Thank you for all the birthday good wishes. They made me feel very loved, especially when I can't see my family and friends in real life.

Relatedly, I can't recommend seville orange and persian lime gin strongly enough. It was my present from my mum and led to us having a vey weird conversation: See, my mum's friend group are now all super envious of those among them who don't have children, because those who have grown up children are now on super, duper double lockdown on pain of having the wifi password changed and not being told what it is. So my mum called me to let me know that she was planning on going to Aldi last thing at night to get me a bottle of gin.

"Well," I said, "I'm going to Aldi later to get you and dad's shopping so I could pick up my own gin."

"Then it wouldn't be a surprise," said my mum.

"You've already told me it'll be gin," I pointed out, "how surprised could I be."

"I'll get you fancy gin."

And, she did, and, well, yum.

My dad got me Bloodborne. Well, he's been really spooked by Covid-19 (and my work hasn't really helped) and hasn't been beyond his back gate in six weeks, so he gave me his credit card number and told me to buy, and I quote, "A video game, or some comic books, or a pair of those sand shoes you wear" (I think he meant converse.)

Bloodborne is the perfect game for these times, I think. My character is dressed like a plague doctor and is observing social distancing by meat cleavering anything that comes within two meters of her.

Work is. Well. The other week British Trump said that we were passed the peak and I was so angry that I nearly swallowed my tongue.

I've been texting a lot with my sister in Ireland, and I've spent far too much time trying to work out if there's a found poem in our exchanges:

they're having us back in waves
I'm not in wave one
hopefully two
Leo grounded us again
Us too
Nicola or the other one
I don't trust the other one

The biggest hobby I've picked up during lockdown is rating the local supermarkets for premium pandemic shopping experiences. I've been rating them on how much they seem to care about the safety of their employees, hygiene, and how well they're are stocked.

My second biggest hobby is the writing of niche femslash of interest to no one but me, but at least gives me something to do in the evenings beyond 'drink gin':

Save a Horse, Ride a Cowgirl (Red Dead Redemption 2; Sadie Adler/Karen Jones) This entry was originally posted at https://netgirl-y2k.dreamwidth.org/202733.html with comment count unavailable comments. Please comment wherever you prefer.

Lockdown Birthdays are Weird.

Today I turned thirty-seven, which is bizarre because I was nineteen about a minute and a half ago, but somehow not the weirdest thing that happened today, because, you know, everything...

I usually take my birthday as a day off, and I booked it months and months ago, but I am not so much of a dick that I was going to insist on having it off during you know, everything...

So things I did on my birthday:

-Went in at eight expecting to work through till eight in the evening
-Got taken aside mid afternoon, told that I should go home after the dinner clean up
- (like, relations between the management and care staff in my work are, um, not good. I have been a vocal proponent of the belief that anyone in management is there because they have been promoted beyond their ability to harm any of the residents
-but when I was told that I had been working hard, deserved a rest, and to go home, have a drink and call someone I loved I genuinely burst into tears)
-Got home to discover a bottle of orange and lime flavoured gin and a big bar of chocolate on my back step. My mum had come round while I was out
-Went inside, grabbed a beer, and texted my best friend
-(my best friend's wife is in a high risk group, and I have work, and we have been following the strictest possible interpretation of the social distancing guidelines, so despite the fact that we live next door to each other we haven't actually talked in, like, six weeks)
-My best friend came out into his own garden with a beer and sang happy birthday to me over the wall
-Random dude in the street joined in
-Came in and poured a large gin and a small tonic, watched The Half of It
-Thought that it was cute right up until the church scene, but I get that part of the reason that it didn't land for me was probably that small town, church centric America is alien to me as a cultural concept, and I really liked the ultimate focus on the Paul and Ellie friendship.

Okay. I have to get up in seven hours to go back to work. Happy birthday to me. This entry was originally posted at https://netgirl-y2k.dreamwidth.org/202435.html with comment count unavailable comments. Please comment wherever you prefer.


I simultaneously have both more and less time all of a sudden. They changed all our shifts from seven hours to twelve; so, longer shifts but fewer days. The idea being that now they are finally testing residents arriving from hospital (and, honestly, it beggars belief that they weren't doing that from day dot...) the biggest risk to the residents is us, so the fewer times you're in and out of the building the better. But I only had three days on this week, and, wow, this is a lot of uninterrupted time with my own thoughts...

I've never been one to want to go into work when I didn't have to, or even when I do have to. But I swear to god this morning my eyeballs were itching, and I was this close to calling and going: 'Please let me come in. I won't get in the way. I'll just stand in the corner and disinfect things.'

So. That.

The weather's turned nice, and I am incredibly grateful for my garden. I mean, it's a square of concrete and weeds but it's big enough to drag a chair outside and read in the fresh air. Try to read, more like. The first few books I tried I couldn't get past the first page. My brain was just going: 'We are not accepting any new information at this time. Please try again later.' I finally managed to to read a chunk of Abbadon's Gate, because the third season of The Expanse tracked the book closely enough that my brain's not rejecting it out of hand. It is not as good as the last book. The non-Holden pov characters in book two were Bobbie and Avasarala, which only reinforced them as my favourite characters from the show. The new ones are Bull, who I don't think even made it onto the show, and every time I get to one of his chapters I'm mad that it's not a Drummer chapter, Pastor Anna, who would be annoying the piss out of me if I didn't have some residual affection for her from when Elizabeth Mitchell played her on the show, and Melba, whose pov I'm appreciating because I don't think the show did a super good job at getting who she was or her motivations across. And, once again, Holden.

I tried to watch the first couple of episodes of Batwoman and, er, I'm not sure if I would be liking it more if I didn't think Ruby Rose was so terribly miscast. She reminds of Finn Jones as Danny Rand; embarrassingly unconvincing in the fight scenes, and not good enough in the dramatic scenes to justify her casting given how unconvincing she is. It's very... early 2000s, with the waif-fu and only so-so lead actor. But I think I'll keep watching it, if only because every time someone mistakes Kate for a bloke, even from quarter of a mile away in the dark, I laugh. And you've got to laugh.

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So to give myself something to do in the evenings to try and turn my brain off other than drink, I have been pecking away at a fic, to whit:

Got Your Chin Held High and You Feel Just Fine (Star Trek: Picard, Raffi/Seven)

“It’s not easy to be a former drone, even when—”

“Even when you look like someone’s fantasy of a hot Borg chick?”

Seven artfully arched the implant that curved around her eye socket. “Even when you can handle yourself, was what I was going to say."


Raffi and Seven get to know each other.

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I have tried to be strict, for my own mental health as much as anything, of keeping work at work and keeping this a place for not work, but I live alone and the only people I get to talk to are the people at work, who are all going through the same thing.

I'm going to cut this for skipping purposes, because everyone's got their own stuff going on.

Collapse )

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Distractions; or, things I have been putting in my eyeballs

Wow, Star Trek shows really love giving Seven of Nine a random-ass, undeveloped romance in the last five minutes of the last episode. That said I am down for Raffi/Seven which I have been cheerleading for ever since they leaned into queer Seven and I mentally flipped through all of the female characters on the show and landed on Raffi. Don't judge. I am, like all of us, under a lot of strain right now. I might even want to write getting together fic about them, because in my head they really do work. And it'd be a distraction from the only three things I've got going on right now, 1) work, 2) worrying about work, and 3) judging people who walk past outside.

In general I really liked Picard. The finale was delightful, I love Picard's new crew, even if it took me a while to warm to Agnes. The show had pacing issues like whoa (see: Seven/Raffi, but also everything else) but I wonder if it'll hold together better when binge watched.

I got the seven day free trial of Disney+ with the intention of binge watching The Mandalorian. Only to discover that only the first two episodes are up in the UK. I suppose it did its job of distracting me because I was so narked that I forgot to be frightened for a minute. I've actually seen the first five or six episodes at someone's house back in the halcyon days of three weeks ago when inviting someone round for a cup of tea and to watch Star Wars was regarded as kind invitation rather than a combination of treason and attempted murder. I liked it (Baby Yoda, Cara Dune, etc.) but not enough to pay for yet another streaming service just to see the rest of it.

To be honest, I'm not that fussed on Star Wars. I mean, I thought The Force Awakens was glorious nostalgia bait, The Last Jedi was a genuinely good film and I wouldn't be surprised if it ages the best of three, but The Rise of Skywalker felt like a film designed by committee not to upset anyone, and by the same token not to delight anyone. Even the stuff it did it was wishy-washy about, like with Reylo (not a pairing I'm a particular fan of, btw.) If you wanted them to end up together them congratulations they kissed, and if you didn't then also congratulations because he died immediately afterwards. The Leia stuff was, like, I get they had very limited options, but they obviously had so little footage to work with that it often felt like with a video game npc where they've only recorded five voice lines of generic dialogue and use them over and over again even when it doesn't quite fit the context. I wonder if it might not have been better to kill the character off between movies. But, yeah, I get that there were no good options.

Speaking of video games, I've played the first, like, ten hours of Jedi: Fallen Order. There's a bit where a npc - apparently - is meant to kidnap you and take you to a boss fight. I walked out out of the elevator, immediately force pushed that character off a cliff and got myself soft-locked, because they game won't let me progress and the character won't respawn. And I'm not going to replay it because once the joy of force pushing enemies off cliffs wears off it's really hard to ignore that the game handles like absolute ass.

So instead of The Mandalorian I rewatched Captain Marvel which I have not seen since it was in the pictures. I found the first two thirds of the movie considerably more muddled, the big set piece at the end considerably more fun, and still see no heterosexual explanation for Carol and Maria. It's always weird rewatching something that viscerally delighted you the first time with a more considered eye. It's like every time I rewatch Wonder Woman I whoop with delight at the no man's land/retaking the village sequence only to deflate when I belatedly remember that there's still a full third of the movie to go and it's a slow slog to the inevitable fight against the grey cgi smog monster.

Oh! Oh! There was a bird of prey (google says a sparrow hawk) in my suburban Glasgow garden yesterday morning. I have never, ever seen one before. So that was awesome, I mean, it was eating a pigeon so it was also pretty gross, but mostly it was awesome!

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Little bit of pandemic, mostly video games

That cough cleared up without ever really threatening to turn into something more sinister, so I'm back to work at the weekend. I'm glad I got the week off though, partly because I have no intention of being the person behind the headline: MORON GOES INTO WORK AT OLD FOLKS HOME SICK: EVERYONE DEAD NOW, and partly to bank some sleep in advance of what looks now like a good few months of craziness. Work sent me through the rota for the next fortnight, and holy fuck... It's not as bad as I at first thought, because on a closer look about a third of the shifts I'm down for I'm not definitely working, I'm just down as the backup in case someone else has to self-isolate. Really though, I'm just glad that there's a system in place and they're continuing to take this seriously, because I was worried that once the initial rush of panic wore off they would backslide and revert to the old system of on a scale of one to the norovirus, how contagious do you feel? as their way of deciding if you could go home or not.

I'll be glad to be back, I think having a job that's useful and invaluable (if demoralising and underpaid; and, hey, when all this is over don't think I won't remember that I'm apparently key infrastructure) is what's keeping me eerily calm while everyone around me loses their damn minds. I'll be glad to be out of the never-ending game of telephone where my mum and dad keep trying to get me to take sides in their week long argument over what is going to get them killed first, her going to the hairdressers or him going to the pub. I WILL COME OVER THERE AND GROUND YOU BOTH, SO HELP ME. AND IF I HEAR ANY BACKCHAT I'LL CONFISCATE THE IPADS.

I'll also be glad to be out because I can't die to that damn valkyrie any more, ahem. Aside from sleeping I have spent the week playing God of War which I really liked. But I wasn't really playing ye olde God of War, I was playing Ride Around In A Rowboat Trying To Be A Good Male Role Model For The Boy Simulator. And I think I was, a good video game father, that is, he was a little bit of dick after he found out he was part god, but he got better after I did the next story mission, which I am sure is how Actual Parenting works. But because I hadn't engaged with the combat system, because you can get through the main game mashing dodge and quick attack, or the gear system (I didn't even know their was a gear system) I was getting flattened in the optional endgame boss fights. Eh. I've seen the credits and I'm not a completionist, so I think I'm done.

I was looking through the other games that I've got but never played, and my options are The Witcher III, which I've played the first couple of hours of more than once and couldn't get into, but now might be the time to play it until it clicks, Dark Souls III, which I have had mentally filed under Look, I Could Do It, I Just Don't Want To since forever, or Dragon Age: Inquisition, which I know nothing about except that it has a decent sized fandom. Thoughts?

My friend had the idea that since we're supposed to be practicing social distancing we should find a game we've both got that we could play together and still chat over headsets. After comparing notes it turns out that we own precisely zero of the same games. He thinks I should buy one of the older Call of Duty games on the cheap, and I get what he's saying that it'd be more of a virtual place to hang out than something to play, but I'd still have to spend money on fucking CoD. I like the idea of being able to shoot the breeze still in-game but surely there must be something more, I don't know, Animal Crossing-y we could be playing while we do it.

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Well. That's me just been sent home from work for seven days with a persistent cough.

I'm fine. I've got no other symptoms, and I'm prone to coughs in wet weather anyway.


I work in a care home, and too safe is better than not safe enough.

Although I did have a private laugh at being sent home by the same manager who once forced me to work with full on tonsillitis by threatening to give away all of my other shifts.

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