#BuJo Level 10 Life

I love reading other’s bullet journal blogs, and I’m definitely inspired by the spreads others make and maintain in their bullet journals! One of the things that got me into bullet journalling (something I’ll talk more about in my end-of-January post!) is how creative the bullet journal system can be made.

With that in mind I spied both Boho Berry and Little Coffee Fox doing different things with their Level 10 Life spreads! I decided to follow moreso Little Coffee Fox’s design, but I really liked Boho Berry’s lists of goals and might do something like that for my follow-up spread! You’ll also notice that I added the category of “school,” as I feel my career goals and education goals are slightly different.

But enough description, on to the pictures!


I chose to use watercolours for my boxes because of the way that watercolours blend in and out of one another. While it might sound a bit hokey it’s really difficult for me to compartmentalize too much of my life, and I find that different aspects of my life will affect other aspects in ways I can never expect. I found this to be really informative though regardless, and I would definitely recommend anyone with a spare hour to try it out! I didn’t really have a concept of how dis/satisfied I was with different aspects of my life until I filled out my boxes and thus had a visual representation of what all has been going on for me lately. I’m not sure I’ll be redoing this anytime soon, but it’s definitely going to be a regular check-in for me moving forward!

All that said: have you tried laying out your Level 10 Life? Show me in the comments, or tag me on Twitter! I’d love to see how other people interpret this spread!

Aside: this was definitely an exercise in photography! I think I’ll definitely be investing in a lightbox sometime soon, because there really isn’t anywhere nice to take photos in my house!

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Top 10 Posts – 2017

Since I don’t have any more blog posts planned between now and 2018 I figured it would be a good time to list up my top posts this year!

I can’t believe how much my blog has grown this year, and my blogging skills alongside! While 2017 was a bumpy road for me, I’m glad to see people have stayed interested in and interacting with my work on here.


This year I’ve tried to be open about my coursework online, and to be open about myself in my coursework, which has turned this blog from something to ~write on when I have the time~ into something that has become integral to my learning and expressions of learning. This is something I kind of (?) knew was happening, but seeing my top posts splayed out it’s all the more obvious. Seeing this kind of change over time I can’t wait to see where this blog goes from here!

But: onward to the list!

  1. An open letter to my family and friends

    I’m transgender, specifically non-binary.

    • 2017 marked my coming out as trans to my extended family and network of acquaintances, and honestly it went pretty dang painlessly all things considered. It took some of my family more time to respond than others, but overall the response has been very positive and I feel very supported!
  2. What is #endometriosis?

    On a scale from 0-10, how bad is the pain that extends from my ribs down to about mid-calf? Am able to walk? With or without my cane? Can I go down stairs? On my own? Should I use an elevator instead? If I go to class, will I be able to sit for the entire class time? The bumpy bus ride home?

    • March being endometriosis awareness month is always difficult for me for some reason, but this year I felt it was really important to write about my experiences with the disease as a trans person because too often trans healthcare is shrugged off as “not important” or “too difficult.” In writing this I hoped that more people would understand that trans people also experience historically gendered illness/es and our experiences should not be cast to the side. Based on the reach and response this post received I can only hope I was able to get that across!
  3. Grief is a House

    […] I can only hope you’d be proud of me for speaking up.

    • I miss Jess a whole lot.
  4. 0/6: falling short

    […] it affected me pretty fucking hardcore I’m ngl.

    • I planned and wrote this series of posts after reading Clinical Encounters in Sexuality for, like, 5-some hours or somesuch. Looking back I’m not sure I’d do it all over again, but it was fun and something I pretty desperately wanted to do at the time so I’m still happy with it! Moving forward I’d like to read more queer/psychoanalytic texts (but who knows when I’ll have time for that o h n o).
  5. #Archaeogaming101 @animethon

    A number of Gramma Shirley’s videos fulfill all the needs of field journaling, but especially her exploration videos. She’s an accomplished Skyrim ethnobotanist, finding and maintaining a record of a number of in-game flora. Also she’s really lovely ❤

    • I did a lot of presenting in 2017 compared to previous years. It was a lovely experience to work with a friend on this one, and really worked to highlight and showcase some of the problems/failings of academic outreach for me.
  6. The Longest “Aside” Ever: Showcasing Failure

    Most of the time passion projects aren’t academically (or economically) viable, but it’s still worthwhile to keep up with things that are “just” straight up enjoyable.

    • *incoherent screeching*
  7. #Archaeogaming101 #ANTH498 @EdmontonExpo


    • Taking what I’d learned from presenting at Animethon I tweaked my Edmonton Expo wording and structure a bit to mitigate some of the phrasing concerns that I found with the previous incarnation of this presentation. That said: it still didn’t go perfectly, and really influenced my research direction for the rest of the semester (and definitely beyond). It definitely solidified my resolve in the need for me to research more into the ~translation~ of academic-speak to non-academic-speak, and back again!
  8. #ANTH421 w/ @sarahshulist: Considering the situated production of identity construction in individual Albertan injured workers

    Overall there was a sense that there is something larger than themselves which is deciding the language they have access to (as in a structured structure–not necessarily a deity), and influencing their language choices.

    • Working with my dad on this was so difficult for me emotionally, but also so rewarding. I appreciate finally having had the opportunity in my undergrad to focus on his experiences and the experiences of those around him who (unfortunately) share a history as injured workers. In the future I’d like to expand on my interview with my dad and Ralph either through further interviewing or through further reflection on my own history as it exists within the context of being the child of an injured worker. If/when that happens it’ll be posted here, though, so keep your eyes open!
  9. “Colour Palettization as Archaeogaming Method” #PATC Companion Post

    *bibliography intensifies*

    • This project was one of the first times I’d undertaken the amount and breadth of research I did, and I’m still really proud of not only my original paper but this presentation as well. Although I didn’t participate very much in PATC2 I hope to again, because the format was absolutely perfect for someone like me (who, hilariously, is writing this post with a hot water bottle on their uterus… again).
  10. On being queer as fuck

    […] I’ve come to the decision that reading Billy Budd as ~A Queer Text~ is a lot easier and more entertaining/enjoyable than reading it as ~Melville~.

    • If I ever shut up about Billy Budd it’s probably because I’m dead.

Thanks for reading this far!

2017 is over!(!!)

Thank goodness!(!!!!)



#ENGL391 Foucault QA for @mdanielmartin

Prompt: Create and answer 2 questions relating to some aspect of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish.

Me: Docile Bodies are an aspect of Discipline and Punish, right? I’m just gonna focus on that entirely. Fuck breadth, etc.

What is it about modern, contemporary life that renders us docile? What gets us to behave and act in “normal,” “healthy” ways? How are my own habits influenced by this? How do I reproduce these behaviors in others?

[cw: unhealthy body image, self-fatphobia, etc]

Gonna start off with a blockquote for this one:

“By the late eighteenth century, the soldier has become something that can be made; out of a formless clay, an inapt body, the machine required can be constructed; poster is gradually corrected; a calculated constraint runs slowly through each part of the body, mastering it, making it pliable, ready at all time, turning silently into the automatism of habit […]” (135).

Students are numbers and seats; monetary resources to be reproduced through discourse. As this discourse is reproduced either by the majority or via a very vocal minority it becomes the line by which all other action is compared–who goes to high school? finishes? moves forward with their education? etc are all questions which are considered only with relation to comparisons to the “ideal” student. And this is but one example within our neroliberal world.



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I’ve always been fat, and I’ve always accepted that I’m fat. That said: I have been varying degrees of “””fat””””” throughout my life.

I found the middle two images (the shirtless ones) on my phone while I was cleaning it out awhile ago. I took them when I was especially unhappy with the way my body was looking, and decided to take them in an effort to shame myself into losing weight.

Protip: That’s A Terrible Idea.

As you can see from the above images, though, I have steadily gained weight since leaving high school, and it has become something I am validly self-conscious about. Why would I denote “validly” there? Because this is a perfect example of how my own habits and thoughts have been shaped by The Discourse. There is no health reason for me to be concerned about my weight (right now, but I will admit I’m on the cusp and have been speaking to my doctor about that), but because I’m not the ideal “soldier” (135) or the ideal docile body “that may be subjected, used, transformed, and improved” (137) I feel shame for that. This is reproduced in the way I interact with others about my weight (ex. choosing to use the word fat to describe myself, wearing loose clothing, etc), and although it is not my want I am showing others that the way I interact with my body is also a line by which they can and should interact with theirs.

PS – It’s something I’m working on being more confident with, but even if I gain that internal confidence we are all still markers by which others judge their own behaviors. Hopefully I can increase the positive impact of that, but in a world of docile bodies we’re all still going to be judged by The Discourse regardless. #nihilistmoments

Why do we divide and partition bodies by ranks of experience? How is this shown to occur in Stranger Things? How is it subverted? Is it? Where are the functional sites? How are these functional sites defined?

[Spoiler alert: I’ll be talking about the use of space and place of the Byer’s residence in the first and second seasons of Stranger Things. I’ve tried to keep it relatively spoiler-free, but if you haven’t yet seen the second season you have been warned!]

Going with another introductory blockquote:

“[T]he place one occupies in a classification, the point at which a line and a column intersect, the interval in a series of intervals that one may traverse one after the other. Discipline is an art of rank, a technique for the transformation of arrangements. It individualized bodies by a location that does not give them a fixed position, but distributes them and circulates them in a network of relations” (145-6).

Dividing, partitioning bodies by ranks of experiences is something which happens in every show (and frankly in every life). Each friend group is going to have norms which are considered to be private, and within those friend groups there will be norms between individuals.

In Stranger Things the friend group of Will Byers, Mike Wheeler, Dustin Henderson, and Lucas Sinclair hold one another as approximate equals with regard to their rank, however with the loss of Will and the addition of Eleven these ranks are challenged. No longer are all four on equal footing, but Mike and Eleven partition themselves into a specific relationship while Dustin and Lucas partition themselves into another, with Dustin acting a mediator. People outside of their group, such as older siblings and associated relationships (ex. Nancy Wheeler, Steve Henderson, etc) are partitioned from the group by virtue of age and experience.


In the second season, however, as the characters have undergone a liminal experience through the traversal of the Upside Down and the battle with the demagorgons they are re-ranked to be more equal with one another. Thus while the the Byers house was previously only a place for specific characters, it becomes a functional site within which everyone who has undergone the same liminal experience may access at varying times. It becomes this way not only due to its location (the buck end of nowhere), but also through Will Byers acting as a locus of relations between the characters.

tl;dr Stranger Things is great, and everyone should watch it if for no other reasons than it works well for Foucaultian analysis. ((also it’s great.))




#ENGL391 Freud QA for @mdanielmartin

Prompt: Create and answer 2 questions relating to some aspect of Freud’s The Uncanny.

Me: *sees the uncanny every. dang. where.*

How does the narrative of “Dorian Gray” act as an allegory for contemporary body modification experiences? In what ways is this allegory broken, or incomplete? Is this allegory supported with consideration of Freud’s The Uncanny? Why or why not?

I’m not here to say that people (such as myself) who modify their bodies are as Dorian Gray is in his vapidity, Rather, I believe that both Dorian Gray and contemporary body modification experiences connect in the realm of the uncanny. This is shown in the way in which Dorian adorns his home, and the way people adorn their bodies. Where both are representative of the familiar through the visible, social body, they are also representative of the unfamiliar through the invisible, personal Self.



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[Images from Dorian Gray (2009) 1) showing a full house at the unveiling of the portrait complete with furniture, people, etc, compared to 2) Dorian preparing to sell all of his belongings; portrait removed.]

For example in Chapter 11 of Dorian Gray we are met with mere descriptions of things. These things with which Dorian fills his home have no value to him beyond the aesthetic, yet they are a part of the social body by which he is present within the world. His self, by comparison, lies rotting away in the attic for it experiences and thinks of nothing of consequence. This comparison also harkens to the collection of or returning to the modified self. Dorian repeatedly returns to the portrait in order to confirm its status, and people with modified bodies are forced to maintain a vigilant eye upon their modifications not only for health reasons, but also for aesthetic enjoyment.

Dorian Gray is one of those narratives I find myself returning to, always trying to make sense of what it is I’m reading. This allegory I’m suggesting is but one in a long string of very disjointed Feels I have about the narrative, and I’m not sure if I personally buy into it or not. That said, I definitely buy into it enough to hope to explore it further given another opportunity!

Is the feeding of People to the FBI team by Hannibal in Hannibal (2013) uncanny or abject? Can it be both? Where would the differentiation lie? Are there any specific examples of each?

[cw for cannibalism, vomiting, gross… ness…]

Starting off with a bang:


That’s not where ears go.

The above gif’d episode (Savoureux) acts as the ultimate unraveling of Will’s psyche through a series of traumatic and uncanny events. In addition to the scene gif’d above, it is found that Will’s fishing lures contain human hair for example. The uncanny is shown through both the affect of the characters in their reactions to the ear!vomiting, and in the effect of act of the vomiting.

Freud defines the uncanny as “that class of the terrifying which leads back to something long known to us, once very familiar” (1-2, PDF Source). Spitting up a fucking ear is terrifying, and returns us to something which is known in the physical embodiment of the ear itself.


While Will does not immediately recall how or when the ear was eaten, it is eventually revealed that Hannibal fed Will the ear using a feeding tube in a later episode (Kaiseki). This returning of the ear to the body–to be again of the body–is uncanny in that the ear is removed from its original context of being on a head, to being in the (incorrect, perverse, uncanny) context of within the body itself.

Additionally the disjointed recollection of events is uncanny in that the memories (much like the ear proper) are perverted and removed from their original context. This results in a situation where although the recalling is familiar in that Will is literally returning to the source of the trauma, it is unfamiliar in that this is still new information for him.

While both of my examples look at the uncanny as it exists in media as opposed to as it exists in real life (a task I’m not sure I’d be personally capable of) the way/s in which the uncanny exists outside of media mirrors in-media examples pretty well.

With the example of Dorian Gray I myself have things like tattoos and piercings, and return to them on a regular basis for aesthetic appreciation and to make sure they remain healthy. That said they are obviously of and not-of my self in that they’re something which I possess of my self, but which I was (obviously) not born with.

With the example of Hannibal I also experience moments of dissociation which can be disorienting and result in uncanny experiences. While Will experiences dissociation as a symptom of an encephalopathy, and I as a symptom of PTSD the resulting uncanny trauma is similar in a number of ways (not the least of which being difficulties with memory recollection).

Fall 2017 Study Playlists

As is perhaps obvious I’m super into making a playlist for every occasion. Since my class playlists for this term have each exceeded 20 songs a piece I figured they’d be good for sharing. Each of the songs in these playlists reminds me of the relevant class/classwork in some way, but elsewise there’s not really a thread running through and these are probably best listened to on shuffle.