Earth Logic middle, coming down with a cold

It gives me peculiar satisfaction that the fantasy heroes in this book sit around interpreting and translating poetry all day long.

The confusing bits of this book leave me a bit more confused, or that could be the cold and fuzzy-headedness.

Also I am cranky as hell and wish very much for complete peace and quiet.

Bending over wasn’t too hard today. I did the laundry and walked around a fair bit without lurching.

Oh, yesterday in the airport I acheived the stationary wheelie! I could do moving ones, and then have been getting closer and closer, getting into a sort of pendulum rocking motion to stay in place, and suddenly by the baggage claim I got the trick of staying still. Repeated it a few times, but I don’t feel mastery of it yet.

It has been hard to get back into work today, and at 4 or so I stopped reading all the back emails and wiki pages and rested, ate soup, and read my book. Oh and also I lost my voice almost completely. Mercifully I didn’t get sick until *after* the con… though work is piling up alarmingly.

To the theraflu! stat! maybe if I go to bed at 9pm!

Why why why did I ship Water Logic? Why???

a translation finally out

I translated a short book of poetry about 6 years ago, and it just came out. It’s not as fancy as I thought it would be and I only have a tiny credit for it. And the book is even more super-small-press than I thought. And my translation of the preface never got put in. AND the format of the translations are more like footnotes, so all the effort I put in… ugh! But at least it’s out and now I am over the pages required to apply for an N3A grant as a translator. Prof. F. warned me years after I had already done the project that the person was maybe a bit… sketchy… and not respected as a poet. I now know what she means, and yet I liked the poems and had a nice time translating them. I would have been much more excited to see it with all its flaws 6 years ago or even 5.

Deep in Fire Logic

Nnnnnghhh!!!! Laurie Marks writes like a motherfucking angel!

For years people have been telling me to read this book — Fire Logic — and now I see it’s true. By page 90 I had cried twice and felt so emotionally jerked around and invested in the story I couldn’t stand it, but i couldn’t stop reading. I recall the mass outrage when whoeveritwas didn’t publish book 3 of this series for whatever-reason-I-don’t-care, and the Secret Caballing and knowing-who-to-talk-to that moved mountains to make it possible to publish the third book, or at least the mountains of someone nicely going “oh yeah” and releasing the rights so someone else could publish it, and at the time I noticed something monumental was happening but only from a distance. Anyway, now I really appreciate it and love this community even more for doing something so important and cool. It comes down to knowing to ask, and knowing who to ask, and how, AND them not being jerks … and each piece of that is non-trivial.

Imagine how hot these books would be as a several-year tv series! All the slashy goodness and the drama! Battle-scarred hill women waging guerrilla warfare!

Thank god I packed the 2nd in the series instead of shipping it…

I have a ton of work to do AND am sad not to be at Wiscon any more, but at the end of the work tonight I have a reward of wallowing in this juicy book.

Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey
Originally uploaded by Liz.

We need more comic books in the dealer room at Wiscon, and a comic book party!

The comics bloggers ROCK for letting me into their team, and finding me a wig so I could make a good Oracle! Also charliegrrrl rules for getting me into comic books in the first place (including Birds of Prey).

There are some other photos with Moomin in them but I don’t have any yet. He was wearing his Batman pajamas, had made a rather convincing batarang out of black duct tape, and very excited about the whole thing. I’m sure he’ll never forget it.

Magic pony

Best suggestion for snappy answer to queries about wheelchair:


happy at wiscon

Well I really felt the joy of Wiscon tonight at the awards ceremony and talking with everyone and just feeling really close to Quilter and my friends and non-alienated in some crucial way. And sat with Rook who was stunningly handsome and gorgeous in his tux and who massaged my leg. Me and A. and Quilter blogged some of it and made recordings and took notes. I realized at some point that C.E. must think us horrid and rude and so I explained afterwards that we were doing sort of live reporting. Indeed she had thought that we were “doing something more entertaining perhaps” and was a tiny bit mollified knowing that we meant well. I’m not sure the worky aspect of it made up for our giggling and whispering…

Then got dressed up with the comics blogger crew, which was really awesome! I felt so loved! Also it basically sucks to be in the wheelchair in so many ways so it was nice to have it temporarily feel like a perk and like part of a fun costume. So instead of suckily being in a wheelchair… I was Oracle… with my team. That rocked. I know it might sound silly. Then of course also I just had a glow of happiness being around T. who I love dearly and talking even briefly with C.E. who just rocks and is an amazing writer. After yesterday’s suckiness … this was a nice day. Hung with Jam for part of the day (here and there) and hot tubbed and talked lots of gossip and (as always) very interesting perspective on processing and ways of thinking and responding to situations. AND was very nicely doing deep myofascial release stuff on my leg, which I deeply appreciated!! I realized I needed a little care and niceness. Last night too vito_excalibur massaged my leg for what must have been an hour as we sat on the floor in the hallway. It was especially nice to be on the floor. i.e. NOT in my handy cyborg attachment.

Then the fun dressing up! OMG so cute and fun and amazing and funny! Tekanji was extremely good at striding down the hallway and K.H. at the leg-up pose. I had some champagne and was instantly a little tipsy as people took a ton of photos of us being a superhero team.

k. and e.s. in the corner admonished me a bit not to be so hard on myself.and said that I do a lot.

Wow it made me over the top happy to see the suffragette and Athena and Iduna’s golden apples and Eris with her apple of discord and the person dressed as water and the lumberjack and the girl with the fancy bat hat and diamond bat shoes.

Q. and C. and A. suggested a fanfic slam for next year. I am the last person who should do it! but i would love to instigate it and for someone else who is actually in the fanfic world to do it.

Made out with B. and N. a little bit as if it were 10 seconds from when we last flirted…. 2 years ago. How extremely nice. I could only stand up for a few minutes… a little scandalous… Somehow later I was putting my orange oracle wig onto E. K. (Els: NOT your cousin) who did some cheesecake photos and then squashed right up onto my lap. Well now. I mean the long standing flirtation was perfectly clear. But nice chemistry isn’t always there in situations like that. And in this one it was. Suddenly also I find myself flirting with Li who seems clear to read now that some emails have been exchanged. This is all … besides being nice to make out with people… Seriously it has been very difficult and crappy and it’s nice to know I can have fun too… so … I need to overdo it a little.

sweet conv. with vgnqueen and ellen s. where they nicely told me I am too hard on myself and to chill a little and that i do a lot and that I might not be a good organized finisher but I am a good instigator. that was nice to hear.

FUNNY conv with E. Gunn about the hilarious slash story.

Wow, I like to dress up in ridiculous outfits!!!

I continue thinking I want to write long reviews of: Mindscape, Marq’ssan, Wrinkle in Time (to slam it into the ground), Ancient Light/GW, Illicit Passage.

Wiscon hallways and rooms

It’s unbearably fun and exciting to see everyone! Met Karen Healy, tekanji, Lisa Fortuner, Rachel Edidin, Revena… they are all going to dress up (Birds of Prey, etc) and I will be Oracle! Rad. Now if someone can just help me find a red wig of some sort before Sunday night! perfect costume idea! I have to say I was filled with squeaky joy just at being the presence of some of the greatest feminist comics bloggers… Howver I’m going to just kind of pretend I’m not an ardent fan and be all casual HAHAHAA right of course we’re just hanging out *buffing fingernails casually on shirt* Naamen and I talkd some more smack on Mccaffrey and others!

stuffed packets and badges all afternoon – with penny and others – low key was all i could take. Met niall, graham, liz, other brits. Niall, Tempest, awfully cute.

I enjoyed the short but sweet Guest of Honor readings at Room of One’s Own. Then, dinner with Debbie, Jeanne, oursin….. Talked about archiving Wiscon stuff. Talked more about that later in a triumviraga hanging-out but we need to have our real meeting tomorrow morning (11… with food maybe…) Ian hung out, we talked about CB stuff and geek things, and he did the nicest deep tissue massage on my painful foot and calf. It is very painful. Basically I have drop foot going down on that side. I didn’t really know it was so painful. In the morning i showed Naamen Twitter and Inform7 and we talked about books.

So anyway I need a wordpress plugin that would let us link right from the Feministsf blog right to the wiki with wiki-like markup. talked about little-known books. Quilter had quite a few.

I worry that my fancy dresses for the parties are not quite outrageous enough! Oh no!

But yay, tomorrow I will talk wikis with them, say some things about how to moderate, and will then hang with Milo and John, do a handoff to babysitter, do the touch/don’t touch panel, then flirt at late night parties all over the place.

the wiki talk will start out very basic and as hands on as we can manage. What is a wiki. Edit. save. add stuff. make a link. make lists, lists, lists. leave categories till later. we need a fsfwiki camp Maybe feminist wiki camp! wikiwomen comp…. womcamp?

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Here we are all at Wiscon!

Debbie Notkin is introducing Kelly Link, one of our Guests of Honor. She’s going to read The Cinderella Game, coming out in an anthology in 2009. Babysitting. Step-siblings home alone. Hilarious. True-feeling. Suburban. Ominous. Kid voices also ring true.

I will buy this book just for this one speech:

“If I’m Cinderella then you have to go put the toilet seat down, and I get your playstation because Cinderella doesn’t have any toys, and you make me a peanut butter sandwich with no crusts, and …”

I also liked the bit about the kid knowing that everyone was waiting for him to mess up.

“He tried to feel relieved about this, but instead he just felt guiltier.”

“Slowly… she wiped her hand against the princess dress until there was nothing left to see.”

A beautiful last sentence in a story that gave me chills!

Debbie introduces Laurie Marks.

Rather than read from Water Logic, she is going to pick out one of a series of folktales from Earth Logic. It’s the one told to explain a piece of the landscape that is inexplicably inhospitable, called “The Walkaround”. It’s a wasteland… once farms… this story explains why. The forest was called “The Walkaround”… A stranger comes and boasts of his woodcraft. “Go into the forest then, for it’s obvious that even your mother won’t miss you.”

Grading on the plane

Ohhhhh I’m so tired and hurty!

Moomin watched TV the entire plane ride. Rook hung out feeling airsick and ill. I figured out grades according to a lovely system that I wish I’d established right from the start of class! I assigned points to all the waffly grades of A, B+, C, etc. I gave to major papers, and I figured out a way to deal with the homework and in-class writings that were graded like check, minus, plus, and sometimes “++++!!!” or with comments like “okay” or “fabulous”. Those minor assignments were all lumped together for 10% of the grade. If they missed a few, it was okay. If they did all of them, the extras over a particular threshold count for extra credit. There was also an extra credit assignment. We did two practice exams — well actually three — and I took the best grade of the last two as a paper. Exams and research papers were 20% each. Don’t worry – it all makes sense in my spreadsheet.

That still left me with some vagueness about “participation” and attendance. I think it worked out well, so that you could have made a C+ on the final, but still through lots of effort, make an A in the class — but only with extra effort and by doing quite well on almost everything. You could also have missed a major paper and still (maybe) make an A. For community college I think that is quite fair, but if it were grad school or an upper division class then I would not think it right.

Then… being in great physical misery… I started going through the Wiscon book and while reading it also making an index of names, books, magazines, and concepts. I could slam this index up on the wiki with links. I love indexes. In my reading and research I always study them and think about how they were made and what the philosophy was. And a nonfiction book without an index makes me sad. As I go through the book — which is fabulous by the way and I wish it were longer — I get a little frisson of satisfaction every time a guy refers to a guy. I just leave that out. If a guy ever cites a woman in this book I’ll make sure to give that its own special category. Or I could do the thing that is done so often in history books… give them a special index entry. “Men, citing women science fiction writers, 600; place in society, 592; arrogators of authoritative knowledge, 594-5; fathers, 231; interrupters, 599; Wonder Woman’s boyfriend, 12.” Hahaha no srsly I love dudes. I’m just snarking a little. The thing that is really lovely to note & one of the best things about being at Wiscon: women referring to other women and expecting that others listening will know who is meant. So as I read I’m obsessing some more on canon, girl canon, expectations, shared knowledge, who is considered essential, what is current – i.e. the way that Maul kept coming up last year, not just because it was great but because it got some buzz from the Tiptree short list but the sort of slow buzz to where it takes a while for people who would very much care to catch up and read it.

Oh and this morning I woke up super early and was too much in pain to deal with reality till coffee and celebrex kicked in. so I laid in bed reading blogs and I read N.K. Jemison and K. Tempest’s post and Tobias Buckell’s post with its crazy-making million comments o’ cluelessness and all I can say is some people need to be doing a little googling of “white guilt”… or something… How embarrassing… for fuck’s sake! N.K. being vastly patient… though I noticed the attempt at boundaries like “no actually i would not like to have an endless conversation with you b/c (polite) you are too clueless about race and it will be too enraging and a total energy suck” and then hey presto, teh ENDLESS THREAD where the educating tries to happen on about 50 fronts. I have certainly done that same thing about gender issues. You have to just tell yourself that some of it might take but it can be a while. Exposure some ideas… then back slowly away and go do something more fun… while the gears churn on their own. So as I read all this I became nostril-flaringly enraged and sputtery. Then I had to go catch a plane.

if i hear one more white person doing all that shit… i will scream… no *ahem* I will just point it out. Nicely. Without being condescendingly nice either. Or will go hey shutup okay because you’re hijacking, making it all about you, defensively explaining about the prejudice your irish grandma experienced in the factory in 1919, telling someone to just work harder and there is no prejudice in X industry, they just must not have been good enough yet, all of them en masse ….holy fuck… unbelievable! Anyone who says “colorblind” or “reverse racism” or explains how they can’t be racist because their cousin’s ex-husband is black, I am going to yell BINGO and start giggling uncontrollably. You know what, I don’t expect to deal with that sort of shit on the feminism/gender front at wiscon. And when I do I just laugh at it and really… so do all the cool women there. Who are rolling their eyes and laughing even if the dudes don’t see it, which they so often don’t. And I also don’t expect to deal with that about race and racism. I have higher expectations of this community. Racism exists. Deal with it don’t deny it. god… I am just not in the mood to be all patient about it at the moment. On the other hand I would try harder if it would take some of the heinousness out of our hallways. “Let’s try to make our community less embarrassingly clueless sounding”… now there’s a rousing slogan.

I cling to a vague hope about existing institutions (like SFWA, which I don’t know beans about and am vaguely some kind of supporting member of and sometimes read the magazine… but frankly the whole technopeasant thing? Whatever… that made me not care about them… if they tolerate that kind of utter fool in their upper ranks for so long do I want to mess with that? No!) but even so have to agree with N.K. that it is just NICER and more hopeful to put energy into other things. So rather than join SFWA and kiss ass on a lot of smug old men who think they are powerful and important… I have had a lot more fun feeling like a small part of the Cabal and also doing all the blog and wiki stuff with Quilty. Again it is about building alternate structures of value and importance rather than buying into whatever the old-institution’s values are… patriarchal procrustean bed… screw it!

The thing is I just don’t believe in that kind of power… until it kills me I won’t… and not even then. Seriously, to hell with all that!

done way too much research to believe in it! Read too many dickweeds from 1910 who pompously explain why women can’t write with maybe one exception who is 22 and really hot and neurotic too and then who goes and kills herself! And then everyone says what a shame the only woman who knew how to write and play ball with the big boys! and then I find out (as with the guatemalan poets and such) that there were all these OTHER women who had their own networks of newspapers and magazines and writing and reading circles and who were “bohemian” in some unspecified way. BUT… the ones who end up in the history books are the ones who get Juan Ramon Jimenez (insert your own Famous Guy Writer) to write them a book preface. Because the guys who write the history and criticism books don’t care what women did unless a famous guy paid attention to it for even one second. If you like you can look at 18th and 19th century british lady novelists. same pattern. commercial success, building own community… only room for one token chick at the top while a hundred mediocre old guys continue their own club where they hog all the presumption of “real” value or “doing it right”. So that dynamic… frankly… does not seem all that different to me. I don’t think we’ve come that much further than that. I ahve also read those same women 100 or 200 years ago all tenatively happy that Now things are different and always will be. just like we do sometimes. oh it’s so different now that… oh… 30% of whatever is by women… so now we can rest assured that it’s fixed! Is it? I don’t trust that, but that’s what I want to work towards. If not… then what i’ve said before about at least establishing findable caches of information and once future women stumble across them then they’re in… and can find everything.

We’ll build our own standards and cultural referents and reading lists and markets and awards. And SF does not belong to “them”… clueless old dudes who think they have it made… Guys like that technopeasant ranter guy. What a wanker! That guy is exactly the sort of self-important weenie who puts people off of SF in general.


So anyway I’m in Chicago.

I’m very hurty and tired and took some muscle relaxants (finally: holding out all day) and small children are running around all over and my brother in law wants help with his Internet. I think Rook is doing the Internet helping part thank god. Moomin stepped on my foot catastrophically and I thought I was going to scream and my foot is bad even through the drugs. Not his fault… But ugh! It hurts! He was so good on the plane, as always.

My nephew and niece were super excited and ran to me for hugs yelling “I missed you!!!” So hell! I had better get them some good presents to come back with next week!!! I want to be the cool auntie who brings presents! I watched from the porch as they hunted rabbits and did stomp r0ckets. my bro-in-law brought me some electrical tape to stripe up my wheelchair, which I have been longing to do! so now I have pink and black stripes.

We had some fun moments in the airport going down ramps with Moomin in my lap. The airport thing went okay this time, better than last time. Maybe Frontier is nicer than that other airline… because all the airline clerks and people looked at me and spoke to me directly (rather than to the person standing next to me.) That might also be that I looked meaner and bitchier today so they were running scared.

I am craving exercise… So the ramps up were good too. I think I might start lifting weights. My triceps are getting huge from the chair. I want my biceps to match.

Oh! Rook is completing his Internet Help session (success! domain name moved! SMTP server found and changed!) with a hearty dose of lolcats education!

Tin foil antennae

tin foil antennae
Originally uploaded by Liz.

I was thinking about the spoon theory people mentioned. Yeah it’s a little bit like that, but mostly I can push myself. Whatever is up with me is not life threatening. And in fact I have a different economy. In mine, if I spend a bit more than I’ve got within some difficult-to-know parameters, if I push my boundaries, then the next day maybe I can do more. So people in physical rehab perhaps have a different incentive. I think of a job I had where my boss, a somewhat obnoxious person, explained that I should carefully spend just a few thousand dollars over our departmental budget; not so much that we got in trouble, but enough so that next year we could justify our request for more money. And if we left a few thousand dollars unspent and were under our budget, we would be “rewarded” by less money eventually. This seemed an inherently evil philosophy to me since she didn’t need that extra money; it was just to aggrandize power for herself. But slightly overspending IS rewarded in physical therapy or with things like fibromyalgia and probably in sports and athletics and body buildling too (although… how would I know?)

Today I saw the orthopedist, who had vague and unhelpful things to say. He did not push the idea of a second injection, but instead talked of an “insult to the nerve” and that the injection must have functioned as a further insult. So what I got was a big fat wait and see and do your physical therapy, slow recovery, we don’t know, maybe later we’ll MRI it again. Oh!!!! FINE. I kind of figured. I’ll go back to my GP and ask what next, while I do that.

Today was good. My foot hurts, my leg hurts, but I did a fair amount of driving and ended up still able to walk by the end of the evening. I did more bending over today (sounds kinky but alas it was only to pick up laundry.) Graded the last few papers. Did some work which was kind of interesting but I am left feeling there is days more to do with plenty of discussion that will require everyone to do their homework. I could do a couple of days more homework and reading and rewriting on it. I noticed something else funny in the other work task I did – the readme file in the OS license had such outdated info in it, that it was pre-OSR. It would be nice to clean up all of that junk and to streamline the whole process more. But how much nicer it was… to cuddle right up to xyzzy with our laptops and lunch. a loaf of bread, a jug of latte, and open node, and thou. He’s an alien, but makes me weirdly happy. So charming, so silly, so decent yet so bad and evil, so appreciative of complexity, and quickly insightful. I don’t think any of that is an explanation for the weird badger-taming chemistry that makes me feel so comfortable. Does there really need to be an explanation?

Got my Wiscon Chronicles book from Aqueduct! And a blog question that I’ll try to answer tomorrow, or on the plane! It’s a doozy! Better to try to answer it tomorrow night while I’m surrounded by all my books.

So in our stolen moment he was showing me macfuse and I was explaining the frustrations of my OS installation problems just to hear him squeak in outrage and say “but that’s inSANE”. And how sometimes weirdly it is little things that affect everyone that are appreciated rather than all the work that led up to it. We then gave each other advice. It was practically a working lunch if you didn’t count the making out. Then we twittered or something equally stupid in between snogging some more and chatting with five different people at once. I learned from Tony that you can segment a banana in three if you poke your little finger into the end. “A day in which I avoid poking my finger into a banana is a day well spent.”

Sophie and Eliz. came over, but I stayed in bed working. Rook played Rat R4ce with them! Nobly! I wished I could have played but I had to do all the grading and junk.

Tomorrow, the day of holistic grading! Weirdly optional! But somehow mandatory! It earns extra pay. Worst of all… all my forms are fucked up. I took scribbly notes on them and had no idea i have to turn them in exactly at the end! Neatly filled out! Maybe some green liquid papering could help? Who knew… with all this talk of online systems… that three forms in green, goldenrod, and pink would rear their ugly carboned heads? My grades are all ratty in a bad spreadsheet and on various pieces of paper in a folder!