sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
This weekend was my canning and preserving weekend! I haven't had the chance to do this for a while because the last two years I was moving right around harvest season and so I had other priorities on my mind. It was good to be able to get back to it this year!

My haul this year:
13 pints of peaches
7 quarts of dill pickles
5 pints of zucchini pickles (a sweet bread-and-butter pickle)
32 bags of frozen corn, 1 cup per bag
58 pints of tomatoes

Of course what I actually WORKED on was far more than this, because doing canning and preserving by yourself is so hard to motivate yourself to do. So I did it with friends and family, all of us working together to put up enough for each of our needs.

I was busy for around 12 hours on Saturday and 11 hours on Sunday doing all the needful things for making the above, and then today I did clean-up: I washed the inevitable sticky residue off the outside of my new canned goods, sorted through my unused jars, reorganized all my kitchen storage, and so forth. And then cleaned up broken glass and washed the kitchen floor after I dropped a jar of tomatoes onto it....ah well.

I'm so pleased that this winter I'm going to have all this delicious food to eat. It's a lot of work but it is WORTH IT.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
You know, it's very disheartening as a person who genuinely loves winter to live in an environment where it feels like everyone complains about winter weather, and everyone is pleased when there's unseasonably warm weather.

This winter and last winter were both...distressingly full of unseasonably warm weather. The snow hardly stayed on the ground. There's been more freezing rain than I think I've seen in my whole life before. I've barely worn my heavy winter coat. This February was literally the warmest February ever on record in my region.

People around me are all "wow what warm weather we've been having, this is great!" and meanwhile I'm just like I WANT SNOW DAMMIT. I do not live far enough south for this to be acceptable!

(Now that it's March it's getting more acceptable, but...still! I can't appreciate spring if it doesn't have a proper winter to lead out from!)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Yooooo so latest gender update! Is that I have been experimenting with pronouns irl and have realized that they/them pronouns make me a lot happier than she/her. So please use they/them for me going forward. Thanks!

(for ppl who know me irl: please continue to use she/her for me in front of people who don't know I'm agender, because I am not ready to be out to everyone.)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I finally have internet in my new apartment!

Actually let me lead with the even better news: I AM LIVING IN A NEW APARTMENT. It is just me and [ profile] learntocheat, which is an EXCELLENT household, and I don't need to deal with my endless frustrations with a certain one of my previous housemates anymore, thank goodness. It is such a relief to be not be constantly anxious in my own home!

learntocheat and I have plans towards domesticity, including actual semi-regular meals together and things like that, which I am super excited for. And they are just such a great person and I'm so pleased to just continue spending lots of time with them and settling into a new and better version of living together.

sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
For quite a while now I've been kinda out of the habit of posting about personal thoughts/feelings/experiences on my journal, and only really post my book/movie reactions anymore. I'm not sure why. I used to have a lot to say!

My grandmother died this week. I feel like I can't not say something about this. But I also don't know what to say about it.

She'd had a bad stroke a decade ago that affected her language faculties pretty severely. But despite her general lack of words I always knew without a doubt that she loved me massively and unconditionally.

Her presence in my life has been a gift. I'm going to miss her.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
The thing that's surprised me most since figuring out I'm agender is discovering how many constraints on gender presentation I've always felt - and still feel, much to my dismay! THANKS SOCIETY FOR THE BRAINWASHING I GUESS.

For years I've had people tell me (mostly admiringly?) that I dress very me, that I don't pay attention to what I "ought" to wear, but wear what I want. And I always thought that was true!'s not true. I've experimented widely, yes, but always within the bounds of certain rules I had no idea I was working so hard to follow.

For example: a few months ago I decided to switch to wearing button-down shirts on my top half, mostly mens-styled shirts. I've always loved that look, but before my breast-reduction surgery there was no hope of such shirts fitting so I never bothered trying. But it struck me suddenly that now I COULD, so I did. And I discovered this vast and intense feeling that I'm not allowed to wear clothing that doesn't accentuate my feminine shape. That wearing these men's shirts make me look slovenly and unkempt because they're baggy or whatever. The mirror tells me otherwise! The mirror tells me I look great! And I love wearing these shirts! But my feelings are all NOOOOOOOO HDU.

And yesterday I went to get my hair cut. Usually my mom cuts my hair, because that's free and salons are EXPENSIVE. Mom's entire haircutting education is having cut mine and my sister's hair since we were tiny children, so although she's competent enough at what she knows, she doesn't know anything fancy. So she gives me a pretty straightforward cut that mostly just says "short". But she's out of the country right now and I needed a haircut so I went to a professional, and described the haircut that I actually want that Mom's not capable of giving me. And I got it, and I look great, it's exactly the cut I've been low-key hankering after for years and I love it - and then I proceeded to spend yesterday evening in an emotional meltdown because this haircut is too masculine and I'm not allowed.

So this is something I'm working on: giving myself permission to present myself the way I actually want to. But it's hard! And I hope I don't discover other "not allowed" areas in my continued experimentation, because it's really not fun.


Dec. 12th, 2015 04:53 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
My new glasses signal "queer nerd" much more strongly than my old ones did. I am pleased.

photo of me behind cut )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
okay but let me tell you the epic story of my moving fiasco because this was the most stressful my life has been in YEARS you have no idea.

It starts out reasonably enough. My sister, who I've been living with for three and a half years, accepted a job in a different city and had to move. I investigated other options for living situations, discovered my friend E had rented a house along with J to start in September, and the two of them were looking for two more roommates. I agreed to join them, and eventually we found S, our fourth.

Then on Wednesday, August 26 (less than a week before we were supposed to move in, you will note), the day after the landlords found out roommate S has physical disabilities, they contacted us to say circumstances had changed and they no longer wanted to rent the house. WHAT. NO. NOT COOL. (It is POSSIBLE this is not because of horrible ableism but given the timing I am LEERY. But even if they're not horrible in that particular way they're still horrible people because DUDE there is NO WAY it is okay to back out of a rental agreement with less than a week's notice!)

So then we panicked. The rental market can be difficult in this area and we had less than a week till we were supposed to be moving! We gathered Wednesday evening for a panicked house meeting and spent the evening looking through ads on Kijiji and messaging all the reasonable ones.

Meanwhile I also put out my feelers for possibilities of temporary living situations because if we didn't manage to find something for September 1 I had to move SOMEWHERE.

Four days later, on Saturday evening, we signed a lease on a place, and my word if that wasn't the best news in the world. The time between finding out we had no place to live and confirming on this one was just a haze of panicked crying and insomnia.

Anyways! It all worked out in the end - we don't have ASSHOLES as landlords, and the house is very nice and it's in a wonderful neighbourhood. And three of the four of us are moved in (S will move in this week) and I'm unpacked enough that it's beginning to feel like home.

And I'm excited about living with E (E is great!) and from what little I know of J so far she seems very nice, and S is a bit of a mystery but he's vouched for so I'm sure things will be fine there too.

And that is my latest life update! Hopefully I don't have to move again in a long time.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Almost a year ago, [personal profile] melannen posted a thing about what one day's food looks like for her, with an explanation. She suggested she'd be interested in seeing other people do it, and I've been intending to EVER SINCE, aaaand I finally got around to it!

This is everything I consumed on Saturday, May 23, 2015.

Breakfast: One (slightly heaping) cup of rolled oats, with one (scant) cup of skim milk and a pinch of raisins. Yes, I eat it cold, not cooked into oatmeal; I like the texture of uncooked oats better, and it's WAY faster to make!

Morning snack: An apple. Usually I would eat an apple as part of lunch but on this day I was hungry well before lunchtime so I took the edge off with my apple. You will notice the apple is not included in the photo, because I forgot about it when I was setting everything out for the photo at the end of the day. Whoops.

Lunch: A quarter of a loaf of rye bread, with hummus equaling about half a can of chickpeas, and half a tomato. My intention was to eat tomato slices on my bread-and-hummus sandwiches, but I forgot about the tomato until after I finished eating the other stuff so I just had it straight with salt and pepper.

Afternoon snack: Approximately a tablespoon each of raisins and dark chocolate chips, and a mug of decaf Earl Grey tea with a goodly quantity of milk and a wee bit of sugar. On a work day my afternoon snack would be a granola bar because they're super convenient, but at home that feels wasteful when I have other options.

Dinner: One bundle of asparagus, broiled with a drizzle of olive oil and a tablespoon lemon juice. Root vegetables (two carrots, two potatoes, an onion, and a clove of garlic) chopped and tossed with oil and 1/3 cup chickpea flour, and roasted.

Throughout the day: One refillable bottle's worth of water. I'm pretty sure my bottle is like 750 mL or so? I've...I've never actually checked. And it's old enough that any possible indicator markings on the outside of the bottle have long since worn off.

(One other thing I should mention about the nutrients I consume is that I do take a daily vitamin; I take this because I need the iron content. I do my best to eat high-iron food but it's hard to get enough, especially since I'm not eating quantities of meat on a daily basis. Iron in pill form fixes that.)

Calculating exact calories of what I ate sounds like way too much work; you will notice that I didn't even bother recording exact quantities of some things. For example: two potatoes, depending on the size of the potatoes, can be VASTLY different quantities of food. And none of the food I ate is prepackaged food that comes with nutritional information helpfully printed on the side. So unfortunately I can't compare myself directly with Melannen or with the people in the book she references.
Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I feel like such an adult these days! It is a weird feeling.

(for the record, being an adult doesn't preclude making terrible life choices in the very recent past, cf my decision last night to stay up till past 1 am on a work night reading extremely pointless crap on the internet and as a result getting several hours less sleep than I need, and waking up in the morning hating everything because I just cannot function on limited sleep the way I managed to back in my university days.)

But the point is: I am CAPABLE of being a responsible person in ways I never have been before. And it is such a fabulous feeling.


cut for discussion of bad mental state/life state )

Basically: for the first time in my life I am experiencing the conjunction of being mature enough to be able to be responsible for my life, and being physically/mentally capable of following through on that responsibility.



(I am still not perfect. SO not perfect. I still have my brainweasels and I probably always will. And I will never be the get-up-and-go kind of person who's happiest when super busy. But. My level of functioning is unbelievable compared to where it was a few months ago, and I now have a future ahead of me of having an actual life that contains more than just dragging through work and coming home to find ways of wasting time until I can go to bed. And it is beautiful.)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
YOU GUYS I'M BACK, what a great trip, I visited various parts of Poland and Ukraine and I learned so much and saw lots of great things. This was my first experience of traveling in Europe, and I'm pretty sure I'm a bit unusual for ending up visiting eastern Europe before western Europe but IT WAS GREAT. Also it was anything but an ABC tour - I saw all of one castle and only a couple cathedrals.

I touched the water in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, I crossed the Vistula River an uncountable number of times but never touched it at all, I successfully (...I HOPE) sent postcards for the first time in my life, I saw lots of medieval bricks, I visited areas where my ancestors used to live, and I learned so much history!

And now I'm home and kind of exhausted and have a very long to-do list.


Sep. 17th, 2014 10:54 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I am leaving tomorrow on an extremely exciting trip and will not be home for two weeks. I will have spotty internet access so I will probably not be around much or at all. HAVE FUN WITHOUT ME, SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Dear heteronormativity,

Can you please stop influencing me?

I met a nice young man tonight who's recently moved into the area and he seems a really cool dude and I think it would be great to be friends with him. He's definitely into girls (he mentioned an ex-girlfriend) and he doesn't seem to currently be dating anyone.

And my hindbrain immediately goes: OOH DATING PROSPECT MAYBE.

NO. NO. INCORRECT. I have no desire to be dating a person, whatever their gender, however awesome they are. I am not romantically into this dude. I never will be.

But I can't shut off the part of my brain that thinks that I need to be finding myself a dating partner because obviously that's how life works. Heteronormativity, you can just go fuck yourself, thanks.

No love,

sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Dude I have TOO MANY THINGS TO POST ABOUT and not enough time to write up all my thoughts/feels. So you get the abbreviated version now and may or may not get more later.


1. This weekend I visited Verity! And also got to hang out with Effableobject and with Aria! And it was an amazing A+ decision and I had a fabulous time and all of the above people are gr9

2. I watched Maleficent with Verity! (YES even though both of us are the not-good-at-watching-visual-media sort...) and I loved it to itty bits. Not a perfect movie but it did everything I could ever have wanted from this story so I AM HAPPY.

3. I read all of the Fraction Hawkeye that has come out yet! Which means through issue 18. And DAMMIT I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. I am terrible at reading WIPs, and I love this comic dearly and I WANT TO KEEP READING IT BUT I CAN'T TILL MORE COMES OUT.

4. Relatedly, I read all of the current Young Avengers, which means through issue 10. And once again DAMMIT WIP.

book post

Apr. 27th, 2014 06:36 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
The Wealthy Barber Returns, by Dave Chilton

Reading this book was my adulting homework this weekend. When I was at my credit union on Friday dropping off my paycheck I talked briefly with the financial advisor there so I can set up a meeting to talk about financial planning. Because I know nothing and I want/need to know more. So as a preliminary before the meeting he lent me this book to read. It's about living within one's means and saving money for the future.

And okay it felt like I was reading about an alien world! All these things where the author's like "I know it's hard but it's a good idea" and I'm like UM I DO THE THING ALREADY AND I CAN'T IMAGINE NOT. I live a fundamentally frugal life, is the thing! The idea of living with debt is just TERRIFYING to me; I always notice the many small ways money trickles away, and try to keep myself away from temptation in those regards; I can't imagine saving as small a percentage of my income as a lot of people apparently do; etc.

Also the book is clearly aimed at people who already know what things like mutual funds and stocks and lines of credit and whatever are, and are simply not behaving responsibly with them - whereas me, I couldn't define a "mutual fund" if my life depended on it.

I'M KIND OF THE WRONG AUDIENCE HERE, is what I'm saying. a) I know nothing, and b) I'm never going to be what one might call "wealthy" (unless something really surprising happens to me career-wise) but I am already working from decent principles on how to live according to my income.

I did learn some useful things from the book though. Like about the difference between a TFSA and an RRSP and the basics of how both of them work, and like what percentage of my income it's recommended to be saving specifically for my retirement. Both of those are useful things to know.

But mostly reading that book was a glimpse into a foreign world.

(also I did not appreciate the author's sense of humour, because it seemed to rely too much on saying insulting things about people like his family and friends, as well as various jokes relying on false modesty on his part.)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sentientcitizen asked:

you should talk about your EXCELLENT SARTORIAL SENSE (what it's like, where it came from, how people react to it, things you want to do in the future/things you wish you did slightly differently).

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
From [personal profile] justice_turtle:

If you don't mind, tell me your thoughts and feelings on being culturally but not religiously Mennonite. I've picked up bits and pieces -- how it makes being in military fandoms like Stargate weird for you, for instance, and how it'd make trouble if you came out as biromantic -- but not very much. Does it bug you that there are very few Menno characters in mainstream fiction? Do you get asked by clueless people why you have a computer / wear bright colors / whatever? If you don't mind explaining that to me... I actually have no idea whether I've simply confused Mennonites with Amish/Old Order Amish, whether your group of Mennonites happens to be less Plain than some, or what. I didn't ask before because it's your own fucking business, but as long as I'm asking you stuff about being Menno anyway... :P

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sentientcitizen asked:
what it is like cohabiting with your sister as an adult (and what it is like for your parents cohabiting with a sibling as older adults???) because I am endlessly interested in your experiences with this. :)

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I went out for supper this evening by myself, as I do occasionally, and as I walked home I had my ipod on and my nose in a book -- and I was interrupted on the sidewalk by a young man who wanted to talk to me about what book I was reading (he was surprised that I was reading historical fiction about the Napoleonic wars) and tell me all about what he was reading (something about astronomy? I wasn't really paying attention).

It wasn't a bad interaction, objectively; the dude was polite and when I telegraphed my disinterest in continuing the conversation he let me go.

But that's what made it so weird! He had the social skills enough to not continue talking to me when I obviously wasn't interested in conversing, and yet he somehow failed to recognize that if I was both a) listening to music AND b) reading a book, I was giving out some pretty strong signals that I wanted to be left alone in the first place!

So yeah. I was reminded once again that because I am a conventionally-attractive young woman dressed in a feminine way I am somehow, what, public property? Fair game (and I use this hunting-related term advisedly) for any interested party to try their luck with at any time? A prize to be won?

I am almost less uncomfortable about dudes wolf-whistling me or whatever, because I can just dismiss them as jerks. But I'm convinced this guy had no idea there was anything wrong with his behaviour, and it's this subtle kind of stuff that gets to me because it's so easy for it to be dismissed as no big deal. Right, this one instance is no big deal, but all of the weight of societal pressures that go into convincing that dude (and indeed so many dudes!) that these behaviours are acceptable? YEAH THAT'S A BIG DEAL, and that vast overarching systemic misogyny is what these casual, subtle bits of misogyny from decent dudes give me a visceral reminder of.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Today I decided to count how many books I own, and how many of those I've read. Look, I went to a massive used book sale yesterday morning and walked out with a box of 25 books for about $5, and I started laughing to myself about my book problem.

So let me outline my book problem to you.

Note: all of these numbers may be slightly off due to a) human counting error, b) forgetting I've loaned books to people, and/or c) not noticing a pile of books sitting somewhere

I own:
- 556 books.

Of these:
- I have read 384 books (or 69%)
- I have not read 155 books (or 28%)
- I haven't a clue if I've read 17 books (or 3%).

Some of them are books I will never read all the way through (eg the hymnals, the dictionaries, and so forth) but even discounting those THAT IS A LOT OF BOOKS I OWN THAT I HAVE NOT YET READ. Like, that is multiple years' worth of books! At the rate I purchase books I think I am only going to keep falling further and further behind, especially considering that plenty of the books I read are borrowed from friends/family/the library and are not from my collection. And also that I reread a lot.

And the worst (best?) part is that I ONLY WANT MORE. It's just too bad my apartment is too small to consider adding another bookcase, because I am running out of room on my shelves.....

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