Quick note that I’ll be on this panel on censorship this afternoon at the University of Chicago.
The autumn dialogue brings together scholars of print revolutions past and present with practitioners working on the frontiers of today’s information revolution. These dialogues are not formal panels with presented papers, but free-form discussions in which experts bounce ideas off each other, discovering rich parallels between their work and sharing them in real time. The eight dialogues will unite historians, editors, novelists, poets, and activists. They will be filmed and shared online to let the public enjoy and continue the discussions.
The organizers, Cory Doctorow, Adrian Johns, and Ada Palmer, will participate in all discussions.
The event is free and open to the public.
OCTOBER 12: WHAT ARE CENSORSHIP’S HISTORICAL CONSEQUENCES?
– Anthony Grafton (Princeton University): Renaissance censorship of Jewish books
– Gehnwa Hayek (University of Chicago): Comics censorship in contemporary Lebanon
– James Larue (American Library Association): Office of Intellectual Freedom
– Mary Anne Mohanraj (University of Illinois at Chicago): Literary consequences of colonialism in Sri Lanka
Kent Chemical Laboratory
1020 E. 58th Street
National Coming Out day! I’m bisexual and a cisgendered woman. I’m married to a man, have another male long-term partner (who is sadly long-distance), and have dated women both seriously and less seriously at various points in my life. I will likely date women again and possibly also non-binary folks in the future, if I ever have time for dating new people again! Right now, I’m mostly (mostly-happily) drowning in work and kids.
(As a side note, it’s notable how Kevin and Jed both massively decrease my workload and stress load and open up time for me (they are very self-sufficient guys, which helps), and presumably other relationships would do the same (yay, poly), but of course, new relationships are notorious time-sucks, and also it takes a while to figure out, generally, if these new people are also making your life better / easier or not. So even if the net effect on my life of other romantic relationships would be positive, the short-term time investment can feel unmanageable. I think that’s probably a fallacy. When I first met Jed, almost the first thing I said to him was that I didn’t have time to date him. Oops. Thank god we ignored that.)
(Side note two: the above also applies to friendships, though I am trying harder this year to both pay attention to established friends and at least open doors a bit for new friend possibilities. Meeting for coffee / wine is one of my new favorite things this year, as it is a lovely one-hour manageable moment in my life, and generally yields positive results in net happiness.)
(Side note three: I don’t really think of all my relationships as cost-benefit calculations, despite what you just read. But our time on this earth is short, and sometimes, time pressure just creeps into everything. Also, I overthink things!)
ADD meds report, three days in:
– Mon: first day on Vyvanse (20 mg), I took it late (noon), had a deadline, stayed up ’til 3 a.m., not a good test in any way, so mostly considering that a wash, although it did let me know that I wasn’t going to have any dramatic side effects, which was good. Got a lot done that day, felt happy and productive.
– Tues: second day, took it in the morning, felt happy and productive, nice day overall, though also a very long workday due to evening event, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Not sure there was any dramatic effect I noticed. Slightly restless sleep, but I was so tired from previous night’s short sleep, I did mostly sleep.
– Wed: third day, took it in the morning, happy and productive all through the workday. Around 5 I was having somewhat stressful political conversations, and driving home with Kev, got quite frustrated and crabby about that. Didn’t want to do anything when I got home, but actually had to do some stuff, which was annoying. Mostly had shaken bad mood by 8, went to bed at 11 — slept poorly, waking up every few hours.
Insomnia is a known problem of ADD meds, and if it continues, I’m probably going to try reducing the dosage — my doctor said given my size, it would be totally reasonable to cut the pill in half and try that. Figure I’ll give it one week on 20 mg first and see, though. I’ve also been too heavily scheduled to exercise this week (barely time to breathe!), so hoping that when I add daily exercise back in, that will help with sleeping.
The crankiness when the slow-release med wears off (about 8-10 hours after taking it) is a known result, commonly called a ‘Vyvanse crash,’ and a common way of managing it is to add a microdose of Adderall or something like that around then, to ease you down. If it seems like an ongoing issue, I’ll probably try that.
It’s harder to assess the positive effects than the negative. I’ve gotten a lot done this week, and felt happy and calm doing it — fairly intensive work on various projects, that required a lot of high-level administrative thinking.
I also, and this surprised me, felt like a better mother this week — I was calmer and more patient with the kids than I have been lately, better able to take time with them and make it fun for all of us, even though the week overall is an unusually busy one (several evening events).
Next week is a more normal week, schedule-wise, so I should a) actually get to write and see how that goes, and b) get a better sense of how this affects my everyday life. My overall plan is to try this for a month and then reassess.
Oh, and yesterday was mental health awareness day. Hope this post contributes a little bit to people’s understanding of mental health. Hello, I’m Mary Anne, and I may have a mild version of ADD — it is not debilitating, but it does seem to be interfering with full and healthy functioning of my life. We’ll see how attempting to treat it with this med works!
Went to rep assembly training for the faculty union today; I feel somewhat more competent in explaining why our union is essential for giving faculty a voice in university governance. Yay, training, yay, unions, yay, labor. Let’s work on equity pay, salary compression, and merit increases, shall we? Commensurate to cost of living in a major urban area, and adjusting for mostly stagnant wages of the last decade? Yes, let’s.
On to classes — this afternoon, I get to teach Delany’s Tales of Neveryon, meet with an independent study student about her fiction, teach my fiction workshop.
Then home, where I will help Kavi practice for her voice lesson tomorrow and also have a family conversation about electronics and how to better manage it — with the new cell phone + increased demands of chaotic middle school, Kavi’s having some trouble, but that’s a conversation for another post, so hold those thoughts; I’ll be back on that shortly.
Then duck over to my doctor’s appointment to get an actual prescription for my trial of ADD meds. Anand is being evaluated by the psychologist on Friday, and I need to schedule Kavi to be evaluated as well. AND set them up with a new doctor under their new health insurance. Also, she probably needs braces. Step by step by step…
(Tomorrow afternoon, I get to write fiction again. I can see it, hazy in the distance…)
Traditionally, we don’t do a lot of roasting in Sri Lanka — too hot, I suspect! But here in Chicago, as it gets cooler out, roasting is a nice, easy option; it takes time, but very little effort. And if you prepare a spicy curry sauce separately, this method lets you adjust spice levels easily to the taste of your guests (or kids). The lamb itself is flavorful but not spicy; the potatoes ditto. The sauce adds a nice kick of heat for those who enjoy it!
3-4 lb. boneless lamb leg or shoulder
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 t. garlic powder
2 tsp. roasted curry powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. vinegar
dozen cloves garlic (unpeeled)
3 onions, coarsely chopped
3 lbs. new potatoes, in roughly 2 inch cubes
1-2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
2 t. mustard seeds
2 t. cumin seeds
2 T vegetable oil
Curry sauce (optional):
2 T butter
1 t. red chili powder
2 T ketchup
1 t. salt
1 c. coconut milk
1 c. water
1. Mix spices for lamb together. Pierce the lamb all over with a fork or skewer and marinate in spices and vinegar for 2-4 hours. (I find this easiest to do in a plastic bag, turning periodically.)
2. Preheat oven to 450 F. Mix garlic cloves, onions and potatoes in a large roasting pan with the vegetable oil; rest lamb on top, fat side up.
3. Roast 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and roast until internal temperature reaches 135-145 degrees (for medium-rare or medium meat), about another 60-90 minutes.
4. Remove meat to a carving board and let rest 10 minutes, then slice and serve with the potatoes and onions.
5. While resting, if you’d like, you can make a curry sauce. Put roasting pan on stovetop burner, add butter, chili powder, ketchup, salt, coconut milk, and water. Stir and bring to a boil, then keep stirring and cook down until it makes a nice sauce, about 5 minutes. Pour into a gravy boat or measuring cup with spout and ladle over meat and potatoes. Enjoy!