raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
This story came about as a response to a discussion I was having with [personal profile] thingswithwings a while back about Night Vale, queer theory, safe spaces, race, and many other things. It's about Night Vale as the small town in the desert that can be home to everyone, in its way, which isn't enough, but is something, I guess, and that in itself goes a lot of the way to why I love this stupid show so much.

(Also, it's about the federal government shutdown. I'm super-predictable.)

fic:: when you lay me down you'll bury only bones
by Raven
7000w, Welcome To Night Vale, Cecil/Carlos, Dana and Intern Vithya. Dana's back. Intern Vithya is new. Cecil and Carlos are just the same, but different. Today, Night Vale is the safest place on earth.

this above all )
raven: (middleman - sleepy wendy)
It's turning into a clean and chilly autumn, here. Several things make a post:

1. queer )

2. I was blown away by Julia Gillard addressing the Australian House of Representatives on the sexism and misogyny of the Leader of the Opposition. Just... blown away. I'm embarrassed by how little I know about Australian politics - I wrote a paper once on Australian reproductive rights law and that is the sum of my knowledge - and I don't know much about how Gillard's government has served its people in other ways. But this did my heart good.

3. So next week I am seeing both Dar Williams and the Gaslight Anthem! I am super-excited about both, but particularly the Gaslight Anthem, because I love Dar Williams, I love her, I want to get I am the one who lives with the ocean tattooed on me at some point, but at heart it's a reasonable and rational grown-up love. Something about the Gaslight Anthem bypasses my brain and goes straight to etched-into-my-bones, stars-in-my-eyes, every-word-handwritten-in-my-heart-oh. Shim says he often comes into a room and thinks, "why's she listening to early Springsteen - oh." I just, oh, oh, the Gaslight Anthem.

(I sometimes think I will grow out of being a fangirl. And then I think, wouldn't that be growing out of love.)

3. Speaking of fannish love. I am watching Fringe again. I stopped round about halfway through season 4 and now it's back and I want to get caught up for the finale. I stopped round about "A Short Story About Love" - because urgh. No. spoilers ) But I'm actually enjoying it just as much as I was, once I'd got past that - because oh, Fringe.

The thing is I am not even fannish about Fringe. I'm not, though - I don't really want to write fic about it or meta about it or whatever. (Icons and gifs, though - hiiii, there are no non-beautiful people in this cast.) I guess the reason for that is, I believe it's a complete story: there are no shadowy gaps in the edges of Fringe, at least not the character ones, the ones I want to fill, because you see the whole thing evolve bit by bit. I especially love what they do in "Peter" and "Subject 13", it's a much better approach than say, The X-Files, which would drizzle the backstory out over five seasons and then fizzle unimpressively at the end anyway. No, I'm not bitter.

("Subject 13", though! Peter on the lake, surrounded by ice - that destroys me.)

4. There is no number 4. No, wait, there is a number 4! I have started to watch Babylon 5, after [livejournal.com profile] tau_sigma lent it to me, and. And. Well, it's pretty bad, isn't it. It's really bad. The acting is so bad. But, I love Londo and G'Kar and I think they should do stand-up. I think the whole show would be better if it were called Londo and G'Kar: Live At The Apollo. I also love Ivanova, Delenn and kinda sorta, Lennier. And the worldbuilding, a little - I made noises of total delight at some throwaway line about waiting in line at the toilets for methane-breathers - and people tell me I'll like it from the second season, so I keep watching it. But I tell you guys, it's a good thing I'm a sucker for a portentous opening narration.

And otherwise, I keep on going on. My job is quite dull at the moment; I wrote a very long and very complicated letter today; this weekend I had planned to do nothing but watch Fringe and eat Swedish Fish, but I suspect there may be work involved. And so on.
raven: Sherlock looking off to one side, deep in thought (sherlock - now I'm home)
So ages ago I meant to rec the Damn, Fandom Is Good At What You Do fest, because I love that: one of my biggest narrative kinks is competence (and, now that I mention it, probably something that attracts me to people, as well). People just getting on with things that are difficult and vital because they love them and were born to do them - yes.

The thing is, I have tried to write my own version, and just cannot. What I do - and what, it becomes increasingly and embarrassingly obvious, I was meant to do - is too awful even for fanfic. It just is. I had a work experience kid following me around today (and I try not to be dismissive in that way, I try not to say "kid" and "girl" of grown women, but seriously) and I tried and tried to explain what I do - and just couldn't. It all turned into "my office is full of lollipops and I know a lot about sewers", in other words things that are true but not exactly helpful. I don't think I could have the Doctor and May or Charles and Erik or Hermione and Luna do what I do. (Wait, maybe Hermione and Luna. But not the others.)

So. Lollipops. Design infringement. Land registration. Life, as ever, goes on.

(My supervisor, today, sounding totally outraged: "I spoke to the woman on the other side of the lollipops thing, and she's YOUNGER THAN YOU!"

I said, "My work experience girl is ten years younger than I am."

We left each other disturbed.)

In other news there is no other news. The weather is godawful. Some of you may have noticed peripherally that I watched the second series of Sherlock and fell hard for it; the fandom is one of the massive ridiculous kink-memes-get-filled ones I haven't been in a while and I'm having a lovely time. I'm also, weirdly, enjoying having a teenage crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. Because the thing is I never did have harmless crushes on famous people when I was a teenager, except when I did and it was awful. If he'd been a famous person in a very popular show when I was, say, fourteen, I'd have had a crush on him secretly and guiltily and then worried and worried and worried: about his eyelashes and high cheekbones and longish hair and fabulously femme way of sweeping out of a room. About being, as we say, one of them.

(Hello, my name is raven and I'm queer, who knew. Strictly speaking I'm pansexual, a term I avoid on the grounds I am not exclusively sexually attracted to goat-tailed demigods playing the pipes. I don't think I articulated it until I was in my twenties, but my type is femme: femme women and men and genderqueer people. God, it's so hard, isn't it? You all know. I'll stop talking. I noticed the other day that I am absolutely incapable of understanding the world as though I were straight or gay; I mean, I can't even write a tight-third gay-or-straight POV, which is odd when you consider I can write white guys. Okay, now I'll stop talking.)

So now I have a picture of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock on my desktop, and I quite like looking at it, and that's okay, self. [livejournal.com profile] tau_sigma and [personal profile] petra told me to listen to Cabin Pressure on Radio 4, and I'm doing that, and cackling. It's adorable and ridiculous and has that Radio 4 thing of not being funny in the slightest bit except it's TOTALLY HILARIOUS. It's a half-hour comedy show about a one-aircraft airline, and it has Benedict Cumberbatch and Stephanie Cole in it. It's lovely.

(Speaking of queerness, today is almost the last day to respond to the equal marriage consultation setting out the Home Office plans for for civil marriage and civil partnerships. It's very much worth doing. I speak as someone who finally got around to it today.)

In other other news the weather really is awful. I seem to spend all day at work with rainwater in my ears. I no longer have terrible migraines, thanks to the new meds, but have bizarre side-effect of being eerily calm about everything. Tomorrow I have a pub quiz in which the Caped Crusader and I have been split up by executive decree. The world spins madly on.
raven: (mash - last goodbye)
I've never been a big fan of October. It always seems like a halfway month that's not on the way to anywhere.

work )


IN OTHER NEWS ENTIRELY. I am keeping myself cheerful at the moment by watching M*A*S*H and it is very lovely. It is, and I'd forgotten, rather - I am watching the early episodes, with the laugh track mercifully removed on the DVDs, and a couple of nights ago I watched "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet" and it made me clutch at my heart rather. I love M*A*S*H in some of the same ways I love Star Trek - because it can be so unsubtle, so in-your-face in what it wants you to believe, but at the same time I believe those things. I can't help myself. I am not cool. I am especially not hipster cool. I heart my lovely khaki-green show with Hawkeye's anger turned sideways and Radar's quiet clairvoyance and Henry who launched a thousand indecisions and Trapper, and BJ, and Sidney Freedman ("Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice...") and my heart will always hurt a little when Hawkeye says, "So I think too fast and I'm afraid of children, that's not so terrible."

(Before anyone asks, I have not dared touch my old fic. I have, however, re-read the remixes, which I recommend: Missing Hawk (the Anger Turned Sideways Remix), by [personal profile] eponymous_rose; The Acme Judgement Company (Uncloseted Remix), by [livejournal.com profile] iamsab.

ALSO. Here is another reason why I love Hawkeye Pierce, why he's one of my favourite fictional characters of all time. He's queer. He's almost definitely bisexual. How do we know this? Because he says so. He says so all the damn time.

don't believe me? )

Stepping back, I think you could only watch this show in a heterosexist society - a society where your unspoken assumptions code how you hear dialogue - and then come away from it believing Hawkeye isn't queer. (And, here's another thing: queer, bisexual, maybe fluid, not as simple as "gay". I heart Hawkeye, I really do.)

I need to go and read for an exam on financial regulation. It's really not 2002. I checked.
raven: Anthony Rapp playing Mark in RENT, arms lifted, in black and white (rent - vive la vie boheme)
I suspect real happiness is getting up far too late on a sunny Friday morning, stumbling into the kitchen and finding a split croissant, with cheese inside, on the table, and just in case I didn't get it, a note propped on it saying "breakfast!".

So, three things make a post, right?

lashings of ginger beer time! )


Here is the second thing in this post. X-Men. Hi. A few days ago [personal profile] gavagai discovered I'd never seen it and showed me the first movie having just poured me a glass of lemonade plus two and a half measures of gin. Possibly as a consequence, I enjoyed the film thoroughly. Yay, Patrick Stewart. Yay, Ian McKellen. Yay, my continued crush on Anna Paquin. Anyway, I enjoyed it enough to watch X2, and then again on [personal profile] gavagai's advice I skipped the other two and watched First Class instead.

loooots more about that )


And here is the third thing I want to write about! [personal profile] thingswithwings gave me some of my icons to talk about. icons! )


Now I am going to write fanfic! Maybe. Three more days of freedom. Not that I wanted to be unemployed for the rest of my life, far from it, but I will miss writing fanfic at 3pm.
raven: (misc - pride)
The Chrestomanci story I was working on. It's long and silly, but I had fun writing it. Also, it's a part of my ongoing resolution to write queer themes all year round and not just for [livejournal.com profile] lgbtfest.

[livejournal.com profile] amchau did the beta work; thank you, dear.

Fic:: Vicious As Roman Rule
by Raven
PG-13, Diana Wynne Jones' Chronicles of Chrestomanci, gen (and queerish), 8000 words. "I'm out of commission for two days," Chrestomanci said, "and the two of you start a social revolution, is that it?"

nine-lifed enchanters don't get the flu )
raven: image of India on a globe (politics - india)
I am sleeping very badly and suffering unexpectedly from jet-lag. I hate my brain. Hence my sleeping until three today, and doing nothing of any productivity. Graargh.

But, actually, I want to talk about something else. A while ago, [livejournal.com profile] yiskah recommended A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth's 1400-page novel about post-independence India, and reminded me I'd always meant to read it, and never got around to it. (Well, I got it out of the library once. 1400 pages, a one-week loan. You understand.) Then Shim found it in Oxfam for a couple of pounds (in terms of sheer verbiage, the best-value book purchase he's ever made) and I had a couple of translatlantic flights this week. The time had come.

I just finished it. I am a teeny bit disappointed with it for a stupid reason I am going to put under a cut. spoilers )

That aside, I am incredibly impressed with the novel, its depth, and scope, and a little drawn out of my skin by it - which is understandable, I've been reading it for a week, occasionally for several hours at a time - but it's also because it creates an entire world and then pulls you into it so, so well. The writing style is so deceptively simple, sometimes even archaic - when was the last time you read a contemporary novel with an omniscient third-person narrator? - that you don't realise you care for the characters until you've been doing so fervently for 700 pages. It's wonderfully done.

The book jacket says that the novel is: "at its core, a love story; the tale of Lata's - and her mother's attempts to find a suitable boy, through love or exacting maternal appraisal. At the same time, it is the story of India, newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis as a sixth of the world's population faces its first general election and the chance to map its own destiny."

That sounds pompous. But oh, it's right, too - it really is that. It really is an attempt to show us that world, that post-1947 world where everything was new and just the same, how India started out, by means of showing us some Indians - of different families, castes, and religions, all tied together by Mrs. Rupa Mehra's quest to find a suitable boy for her daughter - and how they come to be what they are.

And I know us brown people are always making such a fuss about people who aren't us writing about us, but here, right here, is the reason why: Seth writes about Indians with a mixture of knowing acerbity and warm, warm affection, because he is those people. His characters are sweet, funny, unspeakably corrupt, occasionally horrible, warm and loving, hideous, and they are Indian. In 1400 pages there are about sixty named characters, and they all know each other and they are connected and interconnected and everyone knows everyone else's business except when to do so would make life more efficient, and that rings marvellously true to me. They're wonderful characters. Lata, who is the closest of any of them to being a main protagonist, is marvellous: she's a university student, intelligent - more so than her mother - and trying very hard to navigate a world in which everyone suddenly wants to get her married. Her mother's endless emotional manipulation is just right. So is her brother Arun, a wonderfully done brown-sahib of just the most irritating type. And the languages they speak - the casual mix of Hindi, Urdu and English, the religious and post-colonial battles that are fought on linguistic territory, I just wanted to climb into the book and roll around in the rightness of it. (When the outraged citizenry start protesting their Home Minister, Lakshmi Agarwal, and chant: saanp ki zafar, insaan ki khaal / yeh hai L. N. Agarwal!, I kind of had to clutch at my heart and gasp.)

And then there are surprises. The couple who have an arranged marriage in the very first pages, Savita and Pran, are supposed to be orthodox and boring - and turn out to have a wonderful love story of their own. Another family, the Chatterjis of Calcutta, have a brilliantly sparkling habit of talking in rhyming couplets. Their eldest member, Amit, is a published poet, and Seth takes great pleasure in writing poetry to put in his mouth. The Congress politicians fight it out in the background and foreground, and their stories ought to be boring, too, but aren't. Surprisingly, the wife of the Revenue Minister, Mrs Mahesh Kapoor, and her garden, are the epicentre around which the political stories revolve, and it's a strange narrative choice that works beautifully. There are subplots within subplots, there is intelligent treatment of such varied things as mental illness, shoemaking, tree surgery and sectarian conflict.

Sectarian conflict - yes. The thing that I find most amazing, about many things that I do find amazing about this book, is that the Hindu and Muslim battles are fought in the background of one particular love story between Maan, the Hindu son of the Revenue Minister, and Firoz, the Muslim son of the local Nawab. Their relationship is, well, interestingly handled - I want to say ambiguously, but for all that we never see them sleep together, or even kiss, it's not ambigous, and the part of me that just thirsts for literary queer Indians of any kind wishes there were more about this aspect in the novel. But at the same time, it doesn't flinch from depicting that they love each other dearly, and that it drives them to do extraordinary - and extraordinarily awful - things. Given what they then begin to symbolise to their respective religious communities, I think I have to acknowledge that it is satisfying, thematically. I just wish there were more.

And the thing I got out of it all - other than all these scattershot ramblings - is, well, a sense of self and history. The India in my head is a curious place. Having never lived there as an adult, I have a strange mixture of my childhood memories, my adult observations, my own hang-ups about it all and the post-independence India of my parents, that they told me about when I was small, that they still look for vainly when they go back. I have heard so much about this time: Nehru's India, the one my parents were born into, a mixed-economy world dominated by government bureaucracy and people's first stumblings towards becoming themselves. It's in the details: the Chatterji family, in the novel, discuss how they changed their name to the anglicised Chatterji from the original Chattopadhyay. In the same way, my surname is not the same as my grandfather's. A character reads for his IAS exams - my grandfather did the same. In 1951, the year the novel is set, my grandfather was working for the IAS in the department of natural resources. (And, as he often told people in the decades to follow, as part of his job, he worked on the first computer in India.) Another character has been sent to boarding school in Shimla, a fate my parents assure me would have been mine, too, had things been slightly different. Even the fictional setting, a university town called Bramhpur, bears a distinct similarity to Roorki, the university town near Delhi where my father grew up. It's rather wonderful to have this whole, solid book full of people and places and things, that I can read, reach out and touch.

Seth claims to be writing a sequel, called A Suitable Girl (what else?) to be published in 2013 and set at the time of writing. I really, really hope this does get written. I want to see what he does with India, now. Come to think of it, I rather want to see what we do with it.
raven: Kira wearing a green tunic against a blue background (ds9 - kira in green)
I've been meaning to make this post for a while! Deep Space Nine, lovelies. People who really don't understand the silly Star Trek thing, look away now. (Except you don't get to make fun of me for it, I love science fiction and I love Star Trek and I am so done being ashamed of that.)

Deep Space Nine is the third Star Trek series. It's the only one to be set in one place, it's the only one to have a large cast of recurring characters, it's the first one not to feature a ship called Enterprise. As for what it's about: oh, god, I have no idea. It's about a space station called Deep Space Nine. It's sort of about war, and a little bit about religion, and a lot about family, and mostly about people.

I watched the pilot, "Emissary", in June 2009, and I just finished "What You Leave Behind", the final episode of the seventh season, and I have been watching this show for ten eleven months and I feel like I should say something about it that isn't just flail. I've been enormously lucky in that not one but two of my best friends were watching it for the first time at the same time as me - [livejournal.com profile] jacinthsong and [livejournal.com profile] hathy_col, thank you for a) putting up with me and b) lending me so many DVDs - and I've had a chance to properly squee. Squeee!

But first of all here are some things I don't like about it )

But what do I like about it, that is the question. Oh, so much. I love the tissue of the whole world it creates. The show begins in literal darkness. The space station is still called Terok Nor, a grim tentacular horror of a space station that is being busily trashed by the withdrawing occupying forces. The Cardassians kick stuff about, they leave. In come the Bajorans, who are throwing off the yoke of the oppressor not with a happy shout but with a sort of resigned efficiency, and the Federation, who are merely helping out. They aren't doing it all that well: Sisko's grieving for his wife and doesn't really give a shit about the assignment, Dax hasn't even been a new person all that long, O'Brien can't make the Federation and Cardassian computers work together. Bashir's all enthused that he gets to be a noble doctor working here in this third-world savage backwater, and Kira, as one of the noble savages herself, is getting ready to kick his head in.

Then, right next to the space station in the back of beyond, a stable wormhole is discovered to the Gamma Quadrant. And suddenly these people are at the centre of the world, and suddenly they have to be the best people they can be. And... oh, I love it, I do. Other Trek shows are pretty rubbish at people, interpersonal relationships, love stories, the rest of it – they're plot driven, spatial-anomaly driven, moral-dilemma driven. And Deep Space Nine is about… it's about Sisko and Jake, working out that father-and-son thing here in this very strange environment. It's about how they build ships together, go on trips together, about how Jake sets his father up on dates and Sisko yells at Jake for not doing his homework. It's about how Kira, who has been a terrorist her entire life, has been fighting the Cardassians her entire life, and has to learn now how to have friends, how to have fun, how not to fight, how to live.

(And let's pause for a moment on that: Kira, a woman with strong religious faith, who describes herself as a terrorist, who never regrets her actions, is nevertheless depicted as consistently principled and awesome.)

And then there's Julian Bashir, who incidentally is both non-white and British, who develops from annoying wunderkind to much more rounded character, and he and Miles O'Brien go on to get drunk together, play darts together, fight at the Alamo together and periodically declare their love for each other, together. And Nog, the Ferengi kid whom Jake teaches to read in the first season, who by the seventh season is a lieutenant in Starfleet, and so well-written and effective has his character development been, you absolutely believe it.

And then there's Odo, Quark and Garak, the three alien characters who are not backdrops to the humans – whose concerns and motivations are both entirely real and entirely at odds, on occasion, with those of the Federation.

And there's the whole world this takes place in: the politics of Bajor and Cardassia, the war against the Dominion, the smaller details like the Bajoran shrine on the station, the baseball in Sisko's office, the fomenting unionists in Quark's bar. The darker cast it puts on the Federation: Section 31, and the infamous root beer analogy. The brilliant, and brilliantly random recurring themes of yammok sauce (this is apparently a Cardassian condiment – why it gets so much discussion is never explained) and self-sealing stembolts (which are never explained at all). It's all so well-realised and internally consistent that these things make sense, and they're deployed with such a light and confident touch that you don't even have these sudden, self-conscious this-is-science-fiction moments, but only, these are people in a brave new world, but they're people.

Obviously I want to finish this by posting a clip from the show. I was going to post Miles and Julian getting drunk and singing Jerusalem, and then I was going to post Kira and Dax wearing the most amazing hats ever seen on television, and then I was going to post Garak, being Garak.

But now I'm going to post this: for the simple reason that it's during this little clip that my mild liking for this show made the leap into full-on love. All you need to know is that Kira has, for various reasons, just lost her job as first officer and liaison between the Federation and the Bajorans, and is preparing to leave the station.

how can you talk about skin lotion at a time like this )
raven: Sabrina Hurley as Natalie with dubious expression and overlay text: "she could no longer pretend he wasn't an idiot" (sports night - natalie)
So, when [livejournal.com profile] lgbtfest prompts were open for submission, I submitted this:

2871. Sports Night, Natalie Hurley, Natalie is not guilty, conflicted or unhappy about her queerness - no matter how much her boyfriend, her faith and her parents get in the way.

I didn't claim it myself, but I kept on thinking about it, and in the end this story happened. This isn't an [livejournal.com profile] lgbtfest story really - because I suspect it might have gone differently if I'd worried about sticking exactly to the prompt - but a hat-tip is in order. Writing about queer issues, guys! It's really great.

Anyway. With thanks to [livejournal.com profile] gamesiplay and [livejournal.com profile] foreverdirt for their kindness in betaing. (And so quickly, too! Thank you both very much.)

Fic:: Hear The City Breathe
by Raven
G, Sports Night, gen and slash, 4000 words. Natalie, who she is.

Natalie's had a lot of boyfriends )
raven: Jadzia Dax taking a clip out of her hair (ds9 - dax)
Today's grand revelation: it's amazing how much more enthused I am about washing-up and cleaning when I'm having a party. Sigh.

Anyway! My [livejournal.com profile] lgbtfest story, for this prompt: 2942. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Ezri Dax, Ezri wasn't bisexual before being joined with the Dax symbiont, and now she has to adjust.

Fic:: Misremembering the Alamo
by Raven
PG, gen, Deep Space Nine. Ezri & ensemble, figuring stuff out.

the first time Ezri Dax saw a woman )
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
Here are my opinions about the new episode of Doctor Who:

this isn't actually all that spoilery )

That is all. I am too sleepy to sit up straight.
raven: Kira wearing a green tunic against a blue background (ds9 - kira in green)
This is going to be a long post. Have some music first. Karine Polwart, whom I discovered recently via [livejournal.com profile] icepixie, has a very lovely voice, and occasionally quite unsettling lyrics: Resolution Road, What Are You Waiting For?.

The good:

-Life continues apace. I am coming up on a strange time; during March, I have no classes Monday to Friday, but exams every Saturday, and a few in the middle - skills-based whatnot, advocacy and other things - which is not at all what I'm used to but perversely I'm sort of looking forward to it. I'm having trouble getting up in the morning these days, so study leave when I can work at 2am if I want to will go down well, and, well, I got my mocks back, most of them, and I'm pleased. They are a scraped commendation (59.5 - civil lit), a proper commendation (business law) and, surprise of all surprises, the exam I didn't prepare for at all - snow and going-to-India conspiring between them - the property exam, I got a highly unexpected high distinction. I feel good about it - like I might do well, not only in my exams, but in practice.

-Property law, yes. I have sudden fears, these days, that I might be a land lawyer when I grow up. I haven't met anyone else who likes it as much as I do, but people must, surely, because there are land lawyers in the world? It's so... I don't know, I don't think any law is tangible but English land law is as close as you can get to it; there's so much history in it, so much tradition, so many things you say, as though reciting chants to hold back your gods - say, "bona fide purchaser for value"[1] twice fast before breakfast; say "freehold interest subject to compulsory first registration", and something happens by magic. But nevertheless it's elegant, internally consistent, intellectually satisfying, and I was worried my liking for land law wouldn't translate to a liking for property practice, but so far so decidedly hoopy.

Anyway. Land law, a good thing in my life. Everyone should have hobbies.

-Deep Space Nine s5 and s6 )

-Something different. There's a man in my class at school, whose initial is not F. Yesterday morning I had a great deal of trouble getting out of bed, and I was cranky when I turned up for criminal litigation, and while I was crankily working through my stack of witness statements, F. was at the next table and he was talking about gay and lesbian people. F. is a devout Christian, which is one thing, and a literalist when it comes to Leviticus, which is quite another; after about ten minutes of listening to him talking about homosexuality being evil, wrong, and a sickness (and, to their credit, the people around him not arguing, but basically trying to shush him), I spoke up and, you know how you have an image of yourself in your head? Someone who is a proud liberal and a proud activist, who says what she thinks and gets her points across with elegant, economical sang-froid?

Yeah, it wasn't like that. I tried not to get upset and told him that I came to my class for purposes of criminal litigation, and there, then, should not have to listen to those things, quite apart from any discussion we might have outside of class. He said he'd got a right to state his opinion, I said not if it upset me in my crim lit class, the tutor returned at that point, case closed for the moment.

Today, I was checking my email during the break when F. came and asked for a word. Okay, I said, warily, what is it.

He said he was sorry. That he'd had no right to speak like that, and he was sorry if what he had said had upset me, and that his views were one thing but he didn't have any right to impose them on me, especially as it was something I found upsetting. He hoped I would forgive him but if not at least I'd know he was sorry.

Bless the man, really.

The bad:

-I am finding it very hard to get up in the mornings, lately. I note this merely for the record at the moment, with the additional note that it's February, I have had two bursts of culture shock in the recent past, and I have exams and academic stress at a greater than normal degree for the time of year. I am going to buy myself a wake-up lamp, and sleep in a little more than I strictly ought.

The ugly indifferent different:

-One of Shim's stranger talents is being able to declaim Kipling to suit all occasions. I have read him, not to the same degree, and while I like his writing, a lot, my thoughts are partly complicated and partly tread the usual aesthetic path of whether I ought to find value in his work, when I know what his views were. The Jungle Book and the Just So Stories aren't, shall we say, entirely representative.

I've started reading him again recently, because I was in India, and it seemed appropriate, and on the whole, I think I would rather read him than not, even if his flashes of racism and his glorification of empire are occasional bad tastes among the good. This is nowhere more evident than in O Beloved Kids, a collection of his letters to his young children, which are full of joys and wordplay and little pen-and-ink drawings and the word "nigger". But I keep reading it, and finding joy in it. I don't know. It was an old moral problem a long time ago, and one of the things I find joy in is how much he loved India, how much that love suffuses every line he wrote about the place, and should you take joy in that, or worry that the India he loved rightfully ceased to exist sixty years ago? I don't know, I don't know. I wish there was at least a starting place with these things - if, for example, the introduction to the letters had not been half-heartedly apologist, but had said outright, Kipling was a racist of his time and a little in his own special way, and this was bad, this was wrong and hurtful, and he was also a Nobel laureate for literature and his writing is full of joy and beauty, and this is good, and the mixture is uneasy but here it is.

I stun myself with my lack of profundity. I shall go and tackle leasehold interests.

[1] Who is also known, in quite formal settings, as "equity's darling", a phrase which delights me unduly.
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
Last night I drank a lot of Pimms and wine, and [livejournal.com profile] luminometrice and [livejournal.com profile] triptogenetica were wonderful hosts, and when we turned up with a duck the size of Jupiter they cooked it, and it was eaten with pancakes and hoi-sin sauce, and it was a lovely lovely evening, and Shim and I stumbled drunkenly home at one in the morning singing "Barrett's Privateers". ("We were let down", he noted, "by the fact I only know half the verses and you don't know any of them at all.")

Today I have mostly been too depressed to do anything. C'est la vie. However. There is a point to this post, before I GO FOR A WALK OMG, because IT IS HEALTHY OMG. I have five Dreamwidth invite codes. If you would like one, please comment and thou shalt receive.

Oh, also, have two more [livejournal.com profile] lgbtfest recs:

Something Old, Something New, by [livejournal.com profile] such_heights, Merlin.
Arthur, Merlin and Gwen figure things out. There is politicking and hangover cures. It's sweet and kind of awesome.

That Sort of Thing, by [livejournal.com profile] hathy_col, Discworld.
This is FABULOUS. Vimes attempts to Explain Things to Carrot. Carrot stays resolutely unexplained. I love this a lot.

Dreamwidth invites. Speak now.
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
Hi, I am a crazy person. I spent Thursday afternoon sitting by the river, under the bridge where the people take their canoes down, watching the geese and the pleasure craft and the occasional solemn, athletic canoeist. One of the large passenger boats from Iffley had cut power and drifted into the middle of the river in order to turn around; there was also an elderly, very fit man sculling furiously. Backwards. After the shouting and crashing were over, I sat back against my tree on the bank and though, huh, I am the only person in the world who saw that coming, maybe I should have said something.. And then started cackling like a loon. I related this story to my long-suffering headshrink dude the next day, and he noted that was very healthy, sitting by the water watching the boats go by. I may have, um, shouted at him.

Basically: I am not very well, I am in that place where you don't think life is worth living at all, blah blah blah whatever.

There are still quite a few days of posting for [livejournal.com profile] lgbtfest, but I thought it was worth noting a few of my favourites while we go:

We Few, We Happy Few by [livejournal.com profile] toujours_nigel, Harry Potter.
Aurors, and institutionalised homophobia. This is stylish.

Time (of change), by [livejournal.com profile] soft_princess, Merlin.
Uther prefers not to father bastards. It's all very logical. Unexpectedly sweet and lovely.

The Rules, by [livejournal.com profile] gilesonnen, Discworld.
A new wizard at Unseen University has questions about the celibacy policy. Ridcully is very literal. The story is a gentle, rollicking delight.

Love Like A Djelibeybian, by [livejournal.com profile] gehayi, Discworld.
Ptraci is enjoying being queen. But people have strange ideas about what handmaidens ought and ought not to do.

And these two you must read, if nothing else:

Modern Love, by [livejournal.com profile] penknife, Discworld.
Show me something of Penknife's I haven't loved, but this is special. This is the Disc's dwarfs getting used to gender, and sex, and not getting used to it, and embracing the human notions, and rejecting the human notions, and it is... not beautiful, but right, and shaped perfectly into a few thousand words. It's a wonderful, wonderful piece of writing, and something I hope Pratchett nods at, later.

The Pattern of the Process, by [livejournal.com profile] raedbard, The West Wing.
This is about Toby's babies-who-come-with-hats, Huck and Molly, only they're not babies, any more - and more than that I wouldn't want to say, because this story is perfect and complete and self-contained. It's immaculately thought-out and immaculately executed, and at something like 19,000 words, an astonishing achievement for a few months' work.


Apr. 14th, 2009 04:43 pm
raven: (misc - pride)
So, my day was going pretty badly, and then there were death threats!

Remember the Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women? The Pink Chaddi Campaign was a wonderful, wry, smart and pointed form of protest - because, let's face it, Hindutva activists are usually quite stupid, and witty humiliation as an argumentative technique is the best way to deal with them other than hitting them with iron bars and setting them on fire.

The Facebook group of the Consortium - I'm not linking to it, for reasons that will be clear in a moment - has been hacked and renamed "the only good bong is a dead one".

I hate everybody. And the Indian men of the world can go fuck themselves, with ginger.

edited to add: the Hindu discusses it.
raven: sign, flower drawing and text: "war is not healthy for children and other living things" (politics - war is not healthy)
I am not doing very well inna head, at the moment. (If I owe you an email/comment/phone call, it is not because I don't love you.) I am okay. Sort of. [livejournal.com profile] shimgray talks me down by making whale noises. [livejournal.com profile] forthwritten has been telling me about liturgical vestments. Still here.

Anyway. I have finished Cordelia's Honour. and it's awesome, and kind of queer )


Mar. 4th, 2009 10:59 pm
raven: black and wite Kaylee, against the background of her parasol in colour (firefly - kaylee's parasol)
I do wish Feministing wouldn't talk the way it does about, well, stuff. Skin-whitening products are Bad and Wrong, I quite agree, yes indeed. But... you know. There's a reason for them. Colourism, I've seen it called, but it's a kind of internalised racism or just plain old self-hatred that makes people like me think our skin ought to be whiter, and, you know what? It's my business, mine and my people's business, what we do about that, and I can't help but think it's terribly presumptuous for someone who's never been a part of a culture where this is an endemic feature to jump in and start spouting about the Bad and Wrong.

(And, just for the record? If there was some magic cream that would let me pass for white? I'd take it in an instant, and I'd pay more than $70 for it, too.)

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] lgbtfest is open for prompt-claiming, and I am having to resist very hard and not claiming... well, lots. I especially love the Harry Potter ones, becuse they twist off two identifiable nexuses (not a word I have used in the plural before): the thought that the magical world is much more socially conservative than ours, and the equally convincing thought that, well, they have magic. Rather than come out as trans, you might go to a back street for a potion as soon as you were sure it's what you wanted. I want someone to write that, actually. I'd also love someone to write about Voldemort's persecution of queer people and how that intersected with issues of birth, and oh, queer issues in the Potterverse generally.

In other other news, a brief vid rec (unlike me, I know): How Much Is That Geisha In The Window, a really gorgeous, savage indictment of the invisible Asians in Firefly. I don't entirely agree with the thesis, but the vid is stunning and very smart.

In other other other news, Small Cat just woke up and looked at me in a disapproving fashion. Back to equity and trusts. One day I will understand the law. Today is not that day.
raven: (misc - pride)
I just caught a passing glimpse of myself in a full-length mirror. Barefoot. Jeans that are torn to shreds at the ends and don't fit particularly well. "Bleeding Heart" t-shirt from Threadless. Little female-symbol ear studs. No bra. I'm listening to Ani DiFranco and I'm reading an article - the article - by Carol Hanisch.

D'you know, boys and girls and non-aligned, I think I might be queer.

Um, yes. I've also, today, been trying to read something that isn't the bloody history of philosophy from Descartes to Kant - aaargh, I do not like this paper, I only did it as a prequisite for the Mind paper (which I adore, so there is that), I really should have done Plato's Republic instead - and am planning to move on with some swiftness to political theory. At the moment I have three topics that I know I want to read about: Rawls' theory of justice, luck egalitarianism, and feminism in general. As I never stop complaining about, there is no specific politics paper for feminism. There are two arguments for why this is the case. Firstly, it is argued, no other specific political position/ideology/philosophy/whatever-we're-calling-it-today has a paper of its own.

To which I say, except Marx and Marxism (paper 217). Oh, Marx, they say, he's extraordinarily influential, blah blah, so one humourless male German philosopher is clearly much more influential than, oh, half the world's population raising issues of political importance not only to themselves but to everyone. I happily concede that Marx is extraordinarily inflential. I do not concede that the oppression and the political exploits of my entire gender are less so. Oxford, you fail at convincing self-justification.

The other argument is this: feminism, they say, shouldn't have a paper of its own because it should be covered as part of all the existing topics. There is scope for feminist analysis everywhere, they say. Which is all very well and very noble, but where was my topic on gendered notions of aesthetics, mmm? Why didn't I get a topic on unexamined liberalism and the influence of gender in international relations? Does gender matter when we study the way we conceive our own consciousness? Why don't I know about that? And so on, and so on, etc. It's a very nice idea, and it entirely fails to work.

Going back to political theory, there, at least, I should not complain. My political theory tutor is very definitely made of awesome; he let me read pretty much whatever I wanted, and did, indeed, actively pursue feminist analysis in all topics. Which is why I'm spending some of today reading Elizabeth Anderson on Dworkin and the luck egalitarians. I seem to remember telling [livejournal.com profile] mi_guida about this: if you're on the - or indeed a - university network, it's on JSTOR, here: "What is the point of equality?" Fifty-plus pages of her taking Dworkin apart point by point. It's a joy.

(I also need to read a few more things on liberal feminism that, more than just being interesting and a good addition to my own corpus of feminist reading, are also things I can write about in an exam. This is proving particularly difficult. Have read chunks of Susan Moller Okin (urrrgh) and Catharine MacKinnon and am now faintly bored, as a lot of my reading for this topic was done for the compusory heterosexuality essay, which while great fun, isn't something that will ever come up in an Oxford Finals paper. Siiigh. The return to heteronormative liberal feminism, etc., I am bored.)

Speaking of compulsory heterosexuality, I was talking to Maria last night at quite some length - it was a conversation that started out very sensibly, with how are you and I hope you haven't been carried away by the storm, and quickly segued into rampant silliness involving hats and pie and square dancing and Embarrassing Crushes of Our Teenage Years, and it was nice, through the silliness, to be very, I don't know, out. This is something I notice a lot when talking to queer women, just in general conversation; there's this whole wonderful freedom to say, yes, women are sexually attractive, and to proceed under the assumption that whoever you're speaking to agrees with you on this point. Which is not significant now - obviously, when you start with a sample of women who are queer, this is a conclusion they are all likely to have come to - but it makes me wonder in passing how much I missed out on. Because this sort of conversation - the silly, cheerful, ooh, Katee Sackhoff is pretty sort of conversation - is the sort of conversation that girls seem to start having when they're about eleven, correct me if I'm wrong. I remember it becoming a feature when I started secondary school, at least; even in a girls' school (or perhaps more so, in a girls' school) people talked about boys.

(Can you hear the teenage syntax there? You can't even talk about this without regressing a little bit.)

And of course, I didn't want to talk about boys, or at least not exclusively, so when I was having this very cheerful conversation yesterday evening, it was silly, yes, but it made me wonder, why have I not been having this sort of conversation for the last ten years of my life? And the answer is obvious and depressing: girls' schools, like everywhere else, are dens of vice and heteronormativity. And even beyond that, I think when I started meeting people who were emphatically not straight, both at school and later, they were emphatically not straight in a way that doesn't resonate with me. I'm not a lesbian, or at least not in my own understanding. I'm not really bisexual either, although I hang on to the term occasionally - because, as I heard a self-professed bisexual explain to me once, it sort of implies that "men are great, because of Y", and "women are great, because of X", and there are specific reasons for attraction to both (and it is both; there's very much a binary gender paradigm here), and that doesn't ring any bells for me. I'm queer. I like people. Mostly, I like women. (Er, mostly.) But that's entirely contingent, I think; perhaps if I'd lived in a different environment, met different people, I'd have been mostly attracted to men, because I can't in all honesty tell the difference between genders. In any case, a low-key notion of sexuality, I think. "Queer" is usually enough of a term for me; I've heard "omnisexual" and "pansexual" bandied about, which is all very well, but let's face it, they're remarkably silly words. One strikes me as kind of melodramatic, and the other sounds like sexual attraction limited to half-man-half-goat creatures with a taste for the flute. Neither of which I am especially keen to endorse. Hurrah for queer.

Um. Back to history of philosophy from Descartes to Kant, neither of which figure especially highly in the theory of identity politics, siiigh. Tell me what you think, people of the flist. What are your experiences of growing up queer? And is it different, as I think it must be, to come to queerness in adulthood? And what about straight people who don't understand heteronormativity either? Etc., etc. I'm interested to know.
raven: text: "There's a full and very reasonable explanation that mostly does not involve me being drunk" (sbp - me being drunk)
I have my window open a crack. I can hear the sea.

.....aaaah. Okay. Sane now. Really.

Maybe not quite. But I am back in the frozen north (er - actually, it's a couple of degrees warmer than Oxford), and feeling rather better about life. The Aeneid was wonderful - more thoughts on it when said thoughts are something beyond "omgyay!" - and the week ended very very well indeed. And now, amazingly, I am home. I didn't particularly think about what I was doing this vac, mostly because my life ended with the Aeneid, and now I'm here and really rather quite surprised about it.

But. Pleasantly surprised. At nine o'clock this morning I got a text from my mother, to the effect of, am in Dubai, see you later. I am an awful person and had entirely forgotten she was there, mostly due to the pernicious effect of the Aeneid cast party the night before. It was drunken. That is a big surprise to everyone, I know. But it was also joyous and filled with happy people, and I had not eaten in days, and drinking was clearly the best idea ever. (I tried. I really, really did. I ate a sandwich and everything. In the afternoon, I was packing up my room with the windows open with [livejournal.com profile] chiasmata knitting and making soothing noises in the windowseat, and was being gradually consumed by maudlin. Because Balliol are not made of win, they want me to clear out all my crap. I, therefore, was putting away books, thinking, oh, won't have time to read much next term, I may as well take it home for good. Oh, god. Leaving Oxford. Please to not be getting me started on this always-cheerful topic.)

But, yes, yes, cast party. I participated in some glorious cocktailing, and now have adopted two more OULES children as well as Maria. And spent the rest of the evening curled up on the Couch of Lesbian Doom, so called because through a bit of syllogistic trickery, everyone on it was - here's the clever part - by definition a lesbian ([livejournal.com profile] osymandias and [livejournal.com profile] shimgray objected to this slightly, on grounds of being male, but they were both quite clearly wrong) and I was rather extravagantly rude to a gatecrashing sleazy boy drifting through the party (although not quite as rude as [livejournal.com profile] chiasmata, who was heard to wish quite cheerfully that his penis would fall off), and after that, sinking slowly into sleepy contentment. Ahhhh.

Yes, nine o'clock this morning, my mother was in Dubai, and by six, we were both in Manchester Airport, she sleepy and endearingly irrational and me sleepy and wearing the Cat Ears of Troy. (Because, er, everything that was involved in the Aeneid in any capacity has become the "X! Of! Troy!", said just like that, with pauses for dramatic piano music. My life has become constituted and defined by the norms and mores of a student bastardisation of Virgil, why do you ask?) She's been gone a month, and I've been away for three, and it was nice to wander back tonight and dazedly talk about nothing much. She informs me that I've lost weight. To which my answer is, um, I haven't eaten in days, this is hardly surprising. (Is it some sort of grand only-daughter cliche that this should be our very first topic of conversation? Sigh.)

And now I'm home, and feeling sane enough to sit still and write for the first time in a while, and it's funny, but I'd forgotten what absolute silence sounds like. Above the aforementioned sound of the waves - which are particularly clear tonight; it's rough, and the trees are mostly still - there's no sound at all. It's immensely soothing. (I mean, no wonder I get crazy living in central Oxford. I lived here for eight years before that.) And now I can write again, and am eating a little more, and I might even be able to do some work for, er, Finals. These are all good things. (Which is not to say I am not missing Oxford ridiculously. I am, and with almost comical immediacy.) Things I have wanted to post for a while, and not done so through being crazy busy:

-[livejournal.com profile] remixredux08! Hurrah, hurrah! I love Remix, and this is, frighteningly enough, my fifth year doing it. (And almost not; I signed up literally minutes before sign-ups closed.) I'm pretty excited about this year's - my author is intimidatingly awesome, in the good way, and writes about places and people and I really want to revisit. One thing I like is that I tend to have more fun with the writing each successive year - last year's effort was "Ways of Not Speaking (the Poetry in Motion Remix)",which I don't think I ever reposted - and that bodes well for this time around. We shall see.

-[livejournal.com profile] lgbtfest, run by [livejournal.com profile] penknife and my dear [livejournal.com profile] mireille719. I love this idea; it addresses something that's always bugged me, namely, the relatively small amount of fic out there that addresses, alongside slash, notions of queerness and gender and sexuality in fandom's fandoms. For once, my timing is fabulous - prompts have just now opened for claiming - and they really are pretty cool. (I came up with exactly one. I fail. Other people emphatically do not, the list makes very intriuging reading.) I'm not sure if I'm going to sign up yet; I really ought not to do more than one ficathon at one time, but I do want to take the opportunity to finish my Teddy-Lupin-is-amazingly-genderqueer story, which is currently festering at 2000 mostly disconnected words.

-(Also, a 9000-word-story, Star Trek, supposed to be for [livejournal.com profile] likethesun2's birthday, except not, because see above re: me failing, is festering as well, and that's annoying me because it was going so well. Again, we shall see, now I can sit still and, you know, construct sentences again.)

-My darling wife [livejournal.com profile] jacinthsong has divorced me on Facebook. This is a tragedy of epic proportions. It is epic and tragic. (More than the Aeneid. Yes.)

She does, however, have her reasons. Er. Um. In brief: I have a boy; I am as surprised as everyone else, believe me; it's [livejournal.com profile] shimgray; I am happy.

Right. To bed, to bed! In the morning I am going to the beach.


Feb. 18th, 2008 01:38 am
raven: red tulips in a vase on a balcony, against a background of a city (stock - tulips)
Over the weeked, [livejournal.com profile] glitzfrau asked me how long I've had insomnia. Twenty-one years, I said. (This is, indeed, broadly true. My poor mother.) At least, she said, it's vaguely glamourous as life-long afflictions go. It's not, for example, constipation.

Needless to say, I am finding this an oddly comforting thought at 1.27am. I am overtired in that very special way that involves pacing up and down your room being wide-eyed and loopy and hyper-aware of the quality of the light. Bizarrely, I seem to be sleeping better in places that aren't my bed. I woke up a lot but did actually sleep when I was in Leeds, [livejournal.com profile] chiasmata put me up on Thursday and I slept, and tonight I dropped in on [livejournal.com profile] jacinthsong after OULES and dozed off whilst sprawled full-length on her floor. I think I might seriously try sleeping in the window seat again, but perhaps not on a night when it is six degrees below zero.

(A brief digression on that point: holy cow, it is cold. It was a couple of degrees chillier in the north, but it's still very cold here. Worth it, for the three or four days of perfectly cloudless, clear winter days, which are my favourite type of weather and I should stop moaning.)

Anyway, yes. It remains true that lack of sleep is making a wee bit of a nutcase of me. I was on [livejournal.com profile] jacinthsong's floor, as previously mentioned, staring at my bare wrists and noting that I never know what time it is any more, like so: "My watch has stopped. Also I'm not wearing it."

Yep. I'm very bright, me.

Cue laughter, because, oh, dear, I am not made of win at the moment. I have spent the last few days fighting off an utterly black mood - why should I get out of bed? why? no, really, why? - mostly successfully, by being very busy. Friday night was Queer Cabaret, and it was marvellous. The bar was filled with beautiful people of every gender, and there were pink wigs and glitter and luridly-coloured cocktails.

(Also, it was four degrees below zero and this is what I had chosen the coldest night of the winter so far to go out in:

huh )

Yes. But freezing to death aside, it was a wonderful evening. There were two "professional" queer acts, neither of which I liked particularly, but I actually went for Girlesque, and they were worth every penny. They sang and danced and were gloriously louche and genderqueer and talented and beautiful. [livejournal.com profile] sebastienne's beyond-lovely version of Cole Porter's "You're The Top", redone with a distinctly sadomasochistic flavour, was probably my favourite part. And this is entirely apart from the fact that I was immortalised in the line: "... you're the harsh slave-owner / you're Laura to my Iona..."

Every new person I met for the rest of the evening said, "Oh, you're the girl in the song!" I love it really.

On Saturday morning, at eight in the morning, [livejournal.com profile] chiasmata appeared with a lot of coffee and informed me we were going to Leeds. And we did, indeed, go all the way up the M1 to Leeds and visit [livejournal.com profile] biascut and [livejournal.com profile] glitzfrau, who are delightful and were very good to us. We didn't do very much beyond eat, giggle, read the Saturday Guardian and watch Mean Girls, and it was a lovely relaxing couple of days. It was nice to be back in the north, however briefly. I might've been tempted to actually go home as well - Leeds is, I believe, east of Formby Point and not too far a drive - but my parents are away. They're in Bangalore doing interesting and exciting things and undoubtedly getting into trouble of some description. They're with my favourite uncle, all three of them are skiving off any lectures they ought to be giving in Delhi, and last time this was the case, I was flying home out of Delhi. I'd said my goodbyes outside, got through security control and just settled in to wait for my flight when my mum and uncle appeared looking very cheerful. You're not allowed to be in here, I complained.

Sure we are, they said. We're government officials of India.

"Since when?" I yelled.

"Since," my mum said, holding up some expertly forged dated paperwork, "er, since this morning?"

...I digress. But they're having fun without me and have probably got into lots of trouble by now.

We came back to Oxford late this afternoon and made it home without any hassle, despite traffic accidents on the motorway and a general aura of sleepiness. The weather was almost ludicrously beautiful all the way down, with a glorious, sticky-Neapolitan confection of a sunset - pink and yellow stripes! - and I was thinking, in that half-witted very sleepy sort of way, that a lot of my thought processes lately have been framed in metaphors of travel and movement and distance. I noticed the landscape changing from rolling Oxfordshire fields to the more industrial north; I noticed the curving lines of streetlights looking strange and starry against the sky; I noticed changing signposts and people's accents and all the things that are different when you go anywhere. Which is all not very profound, but it makes me think that the next six months of my life, after June and Finals, will not be spent here. Not here, not in one place. I want to travel - I want to keep on moving and keep noticing and keep writing - and this will be the first time I've ever been free to just start moving and not stop. And part of it is undoubtedly a straightforward response to urgh, Finals, but it's true: it's time for something different.

OULES is going well. At some point this week, we are going to acquire the Sack of Troy from eBay. I meant to come home, but stayed and drank peppermint tea and did nothing but stare at the ceiling and love my friends and now I'm going to try and sleep.

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