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Mar. 24th, 2016

Hello to anyone still reading! I've been working full-on for about 14 weeks, between long days pre-Christmas working children's theatre, and - excitingly - working as an adjunct prof across two universities.

Now that it's almost Easter, I'm happy to say the Xmas shows are far behind me (yay!), one of the university terms is over, and the other is on break for another couple weeks. I also got a book chapter off to the editors of a collection, somehow in all that time. This week I've been able to unset my alarm in the mornings, take it slow for a while, and pretend I don't have assignments to mark.

I've been teaching two very different subjects at two very different universities, and it's been a fascinating/exhausting experience. Throughout the whole thing I've also been keeping up with theatre work, because none of these jobs pay very well or are at all permanent.

What I've really been enjoying about the lecturing, is having to stand in front of students and be responsible for teaching stuff, every week (except reading week, blessed, lovely reading week). I've been lucky enough not to have to create a couple dozen lectures from scratch, and am adapting existing material, but it still means I have to learn enough of each specific topic each week to know what's going on. Unlike research/writing, lecture deadlines are absolute (for the prof, anyway): have to be ready to go at the start of class, can't ask for a week's extension. It feels great.

Between all the various jobs I haven't had time for much of anything else, which has been another interesting experience. I've been too busy for job applications, but also too busy to worry about job applications. Now, I'm much less busy and can start to worry again - but it was a great feeling to be doing new stuff each week.

Weirdly, it also means I've been watching more films in theatres - either picking up stewarding shifts at the theatre job, or doing a pint+movie with colleagues after our week's teaching is done. Less television, but more movies. I actually saw most of the Oscar films this year, which I don't think I've done since maybe 2008.

Also! I found time in all that to get an abstract into a vampire-focused symposium happening in Transylvania in May. It's so ridiculous, I can't wait. Next year I should be better about planning to get myself talking at higher-profile conferences, but for this year, this is enough.

So that's me. Dec, Jan, Feb, March = busy, so busy. April, May, future = desperate for paid work, bashing out a book proposal, hanging around Europe for maybe another year? I've got travelling and hosting set up for this summer, and have been doing my damnedest to ingratiate myself in one particular uni department with an active research culture and a need for research assistants... and who knows, maybe I'll finally make a dent in that to-watch list.

This entry was originally posted at http://charloween.dreamwidth.org/463231.html, where there are comment count unavailablecomments.

Nov. 30th, 2015

I've fallen out of watching much TV of late - while I was away from the UK I didn't have any days (barring AU VVC in August <3) where I felt able to sit down and catch up on things, and now that I'm back I've taken on a lot of hourly-paid work because paying rent is fun.

(Plus, getting settled back in and working out post-PhD life is exhausting. Looking at ads for academic jobs, non-academic jobs, chatting with established academics about research funding, following up on academic things from July and earlier, getting off my ass to send abstracts to conferences, finishing a paper I owe for publication, learning the curriculum I'm teaching next term... exhausting.)

HOWEVER I have been watching the first season of The Man From UNCLE because Robert Vaughn makes great faces.

Then I started screengrabbing those great faces (and other things that made me laugh). Since that kind of delight shouldn't be limited to my hard drive or DMs, I started a sideblog. I haven't done fandom this way before. I'm enjoying it.

It's been fascinating. In all my time in fandom, I've tiptoed around the edges, not really making anything. So this creating-content thing is new to me. I'd tagged the first few posts because that felt like what I was supposed to do, and I'm surprised that the sideblog has followers now. It's been followed by a pair (...? trio?) of Russian MUNCLE fans on tumblr, which is neat.

I'm also learning the thrill of reading others' comments as fans I don't know reblog my posts. (I solemnly swear to leave more comments on fic.) Occasionally someone's comment describes the context of the shot, which is fun because I'm only including the episode title in each post. I feel I'm learning a lot about the MUNCLE fandom on tumblr, and how well-known some shots (apparently) are.

Also fascinating is how much management/curation I'm letting myself do. I've queued posts (trying to limit myself to three caps per episode!), and I'm making an effort to have a variety of posts (not just two-shots), and just shuffled my queue so that I won't have a week of kinda-similar shots all in a row. I've got enough posts queued to take me through mid-December, but I'll probably watch/cap more every couple days, and be able to walk away and let the queue do its thing.

So yeah - haven't tried to do fandom this way before! Also, after watching pretty closely I can thoroughly recommend the first-season episode 'The Fiddlesticks Affair' (1.16) as a starting point for anyone interested in the MUNCLE series who wants to jump right in and skip the Illya-light series start.

This entry was originally posted at http://charloween.dreamwidth.org/463005.html, where there are comment count unavailablecomments.

Oct. 26th, 2015

Apologies for not posting much recently - I've been (*ahem*) in Australia. :D :D :D

Some picsCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://charloween.dreamwidth.org/462846.html, where there are comment count unavailablecomments.

Sep. 11th, 2015

1. The Graduate School confirms they have received my hard-bound final thesis (+ copy on CD!) and that now my name gets put on a list for admin to happen in a meeting, after which they'll confer the degree.

2. The student loans website now shows my amount owing at $0.00. Thank you to funding packages slightly in excess of subsistence, permission to work as an international student, and having minimal taste for luxury goods. Also, student discounts on rail travel. And savings accounts.

3. I'm flying to Australia in nine days.
3b. Happy realisation: can pay back student loans, paying minimal interest, and have enough left over to travel. Hence: Australia.

4. So now, I find a job? Doing something? Hmm.

5. I predict I'll be busy enough in November/December when I'm back in the UK, prepping to teach in January, so I'm not going to look at taking on anything else. Promise! :D

This entry was originally posted at http://charloween.dreamwidth.org/462436.html, where there are comment count unavailablecomments.

Major life-changing update!

I got the PhD!

After all the drama, the external has (presumably grudgingly) agreed to pass the thesis. No adjudicator, no even-more-drawn-out waiting around, just: done.

I got the official confirmation a few hours before flying out to Vancouver Island (gorgeous scenery, way too much of an aunt-I-barely-know-but-alas-know-much-better-now), so my time's been split between spending time with the aunt, and taking nice long (8-10k) walks with Mum to kind of avoid her sister. Family, eh.

So I haven't had time to enjoy myself re: having a PhD, but gosh I've been getting a lot more exercise than usual.

And I got the PhD!

This entry was originally posted at http://charloween.dreamwidth.org/462240.html, where there are comment count unavailablecomments.

Aug. 13th, 2015

I am no longer waiting! Well, not for all the things.

Since posting yesterday, I received my health card in the mail (like three hours after). AND THEN this evening I got the YOUR VISA HAS BEEN ISSUED email from the UK visa people.

So now I can trade nonspecific anxiety about the future for vaguely defined "try having an academic career in the UK" anxiety.

:D!

This entry was originally posted at http://charloween.dreamwidth.org/462070.html, where there are comment count unavailablecomments.

Aug. 12th, 2015

I am... waiting! Read more...Collapse )

Aside from tedious life admin, I'm also eagerly awaiting publication of a short essay I wrote about Wonder Woman and feminism - should be online at the end of the month and in print come September.

Ooh and I'm also waiting for TIFF to announce what actually will be a part of its Primetime programming stream.

Instead of going to VVC, this year I went to Montreal to hang out with [personal profile] emef. It was an excellent long weekend! Good food, good company, and - ahem - a rigorous exploration of multiple masculinities. E.g. Elementary, Magic Mike XXL, four of the Fast & Furious films... :D Good times, good times.

This entry was originally posted at http://charloween.dreamwidth.org/461651.html, where there are comment count unavailablecomments.
Dizzying couple of months ahead:

- 29 July: flying to Toronto, leaving my flat in the hands of colleagues who'll be subletting/housesitting

August in Ontario will be a flurry of administrivia: applying for a visa to return to the UK, not having a passport because of applying for a visa, not going to VVC because of not having a passport... Also various other bitty life admin things. Possibly proofreading a friend's thesis, writing an article for a book (not contracted, but mooted and agreed), definitely finishing off a lit review and discussing the journal article that might come out of it...

And sleeping. Probably sleeping. Ontario ppl who read here - let me know what's good for you, let's have coffee when I'm not sleeping.

- 28 Aug-10 Sept: Nanaimo

Faaaaaaaaaaaaamily visit! Family-in-BC make it out to Ontario every so often, but I've never visited them out there. Apparently we'll hit the troika of Nanaimo, Victoria, and Vancouver.

- 10-20 Sept: TIFF

Stewarding! Probably checking tickets. Going to try picking up shifts in the TV programming stream, it's new this year.

- 20 Sept-20 Oct: Australia [edit for accuracy: 20 Sept leave TO, 22 Sept arr Australia; 19 Oct leave Australia, 19 Oct arr TO]

Road trip to Tasmania! And possibly other stuff. Trying to work out if I can afford to see the Outback, but golly it's expensive.

- ?: UK, I hope

Fingers crossed. I've booked a flight for 2 Nov, and I hope I can take it. Fingers crossed.

This entry was originally posted at http://charloween.dreamwidth.org/461241.html, where there are comment count unavailablecomments.

Jul. 8th, 2015

Monday and yesterday I was at a very interesting conference on campus, and today I watched a bunch of interview presentations for a teaching fellowship in the department* before scooting over to Theatre Job. Sunday I spent all day writing a job application (it was a very long job application, with lots of fiddly parts), and Saturday/Friday before that I spent both days at Theatre Job.

*Not a great position (crappy hours/pay), super-competitive, on the whole an intense and dispiriting start to the day.

*whines* Tired. I've also got a notification thingie from Research Assistant Job to register as "Research Active" and therefore qualify for some unspecified but potentially lucrative research funding. On the last round, a friend/colleague got 6mos of funding to cover three days/week of research. Next step: work out some kind of research project to bid for. First part of next step: work out areas likely to get funding.

Tomorrow I'll chat with my supervisor about shaping a project, but I'll also be expecting a call from Research Assistant Boss who'd been out of contact for a couple weeks - he mass-texted a bunch of us yesterday to say he'd be back in touch soon. Potentially ominous. Hopefully good. Tomorrow I also need to step it up massively on Research Job, with only a couple weeks left to go, and the last report to write. And then more Theatre Job over the weekend. My next day off might be next Monday.

(Still no update on thesis: we're still at the "escalated to management" stage, waiting to see what the Graduate School has accomplished on my behalf and what they'll do next. I've come around to the idea that nothing will be resolved before the fall by this point. *hands*)

This entry was originally posted at http://charloween.dreamwidth.org/461038.html, where there are comment count unavailablecomments.

Jun. 24th, 2015

I keep getting wonderfully distracted by Canadiana.ca - it aggregates a number of digital microfilm collections, all of which seem to be freely available to anyone who's interested.

(I am so interested.)

After getting distracted by NWMP telegrams from 1888 (amusing, until the reflexive racism of a colonising police force revealed itself), I thought maybe the site could help me with Actual Research that I'm getting paid to do.

I'm mostly researching the life/works of a BBC guy, but he also co-produced a film in the 70s with the NFB. While I'm waiting on the NFB to get back to me (do they have any archived material about the production? the BBC... doesn't seem to), I figured I could see if there's anything in a LAC database that could be interesting/useful.

Answer: probably not? The only direct mention was in a question to Parliament asking a) how many films the NFB made in 1976, b) how long each film was, and c) the average cost of each film. If anyone knows if this was a routine question, or how that information could possibly be useful*, I'm all ears.

*104 films. Longest: 131min. Shortest 4min. Average cost: $99 640. *shrug* Best is the list includes a passive-aggressive annotation on each film made at the behest of a gov't department.

Rather than doing the smart thing (leaving it there, moving on to my next task) I thought, "But what happens if I search for National Film Board or BBC in the relevant date range?" And lo, much reading of Foreign Affairs reports ensued. History history, so interesting.

(Fact: before I fell down a film/tv studies hole, I was certain I was going to study history. I'm tiptoeing closer and closer to becoming a television historian, so I'm pretty pleased.)

OTHER UPDATES: bathroom = done, thesis = still pending (so much stress), VidUKon = totally fun with great premieres and shows. Four-and-a-bit weeks left in the UK. New Florence + The Machine album = stuck on repeat.

Oh oh oh over the weekend I watched all of Constantine and after an awkward first episode, it burrowed its way into my heart as the Hellblazer adaptation I've been waiting for. Sucks it won't have a second season (especially after they included John boasting that he doesn't have lung cancer... oh the possibilities with that arc, especially with Rockne S. O'Bannon as 'consulting producer'), but what they did was definitely worth watching. *thumbs up*

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