elspethdixon: (Default)
( Sep. 23rd, 2015 04:28 pm)
*sighs* Seeing as it's been nearly a year since it first got screwed up, I suppose I need to finally accept that my osteo-arthritis/worn-away-cartilage knee isn't going to get any better and running is off the table for pretty much the rest of forever. 32 is supposed to be too young to have these kinds of knee problems - I only did 15 years worth of running, and not even serious running at that, rarely more than 3 miles/5k at a time, and usually at only about 6mph. (I probably shouldn't complain - seanchai's ankle has been screwed up for her entire life, and my sister can't eat anything with gluten or dairy in it, so I got off lightly when it comes to health issues)
elspethdixon: (Default)
( Oct. 24th, 2014 02:38 pm)
So, I finally found out what the hell's been wrong with my knee. Apparently, when it first stared hurting (at the back of the knee)back in late September, that was because I'd strained my ACL. Then, when the pain shifted after about a week to the top and outside of my knee, it was because the weak ACL combined with the way I was sitting with my knees bent and feet tucked under me at work (because my desk is badly designed and has no space under it for my legs) pushed my kneecap out of alignment.

Apparently it's a common runner's injury and they can fix it with therapy/exercises. Joy. (But I do get bright blue tape around my knee to prove to my employers that I totally had a reason for that doctor's appointment - not that it's stopped anybody from sending me out to run errands/sending me running up and down the stairs at work repeatedly, but the sprained ankle I had a couple years ago didn't either)
elspethdixon: (Default)
( Jul. 15th, 2014 01:46 pm)
Once every couple of months I'll get a crushing, so-bad-it-literally makes-you-throw-up headache, usually centered in my forehead and temples. I wish I knew what caused them, so I could figure out how to avoid them (it's not caffeine withdrawal, not caused by my glasses prescription, not a sinus headache... possibly they're migraines?)

I also wish they didn't inevitably start at work, where "not continuing to spend the next few hours staring at an LCD computer screen" is not an option.
This Thursday I twisted my ankle again on the stairs at work. At least it's not sprained like last time I fell on the stairs at work (and I don't have a con to go to in costume in three days, the way I did when I twisted it on the step down from street level in to the St. Mark's comics store).

Just like last time, however (when for reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture I was running as fast as I could down the stairs in the converted brownstone the office is in), it's entirely my own fault. I was reading Sandman Slim on my fold-y book nook as I left work, and missed the last step.

The swelling's almost gone away now, though, and it doesn't really hurt anymore.

In only partially unrelated news, I recommend Sandman Slim to any of you guys who liked Harry Connolly's Twenty Palaces series or Caitlin Kittredge's Black London books.
Co-worker: I need you to go into the city and pick up a package for me.
Me: Where do I need to go?
Co-worker: [architectural company I forget the name of].  It's on the corner of Courtlandt Street and Church Street.
Me: Okay. *thinks* That location sounds familiar.  Have I been there before?  No, I probably just scanned in invoices from this company.

What my co-worker didn't say:  Hey, Elspeth, I need you to go pick up thirty pounds* worth of architectural plans from a building across the street from Ground Zero.  Have fun carrying them back to Brooklyn on the subway while wearing those little strappy sandals with the three inch heels.

By the time I got back to our office, I could barely hold the roll of plans and kept having to stop the last two blocks to set it down on things (after trying several creative ways to carry it.  Thank god I have orangutang arms so I could hold the three-and-a-half-foot roll by each end of the tube - after I ripped holes in the slick plastic wrapper in order to get my hands inside).  If she'd added a "it's a roll of plans for the building department, so it might be heavy," I would have at least changed into sneakers instead of keeping the heels because they looked more professional for going into a lower Manhattan office building.

*<small>For reference, I weigh about 120 pounds.  Very little of it is muscle.</small>
So, this week I twisted my ankle extra-badly n the stairs at work, stopping just short of an actual sprain (it's swollen and bruised, and I really probably should have been on crutches at least the first day after it happened). I did it to myself, too - I was running down them to try and get to the door quickly enough to tell the new employee whose fingerprint I was registering in the bioscan door lock to put his finger on the scanning pad before the computer program that registers new fingerprints timed out. (to add insult to injury - subsequent attempts after I was sitting at the computer desk with my foot on the desk and an icepack and he had borrowed someone's cell phone proved that he's one of the small percentage of the population who has fingerprints too faint/indistinct for electronic scanners to pick them up, so the whole thing was useless anyway).

I have to walk to work. About 1/3 of a mile, in fact, since it takes at least ten minutes when walked quickly. And I never realized until this week how much of my job involved running around the office, up stairs, down strairs, over to the next building, jumping up to answer the door, etc.

Thankfully, it's now abut half-healed, but I now have extra sympathy for all those sprained and broken ankles my mother's had.
Because I've been considering doing this, and talking about it, and I need to just stop being afraid and post it. I'll just pre-emptively tag this with "they should have left me in the ice," shall I?

If the mods at linkspam get ahold of this and feel that it's derailing, I ask that it NOT BE LINKED IN THAT CASE because that would only enhance any derailing effect.

Currently, everyone's discussing the ever-widening definition-creep of derailing, and before that, they/we were all talking about misogyny in slash. Unless we consider "slashers: there's something wrong with them" to be the general point of the discussion, with detours into "bisexual slashers: they're all liars, and even if they aren't their sexuality doesn't matter, and if they try to say it does, that's derailing," we've drifted away from the original topic of "slash and m/m romance: some of it has harmful stereotypes in it."

Since I don't think I can contribute in any meaningful way to the derailing debate, and since I've read at least three rounds of "slasher misogyny" debates over the past nine years, I'd like to get back to the original topic for a while.

Some fiction has homophobic or heterosexist stereotypes in it.

And I'd like to discuss what those can be/are, and if there are any books we feel are particularly good or bad at avoiding them )

*I'd like to limit this to published books, because the conversation began with criticisms specific to the m/m publishing industry and their depiction of gay and bisexual men. I think that fanfiction and slash are a different conversation that it would also be useful to have, but I'd prefer to let someone else host that.

This post is mirrored on LJ
God, I feel almost embarrassed to post this - I sound like I'm telling people to "organize and fight, for the Union makes us strong" or something, when I'm just talking about comic books.

why you should tell Marvel writers exactly what you think about their comics, whether your opinion is positive or negative )
After getting up at 6:30 so that I could get to the student services office when it opened at eight and still have time to make it to internship on the metro, in order to drop off a form, and then finding out the history department had given me the wrong form, collecting the right form, which I apparently should have been notifed of the need to fill out last semester, and coming back to the Library Science building after I got back from internship to corner my advisor and get him to sign said credit transfer form (and talk to the student services people, who were very surprised that my name and paperwork was nowhere to be found in their pile of applicants for graduate despite the fact that I submitted the electronic request well before the deadline), I will hopefully be able to graduate in May.

If I'm lucky and the graduate school administration people process everything in time. Otherwise I'll have to take a one-credit audit course in June/July and graduate in August, and I don't know how the hell I'd be able to afford staying in College Park another three months.
The more I hear about Heroes, the happier I am that I don't watch it (so, now they have stereotyped Latin Americans as well as a stereotyped Japanese guy and storylines blatantly ripped off from comics).

However, reading the comments on Heroes' treatment of Latin American characters has reminded me of something that bothers me every single time this kind of discussion comes up.

I really dislike the phrase "skanky race issues."

The original definition of the word "skank" is a kind of dance performed to reggae music, but the word's most commonly acknowledged meaning, well:

skank - n - a person and especially a woman of low or sleazy character (Meriam-Webster)

skank - n - One who is disgustingly foul or filthy and often considered sexually promiscuous. Used especially of a woman or girl. (www.freedictionary.com)

Here people discuss the slang definition in a thread at answers.yahoo.com Answers include "a dirty, sleazy, slutty female," "a ho," and "a filthy, promiscous girl."

When people wish to express that the way race/Characters of Color are handled in something is problematic and/or makes them uncomfortable, is a term most commonly used to insult sexually active women really the best word to use?

I've never aired this discomfort in discussions of race issues before, because it would be hijacking the discussion over semantics, but am I the only one who'd like so see some other adjective than "skanky" used?
One of the nine exceptions to the US Freedom of Information Act is, and I quote, "geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells."

No, I don't know why, either. But someone in 1966 thought it important enough to mandate that it be kept confidential.

Also, government agencies must make "all reasonable efforts" to search for a record? That's like copyright law's requirement that you make a reasonable effort to search for a copyright holder, or sexual harassment legislation that defines as harassment anything that would offend "a reasonable woman."

"Reasonable" is a weasel word, and can either be used to get you off the hook entirely, or come back to bite you in the ass if you claim you made a "reasonable effort" and someone else disagrees.
Because at this point I know that he's intentionally screwing with fans, and I find that irritating. Deliberatly screwing with the reader's expectations just so you can disappoint them/laugh mockingly belongs in post-modernism and other inferior forms of fiction, not in comics.

I am reserving the impulse to say "Fuck You, Brubaker, I'm boycotting everything you've ever touched," until 2009, because I still think there's a strong case for Steve returning for the movie.

I really want to believe that Marvel won't fuck me over permenantly; it's the perfect fandom for me in so many ways.

At least the costume is not identical, so it's not quite as disrespectful as it could be, and if when Steve comes back, I can look back at this year's stuff and enjoy the angst of Bucky trying to wear his big brother's clothes but not fitting in them.
Done with paper! Now to get two hours of sleep before I have to get up and go to work.
Good news on the paper front-apparently, it only has to be five-ten single-spaced pages, not eight to ten, so if I can write another page (getting me to a solid five) I should be able to append my three pages of hierarchical linear arrangement for comics titles and get eight pages, and hand that in for a solid B )at least I'll have fulfilled the requirement of proving I understand the course concepts and citing the text and readings five times).

So, for those who care deeply about hierarchical arrangements (probably about as many of you as cared about entity-relationships), here's another excerpt from the paper:

Everything is more interesting with Captain America in it )

Steve doesn't agree that his presence makes hierarchical categorization more interesting. Look how sullen he looks in the GIP (Tony, on the other hand, probably would find it fascinating).
To further the pretense that I'm actually working on this Information Structure paper, here is an excerpt (and by excerpt, I mean "half of what I have thus far") from my schema for a searchable comics database:

Captain America demonstrates entity-relationships for us! )
Well, the paper on Baltimore voluntary associations and the Freedman's Bank is turned in, as of 11:00 this morning. All 24 mediocre pages of it--I simply couldn't make myself care enough to seriously rewrite it or polish it, so when I get a B- or C in the class, I'll have only myself to blame. I'm hoping for a B, so I don't have to (ever) retake it.

Depending on what I got on the midterm-I-still-haven't-gotten-back-yet for American History, I may be able to pull and A- in that, and I know I can get at least a B in Information Structure class, provided I can get 8 pages on hierarchical categories written by Thursday and not suck on the exam tomorrow.
You know, I finished two extensive cataloging projects for information access class today, and yet I still feel like I've accomplished nothing. Because I haven't written any fixit fic yet.

This may be a sign that my priorities are ever so slightly skewed.

Also, I still have 3500 bank records to get through by Friday. But, you know, a grad-student research project on post-Civil War Baltimore isn't going to begin to contribute as much to society as post-Civil War Marvel fic. (That actually wasn't sarcasm, by the way)


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