15/365

Thursday, July 20th, 2017 19:14[personal profile] catness
catness: (lazy)
#15. If not now, then when?

It depends. There are 2 different ways to approach something you want to happen. One, when it requires specific prerequisites, but they're all steps of an actionable plan. As long as you're working on the plan *now*, even if the start and the end of the chain seem to be worlds apart, you should be able to get from here to there, even though the precise definition of "when" is outside your control.

The second way, the easiest and hence my favourite, is to wait for "better times". It's comforting to answer "someday" to all such questions, but who am I kidding - in 99% of cases, these better times never come.

It's funny, though, how easy everything looks on the journal page. Pick your goals, write a plan, stick to it. Profit! I wonder why all perfectly good plans dissolve in mental fog and despair faster than you can summon a protective casing. How to work with such volatile material?

Interview

Thursday, July 20th, 2017 15:36[personal profile] hollymath
hollymath: (Default)
I told people I didn't have my heart set on the job I interviewed for today, but they ended up running a half hour late by the time I got asked on, and I spent that half hour in the café talking to the finance/admin person, who was basically there to open the door before the café opened and chat to people. We talked about our dogs (she has lurchers!) and bringing family over to visit (she's Dutch) and what this place is like to work for (friendly and relaxed, and it seemed lovely when I saw her interacting with co-workers). I saw the person I vaguely know which is how I found out about this job, and she chatted with me about the local Pride planning since that's how I know her, and she complimented the brooches on my waistcoat (well, neither brooches nor waistcoat are mine, [personal profile] mother_bones loaned it to me so I didn't have to wear a suit jacket in heat or humidity) and...

In one way it was really nice not to have to just sit and wind myself up while I waited. The bus timetable meant I got there about fifteen minutes early, too, because it was either that or be late, so I'd actually been sitting quite a while and it didn't seem like it at all with someone nice to talk to.

But it did mean I ended up really really hoping I get this. Which is really really inconvenient.

I had vague answers at some points where I think specific ones would be better. But the interviewers seemed more impressed with me than I would've been if I were them, so I dunno if I'm being too hard on myself or they're just really nice. Well, they are really nice, but I don't know how much that was masking their thoughts!

They said they hope to have an answer for us by the end of today or else tomorrow. So at least I don't have long to wait.

I woke up long enough before my alarm this morning thst I was both extra-bothered by needing a haircut and actually had time to do it. So I did, and I took picture after I got dressed (in my fancy clothes, not the grubby ones I walked the dog and went to the post office on first) and put it online and have had a lot of nice and supportive comments. I know selfies can boost self-esteem but I don't think I'd ever actually had it happen to me before! So that was fun.

(no subject)

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 20:14[personal profile] yuuago
yuuago: (Frozen - Reindeers are better)
Well, I've set aside my time off to go to Victoria in September. That'll be nice. It'll be great to just be somewhere else for a while. I'm looking forward to doing absolutely nothing. Relatives keep pressuring me to go somewhere that I haven't been before instead, but... honestly, I can't think of anything that would be more stressful right now than to go somewhere new.

I have Friday off, and I'm really looking forward to getting my Rare Slash exchange fic finished. Man, exchanges are fun, but I'm feeling a little bit burnt out. So, I'll just noodle around with my own stuff for a while after this.

Though, now that I think of it, it might be nice to do a fic trade or two. (Or trade fic for art, perhaps.) I like the way me 'n Grey did it once or twice - decide on a fandom + pairing, and then throw each other three short prompts or so, and pick one. Can't remember what our minimums were - 500 words + 2 weeks to write? Not sure. Anyway, it was fun and stress-free, though I wouldn't want to do it very often.

Lately, I've been listening to an audiobook of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince... This is one of those HP novels that I read only once (unlike the first three), so I'd entirely forgotten the plot. It's kind of fun to experience it for almost-the-first-time. From what little bit I do remember, I recall finding the interaction between Harry and Dumbledore kind of dull, but this time around I'm really appreciating the scenes they have together, sifting through old memories in the pensive. There's just something about those bits, hard to put my finger on precisely what I like about them... It might be, I think, that they both obviously need something from each other, and it's nice to see them actively working together on something.

Czech phone call

Thursday, July 20th, 2017 02:39[personal profile] zimena
zimena: (Misc - Doll-like woman)
Today I had to make a phone call in Czech. Not an easy thing to do, as my Czech is nowhere near as good as I wish it were. I Believe me, I tried to speak English first, then German. None of that worked very well, so I had to try in Czech.

And... it worked. At least in the sense that communication worked. I understood nearly everything, and the lady at the other end was super-pleased and helpful and wonderful.

Okay, I know I made some grammatical blunders that I'm aware of by now, and probably others that I just didn't notice. But the point is that this kind of worked, even on the phone. HAH!

In retrospect, it was fun, too. I need to work on this language more seriously, though. I haven't been doing that for years, sadly.

Tomorrow morning...

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 18:01[personal profile] hollymath
hollymath: (Default)
...I will go to another job interview and pretend I am not the kind of person who starts their interview prep the night before.

Ugh. I have to do a presentation and I hate presentations. At least it doesn't have to be powerpoint.

on potions

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 12:15[personal profile] catness
catness: (catblueeyes)
I've repeatedly observed that a reasonable quantity of alcohol ("reasonable" being the key) has a hugely beneficial effect on my character and behavior. It lowers inhibitions, self-doubts and risk aversion, and increases self-confidence, energy and optimism. (I'm not sure if the increase of energy is real or perceived. After all, isn't alcohol an opposite of caffeine?)

Case in question: yesterday about 23:30 I went to put my Pokémon into a gym located a couple of mins away from my home. (Just as planned, except that I meant to do it after 00:00, to let my enemies friends earn coins, but someone else took the gym before me.) Ended up doing a big round, covering 5 more gyms in the neighbourhood, walking for ~1 hour overall, without water, and dressed in a shabby T-shirt I never wear outside. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. Did it still seem like a good idea in the morning? Absolutely (except for water, I should make a point of never going out without it in this weather). Would I do it sober? Only if previously planned (that's what I used to do before the gym overhaul), but not on the spur of the moment. Probably would've convinced myself that it doesn't make sense, and I have better things to do at home at this hour. (Sure, mashing buttons in the browser.)

In contrast, earlier that day I had declined a Tyranitar raid for perfectly rational reasons, fearing too much physical exertion with the risk of not making it there in time. I regret it ever since. Alcohol could've pushed me towards the right choice.

Of course, alcohol is infeasible as a continuous treatment, due to its multiple undesired side effects and overall unpredictability. Which poses a question: is it possible to emulate its positive effects without the usage of any potentially dangerous chemical substances, by the sheer effort of will? Could I ask myself the question "what would the drunk cat do?" and play along, even when it goes against all my instincts?

Bleh

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 23:48[personal profile] hollymath
hollymath: (Default)
It would be nice to have one goddam day with no nap needed in the evening, no anxiety attack in the wee hours, no debilitating headache...

Yesterday was anxiety attack in the middle of the night again. Today was blinding headache so I was in bed by eight o'clock (I'm awake again now to tell you this because somebody thought 11:30 on a Tuesday night was a good time to set off fireworks that sounded like they were right outside my bedroom window).

Something every day. Seems kind of crazy I'm trying to find work again, when these symptoms are worse than they've been in years.

all the wrong choices

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 12:46[personal profile] catness
catness: (puzzle)
The Stanley Parable by Davey Wreden is a 3D 1st-person adventure game. Stanley is an office drone, happy with his mindless button-pushing job and with following the orders. But one day he finds himself alone - all his coworkers mysteriously disappeared, and he goes to investigate.

The game can be completed in a few minutes if the player, just like Stanley, follows the narrator's commands. But this is not the point of this game. You do not "play the game" but "play with the game", trying to disobey the narrator in various ways and to piss him off, which yields a lot of snarky comments and unlocks several different endings.

“The design document for [The Stanley Parable] was, ‘Mess with the player’s head in every way possible,'” says creator Davey Wreden, “throwing them off-guard, or pretending there’s an answer and then kinda whisking it away from in front of them.” [source: Wired.com]

When I had tried this game for the first time, I hated it, because I had expected a story, not a continuous argument with an annoying, condescending and easily angered guy. But now I don't take it so seriously, and it's quite amusing, hilarious at times (such as the "click on the door 5 times" achievement!) The story doesn't reach the emotional heights of The Beginner's Guide (the successor of Stanley Parable, by the same developer), but it also carries a message - the same message I keep seeing everywhere lately... about the importance of breaking away from the routine.

4/5 - an unusual "meta"-game, definitely not to everyone's liking, but worth a try.

Braindump

Monday, July 17th, 2017 20:38[personal profile] yuuago
yuuago: (A Redtail's Dream - Best friends)
I swear, you look at some photos of pysanky once, and Pinterest becomes convinced that you have some kind of egg fetish. IT'S NOT EASTER, LEAVE ME ALONE.

Finished the draft for my Rare Slash exchange fic. Now I can breathe a little, yay. Though I won't really be able to breathe until it's finished and uploaded. I think this will be the last exchange for a while - I can't think of anything that I really want to do in the near future, except for Trick or Treat, which is still a while away. There are lots of personal things that I want to work on right now (and treats for others, possibly...)

I went driving for the first time in a while - and wore my new glasses, of course. Oh man, what a difference! My prescription is very slight (can't remember what it is, but - very borderline) and if I were an experienced driver, I might not need them. But, never mind. It's such a relief to be able to see everything clearly. Hopefully I'll be a little more confident now. I still hate driving - especially pointless driving for No Reason. It makes me want to finish my library books as soon as possible, just so I'll have an excuse to drive somewhere with a purpose... xD Actually, that's not a bad idea.

Oooh also, my mate Scout did some lovely art of Marzanna for me! Voila. (Unsure if they still have slots open, but they might, worth giving a poke if curious.) ...I think that Slavic mythology stuff might become that thing that I request when I want to commission somebody but can't think of anything specific. xD It's pretty cool to see the differences in interpretations.

cat black

Monday, July 17th, 2017 19:50[personal profile] catness
catness: (cat_black)
I got a bad case of earworm. Now you can, too ;)



Ok, I hate this guy's bleating voice, and the words do not make much sense (at least in the 2nd version), but oh the music...

lyrics v1

lyrics v2
catness: (cat_black)
It's so amusing how people are madly enthusiastic about the new Doctor being female (and other people are aggravated by the same fact). It's almost like rooting for your team, where the team is defined by random circumstances of your birth. How come that your version of reproductive organs is your most important and defining feature? Why the hell should I care?

I'm curious how the new Doctor turns out, the same way I was curious about the previous new Doctors, but I refuse to see the unusual (for this role) gender as an automatic bonus (or disadvantage). Let's see her acting first. If she's even half as good as the other gender-swapped character (avoiding the spoilers just in case), and the writing is as good, it should be a success... but it remains to be seen.

I'm more concerned about the potential romance angle, as I suspect that the authors will not pass this opportunity for character development. And I hate it when an otherwise good show focuses on romance. (I dunno why? Because I can't fall in love anymore, so no one should? ;) Oh, I appreciate all violent and perverted fictional relationships, when the partners routinely try to kill each other, torture (for real, not BDSM games), Stockholm syndrome and such. (I happily ship Will/Hannibal ;) But I don't have high hopes on seeing anything that intense on Dr. Who.
yuuago: (SSSS - Signe)
So, fics for Multifandom Drabble Exchange were revealed today. I really, really enjoyed this exchange - there's just something about bite-sized fic that I find really fun.

I suggest checking out the main collection and treat collection if you haven't already. So many fandoms listed! *_* A little bit of something for everyone, I think.

I'm not finished reading everything I'm familiar with, so for now I'm only going to rec my gifts.

7 recs under the cut - SSSS & YiH )

Aaand anyway, here's the 5 fics I wrote, for completeness's sake. (All crossposted to [personal profile] roesslyng, of course.)
aRTD + YiH )
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.)

(no subject)

Sunday, July 16th, 2017 18:22[personal profile] jekesta
jekesta: Cody and a baby . . . "and then my womb exploded" (womb)
Here is my holiday with all the emotional and digestive incompetence edited out:

I really love my nieces, and it was good to spend a whole week with them. We built a lot of sandcastles and met a lot of donkeys.

I have 'do you want to build a snowman sandcastle' stuck in my head. I know two lines. I am dying.

(I watched Frozen. I physically cannot believe the sexy dress transformation that is supposedly Elsa's empowering moment of not caring what other people think. Disney can go fuck itself.)

I have a couple of days off work and a to do list of a million things. All I am actually going to do is read my book. I didn't take it on holiday because I knew I wouldn't be allowed to properly enjoy it. But now I'm home and I've missed it, and it's just so good, it's so much better than other books, I love it so much. Fitz is currently witbonding with a horse despite trying to explain that he definitely doesn't want that, and the horse is just like 'well it's no good not wanting me, we're brilliant together, I'm obviously your soulmate'. I have so many emotions. Fitz refused to let her know his name, so she's just read it from him, and is calling him Changer, which is what Nighteyes calls him, because it means Catalyst, which is what the Fool calls him, and which therefore is how he actually identifies. The Fool has bonded with a crow (<3) and keeps referring to Bee as 'our daughter' (<3333333333). Nighteyes lives in her head and calls her cub. I LOVE THEM ALL SO MUCH, they are the best fathers ever. (Or they would be, but one of them is dead, one of them is half dead, and one of them is Fitz.) The Fool asked him if Bee looked like him (the Fool) and Fitz immediately went 'no', and then started thinking about all the ways Bee looks exactly like the Fool and the Fool just laughed gently at him. I honestly don't understand the point of books that aren't sprawling fantasy novels about True Love. Fitz unravelled for a while and was just sending his emotions out to the whole castle, and now everybody has to politely pretend they don't know what a terrible mess he is. He let Kettricken feel how much Nighteyes had loved her and that was wonderful.

Day Eight: A song that makes you happy

I think my numbering has fallen awrong because I missed a question vaguely. But worse things.

All the songs I've been posting make me happy, I like songs that make me happy. I have a massive list of songs I could post for this one, but I ended up torn between Hey Baby and Hey Mickey, which are both so beautiful I could cry on them. I'm choosing Hey Baby only because I think I already covered the TRUE PURE HAPPINESS of the eighties in Green Door.



Ugh. It's such a stunning song, which is beautiful in its own right, and also beautiful in that it reminds me of patrick swayze. I know that nobody these days resists putting in the ooh, aah bits. Each to their own and all that, but it takes away everything that is full and lazy about the music, and if you prefer the other version you're basically soulless and you mean nothing to me.

We're all stories in the end

Sunday, July 16th, 2017 17:14[personal profile] hollymath
hollymath: (Default)
I had to remember to put my phone on silent before I went to church.

I don't think I've been to church since i had a phone to put on silent, except going along occasionally with my mom when I'm back visiting and I can't use my phone in Minnesota anyway.

I haven't gotten myself to church since I was, what, nineteen? Somewhere in my first or second year in college I went from the holdover of fairly evangelical Christianity I'd finished high school with to wanting to sleep in, and then working night shifts on Saturdays and somewhere amidst the practicalities my keenness drained away and my belief drained away altogether without me noticing until long after it had.

I've been to the odd wedding (including my own!) or funeral in church since, but not anything so closely resembling a normal service until today.

And today wasn't that normal; it was the baptism service for my fictive nephew, who was not christened or baptised as a baby and decided of his own volition this year that he wanted to be. He just turned eight today.

It was strangely familiar: the liturgy is more modern than I grew up with, but a lot, especially the congregation's responses, is pretty much word-for-word what I was used to, and it surprised me how much came back to my mind, just in time for me to say it. I fumbled through prayers, only remembering one line as I finished the previous one, and even remembering one of the hymns (though not from my fusty old church but from the Bible camps of my teenage years).

But it was also very different: so much more relaxed not just from the officiants at the front (both women!) but also from the congregation, who chatted incessantly beforehand, who didn't mind their kids running over to talk to their friends somewhere else, who clapped when a six-year-old read the gospel (and having a six-year-old reading the gospel at all!).

It was really special, including Jack using his dad's christening shawl in the baptism. And his Bible as, basically, a prop. "Jack's dad is giving him the Bible he had as a child," the vicar said, and the honesty of small children compelled Jack to say "but I have to give it back to him afterward," which got the biggest laugh of the event.

I'd never seen anyone baptised who wasn't a baby. Indeed my mom was fretful and slightly judgmental of family members who'd never baptised their children; baptism had an air of insurance about it, it was a layer of protection to get in place as soon as possible "just in case..."

The more evangelical Christians I fell in with as a teenager left me with the idea that baptism should be a meaningful decision made by the individual at an age where they can make it. But of course all the baptisms I saw were at my mom's Lutheran church or my dad's Catholic one, where the only way one differed from another was whether or not the baby cried when it got water on its face (and, when I was old enough to spot this, whether the family were regular churchgoers according to the grumbling judgment of my own family).

Whereas this clearly had Jack's personality stamped all over it, and I thought that was lovely. He bounded around, bounding to and from the front of the church as need be, reading out lines he'd practiced both in the baptismal service itself and as part of the communion service, disappeared to talk to a friend one time when he was about to be needed up front again, delivering that line about having to give his dad's Bible back with perfect comedic timing, and a million little things that made me feel lucky to know him well enough to recognize him here and to be a part of his special day.

At the end of the service the deacon said, "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Stopping for coffee along the way." And it just made me grin. The first part I'm so familiar with, the second wasnt even an implicit part of the doxology I grew up with; at my mom's church people lingered to chat but at ours everybody scattered as soon as we shook hands with the priest on the way out. And even my mom's was too formal to have the coffee being mentioned.

When I got home and changed, I still heard my necklace rattling around on its chain around my neck. I wear them too infrequently these days, I'd forgotten all about it. It says "We're all stories, in the end" and I wore it because I got it as a Christmas gift from Jack's mum one year.

It was fitting anyway for today, a day where near-fossilized stories about my childhood joined up to stories about the people I'm glad to have in my life now that things are mostly so very different but still can be linked back to the old ones.

Only much later did I learn my necklace was a quote from Doctor Who, since I never watched all the Tennant episodes, and that made it a nice choice for today too, when I got home just in time for the news of who the new Doctor is, and the potential for lots of new stories.

14/365

Sunday, July 16th, 2017 14:17[personal profile] catness
catness: (Default)
#14. What is the difference between living and existing?

Excitement and/or goals. Ideally one should be excited about their goals, but one without the other can be very well worth it. Either pursuing your goals with grim determination, powered by pain and bitterness (sort of like Voldemort), or jumping from one random adventure to another for the sake of excitement alone - it's all good.

I guess the difference boils down to "active vs passive"? Of course, not every body movement counts as Action. Being stuck with a boring job pressing buttons on your superior's orders is very much non-living even if it involves hard work and you perform socially useful services, create socially useful products, provide for your family etc. (I'm playing Stanley Parable right now, which abundantly illustrates this idea ;) Clicking buttons in online games played out of habit and boredom - same thing, even though it looks like a fun activity at the first glance.

Yup, being mostly a zombie these days.

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