Mar. 20th, 2017 08:08 am
baratron: (bi_pride)
Apparently there is a BiFest on Saturday 8th April, approximately 10 minutes walk from my house. This is so very close that I really have no excuse not to go. So who else will be there?

The day after, I am flying to the US to see Grant for two weeks, so it will be awesome to see all my bi and/or poly friends beforehand!
baratron: (bi_pride)
I realised last night, I'm on page 37 of my novel and there hasn't been a single female character yet. Not one with actual dialogue. One's mentioned in passing and the other is a horse - I hardly think this counts. The only exception would be if you don't know that I Only Write Slash and assume that the first-person narrator is a woman. Damn!

This is doubly annoying since it's fanfiction, so I'm stuck using the characters who exist in canon. In the scenes with the Blades (the Emperor's bodyguards), I've tried to use the female ones, but there are only two of those. Even worse - and for this I really am a bad feminist who won't be getting any biscuits, my original character Alix moans about a couple of female Mages Guildhall heads. Both of them are incredibly annoying & incompetent in the game: one, who only cares about her own research, not about the welfare of her fellow mages; and another, who has virtually no magical ability whatsoever and only got the job because of who she knew.

This really sucks and I don't know how to fix it. There is a female alchemist, and Oleta, the country's best Restoration trainer, who both have to be written into the chapter I couldn't face writing - oh, and a woman town guard. That's about Chapter 3 of this, if the novel was structured like that. Oleta comes up again in the second-to-last chapter when Alix is completely broken following [MAJOR SPOILER]. There's also a female archivist in the Mages Guild Library who has a part somewhere around the middle. Apart from those, I'd be adding women for the sake of adding women. Hmm.

In other news, I will be at neither the bisexual activists' weekend nor Birmingham BiFest. My body is beyond broken right now. In fact, I've had so much time for writing due to being completely unable to sleep because of pain :/ Right now I can walk about 5 m, and it's fricking agony. Dragging my arse into College today for the first time in two weeks, then home to collapse with the laptop. Urgh.
baratron: (bi_pride)
Tomorrow is, variously, International Celebrate Bisexuality Day or Bi Visibility Day.

I couldn't decide whether to go to the London BiFete or the Brighton Evening With Cake, so I'm doing both!

I will be at BiFete with my friend Lou from 2-3.30ish, and then at the Brighton Evening from 6-8pm. And on trains the rest of the time.

I have discovered that First Capital Connect are actually competent, and were able to book my assisted travel despite my journey consisting of three separate train companies. This is so amazing that I might have to die of shock.
baratron: (test tube)
I am "okay". Magically started feeling better about a month ago, and have been working steadily on my PhD research ever since - but I am still buried up to my eyebrows in work and sinking.

I have a deadline of 6th July for my next report due in to the Graduate Committee, with ideally about 3 months of work to do between now and then. It's okay - I've discussed the situation with my supervisors and we've worked out what I need to do rather than what it would be nice to do, and got that 3 months down to what's possible in a few weeks, but nonetheless I am busy and barely coping.

Also, to make things worse, we have tickets to see Adrenaline Mob on 5th July, meaning that I actually need to get the report almost-completely-finished a day early. I am not missing that gig! It was bad enough missing Steel Panther, Mötley Crüe & Def Leppard in December, but they're all bands that I only "vaguely" like, playing in a big arena. I'm not missing the mighty Mike Portnoy playing METAL in a tiny venue!

So I am being a "crap friend". People are posting about difficult things in their lives, and I've been reading livejournal but hardly commenting on anything - even when the other person desperately needs comments! It's not that I don't care, it's that coherence is not happening awfully well. I need to find out again who is happy to receive blank comments (meaning "I have read this and am sorry that things are difficult for you right now, but I have no spoons for coherent thought"). Either that, or I need to get the copy-and-paste on my phone working better so I can paste that sentence in every time.

In other news, my birthday is mostly cancelled this year - due to the fact that I'll have to spend it working. I'm planning to be at BiFest on Saturday briefly, probably from 2.30-5pm. Let me know if you're going. Also we've been planning to go to Whipsnade Zoo for months (we need to see the bears. Bears are good for stress relief), and finally settled on Sunday June 24th. Let me know if you feel like coming along, especially if you have a car. It's possible to get there by public transport, but not desirable. The bus from the nearest station is only every 2 hours on a Sunday, and is timed so that you miss it.

Anyway, I'm sorta falling asleep now, so I'll post this and go to bed. G'night :)
baratron: (bi_pride)
Apologies for not posting anything in ages again. I have even more half-written posts now!

Last week I had a cold, and the snot has continued most of this week. Blah.

Portal 2 is eating my life. Also I am doing cognitive behavioural therapy about my sleep problems, which may help in the long run.

Must post the interesting links that are cluttering up my browsers. All of them. I have five different Firefox profiles, and they're all cluttered with stuff that I'm saving - even the one called "start blank"!

Tomorrow I'm going to the Oxford not-a-BiFest. Wasn't sure if I was going to be well enough because of the snot, but today was a gloriously sunny day and I have been outside for lots of it. I will be having Fun With Trains, since the most sensible route becomes Railway Replacement Buses at 8pm, and they are not guaranteed to be accessible. So I have to come home by a different route to the one that I'm going up on. Fortunately, it isn't too insane. In booking my Assisted Travel I managed to convince them that Oxford --> Basingstoke --> Surbiton was vastly preferable to Oxford --> Basingstoke --> Clapham Junction --> Norbiton, considering I can just get a bus or taxi home from Surbiton. Going back up to Clapham Junction and down again would add about 45 minutes onto the journey. But I was still on the phone for about 35 minutes, which is ridiculous compared to the amount of effort it takes to book a journey if you can do stairs. (In fact, most people wouldn't even bother to prebook a journey of this type, given that 2/3 of the trains are ordinary commuter trains). Hmm.

I also have a new phone, as mentioned recently - an HTC Desire Z. Now I need recommendations for Android apps for:
  • a good livejournal client (something like Semagic on Windows would be awesome - Xjournal on Mac OS X is usable but nasty).
  • a notepad-type program (emailing or texting myself seems a bit stupid in most circumstances when I could simply tap in a note).
  • an irc client that can handle multiple servers at once.
  • Anything else which I "must" get.

What a disjointed post! Oh well.
baratron: (sleepy)
I seem to be ill. Yesterday, instead of going to Oxford BiFest, I slept until 6.30pm. Eventually staggered out of bed, ate something, and sat on the sofa playing Pokemon and falling asleep. Went back to bed and slept until 2.30pm today, which is actually 3.30pm because British Summer Time kicked in overnight and they stole an hour from us.

I'm really not sure what's wrong. I'm sneezing a lot and have an itchy nose, but it could just as easily be an allergy as a cold. I just feel absolutely shattered and brain-dead.
baratron: (dino)
Had a fairly meh weekend due to my entire body crapping out on me on Saturday. I'd wanted to go to Birmingham BiFest but with my back, legs, right hip and left ankle all hurting, I wasn't going to manage 4 hours on trains. Even my gall bladder decided to get in on the action! I haven't had gallstone pain that bad in years. Instead I spent 15 hours asleep. Woo.

Yesterday was much more interesting. Richard & I went to see Ghost Forest in Trafalgar Square. It's an exhibition of tree stumps from rainforest trees in Ghana. Some of the trees had been felled sustainably (every tree in the rainforest there is numbered, and you can only take a certain quota of trees from a particular area in a 40 year period), others had fallen naturally. It was particularly useful to have the exhibition there because Nelson's Column is a similar height to the mature trees, so you had an immediate reference for the size of them when living. Also the plaque alongside each tree had a simple graphic comparing it to Nelson's Column (like when blue whales are compared to London buses, or in a video game info screen where you see size of monster compared to your character). Richard took lots of photos and I shall prod him until they go online.

Today the exhibition was being taken down, and sometime this week the trees are going to Copenhagen for the climate change summit. I don't know if there is a comparable building to be a size reference there.

I like the story about the Denya tree not wanting to leave the ground.
baratron: (lego)
Thank you all for nice comments on my last post, especially [ profile] leback who wrote the best part of a complaint letter. Haven't managed to turn that into an actual complaint & send it yet, due to a severe shortage of spoons.

Am coping a bit better but have had a cold for the past week. So that's been a chest infection, a sinus infection and a cold, all one after the other. Seriously, what is wrong with my immune system? I'd be concerned if it wasn't for the fact that I've been like this my whole life, and nothing makes me more likely to catch a virus than going out with a bacterial infection, and vice versa. I have been using my taxi allowance to get to and from college, which makes me feel pretty weird - guilty, even. I feel bad about fossil fuels being used to transport just me. But I honestly haven't been capable of doing the extra walking needed to take the Tube or buses :/

Brighton BiFest last Saturday was fun and it was good to see various people, such as [ profile] barakta, [ profile] mattp, [ profile] a_musing_amazon and [ profile] anarchist_nomad. Didn't make it down until the evening, so I missed all the workshops, and [ profile] the_kumquat, [ profile] conflux & [ profile] adjectivemarcus... well, hopefully will see them in London soon. The games room was awesome, though playing giant Connect 4 against [ profile] topbit is a waste of time because he'll win. My ability at most of the common board-type games is way below my intelligence level because I'm an only child and never had anyone to play them with :/ Mind you, I did beat Richard at Connect 4, but only because he lost concentration for a second and put his piece in the wrong place. Hmm.

Wow, there's a lot of tags on this post!
baratron: (goggles)
[ profile] artremis's computer has died, so she won't be online from home for a while. I asked if she could bring it up to London this weekend so that [ profile] conflux and/or [ profile] wuzzie could look at it, but apparently she already has to bring the Big Bag of Bisexual Craft on the train and can't manage a computer as well. I doubt anyone feels like running down to Worthing to pick up Ludy and her computer on Saturday morning, but it's worth asking.

Can people who are staying with us for BiFest - so far, these are [ profile] softfruit & [ profile] haggis - please tell me what you like to eat for breakfast. Also what sort of drinks and milk you prefer, and whether or not you're allergic/intolerant to soya. If you can eat soya I can make us all pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast, but if you can't I'll have to find time to buy some ready-made ones from Sainsbury's, which may not happen. The default breakfast when Richard isn't around is entirely vegan (Linda McCartney sausages + potatoes of some sort + fried red peppers + baked beans and/or tinned tomatoes), but I can get eggs if someone other than me is prepared to cook them.

I am currently annoyed because I have lost two exam papers somewhere in my terribly messy house. While I was planning to tidy up a bit before the weekend due to aforementioned people staying here, I wasn't planning to tidy up my study. (All of my current students can cope with the mess - some of them even find it comforting (!!)). The lost exam papers are most likely to be in my study, but to be perfectly honest they could have accidentally escaped into one of the upstairs rooms. Doubt they're in the bedroom because I tidied that on Saturday, but front room & spare room are both possibilities, and both of them have boxes & piles of stuff everywhere. Ugh. Things we got done on Saturday, for my reference. )
baratron: (sleepy)
I am so very tired again/still, and slightly stressed.

List of stuff I need to get done before Monday night. )
baratron: (baratron again)
The Brighton BiFest website is live! Enjoy! I am particularly proud of the shiny Google map, which took a fair bit of wrangling to come into existence. While I did all of the rest of the site myself, Richard is a hero, and has spent several hours fiddling with Javascript to try to create a version of the map page that'll work on PDAs and Windows Mobile devices - you know, for those disorganised geeks who find themselves at Brighton station without a print out of where they're supposed to be going...

I've also updated the MySpace page. My gods, that interface sucks. Apart from being freakishly slow and requiring Javascript for things that really shouldn't, it's just so unbearably hard to navigate. It's particularly daft that you have to pretend that an event or a group is a person because they don't have a "community group" option when you set up your profile, like they do with bands. If you are perverse enough to use MySpace, please go & add Brighton BiFest to your friends, so I don't feel that I've entirely wasted my time.
baratron: (bi_pride)
Today I went to Brighton to take part in a Brighton BiFest committee meeting. I am the Webmonkeymistress & Cake Wrangler. I have posted a poll all about cake on the [ profile] bifest community and those of you who are going to Brighton BiFest should fill it in!

Also, I realised I haven't actually posted the date of BiFest here, so: it's Saturday 9th February 2008. Please come!
baratron: (cn tower)
I have been busy uploading & tagging photos from various trips - some almost a year old.

dino Trip 7 - Modern Art in Manchester, 2006-09-22. If any Mancunians could tell me what the saxophones, Moon, bat wings & bees statue is called, or who it's by, or even what street it's on, I'd be most grateful.

Me, [ profile] alexa_robinson, [ profile] rowan_leigh, [ profile] fluffymormegil (friends-only), at BiFest, 2006-09-23. (Tell me if it's ok to make this public.)

Various "new" photos of me & Richard, from 2006-12-28 to 2007-03-12. Features naked [ profile] wuzzie-chest, if you feel you need warning of that.

dino Trip 8a - Minneapolis & the Mall of America, 2007-03-29 & 30. Features an iPod vending machine, Lego stegosaurus & giant octopus, and wedding chapel - in the Mall of America.

dino Trip 8b - Lost in New York, 2007-04-03 & 04. Features the Empire State Building, giant topiary bunny, a hideous golden statue outside the Rockefeller Center, and the Nintendo World store. And this rather nice picture of ancient & modern NYC. 95%-written post about New York just needs a quick edit & post.

Check out all his majesty. 2007-06-08

Why tricycles are better than bicycles, 2007-06-09.

My birthday party, 2007-06-21. Photos edited so it looks like the plushies went to the restaurant without us :) Delicious vegan food porn from 222.

Toronto Zoo photos, all uploaded & tagged. 75%-written post about the Zoo to follow. 2007-06-29

Photos of actual humans from alt.polycon 15 and from [ profile] hoopycat & [ profile] veryfineredwine's wedding will follow. They're the ones which take the most effort, as technically I'm supposed to contact other people before putting their photos online. What I'll most likely do is upload them all friends-only & get people to say if it's ok to make them public.
baratron: (angry)
Oh gods. It is 7am and I've been awake since 5.45 with astonishingly bad pain.

TMI! )
baratron: (dino)
Here is a plea. If you're taking homemade cakes to BiFest, please mark them so that those of us with food allergies, intolerances or preferences know whether the cakes are safe for us to eat.

Things you may want to mention include, but are not limited to:

  • the type of flour used - wheat flour or gluten-free? If gluten-free, what cereal/s is it?
  • presence of dairy products - check the allergy boxes on the back of chocolate and margarine to find out whether there's hidden milk content.
  • eggs - mention their existence and also if they're free-range, perhaps?
  • gelatine or marshmallows - instantly make the cake not suitable for vegetarians, unless you used Vege-Gel or vegan marshmallows.
  • nuts - along with type. Many people are allergic to peanuts and cashew nuts but ok with hazelnuts, walnuts and pecan nuts, and vice versa.
  • soya or soy protein - a fair number of people have issues with soy. Most of them are ok with soya lecithin.
  • fruit - don't even get me started on the list of various fruits that people I know are allergic to. Some of them have the full anaphylaxic type reactions with lips swelling up and throat closing even to trace ingredients of cooked fruits. According to a list I have in a book for minimising allergic reactions, any fruit except pears can cause problems - except I'm sure one of my friends is allergic to pear! So, um, list your fruits and jams.
  • non-obvious flavourings or ingredients - chilli? wasabi? peppermint? really large amounts of nutmeg?

If you really can't be bothered to write a full list of ingredients, please state who the cake was made by so anyone with food sensitivities can find you and ask questions. This is also a good idea if you wish to receive compliments on your excellent baking abilities!

In case you're interested, this is what I'm going to put on my cakes: Read more... )
baratron: (blue)
September appears to be the month of birthdays. Happy birthday to [ profile] mjl, [ profile] polyfrog, [ profile] bethdeth, [ profile] chrismoose, [ profile] jhaelan and [ profile] serenejournal belatedly, and happy birthday in advance to [ profile] jenett, [ profile] emperor, [ profile] wispfox, [ profile] lindsical and [ profile] 36 for your forthcoming birthdays, for my track record suggests I won't get round to posting anything about it on the actual day unless someone else reminds me. Happy birthday to anyone else who has a September birthday but doesn't list it on livejournal, and I suppose I should probably say happy birthday to all the October people as well, because that sort of organisation's not my strong point.

Birthdays are important to me, but they tend to be more important for people that I share physical proximity with. If I don't know you well enough to send you a birthday present, then I probably don't know when your birthday is. There are people that I'm not geographically close to who I send presents to, but they tend to be "I saw this and thought of you"-type presents rather than "for specific occasion" presents. Hmmm.

In other news, I am physically exhausted right now due to ringing about 15 potential students. It's the fact that when I call them, I have to put on a fake happy telephone voice, and sell myself with my qualifications. I used to do telephone market research interviewing, so I can handle business calls perfectly well when I have a "script" to follow, but it's still tiring to have to sound upbeat and organised and someone you want to give money to. Of my 15 potentials, I've obtained 3 definites, so it was worth doing, but still...

Tomorrow I'm getting up at the crack of dawn (10am) to get the train up to Manchester with [ profile] artremis. We're staying overnight in a hotel just round the corner from the BiFest venue, where we shall be on Saturday along with a whole load of other people. And cake. I am making chocolate crunch cakes with Montezuma's wonderful organic Fairtrade vegan chocolate, golden syrup & cornflakes. Hopefully there will be lots of other vegan cakes there, yes? And possibly even some low-fat vegan cakes. I might manage to do my gingerbread, if I have a bit more energy later. And, uh, I just went to link to the gingerbread recipe and found I haven't typed it in yet, so I'll do that shortly.
baratron: (bunches)
baratron: why is organising bisexuals like herding cats?
baratron: i am trying to come up with a plan for getting me, my girlfriend, her boyfriend, _his_ boyfriend, my psuedo-girlfriend/tocotox-thingy, her boyfriend and two other friends from five different towns to manchester
baratron: next saturday
baratron: starting in different places and travelling on different days
baratron: ARGH!
baratron: did i already mention that none of us have much money at all (I'm probably the most flush with spare cash of the lot of us, which is quite scary really) so we all want to do it as cheaply as possible?
baratron: we're trying to arrange car-sharing and trains and all sorts of argh

* baratron is really tired and brain-dead
baratron i got woken up by parcelfarce [1] banging on the door
baratron: i can't complain about that - more usually, they knock ONCE then stick a card through the door saying "we tried to deliver this but you were out", and then one of us has to go to bloody mitcham to try to collect it
baratron: but i was absolutely sound asleep, and also naked
baratron: so i had to try to get dressed and get downstairs without tripping on my pyjama legs and killing myself

Footnote [1]. )

* baratron dies of the CUTENESS that is her two lovely boys getting engaged in the sims
baratron: i went for the surprise engagement this time. so one of them sorta sneaked the ring box onto the table, and grimaced a little.
baratron: and the other one saw it and started bouncing on his seat, and he opened the box and saw the ring, held it up to the light, and bounced on his seat some more and grinned a lot and put it on.
baratron: SO CUTE!
baratron: and, um - how come every other gay man in the neighbourhood is eating in that restaurant today?

baratron: random ludyism: "when i was young, i thought everyone had their own personal church. because my dad had his church that he was minister of, and my mum had her meeting house, which doesn't have a minister because they're quakers, so she might as well be in charge of it. and all the grown-up people i knew had their own church."
baratron: she rang me up to ask whether i had any ideas for brighton bifest because she's going to the committee meeting about it now, and mentioned that they'e looking for a new venue, and i asked if they'd considered the quaker not-a-church, as they happily hosted the dykes for the dyke modern day of indulgence, and it's MUCH bigger than the bifest venue last year
baratron: so, there was context :)
baratron: (squid!)
Am freezing cold, and sick, and miserable. People who have irritable bowel or other digestive woes may know this one well - feeling like your whole gut is stuffed full of wind, with strange pain and cramping sensations that are spasmodic and slightly random; always there, but some seconds worse than the next few seconds. And at the same time, being so cold like there is a giant icicle inside you, and feeling like if you could only warm up you might feel better - and indeed, putting hot things on your sore belly or back does help with the cramping, but not with the coldness. Drinking ordinary room-temperature water feels like drinking ice, it makes you even colder than how you already feel. And even after you force yourself to think of a hot drink that you can tolerate without getting nauseous, it warms just a small section of you while the rest cramps up around it. Ow ow ow.

Went to Brighton for BiFest and Dyke Modern. Yesterday was good, but "eventful" - in a bad way. (I should point out that none of my loved ones were directly involved, and the most serious injury suffered was me injuring my finger on a toilet door lock and it going all bruised and purple - and this wasn't even related!). Proper write-up will follow when not dead. Today was just good without the "eventful", apart from the parts involving trains - but it started too early after not enough sleep.

Tomorrow is still scheduled to involve me teaching a two hour "group" class at 9.30am, but fortunately doesn't involve having to go to Epsom like it was going to - however, even then, I won't finish work until about 8ish. Blergh. I wasn't terribly sure how I'd manage this anyway, but with this horrible gut cramping and the strained muscles in my shoulders, tummy and back? Oh God.


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