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So far 2016 has destroyed my self-esteem, my self-confidence, my sense of self-worth, my faith in humanity, and my comfortable assumption that the world won't actually end in the next six months. And there's still three weeks left! Fun.

I did get this master's degree out of it, though, I guess that's something.

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Reading Wednesday

What I'm currently reading

I'm on a Barbara Hambly binge, so I'm rereading Dog Wizard -- actually the first or second Hambly book I ever read. (I either read this or Stranger at the Wedding first; I can't remember which since it was a few years ago. I didn't read The Silent Tower or The Silicon Mage until much later, and I don't know if I'll reread them this time, since they're not personal favorites.)

I have to do a book review for one of my PhD apps due next week, so I'm rereading Thinking Tools: Agricultural Slavery Between Evidence and Model by Ulrike Roth, which is a book on Roman slavery that's probably one of the best academic books on the subject I've ever read.

What I've just finished reading

I went on a sudden Barbara Hambly binge, so I ripped through Stranger at the Wedding and Bride of the Rat God (two of my favorites) pretty quickly, along with the novella set in the Rat God 'verse, Castle of Horror. (I desperately want a full-length sequel to Bride of the Rat God! Also another book in the Sisters of the Raven/Circle of the Moon 'verse if we're making requests. Though Barbara Hambly hasn't been writing much fantasy lately, I think?) I also went through Kindred of Darkness, since I had it out from the library. (For some reason that's the only one of the James Asher novels I don't own.)

I've been reading a lot this week, so I also went through the latest Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson book, Fire Touched (forever mildly bewildered those are set in the Tri-Cities, even if Briggs is a local), a reread of Mira Grant's Rolling in the Deep, and Star Wars: Servants of the Empire: Imperial Justice by Jason Fry for Rewatch.

What I'm reading next

Probably more Barbara Hambly, given the binge -- I've been itching to go at Sisters of the Raven and Circle of the Moon again, so those are most likely. I do also have some other books out from the library, including some Tamora Pierce (there's weirdly only one Pierce book I don't own, though I own the other two books in that trilogy so I don't know why I never bought Mastiff). I need to read the third SotE book for Rewatch, too, though it was technically on The Schedule for Sunday.

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5 things make a post

1. I very seldom go to the movies, because it's a bit of a hassle and it's expensive and I don't really have the patience for movies, so I prefer to watch them on my computer where I can pause them and walk away if need be, but I went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them weekend before last and Moana last weekend, and both movies were absolutely delightful.

1a. I wanted to see Fantastic Beasts while it was still in theatres because I knew that if I didn't, there was a pretty good chance I wouldn't see it for literally years (I still haven't seen any of the Marvel movies since Winter Soldier came out), especially since there was a lot of criticism of it on Tumblr well before it came out and I tend to be pretty susceptible to other people's opinions -- this is the reason I've stopped reading reviews and reactions and am wary of discussing things I enjoy with other people. Especially in this current age of "if you liked THING you are an IRREDEEMABLE MONSTER" and I have enough problems with that already, thank you.

2. On a related note, there's a particular strand of criticism that sometimes gets leveled at JKR that makes me really uncomfortable -- not the diversity or the representation or any of that, but the "she's beaten the HP world to death," "why doesn't she fulfill her duty as an author and write a new fantasy epic not set in the HP 'verse," "she's a failure," etc., which quite frankly baffles me, especially the second one. (Which I have actually seen, though I don't remember where. Tumblr, obviously.) I don't know what I'm getting at with this, but while there are certainly legitimate criticisms to be leveled, some of the entitlement (which is a rough word to sling around) there is really uncomfortable and upsetting to me.

3. Today was the first snow of the season here, and I am not in favor of it at ALL, though obvs it is good for various reasons including decreasing the chance of a drought (which means bad harvests and increased wildfires) next year. I just don't like being cold and I don't like snow: these are the reasons I moved to Louisiana in the first place.

4. Multi-day cooking or baking projects are not good for me: I don't have the attention span to do things two days in a row, especially if day two is a day when my mother is home, because I don't like doing things where other people can see me.

4a. I've had cookie dough languishing in the fridge since Thursday. Hopefully it's still all right to bake off if I do so tomorrow; I bought decorating tools and everything.

5. I've got applications due next week, so I am trying to buckle down and actually get them done, which means I am back in statement of purpose hell. I'm a good writer, but this is the kind of writing I'm the absolute worst at, and I wish I had someone to show them to. (Like, there are people I'd be okay showing them to, but I feel awkward asking.) I'm just really anxious about this because I don't know what I'll do if I don't get into graduate school, and also -- applying costs a lot of money. Between GRE scores and application fees, it's about a hundred bucks per school. I've got the money from my grandmother, but I hate paying that much for something that's not guaranteed, and I just...I don't know what I'll do otherwise. This is literally the only thing I'm good at or trained to do.

5a. Except write, and I've got deadlines for a handful of different sci-fi/fantasy short story submissions set aside and marked on my calendar. The only problem is that I very seldom write original fiction and I very seldom write short stories and I very seldom write anything to a prompt. I'd like to submit at least one thing, but I'd also have to write it, which means that I need to turn from fic to original, and at the moment I've been bashing my head against the same three chapters since May, so on the other hand I'd rather get those sorted so at least they're out of the damn way.

5b. I really miss being a student; I broke down at my mom the other day and sobbed "I just really miss writing research papers!" Which I do; I'll complain about it the entire time I'm doing so but I really do enjoy it.

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Wednesday reading meme

What I'm currently reading

I'm just finishing up a reread of Martha Wells' The Serpent Sea, and I'm still reading At Day's Close by A. Roger Ekirch. I've also started and put down a couple books since, so they're on the "sort of currently reading" list. I'm still stalled out on Ahsoka.

What I've just finished

For Rewatch I read Star Wars: Servants of the Empire: Rebel in the Ranks yesterday, and also reread The Gate of Gods by Martha Wells, finishing up the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy.

What I'm reading next

There's another Servants of the Empire book up tomorrow, so that will be up there, and then probably one of the stack of books I just took out from the library.

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Reading Wednesday

What I'm currently reading

I've been wanting to reread At Day's Close: Night in Times Past by A. Roger Ekirch for years (I originally read it when I was an undergrad), and I finally got a copy of it. I missed reading nonfiction so much, y'all -- there's nothing really stopping me from doing so, but I haven't done so in a few months now, and like...I'm an academic, I'm used to reading nonfiction all the time, especially coming straight off a master's thesis. At Day's Close is a study of night in medieval and early modern Europe (and some in the Americas) -- super interesting, if you like microhistory, and it's solid scholarship too.

I'm also on a reread of Martha Wells' The Serpent Sea, but I'm not really feeling it right now so I'll probably switch to something else. I'm stalled out on my Star Wars: Ahsoka reread.

What I've just finished reading

For Rewatch I just sort of skipped the interstitial novel section and moved onto the Rebels section, which actually kicks off with Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy by Jason Fry, so I read that on Sunday. (It was...a little too real, considering current events in the U.S. Except actually it ended up seeming too mild compared to current events in the U.S. and things like government reaction to protests.)

I also reread The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (total comfort read) -- I also sort of skimmed through a couple of Valdemar novels, but those don't really count since that was skimming for the familiar comforting parts, not the whole book. I also finished up Martha Wells' The Ships of Air, as well as the other two Barbara Hamilton novels, A Marked Man and Sup with the Devil.

What I'm reading next

The other three Servants of the Empire novels will be up sometime in the next week or two (when exactly is on The Schedule), and since I'm not feeling The Serpent Sea I'm absently skipping through my Kindle and trying to decide what to read. Maybe some Hambly, maybe some Pierce, who knows. We'll figure out what it was this time next week. I guess probably the third Fall of Ile-Rien novel.

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Wednesday reading meme

What I'm currently reading:

I'm on a reread of Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston for Rewatch; I meant to go through this in one day but it's taking me longer, so at this point I'm just hoping to have it done by the end of the week.

I'm also rereading The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells, and another Martha Wells short story from her collection Between Worlds.

What I've just finished reading:

House of Many Ways, by Diana Wynne Jones, which I started comfort-reading last week because ha, like the protagonist in a situation of great stress I also retreat into a book. It's not my favorite of DWJ's books by a long shot (Howl's Moving Castle is), but I'd wanted to reread it for a while and it was nice to go back to that world.

I started reading The Ninth Daughter by Barbara Hamilton (Barbara Hambly) on Election Day, then had to put it down because I was too angry and sad to read about Revolutionary War-era (or rather, immediately prior to -- the book takes place in 1772) America, and Abigail Adams would be so disappointed, y'all! HOW COULD WE DISAPPOINT ABIGAIL ADAMS THIS WAY anyway I picked it up again yesterday because I couldn't face Ahsoka again and I finished it this morning.

Even though Star Wars: Kenobi isn't part of Rewatch since it's Legends rather than canon, I wanted to reread it after RotS as it's my third-favorite Star Wars novel, and tbh it was the Star Wars story that I really needed after that week. I needed the small-scale and the perspective.

What I'm reading next:

Tarkin and Lords of the Sith are both supposed to be up for Rewatch, but I think I'm going to skip them because right now I just can't handle reading stories where the villains are the protagonists and win and acts of rebellion are put down and are ultimately futile except to get innocent people killed. I really mistimed putting The Schedule together, though in all fairness, I could not have predicted this back in August.

Star Wars: A New Dawn, which is one of my top two Star Wars novels, is up next and I've been looking forward to rereading that for a while now. I've also got the other two Barbara Hamilton novels and I'm mid-series reread on two separate Martha Wells series, as well.

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Nov. 16th, 2016

Wow, I've never been so angry I'm literally dizzy before.

Someday someone is going to ask me how anyone could possibly relate to the Old Republic Jedi, and I'm going to be forced to answer "because I spend so much of my life training myself not to actively react emotionally to things that now I don't know how to do so in a healthy way."

I have a lot of emotional reactions to things, and for various reasons I don't trust my emotions. This is fine, sort of (not really, since this has obviously fucked me up in some spectacular ways), if I'm just dealing with me, if I'm dealing with other people...not so much. Apparently "I don't know how to react to this" is not an appropriate response, even if it is a true one.

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5 good things

1. I've been watching a lot of River Monsters lately because it's very soothing, and it always delights me how much the host loves fish. HE JUST LOVES FISH SO MUCH, GUYS! EVEN THE VICIOUS MAN-EATING ONES!

2. Last night's Dancing with the Stars was really good, and I've been watching James, Sharna, and Jenna's trio jive and Laurie, Val, and Maks' trio samba over and over again all day.

3. I got a tiny Black Series Inquisitor's TIE to go with my Ghost, B-wing, and Poe's X-wing, and I am delighted by the fact that the wings fold down and the hatch pops up. (I do wish the tee-tiny Black Series figures were proportionate to each other, since they're all about the same size.)

4. Some recipes I've made recently that I really like: the Holy $#!% Pulled Pork and Pork Enchiladas with Shredded Pork Sauce from Freddie Prinze Jr.'s Back to the Kitchen, this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork from Shutterbean, this Baked Nashville Hot Chicken from A Cozy Kitchen, and this Slow Cooker Jambalaya from Budget Bytes. (I'm not in love with the jambalaya, because it tastes like something's missing, but it's really good. And that might just be me going "this doesn't taste exactly like the Cafe Maspero's!")

5. One of my best friends is getting married, and she sent me a picture of her wedding dress and it is SO PRETTY and I'm so happy for her.

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1. My mother got back from Japan today, so now I'm no longer alone in the house and just taking care of myself. And now things have to be back on a certain kind of schedule again, instead of just whenever I feel.

2. I've been working on our semi-feral barn cats (Convor, Fyrnock, Tibidee, Dokma, and Romulus Augustulus -- he's the only male), and after months Fyrnock, the bravest of them, finally let me pet her. She's still pretty unsure about it, but she hasn't tried to scratch me or anything, and every time I go out to feed the cats she winds around my feet and rubs against me. The others are still keeping their distance -- Dokma's never come out from behind the spray rig -- but at least Fyrnock!

2a. Yes, I named my cats after critters from Star Wars Rebels. Except for Romulus Augustulus, obviously.

3. I'm dissociating a little, or maybe a lot, from the whole...politics thing. (You know the thing, everyone knows the thing.) If I think about it I freak out; if I don't, I'm also thinking about how I'm not thinking about it and then I feel guilty/bad/terrible about that. It's...a lot.

more on thisCollapse )

4. I've been scratching open my ear again, so that's...fun. It's a stress thing, I suspect.

5. tbh at this point my entire attitude is "dear god we're all going to die, what is the point of anything."

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I want to say one more thing, I think. Moving onto anger from sadness, hey, a different step in the grieving process!

I’m not ashamed of being an American. I love this country, warts and all. Has America done some shitty, shitty things in its time? Hell yeah. One happened yesterday. Were some of the people involved in the founding of America terrible human beings? Yeah. Is America doing terrible, awful things right now? Yes.

But I love this country, and the dream it represents – the dream it represented in 1776, and 1789, and 1865, and 1920, and 1964 and every other year, even those years when awful, terrible things were happening. Even though awful, terrible things were happening in those years, even though compromises were made and things were still awful and people were suffering, but my gods, things happened, things that mattered and continue to matter. In a lot of ways, especially for immigrants and the children of immigrants, this country is as much dream as reality, and you know what? The dream matters.

I’m half-Japanese. My mother is a Japanese citizen, and for a long time, she told me that I couldn’t call myself Japanese-American – because I was and am an American, because I was born here, I grew up here, I live here, this is my country.

I have dual citizenship. If I wanted to stop being an American, I could. But this is my country and I love it and gods damn it, no one can take that from me, because until 1920 women couldn’t vote in this country, and in 1942 the U.S. government took Japanese-Americans from their homes and put them in camps, and until 1952 my Japanese-born American-raised cousins couldn’t become citizens, and this is my home, my country.

I voted. I fought with my vote and my voice and my very presence as a human being who lives in this country. I live here, I’m a citizen, and I am proud to be an American even if I’m pretty pissed off at other Americans right now. That’s pretty much the guiding principle of the American people, after all.

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first times (earth_mage)
she makes her own dystopia as she goes

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