timeripple: (nodame nom nom)
Happy New Year!

Work has been pretty all-consuming, but I felt very Berkeley this morning—went to the Cheeseboard for a ginger cookie and cheese roll, looked at "comfort shoes" at the mature lady-clothes shop, went to Andronico’s (which has the exact same bulk bins as Monterey Market, only more so). Came home and did half an hour of yoga with assistance from Copernicus the cat. Spent the rest of the day finishing an advance copy of The Blazing World, which I don't think I'm allowed to discuss pre-publication but about which I have many thoughts.

I thought about going back out and getting milk and eggs for a quiche tonight, but in the end opted to make a sort of salad by cooking frozen blackberries together with tofu and leftover sushi rice in a little pot and mixing that with spinach and pepitas garnished with fresh blackberries, sort of a less successful riff on Heidi Swanson’s black rice and cherry salad. It was… not all that delicious, to be honest, but it looked pretty. The white rice absorbs the blackberry juice and looks kind of like pomegranate seeds, if you don’t look too closely. Dinner reading: MFK Fisher’s Musings on Wine and Other Libations. She's delightful.

In other news, inspired by [livejournal.com profile] mousapelli and by extreme intellectual boredom and hatred of retail, I am seriously considering a try at a PhD. Probably in comparative literature rather than straight-up English, though really a mountain--nay, a mountain range--of research needs to be done before I even know where to apply. I had this revelation just in time to miss all application deadlines for this fall, so I'll have to wait almost two years to actually start--assuming I find a program I want that wants me--but I am pretty sure I can fill the time. I have a few real-world sources, but any suggestions and/or advice would be most welcome.

If I insist on spending all my spare time writing scholarly papers about Greek literature in Victorian children's novels, I might as well get credit for it.

My anthropologist housemate K. recommends that I take up kendo to increase my confidence. We shall see.
timeripple: (fyeah curly redheaded heroines)
Not very creative, perhaps, but seasonally appropriate, and anyway it’s freezing in here. It may be mid-sixties autumn outside, warm light and drifting golden leaves, but I keep waking up expecting snow and red-brick towers and black lamp-posts.

Also I’ve finally begun reading A Game of Thrones and am enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I’m impressed with the HBS team’s ability to recommend things: I must say we chose better than we knew when we featured the re-jacketed Young Miles in Other Games, Other Thrones. (Better than we knew because none of us had actually read GoT. Nobody told me about Tyrion Lannister! And Arya Stark would be right at home in a Tamora Pierce novel.)

Speaking of books I’m enjoying a lot more than I thought I would, Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (pub 1/28/14) is excellent! Beauty and the Beast meets Greco-Roman mythology meets Tam Lin with unexpected shades of Diana Wynne Jones! I was only disappointed that *spoiler* wasn’t an anagram for *spoiler* because that would have been awesome, though possibly too much. And then, hilariously, I saw [livejournal.com profile] idiosyncreant listed as a beta-reader in the acknowledgements. YAY!

Things have been crazy at work and I’ve been super grumpy and had to give myself the “these people interrupting your frantic shelving are the people who keep you in business, so SMILE AND BE NICE TO THEM” talk. In between going up to full time at the store and running all the social media, though, I’ve finally been making progress on my re-read of The Daisy Chain, so that’s immensely satisfying.

I went to a friend’s Thanksgiving dinner and brought molasses spice cookies from the Flour recipe book. They were universally praised—supremely gratifying! I hope you all had an excellent Thanksgiving and happy Hanukkah and are staying sane going into the Christmas season. I am myself, against all probability, warming to the holiday spirit. And I am endlessly thankful: for health, employment, a roof over my head and good food and books and music, for family and most of all for my friends. You are precious to me.
timeripple: (i said nothing)
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.
timeripple: (fyeah curly redheaded heroines)
Tonight here am I, amid my few bags of stuff and pitifully small stacks of books, in my new room in Berkeley. My housemates are Danish, German, New Zealander, and Afghan-American, and they have all been most welcoming. The southern wall of my room is all windows that look onto the little back garden. And in the garden there are stars. My new sheets are inviting, and I can see my Hark! A Vagrant calendar hanging beside the door.

Home sweet home.
timeripple: (anenome)
Dear Diary,

This week I played with power tools and toxic chemicals and set things on fire. It was a good week.

(No, I have not turned into a full-fledged psycho. My dad helped me make some new shelves for my bookcases. And by "helped" I mean "did most of the work while I cackled and learned how to use an orbital sander.")

As if that weren't enough, I’ve entered a translation contest for a 700-word sample of a German novel. This should be hilarious, because my German is not so much rusty as barely existent. We’ll see how it goes? XD It was nice to be sitting on a porch listening to KAT-TUN (what else) and abusing a dictionary again. Of course I had to have chai as well.

Of course.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go check on this pie.
timeripple: (nakatsu fainted)
I cleaned out my closet today, which led to the cleaning of other parts of my room in a fit of unreasonable productivity. Dust flew! Empty Nutella containers were discovered! Towering stacks of books toppled and were re-built!

Three hours later, it all looks exactly the same as it did before, except that slightly different parts of the floor are now visible. XD
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I have to preface this entry with a link to This is Why I'll Never be an Adult, otherwise the next paragraph will make no sense.

Day Off. Woke up at 9:30, called dental and health insurance companies to make sure they’re not trying to screw me over, paid dental and health insurance bills, wrote a dreadful belated birthday walrus poem for my aunt so I could write it in her belated birthday walrus birthday cake card, forwarded a bunch of grad school emails to myself, hung out with [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie, who informed me that cumin is the essential ingredient in black bean burritos, went to the bank, mailed aunt’s belated birthday walrus poem card, bought food, came home, did laundry, got a little fiddling in, am now contemplating submitting multiple papers for publication (ugh, abstracts). Kind of a Get Shit Done Like an Adult and Still Have Fun Day, which will probably never happen again ever.

Pretty much the only thing that did not get done was Wash the Hair Like an Adult, but whatever.

never trust a fellow with a helmet on his head )

In other other news, I need new jeans.
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I have to preface this entry with a link to This is Why I'll Never be an Adult, otherwise the next paragraph will make no sense.

Day Off. Woke up at 9:30, called dental and health insurance companies to make sure they’re not trying to screw me over, paid dental and health insurance bills, wrote a dreadful belated birthday walrus poem for my aunt so I could write it in her belated birthday walrus birthday cake card, forwarded a bunch of grad school emails to myself, hung out with [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie, who informed me that cumin is the essential ingredient in black bean burritos, went to the bank, mailed aunt’s belated birthday walrus poem card, bought food, came home, did laundry, got a little fiddling in, am now contemplating submitting multiple papers for publication (ugh, abstracts). Kind of a Get Shit Done Like an Adult and Still Have Fun Day, which will probably never happen again ever.

Pretty much the only thing that did not get done was Wash the Hair Like an Adult, but whatever.

never trust a fellow with a helmet on his head )

In other other news, I need new jeans.
timeripple: (nodame nom nom)
You guys, I came home from a late closing shift at the bookstore, where people were kind of pissy at me, and I got a headache, and there was a creepy dude smoking pot on the front porch, and then I came home to find that [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl had made me chocolate pudding.

timeripple: (nodame nom nom)
You guys, I came home from a late closing shift at the bookstore, where people were kind of pissy at me, and I got a headache, and there was a creepy dude smoking pot on the front porch, and then I came home to find that [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl had made me chocolate pudding.

timeripple: (pig-rabbit)
Friends and sundry! I write this from a remote outpost in the mountains of California, where it is cold and misty. Quite frankly I would love to be tramping around in the woods wearing rain boots, except my rain boots are on the other side of the country and anyway indoors we have muffins and tea.

It has been an eventful week! Friday was graduation, which involved a lot of standing around in an uncomfortably short dress wearing robes and a silly hat. [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl bravely took the afternoon off work to attend graduation, and she brought me PIG-RABBIT as a present! TWO PIG-RABBITS! One for my phone and one for general hanging around. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! (I think, between this and when I was blathering about neurotransmitters to [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie as we made purple pita bread, I may qualify as the dorkiest person ever.)

We got dumplings in Chinatown to celebrate my supreme dorkiness, and also graduation and [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl having survived the semester from hell.

I flew out to California the next day, and spent most of the trip composing a rant on gender and personal boundaries in enclosed spaces )


Since arriving in California, I have learned that pumpkin chocolate chip cake is actually delicious (much to my surprise), tiny old yoga ladies are hardcore, and that even though I still don't like the US cover, Sarah Rees Brennan's new book The Demon's Covenant is excellent and funny and addresses one of the major problems I had with The Demon's Lexicon. Kind of.

Also, I made my dad watch the first episode of Troubleman and he thought it was hilarious. It's all in picking the right drama! *shoujo fists of victory*

I miss [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl quite a lot, and I think I will go eat muffins now to console myself. Ever since we finished The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry, we couldn't bring ourselves to watch another drama because the ladies simply failed to be half as awesome as Shin-young & Co. So we've been watching random episodes of Ranma 1/2, and now I have the first season theme song stuck in my head. /tangent.

Ahem. Now, about those muffins...
timeripple: (pig-rabbit)
Friends and sundry! I write this from a remote outpost in the mountains of California, where it is cold and misty. Quite frankly I would love to be tramping around in the woods wearing rain boots, except my rain boots are on the other side of the country and anyway indoors we have muffins and tea.

It has been an eventful week! Friday was graduation, which involved a lot of standing around in an uncomfortably short dress wearing robes and a silly hat. [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl bravely took the afternoon off work to attend graduation, and she brought me PIG-RABBIT as a present! TWO PIG-RABBITS! One for my phone and one for general hanging around. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! (I think, between this and when I was blathering about neurotransmitters to [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie as we made purple pita bread, I may qualify as the dorkiest person ever.)

We got dumplings in Chinatown to celebrate my supreme dorkiness, and also graduation and [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl having survived the semester from hell.

I flew out to California the next day, and spent most of the trip composing a rant on gender and personal boundaries in enclosed spaces )


Since arriving in California, I have learned that pumpkin chocolate chip cake is actually delicious (much to my surprise), tiny old yoga ladies are hardcore, and that even though I still don't like the US cover, Sarah Rees Brennan's new book The Demon's Covenant is excellent and funny and addresses one of the major problems I had with The Demon's Lexicon. Kind of.

Also, I made my dad watch the first episode of Troubleman and he thought it was hilarious. It's all in picking the right drama! *shoujo fists of victory*

I miss [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl quite a lot, and I think I will go eat muffins now to console myself. Ever since we finished The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry, we couldn't bring ourselves to watch another drama because the ladies simply failed to be half as awesome as Shin-young & Co. So we've been watching random episodes of Ranma 1/2, and now I have the first season theme song stuck in my head. /tangent.

Ahem. Now, about those muffins...
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I have survived April! I am pretty damn pleased about this, let me tell you.

So, it seems like I never talk about books around here any more. This is probably because I spend all my time talking about books. But I was really fascinated by Christina Meldrum’s Madapple, which we read for class this week. I am convinced that the protagonist, Aslaug, is not a Dionysus figure but Antigone. [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie will agree with me once she’s actually read it. I highly recommend it as a dense, difficult YA book, btw. If you don’t mind a lot of crazy alongside your mysticism and botany. It also has a terrifyingly awesome cover, as well as fun things like Chosen Ones and maybe-incest and atemporal narrative! How can you resist?

Last class of the semester is over. There was pie and brie and Orange Crush afterward. Still have paperage to do. Wooooo.

Made Mexican wedding cookies (sans nuts) for M to take to class tomorrow. Mmmmbutter. Did the dishes in boiled water and ingenuity.

...

In other news, I am convinced that the following Emily Dickinson poem is fair game for a post-Buffy interpretive community:

Fate slew him, but he did not drop;
She felled—he did not fall—
Impaled him on her fiercest stakes—
He neutralized them all.

She stung him, sapped his firm advance
But, when her worst was done,
And he, unmoved, regarded her,
Acknowledged him a man.

In a post-Buffy world, that second part’s even potentially funny.
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I have survived April! I am pretty damn pleased about this, let me tell you.

So, it seems like I never talk about books around here any more. This is probably because I spend all my time talking about books. But I was really fascinated by Christina Meldrum’s Madapple, which we read for class this week. I am convinced that the protagonist, Aslaug, is not a Dionysus figure but Antigone. [livejournal.com profile] a4yroldfaerie will agree with me once she’s actually read it. I highly recommend it as a dense, difficult YA book, btw. If you don’t mind a lot of crazy alongside your mysticism and botany. It also has a terrifyingly awesome cover, as well as fun things like Chosen Ones and maybe-incest and atemporal narrative! How can you resist?

Last class of the semester is over. There was pie and brie and Orange Crush afterward. Still have paperage to do. Wooooo.

Made Mexican wedding cookies (sans nuts) for M to take to class tomorrow. Mmmmbutter. Did the dishes in boiled water and ingenuity.

...

In other news, I am convinced that the following Emily Dickinson poem is fair game for a post-Buffy interpretive community:

Fate slew him, but he did not drop;
She felled—he did not fall—
Impaled him on her fiercest stakes—
He neutralized them all.

She stung him, sapped his firm advance
But, when her worst was done,
And he, unmoved, regarded her,
Acknowledged him a man.

In a post-Buffy world, that second part’s even potentially funny.
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
[livejournal.com profile] mousapelli got me a Stuffy Puppy V-Gift! THANK YOU MOUSI! ♥♥♥♥

Drizzly rainy day. Going to bake bread in a bit, I think, and try to compose a poem about why I can’t stand Dr. Seuss.

Let's do this post old-school, where a bunch of stuff happens and I do a diary-style entry!

well we went down the road, got soaked in moonlight )

Apparently April is Poetry Month? So I guess I’d better keep posting poems, then. Here, have a dark rainy day poem I’m thinking of putting in my anthology project:

Like wolf--and black bull or goblin hound,
Or come in guise of spirit
With wings and long wet waving hair
And at the fire its locks will dry,
Which will be a certain sign
That one beneath the roof must die
Before the year’s decline
Forget not now what I have said,
Sit there till we return.
The hearth is hot—watch well the bread
Lest haply it may burn.

(by Charlotte Brontë, found in Victorian Women Poets, ed. Angela Leighton & Margaret Reynolds. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1995. p. 161)

I’d better go get started on that bread, then. And keep a close eye on it.
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
[livejournal.com profile] mousapelli got me a Stuffy Puppy V-Gift! THANK YOU MOUSI! ♥♥♥♥

Drizzly rainy day. Going to bake bread in a bit, I think, and try to compose a poem about why I can’t stand Dr. Seuss.

Let's do this post old-school, where a bunch of stuff happens and I do a diary-style entry!

well we went down the road, got soaked in moonlight )

Apparently April is Poetry Month? So I guess I’d better keep posting poems, then. Here, have a dark rainy day poem I’m thinking of putting in my anthology project:

Like wolf--and black bull or goblin hound,
Or come in guise of spirit
With wings and long wet waving hair
And at the fire its locks will dry,
Which will be a certain sign
That one beneath the roof must die
Before the year’s decline
Forget not now what I have said,
Sit there till we return.
The hearth is hot—watch well the bread
Lest haply it may burn.

(by Charlotte Brontë, found in Victorian Women Poets, ed. Angela Leighton & Margaret Reynolds. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1995. p. 161)

I’d better go get started on that bread, then. And keep a close eye on it.
timeripple: (i said nothing)
Woke up at 6 (damn boiler as usual), went back to sleep, woke up again at 11:56. Oops?

It is nice and cold and rainy outside, but the only thunder is inside the building when somebody thumps down the stairs and makes the floor shake. I got sick of it and re-arranged my bed/dresser configuration so that at least now the thumps will be a few feet further away from my head. It’s kinda cozy. I’ve never slept in a nook before. I do now.

Anyhow the apartment is pleasantly gloomy and dim-lit and would be even better if it were full of clean laundry, but there you go. That’s for tomorrow. I also need another poster now that the dresser is no longer hiding a particularly egregious patch of wall.

Got bored, made cookies. Note to self: unless gingerbread, NO MORE than two tablespoons of molasses. Really.

And then I made [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl watch the Bad Boy episode of Big Time Rush because she had been talking about posers earlier, and then we went back and watched Big Time Audition. Her response was pretty much, “Wow this is SO STUPID how many episodes are there?

...Big Time Rush is a lot like we hoped You’re Beautiful would be, except without the cross-dressing nun.

And then we had the following highly ironic conversation about which one of us was going to have to marry some outrageously rich guy with five mansions so the other of us could live in the guesthouse:

ME: You marry him.
M: You marry him.
ME: Maybe Vic Zhou will do a movie in the States, fall madly in love with me, and save us from this dilemma.
M: He’s all yours. Also, isn’t he kinda old for you?
ME: FOR SHAME.
M: No, I’m pretty sure he’s kinda old for you.
ME: You and me. The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry. STAT.

Sometimes, life is good.
timeripple: (i said nothing)
Woke up at 6 (damn boiler as usual), went back to sleep, woke up again at 11:56. Oops?

It is nice and cold and rainy outside, but the only thunder is inside the building when somebody thumps down the stairs and makes the floor shake. I got sick of it and re-arranged my bed/dresser configuration so that at least now the thumps will be a few feet further away from my head. It’s kinda cozy. I’ve never slept in a nook before. I do now.

Anyhow the apartment is pleasantly gloomy and dim-lit and would be even better if it were full of clean laundry, but there you go. That’s for tomorrow. I also need another poster now that the dresser is no longer hiding a particularly egregious patch of wall.

Got bored, made cookies. Note to self: unless gingerbread, NO MORE than two tablespoons of molasses. Really.

And then I made [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl watch the Bad Boy episode of Big Time Rush because she had been talking about posers earlier, and then we went back and watched Big Time Audition. Her response was pretty much, “Wow this is SO STUPID how many episodes are there?

...Big Time Rush is a lot like we hoped You’re Beautiful would be, except without the cross-dressing nun.

And then we had the following highly ironic conversation about which one of us was going to have to marry some outrageously rich guy with five mansions so the other of us could live in the guesthouse:

ME: You marry him.
M: You marry him.
ME: Maybe Vic Zhou will do a movie in the States, fall madly in love with me, and save us from this dilemma.
M: He’s all yours. Also, isn’t he kinda old for you?
ME: FOR SHAME.
M: No, I’m pretty sure he’s kinda old for you.
ME: You and me. The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry. STAT.

Sometimes, life is good.

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