Mind Maps

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 09:47 pm
miss_s_b: (Default)
Can anyone explain to me how they are not just a pointlessly distracting and inefficient way of displaying a list? Is this an ASD thing? Like, are they genuinely helpful and useful for allistic folk but not for us? They must be useful to somebody, because enough people rave about how great they are, but I genuinely do not get them at all.

(this post brought to you by trying to explain them to daughter and finding myself saying "look, they're pointless and shit, but if you've got to do one for your homework, you've got to do one for your homework")
miss_s_b: (Mood: Not London)
… for hot breakfast. We seem to have got into a bit of a rut with daughter, where it's either bacon OR sausages OR American pancakes. She doesn't like scrambled eggs, sadly. Anyway, I'd like to add some more things to my repertoire. What hot breakfasts do YOU eat?

(FCC report later this evening for those anxiously awaiting it, btw)
miss_s_b: (Sci-fi - Kryten Smug Mode)
So, this is what Holly can do given about five minutes in Microsoft paint:

Holly moonlit dog

(click through to embiggen)

In PAINT she did that, and you all know how frustrating it is to achieve ANYTHING in paint.
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: George Takei and Hiro)
So, when I put Holly to bed tonight she told me she'd like to show me a game she had "written in Notepad". I was thinking she had maybe written a story that had some choose your own adventure elements, cos she's been reading a few choose your own adventure books of late.

"I did two," she said "but the first one's not very good."

So I sat down and she started up her laptop and opened a Dos window.

"I found a video about how to do this on YouTube" she said, as she typed in the filename and hit enter.

And it was a text-based adventure game, but not like a book. It was like those text based adventure games we all used to play as kids. Press l for left, r for right, etc. With plot and humour and twists and silliness and... And this was just the first one! The second one was even better - about four times as long, with proper consequences to your choices, starts directly from windows, and when you've finished the game and hit exit it says "Batttteeerrrryyyy ddyyyyyyying........ goodbye" and then closes the Dos window.

She had a snow day from school today, and this is what she's done with it. Decided she wants to make a game, realised that she doesn't know how to code, researched how to code on the internet and then written TWO games by typing code into Notepad and then running it. In one day. ONE DAY!

This is my stunned face.
miss_s_b: (feminist heroes: Steph Brown Batgirl)
We just got home from Thought Bubble. I'm going to do a second post about the stuff I enjoyed later on, but I thought I'd get the cute over with first.

Things of which Holly approved:
  • pretty much everything to do with The Phoenix, including going round "finding" Phoenix feathers, and getting an art lesson from Neill Cameron, whom Holly describes as "the Epic-est of Epicness". In fact, I really want to give props to whichever person or persons decided the stuff that The Phoenix folks would be doing, because it was pitched exactly right for Holly. The challenge to go "find" Phoenix feathers was great, and gave us an incentive to go around the whole exhibition and see all the cool things; the drawing tables with a constant supply of paper and pencils were great (and attracted a few adults as well as kids); but the best bit as far as Hol was concerned was getting to meet Neill Cameron (because he writes/draws her favourite bit of the Phoenix - How To Make Awesome Comics* - and do a workshop about drawing robots with him - of which there are a few pictures below.

  • Doctor Simpo, and his draw-a-monster game, which we had to go back to because one go at it wasn't enough.

  • Seeing lots of artists just sitting around drawing cool stuff - especially lots of lady artists, and the lady artists were POPULAR, and Holly really noted that. She pointed out to me that the biggest queues were for Becky Cloonan and Kate Beaton.

  • Cosplayers. There were many cosplayers, and she liked them. Especially the Dead/Skeletal Captain Jack Sparrow

  • Elderly heroes - I wish I could remember the artist's name, but he was drawing decrepit versions of DC heroes. She particularly liked The Flash in his motorised wheelchair

  • Cindy and Biscuit, which I would have bought had I had any money left, and will be buying once I have a bit more brass.

  • Getting to see Andrew and his magnificent beard (although we rushed off reasonably quickly because she kept seeing more cool things)
Pictures and stuff under the cut )
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: SJA)
Firstly, the lack of pumpkins in Brighouse did not faze me one jot. Behold the Halloween Butternut Squash of doom!


Second, Miss Holly wanted to be a vampiress. She did her make-up all by herself!

miss_s_b: (Music: EPIC TIGHT PANTS!!!)
Holly is on half term. We have been having a bit of a dance around the living room. Among the vast range of stuff we've listened to, from Lady Gaga to Iron Maiden, this is the song she liked best today:

A Big Thank You...

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 09:58 pm
miss_s_b: (feminist heroes: Sarah Jane Smith)
... to all who contributed to Miss Holly having such a super birthday today, including my mum and dad for inviting her for tea, and all the people who bought her presents, but especially (for blog purposes) Andrew and Holly for the Little Endless storybook and the Sarah Jane CD, and to Dave Godfrey for the Funnybones dinosaur book, all of which caused much excitement.

She got quite a haul of lego from me and Mat and Mat's mum and Dad, and an Avengers book and DVD from James, and lots of books, and The Blue Planet David Attenborough DVD set, and a pair of purple shades from her school friend Isobel. And a bunch of money which she's deciding how to spend from various other friends and relatives. And a mighty battler Hulk to be friends with her mighty battler Thor.

She has gone to bed a very happy Holly, and taken Hulk and Thor with her. As I left the room I heard Thor's in the meadow... Dee dedee dedee... Thor's picking flowers... Dee dedee dedee... Hulk sneak up behind Thor... HULK SMASH!!!, and then much evil cackling.

That's mah gel.

Holly's Birthday cake.

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 01:54 am
miss_s_b: (Blogging: Internet forever!!)
My dad knows someone who does printing on icing in edible ink. So this is what is going on Holly's Birthday cake:

It features the Doctor and Amy, River Song, Hermione Granger, Thor and Hulk, the starship Enterprise, Saturn, and Stephanie Brown Robin, all on a background of the constellation of Orion. These are some of her favourite things.

I am only sad that google image searching for "Thor Hulk hugging" didn't turn up anything...
miss_s_b: (Love: Dads are awesome)
Had an SEN meeting with Holly's teacher yesterday. She's a very sensible lady, and has set some useful targets for Hol's social and behavioural development, and has been keeping records of her progress. The interesting thing is that, because Holly is now on the SEN register, they track her academic progress alongside the stuff she got put on for, because there's boxes for that and you have to fill in all the boxes.

Thus, yesterday, we found out that her reading age is 13.9 (she's 8) and she would be quite capable, academically, of going to senior school now.

I was talking to my cousin about this recently, and she works with primary school children. She is of the opinion that just like some people are bad at spelling, and some are bad at maths, being on the spectrum just means you're not so good at doing what most people expect in social situations. I do worry about Hol being medicalised, but I am supremely relaxed that her teacher is handling it in the most appropriate way.

Cheerful Things

Friday, January 6th, 2012 04:11 pm
miss_s_b: (Fanigrling: Rumpole)
Miss Holly came home from school today with a special certificate for good behaviour and a new-found fondness for the art of David Hockney. She is currently snuggled up next to me on the sofa watching 60s Batman. Not Eartha Kitt Catwoman, but one can't have everything.

These things are happy-making, and more than make up for me dropping out of the Wikio top Lib Dem blogs (which serves me right for my inactivity). If you'd like to read some proper political stuff, might I recommend Caron, who has a splendid post today on sexism.
miss_s_b: (Who: BFAs)
Those of you who have known us for a while will know that Miss Holly likes to have the radio on to go to sleep. Unfortunately she also regularly "forgot" to put the sleep timer on. Some weeks ago we hit on the idea of having her listen to Big Finish stuff. She loves Doctor Who, we have lots of CDs, and most importantly, each CD will finish after a maximum of 74 minutes...

We started her with The One Doctor last week, which she LOVED, and has now listened to several times. While I was away at conference she decided she'd like to try a new one, and [personal profile] matgb let her pick one out. Obviously, because she's 8, she picked the one with pirates in, and Mat wasn't familiar with the story...

When I put her to bed tonight it was disc 2 that went in and I left her laughing delightedly at The Gallifreyan Buccanneer. Part of me hopes that she will just enjoy the piratey bits and not pay attention to the deeper ramifications of the story. Part of me hopes she DOES get the deeper ramifications. Part of me hopes she falls asleep before the sad bits... But I think I may have to answer some questions in the morning.

I feel strong in my conviction that at least Mark Gatiss will have no questions about my parenting decisions....
miss_s_b: (Hobby: Climbing)
I have recently been told off for not doing enough children and pets updates, so here's one.

Yesterday Holly and my dad and I went to Rokt. Dad and me have been lots, but because we normally go lunchtime (cos it's cheaper) Holly is usually at school and doesn't get to come with us. She's on summer hols at the mo, so yesterday she came along.

She's an absolute natural. She was doing stuff with her leg positioning that I had to be TAUGHT. She didn't want to go very high, only managing about ten feet up a roped wall, but she liked the physicality of it, and was enjoying doing traverses on the various bouldering walls. The best thing, though, was that a lot of the holds at the wall are made by Core, and she was geeking out over the fact that their logo looks like a Green Lantern symbol.

Afterwards she was going to stay at her dad's, so I got a custody visit with Pugsley. I cleaned and refilled his water bowl, marvelled at the lovely clean shed he had just done, and fed him a mousie, which Holly and I watched him devour. I wish I had room in my house to bring him over. I miss him. He's so BIG now. My little baby snakeling is all growed up...

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miss_s_b: (Who: Three (Polarity))
I read this this morning, and my immediate thought was YES!

Part of the reason I never got on with Russel T Davies' vision of Doctor Who was that it was so clear he had grown up wanting to be the Doctor's COMPANION. I never wanted to travel WITH the Doctor; I wanted to BE the Doctor. I wanted to be Dennis the Menace and Batman and Mr Spock and Judge Dredd too. And I wanted to be Freddie Mercury and Alice Cooper and Bruce Dickinson. And later I wanted to be Rumpole, or Paddy Ashdown. Like the first commenter on that post, it never occurred to me (and I thank my Dad for that) that because all my heroes were boys, I wasn't supposed to want to be like them, I was supposed to want to be WITH them, to be their soppy female helpmeet.

My Holly wants to be a Green Lantern.

At least that's a narrative possibility - there ARE female green lanterns, even if they are generally peripheral to the male ones.

I hate this world, that it tries to frustrate her dreams of awesomeness and give her dreams of playing second fiddle instead. My little girl is amazing, and she deserves to have amazing heroes to look up to and dream of emulating. Why is there still, after so many years, only a handful? Why do Ripley and Wonder Woman have to shoulder this burden alone? DAMMIT, WORLD, GIVE ME MORE FEMALE HEROES!
miss_s_b: (Who: Evelyn)
I could be blogging about the Lib Dem Conference ongoing issues, or about the boundary commission reviews, or about BBC-bashing in the press (overt in the Fail, subtle in the Graun), or about all number of other Important Things...

But those are all depressing. And today has been a good day. [personal profile] magister and Holly and I went to the pictures to see X-Men: First Class. It's not the best superhero movie I have ever seen (although it's far from the worst either), but seeing it in the company of a wide-eyed almost-eight-year-old, who was incredibly excited by the whole thing (and the Green Lantern trailer beforehand), and who fell immediately and passionately in love with Emma Frost (having been most excited about the prospect of a young Magneto prior to the start of the film because she adores Serena McKellen's Magneto) and whose enjoyment was utterly infectious... Well, put it this way, I think Hol and I will be going to the pictures a bit more often.

And then we got home and watched Doctor Who. And her joy over that was beautiful.

So bollocks to all the depressing political and media stuff. Today has been a good day.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Bugger)
For about 18 months now, I have been wanting a hat. This might sound like an easy quest, but I have a weird-shaped head, and it's very difficult to find a hat that I don't look a total pillock in. On Monday, I found it. The friend that I was with at the time made a contribution to the purchase, knowing my financial situation, otherwise I would not have been able to justify buying it.

It's the perfect hat.

It's exactly what I wanted.

...and my seven year old daughter looks way cooler in it than I ever will. )


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miss_s_b: (Default)
I let Holly stay up a bit late tonight. We watched Mars Attacks! because it was on and she really loved it, which I am glad about because it is one of my favourite films.

She is convinced that all the Martians are female, which puts an interesting spin on the gender politics of the film, and she kept referring to the purple-cloaked martian leader as the Martian Princess. She loved the scene with Jack Nicholson's speech to the Princess, and big brave Byron. And she wants to watch it again LOL.

Good job I have the DVD somewhere...

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miss_s_b: (Mood: Love (all my base))
I have love for a lot of people. Many of you reading this will be people I have said "I love you" to; I say it a lot, and every time I say it, I mean it. I love Mat and James. I love my mum and dad, and my brothers. I love Andy and Debi and David and Liz. I love my doggies. I love Imogen and Nicki. I love lots of people, and I am lucky enough to be loved in my turn by lots of people. All these loves are powerful and motivate me to do stuff I wouldn't otherwise do.

But there's not one of those loves that's more powerful than a candle next to the burning star of my love for my daughter. I'm having a sleep over in her room tonight, which means I get clutched and snored at, and find it difficult to sleep. I am lying here composing this blog entry on my phone, trying hard not to disturb her, and I don't care about sleeplessness, or money, or yesterday, or tomorrow, or anything else other than her.

I never wanted children. I am not the maternal type. I still see myself as not the maternal type. But if I wasn't an atheist I would thank God every second of every day for the amazing person that is my daughter. I am lying here crying tears of gratitude at 4am for the sensitive, generous, intelligent, witty, beautiful girl I have been blessed with, and through me the world.

I'm a fuck up. I know I am. I haven't touched my potential. I have all sorts of health issues - mental and physical - which mar what remains of that potential. I can't give her everything she wants or deserves, because I haven't achieved what I should have, and it tears me up.

But what I can do, and what I will do, is give her everything it's in my power to give her. I will fight for her, and I'll fight tooth and nail and blood and bone, because NOTHING is more important than her. So bollocks to the Daily Mail and the right wing tossers, and my own guilt and feelings of inadequacy. I'm going to claim those benefits, and I'm going to spend them on getting her the stuff that she needs. She is more important than my stupid pride.

State of the SB

Thursday, November 25th, 2010 10:50 pm
miss_s_b: DreamSheep dreams of the Angel of the North (Blogging: DreamSheep: Angel of the North)
Have been off work sick yesterday and today. This is not good.

Saw the consultant yesterday; Gideon is a fibroid. He needs to be taken out, and I've been booked in for February (three months away FFS!), with the proviso that I can go in earlier if the surgeon gets a cancellation. My GP has given me some super extra strength painkillers to keep me going. I feel very down about the whole boiling.

Podcast is all recorded, but there have been some hiccups with the editing. I may put up a rough cut, just to get episode one out there.

Holly is having The Hobbit for her bedtime story and I got so into it that I was reading to her for three quarters of an hour tonight. She's loving it. She managed to wangle herself onto a school trip that we had no idea was happening today too, the little so and so...

Blogging mojo is all out of kilter.

All the above, though? None of that is why I am not going to help out in Old and Sad. If we lose the by election, the party will be wounded. The media will whap us with it. But if we win, with that candidate? I can only see damage resulting from that too. So I'm hiding under the duvet as far as Old and Sad is concerned. For more information, Andrew Hickey has written a post which is full of the conflict I feel.

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I Adore My Daughter

Thursday, October 14th, 2010 02:02 am
miss_s_b: (Gashlycrumb Tinies)
When I got home from work this evening, worn out after an evening's serving of customers, I went to the bathroom and found a note on the cabinet. It read as follows:
Dear Tooth Fairy,

my tooth came out tonight and I tried to wash it for you, but I dropped it down the drain. Can I still have my coin?

love from Holly
How cute is that? How sweet was it of her to try to clean the tooth? Bless her.

So, obviously I wrote a reply saying it was very considerate of her to try and wash the tooth and of course she could have her coin and signed it from your tooth fairy, Violet because one is never too young for a little Pratchett reference.

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miss_s_b: (Mood: Dads are awesome)
Today, she had her first poetry reading, in public, and lots of people heard her reading her competition-winning poem, which is this:
A Daffodil by Holly Rylett

Down down down
Under the ground
The roots are carefully growing
Up up up
Over the ground
A daffodil is starting to shoot
High high high
Above the sky
The daffodil really shoots
Low low low
Under the sky
The daffodil is dead
(because it's winter!)
How well has my little one captured the cyclical nature of life and death and the wonder of nature in those few words?

* so proud *

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miss_s_b: (Who - Five (Cricket and the crotch))
When we picked Miss Holly up from her dad's tonight she was a bit down, and was reluctant to tell us why. Eventually, I got out of her that the end of this week's Doctor Who had upset her. spoiler! ) was the problem, not in itself, but because she really identifies with Amy, and she is worried that she will spoiler ). We talked about it for a bit, and she seemed a bit better, but still worried. I asked her if there was anything I could do to cheer her up.

She asked if she could watch some old Doctor Who. As a comfort thing, she wanted to cuddle up with her mum and watch old Doctor Who. How sweet is that? She asked for one with daleks, and one with Sarah-Jane. But she didn't want G of the D. This left me with only one option, really...

So, we've watched The Five Doctors. And she loved it. She loves Bessie, and she loves the Brig, and she thought the old school cybermen were fab. When it finished she wanted to watch another one, and I had to break it to her gently that it was two hours past her bedtime and she would have to wait till tomorrow.

So, one with old school cybermen in for tomorrow. Do we think she's got the attention span for The Invasion?

miss_s_b: (Who: Three (Polarity))
Rewatched the episode tonight with the small person. She really likes Amy, because she's brave and clever AND beautiful. And she LOVED SPOILER! ). But most of all, she really, really loved the SPOILER! ) because it was SPOILER! ) and SPOILER! ) and SPOILER! ).

She thought the SPOILER! ) were very scary, but not as scary as SPOILER! ) from last week. She worried that SPOILER! ) swouldn't be able to get rid of all the SPOILER! ) after they found out that SPOILER! ) was SPOILER! ), but I told her that it would be OK, and that SPOILER! ) would sort it out.

She's very excited about SPOILER! ) next week, but I think that's maybe because she knows that they are mummy's favourite. She likes Sontarans best.
miss_s_b: (sci-fi: George Takei)
Those of you who have been following my adventures in parenthood will know that one of the things [personal profile] amazing_holly likes best is stars. She loved George's Secret Key to the Universe, and she has a bunch of books about stars from Zoo in the Sky to Cosmos, and she likes to sleep with her blind open so that she can look out at them at night.

Her lullaby, therefore, for many years now, has been Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Tonight, however, she decided she wanted something different, and she asked for something funny. I thought for a few minutes, and then I came up with this:

She loved it. I think it'll be a little while before I let her see the video, though.

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Monday, July 27th, 2009 11:59 pm
miss_s_b: DreamSheep/Matrix icon (Blogging: DreamSheep: Matrix)
I like the new logged-in homepage. It's one of the things I am clinging to about today which hasn't been really awful and depressing.

The other thing was being out in the garden with [personal profile] amazing_holly planting sweetpea seeds earlier. Yeah, I know, I'm a bit early for late planting and a bit late for regular planting. But she wanted to do it, and it was fun grubbing about in the compost with her.

I'm trying not to think about anything else that happened today. Work was particularly awful; this is made worse by the fact that I've had a good long stretch of really enjoying it, and today was a big jolt. Also Mat was really stressed (for mostly good reasons) so neither of us were in a fit state to be the support to each other we usually are.

Instead, I'm going to run myself a bath, and sink into it, and think about how cool it was to be planting stuff with Hol, and what a little angel she's been today, even though I have been grumpy as all hell.

I am a very lucky mummy.

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About This Blog

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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