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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

Jul. 3rd, 2015

Apparently when I'm home and downstairs working, I cannot be left alone to my own devices because one parent or another is always talking to me if they happen to be home. I've been distracted by my dad so many times this morning I let loose a long, angry little "fuuuuuuccccckkkk." Which is par for the course! But Dad was all "gee... hard words." NO YA THINK?

It's especially annoying since I work best in the mornings atm, given how really hot the afternoons get and I'm just tired all the time after noon.

But I did get started on my dissertation stuff. Re-reading stuff in my proposal, and I realized there's a bunch of things I just cannot do while I'm here. So I might go back early August after all, so I can get to writing. For now, though, I'll just read all the articles I've downloaded and start synthesizing some ideas. Hopefully I'll have enough scribbles to really get started once I'm back in California, and will have exploded my proposal a bit more.

Some of the comments make me realize just how vastly far apart my writing style is from my adviser's... she's got "this is a convoluted sentence with ten ideas in it" and I go "well, yes, that's the point, because all told breaking them down is not for the proposal to do and anyway, I come from Twitterland where economy of words is important."


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Jun. 29th, 2015

At Incheon in a lounge right now hanging out! I attempted more sleep, less movies this time, because I slept very little the night before and was in LA all day. Spent the afternoon at a friend's house in Baldwin Hills (it was a fancy house, holy crap).

I did catch two movies:
ANNIE -- OMG SO GOOD SO FUCKING GOOD. Quvenzhane was AMAZING, her character was so charming. The updating of the plot was really well done, used social media in a great car/helicopter chase scene. The presence of whiteness is SO interesting considering the racial make-up of the side characters. I've not seen many reviews commenting on Ben Stacks becoming more connected in a community way (that the movie ends with Annie cutting the ribbon on a literacy center) (Stacks' heart visibly breaking when he finds out Annie is illiterate after that AMAZING performance) (Annie covering up with performance art) (UGH ALL THE FEELS) (WHY DIDNT I SEE MORE META ON ANNIE ON TUMBLR I DONT KNOW) (ALSO, wtf that MoonQuake Lake movie scene with THE RIHANNA AND MILA KUNIS CAMEOS and everyone geeking out after?? SLAY ME HERE WHY DONT YOU) I'm going to get diabetes from this movie omfg. Definitely something to buy on DVD.

SEVENTH SON -- ..... This could have been a better movie except for the shitty world-building. Why would you construct a world where there are people hunting down witches because witches are categorically evil and most of the plot revolves around the complicated question on whether witches deserve to be left alive because they can actually do good? How do you manage to balance a cast with POC characters who are all antagonists and hella exotified? UGH. What I did appreciate was that there wasn't a lot of Male Gaze Fail (no gratuitous gore, no gratuitous sexual violence, there's a sweet fade-to-black love scene and the emphasis is clearly on the feelings the characters express for each other) and the witches were actually interesting, and the main character, who IS the Seventh Son, is also grappling with some interesting ethical issue (which fall flat because of the scripts dedication to the good/evil dichotomy and status quo rather than continuing to challenge it as he did throughout the whole film).

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Jun. 22nd, 2015

"Oh California would be so awesome," said my buddy Vinh when I was trying to decide whether or not to take the UCR offer. "All that sun!"

It's my third summer and I've spent most of it feeling like garbage thus far because it's the fucking desert and I hate the climate here.

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Jun. 21st, 2015

Yesterday I went to the beach with Lisa and Nalo.... Venice Beach. I packed my picnic mat, my folding chairs, five ham sammiches, a change of clothes, sunscreen and a towel.

The beach was okay! The wind was kind of chilly, the water was hella cold, but the sand was hellishly hot. Lisa drove up from San Diego, we got Nalo around 9am, were there early enough to get a good parking spot. Nalo and I caught some waves, and mostly we hung around on our mats reading or sleeping. I edited the first three chapters of my novel, which I've decided must be middle-grade, and I have a better sense of how I want to revise it. So, that means, it's coming with me on the plane! I also wrote a poem, and read the entirety of [personal profile] jolantru's WOLF AT THE DOOR.

We wandered around after a while, and checked out some places nearby. (This included a house with..... very interesting outside decor. Lisa told us about it on the way there, and she said, "there're cameras all over the place and it's so clear that the owners don't want anybody coming up to ask questions but, like, dude, there's a demon on your house.")

I managed to get them to go to Little Sheep Hot Pot on the way back since Hacienda Heights is off the 60, and it was an excellent time!

For all my prep, though, I still ended up with a hella nasty sunburn on my left thigh, and a bit around the edges of my swimsuit top. I guess I missed. When I got home, I went to Kmart and got some new shampoo and some aloe gel and have been spreading the aloe liberally all over the burn all day today.

Because of the burn, I spent most of today sitting in underwear. Which, considering I spent most of today watching movies, isn't really an issue. Watched:
- THE MAGICAL LEGEND OF THE LEPRECHAUNS (silly Hallmark movie that's actually really fun)

I also managed to pack a lot more today! I got my winter clothing, all the stuff on hangers, and sweaters into storage bags and boxes. I also packed away my altar stuff into a box I esoterically labeled "Lung, Kirin, Frog and Lotus on a Railway". There's a bunch of stationery I probably should just get a container for rather than put into a box. And I really need to decide what I'm bringing back to Malaysia since most of my clothes are packed away, and I've got two big luggage bags I'd like to take home with books for research. But they can't top 25kg and I have no idea how to weigh them so they don't hit that limit, ooops. I don't really have much by way of clothes to bring home either.

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Jun. 16th, 2015

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA do I send a story about being invisible or do I send a story about reality alteration thru shared imagination???

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Jun. 14th, 2015

resubmission of Orang Minyak story
resubmission of cyberpunk story
new submission of some smut

To write:
submission to Hidden Youth
submission to Uncanny Magazine (have two likely stories, gotta fix one up)

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Jun. 10th, 2015

- Finished grading! Dr. R has also started going through the papers and I'm pretty much scott-free.

I've been somehow having a social life? Last Friday I managed to attend the first half of the SEATRiP symposium, which was quite fun. It made me wonder what might have happened if I had chosen to do the Interdisciplinary track instead of the Science Fiction Track (and done Malay and English as my language literatures, and Creative Writing as my other field) (I like to think I would have been more successful at it). But maybe I'm thinking that because I'm not enamoured of my dissertation right now because it doesn't feel as interdisciplinary as it should be.

Anyway, while wandering off home, I ran into my adviser who offered me a ride to the home of the professor hosting the shindig for the SEATRiP symposium end. I did want to go hang out and meet folks, so I went. We had to stop by her home first. I'd been before, but only saw the downstairs, so this time she invited me to go look around. (It is an extraordinarily large house. I don't comprehend its bigness. It's also so nicely decorated, which is also something I don't understand. My parents are nouveau riche in the sense that when they go big, they fill it an ugly hodgepodge of stuff they have clung onto, and some cheaper new stuff, and there isn't a sense of design harmony when they fill in a house.)

There appeared to be two separate tables when we got there: one for faculty, one for grads. It was actually kind of cool, and it was a majority of the SEA studies folks. SEATRiP is a program across disciplines, and most of the grads are from anthropology.... couple of dance studies folk, and art history. I got to meet the keynote speaker who was very impressed by our little group (although I hesitate to say "our"... I'm not a SEATRiP grad) and I also got to show off the cover for THE SEA IS OURS. So that makes it three professors who're looking forward to its release, AND putting forward that we should have a book party for it!

I spent most of Saturday grading down at Back to the Grind, Maurisa came to join me for a couple of hours. I walked downtown and back. On Sunday I spent most of it grading too, but I couldn't finish the grading that day like I meant to because I almost cried from how terrible the exams were.

I got Chi to come over on Sunday evening to help me cook. Potluck on Monday! I made two batches of fried rice (one vegetarian, one meat) and fridged them overnight. However, had to attend a talk at 10am, so I put them in the oven for about half an hour and took them to campus, left them in my office.

The library is hiring a new person to handle the Science Fiction collection. I missed the first two candidates' talks, so I was pretty adamant to not miss this one.

The potluck was wonderful, and we all agreed that we needed to do it more often. The Chair has sent along an email with a suggestion that we do brown-bag lunches once a month in the coming year, just for kicks. We're losing our current grad advisor, but we're also getting in three (!!!) new faculty! Two of whom are women of color, so I'm VERY excited. We're getting a new Linguistics professor (she speaks Tamil and studies the Slavic languages!!), a new German Studies professor (a spousal hire; he's splitting time with Art History), and an African Studies prof (who is also a spousal hire, splitting time with Women's Studies; we've never had an Africanist in our department before! She does Igbo studies, specifically, and her work is analysing the links between West African mythical narratives and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade) (her job talk was amazing).

The last two days have not been as productive socially, but I did get to sleep in, and I've been focusing on editing some stories and reading short fiction. (I'm going through my list of online venues, and reading three pieces from each. So far, I'm in the D's.)

My summer session class might get cancelled and I find I'm not too torn about it. I'll hand in some rent and go home for a month and a half. I really want to go see [personal profile] jolantru!!! I might even stay at the Little Red Dot again, try to get some writing done. And then be back to move apartments at the end of August. Joe and I will be sharing a 2-bedroom 1-bathroom, and we'll see how this will turn out. I haven't shared an apartment for about ten years (there was James who lived on my couch after he was evicted, but that barely counts, really; I do think we could've made pretty great housemates tho) and Joe tells me that he'll be around so rarely it will work out, but IDK. I DO want the lower rent pretty badly though.

I really need to work on my application for International Student Affairs Officer (even though this might cause some complications on my paystub, since the position receives a stipend and I already get paid the maximum amount by the university for teaching assistantships).

The book I accidentally left behind at the Concourse has made its way home to me! The ancestors are smiling on me, clearly. I'm going to read through it and start working on my HIDDEN YOUTH story asap.


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Jun. 3rd, 2015

Whew, yesterday was a full day with two students taking up almost five hours of my life. But I did get word from the Madison Concourse: they found my book and are mailing it back to me, yay!!!

I'm presenting on selfies and radicalism tomorrow, based on a Minh-Ha Pham article, which I think gives too much credit to short-lived portraiture projects rather than actual WOC-led selfie projects. I'm also debating extending my presentation to cover the other article which is on recycling clothes, thinking through clothing production as to re-shape attitudes towards clothing. I went through my fashion tag looking for appropriate articles and promptly forgot about it because I wanted to say Some Things about the difference between selfies and portraits.

We're having a little potluck tomorrow at class so I'm also making some fish pate.

Had a meeting with my adviser this afternoon, which was nice and chill and she reassured me about just sharpening my argument some more, at least to give me a stronger hold on my thesis than I currently do. I have to admit that this exercise is kind of lost on me but I'll give it a shot anyway. She was super nice to me and I asked her advice about students approaching me about problems I can't fix, and she even told me she might be interested in helping me throw a book party when THE SEA IS OURS comes out, as an event for the Southeast Asian Studies program that she's part of. (I'm in the Science Fiction program, but I've friends in the SEA studies program, and since I do do SEA stuff, they sort of count me as an honorary SEA studies person. It's sort of weird because I'm in a similar position with the MFA Creative Writing folks.)

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Quick and Dirty Short Update

1) WisCon, yay. I am le tired from it, because while I love people there, performing that love takes so much out of me. Highlights include:
- Breakfast with roomies
- Seeing Regina again! Haven't seen her in years since she moved to Washington. She came to deliver an academic paper. I managed to drag her out to "How To Tell POC Apart".
- The panels I attended as audience were good!
- The panels I sat on were a mix of bad-weird and good.
- It was a super mellow WisCon, party-wise, but I did get Zora to sew in some pink mesh tubing into my hair for the Floomp.

2) I left a book in the nightstand drawer of the hotel room and have been calling housekeeping to see if they have found it. I think I got a call from them on Sunday but IDK??

3) For the first time my bank account has gone down to literal ZERO because of many unwise financial decisions and I wanted to roll around in embarrassment forever.

4) Thursday was the MFA science fiction group that Nalo put together because the regular SFTS group assumes that everyone's familiar with the canon (we're not always) or even the discourse of SF Studies, which alienates people who just like the stuff. Anyway, Nalo let us watch LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM which is about as horrible as one could expect, being a fantasy movie set in vague England starring a young Hugh Grant and young Peter Capaldi.

5) I'd offered to introduce Chinelo Onwualu to Nalo since the former is visiting LA for the next week. On Saturday she came in by bus, so I took her to Tio's so she could see the art, then to the Mission Inn for a tour, and then we hung out with Eric and Nalo in Back to the Grind for a while. The Art MFA students had an open studios day where they were inviting members of the public to check out their studios (which are new and shiny but kind of far from campus by several blocks), so we went with Angela. Then it was dinner with Nalo. Eric dropped me and Chinelo off at my place. Finished the evening with hanging out with Maurisa in my apartment, and the three of us watched Mark Reads "Pounded By The Gay Colour Changing Dress" (thanks, Pear) and yeah. Breakfast with Maurisa and Javier first thing the next morning, and Eric came to help see Chinelo off at the bus station. It was a great weekend. I slept the rest of Sunday away.

I really need to not perform so much affective labour.

6) I am very tired and looking forward to next week after I'm done grading so I can just check out off the Internet for a bit while I prep for my Summer Session teaching. This assumes that I will have enough students enrolled for the classes to go.

7) I sort of regret asking the origin of the "hello my baby hello my honey hello my ragtime gal" which I kept seeing all over Tumblr because that song is stupidly catchy.

8) I went to the last Asian Pacific Student Program roundtable yesterday. A couple of the regulars are graduating, hooray for them! Another regular asked me about Asian Americans in SFF. The guy who usually leads the roundtable was super nice and thanked me for coming. They're mostly undergrads but they are SO SMART and the future looks so great with them in it, I'm looking forward to going back again this fall.

9) Had a really great conversation with my fashion theory prof about my dissertation project. Now to speak to my grad adviser about it.

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May. 29th, 2015

Dr. R: So who is it that keeps leaving their markings on the board everytime we come in?
Me: There's an introduction to calculus class in here before us.
Dr. R: Over the years I've noticed it's always the mathematicians who leave their markings and never clean them off for the next class. I don't know what it is, it's like they HAVE to make their mark somewhere.
Me: He took a really long time leaving today; I gave him five minutes past time and he was still lecturing.
Dr. R: Well then.
Me: He's at least really easy on the eyes.
Dr. R: I hope you didn't tell him that!
Me: Of course not.

..................................... for now, anyway.

ETA: Now considering ways to tell him I think he's cute in the brief minute between my coming into the lecture room and his leaving it.

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