I've redone all the images from Flickr instead of Google photos. I'd forgotten that you can't even cut and past images from Google photos, let along link to them. (They look fine when I'm putting the entry together, but I don't think anyone else can see them)
I've redone all the images from Flickr instead of Google photos. I'd forgotten that you can't even cut and past images from Google photos, let along link to them. (They look fine when I'm putting the entry together, but I don't think anyone else can see them)
"Events are discrete in nature. Either I go on holiday to Peru or I don't."
Carter's voice was kinda soothing when she was in monologue mode.
"Fascinating mummies in Peru," Daniel chipped in.
"If you're into dead children," Jack said, leaning back in his chair.
Daniel stared at him with amazement. "You read my paper!"
Jack blinked rapidly. "Saw it on the Discovery channel."
"If I go to Peru," Carter continued firmly, "then that is a discrete event."
"What necessity makes you require secrecy?"
"Why do you need to be discreet?"
"Discrete, Teal'c." Jack drawled. "Means 'separate'. Carter's saying that something like a photon either is or isn't. You can't have half a photon. Quantum theory really pisses off people who think in terms of light waves."
"You read my article?"
"It's amazing what you can learn from the back of cereal packets."
And Carter was off again, explaing how the Quantum Mirror could only show an Aleph-naught number of infinite universes, because each universe was created by a decision made by an individual and the number of decisions was an integer not a real number.
Maybe, somewhere, there was an alternate universe where Jack O'Neill didn't find this stuff fascinating.
He yawned. "Time to call it a night, kids. Think I might do a little star-gazing before I go to bed." Half an hour's observation, then he might complete that article for 'Astronomy Monthy.' Under a pseudonym, of course.
Just look at the precision of the teamwork and the leaps and the crisp hanky work.
Poor hanky work can look terrible, which is why Border morris sides shy away from hanky dances, but when they're done to this standard, they can look fantastic.
I'm just about to email them and ask if they'd like to come to Wimborne Minster Folk Festival next year. I'm dance director of the festival and I'd love it if they could come.
One of the reasons I'm posting so little here is that festival work is taking up a lot of my time at the moment. The festival isn't until next June, but this is the time when lot of dance teams make their decisions about where they are performing next summer. Thus, a heavy correspondence load.
This is the Mohr lock - I learnt it from an American Rapper dancer
Black Joker lock (or you can call it a farm gate if you prefer.) This is a more rigid version of a known lock.
I found a good way of making it quickly, too.
Lindsey's lock. She found this one that I hadn't seen before.
Richard's Yacht lock. This may actually be one that nobody else had before.
If you want to play yourselves, just cut out some strips of cardboard from a cereal packet or similar, and interweave them.
You'll probably manage to fins the six pointed start before long, but there are others, as well, that I've not shown here...
I've interacted, briefly, with an awful lot of people over the last decade-and-a-bit. Most have stopped posting and many have deleted their old LJs; a few are now active on Dreamwidth and if I've recently granted you access, it's a throwback to some long-forgotten comment or a longer conversation that we never got around to restarting.
It's interesting reading my older posts: some of them are "Wow! Was I ever that good as a writer?"; most are dull, and many of them are toe-curlingly self-centred and best left unread. But I wrote them and hit 'Post' and they can stay there: Facebook's the place for the polished and redacted picture; here is where you get the warts and all.
Interesting, too, that my best writing and the most interesting things that I've found to say are in the comments I have posted on your journals: I might sometimes be a passably skilful writer (or an appalling Limericist) but I am not a particularly original one and I am at my best with ideas and the inspiration other people offer me.
And that is all ephemeral, for comments elsewhere do not get imported by the Dreamwidth import engine: and they were never mine to 'own' for they are in other peoples' spaces, and insired by their ideas.
So: Hi. Remember me? I'm posting a bit more, and trying to keep up with the reading list. And that, alas, has become much easier to do, even if I only catch up at weekends.
If there's a comment of mine that you actually remember, post a link to it - or copy-and-paste the entire thing here, into a comment about a comment.
( * (footnote) )
1) Personalisation is a really important public health tool — it’s a good idea for those of us with breasts to check them regularly for lumps, and my talking about finding a lump will make many of you, the people who care about and relate to me, more likely to do so.
2) I think there’s a lot that’s scary and unknown about finding a lump, and I’d like to do a tiny bit to reduce that — I can’t make it not scary and not unknown, but I can tell you about my non-scary experience, and give you (especially those of you in the UK health system) an idea about what to expect from the process.
3) When I was thinking about writing something about this, I realised that when I speak/write publicly about my own health, it’s often (always?) with the aim of tackling stigma. So for me, it’s an interesting exercise to write about something that isn’t at all stigmatised, and I’m interested to see what I learn through doing so.
I also want to emphasise that not only is everything totally fine, not at all cancer-y, but also I’m fine. This can be a very difficult experience for people who have the exact same outcome as me, but for me, not so much.
All of which leads us to:
( Cut for not-cancer )
A breath for Wednesday.
I got my scholarship report form done, and some composing, and wound down the thing I was going to wind down, and poked at the Cecilia's List database and website some more, and did a bunch of planning.
There is not enough sleep in the entire world. I could say this is partly due to a nutrtional change, or the weather, or the diminishing daylight, and that would all be true, but it's mostly due to the really obvious: staying up way too late, even though I know I don't sleep well in the mornings. Some of this was warranted, some of it was... not wrong timing, exactly, but after a run of late nights it feels odd and tricky to get back onto earlier ones again. Things feel really hard when I don't give the perishing meatsack enough sleep. A breath for snoring.
There is a Social Situation that is so concerning, I'm considering writing to Captain Awkward about it. I'm not going to go into the details here, but it involves in-person interactions and keepng myself and a friend safe. A breath for trusting my instincts. A breath for asking for help.
I am getting different messages from different places about my PhD requirements, and it is freaking me out. I suspect either I've been automagically added to the wrong mailing list, or there are some new requirements for PhD students as a result of a faculty merger thing which are not really on the radar yet for my supervisors; in any case, it's basically a case of Schrödinger's Research Paper, ie I don't know whether I have to write and present one. A breath for it's just one paper, not an entire PhD. A breath for calm down and find out which information is correct.
Frustrating paypal-related admin is frustrating, and blocking my access to (already paid-out) income from Patreon. The timing of this -- while my spouse is changing jobs and we have a gap in our income -- is... unfortunate. A breath for slow bureaucracy taking as long as it takes.
I didn't meet any of the composing competition deadlines this past weekend.
I caught the staying up too late and have made some progress toward shifting it, though the test wll be this evening when I have a rehearsal until 21.30 and don't get home until at least 22.30. A breath for feeling a bit better already.
I am trying a much-simplified morning routine: 7am wake/wash/dress, 8am breakfast, 9am walk/cycle/movement, 10am work until lunch (with wifi off, no less). That's... a long time for each of those things. But it also recognises that realistically, after I shower I hate getting dressed immediately and prefer to sit around in a towel and dressing gown until I'm quite a bit more dry and it isn't always appropriate for me to do that while eating breakfast. It recognises that on a bad jointcrap day, everything takes longer and I may need to either walk slowly, or abort the walk and do physio instead. It recognises that having exactly 17 minutes to eat my breakfast doesn't play well with my anxiety about getting things done. It recognises that afternoons are wiggly and appointment-ful. So far, this feels kinder than some of my previous routine attempts. We'll see. A breath for experimentation. A breath for noticing what I need and what I don't need.
I have e-mailed one of my supervisors to ask for clarification re: Schrödinger's Research Paper. A breath for seeking clarity. At the moment I'm not yet in trouble over this: a gold star for not letting it get that bad. Worst-case scenario looks like: I have to Do the Thing and Nobody Knew. So, I submit a topic by 1st November, make an extra trip to Aberdeen mid-December to present. This is not actually terrible in terms of how it interacts with my other deadlines and financial stuffs. A breath for perspective.
Someone made a donation to help get Cecilia's List up and running, which means that once the frustrating paypal-related admin stops being frustrating, there is money to spend on a proper domain name, and some adverts in things like Choir and Organ magazine. A breath for encouragement.
My maybe-bricked smartphone isn't. Another customer on the support forums gave me useful information about the magic button presses to get to recovery mode, wipe the data, and start over. Would that the actual tech support people had done so a week and a half ago; but a breath for all timing is right timing. I spent some time yesterday getting it set up again with my various preferred apps and aids, and will in due course give the borrowed Nokia 3310 back to the friend I borrowed it from. A breath for technology. A breath for easier connectivity on my own terms. A breath for not exacerbating jointcrap by pressing buttons to type.
I have realised it may be possible for me to get cheap-ish "spare" spectacles from one of the online places, and that extended-wear contact lenses are a thing, and a rather better one than they were last time I tried contact lenses around fifteen years ago. Given my current specs are held together with superglue and it's been over three years since my last eye test, it's time to do somethng about this, but I had been putting it off because of the expense, and then worrying my glasses might break. But now I can visit the optician, get my prescription, and order glasses online -- relatively cheaply -- and if my glasses break I will not be as badly off as I had feared. And if it looks like contacts are a thing, then I may only ever need the "spare" glasses. All this depends on my prescription (which may be too strong for the online glasses ordering, let alone the fancy shmancy contact lenses), but it no longer feels overwhelming and terrible. A breath for relief.
Composing! Phd-related: St Lawrence's Tears. Chapel choir commission. Some competitions for end of October: three I'd really like to enter, a further two I could enter. Of the first three, one is a Canadians-only one that I've done some of the groundwork for (for another competition, not entered); one is a set-text hymn tune (I can crank these out fairly reliably); one is Canadians-only and fairly prestgious, but also postal entry which can pose some practical challenges. Of the "could enter", one is a set-text carol which could be done hymn-style, and one is a carol which would be ideal for "Like Silver Lamps". There are things already-written I coudl put on Patreon, and I might opt for that this time, simply because I have so much other composing to do. None of these have to be done this week, but this week will be important in laying groundwork to get them done.
Cecilia's List: keep working on the database. E-mail some more composers to ask for catalogues of their sacred works (yes, eventually I'll just get them to fill out a form and it will be automagical, but for now it's all hand-picked). Write a press release, or pay someone to write one for me. Keep poking at the website.
Maintenance: book an appointment with the optician, and another with the dentist. Attempt some kind of catch up on filing and tidying.
Basically? Keep going with the daly routine I have now. Tomorrow I'm meeting someone mid-day-ish, so my walk gets replaced by a commute, but then there is somewhere quiet I can work. From Saturday to Wednesday, I'm away in Salisbury with ULCC. We're singing the services Monday-Wednesday. I'm intending to use the time as a sort of composing retreat, hiding away in my room (or a quiet corner of the cathedral) as much as possible in the morning and early afternoon, and doing more social stuff in the evenings. This will take a bit of negotiation with people who may have assumed I'll be treating it as more of a holiday, but I have a PLN on how to handle that.
I need to make sure I get enough laundry done to get me through, before I pack.
How are you?
What have you done? What are your quests? What is your favourite food? What is hard in your life? What is good? What is your PLN (or plan)?
( links and personal observations about sexual violence against women )
I absolutely believe everybody else's experiences, people I know and strangers writing brave, brave columns and blog posts. I am just a total outlier, and I really shouldn't be. So I'm signal boosting others' accounts, because I know that I needed to be made aware of the scale of the problem, and perhaps some other people reading this could also use the information.
And I showed them the script
That I held in my hand.
“I call this play Catching-The-Mouse.
I'll fish for the king
With a play for a net.
I said, "With my net
I can catch him, I bet.
I bet, with my net,
I can catch the king yet."
"My head needs a pillow!
Your lap, to be blunt,
Is soft, and to hand,
And it’s pretty vacant."
So I went to her room.
But I passed, on the way,
A room where my uncle
Was kneeling to pray.
This must be the moment
To cut off his head!
But as I crept closer
I heard what he said:
“I murdered my brother!
I freely admit!
Dear God, please forgive me.
I’m rather a git.”
And I couldn’t kill him.
My blow was prevented.
For if he should die
Now he’s prayed and repented,
He’d go up to heaven;
That’s all very well,
But doesn’t seem fair
When my father’s in hell.
So I went on my way
As he muttered amen,
I hope that he’s sinned
When I see him again.
"And here is the head
Of a person historic!"
He gave me a skull.
And alas! It was Yorick!
I looked at the bones
And I thought as I sighed,
How he kissed me, and gave me
A piggyback ride.
And now he’s a skull
And he’s silent and scary!
Now what has become
Of your dancing so airy?
The songs that you sang?
And the jokes that you said?
Now all that you have
Are the bones of your head?
The Lady Ophelia
Of whom you were fond.
She climbed up a willow
And fell in a pond.
And most of her talk
At the times she was verbal
Was straight from the pages
Of Culpeper’s Herbal!
I'm quiet, and I'm dead,
And I’m tired of my quest.
I’m glad of the silence.
I needed a rest.
Give us the ballot, and we will no longer have to worry the federal government about our basic rights. Give us the ballot, and we will no longer plead to the federal government for passage of an anti-lynching law; we will by the power of our vote write the law on the statute books of the South, and bring an end to the dastardly acts of the hooded perpetrators of violence. Give us the ballot, and we will transform the salient misdeeds of bloodthirsty mobs into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens. Give us the ballot, and we will fill our legislative halls with men of goodwill, and send to the sacred halls of Congress men who will not sign a “Southern Manifesto” because of their devotion to the manifesto of justice.
Sixty years on, one in thirteen black men in the United is still disenfranchised. In many southern states it’s far worse: the Florida figure is one in four.
A song by a band you wish were still together. A band breaking up is like any relationship coming to an end: if the people involved don't want to be together any more, who am I to wish they stayed in a situation no longer good for them?
It's also partly another example where I don't have the relationship with music that the meme seems to assume. I don't really have any bands that I follow in the manner of eagerly anticipating a new release, therefore none that make me sad if they split up and there won't be any new material coming. The existing songs that I like are still there for me to listen to. I do occasionally go to live gigs performed by ageing rockers, and that's cool, but it's not something I wish for more of in my life.
So I'm going to pick Joy Division. I wish at least that Curtis had lived for the band to split up due to creative differences, rather than coming to an end with his death. He'd be 60 now, and it's hard to imagine what Joy Division might have done if he'd had even one more decade with them let alone four. A lot of other bands from that sort of era, if they have carried on, have tended to get more bleepy and less raw noise, and New Order certainly went in that direction, but Joy Division were something else, and I imagine that they might have continued to innovate musically, maybe not all the way through to the 2010s but through the 80s and 90s at least.
Here's something a bit more gentle and thinky than their big hits like Love will tear us apart: Passover, by Joy Division.
( video embed (audio only) )
I have an Android phone and tablet. The sound quality is eminently usable, and I have Skype to call people on!
How the arsing fuck do I record it?
There appears to be no standard option. Skype itself has no facility for recording calls. There are assorted extremely dodgy apps that claim to do the job, none of which I want to go near. I can Google for dodgy apps as well as you can — I’m not asking you to do a quick Google for me. What I want to know is — has anyone reading this done this personally, recording a Skype call? How do you do it? What do you use?
(Last time I did it on a Linux desktop — I had to run Audacity capturing the microphone and Audio Recorder capturing the speaker, then put the two recordings together. Hideous and stupid and I don't want to do that again.)
Things that are even further unhelpful: colleagues who observe that I am coughing a little bit (due to the smoke exposure), and passive-aggressively tell me that I ought not to be at work while I'm sick. I mean, I agree with the general principle that people shouldn't come into work with colds and infect and annoy everybody else. But nobody realistically expects anyone to actually stay off work for the several weeks it can take for a cold to completely clear from one's chest, once past the stage of being actively infectious and unable to think clearly. And I'm annoyed at not being believed when I said that my asthma was making me sound sicker than I really am.
To be fair, I'm annoyed at busybody colleagues due to factors which are not entirely their fault. Not their fault that I'm sensitive about being told off (even gently) for having asthma, due to a miserable year when I was 9 and my class teacher was convinced I was faking not being able to breathe for attention. (I certainly didn't want the kind of attention that involved an adult in a position of authority standing over me and yelling my face and never letting me be absolutely certain she wouldn't hit me, though she never quite got to the point of physical violence.) Not their fault that work has an annoying policy where being allowed to work from home is reserved for people more senior than me. But the upshot is that I've been given special permission to work from home today, and I resent being made to look like a slacker, but there you go.
So I have a moment to catch up with the meme that I've entirely abandoned for a month and a half while in the middle of moving jobs. And I find that I'd stopped just before the section where I have philosophical objections to the questions.
A song you think everybody should listen to: there's no such song, because everybody has different tastes in music! And I don't believe in a moral obligation to listen to music, because it might be very good, but people get to decide what to do with their own listening time.
But let me try and post something anyway, cos I am completionist even when I'm very slow. I have sometimes wanted to sit people down and make them listen to The house of Orange by Stan Rogers. It's a very good song, with a message I think is important. But by no means everybody should listen to it, only people who have managed to pick up the foolish notion that sectarian violence is romantic. And, well, people who appreciate well-written but hard hitting songs might get something positive out of it, but I wouldn't go as far as to say should.
I think if I have to pick one song that if not everybody, then at least lots of people who are generally in political and musical sympathy with me might appreciate, I'm going to go for Tam Lyn retold by The Imagined Village and Benjamin Zephaniah. Because Zephaniah is an amazing poet, and The Imagined Village is an exceptionally interesting and innovative folk project. And because it's a really brilliant reworking and interpretation of the Tam Lin story, which itself one of those core folk pieces. I recommend it even if you don't generally like folk music; it's not in the musical style associated with folk at all. And because it's musically great, it's nearly ten minutes long and I usually have to repeat it several times every time it comes up on my playlist. And finally because I agree with its pro-refugee and pro-migrant message, so if I'm going to impose one song on everybody, this is my pick.
( video embed )
I've just been reading Elisi's novel 'Dating the Cleverest Boy in the World'
An excellent read, a Dr Who novel, but relying almost entirely on well written original characters, who interact occasionally with the Master, Lucy Saxon, tenth Doctor and Jack Harkness.
It's a novel that looks at relationships between mortals and immortals, between human and non-human and asks what it's ethical to reveal/conceal.
The basic premise is an AU where the Master and Lucy Saxon had a son. The boy grows up with both the Doctor and the Master as major influences in his life, trying to balance their conflicting ethics and their expectations of him.
When he finally enters a romantic relationship with a human woman, he gets caught in the trap of how much to tell her about himself.
It's a novel that avoids quick, easy answers, and one that allows the characters to grow and develop in a believable manner.
This is a gen novel. Characters have sex (both gay and straight), but there are no explicit scenes.
When it comes to sex, this is the way I prefer it.
(In days gone by, I sometimes skipped plot to get to the sex. Now, I skip sex to get to the plot. There are more original plots than there are original sex scenes. )
The breakdown between chapters is well-balanced. Each is a distinct scene, but contributes to the overall storyline. Made it very easy to read one or two chapters a day.
A breath for Wednesday. A breath for the last full day in my away-from-home adventures in Aberdeen this trip, so it doesn't feel like humpday at all.
I got my MPhil very very rough draft outline done. I presented my work to a bunch of other composers in the Composers' Forum, and didn't die of impostor syndrome. I resurrected my monthly-ish newsletter, Passing Notes. I had a supervision with my PhD supervisor and he thinks I am "more than on track" to meet my various deadlines. I told him about my side project, Cecilia's List, and he was very supportive and enthusiastc, which I hadn't been sure of before. I dyed my hair blue and that totally counts as self-care, all right? A breath for fulfilling so many quests. A breath for recognition of what is necessary for me to be most myself.
The Musical Hat Draw sale did not have the engagement I hoped for. That is, a total of one valiant person sponsored any music (thank you, lovely person!). I so much wanted it to work, because I loved the first bit of the experiment, and because something very similar seems to work so well for ysabetwordsmith, but it was not to be. In time, I will re-examine the whole experiment, and figure out what I might change in trying it again. For now, I am feeling sad, and trying not to succumb to using this as proof that I'm not really a real composer. A breath for grief.
Additionally, there are many good competitions and calls-for-scores out there, but I'm going to have to give up on all but a few of them; I just don't have time to do them and fulfil my already-committed-to obligations. This is not a bad thing, necessarily: the stuff that is on my plate is exciting and good for my career and good for the church music community and so on. But -- triage is hard for me. A breath for decisions. A breath for not trying to do everything.
Maybe it would help me to find a mental model of this which isn't based on an emergency room or field hospital: these tasks are not patients who are going to suffer if I don't personally attend to them. But I do find triage quite apt for the way I order my life: I focus on the Big Stuff That's Big, and on the Little Stuff That Could Get Big If I Leave It, depending which I can actually cope with at the time; and then, if I have any cope left over, on things that aren't going to get a lot better or worse if I attend to them or not, but still present themselves.
I am in pain today. A breath for noticing.
On Sunday I was feeling overwhelmed and overscheduled and overworked and I did not want to come to Aberdeen. By Tuessday afternoon before my supervision, I was feeling much better, despite not getting great sleep and a few other factors. Doing the work makes me feel better than not doing it, and this is such an excellent tool to have. Managed well, it can set off a feedback system where I do a bit of work, feel better, and use the feeling-better from that to do a bit more work, until I am riding some kind of productivity wave. (These eventually either peter out, or crash against the shore, but that's okay: there'll be another wave along presently. The trick is to avoid the rocks.)
A breath for finding my stride.
Today there is lots of being with people: with other composers, then with scholarship donors. I feel out of my element. I feel I need to be presentable and sociable and poised, and don't really know how to do this. Also, I'm probably going to be late for, and might be better to skip the coffee-with-other-composers thing. A breath while I send an e-mail saying I'm not sure if I'll make it; there, less pressure now.
I need to write a report, do lots of LGQ planning, finish a piece of music, make a good start on another one, wind down another unsuccessful project, book an appointment with the optician, and do some Cecilia's List-related things (add more composers, write press release). This is so many quests! A breath for do the next thing.
Optionally, there are three wider composing deadlines this weekend; one of them I'm going to miss because it's postal and I'd have to send stuff off today, one of them I don't think I can manage. That leaves the Juice Vocal Ensemble call for scores, for which I have an idea but haven't actually written it out yet. I'll have to see how I go with that. A breath for making these optional, not urgent.
Try painkillers, they usually help more than I expect them to.
Today has three appointments; tomorrow I am packing, then spending over 7 hours on a train. I'm pretty tired, but I think I can tackle the LGQ planning and maybe write the report today between appointments (I have a three-hour gap in the afternoon). Booking the appointment with the optician can wait until Friday when I'm in the same city as my optician. Can't do wind down until early next week. So that leaves the train journey tomorrow, and whatever time/energy I can muster on Friday, for composing, and CL stuff. Not ideal: I can't really count on being able to work on trains, because sometimes trying to do so makes me motion sick.
Do the next thing.
How are you?
What have you done? What are your quests? What is hard in your life? What is good? What is your PLN (or plan)? What is your favourite colour?
1 lemon, juices and zest
Several tablespoons of lemon juice
A couple of tablespoons of white wine vinegar
3 shredded fresh bay leaves
Olive oil fry light.
Strands of saffron
0.5 tsp of classic chipotle sauce, pro heat. Or a chilli, chopped, would do it.
One pink onion, fine chopped
Mix all the ingredients bar the onion, fry light and saffron.
Spritz with the fry light and then sprinkle saffron over the chicken
Leave to marinade for an hour and a bit, longer if you have the time.
Spritz a pan with fry light, fry the onion, and use it as the base in your oven pan.
fry batches of the chicken for 2-4 minutes each side, and then place on the onion.
Now you have a choice:
1. You can fry the chicken till cooked
2. You can place the oven dish in a 180°C oven, and pour over the marinade and cook. It says in the recipe I adapted that it should take an hour, but that's for large breast portions.
After some frustrating and expensive delays by employment agencies, I started working at a French Bank last Friday - in the same building as my first real trading-floor job, nearly two decades ago.
( Out with the Old... )
...And in with the new. The work is shaping up, and looking very interesting indeed; and it looks as if I can be very useful here.
It and I had better be: this contract, and the working relationships I build with my new colleagues in both Paris and London, are my Brexit lifeboat.