A contract, a queer lab, and an annoying literary get-together
Saturday, Mar. 20, 2021 - 10:57 am.

This should be quick because we have to do some serious cleaning around the house. Spring cleaning for the Southern hemisphere, eh, which is autumn cleaning. But not really, it's not a major event. We've just been a bit careless this week with housekeeping, other than washing dishes.

Anyway, quick things:

- My boss managed to keep my contract with uni while I conduct my postdoc research. This research grant is supposed to pay for my salary so the uni was ready to cut me off, but my boss stepped in so I can keep the benefits.

She's powerful and went to the highest authority, framed having my contract cancelled as her having her resources taken away. And it's true; she knows my value, bless her. People in uni weren't happy, though, and I suspect that's why I haven't gotten a signature I need to inform the grant agency about this. Hopefully we'll solve it this week.

- I'm putting together a group of students who will help me with my research, which in turn will be the basis of their thesis. I met with the first one this week, a master's student, and he was just delightful and made me look forward to start the research. He kinda sorta came out to me, and is quite motivated.

This week I'm meeting with two undergrad students who are working on their thesis as a dyad, and maybe I'll have a second master's student. My research is about LGBTQ well-being, so guess the kind of people who get most interested in it. Maybe we'll have a nice little queer lab.

- On Thursday, I had this event about being a Central American writer living abroad. I was set up with a guy and a gal. He was in London (I was jealous), had acclaimed novels and had written for outlets like The Guardian. She was in Mexico, published her first novel at 16 and it has been re-issued five times.

My ego hurt a lot. I have a lot of accomplishments but zero formal acknowledgment and no critically acclaimed and/or best-selling status, I was older than them and not in the UK (I miss Sheffield so much).

The interview didn't go so well. I did not know what questions or topics we were gonna have in advance, and it was not a conversation but more like a round of questions for each of the three of us. Each question was different for each, and the interviewer went lengths to ask what was already a convoluted question.

Moreover, there was constantly this thing of name-dropping writers you read and personally know, and I don't do that. I didn't even like how I looked in terms of appearance. I just wasn't happy with this event. It airs tomorrow on the platforms of a book fair in Mexico.

- It's my girlfriend's birthday tomorrow, and I made her a short animation. We've been OK. I've been a bit distant but it's worked wonders for our relationship and she understands. I know it sounds weird, but that helps me not having to be on top of my emotions all the time.

- Brother #1 is visiting my home country so at least that's a bit of distraction for my parents. My dad is doing stuff that hurts me more and more. He doesn't know it or intends to, that's just who he is now. No filter, no self-awareness, no consideration for others, hungry for recognition and pity, ready to buy the government's propaganda and ready to pick a fight with anybody who disagrees.

That's no way to live. Thankfully I live far away and I only deal with all that in small doses, but my mother lives with him. I'm so angry and disheartened.

But other than that, life's good and calm. My family's OK, my friends seem to be doing OK. It was Brother #3's birthday yesterday and I'm grateful for having all my siblings alive and well. Most things are quite all right in my own little world, with Andrew and the cats. I'm grateful for it and I don't take it for granted.

Take care. Do get angry and raise your voice when needed. Stay safe.

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