baratron: (voted)
Am back from telling. Dogs at the Polling Station update: 5 during the hours of 1pm - 3pm.

Yay: I got licked by a very fluffy husky.
Boo: His owner was a very obnoxious Tory.

Here is an interesting video from BBC News: How do you vote when you're blind?

In other news, London's newspaper, the Evening Standard officially Went Too Far last night. It is now edited by George Osborne, who is famous primarily for being Chancellor of the Exchequer (a.k.a. Finance Minister) for David Cameron's government. Obviously, you would expect a bit of Tory bias in his newspaper.

Well, yesterday it was announced that Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, is unwell. Shadow Ministers are from the main Opposition party (currently, the Labour Party) and literally "shadow" the jobs of Government ministers. Conservatives have argued that she isn't really unwell at all, this is an excuse to get her out of the limelight because of mistakes she has been making during the Election campaign. Personally, given my chronic illnesses, it seems entirely obvious to me that a person who has previously been very competent and suddenly starts making mistakes could be ill. But hey, I'm biased in a different direction.

The Home Secretary is responsible for immigration, policing, and national security. Theresa May was previously Home Secretary, and during her incumbency the UK Home Office asked LGBT asylum seekers utterly atrocious personal questions, held traumatised people in detention, generally treated them like crap on a stick, and sent legitimate asylum seekers back to their original countries to get tortured and/or killed. The Home Secretary is also responsible for the UK's efforts to Fight the War Against Some Terrorists. It's basically the third most important job in the British Government.

The Evening Standard responded to the news of Diane Abbott's illness by commissioning this absolutely appalling cartoon. It's rude, obnoxious, and dismissive of pretty much everyone with a long-term serious health condition. The rather wonderful Jack Monroe has pointed out everything that Diane Abbott has achieved in her career. It's long, and impressive. Plenty of other politicians never accomplish this much. So why does she get so much abuse? Could it be because she dares to be middle-aged, female, black, and fat?
baratron: (aibo)
Today I experienced the joy which is seeing a doctor who doesn't know me. Apparently my usual GP is on holiday somewhere warm, lucky woman.

So I was explaining to the doctor that I have had chronic fatigue and pain on and off since I was 13 and I'm now 40, and that I was concerned about the pain in my left knee. The last time I was in this kind of pain was March 2003 when I got diagnosed with hyperventilation occulta. It's a chronic fatigue syndrome type of pain rather than an injury sort of pain.

I explained that I was concerned because I am unable to do very much exercise because of my exercise-induced exhaustion, and now because of this pain I can't even do the small amount of exercise that I usually do. It hurts when I sit, it hurts when I lie down, it hurts when I stand, it hurts when I walk, it hurts when I stretch. Nothing that I know of changes the pain. Since some of my other joints are starting to get achey too, I am concerned.

Trigger warning: unwanted diet advice. )
baratron: (endurance)
xoJane: Fat kids and formerly fat kids are at significant risk of eating disorders, yet are more likely to go undiagnosed and untreated. Something that I only really thought about based on the experience of a friend, but it should seem obvious once you think about it. How would American media report on the Government shutdown if it were happening in another country?. A bit out-of-date now, but certainly interesting.

Society's New Rules (According to the Internet)

Not Always Romantic: Three is a Crowd, but also Allowed. The last line just makes it.

The 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever.

IKEA or Death? Does that shouty Scandinavian name belong to an IKEA product or a death metal band?

Knitted nautilidae!

Snakes Wearing Tiny Hats.

Pet snake playing Pokemon X/Y.
baratron: (lego)
This may interest some of you: Film director Kevin Smith is thrown off US plane for being 'too big for seat'. In a series of Tweets, he laid into Southwest Airlines for their poor customer service. I'm going to copy & paste a lot because he is too verbose for 140 characters!
Dear @SouthwestAir - I know I'm fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?

Here's the story, as told today:
Via @mitch_bartlett "if you normally fit well in the seats, why do u normally purchase 2 tickets" SWA tickets are cheap enough to afford it.
Had three seats/whole row for me & Jen. She skipped SF, so I went solo checked in and was given the 2 tix there & return 2 (for that p.m.).
Going out, even with 2 tix, I only sat in one seat, sleeping against window, w/empty seat between me and follow passenger. Coming back would
have been the same, at 7pm. But I got to the airport early enough to try to bump-up my flight to 5:20 - a practice @SouthwestAir does often.
I was told 5:20 flight was packed, but I could go Standby. They sent me to gate. Told lady whole story, and she said there wouldn't be two
seats on that earlier flight. I said I only needed one seat & that I didn't buy an extra seat because I'm fat (which I am), but because I'm
anti-social and didn't want to sit next to someone & possibly have to make convo (in person, I'm very shy). She said she understood. I was
issued the solo ticket. I get on the plane: open seat in the front row. Put my bag away, the sit between two ladies. As I'm about to buckle
my extender-less seatbelt, the woman who issued the ticket to me appeared in the doorway of the plane, came over to me and said the Captain
said I wasn't going to be allowed to sit there because I was a safety risk. I asked for clarification and was given none (also asked "Please
don't do this" but that, too, fell on deaf ears. Ladies on either side said I wasn't a problem. SWA-lady said arm-rests the decider. Arm-
rests come down, and voila! I'm legit! I've passed the stinkin' arm-rest-test. And still, the lady asks me to get up and come with her off
the plane. I get up without a fuss at all, quietly grab my bag, make eye contact with a fellow Fatty who was praying he'd pass, and leave.
You think I wanna fuck around on an airplane? I was right: I fit in that seat. But I can't risk not complying: I'm more afraid of AirFeds.

Here's a cartoon that a fan drew. I think that most of us can probably relate to it. (Even Richard, who is of average height and rather skinny, doesn't have enough room on planes. The problem is with the plane, not with the customer.)

A bunch of Kevin Smith's Tweets from the plane: )

Dear Other Airlines (including Oceanic, sans Flight 815): I'm in the market for a flight east this Thurs. Which one of you likes fat people?

Look folks: some people seem to think that because I work in the pictures, I should piss away money on private jets or first class flights.
Rest assured: I take LOTS of first class flights. But while I've got some comfortable money, it'd disappear quick if I didn't respect a $.
So for quick, 1hr flights to Vegas or SF from LA, I never minded @SouthwestAir. Never had a problem with them before, either.
But contrary to their claim that I regularly purchase two seats, I wasn't a regular 2-seat buyer until just this week. They SEIZED on that.
In their "apology" blog, they implied (or flat-out wrote) that I regularly purchase 2 seats. Writing that buttresses their lie: 2 Fat 2 Fly.
But, by their own guidelines, I was not, in fact, 2 Fat 2 Fly: the arm rests went down & I could buckle my seat belt w/o an extender. So...?
Hey @SouthwestAir: you bring that same row of seats to the DailyShow, and I'll sit in 'em for all to see on TV.
If I don't fit, I'll donate $10k to charity of your choice. But when I do (& buckle the belt as well)? 1) You admit you lied. 2) Change your
policy, or at least re-train your staff to be a lot more human & a lot less corporate when they pull a poor girl off the plane & shame her.

And there's even more at SMODCAST #106: Go Fuck Yourself, Southwest Airlines. I've got 10 minutes into the broadcast and he's still going on... Apparently it's an hour and a half and features him telling his story "as PRELUDE to real story: the poor girl @SouthwestAir shamed on my flight home."

Does Twitter have an interface for seeing Tweets in chronological order as posted, rather than reverse chronological order? I wonder how people who use Twitter regularly cope with seeing everything backwards. It's driven me nuts in writing this entry!
baratron: (introspection)
I haven't got round to writing anything constructive about my doctor's appointment on Tuesday because I'm still processing. More about the actual health stuff later.

Got weighed again and discovered that since coming off mirtazapine Cut for weight-related triggers. )
baratron: (me)
This evening I am feeling awful for some reason. All useless and depressed. I have spare time (for once!) but no motivation to do *anything*, let alone tackling things from the list of Stuff I Should Be Doing. This may be connected to the latest rearrangement of meds, not sure :/

Right now I'm trying to find some environmentally friendly/ethical/free trade clothing in my size, ideally from places with physical shops that I can go to, and it's breaking my brain. List of moans. )
baratron: (test tube)
I went to see "my" doctor yesterday. He's a GP with a special interest in psychiatry, and previous experience has shown that he has more experience and knowledge than any psychiatrist I've ever seen. I haven't seen him in about a year, because I haven't needed to. (This is a good thing.) My antidepressant repeat prescription had got to the "please see doctor to order more" stage, so I thought I'd go along to talk about changing them. Read more... )

So. I am experimenting with new & exciting psychoactive drugs. This may lead to a certain amount of wibbliness and instability over the next few months. I am fortunate in that I can stave off a lot of madness if I know there's a good reason for it. (Cognitive behavioural therapy means that I usually recognise when bad thoughts are due to temporary blips in brain chemistry & can choose not to listen to them without fear of "oh my god, I'm going mad again".) However, changing psych meds when you've been stable - and happy! - for a while is in itself anxiety-provoking. For people who interact with me semi-regularly in person: it would be useful if you're able to notice if I seem to be "not myself" during the next few months. In particular, it is helpful if you tell me if I'm being more irrational than usual.

And yes, I know the "better living through modern pharmacology" tag is too long, so you lose the last y. It amuses me that this is the case. I could change the name of the tag to "tag too long for livejournal", but then I'd probably forget what it's about.
baratron: (black)
I have been trying to find waterproof trousers to wear over my normal clothes at this time of year when cycling.

I have mostly been unsuccessful, due to some belief by sports clothing manufacturers that only skinny people do sport. Many women's cycling clothes only exist in sizes up to a UK 14, with a handful coming in a 16, and virtually nothing in an 18. (I mean, seriously - what is up with a UK women's size 16 being classed as "extra large"? Size 16 is the modal size! Something like 40% of British women are that size.) Men's cycling clothes come in sizes up to XL or XXL, but would be completely the wrong shape for me (I am classic pear-shape - small waist, big hips, enormous arse) as well as being far, far, far too long.

This won't help everyone, but I found that Craghoppers do women's overtrousers in sizes up to 20, in both short and standard fittings. (Look at Womens Pakka Over Trousers - £30). I also found a cycling clothes supplier in the US called Aero Tech Designs, who have Big Man clothes up to 5XL and Plus Women clothes up to 4XL. Oddly, though, they don't do waterproof overtrousers at all. I should probably email them about it.

It just annoys me so much, because one of the great Myths about Fat is that fat people are fat because they don't exercise enough. Well, in that case, shouldn't clothing manufacturers make tons of big size sports clothing to encourage the fat people to exercise? How are you supposed to play sports if you don't have the right protective clothing? Grrr.
baratron: (angry)
this is OUR FUCKING GOVERNMENT producing this shit

The BMI is a crock of shit at the best of times (how can you trust any measure that rolls fat, muscle and bone together as if it's the same thing?), and in children...? And as for the "fat police" monitoring who can eat what... words fail me.

baratron: (black)
There are lots of kinds of physical beauty. Modern Western society has decided to focus on a particular type that, for female-bodied people, is tall, slim and willowy. This idea of beauty is a comparatively new thing. If you look at portraits painted at various times over the past few centuries, you'll see that curves were most definitely in fashion for a lot of that time. Victorian women wore bustles to try to make their bottoms look bigger. Georgian women have soft, plump features like babies. In Rubens' time, zaftig was most definitely in.

According to a Cosmopolitan magazine in my doctor's surgery, in some modern African societies, women go on a diet before they get married. But rather than going on a diet to lose weight, they diet to gain weight. For, in a land where famine is common, fat is prized. Being fatter increases your chance of surviving if food becomes scarce, so increases your desirability as a breeding partner - which is, apparently, what our brains are subconsciously looking for even if you're childfree by choice. Makes no sense to me, but that's biology for you. (I wonder whether anyone has done research into what people look for in a same-sex partner?).

It's about 'fat' and 'beauty' and their lack of mutual exclusiveness - it _shouldn't_ be triggery, but I don't know where your buttons are. )
baratron: (sleepy)
5 hours sleep is not enough. Had to be up at the crack of dawn for a doctor's appointment. He was running late, so I sat in the waiting room for about an hour. This meant that by the time I got home, I'd been conscious for long enough that I couldn't get back into bed and fall asleep again (I tried, it didn't work). So now I'm tired and bad-tempered, and I need to get dressed and go to work, except all I really want to do is sleep.

Mention of 'weight loss'. Cut-tagged for your convenience. )


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