Interview

Thursday, July 20th, 2017 03:36 pm
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[personal profile] hollymath
I told people I didn't have my heart set on the job I interviewed for today, but they ended up running a half hour late by the time I got asked on, and I spent that half hour in the café talking to the finance/admin person, who was basically there to open the door before the café opened and chat to people. We talked about our dogs (she has lurchers!) and bringing family over to visit (she's Dutch) and what this place is like to work for (friendly and relaxed, and it seemed lovely when I saw her interacting with co-workers). I saw the person I vaguely know which is how I found out about this job, and she chatted with me about the local Pride planning since that's how I know her, and she complimented the brooches on my waistcoat (well, neither brooches nor waistcoat are mine, [personal profile] mother_bones loaned it to me so I didn't have to wear a suit jacket in heat or humidity) and...

In one way it was really nice not to have to just sit and wind myself up while I waited. The bus timetable meant I got there about fifteen minutes early, too, because it was either that or be late, so I'd actually been sitting quite a while and it didn't seem like it at all with someone nice to talk to.

But it did mean I ended up really really hoping I get this. Which is really really inconvenient.

I had vague answers at some points where I think specific ones would be better. But the interviewers seemed more impressed with me than I would've been if I were them, so I dunno if I'm being too hard on myself or they're just really nice. Well, they are really nice, but I don't know how much that was masking their thoughts!

They said they hope to have an answer for us by the end of today or else tomorrow. So at least I don't have long to wait.

I woke up long enough before my alarm this morning thst I was both extra-bothered by needing a haircut and actually had time to do it. So I did, and I took picture after I got dressed (in my fancy clothes, not the grubby ones I walked the dog and went to the post office on first) and put it online and have had a lot of nice and supportive comments. I know selfies can boost self-esteem but I don't think I'd ever actually had it happen to me before! So that was fun.

Tomorrow morning...

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 06:01 pm
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[personal profile] hollymath
...I will go to another job interview and pretend I am not the kind of person who starts their interview prep the night before.

Ugh. I have to do a presentation and I hate presentations. At least it doesn't have to be powerpoint.

Bleh

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 11:48 pm
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[personal profile] hollymath
It would be nice to have one goddam day with no nap needed in the evening, no anxiety attack in the wee hours, no debilitating headache...

Yesterday was anxiety attack in the middle of the night again. Today was blinding headache so I was in bed by eight o'clock (I'm awake again now to tell you this because somebody thought 11:30 on a Tuesday night was a good time to set off fireworks that sounded like they were right outside my bedroom window).

Something every day. Seems kind of crazy I'm trying to find work again, when these symptoms are worse than they've been in years.
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[personal profile] hollymath
Honestly the thing I want to do now is watch the finale knowing the new Doctor isn't another white man. Because I watched that with such trepidation that when it finished and James asked me what I thought of it, I said I liked it but then just went on to be really pessimistic about the breadcrumbs towards a woman playing the Doctor.

I absolutely didn't trust this show not to give me another white man, and I surprised myself with how incapable I was of getting my hopes up. And my guardedness really dampened my ability to enjoy or even evaluate the last episode.

It'll be interesting to watch it again and see if what I feel about it changes. Where's my DVD box set already?! (I want to watch most of this season again, and have ever since I finished watching the episodes the first time.)

We're all stories in the end

Sunday, July 16th, 2017 05:14 pm
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[personal profile] hollymath
I had to remember to put my phone on silent before I went to church.

I don't think I've been to church since i had a phone to put on silent, except going along occasionally with my mom when I'm back visiting and I can't use my phone in Minnesota anyway.

I haven't gotten myself to church since I was, what, nineteen? Somewhere in my first or second year in college I went from the holdover of fairly evangelical Christianity I'd finished high school with to wanting to sleep in, and then working night shifts on Saturdays and somewhere amidst the practicalities my keenness drained away and my belief drained away altogether without me noticing until long after it had.

I've been to the odd wedding (including my own!) or funeral in church since, but not anything so closely resembling a normal service until today.

And today wasn't that normal; it was the baptism service for my fictive nephew, who was not christened or baptised as a baby and decided of his own volition this year that he wanted to be. He just turned eight today.

It was strangely familiar: the liturgy is more modern than I grew up with, but a lot, especially the congregation's responses, is pretty much word-for-word what I was used to, and it surprised me how much came back to my mind, just in time for me to say it. I fumbled through prayers, only remembering one line as I finished the previous one, and even remembering one of the hymns (though not from my fusty old church but from the Bible camps of my teenage years).

But it was also very different: so much more relaxed not just from the officiants at the front (both women!) but also from the congregation, who chatted incessantly beforehand, who didn't mind their kids running over to talk to their friends somewhere else, who clapped when a six-year-old read the gospel (and having a six-year-old reading the gospel at all!).

It was really special, including Jack using his dad's christening shawl in the baptism. And his Bible as, basically, a prop. "Jack's dad is giving him the Bible he had as a child," the vicar said, and the honesty of small children compelled Jack to say "but I have to give it back to him afterward," which got the biggest laugh of the event.

I'd never seen anyone baptised who wasn't a baby. Indeed my mom was fretful and slightly judgmental of family members who'd never baptised their children; baptism had an air of insurance about it, it was a layer of protection to get in place as soon as possible "just in case..."

The more evangelical Christians I fell in with as a teenager left me with the idea that baptism should be a meaningful decision made by the individual at an age where they can make it. But of course all the baptisms I saw were at my mom's Lutheran church or my dad's Catholic one, where the only way one differed from another was whether or not the baby cried when it got water on its face (and, when I was old enough to spot this, whether the family were regular churchgoers according to the grumbling judgment of my own family).

Whereas this clearly had Jack's personality stamped all over it, and I thought that was lovely. He bounded around, bounding to and from the front of the church as need be, reading out lines he'd practiced both in the baptismal service itself and as part of the communion service, disappeared to talk to a friend one time when he was about to be needed up front again, delivering that line about having to give his dad's Bible back with perfect comedic timing, and a million little things that made me feel lucky to know him well enough to recognize him here and to be a part of his special day.

At the end of the service the deacon said, "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Stopping for coffee along the way." And it just made me grin. The first part I'm so familiar with, the second wasnt even an implicit part of the doxology I grew up with; at my mom's church people lingered to chat but at ours everybody scattered as soon as we shook hands with the priest on the way out. And even my mom's was too formal to have the coffee being mentioned.

When I got home and changed, I still heard my necklace rattling around on its chain around my neck. I wear them too infrequently these days, I'd forgotten all about it. It says "We're all stories, in the end" and I wore it because I got it as a Christmas gift from Jack's mum one year.

It was fitting anyway for today, a day where near-fossilized stories about my childhood joined up to stories about the people I'm glad to have in my life now that things are mostly so very different but still can be linked back to the old ones.

Only much later did I learn my necklace was a quote from Doctor Who, since I never watched all the Tennant episodes, and that made it a nice choice for today too, when I got home just in time for the news of who the new Doctor is, and the potential for lots of new stories.

Good boys

Saturday, July 15th, 2017 01:44 pm
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[personal profile] hollymath
Had an anxiety attack last night. Middle of the night, already tucked up in bed. Even let the dog upstairs (and he was a very Good Boy). So exhausting.

Eventually I got to sleep, but I kept waking up. But every time I woke up I had Andrew glomming onto one side of me and the dog pressed right up against my leg on the other side, and the pressure and warmth were intense enough to be really comforting. I was always able to get back to sleep, until a reasonable time this morning.

[food]

Saturday, July 15th, 2017 01:25 pm
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[personal profile] hollymath
Did that thing where I made enough food for two meals, then ate it all because it was so tasty.

Ginger, garlic, chili flakes and orange juice blended together for a sauce added to quorn chicken pieces. With sugar snap peas, red pepper and noodles.

All gone now!

More adventures in copy-editing

Friday, July 14th, 2017 10:26 am
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[personal profile] hollymath
Note to self: find out how Andrew wants to restructure this paragraph in light of the fact that EDM is not a new musical fad.

Bless him. He rightly writes about 60s music most of the time, since he knows nothing about most music made in his lifetime. But when one of those 60s bands carries on until now, he can run up against some issues.

Admittedly not as many as the Beach Boys fans he told me about the other day, who are pleased that one of them is doing a song with the guy from Sugar Ray because it means he's helping "young musicians." The guy's in his forties and Sugar Ray was a thing when I was in high school...

Being as charitable as I can: to people obsessed with musicians in their seventies, this guy must seem like quite the whippersnapper. But really, I suspect they just think that anyone they haven't heard of can't really be famous yet.

Well, here's a thing.

Thursday, July 13th, 2017 06:34 pm
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[personal profile] hollymath
The first thing I signed up for when Trump got elected was the campaign to impeach him. They've just sent me this e-mail:

Yesterday, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA, 30th District) and Congressman Al Green (D-TX, 9th District) introduced an Article of Impeachment (H.Res. 438) against President Trump for High Crimes and Misdemeanors. The article focuses on obstruction of justice.

We’ve reached a critical threshold in this campaign, but we have to keep working together!

How can you help?

The House Judiciary Committee must now be pressed to hold hearings on this article of impeachment, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte needs to hear from you.

Please call the House Judiciary Committee at (202) 225-3951. When someone answers, ask to leave a message:

Hello, my name is ____________. I am calling to urge Chairman Goodlatte to hold hearings on the Article of Impeachment introduced this week by Congressman Brad Sherman and Congressman Al Green. Our democracy is counting on the House Judiciary Committee to take action. Thank you!

To read the full Article of Impeachment introduced on Wednesday, click here.

Warning: pettiness ahead

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 07:09 am
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[personal profile] hollymath
There's something delicious in proofreading a sentence criticizing a lyric that includes "someone whose job it is to work with words should understand the difference between the dative and the nominative" when it's not the dative case he's talking about, it's the accusative.

I try so hard to be a kind proofreader, because we all fuck up, but I think it's Language Log that have the rule that goes something like "if you criticize someone else's grammar, you're bound to make a grammatical mistake in the process of doing so"? And it just made me smile.

In which I am not a nice person

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 10:09 pm
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[personal profile] hollymath
I went to see my friends' new house today and I was kind of an asshole about it. Because it was so great, and I'm so happy for them, but it was also hard not to be envious.

I don't like my house nearly as much and there was so much I wanted to change when we got it that immediately became unaffordable when I lost my job. It was such a long time ago and we're so much poorer now with little prospect of being able to afford the things that were supposed to happen then, much less anything I want changed cosmetically or less-essentially.

I thought I'd gotten better about this but last couple of months, it's been worse again. I just feel like I have no control over my environment, and I'm getting mopey and resentful and all the bad emotions about that.

I wish being happy for my friends didn't have to be mixed up with all this ugly shit in my own head and life.

Swimming through treacle

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 09:55 am
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[personal profile] hollymath
Yesterday I got an e-mail inviting me to an interview for the job I applied for, and my first thought, honestly, was "great, one more fucking thing."

That's the same thought I had about the last one. It is so inconvenient having depression, it really is.

Good day

Sunday, July 9th, 2017 09:54 pm
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[personal profile] hollymath
  • Spent half the night awake, but still managed to get up when my alarm went off to go to yoga. (I've been trying to go either Wednesday evening or Sunday morning or both. I did neither last week but both this week. And when I got there I found that it was my usual teacher's first time back after a twelve-day holiday, which means the sessions I missed last week would've been taught by the person I had on Wednesday night who was...perfectly nice but not so well suited to me as this guy is. So then I felt less bad about being unable to go last week.)
  • Was so hungry I ate breakfast even though I was going out for brunch with friends, which ended up being very useful because our food got hugely delayed.
  • Food was very good when it turned up, including my hummus and spiced cashew salad that [personal profile] haggis was rightly FOMO about (I ordered it from a page that was missing from her menu!) but luckily she was still happy with the food she did order.
  • Went for a nice walk in the sunshine, through Stretford and along the Bridgewater canal, which made me happy to be near water again, something my Minnesota upbringing has taught me to always expect to be near to.
  • Talked to parents back from their vacation Up North: fishing and swimming and campfires. And my family being their usual selves. My grandma went and had a nice time, which is good because she hasn't been going every year lately. My cousin's kid, now seven, still asks about me even though she hasn't seen me in two years bremembers me because no one else will go kayaking or swimming or caterpillar-finding with her like I did then.
  • We actually went near a place on the canal today where you can go kayaking, I guess. Me and Katie are talking about trying it sometime. I'd love to, I really miss being on the water.
  • And I did a job application for a LGBT charity, with help from Andrew on getting through the person spec. I always lose the will to live before I get halfway through, and he's genuinely convinced that I am as great as he's saying I am so it works out really well. I should remember to exploit him for this more often!

[food, alcohol]

Saturday, July 8th, 2017 06:16 pm
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[personal profile] hollymath
So I had some ginger that really needs using.

And a lime...

And I thought, what do I want that I can make with lime and ginger in it?

So naturally, I thought of rum.

I googled and found a recipe for something to make at a cocktail party, but I just made it myself. Cilantro! What a good idea.

Of course, when I say I made it I don't mean I followed the recipe. I didn't have quite enough sugar, I probably had too much ginger (because it needed using up), my rum bottle was emptier than I thought so there wasn't quite enough... but it still tastes great.

And since I swapped all my potatoes and onions in the veg box this week for salad veg (and prayed for good weather! what I've got is perfect), I made a big salad for my dinner: last week's lettuce which still needed using, ridiculously fresh and tasty red pepper, cucumber, sugar snap peas (which I always get excited about when the seasonal veg box brings them to me), homemade croutons and dressing. With a Quorn-chicken fillet sliced over the top.

It all just tastes so nice, and it reminds me of how shamefully recently I wouldn't have made salad dressings or croutons and just wouldn't have eaten like this at all. I didn't grow up with any of this kind of food.

I've been thinking a lot lately of everything I struggle with or don't know how to do; it's nice to be reminded of some things I have learned.

A meme

Saturday, July 8th, 2017 01:13 pm
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[personal profile] hollymath
Nicked this from [personal profile] mrs_leroy_brown because I was just getting myself riled up looking at twitter, and figured I could use something brainless to do.

Are you named after someone?
My middle name is Michelle because I share my birthday with my dad's brother, Michael.

Cut to save your scrolling fingers )

Bad brain days

Friday, July 7th, 2017 04:35 pm
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[personal profile] hollymath
I have been really quiet here lately -- reading a lot, commenting as much as I can, but having nothing to say for myself. For the simple reason that depression has been kicking my ass.

I'd been so anxious before this that now that the anxiety's gone I have nothing sufficiently stressing me out for me to do it. I've been sleeping a lot because what's the point of being awake? I've been failing to apply for jobs either because I misremembered the deadline or because I decided a few months of badly-paid admin wasn't worth applying for, even if it is for a charity I care about.

I follow lots of things for immigrants, disability, and queer people on Twitter, and when they advertise job vacancies I sometimes apply because I care about these things, but something always goes wrong. It's not a very good process to find a job, but I'm wary of stepping into the big world of job hunting because it tends to give me panic attacks and because I know most jobs would just make me more mental in six months than I am now. And I'm at far too high a baseline of mentalness right now to risk that.

I really need a low-stress job and so many things stress me out, and it's not something you can filter for. "Are the people who work here nice? Will they yell at me for things I don't know how to do?" These questions are not easily answered; it's probably no surprise a lot of my jobs have come from knowing someone who already works there, which helps answer these kinds of questions. But that's not something I can wait around for, either.

I have lately been harboring fantasies of going back to college (university, I'd have to learn to call it), which is surprising, frankly. And no help at all.
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