hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
My thoughts on seeing Stuart say on Facebook "Googling Polyamorous Valentines Cards results in valentines cards for dogs."

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

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

I think this adequately illustrates both how much I love dogs and how unused I am to partners who do valentines day. I do love that he loves it, though.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Thanks for all your good wishes on the last entry. I'm not feeling as bad today, which is lucky because since I can't find a time along with the date that my essay is due tomorrow, I'm really going to want to get it done today so that I can be sure it's done in time. I've written another hundred words since I got home from work an hour ago, but I miscounted yesterday when I said I have 700 words left to go, so I still have 700 words left to go. Still, progress eh?

I did go have a nap (and five grams of time-release vitamin C, and an ibuprofen) after I wrote that. I woke up at nine, after three, three-and-a-half hours' sleep, because my phone was ringing.

It was Stuart, asking me if I wanted to go to the movies. Of course I did. "Great, I'll pick you up in twenty minutes," he said.

"Ooh, I get to see the new car!" I said.

"Yeah, gonig to the movies might be a thinly veiled excuse to drive in the new car," he said.

The new-to-him car is his housemate's old one. Housemate inherited a bunch of money last year so got himself a new Porsche on Friday, and this meant he had no use for his existing sports car, an old but well-preserved Celica, so he gave it to Stuart.

So Stuart, who has had a string of falling-apart cars or none at all, now has this fancy black shiny zoomy thing. Last time I visited, a week and a half earlier, he felt bad he hadn't been able to give me a lift home because the Nissan Micra had finally given up the ghost. Such a difference in such a short time!

He was clearly delighted driving it even just to the cinema -- more than once he said "It isn't making any weird noises at all!" which is definitely a novel experience for him, bless him.

Our plan was to choose a movie when we got to the cinema, and there were a few we fancied but when I was asked to choose I picked Stan & Ollie, and I'm glad I did. I don't know a tremendous amount about Laurel and Hardy but I know Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly can be great and they certainly were here. They did brilliantly at the reconstructions of the acts, their facial expressions and body language were just perfect always, and Stuart said "I never expected to care as much as I did about the characters" but it was impossible not to. He and I were also enamored of the actors playing their wives; Mrs. Hardy clearly acerbic and devoted to her husband and sick to death of Mrs. Laurel, who when we first saw her on screen made Stuart say "Ivanka Trump!" and unfortunately she didn't do a lot to disabuse us of that but it was so funny to watch Lucille Hardy snipe at her and Coogan made us believe he was really in love with his wife.

After the movie we ended up on quite a long drive because as soon as we got out of the parking lot he said "Shall we go on the motorway?" because he hadn't had a chance to do that yet. And by the time we got to the M56 there was some big doomy thing going on, lots of flashing lights and as we tried to go down a junction and come back, we found in that time it'd been closed off and had to get off by the airport and drive back through Hale Barns and Altrincham and Trafford and all sorts.It was great to have a chance to chat though; I didn't think I'd get to see Stuart this week so I felt especially lucky.

I got home at 1am, didn't get to bed until about 3, and worried about the state I was going to be in this morning but I woke up half an hour before my alarm, got through work fine, and now I just need to get this essay done.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
I went to sleep almost right after writing last night's entry and, with an hour or so interruption when Andrew came to bed at 4, slept right through until my alarm went off at 9:30 for work. A few more sleeps like that and I might actually feel like myself again!

I feel a lot more like myself after today anyway. I mused earlier that it was such a comfort to get up and shower, dress, make breakfast (avocado on toast), start laundry, walk the dog, go to work. Well try to go to work: I missed my bus. But that gave me time to fetch the prescription the doctor's refused to have ready for me on Monday, so I've got it only two days late.

After work I went to see Stuart. We watched a lot of TV so I'm kinda tired now but I've now seen all the Doctor Who for this season (and, for 2019!) and I'm so happy with it. The one December Days prompt I didn't get around to was [personal profile] magister asking what I thought of this series, so I'll write that as soon as I can. I want to re-watch some of them first though. I wish I'd written about them more at the time but it coincided with me being so very busy.

The other stuff we watched was the first...four, I think? episodes of Star Trek Discovery because I mentioned I hadn't seen it yet. I'm enjoying it and I've introduced Stuart to the audio description so he didn't have to read out Klingon subtitles to me while he was trying to eat his dinner.

I gave Stuart his Christmas present before I left but mine didn't arrive until after so he gave me my birthday and Christmas presents today: a book about cricket and a t-shirt that says "Hail Sagan" with the pentacle and dripping blood and text in that Heavy Metal Album Cover font and everything, but with a picture of Carl Sagan in the middle of the pentacle. It made me laugh so much. Can't wait to see the weird looks I get when I wear that.

Bless him, he said he hadn't wanted to ask me for present ideas because he knew how exhausting I was finding the whole thing (and he was right; I didn't get a present from Andrew because I could never think of anything to tell him I wanted) so he just typed "Carl Sagan" into Google and eventually came up with this, haha.

Now I've seen all my partners, I feel much more like I'm back too: back at home, back to normal.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
"I noticed there's a Springsteen thing on Netflix," my fellow Springsteen devotee Stuart said when I went over Sunday evening. We agreed it sounded like a good thing to have on in the background while we had dinner. "We can chat and stuff," he said.

Like fuck we could. It's Springsteen on Broadway and it's absolutely captivating. We hardly spoke. We muttered gueses at what songs he might be starting to play and got almost all of them wrong. At one point Stuart said "You can tell he misses Clarence," and this was before he talked about missing Clarence; this was just when the saxophone was the most obviously missing from the song when it's just one guy and his guitar on stage. But mostly we were silent, just taking it all in.

It reminded me of the old VH1 Storytellers series, only he wasn't telling stories about the songs (this is why we couldn't guess them), and he wasn't playing The Hits for the most part -- he was using some songs to tell the story of his life. His parents, the neighborhood where he grew up, driving cross-country before he had a license to go out to L.A. and get famous, his family, his band, losing people, politics being horrible, going back home, things changing...

I cried a lot and by the end of it I felt like my soul had been wrung out, washed clean and replaced better than new.

Today I'm working on my essay and I listened to some choral Christmas music for a while (trying to remind myself it's Christmas in a week because it still feels a couple of months away) and then I tried my current favorite chillhop playlist but for once it wasn't good music to work to and so when I wondered what else to reach for, I thought I might go for the unorthodox choice of this Springsteen best-of that's never far from the top of my Spotify playlists. He's on my mind because of the other evening (when Stuart and I could talk again, we talked about it so much that he ended up lending me Springsteen's autobiography).

I say "unorthodox" because some of these songs are terrible for me to listen to when I'm trying to do anything else. I remember once hearing "Thunder Road" in a shop and I was just paralyzed; I had to stand still, I marveled that they're even allowed to play stuff like this in public, and I think the fact I nearly cried indicates I might not have been the most spoonful that day but still. I know to almost everybody else it's another boring old classic rock song, and it's pretty acoustic and mellow so probably fine for background music in stores right? But it just floors me.

So I had to skip around a little while I wrote (I still have ~1000 words of essay to do), and the last strains of this lovely version of "Born to Run" were fading away as Andrew came up the stairs and says "I just heard about a thing on Netflix that you might like..." and I thought wouldn't it be funny if this is what he came here to tell me about?

And then it was. He'd seen Nicole Cliffe talking about it on Twitter and thought I'd like it. It was nice to be able to tell him he was right...

I've reverted to the best-of playlist again now, and I really appreciate the way these new songs have been integrated into it. The best is that "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," which is interspersed with words of so much love for Clarence Clemons, is followed by "Rosalita," the song I most strongly associate with his playing (and the one I included in the LJ post I wrote when he died (though it looks like that particular video is gone, which is just one of the reasons I hate YouTube; seven years is such a long time ago in internet time...and honestly I didn't think it was seven years ago that he died; it feels like two or three).

Weekend

Nov. 18th, 2018 07:46 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 every Friday: what a knackering week! I need some fun to recuperate and reward myself with!

Me every Sunday evening: I'm so shattered now, how am I supposed to go back to long days of lectures tomorrow?!

And this weekend I didn't even go to Brighouse Friday night/Saturday, or work on Sunday morning, two things that have usually helped fill up my weekends this semester.

theatre and alcohol )

drum teching )

Bi Coffee and Trans Day of Remembrance )

And then I came home; no Doctor Who (live, anyway) for me this week. Stuart was too tired and as I said up at the top, I'm still wondering how I'm going to start in on another week at uni after all this!

I wouldn't want my weekends any other way but I could do with another weekend after them to recover.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
When I told Andrew I was going to a spoken-word night with Stuart, he expressed sympathy. It made me laugh but I was convinced it was unfounded.

I don't know why, because every other such thing I've been to has had some measure of terribleness in it, but I trusted Stuart to pick something good. And he was going to read a few poems himself, which he'd hardly ever done before and which I was excited to hear; I didn't know them. I've read some of the novel he's working on (it's great and this was before we were dating again so I was under no girlfriendly obligations to say so (not that I'd feel obliged anyway but it does sometimes seem that way to recipients of such praise)) but I was unfamiliar with his poetry, so I was looking forward to that.

And unsurprisingly he was great, but slightly more surprisingly the rest of the open-mic first half was fine too. A loud Canadian addressed a sweary poem to the Moon, somebody condemned pavement (sidewalk, for American readers; normally the word I use and prefer but here it loses the alliteration) parking.

And then the headliner, CiarĂ¡n Hodgers, came on for the second half. By the end of his first poem I was determined to buy the book he said he had.

The poem left me in tears because it was about being an emigrant--usually we talk as immigrants, about the lives we're moving to, not where we're from. Obviously half of the details I couldn't relate to at all because I'm not Irish but the other half was like hearing the most perfect version of my tangled, unlovely thoughts.

And then he introduced his next poem by talking about his grandpa dying and how he had to take the first flight back and then I cried more, having of course been in that position myself and knowing I will be again one day for my grandma... I was crying because it's November now and because it'd be All Souls Day the next day.

The poet said he had three copies of the book (though he was happy to take details and post one for anybody else since he considered it his own fault he hadn't brought more copies, bless him) and I was second in line to buy one. "I could feel a lot of love coming from that corner of the room," he said, which is possibly no surprise since Em J had sent Steve to be first in line.

I told him he'd made me cry because I was an immigrant too and he signed the book for me and stood up to give me a hug and a kiss on the cheek goodbye.

It was a magical night all around really.

I definitely want to go back to Spoken Weird again, and I'd recommend it to anyone who can get to Halifax on the first Thursday of a month.

Poems

Oct. 16th, 2018 10:05 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
This morning when I had to wake up very early after some odd dreams, I saw Stuart had shared a poem on Facebook. He said "I'd love to say that you can't beat a Keat, but there's always Shakespeare and Cooper-Clarke, Plath and Barrett-Browning and Donne and Yeats. But this is at least hard to beat." When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be )I've left the only comment there, and it says "I always found it quite comforting that however bleak I was feeling a romantic had gotten there first." It's true: I'm not usually a fan of Keats (or indeed half the other poets Stuart listed, but I love what a varied list this is) but I do like this one.

And then soon after, JT shared a poem I definitely should've known about but I didn't. Mid-Term Break )And I left the only comment there, too. It says "Seamus Heaney is amazing, an absolute favorite of mine. Luckily my brother made it to a lot more than four but this poem still reminds me so much of losing him." And that's true, too. It made me tear up a little when I was supposed to be on my way to a typology lecture.

I don't know what made these two share these poems, but my day was better for having been unexpectedly presented with them.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
Sessions attended: Just one! Queering Shakespeare, which I loved. I've been before and it's always my favorite.

We're given extracts from mostly Shakespeare plays (though some of it's not plays and some of it's other early modern writers) for small groups of people to act out for the rest of the workshop attendees. For instance, in my group I was Antony getting ready for battle, Stuart was Cleopatra insisting on helping me with my armor even though she didn't seem to know what she was doing, and our friend Zoe played soldiers who were actually trying to help me and tell me stuff. It's clear at the end of the scene that Antony's much happier going off to war, leaving Cleopatra for "a soldier's kiss, rebukable." Watching how some of the other groups interpreted their selections was hysterical, with special mention going to the fairies acting as a Greek chorus while Oberon and Titania were arguing, jumping around and shouting comments: when Titania says "Met we on hill, on dale..." and the others shout out "Who's Dale?!"

Stuart said afterwards "the extracts were well picked, we were well coached and encouraged and the atmosphere was one of support and participation and the spirit of the work. And knob gags. And ladygarden gags."

My answers got long, so I'll put most of this under a cut. )

Volunteering done (can be anything even small thing like picking up litter or buying organisers a drink): Thursday and Friday were all volunteering for me. Stuart had properly signed up for a couple of shifts on the desk and as a gopher on Thursday and I came along to do whatever needed doing: I put up lots of signs directing people where to go, I helped some people find their accommodation, stuff like that.

Friday was the busy day for this: we packed up all Stuart's drums, a couple of guitars, a keyboard, a mandolin, a banjo, and I can't even remember what else into the back of his Micra and (via buying mandolin strings and picking up a bass borrowed from his bandmate), came back to BiCon and started setting up. I made countless trips back and forth, up and down stairs, carrying stuff. I got to help by hitting the drums so Stuart could hear what they'd sound like from the room; that was the most fun. "Start with the kick drum," he said and I did, and the sound was so good made his face light up. Then as soon as it was done we had to take everything down for the silent disco. I carried lots of stuff around, I didn't have to make a lot of decisions because I don't understand exactly what needs doing (though I felt better at that by the end of Friday!), I just had to fetch and carry and it was delightfully straightforward after too much time in my own head.

Other notable things: 1. I wonder if this will end up being the BiCon of It Suddenly Going Pitch-Black When You Pee or Shower. Whose idea is it to put motion-activated lights in bathrooms? And why do they turn off after only seven seconds of no movement? And why are there no sensors in the shower so that you have to reach your hand out and waggle it around if you don't want to take a shower in the dark?

I just elected to take the shower in the dark, and I snarkily posted on my Facebook that I'm sure the uni have done this in order to induce greater empathy with visually impaired people.

2. Stuart said at one point, "I've been to a lot of cons, and BiCon is the best one, because" -- and I tried to guess what he was going to say next but even if I'd had more time I'd have totally failed -- "it's like all the other cons rolled into one." I like that; I've been thinking about it ever since.
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 funny how "Spitfire" emded up being the song I'm obsessed with after yesterday. A year and a half obsessed with the Race for Space album, could practically recite it to you, and here I am thinking all the time about this song from an album I only recnetly realized was on Spotify so I could easily start listening to it.

Partly it's stuck with me because it was the song Public Service Broadcasting played after three songs in a row from Every Valley, an incredible portrayal of the heartbreaking effects that the end of the Welsh coal-mining industry had on the people who lived through it. By the end of the second one, Bethan was saying "play some space songs!" and by the end of the third, whichever of PSB does the talking onstage said "now, something different" in a way that reminded me a little of Jefferson in Hamilton saying "Can we get back to politics?"

So we got back to songs that make my heart soar (rather than sore, oh dear I didn't even see I'd done that...), with "Spitfire." The music is beautiful, it gets the heart racing just to hear that simple, perfect guitar riff. It's the kind that when you first hear it already feels familiar, it's somehow so right and pleasing that you can't believe you didn't always know it. I've been humming it all day and I always feel better when I catch myself thinking about it much less listening to it. I feel like I can't dance to it enough to properly express even with my whole body how happy it makes me.

I've argued (especially when I'm trying to convince Andrew that he might appreciate them (not like them, because he won't like the style of the music, but I think he could see what's good about them even if he wouldn't enjoy listening to them) that Public Service Broadcasting are making radio ballads, which that link describes as "a form of narrative documentary in which the story is told entirely in the words of the actual participants themselves as recorded in real life; in sound effects which are also recorded on the spot, and in songs which are based upon these recordings, and which utilise traditional or 'folk-song' modes of expression." I stumbled upon some of the original Ewan MacColl ones on Radio 2 one day, probably a decade or more ago,* and was utterly enchanted and endeared by them.

PSB's versions don't always have the voices of original participants interlaced in their songs as the proper Radio Ballads did, though they often do. The "Spitfire" samples are taken from a movie, Wikipedia tells me, The First of the Few, which is about the designer of the plane.

Being a movie maybe helps make his thoughts into poetry: the song starts
The birds fly a lot better than we do
See how they wheel and bank and fly, perfect
And all in one
Wings body tail
All in one
Someday I'm going to build a plane just like a bird
It isn't exactly a bird I'm creating, is it?
At least a curious odd bird
A bird that breathes fire and spits out death and destruction
A spitfire bird
What has most resonated with me though is the second sample of this speaker, which starts with the line I've used for my subject here.
It is tiring always stretching out for something that's just out of reach
But I'll get it
After all what I want isn't as easy as all that
It's gotta do 400 miles an hour
Turn on a sixpence
Climb ten thousand feet in a few minutes
Dive at 500 without the wings coming off
Carry eight machine guns
Stuart loves planes and knows a lot about them, and Spitfires particularly, so for eight years now they've made me think of him, details like this espeically so. I have no idea what's high or fast or difficult for any kind of airplane of any age, but I do know how tiring it is when everything is out of reach.

I'm unreasonably delighted that he said "tiring" there, rather than disappointing or challenging or whatever else might fit the usual narrative we're given. It's wearying. Exhausting. I quoted this line as a Facebook post this morning when I was listening to this song for the first of many times today, on the bus to work. I let it trail off there but Bethan commented with the all-important next line: But I'll get it. And Mr. Spitfire Man certainly seemed to. So maybe I will as well, even if I don't have as defined an "it" as he did.

I meant this to be an introduction to me talking about the whole day yesterday, but it's turned out to be too long on its own. I promise I won't have this much to say about all the songs.


* It might have even been when the BBC commissioned the newer radio ballads, which Wikipedia tells me was 2006; I remember hearing that one about the decline of the Sheffield steel industry anyway; I still can sing bits of the beautiful song sung by Kate Rusby although I don't think I've heard it since; it's so striking and powerful. Also it was one of the first times I heard her name and I've adored her voice ever since.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (me)
I spent the last few days mostly away from the internet (literally with no signal a lot of the time), setting up for a wedding reception in a field, enjoying the day, and tidying up after it today.

There was a lot of stress on the Friday, thanks to a ridiculously prolonged journey because of the standstill on the M6 and how catastrophically lost we got, twice, trying to make it to our hotel. It'd have been enough to make most days The Worst Day Ever but when we finally did get back to the hotel we agreed it had still been a great day; that's how good the rest of it was.

Between Friday evening and this afternoon, I:
  • helped put together marquees (and took half of one down by myself)
  • went barefoot in grass
  • lugged hay bales around for the first time since I was a teenager (and for a very different purpose! they were being used as furniture here)
  • saw a marvelous read-through of A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • heard a prayer in old English in the church service! (the text, and modern translation, of which can be seen in the comments here)
  • had Richard Coles shake my hand and fairly convincingly say he was glad I was there (a very important quality in a vicar!)
  • very briefly held the distance record in the welly-wanging game, which is extra impressive considering the shoes I had to do it in
  • laughed at a bunch of other people welly-wanging, umbrella-fencing, and egg-and-spoon racing (something about doing these games in our fancy wedding outfits made them even funnier)
  • saw some of my favorite people, including some I didn't know were going to be there, and some new friends I made over the weekend.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
They are the kind of lovely people who don't act like they know how good a band they are.

Sadly, too few people knows how good they are either.

But a few more do tonight, including Stuart who helped with the last-minute chaotic logistics.

At one point he went from looking over his shoulder at them (the booth where he was sitting faced away from the stage), to turning around and sitting on his knees to get a better view over the back of the booth, to leaning over it like a dog with its head out of a car window in unmitigated glee.

Andrew said on the way home that musicians appreciate Blake Jones and the Trike Shop best because anybody can tell they're good but other musicians can tell how many very difficult things they make sound very easy. I think that's what was going on here!

#

I'm still too wired to sleep, an hour after I got home. I have been awake since 5:30am (20 hours now!) and if I'm not up by at least 8am (6.5 hours from now) my parents will get up to all sorts of judgmental mischief on their own.

But tonight was still worth it. When I spend this much time around my parents I almost forget who I am, and this helped remind me.
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
When I was a kid I hated having to go to bed before it got dark. It seemed so unfair! Night-time is for sleeping!

Now, I love it when I get to bed before it gets dark. I love going to bed early in the summer, as much as I love staying out late.

I loved staying out on Sunday, when I went with friends to see Sarah Millican at the Apollo. It was ostensibly a present for Stuart's birthday but I so enjoyed it I felt like it was a treat for me too. (My actual birthday ranges from unremarkable to rubbish, so I like to think that by enjoying all my friends' birthday events a little more than is normal, it equals up to a whole birthday for me by the end of the year -- yesterday I also made arrangements for a weekend in London that includes a friend's birthday at Hamilton, and it'll be my second friend's-birthday-at-Hamilton so my birthday-enjoyment account is surely well into the black for 2018 already.)

Early bedtimes are certainly warranted lately. I spent Saturday dismantling the hated extra wardrobe and Sunday morning dismantling the hated sideboard, both of which were about to be replaced by more suitable furniture (both of which also were full of things I'd had to take out and find places for, even if it was just corners to throw them into). Sunday evening I started work on the chest of drawers, and Monday I finished that and made the storage-cube thing, and filled them back up with (almost) all the old things again. The delayed-onset muscle soreness tells me each day what I'd done too much of the day before: yesterday my arms were sore, today my legs.

Today I also helped a friend pack up her kitchen to move house. I did some grunt work, relieved to be free of the decision-making my last three days were full of, but I also was there to listen to my friend (the move was triggered by difficult stuff) and reassure her that it was okay to throw things away. I didn't do as much physical work today but I still came home exhausted. Very glad I could help, though.

Profile

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

February 2019

S M T W T F S
      1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 212223
2425262728  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags