lizzie_and_ari: (Lizzie sketchy)
Hello,

In which I talk politics at length in point 1 (tagged a couple of folk for interest):
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1. So, our international readers: there was a referendum. Stupid 68% of people voted against electoral reform. There was also a Scottish parliament election. To non-Scottish readers: We now have an SNP Government. We did before, but this time, much more so. They didn't actually have a majority before, but they had more than anyone else had, so were allowed to be in charge anyway. But now the other parties have lost so many seats that the Tory, Lib Dem AND Labour leaders are all stepping down in shame.

Here are my thoughts on the election:

It's an odd kind of landslide, because, as far as I can see, it's not really about overwhelming support for the SNP. I think the most prevailing rationale for voting SNP was:
  1. I'm not bloody voting Tory: I'm Scottish and we hate the wee bastards
  2. I'm not bloody voting Lib Dem: they're the wee other bastards that got in bed with the Tories
  3. I'm not bloody voting Labour, they screwed things up royally
  4. Actually, the SNP are doing alright so far. Yeah, okay then. 
Few people seem to actually *like* Alex Salmond. I personally suspect him to be a pelican; one day he will open his smug wee mouth fish will fly out in every direction. Maybe he's got Nemo in there, and that's what makes him so self-satisfied.

It's making me really appreciate PR. I'm not going to go into the Scottish electoral system at length but: We have 73 constituencies, each of which has an MSP elected to it. There are then 8 regions throughout Scotland who each then get an additional 7ish MSPs who represent the area. In the previous 3 elections (the Scottish parliament being fairly new) there hasn't been a majority government.

I actually have no problem with coalitions and minority government - I think it can make for a more balanced and representative approach to government (although the current UK coalition is bollocks, because the two parties' political stances are so wildly different). But:
  • To get a majority government under PR really must mean that a significant majority of people want that government.
  • By the same token, if we only had the constituency MSPs, 75% of MSPs would be SNP, making them all-powerful, with 20% Labour and no-one else meaning anything. When they only had around 50% of the vote, that doesn’t seem right. But because we have other parties from regional votes, they have only a little more than 50%. Given that they had around 50% of the vote, this seem fair and, well, proportional, to me.
Although all the evidence is that support for the SNP does not translate into a public demand for independence, David Cameron (Tory UK Prime Minister/evil robot) is the single strongest weapon the SNP have for Scottish independence. He said "If [the Scots] want to hold a referendum, I will campaign to keep our United Kingdom together, with every single fibre that I have." Given that most people in Scotland would like nothing better than to see Cameron's fibres stretched out across Hadrian's Wall, that quote'll be going on the 'Yes' flyers, then. I'd rather have a pelican than a robot (which was the alternative title to this week's blog)

Nicola Sturgeon really needs to use some of her new found power to get a haircut.

I actually spoilt my ballot, because I couldn't decide. I was tempted to vote SNP, but the Labour guy we have - Malcolm Chisholm - is a good guy. This is testamented by the fact that he's now the only non-SNP MSP in all of Edinburgh.

Here are pictures and graphs I made. The whole country's gone yellow.

2. Talking of yellow, I painted the newly-emptied study. It's now the same colour as the rest of the house and this, combined with its emptiness, makes it look twice as big (It's not entirely empty, just not filled with crap)

3. Helped with marking (and fact-checking) at the Hearts & Minds quiz. Great to see everyone, and meet the New Sarah (whose name is actually Clare). The Traverse quiz team I’m technically part of was there too; lovely to see everyone.

4. Registered for Aquafit. At a tutor’s meeting at Leith Academy last week, I discovered that I get a free class per term. Water based exercise is my favourite kind, so I start a ten week course on Thursday. I will also be trying my best to make it to Zumba on Tuesdays, partly because I have not only Emily but also now Fiona guilting me into doing so. By the time I finish at Edinburgh Uni I’ll be able to climb the stairs (fourth floor) without being out of breath. I will!

5. Talking of Edinburgh Uni, (see how seamlessly linked my blog is today?) they’ve given me full time work for a little while, Really don’t know how long ‘a little while’ might be, but they’re trying to get me on a more permanent contract, at least. It’s not massive security, but it’s a start and I really like it there and they seem to like me, too.

6. I also got accepted as a home online copy-editor for a company who may or may not be a bit dodgy. Still, anything I get from them is bonus money, particularly if I’m working full-time, and I do love doing it.

7. Spent a lot of time moving things in and out of Warriston Road – moving Erin out on Thursday and moving John in yesterday. I should start my own removal business. As long as people understand I don’t like heavy lifting.

8. Went back to the doctor for a follow-up appointment and it was so nice. I saw my own doctor and he was lovely. I was very late being seen, and I was prepared for a quick ‘I was told to make a follow up appointment, but I’m fine now’ ‘Ok, bye then’, but he properly sat and talked to me for about fifteen minutes about how I was feeling, and what support I had, making me laugh and recommending a book which he said wouldn’t revolutionise everything but might help a wee bit. I mentioned in passing about the locum I saw and his iphone and he said ‘Yes, well, thanks for your feedback, he won’t be coming back.’ I get the impression they had a hard time all round with him.

It’s a shame I didn’t get to see my regular dude the first time, because he gave me what I really needed then. But at least I did see him. Though things are looking up generally anyway, I felt a million times lighter and better about the world when I came out of there.

I just spent a long time writing this, and Live Journal (which I intially write it in) deleted the whole thing. Fortunately didn’t take as long to rewrite as it did to write. Hope I haven’t left too much out. Grrrrrrrr.

Rock on,

Lizzie xxxxx
lizzie_and_ari: (Default)
 Hello,

Things! )

'Sprobably it. I think this week will be just the right side of busy.

Happy Monday!

Lxxxxxxxxxxx
 
lizzie_and_ari: (kissing dancing)
Hello,
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1. So, after last week's melt down I went to see a doctor. He was pretty unhelpful on the whole. He was a locum who I think had been pulled out of retirement. He strongly reminded me of if someone had asked John Wilson's dad if he would mind terribly being a doctor for the day, as they were a bit short handed. But less compassionate.

Me: So, I'm very badly depressed.
Him: Ah! Right! Now. Dr R said to me this morning that if anyone came in with depression, I was to ask them these questions'
Attempts to find relevant thing on computer, failed and takes out his iphone. Asks me a series of questions, this test here, easily found in a number of forms of the internet. I point out that the flaw to this test is that it asks 'over the last two weeks, and the answers are very definite yeses to all the questions, every day for five days, but that two weeks ago I was fine. I get quite pissed off. He doesn't seem to get it, but offers me antidepressants, and my answer is a clear 'No fucking way'. 

The good news is he signed me off sick for two weeks. Of course it's a bit odd, given that I'm self employed, but I feel that it's bought me permission to just have a wee bit of respite and be off sick and try and take care of myself.

I'm feeling much better than I was. My sleep patterns are still messed up, and I'm not liking going outside, but I'm more anxious than depressed now, mostly. Ari, as ever, has been a beacon of wonder and support.
 
2. Took advantage of the time off to sort out the study and the house generally. Tidying helps me with brain stuff, like I'm tidying my head, too. The study is now unrecognisable. We're taking down all the big shelves, and then we can finally paint it. We put a whole load of stuff in the attic (which has been a revelation to us both; there's so much space up there) and sorted a *lot* of things to give away.
3. Had an open house afternoon with a view to giving these away. Cat and Karen came over and took quite a lot of things, and we had tea and cake, which was lovely. Then Andy and Julie came and we had more tea and cake. It was nice and chilled. We got rid of a few things but will still have to drive the ridiculously short distance to the charity shop on account of the amount of stuff we have to give. We could sell it all, but: a) it would be a major hassle and b) we very rarely give money to charity, on account on not having any, so at least giving significant amounts of saleable items means we are giving to charity, kind of.
4. Made Easter eggs with the moulds my Mum gave me for my birthday. Lots of fun.
5. Had a lovely visit from Emily and the boys. They don't come to us very often, so it was dead nice. We managed to pull together enough things for Toby to play with, and he seemed happy. He's totally in love with Ari at the moment. I'm not jealous. Seth was dead contented too and ate a cuddly rabbit after I told him he couldn't eat my purse. Much more Easter-y.
6. Made dinner for Hazel and John and Gregor, which was really lovely. Hazel made Upside Down Split Knickers for pudding - a cross between a banana split and a Knickerbocker Glory, served in half an Easter Egg. Delicious. Then we drank gin and played 'Who's Naked?', which Hazel found in a charity shop and bought John for his birthday.

7. Tonight we have a friend of Ari's from uni coming for dinner with his wife. Ari is making pizza. I hope they're nice.

I'm back to work next week so plan to continue taking things easy this week as far as I can, and trying to get back on an even keel. Fingers crossed.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
lizzie_and_ari: (Default)
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Ok, so that *did* sound really effing dwelly. Sorry. The rest of the post should be much less melodramatic (edit: oh, you might want to skip point 5.) As you were.

2. Went down to Sarah's place in the middle of Dumfries and Galloway Thursday - Sunday.

Highlights:
  • Seeing Plutot La Vie's By The Seat of your Pants at CatStrand, which is five minutes from Sarah's place. (It's partly what precipitated our visit - we'd been meaning to go for a while and this seemed like a good excuse.) Gorgeous clowning show directed by Magdalena Schamberger who I worked with at Hearts & Minds. We both really enjoyed it, there was some immensely beautiful physicality in it.
  • Actually seeing Sarah. We normally get to see her fairly fleetingly, or on the internet, or not at all, so it was really nice just to chill out and hang out (dude).
  • Being in the countryside, with deer and rabbit and lambs and peacocks. Ari and Sarah discovered badget setts, near a druid circle - some brush had been cleared away and the big stones has been moved and there were little wooden discs hanging off a load of the trees. 
  • Eating all the food, cooked in an oven that goes above 150 degrees.
  • Having a bath.
  • Getting to clean the car (we can't stretch a hoover cord the quarter mile or so away the car needs to be parked)
Lowlights:
  • Getting lost on the way out there, and accidentally driving about 20 miles our of our way.
  • No mobile reception, which meant my plans to interview folk for May's Skinny went tits up.

3. Saw Tim Minchin's show. We were pretty excited about it. It was a really interesting show, pushing the boundaries of comedy and I think it was a really brave experiment. We met up with a comedian friend of ours before and met the first violinist, which was pretty cool. The orchestra was really amazing and some of the music was massively grand and awesome. The main problem with it, though, was that the music drowned out the lyrics, which ruined most of the comedy. To my mind, this ruined the whole concept of a comedy show. I think that part of what characterised his comedy was the fact that it was just him and the piano, and the concept that there 'should be an orchestra'. Bringing in the orchestra took that away and everything was subverted in a way that didn't work for me. I spent a lot of time with my fingers in my ears, seeing if that helped me make out the lyrics, and often with my eyes shut, because of the strobe lighting. There were some undeniably beautiful moments, but it wasn't my bag

My other problem with it, personally, was the number of sycophants in the audience. I hate it when people just start laughing and clapping when they recognise a chord. It's not unique to this show, it pissed me off when we saw Eddie Izzard too, even though he is my one true love.

He did a song called 'Context' which I liked (but can't find a link to), which contains the line (I may be paraphrasing) 'I really hate Christians, I just want to punch them in the face'. Now, he is a well-known rationalist and all but this was *not* a serious concept; it was part of a whole structure making a point about prejudice. However, the people sitting behind us *cheered* that line: 'yay, I want to punch Christians in the face for no reason'. They didn't seem to get the point of the song in the tiniest little bit. It's a kind of weird blind following: someone goes because they know he's a skeptic, and so as soon as he says something skeptic-ish they clap and cheer withouth actually listening and processing. Surely this is one of the massive problems of religion? Agh.

Anyway, Ari wrote up her review (Ari reviewed it rather than me because a) she knows more about music and b) she was more available to write it). I posted it up on Twitter with a link to Tim's twitter address. He tweeted back to say that it was a load of inaccurate condesceding bollocks, and why did I post it to him when I know he avoids reviews?'

I replied saying I didn't know that, but I would happily remove the post with him tagged in it, that I just tag people as a matter of process. He apologised for his grumpiness and said that in general, he wouldn't tag artists to negative reviews.

I really wanted to respond but I didn't get into a bitchfight on Twitter. I might write a longer and more detailed piece on this but:
  • I actually wouldn't tag artists to negative reviews as I generally don't post negative reviews up on Twitter at all; certainly not during the Fringe.
  • I tag people because it shows up for others, too, who might be searching for reviews or information. Given how clogged his Twitter feed is, I didn't really expect that he would be sitting reading all the posts which mention him. I suspect that me showing Twitter-naivety; I'm relatively new to it. (It was certainly his choice to follow the link, though - if he wanted to avoid reviews, then he didn't have to read it.)
  • I don't consider it to be a negative review. It is a three star review containing as many postives as negatives. It has been categorised as 'a bad review' on the basis of it's bad elements. I guess that's human nature, and again naive of me to think that if he did read it, he would think 'Hmm, sounds like I should just check the levels in sound check. What a good point.' I did really want to reply and say 'But it's not a negative review' but I can see that he wouldn't think that and it would be ultimately pointless and frustrating.
4. John has finally moved out. It was time and all, but sad and momentous.

5. Melodrama alert: Started to fall apart a wee bit Sunday, then couldn't sleep Sunday night. Monday I somehow got into work but didn't get too much none. The badness over the review stuff came in with pretty bad timing too. I came in the door in tears last night and had a god-awful evening. I'm just completely exhausted by life. The wierd thing is that things are coming together, but I have run out of steam. I feel like I can see a finish line but have run out of energy before I can get to it. If I drop everything now, I feel like I'll have lost everything I've worked for, but I think that might just happen because I don't have very much of a grip on things.

I was off sick today, and I'm going to see how tomorrow goes. I'm not sure what's going to happen.

Anyway, Happy Tuesday y'all, and enjoy the long weekend.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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