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([personal profile] jhameia Jul. 21st, 2017 12:58 am)
Got out late, got to the office at 11-ish, and Emily wasn't free to write, so I had to plod along myself, which was hard. But after lunch, I got started on a really good clip. Inserted some pictures into my current chapter, and wrote more words. I'm a little over halfway of my second section, which makes me happy, and I'm thinking I might add in one more example? Right now I have six texts: three visual, three literary, and I'd like to add in an example that combines both. I'll keep plugging along and see where I'm at by the end of the weekend.

I REALLY wanted to go to the Nerds of Color meetup in San Diego tomorrow, but I don't think I can make it =( I'd need a place to stay, and it only just occurred to me that I could take a Greyhound down, but the times just don't work. SIGH!

Anyway it is 1am and I need to go to bed, blurgh.
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([personal profile] happydork Jul. 20th, 2017 10:11 pm)
A few years ago, I watched my BFF, [twitter.com profile] amymariemason, spend a year making a beautiful wedding quilt for a friend of hers. I’m not saying my jealousy was the only reason I married [personal profile] such_heights, but I coveted that quilt, oh my goodness I coveted it so hard.

So when [personal profile] such_heights and I got engaged in August 2014, I asked my BFF if she would, maybe, perhaps, make us a wedding quilt, too?

It’s now July 2017, the wedding quilt is finally finished, and OH MY FUCKING GOD IT IS THE MOST AMAZING THING IN ALL EXISTENCE COME LOOK HOW TALENTED MY BFF IS SHE’S THE GREATEST THIS IS THE GREATEST COME LOOK COME LOOK COME LOOK OMG!

Many photos of the world's greatest quilt )
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([personal profile] jhameia Jul. 19th, 2017 11:42 pm)
My phone died overnight, having refused to charge without being babysat, so I decided, once it was charging merrily without my overnight but taking too long for my liking, that I would go to campus and do work without the phone. This turned out to be a very good thing indeed, because I wasn't tempted to watch it all the time. I've also logged out of most social media on my work computer, so that was nice too. Emily Jiang checked in with me around 11.30 for some writing, and that was nice too.

I still can't focus on the screen, it seems, so I switched to handwriting some paragraphs instead. This helped quite a bit. Except for some sentences here and there, I'm starting work on a new section, articulating the concept of minor literature in relation to multicultural steampunk.

I ate at the Getaway, taking laptop and writing book and pencil and eraser with me. Had a couple of slices of a pizza, packed the rest, got back to my office, and coughed up a couple more paragraphs. Then I went home.

Swam 16 laps today. Was gonna stick to 15, but thought I could push on just once more. I'm feeling, as [personal profile] oracne calls it, the Glow of Virtue, which I promptly ruined by eating a sponge cake. I finished my remaining sausages, too. I haven't heard back about the results of my blood test from yesterday, but I assume I'll hear back by the end of the week, and if there's anything big, the doctor will call me (which is what he did last time). But I'm really crossing my fingers that my blood sugar levels have dropped.

I have been very good and did not text anybody today.

I submitted a poem. It's been a while since I wrote a poem I felt good about, so that's nice. It might be a bit too sentimental, IDK, I like its tweeness, but maybe it's too schmoopy? Oh well.

I'm gonna try to make it to campus tomorrow for some more writing by hand, and I think I will leave the phone home again so I don't get anxious around it. Until my mini-USB port replacement comes, I'll use it as little as possible so I don't keep freaking out over recharging it and possibly aggravating the problem even more.
So, because I have no brainspace, I completely forgot to take down the address of the ophthalmologist I was supposed to go see, Googled last night, and took a Lyft to the wrong place. I had to take another Lyft, this time to the right place. It was a weird procedure. Lots of flashing lights and hooey eyedrops. On the bright side, the doctor says that my eyes look all right, no problems with the veins whatsoever.

On the not so bright side, my eyes are still dilated and my pee looks weird (because they have to inject dye into your bloodstream so that inspection of the back of the eye is possible). I have a headache as a result.

The eye specialist I went to was near Brockton Arcade so I meandered over to the pet supply store to have a look-see. I sighed at the dog collars, because I miss Puppergeist, and I regret giving him up.

I got home, had a couple of pieces of chicken, then went to campus for another doctor's visit. And I have to say, while I think Dr. Tran is a wonderful doctor otherwise, the first to take my complaints on concentration seriously enough that he suggested ADD as a possible problem (the diabetes was the first thing he felt capable of looking at), he was a bit too enthused about my weight loss for my comfort. OK, yeah, 15 pounds since I started (late April), but I don't know if that's such a huge accomplishment when my concentration is still shot to hell, and I could use all that time spent exercising and worrying about my food on the diss. Then again, the exercising and dieting is a decent way to procrastinate, I guess.

Anyway, I had to make calls and whatnot for a psychiatrist appointment, and the first available time is the end of August. EW! I need to defend by then! So, I'm kind of pissed that it's taken this long for this to even come up.

Tonight I'll be handwriting some of my dissertation, I think, because I just can't stare at the screen so much anymore. I've got a whole paragraph. It feels nice.

I also finished the sugar-free cookies I got last weekend, whoops.
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([personal profile] jhameia Jul. 18th, 2017 04:04 pm)
oh, my heart, you are not okay
you are not okay
lock yourself up again
that was safer
also less disruptive to
other daily operations

oh, stop making promises
that are not yours to make
i know that is what hope is:
crowns out of starlight
and petals dried in summer heat
blown away in the morning wind

you are too hungry to be exposed
one temptation and you are lost
if i do not cage you sooner
you will devour everything
and i do not care
to ingest more poison
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([personal profile] jhameia Jul. 17th, 2017 10:25 pm)
In other news, I can't concentrate worth spit, I swam 15 laps today.

The Zagster station near my house (a parking lot by a sportsfield) had NO bikes today, so I walked to campus to scan a thing, then nabbed a bike near the closest residence to go to the bank and FedEx shop. This took a lot out of me, it seems.

=/ I don't know what to do with myself. I open all my files and stare at the words, and re-read everything I write, but somehow this is harder than it ought to be. It's very frustrating.
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([personal profile] jhameia Jul. 17th, 2017 10:05 pm)
Because my brain will not concentrate today it veered into possible getting wheels of my own that is not a bicycle. I've been using the Zagster bikeshare here, but my knees apparently hate me and ache when I've been cycling anything over gear 5 and uphill or even just level ground. I don't know if it's possible for knees to build strength? Do they? Maybe I just need to keep at it and they will stop complaining like little mofos eventually?

But of course bicycles can only take you so far, and I have anxieties surrounding driving, so I looked into motorcycling classes, and turns out that there is a course serving Riverside where people learn how to ride and it's accredited so getting a California motorcycling license is possible, too. Even when I was a teenager I wanted to ride a motorbike over driving a car (even as I dutifully went for driving lessons, which were mostly fine, until a panic attack during my driving exam, and then a little after almost running over my own dog, and then a growing fear of accidentally dying in a box).

I however can barely fathom spending hundreds of dollars the way any vehicle would demand of a person, especially on a irregular basis for maintenance and gas.

I asked my sewing teacher about her bike riding experience (she rode a motorbike for like 30 years, and was part of an older-lady biker gang) but she hasn't ridden in some ten years. She still had some recommendations for me. I looked up used motorbikes on Craigslist and most Honda Rebels seem to be from ten years ago, ranging in the $1500 - $3000 range. I think I might be able to handle that? But then, one doesn't appear to take up motorbiking here in the States to save money.

Still, the thought of having motorized wheels that could get me from city to city, something I could do road trips with, is very tempting. If I snag a job for the fall, I'll definitely look into getting lessons, and see from there. There's an accredited training course, which looks cool (and there's a mix of men and women among the instructors) and affordable. It all seems very convoluted to my public-transit-loving brain, but maybe I can do it?
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([personal profile] rem Jul. 17th, 2017 08:54 pm)

In the book In Such Good Company Carol Burnett focuses on the eleven years of "The Carol Burnett Show," telling how the show came to be, describing what it was like to make it, answering questions she received often, and talking about the many talented people she worked with.

There's some overlap between this book and her previous book This Time Together, but that's to be expected. Frankly, I'd rather hear her stories twice than not at all. She also spends time describing particular sketches. Some people might not be into that, but I liked it. Specific to the audiobook, there are audio clips of several cast members from interviews, so you get to hear their voices as well.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit and I'm glad I got to listen to it.

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([personal profile] kate_nepveu Jul. 17th, 2017 09:04 pm)
I went with Practicality on [personal profile] jesse_the_k's suggestion; technically the theme is "Calculated Risks" but I changed all the colors and a lot of the decorations so I'm not sure it counts as the same theme any more.

Here's the custom CSS, which is largely ditching a lot of small-caps and extra lines, and making it more boring color-wise. (Edit) Though, if anyone wants to fiddle, there's a thing that's been commented in the code.

CSS )

Thanks for the feedback, all!
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([personal profile] kate_nepveu Jul. 17th, 2017 08:18 am)
I cannot figure out how to navigate the DW style chooser thing at all.

Is there an out-of-the-box DW style that has comment pages with bigger usernames on the comments listing than Tropospherical? Or, are you using an out-of-the-box style, and does it play nice on small screens? If so, which one?

(This is part of my project of trying to be on DW more.)
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I made a couple long comments elsewhere and I should archive them somewhere less ephemeral, for reference.

on defining fanfic )

on deciding whether to become a parent )
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([personal profile] kate_nepveu Jul. 16th, 2017 09:21 pm)
I bought the cheapest 8" Amazon tablet on sale this week for $50, because my fairly-new unloved tablet had problems and I had determined to save it only for reading comics and watching video, but it was getting worse and worse, and it was only $50. [*]

So far it's about what I expected--lousy screen, flimsy (the door for the SD card is not going to last the week--but it works. I will report back in more detail later.

The real point of this post is to link to two things:

1) how to install the Google Play store, so you can keep your paid-through-Google apps, which works just fine and does not use require use of adb or anything more complex;

2) how to install a launcher of your choice (I'm using Nova Launcher). I believe I had to power the device off and then back on before the home button detection option came on, but now it works just fine.

[*] It was a NVIDIA Shield K1, which has recently been discontinued; though old, it got good reviews across the board even in current roundups, and so I suspect I got a lemon, because it was a piece of shit from day one. Rebooting itself nearly daily during ordinary use, this exciting nonsense on a system update, etc. etc. Then a hairline crack on the screen edge dramatically expanded, rendering the area containing home and recent buttons unresponsive in the ordinary orientation, so use required constantly flipping, plus once you've got that much of a crack it's just a matter of time. I'll be putting it up on eBay for parts soon.
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My Tweets for this panel were 50% despair at being unable to catch the names of things, as I said in the prior placeholder version of the post. However! Robert Killheffer put together this very thorough list, with links, of stuff mentioned at the panel, and gave me permission to share it! I have tried to revise my panel notes into something with minimal overlap with the document, so please do consult both.

S.A. Chakraborty, Haris Durrani, Robert Killheffer, Darcie Little Badger, Susan Matthews (leader)
Discussions of "genre classics" tend to focus mainly on modern Western works. This panel will discuss proto-genre narratives from antiquity and the pre-modern and early modern era in the world beyond Western Europe, including not only myths and legends but early authored works such as the Hamzanama (The Adventures of Amir Hamza), the Baital Pachisi (Vikram and the Vampire), and Fengshen Yanyi (The Creation of the Gods).

Read more... )

There, that's better. Thanks again to all the panelist, and especially Robert for compiling the list.
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([personal profile] kate_nepveu Jul. 15th, 2017 10:05 pm)
I have a little bit more notes for this! Still not a ton, though.

Jeffrey A. Carver (leader), Glenn Grant, Kate Nepveu, Sonya Taaffe, Sheila Williams
Robots, golems, and other living machines appear human but can never become human, which makes them perfect vehicles for exploring concepts of sentience, emotion, and human nature. Many robots long to be human; it's much more rare to see one that loves being what it is. Far more fictional robots have gender identities than national or ethnic identities. They are often programmed to feel sexual desire but rarely designed to eat a meal or sniff a flower. How do our depictions of robots reflect our changing understandings of what it means to be alive?

I said in my intro that I'm fairly sure my signup for this was just "Murderbot!" and then a bunch of heart symbols, and rather that recap my rec from the panel, I wrote it up for booklog.

Read more... )
I was really not awake for this panel and so took almost no notes; this is extremely sketchy as a result, but better than nothing.

Phenderson Clark, Greer Gilman, Victoria Janssen (leader), Kate Nepveu, Naomi Novik
Guest of Honor Naomi Novik's Temeraire books take a slow and clever approach to a common issue with alt-historical fantasy: if magic has always existed, why have historical events gone essentially the same way that they did in our magicless world? Her focus on the familiar territory of Western Europe during the Napoleonic Wars gradually broadens to include other regions that look very different. This panel will examine this and other techniques for integrating magic into history, including using the appearance or reappearance of magic as a timeline divergence point, limiting magic or paranormal entities to a particular region of the world, portraying paranormal communities or magic-users as hidden and secretive, and entirely reinventing history from the Neanderthals on up.

what I can remember )

Annnd that's all I can remember. Feel free to comment, either if you were there or if you want to continue the conversation!
I watched A Very British Sex Scandal last night — it’s a great docu-drama made in 2007 about the Wolfenden Report and the Montagu Affair, largely following Peter Wildeblood. The Montagu Affair was a very high profile case in the 1950s in which three men were tried for “homosexual acts” — it’s credited with helping to change public opinion and, eventually, the law. Wildeblood was one of the men tried.

I strongly recommend the film. The docu bit is fascinating — the contributors are queer men born in the 20s and 30s who watched this all play out, including, rather amazingly, Lord Montagu himself.

The drama bit is sweet, compelling, understated, and doesn’t take too many liberties. I was also particularly touched by the context-setting voiceover, which provided us with such gems as, “In 1952 The Daily Mail was a serious establishment newspaper. Its opinions were highly respectable.”

After watching the film, I immediately bought Peter Wildeblood’s Against the Law, first published in 1959, which is largely about Wildeblood’s experiences of being gay, the Montagu Affair, and Wildeblood’s subsequent time in prison. In it he argues equally hard for the decriminalisation of homosexual acts and for penal reform in general. It’s reckoned to be the first sympathetic book about male homosexuality to reach a wide audience in Britain.

It’s hard to overstate how brilliant and brave this book is, and I would have loved it for that no matter how it was written — but it’s also such a clear, spare, honest, witty, engaging piece of writing, one that leaves me feeling both in breathless awe of this hero of a man and, at the same time, like it’s only an accident of space and time that we aren’t friends. When I finished it, I missed him.

Yes, so, I fucking love this book and I recommend it even more strongly than the docu-drama. (I think there’s a new docu-drama coming out pretty soon, actually, called Against the Law? AVBSS was made for the 40th anniversary of decriminalisation, and AtL is for the 50th anniversary. So if you’re only going to watch the one docu-drama, you’ll soon have a choice.)

My version has an intro written by Matthew Parris which I liked a lot and found very interesting but at the same time ended up disagreeing with quite strongly in places. (Which is, tbf, my normal reaction to Matthew Parris.) If you get the same version, I’d suggest not reading the intro until after you’ve read the book itself.

I also wanted to share with you the absolute gut punch I got when reading the very opening paragraph of the book.

Sometimes, when a man is dying, he directs that his body shall be given to the doctors, so that the causes of his suffering and death may be investigated, and the knowledge used to help others. I cannot give my body yet; only my heart and my mind, and trust that by this gift I can give some hope and courage to other men like myself, and to the rest of the world some understanding.


It’s. I don’t know. I read that, and I was struck by how very different it was from David Wojnarowicz’s If I die of AIDS - forget burial - just drop my body on the steps of the FDA — but at the same time, by how strong the thread is that connects them.
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([personal profile] jhameia Jul. 15th, 2017 01:08 am)
Yesterday after a long day of doing nothing and feeling terrible about it, I went to check out the University Village free concerts. I'd wanted to sit upstairs on the balcony overlooking the concert, but a security guard told me I couldn't, new management, so sorry, bla bla bla.

I did a lot of paperwork today. I scanned and printed (using the Sproul Hall printers for the first time ever) and sent my OPT application forms off to the international student center so they can nod and approve of it and tell me that yes, I can send it off to immigration.

Lindsay came to get me and we went for lunch at Best Thai. Been a while since I ate there. We then went to look for dessert- she wanted boba tea, and I wanted something sugar-free. Turns out that the store her students had recommended her and the store we Googled for sugar-free desserts were in the same plaza, conveniently.

The dessert place is called The Thinnery, and it bills itself as a sugar-free bakery, specifically for diabetics, and folks with heart conditions, weight watchers and just plain ol' folks watching their sugar, I guess. There was only one man working there--the only one left of his family doing the business (out of 31 years!) and he'd been cleaned out earlier, so I had to wait a bit to get the chocolate mousse brownie I wanted. It was very good. There were also sugar-free cookies, and I got those too (which also turned out to be very good). And a heat-damaged box of chocolates for half-price so I ganked that too.

Lindsay and I decided to go to Ontario Mills for some shopping. I'd been thinking about how most of my clothes fit but not well. I'd been staying away from close-sitting clothing for years because I have weird body issues (also because grad school left me with no energy to care about my appearance beyond professional), but these days I kind of crave short shorts, close fitting, with pockets, things I can wear to go for my long walks with.

We went to Uniqlo first, and I ended up with two pairs of gym shorts, a pair of dressier shorts that almost matched the one I wore into the store except one size down, a long skirt with POCKETS, and a bra. Not shabby. We also stopped by a store with the CUTEST makeup brushes and I just... couldn't... not buy a set. I don't even use makeup that often, but I really want to? I shall make an attempt. Of course I say that every couple of years...

We spent a LONG time in that mall.

I wanted to go swimming, but there were just too many people in the poo, and my period is still going, so I'm going to try tomorrow. But I also decided to try organizing my makeup basket. I think I have been successful but it also means I have to organize, like, everything else around it. I'm now sneezing because I've been touching things that have not been handled in a long time. I had to throw out a bunch of things, like a foundation that was the only really waterproof stuff I'd found, super useful when I did a lot of water shoots around Halifax. But now it just looks weird and ashy on me, so it needed to go. I should test a bunch of the eyeshadow too, though, but my face feels raw from all that testing the foundation and washing it off and raw so I don't feel like it.

Lindsay also remarked on how visible the weight I've lost is. I hadn't really been paying attention to it, since I'm more focused on learning to just eat less and get more movement in. Ideally I'd also be working towards a more toned body but my metabolism and lifestyle and general genetics do not incline my body that way, so oh well. But it got me wondering about how much I've lost since I started the diet and exercise thing in May. So I started pulling out things to wear that I haven't in a long time because the last time I tried, they were really uncomfortable to wear, or I couldn't button it up, or something.

Turns out it's enough that I can fit a BUNCH of old things I thought I'd have to give away. A Lip Service goth jacket I haven't worn in five years can now be buttoned up. It's still suuuuuper snug, especially on the upper arms (because goths always have thin arms I guess) but I can squish most of myself in now. I'm really impressed. My favourite gray skirt which had been too tight for a couple of years now sits comfortably around my waist again, which is really nice. Who knows what else I'll achieve. Hopefully not the need to buy a new wardrobe, though. There are still things I'd like to give away; I'll have things to bring to next WisCon's clothing swap.
NOW the last one. Can I get to bed before 1 a.m. before the day with three programming items? Why am I doing this, anyway? (Because if I don't know it won't get done and I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. Alas.)

Erik Amundsen, David Bowles, Rosemary Kirstein, Naomi Novik (leader), Nnedi Okorafor
Specialized and secret fields of knowledge create barriers to understanding and can become mechanisms of cultural control. They can also be foundations for resistance. They can support or destroy communities and instill gratitude or resentment. All these things could be said of both magic and science, and the wielders thereof. The tradition of pitting magic and science against each other goes back to Tolkien's anxieties about industrialization, but today's speculative works have moved beyond it to recognize that the two can coexist and are often used similarly as metaphors. We'll examine Guest of Honor Naomi Novik's mix of historical technology and dragons, Guest of Honor Nnedi Okorafor's mix of futuristic technology and sorcery, and other successful amalgamations and integrations.

more collated tweets )

Just under the wire before 1 a.m., go me!
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([personal profile] kate_nepveu Jul. 15th, 2017 12:35 am)
I was going to say, last one for night, and then I remembered I went to three in a row but four total for day. Whee.

Lila Garrott (leader), Bart Leib, Natalie Luhrs, Sonya Taaffe, Vinnie Tesla
Our panelists muse on books that are really bad but in an amazing way! Genevieve Valentine's term "shitmazing" may be appropriate here. What makes something both terrible and great? Are these works worth analyzing and perhaps even emulating, or do they exist simply to be enjoyed (if that's the word) on their own merits (if that's the word)?

more tweets, getting less cleaned up as we go )
I am very very tired but I also need to hydrate and then remain upright for a while, so let me see how far I get in cleaning up my live-tweeting of panels.

First up:

Classic YA Book Club: The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
Victoria Janssen (leader), Sandra Kasturi, Miriam Newman, Sonya Taaffe, Tamara Vardomskaya

panel notes )

If anything was insufficiently unpacked, or if you want to talk about it, come into the comments! (You don't need to have a DW account, just comment anonymous and sign your name or nickname or something at the bottom so we can have continuity of conversation.)
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