wishfulaces: (miracles and wonder)
Plenary session this morning, the guy--who's apparently about 10 years older than me but looks (so far as I can see from my distant, distant seat in the back of the ballroom) and sounds like he's my generation--is talking about collaboration between archivists, museum curators, librarians, and the gifted amateurs who have interest in our data, in mining our data and transforming our data coming out of our collections; and for examples he provides a couple mash-ups.

And the vibe I'm getting, the mindset and feel I'm getting--it's fannishness. That sharing, that desire to tease out new ideas from the original source--I'm sitting in this giant ballroom surrounded by geeks (we're all inherently geeks, it's an unwritten professional necessity; it's just that a lot of us are not 21st century techie geeks), and I'm thinking, "wait, I know this feeling, I've been here before."

Yesterday, sitting in a discussion about privacy and confidentiality and what information to provide and what to omit for the sake of delicacy, all I could think was: it doesn't matter, the record will survive. So long as we maintain the record, 50 years from now, 100 years from now, when all of us sitting in this room and all of the people described in the record in question are dead, the record will still be there, and the future archivists can do whatever the hell they want or need with it. So long as the record will endure.

So yeah, the conference is working; my brain is expanding.
wishfulaces: (ot3!)
So the week of Vividcon in Chicago, I'm in San Diego (y'know, weeks after ComicCon). Life, eh?

But I'm here for a conference, and considering I've been cramming for a workshop I'm taking tomorrow I am entirely justified in taking Tuesday off to sightsee and hang out and learn my way around this city. I've walked a little bit of the area around my hotel and will definitely need to do more, but on a day when I've not been up since oh god-thirty and gotten more than five hours sleep and aren't shaking from too much travel.

(September. I'm holding out for September, the month in which I will NOT get on a plane and NOT go to a city further than 90 minutes away by car. That is my plan for September and probably October. It sounds glorious right now, which is an indication that I have done way, way too much traveling this spring & summer.)

But doing my readings for tomorrow's workshop, it reminded me how I secretly kinda maybe want to do forensic science instead of this public history gig. (You would be surprised how much of the theory crosses over, really, starting with chain of custody and ending with authenticity and trust.)

Also, I want to talk about this book on bisexuality I just finished reading. )

Um, I didn't quite expect to write that tonight. Oops? But hey, I got my reading done for tomorrow, I know where I'm going tomorrow morning, and I've had dinner and a shower. Life is good.
wishfulaces: (all the world's a stage)
This is just fun. (100 years of fashion in East London...in 100 seconds.)

I still follow museum blogs, even though I'm no longer in the museum world and don't know if I'll ever get to go back into it. This post from Nina Simon's museum 2.0 blog is pretty intriguing ([livejournal.com profile] cofax7, you should totally check it out!)

(The post is about getting people involved and engaged in art--well, more than that, but you can read the post to get the full effect--and I've been thinking about my own changing relationship to art, or "Art," and how it is becoming more of a habit, an ingrained thing that I notice more in the every day world around me, the more time I spend going to art museums and hanging out with artistic people. And really, I'm glad of that. Someday, I'm going to have to get around to taking an art history course. In the meantime, I'll keep going to random art museums and hanging out with artistic people.)

And because 3 links totally make a post, Doctor Who femslash ficathon sign-ups are open. Yay!

\o/

Oct. 26th, 2010 10:26 pm
wishfulaces: (agatha = AWESOME)
I AM BACK ONLINE. At home, that is. After five hours of recovery CDs, downloading updates, and re-installing software. Brand shiny new hard drive, old casing and operating system. All my bookmarks are gone. It's surprisingly refreshing to be starting out new. I probably won't feel that way next week when attempting to hunt something down that I *knew* I had saved somewhere. Or when I realize how many photographs I'm sure I've lost because I was much crappier at backing up some of my data than I should have been.

Random thoughts I've had in the past week & not posted because I had little Internet access for goofing off:

1. There was a really clever little thought about the changing nature of privacy, specifically from the 18th century through the 21st, and how online media are changing our notions again about privacy, and that was about as far as it got before sputtering out. I'm sure more eloquent people have already said things about this anyway.

2. I had a Leverage vid idea for "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darrin, focusing on Nate and how the team totally invade his space (Bing bang, I saw the whole gang / Dancing on my living room rug...), and then by the end of the second season/beginning of the third, he kinda just...goes along with it (I forgot about the bath / I went and put my dancin shoes on, yeah...). Y'all should be grateful I can't make vids, honestly.

3. Absurd and obscure crossover idea #578: Janos Bartok from Legend has a conversation with Benton Fraser from dueSouth. Mostly because both of them are quite good at changing the world to fit their expectations.

There was more stuff. But it's been a long night, and I still need to get up early tomorrow morning and get through another day of life. Woo.
wishfulaces: (fandom collision)
I could never take you seriously as an action hero, James McAvoy, your lips are far too pretty.

*

I have a secret suspicion that Misha Collins is actually a figment of the Internet's imagination.

*

Doctor Who yesterday, with more bloody sodding Daleks )

*

I watched Pirate Radio last night. um, spoilers, I guess? )

*

I am going to go take a bath. And hopefully warm up. Yes.
wishfulaces: (jeremy)
Am back in my own space again, with my own laptop and high-speed internet, and I think I shall hug it and pet it and call it George for a while. I spent more time than I care to think updating my parents' computers, and I didn't get to finish, and I didn't get to install dad's shiny new printer that mom got him for Christmas because it would take THIRTEEN HOURS or more to download the software, and woe.

(It's good to go home, and it's good to come back home too. I realized one of the major problems I have with visiting my parents is that there are too many conflicting perspectives in that house, and I get glimpses of all of them including my own, and it makes my brain and my heart hurt. I did better with my dad this time around, but still not good enough.)

But I made it back safely despite snowstorms everywhere, and I managed to pack all my presents--and a bewildering number of chocolates, including a helluva lot of fudge--except the calendar in my carry-on luggage. They were small presents, and a small loot this year, thank goodness. The craziest thing my parents got me? A Kindle. I...I have no idea what possessed my mother, beyond the fact that I move too much and this seemed a convenient way to accumulate my library. I have named it Lucien (after Dream's librarian) and bought four books so far. Dad got mom one too. I think she's going to name hers Marian (after the librarian in Music Man, of course).

I have become too much an Americanist. I got three physical books for Christmas, and they're all about the Revolution, Early Republic, and antebellum eras in the States. (Henry Clay remains my hero.) And then I bought one on Kindle about historical archaeology in Sangamon County, Illinois. HELP.

The best thing about the Kindle? Mobile wireless internet access. Faster than my parents' dial-up. Sigh.

We went and saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie. My dad missed Basil Rathbone, my mom dozed through bits of it but swears she heard everything (she had good reason for falling asleep; I kept taking her hand to wake her up mostly because I was afraid she would snore, and the theater was literally packed), and I enjoyed it immensely when I wasn't thinking about historical errors. I mean, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law (with a limp! and a cane!) and historical costume and banter was pretty much what I wanted from the movie.

Yuletide right now terrifies me and overwhelms me with sheer numbers of fic, so I don't think I'll get started on that beyond opening tabs for some of the recs I've already seen. Instead I think I need to watch something utterly mindless on the television in preparation for kick-starting my brain at work tomorrow. Um, yes, that really does make sense.
wishfulaces: (sunflowers)
I have cleaned today. The kind of cleaning that involves actually moving the furniture so I can vacuum under it. This was after waking up at a quarter to seven on about five hours sleep (or maybe less), driving 3.5 hours across the state line, and doing some Christmas shopping. Tomorrow I still have to do the real hard work--cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, not to mention laundering the sheets at my aunt's house so my mom will have somewhere to sleep next week when she visits--but at least the bedrooms and living room are officially clean. And they'd bloody well better stay that way for the next couple weeks while company are around.

My Thanksgiving weekend so far has been pretty marvelous. I enjoyed visiting with my family, going from group to group to listen to and participate in the conversations, I enjoyed playing with my cousin's kids and then giving them back to her and my aunt when I drove away, I even enjoyed watching the blasted football games. And then I got to hang out with a couple of my friends on Friday, watching the sunset at the top of a hill drinking coffee (because we were so tired, but we'd all agreed that taking a nap would not be a productive use of our time together) and discussing Important Things, eating cheese and drinking a bottle of wine, watching a Christmas movie with one of my friend's family, staying up late playing music and talking. There were lots of pets everywhere for me to play with too. No leftovers for me, but I did get my pumpkin pie.

Last night, as we walked down the hill back to the car after sunset, I said to my friend that we're all settling down, the people in our age bracket; we'd both noticed ourselves changing a lot just in the past year or so, and that it's not thirty when this all happens. "I hope not," was her instant response, and I hastened to explain what I meant--becoming the adults we're supposed to become, phrases like that. But I think what I really meant is that we're getting a little steadier, internally if not externally.

But that's quite enough contemplation and physical labor; I'm going to take a bath, get dinner, and sprawl in front of the idiot box. Yay.
wishfulaces: (books)
I FINALLY finished rereading the EDA Parallel 59 after weeks of spending on it (the problem with only reading it during mealtimes, when I can be arsed...). It's probably the first time I've read it since, er, *checks publishing date* 2000?

Shall cut to spare those who are not interested in Middle Skool Who )

Speaking of the Doctor, and beer, I finally tried a ginger beer last weekend. It was not at all what I expected--I liked it, but I think in smaller amounts than the entire bottle I drank--and I did not get drunk. Indicating that I am not a Time Lord. Alas. It's not like I was going to run into Shakespeare anyway.

ETA: Aaaaand I have discovered today that one of the washing machines I use in the apartment complex apparently will only cooperate if I bang on its lid. Maybe I should drink more ginger beer after all.
wishfulaces: (history geek cred)
I haven't been this reflective about my life and what I'm trying to do with it since, uh, grad school, I swear. Or maybe when dealing with that flood a couple years ago, which was practically still grad school anyway.

History museums, objects, and you. Well, me first. )

Mmmm, professional wankery, it's been a while.
wishfulaces: (bodies)
I saw The Dark Knight today. Which is really weird for me, since I've seen one other movie in a movie theater in the past, like, three months and I've never been in comic books fandom so am only seeing this movie from a mundane perspective. But hey, my dad's in town and I've got to do something with him and we both wanted to see it.

I love Jim Gordon. I love Gary Oldman. I really, really love Gary Oldman playing Jim Gordon.

I also think I have a fear of heights. Or at least of falling from them. I was almost crawling out of my seat at one or two points there.

Now I shall use this cut as a cunning segue into a completely unrelated thought I had about experiencing music. )

oh, bother

Oct. 29th, 2007 06:34 pm
wishfulaces: (doctor smoking gun)
I was sure I wouldn't be able to come up with ten bits of personal Doctor Who canon, and then to prove myself wrong I did. *sigh*

Cut so as to save those of you who have no interest )

Hmmm, was not terribly kind to Ten. I think that might largely be fannish osmosis/irritation.
wishfulaces: (darien)
Back in CO, probably about a year ago, our archives prof--no, wait, this was records management, but it's the same prof--was giving us directions to the uni's vet school for the next class meeting. We were going to discuss medical records and get a tour there and everything. Anyway, she told us it was off Drake Street, and I just stared at her for a long, long time until she asked me what was wrong.

I couldn't for the life of me remember where Drake Street was. I'd been living in that town for at least 18 months, if not closer to two years by that point, and despite the fact that I used Drake all the time to get places, I couldn't think of it in the context of that particular city. I couldn't picture the city at all, its grid of streets; I suddenly had no idea what town I was even in.

I've been having these issues with spatial erosion lately. I mean, my conception of space, of location--it's just seriously eroding under me, until half the time these days I can't tell you what state I currently live in. Even the license plates are all starting to look the same.

Maybe some of it is from moving a lot in the past few years when I remained stationary when I was a kid. Or maybe it's not, maybe it's from all the traveling I did as a kid and all the traveling I do now. (There is a church with twin towers with clock faces in some city somewhere in the states of IL, MO, and KS and I can't really tell you which city it is except that you see it as you're coming in on the interstate and it means you're finally reaching your destination--or, well, it means that to me, anyway, which indicates that it's probably St. Louis or Topeka but not necessarily.) Maybe it's from every single town in Middle America having a mall with a JC Penny's and Sears (and a Dillards, or a Macy's, or a Carson Pirie Scott, etc etc ad nauseum), and at least one Applebees and three McDonald's per a population of 30-40,000 people. Maybe it's because in so many ways where I live doesn't matter a good god damn because most of my social life these days takes place on the computer, on the phone, on the plane, elsewhere.

The ranch houses, the bungalows, the farmhouses, the fields stretching out to the horizon, the prairie, the plains, the oak trees and the evergreens--I could be in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, even bloody Nebraska or (eastern) Colorado. The town I live in now could easily have been the town I grew up near. I don't know if the world is blurring, I'm blurring, or if it even matters.

(And maybe this is partly why I love, love, the Land Ordinance of 1785. Section, township, and range; county upon county, square upon square, and it is stamped into the character of the land. You can see it when you fly overhead, and you can see where it isn't, too, and that? Is at least some kind of sense of location. An immediate context; Enlightenment ideals, shaping the geography, changing the world and making it our own; knowledge of location in space and in time is absurdly comforting.)

Maybe it's time I moved to a completely different location. Maybe it doesn't matter, just another symptom of living in the twenty-first century. Maybe I am aware enough of my location that the specifics don't really matter. Maybe I just need to get something for the serious memory problems I seem to be having or, alternately, admit that I really will be senile by the time I'm 25 and ask that if you have anything important to tell me, tell me it in the next month, 'cos it sure as hell ain't gonna sink in after that.

But seriously, ask me what state I live in and I might just stare at you for a long, long time.
wishfulaces: (sofa of reasonable comfort)
Yesterday, in the mine, my friend the other curator composed a brief, Carl Sandburg-like pome. It went like this:

"I love beets.
They taste like dirt."

Hey, she is from Illinois.

*

So I have mainlined every single Seven, Ace, & Hex audio there is in the past, um, week and a half (it's amazing how much you can get listened to in a fifteen-minute car ride, isn't it?), all for the sake of research for writing fic. Yes. Gods, if all history research were as much fun as this, I'd so be getting my PhD right now.

Anyway. I have thought long and hard and prepared one-sentence reviews of each audio I have listened to. (Okay, wait, I lie; I haven't listened to every one as I haven't given Night Thoughts another go yet. Must see if I have it on CD or not.)

Live34: Fantastic concept, relentlessly played out (no, seriously, doing it that way without even the usual musical credits, is awesome), but the ending's a bit of a cop-out, isn't it?

The Settling: It feels like a 280-page EDA that's been shoved into a 25-minute, four-episode format. Therefore, some stuff is rushed, particularly relationships between characters. That said? This so needs to be listened to after one knows Hex already, as it makes quite a bit of difference, character-wise (this was the first Hex audio I'd ever heard, way back in July of last year, and while it certainly piqued my interest in Hex, now I feel like I know him better and so it packs even *more* of a punch).

So that was more than one sentence. Whoops. And, come to think of it, I don't really have much to say about either The Harvest or Dreamtime, and I should probably listen to Nocturne in the car as I concentrate better there then I do wandering about my house and getting distracted by all the shiny things I have here. But: YAY, HEX. Still. If he were a real person, I would ruffle his hair and give him a bear hug.

Oh, and I relistened to The Kingmaker. That story will NEVER GET OLD. It is some of the finest crack known to humanity.

*

I think Fitz Kreiner and the Time War are finally out of my system. Took 'em long enough.
wishfulaces: (flail)
Two weeks. Two weeks before I move, and the cable company finally decides to give me Sci-Fi. What's up with that? At least when I lived at Knox they gave me the Sci-Fi Channel my sophomore year. (Though I only got Bravo for about a month there at some point. That annoyed me very much.) And of course, the night the Stargates premiere next month is also the day I'm driving across the plains to my new town. Hmph.

But at least I've also got AMC for the next couple weeks so I can watch Hustle tonight. And speaking of Hustle, I heard a song on the radio this morning that would make a perfect vid for this show. Sung by Paul McCartney in one of his dafter moods, a large majority of the lyrics consist of "We're so sorry, Uncle Albert, we're so sorry if we caused you pain. We're so sorry, Uncle Albert, but if anything should happen we shall give you a ring. We're so sorry, Uncle Albert, but we haven't done a bloody thing all day." It is sheer genius.

I passed my written exams. You wanna know anything about the historiography of class in America in the past three centuries, particularly as evidenced through domestic interiors? Or maybe about Jacksonian politics? Now I just have to BS my way through the orals next week and I am home free.
wishfulaces: (squee!)
Um, I got thinky about gender and daddy issues in Life on Mars. Over here. But the only gender background I have comes from historians and a single philosophy course. [livejournal.com profile] troyswann, where arrreeee yyyyyoooouuuu? (I know, I know, graaaaaaaading. But it's LoM! And gender! I need you to think for me!)

And my thought-experiment exhibit design for my museums methodologies course just started to get awesome today. (We have to come up with the entire design for the exhibit without actually doing it, which is why I'm calling it a thought experiment.) Finally it all started to come together, from the label texts to the floorplan to, "oh, hey, that's where I can put the interactive theatre bit when I get to that assignment."

See, this exhibit is on public political culture of the antebellum era in America. And I know, I know, you're groaning already, but this stuff is awesome. It's the 1830s, people! It's the 1840 election campaign, possibly the awesomest election campaign ever! Tippecanoe and Tyler too and hard cider and Whig women and log cabins! (I have to admit it; I probably would have been a Whig.) It's Jacksonian democracy at its finest (even if personally Jackson's a bit of a dick) and I've got flipping campaign songs for people to listen to in sound booths! Huzzah.

1837 is remaining my favoritest year of the nineteenth century. I think I'm a little bit weird. And I need to go make dinner now.
wishfulaces: (illya stops traffic)
Okay, I've only seen one-and-a-half adventures of Sapphire and Steel but I'm really enjoying it so far. Steel's a cold and manipulative bastard who can be charming when he chooses but he usually uses Sapphire for that. And Sapphire's a kick-ass lady in blue who does--well, everything. And when Steel kissed her hand as a way to thank her for saving his life, well, yeah, that pressed my happy buttons.

I find when I'm writing something, whatever it is, and it takes longer than a single sitting to finish it, I never want to go back and reread what I've already written. Not until I have a complete rough draft. Partly so I don't get caught in the revision cycle before I've even finished writing, but more so because I don't want to get bored with the beginning when I don't even necessarily know what the ending will be yet.

Top 10 signs you’re reading a fic by aces; or, aces writes really cheesy crap, doesn't she?: )

Okay, it's probably a good thing I have no time to write.
wishfulaces: (painted darien)
Having just reread the first draft of my research paper again, and once again rejoicing at how utterly cool the conclusion is (every time I read it I love it because it does exactly what the rest of the paper hopefully will do), I have a question.

When you write--and I don't care if it's a fic, a poem, an original story; hell, a paper for class or for a journal--do you find that the story has a "heart"? A line or two, or a paragragh, that the entire thing is leading to and falling away from? That in some way the rest of the story, all the other lines of text, are almost superfluous, they only exist to get you to that little kernal of importance, the whole *point* of the story. Is it physically, literally, in the story, rather than just an underlying theme?

Is that true for other people? I can only really think of a couple fics I've written like that, off the top of my head, and the conclusion to this paper kinda feels the same way (which is unusual for me, since the other examples I can think of all happen somewhere in the middle). Does the size of this 'heart' change, depending on the length of whatever you're working on? Does it happen often? Do you think readers think of it the same way you do, or notice at all?

I'm curious. Is this usual or unusual?
wishfulaces: (bodies)
It is deeply, deeply fascinating to me that in certain situations, with certain people, under certain conditions, sitting down equates with power.

We were reading this book, Death in the Dining Room, for my material culture class. This art historian talking about how paintings and pictures and furniture from Victorian America show gender roles through how people are seated. Men tilt (distancing themselves from the action, refusing to accept rules of civilized behavior), women rock (controlled by the movement of the chair itself, meant to be tilted, always genteel), and if there's only one chair in the room the man is sitting in it.

Royalty can get away with sitting and being in power too.

Sitting. What, intuitively (to me), should mean weakness, lack of power. You have no height, no commanding presence. But if everyone else has to stand around you while you rest your bones? Yeah. There was a silhouette in the book, of the man in the dead center of the picture, leaning back with that casual control in his chair, propping an elbow on another chair, while all the women and children drifted into the periphery away from him, still, contained, small. It's effortless effort, those postures; even the supposedly relaxed tilting is still about command, control, while looking relaxed.

Fascinating.

And then there's the other side of the coin, as my professor pointed out during discussion today. She mentioned that often professors don't sit down with their students, they're usually standing up in front of the class. (Of course, in the big classrooms that stretch up and back into forever, I always feel like we're the ones judging the professor, some strange Greek arena or something.) And when the painfully, awkwardly tall chair (GNF) of our department was looming over one of my friends to discuss her paper topic--and she's six feet tall when she stands--it just felt like the adult speaking to the very small child.

It fascinates me. Makes me want to switch things up, make the seated person who should have power lose it, the standing person who should have power lose it. This is so where acting and writing comes in, this is so where to subvert meanings, this is so what I would design an exhibit about.

Yeah.

And in research-related news, the Wyoming State Archives *rocks*. (I say that this week; my opinion might change when I actually get over there next week.) But I emailed the guy I worked with last semester, and he already listed off a whole spew of records for me to check out concerning my research on the theatre built in Cheyenne in 1904. Sanborn maps! City directories going back to 1902! Tax records! Huzzah! Now, if only the right years for the newspaper(s) are there and prove useful....

Okay, I never expected to get excited about tax records.
wishfulaces: (darien)
First off, this silly icon memegene thingy, which amused me and therefore is going here. )

Second off. I went to this banquet tonight. They gave me money for thinking too much. (I can buy textbooks. Or pay my rent, food, & gas for a month. Or maybe get a plane ticket to someplace cool.) Dr Richard White spoke. He's an historian. Big wig in the New Western history field, environmental history, that sort of thing. (Ever heard of borderlands? Ever heard of the middle ground? That's him.) He was talking about history and memory and how the two shall never meet. And now I wanna go out and find the book he wrote from which this speech was sorta based.

And I needed to write about what he said, and it was going to be a drabble originally--Doctor Who, natch--but it...evolved, and really it's more about my burgeoning historical philosophy than anything else, but it's prettier when written as fiction. )

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