jhameia: ME! (Default)
well.... commencement happened, I looked banging, I went #7 in line and stayed the rest of the THREE GODDAMN HOURS HOLY SCHNYKIES

Nalo was there to hood one of my friends, yay!

I hoped to get into the Eaton stacks to get pictures of myself in full regalia with my books in the stacks, but oh well. Some other time, maybe.

My parents are annoying but what else is new. But now they have heard from professors in my department how awesome I am, so yay.

We are going to Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Forest (I think) (some of part that range) and then to Santa Cruz and then to San Francisco.

I have worn makeup twice in three days and my face feels very tired >_>

Gonna bring my computer with me on the off chance that I can keep working on the diss while I'm on the road. Wishes and dreams and stuff.

Gotta decide if I wanna take the 10pm Bolt Bus or an 11pm Greyhound. I guess in the long run it doesn't matter? Gonna go with the cheaper option.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I had a good birthday day! I intend to stretch the birthdayness out the whole week. It was nice and cloudy in the morning so I put on makeup even! And dressed nice. I had popcorn chicken for lunch, and hung with some of the new internationals a bit. Then I chilled in my office doing emails, and at 3 met with a couple of people to check out the new library exhibit on utopian fiction. It didn't take long and so I went to the Botanic Gardens with one of the new students, and we then went to a 4pm reception of the exhibit. Then Maurisa, Javi, Eric and I went to dinner at Tio's, and Javi suggested we go get some cake and he bought me a huge tres leche cake. Maurisa had baked me some brownies so we went to get it, and Javi's dog, and back to my complex where the dog could run around and we could eat at one of the picnic tables.

People apparently dig my voice when it is broken by a severe cough which is weird.

Also while I like dressing up and all, turns out I am so much more comfortable in t-shirt and shorts and sneakers. I started with a nice blouse and beautiful long skirt, and finished with my Azn Trek shirt, shorts, my new running shoes (which I have described as my "young, scrappy and hungry Pokemon trainers") and my Blak Trek sweater.

My dad got me a little vacuum robot thing! It's an iRova K6L and while it's not as clever as a Roomba, it does the job. It keeps coming into the small corridor of the bedroom doorways and sometimes wants to get onto the carpet of my bedroom because I have my door open, and sometimes I have to pick it up and move it elsewhere like an intractable turtle. It's great, it is doing better than I expected. It's supposed to come with its own wiping cloth but there are only 3 of them, now 2, because I've used it to death, and I'm testing it out with one of the Swiffer dry cloths to see if that works as well.

My sick is still abiding, so I'm going to have a lot of fruit smoothie and rice porridge (I figure I should get all the Vitamin C) until it goes away.

Hopefully I get to LA tonight to see Nisi read from EVERFAIR!
jhameia: ME! (Default)
So I'm using a Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, which uses Android v5.1.1. I'm still trying to get the hang of it and I have to look up how to organize folders and stuff. The phone is a bit too wide for my liking, alas, at 2.99inches. Still getting used to the touchscreen, which I'm not crazy about. I have a longer post coming about shopping for smartphones versus shopping for phones brewing in me, because I have many shopping-for-phone feels. Still, it should allow me to roam around in the States without having to switch my SIM card... I'm hoping this will still hold when I change my plan from a GoPhone account to something else which will allow me data usage.

I have totally progressed in Pokemon Go! Around Level 10 I did the Lucky Egg + Mass Evolution combo and went up to Level 13.

When I went to Singapore last weekend, I was expressly forbidden to play by my dad but I used mall wifi here and there. A friend also generously let me hop onto his hotspot (he has more data per month than he could ever use) at some point, and I felt bad when Pokemon starting spawning on my phone and not his. Good haul, though. I added a lot more to my Pokedex, and yesterday when I went to the Marina Bay Sands Shoppes, I finally caught a Pikachu. There was one more Pokemon which I wanted to add to the Pokedex but I was already late for lunch with my hostess so I skedaddled home instead.

It was a really marvelous weekend! My hostess is a friend and former worker of my dad's, and her daughter just got back from Australia doing an English degree, so we had lots to talk about. They're very churchy people tho so we didn't spend much time together. (Also their apartment was right between two Pokestops, so I spent a lot of time harvesting.)

On Saturday I went to have brunch with [personal profile] jolantru, and two others came to join us, Christopher Hwang and SEAsteampunk contributor Timothy Dimacali!! Chris had to leave us after lunch, but Timothy joined us at the fish spa :D

I went back to my hostess' place at Red Hill for a rest, and then went to have dinner with [profile] delfinuum (she is so smol!), and we played Pokemon Go in Raffles City for a while until I ran out of Wifi usage time. So we went to the Singapore Night Fest since it was nearby and ended up marveling at Nyonya embroidery and beadwork in the Peranakan Museum.

Yesterday I woke early and had breakfast with my hostess, and they were going to be at church until noon which left me two hours on my lonesome. I was feeling kinda tired so I only left at 11am and wandered to Marina Bay Sands to find out how to get to the Observation Deck. Took some pictures (oh, I have an Instagram now, because of the smartphone; I aim to be one of those insufferable selfie-takers) and went to the shopping mall side where I proceeded to catch Pokemon, just because I could.

The GPS is really wonky in Singapore, though. I wandered further than I actually was unless I was on the move. Kinda interesting, and I don't really want to complain too much because it means my 10km egg hatched earlier than expected (Electabuzz!).

I have to say that highway Pokestops are very interesting and fruitful places! I caught a Clefable on the way home :D Also it's fascinating what random things Ingress agents have decided should be portals... most of them don't actually take pictures of the stops themselves but random crap around it like... water towers. My bus was also caught in a traffic jam and I figured opening up Pokemon Go would make the jam go quicker.

This morning I decided to see how Map My Walk would interact with Pokemon Go! Because I wanted to hatch a buncha eggs all at once. (Three!) Turns out it doesn't work well... I think the GPS is suspended a little whenever catching a pokemon, and it doesn't register on the Walk app. So I had a few straight lines where there shouldn't have been because of the pause in GPS data. And if I'm not flicking between the two regularly the route doesn't quite register on the Walk app. I'm gonna try to experiment a bit more with this though, because I would really like to record my Pokemon hunts.

My dad's traveling until tomorrow night and I really want to go Poketrawling with him at least someplace further than the nearby lake or shops once before I leave for the States, so hopefully this will be a thing.

5am, 1pm

Aug. 8th, 2016 12:55 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I'm in the transit hotel at Incheon. It's been a few travel full days. My computer says it's 1pm, and the clock on the wall says it's 5pm. I got in around 6pm local time, checked into the transit hotel, and crashed.

As soon as I got back from Clarion, I was out having dinner with Birgit. S came over on Wednesday to hang out--we went to lunch and watched Ghostbusters. (Leslie Jones was underused; Katie McKinnon was annoying except when she was talking science and even that was tiresome; Melissa McCarthy is good; Kristin Wiig's character was so incompetent I couldn't stand it.) Stopped by JoAnn's so I could get some jewelry things for my new piece of tree sap (which I saw on a tree in Balboa Park and made my classmate Derek get for me). It looks really good. Then the next day, I hung with Maurisa and Eric, and then Maurisa and I met with Nalo in the evening. Maurisa brought her friend and we went to Haagen-Daaz to get some icecream and listen to the live band playing in Uni Village.

The Amtrak to Oakland was some 11 hours; I missed the 6.50am train to LA because taxis are unreliable. But the 8.10 train got me to the train tracks, right on time for the Coast Starlight. I lugged my luggage to the Bart station, found Claire's place, and was greeted by Tempest.

Spent the whole Saturday with Tempest! We had breakfast with one of my classmates, and then worked in Borderlands for several hours before heading out to dinner with Chris. Then Joyce and Randy came out to hang and play Pokemon Go so we went to Dolores Park for it. So many Pokemon in SF!

Sunday morning, Maurisa came to get me and we went to dim sum with Emily.

Airport airport airport. The flight was 11 hours long so I watched the following:

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2: This was AMAZING and I am SO glad I got to watch it. It picks up 17 years after the first movie, and since the characters have been established, there is SO much more going on alongside the main three plotlines. Paris is annoying as a teen as can be expected, but adorable all the same (especially her face when she discovers her date is a nice Greek boy, and I also like that he doesn't show up at the end); Toula and Ian are still sqwooshy. I was VERY pleased to see the continued involvement of Ian's parents, who were taciturn and a bit nervous in the first movie, in the whole family drama. It took me a while to realize that yes, they were in the family group, actively volunteering to help out. There were subplots involving family reunions, and as usual I really love how the men of the family act so macho but it turns out to not be a kind of toxic masculinity ("It's not good to keep secrets from your family," said Nick and I BAWLED when I realized what happened). Mama-yaya's character got really fleshed out in a really beautiful way; she was used mostly for comedy in the first movie, and she got a lot more moments in this one that's interestingly, uh, symbolic. Things have changed for Toula and Ian, like Toula losing her travel agency job due to the economy, but it was so believable, and the ups and downs of the family are trite but WHO CARES, it's a story about a family, with attendant suffocation and all. It was a satisfying, satisfying movie that hit all my buttons.

ZOOTOPIA: I see why this movie is good--it's got an ambitious scope and the plot twists and turns are really great. Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde are also really competent characters, which I like. I, uh.... I don't buy the worldbuilding, really. I think the scale is great with multiple climate types in a single city to have multiple types of animals, but what are the predators eating? Seriously. This bugged me all through the movie: WE NEVER SEE THEM EATING. Except donuts and popsicles. But it moves right along, each act feeding into each other really well.

THE MASTER: I watched this because I saw it playing on someone's screen ahead of me, which had two main characters having an intense conversation about their marriage while the husband is beating up thugs, and she's all like "we got married with the understanding that we would separate" and had great lines like "With or without a gardener, flowers die regardless. With or without a man, a woman would still live her own life."| It's not very coherent as a movie: a Wing-Chun master comes to Tianjin to establish a school (translated as dojo in the subs) but apparently the rules are that he needs a disciple who is a local to defeat at least 8 of the schools, and the disciple afterwards must leave Tianjin. Then there's the whole business where he marries a local woman (who's unmarried because she had a baby out of wedlock) for reasons unclear to me. Then there're the machinations of one of the leading schools (led by this woman who never does any actual martial arts, she's the wife of a former Grandmaster, and she's always really well-dressed), some double-crossings by a current grandmaster and the military gets involved and also a dual love story involving the disciple and a local noodle seller who I think is supposed to be coded as an ethnic minority due to her costume and aaaaaaaaaaaaaa what is going onnnnnnn. Like I felt like the movie was shot just so everyone could look cool (and to be fair, everyone does look cool)--it's so artful and posed. I also have never seen a Chinese movie with SO MANY random white people in the background before: the wife worked in a Western restaurant, seemingly the only local there; the grandmaster likes to watch performances of that Russian folk dance where the dancers seem to float across the floor. But really one would watch it for the escalating fight scene, especially the last part where it looks like the protagonist is making his way through a series of final bosses.

THE TALE OF TALES: This movie is hella fucked up and I watched it because I like fairytales but as far as fairytales go, this got hella dark and the bodycount was really high. It has about THREE stories in the one movie, and they never really cohere together other than, sometime at the beginning the characters come together for a funeral, and at the end the three courts come together again for a coronation. But you don't really see the characters from the different threads ever really talking to each other otherwise. And it's super fairytale because it's lush and gorgeous but apparently each kingdom really only needs like the ONE town to sustain it. it's based on a collection of Neapolitan tales, everyone is a one-note character, and it's made to be beautiful and lush and gorgeous, not to make any sense.


THE JUNGLE BOOK: This was pretty meh. There's still hella anthropocentrism up the wazoo; Mowgli is a special snowflake; I don't understand why the animals have American accents. It was entertaining but in the end I didn't care.

I played a lot of Phlinx, and now am in a transit hotel killing time trying to sleep some more. It's 7am, I only need to check out at 9am. So I'm gonna try to be horizontal a bit more.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
- Finished my third chapter last night! I've checked out a buncha books today on postcolonial writing today to write my fourth chapter, which will be a whirlwind tour of POC steampunk stuff to demonstrate that steampunk doesn't have to be destined for Eurocentrism. Hopefully I can blow through this chapter in a week before Clarion starts.

- I signed a contract for a sale to Interfictions Online today! This makes it my third pro sale, which means I am now a SFWA-qualified writer *_*

- Sent off two of the three Con or Bust items I donated today! (Psst Kate)

- The more I think about it, the less keen I am on staying in academia. When I next go home to Malaysia, I'm going to look into my mother's apartments on Jalan Ampang (one of which is technically in my name, so technically it is mine) as potential places to live. The problem is, of course, my mother's pharmacy is right downstairs so it could be a source of potential horrible-ness. But I could take all the keys and pretend to not be home! Maybe. I'll talk it over with my father and we'll see how it goes.

(Why, oh why, didn't my parents invest in more commercial property. I could use it right about now...)

- Tomorrow I get to introduce Qiouyi to Yilun!!! We're going to the Hsi Lai temple in Hacienda Heights, and then to a nearby hot pot place :D :D :D It's gonna be gr8.

- Hoping to go to Two Trees sometime this weekend, or next week. Before Brian heads to Albuquerque, maybe. Hmmm....
jhameia: ME! (Default)
- Kept reading this racist novel yesterday, did lecture, and went to JJ's for a chat in the evening. She's the new scifi librarian and totally awesome. I feel pretty confident that use of the Eaton Collection will be all the more better with her on the course.

- Today I guess I spent most of it checked out. Went to the Qing Ming ceremony at Olivewood again. When I got home, I did some digging around in my garden. Using some new fertilizing stuff, and re-planted some stuff. The chives are not doing great so I moved them into the basil planter which is only half full.

My potato box is coming apart at the seams, so I dug up the plant closest to the break in order to move it. Alas, even though the stem is technically supposed to grow roots when buried, this hasn't actually happened, and I'm not sure why. Maybe I didn't pack in the soil? Maybe that's it. Anyway, that one potato plant had TWO potato! I harvested my first baby potatoes!

I of course immediately took pictures and cooked them. They were delicious. I even had two store-bought potatoes for comparison and I think my homegrown potatoes were definitely chewier and more flavourful. I shall have to figure out how to take advantage of this wonderful discovery. I might have to buy a whole new planter for this endeavor. The baby russets are growing and they should go into the dirt sometime (I've put the most eager one directly into the ground, just to see what happens).

I gave Mary some dill, and I also harvested some oregano (Mexican) so it would stop encroaching on the poor Syrian. I'll take some dill, the oregano, and parsley over to JJ tomorrow, because I have a lot of the stuff already.

Tomorrow Mary and I will hit up the Plant Sale, and then to Big Lots because we're gonna need more crap.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Monday:
- First day of school. I hung out after lecture for the GSA Executive Council meeting at 7pm.
- My Co-TA this quarter is a serious dude from the History department. A nice change from the previous co-TAs who have generally been way too chill or too anxious.
- I saw Dr. Anthonia Kalu in her office and sat down to chat. Made small talk, told her some good news, and she said I did look a lot happier than last quarter after being rejected for the Sawyer.

Tuesday:
- UGH so I did not realize that when I signed up for Recruitment Day I had also double-booked myself to get out to Long Beach City College for a panel on MOTHERSHIP.
- Went to get a student from the nearby hotel, and hung out generally for breakfast and lunch.
- Around 3pm, Eric and Maurisa and I headed to Long Beach. I brought my Hamilton CDs because Eric still hadn't heard Act 2, and Maurisa and I sang all the way there.
- The panel was good, but Anil Menon couldn't make it, which saddened me. But I got to hang out for a bit, and later we went to a bar in Long Beach downtown which was originally a bank, so it maintained the Art Deco-era style. Very nice. Decent food.
- (Then I asked if we could visit the Vault where they have a speakeasy, complete with password and stuff. Also very cool.)

- Today I came home after lecture and passed right the fuck out. I intend to avoid campus tomorrow, will go to the bank and sort out my credit card issues. Then I'll read a book the rest of the day for my diss.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
It has been a remarkably sociable weekend for me!

Friday I went to Dr. Maier's talk on translation, at least the first half, and in the evening, I went to his house! For a SEATRiP get-together! It was fun. Nice house. Got to have extended chats with various people.

Saturday I mucked about, writing my fic prompt, and went to Javi and Maurisa's place to watch ALLIGATOR PEOPLE which is about as terrible as it sounds, but not too bad. I wrote the beginnings of what looks to be a kids' book, about a little girl in a new housing estate who discovers that mutated migrant workers live in the sewers beneath. I have no idea how this will go; I haven't read any kids' books in years so I'll check some out of the library and have a look-see.

Then Eric and I headed into LA for the Radio Imagination Launch, which was also an Octavia Butler commemoration event! I met Moya Bailey, the other founder of the oEB Legacy Network, aaaaaa!! There was an Earthseed ritual, AAAAAAAAA! It was super neat. I got to meet someone who's been a long-time lurker fan of my blog, AAAAAAAAAAAA!

Today Emily Jiang came into Riverside, wheeeee! I went to campus to work with Mary for a couple of hours, and then practically spent the rest of the day with Emily. We went to the Botanic Gardens, then hunted for grapefruit and yaaaayyy.

And I even got to do a 30 minute writing sesh with Tempest! I got started on my second chapter, which I'm pretty pleased about. I have a lot of secondary sources I want to incorporate into my roadmap before I get into the business of really writing the thing, but I'm pretty hopeful about it.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I gave a review session yesterday which was less me presenting and more: I put a Word document up with some topics, and I made the students, one by one, give me a sentence to add to the document from their own notes. Lots of scrambling. A fair number of students who didn't even bring their notes. Quite a few who didn't even come to lecture. I don't know what they were expecting.

Later, I was kind of dithering around wandering, and I found two professors in the hallway chatting, and one had a box of chocolates, so I HAD ONE. Of course. Then she had to go, and the other prof and I got to chatting, and then quite organically we went to the Botanic Gardens, just for a walk. It was really nice! But it rained before we really got in there, so we wandered back out, and through Pierce Hall--she'd never seen the Earth Sciences displays before. Then we stopped by the office hours of the prof next door to her office, and we had tea. It was really nice. I really got a lot of work done afterwards.

Chi and I then tried to use Google Hangouts to do some work together. Her camera wasn't working, and her microphone was way too old, but we did get to use the chat in Hangout to time ourselves and do more work. I think it was really productive! I made us a hangout called "The Great UCR Dissertation Desperados" and hopefully more people will join us XD
jhameia: ME! (Default)
- Been having a low-grade flu for the last week or so, lots of sneezing at night. Could be allergies too, but I'm feeling a tickling at the back of my throat.

- Yesterday, went to campus with Mary and Leen to do some work. The anthology I'm currently reading is a slow slog, but I'm getting used to making scribbles in the margins.

Then I went to Ten Ren's for Maurisa's birthday. I felt kind of, idk, outside my body for a while? Like I was not quite there.... a fishbowl sort of feeling. I wasn't feel great. Maurisa and I went to Rite Aid afterwards so I could buy a bunch of allergy pills.

I couldn't sleep for HOURS. I blame the tea I had at dinner.

- This morning I got up at a reasonable hour, did laundry, and cleaned the kettle. This is a big deal because the kettle had a LOT of calcium buildup (roommate uses tap water for boiling). I used up most of the white vinegar in the house, but the kettle is mostly clean now! The spout area is still a bit grimy; I don't really know how to fix THAT.

I made pork rib soup. Went to the grocery store and got some sausage and chicken meat. Now I have lunch for the next couple of weeks, I think. I also marinated four thigh, each in a different ziplock bag of their own, with different marinade mixes! Yay food! When I want dinner, I'll just pull one down from the freezer. I think this will work out OK.

- I received big news that will be announced tomorrow. Can't wait :D :D :D
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Man, that was a super busy weekend:

Friday, had class from 1 to 2, then Eric, YL and I hit the road. We got to [personal profile] yeloson's place around 9pm, had pizza, chilled out, went to bed around midnight. It was good to catch up with yeloson--I suppose we could have shelled out more money for a less stressful drive out to Burlingame but at yeloson's we get physiotherapy advice, so it all works out.

Saturday, we had breakfast together, then yeloson bounced, and then the three remaining of us headed out to Burlingame, where I was on a panel with Bryan Worra, Nor Sanavongsay, Emily Jiang and zm quynh about SEAsian SFF. We had very few people in attendance (it was a 10am panel!) but it was still a good conversation. Balogun Ojetade was in attendance! So good to see him. Then it was off to the Non-European Steampunk panel with Bryan and Nor, where I met Heidi, a co-panelist, and Pat, a Native American writer. Heidi turned out to be mixed-Malaysian-Iban! So cool!

YL, Emily, Pat, Heidi and I went upstairs to my room to chill out for a bit... then I had ANOTHER panel, on Diversity in SF, with Balogun, Bradford, Gregg, and Thaddeus Howze! I got Thaddeus to sign my copy of MOTHERSHIP, which we're both in (his story is "Bludgeon," which is essentially an alien encounter story involving baseball, I highly recommend it). And Erica Mulkey, aka Unwoman, was in the audience!

Emily, YL and I had tea with Erica, and it was SO GOOD! I haven't sat down with Erica in YEARS and it was just so nice. We talked about the steampunk community, then about the SFF community. Erica is one of those WW who's very good at being a moderate AND being honest about the compromises she makes in order to make a living. We hung for two hours in the little grill diner, where Erica got progressively hungry because the place didn't serve gluten-free food.

YL had to nap, because she was so overwhelmed by the activity of the day, so Emily, Eric and I went to dinner with [personal profile] oyceter & partner!!!!

Aaaaahhh the weather was so nice and cool and such a relief after a scorching summer. We ate at a Chinese restaurant, went to get some dessert, and when Eric and I got back to the hotel room, we chilled.

Sunday, we got up, had breakfast at that grill, then I went to see Emily and zm be on a panel on dystopias, which was fun. Then Emily and I were on a panel with Bradford, where we proceeded to babble a lot XD Then I finished my con with a reading. After which there was a quick trip to the vendor hall, then protracted goodbyes. By the time we were on the road, it was 3pm, and we listened to Christopher Moore's Blood Sucking Fiends the whole trip. I slept some.

Like, damn. I'm STILL feeling tired from the trip. But I feel good overall and back to believing my dissertation is worth the pain, so back to work it is for me. Dr. ML wants me to work on the description of whiteness more, so I'm back to trying to figure out exactly what I mean there, and how to talk about it.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
- Slept late-ish working on a press release for the IndieGoGo. Should've had one ages ago, really. Woke up early-ish to prep food for dinner with Mac.

- INDIEGOGO LAUNCHED! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

- Department meeting today. Good meeting. Very nice to catch up with folks. Tried to see Dr. LR but just couldn't make it.

- Had a late lunch with YL, and then we puttered around trying to figure out school stuff. She's having trouble getting on iLearn. The new grad secretary should be able to do that, if the instructor doesn't, but it doesn't seem to be happening.

- Dinner with Mac was really nice and low-key. I really ought to have more Comp Lit friends come over to hang out though.

- INDIEGOGO AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA I think we've hit that initial spike and it's going to be dreary from here on out. We hit 22% in 12 hours, which I'm pretty pleased about, but I don't want to lose this momentum. Should've had flyers for Gaslight Gathering. Sent out press releases to my department people, the Asia Pacific Student Program people, and the Science Fiction Studies people. Looking for other people to send the press release to.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Got some work done today! I keep finding more books to look into and I haven't even gotten to the papers yet. Siiiiiigh. Almost done with the primary text books though!

YL came in around 1 and told me she'd found another new CPLT grad who I've also been in touch with, who's also been having registration issues. A lot of these problems are because we lost our last graduate secretary and didn't have anyone who could handle the needful in between.

Either way, I went to the dept library to print worksheets for their course requirements for them since chances are they haven't seen them, even though the sheets are on the website. I also printed the science fiction ones too (which are NOT on the website, because I personally made them a couple of years ago). (Turns out, the SF track isn't even listed on the main website anymore either, which kind of totally fucking pisses me off.) I heard Dr. ML in the hallway and went to meet her and hand her the worksheet printouts so she could have them on hand for her meeting with YL and the other new grad. She took the SF ones because she'd never seen them before (of course) and I went to my office to work on updating the course groups.

The SF Track has been under review for the last seven years now and was removed because 1) it's hard to justify having an SF track and not any other kind of subject-focused track, apparently, according to the last grad adviser, and 2) with the introduction of the SFTS Designated Emphasis, in the English department, it's generally been assumed that the SF Track was no longer needed. The problem is, though, the SFTS DE is additional coursework... none of the courses required for one's main PhD counts towards the DE. And of course the DE has to be finished before quals. This is REALLY not cool for international students who only have two years to finish coursework and advance to candidacy. (IF we don't do that on time, we lose our funding. I know of one international who didn't realize this and had to take out an unexpected $10k loan as a result.)

So around 2.30 YL and AA came to my office, and I tried to help them sort things out, but came to a standstill, so took them to Dr. ML's office and sat in and helped look things up as necessary. Because Dr. ML hasn't been on the Graduate Committee for years, she has no idea that there were changes to the tracks offered, and there's just stuff about the admissions this year which is kind of an unfair sort of spread. (Apparently we accepted way too many Koreanists, because we really only have one in our department. Our Japanist peoples are also on leave this year. Sigh. I'm a bit mad admissions didn't seem to have given my friend PK a chance, who wanted to do Turkish and French SF here!)

Anyway, I hope sometime in the future Dr. ML and I can sit down to look over the student handbook and the track requirements. She says that the department will still offer the SF Track, even if it isn't on the site, and I told her I'd fight for it, especially since it's obvious with YL here it's just an overall advantage to do the SF Track than the DE unless we magically get a waiver for the international students on SOME front.

Also, I'm International Student Affairs Officer! I have yet to be ratified. But my face and name is up on the Graduate Student Association site and everything!
jhameia: ME! (Default)
*grumbles* Today was going to be a good day and then turns out YL isn't properly registered for classes. International students don't get their financial aid until they're registered for classes. I don't know if it has to do with the fact that I'm not helping her work through it, or because the last graduate secretary left with no instructions for the new one, or the new graduate secretary doesn't have access to the enrollment backend (which is absolutely a total fucking problem; we're going to the undergrad affairs person a lot as a result), or whatever. And apparently there is a last day to register for classes! UGH. So hopefully she doesn't get a late fee.

Met the other international today and had to help her too, and get her stuff sorted, so, yay, but sigh.

Spent all day at the HUB helping with the international orientation, first tabling for the GSA, then sitting on the peer panels. They split the students up into several groups, and rotate them between about the same number of panels. So, that was pretty exciting stuff.

IT ALSO RAINED TODAY! A lot of today even! It was kind of gross and I had to spend most of the day in wet socks, but that's okay, because rain! But it also got cold and with the AC in the buildings it was FREEZING so good thing I had an extra shirt in my office to change into for some part of the day.

Finished the day by watching Labyrinth in the nearby theater! It's not a popular theater so they're starting to show old movies every Tuesday. Still kinda hard to believe that Toby's all grown up and making films himself (so excited for Yamasong!) especially after watching that movie.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
So! Went hiking with Mary and YL this morning! We were done around 9.30, and I headed to my office to get some work done. Pretty good run... got more entered into Zotero and start writing some responses to some articles too.

Dr. HM happened to be around to talk to the undergraduate affairs manager, and he stopped by my office to chat with me about stuff. He's teaching Reading World Literature this quarter, and figured he'd invite me to give a guest lecture about steampunk. Should be fun!

One thing I don't like about Zotero is that there's no word processing function, and it's not clear to me how I should insert citations. I'm going to try using Word in tandem with Zotero at some point, because Word has a Citation function which I've never tried.

Around 3pm, Xio came by to say hi, and we chatted. She's in Dance, but she has a TA-ship in Linguistics, so she'll be in the office next to me! I'm excited to be able to hang out with her more; we had a great time together in Fashion Theory last spring.

At 4pm, I went to Day Street with YL and her bf, because she hates her mattress and has been sleeping on the floor as a result. She's also never gone shopping for a mattress before, so I had to tell her, a lot, to just, get on the beds and lay on them. We hit up one mattress store and she was so, hm, fussy? I'd use the term kan-chiong. I thought there might be something at Target so we went, and she was so snappy at her bf, it didn't feel normal. (To be fair, dude was giving her a hard time about how she SHOULD have a bed because spine alignment, even though she said that several of her family members sleep on the floor to deal with back pain. She's not the only one I've met who requires an extremely firm surface to sleep on--Chi's like that too. But she's also never had a new mattress before, and that sort of thing makes all the difference.)

So, I suggested we went to get some food, and we took ourselves to Ono Hawaiian BBQ. I've forgotten how much food they give for a fast food place! But after that, YL was feeling MUCH more cheerier. Food, clearly, is the panacea.

We checked out the Sleep Number store, because I'd never been and she'd never even heard of it! And! The shop has an imaging station! Where you lie down and it has a sensor to detect muscle tension! And then a screen to compare how the muscle tension is being relaxed as you change the sleep number! Waaahhhh!!! (YL says she likes a 100, but she can do an 80 too.) And they have beds where left and right sides can have different sleep numbers! Which, I said to YL and bf, sounded important, because he thinks her bed choices are hella uncomfortable.

(It was surprisingly cheaper than I expected. $1064 for the bed, and $180 delivery fee. Also exchangeable, and refundable. If I had known this was the price when I first moved here, I would absolutely have bought one. My last bed was $2000, and it was wonderful and comfortable, but definitely not adjustable! My current bed I bought on sale for $500, and it came with a free box spring. It's a lot firmer than I like my beds, too.)

We checked out a third store, and then headed back to the first store to try out the beds again, and YL was in a much better mood about it. She DOES have a bed but it's provided by management so she has to find out how to deal with that. Anyway, we ended up at Best Buy and Bed Bath And Beyond with no mattress to show for it. It was.... a lot of walking.

Tomorrow is International Student Orientation! Starting 8.30, joy.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Was feeling really tired still today! I think my eyes will always get this way after wearing liquid liner. Also felt out of sorts and didn't want to go to campus, so I started embroidering a little hibiscus. First time using the 3-in hoop, and it's small and manageable enough that I managed to get the outlines of the petals and leaves done, as well as the flower pistils/stamen. I'm going to try to do a bit more with blending this time, we'll see... I think the center is a little too intense already, so I'll have to work with other lighter colours to off set it.

Took YL downtown to eat at Tio's today, and showed her around the Mission Inn. She's pretty enthralled by Riverside. I mean, I like Riverside, but I guess she found Santa Barbara's campus really isolating, so she's excited to be in a city where the downtown is more, uh, interesting.

Planning on hiking first thing tomorrow morning, then working in my office for a while. YL can probably figure her way out to Day St. (altho, I really want to go, to the JoAnn superstore... but I will resist until my paycheck comes in, at least).
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I had a birthday today. Managed to survive 31. It's weird; I remember when I was a teenager, I was so sure I would die by age 21. Every other year, I get really surprised at this time of year, that I managed to make this far.

The birthday wishes started rolling in "yesterday" (which is Today, by Asian standards), while I hung out with YL, helping her get settled by doing some Kmart shopping.

I had a shit night, though--for whatever reason, I simply couldn't go to sleep. I might have dozed off but it didn't feel like it. I also have an intense pain on my left shoulder/upper arm area, like something's been dislocated or pulled. I'm not sure what it is, or what about my posture is creating the problem, if it is indeed my posture. (It's a mysterious pain, much like how when I walk to campus, I get a mysterious cramp in my left calf.) It was bad enough that at some point I had to get an Advil in me, and I drank some Zzzquil for good measure. It was 2am when I last looked at the clock, and I'd set my alarm for 7am.

Eric and I were on the road by 8.30am, and stopped at a Denny's for breakfast. Got to Long Beach and parked and got to the actual convention center by 11am, but had to wait about 40 minutes in line just to get in, even with pre-reg.

I think I don't really like comic cons. They're too big, too busy, and I can barely chat with the artists. I did buy a lot, and I kind of regret stopping by the Jem booth. ($20 per issue of the Jem comic!!!!) I AM very pleased that there was a group converting retro cartoons from the master videos into DVDs (4 DVDs for $30); I got Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys!!! I'm so psyched about it. They also had Galtar and the Golden Lance, and were working on converting Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century :D

I also bought some little zines, comics, and a Goosebumps parody, and a little Cthulhu plushie. But there weren't very many panels I was interested in, so by around 3pm, Eric and I hit the road.

Part of taking these long breaks is good for me because now I'm actually MISSING my dissertation work and longing to get back to it. Having talked about what I'm trying to do, I think I'm going to bang out some words about it on Monday.

I'm really wiped, though, so I'm going to try to turn in as soon as possible and sleep in as much as I can tomorrow. No one wants to go train-riding with me so I'm going to stay home and read Chinese SF in translation instead :D
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I went to campus today and finished reading some stuff, and sent emails.

On a whim, I called an incoming student I'd met before, asked her to lunch with me. We had a really great time meandering around campus, I showed her around, and we got her her office key and student ID. We also met the new graduate affairs assistant

Had dinner with Irene around 5pm (we were supposed to meet at 6, but she got hungry) and afterwards, I offered to go shopping with her, because she really needed a dress. Took us a couple of hours, but we found a dress she was really happy with, if a bit pricey.

We spoke a bit about the Sawyer situation and I vented my feels about it (I seem to be doing this a lot).

Then I had a good long chat with KTO about it afterwards.

I feel slightly like garbage but otherwise better than before.

Yilun gets here tomorrow!!
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Most of the move is done! Eric came by first, then Irene with her dolly, then Mac and Rudi came, and we worked from 9am to about noon getting stuff from one apartment to the other. It went mostly smoothly, with some highlights:

- JC is not a good packer, and he packed a lot of his books in extremely large boxes, which weren't even packed to full capacity. He then piled stuff on those boxes, and their sides weighed down, and yeah... STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY FAIL! So when Irene tried to get that box on the dolly, it busted at the bottom. Eric came and got it anyway, and as he walked, the box, well, basically shat books along the way, and Irene had to pick it up. Which I think is kind of hilarious.

- Rudi and Eric handled the couch, with Irene guiding, then Eric and Mac handled the mattresses. Apparently JC's mattress, which was in the living room behind the couch, had a black widow spider on it, eek!

Around 11am, I started making food, and the drip bowl of the oven (which is a crappy old one, ngl) wasn't quite right so I went to ask for help. A maintenance guy came over to check it out, and he was like, "I know you. Haven't you lived here for a while?" Turns out that, sometime last year I had baked cookies and basically offered them to the maintenance guys working around my apartment, and he recognized me from that. Proof that people do remember nice little things like that! I'll have to bake more cookies.

I made some bak kut teh (forgot the soya sauce at the end tho), and a veggie curry (used potatoes, brinjals, large-cut onions, and bok choy bottoms, left the tops uncooked for variety). Also some pilaf. It was muchly appreciated. I muchly appreciated the help. Generally I muchly appreciated the day, even though I'm not sure I muchly appreciate the new apartment or having to move to a different one.

PROS:
- New apartment has vinyl floors!!!! I'm so excited. They're almost like hardwood floors. It's SO GREAT. Only the bedrooms have carpets. SO EXCITING. Excite excite excite.
- There's a plugpoint by the kitchen which also has a USB charger! Which I think is hilarious! Definitely setting up the corner shelf next to it and putting the modem there. Might have to wind it around a bit to keep the thing steady.

CONS:
- My bedroom is a lot smaller than it currently is, and definitely cannot fit my L-table and bed and two shelves in it. I have no idea how to arrange things in there, especially since right now there's SO MUCH STUFF. I definitely want to be able to arrange things so that it can be more easily cleaned, and I don't want to prop my feet up against walls anymore (my walls are filthy right now as a result), so I've got the bed facing the window, with space all around it. But no idea how to fit the table around it. Might even have to get a new table, blargh!
- At no point does my new garden get shade! There will be shade on the patio itself, but not on the garden. It's so barren! It may stay barren! Wah! My worms are going to be so unhappy =(

I'm procrastinating right now because I don't want to give up my internet just yet, and there's nothing to do at my new place but unpack. The AT&T guy comes tomorrow though, so... hopefully I won't be without internet for too long?

So I'm finishing the odds and ends at the old apartment, cleaning the fan blades and whatnot. Gonna vacuum the floors a bit before I take it over, and I'm down to maybe three more trips (worms, stepstools, internet.

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