Jun. 10th, 2011 10:59 pm
rhyll: (Default)
I have been finding the space to do things that make me happy again, including:

* I hung around in Northbridge for a while on Wednesday night. I had fifteen minutes to fill before meeting lovely-old-friend and lovely-new-friend for dinner, and I sat down in the Northbridge piazza to watch a documentary, and immediately a stranger sat next to me and started chatting. I like this! I like talking to strangers, and surprises, and the oddness of Northbridge.

* J invited a friend from uni around on Wednesday night, and when I got back from dinner I sat with them and the housemates in the lounge, talking about politics (live animal exports, how people see science) until 1 am. It is so restorative to have clever people in my life who are willing to pull apart ideas and ethics, and ask tough questions in gentle ways.

* I have been starting to do ukulele practice again, after a long absence (mostly to do with strange hangups and associations I have with ukulelestuff). I am finding new songs to play that are tricky, but not impossible, which is just what I need right now.

* Vegan cooking! Some of it works out and some of it doesn't, but I am feeling pretty good about vegan food at the moment. It almost never feels like I'm missing out.

* Getting back to research and writing. I'm having a hard time with it, mostly because after the last year of rushed teaching the slower pace of reading and thinking and plotting and planning feels decadently unproductive. But I'm happy to have ideas in mind and projects ahead of me that I know I'll get into eventually.

* People! J is absolutely and ridiculously lovely, and I am appreciating the heck out of him. Also, ladyfriends! Ladyfriends for crafternoon, and ukuleletimes, and Friday night museum visits (we went to a talk on dangerous marine animals: I am never going in the sea ever again), and dressups, and extravagant overseas trips, and dancing, and Always Having Someone Who Has My Back. Also, a variety of strange but delightful connections I have to people that are hard to describe, but which nevertheless make me feel much better about the world.

* Good spaces. I have always felt just a little odd in our house, because it's the first place I've lived where I haven't had my own room, and I haven't wanted to impose my crazy aesthetic on housemates. But I've rearranged the study/guest bedroom, and now it's colourful and useable and full of silly pictures, and I feel very happy in it. Also, in our room which I tidied up as well.

* Books! I keep forgetting to read, because I feel like I should be doing Productive Things! Always! But I have been making time, and I went and explored the Curtin library and found a book on women of the Beat generation, and it is so nice to be learning and exploring with no particularly aim.

That's probably enough for now, right? I am feeling fairly pleased about it all.
rhyll: (Default)
First, the lessons:
* It is probably not a good idea to carry home a roti soaked in ghee and sugar in adequate packaging in your backpack. At least, not if you would not like to find a thousand ants in your backpack in coming days. If you enjoy a thousand ants, feel free to ignore this advice.

* I was pretty sick on Saturday night and Sunday during the day. I mostly spent the day sleeping, and drinking lots of water, and not doing anything absurd like trying to work or sit up. Then slept for 10 hours straight last night. I have still been a bit sick today, but well enough to do some work. Lessons learned: having a day off sometimes is probably a good idea! Also, coconut juice is good for rehydration (I knew this one already)! Also, one day is enough to rest, now back to work! (I think at least two of these lessons are good lessons.)

* I haven't been cooking while I'm here, because I have been daunted by the different kitchen setup and by cooking for people and fretting that I will get it All Wrong. But I couldn't eat much at all yesterday, and definitely not anything spicy, so I made myself a little mashed potato. And today my eating is still a little shaky, although I've been wanting to eat EVERYTHING, so I made some mashed potato-with-green-beans, and some tomatoes-with-onions, and noone said: 'peh! worst ever! stupid Australians!' I went to the supermarket to get ingredients instead of one of the little vegetable sellers (and I felt bad about it, but I wanted tofu - or 'soya paneer', as it was labelled). And it wasn't too scary, although one woman did just walk in front of me because I was queuing insufficiently aggressively. The guy behind me showed me how it was done by standing about five centimetres away from me the whole time I was Buying Things. Lessons learned: cooking is not too scary! I should do it, sometimes! Also, it's okay to not be good at queuing as long as I'm not in a rush.

In other news, I was taking an auto home from an interview a couple of days ago, and another auto pulled up next to us at the lights. And sitting in the auto was a goat. I looked at the goat, which was looking quite unconcerned, and had holes drilled into its horns that had little clusters of bells threaded through them. And the goat didn't look at me, because it had some serious staring off into space to do, but the guy sitting in the auto with it did. I think his curious looks at me were very similar to my curious looks at the goat. And then the lights changed and that was the end of it.
rhyll: (Default)
I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. When I start to panic, I listen to this song by Mirah, and take deep breaths. It is from an album that is all about insects!

So, I have my whole thesis draft back from my supervisors now, and I oscillate between thinking "not much to do, nearly finished", and "eep! so much to do!" I am working hard not to panic, and to just make my way through the changes. When the bigger changes seem too hard (as they have for the last week) I've tried to find something small that doesn't seem to daunting, rather than hiding under my desk.

My teaching has been going well. The politics unit I'm teaching had a role play exercise this week, and I feel like it went well. I also got my students to give me some mid-semester feedback, and most of it was very positive. I've also just started my Internet teaching, which I'm looking forward to very much. It will be interesting to get to focus on that side of my research for a while!

In other work-news, I have two lectures coming up in a fortnight, but hopefully will be able to mostly work off last year's notes. My aim for this round of lectures is not to be daunted. I've also sent off my paper for APSA, and have been having some discussions with other members of the panel I'll be on about how to recontextualise my research so that we have a common theme: fun! And I've also been working with Ms S to try to put together our next event for Bluestocking, which hopefully we can start publicising soon.

Also, I have been trying hard to eat well and get lots of exercise. I've been enjoying all my cycling-adventures immensely. It's fun cycling to new places, especially when they're further than I am used to going. I'm also finding that the places I usually cycle seem like less of a commute, which is in a way disappointing. I have been thinking of maybe putting more of my cooking experiments up on our recipe blog, but maybe I will just keep reading other recipe blogs lustfully?


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