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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
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|Friday, December 6th, 2013|
|In Memory of Remy
I had a dream last night about Remy, one of my fave rats, who died recently, pretty suddenly. He lived a good life, not long but not too short, I think over two years (which is, sadly, like around 60 for a person). He'd had lung problems for a while, for which he took a bronchodilator. One morning he started breathing heavily, but soon it was too bad for even oxygen to help. He died while the local vet was trying to stabilize him for x-rays. A necropsy found some enlarged organs and maybe masses, as well as lung scarring.
We don't even have a picture of him uploaded to the web that I can put here! But he was a very striking variberk, black with white up his sides as well as on his belly and paws, with a white chin and a white blaze on his forehead.
We adopted him from a general pet shelter in New Jersey. He came with his name, obviously after Ratatouille
, but as X-Men fans we also referred to him as Remy LeRatt. Unneutered, and solo at the shelter, he lived here alone in his cage but next to the Critter Nation for a while. Maybe because of inadequate socialization, he never made it far up the hierarchy when he did join the mischief, although he was one of the larger and more muscular rats.
His personality was unique: he loved to be out, more almost all other rats we've had; he wouldn't swarm up our arms, but he would come up to us when we opened the cage, not just to beg treats but to be taken out. But he never settled down when he was out. Most rats repose under my shirt, next to me, next to womzilla
, or on a book that lies horizontally on a shelf behind Womzilla's head. Remy always ranged from one end of my couch to the other end of Womzilla's, sit for just a while, then head back. "Where's Remy?" "Coming up on the shelf right behind your shoulder." He'd sit and groom himself or whatever and then he'd be traveling again. He also was very insistent about trying whatever food or even drink we had, coming close to tipping plates and knocking over glasses.
In fact, if the end-table between our two couches had stuff on it, as seems to be its proclivity, Remy would just plow on, stepping on, pushing aside, and even knocking over whatever was in his way. Like the honey badger, he just didn't give a ****. In fact, we came to call it honey badgering, as in, "Remy is honey badgering again." (And noted that, after all, he was black and white, like a honey badger.) Womzilla always stopped the TV show to pick stuff up, while unless it spilled food or liquid, I wanted to go on watching. Remy, of course, didn't care which; he'd just sit for a while and move on. He wasn't obedient about coming quickly when I called, like our beloved Honey was years ago, but he'd usually amble my way if I signalled him.
In the dream, I had a black-and-white rat out with me, not in a cage; he'd get nervous/tense about being carried around and want to get away, but when he did get away, even if he ran very far with me chasing him, eventually he'd come back. I knew he was just crazy from new surroundings and uncertainty, and I kept trying to get back home as directly as possible, although (as is the manner in dreams) something kept interfering. His markings were usually Remy's, and even when he was, say, hooded, I knew it was Remy. It wasn't like a dream about his spirit, though, but a dream about when he was alive. That was a transition between a dream about my old sorority house and a dream about a guy out on campus putting the moves on me. (Would that had happened in college! He had his own three PEW rats with him, too.)
I know online people who say they have given up on rats because the sadness of losing them is just too frequent and too hard. I just try to live it and move on.
Remy, shortly after we brought him home
|Thursday, December 5th, 2013|
In yesterday's entry answering the blog question, "What do you fear?" I wrote, " I fear that I will hurt people without meaning to & they won't be open to apology, because they don't understand me or because I can sometimes be a bull in a china shop or so sure I am right."
Today I discovered that I am actually blocked from commenting on <lj user="browngirl">'s LJ.
So, yeah. Racefail & its fallout was definitely in my mind when I wrote that; and here it is, still or again. But enough of that, as my friend Mary Pharr says.
Anyway, what I'd intended to comment to was a discussion of autonomous sensory meridian response (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_sensory_meridian_response
), which she described as something she gets in various situations, including when reacting strongly to music or fiction. Actually, reading the wikipedia entry now, I tend to think it covers a very wide range, from orgasm without physical stimulus--which science has recently verified (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/sunday-review/ill-have-what-shes-thinking.html?_r=0)--to
a tingle in the skin.
I've certainly had that tingle; the most recent example was while I was reading *Paradise Lost." (As I said, I wish I'd enjoyed the poem this much when I studied it in graduate school.) The feeling is usually in the back of my neck, although it can be anywhere around my head and neck area. One thing that's fascinating me now is how different this tingle is from the tingle of a limb falling asleep or the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome, both of which I'm all too familiar with.
Linked but different feelings: the hair on my head standing up a bit, felt in the scalp (more likely due to awe than to horror or suspense); a warm expansion in my heart area.
The tingle and hair standing up are both pretty rare, and I can't recall them happening from music, though I think I've had one or both once or twice in movies. One cool thing is that they can happen both when I'm reading literature and when I'm talking about that work with a student--nice work benefit. The heart opening is much more common, and I can help it along or even cause it by thinking about stuff, while the others are both unpredictable and seemingly involuntary.
And yes, I've had orgasms with no physical stimulus, though not for many years; more often when I smoked grass, but also while doing energy-moving stuff mentally.
How about you guys?
Mood: chatty, all cheered up
|Here I Sit, Broken Hearted
From a recent conversation just before <lj user="supergee"> took me to the subway to go teach:
Supergee: I'm ready; I didn't have to crap after all. I just farted. At least it didn't cost me a nickel.
Nellorat: In my day it was a dime, then a quarter.
This led to a discussion of pay toilets & what they would cost now if you could even find one. The last ones I recall were in Grand Central Station, years ago. Then we discussed the current equivalent:
Nellorat: Here I sit, broken hearted./Paid $2.75 for this lousy latte just to use the customers-only bathroom and only farted.
Supergee: Nice update, but it doesn't scan.
Mood: why aren't I more relaxed?
|Wednesday, December 4th, 2013|
clawfoot posted a list of topics for each day of a month, and today's is "what do you fear?"
I knew that was a good one to tackle, because as much as I write about fictional horror, I don't tend to write about what I'm really afraid of. I try to be brave, strong. And in many ways, I'm not a worrier--at least not in comparison to many people I know, including eldersib, who knows I refer to her as "an Olympic-class worrier." I keep telling myself that almost all the horrible things that may happen never do, or do not happen for a long time. I like to think I'm realistic, but try not to focus on one horrible outcome until the data leading to that conclusion are pretty solid.
Still.... These are often about other people, but it's all my fears.
1) I'm afraid that supergee will die before I do, and I'm afraid of how catastrophic that will be.
2) I'm afraid that womzilla will get diabetes & won't handle it even as well as I do.
3) I'm afraid that youngersib really will get exhausted by the harrowing effects of her treatment and will stop, so that I lose another sister before I feel I had to.
4) I don't really see signs we'll lose our investments, but I'm a little nervous about staking Supergee's and my old age on something that goes down as well as up.
5) I fear that I will hurt people without meaning to & they won't be open to apology, because they don't understand me or because I can sometimes be a bull in a china shop or so sure I am right.
6) I fear that friends who regard me highly will lose faith in me or somehow find out they were wrong.
7) I rarely think much about it, but we could lose the house and everything or almost everything in it in a fire. Sh*t.
8) I fear I could be missing the point in life in some fundamental way, and when I die, I could discover that I had not lived. Probably by not doing enough for other people.ETA: Or not enough worship of God, or not enough travel, or too much ignoring local friends, or....
9) Automobile accidents, mine or a loved one's.
10) Senile dementia leaving me not only cognitively impaired (which I honestly think I could deal with) but also unhappy and mean to others.
11) Losing my good friends to old age and somehow not making new ones.
Other things I would find disastrous and fear but think I can deal with: being in a wheelchair, having cancer, my own death, settling a love one's estate, various natural disasters as long as we still have the house, my workplace closing.
Mood: contemplative, sharing
First, thanks to everyone who commented to my earlier post
asking for input on fantastic fiction and polyamory.
For the book of articles on gender/sex in the fantastic, I ended up sending in a proposal about how end-of-the-world fiction/films/comics reinforce the heterosexual couple and the nuclear family. Right now, I'm somewhat more interested in texts that avoid, displace, or prevent polyamory; however, thanks partly to y'all I was able to tell the editor that I could instead do a piece about f/sf that does show multiple family/marriage/desire, if no one else proposes one.
And check out this article by sociology associate professor Mimi Schippers
! She says a lot of what I have seen as natural, logical connections between queer theory and polyamory. I just sent her e-mail & hope we can discuss the issue, including how much I should link my work to queer theory vs. just acknowledge my deep debt.
I have TONS of writing I want to do now but, as my most recent post
states, I'm too busy teaching right now. Fortunately, I asked for & got Mon-Thurs totally off work next week. Also saving me from myself, it's going to take some time for the wheels to turn on the poly/fantastic project, and I can attend to already-coming-along work in that time.
Mood/status: physically itchy, not sure why, maybe dry winter air
As you know, Bob, I am Bizarro teacher: when other teachers work, I rest; and when other teachers rest, I work.
Thus I booked 48.5 paid hours (actual hours teaching, not prep let alone commute) during the Thanksgiving so-called vacation. Not for me or my dedicated students at the academy!
This week is also very busy, because some schools didn't start until today & this Saturday is both the SATs and the LSAT.
The money will come in very handy, because I just finished Christmas shopping!!!
Much more later; I'm going to try to write for and even read LJ every day. For now, I'm still struggling to get enough sleep. I could have slept in today, but I ruined myself by getting up early too consistently; I will definitely have time to take a nap this afternoon before heading out for work. It's a lot.
But I do love my work. These two weeks have been a nice blend of test prep, writing, and literature--Much Ado about Nothing
, Oedipus Rex
, Poe short stories (good paper on irony and foreshadowing), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
(which I had not reread since high school), Antigone
, and even Paradise Lost
. I'm now reading Stanley Fish's Surprised by Sin
& wishing I had enjoyed Milton this much when I was in grad school.
On Thanksgiving itself, we three went out to dinner with the ever-anonymous Sparrow, and other than that I slept, had sex twice (separated by a nap), and watched a couple-three hours of TV. What's not to like?
|Tuesday, November 19th, 2013|
|Call for Input: Poly--Overt, Covert, and Rejected--in Fantastic Literature
My next academic project will be a queer-theory type analysis of some fantastic literature (science fiction, fantasy, supernatural horror--recent and historical) in terms of multiple partnerships, an issue that is as almost-invisible in academic analysis as in society as a whole.
The example I always give is Stoker's Dracula, in which Dracula refers to the three female vampires as his "brides" and Mina jokes about marrying all of her suitors. I haven't come up with a useful new way to view the novel based on this, but it can me used to shore up many other interpretations: the Orientalist association of Dracula with the heathen East (place of scandalous sex in seraglios), Dracula's evil and its parodic relationship to the good, fear of the powerful "new woman" seen in the novel, fear of and tantalizing attraction to immoral/non-normative sex. I've read a lot of Dracula criticism, and no one seems to have picked this ripe, low-hanging fruit!
Also, like Eve Sedgewick--in goal, though not in ability!--I want to look at books in which poly-love is displaced onto nonsexual relationships or monogamous relationships (the equivalent of what Sedgewick calls "homosocial" themes). Sedgewick views some men-battling-over-same-woman plots as essentially displaced erotic energy of the male characters for each other, and I agree, but I think that pattern can also be a function of displaced communal/symbiotic/compersion poly desire. I'm looking at other works in which a menage of more than two is considered and rejected in terms of how they defines the limits of hetero-monogamous norms. (And I especially want to re-watch the 1959 movie The World, the Flesh, and the Devil to see if I can analyze it in one or both of these ways.)
Finally, I am interested in fantastic works that do display poly relationships and/or societies in which they are considered acceptable; it's actually a lower priority, but I do want to try to read them all.
I appreciate help, tips, thoughts!
X-posted to polyamory comm
|Sunday, November 17th, 2013|
|Queer Book Review; Imaginative Disgust and Orson Scott Card's Homophobia
I highly recommend The Trouble with Normal
, by Michael Warner (Harvard University Press, 1999). The writing is clear and often witty; he's a bit repetitive in making his general point, but it's a good one, both insightful and salutary. His central argument is that for various psychological, sociological, and historical reasons, the public voices of the GBLT movement have striven to position queers as normal, which includes de-emphasizing actual sex as much as possible. Thus not only the prioritizing of gay marriage, but the rejection of voices within the community who question whether marriage, and its dividing of relationships into a privileged class and unprivileged others, is a good idea for anyone.
I don't always agree with his views, but one marvelous thing about his voice is how thoroughly his own thoughts and words enact his own ethical basis: someone else's sexual choices don't have anything to do with you. He sees the resultant freedom and tolerance as a quintessentially queer value that the mostly college educated, mostly white spokes(wo)men for the gay-rights movement have lost or never had & work against in many ways. Reading the book is refreshing, because his ethical stance is so firm that it both questions and enhances one's own ethics.
Many interesting points are made along the way. For instance, lesbians did develop a pro-sex voice in magazines like On Our Backs
, but many of the pro--sex gay voices died of or were silenced by AIDS. Yet the split between sexual-freedom voices and those who wanted gay rights through acceptance of gays as "normal" goes back at least to the Mattachine Society in the 1950s.
He starts out with his basic thesis that the desire to divorce homosexuality from sex stems from an unresolved ambivalence, a not-total rejection of the shame society imposes. Yet in specific arguments, he gives other reasons, including that any communication between the GBLT community and mainstream society is shifted by the power imbalance to what is acceptable by the latter. I think he's right in that most pride/rights movements, actually, are probably marked by unresolved shame; but I also think that unresolved shame can lead to more vocal struggle, as he himself points out, as well as attempts to be accepted as normal. However, because his arguments are very much grounded in fact, even if you disagree with his shame/ambivalence hypothesis, you may agree with the rest of his analysis.
I previously read some books about disgust, including the excellent That's Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion
, by Rachel Herz (Norton, 2012), and two things seem clear:
1) What is viewed as disgusting is culturally conditioned, but the reaction of disgust is innate, visceral, and not susceptible to cognitive control.
2) Imagining something disgusting can produce a sensation of disgust virtually as strong as something really disgusting, much moreso than, for instance, fear.
So my theory* is that other people's sexual practices are so often an emotional hot spot because many of us cannot help imagining ourselves
doing those things, whether we find them attractive or neutral or disgusting. In fact, maybe the resultant disgust is the most powerful .of those three alternatives. Here, imaginative empathy, which is usually a source of compassion, turns on itself. Conscious ethics may help one not act on the emotional response, but it could still be there. If social hierarchies reinforce the disgust, then it is validated and one is "right" to act on it.
If this is so, then the most anti-gay people would be not only those who have a strong emotional reaction, but also those who can most easily imagine themselves in the same actions. It's been shown that many anti-gays have physiological reactions of pleasure/interest in pictures of gay sex--dilated pupils, breathing, where the eyes track in a picture--and besides just protesting too much or self-hatred, they could be experiencing imaginative disgust; the erotic imagination is naturally active, but the conscious mind rejects the imagined images.
But this also means that some of the strongest homophobes might be not only closeted GLB people but also those with the most active imaginations. Like, say, a novelist. Like Orson Scott Card.
ORSON SCOTT CARD:
In the wake of controversy over Card's politics that the movie version of Ender's Game
brought to the fore again, we three have sometimes talked about the paradox that Scott Card is one of the nicest people you'd ever meet, and yet he can say things against gay rights that have such draconian, even malign implications. We knew him somewhat when we all lived in North Carolina, and he is considerate, not only intelligent but wise, and admirably generous. Yet he can advocate keeping anti-gay-sex laws on the books but not enforcing them (except that you could, always, like statutes of Damocles) as a kind middle-of-the-road approach.
Various people have discussed various possible reasons, from Scott's Mormonism to totally-unproven speculations that Scott was a victim of man-on-boy abuse; but maybe it is or is also a side-effect of his vivid imagination of thoughts that do in fact disgust him. An occupational hazard. Reinforced as "right" by the culture(s) around him.
This speculation, like any other psychologizing of someone the psychologizer hardly knows, is virtually worthless, but it's an occupation I & a lot of my friends can't resist, and at least this has an interesting theoretical basis.
* Which is mine--literally in the sense that I haven't seen it in any of my readingStatus: Must get ready to spread knowledge like manure
|Monday, November 4th, 2013|
|The Only Thing I Realy Dislike about My Job
So now it's noon, and I still don't know whether I have to be at the academy at 4:00 p.m. or will Skype from home!
The academy has always been run in a way I like to call "flexible," with schedule changes at the last moment. The parents/students are seen as customers, and although I get the verbal equivalent of a silent stink-eye for canceling the same day even if I'm sick, they cancel at the last minute with impunity. OK, I can live with that. And some of the changes in schedule are for the teachers' benefit, swapping around students so that gaps created by cancellations can be filled.
I've often said that such instant switches would have driven me nuts when I first started tutoring, but by now I am so familiar with materials and strategies in so many areas that getting a literature student instead of SAT or whatever doesn't bother me much. I stand by my need to have at least 36 hours notice before teaching a group class; this huge demand seems mainly to have resulted in my having all individual students, which I'm mostly fine with.
Over the past several months, however, this problem has increased an order of magnitude. I can't remember the last Saturday or Sunday that actually followed the schedule I was given just at end of day the night before
. This may be more or fewer hours, or may be the same number of hours but the exact students/subjects changed.
I think the problem is twofold. One is that the one person doing all the scheduling and phoning is probably vastly overworked. I've suggested that maybe the academy needs to hire someone to help her, but she never says anything in response. Also, this year it seems that less of my work is regular meetings for test prep and more is sporadic sessions as needed to help with homework. I often like helping with homework, especially when the student is fully capable of doing it but just doesn't fully realize what is expected/desired; and I'm getting better at not letting even the most passive-controlling student get me to do the work for hir. But these last-minute sessions exacerbate the gap between the work & one person's ability to do it.
I think another big issue is that when the academy went for boarding-school students--in many ways a wise response to the economic downturn--that choice had effects, perhaps unanticipated, that make the scheduling worse. Of course it's more usual for an equivalent school or agency in America to have some kind of penalty for a student/parent missing or changing an appointment too close to when it happens; I'm pretty sure this approach is the common one in Korea, and I'm pretty sure its success relies on cultural differences. The boarding-school students more often make appointments themselves, and they're more assimilated, usually less responsible (i.e., teenagers), and sometimes have an annoying sense of privilege that seems to come from knowing you're part of an elite boarding school. Someone who knows a paper is due Wednesday might be thoughtful and make an appointment for the Tuesday night as soon as s/he gets the assignment; my impression is that used to happen more, but almost never now.
Certainly, when I put my foot down my decision is respected, and I've been doing that more and more. It's hard for me to do so, though, in a way that doesn't sound snappish to the woman who does the scheduling. OTOH, that's based in a feeling that she could & should try more to push the student into better time-management habits. Last week, I twice said "if it's not in by this time I won't work on it"; the first time we argued a bit and the second time she sighed heavily, but each time the student did ultimately meet my deadline. I feel justified not only by my responsibility to stand up for myself, but also by my role as teacher, which I feel includes not enabling bad time management. And I do knowingly say this as someone who got away with bad time management much longer than I should have, and was finally glad to have a mentor who lovingly but firmly helped me improve.
But it's hard to balance off the needs of the students and my own desire for work & money against my annoyance of all this absolutely last-minute stuff. How much can & should I just adapt? I have started asking to be paid for time I spend waiting for an appointment when I don't know the student canceled (either s/he didn't tell the scheduling person or the scheduling person didn't tell me), and so far no one has even hesitated to say OK. But I still feel like I end up wasting a lot of time, and whether I should or not, I do find it annoying, even when I get paid (although less so). I am worried about making too much trouble, although realistically I'm a valuable enough employee that they'd probably speak with me about it rather than firing me.
I still haven't gotten e-mail about today. I guess I'll phone.ETA: I called & the possible second student still hadn't called back, so I said "Let's just go with the Skype then"; the person who does the scheduling said OK and sighed deeply. I'm questioning my decision, but not so much, especially because today is a hectic day at home, probably getting a new furnace. If the furnace guy comes as he said he would!
Mood: irritated, frustrated, but apparently chatty
|Wednesday, October 30th, 2013|
|Scary Good Times
I've been too busy or tired to write until today, but womzilla
and I had a wonderful time Thursday at Blood Manor, a high-tech and notoriously scary "Haunted House" in downtown Manhattan.
Those are real quotation marks (the kind I approve of) because the web site calls it that; but they are also scare quotes because except for one amazing corridor, none of the horror is ghostly. Primarily it is meaty and visceral, often literally. Each room or corridor had a theme: an antique parlor where someone keeps the bodies of guests; two rooms with mad surgeons; a meat locker where some of the meat is human; a dining room offering us guests to join an speakable repast; anthropophagous living dead (one on a surgical table that lost its entrails a la Day of the Dead
); deranged killer clowns. One other clinical room had a figure that I thought might be a CDC agent but Womzilla delighted me by dubbing the Mad Gasser of Mattoon
Neither of us actually peed ourselves--I thought about it, for the free t-shirt!--or even screamed, but the whole experience was indeed very unsettling, even scary. even before we entered, I was encouraged by the two rules: don't touch the actors and don't touch the setting/props. I inferred from this that the actors were not allowed to touch us, which greatly heartened me & turned out to be true. Mind, they could and did come up right in front of you & scream or shout, but that I could handle. I also inferred that the settings/props could not touch us, which was less of a concern for me & was generally true: you couldn't navigate the meat-locker without hitting some of the spongy torsos, but nothing was thrown. Still, the combination of coherent sets, actors, some audioanimatronic figures, and disturbing special effects was every bit as adrenaline-producing as I expected. Womzilla and I hold hands or somehow touched the entire time; I started out letting him go first, sometimes clinging to his backpack, but by the end I was first.
I had read in Time
magazine just that week that these entertainments are becoming more and more hi-tech and more and more popular. This one used luminescent paint, including in 3-D (at one points we were given 3-D glasses) and various types of video and projected images. For instance, a "window" in one corridor showed a living-dead male running toward it; just as the creature was about to hit, a human behind it shot its head away, but the window was seen to shatter, accompanied by a puff of air. In the dining room, a rotting steer head on the wall was surrounded by a projected video of skittering cockroaches. But the most amazing was the one ghostly effect: somehow, a neon-green strobe made it look as if we were walking in the iconic corridor of light of the afterlife, with a cone of ghosts all around us.
Our only complaint was that we were rushed through too quickly, presumably both to maximize profits and to keep up the scary surprise factor. The detail in each room would have rewarded close attention that just wasn't part of the experience. Thus, we enjoyed comparing notes later: W. hadn't noticed all the snakes hanging above our heads in the jungle corridor; I decried the lack of rats, but W. said he thought the unspeakable dinner included dead rat (better than nothing).
The next night, I on Shark Tank
(a semi-guilty pleasure), one of the investors offered something like $10 million for a 20% share in a California company that does these attractions and is branching out to year-round sites. He said that he felt this interactive, unique-experience entertainment is the wave of the future. I can see why! It doesn't really take more creativity or personal initiative than a movie or play, yet it seems much more like real life and is emotionally more participatory and hence more intense. The actual tour is short, but the memories linger.
I strongly suspect we'll go each year. And despite Womzilla's scoffing beforehand, he admitted how right I was: paying the extra $15 apiece to go in the much-shorter VIP line is definitely worth it. Someone called it "the rich people's line" but I called it the line for people "old enough to have both a higher income and tired feet."
|Tuesday, October 8th, 2013|
I totally don't understand my blood sugar: I went hypoglycemic four times
yesterday. I wasn't fasting or anything, for sure! And these aren't what I call "a minor hypo" (70 where normal is 80 to 120) but "a real hypo" (50 or below).
Yesterday was a serene, fulfilling day; could I usually be able to eat so little partly due to stress?
One thing for sure: apparently I can eat mass quantities
of acorn squash, many times what I could eat of even corn. This is great news, since when it's sprinkled with cinnamon, nutmeg, a little cumin, and ginger, and then sprayed heavily with butter-flavor Pam and microwaved om nom nom!
I ended the day feeling generally crappy from the blood-sugar roller coaster and gassy from eating a lot very quickly when hypo. Bleh. Today I feel better but still belchy. (Fortunately, in our menage a rie a burp means, "I love you.") I guess I'll eat more, pay more attention to how I'm feeling, and test more. But I had been running high after meals, so in that way the change is good.
Status: waking up
|Monday, October 7th, 2013|
This film really is as astonishing as you've heard, and even more so in IMAX. womzilla
and I just saw it. I kept going "wow."
One of the many astonishing things is that in supergee
's lifetime, and close to in mine--1954--the image of women n space has gone from "The Cold Equations"
to this. I'm usually proud of individuals but depressed about society in general; but this change makes me very proud of society as a whole. I'm glad, as a woman, to be around for it.
Status: hypoglycemic & waiting for sugar to metabolize
|Saturday, October 5th, 2013|
|Life at Valentine's Castle
The other day I asked supergee
if he had a ruler, which I needed for a clothing/crafts project.
"You know, like a benign dictator," I said, a comment totally lost on him since he had his hearing aids turned down.
The only ruler that could be found turned out to be even more bizarre: a "Peter Meter," just over six inches long, shaped like a penis in silhouette, glans and all. It was in my desk drawer, too. I have no idea how I acquired it or when.
"I only need to place the t-shirt design symmetrically," I said, "so it doesn't matter if the inches are accurate or 'bragging inches.'"
Today Supergee went out to Staples "to buy some interesting rulers."
"But not as interesting as the Peter Meter," I said.
Or, I said, "one person of an elected oligarchy."
Status: off to work
|Monday, September 9th, 2013|
Well, the my Chapul bars made with cricket flour
arrived, and based on the one I ate part of, the bars neither make me gag nor will significantly change my eating habits, I think.
The big problem is that all of them have too much sugar--the only reason I left my first bar half-eaten for now. The texture is absolutely no different from that of any brownie-style protein bar; the taste may be a bit "flat" in an odd way, but that may just be my imagination. If you like chocolate and hot pepper, you'll like the Aztec bars, the kind I just tried. And sabotabby
, I couldn't at all taste the dates, although you may be able to.
I've made more efforts to get in touch with EXO, the cricket-flour bar with more protein and less sugar. Those could actually make a difference in how I eat overall.
I guess what would really make a difference is cooking with cricket flour; that doesn't seem to be available now, but I suspect it will be in the near future.
|Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013|
|2 Good Things
is home from family & Worldcon in Texas.
Also, the summer deluge seems to be withdrawing. To my extreme surprise, I had yesterday off (allowing me to greet W. right when he came home) & today is only five hours, although I had been told it would be very busy. How long before I complain of too little work? But for now I am a happy Nellorat.
status: still must rush to shower & go to teach
|Sunday, September 1st, 2013|
|NASFIC 2014: I Can Has FanGoH
Now it can be told: supergee
, and I will be Fan Guests of Honor at the North American Science-Fiction Convention in Detroit in 2014!
Supergee told me when he woke me up this morning, and at first I literally couldn't believe it, at least emotionally. For one thing, since hearing of Detroit's recent economic woes, I'd been thinking it would cost them the bid, so I wouldn't be disappointed. It took over an hour for me to really enjoy the news fully!
Of course, as Supergee says, Arizona is morally
bankrupt. And the vote was somewhat close.
As for my excitement, let me count the ways. One of the biggest is that my sibs will be able to attend. Youngersib, especially, may never be able to fly again (since she is so immuno-suppressed), and this is the best chance for her to meet some of my friends.
The committe is poly-friendly--one reason for its choice of the three of us--so we can speak about that. (I'm almost beginning to think that polyamory might be gaining some small social visibility, too. Some of the recent queer theory I've been reading explores monogamy critically, for instance.)
I hardly ever get to conventions nowadays, so I'll be loving that aspect. In fact, that might be too extreme, and I'm thinking we should visit local and semi-local friends in the next year so I'm not trying to catch up with everyone at once, while being FanGoH.
And the perks--I'm sure the people showing us around won't be quite as great as cakmpls
was, but I'm eager.
And can you imagine
the skiffy made-to-measure clothing I'll be proudly parading each day?
Well, this is a break at work caused by a student's canceling, but I had to check in. Of course we've known for a while, but now you can know too!
|Saturday, August 31st, 2013|
|I Can't Believe What I Just Did
I was pondering an LJ entry to be titled "Someone Talk Me Out of This," but I got the idea of searching online, and I just bought a six-pack of protein bars made with crickets
Several days ago, a student I feel comfortable with asked about my vegan sandwich for lunch, and I found myself saying that although I am pisco-vegetarian, really, the most ethical and healthful approach would be for me to eat insects for protein. I read about one man who keeps a 20-gallon aquarium in his basement, filled with crickets, which he feeds with scraps and then harvests to eat. How small an environmental footprint is that
! Many cultures do eat insects, and they're good for you. I surprised myself with how long I talked about the topic. But, of course, I said, it's too gross, it's insects--
But the idea wouldn't leave my head. The meat is high in omega 3s, but no mercury like tuna or salmon. I'm sure it mostly tastes of whatever you serve it with, anyway. Really, shrimp and insects are more alike than different.
When I thought about writing an LJ entry on the topic, I realized how much better it would be if I could cut down on the soy in my diet also, since soy may increase one's chances of breast cancer, although it may not. And soy is all factory farmed, not yet the case with insects.
Maybe I just wasted around $22 because I'll take one bite and gag at the very idea. OTOH, I have had ants in chocolate, years and years ago. All the articles on or reviews of these bars say they taste wonderful. One is somewhat high in fat and both too high in carbohydrates and sugar for my preference, but each provides one full diabetic exchange of protein, so one plus veggies could be an OK lunch.
My God, Am I really doing this?
Conceivably, in a few months I could have a new contestant characteristic for a second "what is the weirdest thing about me?" poll.
|Friday, August 30th, 2013|
|Academy II: Food Recantation
Some time ago, I made the statement here that I would rather eat (sterile) rat urine on toast than eat kimchee. I recant!
The thing is, kimchee is not designed to be eaten by itself, like a salad or vegetable. womzilla
eats it that way & says it is good, but he is wrong. That plainly, obviously sukks.
Rather, it is a condiment, as I discovered from the dinners brought in when we work late at the academy. On rice, or egg, it's very good!
My LSAT student this evening confirmed this, adding that it's really good on hot dogs and pizza. I can see a comparison to sauerkraut, which some people think tastes bad by itself but makes a good condiment on hot dogs.
Status: eager to try kimchee on pizza
|Academy I :Feeling Older
I'm now doing tutoring in the LSAT for a student I tutored in the SAT; also, one of my favorite SAT students, who went to MIT, has now come back for help with applications to MD/PhD programs. I know it's only four years, but neither one was from my first years at the academy, so I think of them both as recent students.
One would think we are all growing older.
Mood: day off tomorrow, so yippee
|Wednesday, August 28th, 2013|
Inspired by thnidu
, who posted a list of "have you done this?" events including "Held a praying mantis."
I did. It was dying. The whole experience was very sad.
The back-corner garden, that year, had gotten overgrown with weeds, especially wild grapes. When I was vehemently tearing piles of vines free, I suddenly felt a sharp pang. A praying mantis had bitten me on one finger and was still attached.
As I looked closer, I couldn't blame the poor thing: I had fatally injured it. The unweeded garden must have been the perfect place for it to hide and find prey, but then a huge, clumsy primate ripped up its environment. Worse yet, its green did blend right in, as nature intended, so I didn't see it where I grabbed.
It released and dropped into the garden bed. I went elsewhere to weed.