timeripple: (fyeah curly redheaded heroines)
It is my one-year breakup-with-Boston anniversary. Not sure how I feel about it; trying not to think too much.

I will say that the food around here is better, though not necessarily the chai.
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: (nodame nom nom)
Well, and here we are on 12/12/12. We have just finished setting up the small tree that I tramped down the hillside out back to saw down with my own hands. It is unusually seasonal around here and no mistake. I think it will snow tonight.

Last week I took a very nice business-and-pleasure trip to San Francisco. It was totally unproductive on the job-getting front, it turns out, but I did see old friends and meet wonderful new people. I ate French toast in a sparkly, sparkly diner and had some really fantastic green curry and a really terrible cream puff. (Not all at the same time.) Half the UC Berkeley population randomly smiled at me in a not-particularly-creepy way. There was chai.

I had just enough time to visit The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. AMAZING. I cannot recommend it enough. The Snowy Day was a landmark picturebook, and the original art pieces are stunning—so rich and vivid. The exhibit had art from many of Keats’s other books as well, and also a little room dedicated to his friendship with a Japanese puppet theatre troupe. Their letters show a mutual artistic appreciation and frank, honest affection that I found very touching.

Then it was time to wait for the Amtrak bus home, and I stood on a footbridge looking across at a conference center with a carousel on top. Oh, SF. ♥
timeripple: (nodame nom nom)
I have been a total failure at posting this month, mostly out of sheer laziness and also from feeling like a cat being cuddled and then squeezed too tight. But! Happy Thanksgiving (or Colonial Oppression Day with Food, as we say in my parents’ household). I am so very thankful for my family and my friends, those whom I see often and not-so-often and never, and for the opportunity to travel and see new places, and for music, and books, and chai, and all the wonderful things that I have and have the chance to do.

My friends have been on my mind a lot lately. The beginning of the month was full of travel and madness, first to Atlanta for a wedding and thence to the wilds of North Carolina for hangout times. I got to experience four new airports (apparently I collect them now?) and see a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time.

The details, oh so many of them )

Phew. I’m exhausted just from cobbling all that together out of my exhausted-and-chai-high notes. Celebratory pie is in order. Yes. I hope you are all safe and warm and fed, my friends. There are more travels ahead, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of you in a few weeks!
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: (intellectual dilettante)
I am the heart that you call home
And I’ve written pages upon pages
Trying to rid you from my bones


Finished this round of revisions, at last. (I started titling every new file That Damn Paper [insert date here]. I have a lot of files that start with That Damn Paper now.) Admittedly I have not exactly been losing sleep over them, but it is good to be done. I can have fun again! I can watch the rest of Avatar! I can allow my colleagues to tie me to a chair with duct tape and force me to watch more Slings & Arrows! I can watch drama upon drama upon drama WITHOUT SHAME OR REMORSE.

The past 24 hours’ work was accomplished on nothing more than half a plastic cup of Thai iced tea and an enormous quantity of Gatorade. I am hopeful (probably in vain) that Gatorade has replaced chai as my writing drink of choice. It probably has about the same amount of sugar, but it also has actual nutritional value and is much, much cheaper.

There comes a time in the writing process when I simply have to turn my brain off and type. Otherwise I never get anything done; too much thinking about it prevents action. I re-wrote this paper in my head at least five times before I finally sat down last night and got it going, chai or no chai. I was ruthless. I cut out enormous chunks of things, said things that I didn’t think needed to be said, hung paragraphs together on a whim and hoped my transitional sentences held. Then I succumbed to my growing migraine, went to bed, got up this morning, and did it again.

I always tell people that no, I didn't go to grad school to be a writer. Joke's on me, I guess.

And if you don't love me let me go
And if you don't love me let me go
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
I am the heart that you call home
And I’ve written pages upon pages
Trying to rid you from my bones


Finished this round of revisions, at last. (I started titling every new file That Damn Paper [insert date here]. I have a lot of files that start with That Damn Paper now.) Admittedly I have not exactly been losing sleep over them, but it is good to be done. I can have fun again! I can watch the rest of Avatar! I can allow my colleagues to tie me to a chair with duct tape and force me to watch more Slings & Arrows! I can watch drama upon drama upon drama WITHOUT SHAME OR REMORSE.

The past 24 hours’ work was accomplished on nothing more than half a plastic cup of Thai iced tea and an enormous quantity of Gatorade. I am hopeful (probably in vain) that Gatorade has replaced chai as my writing drink of choice. It probably has about the same amount of sugar, but it also has actual nutritional value and is much, much cheaper.

There comes a time in the writing process when I simply have to turn my brain off and type. Otherwise I never get anything done; too much thinking about it prevents action. I re-wrote this paper in my head at least five times before I finally sat down last night and got it going, chai or no chai. I was ruthless. I cut out enormous chunks of things, said things that I didn’t think needed to be said, hung paragraphs together on a whim and hoped my transitional sentences held. Then I succumbed to my growing migraine, went to bed, got up this morning, and did it again.

I always tell people that no, I didn't go to grad school to be a writer. Joke's on me, I guess.

And if you don't love me let me go
And if you don't love me let me go
timeripple: (anenome)
Not dead.

Rewriting. Ugh.



Needs moar chai.
timeripple: (anenome)
Not dead.

Rewriting. Ugh.



Needs moar chai.
timeripple: (i said nothing)
I am so tired. I had a day off yesterday, but had been called in for overtime on Monday and apparently I'm not totally recovered yet. Today was really, really busy. It was the kind of day where I didn’t really have to wrack my brains to find the right books for the right people, but enough people came in asking about children’s books that I kind of felt like hey, I actually do know my stuff. So that was kind of nice.

The building fire alarm did go off around 11, adding a little spice to the morning of extreme business. We stood around outside in the pleasantly nippy street. Some people had dressed up just because they felt like it, and the guys were being super cute about lending suit jackets to ladies in dressy short sleeves. It was adorable. (I, of course, was sensibly clothed.) The fire dudes took their sweet time getting there, kind of wandered around a while, then trooped into the historic burger place next door. They trooped out a few minutes later, turned off the alarm, and went home.

I hope they got some fries, 'cause we sure didn't.

All in all it was a good thing I'd gotten chai beforehand.

Currently reading: Datlow & Windling vampire anthology, due out next April (I am so tired of hip young anthologies. It's not that the stories are bad, but that short story anthologies wear me out because they never seem to end and I almost never have time to get attached to any of the characters). Also Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan (uh, just because. No, actually because all Japanese police dramas are actually about how the police are corrupt, and those that aren’t corrupt are underfunded, and I'm in Joker withdrawal *sob*, so it looked interesting).

I had subscribed to the Unshelved Comics feed, because usually I like their comics (obviously), but I defriended them this morning because I didn't feel like dealing with my reaction to today's comic. Seriously, guys? Seriously? I understand that you're being funny, but that's hitting a little too close to home for me.

Leave it to me to pick the literary field that gets the least respect (well, one of them). This is something I'm going to have to deal with, though, and articulate. Soon. The idea that a professional interest in children's books does not make me infantile, or stuck in my own childhood, or otherwise nonfunctional as an intelligent adult. Because I get that a lot, and I'm going to have to have a response. (Other than Um, I read your precious Plato in Greek, and you know what? I gave him up for those "kiddie books." Suck on that!)

Speaking of things I need to articulate, I'm starting once again to think about that evolutionary-biology-in-children’s-sff rant I promised back in August. Don’t feel like looking up all the things I need to look up right now, though. Sleepy. Utterly burned out, and will save the rant research for another day, because I really don’t want to get my homologous structures mixed up with my analogous ones, you know?

Signing off. Good night!
timeripple: (i said nothing)
I am so tired. I had a day off yesterday, but had been called in for overtime on Monday and apparently I'm not totally recovered yet. Today was really, really busy. It was the kind of day where I didn’t really have to wrack my brains to find the right books for the right people, but enough people came in asking about children’s books that I kind of felt like hey, I actually do know my stuff. So that was kind of nice.

The building fire alarm did go off around 11, adding a little spice to the morning of extreme business. We stood around outside in the pleasantly nippy street. Some people had dressed up just because they felt like it, and the guys were being super cute about lending suit jackets to ladies in dressy short sleeves. It was adorable. (I, of course, was sensibly clothed.) The fire dudes took their sweet time getting there, kind of wandered around a while, then trooped into the historic burger place next door. They trooped out a few minutes later, turned off the alarm, and went home.

I hope they got some fries, 'cause we sure didn't.

All in all it was a good thing I'd gotten chai beforehand.

Currently reading: Datlow & Windling vampire anthology, due out next April (I am so tired of hip young anthologies. It's not that the stories are bad, but that short story anthologies wear me out because they never seem to end and I almost never have time to get attached to any of the characters). Also Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan (uh, just because. No, actually because all Japanese police dramas are actually about how the police are corrupt, and those that aren’t corrupt are underfunded, and I'm in Joker withdrawal *sob*, so it looked interesting).

I had subscribed to the Unshelved Comics feed, because usually I like their comics (obviously), but I defriended them this morning because I didn't feel like dealing with my reaction to today's comic. Seriously, guys? Seriously? I understand that you're being funny, but that's hitting a little too close to home for me.

Leave it to me to pick the literary field that gets the least respect (well, one of them). This is something I'm going to have to deal with, though, and articulate. Soon. The idea that a professional interest in children's books does not make me infantile, or stuck in my own childhood, or otherwise nonfunctional as an intelligent adult. Because I get that a lot, and I'm going to have to have a response. (Other than Um, I read your precious Plato in Greek, and you know what? I gave him up for those "kiddie books." Suck on that!)

Speaking of things I need to articulate, I'm starting once again to think about that evolutionary-biology-in-children’s-sff rant I promised back in August. Don’t feel like looking up all the things I need to look up right now, though. Sleepy. Utterly burned out, and will save the rant research for another day, because I really don’t want to get my homologous structures mixed up with my analogous ones, you know?

Signing off. Good night!
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
(Yeah, did you see what I did thar? Heh, heh. Oh Fiona. Get some sleep!)

Last night I went with [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl and a friend from one of The Minionships to the Great Big Sea concert!

My concert flailing report should be prefaced with the warning that I'd had about three hours of sleep and was still recovering from a cold, so the world looked a little... special. :P

so give a sailor not your heart lest sorrow you do seek )



This morning I pseudo-napped on the train while listening to GBS on my iPod, and decided I had just enough time to get chai so I could stay awake for my 9 am shift (after, yet again, not enough sleep. I got about six hours, as opposed to three the night before, and was feeling happy on account of the concert but pretty groggy).

Two sips later and I was bopping into work all lit up like fireworks.

Another sip and I was terrifyingly hyper.

CO-WORKER: Could you watch the reg for a minute?
FIONA: Sure! Sure I can! I would be totally delighted to watch the reg for you! PLEASE LET ME WATCH THE REG FOR YOU! :D :D :D
CO-WORKER: Oh my God, what did she put in her cereal this morning?
FIONA: DO YOU HAVE A FREQUENT BUYER CARD WITH US? :D :D :D
timeripple: (dulac fiddle)
(Yeah, did you see what I did thar? Heh, heh. Oh Fiona. Get some sleep!)

Last night I went with [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl and a friend from one of The Minionships to the Great Big Sea concert!

My concert flailing report should be prefaced with the warning that I'd had about three hours of sleep and was still recovering from a cold, so the world looked a little... special. :P

so give a sailor not your heart lest sorrow you do seek )



This morning I pseudo-napped on the train while listening to GBS on my iPod, and decided I had just enough time to get chai so I could stay awake for my 9 am shift (after, yet again, not enough sleep. I got about six hours, as opposed to three the night before, and was feeling happy on account of the concert but pretty groggy).

Two sips later and I was bopping into work all lit up like fireworks.

Another sip and I was terrifyingly hyper.

CO-WORKER: Could you watch the reg for a minute?
FIONA: Sure! Sure I can! I would be totally delighted to watch the reg for you! PLEASE LET ME WATCH THE REG FOR YOU! :D :D :D
CO-WORKER: Oh my God, what did she put in her cereal this morning?
FIONA: DO YOU HAVE A FREQUENT BUYER CARD WITH US? :D :D :D
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
A day off, and it’s too hot to go out and actually do much, so [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl and I are holed up at Panera. I am spectacularly failing to write my staff rec for Plain Kate, because I love it like burning and keep getting sucked into re-reading bits and crying and then failing to have the right words.

But it’s nice to have a day with air conditioning and computers and time to just write. I should be doing other things, but I really need this day to just sit and drink chai and write. I’ve been full of ennui lately; the hot weather makes me grumpy and lethargic. Now that I’m full of chai and AC, though, I kind of want to go dancing.

Last Friday M and I walked down Faneuil Hall to the waterfront, then around the back of the aquarium where you can see the seals from outside. Yay! We window-shopped our way back (I was unexpectedly impressed by American Eagle Outfitters jewelry--think it was AE, anyway), and I bought an outrageously expensive (but delicious!) bag of chocolate chip cookies at Quincy market. A good afternoon. I will keep it in my memory to ward off feelings of inadequacy when they come prowling.

In other news, I think I should dye my hair red while I still work at a bookstore and am living the carefree young life. On the one hand, I want to get a job in publishing. On the other hand, I want to continue living the carefree young life. I want, I want, I want.

Note to self: lay off the black v-neck of shoulder-baring awesome. For some reason it has been garnering me a lot of sleazy looks this week. Ugh.

And now, a word or two about Mockingjay! Um, probably kind of spoilery. And super vague. Sorry. But mostly about ships, which are not really the point of the books anyway.

In which the Hunger Games books are like Hana Yori Dango )
timeripple: (intellectual dilettante)
A day off, and it’s too hot to go out and actually do much, so [livejournal.com profile] cadragongirl and I are holed up at Panera. I am spectacularly failing to write my staff rec for Plain Kate, because I love it like burning and keep getting sucked into re-reading bits and crying and then failing to have the right words.

But it’s nice to have a day with air conditioning and computers and time to just write. I should be doing other things, but I really need this day to just sit and drink chai and write. I’ve been full of ennui lately; the hot weather makes me grumpy and lethargic. Now that I’m full of chai and AC, though, I kind of want to go dancing.

Last Friday M and I walked down Faneuil Hall to the waterfront, then around the back of the aquarium where you can see the seals from outside. Yay! We window-shopped our way back (I was unexpectedly impressed by American Eagle Outfitters jewelry--think it was AE, anyway), and I bought an outrageously expensive (but delicious!) bag of chocolate chip cookies at Quincy market. A good afternoon. I will keep it in my memory to ward off feelings of inadequacy when they come prowling.

In other news, I think I should dye my hair red while I still work at a bookstore and am living the carefree young life. On the one hand, I want to get a job in publishing. On the other hand, I want to continue living the carefree young life. I want, I want, I want.

Note to self: lay off the black v-neck of shoulder-baring awesome. For some reason it has been garnering me a lot of sleazy looks this week. Ugh.

And now, a word or two about Mockingjay! Um, probably kind of spoilery. And super vague. Sorry. But mostly about ships, which are not really the point of the books anyway.

In which the Hunger Games books are like Hana Yori Dango )
timeripple: (cucumber error (hogfather))
Except we're not halfway there; we're... kinda done. With grad school. For reals. I just turned in my last paper and I have nothing to do except look for a job and sparkly shoes to wear at Commencement.

I feel remarkably calm about it. Probably I am in shock, and should go find more chai. Yes. Chai is always the answer.
timeripple: (cucumber error (hogfather))
Except we're not halfway there; we're... kinda done. With grad school. For reals. I just turned in my last paper and I have nothing to do except look for a job and sparkly shoes to wear at Commencement.

I feel remarkably calm about it. Probably I am in shock, and should go find more chai. Yes. Chai is always the answer.
timeripple: (anenome)
MY BRAIN: Okay! After much deliberation and chai I have a paper topic! I'm so relieved! Thank goodness that's done, I was really worried it just wouldn't happen this time.
MY BRAIN: Oh... wait, you want me to actually write the paper now? Sorry, no can do.

I had a great idea for a final anthology project that I actually want to work on, but I can't until I get these papers written. Somehow this gets more difficult every time.

Oh, is it spring? Here, have some poetry.

April is the cruellest month )
timeripple: (anenome)
MY BRAIN: Okay! After much deliberation and chai I have a paper topic! I'm so relieved! Thank goodness that's done, I was really worried it just wouldn't happen this time.
MY BRAIN: Oh... wait, you want me to actually write the paper now? Sorry, no can do.

I had a great idea for a final anthology project that I actually want to work on, but I can't until I get these papers written. Somehow this gets more difficult every time.

Oh, is it spring? Here, have some poetry.

April is the cruellest month )
timeripple: (nakatsu fainted)
At the risk of sounding like T-Rex from Dinosaur Comics: Dudes! I WAS IN JAPAN. I went to see Japan and [livejournal.com profile] snowqueenofhoth, who was the most amazing hostess ever and let me crash on her floor and arranged everything and is basically the Most Awesome Person Ever, is what I'm saying. (Except for the part where she got me addicted to Wieder-in energy jelly, but that might have been a teeeeeeensy bit my fault as well.) I am eternally glad I had that Star Wars cereal box back in first year. Thank you for everything!~ ♥

Our forbears, making poetry of everything in their lives, transformed what by rights should be the most unsanitary room in the house into a place of unsurpassed elegance, replete with fond associations with the beauties of nature, or, Why I Should Not Re-read In Praise of Shadows )

To Be Continued.

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