Life continues to ebb and flow in its complexities, but the DDC continues to be a creative and entertaining source of comfort, support, and humour in all the oddness around us.
Our latest set of things has been creating quizzes and games to play through shared screens in Discord. Whoever is running the quiz sets up a PowerPoint document with questions and answers revealed in turn, while everyone works together to find the answers. Mre B created the template based on their running similar things with their friends, and myr s has taken up the baton to create rounds tailored to our various strengths and foibles.
Roughly once a week we gather of an evening to play. We start with general levity, and yet despite there not being any competition between players, there’s soon a very serious air as people try to identify TV theme tunes from sight reading music, interpret kinks by their formal clinical names, identify pop culture characters from pets dressed up as those characters, and puns based on shows where one character has been changed – and that was just for starters.
Lateral thinking, chat, and everyone trying to resist googling any answers – a fun combination that is proving as much a draw as the weekly Dungeons and Dragons session.
Oh, and then we used Roll20 to make a Trivial Pursuit board and grabbed four different sets to make a monstrous random hodgepodge of topics from Star Wars, Stranger Things, Harry Potter, and a general family edition. That got very silly, very fast. We’ll have to do that again…
I’m taking advantage of the hard work yesterday clearing down old archives to make sure that the bags of confidential waste are prepped and ready for collection by our secure shredding service. If nothing else its giving me a workout, so I’m pausing a moment for a cuppa.
If there’s one thing this week of clearing out rubbish and shelving has made clear to me, it’s how the lockdown has affected my stamina levels. Before this week I’ve been having aches and pains, but now I have muscles letting me know that they’ve been used, and that’s a good thing.
What I shall need to be aware of is that many of the people I work with will be in similar states as and when we reopen in whatever capacity to the public. It can be very easy to forget that working in a library is quite physical between shifting stock, being on your feet most of the day, and of course moving around to help people all over buildings that frequently have multiple floors.
When are we reopening? Well we don’t actually know yet. We were working to the assumption that it would be July, but the announcement this week of non-essential shops being allowed to reopen in a couple of weeks time has also folded libraries into that umbrella.
We’re still working out how to best do it safely, and are doing assessments on how to phase some sort of service back into play. In the meantime, data cleansing and physical cleansing are an ongoing process in preparation of any announcements.
I’ve been putting it off, but yesterday I went into one of my libraries with a colleague to do a cleardown of surfaces and a general clearout of expired leaflets and paperwork. Eight large bags of recycling and three large bin liners later, we called it a day.
If nothing else it helped keep my back limber as I’ve had a trapped nerve for a couple of days.
The other good thing (aside from it being easier to clean surfaces), is that it has given me ideas for jobs for staff to do when they return, such as having a sort through craft materials. We have an archive of old crafts ideas dating back the best part of twenty years that needs a critical eye too.
Today I’ll be going back in to start going through the drawers behind the main desk. There’s a lot of rubbish in there…
Despite the tiny size of the available car, I was able to retrieve the Charleesi from university yesterday. Even better, I was able to do so in one round trip. We’re still not entirely sure how we did that – there is a suspicion that the Fiat500 is actually a Tardis.
Fortunately, while playing Tetris with bags, books, and assorted household goods we had sunshine and a gentle breeze. Even the Charleesi’s traditional moment of locking herself out of her own flat was taken in good humour by the concierge who ambled over to let her back in to empty the recycling bin.
And so there it is – the end of one chapter, and the beginning of another for the Charleesi. I still can’t believe we fit all that in such a small car…
We did a thing this weekend, quite unexpectedly, when Lady B messaged the polycule to ask if we’d be willing to gather on Discord and be part of an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on her Facebook stream.
As followers and supporters of her series of streams about her experiences of transition, we of course agreed. A couple of hours and some muffled stubbing of toes later, we were gathered round our respective devices for what was intended to be a quick half hour that turned into an hour and a half of us spinning off on tangents and laughing a lot.
I’ll add a link below to the streams recording – but I must add that the first five to ten minutes is completely silent due to a technical hitch known as “flicking the wrong switch” in Lady B’s kit.
Nevertheless, it was fun, and a good chance to talk a bit about who we are and how we relate, and our thoughts on being the oddballs that we are. So, enjoy the stream.
With the weather a bit cooler today, its made me realise what about the steady heat blanket of this week has had me struggling a bit.
Essentially the lack of breezes had brought a heaviness that was reminding me of the dissociative parts of my depression. Everything was feeling dull and distant and my head was responding to the familiarity of those sensations.
Being a reasonably smart cookie, I recognised this on a subconscious level at least, because I’ve been making efforts to drag myself outside the flat in search of light and sound, and at least hints of moving air. Being around people, talking online, keeping busy, these have all kept my brain shaken from the old tracks. So thats a good thing, possibly even means I’m learning to look after myself.
That said i didn’t really put it all together until counselling this evening, but then that’s what its there for.
Its that time of year when we remember that the Charleesi is still stuck at university and that we really should look at how to bring her home safely.
So Sunday has been set as our target, and we shall retrieve her and her worldly possessions. Somehow. I say this because our car is in for repairs and we have a tiny Fiat500 as a courtesy vehicle in the meantime.
This, as they say, will be interesting. We might get our car back before the weekend but I’m not counting on it. I shall instead be seeing if we can arrange a series of journeys over the next few days.
Not quite sure what happened to yesterday. There was sunshine, and reading on the balcony, but also bone deep weariness and flaking out on the bed for a good few hours.
Maybe its just lockdown getting to me, or residual anger burning out my reserves. Probably a combination of the two because I then couldn’t sleep for ages last night for wanting to angrily message people.
So, today is going to be more productive. I have character portraits to work on, so until my video conference later, thats what I’m going to get on with. Better to be doing something positive in all this.
Just one of those days – its a bit quiet, emails were few and far between, work planned for tomorrow is tomorrow, and a minor storm in a teacup incident is eating away at me far out of proportion to what it actually is – especially as its something that is generally solving itself.
My jumping up and down therefore seems unhelpful, so I’ve been killing aliens on the XBox instead, using the new controller that Lady M bought me as a lockdown “just because” present.
Its made up in the red/purple/pinks of the bi flag, and has a lovely solidity to its grip and play. She had it custom made through the Microsoft website and it arrived this morning.
I’m currently doing battle with The House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski and rarely has such a phrase felt appropriate. A seven hundred word plus exercise in wall-breaking, philosophy, and metawriting wrapped up in a lovecraftian horror story of space, angles, and echoes.
I’m enjoying it in the sense that I’m piecing together the story from many disparate strands of pseudo-commentary and overlapping notes on notes where the footnotes become the main story and back again, battling with white space, layout changes, and a general sense of reading at least four books simultaneously.
In other words its like my brain when I’m reading my usual three of four books at once and keeping the strands separate or overlapping as needed depending on the interrelated nature of those books.
I’m enjoying it, even though the word goblin part of me wants to get to the meat of it rather than building up the supporting architecture. So the whole experience is frustrating and rewarding in one, and I’m grateful to the people who kept prodding me to give it a go. I’m only fifty two pages in. I may be some time…