I'm bored
What are fun things to bake? Bonus points for making meaningful use of coconut oil, of which I bought a jar for homemade makeup experiments which only used like maybe 1/8th of what I have. (I know I can probably substitute coconut oil for most things, and also it's processed in some way which means it no longer tastes like coconut. So probably I will just end up using it instead of whatever oil my recipe calls for, but.)

edit: I ended up making tahini chocolate chip cookies, haphazardly adapted from this recipe: http://www.dessertfortwo.com/2014/03/tahini-chocolate-chunk-cookies/ which I didn't realize was scaled for two servings until I'd gotten partway in, so then I quadrupled the proportions on the fly, except I didn't really believe that I needed four eggs so I only used two ... They came out very crumbly and oily, but also quite delicious.

also, hello
I graduated from Harvard!

Um! I probably did some other things between finishing my thesis in March and graduating, also? I'm sorry to any friends who are having a hard time keeping track of what's up in my life. I'm very much not good at keeping a diary, whether it's public or not. (If you like using chat services, I am more or less constantly on Google chat, Skype, Facebook chat, and AIM (though not the last lately, but I should get it set back up again soon), and I'm pretty good at keeping people updated via those. I'm also on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter a lot (the latter two of which are mainly reposts of the first) but I use them more for spreading things I find awesome than for talking about myself.)

I pretty much chilled for the last several months of my time at Harvard. I've been focusing as much as possible on job applications and finishing up Sassafrass kickstarter things. Right now I'm pretty sick, but once that wears off I'm going to start chipping away on those two seemingly-endless tasks again. Also I need to go through the various things of mine I've been storing at my parents' house and basically recategorize everything I own into "take with me", "leave in Newton", and "get rid of".

Take with me where? To New York! I'm moving to New York soon, probably around the end of June, but the timing isn't exact yet because I don't know when an apartment will be available to me/whether I'll need to be there sooner for any reason. (Apartment recommendations are possibly worthwhile, but it's kinda complicated because I'll be moving in with Adam, who needs to be fairly close to his work which is downtown, meaning my range of possible places to live is limited and does not include most cheap neighborhoods. Sigh.) I'm quite excited for the move, and more generally for getting out into the world on my own. The plan is to work in publishing, with the possible further plan of grad school eventually. (Job recommendations are VERY appreciated if you have them.)

If you live around Boston, we should hang out before I leave! I'm in Newton, more or less free all the time, and can often borrow my parents' car or bike to things, but I need advance warning for either. I also can't guarantee I'll be available in the immediate future because I'm too sick to bike long distances like Newton to Cambridge, or to drive. (This doesn't mean I'm crazy sick, I just really hate driving and am bad at it, so feel that the degree of exhaustion/out-of-it-ness that comes with even a moderate cold is enough to suggest I shouldn't do it.)

How are you all doing?



thesis update

So ... there's good thesis news and bad thesis news. On average more good than bad, but the bad is pretty scary and kind of intertwined with the good. A week ago, I had a really intense bout of anxiety (maybe also depression?). I just felt like shit all day and pretty much nothing I did helped for longer than I was actively doing it. Things got to a very, very low point. Fortunately, I could tell I was in a bad way and I didn't try to push myself, and the next day when I met my advisor he made sure I got the help I needed. In the past week I've met with two different psychiatrists, and tomorrow I'm meeting with my resident dean.

Now the good news: I have the English and WGS departments' permission to hand in my thesis at the WGS department deadline, March 13, rather than the English department deadline, March 3. My friends have been supporting me really wonderfully. My advisor has been so helpful, so understanding, just ... so good, I can barely articulate it. And, due I'm sure in no small part to all of that, my thesis is actually going really well. A week ago I was terrified that I wouldn't finish. Now I'm confident that I will and I'm excited about making it good.

I'm making this post primarily because I want my friends to know that my social media pause is going to be continuing until the 13th. Also, I want to reassure anyone who might be worrying about how my thesis is going. It was going pretty poorly, and I'm still in a very weird and variable emotional state, but with all the support I have, I'm going to make it through with something I'm proud of. Thanks so much to everyone who has and is continuing to help me out. I'll be back to constantly posting selfies on the 13th.

PSA: going off LJ for a while
In the interest of hoarding my spoons for use exclusively on my thesis, I will be quitting most social media, including LJ, until March 3 (the due date). If you need to get in touch with me, try e-mail or phone.

2013 year-end summary
I decided to make a year-end post out of a Tumblr askmeme I reblogged!
1: What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Bought hip-hop albums, and more generally got into current hip-hop and pop music. I’d sort of been trying to make myself like hip-hop for years and I’m pretty sure that what happened is that I had to train my ear to appreciate the genre, that took time, and I kept giving up before I was done, but this summer it finally took. And I’m extremely glad because dance music and music that centers unashamed pride were two pretty essential needs for my
survival living at home this summer.
2: Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make new year's resolutions, and I normally don't.
3: Did anyone close to you give birth?
4: Did anyone close to you die?
5: What countries did you visit?
Canada, for Farthing Party.
6: What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A jooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooob
or a fellowship that would also work
7: What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
There’s really no dates as in numbers I’ll remember. But I’ll always remember both performances of Sundown.
8: What was your biggest achievement of the year?
The week at the end of the spring semester when I finished my two junior papers and launched a very successful Kickstarter.
9: What was your biggest failure?
The general lack of doing things this summer.
10: Did you suffer illness or injury?
I certainly had plenty of colds and minor injuries, as I pretty much always do. I'm pretty sure I worsened my back significantly, but I'm not sure whether that counts as "injury".
11: What was the best thing you bought?
Pink hair dye.
12: Whose behaviour merited celebration?
cosmicharuspex and heardofamiracle (neither of whom uses LJ much so they won't see me praising them :P). I have a lot of really lovely friends who have helped me in a lot of ways, but it's these two who really keep me whole.
13: Whose behaviour made you appalled?
The acquaintance who I finally decided to no longer speak to this winter.
14: Where did most of your money go?
Exploring femininity. It is kind of expensive. :<
15: What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Pacific Rim!
16: What song will always remind you of 2013?
Any of the songs on Sundown obviously will make me think of the process of rehearsing/performing/recording/etc. Also probably Summertime Sadness since it was this summer that I heard that song/realized that this thing where I feel depressed in the summer is a pattern. I encountered a lot more music this year that I like a lot better but I’m pretty sure I’m going to continue listening to all of that and form new associations with it all.
17: Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
(a): I think I'm sadder now than I was last year, because instead of having just finished a hard but successful semester in which I started to really understand how to approach theory, I've finished an exhausting semester in which I did too much and I'm looking forward to graduating with a lot of dread. But I don't think the difference in day-to-day emotional state is actually huge.
(b) About the same, physically? Maybe slightly heavier? I honestly don't know.
(c) Definitely poorer.
18: What do you wish you’d done more of?
19: What do you wish you’d done less of?
Panicking about the future.
20: How did you spend Christmas?
At home with my immediate family, and also with visiting extended family who I hadn't seen in ages but ended up to like quite a bit.
21: Did you fall in love in 2013?
Not with anyone I wasn't already in love with.
22: What was your favourite TV program?
Either Adventure Time or Gravity Falls, hard to say.
23: Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
24: What was the best book you read?
I’ll go with Do Metaphors Dream of Literal Sleep? by Seo-Young Chu, an incredible work of sf theory that is forming a linchpin of my thesis.
25: What was your greatest musical discovery?
Kanye West.
26: What did you want and get?
Love from my friends and family. Physical safety. General physical health. Anxiety medication.
27: What did you want and not get?
Anxiety medication without objectionable side effects. Security about my future.
28: What was your favourite film of this year?
Pacific Rim, you guys!
29: What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Anxiety medication! Because it is hard to feel satisfied when you are always convinced that you're failing.
30: How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
I want to be a shiny colorful elegant creature. I want to look obviously unreal as often as possible.
31: What kept you sane?
Music and femme aesthetics that made me feel like a badass. Also, I mean, not to harp on this, but anxiety medication, in a very literal sense.
32: Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Probably Janelle Monae! But a lot of other amazing people could also go here. Rinko Kikuchi. Nicki Minaj. Tom Mison. I’m probably forgetting a ton.
33: What political issue stirred you the most?
Sexual harassment and safety in the communities that matter to me.
34: Who did you miss?
heardofamiracle, after May. cosmicharuspex, all summer long. storyspoiler and reversepolarity.
35: Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
DON'T TAKE FIVE COURSES. And don't try to get work done in your parents' house.
36: Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Am I weird to dance alone late at night? / And is it true we’re all insane? / And I just tell em no we ain’t and get down"

I gave money to a man singing Good King Wenceslas today, because honestly, how could you not?
I also retrieved my bicycle, which is good, because I'm now at my parents' place for winter break and it's convenient to have a bicycle when you live in Newton and want to spend time in Cambridge. Though who knows if it'll actually be even remotely sensible to bike anytime soon.

As Christmas gifts, I am making socks for three of my immediate family members and baking something for the fourth; I am not giving any other Christmas gifts because I have sort of run out of money. My apologies if I've given you gifts in the past and am not doing so now.

My semester is OVER and I survived it but gosh five courses was a bad plan. I mean, not that I'll know quite how bad until I get my grades, probably not terribly bad, but it didn't feel great. I ought to do significant work on my thesis over the break and have brought books home in order to enable this. (The bike also enables this, as it allows me to quickly and easily head to the local library, either to get more books or to work; after this summer I think I have learned not to try to work from my parents' house.) Next semester: three courses. I already know what they all are. The only way this could change would be if the English department unexpectedly offers another better poetry course that fits the requirement, or if Peter Kuper's graphic novel class out of the VES department turns out to be about making, not analyzing, comics. I am having to miss out on taking a class with Gayle Rubin, which is sad as she's kind of a big deal (you can look her up on Wikipedia yourself, but tl;dr she is an important theorist of sexuality and she's visiting Harvard this spring).

I finished watching the anime Black Lagoon and loved it desperately and confusedly. It's all about terrible people doing mostly terrible things! The central theme is the slow corruption of a good person! But I don't find it depressing, for complex and personal reasons. Also it's very funny and charming, that helps a lot. I need to watch a lot more TV because I have all those socks to knit, so recommendations are appreciated. I'm on a bit of an animation kick lately but I have eclectic tastes. (Also I somewhat prefer shows that I can watch legally, i.e. on Hulu or the network's website or I can get the DVDs from the library.)


"I first met her in a dream ... Or something ..."
This is an adaptation of one of the scenes from the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica into a pageant play. (This, like the Anglo-Saxon style poem, was for a class.) You can find the transcript I used here. I highly recommend the series; it’s only 12 half-hour episodes long and it’s really excellent. (This scene is from the first episode, so don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler.)

Read more...Collapse )

My hair is two-toned now
More info on my life at some point, but in the meanwhile, enjoy this selfie:
2013-11-09 11.53.13

Pacific Rim!
A number of people on my friends-list have seen and enjoyed Pacific Rim. I more or less agree with everything they all have to say; it's really good, it totally succeeds at the admirable action-movie goals it sets for itself, it's about communal effort rather than individual heroism. But my Pacific Rim review is going to be a little different. (No spoilers follow.)
Why I am now going to watch as much mecha anime as I canCollapse )


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