lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
Anyone successfully record Jen's talk or know if they're publishing it as a non-live stream?
m_elle: (Default)
[personal profile] m_elle
Папа Римский пригласил Трампа к себе на яхту, вышли в море, ветром у Папы сдувает шляпу, на глазах изумлённой публики и прессы Трамп идёт по воде как по суше, возвращается на яхту, отдаёт Папе шляпу.

На следующий день вся пресса выходит с заголовками "Trump can't swim!"

(первый был еще до инагурации - приезжает Трамп с сыном осматривать Белый Дом, куда, значит, придется переезжать через пару недель, и ребенок спрашивает - "папа, мы что, обанкротились?")

of space and song

Feb. 24th, 2017 03:52 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
[personal profile] jazzfish
On Wednesday I finally got the home office area set up. Now I can work from home with an actual monitor and keyboard and trackball and standing-desk, rather than laptop on couch/bed.

It's all in acceptable shape, but only just. I'll need to drag in another mat or two to stand on, to get the desk to the right height. My Mac keyboard has lost the use of the S key and spacebar, but I've got a Windows keyboard which works well enough for now. The real problem is that Microsoft hasn't updated the Mac software for my trackball in several years, and it won't talk to the latest version of macOS. So the trackball works, but the buttons are ALL WRONG. I've found a couple of potential workarounds but they looked more involved than I wanted to get on Wednesday afternoon. Sometime next week, I expect.

The office is actually the back of the second bedroom. It's got yellow walls that desperately need some art hung, the (two? three?) TUCKER'S OFFICE boxen need to be unpacked onto desk / bookcase, and there's some other miscellaneous /stuff/ that needs sorted or scooted or something. But the window's nice (though glare is problematic in the afternoon) and it's good to start to feel like there's a space that's mine again. The 'office' in the New West place was that, more or less, but it was dim and stuffy and caught a lot of dust from the dryer vent. This room is substantially nicer, if more cramped.

There are things about this apartment that frustrate and irritate me: the laundromat-style laundry, the dining room being a little narrower than we'd thought, the kitchen in general. Overall, though, it's not so bad. It'll do for now.



I am also now the proud owner of a bass guitar (Freeway 4) and an amp. My friend Chani's partner had been talking about selling his bass and amp for, o, months now, and it's sort of been at the back of my mind since then.

I think I have this idea that it'll be faster to pick up bass than it has been for viola, or that I'll be more readily able to find places/people to play bass with than viola, or something. This of course all depends on me finding my way to the alternate universe where I have enough time to learn not one but two instruments.

I'm also looking into an ear-training app for the phone, for commutes and such. And perhaps some actual formalised music theory learning, instead of the ad-hoc bits Tegen's been teaching me.

I'm not sure why music's becoming more of a focus than fiction-writing. Maybe it's that I understand how to get better at music, or that I'm more comfortable with not being very good. There's something in there about smashing awful pots, too. With music I'm learning a skill; writing feels more like creating a work. And yes, I do know that there's a hell of a lot of skill inherent in writing, skill that improves with practice, but I've not figured out how to feel comfortable practicing my skills in fiction.

Or maybe it's as simple as music being what's pulling me right now. Being more interested in accessing a space without words.

It's not like I can make rent (well, "mortgage payment," which sounds even worse despite being a smaller number) on either of those activities in any case. So in that sense it doesn't really matter which it is, as long as I'm having fun with it.

As always, we shall see.
bjornwilde: (Default)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
A quick tutorial on a method I came across for how to make clear icons from muddy or dark screenshots and images. Enter at your own risk, thar be medium sized images behind the cut...

Read more... )

In the interests of full disclosure, I did learn this technique from someone who made icons but I can't remember where I saw it, Tumblr maybe?

Together. As we do with all things.

Feb. 24th, 2017 06:05 am
azurelunatic: AO3 rating glyph: Explicit, Multi-relationships, choose not to warn, unfinished.  (how is this my life)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
There are a few resonant phrases in this relationship. Some are endearments and other such private things.

There are two that occupy adjacent spaces.

"As long as we both want it."
That's our time commitment. If both of us no longer want the relationship, it's time to work on dismantling it with the same consideration and love we put into constructing it. If so many as one of us no longer wants it, it's time to end it.

And as long as we both do want it, that means putting in the work. Being present. Taking care. Tackling the problems that pop up.

And there will be problems. But we don't have to face them alone anymore.

"Together. As we do with all things."

Even when we still have to do a specific part alone, the principle stays with us. The hard things are a little less hard with someone holding your hand.

(no subject)

Feb. 22nd, 2017 08:03 am
bjornwilde: (I hate you fleshy one)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
Today's minor irritation: People who fan cast and ignore the ethnic identities/coding of the character, i.e. white washing, etc. Sabine Wren is East/Southeast Asian and casting someone whose father is Indian does not respect this.

Also, ignoring obvious Romani coding in a fictional character is also bad form.

OK, back to work so I can play later.

(no subject)

Feb. 21st, 2017 08:53 am
bjornwilde: (01: Sabine-n-Selina)
[personal profile] bjornwilde
Sabine thought behind cut. (spoilers from last episode)

Read more... )

(no subject)

Feb. 21st, 2017 08:18 am
jazzfish: a whole bunch of the aliens from Toy Story (Aliens)
[personal profile] jazzfish
Cripes, how has it been nearly twenty years since Clinton Calls For National Week Off To Get National Shit Together: "'I am certain,' Clinton told the American people during the radio address, 'that you, too, have a great deal of shit piling up. Now more than ever, we, as a nation and a people, need this time off to finally deal with all the shit we've let slide.'"

Because we could use one of those right now, i tel yu whut.

conscious of stream

Feb. 20th, 2017 05:21 pm
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
[personal profile] jazzfish
Sitting in a cafeteria outside Granville Station, watching people walk by, reading. Or too tired to read. How does that even happen? I know how it happens when it's past bedtime, but at five in the evening?

Watching people. Today I have: gotten a music stand and mute so I'll feel less awkward practicing the viola; done some repetitive work correcting a thing I did a month or two ago that I thought would be useful, and was but had unexpected side effects (unrelatedly, work does not appear to be doing the stupid thing from last week, so yay); written to my parents again and perhaps it will get through this time; taken a profile-silhouette photo of myself a la Hitchcock; listened to David Francey's "Nobody Lives Here No More" "Torn Screen Door" a dozen or so times; gone running. I think that's it for useful.

They worked their fingers to the bone / Nothing left they can call their own / Packed it in under leaden skies / Just the wheat waving them goodbye

And tonight I'll write with Steph and Kat and Theresa, at least in theory, and then I'll go home and intend to practice and we'll see how far intention gets me.

I am tired, wrung out, stretched thin. I don't know that this is actually the case in any larger sense but that's what it feels like. Possibly too many people at housewarming yesterday? Possibly too little actual downtime? Possibly too much rattling around in my brain to settle down?

Had a life that they tried to save / But the banks took it all away / Hung a sign on a torn screen door / 'Nobody lives here no more'

I should enjoy the people-watching from here, I think, if I didn't have someplace to be. Coming up from and going into the Granville skytrain at rush hour, all manner of interesting and no sense that I have to be a part of it.

Onward.

Perfumes

Feb. 18th, 2017 04:36 pm
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
Thanks to everyone who discussed on my last post about perfumes. Today I went to Les Senteurs and tried lots of things, and came away with a bottle of Amyris and a couple of other samples. I may need to try out Bloom and get more samples of other things to try. But I really like this one.

The lady I met was younger than me, really friendly, happy to geek out about the smells and teach me stuff, and is the grand-daughter of the founder and is a singer who's doing this to fund that, which is pretty cool.
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
On the way to IKEA on Tuesday, JA and I went through Hucknall, where there was this (click on it to get a bigger version):



That's a bucket of water, isn't it?

OBJECTS and PAPERS

Feb. 16th, 2017 03:16 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
[personal profile] jazzfish
It's a bits-and-bobs kind of week.

Spent the last weekend sick with some sort of short-term head cold. This is perhaps the least offensive illness I've ever had: my throat and lymph nodes ached and my head felt vaguely muzzy for a couple of days, but I remained more or less entirely functional. Which is nice. Maybe my immune system's coming back up to snuff.

On Sunday [personal profile] uilos and I had a slowish morning, which was nice. Afterwards we went out for a somewhat errand-y afternoon, full of shipping packages and attempting to sell books and just generally wandering around town a bit on a gorgeous day.

Then come Monday (a BC holiday) Erin took me out for a wander through the Strathcona community garden ("someone put in a garden plot with a sign that had a permit number listed on it, and then more plots appeared, and eventually the city showed up and said 'uh this permit isn't valid,' and then after some discussion they said 'whatever, y'all keep on keeping on'"), which is a pretty great space even in the grip of winter. It's partly hidden by blackberry brambles (used to be much more so, I gather), and has an eclectic mix of herb gardens, garden gardens, orchards, a small lake with water-plants on the edges... Would ramble again.

She also took me to an ice cream place with 238 flavours, which is exactly as overwhelming as you think it is. Chestnut and apple-wasabi and fruits I'd never heard of, chocolate sorbetto and mint cookie dough and a decent cinnamon. And just under a mile from the apartment, which seems potentially dangerous. (I still think of the apartment as "the new place." I suppose that'll change eventually.)

The apartment is slowly starting to look inhabited. Art's going up, the bed in the second bedroom is together, we're down to a very few boxen. We're having folks over this coming Sunday so that's a deadline of sorts for figuring out large-art, I guess.

Work is threatening to be intensely stupid in the near-term, but so far it's only threatening. A terrible customer keeps requesting detailed documentation of a kind that we don't provide, for free. Last month someone finally said "okay, we're gonna write up how much work that will take and how much it'll cost them, and they can either pay up or shut up." We put that together (verdict: roughly nine person-months) and handed it to the appropriate people. Today we've been asked to revisit this estimate, and provide how long it'll take if we all pitch in rather than having just one person. This ... seems ominous. Big customer meeting tomorrow, after which I guess we'll hear whether they pay up or shut up. Hoping desperately for the latter. Harbouring secret thoughts of a career shift, though god only knows to what.

Viola continues. I'm beginning to learn how to shift, which means revisiting how I hold my left hand, which has me feeling again like I have little idea what I'm doing. I am also beginning to develop, mm, not just a sense of musicality (though that too) but the ability to translate that into the sound of the piece I'm playing. I suspect that given time I might actually get to a point where I'm happy with how I sound. Though not for a good long while at this rate... Next October makes three years; I'll re-evaluate then.

Sleep class!

Feb. 14th, 2017 12:45 am
azurelunatic: A pajama-clad small child uses a rainbow-striped cruciform parachute. From illustration of "Go the Fuck to Sleep". (insomnia)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
So because not only do I have insomnia, I also suffer from it, the most-recent in the chain of moderately alarmed sleep-adjacent professionals (the neurologist at Deer Creek) referred me to the Improve Your Sleep! class, which has been eating my Monday evenings over the last month.

The main feature of this class, in the eyes of the neurologist and my counselor, has been the CBT aspect of it. Apparently the number one thing that cures insomnia is CBT. So everyone was hopeful. (I had specified to the neurologist that I would in fact be running anything suggested in the CBT past my Supervisor and my therapist. Which was a good call to have made.)

It turns out that when Guide Dog Aunt loaned me a book on sleep a few years ago, the one that pointed out that there was not in fact any moral value to any specific sleep schedule, and that instead of saying stuff like "I'm lazy because I sleep until noon", one should look at it in terms of "My most productive hours are in the evening, and I schedule my life in a way that suits my sleep schedule" -- that general tool of re-framing the guilt and fear around sleep is in fact the very CBT that this class relies on. So, unfortunately, the CBT that I had hoped would be new information was not, in fact, new information at all. The book specifically addressed Negative Sleep Thoughts. The class then expanded the concepts of re-framing runaway negative thought chains in a better light, which is also a Fishmum trick that I've been teaching my little fishies and my partner...

The other main leg of this class is meditation and the relaxation response. I believe that I can trace my habit of meditative breathing in particular to the summer when I read ... some Heinlein book or other ... and thought that taking up meditation would be a grand idea. The latest that could have been was 1996. Then I formally took up meditation (and learned all of the techniques discussed in the meditation unit of this class) in 2001-ish, when I went to DeVry to get a degree in Holistic Massage join a coven. So depending how you slice it, I've been familiar with, and practicing, meditation for anywhere from fifteen to twenty years.

The main new information I got out of the class, in fact, was that sleep-maintenance insomnia was recently discovered to be associated with a sleep-time body temperature that has not dropped as it ought to for that part of the night. And I do, in fact, routinely overheat while attempting to sleep. Which means that if I'm in bed and even slightly think that I might not get to sleep soonish, I should immediately go and get the ice pack, and not try to be a hero.

Also, low doses of sedating antidepressants are also used as sleep medications. The instructor was down on this practice, because antidepressants are only good for people with depression. FUNNY THING, THAT.

Pretty much all the rest of the class was review, and (due to my internets research) I was often in possession of more detailed information than the instructor. I came to feel that I could probably have taught the class myself, given the curriculum.

The first class was pleasant enough. I think there were about ten of us. One woman came in late, and borrowed a pen from me. We had a pleasant chat while she was waiting for her husband to pick her up. She's sleep-deprived to the point that she can't safely drive, and caretaking for her autistic son has done a number on her sleep schedule and ability to stay asleep.

I reviewed the materials in the packets for the four weeks. The second week, the cognitive re-framing, was going to be hard, since the materials blithely suggested that "most people" could get away with abbreviated amounts of sleep with nothing more terrible than a loss of creativity and a bad mood. Pro tip: when your patient reports very bad effects ) tied to as little as one night of abbreviated sleep while under stressful circumstances (and the current Republican administration is nothing if not stressful circumstances) telling the patient that everything is probably going to be okay if they blow sunshine up their own ass is life-threateningly bad advice. So I realized that I had better sit next to the door in case I had to step out of the room.

During the second class, the instructor was trying to impress upon us the way that a poorly timed nap can fuck up your sleep schedule pretty badly. My friend said that this was going to be a problem for her: you put her in the car (as a passenger) and she passes out pretty much instantly.

"It should be easy to stay awake in the car!" said the instructor.

"It's hard."

"Well, life is hard."

At this juncture, I decided that the most constructive action I could take was going to be going and sitting in the hall for a bit (and angrily texting my partner). I came back in after about five minutes.

Later in the evening, the instructor planned to lead us through more meditation/relaxation, to include the rest of the class period. I abruptly realized that I did not actually feel that making myself vulnerable to and in front of this instructor was a good idea, and grabbed my stuff and left the building.

In the third class, I sat by the door. (My friend did not show up for this class, or the following week.) When the meditation/relaxation section arrived, I popped both headphones in and proceeded to listen to podcasts, and only emerged when that bit was done. At the end of class, I asked the instructor about the bits in the next one, saying without explanation that I would not be taking part in the relaxation exercise, and would likely leave the room. He said when the long one would be, and there would be another short one later.

In the fourth class (tonight), I sat by the door, and took a chair with me when I popped out for the duration of the exercise. The instructor came and fetched me when it was done. And I did other things for the short one.

I did ask, this time, what he recommended to keep you awake when the sleep pressure is high but it's a bad time for a nap. And if there were resources on being a millennial and not having a whole house to work with in terms of keeping stress out of your bedroom. (Do something loud. And, probably, somewhere.) I asked about next steps. He recommended the meditation class, or the anxiety class. "That really doesn't seem to be a recommendation geared for someone who has been practicing meditation for fifteen years," I said, smiling aggressively.

He recommended tai chi.

"That's really rather along the same lines," I said, still smiling.

There was a class evaluation form, which asked about how much we learned from the class, and how helpful it was. It was ... not.

So I'll be asking my GP, my counselor, and my psychiatrist about next steps, then. Now that I've taken this miserable class so they'll take me seriously.