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Jan. 22nd, 2019 06:30 pm
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A bit late, but here goes two weeks of things I read:

Deadline Feb 28: Association of Research Libraries (ARL)/Society of American Archivists (SAA) Mosaic Program II is looking specifically for applicants from racially-underrepresented groups

Late but useful, a professor I TA'd for posted her framework for first-day-of-class introductions. Rather than asking "where are you from" she asks, "where do you know from?" As in, how do you trace your genealogy of knowledge, how do you learn things. Needless to say, I'm still thunderstruck by this, and wish I'd gotten a chance to use it. Maybe in a future workshop I will!

A list of People of Color in Publishing open to conference speaking invitations.

Still mulling this Electric Literature article on the decline in author incomes because on one hand, okay sure it's not just Amazon's fault, but it also sort of blames consumer entitlement?

The Choose Your Own Adventure book publisher sued Netflix over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and well, CYOA has always been trademarked. I didn't watch the episode so I don't know if the exact phrase was used, but my friend Magpie was also similarly told, and thus their book Beneath the Clock Tower is not a "Choose Your Own Adventure" but "An Adventure of Your Choosing."

Microsoft sued guy whose business is recycling computers for infringing on their copyright

Rahel Aima on how global finance and art are intertwined leading to art being stored in tax-free storage in freeports, and then to moving exhibitions using these storage lockers as exhibit spaces

On not feeling the obligation to read racist books (via [personal profile] brithistorian

LA Review of Books had this interesting research by Laura McGrath on lists of "comparable titles" in publishing and how they skew white

91% of Americans living in Mexico are undocumented. As in, "illegal immigrants."

Forward Magazine asking why the pro-Israel right-wingers are so threatened by black Jews

A blind girl and her family work out a way for blind Jews to participate in an ancient bar mitzvah tradition

A memoir essay on growing up with a genetic mutation that causes advanced puberty

The origin of the term "Mandarin" to refer to Chinese officials and the language AND IT IS MALAY WHOA

Medieval medical scholar Katherine Park debunks the myth that dissections were taboo in medieval Europe

Someone read 20,000 Yelp reviews, and found 7% of them, some 1,500, talk about authenticity, which is really a trap for non-white restaurant owners and a sign of white supremacy in action

Turns out the sugar pills on birth control strips aren't necessary and were there just because of the Pope's naysaying

K. Tempest Bradford on how not everyone notices or can skip the missing stair. It's a nice change from the old "how did you not KNOW? EVERYONE knows about this problematic dude" discourse.

20 years after publishing Speak, a novel about the aftermath of sexual assault, the author reflects on things that young boys still don't understand

Why some books have "A Novel" on the cover (which sort of boil down to "convention and clarity"

Some articles on Marie Kondo because, well, just because:

BookRiot: No, Marie Kondo does not want you to throw away all your books

Hypable: Marie Kondo isn't coming for your books; you're just being xenophobic

The Lily: The hidden feminist message of Marie Kondo's tidying movement (which kinda seems to be, girl, sometimes you just gotta throw the whole man away)

Refinery29: Marie Kondo Has A Reasonable Response To Your Reasonable Criticisms

Finally, some cool Twitter threads I read:

@cartoonkate shared some panels from her biographical graphic novel (biographic novel? graphic biography? comix bio?) about Doctor Rosa Luxemburg

@sbarolo on the 9 different types of Reply Guys who repeat the same unhelpful comments with a Bingo chart!

@LifeInFiction on the relationship between book marketing and book blogging, after some yelling was done about book bloggers selling ARCs and talk of NEVER GIVING AWAY ARCS EVERY AGAIN!!!!

@a9ri pointing out how even a major news outlet like the BBC can do stupid disingenuous things like use a tweet by a person with only 9 followers as some weighty "other side of the argument"

Whoof. I should really try not to have such a backlog.


Jan. 19th, 2019 09:38 pm
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Thursday swimming was one of those annoying days when I had to share my lane, and of course as I finished, the pool was emptying.

More fascinating was, there was a dude in the lane over who was like, super hardcore and all? When he got out, the guy I shared my lane with moved over, and then a woman came in and share my lane. And the hardcore swimmer dude just kinda hung off to the side. I wasn't paying too much attention, and I noticed a striking smell of soap, and was like ??? And at first I thought it was the woman next to me, since the smell started only when she came in.

But later I looked off to the side, and saw the first dude had wrapped his towel around himself, and I was like "... why is he still here??" and realized he was actually changing! Which means the soap smell was him having an actual SHOWER in the poolside shower?? With his swim trunks on. And I watched in horrified fascination as I kept coming up for air as he put on his clothes and shoes, and finally left with all his crap (there was a LOT so given the tiny locker sizes I guess I understand?) and I'm still pretty O_O about the whole thing.


I worked from home Thursday! This mostly meant a lot of reading. I printed off 100 pages of a manuscript, and there was a printout of a whole novel. This means I got to nap in the afternoon, and even attempted some reading and writing in the evening, and it was so much easier to do that when I'm not tired from my commute?? Who knew?

I AM worried about the necessity of naps in the afternoons. It's not that it makes me sleep less in the nights; in fact, I go to bed earlier when I nap in the afternoons, like my body remembers it should go to sleep at a reasonable time if I've had sleep during the day.


Yesterday I needed to go to the post office (and of course the one closest to me is closed), and decided to try one of the Lime Scooters.

I found it quite difficult to adjust the speed I really wanted.
It was not clear to me where I needed to be?
I walked it here and there anyway in front of cars.
There were crosswalks where I slowed down, and was worried that if I went too fast, I wouldn't be able to see a car coming and slow down appropriately.
My arms hurt >:{

Also it cost me $7 for 3.3km / 45 minutes!!! I paused every so often, so maybe that was the problem? STILL, I could have just used that money for a freaking Lyft. Or just walked. Definitely walking would have been better, considering that being on the scooter did't even count towards Pokemon Go.


Today Fran and I hit up the Embarcadero for Pokemon Go's Feebas research. We did maybe 25 - 30 research quests? She got a Shiny early, but I got a 100% IV one.

We left downtown around 1pm to miss the Women's March mess, and headed up to the gym near my workplace where I got an Ex Raid invite. Did that, and with 15 minutes to spare we walked around trying to make the most of the Feebas research. I got my Shiny with those 15 minutes left to spare! Then I got a second 100% IV Feebas! So, I'm pretty satisfied with today.

We went to Udupi Palace. Claire forgot about the Women's March and her Lyft got her in late. Maurisa also forgot about the Women's March and was at the BCAF Youth Day, and she and Eric were trapped in traffic for almost one and a half hours past our original meeting time.

I have thus come to the conclusion that most of my friends are just going to need earlier meetup times if I want them on time, haha.

But we had a great time anyway; I haven't seen Eric since before I moved out, and while we didn't get to catch up as much as I hoped, we did still get to chat, and we'll hang out again tomorrow. We went to have dessert at Dandelion Chocolate before heading home. I am sure I have totally ruined any weight loss progress I have made in the last week.

I'm very tired now and tried to wind down but now I realize I should have packed my swimming gear earlier and slept earlier to get to the gym by 8am. Hopefully I can still do that!
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My relationship to my books )


Theda's 5000 books )


My moving process )


I sometimes still hear my father's voice, see his questioning frown, whenever I pick some things up: "do you need this? Are you going to read this more than once?"

Am I going to need this in the future?

Am I going to wear this for anything other than special occasions?

Am I going to use this on a regular basis?

Do I already have something like this?

Can I jury-rig something like this?

Can I just make this at home?

It's a bit paralysing, and it took me a long time to give myself permission to just buy the goddamn thing.

KinMari is not a revolutionary, radical tidying system. This is freaking common sense!


White Supremacists on KonMari )


on KonMari being woo-woo )
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The good news is:

- My manager and boss talked about giving me one more day a week at the office! Which I could also use for slush reading, which means remotely working. Since I'm getting more into editorial, I get to be first reader, which I'm pretty excited about.

- New Suns got a Starred Review in Publishers Weekly! And I'm mentioned in it!

The bad news is:

- Gigi Gonzales, who I graduated with, and walked the commencement stage with in 2017, passed away just the other day, reportedly of cancer. I knew she'd been having health issues, which I thought was either exacerbated or caused by grad school, but I had no idea it was this bad.

I was never really close to her, but we would occasionally hang out and chat. She had to commute in from San Diego. She took an auntie-esque interest in my personal life.

I'm very glad that she finished her dissertation and that we got to walk the stage together. (My adviser was on her committee, and hooded her, because her adviser, Henk, wasn't into ceremony so didn't attend commencement.)

And I'd just written to the department admin chiding him about the website not having been updated with our dissertations. I'm going to figure out how to strongly word a request that the Dissertations page needs to be updated ASAP, if only in Gigi's memory.

*shuffles off to bed*
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After what seems like forever, I finished my first non-fiction book of the year! The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao by Ian Johnson was a lovely series of essays, using the Chinese lunar and agricultural calendar to break up the sections. It covered a wide range of religions and similar practices: Daoism, Buddhism, qigong, Christianity. It's a really lovely portrait of the struggle that a society has in trying to regain it ethical and social bearings after the Cultural Revolution.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend once. Her mother said she didn't think mainlander Chinese were "real" Chinese, because the Cultural Revolution had stamped out so many practices and beliefs, and "real Chinese would never have let that go." And it's interesting to read this book, some 9 years after that conversation, which I think shows that no, these practices and beliefs weren't let go. They're truncated, like a three-day funeral process becoming one when handled by urbanized children, and young people aren't as good at the craft as their elders were, but they are living things that change regardless.

I also really loved the language in the book--Johnson knows how to write a lovely sentence and there were several really nice paragraphs that I wanted to take quote.

Other things I've read recently:

NYT on the Kiini Bikini lawsuit, about how the fashion designer who has a rep for taking anyone copying her design to court herself filched the design from a woman while holidaying.

A visit to a GLITTER FACTORY, there are so many great moments in this.

A sensitive answer about how to gently talk to young people about their attitudes. I really liked the framing of puberty and the attitudes associated with it as a symptom of overwhelming feelings, and how the time period is about learning how to deal with it, and the challenge is to deal with it without being antagonizing towards the people one loves.

An important observation on the racial dot map.

Obituary of Zura Karuhimbi, who saved dozens of people during the Rwandan genocide using her reputation as a witch.

A librarian on media literacy, political memes, and the value of librarians.

A new term / meme in China that roughly translates to "poor ugly" and how people using it to express their, uh, millennial mood, I guess.

A look at the bonkers process of Facebook moderation.

Piece on how Vietnamese food in America is essentially trying to remain the same as it was in the 1970s. A symptom of diaspora nostalgia than it is about living culture.

Tiara had a really good take on the hot takes on Marie Kondo's new show.

The Atlantic on "Instagram Husbands".
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So, I got SOME editing done in the morning, then headed into the city to meet with my attorney. We're almost there! I need a couple more letters and bits of whatnot, mostly online evidence of my, uh, extraordinary ability. And this is how I found out that the UCR Comp Lit website, despite its redesign is, as usual, un-updated in a couple of sections, such as the Dissertations section, which should have had the last two years listed. I guess we're chopped liver.

I meant to go up to the Ma Tsu Temple afterwards, but realized that I had 1) no cash for donations and 2) no joss paper to pray with. How the hell am I supposed to show up at temple without any donations OR prayer money? Damn! I don't even know why I forgot about it... I saw joss paper for sale at the Chinese grocery by Gourmet Delight last weekend, too!

Instead, I went to the ferry building for some food, and meandered to the Hyatt for some writing. I did pretty good, I think--finished a chapter of my novel and started a new one. I need to focus a bit more, but my attention keeps wandering. Very irritating.

When I came home I updated a bunch of online sites, like my GoodReads, Amazon author profile, my website, and my blogspot. I'm fiddling with a new business card as well. So far I've got two designs: this one I like for the grayscale look, but this one is probably cleaner, if less memorable. I've been using the Silver Goggles steampunk postcolonialist one since 2012, and I only have maybe ten of them left, so it's time for a re-design. I really like the idea of lines at the back that's for notes; I've seen people have fields like "where we met" and "what we talked about" for further context, which seems like a great idea. And which probably also never get filled, haha, but it's a nice thought!

And suddenly it's almost freaking midnight ~_~
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I had a personal trainer session this morning, since signing up with the gym gets me a free hour. She started me on the rowing machine, then did some bar balancing stuff (terrible), plank push ups (terrible but doable), TRX stuff (fun but not something I can do without a trainer apparently) and something that required squatting with my back against the wall with my hands held in front of me, and she applied pressure on my hands that I had to push again (also fun but also not something I can do without someone else).

I suppose I could have headed it off by not entertaining her questions about "what is your IDEAL" and "what are your GOALS" because honestly the reason why I like swimming is because ultimately it is pleasurable. I like an exercise that gets me into my body and has all my senses engaged, which is not a thing that I get from being on treadmills and walking. Losing weight and getting my metabolism up and whatever, that's all a bonus at this point. Like, yeah, I do want to lose weight, and sure, I would like more muscle mass, but this whole "working out efficiently" with 25 minute blasts of energy is... not my workout style. I got spots in my eyes a few times, which she thought was because I hadn't eaten beforehand, but really it was just that I'm not used to pushing myself so hard so quickly.

I did like the rowing machine a lot though, so next time I'm on my period and not going to swim, I'll use the rowing machine and see how I like it when I'm not going at it like a sprint. Or maybe I might like it enough to alternate between swimming and rowing? I got my first menstrual cup from Saalt (after taking this quiz which recommended this particular brand to me), so I'm going to give that a shot next time I'm on my period.

She also taught me what I guess is the "hollow hold"--where I had to pin my back to the ground while lifting my legs and arms up ("like a banana"). I figure I can do the plank pushups and the hollow holds while microwaving my water in the future, rather than just planks.


I scanned some of the documents I needed, and wow is scanning a whole goddamn ORDEAL. The scanner at Tachyon doesn't really work very well (it's fickle; some days I'll get it to work, other days only Jacob can use it, and other days, it's bricked), despite my attempts (it worked! ONCE! when I was testing it! then I closed out the program and it was bricked again). So I walked to the public library and scanned in a couple of things. Tried to scan my PhD certificate but that didn't work, so I walked to Staples to do a colour scan of it.

I also scanned my OPT card, which was another production where I couldn't just copy both sides onto one piece of paper (a common service back home in Malaysia, and something my dad taught me to do as well on home printers). I copied both sides, flipping the card over so that it would show up on a different part of the paper, then I folded the two papers together in such a way that the two copies appeared side-by-side, and scanned THAT.


I also have my Eligibility Post up now. I published three things last year, down from the 5 pieces I published in 2016, but given the stresses of the year, I think I did pretty okay!
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Sunday I got to the pool a little after 8am, and no one else was there until like 8.45. Similarly, today I got in around 5.50, and had the pool to myself until around 6.20, when two more people came in. My theory that there are fewer people on Sunday / Tuesday / Thursday doesn't seem to bear out so far, although getting there earlier definitely helps with the empty pool.

Today's session was particularly good. I usually try to do around 5 or 6 loops before I pause to de-fog my goggles. I also tend to stop at the end of a lap and take a brief moment to turn around and kick off. This time, I kicked off faster, and I went 10 loops before pausing. I did 20 laps and would have tried for a couple more except then people came into the pool. (The last few times I've tried to go to 22 loops, my legs was feeling fatigued. So maybe it's just as well.) I've never done 10 in a row so solidly like that before, so I'm definitely feeling what [personal profile] oracne calls the Glow of Virtue™. This is giving me some confidence for my personal training session on Thursday! Maybe I won't be hopeless at the machines after all.

My hair is getting pretty dry from all the hairdryer use, so it's getting a bit hard to play with it and braid it without planning ahead. It doesn't seem to be a case of using too little conditioner... I tend to use 50% more of a dollop conditioner than shampoo. I'm also used to just letting my hair dry overnight, so this consistent hairdrying is new. I might just try to tie my hair into a tiny French braid next time instead of drying it out and see what that gets me. For now, I think I'll rub in a hibiscus aloe gel that a friend gave me. I'm still trying the ascorbic acid thing, and wondering if I'm using it correctly. I think I am? The chlorine isn't smelling as strongly as it normally does when I leave the gym, at any rate.

Speaking of my hair! It's now long enough to tie into a teeny tiny ponytail! And... my undercut is not symmetrical. As in, the undercut line on one side of my head is higher than on the other side of my head. It's not very noticeable when my hair is down, of course, but it is SUPER noticeable when my hair is up! And I'm liking the look of a ponytail + undercut, so I'm not sure what to do... leave the one side to grow out unevenly with the rest of my head, or shave off the other side to match the higher line? The thing is, I rather like the lower line. Maybe I'll just put off the haircut until much later? Good thing it grows out fairly fast, I guess...


Jan. 4th, 2019 07:31 pm
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Yesterday I woke up at 5am, got to swim for an hour. Got home as Yoshi was finishing her breakfast, and she was like "where did you go?" So I explained to her why I hate sharing lanes, which she got a huge kick out of.

Work was interesting. Tax season is upon us, and our distributor changed accounting systems, so my boss had me take a closer look at the Client Statements, and compare to the data reports that we can download. The data is supposed to let us drill down to individual purchases, but honestly all we want are totals, which means navigating filters and spreadsheets with more columns than we care about. So the task was to find the totals in the datasets that would match the Client Statements. And, uh, most of the numbers did not match. It turns out I get weirdly hyperfocused on these things, and I liked it because detail-oriented stuff like that is my jam, even though I actually hate numbers with a passion.

After work, I headed to Curry Up Now for dinner with Maricar and Maurisa, and we then went to Dandelion for dessert. Between the three of us we shared a tiramisu, a smore, and a drinking chocolate, which is good because while I love the drinking chocolate, I can't have it by myself without taking so long it's cold by the time I get to the bottom.

I was really sneezy when I got home though. I rested, then tried on the Unicorn Glitter Peel-Off Mask.

Peeling off masks is an ordeal and a half! I GUESS my skin felt nice afterwards, but I'm not sure if that's because it actually improved, or it felt nice to not feel it in pain from pulling off the mask?

Anyway, I woke up this morning at 5, refused to wake up until 8.30, then stayed in bed until 10, and I think my body hates that because I got up to a face full of hives. Could be the sleeping in. Could be the mask! Could even be the fact that I might be sick, since I felt low-key cruddy and tired, and sometimes instead of having sniffles and a fever I just get ugly. I don't know! Either way I started de-cluttering my desk, swept the floor of my bedroom, and began working on some freelance work.

So yeah. Jia Ling invited me out to Oakland First Friday, so I thought I'd nap and see if I felt better, but nope. So I ate nachos and drank some hot chocolate and am still working on editing instead.

But tomorrow Elizabeth's invited me to her ad hoc birthday party, dim sum at what seems like everybody's favourite dim sum place in downtown Oakland. I'm hoping that Jia Ling and I can get together on Sunday to discuss ideas for a comics project together, too.


Jan. 4th, 2019 02:35 pm
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So I suspect that maybe the pool is emptier on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I woke up at 5am (-ish), and made it to the pool by 5.50, and there was nobody, even after I got out at 6.40. I only saw people in there when I was leaving at 7am.

That makes sense though; maybe other people are like me and trying to stick to a MWF schedule. Hrm, I might have to think about this some more. I wish there was just a way to, idk, book the pool?

I also made the ascorbic acid spray, and used it in the shower. I think it does work? I definitely didn't smell as much chlorine when I got out of the shower than I might have usually.

This time I tried swimming in the middle of the pool by the buoy line separating the two lanes. Every time I've swum closer to the side of the pool when someone else got into the lane, I'd end up hitting my hand against the wall and it just made swimming really awkward!


Folks have been suggested a Diva Cup for the days I have my period, so I can keep swimming, and I guess I really ought to give it a try. Any suggestions for buying one?

Either way I guess I should try to expand my gymming horizons, so I've booked my personal training session for next Thursday and we'll see how it goes!

NYE 2018

Jan. 1st, 2019 11:31 am
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For New Year's Eve, I went to work, and after work, I meant to go home, get changed into something warmer and come back to see the fireworks.

Over the weekend I read a novel and went grocery shopping. Fran and I went to Walmart for a desperate effort to find a sweater with a plush unicorn in front. We did not find it, but I came away with a long-sleeved unicorn shirt anyway. There was dinner, and there was supposed to be a waterside walk, but it was dark and cold and I was like "nooooooo" so we went to do more shopping. I have new shirts, even though I really need new pants. They are such good shirts though.

Anyway, I really wanted to walk my eggs in Pokemon Go, so instead of going home, I got out at Embarcadero station, ducked into a Walgreens, and bought a new pair of fleece leggings. I have some already but they're also a Large, so I went one size down. Then I headed to the Hyatt to change into them. AND THIS WAS A GOOD DECISION.

I wandered downtown and hatched several eggs, then tried to go back to the Hyatt, which had put up fences to prevent droves of people just hanging out in the lobby (which is ordinarily open). So I went to MacDonalds, got some fries, sat down, and read a new book about the resurgence of religion in China. I'm really liking it! The writing is engaging, and doesn't have any of the usual white-guy-writing-about-Asia cringiness.

About 11.30, I followed the exodus of people leaving McDonald's to go to the waterfront and watched fireworks.

Stopped by Joyce and Randy's to hang out a bit and then headed for home.

Google Maps was AWFUL and kept giving me bus routes that weren't even working. Also, AC Transit said on their website that all their Transbay and usual bus routes were still running, which was a LIE! AAARGH.

But luckily, the BART was still running, even though the Richmond train wasn't, and I missed the Antioch train because I couldn't tell if there would be a Richmond train. I got home around 3am, which, bleh.

Still, I got to watch things go boom and sparkle in the sky, so this is a good thing.
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I've been spending most of the holidays in a state of feeling lost and anxious, mostly over things I can't control, but some over things which I could but am not sure what to do about it and whether I can (not as in, can I do it, I'm sure I can, the question is one of sustainability and maintenance). And while I'm getting a kick out of being thoughtful and junk about my future since I should be worrying about that stuff like an adult anyway post-PhD, I'm going to acknowledge also being a bit of an ingrate and not really thinking about people who've made this whole year a good one for me.

My psychiatrist was very gentle with me all through the six months I had her before my medical insurance ran out and I had to move anyway. We tried a bunch of different meds, and out of all of them, Effexor was the best, but I can mostly still function without it. Would try again though.

I reconnected with Pan Jia Ling after 14 years of no contact, by some Twitter coincidence where Grace Fong retweeted a bunch of women artists introducing themselves and I just so happened to catch Jia Ling's in my timeline. She immediately had me come out to Oakland to stay with her and give a talk at her company.

That same week, I also got to attend [personal profile] oyceter's wedding! She and Randy have also been so, so, so good to me. They've let me stay over their place several times, even when I've misread my bus ticket and had to bunk over one more hour, one more night. Then, when I moved to the Bay Area, they let me stay with them for a week while I began working at Tachyon and hunted for a new place to live.

[personal profile] yeloson has also been Homie Extraordinaire™. Over the years he's let me bunk over at his place for days at a time, he's always inviting me to do martial arts training and food and storytelling stuff (I don't grok gaming but trading worldbuilding ideas is always a great time with him). These days I get to eat with him almost weekly. He let me stay over his place too, right before I moved into my new place.

My new roommates have been great and I'm so grateful that they offered the room to me despite the fact that I may not stay here very long. It's nice to live with people who share my sense of geek chic and who take just as much interest in the household as I do. I tend to hide from them a lot because my bedroom faces the dining room, but I do like them a lot!

Since moving to the Bay, I've also gotten to see more of the people I usually only ever see at events like WisCon! I'm pretty happy with that. I miss folks from Riverside, especially my Pokemon Go friends, so it was really exciting when my usual crew came up to visit me! We walked all over UC Berkeley one day, then San Francisco the next, did a ton of raids together.

If not for Emily Jiang talking to Jacob for me about my potentially interning for Tachyon, I wouldn't have been able to just ask Jacob about working there. I mean, I'm sure I would have eventually, but I would have taken longer at it, because it felt a lot like asking for a favour.

Jacob apparently pushed Jill to at least meet with me for an interview, and I think it was a good interview where clearly all our goals were aligned. I'm so grateful to them for giving me that chance! Learning at Tachyon has been so great, and watching how Jacob and Jill work gives me high hopes that this is a thing I could conceivably do in the future myself. I may only go in three days a week, but every day is a good day with good people. After years spent in a dysfunctional space where I had to soothe many fellow grad students, it's been a joy to just come into the office to be with people who love books just because they like books and not because of academic cred, who also like food (a lot of chocolate has been consumed this holiday season), and who also just like their work a lot.

on other fronts )
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Around 2014 is when I first started posting on Facebook, and that's also where I first started sharing links to Facebook instead of collating them and posting them to Dreamwidth. I opened my linkage.txt file for the first time in forever, and there were still articles in there from 2014 that I know I meant to share here, but never got around.

One of the things I liked about social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook was the immediacy of broadcasting articles. Then I didn't have to worry about re-visiting them again.

I really want to take things slower now, and be more mindful about processing and re-processing things I've read. It helps because then I won't feel so overwhelmed by the constant barrage of information, and I think it's a good idea to really sit on things I read and share.

So, looks like in 2014 I read an incest survivor's perspective on Moira Greyland's abuse by Walter Breen and Marion Zimmer Bradley, some grousing on how assumptions that "women married young" are wrong and Juliet in Shakespeare is an outlier adn should not have been counted, one of the first articles I remember talking about how fat-shaming directly contributes to weight gain/maintenance, a UCR Today newspiece about students who created a titanium dioxide mixture coating for rooftiled that can break down nitrogen oxide, about that time Indonesian singers made a tribute music video to their fascistic presidential candidate with Nazi imagery, and the death of an individual's idealism while doing non-profit work.
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It's been an eventful week. On Tuesday, I went to Locus for deadline proofreading, and Wednesday, again to Locus for the holiday party. There was a lot of candy for me, and also Francesca got Llamanoes, which is Dominoes with llamas, and that was an entertaining time.

Thursday at Tachyon we hosted the visit of a former employee visiting from Japan. She brought a ton of those little vending machine capsules and this was a huge novelty to everyone else at the table XD It was fun to do! And fun to watch people's reactions. Also there is now a hat for the office cat, who hated it, as cats do.

I went to get a manuscript from a friend and then had dinner with [personal profile] yeloson and Maricar. Maricar and I were supposed to watch Mirai at the Roxie nearby, but the show was sold out! (We're gonna try again today, Sunday, for an evening show, before it leaves theaters, but this means schlepping out to Central Richmond.)

Friday I woke up at 5.30, got to the pool by 6am, and swam almost a whole hour. Around 6.30 someone else came into the pool, then I had to start lane-sharing at 6.45am, and that was a lot less fun XP But I was still early even after my bath! So I went to Frena Bakery, on 6th street, a kosher bakery owned by Iraqi Jewish folks, and bought some sufganiyot to bring to the office and try. Cleaners were in (and are usually gone by 10am) so I thought I'd have a leisurely trip in, but I still got in half an hour early.

Anyway I had dinner out at Shooting Star and had an entire cheese-baked rice with pork chops and was SO uncomfortable afterwards because I was so full.

Yesterday I had breakfast with [personal profile] yeloson, [personal profile] ladyjax, and Julia of chicken and cheesecake at Lois the Pie Queen, then Julia and I went over to [personal profile] yeloson's place to binge tea and anime.

So, it's been a good week on the surface and about enough to counterbalance the other bullshit happening right now which I will post about later. Still processing.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
So I finally got out to City Sports Club yesterday evening, and got a tour from who I think is the manager of the place. He was curious how I found the place, especially since there was a tent outside where they were having a sign-up promotion, that I naturally had no idea about. So I saved about $50 from signing up any other regular time.

The pool IS a two-lane pool, almost tiny, but long enough that it's enough of a challenge to me, a Junior Olympic. Everything else seems really nice and clean so far, and lots of machines. The manager says that I get one hour with a personal trainer to introduce me to the machines, which I may or may not do... I really just want to swim.

I went in today, after feeling like garbage for most of the morning. I had breakfast, I wrote a bit, and then I slept some more, but my headache didn't go away. It went in and out as I made my way to the gym and swam. It seems to have gone sometime during the evening, so yay.

Sharing a lane is a bit of a tricky thing, it looks like, and I wonder if my aches from the swimming is from having to adjust my strokes in a fairly unnatural way in order to fit half the lane. The other lady swimming in the lane, though, was really cool to watch. She somersaulted and kicked off her laps in one motion, which I have never really seen up close. She swam freestyle and was a very fast swimming, which made me wonder, but then, I'm swimming to get my stamina kickstarted again.

I'm trying to not feel bad about how out of shape I am, and how slowly I swim, especially when I was the youngest person in the pool. I otherwise did about 45 minutes of swimming, 15 laps, which I'm really happy about.

Newbie things:
- I put my towel on the floor because I didn't notice there were hooks by the pool
- I, uh, forgot to bring the key to the padlock. Whoops! I packed the padlock into my bag and everything! I spent a lot of time worrying whether I was gonna lose stuff.
- I didn't bring flip flops. I wonder if I do need them, but they are probably somewhat useful to have.

I need to figure out the best way to transport and air out my swimsuit. I'm also thinking a shopping trip specifically for swim stuff (though not gear) is in order... I'd like to get new towels and maybe another swimsuit or two to rotate, since I really want to get into swimming very regularly. I'm also thinking of maybe a new bag to transport stuff? I just.... already have a ton of totes and such in my arsenal which never get enough love. I have a mesh tote inherited from Theda which I might try next time.

A friend also impressed on me the need to get something to rinse the chlorine off, and suggested ascorbic acid, or Vitamin C acid, which apparently clears chlorine right off. There's a company that already makes such a thing, SwimSpray, but I also found a few other DIY Vitamin C spray mixes. Trader Joe's sells ascorbic acid, apparently, so I'll go check that out next time I'm grocery shopping that way.

Here's hoping I get to establish a new equilibrium with the exercise.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
So, Trainer battles has just rolled out. I've been part of the group receiving the updates first since I'm level 40 but this time? Nada. I've been trying to battle Blanche to no avail.

My current issues:

- I get to the arena and nothing happens. My fighter is usually also at half-life. Nothing is happening on the screen, just the two Pokemon standing there facing off, no attacks being made. I can't even see the Surrender button -- it's in the top left, but I only found it while desperately poking at the screen.

- I get to the arena, and immediately my Pokemon is at half-life, AND the opponent Pokemon is already delivering a charged move! So I have to throw up a shield or else be obliterated within the first few seconds.

- There's no countdown timer most of the time, or it shows up only after that first charged attack. And even then it's not visible all the time.

I've done pretty much the gamut of what I'm supposed to do: re-started the app; cleared the cache; re-started my phone; uninstalled and re-installed the app.

It's getting super annoying! I want to battle with the Team Leaders, and with other trainers! And also get a shot at the Sinnoh stone! Aaaaaaargh....
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I had a really bad date today! I... have not gone on many first dates, and lately I've been hooking up very regularly with one dude so haven't really made the effort. But BQ made it clear that he wasn't looking for a relationship, which suits me pretty fine, since my visa status means it's not clear whether I get to stay long-term. Which means I'm free to cast about for company elsewhere during the times he gets too swamped with work to be around me.

Anyway, since I haven't really been looking hard, I thought I'd give this whole "pitch a meeting really quickly and worry about phone numbers after" thing a shot.

This evening, I went to meet with a dude who's in business consulting and almost a tech bro, and wow I don't even know what he thought he was doing. Right at the beginning he was fitting in this quick coffee between work and a couple other events (I suggested Ghirardelli on Market because it was easy for me to get to, plus if I'm gonna have to put up with the awkwardness of a first date, I want it to be at a place where I can trust the hot chocolate).

His conversation was.... extremely disjointed, because he had apparently just returned from travels abroad and was extremely jetlagged. But he also seemed to take every opportunity to GET CLOSER, starting with taking a tissue to wipe my chin where I'd spilled a bit of hot chocolate, and towards the end when he reached for my HAIR to check out my undercut and hold up my hair to demonstrate a "manbun" as if I didn't know what it was.

He wanted to know what my accent was, and didn't believe me when I said I was Malaysian, because he had a Malaysian friend and had seen that friend talk to their parents (and thought it was cute). He didn't understand what steampunk was, barely read any science fiction. When I told him I wrote science fiction and fantasy he had this dawning, "so, like, you write Game of Thrones?" and I nearly facepalmed. I told him I wrote short fiction, and he was like "so, like Reader's Digest? How many pages is that? So you write only like 12 pages?"

Near the end I was telling him about book events, and explained to him what a bookstore crawl was, and he said, "I've lived here three years, and I only know two bookstores."

And I said, "you better have something really interesting to say after this, because this date is going to be over real quick if not."

He wanted a hug when we stood up to part, and I was like "uh, not on the first date." And it was a pretty hasty goodbye, like he was like "you gonna walk me to my party?" and I was like, "uhm, no, I have food waiting for me at home" and I was like "have fun at your party!!" and booked it across the road.

So I rewarded myself with a trip to Walgreen's and got myself new panty liners, two lipsticks, and a little eyeliner with a roller.

Good grief.

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