I don't even know where to begin to start. Did I even mention I was going to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear? I probably didn't. It kind of didn't register in the midst of the giant Thing that was the Paris trip, and then the middle of October went pchoooo and suddenly I was on a bus populated by Redditors and hippie liberals. (Now with pictures!)

So maybe I should start there, at the beginning, with the bus. )

tl;dr I hitched a ride with the internet.

A brief interlude at a rest stop McDonalds )

tl;dr Some guy threw my french fries on the ground in an attempt to flirt at me.

But let's get to the important stuff! The rally! )

tl;dr Rally was good! And freaking Generation Y, how do we work? (At least we're fun to watch?) (Are we Generation Y? I kind of forgot to keep track. Interesting side note, though, is that there seemed to be a lot of 20-somethings and a lot of people in their greying years, but not a whole lot in between.)

Also, since I'm here: Happy Halloween, guys!
Fair warning: I have been reading [livejournal.com profile] metafandom a bit too much lately. But the Female Character Flowchart has been making such extensive rounds that I've started to see it elsewhere as well. It's popping up on facebook, twitter... and I'm fascinated by how, outside of LJ, all of the reactions I've seen have been "Yeah... the state of female characters is pretty sad," whereas most of us in this corner of fandom are up in arms about how some of our favorite female characters got thrown onto the chart or, from a wider standpoint, how the chart implies that any female character that serves a supporting role is not a "Strong Female Character". Some of you might remember my last diatribe on "Strong Female Characters" (which is locked due to real-life things touched upon in that entry, sorry), which mostly boiled down to my conclusion that 80% of the time I don't hold up to most "strong" character standards, so what are we even looking for if real, actual people don't pass muster? (And this happens on the list, too. I mean, Yoko Ono is on it and, as much as she's reduced to a trope in pop culture, she is still a real person.)

So here is some meta on the much-maligned Flowchart )
evilhippo: hippo (101 [devious])
( Apr. 29th, 2010 11:34 pm)
Allegation one: This American Life is my fandom.

The defendant admits the allegations in section one. It seems like every other week has been relevant-to-my-interests awesome lately (with differently-awesome in between). In particular, the segment on Steve Poizner's book about teaching in a high school in San Jose was fantastic for getting me thinking about all the ways I could've come at my high school DI teams from a completely different angle. Given my background (and, honestly, my dayglo paleness), they were probably expecting White Privileged Girl Comes in to Frightening Inner-City School to Prove She's got a Heart of Gold, which explains the very different reactions I got between the beginning and end. Between me cementing my idea that King College Prep is pretty much not frightening, despite the efforts of the kids who heckled me occasionally when I came in to the school and them (hopefully) figuring out that I was there for fun and not to polish my resume by getting my feet a bit dirty, there was a lot of opportunity for misinterpretation. I'm very glad I came at it from enough of a middling background not to be frightened by the lack of Ferrari dealerships and bakeries (au contraire, I generally ended up going 'Holy crap Kenwood is bigger than I thought and frak man what is with all these mansions? And they're only a couple of blocks from these frightening empty lots and derelict buildings! Also, I notice that no one is killing me right now, cool'). But that's the amazing thing--I get the impression that Mount Pleasant was a lot like King. Bordered by a pretty affluent area, but still a public school firmly on the middle ground, even if the drop-off between affluent and inner-city was a lot closer together, and a lot more pronounced--there's not much in Chicago that is white picket fences. I could see someone bringing the same sort of preconceptions in, and coming out with many of the same conclusions that Poizner did. But Mr. Poizner, one thing, my kids were fantastically successful in what I was trying to help them do (often despite my efforts to help), and I didn't get a Stand and Deliver moment, either.

The defendant also acknowledges working on something a little like This American Life fanfiction as a frame for part of a larger fiction project she's working on. But it's not fanfic if it's just used to pedal some exposition, right?

Allegation Two: Bicycling is my fandom.

Based on the facts provided, the defendant can neither admit nor deny allegation two. I will, however, note that there are some times you should Just Know Better, and 40mph gusts of wind from the south while you are heading south is just one of those times. I swear there were times I was rolling backwards, and my attempt to ride on the streets for as long as possible so the buildings would block the wind just filled my eyes with dust. I gave up at 29th street and took the bus. In keeping with the prior theme, it was the 3 King Drive bus, which took me through what I suppose would be a rough part of town, except I was busy noticing that 43rd street (which I walked down every week I was working at King) was actually Muddy Waters street and we have a secret blues district (I am rarely as far west as King Drive, which is why I don't know these things). The secret blues district doesn't seem to have any of our blues clubs, though... probably because blues clubs are for tourists. Also I was also busy commiserating with the other bike commuter who'd given in against the relentless sandblasting and lack of momentum.

Allegation Three: My job is my fandom.

LIES. Though after the morally questionable things I've witnessed, I have the dumbest fiction bunny ever. It's something that would probably count as work fanfic, written like an RTD Doctor Who finale. I'm not sure which side I'd be parodying, but at this point, given the way my job just endlessly one-ups itself as far as evil plots go, it seems like pretty much the only way to write it and do it any kind of justice.

In other news, I think [livejournal.com profile] aphelion_rpg may be my actual fandom, because it's been eating up my brain in wonderful ways lately. Even if I still haven't (and may never) nailed down the Master's motivations or voice properly (darn you, lack of canon scenarios in which he is not completely in charge of the situation after months of careful planning that already happened behind the scenes and/or bats!). And I need to stop laughing at stupid plot ideas at work, even if the thought of supercharging a set of jet engines attached to giant space conkers a spinning couple of asteroids seems like fun. Saddest fact of the night: I researched this, too, and came to the conclusion that manufacturing nitrous oxide on top of the liquid hydrogen and oxygen needed for fuel would be pretty useless and not have as big an effect as my pseudoscience-preferring background would like.

Oh right also guys, hi, I'm a massive nerd.
evilhippo: hippo (40 [ellipses])
( Sep. 22nd, 2009 08:49 pm)
So, when presented with a way to obtain something you desire, perhaps even covet--let's say a set of fairly rare vintage speakers, supposedly in great condition, for a rather reasonable (but not so low it's nonsense) price--but the seller can't string together a coherent sentence... do you still buy it? Because I'm finding that I... can't. I really want these speakers. I'm probably not going to find a good set elsewhere. I can't even find them on eBay. And yet... the man selling them is so utterly incomprehensible that I just cannot bring myself to do business with him. It's like back when I was looking for apartments exclusively on craigslist, and I'd get responses from landlords that were all in caps and lacking punctuation, and I couldn't bring myself to go see their apartments just because I didn't want to have a landlord who didn't know how to turn caps lock off, or spell. Why am I such an elitist snob? Why??

Another conundrum I have recently faced is as follows:

It's 8:30 and your load of laundry just finished in the washer. The pair of dryers are both through with their cycle. The laundry room rules say "If you leave your items unattended past the end of the cycle, expect to find them removed." Do you remove the laundry? Do you then fold it? Because apparently when I finally bring myself to remove someone else's laundry from the dryer, I fold it. I barely even fold my own clothes. Would this weird you out, to find your laundry on the counter in the laundry room, all folded? Regardless, the clothes were all like, size 0.5, so if she fights me over it I'll probably win.
evilhippo: hippo (53 [poke])
( May. 12th, 2009 09:07 pm)
I'm just wondering if I'm the only one that finds the differences between the grade levels in Google's doodle contest kind of fascinating. You can tell that certain forms have been hammered into the high school kids' heads, from the way they word their responses (there are two, I think, that read naturally) to the hard-cast form of their art (none of them replace any of the letters). Maybe I'm just partial to kids, but I worry that this is actually a reflection of what happens to us in high school and after. We kind of settle in, after the years of having "this is how it's done and this is how you will do it" lessons drilled into our heads, and stop coloring outside the lines. It makes me sad. (I have trouble even seeing the outside of the lines these days, let alone reaching past them.)

I also wonder how many of the middle school and below entries are full of Parental Interference, though. Some of those are very pretty for young kids.
So, this is my boilerplate attempt at writing down my thoughts on the election. They're important mostly to me because I feel like, living and working around the people I do, I have to justify everything, and this is a way to get my thoughts in order for arguing with them, and also to rant a bit about what isn't clicking for me in their arguments. And writing is my way of sorting out what's going on around me...

On voting cynicism )

On nonpartisan philosophy )

On affirming my worldview )

On the 'liberal' media )

On Hyde Park/Kenwood as a tourist attraction )

This post will be subject to many edits, because I'm still thinking a lot, but this is a start.
Let this first line stand as a warning that this entry is going to be rambling and probably very pretentious.

I mean, okay, I don't even know where to start. I got most of my massive brain farts out of the way in a massive e-mail to one of my friends (we have a habit of exchanging pages-long e-mails every few days). But... I mean... holy crap, guys. Even looking forward from a week ago holy crap. What are we living through? What is going on? Maybe I'm feeling this more acutely because my job ties me so closely into this, but, um... wow. I knew we were in a mess. I'd felt the rumblings of it (or what I assumed were the rumblings) more than a year ago when I started searching for a job. But that may have just been Chicago being its dumb self.

I guess, to step back... the massive world financial system, built on shouting, pieces of paper, and misplaced trust, is crumbling around us and taking everything down with it, digging long claw marks into the drywall. We're swinging strongly towards electing our first black president,a man some people still believe is a Muslim (like that's a bad thing, anyway). Our government is turning "socialist" and possibly buying ownership shares in our banks. And small-town people are shouting "terrorist!" about things people did forty years ago and threatening death for those who don't share their ideals because some of them think gay marriage and not overturning Roe vs Wade will destroy their way of life (somehow moreso than unregulated financial systems and corruption). Our current president is a complete lame duck that can't get his own party to vote with him. His party's successor candidate doesn't agree with them at all, yet lets the party run his campaign into the ground. His running mate is a power-hungry/power-abusing wolf-shooting Alaskan, whose fans are working to reclaim the phrase "Caribou Barbie" from her detractors. The underdog in this election is a freaking old white man career Senator from Delaware. It's mind-boggling. It's unimaginable, looking through the lens of the Bush era. And yet here we are. And where the heck are we going? And what will it mean for the optimism of so many if Obama is unable to make a dent against this wall?

Maybe I'm just seeing this as a sudden change because I've started reading the New York Times regularly (curse you, liberal media!). The world stock markets kind of imply something different, though. Suddenly masks are falling off everywhere, and we're staring at a world that's pretty scary, but a world we might be able to start pushing in the right direction, now that we've got a better look at it.

And, oddly enough, there's something kind of comforting in seeing the kind of chaos I've been encountering in my directionless post-college wanderings reflected in the world at large. Something is going to change. Something has to change, and something is changing. (I'll say I'm not really big on another Great Depression, least of all because then we'd have to rename the first one and all, just like we did with the Great War.) It makes me more comfortable with pursuing the sort of change I plan on pursuing. Getting out of the country seems less like a safe bet, since everyone is in this mess together now, so I feel less like I'm selling out by fleeing, and more like I'm going off to see other things (which is what I'm doing... unless we elect McCain. Then I'm just plain fleeing, but without selling out.) And teaching, at least for a while, seems more like something that can be done with noble purposes in mind, because now is a time for noble purposes. It wouldn't just be about passing the time until I figure out my purpose. (At this point, I'm starting to think my purpose is more to do as much as possible, and amass as much experience as possible, and become some sort of maverick jill of all trades... which really isn't going to make me more employable, but at least I'll be more interesting.)
First off, I apologize for the fact that the two most recent public entries have been about politics. I'll keep my mouth shut most of this year, I promise. But I'm in Chicago, and there's really no avoiding the atmosphere. I'm surprised the clouds don't spell out Barak. (Okay, so it's not quite that pervasive. And it was too foggy to tell today anyway. But the bus conversations have been buzzing, and the number of local politicians devoting half their signs to him is pretty interesting.)

What is this feeling I feel? Is it hope? I don't remember having hope. (Musings on politics.) )
evilhippo: hippo (79 [ponder])
( Aug. 12th, 2007 05:00 am)
I've been watching Lost. I'm blaming Lost for the fact that it's freaking five in the morning. I can't remember the last time a television show actually creeped me out in more than one episode (and it did it within the first minute of the first episode, and has managed several more times since then). I can see why my Sosc prof was obsessed with this show (the philosopher references! Wtf!)

And it plays with your emotions. And in case there is someone in the world that isn't past episode 12 )

And so... yeah. Just needed to ramble about that before I went to bed. I'm rather glad I have tomorrow off, but it's going to come back to bite me, because I'm going to see Stardust tomorrow afternoon, which means I won't get any sleep anyway. And it also means my job is only 5 days a week, and since I'm only averaging about 3 hours and 15 minutes of work every night, that's not going to amount to much of a paycheck... whenever I get it. In September. Grrr.
evilhippo: hippo (Default)
( May. 30th, 2007 12:56 am)
The questions of the night: am I to worry about the one icon I have that contains the words "boy" and "buttsechs"?
How much of LJ will explode between now and when I wake up in the morning?

For seriously, between FanLib (which I admit I completely fail to grasp, mostly out of lack of interest, and at least partially because it seems like an evil force in disguise (in the same way Naruto is)) and this apparent witch hunt (which, by my impression, seems to be bizarrely centered around the HP fandom, plus actual real-life pervs... though [livejournal.com profile] fm_alchemist and [livejournal.com profile] heroes_tv both have had paranoid posts), the internet is becoming a really strange place for fannish people. I guess the question is how things will fall. If only I wasn't always so curious about these things. I'm probably going to end up following it just because it's interesting to watch. Yay, new ways to waste time. (And new things everyone is going to be thoroughly sick of hearing about by tomorrow morning, if they aren't sick of it already.) I don't have any really fandom-obsessed people on my friendslist, so I have no idea how much people are freaking out about this (and I'm sure they are, where I can't see them), but everything I've seen linked has been remarkably calm. It kind of makes me proud of fandom... in a kind of distanced way (alas, I feel like I've almost been too long out of fandom, but this is definitely something that it's better to sit and watch).

Oh, internets.
evilhippo: hippo (44 [hmm])
( Mar. 28th, 2007 11:40 pm)
So much on my mind lately. I think that pretty much comes with having four classes, though. It keeps me... conscious, I suppose. I let so much slide by when I've only got three classes, and now I've got four, my BA to finish up, a PE class, and I'm thinking about picking up another part-time job.

Quite obviously, I haven't hit my stride yet this quarter. Hopefully I'll be forgiven tomorrow for having nothing to talk about in my Medieval Lit class. The reading's several thousand lines long, and I don't have the chops to deal with that much Middle English. And I'm a bit more worried about my Renaissance Drama class, since there are only two other people to carry the conversation (though it looks like there are four people registered now. That's kind of a comfort.) The books still aren't in for my 18th century lit class, and I'm going to do my Graphic Novel reading between classes, since I'll have nothing better to do.

In which I muse more on my Graphic Novel class... )

In unrelated class-type news, I'm actually considering buying a pair of ballet shoes. Not because I need them, but because they're comfy, and my ballet class will be a good excuse. (Same goes for the comfy pants I'm going to have to find and buy, since at best I've only got about one pair.) So, I've got myself a trip downtown sometime this weekend, when I'm not working on my BA (which I imagine I'll be working on most of Friday and Saturday, since I'm kind of behind again, and want to do a lot of rearranging. Anyone care to give me a hand with read-overs of the first chapter and such? At this point, I'm paranoid that my changes will make things worse, and it'd be useful to have people to talk me out of my paranoia. And hopefully get me though the extra chapter or two I have to have done by April 9th.)

I love being busy. I feel so much more useful. And it's keeping my mind off the fact that this is my last quarter here. Be happy for that, because otherwise I'd be a horrible nostalgic sap at this point, and it'd only get worse as the months went on. (You're lucky I have better things to write about. And dubiously better things to do.)
evilhippo: hippo (36 [ok go])
( Dec. 9th, 2005 02:43 pm)
Why did I have to pick the major that requires the most work to get into? Actually... it might be just as bad in others, but... I've got to come up with a sub-major, goshdarnit. And make it out of the classes listed here! And most of them don't have descriptions!

At least I've got classes for next quarter now. I'm not sure if I'm keeping the art class, because that might drive me nuts, but I'm going to give it a try, because that means I can take random other art-type classes later... if I ever have time. I've also got a random class in the English department taking up space there, because the course description sounded really interesting.

ARTV 10200 Visual Language-2 MW 01:30PM - 02:50PM
ENGL 18104 Fragments/Ruins:1760 to 1820 MW 03:00PM - 04:20PM
HIPS 17400 Sci/Cultr/Soc In Western Civ-2 TT 12:00PM - 01:20PM
HIPS 28500 Galileo's Astromony and Conflicts Tue 03:00PM - 05:00PM

So... ideally, I want to figure out a way to fit Darwin's Origin of Species, Galileo's Astronomy, and three other courses together into something that sounds like a sub-major. I'd throw in Philosophy of the Mind in Science Fiction, too, but I'm pretty sure I was registered for that one as an ISHU class, so I'd have to do some sort of dance to count it properly. I want to take Technoscience and Information, I want to take Human Intelligences: Animal to AI, and Boundaries, Modules, and Levels sounds interesting (when you look up the course description under philosophy). I know all three of these have something in common. It's an issue of having a word for it... and it's also an issue of not wanting to drop the class on Galileo. I mean, the easiest thing to do is just lump everything under Philosophy of Science, because that's as broad as all get-out within the major (you could stick anything under that category). I've had enough trouble even picking a major, it's totally not fair to make me pick another one within it! Darn you, HIPS, darn you! And I really need to get this turned in this afternoon... which means I have to make the rest of my transcript make sense. It's so, so obvious how indecisive I've been when you look at it. (It's also very clear that I never care about spring quarter.)

If I didn't actually have to be admitted to the program, I'd loosely interpret this "On the back of this form, sketch a plan for your concentration" thing and draw a picture of me receiving a diploma on the back. I probably shouldn't screw around like that, though. Ahhh, why can't things just let up and be easy?

Also, I'm paranoid about not finishing my requirements for the major, even though I'm safe enough right now that I only need two classes in it a quarter. Which is a lot, but totally doable. Except I've been counting Civ, which I didn't when I figured I needed ten classes. Crap, that means three classes a quarter for two quarters... I really don't know what I'm doing. I'm so lost. Darn it. Aren't there supposed to be advisors for this sort of thing? I really, really should've worked on this earlier in the quarter. Oh my goodness. I'm flying out tomorrow, I just want to spend three weeks not worrying about my academic future. College is evil.
evilhippo: hippo (Default)
( Nov. 29th, 2005 01:12 am)
Why is LJ spazzing at the same time as me?

So... I... I'm meeting with the head of the HIPS department on the 7th of December at 1:30. I finally sent him an e-mail. I'm going to have a major. This is both terrifying and wonderful. And I do indeed have until Monday to finish my paper for the Darwin class so... phew. I'll survive this week. (I'll forget for now that 2/3 of my French final also lands on Monday.) I have sent so many e-mails today that had very important bits of this quarter and my future intertwined with them. (Did I mention I got the French lector thing sorted out?) And then there was that weird guy on the corner. And... just... wow. It's a wonder I'm still functioning. But I'm going to get some sleep now, since when I tried to work on my Civ paper around 11, I just ended up dozing off in my bed and having a weird dream about following my roomie's parents around for some reason. I think a lot of Chinese was spoken. I think by brain's probably shattered. I feel all addled, and I hope it clears up by morning, because I have to get part of this paper done tomorrow. Wow, UofC. You're amazing for making me feel like I'm about to break, you know? The only thing keeping me together is the curiosity about whether I'll get myself through.
evilhippo: hippo (1 [me])
( Oct. 17th, 2005 01:52 pm)
Those few hours in which you can just sit around and do nothing, guilt-free, after turning in a paper are quite nice. I sorted the recycling and re-did my two oldest icons for the heck of it. (I don't understand this new one I just made. I think it's pretentious, but I'm keeping it anyway because I think it lends an interesting feel to my journal. Like those people with the slightly faded landscape pictures and things that don't really mean anything, but look vaguely artistic. Look! You can't see my face. And I'm putting on gloves. Must be symbolic.)

I think having just finished a paper makes you sort of pensive, too. Which is why I'm going to sit here and look up "malt," because on the bus today I realized that I didn't really know what it meant, since I couldn't figure out how single-malt whiskey and a malted milkshake could be related (other than being beverages). Turns out it has to do with the grain. The alcohol is brewed from malt, the milkshake is mixed with malt. That... umm... still doesn't explain what malt is, but I figure the definition is sort of like love in that it just is.

After giving it a bit of thought (as best I can considering the difficulty I occasionally have hearing my thoughts in here) I've become increasingly amused by the fact that it's completely possible for me to get along well with someone socially, yet disagree with them on every part creatively. In fact, I can name several people right now that this is true for. And there are some people I get along with beautifully creatively, yet totally fail to understand and find myself unable to get along with socially. Is this normal? I'd always thought that the creative parts were a lot more... I don't know, linked with your personality. But maybe it's also weird to assume that, since you like someone's work, you'll also like them. I mean, I'm terrified of Neil Gaiman now. I think he'd be afraid of me, too. But maybe that's a "too much respect for" versus "just insane and probably scary" problem. Of course, the only way for me to really test this theory out is to... um... find people I admire, stalk them for a bit, then try to become friends with them. (And, well, the question's too wide to really be boiled down to one answer too, isn't it? I mean, there can be a totally obnoxious comic with a few good jokes that you like. Bands whose older or newer albums suck compared to the other ones. People who sit here and ramble on about nothing at all because they can't really remember where they were going with this except that it was going to sound philosophical, but then again things like that probably happen a lot on only four hours of sleep.)

Perhaps it would be wise of me to go do the rest of my homework that's due tomorrow so I don't have to worry about it tonight. I need to actually be able to sleep or else I'll die. I'm already a day behind on my French homework, but at least I wasn't so late today that I missed the quiz. Yay!

P.S. Firefox works so much better when you raise the process priority. Whoa. Suddenly I feel less compelled to up the amount of RAM in my computer. (Which is to say, I can wait until I find a way to ask for it for Christmas). (Ha! As if "running fewer programs at once" is even worth a thought.)
So... I met with my advisor today. And you know what it seems like? Seems almost certain is going to happen? After leaving French and grabbing lunch then wasting some time in Harper library writing what might turn into a Harry Potter-based story (because I like the idea of classifying people into the personality-based houses and then breaking the rules) and determining that my advisor was a very amiable and pleasant person (moreso than my former one, as far as I'm concerned, though it may have more to do with our first impressions of each other) despite being embarrassed that I was knocking on her door when she was standing about ten feet away from me talking to someone else (yes this sentence is still going on, but I like long lead-ins) I think by the end of the month, I will have declared myself a HIPS major. I don't think I've put any more thought to it lately, really... but in talking to my advisor about actually declaring, it didn't bother me at all. I still don't like the idea of walking into Englishmajordom dreading all the lit courses I'll have to take. No, we don't have a creative writing minor. No, we probably won't have one before I graduate. Nothing I can do about it. Does that stop me from taking enough classes in it to make it my minor? No. In fact, this also gives me room to not worry about a minor (since given our odd situation with majors/concentrations and all most people rarely care if you have a minor or not) and just take lots of random creative-type classes that aren't necessarily writing, either, like photography and film-making and such. I've got no idea what on earth becomes of someone majoring in History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine and spend their free time mucking about in art-type things, but I think I'm willing to find out. It probably doesn't involve becoming an editor, but what can you do? I mean, I wouldn't mind wandering academia until I end up with a doctorate, amassing debt, and then having some sort of strange crisis at 30 over what I'm supposed to do now with all this information I've gathered. (The answer will be, obviously, to wind it all together into a novel of some sort, sell it, and then retire to writing more). Yay! As either English or HIPS I'm going to end up with piles of old, dubiously useful reading, so why not let it be science and philosophy? Not that Chausser and Shakespeare aren't cool in their own ways (it's really the other guys in the middle that I don't like), but a little snobby part of me says I'll write better stuff if I haven't had to anaylze the crap out of everyone else's for years anyway. (This is the tiny part of me that also wants my influences to be as obscure as possible. Right now they take a leap from Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman to Plato and Aristotle, and I think that's the sort of cliff-jumping that most people wouldn't survive, let alone escape without breaking their legs, so maybe that tiny part of me should take it easy for now).

So, my friends... cheers! I believe my years as an undie may be at an end. I might even be beginning this year's NaNo as a HIPS major. Hehehe.


evilhippo: hippo (Default)


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