Go to 30 meetings - Went to a dance practice tonight
Post 100 situations prompts to AO3 - Another one is posted.
Fill a second 100 situations with a different fandom - Wrote 2 more prompts
Learn 30 new things through wikipedia - I learned about Brezhnev's legacy.
Take golf lessons - one more week in the books.
Listen to 90 other podcasts - I listened to an episode of Backstory on myths and legends in American history.
Read the entire Bible - Still in 2 Kings
Also, I really want to know what the receptionist's job is there though because when I asked him to check me in he's like "check in at the automatic kiosk" and when I asked him to check me out he's like "check out is around the corner" So what the fuck is your job dude? You're working awfully hard at not working there.
If I had had brains, I would have brought my laptop and went to a coffee shop, but I don't have brains so I came all the way home, and sat online for an hour then talked to Kevin for an hour, then went back to Decatur to go to the SCA meeting. There was a business meeting at the beginning of the meeting, where we talked about upcoming events, most of which I am not going to. I don't think I'm going to any more events this year, actually. I may change my mind and go to Red Tower in 2 weeks, but they aren't having any classes, and I don't think I can shoot long enough to make that a whole day activity. So, I don't really know what I'd do with myself.
After the meeting we had some dancing. I danced with Ximon, and Justina danced with the dance Mistress, but I don't remember her name. Also this cute little 3 year old girl danced with Justina and they were adorable. The list of dances for 4 people is small, and I think we did most of them.
Then we went out to dinner at Imperial, where I had a burger and Mac and Cheese. Never again with that mac and cheese. The top was burned, and I made the mistake of stirring it so the burned pieces mixed in with the good pieces, and it was just disgusting. I picked at Deborah's french fries, which were better. We talked about travel, and the military, and I'm not really a fan of discussing the military. It's a thing that happened, and I'm glad it did, but I'd rather not talk about it. They were talking about family members who refused to talk about military service though, and I was like "sounds about right!" For what it's worth, my grandfather, who was a mine sweeper in north Africa never spoke about it either. Until he got Alzheimer's and thought he was living it.
L'Shanah Tova, y'all.
We took Mikey to the vet. Or rather I called, made an appointment for 8.30 since that was the one morning appointment they had open, the boy was on his way home so I stuffed Mikey into the carrier so he could just grab him and go. Mikey flipped out and started clawing at the carrier so rather than have him break a claw or worse on the thing, I pulled on a bra and boots and took an antihistamine (yes I with the six cats have cat allergies and vet visits are nightmares) and went with him to make sure he didn't hurt himself in the car.
We were there for about an hour while they X-rayed him and did a blood panel all to reveal that nothing is detectably or severely wrong to cause the vomiting, plus confirming to the vet that he's an active kitty still eating and eliminating as usual. So on the plus side he's a relatively healthy kitty except for the vomiting. On the minus side, vomiting. Still. And now I'm late to work.
So we pile him back into the house, I go finish getting ready and throw on some clothes and drink some lemonade because I haven't had breakfast yet, we get on to the short drive to work and promptly get stuck in standstill traffic for thirty minutes while fire trucks scream down the shoulder next to us because I don't even know what the fuck happened there. We shot past work instead and stopped at a grocery store to get me breakfast and sushi for lunch.
The chocolate chip muffins I thought I got were not in fact chocolate chip muffins, they were fucking cranberry muffins. Which might actually taste fine but that was not what I fucking wanted. And work was of course busy busy busy with no opportunity to sit down, rest and process until after all the time sensitive shit was done. I skipped capoeira and went home and napped after calling Mom to whine at her, and I meant to nap for forty five minutes but instead ended up sleeping for over two hours and in short: fuck this day.
AND I have a dental cleaning tomorrow. Pre-emptively fuck tomorrow too.
Black Beauty – Anna Sewell. Reread of a childhood – not quite favorite; it was just that in the process of going through every entry in the library catalog that came up under the keyword 'horses' in three separate libraries, I was eventually going to end up reading Black Beauty; I resisted from what I recall and turned my nose up at it repeatedly, but eventually I gave in and liked it at least enough that I think I read it more than once. This is not saying much of a horse book.
This held up better than I expected in terms of nineteenth century literature; there is the awkward comprehension as an adult of exactly what “Darkie” means in that context, and that bizarre moment where Lizzie naturally can't ride a nervous horse despite being described repeatedly as an excellent horsewoman because she is a woman; but overall I was surprised by the lack of horribleness to make me want to pitch the book across the room. Sewell seems to have deliberately taken pains to make it obvious that relative abusiveness of Black Beauty's owners has nothing to do with class, and the moment when Jerry (I think?) comments that the cab drivers would have Sundays off if they organized a strike for it was a good surprise.
It is also somewhat less miserable than I had the impression from other people who'd read it more recently, with relatively little deliberate sadism from owners – as opposed to ignorance and apathy and alcoholism – and cruelty usually implied and covered quickly in summary rather than lingered over. Then again, I have a pretty high tolerance for that kind of thing.
Corona – Bushra Rehman. The summary you'll find online is something like, after bisexual Razia Mirza is excommunicated from her Muslim community in Queens, she goes on a road trip. This is somewhat misleading; what Corona actually is is a collection of nonlinear microfiction that covers much of Razia's childhood and early adulthood; the road trip appears in exactly one piece; and rather than being “excommunicated,” she's disowned after her parents find out she's dating someone (male) and she refuses to remedy the situation by immediately marrying.
There are moments of this that I felt were well done, or enjoyed in that almost painful way of recognition – it is so rare to find characters who are in that awkward place of half-speaking to parents without forgiving them that most of my social circle is – but overall I was disappointed. A lot of the pieces have the impression of wallowing in misery for shock value (eg. was that thing with the kitten really necessary? speaking of which, content warning for animal death), and I found the romance with the most attention paid for it thoroughly unconvincing. True, you are supposed to be unconvinced – they break up – but in order to convince the reader that your protagonist is not being an idiot, you should usually give the relationship you are going to have tragically fail some positive aspect at the beginning. Having Razia state that she felt like she was losing her mind and so did all of her friends did not help; it just made me want to scream 'yes, you are, what the fuck are you thinking?' at the book.
In addition, I think the decision to do this non-linearly hurt it. Even as there are pieces that seem to wallow in misery, a lot of the actually difficult pieces of the story I was invested in are completely skipped. As an example, the pieces focus mostly on three time periods – childhood to teenager years; her time careening between temporary living situations in a wildly precarious position after her parents disown her for refusing to get married; and her adulthood which appears to involve relative financial stability, a social circle of other queer South Asians, and an awkward truce with her family. There's no real picture of the transition between these points. The view of Razia being disowned is indirect, told in retrospective with no detail; the details of how she clawed her way to financial stability and ended up on speaking terms with her family again are totally absent. There's an abusive partner who shows up in one, maybe two pieces of microfiction – the boyfriend she left her parents with – and then vanishes and is never referenced anywhere else. Her one girlfriend on page similarly shows up once. Microfiction over the course of a life can work, I've seen it done wonderfully, but the decision to avoid almost all important or decision making moments did not work, here. I have to wonder whether that was deliberate, or from a place of feeling unable or nervous about writing those moments well.
i'd say - yes, recommended. but it is a lot of money for an hour of mostly shouting instructions at your friends.
started watching the most recent episode of the new show this morning to get in the "zone" as it were - but didn't finish it until this evening, which is good as, after a strong start, they failed abysmally. i pointed out to an only minimally interested erin that while the show had chosen to call these contestants 'the cosplay group'... they were actually and very obviously furries.
(Dammit, I like life drawing, even if I'm too n00b to be good at it. Joe says I have been getting better since I started a few years back though.)
Pen: Pelikan M205 Aqumarine (F nib)
Ink: Diamine Eclipse
( Moving on from heads to eyes and lips? )
I haven't gotten back to Ctrl+Paint because life has been busy, but yesterday my art accountability was working on a Thing in Photoshop, mainly blocking in values.
I think I handled this long-term absence pretty well. I've had strong communication with my sub. We've emailed and texted every day. I've been able to more-or-less keep up with how my students are doing. I only see work once a week, but I think I have a good idea of where they are right now, and the types of things I'll need to work with them on in more detail when I go back. I've made sure to rest, eat well, and exercise. I've gone out more and more these last two weeks. I went out on my own again yesterday for a few hours, and while I was tired, sitting in traffic will make anyone tired.
I'll be back in time for the NHS Induction ceremony, which makes me happy. I have no idea who our new inductees are at all. I haven't seen a finalized list. I should ask my co-adviser for one - at least for my portion of the newbies, so I can add them to my roster.
I went in on Monday morning with my wife, to drop off the folder of graded assignments in person. One of my Anime girls was sitting in the office when we came in, and her face just lit up when she saw me. I had to tell her it was still one more week, and she seemed sad. I've missed those kids so much, too. Seeing her made me light up. Seeing my sub and my classroom, walking through the halls, all of it. It felt right. I got to see my department chair, and my other Latin colleague in the building, and that made me feel better as well. We left before the bell, so I didn't see any other students, but it was good to be back for just that little bit. It took away some of my stress, surprisingly. That'll change once I'm back and pick up my duties again, I know. But for now, it was a good feeling.
So, for the last few days before I go back, I'm working on things for my level 3 class. I know we'll have things to catch up on, but I want to be able to start back up with the new chapter (they've got a quiz on Friday for the current one). We can do pick-up activities with the new material to make sure they've got a handle on the concepts from earlier.
I hope my kids are as excited as I am that I'm coming back. I've missed them all so much.
Specifically today: rewriting a part of my game engine from a homebrew text format with a Perl script parsing it to C++ code into the YAML format with a Python parser.
The game code is tightly integrated with C++ (e.g. the callbacks are written in regular C++, same as Unity's callbacks are written in C#), but there are many common tasks, like initializing rooms and objects, which would be too annoying without simplification. Right now, I have a plain text "game configuration file", which basically contains all the info split over a zillion of forms in GUI-based game development systems; but here, you can see everything at a glance, and edit it all in one place, in a regular text editor.
I've developed a custom text format because JSON, XML and alike are human-unfriendly, due to the amount of markup. But recently I've discovered YAML - a popular standard for human-readable data, and it looks almost the same as mine! YAML's drawback is the usage of indentation for syntax, but I'm already used to Python, so it's a small sacrifice for huge benefits, such as a YAML parser already supported by all major scripting languages.
I could've stayed with Perl, but lately I'm into Python, because it's so neat and pleasant to work with. Especially upon discovering the heredoc syntax for templates, perfect for my purposes. (I guess there's no end of learning). I'm still on the stage of code refactoring - technically, there's no new functionality besides cleaning up some odds and ends - but the parser is already looking SO MUCH MORE ELEGANT and user-friendly.
So I didn't make it to lecture, because by the time I woke up it was physically impossible!! Yay!!! *sighs*
But I'm just a week behind on that still, because by the time I got the former thing finished I was All Out Of Brains, sigh. So I came home early, which was nice - much less crowded! - and pmuch just passed out on the floor, because... of course I did. *shakes head at self*
Watched this morning's lecture this evening, though, so even though time management failures to the extreme I think it's a net gain?? Probably.
And now going to bed and hopefully will actually get up when my alarm goes off in the morning!! Hopefully.
( spoilers for both series )
The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler's U-boats by William Gerouxby - I don't understand why this book was called seven brothers, Mathews is a county, not a family, and the book was about a much larger segment of society than seven brothers. Nonetheless, it was a fascinating look at a mostly forgotten part of WWII, and men who had a higher mortality rate than every military branch except the marines.
What are you reading?
One Way or Another by Annette Laing - No progress this week
The Jews of Khazaria by Kevin Alan Brook - I wonder if part of the reason we have so little information about these people is that they competed with the Russians, and eventually, the Russians won? I'm only 28% of the way through this book, which is surprising because he never references the idea that he'll introduce more evidence after chapter 8 and I'm already on chapter 6.
2 Kings - There's a lot of murder and death going on. I think it's succession wars?
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink - This book is more oriented towards businesses than I was expecting. It's still interesting, because it talks about ways to motivate people and stuff, but I am not the intended audience.