thedeadparrot: (crouching tiger)
(posted by on Aug. 5th, 2014 09:12 pm)
I was called up for jury duty today, and unlike most people, I was actually selected (impaneled, in the common parlance) to serve on a jury.

We've already handed in the verdict, so it's not going to eat up more of my life, and I can actually talk about it now. I don't want to get into too many specifics in public (hit me up via e-mail, etc, if you want deets), but it was a criminal case, a small one. Since there wasn't a whole lot of evidence for us to deliberate on, it didn't take us too long to reach a verdict. It was a unanimous decision. I stand by it.

But it's a weighty thing we're asked to do. It still feels heavy on my back. I guess that's how it has to be, when the topic of justice, real justice, comes into play, and not just the court of popular opinion. I can't imagine what it must be like sit in a hugely involved case.
thedeadparrot: (self-portrait me)
(posted by on Jun. 11th, 2010 06:29 am)
I have been fairly busy lately here, where it is exactly 12 hours apart in time difference. This is kind of a good thing in that I don't need to readjust my watch or my computer clock, but it's also kind of a bad thing in that I totally lose sight of what day it is, as my computer ends up reporting yesterday's date as today, since its clock is 12 hours behind.

The purpose of this trip, ostensibly, it for me to learn to speak Mandarin enough so that I'm not entirely pathetic at it. I'm not entirely sure this plan is working, because most of the time, I'm either coding or trying not to fall asleep or trying to figure out all of the technical vocab I entirely lack. About half the time, the people around me switch to Taiwanese so that I get completely lost.

All in all, it's sort of weird, because I feel homesick a lot in weird ways, and I remember this from my first trip to Taiwan a long time ago. It's a feeling like, "huh, I don't belong here, either," which was really painful back then, and it's mostly just annoying right now. Perhaps even more than in the US, I feel like people treat me like a freak, an outsider, and it's fair to say that I am, but I'm kind of tired of being treated like an idiot just because I can't fully articulate myself. It's always kind of awkward when yet another person assumes that I can't understand what they're saying, when I'm just not good enough to actually speak back with conversational competence. This whole thing is mostly brushing up against the fact that I'm not the most talky person in English, either, and my first instinct is usually to withdraw and hide in my computer.

I can't complain about the food. There is so much deliciousness all the time. Nom. It's all so excellent, and I always miss it so much when I go home.

I can complain about the insects, though, because omg, I am now covered in bug bites and it's not even like I've spent that much time outside. I have, on last count, two on my right knee, one on my left knee, one on my left shin, one on my right ankle, one on my left foot, one on each of my shoulders, one on each of my arms, one on my torso, and one on my right ring finger. I think I'm probably missing some, and I'm sure the number of these will double by the end of tomorrow. I'm not even kidding.

In addition, I've decided to go on reading the Temeraire books, because they were sitting around my house, and I needed books to bring with me on this trip. Currently, I am in the middle of Throne of Jade and trying desperately not to wince every single time Yongxin shows up. Or, you know, spending time wondering how awesome it would be to toss Laurence into the ocean. Repeatedly. It's kind of interesting to contrast the weird, exoticized Chinese of the book with, you know, the actual Chinese people around me here. WHATEVER, DUDES. I realize that this is what being a fan of Glee must be like for people who give a shit about anti-oppression work. I don't even have awesome song and dance numbers to use as a good reason for continuing on. (And yeah, you can say whee! dragons! but I feel distinctly left out of that squee, for reasons I have articulated before. AND YET I am still here.)

I'm going to be bringing the company computer with me to mainland China when I go in that direction in a few days (and ahahahha, let me tell you about funtimes trying to operate a computer when you can't read the language the whole operating system and window manager are using) so I don't know if I'll get around to typing up the [community profile] kink_bingo fics that are slowly managing to dribble out of my brain. I hope to get more written, at least. My writing mojo has been all over the place over the last semester, and I am slowly trying to regain it.

Also, dumplings are delicious. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Wow, this is a rambly, not-entirely-coherent post. I think I'll continue to blame the jet lag.
thedeadparrot: (self-portrait me)
(posted by on Jan. 27th, 2010 12:28 pm)
I am so behind on responding to comments and a lot of other things, but I'm just feeling really tired and unhappy. Not sure I have the energy to comment with enthusiasm right now.

Classes started today. I'm usually too stressed out and focused to be depressed about this, but I need to take four classes and pass them all this semester to graduate. I did grad-student-fail a class last semester, and I'm worried about that happening again, because if that happens, I don't get my degree. Two classes I wanted to take this semester have been scheduled right on top of one another. And one of those is scheduled right on top of another class I'm thinking about taking.

I dunno, you guys. I'm not TAing this semester, and I have accepted a job offer, and both of those things mean that I suddenly have a lot more time and a lot less stress. But I'm worried about getting through the next few months without going through a mental breakdown. I love CS, and I love this department, but I think I may have reached a point where I'm just sick of it. My parents were really pushing me towards a PhD program, and I think it's good that I decided against it. Because another 3-4 years of this sounds like hell on Earth.

I feel like I'm stuck in that really ambivalent stage of life, where you're not really sure where you're headed or even where you want to be headed, and it sucks. A lot.

I don't think I'm cut out for this whole "adult" business. I'm sure things will look better in a few days, but at the moment, it's mostly just a soul-sucking vortex of unpleasantness.
thedeadparrot: (need for speed)
(posted by on Sep. 13th, 2009 09:21 pm)
My knuckles hurt from punching through a piece of wood. Owwwwww.

Class I am TAing is eating my life.

I haven't really been writing much. Except for this bit of the ninja!Foreman AU for [personal profile] hannah, because she wrote me this awesome story about food in the Trekverse.

I have been getting other stuff done. Like, I cleaned the bathroom, took out the garbage, did my laundry, finished up a week's worth of homeworks and class notes, baked cookies, and set up port forwarding on my router. Productivity is awesome!

Also, I gotta say, I am really fucking sick of people who complain about other people calling out racism/sexism/other-ism. I've run across a few of them, some even anonymously, and you know what? If you're one of those people who has a problem with me hating on your favorite TV/movies/books, you know where the de-friend button is, and I will not be offended. In fact, it will probably be better for both our blood pressures.

Yeah, fandom is changing, and fandom has changed me. You have no idea how important it was for me to discover the words to describe my discomfort and my anger and my existence, and I will always be grateful to fandom for giving me those tools. I am not an acafan. My degrees is in fields that are basically math with a tiny bit of engineering thrown in. I have never taken a class on gender or race theory.

You are not being oppressed by my anger. And when you say, "Why can't fandom be happier?" and, "Jeez, you don't have to make such a big deal out of it," all I hear is, "Why can't you sit down and shut the fuck up?"

Yeah, no. Not going to happen. I've been silent enough as it is.

Context and further discussion:
[personal profile] ciderpress brings the truth.
[personal profile] maschalismos has the screencaps.
thedeadparrot: (self-portrait me)
(posted by on Sep. 3rd, 2009 11:48 am)
So, grad school orientation has started, and I've been mostly avoiding it despite offers of free food, because I don't think I could handle it. It's like the first week of college, except for the part where everything is new and exciting, leaving behind only the awkward and a bunch of new people you don't care much about. Also, shitty icebreakers.

There's a barbecue later today. I would go, except for that thing where I feel nauseous just thinking about it.

I mean, I know where everything is, and I know a good number of the undergrads, and this all is really just a waste of my time. I miss being in dorms, where you had enough people around that it was hard to feel isolated. I love my roommates, but they go in and out a lot, and we have bad tendencies to hole up in our rooms. I visited TH on Tuesday and hung out with some of the other TAs who are back early, and that was soothing, to say the least.

Part of my anxiety over this, I feel, is that I need to figure out who I'll be working with on my Master's project. And I don't really have a "field" so much as a great appreciation for how much smarter everyone else is from me. I don't know. I get that as a Master's student, I am basically free labor to a lot of profs around here, since they don't need to fund me. At the same time, I have Issues with approaching people about Things and that makes it hard for me to just shoot an e-mail to a professor to arrange a meeting to talk about things.


Also, it's my birthday. I might be setting up a DRABBLERAMA -- [personal profile] zulu style -- later, but right now I have to TeX up a million documents and write a section on pivot tables in Excel.
thedeadparrot: (self-portrait me)
(posted by on Nov. 1st, 2008 12:58 pm)
So, as many of you know, there's this little election going on in the United States soonish.

This morning, I saw a video from the Rachel Maddow Show about how there's a record low in voter turnout for young voters this year (so far, at least, in early/absentee voting), and it depressed me quite a bit. Seriously? Are they just assuming Obama's won this one? Are young voters just that apathetic?

Part of me can't believe it. I've been looking forward to being able to vote since I knew what it was. When I was in middle school, we had a sort of mock election between Gore and Bush, and I went out of my way to make sure I had put a vote in. (Gore won, BTW.) My parents would take me with them to the polls and let me flip the little levers for them. I was just shy of voting age in the last presidential election, and it drove me nuts to know I had no say in what happened. I still have to yell at my parents to vote every couple of years. A mixup in voter registration two years ago meant that I didn't get to vote, and I bitched at everyone who would listen about it.

Maybe I haven't become cynical enough over the years, but I really do believe all that warm fuzzy stuff about democracy and civic duty and having a voice. I do believe that voting is one of the most important thing an individual can do to show their patriotism.

I've already voted (absentee) in this election, even though I'm voting in a state that has consistently polled for Obama in the double digits. All my friends (with one exception) who are citizens have voted in this election or will vote on election day. After a quick poll at lunch yesterday, we discovered that even though none of us were voting in the same state, we were also voting in incredibly blue states, and as such, not counting for much in the presidential election, and that's okay with us, because it's important that we vote anyway. I had a minor freakout when one of my Californian friends was filling out his absentee ballot, because of Prop 8.

Look, I realize that I'm preaching to the choir, here. And that it might be too little, too late. But if you can, please vote this year. It's important.

And now for pictures of adorable kids being involved in the political process:
What This Election Means
Girls 4 Obama
thedeadparrot: (self-portrait me)
(posted by on Jan. 6th, 2008 04:45 pm)
I've been meaning to write this up for a while, but haven't, since I'm lazy, which means I'm just going to post some pictures with some explanations.

image-heavy )
thedeadparrot: (self-portrait me)
(posted by on Sep. 5th, 2007 04:29 pm)
Okay, so classes were mostly good. AB hour of doom lived up to its reputation, especially since it's Econometrics, and while it may be useful for Econ in the future, statistics is still the Devil's Work.

I was worried about my Computational Theory course, but after Econometrics, anything will probably look good, and anyway, the material was actually interesting, which helped.

Programming Languages has an awesome professor and seems like an awesome class, but it wasn't offered last year, so everyone is taking it now, and I'm not sure if I want to take it when there's a class that big.

Investments is tomorrow. Let's see how that goes.
thedeadparrot: (self-portrait me)
(posted by on Jun. 9th, 2007 03:19 pm)
So, today is, "get shit done" day, and I have (a) gone shopping for food, (b) got soaking wet, (c) needed to get money orders from my bank so that I could pay my TV and internets bill, (d) paid my TV and internets bill, (e) visited the local library and borrowed Michael Chabon's Summerland*, (f) bought stamps, (g) did my laundry, (h) decided that I found The Painted Veil lame, despite the hotness of Edward Norton**, (i) played DDR, Katamari, and Kingdom Hearts.

Also, because I agree with this statement:

If there are one or more people on your friends list who make your world a better place just because they exist, and who you would not have met (in real life or not) without the Internet, then post this sentence in your journal.


* I am totally enamored with this book already, and all I've read is the blurb. I think it's because I'm incredibly fascinated with sort of the idea of the ideal America, and I actually kind of buy into the idea, more than I probably should, so yeah, and creating a comic-book mythology type thing out of it? AWESOME.

** I like slow love stories, where people sort of come to understand each other in tough situations, and I wanted to see the gorgeous scenery, but this had too many weird undercurrents of Orientalism and misogyny for my taste.
thedeadparrot: (crouching tiger)
(posted by on Jun. 2nd, 2007 08:36 pm)
I am moved in! And mostly settled! And start work on Monday! (eep)

Also, have internets, even though Comcast is evil and does not "support" Linux. Fuckers.

I am also quite amused by the fact that this really is bumfuck, MA. Man, I really need to get a Netflix subscription.
thedeadparrot: (self-portrait me)
(posted by on Mar. 14th, 2007 01:14 pm)
So, I'm clearly trying to kill myself, because I just signed up to be a head TA for an intro computer science class next year. It's going to be massive amounts of work, but at least there are going to be three HTAs for this class next year, which should lighten the workload a bit.

I may or may not get a single next year. I am crossing my fingers and hoping.

Totally going to fail my Game Theory midterm tomorrow. It's not even funny.

Looking for an internship this summer. Job hunting is doing okay, I guess. Had a phone interview this morning with Cisco.

It's π day today. w00t?
thedeadparrot: (Default)
(posted by on Feb. 12th, 2007 08:25 pm)
Still alive.

Still writing, mostly. I had this random House fic idea, and then I spent like an hour working on it instead of reading Farenheit 451. WHICH IS (A) BAD (THING), OKAY? Other stuff is updating slowly, because I'm really wary of fucking up my wrists. Fucking up my wrists is bad.

The SGA fandom is trying to steal my soul. The fic is so pretty. Plus, the show really sucks. In funny ways. On the other hand, Rodney is so my dork boyfriend.

Have been sick for a bit. Just a cold, but still really annoying.

ETA: Fixed stupid wording above.
thedeadparrot: (happiness is a warm gun)
(posted by on Dec. 31st, 2006 09:23 pm)
SO, I'm back home now. Just in time to respond to my lovely [ profile] yuletide feedback.

I'm pretty sure that most people can figure out which one is mine, because it's just so blatantly me that I think it's kind of funny. I would offer you drabbles for guessing the right one, but it's awfully close to the reveal, so I don't think it's really enough time.

I should probably leave feedback on some of the stories I particularly enjoyed. At some point. Hopefully.

Anyway, I'll probably blab more about the trip, fandom, and other stuff later, but right now I'm hungry.

thedeadparrot: (Default)
(posted by on Sep. 23rd, 2006 06:31 pm)
Still alive. Barely. I really like Intro to Graphics, but it's also pretty intense so I haven't really been around.

Still working on the Five things. I swear.

Sandman is so freaking good. I just got Endless Nights, and I would totally lick it if that weren't gross.

I also got the third season of Arrested Development. Yay Bluths. I wonder if Michael's name is a very, very vague, subtle reference to The Godfather. That would amuse me greatly.

I'm also taking a Pop Culture class this semester. I'll keep you posted if there's actually anything interesting that happens.

Milk + cereal = awesome, though Milk in cereal = gross. I like my cereal crunchy.
thedeadparrot: (devil horns)
(posted by on Sep. 8th, 2006 06:52 pm)
Okay, yeah. I have a Computer Science class that decided that it would be a brilliant idea to hand out an assignment on the first day of classes that is due in a week.

And this isn't like a page of work, either. This is a full-fledged programming assignment.

So that's where I've been.
thedeadparrot: (stop and thank you)
(posted by on Sep. 4th, 2006 08:24 pm)
Thanks for all the birthday wishes everyone!

I've been mostly been absent due to TA camp and reorienting myself to college life. Classes start tomorrow. It's going to be pretty crazy.

I've been trying to write stuff, and it's going okay. I think my inner editor really needs to shut the fuck up sometimes. Seriously. Like, I think that most of what I've written has sucked, but I mostly write because I enjoy writing. I generally hope for non-suckage, but I'm not sure if that's always achievable. At this point, I think I'm a hack, because I keep using the same structures, the same ideas, the same patterns over and over again. It's kind of frustrating, because I don't know how to stop using them. They're a crutch I lean on a little too much.

Rar. I'll leave my writing angst at the door next time.
thedeadparrot: (going places)
(posted by on Aug. 28th, 2006 08:46 am)
Okay, so I've moved in once again, and I am quite happy. Tech House is awesome.

The dorm I have isn't as nice as it was last year. But that's okay. I'm living in Tech House.
thedeadparrot: (going places)
(posted by on Jul. 2nd, 2006 10:19 pm)
Just got back from a crazy-fun weekend in New York with my parents.

Saw two shows with my parents. One of these was Rent (which I totally blame on [ profile] stars_inthe_sky), which was quite excellent. We did the whole "get tickets half off from Tkts" thing, and we got really good seats for cheap.

On the totally other hand, my mom and I went to go see Faith Healer. mostly because of Ralph Fiennes. You see, my mom has only two pop culture obsessions. Clay Aiken and Ralph Fiennes (yes, weird, I know), so it seemed reasonable to take the chance and see him live while we could. (Also, Ian McDiarmid was in it, which makes me, I think, a giant geek.) It was good, and also, quite the opposite of Rent.

Also had lots of good food. Yay.
thedeadparrot: (omgwtf?)
(posted by on Jun. 18th, 2006 09:47 pm)
Internship starts tomorrow.

OMGWTF, when did I become a grown up?
thedeadparrot: (staring at the sun)
(posted by on Jun. 4th, 2006 09:39 pm)
So I've been reading a lot of Angel fic lately, and I've realized that he's totally that character type that really draws me in. The kinda assholic, deeply obsessive, deeply caring guy with Issues (see: Roy Mustang, Jack Bristow, Bruce Wayne), though I can't quite put my finger on why I'm really drawn to it. Maybe it's their sheer badassness, maybe it's because they give really good angst.

Still can't write, however. It's at the point where I don't think I'm ready to try a ficathon, simply because I'm paranoid of letting down my recipient. Am trying to put together a fanmix though. It's kind of risky, in terms of various genres it throws together, so I hope I can get it to flow right.

Have received a job offer from IBM for a summer internship, which kicks major ass. I am quite excited.

Upgraded my Ubuntu install to Dapper Drake. I am liking it quite a bit. Lots of nerdy goodness. There were some bumps along the way, but I think they've all been straightened out. I am liking the new version of Times New Roman (I think?). The old one was butt-ugly and annoying to look at.

So, how have you guys been?


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