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About Datepalm

  • Birthday 02/22/1987

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  • Barbarism and Decadence, Fuck Yeah.
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  1. I'm on a zoom where one person has a full set of 1990's Wheel of Time paperbacks on the shelf, which, given how much those tended to fall to pieces in your hands as soon as opened, I find pretty impressive (they also have the 4-book ASOIAF set).
  2. I've seen them very occasionally where I've lived in the US - urban-ish (by US Standards) parts of the East Bay and Boston metro - in the past few years. Here in Toronto they really seem a regular part of the landscape. I walked past multiple ones just running errands yesterday. Apparently this is still 'recovering from Covid", according to a man who foisted a cupcake tree on me (anyone need a cupcake tree?). Buy-Nothing facebook goups were massive in Boston though, during COVID anyway. ETA - hard to say about the junk level - I own literally nothing in household stuff, so I picked up some glasses and a coffee press for a dollar - basic but lovely when starting from scratch. Saw books, kitchen things, shoes, clothes, household appliances, and lots of kid stuff, all doing reasonably brisk trade. ETA2 - I haven't watched the show (it seems like a nice enough bit of fanfic, I guess?) and I am still actively waiting for the next book. And by god y'all had better be here to argue about it.
  3. In a complete change of subject for this board, I just saw a kid, maybe 12-13 years old at most, walk away from a yard sale with the whole box set of books 1-4*. He'd never seen the show nor read GRRM before. It was fun to see. Also, Canadians are really, really into yard sales. There seem to be multiple ones on every block in Toronto every single weekend. *I like that box set. It's pleasingly cubical.
  4. This may be a contrarian take, but now the ink is dry (haven't quite worked up to adding "Dr." to the email signature, I assume that's when it actually takes hold?) honestly I had a pretty great time mostly. That was with Covid, dodgy funding in high cost of living area, etc. I mean, there were rough patches, but honestly, your advisor catching you crying in a corner at least once is basically a program requirement. I got to do pretty much everything I wanted to, and going in with low - or, at any rate, non-romantic - expectations and some experience of, uh, having worked actual jobs probably helped, as well as all my academic experience being in large, chaotic public institutions where no one gets quite what they want but everything sort of muddles by. This may be different in lab-based fields, but in social sciences where you're more on your own, I found that I sort of had to just go for stuff (publications, funding, research gigs, teaching, travel, etc) without expecting the program or advisor or anyone to tell you when to do what and how - because they won't. And I had a fantastic advisor, but it was still mostly me coming to him with whatever my latest tangent was and asking him to sign some form for some project about parking spots I was already half way through (possibly a bit cat-with-dead-mouse, from his pov.) Think of yourself as a project manager - the project being your PhD, but also longer term career, academic or not - rather than as a student.
  5. Muddled through all the Karen Pirie's (except the first one as I'd seen the show). Enjoyed them a lot, despite finding a lot actually quite annoying. Several, especially the 2nd and the 6th have weirdly easy-to-solve mysteries - which I generally pay no attention to and make no effort to solve. But here they were just sitting there. Karen is also hella preachy and repetitive sometimes, with a touch of that Mary Sue thing where all her superiors are comically incompetent and venal, in a slightly absurd register that no other aspect of the books has. That subplot in each book always sucks and always ends with Karen getting a snide one-over on them. (Makes me really impressed with the Cupidi books where she has a boss who has to mind the politics and the media etc and is sometimes cautious or at odds with her, but nevertheless bears a passing resemblance to an adult human in a professional setting.) There's always an odd level of focus on her clothes or her weight in a way that doesn't really add anything, but whatever - still enjoyable.
  6. I shaved a few times at some point because I lost my tweezers at some conference in the middle of nowhere* and my skin loved it. Still do it once a week or so instead. Way quicker too. *OK, I can't complain, it was on a beach in Brazil. But there weren't any useful stores anywhere nearby.
  7. I got some 0.25 retinol about a year ago (it was over the counter in, uh, I think I was in Uganda?) and have just finished the tube, but I did get some 0.5 in Mexico at some point, so now starting that, a little nervously. My skin seemed really fine with the 0.25 (including eye area, which maybe I should be more careful with) every other night with a few breaks. I think it's helping, and overall I think my skin has definitely chilled the fuck out a bit, but I've also been ok with sunscreen and moisturizer.
  8. New thread, armchair detectives. Recent reads - I went through William Shaw's Alex Cupidi mysteries quickly. I think he's done at 4 (or 5, depending on how you count the sort of series kickoff, which technically isn't a Cupidi book) and they seem to be done. Set in Dungeness, this fills the Ruth Galloway shaped hole in my mystery readings - moody coastal English setting, single parent detective, low-key local mysteries, a lot of attention paid to landscapes, animals, local histories, etc. I read a couple of Mario Todd's Clare McKay as well, set in St. Andrews. Same vibe, though slightly less well put together and less atmospheric, also a little gorier/more violent, which rarely adds much for me, but still enjoyable. MS Morris - Aspire to Die - Oxford University set murder, scandal amongst the privileged, yaddi yadda. Not very good. Another single parent of teenager female detective, which was ok, but the actual story is poorly done - very boring characters and not much done with the setting. Bad Summer People - meh. Not great either as satire or as mystery. The Paris Apartment - Lucy Foley - I like her earlier murder in a remote setting books, but this one is more of a straight-up crime thriller and is just annoying. Everyone is dumb as a brick, the structure and the writing boringly manipulative to keep up from learning the answer, there's all this supposedly dark and raunchy sex, prostitution, illicit affairs, etc, stuff that reads like a teenager writing fanfic, etc. I started the first WM Craven Washington Poe book and actually abandoned it after a few chapters - pretty rare, for me. It's got the usual murder in an English country setting thing, but is pointlessly gory and violent, and the main detective is a Gary Stu surrounded by idiots and bigots, and the whole thing is a chore to read.
  9. murals worry me a lot.
  10. I actually have a pillow! It's under my desk at Berkeley, not sure when I'll be able to pick it up, but it is there. I'm a grownup. It's from Target. Kind of excited to go poke about cosignement stores this weekend now!
  11. There's definitely shops and markets, but this practice of sales out of someone's home/garage is a lot less common, than I know of. I'm sort of curious just to check it out while I'm here (also I'm a bit bored - teaching a class online so I have to be in the US.)
  12. This is interesting - I'm suddenly facing the ominous prospect of probably needing to find a place to live and put furniture in it. I'm well over roommates and I've lived in more quirky spots with spaces full of character and over-present eccentric landlords than a full young adult library section over the past few years and a boring small apartment managed by a boring leasing company sounds like heaven. So, actual furniture, probably. I'm trying to basically no longer buy new clothes and thrift/poshmark just about everything practicable, and I'm wondering if it's possible to take the same approach with home stuff. Estate sales sound intriguing, but aren't a thing in Israel (I think?). Can I just go check one out to get a sense of it? I'm in Boston for a couple of weeks...
  13. Thanks all! I got the counter-offer from Big City and they did the salary match and the 40/60 split, so I said yes. There's even a bit extra conference travel money tossed in, as they couldn't do relocation benefits, which I didn't even ask for, since I would maybe have been able to take advantage of 30% of that at most, and only by really coming up with the most expensive and probably inconvenient (to me!) way imaginable of moving two suitcases. @IheartIheartTesla point about being in much more of an ecosystem than Small Town, however large the university itself definitely also played a part. I also had a nice candid chat with a friend-of-a-friend there who described it as "frozen hell if you're single" and "get a dog, or a robot dog if you're not a dog person" right as I got the Big City email (also, damn, this is nice networking - I may have an invitation to come do a talk there out of that chat. That should do it for this bit of curiosity for the small town Americana thing. Should have dragged it out - there were a few more interesting people on the list.)
  14. Huh. Advisor was very strongly pro-Small Town - more money for less work, leaving more scope for own research, which he thinks I should be focusing on. So I got back to Big City, who told me I'm in a great spot to negotiate and said they'll get back to me on a salary match and a 60/40 instead of 80/20 split on project/my stuff. I also got more info and the project budget, and it's actually smaller and probably more manageable than I expected. On the one hand, there's less money, but on the other, fewer people are actually directly getting paid and most of the budget is for research students. IE, I can tell these ones what to do. There is also a dedicated travel budget and expectation that I would do most of that, which is actually a plus as far as I'm concerned.
  15. Definitely what I need is confusingly charged and sublimated relationships with clearly tortured yet never quite formally unethical power dynamics and boundaries wrt academic hierarchies.
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