bliumchik: THIS IS NOT SPARTA. I AM LOST. (scenic detour!)

So yesterday I contributed to the continuing effort by The Goddamn Fishmouse and I to turn our apartment into something less resembling a deathtrap. I did this by purchasing an extension cord and attaching it to the other extension cord which, up till now, connected my computer’s powerboard to the outlet in our bathroom, thus extending the extension cord to an extension which allows us to thread it underneath the door instead of through the side, thus enabling us to close said door when we shower - and, bonus! marginally reduce our risk of electrocution.

Why, you ask, is my computer’s powerboard connected via extensive extension cordage to the power outlet in the bathroom? because (and we did not notice this before I moved in because it is the sort of thing you take for granted, having power outlets in rooms, you know) my room is COMPLETELY DEVOID OF ELECTRIC SOCKETS. It does have a thingy for plugging your TV antenna into, though. Not sure if they thought this was going to be a battery-powered television or what.

This absurd blindness to socket location practicality extends to the kitchen and is next on the un-deathtrapping to do list. We have one of those corner-counter kitchens like I always build on the Sims, where it goes Fridge, Counter, Stove, Counter, Corner Counter, Counter, Sink, with the other two sides of the rectangle being The Third Wall and The Lack Of Fourth Wall Leading To The Living Room. One powerpoint is back behind the fridge and one is over the counter next to it. Guess where the other powerpoint is?

WHY WOULD ANYBODY PUT A POWERPOINT THERE. IT IS NOT NEXT TO ANY OPTIMAL LOCATION FOR KITCHEN ITEMS THAT REQUIRE POWER. IT IS NEXT TO THE SINK.

Yes, that is an extension cable plugged into it. Because, you see, our microwave is on the corner counter, so in order to plug it in we have to stretch a cord either across the stove or across the sink. DEATHTRAAAAAP.

Eventually we’ll use some 3m hooks or duct tape or something to attach a powerboard to the wall above the stove securely enough to leave it there permanently, at which point the bizarre sink-adjacent powerpoint will cease to be in use and presumably feel very sorry for itself.

And then TODAY I tried to donate blood but was turned away for low blood pressure, following which I went and recorded a demo of a new song with Lily. We had an hour of free time at King Sound Studio as a consolation prize from their song competition that we entered. They're good dudes albeit slightly disorganised, but frankly it's the music industry and I, personally, have not a leg to stand on. I'll have the song online once they send it to us :3 my voice was a little rough, but traditionally nobody pays more attention to that than I do.
bliumchik: THIS IS NOT SPARTA. I AM LOST. (splode?)
Today, I am indignant about Heidegger. Specifically, about his opaque and rambling speech to some architects being foisted on us in a poetics class with zero context. Yes, Martin, it is certainly an excellent idea to give people an essay to talk about, then tell them they are all wrong because the essay is impossible to fully understand wihout reading a bunch of other essays you did not give them, nor indicate they ought to find, not that they would have anyway since three assessments are due in this fortnight, one for your subject.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

Thinking more about my LURK MOAR epiphany, possibly I should make use of it in class. That way I will figure out that stuff like the above has happened BEFORE I start shooting my mouth off about thing-ness and neuropsychological synthesis and get told off for being too teleological :P

(I did not, incidentally, mean that people who read my journal should lurk moar. TALK TO MEEE)

...I am doing a class in which I can get told off for being too teleological. Ohhhh academia.
bliumchik: (fight the system)
Yup, I really need to stop staying up till four in the morning and then deciding to make LJ posts about ~politics. Because... I... didn't quite get to the politics *looks sheepish* So please consider the meander of my last post Vaguely Related Things I Have Been Thinking About. Because I was actually thinking about the island thing for some time before RaceFail 09 was brought to my attention, and it's not really fair to have my one post on the topic taken over by my own tl;dr hypothesizing. Nevertheless I like it as a frame of reference and will continue to wikihop on the topic of empire prior to the British one to see if my theory has any sway. I know the Ottoman empire had a habit of putting somebody local in charge of their conquered lands, so that the only thing that changed was where the taxes were going, which reduced civil unrest. Is there anybody history-minded on my flist, d'you know if there has been anything on the scale of British colonisation at any other point in history? Um anyway, [/end ramble]

The actual kerfuffle: I have been reading further! (SO MUCH further. IT IS SO HUGE, OH MY GOD) I have found one of the most erudite and sensible people in the melee is [livejournal.com profile] tablesaw - among other things this was pretty damn awesome. (Considered friending her but I don't think we actually have anything more specific in common than I Like The Sci Fi and would thus feel like a stalker) (...more like a stalker than usual). However I have obtained an extra blog to the bookmarks list with Mary Anne Mohanraj guest posting on John Scalzi's blog - her books look interesting too! If there is one thing I have gained from this whole thing aside from red eyes and a vague discomfort with my own reactions to certain things it is the many additions to my amazon wishlist!

My conclusion on the actual events... is totally irrelevant, I don't really have anything new to say there. Speaking of John Scalzi, there is a guy who knows how to say "oops, my bad" - some people could learn from that. This really did not need to get this fucking big, seriously. Seriously!

(however that is not why I am up so late on THIS night, this one is all down to faily procrastination issues. I did manage to get one thing done, which was for a marketing internship - they asked all the shortlist folks to sign up to their networking site and post an article about entrepreneurship or something. I uh, sort of ended up going on a tl;dr rant about networking sites which may or may not have been the BEST idea depending on their meta tolerance but I am trusting in my leet wordsmithy skillz to blow them away. ...I really hope I won't wake up tomorrow and discover THIS was something I shouldn't have done at four in the morning EITHER lol. IT ALWAYS SEEMS LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME, DAMMIT.)

Anyway I shall finish this post on a more awesome note. [livejournal.com profile] villainny's post about [livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc reminded me of Janelle Monae again (the reason I keep forgetting is I CAN'T FIND HER MUSIC ANYWHEEEERE) ;_; so have an amazing sciffy music video that I don't remember if I've posted before and don't care if I have because it is awesome.

bliumchik: (fight the system)
Okay, okay, I TRIED to stay out of it because I KNEW it would be full of the same old infuriating People Who Just Don't Get It, but I caved. I read up on the blowout currently going by RaceFail 09. And I found to my surprise that I did, in fact, have something to say about it.

Okay, firstly, to get it out of the way, my take on writing characters with a different cultural background to my own )

Now, on to the actual controversy. EDIT: I got distracted and ended up waffling about something only vaguely related? So my actual comments about the actual internet kerfuffle are in the next post. *looks sheepish* All right. So. The thing about fantasy is - quick summary of my understanding of the background here before I get into what I think I can actually add to the discussion. The thing about fantasy is that offensive themes are very easy to disguise in it. Mostly subconsciously. Because, of course, it's not our world. Back before anyone was really talking about Coded Language and whatnot it was very easy for someone whose personal worldview was very self-centered to create a fictional world in which all those pesky things which do not fit either don't exist or are warped into something that doesn't make them uncomfortable. It's still easy, it's just nowadays people actually notice and talk about it. And nowadays most good fantasy writers are not quite so blatantly xenophobic as, for example, H. P. Lovecraft. The problem is that most good fantasy writers regardless of race grew up READING fantasy written by white people for whom race was a d'n'd style straitjacket. Like Tolkein, who imagined the whole world to be a cookie-cutter clone stamp of about a hundred acres of British countryside. Can't really blame him. After all, the man lived on an island.

and some more waffle )

This post has been getting more and more poetically incoherent as the time gets closer to four am. What I'm trying to say is I believe our lack of humility is in part geographic, and our construction of race in opposition, of whiteness and Other, is influenced by that disconnect. (Obviously I realise that non-island nations also have racist and nationalist dialogues. But go and count how many of them are not primarily based on territory, religion or both, go and count how many involve an conflict that did not begin across a national border or a line of scripture.)

And western framing leaks, we impose our ways of dividing society on the rest of the world whether purposefully or otherwise. Information flows OUT from us, and it is SO easy not to look elsewhere, not to look in any other way than this one. Is it any wonder that our fantasy worlds take on that same affect?

I want to see a fantasy Eurasia. I want to see countries upon countries upon ex-empires upon conquerors upon conquered, I want to see DEPTH to the history of fantasy universes, I want to see a character get six completely different Once And Future Exposition speeches from six different Wise Old Folks who live within sixty kilometres of each other. I want to see descriptions of racial characteristics that don't stand out like a sore thumb because everyone but that character defaults to fantasy-caucasian, I want to go through ten characters before one repeats a skin colour. I want friendly four-way arguments about religion in which none of them are barely-disguised Wicca or obviously-coded Christianity or Generic Oriental Philosophy X.

...

Possibly what I want is more Ursula K. Le Guin. Yes, I do! I want people who have learned from her! After all, it's fantasy. If you can write anywhere full of anyone, why write Grandad Tolkein's Good Old Days?

More Things

Mar. 4th, 2009 01:26 am
bliumchik: (nothing sus)
Ahhh, sweet sweet solvency. February's tutoring paycheck is SUCH a relief. In celebration I bought breakfast, some comics and escrima sticks! )

How awesome are they! They did not come in black, obviously, they came in Rattan, but Salvador advised me to duct tape the hand grips in order to avoid splinters, so I figured why not do the whole thing and look very stylish. PS duct tape is really hard to layer evenly.

On the bus to Escrima I overheard two random strangers, a blonde girl and a weedy dark skinned bloke, in the course of one half hour bus trip, discover that they are both dancers, commiserate on the shallowness of the industry, the difficulty of getting gigs and the thanklessness of teaching jobs, decide to form a dance group and exchange numbers. It was kind of awesome.

Tomorrow: to buy the one completely totally not available online in any way shape or form textbook for this semester. Advertising. It's $120 but sadly vital. The other two subjects have e-readings. Today's lot were unspeakably dull, you've no idea. But I was never really planning to write an essay about Douglas Sirk so it doesn't really matter. In class we livened up the discussion some by way of innuendo about Rock Hudson and speculation on the topic of man-eating erection-symbolizing deer. Also tomorrow: jamming with Lily in an actual music room for once instead of on the lawn where passersby can raise eyebrows at us or ask to try out Lily's unicycle.

My cat got into a fight with the neighborhood tom the other day and is limping. We took her to the vet and now it is my job to mash up half an antibiotic pill each morning and evening and mix it with water and squirt it into her mouth with a syringe-like thingy. I should not complain, it is my dad's job to hold her mouth open.

I have almost completely sorted out my wardrobe - everything but the sock drawer is in the right place and much less full of redundancy than it was. This is no thanks to my mother who snuck into my room while I was out to remove things from the massive garbage bag full of useless items and put them back in my wardrobe.

And now: sleeeeeep.
bliumchik: batface + batpalm = batfacepalm (snark)
It's poured down like a motherfucker all day long, and I have finally finished enrolling in next year's classes. Thanks to Stan I now have an appropriate word to use on my university's website: Cuils. It had at least 2.5 of them. Where shall I start? The byzantine linkage-tunnels of the UTS website? The inescapably random nature of my course outline? The various oddities created by the less-than-smooth transition from my version of the course to the one next year's intake is getting?

I put it off a week or so because I was confused by the category names on my "study plan" - a completely unnecessary part of the process in which I have to "expand" various branches of credit point clusters that do not appear to be structured either chronologically or by class progression streams. The relevant branches need to be expanded before I can choose subjects from the options for them. However, there is zero benefit to having them un-expanded in the first place, so I have no idea what the thing's FOR in the grand scheme of things, and why I couldn't have just proceeded straight to the subject choosing phase. Anyway, the category names - it was pretty easy to figure out things like "200 level professional stream writing subjects" but what, I wondered, was the difference between "200/300 level disciplinary cultural studies subjects" and "200 or 300 level disciplinary subjects" and WHICH ONE AM I DOING IN 2009. "Fuck it," I said, a week ago, and went to play some breakout or read some fanfiction or something. I am easily discouraged. The next time I thought of it, a few days later, it turned out that the web enrollment function stops functioning after ten pm, and since I wake up well after midday lately and am sort of forgetful it took me a while to catch it.

So yesterday I logged on around five only to find that the website appeared to have accidentally the whole sidebar with all the student admin functions in it. This was not helpful. A quick !? over msn determined that [livejournal.com profile] faerie_mistress was not having this problem. Thinking the system may have suddenly discovered an allergy to Linux I went and tried it on my dad's PC - no dice. So that was another day out. Today, inexplicable return of functionality! Hurrah! I dealt smoothly with the category naming issue by "expanding" everything that was available to expand, figuring I'd determine the category that was actually relevant to my next session by checking the subjects in it against the subjects listed in my outline.

At this point I realised that the site was in the process of being updated for the new curriculum. This meant that the course outline immediately available was completely useless to me, and also that half the links in the enrollment page went nowhere - or rather, to a smug-sounding declaration that my bookmarks must be obsolete. My bookmarks!? Your goddamn fancy online enrollment system! Anyway, I noticed a little "archives" link in the handbook and cunningly deduced that I could access the outline I was given by looking at an old handbook.

...then I discovered that my first two subject choices for that stream were already full. OBVIOUSLY. And my third choice turned out to have a prerequisite... which turned out to be one of the subjects that was full. I am not sure what it was doing on that subject list in the first place if its prerequisite was ALSO first listed for that semester. So, long story short, I'm totally doing Cinematic Cultures. Should be fun.
bliumchik: batface + batpalm = batfacepalm (snark)
My class Communication and Information Environments has a common theme of technophobia. Experts Advise Caution. "New" Media - Good Or Evil? Video Killed The Radio Star - And It's Coming For You(tube).

For heaven's sake. We still write with pen and paper when we've had typewriters and computers for decades. I'm sure it's decreasing a little the more portable computers get, but it's not obsolete or redundant by any means. Similarly I always think the people bewailing the internet spelling DOOM for the printed book and the CD have an air of willful hysteria about them. This next change is the harbringer of the apocalypse, no? Well, THIS one then - fine, THIS one. The elusive End Of Society As We Know it is always just over the horizon. I'm doing the reading for our first essay and apparently Andrew Keen thinks Wikipedia spells the death of Encyclopedia Brittanica and its ilk - while simultaneously being unreliable tripe and nonsense. Funny how the new thing is always utter rubbish AND YET taking over the world. Luring us in with its seductive dodginess and shitty quality OF TEMPTATION. Kids these days!

This guy just makes me sprain my face for rolling my eyes, honestly. I'm going to have such fun demolishing him in my essay tomorrow. (Yeah, it's due Wednesday and I've done a paragraph. No worries! It's only twelve hundred words! *manic grin*)

PS: Two new friends in Writing: Style And Structure who speak Russian and think Russian is awesome respectively. Random! ("Oh, I'm not Russian. I just think Cyrillic is really cool looking, you know?") Also I'm glad I'm not claustrophobic because the lifts are pretty narrow and the one in the humanities building unexpectedly had no lights on today.Me and some guy get in and the doors shut on total darkness except for the eerie red glow of the number lights. Beat. "Well, this is awkward."
bliumchik: (nothing sus)
My maternal grandmother and I share a strange sort of bond. Until quite recently I just found her irritating, and while it's still annoying to be constantly offered food some humour has crept in under the door. She and my grandfather were over here tonight, and grandad had insisted on having a "pesach" "seder" - and I use both terms loosely, even in quotation marks as they are. For one thing, the matzah on the table was completely at odds with the three loaves of bread and countless biscuits remaining in the house.

My grandad has resently had a resurgence of religious feeling, so he had lit a candle in the window and was wearing a jaunty white headpiece which kept falling off. He also insisted on loudly mispronouncing some prayer or another at dinner. And then doing it again. Because he felt like it. Meanwhile my mother was desperately trying to feed my brother his (totally not kosher-le-pesach) porridge, an event which escalated into him crying and her yelling at him and trying to shove the spoon in his mouth, still to the tune of grandad's incomprehensible Hebrew, and my grandma and I just shared this Look. It went something like "you've gotta laugh or you'll cry."

Then my grandad started going on about how we were supposed to have an egg, and bitter herbs, and a shank bone, whatever that is. So I rolled my eyes, got up, pulled a raw egg, an onion and a random piece of meat (raw) out of the fridge and dumped them on the table.

"And apples! Apples and honey!"
"Grandad, that's for Rosh Ha Shana."
"Apples! Ira, pick up my hat, it's fallen down again."

My dad was fiddling with things in the kitchen (because there weren't enough stools around the tiny table and he couldn't be bothered going and fetching a big chair) and my brother had exhausted my mum's supply of persuasive techniques and was climbing on the couch. I retreated back into my corner with a jar of mulberry jam and a spoon, and some matzah. Then my mum asked for the prawns, so I got up to get them, and what do I hear but a crack and the following (and do remember that all conversation is primarily in Russian):

"Whoops."
"What's the matter?"
"The egg's raw."
"I thought it was boiled?"
"...it's not."

I return to find that yes, my grandad has indeed tried to eat the egg. Which was now sitting drippily in a bowl on the table.

Naturally, we all cracked up laughing.
bliumchik: (vodka gods)
Your Stalker by maggiebloome
Username
Age
You are being stalked bykatelikewhoa
But you think it'srandom_miha
They send youA bondage outfit
So youHire Mafia thugs to "take care" of them
Quiz created with MemeGen!


Mhehehe. Pity Diana doesn't have a livejournal, I would laugh SO hard if she was my stalker ^_^ it would be ironic. Anyway, people... GO FORTH AND QUIZ!

In other news, I forgot to mention before that BBC completely and utterly butchered Macbeth, especially the character of Lady Macbeth. She's such a whore! That's just not RIGHT! Honestly people, when she's doing her "unsex me here" speech she's supposed to be saying "Argh I hate being a woman, I'm mean enough to be a man and I should have that power" and she IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE lying on a bed with her legs open massaging her breasts and getting steadily more excited as the speech progresses!

GAH! My brain is soiled! Stan's response to my rant was "so the director missed the 'un' - a common mistake". But, come on man... argh. I just... have no further words. Ew. I'm not even going to DESCRIBE her conduct with Macbeth himself. We're not even halfway through the movie! I shudder to think what we're still in line for! Ew, ew, ew! And now, a letter to the people in my grade re formal*:

Dear People Involved In The Formal,

The aforementioned Formal is Screwed Up. At least People are now seriously considering Yi's Dockside suggestion, which means I might actually go - but NOT if they have it at Luna Park in August, I mean come on WTF? A Reliable Source claims that Nobody voted for August but Someone booked it for then with Selfish Purposes... HOWEVER, a different Reliable Source claims that everybody voted for August. And that Source is not Someone. So obviously one of my Reliable Sources is not so Reliable after all. Ah well, whatever. I'm still going to Avi's formal, so I can afford to not go to ours if it Sucks. I'm told most of the Fun of a Formal is the Afterparty, and I do not trust My Grade with Afterparties, so that might be All For the Best anyway. My Grade means, of course, the Main Groups which would be organising an "Official" Afterparty - I'd be willing to attend separate Afterparties via one of the many smaller Groups I know, but I'm generally only friends with like one or two people from each of them, so that would involve at least half the group going "Who is this and what happened to the monkey?" which would not be Worth It anyway.

In conclusion, Make Your Bloody Minds Up, Dammit,

Maggie


*Disclaimer: I'm not actually pissed off. I thought this was funny. I mean this whole situation. Whatever, there's always Year Twelve.

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