Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 08:32 pm
Charles wasn't thrilled to see me when I picked him up today, but we got home, and we avoided the temptation of shopping while cross with each other, and then he helped me put the bins out.

Then we got food-for-children on the go, and I had some consolatory chocolate ovaltine, and Jonny helped me wrangle children while Tony made delicious filling beans+bacon with truly luxurious amounts of butter and garlic. Charles talked to me some more about Christmas cards, but this time when he wasn't hungry, and we came to mutual understanding and agreement, and there were lots of hugs.

Tony and I had beans and bacon, and a mutual-support-and-venting conversation, and Charles has been reading upstairs, and Nicholas is being affectionate and chatty, and in general the world is a much better place than it was 12 hours ago.
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 06:36 pm
 The skin thing is shingles, and the antivirals make me incredibly sleepy. I've spent two days in bed with the children hanging around my room when they want to and refusing to come near when they don't. I feel rotten.

And of course I haven't posted my GP letter since because I haven't left the blasted house. Even though I both printed and signed it.

The good news is that Emer is listening to Stephen Fry's Harry Potter audiobooks and enjoying them hugely.

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 09:21 am
By 8am this morning I had already:tales of success and woe )

Why is there never any chocolate left?
Monday, October 20th, 2014 09:52 pm
I have a sore throat lurgy and am feeling rubbish and sorry for myself.

Family Holiday was not very restful with someone with dementia and a coupler of toddlers but Lacock is very beautiful - it's not the easiest place to get a wheelchair around but the National Trust have tried to make at least some some of it accessible without extensively altering the historic buildings. I got to go walking with Dad and enjoyed the photography museum (and the optical toys and rope swing in the Abbey's woodland)

I came back to a letter with an appointment for an Atos assessment - it's next week and i'm dreading it. I've got in touch with the MIND advocates but i don't know if anyone from there will be able to come with me (if they can't the [livejournal.com profile] omamgel will go with me which is awesome of her)
I also got an appointment date to see Gynaecology about the probable endo - it's in the middle of November
Monday, October 20th, 2014 09:23 pm
London Fields Brewery Tap Room, London Fields, London E8

Evening all!

This week's featured article is for the London Fields Brewery Tap Room in Hackney, which serves its eponymous beers in a rather functional, stripped-back environment next to a railway arch. You can also purchase scotch eggs and brewing materials, though brewing beer out of scotch eggs doesn't sound like a particularly good idea. Making scotch eggs out of beer on the other hand...

We also have a new article for the Imperial Durbar, a cafe-bar in Tooting specialising in interesting gin and tonics - served in triple measures! This potential gin-a-geddon has got me so excited that I nearly typed 'tripe measures' in the previous sentence there. The decor is colonial-Indian-themed, while the dinner menu is provided by the Cardamom Club, a local Indian takeaway. It's not just booze and curry, mind: during the day they serve coffee, masala chai and pastries. No tripe, though.
Monday, October 20th, 2014 09:04 pm
Huge Congratulations to the Lovely [personal profile] softfruit and [livejournal.com profile] emma_b79 on their engagement
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 09:21 pm
So, apparently, the desires of my heart at the moment involve mentoring relationships or extreme competence. Or both. Right, then.

I am currently having a really hard fall. But one of the things I am thinking about a lot is how the people we learn from, learn how to do things with, change us. We hope, for the better. Sometimes that’s about formal education, but a lot of the time, it’s about something more complicated and faceted - and fascinating.

When I went through the Yuletide tag list for ‘things I want to remember are options this year’, it’s these three that jumped out at me. And one of the things that really strikes me is how they’re all about incredibly competent people sharing what they know in interesting ways. Or making choices based on what they know, are committed to, are passionate about.

So. Yeah. Basically, fic that does something with that is the thing I want. People being awesome at knowing their things, people caring about what they do, trusting other people to do it with them. That. :insert waving hands here:

You can feel free to take a look at my previous Yuletide letters and recs for things I’d like, but actually, most of the details while they still apply to me, don’t really apply to my requests this year.

If you got matched with me on any of these fandoms, I'm pretty sure that what you're inclined to write will be awesome.

But in case you’d like some more details, there's more below. Two of these three canons are quite easy to pick up quickly (one is a movie, one is a single volume book. The other one’s more complicated, alas.) I’ve included some general background for people reading because of one request who might also find the others interesting.

Read more... )
Monday, October 20th, 2014 12:14 pm
After returning from Germany reasonably early on Friday, it wasn’t too difficult to muster the energy to journey to Oxfordshire for a visit to the Ai Weiwei sculpture exhibition at (Unesco World Heritage Site) Blenheim Palace.

Blenheim isn’t a National Trust or English Heritage property, so we don’t have memberships that cover it. It’s also an eye-watering £22.50 per adult for a day admission. However, once you’ve paid it, you can convert this to an annual membership and come back any time you like for the subsequent year. Since Humuhumu had a lot of energy to run off by the time we got there (it’s over an hour’s drive from home) and we didn’t get to spend any time indoors, we’re determined to go again in a couple of weeks to at least attempt to see the sculptures that are housed inside the Palace.

It was a blowy, blustery day and Humuhumu loved dashing around the majestic grounds, helping us to hunt down the sculptures. The symmetrical shiny blue-purple stones were the hands-down favourites.


[Image of Humuhumu running through one of Ai Weiwei's sculptures at Blenheim Palace.]

More words and pictures )

Hours of fresh air and exercise tired everyone out, so I’m afraid poor Bloke had to drive home with only the dulcet tones of Radio 4 playing “Under Milk Wood” by Dylan Thomas* to drown out the snorkeling of his passengers.

* NB: I do not recommend listening to this whilst dozing unless you enjoy having very strange dreams.

The next day everyone had a lie-in, even Humuhumu, who slept until almost 8 AM. (Note to Daughter: More Sundays like this please.) Once we were up, we went to the garden centre to get wallflowers and pansies to plant in our front pots, as the geraniums were beginning to flag in the cooler weather. We are once again keeping up appearances in our village, to the relief of the neighbours, I'm sure.

In the afternoon, we headed to the Avoncroft Museum nearby for Trebuchet and Cannon Reenactment Day. We texted some other parents on the off-chance that they were at loose ends for Sunday activities, and to our immense surprise, everyone turned up. Humuhumu was delighted at the company. The four-year-old girl pretty much adopted Humuhumu, and cried when her Daddy tried to take her away before she could give her a goodbye cuddle and kiss.

The other children didn’t much care for the noisy cannon demonstrations, but Humuhumu’s response to every firing was a passionate demand for “MORE BANG!” and “Nani do it!” Oh dear.

Also filed under Oh Dear: Humuhumu has got quite a strong Brummie accent at the moment. Here is an attempt to record her pronunciation of a few words/phrases. I need to get some video of this for posterity before she loses it, which she very probably will when she’s older. She doesn’t hear any Brummie at home or from our friends and relations.

Bye Bye = “Buh Boy”
Like a diamond in the sky = “Loik a doymund in da skoy”
Bus = “Booss”
Daddy = “Dah-doy”


[Humuhumu and Dada at the trebuchet & cannon-firing display at the Avoncroft Museum. She’s in the middle of a request for “MORE BANG” here.]
Monday, October 20th, 2014 12:07 pm
Yesterday I walked into town with Nicholas to get him new shoes and do other errands.  He asked to walk when we crossed Jesus Green, and as we were making our slow erratic way across the park he gestured and asked about the people playing some kind of ball game enthusiastically to our right.  I glanced over properly (most of my focus being on him up until that point), and took in the three goals at each end, and the sticks between players' legs, and the pattern of play.

"Yes darling," I said.  "They're playing Quidditch."

I'm not sure I'm happier that there were people playing Quidditch in the park on a Sunday lunchtime, or that I could recognise it in a glance.

Nico has not been paying sufficient attention to Harry Potter to care about such things. Charles might have done, if he'd been with me.  We haven't got much further through the books because he is focused on Diary of a Wimpy Kid and its sequels.  I'd rather be reading Harry Potter but so long as there is reading at all, I am not complaining.   Too easy to kill his enthusiasm.

Sunday, October 19th, 2014 11:59 am
We have two shoe racks to give away:

They have been claimed and have left the garage!

Sunday, October 19th, 2014 11:50 am
Last weekend when I was migrainey, I spent a bit of time thinking and ordering stuff to improve our hallway and kitchen.  The stuff arrived during the week, and I spent much of yesterday sorting it out and installing it, variously assisted by children and spouse.

In probably tedious detail if you aren't me )
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 12:01 am
I've been slowly going through the Headspace meditation pack on anxiety, and one of the things it emphasizes is not trying to get rid of anxiety but trying to change one's relationship with it.

Similarly, I think I need to change my relationship with social media. And that requires me to think about what that relationship has looked like and currently looks like, and what I would want it to look like in an ideal world.

-----

Needs that social media currently meets really well:

1. Fun. I read a handful of comics through DW; I follow a number of really wonderful weird, funny, cute, and random Twitter accounts that brighten my day. Even if I stopped using social media for actual socializing, I'd still employ it as an aggregator of niftiness.

2. Chronicling my life. Most of this has been happening on Twitter of late, but I'm finding that increasingly unsatisfying, and drifting back toward more long-form (searchable, taggable) journaling. Either way, though, public online autobiographical narration works far far better for me than any private diary ever has.

Hilariously, neither of these things is actually social. One is almost pure input, and the other is almost pure output (with occasional replies/comments on both sides). But social media coincidentally does them really well!

Needs that social media meets but with some problems:

3. Keeping up with news and gossip. The news is almost always bad news, and there's a lot of it, and I'm finding bad news especially taxing right now--but I also don't want to be totally out of the loop, and if a close friend is personally having a hard time I want to know about it and be able to support them. I think I want a weekly newsletter/digest version of my social media feeds, where I can mostly not think about it and just check in occasionally to find out what's going on. Alas, no such thing exists.

Needs that social media no longer meets well:

4. Building and maintaining connections with people I know. A lot of people have abandoned LJ/DW, despite periodic attempts to revive them. Twitter's signal-to-noise ratio is increasingly poor. And I've already, with no particular agenda in mind, started finding other ways to stay in touch with people. I have biweekly Skype dates with Miriam and [livejournal.com profile] karenbynight. [livejournal.com profile] mrissa sent me a random email a few weeks ago that's turned into a lovely leisurely back-and-forth chat about whatever's on our minds. [livejournal.com profile] grahamsleight often IMs me. I hang out on IRC with J and X. Perhaps it's time to actively seek similar alternative routes of direct connection with the people I would miss most if I were to step away from social media altogether (which I don't plan to do, but it's a useful way of prioritizing).

Needs I used to meet with social media but don't currently have:

5. Getting to know people I don't already know. I have very little room in my life for new people, and I'm okay with that.

6. Social activism, i.e., advocating for change within my communities (as opposed to local/regional/national/global politics). It frankly feels too scary to be a loudmouth right now. I know that drinking from the firehose of bad news is influencing that feeling, so once I'm no longer swimming in other people's misery I might be able to regroup and figure out new ways to be an activist, but at the moment I'm not inclined to try.

-----

Looking at that list, I think the major clash is between items 3 and 4. Twitter's biggest problem by far is that news and personal chatter all happen in the same place, almost inextricably. And if I can't handle the news, I don't get the personal chatter. (LJ/DW doesn't have this problem because I don't hang out on it the way I do on Twitter. I used to, but no one updates that much anymore. Plus the balance on LJ/DW is tilted much more toward the personal than toward the news, and I find it much easier to scroll past things I don't want to read.)

Fortunately, there are some technological solutions to some of these problems. Here's my plan for getting social Twitter without newsy Twitter:

* Switching from Hootsuite to Tweetdeck so that I can mute keywords, combine columns, and mute RTs on entire columns.
* Creating a "people I read regularly" list on @rosefox. Right now I use my @rjfprivate follow list for this, but I think I want the option of expanding my reading without giving more people access to my locked account.
* Only following people who mostly tweet about their personal lives and chat with other people I follow.

I've made the switch to Tweetdeck, and turned off RTs and image previews on my @rjfprivate home feed. The rest I can do when looking at unfiltered Twitter (so as to pick out the people I want to move to the daily-read list) doesn't make my heart pound.

As for getting the news and gossip I'm now going to be missing out on... honestly, I think I'll be okay. Anything huge and can't-miss will be discussed by and among the people I follow, and I'll see it there. I have some friends who occasionally email or IM me with "Have you heard?", and I can encourage those friends to do so more often if there's something they think I'll really want to know. And otherwise I'll just be somewhat less wired in than I have been, and that's okay.

I have hit the stage of dizzy exhaustion where I have to keep telling myself that it's tiredness and anxiety, not vertigo, so I'm going to wrap this up, take taurine, and go to bed while it's still dark out for a change.
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 01:05 am
Ow ick yuck ow hot phew gah.

I'm taking the skin on my back to the GP tomorrow. Today.
Saturday, October 18th, 2014 02:42 am
In the past two weeks:

* Still working overtime. Expect that to continue for at least a couple more weeks.
* Did a big, difficult, emotionally draining freelance project. Have another one due late November.
* Am in the process of making my picks for the Best Books issue, which is always agonizing.
* [livejournal.com profile] grahamsleight visited.
* [personal profile] karnythia and P. visited.
* SFWA Mill & Swill.
* Two publisher events.
* Had a cold for about 12 hours. I think I scared it off.
* As X's ragweed allergies wind down, my leaf mold allergies wind up.
* The days are getting shorter. I'm lightboxing and going outside as much as I can but it's still tough.
* Started going to the gym three times a week, to keep building strength now that I'm done with PT.
* Still trying to keep up with Wanikani, though it's been a struggle.
* Got aggressively hooked on Spacechem and stayed up until 6:30 a.m. playing it. More than once. That shit is dangerous. I'm glad I finally beat it and got through the two full days of twitchy withdrawal.
* Never enough sleep, in general. Fridays are supposed to be freelance days but they keep turning into "catch up on sleep" days. Today I slept until nearly 2 p.m., and by the time I ate and went to the gym and came home and showered, my workday was done. That's a problem.
* Still wrangling a Readercon safety committee thing that's been in process for months.
* Massive PMS that's amplifying all my emotions.
* Had a big scary talk with J and X about a money thing (everything's fine, I just got myself worked up over it).
* And the big one: my community is eating itself in horrible ways, with a lot of people I know feeling extremely distressed. I'm personally feeling pretty anxious and frightened even though I think the risk of anything actually doing something awful to me is very low. But when three people in three days tell me they're being stalked, and doxxing and threats are everywhere, it's very hard to stop myself from constantly looking over my shoulder. Plus I know lots of women in tech and gaming and comics and right now that feels like saying "I know lots of people who live in a war zone". It's just really scary out there right now. Even on my super-filtered private Twitter feed, it's constant.

So I'm going to hide with the family for the weekend--no public Twitter, turning off RTs for a lot of people on private Twitter, no LJ/DW/blogs, no IM, no guests or socializing--and try to recuperate a bit. I keep forgetting that I'm not a journalist anymore (in the sense of being a reporter of news) and I can do that. It's okay if I miss something. I'm not on call.

(I have spent zero days, zero minutes, and zero seconds missing being a journalist. Chronicling my own life is difficult enough.)

Expect my presence here to be pretty minimal through at least the end of October while I recover from the beginning of October.

EDIT: I cried on J a bit before I went to bed--at 8:30 in the morning because I was too anxious to sleep--and said I felt like if I don't go out there and Activist It Up because I'm scared of being targeted, then I'm a coward and the terrorists have won. He said that regardless of whether it was safe to be an activist right now, I'm exhausted and burnt out and he'd be telling me to focus on self-care. With 8-a.m.-haven't-slept logic, I said, "Oh, I see. I have activist laryngitis. Until I rest up and get my voice back, I don't need to worry about what other people would want or not want me to do with that voice." So I am clinging to this order of operations: rest and recuperate first, then decide what to do once I am capable of doing anything at all.
Friday, October 17th, 2014 07:50 pm
These are with either the 3 different Cinematic filters or like from the Miscellaneous group of filters. It like covers the time we were like away on Family Holiday

1.1.0.14
Read more... )

2.10.14
Read more... )

3.10.14
Read more... )

4.10.14
Read more... )

5.10.14
Read more... )

6.10.14
Read more... )

7.10.14
Read more... )

8.10.14
Read more... )

9.10.14
Read more... )

10.10.14
Read more... )

11.10.14
Read more... )

12.10.14
Read more... )

13.10.14
Read more... )

14.1.0.14
Read more... )

15.10.14
Read more... )
Friday, October 17th, 2014 07:24 pm
(and another missed day from floomping)

16.9.14
Read more... )

17.9.14
Read more... )

18.9.14
Read more... )

20.9.14a
Read more... )

20.9.14b
Read more... )

21.9.14
Read more... )

22.9.14
Read more... )

23.9.14
Read more... )


24.9.14
this is the tile we made in our first Ceramics class
Read more... )

25.9.14
Read more... )

26.9.14
Read more... )

27.9.14
Read more... )

28.9.14
Read more... )

29.9.14
Read more... )

30.9.14
Read more... )
Friday, October 17th, 2014 07:01 pm
We've got like a bit behind posting these. They are all with the Vignette Toy Camera Filters.
There's like one missed day when i went floomp

1.9.14
Read more... )

2.9.14
Read more... )

3.9.14
Read more... )

4.9.14
Read more... )

5.9.14
Read more... )

6.9.14
Read more... )

7.9.14
Read more... )

8.9.14
Read more... )

9.9.14
Read more... )

10.9.14
Read more... )

11.9.14
Read more... )

12.9.14
Read more... )

13.9.14
Read more... )

15.9.14a
Read more... )

15.9.14b
Read more... )