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Aca-fan questions

Can someone recommend me academic studies of fandom and fan fiction? I've read a little bit of Henry Jenkins (where did my copy of Textual Poachers go??), but I want more. I'm particularly interested right now in the intersection of fan fiction/slash and feminism. Because I'm having thinky-type thoughts and some of them make me squirm in a bad way, but some of them are making my brain go "Dude", and I want to read other people's thoughts.

You can take the girl out of the lit-crit classes, but you can't take the lit-crit classes out of the girl...

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Monday night

There are so many things I want to do tonight, and none of them have anything to do with my homework.


Okay, I'll elucidate.

I've got all seven Sherlock episodes (two seasons and the unaired pilot) sitting in Premiere Elements waiting for me to see if I remember how to use this program.

I also have six stories demanding attention from me, and one of them is actually even not Sherlock/Doctor Who fic. Or fic at all.

Also, Tumblr is being particularly entertaining.

And--I realize I'm late to this train--I just realized how amazing Adele is.

So yeah. Coding a webpage is waaaay down on my lists of interests right now. But alas, it's due on Wednesday. So.

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"I was not expecting this!"

I have, much to my surprise, fallen madly in love.

After Boogie died, I'd planned to remain dog-free for a while, to give the cats time to settle (especially Rumpus, who hated Boogie fiercely). I thought that MAYBE, come spring-time, I'd think about it again, at the earliest.

Well, this week, one of my co-workers started bringing one of our dogs into the admin office. She's an approximately 8 year old golden retriever, found abandoned in a nearby town, tied to a lamppost. She's clearly had several litters of puppies, and when she was found, she had a severe infection in her girly bits and a ominous mass on her back.

Now she's healthy again: the mass biopsied as just an infected hair follicle, the infection is gone because, well, those bits are gone. :)

In the office, she was timid but very friendly, wanting to check everybody out, but not sure if she should. She stole my heart almost immediately by coming over and laying her head in my lap so she could gaze up at me.

She is absolutely beautiful, and one of the calmest, sweetest dogs I've ever seen. I took her home last night to see how the cats would react, and they either ignored her, or grudgingly checked her over. She, of course, pretty much ignored them.

Someone trained this dog. She has nearly impeccable leash manners, and knows commands like "sit" and "lie down".

So, she's going home with me today, for good.

Meet Madison, Maddy for short.Collapse )

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Finding value as a generalist geek

I attended a small conference yesterday hosted by one of our software vendors, and I wanted to write up some thoughts about it really quick. It's probably the first real "networking" I've ever done. The conference-y stuff was fine, tips about the software, attempts to sell upgrades, that sort of thing. The topic groups were really interesting though. I, of course, sat in on the Internet Strategy and Marketing group, hoping to learn some new ideas.

Here's what I learned: HSHV is way ahead of the local curve when it comes to internet strategy. Like, seriously. The first question we discussed was "Do you have an internet strategy?" There were two of us who said yes in a room of more than a dozen. And the other person (an executive with a very well-known Detroit organization) is just getting started. I wound up getting quizzed for a good 20 minutes about what we're doing and why. I heard horror stories. "It took us 3 weeks to get a Facebook post approved, and by then it was too late."

I walked away from the meeting having passed out several of my cards and feeling a little like a local expert--but more on that in a moment.

I am SO lucky. I work in a culture of macro-management, with a LOT of freedom to try new things. The most successful things I've managed to implement (like our Facebook page, our email newsletter, etc.) came from someone--often me, but not always--going, "Hey, wouldn't it be neat if we...?" And higher-ups saying, "Go for it. Let's see how it does." We've had some glorious successes, and some massive, bombing failures.

It sounds like a lot of local non-profits haven't caught on to the fact that the internet is a goldmine for groups like us, both in terms of staying in touch with people and fundraising. I heard a lot of "Well, our constituents don't use the internet" and "our board of directors doesn't think it's important" and most of all "we don't have the staff to handle it". If I were an entrepreneurial sort (and I'm SO not, experience shows that I suck as a freelancer), I'd see a great big business opportunity there.

From a purely selfish standpoint, it was a huge ego boost. I came away feeling like my particular (and often peculiar) set of skills are very valuable in the non-profit world. That I would be asset elsewhere, as well as here. It was a little weird feeling like I knew more about the topic than pretty much anybody in the room. I mean, to be utterly honest, I'm used to feeling that way in certain classroom settings, but never in a corporate setting. I felt a little bit like some of those folks would like to steal me. :)

Which is really weird, because in a larger corporate setting, I don't think I'd be as valuable. I don't specialize enough. I don't know enough code and programming to be a web developer, I don't know enough about design to be a full-time designer, and I don't know enough about user experience and SEO to do that full-time. But--I can do just enough of all three to be invaluable to a small organization that can't afford a designer AND a developer AND a strategist.

So here's what I propose: non-profits all need their own resident geeks. Someone who's passionate about the non-profit's mission, unabashedly geeky in all things internet, curious, and eager to learn anything that will help the non-profit--to self-teach if necessary. And then they need to let that person loose and get out of their way.

Maybe I'm not entrepreneurial, but by god, I think I could start doing me some preaching on this subject.

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I am inexplicably cheerful and energetic today.

This, despite nearly feeding myself nearly-rotten eggs for breakfast. The sell-by date was February 11, and for some reason in my head, I decided this was only a few days gone (instead of, you know, TWO WEEKS), so the eggs MUST BE fine. I cooked my sausage, then fried up the eggs with no hint of trouble--they didn't smell while cooking! Then I happened to break a yolk and take a bite, and UGH! Not rotten, but definitely not right. :( At least I still had sausage and toast. And coffee. Maybe I can blame the cheerful energy on two cups of coffee instead of my usual one.

Seriously. I've been a chattering magpie on Facebook and Twitter this morning.

At any rate, I've done some badly-needed housework, a bit of freelance work, and am making plans to spend part of the day with a computer game--as yet undetermined which one. Has to be one I already own or that is free. May wind up being Oblivion*, as I watched the trailer for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and fell in love again. Oblivion is technically a PS3 game for me, but I did suddenly remember that hey, new computer--I can play computer games!

So yeah, back to the web design mines for now. And maybe some lunch. We'll see if I can continue my streak of not poisoning myself.

* - Although, god help me, I'm hearing the siren song of the MMORPG again.

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Felt this needed reposting

I wrote this in response to an absolutely heartbreaking post by catvalente, also known as the brilliant Catherynne M. Valente. She talks about how she "used to be beautiful" (she still is, believe me), and how much she struggles with body hatred. As you can imagine, this raised a lot for me.

I wasn't going to comment, but ...your post and all of the comments after are breaking my heart.

I've been overweight all of my life, and it's due a large part to dieting from a young age, and a response to serious emotional and mental abuse. I joke that I dieted my way up to 400 lbs, but it's not really a joke. I went on my first diet when I was *seven* years old, and was continually on and off them through high school. My metabolism is well and truly fucked.

That said, I did manage to lose 80 pounds my junior year in high school, and kept it off for a couple of years. In my late 20s and early 30s, I went through a similar feeling to what you describe. I was so beautiful then, I was so confident, I was so happy, etc.

But you know what? I wasn't. It's a lie. When I was a senior in high school--arguably the time when I was most conventionally attractive--I thought I was huge and unlovable. Body hate isn't something that just comes on us suddenly. It comes early and hangs on. I wonder if maybe you're idealizing a time when you still had a lot of the same insecurities and body hatred, but it's veiled over by that golden mist of nostalgia.

What I finally realized, just over the past 10 years (I'm 38), is that I HAVE to work on loving my body as it is, regardless of size. Because if I don't love my body, why the hell would I want to take care of it? If I'm at war with it, and punishing it, how can I expect to ever have any sort of mental peace?

Right now, I weigh just under 400 lbs. Over the past year, I've dropped maybe 40 lbs or so, not really by trying, but because I've started learning how to take care of myself, both emotionally and physically--mostly emotionally. I've started dealing with the eating disorder that started in childhood, when I ate because that was the only comfort I got aside from books. I've started dealing with the fact that I WAS abused as a child, and that I am not a broken, weak, damaged person, but someone who survived against the odds.

And I'm fat. Really really fat. There are reality shows about people as fat as me. Almost every day I get reminders that OMG I'M SO FAT I'M GOING TO DIE AT ANY MINUTE. (Incidentally, my health is pretty damn good for someone who's too sedentary.) I could respond to that by dieting--which not only doesn't work, but makes my emotional issues go batshit--or by fighting it off, and loving myself anyway. I am the only person who will advocate for me. I'm reaching a point, finally, when I understand my own value and importance.

I wish nothing but happiness and peace for you. I hope you find a path that gives you as much of both as you can stand. And for the record, add me to the list of people who think you're stunning. You may not remember me, but I saw you at WisCon a few years back, and ended up following you from panel to panel because I was so entranced.

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Okay, okay

Surely someone out there is ready to confess their undying love or a crush or something. Or maybe you just want to wish me a happy Valentine's Day. :)

My Valentinr - roane
Get your own valentinr

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I feel like I should write a tribute to my special girl, Reecie, but I can't right now. The final diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. The good news is, it came on so suddenly, she likely didn't suffer at all until the last day or so. But it's so unfair. She was 7 years old, and a sweeter dog I have never met. She suffered a lot the first couple of years of her life, probably born in a puppy mill, and kept there in a cage and bred. I'm glad she escaped. I guess she escaped this morning, too. I miss her.

ReecieCollapse )

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[CM] "You think she's pretty!"

We're baaaa-ack...

No spoilers, really, not much to say about tonight's ep. I didn't want to like Ashley. I mean, I was ALL SET to HATE HER GUTS because CBS tried to set her up as the younger model and "replacement blonde" after JJ. I'm still withholding judgment, but I didn't hate her on sight. I almost (only almost) bought the writers' reason for bringing in a cadet. We'll see what they do with her.

I confess, my obsession with CM has been slightly derailed of late thanks to my new obsession with Doctor Who--after working through the first four seasons of the new series (and all of Torchwood), I've been picking through the original series. That has not left much brain space for my favorite profilers.

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Tossing this out there

All right. If nothing else, the past year or so has been a lesson in asking for what I need. So here goes. (Universe, are you listening?) I have been without a car since September. I've gotten by thanks to friends and co-workers, including the loan of a truck for the past month or so. My friends need their truck back in the next few days, and the co-workers I'd been getting rides with have had schedule changes or have moved.

I'm looking for one of the following:

1) Someone who is selling a car for $2000 or less, and is willing to accept short-term (2-3 months max) payments for said car. I can drive a manual as well as an automatic, and all I really need is something reliable that I can fit my rather large self into. Pretty much anything else is optional.

2) Barring that, someone who has a vehicle to lend for the same time period, until I've saved enough cash to buy something.

If you have one of these things, or know someone who does, please let me know ASAP. Email is lisa@selkie.net.

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