Lately the navigation function of Google Maps has taken to showing a little report at the end, information like travel time, distance covered, average speed. I find this very neat and interesting, but dislike how how much it seems oriented toward covering itself and maintaining a positive presentation.
If I arrive earlier than its forecast it will say "arrived X minutes earlier than predicted" or similar. But for days like today, it will just say "1 hr 25 min driving" without that extra "arrived 28 minutes later than predicted" that I feel it could really benefit from.
Worse, if I took the app up on a faster route suggestion during travelling (as happened one morning driving to work), but still arrive later than the initial forecast, it will say "saved X minutes due to using [this tool]". Now, I don't doubt in that specific case that time was saved over not taking the suggested detour. But it still feels dishonest for a navigation app to be reporting only on the time saved due to following its directions and not giving a more complete report. Even on factors outside its control, although I'd expect it to report if its advice turned out to be incorrect.
Something like "Delayed M minutes by congestion, but cut that down to N minutes later than forecast thanks to our advice" would be much more welcome than this silence, which seems to expect me not to notice happenings like, say, a motor accident causing a half hour delay on travel time. It leaves me feeling like Google thinks it's pulling a fast one on me, or regards itself as a naughty child who won't be punished if it just doesn't mention the broken vase. Maybe I'm uncharacteristic, but what I want out of tools and features like this is information, understanding, and clarity.
 Quotes are approximate, from memory.
This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/686489.htm
17/12/15 23:53 :: It is late and I need sleep so just dumping this here without editing like I know it should be
Lately the navigation function of Google Maps has taken to showing a little report at the end, information like travel time, distance covered, average speed. I find this very neat and interesting, but dislike how how much it seems oriented toward covering itself and maintaining a positive presentation.
If I were inclined to write fanfic rather than 'original' stories, would people like my stories more? If they had some prior investment and interest in the characters and what they get up to?
This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/686202.htm
But this train of thought is rapidly derailed by the reminder that unless I actually write stories, no one is going to have opinions on them no matter whether they hypothetically would be fanfiction or not. So I should worry about making words happen at all before I worry whether and how people like them.
It also gives a bit of a lie to telling myself it's just me and what I want that I write, and the enjoyment of others is incidental. Probably the resolution to that conflict is I want to write things that please me, and for others to also tell me it's good.
EXT. The Fields of Pelennor
Went clothes shopping with my mother and sisters. Ended up getting a couple of shirts, a skirt, and a big woolly sweater, 3 items of which am currently wearing. Family had wanted to go see a movie, specifically Absolutely Fabulous, but it was no longer showing. I'm a bit relieved by that as it's quite not my thing although I would have gone for the sake of being social. Siblings also got some clothes, as did my mother, but the latter turned down a lot of things we thought would have looked nice on her.
Ordinary household items sometimes sound like monsters because they are the base from which audio technicians build the illusions of monsters.
Haven't had much space to write in. Work has been keeping me busy (when I finish tomorrow and finally get a few days off, I will have been working for 22 of 26 days) and I am so behind on school I've been trying to put all my home energies into that. Been neglecting story-writing, cooking and cleaning, personal projects, near any entertainment I can't leave in the background without demanding focus. Not that it does me much good. Still behind, possibly even farther behind than I was.
Until the end of the month when the last of this work is due. Then, either way, I might be a little more free.
Today impulsively decided to try and drop social media at least until I am finished with this semester. An act which had been on my mind recently but I'd concluded I couldn't go through with. That I am too lonely in myself and my current circumstances to go through with it, and it is not a goal I can succeed until some lack in my life has been resolved.
So I don't know why I did that this morning (in pain I guess?), but I did not promise to vanish. Just declared I am trying to minimise my presence on twitter and tumblr at least until I have school out of the way. They are too easily habits of constant distractive stimulus and while that can be valuable when I need to escape myself, I definitely need to do my best to not fail these classes. Which means I also can't go replacing them with something of similar distractive quality, such as the RSS feeds I've been neglecting to read.
Actually the reason I wanted to write this post is to describe a couple of similar happy moments at the library today. Twice I had someone contact me trying to get hold of a book they had reserved. In both cases I went to look for it for them and returned empty-handed. One was a novel supposedly held in the Premiere's Reading Challenge collection, which I had been searching for yesterday to satisfy that hold. Did have a new inspiration about where to find it that got me nowhere, and tried looking up a few other libraries for its seeker to no avail. Not too long after ey left, though, whilst shelving I found the novel wedged into the picture book where someone must have stuffed it days ago at least. Tried calling to let em know, as ey'd said it was needed soon, but no answer and no option to leave a message.
The other was a phone call from someone expecting a book in delivery within the network. Ey had been advised to check today, as this reservation had supposedly been in transit the past three weeks and not yet arrived. Had the spark of checking if it had been received, processed incorrectly, and placed on the shelves instead of to be picked up, but no such luck. There were no other copies in the system, so I advised em it was likely missing and we could not fill that request, cancelling it with consent.
But, after my tea break in the afternoon, I found it sitting in one of the boxes to sent back to its home next delivery. I am fairly sure it was not there earlier, and I can't trace how it came to be there, but I put the hold back on and set it on the shelf to be collected. Although now my memory tells me I set it on the wrong shelf - it will be easily found for collection, but it will need to be brought back to the desk where it should be, instead of taken for self-checkout, where it shouldn't be.
Oops. But two people will get notified overnight they can collect something they thought was unavailable to them, and maybe they can think it was a bit silly of me to tell them there was nothing to be done when clearly there must have been. But I hope they get good use out of those books.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/684836.htm
Something I forgot to mention in my previous post, which carried over to the following two days, is that it seemed I got to do most of the front desk library work by myself. Everyone I was paired with seemed to have other things to do, on other floors or otherwise inaccessible, for much of my shifts. It was busy enough, but not too busy, so this suited me fine.
I wonder sometimes if I prefer working alone to working with others, and worry that I talk little enough to make the other staff resent working with me. Think I tend to be politely responsive though, even if I would rather not.
Today and tomorrow are the first pair of consecutive days off work I've had since April 14 and 15 and I feel very relieved to have some time for myself. Or sort of for myself. I'm doing terribly at school and trying my best to catch up, although it is difficult to keep focused enough. Only so much I can get done in any single day before I run out of attention or start hating myself too much to keep going. Which is why for the last hour tonight I'm typing this instead of pushing through another two chapters of two different textbooks. I do need to go faster though, or, I don't know, accept failure and lay down?
Today was also interrupted by a long-awaited consultation about getting wisdom teeth extracted. Was supposed to have that last week but they had to postpone because the doctor was in surgery (kind of a worrying reason, I guess?). Got it finally done today and relieved to find I only need one of the four wisdom teeth removed. The others seem to be behaving well enough.
Still very nervous but it will be nice not to have pain along one side of my mouth. Will need to contact them to arrange a date, and to choose between having it done under local anaesthetic, sedation, or under general anaesthetic at a hospital. That is going to be a tough choice, although the people at the surgery seem to favour the middle option, sedation.
Tomorrow I get to just be home. A rare treat which I hope I will get to enjoy, although I need to make sure to get as much schoolwork done as I can. I miss doing more focused fun activities but I can't afford to while I'm so far behind. Telling myself if I can catch up on school I'll be able to relax again, and hoping I don't waste my chance.
Wore a tank top there, and despite on the cancellation call having been asked about my name and if it should be Ms rather than Mr, got misnamed and misgendered anyway. Part of that possibly my 'fault', in that they checked with me about what name to use in communicating back to my regular dentist, who has not been told about the change of name. I'd been prepared when I last visited to collect my referral, but they said they didn't have need for any of the information I'd brought, so it did not come up despite my expecting it to.
Would like to muse more, but trying to store up those thoughts as for now I only feel to have enough time for writing down things that happened, and not so much the meandering thoughts those happenings inspire.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/684797.htm
Feeling rather tired today. According to my phone I was very active, so no surprise this is one of those days I come home from work and find it painful to walk or stand until the next morning. The morning started quiet but from about noon onward it kept getting busier.
There's about a half-dozen new casual staff starting at the library over the next two weeks and today was the first, so we were supposed to leave off the shelving to give him something easy to do on the first day. And also to leave us a bit bored because it was quiet to start with, although I had my lists of various kinds of missing items to work on. Even I set aside a couple of other miscellaneous tasks to use as demonstrations – damaged book from the returns, book with missing RFID tag, library card that had been lost in the library a few days previous.
Unsurprisingly this story ends with none of those happening. He had an orientation at the council for about the first hour, and then meeting with the manager and being shown around by her for a while, followed by my co-worker being assigned to further get him up to speed on the actual library systems and processes. About a half hour before lunch I realised where this was going and ran around getting as much shelving done as I could before the next shift took over.
On the bright side I seems all the new starters are going to be issued a copy of the checklist myself and another part-timer worked on over Friday and Sunday so that is a) something to be pleased about and b) something to leverage into pay increases and future job applications. Although I also thought of some things today which likely should have gone onto that document, which demonstrates why at least when you have me do it such things are better built over a longer period of time than a day and a half.
Yesterday after work I went shopping to try and get a more explicitly feminine work wardrobe, I guess, to force a contrast with what my co-workers had been seeing me in for the past most of a year. Was unhappy with how those clothes were sitting on me and after several unpleasant months of failed searches that left me dismal and defeated.
The main, main thing I had been looking for was new pants, as the ones I'd been wearing kept sitting unpleasantly low on my hips. Felt very uncomfortable wearing that. So, finally fixed, and got a bunch of surprisingly cheap new tops to wear to work or with my recent skirt acquisitions, which had been very lacking. Very relieving.
Wore such fresh outfit to work today, was nervous. Went okay though! No unexpected uproar, and the manager said the colour (of the top) looks good on me. In passing on her way out to lunch. So, yay!
I get to exist in some spaces and that is an improvement.
So, busy day today. Let's leave off with two notable things about today.
I made lunch this morning but forget to pick it up on my way out the door, so ended up buying fish and chips for lunch. Was worried about the delay when busyness kept me 7 minutes late from starting my lunch break but managed to eat without rush and be done in good time. And a little progress on the book I'm reading too.
A caller midway through the morning, saying ey got a notice about items being due and ey returned them all several days ago. Ey seems liable to repeat and emphasise this point a few times so I interrupt and ask for the card number they were borrowed under.
“I'm driving at the moment. I think I better call you back in about 10 minutes.”
“Yes, I think you had better.”
Addendum: so far as I am aware, ey has not called back.
That should be enough journal for now. Got to save some time for book non-reviewing and scholarship.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/684296.htm
My appointment got cancelled for yesterday so I did not go out. Was nice having a whole day at home. Got to do laundry and make my bed and talk with people, and it was a good day but I got hardly any studying done so it is hard not to feel like I continue to contribute to the wretched waste that is my life.
Insurance company finally caught up with me on the phone and ate about 90 minutes. Also finally finally spent a while looking for conferences to attend for the professional development component of my degree, which I've had reminders poking me at for months now. Never seemed to have a good time for that, but forced myself anyway this time. Found some candidates, giving myself time to sit on that before acting.
Appointment cancelled because the doctor was in surgery, was not going to be available for the appointed time. New appointment next week in the afternoon. Thinking about seeing a hairdresser earlier in the day, as I've been wanting to have my hair done for months and never finding the time.
Today my co-worker and I got asked to put together a checklist for what the new casual staff who are starting over the next two weeks need to be trained on. We'll need to finish that Sunday morning so it can be ready in time.
I'm very stressed about school. Very far behind. Will be shocked if I don't fail this semester but going to keep pushing until it is over – if I withdraw at this point it will be an automatic failure anyway.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/684114.htm
Today was the first time I wore a skirt to work. My hand was forced, somewhat, with my only pair of work slacks being in the wash. Could have worn jeans but those aren't strictly dress code and even though I was going to be working at the isolated little branch library there is always the possibility someone from the upper or senior echelons of council management would appear around to a) notice and b) care.
I got a bit of help from Ami last night in picking which skirt and what top to put with it, as my selection is currently extremely limited and badly suited to any sort of professional appearance. But it managed and we all went okay. Was only working with one person today, but she did not say anything, and there was indeed a surprise cluster of management types using a meeting room, which we had not known about in advance as the process of keeping library staff informed about the use of our facilities had broken down.
And although it is always a quiet place, I helped a few patrons through the day, some of whom were entirely new and some definitely recognising me from the past, and none seemed surprised or put out by my attire so despite my nervousness that was a big relief. Even though I have the support of the library manager ever day I do not need to call upon that is a day that is better than it might have been.
Relieved to get to exist for now.
Tomorrow I have a consultation about the when and how of getting my wisdom teeth removed. This is something I am very nervous – probably scared – about but it gets easier the more and the more often they hurt. It becomes something to look forward to, being able to eat again without pain, or even to exist in the times between eating. Must remember to bring my referral and x-rays with me or it will be a bit pointless as an outing.
I feel a bit of an urgent need to go clothes shopping as well, after, and hope I find something that works for me. I thought I had solved the question of clothes for work a year ago but I was mistaken. Continuing to be trapped in the tension between wanting something that is good enough ASAP, and wanting to be slow and careful in getting clothes that work especially well for me. Assuming those exist. But for now I definitely find myself in need of work slacks that actually fit and are not half falling off my hips (and which do have decently sized pockets if possible because pockets are useful!) and at least a couple of presentation-shifting tops as well. The ones I bought last year are all the buttoned sort I was used to, and I feel it is worth off-setting my presentation a bit further from what my co-workers probably incorrectly internalised as masculine.
What I want may be too simple to be readily attainable.
There is a lot of more stressful things going on and upcoming too, but I will leave those for another time. It is getting late and I want to be done with this, to get I hope at least a little more study done tonight before sleep.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/684018.htm
[wrote this two days ago. no less true now]
A week ago (maybe 2? time is difficult and I have been trying to focus on school) my podcast listening project got to the end of playlist #12, which covered the span from 2005-07-10 to 2005-10-01. That meant it was time to download and catalogue + compile episodes for playlist #15, spanning 2005-12-18 to 2006-01-21. Obviously I ran into problems or I wouldn't have words to be typing about it. Old episodes from Universe Today are still no longer available for download, although the articles they were published in are still up. That is something I can get around for a while by having episodes already downloaded from the last time I tried to embark on comprehensive podcast up-catching. That was already a problem, and I emailed them about it a month or two back asking about it.
This time I find also that Slacker Astronomy is giving a 403 error when I try to access its feeds. Not totally unexpected, as they have not had a new episode since 2011 but I had very much been hoping to get through listening to the archives before the site did eventually go offline. Playlist #15 also included the premiere episode of another podcast, that of Science magazine, and I was disheartened to find that episode no longer downloads either. Actually, even though the old podcast archive page for that site still exists, it doesn't seem to be accessible on the Science magazine website except via the link I have bookmarked. The new site navigation only gives an archive stretching back to about 2012. They have not taken all the old episodes offline though; the September 2006 episode still loads, and presumably the ones after it do too.
I do not have time because there is a lot of studying and school-work I need to prioritise first, but if and when I can, this provokes in me a desire to download the old episodes of various podcasts while I still can, and to save offline copies of their web pages as well so those can be used to apply metadata to the episodes when it comes time to compile them into playlists for listening.
This is likely a bad idea. For Science as well as Universe Today I have episodes previously downloaded that bridge most of but not all the gap to where more reliable archives begin again (in the case of Universe Today, when it is replaced by Astronomy Cast. In the case of Slacker Astronomy I also have episodes from their main feed into 2006, although not from their Extra feed which holds some interesting interviews.
I should reconcile myself to the fact some things are lost beyond my reach, and I will have to make do with what I have and can get. As I had to do when despite the good fortune of finding old radio episodes on archive.org of Are We Alone? they still were a spotty record which did not cover the whole span, and leaves a gap before the officially available archives commence. If we pretend I really have dropped any fretting over that entirely from my heart, which is lies.
Ironically last night I was listening to an episode of Slacker Astronomy Extra, “Getting Astronomy News Online” which toward the end touched on the importance of long term information storage and access, including format standardisation and using such resources as archive.org to preserve information into the future, but archive.org does not in this distant future preserve episodes of Slacker Astronomy against disappearing. Perhaps also ironically, the following episode on my playlist was one in which Fraser Cain performed an interview on behalf of Skepticality while Derek was in rehab. We have this record of the work he performed for others but can no longer access his own podcast (Universe Today) which Swoopy referred to in its introduction.
Or perhaps that is not irony. Despite fancying myself a writer I have never had better than a slippery grasp on that concept.
This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/683697.htm
Don't have time to type much. Tonight at work a (presumed) parent was thanking me because, with encouragement, I was apparently the first stranger their shy kid had been willing to talk to. Ever, according to em.
Saw some folk talking about the forgiveability or lack thereof of Darth Vader, particularly wert the murder of children.
For a while I have been thinking about the fact the people I am emotionally close to are rather geographically dispersed, and do not seem inclined to address this error for my convenience. And it is long since I gave up my ambitions of selling my stories and being a 'successful' author. The odds are against anyone who tries, and I think the sorts of stories I want to write are not so much those liked by the science fiction or fantasy markets anyway.
So I check back in on dreamwidth after a couple of weeks of being swallowed by school and there's posts again? That's pretty exciting.
[This post is talking about the DCI Banks episode "Friend of the Devil" and anyone reading who wants to avoid spoilers for that story would be advised to avoid reading this post. Also, the subject of the crimes is mostly violent rape and murder.]
Last night I watched an episode of DCI Banks which struck me as very pro-police. I mean, you could probably safely assume that any mystery series in which the protagonists are police who solve crimes is going to be pro-police but in this case it seemed quite thematic in favour of police handling crime and against vigilantism.
We have a father ranting about the police not helping and 'dragging the family's name through the mud' after the rape and murder of his daughter. Who then is arrested for assault in attempting to get revenge for it, and just as well he didn't get up the nerve to use the knife he'd bought for that purpose, as it turns out that guy was innocent.
We have more vigilantism when the murder in another case turns out to be a revenge killing of a woman (Lucy Payne) convicted for being complicit in the rape and murder of other women, our Mr Banks being upset that justice has now been denied. Finally, misguided vigilantism sees the killing of an innocent police officer, having mistaken him for the man who raped and murdered the woman mentioned in the previous paragraph when he was actually worked up in excess distress over her death and patrolling out of duty to protect women.
Early on Banks asks a forensic examiner if there were signs of struggle and she leaps to remind him that lack of such signs do not mean it was not rape, when in fact he was just wondering if there might be DNA obtainable from skin under the fingernails. But it's okay that she was overly-defensive of the integrity of rape victims like that because as it turns out she is a serial killer! Murdered Lucy earlier, killed the police officer earlier, mistaking him for a bad man instead of a good man, and murdered the guy who raped her many years ago instead of cooperating with police to bring him to justice.
It all felt a bit heavy-handed. Vengeful dad insults police, assaults the wrong man. Vengeful woman lies to police, murders already-sentenced convict, kills a cop in error, finally takes her own life when confronted with this. Normally I just want a mystery solved with detecting, not so much of the karmic leave it to police.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/682298.htm
Falling in love is a lot like being sick
Don't know how long I can keep this up. I'm lonely still and could expect to be for a long time to come. Wishing I had people of approximately similar timezone so I wasn't having to choose between doing things and company. Or even could have both at once?
I don't want to be writing or posting any thing but I suppose I ought to because big and complicated things are happening and I do not understand. And because a journal is supposed to be at least in part a record of one's self and past in its significances and insignificances. Or so I would wish mine to be though for a long time it has been dreadfully sparse.
I do not mean a fearsome fire-breathing slayer of knights.
[Wrote this on Wednesday; some additions before posting Friday due to the passage of time]
I think I must have mentioned the acquisition of fragmentary older archives of SETI Radio (now Are We Alone?) previously because memory says I have written of starting the podcast listening over again and going through an initial set of Planetary Radio alone.
It continues to irk me that I do not have access to the full, original run of Are We Alone? from 2002 because I do remember seeing those listed in iTunes back in 2005-06 or thenabouts but of course at the time did not have the bandwidth - or possibly even the storage space - to download them then. The same is true for some other shows like Planetary Radio, but at least they still have their entire run available on the website.
But since then, as I have been distracted from writing by school and workplace commitments, we have moved on successively to first a truncated second playlist where The Naked Scientists originally came in, and then a third beginning at the point where the earliest available episodes of Are We Alone? from https://archive.org/ begin.
Probably I mentioned that early Planetary Radio featured heavily guests and projects connected with the Planetary Society, such as SETI@Home, before moving on to a strong Mars focus for the historic close approach of Earth and Mars in August 2003 and the launches of several robotic missions to Mars; that focus has continued to where I am currently at in listening, late January 2004 when the second of two rovers (Opportunity) has only just landed on that planet.
I feel like my insistence on pinning these podcasts as near as I am able into a chronological order is vindicated by occasions such as the landing of the Spirit rover (and now Opportunity) when I have each of these three science shows reporting on the same events from their own particular perspectives and sources. It gives me an enjoyable feeling of synergy, a sense of time and place that these programs really do relate to each other in some meaningful way.
The current list, Playlist 3, is I am sure by far the longest that will be in at least terms of span covered. It starts at the beginning of November 2003 and extends to January 2005, when Playlist 4 will begin with the addition of The Philosopher's Zone from ABC Radio. To that point, every single podcast in my list which extends so far back in time is one also broadcast by radio, which seems odd to me. The first which exists purely as a podcast (and I suppose in that sense as an entirely amateur production) is the one following, Slacker Astronomy, which is also the earliest podcast on my list to no longer be active.
It continues to be strange to me that The Naked Scientists hosts a call-in contest “Science Fact or Science Fiction” wherein callers are presented with a claim and asked to judge whether it is true or made up, because there is a similar game in the podcast The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe , Science or Fiction, in which the hosts are challenged to pick the fake science news stories from the genuine ones.
Nearly finished the book I'm reading at the moment and have nearly a week to wait until I can get hold of the sequel at earliest. In the meanwhile as well as working on that placement report I can hopefully make sure to get some more writing done on what I think of the various books I've been reading over the past year. Most of them do have partial or complete notes written up already, it's just a few gaps that need filling so I can finish off and actually put them up in the order they were read. Am quite looking forward to getting that done because I do tend to enjoy talking about what I am reading and what I think of it, even if this is mostly awful.
So, objective for the next few days: work on placement report, work on not-reviews, also hopefully put together a nice meal for people which will likely involve fish.
Getting up to date on not-reviews and on my reading database are the two main personal projects I feel backlogged on currently. Maybe after those are up to date I will feel free to write more and to play games, both of which I feel I am missing out on. Therefore, the perpetual cry of diligence and energy!
 Although of the four which precede it, two are on public, non-profit broadcasters and the other two, as I understand it, rather rough or humble beginnings before acquiring their polish.
 Which doesn't start until 2005 but due to more extensive RSS availability I listened to a lot of in my first attempt at podcast catch-up – it was nearly the oldest one available by that approach.
 Now actually finished, during a lovely lunch in a café yesterday after my endocrinologist appointment.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/681189.htm
[Wrote this on Wednesday; posting now on Friday]
Last week finally finished my placement so now theoretically have a bit more time for living in. In truth of course I am rather bad at that. Too easy to let time-passers from when I cannot do much else filter into the spaces when I could be making more use of myself
Been feeling listless and hurt, selfishly no doubt. But as so often it feels like the appropriate solution is to distance myself from others. Perhaps especially with both work and school going on it feels as if I have a choice between being social in my free time or 'doing things'. And I am not very good at either.
Too much I want company.
The placement was good, very different sort of library to any I had prior experience of. Learned lots about corporate library activities handling also records and archives. Plus, the place was not only going through a record system changeover, but also an upcoming library management system upgrade, so I got to experience some of how those happen in practice.
I was a bit sad to have to leave, ultimately, but also relieved to get back to what are supposedly my usual part-time hours, though I'd not the time to enjoy them long before commencing the placement. Trying to preserve income meanwhile meant requesting and accepting additional weekend shifts from my employer and effectively working 6+ day weeks. It was rather tiring.
For the last week I baked and brought in first gluten-free brownies and gluten-free, low-sugar biscuits. Neither were vegan or dairy-free, however, and the latter recipe especially was 'compensating' for lacking added sugar by having a profusion of nuts. So they were not as minimally allergenic as I had been hoping to achieve, but were received quite well. On the last day my supervisor gave me a lovely pop-up card and a deck of an author card game, which I have not quite opened to the extent of understanding how it is supposed to be used. I am under the impression it can also be used as an ordinary deck of cards.
Finding myself very tired as I write this at work the following Wednesday, longing for sleep. I still have to write a report on that placement, which is due by about 2015-11-20 - so I must soon get to work on that (rather, to continue from what I managed to write during the placement itself) before it will become a last-minute desperation and before I forget the relevant information to include. But I wanted to get through my work week first, of which this is the last day. I will finally have two contiguous days off for the first time since September, although the morning of the first will be taken up by an appointment with my endocrinologist. Better than nothing.
Currently checking up on information for school, the last week's worth of learning material for the other class I'm taking this semester, and verifying the subject outline for my summer class is not yet up (most likely it will be available from Monday).
Also trying to look for any information to present to my endocrinologist about potentially changing my dosages / medications - had seen rumours that the form of progesterone I am on is not ideal. Have asked around on twitter a few months ago for any useful information I could present but not had a useful response.
I think actually I am too tired now to be fit for gathering and evaluating such information; I may be better off waiting a few months for my next appointment. Feeling on the verge of tears at the thought of trying to get that done by the end of the work day here, which it would have to be if I want to print anything off and have it with me to show.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/680931.htm
Just finished the first week of my student placement. Going okay except for being very tired of an evening, and needing to sleep early in order to be rested and wake early enough to get there - am not used to working full-time hours. Which would not be a problem except I have an assignment due Monday next week and little energy to be working on it. Hope I will manage anyway.
Is nice to be taking public transport again - getting a lot of reading done on the buses and trains - but that is always a trade-off with driving and podcast listening. So far this week has mostly been getting oriented and reading through policies and historical stuff concerning the organisation but yesterday I finally got to get started on cleaning up the shelves. That will likely be done by the end of next week, with lots of other stuff going on. There is a big archival conversion project going on, and library management software migration, so it feels like I am getting potentially a lot of valuable familiarity with environments and circumstances different to my prior experiences. Which is really what I was after in enquiring at this place.
Now I better get back to that assignment because it unfortunately is not going to write itself. Otherwise would try and write a lengthier update.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/680603.htm
Started on project Catch Up Chronologically To The Podcasts I Subscribe To [on 2015-0-17]. This is something I have attempted a few times since 2012, periodically restarting as I devise more satisfying (i.e. completist) ways of going about it. The furthest I got was covering the span from 2005 to early 2008, by the close of 2013. Since then I have gone through a few restarts and fads but hope to have finally settled on a scheme which will stick. The last few iterations have mostly been refining spreadsheets and completeness of archival access but I think I have hit a limit on that - the most recent reset based on having the inspiration that otherwise inaccessible back episodes of SETI Radio might have been uploaded to the Internet Archive and indeed they were - although not I think by the artists themselves. Rather, it appears to be the work of some audience member who has uploaded a few other radio shows (consequently there appear to be a few missing episodes but as they are so far as I know genuinely inaccessible this does not bother me as much as I feared it might).
The good news that I have not been able to share because it has kindly inundated me in paperwork is that I got the job I applied for back in - I think - June. They contacted me about two weeks ago to say they wanted to hire me and I started earlier this week. So now I am officially a part time employee of a library, with sick leaves and regular hours and a work email address and all that.
Today has been 2015-08-20 and it feels a long way from the 10th. On the 10th I had two assignments due, one of which I got done and submitted that morning. Also that morning, a call from the municipal council's HR about the job I had interviewd for the week before - references from my current position were unacceptable due to conflict of interest, being from my current employer and therefore also the employer I was hoping to get the new job with.
I had not any other current references; they said some pre-employement contacts would be fine. So rather than heading home to finish the other assignment I drove around first to the library the toy library of which I had volunteered at. The librarian who had been my contact back in 2011. She had gone home, but still worked there, and I was able to confirm a phone number with someone who was on duty. Then off to the university library I had had my second student placement under a few years before that. She had also gone home for the night, but still worked there, and I was able to get a phone number to reach her at.
So then I could get home at last and to schoolwork, although I do not really remember if I made much of any progress on the other assignment before its deadline. I did finish it the next evening and get it submitted before midnight and that was a great relief, especially as earlier in the day I had managed to call both of those contacts and obtain their consent to act as references for me, and forwarded their details to HR and got confirmation this would be suitable. Although I still have not heard back on how that went, and whether I will be getting the job.
But I did get word back on the other assignment, which was actually extra make-up work in order to not fail a class I took last semester. It served its purpose and I got my pass, which is great because one possible venue for being kicked out of school has been escaped. Still working on the other one.
Three weights off my shoulders. For a little while I felt so very light. But the fourth came right back; another request for an opportunity to take my practicum in a library of interest, sent that off Monday and by Tuesday night was rejected. Running out of time to organise that. Running desperately short of time.
But I keep being so tired from work, plus I fell into a void. Friday a day off, wanted to get my hair cut and take care of things, laundry and tidying type things. But instead I get struck down by some mystery illness. Supposedly only four days out of it until I could risk being back to work, but really it was infinity. Such vast span of time as to make all this typing a distant, distant reconstruction. Really only last week? Somehow.
I will get my hair cut tomorrow, and I will make another practicum request - I must! And perhaps my car will even get a new radio, if I am very fortunate indeed.
But I do not like tomorrow because today is the 20th and tomorrow is the 21st, and it would have been my grandmother's birthday had she survived this long. And it has been months and I still, still, still do not know how to process that she no longer exists. All that great void of never again. Keeps coming up and it hurts and I do not know what to do with it.
Driving to work today I had to go past the place where she was put to rest, incinerated a few months ago. Drive right on past like it was nothing and I a functional driver - and there must be so many people swallowed up in there, and yet people keep driving on by every day. Past where we bid farewell to my cousin the next week, and past where we had retired to gather afterward.
And tomorrow is nearly here and it will be an incomprehensible date of significance, and nothing will be done to mark it because all are sick; too much risk to others who still live to make mark when infection might spread, and someday it will mean nothing again.
I will get my hair cut, and try to decide what else might or might not bear the significance of the specific-just-another-day.
I had some good news, too. But I will put that in another post, maybe tomorrow, and let it bear itself alone.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/679769.htm
On the drive home today I listened to the episode of Planetary Radio covering SpaceShipOne's claiming of the X Prize, from way back in October of 2004 (why yes, I am behind on a great many things). The bulk of it held interviews with private industry types and a lot of overwrought language which annoyed me about how important what they did is.
Stuff like suggesting NASA and major aerospace corporations are now thinking "we're screwed" in the face of SpaceShipOne.
And perhaps it is just me, but I thoroughly do not believe building a suborbital or low Earth orbit moneymaker for a billionaire is even slightly bigger or more important than doing actual research on the rest of the solar system and universe. Maybe if they were working on a destination, somewhere to actually go and spend time in space that would be different. But not a quick dip out of the atmosphere so the rich and famous can score themselves a new "I've been there" shirt.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/679479.htm
Been feeling that I should treat this as if I am starting a whole new blog from scratch. Which does not mean I am about to go on any sort of introductory spiel as that has not ever I think been my style. But I should accept that these days there are few who would still be reading. A lot of the community that was here has been lost, or destroyed by myself.
So, starting over. Just going to talk about whatever to myself. But these days I am so tired I doubt I will be saying much anyway. Work days tend to blend into an unremarkable sameness and not leave much of interest left over.
Although today was different! The full-time staff-member I was supposed to be working with did not show up, out sick apparently. So out of the first four hours at the library I was operating the whole thing along for three and a half of them. The manager was there, but she was doing management type things in her office; I only saw her for about 10 minutes around the middle (she had called down that if I needed support she would come down and provide it, but the workload remained comfortably within 'exhilirating' or lower levels so I did not), and for the last 20 minutes one of the afternoon + evening staff had shown up and the manager asked her to start early. So that helped.
I have felt increasingly sure over the course of today that I am falling sick with some cold-like infection. This is a very inopportune time, as the breaks in my workweek are punctuated by an appointment with my endocrinologist and a job interview, and I have two assignments to turn in by next Monday. But perhaps this is some sort of stress thing. I think I fell ill last time I had an assignment due too. Made it a lot more difficult to complete.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/679328.htm
Last time I wrote here -- a whole month ago -- I had wanted to follow up soon with something about events which were then more recent. Wanted to write about the additional neat thing of new bilingual picture books at the library being interfiled among the main English picture book collection. However it turns out just as well I did not do so, as I since discovered they are not supposed to be; it is something the contractor the library does its purchasing + pre-processing through filing them that way, inconsistent with the library's preferred style. I still like the idea of interfiling them.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/679152.htm
A couple of days ago at the library we got a small number of new junior fiction books, among the rest of the new book deliveries. Was excited to see a couple of books appearing to feature black girls as their protagonists, one I think African American and one Aboriginal Australian. Bit less excited when in attempting to do some research prior to communicating this excitement I find the North American is by Meg Cabot and in fact is a spin-off of the Princess Diary series featuring Mia's sister, and the other covers I am turning up show her as a white girl, and
[title to be read in a tone of horrified realisation]
Wanting to write a little post about this from my readings in class because interested by how it disrupts the sense I have built up for myself about how sentences and punctuation should work and be structured.
I think what bothers me mainly is that I do not regard a parenthesis as a sentence-ending marker while, although it can serve other purposes, a period does mark the end of a sentence. So I end up feeling like there are two sentences here:
I suppose from examining this I must also feel that most everything should be contained within sentences, as an alternative interpretation might be that
is some sort of aside floating free of and not part of either the preceding or succeeding sentence. But I don’t like that either. If I were to rewrite this so that it ‘made sense’ to me, I would do it like so:
No period after his, lower case q in quite, period after the closing parenthesis instead of before. Now it reads to me as two separate, self-contained sentences that are not spilling over each other or otherwise provoking some sort of formatting error in my brain. Although this does not mean I am completely happy with the text itself, just that I no longer interpret it as typographically malformed - could try and remove the gendering of the hypothetical burglar, or try and edit the parenthetical into something requiring less implicit unpacking. At the moment, the first sentence and its parenthetical still pair in my mind to suggest intentionality on the part of the burglar, so if it was not left in order for police to find the print and prove identity, but was left for the opposite reason, the first interpretation is the burglar left the shoeprint intentionally in order not to be found or identified by the police - which I think we can agree is not the intended meaning of that parenthetical. Rather, I am sure we are intended to understand that, contrary to being left with the intention of being discovered and leading to capture, the burglar intended to leave no print and consequently to not be discovered. But that’s a whole different edition of Problems With Me Reading Things, and you’ll need to tune in another day for that one.
In case it was not clear, I want to emphasise that I do realise there is not an official set of rules of punctuation in English that everyone is required to abide by. I am talking about the idiosyncratic rules I have built up in my own mind that makes sense to me and which I strive to abide by, and how I get (hopefully amusingly) flustered when I encounter writing that does not abide by those self-set rules. I am capable of reading and making sense of considerably more disjointed or experimental expressions of English than the quoted example (although of course not infinitely so), but sometimes simple things like this throw me off and I get the urge to talk about them.
 I have no current intention of covering that topic.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/678317.htm
Finally answered the Malheurs' question about podcasts we listen to ('finally' - it was only yesterday morning). Left a few off because didn't want to flood, though. Mainly SF Crossing The Gulf, science news series like the Nature magazine podcast, and the story magazines like Escape Pod and Podcastle. And some I just can't recommend like Skeptic's Guide to the Universe partly for the often confrontational tone (and associated ablism) but especially what stands out is one of the host's periodic parodies of Asian accents.So, nope, however much I may enjoy I can't recommend at least pre-2008 version of the show.
Got the day off, so all that prospect of wide open day to fill and be diligent in. But we never manage that in the actuality. It's a nice dream.
Not been able to exercise in a while because of my leg, but that's healed now and was surprised at how easily the routine went this morning. First thought on the treadmill was that I really need to get a sports bra as the bounce was quite unpleasant. And then spiralling a bit of self-hate because it seems no one in the country makes sports bras sized for women as large as me with such small breasts. Going to have to wait for the regular bra I ordered to arrive and see how well that fits. And then most likely follow Ami's advice of getting a smaller size and an extender for the strap.
Hope that works. Been waiting on getting a bra sorted so I can fix up the rest of my wardrobe for nearly half a year now.
Last night on the drive home listening to Science Friday episode from 2015-02-06 they covered the final instalment of the show's bookclub reading The Lost City of Z. They'd been discussing that the past few episodes, a retracing of a British explorer who long ago went missing in the Amazon searching for a lost city. This had me wondering if and how such tropes as explorer's clubs and celebrity explorers might be used in RPGs, and whether this could be done in a non-colonialist way (the short answer I came to is probably no, and on my head be it if I insist on including them anyway). Ideas such as cross-planar exploration, seeking out unknown worlds and planar regions for establishing contact and trade or relations with, and possibly the world of narrative focus being but newly created and consequently not in a position to exert force outward. But that latter is less of a help than the details of motives in seeking outward and celebrating news brought back.
Alternatively or perhaps also, having characters be of non-European-derived societies, exploring into the ruins of a lost European-style society. Good excuse for lots of castle dungeons and monster-infested ruined townships. Could be explained as plague-depopulated (or some other catastrophe), much as what actually happened in the Americas and Australia when European settlers arrived (except of course no real monsters), although what I'd been thinking in that idea was not so much to make that parallel as more Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt to make a conveniently depopulated Euro-fantasyland. And the fact that it does make a parallel to the real world creates problems in using such an idea, because there is an implicit association that if such a depopulated land is suitable for guilt-free exploration and ruin-romps, then it must have been similarly okay for Europeans to go through Australia and those Americas after disease had drastically reduced the populations and ability to sustain existing societies there.
As was pointed out in the much more interesting (and far too short) following segment in which they had as guest an archaeologist to talk about actual Amazonian ruins and how they were laid out in a style of city distinct from any that I had been aware of.
Getting to the point where soon new stereo in car will hopefully mean can start over the list ordering and go into the big and hopefully final catch-up project. Especially since recent investigations and external developments will make that more possible than before.
Something on the drive home reminded me of my grandmother and, as ever, I wanted to tear my throat out so I wouldn't have to deal with it. I think I thought of aiming for a collision again but of course I won't, I wouldn't. But how am I supposed to make sense of her being gone? I wish I could cry, for her, for my cousin. Even for Terry Pratchett whose words meant so much to me growing up (she once bought me one of his books as a child and I don't think she ever knew how much I loved that book). But I can never seem to grieve properly. There is always something taking precedence - maintaining a good face at work; school; getting home without killing myself. I fear that someday I will have time to grieve and the window will have passed, I will not feel it any more or need it.
Again and again and again.
Today is always wasted.
I watched some things. Part 3 of the Doctor Who serial Marco Polo, I think. Did not pay a lot of attention to it or follow what was happening, so what was the point in watching that again when I could have been doing something useful? Episode 38 of Galaxy Express 999, of which I wanted to say something about how repetitive that show is but this time it actually did something a bit different, showing a bit more of the workings of the interstellar railway line. Some episode of Scott & Bailey in the background, which I suppose I keep up more by inertia than anything else. I wish I had the time and the will and the focus to - if I am going to watch something - actually watch it and pay attention and think about it. I pressure myself too much to get through things and so cannot appreciate them.
School is stress. I am sure I am going to fail. I am always sure, and always sure that this time I really am. Of course last time, over the summer, I actually did, which means I am on academic probation and definitely have to pass this class to escape penalty. And I am doing so badly with it. I very much need to focus and not be social, to push through being tired when not at work. Today I tried to get progress on my assignment, the last one that will determine my grade, and mostly ended up wrestling with bibliographic tools before giving up and doing it the old-fashioned way. Insofar as using style settings in a modern office suite can be considered old-fashioned.
But at least I have done something. I have made some progress on the readings and entered some information into the document, so that is technically progress. I need to make this into my life somehow if I am to succeed, but I hate it already and thoroughly.
Been leaving lots of journal entries unpublished of recent, as the day escapes me. I wonder if I will ever publish them?This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/678117.htm
I miss programming. It was the last thing I was good at. Which is not to claim any particular demonstrable level of skill or aptitude. But that one class I took in 2012 I worked hard at, and I got good grades for my hard work. I miss having something I could work at and feel I was making progress in understanding and skill. Unfortunately I keep being too occupied with work and school or otherwise insufficiently self-directed - as well as lacking in inspiration - to pursue further development in learning to program. Or rather, given the long gap of inactivity, re-learning to program.
As one might guess, today I did have some inspiration on a suitably scaled project I might undertake when I am able, and am writing this partially as a reminder to myself that I should do so. In this case I was wondering about where a stationary orbit around Ceres might be located and whether it would be stable.
I realised I could define a succession of more complex versions of the problem which I could automate the solving of. Simplest version would just take mass and rotation period for input and give an orbital radius as output. More complex versions could relate that to the Hill sphere of the synchronous-orbited body and identify whether the radius for a synchronous orbit falls within that range or whether it is outside (and therefore not stable). That would require additional inputs such as the ~planet's semi-major orbital axis and the mass of the star (or other parent body).
Then if getting that working, could add further complexity in trying to get a range of values computed, frex "as the orbited body's rotation is slowed, at what point does the radius of a synchronous orbit fall outside its Hill sphere?" or "at this rotation rate, how near to its parent body can this object orbit and still retain a synchronously orbiting satellite?"
Should be nice sort of project. Fairly simple, already solved problems (I could verify them with pen and paper), well-defined goals that are definitely outside my current skillset. I hope I will manage to get myself the time for working on this. Could feel proud of success.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/677680.htm
Current assignment - still the same assignment - is a pseudo-presentation for undergrad science students on the importance of records and archives. Consequently have been focusing reading on records practice in science, the use of records as evidence and the personal process of developing record-keeping style as part of being enculturated to a community of practice.
Consequently consequently, was interested to listen to this Science Friday segment on part of the drive home. The show's Science Club challenge from the end of September was to identify something to observe and to make careful record of your observations in the hope that from these observations something interesting will emerge. Essentially, the Science Friday audience was being challenged to in part go through the process I had been reading about - to, through trial, error, and consideration, develop a system for recording observations which will be later comprehensible and useful as a seed for generating knowledge and presenting this knowledge to a wider community.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/677420.htm
Awake too early thanks to bad dreams. Dreams of a screaming, fist-pounding, equipment-endangering outburst of frustration and then having to put back on the happy, untroubled face for my family so they wouldn't condemn or press for explanation. The only part remaining I can put into words.
Awake too early because I was awake and the sense of some dread, amorphous feeding presence made sleep too fearful. And because sleep had fled in the face of perhaps adrenaline. I would like to sleep more - I've been so tired - but must wait for things to pass.
My head hurts. Likely need more water.
Yesterday, a co-worker informed me the shirt I'd worn the day before had a tear. So now am down to one work shirt that fits well. Will try and buy some more tomorrow after getting my face lasered, which at least is an opportunity to get some better-suited clothes if I can find them. I've not had much success finding shirts on my own that I would be comfortable wearing.
That's what's mostly going on here at the moment. There's some other things I wanted to say before, but they're harder to write and might get abandoned. Meanwhile today is a day of rest and cleaning and study.
It was disheartening seeing my previous posts when I came to write this, that I've been trying to focus on this assignment for more than a month, and it is due in less than a week, and I am so tired and have made so little progress. I want to quit but I don't want to quit. I'm sick of quitting or failing.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/677214.htm
Very tired yesterday, what with being up past 01:00 to witness (in a family, non-legal way) and then having an unusually early start at the library. Should have let myself go to sleep early but insisted on staying up as late as I could.
My grandmother died a couple of days ago. The funeral is later this week.
This evening near the end of my shift there was a kid asking for books on Serena Williams. Only one in the building according to the catalogue, a biography, so I showed her over to that and she accepted it, but she asked if there were anything at a more junior level she could use. Had a look with her at the sports book in junior non-fiction but of course there was a scant single volume on tennis, likely too old to even mention Serena, or more than briefly.
Studying records and archives this semester. The first assignment for this class is to put together a presentation for undergraduate science students who are skeptical of the value of archives. Sadly it looks like archiving is rather more focused on communicative human artefacts than the preservation of broader information objects. Otherwise, I had been hoping to incorporate this video from the American Museum of Natural History as an illustration of why this work is important to their work.
This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/676133.htm
Got home, found out my grandmother's life expectancy is estimated at 3 months. Don't know how to process this, never had to lose someone so close previously. Spent so much time grieving for her future loss when I was a child and she was healthy; Should I start grieving more early in preparation? Is there anything I want to do or say? Probably should do some research on how to approach or support someone terminally ill. If she knows - for at least the past year she's been inconsistently able to recognise her own immediate family or where she is.
Although so far she's always seemed able to recognise me. In a way I hate that; all branches of my family seem to have given me always so much more attention and value and support than my sisters, whether because I was firstborn or they thought me a boy or what. It's unfair to my sisters and not a social expectation I'm equipped to live up to.
Watched the second half of the writer & directors commentary on The Fellowship of the Ring with Ami. Finished reading The Player of Games for the discussion group. Still like that book, still find it lacking in parts.
Failed to have the nerve to call and book an inspection for the car today. Used web form instead to book one for next week. Hope that won't prove too late. Checked grades for my summer class, looks like I failed it. Disappointed especially because I put a lot of effort into the most major assignment and thought I might have done well in that.
Going to try working on some personal projects and try not to think about food.This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/675599.htm
When I read this post on ghosts and zombies immediately I thought it could potentially make a really interesting story, if only I could think where to go with it.
Start with a zombie apocalypse scenario sweeping across the Earth, leading to almost the entire population of the world ending up as ghosts and... then what? The whole species having to decide "we've been wiped out, we're extinct but we're still here, now what do we do?"
Visualising plot strands of despair, would-be suicidal reactions, religious crises, some maybe want to zoom off to explore space, or persuade the ghost-species to adopt a frame of philosophical contemplation, ennui over being and observing but inability to affect any thing in the world. Interactions with the elder ghosts of humanity's past and trying to negotiate a place in / replacement for whatever society they had constructed. Maybe side-strands with the living who are still trying to survive and the question of whether they could eventually prevail, if humanity might re-emerge as a living species.
Don't know where the story would go. My own inclinations probably take it as a quest for understanding with ghost-science and exploration and a lot of people wanting to find ways to interact with the world again, or maybe to cease existence entirely. I keep being drawn to the possibility of vistas on other worlds and mysteries and discoveries that could be made out there (ghost aliens? non-ghost aliens who can or cannot detect the ghost humans?).This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/675410.htm
Derailed from plans day today. Washed the car to start with, as intended, but then largely meandered through the middle of it. In the evening the electricity went out for what turned out to be three hours. Batteries ran down fairly quickly thereafter which was a little annoying as there were plenty of things I could have worked on sans internet - stories perhaps, or some sort of blog post.
Tried starting up a bookclub at the beginning of this year and it did not go well. I put a lot of the blame on having been swallowed up by work for nearly three weeks of the month, and on being struggling with school again. Even if I had been reading our first book (The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks) on my breaks I wouldn't have had the energy to be posting about it each week. And I wouldn't have been up for a group discussion on it this week at the end of the month either, because this is deadline week for half my grade.
Went out to the kitchen to see if the dishwasher needed emptying (it did). A cat was waiting for me, sitting on the floor watching the through the door. When she saw me she meowed loudly and leapt up onto the bench and began eating from the bowl of cat food there, as if this were the signal she had been waiting for.
I wanted to keep more of a diary again. Guess my first attempt at making a post of this getting accidentally deleted is as good an excuse as any. That's what happens when you have a part-written post in a browser window and then reboot the computer.
Earlier in the week I finally got an ultrasound for my wrist. Unfortunately no sign showed of what is causing the pain I have been in experiencing there. People seem to be treating that as good news which puzzles me - if there'd been an affirmative discovery of a problem, couldn't I have got something done about it? Now I'm in the position of waiting another month with painkillers and hoping it goes away before I can get a referral to a rheumatoid specialist for further investigation.Has been feeling a bit better the past couple of days, which I suspect is due more to having had several days off work than to taking extra care with my posture and typing since if I were to say I managed that half the time I'd be being generous. Can't hurt though, I hope.
[at this time the author takes a break for approximately 4 days or more]
I suppose I don't know what else to say. So far as resolutions go - that tradition of the new year - I suppose what I want to do is to occupy myself sufficiently with personal projects and activities to spend far less time haunting social media. Of course there's school, but I would like to, to have myself together enough to get writing again sometimes too. And games, and reading... I've been trying to persuade a book club into existence and also have been very enthusiastic of late about role-playing games. Aspiring to run and perhaps even to play in some this year.
Been focusing on Pathfinder first with vague plans to try running some practice adventures and hopefully cobble together a Star Wars themed campaign (Starfinder) based on an authentic ami_angelwings idea. But first I'm trying to read up a lot on advice for running games well so that I can hopefully do a good job and help everyone involved have fun.
Right now, right next, I need to work hard at school. I worry I can't manage both school and much in the way of hobbies. Every attempt I make to manage my time well so far ends in weeks of anxious fretting and bursts of panicked labour. But I keep hoping and I keep trying. I suppose there is not anything else I can do.
On which note I better actually be doing that schoolwork now.
[started this January 1st, a few days later than I wanted to, and finished writing it yesterday. I do not want to abandon social media so much as I want to fill my life with enough satisfying industrious pleasure that I find myself less dependent on and habituated to it.]This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/674275.htm
[there's some references at the end of this journal post because school and I felt like practicing]
Lasering this morning. Daring to hope I might be done after this round, in half a year. That would not be too long a time. Little bit frustrating that I took up a desire and occasional accomplishment of morning walks right around when I am experienced a laser-induced need to avoid UV exposure, so I look forward to the banishing of one of those duelling tensions.
Took a while to find where the shopping centre bookshop had removed itself to, then visited a few times on my outing. I don't buy books so often and when I do it is seldom off-line (the state of book prices in Australia is perhaps best described as 'exorbitant') but it was lovely to reacquaint myself a bit with the state of paper books as art objects.
Saw a beautiful edition of Mockingjay in passing. Lots of lovely editions of The Hobbit. Someone has decided to give all Brandon Sanderson's books a consistent look across settings and series; that shelf was a sight to see, so unexpectedly uniform. Robin Hobb's books are still in those beautiful, shiny covers that make me long to give over my copies to charity or second-hand, just to replace and see something so pretty on my shelves (too expensive, too frivolous, maybe someday...). The cover of Alastair Reynolds' On the Steel Breeze clashed weirdly with Blue Remembered Earth, as if they didn't belong together, so strange. Different editions or publishers or sharp change of art direction I suppose.
There were some boxed sets of the Song of Ice and Fire books which looked nice, though it would be nice to be able to do without having a permanent reminder of the television series affixed to the covers. Makes me wonder what looks the books may have when that series is complete. The Warriors anthology in three parts highlighting to me the absence of the Vandermeers time travel anthology since the last time I visited. The new edition of The Ice Dragon is lovely, the illustrations and the cover and the texture. Pretty book, book as art in itself. Could not find The World of Ice and Fire at first, the particular book I wanted to take a look at. Found it elsewhere after a bit, with all the trendy books. But I ended up not daring to take more than a quick flip through it, maybe I was scared of being thought a serious customer.
Looked for, could not find any copy of Kameron Hurley's The Mirror Empire. Did smile to see that, between times I visited the books, someone seems to have bought a copy of Ancillary Justice. Colours a bit too bright and busy and non-representational feeling for me on that one, but that's okay. Hoping it found a good home.
When I got home, was pleasantly surprised to see the set of dice I had ordered had arrived. I've never had dice before apart from the ones you get in department store board games and these are a delightful dusty green with gold numbers, fun even just to look at. I enjoyed taking some time to feel them and start learning which ones are which. Handy because now I can use them for pen and paper RPGs instead of using online rollers, and I've learned this difference matters to some (many?) who play such games.
Yesterday, on part of the way home listened to an episode of Ockham's Razor on cohabiting with wildlife in Australia. Was prepared to be disappointed, envisioning a lack of suggestion that perhaps people and society change their ways in order to minimise conflict and adjust expectations of what is acceptable. Ended up being mostly pleasantly surprised for the most part although perhaps I had set my standards excessively low. NB: a remark about dingo purity is potentially outdated.
Listened to an episode of Escape Pod through lunch. The story, "Shadowboxer", was okay but my main point of interest was how this story's threads weave with Death Note. If Kira's power were inherent, if he were of the USA and held as their instrument. Well, but I thought it was okay. Not inclined to launch into a lengthy criticism at this time. Judging by the comments many others found it much more strongly resonant. This was also the second consecutive podcast to reference research into intercessory prayer, although "Shadowboxer" claimed a near opposite outcome to that reported by
That episode was rather fascinating in itself, covering language and power and other related aspects of headology. The general thrust of the episode I'd seen before elsewhere but, for example, I didn't know that the Curse of the Bambino in baseball was actually technically a jinx! Also appreciated the line of continuity drawn with European-derived cultures and others, and the explicit disclaiming that curses are not a matter of supposed primitiveness. Potential listeners should be advised that experiments are described wherein harm was done to animals, including death in some cases.
Finally from earlier in the week, a two-part program from All In The Mind on mental health in Indigenous Australian communities and approaches featuring storytelling and community involvement. I've little to say on the content itself, mentioned mainly in case of interest from others.
Except, a remark near the beginning of the first episode by the presenter: "Addressing mental illness is a vital component of the healing process for Aboriginal Australians". I found that rather incensing. They need healing? THEY need healing!? We got sickness running so deep we think it's a healthy way of being, to believe it's right and just and good to do what we do to people, to genocide or force it on them and try to make them sick too. That is what we need healing of, that splinter of ice in our collective heart.
Of course the indigenous people of Australia do need healing of the hurt done to them, but not I think in the manner implied by that framing, of necessary reconciliation to the pre-eminence of white society upon their land. That is... not it.
Malcolm, L. (Presenter). (2006, June 10). Aboriginal mental health part 1 - Tiwi Islands. All In The Mind Audio. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/prog
Malcolm, L. (Presenter). (2006, June 17). The Long Grassers' legacy - Aboriginal mental health part 2. All In The Mind. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/prog
Outred, J. (2014, April 15). Dingo declared a separate species.Australian Geographic. Retrieved from http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/Temby, I. (Speaker). (2006, June 11). Wild neighbours. Ockham's Razor Audio. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/prog
I should definitely make new boots a priority. Only had these ones not quite 2 years, but got a blister on my toe after just four hours of mostly seated work and 90 minutes (total) driving today and been getting lesions on my heels for probably a few months now. Seems clear that however nice they were to begin with these boots are now doing my feet more harm than good.
Came home to find my family had bought a new set of cat-frighteners. A cordless vacuum cleaner, an autonomous robot vacuum cleaner, and what I think is some sort of electric broom.I don't know how they can afford these, or whether this is wise, but there you go.
Edit: On closer inspection, I believer what I referred to as an 'electric broom' is actually a steam mop. This entry passed through http://aesmael.dreamwidth.org/673463.htm