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Quick Notes

This blog is:

- a personal space used for contemplation and creative writing
- feminist
- sex positive
- philosophical
- pro-sex worker rights
- anti-racist
- LGBTQ-friendly
- pro-choice
- anti-misogynist
- pro-full disclosure, comprehensive sex education
- anti-gender constructs
- pro-equal party/community parenting
- anti-troll

Spent most of today sore and aching from last night's fever, which was pretty rough. I caught it because I was underdressed and walking home after dark. Followed by getting into a heated room. Could feel the heaty-ness rising over the evening, and by 7pm, it was full blown. Around 9pm, I think I went out into the hallway and I was shivering so much from the temp drop.

What followed was a miserable night of consistent waking up because I kept on sweating so much, so I had to wipe my face a lot. I was much better by morning, but still aching a lot.

I feel much better now, my forehead has cooled down significantly, my butt is still sore, but I went out to get cornflakes.

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For whatever reason, LiveJournal loads really easily in China! I have not been able to access any social networks or email. Which is nice on one hand. On the other, the only app on my phone that works is WhatsApp. And considering that I don't remember any of my passwords, using a VPN has not been useful. (Also Gmail rightfully doesn't trust my VPN log-in attempts but it keeps trying to send me a text message to my American number, which I can't access anyway because I don't have roaming.) Plus, trying to tweet through VPN doesn't work. Just, ugh.

I landed at 6.40, about an hour after I should have arrived, and got a shuttle bus (paid twice more than I should have, probably) and got to the hotel like twenty minutes before my panel. YL has been great in introducing me to people. Most of the papers have been in Chinese but the powerpoints are bilingual, so it hasn't been totally lost. Then again, most of what I'm getting is that there is some hella exciting scholarship in Chinese SF which I have zero access to, haha. I did sit through all the panels and meals even though I was really tired, because damn if I wanted to miss the day after missing an entire day yesterday.

The plan today was to grade all day but I managed to meet some folks at breakfast who were interested in taking a walk out to the Lama Temple nearby, so I got to go sightseeing a bit. Folks have been really nice to me and talking to me as much as they can in English, which makes me feel bad because there's no way for me to do the favour and try to speak in Chinese in any limited fashion, either, since my vocabulary is so nonexistent.

But now I'm back in the hotel, with no internet, so I might as well try to do as much grading as possible. Maybe even a bit of writing.
- I have an interview this morning with the University Writing Program, since I don't have a TAship for next quarter.

- Went to Los Angeles yesterday. Took the Lyft for the first time to the Metrolink, which was good, and again to the Consulate's visa office. I expected a long line but nope, I was first in line. I can go get back my passport on Friday but since I won't have time, I'll just go again next Tuesday.

I found the Metro train just a block away and went back to Union Station, after fretting about getting bus money which led to the purchase of some baked goods. So when I went to the temple in Chinatown, I left the baked goods at the last altar (it's a shabby altar for forgotten souls). I burned some paper money. I sat and meditated for a while. People were still visiting it as tourists, like any other normal day.

Then I went to Homegirl Cafe where I bought a baked good for myself, went to lunch at Union Station, played some Pokemon Go, caught the train home. Decided that if the #16 bus came to the Metrolink first, I'd go to campus and do my GSA office hours. If not, I'll go home and nap. The #16 came.

I graded on the train and the rest of the day. The first batch of 30 papers will be done by this afternoon. They're pretty terrible papers (a lot of students trying to coast by on not having read the Iliad) so it's a bit easy to grade since I don't have to parse what's wrong and what's accurate.

- Besides the interview today, I have two more meetings.

- Yesterday, I called the Mayor's office to ask about whether the International Student Friendly Taskforce is going to issue a statement on the election. The person in charge of it isn't in town so I'll call back next week, but the official DID tell me that it's usually not the Mayor's habit to comment on national issues. To which I said, "oh, hm," because I was really just experimenting on how easy it is to call the Mayor's office.

- I spent the weekend crying a lot.

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Nov. 9th, 2016

Well, as one might say, there goes the neighbourhood.

I hope you guys are okay.

Open thread if anybody wants to talk.

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Nov. 7th, 2016

- I join the ranks of WisCon Chronicle editors who have to chase down submissions! If you want to submit to the WisCon Chronicles but needed more time, let me know! Or if you have an interesting post or essay you wrote a long time ago that you think would work for the theme (Trials by Whiteness) then feel free to forward that to me, too. I'm hoping to have essays, poetry, fiction about conditional whiteness, the change in atmosphere at WisCon, and the use of the safer spaces (of which we now have THREE!!!).

- I submitted two job apps, and just heard back from one... they want more materials. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. I'm also working on another job application for another creative writing position. I am a lot less qualified for that one, but it's in Oregon!

- I'm writing a postdoc app right now and it's due today and I have no idea what I'm doing but oh well.

- I'm strangely stymied for this last chapter. There's a lot I want to say! But what order and how to best make my argument coherent? Argh!

- My department doesn't have enough TAships to offer me one, so I'm out of a job for next quarter. Put myself into the interdisciplinary and University Writing Program pools, and we'll see what happens.

- The new movie based on Ted Chiang's novella, ARRIVAL, is playing tonight at UC San Diego. I have, of course, idiotically double-booked myself. Oh well. I'm still going but I'll have to do some legwork for the other event I organized tonight. Bah!

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Foster pup

I have been fostering a puppy! My friend Xio found him in her yard, scared and skittish but still tame enough to lure into her apartment. She was too frazzled to keep him around, so I offered to take him in, since I have some limited experience with handling dogs. Also because he is so dreadfully adorable. I bathed him the first night I got him, he pooped on my carpet. He's had a couple of accidents peeing in the house since but not in the last couple of days! Not only that but he's gone from being super scared of all the things to being relatively calm, and he's even a little playful now. He really just needed a stable place with regular food and walks.

The first morning after I took him in he snuck past me out the door and his idea of playing was goading someone to catch him, which is annoying because this also freaks him out!!! I had to follow him a bit and we went around and around a laundry room. He wouldn't let me get close and I couldn't tell how close he would let me get until too late. Finally I went around the other way and he saw me coming from the direction he was NOT expecting so he froze and let me pick him up. Since then I've been more careful about him being near the door. He is otherwise really good about being left home, as long as I've given him a really long walk beforehand.

I took him with me to the bank on Friday afternoon, and he just walked and walked and walked, even though it was incredibly hot out. This dog has got some kinda stamina. I'm tempted to walk him some 5km just to see how long he'll go. He was avoiding grass for a time, preferring pavement, but now he's enjoying being on the grass and gambols a little, even. I'm very pleased with the progress he's made in the couple short days I've had him. He finds himself a little place to sleep whenever I'm in the room (a shelf of mine, usually, or a crowded corner) but when I get up to leave the room he has to follow to investigate. Even so, he won't come when called, and he doesn't really bond well. He doesn't mind being cuddled but he hasn't instigated it.

He's also not great with big crowds of people--we came across one today while walking on campus and he froze on the middle of the pavement and wouldn't walk some more. I had to nudge him to the side before he was comfortable walking past them. But he is much better than before with strangers. We've also had encounters with other dogs and he at least shows some requisite curiousity about them instead of just running away!

A professor Xio knows is interested in taking him, so we're waiting to hear back from her to see if her family's into the adoption. Xio's also put up Craigslist ads looking for the original owner. Our theories are that the pup either ran away or was abandoned. I'm leaning towards abandoned, considering that Xio found him in her yard and she lives in a house right by the foothills around here which have COYOTES. I'm pretty impressed by how he's survived. But we do think he was owned before: he's good with a leash on, and he's really tame, and he knows how to climb staircases. He's also been relatively easy to housetrain, and I suspect it's because he HAS been housetrained before, once upon a time.

And he is, all told, really adorable! He's really small, with wiry hair on his back. I think he's part dachshund, at the very least. I'm super tempted to adopt him myself, but as long as my schedule is such a see-saw, I don't really have the wherewithal to take on a puppy as young as he is (he's supposed to be about 7 months) and train him the way he ought to be trained. So if there's someone who wants him and has experience with difficult dogs, he should go with them! I'm just glad I got to foster him and help him settle down and come out of his shell a little. The professor was very impressed by him. Fingers crossed puppy gets a home soon! She'll let us know by tomorrow night what the verdict is, and if so, she'll get him on Thursday.

(Xio has been calling him Simon... I just call him "pup pup." I'm very creative.)

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blergh

SIGH, forgot to pay rent and got an ALARMING notice that was all "PERFORM YOUR COVENANT OR PAY" and I'm liks t????? what is this legalese for? So I checked my checkbook and found I forgot to pay October rent, and rather than just, idk, give me a call, they left me a note with big words. I've been on campus from 9am to usually 9pm every day for the last few days, I'm not gonna process this and I probably would have come home sooner and paid rent immediately in the afternoon!!! If I had just been called!!! WTF. I've never had this with a landlord before--in everywhere I've lived previously, even property managers have called me to check in and reminded me about rent rather than just roll a note on my door (not even sticking it on! Just rolled up by the door knob. UGH).

So, I'm never fucking baking cookies for the ladies of the office again, because fuck this culture where one can put in all this emotional labour and still get treated like a disposable client after all these years. (Since 2012!!! They know me by name and face! They know my unit number and everything! Fuck this, and fuck California.)

Anyway for the last few days I've either been working on my Utopian Studies paper, or revising my job applications. One's due in like a week?? And another two on Nov 1. So I'd like to get them all out of my hair ASAP so I can focus on my dissertation chapter. And I've been having concentration problems which doesn't really help.

On the bright side I've been socializing quite a bit. Exec council stuff, and I went to the open house of International Affairs. I feel this might be my most effective year yet, if I can keep it together.

I've also dedicated a little bit of time, usually every other evening, to letting myself play Pokemon Go across campus. Lots of stops, and quite a few gyms. I'll find a place where I can sit down and pick a fight for a while. A Pokemon Go buddy, My, from Environmental Toxicology, has been coming along and sometimes we take down gyms together. We have a plan to wake up early one weekend morning and try to cruise campus when no one's around to claim all the gyms.

I'm also pretty sure I can ID a player as I pass. I saw a dude today who I'm sure was training the gym I wanted to pick a fight with, so I tried to look for a place to be comfy (he was standing by the staircase, and I think he lives there). Finally settled down to a fight and took down all 4 levels of the gym. It's pretty satisfying to do that, especially with higher-level opponents. There's a church behind me that has a gym and a Valor crew there pretty much all the time, and the lowest Defender is around 1600 CP. You don't get to knock off prestige points if you beat only like, a few at a time, so I've had to leave it alone. But someday I shall find someone to work with me and we'll take it down!!!

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Sep. 13th, 2016

I had a good birthday day! I intend to stretch the birthdayness out the whole week. It was nice and cloudy in the morning so I put on makeup even! And dressed nice. I had popcorn chicken for lunch, and hung with some of the new internationals a bit. Then I chilled in my office doing emails, and at 3 met with a couple of people to check out the new library exhibit on utopian fiction. It didn't take long and so I went to the Botanic Gardens with one of the new students, and we then went to a 4pm reception of the exhibit. Then Maurisa, Javi, Eric and I went to dinner at Tio's, and Javi suggested we go get some cake and he bought me a huge tres leche cake. Maurisa had baked me some brownies so we went to get it, and Javi's dog, and back to my complex where the dog could run around and we could eat at one of the picnic tables.

People apparently dig my voice when it is broken by a severe cough which is weird.

Also while I like dressing up and all, turns out I am so much more comfortable in t-shirt and shorts and sneakers. I started with a nice blouse and beautiful long skirt, and finished with my Azn Trek shirt, shorts, my new running shoes (which I have described as my "young, scrappy and hungry Pokemon trainers") and my Blak Trek sweater.

My dad got me a little vacuum robot thing! It's an iRova K6L and while it's not as clever as a Roomba, it does the job. It keeps coming into the small corridor of the bedroom doorways and sometimes wants to get onto the carpet of my bedroom because I have my door open, and sometimes I have to pick it up and move it elsewhere like an intractable turtle. It's great, it is doing better than I expected. It's supposed to come with its own wiping cloth but there are only 3 of them, now 2, because I've used it to death, and I'm testing it out with one of the Swiffer dry cloths to see if that works as well.

My sick is still abiding, so I'm going to have a lot of fruit smoothie and rice porridge (I figure I should get all the Vitamin C) until it goes away.

Hopefully I get to LA tonight to see Nisi read from EVERFAIR!

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Dammit.

I don't want to apply for jobs in the States because frankly I have no interest in remaining in the States, but a TT asst prof job in science fiction studies just opened up in Florida and argh.

I should at least try?

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