I am definitely kind of burnt-out and in need of a vacation. (I've had a pretty good summer, but I've definitely been noticing myself feeling not super into working on stuff, so I think it's low-level burn-out. It's also possible that I'll feel better once the school year starts up and I'm busier, so weekends are a balance between suspecting I'll feel better if I'm productive vs. suspecting I'll feel better if I give myself some sabbath.)
4 sparks of | knowledge
I finally got Netflix, and inspired by escritoireazul's post, I watched a bunch of Girl Meets World. (And then proceeded to comments dump in her entry.)
( episode 1.01 -- Girl Meets WorldCollapse )
( episode 1.02 -- Girl Meets BoyCollapse )
( episode 1.03 -- Girl Meets Sneak AttackCollapse )
( episode 1.04 -- Girl Meets FatherCollapse )
( episode 1.05 -- Girl Meets the TruthCollapse )
( episode 1.06 -- Girl Meets PopularCollapse )
( episode 1.07 -- Girl Meets Maya"s MotherCollapse )
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Having learned from last time, the plan tonight was that I would drive wherever I wanted and FCS-Ian would read facebook on his phone. He was remarkably attentive to what I was doing, though -- like, could give me detailed critique about why/how I'd ended too far out from the curb when pulling into the space or whatever.
My first attempt tonight was good but room for improvement. My second one was perfect.
The rest of the night was a mix. After having gotten good [tonight] at parallel parking behind a vehicle when there was no vehicle behind me, I got way less good at parallel parking between spaces. I got better again -- though having a car over to my left also makes me nervous (yay, narrow streets!). But my last 2 parallel parks were perfect! \o/
And FCS-Ian commented multiple times during the night that I seemed to be operating a lot more intuitively -- parallel parking was more of a single step ("to parallel park") rather than a 3-step process ... which was a little problematic because I was paying less attention to the individual steps, but I was also developing some intuition about how to fix things.
* * *
FCS-Ian and I did driving practice this afternoon. More traffic than we were expecting, on the residential side streets we were attempting to practice parallel parking on, which made it challenging. After a while, he reminded me that I tend to do better when I'm making the decisions and he's not talking to me all the time, so he told me to just pick streets and spots to try, and he wouldn't say anything (unless, e.g., I had the wheel turned the wrong way when I was about to reverse and thus would be about to hit another car). Apparently his checking facebook etc. while I was doing this was not just because he trusts me but also to keep him from talking -- but he did trust me enough that he could be on his phone most of the time. And I definitely got better as we went along. (And after like the 3rd time I consistently remembered which way to turn the wheel -- to my right when reversing to parallel park on my righthand side -- which I have no optimism I'll remember next time, hence writing it down now so I can refresh my memory before we go next time.)
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FCS-Ian and I were gonna go driving yesterday before church, but after much back and forth we ended up rescheduling to 7:30pm tonight. Now that it's still light out at that hour, it works well (after his kids are in bed, etc.).
5 sparks of | knowledge
He'd had a lot of coffee today, which was fine except that he wasn't super-focused and so would be like "pull over here" practically as we were passing something, and I need to get better at being like, "Explain to me exactly what you're about to ask me to do" (and make sure I actually understand! like have the correct visualization) instead of just following his instructions and ending up being llike, "Yes, I totally overshot that, in part because I had literally no idea where I was supposed to be aiming." (I reminded him at the beginning that last time we spent the first half on the street and the second half in a parking lot and realized after we were done that it would have been much more effective to have started in a parking lot. He decided that we would drive until we found an acceptable parking lot -- since our usual would probably be full/busy -- and I was fine with getting street practice, but e.g. "drive until forever, don't worry about turning" followed almost immediately by telling me to turn somewhere is suboptimal.)
Near the beginning, he commented that my actual driving was fine -- that I haven't put in a lot of actual hours on the road, but I've improved significantly since I started. And near the end (driving back to my house) he commented that I'm much more confident driving when I know where I'm going, to which I said that we learned this when I drove through the Powder House Rotary of Death at like 4pm on a holiday.
At the end, he said I'm doing great with k-turns (aka, 3-point turns -- which, along with parallel parking, was what I'd said I felt stood between me and passing the road test).
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Huh, I woke up his morning to an email that a Guest had left kudos on 10 of my fics.Edit:
An eclectic collection (not that I have a deeply coherent catalog to begin with, but still). I mean, I suppose it's possible that it's multiple anons, but that seems unlikely.
Looking at my AO3 account to remind myself of which pairings some of these stories were (forgetting it would be easier to just check my website), I looked at my Stats. ( fandom is perverted and I"m helpingCollapse )
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( spoilersCollapse )
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Biking home after work on Friday, the sidewalk on the east side of the bridge was open, and the construction had moved over to the west side.
Only 2 years behind schedule.
It still needs some cosmetic stuff (the walls seem to just be cement or whatever, no decorative brick; and the sidewalks are nice cement immediately adjacent to the road but just asphalt adjacent to the wall) but it's functional -- and the new lampposts are really nice.
So do we think the final product will be ONLY 2 years behind schedule (thus being completed Fall 2016) or more? I don't remember how far behind schedule the East Side construction began. (The schedule was that everything would begin June 2012 and then East Side construction would be Aug 2012 - May 2013, West Side: June 2013 - March 2014, Center: March - April 2014, Completion: Fall 2014.)
Edit: One of my co-workers is investigating and apparently the new end date is Spring 2016 (citation).
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This morning, we drove to FCS-Ian's neighborhood and spent about a half an hour trying to practice 3-point turns & parallel parking. I can follow really explicit instructions, but I have basically no internal understanding of why the car is doing what it's doing when I'm going in reverse, so after about a half an hour (at which point I was half-expecting FCS-Ian to say we'd maxed out his anxiety quotient for the day) we went to a parking lot so I could just practice reversing -- in retrospect, it would have been more Effective to do the parking lot first, but live and learn.
Doing 90-degree turns while reversing, I quickly internalized (well, after I got through the part where I was just memorizing -- which was less helpful) that I turn the wheel the opposite direction of where I want the front of the car to be pointing. Which, in retrospect, probably people had attempted to explain that to me before? And it's probably more nuanced when you're making less than 90-degree turns. But hey, I have learned a thing.
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I'm going to see Avengers 2: Age of Ultron tonight, and while I have approximately zero excitement about it, I also don't want to get especially spoiled, so I'm largely off social media -- so instead I went through certain people's Tumblrs and queued a whole bunch of badass ladies from Agents of SHIELD (and some Peggy Carter and MCU).
1 spark of | knowledge
I am clearly unmotivated to do any actual work.
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My mom drove us to Singspiration (partly because the car was parked out back, where it's a bit challenging to get it out), but I got to drive us home. My mom said I drove more confidently, and I definitely felt more confident than I had the last time. (Obviously it helped that there was basically no one else on the road.)
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In my writeup of RSC's Love's Labour's Lost, I mentioned that I had never read or seen that play before, which is a rarity at this point with me and Shakespeare.
I hadn't updated my masterlist in a couple years (and haven't managed to consistently write up much of anything in I don't know how many years), but I updated my draft doc so I could check and figured I might as well post it.
There are still Shakespeare plays I can barely remember what happens in them, but it's interesting watching multiple productions of the same play.
I first read Comedy of Errors in Shakespeare elective in 11th grade, and it was Shakespeare's ~first play, and having been in Twelfth Night that very same year I felt like it really showed and ugh Shakespeare you got so much better at this mistaken identity twin stuff in Twelfth Night. When I saw it at Shakespeare on the Common a decade later, I wanted to crawl out of my skin the whole time. But I am committed to ASP so when they put it on another 5 years later I went -- and it was HILARIOUS! We went closing weekend, but I would have watched that production over and over again.
National Theatre Live remains my favorite King Lear, and even though I really only have strong memories of like 2 scenes in it, that's sufficient to totally influence how I think of any other production of it that I see.
When last I posted, I commented that Twelfth Night and Macbeth used to be my favorite plays, but now it was probably Coriolanus and Titus Andronicus. I'm not sure what I would say now. Having seen a two King Lears last year, I think that's the one I'm most interested in at present. I've definitely been aware in seeing many productions of a play that I sometimes get kind of "over" a play I had previously loved -- like I can only return to that story so many times before it starts failing to hold up for me.
Bold the ones you've seen stage productions of, italicize the ones you've seen movies of, and underline the ones you've read or listened to.( listCollapse )
lignota's addition: *asterisk the ones you've performed in or directed. (angevin2's academically-inclined addition: I'm also marking the ones I've taught or done reasonably serious scholarly work on with a +plus sign. Also I am counting readthroughs as performances, because I am totally into readthroughs.)
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Last night, Cate and I went to one of the broadcasts of the RSC's Love's Labour's Lost. It was one of the few Shakespeare plays that I had never seen or read (literally, I think at this point we're down to Henry 6, parts 1-3).
1 spark of | knowledge
( Read more...Collapse )
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We didn't drive last Sunday, due to a scheduling conflict -- which given that we lost an hour to Daylight Savings &c. was okay with me, as it meant I was significantly less underslept for a long day -- but we did this morning.
2 sparks of | knowledge
We took 93 North for about a half an hour, stopped at a Dunkin' Donuts, and then took 93 South back -- with some extra practicing on and off exit ramps on the way back.
FCS-Ian thinks I'm doing fine. I continue to feel a little bit nervous -- I think largely I just still haven't internalized all of how it works ... being aware of and responding appropriately to all the stuff around you (traffic [incl. reading what the other driver is thinking and intuiting what they think you're thinking as you all do this non-verbal dance of not crashing and ideally keeping a smooth flow of traffic ... !], exits [I keep feeling like exit ramps pop up suddenly way after I've seen the initial sign and have been looking for warning about when I should start slowing down in anticipation of said exit], etc.).
One of the biggest adjustments, actually, is that I've gotten trained to not manually turn off my turn signal since it does it on its own -- except that when you're just shifting lanes rather than doing ~90-degree turns, it doesn't.
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Mom let me drive us home from Singspiration. So like a 5-minute drive, with almost no traffic (though there was one person behind me while I was still driving 20 -- I did get up to 30 ... and also opted to get off that road at the next streetlight). The towering snowdrifts do make driving kinda dodgy, ngl -- and I probably wasn't do the greatest job of staying in a consistent portion of the lane (in part because I had almost no cues). But I successfully pulled into a parking lot space on the first try (within the lines even, albeit at a weird angle) and seem to be getting better at judging space, because I suspected I could have pulled up further and when I got out of the car I saw that was true.
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I spent most of today on Twitter reading about #AntonioMartin. Before that it was #DontreHamilton. I tried to make a list and oh, so many...
As per usual, December has been busy with work, and I haven't been especially ~feeling~ the Christmas lead-up. This is probably exacerbated by my being in another "the more I engage with the Bible, the less I identify as a Christian" phase.
I went to Christmas Eve service at my mom's church tonight, expecting the usual warm fuzzy kind of service.
We sang "I Heard the Bells," which I don't think we've sung at Christmas Eve before (though we often do at December Singspiration), which pleased me because we don't usually touch on the sadness, the darkness, the fact that all the Christmas joys we sing of have yet to be fully realized. ( lyricsCollapse )
Kevin (the pastor) gave brief reflections after each of the readings, and fine, talk about Jesus as fulfillment of promises, I won't argue with you in this moment about why I feel uncomfortable uncomplicatedly invoking Jesus as fulfillment of Jewish prophecies...
We sang "O Holy Night," though we definitely struggled with it (and not just the high notes in the refrain), which was a bummer to me as some of it is so good. I was pleased that we got to sing
[Her] law is love and [Her] gospel is peace. (Yeah, I didn't edit the Longfellow poem when I c&p'ed it above, but I totally sang she pronouns for Deity throughout the service tonight, as is my tendency when ~inclusifying on the fly.)
Chains [she] shall break, for the slave is our [sibling].
And in [her] name all oppression shall cease.
In his reflection, Kevin called us back to that bit and talked about how the 2 sins that God was forever chastising Israel about were idolatry & oppression of the poor and the widows ... and I was so stoked and yet all he went on to say was blah blah blah Jesus as fulfillment of promise. Earlier, he had talked about animals in the creche and Saint Francis and Isaiah's promise of the redemption of all Creation, so I was left with the implication that "When God/Jesus redeems all of Creation ... at the Second Coming ... then the oppressed will be raised up etc. [not that we talked about the Magnificat at all] but until then just hang out and trust in God's eventual promise."
When I talked to my mom afterward, she said that Kevin's been talking about discipleship a lot on Sundays, which actually makes it feel worse to me because dozens of people this is the one time you're gonna get them this season and you don't take the opportunity to talk about God's call on their lives? Great, maybe some people learned some new things, but I was left with nothing about why Jesus' birth into the world matters to us now.
Earlier, when the choir director intro'ed "Joseph's Song" (the choir selection), he said something about how we often don't hear much about Joseph, and in my head, I was like, " #WhatAboutTheMen? Really?" The song was mostly Joseph talking about Mary and the baby, so it wasn't that bad -- and I do recognize that there are problematics to erasing Joseph out of the story -- but so often in conversations about folks on the margins/folks who are oppressed, people jump in to try to make sure we also talk about the privileged people and how they matter too, so I'm primed.
Frustrated with the almost-but-not-quite-there mention of Christ's mission of ending oppression, I came out of the service wanting to make my own Christmas (Eve)* service about the inbreaking of God into messy humanity, making Christ's home amongst the marginalized -- possibly incorporating the Jesus wasn't born in a stable argument -- and because I'm me and was cranky about #WhatAboutTheMen and how we skipped Mary's Magnificat in our journey through Luke (1:26-37, 2:1-7, and 2:8-16, but no 1:39/46-55), I wanted to queer the grown-up that baby Jesus would become (trans girl stone butch of my bff's heart or something).
* I admit it hadn't occurred to me until I went to write this just now how this service might be different if it were a Christmas Eve vs. Christmas Day (or elsewhere Christmastide) service ... what it is that we're maybe trying to get at with a Christmas Eve service that might be different from e.g. a Christmas Day service.
1 spark of | knowledge
* * *
Thursday morning, my dad picked me up to bring me to my parents' for Thanksgiving.
Yesterday (Friday), my mom and I visited friends two towns over. My mom cleared the snow/ice off the car and as I got into the car (she was already in the driver's seat), I said, "So I guess I'm not driving to [town], huh?" and my mom was like, "Oh yeah, I guess not." As if we couldn't have switched seats then before we left the parking lot. I was still a little tired, though, so I wasn't too inclined to push to get to drive.
Today she was having lunch with friends ~2 miles away and I was welcome if I was still gonna be in town. So I did drive to that. The windy (long-i sound) downhill with the sun in my eyes, my mom commented I could drive faster (when I'm nervous I slow down), but otherwise I mostly managed to drive 25-30mph (the speed limit was 30).
At one point, someone in the oncoming traffic made a lefthand turn, and yes a more experienced driver would likely merely have slowed down, but it startled me and I slammed on the brakes. I started up again once the vehicle was no longer in front of me, but the vehicle behind me honked and they and like 5 other cars proceeded to pass me.
Other than that, it was fairly uneventful. I tried to start turns earlier than I'm inclined to (per my dad), though I remain terrible at actually looking in my mirrors for what's going on behind me at all.
Despite the parking lot being somewhat crowded (and my thus feeling somewhat nervous about my ability to actually park), I pulled into a parking space and was actually within the lines (far over to one edge, but within the lines). I took a photo to show FCS-Ian on FB (yay smartphones).
Driving back was also a little bit nervous-making (ugh, parking lots), but the traffic wasn't too bad. The parking lot across from my parents' was empty, so I could drive straight into a spot easily (though I was still far to one side -- righthand side both times). I pulled up a couple times (I have a tendency to overestimate how big the car is and thus how close I am to things) and felt a little bit nervous like I'd overshot, but I was right up to where I should have been.
My dad drove me home, and I said I wasn't especially feeling up for trying that and he deadpanned that the Southeast Expressway is everyone's favorite place to drive.
* * *
You know when is a terrible time to practice driving? When the sun is directly in your face.
2 sparks of | knowledge
Okay, I've driven with sun-blindness before, but highway driving when you can't see the speedometer...
I wasn't actually super-anxious, though -- I definitely slowed down whenever I couldn't see the speedometer (and FCS-Ian would alert me when I got down to 45 or 40 -- the posted speed limit was 55), but there wasn't a lot of traffic (it was ~7:30am on a Saturday); I think with more traffic, the limited visibility would have made me a lot more nervous.
Driving on Mt. Auburn last weekend, I really felt the difference between 20mph (which I'd been comfortable driving at) and 30mph (the posted speed limit), so I was nervous about the ~60mph nature of highway driving, but because of the road surface, I mostly didn't feel it at all -- which is a little nervous-making, because I can't rely on my bodily experience of the driving and have to be sure to keep an eye on the speedometer (and the traffic around me, which would usually be primary, but in the absence of much traffic, very much the speedometer) or else I could easily drive a wildly different speed than I intended, but I was mostly fine.
I didn't do the full drive to Framingham, 'cause we used up FCS-Ian's anxiety quotient (not that I was driving badly!) plus he was helping with AV stuff at Super Saturday so he wanted to get there early-ish and while I was hovering around the speed limit (even getting up to ~65 at times) when the sun wasn't blinding me, obviously he drives faster.
We talked about doing some Sunday morning (pre-church) highway driving (possibly on north-south roads, to avoid the sun-blindness issue) because he wants me to get to practice changing lanes on the highway without there being much traffic.
On the drive home, we had productive and enjoyable church-related conversations, in which I acquired more to-do list items, but I am currently in phase one of my "do laundry then go the fuck to sleep" post-Super Saturday to-do list (I was out late last night because Drag Gospel at Club Cafe, and up early this morning because Framingham; bonus: I biked ~16mi yesterday for the first time in a while [my work commute is ~8mi roundtrip] and my knees were definitely feeling that during the afternoon workshop today).
* * *
Shoshana's plan for driving practice today was real roads, preferably multi-lane roads, to work on my difficulty staying in my lane.
1 spark of | knowledge
I definitely still drift a lot (and overshoot turns), but there were no collisions or even honking -- even though I was initially responding really badly to bicyclists on my right (slowing down AND moving over into the lefthand lane? terrible idea). And I successfully yielded to rotary traffic (and am developing more of a habit of looking in my lefthand mirror at least). And there was one intersection where Shoshana said she was impressed by my handling of it (mostly her verbal contributions, other than GPS-type stuff, were to express concern about my driving -- which is totally fair and appropriate).
I'm not sure if I'm now less or more nervous about highway driving this Saturday (with FCS-Ian, going to Framingham for Super Saturday).
Oh, and I didn't think to intentionally look after I got out of the car when we were done, but I pulled up in front of the church and I don't think I was ridiculously far out from the curb.
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Every year I repost this from Amy:
One of the big pieces of the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is that you reflect over the past year, and you attempt to (A) accept and forgive anything that has been done to you, and (B) apologize and ask forgiveness for anything you have done to others.
Anonymous is enabled, and all comments are screened. If I've done anything to hurt you this year, let me know. If there's anything you think I might still be upset over, let me know that too. I won't unscreen unless you specifically request I do [...] The goal isn't to start fresh- that's often not possible- but to acknowledge what has happened over this year (or any previous time, if you so choose) as an attempt to not have it happen again.
I promise to treat anything you say seriously and respectfully, and I will seriously be considering it over the next ten days.
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As we were finishing up lunch this afternoon, Shoshana asked, "Do you want to go driving?"
I said, "No" -- but that it was what we had on the schedule for the afternoon ... and that while I felt nervous and anxious, I am committed to this.
She asked what I wanted to work on, and I said three-point turns and parallel parking. She said she didn't feel well-equiped to teach me to parallel park, so we just did three-point turns.
She drove us to Mount Auburn Cemetery and despite the terrible dappled light, I navigated all the turns etc. successfully. And I apparently have a high tolerance for people repeatedly telling me I'm slightly too far over to the left (or the right) -- which is good, since appropriately staying in my lane is apparently a skill I have not yet mastered.
We practiced three-point turns turning to the left and turning to the right. Having done them a bunch, it definitely felt more intuitive.
After about an hour, we drove back to church (where my bike was parked), so no rotaries or anything. There was a bicyclist going the wrong way on Mass. Ave. and flipped him off and complained but forgot that I have a horn for displaying my displeasure (hey, there are a lot of things to remember in a car).
This morning, FCS-Ian and I chatted about when he might be willing to go back on sound booth rotation and/or resume driving lessons with me, so when we do resume in October-ish I'll try to remember to ask him to focus on parallel parking.
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