alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (I like pi!)
So today is my first ever December 25th not spent with my family! For the mundane reason that we're celebrating tomorrow (and celebrating Hannukah not Christmas) but it's still been really strange.

This hasn't stopped me getting presents: I got some games off my steam wishlist from Cam, a "Taunting Frenchman from Monty Python and the Holy Grail" Funkopop doll and some caped Robin socks from my friend who always sends weird presents, my Steam keys from the GaymerX kickstarter (good timing on the rewards there :D) and a new chapter from the very fun Pride and Prejudice soulmate fic I'm following, with the satisfyingly accurate chapter title "In Which Mr Wickham Gets Punched In The Face".

I've enjoyed how restful it has been but also felt a little melancholy as night fell so have been watching the most Christmas-y thing on my Netflix queue: Rise of the Guardians. It's an irritatingly generic kids film so far so I'm not getting through it very quickly but I guess that just adds to the Christmas-y-ness.

Also I got inspired to make meat pies for some reason. They turned out really nice, and it's always good to make something conventional I don't normally get to eat. Even with the lowest fat ingredients I could manage it was still fatty enough to make me feel a bit gross but sometimes you gotta have fun.

Anyway, hope you are all having a fun December 25th, whatever that entails for you!
alias_sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Since I haven't done one for a while and feel like there's stuff I have forgotten to record.
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: an airship ladder in the disabled parking (up)
So it looks like waking up at 4-5am is becoming a pattern, on the plus side that gives me time to write this kind of post and plan. Yesterday morning I sat down with a map of Disneyland and added all the charging stations/power points (an image I plan to neaten up then put online, since noone else seems to have made one) then planned out what I wanted to do assuming Cam also woke early and we could take advantage of the one early morning start ("Magic Morning") you can do with a 5 day ticket. And he did!
NOTE: mention of implied fictional rape )
alias_sqbr: an airship ladder in the disabled parking (up)
Today was actually really great! And TIRING, but in a good way. Photos to be added once I post them to tumblr.

Everything is super commercial and fake but I have decided to try and just roll with it and enjoy it for what it is. It's authentic to it's own culture of inauthenticity! And the Disney Corporation got it's claws into my id young enough that even when part of me is thinking "this is silly/cheesy" another part is going "AHHHHHHHH DISNEYLAND :D :D". I'm not sure if it's because Halloween is approaching or if it's like this all the time but there's lots of people of all ages in costume or themed outfits. Every time I see a little Rey my heart grows three sizes.

It's interesting thinking about how things are set up having worked at a museum aimed at kids. And everything is wheelchair accessible. It's great.

And now, details )
alias_sqbr: an airship ladder in the disabled parking (up)
So things have NOT BEEN IDEAL but are looking up. Here's some rambly thoughts, with a lot of stuff about issues relating to my illnesses cos I know that's something I like to hear about from travelers with similar issues. I may make a shorter, pithier post later with the more interesting details.

So! Short summary of the trip:
Planes from Perth to Melbourne (2.5 hour trip starting at midnight with a 4 hour layover) to LA (14 hour trip), then the Disneyland Express bus to the Howard Johnson hotel with a power chair hired from One Stop Mobility.
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
It turns out the wheelchair's problem was a blown fuse, probably a result of the Very Steep Hill. The technician ordered a replacement which I'm still waiting on but Cam was able to find one for $1 at an electronic store, using the remaining fuse as a reference. And thus I ESCAPED THE HOUSE.

And went pokemon hunting, naturally ;) I went down to the river near my old house, where I used to walk in more energetic days. My main goal was to catch some water pokemon but once I got there I remembered how pretty it is and enjoyed looking at the ducks, listening to the frogs etc. A sunny winter day is the best time to enjoy the outdoors around here, everything is green and the air is brisk. And then I hatched my first egg (a charmander!), and while I was waiting to log back in after the inevitable crash got into a nice conversation with another player, who said the lure at the pokestop was from some passing government workers. He was around my age and a little self conscious about being into Pokemon since like me he'd been Too Old For Cartoons when it came out.

And then in the afternoon I got A haircut! Which is rather shorter than I wanted but hopefully will grow into something that makes me look a little less like Vanilla Ice when it frizzes up.

Oh and just because I keep forgetting to note it anywhere: I ran out of vitamin B for a while and think it did make me sleepier.
alias_sqbr: exploding train (train)
So! I felt a DEEP NEED to go pokemon hunting this morning, but have plans tomorrow to help out the Swancon committee by checking out the accessibility of a venue with my wheelchair. I pondered if it would make me too tired and decided I'd just make a short swing by a pokestop on the other side of my house I haven't checked out yet, and maybe then go to the local shops to buy some eggs.

The reason I hadn't checked out that direction is that it's down a VERY steep hill I tend to avoid after too much time spent with dodgy batteries that cry on steep hills. But I have much better batteries now, and wasn't going very far.

So I started down the Very Steep Hill...and Pokemon Go crashed, as is it's wont. I kept poking the server and it started to rain, making me realise I'd left my umbrella at home. So I turned back. "No worries," I thought to myself as I went back up the Very Steep Hill, batteries showing no sign of strain. "I'll just pop home, grab the..."

And then, half a house away from home, my wheelchair stopped dead. No lights, no movement, nothing. "Oh bother," I thought, or words to that effect.

After some sad fruitless button poking I sighed and turned on the manual control lever. I'd never used it before and was worried I'd gotten it wrong but helpfully the moment it kicked in the chair started rolling back down the Very Steep Hill. "Darn," says I.

But I managed to stop the chair and then push it up the rest of the Very Steep Hill, not have it escape me down the less steep slope of my driveway, and get it inside. And then I collapsed asleep until Cam woke up, and got him to poke at the electronics (I am not allowed to poke at electronics, it ends badly) He found a stick caught in the machinery, but alas removing it did not help.

So I have left a message at the wheelchair place and given my apologies to Swancon. I may get Cam to go out and buy me some eggs. I am rather more sore than I was hoping, but on the plus side am not going to be taking a train anywhere tomorrow anyway :/

(I didn't even catch any pokemon)
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Have done ok initial versions of my [community profile] seeingcolorcomm and [tumblr.com profile] ladystuck gifts, both of which came with nice prompts. Once again having some issues with being the first person to post, before the mods have set things up properly, but I guess someone has to be.

And Cam and I have a plan to deal with a bunch of the clutter in our house: we're hiring a storage unit. The problem when we had an extra bedroom was it was too easy to fill it with crap. But putting things in a storage unit is more effort than throwing things away or donating them, and is a commitment to not want it again for an extended period. So we'll hopefully only use it for things we actually want to store and everything else we'll either get rid of or have to find somewhere sensible to put in the house. The plan once we make some more space this way is to (a) Replace the couch with something bigger so we can fit more guests (it comfortably fits 2 and uncomfortably fits 3) and (b) Set up the kitchen table with my sewing machine and craft/sewing supplies. The original plan was to use my desk in the study, but now cam works from home that's not really practical. So that desk may become the new place to put random crap until it is as full as the kitchen table is currently but never mind :)

And my brother M came over yesterday and we had a nice conversation. He finally got around to telling me about his wedding (in OCTOBER) that mum mentioned at CHRISTMAS, it's in Korea so we can't make it but I hope to see lots of photos :)

Been feeling happier genderwise, even though the external changes are hard to notice. Everyone I've told (including my brother) has been fine about it.

And right now I am reading a NON FICTION BOOK omg. About painting! I am learning things! It's very exciting.

All of this has been done around the same low energy levels I've been having the past few months. So I haven't done much any given day, but that's ok. It's nice to know things can happen, and improve, regardless.

Also a small child is singing outside very badly but with enthusiasm. I love the kids in our set of units, they are all adorable and very kind to the cat when they encounter her despite her evident loathing for them.
alias_sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Feeling motivated but sore, so, a post about various minor things.

First: SOON got (positively) reviewed by PC Power Play Australia!! It got ONE WHOLE EXTRA SALE (which was [personal profile] loic, seeing my post about it on Facebook but shh)

Second: yesterday I went to the Maylands festival and it was super fun, I had fancy meat from the gourmet butcher and fancy toasted marshmallows, and a baby goat at the petting zoo fell asleep in my lap omg it was SO CUTE. At first it was all "wtf who are you" but then it decided I was a friend and then it slowly calmed down and went to sleep. It was all brown with a cute little black nose and floppy ears. Having animals at petting zoos sit happily in my lap is an unexpected upside of the wheelchair. I smsed Cam (who was asleep when I left) that there were some nice looking fancy hotdogs (his weakness :D) so he came down and we had fun walking around together. The accessibility was unnecessarily poor, though, they blocked curb cuts and footpaths in a few places meaning I had to take complex detours a few times to get to things an able bodied person could just step to.

Third...uh...I had a weird pain in my side again? But then it went away? FUN TIMES.

Oh wait! Yeah! I went to the Swancon programming meeting, it was pretty good but I was the only non committee member there so am very glad I came to add a different POV. They want more diverse POVs so contact them with ideas for panels! Especially book/writing/academic/social justicey/cutting edge fandom stuff, since their strengths seem to be more older anime/tv/movie fandoms and fun interactive stuff. I took some notes I'll try and write up when less sleepy.
alias_sqbr: Me on a couch asleep with a cat sitting on my lap top, with the caption out of spoons error (spoons)
At this point I am pretty sure it really is a cold but for a few days it was sitting there in that grey area of "too mild for cold, too extended/severe for random immune system shenanigans".

*goes back to playing Stardew Valley*
alias_sqbr: exploding train (train)
We're looking into going to Disneyland anyway, probably in September. Updates when I have them.
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (I like pi!)
Since he is laaaate hooome ;_;

Julia Among the Stars: An interesting, plotty Czech science fiction puzzle game with some of the feel of a hidden object game. You are a (female!) scientist on a space probe trying to figure out what happened to the rest of your crew with the help of the ships's (also female!) computer. Some of the dialogue was clunky, possibly because of the translation, but overall I liked the characters and story, it was about your average Dr Who/Star Trek episode level of scifi. The puzzles were mixed but overall enjoyable. Has some moderately dark/depressing/gory moments.

Amnesia: Memories: My first proper Japanese dating sim that's not about pigeons! Bought because it was on special and I heard one dude liked maths. I really enjoyed it, but (a) Cam is away, so tall, glasses wearing, mathsy dorks are very appealing right now (b) a fair proportion of that enjoyment was horrified laughter. The premise is that you are an 19 year old Japanese uni student and have lost your memory because a spirit basically collided with your head and got stuck there. You end up in one of several alternate realities trying to regain your memories with the help of the spirit, who is a lovely ally in sometimes scary and lonely situations, but whose existence means you can't just tell people what's up. In each reality you turn out to be dating one of the dudes, and you are motivated to get to know him to learn more about yourself. So even on paths where I didn't like the dude I enjoyed it as suspense/mystery, but it gets QUITE SUSPENSEFUL, culminating in a surreal and kind of meta final path with SEVEN DIFFERENT increasingly violent bad ends where you die in various ways (and 2 happy endings where you don't die ;)) The love interests are basically: tsundere, playboy, spock, technically-not-your-actual-older-brother, ????. You have to be prepared for some sexist douchery from even the nicest love interests on the good ends and some AMAZINGLY awful behaviour from the less nice ones on the bad ends. Like, trigger warnings ahoy, though there's no sex scenes of any kind which limits the inevitable consent issues. There's some "craziness" handled about as badly as it usually is. Also, the maths dude makes you solve actual algebra problems (The answers are online though :))

The Bridge: I enjoyed the first two levels of this Escher themed puzzle game but then there was a thing that can kill you and it stopped being fun :(
alias_sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Went out today to The Perth Geek Girl Meetup and then the Queer Comic Book Club, which was conveniently half an hour later and a few blocks away(*). Both were pretty great!

The geek girl group was more casual, and a bit more conventional. Ages went from mid twenties to 50s. San Churos doesn't sell much I can eat (unsurprising since their speciality is deep fried pastry with chocolate) but was very accessible. Everyone was very friendly and nice and I felt a little sad to leave.

The queer comic group was more unconventional (in a conventionally "queer" way) and cerebral. People were friendly and generally very positive, I was the only one who had anything bad to say about the art but they were ok with my differing POV, another person spent some time talking about the racist subtext and people were cool with it (as you'd hope but you NEVER KNOW). Ages were younger, I'd say late teens to mid 30s, though I didn't feel notably old. The Moon is much less accessible, my chair made a sad sound as I went over the ramp-so-steep-it's-basically-a-step at the door, and I couldn't even get to the back section where the group meets. Also it was un-airconditioned and the fans made it harder to hear what people said. Next up is Batwoman which I own and enjoyed, yay! Will happily lend it to anyone who would like to go but is feeling poor.

There's a Ladies Comic Book Club, also at the Moon but in the middle of the month. I haven't been to that yet, am still deciding if I can be bothered buying "Nimona" since I didn't like what I've read very much. Can anyone tell me if it gets less silly/surreal/meta? It kept throwing me out of the story and made it hard to engage with the characters or world.

AND THEN just as the comic group was winding down my dad rang saying he and my middle brother were "in the area" (eg near my house) wondering if I wanted a visit. When I said I was at the Moon in the city they met me there instead, which was convenient: I just hung at the comic group until they showed up, then we went to a booth. Oh! And right at the start I got lunch at Is Donburi and they put CHILI in my teriyaki, meaning I had reflux for the rest of the day >:( It was greasy, too, and they'd blocked their otherwise accessible entrance with chairs so I had to sit outside. DO NOT REC.

So all in all a fun but VERY TIRING day. I am going to be a very sore puddle tomorrow.

(*) though typing "San Churos Northbridge to the Moon" confuses Google Maps, haha.

24 vs now

Sep. 23rd, 2015 05:02 pm
alias_sqbr: me in a graduation outfit (doctor!)
Meme via [personal profile] chagrined. Give me your age and I'll give you a number to do it yourself, if you like!
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Crossposted/edited from Facebook. I KNOW but that's where the majority of my local friends hang out.

Food adventure mark 1: Thanks to Tiki for suggesting I go to the Swansea markets. They were easy to get to by train, accessible (if poky) and had lots of delicious and interesting food I can eat! I've been there before, back before I got my chair, but didn't realise they were so close to a train station (Oat Street). Venison, chocolate free panforte, vegan caramel syrup, grass jelly, and some nice fruit and veg.

Food adventure mark 2: Golden Choice fruit and veg on Roberts Rd Subiaco a few doors down from the train station: great range, good quality, decent prices (mostly better than Swansea St).

Also went to Farmer Jack's supermarket up on Rockeby Rd, they have a wide range of fancy/unusual food including some fancy cashew "cheeses" I can eat. There were some almond milk icecreams but at $17 for 500mL I think I'll stick to small amounts of low fat icecream and mild indigestion.

The cheese: The "classic cheese" tastes more like french onion dip than cheese, but has a nice creamy texture. I may try replicating it with french onion mix and cashews. Delicious but less vegan in a smoked salmon and lettuce sandwich. $13 for a medium sized jar but it's quite strongly flavoured so you don't need much.

Decisions

Sep. 8th, 2015 04:30 pm
alias_sqbr: Dagna from Dragon Age reaching for a book (dagna)
Go hang with actual real life lgbt gamers tomorrow night

...or stay home and play the new Dragon Age DLC with my pixelated lgbt game friends.

Though the way I've been feeling recently it's not much of a decision. I can't pretend not to find this a bit of a relief >.> MY INQUISITOR'S STORY IS IMPORTANT TO ME OK.
alias_sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
I found this post on emotional labour and the metafilter post it grew from really interesting, I'm still poking at the comments. Aside from the obvious take away of "if you're a woman don't date men" haha (which doesn't neccesarily mean don't date, metafilter commenters) it got me thinking about the place of emotional labour in my own life.

Being disabled has vastly cut down on my ability to do a lot of stuff, emotional labour included. I found presents increasingly stressful so just stopped doing them. Most of my friendships have gotten more distant and I don't see my family as much. But looking back I've always felt really guilty at being bad at certain kinds of emotional labour(*), I'm this weird mix of extrovert and...socially anxious or something (I've intermittently suspected myself of being on the autism spectrum) I tend to feel like it should just be ~natural and spontaneous~ and worthwhile in it's own right. I should just want to spend time with people because I am good and caring, and wanting to spend time with them means I will want to do the things that leads to it: sending cards and presents, making phone calls etc. And most of the time I don't want to do those things, I find them stressful and difficult and often unrewarding, even when in the long run I really like the person and enjoy their company. And I feel bad about that, and that bad feeling just makes everything more fraught.

But thinking of it as work is helpful. A friendly interaction doesn't have to be fun in it's own right, it's ok to think of it in cold/meta "I have not spoken to X person in a while, and I like them, I should maintain the friendship, what is the most efficient way to do that?" terms.

So I sent out short friendly texts to a few people I wish to better maintain friendships with! And it did make me happy, but it also made me stressed, so in and of itself I'm not sure it was a net positive experience. But two of them replied and we organised to hang out/skype and that made me (and hopefully them!) very happy. Hmm!

I'm finding it useful when approaching my inbox too. Like a lot of people I get overwhelmed by guilt about neglected correspondence, and thinking about replies in terms of what I want to achieve with them is making them less scary, especially when I remind myself that replying at all sends a positive message. But that it's ok to not reply sometimes, because it's work and I only have limited energy.

(the post has also got me thinking about the same gender related issues everyone else has been talking about, but I have nothing new to add there)

(*)I'm really good at other kinds, in that typical female-socialised way. And of course I'm sure that same socialisation is a big part of why I feel defective for not being good at other kinds.
alias_sqbr: (up and down)
I am teaching myself Blender for making game backgrounds and it is haaaaaaard. So hard. Like learning to draw all over again, or learning to use a new limb, all these new instincts I have to learn. Usually when I watch tutorials for things I spend a lot of time not really listening because most things are kind of obvious, but with this I appreciate everything being explained as slowly and carefully as possible(*). But every time I do another basic intro tutorial more of it is familiar. And I have started one of the actual game backgrounds! I have 3 walls and a sort of inset thing >.> (then I got stuck and decided to watch tutorials some more)

Luckily the plan is to paint over everything so it doesn't have to be pretty, just roughly the right colour and shape.

(*)And in that vein, am appreciating this course.

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