bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: woman pulling her pink corset tight (a woman's armor (ravenclawbest))
1. I've gotten offers from not one, but TWO graduate schools (Emory University and the University of Kentucky), which means that I'm going to have to face my nemesis, making decisions. I didn't actually expect to get into multiple schools. I'm still waiting to hear from two others, though I had to present myself as more interested in the Late Antique period for them and my entire record is classical, so those two are longer shots on that point alone. And Emory was my first choice (aside from Tulane, which said no), so...

1a. I have to tell them by Monday whether or not I'm going to the department's admitted students weekend and I am freaking out, because I know I should go, but the idea is terrifying. Not least because I can't interpret the instructions on the freaking e-mail about booking flights.

can someone please tell me what I'm supposed to do here? )

1b. I hate traveling so much that my kneejerk response is NO I DON'T WANT TO, but I guess I...should. But I don't want to and I'm dreading it. Alternately I just tell them no, I'm busy that weekend. Or something. (There's a 99% chance I'm going to say yes, so I don't need to be wooed.)

2. My father was supposed to come back from Thailand two weeks ago, but he got the date of his return flight wrong and missed it, so he's coming back this Wednesday instead. My mother keeps going "I don't understand how anyone could get that wrong," and I have to keep telling her, "I've done that with deadlines and exam dates," because I...take after my father in a lot of ways, apparently including in our crappy memories.

3. The weather's gone up above freezing here, which on the one hand is great, but on the other hand everything is melting...including the snow piled up on the woodshed roof, which we've now discovered is leaking heavily. You know what's in the woodshed? OUR FIREWOOD.

3a. My mother and I are basically like "well, we'll let Dad deal with it when he comes back" at this point, but I'm not sure there's anything that can be done before spring. I'm pretty certain we're going to have to get the roof replaced, so at least we already know what this year's home improvement project is going to be. (Last year we redid the deck. A few years ago my father decided to dig an impromptu sewage ditch. Living in the country is fucking weird.)

4. I am pretty good baker -- I've done biscuits, cookies, scones, layer cakes, eclairs and cream puffs, bread, cinnamon rolls, pies, crisps, and crumbles -- but the one thing I've never been able to make successfully has been chocolate chip cookies. I've tried so many times, every recipe you can think of -- yes, even that one. yes, that one too. yes, I've tried Alton Brown -- but I've never been able to do them successfully UNTIL NOW. I FINALLY MASTERED THE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE. (I know, right, who can't make chocolate chip cookies? Everyone can make chocolate chip cookies.) I made perfect, delightful chewy in the center and crispy on the edges chocolate chip cookies, and I'm genuinely stunned because I've fucked it up so many times, AND YET. PRAISE THE TOLL HOUSE GODS. (The only thing I changed was using half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet chocolate chips, but that's only because I had both.)

4a. I still haven't made king cake this year. QUICK, MARDI GRAS SEASON IS COMING TO AN END, THERE'S NOT MUCH TIME LEFT.

5. So -- I don't think I've mentioned this on DW, but I started knitting again in December. For those that don't remember, or weren't around, I stopped knitting in February 2013 when I got tendinitis in both wrists, and I was too afraid of injuring myself again to pick it up again at any point in the intervening four years. When I stopped I still had stuff on the needles (a 3x1 ribbed sock, a lace stole, a cabled cowl), and I just packed it up when I moved from England back to Washington. At some point in December I pulled out my half-finished sock and started doing a round or two in the ten minutes between finishing doing my hair and finishing an episode of Rebels or TCW (everything in my life gets timed by those 22-minute eps; the 44-minute ones can really throw me off). And then I started working on it more, and finished that sock -- and cast on for a second sock (which involved me trying to figure out which cast-on I'd used, since I didn't have notes or anything, and which heel I'd used), and finished it a few days ago -- my first finished knitting in four years. I'm still sort of wary of the stole and the cowl (for one, I either put aside or threw out the patterns when I was decluttering this summer, and have no idea where they are, though I do know which patterns they are -- the stole is Juno Regina and the cowl is Nennir), but I pulled out my untouched stash, wound up a skein of Tanis Fiber Arts pebble sock, and cast on for another pair of socks.

5a. I'm still incredibly paranoid that I'll re-injure my wrists; I'm probably more afraid of that than I am of anything else, and I'm afraid of everything. Mostly I'm afraid of it when it comes to typing, but I can't stop typing, so...we persevere. (I wear wrist braces when I type and when I sleep, but I think they actually make my wrists worse if I wear them while knitting.)
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: read (bookshelf with text "read") (read (girlyb_icons))
What I'm currently reading

The Witches of Wenshar, the second Sun Wolf and Starhawk book, by Barbara Hambly. I'm sort of inching through James Luceno's Star Wars: Catalyst -- I suspect it's going to be another DNF, as Luceno's one of my least favorite SW writers and I have a low tolerance for ~genius men and the women who take care of them, which is pretty much what the beginning of the book reads as. (And from what I've heard, I don't think that's going to improve; I don't particularly care about Galen Erso and Orson Krennic's relationship, either.)

What I've just finished reading

I'm going through books a little more slowly in February than I did in January, which has its highs and lows. I finished rereading The Siren Depths, and went through The Ladies of Mandrigyn (the first Sun Wolf and Starhawk book) and The Midnight Mayor (the second Matthew Swift) book, all of which were rereads.

I also moved The Fifth Season to my Did Not Finish list, and got through one chapter of The House of the Four Winds this morning before it went to the DNF list too. Blah. I suspected it would hit the DNF list as soon as it said as an aside "oh, yeah, these seventeen countries all share one ambassador for convenience." That's not...how international politics...works... (Sort of an alternate fantasy Earth, which I tend to find dull when they're just making up fancy names for England and France so that they can slot in their tee-tiny fictional country but not have to think about it too hard. Like, either do something interesting with it and do it fast, or go full fantasy, dude.) Also, the MC was...painfully boring.

What I'm reading next

I keep meaning to reread the Rivers of London books so I can read The Hanging Tree, since I can't remember what happened, but...I like the Matthew Swift books better which is why I reread The Midnight Mayor instead WHOOPS.

I've been meaning to reread the Enduring Flame trilogy as well, but we'll see. In all likelihood...more Barbara Hambly.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera with her arms folded, smiling (hera)
On the Edge of the Devil's Backbone (269748 words) by bedlamsbard
Chapters: 23/?
Fandom: Star Wars: Rebels, Star Wars - All Media Types
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Kanan Jarrus/Hera Syndulla
Characters: Hera Syndulla, Kanan Jarrus, Sabine Wren, Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios, C1-10P | Chopper, Ezra Bridger, Cham Syndulla, Barriss Offee, Kallus | ISB-021, Darth Vader, Ahsoka Tano, The Inquisitor (Star Wars), The Seventh Sister, The Fifth Brother
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, Canon-Typical Violence
Summary:

Ten years after she vanished during an Imperial raid on a Twi'lek colony, Cham Syndulla sees his daughter Hera for the first time in a hologram -- now wearing the uniform of an Imperial agent and apparently working closely with a human Inquisitor. All Cham wants to do is to bring his long-missing child home to what remains of her family, but he soon finds that Hera Syndulla is only interested in two things: her duty to the Empire and her loyalty to her crew, a mismatched collection of outcasts brought together by Hera and her pet Inquisitor.


With Cham and the Rebel agent known as Fulcrum in pursuit, a new mission takes Hera and the crew of the Ghost to the planet Lothal, where a chance meeting with a Force-sensitive teenager awakens something long buried in the Inquisitor once known as Kanan Jarrus...and has dire consequences for Hera, their crew, the Empire, and the fledgling Rebel Alliance.


*

Preview: Fulcrum )
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (Default)
What I'm currently reading

The Siren Depths by Martha Wells, which is a favorite and a reread. I started N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season yesterday, but I'm not in the headspace to handle it right now. (And honestly, I'm not sure I'll ever be; I've liked Jemisin's other books, but this one is...not my thing. But it's definitely not my thing when I've been doing comfort reads for months because I can't deal with life.)

What I've just finished reading

A couple of Star Wars Legends novels -- Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams, which is an Old Republic novel, and Tales from Jabba's Palace, which is a collection of related short stories that had some really clever bits. And a canon novel, one of the YA novels that came out last year as part of the Journey to The Force Awakens releases, Jason Fry's The Weapon of a Jedi, which was fun.

I also read about half of Alexander Freed's Rogue One novelization before moving it to my Did Not Finish list; I'm not a fan of movie novelizations and this one was driving me to the verge of hating the story, which is...not the goal, since I actually liked the movie.

What I'm reading next

I want to say "the books I took out of the library" but in reality probably...not those.

What I'm reading next
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera with her arms folded, smiling (hera)
1. I HATE WINTER because among other things, it turns the landscape in a monochromatic dystopian hellscape. There's actually more snow than that (the first two were taken today, the last one last week) now, since it's been snowing all day and I HATE IT. I lived in New Orleans for six years, y'all, why did I move back to Washington? When can I move away from Washington?

1a. Though I keep worrying vaguely about the fact that five of the six schools I applied to are all in very, very red states, but like...see again, I lived in Louisiana for six years, and Louisiana is a red state even if Orleans Parish is blue. (I think. I am pretty sure.) And Washington might be blue but my county is red. So like. *shrugs* I'm not planning on losing my Washington residency if I didn't do so in the past nine years, so. Also like I haven't even been accepted anywhere yet so that's not like. Really a major concern.

2. In "I hate winter and also living in the country" news, the other day a deer died on my lawn. *dead-eyed stare, no pun intended* cut for animal death )

3. On Monday I did make my first phone call to one of my reps -- I hate phone calls and I hate calling strangers and I hate expressing opinions, and both my senators are Democrats anyway so there didn't seem to be much of a point. (My congressman is a Republican so expressing an actual negative opinion is...still a little too intimidating for me to do, even if it's just to a staffer.) But I decided I would try one, and I got through to Maria Cantwell's DC office on the second try to say thank you for speaking out against the immigration ban. I tried Patty Murray's office but couldn't get through, but one is a start.

Everything is like...you know, CALL YOUR REPS EVERY DAY! OR YOU HAVE FAILED THE REPUBLIC! I hate phones and I hate expressing opinions, so mostly I just scrolled past and felt guilty. So...one is a start.

4. I've been watching a lot of Say Yes to the Dress lately, which always makes me feel like I'm back in college -- one of my best friends loved the show, and I have a very firm memory of sitting on her couch watching marathons with her. Also I'm appalled at some people's friends and families. What the fuck, people, it's her wedding, let her do what she wants.

5. At least twenty percent of every day is dedicated to worrying about getting into grad school. WHEN WILL I KNOW. There's so much praying going on in my household right now, probably more than at any point in the previous 20+ years.
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: read (bookshelf with text "read") (read (girlyb_icons))
Before I get into the usual stuff, I did a January round-up of books only over on Tumblr; I liked doing daily reads and I think I'm going to try and keep it up. (Though the weird side effect of it is that it does make me juggle books in order to have a new one to post every day, though I'm not sure I'm actually juggling them more than usual.)

What I'm currently reading

I am finishing up Barbara Hambly's The Armies of Daylight, the third Darwath book.

What I've just finished reading

I finished Icefalcon's Quest (the fifth Darwath book; I don't usually do series rereads in order) this morning. Also, Stranger at the Wedding and Star Trek: Crossroad, both by Barbara Hambly (you know I'm deep into an author when I'm reading their tie-ins for a fandom I'm barely familiar with, but Crossroad read fine for someone who's only seen the most recent Trek movies despite being a TOS novel). Also Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith, by John Jackson Miller, my favorite Star Wars author.

What I'm reading next

I've got the Rogue One novelization out from the library, and I've been meaning to read N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season for a while now.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera with her arms folded, smiling (hera)
1. Every now and then I get really into a mobile game; past contenders include Angry Birds Star Wars II and Star Wars Card Trader. Right now it's Star Wars Force Arena, which is delightful. (Especially if you play it with the sound on, because it's all the Star Wars music -- I haven't done, like, an exhaustive survey but I suspect the music changes from battlefield to battlefield, since on Lothal it tends to be Rebels tracks.) I was a little antsy about it being player versus player instead of player versus ~the machine, but so far it's fun and that keeps it varied.

It's all characters from the Rebellion era, which keeps it within a very tight timeline; it's OT, Rebels, and Rogue One characters, plus a couple of comic book characters -- Doctor Aphra from Darth Vader and Evaan Verlaine from Princess Leia (though not playable, since they have to be used with a specific playable character). They're short on ladies on the Imperial side, which is kind of a bummer; Aphra and Arihnda Pryce from Rebels are there. I was hoping for the Seventh Sister, but so far she hasn't made it in. On the Rebel side, Leia, Sabine, and Jyn are all playable. All that said, I usually play as Ezra, mostly because I'm hoping I can eventually get Kanan, who can only be played with Ezra. (No Hera or Ahsoka, alas. Hopefully someday!)

2. I am waiting on grad school responses; I had an interview with one earlier this week, and got what's essentially waitlisted by another. ("Admissions committee recommended you, but we can't guarantee funding so we can't make an official offer, I'll be in touch if this changes.") My prof from Tulane says this is a good sign, since there's usually a fair amount of shuffling going on because applicants tend to get offers from multiple schools. I just feel like everything in my life is on hold until I get responses.

2a. This is really bringing home how slight the chances are of getting in -- like, the programs I'm applying to tend to only accept 4-8 applicants a year, and get between 150-200 applications. And if the same people are getting multiple offers, like...this is a very small field, I'm just saying. (TBH, it makes it sound like there are fewer than a hundred people in classics and ancient history nationwide who will be entering grad school in the fall -- which may be true, I don't know. I'm not sure how many PhD programs there are in the States for classics or ancient history.

2b. There was a 9% chance of snow the other day, so naturally it was snowing, which I actually found very encouraging considering there's only a 4% chance of getting into the grad program I interviewed for.

3. Looking at current events right now is depressing the hell out of me -- like, I can barely hold it together on my own account between the grad school stress and the breakup stress and the "what even is my future" stress, and then there's...America. (I need to start muting stuff, I think, but I haven't been because I'm like "I need to stay informed!" but also I want to curl up in a corner because everything is horrifying.)

4. I've been keeping a reading spreadsheet since 2011, keeping track of every book I read; this year I've been branching out to keep track of tea I buy (because I always forget) and recipes I make (because I'm curious). So far successful. Not successful: my attempt to set up a habit tracker, since it just stresses me out more. I don't feel like I have enough structure in my life right now to make trying a bullet journal anything resembling successful (a lot of the ones I've looked at have given me hives), since I need to do everything in very, very small doses or I get completely overwhelmed.

5. I finally found the set of stickers that I use to track the amount of work I do (I used them for working on my grad school apps), so I ordered two packs and having those extra packs has made me relax a lot. I have probably been stressed out of proportion, but I can't find any Rebels stickers in the States (these ones are only available in the UK), and I was just...very stressed. Also, the pack I have I got from my ex, so having new packs that don't come from her ease my peace of mind. (In the aftermath of the breakup, I got so stressed out looking at them that I couldn't even touch them because they made me think of her. I am past that now, mostly because I ordered the new packs.)

5a. Okay, that top link actually goes to the company which makes the stickers AND THEY'RE FOR SALE! and the six times I went to that website before I couldn't find, like. an actual store. so I bought my new packs on Ebay, but they're there! I could buy them! You have no idea how much this relieves me.

5b. I also decided that I would buy Rogue One stickers (which I can find in the States on Amazon) if I couldn't find Rebels stickers, so having that to fall back on is also very reassuring. (There are of course OT and TFA ones, but I don't care particularly about those. No TCW or PT that I've found, which isn't surprising.)

5c. I realize this all sounds incredibly minor, but stickers are basically the only thing that got me through my thesis and my grad school apps, so having an avenue that led to productivity being potentially cut off was terrifying.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (Default)
What I'm currently reading

Stranger at the Wedding by Barbara Hambly is the only active book I have up at the moment, though I've got a scattering of others that are in progress but which I haven't looked at in a while. I love Stranger at the Wedding, it's one of my favorite Hambly novels.

What I've just finished reading

I just finished a reread of the entire Chrestomanci series, which was delightful and makes me wish there were more stories that centered around Christopher, who is my fave. (I've heard that most DWJ fans are either Howl people or Chrestomanci people, and while I like Howl's Moving Castle better than any of the Chrestomanci novels, Christopher edges Howl out slightly for me.)

I also finished up a reread of Barbara Hambly's Winterlands novels with Knight of the Dragon Queen and Dragonstar.

What I'm reading next

I've got some books out from the library, and I took Jennifer Roberson's Lady of the Forest off my bookshelf a while ago because I wanted to reread it, but there's a better than even chance I'm just going to keep trucking ahead with my Hambly rereads.
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: read (bookshelf with text "read") (read (girlyb_icons))
What I'm currently reading

A lot of stuff because sticking on one book is hard: A Knight of the Demon Queen and Magistrates of Hell, both by Barbara Hambly -- the first one is a Winterlands novel and the second one is an Asher/Ysidro novel. They're both rereads, though I've only read Knight of the Demon Queen once before. Also, Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones; I'm on a Chrestomanci rereads. A couple of other things that I keep picking up and putting down, which are also rereads: Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells and The Walls of Air by Barbara Hambly, the second Darwath book.

What I've just finished reading

The three Haflbood Chronicles by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey -- The Elvenbane, Elvenborn, and Elvenblood. The first Chrestomanci book, Charmed Life (also my least favorite Chrestomanci book -- Cat sort of irritates me, and I like Christopher better, so I'm looking forward to hitting The Lives of Christopher Chant in this reread). Also, rereads of Barbara Hambly's Blood Maidens and Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora. And various short stories by various authors.

What I'm reading next

I've got Star Wars: Catalyst and Rogue One out from the library, so I want to read those -- I'm hesitating over buying the novelization, because I'm notoriously wary of novelizations, but this one got highly recced. (Of course, Stover's RotS novelization is highly recced too and I HATE IT, so like. I'm extremely dubious of recs.) And then more Chrestomanci and undoubtedly more Hambly.
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: cup of tea on a laptop (girlyb_icons) (tea and laptop (girlyb_icons))
I submitted my sixth and final (U.S.) grad school app today, but I have no idea if any of the auxiliary materials were sent -- well, my transcripts were sent but I don't know when the Leicester one will arrive, but ETS doesn't actually tell me if they've actually sent the GRE score reports I ordered, and none of my recommenders have told me anything so I'm not sure they actually got the rec request from LSU, let alone sent the recs. NONE OF THEM. THIS IS TERRIFYING.

Like, there is so much money involved in grad school apps, and also like...my entire future. So this is the kind of terrifying stress that's both entirely out of my hands now and also nauseating.

(Also, like, I swear to god the websites for the programs I applied to had their application dates in order of how incompetent their websites/application forms are, because this one was the worst.)
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: cup of tea and an open book (perfect (pretty_pixels))
1. Yesterday was my birthday! Not much happened because I have no friends in this town and it's too cold to leave the house (-14 F this morning, I need to move back to Louisiana ASAP), and then my ex ruined it by e-mailing me with the subject line "Happy Birthday but I guess don't read this today."

2. I've been using MonthlyInfo since 2010, and it does what I need it to, mostly, except it doesn't always e-mail me reminders so sporadically I get my period more or less on schedule but on my birthday by surprise because I would totally be one of those werewolves who's like "...the full moon again? didn't this just hapAWOOOOOOO." As far as I can tell MonthlyInfo doesn't have a mobile app (since I don't think the website has been changed since 2010), and I am trying to decide if I want to look for a period tracker app I can use on my phone. Does anyone have one they'd rec? It would have to at least have MonthlyInfo's featurs.

3. I would love to spend at least one day without looking the refrain of "we're all going to die" running in the back of my brain, but I don't see that happening any time soon. (I really shouldn't check Twitter on my phone first thing in the morning.)

4. I've been keeping reading spreadsheets for the past five or six years -- I think I started in 2011, though it could have been 2010 -- and this year I'm trying a couple other spreadsheets as well -- tea (I always forget what I've already bought or tried), cookbooks (to keep track of which ones I use and which recipes I make), and recipes (both from online and from cookbooks). So we'll see how that goes.

5. I am still -- incredibly stressed. I've got one more application due the day after tomorrow and I need to send some e-mails, because I can't tell if my rec requests went through or not, and then...the waiting game. I know everyone's like "your 20s don't define your future!" but this...kind of is my future. And also my past, since my two MAs are useless without a PhD.

5a. I need to start making some inquiries at PhD programs in the UK, except one of the downsides of the breakup is that it's also, uh, put me off the entire country. Which is ridiculous. Though the other reason doing a PhD in the UK is not the best idea is because U.S. PhD programs are funded, but UK ones are not, so I would have to find the money somewhere if I got in. I just wanna go back to Louisiana, man.

5b. Between the apps and the breakup and the weather, I'm just so stressed. And it's all manifesting in my jaw.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera with her arms folded, smiling (hera)
On the Edge of the Devil's Backbone (257399 words) by bedlamsbard
Chapters: 22/?
Fandom: Star Wars: Rebels, Star Wars - All Media Types
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Kanan Jarrus/Hera Syndulla
Characters: Hera Syndulla, Kanan Jarrus, Sabine Wren, Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios, C1-10P | Chopper, Ezra Bridger, Cham Syndulla, Barriss Offee, Kallus | ISB-021, Darth Vader, Ahsoka Tano, The Inquisitor (Star Wars), The Seventh Sister, The Fifth Brother
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, Canon-Typical Violence
Summary:

Ten years after she vanished during an Imperial raid on a Twi'lek colony, Cham Syndulla sees his daughter Hera for the first time in a hologram -- now wearing the uniform of an Imperial agent and apparently working closely with a human Inquisitor. All Cham wants to do is to bring his long-missing child home to what remains of her family, but he soon finds that Hera Syndulla is only interested in two things: her duty to the Empire and her loyalty to her crew, a mismatched collection of outcasts brought together by Hera and her pet Inquisitor.


With Cham and the Rebel agent known as Fulcrum in pursuit, a new mission takes Hera and the crew of the Ghost to the planet Lothal, where a chance meeting with a Force-sensitive teenager awakens something long buried in the Inquisitor once known as Kanan Jarrus...and has dire consequences for Hera, their crew, the Empire, and the fledgling Rebel Alliance.


*

Preview: Syndulla's Gamble )
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: read (bookshelf with text "read") (read (girlyb_icons))
...even though it's now technically Thursday, whoops.

What I'm currently reading

Numerous things -- I'm still flipping through things without really focusing on any one. Rereads on two Barbara Hambly books, Stranger at the Wedding and Blood Maidens, as well as a reread of Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora.

(I am also doing a mini-project over on Instagram, just for fun.)

What I've just finished reading

Barbara Hambly's The Time of the Dark (I've mentioned many times I'm on a Hambly kick, right?) and the new Seanan McGuire novella, Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day, which came out yesterday. And a bunch of Barbara Hambly short stories (or novelettes, going by the descriptions on Amazon); for some reason I like the Windrose shorts better than I like the novels. *flips hand* I haven't read all of them, so some of them are new to me.

What I'm reading next

I had a sudden craving to reread the Halfblood Chronicles by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey the other day, so those are up next now that I've gotten the first two from the library (I've only got the third one, for some reason).
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: cup of tea on a laptop (girlyb_icons) (tea and laptop (girlyb_icons))
I am simultaneously convinced I am good enough to get into graduate school and that I'll never get into graduate school because I'm a spectacular disaster (though not because I'm not good enough, just because I didn't have the right combination of magic words in my apps or my stupid five-year-old GRE scores).
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (Default)
1. I've got probably-a-canker-sore in the inside of my cheek, and the entire left side of my face hurts right now. If I remember correctly from the last time it happened, there's usually only a day or two of all-consuming pain before it starts going down again, and then we'll find out how much of that pain came from the sore or if part of my face is going to fall off or something. I think there's also a fairly decent chance I've been so stressed from the combo of application deadlines + breakup + weather that I've started grinding my teeth in my sleep again, which may also be contributing to the jaw pain. Right now I can't sleep on my left side, because it puts a lot of pressure on that side of my face -- this happened a few months ago too, and I've gotten stress-induced jaw pain before when I was in grad school.

I just assume any kind of pain I'm in is stress-induced and thus it can just be ignored, which one of these days is probably going to end in me dying.

2. It's been snowing for two days and I hate the fact I moved back up north so much right now. Like, I know it's in the thirties in NOLA right now, but there aren't four inches of snow there and also it's Carnival and there's also good food available, so in conclusion, I would one hundred percent rather be in Louisiana right now than in Washington.

3. I got soot on the sleeve of my white cable-knit wool sweater yesterday and I'm so bummed, I don't know how to get that out. (It's not handknit, I never managed sweaters before I had to stop knitting, but that doesn't actually...change anything insofar as the soot on wool things goes.)

4. My attention span has been so bad lately that I can't quite concentrate on reading novels, so I've been reading (mostly rereading) short stories and novellas by my favorite authors. I'm always glad when authors put their shorts up on Amazon so I can read them on Kindle without buying an entire anthology, but sometimes I wish they were a little cheaper.

5. It's just occurred to me that I could probably take painkillers for the jaw pain and that might actually work. I'm used to most of my stress-induced pain being unaffected by painkillers so there's no point in taking ibuprofen or whatever.
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: cup of tea and an open book (perfect (pretty_pixels))
What I'm currently reading

I am mostly finishing up rereads of books that I didn't finish before the end of the year -- Circle of the Moon by Barbara Hambly, which is one of my favorite Hambly novels, and Sunshine by Robin McKinley. I've got a couple other books that are currently on the backburner and which I'm trying to finish the others before going back to -- Blood Maidens, the third Asher/Ysidro Hambly novel, and Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist, which I'm trying to decide whether I want to keep reading or not. I've also apparently started rereading Barbara Hambly's The Time of the Dark again.

(I don't actually recommend reading multiple books by the same author at the same time; it's a little bit disconcerting, and the recurring themes and character types sometimes get really obvious.)

What I've just finished reading

Weirdly, a lot of short stories. I don't read short stories very often, and I tend to only do so if it's an author whose novels I also like. But I started off the year by going through Scott Lynch's four shorts -- "In the Stacks," "A Year and a Day in Old Theradane," "He Built the Wall to Knock It Down," and "The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats." Then I picked up the anthology Night's Edge and read the Charlaine Harris short "Dancers in the Dark" (fine at the time, but in retrospect I'm kind of distressed by how stalker-y the vampire love interest is) and the Barbara Hambly short (a reread) "Someone Else's Shadow," which always amuses me just because of how clearly it's dated to the early '00s. I bounced off the Maggie Shayne short in the anthology and only got a chapter in before noping out.

Also, the T. Kingfisher novel Summer in Orcus, which I liked but which also somewhat unexpectedly set off my current set of Issues -- spoilers, and also, my breakup issues ) But on the other hand, were-house.

What I'm reading next

I've got a stack of library books out, but I really want to do Gentleman Bastard and Circle of Magic rereads, so we'll see.

2016

Dec. 31st, 2016 03:11 pm
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: woman pulling her pink corset tight (a woman's armor (ravenclawbest))
2016 was a hot mess of a year that I spent a lot of time crying through -- I probably remember more crying than there actually was, but there was a lot of crying.

The Good
- I finished my second master's degree in classical studies, along with my MA thesis, and graduated in August. At a couple of points this year I really wasn't certain that I was going to be able to do so, especially because I ended up taking an extra semester to do so.
- I went to my first convention, which also happened to be my first Star Wars Celebration, and had an amazing time and met a lot of cool fannish people.
- I wrote a lot of fanfic -- looking back, it's easy to say that this wasn't a successful year because I didn't finish anything, but I probably wrote upwards of 200K, which is, any way you cut it, a lot of words.
- For my TA job this spring, I gave my first college lecture -- just the one, but still huge for someone who's hoping to go into academia.
- I got my third tattoo, and the first one I went to alone instead of bringing a friend for emotional support.
- I did a lot of decluttering and redecorating when I moved home, which I've been meaning to do for years, and now I feel more comfortable in my room.
- I did a full rewatch of the Star Wars prequel era, from TPM to RotS and including all the Clone Wars episodes, which I've been meaning to do for years.
- I finally figured out how to wrangle my work ethic, which I've been struggling with for a long time.

The Bad
- This was probably one of the worst years ever for me in terms of emotional and mental health. I spent a lot of time crying, like I mentioned above, and the span of July-August-September is pretty much a black pit of despair where I don't remember much except for all the crying. I started out the year by refusing to talk to my father for about four months (he made me cry on Christmas day), had a vacation that was pretty disastrous apart from SWCE itself, and moved home at the beginning of August, when I had what even at the time I could identify as what was, for me, pretty severe depression.
- In November and December a very close relationship, which had been on the rocks since May and which I should have ended in July, began to crumble, and I finally ended it in December. I spent a lot of time increasingly unhappy and feeling trapped and attacked; I started to doubt almost every aspect of my personality and the way I expressed myself both online and off. My self-confidence, self-esteem, sense of self-worth, and ability to trust my own opinion have mostly collapsed as a result.
- politics

The Neutral or Not-Bad-Bad
- I moved from a city I loved back to my hometown, which I do not love but don't actively hate. I've done the NOLA-Ellensburg move several times now, and I think this final time has really cemented my desire to live in New Orleans permanently. The next time I move back, I'm not moving away again. Unfortunately, I don't know when that will be, since I'm in the middle of graduate school applications that, if successful, will determine where I live for roughly the next seven years.
- I also moved back in with my parents, which has been at times a pretty rough adjustment, coming off living alone for two years. In an apartment, in a big city, in a fairly central part of said city, in Louisiana, as compared to home, which is in a house with a fair amount of property, outside of town, in a rural town in Washington State. It's a lot of culture shock, despite the fact that this is where I grew up.
- Some of the repercussions of the move mean that I hardly ever leave my house and I have no RL friends in the same state, and since I'm not working or going to school at the moment it's meant that I've been increasingly isolated.

Things that I am hoping for in 2017
- To put up with less bullshit in hopes of not hurting anyone. Someone is already hurt; it's me, and I'm just prolonging my pain by putting someone else's needs or desires before mine.
- To try and find more peace with myself. 2016 did a number on my ability to trust literally any of my own feelings, and I want to try and undo some of that damage.
- One of the weird things that's happened over the past year or two is that I've gotten increasingly uneasy to express an opinion online, which I think is partially due to the move away from a fannish journal culture. It's resulted in me doubting myself and my opinions and being unwilling to express them, and I would like to try and take a step away from that.
- I spent a lot of time complaining this year, to the extent that it actively started to destroy my ability to actually enjoy things. This is tied up in a lot of things, including what happened with X, but the end result is that it makes it hard for me to enjoy things and it makes me doubt myself, and I need to stop doing so much of it.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (Default)
I need to do something with my Christmas money other than mail my ex's stuff to another country, which just feels like punishment, honestly.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (Default)
I think I forgot to do last week's Wednesday reads, probably because I was in the middle of my breakup meltdown.

What I'm currently reading

A couple of Barbara Hambly novels, Fever Season and Circle of the Moon, which I both only own in hardcopy. I've been bouncing from ebook to ebook, since I do a lot of my reading on my computer, but I haven't been able to settle on anything, which is frustrating me.

What I've just finished reading

Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews, one of the -- or the? -- recent Kate Daniels novels, since my hold on it came in from the library. Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones, which is one of my favorite DWJ novels, though weirdly I don't actually own a copy of it. All the Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier books. And two Barbara Hambly rereads, A Free Man of Color and Sisters of the Raven.

What I'm reading next

Presumably the next Benjamin January novel, Graveyard Dust. (New Orleans, I miss it.) I also do seem to be on a Barbara Hambly binge, and I think the Asher/Ysidro novels are up next. And, well, we'll see. I've got some other books out from the library.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera with her arms folded, smiling (hera)
Well, to start with, as we were leaving the theatre someone complained that there wasn’t enough Yoda in the film, so to each their own, I guess. Personally I think there was the perfect amount of Yoda in the film, but I’m not a big Yoda fan.

Spoilers beneath the cut –

spoilers! )

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