baratron: (boots)
I am alive. Coping with the hiatus hernia. Perhaps in a one damned thing after another sort of way. Still, the symptoms have all improved dramatically since I started eating much smaller meals and stopping before I feel full.

Now if my chronic fatigue and pain would kindly sod off, I'd be a lot happier. My legs have been useless for weeks now and I need to talk to my doctor about medication. My left knee in particular hurts if I rest, hurts if I walk, hurts if I stretch, hurts if I sit. Frankly, I can't figure out what doesn't aggravate the bloody thing.

It has been a dreadful year all round. Not least of all politically - as Richard pointed out today, when did the language of the far right become the ordinary way to describe things? And that's even without all the normal stresses of being a queer disabled woman that were already present before politics veered horrendously over to Farageland and Trumpsville.

Most of the good things that have happened this year have involved music, travel, or my partners. Sometimes at the same time. I haven't been well enough to travel much, but Grant came here in February, all 3 of us went to Boston in May to see Freezepop, Richard & I went to the Download Festival in June (and got thoroughly rained on), and I went to see Grant at his new home in Rochester, NY in September. We also saw [livejournal.com profile] ext_890197 and [livejournal.com profile] veryfineredwine, for the first time since I went to Boston to pick up wedding rings. I haven't written anything in livejournal about visiting Grant because it was quite honestly the only week in the past six months that I was not completely exhausted and ill. (Also, it was a 12-day trip including travel, so that gives you some idea of the health).

Richard is now in several bands, including one called Amps at Eleven. (There is a heavy metal umlaut on one of the Es, but I can't remember which one). They have actually done gigs recently, which is more than his other two bands are likely to ever accomplish. I sent text messages to everyone who I thought might like a classic rock covers band and be conceivably able to get to Raynes Park on a Tuesday night, but in the end only [livejournal.com profile] pilot_moondog came. Still, it was good to see Shaun.

I need to make a list of all the gigs I have been to this year. It seems like the only time I ever leave the house is for (a) a medical appointment, (b) to buy cake, (c) to see a band. It's crazy how many people who live in London I haven't seen in 3+ years. I miss having a fuller life. Doing something other than sitting up at night playing Elder Scrolls Online.

Don't get me wrong. I love my ESO Guild and my friends from our Teamspeak. But I'd like it to be A thing that I do rather than THE thing that I do. One of several ways that I hang out with friends, rather than the only one.

Who's still on livejournal? Am I going to be forced to start a Facebook account just so that I can still talk to people?
baratron: (Warning: Sick!)
I am back from the Download Festival a.k.a. the Downpour Festival a.k.a. Drownload. It rained. A lot.

Nonetheless, we survived four nights of camping, including sharing a tent with my mother, who has literally never camped before due to a general phobia of everything it entails (e.g. spiders, chemical toilets, dirt under her fingernails, not being able to get properly dry, etc.)

However, due to having been rained on for three days, I now have a terrible cold. Yes, I know you can't catch a cold from being cold - but you can catch a cold from having your immune system lowered and being in close proximity of 85,000 other people, some of whom are carriers of viruses. I have pretty much every symptom known to be associated with colds, including a sore throat, high temperature, coughing, sneezing, blocked ears, all-over muscle aches, and puking. I feel like death warmed up.

Of course, this is a temporary situation and I should be better within a week or so. And I'm not trying to make everyone Give Me Attention considering the terrible news from Orlando over the weekend. But I suppose I feel that if there's one thing worse than living in a world where horrible things happen, it's living in a world where horrible things happen and being unwell. Does that make sense?

Download review will follow when spoons exist. I really do want to type it up because I haven't managed to for the past couple of music festivals I've been to, and I can barely remember Sonisphere 2014 now!
baratron: (bunches)
I bet you can't guess which band I went to see tonight!
Me, 2015-09-21

Spoiler )

METAL! \m/

May. 21st, 2015 11:26 pm
baratron: (richard)
Holy crap, October's looking busy!

Saturday 3rd - Bullet For My Valentine at GLive, Guildford. BOOKED

Sunday 4th - Paradise Lost at Koko, Camden, London.

Thursday 15th - Wolfsbane at The Dome, Tufnell Park, London. (Not actually sure if this venue is at all accessible, might need to go elsewhere).

Wednesday 21st - Maybe Bullet again at Southampton Guildhall? Depends on trains.

Friday 30th & Saturday 31st - Ginger Wildheart 2nd annual Halloween Hootenany. Hey! Hello! and the Ginger Wildheart Band playing with the likes of Wolfsbane and Eureka Machines... BOOKED.

Between now and then we have the likes of Eureka Machines in Sheffield (tomorrow!), the Download Festival from 11th-15th June, Bloodstock in August (still need to book it, but we have to go - Trivium are headlining and the mighty Jettblack are playing one of the smaller stages!), The Wildhearts in September... So much metal!

If you wish to accompany us to any of these events, you need only ask...
baratron: (eye)
So I haven't written anything here in over 2 months, which is probably the longest I've ever gone without updating this journal since it's existed. Mostly this has been because I've been busy enough to lack spare energy to write about what I'm doing, combined with the fact that what I'm doing isn't even interesting, but also because I need a new phone. My phone is an HTC Desire Z which is at least 4 years old, and it's reached the point of unreliability where it randomly reboots itself with no warning. Also its hardware keyboard (the main reason why I've kept this phone for so long - I find touch screen typing very difficult) randomly misses keystrokes or adds extra ones. To add even more insult, I can't even comment on some people's livejournals because I can't open the "comments" pages from my phone web browser - it just gets stuck in a loop of reloading the post without the comments. Bah.

Some good and interesting things have happened. We went to the Jettblack album release party, which was held in a basement bar in Soho down a terrifying flight of stairs - which necessitated the band members carrying my wheelchair down the stairs! Also we went to see Ginger Wildheart's Songs and Words show in Leeds, which was extremely moving and also hilarious. Since I'm a member of G.A.S.S. we also went to the Meet and Greet where I gave Ginger a t-shirt that I'd seen online and thought he might like the slogan of... and he told us how his youngest child believes that Lemmy is his grandad! The next day we met up with some of my friends from Pokecharms, and went around the Royal Armouries. This was delightful since we're all video gamers and were looking at old swords and armour going "That's like the $fill_in_the_blank armour from Skyrim!"

My chronic fatigue is still crap. I got the results of my blood test back on Tuesday and discovered that my TSH level is now 1.31 - which is well within normal by every reference range I've ever seen! So... it's not my thyroid making me exhausted all the time. Going to get my vitamin D level checked again because a few years ago, the anticonvulsant I take as a mood stabiliser was destroying all the vitamin D in my body. But given that I take a high dose vitamin D every other day, that might not be the problem at all.

Also, the Mirena coil and I are officially Not Friends. Cut for those who wish to avoid )
baratron: (endurance)
So I was planning to go and see Jettblack* on Saturday. Except I hadn't quite got around to buying tickets, because that would have involved having spoons. I tried to buy tickets today and found that the gig's been moved from the totally accessible Islington Academy to the entirely inaccessible Camden Underworld. Godsfreakingdamnit.

So now, at extremely short notice, I have to find out whether any of the other venues are accessible, and book trains and possibly accommodation. The best bet is Wolverhampton Slade Rooms, which I've been to before, but none of the usual ticket sites are listing tickets for the gig (sold out?). The second best bet is Southampton Joiners, but I can't find out if it's accessible online. (The site which says it is also gives contact information for a completely different venue. Argh).


* the hair metal band, not the porn star.

\m/

Jun. 18th, 2014 03:34 pm
baratron: (richard)
I'm back! Although you could be forgiven for not knowing that I'd gone anywhere, since I didn't post about it due to a complete lack of spoons.

Richard and I went to the Download Festival and slept in a tent for four nights. There was much music and not much sleep - partly due to the loud music, but mostly due to the last flight out of East Midlands Airport being about 1.30 am. I actually managed to sleep through a whole load of loud music on Sunday morning due to being absolutely collapsed with chronic fatigue, but I couldn't get to sleep all the time there were aeroplanes going overhead.

I need to write up all of the bands we saw. Actually, I still need to write up Sunday of last year's Download, and some of 2012's Sonisphere (!) because I like to have a record of bands I've seen and what I thought of them. However, right now I am too knackered and too busy. I have to give a presentation about my work at the Graduate Symposium next Thursday (26th), and I didn't manage to get it written before I went away. Right now I'm not even sure if I'll get to celebrate my birthday this weekend because I might need that time for Powerpoint wrangling (urgh!).

I am so freaking tired. If you've never had an illness which left you with severe fatigue, imagine the worst flu you've ever had, and the exhaustion, brain fog, and all-over aching from that. I sorta want to fall over dead for a few days and not have to worry about anything - except I can't because I've got Things to Do.
baratron: (black)
Yesterday, Richard and I went to see Avenged Sevenfold at Wembley Arena. And we definitely did not complain about being unable to see the band properly!

A7X and Pyro
Setlist, gig review, and seven more photos under the cut. )
baratron: (aibo)
Remember I was upset about seeing Paradise Lost in London - or rather not seeing them? Here's some photographic evidence.

This is what the stage looked like for a large portion of the gig:
Paradise Lost barely visible Read more... )
baratron: (corrosive)
I've just got home from what has to have been the most disappointing gig I've been to this year: the Paradise Lost 25th Anniversary Tour at the Roundhouse in Camden, London.

I've been a fan of Paradise Lost since Icon came out in 1993, when I was 17. I'd been looking forward to this show since May - I even bought my tickets on the first day they went on sale!

We had a shitty journey into London which I shall spare you the details of, and missed the first band, Katatonia. But we arrived just in time to see Lacuna Coil, and are very glad we did. They were excellent. Very clear sound, lots of energy from the band, awesome backdrop. I was looking forward to seeing Paradise Lost even more.

Then they came on stage. In total darkness, with a video screen projecting images behind them. A few lights went on: purple and green. By three songs into the set, it became clear that while Paradise Lost were on the stage, I wasn't actually going to get to see them. The lighting was purple and green, purple and red, or dark blue and green for almost the entire show. Very dark colours with virtually no spotlights. I remember from my teens that Gregor Mackintosh (the lead guitarist) hates being in the spotlight, but that shouldn't require an entirely dark stage!

I could make out Aaron Aedy, the second guitarist, because he was physically closest to me, and has a shiny shaved head. I cannot be certain who else was up there. Nick Holmes's voice was, but I don't know about the rest of him. He could have stayed home in Yorkshire and relayed his vocals via internet for all I know. The drummer was visible in spotlights twice, but I didn't recognise him because Paradise Lost have had something of a Spinal Tap problem with drummers. Anyone at all could have been playing the bass. I think it was a shortish man with a beard. And my favourite musician of the lot, lovely Greg - there was a long-haired tall left-handed person playing guitar on his side of the stage, but gods only know if it was him. Could have been any long-haired tall left-handed guitarist, since I couldn't even tell that person's gender.

I can't fault the band's performance. The choice of songs was good, not all of my personal favourites from the last 25 years, but it's impossible to please everyone in an hour and a half. The selection was certainly one that would keep most fans happy. The sound was okay where I was sitting - not fantastic, and not terrible either.

The person I want to criticise is whoever the hell decided to make the lighting so dim that audience members couldn't see the band. Was it just because of that video projection?

In this day and age, going out to see bands is expensive. Fans go out for a number of reasons: to share in the atmosphere of the gig, to support the bands they love, and to see the band perform. If you didn't want to see the band, you could get a bunch of mates round and listen to their albums at home. Honestly, I'd have much rather they dispensed with the video screen and let us see THEM.

At one point, Nick addressed the people sitting upstairs - "Are you having fun?" or words to that effect, and got a very poor response. In reply, he said something like "Maybe you should have stayed at home". That's exactly how I felt. Maybe I should have stayed at home, rather than be horribly disappointed by failing to see one of my favourite bands.
baratron: (boots)
I've been randomly unpleasantly ill for a couple of days. Woke up on both Tuesday and Wednesday with pins-and-needles in both arms and my hands curled up into claws. Then it took several hours for my hands to be usable, and they were still numb/pins-and-needle-y for the rest of the day. Ugh. This is a thing that happens to me occasionally, I still don't know what the trigger is (if it was RSI from too much Oblivion, wouldn't it have started while I was still playing the game rather than the next morning?), but it's annoying.

Today I woke up with more energy than I've had in weeks, and:
* emailed College about a break in studies for illness reasons.
* booked tickets to see Jettblack on Saturday 27th April.
* phoned the venue in Glasgow about the Wildhearts on Thursday 4th April to check that the disabled access was sorted. (Apparently it is, they just didn't tell me about it).
* scanned in a lease for my mother, which was a task and a half because the scanner did things like forgetting to crop the images to A4 size (my fault for not choosing the right settings), and forgetting how to save as a PDF (definitely a software failure, since it saved fine as .png).
* talked to my mobile phone company about getting a cheaper contract (apparently possible at the end of this month when I'm eligible for an upgrade).
* put some laundry on.

I still have to write a letter for my doctor to get the supporting evidence for the break in studies, FINALLY sort out the paperwork for the Freedom Pass, wash my hair, and do some writing. I'm not sure that the writing will happen. I'm only half-sure that the hair-washing will happen, but it's reached the point of being absolutely foul and pestilent, and ready to walk off my head. I haven't done the Wednesday book meme, but then I haven't actually read any books this week, only newspapers and fanfic.

Also, tomorrow I need to phone East Coast about the fact they seem to have booked assisted travel three times for the outward journey to Glasgow and not at all for the return. I really would like to add up how much of my precious time and energy is spent on disability things - not activism, just basic access. I fear it's rather a lot.
baratron: (black)
I don't have much time for a gig review because I have COURSEWORK TO DO, but Adrenaline Mob was awesome. They were playing in a tiny venue holding 620 people when full (Tutu's at King's College Union - a place Richard knows well from his misspent youth doing sound & lighting there instead of studying), but no more than 400 tickets were sold. The individual band members range from "quite well known in certain circles" to "actually very famous". (Most people into prog, rock or metal have heard of Dream Theater, the band Mike Portnoy co-founded). And yet, rather than throwing diva-esque tantrums about their new supergroup not getting much publicity, the four band members were having the time of their lives. They played so hard that we were showered in their sweat, made genuine eye contact with individual members of the audience, shook hands, bumped fists, posed for photos while playing - all the stuff you can't possibly do in an arena.

If you get the chance, and are at all interested in metal, check them out. Really. They won't stay this small forever.

Anyway, now you can see what Mike Portnoy did to Paploo's t-shirt! M is for Metal + Mike indeed.
Look what Mike Portnoy did to Paploo's t-shirt!More photos... )
baratron: (bunches)

At King's College Union waiting for the Adrenaline Mob gig to start. We met them earlier & Mike Portnoy "edited" Paploo the Ewok's t-shirt so it now reads "M is for Metal + Mike"! He was really funny & talked more than the rest of the band put together, and we got "everything" signed - CD, DVD, posters...

Photos later.

baratron: (richard again)
Yesterday was busy & chaotic. Long! Features Ginger, Trivium, Steel Panther, The Quireboys, Killswitch Engage & Metallica, also a few other bands. And mud. Lots of mud. )
baratron: (black)
We're at the Download Festival. Weather here has been awful. Can't believe it's supposed to be June - 10 deg C, rain, & a massive wind chill factor, especially up on the disabled viewing platforms.

Yesterday we saw:
* Terrorvision - they seemed to put on a good show but the sound was beyond terrible.

* Little Angels - absolutely bloody brilliant. Sound was amazing & they seemed far more coherent than seems fair for a band who've been split up for 18 years. I'm going to go out & rebuy their first album, which I haven't seen in 16 years, & buy for the first time their other two albums.

*  Opeth - they were better than I thought they'd be. I enjoyed them, despite the vocalist's tendency to scream rather than sing.

We did NOT see Europe because they cancelled 20 minutes after they were supposed to be on stage! Apparently delayed by "bad weather". We also missed Nightwish or Slash because I was freezing my arse off and worried that I was going to get ill. After we got back to the hotel, I had a hot meal of proper food and got into bed, and it was still 10pm before I was warm enough.

Today I have come armed with twice as many clothes as I had yesterday. I have:
* leggings
* thick tracksuit trousers
* legwarmers
* winter lined boots
* a long-sleeved mesh top
* two t-shirts
* two long-sleeved t-shirts
* two hoodies
* gloves, hat & scarf
* a thick winter coat
* a huge orange waterproof poncho
plus underwear and socks.

I am hoping to stay warm even if I look like the Michelin Man!
baratron: (boots)
Do I know anyone who lives in or near Nottingham, has a car, & would be available for A MASSIVE FAVOUR on the weekend of 8th-10th June? Financial reward offered.

If you think this post is related to this one, you'd be entirely right.

Sigh.

Dec. 13th, 2011 10:19 am
baratron: (goggles)
Anyone want to see Def Leppard & Mötley Crüe tomorrow?

Sodding coursework that expands to more-than-fill the time available :(
baratron: (goggles)

Q: How do you know when a metal band is rocking the house down?
A: When every person on the disabled platform who is physically able to has their hand in the air making the metal sign \m/.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

baratron: (richard again)
Some photos, entirely taken by Richard. Click on them to get the pictures bigger. The photos are labelled on the bigger versions (labelling them here made the tables too messy). Very large versions of most of these photos exist should anyone want them (Richard had his camera in insanely high resolution mode).

I need a userpic of Richard behind a camera for whenever I'm posting pictures that he took.

Saturday 23rd April 2011: In which Paploo the ewok meets some bearded METAL wuzzies, and I meet Wolfsbane. Also, a tree: Read more... )
P.S. That is a horrible picture of me! I forgot to untie my hair from the messy ponytail that it was in because it was TOO HOT in the venue!

Monday 25th April 2011: Richmond Park. Featuring bunnies, ewok and my favourite tree.Read more... )

My favourite tree is awesome because, as you can see, it is broken but still alive and flourishing. It blew over in a storm some years ago and a large number of its roots are exposed - so it no longer grows upwards, but instead, sideways. Yet it sustains not only itself, but also resident wildlife.

I think this tree provides a useful metaphor whenever anyone wants to pity me too much for my health crap. My health and mobility could both be better, but my life is NOT a tragedy!

(Although the photo of me on the tree doesn't show how many spoons it took, or how dead I was the next day.)
baratron: (Luka)
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. I have been Ill and have not left the house since last Friday. It seems that wretched snot diseases are going round. Not sure whether this is a very bad cold, or flu modified by having had the flu jab, but it's nasty nonetheless.

I haven't managed to send Christmas cards to anyone due to a combination of my literature report and illness. I didn't even manage to buy Richard a Christmas card. So I drew him one instead. It's us in fuzzy animal form, with dino. I hope you like it.

Here are your Christmas presents:
Cute Explosion from Weebl's Stuff. Excessively adorable video with a catchy song... and a moral?

"Oh Come All Ye Faithful" by Twisted Sister. What? Glam Metal version of hymns, definitely recommended ;)

Hyperbole and a Half: The Alot is Better Than You at Everything.

Will write more when I have energy again.

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