Shibuya!

Mon, Aug. 9th, 2010 10:59 pm
oyceter: Black and white photo with translucent red area (japan)
First day in Tokyo! It's a bit overwhelming. Our flight was first delayed, and although we managed to exchange our travel vouchers for tickets for the airport bus to our hotel and get our rental cell phones, Narita's 2nd terminal is not particularly easy to navigate. We then headed to Asakusa to get even more train tickets (for Nikko), in which I got lost about eighteen times in the subway station and managed to get in to buy our passes five minutes before the office closed. Go me and my sister, but that took a lot more time than anticipated.

Then... Shibuya! I think I am still a bit shocked by just how big Tokyo is; no wonder last time I was here, I basically just spent all four days or so around Shibuya. I was startled in Seoul by the size of Myeongdong, which I feel is about four times the size of Ximending, but Shibuya is at least two Myeongdongs, to say the least. Also, it started raining. We had our umbrellas, but still!

So far, I love all the random little eateries underneath highway and subway overpasses, but I have to say, Tokyo's subway system is about ten times more confusing than Seoul's. First there's the fact that there are three separate lines, and I'm still not quite sure how transfers work between them (I heard it was more expensive). And then, the signage is really not very good. My sister and I stared blankly at the ticket screen, and all the exits and maps are extremely confusing. This is particularly weird when compared to Seoul, where I felt like everything made a lot of sense and I almost always knew where to go as long as I was within the subway system.

Thankfully, I managed to find Book Off in Shibuya without getting very lost—like Seoul and very unlike Shanghai, things on the map look far in Tokyo but are actually extremely walkable—and Book Off, like everything else in Tokyo, was far larger than I had expected. Can I say that I continue to hate the Japanese system of shelving comics? It probably makes a lot of sense when you read comics from the monthly or weekly magazines, but when you have no idea what company published which author's whatever series, it takes a lot of time to hunt through stacks of manga to make sure you didn't miss anything! I so wish things were just shelved by mangaka. As such, I didn't get any loot in Book Off and wandered off with my sister, slightly disappointed. But Mandarake was next on the list!

OMG people! How have I managed to never go to Mandarake before in my life?! And I thought Animate in Akihabara was awesome when I first went way back when! I didn't explore it fully, but Mandarake has rows and rows and rows of doujinshi (none of which I bought, since I have no idea what circles publish what and already felt bad dragging my sister through who knows how many miles of comics). And manga! And they arranged the manga by author so I finally managed to find the republished version of Mizushiro Setona's 1999nen shichi no tsuki Shanghai! FINALLY! Well, just part two of two, but still.

AND AND AND OMG!!!!!!!

I now own vols. 1-4 (of 8) of Takemiya Keiko's Kaze to ki no uta (I did not realize it was so long, woe!) and Hagio Moto's Heart of Tomas and November Gymnasium! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! I have been looking for these ever since UNDERGRAD!

... and now I am not sure if I was just always looking in the wrong place, because they're published in a smaller format than most manga, or if I just needed to go to Mandarake. And they had a TON more Takemiya Keiko and Hagio Moto that I did not buy because the series were too long and I was already buying a lot as it were! But still!!! Magnificent 49er manga FINALLY! And all for less than $40!

Also, we went to a cat cafe for half an hour and watched a bunch of cats eat and chase each other around! They were so cute! I only wish we could have stayed longer to pet them more. Then on to dinner at an Okinawan restaurant with my sister's co-worker, in which we had this pork with the cartilage still in, cooked so that it was a soft, mochi-like texture. Also, we randomly had takoyaki under a highway overpass in Asakusa and a chocolate taiyaki in Shibuya!

So far, I am actually not sure if I love Tokyo as much as Hong Kong or Seoul, which surprises me a bit, but some of it is probably the size and the sheer overwhelming-ness of it all. And we have really only gone to Shibuya! Tomorrow, Shinjuku and Harajuku and Omotesando and Aoyama, or however much of it we make it through.

(I am SO TEMPTED to go to Mandarake in Ikebukuro to see if I can pick up my missing volumes for Takemiya Keiko and Mizushiro Setona. We will see how much my sister can take being dragged through bookstores where she does not read the language.)

More book loot!

Fri, Aug. 15th, 2008 11:05 pm
oyceter: Stack of books with text "mmm... books!" (mmm books)
Aside from my manga loot, which I am still gloating about, so far I have bought:

- Sherry Thomas, Delicious, even though I could have gotten it in CA, just because I couldn't wait any longer to read it.

- John Makeham and A-Chin Hsiau, eds., Cultural, Ethnic, and Political Nationalism in Contemporary Taiwan: Bentuhua

- Patti Gully, Sisters of Heaven: China's Barnstorming Aviatrixes: Modernity, Feminism, and Popular Imagination in Asia and the West. Chinese aviatrixes! How could I refuse?

- Trinh T. Minh-ha, Woman Native Other

- Celine Parrenas Shimizu, The Hypersexuality of Race: Performing Asian/American Women on Screen and Scene

- Kathleen Duey, Skin Hunger, as it was recced by both [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink and [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija

- Maria Luisa Bombal, New Islands and Other Stories, as recced by Mely

- Eileen Chang, Love in a Fallen City, recced by Mely and out of interest from Lust Caution

- Laura Esquivel, Swift as Desire, since I'm liking Like Water for Chocolate so far

- Derek Walcott, The Odyssey, as recced by Mely

- Megan Chance, The Spiritualist, as I am still hoping that something in her general historical fiction will be as good as her genre romances

- Scott Westerfeld, The Risen Empire, because it's trade PB and mine is the HB and my second book in the series is mass market, and the discrepancy drives me crazy. Crazy!

- Marie Brennan, Midnight Never Come, as recced by [livejournal.com profile] yhlee and [livejournal.com profile] coniraya

Comment and tell me about any of them!

Loot!

Mon, Aug. 11th, 2008 05:36 pm
oyceter: Stack of books with text "mmm... books!" (mmm books)
BWAHAHAHA! I got a ton of loot at the Strand today (and at the Strand Annex over the weekend) and I am going to rub it in everyone's faces and brag because I never manage to find manga on sale in California.

Loot ($2 for everything save the manhwa, which was $2.50):
  • Mixed Vegetables, which I have never heard of but stars a daughter of a pastry chef who wants to be a sushi chef and the son of a sushi chef who wants to be a pastry chef.

  • Sugar Princess 1

  • Forest of Gray City 2

  • Goong 2

  • Flower of Life 3 (from Forbidden Planet)

  • High School Debut 5, which I'm not actually collecting, but hey, TWO DOLLARS!

  • Vampire Knight 5!!!!!!!!

  • Nana 12!!!!!!!!


And, bwahahahaha, half of them are not out on Amazon yet!

... now I know how [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink must feel like all the time.

ETA: On the other hand, I didn't find an ARC of Octavian Nothing 2 and I forgot to look for one for Justine Chen Headley's new book.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
I ended up in the city for the $1/book day of the Friends of the San Francisco Library Sale, whoo! The sale was HUGE; it was the third day and there were still tons of books. It's probably five or six times the size of my local library sale. Next year, I may be insane and attempt to go two days, but only if there are friends driving like this year.

The best part was standing at the SF/F table scanning titles, looking up, and seeing [livejournal.com profile] coniraya right next to me! I think we'd both been there for about a minute before we even realized!

The worst part was that there was no table out for romance. People! Stop shafting romance readers! I say this not just because I am one, but because you have tables out for SF/F and mystery and all the thrillers are out there, and if you're going to be snobby about genre, be freaking snobby about all of them and not, say, just the one specifically targeted to women! I am so annoyed by this. I'm so sick of walking into used bookstores and finding they have no romance section either (not specialty bookstores, but general ones that have sections for everything). When I worked at a used bookstore, people there were so snobby about the romances -- they were snobby about bestsellers in general, but romances always got that special dose of scorn. And I am very tired of it. Also, it makes no sense from a financial point of view! Argh!

People! Pander to me! I will throw money at you for books, really!

Book loot:
  • Elizabeth A. Lynn's Watchtower, The Dancers of Arun, and The Northern Girl, for the Joanna Russ blurb and because Mely recced a short story collection of Lynn's to me

  • CJ Cherryh, Exile's Gate, so I don't keep borrowing it from the library and not reading it and then returning it, because I know I will want to read this eventually. Morgaine! Cold immortal not-really-assassin-but-still-kickass woman! I sicced the omnibus of the original trilogy on [livejournal.com profile] coniraya.

  • Ellen Kushner, The Privilege of the Sword. I didn't like it as much as most people, but I still liked it, and definitely worth getting for a dollar.

  • Nalo Hopkinson, Midnight Robber. Another book I bought so I don't keep borrowing it from the library and not reading it even though I know eventually I will want to read it.

  • Julia Ross, Games of Pleasure. Courtesan! Also, I hadn't realized Ross has been putting out books after The Wicked Lover; I should find her others. Except my local library does very poorly with the romance. ARGH.

  • Robin McKinley, The Hero and the Crown, because I wanted the trade paper version with the prettier cover.

  • Nancy Farmer, A Girl Name Disaster. Nancy Farmer!

  • Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett, Point of Dreams. I vaguely remember [livejournal.com profile] oracne writing this (or another book by the authors) up and saying it was Elizabethan fantasy! It's not the first in the series, but the back says I don't have to read the other first to read this.

  • Megan Lindholm, Harpy's Flight. WHOO! My find of the day. I was scared I already owned this; I basically buy all Megan Lindholm books I ever see in hopes of getting the entire Ki and Vandien series. Thankfully, I do not own this! So I am one book closer to the whole thing! And this is the first one, and I checked and found I have the second one, and I can finally read this! WHOO! (I have been hunting for these for a couple years now.)

  • Toni Cade Bambara, The Salt Eaters. I vaguely remember her being pimped. Also, my shelves are too white (this reason will apply to a lot of the books below, as I don't usually read much non-SF/F, non-YA fiction, so I use library sales to get interesting-looking books for cheap to hopefully expand reading horizons).

  • Fumiko Enchi, The Waiting Years, because Mely recs her.

  • Larissa Lai, When Fox Is a Thousand. Chinese foxes! Intertwined stories of three different periods including a Chinese woman poet!

  • Bapsi Sidhwa, Cracking India. Again with the "my shelves are too white!" Also, I liked the Washington Post blurb: "[S]he has concocted a girlishly romantic love story which is driven by the most militant feminism."

  • Jessica Hagedorn, Dogeaters. I was really not sure about this, given the title, but the author blurb said she was born and raised in the Philippines, and the review blurbs and the cover blurbs and scanning the book make me feel as though the title's ironic and will be looking at things critically.

  • Zhu Hong, ed. and trans., The Serenity of Whiteness. Stories by and about women in contemporary China. Because I am woefully undereducated, and I am sick of reading secondary works on Asian women and not reading things by Asian women.

  • Asian Women United of California, ed., Making Waves. Anthology of writing by and about Asian-American women, because I am woefully undereducated (this is going to be a refrain) and should know about writers who are not Amy Tan and Maxine Hong Kingston.

  • Ann Allen Shockley, ed., Afro-American Women Writers 1746-1933, which includes historical and critical introductions to different periods, bought because I am woefully undereducated.

  • Mari Evans, ed., Black Women Writers 1950-1980, which has selected short pieces by writers accompanied by critical essays, yay! Again, bought because I am woefully undereducated.


I swear, I culled from my stack too! I didn't let myself get any hardcovers, and I made myself prioritize stuff I couldn't get at the library and stuff by women of color. And, um, stuff I could get at the library but wanted anyway. And stuff I already had but wanted a nicer version of. But I did cull! And I shoved The Secret Country and The Hidden Land next to each other because SOMEONE should buy them even though I shouldn't because I already have them. I probably should have tried siccing China Mountain Zhang on a friend as well ([livejournal.com profile] coniraya already had it).

I feel if I can't buy the book (or, uh, already own it), someone should!
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oyceter: Pea pod and peas with text "peas please" (peas)
This week, I went with [livejournal.com profile] cychi and A. to see the Tezuka Osamu exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in SF.

As we got off the BART, little did we know (well, ok, A. knew) that this was the weekend for the LGBT pride parade, which meant... STREET FAIR!

It was huge! I didn't get to see most of it, as we didn't have that much time, but we all managed to find the fooding booths. We started off with funnel cake, deep fried and squiggly and covered with powdered sugar, absolutely delicious. It was the first time A. had had funnel cake ("Deep-fried dough with powdered sugar!" I said. "How can it be bad?"). Then we decided that we should probably eat lunch first before eating even more.

A. took us to a Vietnamese place in Little Saigon, in which I introduced A. and C. to the joys of roast squab, particularly roast squab with a crispy, glazed skin, oozing with juice and fat, laid on a small pile of carmelized onions and raisins. ("Better than duck!" said C. "I now think of pigeons in an entirely new light!" said A. "Squab!" yelled C. upon exiting and walking through a giant swarm of pigeons on the street.) We also had a tart and refreshing green papaya salad with little bits of beef jerky, along with stir-fried meat, bean sprouts, and other stuff wrapped in a thin, pancake-like substance, which was then wrapped with a lettuce leaf and eaten a little like a taco. Everything was extremely good, except possibly the pigeon claw, which A. discovered upon tasting was more decorative than actually edible, unlike chicken claws at dim sum.

We then went to get dessert at the fair, because they had.... DEEP-FRIED TWINKIES!

"OMG! Awesome! We must get some!" I exclaimed during our first pass through.

"Uhhh. Deep-fried what?" said A.

"I had some once. They were pretty good!" said C.

"OMG! Awesome! We must get some!" I said. "OMG! Beignets!"

"What's that?" asked C.

"More deep-fried dough! Awesome!" I explained.

"Look! Deep-fried artichoke hearts!" said A.

"Yay street food!" said C.

Deep-fried twinkies )

Tezuka Osamu exhibit )

Yoshitoshi woodblock print exhibit )

Book loot! )

More food! )
oyceter: (still ibarw)
This felt very different from my first Wiscon, and a lot of it was because of the Great Cultural Appropriation Debate of DOOM from last year.

Reading last year's post, the most notable things were how out of place and how voiceless I felt. Part of it was because it was my first Wiscon, part of it was because it was the first time I'd met several LJ people in person, part of it was because I don't have the same SF/F reading background that a lot of people do, and part of it was because I was Asian.

This year, I knew the rough format, I was on two panels, and I was meeting several people again. Also, more people who I've hung out with in person went too. But for me, the largest difference was that I was still pissed off from last year and determined not to have that happen again. I admittedly had a bit of a "fuck it all, why not?" attitude; I figured it was going to end up being public here on LJ anyway, and if I was going to start the next big flamewar, I might as well speak up at a few things as well ;). The other really major factor was that I (and several other people I talked to, POC and white) felt that there was a larger percentage of POC at the con.

Race )

ETA (entire section): Otherness )

Fooding )

Book loot )

More awesomeness )

In conclusion: I had tons of fun, my brain only exploded once or twice, I met lots of cool people who I had only seen before online, I ate a lot, and I wish it were next year already! I must remember to submit a panel idea for something on shoujo manga, because I was very sad about only being able to talk manga with a few people.

Holiday eating

Wed, Dec. 27th, 2006 02:14 pm
oyceter: (santa me)
I ended up rushing to Target and buying a tree on Friday afternoon, go me! It'll only be up for a week or so, but it was nice.

Christmas Eve )

Christmas Day )

The day after )

Today, I am at work and feeling incredibly lazy. But there is [livejournal.com profile] yhlee-meeting tonight and a movie tomorrow, and then possibly ballroom dancing and Asian Art Museum visiting on the weekend. And then it will be 2007 and I will write up my year in books after I moan over all the books and manga that I haven't written up.

Possibly I will also write up my year in TV, anime and manga, but only so I can pimp the things I loved. And manga has taken over so much of my reading this year that it really should have its own entry.
oyceter: (fuu woe)
Weekend almost over, yay! Normally I do not cheer the end of a long weekend, but this year, I so am.

Too many people, too much driving, too much wrangling for parking spaces, too much attempting to be on time and not and forgetting assorted things. Also, I didn't even have that much good food, and considering all the nasty parking, I didn't even get that many good bargains.

I have instead overcompensated by spending entirely too much money. Sigh. Must budget better next week.

Loot includes:
- Samsonite luggage set consisting of a wheeled carry-on bag large enough for more-than-overnight-less-than-a-week trips and a duffle bag. $70! I am actually proud of this one.

- Um. Too much yarn. In my defense, some of it is for Christmas presents. Maybe Christmas presents for next year, considering the rate I finish things, but still! Also, I wandered into my local yarn store today to find some gorgeous colorways of self-striping yarns for 70% off! Four dollar yarn! 100% wool! Soft! Beautiful colors! I got Cognac and Lilac Blossoms.

- I bought Angel Sanctuary 13-16 (Eng.) and Nana 16 (orig.) from Kinokuniya. I probably should have waited for AS, but I wanted to read more.

- I nearly bought Night of the Beasts, which I saw advertised in Her Majesty's Dog. I managed to resist and only ended up getting a new Judith Ivory (ok, not new, but a reissued Judy Cuevas I've never heard of) and Rent and Pride and Prejudice (I am strangely fond of Keira Knightley in this one!). I probably shouldn't have gotten anything, but the DVDs were $8 each, and I know they will be comfort movies.

- Have spent too much money on food that wasn't even that tasty. Sigh. Weekend will be over after classmates visit, but hopefully that will be less expensive and more fun, given that it is hot pot, and it is perfect weather for hot pot.

In other news, it's grey and rainy here, and it finally feels like November. Ugh. I think I will curl up on the couch with rats, knit a scarf and watch Rent and sing aloud at the top of my lungs later tonight.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (teru teru)
I got so caught up in the whole deluge of comments that I forgot to post about this!

Anyhow, there was a library sale last weekend.

Need I say more?

I got:
- RuThAnne Lum McCunn, Thousand Pieces of Gold (Asian-American fiction)
- Lizzie Simon, Detour: My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D
- Andrew J. Nathan and Perry Link, eds., The Tiananmen Papers
- Simon Singh, Fermat's Enigma (I liked his The Code Book a lot)
- Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales
- Olivia Judson, Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation (Bugs having sex on the cover! Also, good reviews)
- Kim Wong Keltner, The Dim Sum of All Things (Asian-American chick lit)

All for $8!

And if that weren't enough, I went back to the used bookstore to get vols. 2-5 of Planet Ladder. They also had vol. 1 of Cross there, but I decided that I really didn't need my own copy to flip through, although I was really tempted, just so I could pull it out and show it to random visitors, thereby ensuring that no one would come over to see me ever again.

The best of all was finding the very OOP Four Shojo Stories in the corner of a random comic book store, still going for cover price. Still not cheap, but pretty good compared the the $60 it's going for online! Yay classic shoujo!
oyceter: Stack of books with text "mmm... books!" (mmm books)
I went to the used bookstore today to get a copy of What Color Is My Parachute?.

Two hours later, I walked out with the following:

- Megan Chance, Fall From Grace
- Kara Dalkey, Little Sister
- Geraldine Harris, Seven Citadels: Prince of the Godborn
- Soryo Fuyumi, Mars, vols. 1-7
- Hagio Moto, A, A' (WHOO!!!!!!!!)
- Yuki Kaori, Angel Sanctuary, vols. 6-10
- Akiyama Tamayo, Mouryou Kiden: Legend of the Nymph, vol. 1

The really sad thing is, I was actually displaying some modicum of willpower. I passed up Death Note vol. 4, Planet Ladder vols. 2-5, something called Thread of Time vols. 1-5 (I vaguely remember this title, probably from LJ, but I can't for the life of me remember), Tezuka Osamu's Buddha vol. 1 and Get Backers vol. 1.

Most of what I got are things that I've read before and know I want. Um, of course, I already have all of Mars, but I console myself with the fact that it is all in Chinese and back in Taiwan. Ok, I already have the Chance too, but it's out of print. The Dalkey and the Harris are unknowns, but highly recced by [livejournal.com profile] yhlee, and Hagio Moto speaks for herself (I read A, A' before in photocopy my freshman year for a class). Plus, I know I will want all of Angel Sanctuary. It's just too pretty and insane to resist. The only real unknown is the Akiyama Tamayo, and I fell to the wily ways of the back cover copy, which says Akiyama was a former member of CLAMP and the series is fantasy romance.

I comfort myself with the thought that everything was used.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Alas, I forgot to bring my camera yet again!

But after I managed to wake up after dreaming that I was at the Baba ashram with dirty showers and that everyone there hated me (I think I looked at too many pictures of India yesterday), we headed out to Empress Pavilion for dim sum. Amazingly, there was a very short wait. I think most people this weekend are trying to eat barbeque or something. We were seated in a corner, so we didn't get all that many carts passing by. Even so, I still got shrimp and jiou tsai dumplings, BBQ pork buns, taro rolls things, Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, and I finally got to try the black sesame rolls that Rachel keeps talking about! They're really good and gooey and sesame-y, though after Rachel said several people didn't like them, I started seeing a vague resemblance to slugs.

Not that that stopped me from eating all of them.

After that, we wandered around several anime stores for a bit, in which I bought some keychain figurines to give to people and Rachel got more Naruto figurines and a FMA one to round out her collection. Then we nearly died of heatstroke as we wandered about Chinatown, which prompted Rachel to buy a hat and me to buy a dinky little umbrella, so I could shielf myself from the sun and look like all the other old ladies wandering around.

Then, it was on to Kinokuniya! I spent entirely too much money on:
- Cecilia Seigle, Yoshiwara
- Ryoko Ikeda, The Rose of Versailles, vol. 1 (it was republished in 8 vols.)
- Nananan Kiriko, Strawberry Short Cakes (I have no idea where I heard of her, but the art is interesting)
- Fumiko Enchi, Masks (Mely keeps reccing her)
- Hisaya Nakajo, Sugar Princess vol. 1, which is apparently about an ice skater girl

Hopefully I'll be able to find used copies of Saiyuki in Japanese at Bookoff or something, because I desperately want to read the originals. I also made Rachel get vols. 5 and 6 of Saiyuki Reload because they are so good!

We ate kurobuta ramen at a ramen place whose name I can't remember. They only have one type of ramen, though, and for a good reason! It was absolutely delicious -- very flavorful and silky broth, probably cooked for days and days with pork bones, tender slices of pork that nearly fell apart in your mouth, eggs hard-boiled to the perfect doneness, while soaking up the flavor of the broth, and noodles that were just tender enough, but still chewy. So, so, so good.

We also got mochi from the traditional mochi place, which has apparently been open since 1903, and two of the ones we got were pink white-bean mochi! I pretended that Fuu made them.

We also passed quite a few bookstores with books on ninjutsu, largely written by Steve Hayes. Rachel bought one, titled Clan of Death: Ninja, with the further bits "The Incredible True Story! In the quiet of a whisper, come the deadly soldiers of the dark."

There was a lot of snorting and snorfling that went on as we went over our purchases of the day.

And now, I am going to raid even more of her manga shelves, having now finished the published bits of Naruto and Alice 19th.

Hobbies

Mon, May. 15th, 2006 12:45 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Woe. I have made the belated realization that I should probably start reading non-LJ blogs, given that I have an RSS reader in Firefox. As a result, I have been madly adding assorted knitting blogs, which has, of course, spurred my desire to knit humongous lace shawls of doom and buy extremely thin cobweb weight yarn so that I can torture my fingers even more.

Then, of course, I found manga blogs and Scott Westefeld's blog, which is fun (Eeek! How can Specials be out already? And in hardcover? I saw it at Borders, but really cannot get it because I broke book-buying moratorium too much and got artbooks last week). I manfully resisted getting the latest Dessen as well.

Also discovered at Borders was the fact that summer is apparently the time for all knitting magazines to put out lace knitting articles. I foolishly went ahead and bought Interweave Knits' new issue, even though the lace knitting articles tells me absolutely nothing I didn't already know. But... lace! Lace is my new obsession, even though I haven't really knitted a crazy shawl yet. But I have plans! And an obsession!

I couldn't find Vogue Knitting, but apparently they have a lace knitting article as well. Obviously, I am doomed. Also, I've found eight more things I want to knit, despite being on a yarn-buying moratorium (no more for me until I manage to clear out some more of my stash). Um... yes. Needless to say, my to-be-knit stack is frighteningly large.

I wonder if there'll be a knitting circle at Wiscon? Hrm....

However, I succumbed and bought a book on duelling (Gentlemen's Blood by Barbara Holland), largely because it was four dollars. I'm hoping that it'll respark my book interest. Fear not, I'm not uninterested in books in general (perish the thought). But I just seem to be picking up things that mildly interest me but don't grab me by the throat. That's actually probably why I've been reading so much manga lately.

So yes, any book recs that you think I might like or blog recs are highly welcome.
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(no subject)

Sun, May. 7th, 2006 09:58 pm
oyceter: (Saiyuki: Goku live live live)
Lalalalala I got Salty Dog II and Backgammon and Reload 6 and Nana 13-15 and OMG am so broke but lalalala pretty pictures squee yay!!!!
oyceter: (Saiyuki: Goku live live live)
I got to go to an industry conference in the city for work, so it felt a lot like getting Friday off. I mean, it could have been tedious, but the conference was incredibly fun and reminded me of why I love my job in the first place and want to keep doing what I'm doing. Sadly, that feeling has been lacking a little in the past couple of weeks, so this was perfectly timed.

And since I was in the city already, as was [livejournal.com profile] rilina, we extended the dinner+night of hanging out to two nights!

Assorted details, book loot, fooding, and randomness )

Random blathering on Saiyuki 5 and Kinokuniya )
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (temperence)
1. I forgot to bring my camera. Of course, I realized this while I was at the San Francisco airport, because I saw some vending machines that sold iPods and Gameboys and audiobooks (!!) and wanted to take a picture. That may qualify as the niftiest vending machine that I've seen in the US! I miss the totally random Japanese vending machines, but iPod vending machines were pretty cool. Alas, you will all have to suffer the lack of my camera with me.

The good thing is that my dad is letting me steal his, as I have been inspired by other LJers' trip photoblogging to try and do my own. The bad thing is that I'm not quite sure what to take pictures of, outside of the food, because things that I think are normal aren't necessarily, and things that I think are nifty may indeed be very boring.

2. I opened the in-flight magazine, only to discover that they were showing Nana the movie.... but on the way back. Woe! Hopefully I will get to see it on the way back. Or find a DVD or something here.

3. Taiwan bookstores are really crowded. I ogled over manga and restrained myself, given that I will be going to the comic book store later, and it's cheaper over there. However, I did get myself two Chinese cookbooks! One is just on assorted pancake-like flatbreads (bin) and what you can do with them, which totally excites me, and another is just a fairly normal-seeming vegetarian one. I only hope that I don't get too confused by figuring out the instructions in Chinese, and the names of assorted ingredients.

4. I am now in the hospital getting a very thorough physical, courtesy of my mom, who is, shall we say, extremely concerned about all things healthwise these days. All the doctors keep asking me why I'm doing this when I'm so young (all the other people here seem to be in their fifties or so). It's very cold. But the good thing is that they feed you lunch (unagidon! whoo!) and that they are providing me with internet access! They are also frighteningly organized.

The bad thing is that anytime they tell me something or ask me questions, I'm very puzzled, given that my Chinese medical terminology really sucks, to say the least. Also, it's freezing in here because Taiwan doesn't believe in indoor heating and the building is made of concrete, and I'm in a robe. At least they gave me an outer robe.

5. Further plans for this afternoon include a haircut, at long last!

6. I have already had beef rolls (beef flavored with some sauce and green onions wrapped in something rather like a scallion pancake), noodle soup, dates, wax apples, strawberries, and Asian pears. And watermelon. Whoo fruit! How I have missed you! I will make my mom go out and buy me lots more, but I have to remember to bring said camera so that I can show everyone pictures of fruit stands and such!

Food and books!

Sat, Jan. 14th, 2006 10:57 pm
oyceter: Calvin pointing at something saying "!!!" (wow)
My dad is here! Alas, the first half of today was spent doing real estate stuff (argh argh argh), which is not at all fun, especially if you are looking at something for your mom and really have absolutely no idea what she wants but everyone keeps askingyou anyway.

But then I went to Whole Foods and got a giant can of olive oil, more canned tomatoes and dried black beans and willfully restrained myself from getting more. I think I'll skip the farmer's market tomorrow too, especially if it's raining. Plus, I shouldn't cook too much because I'm leaving for Taiwan in a few days. (yay!)

And then we went to Borders, and my dad said he would buy me books! Mwahahahaha! Except it took too long for me to pick them out, so we headed out to dinner first. Went to a sort of fusion/Vietnamese place, which was much fancier than I had anticipated (I picked it, because my dad is actually sick of fancy food this week). But it was good. Very tasty lemongrass bass, soft and tender and oozing with juice, along with honey-roasted quail with this lime-salt-pepper dipping sauce, crab and pork spring rolls, and other good stuff. And for dessert, there were these fried wonton things with chocolate ganache and banana on the inside, with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce. Really tasty! Plus, I liked the crispiness. They actually had a lot of interesting things on the menu, so that was fun.

I was feeling sort of guilty for the restaurant pick, though both of us agreed it was quite good food. And then, to Borders, where the "buy 3 get the 4th free" sale on manga is still going on! Mwahahaha! But I exercised great restraint and told myself I could pick out one knitting book and four volumes of manga (and then I caved and got a knitting magazine as well... I like the pretty pictures). So now I own Loop-d-Loop (such cool constructions! So many sweaters in the round! Textures!), xxxHolic vol. 6, Saiyuki Reload vol. 2 (guuuuh), Paradise Kiss vol. 1 (must support favorite mangaka) and Cantarella vol. 1 because poison and Renaissance Italy and the Borgias is always good. Even better in manga.

I have totally caved to manga addiction. Le sigh. Well... it was bound to happen sometime!

Now I have tons more knitting patterns I want to make, even though I still have about a dozen in the house printed out that I haven't started either, lalala.
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Sat, Jan. 7th, 2006 05:23 pm
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Oh dear. I went down to the used bookstore to sell some of my books and ended up finding vols. 3-4 of Alice 19th in Japanese. I willfully resisted, but once I have trade credit, I fear I will relapse. I need to stop buying books in non-English because I will never read them! And yet... three dollars each!

So then, of course, I decided to head over to Books, Inc. and proceeded to end up getting Fruits Basket 4, Saiyuki Reload 1 (I miss Minekura art. I need to scout for artbooks when I go home), a gift for a friend, and Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief. I haven't even started reading all the books I got while I was in NY, or even the books I got when [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija was here. I think I need a book-buying hiatus.

The sad thing is that in the back of my mind, the book-buying hiatus is littered with loopholes (It doesn't count if I get manga! It doesn't count if I get stuff with gift certificates or trade credit!).

Also, I curse all of you who have gotten me back into manga and so impatient that I cannot even wait a month for my Amazon gift certificate to get more Fruits Basket. The only reason I stopped at only one volume was becuase vol. 5 was in bad shape and they didn't have another copy.

I curse you all to be deluged with too many good book recs and have no willpower to resist!

*madly cackles*

(no subject)

Sat, Dec. 3rd, 2005 07:19 pm
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Picked up an extra copy of Emma Bull's Finder at the library sale, anyone want it? (aka, free book!)

I also picked up a random magazine -- The Upholsterer and Interior Decorator, June 15, 1931, and was going to see if anyone on LJ wanted it. Then I found it out was selling on Abebooks for $20. Sooo... maybe not. Must investigate selling options. Unless there is anyone here who really wants to buy it (for less than $20, naturally)?

I caved and got vols. 6 and 9 of Saiyuki, so now I can read straight through (I have 4, 7, and 8 currently and sat in Borders reading 5).

All the cooking shows going crazy over the holidays and eating [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink's tasty food and marvelling at the fact that she actually made it all has sort of inspired me to cook. Well... we'll see how it goes.

Things I want to try:
[livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink/Moosewood Restaurant's cornmeal scones
Alton Brown's fruitcake
AB's oatmeal
Some gingerbread recipe (anyone have a good one?)
AB's clotted cream
[livejournal.com profile] heres_luck's polenta
[livejournal.com profile] upsy_daisy's garlic chicken
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Argh, have just found out that LJ is still not emailing me all my comments! Grrrr.

But... Yay! I have made my very first gingerbread house ever, with much help from [livejournal.com profile] cychi, who I made do the icing. It is ugly and lopsided and completely, disgustingly packed with candy, but now I feel all holiday traditional! Well, as much as you can get with a prefabricated gingerbread house kit from Costco. But I care not! Plus, have never made one before ^_^. (Also, the front has a frightening resemblance to a spider's face. I am not quite sure how this happened.)

Am still somewhat missing New York and visiting people and crashing at my sister's apartment, and all that happy holiday stuff. It was also just nice being in the city itself again; four years of college in New Jersey, and I'd grown to think of New York as The City. I didn't get to go there as often as I liked, just enough to pretend that I actually knew where I was going and the like. Also, I just like cities. I like figuring out the subway and the bus systems, and I like digging around in all the nooks and crannies.

New York was grey and dirty and much taller than San Francisco, which is cloudy but pastel and ornate. There's more honking and more biting wind. And I don't care, because I love it, from the clanking subway cars that come to screeching halts to the crowded streets. I seriously contemplated moving there for a few hours (mostly while I was at Chikalicious and the Strand and [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink and my sister's apartments), but promptly reconsidered the second I stepped outside. I don't deal well with the cold.

I felt all happy because after a day being completely confused by what was where, I went around and felt all New-Yorker-y because I was walking around really fast and dodging people and avoiding eye contact! Of course, the fact that this excited me probably already disqualifies me from New-Yorker-dom ;).

And now... book loot!

Much loot )

Wah, now that I have typed this all up, all I can think about are the poor books that made their sad way to my cull pile =(. Oh well. The library calls!

After seeing [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink's book-filled house, I am now inspired to fit in even more bookcases! [livejournal.com profile] fannishly and I sort of went through the living room and figured that we could fit in three more bookcases or so, and I think I can fit more shallow media cases for manga or mass markets in my bedroom. Ha! And! I shall copy Mely and use my kitchen cabinets too!

This is probably a good thing, because I just found out that the library sale is this weekend! My public library always has things in pretty good condition. I am planning on going twice, once for stuff I actually want and once for the bag sale.

Why, yes, Bob, I did indeed buy over twenty books this weekend. I do not understand what this has to do with anything ;).
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I ate so much! We had hamburgers from the Creamery the first night, and I swear, they have the best hamburgers in the world. Ok, maybe not all the world, but it's close. Also, the mint oreo shake was not bad ;). Pizza the next day (thin crust... I am not a deep dish fan). Dim sum the day after, in which I ordered way too much. Heh. But! Fresh shrimp, just caught out of the tank right by the door! Ginormous fresh shrimp, just lightly steamed with only a little soy sauce with scallions and ginger for dipping so that you could still properly taste how creamy and tender and nicely textured fresh shrimp can be.

Although the giant buggy heads may have scared off [livejournal.com profile] fannishly, oops. And I finally got jook (rice porridge) with preserved eggs and pork, which is very much comfort food (my mom's is still better though), BBQ pork pastries, taro dumpling things with crispy outsides, crispy other things with pork in it (I didn't get to try this, boo), the rice noodle outside of long shrimp rolls rolled together and stir fried, with the sauce from Peking duck on the side (I really liked these! Never had them before!), green tea sesame bun things, egg tarts, shrimp wrapped around sugar cane, sticky rice in lotus leaves, and Chinese broccoli in hoisin sauce. Yum.

And there were peas at the farmers' market still! Although these peas were from another vendor! My other vendor's peas seem to be not so sweet any more (the last batch was definitely very starchy), but these were still so good that you could just take bites out of the pod, which both me and [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija were doing when we were shelling them and watching Firefly (it seems rather appropriate to shell peas and watch Firefly, for some reason).

So I finally got to sic peas on someone who is not [livejournal.com profile] fannishly!

There was also much playing with the fuzzbutts, both of whom probably enjoyed the attention immensely and let it get to their little ratty heads.

Pictures! )

I also have more book loot!

Loot! )

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