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Recent daze


I have no idea what I've been up to lately. I'll try and reconstruct some of it.

I guess Friday evening I saw Kam. Saturday I spent much longer than I'd intended adding stuff to the Hugo Awards that weren't page (listing highly regarded sf by women published in 2006) on the Feminist SF wiki (note that many of those works are still eligible to be nominated for this year's World Fantasy Awards); see also the Women eligible for 2008 SF Awards page, for things to keep in mind for next year.

Saturday afternoon, a couple episodes of Enterprise with Kam; Saturday evening, tried to get some magazine work done. By about 10 p.m., I was totally exhausted, so I started a full backup of my computer (setting it to run overnight), and then somehow decided it would be a good idea to watch The Prestige, figuring I could still get to sleep by 12:30ish.

I enjoyed the movie, but after watching it I felt I had to watch various making-of segments, and then I had to go back and watch a bunch of bits of the movie again (it's a nicely twisty movie, and I had guessed only some of the twists in advance), and I ended up not getting to bed 'til a little after 3. Why do I keep doing this?

Sunday I did some more magazine stuff but had a hard time focusing. Eventually took my computer to the Apple Store; got the bad battery replaced; had a fascinating customer-service experience. (The Genius I was talking with was saying things that made me think he was telling me that the problem with my fan was due to my use of Eudora, and I got impatient and annoyed and a little hostile about it, and then he said something like, "Hey, I'm not trying to argue with you, just trying to explore what could be wrong"--essentially saying what Arthur H once suggested as a good approach to dealing with customer-service people, that we were on the same team, working together to figure out the problem. It made me take a step back, take a couple deep breaths, and apologize, and try to move forward without being antagonistic. I wasn't totally successful, but I did really appreciate what he'd done, and told him so.) Decided I needed more storage, so bought a terabyte external disk. (In case anyone wasn't going to make the obvious size jokes, I'll note that the box even says "BIG DISK EXTREME" on the side. At least it doesn't say "BIG HARD DISK.")

Went to Keeble & Shuchat to look at cameras, but they're closed on Sundays, so I took the radical step of going to Fry's, which I usually go way out of my way to avoid. As usual, they didn't have most of the things I was looking for, so I left--and heard someone call my name. It was a former coworker who I hadn't seen since I left Macromedia, two and a half years ago. We had a nice chat, then I headed home (by way of the grocery store).

Had a nice dinner with zellandyne, who was unexpectedly in town, then hung out at Kam's for a while, then back home.

This morning started out well, with a phone chat with Mary Anne and the news that Heather is pregnant (yay!), and delightful warm sunshine outside, but somehow I managed to work myself into a grumpy mood, leading to my writing and sending several grumpy and ill-advised emails. I apologize to those of you who received those. When I get into that kind of space, I really ought to hide my keyboard or something. (I also sent a couple of perfectly reasonable emails, so those of you who received those don't need to worry that they were secretly grumpy emails or something.)

Worked late, came home late, chatted with Twig (who cheered me up somewhat by showing me the lovely flowers that she's acquired for installation into my yard; I will soon have run out of excuses for not having a yardwarming party), did a little magazine stuff, and now it's late again and time for me to go sleep.

Leaving for Chicago in a couple days. More on that in another entry, which I may not get to 'til tomorrow.

Oh--forgot to mention that last week I attended a fascinating Jonathan Lethem talk about intellectual property and such; it's the first thing that's really changed how I've thought about that stuff in years. Nothing coherent to say about it right now, but maybe someday.

. . . I sort of feel like we're in another period of being surrounded by technology failure. My computers at home and work have been acting up. Kam's mother's computer just died horribly, and Kam's has been behaving badly. I recommend that y'all go back up your data, using as reliable a backup method as you have.

I also feel like I'm seeing more general hostility and/or unpleasantness and/or quick-to-angerness (or whatever actual word means that) than usual in a bunch of the email and blog discussions I've looked at lately. Don't know whether that's part of the cause of my mood, or whether I'm reading things as more hostile than they're meant because I'm being grumpy. (On the plus side, I saw a video clip of Bill O'Reilly interviewing Richard Dawkins, and they were both pretty civil to each other, to my great surprise.)

With luck, sleep may help.

Oh, I don't want to leave on that note. Here, go watch "Spin," a charming and well-made 8-minute film that I've linked to before (about a mysterious DJ with special abilities). Good stuff. Would've made a great Dramatic Presentation Short Form Hugo nominee last year, if only I'd thought of it.

. . . Unrelated P.S.: I've finally been reading Twenty Epics. Also good stuff.


Huh, i'm definitely curious about the IP lecture thing and your changing thoughts. If you decide to run your journal by popular vote, you may mark me in favour of an entry about that.

I've found that when I'm in some variety of bad mood, I tend to gravitate towards reading things reflective of that mood.

Oddly, shortly after observing that pattern in myself I happened to read online the abstract of a psych paper that observed just that, with a twist: they found that when presented with a frustrating situation and told to use the internet while they waited, men, on average, tended to go to sites that kept their heartrate up relative to no stimulation, while women, on average, tended to lower their heartrate via internet use during that waiting period. I wish I'd saved that reference...

And for those who'd like to see the Lethem talk, it was part of the Authors@Google series, whose external homepage is at http://www.google.com/talks/authors/index.html From this page, you can find links to all such talks for which the speaker gave us permission to put up on YouTube. Currently the Lethem talk is linked on the front page at the top of the "Recent Events".

Just saw The Prestige a couple of weeks ago. Great premise, so-so execution with flashes of brilliance.

If I was king of that movie (or least director) I would have cut out 30-45 minutes. But perhaps that's just driven by my short attention span.

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