Livre d'Or
Feeding the curiosaur








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Friday, May 20th, 2016




GIP
Friday, 20 May 2016 at 05:45 pm
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Remember when we used to make posts to show off new icons? Well, I have the most adorable students ever: for an end-of-term present they made me a custom mug with a little cartoon of me teaching the class about p53. I asked the artist if I could use the cartoon as a profile pic, so here it is. (Click through to DW to see both the icon and the full-sized version.)

I am so very endeared by this. In fact, I squee'd so much when I saw it that my students declared me adorable, which I'm not sure is how it's supposed to work. But hey, I like 'adorable' better than 'intimidating'. (They've also given me a 100% positive evaluation this term, which is going to be very nice evidence to present at my appraisal next week.)

Full size original behind the cut - I think maybe it wants cropping a bit closer so it's just the picture of me, as you can't see the detail of the molecule or my speech bubble. I do love that my characteristic comment is "coolness", which I totally picked up from [personal profile] lethargic_man.

pic of Liv teaching all about p53Collapse )

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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: touchedtouched
Tuuuuune: Dar Williams: The Christians and the Pagans
Discussion: 1 contribution | Contribute something
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Monday, May 9th, 2016




Milestones
Monday, 09 May 2016 at 07:07 pm


The quad is mostly non-escalator relationships, though it does contain two married couples who live together and in my OSOs' case have children. It's more like, as we spend more time together we have more shared experiences and more closeness. And we've just noticed that it's a year and a half since we got together, and there are some small new things to report.

diary stuffCollapse )

Meanwhile I'm handling a potentially career-threatening crisis at work in the middle of my busiest month of teaching, which is why I'm not very present online or in one-to-one communications lately. Definitely getting to spend time with my loves and put work stress out of my mind at weekends has been helping a lot in coping with this. But I'm hoping to be more in communication soon.

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Moooood: lovedloved
Tuuuuune: Allo Darlin': Heartbeat chilli
Discussion: 3 contributions | Contribute something
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Wednesday, April 27th, 2016




Reading Wednesday 27/04
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 12:57 pm


Recently read: Lots of really great stuff on my reading lists currently. I recommend:


Currently reading: Still Ghost spin, by Chris Moriarty. It was a bit slow to start in a way but it's picking up and is doing lots of cool stuff with the same character in multiple timelines.

Up next: The next thing on my extremely slow reading challenge list is A book with a color in the title. I've just sent most of my to-read books back to my real house with [personal profile] jack, so I can't look through them and see if anything qualifies. rysmiel gave me Burning days by Glenn Grant as a belated birthday present, so that's a likely choice. Or maybe some of the genuine Hugo nominees; I've been meaning to pick up Uprooted by Naomi Novik for a while.

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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: workingworking
Tuuuuune: Suzanne Vega: Tom's Diner
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Tuesday, April 26th, 2016




B'seder
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 at 11:49 am
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Yes, obvious pun, sorry. Anyway, the point is that I was really stressed about the beginning of Pesach and actually it was totally fine.

seder reports are a bit of a tradition by nowCollapse )

And at the end of the week I get to run a seder for my partners and their children. I was sort of hoping parents would join us if not invite the whole crowd of five extra people to their seder, but it's really not practically feasible this year. They are being really supportive with lots of advice, though, so I feel loved and accepted. I am trying not to get into a mindset of being excessively nervous because I want my loves' first ever seder to be perfect. We've been having lots of good conversations about doing the seder in an appropriately interfaith way.

If you've ever been a non-Jewish guest at a seder, please do comment with what sorts of things were helpful and welcoming, or what was confusing and alienating. I'm happy to hear suggestions from Jewish friends too, of course, but I'd particularly like to know about people's direct experiences.

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Moooood: fullfull
Tuuuuune: The New Pornographers: Sing me Spanish techno
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Tuesday, April 19th, 2016




I have awesome friends
Tuesday, 19 April 2016 at 11:58 pm
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In summary, I had a really excellent weekend followed by quite a major come-down when I had to come back to campus and leave my people behind. This is becoming a bit more of a pattern than I'd really like. Also, Passover starts on Friday and I'm involved in three seders and three households worth of cleaning and I'm a bit snowed under.

yay friends, boo geographyCollapse )

I have a big backlog of stuff I want to post about, but I'm scrabbling for time, so let's start with just a bit of babbling about what's going on in my life.

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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: stressedfrazzled
Tuuuuune: Hazel O'Connor: Will you?
Discussion: 1 contribution | Contribute something
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Thursday, April 14th, 2016




Trigger warnings again
Thursday, 14 April 2016 at 12:32 pm
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So I'm pretty intensely pro trigger warnings. I generally agree with people like [personal profile] jimhines: that it's nonsense to consider TWs as censorship. Most of the arguments I've seen against TWs are like Stephen Fry's nonsense (which started this round of the debate), people who feel that the highest moral principle at stake is their so-called free speech right to bully people who are already getting crapped on by society.

more discussion of the TWs question, with some abstract mentions of the sorts of things that may need TWsCollapse )

But that's why I'm a lot more concerned about students getting too little support than too much, anyway.

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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: okayokay
Tuuuuune: Eleanor McEvoy: The rain falls
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Tuesday, April 12th, 2016




Catching up
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 at 01:50 pm
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Things that are awesome:



Things that are decidedly not awesome: My cooker decided to die completely near the beginning of rysmiel's visit. Fixing it is probably going to be both expensive and a hassle, and meanwhile I can only cook at all with a microwave, which is really irritating. Besides, I shall probably have to throw out most of the groceries I acquired for feeding to rysmiel.

Also there is too much geography and too little time, and I want to see more of my people but can't see my way to sort out any of the relevant logistics.

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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: lovedloved
Tuuuuune: Broadside Electric: Por la tu puerta
Discussion: 1 contribution | Contribute something
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Monday, April 4th, 2016




Ethical capitalism
Monday, 04 April 2016 at 12:22 pm
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Lots of people don't believe in ethical capitalism, for various reasons. Maybe they think capitalism is inherently unethical as a system and if you participate in it at all you're tainted. Or they think that consumer choices don't really have important ethical consequences. Or they think it's unfair that the extra costs of ethical business practices should be borne by the consumer, meaning that buying ethically becomes a kind of luxury. Or they are Effective Altruists who hold that that the good that can be done by buying the cheapest possible goods and spending the difference on efficient charities that cure childhood illnesses in the developing world outweighs the harm done by increasing the profit of companies that exploit their workers. And all of those criticisms have some merit, but I'm still an idealistic capitalist at heart, so I still worry about these issues.

One place where it's particularly acute is electronics. I am not the kind of ascetic who could live without a smartphone, and I worry a lot about the resource and labour implications of buying the things frequently. But right now my trusty three-year-old Galaxy Note II is on its way to becoming unusable as its battery won't hold charge any more. I am reluctant to replace it with a new shiny phone, though it may come down to that because as mentioned I am not prepared to live without my mobile phone, and if I can only use it when plugged in then I basically don't have a mobile phone any more.

So, I would like some advice:
sorting through optionsCollapse )

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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: irritatedirritated
Tuuuuune: Lillasyster: Umbrella (Rihanna cover)
Discussion: 8 contributions | Contribute something
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Friday, April 1st, 2016




Film: Zootropolis
Friday, 01 April 2016 at 03:41 pm
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Reasons for watching it: It sounded cute and [personal profile] jack and Judith wanted to see it.

Circumstances of watching it: ghoti was super organized and managed to book tickets for all of us to see a popular new release on bank holiday Monday when every family in Cambridge wanted to go to the cinema. Which meant I got to sit next to Judith and she could cling onto me during the scary bits. That was somewhat of a novelty, up to now she's never really come to me for comfort. Though being pleasurably scared by a film is not the same as being actually scared, but even so.

I'm super proud of myself because I cycled to the cinema, the one in the leisure park behind the station, from our home in north Cambridge. That's my first attempt at cycling through town; the roads were mostly fairly quiet due to the bank holiday, but not completely without traffic. And the longest distance I've cycled in one go, not quite four miles out and I still had just enough energy to come back. [personal profile] jack was really helpful at coaching me in dealing with tricky junctions and other road awareness stuff, which is what I most struggle with at the moment, and also took charge of the navigation so I didn't have to worry about that.

I'm really slow, but I always knew I was going to be a slow cyclist, and cycling to the cinema was still faster than taking a bus. Also more convenient and companionable because we could all cycle back together; my people have been really accommodating about taking the bus because of me not being confident at cycling, but it's clearly easier for everybody if we can all cycle. The advantage of being slow was that we could actually chat at the same time as travelling in a little convoy. Andreas noted that I'm not very good at cycling, so I told him that's why I need practice, and having done that once I now feel pretty confident that I will fairly quickly get to the point where I can use the bike as a viable means of transport.

I did completely crash when I got in in the evening; I knew I was hungry and tried to eat enough to replenish my used up calories, but I was still pretty shaky and exhausted. I think that's something that will get better with more experience, or else I need to increase my estimate of how much extra I need to eat on days I spend a couple of hours cycling.

Verdict Zootropolis is really sweet, but probably doesn't want to be thought about too hard.

detailed review, discussing metaphorical racismCollapse )

So I don't know, it's all good fun, but I wasn't able to turn off my brain quite enough to fully enjoy it.

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Whereaboooots: Zootropolis
Moooood: uncomfortableuncomfortable
Tuuuuune: Bella Morte: The rain within her hands
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Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016




World poetry day
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 at 12:31 pm
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Apparently it's world poetry day, which I didn't know until I started seeing lots of cool poems on my reading page. I particularly loved (though I don't fully understand it) this Auden quoted by [personal profile] kalypso: In praise of limestone

I feel like I ought to be the kind of person who would immediately think of a poem to put here when I belated discovered that somewhere in the nation of internet we're celebrating poetry. But I'm not really, I'm not immersed in poetry to that extent. Like, I have some favourite poems, but they're mostly really obvious dead white men ones that I studied in school, or more often that my Dad learned in school, when the curriculum was even more heavily slanted towards the obvious Romantics. I mean, I love Kipling and Housman and Auden, but who doesn't, from my sort of background? And even with poets I claim to love, I often only know their most obvious pieces, the ones that get quoted in books like 'the nation's hundred favourite poems' and used as markers of having the right sort of education. And my poetry books are in Keele, not here, but I could probably find something in one of [personal profile] jack's anthologies, my tastes are obvious enough.

My brother [twitter.com profile] angrysampoet posted a really thinky blog post recently, which is about lots of different things, including how he's managed to transcend just liking the obvious things that everybody with our kind of upbringing likes, and become a professional poet who's very much involved in the contemporary poetry scene: Slam poetry is a genre. I disagree with him about some points, particularly where he falls into the lazy reflex of blaming social media for the ills of our generation, but there's a lot to think about in his piece.

Particularly: People who write poems once or twice in their life for someone’s birthday or Valentine’s Day will write in cliché. And yeah, that's kind of me, I've written more than two poems in my life but not a lot more, and most of what I write is cliché because I don't write – or read – enough. It's not that I have ambitions to be a professional poet like my brother, it's that what he's saying fits into stuff I've thinking about to do with making creative stuff more accessible to people who just want to do it for fun (shout-out to [personal profile] mirabehn who's been talking interestingly about this topic elsewhere). I want to do more creating, not because I want to compete and be the best poet, or because I want to make money at it, but because creating stuff is satisfying and uplifting, and because when I do write poems for friends and lovers I'd like what I write to be a worthy gift and not just a thing they put up with because they like the gesture.

There are probably other creative things I could be doing more of, writing fiction as well as blog posts, possibly drawing. The other day Judith got me to join her in a drawing challenge, and I think I should follow her example of getting into the habit of just sketching things, not for any particular reason other than that it's fun.

But anyway, I wanted to say I'm most grateful to people who post poetry, their own or other peoples', whether for World Poetry Day or any other reason. You're doing a good thing by making poetry something that 'normal' people can enjoy, without proving a point about talent or social status or anything else.

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Whereaboooots: Pumbedita House, Cambridge, England
Moooood: thoughtfulthoughtful
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Thursday, March 17th, 2016




Unpopular opinions about pegging
Thursday, 17 March 2016 at 09:02 pm
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So two posts about terrible letters to agony aunts crossed my radar recently:

[personal profile] oursin: Sexual bucket list WHAT?, and [community profile] agonyaunt: Women need to loosen up. In the Guardian column, the writer asks for validation of his desire to either cheat on his wife or pressure her into anal sex. And in the Dear Abby one, the writer wants his wife to give him an exceptionally nice surprise and stop being so inhibited. I mean, both of these are entirely gross and inconsiderate and in both cases the agony aunts and the DW commenters quite rightly slate the men concerned. But what's bothering me is that both the comment discussions go in directions of jokes along the lines of, bet these awful men wouldn't be so keen if their wives suggested doing them with a strap-on! (Paraphrasing rather that quoting, because the point is not to get at the particular people who made these kinds of jokes, but to talk in general about that sort of rhetoric).

grumpy and somewhat sexually explicitCollapse )

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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: grumpygrumpy
Tuuuuune: The Delgados: Thirteen gliding principles
Discussion: 1 contribution | Contribute something
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Monday, March 14th, 2016




Look at this amazing thing!
Monday, 14 March 2016 at 03:50 pm
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So you know that silly thing on Tumblr where people complain about new-fangled linguistic conventions, and people try to repeat the complaint in older and older styles of English? Well, [personal profile] lethargic_man has made a real version of this, reading the first chapter of Genesis in English starting from 500 and gradually updating the language until the current day. It's a seriously amazing piece of work, no, not rigorous academic scholarship, but he's looked stuff up properly rather than making a guess based on vague half-remembered history of English classes.

1500 years of English. It's a video; the audio track is the main point, but the words are written across the screen showing how written English evolved too. So it's inherently somewhat accessible though not as useful if you can't hear the audio, and you get most of the point without the visuals, so I don't think there's much to be gained by a text description.

I think lots of you may appreciate this, [personal profile] highlyeccentric and [personal profile] forthwritten and [personal profile] pne spring to mind, but I bet there are lots of other people I haven't thought of who will be impressed.

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Whereaboooots: History
Moooood: impressedimpressed
Tuuuuune: Ulysses Classical 1200 Years of women composers on Spotify
Discussion: 3 contributions | Contribute something
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Thursday, March 10th, 2016




Letter
Thursday, 10 March 2016 at 11:16 pm
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[personal profile] azurelunatic revived a meme from several months back, where you answer some questions with a particular letter of the alphabet. This is what I said a year ago for A. And now Azz has given me G, so:

memeCollapse )

Comment for a letter, if you don't mind a second round of the meme.

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Whereaboooots: Dreamwidth
Moooood: tiredtired
Tuuuuune: Tindersticks: The not knowing
Discussion: 2 contributions | Contribute something
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Wednesday, March 9th, 2016




Language and disability
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 at 11:06 am
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There is quite a lot of controversy about what language is appropriate to use for discussing disability. In terms of talking about people, the obviously polite and ethical thing to do is to refer to people using the terms they prefer, and not impose other ones on anyone for any reason. But I'm quite often talking generically, or talking about a stranger whose preferences I don't know. discussion of appropriate and inappropriate languageCollapse )

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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Tuuuuune: Bellowhead: Captain Wedderburn
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Monday, March 7th, 2016




Mobile gaming with kids
Monday, 07 March 2016 at 06:07 pm
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I spent the weekend with ghoti's ex, celebrating his fortieth birthday. I like living the kind of life where I can write that sort of sentence! Anyway, the party itself was very cool, it had good food, and really impressive fancy cake made by [twitter.com profile] planetxanna, and interesting conversation; my girlfriend's ex introduced me to someone who's just submitted her PhD thesis on early Christian art history as someone who would be interested in her academic field.

And yes, I was indeed very interested, and also quite flattered that a host would think that was a useful way to make a connection between me, professionally a natural scientist, and another guest. I learned about this third century synagogue where not only is there representational art, which doesn't surprise me that much for the period, but actual images more or less of God, namely a hand coming out of the clouds, as you commonly see in lots of much later Christian art when they're less squeamish about drawing pictures of God.

mobile gamesCollapse )

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Whereaboooots: Leeds, England, UK
Moooood: tiredtired
Tuuuuune: Poe: Angry Johnny
Discussion: 9 contributions | Contribute something
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Thursday, March 3rd, 2016




Worth reading
Thursday, 03 March 2016 at 12:15 pm
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No real theme, just people being interesting:



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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: workingworking
Tuuuuune: The Pogues: Rain Street
Discussion: 7 contributions | Contribute something
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Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016




Modern memes are rubbish
Wednesday, 02 March 2016 at 12:20 pm
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Facebook memes are so much less fun than the old-school LJ kind (and those annoying kids should get off my virtual lawn). Anyway, ghoti ranted about that awful 27 ways to love me FB meme, which is barely even a meme, it's just a series of stock photos of young, thin, apparently white and heterosexual couples with banal words printed on them in a font that looks slightly less dated than Impact. Ten years ago it would have been a quiz where you could select which of the 27 things apply to you, much more fun, and much less assuming that all relationships are the same, and all women want things that can easily be marketed to them.

So in the spirit of 2006, I am going to transplant the meme to DW, and I'm going to make up my own list of 27 things, not just click share on an extruded marketing product, and I'm going to write the list in text not images of words. And I'm not going to assume that all love is coupley romantic love or a prize for young pretty people who buy the right things. And I'm not going to call it ways to love me because I can't decide for anyone else how they should experience love, but rather ways to make me feel loved, because I do know my own reactions.

mememeCollapse )

Currently reading: Ghost spin, by Chris Moriarty. I'm enjoying the writing and the beautifully detailed world-building, even though I am a bit annoyed by the set-up for this third book in the trilogy.

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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: okayokay
Tuuuuune: Qntal: Dulcis amor
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Monday, February 29th, 2016




Anniversary!
Monday, 29 February 2016 at 06:40 pm


So eight years ago, on 29th February, I asked Jack out and he said yes. And then some years elapsed where we decided the relationship was in fact serious and long-term, and I moved back to England and we had lots of detailed discussions and eventually got engaged. Four years ago, on 29th February, we did not exactly celebrate the anniversary of getting together, because we were too busy getting married. So today is a day that I couldn't have begun to imagine in 2008, and seemed impossibly far away even in 2012: our first ever wedding anniversary.

contains soppyCollapse )

We had hoped to do something really exciting for our first! ever! anniversary! but when it came to it, we're both just over-stretched and tired, so we opted for just a weekend in a little self-catering cottage (with, amazingly, its own semi-working water mill!) in the countryside not far from me. And we mostly spent the weekend staying in and cuddling and playing board games and watching a low-effort film. We managed a couple of meals out in indifferent pubs, and a half-hour stroll in what is a very pretty but not too touristy area. And we had a few relationship conversations of the kind that you often don't get time for in daily life. But basically we were just tired, and needed a weekend to recharge. It was extremely lovely to be able to do that together, I must say.

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Whereaboooots: Moddershall, Stone, Staffordshire
Moooood: lovedloved
Tuuuuune: Imogen Heap: Glittering clouds
Discussion: 5 contributions | Contribute something
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Wednesday, February 24th, 2016




Reading Wednesday 24/2
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 at 02:44 pm


Recently acquired:
Recently read: Not a lot, various miscellaneous internet things but nothing that I'm burning to share with you. So have the always worthwhile Debbie Cameron on Crap apps and female email, where she takes down the idea that sexism is caused by women being too feminine, particularly in their style of communication.

Currently reading: Ghost spin, by Chris Moriarty. The third in a trilogy where I loved the first two, but I'm dubious about this final book because so far the first chapter has killed off my favourite character. I suspect he's going to turn out to be complicatedly dead, but I dislike Gandalf plots where the vitally important character isn't dead after all nearly as much as I dislike my fave characters dying, so I'm suspicious. Given how much I loved the first two books I'm not giving up yet, though.

Up next: Don't know, I've only just started the Moriarty. Probably one of my exciting valentines presents.

In other news, I had a weekend I crammed way too much into, but the scraps of time I got with my people were really good. I had a sort of rushed semi-date with ghoti late Friday night and Saturday morning before breakfast and the day's obligations. And then the afternoon at Andreas' fourth birthday party; I've not recently had enough young children in my social circles to do that much, but I do enjoy parties that are based on playing and food and where you get a party bag to take home.

In the evening I managed to go out for a meal with [personal profile] jack, at The Plough, a local gastropub we're quite fond of. But again, only a fragment of a date, really, and we had to leave early on Sunday morning to squeeze in a brief visit to my grandmother, her daughter who is my aunt and who is currently visiting from Australia, and my brother Screwy who is Granny-sitting while parents are travelling. Which was rushed mostly through my own fault because I also wanted to see [personal profile] doseybat and pplfichi at the latter's birthday party, and before Bat goes abroad for fieldwork for some weeks.

Lots of my people are going through hard times right now, and I'm helplessly sad about it. If I talk about it at all it'll be in locked post, but it's getting me down a bit even though my direct actual life is really good at the moment.

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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: worriedworried
Tuuuuune: The Cure: Pictures of you
Discussion: Contribute something
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Thursday, February 18th, 2016




The only
Thursday, 18 February 2016 at 11:40 pm


I've spent my life being the only Jewish person in most social contexts. When I was tiny, younger than school age I think, I tried to explain the High Holy Days to my Dad's best friend from university; I remember vividly the intense embarrassment at having made a social misstep, but also the sheer surprise at discovering that someone other than family, met outside a Jewish context, could also be Jewish.

I was the only Jewish kid in my nursery school. My brother and I had to go up on stage a week or so after I started full-time school to demonstrate to the other pupils that we were normal children just like them and nobody should pick on us for being Jewish. That could have backfired, but in fact it didn't, it was only really in junior school that I got bullied for being the only Jewish kid, and that was caused by a couple of teachers who had a problem with it and egged the other children on to be horrible to me. In secondary school I wasn't the only, probably about 1% of the school body were Jewish, so that meant about one girl in each yeargroup, and I had to do lots of explaining, and had to sit out of RE class the term we "did" Judaism because the teacher was insecure about teaching in front of a student who knew more than she did. I obviously wasn't the only Jewish person at Oxford (!), but I it was a very common experience for me as a student that I would be the first Jewish person somebody had met. And when I lived in Scotland and Sweden, I was pretty much the only Jewish person in my work circles and other social groups, and often the only Jewish person in interfaith groups.

Now I'm semi-officially the Only Jewish Person at the university where I'm a lecturer. I mean, I'm not, not remotely, but nobody else is admitting to it and I'm the person the university calls on for official functions when they want some Diversity. They're in the process of doing bureaucracy to make this actually officially part of my role, with a title and terms of reference and everything. I somewhat flippantly describe it as being appointed as the institution's official token Jew, and that's only partly a joke.

So that's pretty much always been part of my experience. And now I'm the only Jewish person in my relationship, in the group of people whose lives are perhaps less intertwined than the most common meaning of the word family in a culture that has definite expectations of what a nuclear family looks like, but not a whole lot less. I mean, I was the only Jewish person in my relationship when it was just me and my husband, but being one out of two doesn't feel quite so much like being the odd one out as being the only Jewish one in a group that contains two culturally Christian atheists and four religious Catholics. Generally I'm pretty happy in this situation, but it's something that impacts on various parts of my life so I feel like talking about it a bit.

religion and relationshipsCollapse )

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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: contemplativecontemplative
Tuuuuune: VNV Nation: Genesis
Discussion: 17 contributions | Contribute something
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Tuesday, February 16th, 2016




New experiences
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 at 07:59 pm
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Hello! I haven't fallen off the planet, just a lot going on. Some new things that have happened lately: includes minor medical stuffCollapse )

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Whereaboooots: ST5 5AX
Moooood: busybusy
Tuuuuune: Poe: Fingertips
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Thursday, February 4th, 2016




The cure for cancer
Thursday, 04 February 2016 at 01:04 pm
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Some months back I read and was very impressed by Brooke Magnanti's long, erudite and informative article: The drugs won't work. It's basically an explanation of why the pharmacological revolution we have been expecting for the past ~20 years is probably not happening, and it covers a lot of information about how the pharma industry works and doesn't, as well as scientific information.

burbling about cancer researchCollapse )
So yeah, I feel positive about the idea that research is leading to better cancer treatments, even though I don't believe that The Cure is just round the corner.

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Whereaboooots: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Moooood: optimisticoptimistic
Tuuuuune: Jennie Abrahamson: What is true
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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016




Reading Wednesday 3/02
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 at 02:32 pm


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Whereaboooots: Barrayar
Moooood: contentcontent
Tuuuuune: Oysterband: One green hill
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Wednesday, January 27th, 2016




Reading links Wednesday 27/01
Wednesday, 27 January 2016 at 12:10 pm


Work has been intense lately, mainly because I'm about to go to Amsterdam for a conference where I'm presenting the data that my senior PhD student only actually finished on Friday. So apologies for radio silence; more when I get back.

I'm also studiously ignoring Holocaust Memorial Day because I just can't deal with the pieties in conjunction with the actual treatment of refugees and disabled people. Being away is a good excuse not to have to attend this kind of event. And yes, I know some people are actually doing valuable educational work, both on the internet and in person, but those people are not the ones who keep inviting me to stuff.

So, anyway, Reading Wednesday, just quickly.

Recently acquired: I had a very successful charity shop raid with [personal profile] angelofthenorth when she visited a couple of weekends ago, even acquiring some clothes that fill gaps in my wardrobe. We drove out to Buxton mainly to enjoy the view of the Peak District in the snow, and Buxton is one of those down-at-heel towns that has really good charity shops and antique shops and not much actual economic activity.

So anyway, I snagged King's Dragon by Kate Elliott, an author I like in principle but I'm a bit scared of her tendency to write huge multi-doorstep fantasies. So since I found the first in a definitely finished three-part trilogy, I thought I'd give it a go. And The constant gardner by John le Carré, which I've been intrigued by for a while.

Recently read: No fiction. I have been thinking a lot about this longread on disability by Johanna Hedva: Sick woman theory. I am not often convinced by the kind of extreme social model view that what we experience as illness is mainly a problem with capitalist society, but Hedva is saying something a lot more nuanced than some of the examples I've come across, and certainly doesn't fail to note that chronic pain is in fact objectively unpleasant, regardless of how society is organized. She's also discussing a wide range of interconnected topics, including the concept of "public", and she brings in a lot of fairly serious references to contemporary feminist thought.

Currently reading: More or less nothing, which is less weird for me than it was a few years ago, but still weird.

Up next: I'm not sure if I'm going to have time for reading when I travel or not, there's quite a lot of time on trains and ferries involved. Perhaps some long fanfics will get me back into the reading mood; I have both Your Blue-Eyed Boys by [archiveofourown.org profile] laleitha and and The World that You Need by [archiveofourown.org profile] dsudis on my e-reader, so I'll see.

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Whereaboooots: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Moooood: rushedrushed
Tuuuuune: Jewel: La morta
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Thursday, January 21st, 2016




Film: Tangled
Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 06:33 pm
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Reasons for watching it: I've seen lots of commentary about how Tangled does interesting things with the mother-daughter relationship, and anyway I was kind of interested in a novel take on the Rapunzel story.

Circumstances of watching it: [personal profile] angelofthenorth and I were trying to watch The perks of being a wallflower, but the file on her computer was messed up somehow. So we took a break and went to the supermarket to pick up some supplies, and I grabbed the DVD from the rack there.

Verdict: Tangled tells a great story with some really strong characterization.

detailed reviewCollapse )

It's also a very pretty film, I enjoyed the imagery throughout. The music is not amazing but Mother knows best is a pretty good number. So yes, on the whole I'm glad I bought the DVD on a whim because I wanted entertainment for the evening.

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Whereaboooots: Fairyland
Moooood: coldcold
Tuuuuune: Alice Cooper: Go to hell
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