sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
[personal profile] sistawendy
I am currently gussied up and looking mighty fine, if I may say so myself, for dinner with a certain elder Goth who isn't feeling well and so postponed. Not a date.

Getting together with Grenade on Sunday, about which I am psyched. Not a date either, but I sure wouldn't mind if it were.

I finally broke down and got an HP 6968 printer/scanner for taxes, insurance claims, and various kinds of circumflatulation. I did connect it to my laptop via WiFi, but I passed on the web-based print service because DANGER WILL ROBINSON. The printer/scanner is not intended to be used for dating, you freaks.

My father's brother has asked for my copy of the Navajo dictionary that his father contributed to. He wants to donate it to the historical site with which my father's family is associated. (I've been there once, in '89.) It seems like a good idea to me; I lost the thing for a few years, and I don't want to lose it again. Besides, it should be where people will see and appreciate it. Mentioning my uncle and dating in the same sentence gives me a headache.

Discussions for nailing down the venue for my 50th birthday party. The price, facilities, and general attitude of the proprietress are eminently reasonable, but there's one wrinkle: I'm not allowed to divulge the name (or, I suppose, address) of the venue until the day of the event. I hope invitees won't get too cheesed off at me about that. I'll be asking her if I can at least name the neighborhood, among many other things. This party is not a date, but it'll be my 50th birthday and I'll be in a fabulous leather corset, so I better get at least one good kiss out of it.

I have dates scheduled for Friday and Saturday night. If I don't survive, I'll die happy.

Academic Gaming

Feb. 21st, 2017 07:12 am
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon
I know there are several people here who are quite into gaming in various forms, so it's probably worth passing on a fascinating website I just came across (and save myself a link to it at the same time).

PaxSims is run by Rex Brynen, professor of political science at McGill University. His focus is "the development and effective use of games and simulation-based learning concerning issues of conflict, peacebuilding, and development in fragile and conflict-affected states" So you get lots of stuff trying to simulate the intersection of politics, military affairs and humanitarian crises. There's at least one complete game available under the Aftershock link, but it's the reviews I've been finding fascinating, as there are more games in the sector than I'd imagined, ranging from the serious military simulations with added politics (Persian Incursion - Israel tries to take out the Iranian nuclear programme, incidentally the link that brought me here), to slightly more balanced mixes with BCT Command Kandahar, to much more political/resource management focussed with Afghan Provincial Reconstruction. Even better, the reviews are mostly based on having played them, in some cases with his students, and analysing what worked and what didn't, rather than simply having skimmed through the rules.

There's also reviews of books on wargame and game design, which I'm pretty certain [personal profile] yhlee  will find interesting, and a ton of links to related sites
sonia: Quilted wall-hanging (Default)
[personal profile] sonia
On Belonging by Kate Leth

"I don't count because I'm in a relationship." "I don't count because I've only ever kissed one girl." "I don't feel like I count in the queer community because I have a boyfriend." "I want to go to pride but people always scoff at me and my partner." "I'm not gay enough." "I'm not straight enough."

It's not something any of us bring up at the dinner table unprovoked, but I have heard it over and over again.


Feb. 19th, 2017 03:41 pm
jeliza: custom avatar by hexdraws (Default)
[personal profile] jeliza
 I went with B & A and assorted crew to the "Naked Spa" yesterday and went into the restaurant there for the first time, which is Korean food (because Korean Spa, natch) and now I want ALL THE PICKLED RADISH.

So I've been looking at inexpensive fermenting equipment on Amazon. Would I follow through on this? I dunno. But I do love pickled radish, and pickled ginger, and good sauerkraut...  which are not actually that easy to find.

This popped up in my pinterest and looks really cool (very moderne design, supposed to be super easy to use) but the amazon reviews are a bit mixed, while this super basic "thing you stick on top a wide mouth mason jar" has consistently good reviews, and appeals to my "not another big gadget to store" instincts.

(This microwave popper is close to defeating my "another gadget to store" instincts; we do the paper bag thing now, but I have a pretty uneven popping rate and the butter is really erratic, and making popcorn be a trivial snack for the kids to produce would be a big win)
twoeleven: (Default)
[personal profile] twoeleven
i saw taj express last night, which is two hours of bollywood dancing, all but untroubled by meddling plot and characterization.¹ there was a narrator and a sketch of a frame story, but those could be entirely ignored.

so i saw about a dozen movies' worth of dance numbers. they were all very pretty, and the show was a fine way to spend a few hours, but the dances tended to all blur together. so very little stands out in my mind. the opening number included what seemed to be an adapted classical indian dance along with its invocation of the muse (for indian values of muse). some of the other dances appeared to be taken from older indian forms as well, but others seemed to have strong american influences (breakdancing and hiphop). the ObFightScene had some resemblance to the video for "beat it", but i imagine there aren't many ways of staging a dancing fight scene.

i'm not sure i can recommend this one, unless you really want to see bollywood dance numbers. it probably could have been shorter with no loss of interest. or perhaps it needs a greater variety of dances. i don't know which.

1: i generally don't like musicals. the plots move at a snail's pace, and the songs are a bit scattered. but break them up and i'm perfectly happy: a bunch of show tunes is a fine thing, and the stories are more entertaining when they move faster.

Work and Health

Feb. 17th, 2017 11:43 pm
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

Beyond my part in the Spartacus Network response to the Work and Health Green Paper, I wanted to do a personal response as I take a slightly different view of the Disability Employment Gap that Work and Health is supposed to challenge and think it's much more to do with employer/recruiter disability discrimination and tacit government acceptance of the same/reluctance to display employers in a bad light.

I'd set today aside to do that, as submissions have to be in before 11:45PM (and dyspraxic, so bad with deadlines and planning), so of course today was the day I crashed and burned and slept all day because of cumulative fatigue.

The consultation had 46 questions, I managed to answer about 30 of them between waking up and remembering and 11:30PM rolling around which was when I pressed submit (just in time, it wasn't exactly quick to respond).

Which means I couldn't thoroughly respond to Work and Health because it was too much work for my health....

*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*


sistawendy: (contemplative red)
[personal profile] sistawendy
So I've committed: I've put down a deposit on a custom corset from Dark Garden in San Francisco as my 50th birthday present to myself. It's going to end up being the single most expensive item of clothing I own, at least in nominal dollars. *Gulp!* But I'm reasonably certain it's going to be awesome. I have the money saved up for it, sort of. I have a Folsom-corset-and-50th-birthday-party fund, but so far it can only pay for one of those. I have some time to save, though. Dark Garden hasn't contacted me yet about details, but luckily for them I've given them an absurdly long lead time.

Also bought: a half dozen bottles of cheapish wine, mostly for the purposes of making my chicken in white wine reduction, which m'boy loves. (He likes it when I let the sauce brown a little, he says.) Gotta love that PCC discount on four or more bottles, but six is about my limit for carrying the three blocks home on foot.

So how is my son, you ask? He'd finally psyched himself up to go talk to his an advisor at his community college, but he found out they're on break until next week. Le sigh. It's a good thing he has plenty of time. He's really gotten himself worked up about it, but as I told him, I'm pretty sure the advisor is going to do most of the talking; that's what happens when your grades aren't good.

Oh yeah: at the recommendation of some queer girlfriends, I've started reading Sunstone, a series of comics about a bunch of kinksters and centered on a couple of queer women. It's as if I'm a target demographic or something. I asked the Siberian Siren if she wanted vol. 1 for her soon-to-be-celebrated birthday, and she said, in essence, shyeah!

Sleeeep - and that damned parcel

Feb. 17th, 2017 07:59 pm
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon
The multiply-transatlantic parcel finally arrived this morning, the alarums and excursions around it claiming to be delivered last week were due to it being held up with a customs fee - VAT to pay - which I finally got a card telling me needed paying on Tuesday.  I wouldn't have minded the VAT too much if the Royal Mail's handling fee hadn't practically doubled it.

I may have been slighty more wound up about it than I realised as I'd no sooner glanced through the contents and confirmed everything was there* than my body decided I was going to sleep. Now. By my reckoning I'd already had 6 to 7 hours, and my body decided to double that.**

So it's 8PM and I just had breakfast....

I haven't been sleeping particularly well since early January when I came down with that blasted cold, I seem to have been on more of a 30 hour, or 36 hour, cycle than a 24, which keeps you functional, but in a state of permanently too knackered to do anything constructive, not to mention awake at awkward times of the day and it looks like it may finally have caught up with me. Hopefully I can get back to something resembling normalcy now.

* Except for the stuff that went permanently out of stock in the near year it took the main item to finally be published,

** Complete with two*** dreams about starting a PhD back at Lancaster and having a pleasant conversation with the fiercest of my old lecturers. There are also vague memories of being signed up as an officer for World War Three (and Case Nightmare Green from the Laundry Files), but that's down to the reading I've been doing. All of them surprisingly domestic, rather than kinetic.

*** Or one dream, interrupted, as I woke up in the middle of it, checked the time and picked up the narrative again when I fell back to sleep.



health insurance dammit

Feb. 16th, 2017 08:53 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
I'm not going to put a 'politics' label on this, because this exact thing has been happening to me for 30 years, and I don't expect it to stop in my lifetime. This thing is: I have health insurance. I see a health care provider. I hand over my insurance card and my payment. A month later I get a bill from the health care provider. I call the health care provider. I talk to a phone-answerer; she doesn't know anything about anything, except that her screen says I still owe $X. I confirm that they have my insurance information, that they billed my insurance, that the services they billed were the services I received, which are covered by my insurance. I call the insurance company. They assure me that the health care provider's bill has been paid in full, and that I do not owe them any more money. I call the health care provider back. The phone-answerer says they'll look into it. Thirty days later I get another bill for the same charge, in pink, with threats to send it to a collections agency. Most often, another round of phone calls will settle it, though the health care provider never admits that they got anything wrong; they promise again to look into it, and this time I don't get another bill.

I'm so angry right now. I hate the phone and I hate arguing with people and my blood pressure reacts very very badly to threats, and there's nothing I can do except stew about it until tomorrow, because I picked up the mail when I came back in from walking the dog, which was just after 5:00.

I wonder how many people who are more phone-averse or less good with paperwork or just too damn busy or not as entitled to fairness as I think I am just cough up the double payment.

I wonder whether these things would happen to me so often if I had changed my name when I got married. They don't seem to happen to my non-Hispanic husband.


Feb. 16th, 2017 04:45 am
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

The new Spartacus report, Smokescreen, into the government's Green Paper on Work and Health, is out. I'm listed as a co-author as it incorporates my 'Ticked Off' dissection of Disability Confident, but didn't actually do any work on the main report - which is a monumental, spectacular effort by Caroline Richardson and Stef Benstead.

TLDR: The government want us to see disabled people as the problem in disabled people being unable to work, rather than challenge employers as the actual cause of the Disability Employment Gap.

Executive summary of Work and Health: The beatings will continue until disability employment improves. *Headdesk*

TIL: photic sneeze reflex!

Feb. 13th, 2017 12:45 pm
sistawendy: (weirded out)
[personal profile] sistawendy
Ever since I can remember, sudden exposure to sunlight has made me sneeze. This happened on the bus this morning - a rare sunny day in winter in Seattle - so I asked on certain other social media sites about this. Photic sneeze reflex is a thing! It's a common thing! And its genetics are well known and fairly simple.
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