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Woe. Am missing wushu again. Well, technically I went last week, but now this means I have two sessions to make up! Maybe will go on Saturday.

I totally forgot that you aren't supposed to do strenuous activity or whatnot after giving blood. I mean, I was going to go anyway, except several people stopped and told me I probably shouldn't.

I'm continuously scared of giving blood, especially when I keep getting pricked on the finger and told my iron count is too low. I don't know why... it really doesn't hurt that much, it's just the thought of a giant freaking needle stuck in my arm.

Ok, ew, I just squicked myself out again.

But! I am at the point where I can watch the blood going into the baggie. The first time I gave blood, I looked over out of curiousity and nearly keeled over. This time, I noticed that the tubes going to the bag were warm. Obviously, it makes total sense for it to be warm, but it was still surprising.

I never really understood those people in books who would faint away at the sight of blood until then. I generally think I don't mind the sight of blood, but the thought that it's mine and that it's outside my body sort of freaks me out.
oyceter: (Saiyuki: Goku live live live)
(this is so my favorite icon ever)

You know, I've been feeling a bit down lately due to a whole mix of things. And then I read a friend's small write-up on turning [insert age here], how he felt like he hadn't accomplished anything, that his time here was wasted, that all he did was push papers or something.

And strangely, I started thinking that despite the move and the stress and the general feeling lately that life has been grey and unfun, I disagree.

But then, I find the thought that an entire life has been wasted quite possibly the most depressing notion in the world.

I also don't think that you need to go out and cure cancer or end world peace to have an unwasted life. Sometimes I wonder if my life is a waste, if my job doesn't do anything. I know that I'm not benefitting all of humanity or whatnot. I'm not doing anyone a great service by sitting here. But on the other hand, there are times when I get to go to a conference on something that really excites me, or there's a good brainstorming session, or I help someone out.

None of these things are world-changing by themselves, but I believe that enough of these things can be.

I knit, and I cook, and I write, and I blog, and I read, and I pet fuzzy rats, but I'm not just what I do, even though I love what I do, even though I love making things and thinking things.

I think it's odd how one single existence could be a wasted life with one person and a very fulfilling on with another.

I like that just as I am feeling very tired and very worn out, there's a beautiful spring day outside, and even though the flowering trees make me sneeze, when the wind blows through them and a shower of petals come down, there isn't room for sadness, not even the sadness of transience or of sheer manga doom. And even in my cubicle, there are nice emails from people just as I'm feeling alone.

I like being sappy and optimistic, I like caring, I like finding peace while washing dishes. I like the small moments of happiness, the feeling that it's worth it only for that one thing, even if that one thing is just a thin crust pizza or coppery-smooth branches or new Saiyuki fic.

I don't know... I think being happy is actually very hard work, even though from the outside, it always looks so easy. But it seems very worth it.
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  1. I've largely stopped getting into screaming arguments with my mom. I still have arguments with my mom and get exasperated with my mom and sometimes feel pressured by my mom, but the uncomfortable screaming arguments followed by silent treatment and fuming on both sides has lessened considerably. This isn't, of course, to say that it will always stay that way (though that would be nice), but one hopes it is because I am learning better. Last summer there was a screaming argument, but I didn't scream, for once, even though I talked VERY LOUDLY. And no silent treatment!

    I just realized because I was with high school friends over the weekend and I always had giant fights with my mom back then.

  2. I am actually pretty ok with how I've grown up (so far), and I don't really feel the need to fit in with old high school classmates or college friends anymore. And not because I'm being rebellious and anti-cool (that was me in most of middle school), but just because I realized I can make that choice. Huh.

  3. My friend who I've know since fourth grade is married! Eek! Not a new realization, but a re-realization.

  4. My other friend who I've also known since fourth grade is married and has a 17-month old kid who is incredibly cute and looks like him! Eek! This re-realization is sponsored by the letter Q.

  5. I like my job a lot, even though it is often stressful. And apparently since having it (or something), I am getting much better with the small talk. And I am just glad that I am not feeling slowly penned into doing something that I dislike and feeling all my options disappearing, which may be my worst fear in life. Well, that or ending up friendless and miserable and mean and cruel. But yes, thankfully, only good things to say about my boss and my team.

  6. It's always weird seeing how much people from your childhood have changed, and how much they've stayed the same.

  7. I am still always the last person in the class to know about gossip. Then again, I don't really mind this, because while I like some gossip, I don't like it all that much. This may also be because I get all my gossip from my mom, who gets it from another classmate's mom, who gets it from that classmate.

  8. Sorry, [livejournal.com profile] anleedruid, but I still like rats better than chinchillas! Although chinchillas are funny and roll around in dust!

  9. I survived an entire weekend without cracking open a book once. Well, except during the airport stints. Still. I blame this on being jetlagged.

  10. Texas serves Belgian waffles! And they will give you lots of honey if you ask for it! This may be the only things about Texas that I like better than California (apologies, Texans. I am deeply attached to CA). Wait, no. I had barbeque there as well, next to a restaurant with a giant armadillo with longhorns attached. That was cool too. And I had these things called "kolanchi" or "colanche" or something I can't spell. Basically, they were little rolls of bread, but filled with BBQ or scrambled eggs and jalapeno or Czech sausage! Coooool.

  11. I did not, alas, get to have grits, hominy, hush puppies, collard greens, or assorted other Southern food. I guess Texas only partially counts as the South? I didn't get to have Mexican either =(.

  12. The Superbowl still bores me. So I made my friend scrambled eggs with green peppers, onions, and a wee bit of tomato pesto for flavor. It was tasty! Southwestern Italian? But yes, I felt quite proud of myself for being able to throw things together from an unfamiliar refrigerator.

(no subject)

Tue, Jan. 3rd, 2006 03:28 pm
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The time between vacation and back-to-work, between people visiting and not is very odd -- particularly when the people visiting are my family or friends from high school. Actually, even visits from people from college are odd now.

It's strange because I revert to old patterns of behavior from years ago, and the people visiting expect me to be a person much more like I used to be, or something. Expectations are different, the environment is different. Things that I'd normally say now I'd avoid. Things that I'd normally avoid I'd joke about. Or something.

I can sort of feel myself melting around the edges a bit and reforming to me-in-CA-who-works, as opposed to me-the-big-sister or me-the-older-daughter. It's odd feeling it happen. On the other hand, it's not to say that people push me into those roles; it's just that habit formed by years and years is difficult to break. And I do find that I can carry parts of me-who-works into my other relationships, and vice versa.

Context is weird.

(no subject)

Wed, Dec. 7th, 2005 07:45 pm
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[livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink says: "I love A Little Princess! It is all about stories and pet rats and cold garrets and really kind of frightening stoicism, in retrospect. It was my favorite story in the world when I was nine years old."

I read this and had one of those moments in which a lot more things about me made sense. I read A Little Princess back in third grade or so; it's one of the books read prior to moving to Taiwan, so it's very early on in my mental development, or something.

And I adored it, and loved Sara, and pretty much wanted to be Sara. I loved the Magic and India and the dreary rooftops of London, as well as how secretly angry Sara could be and her kindness. I still remember her little speech to herself on staring Miss Minchin down and how she was stronger in the end because she wouldn't let her anger out like Miss Minchin did. And of course, I loved it because she read, and even in third grade, I found a kindred spirit when she tells one of her friends just how she feels when someone interrupts her while she's in the middle of a good book.

Sara Crewe was the reason why I was interested in the French Revolution and why I thought (and still sometimes think) that dolls and stuffed animals magically come to life behind closed doors.

Also, pet rats.

It all makes sense, I tell you!!

(no subject)

Sun, Sep. 4th, 2005 02:35 am
oyceter: Pink ball of yarn with text "yet unmade" (yarn)
Knitting Arts is having a sale this week. I happened to have a gift certificate that my auntie gave me for my birthday. Much ogling and groping of yarn ensued.

I have some really fine Crystal Palace mohair mix for a lacy crocheted sweater in light purple, white cotton Willow Tahki for this because while lace is a bitch to knit (much easier to crochet lace, which is why I love crochet), it's just so beautiful. Wah. I got this really crazy yarn in rose and white... not sure what I'll do with it, since I only got three balls, but I think it'd make a cute scarf. And I got a really gorgeous apricot ribbon yarn. The picture on the website totally doesn't do it justice. It's this beautiful soft, shimmery apricot that looks like it has a bit of a gold sheen to it as well. I adore it. I think I'll make it into this.

I know this is a stupid comment, but wow, yarn is expensive. All that was all of my gift certificate plus $5. But... so pretty!

Er, of course, I have failed to mention the loads and loads of yarn I already have at home that are yet to be knit up. Um. Haha. Yeah. I actually really want to get another CD shelf and fill it with yarn! It seems to have the right shelf depth, plus, it'd be really pretty. Much better than plastic bags everywhere!


The rat report )


I also got to meet some old high school friends today, which was really cool! Haven't seen them for what feels like forever, because I suck like mad at keeping in touch. But yeah! It's amazing how much easier socializing is when one is non-depressive! Heh, what a concept ;).

But it was really interesting. I never would have thought I would have been where I am now graduating from college (working in a large corporation, being happy with work, not having a huge desire to go back to grad school, being in the tech industry). It's just so good being happy with where I am though! (I hope that didn't sound horrifically self-satisfied...)

Even more about me! )

Con stuff

Thu, Aug. 11th, 2005 01:19 am
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I just found out today that the next WorldCon is going to be in LA!! Which means accessability! So... it's a year away of course, but I sort of wanted to test the waters to see a) if there were any other Bay Area fans who wanted to drive down there, as I hate driving by myself and b) if anyone in LA would possibly want to put me up for a couple of days.

And since I'm pre-planning, I am going to book WisCon hotel rooms! I refuse to miss this one more year -- I've missed two now (Patricia McKillip and Robin McKinley, GRRRRRR!!!!!!), and I desperately, desperately want to go. I also want to wring someone's arm and make them include more panels on anime and manga, esp. with the comics market changing so drastically.

Anyway, I really meant to say, [livejournal.com profile] yhlee and I have decided to share a hotel room, and I figured I'd see if there were two more people who might want to room with us too. We are nice, friendly people! I can vouch that I am no axe-murderer, and neither is [livejournal.com profile] yhlee; Yoon, however, may be a sai-murderer. And I may sic roommates and force ten gigs or so of really bad, out-of-focus pictures of my rats on them.

I've also been going to a con the past few days for work, but one on the industry and the like. It's quite odd. I thought it'd be all professional and stuff, which it sort of is, but there are also the public camp-out spots with people desperately wi-fi-ing, along with late people, stupid panel questions, boring panels, and everything. And the final panel/clinic I went to today reminded me completely of a fan con (of which I have only gone to one, so am not expert). It was just a group of people gathered who were very interested in the web dev world; everyone talking knew certain jargon-ish terms and there was fond laughter about things like stupid linking practices or jokes about Google. I felt all fannish! Except, you know, professionally so. Anyway, it was a rather interesting brain space to be in.

Also, apparently I am an internet Fan and there is an internet Fandom, probably composed of people who read Wired and debate about file-sharing and web page best practices and whether or not Google's PageRank is a sign of the impending apocalypse or not. I bet there are even giant fandom wars on Creative Commons and whether external links should be in the same window or go to a pop-up.

But anyhow, parts of the conference were really boring, but the last panel got me really excited! Usability! Navigation! The annoyance of using unclear link text (my pet peeve)! Stupid shopping cart design!

There is a small tech geek inside me after all. Unfortunately, said small tech geek is also woefully uneducated and knows nothing. The inner small tech geek still gets ridiculously excited about things like dynamically generated pages, though. To quote [livejournal.com profile] coffee_and_ink, "Do not mock my trained monkey joy!" (the exclamation point is my personal addition, since I can't seem to write an entry without one. There are just so many exciting things though! Also, trained monkey joy! How is that not of the good?)
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
The status of my mucus: the cough has now migrated up from the chest to the throat, which is good because it means I don't have bronchitis (knock on wood). It is bad because it means there is nothing more to cough up but my throat itches so much I wish I could turn it inside out and give it a good scratching. However, I just cough dry coughs that make me gasp for air or tear the inner throat membranes, whatever those are.

Also, now I have a runny nose. So I can't breathe through my nose, because of that. And I can't breathe through my mouth, for fear of coughing.

Someone please shoot me now.

Well... except...

*does the dance of mail gettage*

I got mail!

Good mail! [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija, I got your package! Joy! Manga! And there is a little rat drawing in the card which is the Cutest Thing Ever!

(three surefire ways into my heart: free food, good book recs, frequently expressed and very vocal love for my rats. If I ever spawn, I will obviously be the most annoying mother ever.)

And I got a review copy of a book that I shall be reviewing for The Broadsheet. For free. Someone actually mailed me a book just because they wanted to see what I would say about it. I feel all professional reviewer-y now. Weird. The strange thing is that the publisher person apparently requested me...? No clue. Don't actually know what that means -- do I read like I give very nice reviews maybe? I am also scared now that I will dislike the book. And the letter with the book from the editor indicates that a) she has actually read my reviews, b) she quotes from them and c) she is trying to make personal connections too. Which is nice! I mean, I am not complaining! I am just very weirded out!

Because, you know, I am just a random person blathering on over here in LJland, and I am not quite sure how I ended up reviewing on the Broadsheet (besides having those mystical connection things, also courtesy of LJland), and now some editor is writing to me like my opinion actually matters, and really, it is all quite strange.

And I start to ramble! As I am wont to do )

(no subject)

Thu, Jul. 7th, 2005 06:49 pm
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I was not going to write about London, because I feel like everything I could possibly say is trivial or cliched in light of what happened, and because right now, I would like to bury my head in the sand and pretend that things like this didn't happen in the world.

The human condition astounds me sometimes. Things happening in my personal life have been a little difficult, and then something like this happens, and everything is small and trivial and unimportant but that I am alive and the people I care about are as well.

I can't think about the larger politics, because my instinct is to personalize everything.

I dislike newspaper reports of the numbers and statistics, because I have a difficult time thinking of human lives that way. One person, I understand. One person, who is an acquaintance of many, who is the friend of a good deal, and is very close to a few. One person dead is so many affected. Thirty-seven people have died, at least the last I heard, and each one of those people is the center of a circle of influence, connected to so many others. Putting a number on it makes it seem small next to other tragedies, like the tsunami in December and 9/11, but one life is so very large that just one dead is tragedy enough. I don't think things like these can be measured.

And in just another moment, I will go back to posting and emailing and thinking about my own trivial life. Except, I know that it isn't trivial, not because I am more glorious or worthwhile, but because all the people who died did these things as well. Somehow, all these trivial things, all these cliches, they make up a life, and I don't think a life is ever trivial or cliched.

(no subject)

Fri, Jun. 24th, 2005 01:01 am
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Yay! My little laptop is connected to the internet! I am truly mobile now! The embarrassing thing is that I've always had a laptop; mine have just always been wired to the printer and the mouse and my speakers and USB ports sticking out like mad. So while they're technically mobile, it's usually just too much work to unhook the darn things. And they're behemoth laptops, so they aren't quite as little as this one. Yay getting office cast offs from dad! Of course, the keyboard is so small that I'm having a hard time finding all the proper punctuation.

[livejournal.com profile] yhlee was also evil and pointed me to an email-based RPG. I've never done RPGs before or gamed whatsoever (computer or otherwise), and I was always quite curious when I was shelving all the White Wolf and D&D stuff back at the bookstore. Anyhow. I got to the site, which is for a very character-based type game, apparently, and wow.

It's like finding tons of people do this thing that you only thought you did as a kid. For more background: as a kid, I would play these games with my sister and cousin and various friends, in which we were people in the FBI or Greek gods or something. I think I mostly did this because I so wanted to be the characters in books I read about, and instead of channeling that desire into writing, I played games. Of course, it was always more fun being the character and making up the character and doing all these background bits and everything, but usually we'd have to think of some sort of (very freeform) plot and act stuff out.

Anyhow, my entire point was that the RPG was like this! Very exciting. And someone goes about making the story around you and with you so you are not the one poking your cousin and sister to play ;). Wow. Very interesting.

I've always found it rather funny that pretty much everyone who knew me as a kid will get around to asking me if I want to write. I think it's because I've always loved reading (duh), and I was very into English classes, and I don't quite mind writing papers (unless they are theses, in which case I shudder horrifically). And I've dabbled around in writing stories and such, but it's never been a driving need. I have a world or so in my head that I enjoy tinkering around with, but I seriously doubt I will ever get it on paper, because I'm much more obsessed with reading than with writing. I feel almost bad about this sometimes, because I suspect mostly I'm just too lazy to create a good fantasy story. But I guess I am always so satisfied by other people's worlds and stories that I don't feel that much of a desire to create my own.

What drives you to write or not? I've always been rather curious about this, knowing that there are quite a few avid readers on my flist and quite a few avid writers too.

(no subject)

Sun, Apr. 17th, 2005 12:48 am
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I adore California summers (yes, I insist that it is summer already). I love the warm to hot days and the sun and the cool night air. It makes me so aware of my skin and of the sheer joy of how it feels.

It's very interesting -- after reading Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses, I sort of came to the realization that I don't really use all five of my senses to the same degree. Er, I mean, I suppose that is rather obvious, but it wasn't something that I used to think about before. But I do more now, particularly after reading [livejournal.com profile] mrissa, [livejournal.com profile] jonquil and [livejournal.com profile] yhlee's posts on smell and scents and BPAL perfumes and realizing that I have no nose for scents. It's something that I would like to pay more attention to. It's also very obvious when I'm living with [livejournal.com profile] fannishly, who has a much keener appreciation for physical beauty than I do. And I've never really been a big music person -- I love music, I love the emotions it invokes, but I can't analyze it to the same degree that some people can, and I know my musical taste is very, very odd.

The scent one is particularly intriguing to me right now, especially since I'm waiting for my first BPAL imps order to come in and because I've been having a whole lot of fun playing around with [livejournal.com profile] fannishly's perfume collection (having a girly roommate is fun!). I don't even know what type of scents I will like, which made picking the BPAL imps very random and difficult. I'm not sure if I don't like musky at all, or if I just dislike the alcohol base on most perfumes. I used to think that I hated all perfume, but I think it may be that vaguely artificial smelling alcohol base, because I don't have this problem with essential oils or scented soaps and lotions. I do dislike a lot of scented candles, though, just because they smell too strong and too sweet. I particularly dislike the smell of vanilla when it's not associated with baking, just because it tends to be so overwhelming. And I very much cannot pick out different notes in perfume yet, much less different flower scents or anything (with the possible exception of roses, because I love roses). So I'm very much looking forward to the BPAL imps. I'm much better with food and cooking smells or nature smells... perfumes tend to confuse me a little. I like things like the smell of grass and the smell of pretty much anything cooking, of fresh coffee and of clean laundry. I suppose they are more life-smells than fancy smells, but now I'm totally intrigued by the perfumes and oils!

The thought that I have no real attachment to beauty is also very interesting, considering that almost everything I do is very visual. And yet, it's not the visual that gets to me the most -- the visual is merely how the information is conveyed in books and on the internet and on tv. I'm not very good at noting visual parallels or motion or whatnot, and so it often takes me multiple viewings to actually get a vid. It's always interesting reading [livejournal.com profile] yhlee's assorted tv posts because I'm generally a character-focused person, whereas she is very good at spotting visual motifs or visual foreshadowing or the like. I took a class on Japanese film just because I have no idea what the language of film is, and this is just really interesting that I don't pay that much attention to these things, given that I read a lot of comics and manga and watch a lot of tv. I don't know... I appreciate things like sunsets and beautiful architecture and the like, but it's not as ingrained in me as some other things are.

Music-wise and sound-wise, I'm completely awful at analyzing. I really wish I had taken a class on music theory or the like back in college. Even though I learned the piano when I was a kid (like all good Asian children, heh), I don't quite "get" music, if that makes any sense. I've taken singing lessons and such, and while I have a fairly good ear for tune, I don't really analyze music or listen to it on anything higher than a very instinctive level. I really wish people would talk about music more, because it's something that I wish I knew more about. [livejournal.com profile] jonquil and [livejournal.com profile] coffee_and_ink's posts on musicals and the like are fascinating because of this, as are [livejournal.com profile] yhlee's posts on music theory, which goes completely over my head.

The two senses that I pay a great deal of attention to, though, are taste and touch. The taste bit is probably not at all surprising to anyone who reads this LJ, given how much I talk about food and how much I love food. I love how things taste, I love the layers of them, I love how cooking different things together and in different ways brings out different flavors. I don't quite appreciate wine yet, but I think I am growing to more and more (this is all my dad's fault), and I totally get the cheese thing and how some cheeses taste clean and fresh (mmmm, goat cheese), and how some taste milky, and how others are strangely sharp yet sweet. And then there are the slightly nutty ones, and the somewhat sour ones, and then the layers of tastes. I love garlic. I love how herbs bring out flavors, and I love simply cooked meats and vegetables so that they just taste pure and clean, and I love food with just enough salt to leave the smallest impression that is sometimes there and sometimes not. This is the only time I really do pay attention to scent, when it's associated with taste. I don't know if I'm particularly good at tasting, whatever that means, but it's something I am very focused on (mmmmm, food) and something that I derive a great deal of pleasure from. A good meal is one of the very basic joys of my existence, and a sublime one is often remembered for years to come. Er, why yes, me and my dad will go around and talk about that meal we ate at that restaurant several years ago in France and how good that salmon was or something. Hee hee.

The other one that I think I really tend to pay attention to and didn't realize I paid a lot of attention to is touch. I didn't really think about it much before, but I think I am a fairly tactile person. I may not care that much about how something looks at times as long as it feels good next to my skin, and I don't buy clothes that have fabrics that I don't enjoy touching. If it's too itchy or scratchy or just feels too rough, I don't want to wear it. I could lie outside all day and feel the heat prickling my skin or the cool breeze, and I very often lie indoors all day on my very, very comfy bed with cool cotton sheets that warm to the touch and down pillows. I like being warm and cozy, and I like touching things. I find that when I go shopping, I like running my hands over all the clothes, just feeling the different textures. I like cotton clothes the best -- I like how clean cotton feels, how soft it can be and how forgiving it can be, I like how it just comes out more and more worn after several washings and dryings. I like textures and nappiness, I love silks and velvets, but not taffetas so much. I like the way skirts swish around my legs, and have I mentioned how much I like cotton shirts? I love the way wood feels when it's been worn down and touched often, and I love the warm squishiness of my rats' tummies and their fur and their little paws and whiskers. I like the way things feel on my skin. I think this is why I've been enjoying knitting so much -- it's so tactile. Going to a yarn store is so fun, and there are so many different kinds of yarns to feel and touch and rub, and knitting itself requires that yarn run through my fingers all the time.

I don't know... what do other people tend to notice?

(no subject)

Sun, Dec. 5th, 2004 08:21 pm
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Very strange. The boy and I were coming home and passed by the dumpster of our apartment (in the basement by the parking). And sitting right there were two perfectly good suitcases. Nice size too -- small enough to take on board, but with wheels. Well, one was (it also had a frying pan inside it). The other was a little bigger for longer travel, with another little one inside it. The handles to some of the zippers have fallen off, and all three are a little worn, but still perfectly good. I have no idea why someone just threw them away.

So... is it morally wrong to take them? I guess it's possible that people just left them there and may want them back, but... they were right next to the dumpster.

Anyhow, I took all of them, seeing as how I don't have a suitcase that size, and suitcases are really expensive. But I'm still quite baffled.

Buffy 5x22-6x02

Thu, Aug. 5th, 2004 09:26 pm
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So sleepy...

Huh. I just looked out on the deck, and it appears we have a grill. How interesting. I wonder where that came from?

I hit that point when a book catches fire (not literally) for the Secret Country Trilogy, which accounts for the sleepiness. I still really wish the trilogy had been in print or somehow available when I was a kid.

I finished watching Buffy S5, and have started on S6 now! Familiar territory! It will be interesting rewatching it. Spoilers to Bargaining )

Interesting post on "How Not to Write Bad Het." I agree with most of the writing pointers, which is really not a surprise, given that those encompass a good amount of romance novel rants. This quote sort of annoyed me though: "The problem of "feminized" women in het is *so* bad, there are people who have actually fled the genre and crossed permanently into slash because they can't imagine how het can be any good."

I suppose it's not really in the realm of possiblity to write about het and slash without making comparisons in which one comes out on top. Heh. It makes me sort of want to run around yelling, "Most fiction is bad! The sexual orientation of the main characters usually doesn't change this fact or the percentage of the badness!" But then, I don't read that much slash, so I don't really know the percentages in comparison with femslash or het or what-have-you.

(no subject)

Mon, Dec. 22nd, 2003 06:02 pm
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Apparently there was an earthquake today that was fairly substantial... I missed it totally.

Huh. I guess things feel different when you're just one floor up -- we used to get a good deal in Taiwan.

(no subject)

Fri, Dec. 19th, 2003 06:09 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (melissa george classic)
I tend to get very nostalgic doing the software, since a lot of ours is from the nineties, being used and all. And I always look at them and think back to those years, when I was in high school and remember our first computer, the first time I printed out a paper instead of handwriting, my first exposure to the internet. And then I remember high school. And it's so strange, because it's so distant in my memory, and yet, I also remember how in the moment I was during the time. Somehow, it makes me sad that I can't really remember being in high school anymore. I remember events and certain images, but I don't completely recall what it was like anymore, I don't really remember how tight my class was. And it kind of hurts because I do remember around junior or senior year just being so sad that we were going to graduate and most likely never be that close again. Of course, that's how it happened. It's kind of scary, how nothing is quite real except in memory, and my memory is such a fallible thing. I can't quite tell what's worse, remembering clearly what it was like and hurting because it's not like that now, or not remembering as clearly and hurting because I feel like I've somehow lost it. Same with the memory of living at home. I got very homesick today for some reason. Maybe it's because it's my first Christmas not with my family, or that my time in Taiwan was particularly short this summer. Or just the realization that I'm not going to be able to spend that much time at home anymore. *sigh*

(no subject)

Sat, Dec. 13th, 2003 01:13 am
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The boy has just taught me about the art of burning candles. Apparently one cannot simply burn candles haphazardly. Instead, the first burning is very important because it gives the candle the diameter of the well it'll burn down later. So if you just burn it a little in the beginning so the pool of wax doesn't get out to the edges, that's the widest it'll ever be. Did anyone else know this?! I feel this is much more complex than candles should really be.

I continue to be all excited about Christmas -- I listen to carols in the car on the way to work and stuff. And then me and the boy went to Target (where all the good ornaments are, hee hee) and I was very happy because I saw these gingerbread house making kits! I really wanted one, but then the boy told me they were kind of sad and pathetic. Apparently his family bakes out giant sheets of gingerbread and then cuts out special shapes and make everything themselves! It's quite amazing! I really want to do that ^_^. But I don't think I or my small oven/kitchen are up to the task.

It's just all so new and nifty! Everytime the holiday season really got kicking around college, it'd be break, and I'd go home to Taiwan. And here there's carolling! People from the community came into the bookstore yesterday and starting carolling at the register! So cool! I really wanted to join them and parade around downtown and sing carols, but I was really hungry and the boy was at home waiting for me to have dinner. And people actually do things like turkey dinners and gingerbread and candy canes! In Taiwan, it used to be impossible to get candy canes. We'd have dads going to America on business trips buy stuff for us and lucky kids would pass them around in school. We had school all of December except Christmas Day, because that was Taiwan's Constitution Day. Now I don't think anyone gets it off anymore. But you can buy candy canes now! Still impossible to find glass ornaments though.

The only thing that's really missing here is the snow, but I don't really mind that because I already did my "wow first snow seen in eight years" dance back in college (technically I saw some the year before when we visited Hokkaido, but it wasn't the first snowfall of the year. That always has a very different feel).

Oh! And maybe I will watch It's a Wonderful Life for the very first time! Wow! It'll be so traditional and American!

I have lots of fun doing American things (despite having some problems with the country's foreign policy), like eating meatloaf for the first time ever and going to Rockefeller center. It's fun because even though I was raised here, I never did those things because my parents were trying to keep with Taiwan/Chinese traditions. And that's great too because I get to celebrate Chinese New Year's and the Dragon Boat Festival and eat tang yuan (sticky rice balls filled with peanut paste or sesame paste, sweetened, and boiled, very good) for winter solstice. I like local customs. They are quite fun. So looking forward to my first real American Christmas!

I just realized I've started thinking of myself as belonging to this place. Not sure if it's home yet, because while I definitely belonged to my college, it wasn't the same in my heart as Taiwan. But I was shelving this book on the culture of the Silicon Valley and found myself thinking, "Hey! It's about me!" Except it's not, because I just moved here! Funny.

The boy still has to make s'mores with me because I've never done that either.


Sun, Nov. 30th, 2003 04:47 pm
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Oooo, I need a Christmas icon. The boy and I went out and got a tree today, which was a rather novel experience for me. I've never had a real tree before.

Aside: at the tree lot, I was looking at trees when a loud crash split the air... turns out a Saab had rear ended an Audi and the Saab's front was basically totalled. Pretty scary. I don't think the girl inside was hurt, although she looked pretty scared when she got out of the car. I've never seen an accident like that happen before, so it was kind of scary. The more reassuring bit was the Audi didn't even look scratched, despite the very poor condition of the Saab. I think the next time I need to get a new car, I'm going to get something German and expensive.

Anyway. My tree is five and a half feet. It's very cute and bushy. It's a noble or something, which the boy reassures me is a Better Tree. It was also expensive! Well, I don't really know how much they normally cost. And it's real! It's so weird! It's got needles growing on the trunk... I didn't know they did that, and it smells all piney. And I don't have to take it out of the basement. We tied it to the top of the car, which was also weird. Wow. I have a real tree. This is going to be my first Christmas in the States! Well, that's not really true... we had Christmas here when I was a kid in Colorado, but that was with my family. So while we did the Christmas thing, it wasn't quite as big, I suspect. Plus, it kind of died down in Taiwan. The boy's family is very big on these holiday things and his mom does things like make wreaths and stuff. Wow.

Now I'm wondering... is having live trees every year environmentally sound? I mean, I can't tell.. for one, it cuts down tons of trees. But also, it's probably one of the few industries here that actually goes around planting trees. I went online, but most of the info is from the Tree Growers Association or something, so I think they might be biased.

Hee! I have a tree!


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