choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-09-18 05:49 pm
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(no subject)

I have just realized what Trump's real motto is.

"The last man nearly ruined this place
He didn't know what to do with it:
If you think this country's bad off now,
Just wait 'til I get through with it!"

(Why yes, I just heard that Grabbers Of Pussies were making a last-ditch effort to repeal the ACA: why do you ask?)
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-09-16 09:55 pm
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(no subject)

Meantime, Peter's here, and also today was my neighborhood's annual block party.

Which was surprisingly fun! I mean, I think it's meant to allow people to meet their neighbors, which I mostly failed to do, because I was busy eating tasty food, doing parkour, or keeping half an eye on P. while HE was doing parkour. (Unnecessarily, 'cause the guys from the local parkour club were super responsible and very good at dealing with the ever-increasing bunch of kids who agreed with Peter that this was the best thing ever, or at least the best thing that didn't have a movie tie-in or something.)
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-09-15 10:58 am

(no subject)

Pursuant to my last post: well, poop. Not getting that Hahvahd job.
I guess at least I know?
(Nope, not better.)
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-09-13 10:34 am
Entry tags:

Realm: Job Applications

@#%%$^, Hahvahd. That History Case Method job for which I applied - two months ago - is now flagged as a "hot job" (i.e., "We're getting desperate.") And yet, my application is STILL just "under review".
For heaven's sake, people: if you're THAT concerned to get the post filled asap, why not just interview me, at least?

In other job search related news, I've gone ahead and gotten myself fully onboarded with the Tutoring Firm.* (My brother turns out to have been right: I CAN just turn pupils down if it looks like a bad fit.)
This, in turn, may be derailed by the other job news of the day. As one can imagine, cleaning up Hurricane Harvey is a massive job for FEMA: so much so that they're looking into the possibility of poaching employees from other federal agencies (since that way, even if they need complete retraining, they don't need to redo criminal background checks or swear 'em in.) Since I sort of WOULD like to do something to help - but have no money - I may actually take them up on this: IF it looks like we'd be paid decently, and IF I can work it out with my responsibilities to G. and P.

Well, and IF Hahvahd doesn't hire me first, I guess.

* Still waiting to hear whether my blog posts over there are my intellectual property, or there's. If the former, I'll start cross-posting them here.**
Which reminds me, I need to find an actual HISTORY topic that's interesting to a broad audience, but isn't fifteenth-century Swiss jokes, or Roman understandings of sexuality, or níð, or other non-G-rated topics. I'm feel like I'm already walking the line by just MENTIONING the fact that much of Catullus ought to have a "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics" sticker.
** ETA: sunuvubitch, no, no cross-posting. How am I supposed to put together a writing portfolio for anyone else?
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-08-30 04:56 pm

(no subject)

(Written while sitting around church because I'd forgotten that I'd never gotten the keys to the bell tower back, so I'm extra pissed off.)

So l just accepted a job with a tutoring company, and now my stomach feels like it has a bunch of snakes in it, and I'm kind of wishing I'd written back instead no, on second thought I don't think I want to go forward with this. 🐍

I'd applied because they supposedly pay fairly well, and I figured I had a good chance of actually being hired. (Self-evidently accurate.) But as the reality of the situation sunk in, I realized: this is going to be yet another job that I'm not excited about--which in itself isn't a problem, I've given up actually trying to figure out my vocation, ideal job or purpose in life, figuring that if my purpose in life is suddenly revealed to me in a flash of light, then great; otherwise I'll find meaning and identity in my hobbies and in trying to be a decent human being. But that' probably won't work as well--and it's a shitty way to live--if I have sharply limited free time and am stressed out all the time. And this is going to be another job that I'm not excited about, at irregular hours, where when you have to start and stop working is very nebulous. And that's going to stress me out and sharply reduce my useful free time (since tutoring presumably happens mostly in the events, when I want to be doing other stuff.)

Also, it's a job working with people. I hate those. And they tend to burn me out rapidly.


And then there's the mere fact that I have a bad feeling about this. There have been too many times in the past when I had a bad feeling about something, couldn't find a logical reason why, ignored it, and wound up wishing I hadn't. I hate to go all woo-woo or act like I'm claiming to have the least useful form of divine inspiration ever, but I'm starting to think my subconscious mind sometimes figures stuff out before the rest of me does.

So whaddo I do, internet? Take a chance on this job, try to give it a fair chance, and at worst...actually not worst, there are so many ways it can go worse than that...at second-best, then, kick the can of finding a job I don't hate a little further down the road? Or go with my gut and get the hell away from this?

...Maybe I should try to become a bank clerk.

ETA: My brother pointed out that, since it looks like I'm going to have at least SOME control over what tutoring assignments I take on, I can see what's on offer, and then if ALL of them suck (or look like they're gonna suck) for one reason or another, I can just say No to all of them, and say "I'm sorry, I don't think anything you have is actually the sort of thing I want to do."* So I think I'm going to go with that option.

OTOH, I am being reminded that the other thing I hate about part-time jobs is that, given too many responsibilities (and n>3), I tend to either neglect some of them until n≤3, or have my brain seize up and just surf the internet and do none of them.

* He had some super-brilliant phrase for how to do this (because of course he did), but which I've now forgotten.
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-08-25 05:05 pm

(no subject)

As P. and I approach the end of our stay in England, assorted thanks and apologies:

First (chronologically) to the staff of Virgin Atlantic, who checked us in when we showed up flustered and an hour later than we should have been. (G. had forgotten P's passport, and retrieving it took rather a lot of time. Good thing I built an hour of "something goes hideously wrong" time into the schedule.)

Second (though most importantly) to my Mom and her husband, who put up with a frequently hyper nine-y-o and his father (moody, broody, inclined to leave them with the kid in favour of doing tourist stuff) for nine days, AND totally drove us around and paid for tickets and bankrolled us all the way.

Third, to the waitress at the Lindesfarne Inn, near Berwick and the aforesaid Isle, for helping keep up with all of our orders, supplying me with cider, and lending me her pen to write postcards and things. I repaid the favour by inadvertently walking off with the pen.

Finally (well, I hope): to the change ringers of York, who not only enthusiastically welcomed a questionably competent ringer to Sunday ringing,* but then invited me back for practice.
At which point I promptly fumbled the sally and consequently broke the stay on the #4.
They did not have a spare stay.
And then they STILL were all understanding*** and supportive and mostly concerned about whether I'd injured myself (ans: not beyond mild rope burn), AND let me keep ringing, which was good 'cause that's traditionally the moment when learners totally freeze up and have to relearn like a zillion things before they recover their confidence, and then invited me out to the pub and bought me a pint. Ladies and Gents, if you're ever in Boston, I totally owe you Thai food.
And now I'm gonna go home and neurotically check every stay in the tower at CotA for signs of damage.

-----

Also, mad thanks (though I hope no apologies!) to [personal profile] tree_and_leaf and husband, who invited me to Wakefield and put me up, so that I actually got a chance to hang out in person with Tree for more than half an hour.

FULLER REPORT LATER. HOPEFULLY.

* I mean, at home I'm at least vaguely competent, but they're intimidatingly good. Y'know, perfect striking, the fourteen-year-old who's learning to ring two bells at one, the twelve-year-old who's learning Bristol...and the fact that several of them can ring a bell with no stay.

** Once again, then stay is the chunk of wood attached to the bell that prevents it from swinging past the point where the mouth is pointing up.

*** Admittedly, they tell me this happens a lot at St. Wilfrid's, and the #4 is traditionally (both there and elsewhere) one of the bells that gets abused by novice ringers the most.
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-08-25 12:32 pm
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(no subject)

Pt. 1: The practical stuff

OK! I'm returning from England with critter socks (fox, hedgehog, squirrel) and marmalade. Everyone on here gets dibs before I offer the Random British Stuff to fb.

([personal profile] sovay, the obligatory Weird Crisps are for you. Which segues to...)

Pt. 2: Impractical Wishes
Being an open letter to Sovay.
I'm glad you're excited about Weird Crisps! You said to find something you'd like, and that's what I could actually bring you in my luggage. But there's so many other things that you'd've liked, but that I probably can't get through customs. Kippered herring, for example, is (insofar as I'm aware) unavailable in the US, and it was on the menu at our hotel in Northumberland, but I can't imagine I can bring one back in my suitcase. I thought about bringing you a stone from Lindisfarne, since while you're not interested in the religious side, tidal islands--especially the doubly-tidal, seal-haunted St. Cuthbert's Isle--would seem to me to be right up your alley. (Seriously, the seals were like twenty yards away from Peter and me, tops.) Sadly, its stones aren't terribly distinctive, and I don't want to bring you some random piece of rock that you'll be wondering, six months from now, what the sam hill it was. Your ungodson ran around the rocks and sands and mudflats barefoot, as you would have; and we nearly made it out to the sandpit that seals had been swimming over an hour earlier. The sky was blue, the wind was chill, the view of the fields of Berenicia stretching up toward The Cheviot was breathtaking. It was your sort of morning. All I can bring home for you is the memory.
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-08-17 07:33 pm

Discombobulated thoughts on a train

(Mostly scribbled down at about 8am this morning.)

On the fells, pastures slope up to heather--but some part of my mind expects forest. And I don't know whether that's a medievalist who's read Nicola Griffith one time too many, or the New Englander who's used to a landscape that's pine trees by default, or whether it's some other cause that accounts for the fact that my gut-level expectation of a landscape is the fields slope up to the forest.
We're going through Elmet, but the wood is long gone.
The heather's in bloom; the decaying/ex- mill towns look almost exactly their counterparts in New England.

There's something, I muse as we roll toward (or maybe out of) Caer Loidis, past what's probably about to be a mall, there's something especially ugly about Development in Britain. Maybe it's just the fact that I know there's so much /less/ land here, and so every bit that's actually still woods or fields is that much more precious; or maybe it's the knowledge that any given chunk of land once belonged to someone, may have two thousand years of history and owners beneath it, and now the topsoil that contains whatever minimal traces that left--if nothing else, the plough furrow, the soil chemistry because /this/ was sheep pasture and /this/ was in barley when Robert Aske's Pilgrims marched on York, or Fairfax passed by on the way to Marston Moor--being untidily bulldozed.
Or maybe it's just that development usually makes me disgusted, and I'm just less used to seeing it here.

I ramble: then and now. Then on the Trans-Pennine Express with Peter, who still finds the view out the window utterly too boring to bother with; or now in my Mum's library, the books all packed in boxes for a move that hasn't come yet, Mum reading Country Life of all things, Peter having utterly crashed after a day of constant energy. Both times utterly sleep-deprived, so much so that five hours of jet lag is a secondary factor at best: our plane caught a tail wind and arrived an hour early, and that in itself is great--but it means I slept for maybe an hour on the plane, then another hour uneasily napping in a real bed when I realised I just couldn't any more. Either way, safe across the Atlantic.
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-08-15 09:17 pm
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Your telepathic equine / mythical animal companion and you.

Being a review of Robin McKinley's Pegasus, plus about half a review of C.J. Cherryh's Rider at the Gate and Naomi Novik's everything.

“Preface: )"OK, if you had a Mercedes Lackey-style animal companion thing going on, how would that Really work in practice?”

I am speaking, of course, about C.J. Cherryh’s Rider at the Gate books and Robin McKinley’s Pegasus. Read more... )

*** Except for the endings. I think Hero and the Crown is the only thing I've read of hers where she actually sticks the ending.

NOTE: I started this review right after Readercon, and then it mouldered on my desktop for several weeks. Tonight I was feeling restless and angry and useless, and so decided I might as well get THIS done, anyway; except I'd forgotten about half the more cleverly vitriolic things I was gonna say about Pegasus. Oh well, have a review.
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-08-15 05:06 pm

(no subject)

Packing. Trying to figure out what I've forgotten to pack.

Meantime, is there anything that anyone wants from the other side of the Atlantic?

(I mean, excluding things like "A new ring of eight", "The head of Theresa May/Donald Trump", or "An entire Stilton cheese". Things I can physically and legally stuff in my luggage.)
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-08-07 03:11 pm
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Realm: Weekend - Subrealm: 6.8.17

...I should really be looking for jobs. Uh, constructive procrastination?

So it's just as well that [personal profile] teenybuffalo and [personal profile] sovay weren't available for dinner Saturday night, 'cause that's about the worst batch of Vegetarian Heart Attack I think I've ever made. Moral of the story: taste the basil before you buy it.

Sunday I skipped bellringing (unnecessarily, as I realized later) to haul up to New Hampshire for this big family reunion thing my Aunt had organized. This would not, frankly, have been my first choice for the day: in additional to my campanological commitments, I hate driving,* I don't really have much of anything in common with my cousins anymore, and given my finances I'm kinda feeling like the black sheep of the family. But she was going to feel hurt if I didn't turn up, so...

And actually, it was ok. I mean, I still don't have much in common with my cousins (and almost feel more at home with my cousins-once-removed, the elder of whom has grown about a foot since I saw her last), but I really shoulda caught up with my stepcousin K., who (I learned) had just moved to within a few blocks of me. (wtf?) And the food was tasty, and I got to see my brother and get the latest from him.
More importantly (and this was an even bigger shock than the suddenly 5'6" cousin), I got to see my uncle. RM... huh. That's a story.
See, about, ooo, a year and a bit ago, RM. found out that the weird digestive problems he'd been having were, in fact, bowel cancer. And that would be bad enough, but, well, he was the one kid whom Grandma succeeded in bringing up as a Christian Scientist, and if you're a Christian Scientist and get cancer, the options are supposed to be 1. Miracle** or 2. Die faithfully. RM. ultimately went with option 3., which is Stop Being A Christian Scientist (I guess?) and actually get modern medical treatment; but when Mom visited him last spring, he looked about on his deathbed anyway, and I hadn't gotten an update since, so I was amazed he'd made it up. ("Your mom's always been the worrier," was his [typically] sardonic comment.) In fact, though, he'd apparently made the drive up from Ithaca just fine, and while he had lost more weight than was healthy, he was a lot less corpse-like than I'd been expecting.*** And not super energetic, but seemed to be mostly his old self.
So yeah. That was my weekend. Well, that and reading too many fantasy novels (and I owe you a post on that, too), with less than optimal results for my census productivity. I should get on that. First, job searching.

Nine days til I leave for England. Still don't know which city.

* The drive up, at least, was substantially better than I'd anticipated--in terms of driving time. What I ALSO hadn't expected was that they're still in the process of widening I93, thus simultaneously rubbing your face in the fact that they're tearing up the landscape so as to cover more of it with tarmac AND the bits where extra lanes might actually be useful still aren't done yet. Like seriously, guys, why was the interchange at the south end of 293 not the FIRST thing you did? And why do I suspect that the answer is somehow connected to the fact that there are still hundred-foot piles of gravel by the roadside?

** I don't know whether or not that's EXACTLY how people who go in for faith healing would describe it, but f--- them, because if it isn't, than they're even more irrational than I think they are anyway.

*** I also noticed he'd lost some hair, but then Grandpa was mostly bald by the time HE hit 65, and my brother's at least heading in that direction, so I don't actually think that's significant.
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-08-02 03:31 pm

(no subject)

How is it only two weeks til I leave?
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-07-27 10:43 pm

(no subject)

Peter and I got home very late last night from two days in Maine.* Photos will be hopefully be forthcoming at some point, but I thought of various of his ungodparents and other friends at various points. S, uoyay illway ebay adglay otay owknay atthay ouryay unay-odsongay isay ownay eakingspay igpay atinlay, evenay ifay itay isay ethay arbarousbay aichay ialectday. [personal profile] sovay, El' was amazed at him running barefoot over the stones of the beach. And I kept thinking of Stephen (who doesn't have a journal), as we were constructing a causeway out of stepping stones to avoid the mud in the shallows of the lake, and then later when he was taking to kayaking with a vengeance.

Now I need to sleep. Or try to do so, given that I drank a bunch of coffee after dinner to stay awake for a project that wound up only taking forty-five minutes...

PS: Oh, and of course thanks to my various relatives, and to Squigamunk, for putting up with him occasionally being a brat!

* Well, it was two days for me. Peter had been in Scarborough for like a week before then.
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-07-23 11:01 pm

(no subject)

Moral of today's transit story:
Never assume that the fastest route is going to involve a direct bus route. Sometimes, retracing your steps back into Boston is the way to go.
Also, the last commuter rail train doesn't leave that much before the last T does.
@Lechmere

ETA: I was on my way back from the USS Constitution (re)launch party, which I'd attended for the chantey sing. We got to see it floating, but at least when I left we hadn't actually got to sing FOR it (someone had written a song specially), and I got out of there before she actually got towed out of Dry Dock #1.
And I'd come there directly from an Arisia board cookout, and there directly from CotA, so it was a long day. A good one, apart from the bit with the T.
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-07-11 10:42 pm

(no subject)

Sortof regretting not getting a room at Readercon for Friday night, as well as Saturday.

Not least because then I could have my own room party! I was thinking rum + sea shanty sing + Alestorm singalong, but that was just tentative...

I thought for a half second about seeing if I could book my room for a second night. Then I remembered that I am still poor.

(I mean, unless BRCF writes back tomorrow to say "OMG we thought that editing project last week was going to take you like twelve hours here have All The Money". A man can dream.)
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-07-11 08:27 am

(no subject)

Signs you've spent too much time doing random historical map research: you look at your Google directions for picking people up for Readercon, and think for a split second, "Hey, is that a Roman road?"

In other news, I had a dream last night that BRCF was going to pay me in Bitcoins, and also it turned out that Bitcoins were actually issued as physical objects--little blue plastic squares, labeled in red and gold "Good for Five (5) Bitcoins!" which you then had to redeem online.
choco_frosh: (Default)
2017-07-10 06:01 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Hmph.
1. Census seems to have dropped the ball on getting us all necessary (well, useful) paperwork, so it didn't seem worthwhile to go out and patrol today.

2. BRCF sent me another load of stuff last week: more than the first lot, but certainly not fifteen hours' worth.* I finished it up Friday, and am now waiting to either hear whether it met their standards or get a new lot to work on. So THAT was out...**

3. ...So I spent apparently spent too much of the weekend sitting and/or walking in non-ergonomic ways, and now my knee is acting up again. Or rather, doing the other other thing in the repertoire, namely making my right heel ache like blazes.

Despite this, I'm going running. Last time this happened, letting my various bits stay inert was worse than resting them...

* leaving me wondering yet again whether they don't have as much stuff in need of editing as I'd been given to understand, or whether someone honestly thought a 5.5 hour job was going to take more than twice that.

** I suspect they're going to hand me a bunch of stuff on Wednesday, which would be fine except that I'm going to be at Readercon for the four days following!