Daily Happiness

Sep. 16th, 2014 09:30 pm
torachan: onoda sakamichi from yowamushi pedal with a huge smile (onoda smile)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Day off tomorrow!

2. It's been sooo hot lately and while it's supposed to cool down a bit later this week, it's supposed to get hot again after that, so we've been having the fans going almost non-stop and this morning got a bit of a scare with our good fan when it took about five minutes to turn on. This happened once or twice before a while back, but I thought that cleaning it out had taken care of the problem but I guess it's just getting old. Anyway, I ordered a new fan off Amazon tonight and it's supposed to come Thursday. It's a Vornado, which I have heard a lot of good things about, so I'm hopeful it will help, not just in case our other fan does die on us, but because the house just gets so hot and doesn't cool down until the wee hours of the morning, even with fans on, so maybe a third (better?) one will help.

3. I made hot dog fried rice again tonight. We have a ton of hot dogs Irene grilled last week and no buns, so I've been chopping them up and putting them in fried rice and it's super delicious. (Also super easy, since the hot dogs are already cooked, I use frozen mixed veggies, and I have a bunch of garlic fried rice seasoning packets, so I just toss those in and don't even have to do any real seasoning.)

Kind of a Potemkin post

Sep. 16th, 2014 06:15 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

I.e. nothing of substance pretty much, more of a placeholder.

I have a brief hiatus of time to myself, having checked into Ye Quaynte Guesthowsse, between giving my talk (went okay, I think, and at least I hope spread the Mitchison fanness) and going out to dinner.

Quite a lot of my internet catch up is, I think, going to be deferred to tomorrow's train ride.


Sep. 16th, 2014 05:41 pm
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
[twitter.com profile] kake linked to a cool post by [personal profile] doug about changing history with a time machine. It's the sort of post that makes me realize just how weak my history is. There's absolutely no way I could come up with any sensible argument for which people and events made a substantial difference to the course of history, or how history would have been different if those fulcrum events ran differently. Anyway I really like reading stuff by knowledgeable people playing around with ideas like this!

Also I accidentally rekindled the debate about whether Harriet Vane is a Mary-Sue at [personal profile] staranise's place. People are being careful about major spoilers but if you don't want to know anything the plots or characters of any Sayers books at all you might want to avoid the thread. [personal profile] legionseagle quite rightly points out that my initial premise was simplistic and probably sexist, and also has some really informative and insightful ideas about Sayers oeuvre, about Mary-Sues, and about the law. And lots of thinky stuff about class and how that's changed historically from various people, including [personal profile] naraht. And [personal profile] staranise herself brings the psychological insight regarding relationships between authors and characters.

One of the major topics I've been thinking about recently is how to maintain communication with people I care about a lot but who aren't regularly in my life. Partly sparked by this really chewy discussion chez [personal profile] kaberett, which started off responding to a Captain Awkward discussion about when you should just assume someone who isn't getting back to you doesn't actually want to be talking to you and it's time to stop pestering, and moves on to talking about different media and how they work or don't for communication. Also I've been talking to [personal profile] lethargic_man about related stuff; he used to joke that the reason he asked me out was that that was the only way to get me to answer emails, and it's somewhat true, I've been a direly terrible correspondent in the decade since we broke up. And now I am committing the terrible irony of failing to keep up with an email conversation about ways of keeping up with email conversations...

So, I'd like to hear from people, how do you manage this kind of thing? What sorts of communication media work for you or don't? noodling about this )

Anyway, how do you do this? How do you handle email guilt and deal with Facebook's horribleness? Are you comfortable flexibly moving between different media depending what suits your friends? Have you, like me, started to lose people now that lots are migrating away from DW? Thoughts very much welcome!

Your iplayer radio recs for today

Sep. 16th, 2014 05:36 pm
antisoppist: (Aspidistra)
[personal profile] antisoppist
"She found it very hard to compromise in her work...."

Today's Great Lives is on Dorothy Sayers, chosen by Dame Stella Rimmington, who explains her fascination with Sayers ("I thought Lord Peter Wimsey was a bit stupid, quite frankly") to Matthew Parris with input from chairman of the Dorothy L Sayers Society Seona Ford. Does contain a chunk of a recording in which she is condescending to Fred Hoyle, which is worth it for the vowels.

Also Harriet Walter in fine god-awful form as the mother in Time and the Conways in radio 3 drama, in which everyone has got far more appalling since I was working my way through J B Priestley in the sixth form college library (he wasn't on the syllabus, it was a very good, well-stocked sixth-form college library, and I found all sorts of things in it I'd never encountered before and devoured in my lunch hours).

As usual these will self-destruct in a few days. If you want things to listen to that don't come with a time limit, I recommend The Reunion, where they've kept every series, and the vast archive of Desert Island Discs.

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2014 10:11 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] copperwise and [personal profile] noveldevice!

Daily Happiness

Sep. 15th, 2014 10:28 pm
torachan: tavros from homestuck dressed as pupa pan (pupa pan)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Well, I can now officially drive a forklift, woohoo! (Not sure I really want to, but at least now I can.) And the coworker I got a ride from was twenty minutes late picking me up, but we still got there on time (a bit early, in fact).

2. It's nice to have ice cream on a hot night. :D

3. We finished our Better Off Ted rewatch, which is also a sad thing because it means no more Better Off Ted (why only two seasons!?), but it really was so much fun watching it again.

Somewhat frazzled

Sep. 15th, 2014 08:35 pm
oursin: a hedgehog lying in the middle of cacti (hedgehog and cactus)
[personal profile] oursin

Got to the station in more than good time, got the train, the train was not a problem (though I do think that they might provide power sockets along with the wifi, no?).

As we came into Toronto it started to rain, and by the time I found my way out of the station (building works...) it was chucking it down. There was a sign among the building work hoardings pointing to taxis, but this debouched at a point where it was by no means clear that this was the taxi rank, and there were no taxis to provide a clue.

After some considerable while (did I mention, chucking down rain?) a taxi did eventually turn up and I then spent a jolly best part of an hour stuck in traffic, slow-moving queues of cars, etc (I guess this was rush-hour + RAIN).

Finally got to the place where I am staying, though am pretty sure I had achieved the wrong entrance, but I was not going to circumnambulate in the RAIN.

Anyway I got checked in, and discovered that the dining room closed very shortly, so just left my bags in my room in order to eat, except that there was something rather cryptic about the system of locking the door... eventually achieved.

The meal was actually quite good, but I'm still feeling pretty much all of a frazzle.

erika: (st aos: your mom (jtk))
[personal profile] erika
I can feel the rumble of the trains as I wait outside.

Monday linkspam

Sep. 15th, 2014 09:02 am
jae: (Default)
[personal profile] jae
English links:

I just loved this piece about how to build community after having kids, and not only because it reminded me of the way one of my existing local communities started functioning after some of the core folks started having kids. My only suggestion would be this: if you do this, make extra sure to invite along your friends who don't have kids, too! If you leave them out because your idea of community is limited to families with kids, it will make them really sad, and you will miss out on both their scintillating company and a chance for your kids to learn about how to interact with adults.

A photographer took nude pictures of a whole bunch of people, one in a flattering pose and one in an unflattering pose. My take-home: everybody but everybody looks worse when they slouch (and everybody but everybody can look better by not doing so).

U.S. National Public Radio reports on a free cookbook that gives you recipes for how to prepare tasty, healthy food on a food-stamp (i.e. government food assistance) budget. Awesome.

If you've ever wondered what it's like to search for an academic job, the Judgmental Observer has an excellent (and depressing) description.

Speaking of academia, the CBC has become only the latest journalistic institution to compare professors with contract staff/sessional lecturers and talk about how professors are paid a lot more "for the same work." Now, don't get me wrong, I am totally in favour of changing the way contract staff are treated, but the journalists who are reporting on this crisis are always arguing this in a way that's doomed to fail because it's based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what professors actually do at research universities, and it's getting old. My job officially includes 40% teaching, 40% research, and 20% administrative work, and I get compensated based on my performance in all of those areas, not just for (not even primarily for!) the classes I teach. The "teaching" portion of that also includes the supervision of graduate students, which sessional staff don't do. Also not irrelevant here is the fact that new tenure-track assistant professors are hired primarily on the research they do (their teaching is important, too--it's 40% of the job!--but a great teacher who doesn't do any research will never get an academic job), while sessional instructors are specifically hired as teachers from the start. They are simply different jobs, so what's unfair is not that some people in a particular job are in a bad situation and others are in a good one, but that one sort of university job is precarious and paid like crap and the other is secure and paid well. So here's a note to any other journalists who want to take up this fight: tell us instead that sessional staff deserve more job security and a wage befitting their expertise and experience (at the university that employs me they have the latter, but not the former) because they do important work that universities need and which can't just be done by any Joe off the street, and I think you'll find that most full-time academics in non-precarious positions will be willing to fight for that, right alongside our colleagues.

Three interviews with people who are a lot more fascinating than you probably realize: Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, American actor Ethan Hawke, and Irish writer Tana French (the last of these has spoilers for her latest book, though nothing earth-shattering).

This Hitfix piece has convinced me to give the second season of U.S. version of The Bridge a try. In large part because it sounds like they're now no longer trying to do a remake of the awesome Scandinavian show, but break out on their own and do something new. I will probably never be interested in the two main characters because they will always seem like pale imitations of their Danish and Swedish counterparts to me, but this new vision sounds like a show I'd like to watch nonetheless.

Everyone has already seen the "Star Wars Throne Room scene minus the music" video, right? But there it is, just in case. (So funny!)


Sep. 15th, 2014 03:04 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
[personal profile] liv
I'm a bit nervous that everyone is sick of this topic by now, but we finally finally moved in to our house on Wednesday. details, mainly for my own records )

So Saturday afternoon our friends started arriving for the housewarming. We had about thirty people over the course of the day. P'tite Soeur made amaaaaaaaaazing snacks and a gluten-free orange and almond cake iced with "Woohoo New House". Parents and Granny dropped by briefly and mingled with our friends, and lent us some chairs and plates to help cope with the numbers. Thuggish Poet showed up in the early evening with his new partner. People like [personal profile] doseybat and [livejournal.com profile] pplfichi and [personal profile] hairyears came all the way from London, and [livejournal.com profile] ghoti and [personal profile] cjwatson and [livejournal.com profile] alextfish and [livejournal.com profile] woodpijn brought their respective small children to run around in the garden. [livejournal.com profile] atreic and [livejournal.com profile] emperor showed up straight off the plane from America, which was extremely flattering! [livejournal.com profile] redaloud, a schoolfriend I've always been fond of but often only manage to see every few years, turned up and I took a break from hosting to hide in a corner and catch up with her properly. I was super-excited to see [personal profile] kaberett briefly between other social commitments; somehow hosting them was what really made me feel like the house was properly warmed. [personal profile] rmc28 and [livejournal.com profile] fanf arrived later in the evening and kept the partly lively until midnight.

It was exactly a perfect party, really; lots and lots and lots of good conversation, and I feel really loved and appreciated because so many lovely friends were excited to help us warm the house. People have been really positive about my spending more time in Cambridge and it's really doing me a world of good to feel so much part of that social circle. It's pleasing to know that the house works so well for hosting that kind of event, though we'd worried it might be a bit cramped. And we're looking forward to hosting smaller events where we can actually chat to people properly, now that we're not spending all our spare time on moving house and now that we have a home to invite people into.

Daily Happiness

Sep. 14th, 2014 09:58 pm
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I went in to work this morning even though it was my day off to try and catch up on some stuff. While I still feel super behind, I did get a lot done, plus now I can take some short days later in the week to make up for the time today. :D

2. Speaking of work, tomorrow morning me and four other guys from my store are going to the main store for a forklift license class. Fun! Right now my manager is the only one at the store who actually has a forklift license, though two of the other guys (who are going to the class with me) do have some experience driving one.

3. It's still really, really hot and muggy, but at least it's cooled down a little tonight. I hope I won't have too hard a time getting to sleep.


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