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Had a massive sinus headache and dizziness waking up this morning. Has receded now after a couple of panadol and breakfast, but I was not up to catching the bus at 9am. Will be going out to uni later today - I have to pick-up my Veggie Co-op stuff, but otherwise won't be staying - in this condition I really can't concentrate on studies, or anything much for any length of time.
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I should probably go home. Been feeling "peaky" and out of sorts ever since I left the house. Everything is irritating me right now. I still need to do a little shopping on the way home however. Argh - the printer I'm using just gobbled my job. Arghh.
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...Michelle, who was at NUSA on the lunch break. She seemed a bit exhausted (final exams in 4 weeks) but otherwise we had a civil conversation.

It seems things have settled down at their new place in Cessnock, mostly quiet. One of the dogs almost died twice but Kevin save her both times. And that was it. I was tempted to ask more but didn't. I mentioned the family next door and their dogs, and that was that, Still don't have their address - didn't ask for it - so I'll be returning their mail which has started coming as "return to sender": address unknown.

Happy to leave it at that.

gah

Oct. 10th, 2011 11:50 am
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Got to university and have felt - stultified.

It's "Pride Week" this week but at times I have no feelings of pride at all. Not sure if that's the only reason. I seem to have left my studend card at home, plus a few other things i needed to do what I was going to do today (more research). Am going to "Plan B", which is making it up as I go along.

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As mentioned at http://newcastle.edu.au/service/university-gallery/future-exhibitions.html

100 WOMEN
Exhibition and Book Launch
Exhibition dates 19 October - 5 November 2011
Book launch Wednesday 19 October 5pm

Bringing together stories from Australia and around the world, 100 Women celebrates the achievements and challenges of one hundred remarkable women. Women profiled include the late artist Margaret Olley, actress Susie Porter and country singer Catherine Britt, as well as women who inspire through their daily achievements.

In their stories, women reflect on the changes they have seen in their own lifetimes, and tell of their hopes for the future. From eminent scientists and award-winning poets to single mothers and refugees from war-torn regions, the women in this collection inspire by sharing their personal stories.

With stunning black-and-white photography accompnaying each story, 100 Women provides a compelling insight into the lives of contemporary women.

Please join us at the book launch where speakers will include two of the 100 Women, Renny Chivunga and Patricia Forsythe. There will be entertainment by women from the Chamber Choir and copies of the book can be purchased for $29.50.

I'm in this, and will be attending the launch.
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OK, so if my days were determined by a dice roll, yesterday would have been a two, but today a six (larger being better). Which is kind of odd, because things didn't quite go as expected.

The bottom line though is that I've done the next step in storyboarding a chapter of one of my graphic novels (reducing the number of panels from 100 to 56). This after two weeks of doing other things - good things yes, but not what I'd needed to do. And it was all done in less than an hour. Also, the seminar I though I was ginging to between 4-6 was only fortnightly, so it wasn't on today. Very thankful to get back before sunset (not that I turn into anything after that, but it's easier feeding the pets.
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I was in Second Life yesterday on an extended photoshoot. The object was to do all the shots necessary to finish the current chapter of Return to Second Life. The more or less succeeded (might need one or two extra shots later today maybe). In any case I'd used several avatars and help the help of friend in setting up and modelling the shots (thank you Janey!). Just at the end I swapped over to Laurel, who happens to be a member of the UON Student group, and was in the University of Newcastle SIM cleaning up objects in the sandbox there after the shoot (it will clean itself automatically, but it's bad manners to leave junk behind).

Just as I was about to leave, I encountered this AV, who was (in inworld terms) 7 foot tall, dressed as a bourgeois fashionista and had the most annoying AO I've ever encountered (see image blow at left)! The AV was constant in motion, gesticulating and looking around as it they were looking for someone better to talk to.

I realise that it's just a set of expensive clothes / shapes / skins and AOs, but I found the only way I could cope with this distraction was to set the rendering to WIREFRAME (above right). Nothing looks terribly serious in that mode! Despite the fact that the person was a crashing bore, he was a sociology student (I assume student, maybe he was faculty) who suggested that suggested that SL was about Cultural Capital.That may or may not be the case, but as a Fine Arts student myself, I found it mostly deadly dull. 

Finally, after a couple of hours, I made my excuses and left. It was a very late night last night, something I didn't really want. So it goes.

laura_seabrook: Horton hatching an egg (persistence)

After last week's debarkle  - where I spend two half days at uni instead of the four full I'd scheduled  - I've decided on something:

Uni stuff on uni time

Under this rule I resolve the following on "university days" (Monday-Thursday):

  1. I will not access Facebook each day until I get home;
  2. I will endeavour to catch the 9:05am bus from Barnsley to the University. If for some reason I can't, it will be the 10:05am bus;
  3. While at university, I will not access Live Journal, facebook, Youtube, or equivalent social networks;
  4. Otherwise university studies and work will have priority over non-uni stuff.

Now it may be that I still seem to procrastinate. But even if I just sit there with a notepad and biro, and am staring off into space, at least I'm there and at least I have a chance of doing something. Last week there was no chance. The previous week i was able to focus on learning Illustrator, so there was some progress, but as I'm not drawing stuff for the graphic novels until next year (after I've written the scripts for them) that can wait.

O
o
.

That being the case, and the fact that this is being written at uni, means this will probably be the last post here for the day.

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This will be the first Monday this year that will be a Uni Study Day. I woke up an hour late this morning, but that shouldn't put a cramp in the day, since the bus only leaves at hourly intervals anyway. Lots to do today.
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I was planning on taking Bobby on a visit to see Ron (Jenny's widower) at the aged care unit today. But - the rain seems set in for the day, and going out at all with a dog in a carrier seems problematic. Nor do I want to get drenched like I did last Thursday going to uni. I may wait until a bit before 11am and see how things are. In the meantime I'm experimenting with Illustrator and Flash (and not getting very far yet, but one must start somewhere).
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Yesterday went well overall.

I actually got to read my journal entries from 1985 (which are based on a fanzine I made at the time) after procrastinating over this for over a week. That means I can read it again and start blocking it out. The afternoon was taken up with certain experiments with text to speech services, which I might use in a supporting video. At least that's what happened when I discovered that I'd taken in the wrong memory stick, and didn't have the photoshop and fireworks files I was going to experiment with. Nonetheless a productive aday, as I also "borrowed" (you actually borrow the key to it) a locker in the Post-Grad room at Huxley library.

This is a bit like when I had a spare room in the audo-visual block, only it's not stuffy as hell, not away from everything else, and I don't have to walk up a hill and along a ramp to get to it. In other words I can leave my stuff in the locker and not lug it around all day with me. Today I'll be taking photos in to sort for sourcing sketches in the first story of Real Life Trips. I realised on Tuesday that I needed more of a variety of things to do at uni. Just reading the journals is boring (even though it's necessary) but reading the journals and doing sketches for that chapter isn't! Also experimenting with Photoshop, Fireworks and Flash is also needed, as I need to know the full limits of the software I'm using, and how to achieve the effects I want. I intend to do animations as part of my exegesis and Flash is the logical choice, as I already have a copy of it.

So, movement (at last) on the uni front! Last night I finally got to the exercises for Chapter 11 of Artist's way. Took the whole fortnight to get that far. Don't know why, except that the exercises are direct and about stuff I have to honest about if I'm ever going to change certain things. Anyway, I discovered that somehow I hadn't created a "creativity prayer" in chapter 4, so I wrote one of the top of my head. Here it is:

Goddess, give me...

...imagination and the incentive to use it;

...ideas and the motivation to try them,

...pictures in my mind and the focus to make them real

...the courage to make mistakes and to learn from them.

Goddess, allow me to realise the artist within.

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Back to uni today. All packed with stuff for journals, sketches (for Graphic Novels), Artist's way, and learning Flash!
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Yesterday was a hard day. I think I'll ill with some flu thing. I kept bursting out in hot sweats, was dizzy, and had difficulty concentrating. This morning I woke up to Gabby gently biting my nose (she does that) and licking my hair (she knows how to wake me up). But I also had a headache, which felt like someone had hit me between the eyes with an ice pick. When I walked Bobby I I hat hot sweats and the joints on my right side ached. 

Bleagh.

Most likely it's some sort of bug, but if that's the case I think going into uni this morning would be ill advised. I can stay home this morning, and see how I feel later. While I'm home I can still do stuff, like organise my uni materials, figure out what the fuck's wrong with my study PC connection, and a few other things. If I feel better this afternoon I might do a library run into town and go to Nesca House, which is part of the uni campus in the CBD. There's a Watt Space Gallery opening tonight, and if I'm up to it, and if I can get home, I might go.

Just 'cause I'm sick doesn't mean I can't make an effort.
 

laura_seabrook: (question)
I decided to leave late for university today. Partly this was to finish up on stuff not yet done from the weekend: I tied the garden a bit, updated three webcomic pages retrospectively (changing speech balloons), and checked on a whole bunch of stuff. But also, I've been thinking (always dangerous).
When I was writing my morning pages I realised that for my HOUSEWORK and ART-PLAY days on the weekend, I'd made a list of the tasks that had to be done, but for ART-WORK days (at the university) last week I hadn't.The result was I got very distracted, got on the web and did the sort of stuff i did this morning, only in "uni time". That, and the fact that i didn't have a task list meant that i was getting frustrated each day, because I had a general feeling of underachievement. It's all very well going to Spectrum and Post-Grad meetings, but in fact I only got about 3 hours of "stuff" done last week that was directly related to my Masters.
I've got to improve on that. So, what I need to do is perhaps:
  • Make a task list of the tasks that need to be done for the week (note, not day);
  • Not check the net / read graphic novels et cetera, until some progress is made on those tasks each day.
Why Why not have a daily task list? My reasoning is that at this stage, the sort of thing I have to do is twofold:
  1. Review my source journals for Real Life Trips, and read them with an editor's eye, storyboarding and blocking them for the graphic novel; and
  2. Completely new look at the structure of Gender Transition for Innocents with the specific needs of what sources I need for what I want to say.
That's all a bit "fuzzy", so I need to break it down to smaller, simpler tasks that I can tick off or not. Strangely enough, this was something I learned on my Library Science course, way back in 2003-2004. I got good value for money on that course! About time I put it to good use. I'm seeing mysupervisor tomorrow, so I shall bounce this off him.

On a related note, I'm up to chapter 11 of Artist's Way, and still haven't done the exercises (it's day 5)! Tomorrow I might take the workbook in with me, and when I hit a block in the research/reviewing, I'll swap to that for a short while.

Sound reasonable?

Photo #3

Mar. 2nd, 2011 09:22 pm
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If I'm going to the uni four days a week, I can't afford to buy my lunch every day, so the practical thing to do is to pack a lunch instead. I discovered this morning as I tried to do just such, that my lunch box (which I've had since 2007) was missing. I suspect it went with a number of K & M's things. Anyway, that made it difficult to pack a lunch without something to put it in. I know from experience that sandwiches in a zip-lock bag end up mush when you take them out to eat. I had a very late "breakfast" at NUSA and decided to buy a lunch box on the way home. This is what I ended up getting:

The plastic container in front is just the right size for two rounds of sandwiches and fits in either of the two soft lunch boxes. The pink one will also fit an apple and an orange in it, whereas the larger one with the carry handle has an upper compartment, and I'll use that one for a larger lunch, or when I'm not taking a backpack. Both designed for kids, but so what?

I fussed a lot over selecting these. The reject shop had a variety of  lunch boxes but I got these at K-Mart. Before buying them, I bought an apple, orange, and a oaf of bread, and put them in the boxes and containers to see if there was enought room (five slices of break to simulate two rounds).  It worked, and I can eat the apple and orange tomorrow.

Photo #2

Mar. 2nd, 2011 09:20 pm
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As I walked to the Auchmuty Library I saw a post-it note floating above the walkway. Somehow it had been caught by a spider web. A close inspection (see insert) showed that it was a listing of a class later that day.

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When I finally got off the bus it seemed so hot and humid that it seemed like I was having an asthma attack. I sit at NUSA for a bit chatting and then went to the library. Spent more time on the web than anything else, nonetheless I got there. Sat down checking some books and a storm blew up. You could hear a huge thunderstorm in the distance. Something was blowing into the window fittings near where I was sitting, going KNOCK! KNOCK! every few seconds. That, and the fact that the fluctuating power downed the network, and I was among many who left.

Got there just before 1pm, left just before 4pm, so I did 1/2 of what I planned. But it's a start.

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I am now on a LEAVE OF ABSENCE for the first semester of this year from my Masters. This means that the semester will not be counted in the time used to complete the Masters. This is a good thing.

Yesterday I cleared out the locker I had my stuff in at uni, and spoke to the head of the Art Theory and History section. It was all about what I can do during the break to find that "elusive" research question. Quite productive I thought, even if we were interrupted by someone who wanted references to Foucault "nailed down and clarified" (long story not worth telling). One thing I hadn't realised was that the research paper can be autoethnographical in nature!

Lots to think about.
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By the time you read this I should have placed my application for a leave of absence. What this does effectively is "write off" this semester as it hasn't happened, and I will restart from the start of next semester. I haven't had my act together at all this semester, so this will give me the opportunity to find that missing QUESTION, and start again.

I know that I need to go away for a break as well, most probably to see Carol and Susan, and Tracey and Scott next month. We'll see.

Accident

Apr. 21st, 2010 07:50 pm
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I was at university chasing up people for a leave of absence, and had an accident.

I tripped over the edge of the path just outside of NUSA. I was having trouble with my knee earlier and didn't walk the dog like I usually do. This is two days in a row that I've fallen and twisted my left ankle (the same side I have a spur on my heel). Underneath the knee was grazed and I was in shock more than anything else.  It was embarrassing - security guards came running, got a wheelchair, and took me to the medical centre.  I had a cold compress on my ankle (which had gone numb and swollen up) and then had it bandaged and the grazing dressed (with some really neat plastic thing) and a Tetanus shot. Then I got wheeled over to NUSA at my request.

Can walk, but it's painful. Came home on the bus and took my time walking (hobbling) down the street. Stayin' home tomorrow.

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