baratron: (cn tower)
Home from travelling. Actually, I got in somewhere around 1 pm yesterday and proceeded to pass out for many hours. Woke up at 1 am and (much to my surprise) have been awake ever since. Husband has been snuggled. Boyfriend has been talked to on Skype. He looks very sad, poor thing, but it remains against the laws of physics for me to be in two places at once. Hoping we can have him visit in late June/early July for my birthday.

Super weirdly, I have been physically energetic enough to have emptied the laundry rack, folded the dry laundry, sorted all of the dirty laundry in my suitcase, put on a load of laundry, emptied the clean stuff out of the dishwasher and refilled it. I hope that I will not pay for this tomorrow, though I have A Theory. A theory which involves, of all things, vegan bacon and my ability to get it.

(Gods, I knew that Yves Veggie Bacon wasn't very fatty, but I didn't realise that 3 rashers had only 0.5 g of fat between the lot of them, along with 14 g of protein. Short of actually, y'know, BAKING my own tofu, I am unsure where to get tasty textured fake meat products which are low fat and high protein. Nasty-tasting, weird textured but low fat, I can do. Nice-tasting, well-textured and full of fat, I can do).

Continue to be Unimpressed with Aer Lingus. Will relate the full story later when spoons exist.
baratron: (boots)
I have many photos of my trip to the US to post, when I get A Round Tuit. They are crappy mobile phone pictures, but I cannot be bothered to carry a real camera with me any more. I am a terrible photographer with the best equipment in the world, and I'm more interested in recording memories than attempting to take good shots.

Currently I am worrying about being stranded in New York tomorrow once Delta drop me off there.

It turns out that Aer Lingus are morons. I've had several "incidents" with them this trip and am never flying with them again, but in the meantime they are supposed to be getting me home to London tomorrow.Read more... )
baratron: (rainbow chemistry geek)
In the process of importing my livejournal. Hoping it won't take forever because 2001-most of 2013 is already here. Wondering about some of my communities (the two or three that I really care about) because I haven't been back to lj to "agree" to their TOS and mark my entire journal as Not Suitable For Children yet. Mostly due to lack of time.

In the meantime, if you want to be added to my Fiends List and use a different username here, please comment. I do so like Dreamwidth's separation of "Subscribe" and "Grants Access".

I am currently in Rochester, New York, USA visiting my partner Grant. Here are some pictures from Monday:
Me and Shifty cuddling

And two more! )

Plans

May. 5th, 2016 03:39 pm
baratron: (dino)
I did not get around to booking for BiCon. The closing date for accommodation was just too early considering that I have no idea what my health will be doing in July. If I am not much better than I am now, I will be going splat and having to go to bed in the middle of the afternoon, at unpredictable times, and it seems fairly pointless to pay money to go away in that scenario.

Which means you might be questioning how come I can go to Boston next week, but that will be easier since I will have the husband and the boyfriend, both of whom are entirely competent carers for me. If we're out and about and I feel too wobbly to carry on, I can trust either or both of them to get me back to the place where we're staying and/or get food into me. Neither of them want to go to BiCon (they are both way too introverted), and I don't have anyone else who is familiar enough with my current limitations to act as a carer. (I know people who would be happy to ensure I got fed, but I wouldn't want to ask any of them to give up what they want to do at BiCon unless I was paying them, which is a whole other kettle of fish and... yeah.)

I still need to talk to my university, because I was supposed to be going back when term started on 18th April, and I am clearly nowhere near well enough to go back for at least a few more weeks. It's likely that I'll actually go back next term instead, as long as they aren't going to give me grief about the fact you're only "supposed" to have a maximum of 2 years (6 terms) "off" on breaks of study during a PhD course. I'd love to be back, but it would be a waste of everyone's time and my money, since I just about have enough energy to get downstairs on average once a day. The increased thyroxine and vitamin D are helping up to a point, but I am not magically better and dancing around full of the joys of spring.

Today is however a glorious day and I went out to vote for the Mayor of London and London Assembly. No prizes for guessing which party won my first choice, and even my second choice is pretty easy to guess. (Hint: I didn't vote for anyone in favour of leaving the European Union). Politics lately are stressing me out: the London Assembly election today, the referendum on leaving the EU in a few weeks, and the horrible, hateful candidate up for election as President of the USA. Honestly, if it weren't for that nice Mr Trudeau, I'd be hiding under a rock.

Also today I washed my dinosaur. Yay! for clean dinos.
baratron: (poly)
So I finally have my trip to Canada booked. I'm flying to Toronto on Friday 28th August to meet Shifty. He's American, but lives close enough to the border that Toronto is pretty much the nearest major city.

Then Richard's flying over on Thursday 3rd September and all three of us are going to hang out until Sunday 6th September. Then Shifty's going home and Richard and I are going to Montréal until Thursday 10th September, whereupon we fly home.

Any potential burglars who are reading this and think that they can break into our house while we're away, please note that it will be guarded by a vicious Attack Mother. Which is worse than a dog, because a dog will only bite you... my mother will talk you to death!

Anyway, if you are located in Toronto or Montréal and might want to meet up with us while we're over, please read below the cut-tag. Details )
baratron: (angry)

US SIM card not all that helpful. Reception in the house is flaky at best. Yesterday it took me a full 3 hours simply to post (a) one message to a web forum giving the people I'm supposed to be meeting up with my address & US phone number, & (b) one LJ private message with the same details. ARGH!

I have no idea whether any of these meetings are actually going to happen, as I haven't heard back from anyone yet.

Also, this SIM card is locked down somehow so I can't use my phone as a WiFi hotspot for my computer, like I do at home when away from a modem. So it's tiny screen phone internet only.

And just to add insult to injury, T-mobile, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to put a "Web Guard" on my phone. This blocks access to LiveJournal & deadjournal, but not *actual* dubious content - I had no trouble viewing the NSFW webcomic Menage à 3!

Currently I am sitting in the sun outside the Walmart on the 192 at W Vine St and Oren Brown Road (feel free to look it up on Google Maps if you want to stalk me in the next half hour). I got so "claustrophobic" in the house that I had to get out, even though it meant trundelling along the grass verges of main roads. Claustrophobia isn't really the right term because that's a fear of open spaces, and there's nothing BUT open space here. But I felt totally trapped and panicky in a place where you need a car to get anywhere.

It's bloody weird here. Apparently Floridians don't believe in pavements/sidewalks. They exist, but only in actual housing estates. You go along the pavement & suddenly it vanishes, to be replaced with a naked grass verge. WTF? This happens over and over again down the length of a road. I have no fucking idea why, because the weather is so glorious here that walking or cycling in the outdoors seems a way better option than being stuck in a metal box, but go figure.I am also having severe environmental rage, all the time.

They don't recycle here. At all! EVERYTHING goes into the normal dustbin for landfill. ARGH! What a waste! Just add all the overpackaging issues (e.g. tons of disposable plastic bags, handed out like sweetie, even for things like 1 gallon drinks bottles WITH THEIR OWN HANDLE), and you can see why it's making me angry.

Anyway, going to try unbarring my phone again now. Hopefully will be able to read LJ again soon.

Edit, 22:06 Couldn't get my phone unbarred since T-Mobile's system was "being upgraded". However, I am now in HOOTERS of all places, using their free internet :D

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

baratron: (aibo)

We are safely in Florida, but the journey was horrible. We:
* did not miss our flight
* the plane did not crash, get diverted or hijacked
* received our luggage at the other end
* our luggage was on time & had nothing missing
* arrived without having received any injuries
* did not get detained in US Immigration
yet Richard still thinks it was the worst flight he's ever had!






Also, we have arrived at the house to find the internet doesn't work. So I've had to buy a US SIM card for my phone simply to get net access. It is UNBEARABLY slow & keeps disconnecting, but better than nothing. However, posting takes forever.

And Richard's paintball friends are faffier than bisexuals! Seriously - I didn't believe it was possible, but they are! Going shopping or out for dinner with them is a nightmare because they can't make decisions about ANYTHING!

And just to make things perfect, I accidentally left my carbamazepine at home, so had to pay $60 to the doctor in a walk-in clinic to get a prescription for 8 days supply. Fortunately, it's an ancient drug (been out since the 60s) and I could get it on generic, so it was only about $21 despite having to pay full-price. Still, that's $81 I didn't *need* to spend.

Hopefully I'll be able to do some sightseeing tomorrow...

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

baratron: (introspection)
Richard & I have been really emo this evening. When it's one of us that feels bad, the other one can comfort them; but it seems to be almost impossible when both of us feel bad to simultaneously provide comfort.

Basically - Richard invited me to come with his paintball team to Florida next month, but where they will be staying is the arse end of nowhere with no public transport. So if I went, I'd either be stuck in the villa all day every day, or having to take taxis everywhere - which will cost a small fortune and greatly limit my movements. If they were staying in Orlando, it would be fine - but they stay in "cities" like Davenport and Polk City, which have 1500 permanent residents and then thousands of holiday homes. And Orlando is in the total opposite direction to where they need to go for the paintball tournament (which is literally in the middle of nowhere), so they couldn't even drop me at a bus stop on the way there.

We then proceeded to have a mutual meltdown about how broken I am. Bluh. It got long... )
baratron: (boots)
The Freezepop aftershow party got broken up by the police last night. ROKK!



Actually, it wasn't as rock'n'roll as it sounds. The story I heard was that some completely random person was drink-driving, and someone from the party saw this and took down their number plates. An altercation occured, and someone (else?) from the party called the police. When the police arrived, they reasonably assumed the drunk person had come from the party despite everyone's denials, and broke the party up. Huh!

You know, I don't think it's possible to call the police to break up a private party in the UK. You call the noise prevention hotline, only if it's a Friday or Saturday as that's the only times it happens, and if it's bad enough then they call the police. They Do Things Differently Here.
baratron: (squid!)
Well, I'm home. Many thank yous to my lovely hosts, [livejournal.com profile] jinian & [livejournal.com profile] hattifattener and [livejournal.com profile] leback & Alexei. Also to their various cats: Dizzy, Bat & Squeak, and Jasmine, Mischa & Tofu, who did not meow all night and keep me awake, jump on me while I was fast asleep, or put all their weight unexpectedly on my bladder. In fact, I successfully shared a bed with Jasmine for an entire night, and only woke up sneezing because of the cold I already knew I had. It may be that I am no longer allergic to cats; either that, or my current allergy meds are good enough to deal with the allergy. Hooray! 

I currently feel absolutely rotten. While in the US I "accidentally" reduced my Efexor dosage from 112.5 mg to 75 mg per day without passing through 90 mg as intended (went straight from every 16 hours to every 24 hours; couldn't manage to remember every 20 hours). This was fine in Seattle which was having unusually summery weather, and especially in the Bay Area which was glorious (around 30 °C and incredibly sunny). Now I am back home, and it is grey, drizzly and disgusting - under 20 °C, and well and truly autumn. SAD is suddenly kicking my arse, bigtime. I wasn't expecting it this early, and I am completely unprepared.

Also, yes, I've had a cold. I'm pretty certain it isn't the PAX H1N1 because I really haven't been very ill at all by my standards. Didn't have a thermometer to check my temperature while I was away, but I knew I couldn't have much of a fever because I could still think. (My brain gives up entirely once my temperature reaches 37.7 °C or so.) However, I was spacing out badly enough in the airport in Friday that I refused the offer of a hotel room for the night, a business class seat on Saturday and $200 in compensation in exchange for allowing myself to be bumped off the flight, because I just wanted to get back to the land of civilised healthcare asap. Really didn't want to have to have the argument/fight with my travel insurance people about whether a chest infection following a cold would count as a "pre-existing" condition given that I have asthma and get secondary infections after every other cold.

I've had a night of bad breathing, so I'm going to pack myself off to the doctor first thing in the morning. Decided I wasn't ill enough for A&E, but I definitely need to get my lungs listened to. I'm 90% sure I have a chest infection, because my lungs feel full of goo and it's hard to breathe deeply. If I didn't have asthma meds, I'd have been a very unhappy bunny - have been taking double of everything for a week now. It's time for Moar Steroids (UGH).

And I have No Freaking Idea how to fix my jetlag. Normal people can get up early and/or go to bed early, and it fixes itself. With my sleep disorder, I could drag myself out of bed at 6 am, but I won't get tired any earlier. The only sure-fire way to fix it is to stay up later and later, and work round the clock *that* way, but... that's a method for last resort. 
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
WE'RE IN BOSTON!!!

I am in a hotel room with [livejournal.com profile] hoopycat, [livejournal.com profile] veryfineredwine and a [livejournal.com profile] wuzzie. Dawn is crashed out on the bed and the rest of us are spodding on our respective portable electronic devices.

Freezepop tomorrow :) Wheeeeee!
baratron: (cn tower)
Currently packing bags. Have just failed to check in online owing to the fact it's an international flight (well, duh). *slaps American Airlines about a bit*.

For those who care about my sewing creation: I've fixed the feet by virtue of having unpicked the belly entirely and one seam of each leg. Turns out the feet really did need to go on before the legs were finished. Now it's all working nicely. Shame I can't get it finished before travelling :(

See you on the other side of the Atlantic, soonish.

YES WE CAN!

Nov. 5th, 2008 04:51 am
baratron: (cn tower)
So, who else sat up all night watching the US Election even though you're not even American? :D

I kinda want to go to bed now because I'm tired and have to get up in six hours, but I want to hear Obama's speech :)

I have to admit that McCain's speech conceding defeat had me in tears - it was a REALLY good speech. "This is an historic election and I recognise the special significance it has with African-Americans." I really like that he encouraged his supporters to now support & work with the new President. Also amused that he only got round to thanking Sarah Palin after 6 minutes. Seems like a rather long time to speak without mentioning one's running mate.

Now... is there any news from California about the evil Proposition 8? Yesterday (well, Monday now) Google Ads put a "Yes to Proposition 8" ad on lots of people's blogs & webcomics without their knowledge or consent, which rather circumvents their policy of "Don't be evil". Humph. Although they did issue an official statement about it, which helps somewhat.
baratron: (goggles)
Also, I have 101 tabs open in Opera. Can we just take it for granted that I personally consider Sarah Palin to be the very worst sort of US politician? The sort that makes any left-wing liberal city-dwelling European go "...W. T. F.?". (Actually pronounced like that, sounding out all the letters in disbelief.) She does BAD THINGS to polar bears and wolves. I actually cried about the wolf bounty business. According to Time magazine, which when I've read it has seemed rather conservative and significantly more right-wing than the current UK government, when she was mayor of Wasilla she tried to get the library to ban books. I'm not sure I can think of any situation involving book-banning or burning that doesn't make me grit my teeth and growl for the sheer Wrongness of it. Even crappy books espousing opinions which "any right-thinking person" would find offensive deserve the right to exist.

One of the things about US politics that I really will never understand is how it's so all or nothing. On the one hand, you have anti-gun people arguing along the lines of how guns are evil and no one should be allowed them, and on the other hand you have the National Rifle Association going on about how it's an American's God-given right to bear arms and enshrined in the Constitution. Where are your sensible gun proponents? The ones that say that gun ownership is unnecessary if you live in a city, but useful if you live in the middle of nowhere 3 hours drive from the nearest police station? This is something that many city-dwelling Europeans will never get, because we don't understand the sheer scale of North America. I don't think any parts of Europe are 3 hours drive from the nearest police station. Hell, in most parts of Europe, you drive for 3 hours and you're in a different country!

It's taken me an awful lot of thought to get to a point where I'm even vaguely comfortable with the idea that there are circumstances in which it's sensible for ordinary people to have access to firearms. I'm a pacifist hippy vegan type, y'know? But, through the limited amounts of travel I've done in the US, I've managed to get a highly limited understanding of living in the middle of freaking NOWHERE - though I will never understand why a person would ever want to do so. I still believe that guns are evil - but then I also believe that people should have a chance to avoid having their house destroyed or family killed by a large rampaging wild animal. Though my emphasis is firmly on the gun for defense, rather than offense.

Similarly, the names used for the various sides on abortion. "Pro-life" or "Anti-abortion" versus "Pro-choice". "Anti-abortion" is particularly problematic as is there anybody in the world PRO-abortion? I think we all agree that it's horrible. But, as I've said before, if the choice is between a legal, safe abortion - and an illegal, unsafe abortion, I support the right for legal medical assistance all the way. Why is it that the people who are most against teaching kids about sex, and giving them access to contraception, are also the ones most against abortion? Why are they not fighting abortion by improving knowledge and access to resources so that young people know how to avoid getting into a state where they'd need to have one? It just doesn't make any sense to me.

Why do we not see the politicians who argue a middle ground? "Those of you in cities do not need guns as you have the police to protect you. Those of you in the middle of nowhere need proper training and licensing of guns so you can protect yourselves." / "I am against abortion, so I am going to ensure funding for contraceptives and sex education so that kids are protected when they go through their adolescent experiments?". I suspect I will be continuing to read Mudflats for some time, whilst shuddering in my boots.

It makes me all very sad. So here are some silly (but excellently done!) Obama supporter badges to cheer me up. I'm a little confused as to why classic cars, unicycles or beards should be for Obama as none of these things can vote - but maybe "classic car owners", "unicyclists" and "beard wearers" would take up too much space? Also, a tiny turtle, which is my new panacea. Feeling stressed? Tiny turtle! Internet flame war? Tiny turtle!
baratron: (Default)
I am so far behind with livejournal - both reading and posting. I have a bunch of half-written writeups about panels here & cool things people said, which I'll try to drag into shape before I get home. Theoretically I should start posting to alt.poly again (if only for a few weeks) but I need a decent pointy-clicky newsgroup reader that supports threading properly & has a killfile. What you won't be seeing from me are any posts about Las Vegas itself. The Strip is so colossally over the top that it broke my brain, and all I can really do is post the photos with comments and let you draw your own conclusions.

[livejournal.com profile] the_ogre is my new guru and spiritual leader. He managed to fix the main thing that was wrong with the laptop (refusing to boot) in minutes. It turned out to be an entirely moronic problem. Cut so you can play the guessing game. ) The touchpad is still broken, owing to the fact the connector is held on by sticky tape as shipped, but this was curable by buying a US $12.99 mini USB mouse.

Currently the weather here is absolutely awful (sandstorms), and several people who left for the airport have had their flights cancelled and come back to the con. I hope this isn't still going to be the case tomorrow. I'm at the stage of holiday where I really want to stay here with all the shiny people, but I also really do want to get home and hug my Richard.
baratron: (cn tower)
The EeePC is still broken. Read more... )

So this is just a placeholding entry as written on the expensive hotel internet to remind me when I write this up later (or in case I never do):

  • Hooting keeps my mother awake
  • The Quest for Glucosamine
  • Candle Cafe - omg, the portions!
  • Central Park & NYPD
  • Guggenheim Museum - WOLFIES!
  • Meeting [livejournal.com profile] rosefox & [livejournal.com profile] sinboy
  • Babycakes - vegan bakery!
  • Yummy Italian food
  • Christopher Street & Stonewall memorial
  • Times Square - Rock Band adverts! Hard Rock Cafe!
  • Bed about 2 hours later than it should have been.


That may, in fact, be enough information for you to know what we did :)
baratron: (poly)
a letter from America? (Sorry for the Proclaimers earworm there.)

Who wants a postcard from the US? Priority given to people that I won't actually be seeing at alt.polycon, as that would just be silly ;) Priority also given to people who answer this poll within the next 24 hours, as then I can print out your addresses onto labels to take with me, which greatly speeds up the whole postcard-writing process.
[Poll #1128263]
I've set the "who can view" to "none", so feel free to enter your address in the poll itself.
baratron: (dino)
I am researching options for places I can eat in Las Vegas. There isn't a whole lot of choice. However, there is apparently a DONUT STORE which is entirely vegetarian and 70% of items are vegan. WE MUST GO THERE!!!

Ronald's Donuts
4600 W Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, Nevada (89102) (at Decatur)
702-873-1032

Who at alt.polycon is going to have a car with them? Apparently, if you're from out of town you can phone and they'll make up a huge box for you. Mmm.6 more restaurants under the cut. )
baratron: (bunches)
Travel Itinerary For: MISS HELENLOUISE $mylastname )

My mum & I will be in New York from about 6pm on Tuesday 29th January and available for socialising Wednesday or Thursday lunchtimes or evenings. I would very much like to introduce my mum to [livejournal.com profile] redbird, and anyone else who's available. My mum is much harder to feed than I am, but I'm sure we can find somewhere suitable. (Italian is fine as long as they can do vegan things that aren't salads - I don't eat salad in January! Also, if it's a lunchtime meal, I know there are several soup & sandwich places in the midtown area that specifically use the word vegan or vegetarian + dairy-free in labelling as I've seen them before - can't remember details of locations, though.)

Once again, I want Americans' phone numbers! Mobile/cellphone if possible, or whichever number is best to get hold of you at 3pm NY time on a Tuesday. I doubt I shall have trouble getting through Immigration when clearly travelling with my mum, but you never know - that side-trip to Las Vegas might mean that I'm running away to marry someone I met on the internet! I shall screen all comments to this post and unscreen any that don't contain a phone number.

Yay! It's really happening! Yay!!
baratron: (introspection)
Every time I visit North America, I get reminded how impractical European ideas about slowing down global warming are. We think the North Americans should just stop using their cars to drive everywhere, and forget how spread out North American cities are. Because they are not short of space, things there are far, far more spread out than at home. For example, the strip mall - a collection of five or six shops in a single-storey, flat building with a huge amount of parking at the front - that simply does not exist in Europe, as we don't have the room. I made [livejournal.com profile] rmjwell fall over laughing when I admitted at alt.polycon 11 that I'd thought a strip mall was a place you went to see strippers.

What really brought this home to me was going to the drive-in with [livejournal.com profile] futabachan & Amanda. This North American custom does not exist in the UK, or in any part of Europe I've visited. Of course we have cinemas, but never outdoor ones, except occasionally during summer music festivals. It was cool to be there, but weird - it seemed very wasteful to have each individual car blasting its own sound system rather than the cinema using a single one. And drivers were advised to switch on their cars occasionally to prevent their batteries running out. Because electricity generated by non-hybrid cars' petrol engines is so energy-efficient...

Anyway, the movie, Ratatouille, was cool. And seeing it in Canada means that I can go home & see it with Richard, and thus fulfill my desire to see a Pixar film twice within a few weeks. (I always come out & want to see the film again). Nonetheless, it was a surreal experience for me.

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