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Jul. 26th, 2017 11:51 pm
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[personal profile] jhameia
Nothing much new to report aside from my brain's asinine refusal to produce new words and re-reading old ones instead.

I did apply for the Graywolf internship, sent it off this morning.

This morning I went to Coco's to work, had horrible bowel movements, at the tail end of which Jose called to see if I was down to join a Lugia raid, and of course I was. Four raids in, I've got a Lugia and another Articuno.

Latter half of the day, after a two hour nap (WHY) I started outlining the analysis for the final novel, which I'm excited about. I'm gonna sleep with the CPAP tonight and see if I can concentrate better tomorrow. The deadline looms. I'm vaguely terrified.

The walk up and down Blaine Street feels shorter, although I'm sure it is still taking me the same amount of time (I walked out around 8.30 and got back around 10; 1 and a half hours seems pretty normal for me on that stretch). This makes me wonder if I should try to up my game a little and do a little jog instead of brisk walking. It is kind of harder to play Pokemon Go while jogging though.

ETA: OH! My new phone arrived! I still can't get the SIM cards out of my Xiaomi because I don't have a pin strong enough (I don't really have any earring studs I'm willing to sacrifice) but it's here!

Hilton Als, White Girls, 2017

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:56 am
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[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
I loved the first essay in White Girls so much that I fully became that obnoxious person monologue-ing about the book I was reading while my poor friends were just trying to drink their pinot grigio in peace. Hilton Als is a staff writer and theatre critic at the New Yorker, and I think I was expecting an ironic, distanced New-Yorker-contributor voice like Peter Hessler's in River Town or Katherine Boo's in Beyond the Beautiful Forevers, both of which I enjoyed very much. But Als writes like a man in love, about being a man in love, and that first essay especially just destroyed me.

By the time I met him and longed to be his wife, SL sometimes described himself as a lesbian separatist. No man could have him.... His gifts were road maps to our love, the valley of the unconditional.


The conceit of the title is that queer Black men are like white girls in all our fucked-up-ness and yearning for the full citizenship we are never granted. Ever since my first 50books challenge in 2009, it's been an article of faith for me that Black men and white women and people of color generally and queers of all stripes and all the others have no chance unless we make common cause, in the deep sense of seeking to understand one another's inner lives. To have that conviction reflected back to me is a true gift. I am inexpressibly grateful to this book and I press it into your hands.

"You get nothing!"

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:26 am
rosefox: A cartoon figure slipping toward a gaping hole in the paper. (slipping)
[personal profile] rosefox
I'm having one of those "parenting is so hard, when does it stop being hard, oh right, never" days.

I was watching Kit play on their own and glumly thinking that happy Kit is independent and only wants parents when they're sad. Then they toddled over and handed me a stuffed fox, just because. So I know that what I'm feeling is just a feeling and has very little to do with reality. But it's still a big feeling.

Relatedly, having a tantruming toddler scream directly into your ear for several minutes is really quite challenging.

"Kit is so chill," I thought, once upon a time. "Maybe they won't really get toddler tantrums." I was so wrong. Soooo wrong. Tantrums aren't about personality. They're about cognitive and emotional overload. A scream into the void.

(My right ear is the void, apparently.)

(But was I going to stop cuddling my screaming child? Of course not. My ear can cope.)

And now I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't really help my kid, even when they were bottomlessly miserable. There is no cure for the tantrum because it's an existential crisis. You just hold on and say "I'm here" like it means anything. And eventually they stop crying long enough for you to get some calories into them, which almost always helps. It turns out that kids are always basically one minute away from a massive hunger crash, and that rather exacerbates the existential angst.

You could not pay me enough to be a child again. No way. It's genuinely a wonder that kids are ever happy at all. Their bodies do weird things, the world is baffling, everything is too big, they have no control, safety is elusive and fleeting. It's like a fucking horror movie, 24/7. And yet my child comes over and smiles at me and puts their head on my knee for sheer love.

I guess maybe they wanted to say "I'm here" like it means anything.

I guess maybe it does.

7.5 - 5.7

Jul. 24th, 2017 05:38 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Well, I took a hydrocoxine last night, and it threw me for a loop in which I couldn't wake up early enough for my liking, and was really groggy. My body felt really heavy, and I'm still feeling the effects this afternoon. But! It was otherwise a decent day: my friend Jose texted me around 1pm about a Legendary raid, and there was a crowd of people when I got there! I feel I should have been a bit more sociable, but I was not trying to evade my dissertation today. And we defeated it! And I got the Articuno! Yay!

My doctor also had good news for me today: my blood sugar level, which had been at 7.5, way at the top of the Type 2 diabetes range, has scaled down to 5.7. My doctor is very impressed; he's never seen such a fast turnover before. If there ever was a moment for the Glow of Virtue, this was totally it. My bad cholesterol level is on the high end, but it's balanced out by the good cholesterol, so yay I guess. I'm hoping to knock the 5.7 down to 5 by the time I see him again in September. My insurance is until the 24th, so that's enough time for one more blood test.

I am considering buying weights, just a couple of dumbbells, for building arm strength. I'm going to sit on this for a while and see how I feel in a couple of weeks. I'm going to dig out some unused sheets and try using those as exercise mats, though. My brother uses a folded old blanket.

Not swimming today; the sky's too cloudy and I don't like swimming in a cold pool. I guess I SHOULD get used to that, though. It's so nice, so I lament not taking advantage of the cloudy sky to go for a morning hike. Maybe I can do that tomorrow!

(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:12 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
I had such dreams today! That I would go to campus early in the morning, spin Pokestops and replenish my Pokeballs, and catch pokemon and take a long enough walk to hatch more eggs!

Except, I went to bed at like 3am, so this was not a thing that could happen. By the time I got to campus, it was 11am, and dissertating was derailed in favour of writing an application for an internship that I think will be fascinating as an opportunity. At some point a friend of mine came to campus to help me take down an Articuno. We found three other people to join us, but even then, we couldn't take it down. And my battery was dying, so I couldn't play the rest of the day. Fickle phone!

I left campus late, had a late lunch, and then slept for like three hours. Couldn't even bring myself to take my evening walk. It's a little past midnight now and I am going to restore proper sleeping habits and good sleep hygiene so I can function tomorrow.

I will swim tomorrow. I will also try to see the doctor, or at least make an appointment. And I will pay my rent and request a lease renewal.

Deborah A. Miranda, Bad Indians, 2012

Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:54 pm
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[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Bad Indians opens with a line so good I'm angry I didn't write it myself: "CALIFORNIA IS A STORY. California is many stories." Deborah Miranda is a member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation, and this angry, loving book takes a knife to all the lazy and superficial versions of the California story. Of the history unit all Californian fourth graders (including my own two daughters) are required to take, Miranda writes: "[T]he Mission Unit is all too often a lesson in imperialism, racism, and Manifest Destiny."

A nonlinear collage of prose, poetry, pictures, transcriptions of interviews and more, Bad Indians can be hard to follow, but the effort pays off when the events of Miranda's life take their place in a precisely drawn and nuanced historical context. "The original acts of colonization and violence broke the world, broke our hearts, broke the connection between soul and flesh. For many of us, this trauma happens again in each generation," she writes. And: "I love my father. I hate my father. He died alone, in a hospice facility."

This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about the indigenous peoples of California, their present and their possible futures. Strong content warning for descriptions physical and sexual abuse of children, among many other horrors.

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:54 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
There are no Xiaomi service centers in the US. Sigh. I got instructions for backing up and factory resets, which I'm not sure is the solution because that sounds like a software issue? Anyway I backed up the phone but I don't actually know what that means.

By some miracle, though, the phone charged overnight.

I was up until very late last night though, so the morning was a bust. I slept much of the afternoon, but when I woke up, I got started at a very good clip, and I think this section is almost finished. I'm working out some more argumentation re: minor literatures, but after this I think I'm ready for the next section. I'm also inserting images into my first chapter, which will hopefully add some pagecount.

Fingers crossed!

Also there is a Pokemon Go event right now and I am STOKED and dropped ten bucks for incubators MASS HATCH YAAAAYYYY

"Close enough for jazz"

Jul. 23rd, 2017 03:13 am
rosefox: Me snuggling a giant teddy bear, entirely contented. (sleeping)
[personal profile] rosefox
Vacation to-do list/wishlist summary: not too bad! Especially given that today was totally eaten by stressful unexpected circumstances. (Everyone is fine now.)

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (I didn't do this but did go read in the park near our house)
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read (three books! in one week!)
* Cook
* Lunch with my mom
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Shower and dress in real clothes every day (mostly)
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Unpack
* Vacuum (well, I swept, but it's pretty clean underfoot now)
* Catch up on laundry
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Finish setting up Tinybeans
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer is one of the best things I have ever read. His latest book, The Gene, shares the former's wealth of capsule life histories that draw out the deep humanity of his subject. Ironically, though, given its subtitle, The Gene feels less personal and immediate than its predecessor.

Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher, and where his description of cancer is a front line soldier's portrait of a respected nemesis, The Gene is more of a flyover survey of an emerging science. I learned a great deal about the origins of Genentech and Celera and the genetic underpinnings of sex and orientation. That said, the passages about his family - his paternal uncles and their mental illnesses, played out against the backdrop of Partition; the relationship between his mother and her identical twin - are as wise and lyrical as anything Mukherjee has written.

It's a long book. As is my habit with formidable non-fiction, I listened to it on Audible. Shoutout to narrator Dennis Boutsikaris for bringing this complex material to life.

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:12 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
I am at 8k words in this chapter. Unfortunately that is only 28 pages (including 2 more pages for images). I started at 11, stopped around 2, tried to work some more but left at 3.30. I have to figure out how to get a solid day's work done on campus when I need to eat =/ I could eat out all the time, I guess? But I don't really want to?

My Xiaomi is legit dying on me. I left it home, off, and I swear the battery ran down a little while I was gone. I wonder if it has to do with cycling cords around. I got a bit desperate, so even though I have a mini-USB port replacement on the way, I panicked, looked up some phones, and it turns out that Best Buy carries Samsung Galaxy J7s, DUAL-SIM with all the GSM bands I need. (My phone needs tend to be very simple: dual-SIM, all the GSM bands, FM radio.) The screen resolution isn't as good as the Xiaomi's (there are a lot of things the Xiaomi, by all accounts a cheaper inferior phone, has that the Galaxy does not) but honestly I don't care right now. Might still have to go to Batteries and Bulbs to switch over the SIM cards because I can't for the life of me figure out how to do it myself (UGH smartphone aesthetics are SO aggravating) but maybe this will be for the best? The phone itself was surprisingly cheap so I'm feeling pretty good about it.

I swam at least 15 laps today. Could have been 16, because I lost count somewhere. My brain is so scattered at the moment it felt like if I didn't keep repeating the lap number to myself as I swam, I'd forget it as soon as I hit the other side. I don't like that feeling.
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
(Hi! I'm new here. Let's jump in.)

Kel Cheris is a gifted mathematician underemployed as an infantry officer. Shuos Jedao is the technological ghost of a genocidal general. Together, they fight crime, where "crime" is defined as heresy against the calendar. In Yoon Ha Lee's brilliant device, a calendar is a social contract from which physics - and hence, weaponry - flow. Calendrical heresy disables these weapons and thus undermines the power of the state.

If you love bold, original world-building, reflections on colonialism, and complicated relationships between clever protagonists who have every reason to distrust one another, you'll eat up the Machineries of Empire series as avidly as I did. If military SF and n-dimensional chess sound like a bit of a slog, see if you can stick with it anyway. The language and imagery are utterly gorgeous, and these very timely stories have a great deal to say about complicity, responsibility, and the mechanisms of societal control.

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:58 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
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.

(no subject)

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:42 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
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.

From my Wordpress blog update.

Jul. 19th, 2017 06:35 pm
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[personal profile] jolantru
After three days of intensive theory and testing, I am now a certified first-aider. I am over the moon about this, because I fulfilled the promise I’d made for myself a while back. A bit of background why I wanted to learn first aid: my great grandparents from my paternal grandmother’s side of the family were physicians and bone-setters. My great grandmother herself was a herbalist and knew about herbs. So, I couldn’t be a doctor, since I chose the path of a historian – but my interest in medicine and helping people has always been there. The interest spiked while I coped with my chronic illnesses and many health scares.

So, what a week! 🙂

"You can't always get what you want"

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:31 am
rosefox: A Victorian woman glares and says "Fuck's sake, what a cock"; someone out of the frame says "mm". (disapproval)
[personal profile] rosefox
Archiving some Twitter threads here regarding cons and congoing.

Thread 1: You are not entitled to be a panelist at a convention.  )

=====

Thread 2: Cis People Please Don't Do This. )

Comments are off because I'm on vacation and don't feel like moderating them. Feel free to share the link to this post.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
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.

Poetry: "rebuke"

Jul. 18th, 2017 04:04 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
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

"R&R"

Jul. 18th, 2017 04:26 am
rosefox: Me looking out a window, pensive. (relaxed)
[personal profile] rosefox
Once more unto the vacation to-do list/wishlist. A whole week of vacation when I'm not ill! Such luxury!

Things with deadlines:

* NONE AT ALL

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (needs to happen today if it's going to happen, because the weather's going to be too hot and unpleasant the rest of the week)
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read
* Cook
* Lunch with my mom
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Shower and dress in real clothes every day
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Unpack
* Vacuum (or ask J to if my arms are sad)
* Catch up on laundry
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Finish setting up Tinybeans
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:25 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
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.

Vehicular Ponderings

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:05 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
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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