apiphile: tom hardy as billy prior (ha bloody fucking ha)
[personal profile] apiphile
(The problem with this is I also don't think I can handle the amount of social energy required to deal with the people I know and love at the moment, which makes it a good thing Portia postponed our reunion tomorrow; I am still vaguely considering going dancing because that doesn't require the same set of social energy, just the ability to physically move my body, which I also don't currently possess).

1. Went to the gym, and s t r u g g l e d at the spinner bike. The whole "don't consume food until halfway through" thing + the "bike is set to 35% today instead of 10% like last time" may have fucked me (Derek maybe next time turn it down to 20%?), so I managed 10 minutes (5.5km), a break of 90s, 5m (2.7km) a break of 2m and some fucking liquid cereal, and another 5m (2.7km) before giving up and having 5m + cooldown on the crosstrainer (elliptical to Americans) and then basically lying on the floor whining for a bit. The original plan was a 30m bike ride. Oh dear.

2. Aaron, who I failed to meet up with yesterday because he wasn't at work, failed to meet up with me today because he was going to be in Hackney and I wasn't, basically (the crux is I want to pick up a condenser mic he bought in a flash sale and has never used).

After yesterday's style experiments (https://www.instagram.com/p/BX8bQU_hBjK/?taken-by=derekdesanges) I went with something more low-key (https://www.instagram.com/p/BX-KWzfBy56/?taken-by=derekdesanges) then put sunglasses on over the top anyway.

3. I set myself the goal of going to look at the British Museum room on LGBTQ "desire and identities". British Museum photos start here (https://www.instagram.com/p/BX-XFMwhSGx/?taken-by=derekdesanges), Desire and Identity photos and the museum trail start here (https://www.instagram.com/p/BX-ZpoEBo12/?taken-by=derekdesanges). The ram (https://www.instagram.com/p/BX-c1F5Buql/?taken-by=derekdesanges), the bones (https://www.instagram.com/p/BX-ctgWBIs4/?taken-by=derekdesanges), the torq (https://www.instagram.com/p/BX-eHMDhTDS/?taken-by=derekdesanges), the library (https://www.instagram.com/p/BX-dxaKh_V_/?taken-by=derekdesanges), marysas - despite looking like a trans man in this shot (https://www.instagram.com/p/BX-bgthhw0k/?taken-by=derekdesanges) and everything after my face are not part of the tour, although ... well, if it has a plaque in it it's part of the trail.

Anyway halfway through I started having ringing ears and wobbly legs in addition to the persistent rage in my general abdomen area, in the overall region of "you've overdone it a bit", so I had to sit down and stick huel and protein water in my face, which I'd cleverly brought with me. *finger guns* aww yeah.

4. Having exhausted the BM and beset by inexplicable guilt, I decided to undertake my mandatory actual writing-related component of the day at the Tottenham Court Road Waterstones (I managed some) wherein this happened:

Man: *asking staff about "The Art of War"*
staff member: *takes man to the military history section*
staff member: *returns to say it's not on the system and that he should go to the other waterstones, and gives him directions*
me, to the man: do you mean sun tzu's art of war?
him: yes!
me: that would be in classics.
staff member, shortly: we don't have it in classics here.
me: *very quietly orders coffee and sits down*
me: *having written, and about to leave, wanders over to the "penguin good ideas" table - i.e., the short classics - and picks up david hume's "on suicide"; right next to it?*
Sun Tzu's The Art Of War.

I didn't particularly want to piss her off and had already considered apologising for butting in with my attempts at being helpful which probably sounded like some smartarse in sunglasses talking over her, but. The book was where I said it would be.

5. Feeling incrementally worse and worse, went to the stupid massive health food shop and wasted money on stupid protein crap, then went to the korean supermarket and bought a packet of jellyfish and some other crap because whee who fucking cares any more, right?

6. now I am even more broke but I have put hot fluids into my body and hopefully when I've eaten dinner I can trick myself into feeling less crap.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Marks and Spencer and the National Autistic Society have launched a school uniform range aimed at the parents of autistic children. Note that I say aimed at the parents of autistic children, rather than aimed at autistic children. All the blurb is to do with how easy it is to put on, and how hardwearing it is. The subtext is that it's designed for kids who can't dress themselves. This is clearly aimed at parents.

The other way you can tell that actually autistic people were not involved in this is that if you ask any autistic person what is most important for them in clothing they will tell you it's the fabric it's made of. Many autistic people have comorbid eczema, and a lot of those that don't have sensory issues, which mean that fabric and texture are hugely important in clothing. Something that is in contact with your skin all day needs to be made of something non-irritating; that almost always means 100% natural fibres. Cotton, or bamboo, or silk, or modal. Sometimes wool, but sometimes not. NEVER SODDING POLYESTER. And some of the clothes in that M&S range are 65% polyester. And of course it's very wearying that the only clothing specifically designed to be worn by autistic people is school uniform, because nobody of above school age is autistic, and no autistic child ever wears non-uniform clothing. AND they've "removed pockets for comfort". I have never known an autistic person who didn't want MORE pockets, as long as they are made from 100% natural fibre too.

So what would clothing for autistic people actually look like? Well, from the conversation on twitter today:
  1. Clear, obvious fabric labelling on the rack/shelf. While most of us just want everything 100% cotton, some of us prefer other natural fabrics like linen, and some actively prefer viscose or modal. Some of us can cope with silk or wool, some can't. Every single one of us, though, would like to see fabrics clearly, obviously labelled on the rack, without having to go hunting through the clothes for a tiny illegible care label.

  2. No polyester. Not even a little bit. Not ever. No, not even in linings.

  3. Linings are important! Linings are the bit that is actually in contact with your skin, so they need to be all natural fibres too. Note, though, that this does not mean you can take a garment made out of something horrible and line it with cotton and it will be OK - outer fabrics need to be touchable too.

  4. Care labels to be made of the same fabric as the clothing, not scratchy plastic.

  5. Elastic to be covered with the fabric the clothes are made of, not left to be in contact with your skin.

  6. Flat seams! Or even NO seams!

  7. For Cthulhu's sake, SOMEBODY make some bras we can wear! It is really, really, incredibly difficult to get hold of cotton bras, to the extent that I have considered making my own. And even if/when you DO find them, they are covered in non-cotton frills and lace and fripperies. And have stupid care labels made of plastic right in the middle of your back.

  8. Comfort and fit are much much more important than being on trend. I saw an article the other day that low slung waist trousers are coming back into fashion and actually cried.

  9. Moar pockets, on everything, especially women's clothes - but again, made of the same fabric as the actual clothing

  10. Stop saying things are "cotton touch" or "cotton feel" or "cotton rich". All this does is bugger up searching for cotton things. And actually, make your website searchable by fabric. That would be amazing.
And a clothing store for autistic people?
  1. Would be lit sensibly, not with migraine-inducing lighting.

  2. Would have the afore-mentioned obvious, clear clothing labels on the shelf/rack.

  3. Would sort by size and colour as well as style.

  4. Would have assistants that wait to be approached rather than badgering you the second you enter the shop.

  5. Would not have music at all (many many autistic people love music, but find music that they don't like intensely irritating; whatever music you play some of us will like and some won't) and would ideally have sound baffling so that other people's conversations are not intrusive.

  6. Would open from (say) 12 till 8, rather than 9 to 5. Autistic people are more likely than others to have odd sleep patterns and/or working hours.
Now, if some kind banker or venture capitalist would like to give me a wad of cash to make this a reality... And to M&S and the NAS... I do appreciate that you're trying, and I don't wish to appear ungrateful, but if you consulted any actually autistic people in fomulating that clothing range it's not immediately obvious. Please, please, bear in mind the priorities of actually autistic people, not the parents of autistic children, when making clothing that the autistic people are actually meant to wear. Remember the phrase: nothing about us without us. Thank you.

Midnight Honesty Post: Day 8

Aug. 19th, 2017 12:22 am
[personal profile] theandrewhickey
Spent much of the day trying to sort out [personal profile] hollymath's clearing application (she's going back to university as a mature student next month to do a linguistics degree) so didn't get much writing done til late, but managed to get 1252 words done -- a blog post on what Liberalism means to me and why it bears no relation to the straw-liberals regularly being attacked on Twitter at the moment.

(no subject)

Aug. 18th, 2017 03:17 pm
apiphile: (a story where you go eat a dick)
[personal profile] apiphile
Didn't go to the cabaret (BROKE)
Have been released from today's mild social obligation (go pick up microphone) and am dwelling on the second (go swimming by self). Have proofed friend's synopsis for a comics anthology and found it to be Highly Acceptable, and finished this monster:

you know, the art that was taking me 90000000 years


Aug. 18th, 2017 02:27 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I've deleted the post I wrote this morning when I was certain I wouldn't get on the linguistics course, because it would look stupid now that I have been offered a place!

It still has to be sorted out but I'm making Andrew do all that stuff because I don't actually understand how clearing works. But I had a phone call with a nice person from the department who seemed surprised when I was surprised she said she would like to offer me a place on the course, heh. I don't think I composed myself very well during that conversation, but she didn't change her mind anyway!

Holy shit, you guys, they're letting me do linguistics at Manchester University.

Starting in a month!

I've already enlisted the help of [personal profile] barakta who knows a lot about financing and disability stuff, which is awesome, but really I have no idea how to go to university in this country.

I was pretty sure this wasn't going to work. Not for impostor-syndrome kinds of reasons, real ones. They didn't hide how hesitant they were about me: because I didn't take AP classes (my poor rural school didn't offer any, though I spent all my high school life being told I should have been taking them and I think that'd have worked far better for me anyway), I didn't take the SAT because I'm from the Midwest and was looking at colleges in the Midwest, I didn't have the grades in college because I was so fucking mental but still years away from realizing it.

I was sure this wasn't going to work. Because that's what happens to me: I can do things but can't prove I can do the things. Same with job interviews all the time.

Everyone on Twitter is happy, bless them all, but it still hasn't sunk in for me.

More fodder for the book!

Aug. 18th, 2017 10:52 am
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Yesterday morning I saw I'd been tagged in a tweet where Andrew linked to this, saying "Jesus Christ. By this standard, @hollyamory and I are in a 'marriage of convenience.'"

The article is about a High Court ruling saying that a "genuine couple can enter in a marriage of convenience." Even people who are in a real relationship, not seeking a "sham marriage," can apparently be told that they can't get married because by doing so one of them would attain an "immigration advantage."

Which, yeah. Is exactly what Andrew and I did. With no other avenue of study or work open to us in the mental/physical/financial state we were in at the time (or indeed at any time since), the only way for us to stay in the same country was to get married.

As I pointed out in a series of angry follow-up tweets, the only reason we needed an "immigration advantage" is because being poor and disabled have been declared immigration disadvantages. Marriage is the only route available to current non-EU citizens who don't make £35,000 a year. (Maybe one day that (or its successor at a no-doubt higher salary threshold) will apply to non-EU citizens too.) This is not the fault of any people getting married.

This is not the fault of people getting married.

You may start to see now why I hate the Home Office, why I am the unusual rat who jumped on to the sinking ship of Brexit Britain. Andrew and I both really don't want to but also can't move to the U.S., and there's no other country that will have us both. So if we're going to stay in the same country, it has to be the UK. So I want to feel as secure in that as possible.

When I started talking about this on Twitter, a lot of my friends pointed out that marriage is a legal status so of course people are going to enter into it for legal reasons: tax, inheritance, child guardianship, lots of things. In the UK, increasingly few people get married solely for religious reasons, so legal elements are going to be part of the decision for a lot of people. Yet it's a bad thing if any of those reasons are immigration-related?

Increasingly I'm realizing how much higher a standard immigrants are held to than the native citizens of not just the UK but certainly the U.S. too (where, y'know, immigrants and visitors actually have to say they're not Nazis!) and no doubt other countries as well. It's so frustrating to see this everywhere.

The Blood is the Life for 18-08-2017

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Midnight Honesty Post: Day 7

Aug. 18th, 2017 12:02 am
[personal profile] theandrewhickey
Actually back to writing properly today.
Blog post talking about SF books not by white men: 1388 words
The Basilisk Murders: 518 words today, total 41862

Total wordcount for the day 1906 words

Getting stuff done

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:17 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I've had a better week this week anyway, but it's also been a busier one.

Monday and Tuesday I got a lot of stuff done around the house: caught up with everything that I let slide over the weekend while I was away and the week or so before when my mental health had been too bad. We're at only normal levels of disorganized and cluttered now, and while it's kind of sad that feels like an achievement, at least it's an achievement.

Tuesday I got a key and directions for feeding a friend's cats while she was away for a couple of days. She kindly paid me very generously for this, which was completely unexpected but so nice. I was worried I'd forget but I didn't! Even managed to feed them at about their usual times, except it was a bit later this morning because I slept badly last night.

Yesterday I had a meeting of the VI steering group I'm no longer running. The team manager who gets paid for it is sorting out the meeting dates and telling everyone about them, which honestly I think works better anyway. I feel bad I'm not doing it, especially since I'm interested in other volunteering things -- at this meeting I met someone from the Disabled People's Access Group who says I'd be good to join in some other stuff she does that did sound interesting to me.

On my bus ride there, I got to hear the finished product of a great fanfic audio story that I did one of the voices for. I wasn't too cringeworthy and the story turned out great. I really hope there are more stories in the series, partly because it'd be fun to play my one again, partly just because I want to see what happens.

Yesterday Andrew also got further in applying me for this university course; he actually talked to the clearing people. They asked for a scan of my high school diploma, which since it's at my parents' I was worried would be quite a challenge, but my dad's e-mailed it over this evening and said it was easy. Well done, clever parents!

This morning I had another meeting about a totally different volunteer thing. It's at Manchester Museum, involves some really cool technology and senior people who are very keen to get the expertise of visually impaired people. I am super excited. That probably won't start for a month at least, so at exactly the same time as Lib Dem Conf and this uni course if I get on it and so I am sure that will be fine. No really, I will make it all work.

And this afternoon my friend Mary was in town, which I hadn't known about until a couple of days ago. She's usually near Norwich so this is quite remarkable. I hadn't seen her in more than a year, since the weekend of falling in the river in Oxford (sadly you can't see the pictures right now; I still need to figure out how to get them off Photobucket and to somewhere useful). A train derailment (not hers!) meant she got in a bit later than planned but we still had time to rush around finding somewhere still open where she could buy euros for her trip to Ireland tomorrow and have dinner in a pub. Battered halloumi and chips for both of us (but I swapped my chips for sweet potato fries because sweet potatoes are great and regular potatoes are not). She'd never had halloumi like that before! We bitched about politics and she taught me some Irish words (I will probably forget them again, like I did last time, except not the one for "penis" because it has a joke as a mneomic device).

Saturday is the "Bi Takeover for Pride" event at the LGBT Foundation, which honestly I am treating like another bit of BiCon, down to going along to see people I know who are going as much as I'm there for any of the workshops. So that should be nice.

So yeah. Good week. Glad to know they're still possible.
apiphile: (quite enjoying this)
[personal profile] apiphile
What the fuck have I been doing? Well...

{"write down your thoughts and feelings" has disappeared into "just keep track of your movements", because really, who wants to know if I think or feel? I am straining everyone's patience here by breathing}

Tuesday: saw me a SCI FI EXHIBITION, (photos begin here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BX0VB9GhFSo/?taken-by=derekdesanges although they're better on Lindsay's phone and also doesn't include the inspiringly odd film installations that were scattered about as part of the same media/art retrospective - there was a neural network replication [haha] of Bladerunner, which was. Why do we do these things.), which was Very Interesting, and walked with Lindsay most of the way to Soho to meet Ruthi for RAINDROP CAKES (https://www.instagram.com/p/BX0rsJOB5BL/?taken-by=derekdesanges), travelling via the Garden of the Order of St John and also via the discovery that the Japanese Art Gallery on Old Street (where the McQueen store used to be) sells those kintsugi kits; the second part of Angels in America was even longer, stronger, and more magic-realism-y. In the curtain call, they brought out the stage crew for applause, which is good, because I'd been saying in the interval that god DAMN they work them HARD in that production, there is a LOT for the tech team to be doing. And yes maybe there was a certain irony in seeing a play which ends with the blessing "more life" on the anniversary (the first of many, hoo boy) of my stupid dead friend's wake, but there we go. We get what we get.

Wednesday: ah, the stress dash to Stratford-upon-Avon; ah, the Starbucks kerfuffle, where my name went from Derek to Derrick to "Derm...mia? Derria?" thanks to someone's handwriting. Ah, the surprisingly luxurious train to Leamington Spa, significantly nicer and with more reliable Wi-Fi than fucking GWR (I have to go back at the end of the month on the HELL TRAINS and lord I am Not Thrilled). Naturally S-u-A is very PICTURESKEW, as the Discworldian has it, and reassuringly Normal ("They've got a kebab house and Eastern European groceries and people not speaking English, it's okay, this place is Normal") alongside the chocolate-box "this is how England Looks, Honest" guide book half-timbered town centre. There was a barge selling ice-cream and one selling baguettes. There were gay statues and swans of indeterminate sexual preference. There was a big goddamn theatre with a cafe selling individual tiny tubs of hummus for 25p because why the entire fuck not.

We saw Salomé, and it was easy to see why it was very much For Lucian; it was signficantly less For Me (I indignantly remarked on the way home, as I bounced up and down on Ruthi's one remaining nerve like a ping-pong ball of blithe irresponsibility, "Even the blood wasn't RED"), and on the whole felt like an immature production for an immature play (I periodically forget that I hate Wilde's writing and I hate it even more when he's trying to take himself and the world seriously, as he was here), albeit a play with a troubling fixation on people's feet and entire windy world-long passages which make it abundantly clear which classical and renaissance authors Wilde was comparing himself to and failing to emulate in euphony or in interest. I HAVE SAID MY PIECE, GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR.

Otoh, a naked Matthew Tennyson is appreciated, although to be honest other members of the cast were appreciated more on account of them not having the physical composition of a sparrow skeleton. (I DID like Herdodias as a character because, you know, I can Relate ™ to Bitter Old Queens).

We had afternoon tea, I introduced Ruthi to a frankly mediocre example of a lardy cake, by dribs and drabs we trailed toward the station, the trains on the way back were packed and rather less comfortable, Ruthi went to sleep and I went to iPod; on the other hand, as we walked towards the exit at Marylebone a familiar face and gait passed us - ah yes, Mr Tennyson, on his way home. (Jess informs me he "probably lives somewhere around Muswell Hill - I used to see him up there a lot", so it's a good thing I waited for Ruthi to top up her card etc because man would it ever have looked like stalking otherwise.)

Today: I have hated quite virulently on the gym and I am seriously contemplating throwing off the instigation to go to trans/nb cabaret tonight partly because I'm very tired of all forms of theatre now (like, for the rest of the week, not FOREVER), partly because I am B R O K E as F U C K (and likely moreso after yesterday), partly because I have A Lot To Do, having not really tackled writing/editing of the trench story in my brief trip to le cafe with Jess (I did get complimented on my terrible whorish outfit by a very elderly man so THAT'S NICE); however I also partly want to go the fuck out and stay the fuck out because CHRIST IN HEAVEN I AM TIRED OF LOOKING AT NAZIS.

... I guess no one's forcing me to be on the internet and if I just did all the other goddamn things I am supposed to be doing I wouldn't be looking at them.

The Blood is the Life for 17-08-2017

Aug. 17th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Midnight Honesty Post: Day 6

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:13 pm
[personal profile] theandrewhickey
Yesterday I was so tired after only four hours of sleep I not only wrote nothing but wasn't awake to do this post.
Today, sick and headachey all day so no writing. Tomorrow will be better.

The Blood is the Life for 16-08-2017

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

(no subject)

Aug. 15th, 2017 11:11 am
apiphile: (i hate that thing you love)
[personal profile] apiphile
For a shift changeover day yesterday was surprisingly busy; I got back early, made a good six hour in-road on "sleeping like a person", got up, went for a 30 minute bike ride at the gym and, thanks to "don't eat until halfway through the cardio" as advice, was so focused on getting to 15 minutes when I could have my stupid Weetabix bottle that I didn't pay much attention to my legs not being my friend.

Naturally, when I was doing this and also on a train for a million years to go and see Doug (perfectly fine, in quite a good mood, we managed to get him to the pub next door without any drama as well, although possibly because one of the other people he lives with was being A Bit Much), everyone started responding to emails and whatnot so I have P L E N T Y of work to do instead of getting sucked into arguments with people online. Finished off by bleaching my hair.

TODAY: Got up nice and early if somewhat confused, had to do a massive detour on the way to the gym because the police had closed off the intersection due to someone being shot again (he's fine: well, he's alive, anyway, and not in critical condition) and then Morrisons being closed so I had to turn down a lot further than expected. Gym was a little taxing but not horrifyingly so.

Have just finished off the full cover for Heavy now that I have the cover quote I was waiting for, m'mate Aaron's offered me a free condenser microphone (or £5, but whatever, close enough), I think my debauchery date for Sunday is standing me up because she has to go see her grandma (I did predict this so not too butthurt), and one of the presses I have stories with has just updated everyone to let them know they're running behind schedule but that nothing is awry.

Remainder of day: Sci Fi Classics exhibition with Lindsay, second half of Angels In America with Ruthi.

... I could quite happily sleep for another six hours but NOPE.

Midnight Honesty Post: Day 4

Aug. 14th, 2017 10:45 pm
[personal profile] theandrewhickey
A very spoonless day, but I managed to get to my word count mostly by putting tracklists and stuff into the Nilsson book document.

Book on Harry Nilsson: 1770 words. Total book length so far: 2040 words
The Basilisk Murders: 483 words today, 41344 in total
Short story I'm *way* overdue on for an anthology: 268 words, total story length so far: 2226 words


Aug. 14th, 2017 01:45 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I"m settling into a pattern of weeks with very little to do and very low mood, and then being very busy and mostly happier on the weekends. This is really bad for me and no fun but I don't feel able to get myself unstuck yet.

Adventures in Babysitting )

I was staying over so quickly installed myself in the spare room, with the comfy bed, the robot alarm clock and the lamp with colorful airplanes on its shade. It was pretty great.

I was there because next morning Simon and I were driving to Leeds for BiCon and it made no sense to get me home late at night just to go pick me up again the next day.

BiCon )

The Home Office at BiCon )

So I was quite glad that my plans had changed such that I could go to Brighouse that night. I was tired and a little emotionally wrung-out with one thing and another. It didn't help a lot though as after a blessed day off Twitter I was catching up on Charlottesville. I spent way too much time reading what it felt like I couldn't look away from but also couldn't fix. But I was heartened to see a lot of white people talking about how unhelpful attitudes like #ThisIsNotUs were, ignoring that this is what America has always been so we can feel better about ourselves.

Andrew came over to Brighouse too yesterday, for Sunday dinner and terrible films. It was really nice having all the best people around.

Now I'm home where all the cleaning and laundry have been neglected for quite a while even before I was away because my mental health has been so bad. I've done a load of laundry I'm about to go hang up and put another one in. It'd be nice if I could clean some things. And I have to write down volunteering admin and stuff I need to do before it all falls out of my head. Better go and do all of that, then!

Here's hoping this week is better than the last two.

Midnight Honesty Post: Day 3

Aug. 13th, 2017 10:23 pm
[personal profile] theandrewhickey
No writing again, as I spent the entire awake portion of the day in Brighouse unexpectedly. This "pushing myself to write more" thing isn't working yet, is it? We'll see what happens tomorrow.
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