• So I didn't take notes on it online, and only took sort of sporadic notes offline, which means I will have to read it again, probably this summer, probably after I reread Fanon and Barthes and give up and dive into some Derrida. But oh my, y'all, Chela Sandoval's Methodology of the Oppressed is really all that. If you are into theory, and would like to see someone deftly tie together a variety of other theorists into a toolkit that can be used to decolonize the imagination, you need to read this book, like, stat. I don't understand it well enough yet to say too much more than that, frankly, although Rik can tell you that I can gush about how awesome it is for like hours. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK
  • So plan: Be a week ahead on homework by Friday was successful. It looks like plan: Be two weeks ahead on homework by the end of today will not be successful, but I am already done with 2/4 classes and am hoping to hit 2.5 today and 3 tomorrow. That's still pretty good, right? I mean I can definitely avoid being doing stuff at the last minute and hopefully get working on some of the stuff due after spring break so I am not spending the whole thing doing homework. One of the readings I need isn't posted but I think I probably have it in book form and if not maybe I can find it at the library.
  • Leo now solidly spends time in the kitchen and dining room when we are all up here. Selene is not thrilled with this but on a few occasions they have both been in the dining room without hissing at each other or anything, and I'm hopeful that in a couple of months they might actually be coexisting comfortably. *fingers crossed* I feel bad for Selene that I am going away for a week soon but oh my god I need to get out of here for a while.
  • I spent a ton of time yesterday cleaning and organizing and hanging up art. I think I hung up like thirty pieces of art, and I still have a (much smaller) pile of things to find places for. ...when I'm old I am going to have art, like, all over the walls in crazy patterns that make people think I am losing it. And like twelve cats. And foxes. And it will be awesome. Assuming we don't have some sort of nigh-apocalyptic crash that renders us all subsistence farmers, in which case I will still have a bunch of art but it will be stacked in piles in the hovel outside my strip of farmland and my foxes will guard it fiercely while I pet them and tell them stories about how there used to be this thing called an "Internet." ("It was pretty cool! You would have liked it if you had had thumbs and language skills.")
  • Is it weird that I'm really excited about quals? They sound fun! You get to read like 300 books and take notes on them and then have two weeks to write four essays and then you have to defend those essays for like three hours! I like talking! I like writing! I like books! Why are these supposedly so intimidating? Should I be bookmarking this post to laugh at myself later when I am freaking out and being like "oh god quals are the worst thing ever why am I even alive?" I don't know! I mean, while I like my classes, I'm not so much here because I want to take classes as here because I want to read three hundred books and talk a lot and write a book-length treatise on something. Which I guess is why I went to graduate school, because that's basically what you do? Other than grading student papers, of course. Alllllllllll the tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime.
  • Also I am super excited because I get to make pizza for all of the incoming graduate students and whoever shows up to the party for them. I am going to make, like, eight or ten pizzas next weekend. I am sooooooooo thrilllllllled about this. I don't even know why. I am just like.... YES. PIZZAS. I need to start making dough on Wednesday and keep running the bread machine all day! And oh, the capers I will use. And delicious vegetables! And TVP! I am looking forward to saying "Would anyone like pizza? Because I have ALL OF IT." Myahahahahaha.
  • Oh, since I tend to tell the interesting stories about my cat hat here, the other day I wore it to the grocery store and two people started petting me on the head without permission! Look people, even if you think I'm a [molar] cat, you're supposed to let me sniff your hand first. Hiss.
  • ...OK time to go grade more exams.
rax: (Kotone is getting shit done.)
Weekly post of week is early this week because my call with Ruth is postponed and my brain is not in Productive Kitty land --- yet doing this counts as a tasklist item. That's right Internet, you are on my tasklist. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
  • I caught them all. Well, I caught all 493 pokemon available in the generation IV games, anyway, which leaves me basically done with SoulSilver. (I haven't caught Mewtwo yet, but I got traded one by someone who did, and I don't like Mewtwo anyway? I guess I should catch mine so that I can trade one of them away for a shiny or something.) I got to only needing 20 last night and said... to hell with this, and did a bunch of trades on pokewifi, and finished the last two this morning before leaving for class. It's sort of anticlimactic, but I'm glad I did it. I definitely won't do it with every game or maybe every generation, but I plan to keep up a stable so I can breed myself fun things for Gen V...
  • I still have that LeafGreen nuzlocke run, my Pearl game, and Japanese White for when I want to play more Pokemon. ...so I still don't need to buy any more video games! That's good. :) Not sure which one I want to work on most seriously next...
  • I had a makeup class today, so I went to school and back in reasonably close to full goth catgirl regalia. I really enjoy the way a non-revealing catgirl costume, worn without anxiety, and eye contact both attracts and repels people's gaze. My favorites are the people who completely take it in stride and tell me I've got it going on, and the ones who look, and then look away, and then look, and then look away, and try unsuccessfully to hide that they are staring. I am glad I don't attract that kind of attention every day any more, but it's nice to have a way to do it, and a moderately socially supported time (halloween!) to do so. Of course, I don't intend to go to any parties, because I have work to do. But I do plan to wear cat ears all weekend BECAUSE I CAN.
  • How hard would it be to find a place to stay at Further Confusion at this point? I hate sanity and enjoy mad travel plans.
  • Was without power for most of Tuesday, which led to a bunch of hilarious misadventures involving Oolong not being able to fly to Boston and Rik still having to leave on what was apparently the only flight leaving the airport on time all day. Still, this meant he got to see Of Montreal and Janelle Monae the next evening, so I am OK with this. :)
  • Definitely four people coming in for Catgirl Goth Rave from well out of town --- with another dozen people considering it fairly seriously. December 18th, San Francisco. You know you want to!
  • Got my first couple of grades back on papers so far this semester --- both As. Arguably, I am writing home about this despite its being nothing to write home about, since it's grad school, and you're supposed to get As on everything or you are sort of screwing up. Still, when you don't get grades on anything until the last week of October, it's nice for the comments on the papers you get back to end with "Great work!" and "Excellent job." I know intellectually that I can write at a graduate level, because I already did it for three years, but lately I've been trying to draft bits of a final paper and it's coming out feeling terrible, and it's nice to have someone highlight all the things in an essay I did well and say "this is really good!" While UMB was problematic in a bunch of ways, they were very good at positive feedback.
  • Also yes, it is October and I am working on my final papers.
  • Also also, it is October and it is a damn good thing that the NBA's rules for which games you can't watch online (in short: any of the ones you would want to see if you don't have a television, which is the main reason I would want the service) are so restrictive, or I would purchase their service, and drop out of grad school. Well, I didn't drop out of grad school last time I had cable, but I did find myself suddenly spending hours just watching television, and I so do not have time for that. ...on the other hand it's free until November 3rd. And so far this game is an embarrassment. Enough that I think it's time to do more readings instead.
rax: (Horo whiskers)
If you've been following Eredien's journal, you'll know that she spent a bunch of time in the last two days with medical service providers. The bad news is that last night, from 1 AM to around 6:30 AM, she spent a bunch more time with medical service providers, this time in the local hospital, being treated for a pretty serious ear infection. The good news is that she's hopefully on the road to recovery, on a number of powerful antibiotics, and at least as importantly, the infection has not spread to her mastoids. The mastoid, for those of you who didn't have five hours to google this on your cell phones last night, is this mostly-hollow space in the bones of your skull that is connected to your middle ear, and if it gets infected --- this is rare but happens in something like 1/50000 otitis media infections if I remember correctly --- it's bad with bad sauce. Like, bad bad bad. I was too nervous to really sleep while sitting up with her in the hotel waiting because that was all the doctors' going theory and was very happy when the CT scan results came back clear. It was still the right choice to go into the hospital, because I think the aggressive dosing of IV antibiotics yesterday afternoon and middle-of-night is a big part of why her mastoids remain uninfected --- the infection was definitely trying to spread and succeeding before aggressive intervention.

In a hilarious comedy of errors, when we got back from the hospital, CVS had a database infrastructure program, so I had to stay up until 7:45, bike there, get her drugs, and bring them back, and wake her up for long enough to put in SUPER EARDROPS. I've finally woken up; she's still asleep and will probably spend much of the next day in bed. Tomorrow or Tuesday we'll be taking her to an ENT specialist for followup. Other than that, we'll be taking it easy; while it's unfortunate that this happened on a weekend that we had some social plans, it's fortunate that it happened on a weekend where I could actually just drop everything to help her without it affecting work. (Obviously I would have done it anyway, but if we'd spent three workdays on this instead of three weekend days, the work that would have piled up would have been ohmyzomg.) I'm not sure when she'll be awake and responding to things but I think it's making her really happy to be reminded that people care.

In the department of random, when we were driving to the hospital at 1 AM, a car drove past us with a bunch of college kids singing and dancing in it. I kinda waved, like "Hi oh my god I hate everything," and one of them put on cat ears and leaned out the window at us. I grabbed a pair of cat ears off of the dash [0] and put them on and waved again. They all started cheering. This gave me the energy I needed to deal with the ^&%(^%*&^%* hospital.

[0] Of course I have a pair of cat ears on the dashboard of my car. (I tagged this "cat hat" as my general tag for "ridiculous things that happen as a result of cat ears"; it was actually my snow leopard headband.)

rax: (Benten guitar case)
I'm flying MHT->IND today and got here early because, you know, getting to the airport is just what you do. And I got to the lounge area and was like "Oh hey there's like an hour before the flight leaves." What did I do. Did I lounge in one of the chairs and go to sleep? No. Did I pull out the novel I've been reading and say "Yay, I get to get some light reading done?" No. Did I even start working on my thesis, despite being up until 1 AM last night and the last three nights previous working on it? Of course not! I walked over to the little business traveler area, pulled out my laptop, plugged it in, got on the (awesome, free, unencumbered) wireless, and immediately started working. Like, for my job.

I'm wearing my Glitter Jacket and cat hat and one of Blake's awesome towers bug hoodies. (Warning: Picture contains bug.) Periodically someone in nice clothing wanders over with coffee and a blackberry and stares at me and then sits down. Whatever, man. I'm a professional catgirl. Mew mew mew synergy mew!

OK, now back to work.

EDIT: Flight got delayed around three hours, after momentary panic have confirmed a new connecting flight to get to IND this afternoon. Pending response from IU is is likely that I will rent a car and manage to get to the 6:30 event just barely on time. YOUR MERE FLIGHT CANCELLATION CANNOT STOP MEW

DOUBLE EDIT: They're shipping us to Boston for a direct flight and I've got a car lined up. Catgirls On The Move!

TRIPLE EDIT: Now waiting at Logan, which also has free wifi now, unless you'd rather pay for it. (???) It's snowing, and my vegan burrito had accidental chicken in it. There are rumblings about a potential delayed flight due to weather, which... well, I do conveniently live in Boston, but now my car is in New Hampshire. But I'm caught up on work again. Maybe I should take a... catnap?
So I have this cat hat that periodically causes adventures. On the train today, a woman in her 20s with an awesome paper flower in her hair walked up to me and asked me if I was "part of that cult." I'm like... "Pardon?" "Well, when I was in college, I had this roommate, and he wore cat ears." "OK..." "And he said he was part of a secret cult, and they were all really cats." "Like, furries?" "He didn't tell me what it was called. Are you part of the cult?" "I don't think so..." "Are you sure? Do you think you're a cat?" "No, I just find it a useful metaphor." "Are you sure?" "Do I look like a cat?" "Well, sort of. He was part of this cult. But his cat ears weren't on a hat, they were just on a headband." "I have a few of those too." "For real?" "Yeah, and paws, and tails, and..." "Wow." And then I went to the Diesel and she went lord only knows where. I sort of wonder if she thinks I am in this cult and just being coy. Lord only knows. Is there actually a cult? A tiny piece of me hopes she was thinking of catgirl goth rave.

This sort of thing happens a lot, but today's was too good not to share.
For the past week I've been feeling either a step behind or a step ahead, but generally at a fifteen degree angle to the rest of the world. I still can't place why, and it's been very concerting. But a trio of amusing interactions this morning helped make it better. I had a doctor's appointment this morning, which wasn't actually terribly helpful for the whole off-kilter bit, but I took the train there, and on the way home I got into three separate conversations about my cat hat.

First: I'm standing on the platform at Park Street, reading Make/Shift 5 (good so far!), when a girl walks up to me and says "Excuse me, did you make that hat?" I take out my headphones and say "Not this one, this was a gift, but I've made things like it in the past. Why?" She says, "Well, I have this friend who is making a hat like that, and I think she'd be really happy if I took a picture so I could let her know she's not alone." I said "Sure!" and got photographed in a cat hat. She said "She's actually making a whole costume to express her inner cat or something." I said "People do that, yeah. I've got this dress and gloves and ears combo I wear to parties sometimes." She said "Wow, she's going to be so happy!" and then basically ran away.

Second: I get onto the train and sit down. A guy walks up to me and says "Excuse me, I'm just curious, what kind of reactions do you get when you wear that hat?" I talked to him about the girl who just asked for a picture, and how I get various reactions, mostly good, including little kids pointing at me and shouting "It's a kitty!" (I think half of my largely dormant Twitter feed is "I just got this odd reaction to having a cat hat.") Apparently he and his ex-girlfriend used to have the same exact hat, but they were always afraid to wear them in public. We also talked some about how people don't have conversations with strangers enough in the US in general and on the East Coast in particular. THen he got off the train.

Third: The girl next to me turned to me and said "That's a really awesome hat." We talked some about how wearing cats ears gets different reactions from the cat hat and I suspect but don't know that it's because the hat is more viewed as a functional object. Then she said, "Also I'm glad to hear you wear a helmet when you bike, that saved my brother's life." I said "I don't know that it's ever saved my life but it's sure never harmed it." She nodded. Then she said "You should get cat ears for your bike helmet! Like, you can get them for ski helmets, I bet you could work something out." We talked about how to weatherproof cat ears on a bike helmet until I got off the train.

I feel maybe only twelve-degress off now... and like maybe I want to stay at least two or three. :) I love my cat hat.

October 2016

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