ximen: (Default)
[personal profile] ximen
(If anyone cares)

My general exams/quals are this April, so I am finalizing my major and minor field reading lists. My fields are going to be: Qing history, Anglo-American legal history, and Early Chinese literature. Hopefully these will meld together and turn me into someone who can confidently fake her way through China studies and legal history talks.

Also, I'm learning Manchu. Which is just awesome.

I'm the historical consultant for Ben's game (which has awesome Sushu-art, btw). We just started alpha-testing, which is fun in the "poke things until they break" sense but not yet in the "play this game" sense. Fortunately I like poking things. It's in Kickstarter-mode right now, so if you have spare money and you like social games, Chinese history, or awesome Sushu-art, you should give us money. Or you can just watch the video to see the awesome Sushu art and to hear Sushu and me ramble about why we're working on the project. Which I find impossible to listen to, because it's weird hearing my own voice recorded. But I guess that's true for almost everyone.

I was learning to play the erhu, but I stopped practicing when I left Taiwan and have had trouble getting back into it. It's hard to find time to practice, and when I do, I get so stressed out that I might be doing things wrong that it's hard to continue. Does anyone else who has tried to learn musical instruments as an adult (without much prior musical experience) have any advice on how to overcome those problems?

I've returned to working on my companion cube plush. I have three sides completed (all save the little gray tabs between each corner piece). The other three sides have their gray circles, their hearts, and their pink lines, but lack the gray corners. Once I have the corners sewn on all six sides, I will sew the sides together so that I have one large flat piece, then sew on the little gray tabs, then sew the remaining sides together into a cube. Oh, and stuff it. the cube itself isn't going to be that big... maybe six inches on each side. And it's going to be slightly lopsided and asymmetrical, because it was mostly hand-sewn and because I'm not that good at sewing. But it will have been made with love! And now that I have a better understanding of what each part requires, and also a sewing machine, I'm thinking of making a full-sized one, for use as furniture.

I've been watching The Wire with my friend Bing. It's pretty awesome.

I've been playing the online game Glitch. It's basically Harvest Moon the MMO, and I find it scarily addictive.

I'm living in Newark. I have a two-room studio all to myself (well, me and the cat) and I love it. Come visit! I have a spare futon!

I was in Atlanta for five days. I got to see [identity profile] bakeneko.livejournal.com and catch up. That was pretty great-- I got to reconnect with an old friend, and it turns out that we still had things to talk about (possibly more now, actually), and also I was happy to see that she's doing well and making really cool masks. And that was she was nice enough to spend over an hour just answering all my random questions about her artistic and business process. Thank you for indulging my curiosity, Jyn!

I've started posting everything on Dreamwidth and cross-posting to LJ. But Dreamwidth doesn't yet have good mood icons, so that's annoying. Also it seems like everyone else has switched to tumblr, Google+, Facebook, or Twitter. I do check G+ regularly, but even though I have accounts for the other three, I can't seem to adapt. Facebook is too crowded, I hate twitter's new interface, and tumblr just has problems. It doesn't really handle comments well, and when people respond to each others' posts, you end up with the same post being repeated three or four times on one page, often just with one or two lines added at the end. And since you read the newest ones first, what you see is the entire conversation, followed by the conversation minus the last few lines, followed by the conversation minus the last two exchanges, and so on. On the other hand, there is a lot of cool art, so maybe I'll just start using tumblr to look at pictures of hungover owls and funny cats. But I'm sad that most of my friends no longer post page-long rants and updates on their lives to LJ. How am I supposed to know how you're doing? I'm scared of the phone and not very good at IM. Oh well. All things come to an end.

I should really get off the computer and tackle my to-do list. It is long. And it's 3 PM and I'm still in pajamas. But it's so hard to so do anything on a rainy day... *whine whine*

Anyway, that's me. How are you?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-16 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dustthouart.livejournal.com
I could have written your post about being sad about the demise of the blog. On the other hand, some of my real life friends in the past year have started blogs (all on Blogspot), so I'm sticking with mine. Besides, I write chiefly for myself, anyway.

I'm glad to read about what's going on with you! :D

Newark isn't too far from Allentown (where we are until the 29th) so I'm tempted... I'd have to get my parents to drive us, though. I'll think about it! Are you staying in NJ over Thanksgiving?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-16 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] satyreyes.livejournal.com
I haven't switched over to any of those other sites, but in general when I have something to celebrate or gripe about, I go to the Utena forum instead of LJ. And... yeah, as a result I hardly post here anymore, which is kind of sad. I will write a life update right now.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-17 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] matt-rah.livejournal.com
You have to have a teacher of some sort to meet with regularly. I know it's logistically difficult; sadly, it's non-optional.


(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-17 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] karishi.livejournal.com
Yesterday someone interested in designing a board game asked me about the board/card game industry. I had a lot to say.
After about an hour of discussion and coming up with ideas for his board game (traitor game, but the players are in Dante's Inferno and one of them is the devil trying to lock down the pit before people escape. Slight shifts to what players can do depending on which layer of hell they're on at the time) he asked if he could do anything for me in return and I pointed him to my Kickstarter and asked that he spread the word.

I've been hiring artists like mad. I'm really pleased with the quality I've been getting (Have a look at www.gamenightproductions.com. It's seriously impressive.) but there's a part of me that cringes at the pace I'm blowing through money. I'm still used to the ascetic lifestyle I had early college, where I spent roughly five thousand dollars a year to cover every expense I had. Running a business is risky, and it seems it's mostly because running a business is mad expensive.
If all 5,000 copies of my game sell out inside a year, our net earnings will be the most profitable year I've ever had - in fact it will be roughly five times the second runner up - but for right now it's terrifying. I feel like I really understand Pratchett's description of Madame Sharn and Pepe in Unseen Academicals, that absolutely necessary veneer of success and confidence to cover over the fact that you have little else until people trust you enough to let you make something on their dime, the fervent hope that this one shot will hit its mark because it may be the only shot you get.
And that's how I am right now.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-18 03:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raidingparty.livejournal.com
1 - "To make a small fortune in games, start out with a large fortune."

2 - Tallulah Bankhead supposedly went to New York with barely a dime to her name, got a hotel room and a maid, and made her way going through art openings and social events. The front of wealth got her into the in-crowd, which made her the connections she needed to actually become wealthy.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-18 05:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bakeneko.livejournal.com
It was awesome to see you too!
And I just realized we never got around to you telling me about Manchu, so something for next time :D

Companion cube furniture sounds awesome, as does Matriarchy-- good luck on both!

Edit- I also miss the LJ heyday-- most of the people I want to hear from most aren't big FB/twitterers, and the lack of context that comes with microblogging makes it hard for me to feel connected :/
Edited Date: 2011-11-18 05:29 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-19 01:09 am (UTC)
summercomfort: (Default)
From: [personal profile] summercomfort
Definitely echoing the nostalgia for LJ-ness and just everyone writing longer, more personal stuff. But then again, that was easier in college.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-22 11:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dakeeni.livejournal.com
I've been frustrated with LJ for awhile. Thus, my new dreamwidth: catastrophy.

Admittedly, Kent sucks up most of my free time, and by my choice. But with all of us scattered across different timezones, the internet (in some fashion) is the best way to keep in touch.
I have a smart phone now! So I can text all I want, and should be better at email-tag.

I do have a couple kid-related posts brewing.

And I'm starting CDA class!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-22 11:20 pm (UTC)
summercomfort: (Default)
From: [personal profile] summercomfort
Yay for all of those things!


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