rax: (mijumaru plays the tuba all up in here)
Made it.

Everyone is in one piece.

Selene and Leo are sufficiently not-hating us that they are in the bedroom with me while I write this.

No real internet yet, but hooray for phone tethering.

THERE IS AN AVOCADO TREE WITH TONS OF FRUIT I WIN THE FRUIT TREE GAME, also there are figs and pumpkins (what?) and maybe some kind of citron and maybe just possibly but probably not but possibly mango?

Cleaning is needed and figuring out which light switches go to what and which bulbs are burnt out and also the frog sculpture in the shower HAS TO GO but overall this house is amazing and I am excited to be living here and Tucson has bike lanes like everywhere and only taking two classes will hopefully mean I get to have a teeny tiny bit of a life outside of work and school.

...and soon the patches on the air mattress will have settled and I can go to sleep. Probably no more posts from me until after I get back from Wisconsin, but who knows. also in 24 hours I will be on an airplane what
rax: (I have the technology. i can evolve you.)
  • Woke up this morning with Selene curled up on my chest and Leo curled up mixed in with my legs and blankets. I guess it could have been better, but I'm hard pressed to ask for more than that. Particularly because when I got up and hopped in the shower and came back, Selene was lazily grooming in a sunbeam, and I ended up just sitting and watching her for ten minutes while Leo sat on my lap. I don't know what I would do without cats. 
  • My next reading assignment that I haven't done yet --- barring things that get sent out last-minute, as I expect two to do --- is due on April 6th. By Tuesday I would like that to be April 13th, but that's probably unrealistic. Regardless, I am back to "ahead of where I absolutely have to be," which gives me leeway to put lots of effort into the books I most care about and/or get work done ahead of time on my final projects. This is very important to me, particularly because my girlfriend and her wife will be in town the weekend before one of my final paper drafts is due, and so I really want to have free time then, but also just because RACHELS LOVE WORK.
  • Related to this, I haven't finished the main plot of Pokemon Black yet, because I keep doing homework instead. I'm pretty sure this is a good thing, but it means I keep not being able to read my friends' posts about it, which is frustrating. If you are curious where I am: pokemon babbling, an attempt at no spoilers )
  • I'll be in San Francisco next weekend, doing Fisher-Price My First Fieldwork (tm). Relatedly, if you can think of anyone in the Bay Area, particularly who I don't know, who is into animal costuming and role-playing and might be interested in talking to me about it for 15-60 minutes, please drop me an email so I can send an official form to you [to send to them] to see if they are interested. I'll have somewhat limited time and mobility, but I have no problem spending hours on public transit to get data. DELICIOUS DATA. Also I have to fill out IRB forms to continue my research after the semester is over how did I end up doing fieldwork already I wasn't even going to do fieldwork this is so very what. (And awesome.)
  • I don't think very much else is going on. (Well, there's that conference.) Other than I think I might have a new friend, who is really good at Scrabble. I might have to start learning the two-letter words. :) And even though it's still cold out, the sun is here and it's really pretty and there are birds. So I guess a bunch of things are going on, but I am choosing my narrative to be about these things, because I need to get grading done now.
rax: (kitty mew?)
  • There are many ways I could narrativize my vacation, positive and negative; in the end I think the most magical thing is that I got home at 2 AM and both cats walked up to me and asked for pettings at the same time without hissing at each other, and both of them took a turn sleeping with me last night, and if that is all it takes, well, good news, kittens, I'm gonna be traveling a lot more in the next five years.
  • Judith Butler's Undoing Gender: I think I like it more than Gender Trouble. I don't get all of the psychoanalytic stuff, but I don't get none of it, and I do get a lot of the rest. There is some amazing stuff about who counts as human and what the boundaries of the human are that, while they don't apply to my work directly, I can do some fascinating slant readings of. At least, I think so. I took hella notes, but unfortunately I took them in the book and on the backs of boarding passes, so they are unlikely to end up here. I've been writing in books more, actually; I still am only comfortable doing it when I intend to have a serious relationship with the book, but when I do, it's actually really useful. I just wish I could index and search those annotations...
  • I have... ten days at home before I travel again? And there is a cardinal at the birdfeeder! Hi, cardinal! You're looking really red today. Surprisingly, I fly more than you.
  • I'll sleep when I'm dead I pass out.
rax: (Rarity would rather be alphabetizing.)
  • I pre-ordered Pokemon Black and White through Amazon, so I won't get them until tomorrow evening. I really really should get all of my homework for this week done before they get here, because I know when they get here I am just going to start playing them (unless maybe I have a social thing on Tuesday?) and keep playing them until I get to Seattle, basically. I have three main things I have to get done, and some ancillary things I really should, but I feel like I am thinking through mush. Ugggggh. Is it unreasonable to take a nap at 9 AM on a Sunday? I might try that. 
  • My laptop is fixed! All I really lost was the one album and my notes from class on Wednesday. That's pretty amazing. And just in time, too, my wrists were already getting sore using my spare. Hooray for Applecare!
  • I'm going to be in Ohio for work tonight and tomorrow; I'm hoping that if I can't restart my brain here, the drive will at least kick it into gear and I can get some homework done at the hotel before I go to sleep. There won't be anything to distract me, at least! Though I always miss my cats when I have to sleep in hotels.
  • Speaking of cats, both cats now spend at least a little time on every floor of the house. This is amazing! I was in the basement watching ponies and Leo was on my lap and Selene was sitting on the floor and I was kind of speechless. Basically, CATS. <3
  • So looking forward to travel --- so looking forward to Pokemon --- so looking forward to the work I'm going to do on final projects this semester, even --- it's really, really hard to keep my brain focused on today and what I need to be doing right now. Usually I can just flip over to my tasklist and say "Oh OK, I can get to those things I am excited about if I just do these things," and that works. This weekend --- and to a lesser extent last weekend, come to think of it --- not so much. I can do the minor things, but stuff like "read a bunch of essays and write a paper," there's this whiny voice in my brain that goes "whyyyyyyyy?" Shut up, whiny voice. You get to play Pokemon in like two days. For some reason it's easier to do the things that aren't directly homework, so I am doing all of those first. Hopefully this won't lead to me having a completely clean house and alphabetized spices and neatly filed paperwork but desperately working on a paper Tuesday night at 11. ...although who am I kidding, my spices are already alphabetized. ^^;; But I could alphabetize the overflow spices in the kitchen island!
  • Another thing I am looking forward to: Spending like all of my non-scheduled time in the Boston area just sitting in the Diesel. Because oh my god. Diiiiiiieselllllllllllllllllllll.
  • ...yeah this post is an accurate representation of my brain right now.
  • 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: (Rarity would rather be alphabetizing.)
  • I am enplagued. I woke up yesterday morning and felt kind of woozy but thought it might just be because I was hanging around with smokers on Friday? But then it got worse and worse and when I felt too out of it to play Pokémon at 9:30 PM I knew I was doomed. I slept for like ten hours although I had bizarro fever dreams? And woke up and was like maybe this will work and stood up and was super lightheaded and was like "...Nope!" I took some medicine and a long hot shower and am drinking tea and hopefully I will have enough brain to get through some of my homework, but my weekend tasklist is... not gonna get done. Eit.
  • The whole fever thing explains why I somehow felt obligated to spend an hour yesterday looking for and uploading My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic icons for my LJ/DW. ^^;; Don't get me wrong, the fever isn't why I like the show, I like it because it's smart and fun and full of little references to older ponies and other animated works and different bits of itself, and because the characters are real people I'd really like to hang out with (if I were a pony or some such) although they would occasionally drive me insane, and because it's exciting to think that as a culture we are producing television shows for kids that are actually good. WIth the big caveat that reasonable depictions of masculinity are few and far between, I strongly recommend it. Anyway, expect to see ponies next to "rax" in comments about half the time instead of Pokémon characters now. and yes I bought more LJ icons in order to do this don't judge me
  • The class that didn't have a set syllabus before now has a set syllabus. Hooray! ...and the final project proposal is due Wednesday. I've done some work on it, and I really hope my brain wakes all the way up before then so I can finish.
  • For those of you excited about the Rachel's Cats Show, Leo has started spending some time up in the kitchen and dining room, but Selene hasn't stopped; he comes up when she's asleep on my bed, and she chases him off when she wants to sit on my lap while I'm working. I'm gonna go ahead and call this progress. Also, and less awesomely, Leo appears to be able to open the garage door, and wreak havoc in the garage. I may have to get a different latch or something; I still don't know what he knocked down this most recent time.
  • I was gonna call a bunch of people today but I kind of have no voice? So that probably won't happen.
  • If I'm still sick by Tuesday and Wednesday, should I go to school? Opinions on this seem to be mixed across professors and departments. I don't want to get other people sick, but I also don't want to miss class discussion, since honestly that's most of the point of being in these classes. If I don't feel up for even walking to the class from the bus stop (which is how I feel today) it's pretty clear I shouldn't leave the house. Rrf. We'll see how I'm doing in two days I guess.
  • ...wow I am tempted to go back to bed already.
  • It was supposed to be 36 today. Instead it is snowing again. I know I don't get to whine to the people in Boston, whose life literally is snow, but for ~everyone else: *whiiiiiiiiiine* There's this horrible layer of ice below everything and I don't know how I'm going to shovel and rrrf. And so much for my plan of going to Trader Joe's (a 90-minute drive away on a good day) this morning. I will have to make do with the food I have here for another day or two I guess. Maybe I will put on eight layers and trudge to the co-op later, except I am kind of worried I will slip and fall into traffic.
  • Had two dreams last night, one a horrible nightmare about something bad happening to my cat (turns out real-world-cat was out of food, and if this is what happens, I am feeding him before bed every night from now on), and the other a dream that I did an in-class exercise with my students on Tuesday that I woke up to and concluded actually that's a really good idea and penciled it into my lecture notes. Um, thanks, subconscious, I guess? 
  • Speaking of cats, Selene has accepted Leo's smell at this point --- I can smell like him and still pet her, although other people are not yet afforded the same privilege because she is Selene --- but has not accepted Leo. This is OK. They each have two floors of house to themselves and spend plenty of time looking at each other without having to definitely interact. This is really good, no one is doing anything destructive, and hopefully in another month or two they will share space without it being a huge thing. (Although when Leo tries to come within five feet of Selene, she hisses and he runs to the basement. But this is like a zillion times better than Oolong's response, which was to run right up to Selene. I think it will be fine.)
  • Apparently I can still have outside interests while fulltime in both grad school and the tech industry; I wrote, revised, and submitted a story to an anthology in the last month. I don't know where I found the time either. (Well, I have some idea; I spent a lot of time in airports this month. Wasn't much else to do once I got tired of homework really.) Also, as a random writing-practice thing, the story I wrote was one continuous scene of around 6000 words. Those of you who have had the [mis]fortune of reading my writing in the past know that my fiction used to be broken up into discontinuous scenelets of 500-1000 words a piece, which was also cool but was not optimal in that I was doing it all the time as opposed to when the story called for it. Over the last couple of years (as pushed, gently, by a particular professor in my MA program) I've been working to write longer scenes and see what sort of different things I can do in that situation; at this point it's rather easy and two of the last three stories I've written (as well as the more recent novel chapters, not that anyone has seen those at all) have been a single sustained block of prose. The next thing on my list is decidedly not, but on purpose; it feels very nice to have developed this new skill and be putting it into practice. Hopefully the editor I submitted to will think so too. *fingers crossed*
  • People who know this sort of thing: talking about money which I guess is potentially rude? )
  • Also [livejournal.com profile] scwizard claimed I wasn't going to get my tax paperwork in order this weekend, and just to be contrary I think I have it all in one place already? :) Though I may be missing things I don't know I need, I at least have enough to take to the accountant and be like "uh hi help which things should I bring you, you clearly don't want the entirety of my filing cabinet." So that's another thing off my tasklist. Hooray.
rax: (catgirl makeup)
  • Some random links about animals! Foxes may use magnetic fields in order to judge both direction and distance when hunting prey. Actual paper, or at least abstract and how to find it, is here. Speaking of direction sense, while this is almost certainly just a crazy fluke, a cat found her way home after fourteen years missing --- and after her home moved something like thirty miles. Total fluff feel-good story, but, cats. <3 Finally: Confronted by a hunter who injured them, a fox shot the hunter and escaped. No, really. (I don't think this is a case of British Aristocrat-Hunting a la Sacred Book of the Werewolf, but who knows!) While I advocate nonviolent resolution to interspecies tensions whenever possible, I would still like to give that fox a treat.
  • Speaking of cats, I have a new cat! He is big and chill and fluffy and Siamese. His name is Leo. He used to live with my aunt and uncle; they had to let him go because their other cats turned on him and they did not have enough space in their home for everyone to live comfortably. This is a sad story but I hope that I can give it a happy ending; they're close enough that they can still visit Leo sometimes and I do have enough space in my house for Selene and Leo to have time to get used to each other without Leo being confined to a single room. (He'll probably be confined to three rooms for a while unless they really get along, but those three rooms are four or five times the space he had at my uncle's place.) I am sure he looks forward to meeting many of you once he gets over the AAAA NEW EVERYTHING AAAAA. Selene is unhappy but not as unhappy as I expected. Here is a picture of Selene sulking, and a picture of Leo hiding in the ceiling because he is scared and likes high places:
  • Ceiling cat is oh god what is that thing why does it make light you're not my real mom )
  • I may have a third cat in another month or two, because I got two offers of cat within five minutes of each other last week. Stay tuned, if you care about me and cats.
  • I accidentally cleaned my kitchen and reorganized all the dry goods yesterday. (Well, it was a combined effort with my housemate Mark.) We were all "Oh let's put a couple of things away and then we can play a quick game before we get to work on homework" and three hours later it was "I guess we've reorganized the whole thing and I'll make dinner with these lentils in order to free up these jars now." I think I've even cleaned the bread machine! I'm gonna try making another loaf today, I think.
  • A colleague of mine is putting together an undergrad literature class with the theme of "Animal Crossings," looking at both human/animal hybridity and human/animal interactions. I suggested some things, but if you have any other suggestions, please chime in! Even if he doesn't end up using them, I'd love to have more texts for me to work with, since...
  • It looks like my dissertation is going to be about this whole molar becoming-animal thing I keep rambling about, or at least, that's going to be the throughline between diverse methods and archives, because I am too flightyawesome to use one method and one archive for an entire project. (If you've ever read any of my papers, this is so completely true; I went back and looked at a couple and wow, it's kinda ridiculous.) Some of this is still up in the air, but way less than I would have expected the second semester of my first year; I guess I already have an MA, though, and experience outside of school, so I'm not quite as adrift as I might be. And who knows --- other classes and readings and experiences may shift my direction. Although I don't expect them to. It will be interesting negotiating what the academy delicately calls "participant-observer status" if I end up doing ethnography.
  • Does anyone know the proper way to dispose of a bad MacBook battery?

October 2016

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