Kimberly Hirsh

Hi there! I spend most of my time with my three-year-old son. I study digital youth, connected learning, and information literacy at UNC SILS. I live with chronic illness, cook sometimes, play video games, cross-stitch and crochet, write fanfiction, and read widely. I hang out, mess around, and geek out here on my website and the IndieWeb. My pronouns are she/her/hers.

I… think I’m almost done with my dissertation proposal?
I went thrifting yesterday by myself for the first time since having M. Thrifting used to be a source of great fun. When I was in high school, I scored myself a coveted collection of velvet blazers from thrift stores. When I was in college, I often went to the vintage store near campus and loved just browsing the racks. Yesterday, I went to the thrift store with a couple of purposes in mind:

  1. Buy components for a Tifa Lockhart cosplay.
  2. Grab anything that caught my eye that would help me lean more into my various seasonal aesthetics (holiday goth, faerie goth, mer-goth, goth girl fall).

I tried on a few things, including a skirt that would have worked okay for Tifa. But I didn’t feel great about myself in it, so in the end I didn’t buy it.

I spent about two hours in the thrift store, looked at every department. For the first hour or so, it felt kind of fun. But by the end I found myself thinking, “This isn’t how I want to spend my time.” To really have success with thrifting, you need to do it often. And I just don’t have it in me anymore.

And that’s okay. Things change.

I do like browsing online resale places, like ThredUp, Poshmark, and Depop, though everything on Depop is priced too high for me to spend on something I probably had in my closet 20 years ago.

After I left the thrift store, I went to the creative reuse center/store that’s across the parking lot. (They’re both owned by the same non-profit.) That place was a wonderland. When I was in middle and high school, they were this kind of cool place with lots of weird cast-offs that you could turn into art if you were super clever with reuse. I’m not super clever with reuse; where other people see artistic possibilities, I just see stuff. But now, this place is so huge and full of stuff for less creative types like me: fabric, yarn, sewing notions, so much cool ephemera… I feel like I could definitely get a good collage out of paper I found there, and I think all my craft projects will now begin with a trip there. (Fortunately, in the same shopping center, there’s a local craft store, so I can hit all my needs in one trip.)

They also just sometimes have cool stuff. So, for example, I got my kid a gorgeous pair of fairy wings, a notebook, and a complete alphabet cookie cutter set. All 3 things for $9. Pretty great.

This weekend was a good weekend. On Saturday, we had a harvest meal at the Montessori/co-working space. We brought grapes. They seemed to be a big hit. It was a really rainy day, so we spent the afternoon watching TV: the first 20 minutes or so of Paddington 2 but then it got a bit confusing, so we switched to Curious George. I actually put my head down and stretched out on the couch and drowsed. It was glorious.

I remember the winter of 2014-2015, when Dragon Age: Inquisition had just come out. There were days when we would set up in front of the projector screen and W. would play DA:I for long hours while I napped beside him. It was an immensely pleasant time and I remember it with great fondness. I wouldn’t trade having my kid for all the naps I could imagine, but it’s still nice to squeeze one in. There’s something different about a nap on the couch next to your loved ones while a screen is on, as opposed to in silence alone in bed. I think it feels festive, somehow. It’s that post-holiday-meal vibe. It’s luxurious and drowsy and it was so pleasant that I think I might try to do it more often.

We were going to go out to dinner with my family of origin, but M. fell asleep on the way there so we just turned around and went back home.

Sunday we went to breakfast with them and W.’s mom, then M. and I headed to the Museum of Life and Science to meet a friend of his and her mom. When we were done there, we went home and eventually I got around to watching bits of Bakara Wintner’s live tarot reading on Instagram for the first time ever. I’ve wanted to for a long time, but it’s rare that the timing works out. This time I was able to put it on while I was cooking. I wish I’d been watching from the beginning. I hope I get to do it again, soon. I really like her vibe and would love to just see her more in general. I feel like I’ve read her book a thousand times since I got it a couple years ago. It makes me happy. Maybe happier even than actually pulling cards does? But maybe that’s about getting more practice. I’m really practiced at reading. Less so at tarot.

I fell asleep super early last night but then woke up around midnight and I don’t know what, maybe read about online diarists at the turn of the millennium? That sounds right.

I woke up again around 4 and watched the first episode of The Mandalorian. I’m always trying to figure out how to find the next media thing I want to experience. I can’t keep up, both because we’re past the era of peak TV into the era of too much of everything to have a monocultural conversation (which is fine, more different things is always good, just harder to follow) so last night I decided to work a combo of Tumblr’s fandom statistics, Archive of Our Own’s top fandoms, and NPR’s Pop Culture blog coverage to help me decide.

So The Mandalorian. I just re-watched Star Wars: A New Hope for the first time in years Saturday night. I found that I still love it, that Princess Leia continues to be my hero, that Obi Wan continues to be my favorite Jedi, and that it’s only the first two thirds of the movie that makes me sleepy. I don’t love all of the changes Lucas has made to it over the years, mostly because the aesthetic feels disjointed in scenes where stuff has been digitally added in.

But it was a really interesting thing to do right before starting The Mandalorian, which I gather takes place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens? I’ve read nothing about it, so I’m not sure.

It has this interesting feel. It doesn’t feel like Star Wars, although it does have all of the visuals and worldbuilding references that clue you in that yes, this is a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It feels kind of like Firefly and, to a lesser extent, Serenity. To the point where I was like, “Is the Mandalorian played by Nathan Fillion?” (Nope. He’s Pedro Pascal. But they have similar voices.) I’m looking forward to catching more of it, then reading what other people have said about it.


I’ve been thinking today about something Maria Bamford said – I think it was in her episode of The Hilarious World of Depression. She said that one of the times she was hospitalized for her mental illness, and before she met her husband, she saw the people in the psychiatric facility and how they had people who loved them visiting them, especially spouses and romantic partners. She said it made her realize that she didn’t have to wait until she loved herself for someone else to love her.

I think this is so important to remember. There’s a lot of rhetoric out there about how if you want to be loved, you have to love yourself first. But I’m here to tell you, and so is Maria Bamford: it’s just not so. You are worthy of love, whether you love yourself or not, and the people who love you will love you when you think you’re great and when you’re very down on yourself.

I wish I could tell little 13/14 year old me, back in 1995, that she actually DOES like a genre of popular music, it’s just R&B, and it’s not her fault all her friends are into alternative and she’s the only one who likes R&B and that also R&B is a very legitimate genre of music for a 13/14 yo in 1995 to love.
Anybody got tips on automating Instagram data collection (specifically images, post text, comments) for qual analysis for someone with no Python experience? A total API n00b?
My kid’s preferred type of narrative conflict is Bear vs. Self.
This blog post contains affiliate links. If you click them and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you). Thank you for your support. I promise not to link anything I don’t use and love myself.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m participating in #AcWriMo this year and calling it #DissProWriMo, since I’m planning to churn out a pretty workable draft of my dissertation proposal this month. Is it an ambitious goal? It sure is. Can I do it? Here’s hoping!

But Kimberly, what resources are you using to help you?

I’m so glad you asked. Here’s a list:

Nice. What are your goals?

Final goals:

  1. Finished draft of my dissertation proposal
  2. Submission-ready version of a paper I’m co-authoring with Dr. Maggie Melo.

Progress goal: 1-3 pages of writing per day

What are your limitations?

I only have 17 days with childcare this month. I’m planning to spend at least 2 hours a day writing, but more if I can manage it.

Anything else we need to know?

I’ll be posting a weekly blog update on my progress. You can follow along by clicking any of the social links to the left or by subscribing for email updates (also in the left sidebar).


I hereby declare November to be #DissProWriMo. Writing your dissertation proposal? Me too! Let’s connect! #AcWriMo #AcWri #phdchat
Current hobby: lying in bed and re-watching Downton Abbey.