lotesse: (downton_beauty)
Lately I've been feeling the lure of the one-card tarot draw; until now, I've always worked from a six-card array, but the simplicity of the single card, not a pattern but an insight, is currently appealing to me. Last night I drew the Hanged Man ill-dignified, self-sacrifice and seeing strange; this evening I drew the Nine of Wands ill-dignified, which is a card my mother usually draws, a card about solar energy which for me is about the house I grew up in that was built to trap the sun, and upright it's about achievement but reversed it's bad faith, closed-down conversations, lack of initiative.

Had a fight with mom and dad last night; mama was taking out frustrations, and so was dad I think tho also quite intoxicated which makes him an asshole particularly to me. Patched things over with mom last night, sort of, and sent dad an email just now letting him know that I'm not cool with being his vent. Everyone's tired of me being depressed - as if I'm not.

Writing fic, a little - I'm trying something sort of ambitious for Yuletide this year, doing one of the stories I always wanted to write but didn't see enough audience to justify the effort, and it's nice to be back to spitting out words with some regularity. I dunno about how good those words are, but am not minding that right now.

I'm not really moving forward on academic stuff - still in a bit of a slump, too tangled up in unidentified emotion & baggage to deal with my document proper. I am working laterally, tho, exploring and digesting and regrouping; my project isn't off my mind. Am procrastinating marking papers; am sure I will lady up and get on with them sometime tonight or tomorrow.

Rewatching White Collar and Due South. Quite liking the new season of WC, looking forward to next week (El there behind Peter's shoulder, Neal speaking to them both - !). Also watching and enjoying the new series of Downton Abbey, shipping Mary/Branson all the way, and thinking that Edith's been looking tres chic, good for her poor dear, also god rich people really do have endless time to dramatize god damn.
lotesse: (Default)
I was enjoying White Collar well enough for the first two seasons - it was cute, Matt Bomer is lovely, I have fewer objections to art forgery than I do to many of the activities undertaken in other fannish shows, the OT3 is so fun - and then the end of s3/all of s4 hit, and all of a sudden - yes. I am so ridiculously into Neal and Peter being on the same side - their side - and working together towards shared goals. Because it's totally a superhero show in disguise, and there's nothing I love more than wholehearted superhero teamups.

*

I'm feeling all right again this afternoon, level-headed and genuinely enjoying stories instead of feeling like I'm hiding out in them. One more month, and then prospectus defense, and then this horrible exam year will be over and I can start working on feeling sane all of the time. I'm going to be moving out into the country in the summer - I'm moving back out to my aunt's farm for a while, now that I won't need to be on campus as often, and I'm really looking forward to that, to being able to climb trees and whatnot without people looking at me funny. What, you've never seen a twenty-something PhD candidate scrabbling up a white pine before? I do not understand why we culturally mark tree-climbing as the exclusive providence of the very young.
lotesse: (firefly_harlot)
What I'm reading this Wednesday:

I picked up Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus as a treat to myself - a contemporary woman-authored fantasy novel set in Victorian London, what's not to love? Except I'm finding that I kind of don't love it. I'm a little over a third of the way through, and am at present not sure if I'll finish it. I don't see the point of doing a Victorian if you're not going to profit from either the milieu or the language. Morgenstern's prose style lacks the richness that I associate with Victorian pastiche, the kind of thing that Sarah Waters does so beautifully. Her use of the present tense, relatively limited vocabulary, and choppy presentation all seem like odd choices to me given the wonderful descriptive rhythms of so much Victorian prose. Morgenstern's epigraph is taken from Wilde, and imagining what he could've done with this story is giving me a serious sad. But I also just kind of feel like the novel's Victorianism is painted on. The fashion and design stuff in particular keeps frustrating me, because it's almost always general and vague, with broad references to period trends like japanism and monochrome, and all the clockwork stuff that E.T.A. Hoffmann did so much better, without ever feeling real or material or, you know, researched. I'm also more broadly fed up with the portrayal of Spiritualism as a delusional mourning cult led by hucksters - Morgenstern is far from alone in this, but beyond the fact that I was raised by American Spiritualists and actually do believe in afterlife communication and the mediation of the spirit world, this revisionist history totally ignores the sociopolitical radicalism of Victorian Spiritualists, many of whom were early feminist leaders due to the subculture's relative embrace of women in positions of power.

In nonfiction reading, I'm working my way back through Gayle Salamon's Assuming A Body, because I'm stealing her phenomenological account of the relationship between fantasy and sexuality for a paragraph in my dissertation prospectus - although I will admit to feeling a little odd about employing the theory that she develops for trans* liberation in a project on heterosexuality. I guess it does ultimately make sense to turn back to the seat of sexual power, the same way the study of masculinity is a necessary part of feminism, but I still feel kind of ish about it. I keep loading down my footnotes with those kind of caveats and attributions: I got this from trans* theory, Black feminism, queer affect theory. The whole question really reminds me of old fannish conversations about "queer het" back in the days of Spuffy and The X-Files - did we ever solve that one? Or did we just kind of move on?

Also, I am watching White Collar now - I found myself in need of something easy and lovely, and the ot3 caretaking and power dynamics in that show are pretty much aces. And apparently it's one of those fandoms where folk are super type-A and keep organized thematic lists of fanwork, so that is also aces.

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin

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