Life is pretty good! Here are some updates that were too large to send to Twitter! It’s an exclam day! I'm vaguely sick but I took cold medicine so I'm still enthusiastic and excitable and a bit loopy!
  • Magic: I’m playing Magic! I meant not to get into it super seriously, but I got recruited into a team, cardagain.com, and now I’m editing for their website and sponsored to play in major events. Oops! It’s super fun, and while if you don’t play Magic you don’t care, we recently got Travis Woo as a writer, and you can see a cool new article of his here! If you like it and want to share it around that would be awesome too I guess? I dunno, I'm terrible at social media. cardagain wants to be, like, magiccards.info plus tcgplayer when we grow up, and some of the features (visual decklists sorted by CMC) are already very cool.
  • Computers: The Homestuck Shipping World Cup kind of took up a hobby slot this summer. I don’t really care about the event at this point, and didn’t really participate as a fan, but I’m on the mod team, and did almost all of the coding. I feel like a way more proficient programmer than six months ago. Not _good_, but proficient, which feels nice. I can take python and sqlite and make them do things that someone might want software to do. It’s been very confidence boosty, and I _finally_ learned git. I’ve also gotten to play sysadmin, since it’s all hosted off of my server. I originally planned this as a way to have a record of me being able to do things with computers if I lost my job, but…
  • Work: I was worried I might lose my job because the work I had been doing was kind of drying up, but instead, I got promoted into new responsibilities! I’m doing new and different stuff, which is really refreshing! I’m not good at it and that’s mostly great because I get to learn things but it’s occasionally terrifying!
  • Therapy: I’ve been doing the therapy thing again after all the horrible bullshit from a year or two back. In the past I used to do mean things to future rax, and in the more recent past, I started doing nice things for future rax, and that’s treated me very well for the last few years. Right now I’m trying to figure out doing nice things for past rax. It’s super cool. It’s definitely hard and going to stay hard and… intersects with some kind of spirituality in weird ways I haven’t figured out yet? I dunno. I’ll talk more about that if I figure it out, maybe.
  • Travel: Has been awesome!!! So many wonderful people and I get to see them in so many wonderful places, between Boston and SF and Seattle and random road trips from those places and so on and so forth. (Also, I edited /home/rax/random-text/people-history/people-i-have-kissed for the first time in a long time, and it was great. <3)
  • Music: Has taken a bit of a back seat! But I’m getting back in the groove and have two DJ sets in September and one or two in November and I’ve already started working on them because it remains _super fun_.

That’s about it. Hope y’all are doing wel!

Life update

Nov. 9th, 2011 09:11 am
rax: (N hearts you! This is dangerous.)
I am not just a machine that does tasklists, I promise. Of course this post is also a list, but it's not a tasklist, so at least it's something?
  • School: Is going better, overall, at least for me. I'm excited about my final projects even if they weren't what I initially hoped to be doing, and I'm seeing people on campus I can build alliances with. I'm also getting excited about theory again, which is never a bad thing. Occasionally I say things that make me sound a little crazy: "Yes, but I want to be interpellated as an animal by the state," but I'm actually being challeged in really productive ways by one professor and I appreciate that a lot.
  • Work: Remains... workly? Distance is beting harder these past couple of weeks than normal but after this weekend I will be less of a stressball and have some plans for trying to work on that. I'm getting some longer-term stuff done and that always feels a little more distancing because I am not talking to people about it every day. That doesn't mean it's not important.
  • Pokémon: I'll be in Providence playing competitive Pokémon this weekend. A: This is awesome. B: How is this my life. I don't actually think I'll do very well, because I've been putting my free time into school, work, and relationships rather than obsessively testing things in a card game. I am OK with this. It should still be fun.
  • Relationships: I got to see Ruth recently, which was great and amazingly stress-reducing and involved a lot of exciting cookery. (Getting together with people I am involved with or attracted to almost always results in our producing lots of food. I ... do not know what to make of this? Except mmmmm, seitan.) It looks like I will get to see her more often in a few months, which is even more exciting! Also, we're coming up on three years. Holy crap. Also, I got to have Rik over for like eleven days which just... wow. At first having both Rik and Krinn here was super confusing, but once I figured it out, that was really nice. It's amazing to feel so supported and to spend time with people who I love dearly. Also Rik made me a cake when I turned 27 again. <3 Clearly I need to trick everyone into moving to the same city in five years. The distance is hard, and having Rik leave Monday and then tomorrow leaving Krinn (who is amazing and wonderful to live with and I am sad when she leaves for work in the morning which is not to say that I'm unhappy that she has a job but that I would like to be sufficiently spoiled as to have someone to lean on at all times) to go to Boston is currently feeling way harder than I expected it to. It's kind of a crash. But Boston is Boston, so I think I will be OK.
  • Real estate: Pending extreme fuckery, the house in Bloomington will be sold as of tomorrow. That was an expensive mistake. Live and learn? Or maybe "make sure your advisor is happy somewhere before you buy real estate there?" I don't know. I'm not sure what the moral of this story was other than "ha ha sometimes you get fucked over by things that have nothing to do with you." I already knew that lesson, life. Why the repeats? Lucky for me, I am in a good enough state that getting fucked over only makes me sad, not in any sort of serious danger. Go team Nokia bought my startup I guess. When it's all over and done with, I am ritually washing my hands of Indiana.
  • Pronouns: I'll be writing another post about this soon, but my preferred pronoun is now "they." I'd appreciate it if you used that pronoun when referring to me. If you could hold your questions until the pronoun post, which I hope to write right after this one if work stays quiet, I'd appreciate it.
  • Overall: I am happier in Tucson than I was in Bloomington; I feel safer in Tuscon than I did in Bloomington; I am glad that I moved here. I still need to develop more of a local social group, but I feel better equipped to do that here and I've made some progress. I have friends. Who are not students. This rocks. Living in multiple time zones is still weird --- half of my clocks are set to Eastern time for work and half are set to local --- but it's producing interesting shifts in my thinking that I don't know how to express yet. I'm a huge stressball right now but I foresee things getting better; I have all of my hard assignments done except final papers and those are fun because I get to pick the topic and write about the stuff I've been thinking all semester, and I have some vacation days to actually use and have my time in California in December be calming. And some projects for fun that I am working on that are silly but fulfilling. So: Yay!
rax: (I have the technology. I can evolve you.)
  • Realized this morning while talking to Krinn that I am simultaneously very stressed and not depressed at all, which is unusual for me. It's kind of amazing, because I am not depressed, fuck yes. But in the past when I've been super stressed the depression was kind of a coping mechanism around not caring that much because, you know, nothing really matters. (Anyone can see.) And so why bother engaging with the stress? Right now, I care, dammit. I want to do well in my classes. I want to do well in my job. I want to support my friends and loved ones. And daaaaaang that's a lot of work. I will take it over the alternative, although I really want to reduce the stress, because I can feel it weighing on me (and I'm grinding my teeth in my sleep a lot, ugh --- this is something that has happened intermittently to me since I was small, and tends to go away when I get my stress levels back down to manageable, although apparently it has been pretty consistent lately; at one point I tried a mouthguard and it stopped the grinding but also caused me to wake up all the time, which was not worth it). 
  • Grad school: Classes are getting better, which is pretty great, and I am enjoying the majority of my readings a fair bit, even though occasionally I look at something like Descartes and think "While I understand that I should have read this in order to get a PhD in something humanitiesy, this is so fucking dumb." [0] I've also been spending time meeting faculty from other departments and traversing the academy in order to find people to work with on my research. I'm not quite sure where this process will end up yet but if nothing else the conversations are really exciting and fun. I actually found someone in academia who knew what a furry was! That was pretty awesome. There is also stupid departmental drama but it does not merit my or your attention to discuss further. [1] Overall I am feeling more excited and motivated, which was good, because I was at a really low point like a month ago.
  • Work: Has been slow this week, which is nice because I had a paper due yesterday. This working 6-2 or 6:30-2:30 thing is a little crazy, but ultimately works out. In general work is pretty awesome. I need to figure out when I next go and visit them; sometimes the phone can be a little tough. On the plus side, I am actually helping customers do real work of value, which is a hard feeling to beat. And I have metrics! And I do well at them! Oh, if only gender studies had metrics.
  • Pokemon: This is sort of my main leisure-time activity? I played in some tournaments, came away with one Championship Point (if you get enough, you get an invite to the World Championships), and most importantly had a lot of fun. I got a little down at one event where I made a stupid mistake and lost a chance at a very high place because of it, but what can you do? ... If you are me the answer is apparently "play a bunch of games of speed chess afterward to calm your nerves." One of the people I played with said "It's cool, dude, this is just for fun" and my response was "This is how I have fun." He gave me a look, which was fair, but I wasn't joking. I will be going to a Regionals tournament, which should be much bigger and allow me to meet lots of new people. It's sort of like meeting new people through chess, except everyone isn't either a middle-aged man or a nine-year-old prodigy. [2]
  • Tucson: Making friends is slow but proceeds apace; feeling enmeshed in the community will take some more work, which I hope to put in over time. But oh my god the climate, the geography, the materiality of this place are so perfect for me. I love the mountains. I love the sky. I love the air, I love the bike lanes, I love the plant life, I even love the terrifying peccaries who show up in packs and hold my house under siege. (Seriously. Pigs the size of small wolves.) I wish I had more time to engage with it all. I need to prioritize engaging with it all. I, just, it's mid-October and the high today is 93. HOW DID I EVER LIVE ANYWHERE ELSE.
  • House in Bloomington: Is pending a sale with a signed offer. I am not counting my chickens until they hit puberty, but this is promising. I will be losing a ton of money but I am just, barely, by a finger, in the range of acceptable losses.
  • Friends and loved ones: A lot of people very dear to me are going through some really bad shit right now, and that is part of why I am so stressed. There's not so much I can do about it, but I do what I can; if there's something I can do for you that I don't realize, please drop me a line. I don't have a lot of temporal resources, but I have many other kinds. And I care. <3
  • In conclusion: I'm a stressball (oh god am I a stressball, fur flying everywhere) but I am nonetheless happy. Reducing stress levels is probably important longterm, but I prefer this situation to a whole lot of recent alternatives.

[0] Terrifying thought: Do other people think this about the authors I like??
[1] It is based on real issues and has real effects on people I care about, and thus is worth mentioning, but the way to deal with that is not to rehash it all on LJ.
[2] This is sort of an unfair characterization --- in particular there were a couple of awesome women who were also very strong players in the Boston chess scene --- but it's how it feels at large events especially. And I'm being nice to Pokemon; while there are a lot more women in the game overall, the top levels are still mostly male, and a lot of the online community is awfully... representative of structural gender inequalities and biases. So far though tournaments and leagues have been super pleasant, and the only person I've seen do something obviously sexist was a twelve-year-old who shat a brick when I called him on it.
OK. So.
  • Moved to Arizona. Oh god it's warm, and I'm not biking much yet because I need to find a store and get them to put cleats on my shoes because my old right bike shoe is doing something terrible to my knee and oh god that needs to stop right now. But it's beautiful and the fruit trees (avocado!!!) and little lizards everywhere and cacti don't trigger my plant phobia and maybe it was just that I hated grass? The dirt here doesn't read as dirt, it's amazing. There are, like the song says, little fluffy clouds everywhere. It's weird --- driving with Krinn from SF to LA, arriving in Los Angeles suddenly felt like home. I lived there, what, nine months? And only sort of liked it? But rolling through downtown on the highway with the mountains looming felt really right, and it was really freaky that Happy Family Vegetarian Restaurant was back in its old location but there's a mall there now instead of a wasteland, and leaving LA I cried a little and am still not quite sure why. Tucson triggers a bunch of the same feelings for me on a purely geographic level, plus it's more bikable and less expensive. As much as it's not San Francisco or Seattle, I think I am going to enjoy living here for a while.
  • Moved in with Krinn. So far, so good. She's awesome and we cook food for each other and between her and the desert I am eating a lot more salad. (Although today's dinner was a bunch of natto on rice with soy sauce, because we'd had salad between lunch and dinner because we were hungry, and dammit I wanted natto.) It's weird adjusting to sharing living space so closely again --- I switch between "my" and "our" a lot on things and we're still tripping over each other a little bit. Though part of that is the boxes. Also it is nice to have a Race for the Galaxy partner who pushes me to perform at my best. Also, have I mentioned that Krinn is wonderful, and wonderful for me? I'm pretty sure I have, but just in case. It's going to take me a long time not to be leery of long-term commitments but I can see this working out for quite a while, and I hope we make it work, and make it awesome, and, just, meow.
  • Pokemon. Surprisingly, the TCG has sort of become my main hobby. Did I mention here that I went to Nationals and came out with a winning record? I'm not, like, good good but I've been one of the better players at most leagues I've attended. Also, I passed the Professor test --- yes, the Pokemon Organized Play allows you to test into "Professor" status --- so now I can help organize league play, run tournaments, and that kind of thing. There are two leagues in Tucson, and I'm already helping out! The main organizers will all be at the World Championships next week, so I'm in charge. Eeeeeeeek! [0] It's a cool way to interact with folks who aren't graduate students or software engineers, which I need more of in my life, and in particular to do something involving kids that does not involve having to deal with them for more than a few hours a week. Since I think people here might have good suggestions: If I wanted to commission art for a custom playmat, most likely of a Vulpix and an Oshawott doing something adorable, who should I ask? [1]
  • Graduate school. Dealing with administrivia is kinda frustrating me right now, and it looks like I may not get to take the classes that are my first choice. But I like the people I've met from the department so far, and I am really excited about getting back into DEEP THOUGHT. At the moment I'm sort of looking at my time and saying "Augh this is going to be my fifth year of graduate school? And I need twelve more classes before I can even take quals?" The transfer rules here are frustrating. But what can you do, other than take the classes, tailor the projects in the classes toward your dissertation, and get a head start on research? Not much. So that's what I'm going to do.
  • Work. Actually still pretty awesome. I've been working like 6:30-2:30 or something, since I have to have 7:30 meetings most days, which is a little annoying. But it means that the afternoon starts and I can do things during business hours and if I need to take an hour off from work in the morning to do some household thing or whatever, it's really easy to make up the time. It also means my class schedule and my work schedule will fit together with minimal difficulty. So that's pretty awesome. I kind of want to go back to the office --- when I'm there I miss the flexibility of working at home and being able to take cat breaks or work from a couch, but I also really enjoy easy access to ask folks questions. I'm getting better, still, about just calling when I really want to talk to someone. They can always just not answer the phone. I should also meet up with the other work-from-home coworker in Seattle when I'm there in August. Or September. Which leads me to:
  • Travel. My only planned travel right now is August to Seattle and September to Seattle! The September trip is technically for Rainfurrest but realistically it's a trip to Seattle and Rainfurrest happens to also be there. In this fall I'd like to also hit Boston, Texas, maybe SF, probably Seattle again [2]. Oh and I'm still waiting to hear back from a conference in LA, cross your fingers for me. Is there anywhere else I should go before January? (Rhode Island, but that'll get combined with Boston.)
  • Catgirl Goth Rave: I'm thinking San Francisco again, ideally after my semester is over, so sometime in December. Would love to see you all there.
  • Oh, I still own a house in Indiana. Anyone want to buy it? Please? I'm probably going to end up taking a decent loss on it. That's sort of OK because I could really use that taxwise this year, but it's not like it's a win. It's just a mitigated loss. Ah well. My new house is so much cooler anyway.

footnotes )
rax: (vulpix is not pleased)
So, gender!

For a while now I've been mumbling about maybe using gender-neutral pronouns or something because I have this discomfort with gender. My name is Rachel, and I present myself as female, and you might think I'd be reasonably happy about both of those because I picked them. And in some ways I am! Because damn, are they better than the alternative.

Except that "the alternative" is a false choice; I don't have to choose either or. I could pick preferred pronouns of "they" or "ey" or "hir" or "xyzzy" and most of you would respect it and a lot of you would even use it most or all of the time. That's pretty awesome! I could say that my gender was "neuter" or "other" or "awesome" and that would be great. It's something I appreciate about my friends and even some of my family that this is true. I appreciate it a lot, and I work to extend the same courtesy to everyone, though particularly those folks who ask me for it.

Problem is: I can't get that from strangers, and that's who I actually want it from. I don't care that much if my friends treat me as female, because I think it has way less impact on how they treat me overall; sure, there's some amount of ingrained gender bias and I did notice people treating me differently before and after transition, but people who know me well think of me as more than a gender, even though they do think of me as having a gender. And I am OK with that. I did pick it, after all, even though I picked it from fewer options than I realize now that I might have had.

What really bothers me is when strangers and acquaintances and use gendered language for me. I don't want to be Mrs. Dillon (which I've been called like ten times today) and I don't want to be Ms. Dillon either. Mx. Dillon is tolerable, at least; I'd rather not have a title at all, but if I have to I would like it to not be dependent on my vagina. [0] I feel similarly about pronouns and social expectations and all manner of things. But at the moment I don't really have any desire to declare my gender other or change my pronouns or change much about my presentation, because I don't think it would change the situations I really care about. I want people on the phone who I will never talk to again to not use sir or ma'am, because it shouldn't matter, and they make it matter and I don't like it. I don't care if people I know well use that kind of language, though. Usually. [1]

I don't really have a point here, other than this is more formed than my usual pointing at gender and going "Urgh! Meh!" and so I figured I would write it down. I realize that I could ask random people on the phone to not use gendered language, and I could enforce that in all social situations, but it isn't worth it for me right now; the effort threshhold of saying "I prefer you not refer to me as ma'am or sir" to the clerk at the store is higher, to me, than just dealing with it. I recognize that not to be the case for some people and I totally support that! It's just not me, right now.

This comes up in part because I've had people in my new department ask me pronoun preference and I said "she or they, whichever" and they were like "...whichever?" and I was like "Yeah, basically." Because that's where I'm at, right now? It's a moving target, who knows where if anywhere it is going. If you wanna call me "they" and "Mx." I am neutral to vaguely positive on that. "male pronouns are still wrong, thanks"

[0] Or more correctly the social expectation that I have a vagina, and thus a particular set of social obligations, based on the way I am presented and present myself.

[1] There's one coworker who calls me darling, who does not accept correction on this (when I asked him not to, he started calling me sir, which is worse). In basically all other ways I really like working with him. I'm mostly used to it, but it's kinda frustrating.

rax: (Rainbow Dash: She can summon rainbows yo)
  • While the last week of work was grueling and I am glad that I have a long weekend after it, spending a few days in the office with my coworkers actually made me feel really enthusiastic about my job. It's sufficiently positive that I am surprised about it --- I mean, I like my job or I wouldn't try to do it while also doing graduate school, but some of that is obviously about the money, maintaining a standard of living, being able to visit partners and friends and family, &c. Maybe less of it was about the money than I thought --- I'm really psyched for the next few months of work I have to do and think I can make a difference in my company's workflow and ultimately in the quality of its product and service offerings. Whoah. Is this what it feels like to sell out? It feels kinda nice.
  • At the same time I have also been doing some academic reading! Not as much as I should be, perhaps, but the last couple of days I have been working through Zoontologies, a collection of animal studies essays edited by Cary Wolfe. For the most part I really like what I've read, but one of the essays made me somewhat uncomfortable. Paul Patton's "Language, Power, and the Training of Horses" attempts to unravel the ethical and power dynamics of training horses for dressage, raising interesting questions about what constitutes non-violence and whether it's possible to have a non-violent relationship between the parts of the dressage assemblage. Uncomfortably, while I read him as saying "Yes, this is possible" when he says that "we do well to attend to the re­quirements of the hierarchical and communicative relations in which we live, and … certain kinds of emphasis on equality in all contexts are not only misleading but dangerous," (96-7) the essay has ultimately made me less convinced rather than more than dressage can be engaged in ethically. (That said, that quote is really thought-provoking in other directions...) I'm not about to start crusading against dressage, as even if I did know enough dressage to talk about it seriously there are other things that I think deserve my attention more [0]. But I'm not sure the takeaway I got from the article was what I was supposed to get, and I am not sure what to make of that either. Something to chew on. Anyone else read this and have thoughts?
  • I'm currently in a suburb of Atlanta visiting [livejournal.com profile] bossgoji and it is pretty awesome! I had never had grilled scallions before, but they are pretty excellent! Also the trees here are subtly different in a way that's a teensy bit uncanny valley, but otherwise Indiana has prepared me decently well for Georgia, at least at a surface level. I'm not weirded out by the spacing of houses, or the types of cars around, or those sorts of things in a way I would have been five or ten years ago. I like getting to learn new places! Is there anything I should check out in the Atlanta area while I am here?
  • Once I hit Georgia in the car, I felt obligated to put on some For Squirrels. If you don't know what I'm talking about, they were an early 90s band out of Florida that put out one self-produced album and one label-produced album and then half of them died in a car accident in Georgia on the way back from CBGB. Their label-produced album, Example, is amazing and while it's a bold statement I think popular music today would be measurably better if they had made music for another twenty years. (The survivors did put out Never Bet The Devil Your Head as Subrosa; I like it, but it's not the same.) Since I discovered them in like 1998 I've been trying to get my hands on a legit copy of Baypath Rd, the album they put out on their own; a couple of weeks ago, I finally did. I had heard some of the tracks before, but had never listened to it all the way through until I got it. Its sound is absolutely wonderful; its lyrics are way further from my politics than I remembered, including a bunch of religious imagery and an explicitly anti-polyamory message. I'm not really sure what to make of this. It is a Thing. I am still glad I have it and going to frame it and cherish it and sometimes listen to it and cry. For Squirrels, man, just, For Squirrels.
  • In other musical news, maybe it will grow on me, but at the moment I'm sure glad I only paid 99 cents for that new Lady Gaga album.
unneccessarily snarky vegan footnote )
rax: (I have the technology. I can evolve you.)
  • Hello Internet! I was worried I wasn't going to get to post anything this week, but I totally obliterated my weekend tasklist yesterday, so here I am. ...yes I have weekend tasklists over summer vacation. But apparently ones that can be mostly finished with a good twelve solid hours of work! 
  • I am excited because I have a houseguest coming to stay with me from Tuesday to the next Tuesday, and the kind of houseguest where there will be much sitting together on couches doing our respective grad school summer readings and periodically making snarky remarks and cat noises. These are basically the things that life is about, yes? Well, and food. This houseguest has a history of making delicious vegan cookies, and clearly I should make us some more vegan pizza. ([personal profile] chagrined  and I made some recently that was bosssssssss. Using a bit of balsamic really does help make up for the loss of tomato sauce. Incidentally, how do I keep pizza dough from turning into a giant monstrosity if I don't use it right away? Freeze it?)
  • Immediately after that, I leave to go to work in Ohio for three days, and then I am driving from there to Atlanta to go visit [livejournal.com profile] bossgoji , which will also be awesome, and will also involve lots of couches and summer reading and cat noises, though probably with more video games. In fact, the Pokémon Video Game Championships are having a regional qualifier while I might still be there and... I'm kinda tempted. But I don't have a B&W team hardly at all, and I don't really have time... all the same I think going would be a really cool experience. So I dunno! We will see. Regardless, I expect this trip to include delicious food as well. We've already started trading cooking tips.
  • Then after a couple of days of breathing room, [livejournal.com profile] postrodent  shows up at my house!! I am the most spoiled entity ever. And after that, I'm going to Arizona, meeting up with [personal profile] krinndnz , coming back home, and driving us and my housemates to Anthrocon. ...and chances are after that I am moving and that will be AAAAAAAAAAAAA but at least the first half of the summer is going to be full of wonderful folks in exciting places!
  • In my yard this morning, I have seen a woodchuck eating all of my dandelions (yay!), my first chipmunk sighting of the season (where have you been?), and a group of grackles I like to think of as the "Grack Pack" scaring a squirrel out of the yard entirely. Apparently the correct way to keep a squirrel from your birdfeeder is not to set up an increasingly complex obstacle course, but to have grackles. I like grackles, so this discovery pleases me greatly. Over the last few weeks, I've also had a couple of exciting bird sightings: a pileated woodpecker and a turkey vulture. The Grack Pack tends to scare off the turkey vulture when it shows up; nobody messes with the pileated woodpecker. I am excited to meet new birds assuming I do move!
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.
Maybe I'll try to do one of these "things that aren't class notes or tasklists" posts a week.
  • So far, new housemate is awesome, and there's ample space in the house so I don't feel trod upon but there's someone else to talk to periodically. That's basically ideal. (Also, I think his alarm is going off at... 11 AM. Damn, crazy nightshifted people. (edited to add: I think he turned it off and went back to sleep. :P )) A mutual friend of ours is considering taking the remaining room --- I'm trying not to get too excited but it would basically be perfect. 
  • This weekend featured great conversations with people I hold dear, which is always excellent. It may even feature more, although I expect today to be mostly homework with a side of housework; I spent more time yesterday on social than I had initially budgeted.
  • I tried to run errands this morning, but stores aren't open at 9 AM on a Sunday. I guess everyone else is either hung over or at church. Well, I wanna buy some stuff! Come on, people! (In particular I am out of soy sauce and do not wish to pay Bloomingfoods prices when I could just go to the Asian grocery. I wil stop by on my way home from class in the next couple of days, I guess.)
  • My Pokédex is now at 441; if I have time this evening I will be making a list of everything I need, and how I can go about getting it. I'll probably post that here just in case any of you are curious. I guess when I hit 493, I... stop? Or I could do a Nuzlocke run (you can read the rules here since Nuzlocke.com is down right now) which for those of you unfamiliar with pokemon is basically like doing a NetHack conduct run, which as you may know I have some history with. I'm still proud of that NetHack game. Orrrrr... has anyone heard anything about whether the new Final Fantasy for the DS is any good? (Old-style RPGs seem to be really good for my sanity in small to middling doses. I don't ask questions, I do the things that make me not lose my shit.)
  • Spent last Thursday night and Friday in Ohio for work, and worked like 18 hours or something while I was there; have to do it again this week but with more hours (probably like 22-24). On the plus side that means anyone who calls me on Wednesday can kindly fuck off speak to another representative. And I should be able to get ahead on homework this week which will be awesome.
  • Leaves are starting to change, and I should probably buy a rake. Potentially dumb question: Do homeowners rake and dispose of all of their leaves, rather than letting them degrade into the soil, for appearance reasons? Or is there a good reason to make them go away? Also uh I should figure out how to go about being an adult who has a fireplace. This is not a skill I have ever learned. I can start a fire --- I did go to MIT after all --- but I'm not good at things like "keeping it contained in a fireplace" or "having it go out without the use of fire extinguishers. (I even managed "starting a charcoal grill without lighter fluid because furries are not prepared for things" a couple of months ago, although we didn't really get it to meat-cooking heat until someone brought lighter fluid. By that point I had eaten, go team vegan.)
  • I should also buy a snow shovel, so that I don't get caught without one when everyone else is trying to buy one. I do have an electric snowblower, but something that's not terribly effective.
  • I think for the time being "not drinking" has changed from "I don't seem to be doing this anymore" to a rule; I dunno if it will stick or not. I'm pretty sure this is the opposite of what one is supposed to do in grad school, but so is having a tech job, and so is owning a house, so whatever.
  • A coworker got me listening to Kate Miller-Heidke, who has less bass in her music than is usually my preference but an amazing voice and a great sense of timing. Here's a link to one of her songs I'm fond of --- sorry for the boring video but I couldn't find a non-live version. As a side benefit, having iTunes do the Genius thing with her is finding stuff I had forgotten about but really like (is "Little Boots" your fault, Rik?). I have no idea how said coworker can like Miller-Heidke so much and hate Kate Bush, though.
  • Speaking of music, have you all heard the new Of Montreal album? I found it much easier to get into than Skeletal Lamping (or even Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse) but a little more heavy-handed or less nuanced or something? The tracks with Janelle Monae are particularly enjoyable, and I should track down some of her stuff. I have not been listening to it non-stop to try to get it like I did with the two albums previously mentioned, but it was hardly a waste of $5.
rax: (Benten guitar case)
Here's some random stuff that is potentially of interest:
  •  I keep finding great people interested in living with me next year, but no luck so far for right now. This is irritating, but I am kind of getting used to living alone; it is not so bad, although it is sometimes a bit lonely. I have people over periodically and that's pretty awesome.
  • I have discovered the amazing game that is Dominion. I don't know how I manage to avoid it until now. In short, it's a deck-building game --- you build a deck as part of the process of playing the game and how well your deck plays determines whether or not you win. For extra bonus points, it's slightly different every time, since the pieces available are unlikely to be the same each time, especially if you have the expansions. It is all jsmthng's fault that I have this now, as well as the new Cosmic Encounter. If anyone local wishes to play these things... let me know. :)
  • Pokemon Black and White, the new generation of games, were released in Japan today. (They don't hit the US until March.) The ROMs are already available, people downloaded them, hacked them, started playing --- and there's copy protection that prevents you from leveling up your pokemon. <3 I find this hilarious. (And I'm sure it will be beaten, like, tomorrow. I am probably going to wait until I can buy it and play it for real. I am in grad school.)
  • Please tell me I should not buy this amazing stained-glass window. I cannot afford this thing, or, I guess I probably could, but there are many better things I could spend that money on, like visiting people terribly dear to me. Please remind me of this.
  • Speaking of stuff, Gaudior made a roomba sound pretty amazing, but again, would I rather spend more time sweeping and vacuuming and have the money? ... probably? I can sweep while I'm on the phone and that also levels up my pokemon because I am walking around; unfortunately vacuuming and phone don't really mix.
  • Zanazibar has convinced me to go to Anime Crossroads. I've never been to an anime convention before. Are there any social niceties I should pick up beforehand? Am I about to feel so amazingly old? (I need to find some activities to go to where I will feel young; spending so much time around universities has me thinking I'm old when I am totally not.)
  • I spent basically all of today digging through, debugging, and writing Python code I didn't write --- and I found the bug the customer had uncovered and found a fix to at least run tests against! I'm pretty proud of myself; usually my job doesn't involve diving half that deep into the product code, and while I bet other people could have done that faster, it's good to know that, at least to a certain extent, I've still got it. The customer, of course, doesn't really care whether I have it or not, unless "it" is a way to make the feature work on their machine now, so I still have work to do. :) 
  • If I have a Catgirl Goth Rave in the San Francisco bay area in, oh, mid-December, would people show up? If not, when/where would you show up to a Catgirl Goth Rave?
  • How many things can I italicize today? (There's no good reason for that link, I just really love that sentence.)
Hope y'all are doin' rockin'.
rax: (catgirl makeup)
Hi all!

I'll be in the greater Boston area from Aug 6-15, both for work and for two weddings. Here's my current schedule:

Aug 5: Fly in late. Probably head to RI.
Aug 6: Likely spending the day in RI with my family, pending being able to get a day or two off that week.
Aug 7: Maybe more RI, maybe up to Boston to see people.
Aug 8: Wedding the First.
Aug 9: Work, book group in evening
Aug 10: Work
Aug 11: Work
Aug 12: Work, Poker Night
Aug 13: Work, rehearsal dinner for Wedding the Second.
Aug 14: ???
Aug 15: Wedding the Second.
Aug 16: Fly back to IND in the morning.

This looks like a lot of time but it actually isn't. :/ There will clearly need to be a Mary's mob in there somewhere, Wednesday may be crowded since the week prior is the Week of Tuesdays, maybe the 14th sometime? Or I guess the 12th would work as well in between work and poker. (I am gonna be hella bedraggled dragging myself in to work on Friday. But I can't not go to Poker Night.) If anyone has other suggestions, I'd appreciate them; also, while I'm comfortable getting around on foot and by train, if anyone has a bike I could borrow, that would be awesome. Maybe I should ask Tyler if I can rent one?

Oh I should get my hair re-pinked (just a dye job, the cut's fine for now) and buy something worthy of bridesmaiding in, too. If I'm feeling really adventurous, maybe I will let my mother take me clothes shopping. ... Maybe. :)
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?

October 2016

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