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I've been quiet for a while, I'll admit. I suppose I've mostly been feeling that nothing terribly interesting is going on, so I don't really have much of anything to say. It is properly Autumn, even moving to Winter, and while I love the colors, this season I've been feeling sort of lethargic and haven't gotten outside to enjoy them as much as I usually do. I think it has to do with not having either a person to go walking with or an established pattern of going walking. And while the nearby woods are lovely, they can be a wee bit sketchy to walk in alone. Tegan and I have arranged to go wander around one of the nearby parks on Monday, though, which should be nice.

I seem to be rambling a lot . . . )

In other news, I have 17,704 words worth of NaNo right now. Not all good words, mind you, but this is, after all, nano, and I think they're a great deal better than the stuff I was producing (at a much slower rate) two years ago.
It is November 6th!
When did I become the kind of person who is 1/3 done with her nano on day six? (Admittedly, it's the easiest third, since the plot was mostly already figured out, but hey, I now have an idea for what happens in the second two thirds, which I did not have 36 hours ago, and maybe when I'm feeling ambitious I'll write myself an outline or something, and figure out exactly what sorts of dangerous and semi-dangerous items the Agency keeps in its Peculiarity Vault.)
. . . this business of being unemployed is peculiar.

Although I do have a job interview for this coming week, which is an exciting thing.
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Science fiction creates the future.

It's a good story, mentioning Neal Stephenson and Connie Willis, among others.
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"Contemporary records are seldom without some value. I can only hope that what I have here set down in all sincerity of purpose may not be found uninteresting to a younger generation, who may care for personal reminiscences of some of those who have passed away before their time, but whose names are on the roll-call of Victorian worthies."
--Cornelia A. H. Crosse, 1892

No, Mrs. Crosse, I do not think that it was entirely uninteresting to the younger generation. I'll admit that some parts were a little dull and I skimmed them, but some were quite amusing. I particularly enjoyed this footnote on a Mr. Sedgwick and "the science that had adopted him" : "Sedgwick was made Professor of Geology because he knew nothing about it; the other candidate knew a good deal, but was all wrong in his theories."

this seems to be getting long )
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I am unpacked and my room is (mostly) clean. It only took a month-plus (admittedly a month that a) included a week and a half of me doing nothing because I'd just gotten my wisdom teeth out and b) was fairly hot, off and on, so moving boxes of stuff and working in my room was unfeasible). But I have now successfully absorbed an entire* dorm room worth of stuff into my already-full-of-stuff Philadelphia-home room**.

Cut for lots of long babbling )

So I guess what I'm saying is, "High School Miriam, sometimes I feel like I don't know you at all. I'm pretty sure that I'm happier being now-me than I was being you, which I suppose is a good thing, at least from this end. I'm glad that I/we/you got back into writing. I may sometimes wonder a bit about your decisions, but you managed to pick a college where I had a marvelous four years, and I will say that you definitely had good taste in friends.

footnotes on the above cut )
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You know what?
It's hard to go back to fencing.
I'm not just talking about the ache in my legs whenever I stand in en garde, which I expected, but the simple fact that I'm not as good at it as I used to be. I expected that too, but didn't realize how difficult it would be.
I don't need to win to enjoy fencing. I have spent many years of my life not playing on the winning side. But I do need some feeling of - I don't know - basic-level competence. I feel like I'm fencing badly. And worse, I know that I'm fencing badly. The individual skills aren't completely gone; I did surprisingly well in my preliminary lesson with Scott. But when I fence people - I can't complete actions, actions that I do make just don't work, and I can't hit people. My tip control is still there, but it falls to pieces if I put it in a bout situation. Not to mention this really fun thing where I'm close enough to hitting that I can see the lame indent but don't actually make the light go off. Although now that I think about it, I had similar trouble last year, so maybe I can't blame that on Spain.
And it's really not fair to be grumpy at the random UMass fencers just because I'm displeased with my performance.
Interestingly enough, I'm mostly still chipper and cheerful during the day, despite the fact that it hurts to sit down. And to stand up. Or to go from stationary to moving. I've had worse soreness, but this is plenty bad, thanks. I guess I just have a higher pain tolerance than I do a tolerance to feelings of failure.
I have one last swing dancing lesson this afternoon, and then fencing practice tonight, and then we depart bright and early tomorrow morning to fence in Rhode Island. This is going to be all sorts of interesting, in the Miriam-why-do-you-do-this-to-yourself kind of way. At least I get to sleep in until 5:30.

In other news, my room is amazing. I'm even almost unpacked, although there is still stuff strewn all over everything.
Also, it's excellent to see everyone (almost everyone) again.

I should stop sitting in my windowseat wasting time on my computer, since preparation for tomorrow morning should probably be done by 3:00 this afternoon.
Also, I need to write that letter to Renfe. In spanish.

ETA: And I forgot to mention that there's a dead spot in the center of my lame (for those of you who don't fence, the lame is the metallic shirt I wear on top of everything else that is wired up so that the ref knows when people get hit on target. A dead spot means that it isn't working properly, and a dead spot in the middle means that it's likely that my first opponent of the day will make it very obvious that it doesn't work before we even start bouting). And that's the only foil lame that fits me. If we can't find another by tomorrow, I think that badly malfunctioning equipment that you can't fix/replace disqualifies you from competing. And it would really stink to go the competition and sit on the sideline the whole day.
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In the spirit of which (and because I'm so happy that I now have ALL of my music), I present one of those iTunes memes, this one from [livejournal.com profile] eumeliannyikha

Yay, music! behind cut. )

ETA: Oh, that wasn't all of the music. No wonder that felt sparse and I kept getting the same stuff. Maybe I'll do another tomorrow with everything.
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So, La virgen de los sicarios (aka death-crumpets movie, and the English title is apparently Our Lady of the Assasins) was just as depressing and DISTURBING as expected, if not more so (the dream sequence was MUCH freakier in the movie, and I'm not sure if this is because it was freakier in the movie, or if I just missed how freaky it was in the book). It may well have been more so, particularly if you consider that the first of the teenage boy hitmen bore a strong resemblence to my brother, and certainly wasn't any older (in fact, he reminded me not of my brother now, but of my brother a few years ago when I was more familiar with his appearance, so he may well have been younger).
I did notice, though, that I didn't feel like the protagonist was being nearly as CREEPY-child-stalker as the guy in the other book/movie, even though this one was older and it was quite obviously a sexual relationship. (Possibly because the terms of the relationship were much clearer, somehow. But probably just because there were no children in this book. There were cynical old men in the bodies of boys who never lived to see twenty.)

And that paper that I've been putting off for the past four days and has been an annoying feature on my List of Things To Do? That paper?
I wrote it in half an hour this morning. I still need to proofread it and write a few sentences to conclude it, but that won't take more than 15 minutes. There is something to be said for writing before breakfast.

Speaking of writing, have a wordcount:
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
41,872 / 50,000
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So last night I got around to looking on Wikipedia to see if I could figure out why "Moon River," one of the songs we're singing in chorus, sounds vaguely familiar. As I was browsing the list of recordings that have been made of the song, one name caught my eye: John Barrowman. And I said to myself, "Isn't that - yes, that is." So - Captain Jack is secretly in my chorus. Further research revealed that he also performed in Phantom of the Opera; we sing Think of Me.

There's no proof of him singing the French song or "Linda Amiga" or that random Catalan Christmas carol, and I'm not sure where he's hidden the odd British/Spanish accent (Have I mentioned that? A Spanish accent in English is composed about half and half of Britishness and odd Spanish pronouciations; it's because Spaniards are taught British English in rather the same way that American students are often taught Spain Spanish). But still.

Okay, going back to working on the archeology paper now.
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Today has been a cut thrice sort of day. Luckily I was working with small pieces of cloth and paper in bookbinding, so I didn't ruin any giant sheets. But after I miscut my fifth piece this morning, I decided that it might be a good idea to leave this project until next class . . .
But in good news, I may have finished my first book. I'm not sure, sure, but it looks like a book to me. Mind you, it's the quick-and-easy kind of binding that I don't like so much, but I think that I'll be finishing the three that have been properly sewed pretty soon, too.

Last night I had an interesting discussion with Pepi. There was a movie about an Amish woman on tv, and so we started talking about the Amish. Over the course of the conversation, we covered:
-Amish as related to Mennonites
-Amish as closed religious community (living simply/worldliness, rumsprika and shunning, Pennsylvania Dutch, genetic problems and exchanges for young people)
-Mennonites \neq Amish
-My opinions on Amish life
-The greater Mennonite Church and GMC
-religious rules and norms in GMC, Lancaster County, and the wider Mennonite/Brethren in Christ community.
-free love (I think that we also touched upon the fact that Pepi does not consider sex to be The Original Sin, but the conversation was galloping rapidly and I we never got back to that point to clarify it)
-sex outside of marriage, my opinions thereon
-single parents
-my love life to date
-the nature of homosexuality and homosexuals in the church
-gay marriage
-lesbian couples in Lancaster County, general lack thereof
-homosexual couples adopting and/or having babies, or adopting children of adolescents.
-the nature of family

We were managing pretty well until the last two. At that point, I think we encountered a fundamental rift in our understanding of what constitutes family. Pepi was worried about children being confused about parental roles, and I think that for her, a family is a mom, a dad, and some kids. Or possibly a single parent and some kids, if it's necessary. And I didn't know what to say to that.

Since I've already discussed differences between Protestantism and Catholicism, politics, war, abortion, bullfighting, and religious freedom in schools with Ana and/or Pepi, if I cover why I am a pacifist, LGBTQ people in church leadership, and transgenderness (what do you mean that's not a word? It should be), then I'll have covered something close to all of the Big Questions.

And completely unrelated, I have a wordcount!
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
11,701 / 50,000

Also, there's now a commercial with the tagline, "llega el invierno" - winter is coming. It amuses me.
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My subconcious seems to have been very church-y last night. I had no less than two dreams about churches, the first about my home church and the Very Distressing Incident that happened a month or two ago. I don't remember much about that one, but it seemed to bring some sort of closure, and I rather suspect that it was brought on by my mother mentioning that the church secretary has quit without notice because he disappoves of the way the VDI was handled.

For the second, I made up an entire church, complete with church politics and a sexton who would occassionally go insane and attempt to shoot people. Actually, now that I think about it, I rather suspect that this dream was also sort-of about my home church, although it wound up getting turned around and mixed up with some kind of spy thriller.
Have I mentioned that I hate the politics of relatively small communities?

I just got an e-mail from my mother wondering if I had any spring pictures that she could use as a desktop background because her coworkers are telling her that the winter picture she has now is out of date. My response was more or less, "Spring? What's that?"

The talk by Princess Zulu last night was good.

. . . and now I should stop wasting time on the internet and finish the homework I was procrastinating on yesterday.

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