hollymath: (Default)
The joys of poly: When your boyfriend double books himself for your visit, you can hang out with his other girlfriend instead.

This is what happened to me anyway, on Saturday. Jennie and I had a great time: poured some wine, put on the telly to a cooking program that was showing some Yorkshire puddings just about to go into the oven, so of course we had to watch it to find out what they did wrong ("Lots" was the verdict). And they made white chocolate cheesecake with amaretto-infused raspberries, which made us want amaretto-infused raspberries... And then somebody made dauphinoise potatoes, so we wanted dauphinoise potatoes...

And so our dinner menu was set: some kind of protein (we ended up with Quorn kievs), dauphinoise potatoes, and...cranachan for dessert because we bought cream for the potatoes anyway and whisky was cheaper than amaretto.

We went shopping for ingredients, came back and drunkenly cooked it all and it was great.

I found out I have a kitchen skill that neither Jennie nor Mat had! I'm so used to them knowing things and having a kitchen full of cool gadgets...but neither of them ever peels vegetables so I peeled the potatoes. Probably the very first goddam thing I learned how to do! But with a peeler usually, not with a knife, and they didn't have a veg peeler because they never peel anything. Jennie was impressed at how quickly I managed to peel the potatoes and frankly so was I, considering the combination of being a person using a very sharp knife who's used to lots of tactile feedback while I'm doing this with a peeler, and the fact that I'd already had one glass of wine and when I say "glass" I mean "size of a fingerbowl"...

We watched most of a Miss Marple with Jennie doing her usual commenting on the costumes which I love because it tells me all kinds of things that I won't see or if I do won't know why they work or don't (like the way the servant was wearing a badly-fitting dress to show she was lower-class, while the posh lesbian she was standing next to (we were on a lookout for the lesbians too, as you always get those in Agatha Christie) was wearing perfectly tailored clothes.

Apparently the friend that James was out with told him that Interstellar was a better movie than 2001 because it was more intellectual, or something. So I was convinced we'd had the better evening.

Oh but then there was this commercial. I was busy counting up change to see if I had enough money for more wine at the time, so I was paying even less attention than usual, but I heard someone say "I lost my sight when I was fourteen..." so I looked up in what you might call professional interest and I must say I wasn't expecting a soap commercial but that's what I got (I think it was this one? but I went from not paying attention to it to yelling at it pretty quickly, so I'm not sure...oh yeah, and I'd already had some wine by this point).

Because I have a little cadre of blind friends on Twitter these days -- it's great; all women, too -- when I mentioned this there some of them said they'd talked about the same thing. The consensus was that none of us liked it: it "played the 'super sense' card," this misconception that blind people's other senses somehow improve to compensate for the lost one (they don't...we might learn to pay attention to them more, but we don't do anything that others couldn't, and it's not magic; it is huge in spoon costs). One said "It's not inclusive if they're fetishising us," and that's what this felt like: the person with special super senses was being consulted to give the ultimate verdict on what the best body wash is and she has spoken!

Jennie and Alisdair even questioned whether the woman was blind, which she is but I don't blame them because it seemed so false, not at all like what I'd expect blind people to talk about. Maybe it's just the people I know but when the blind people that I know get together (either IRL or on twitter), we talk about uncommunicative sighted people, inaccessible transport...and normal stuff, like our kids or hobbies or other people we know. I'm not saying this means no blind person thinks
My hands give me all the feedback that a sighted person would rely on their eyes for, so I navigate the world by touch. When I’m walking around a store I pick up every garment – I’m feeling the fabrics, the textures and the shapes. And colours aren’t about what they look like anymore. Blue became more about how my fingers feel running through water, and the colour green is more about the smell of freshly cut grass, and the feeling of it under bare feet.
But that just seems...like a sighted person's idea of what being blind is like? (That's not from the ad, but it's from "Molly's Story" on the Dove website, which I found when googling for the commercial.) It doesn't mean anything and it doesn't sound right; it sounds like marketing-speak. And even an authentically blind person can be given a daft script to read out. I mean, the pull quote is "I might have lost my sight, but I have not lost my ability to experience beauty in the world," ffs.

I think the last word on it from my new Twitter chum [twitter.com profile] bigpurpleduck was "I mean, fair play to her making some money out of it. But I don't like this at all. Dove are using us, and peddling misconceptions."
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] magister has just watched the new Doctor Who trailer next to me, and then I go look at my DW reading page and about three different people have shared it there too. Ha, I know good people here.

I was actually talking with James about this yesterday, I said I was mad it has Bill and this First Doctor-playing guy who's name I can't remember, and it has Capaldi, and maybe Missy? And this is great because I'd watch them all the time, but a shame because I feel like what's the point of the rengeration episode we just had, which didn't even have a regeneration in it? We could've had a lovely normal story instead of having to have two whole episodes full of doom about the Doctor dying.

It's been a generally pretty doomy season anyway, something I complained about all the way back in "Oxygen." Maybe I'm a big wuss (okay, I am a big wuss) but I do not want bleak right now. I don't want to watch people getting treated worse than they deserve or dealing with circumstances beyond their control. If I wanted that I could read the news or talk to a lot of my friends or indeed think about most of my goddam life.

I'm mad about what happened to Missy and Bill, and I hope though I'm not holding my breath that the Christmas episode will go some way to fixing that.
hollymath: (Default)
Honestly the thing I want to do now is watch the finale knowing the new Doctor isn't another white man. Because I watched that with such trepidation that when it finished and James asked me what I thought of it, I said I liked it but then just went on to be really pessimistic about the breadcrumbs towards a woman playing the Doctor.

I absolutely didn't trust this show not to give me another white man, and I surprised myself with how incapable I was of getting my hopes up. And my guardedness really dampened my ability to enjoy or even evaluate the last episode.

It'll be interesting to watch it again and see if what I feel about it changes. Where's my DVD box set already?! (I want to watch most of this season again, and have ever since I finished watching the episodes the first time.)
hollymath: (bill and doctor)
Well, we'd had four weeks in a row of Doctor Who I liked or loved, so I suppose we were due a rubbish one but...that made me cry. And not in a good way.

And I'm also annoyed that I can't talk about why without saying it's a spoiler. )
hollymath: (Default)
Still typing on my phone (Andrew's got a new laptop but until it's set up needs mine 24/7 so that he can keep up a steady enough stream of Twitter) so I'll have to be quick.

I finally got to see last week's episode of Doctor Who and while generally I liked it (at first I was wary of the premise for how Russell Davies it sounded, but it didn't do too badly with it), there was one thought I had during it that has stuck in my brain.

So I don't think this is spoilery but obviously opinions on what counts as a spoiler differ. I'd say this is in the "it contained the following general types of plot device" category, but I suppose that might be up for debate too.

Because I'd seen a lot of people's reactions to this episode already, I knew one of them went something like "you can tell white people write Doctor Who because when he asks Bill why she wants to go to the future instead of the past, her answer isn't just 'I'm a black woman.' "

Similarly, I can tell the show isn't written by immigrants because it inescapably hinges on the colonists' assumption that they can be happy all the time because they're headed to this utopia that's been built for them where everything is perfect.

Even if it had lived up to those utopian expectations, that would not have stopped grief being there.

Moving so irrevocably away from home leaves you grieving for everyone you left there. Except in some ways its worse than if they died, because you know they're grieving for you too. Some people (if you're lucky, all of them if you're not) you will probably never see again, no matter how much you love them.

There'd be homesickness. There'd be nostalgia in the sense it was first intended, as a proper disease people even died from, as well as its colloquial meaning today. There'd be dreams about the voices of lost people. We're sometimes fine when contemplating the big things, but then cry because we remember the pattern on the dishes, the noise the door made when it closed, or the colors in the sky.

You couldn't have a colony without grief.
hollymath: (Default)
In one of my (countless, surely) recent posts about blindness, lovely [livejournal.com profile] artremis linked to this this description of a Cbeebies show called Melody which I'd never heard of because having no kids means I only am aware of the shows my parent-friends complain about (so, Peppa Pig and In the Night Garden mostly). But this one sounds really awesome! For so many reasons.

First, classical music for pre-schoolers! And not just "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" stuff either; this article uses as an example "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis", composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Then, that the animation and soundtrack were specifically designed to be easier for blind/partially-sighted people to follow. I'm really curious to see what this'd be like! Not many things I do see seem created with the likes of me in mind. (Except Mad Max, obvs.) All this about "working with high contrast colours, having centrally focused action, bigger, definite (sometimes exaggerated) movements and holding on certain shots longer [than usual]" sounds really good to me! Plus, it's all audio described as well.

Next, I like...mostly...that
Melody's sight difficulties are never mentioned. "We often see her using her white cane, or placing her hand on top of her mum's whilst they cut something," he says. "It is never about what Melody can't do or needs help with, but always about what she can do and the methods she uses to do as much as most children."
I like that it's not assumed people need or are entitled to know/ask what other people's disabilities are, what caused them, or what effects they have on a person. But my own experience makes me a bit wary of focusing on what people can do, just because I'm aware of how much more work it can be to complete the tasks by which we're judged to be keeping up with our peers, and how invisible* that work tends to be anyway. "What we can do" is cute and celebrates independence when we see it in a kid, but once we're of working age it seems to be about how conveniently what-we-can-do can be exploited by potential employers and how little we deserve if we don't or can't work. Or maybe I'm just too grumpy lately. This is a mostly-positive point I was making here, honest.

But actually my favorite thing about this is a quote from the head teacher at an RNIB specialist school, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised he's good at talking about blindness in simple ways but I found this a really powerful sentence on the subject of how much blind people can actually see -- which I guess is a topic of great interest to sighted people...but also one that we often get wrong because we tend to assume that "blind" means "can't see anything at all." But this head teacher says "Many blind people and the majority of partially sighted people can recognise a friend at arm's length."

I just love that. I don't know why, but it makes me really happy. Like "I caught myself randomly remembering this on the bus the other day and that was enough to make me grin" kinds of happy. I like that it's true, of course -- being able to do that also implies a lot of useful stuff that should also be possible -- but, actually, given what I just said about defining people by their usefulness and productivity, I think the thing I love about this turn of phrase is that it's more about a benefit to the blind person themselves than it is about their usefulness to the rest of the world. The accomplishment of recognizing a friend will not get you a job or anything, it will just make you happy. This is a great metric, having friends within arm's length.


* I tried hard to think of another way to express this because I attempt to keep metaphors equating sight with knowledge or concern and lack of sight with not knowing or not caring, but I'm so used to "visibility" in the context of both bisexual activism (where the main antidote to erasure and other forms of biphobia is visibility, to the extent that our celebration day every year is called "Bi Visibility Day") and disability activism (where much vital work is done contrasting visible and invisible disabilities/conditions as well as the spoons it's easy to see someone's expending, like trying to climb a flight of stairs or push themselves in a wheelchair, versus the less obvious drains on energy like struggling with cognitive demands or pain that is not obvious to the external world. Because of these invisible struggles and the struggles against invisibility, I know of no better word for what I'm talking about here. And I'm not saying it's a bad or offensive use of the word, just that it goes against my usual aims of trying not to talk about sight good blind bad (which of course also ties into connotations of light and darkness and can get pretty racist too).
hollymath: (Default)
Andrew walked in from work yesterday evening, saw me curled up in front of the laptop, and said "Poor Holly! Having to watch The West Wing!"

Wow, I thought. It's that obvious?! I mean, clearly he hadn't seen the Facebook update I'd posted a bit earlier:
My head won't ever stop hurting, I fail at napping, what can I do now?

Oh yeah: it's been at least a year since I watched this!
"Poor Holly, not being able to deal with or think about anything new or that's happened in the last fifteen years!"

Yeah, pretty much. (Though I tried to argue it's less than ten years since I started watching the show in the middle of its run and I hadn't seen these earliest episodes until I bought the DVDs eight or nine years ago.)

But I thought this was a totally new revelation, that I'd just developed while staring forlornly at our DVD shelves. I didn't know this was such a glaring fact about me! It'd have saved me a lot of time and trouble if I did.
hollymath: (Default)
Andrew and I finally got around to watching the last couple of Doctor Whos this evening.

The first one, with all the trees, was bobbins. But I did like the beginning, where all the kids were having a sleepover in the museum.

"I want a sleepover in a museum!" I said. Andrew laughed, of course. "Can't I have that for my birthday present? My friends can come too, of course, if they want."

I texted [personal profile] magister (who's been keen to know what I thought of last night's episode): "Now, as well as a space train, i want a sleepover in a museum."

I watched Mummy on the Orient Express with him, and as soon as I saw that first shot of the train zooming into CGI space, said, "I want a space train!"

James didn't even look up from his phone or computer or whatever he'd been doing, and said with an utter lack of surprise in his voice, "That's exactly what Jennie said when she saw it."

"Ha!" I said. "You clearly have a type!"
hollymath: (Default)
Watching The Thick of It (which I'm doing because I need something to keep me from getting bored while I knit that doesn't actually require me to pay too much attention to because I'm knitting) is weird now: I keep thinking The Doctor's swearing!

I think it's a testament to how quickly and thoroughly Capaldi's embodied the role that it's overtaken, in my mind, the previously iconic role of Malcolm Tucker. I know people who are struggling to accept him as the Doctor, but I'm totally not one of them: I've absolutely believed him and adored him from the beginning. It's nice to be able to enjoy Doctor Who uncomplicatedly for once.
hollymath: (Default)
...the more convinced I am that Avon is the Sir Humphrey Appleby of Blakes 7.

Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

"I knew it was a car program!" he said. "A man program."
hollymath: (Default)
So obviously when Clara calls herself the Doctor's carer (in what seems to be half exasperation, half futile attempt at insulting him (a combination that reminded me of Martin Freeman's Watson)) and he replies "Yeah, she cares so I don't have to," Andrew grinned and patted me on the knee and said, "that's what you are for me! You care so I don't have to!"

But this wasn't Andrew's best moment while we were watching. That clearly goes to the first appearance of Michael Smiley, where he said "if you're wondering where you recognize him from, he was Spanners in Spaced.

"...You mean Tyres," I said. If I hadn't already placed the actor I wouldn't have had the foggiest idea what Andrew was talking about, but as it turned out his attempt to be helpful was as funny as anything on the TV.
hollymath: (Default)
I can't see the new Doctor Who until Thursday! So tell me how it was.
hollymath: (Default)
I have had a rubbish day, mental-health wise. Also a sinus headache.

So I'm in extra need of reminding myself of nice things.

1. I braved my inbox, applied for jobs, and caught up on a bit of Plus work. I did all these things half-assedly, and they all need a lot more work, but half an ass is better than no ass, right?

2. People were really nice when I said on Facebook that I'd done these things. All I could can think about is how much there is left to do, but some of the best people I know told me very firmly that what I had done was enough for right now. I'm still working on believing them.

3. I'm very glad I have such good people in my life. I'm particularly grateful when I cannot believe myself that I have (what I used to call in college) justified the clean underwear I put on today.

4. I basically had a mint chocolate milkshake for my dinner. It seemed to help my sinus headache, as an added bonus to how tasty it was.

5. Cosmos is on Netflix! The new, Neil deGrasse Tyson one that I've heard so much about from North American chums for ages now, all good. And so far it seems to be maybe the first thing I've ever seen that I can really appreciate the high-definition of: until now I could honestly say that in anything I've seen, the HD may as well not be there for all the use it is to me. I shall resist the temptation to stay up all night watching this. Honest. I can go to bed any time I want.
hollymath: (Default)
Ooh Frasier's on Netflix!

...I'd forgotten Daphne was supposed to be from Manchester. She sounds like Iris Widlthyme.
hollymath: (Default)
Nystagmus looks much freakier on House than...

Well, I was going to say "than it does on me," but I don't see it on me (if I look in a mirror, my eyes look steady). And I don't know anyone other than me who has it, so for all I know it always looks freaky.

In which case, my friends are even cooler than I thought for putting up with me! And I already know they're pretty cool.
hollymath: (Default)
The second episode of Almost Human is audio-described ("the joys of torrenting!"). But actually, this is really awesome! So many things are happening! I had no idea!

(Andrew says audio description has the same prose style as Dan Brown. I haven't read Dan Brown, but I'm kinda worried at how many adjectives there are.)

Though it's a shame that the opening scene of the provocative women in her underwear doesn't include "boobs" anywhere in the description. Blind people can be perverts too!
hollymath: (Default)
Yesterday afternoon was good because I was shown all kinds of televisual entertainment new to me.

I wasn't feeling great for a lot of reasons and was relieved and surprised that I actually managed to sit still (mostly) and enjoy myself rather than thinking about things I should be doing or things that are wrong with me or the other tediously common thoughts I'm susceptible to.

I'd asked for something simplistic to watch; I wasn't up to anything I had to pay a lot of attention to or that was likely to make me feel any worse. "Simplistic-funny? Simplistic-violent?" [personal profile] magister asked. We ended up with both, but that's about all our set of choices had in common.

First Jason and the Argonauts, with most of the latter pleasingly tubby and even balding, looking much more like normal guys than the shiny bodybuilders you'd get in such a movie nowadays. And ace monsters by Ray Harryhausen. Give me models over CGI any day.

Then a couple of Wallace and Gromits, which made me giggle a lot and were just the thing for the am-I-getting-a-migraine I'm-very-tired-and-prone-to-tears mood I was in.

Then an episode of the most recent series of Sherlock, which I adored. And that's after detesting the second series enough I didn't watch any of this one when it was on. Apparently a lot of people didn't like this wedding-speech episode -- [personal profile] magister told me it'd been deemed "plotless" and "rambly" -- but I thought it was wonderful, with some lovely intricate storytelling and a much better characterization of Sherlock particularly than that which had put me off the second series (though that "high-functioning sociopath" line can still fuck off). I'll never be the world's biggest Cummerbund Bandersnatch fan, but he had a lot to carry in this episode and I thought he did it very well.

We went for takeaway pizza after this so had lots of time to chat about how nice it was. Part of the fun is having someone to talk to about what you're watching.

And I'm told the intricate storytelling carries on to the next episode of Sherlock too, but we didn't watch that one because by this point James wanted to show me The Avengers. So we had an episode of that before bedtime, and went to sleep chatting about how nothing like it could be made today.
hollymath: (Default)
He just said, apropos of nothing, "And all this trouble could have been avoided if he'd been named Hegetarian."
hollymath: (Default)
Yesterday evening Andrew came down the stairs to where I watching a movie and said, "One not good thing about having a house is that there are lots more dark rooms that are full of serial killers when there's no Holly around."

Guess who's been watching Hannibal again.

Profile

hollymath: (Default)
Holly

October 2017

S M T W T F S
1 23 456 7
8 910 11 12 13 14
15 16171819 2021
22232425262728
293031    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags