feuervogel: (moo)
The forecast has been calling for dire weather since about Monday. It's been raining since mid-afternoon, and it's getting closer and closer to freezing. The current forecast has it changing to sleet around midnight, then snow around 1.

Because this is Georgia, the highs Saturday and Sunday are supposed to be in the mid-30s, so stuff will melt, then when it gets down to 18 overnight, everything will freeze into a nice sheet of ice. Because this is Georgia, there aren't a lot of snow plows or brine trucks, so Monday morning is likely to be really interesting.

I'm freaking out less about the literature class, though I'm sure it's still going to be terrible. I'm also not entirely certain the professor understands how US university courses work, so that's going to be exciting.

I have created a side tumblr for collecting a corpus of posts for potential thesis purposes. There are currently 65 posts in its queue, in addition to the handful I posted before thinking about the fact that I had a lot of posts and didn't want to be banned for spamming. And I only went through the google doc I'd put together for my term paper and my likes, not my tags/reblogs. (That can wait.)

Tomorrow, since I can't actually leave the house or anything, though I might put on my rain boots and walk around the complex, I'm going to revise the abstract I'm submitting to a conference (due next Sunday).

I still don't feel like the semester is real, but I've only had 2 classes so far & TA'ed one. By next Friday, things should be better. I hope.
feuervogel: (shiiiiiiiiiit!)
I got the syllabus for the literature seminar today.

I'm going to fail.

We have to read in their entirety 6 books, totalling 1660 pages, plus probably 500 more pages of excerpts and secondary literature. Here is the info from the syllabus:

Course Requirements
 Regular attendance
 Participation and careful preparation of all readings: Complete all of the readings on time
and come to class prepared, with questions, etc.
 Class presentations: Give a presentation on one primary text and author.
 Three response papers in German, the papers should be included a discussion of interesting
questions and present a first interpretation.
 Final research paper of 10-12 pages in English or German

Grade:
Response papers 20%
Class presentations 10%
Class participation (attendance, preparation) 30%
Final paper 40%

I will get at best a B- in this class. Because I can't read 2000 pages for one class, and I can't convincingly bullshit my way through something I've read a third of (which is apparently a thing you learn to do as a literature major??? I studied chemistry, y'all). In literature seminar last semester, we had to write comments on the course discussion forum about the texts, just a few sentences minimum, and I struggled to get a paragraph, so SURE YEAH 3 response papers will be g r e a t. And I'll totally be able to participate in class.

I am going to leave that class in tears every fucking week it'll be great.

OH AND FUN TIMES??? I've gotten 2 of the books for the class and neither of them is the first 2 books we need to read (by Feb 2 and 9). The library may have them but not 7 copies of it (because I doubt I'm the only person who hasn't received their books yet).

So I can't even get started on the 400 pages I need to read by Feb 9 because the books aren't here yet. Y a A A a A a Y
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
This is the last post that I will crosspost to LJ.

I will also be going through and deleting my old posts, starting at the beginning.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
SUP has moved the LJ data to Russian servers. Evidence and why that's probably a very bad thing

This is disturbing, and I may finally go through and delete this thing (everything is backed up on Dreamwidth).
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburg Gate)
Grades are in. History of German: A. Teaching College German: A. Languages in Contact: A. Seminar in German Studies: A-.

I was honestly concerned I'd get a B in SGS, because I have no idea what I'm doing in that class, and 40% of our grade was a term paper, which I had no idea what I was doing for. I'd never written a literature term paper which had to rely on other people's ideas and various theories of X (in this case, memory). I can't say I particularly enjoyed it. I much prefer talking about what is in the text itself - symbolism, characters, narrative arcs, tropes - than about what other people have said about it (which is apparently what they call "research" in this field?).

I mean, I wrote several thousand words on narrative arcs and themes in the first season of Iron Blooded Orphans (and would do it again), but that isn't what you're Supposed To Do In A Real Term Paper, which is complete bullshit IMO.

I would have been pretty upset with myself if I didn't get an A in Teaching, after the Goethe Certificate and all. The principles are largely the same, but for US secondary education, the application is a little different, because we have a mostly homogenous, English-speaking group, and we can use some English in class.

History of German was kind of annoying; we had a lot of little homework assignments to turn in every session, and he basically never graded them or turned them back. He didn't give back our midterm before the final. (I got a 96 and a 91, respectively, according to the Blackboard-equivalent UGA uses.) It was interesting, in that it's useful to know why German does some of the weird things it does (and, by extension, why English does), and there's a lot more sociolinguistic stuff in the last section of the class. Also we got to talk about why nationalism is bullshit and language purity movements are stupid and why capitalism is garbage (though that was my point, mostly; we read Marxist philosophers and historians, what do you want me to do?).

Contact was neat, and the comments the prof left on my term paper should be useful in me turning it into an abstract for the big German linguistics conference in spring. They're due 1/15, so I'm going to need to figure out what to do with it pretty quick. I want to look at sociolinguistic aspects of bi-/multilingualism for my thesis, I think, so that should be really helpful for me.

Spring semester, I have Seminar in German Literature (topic: the metropolis in literature), Seminar in German Linguistics (topic: syntax of some variety, using Universal Grammar), and Old Icelandic. I'm also auditing 4th semester Russian.

I am actually really glad that the old department chair got a new position as assistant dean, because that means his Goethe seminar (which would have been mandatory) was cancelled, and I can take Old Icelandic. And I don't have to have 2 horrible literature seminars in one semester. I'm already cranky that I have to take one 3 of 4 semesters as it is.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
UGA gives you a whole week off for Thanksgiving, which I think is pretty fucking great, because it gave me a lot of time during which I could frantically write papers and work on projects, without having to do annoying shit like "go to class" or "teach class" or "prepare to teach class" (though one of the things I did was revise a lesson plan).

I wrote a term paper (14 pages) and an essay (3 pages) for the same class; I made a rough draft of my final project for pedagogy seminar; I read a large stack of papers for my literature seminar term paper; and I made a study guide/quick reference for History of German for our take-home final (12/1-8). I did all the rest of my Russian homework for the semester, and I did half my homework for HoG Tuesday.

Lest you think all I did was work, I watched cartoons with Ben, and I mostly took evenings off to hang out with him (and the cat) and read comic books. And on Sunday, we went to see Arrival, which was REALLY GOOD YOU GUYS, go watch it. It's like The Martian but with less cardboard characters/dialog/acting and for language nerds. Today we took a walk to catch and hatch Pokemon and stopped by the pub for a quick beer.

For Thanksgiving, we went to a friend's house and did a potluck with some damn good food followed by boozes. (Becherovka: tastes like cloves and gasoline, but it grows on you.)

I'm going back to Georgia tomorrow morning, boo. I need Sunday to go grocery shopping (because I can't go during the week), plus traffic should be less sucktastic than it will be on Sunday. I might go to the office and print out the papers I need to read for pedagogy seminar on Tuesday and my paper & essay drafts so I can revise them.

Six more days of classes, then finals start, and my first semester of grad school will be over. Holy shit.
feuervogel: (sideways days)
My ModCloth order came, and all the dresses fit! One of them may be too low-cut for work, but I have scarves I can use to accessorize over my cleavage/bra.

I'm working on my final project for pedagogy seminar, and I'm using a poem by Selim Özdogan, a Turkish-German poet from Cologne, and it's great. Here's the last stanza followed by a not-very-poetic translation from me:

Wenn wir uns umblicken
sieht es aus
als würden wir uns irgendwohin
bewegen
aber selbst die besten unter uns schaffen es nur
auf die Dächer von Gefängnissen
und
keinen Schritt weiter

If we look around ourselves
it seems
as if we were going
somewhere
but even the best of us only manage to get
to the roofs of prisons
and
not another step further

This would be a great thing to discuss in a college class; get the students thinking about whether they want to follow a life script laid out for them or whether they want to break the mold.

Saturday night there was a party to celebrate the release of one of our faculty's book, and one of the professors said she liked my new tattoo and said it was very suited to me. It made me happy.

My sister and her husband are visiting tonight, and I need to get this project's outline done before they get here (in 45 minutes I think), but I just wanted to mention this poem because it made me happy.
feuervogel: (hold me)
All I have to say about a goddamn con man with no experience or skills who is a fucking fascist being elected president over a woman with all the qualifications is this: fuck you, America.

I'm done staying and fighting. I can't anymore. A week ago, I would have considered a PhD program in the US, if I decide to continue my education, but now I won't. The only options for me for the future are in Europe.

Not that anywhere is safe if that irrational, unstable monster has the nuclear codes.

What this election shows me is that America hates people who aren't straight, white, Christian men. America hates immigrants, LGBT people, POCs, the disabled, women. I know that I'm not wanted here, so why bother?
feuervogel: (never too late)
I chose the icon because I had that phrase tattooed on my arm about a month ago. Here's a picture of when it was fresh. I should take an updated one now that it's healed.

Since I last posted, I've mostly focused on studying, lots and lots of reading, oh god the reading in a humanities program. We're on our 4th novel in the literature seminar, plus all the other readings for our other classes.

I decided to accept the grant to go to Germany next summer, and I'll be spending June in Hamburg and the first half of July in Dresden. If I can have a bit of couch, I'd like to spend a few days in Berlin before I head home (though I may have enough of the grant left over to get a room if I have to). The GI in Hamburg says that out of legal reasons (!?!) we cannot use the internet connection in the homestay apartments, which means I'd only have internet access from whenever I get to the GI (noon, say) until 7 pm when they close, and I'd be in class 1-6 ish. So, uh, no. But they have a guest house with private apartments for 700 Euros for the month, where there's wifi to use all day, but it's way more expensive than the homestay (which is still like 500 Euros.)

So, if any of you know anyone in Hamburg who's looking for a one-month WG-mate, put us in contact. I made an ad on WG-Gesucht and have gotten 4 responses...which are probably all scams, because the first 2 refused to Skype and both want me to pay them in advance (which is against the TOS). The other 2 have really garbled English and German, so I'm guessing also scams.

I went to my first conference as a grad student! We hosted WILA, the workshop on immigrant languages in the Americas, and I met a lot of neat people, including the guy who wrote the textbook we're using in History of German (who was also our professor's thesis advisor), several of the current grad students in that program, and a very friendly, happy Norwegian dude who sings in 2 bands (and I bet it's death metal, because a) Norway and b) he's so happy). It was nice to be able to talk to other people who are interested in linguistics, because I am currently the only student in the department (out of 7) who is a ling person. It's depressing.

So anyway, while I was helping clean up one evening, I talked with one of our profs, and I mentioned that I felt a bit adrift, like I don't know what I should be doing to get the most out of grad school or how to figure out if I want more grad school after this. We talked about that some, and her experiences in grad school (where they had a bigger, PhD program, so the environment was different) and how they had workshops on things like writing CVs or submitting papers to conferences. I asked if she thought we could implement that here, and she suggested that I ask my peers.

So I messaged our facebook chat and had a few in-person conversations before deciding to send a Google survey to everyone. The short version is that most people are interested, and I may be presenting the results and a proposal at the faculty meeting next week (if it's ok for me to attend, because I'm not the grad student rep; I need to ask on Monday).

While I was reading for History of German for Tuesday, I learned about a sociolinguistic approach to historical linguistics, Sprachgeschichte von Unten, and I may have said, "holy shit, this is amazing" and looked up the references in our library and previewed the ones that we had ebook access to, then ordered one of them because a seller on Amazon had a used library copy for $20. (It usually retails for $200.) It's coming from the UK, so I had it shipped to the house.

Speaking of ordering things, I ordered 3 fall dresses from ModCloth because they had a sale on dresses and I had store credit from returning a top that really didn't fit at all. After the sale, I got them for $30 each--almost half price!

On Monday, I get to register for classes. I'm required to take Seminar in German Literature (this time: the Metropolis in German Literature, which sounds interesting but because I can't take literary criticism seriously, I will probably hate it anyway) and Seminar in Linguistic Theory (Syntax, and I'm told the professor rocks). I have 1 placeholder class (3 hours), 3 hours of masters research (for the reading list), and an elective. I'm taking Old Icelandic, because I can. I'm also taking 4th semester Russian, though I'll probably switch to an audit for less stress and because I can't get credit for it anyway (because it's an undergrad course). I'm TAing 2nd semester German, which might be my fall real teaching assignment. It'll be helpful, because I'll have a lot of lessons and materials prepped.

I'm probably submitting a poster to GLAC, the Germanic linguistics conference in spring. It's in Austin this year, but I'll have to miss 2 days of classes right before the end of the semester (like, it's the 20th-23rd of April, and our last day of class is the 26th). But if I tell the professors in advance, maybe request extensions if necessary... IDK. I need to talk with the linguistics/German prof sometime this week...I should email him.

Right. I should get some sleep. Tomorrow is groceries, laundry, cleaning, and working on my microteaching that's due on Tuesday. After I finish that, I need to look over some secondary literature to come up with ideas for a 10-page paper for literature seminar, and also read the second half of the current novel and a couple essays by its author. Plus I need to decide finally on an 'authentic material' for my final project for teaching seminar (due Tuesday).

All the work. So much reading. The glamorous life of a grad student!
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I didn't get one of the grants to go to Germany this summer, and I was cool with that. I'd planned to spend half a month here and the other half home, alternating like, and get some reading in for the MA exam (February year 2).

Or, alternatively, if I can get my shit sorted and find something interesting, apply for grants to do field work for my thesis.

Today I got an email from the soon-to-be-former grad advisor (because he's the new department head) asking me to his office, which made me really nervous (because yikes, did I do something bad?) He said it was good news when I got there, and they got another $6000 grant from the foundation and I can go. I just need to make plans and such.

My options are to spend 6-8 weeks somewhere like the Goethe Institute or to be a Gasthörer at a university. (That's someone who goes to lectures but isn't officially at the university, and they work it out with the professors in advance.)

Benefit of B is that it's much cheaper, so that grant will go a lot further. 6 weeks at the Goethe Institute in June/July is half the grant already, then add airfare. Benefit of A is that I can focus on the language, rather than learning something in German. Which could be interesting, but as I'd only be there for like the middle third of a semester, I don't know what I'd actually be able to learn. Plus at the end, I can take the C1 exam.

I'm looking at a 4-week intensive in Hamburg followed by 2 weeks in Berlin. (I'd like to be back in the US for more than 1 week before classes start on August 10.) I'd have to take the C1 exam in Hamburg, because it's only offered at the end of the month, but ehn.

But sometimes tbh spending the summer chillin with my spouse and cat seems like a good idea... IDK. I haven't had a chance to talk to Ben about it and won't until Friday. *flail*

HI

10 Sep 2016 05:21 pm
feuervogel: (never too late)
I went to DragonCon and even got most of my homework done before I went, so I didn't have to spend half the con in my room studying. I still mostly just hung out with friends and looked at costumes, but it was worthwhile, because I got to see people I hadn't seen in a year.

Grad school continues apace. I'm still enjoying my 2 linguistics classes (History of German and Languages in Contact), and I think Teaching College German is going OK (thanks, Goethe course!). I'm not overly fond of the literature seminar, but I like the second book we're reading better than the first (so far; I'm only on chapter 2.) It's by Günter Grass, so it's dense and complex, sentence wise, and it looks like it's about modern right extremism, which is always interesting.

My classmates are generally nice, but I haven't really Made Friends with any of them. We spend time together at school and sometimes out of it (which reminds me, I want to ask our facebook chat if anyone wants to get dinner this week after either seminar or History of German). Part of it may be because I live a little over a mile away (and not in the same apartment complex as all the Germans apparently) but also because I'm really boring and come home and do homework at night and go to bed at 10.

Thankfully I'm busy enough with homework that I don't have time to sit around being sad about my extrovert battery draining (though dragoncon helped that a lot).

On which note, since I got groceries, cleaned the bathroom, and did some prep for the class I TA, it's time for dinner and some homework so I don't have to do ALL THE HOMEWORK tomorrow.
feuervogel: (hetalia germany with beer)
The 1st of August, right after I moved here but before I cut my finger, it rained really heavily for a while in the afternoon and overnight. There's some construction going on across from my department's building, which apparently is affecting the drainage, because the ground floor/basement (where the TA offices are, of course) flooded.

(The rain was kind of like this, taken 4 days later.)

University maintenance got there with dehumidifiers and fans and cleaned it up, but they had to replace the carpet (and probably some other stuff). One of the offices had tile under the carpet, so that added to the delay. So, long story short, none of the TAs have offices right now. My teaching mentor is letting me use her office to drop my stuff between classes and if I need to work quietly. There's also currently an empty office which the profs are letting us use in the meantime. They aren't sure when it's going to be finished, but they hope before the end of the month. (There are also 2 classrooms down there, which we need.)

These stitches are annoying the crap out of me, and I can't wait to get them out.

My apartment is an ongoing saga of maintenance requests. First, my hot water was nearly boiling when it came out of the tap. Apparently the hot water heater had been set as high as it goes. Then when I decided to try my mailbox key, it worked, but there was no point, because the lock mechanism was absent entirely. (A lot of mailboxes have that problem here.) I picked up a washer and nut and a flange off the ground, where there are dozens, got my wrench, and fixed it myself.

Then my air conditioner started leaking inside, which resulted in a new unit being installed, because the old one was clogged and pretty fucking gross actually. And now my oven doesn't work properly. I decided to make a pasta bake, turned on the oven, and the upper element (broiler) didn't heat at all. The lower element did, so it baked, but not efficiently at all. Also there was a mysterious smell of gas, which is doubly bizarre because there isn't even a gas hookup here.

Now for some more positive things.

I'm really excited about History of German, and there's a small conference that we're hosting in October, which is required for that class. It's during fall break, which is kind of a bummer, because I had planned to go home that 3-day weekend, but I'll survive. I can go the previous or following week, maybe. I'm done at 11 on Fridays, so if I don't have a lot to get done and don't have to wait too long for buses, I can head home in the early afternoon.

We're supposed to attend all departmental events, like conferences and colloquia and invited speakers, which I understand but I hope doesn't conflict with spouse visits.

The other grad students are nice. One of them is also a nerd and he has piercings (like, plugs and snakebites and a septum, etc) and he watches Steven Universe. There are 2 Germans and another American woman. I seem to be the only linguistics-focused person, but I'm ok with that. After the horrific experience of my residency, I was apprehensive about living alone and being in a place without people I know, but I think this should be better. (And I have friends a mere couple hours' drive away in Atlanta if I need it, and Ben's 5 hours away, rather than across the country.)

My course load this semester is History of German, Teaching College German, a post-war literature seminar (I don't recall the title), and Languages in Contact. Next semester I have 3 required courses and might be taking Russian 4 (I'll need to catch up/keep up on my own this term somehow).

I may or may not have explained earlier that I need a second non-English language for the MA, and I picked Russian for reasons. I took a year at UNC, and I was going to continue this semester but a) it doesn't fit into my schedule and b) it's an undergrad course and doesn't count toward university requirements of 12 graduate-level credits. But the program director and the Russian head are working with me to find something that works. Which is good! They seem to want us to succeed.

Now I'm going to see if I can find the new Steven Universe and watch that. And probably redo my toenails. Tomorrow's the first day of teaching! (I have accelerated elementary German, which is for people who've had some before but didn't place into 2000 level.)
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I was cutting carrots yesterday afternoon, and one of them rolled, resulting in (eventually) 3 stitches and a tetanus shot. About 2 hours after it happened, I drove myself to the closest urgent care (after getting the bleeding to stop enough to put a bandaid on, then waiting until I was sure I wasn't going to pass out and also drinking sugary tea; I also ascertained that the trip was covered by my NC insurance).

If I'd been home, I'd have yelled for Ben (or called him, if he had a job) to drive me to urgent care while I held a paper towel on my finger. I don't really know anyone here yet, but maybe I could have gotten one of the apartment people to drive me, but they probably wouldn't have wanted to wait.

I'm not super worried about future events, but I'm trying to decide which of the department staff to tell "ok, here are things that could happen; probably won't, but if they do, here's what to do."

I'll update more about my apartment and life here later. I'm so sick of driving across town for things at Target, though >:[ I've been here not quite 5 days, and I've gone to Target 3 times. This Target's layout is a fucking mess, too, so good luck finding anything.

Alaska!

17 Jul 2016 10:33 am
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
We had a great trip to Alaska. All flights were uneventful, and we successfully got on the boat at the appointed time. The scopolamine patch worked, and I learned that "wash the area after removal" doesn't mean "scrub it hard with a soapy rag," because that made a nasty, red, itchy spot that made it hard to place patch 3 (you alternate sides).

The weather was gorgeous most of the time--unusually sunny and warm. It was super cold when we had a small craft trip to look up close at a glacier, but that's to be expected.

And wildlife! So much wildlife. We were awakened by the leader at like 6:15 the first day because there were whales off the bow, so I bundled up for wind and cold and grabbed my camera and went out to see whales. There were whales like every morning. There were also brown bears with cubs, which were awesome. And we saw sea lions, sea otters, river otters, seals, puffins, and about a million bald eagles. Other people saw porpoises, but I missed them. Oh, and RAVENS. Lots of ravens.

Here are the photos I took with my phone. I took a bunch on the real camera, which has a wrist strap and optical zoom, mostly when we were in a small boat super close to the water. (I drop my phone a lot.) I need to pick the best from those and add them. Sometime...

We started in Juneau, visited Mendenhall Glacier, got on the boat, then went through the inside passage to Dawes Glacier, Petersburg, Elfin Cove, Glacier Bay NP, some Narrows, and other places, and ended in Sitka. They gave us a little map, and I drew the route on it. They had a laminated one they drew on every day.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Tomorrow I'm flying to Juneau for a National Geographic cruise. Anxiety brain is giving me all sorts of scenarios involving weather and flight delays (we have a 1-hour layover in Seattle) and missing the boat. Thanks, brain.
feuervogel: (food)
A friend (who just completed a master's) was making bentos for her lunches and posted about it on facebook, and I thought that was a cool idea (save money, eat nutritious lunches that aren't just PB&J every day), so I looked into it for myself. This friend suggested justbento.com, which I have mined thoroughly for vegetarian recipes (and recipe ideas). The blogger has a bento 101 series, which is basically "a bento is protein, grain, and fruit or veg" and "build up a stash in your freezer" and "things you already like to make are great."

So I decided to test out a recipe from her site (http://justbento.com/handbook/johbisai/japanese-dry-curry-with-soybeans-or-tempeh). We made it for dinner, and I put the last bit of rice in a container, dumped some more curry on it, and popped it in the freezer to see how it works that way. The recipe is amazing; I'd scale back on the curry powder (ours is hot) because it's more concentrated than with a regular soupy curry. (I used a little over a tablespoon, which is about what I use in the regular curry.) I want to try freezing the curry bit separately (in an ice cube tray?) to see how that goes.

I also made sweet potato and chickpea koftas from a cookbook I have (Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven). They're really good, but they don't form into patties like the recipe says they should. I scooped them up by large spoonfuls and dropped them into the skillet like weird cookies. Either I need to use less sweet potato or more chickpeas; I added extra flour, but that didn't help much. I ate them tucked into pita bread, which was delicious. Super filling, too. (I had 4, the pita, and a carrot.) I put 4 into the freezer in a little gladware thing. I bet it would also make a nice hummus-like spread, especially if I sauteed the garlic or used roasted.

There are a lot of things I want to try before I go to Georgia, so I can have a repertoire and a habit. I'm clipping a lot to my Evernote from both justbento and budgetbytes.com.

Two months! Ack!
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Since I last wrote, I've gone down to Athens to find an apartment. I looked mostly at complexes, but stopped by a few Craigslist roommates wanted places. One of them was almost perfect, but I didn't want to flake on the appointment I had the next morning, so I missed out because the other person who looked at it said yes first. Boo. So I went back to my favorite complex from the previous day, took measurements and a couple pictures, and filled out an application.

I don't know how long their application review process (background & credit check) takes, but hopefully I'll know where I'm living come August really soon. This place would let me move in Saturday the 30th, which is great, because Ben will (hopefully) have a new job by then and be less able to just fuck off to Georgia for half a week to help me move in. (He may need to take Monday off for the drive back, but 1 day is easier than 3.)

I'm making a list of what I can scavenge from the house and what I need to buy, and I'm organizing everything on a spreadsheet. As I pack things into boxes, I'm listing them and color coding so I know what I've packed already and don't have to go "augh did I already pack my extra pens? What about the hand towel?"

Of course, there are a lot of things I'm still using and will be, but we have an overabundance of dish towels and such, so into a box it goes. I'm most likely going to be leaving fall/winter things here until late September or October; I can put them into their usual off-season storage bins and set them aside, then if they fit in whatever vehicles we take (my MINI and a rented something), yay; if not, they can come down later. Not like Georgia is colder than here very often.

I also need to learn how to reupholster a couch. I thought mom knew, so I asked if she would come down and help, but she said that was all grandpa, and that was that. :P So DIY tutorials on the internet will be my friend. Anyone know of a particularly good one?
feuervogel: (happy)
I got my official acceptance letter from UGA in the mail yesterday, and now I have a million forms and things to fill out. I haven't gotten my funding offer from the department yet, but I have some unofficial news from the program director in email, so when that's official and formalized, I'll let y'all know.

So yeah, I'm going to Athens, GA, for 2 academic years to study German linguistics. Whee!

Updates

15 Mar 2016 02:34 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
We lost Claire a few weeks ago. It hurt too much to write about, so I didn't. It was very sudden; she had a blood clot, and there was nothing we could do.

My GP agrees with me that I have Raynaud's and probably some form of Ehlers-Danlos (hypermobility type).

I should be hearing back about grad school soon. Russian class is going well.
feuervogel: (happy)
Poker night was fun. I won/tied for first (I took my first hand with a full house). It was all people I already know, including two of my tai chi teachers (they're married). There wasn't a whole lot of Deep Conversation or anything, but it was nice.

Game night went well. We had 6 RSVPs, then one of them broke her leg, so we went down to 4 (+ me & Ben). We played Lego pictionary for a while, then switched to a ridiculous game called King's Blood, which is sort of like Uno x dominoes with anime-style drawings of people. Not a whole lot of Deep Conversation, though we had some "OMGWTF TRUMP" with our pizza. Some of the people I invited couldn't make it this month but wanted me to let them know about next month etc, so I'll call it a success. (Also it makes us clean the house, which otherwise wouldn't get done.)
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I was using my phone on the couch, like you do, reading facebook, and it gave me the 14% beep beep warning. A short time later, it was down to 11% or so (the red "plug in please" light hadn't started blinking, so it was over 10%). Very shortly thereafter it gave another beep beep warning and shut off.

Fuck it, I'm ordering that Moto X tomorrow. This isn't the first time the phone has turned off after going from a charge I ought to be able to get another 10 minutes or more of browsing on.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I've been vaguely looking at new phones since mine has a crappy GPS, and sometimes it's slow to respond when I start typing into the google box, and when I was driving to Athens in October, maps crashed when I was on I-85. Sometimes the touch screen doesn't respond quickly--there's one icon I consistently have to press 4 or 5 times to get it to open, and half the time when I'm in twitter trying to press the 'new tweet' button, I end up on the home screen because it read it as "back arrow" instead. The battery life isn't so great anymore.

Aside from that, it works fine. (And I can't be entirely certain that the touch screen response isn't related to the ice cubes I call fingers, but the other icons open fine.)

So I want to get a Moto X Pure, and the one I want is $450. It's unlocked, so I could put a foreign SIM in it when I travel. (I plan to unlock my current phone and put a German SIM in it when I travel, because the SIM I have is a micro SIM and the new one takes nano. Of course. But if I moved there, I could get a nano SIM for this phone. I just want the flexibility.)

But I can't convince myself that I need to spend the money right now. I mean, I get frustrated with my phone a lot, and I'd probably be happier with one that doesn't suck as much, but $450 is a lot of money. I keep asking Ben if I should get the phone, but he says "if you want" and other not helpful things. Because I want but I don't really need.

So I don't know. I don't want to hit "buy" and then be hit with buyer's remorse. I'll probably need a new computer toward the end of the year (especially if I get into UGA), and MacBook Pros run like $1300. (Do not suggest a Windows machine, thank you.) *flail*

I feel like I need permission to do it, because it's not critical, just something I want. Or could use. sigh
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I invited about a dozen local friends to a monthly game night at my house. Two responded yes, two responded "definitely maybe if we don't have other plans." Two can't make it because of school commitments. One would like to come sometimes. Silence from the rest so far. I guess I should send them a ping and ask for an RSVP by next Wednesday so we can plan appropriately, but that feels so pushy.

So I've made my move; now it's up to other people to respond.
feuervogel: (enemy birds)
So, I work from home, and I don't really see anyone outside the pub anymore. I've been too busy to throw a party for a while (though I intend to have a 40th birthday bash), and my entire social life consists of sitting with my husband on our couch.

This is ... inadequate.

I don't get invited to parties, or "hey, we haven't seen each other in ages, let's hang out this weekend," or anything where I can feel something like an emotional connection to someone other than my husband. (OK, some newish friends from the pub invited us to poker night next weekend, but that doesn't sound like the kind of thing where you can hang out and talk about stuff, since you're playing poker.)

I like doing stuff with people! But I don't know how to get people to invite me places. No one thinks of me when they think "people I want to have at my NYE party" or whatever. This is why I keep telling Ben I don't feel like I have any friends at all anymore. Even the people I was closest to who live on the other side of the country now I feel like I've drifted really far from.

I don't know how to make it better.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I have a mid-2011 11" MacBook Air, which has 384 MB of video memory, according to Apple. I recently hooked up a spare external monitor to it, and when I put Chrome on the extra display area, webpages load really slowly. Like, it's really hard to read tumblr because one image out of six will load.

I've been having problems with webpages not loading images if I've had the tab open for a while now (long before the external monitor), and usually if I closed the tab and reopened it, things were fine. (I initially thought I had to relaunch the whole browser, then I remembered that Chrome keeps each tab as a separate process, so closing one tab is as efficient and saves time.)

I told Ben that it got worse when I got the new monitor, and he was like "pffff, that's impossible." Then I told him again today, after clearing all my chrome settings and preparing to uninstall/reinstall it, because it works perfectly on the native monitor, and he said, "ok, well, maybe..." then some computer graphics mumbo jumbo I didn't quite catch. He suggested mirroring the display rather than extending it, but I really like being able to be reading tumblr (or playing dragons) and looking at twitter in the window below, so I don't really like that option. Also because setting it to mirror does awful things to the native screen resolution and display.

So I'm throwing this out here in case any of you know if that's a thing, or how to deal with it. I really like being able to edit text at a readable size (or see more of it at once) and sitting with my neck in a more natural position, so I'd like to keep this monitor.

RIP Luna

1 Dec 2015 02:43 pm
feuervogel: Alex on the bridge, deciding a course of action (sad)
Today around 5, we're taking her back to the vet one last time. She always hated it, so we wanted to bring her home after the ultrasound for snuggles (and maybe some tortilla chips) and so she doesn't spend her last day entirely at the vet.

http://feuervogel.tumblr.com/post/134345994341/gotta-say-goodbye-to-this-sweet-face-today-love
feuervogel: (group hug)
We didn't get to SF as planned very late Monday night because our plane had a maintenance flag, which resulted in a 2-hour delay. We could have gone home and rebooked for a Tuesday AM flight, but going to Atlanta (and staying in a hotel on Delta's dime) meant we could get an earlier flight to SF. So we did that.

Tuesday we went to lunch with Mo & Enne, and we went shoe shopping, where I tried on the Vivs at the Fluevog shop, and now I really hope Santa brings me some shoe money. Then we BARTed over to Oakland, got dinner with Robynne & Starchy, then I tried on about a million bras at Robynne's shop (bought one). After that, we thought about going out to a tiki bar, but sitting down felt really good, so we had mixed drinks at home instead. I had a de la Louisienne, which is rye, Benedictine, vermouth, and Peychaud's. It was pretty awesome.

Wednesday I met several of my VP classmates for lunch, which was nice. I hadn't seen any of them since VP, and I missed them. I miss talking about writer stuff. After that, we went back to R's for our stuff, then took BART to a station where Ben's parents picked us up & dropped us off at our B&B. Dinner was at a Vietnamese place called Tamarine. I had a squash & sweet potato curry which was lovely.

Thursday we didn't do much until dinner, which was around 3:30 or 4. Ben's brother & his wife (and her parents--this was a packed house) made dinner. Ben's mom had Christmas, which was a bit excessive IMO. (Too many presents. Too many stocking stuffers. I don't need more Stuff! I need LESS!)

Friday we went for a walk at a nature preserve in Mountain View then had lunch. Ben and I went to Adam, Alexander, and Rachel's. We played a round of Sentinels of the Universe (where we ALMOST WON but the environment killed us a lot) then went up to Vynce's to hang out and play more games.

Our trip home was entirely uneventful.

Luna is sick and not really getting better. She doesn't have much of an appetite, and trying to convince her to eat is difficult. She's lost more weight since we were gone. She still loves Cheetos, though. IDK. CATS.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Heading off to San Francisco this week for Thanksgiving. Flying out at 5 pm and getting in super late, so I don't miss the last lecture of the semester in my Russian class. (On something really complicated and important: verbal aspect. Which the book explains poorly.)
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
November 18, 5:30 AM PDT - November 19, 5:30 AM PDT.

Come breed dragons! I'm in Fire Flight, if you want to join me there.

Stuff

10 Nov 2015 04:19 pm
feuervogel: (heart's desire)
I took the GRE a week ago and finally submitted my grad school application. I don't have official scores yet, but the computer told me when I was finished that I had 163 verbal and 155 math, on a scale of 130-170. (They rescaled it to make 50th percentile for math, around 152, actually in the middle, as opposed to 680, where it used to be. I am still rubbish at GRE math, but give me actual algebra problems to solve, and I am fine.) They can't give you a preliminary score on the essay part, obviously.

I have officially applied to grad school! This is terrifying. I haven't submitted my writing sample yet; I'm still working on making it not terrible. I want to get in, but I'm nervous about what will happen if I do, and scared I won't. And I won't know until probably April -_-

One of the professors I talked to while I was visiting last month said a PhD is worthwhile, because then you can teach at a university (adjuncting, not just full-prof). But I don't think I want to do that; I mean, it's a lot of work for crap pay. So I have no idea what I'd do with a PhD that I can't do with an MA.

So I've been researching what you can do with a Linguistics PhD (though German studies is also a possibility; I think I want to focus on sociolinguistics/dialects/ethnolects/language contact for my MA thesis, so ling is more appropriate probably.) And it's like, well, you can be a professor, or work for the government, or if you do computational linguistics you can work for machine translation places, or you could coordinate language education programs. (This is the most useful thing I've found thus far, and it's not that helpful.)

So anyway, friends, do any of you have experience with this sort of thing? I don't want to put myself through the torture of a PhD program if I'm not going to use the degree and if I don't need to. (I'm looking into programs both here and in Germany. Not very seriously at the moment, bookmarked for later.) I haven't completely ruled out the idea--if during my MA studies, I read a paper that's really cool and I get inspired for a PhD thesis, yay; if not, I'll have an MA and be able to teach community college here & elsewhere. I'm like 99% sure I don't want to do a PhD because of the effort etc.

Let's see... I took my car in for an alignment today because they told me my back tires were wearing unevenly, and they need to replace the control arms ($500) and at least the rear tires ($250), preferably all (another $250). I said just to do the rear tires, because this is all really expensive. Hopefully they'll have it done today so I can get my car back before I have to go to class tomorrow.

Speaking of class, Russian is going well. It's not too hard yet, but I'm waiting for the shoe to drop in second-year. First-year is all basics, like all 6 cases, verbal aspect, and verb conjugations; I don't even know what's in second semester yet.

Um, I'll be having a fandom yard sale sometime eventually, once I have time to catalog (photograph) my stuff. Which could be a while.

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