cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
Sooooo, what's going on with me is that I'm with the Red Cross for the next... 6 months or so.

The last time I was in a work practice placement it was a daycare The equivalent of The Previouslies, a short summation of how I wound up switching Employment Goals ) I decided to do some retail for the time being, because I have some experience of it and it's doable without any certification or training, unlike many other fields.

My Finnish isn't perfect - it's what you'd call "fine" or "pretty good" probably, and I'm still terrified of someone unintelligible due to mumbling or regional accent coming along, but I don't have trouble ordinarily. It's also been 13 years since I was a cashier though, and the technology has changed since then, and I've never done it in Finland anyway. So when the little group of social workers, employment bureau caseworkers and mental health professionals that my therapist's workgroup belongs to heard my explanation, they swiftly concluded that a few work practice placements in different areas of retail would be best, because it would provide the best chance to polish my Retail Finnish language skills and appease my anxiety by familiarity with environment and expectations of the field.

They also sent me to a new department of the Employment Bureau, which - okay, let me just pause here to note that this is amazing as fuck: The Employment Bureau has a SECRET DEPARTMENT where they give slightly more help to people who need slightly more help. In the ordinary run of things, caseworkers there have 500+ customers apiece and are overworked and underfunded to death. I've had like four caseworkers in the last few years before this already. And when you go to their information desk, or to their ordinary caseworkers, and ask for more help, they typically send you to that Career Planning course that I was sent to a couple years ago, which wasn't useless but was aimed at people who needed help navigating the bureaucracy and things like that more than people suffering from social anxieties and culture barriers and uncertainty about their language skills.

But even though I had previously inquired in multiple places about help, nobody at the Employment Bureau had been empowered to tell me about the existence of this department, which I gather you get sent to only with the referral of a psychologist or psychiatrist? That's where the representative came from who was at the the meeting with my psychologist I mentioned, and he immediately put in a request to have me transferred to that department. I got a new caseworker from there who was calm, friendly, brisk, and reassuring. She said that if I hope to work arranging the little showrooms at Ikea there's a certification for that (Somistaja, a window dresser/display maker) which depends on the certification for being a salesperson.

So she sent me to the Red Cross's thrift store, Kontti, which is staffed with students, volunteers, work practicants and people eligible for the thing where social security reimburses the employer for their salary. So it's almost entirely charity, with most of the proceeds going to the Red Cross's various projects in Finland (50%) and abroad (25%), plus it's very diverse and friendly and generally a pretty nice place. Their reputation as a training ground for retail and warehouse workers who then move on to employment elsewhere is so good, in fact, that they are fairly selective with their new trainees - the big boss told us in our introduction on Tuesday that our group of 8 represented over 100 applicants over a couple of months, which is like... a Harvard-like acceptance rate. (The Swedish language got me in the door here, I'm pretty sure: EVERYBODY who hears that I'm interested in retail and speak fluent-ish Swedish gets excited, because there's a huge demand for that skill due to the legal and practical requirement for stores to have someone who can speak it on hand - there aren't really many Swedish monolinguals around, but there are still a few.) You can also get salesperson certification on the job there, as well as a long list of other certifications - the lady who was supervising me and my fellow new-cashier trainees yesterday is on the verge of finishing one in business admin. (Hence why it was my caseworker's first choice.)

We spent the first couple of days on the warehouse side, where the donations are processed, sorted and priced, and it has to be seen to be believed. It's just such an unbelievable quantity of stuff. The area around the station where the bags are emptied and unpacked is just like something out of a movie, walls made out of racks and shelves and carts packed solid with bags of donated stuff waiting to be opened - cases four feet deep and six feet tall, banana boxes towering up towards the warehouse ceiling, and an overflow area with just a five or six foot high mountain of bags just... piled against the wall like a heap of snow. But that's only the beginning of the journey, because once they're unpacked and sent to the proper departments there's yet more sorting to do. The front half of the warehouse is also packed with racks, crates, shelves and bins of objects on their way to the store front, so it's a bit like an antique mall except cleaner - one little room of china, one little room of books, one little room of paintings, one little room of toys, one little room of electronics - where the walls between them are once again made of storage packed solid on both sides with stuff. Walking in for the first time felt a bit like, I don't know, visiting Willy Wonka's factory, or one of those quaint little Museums of Curiosities.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
A couple of days after the US election, I started following every link from a political retweeter that said anything about someone else I should follow. I didn't subscribe to absolutely all of the accounts, but I did end up following a number of journalists, activists, historians and other scholars and experts in fascism, religious authoritarianism, kleptocracy, Russia, and US politics. And also a few focused on global warming and carbon tax.

The result made my timeline so high-volume that I rarely actually manage to backread the whole thing anymore, and I had to create separate lists for Serious and Fun/Fannish stuff. Here's my 14-member Anti-Fascist Twitter feed, which (kind of sadly) updates way way faster than my personal fannish list.

I've also had an increasing number of complete strangers follow me since I started all the political retweeting - complete strangers with primarily political interest it seems, I mean. I'm not exactly comfortable with that, but I think it's too late to really do anything. I could protect my account, but that seems silly, because the stuff isn't exactly private or worthy of keeping secret, just... I never really had to worry about anyone being interested enough to accidentally see it before?

I could make a separate Twitter account for that stuff, but a) it's a bit late because I already have all these complete strangers following my personal one with its tweets about fanfiction and hockey gay porn jokes??? and b) I kind of resist doing that, not philosophically, exactly, just... kinda worried it would be too fiddly and I'd end up messing it up.

But my main concern with that is that I don't have any sort of expertise, unlike pretty much every account on that list above, and I'm also not producing any original content to speak of, so... ? I'm not even attempting to exercise any sort of expertise at curation of retweets, not that I'm claiming to have any in the first place. I have tweeted suggestions of experts to follow a couple of times, but reiterating it regularly would get pretty tiresome so I have restrained myself.

So in the meantime I just kind of hang out here, remaining uncomfortable every time I get a new couple of follow notifications.
cimorene: (is this thing on?)
Scribbled on the now-retired calendar. 2015

Read more... )
cimorene: (call ikea)
I just had a pretty surreal experience.

About 10 years ago, in a long-abandoned fandom, I had one of those ideas that you talk about in chat without meaning to write because it seems unmanageable for some reason, like maybe too long or too much work or too angsty, and in this case, it was because I had a vision of a 20-year-long plot arc but with a giant puzzle piece missing from the middle. I had a vague sense that the answer should be obvious to me, that it was staring me in the face somehow or I was looking at it upside down, but the whole idea was silly anyway. However, I was easily persuaded to write a few individual pieces from it as vignettes (oh, and apparently the last bit was only 7 years ago).

I hadn't given the story any thought in years, and I was never particularly stressed about figuring it out, but just now I was reading something by somebody else in a completely different fandom and I suddenly looked up like my ears were ringing, and then, prompted by an abstruse connection between the reading material and a couple of conversations I had last week with [personal profile] perhael about yet a third fandom, I suddenly knew what the missing piece was.

In fact it seems both laughably obvious and inevitable, like I can't believe I didn't figure it out before, like I had a key in a lock upside down. I haven't even heard from the friend I was writing it for in years, I think...

I hope my brain hasn't been wasting resources running that process in the background all this time.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (helen kane)
For most of the month of November (though not since) I managed to write almost every night, and I created a cozy little routine of fixing cocoa with amaretto in it and taking the laptop into the library with me and making a cocoon of blankets on the sofa there, where it's cooler than the rest of the flat and very dark and quiet. It's like being in a bubble, which is necessary because otherwise I am too easily distracted.

But writing only late at night, after putting the bunnies to bed and feeding the cats, doesn't leave that much time for it, because I can't easily stay up half the night anymore. I've been meaning to try to transfer this routine to the daytime, but that feeling is elusive. The library's just as cool and quiet, but when there's sunlight - which okay, is only between 9 am and 3 pm or something like that, but still most of the day - it doesn't feel cocoony at all, because there's stuff in my peripheral vision. (It would probably be soothing to write inside a pod, but unfortunately I don't have one.) Probably if I hadn't gone so long with writer's block I would not struggle so much with distraction, but the only way to fix that is to make new routines...
cimorene: A vintage nouveau illustration of a reclining woman embracing the enormous head of a dragon (love)
Last week when we were reading in bed I said to [personal profile] waxjism, "Can you believe when we first met in person I thought you were cool?" ... and we both almost laughed ourselves out of bed.

It's actually quite a strain to remember my first impressions of someone I know so well, though they were extremely vivid and I still have a lot of sensory memories of the occasion, no doubt due to neurotransmitters and teenaged emo and stuff like that (I was 20, probably still teenaged-emo if not technically teenaged).
cimorene: A vintage nouveau illustration of a reclining woman embracing the enormous head of a dragon (love)
Children produce a lot of art and writing and for the most part I'm not too sad about things lost to the sands of time, but I do wish I had the full-length parody of The Raven I wrote at age 13 about a seagull that steals someone's book while they're reading on the beach.
cimorene: (call ikea)
I thought my 2nd favorite quick pasta dish - sauteed chanterelles and spinach topped with parmesan and lemon juice over pasta ) - was the perfect umami, but if you put two slices of buttered bread, thick slabs of gouda, slices of turkey, and leftover chanterelle-spinach-lemon-sautee mixture in between, and then melt the cheese in a skillet/microwave/(panini press??? I've never used one but probably the best way?).... it's maybe even better. Or just as good at least.

I think it would be even better with tiny slices of dill pickle though. Failing that, one could add sliced olives, but I don't have any at the moment.

I don't actually RECOMMEND melting the cheese for a sandwich in the microwave, and if you do, make sure you toast the bread first and turn it after 10-20ish seconds to make sure the bottom piece of bread doesn't get soggy from steam. But sometimes you just don't want to use a skillet.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (helen kane)
Recently my medication was adjusted and I had an appointment with my new psychiatrist yesterday to discuss the side-effects, and how I'm adjusting. It was weird to talk about how much better I'd been feeling:

  • I've been writing every day for a couple of weeks (~6000 words so far. I have FocusWriter set at 200 words per day as a goal, but I've been going over now although I didn't hit it at first) (Also, I'm so grateful to [personal profile] lately and [personal profile] perhael still for listening to me through it)


  • There was elevated anxiety at first and it was messing up my ability to eat for a week or two, which would have been a dealbreaker - but that has gone away completely for several weeks now and all food functions are back to normal


  • I found the strength to make a maintenance call even though for months I've been avoiding it due to anxiety about letting the maintenance workers into the flat and possibly having to speak Finnish to them, or having them secretly judge me


... because the election results sent me into a tailspin and the notion of feeling better seemed like a joke. Shock rendered me completely blank on Wednesday. I have checked Twitter briefly a few times and had to give up on it quickly, but I miss the more personal tweets that let you feel connected to your friends and community... the ones that don't seem important enough to post right now, for the most part. I made a No Twitter in the Bedroom rule, because it's too alarming.

I also talked to my psychiatrist about trying to find a non-profit to volunteer some time for, and he happened to have some links he compiled for someone else handy for me.

I saw a good post about global warming and climate change, arguing that a more organized push with a single goal is needed, and we should push for carbon tax wherever possible. I checked out the website of the organization they recommended, which wasn't bad, but their Twitter didn't really have anything concise and RTable.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
Unlike the majority of the Ubuntu user population, I preferred the Gnome 3 desktop from the beginning. I'm really attached to it and have gone through a bunch of different distros trying to find one that works correctly in all the ways I care about. I couldn't get everything I needed to work with Debian.

Now [personal profile] waxjism is running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and I'm running Ubuntu Gnome 16.04 LTS, and the differences are more apparent:

+ Ubuntu Gnome:
  • Panel indicators show up in a single integrated menu for the most part in Gnome.


  • The Calendar widget displays events from my Google calendar.


  • There's a new, native calendar app that does the same, and is more convenient than the web interface or the previous Linux apps. (The new native world clock/clock/timer is useful too, if a bit rough around the edges, and there's a new to-do app which could display google tasks and provide an indicator applet, but is neat.)


  • The top panel is easily themed with CSS and a variety of extensions let you add applications and places menus and a number of useful toggles and indicators. You can't do anything about it in Unity but adjust the opacity, where you also can't do much about how hideously ugly and unthemeable the application launcher has always been and remains.


  • The application menus display seamlessly in the top panel and native gnome programs integrate title and menubar. The corresponding function under Unity looks stupid and takes extra screen real estate.


  • Gedit is my favorite editor and it's streamlined but just as functional now, which I love (an older version is packaged with Ubuntu Unity).


  • [personal profile] waxjism is having some kind of driver issue with Unity that makes some flash videos, depending on what the site is running (eg HBO Nordic and Viaplay - so: hockey - but not Netflix), crash the entire computer so it suddenly and without warning shuts down. I had this for a while about a year ago under Gnome 3 on Debian, but apparently not anymore. Wouldn't want to switch and suddenly have this problem start back up again, though.


+ Ubuntu Unity:
  • The standard Ubuntu & Gnome file manager - Nautilus - packaged in Ubuntu Gnome is so slow it's basically unusable. A lot of changes have happened under the hood with the new versions of Nautilus apparently? Whatever, it doesn't matter how much better it would work if it never finishes doing it. Alternative file manager Nemo, forked by and for Linux Mint, mostly works in Ubuntu Gnome, but for example, it doesn't handle symlinks to folders correctly under Ubuntu Gnome (a functionality that's been perfectly fine in every Linux I've tried since like 2007), it set up Samba but not without giving me some trouble, and it doesn't look right because it's designed for another distro that has its own themes (it works flawlessly in Mint, as far as I've ever noticed). - Meanwhile Nautilus is fine under Unity, although complaints about functionality that's been removed are still germane.


  • The greeter/login/lockscreen (LightDM) is better in Unity.


  • The quicklists, which add extra indicators and right click functionalities to running apps in the launcher under Unity, can be legitimately useful. There's nothing like that in the Gnome shell dock.


  • Terminal refuses to remember my preference to not display the menu bar under Ubuntu Gnome, another thing I've never had a problem with before.
cimorene: (gr arg)
It's quite poignant to have 100 works uploaded to AO3 (although honestly, some of them are just polished comment- and chatfics that don't really belong there, but it seems even sillier to take them down now they've already been there for a while) and not have written anything in 4 years except Yuletide.

When I was a teenager, I stayed up all night writing RPF more times than I stayed up all night writing essays.

At this point writing 200 words of fiction in a day, like I did yesterday, is an infinite improvement over every day since last Yuletide deadline, but my main reaction is still "This is nothing compared to my high point in 2007-8 when 6000 words a day wasn't unusual."

I think there's a little thread of feeling chuffed under there, but it's hard to feel it.
cimorene: (call ikea)
Actually, the media I've most enjoyed consuming recently was The Prisoner, the classic British weird/genre series from 1967. I had never heard of it until an anniversary post came across my Tumblr dashboard, and I looked it up and was intrigued by the article's comments about its seminalness and aesthetics, so I watched it (it's all on YouTube, and it's only got 17 episodes).

I mean, what little [personal profile] waxjism saw she couldn't even stand, because of the changing television conventions since the 1960s - everything that old seems hokey to her. I like things from that period, though - I grew up on second wave sff that was mostly written in the 60s-70s and watched a fair amount of Nick at Nite for a while. And seeing it and recognizing its seminal quality from the bits of it I'd seen elsewhere was really cool, but it was also SO AESTHETIC (which was hilarious enough to have entertained me all on its own, but it actually was nice, too) and SO CONCEPTUAL (another thing that's very characteristic of the period, but at the end it goes even further off the rails than late season 3 Star Trek TOS, which is really saying something, and then goes even more Allegorical and Symbological in the final episode than CS Lewis) that it was fully worth watching on that basis.

My favorite part was how much the SUPER 60s interiors could have basically come right off a present day interior design blog. That, and how within the context of 60s mid-century modernism, Finnish & Scandinavian bleeding-edge modernist design from the 1930s is associated with the most sinisterly ~high-tech~ Bond villain stuff (when it's actually older than mid-century modernism, I mean).

That was more than a month ago, though. I was just thinking about it the other day when we were talking about all the things we've watched in the past few months - other than the hockey, it's been mostly filled up with [personal profile] waxjism's horrible movies and my rewatching Lewis when she's not around. When I finish that and the rest of the Morseverse I still need to finish my Poirot rewatch too.

Although! We forgot to mention that we watched Kinky Boots! It was good and I did really enjoy it, but the shoehorned in heteronormativity was very disappointing. I mean, even in a landmark drag queen film with the beautiful and talented Chiwetel Ejiofor - and a film that is about adulthood, father figures, finding oneself, and plotwise about creativity and a struggling small business - what about this said to anyone that it would benefit from, or needed, a het romance stuck into it? Or any romance, actually? Like, there were two main male roles, and they like each other and work together, but they didn't really have a dangerously romantic interaction or anything that needed to be leavened??? And it's not like the whole thing was boring and they needed another B-plot. On the contrary, there was barely time for the romance.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
It's easy to move through a big multi-pairing fandom like hockey from pairing to pairing, and I often accidentally end up with most of my reading being entirely pairing-based. Recently I sorted all the hockey fic over 10k to remove the pairings I've already read to death in order to see what else people have been doing that I've missed, and I ended up with enough bookmarks - and enough to say about them - to be worth sharing.

Thanks to the tags, AO3 headers are somewhat NSFW. Herein lie 7 10k+ stories, 2 of which are a series, by 5 different authors in 6 different rare pairings, with my sometimes-longwinded comments. )
cimorene: (yo)
TV
  • The Mindy Project: [tumblr.com profile] witchshaming has been posting stuff about this show for a few years and I kept meaning to get around to it. Noticed it was on HBO streaming recently and watched the first season. I like it a lot, although it does do some of those American Sitcom Genre things that I usually can't stand and it's not as politically righteous and emotionally healthy as Brooklyn 99, my previous sole exception. I do worry that if the 'ust' keeps up, it will get really old fast.


  • Westworld: Been over this with Dollhouse. You couldn't pay me to watch it. [personal profile] waxjism and her brother evinced interest though.


  • World Cup of Hockey: We watched most of it. I think we only skipped the games that were going to be too depressing, like Finland being crushed. A lot of knitting got done. I always cheer for the goalie - whichever goalie is onscreen at the time, so I'm incapable of actually not cheering for both teams in a match, ultimately. I'm surprised people aren't writing Auston Matthews/Connor McDavid yet, which seemed plausibly like the whole reason Team North America even existed. I'm also utterly charmed by Halak (THE HERO WE NEEDED) and Kopitar and angry that their regular teams are ugh. Halak, Price, and Bobrovsky were the real MVPs, obviously.


Movies
  • Inside Out: it was funny and enjoyable, but it was ruined for me because I just couldn't let the metaphor go, and the metaphor really doesn't make all that much sense. I kept shouting questions at the tv like "SO IF SHE'S SADNESS, IS SHE SAD OR HAPPY ABOUT THINGS BEING SAD???" and "Wait, the entire value structure of her personality was destroyed at age 8 by one unfortunate conversation????" and then Wax would be like "Stop asking questions!"


  • Finding Dory in the theater. Loved it. I cried at one point, which I haven't done in the theater since ROTK. Hilariously, it is actually set BEFORE my Finding Nemo slash fic, so it doesn't completely get jossed even, although it would need some tweaking to match up.


  • The recent remake of Total Recall. So bad that we had to pause it a few times because I was so loudly incensed. It's been a long time since I saw such an egregiously inadequate movie. Wow. Somewhat curious about the original now.


  • Wax decided to watch all the terrible movies (of the right kind of terrible) she could find so she watched a bunch of things with ghosts including the movie where Daniel Craig met Rachel Weisz, which was awful but no doubt fun to make, and one thing where Paul Bettany is some kind of rogue angel in the zombie apocalypse. And then she decided to watch all the ones she could find about the financial crisis, and one of those had Paul Bettany too.


Books
  • Golden Age Detective Fiction: Continuing my project to explore the less-well-known contemporaries of Christie and Sayers. I already tried Patricia Wentworth (thumbs DOWN) and S.S. Van Dine's Philo Vance (enjoyable but a bit airporty) and Margery Allingham's Campion (I got through 1½ books, then tried to start 3 other ones, including later and highly-rated ones, but I just couldn't keep going). Next up was Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Alleyn stuff: I read about five of them and found them very readable, but I got tripped up on the book where she introduces her detective's future wife. It's not that her writing is sexist or gender essentialist in the same way many of her contemporaries sometimes were, because the character is interesting and all... it's just I am really tired of heteronormativity and I would prefer it to not show up in the book at all. Maybe I'll be able to come back to it some day.


  • Early fantasy: I downloaded a bunch of public domain works by William Morris the textile artist, and also by early horror-fantasy writer William Hope Hodgson. Hodgson's The House on the Borderland was entertaining and amusing, a precursor to Lovecraft that wasn't quite so obsessed with race but was way way more terrified of pigs for some reason. I've started several of his others, but not really gotten into them yet. Same for Morris's - they're more Lord Dunsany than Lud-in-the-Mist, contrary to my preference.

The Itch

5 Oct 2016 01:35 pm
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (sleek & stylish)
I remember reading one time that they mapped the part of your brain that makes you want to write and it's completely independent from the bits in charge of actually writing, which explains neatly why adjusting my medication dose seems to have suddenly made me want to write something so much it's kind of like my brain is itching, even though when the feeling started, I didn't have any ideas that were approaching ready to be started.

Since then I've managed to assemble most of the concept for one and could nearly start writing, once I make a few more decisions like POV and time frame, thanks to [personal profile] lately and [profile] sandwich_armada's stints as encouraging sounding boards, [personal profile] waxjism researching a bunch of things about hockey that she didn't already know (which is really remarkable given how much trivia she sucks up on a daily basis), and [personal profile] perhael's patience in listening to several full elevator pitches about Sidney Crosby's ass even though she feels about sports like I did a couple of years ago and is full-time in Jrock fandom these days.

I went to look at the Yuletide signups, but after poking around a bit I wasn't that confident about enough fandoms to offer so decided to try to write some treats once Yuletide Madness opens instead. I guess we'll see. Trying to take a break from a WIP for Yuletide and then come back to it has historically gone awry for me in the past. You can't always find the groove again.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (working)
[personal profile] waxjism and I have a weakness for bright and bold print duvet covers, and for a while couldn't really stop ourselves from buying sets when we found really cute ones, so we have 5 cotton sets from Ikea (which don't even have top hand holes, ugh, but they have great prints)(and none of them are even similar to each other in terms of color scheme...) and then the tartan flannel ones I made last winter and a cotton sateen set that were a gift. (And a few odds and ends. Whatever, this wouldn't exactly be too many, except we don't often have overnight guests so it's unnecessary, and they don't all quite fit comfortably in the closet space, which is at a premium here.)

The problem is I was snuggling under a sateen one the other day and suddenly realized there's a significant difference in how they feel on the skin. They're not just a little harsher, like a couple of the Ikea sets that have a bit of poly in the blend, they're like... so silky and nice feeling that they actually warm up against the skin better, like they feel as much nicer as flannel even though they're the opposite, smoother instead of fluffier.

Preferring flannel in the winter is just plain natural, but preferring sateen to regular cotton is like a permanent thing and it's the worst when you significantly prefer one of something when you have five of the other kind. Not to mention the temptation to buy more, which is a horrible idea in terms of our already-overburdened storage space. (Actually getting sateen sets in appropriately bold prints isn't tough because Finnish textile design is unparalleled - Marimekko, Finlayson, and Vallila are all on the case - but they cost like five to ten times as much as the Ikea ones probably, if you don't catch them on sale.)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (wtf?)
I think the ideal regular social event would be a combination knitting circle and Dungeons and Dragons (actually I've read some random stuff on the topic and think it should actually be Pathfinder, but I have no direct experience of either).

My sister agrees, but Dallas to southwest Finland is just too much distance to manage that. I mean, there's videochat tabletop gaming, but the 8-hour time difference would be murder.

We both don't actually know how to play D&D and have never played even though our dad was a DM when he was in high school and college. Honestly, I feel betrayed that he never taught us in person.

My sister and I agreed that the best way to set up something like this would be to find a local knitting group and then canvas it for people who could be converted to the idea, but that depends on someone else in the group knowing how to play and being happy to teach you. If the person who wanted to organize it knows how to play, it would kind of remove the difficulty.

My sister is way ahead of me here because she has actually attended local knitting circles multiple times in her life - I don't think she has one now, but she used to go to one in Louisiana. I've been talking about wanting to go to one, but been too socially anxious, since before she was inspired by my example to teach herself to knit. 😕 Of course, language and culture issues add to my social anxiety and even if they didn't raise the initial bar to Just Doing It to insurmountability, socializing in Finnish as I would then have to do would be both mentally and emotionally tiring, much more so than just doing social things that make me anxious in general. Of course, conversing regularly in Finnish would be mentally tiring because my Finnish isn't fluent, so logically the practice would be good for me, but that doesn't make it less daunting.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (face!pie)
I went to a new doctor today and she was really helpful and I liked her a lot but as soon as I got home (four hours later, after errands) the anxiety from that 15 min appointment slammed over me like a wave at the beach, the ones that unexpectedly flatten you and drag you into the water so you end up coughing, under water, with your swimsuit full of sand.

I've often been so emotionally drained by anxiety that I slept for a long time afterwards, but this time I collapsed onto the bed and sort of lay there, too drained to crawl under the blankets, for hours, too keyed-up to actually fall asleep. And when I stood up again a couple of hours later I still felt physically and emotionally drained, with those weird little post-adrenaline trembles in your arms and legs where they really want you to let go and collapse on the ground wherever you are and it feels like you're not 100% certain of your coordination (not a great frame of mind for cooking dinner).

Last Friday I met a new psychiatrist, but it wasn't quite as exhausting. I've been trying to get in to see a new psychiatrist for literally over a year now - thanks bureaucracy~! - and also, the psychiatrist was a Finnish hipster guy with a big blond bun, maybe younger than me (looked younger than me: mid-late twenties?)... so maybe he was just less intimidating, or maybe the anxiety in advance of the appointment was less because I'm more accustomed to and less wary of psychiatrists than GPs.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (domestic)
Our cats are purebreds, which means they came with registered names. The late, great The Crazy was sold as Tea-Time Tune, and earned her name by being a neurotic, weird-as-hell mess (but in a cute way).

The BB was sold as Arwen, which actually suited her since she is a genetically and visually flawless, perfect specimen cat who is also petite, dainty, elegant, graceful, fearless, and sweet. But she gradually earned the nickname "BB HBIC" (later shortened to just BB), because when we first got her, she had the adorable habit of surreptitiously following the Crazy around and copying her, but in a tinier, daintier fashion.

Snookums was sold as Russel [sic] Crowe, and when we rescued (bought) him from Crazy Cat Lady Hell where he was being bullied by his 21 overbearing relatives, seeing his name on the papers decided us for sure (the lady had been calling him "Jere", a folksy Finnish dude name that's just as laughably OOC for Snookums as the comparison to Russell Crowe). "It must be fate," we said. "We have to rescue this cat!" Later we came home and followed the real Russell Crowe on Twitter, which we have never regretted, and Snookums, who was hiding in the corner of the sauna literally under his great-grandmother when we first met him, blossomed from a shy, skinny, cringing fraidycat into the pudgy, friendly snugglemonster we know and love. His dedication to snuggling has to be seen to be believed. He ALWAYS is in the mood for snuggles, and there's no kind of squeezing or manhandling him I've come up with that he doesn't enjoy, so his name is an excellent fit.

The bunnies are also purebreds, but when we got them from our buddy pierydys, she advised that if we weren't planning to breed and show them, registering them would be unnecessarily traumatic and expensive, since you have to get their ears tagged to do it. We didn't, and so we had to pick names for them ourselves. Since their sire is named Snickers, we decided on a locally-available candy theme, and we picked popular chocolate caramel Japp bars for the tri-colored one and pink-and-white Rowan-berry-flavored Pihlaja jellies for his ginger-and-white brother. Since we speak English at home, we translated Pihlaja and call him Rowan: unlike Japp, that one doesn't lend itself to anglicized pronunciation.

Since we named the bunnies ourselves, swapping out their names based on personality seems silly, but we actually call Japp "Tiny bunny" or "Tiny bun" more often than anything else. He's just so incredibly smol that when your eyes land on him, exclamations about his smolness sort of reflexively pop out ("HAVE YOU SEEN HOW TINY THE BUNNY IS SITTING ON THIS RUG????") and it's difficult to stop them. He also looks weirdly like a little old man in the face - I think it's the shape of his eyebrow and mustache floof - but nothing pithy to express this has come to us yet.

Ro's descriptive nickname is The Majestic Floof. His personality and behavior is not at all dignified, but his fur is so beautiful and, well, majestic that he can easily fool you just by posing.

I have not illustrated this post with pictures, but this blog is completely full of my pet photos if you want to refresh your memory.

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