Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 09:34 am
I found Bob Olsen's obituary again. (Bob was partner to my great uncle Theo for decades.)  So now I know which cemetery to go to if/when I visit Toronto again.

(dept of ridiculous advance planning: maybe for the solar eclipse in 2024)

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 11:28 pm
I've just been ill, and busy, and ill some more.  Did you know that it's entirely typical for coughs to last up to three weeks? Well now I do.

Studying is mostly progressing in bitesize chunks; I've missed a few days while ill, but also picked up once my brain came back, so that's passed the first test of "is this really sustainable?".

My colleague's funeral had a very gratifying turnout; the funeral service itself focused heavily on the afterlife I don't believe in, but I drew a lot of comfort from fellow attendees, and exchanging stories at the wake.   Her family very kindly let me pick out some of her things from the flat they were clearing out.  I focused on books on topics we had in common and came away with more than I would have expected: I was amused when one of the business texts I'd picked out was referenced in my studying a few days later.  Now I just have to find time to read it before finishing the course.

Running is on hold until I stop coughing, which cannot happen soon enough.  Also I missed the 20th anniversary alt.fan.pratchett meet / Pratchett wake, but at least Tony and Charles got to go.

Eastercon is imminent; my mother-in-law arrived tonight and Tony and I will leave the children from Friday morning to Monday evening.  I've not even been away from Nico overnight yet; I have been away from Charles a few times for the length of a conference, but Tony was with him for all of them.  I am nervous and excited and hoping it all works out well.  Mobile phones make the prospect a lot more bearable.

Monday, March 30th, 2015 08:19 pm

Two dual nationals and their Daddy. The sticker on Humuhumu's shirt is Neptune, from her Usborne "Space" sticker book. (This means that her version of the solar system as recorded in the book has only seven planets.)

+1 )

Last Friday we headed to the embassy in London to register Keiki's birth and apply for his other passport.

When we did this for Humuhumu, the bloke's trousers split as we were navigating the packed morning Tube. He got to swear his oath of truthfulness before the consular officer with his jumper artfully tied about his waist to keep his pants from peeping out playfully from beneath his trousers. We were therefore anticipating some manner of sartorial disaster to befall one of us during the adventure.

It didn't happen during the commute, which was unnecessarily exciting due to the cancellation of our first train. We hustled to get on a train going in the opposite direction so that we could travel instead via fast train. The fast train, by virtue of being fast, was also rammed, so we ended up getting on the next slow train, which stopped at the station we started in, only 15 minutes later. Humuhumu, who loves public transport, entertained morning commuters on the busy platform by gleefully greeting the arrival of every train with, "OH, TRAIIIN!", whilst her parents attempted to disappear into their hats.

Despite the delay we still arrived a comfortable margin before our appointment to go through the security checks and unintentionally play "spot the celebrity". (Last time it was Jay Rayner. This time it was Rita Ora. Her assistant interrupted our initial check-in to determine where to go for a VIP appointment.)

Once we were through into the citizen-only waiting room, Humuhumu gravitated towards the soft play area and promptly befriended a small boy. Or rather, attracted a small boy follower whom she scarcely noticed. (This is a theme at her nursery as well. She has a staunch attendant there who always fetches her coat and bag when we come to pick her up.) He toddled loyally after her, presenting her with blocks that she could integrate into her sculptures, which she then kicked over gleefully.

After paying the fees for the registration and passport, we settled down to wait until we were called before a consular officer. Keiki woke, realised he hadn't been fed for a while, and squawked. I arranged my cover and sat down to feed him. When he was finished, I removed the cover to find that the sartorial disaster had struck. These days I find I don't have much leakage from the opposite breast whilst feeding, and when I do, a breast pad is more than sufficient to soak it up and protect my clothing. But of course, not this time. My entire right side was soaked. There was no way to conceal it without putting my wool coat back on, which I did, even though it was tropical in the waiting room.

In the end, I swore my oath of truthfulness to the consular officer whilst sweating profusely and smelling faintly of stale milk. Classy.
Monday, March 30th, 2015 03:32 pm
Welcome back after a wee break. The next update will be after Easter, so in a couple of weeks.

Les Delices de Tresor, New Cross, London SE14

This week's featured article is Les Delices de Tresor, SE14 6TJ. I know what you're thinking from the photo, you're thinking that's a pub! Well, it is a pub still, down the back, but this front bar is now given over to an Ivorian restaurant. It's a one person operation, so expect some flexibility in the opening hours, but it will serve some if not all of your fufu and stew needs.

New entries for Singer Tavern, a Barworks pub at the bottom of City Road, where it meets Finsbury Square: a big spacious place but with a good drinks range. Plus there's On the Hoof Bistro in sunny Sydenham, a friendly little cafe near the station which does excellent Sunday roasts. Finally, Orchard, a veggie cafe on Sicilian Avenue by Holborn, rocking the 70s wholefoods vibe.

There's an update to the Bloomsbury (or Bloomsbury Tavern, if you will), a Shepherd Neame pub which is located in... well, I'd call it St Giles or Holborn, but knock yourself out.

Finally, we regret to report the impending closure in June of Food for Thought, a classic veggie cafe in Covent Garden, basically the origin of that very 70s wholefoods vibe we detected at Orchard (although they do it much better at FfT), and a proper old timer on the scene.
Monday, March 30th, 2015 11:01 am
I shall be in Cambridge from Maundy Thursday until Easter Monday, and in the Hopbine from around 15.00 this Saturday if anyone would like to join me there and catch up. The rest of the weekend is fairly full with church stuff and Easter Feasting, but I still have a few spare moments here and there if anyone wants to catch up one-on-one.
Sunday, March 29th, 2015 08:22 pm
In the past, some of you have helped me subsidize my good friend [livejournal.com profile] glitterophelia's electric bill, and I thank you. Now, her family's home has been sold, and she's been given 18 days to move out. If you can help in any way, please do. Because I just moved myself, and was out of work for four months, my own ability to help this time is very limited. http://www.gofundme.com/qabgbbc
Saturday, March 28th, 2015 02:40 am
Happy 14th anniversary to this journal (a day late, almost to the minute if one goes by the timestamp on my first entry). That's the longest I've consistently kept up with anything other than, like, breathing.

My first day on LJ, I made five posts: one meta plus daily diary, one about staying up until 4:30 making art, one with a to-do list, one about interpersonal difficulties and trying to understand myself better, and one about body shape and weight and physical self-image. That's pretty much what I've used it for ever since. I've changed a great deal over the past 14 years, but I still feel strongly drawn to examine and muse about my inner and outer selves, my inner and outer lives, and this is still the best medium I've ever found for it.

LJ/DW aren't as conversational and social as they were, but I have Twitter for that now (as I had IRC and Usenet then), and I think I also need the commentary and discussion less than I did. How funny that I started out keeping this journal as a way of interacting with other people, and along the way it also taught me how to do the thing most journals are for: write for myself. I certainly don't mind if someone reads it, but I also don't mind if no one does. I think I'd still find it extremely hard to keep a purely reflective journal in a paper book or a file on my personal computer--there's something important about doing this as a public exercise, and about being part of our increasingly tangled digital web--but I'm no longer constantly refreshing my inbox waiting for the next comment email to land. In fact, I'm always vaguely surprised when someone does comment. :)

I keep fumbling around theatrical metaphors, but "performance" implies a degree of artifice that I've always tried to avoid in this space (and, over time, in all spaces). I'm not onstage, you're not the audience, and there's no row of footlights between us. I'm not even sure why I'm looking at metaphors when it's so easy to state it plainly:

This is where I talk about myself and my life. Sometimes other people come by and we talk together. Sometimes I talk to myself. That's what the space is designed for, and it works very well. It's comfortable. I like it. I think I'll stay around a while longer.
Friday, March 27th, 2015 09:00 am
Thursday, March 26th, 2015 02:34 pm
Mia has made one of her recent pieces available on Redbubble to purchase on a number of items. “Aswang, at Night” is an incredibly powerful image wrought from many hours of work with ink and watercolour.



I've ordered a set of 16 postcards. If you would like me to send one to you, please provide an address that will reach you, either by leaving it in the poll below or in a DM. Please note the following. First, I’m happy to send outside the UK as I have a stockpile of international postage. Second, if you provided your address in one of the previous postcard polls, you don’t need to leave it again. Just say, “Yes, please” or equivalent. If you need to check whether or not you've left me your address before, links to my previous postcard posts for "When Dragons Speak" and "Princesa" can be found by looking at the free stuff tag: DW and LJ.

It usually takes several days for a Redbubble order to reach me, so these will be going out over the next two to three weeks.

Poll #16560 Aswang, at Night
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 4

I would like an aswang postcard by Likhain. Please send it to this address:

Thursday, March 26th, 2015 07:32 am
http://poorlydrawnlines.com/comic/friend-request/

I have such massive amounts of anxiety around individual people. I can tweet to folk, and I can comment with folk on other blogs, but responding to comments? Replying to email? Being on chat? Fuck, may as well get me to do public speaking.

This makes it so I don't really interact with people much outside of work. (And the cyborg collective at home, of course.) I possibly could be closer with people at work, except anxiety. I possibly could reconnect with folk in Boston, in Portland, in wherever the hell I've lived, except anxiety. What if I'm too intense? Or too standoffish? Or I'm boring and no one will tell me? Or I miss social cues and then I'm weird in that avoiding kind of way? Or I am actively on fire and setting fire to their furniture and they're too polite to tell me? Or I can't escape?

I had two friends reach out to me at the beginning of this year, and it was lovely chatting with them, and now it's my turn to initiate contact with them to show that I care, and... I do, I really do, I just don't know what the hell I'm doing. And what if my clumsiness ruins everything. I would apparently rather hide in a hole than keep up with people I care about because what if I hurt them by me being me?

(Shit, I can't even respond to direct requests for information from random people on Wikia. I do not exaggerate.)

So instead, I sit at home with a full inbox and not-replied-to comments, and I work, and I plan for future!Kid, and I do what I do. Maybe later I'll try that whole Being Brave thing and try reaching out.