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Well, I've started uni again this week and boy am I in for one hell of a semester. I'm taking four awesome subjects - one on Alexander the Great and the following Hellenistic age; advanced Coptic; Egyptian literature and a subject called Capstone which is supposed to finish off your undergraduate studies - all of which I'm really excited about and want to study. All of which are also pretty difficult. On top of those four, I'm also teaching advanced Middle Egyptian Hieroglyphs (which I love) and supposedly going to try and maintain a job and a social life. Yeah, that last one is probably not going to happen but whatever. As part of our Capstone unit though, we get to write a miniature thesis. I've actually written one before (IB student - if you know what that is, you understand. If you don't, feel free to ask but you may get a longer than expected answer) on gender in the reign of Hatshepsut. So I've got a bit of practice and I'm not freaking out like every other student in the unit. My problem is that I have six (SIX!) different topics all of which I want to write about. So I thought maybe I could tell you guys about them and you can help me choose!

1) Medical papyri - not really sure of an actual topic for this but I'm interested in medicine and in ancient languages so combining the two seems like fun. Positives: there's an established corpus of ancient sources I can work with. Downsides: it's been done before, comprehensively.
2) The intersection of Egypt and the Old Testament: from a personal point of view, I'm really interested in the evidence, archaeological and literary, for the events recorded in the OT in egypt such as the plagues, exodus etc.
3) The succession after Akhenaten and the identity of Smenkhkere: you've probably never heard of Smenkhkere seeing as he's the pharaoh we know least about. In brief, he appears in the 18th dynasty, in the Amarna period, at almost exactly the same time as Nefertiti disappears off the historical record. Who the hell is he? Is he Akhenaten's son, brother, lover, some combination of all three? He gets elevated to the status of co-regent during Akhenaten's reign but only survives about two years after Akhenaten's death. The conspiracy theory goes that he was deposed and replaced by the puppet boy king Tutankhamun whom the elite officials could rule through and we all know how well that turns out. The other thing is, our major source of information about him is actually from Tutankhamun's tomb. There are a whole bunch of artifacts in there that originally belonged to Smenkhkere but have had his cartouche cut out and replaced with Tutankhamun's. That's pretty strong evidence that Tutankhamun actually predecesed Smenkhkere. So where the hell did he disappear to? What happened with the rest of his life? Obviously, I'm really keen on this topic. The downside is, not many people are, so there's not a hell of a lot of secondary sources I can work with and only a limited amount of primary ones as well. There's a reason we don't know much about him.
4) Evidence for homosexuality in ancient egypt: obviously I have a personal interest in this topic but like the above topic, it would require a lot of original research and searching for primary evidence. I think then, this would be a better PhD topic as it's never been looked at before.
5) Gender in the iconography versus the literary evidence from Hatshepsut: kind of an extension of my last mini thesis, Hatshepsut (the female king of egypt, in case you don't know) is exclusively male in her iconigraphy and yet still retains female grammatical endings in her literature. It's cool but I'm not sure there's an essay in there since I sort of just summed it up in one sentence...
6) Does the difference between Di and rDi indicate a morphological distinction between the nominal and verbal sDm.n=f forms? Yeah sorry about this one, I'll explain. Basically, we have this particular verb form called sDm.n=f (sedjem-en-ef, is how you'd say it) that isn't actually one form, it's two forms that happen to look exactly the same. The only way we can tell them apart is their placement in the sentence itself. If it's at the beginning, it's nominal. If it's anywhere else, it's verbal. Except however, this one particular irregular verb rDi (redjee) which flips between being written as Di (djee) and rDi (redjee). I want to know if that change is actually representing the change from the nominal to the verbal sDm.n=f. Again, this would be brand new research so probably a better PhD topic and it has a significant downside - I could be wrong. Totally wrong. Then I'd be left with nothing to work with.

Whichever one I chose, this is going to be a crazily busy semester for me so I'll apologise in advance for not being around much. I've got a little countdown set up on my desk to remind me it's only actually 13 weeks - I can handle 13 weeks of anything.

So, thoughts?

Jul. 29th, 2013

I'm taking this amazing subject on Egyptian Literature at uni this semester and in our first class today, we were mostly just looking at literature in general before getting into the egyptian corpus. There's an online forum where we're supposed to share a) our favourite piece of literature (poor class better be ready for an essay on why nothing will ever be better than Tolkien) and b) the best first words of any book we've ever read. I'm thinking of going with the Book Thief for best opening words but I wanted to hear from you guys first - what is the best introduction you've ever read?
And your favourite book if you want to share that too :p

There's no place like home

Well, I'm finally back from my trip and catching up on posts, glad to be hearing about all your lives again! So much happened on my trip that if I tried to post about it all it would become way too long, so instead I thought i'd just share a couple of highlights!

Part 1 - Trip with DadCollapse )

VeniceCollapse )

VeronaCollapse )

RomeCollapse )

BerlinCollapse )
KrakowCollapse )

So that's my life for the past month in very very brief form. I'm sure i'll continue to share more details in the next few days and I'm looking forward to catching up with your guys' lives as well!
Well, this'll probably be my last update in a while. I'm about to fly off to Italy for a month long holiday with a friend. I'm pretty excited and also now quite nervous. For all that I'm very well travelled, this will be my first holiday without my family. You should see the amount of (legal and medically prescribed) drugs I'm taking with me at my parents insistence. Oh well, doctors will be doctors I suppose and at least I know i'll be able to handle any possible sick situation. That's it from me then. I might have a bit of sporadic internet so I may be able to post a few pictures - update from Italy, Germany or Poland. If not, see you wonderful people in a month!

A Pet Peeve

I went to the Lions vs the Waratahs game last night and tell you what, it was pretty damn awesome. For people that don't know, the British and Irish Lions are possibly the best rugby union team in the world - made up of all star players from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, they only play every four years. They also never play at their home ground. Every four years, they tour one of the major rugby playing southern hemisphere countries, South Africa, New Zealand or Australia. Which means, we only get to see them play live once every twelve years. And this year just happened to be Australia's year! Last time I saw the lions play, I was eight years old. Anyway, last night this all star international team played my local state team - the waratahs. (Yes, our rugby team is named after a flower, go on, laugh. We all do. A few years back, our advertising featuredthis blokeCollapse )with the writing "Waratah, floral emblem of New South Wales, pretty isn't it?") Anyway, naturally, my team got their arses kicked. Final score was 47-17. Oops. But it was an awesome game and the reality is they were always going to lose because the lions are an international team and we're just a local one. They played really well though. Even knowing they were probably going to lose, even when it became blatantly clear that no win could possibly be salvaged, they kept giving it everything they had. They played a really exciting, risk-taking style of rugby because it didn't exactly matter what the outcome was, as long as eveyone had a good time. And because they played that style, naturally, it didn't always work out and a few silly mistakes were made. The lions, being a northern hemisphere team (rugby is quite different in the northern and southern hemispheres) played quite a conservative game. Sure they ran some beautiful lines and great set play and for sure, they're a great team to watch but they also kicked a lot of penalty goals which certainly contributed to the huge score. (Not that I'm complaining about that, I personally love watching british teams kicking for goal because they do it so damn well. There's not a goal kicker in Australia who can compare to the ones that the british turn out a dime a dozen.) Anyway, point was, we played a risky, exciting game. They played a safer, more controlled game. They're the far better team overall. Naturally, we got penalised a whole lot more because we made more mistakes.

Now, apart from gushing about rugby, I also wanted to quickly rant about two of my pet peeves.
1) People that complain about the ref - As I just said, of course we got penalized more than they did, we made more mistakes, we took more risks and it didn't always pay off. Who cares? We would've lost the game no matter what the ref did. In fact, had we played a safer game, people would've still whinged that we were boring. Instead, your team went to a hell of a lot of effort to give their fans a game to enjoy. Maybe the fans could try and appreciate that? And I'm saying this especially to the young man who sits directly behind me every home game and does nothing but hurl abuse at the players and the ref. a) No one else cares about your opinions and we certainly don't need to hear them every few seconds b) I know more about rugby than you do and I'm a girl (not that that should matter, but it obviously does to you) c) if you could do so much better than them, why aren't you playing and d) I throw a mean punch for a girl of my size, so you would be best to shut up.
2) Mexican waves - I dunno, am I the only person who doesn't like them? I mean seriously, if I'm going to be jumping out of my seat every few minutes, I want it to be related to the rugby game I'm trying to watch. Is it crazy that I go to the rugby to watch the rugby?
And rant over, thanks for reading.

Jun. 11th, 2013

Once again, I've been an arse of a friend and disappeared off the face of the planet and this time I haven't even got a half decent excuse. For the first time in a long time, I've become utterly obsessed with a new fandom. I finally caved in and decided to watch BBC's Merlin and oh my gosh, I'm in love. I think merlin/arthur may be my new OTP.
I've been in a real slump lately and it's totally stupid to admit why - I'm just really tired of my fandom.
I'm going to whine about it, you really don't need to read it if you don't want toCollapse )
Anyway, it's pretty pathetic of me to be so miserable over something so stupid when a lot of other people have actual problems to deal with. I suspect my current moroseness is also related to my health problems, B12 levels dropping again which causes depression. Not a good sign for the next few months as I'm supposed to be headed off to Europe in a week or so and I want to be happy and healthy whilst I'm there. One good fic for Matthew Reilly, really, I swear, that's all it'd take.
But instead, I'm going to bury myself in the rest of the Merlin seasons and read awful lots of fanfic and wait until Matthew Reilly's next book comes out and hope like hell that is brings some life back to the fandom because otherwise, I just might cry.
I know I'm a little late to the party but does anyone want to squee over Merlin with me?
And sorry for being a grumpy git.

May. 26th, 2013

I saw this meme ages back on withoutfire's page and it took me a while to get around to completing it. It’s pretty easy – she asked me five questions and now I’m answering them. If you’d like to play, leave a comment below and I’ll ask you five questions in turn. It’s fun.
I put them under cuts because (if you haven't worked it out by now) I'm pretty long winded so I wrote a lot...

1) Who in your life has influenced you the most?Collapse )

2) Best decision you've ever made?Collapse )

3) First thing you notice about people? (Offline and Online)Collapse )

4) How is your relationship with your parents?Collapse )

5) Have you ever been in love?Collapse )

Deuteronomy and the Ten Commandments

I’ve always enjoyed reading the old testament – in fact, my current idea for my thesis is about the appearances of Egypt in the old testament – but I’ve never really given it any serious theological thought. I’ve always sort of treated it like a bunch of often beautiful, often terrifying stories, the sort of things we should tell our children to make sure they stay preserved but not as the defining theological base for the entire bible and so, of late, I’ve been changing that. Completely coincidentally, I’ve been following a blog about Leviticus called “Leviticus is for Lovers” and hearing a sermon series at my church on Deuteronomy called “The Law of Love.” It’s been especially interesting for me that both of these are about the centrality of love to the old testament laws. For someone like me, who used to skip over these laws because they seemed overly legalistic, cruel and often just plain wacky, this has been a major shift in my thinking and so I thought I’d share a bit about what we discussed on Sunday at my church with you guys.
Which was the First Three of the Ten CommandmentsCollapse )

It's really late...

...and I promise I'll do a sensible, proper post sometime tomorrow (which is now actually today) but I saw Iron Man 3 today and then I've been up for hours updating my fanfic so I'm not really capable of sensible right now. Instead, I just thought I'd say oh my gosh, Iron Man 3! I did really enjoy the movie but in all honesty, of all of it, the thing that got me the most was the final scene with dummy! (Hope that's not spoilery in case there are any people who haven't seen it yet!) So in honour of that, I thought I'd share with you two of my absolute favourite bot related avengers fanfics.

1) http://archiveofourown.org/works/394999/chapters/649266
Run Program: DUM-E by Amuly
Taking care of Tony is a lot of work. Especially when you’ve only got one arm. And your code dates back to the 1980s.

2) http://archiveofourown.org/works/530044
The Butterfingers G. D. I. Stark Guide to Problem Solving by Epiphanyx7
Tony begins to notice that things are going missing from his workshop... and discovers that his bots have been hiding a very, very big secret from him. Or rather, a very, very small one.

In which Dummy is a kleptomaniac, You is painfully shy, Butterfingers is a programming genius, JARVIS is a sarcastic sonofabitch, Pepper takes care of Tony outside of the workshop, Bruce is Tony's boo, Thor is Tony's favourite, Clint is actually kind of smart, Steve has terrible timing, and problem-solving is never simple or easy.

Gah, the bot!feels in both of these are just superb. They cannot fail to make you happy!

I'm twenty years old and it's a Friday night. Whilst all my friends are out at wild parties, what did I do?

I baked cupcakes and had a glass of wine with my mumCollapse )