mini-crisis time

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:54 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
So, I signed the TA contract, uploaded it, and waited for my student account balance to change... and it didn't. So it turns out, after asking around, that 6th year international students pay tuition AND non-resident tuition regardless of financial aid, and filing fee status is the only way to be exempt.

I emailed Grad Div about whether I'd have to re-petition to be on filing fee status should it come down to that, and also texted the prof about it. She called me, and we talked it over, and she seems keen to keep me as her TA. She's emailed the department chair, the dean of Grad Div, and some other admin people, and I guess going to look for a way to get my tuition waivered regardless because it's just not a well-known thing. I don't have a lot of hope for that but I'm holding out SOME optimism because I would love to TA for this class. But if it comes down to it, I can't justifying paying $10,000 to TA for a 10-week class, when I'm defending in Week 2. And that includes health insurance too, which was another solid reason to accept the TAship and get the fee waiver.

=/ Very unhappy with how this is shaking out. Fingers crossed that it works out.

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2017 11:18 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
I don't really know what I did with my day after my morning walk and lunch... I answered some emails?? I read half a book?? I tried making a scrunchie?? IDK IDK IDK it was not successful I used the wrong kind of fabric... scrunchie fabric must also be elastic, not just the elastic core! Too bad... it's so cute! Maybe I can make some fabric jewelry?

Had a bit of a scare with a notice from the Registrar's office stating that because I didn't pay my fees (I did, but it was filing fee status stuff) I was de-registered. I had to get myself registered again and make sure I got my contract for my TAship, and that'll process my fee remission. I am hoping that this will also include non-resident tuition, because that would be $10000 and it would suck. Once that is done I can apply for program extension for my I-20 and then get down to the business of applying for OPT.

I DID get a dissertation defense date: October 11, 3pm - 5pm. The same day as a department party. Hoo boy. I also got comments from Dr. Brevik-Zender, so tomorrow I feel pretty confident about starting a bit more revisions. I'd like to incorporate the comments about including neoliberalism as a framework which informs the discourse of steampunk, although that involves... learning how to talk about neoliberalism. I sort of understand how to talk about it as an overarching ideology but most of what I read about it tends to get wrapped up in talking about economics and government, whereas I need to gear my discussion of it towards how it affects discourses of individual choices and masks institutional frameworks as freedom. I also need to tighten some of my analysis to make sure I'm not doing a lot of summary.

I have stomach issues again. The only culprit I can think of is the rice I ate, and the cookies I got from the store. I've eaten these cookies before with no issue, but that was WAY before the Metformin, so....... maybe my body just hates certain kinds of sugars now?? I may never return to eating cookies with impunity??

Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit more productive??

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:39 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Yesterday I went into Box Springs again. There's a fence between Box Springs and Islander Park on Linden, the wall of which is the pipe through which I usually scootch. But this time I wanted to see if I could find the other end of the fence which the Metrolink put up which cuts off easy access from Big Springs Road to the "C" trail. It took me a while, but eventually I found a trail that winds out near the intersection of Watkins and Mount Vernon, right into the parking lot of the Riverside STEM Academy, which I hadn't even realized was a thing.

I was pretty pooped afterwards though. I meant to go back out to do a raid after lunch, but thought I'd lay down for a twenty minute nap which turned into two and a half hours. Ooops.

What I did get started on which was semi-productive was fixing up my jeans. The smallest pair of jeans from several years ago (probably when I first moved here) fit, but it had gaping holes in the inner thigh area (as one does). It was really comfy and I didn't feel like giving it up, so I basically double-patched it: inside and outside. That's some reinforcement in the places which get the most friction, and hopefully this will hold up. I think it'll work out well.

Today I spent puzzling out how to alter my jacket sleeves. I think I undid my stitches on the left sleeve about 8 times trying to make it lay down right. Finally I gave up on the idea of it looking perfect, since it's not going to be visible anyway, and having it so the outer layer lay down okay. I think I did all right. I'm actually not entirely sure where the sleeve should end, but when my arm is relaxed at the side, the sleeve comes up to the wrist, which I think looks professional.

I got frustrated about halfway through, and went out for lunch to Pho Vinam. I think I ate too much, though. I probably didn't need to eat half the meat on the plate, and should have just tried for a third instead. I was yawning the rest of the day, and had to lay down for a while, but I otherwise persevered, and I now have proper jacket sleeves. The right sleeve took about 5 tries. SIGH. On the bright side, I think I can say that my slip stitch is improving.

I dug around my fabric stash looking for jeans material, which I could have SWORN I had somewhere, because I wanted to patch the other two pairs of old jeans (they don't fit well, but they can't be easily pulled off my hips either). I decided to use some fancy embroidered scrap to patch the inner thighs of one of my jeans instead. I feel they're fairly visible to anybody staring at my butt, but maybe this will give me manic pixie dream girl vibes.

I'm still not caught up with Night Vale (which I can only listen to when my hands are otherwise occupied by crafts) and frankly I should really vacuum my bedroom.

Tomorrow if I wake up early enough, I'll definitely try for another 5k walk. The mornings have been amazingly foggy so I don't want to lose that opportunity.

I did, however, find the book in which I had started re-writing my steampunk romance novel, so I'm gonna see what I can puzzle out of it tomorrow. Maybe I'll go downtown and do some writing? At least least get re-acquainted with this second draft of the novel.

Top of the Lake

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
I have been writing a post about Top of the Lake for literally like 4 years. FOUR YEARS. I keep writing drafts and never finishing them, because it all just feels so enormous and too much and I need like an entire day to get all my thoughts in order.

But, it's happening today friends. IT'S HAPPENING TODAY. SO HELP ME, THERE WILL BE A POST. It will be cobbled together from different drafts I've started over the years, but IT WILL EXIST.

So, below are my thoughts, which were written a few years ago, before I'd seen Mad Max: Fury Road, before Jessica Jones, before Wonder Woman.

Anyway, this post is still not even a fraction of the thoughts I have in my head about this show, BUT. We are doing this. THIS POST IS GETTING POSTED.

*

Well, there's now not one, but two versions of Broadchurch (both starring David Tennant!) and I still haven't gotten around to the show that, to me, is the far more subversive, far more interesting, far richer and more beautiful original version of what has now become a multi-season franchise.

I haven't been able to write about Top of the Lake until now because my talents do not lie in talking about the things I find overwhelmingly amazing. I had to wait such a long time for the edges to fade, for this show to settle in my head and become digestible (this is after multiple viewings, because of course I rewatched parts of it ad nauseum) and analyzable and describable.

The non spoilery version is this: Robin (Elizabeth Moss) is a detective who comes back to her small town in New Zealand to visit with her gravely ill mother. At the same time a 12 year old girl in the town is discovered to be pregnant. Robin is called in, because of her big city specialist training, to help interview the girl - however the girl claims she remembers nothing, and Robin ends up leading the investigation into what happened. To unravel this mystery Robin will have to face old friends and enemies, the local gang, police corruption and the secrets of her own family.

If you, like me, are utterly bored by detective stories and mysteries, let me attempt another pitch: Top of the Lake is probably the greatest story I've ever seen about a heroine who is flawed and competent and human, who's allowed to unravel, whose power is never undermined even when she's as low as she's ever going to get, even when the odds are insurmountable. Robin is a heroine you root for when, like Buffy, she has nothing left but herself, her body, her wits. She's someone you root for while you recognize her blind spots, her privileges, her biases. Robin is someone who always, always comes through. Stripped down to the bone she rises, like Lazarus, unstoppable in her passion, her moral duty to do right by the marginalized, her incredible strength.

The amazing thing about Top of the Lake is that it's about a girl who loses everything, but never loses herself. It's about trauma, it's about survival, it's about revenge, it's about justice, it's about compassion and love and forgiveness, it's about asking the ugly questions about ourselves and being uncomfortable and trying as hard as you can to be the best person you can be. It's about trying to make sure no one has to suffer the way you've suffered.

And of course - Jane Campion is an amazing director, and stepping into her world for 7 episodes was like suddenly finding myself in an alternative universe where complex, challenging visual stories are told for me, as a woman. Where the male gaze is not even a distant memory.

Here's one last way of putting it: Robin and Leslie Knope (of Parks and Rec) are two extremes on the same continuum. Leslie is Robin in a light-hearted, brightly lit comedy - Robin is Leslie in a graphic, gritty detective story. Robin is the grown up version of Veronica Mars. The settings, the moods, the tropes are different but the women are the same - beacons of resilience, fortitude, open-eyed optimism, competence, who are the heroes rather than the victims of their narratives.

spoilers )

*

And now an addendum written by today!me:

Top of the Lake is the spiritual mother of so many modern shows, and I'm so happy (SO SO HAPPY) that I get to place it a broader than ever tapestry of women heroes of all kinds.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:24 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
This morning around 9am, it was nice and cloudy, so I went for a long walk up Blaine, into Box Springs, and then into the pipe connecting Box Springs park to the Islander park. I'm sure there has to be an easier way around but I couldn't be bothered. It was nice, though.

Then I got home and, uh, slept. I mean, I had lunch, but then slept. I meant to sleep an hour? But instead of waking up at 2, I woke up at 4.30 =/ I frittered the rest of the day away, until I decided to clear my desk a little and do some sewing. I wanted to alter the sleeves of my new jacket, but realized I didn't know how, so I decided to work on something else which I'll wear more immediately.

I had three pairs of jeans which I'd grown too big for laying around. Two of them have already been taken to the seamstress back home for patching, and the smallest pair just... has a couple of giant holes that I couldn't even begin to fix. I patched this smallest pair tonight. It, uh, sits. Snugly. The other two pairs also fit but not as snugly.

Which means my current pair of jeans, which I've been holding up with a belt, is just too big. I can pull it off my hips without the belt. So. Sigh.

Which ALSO means that upon fitting, my only dress pants also fall off my hips pretty easily, which means I have no pocketed dress pants for teaching =/

I generally try not to hang onto old clothes very much unless they're very unique pieces. Not since leaving Halifax, whereupon I discovered I had pants from the size 0 to 14, in the same closet. I can now fit into some older clothes, which is nice, I guess? Like a really goth jacket, and one of my first sweaters (which has since been designated the sweater upon which I sew patches). But also means I have to go replace some perfectly good clothing.

I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing.

Also, I found a small nick on an inner piece of my sewing machine, which I'm sure is responsible for the top thread fraying on me despite using a new needles. So I've got to find a Singer machine maintenance place somewhere in Riverside so I can get that attended to. It's past time for servicing the machine anyway!

Intimate verses by Augusto dos Anjos

Sep. 15th, 2017 08:15 pm
wych: (02)
[personal profile] wych posting in [community profile] poetry
Intimate verses

Look! No one saw the amazing
Burial of your one final dream.
Only the ungrateful and mean
Gave you a shoulder for weeping!
Get used to the cesspit that awaits!
Man, in this miserable land,
Surrounded by wild beasts, can only stand
By dishing out even stronger bites.
Take a match – light your cigarette!
The kiss, the friend, precedes the spit,
The hand caresses – before the stick.
If someone saves you from hell,
Stone the hand that treats you well,
Spit on those who try to kiss you!

Translated by Daniel Vianna. Extracted from here.

(no subject)

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:29 am
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
I know everyone is tired of hearing how busy I am, lol, but this week has been truly ridiculous. In a lot of ways it's been filled with wonderful things, as well as boring stressful things (contacting city hall, the water company, the electric company...), and in a way I'm grateful that I can survive this kind of week now, disability-wise, since I definitely couldn't have a year ago. But I'm... intensely at the end of my rope, and things are not going to calm down for like, at least another 48 hours, and IDK if I can honestly survive that long.

stuff and things )

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