that kind of stuff. I was going to have a cup of tea with a friend, my new Bluetooth keyboard (Xmas present from Andrew) was arriving for my new tablet (birthday/Xmas present from [personal profile] mother_bones) was supposed to be arriving which I was looking forward to, I was going to the pub with the rest of the new WI committee that evening...it seemed like a nice enough day.

Just as I was getting to my friend's house, my phone pinged with an e-mail: it was from this Scope guy and it said something like "well actually we're looking for someone to do a media opportunity this afternoon, pre-record for the BBC for Monday, would you be interested?" I didn't look at it that closely, but I thought that all sounded okay so I wrote back yeah, sure and rang my friend's doorbell and didn't think much about it.

In the time it took me to drink about three cups of tea, I'd suddenly become this guy's favorite person because I think I'd solved a problem for them on pretty short notice. And this wasn't even going to be BBC radio like I'd been on a couple of times before, it was BBC Breakfast -- morning TV! They were going to talk about the "disability employment gap" and wanted a disabled person on who'd had trouble in, or getting, work. I was like hell yeah, I have opinions about that: If I had a job that didn't make me worse, it'd solve approximately all the problems in my life (while giving me a bunch of new ones, yes I know, but at least they'd be novelties).

As is the way of these things I was starting to hear slightly conflicting stuff and soon talking to a bunch of different people. After a few more e-mails and phone calls, what had changed to being a pre-record done over the weekend somewhere local to me (either my house or something like a cafe, and I was like...uh, yeah, cafe please, my house is awful), it suddenly became "right, I've got your address to tell the cameraman, he'll be on his way over really soon." I wasn't even home yet myself, I was still sitting on my friend's sofa when I heard that.

So I ran for a bus back from Reddish and on my way called Andrew and tried to explain. "He's coming here?" he said.

"I...guess so? I don't really know."

"But have you told him about our house?! Have you told him about Gary the Wonder Dog?! Why don't you go to Inspire instead?" All valid points, I felt, but there wasn't anything I could do about them.

I got home, needed a wee, but my phone rang again and the cameraman said he was leaving now so should be here in 30-45 minutes. I had enough time to wash my hair and put on a slightly-less-scruffy top. Andrew helped me pick everything up off the floor and furniture so it was at least possible for people to walk or sit down in our living room.

I was by this point anxiety-attack levels of anxious, though not exactly having an attack, and it was all about the state of me and the house rather than about the interview!

While I was waiting for the guy to show up, I talked to some Scope people about about this, what they'd like me to say if I could -- though they repeatedly emphasized that I should only say it if I actually thought it and not to worry if I didn't manage it. I think they were pretty grateful they'd found someone to do this and the guy I'd originally spoken to seemed to think it was as funny as I did that it'd turned out this way. "We're going to do this all backwards," he said, "because you'll do the interview and then I'll catch up with you and get details from you for our Stories project..."

And then the guy finally turned up and he was very nice. Since the dog, as always, went mental because someone had knocked on the door, I greeted him with "Sorry, I should've said we have a dog, I hope you're okay with dogs!" He was very okay, which was lucky really...or in another way, maybe not, because if he hadn't been maybe we could've gone to Inspire after all!

But then Gary wouldn't have ended up a TV star. But also nobody would see the piles of dirty dishes in my kitchen! "Swings and roundabouts," as the locals say.

Both of these things (dog and dishes, not swings or roundabouts) were used for "sequencing shots" -- the "look this is a normal person who does normal things!" kind of thing that's there to break up a talking-head interview, because really who wants to look at my stupid head for the whole two minutes or whatever they'll use.

I had to do everything twice -- play with Gary, put food in his bowl, pretend to wash one cup (so I guess at least if I look like I have a kitchen full of dirty dishes, I at least also look like I am actually going to do them!) -- so it could be filmed from different angles, and the whole thing seemed slightly surreal. I wasn't nervous about it because on some level I couldn't convince my brain it was really happening.

The guy was a bit self-conscious about all the faffing, messing with lights and doing things from different angles and whatnot, but I didn't mind at all because I was clearly a very small cog in a very big machine, and I could just wait to be told to do things and I didn't need to care if they were silly or confusing things. And it's not like they were difficult things. It was quite relaxing, actually!

Oh and as for what I talked about, I have basically no idea. My memory goes to shit when I'm anxious anyway. I do remember talking about Occupational Health being so shit when I started my NHS job, I hope that patronizing cow who tied my shoe for me hears herself being talked about on the telly, except I'm sure she doesn't remember it...). I probably talked for 15 minutes or so and they'll use two minutes of it and I have no idea which two minutes.

But you can all find out, if you want! It's apparently going to be on at ten to seven tomorrow morning, me pre-recorded with some employer in the studio saying no doubt that I am wrong about everything.

Anyway, what Scope asked me to mention is that there's a Government consultation going on into "helping disabled people find employment" but maybe we can convince them that the reasons we're not finding it are to do with employers disabling us rather than us just thinking life on benefits is so easy and nice that we can't be arsed getting a job... I'm going to try to write a response to the consultation, anyway, and would encourage any of my disabled chums to do so too. I'm happy to talk through or help anyone with that, if it'd help.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
So a year or so ago I got a few e-mails from someone with a similar enough name that she accidentally used my first-initial-and-surname e-mail address. There were a few more automatically-generated e-mails for Hannelore that I had no way of telling her were getting to me instead of her, but they stopped after a couple of days and I didn't think any more about it.

Until now.

It wasn't her! But this time I got what appears to be a friendly, chatty e-mail -- as far as I can tell; my German's not very good -- for someone called Hiltrud. Hiltrud! I never knew there was such a name. But apparently there was a Hiltrud[e] who was a eighth-century countess of Upper Alsace!
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Waiting in GP's surgery.

Two women come out, one elderly and one middle-aged, probably mother and daughter. 

The younger one is carrying a wooden walking stick as she follows ‎the older towards the door. "Don't you want this?" she asks, offering it.

The older one takes it just as she happens to walk past where I'm sitting, catches my eye, grins and whispers conspiratorially "I like to be naughty and do without it if I can."‎

I grin too, partly because she's taken me into her confidence like this but also because while she probably thinks I'm too young to understand I, with my white cane folded up in my backpack next to me, am totally with her.‎
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Text from friend:
I meant to send you a "break a leg" type message this morning, but what's suitable for a radio interview?! Twist an aerial? Pop a transistor? 😜
Perhaps it's "get a phone call from the producer frantically asking where you are when you're actually where you should be but not audible to anyone else," because that's what happened to me.

That glitch out of the way, though, it all went smoothly and now I've officially been recorded for a Woman's Hour feature on bisexuality that will be aired...sometime. Possibly December 29th (which was sort of disappointing news for me because I'm out of the country then -- not that I'm an avid Woman's Hour listener anyway but, all the more reason it'd be weird to have to iPlayer it!).

I got to go to the posh BBC studios at MediaCity. I got a little booth to myself, a black pod in the corner of the big glass-walled reception area, an unexpected but efficient set-up: I was ignored by everyone in the building after the receptionist showed me to my little soundproofed cupboard and failed to explain anything other than that the mic was live (which, as I just said, it kind of actually wasn't, even though the little iPad-like screen said it was), and when I was done the mic went dead and I slipped out the door back into the weird world of MediaCity with its identical-looking buldings, wide paths and expanses of concrete to cross, and generally disorienting architecture.

I got a lift home, and nice as it was to see a friendly face, this place is clearly designed to discourage car use because it's very easy to find the tram stop and very hard to find anywhere cars can go (and apparently the parking is exorbitant), but I didn't get too lost trying to get back to the same place I'd been dropped off ("all these buildings look the same!" I said when I got back in the car, resisting the temptation to add "...Doctor" in a whiny Nicola Bryant voice).

It was sort of like a Skype conversation, with better headphones and audio quality (impressive really that they've idiot-proofed it sufficiently to leave randoms off the street to do this on their own). The presenter introduced her three bisexuals to each other by first name, and told me (last to enter the conversation) "I'm Jane Garvey," which momentarily baffled me because of course I know her voice very well. But this time when I said things back to her I wasn't standing in my kitchen making tea; she could hear me! And said things back! And was lovely!

At the end of the conversation, the bisexual she had with her there in the London studio asked me if I was anything to do with Biphoria, because she'd "heard there was a Holly up north," and I was utterly delighted at the sound of this, and laughed as I told her I am indeed that Holly.

I really enjoyed it, even though I'm convinced I sounded like an idiot and got everything wrong. That's how I leave most conversations though, really. I'm never nervous while these things are going on, but afterwards lose all my confidence. I suppose it's still better than suffering at the time, though. It was really fun at the time, though: I remember thinking I'd do this kind of thing every day if I could.


Nov. 29th, 2015 02:51 pm
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Right now I'm sending love to the Portuguese woman on the bus who got accosted by an old guy who wanted to talk to her about Nando's.

I recognized how difficult those polite shrugs and vaguely bemused smiles can be. I recognized something in her face and her body language as she had to keep giving answers "yes, piri means hot...piri piri doesn't mean anything, we'd never say that" and "I think it's owned by a South African...it's a South African thing...SOUTH AFRICA" answers are to give, when someone's grabbed onto one thing they think they know about your country and just will not stop.

They ask questions that have no answers -- the questions make all kinds of incorrect assumptions -- but you still have to answer anyway.

I wasn't able to intervene on the crowded bus, but I wanted to. I hope somehow psychically she knew I was sympathizing and it did her some good.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Market Street was full of nutters today.

Jehovah's Witnesses masquerading as financial advisors; both Trots and Commies -- according to Andrew, who said he could tell from the fonts, since they had the same bland "No to Racism"/"Fight Imperialism" slogans and I didn't bother to look any more closely than that so I'm happy to take his word for it -- people crowding around and blocking foot traffic for free little cans of Coke being given out, as if Coke's great enough or expensive enough to be worth the chaos they were inflicting on themselves and everyone; some Legalize Dope evangelist who Andrew thought was actually pretending to be in favor of legalizing dope but actually making some complicated point about how if dope were legalized they would start putting chemicals in cosmetics...or, maybe unless dope was legalized? we weren't sure...and a God-botherer screaming about how Allah is not real because he's not in the bible (seemingly unbothered that he himself isn't mentioned in the bible either)

Though none of those are as good as the chemtrailers protesting outside the Royal Geographical Society, spotted by [personal profile] kaberett. They win at today.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (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.
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My emerging from upstairs after an attempt to sleep off a migraine meant [personal profile] miss_s_b had to explain to the Geeky Games Night newbie about me and James and her and James and said "this is where you find out about polyamory."

"I was warned about this!" the new person said. "I asked if this was really a board game night or an orgy."

There were the requisite "that could be arranged!" comments from the peanut gallery, but I like being an example that people can be in more than relationship and still like playing board games. It reminds me of Eddie Izzard's story about being harassed by people who that a bloke in a dress is the most risible thing ever, and when he said he was just trying to buy some crisps they were like "what, you eat crisps?"


Feb. 2nd, 2015 05:23 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Last Sunday, I got an e-mail that at first looked like a spam. But having already opened it, I realized it was short enough and in simple enough German that I could figure out that it was in fact intended for someone called Hannelore with the same last name as me (I was immediately envious, as Hannelore's a much better name than Holly, but it's also something I can never change my name to now as it'd make it even more difficult for the right e-mails to get to the right person), and since my e-mail address includes my first initial and my last name, I could see how this guy (Dietz!) could reasonably have thought he was addressing Hannelore.

One of my good deeds for that day was employing my poor German language skills enough to say (I hope) that this e-mail address was not the one Dietz wanted. This despite [livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours's suggestion that I ask the guy for Hannelore's address so we could be penfriends, though that did make me smile.

But I got no reply to my I'm-not-Hannelore e-mail and forgot all about it...until this afternoon, when I got a delivery confirmation from lidl-shop.de for something Hannelore has apparently ordered.

So naturally the first thing I do is text [livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours. "I could be Hannelore's penfriend now!" I was excited to learn that she lives someplace called Königslutter am Elm, which I've since been reading about on Wikipedia, so now I know what its coat of arms looks like and its mayor's name.

So basically anything I thought I'd get done this afternoon has been abandoned in favor of learning what things like "Versandkostenpauschale" mean and looking at pictures like this:

Pleasingly living up to stereotype, there. But I know not to put too much faith in such things: if I did send her a letter and told her I was from Manchester and she looked that up on Wikipedia, she'd get the impression that it's a city that has sunlight.

Dress up

Dec. 18th, 2014 02:30 pm
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I ended up on the same train into town as [livejournal.com profile] softfruit this morning. When we got to Piccadilly, I think she expected us to go separate ways, but I said I was getting a tram, too. (I didn't have far to go, but it was raining and I was trying not to look as much like a drowned rat as I normally do.)

She was surprised because she'd assumed I was off to see [personal profile] magister, because it's Thursday, so I explained I was on my way to a job interview.

She said she'd noticed I was dressed up but figured it was a sign that my relationship is still at the stage where I dress up for dates.

A reasonable enough assumption, perhaps (I think it's cute that, though I try not to make a big deal of it, my friends all seem to assume my Thursdays are spoken for), but it made me laugh, because I never dress up for dates! Our first date I didn't even expect to be one, and by the second one I was dressed in my grubbiest clothes, smelling of bleach, trying to fix the kitchen sink. After that I figured there was no point trying to pretend I'm anything other than a scruffbag.
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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: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
The LGBT+ Lib Dems stall ended up next to the Lib Dem Women one, which was staffed by someone I took an immediate liking to when we happened to get the lift back with our lunches.

She was holding a bowl of soup in one hand and a slice of cake in the other, and said she was really looking forward to the cake.

"People don't realize," she said, "but it takes a lot of work to keep up a figure like this!"

I smiled, liking her already. (Her figure was not so different from mine.)

"Lots of cake," she continued. Lots of ale!"

At that point, I was in love.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Not for the first time, I find myself wishing the world could ever be run as efficiently and effectively as the conspiracy theorists believe it to already be.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I got a text this morning from a friend saying "Whilst watching a kids channel this morning, an ad came on for Chessington World Of Adventure, which [his four-year-old] decided he would like to go to some day - but only if Holly can come too."

The four-year-old and I have gotten along pretty well the couple of times we've met -- I was delighted for an excuse to sit on the floor with him and make a Lego spaceship -- but to have made such an impression is an unexpected and charming indication that I am winning at life.


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

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