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: (sleepy)
So tired. It's been a long week.
  • Wednesday - Stayed up way too late to run a new dungeon on the public test server of Elder Scrolls Online on Wednesday.

  • Thursday - Meeting with ZOS devs to talk about the new dungeons. So much talking. I still haven't written up my notes from the meeting for my Guild, and I hope I can mostly remember what was said.

  • Friday - Went to see Ginger Wildheart and Hey! Hello at a funny little venue called the Brooklyn Bowl. It's a bowling alley (?) inside the big o2 tent (formerly the Millennium Dome) which also has bands. Kinda weird but it was very accessible, since the entire o2 was built post-Disability Discrimination Act. They were playing along with another band called Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors who were so good we wanted to get their CD, but it was sold-out!

  • Saturday - Work for my mother, and a huge row because she was being unreasonable (at least in part due to a headache).

  • Sunday - The joys of a new washing machine! We bought our washer-dryer, fridge-freezer and dishwasher when we moved into this house in June 2004, and they've lasted well. The fridge and dishwasher have never needed any work, but the washing machine needed to be repaired five times, with issues ranging from worn motor brushes to a broken wire in the motor controller to a sheared bolt holding the drum in place. A couple of months ago, it stopped drying clothes, and Richard determined it needed a new condensing unit. This wasn't a huge problem considering it's summer and we can dry clothes overnight on the rack. However, then the drum stopped spinning altogether. Richard checked the brushes and the motor controller, and determined it would need a whole new motor.

    Thing is, although he could fix it, there reaches a point in an appliance's lifetime where it seems like throwing good money after bad. Putting a new condenser and a new motor into a 12 year old washer-dryer that seems to be gaining a new issue every couple of weeks? Yeeaah. Also, the sheets for our new bed are enormous, and heavier than our machine was supposed to be capable of taking.

    We've been very happy with Bosch, most of all the fact that you can order parts to work on the appliances yourself without needing to be a registered dealer (very useful when you have your own in-house engineer), so we just went out and bought another of the same without any shopping around.

    However, I am currently struggling with the fact that this new washer-dryer is trying to be more intelligent than I am. The old one had three knobs on the front: water temperature, drying time, and programme. This new one has one big knob and a load of buttons. It has fewer temperatures available for washing, and far less control over drying time (with the options being 15 minutes blow around, 60 minutes with heat, 120 minutes with heat, or "auto"). I'm kinda annoyed that we won't be able to wash our socks on 50 degrees C any more, and that we won't be able to dry the clothes for 25 minutes before putting them on the rack. At least, not without some effort.

    Then on Sunday night, I had a huge argument with Shifty, which continued into Monday and only got sorted out on Monday night. We're okay now, but it was really difficult - there was a lot of him not understanding nuances of emotional stuff because of his autism, and me not being able to find a way to explain it better because it's "just obvious" to a neurotypical person. (Maybe even to autistic people with a bit more experience in relationships.)

  • Tuesday - Woke up too early with a sore throat. Hoping it's just from crying too much. More work for my mother. Photoshop. Argh.

  • Today - woke up too early again, still have a sore throat, sincerely hoping it is allergies and not an infection. Wrote a rant about Funding for special education. Now have to email Shifty's crush to tell her some things which he doesn't seem capable of conveying, as well as confirming that yes, we really are poly. Argh.

So yeah, it's just been exhausting all round and I am ready for a break. Which I don't think I'm going to get anytime soon.
baratron: (richard)
Since I was ill with flu in December, I didn't manage to write about the very, very awesome thing that Richard did. We are fans of a musician called Ginger Wildheart - indeed, I have been a fan of his since 1994. Every year he does a gig on his birthday, which is 17th December. It's a very non-standard gig with a rotating cast of musicians, called the Birthday Bash.

This year it was postponed because Ginger was in hospital with depression, which sucks. Fortunately Ginger is getting better and the Belated Birthday Bash and Hey! Hello! tour are back on in April.

Richard knew that a lot of fans were flying over from elsewhere in the world and wouldn't have anything to go to. So he pulled together a pub meet. He spoke to a couple of venues and the guy who runs the Boston Arms in Tufnell Park said it would be no problem at all to host us. Even more impressively, Richard got Hollis and Davey from Love Zombies to play an acoustic set. (Hollis is also the new singer of Hey! Hello!). There were something like 50 people present over the course of the evening, including Ginger's legendary roadie Dunc.

I am just very, very proud of Richard for putting this event together, especially considering the short notice. Even more so considering that he is an introvert who finds dealing with people difficult. I doubt he'll ever organise anything this big again - it was a lot of stress for him - but I'm really pleased to know that he can.

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 )

\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)
Is anyone in/near London doing anything interesting on New Year's Eve? We are entirely struggling to find a rock/metal club playing the sort of music we like. One friend is going to Shenanigans, but the list of bands is seriously not Richard-friendly (although I wouldn't mind most of it), and a random person on the internet suggested Jubilee at the Barfly, but even though it's run by Chris McCormack who was in two of my favourite bands, most of the music played at the club is apparently stuff that would make me scream, and that's even without the stairs.
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: (goggles)
I'm a little wary of saying this, and certainly wary of how I say this, but I feel really sorry for all the ex-Lostprophets members who aren't Ian Watkins. I mean, they made five radio-friendly albums and could have expected royalties from record sales and radio plays for years to come.

Trigger warning: child abuse. )
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: (cn tower)
After having done not very much in months, we had a colossally busy weekend.

On Friday night we pretended to be young again and went to a nightclub for the first time in... I can't actually remember how long, but most likely about a decade, and possibly longer. Read more... )

We then slept all of Saturday and went out with Tim & Peter in the evening to celebrate Tim's birthday. I believe he was 25* this year. I suppose by the same logic I will also be 25 in June and can simply carry on clubbing like I used to, if I can find the energy. What I really need is to be able to persuade/pay one or more of my friends who like vaguely similar music as me to come and do the bouncer-ing so that Richard can enjoy himself without having to Be My Carer, since he does enough of that already.

* = hexadecimal

On Sunday I mostly played Skyrim, and then on Monday we went to Poole to see Richard's dad, stepmum, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. This necessitated far longer on trains than should reasonably be required considering the distance, but all of the Special Assistance actually happened!! I am thinking of writing to South West Trains to congratulate them, because it's the first time in bloody ages that I've booked assistance and all of it has materialised as expected. Possibly because I emphasised really hard that I was concerned about whether the lifts at Surbiton would be working, and the fact I'd be changing at Woking around 11 pm when the staff tend to change shift.

Yesterday all I did was go to the doctor to get my vitamin B12 injection. Today^ I am on a train up to Glasgow. Tomorrow we are going to see the Wildhearts supported by Eureka Machines. It's the 20th anniversary of Earth Vs the Wildhearts, if anyone else wants to feel positively antique. They're only doing four dates, none of them in London, which is why we're going to Glasgow to see them.

^ = written on the train on 2013-04-03

Songs!

Jan. 24th, 2013 02:33 pm
baratron: (lego)
Shop Vac - Jonathan Coulton. Kinetic typography animation by jmheather.
So ridiculously clever and geeky. Amazing use of fonts and clip art. Really worth watching!


See below for Muppets, and new Eureka Machines. )

Ginger!

Dec. 18th, 2012 06:41 am
baratron: (richard)
So today it was 17th December, and as is traditional and typical we went to the annual Ginger Birthday Gig. Slightly more organised than in previous years, this time round it was The Wildhearts supported by Ginger Wildheart (i.e. the frontman's current solo project). There were basically 3 sets: the Ginger Wildheart band, then The Wildhearts, then the usual loose melee of guests which at one point led to there being 5 guitarists on stage all playing at once. That's five guitarists plus a bassist, in case you were wondering, and something like 6 people who were just singing. It was the sort of gig that's pretty much indescribable to someone who isn't already a fan.

And it had Jef! Jef Streatfield is the poor sod who replaced the very popular guitarist CJ when Ginger sacked him in 1995 in a drug-fuelled rage. (To this day neither CJ nor Ginger can tell you what their argument was about). Jef is a very good singer & guitarist, who could provide the melodic backing vocals that The Wildhearts depend on, but he is Not CJ. When the band got back together, it was always going to be CJ that the fans wanted, because the combination of Ginger & CJ's vocals is divine - and I've always felt a bit sorry for Jef, because he went from being in a really quite famous rock band to being nobody through absolutely no fault of his own. Simply because he was The Replacement. The Wildhearts have had three official drummers plus three official bassists & a couple of temporary ones, but the classic lineup has always included CJ. It was really good to see Jef back for a couple of songs - and it turns out that Ginger, CJ & Jef all singing together is even more divine!

Set list to follow when I'm not on my phone.

It's 6.30am, we've been home nearly 5 hours, and have only just calmed down enough to attempt sleep. Woo! And also Hoo!
baratron: (black)
Don't expect any sense out of me for the next couple of hours:


Woo! We're living in the future! I just downloaded an album an hour after it was released! And it's so fucking catchy that I'm singing along despite never having heard it before :D
baratron: (Skyrim)
Hey! Hello! - How I Survived The Punk Wars (Official Video)
The first video from Ginger Wildheart's new Hey! Hello! "pop" music project. Very sweary and quite hilarious:


You can tell it's a Ginger song because I was singing along to the chorus halfway through the first listen :) And it amuses me greatly since the chorus could, very easily, be adopted by campaigners for Real Science against Psuedoscientific Bollocks.
baratron: (endurance)
We settled the ups and downs
We battled the stormy ground
If we feel that we could never win
We pick up and start again

The money is never enough
To see us right out of the rough
And every penny rollin' in
Goes in and back out again

Degraded, with the pigs we dine
Tied up in the pearl and swine
But we see love

Then you turn to me and
You say "Tell me it'll all work out"
Well, lover, it'll all work out
Baby, it'll all work out
Everything's tellin' me that
Someday, lover, it'll all work out

Sometimes I have to fight the fear
That I'm not doin' everything that I could
But things can't just stay like this
Something's gotta change, I can feel it


Ginger Wildheart - Lover It'll All Work Out
Read more... )

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: (gaming)
Okay, no matter what your opinions of Google since the Google+ real name policy fiasco, I highly recommend that you go to your local region's version of the Google search page and click "Play" on the Google Doodle of today. It's amazing!

I didn't know that Google Doodles could be videos, but there you are. Now I'm wondering what other ones I've missed. Heh.

In other news, I am home from BiCon and very slowly re-spooning.
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
So, here I am posting from my hotel room, "fresh" after two nights of seeing Freezepop. Actually, I am so tired that I want to fall over and be dead for a while, but my body clock isn't cooperating with sleep right now. Bah!

The first night (New Year's Eve) was a rather odd gig, seeing as it consisted of a club night with Freezepop kinda playing in the middle. They went on stage at 11pm and played up until midnight, then it degenerated as lots of people got on the stage with them to dance. Equipment was in danger of being smashed - I saw beer get poured over some cables by mistake. Seeing as I've never had any tolerance for drunk people and Ryan & Dawn were tired, we buggered off pretty quickly.

Yesterday was a much more "traditional" gig - four bands each playing a set. The first "band" was a single person playing electronic music - I can't say it did anything for me, but that's because it was just too ambient. It was a reasonable way to start the night, anyway. Then there was Plushgun, who I already knew to be awesome but had never seen before. Then the New Collisions, who supported Freezepop at their 10th Anniversary Show. And then finally Freezepop, playing for about an hour and a half.

So, given that I am Kasson Crooker's number one fan, what did I think of the new 4-member lineup without him? Well... it works. Really well. Neither Seth nor Ashley are Kasson, nor do they somehow combine their powers to become Kasson, but they are both lovely people and talented musicians, and fill out the band nicely. So Freezepop's not the same band it used to be. Doesn't mean it's not still my favourite band :D

Speaking of Kasson, he was there last night, beautiful as ever. He got on stage for the encore and did Photographic (Depeche Mode cover), Shark Attack and Less Talk More Rokk with them. dino got on stage for Shark Attack and Less Talk More Rokk, and he is now the most chuffed small plushie green dinosaur you could ever imagine!

Richard took a load of photos, but they are probably terrible since Freezepop were playing in the dark for some reason. He's going to look at them in Photoshop later and see which of them can be rescued.

I should write a "music review" of 2010. It seems I actually saw a reasonable number of bands last year. Yay!
baratron: (Warning: Sick!)
Very silly song. No subtitles, unfortunately - but the video might be worth watching regardless:


Sorry that all I seem to be doing these days is popping in, posting a weird video and going away again. Currently in too much pain to type and have some sort of throat infection. Am too lacking in spoons for coherent content. Bah!

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