beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
someone I know wants to set up a windows ten computer so it will out loud talk when someone types.
I found Narrator but it talks EVERYthing and is for a different set of needs.
Does anyone know how to make a tablet/laptop your voice?

I never got the hang of it at college and just showed what I typed.
Which ought to work too.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Sometimes I look at all this rhetoric about getting disabled people into work
and I'm just, like,
what work precisely do they imagine me doing?

Does it involve Heatwave and Captain Cold?
Because at the moment I can only concentrate on Heatwave and Captain Cold.
My brain is full of them.
A handful of episodes of the Flash, one season of Legends of Tomorrow.
Two characters.
That is what my brain is deigning to concentrate on at the moment.
And that alone.

If someone, quite reasonably, expected me to think about something other than two fictional characters
anything other
then that someone would be as out of luck as I currently am.

Even if they were offering me shiny that could be exchanged for more heatwave and cold.

I would certainly try under those conditions, but I have been trying at home, and still I reach the end of the day having forgotten at least one meal and failed to read whatever book I picked up.



I know the pshrink long since told me to call them special interests, but I don't think that quite conveys the situation sometimes, since it seems to imply there's room for any other interests at all.



This was easier when I was at college and got obsessed with Hamlet. There's actually quite a lot of canon Hamlet if you count all the performances separately, and then there's so much lovely meta to dive into.

Not so much with Rogues.



And comics rogues aren't the same anyways, so small help there.




Also, no matter where I look, I will still run into the frustration that is actor statements of character pansexuality plus writer statements referring to them as like an old married couple, or, after the sad bit, calling the survivor a widower, *and yet* never getting any canon to that explicit effect. Always 'like'. Never just married. WTF TV why so frustrate.

Is it just my narrow set of science fiction viewing that finds so few canon queer characters or couples? Arrowverse gives some but frustrating differences in how relationships treated remain. Lost Girl had many excellences but not so many m/m. Torchwood remains distinctive. Buffy even seems to be doing quite well. If I happen to want to filter for queer couples where nobody queer gets dead though, that... that gets much more frustrating.




... aaaand I sat down actually to respond to articles about current government efforts to get disabled people into work. But ended up writing about queer characters in SF. Because my brain does not steer.

Point made.
*facepalm*
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
It is somewhere between weird and creepy how often people get my age wrong.
I mean, our current social obsession with youth suggests it ought to be flattering
but really
when do I graduate from being referred to as a Young Woman?

And I'm not complaining about a couple of years misapprehension, I mean I'm nearly 40 and people keep guessing me in my twenties.

I went to my twenty year high school reunion, and that wasn't even this year.
I stopped using hair dye and styled my hair specifically to show my nice silver shinies.
And yet, still young.

Especially in the context of employing someone because disability.
It's like if we need assistance we're permanently at the kids table.

It's weirdly wearying to remind people of my actual age.


And, granted, I spent half a decade being twenty nine again, but I got ober that before even meeting the latest round of people.

*sigh*
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Am nearly done transcribing The Flash episode Rogue Time (as in putting in descriptions and names and stuff, most of the words are in another transcript file already)

I had to take a rage break to sputter about 'lightning psychosis'
because at some point the writers decided that faking a mental illness was a get out of plot consequences free card
and something a hero would do.

Also, while googling for 'lightning psychosis' only gets you the Flash, and is a bad phrase, googling for 'lightning symptoms' will quickly show you there are in fact psychological and neurological consequences to being struck by lightning, which often acts pretty much like a traumatic brain injury and has consequences that are *very* real and real people have to deal with them.
http://lightninginjury.lab.uic.edu/psycho.html http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/medical.shtml

So we have several layers of fail at once. Using a wrong phrase when a right one is available, faking brain damage just to get out of consequences of hitting on your sister again, and the writers thinking that mental illness only gets you good and ignorable consequences. I mean, Barry's a CSI, does he have to testify in court sometimes? Could lawyers say he has a mental illness and is making things up? Like, that wouldn't be fair, but. Might his coworkers think his mental illness makes him less reliable than his already flaky fortean public image? Might people, you know, care at all, ever, after this one minute conversation?

But no, the writers decide to fake a mental illness so Barry just gets hugs instead of having to apologise.

Rage isn't a precise description of the ongoing frustration of use of mental illness in the media, but, sputtering and sighing ensue.



I can't figure out if they didn't do the research or didn't care.
Well either way they didn't care, but, you know.



Okay, this topic is done, I have like three minutes of episode still to type names on, I'll go do that.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Basically, the wheelchair thing :

So, right from the first episode, the wheelchair and the way it was portrayed bothered me.
And having seen the whole season I can now say the really stupid part is that the parts that bothered me were completely unnecessary.

Read more... )


The Flash needs some depictions of disability that are neutral background and not a sign of deception, creepiness, or intent to harm others.

I mean, that's... that's pretty important.

But season 1 was worse than it needed to be even to keep the exact same story, in really foolish ways.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Today, standing in a queue for long and long and long while epically aware I was going to get to the front and be way less organised and put together than any of the people I was watching so far, I realised I'm actually pretty okay with not being an expert.

I mean, that ought to sound obvious. But I think it's a gifted child side effect: if life is all about the A grades, straight A in everything, then when you reach a part of life when you are not an expert the first emotional reaction is right out of the 'failing grade' bag. Which is epic suck.

And with computers especially I am grumbly grouchy about not being an expert. I used to know more than the teachers. I grew up in a house where dad built computers. Why is it I know nothing about computers? Why do all these young people look at me like I should know this already?

Well I know the why, some time in the late 90s when computers could play music and TV and also type, they would do everything I told them to. Also, hardware kept changing so often it wasn't worth trying to keep up because there'd be new and improved out before you'd ever need the knowledge again. So I just stopped putting time into it.

Now I know more than mum, because google. But a lot of people know more than me.

And at the post office I realised I'm fiiiiiine with that like 99% of the time. Not so much when I have to frame it in my head as a being disabled thing. Like at the train station. I'd really like to be able to grok train station, but I don't, so I go ask the people that work there. And since I've actually tried and failed at that one, not so much feeling cool with it.

But most things? I need to know this one thing one time. The people that work there have put in all the hours. I could spend a bunch of hours even finding out what questions I need to ask, or I could take my thing that needs doing and plod along asking questions for like ten minutes until the thing gets done. It's cool, we're all fine, as long as I'm polite and respectful then that's going to work out for everyone. ... not the specific everyone's behind me in the queue, but, can't be helped.

I put in 11 years at college and a whole bunch more free time to get to be pretty good at this cultural studies thing and to have the knowing of science fiction related pop culture, more or less, at least in a few decades in Britain. That's where my time and effort went. I specialised, and even the tools I need to keep up with this data, they're someone else's speciality, and they put in those hours over there. Hopefully they found their thing just as interesting as I found mine.

I am not an expert at very much. And that's cool.

I just need to remember that next time I need to go ask my small questions. Even if it's at the train station again.
beccaelizabeth: Tony Stark, working on Iron Man gauntlet, heart and hand shining (Tony brilliant)
The part of being disabled I like least is how we're trained to let complete strangers into our house as long as they turn up at approximately the right day of the week.
Second least is being trained to get in cars with strangers if same.

And you'd think I'd dislike the actual impairment related parts of being disabled somewhere above anything social, but no, nope, I can just stay home, I have a fortress, more or less.

But this entirely constructed thing where we can either refuse the help (and good luck ever getting it again if you can go without at all) or we let strangers wander around doing all the things for us? Screw that. That's not even safe.

Also sometimes they smell bad or behave inappropriate or just plain don't do their jobs, but we're meant to be grateful. Because it's not like a normal employer/employee relationship, these people care for they are carers, and us disabled types are only getting the help because a whole stack of people sign a whole bunch of things, so we shouldn't ought to have opinions.

Read more... )

The tasks I need help with, the things I need from an employee, I basically need a cleaner, a Pepper and a Happy. Pepper to help with admin, Happy to get me places and watch out for bad people. And if I was rich I could get that and they'd know I was boss and I could choose between various people until I found one that was really good at specifically the things I needed.

But because my needs are met by the local council if at all, somehow I'm not an employer, even if I spend my own money, I'm not even a customer, cause I can't take my money elsewhere, and instead of it being a premium flash thing to have help, I'm ... me.

Ugh.

I'm not saying that capitalism is the way to fix this. I think raising the bar and hiring enough people and training them appropriately is the way to fix this.

But failing that there are days I'd really like to win on the premium bonds just so I can get some actual choice around here.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Sometimes I read a fic and just get so frustrated of missed opportunities.

Like, if a fic has a big reunion but a huge communication fail to deal with, and if a fic has one character having gone deaf since last time they met and another having lost one hand, why does it not connect these dots? Sign language with one hand can be tricky. The job took away their ability to communicate both metaphorically and literally. Working through the literal would demonstrate a commitment to working through the issues.

... usually using disability as a metaphor is of the bad though, because disabled people just exist, they don't signify personal qualities. But I don't think this is that? It's just now their disabilities clash. Like when I can't speak and someone else hasn't brought their glasses. Trying to communicate through increased barriers means you've got something you care about enough to make it work.



also also, I'm really quite frustrated when super science gets brought in to just handwave away the difficulties. Deaf, but you can't even see the 100% effective hearing aides, they're so cool and tiny! Replacement hand, only marginally cyborg, 100% sensation and function and appearance! :eyeroll: Like you want disabled people in your fic but not their disabilities.

I know sometimes it's like wanting to make it so they don't hurt, but AUs where the cool robot arm is a cool robot tattoo are just... erasing a whole bunch of people who definitely don't have that option.

I know fiction can fix absolutely anything it feels like with a couple of words, and I know if we like people we don't like seeing them suffer, but sometimes disability isn't suffering anyway, it's just part of who they are now. And sometimes when you undo a disability to give them a happy ending it's like that time travel movie I saw which changed a bunch of things a bunch of times but pretty much concluded the only way to cope with an abusive childhood was to not have one in the first place. It's like giving up on people. It's rubbish. The good stuff is getting to happily ever after from wherever they start. Which for certain robot arm having people is clearly very tricky, but, the existence and recovery of these fictional archetypes is a lifeline of hope for people who have been through shit. Undoing all the bad stuff before you like them can be like pulling up the ladder and leaving hurt people to it. Or it can just be saying you'd rather they didn't get hurt in the first place, like sympathy. Difficult.



If you count all the trauma (which, yes, very) then a really high percentage of superheroes are dealing with disabilities and illness, mental and physical. If you mix and match continuities and points in their history then you get even more. And these are the people who rise above, come out stronger, save the rest of us. Not by leaving their disabilities behind, or always having them secretly be superpowers, but just by being awesome anyway. They're a multi decade story that says we're stronger than we think, we can cope, we can do better than cope. It's something I've always loved them for.

But it's an aspect that frequently gets taken away, in canons and fanfic, and that's really frustrating.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Sometimes I wonder about how me being disabled has influenced how I think about stories.

I noticed long and long ago that I like F&SF because it makes obvious and exciting the gap between disabled people and the things they need to deal with, by showing average people going up against beings many times more capable than they are. Like, from where I am to the average person seems a bit like from the average person to most of Sunnydale's night life. The world is bigger and scarier from here, and it's more interesting to wrap that in a metaphor.

But sometimes I notice patterns in my daydreams and wonder if everyone thinks that way or if it's something about being disabled and relying on assistants or carers. Read more... )



The thing is I can happily fantasise about say working with Steve Rogers and Tony Stark and Phil Coulson as my 24 hour protection and assistant detail, but then I think about real life assistants and it's all just awkward and no. Like how Tony promoted Pepper away from being his assistant before the kissing parts happened, because when he's her boss it's awkward no.

With none stories about working with assistants there's none stories about where the reasonable boundaries are though.



When I daydream dating superheroes, which I do, a lot, I tend to imagine staying in the Tower and watching TV. Because if I go out someplace then I either have to bring backup (assistant, someone to watch for danger and get me home) or rely on my date to do the work of an assistant. I can for the length of the story ignore that and have my character cross roads and leave the house with no problems, I just at that point am daydreaming of being someone else.

But if I'm daydreaming being a super rich person, well, if it's normal for Tony to bring a driver who looks out for danger, then that's sorted, I can do that. Read more... )


I daydream about people that could help with everyday life stuff, which is pretty reasonable. But it goes fuzzy at the edges with like relationship stuff. Like dreaming about someone to set up house with, eat meals together, fit your lives together. It's just since I can't actually cook said meals, just reheat, then the meal providing relationship is going to be wonky from the get go, and I also daydream about getting a kitchen and an assistant so I can actually do cookings. And someone who can follow me around helping with doing ordinary everyday stuff like go places do things outside.

A lot of stuff like for benefits tries to draw distinctions between carers, who just do helpful things, and people you're in a relationship with like husband and wife, who get to count their finances along with yours for benefits purposes. Knowing that a relationship could swiftly mean depending financially on someone you were only thinking about shagging complicates things a lot. But with carers there's also a lot of assumption that relatives and people you're in a relationship with will do some of the work. Except that changes the nature of the relationship. In ways I have no actual experience of, because humans complicated. But I guess sometimes I want to poke those fuzzy borders in metaphor land, with maybe a plot with magic or aliens or something.

It seems like sometimes being disabled means having different assumptions about what humans do with and for each other, interdependence not independence, and what the priorities are. But it's a big fuzzy tangle in my head, not articulated clearly yet.



Also I was thinking simpler, about how romance stories, especially older ones, have an assumption that a woman is going to end up with some man the boss of her, so the search and the choice is only for finding a good Master. But now feminism so we're supposed to have lots more choices and we don't need to romanticise unequal power relations any more, except we do it anyway, if you read like almost any fiction. But if you know that you're going to end up needing someone to do a whole set of things, the story where you pay money to get a procession of strangers to help is practical but somehow unsatisfying to the monkey brain. So maybe it's ordinary to polish up the idea with warm feelings. Like care.
Or daydreaming really pretty competent superhero men doing it.




Fuzzy messy ideas, much tangle. Not very helpful. Shall ponder more.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
it feels like I had a busy full day
but literally all I did was wait for the phone, answer the phone, then interact briefly with the undelivery bloke.

this was somehow very tiring.

:eyeroll:
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I read a thing about immortality and relationships with mortals.
It mentioned Doctor Who but not Highlander, so it missed quite a lot of the references I would make.
But what bothered me was their contention that, because half the relationship is immortal and in many cases measurably more powerful in many respects, the relationship is inherently unequal.
They reckoned that, because of this inequality, the immortals should just not date mortals.
This is bothering me in a niggly yet persistent way, and it's kind of on disability grounds.

In Highlander one of the most memorable relationships was between Methos, the world's oldest man, and Alexa, a terminally ill human.
Read more... )






But the second part of the idea, that the Doctor (among other educated immortals) is so much smarter than humans that he shouldn't date humans... oh, that bothers me. Read more... )


This isn't just me saying of course I'd date the Doctor, or of course the Doctor would date me.
Though if he did then my English degree probably wouldn't be a large part of the appeal, since his criteria so far seem to involve being brave, curious, and likely to wander off. He likes it when his friends make their own plans and tell him where he's going wrong. Sure he does things behind their back or with lying for their own good sometimes, but by consistently choosing to associate with people who consider his advice more of a general guideline than the word of god he is not in fact showing a preference for people to prop up his feeling of power. He is instead valuing them for their free will and intrepid spirit, even if they've got far less of a toolkit for understanding this universe they're all exploring together.

Which seems fair enough to me.



It's like superhero teams where everyone has a different power, and the ones that can fly carry the ones that can't, but don't look down on them in any but the literal sense. Or teams where some of them have twice or more the IQ of the others, but still respect their opinions and acknowledge they're the bosses of themselves. Or like mixed ability sports teams, where some of them are wheelchair users and others can get equipment up steps. People can get along together without differences being especially relevant. Why should mixed abilities mean not associating? Even romantically? Can't see an angle where that's not ablist.



... the bit of the post about how it's always guys on TV 'having to' go date a younger woman when the last relationship ages out, whereas the much scarcer immortal women usually do the pining away forever bit, that's an imbalance that needs fixing. But see also: Highlander (the Raven): Amanda. We didn't get gender parity in Immortality, but we did get some ladies who knew how to live. But then either way up is clearly feeding on ugly cultural threads about a woman's obligation to stay young and attract men forever, so there's some work needs doing on that.


This might just be me defending my preferences for fictional really old guys, but I think saying that age or intelligence in and of themselves create a power imbalance that means the more powerful should just never date is really problematic in what it says about what the younger can freely choose and cope with.


(Plus in a culture with as much power imbalance between genders and races as historically Earth has had, it kind of rules out... heterosexuality? And anything but being perfectly matching in every power-related dimension, which is kind of all of them. But that's an argue beyond the scope of tonight.)
beccaelizabeth: fizzgig from The Dark Crystal is having a shouty tantrum made of sharp teeth. (tantrum)
Why do people who know me and my disabilities still insist on using the phone?
I cannot brain on the phone.
And I lose bits of the conversation.

Writing is much better.

Why will people not put things in writing when they said they would?
It's just answering an email!
If they've got the things in writing at their end then how can it be harder to email them?
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I've been planning to get a map in my phone, or to be precise a phone that could potentially have maps, for plenty long times now, but before when I went to ask about it the shop guy said it would cost money every time I made a map. This time the shop lady explained how to turn off the internet and just use wifi to make the maps, and then the GPS will tell me where on the map I am all the time. I still need to do some deciding about what wifi to use ever, it's confusing what to throw through the air at unsecured networks, but this with the map I can start at home and then it just keeps working.

It is so much harder to get lost and disoriented how. The little maps have a compass and a direction you're facing built in, even. If I'm feeling ill at ease with my place in the world, the phone can now reassure me. Like the way the unlock screen tells me what day of the week it is every time I look, this makes me feel so much better.

... embarrassed that it makes me feel better, but still, on balance, better.

And that's just the maps. There's bound to be bunches of other things it can do more better. Useful apps, if I can figure out how to make it have apps.

I've figured out how to make it have web pages, so I have shortcuts to both HabitRPG and LibraryThing. The Habits game is already working pretty good, and I like how if I set 'eat' as a daily it takes bits of life off if I forget to eat. LibraryThing will mean I can check if I own a book while standing in the bookshop, if they have wifi. That'll be awesome.

Cyborg brain is so much easier than normal brain.



Mum thinks of me as good with tech. Truth is I got the hang of a few things in the 90s and didn't feel an urgent need to learn more. So this is kind of like time travel, even though everyone else has been travelling at one day per day and enthusing about the changes.

Cool.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I’m reading fanfic with involuntary animal transformation. There’s a basically human mind in a tiny cat body now. And as almost always happens, the fic is driving me nuts, because everyone is trying to guess what the tiny cat dude means as if he’s a cat having cat opinions in only body language.

Give him a touchscreen or keyboard!

If that won’t work, make bigger buttons!

Or a bunch of flashcards, or yes and no cards, or something.

Fic treats becoming non-verbal as if it were a unique problem, instead of a common one. Non-verbal and lacking fine manipulators is trickier than being able to write or quickly type, but it’s a thing that happens to actual human people, even abruptly. Animal transformation is a unique method, but the problem is old and the solutions available.

Other fantasy situations bug me the exact same way. I got wound up by someone becoming a ghost because I read it as sudden disability, and all his friends / allies / acquaintances just kind of left him to it, as if wandering around unable to touch anything was just the new normal. I was all, get him a computer that can see or hear him! Hire him an assistant, at least for some of the day! So he can’t pick things up any more, so what? You ignore him now?

I think the problem is that most people don’t think about losing an ability, suddenly or otherwise, so when they do it to a character they act like they have to think up solutions on the spot. Whereas I think about disability a lot, and will think of a transformation in terms of impairments and how they are now disabled, and then there’s whole catalogues and careers of accessability solutions. It’s probably not the most obvious mindset when you’re talking ‘suddenly has paws instead of hands’, but it’s pretty obvious from here, where disability is just a thing that happens.

Or, alternately, I see a lot of fantasy story stuff as basically about disability, because that’s the lens for a lot in my life. And that means that stories the author probably thinks are basically about cats are scored, by me, on how they write about disability. Which they don’t know they’re doing, so they don’t score very high.

To be fair though, it do seem to have properly observed felines.

It’s just not cool watching someone have to communicate in tail mime because their friends keep forgetting there’s a person in there and go straight to the pet shop, not human solutions.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)

I plan space colonies.  And the simplest place to put them is the Stargate universe, because many many many planets, often with basically just trees, actual empty land, all in walking distance.  But I keep wanting to drop favourite characters from other ‘verses there, so I end up with this epic complex fusion where everyone gets to play.
 

Read more... )

Somehow epic multiverse fusions feel more like cheating somewhere?

 

Also, there’s the usual problem with xovers, where you feel like it ought to appeal to people who like fandom A and people who like fandom b, but really it only works for people who like A and B, and then the more letters you add the further you shrink your reader pool.

Yet this is how the inside of my head works.

Of course if you steal from enough sources and stir hard enough and tweak every single character, say to the disabled version, then you are getting mighty close to original fic.  Or original characters in an SG1 fic.  But if I set it somewhere other than SG1… it would actually be one of my other ‘verses of original fic that I worked through the setting of the other year, with not-a-stargate and capertillers that move in to your brain and a combined sarc and suspended animation with brain backups and VR.

So I guess this is one of those times I’m trying to figure if an idea is better as fanfic or original fic, or if they are in fact two ideas for two different stories.


Politics

Oct. 1st, 2013 10:14 am
beccaelizabeth: Lady Frankenstein plugs her brain in (net access)
You know, every time I think the *rudeword* conservatives have reached their natural level, they find further to go. This week's idiocy is the suggestion that, in order to get unemployment benefits, people will have to sit in the unemployment office for 35 hours a week.

That's not about giving them skills or training or support. That's making them sit in detention for the terrible sin of having no job.

Think about it. 35 hours a week, in an office, with other people in the same situation, and maybe some dude employed by the government to make sure you turn up and stay there. That's the best use of anyone's time?

That's this government saying hey, no, actually you do not get to have your own life, being poor means obeying our every whim. Dance, puppets, dance!

FFS, we pay taxes, we pay National Insurance, and that means we're entitled to support when we need it. Even if we need it a really long time! And, okay, some of us have to look around the family tree quite a bit to find a tax payer, but the basic principle is society pays in so society can get it back out when we need it. This is our money.

But no, the rich sods in charge think there is some fundamental difference that applies to divide the workers and the... I'm not going to repeat their words for it, they've been using rude words for it lately, lets go with unemployed. And if someone becomes unemployed, that means it is secretly not their money any more, because it is secretly not their country. They just live here.

Can we vote these bastards away soon? Please? Nobody voted for this.



Oh, and while I'm ranting, did you see the thing about making people in the ESA WRAG group take any work offered to them? "Forcing sick and disabled people to take up offers of work". Can you guess why that won't work? They've taken the keywords out of the names, but this is the replacement for Incapacity benefit. The benefit is for people who cannot work. This group is for people who, in a couple of years, may become well enough to work. Forcing them to take up offers of work they cannot do, even by the government's own ridiculously stringent tests... how is that supposed to be remotely helpful? It's not, of course. It's just another hoop. But then it would be catch-22: if you're on the benefit that says you're too ill to work, you have to take up work, or they will take you off the benefit, which will mean you're no longer on the benefit that says you're too ill to work, which, hey, means you have to take up work. At no point in this cycle does the person in question become well. And the government keep expressing surprise that people remain on ESA for a long time. Yes, they do, because they remain fucking disabled.


/rant for the day.

god knows they'll say something else rant inducing soon enough.

beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have no employee. Why do I still have no employee? I just tidied my inbox (ie saved for later any messages that were still hanging around that I totally mean to reply to and know I probably won't by now) and the first time I emailed the place that does the paying saying hi I need a new employee was around the start of May. But here I sit, with no employee. Whenever I think things are going in a new employee sort of direction it turns out that no, no they were not sorted, no nothing has been done. Being told my funding was under review meant waiting a week. Even though it was under review in an upward direction. Because the person who needed to answer the message doesn't work all the days. And then every other message meant waiting a week too, and I don't even know why. And then I said yes that's a good advertisement run that, and I thought that meant they were running it, but a week later they send me back a price estimate and ask if they should do the advert. And that was the end of last week, so the ad may get placed this week, so it'll run next week, so CVs might start coming in the week after that. And I'll need to give them a couple weeks to send things. And then arrange interviews and decide between people, if this time any people bother to turn up. Last time I employed the one (1) person who actually bothered to go to the interview, and then they quit because they'd rather spend time with their boyfriend. And at the next interviews I got to choose between two (2) people. That worked out better for longer, but it takes its time to get set up.

And in the meantime I have no employee. For months. And I have been trying!

But there's an upper limit to what I can do without an employee. It starts somewhere around 'bugger all' and occasionally gets as high as going to the shop but then the shop doesn't often have much in it and it's a whole lot of effort invested just to come back with, again, bugger all.

So it is Monday again, so here I am sitting here making plans for the week again, and what can I plan?
I can plan to sit here and do absolutely totally bugger all some more.
Or, possibly, shop.

*giant sigh*

there's more to life than this. I've read about it. Whole big world.
... why is it when I go looking there's more empty bits instead?
... sometimes I feel like this life needs expansion packs bought, it don't got all the bits.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
There's some very upsetting stuff about healthcare and learning disability
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jul/12/no-review-board-deaths-learning-difficulties

Ministers have refused to create a national body to investigate the 1,200 premature deaths a year of patients with learning disabilities in the NHS
[...]
Instead the government has said it will give "greater voice" to people with learning disabilities and support the spread of personal budgets so patients could purchase better care.


NHS healthcare is called care. Community based social care is called care. Personal budgets are entirely the latter, and nothing at all to do with the former. What is being criticised is "delays in diagnosis, delays in treatment, lack of basic care and poor communication by doctors and nurses." Deaths are about 16 years early and about a third of the deaths of people with learning disabilities are because they aren't getting the right NHS treatment. To address this the government will... ignore it, because health care and social care are both care, right, so giving people the budget to pay for someone to cook for them will totally fix their doctor related needs.

Also the spread of personal budgets has been criticised because some people, especially the hard of thinking, aren't going to be able to do the paperwork, and most people won't know how to access the variety of services available, because only specialists with a wide view of the possibilities will have the training to think of everything.

In other words, their response is to make things harder.

Sometimes it's hard to attribute this kind of thing to mere ignorance instead of active evil.

But then Buddhism says ignorance is the root of all the other bad stuff anyway.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
L tells me to contact ILN to do paperwork stuff to get new employee
ILN says L told them my funding is under review and they're waiting to hear if I still have it
L didn't tell me that

L is not in work again until next week
ILN won't do paperwork stuff until she tells them to
so no employee
or even advertising for one
still.

L also told me she'd email me and the social worker about a thing.
such an email has not materialised.

and the email I sent to the disabled people housing thing was answered slightly more than a month later
despite the lady on the phone saying said email did not exist.

(They advise me to contact them to do the conversation I had on the phone. You know how I was contacting them? In email! They're a working with disabled people organisation, what is this obsession with the damn phone? but they also say once I fill in the form they'll make a meeting with me and my family and support, because clearly they are not an organisation for independent disabled people, wtf.)

Sometimes I wish I could win the lottery not so I could have more money over all, but so I could actually control the flow without all this damn hoop jumping.


seems like I spend all my time either filling in forms or waiting for someone to get back to me.


in other news, the appointment I was promised in 1-3 months finally happened on Wednesday, 5 months after the promise.
so now I get 10 weeks of one hour a week of alleged helpfulness.
my optimism fell out quite a long time ago.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have seen a lot of argue about IM3 on a topic that didn't even ping me, despite being relevant to my interests
spoilers go under the cut
Read more... )



this is an important topic and I want to go over this and make it make proper sense.
but it's five in the morning, so this is the best sense available right now.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I phoned mum to cancel today's plans on account of not having slept, and then there was talking, and then that was... maybe three hours ago? Something like?

I tried to explain my plan about Quests and Space Colonies and she kind of thought I was being worryingly crazy so it turned into a very long explain. See I was just inventing with the brakes off because all the things are boring otherwise. Read more... )


So I think inventing ideas with the brakes off is working quite well, but it needs quite a lot of translation and also making tidy. I can link lots of interesting things together with the idea Quest or Space, but then lots of them are quite separate things really, like running a tour would be very different than running the cafe at the end of it.


Read more... )
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
So. I am done with college. Read more... )

I need to think of something. Almost anything. A plan.

Read more... )


What else, what else... Quest Shop and/or Tavern, Space Colony (in training), and...


I spend the most time thinking about being on a superhero team. Read more... )

Okay, plans: Make World Work Like In Stories, because I don't suck at stories. Also in stories I don't has to be humans anyway.


That can totally work, right?
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Sometimes I miss when all the web had to be text only.

I get nostalgic for when fancy gifs with four whole frames were something you had to seriously consider the load times on. Sure, you ended up with pages full of blinky shit and dancing monkeys that nobody needed, but there was sort of general agreement nobody needed them, and you didn't get all the conversation happening in the middle of them.

... tumblr is blinky shit central and I cannot be having with it. If I had the brain spare for that much movement I'd be watching a video.

And speaking of videos, why so many untranscribed videos? Sometimes people are saying like three paragraphs of thing, but because they're neurotypical socials or whatever they think it's important to have facial expressions with it, so they pour it into this multi channel input form with visuals and sounds and movement and no freaking subtitles when really it'd work as plain text.

I miss plain text being the universal default. I mean, okay, people are doing lovely beautiful things with the art forms the net can now carry, but... *big sigh*

Every increase in complexity, every time visuals got easier, or could move now, or sound got simple, or everyone assumed they're pouring it all in broadband so let's pour it all in at once... it just takes things further away from usable for me. I mean there's newspaper websites now that regularly put interesting stuff in their podcast or video sections and not in that strange boring medium that you might associate with newspapers, the written word. I want data! In forms I can handle! And in more useful forms anyway. Video and sound is slow, you can't skim read it, why does anyone want to present data in such a form? Be social in it, yeah, I suppose, but present information? You can't skip back up the page to double check something. You can't fit more than a single moment on the screen at once. Why do they want that?

And I know that visually impaired people are probably going 'hey, sound on the internet! woohoo!' but that's just one of the awkward things about accessability, needs clash. Except screen readers can handle plain text too now so it seems like the most accessable version to me.

And I know it looks like I'm just being whiny, and I know there's a lot more of the web now so you can argue there's at least as much plain text space as there ever was, but it used to be the whole conversation was in text and now it is at best sprawled out between text and a bunch of blinky *rudeword* gifs on a different service where I can't see how they have conversations anyway because really comment threads are kind of useful why don't we stick with the site that has them? ... and yeah, this complain can read like an extended *shakes fist at tumblr*, but that's just a symptom. There's a ton of sites where I click a link and find whatever the hell they wanted me to read is in a form I just can't be having with today. Not to mention it gunks up my computer. Not everyone has a cutting edge bit of equipment, mine is the one I got on a grant for doing my degree with seven years ago. Lovely thing, I hope it keeps working.

Anyway.

I'm lucky, when I have my brain in and a bit of spare energy, I can access whatever. Sound, video, text, I've got the sensory equipment for all of it. I just find it distracting, exhausting, and a bit of a pain really. I've tried with tumblr but there's nothing fun about the experience. It's like trying to do meta with a strobe light in your face. I'm always at the disco at cons but I'm there to dance, trying to talk in there is pretty pointless.

What I miss is when the level playing field, the tech everyone was using, was something that worked really well for me. And I'm not asking everyone to go backwards, clearly they were waiting for all these other channels, fair enough for them. But it leaves me ever closer to the same position socialising online that I am in 3D spaces: sitting in the corner, trying to sort data fast enough to keep up with even one conversation, drowned out by all the other signals and noise.

Sad face. Woe. Sulk.


... which is a bit pointless as a sulk really, because it's not like I'm much good socialising in either space, I can never think of anything to say. Different problem, kind of a bigger one.


Also, march of tech has its own antidotes. I have buttons to zap colors and readability. I can get rid of all the blinky and make things black on white :-D
... except then I can't see what people were trying to convey, because blinky is the message nowadays.
So, sometimes, I miss it.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
IDS keeps saying it is ridiculous people get lifetime awards of Disability Living Allowance.
This could only be true if it were ridiculous that people are allowed to be living with disability for a lifetime.
Seeing as a great many disabilities are indeed life long conditions, it is in fact IDS who is being ridiculous.



I loathe the name changes that keep going through. Incapacity Benefit had what it was for right there in the name; Employment and Support Allowance hides that it's for people too ill for work, and changes the relation of power. Time limiting Incapacity Benefit was clearly ridiculous when people were still incapable of work, but how many people kick up a fuss about ESA being time limited now? I've seen the BBC report on ESA without mentioning it's for sick people. The name is meant to look like Jobseekers Allowance, JSA. The initials match, but the conditions do not. The government keeps trying to sell it as an improvement, because of course people with disabilities are capable of work! Well yes, if you can find work that fits someone's ability to twitch one finger, that person is capable of doing it, but in the real world, not so much. So putting employment in the name? Is a great big fat lie. Like the Work Related Activity Group - it's meant for people who might be capable of work two years in the future. They might, by then, have recovered enough to do work. But the time limited version of ESA will have run out after one year anyway. And if they're not capable of work now, what the hell is the point of Work Related Activity? It's just asking them to do things they can't do while they wait to get well. Treat the illness, help people to get well, but don't expect it to just magically happen for everyone. Some things don't wear off.

So now there's Personal Independence Payments, to replace Disability Living Allowance. DLA existed because it costs disabled people more to live. Does what it says on the tin. PIP gets rid of that pesky Disability word, so once again they can shuffle the concept out of the discourse. Of course they'll help the most severely disabled! They'll help them to be independent! But no bugger has written down a definition of what independence means, so what are they helping them towards? DLA was to help people wipe their arse, take a bath, cook a meal, leave the house, communicate with people, or make up for their inability to do any or all of the above. PIP measures a lot of things, but it's meant to make people 'independent' doing those things. I've been written down as being independent with transport just because I can take one bus during daylight hours, the one that drops me off direct at my house. I can't see the difference between that and getting a taxi door to door, I usually had to share a car doing that as well, but apparently it's independent. Independence is an imaginary moving goal post that doesn't mean any bloody thing. Meanwhile, disabled people still have to spend more to live.




All these changes are exhausting. And they're only just starting. When things start to bite, it's going to get very hard for very many people.


And as has been noted by multiple sources about multiple changes, they don't make any bloody financial sense. Give people more help when they haven't gone splat yet and they don't need the intensive expensive interventions that are required if you wait until everything crashes down. Like the difference between serious and critical care needs, if you don't take care of the serious they end up critical and it costs more. More misery and more money to just keep people alive through it. There are so many of these 'cuts' that are going to cost more. It doesn't make any sense.


Ridiculous: IDS is.

DLA :-)

Nov. 28th, 2012 02:57 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Post arrived, and with it a decision letter about my DLA. I will continue to get low rate mobility and mid rate care. Excellent.
... not so much excellent I need it, but excellent this round of form filling ended with success.
Also it's an indefinite award this time, which is new, but I guess that means I keep getting DLA until the government changes all the rules and makes a new benefit instead.

I have this year had to fill in forms for ESA, DLA, and the big change to getting a Personal Budget. That was a weary lot of forms. And they meant having meetings week after week to explain, in precise detail, exactly how many things I can't do.
:-p
Now the bits of paper all are sorted, so I don't have to do that again for ages and ages and ages.
I win.

:-)


... and of course immediately I can think of college forms I still haven't done, and college work, and a whole college related stack of forms that are not yet won, but I'm really trying to bask in the bureaucratic achievement for at least a minute here...

yep, definite win.

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