timeripple: (i said nothing)
[personal profile] timeripple
I don’t understand how the year can have got to the end of June without my noticing, but I blame it on my housemate’s cat, Copernicus. He is an enormous ginger tabby, and most distracting, though a good companion. He likes to listen to me fiddling and serenading the neighbors with increasingly bizarre versions of Bach minuets on the fancy electronic keyboard. (This is not all that impressive, since two and a half Bach minuets and a very short Mozart thingy are all I actually know how to play.) He also likes to chase (but not eat) hair ties, and to crouch in his crinkly tunnel, only to spring out at a bit of plumy feather at the end of a string tied to a stick. He stomps across the floor if he thinks you’re not paying him enough attention.

In other news, I’ve been settling into my new home, figuring out my commute to work, watching Supernatural (it’s so bad, and yet so amazing), being polite to people with bizarre book requests, running events, filling in for our children’s buyer, reading ARCs at top speed, and totally failing to work on any of my own writing. Though I did rescue the new Penguin Classics De Profundis and Other Prison Writings by Oscar Wilde from the give-away shelf, and have started reading it. (It’s not directly relevant to my work, but it does have to do with applying Greek philosophical writings to Victorian life, so.)

Berkeley is so weird. It’s a lot like Cambridge, only more so. And I keep finding that people are very, very invested in promoting and maintaining a binary gender dichotomy. Is it because mostly I interact with fairly affluent parents while at work? And yet other people, who I might expect to be less invested, are equally so. Do they not realize they live in Berkeley? Does "Berkeley" not mean what I thought it means? I have to say, this is not what I thought the biggest cultural difference from the East Coast would entail. (Well, this and food service.) I didn’t think people would be surprised whenever I go around muttering “Gender is a social construct!” under my breath.

I miss you all so. I woke up this morning fiercely homesick for Wellesley. I’ve been thinking a lot about its rhetoric lately, I suppose; though what I miss is not the rhetoric but my people, both those I met there and later, elsewhere.

Also chai. I’ve found two good places near work, but so far everything in North Berkeley is complete swill, or worse. (Seriously. Last week I had a very nice cup of spiced hot water and mint that tasted like it had never seen tea. I could do better myself with a Lipton bag and no cinnamon.) Happily, the muffins remain excellent. As Oscar Wilde no doubt knew, it is important not to underestimate the importance of a good muffin.

Date: 2013-06-26 03:58 pm (UTC)
ext_72629: (nytimes meteor)
From: [identity profile] photonsrain.livejournal.com
Ha! I named one of the kittens here Copernicus because he's black and white patched and looks like a cow. Plus, he's near a radio observatory.

Enjoy Bezerkeley!

Date: 2013-06-29 06:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timeripple.livejournal.com
Awesome! I have informed Copernicus that he has a name-mate. He seems unimpressed, but as that's his default expression, I don't think it means anything in particular.

IT'S SO WEIRD. Just... not in the ways I expected.

Date: 2013-06-26 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a4yroldfaerie.livejournal.com
This is why I adore you. Also, we spent a large amount of time at Women's colleges and with people who went to them, where, perversely (as we tend to be) we spend a lot of time recognizing the artificial and non binary nature of gender.

My friend posted a joke. A logician's wife has a baby and the wife asks "is it a boy or a girl" as the logician holds the newborn. And the logician replies "yes"

And I was like, ok but logician why you gotta be so binary and essentialist about gender.

The only solution is to come back to the east coast where we know from Chai and social constructs.

Date: 2013-06-29 06:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timeripple.livejournal.com
Yes, that must be it. Where are all the Mills College people?

I miss youuuuuuu.

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