bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (Default)
1. I was in New Orleans Wednesday-Monday for my graduation -- technically I'm August 2016, but that means I get to go to the May 2017 commencement ceremonies, or at least that's what I got all the information for. Except not all the information, because I don't think they actually like...knew I was going to be there, since I wasn't listed in the program. So I probably should have figured that out first, but I'd expected that the graduation people would contact me if they needed my information. Apparently this is a problem for people who officially graduated in summer or winter and not in May, though.

1a. Graduations are a big deal to me -- academia can be so cerebral and so lonely and so internally focused, without a whole lot to show for it (especially in the liberal arts, where if you're lucky all you get are reams of paper and more likely you just have digital files and a lot of trauma), and having that kind of celebration and acknowledgment always feels huge to me. Especially because last year was such a horrific disaster, so being able to come back and be calm about it and not having to MOVE the next day (which happened at my undergrad commencement) was wonderful.

1b. The commencement speaker this year was Helen Mirren, and she was great.

1c. I got to see a lot of the classics professors I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to last summer (see again, horrific disaster), and that was great.

2. My mother found out about my tattoos, because I had a wardrobe malfunction after the hooding ceremony and the back of my dress slipped. She is...not happy. Actually, she went "how could you do something so against my culture?" which was not the reaction I was expecting because it literally never occurred to me?

2a. This was the day before commencement, and Helen Mirren actually ended her speech by talking about tattoos (I swear to gods it made sense in context), so I don't like. Know if that helped. At all. But it felt weirdly timely.

3. My flight out of New Orleans was delayed and a comedy of errors ensued. So, the original delay was only fifteen minutes and was apparently caused by mechanical failure, per the gate agents in New Orleans, and then the delay went to an hour, caused by weather, again per the gate agents in New Orleans. This left me with only twenty minutes between arrival in Dallas and my connecting flight to Seattle, which both I and the gate agent agreed was pretty undoable. So after some talking about options (because I had to catch the airporter to Ellensburg or be stuck in Seattle for the night, which put out getting on the next DFW-SEA flight), including spending the night in New Orleans and leaving the next morning, we agreed that I would get on the plane to Dallas, the airline would give me a hotel voucher, and I would get on a plane for Seattle the next morning.

You can see where this is going, right?

Upon arrival in DFW, the only Dallas agent authorized to make these decisions refused to give out any hotel vouchers to the twelve people who had been promised them, and then took about two hours dealing with various people (two groups of four, which were actually two couples each, and then another two girls around my age, and me -- the other singles gave up once it became clear vouchers were not forthcoming). It was...exhausting, especially because I wasn't entirely certain what was going on because they hadn't made a general announcement, just kept speaking very quietly. Because my gate-checked bag had been checked through to DFW rather than SEA I could have just picked it up and made arrangements myself, but I was still hoping to, I don't know, have something explained to me? Eventually the guy made it to me, and unlike the others I didn't want my already rebooked flight rebooked again, so he made the hotel reservations for me at a discounted rate, which was something, and it took about five minutes. And then I went to the hotel and ordered delivery (which took too long to get to me, ugh), and called Bellair to reschedule my reservation for the airporter to the next morning, and after that everything was smooth sailing except for the fact I only got four hours of sleep.

3a. Lessons learned: take the offer given to you in the city you're in if they can give it RIGHT THERE, don't count on the goodwill of someone who is not currently present.

3b. This shit happens so I'm not horrifically pissed off at American Airlines, the way some of the other people were; I got my flights rebooked without trouble and given that the really long delay was caused by weather I can see where they were coming from. It could have been worse, and I was fully prepared to spend the night in the airport if need be; it can't be worse than a convention hall and I've done that. I just wish that there had been more than one person dealing with the situation.

4. My mother went from New Orleans to Japan, so I came home to my father, who, having been left to his own devices for a week, somehow got coffee grounds ALL OVER THE KITCHEN, LITERALLY HOW. (Him: "It was easy." Me: "They're on the counter next to the cupboard where the coffee is, fine. And next to the coffee machine. But also on counters TOTALLY UNCONNECTED TO EITHER OF THOSE????")

4a. Within like three hours of coming home I became a cliche of "woman taking care of incompetent man," which may give some disservice to my father, but: I went grocery shopping, I made dinner, I cleaned the kitchen, I took out the trash; this morning I went grocery shopping AGAIN and I'm making dinner again.

5. We've got some weird-ass internet problem now that I have no idea what's up with: if my father turns on his desktop, every other device in the house, a.k.a. my laptop, my phone, and his phone (and my Kindle, which I need to take off airplane mode) loses the ability to connect with the wi-fi. This is unsustainable, but I have no idea how to fix it. I also have to reset the wi-fi by turning off the router (modem? I can't tell them apart?) after my dad turns his computer off. I've suggested that he unplug the ethernet cord from his computer and just use it on wi-fi and see if that makes it so I don't lose the internet, but so far he refuses to do so. I have no idea how to fix this. (And yes, I've tried turning the damn thing off and turning it on again, which does not work if my dad's computer is still on.)

5a. My dad thinks it's just the wind, which really like...doesn't seem like it should affect the internet this way.

5b. If this is still a problem tomorrow I'll call our provider, I guess.
bedlamsbard: star wars: young Obi-Wan fighting Darth Maul (duel of the fates (forestgraphics))
1. I've been in a godawful mood for the past couple weeks, ever since Celebration -- well, ever since before Celebration, really, and if I want to be honest about it I'd have to say since last year's Celebration, since that's when things began to spiral from "pretty okay" to "outright awful all the time." (Even if they weren't awful all the time, that's how most of the last year feels.) I'm slowly trying to get to the point where I can think about or look at anything relating to Celebration without feeling either really angry or really sad, which have been my two default emotions for a few years now, and I'm not there yet but I may eventually be. I did stumble across this recap by Eleven Thirty-Eight, and it's surprisingly gratifying and validating to find out that I'm not the only one whose primary emotion associated with SWCO is anger, because I've been struggling a lot with the fact that I didn't have the same fantastic experience a lot of people I know did.

2. Bring on Star Wars Celebration Mystery Location 2019, because I would like one Celebration where my memories are primarily positive rather than negative -- SWCE last year was really good, but everything that happened afterwards was a complete disaster, and my memory of the con itself is completely tied up with my ex.

3. One of the issues I had with SWCO this year was that I ended up feeling like I hadn't networked enough beforehand, which was completely baffling to me because normally ~networking isn't something I really associate with fandom. But I guess part of that was also that I've been relatively closed off for the past year because emotionally I've been such a mess, and I wasn't really open in public about the fact that I was going to SWCO at all because it was such a late decision. And, what's a major factor, is that my closest friends in the fandom weren't there. Star Wars is such an odd fandom, though, compared to a lot of my other fandom experiences -- you have your artists and your podcasters and cosplayers and your style bloggers and your regular bloggers, and your fan clubs, and the collectors and the 501st and the Mercs and the Rebel Legion, and as a fic writer a lot of the time I feel like I'm standing off to the side of the fandom. And I think that feeling of being a complete outsider right now is part of the reason that I'm starting to poke seriously at parts of the fandom that otherwise I'd be content to admire from outside.

4. I can't deny the fact that every time I think I'm all right with looking at someone else's write-up of Celebration there is, with completely no warning because they're always on blogs she used to tell me she hated, at least one picture of my ex. (Okay, not every time, but it's happened on several occasions.)

5. There was a really transcendent moment last year at SWCE that I never got this year at SWCO, which was actually the day before the con rather than at any point during it. I'd gone up from [personal profile] aella_irene's place to make sure I knew the trains I'd have to get on in order to reach the ExCel, and also to pick up my badges and scout out the general area. And I'd got all the way up there -- this was maybe half an hour to forty minutes in transit -- before I realized I didn't have the confirmation pages I'd printed out, but they would be in my e-mail. Fortunately there's a Starbucks right next to the ExCel, so I went in there and got a muffin and a chai and got on the wifi so I could get at my e-mail. So I was sitting in Starbucks for a while, and all the time there were people arriving -- a lot of people who came for the con were staying in hotels near the ExCel, while others were there for the same reason as me.

Star Wars is the kind of fandom you can wear on your sleeve -- literally, I mean, there's an amazing variety of Star Wars t-shirts out there -- and people came in with their Star Wars shirts and their Star Wars bags and their Star Wars suitcases and their Star Wars tattoos and their Rebel Legion and 501st patches and it was just...look, coming out of online fandom, and especially coming out of online fandom in a small town -- all that can be a very lonely thing. I never went to any cons in New Orleans; SWCO was my first ever. And being surrounded by that much love for Star Wars was...a lot. In a way that I hadn't expected and wasn't prepared for, and nearly brought me to tears.

I never got that moment at SWCO -- in fact, at SWCO I ended up feeling like I didn't love Star Wars enough to be there, and I felt like that every day. Just a completely different emotional experience. (For many reasons, no doubt, and I feel bad comparing SWCE and SWCO, but. Well.)
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: cup of tea on a laptop (girlyb_icons) (tea and laptop (girlyb_icons))
1. My mother has been telling everyone she knows -- which includes a bunch of university professors, since her restaurant is right across from the university -- that I'm going to Emory this fall, which keeps getting a reaction of "wow! that's such a good school! I can't believe someone who graduated from EHS got into a school that good!"

That's not as flattering as it sounds on the surface, not least of all because I graduated from high school nine years ago and getting into a PhD program has zip to do with graduating from high school, since I also have a BA and two MAs. (Which, admittedly, I would not have gotten without graduating from high school, but it's not like any PhD apps required my HS diploma or transcript.) Also, like -- I'm aware that even by American standards my high school was not great, and definitely not on par with those of a lot of people I went to college with, especially since I went to an expensive private university. And my degree is in classics, the most classist and elite of all academic fields. So it feels really weird to be getting complimented on essentially rising above my rural roots. Which are not even that rural: this is a university town. (I mean, the main industry in town besides the university is the hay industry, so it is also pretty damn rural, but.)

2. Post-SWCO (and I had this same thought prior to SWCE, because the Star Wars fandom is big on this, not to mention my ex is a professional costumier), I've determined I want to get into cosplay, which means I need to do things like learn to sew. I know enough to do basic repairs, but that's about it. I figure I should work on that before I move, since my mother has a sewing machine. Sewing, and then all the other stuff, because Star Wars being Star Wars is...a lot. Also because I'm still not over my ex I am this point determined to beat her at her own game even though I'm pretty sure she doesn't care about me anymore.

2a. As I result I've been digging through various Star Wars costuming forums, which are intense because the 501st and the Rebel Legion are pretty hard core, and the lightsaber construction and modification forums, which are even more off-putting because that's the most male-dominated corner of the SW fandom I've ever stumbled over.

2b. I really hope that by the next Celebration I'm not still fucked up over my ex, but it's TWO YEARS away so...hopefully not.

2c. Three separate people at SWCO, upon hearing I'm moving to Atlanta, told me that I need to go to Dragon Con. Which, hey, at least I know my ex won't be there.

3. I'm very excited about new Prison Break on the air, so I've been rewatching S1-4, which I originally saw back when I was in college -- I pretty vividly remember watching it back on Megavideo over my first Thanksgiving break, when I didn't go home and also didn't leave my dorm, because I was eighteen and freaked out by being a human being out in the world. I think I watched the bulk of it a few years later, on Netflix or Hulu -- I think Netflix -- when I was taking summer classes at CWU, using it as background noise while I studied. I'm not sure I ever finished S4.

3a. Twenty-two 45-minute episodes a season is excessive, and I think about this every time I watch normal-length shows. I'm used to 22-minute episodes and relatively concise storytelling; after Prison Break drags a subplot out over five 45-minute episodes I end up yelping, "Rebels or TCW could have covered this in seventeen minutes with time left over!" at my computer screen. (Admittedly they're different kinds of television storytelling, but they're not that different.)

3b. The least believable part of S1 and S2 is that America elected an unmarried female politician to vice president in the year 2000-whatever. I am very cynical in the present political climate.

4. Aside from the costuming forums, I've been on a teensy bit of a Star Wars break over the past week because I ended up a little Star Warsed out after Celebration. I think this happened with SWCE too, but after SWCE I was pretty much going insane since I was moving cross-country, and also...the incident with my ex that I had no idea how to process. So I had other things on my mind.

4a. I am going to take a break from the Prison Break rewatch as soon as I finish S2 and go back to Star Wars, but any time I take a break like that from SW I tend to get antsy.

5. I am going back to New Orleans next month for commencement, but I am starting to get antsy about the university maybe not like...knowing I am graduating. (I have already graduated, it's just the commencement ceremonies coming up.) But aside from the "order your cap and gown" e-mails I haven't gotten any info from the university, so I don't know if I'm supposed to do something or just wait. There aren't as many ceremonies for MA grads as for undergrads or the law school, med school, etc. So that's something I'm worried about right now.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (Default)
1. I went to Star Wars Celebration Orlando last week, which was -- pretty much a wash in some ways; it wasn't as transcendent an experience as SWCE was last year, mostly because of the feeling of CONSTANT VIGILANCE I couldn't shake due to my extreme fear of running into my ex. Which sort of overrode every other feeling I had about the experience, except annoyance since SWCO also wasn't as organized as SWCE and I kept missing things. Florida Man Organizes Star Wars Convention.

Read more... )

Perhaps the real lesson from this con is "if you think there's a pretty good chance you're going to have a panic attack on the con floor, have at least one person there who knows why you're upset and afraid." Which I didn't this time; the person I was rooming with knew X and I weren't on speaking terms anymore, but not why.

2. Anyway here is my mostly positive summary of my SWCO experience, with pictures. I did enjoy myself; it's just that any time I look back at something I tend to be in "everything is a disaster" mode for weeks afterwards.

2a. Which also makes me feel like I shouldn't talk about my feelings, since my ex told me last year that then I ruin everyone else's experiences too.

3. This was my first time in Florida, and man, is it like Louisiana in climate -- I have really, really missed humidity, because the dryness in Washington is bad for my skin and it's a lot easier to deal with my hair in humidity. I have also missed being warm. I'm back in Washington now and back in a wool sweater, and I really feel like I did not properly appreciate tank top weather while I was in Florida, due to the fact I was only there for the four days of Celebration, and not for an extra day or so on either side to do actual tourist stuff.

4. Hopefully tourist stuff next year, as I am trying to organize a girls' weekend with my college friends next year at Disney World.

4a. Apparently my college friends were having a girls' weekend that same weekend I was at SWCO, and while I wouldn't have been able to go, I'm fucked up over it because I had no idea and wasn't invited. So that didn't help my headspace over SWCO weekend.

5. I'm definitely in an "maybe I'm just completely broken and ruin everything" headspace right now.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera with her arms folded, smiling (hera)
1. I've been in a weird, grumpy mood lately -- I'm traveling this week so I'm stressed out about that (I hate traveling), I had my period, it's end of season stress, it's March, I've had a weird on-and-off writing....year, really, last year was a nightmare and I'm not over it yet. Trying to decide about SWCO. Trying to decide about grad schools. Not focusing well on whatever books I'm reading. My dad being back. I'm not really talking to anyone online; I'm not talking to anyone other than my parents in RL. I don't leave the house except to go to Fred Meyer. I don't exercise. The weather is...getting better, but it's that end of winter/beginning of spring slush.

2. I'm going to Atlanta on Wednesday to visit Emory, which I've got mixed feelings about -- I mean, god, I need to get out of this town, I need to interact with actual human beings who aren't my parents, but I don't like traveling (it's a full day in transit either way), I've never been to Atlanta before, and it's going to be several days of interacting with complete strangers who I need to impress. Well, I don't know how much I actually need to impress them, since they already made me the offer, but I don't want to be a complete disaster up front, you know? (They can't...take away the offer, can they? I assume I would have to fuck up real bad to accomplish that and I'm not sure there's anything I can do that's that bad unless I like. Trip and murder a professor.)

2a. I hate traveling and will start freaking out about the most minute details literally months in advance, which means I get crazier and crazier as the day approaches. (Also, checking weather reports, it's not actually, like, warm in Atlanta this week? It's basically the same as Ellensburg, looks like.)

3. I was going to visit the University of Kentucky, but there's like...a very slim chance I'm going to say yes to Kentucky, because the Emory offer is just so much better and the program is basically tailor-made for me. So I told them I couldn't visit, but now I feel bad about it. (But hey, that means I'm not going to be in transit again in March -- oh, I need to tell my friend in Lexington I'm not going and won't be staying with her.)

3a. I guess if Emory rescinds the offer for accidentally tripping and murdering a professor I can always go to Kentucky.

4. I am trying to sort out my feelings about SWCO because I told S (who I'd be rooming with) I'd get back to her by Monday. It's really, really hard for me to separate my feelings about SWCO from my feelings about X, and I'm not sure I can; if I go I'll be nervous about her the entire time, if I don't go I'll be angry at her for taking that from me for the next two years. The only two things that are making me hesitate are the money (which I have) and X (will have to avoid all Hera cosplayers just in case it's her).

4a. My mother thinks that I shouldn't go because it's expensive (true) and she thinks it's childish, but she thinks everything I do except the grad school thing is childish so there's that.

4b. The most recent family drama is that my cousin A, her (semi-estranged? no one seems to be sure?) husband, her two tiny children showed up unannounced at the family home in Japan last week and will be staying for the next month, so like, between A doing that and my father, Mr. "I found some cheap tickets so I'm going to Thailand and Laos for the next four months, I'm leaving the day after tomorrow, can you book the airport shuttle for me?" (true story), I don't really think my travel choices are the ones in this family that ought to be criticized.

5. I am at this point pretty determined to do the runDisney Star Wars Half-Marathon next year -- well, the 10K -- to the extent that I told all my college friends about it in the hopes of scheduling a girls' weekend at Disney World next April. (The Dark Side one -- the Light Side one at Disneyland is my birthday weekend, which, I don't want to do that on my birthday, and I feel like January will be harder to schedule around anyway. Though they haven't announced the dates for next year yet, probably because this year's hasn't happened yet.) Signs are looking positive on the friends' front, anyway, and Alaska said that she's also interested in running the 10K. Chicago said very firmly that she will not be running but she's up for the Disney vacation part.

5a. I have not run since high school ten years ago, but it's more than a year off so that's plenty of time to get in shape, right? And their minimum mile time is sixteen minutes and that's still over my walking time for a mile, so that should be...fine...anyway I have already planned my running costume.

5b. I am also trying to work on my massive commitment issues (the whole debacle with SWCO has not helped), so planning something with multiple people a year in advance should...help...?
bedlamsbard: animals: a cougar standing on a tall rock (girlyb_icons) (a high place (girlyb_icons))
Wait, I might be able to go to SWCO after all, which means I have to decide whether to go or not.

I really want to go, but it's a lot of money, and I know my ex is going to be there. However -- I don't want to give my ex the satisfaction of knowing that she got to go and I didn't, which isn't really, like...logical? The problem is that while I do really want to go because STAR WARS a lot of it is tied up with my ex -- which my memories of SWCE are too, and I want to separate "Celebration" from "X." So it's really hard for me to untangle "I want to do this for its own sake" and "I have issues with my ex."

(I do have the money. It is not, perhaps, the best use of my money, but my grandmother gave me a lot of money for graduating + getting into graduate school, and even before then I was planning to go, you know, I bought these tickets last July.

Admittedly: I am going to Atlanta this week (the university is paying) and then I have to go to New Orleans in May, and then I have to move cross-country in July or August. And I'm not making any money at the moment, but I am going to be making money once school starts in August, since I'll be TAing. And I'm trying to plan to go to Orlando next April with friends, but that's a year off.)
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera with her arms folded, smiling (hera)
Things that are really not going to help my commitment issues: the fact that I have my 4-day pass for SWCO in my hand and I'm not going.

I had two separate plans fall through -- the first one was because I was planning to go with my ex, the second I'm assuming fell through because I haven't heard anything from her in about two months. And -- I know my ex is going to be there and I am literally terrified of running into her, so going probably wouldn't be a good idea anyway. They livestream the panels and most of the merch will be on Ebay the next week any day, and even at a markup will be cheaper than the thousand bucks it would cost to get a plane ticket and a hotel room (if there are still hotel rooms available).

I am still going to be furious and sulking for the next month, because I really do want to go. (Especially since there's not going to be a Celebration in 2018.)
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: cup of tea on a laptop (girlyb_icons) (tea and laptop (girlyb_icons))
Reasons I am in a bad mood today:

My dad came back, drank all the wine in the house on the grounds of "there wasn't much left, so I drank it," to be met with my mom going, "that's because we use it for cooking!" and me going, "IT WAS MINE!" (The red my mom bought, but the chardonnay and the pink moscato were both mine.) So I went to Fred Meyer in a rage this morning to get another bottle of chardonnay, since I use it for making risotto at 11 at night because that's when I get hungry, and now I've got a bottle of wine in my closet along with my remaining half-bottle of election night rum. (Which I hid before my dad got back, since I knew he'd drink it otherwise; before he left he drank the other bottle of rum, which my mom bought for making some kind of fruit in rum, my mother's cooking sake, and the plum vodka my mother made that wasn't even done yet.) I am not happy about having alcohol stocked away in my bedroom closet, but at least I know my dad won't look for it there.

I am kind of astonished he drank the moscato, because the last time I bought a bottle (it's what I drink), he wrote it off as "too girly" due to being pink and sweet. So I thought at least the moscato would be safe, but NOPE.

Oh, another reason I'm in a bad mood -- yesterday I found a book I'd been looking for for months at a price under three figures and happily clicked "buy," only to get the order cancelled half an hour later because apparently I'd gotten the last copy and the cover was ripped. I'M SO ANNOYED! (Star Wars: Lords of the Sith is out of print in hardback, and nearly impossible to find -- I'm furious with myself that I didn't get it in hardback when it first came out, just ebook.)
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: 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: 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: 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 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.

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: animals: a cougar standing on a tall rock (girlyb_icons) (a high place (girlyb_icons))
1. Three out of six grad school applications submitted -- the other three are due in January, so I can give myself a little bit of a break. What is really worrying me is that none of them are showing that my GRE scores have arrived -- like, my GRE scores have been my biggest fear all along, since they're right on the edge of being too old to pass, and now they're not even there. I don't want to not get in just because my damn scores never arrived, because I think every other part of my application is solid as long as all my professors get their recs in, but god, the damn GRE.

2. I'm at high, high stress right now for a lot of different reasons, so I'm backing off social media a little, which I normally try to avoid doing. But I can't get on Twitter without immediately falling into a Pit of Despair, and Tumblr is a little better but not by that much, and now I'm going to have to start dodging Rogue One reactions and reviews as well as all the politics stuff, so I'm backing off for part of the day for a few days. (I'm not going cold turkey, I'm just limiting the amount of time.)

3. Rogue One tomorrow! Or at least I've got tickets for tomorrow: I also have a running mental list of things that could go wrong.

4. This has been such an expensive week because I had to pay application fees (A LOT) and buy Christmas presents. Also stress-buy stuff for myself, which tbh I spent more money on than the Christmas presents because I'm terrible and bad at buying presents.

5. I haven't written or sent any Christmas cards yet and since a bunch of them are going overseas they're going to be, uh, New Year's cards.
bedlamsbard: animals: a cougar standing on a tall rock (girlyb_icons) (a high place (girlyb_icons))
Every time I look at anything related to U.S. politics right now -- so basically every time I check Twitter, which I'm doing less often atm for Reasons -- I can't shake the feeling I'm living in a Tom Clancy novel, except that would actually be preferable since then there's a guarantee that the good guys come out on top. Also, as I think it was actually Clancy who said, fiction has to make sense.

I used to read a lot of Tom Clancy -- I've read all the Jack Ryan novels -- but I can't remember when this was. Probably early/mid '00s, if I had to guess. I can't remember if this was prior to or during the same period of time when I was really into U.S. military special operations and U.S. military history. Uh -- you know how a lot of kids had something they were really, really super into? Well, when I was tiny it was dogs, and when I was a teenager it was military special operations units. (Yes, I saw The Unit -- I know I was on LJ then, so if anyone is still around from those days they may remember that -- but this actually predated that.) Given the genres I write this is actually pretty helpful, but it's a weird thing to admit to, especially in some of my online social circles.

(I came really close to joining the military/ROTC, but I actually got medically disqualified for an incredibly stupid reason and didn't want to go to the hassle of fighting it. But if not for Hurricane Gustav back in 2008, there's a really good chance that I would have done so and I'd be in the USAF right now instead of applying to graduate school.)
bedlamsbard: animals: a cougar standing on a tall rock (girlyb_icons) (a high place (girlyb_icons))
I've spent all day feeling like I'm on the edge of having a screaming breakdown, for various reasons: the thing I'm only talking about under lock, my grad school applications, my fic, the weather, 8tracks' new listening limit, POLITICS, things I want to buy but am hesitating on, the season, and finally, the fact that Tumblr somehow did a thing which makes it nigh-on unusable, which is the thing that feels as though it's finally sent me over the edge.

I am...basically incapable of dealing whenever something goes slightly wrong -- I mean, I can, obviously, I have not reached the ripe old age of 27-in-exactly-a-month by not being able to deal with things that are moderately off-center, but they'll throw me really, really badly, to the extent that it consumes every thought I have and makes it incredibly difficult to do anything else, even if it's completely unrelated. I feel like I've spent the past six months in emotional freefall. July, August, and September were really, really bad, October got a little better, and then November happened (Election Day happened) and everything since then, no matter how big or how small, has felt like complete and utter unmitigated disaster. I'm basically out of cope, so every little thing sends me over the edge. And there are a lot of little things.

I don't know how my life can feel like it's spiraling so totally out of control when I barely leave the house. I have control issues at the best of times, and this is...definitely not the best of times.
bedlamsbard: miscellaneous: cup of tea and an open book (perfect (pretty_pixels))
1. I very seldom go to the movies, because it's a bit of a hassle and it's expensive and I don't really have the patience for movies, so I prefer to watch them on my computer where I can pause them and walk away if need be, but I went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them weekend before last and Moana last weekend, and both movies were absolutely delightful.

1a. I wanted to see Fantastic Beasts while it was still in theatres because I knew that if I didn't, there was a pretty good chance I wouldn't see it for literally years (I still haven't seen any of the Marvel movies since Winter Soldier came out), especially since there was a lot of criticism of it on Tumblr well before it came out and I tend to be pretty susceptible to other people's opinions -- this is the reason I've stopped reading reviews and reactions and am wary of discussing things I enjoy with other people. Especially in this current age of "if you liked THING you are an IRREDEEMABLE MONSTER" and I have enough problems with that already, thank you.

2. On a related note, there's a particular strand of criticism that sometimes gets leveled at JKR that makes me really uncomfortable -- not the diversity or the representation or any of that, but the "she's beaten the HP world to death," "why doesn't she fulfill her duty as an author and write a new fantasy epic not set in the HP 'verse," "she's a failure," etc., which quite frankly baffles me, especially the second one. (Which I have actually seen, though I don't remember where. Tumblr, obviously.) I don't know what I'm getting at with this, but while there are certainly legitimate criticisms to be leveled, some of the entitlement (which is a rough word to sling around) there is really uncomfortable and upsetting to me.

3. Today was the first snow of the season here, and I am not in favor of it at ALL, though obvs it is good for various reasons including decreasing the chance of a drought (which means bad harvests and increased wildfires) next year. I just don't like being cold and I don't like snow: these are the reasons I moved to Louisiana in the first place.

4. Multi-day cooking or baking projects are not good for me: I don't have the attention span to do things two days in a row, especially if day two is a day when my mother is home, because I don't like doing things where other people can see me.

4a. I've had cookie dough languishing in the fridge since Thursday. Hopefully it's still all right to bake off if I do so tomorrow; I bought decorating tools and everything.

5. I've got applications due next week, so I am trying to buckle down and actually get them done, which means I am back in statement of purpose hell. I'm a good writer, but this is the kind of writing I'm the absolute worst at, and I wish I had someone to show them to. (Like, there are people I'd be okay showing them to, but I feel awkward asking.) I'm just really anxious about this because I don't know what I'll do if I don't get into graduate school, and also -- applying costs a lot of money. Between GRE scores and application fees, it's about a hundred bucks per school. I've got the money from my grandmother, but I hate paying that much for something that's not guaranteed, and I just...I don't know what I'll do otherwise. This is literally the only thing I'm good at or trained to do.

5a. Except write, and I've got deadlines for a handful of different sci-fi/fantasy short story submissions set aside and marked on my calendar. The only problem is that I very seldom write original fiction and I very seldom write short stories and I very seldom write anything to a prompt. I'd like to submit at least one thing, but I'd also have to write it, which means that I need to turn from fic to original, and at the moment I've been bashing my head against the same three chapters since May, so on the other hand I'd rather get those sorted so at least they're out of the damn way.

5b. I really miss being a student; I broke down at my mom the other day and sobbed "I just really miss writing research papers!" Which I do; I'll complain about it the entire time I'm doing so but I really do enjoy it.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (Default)
Wow, I've never been so angry I'm literally dizzy before.

Someday someone is going to ask me how anyone could possibly relate to the Old Republic Jedi, and I'm going to be forced to answer "because I spend so much of my life training myself not to actively react emotionally to things that now I don't know how to do so in a healthy way."

I have a lot of emotional reactions to things, and for various reasons I don't trust my emotions. This is fine, sort of (not really, since this has obviously fucked me up in some spectacular ways), if I'm just dealing with me, if I'm dealing with other people...not so much. Apparently "I don't know how to react to this" is not an appropriate response, even if it is a true one.

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