oyceter: Stack of books with text "mmm... books!" (mmm books)
Sorry people with the last few questions for this meme! I have not forgotten you! I have just left the questions till last because I haven't been able to think of stuff.

So, [personal profile] vass asked about books.

This is more a problem of having too much rather than not being able to think of stuff. It's also difficult because I feel like I stopped reading books during grad school and never quite picked it up again, and given how large a role books play in my life, it feels like a quiet betrayal of sorts. I think I stopped tracking everything I read in my database around four years ago, and I stopped writing everything up (or a fairly large percentage) around then as well. In some ways, I miss it, because I love talking about books, especially with people here. But in other ways, it was starting to feel like pressure, and I would catch myself not starting new things because I would then have to log them or write them up, which is not how I want to think about books. Ditto with feeling like I was not reading the "right" thing by defaulting to comfort stuff, which frequently corresponds with white authors for me, or not checking out things that are Very Serious and Weighty.

Some of it was lack of brain to hold so much long-form narrative, especially while in grad school and basically up through last year, which is when I found a meds combination that has been working much better. I still feel like I can't quite cope with that much story, though possibly that is just a kneejerk reflex by now, because I have been dipping into things more and keeping up with TV (okay, Sleepy Hollow, but that's better than the past few years!) as well.

Some is just less time than before; being in a relationship is so time-consuming! Ditto having more friends in the area! And these are good things, and I have been WAY more social than I used to be. And a pretty large part is getting into casual games and a faster payoff.

I don't know! I am conflicted because I do want to read more and talk about books more, but I also have eight billion other things I am trying to do more, and I'm trying to prioritize so my brain doesn't do the giant list of every life goal I have failed to progress on thing.

So I guess that's where I am with books right now.

(On a more physical note, I am now trying to do everything in ebook when possible, as I didn't end up moving any non-graphic-art books out of the condo. I love this! It is especially awesome because my little apartment doesn't have that much room to begin with.)
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For [personal profile] lovepeaceohana

AMVs! They were actually my first introduction to the fannish vidding tradition. The very first one I ever saw was an Utena vid to Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn," and it took probably two full days to download and was the size of a postage stamp. Oh dial up...

In retrospect, the song choice was probably not quite right, and there was a lot of literalism, but hey, the literalism made it much easier to figure out what was going on! And I suspect the vidder picked the song based on "Illusion never changed / into something real."

I don't remember if I found more after that, but by my sophomore or junior year of college, I had started up an anime club, and some of the people there had entire tapes of AMVs from cons and the like. Also, thanks to college ethernet, I had begun downloading a ton of AMVs, most of which were based on Evangelion. I think there was a very big focus on lip syncing at the time, as well as a lot of technical effects. And a lot of audio from trailers of popular movies (a lot of Star Wars Episode II) with footage from various anime series. Because I came from AMVs, I was really confused by Western media vids when I first watched them, though nowadays I have probably seen much more of the latter than the former.

This is also reminding me that I wanted to catch up on AMVs prior to Wiscon, so maybe I will go off to do that!

Also, on a funny note, when CB and I were first emailing each other off OK Cupid, I mentioned vids, and he was kind of skeptical, because all he knew were the bazillion Dragonball Z vids on YouTube done to some specific dramatic song I don't quite remember right now. Then I showed him the Princess Tutu AMV as an example, and he was blown away by the fact that people timed things! To the music! And had narrative! (I have sicced a lot more on him since, bwahaha.)

(I know I always say this when I talk about AMVs, but more recs are always welcome!)
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[personal profile] troisroyaumes asked for "Places you would like to visit":

So many!

Places I've never been: I really want to go to the Philippines, especially with CB, and then we can have tasty mangoes (and probably die of heat + humidity) and go to the original sisig place! Oooo and turon. Ditto Thailand, especially after hearing stories from CB's brother's honeymoon there and the incredible food. And India, also for mangoes and for street food. And the Taj Mahal! I do want to visit places for reasons other than food, really! (Though to be honest, the food is a pretty big factor. Okay, what I really want to do is have some giant food tour of the world with people in my dwircle and everyone can introduce their favorite places and it would be AWESOME.) Oh, I really want to go to Spain at some point for the food, obviously, and also to see the Gaudi buildings.

Places I want to go back to: Definitely Tokyo, though right now I want to see Kyoto again because the one time I went was in high school. Also, I just want to veg out in an onsen hotel in Hokkaido in the winter and eat and go to the onsen and rinse and repeat. And I would really love to spend more time in Seoul, since I never did get to see the chicken art museum, and now I know people who will give me more restaurant recs. Also, I never got to eat hoddeok. Though tbh, what I really want to do is get jjajang delivery. Oh, and I want to go back to New Orleans for longer than a day, especially after [personal profile] rachelmanija's description, and I definitely want to go back to Paris.

... I am pretty sure there is a lot more.

Oh! And Disney World, hahaha.
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For [personal profile] ranalore, who asked for "Fannish soundtracks, any aspect."

This is one of those fannish practices I don't have much experience with! I enjoy them when I do download them, but for some reason, the thought of downloading music and doing playlists sometimes is too much, so I often end up bookmarking things and forgetting about them. I always tell people I have pretty indiscriminate musical taste; I like stuff that picks up my mood, and I'm not very good at hearing lyrics unless I actively look them up. Or unless it's something I am practicing for karaoke. As such, I'm very impressed by people who can come up with entire soundtracks for their fic or a certain show or something! But yeah, I think because I don't have music on that often (at least for the past few years), I have a very difficult time thinking of songs that remind me of X character or Y show, and then even when I do have music on, it's usually background ambiance for me and I don't really notice it unless I pause and concentrate.
oyceter: Picture of temple mirrored (taiwan otp)
I haven't forgotten the meme! Just got kind of busy the past few days. Also keeping the tag the same despite the change in months just so I can locate things more easily.

For [personal profile] rachelmanija, who asked about favorite foods in Taiwan.

This is very difficult! There are so many! To cheat, I will instead list categories and then talk about stuff in them.

Fruit. OMG I miss the fruit from Taiwan so much. Mangoes and lychees, obviously, but also the oranges, which are usually much sweeter than the ones here. I also miss wax apples (lian wu), which I don't think I've seen around Bay Area, as well as fresh dates (zhao zi). Actually, I just looked that up, and apparently they are called "Chinese dates" or "green jujubes"? I usually find dried dates and jujubes too sweet, but I love the fresh green ones, which are light and crunchy and somewhat honey flavored to me. The pineapple is usually a lot sweeter as well, yum. And of course I love how much fresh juice there is! There are a lot of places that will basically blend the fruit with a little water and maybe a little honey or fructose, so it tastes like the fruit... I like Jamba Juice every so often, but it annoys me so much that most of their things have sorbet in it, and that they are usually a blend of a ton of things.

Street food. So much good cheap food from street carts! I think my favorites are the little egg cakes, which are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy and moist on the inside (at least if the cart makes them right... sometimes they get too dry). They're bigger than the ones sold in Hong Kong, so there's more of the cake on the inside. I also love being able to get green onion pancakes in random places, as well as the green onion pancakes with egg (dan bing), especially when it's more of a roti texture (zhua bing). And of course there is the fried chicken, which comes in a giant slab or in pieces on a stick (I like this kind b/c I am too lazy to get all the meat off the bone on the giant slab), and how the fried chicken places will have other stuff that they sprinkle the flavoring over. My fav is the green beans. I also miss being able to get roast chestnuts on the street, as well as ling jiao and baked yams, and I forgot what it's called, but the candied fruit on a stick that is amazing. I feel like I am betraying the island when I say I am not the hugest fan of stinky tofu (I like it fine, I just don't really hunt it down) or the oyster pancake things (o ah mi jian), though I do like the noodles (o ah mi sua)! I am pretty sure I am missing a ton of other stuff I really love because there is just SO MUCH. I also miss the fact that it's actually pretty cheap there, as opposed to food trucks here, or stands at fairs.

Din Tai Fung. Okay, it seems kind of weird giving one restaurant its own category but it is the BEST PLACE EVER. I miss their Shanghainese soup dumplings, but also the little dessert ones with red bean paste and their chicken soup with noodles, and actually all their noodles, and the dumplings with finely chopped veggies and meat, and the really delicate fish dumplings. Everything is good! I still haven't found a place that does dumplings with skin quite so thin, and they basically do everything well, from the chewiness of the noodles to the thick richness of the red bean paste.

Bakeries. Taiwan isn't as big on chewy bread as the US is, but it is very big on random bakery concoctions. I just like wandering into random bakeries to see what they have. When I was a kid, I loved the cream-filled horns, and then there's pineapple bread, which does not actually contain pineapple and is only called so because of how it looks. I really love stuff like curry-filled naan and tuna fish and corn in a little roll, or ketchup and little sausages, and other little savory meal-like things you can get. I also loooooove the pastries in Taiwan, which are very influenced by the whole Japanese take on French pastries thing. I love the little cakes or mousses flavored with green tea or black sesame or mango, and I love the blend of the flavors, as well as how little and delicate they are. 15eme is still my favorite place, but I will go into pretty much any store to check out what they have, because all the places have such different cakes!

And I keep trying to come up with other categories and getting distracted. I went from noodles and beef noodle soup to ramen and the Japanese food in Taiwan, which is amazing, and then there is the seafood! A giant new modern fish market opened up a few years ago, and I have not gone, but by all reports, it is delicious. And then I went back to cold noodles with sesame sauce and cucumber and chicken and how the one from 7 Eleven is not that bad, and then I realized I had not even touched on convenience store food and random potato chip flavors and being able to get onigiri there.

Now I am very hungry and I am going to get some food...
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
For [personal profile] jjhunter: repeated rituals (yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, ?) you use to orient / root yourself

This entry should probably get much more consideration, but I am pretty tipsy right now and trying to knock these out on the assigned day! (That, and I am trying to beat a boss in HabitRPG and blogging is one of my dailies.)

I don't actually think I have that many rituals… I think I am not really organized enough. I do try to do the year's end meme that goes around every year because it is a nice reflection. And I used to try to do the year's best of media, but now that I am not blogging reviews that often or tracking reading, that is a bit difficult.

These days, I do try to take the day off on my birthday, since I spent a long time being annoyed all my friends were gone during my birthday (summer birthdays….). And when my sister is there, we do lots of cooking for various holidays, like Thanksgiving or Christmas or Chinese New Year.

Oh wait, the one ritual I do have is getting in at work, restarting my computer, and either getting coffee or breakfast or something so I don't just sit down and start work right away. I never quite thought of it as a ritual, but it definitely is something I have done at every workplace and helps me get started in the morning. Other than that I am not particularly good at traditions and the like, and I am not very organized, so sometimes feeling like I have to do something a certain way stresses me out more? I associate ritual and the like very much with family traditions and don't use them for myself, though that does sound like a thing that would be nice to start for myself.
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For [personal profile] glass_icarus, "most unexpectedly translatable skill/s you developed in fandom"

This isn't really an unexpectedly translatable skill, since I figured HTML and web page skills were going to be useful even back in the internet's infancy, but I am still surprised by just how much I have ended up using those skills. I learned super simple HTML in a high school class, but I really used it to develop various terrible fansites on Geocities. I learned how to touch type by typing up a catalog of SFF books various people in my school owned—not that many of us were SFF fans, and I had a dream of cataloging everything and putting up people's emails so you could just email someone to ask to borrow a book. (This is also how I learned that Tor ISBNs started with 0812 and Del Rey with 0345, or at least they did pre-ISBN-13.) Mostly I worked on my Gundam Wing fansite with my high school friend and ranted about web usability... in those days, site with a giant graphic, teeny weeny font, and creatively titled sections like "storm in feathers" or something for "guestbook." (Also, guestbooks. We had them, heh.)

I very much did not expect to get a job in web production, much less stay there, much less go into web usability as well. Not only that, but nearly all my tech skills were learned via fandom: women talking about vid codecs and building their own computers and coding fic challenge matching algorithms and rooting ereaders and changing journal layouts and posting how-tos and 101 guides made it so much more accessible. And a lot of those skills are ones I use in my job a lot (it's amazing how people think you are really proficient with tech when you know how to Google an error message and figure out what it means). I mean, I still hit up against Impostor Syndrome all the freaking time, but I probably wouldn't be in this field at all if it weren't for fandom.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
For [personal profile] hebethen: journalkeeping

I used to keep a journal as a kid, though not very often: there are entries in it from pre-Taiwan-move all the way through college, I think. It's funny flipping through it to see kid me scrawling in color pencil about how much I hate my mom or how awesome my seventh birthday party was. But because of the sparsity of the entries, it's hard to get a sense of what's going on, save for the brief periods of time in which I wrote in it several days in a row, such as when I had crushes on people in high school and etc.

I started my LJ as a kind of electronic version of that, but a big part of the draw was also the possible public-ness of it, the communication with other people. (You can tell when I started to have more friends by how much less I would introspect in my diary...) And of course, this isn't a journal per se, because I'm not doing the chronicling for myself; I'm pretty aware of writing for other people. And the number of completely locked, private entries here are incredibly rare, and most of them are actually entries that had been filtered to people originally that I eventually locked down after the fact. So I'm not really sure how good I am at traditional journal keeping; I feel like I spend too much time in my head as it is. I did find brief stints on the 750 Words site helpful for a bit when I was much more anxious, but by and large, I like writing to other people and hearing back in response, even if I have been terrible at answering comments.

The frequency of journaling with LJ/DW has also been really interesting, because I can page back through periods of my life and see things evolve, as opposed to the brief snapshots from my paper journal, and because I'm writing for other people, I try to be more descriptive and say more than I would just for myself. Of course, everything is filtered to what I am okay with other people reading, but on the other hand, since I wasn't that great at journal keeping to begin with, I think this still works best for me! The recent Daily Happiness entries (filter opt in and opt out) have also been helpful with this, since it's much more about the minutiae of my day.
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[personal profile] havocthecat asked me if I had a favorite historical period, so here are a few:

Meiji Japan: This is probably directly to blame for my undergraduate major in East Asian studies! And my fascination with the period is of course inspired by... Rurouni Kenshin. I think nearly everything I knew about Japanese history prior to RuroKen was all Edo period, given the whole samurai mythos and whatnot, so everything about Meiji in the manga was new to me. I find it fascinating how quickly Japan Western-style modernized itself (although after I learned more, the results that followed in terms of colonization were not so great!), and I love the mix of Western and traditional Japanese culture in the manga, especially stuff like Saitou in his police uniform with a katana, or Soujirou's buttoned up shirt under his gi. Also, I'm sure the manga inflicted me with a lot of romanticism re: the dying of the samurai class. I still want to learn more about the girls' magazines that sprung up around this time and the whole Meiji schoolgirl thing.

Tang Dynasty China: Amazingly, I arrived at this one through history classes and not via fiction. That, and the poetry. I had to memorize a ton of stuff in Chinese classes, and a lot of them were Tang poems. Plus, the poems were the easiest to memorize because of the very strict structure, as opposed to essays written in classical Chinese or the less structured Song ci. Obviously this doesn't hold true of all Tang poetry, but it tended to be a good rule of thumb for class. When I learned more, I loved how cosmopolitan this period of history was, with various cultures meeting and interchanging things on the Silk Road, as well as the whole Yang Guifei story and the fall of High Tang period. And then there's just the city architecture of Chang'an and its influence on Gyeongju, Nara and Kyoto, as well as the overall Tang Dynasty influence on fashion in Korea and Japan (probably other stuff too. But I was very focused on the clothes).

Turn of the century Europe/US: This is more a current favorite time period in terms of historical romances! Mostly it's because I don't see very many books set around this period, but it is also because I really love the fashion. And, as with the Meiji period, the advent of modernization and the fast pace of change is something that I find really fascinating.
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For [personal profile] via_ostiense, who asked, "Soup: yea or nay?"

Soup: YAY!

Although I actually like chunky or thick soup better than thin soup, mostly because thin soup doesn't really feel like a whole meal to me. Of course, I make an exception when the thin soup is for noodles. Or the super thick Chinese chicken soup you get when you stew the chicken for hours and it leaves that lip-smacking collagen-y feel of stock. Also seollongtang. And even then I like stuff like rice in there to make it more like jook!

And jook is its own special brand of soup that is awesome. I love jook so much! Especially when you accidentally or not so accidentally forget to stir a bit so you get the wonderful chunky bits of rice at the bottom. My mom always made pork and preserved egg jook, but right now I think my favorite is the jook you make and put thin raw slices of fish on, and the heat of the jook cooks the fish just enough so it's tender and delicious.

Other soups I like: New England clam chowder, potato and leek, corn chowder of nearly any kind, mushroom, miso soup with lots of eggplant or onion instead of the usual tofu and seaweed, doenjangjjigae, tom yum soup especially with coconut milk, and French onion soup.
oyceter: Pea pod and peas with text "peas please" (peas)
For [personal profile] chomiji, "Favorite comfort foods — what and why"

I have so many!! These are only going to be a few off the top of my head, and I am afraid they are rather typical.

Mac and cheese! I think this has been a comfort food for as long as I can remember, probably from when I was growing up in the US. In Taiwan, it wasn't something we could get very often, which made it all the more special; whenever we were in the US on vacation, I always had to have Kraft mac and cheese, the terrible neon orange stuff from the box. I usually like "real" mac and cheese more, but sometimes I just want the stuff from the box. And of course there was EZ mac and cheese during college, which I consumed a lot of. And aside from box mac and cheese, I love stove mac and cheese and baked mac and cheese and new-fangled mac and cheese with stuff like truffle oil or goat cheese + peas or whatever else they come up with. Although lobster mac and cheese was not that great the one time I had it. The growth of specialty mac and cheese restaurants is BEST.

Noodles in soup. This is one that's very weather-based; I am almost never in the mood for soup noodles when it's hot outside. But the second it turns cold, I start craving them. It usually only applies to Asian noodles in soup, and usually I am satisfied by pho, jjampong, kalguksu, ramen, hand-shaved noodles with preserved mustard greens and pork, beef noodles, plain noodles in chicken soup, and even (and sometimes especially!) instant noodles cooked in a pot with random vegetables and an egg thrown in.

Dumplings. This is another cold-weather food (which obviously I am focused on right now!). I am kinda picky about dumplings because I really hate it when there's cooked ground meat that's kind of crunchy, which grosses me out. But oh, good handmade dumplings are SO GOOD. I used to be more of a potsticker person, but these days, there is something very comforting about shui jiao/boiled dumplings with soy sauce and vinegar. There was a period of time I didn't like them because it was the default lunch item for when my mom didn't have leftovers to put in our biandang/bento for school... pretty much anything coming out of the steamer at school had this terrible flaccid cabbage smell to it. But even then, I love the dumplings with the thick handmade skin. Shanghai soup dumplings are also amazing, but they are not quite comfort food in the same way, largely because they're much harder to get.

Chicken pot pie. This is another one from childhood, obviously, and another one that had to be fulfilled in the US during summers. I would always make my mom buy the frozen Swanson's chicken pot pie and eat them. Nowadays I am not so much into the Swanson's ones, although tbh, the Marie Callender's ones really hit the spot when necessary. I feel kind of weird putting this in because not all chicken pot pie works for me, but when it does, it really really does.

Chocolate. Usually I have more a sweet tooth than anything else, but most of my comfort foods are savory except for chocolate. I don't think I get the same kind of comfort out of it? It's not the warm blanket type feeling, but it is definitely a go to when I'm feeling down and really just want to savor something.

... I suspect there are a ton of summer foods that I'm not listing because I am just not in the mood to eat them right now!
oyceter: You are watching anime. Caution! (anime is crack)
[personal profile] umadoshi asked about "an experience revisiting an old fandom/beloved story, good or bad":

I think my very favorite experience revisiting an old fandom was, surprisingly, Gundam Wing. It was the first anime I ever watched and the first anime/manga fandom I ever got into (haha, do people still use "lime" and "lemon" for rating?), and omg, I made a fansite for it with one of my high school friends and obsessed over it and wrote down events to plot out a timeline and then constructed an alternate earth history that would eventually get to the After Colony timeline (I had great detail re: the Opium War and the fall of the Qing Dynasty, and then I left out everything from the 1900s until... SPACE ELEVATORS!). So... fond memories. But after reading more manga and watching more anime, I think I was always a little afraid to revisit, especially since I'm much more of a shoujo person at heart.

But then, [personal profile] rachelmanija was holding an angst off contest, and I ended up submitting several GWing characters out of nostalgia and describing their (sad, dead-puppy-holding) angst, which got Rachel and [personal profile] rilina to start watching and obsessing! I cackled the entire way through, particularly at all the incomprehensible political backstabbing and the factions popping up like rabbits, and it was also awesome because I still had a ton of Gundam Wing merchandise and got to share it! I also racked up the hugest phone bill ever watching some episodes over the phone with Rachel, BUT IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Given how often My First Fandom ends up being disappointing in retrospect (still never finishing X-Files....), or how the Suck Fairy comes to visit, it was AWESOME to not only find that the stuff I had found appealing way back when was STILL appealing, but that it was still appealing enough to suck in friends, most of whom I would never have pegged as mech people!

(Also, I'm not sure how many slots I have left, but I really like having to post every day on a topic and not just daily happiness, so if anyone else has a question or topic they want me to write about, please let me know!)
oyceter: man*ga [mahng' guh] n. Japanese comics. synonym: CRACK (manga is crack)
For [personal profile] wychwood, who asked, "What would you recommend as a good starting point for someone interested in reading some manga? Coming from a Western comics background, mostly superheroes, some indies etc."

First, yay! I'm always glad when more people are thinking of getting into manga! So the following have what I tend to think of when I think about superhero comics; namely, a large cast of characters, a lot of plot, and a lot of action.

Manga by Urasawa Naoki, especially 20th Century Boys. 20th Century Boys is definitely my favorite of his works, even though it's not necessarily the most comprehensible... it's got hidden bases and shounen/boys' manga tropes and time skips and a ragtag group of people fighting against large forces, and it's incredibly fun. Monster is also good, although it's more of a thriller, and Pluto is Urasawa's take on a famous episode from Tezuka Osamu's Astro Boy. Pluto is very SF, with the protagonist for most of it being a police robot. These are actually the only three series of his I've read, and all of them are finished, which is nice.

Claymore by Yagi Norihiro is the rare shounen manga that has a nearly all female cast. The Claymores of the manga are basically a monster-human hybrid created to fight monsters, kind of like Slayers. It's a pretty dark series, with a lot of gore, but I find the worldbuilding really cool, especially as a kind of very, very twisted version of Buffy in which the Watchers are totally evil. I haven't caught up with it for a while, so I'm not sure how the past few volumes have been, and it is an unfinished series.

Fullmetal Alchemist by Arakawa Hiromu is really good. It's about two brothers, one of whom is a disembodied spirit residing in a suit of armor and the other being an alchemist who's lost an arm and a leg. All the body part loss happened when they were very young and tried to bring their mother back to life via alchemy, and the story starts with them trying to find a way to get Al's body back. I also haven't finished reading this, although the series is finished. I love this for the scope of the worldbuilding and the way it doesn't flinch from consequences of actions, and it actually talks about things like state militarization and genocide in a not-stupid way.

7 Seeds by Tamura Yumi is a post-apocalyptic story about the few survivors of humanity. It unfortunately hasn't been licensed, but it's being scanlated if you're okay with that. This is my new favorite series! Tamura is amazing at juggling a huge cast of characters, and this has a Hunger Games-esque part with teens getting pitted against each other, survival against giant insects, stories of what happens to people right before the apocalypse hits, and zany hijinks. It is the BEST. There are so many awesome characters, and Tamura regularly breaks my heart.

Okay, this is not an action manga whatsoever, but it's probably a pretty good gen thing if you aren't opposed to cute kids. Kiyohiko Azuma's Yotsuba& is a slice-of-life manga based on the exploits of 5-year-old Yotsuba, who does stuff like paint her hands blue or get confused by air conditioner. I find it incredibly charming without being twee, and it's one of the things I always read when I'm down because it invariably cheers me up.
oyceter: Pink ball of yarn with text "yet unmade" (yarn)
And now I am not behind anymore!

Anyway, [personal profile] thistleingrey requested "knitting," which seemed to logically follow from the previous post on sheep.

I learned how to knit when I was fairly young, maybe around 8 or 9 years old? My cousin's grandmother (the one not related to me) taught me how to cast on, knit, and purl, although I didn't know the terms of any of it, so all I could do was knit long swatches of stockinette that inevitably curled in on itself. I made up my own method for casting off by just stringing yarn through the final loops and tying a knot; learning how to actually do it was nice! I also figured out that you could alternate knit and purl to make patterns, and I figured out the hard way that you had to change the yarn from the front of the needle to the back or vice versa if you wanted to switch between knit and purl.

I more officially learned how to knit around 2004 or 2005, when my sister was knitting a simple garter stitch scarf and I decided to grab it from her to see if I still remembered how to do it. I then found Stitch n' Bitch and learned that there were things like needle sizes, different weights of yarn, and etc. It was kind of mind-boggling! I gave myself a little time to learn how to increase and decrease, and then I decided to jump right into lace.

I have discovered that I'm better with small projects that give me a chance of finishing; I've actually finished knitting all the pieces of a top, but I've yet to seam them. Scarves are best for knitting with TV with subtitles, and I love socks because there's enough variation to be interesting (sometimes scarves just... never end). I would knit tons and tons of hats except I don't actually wear them. I love how many hats you can make with a fairly minimal amount of yarn, and like socks, there's enough variation to be interesting, especially the crown. I also love love love knitting lace; making a pattern and watching it grow row by row is so satisfying. Of course, getting it wrong and having to tink five rows of sticky mohair or wool is WORST.

I am terrible at gauge and swatching. Of course, this always ends up biting me in the ass when I have to knit up the top of a sock five billion times so the multicolored yarn doesn't pool unattractively, but at least undoing rows of sock is much less annoying than anything bigger. But that's also why hats and scarves and socks are my go to. I also usually enjoy troubleshooting knitting unless something has gone dramatically wrong (see: tinking over five rows of sticky mohair) and I'm not particularly afraid of messing up knitting. I didn't think that was odd until I was in some knitting circles and taught other people to knit; I think having to knit by myself as a kid basically forced me to not be scared of mucking around with the yarn and stitches.

Despite all this, I don't think I've finished any knitting for a couple of years now =(. I blame grad school? I wanted to knit a fancy lace shawl for my sister for her wedding, and then hopefully for her first year anniversary. Now I am just hoping I finish.

Maybe this will actually inspire me to start again! So far, I have the fancy lace shawl, a half finished pair of socks, colorwork mittens, another shawl, and probably a lot of other things I don't even remember any more. I'm a little wary of going back to the socks and mittens, since my gauge has probably changed, and then I'll have to tear them out and start over. Ugh.

There's something about making something tangible when I spend so much time in the digital world, and I kind of miss having something to do with my hands.
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For [personal profile] lnhammer, sheep!

I don't actually have much of an opinion on sheep! I was extremely surprised when I discovered they actually do sound like they are saying "Baaaaaah!!!!" in a very grumpy manner, but maybe the grumpiness was also due to them being in flourecent, rainbow-colored onesies so they wouldn't be cold from having their wool shorn off. After we saw them, CB, my sister, and me ran around yelling "BAAAAHHHH!" at each other.

Also, sheep are very useful because even though I don't like wearing wool, it's really awesome to knit with.
oyceter: (i cook)
Ha, of course I forgot I was going to start posting yesterday! So, for 12/21: best way to make chicken for [personal profile] via_ostiense

I am actually not sure! I also haven't been cooking a lot for a while now, so nothing immediately springs to mind in terms of recipes. Overall, I like chicken as long as it's not too dry, so I tend to like dark meat better. In terms of eating... I think chicken tends to be my default meat, so I don't always notice it, but I do enjoy it when chicken really tastes like chicken, as opposed to standard meat. So... possibly right now, my favorite way to eat chicken is at yakitori places, when the chicken is juicy and dripping and there are all sorts of chicken parts. My favorite right now is heart! Though sometimes it changes, depending... one place has absolutely amazing chicken thigh.
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I have been loving everyone else posting thanks to the December posting meme, but didn't join due to my terrible posting habits of late. But I am on vacation soon! So I will try to post every day during that...

So: ask me to write about stuff! Blah blah, right of refusal, may swap posting order around, etc.

Dates )


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