Friday, August 18th, 2017 10:35 pm
Teddy bear with deerstalker and pipe #toronto #torontoreferencelibrary #teddybear #deerstalkerhat #arthurconandoylecollection

I like a friend's suggestion that this teddy bear, on display in the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at the Toronto Reference Library, should bear the name of Bearlock Holmes.

Looking down from the fifth floor #toronto #torontoreferencelibrary #architecture


Two by two, looking down #toronto #torontoreferencelibrary #architecture


Stepping outside the collection, on the fifth floor of the Reference Library, and looking down to the ground floor in the vast interior, the impressive scale of the edifice becomes clear.
Friday, August 18th, 2017 02:27 pm
I've deleted the post I wrote this morning when I was certain I wouldn't get on the linguistics course, because it would look stupid now that I have been offered a place!

It still has to be sorted out but I'm making Andrew do all that stuff because I don't actually understand how clearing works. But I had a phone call with a nice person from the department who seemed surprised when I was surprised she said she would like to offer me a place on the course, heh. I don't think I composed myself very well during that conversation, but she didn't change her mind anyway!

Holy shit, you guys, they're letting me do linguistics at Manchester University.

Starting in a month!

I've already enlisted the help of [personal profile] barakta who knows a lot about financing and disability stuff, which is awesome, but really I have no idea how to go to university in this country.

I was pretty sure this wasn't going to work. Not for impostor-syndrome kinds of reasons, real ones. They didn't hide how hesitant they were about me: because I didn't take AP classes (my poor rural school didn't offer any, though I spent all my high school life being told I should have been taking them and I think that'd have worked far better for me anyway), I didn't take the SAT because I'm from the Midwest and was looking at colleges in the Midwest, I didn't have the grades in college because I was so fucking mental but still years away from realizing it.

I was sure this wasn't going to work. Because that's what happens to me: I can do things but can't prove I can do the things. Same with job interviews all the time.

Everyone on Twitter is happy, bless them all, but it still hasn't sunk in for me.
Tags:
Friday, August 18th, 2017 10:52 am
Yesterday morning I saw I'd been tagged in a tweet where Andrew linked to this, saying "Jesus Christ. By this standard, @hollyamory and I are in a 'marriage of convenience.'"

The article is about a High Court ruling saying that a "genuine couple can enter in a marriage of convenience." Even people who are in a real relationship, not seeking a "sham marriage," can apparently be told that they can't get married because by doing so one of them would attain an "immigration advantage."

Which, yeah. Is exactly what Andrew and I did. With no other avenue of study or work open to us in the mental/physical/financial state we were in at the time (or indeed at any time since), the only way for us to stay in the same country was to get married.

As I pointed out in a series of angry follow-up tweets, the only reason we needed an "immigration advantage" is because being poor and disabled have been declared immigration disadvantages. Marriage is the only route available to current non-EU citizens who don't make £35,000 a year. (Maybe one day that (or its successor at a no-doubt higher salary threshold) will apply to non-EU citizens too.) This is not the fault of any people getting married.

This is not the fault of people getting married.

You may start to see now why I hate the Home Office, why I am the unusual rat who jumped on to the sinking ship of Brexit Britain. Andrew and I both really don't want to but also can't move to the U.S., and there's no other country that will have us both. So if we're going to stay in the same country, it has to be the UK. So I want to feel as secure in that as possible.

When I started talking about this on Twitter, a lot of my friends pointed out that marriage is a legal status so of course people are going to enter into it for legal reasons: tax, inheritance, child guardianship, lots of things. In the UK, increasingly few people get married solely for religious reasons, so legal elements are going to be part of the decision for a lot of people. Yet it's a bad thing if any of those reasons are immigration-related?

Increasingly I'm realizing how much higher a standard immigrants are held to than the native citizens of not just the UK but certainly the U.S. too (where, y'know, immigrants and visitors actually have to say they're not Nazis!) and no doubt other countries as well. It's so frustrating to see this everywhere.
Friday, August 18th, 2017 11:00 am
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 09:17 pm
I've had a better week this week anyway, but it's also been a busier one.

Monday and Tuesday I got a lot of stuff done around the house: caught up with everything that I let slide over the weekend while I was away and the week or so before when my mental health had been too bad. We're at only normal levels of disorganized and cluttered now, and while it's kind of sad that feels like an achievement, at least it's an achievement.

Tuesday I got a key and directions for feeding a friend's cats while she was away for a couple of days. She kindly paid me very generously for this, which was completely unexpected but so nice. I was worried I'd forget but I didn't! Even managed to feed them at about their usual times, except it was a bit later this morning because I slept badly last night.

Yesterday I had a meeting of the VI steering group I'm no longer running. The team manager who gets paid for it is sorting out the meeting dates and telling everyone about them, which honestly I think works better anyway. I feel bad I'm not doing it, especially since I'm interested in other volunteering things -- at this meeting I met someone from the Disabled People's Access Group who says I'd be good to join in some other stuff she does that did sound interesting to me.

On my bus ride there, I got to hear the finished product of a great fanfic audio story that I did one of the voices for. I wasn't too cringeworthy and the story turned out great. I really hope there are more stories in the series, partly because it'd be fun to play my one again, partly just because I want to see what happens.

Yesterday Andrew also got further in applying me for this university course; he actually talked to the clearing people. They asked for a scan of my high school diploma, which since it's at my parents' I was worried would be quite a challenge, but my dad's e-mailed it over this evening and said it was easy. Well done, clever parents!

This morning I had another meeting about a totally different volunteer thing. It's at Manchester Museum, involves some really cool technology and senior people who are very keen to get the expertise of visually impaired people. I am super excited. That probably won't start for a month at least, so at exactly the same time as Lib Dem Conf and this uni course if I get on it and so I am sure that will be fine. No really, I will make it all work.

And this afternoon my friend Mary was in town, which I hadn't known about until a couple of days ago. She's usually near Norwich so this is quite remarkable. I hadn't seen her in more than a year, since the weekend of falling in the river in Oxford (sadly you can't see the pictures right now; I still need to figure out how to get them off Photobucket and to somewhere useful). A train derailment (not hers!) meant she got in a bit later than planned but we still had time to rush around finding somewhere still open where she could buy euros for her trip to Ireland tomorrow and have dinner in a pub. Battered halloumi and chips for both of us (but I swapped my chips for sweet potato fries because sweet potatoes are great and regular potatoes are not). She'd never had halloumi like that before! We bitched about politics and she taught me some Irish words (I will probably forget them again, like I did last time, except not the one for "penis" because it has a joke as a mneomic device).

Saturday is the "Bi Takeover for Pride" event at the LGBT Foundation, which honestly I am treating like another bit of BiCon, down to going along to see people I know who are going as much as I'm there for any of the workshops. So that should be nice.

So yeah. Good week. Glad to know they're still possible.
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 07:33 pm
(Mostly scribbled down at about 8am this morning.)

On the fells, pastures slope up to heather--but some part of my mind expects forest. And I don't know whether that's a medievalist who's read Nicola Griffith one time too many, or the New Englander who's used to a landscape that's pine trees by default, or whether it's some other cause that accounts for the fact that my gut-level expectation of a landscape is the fields slope up to the forest.
We're going through Elmet, but the wood is long gone.
The heather's in bloom; the decaying/ex- mill towns look almost exactly their counterparts in New England.

There's something, I muse as we roll toward (or maybe out of) Caer Loidis, past what's probably about to be a mall, there's something especially ugly about Development in Britain. Maybe it's just the fact that I know there's so much /less/ land here, and so every bit that's actually still woods or fields is that much more precious; or maybe it's the knowledge that any given chunk of land once belonged to someone, may have two thousand years of history and owners beneath it, and now the topsoil that contains whatever minimal traces that left--if nothing else, the plough furrow, the soil chemistry because /this/ was sheep pasture and /this/ was in barley when Robert Aske's Pilgrims marched on York, or Fairfax passed by on the way to Marston Moor--being untidily bulldozed.
Or maybe it's just that development usually makes me disgusted, and I'm just less used to seeing it here.

I ramble: then and now. Then on the Trans-Pennine Express with Peter, who still finds the view out the window utterly too boring to bother with; or now in my Mum's library, the books all packed in boxes for a move that hasn't come yet, Mum reading Country Life of all things, Peter having utterly crashed after a day of constant energy. Both times utterly sleep-deprived, so much so that five hours of jet lag is a secondary factor at best: our plane caught a tail wind and arrived an hour early, and that in itself is great--but it means I slept for maybe an hour on the plane, then another hour uneasily napping in a real bed when I realised I just couldn't any more. Either way, safe across the Atlantic.
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 10:00 am


textsfromsuperheroes:

Kat: So Forrest Gump is based on a book, and the author of the book was furious at the movie adaptation saying they cut out all the good stuff. I have read the book, they cut out all the stuff that should be cut. Like in the book, Forrest becomes an astronaut, he becomes best friends with a monkey, he ends up the prisoner of a cannibalistic tribe where he is now also a chess prodigy and the chief won’t eat him until he can beat Forrest at chess. There is so much of the book that just needed to go.

Adam: He’s also like 6′5 and a womanizer and he loses his virginity in college whereas this movie delays him losing his virginity as this kind of holy event. Two hours into the film Jenny is just like, “fine.”

Kat: And Jenny is his childhood friend and you see their lives in parallel but it’s shown that Forrest just lets whatever happen to him and never questions authority and is wildly successful, while Jenny fights against authority then gets AIDS and dies. Not my favorite theme.

- The Hosts of I Hate It But I Love It on The Many Problems With Forrest Gump

Listen to more episodes here or on iTunes.

Thursday, August 17th, 2017 11:00 am
Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 11:00 am
Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 01:53 am



And here's a bonus episode for all of you -- all just a wee little diversion from my previously scheduled review episode (which I'm getting back to very soon!), full of my belated thoughts on Jodie Whittaker and her recent casting as the Thirteenth Doctor.

So, please join me as I discuss Jodie herself, as well as Chris Chibnall's soon-to-be stewardship of the show, finally having a female Doctor in our midst (at least as far as the TV show is concerned!), fandom's myriad reactions to the casting news, lots of gender stuff, and, finally, just my own reaction to the news.

And as I said, this is basically a 'mini'-style episode, but again, as with previous 'mini episodes', its admittedly not particularly short in length (yes, despite the diminutive name status!) It's just how I currently differentiate such episodes from the 'regular' episodes, especially when taking a break from the regularly scheduled program. But that's all inside baseball. Or something.

Oh, and also from a production standpoint, this episode admittedly took a few weeks to edit with all my own recent Life Stuff slowing things down, so some things mentioned may be a bit dated here and here, but it's all good. I doubt it will impact anything, really!

Anyway, as always, glad to have you all here and please do enjoy the ride!

Table of Contents:

0:00:00 - Opening, Welcome, & Production Notes
0:10:31 - Discussion of the Casting of the Thirteen Doctor (And Related Stuff!)
1:01:05 - Coming Soon on the Next Episode! (Plus Goodbye, Thanks, and Outro!)


Go here for download link and show notes:


http://terminus.libsyn.com/terminus-podcast-mini-episode-3-tardis-full-of-bras-thirteenth-doctor-announcement

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