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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

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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Singapore and Pokemon Go

So I'm using a Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, which uses Android v5.1.1. I'm still trying to get the hang of it and I have to look up how to organize folders and stuff. The phone is a bit too wide for my liking, alas, at 2.99inches. Still getting used to the touchscreen, which I'm not crazy about. I have a longer post coming about shopping for smartphones versus shopping for phones brewing in me, because I have many shopping-for-phone feels. Still, it should allow me to roam around in the States without having to switch my SIM card... I'm hoping this will still hold when I change my plan from a GoPhone account to something else which will allow me data usage.

I have totally progressed in Pokemon Go! Around Level 10 I did the Lucky Egg + Mass Evolution combo and went up to Level 13.

When I went to Singapore last weekend, I was expressly forbidden to play by my dad but I used mall wifi here and there. A friend also generously let me hop onto his hotspot (he has more data per month than he could ever use) at some point, and I felt bad when Pokemon starting spawning on my phone and not his. Good haul, though. I added a lot more to my Pokedex, and yesterday when I went to the Marina Bay Sands Shoppes, I finally caught a Pikachu. There was one more Pokemon which I wanted to add to the Pokedex but I was already late for lunch with my hostess so I skedaddled home instead.

It was a really marvelous weekend! My hostess is a friend and former worker of my dad's, and her daughter just got back from Australia doing an English degree, so we had lots to talk about. They're very churchy people tho so we didn't spend much time together. (Also their apartment was right between two Pokestops, so I spent a lot of time harvesting.)

On Saturday I went to have brunch with [personal profile] jolantru, and two others came to join us, Christopher Hwang and SEAsteampunk contributor Timothy Dimacali!! Chris had to leave us after lunch, but Timothy joined us at the fish spa :D

I went back to my hostess' place at Red Hill for a rest, and then went to have dinner with [profile] delfinuum (she is so smol!), and we played Pokemon Go in Raffles City for a while until I ran out of Wifi usage time. So we went to the Singapore Night Fest since it was nearby and ended up marveling at Nyonya embroidery and beadwork in the Peranakan Museum.

Yesterday I woke early and had breakfast with my hostess, and they were going to be at church until noon which left me two hours on my lonesome. I was feeling kinda tired so I only left at 11am and wandered to Marina Bay Sands to find out how to get to the Observation Deck. Took some pictures (oh, I have an Instagram now, because of the smartphone; I aim to be one of those insufferable selfie-takers) and went to the shopping mall side where I proceeded to catch Pokemon, just because I could.

The GPS is really wonky in Singapore, though. I wandered further than I actually was unless I was on the move. Kinda interesting, and I don't really want to complain too much because it means my 10km egg hatched earlier than expected (Electabuzz!).

I have to say that highway Pokestops are very interesting and fruitful places! I caught a Clefable on the way home :D Also it's fascinating what random things Ingress agents have decided should be portals... most of them don't actually take pictures of the stops themselves but random crap around it like... water towers. My bus was also caught in a traffic jam and I figured opening up Pokemon Go would make the jam go quicker.

This morning I decided to see how Map My Walk would interact with Pokemon Go! Because I wanted to hatch a buncha eggs all at once. (Three!) Turns out it doesn't work well... I think the GPS is suspended a little whenever catching a pokemon, and it doesn't register on the Walk app. So I had a few straight lines where there shouldn't have been because of the pause in GPS data. And if I'm not flicking between the two regularly the route doesn't quite register on the Walk app. I'm gonna try to experiment a bit more with this though, because I would really like to record my Pokemon hunts.

My dad's traveling until tomorrow night and I really want to go Poketrawling with him at least someplace further than the nearby lake or shops once before I leave for the States, so hopefully this will be a thing.

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Aug. 23rd, 2016

Mum wanted to go shopping yesterday and I agreed. We went to the World of Sports and then to Parkson. She's a lot calmer without my dad around, but still boring--she's not good at judging clothing unless it makes her look slim. And because I'm there, I also bear the brunt of the fat-shaming.

Because I was with her, I didn't get to start playing Pokemon Go until much later, when Kristin got to Subang Parade. And even then, there was no Pokemon catching until AFTER my mom left.

Kristin's husband had some sort of religious/spiritual/out-of-body experience that he really needed to talk about and with someone who's used to, idk, non-normative narratives? It was pretty cool; I didn't really have any advice for him other than to blog about it.

While driving around looking for parking in SS15, I managed to snag a Krabby and a Squirtle! (And while Kristin's husband was talking, a Magmar showed up.)

I've probably said it but I'm really excited to be reconnecting with Kristin like this.

Afterwards, I made my brother walk a round with me for a bit so I could nab some Pokestops that I didn't have a chance to hit up earlier. Added a Poliwag and Exeggcute to my pile! Among other things like Caterpies, the usual Pidgeys, and Ratatas which are ABUNDANT in SS15. I'm still waiting for the chance to take a picture of a real rat right by a Ratata. I lost a Bellsprout, tho =(

I've got to buy my bus tickets to get down to Singapore so I can see JOYCE!!!!!!!!!!!! and DEL!!!!!!!!!!! but it means figuring out where I'm staying, too, oops.

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Aug. 19th, 2016

- Been having lunch with Tariq, which has been good. We ventured out to find some Pokestops, despite the hot sun. We also found a nice little cafe.

- Had breakfast with Kristin the other morning, which was great. I haven't really sat down with just her in years, when I've seen her it's usually with another friend. Which is weird considering she's my oldest childhood friend. And it's been nice to find out that we DO have things to talk about. She's actually a great listener, and she's also funny. We were going to visit the old school, but her kid had chest pains so she had to leave.

- Went shopping with Nina as well on the same day, which was also good. I really really needed new bras. I also got a lip brush and brush cleaner, and some new jeans. Yay!

- Dinner with Ray the other night, along with her mom and her second brother Thari, who happened to be out of the forest for a while. (This is the cousin doing research on dung beetles.)
(Ray caught a Squirtle and a Jigglypuff.)
(This prompted my dad to say, "okay! when we go home, we download Pokemon Go and try this game.)

- I went to a cafe that Tariq and I found today, and sat there for about 4 or 5 hours working. It's got really good WiFi, but the chicken chop was kinda lackluster. Still, I like the owner and I want to get some cake there sometime.

- Dad and I went walking around Subang Lake today. This was also a Pokemon Go trip. We took way longer than expected because he hadn't registered, and he had to come up with a nickname and all the things and blah. I told him we could catch a Pikachu as a starter Pokemon, but he instead looked at the screen, said, "this one is the biggest, so I'll catch this one." It took him a while to realize he had to flick the Pokeball, so we ended the walk around Subang Lake with 8 Pokemon (Magikarps, Ratatas, a Pidgey, and the starter Bulbasaur).

After eating at Silva's, we headed home (with a brief Pokestop). After that we went to walk the dog, where we proceeded to catch even more Pokemon. Some zealous Ingress agent did a thing of making practically all sorts of things a portal: frigging seesaws on the playground, random murals that aren't even there anymore, a shrine outside someone's house (and shrines in people's businesses), and hanging key signs outside the locksmith's. It's all very random and weird. My brother played Ingress and he's pretty sure he knows the agent who designated all those spots.

Nonetheless, we came away with a haul involving Eeves, Pidgeottos, Spearows, and even a Gastly.

We're going to Gasing Hill tomorrow to incubate a couple of eggs. (He has 9 eggs! WHERE DID THE EGGS COME FROM?) Dad also wants to try the curveball thing.

- Mom's annoyed that Dad's into Pokemon Go and we'll see how long she holds out seeing as she now has a smartphone just so she can keep up with everybody else.

- I'm annoyed enough by this that I'm looking into smartphone options this end.

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Call for Submissions: WisCon Chronicles 11!

*yelling* I'M EDITING THE WISCON CHRONICLES THIS YEAR!!

The theme is "Trials by Whiteness" and I'm pretty open to different forms of exploring the theme.

So please send me things!!! Submissions open on Aug 15, close Oct 31, and I'm taking pitches anytime. I'd love to see stuff like roundtables, or conversations between two people who seem on opposite ends of a spectrum. Like a panel report, but from different perspectives. I'm also open to bonkers things like graphs and charts.

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5am, 1pm

I'm in the transit hotel at Incheon. It's been a few travel full days. My computer says it's 1pm, and the clock on the wall says it's 5pm. I got in around 6pm local time, checked into the transit hotel, and crashed.

As soon as I got back from Clarion, I was out having dinner with Birgit. S came over on Wednesday to hang out--we went to lunch and watched Ghostbusters. (Leslie Jones was underused; Katie McKinnon was annoying except when she was talking science and even that was tiresome; Melissa McCarthy is good; Kristin Wiig's character was so incompetent I couldn't stand it.) Stopped by JoAnn's so I could get some jewelry things for my new piece of tree sap (which I saw on a tree in Balboa Park and made my classmate Derek get for me). It looks really good. Then the next day, I hung with Maurisa and Eric, and then Maurisa and I met with Nalo in the evening. Maurisa brought her friend and we went to Haagen-Daaz to get some icecream and listen to the live band playing in Uni Village.

The Amtrak to Oakland was some 11 hours; I missed the 6.50am train to LA because taxis are unreliable. But the 8.10 train got me to the train tracks, right on time for the Coast Starlight. I lugged my luggage to the Bart station, found Claire's place, and was greeted by Tempest.

Spent the whole Saturday with Tempest! We had breakfast with one of my classmates, and then worked in Borderlands for several hours before heading out to dinner with Chris. Then Joyce and Randy came out to hang and play Pokemon Go so we went to Dolores Park for it. So many Pokemon in SF!

Sunday morning, Maurisa came to get me and we went to dim sum with Emily.

Airport airport airport. The flight was 11 hours long so I watched the following:

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2: This was AMAZING and I am SO glad I got to watch it. It picks up 17 years after the first movie, and since the characters have been established, there is SO much more going on alongside the main three plotlines. Paris is annoying as a teen as can be expected, but adorable all the same (especially her face when she discovers her date is a nice Greek boy, and I also like that he doesn't show up at the end); Toula and Ian are still sqwooshy. I was VERY pleased to see the continued involvement of Ian's parents, who were taciturn and a bit nervous in the first movie, in the whole family drama. It took me a while to realize that yes, they were in the family group, actively volunteering to help out. There were subplots involving family reunions, and as usual I really love how the men of the family act so macho but it turns out to not be a kind of toxic masculinity ("It's not good to keep secrets from your family," said Nick and I BAWLED when I realized what happened). Mama-yaya's character got really fleshed out in a really beautiful way; she was used mostly for comedy in the first movie, and she got a lot more moments in this one that's interestingly, uh, symbolic. Things have changed for Toula and Ian, like Toula losing her travel agency job due to the economy, but it was so believable, and the ups and downs of the family are trite but WHO CARES, it's a story about a family, with attendant suffocation and all. It was a satisfying, satisfying movie that hit all my buttons.

ZOOTOPIA: I see why this movie is good--it's got an ambitious scope and the plot twists and turns are really great. Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde are also really competent characters, which I like. I, uh.... I don't buy the worldbuilding, really. I think the scale is great with multiple climate types in a single city to have multiple types of animals, but what are the predators eating? Seriously. This bugged me all through the movie: WE NEVER SEE THEM EATING. Except donuts and popsicles. But it moves right along, each act feeding into each other really well.

THE MASTER: I watched this because I saw it playing on someone's screen ahead of me, which had two main characters having an intense conversation about their marriage while the husband is beating up thugs, and she's all like "we got married with the understanding that we would separate" and had great lines like "With or without a gardener, flowers die regardless. With or without a man, a woman would still live her own life."| It's not very coherent as a movie: a Wing-Chun master comes to Tianjin to establish a school (translated as dojo in the subs) but apparently the rules are that he needs a disciple who is a local to defeat at least 8 of the schools, and the disciple afterwards must leave Tianjin. Then there's the whole business where he marries a local woman (who's unmarried because she had a baby out of wedlock) for reasons unclear to me. Then there're the machinations of one of the leading schools (led by this woman who never does any actual martial arts, she's the wife of a former Grandmaster, and she's always really well-dressed), some double-crossings by a current grandmaster and the military gets involved and also a dual love story involving the disciple and a local noodle seller who I think is supposed to be coded as an ethnic minority due to her costume and aaaaaaaaaaaaaa what is going onnnnnnn. Like I felt like the movie was shot just so everyone could look cool (and to be fair, everyone does look cool)--it's so artful and posed. I also have never seen a Chinese movie with SO MANY random white people in the background before: the wife worked in a Western restaurant, seemingly the only local there; the grandmaster likes to watch performances of that Russian folk dance where the dancers seem to float across the floor. But really one would watch it for the escalating fight scene, especially the last part where it looks like the protagonist is making his way through a series of final bosses.

THE TALE OF TALES: This movie is hella fucked up and I watched it because I like fairytales but as far as fairytales go, this got hella dark and the bodycount was really high. It has about THREE stories in the one movie, and they never really cohere together other than, sometime at the beginning the characters come together for a funeral, and at the end the three courts come together again for a coronation. But you don't really see the characters from the different threads ever really talking to each other otherwise. And it's super fairytale because it's lush and gorgeous but apparently each kingdom really only needs like the ONE town to sustain it. it's based on a collection of Neapolitan tales, everyone is a one-note character, and it's made to be beautiful and lush and gorgeous, not to make any sense.


THE JUNGLE BOOK: This was pretty meh. There's still hella anthropocentrism up the wazoo; Mowgli is a special snowflake; I don't understand why the animals have American accents. It was entertaining but in the end I didn't care.

I played a lot of Phlinx, and now am in a transit hotel killing time trying to sleep some more. It's 7am, I only need to check out at 9am. So I'm gonna try to be horizontal a bit more.

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Brief Stop

I am back in Riverside, from Clarion. My classmate Alan and I had planned on staying in San Diego but we couldn't find a hotel last minute and I ran out of people to call to put us up for the night. So he drove to Riverside last night, crashed on my couch, and left this morning. (This was rather necessary as the night prior, he partied until the wee hours and was also awake fairly early, only having a 20-minute nap sometime during our wanderings in Balboa Park.)

I am so tired and so sad and yet also quite relieved that it is over.

I don't get to sleep in my own bed because Soon Young is subletting my room until the end of August but the couch is incredibly soft so I'll use that. I'll also take a train up to San Francisco (Amtrak to Oakland) and stay with Claire Light a couple of days before I fly back to Malaysia.

Right now to relax my brain I'm going to listen to some music and play some Shanghai Mahjong.

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Jul. 9th, 2016

Andy's come and gone.
This week is the first week that we're showing signs of fraying and also being careless around each other.

- Jen and I got out to the Aquarium today. I bought little manta ray earrings ^_^

- Got out to the beach again on Thursday too, and discovered to my horror that sand had been collecting in the inner lining of my swimsuit, which means a huge dollop of sand collecting right at the crotch /o\

Good thing it's a nudist beach so I could just take the whole thing off, and Emily and I went into the ocean to bounce for a bit.

- Hard to believe it's halfway over. I'm not sure I even got a hold of it.

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