charloween: (Default)
Things went moderately-to-spectacularly wrong with the internet today (long story) but the good news is that I have the perfect excuse to Not Take Responsibility after what I did today to try and fix it.

Why? I'll be in Canada. Hah.

Take that, Virgin Broadband. (For the record: after I'm through with this current contract, it'll take a lot for me to stay with the company. While the people I've dealt with have all been really friendly, the quality of the connection itself is shockingly bad. It seems like every three days I've had to reset the router. Whatever.)

I need to print some things, so I'm kicking around campus and avoiding heading over to where the printers are (two whole buildings away, boo). As I may have explained before, since my PhD supervisor is off having a baby sometime this week, I get an interim supervisor until mine is back in May/June. So to facilitate this transition, I'm going to leave a stack of papers and then disappear for four weeks. Interim Supervisor is coming back from her own mat leave next week, but I'll already be home then.

I also need to print off my travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance details. As much as my soul needs a proper snowstorm, I'd rather that snowstorm not strand me in Paris. While on the one hand there's Paris, on the other I'd be stranded.

Speaking of being in-between places, in my room right now I have three suitcases. One is coming with me on Friday, but the other two are going into storage tomorrow morning at - drumroll please - my new house. All the rest of my things are in my office. No really: I've moved into my office )

When I get back from the holidays, I'll be living a few blocks south of where I am now: in between the river and the canal, rather than simply north of the river. While I'm posting slightly crappy pictures from my phone, here's the river in question (taken a few mornings ago):

So, tomorrow: big day. Get up, hide a shelving unit (long story), move a gigantic suitcase and a teeny suitcase across town via bus (there will be lots of stairs - am moving into attic space of a 4-storey building), gather final suitcase and drag it to campus, check in online for my flights, drag fellow students to a screening of Hard Core Logo (or I'll watch it myself, damnit!), catch a bus to the train station, walk to B&B, set alarm for 5:30am (to catch the train to the airport).

And somewhere in there I'll eat and magic the internet back (the former being more likely than the latter of course).

Friday looks more straightforward: walk, train, airplane, connect in Paris, land in Toronto, and meet my Mum at the airport. I'll probably bawl with relief after the last few weeks of stress and insanity, but it'll be a stoic and rational bawling. I promise.
charloween: (you broke sir)
9.5 hours on campus today. 5 meetings. It's good I've been doing this blogging thing for the better part of a decade because I don't think I'm up to any new tricks.

I think I might be going insane from all the York. I can't tell. I do know that I've inadvertently screwed over a student because no one in the department that hired me thought it proper to inform me that I have a mailbox in that department. I've been perfectly okay with using my actual mailbox, the one in my own program's space - in a different building on campus.

I guess that when I'm being Employee Me I have to exist in different physical spaces than when I'm being Student Me, and I can't just be a single person. (My pay stubs have been going to my program/student/older mailbox, and unmarked tests from this one student have been stacking up in this other heretofore unknown mailbox (that isn't even in one of the buildings where my students have their lecture or tutorial).

This is the reason I stuck around in Toronto for an MA at York: I learn all the new ways that you can get jerked around!
charloween: (fly)
Updates! I have five glorious completed applications and one complete GRE firmly behind me. In half an hour I'll have submitted a paper to a journal and then I'm going to grab a quick pint with [ profile] nevalent. Tomorrow morning I'm meeting a student bright and early to tell her why having a thesis is important when writing a paper. I may even get application number 6 sailing off (flying off, I guess) to its destination.

I think I used up all my free time for this November last November when we were on strike.
charloween: (Default)
...but I durn forgot that there was new Doctor Who this weekend. In some form.

I'm in the middle of revising my MA Thesis proposal (I swear, the amount of paperwork that this program makes me do...) about why I should totally watch Saxon/The Master vids for my thesis, so I should probably have better DW radar. Uh. I have no excuse. Except for the excuse of "I'm too busy writing about old episodes to watch new ones"? IDK. Mafia Wars has replaced all my critical abilities with a clock-watching mania of digital bloodlust.

Speaking of being out of date, I'm rocking out to Prodigy. Yay 1997! (Oh hai next track: Nine Inch Nails from 1992? Yes please! Ug, some of these tracks have been on my computer since before Metallica got angry at Napster. Okay, back to work. No, really. *goes*)

ETA: I actually Accomplished Stuff today, you know. I finished a solid draft of something I'm going to send to a journal this week and it'll double as a writing sample for PhD apps. It's not just all Facebook games and Professor Layton on DS. Not all.
charloween: (pure style)
Watching Generation Kill is clearly more important than the dozen or so other vital tasks on my radar.


I have one sentence left in my SSHRC proposal, and I can hit send and worry about something else for a while (and that list, my friends, is not all that short).

I'll probably knock off that last sentence sometime in the next hour, and then I'll: watch another episode of Generation Kill, grab a quick shower, and finish packing.

I'll leave it here tomorrow when I'm at York, and I'll swing by here to grab it on the way to the airport, rather than taking it with me all day on a day when I have to do lots of running-around and handing-things-in.

And then, and then, and then: Vancouver, Thanksgiving, [ profile] thucyken and [ profile] firstgold, mountains and trees and sf filming locations. *glee*

My poor students. I'm supposed to prep them for their first test, and I'll be thinking: "Hey, I got my SSHRC and OGS crap handed in" and "VancouverVancouverVancouver!", and I'll keep spacing out thinking about Alexander Skarsgård like I did at dinner tonight (sorry, [ profile] firstgold!)... those poor students. Normally I'm all about the early cinema. This week, though, I got nothing for them. (To be fair, quite a lot of this weekend was taken up with quite big and serious things that are still are big and scary things. I mean, I still don't know if I'll need a new supervisor.)

ETA: Okay, so it was two sentences, but I'm right on schedule! YAY. I'm-a gonna print. And somehow get over the ridiculous superstition that all pieces of an application need to be printed all on the same paper. *rocks back and forth* It'll be fine, it'll be fine.
charloween: (Unimpressed)
The b**** who lives upstairs refused to turn the bass down on her stereo after I went upstairs to ask her to please turn it down because the levels were high enough to rattle my teeth. It's down to its normal loud-enough-to-identify-the-song levels, not at teeth-rattling levels.

Also: after a full afternoon of researching, I've determined that the communications/media studies programs in the UK do in fact tend to focus on audiences and screens (ie: film studies, television studies, all of the above + internet), whereas the ones in the US display a rather creepy tendency to characterize audiences as markets, and to lump the whole thing in with journalism. When they deign to study popular culture, that is.

There are a few of the ivy league schools who look at American culture (or "American Civilization", lol+wtf?), but they're dreadfully stuffy. When I peek over at the anthropology programs, the websites are full of pictures of soulful brown dudes being all tribal; sociology seems to be all about development studies.

In about half of the schools I looked at, to study some combination of media + technology I'd need an engineering background. Somehow I don't thing "knowing a few engineers" would cut it. There are a few places with exciting-sounding film programs, but so few that I'm wondering if I should cancel writing the GRE and set my sights on the ol' mythic motherland rather than that big scary land south of the border.

...The bass is still blaring. I swear, I think I can handle another hour of this effing bass before emailing the landlord. If I can't have peace and quiet (or reasonable levels of not-quite-that-loud-kthnx), I can at least leave a strongly-worded email in the landlord's inbox. I don't think a post-it reading "What part of YOUR MUSIC IS TOO LOUD, PLEASE TO TURN IT DOWN don't you understand!?" will be as productive.
charloween: (Default)
Last night I was in bed, asleep, by 9pm. Mmm, 11 hours of sleep. (Most nights I can get by on 6 or 7.)

I haven't had a day in the last 8 or so that didn't have something big to do, and a few smaller things to do. Trying to enumerate everything would cause a little bit of brain break, so I'll look forward to today:
- 10am meeting
- 1pm lunch
- evening gaming
- [ profile] amyisyellow's birthday party.

Yesterday was the Ioan Davies lecture + grad seminar, which was led by Andrew Ross of NYU. I had wanted to apply to the program he chairs, and then was totally intimidated by the awesome power of his brain and personality, and then proceeded to be utterly won over and had by resolve strengthened. Not that I'll get in - I'm good, but I'm not nearly as strong an activist as they seem to be looking for. By which I mean I'm not much of an activist at all.

The most amazing thing is that even though he was speaking about All The Things That Are Broken In Global Labour he didn't come across as defeated by any of it (and it's a depressing topic to think about in any detail, let alone experience it).

And in among all that I had two TA classes. I've been trying a few different things, and this week I got my classes to re-read (HA, "read for the first time", more like) part of the textbook and answer some questions. My first group did really well with it, but I think only two people in the second group did the reading. I like changing up the classroom activities because it's fun to never be predictable. And also to not worry about planning lessons.

But I have been asked to do a mini-guest lecture on reality TV at the end of October, so I should figure out what's going on with that.

October has a few pretty damn important deadlines, and also a trip to Vancouver.

- SSHRC and OGS applications are due
- Vancouver!
- Anthro paper due, no really, totally due (original due date: May, though no one else in the class has finished it)
- guest lecture
- prepping for conference in Boston (Nov. 4-8)

And teaching, marking, and my own coursework in there somewhere.

How does your month look?
charloween: (Unimpressed)
I've got a really full week this week, and because it's a full week I don't think I'm going to have time to do all the things that aren't appointments or meetings.

There is a lot of reading and writing I need to do for my directed reading course, but I also have: The upcoming week )

I have no idea when I'll be able to get that directed reading done. It's a shame, because there's so much there that I want to get into. I keep falling back in love with TV studies every few days, which is both good news for my thesis but also bad news, because I'm carrying on this love affair with ideas, wtf?

Do you remember The Collector? Quirky and interesting little Canadian series about an agent of Satan, collecting souls for hell from people who've made deals with the devil? Season 2 of The Collector goes on sale October 13. Buy it! Support Canadian television!


Sep. 25th, 2009 02:51 pm
charloween: (Unimpressed)
I've been Yorked.

But first, the good news:

I've finished the article for the DW book. The first draft went off in May, the revisions were done by September, and neither my editor nor the other editor have any other changes! This is the part where I do jazz hands, happy dances and generally feel better about my life.

The bad news is that I didn't get paid for TAing.


Unlike my friends (at least four cases that I've heard of), no one bothered to contact me to tell me that I got booted. I did have the problem of being a bit too background (having to confirm that yes, I do have a job), but at no point did anyone inform me that my contract wasn't... happening.

The thing is, I've done the work, and now I need to get paid for it. I don't have time or energy for this battle.


EDIT: I can't get enough of the new Mika single. Dancing like nobody's watching is the best thing ever.

EDIT 2: And then there's this piece of awesome from today's Good Morning America behind the cut )

EDIT 3: By some miracle the person who could help me with the paycheque kerfuffle was still at her desk nearly two hours after the work day was over and just gave me a call. I may be able to get my pay on Monday. HOORAY FOR AWESOME PROGRAM ASSISTANTS.
charloween: (you broke sir)
Brain = broken.

I had my ass kicked heavily motivated but good today by my supervisor and a former prof: I now have nearly every book ever written on fandom to read by, oh, Tuesday (it feels like), and I have a shortlist of programs I'm applying to for that giant and scary PhD.

And the funding applications. Oy, the funding applications.

My competition will all be people like me. But all the other nerds might be better at time management, which is where I always need heavy motivation/ass-kicking. This is not the place to fret about all of that. This is the place to declare my intention of carpet-bombing these applications to as many places as I can... provided I can afford the application fees and can find people to write reference letters for me.

In less-stressful news, I really enjoyed Glee tonight. Big thumbs up.
charloween: (Default)
Yesterday was very long. I met my tutorial students (some of them are great, some of them are damn sullen, and all of them like staring blankly), and then I went to the circus.

Cirque du Soleil, however, was fantastic. The theme for this show was bugs ("insects", fine) which worked to their advantage. If you've got humans doing crazy inhuman things (contortionists, aerial acrobats, whatever that spinning-polygons-with-your-feet thing is called), give everyone a little movement training to be a bit buggy, and dress them like superhero insects. It's a neat bit of otherworldly character work when you have trampoline artists playing frogs, or when your aerial silks routine is a chrysalis-into-butterfly thing. Or when your troupe of adorable Asian spinners-of-polygons are playing a troupe of adorable Asian-y ants who like playing with giant slabs of kiwi.

The act that got the biggest applause (before the tree frogs!) was something called "slackwire". It's like tightrope, except... loose. And swinging back and forth. And then the guy grabs a unicycle.

Their website informs me the spinning-polygons-with-feet is called "foot juggling". The site also informs me that this show - Ovo - will be in New York next May. Start saving those pennies, Eastern Seaboarders. It's so worth it.

The point: Cirque > tutorials.
charloween: (pure style)
Yesterday I could have done any number of productive things:
- working on my directed reading (this week: reading about vidding 1985-1992!)
- (re)reading the chapters I'll be teaching this Thursday (and come up with Questions Related to the Reading, ack)
- working over the presentation for the conference in November (I will make a powerpoint, but it will be a good powerpoint)
- grocery shopping (today's breakfast: old grapes and leftover Brie with a few crackers from last week... note to self: buy bread/eggs/milk/yogurt because Breakfast Is Important)

However, employing my superior decision-making skills, I elected to watch the first season of Six Feet Under. Continuously. Without a break. While working on other things, just none of the things on the list at the top of the post. I think mostly I was reading blogs.

Three cheers for a cut tag )


Sep. 3rd, 2009 08:36 pm
charloween: (pure style)
This will be a cryptic post unless you've been following that whole surveyfail deal.

I've been two days at orientation activities for new students in our program, including today's epic campus tour of York (which, as [ profile] piratefanatic and [ profile] extrathursday can attest) is more performance than information-delivery. It's a massive campus. We were out for a solid hour, and there were only four buildings on the tour. I'm tired.

So, in response to the surveyfail thing: I live at the intersection of fandom and academia. Posts like this make me proud to be a fan, to be a grad student, and perhaps (perhaps) to become a fully-fledged academifan.

More than anything, I am a lurker: but by the gods, I can squee with the best of them.

I've picked that particular thread to link to because I'm in love with the comment-macro.
charloween: (Default)
DONE! Well, almost. I have three little facts to look up, and a citation style guide to beat into sensibility, and I'm DONE. DONE DONE DONE an entire article for publication. Well, if my dear editor likes my revisions. They were mostly precision and readability edits, I think/hope, so we'll see how they go. That said, I added about 700 words to the text, and a few footnote asides, so maybe my baseline for “minor” in “minor changes” is perhaps calibrated somewhat off of normal.

The point is: DONE. Despite a conclusion that isn't as strong as I'd like, and an overall point that gets kind of lost in all the rambling, and a whole PhD research project that I didn't even know I was interested in before starting these revisions: DONE. Woo! )
charloween: (fly)
Yes, world, I just received my VividCon DVDs in the mail.

I haven't even removed the plastic on the DVD case, and I've already lost about 20 minutes reading the con program and geeking out.

BUT. I have things to do today. Things like (maybe) helping a friend set up at FanExpo and then (very likely) snagging Mary McDonnell's autograph (one for me, one for [ profile] nevalent). Things like finishing that article about Doctor Who for my Very First Article Published. Things like getting back to that embarrassingly-overdue paper about SPN and wincest vids.

When you work with pop culture, your to-do list starts at a baseline intersection of nerdy and awesome.
charloween: (Default)
And I'll mail it off... uh... eventually. Thursday. Maybe tomorrow.

*waves hand* The point is that I was crowing to [profile] piratefanatic about printing off this paper (which was totally not due back in March, who told you those lies?), when all hell breaks loose and my printer starts shooting pages all over the place.

Pages 2, 3 and 7-30 all ended up in front of the computer. Pages 4-6 were up behind-ish the monitor, and page 1 I finally found hiding behind the subwoofer.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Mostly I'm just making little "hee" noises that might - just might - be considered hysterical.


And then I start my conference presentation, and OH YEAH, TEACHING.
charloween: (pure style)
Finally, I complete some work. Yeah, not a paper due back in March or May (the March due date is next on the docket), but at least it's another completion.

I'm thinking another few hours on the March-due one, then a day or two on the publication, then some serious flailing at the thing due in May.

With luck I'll have them all gone by Labour Day. Just in time for school to start again.
charloween: (Default)
Nothing says "summer" and "procrastination" quite like "2.5hr nap in the middle of the day".

Of course, now I'm groggy and useless (and hungry!). So, success?
charloween: (Default)
Today started normal enough, but then by lunchtime I'd volunteered to help bring Jorge Cham (of Piled Higher and Deeper) to speak at our school.

Neat! \o/

I need to stop being interested in things, so I'll stop getting sidetracked from my own work and involved in stuff...
charloween: (Default)
But I managed an unexpected and accidental Good Hair Day, so I suppose I can't complain too much.

I've fallen in love with this little song. It's the kind of song that sneaks up behind you and before you know it, you've listened three times in a row. Stark and beautiful.

My new class is intense: 3 hours/day, 4 days/week for 3 consecutive weeks. 2 days down, 10 to go. It's not particularly heavy lifting (and we have to breeze by lots of stuff to pack it all in), so I think I'll survive. Plus, as it's a morning class, I can stick around on campus to do the next day's reading before coming home. Our prof is a sweet former grade 10 social studies teacher. [ profile] piratefanatic: I guessed his slight accent as Newfoundland! One of the other students asked if he was American, and I jumped in with my guess, explaining that while his short A's sounded a bit like Boston, the overall cadence sounded more northern. Then I did a dance of guessing-regional-accents.

It's been a long time since I spent this many hours up at the York campus.

In other news, it's possible I've had abstracts accepted to more conferences than I can actually afford to attend. But one of them is in the UK, in Cornwall, and I didn't grow up reading about King Arthur to not be really really tempted. But popping down to that part of the world for a few days is way easier when you don't live in North America.


charloween: (Default)Charloween

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