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The first leg of our trip is done! We watched terrible movies on the plane (then accidentally talked about politics and disconcerted the people sitting near us) and had a tiny girl stare at our hair a lot. The stopover in Auckland was great - we walked from the city centre out to the Domain park and went to the museum there. (Although it wasn't open yet, so we slept on our faces on the grass for a bit.)

The museum was lovely. We spent a lot of time walking around the "Pacific People's" exhibit. I kind of want to live in the "Weird and Wonderful" bit, which is a really great exploring space for kids - it's full of small, soft, colourful spaces to sit, and a crazy collection of stuffed animals and bones and interesting rocks and dinosaur dioramas and spiders and frogs and (extremely stressed) hamsters. Also, the volcanoes exhibit! It has helpful tips on how to clean volcanic ash off your car, and also instructive lessons from previous disasters (such as: if authorities block of an area because of an immanent explosion, do not evade police roadblocks in order to get closer - it may well end badly for you).

Claire and I got into SF yesterday morning, and have spent the day wandering around with Tim and Star. We had dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant with them and some other lovely people who they all know. And Claire baked bread, because she's a lovely hippy. Shortly Claire and I will leave on the next leg of our trip: off to Reno to pick up Claire's mother, supplies, and the truck we're taking to Burning Man.
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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.
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* "Montessori school" means pre-primary.
* Auto drivers often have big stickers of actors on their windscreens.
* The cows are not just stray cows! They have homes, and they go back for milking.
* I am pretty sure I got called "sir" the other day.

I have been Getting Stuff Done. But I feel like there's a whole huge stack of other things to Get Done. I am pretty keen on having a little nap.
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I can't believe how quickly my time here has gone.Work work work )

I should say exciting things about being in India.

Like, did you know that people mostly do not walk on the pavement here, and walk on the roads instead? It is not because they enjoy seeing me anxious, it is actually because the pavement is mostly not that pleasant - it is often slabs of rock laid over the drains, so it doesn't smell nice, and then there's rubbish and other unsavoury stuff. The roads have more cars, but apparently an Agreement is reached, and noone dies (mostly).

And, the other day I completely shocked my friend by handing him my plate as we were packing up the dinner things. Apparently that is Not Done. He recovered well and we had a nice chat about it, but I had a few moments feeling like an awfully rude foreigner. You know, just for a change.

And, today I was cycling to yoga and I stopped to let an old man on a scooter past, and he smiled at me, and it felt totally awesome. I don't get smiled at all that much here. I used to think it was because I was doing something wrong all the time, but now I think it is mostly because people here are just less smiley. Not that they're necessarily less happy, it's just a body language thing, I think. (Or maybe I am actually doing something so wrong all the time that I make everyone around me very serious, and then they start smiling once I leave?)

It feels odd sometimes to emphasise the foreignness of India, like I'm contributing to making it into a strange exotic other land. Many things are the same! Many of the subcultures (geek, activist, academic) that I move in here are pretty similar to (and overlap with) subcultures in Australialand! But then, perhaps it is more interesting to write about the things that are strange and new, given that most people who read this aren't in India? Or not?

Either way (or any other way) I should probably go sleep on my face now. Sorry for flooding you with words, internets! If you have read this far, I am surprised! Also, grateful! It was very nice of you, when I know you have so many other things to do.

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When I travel, it's always the small differences that are most surprising to me. I expect the cows on the streets and different food and not knowing the language.

Two small things:
* We went to the markets on the weekend. I enjoyed walking around: the smell of different fruit and vegetables, all of the colours, lots of things to point at and ask: "what's that? how about that?" I didn't notice at first, but each stall had a thick rope hanging over the fruit and vegetables. I started to pay attention to them when I saw one or two of the stallholders hanging on to them, and wondered if they were there to help with lots of standing up. And then a boy at one of the stalls near us grabbed a couple and used them to swing over the baskets of vegetables in front of them. There didn't seem to be another way to get out of the stall, with everything stacked up in the front. The boy picked something up, and swung back. It looked so practiced and fluid.
* Here, eggs seem to count as "non-veg". When I asked some of my vegetarian friends if they ate eggs, they looked at me like I was crazy. (Happily, this fits in well with the fact that I feel fairly comfortable having milk here, especially the milk we get to the house from the neighbourhood cows, but not eggs so much.)

In other news, I have been writing some stuff on my grown up blog. Much of it is probably not super-interesting to you, but maybe some of it is? It's hard to tell, really.
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I went to Hampi this weekend! We got to explore the Vijayanagara site a fair bit, which was awesome. I especially liked:
* A giant statue of Ganesha, tucked away inside a temple, looking very calm despite having been partially destroyed.
* Some of the temples have musical pillars! They're tuned to different pitches (?) so that people could play them. 
* A rocky outcrop where we sat and watched the sun set.
* A huge wall covered in reliefs of whales and fish and crocodiles. I stood and stared and pretended that I was underwater.
* Monkeys!

Also, I got to take my first overnight train trip. D. and I caught the non-A/C sleeper out, which was just like Indian trains in the movies except that there weren't a thousand people with all of their livestock. It was actually very nice - I rather like the way each bunk feels like a little room, and everyone creates their own self-contained space. We got the airconditioned sleeper back, which I also liked, although you can't open the windows.

And today:
* Lots of teaching work and research work and feeling more on top of things, work-wise.
* Cycling to yoga and back!
* Yoga! My teacher calls me, "Eh, what's that girl's name? Graduated Bob! Graduated Bob, right leg straight!"
* Accidentally having icecream with TBD and D, who knows me too well... when I say, "Oh, I suppose I might have a bite of yours if you have one", she says, "I know what your bite is! Come on, let's get icecream!" (At the moment, I am known for my ability to eat huge amounts, and to fall asleep within a minute whenever I get a chance.)

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You guys! I know that your friend feeds are pretty much entirely just me going: "ZOMG India is hard" "ZOMG India is great" every five minutes. Sorry! Given how things usually go, there's a reasonable chance that I will soon become too busy to deluge you with news.

But first!

I totally got some cash! All it took was about ten phonecalls, a heap of emails, three visits to a local bank, and quite a bit of being stern at people. I am never, ever, doing that again. If this wad of cash runs out, I'm going to sort out an alternative option. For now, though, I feel much more independent and less like I am needing my friends here to look after me with everything.

More importantly, though, on my final trip to the bank I went by bicycle. I didn't get lost, and I didn't get hit by traffic. And my bicycle is a "gentleman's" bicycle, so it is HUUUGE - I am as tall as standing on a chair! And I feel like I'm flying! I think I've worked out most of the Indian road rules, and I think I will mostly be okay riding around. (FAMILY! If you are reading this, don't worry! I will be careful and safe.) Plus also I have high visibility: everyone is too busy staring like crazy to accidentally crash into me. There are not a lot of women above school age cycling around, and there are especially not a lot of white women on Indian-style gentlemen's bikes cycling around grinning like lunatics. (A couple of guys shouted out at me, "Very nice! Very nice!", and I am choosing to interpret it as their whole-hearted approval of my enthusiasm for awesome Indian bicycles.)

Okay, now on with work. And eating delicious snacks. (I visited my friends' family last night, and they gave me a heap of delicious snacks to take home. Apparently, I am looking too thin. Also, they are lovely and always spoil me a heap.)
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This morning I went to yoga with my friend D, which was great - doable, but hard enough that it took all of my thinking, and left me nothing for Fretting. After breakfast (she made uppma for breakfast! I am so spoiled!) I cycled home on the awesome Indian bike D has acquired for his house/commune/office/activist centre. It is huge, and single-gear, and very solid. I am as high up as if I was standing on a chair!

Yoga + cycling + feeling a little better at Getting Around is helping me feel better about the world. And I know such lovely people here! Hangouts with D and TBD (usually when I have vowed to get an early night or spend the evening working) have been keeping me sane through my Frets, and tonight I'm going to go visit my friends R and J, who I haven't managed to see since I came here. And there are still two or three other friends (at least!) who I really want to catch up with...juggling full-time work in Australia and trying to find my feet with research here and also handling all the hassles of being in a new country* is proving challenging, but I think I'll manage it.

Plus also:
* Interesting talks (for different reasons) last night and today!
* I have so many people and organisations I want to talk to here! It is time to start organising interviews!
* I have so much stuff I want to write about!
* Bicyclesbicyclesbicyclesbicycles!

* By this, I mostly mean: "being in a new country where your stupid bank has stopped your card, failed to communicate with you effectively about it, and then sent the new card to Australia without asking or telling you". It is turning into a hobby, in the realm of inevitably-fruitless pursuits like fly-fishing or golf or writing letters to local newspapers. The latest development is: I call Mastercard helpline to get an international emergency cash withdrawal. They say: yes! Of course! Right away! No return call. I call them back. They say: yes! Of course! Right away! Eventually they call me back with the name and address of the bank I need to go to. I go to the bank. The bank insists that not only have they not received any fax about this, but giving cash withdrawals without a card is not something they do. I call Mastercard and explain the situation, they ask to speak to the bank manager and then the line cuts out. Mastercard call me, but I can't hear them. I go home. Two hours later, Mastercard call me and say they have the name and address of the bank I need to go to. It is the same as the bank I have just gone to. I explain the situation. They say: we'll call right back.             Don't worry, though! D has said he can lend me money, and I'll transfer it to him from my account once I sort out this ridiculousness.
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I was all sooky about work stuff yesterday! )

I wanted to go home after the workshop, but TBD. pointed out that there was a little artists' residence on the roof above the art gallery where the workshop was held. It was one of the most beautiful spaces I've ever been in - something about the way it all fit together tidily and the light and the way the rooms connected made me fall instantly in love with it. Then instantly asleep on my face.

And when I woke up TBD. gave me Delicious Milk Drink*, and I got a lovely long email from PinkHairClaire, and some guys turned up with drums, and A. (a Swedish lady staying here) pulled me up to dance for a bit, and then I played a bit of capoeira, and my new friend-who-is-a-lady, D., turned up and we all went and ate some delicious snacks, and then D. and I spent ages sitting up on the roof looking for songs that she knew how to sing and I knew how to play on my ukulele...

...and I felt much better about the world.

I am very lucky with the people that I meet.

* I am not being vegan here. I am avoiding eggs, but it feels silly to say no to milk that is delivered by a guy whose cow lives just across the road from us and eats our food scraps.
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* The strangenesses and the people: last night we went to a photography exhibit, by surprise - I was all set to spend the evening working on an article submission. The woman we went with was kind enough to let me crash the post-exhibit drinks while my friend D. went to a family thing. We went to a jazz-themed bar, and I got an incredible sense of culture shock when I realised that despite all of the "no smoking" signs, people were smoking! inside! in a covered area! with food present! I had some lovely offers of further hangouts, including an invitation to meet a collective involved in setting up community radio stations. I might hang out with the woman we went with and D. for holi, which will be nice. I am really looking forward to some more people-time next week, including catching up with old friends, once the workshop is over. I feel very lucky to know Good People here who are helping to look after me.

* Moments in which I feel competent: I spend a lot of time in India feeling kind of useless. Everything is difficult, including carrying out research. I have a few moments, now and then, when I see how it all fits together, and how I'm doing something useful, and I carry them around with me like a security blanket.

* OMG the snacks: you guys. I get to eat masala dosa for breakfast every morning. (I'm not, though. I'm mixing it up with idlis and rava dosas and maybe some other things?) Pretty much every single thing I eat here is the Most Delicious Ever.

* Squirrels! I had forgotten there were squirrels.
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Last night's arrival in Bangalore was hands-down the easiest arrival in a foreign country I've had, ever. I have this Thing...in almost all previous cases, when someone was meant to meet me at any airport other than Perth, something went wrong. I've spent quite some time waiting in airports in Sweden, various parts of South Africa, and Sydney, wondering what happened and what to do next.

Given the disasters of the last two weeks (of which there have been many), I expected something to go Horribly Wrong with my arrival in Bangalore. I had backup plans. I had backup backup plans. Unexpectedly, though, it was all very smooth. And now I'm staying at Janastu, which means I have a place I feel comfortable to work from and lovely people around me.

Since I've arrived, I've:
* had masala dosa for breakfast!
* watched some children perform super-awesome martial arts from kerala!
* drunk huge amounts of tea!
* made some vague plots for my time here, which hopefully will include learning some kannada and some programming, doing Helpful Things around Janastu, and doing some research.
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Today has been busier than I initially intended. We thought we might perhaps go to Seahorse World and Platypus House, just for the morning. Except that we accidentally stopped off at the Beaconsfield mining museum on the way, and it turned out to be awesome. The new mine has been built right next to the old one, so there are lots of odd juxtapositions of old crankshafts and waterwheels with the new shaft in the background.

This bit is mostly about the museum, and seahorses, and nature and stuff. )

This evening I have mostly been marking, but I took some ukulele breaks. And I played some ukulele-piano with my mother! We went through her songbooks, and played some songs she knew that had guitar chords written on them. And then we played some of the songs from my songbook. Her piano is much, much, better than my ukulele, but she's never just sat down and played from chords before, so I had to (very inexpertly) explain how it worked.

My little ukulele sounds so plinketyplinky next to the piano, but neither of us minded. It was so much fun playing around and working some songs out together! We totally jammed!
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I am in Tasmania!

The first thing I have learnt about Tasmania, in my careful observations, is that there seem to be more interesting beetles here than in WA.

The second thing that I have learnt is that almost every street we drive down seems to have at least three houses on it that I desperately want to live in. There are lots of old, rambling houses that come in an odd jumble of styles. They seem to be built larger than many houses in WA, but that might just be because I've mostly been in more rural areas.

Today we dropped my brother off at his friends' house. It was raining outside, and we went through the back garden, overgrown grass and sculptures and bathtubs full of herbs and bicycles leaning against walls. The rain dripping through the veranda, and then into the kitchen, and people start coming down the stairs and in from the rain. And the kitchen is so warm and cosy, wood everywhere and a low ceiling and old sofas and a long kitchen table, music playing and bustle.

I really like my brother's friends. One is his very-good-friend-who-he-hasn't-seen-for-months, and I love seeing how happy they are to meet again, all hugs and smiles. I am so proud of my brother for so many reasons, and one of them is that he's good at showing his affection for his man-friends.

Oh! I want to live in a lovely old house with a warm kitchen full of friends-who-live-there and friend-who-drop-in and a shambling garden and the smell of spices!

I love our current house, and our current household, and I am being a bit greedy in wishing for what we have only more so. But there are moments when I do: floating in the lovely space of a cosy kitchen, the rain outside cocooning us, colour and affection everywhere.
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It's going to take me a while to process Burning Man, but for now a quick post to let anyone who's not on FB know that I'm back in San Fransisco and alive and well.

I'm a little surprised at how little the discomforts bothered me: all the dust, no showers, sleeping in a tiny tent without a mattress, the portaloos, the heat, the cold. It helped somewhat that my entire nasal cavity was permanently full of dust, I think. I really enjoyed the dust storms, too, and had no problems with asthma the whole time I was there. (In fact, I suspect that I have stopped having asthma at all.)

Still, it's nice to be back with showers and vegetables and beds and the Internet and the potential to wash some of my clothes.

So, that's the mundane stuff. I'm not sure where to start writing about the rest of it.
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1) Somewhere to stay in San Francisco for the couple of days before and after Burning Man. I think I'd like to stay with a friend-of-a-friend or check out the couchsurfing site, but I may end up getting a hotel, rather.

2) A bike. Still haven't sorted out a bicycle. If I don't, I think I can probably manage without one.

3) A camera. I was thinking of getting a lomograph or a Holga, because then I won't have to worry about recharging or running out of space. Ideally I'd like something that can do night shots, maybe one of the lomographs that does long exposures? Any recommendations?
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You guys. I have never been camping before. Not ever.

Here is a short video about how very uncomfortable Burning Man is: clickyclick.

Here is an infographic showing How You Will Get Hurt at Burning Man.
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I am unexpectedly going to burning man this year. I only decided a few weeks ago.

Burning Man is something I've been excited and curious about for years, but I'd only ever started to consider going over the last few months. And even then, I was thinking about going next year. And then someone pointed out that this year, while I don't have a full-time job and I'm still a bit unsure about what to do with life, is a good year to go, and said they'd help me out with getting there. Since then, a heap of people have been helping me out in various ways: with tickets, with planning, with reassurances that it'll all be okay.

So, I have a plane ticket to San Francisco. And a ticket to Burning Man that a friend's given me. An offer of a tent. Some glowthings to light me up at night so I won't get run over. Goggles.

What I don't have:
* A place to stay in San Francisco before or afterwards.
* A lift there or back.
* A bike.
* Various campingstuffs I'll need.

I'm still not sure how to manage it all. There are a few queries going out to friends-of-friends for lifts and such, and I'm also checking out the rideshare options on the Burning Man site. I'm finding this very difficult, because it involves a lot of asking strangers or near-strangers for help, being quite aware that I won't be able to give much in return.

The physical difficulties of Burning Man are pretty extreme. It's very hot and dusty, there won't be water for washing, toilet facilities sound not-so-pleasant, there are dust storms, and the nights are very cold. I'll probably get a resurgence of my eczema and asthma. I'm thinking hard about how to deal with all this effectively, but it causes me very little anxiety.

The thing I am very anxious about is all the dealing-with-people. I'm really worried about asking strangers for help, being a complete noob, being in the way or a hassle. I'm better at this than I was. When I went away on geek camps at high school, I spent a ridiculous proportion of the time angsting in my journals and feeling anxious. The first time I went away to a student activist conference by myself, I spent pretty much the whole time totally terrified and uncomfortable. When someone hugged me on the last day I nearly cried. The first time I went to a conference as a postgrad, I was better but I made a few friends and then followed them around most of the time.

I am better than I was, but going to a crazy, week-long event in which I will need other people's help just to get there and then have no safe base to come back to is a confronting thought. I'm more terrified than excited about Burning Man, but I know it'll be an amazing, challenging experience. And I do like to be challenged, apparently.

I'm also fretting a bit about the decadence of flying to the US for this. I'll be carbon-neutralling the flights, but it still requires some thought. It's not the kind of thing I can do on a regular basis, for sure. But it is something I've been wanting to do for years, and perhaps I can allow myself some (more) decadence now that I've finished my PhD?

I might post more about all of this at some point, but I wanted to at least get some thoughts down rather than letting them just race around my head like crazy.

(Crossposted from/to lj.)
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Did you know that I went to Sydney? Probably! Because I talk about everything, all the time. So, here is some of my news about going to Sydney, and coming back, and yesterday:

* I went to Newcastle! I felt very intrepid, because I caught buses to the airport on Friday morning, and then a plane to Sydney, and then trains to Newcastle, where I got picked up by a friend. If there had been some bicycling in there as well I would have felt Most Adventurous Ever.
* Newcastle has a great urban renewal project going on, Renew Newcastle. I am a bit jealous that I'm missing the project's This Is Not Art festival, but I did get to at least get a tour of the little galleries and craft-spaces. I particularly like the upcycling space, where people had been putting together hand-sewn journals with more skill and pizzazz than my usual misshapen efforts. I also rather like the exhibition of "art concerning dinosaurs". I am jealous that I missed out on going to Totoro's Tea House.
* I went to a conference! Some of it was painful, with all the academic jargon and egos. But there was definitely enough exciting work that I felt all excited about research again, and about Learning New Things. I met one of my examiners, and managed not to spill a drink all over her, and I gave a talk to a tiny audience (I was in the last session of the last day), and I ate lots of snacks. I'm going to put up some links and stuff on my grownup blog.
* People! Sometimes, I meet people and think that they are lovely, but then sort of expect never to see them again. And then I see them again, and feel a little disoriented and also delighted by it. In this category, I caught up with a couple of friends in Newcastle, both of whom are lovely, and a conference-friend from last year. There was also a posse of Perth people, including one of my Think Tank ladies, and lots of strangers to talk to. I like talking to strangers!
* Yesterday was pretty exhausting. Everything has felt so rushed for so very long, and the conference most definitely did not give me a break from that, fun as it was. Luckily, I have mostly managed to maintain momentum - I'm sure that's all that got me through yesterday. I had a heap of teaching to do, plus marking, plus lesson preparation, plus had to go to the Real Food Forum and be all grownup for Bluestocking. I'm glad I went, because it was fascinating (in a scary kind of way). I'm going to try to blog about it over the next few days.

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of this, but I feel like I've been getting lots done. Unfortunately, I suspect that's because I've been very busy with teaching...I love teaching, and it gives me short-term, achievable goals, and involved actually interacting with people. When I'm working on my thesis, on the other hand, I often feel a bit isolated, and feel like I'm not achieving much because everything moves so slowly and my goals are so unclear. Anyway! The conference helped me get excited about my thesis again, so I'm going to get back to it! Today has been thesis-day, and I still have a bit more thesis-time left before I play with ukuleles.
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Hey, you guys who are inclined to fret about me! I have arrived safely. There was some confusion at the airport, as there is every time someone picks me up, but my friend found me in the end. We spent the afternoon wandering around various bits of Sydney, and once again I am struck by how all Australian not-Perth cities have become the same city, in my head.

Now I am in Newcastle, and I am about to start doing some thesis-work. And maybe also so writing for another youth website, which I have accidentally volunteered for and then failed to bow out of.

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Oh, my! A wide variety of things are pretty awesome right now, mostly in a quiet kind of way.

* I have been feeding people a lot. On Saturday I cooked a big batch of vegan corn chowder to give to E, since he is alone with his two littles for the next two weeks until his partner gets back. (I felt a bit uncomfortable with this for a while, gender stereotypes and all, but then I decided that since I would do the exact same thing for his wife it would be silly to refrain.) I also spent Sunday morning experimenting with vegan spinach pie and vegan macadamia slice, both of which worked out okay. I gave the spinach pie and some bean salad to J to take for a lunch he was going to (since he is awfully nice to me sometimes), and Jessica Monster and I had some of the macadamia slice for crafternoon snacks. I took the rest of the slice into the department this morning to give to staff, and it made me feel like my role as the resident hippy is going well.
* On Sunday Jessica Monster came around for crafting, and it was awesome. It is nice to have people around that I can talk to about how to put a waistband in, or which jobs I should be applying for, or ... just stuff, generally. I love crafting and mending. I finished my crochet skirt, and hemmed a dress, and fixed my old tweed skirt, and sewed the buttons back onto my leg-warmers. It would have been good to do some darning, too, but I am running out of things to darn.
* I talked with J about my thesis chapter, and it helped me work out how to fit it all together. I feel much better about thesis-writing now!
* I have had some lovely people-time lately. Hangouts with Jessica Monster, and catchups with Kal-friend L, and tea with Lisa and Jarrad, and hangouts with J all weekend. Plus J and I did some baby-wrangling, and that is one of my favourite things to do with J.
* I am going to Newcastle on Thursday! Just for a week. I will stay with a friend and meet new people and talk about my thesis, and it will be awesome.

I have decided that I should be not-quite-so-hard on myself. I am always telling myself off for not spending enough time with my People, and for not doing my thesis fast enough, and for not spending all my time well. And then I have these debates with myself about whether or not it is okay. I think that, in fact, it is okay, and I should work harder at convincing myself of that. (I am reading a book about how silly the protestant work ethic is, and that's helping.) I am generally a pretty active person. I use my time well, and do interesting things. I care about the people around me. I try to to make the world better, in small ways.

It's going to be okay!


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