Soo... this happened.

Apr. 24th, 2014 07:49 pm
klgaffney: a photo of a volcano mt. etna erupting. (unexpected fire)
[personal profile] klgaffney


Yep, that was the view from Miss Mousie's high school a few hours ago.
The biggest problem with living among the pitch pines: every so often, they burn.

This, of course, is being followed by a frost warning.

Back to the weight room again!

Apr. 24th, 2014 08:29 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I'll be very glad to stop having to use the tag "medical" along with "gym."

I was a bit more restrained in the weight room than on Monday. I did 20 pounds on the tricep machine, and my arm trembled much less! I stuck to 20 pounds for overheads, and did 25 for chest press and biceps. Then I did 55 for lat pulldowns and rows, because those are mostly back muscles, though I did have a little pain in the elbow for both of them. I skipped seated leg press because I overdid it on Monday, and instead set the elliptical at level 5 for my 30 minutes.

These machines are kind of annoying because most of them only deal with isolated muscles, so the workout takes longer. Free weights are much better, and I'll be happy when I can go back to them.

Wednesday Reading

Apr. 23rd, 2014 09:00 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I am at last reading Martha Wells' Emilie and the Hollow World, since the sequel is on its way to me (I do that, pre-order something, then don't read it for ages). But I've had to temporarily put it aside a couple of times, first to finish a book for anonymous review, and now to do a last proofread of something of mine, half of which I finished last night (the sort of reading in which I am hyper-aware of all tiny flaws, sigh). I will likely finish the Emilie book by the weekend if not sooner.

In nonfiction, I got a little farther into Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach, and continue to work through Peoples of Color in the American West, usually right before bed or when I have insomnia.

In fanfiction, I started reading the Avengers story 1796 Broadway by teaberry blue and rainproof, even though it's not quite done yet.

In books bought, I ordered the third volume of the collected Hawkeye comic and the latest Barbara Hambly mystery, Good Man Friday. My hardcover of Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor is also on its way.

Weight room!

Apr. 22nd, 2014 09:49 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I went back in the weight room yesterday for the first time in months, to use the machines. I tried to be careful, but it was hard to resist testing what strength I still retain; I'm sore today. But I've had worse.

Bicep and back muscles aren't too bad. It's the tricep that remains extremely weak, and anything requiring full extension of the arm leaves it trembling like a leaf. I used the tricep machine for the first time ever, and it was strange to see one arm quivering while the other barely noticed the weight I was using.

I've decided to wait on trying pushups, even pushups at easier angles against the wall, until that quivering is well under control.

I also used the Seated Leg Press, at a weight that was under what used to be normal for me, but was now strenuous. That made me feel that I'd had a proper workout. I also did a very few ab exercises, and I really need to work on that!

Taking tonight off, going back on Wednesday night.

Books I have skimmed

Apr. 22nd, 2014 12:19 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
For quals, that is, and more to remind myself that I got quite a bit accomplished in a short amount of time and I should be able to do just as much in the next couple of weeks.

NON-FICTION

Benedict Anderson, The Spectre of Comparisons: Nationalism, Southeast Asia, and the World.
Started off slow and I thought it was gonna be more of what he wrote in Imagined Communities, but really much more engaging and as Dr. G said, more interesting. Covers a lot of regions: Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia. Some interesting observation on historical trajectories of radicalism and independence.

Elleke Boehmer. Stories of women: gender and narrative in the postcolonial nation.
Mostly about how postcolonial writers write about women as stand-in metaphors for the nation and national identity. I'm not crazy about it because there was a lot of close reading of things I never read before.

Ketu Katrak. Politics of the Female Body: Postcolonial Women Writers of the Third World.
More stuff I never read before, more gender stuff, lots of things that we already talk about as women writers ourselves, idk.

Gayatri Gopinath. Impossible Dreams: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures.
Was afraid this would be more of the same, but not really. Diasporas trouble the concept of national identity; queerness does the same on the gendered national body. If the nation is gendered according to patriarchal norms, then queerness creates a destabilizing frame with which to approach and trouble national identity. Kinda cool, eh?

Khoo Gaik Cheng. Reclaiming Adat: Contemporary Malaysian Film and Literature.
So, adat, a thing I don't really understand but anyway, Khoo argues that modern media allows for the recuperation of adat. Lots of focus on Tuah/Jebat binary, critique of ketuanan Melayu, and Malay cinema as Cinema of Denial with tensions between adat, Westernization and Arabization. Put this way, the feeling I get from local writers querying me about whether mythological creatures in their SEAsteampunk submissions makes sense; I'd been worrying about getting more "magical East vs. technological West" stories as if magic stuff is really all Asian writers have to offer to the SFF ouvre, but set in a context of reclaiming adat it kind of makes more sense. Still, would like to see a good mix of hard science steampunk alongside fantastic myth steampunk.

Achille Mbembe. On the Postcolony.
I did not so much read this as skim it; lots of big statements, sweeping theory, very grand, very Africa-specific, many big words I could not handle at this point in time.

Martin Barker. The New Racism: conservatives and the ideology of the tribe.
Less a theory about race than an examination of the rhetorics surrounding the many justifications of racism and xenophobia (this was written in 81). Really goes in deep talking about Hume and sociobiological stuff.

Amin Sweeny. A Full Hearing: Orality and literacy in the Malay world.
A look at how oral culture remains steeped even in the print culture of Malay storytelling. Not sure I buy the argument but it's pretty interesting!! I thought I could buy it especially when thinking about Twitterjaya but hrm, I just don't know.

Sulastrin Sutrisno. Hikayat Hang Tuah: Analisis Struktur & Fungsi.
The prof loaned me this book just to see how I'd react to it, and it was strange. Apparently it was a really big deal when it first came out! Because it was the first time anyone had ever thought to analyze Hang Tuah using structuralism. And I don't like structuralism. It's got diagrams and shit. Also a handy summary of the whole hikayat. Which was kind of strange. Lots of things I don't recognize from the usual Hang Tuah stories. Also a genre discussion because genre discussions never die.

FICTION:

Keris Mas. Jungle of Hope. English translation of Rimba Harapan by Adibah Amin.
I really liked it! It was slow, as most of these things are, but I really liked the ensemble cast. I've never been bothered by shallow head-hopping, especially when it's done to show how complex people are. It ends at the point of tension, but it's a long-term sort of novel which also hits my buttons.

Somerset Maugham. "The Force of Circumstance"
Racist white woman can't handle that her racist white husband had a Malay live-in mistress and three kids before she came along. It's too bad because they are so very in love. She might not even be racist but for constantly calling the Malay woman "black" and it was kind of jarring to see the N-word being used.

---. "Footprints in the Jungle."
Murder mystery! Telegraphed whodunit from page three!

---. "The Yellow Streak."
Yellow streak referring to the Malay blood in the main character who has some crazy white anxieties about being tainted by his mother's blood.

---. "The Outstation."
The classist snob versus the racist bully. Classist snob has principles informed by noblesse oblige adopted from his aristo friends; racist bully has a chip on his shoulder because he's a white dude born "in the colonies" so not as good as a ranking officer or whatever. The latter gets killed. He had it coming.

Fatima Busu. Salam Maria.
Posted about it earlier. I'm not crazy about it, but then I am not crazy about cardboard characters and special snowflake figures.

Note to Self

Apr. 21st, 2014 11:39 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Sometimes it is best to just ask for help with something. We primates aren't evolved to go this alone.

Just settled my WisCon schedule!

Apr. 20th, 2014 08:33 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
I'll be on the following panels:

Cultural Appropriation: Non-Western Viewpoints (Sat 10am - 11.15am)
The recent cultural appropriation debates seemed to be very U.S. centered. This panel will seek to hear from people of non-dominant cultures (i.e., not mainstream US, Canada, Western Europe or Australia) and talk about CA from a more global perspective. This discussion may be more complicated when national lines may add to racial ones. Is it true that from the outside any culture is perceived as monolithic while inside it is much more fractured? What are the perspectives of people to whom Western culture is a colonizing influence?

Steampunk, Historical Fantasy and POC (Sat, 4pm - 5.15pm)
Period pieces with magic and anachronistic tech abound, but very few feature history from the perspective of People of Color. What happens when a marginalized group is erased from re-imagined history? We talk a lot about representation of POC in the future, what about POC in the past?

Recovering Worlds Beyond Whiteness (Mon, 10am - 11.15am)
In too many works of science fiction, the landscapes and characters reflect the assumption of white culture as the default. Many fantasy worlds reflect a distinctly Western European look and feel, with characters of color few and far between, and non-European-based civilizations that are a predictable mish-mash of stereotypes and Othering. How has this affected writers' ability to imagine and create worlds outside the boundaries of white culture? How has it affected the ability of fans to relate to and find interest in characters and stories that challenge rather than unconsciously reflect white-dominated narratives? How can we, as writers and readers, move beyond whiteness?

I also have the honour of being an "opening act" with ktempest​ for the GOH Hiromi Goto on Friday, 9pm!

Freeeeeeeeeeee!

Apr. 18th, 2014 05:03 pm
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I am officially discharged from PT! My right hand strength is up to 80 percent of the left hand's, which is close enough to normal that I can do most things. I'm supposed to stick with the weight machines for a while instead of free weights, and also the cable machines. I will have to work back up to pushups slowly, but they should be fine, eventually.

I am so relieved, I can't even tell you.

But I'm not going to the gym tonight. I have a serious case of the don't wannas, and I think I can take the night off without harm. Besides, my arm is still sore from Wednesday.

Things To Do

Apr. 18th, 2014 09:22 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I need to do things this weekend, but I'm not sure how many of them I will actually accomplish. I need to finish my review book, and so some mroe laundry, and clean off my couch (sorting through junk mail), and cull some more books. I also need to figure out the best way to get rid of the books once culled - the Free Library has a store, and I've donated to that before, so maybe them.

My closets desperately need help as well, but I don't think that will be this weekend. That needs to be several, smaller efforts.

And I have a pile of paper to go through, a mixture of letters and cards and event programs and such, that's been accumulating dust for months.

And I have things to mail.

And website stuff to deal with.

And PT this afternoon.

Will I do any of this? Stay tuned.

More muscles please

Apr. 17th, 2014 08:53 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I went to the gym last night and did many interesting things with the cable machine, mostly just with my right arm, with occasional switch-offs to remind myself of the strength of my left arm. I interspersed many stretches, and some pronation/supination with a small dumbbell. And today, my arm does not seem to be falling off. Yay.

I then spent half an hour on the elliptical, reading Martha Wells Emilie and the Hollow World.

(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2014 11:58 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
the back of my chair fell off. like, fell off and i cant fix it anymore. D: gonna have to start walking to campus to do work now.

I took a walk today! unfortunately where I live in Riverside is not very interesting, just houses and apartment complexes. =/ sigh. i miss living in a downtown area!

investigating multivitamin powder options. preferrably something with high folic acid content, since i always forget to take my pills. the protein powder smoothies in the morning seems to be working out for me, so time to look into this further. two scoops of the stuff help with the texture a lot. it's not like using a banana, but close enough!

Wednesday

Apr. 16th, 2014 09:19 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I posted my Reading Wednesday yesterday, on Tuesday, and didn't realize it was the wrong day until the afternoon. Possibly because I was in meetings for 3 straight hours, and also my brain would not stop playing the same Bach cantata until I got home and put in my most recent mix, while I hung up a load of laundry and changed my sheets.

I'm going back to the gym this evening, and I'll try the new tricep exercise again - it's a pulldown, similar to the one with the resistance band, but with weights on cables. It's very enlightening to compare that move on my uninjured left arm with the difficulty on the right.

Did anyone register for Flight Rising on the 14th?

Wednesday Reading

Apr. 15th, 2014 09:13 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I'm reading a book for anonymous review, so I can't tell you about it. But I did read fanfic this week.

Not About Superheroes (A Private Little War) by AnnaFugazzi is Captain America/Iron Man slash that explores how Steve, who's gay, might (slowly) adapt to modern acceptance of homosexuality in the military, and gay marriage. It's the first time I've seen a detailed exploration of this idea, instead of quickly glossing it over, or having him easily accept everything.

I was deeply enjoying Jekyll And Charlotte by teaberryblue and then it ended because it is not finished. It's Black Widow POV, and mostly focuses on her relationship with Bruce Banner, and how she's the one really running the Avengers. As you might expect, the writing is excellent. Did I mention it's a WIP? *sigh*

Shoshanna posted Chains of Being, her "Space: Above and Beyond" novel that is really, in my opinion, a sort of meta-exploration of slash and also real-life coming out. At least, that's what I thought when I read it over a decade ago. You don't need to know the show to enjoy it. I didn't. I'm looking forward to reading it again.

A nice review of RIDER

Apr. 14th, 2014 08:37 pm
jolantru: (Default)
[personal profile] jolantru
here. YAY! Made my day!
klgaffney: a popular comic book heroine, in a mohawk, dressed in armor, wielding a mighty weapon. (x-men: storm in asgard.)
[personal profile] klgaffney
There is one bathroom in this house, and typically it goes to whoever calls it first when we come charging through the door (except for W, who refuses to play and patiently waits until the screaming and flailing is over).

But the last time we went to the movies, I called bathroom and D00M!Twin02 ignored me. She ran into the bathroom, slammed the door in my face, cackled maniacally and then sang happy taunting songs while she tinkled and I danced outside in outraged humiliation.

This time, oh this time, I was prepared. We got home, I yelled "I HAVE TO PEE" in the time-honored tradition, and marched towards the bathroom. And sure enough, a wild D!T02 appeared in the hall, grinning. Oh no you don't, kid. Not this time. I charged. Instead of charging the bathroom, I changed trajectory and charged HER instead, dropped my shoulder and slammed her into the wall. There were howls. She fell down and clung to my ankle. I kicked and stomped until she let go, ran into the bathroom, and locked the door while her sisters pointed and laughed. D!T02 started laughing so hard I'm mildly surprised she didn't pee herself.

D!T02: *on the hallway floor* MOM YOU ARE INSANE. XD

Oh, like this is news.

Miss Mousie: I TOLD YOU SHE WAS GONNA KICK YOUR ASS. XD

Yes. Yes I did, and I'm not sorry.

In other news that totally isn't because everyone else already knows: CAPTAIN AMERICA IS AWESOME.

I hope everyone remembered to wait for the second after credit clip. Oh, Bucky.

...Why is my room crawling with crickets...? Oh god, they're escaping from the dragon's cage. Dammit.

(no subject)

Apr. 13th, 2014 12:44 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
It's been a whirlwind couple of days. Thursday I meant to not do anything but I ended up getting more posters and reading in the library and I can't remember why else I was on campus so early. I also had to run around getting signatures.

Yesterday was the start of (dis)junctions, the English grad conference for which I put together a panel on race and SF. Man they got so much funding they could go all out with the free swag! I spent most of the morning reading in the grad student lounge but I did catch the first keynote's talk about teaching porn in the university. My panel went really well! I then had dinner with a couple of friends and got home around 10pm and passed out?

This morning I got up at 6.30 to help the undergrad recruitment for 8am. The panels started at 9am and so I went for an hour or so, and at noon went back to get lunch (blew off the discussion in favour of putting up posters, which did not take that long). Then it was panel after panel and I kind of got sucked into staying for dinner and the final keynote and wow, I got home at 8pm? But then I decided to lay out because my tummy was feeling weird and woke up at midnight? And I'm going back to sleep again.

I really have to buckle down and read tomorrow, got no reason not to now! I'm so tired that even socializing online sounds exhausting so I guess I will keep my internet activity low too, I hope.

(no subject)

Apr. 11th, 2014 09:41 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
i'm fined AGAIN for something they didn't like on my patio... this time it's a trash violation which i don't understand??? it looks no worse than it usually does which unfortunately at this time is pretty bad, because i have dirt here and there and a lot of dry leaves and small piles of rocks but i ALWAYS have those!

ugh

and the stupid notice says it's not allowed as it might "attract bugs or critters" like are you fucking kidding me those things have been there for all time and will be there even with a clean patio there are fucking possums out here

ugh
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I only went to the gym twice this week, because of choir, and both times I skipped my usual headphones, because my head was too full of Bach.

This was a mistake.

The mats in the all-purpose room were very crowded both evenings, so I had no choice but to be fairly close to *gasp* College Students. And overhear bits of their conversation. A sampling: on Monday, "relationship blah blah his fault blah blah Now I don't have a date to the Formal"; on Thursday, "I know she's trying to sabotage me blah blah he says blah blah but she blah blah I don't trust blah blah."

I tried desperately not to hear but it went on and on and on. Do they have nothing interesting to talk about? And why do they have to have these conversations on the mats, which are for exercise, not for lounging and blah blah?

I think this is a clear sign that I am middle-aged.

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