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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

Feb. 8th, 2016

- Made headway on the last bit of the chapter! Feeling great about it; it's coming together, and my thoughts are clearer about how it works.

- I ran into a former student today, and she actually wished me a happy new year--good for you, Ada, one ang pao for you! And walked until we hit the rec center.

Then in the Step Express class, I met another former student, who recognized me. The class she took with me was like, in 2013, and it was Theda's class, so it took me a while to remember, but as soon as she said her first name, her surname clicked for me, and she was really surprised I remembered.

- Step was good; I always forget how hard it is on the feet, even with this particular instructor.

- I'd eaten half my homemade calzone, and went back to my office to work some more and eat the rest of the calzone. It was a good idea. I think the cheese sauce isn't the greatest for my stomach, though. I rather wish I bought cereal for breakfast now.

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Jan. 24th, 2016

- Been having a low-grade flu for the last week or so, lots of sneezing at night. Could be allergies too, but I'm feeling a tickling at the back of my throat.

- Yesterday, went to campus with Mary and Leen to do some work. The anthology I'm currently reading is a slow slog, but I'm getting used to making scribbles in the margins.

Then I went to Ten Ren's for Maurisa's birthday. I felt kind of, idk, outside my body for a while? Like I was not quite there.... a fishbowl sort of feeling. I wasn't feel great. Maurisa and I went to Rite Aid afterwards so I could buy a bunch of allergy pills.

I couldn't sleep for HOURS. I blame the tea I had at dinner.

- This morning I got up at a reasonable hour, did laundry, and cleaned the kettle. This is a big deal because the kettle had a LOT of calcium buildup (roommate uses tap water for boiling). I used up most of the white vinegar in the house, but the kettle is mostly clean now! The spout area is still a bit grimy; I don't really know how to fix THAT.

I made pork rib soup. Went to the grocery store and got some sausage and chicken meat. Now I have lunch for the next couple of weeks, I think. I also marinated four thigh, each in a different ziplock bag of their own, with different marinade mixes! Yay food! When I want dinner, I'll just pull one down from the freezer. I think this will work out OK.

- I received big news that will be announced tomorrow. Can't wait :D :D :D

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Jan. 12th, 2016

*cries* EVERYTHING HURTS AND NOTHING IS BEAUTIFUL AND I HAD THE MOST JOYLESS 45 MINUTES OF MY LIFE IN THAT CYCLING CLASS.

OK so from the top.

My doctor's appointment: pap smear is all okay, so I don't need to do another one for the next three years. Yay. Sleep tests showed normal results, so no CPAP prescription for me. Boo.

Meeting with the UC Regent and Regent Designate, which was interesting. I didn't really have any questions, just wanted to see what was up.

Office hour was quiet.

Went to the APSP roundtable, still the older person there.

Went to the Ad hoc committee on LGBTQ inclusivity. There's a new Queer GSA so we were trying to figure out how it fits into the overall structure of GSA chapters.

Mary and I went to the cycling class at 7.15. Some fifteen minutes in my knees SCREAMED WITH HATRED at me. There were some spots where we had to cycle while standing up, and my knees REFUSED to cooperate. And when I sat back down, my ass ALSO SCREAMED WITH HATRED at me. My arms weren't quite screaming by the end of the session, but I bet they will be screaming at me tomorrow too. I never realized that bicycle seats could be so hard that even a fat ass like mine would provide no cushion. For all the camel toe I get when wearing tight pants, a fat vagina sure didn't help and it was just pelvic bone hitting the seat all the time and UGH EVERYTHING HURTS and I am never fucking going back to that class ever again!

Zumba tomorrow night.

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Jan. 7th, 2016

- Intended to simply sit in on Nalo's seminar (Special Topics in Fiction: The Empire Writes Back) and I decided to just register for the course. I figure it can't hurt to have a creative writing course on my transcript, in case I get to apply to creative writing positions.

The fact that SEAsteampunk is being taught in it may or may not be an obnoxious advantage. We're also reading the books of the incoming Sawyer guests, and get a master class with Walter Mosley.

- I read Stuff Theory some more, which is hellaciously hard because it's so up the ass of its chosen texts I don't really know what to get from it. I'm giving it until end of tomorrow and if I'm still struggling, fuck it. I'm gonna just give up the ghost and go look for William Morris books, as well as start my search for stuff on whiteness. This second chapter ain't gonna write itself.

- Around 4pm I went to see a talk about Harriet Jacobs.

- After that, I went to the seminar on SEAsian Lit. It's got so many more people this time than when I took it three years ago!! It's quite awesome. Dr. HM is also really getting into the swing of it and we talked about the ways of defining nations, national literatures, etc. It was a good time. I don't think I'll register for it but I'll definitely sit in on it some more.

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Jan. 3rd, 2016

- I went shopping at 99 Ranch yesterday morning, followed by lunch with YL and Eric. Then I got home and passed out. Didn't get much work done, boo. I did get some stitching done though! All my patches have been sewn on successfully.

- Went to Kmart this morning. Meant to get new sheets, because mine are boring and grody, and two new pillows, and some other odds and ends. The bedsheet selection was awful, but I ended up buying... lot of clothes. Lots of tights, because I'd like to start wearing skirts more. And a lot of stuff from the Nicki Minaj line.

- Sorted out my wardrobe--gonna take a LOT of things to this year's WisCon clothing swap! I also pulled out the box of winter stuff, swapped it out for the summer stuff.

- Started a new embroidery project, a little firebird. I've got some really hard red material so it's hard to think of something that'll stand out on it. I'm not even sure I picked the right starting colour, and I'm sewing it onto the outline on paper right now, so we'll see. When it's done I can make it into a little coin purse. I wanted to do a frangipani but the fabric is so red, I wanted to do something bolder. I should think of something to write for the other side, though, but all I can think of right now is something pithy like "misandry 4 lyfe".

- I tried doing a bit of the "Deck of Cards Challenge" tonight. (Mine's Spades for Squarts, Clubs for Push-ups, Hearts for Russian Twists, and Diamonds for Crunches.) I'm no good with it, and only got through maybe 20 cards. I also figured out how to do squats without feeling that popping in my knee (it's only the right knee; it doesn't hurt, but it does feel and sound alarming). Then I played Solitaire :D

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Dec. 31st, 2015

Had been having a great run of sewing in the last few days: two bags, and a skirt. The bags I will give to auction when Con or Bust rolls around. Hopefully I can make a few more before it starts. I meant to make a vest tonight to match the skirt, had everything! Separating zip and all!

...... I sewed the zip on backwards. This after a series of other problems. I'm also just not as alert as I could be... been waking up after 7 hours of sleep, but feeling tired? like I could use more sleep, generally.

So after that teeth gnashing I set about re-arranging my room and I have more space now, and I've also put my table back together (it's an L shape, which I'd been using as separate pieces, but it wasn't optimal). However, the corner piece has a bar underneath that I can't seem to get on, and I suspect it's because it's meant to be more than a single person job. So I don't dare put my printer on there until my roommate returns home.

I'm also barking tired, but I really want to go to the temple tomorrow in LA Chinatown, but the most reasonable bus is at 8am, and I just don't feel like I can make it out anytime before 10am tomorrow. It's vaguely upsetting. I could try for the San Bernadino station transfer route, but the whole trip would take about 3 hours as a result (Riverside to LA Union Station direct is 1 hour 25 minutes). I'm a little peeved as a result. I'll sleep on it and see what happens tomorrow.

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Review of 2015

Just some listsCollapse )

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Dec. 21st, 2015

S. Lu came over for lunch and the movie marathon and it was a lot of fun! I made some bak kut teh, and felt appreciated for it. We chilled and napped before S.'s writing workshop class with Tempest, and shared headphones with her for it XD It was fun!

Then the movie marathon started, and we began with the Dark Crystal, which I'm guessing nobody ever watched before so at some points there'd be nothing on the chat screen except a series of "what" XDDDD (Which reminds me, I cannot wait for Yamasong!)

Folks hung out for Return to Oz and Labyrinth after, and it makes me happy to introduce these cult classics to fellow nerds. :D

I started reading David Freer's CUTTLEFISH today because the cover has a black boy and white girl on it, and past the first chapter, I'm like, "oh, another working class boy and rich girl setup" because Kenneth Oppel had done that for one of his series, the first book which I read, and could not sustain any fucks for the second. I suspect this will be the case for this book too.

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Dec. 19th, 2015

The sleep test worked this time! The red light on my finger was lit all night. Maurisa had to wait until she got her car back and we went to Loma Linda to get it back. I forgot to nap in the afternoon, but caught some before I went to get the bus to Nalo's reading.

It was nice to hang out although there was... kind of a definite split between the POC of the event and everybody else--I spent most of my time talking to the Black people who attended, because we somehow decided to crowd around? Hopefully I'll run into her again tonight at Eric's show!

I watched two movies last night: Ringing Bell, which is every bit as fucked up as I heard, and Peking Opera Blues.

Ringing Bell: You know, Lambert, the Cowardly Lion? OK, so imagine a story that goes the opposite way: Chirin's mother dies, and Chirin hunts down the wolf that killed her to seek vengeance. After some tenacity and demands to be taught how to be a wolf, the wolf agrees to train him and make him strong. Cue time-lapse sequence where Chirin grows in horns and busts through trees and eventually grows into a bishounen ram that runs alongside his wolf mentor terrorizing the countryside. And starts seeing the wolf as a father figure instead, until the wolf takes him back to his meadow of birth to re-enact the traumatic scene of his mother's death. Instead of helping the wolf kill the sheep (after a sequence where Chirin has kill all the guard dogs), he fights and kills the wolf, who's all "in this world only the strong survive, and I am proud and grateful that you are the one to kill me" and I just could NOT with the logic. Like, I wanna say something about toxic masculinity and homosocial relationships, but, man.

Peking Opera Blues: So I watched this as a young child and the only thing I really remember from it is: Brigitte Lin being really really butch and hot, and there is a scene where she's tied up (which is also really hot) and then through some shenanigans, she and another woman, a singer, convince some soldiers that their general (which has been shot dead) is actually having sex with the singer.

Flailing over Lin's masculine femininity aside, there are a LOT of things going on in this movie that I clearly was not smart enough to pick up at the time: the lead actor of the all-male opera troupe who plays female characters who is then pressured to marry the commissioner (??? or at least sleep with the commissioner??) and thus escapes because he feels this will ruin his chances of being married in the future; the very real resentment of the female characters at how they are treated (there's a wannabe actress who is the daughter of the theater owner and is constantly berated for wanting to be on stage; there's the singer who hates singing and really wants to get rich or get out; then there is Lin's character who is a rebel who always has an upset face when she sees her father with a young woman her age every night); the male rebel character who's obviously meant to be read heroic but really he's rash and causes problems and holy shit is incompetent; the fact that Lin's character is referred to as "Miss" or "Madam" but she gets to be treated like she's a male authority figure and walk in and out of the no-women-allowed theater at all??? What is going on!

The actress and another character, a common soldier, gets caught up in the action just due to the goodness of their hearts; the singer was originally trying to recover some missing jewels she'd stolen; the rebels are trying to get secret documents that will implicate the general-father in a shady deal with foreigners. Lin is the patriotic rebel who is driven by duty to the nation but also recognizes she's betraying the one family she has left in the world. It all ends up being really interesting with how the three female characters are clearly central (even on the posters the biggest faces are usually the women), and they're all SO different and are hanging out and getting fond of each other only because of a stroke of fate. There's a lot of affection and resignation that the affection isn't enough to keep people together. Then there are the telegraphed romances (between the rebel dude and the actress, and the soldier and singer who have a meet-cute because she had actually knocked him unconscious early in the movie) (and there is the misunderstanding from the actress who sees rebel dude comforting the rebel lady and misreads it as him doublecrossing).

It's all very fantastic, and looking back, I guess I really just had this thing for Brigitte Lin's character that was both a sexual awakening and a PURPOSE IN LIFE, a recurring theme I call "Do I want to DO her or BE her" (it is the same feel I got watching Queen Latifah in The Wiz Live).

Three books down! RAGAMUFFIN, CALIFORNIA BONES, and now DIVERSE ENERGIES. I, uh, did not like the last one. I finally posted my GR reviews of all three.

I'm also doing the unwise thing of reading reviews of "Liminal Grid" because I'm a masochist, maybe. Anyway, most people I know have been reading Chien as female, but TangentOnline's reviewer read Chien as male!
The tone was one of melancholy, probably more than I could handle, but the second person point of view the author used to introduce Chien provided me with an intimacy toward him, which brought me closer to him and his difficulties.

This review from a Malaysian warms the cockles of my heart, even though it's super short.
Oh yes, it is made in Malaysia, for Malaysia. Set in a futuristic Malaysia, I am glad that it is relevant and with a fresh appeal. Truly an exciting read and written well with good descriptive feel.

Surprisingly, Lois Tilton of Locus Online also liked it:
I like the grandparents, the way they’ve made this future existence work for them, despite setbacks; I love their bountiful hydroponic garden. But mainly, as a gardener, I’m seduced by the landscape, the verdant spaces. And as a pessimist, I have to wonder with Chien if it’s worth risking all this.

I mean, it IS hard to resist plants. Plants are love!

Anyway, tomorrow starting 4pm PT, I'm going to be in a watch2gether chatroom watching "The Dark Crystal," "Labyrinth" and "Return to Oz" with some folks so if you'd like to be part of this movie marathon chillout, let me know.

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Dec. 11th, 2015

I finished drafting Chapter 1 of my dissertation!! I had to cut out a lot of superfluous stuff, and there's still a lot of revision to do, lots of citations which need to go in and I need to make clear that there are some oral histories I'm performing here and there. Or I could just wait for my adviser's feedback and just get started on Chapter 2 instead.

Things I want to accomplish over break:
- some articles for Keluarga Killjoy
- draft of a short story for POCDSF or Where the Stars Rise

I also drafted a poem, gotta figure out where to send that.

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