This is one of those excuse posts coming in place of the next chapter. It’s also an admission that I’m going to have trouble following a biweekly posting schedule on Catastrophe Theory for the time being, though I’ll still try to keep up on Haunted.

Delays on CT are a very good sign. I work on CT only when I can’t do anything else. These days, I have the motivation to write extensively for my job, and would rather direct every scrap of energy I have toward that.

Here’s the deal.

Growing up, all I heard was that I was stupid, worthless, and too sensitive. That is, if you break down in tears after a parent has been screaming at you for hours about how stupid and worthless you are, it’s your fault because “only you can control your crying.” Undergrad and Masters, less screaming but same message.

At some level I knew my abilities didn’t align with what they were measuring. The way my brain works, I’m awful at tests but—without making a hierarchical judgement or diminishing anyone else’s achievements—thrive when I’m given full creative freedom. And scientists don’t sit around taking tests. They research. So I was expecting there to be a Heaviside-ish jump in my career shortly after finishing quals (the last set of exams a scientist ever has to take) when people finally start judging me on my dominant skill set.

The reality was even more dramatic than I’d have thought. One of my projects in grad school involved constructing a new… thing… that made use of another new… thing. Not only that, the second new thing has very interesting properties that make us have to change the way we think about second-new-thing-type things.

This should have been a BFD. The paper should have been accepted, and I should have at least been considered a competent researcher by my colleagues and superiors, if not by the whole field because again, I stress that this should have been a BFD. The last time someone did something similar was over 40 years ago.

As you can tell from the amount of time I’ve spent drowning my sorrows in fanfic, that is not what happened. That is the opposite of what happened.

The reviewers didn’t catch that I’d discovered this object and rejected the paper based on an assumption that I considered trivial at the time. I spent two years exploring something from scratch to address this concern, only to, shock of shocks, find that the assumption was right on the money. You can guess how most of my male colleagues—and superiors, full professors—acted toward me during those two years. So many heads turned toward the carpet when I walked down the hall. At times it seemed like it was a game for people to shoot down everything I said in certain discussion groups, even if they didn’t understand the question, even if they didn’t understand the talk and the correction they gave was actually wrong.

(Cool funfact: the distinguished professor who endorsed my ostracization also wanted to put his name on the object I’d discovered. So it would be, like, the Oldprof-Llama object. Cooler funfact: I still had advocates in my department. My advisor was the best, and most of my female colleagues didn’t do this crap. Coolest funfact: I don’t think I was singled out. Every other female colleague has a similar story about those groups.)

This is when I realized I couldn’t win. As long as people saw there as being a hierarchy, no matter where I was, someone would always be trying to kick me down.

Soon after, I started writing an early version of CT.

I say this all because, first of all, I enjoy when writers I love throw something in about their personal lives now and then, and also because I’m at the point in my career where my situation could turn around. It’s not the time to worry about keeping a hobby-blog posting schedule. The plan now is to get a ton of work writing done in the next couple weeks and get back on track after Haunted 1-6, which is in good shape. This particular pause is a crossroads in that I need some time to think about where CT would fit in my post-second-new-thing-reveal life. It’s not clear.

That being said, I’m not leaving yet, not when Book III just started. Also! Feel proud of yourselves, because some of the things you all helped me develop were instrumental in getting to this moment.

I used to seek respect from others. Now, I’ve gotten so used to publishing pieces I love and having them be widely ignored that I don’t rely much on external judgement anymore. And I’ve learned to appreciate the few people who don’t ignore them, of course!

I internalized that when I put something into the world, it was an invitation for critics to tear it to shreds. That when I made my voice heard, bad things would happen. Now I understand that it’s also a way to connect with the people who are willing to listen.

I already would rather listen than compare myself to others, but had no model of supportive conduct because the environment I was raised in was so competitive. Now, thanks to what you’ve all taught me, I’m much more confident about what I have to contribute. Not just because of my work, but as someone fighting this dumbass dick-measuring behavior that has no place in science.

Lastly, I often have trouble communicating because I don’t focus on the same things other people would. Learning to construct stories has helped me figure out how to present my ideas.

So if you see a public-interest article in the next five years along the lines of “Whoa! This lady had a super-sad life but still discovered/pioneered a bunch of stuff in [STEM discipline],” think to yourself, sweet, I may have helped with that.

Also, while there’s no new chapter, I’ve shitposted things that some of you may not have seen.

So please enjoy these assorted shitposts.

Plugging Kendra’s backstory into AI Dungeon

> draw cthulhu

    You grab the paper in front of you and begin to read it. The following day, you woke up to find that you were missing an arm.

> where’s my other arm

    You look down at your hand and notice that there is another arm attached to it. You are still missing an arm, but you have two arms now.



Friendship ended with MIKE

Someone asked who Xiyuan’s best friend was.

Okay—no one actually asked. I just need to talk about Yuan every day or I explode.

Bee Apartment

This is Shu.
Shu won’t shut up about the bee box.
Shu lives in an apartment with no backyard.
So I filled his apartment with bees.
The TV is constantly on Pollinator pay-per-view. You touch the remote, you get stung.
Bees, bees, bees on a spree

Shu won’t shut up about the bee box.

Shu lives in an apartment with no backyard.


So I filled his apartment with bees.


The TV is constantly on Pollinator pay-per-view. You touch the remote, you get stung.


Bees, bees, bees on a spree
Bees, bees, bees while you pee


They’re always there. Watching you with their compound eyes. Judging you for your inability to regurgitate calorically dense non-Newtonian fluids.


Don’t try to escape by going into your other girlfriend’s room. Those bees are hers! Get your own!


Shu used to represent the effects of emotional servitude and hypercreativity in a universe where it’s impossible to create anything truly new. From now on, he represents the effects of emotional servitude and hypercreativity in a universe where it’s impossible to create anything truly new and also his apartment is full of bees.

You asked for this. Idiot.

The Dumbass Years

The Dumbass Years are underexplored, having happened years before the start of Book I. Haunted attempts to rectify that. On the other hand, it was 6–8 years of this.

Xiyuan’s years at U of Britechester: A Comprehensive Summary
(In this universe, they started hitting on each other pretty much the second I left to get coffee, so they’re probably going to bone in the shared shower. Freaking yikes)

System Among the Stars

(Many of my shitposts are directed at 1esk19. Here, I took the first chapter of Esk’s main work, Somewhere Among the Stars, and inserted System of a Down lyrics whenever possible. You can appreciate it without having read SAtS, but go ahead and skip it if you don’t know your SOAD.)

this is the video still of Serj eating Chinese food that I try to have staring at me whenever possible

The hatch sealed with a thunk behind her, the clang of armor-clad knees against metal floor panels reverberating over the sound of her increasingly ragged breathing. Door was closed. Lights were out. Every minute and every second, collapsed and trembling, gloved hands streaking indigo blood on the floor, she attempted to quiet her shaking breaths, tried to hide the scars to fade away the shake-up, but between her physical injuries and a gnawing anxiety in her chest, all she could manage was a whimper.

Liara T’Soni was having the most loneliest day of her life.

Whatever happens… I can wrestle with the stormy night because your love lasts a lifetime.

Echoes of Shepard’s last words to her, signs of her face, slowing her pace, her gloved fingertips brushing across the same spot on her cheek now damp with tears, replayed with such lucidity she swore her nerves fired in response.

Liara could see Shepard now, smiling as she pulled away.


New tears stung as they streaked over her lacerated cheeks, dripping down with each convulsive sob and dotting the floor with wet stains — some clear, others mixed with blood. She had not been gentle in sending Garrus away after he escorted her to her quarters, waving away all attempts at concern, adamant in her refusal of medical attention as he implored her to reconsider. Her unsettled mind was at times an ally, leaving the senses to fend for themselves.

The room lurched and shuddered around her despite Normandy’s inertia dampening, and sacred silence turned to an outward cry — if not from the pain of sudden movement, then from being startled back into her own desolate room. No lights, no music, the rumble of the drive core, the groan of the bulkheads, the rattling of her monitor array, the flicker of the lights — all served as reminders of where she was, but more so of where she was not.

And she wasn’t there for her.

It wasn’t right.

Liara slumped, overcome with a fit of sobs. Dreamed of screaming. Someone kick her out of her mind, she hated these thoughts she couldn’t deny.

She had done what she could. Her remorse was that she couldn’t survey the skies right before—right before they went grey. Nothing left to do but survive.

Shepard would activate the Crucible, or she would not.

The ship lurched around her again, sending a stack of datapads crashing off her desk and throwing her off-balance. Liara gasped for air through choked sobs, barely managing to steady herself, pressing her palms into the floor.

She should have stayed and taken a stand. Breathing each other’s lives. Holding this in mind. If they fell, they all fell. And they fell alone.

If the worst happened, was knowing any less painful than uncertainty?

Liara braced herself against the nearest server under her desk, attempting to stand, and she winced as her body protested the movement. Slowly she brought herself to her feet then limped the few remaining steps to the seat in front of her terminal.

Her fingers hovered over the keys, tremulous, hesitating. She typed her query. A distraction. Unnecessary. Shipboard visuals, aft and port. Two clusters of monitors nearest her brightened in dizzying flashes of blue, of red, of black with streaks of stars arcing with Normandy’s maneuvers — pictures of time and space rearranged in this little piece of typical tragedy. She killed the process and the monitors went dark again.

Liara pressed her eyes shut and typed again. All updates concerning Shepard, filtered information for the public eye. She executed the command. The nearest monitor flashed on again, bright against her eyelids. She looked down at her hands, couldn’t bring herself to look up. Another query. All updates from Alliance Command, set to another monitor. Her body shook with each heartbeat. Could she handle the news if it wasn’t good?

Did it matter? Shepard would do what she could. Liara’s role in the fight was over.

Nothing left to do but to survive.

The transcripts appeared in real time on her monitors: a rush of words, pleading to disperse upon her naked walls. She blinked them away.

Braced herself for what she might read.

Blinked again. Then again. She drew in a shaking breath.

Shepard was on the Citadel. Alive.

Liara’s heartrate surged along with a new flood of tears, and she sunk down with her face upon her desk, every piece of her overwhelmed with relief and fear and anticipation. Yearning. Life. A house and a wife. Little blue children. A family. A future.

The room around her jerked again, vibration rumbling throughout the ship and sending shocks of pain through her left leg. She whimpered through shuddering breaths and gritted her teeth.

Too soon to look forward. She wiped her eyes and looked at the feeds again. Shepard’s status: unchanged. Official commands: also unchanged. Normandy still circled the Crucible in a series of haphazard, unpredictable evasive loops, watching from a post up high from where they saw the ships afar from a well-trained eye, among many other vessels tasked with the same, still waiting on Shepard’s move.

Liara considered administering a medi-gel dose, her body humming with pain, but thought better of it — there were others in greater need. She fought to relax the tightness in her chest, focused on settling and deepening her breathing, time feeling like a midnight ride, finality waiting outside.

And then it happened.

With movement on the right-hand monitor she instinctively thought and stopped, stopping her eyes from flowing.

Bombs were falling overhead with no sight. All ships retreat. Fall back. The message repeating.

Her chair fell back behind her as she shot to her feet, her left leg collapsing. She screamed. Fell forward onto her desk.

“We can’t leave her!”

Liara regained her balance, brought up her omni-tool but fumbled with the controls. It didn’t matter. Don’t leave your seat now, she reminded herself. No message she could send to Joker or to Kaidan would matter. They had their orders.

They were looking for some help. They needed someone to save her ass.

The familiar rising hum of the drive core signaled the imminent jump into FTL.

Between gasping, crying breaths she heard her voice — strained, croaking, panicking, hardly recognizable as her own. “No, no, no…”

The last of the data flashed on her screen as a sudden, momentary bout of vertigo overtook her. Earth, Shepard… all the world she’d seen before her passing by as her eyes scanned the text. War staring her in the face, dressed in black.

Crucible fired. Explosion on Citadel. Two suns, seeing them both dying. Casualties expected.

No more information. Any data traveling at light speed couldn’t possibly reach them until they dropped out of FTL. And even when they did, how far away would they be? It could take years for that information to catch up. Decades. Longer.

What was happening back there? What happened on the Citadel? Did the Crucible backfire? Had their efforts succeeded? Was Shepard alive? Did she ever get stuck in the sky? Where did they expect her to go when the bombs fell?

She saw her pain was real, watched her world dissolve, her face locked in a scream but no sound escaping. It was over.

Shepard had done what she could to ensure the galaxy a future, to ensure her a future, but how could she go on if she had no one to thank, no one to hold? Ghosts were now waiting for her, was she?

How does she feel? What does she say?

In the end, it all goes away.

Garbage & Stalling for Time

17 thoughts on “Garbage & Stalling for Time

  • January 24, 2021 at 10:47 am

    First, wow. I’m sorry you had to experience all of that. I’ve experienced it, too, in low-key ways and without having made any type of major or significant contribution or discovery, but enough to recognize the limits and the behavior of the carpet-looking guys. Also, it’s rough that it took so long for you to get acknowledgement for who you are, how you experience, and how you process. And that you still have to go up against resistance from others. And how wonderful that there may be some positive movement with your big project and writing! That’s the most cool, and I hope you get support and encouragement so you don’t have to draw on all your vast resources of resilience!

    • February 20, 2021 at 4:52 pm

      Oh, man, you all have given me plenty of support and encouragement despite having to deal with your own carpet guys! What’s SimLit if not a place for us to carve out our own niche where our voices are appreciated? Does make me feel a lot less alone.

      • February 20, 2021 at 11:00 pm

        Same here–a lot less alone! 🙂 and encouraged. For I find all of your Sim characters super interesting and very cool… and then, I find that I identify with them! So, it’s neat to associate with interesting and cool folk, even if digitally fictional!

  • January 25, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Congratulations on the thing and the other thing, and well done on persevering when others may have thrown in the hat. (Side note, while this may apply less in academia, I always thought being intelligent is not necessarily a good thing in the workplace, because ultimately it’s other people that determine your success, and other people are morons. At least that’s my excuse for my lack of career progress, haha. But you’re obviously a whole other calibre 😊)

    It’s amazing you’ve been able to turn simlit into something that actually helped you in your professional life, aside from just being therapeutic, and entertainment for us, but that’s the cherry on top!

    I’ve never kept a blog schedule, even though I’m pretty prolific with my updates (mainly thanks to prepetual lockdowns, I’m sure), but definitely don’t worry about a schedule, whwnever you update will be a treat! I do hope you won’t disappear altogether, but would be understandable if you do – though you know, it improves the quality of your work when you don’t solely focus on work, just throwing that out there 😁

    • February 20, 2021 at 5:09 pm

      Dang—I never even noticed that you didn’t keep a schedule, I just notice multiple updates a week, and am sitting here like, how?!

      Certain types of intelligence definitely work against you in academia the same way it might in your context; I’ve lightly touched on that with my rants about how much our tendency to judge creative work by execution sucks for people who like to experiment. It happens less often in STEM, but my humanities peeps report having their papers rejected from every journal if the reviewers felt the subject matter was too divergent from the field’s dogma. And can we go on about how skills that are hard to measure often get overlooked, and how neurotypical af the whole testing system is?!

      The good and bad news (Sims-fandom-wise) about my time management is that Catastrophe Theory may be close enough to my normal writing-intensive job to burn me out, but Haunted isn’t. Loophole!!

      • February 21, 2021 at 9:08 am

        Ha, how indeed 😀 I did have a buffer at first, I wrote a big chunk of BC when I was on annual leave for 2 week and stuck in one of the lockdowns (I’ve lost count, they’re all one big blur by now). So I didn’t necessarily have to produce a chapter every 3-4 days in order to release a chapter that often. I did eventually catch up to myself, which is when it became more of a struggle, and my posting rate did drop. I’ve now finished season one and will definitely be taking a month or two off, start building a buffer again 🙂

        But there’s also the fact that my chapters are much shorter than yours, averaging around 2,200 words or so, and don’t need as high of a literacy level as yours to consume – or to produce 🙂

        I completely get it, if I was doing extensive and labour-intensive writing at work, I wouldn’t want to wind down with more writing. I do write as a part of my job – I’m in marketing (in the education realm, funnily enough). So the type of stuff I write is short bursts about our courses and facilities which is a) not that strenuous, and b) not necessarily that fulfilling to write about 😀 Hence why I can do more of it as a hobby.

        It is and simultaneously isn’t surprising biases do run deep in every kind of field, including those that should just be base don facts. The gender biases you mention in your post are so prevalent too, I’ve definitely experienced “the boys’ club” at work, and competent women getting passed for jobs in favour of less qualified men… but that’s a rant for another day. For now, I’ll just cheer you on for persevering and breaking the mould 🙂 And enjoy Haunted!

      • February 21, 2021 at 3:23 pm

        Oh! The giant buffer makes sense. I’d love to have me one of those but… it’s just not going to happen. I wish my brain weren’t like “hey, you know what this super-late upcoming ViR chapter needs? Lyrics from scratch for not one but TWO fictional rap songs,” but that’s where we’re at.

        Honestly shot myself in the foot with the reading level. It seems obvious now that I’m saying it out loud, but writing something that takes a lot of mental energy to consume has severely limited my audience. I’ve since made peace with that. So it goes.

        (And the funny thing is, 2k words is exactly my target for each post. You know how that ended. Ahahahah.)

        Now that I know that about your background, I’ll be looking for course-and-facility descriptions or anything with adjacent style in BC. Man, though, I wish I were allowed to describe my courses CT-style. But noooo. 3snarky5academia. Enjoy the break, though!

        (SimLit: where we’re spoiled because if someone mentions institutional sexism, the universal response is “yeah p. much” instead of “ackshelly men have problems too” like the rest of the internet.)

      • February 22, 2021 at 1:46 am

        I don’t know if limiting audience is necessarily a bad thing. We all do it in a way by the themes we chose to focus on, the tone and so forth, so the reading level is just another one. Nothing will appeal to everyone, after all. Think of it as targeting instead 🙂 (Which I know is easier said than done, as someone who had a pretty mainstream legacy story that still gets more views than my current weird/mildly depressing current story, even though it finished 4 years ago. But it makes sense.)

        Lmao, I would hope it doesn’t spill over to BC, I’m barely enticed to write about that when I get paid to do so 😁 But I would love a CT-style module description. Now I’m picturing the likes of Bernard, Shu and Kendra teaching classes and somehow I’d totally sign up for that 😆

  • January 27, 2021 at 2:27 am

    Im sorry about your prof and superiors, and the carpet viewing fanatics and the people who tear you down so they can feel a tiny smidgen better about themselves. I really admire your preseverance in work and handling their toxic behavior. I suppose a good in this is that you identify your advocates and know who has your back but what a shame that your male colleagues are not as supportive. Ive just been listening to how an acquaintance is not getting the support she needs in a male dominated field (I.T) so my apologies if this sounds sexist, but all I can think of is that perhaps strong women are still rather intimidating to some people. Hence the experience you had have.

    It sounds great that you have a renewed drive for your work. Maybe this chapter in your life has come to a close (for now) and maybe doesnt fit with your next, but the point is that it happened and whether you revisit or not. It’ll still be here. And i know you dont seek external validation, but your stories, sharing and writing have been very inspirational for me. So even if it takes awhile for you to revisit, im already glad it happened. It’s pretty exciting to know that you’re pouring all that inspiring energy into your career. All the best! Looking forward to that paper. Hope your prof don’t try to jizz his scent all over it. 😅😃

    • February 20, 2021 at 10:12 pm

      Glad your friend has you to support her! I have to keep reminding myself that I’ll never get respect from everyone, but I don’t need everyone’s respect in the first place.

      Happy to learn from you, too 🙂 And I’ll try to be as positive here as I can for someone with such a bleak story.

  • January 28, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    No issue and no pressure .. your readers will be here .. <3

  • February 11, 2021 at 10:23 am

    I 100% agree with the whole, getting to actually know the creators behind the stories I read on a bit more of a personal level and so was super interested in what you had to say here. I’m so sorry you went through all that. I recently completed my master’s and can also attest to some of the things you’ve experienced and especially what comes after; just how demotivating things can get for us, from the job market alone to the world of research, which I’m glad my sister warned me extensively about, leading me to never want to go that route. I hate the competition, the unfairness. I don’t really feel at home in the corporate world either, for that regard, so I personally don’t even know where I want to go and whether I even want to end up using my master’s degree for a job, as dumb as that might sound.
    I respect you so much for persevering despite everything, and congratulations on that…thing you discovered! Stay strong and no matter what… you do you. <3

    • February 20, 2021 at 5:43 pm

      Interesting, I’ve heard similar things from my friends in the humanities. It doesn’t strike me as dumb to not use your Master’s for a job, given that my ultimate career goal would be doing [STEM thing] out of a cave and throwing rocks at kids who get too close. I’ve just given up on getting any prestige or recognition for my work—or at all, really—and have had to learn to expect nothing. As you can imagine, that’s not the best attitude to have when applying for jobs.

      Here’s to hoping we both figure out what to do… I have hope for the future again, for all of us.

  • February 11, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    I just came back from a long break myself and I read this post and my eyes are full of happy tears for you and I’m trying to get my shit together to write something coherent and thoughtful but I CANNOT.

    ::deep breath::

    Congrats on the thing. The thing, I bet, is super dope, and fucking kudos on being on the cusp of the other thing. But also congrats on realizing that you’re a bad ass, that your thoughts and your views are valid, that your expertise is not in your mind, that the world is full of shit people but also people who will pump you up at every opportunity because fuck all that “you’re too sensitive” shit that just continues to feed the shame loop.

    God, do we have the time to yell about male colleagues in STEM? I don’t think so. But I feel you!

    Mostly, my heart is just so warm and full that the process of creating this incredible body of work has helped you figure out a way of moving through the world that makes you feel healthy and sane and capable.

    I am grateful for shitposting tidbits (I WILL TRY NOT TO GORGE) but I am also grateful that I stumbled across this blog and went on this journey. You have taught me so much too!

    So basically, continue being awesome.

    Write whenever you feel like it or can (I got a big promotion and while I’m shuffling through the end of BBD Book One, I realize I’m going to have to re-evaluate how I do the next book because I got way less time).

    Know that when I see the article about the lady who discovered the thing, I’m gonna have a glass of champagne and toast you and write a million comments on here even if you’re not active anymore.


    • February 20, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      Well, if you have the time to yell about male colleagues in STEM, I will listen to all the yelling about male colleagues in STEM, because what even is going on there. “This is right because an old professor said it and this is wrong because a black woman said it” = SUPERIOR MALE LOGIC, bahahahahaha, but in the way that’s not actually laughing and ends with crying into the tub with 2 boxes of toaster waffles.

      (speaking of things that are correct because an old prof said them, did you see Nick Trefethen’s refutal of the claim that the electric field within a Faraday cage approaches 0 as the distance between the wires shrinks? because oh damn)

      This entire community just makes my heart full. And I’m not going to gloss over the announcement that you got a big promotion!! That’s freaking awesome!! Now I do look forward to my Sunday morning BBD every week, but it’s worth the delay to know you’re killing it IRL as well as in this corner of the internet.

      Might as well treat yourself to that champagne now, because while my work isn’t Mirzakhani levels of “whut,” it’s “whut” enough for me to have to do a whole lot more of it before the general public catches on. 5–10 years if everything goes well. But at the risk of giving the person who is already most likely to figure out my identity another info kernel… it’s interesting you would use the word “cusp” there.

      • February 20, 2021 at 9:43 pm

        With all these kernels, I could make popcorn (LOL). I mean, I would keep it to myself even if I figured it out.

        Talking about male colleagues in STEM would involved crying, toaster waffles, and maybe a long bout of laying on the floor and staring at the ceiling. People look at me like I’m nuts when I’m like: you understand that science is not immune to bias right? It was made by people, influenced by social and political culture…so the default of the white male perspective is like not grounded in some inherent scientific truth, right?

        Who am I kidding, not people, MEN stare at me crazily when I say that lol.

        LE SIGH.

        Umm do we have the time to get into Nick? Yes. Cause here is the thing: this is not my area of expertise, I mean, I mostly deal in what professors who are long dead said, HOWEVER, I think that’s relevent here. I mean, my fave shade write up about this was some NYU blog where they were like: surely the mathematics of the Faraday cage has been written up and put in text book long ago because its so famous, RIGHT? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

        Yes, this community is fabulous and supportive and I don’t think it gets the kudos it deserves as far as fandoms go. I mean, I’ve seen people play in the same universe, sometimes using the same characters are settings, and just continually hype each other up without feeling “threatened” or determined to tear someone down. Even the weirdest of us have a niche, and its beautiful.

        Thank you! Promotion stuff is cool! Learning to be a boss of a lot of peeps is hard but also good and rewarding and awesome.

        I mean, if you’re gonna twist my arm I guess I’ll go head and pop that bottle. Ahhhhh this is the exciting time in the work tho! Like that sweet spot when you are onto a thing and you’ve got momentum and you can just ride that wave a lil while…

        Oh man, I know enough about Mirzakhani to know I can’t conceive of her level. She was dope as hell and I’m not even sure we deserved her.

      • February 21, 2021 at 12:25 am

        The popcorn will be used while watching people try to defend why science is unbiased. Special shout-out goes to FREAKING MEDICINE. (Also, side note: you’re a pro science historian and they STILL question your—you know what, that doesn’t surprise me at all, carry on)

        HAHAHA YES!!! My spouse questions my practice of starting to talk about a narrow special-interest thing with “do you know about…,” but sometimes people already do know! Can’t find the shady NYU blog post, though 🙁

        Pre-quarantine Dolly was like “wait, people think creating a mass-murderer sim and flirting with the Grim Reaper is weird? What a joke. I’m going to write something super high-effort and imaginative, and that’ll drum up outside interest in a genre that doesn’t get enough credit.” Present Dolly is like “meh, let me hide in my author bubble where everyone is awesome.”

        Maybe I should also drink so I don’t start name-dropping Mirzakhani’s colleagues in an incriminating way.

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