I have overcome my pinched shoulderblade nerve only to be laid low by menstrual cramps. And I do mean, laid low, they're really bad and making me woogity. But on the bright side, I recently needed to add more items to my Amazon cart to get some Add-On items, and remembered that I've been meaning to get a new menstrual cup, so I did, and it arrived in time, so I'm using it today instead of my far-too-old becoming-leaky old Keeper, which really needed to be retired as of like two years ago but I kept forgetting.
They actually make my cramps a little worse but I'd rather not generate like four trash cans full of expensive waste every monhth so I put up with it. And it's shiny and new, so there's that thrill of Having Nice Things to allay the discomfort.
And I've got to a good part in writing, a bit I'd been looking forward to writing for weeks, but it's not long enough to make a whole chapter. Boo! I wanted to post it because I get such a pick-me-up when I post a new thing and get comments.
But I feel like I'm finally climbing out of the seasonal depression, so there's that. Lots of things in the plus column, some things in the minus column, I just wish I could concentrate and keep writing because I'm at a good bit.
Attempting to crosspost things from Tumblr but probably not succeeding.
The time change means it's light out for a while after I get home. It makes it feel a lot more like I can actually do things after dark. For a while now I've mentally just shut down when I got in the door after work, like a bird with a blanket over its cage. Maybe this will help. I wonder if there are stats on seasonal depression and daylight savings?
It's a barbaric practice and we should stop it.
I made it through another week. I'm really more surviving than anything else. It's not that i'm not happy-- that's not the thing, I can't explain that to people who don't have depression. I'm perfectly happy, I'm just barely functioning. I went to a party on Friday and felt like an alien pretending to be a normal person, trying to bluff my way through normal social interaction. I was definitely one of the weirder people in the room which, given that crowd, was quite an accomplishment. I begged off attending a baby shower I'd been looking forward to because, well, I did have quite a bad cold, but I also just couldn't face trying to socialize with people who know me well and might notice that I'm crazy.
I keep having minor issues with forgetting to believe in the real world, which at least doesn't happen at important times, but is really disheartening. Like, I'm so withdrawn I don't even know if it's real. That sucks.
But! I did manage to be productive this weekend. I have the accumulated hoarding of about eight years in this house, which has gotten really out of control-- I don't open my dresser drawers, and discovered on Sunday that I have a whole drawer full of long-sleeved shirts that fit me and are work-appropriate. And yet I'm wearing the same two over and over because they're the ones I know about, because they're in the piles I wash and dress myself from and wash and dump back into the piles on the floor.
So anyway. Periodically over the years I've culled garments that don't fit or are ugly or stained or way out of fashion or I don't know why I have them, and have put them into bags and put them into the attic or basement. Over the winter there was some flooding in the basement and a lot of these got wet with gross water. Faced with the choice of throwing them out or washing them, I of course washed them. But now I feel like I can't just put them back where they were. I have to either make something out of them, donate them, or throw them away.
Well, at this point, none of them are really nice enough to donate anymore. So... the latter two.
( so... sewing!!!Collapse )
So that's that. In other activities, I'm still outputting writing at a tremendous pace, so that's something. It's only fic, which is too bad, but it's (I think) rather good fic, so there's that too.
So I wrote these and they're not really... in a state to go on AO3 yet, but I want to put it somewhere. It's from a really dark little series of thematically-linked snippets I'm working on about Sheppard. I feel like if I get three more done, I can do a Five Things, but I don't have three more yet and I have other shit I'm working on, but I can't close the window and put it away without posting some of it somewhere.
TW: suicidal ideation
( <i>The Wind's Like A Hairdryer</i>, John Sheppard, gen, dark, 850 wordsCollapse )
( <i>He Liked It Here</i>, John Sheppard, gen, dark, 350 wordsCollapse )
I dunno. Everyone cool seems to write in present tense; I can never manage it, but I keep trying.
Huh it restored that title from a "saved draft" that I don't remember writing. But there it is, the title.
I think I started and aborted a post a while back, but alas, that title is all that remains.
Home sick from work today with a cough that can't stop won't stop. Hack. It's the kind that means you can't catch a breath. Every time I take a sick day I feel like I'm a total phony but Z sort of yelled at me for being that way. Spraining my ankle taught me that I feel that way even when I am really hurt-- I kept thinking my ankle was faking it and if I weren't such a drama queen I'd be able to walk on it. And then I was like... ... how can my ankle be capable of subterfuge? it's an ankle.
Today what got me to actually call in was the fact that I have miserable period cramps and just the thought of sitting in my incredibly-uncomfortable desk chair at work was making me want to cry.
So i am definitely insane. And it is still winter, and still dark, and I still can't get out of the seasonal depressions, and it is soooo annoying. It's literally painful sometimes to make myself get off the couch and do things, and just overwhelming to contemplate things like, y'know, the dishes, making appointments, seeing people I like for activities I enjoy, man. What a hassle. The house is a disaster and I am so tired; January's resolution to just put my head down and power through it is reaaaaaaalllllly getting old right about now. You cannot put your head down and just power through your entire life. There has to be something that you actually live through and enjoy. Bah.
I'm not sad, at all; I've slightly changed jobs and actually enjoy being at work, somewhat, more now than before. (Am I paid more? No. That's the downside; slightly less actually, except that I'm working more hours so therefore at my same hourly wage minus commissions [which were never more than a couple of bucks a week) I'm taking home more money, because I'm not home as much. Yadda yadda. I just wish I could get back up to the ten bucks an hour I was making at my previous worst-ever job. My W-2 embarrasses me every year.)
I've been writing a lot but it's all Stargate Atlantis shit. I have no idea why, but it's latched onto my brain and I have an entire thesis based on this mid-2000s slightly-cheesy scifi show being a perfect canvas for portraying the struggles of modern life. The thing is, the show was based around a sort of boring cliched Hero guy, a rakish Air Force Major With A Shady Past, starring a really, really pretty actor who was pretty obviously cast for his gorgeous jaw and beautiful smirk. And it turns out the actor was a total wacko, and played the guy so goddamn weirdly that he completely misses the cliche and turns out to be this incredibly interesting and bizarre character. I don't feel like the writing is particularly inspired in this series-- it's fine, it's entertaining, but it's not deep. And yet over the years it was on the air and since it has inspired some really incredible fanworks. Possibly because it was a spinoff of another earlier and partially concurrent series that had a venerable and imaginative fandom? I don't know. I was aware of it at the time, and such literary powerhouses as aesc who I've known personally since undergrad wrote heavily for it, but I didn't get into it until I finally read the novels my favorite author ever marthawells wrote for it.
Which I know I discussed on here earlier, I'm just recapping, mostly for myself, since it's been like... a year.
Anyway. So I'm still doing that. And in an attempt to get myself to use LJ more, since my brain worked better when I was here (or maybe that's nostalgia telling me that), I'm going to post fragments and WIPs on here. I've got semi-complete and almost polished (ha) stories posted on AO3, which I've linked to from here before, but I don't want to put incomplete things up there. Well, not ones I don't know if I'll finish.
So there's the plan.
I know, I already did a New Year Update, after my grand total of like five entries last year.
Doc says I can put skates back on Feb 1st.
Last night my team skated without me and crushed the opposition like usual. Y'know, we do what we do. It's an incredibly consistent group of chicks with a really smart coach and a really passionate captain and a really has-her-shit-together associate captain and a really has-everyone-shit-together bench manager (last night she was, a six-foot tall woman, in heels with a gold necklace that had two-inch-high letters reading OBEY in gold with rhinestones; we love her so much) and I just loved them all but it was really hard to watch and not skate.
But even standing to watch the game, my shin ached and my other ankle (my "good" ankle) panged and my knee sucked and Jesus Christ, when did I suddenly become a million years old? I've been off-skates since November, and I'm falling apart.
I have much of this coming week off to go home and visit my family. Ann and Fiona both moved back from out of state last year, as I've mentioned, and I still don't have it through my head that they're there.
I keep thinking to myself that I should really want to move to Troy. I mean, I really should. Almost my entire family is there now, and it would be so cool to just... to just see them whenever I want. I know it's like that for many, many people, I'd venture to say most people, throughout the world-- they live near their families and see their moms whenever they want to and babysit their sisters' kids and whatnot. But I've never had that, not in my entire adult life. I left home the year before college and never came back, not for keeps. The last time I 'lived' in my parents' house was only for a couple of months in 2002. Since then I've always been at least 200 miles away.
And I'm looking for jobs, and looking to change careers, and all. But do I want to leave Buffalo? Do I want to go to Troy? Z works remotely now, for a company based in Connecticut; the other programmers are in North Carolina, Virginia, Toronto, and Oregon. Z could live anywhere. I don't know if he'd want to leave Buffalo; he has a good group of friends here. And his mom, technically, but she spends so much time in California with his sister and her son that she's never around.
Eh. I have my team, and can't go anywhere while I'm with them.
But for the first time, I'm not strictly tied to my job for health insurance-- the new legislation means that if I changed jobs to one that didn't offer it, I could purchase my own, and it wouldn't just be the costs-a-quarter-of-your-income-and-cover
The seasonal depression is brutal this year-- I have it well-medicated, so I don't feel like sad or anything (or anxious, I used to get awful social anxiety), I just have no executive function. Give me a clear-cut task and a timeline to do it and I will stare blankly at it until the deadline has passed. Getting anything done is fucking Sisyphean. The dishes, oh the dishes. my house is a disaster. I rearranged the living room and ran out of gas before I got anything put away, so the furniture is great and the plants are where they should be and the lights are all plugged in properly to the switches and then there's a pile of junk in that chair and all the drawers are still empty and there's boxes and piles on top of boxes on top of all the shelving units. And nothing on the shelves. And I still have no artwork on the walls of the house I've lived in since 2005. Sooooo...
I bought one of those happy light things, at the doctor's insistence, so we'll see if that helps. I don't want to be happy, I just want to be able to fucking take the goddamn laundry out of the dryer after it's finished. It's so incredibly stupid. And that's the worst part-- you're like, come the fuck on, how hard can it be? Just get off the damn couch! And you're like yeah, I really ought to get off this couch. And then you fucking don't, for no reason, even though you don't really want to be on that couch. UGH.
And then you overuse italics like crazy, and you're still on the fucking couch.
Hey, the coffee's done. I want some coffee. I should go get some. Yup. It's right there. The cup is right in the dish drainer, the good one that I like, and I know there's a spoon right there, and there's even cream in the fridge. So good. I can think of all the steps. I should go do it.
Orrrrr.... Z will probably wake up in like 20 minutes, and then he'll make himself some and I can make him make me some...
You see how this goes? Ugh, I have a rare moment of motivation so I'm gonna publish this and go get myself coffee. Maybe.
I miss having online conversations. I'm finally managing to engage with other people on Tumblr and Twitter, but it is literally impossible to have any kind of meaningful conversation on there. Some of the people I know from Tumblr are on LJ, so I suppose I could try to find them here. But it's just so goddamn annoying, all of it.
2013 was a mixed bag. Mostly, more of the same. I'm still at my stupid retail job. I'm still on the same roller derby team. (This'll be the 8th year). The only change from routine is that in mid-November I fell off a concrete step and sprained both ankles-- the left one I just rolled a little and it was sort of ok, but the right one, I really did a number on, and stretched out the ligaments in the ankle syndesmosis, which is the whole web of connective tissue that attaches the bones of the lower leg to each other and to the ankle bones. It hurt like a bitch and I couldn't bear weight on it for a full week, and had to wear an orthotic knee-high brace boot thing (which I dubbed Moonboot) for over six weeks. I finally started being able to handle a whole workday sans Moonboot... this week. So yeah.
I will, obviously, not be skating in the season opener in less than two weeks.
I am tentatively considering putting skates on again next month. Really, tentatively. I successfully stood on my tiptoes to reach something yesterday for the first time.
So that's what's up.
I sublimated my feelings through writing, this past year, like I normally do. I figure tentatively that my total output for the year was in the 500,000-word range. So that's good, I suppose. I mean, in that it's not the healthiest coping strategy, but not the unhealthiest. I'm still on reasonable crazy pills so I'm not in as dire a shape as I usually am in Januaries, but I'm really not feeling so great either. Whatever. That's what depression does.
Most of what I wrote was Stargate: Atlantis fanfiction. Not because the show was so great, mind you, but because the characters were, and the setting had so much potential, and it's been a perfect vehicle for me to work on a lot of things I've historically sucked at, writing-wise-- especially emotionally-constipated protagonists who can't talk about their feelings. God, everything I've written before has featured heroes who talked about their feelings endlessly, and I always knew it wasn't quite what I wanted, but I never had a good motivation to fix it until I started trying to write John Sheppard. Who, in canon, can't even finish sentences and literally free-climbs skyscrapers to escape feelings conversations.
It's been a hoot, at least.
I finally got an AO3 account, like the cool kids have had for a little while-- so I'm cleaning up old stuff to post it there, and putting up new stuff at an alarming rate. (I've got an almost 8,000-word chapter mellowing that I'm probably gonna put up later today. I think I wrote the bulk of it in a single day. My output is amazing. Too bad it's not something I can do with paid work.) What's really awful is my realizing how much of my stuff I just can't find anymore, that I never really had a clean draft of anywhere on my computer. I'm such an idiot, I sometimes did final edits on a story directly into the text-entry field on various fic archives or LJ.
I should probably go back through this journal and make some attempt at organizing and archiving it. But y'know. Depression. I can't even get my fucking laundry done, how am I gonna get my online life in order?
I do have a paid tech writing gig waiting for me to go through and figure out how to do it and generate a quote. Fuck me, I've got no idea how to quote that out. But if I can get that done, and get my portfolio together, I might be able to parlay that into a tech writing or support job, which would be something to get me out of retail. I don't mind the retail job, except that I do. And Abusive Coworker (I've probably mentioned her on here before? It's been years) is currently out on maternity leave but verbally abused me for like twenty minutes on almost her last day, and has promised she'll be back after she's done with maternity leave. And that's my goal-- be the fuck out of there before she gets back, because I will not be spoken to like that ever again.
I also took a class in silkscreening (the concrete step I fell off was in the arts building, during the class) and am just consumed with desire to make art with textiles. I've been dealing with this desire a long time, and now I really, really feel like I have to try it, so I might make some things with an eye toward starting an Etsy shop. I have a sort of half-formed long-term goal idea in mind, of tying this in with my sister's farming business somehow-- oh, more on my sister in a minute-- but like all things, I can ruminate and plan and speculate forever, but there's no substitute for actually doing. So I'm going to just do some things. Though unfortunately, a great deal of the budget I'd planned on using for materials is going to have to go to pay for, you know, the ER, the crutches (those fuckers were three hundred fucking dollars, are you serious?), the Moonboot, $60 every time I see an orthopedist, etcetera. Whatever!
Back to my sister, and other news-news-- my babiest sister gave birth to her own baby the day before yesterday, in her own house (this was planned and midwives were in attendance)-- a perfectly beautifully healthy 7-pound, 19-inch daughter named Willa (for Willard, our maternal grandfather, and William, her husband's grandfather). So that was cool. She's working in the fundraising department of the local NPR affiliate (Troy area, near our ancestral homestead), and her husband is the farm manager for an organic farm-- they moved back from Illinois partly in order to breed, since our family is more supportive than the husband's family in terms of real usefulness and lack of insanity. My other little sister moved back to Troy from Colorado, so I've gone in almost one fell swoop from being the closest duckling to home (at 300 miles' distance) to the third-farthest. (Older sister, Katy, still wins, being still in Savannah, now with three children.)
And my other 2013 news was that I bought myself a car. A new, never-before-owned-by-anyone-else car. It's a 2014 Subaru Crosstrek, which is basically an Impreza jacked up onto an SUV suspension. Tiny almost-SUV, which means I can see better in traffic. It has proven itself to be a phenomenally fun ride in all the snow we've had lately, and I wish, I wish I had somewhere to take it offroading because while the Impreza I used to have (a 1996 hand-me-up from Babiest Sister) was fun, it had no ground clearance and I was usually justifiably worried about wrecking the suspension. (Part of the reason I got rid of it was issues with the CV joints.) But this one? Actually has off-roading instructions in the owner's manual. So hey baybee! That *is* how I learned to drive, after all.
By far the coolest thing about this car, however, is that the radio accepts a USB stick full of mp3 files as a valid input. I've got every episode of Welcome to Night Vale, plus a bunch of assorted music, on there. It's a far cry from the only CD I could get to read in the old Impreza-- which was a Wintersun CD a coworker burned me on impulse, and I just listened to it on repeat because I couldn't get anything else to work in that stereo. Cookie Monster speed metal in dodgy Scandinavian English. Yeah.
OK, that's it for now, LJ. I miss you all and am sort of caught up on some things, and don't know if I'll stay around here long, but I always say that, and we'll see. Maybe comment notifications work now! Maybe not.
Sorry if this breaks your friends-page. I'm super out of practice at this.
It's been forever since I wrote anything. I just don't have room for it in my life. I signed up for a fanfic challenge because nothing gives you instant happy feedback like scratching fangirls' (and guys') itches. It was kind of great, and I hadn't done anything like it in forever.
So I have a fic up, a SG:A fanfic (McShep, as that's the nature of the challenge) for the final-ever edition of the McShep Match. They're anonymous thru the end of the month; cookies to anyone who can guess which one I posted. Hints: I'm on Team Cool, and it's long, and it's already been posted. So go, if that interests you, and read, and vote: The Last Annual McShep Match Challenge. Try to guess which one's mine. :)
In the wake of that, I've been posting all the deleted scenes-- I was so absorbed in it, and it had been so long since I'd written anything, that I wrote probably a hundred thousand words, and just picked the tens of thousands that best fit the prompt to put up for the challenge. I managed to cadge an invite to AO3, finally, from a McShep teammate, and now I owe him a ficlet featuring thigh holster porn. I am ruminating on this as we speak, because, mmmmmm, thigh holsters. Yep.
(edited to add: duh, AO3 link. http://archiveofourown.org/users/bomber
The other thing I'm working on is that a Pennsic buddy persuaded me to come to a WWII re-enactment with him. French Resistance, which means that I, dressed as a woman, can historically-accurately run around and shoot blanks with the boys. I'm kind of psyched; my father only ever did military stuff, and of course there was no room for women; I used to dress up as a boy and go along, but I really, really, really can't pass as a man nowadays, not with 40" long hair and 36HH boobs. No way.
So I have some cheapish faux-leather oxfords from Amazon, a straw cloche hat from Amazon, a linen button-up collared blouse from the thrift shop, a proper girdle (i already owned it, of course), and a model 1917 US rifle borrowed from my father. I thought the rifle was a bit of a stretch but looking it up, it was actually issued to the Free French Army by the US in WWII so it's not entirely implausible.
I also have a 1937 Voigtlander Bessa camera that a customer gave me when he heard why I was looking for one. It takes 120 film, but I can't get the shutter to operate; if I can, I'd be able to really use it. So in our fake identity papers, my friend has listed my occupation as a "photographer's assistant". A functional camera would be so much cooler than a decorative one, but either way, it's pretty cool. It's definitely a beautiful object in and of itself.
I'm still working on getting Z to actually dress up. I got him some corduroy trousers at the thrift store today on my lunch break, and bought him some suspenders from Sockdreams.com. That plus a non-button-down collared shirt plus his old beat-to-hell chukka boots will do it, I figure. He has no interest in carrying a gun. Which is just as well, since I don't have one; Dad had a perfect WWI .45 pistol (the original M1911 Colt), but I don't have a pistol permit and wasn't about to transport it across state lines or hell, even across the doorstep without one. Not with all the current rampant hysteria. Z was kind of worried about the rifle but please, it's a bolt-action rifle of a type that can't even accept a magazine (you can use a stripper clip to load 5 rounds at once, but there's no magazine whatsoever). Still, Dad offered me live bullets in case I had a chance to get to a range, and I said no, and only took blanks. I don't need that worry-- you can still maim yourself pretty good with a blank, but it's nothing like a bullet that, Dad explained, that gun can throw about six miles. ("It won't be going very fast when it lands," he hedged, "but it'd still be going, if you judged the curvature right and the wind didn't do anything crazy.")
The thing's insanely heavy, but I was reassured that I'm actually a decent shot with it. I hadn't fired a gun in a long time; it's fun, but I'd usually rather take photographs of my family while they do, so I've gone along and not shot lately. I do like doing it.
Dad was reserved about it, but it sort of slipped out toward the end that he was cautiously a little pleased that I was interested in re-enactment, because he has all this stuff, all the eras he's researched, all the stuff he's collected, and it sort of makes him a little sad to think that none of his children are interested. I'm interested, I'm just, well, a woman, and can't use the military stuff. (He happens to be a very small man-- waist size about 32-- and I'm a large woman, more like a 42 waist.) But I did decide I should probably get a pistol permit-- I don't really want a pistol, in my current lifestyle it would just be a headache to keep track of the damn thing, but as Dad gets older he's worried that if he dies and none of us has a permit, the guns will be confiscated. My younger sister keeps saying she'll get a permit, but never does, so maybe I'll just do it. I hope I don't have to actually get a pistol to get the permit, though. I don't have a range locally that I care to patronize and don't want to become a Gun Person, y'know?
That's what I'm up to.
And oh, while I was visiting my folks to pick up the rifle, I helped Dad paint the sign he's making for our parish's church cemetery. (I paint a lot, so I was freehanding the border around the largest letters for him.) I was sitting in the driveway doing this when Dad suddenly perked up and ran to the end of the driveway, and called my name. I stood up, and heard the sound of a very loud airplane.
"That's a B-17," Dad said, and sure enough, it was. Four Wright Cyclone engines, growling and throbbing, and the thing lumbered by, north to south, the Liberty Belle, on its way back to the Albany Airport, where they were doing rides for $450 a pop.
I considered it a good omen and am proceeding with my life accordingly.
Just wrote an update on Tumblr, so I'll be lazy and link to it.
I have other things to discuss over here, though, where I feel more comfortable being rambly.
Caution: I'm not going to lj-cut anything because I am a miserable bitch. Just FYI.
That entry (not everybody always clicks) is about how miserably ill I am with a wretched yet inconsequential summer cold. There's something so dissatisfying about being horribly uncomfortable and unable to function normally, yet actually trivially ill-- not worth calling in, not in any way worthy of concern, not even worthy of particular sympathy, and yet utterly miserable.
And yes, knowing how direly, desperately, agonizingly ill it is possible to be doesn't really help-- I take a moment to be grateful this is as bad as I have it, but the fact remains, I normally have it better and that pisses me off. Nothing wrong with acknowledging the feeling except the part where you gotta then move on and keep on keepin' on.
OK OK OK. I'm distracting myself with sewing. Mentally enormously hung up on the fact that I have not yet finished Nephew Caleb's birth sampler. He was born in 2009. I'm fucking serious. This thing... Ugh. I'm designing it as I go and I'm almost done and I just. Can't. Finish! Argh.
Goal: September, that's when I see him next. (Sob, I wish I saw them sooner. He is SO DAMN CUTE.)
OK, brief pause for Caleb picspam:
That's old, it's from Christmas, but it was entirely his idea to pose like that.
I am incredibly fortunate at this point to have two nephews and a niece, all children of my older sister. My baby sister, as it happens, is about to Facebook-announce her own impending motherhood-- due in December-- which makes me a spinster. (God almighty, if you know us in real life, will you not say anything on Facebook. That's the metric nowadays. I'm gambling nobody does because I know I'll forget to update here when she finally gets around to The Big Public Facebook Reveal, and I'll feel a right tit when I come back here talking about yet another nephew or niece that came out of nowhere.)
Incidentally at work on Friday I was printing some smitten mother's cute baby photos and was suddenly stricken with the overwhelming feeling of Ugh No Way about kids, so, huh. Maybe my intermittent wouldn't-babies-be-nice feeling is hormonal after all? Why can't this shit be easier to parse? God.
Anyway, I'm letting myself sew something for ME, which I almost never do. A bag to hold light stands and umbrellas that I just bought myself. And also a purse organizer as per this tutorial. So, good for me?
I'm also plugging away on the fanfic, as it's the only kind of writing I've been able to muster the absorption for in the last, uh, like, year? I signed up for mcshep_match and was given a prompt which I am dutifully attempting to follow. It blows my mind that the fandom's nowhere near dead, given how long it's been since the last episode of Stargate: Atlantis aired. But even random people I mention it to remember it, so, I guess it was memorable. I have no perspective on this. I'm making Z watch the series with me, every episode, in order, and we're halfway through the second-last season already, so... I figure I have until we finish to wrap up the obsession, and then it'll have to be on to something else. It's just... Sheppard is a great character because he's completely the opposite of how I ever, ever do the Manly Hero, and it's really entertaining to write him, and even more entertaining to pair him against McKay, or with McKay (I've written both slash and gen for them so far) and I'm having a good time with it. It's diverting, at least. Absorbing. Also there's shitloads of brilliant fics already written, and yet, I think, maybe, I might be able to come up with something a little different. So we'll see. :)
xposted from Tumblr.
@neiltyson is doing a series of Tweets on Things you might say if you never took Physics. I've only seen a couple; the first was something asinine to the effect of thinking perhaps you'd be better off in a car accident without your seatbelt. I sort of huffed and rolled my eyes at that, but today's was "I'm overweight even though I don't overeat."
OK what? I was willing to let it slide before because generally he's all about the importance of science, and I like science and am generally sympathetic to the cause of more education being better. But "overweight" is based on BMI which is completely bullshit science, and "overeat" is meaningless (by whose standards??), and the whole statement is completely perpendicular to science at all. (Plenty of people who don't overeat are overweight; basically every athlete ever is overweight according to BMI tables. Personally, I just gained 30 pounds from antidepressants without changing my diet or activity level. I'm writing this on a damn smartphone so I don't have links, but Google "diets don't work" or look up Shapely Prose or, I don't know, Health at Every Size, or fucking pay attention for a second, and you'll find the same things I did.)
But all of this is tangential to the issue at heart, for me: I never took physics. I love science; most of my closest friends are scientists or engineers. I grew up conducting impromptu physics experiments with my dad. I placed out of freshman science and got to take Biology early.
But I have a math learning disability. I have dyscalculia. I scored so poorly in my algebra classes that when I tried to sign up for physics my school did not allow me to do so. My science education formally ended at chemistry (which I was OK at, but the math was incredibly hard). I have never been able to overcome my disability enough to master functions, although I excel at trigonometry.
So no, I never took physics. I understand how the world works, have a decent grasp of the scientific method, and know fine well what a seatbelt does for you in a traffic accident. I also have a decent grasp of the complexity of the human metabolism.
But I don't really understand what @neiltyson is getting at. And I kind of want to curl into a little ball. I'm a learning-disabled athlete, and a person I admire greatly, one of the world's foremost proponents of science education, has just dismissed me as a fat lazy ignoramus.