vala act your age

Hello DW

I had the most extraordinary urge to post today and I think I know why-- for the first time in a LONG time, my spouse is away for the day, and I have no grading to do over the weekend. That's two days of unstructured time, the baby isn't here yet, and at least half of it is only me and the cat in the house.

It's almost like when we first met, only now I have a cat and an enormous baby bump.

I have three things on the to-do list today: 1. go to the post office and mail 4 packages for E. I should get going on that before noon, actually,

2. Exercise to comfort in the back yard. We have the mulchy remains of a very large fir tree to spread around our 0.25 acre yard, but I'm not comfy with lots of twisting motions, so I have to seriously firm up my core and squat/step to load a wheelbarrow. Past that, the farmer's carry of walking the wheelbarrow to it's destination is pretty awesome!

3. Start cooking/prepping freezer meals for the summer (post baby's birthday). I was kind of confused about the instructions for this for a long time. They vary between "set aside a weekend and make 50 meals for $5!!!!!" and "dump a can of sodium-laden soup on a sad looking pair of chicken breast and add soda" or something. I finally realized, though, that I was already meal-prepping for the internet's version of this, by setting aside lunch-portions (sometimes in the freezer) of whatever we made for dinner on the weekend. So I think I'm going to ramp that up slightly by a) doubling the recipe and b) stocking half of it in the deep freezer (possibly uncooked), rather than searching out the terrible recipes that the internet seems to think are suitable for one's crockpot. Yowsa.

How are all of you? Having a nice grading-free weekend? If not, please realize I empathize from a very deep place if you are grading something.

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vala act your age

so that happened

Hi dreamwidth.

You know how you are growing up, and (if you are in the US) "sexual education" basically boils down to do not get pregnant, because you will instantly? Turns out there is a ton about the incredibly awesome female reproductive system that they are skipping with that message, and also, it's inaccurate, but I internalized one major thing:


Since I got an A in health class (that's high marks, non-USAians), I have spent 39 years successfully not getting pregnant, using various techniques.

Then I decided I wanted to get pregnant, and the message had changed! Suddenly it was "Oh man, you are OLD. Maybe you won't be able to get pregnant!" Except ha, no. I got me a bun in the oven within two months of going off birth control.*

Which is all to say: hi! I am currently pregnant and I'm telling you much earlier than I'm telling anyone else because I thought I would have a lot more time to process the fact that I just undid 39 years of "DO NOT GET PREGNANT" and it's a very odd thing to wrap my brain around. Let alone the little brain I am currently incubating down cuddled in my intestines.

Because it's you, and I'm in a very strange headspace, I feel I can tell you that the MPreg "WTF?" is suddenly seaming much more realistic to me. I definitely identify with thinking that was not a thing my body was going to do.

*remember that moment in one of the LOTR movies when Gimli falls off a horse and gets up shouting "that was deliberate! that was deliberate!" I feel like I should be protesting similarly at this moment.

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vala act your age

accessibility recommendations?

Hi all,

I have just returned from my Grandfather's 100th birthday party. He is physically less than stellar, as his transport is failing him and his doctors seem to make the same mistakes every time he is admitted to the hospital, but there you are. He is mentally in top form, but has lost access to the internet in recent years when his favorite platform (webTV, which he could zoom to giant font on his giant flat screen TV) was discontinued.

During this last visit, he asked several of us to get him back on the internet. Our solution so far: the iPad Air 2 with separate keyboard. The accessibility font size works well for him. There are direct apps to newspapers, email, YouTube, and real estate, which he loves. He tried my Dad's and liked it. Apparently, 100 years old is a good time to try a new OS, you know? I love this guy, he is so sharp.

His needs:

A clamp mount for the iPad--he'll prefer it farther away to see better, and tends to put a thumb on the touch screen when he's holding it.

An external, full-size keyboard. Requests: minimal multi-key shortcuts to learn (dexterity is getting limited) maximum keyboard functionality, ease of charging if cordless and a way to set it aside that doesn't take up space on his limited surfaces.

Specifics: Grandpa is in a motorized wheelchair, recliner, or bed most of the time. We would like a clamp mount for the Air 2 that could currently attach to his rolling hospital table without taking up much surface space. We could also envision a clamp that could mount to his chair instead, possibly on the removable leg support, which would mean my aunt (primary caregiver) could take everything on or off at once. Anyone have thoughts on a good brand, recommendations for adaptations or hacks, or experience that they could share?

Next question is recommendations for a good keyboard. Not a case (lots of tablet keyboards are also screen covers or mounts, we don't need that) with a full-size set of keys for Grandpa's hands. Bonus: extra keys to scroll or control the volume. Also a bonus: easy to charge or has a cord to recharge in situ, or has a dock etc. We are not particularly attached to the apple brand here, just need something compatible.

Final question: for those who often use media in a bed or chair, is there a good pocket organizer for a table/bed/chair that you recommend? We want it out of the way (for example, in the hospital rolling tables, where a food tray will take up the whole space), but reachable by Grandpa (so, not over the back of his chair) and primarily to store the keyboard, but possibly also a stylus. I have seen silicon pockets that just sit on a table and fall off the side, but I can't seem to find them in an online search.

Thanks in advance, knowledgable peeps! If you know of something awesome I haven't thought of, please do share as well. I really appreciate it, and don't want to miss out on anything Grandpa wants to tell me.

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vala act your age

Catch-up meme stolen from Kellifer

So what have you been up to? / Major life changes? Same old same old?

Pretty major. Moved to a new state (California), though I've lived in it before, so it was fascinating to *return* to communities that still wanted me.

What fandom are you in/do you spend most of your time in?

I am such a one-fandom person, honestly, just as bad as I was 10 years ago with Stargate. I read in Sherlock BBC, and lightly lightly dabble in whatever catches my eye in Polyamorous Recs Tumbler Feed. You can see where I'm reading here: Minxy's Bookmarks at AOOO, I still bookmarks anything I would rec. If it's not on AO3, I'll note it in the Sherlock Recs, possibly in both places.

Where do you hang out online?

I read DW and LJ daily. I check Polyamorous Recs on tumblr, but nothing else regularly.

What are you reading?

I just read Naomi Novik's "Uprooted" and loved it. I'm super curious about the tropes I'm starting to notice in girl's coming of age stories, though. I mean, I love that we have them, but between the Blue Sword and Untamed and various other stories, I'm wondering why it's so important that they sleep with people. Why can't they stay virgins? I don't think it harms the stories at all, but in Untamed, there was a battle looming... it worked, but barely, you know? Or maybe you think it did or didn't work more absolutely than I did. I literally just read Springtime in Ihistan by abluestocking on Polyamorous Rec's rec, and it made me want to reread McKinley. Or maybe the Steerswoman's Books. Loved those.

What are you watching?

Hahaha, you are hilarious. The semester just started. It's a new job for me.

What are you making?

I am trying to make myself good food and keep enough stocked that my husband, bless him, doesn't eat it all before I can take it to work for lunch. Life was so much easier when I didn't have to feed boy stomachs. To be fair, he has recently stepped up his game an occasionally started making me dinner. He is perfectly capably of adulting, of course, he just forgot.

What are you squeeing about today?

Leaving work before dusk. I got home during the witching hour, but it was pretty early for a first year (again.)

If you could rope old fandom friends into a new fandom, it would be…

I wish Sherlock wasn't in such fits and starts. I wish I could watch the Bladerunner movies, or Orphan Black, or the Avengers... I caught a PBS (Public Broadcasting System) miniseries about discovering the elements, which was nerdy and cheesy and I loved the whole thing. I loved the Miss Fisher's Murder Mystery series, but it also goes in fits and starts. Amazing sets and props and costumes, though; terrible stunts. I watched a bit of Bomb Girls on Katie M's recommend, but only finished a few episodes. Mostly I am trying to write a grant, so that's all my writing energy.

I should really watch/read/dive into _______ and then come talk to you about it!

What? Who? Actually, go check out the polyamorous recs feed, above, if this is about recommending something.

What else is on your mind?

Teaching? I don't think I'm doing badly yet, despite locking myself out of my office before class the other day. At other, whiter, universities, I had to invite invite invite underrepresented students to talk about research with me, and here the first students I have coming to see me are deaf, hispanic, Iranian decent, in a wheelchair. I love the difference in confidence.

Er, how are you guys? I feel like I stalk you all and never give back.

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vala act your age

and four weeks later, it's done

I've moved back! Mostly. I am mostly moved in. Cat has settled in well and is making friends throughout the neighborhood (true statement regarding humans, not as accurate if relating to four-legged "friends") but, importantly, when he gets scared he runs back to the house, and not off to who-knows-where. I think he likes it, though the backyard was rapidly too boring for him.

I am officially on junior faculty leave! Or, between jobs for the next two months. This is just starting to sink in, because there are lists of things to unpack and projects to do at the house. We haven't really cooked anything here, yet, besides coffee in the morning, and that needs to change, and the backyard of dirt must (must!) become a magnificent, drought-tolerant garden. Actually, we have already planned an early project to be collecting grey water for the garden, which makes me really happy.

Last time I had free time, I became an avid fic reader and recommender, and even wrote some stories! To do so now would require becoming fannish about something other than Sherlock BBC, which will likely require actually catching up on some media (recommendations, anyone? What are you fannish about?) But, I'm also considering taking classes or brushing up on music and I have a list of things to write for real life stuff. And I need to spend a significant amount of time in the ocean, obviously.

It feels really good to be here again.

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vala act your age

Time. There is was.

Guys. It's my last class here on Wednesday, mostly because the students are presenting Friday. Then I travel madly for a week or so (Ohio, Montana) give an exam in the middle, and BOOM, pack it up.

I get to keep my rental cat, too! He is now officially my cat. Did I ever show you said cat? Lessee if I can find a photo and remember how to embed a reasonably sized image.

Collapse )

I've been bookmarking like mad over on AO3 (minxy at AO3 bookmarks tab). I found a great trove of bookmarks from an author called ancientreader and have been making my way through. Brilliant! All Sherlock generally, though some Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries snuck in there. And Bomb Girls might be something I could get fannish about as well.

It's going to be a mellow sabbatical summer for me. I could be around more! Love you even in absentia, though.

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vala act your age

(no subject)

I feel so jerked around emotionally these days. I've been meditating, and usually it so improves my ability to cope, but some things are just not cope-able. I find. For me. In current context.

Collapse ) Fandom and polyamorous recs make days better, is what I'm saying. Check 'em out. And picture the Asian guy.

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vala act your age

dear Sherlock fandom

I would prefer it if you talented writers would please stop using the word (adverb? adjective?) "impossibly".

Well, it isn't very Sherlockian, is it? It isn't impossible, just very improbable, isn't it? I THINK IT WAS SHERLOCK HOLMES WHO SAID SO.

It's a very annoying word, that's why. It's not impossible if it exists, is my point! Whether Sherlocks eyelashes, the color of John's eyes, or someone's grandmother's fragile fingers or whatever, I don't care. You are overusing that word. Also I do not think it means what you think it means.

The phrases you are writing would be stronger without it. Possibly I should have mentioned that first.

I'm trying so hard to let my eyes just skip over that word when I see it, Sherlock fen, but it's just so damn ubiquitous.

Do all fandoms have these cultural oddities?

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vala act your age

I am so happy I must post

1. I have a cat on my lap who periodically is so overcome with love he burrows into the cowl-neck on my sweater* and licks my neck.

2. There is stupid drama in my department (isn't there always?) but I'm wasting no emotional energy on it because I am out of here come Spring.

3. I've decided the summer of no office is going to be my junior faculty leave. On the list: two papers and a major grant. And moving. And reaquainting myself with the ocean. A lot.

4. I've told the whole department face-to-face. They are all supportive, which I count as a major PR coup. Some of the assholes are taking credit for my success and pronounced that my new job (which is an endowed chair) is a reflection of how much they've mentored me. ASSHOLES. I smiled and nodded.

5. I have wine. And I am releasing my burden.**

6. I have acquired my very favorite box wine (what? I'm low-brow about wine.)

7. In May, I am moving back to the ocean and going to live with my spouse full time. For now? I have a cat cuddled on my lap. and I am happy.

*Cat is confused by the cowl-neck. Initially he tried burrowing under it and gave me quite a look when that didn't yield results.

**I do not wish to ascend, though. You better be listening, ether!

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vala act your age


Has anyone tried meditation in my flist? I have recently tried Headspace and found it... transformative. I got interested as a result of this article on LifeHacker and my husband telling me my sleeping habits have changed.

Am I the only one who's had this experience?

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