liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
So I went away for a few days, and also did lots and lots of reading, and now I'm blocked on posting to DW until I've caught up with talking about both those things. That's not sensible, so I'll try for a small postcard-type entry.

Most importantly, congratulations to [livejournal.com profile] illusive_shelle and her newly-minted husband! The wedding which formed the excuse for a small summer holiday for me and [personal profile] jack was absolutely perfect and amazing.

mostly diary )

I have lots of reading I want to talk about, partly because I've been trying to get through at least some of the Hugo material, and partly because of going on a short vacation, and partly because I had a horrendous 11 hour train journey at the start of not quite having time to post. I'll talk more about that hopefully soon, and go back to the music meme and so on. I am reading, as usual, just a bit behind with posting.
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
Day two is: a song you like with a number in the title, and it turns out that I have quite a few number songs in my collection but not that many I actively like. I mean, I don't usually keep songs I hate around, but looking through the number ones I'm mostly feeling neutral, they're ok, they're lesser songs by artists I like, that sort of thing.

So I settled on Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega. This was a hit the summer I was doing a science summer school in Israel, and falling in love with p53 and molecular biology research. And the summer one of my best friends became a father, about ten years earlier than most of the rest of my peers. This song was the first music that my friend's baby son unmistakably recognized and seemed to enjoy. We used to joke that he liked it because he recognized his mother's name in the list of women, but I don't know if that's actually plausible, I was already bowled over to learn that a very young baby could express distinct musical preferences. (Baby is now at university, because there are actual adults half my age, which is why lots of my music choices won't be exactly up-to-date.)

embedded video )

I had a quiet, relaxing bank holiday weekend with lots of time with my people. what I did on my weekend )

Fun

May. 18th, 2017 09:51 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
Last weekend it was the slightly obscure Jewish festival of Lag b'Omer, mainly celebrated by going out into the woods and having picnics. I was really really pleased when my OSOs and their two younger children, and [livejournal.com profile] fivemack, came up for the weekend to join me!

we crammed a bunch of stuff into two days )

I only have one more day of teaching before the summer. May is always intense, so I'll hope to be a bit more present on DW from next week.

Full

Mar. 21st, 2017 09:48 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
So this weekend I went to two synagogue services (in two different cities) and one church service, and I had a quiet going out for lunch and talking date with [personal profile] cjwatson and a bouncy metal gig date with Ghoti. And went to the cinema to see Beauty and the Beast and just about managed to squeeze in a little bit of time talking to [personal profile] jack. Um, it is hypothetically possible that I may have over-scheduled myself a bit.

I had fun, though )

Climbing

Nov. 21st, 2016 10:16 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
So my OSOs' middle kid is about to turn 8 and she very emphatically wanted to continue the nascent tradition from last year that I'd take her out for a treat rather than giving her a physical present. There's lots of evidence that people (above a minimum subsistence level) get more out of experiences and spending time with loved ones than physical objects, but I'm surprised to find a small child who can resist the short-term gratification of a gift enough to be clear on that! Plus extremely flattered that she considers my company enjoyable enough to constitute a birthday treat. It's true that as long as she's known me I've been kind of useless with children as such, and she knows I love her and mean well anyway, and we've gradually built up our own ways to interact.

When the new child friendly climbing centre opened a few months before her birthday, the choice of treat was obvious. experience )
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
Things that are awesome:

  • It's spring, and we used our barbecue set and our garden to have a spontaneous BBQ just because. And before it we played in the park with OSOs and kids and after it [livejournal.com profile] ghoti stayed over so we actually got some time together and I feel so very loved.
  • [livejournal.com profile] ghoti made an entire multi-course fancy dinner out of chocolate, and it was even more amazing than it sounds from that description.
  • Cascade aka the animation from the end of Homestuck Act 5. I mean, it will probably make little sense and / or be spoilery if you haven't read Homestuck up to the appropriate point, but it's mindblowing.
  • [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel triumphed over geography and we managed a whole week together. And no, we did not spend all of it watching Homestuck.


Things that are decidedly not awesome: My cooker decided to die completely near the beginning of [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel's visit. Fixing it is probably going to be both expensive and a hassle, and meanwhile I can only cook at all with a microwave, which is really irritating. Besides, I shall probably have to throw out most of the groceries I acquired for feeding to [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel.

Also there is too much geography and too little time, and I want to see more of my people but can't see my way to sort out any of the relevant logistics.
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
Reasons for watching it: It sounded cute and [personal profile] jack and Judith wanted to see it.

Circumstances of watching it: [livejournal.com profile] ghoti was super organized and managed to book tickets for all of us to see a popular new release on bank holiday Monday when every family in Cambridge wanted to go to the cinema. Which meant I got to sit next to Judith and she could cling onto me during the scary bits. That was somewhat of a novelty, up to now she's never really come to me for comfort. Though being pleasurably scared by a film is not the same as being actually scared, but even so.

I'm super proud of myself because I cycled to the cinema, the one in the leisure park behind the station, from our home in north Cambridge. That's my first attempt at cycling through town; the roads were mostly fairly quiet due to the bank holiday, but not completely without traffic. And the longest distance I've cycled in one go, not quite four miles out and I still had just enough energy to come back. [personal profile] jack was really helpful at coaching me in dealing with tricky junctions and other road awareness stuff, which is what I most struggle with at the moment, and also took charge of the navigation so I didn't have to worry about that.

I'm really slow, but I always knew I was going to be a slow cyclist, and cycling to the cinema was still faster than taking a bus. Also more convenient and companionable because we could all cycle back together; my people have been really accommodating about taking the bus because of me not being confident at cycling, but it's clearly easier for everybody if we can all cycle. The advantage of being slow was that we could actually chat at the same time as travelling in a little convoy. Andreas noted that I'm not very good at cycling, so I told him that's why I need practice, and having done that once I now feel pretty confident that I will fairly quickly get to the point where I can use the bike as a viable means of transport.

I did completely crash when I got in in the evening; I knew I was hungry and tried to eat enough to replenish my used up calories, but I was still pretty shaky and exhausted. I think that's something that will get better with more experience, or else I need to increase my estimate of how much extra I need to eat on days I spend a couple of hours cycling.

Verdict Zootropolis is really sweet, but probably doesn't want to be thought about too hard.

detailed review, discussing metaphorical racism )

So I don't know, it's all good fun, but I wasn't able to turn off my brain quite enough to fully enjoy it.

Happy

Dec. 28th, 2015 07:22 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
I finished university work on 18th, and since then I've had the most perfectly wonderful break. Generally I've just been glorying in uninterrupted time with various of my people, in groups and one-on-one, and I'm really happy.

while I was offline )Basically I want this to be my life and not just a special couple of weeks at Christmastime; I mean, I want a job, holidays are only fun for so long, but I would really like to be in Cambridge full-time so I can be with my people and not be constantly pushed for time. I will see if I can make that happen in 2016.
liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
I've had such a lovely weekend! Though very little like I ever imagined a lovely weekend would look. contains religion )
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
So one advantage of being out is that I can write diary posts about what I'm up to without being coy about spending time with my partners. Terminology wise, we've more or less settled on saying OSOs when we want to make a distinction between spouses and other partners, so I'll probably use that term a bit going forward.

In fact, [livejournal.com profile] ghoti introduced herself on the coming out thread and offers: But friends-of-Liv who'd like to get to know me better perhaps may wish to know that I will be doing December Days and that might be a good place to ask questions? [livejournal.com profile] ghoti is very much an LJ person and doesn't really do DW (indeed, DW-[personal profile] ghoti who is in my DW circles is an entirely different person whom I'm not dating, so I hope this does not result in any confusion.)

recent fun things )
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
So this weekend I got to join in with excited small children going on An Expedition to the Science Museum. thoroughly wonderful weekend adventures )

So yes, weekends with lots and lots and lots of time with lovely people, and space and dressing up and dancing and tasty Asian food lead to a very happy (if very shattered) Liv.
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
I spent some of the weekend at [personal profile] emperor's readthrough of Joss Whedon's Firefly. I'll write about the social experience behind the cut, and while I'm giving you the choice whether to read about the event, I'll also make some comments about the portrayal of sex workers in the series, and mention potential small spoilers.

mostly the good kind of drama )
liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
  1. It's the first day of Succot. Yesterday several people from the community built a succah which is neither properly kosher nor structurally sound, but we had a lot of fun looking for branches and building our den in the sunshine. And I led an erev Succot service, which was cosy and homey and just the right emotional contrast to Yom Kippur. And yes, I still have the Eighth Day and Simchat Torah next week, but I feel like I've successfully done the hardest part of the major festival season.

  2. It's also the first day of the academic year. Campus is full and lively again and I don't start teaching til tomorrow. I have some trepidation about the coming term but I'm also really looking forward to the change of rhythm and to active teaching again.

  3. This is absolutely my favourite time of year, when the weather is often crisp and clear and the leaves are starting to turn and the air smells of fresh starts.

  4. I saw the super-blood moon eclipse! I hadn't intended to get up at 3 am to see it, but I just happened to wake up and I remembered that it was eclipse night, so I threw on some clothes and went outside, and there it was. It was a really clear night, the kind you never get when there's exciting celestial stuff you want to observe, and the moon was full and really did look red, and I saw just the sliver of it reappearing from shadow.

  5. Because of the start of Succot, I had a very truncated weekend in Cambridge. But I did get to spend a morning chatting to [livejournal.com profile] ghoti. And I went to the most amazing concert on Saturday night, with [personal profile] cjwatson. De Profundis are a very good all-male choir who do historically authentic Renaissance music, and they were singing sacred music from St Mark's Basilica in Venice, in Trinity chapel. I know about De Profundis cos [livejournal.com profile] megamole is one of their singers, but I would have definitely wanted to go to that concert even without that personal connection.

    I don't quite have the vocabulary to talk about what was exciting about the concert, but it was extremely memorable. Partly just I love choral music and I love Early (ie pre-Bach) music, and partly it was very good musicians in an aesthetically and acoustically excellent venue. The specific thing I'm excited about was something to do with the way it was specifically polyphony rather than the melody and harmony I'm more used to in Classical-influenced music. I felt completely submerged in sound and sensory experience, and at the same time completely intellectually engaged by the fascinating complexity. I really wished there was a recording available so I could listen hundreds of times and pick up all the nuance, but it was pretty stunning as a live concert.

    ETA: [livejournal.com profile] megamole linked me to a different group performing one of the pieces from the concert, which gives you some idea.

Life update

Sep. 8th, 2015 12:56 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
As I mentioned in a footnote to a reading post, I've had a really great but also really intense few weeks. Let me put a bit more detail here, partly cos I want to record some of the fun exciting things I've been doing.

diary, bit of angst )
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
Which is the kind of thing I not only don't do, but never have done. Only [livejournal.com profile] ghoti wanted me to go to a Blue Öyster Cult gig with her and although they claim they're always on tour they are not so very young any more and their only UK gig was Ramblin' Man Fair. So we decided to attend the fair, and in fact had a great time.

not very successfully pretending to be cool )

So yes, I'm really too boring for rock festivals, but it was fun to pretend for a few days that I'm the kind of person who travels across country and sleeps in a tent (albeit a posh tent) and stands around in muddy fields in the rain to hear bands I like.
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
I had a really lovely weekend. diary stuff )
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
In an astonishing feat of logistics, we've managed to organize things so that I got to spend two consecutive weekends with [livejournal.com profile] ghoti and [personal profile] cjwatson and their family. And it was awesome.

diary stuff )

So two really lovely weekends, which have done a lot to make me feel relaxed and connected and good. I think I never really imagined my life as containing entire weekends planned around "family" activities, in the sense of family that means adults with children. So I'm doing quite a lot of assimilating of new experiences and building new skills, and it hasn't all quite melded together in my mind into something I can articulate usefully.
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
Back in England, back to work – exams season starts in earnest today. Also back to an official presence on LJ, after a six year gap. So, hi, LJ folks! There will probably be more noodling about this shift later, but for now:

what I did on my holidays )

Basically I really want to go back in time twenty years and tell my teenage self that she'll grow up to be the sort of person whose friends invite her to goth festivals, as a brief break from a grown-up life with a proper job. That she'll be able to wear the goth clothes she's just starting to pine after, and that people will think she looks good rather than ridiculous. And she'll come home to loved ones. I find it quite hard to believe that the past two decades have been so good to me, really.
liv: cup of tea with text from HHGttG (teeeeea)
I've had really not a minute to update DW since I decided that I'd post a bunch of short pointers to other content. And I'm not doing at all well about even writing my diary here. I'm going to put a brief summary here because I had a really great April this year and I want to remember it.

social diary )

Still, in spite of all this wonderfulness in my life, I've been feeling more or less perpetually anxious for much of the past couple of months. I think it may be partly the imminent election, for which I see basically no possible outcomes I'm going to be happy with. But it's mainly a work thing; there's not much specifically wrong, I'm just really struggling with the balance between short-term urgent stuff and long-term career goals, and I'm finding impostor syndrome feelings harder to ignore. My chest hurts pretty much all the time I'm alone and paying attention to my body rather than interacting with other people, and it doesn't quite feel like asthma and it doesn't quite feel like a cold and it doesn't quite feel like heartburn, just... sore. I have a bad feeling that this is somatizing a proto-decision I don't want to face that I don't have a future in academia. But I might actually be ill, and I might just be anxious in a way that doesn't mean much long term, dunno.

Anyway, I started the bit of the course that I'm somewhat in charge of today, and having started it feels a lot better than waiting expectantly for it and dreading that I'm not well enough prepared. So hopefully I will be busy in a positive and satisfying way for the upcoming three weeks. And at the end of that I'm going on a really really exciting trip with [personal profile] ceb and some other excellent people, so there's that to look forward to.

Stuff

Feb. 23rd, 2015 08:12 pm
liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
Various bitty things to record what I've been up to lately:

diary )

Also, congratulations to [personal profile] randomling who correctly guessed that what I was thinking of in Pessimized Twenty Questions was Croatia. [personal profile] randomling, you're of course welcome to start a new round if you like, but perhaps a single game was enough, playing by comment discussion. Honourable mention goes to [personal profile] seekingferret who played with great cunning, coming up with informative guesses and not getting trapped in assumptions based on what had been discovered so far.
ETA: [personal profile] randomling started another round, do go and join in!

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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