freckles_and_doubt: (Default)
I spent Sunday morning moderating an Honours paper for another university, which was entertaining, because it was a course on comics. Apparently any other institution in this country is more liberal than my Cherished Institution on the subject of what constitutes Literature Worthy Of Study. The bastards. Nice little course, except for the trifling problem that about 80% of the chosen texts were Alan Moore, Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis, thus establishing comics as something exclusively written by white men. No women. No black authors. And an extremely dodgy tendency to examine works by Moore as "feminist" writing, which is an assumption rife with sufficient flaws actually to leave me speechless. The course somewhat foolishly illustrated its feminist theory section with Saga of the Swamp Thing #40, which is all full of equations between menstruation and werewolves and female anger, written in an essentially facile manner that purports to critique but really doesn't examine the terms of its own assumptions about biological essentialism and female abjection, and thus ends up perpetrating them. Bleah. I was sharply reminded how much and how profoundly I actually dislike Alan Moore.

On the upside, I slightly pinch-hitted the moderation, their originally assigned moderator did a disappear at the last minute, and I turned it around in three days, which led yesterday to the unexpected arrival of flowers and chocolate from the grateful course convenor. I feel appreciated. And have been consuming Lindt all day while cheerfully ignoring any ironic resonances with chocolate as a culturally accepted remedy for menstrual suffering.

It's all a bit entwined, in fact, because a routine gynae check-up yesterday has revealed that, yet again, my uterine lining is doing weirdnesses and needs to be examined and possibly restrained, so I'm in hospital yet again next week for a minor op. My uninterrupted streak of One Minor Op Per Year continues apace. Probably I shouldn't spark these things by reading Alan Moore versions of female biology. At least the bumps on my fingers aren't regenerating. Yet, she says darkly. I may yet mutate into actual Swamp Thing.
freckles_and_doubt: (South Park Self)
Aargh, HR Evil Overlord tendencies are still in the ascendant, whole day in a faculty team-building workshop yesterday. I was utterly dreading it and had approximately 4 hours of sleep the night before because stress insomnia, but in fact it wasn't as bad as I expected: up at Rhodes Memorial, lovely view, activities not as asinine and embarrassing as they can be in this sort of thing, and while the lunch was entirely mediocre, the seething undercurrent of re-structural resentment among a certain sector of the staff was not actually on display. This was a huge relief. I am not good at loud groups of non-close friends for a whole day, and I am abysmally terrible at surviving same with added underlying tension, on account of being a slightly Delicate Flower with hypersensitive frondy antennae which quiver and curl up in the presence of underlying tension.

All things are, however, comparative, and the context of Teambuilding Workshops was fairly salutary given that I had to abandon it early in order to trundle off for a doctor's appointment to have the annual Girly Checkup. The annual Girly Checkup is habitually rife with invasive indignity, so it was a nice balance of terrors that allowed (a) relief at leaving teambuilding exercises early even despite the medical horrors, and (b) said medical horrors being less horrific in that at least they weren't teambuilding exercises and were over quickly. Also, my gynae is a lovely, chatty Scottish woman who's always good value in the area of amusing earthiness.

It transpires, however, that I have an outbreak of polyps which have to be removed via minor surgery, requiring general anaesthetic but not an overnight stay. I am mentally framing this as the approximate equivalent of dusting out the inevitable cobwebs which result from the decision not to use all that baby-housing space for its biologically intended function, and am materially unfussed over the whole thing. Also, usual bonus science-is-cool squee over the doctor's possibly TMI description of the surgery (now with bonus surgical cameras!) as much as the ultrasound which is now a routine part of a check-up. Medical technology has been upgrading in ridiculous leaps and bounds over the last decade, as measured by the ever newer and cooler tech present in medical consulting rooms when I visit. Dentist's X-ray machines are now built into the chair and don't require the whole separate room and technician hitting the switch from behind the lead-lined wall. The gynae now has her very own ultrasound, and my dermatologist maps my moles with a fancy mole-mapping suite of camera and software. Now if they could only find a way of doing a mammogram without having to actually squidge my bits...

This aspect of living in the future makes me very happy. Also, the usual round of flossing guilt from my last visit to the dental hygienist caused me to finally say "stuff all this" and acquire an electric toothbrush, and I bizarrely love the damned thing. Apparently it tickles my Lawful Good to have a small, buzzing robot entity militantly police my tooth-cleaning activities in strict 30-second increments.

Science is cool. That is all.

Subject line is Legion, the Geth character in ME2. I like Legion, I wish we got to recruit him earlier.

arrrrrh!

Tuesday, 19 September 2006 04:40 pm
freckles_and_doubt: (Default)
It's International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Presumably in commemoration of this, Ursula Vernon just says no to girly girly products.

In other news, my morning's lecture (Frankenstein and feminism) was invaded by a permanent member of staff, dragging a matric student who was job-shadowing her. Staff member said she was present because my reputation as a lecturer precedes me. (Unquote). If they think I lecture so bloody well, why the hell can't they give me a job? Keel-haul the bastards. Better still, scuttle the ship.

wow, what a week

Monday, 23 January 2006 11:14 am
freckles_and_doubt: (Default)
Waking up yesterday morning feeling normal has made me realise how absolutely weird I've been feeling for the last week. Fortunately, I know exactly what caused this, which means I can explain it for the benefit of various people I may have met at various parties and at whom I have been either rude, vague or absent. In a word: hormones. (And you may want to stop reading here if Girl Trouble constitutes Too Much Information in your universe).

The singular lack of romantic entanglement in my life has meant that I vaguely stopped taking contraceptives a while back, which means that for two years psychotic PMT has had me in its grip once a month. This is seriously not fun, apart from being merry hell on the crockery, so last month I got around to putting myself madly back on the pill again, a suitably hormone-levelled one. The only problem is that the hormones only last for three weeks; one takes a placebo for the other week, presumably because the probably male designers of said hormones feel that you're Just Not A Woman if you don't menstruate. All well and fine, and the three weeks of hormone certainly cut the PMT symptoms. Except that they didn't. They saved them carefully up, multiplied them by ten, and dumped them into the hormone-free week. So, instead of my usual 2-day PMT, I had an entire week of constant headaches, incredible depression, hair-trigger temper, outbursts of meaningless rage, hysteria, self-loathing, crowd phobia and panic attacks. These stopped, abruptly, overnight, when I took the first hormone-laden pill of the new batch - ain't modern medicine wonderful?

So, that's what it is, folks: for the last week I have been basically insane. If I've growled at you in that state, I do apologise, but I feel that the plea of temporary insanity is valid in law. I certainly have achieved absolutely no actual work whatsoever, given the thick fog of hormonal angst and the resultant basic sense that it's all pointless, anyway, why bother? Conversely, I have written three thousand words in the last two days. Next month, I shall continue blithely on to the next pill pack, ignoring the placebos entirely, and hopefully it'll all settle down. Sigh.

Oh, and Khoi_Boi, you may want to watch your use of the phrase "flower of British womanhood" in our next Falkenstein game. Not just because it's dodgy as all get-out, but because the word "womanhood" is currently making me wince.

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