triskellian: (dice)
A group of us in Oxford got together and ran a stay-at-home roleplaying con. We invited some out-of-towners and others who live nearby, solicited and wrote roleplaying games, and planned board games and social events.

I played in three roleplaying games, ran one, went to two gatherings, one barbecue, and several river swims, and saw loads of great people, many of whom I don't see often enough, and the whole thing was all kinds of awesome. But the bit I want to talk about is the GMing.

Talk about roleplaying below )
triskellian: (swimming)
Apart from small private pools in rented holiday homes, I haven't swum in a pool for years. I know the last time, although I can't date it more precisely than 'when [livejournal.com profile] kauket still lived in Oxford' (five years ago? Maybe longer; not sure). We went to aquarobics, with [livejournal.com profile] bluedevi. It was fun, and we agreed to go again, and then failed to do so.

I always hated the evening swimming sessions. They're packed, and to get to them, I had to leave the house again after getting home for the evening, which I can only ever be bothered to do for things which feel less like hard work. And the pre-work sessions are somewhat less packed, but still busier than I like*, and involve sacrificing some precious sleep.

But my schedule these days is much more flexible, so I did some work at home this morning, and then went for a swim on my way into the office for a meeting at lunchtime. The post-swim second part of the bike ride was harder work than usual, but the swim was lovely. I missed being immersed in water. Maybe pool swimming will keep me going until it's warm enough to do more than quick-in-and-out river swimming again.

([livejournal.com profile] lanfykins, thank you for your swimming posts - they reminded me that I'd decided to give pool-swimming another go now it's too cold to do any actual swimming outside.)

*One of the reasons I love swimming in seas and rivers is that the available water space per person is huge.
triskellian: (swimming)
I've been in London for the last few days, treating [livejournal.com profile] kauket and [livejournal.com profile] zenithed like a hotel while going to Colindale to read magazines(*).

(*This is actually work: the British Library keeps most of its newspaper and magazine collection in the Colindale Newspaper Library, and if I'm going to eventually write a hundred thousand words about magazines, I have to read some at some point. Apparently.)

In between the research, I squeezed in lots of tasty food of various types, cooked by [livejournal.com profile] zenithed, Wagamamamamama, and a local pan-mediterranean-type restaurant, and [livejournal.com profile] kauket and I, with her friend Z, went to a different bit of the BL for some scifi-themed comedy and music (highlight: realising that the Doctor Who geek, who was very funny, was rather a lot like we are about Buffy).

But, fantastically fun as all that was, that's not what I want to write about. )

GIP, etc

Nov. 19th, 2010 11:54 am
triskellian: (geek)
I've just noticed that the icon I use to actually represent me (as opposed to representing the subject I'm writing about) was wildly out of date. So because obviously there's nothing more important I should be doing, here is the new short-haired, colour-wearing, silver-coloured-laptop-using me :-)

ION, it turns out the beginning of the PhD feels vague and unfocused and unproductive to (almost) everyone, and not just me. Although wasting time making LJ icons instead of writing stuff to go in my registration form* or editing a journal submission, or reading something relevant, probably doesn't help. Back to the grindstone...

*Registration: a new hoop to jump through after application, and before transfer-from-MPhil. I'm not entirely sure what it's supposed to accomplish, which might explain why I'm taking so long over it.
triskellian: (reading)
This evening, I've been to the first event of my life as a doctoral student: the school of Arts and Humanities' first session of "research training". It was kind of strange and unstructured, consisting mostly of the professor who was leading it giving us random pieces of advice as they struck her. There was wine, and nibbles, but no chance to mingle or chat with the seven other students, although each of us got to talk to one other, in a "give the five-minute version of your research" exercise. The one I got allocated seems nice, but I've no idea if any of these people might end up being my friends. And I've been thinking wistfully of first meeting my Women's Studies cohort, a year ago, and of the friends they have become since. I know that, being doctoral students in varying different fields (no others in mine, publishing), our cohort experience will be different, and this makes me a bit sad. I miss my classmates from my masters, all but one of whom have now departed to search for jobs and homes and lives elsewhere, although today I've been talking to the one who remains, and am seeing hir later in the week.

Incidentally, I still don't officially have an offer of a place, although I've been assured today that the relevant letter is just awaiting signature before they send it to me. But at some point in the next week or two, I'll have to work out how I'm going to start doing this.

What I'll actually be doing (skippable!) )

*Five years because I'm doing it part time, sticking with the day job two days a week. This will be the first time in my life as a mature student that both the things I'm doing are part time, and I'm very excited about it. In theory, this means I will be able to maintain an actual life as well as the job and the research. Yes, I know this is ridiculously optimistic, but please don't disillusion me yet.
triskellian: (eee)
  • Taking lecture notes on my eeeeee is better than taking pen-and-paper notes because:
    • My hand doesn't hurt afterwards
    • I take more notes
    • The notes I take are better
    • I'm more inclined to go through them and clean them up afterwards, because:
      • It is possible to clean them up without having to completely rewrite them
    • Cleaning them up means I reread them
    • Rereading them means I'm more likely to understand and remember them
    • I can be certain I'll be able to read them in the future
  • Also some stuff about Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill* and Sojourner Truth, and the political situation they were operating in.
  • *...of his own free will, on half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
    triskellian: (spinning)
    ...One which ends with a load of new handspun yarn, a swimsuit and a towel, all hanging on a clothes airer to dry :-)

    In between the spinning and the swimming, I went to a mini-festival at the allotments round the corner, where I bought vegetables and books, and saw birds of prey; did a load of sock- and jumper-knitting; ate sweet and sour prawns with strawberries (strange, but not un-nice) at [livejournal.com profile] metame's birthday meal; walked along the river with [livejournal.com profile] smiorgan; saw two episodes of season 2 of The Wire; read half of Swallows and Amazons; cooked yummy stuff-I-found-in-the-fridge risotto, and still felt like I had a decent amount of time at home doing nothing in particular.

    (Next weekend, being the Reading festival, will be rather more action-packed and rather less restful ;-)
    triskellian: (swimming)
    This weekend's contenders for best. thing. evar. are as follows:

    • swimming in the river under a clear starry sky, with occasional meteors
    • making Eton mess in a billy can
    • the ice cream boat!

    Would you like to know more? )
    triskellian: (swimming)
    Joy: I swam in the river twice this weekend. This is a consolation for the fact that the weather is really too hot for me. (Note to universe: no hotter please!) (Note to self: arranging picnics is a good way to con friends into being bankside emergency crew.)

    Irritation: Toilet-flush buttons that are recessed flat with the wall are really hard to operate if you have fingernails that extend beyond the tips of your fingers. (Note to architects/building designers/plumbers etc: please don't use them. I'm hardly the only person in the world with long fingernails.)
    triskellian: (reading)
    This news is slightly belated, in that most people I've seen recently already know, but it's now official, so I can say in public without fear of jinxing myself: the rather marvellous institution I work for has agreed that I can spend the duration of my masters working one day a week, and, crucially, go back to full time afterwards :-) (This is, it only now occurs to me, almost an exact reversal of the last few years of my life when I was working four days a week in term time and spending the other day being a student.) I was prepared to quit entirely, or apply for a full-fledged career break if I had to, but I'm very relieved that it hasn't come to that. It does make it all scarily real, though, even while giving me more of a safety net than I had any right to expect.
    triskellian: (spinning)
    This weekend I blended some fibre, and spun some yarn:
    Sailing on a sea of yarn (about to be attacked by monster)
    triskellian: (happy)
    [livejournal.com profile] smiorgan and I spent today watching the stage adaptation of His Dark Materials (and bumped into [livejournal.com profile] pepper_field and her A who were doing the same thing).

    The long version (no plot spoilers) )
    The short version: loved it, especially the puppets as daemons. All flaws were unremovable flaws from the books, and therefore to be forgiven.

    (Sidebar: in the gap between parts one and two, we went for sushi with Pepper and A, but when we got back the theatre doors were locked, with signs saying they were closed for flooding. We had a nervous ten minutes until they opened again, and then sitting in the bar we observed various plumbing contractors and theatre staff walking around looking worried. A lucky escape we had, especially since we could think of no possible remedy for cancelling the show other than giving us our money back - tickets are sold in pairs, and they're on tour, so scheduling an alternative second part might well have been impossible!)

    Success!

    Apr. 25th, 2009 07:42 pm
    triskellian: (eee)
    This entry posted from the eeeeeee, running eeebuntu :-) Next up: seeing if it works with the wireless at work...

    How it was done )
    triskellian: (eee)
    This evening I spurned a very tempting social invitation to stay home and install a new OS on my eeee. Oh how I wish I hadn't...

    Linux: 2 (evenings). Triskellian: 0 (successes) )

    It's possible I'm not cut out for this :-(

    College!

    Apr. 23rd, 2009 04:35 pm
    triskellian: (oxford)

    I have:

    • An offer of a college place to accompany my faculty place: I will be at Linacre, which was my first choice for not much more reason than: it's a graduate college, it has a pretty building, and it's on the correct side of town.
    • A scary financial guarantee form which [livejournal.com profile] smiorgan is going to have to complete to assure them that he's going to be housing and feeding me.
    • A sneaking suspicion that the combination of the Women's Studies course and the financial-guarantee-from-husband is rather ironic.
    triskellian: (eee)
    I have discovered that the eeeeeee with its default installation of Xandros won't work with Eduroam (the wireless system used by universities). No problem, I am assured, it works fine with Ubuntu, and there's an eeeee-specific version with handholdy instructions.

    So I've spent this evening trying to install Ubuntu on my eeeeeee. After some minor tribulations I have managed to boot my Macbook from a Ubuntu CD (which was a weird experience in itself), but failed to run the script that's supposed to make a USB stick into a bootable thing.

    I'm working from these instructions, and it all starts going wrong about the point I'm supposed to be verifying the identity of my USB stick. If I follow the instructions about removing and reinserting the stick, nothing happens. If I just run the script, I get told the directory doesn't exist (and it does, I've checked. It's in exactly the place it's supposed to be AFAICT). Am I missing something? Are there some steps I'm supposed to infer? Can someone write me an even-more handholdy explanation?
    triskellian: (eee)
    Let me introduce myself: for at least the next five minutes, I will be playing the part of "The person on your friends list who has most recently acquired a miniature laptop".

    That is, unless I'm not on your friends list, in which case I will be playing the part of "The random person on the interweb who has most recently acquired a miniature laptop", although probably for an even shorter time :-)
    triskellian: (spinning)
    For a couple of years, I've been talking about knitting (and latterly spinning and weaving too) over on Vox, but I've been getting increasingly annoyed with it, and realising that it didn't allow commenting from people without accounts was sort of the last straw.

    So now, for anyone interested in me talking about doing things with wool, I have a shiny new crafting blog :-)
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