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like a whispering in dark streets

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Welcome! [30 Dec 2020|12:49pm]
Hello, and welcome to my journal. I am a lot of things, but mainly: 20something, female, philosophy student, former NYC resident, vegetarian, feminist, something of a melancholic introvert by default, but an enthusiastic friend and mostly-heterosexual-but-maybe-just-a-little-bit-queer partner. I can play the piano badly, I read books and listen to music, sometimes at the same time. I use this journal mostly as an extension of my social life, and many of my more personal posts are friends-only, but you don't have to be a "rl" friend to be part of it. Comment to be added.

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A cool thing [21 Sep 2011|04:50pm]


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Blue Ridges & a Cat [21 Aug 2011|01:26pm]
So I saw my parents in VA this weekend, and it looked like thisCollapse )

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Needless to say [24 Jun 2011|10:47pm]
Yay for gay marriage in New York.

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gender on the internet project [07 Dec 2010|12:37pm]
Hello Livejournalites, sorry I've basically abandoned my own LJ for the past couple of months -- things have been pretty busy over here, mostly in a good way. I'm currently in the midst of finishing up term papers, so uh, I probably won't be around notably more or anything, but hi!

Also, I have a request: Do any of you have links to instances of sexist comments being made on the internet, in places where you would normally expect the commenter to be reasonably well-educated / thoughtful / etc? What I'm looking for are not just your average trashy Youtube type comments, but ones that articulate opinions that actually show up in conversations among those of us who should probably know better -- or, especially, the kind of thing that is so well articulated that it sticks with you all day even though you "know" it's got to be wrong. I also want them to be short, maybe only a couple sentences long at most, if possible. I'm tentatively starting a (non-academic) side project related to all this, and if you have anything in mind (or come up with anything later) that might suit the criteria, let me know.

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[24 Oct 2010|11:30am]
I realize this is old and mostly boring news, but I can't help but get kind of infuriated when the so-called "liberal" news media looks like this...Collapse )

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all my books in one place [11 Aug 2010|11:16am]
Jesus, I have so much Bukowski. I have, like, all the Bukowski. Gee thanks, 17 year old me.

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[01 Aug 2010|06:56pm]
I really ought to be packing for the impending Atlanta move right now, but I've got the TV on in the background, and I overheard a certain commercial for the umpteenth time and just couldn't take it any more. I haven't seen this mentioned on any feminist/cultural critique-y type blogs (although I may have just missed it?), which is sort of amazing to me given how ubiquitous it is in NYC. Can we talk about this for a minute?

Joe"s Crab ShackCollapse )

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pet peeves [15 Jun 2010|11:43am]
There are certain "tics" of written style that tend to show up more in online conversations, or other places where people generally Say A Thing and then release it to the masses, without any third party editing involved. Some of these unchecked bad-writing-habits, frankly, drive me f'ing crazy. I know there's a whole slew of them, but the current one eating away at my mind is when people write something like "I would like to address the question of [x]," where x is just a noun. I mean, it's already sort of haphazard phrasing to write "the question of [why the sky is blue]" or some such. But when it's "the question of [noun]," it's not even clear to me what question you're trying to pry into here -- how [noun] works? How it came to be? Some kind of existential confusion over its very presence? What?

I think maybe we should just ban all "the question of" statements, unless the thing following the of is the person asking the question. When I talk about "the riddle of the Sphinx," I don't mean that it's, like, so confusing, man, how this Sphinx could exist, so like, we're going to inquire into it. And when you have an already-formed question, it seems kind of weirdly dense (or rather unsuccessfully pretentious) to say "the question of [x]" instead of just, you know, whatever the question is. That stupid ICP song is not "mulling over the question of magnets" or something. In most of these circumstances, it is totally acceptable to write something like "I was wondering: Why is [x] [some possible predicate of x]?" Are people just totally averse to, you know, asking questions directly? I don't get it.

What are some of your written-communication pet peeves?

P.S. I realize that it's totally possible that some of you are guilty of committing the ABOMINABLE SIN described above. I don't mean any offense, and it's not personal at all, it's just one of Those Things, you know?

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[10 Jun 2010|12:32pm]
I know I'm coming in way late to the whole "facebook privacy" thing, but, re: this -- I'm sort of confused by these quotes about what Zuckerberg "believes." Can't he just, you know, be a dick? Does he have to have principles about this? If he does "believe" in "transparency" and so forth, shouldn't his own information be readily available everywhere, perhaps even more freely than what default settings on Facebook would encourage its users towards? Apparently he doesn't like it when people divulge his personal information, though. Imagine that.

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untrainable [28 May 2010|09:51am]
I used to be able to get my cat to quit doing stuff (and run away, and look kind of shocked, in that cat way) by squirting her with a squirt bottle. That's what you're supposed to do, right? Well, she's gotten used to it -- now, she just squints, looks annoyed and holds her ground, lets me squirt her, and then spends the next five minutes or so licking the water off of herself. I can even keep squirting her and as long as it doesn't hit her in the face she'll just sit there. A couple of days ago when it was really hot, it almost seemed as if she was trying to get me to do it, and she looked pretty happy sitting there getting cool water squirted under her fur. It's pretty amusing, but I fear I might have to just resign myself to scratched furniture and gnawed-upon ankles forever.

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followup to "seeming smart" [18 May 2010|01:50pm]
It occurs to me that professors or peers who react to students who "seem smart" with vague praise and appreciation might actually be doing such students a pretty serious disservice.

Presumably a student's skill at asking substantial questions and the like isn't just some kind of mysterious quality inherent to them and completely separate from their academic training -- presumably their experience in the grad program should train them to ask better questions. The way that this is accomplished, or at least as it seems to me, is not through some kind of osmosis that happens between professors and students simply by virtue of being in proximity to each other, or even listening to professors' lectures. There's a dynamic engagement that goes on where students receive training and become better scholars largely due to their professors' helpful criticism. It seems possible to me that there might be many cases in which a student "seems smart" but subsequently is judged to be not so smart after all where the "seeming" was a sort of self-fulfilling prediction -- if professors react to this initial "seeming" by withholding the kind of criticism they might give to a more "problematic" student, the seems-smart student won't be getting as much training out of the program as the others have. Given that I'm sure there are many seems-smart students who are only so charismatic because they're trying to be a pleasant presence for their colleagues (and not because they're connivingly manipulating the situation), this might be rather unfair to them, no?

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keeping up appearances [18 May 2010|10:30am]
This thing reminds me of this thing. It also makes me wonder if perhaps it isn't a little problematic to view the Harvard kid as an exceptional case, constitutionally a criminal whereas all the rest of us are perfectly normal, with all our ethical integrity intact. Certainly, it's probably not a bad idea to try to "seem smart" in addition to actually being smart if there's time and energy for it, since people seem to like it, part of seeming smart involves skillful navigation of social protocol, etc. I just wonder how much information from social appearances -- which can be manipulated perhaps to the point of criminality (e.g. Harvard kid above), and are surely heavily influenced by cultural associations (e.g. preferences for attractive/white/thin/rich/male) -- do play into things like academic success. These are things that we like to think of as totally "rational" processes (which obviously are not, even just by virtue of being carried out by human beings), and that we therefore actually use to judge people for... well, everything: jobs, salaries, character, suitability as a mate, etc. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

ETA: Update on the Harvard kid, for the curious.

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don't be fooled [16 May 2010|01:59am]
Those of us who are terrible procrastinators (e.g. me) and who nonetheless seem to at least kind of function have a secret: we become total productive machines at the last minute. That is to say, I have written 25 pages worth of term papers in the past 36 hours or so, which makes the prospect of having to write about 20 more in the next 40ish sound actually doable. Whee.

ETA: This is not to encourage such foolishness, though. I hope this is the last semester in which I am this stupid and procrastinate-y, ugh.

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short cat thing [03 May 2010|12:10pm]
I noticed the "writer's block" prompt for today, about renaming pet owners as pet "guardians." I was sort of casually mulling over the drawbacks of the word "guardian" when I realized that when I talk about my cat, what I mean is something more like my brother than, say, my table. There's something really funny (but maybe kind of true?) to me about "cat" as just a relational description, hehe.

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piano videos! [02 May 2010|11:24pm]
Okay, crappy little piano videos no more than 40 seconds long and recorded on my phone. Did you know my phone could record video? I did not, until about an hour ago; thus, I bring you grainy, bad-quality video proof that I can play at least a few measures worth of decent piano music.

Here is my haphazard attempt at the start of Debussy's La Fille aux Cheveaux de Lin, which is I think probably the prettiest song ever.

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[19 Apr 2010|08:28pm]
I went to St. John's over the weekend for croquet, and it was pretty excellent. I stayed with the lovely anathelen and got to see a whole lot of people I hadn't seen in ages. Today, though, I'm having some kind of weird socializing "withdrawal," where the activity of the weekend somehow threw into relief how quiet and solitary my life here in NYC generally is (despite being surrounded by 8 million people, somehow), and now I'm sitting around missing all sorts of people pretty furiously. Some of it is reasonable (Greg, who I haven't seen in 4.5 years and who is one of the most excellent human beings I know) and some of it is not so reasonable (people I saw in person yesterday, people I didn't know well but once had a crush on, etc).

The list of people missed includes:

-the aforementioned zostrianos
-a boyfriend I had when I was 16
-a friend I had in high school who I haven't heard from since probably sometime in 2001
-practically everybody I saw over the weekend
-subset of the above: noetickerf, who I spent all day yesterday in a car with
-various Pittsburgh people
-several classmates from the past few years who I thought were cool but failed to get to know due to shyness
-that guy I dated last year who was kind of a jerk maybe
-ennuiette, who I saw yesterday and who lives basically down the street from me, and who I ought to hang out with more

This is probably a good sign -- a sign of the winter-hibernation-social-freeze fully thawing and demanding that I actually, you know, go do a bunch of stuff with people that I like -- but it still feels kind of... strange? A certain melancholy + urgency kind of whininess. Ergh.

In other news, it was a ridiculously gorgeous day in NYC today. I took some pictures (mostly of Tompkins Square Park) with my phone, and will get around to posting them later.

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[12 Apr 2010|11:36pm]
You know how, once, you were a teenager, and you were just discovering your favorite music, and you would stumble upon some song that EXPRESSES YOUR VERY SOUL and whatnot? I am feeling pretty much way about this (despite not having "flaxen hair"):

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quick political note [06 Apr 2010|08:00pm]
I'm not sure where this notion that "independents" are all conservatives, or even people more right-leaning than Republicans, comes from. I am an independent. My dad, raised Republican and Christian in (mostly) South Carolina, is maybe what I'd think of as a "true" independent, in that he's clearly not just a disgruntled would-be Republican or Democrat (he'd perhaps consider voting Republican if they were ever in practice anything like any of their higher-minded rhetoric about smaller government and such, and liked the McCain of >10 years ago). My mom, of similar background, would probably be registered "independent" but decided to change her affiliation to Green (from Republican, I believe) back in 2000.

I guess what I mean to communicate here is the following:

-- Beware the slippery assumptions, encouraged mostly by people on the right, that anyone registered Independent will end up going Republican in the clutch.

and, less directly related, but further thoughts:

-- The past 10 years have obviously not been good to the Republican party. Don't be fooled, the crazy rhetoric going on right now is generally symptomatic of the desperate flailings of politicians both very aware of their party's decline and yet totally unaware of their own contributions towards it, and the confusion of its members as they try to latch onto one narrative after another as each momentarily "plausible" justification for the weirdness in which they find themselves falls apart.

-- The above condition, however, is not such a great one for civil society.

-- Okay, to tie this back in -- It's obvious that my parents are sort of unusual examples, in that they both are well-educated, have a comfortable income, have lived in several different parts of the country by now, etc. But, they represent something about human beings that I think is getting grossly overlooked all the time these days: it is possible to change your mind. It is possible to hold a certain position for a long time, but come to adopt a new view after certain events, convincing arguments, new evidence, even just personal growth and so forth. I feel like part of The Problem in current political conversations is that people are viewed as static sets of assertions that will never change and whose job it is, politically speaking, to simply voice themselves loud enough (and cow everyone else into submission, I suppose?) This is the sort of thing that gives the above-linked craziness some of its steam -- if everyone just IS a certain way politically, especially politicians, then it certainly does seem expedient to just start killing people off, if unethical. I have no idea how one would go about doing this, but I think things would really benefit if we could start viewing ourselves and each other in a more dynamical way.

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bad news guys [03 Apr 2010|11:10pm]
It appears I have Cat-On-Foot disease.

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Warning: scientists believe that having high arches may increase your chance of developing Cat-On-Foot by as much as 400%.

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