My non-resolutions

Thu, Jan. 5th, 2006 01:50 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
I was going to post my sort of, maybe, not really New Year's resolutions, but then I decided that my general rule of never making resolutions was more practical.

Anyway, I don't want to make resolutions. That sounds like too much work, and I am horrible at doing work.

Every time I say this to my mom, she says something to the effect of "Life isn't all fun and games." But now that I am all adult and (mostly) self-sufficient, I really don't see why not. Also, while there are many people in the world who are quite capable of getting by on willpower and the "shoulds" of life, I am not one of them. I figure, instead of making myself miserable by accusing myself of having no willpower or ambition or something, I should instead make the "shoulds" of life into the "yays" of life. Or something to that effect.

Plus, I am more inclined to do something if I feel like I have a choice in the matter anyway.

Also also, if I end up enjoying the process of doing it, I will in general continue to do it, whereas if I don't... I probably won't.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
1. Coming back to work, even for a very short week, really sucks.

2. "Jicama" is actually pronounced "HIH-cuh-muh," rather like "hiccup." (I learned this by puzzling a grocery store person by asking for "ji-CAH-mah.")

3. Raw black radishes are very spicy.

4. Raw jicama is very tasty

5. My mom will inevitably try to order California rolls, no matter how high the table has been heaped with sushi. (I won the bet with my sister, by the way)

6. White bean and rosemary soup is extremely tasty.

7. Knee-high, black, lace-up boots with round toes and clunky heels are impossible to find when one goes to outlets specifically looking for them.

8. Alternately, when one does manage to find the perfect pair of knee-high, black, lace-up boots with round toes and clunky heels (on sale too!), the store will not have one's size. Also, said boots will be impossible to locate online.

9. I am now apparently drawn toward random kitchen gadgetry (Oxo Good Grips brand, how I love you!), despite being a very, very amateur cook at best.

10. Having not enough shelf space has apparently dampened my desire to buy books. This is probably an extremely temporary situation.

11. My rats have the uncanny ability to read my mind and go precisely where they should not go. Bad rats!

12. My rats probably phrase this differently: "To boldly go where no rat has gone before!" While all of ratkind may appreciate their explorations, my mother most certainly does not.

13. I am very tired.

Random Questions

Wed, Dec. 21st, 2005 12:51 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Happy solstice! I don't celebrate in any religious way, but I really should get the sticky rice and sesame or peanut paste balls that you eat on winter solstice. Tasty. And I am just happy because today is the absolute shortest day of the year, so I can finally look forward to the days getting (slightly) longer! Oh sun, how I miss you!

I have become a completely lazy person and stopped researching because everyone here is so helpful. I am so lazy, in fact, that I attempt to blame my shortcomings on the lovely volunteer spirit of people -_-;;.

And so... random questions!

1. Is is possible to substitute wheat flour for white flour? Does it do horrible, horrible things?

2. Is it possible to substitue soy milk for milk in recipes? Does it chemically react to things and utterly mess them up? I do sort of realize that one cannot make cheese or yogurt or clotted cream from soy milk, but in oatmeal, I think it should be ok... on the other hand, my cooking exploits should teach me to follow the recipe. Also also, my stomach is really, really unhappy with the amount of dairy I am currently consuming, and I want more oatmeal.

3. I have decided to use the Amazon gift certificates that I get from my credit card to acquire manga. Indeed, I have finally fallen prey to the darned things, despite swearing up and down (and left and right) not to, due to the enormous price difference between English-translated manga and Chinese-translated manga. Like my laziness, I blame everyone on LJ for this ;).

So... what should I get? I currently have random volumes of Saiyuki and have decided that I need to get all of Saiyuki, Saiyuki Gaiden and Saiyuki Reload. I am also planning on buying all of Nana to support my favorite mangaka and manga ever (so far...). And I just ordered the first three vols. of Fruits Basket. I will probably also start getting Kare Kano instead of snitching them from the library.

4. I plan to embark on adventures in blocking soon. Any advice? I don't have a blocking board and don't plan on buying one (I figure I will use my bed or something)... what else should I get?

5. What is molasses anyway? I had some for the first time on Monday when I was baking gingerbread. It is dark and sticky and has a really nifty rich, malty flavor. I like. I also felt very Little House on the Prairie.

6. If Cthulu and the Beast were to duke it out, who would win? Discuss.
oyceter: (oyceter 2)
or, Murphy's Law Plus Machiavelli in a Care Bear Outfit

Most of these I figured out the hard way, so the you's are actually notes to myself.

  • Waking up grumpy and wallowing in grumpiness means that the gods of the cubicle will have you a) antagonize everyone in your meeting, b) run late the entire day and c) spill coffee on yourself. On the other hand, it's not like one chooses to be grumpy, and sometimes, a crappy day is a crappy day.

  • Being nice but firm with people means they will actually listen to you. This is sort of nice if you've spent most of your life never standing up for yourself, and sometimes gives you delusions of grandeur that occasionally make you feel like telling people to do funny things like squiggle the mouse pointer around, just to see if they will.

  • Figuring out your Definitely-Not's, Maybes, and Sure-What-the-Heck's is helpful, but only if you don't go around sticking every single little thing in Definitely-Not because then people will just get grumpy. Otherwise, this is very helpful to make people listen to you!

  • Explaining what you're trying to do to people and phrasing it in a way that applies to them and is shiny and exciting for some reason makes them want to help. Much more than just saying, "Go do this for me, it will help me out."

  • The one day you have to do a million different things at the same time will inevitably be the day every single person on the planet needs your help and/or opinion. Really, there is no good way to do this outside of hiding under your desk and trying to breathe.

  • Personal problems and work problems will always collide at the worst possible time.

  • People really aren't asking you a million questions to irritate you. Try hard not to snap off their heads. Even though it is really tempting

  • Being a jerk to someone will always, always, always come back to bite you in the ass. Always. Being polite even while seething mad will pay off in the long run.

  • Not telling people what irritates you ensures that they will keep doing the thing that irritates you. Amazingly, a really good way to cut down on irritation is to actually bring up the irritating behavior or problem in a non-yelly way and come up with a solution that benefits everyone. (I probably should have learned this ten years ago, but... better late than never?)

  • If you are trying not to lose your temper, sometimes it helps to separate intentions from actions. It doesn't really change the action, but at least you can sort of feel better about the person and just focus on fixing the action instead of grousing about the person.

  • Or vice versa? I forget, sometimes the person is just mean but manages to stumble into doing something nice. Mostly I like to pretend that people are trying to be nice and help in their own way, because it helps me deal better.

Oh dear. I fear I am completely Machiavellian, although I swear, I don't think that people should be nice to other people just to get what they want. It just happens to be a nifty side effect, sometimes.

Sadly, much of this seems to involve me trying not to snap at people. Le sigh.

(no subject)

Fri, Nov. 18th, 2005 11:51 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Yay, [ profile] cychi is here!!!!

Also, I got to go karaoke last night! My group from work went out, and I think half the people had never been before so I was a little worried that it would be awkward and self-conscious. I adore karaoke, but the people make a real difference in how fun the experience is.

By that, I totally don't mean how well anyone sings, because that's very much not the point. It's more... if everyone is there and feeling bad and awkward and pressured, then the entire thing feels like pulling teeth (ew! complete with cracking noises and no anesthetic!), and the people who are singing feel like they are hogging the microphone, and everything is just sort of iffy.

Or if there is mockery, that almost always kills the mood. Jokes are good, laughing is good, but it's the sense that people are laughing at you instead of with you that ruins it for me.

I've also been karaoke-ing with people who were really great singers, but it was not fun at all because then all the people who weren't great singers (of which there are a greater percentage!) felt left out and embarrassed. I feel like going out to have fun should not feel like a competition.

And then there are times like last night! My group was very fun! Even if they had been the worst singers ever (which they weren't), it would have been fun, because there was silliness and dancing and random tamborines and air guitars and an Elvis impersonation and much sitting around and laughing and having a good time. And while there were jokes and laughter, it felt supportive, if that makes any sense at all? I don't quite know how to define it. But there are some times when I go out with a group of people, and it feels like they look down on the things they joke about, so that if you do something that is laughed at, you feel mocked and stupid.

Last night, if someone did something that was laughed at, the laughter felt friendly and encouraging, so the person up there was having fun, the people down below who weren't singing were having fun. So hopefully no one felt embarrassed. All in all, it was an extremely good time.

Although afterward, my teeth hurt like mad because apparently jaw muscles and wisdom teeth are closely related. Ah, Vicodin is my friend.

In which I get incredibly sappy )

On massage )

(no subject)

Wed, Nov. 9th, 2005 03:14 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
I want to make some sort of big post about LJ and communication and how people communicate through different methods, but I'm too tired to actually be coherent, so you all get random thoughts.

[ profile] fannishly friended me a long time ago, but she only started posting about a year ago, around this time, actually. I started commenting, to find that she a) was my age, b) was from Taiwan, c) went to a primarily English/expat school like me, and d) lived only ten minutes away! So we met up.

(Hey, [ profile] fannishly, it's an anniversary! Aka, excuse to go out and eat and have good food! Let's go!)

It could have been a one-off thing, but we started watching movies together, and then had weekly movie nights, and then eventually became roommates. All the while, we were still IM-ing, emailing, blogging about our separate lives and our encounters with each other, and commenting on each other's posts on LJ.

It's very interesting because this is the first time I've had both modes of communication available. Actually, I wish it were possible with more people, but since there's that whole geographical barrier...

So sometimes I'll find out about how Angela is doing via her LJ. Actually, that's how I usually find out, despite the fact that we live together. This isn't to say that it's hiding of info. thing; we do the small talk bit and the "how was your day" thing when I get home from work, but a lot of the details get revealed in LJ entries.

Same for me too ... I do try to tell people when I'm feeling bad and stuff, but with a conversation (phone or IM or in person), there's always a sense of 50-50, that the attention should be split equally between participants, especially if it's a one-on-one conversation. In LJ, I don't feel so guilty or selfish going into all sorts of boring personal detail, or going on and on about specific things because it's my LJ.

I was actually a little hesitant earlier on, because I thought it would be odd having the ongoing LJ entries with life commentary with the other person right in the same room, but it's actually been a really nifty thing.

Angela's also a very open person to begin with, which is really nice, since I tend to be more of the passive-aggressive, never bring up bad stuff type. So there's this sort of neutral space in the house, where there are boundaries and etc., but then we each have our own LJs, which are ours.

So even when Angela does post about me in her LJ, I know it's from her POV, not directed at me, and when I respond, I sort of tend to put on my LJ-hat and use it to address the concerns she raises in her entries. And LJ does sort of support that -- the post takes up most of the space and the comments are supplementary (though important and fun).

And a lot of the time it's easier for me to talk about things that are bugging me in my LJ instead of over the phone or in person, because if it's on LJ, I feel less like I'm monopolizing people's time with my problems or making them listen to me yammer on, or etc. I do realize that people who are my friends will want to hear from me, but there's still that bit of my brain that feels awkward.

Anyway. Yes. I have now run out of words, so I will stop.

(no subject)

Sat, Jul. 2nd, 2005 11:15 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Gaaah. My sister's friend has been looking everywhere for a nice duvet, and so I have been sucked into looking at all these bedding things, and gaaaaaaah. High-thread count sateen sheets of Egyption cotton. Gaaaaaaaaah.

*drools a little more*

I think nice sheets are one of those wonderful, wonderful luxuries of life. I don't quite remember what kind of sheets I have, but I remember back in college, I got cheap sheets of half polyester, half cotton, and ick. They were just sort of scratchy, and even after much washing, they never developed that softness that cotton does, so much so that it doesn't even wrinkle, or so it seems. I switched to different sheets after freshman year (100% cotton, because I love cotton). The sheets I have now are relatively high-thread count (I think 300? Can't quite remember), but nowhere near the luxury sheets of 1000 thread coutn or something. Still. I've washed them a few times, and they're now at that slightly worn, silky stage, and just lying on them with my head on my squashy down pillows with cotton pillowcases and rolling around on the wonderful smoothness of my sheets makes me very happy.

Maybe this is why I end up oversleeping so much -- I am just so comfy in bed that I end up falling back asleep instead of waking up!

Silk sheets sound all luxurious and wonderful, but I wonder if they can match the warmth and coolness of really nice cotton.

It sounds a little odd that I have a favorite fabric, but I do. I am only sad because my cotton yarn is not high quality and somewhat rough when I knit. Le sigh.

Plus, cotton is so much easier to take care of than wool! And cotton jeans, and cotton shirts, and those cotton T-shirts you've worn and washed so often that they feel almost see through. And of course, there is flannel. But most of all, I love cotton sheets.

(no subject)

Fri, May. 13th, 2005 09:16 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Yay! It's nice outside again! Went outside with [ profile] fannishly for a little dinner picnic in the park next to the library. Next time must remember to either go early to catch more sun (I adore sun, I could bask for hours) or to bring a warm jacket because the nights are still a little chilly. And then we walked up and down the teeny weeny downtown and just peeked in random stores. New club! With no cover charge! Ergo, free dancing without having to drive up to the city and worry about all that stuff! Joy!

I love my dinky little city, which is neither cool nor cosmopolitan. It's just the right size for me, with grass and trees and strange little stores that I can pop into. I feel local here, and I like that. I suppose I am not much of a big city person, even though I like big cities, because they're fun to explore. But I like getting to know places, finding stores in the alleys, knowing the good, unknown restaurants and things like that. So while I like visiting different places, sometimes it's annoying doing the tourist thing, because underneath all that, there's a real, living city underneath, and I feel that that's how you get the sense of a place. Not that I dislike going to museums and historical monuments and the like, because I adore them. But I also want to know where the best place to buy bread is, where the hidden ice cream store is, which place makes their own pasta, or whatnot.

Speaking of which, I finally ventured into the bead store around here, and they all sorts of nifty things! I really want a sari now. I loooove that fabric, so gorgeous. I always sort of wonder if people think I'm strange because I am a random Chinese girl who really likes Indian things (well, food and traditional clothing and the colors at least), but then, I like Japanese things and Chinese things and homestyle American things (meatloaf! It's all about the meatloaf!) and Californian and French and Italian and... Must console myself that simply liking other cultures is not a bad thing and not appropriation by default. It's always strange how political and academic notions like cultural appropriation and exoticism is personal for me (and many other people, of course). Ditto with feminism. I suppose that's why it always takes me by surprise when people disagree with those notions, because they are so woven into the way I look at things, the way I act.

Ahem. Anyhow, the bead store has lessons, which I desperately want to take. Wire coiling! So neat! Alas, it is $40.00 a lesson.

Both [ profile] fannishly and I are a bit short on money now, so we're sitting around trying to brainstorm how to go out and do things without spending money, because sometimes I just want to go out and feel like I am going out isntead of perpetually sitting on the couch. I have enough for gas money, luckily. Also, luckily, a lot of things are within walking distance, thanks to my lovely, lovely apartment location.

My list currently consists of things like:

- go to the really posh outdoor mall dressed up and made up to the nines and walk around window shopping and pretending I'm so filthy rich that I don't need to buy anything. Also, touch lots of rich fabrics, because I like them. Lala, salespeople hate me.
- go to a bookstore and camp out and ogle at all the books
- go to the library
- eat in the park and bask
- walk around downtown and pop into random stores
- go to Andronico's and eat all the cheese samples (um, yes, I am rather shameless)
- go to Sephora and try on all the perfumes
- walk around another posh outdoor mall and look at all the flowers
- go dancing at the dinky local club with no cover charge (within walking distance, so no waste of gas!)
- walk to Safeway and back, just because it's beautiful weather for walking
- walk to the local farmer's market and look around at all the nifty vegetables
- go bike riding somewhere
- sneak into a rat adoption fair and play with baby ratties
- go to department stores and try on outrageously priced ballgowns

Any other ideas? Mine are sort of silly and take lots of advantage of sales samples. But I sort of figure, if you are in the right mindset, going for samples is fun too.

(no subject)

Tue, May. 10th, 2005 05:24 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Random delurking day! (well, on my LJ at least)

aka, I was really bored and came up with random questions that I wanted to know about people. Feel free to answer wherever (but I would love to see the answers!).

  1. Describe your strangest pair of socks

  2. Can I see pictures of your bookshelves (or book stacks or piles or boxes)?

  3. If you were a hat, what kind of hat would you want to be?

  4. What's the worst song you've gotten stuck in your head before?

  5. My rats: evil killers of paper bags, cute sleepy fuzzballs or embarrassingly tame yogie-drop eaters?

  6. Books or food?

  7. If you could live in a book, what genre would it belong to? How come?

  8. Stealing from the movie Wonderful Life (also known as After Life): if you were told that you could only carry one memory with you into the afterlife, which would you choose?

  9. What do you know a lot about that most people don't? Most people here should be most people, not most people in that field. I specify this because I know how badly I prevaricate when I'm asked about something that I'm good at. Or if you still feel weird, what do you know a lot about that I don't (I don't know about a lot of stuff)? Why is it cool? Tell me about it!

  10. What random bit of trivia do you know?

  11. And finally, the question I've always wanted to know the answer to but was too embarrassed to ask: how in the world did you find my LJ and how come you're still reading?

(no subject)

Mon, Apr. 18th, 2005 08:32 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Random things I have decided I want to share with my poor, unsuspecting audience:

1. Carrots taste vaguely peppery when left out in the open for a few days. Still good and crunchy though! However, if by any chance I end up dead of food poisoning, you will all know not to eat vaguely peppery carrots.

2. Honey and butter Pretz is now officially the Best Pretz Flavor. Ever. I haven't yet decided if it beats the dark chocolate Men's Pocky, because they satisfy completely different tastes. Honey butter Pretz is just a teensy bit salty and a teensy bit sweet, and as such, it a wonderful snack food when you don't feel like chocolate. Amazingly, there are actually times in this world when I don't feel like eating chocolate. However, I don't think I have ever encountered a time when I didn't want honey. This reminds me. I need to go buy frozen waffles so I have something to put honey on.

3. Manga is an excellent way to improve my declining Chinese reading comprehension skills! Or at least, that's what I want my mom to think so she will ship me all my old manga, which I am suddenly dying to reread (Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai!). I also told her to buy me Saiyuki in Chinese! Hey, you never know!

4. People on LJ who send scanlations and episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist are absolutely wonderful and should be showered with praise so that they continue such acts of crack dealing random kindness. Aka I got mail OMG SQUEE !!!!11!11eleventyone!!

5. Having a roommate means I feel about ten times wealthier, book-wise, and I eagerly anticipate the looting of communal shelves. It also means I somehow get to feel that I'm all clean and stuff because her room is spiffy clean and spotless, even though I'm still the same messy person I was before.

(no subject)

Fri, Apr. 1st, 2005 10:35 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Wah, so tired lately. Must try and get more sleep in the next few weeks, because it's getting to the point where I can't quite get up for work, which is not good. Sigh. I read this article somewhere about how early birds and night owls and whatnot might be slightly genetic, which I guess makes sense. I've always been someone who goes to sleep late and gets up late, which drives my mother crazy.

I'm just sort of babbling about random things right now.

I started a budget for myself, because it's something I have to watch out for more now that the boy is not here. It used to be that with our combined salaries, we would do ok, but now he's gone and things are feeling a bit tighter. Sigh. So far I'm sticking to it, which is good... But it does mean less eating out and less fun stuff, and I really must stop randomly buying books. Even though I just saw about six more knitting books that I want from Amazon, sigh sigh. But I must remember that I have about a billion unread books in the house alone, and then there are all of [ profile] fannishly's books, and there's the public library.

I also feel a bit odd because I'm not reading very much this year -- I was in January, but in February came the break up and stress and therapy and everything, and I feel like I've just never quite caught my breath yet. It's strange because it's already April, and I still feel so off kilter. Now that [ profile] fannishly has finally moved in (joy!), maybe things will start settling down a little bit more and I'll get myself back into a routine again. Another part of it is probably also knitting. I've finished the back and left front panel of the sweater jacket I'm making, and while it's a bit uneven, I figure it's my first sweater, so it can be. Plus, I can give it to my mom and she will be forced to wear it. Or at least she'll have to pretend it's wonderful ;). So knitting is quite fun, and I'm in not one, but two knitting circles! I found people at work who do it too, haha!

I also want to start watching anime again, especially after [ profile] yhlee so evilly got me some Fullmetal Alchemist episodes! Plus, there's Karekano, which is still sitting around, and just.. not enough time! I like the feeling of busy-ness though. I feel like I'm enjoying myself and I want to do more, and I have all this energy again. Meds are of the good. Except.. the reading has fallen off a bit, and I wish it hadn't. Another part may be because I've been talking to friends and the like on the phone at night more as well, and since I usually read before I go to bed, this cuts into my reading time. And by the time I get off, I'm so tired or it's so late that I really have to go to sleep because otherwise, I'm pretty much a zombie at work.

More dentistry coming up as well, at which I boo and hiss.

And daylight savings is soon! More daylight! More sunshine! The air smells like summer and it's beautiful again and oh, I am so, so, incredibly happy. There are people sitting outside at restaurants and people on the streets at night, and the gelato store is getting more crowded. I adore summer to my very bones, and oh, I'm so looking forward to it.

(no subject)

Wed, Dec. 22nd, 2004 06:12 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
The good: Amazon has come through! I have my ROTK:EE DVDs just in time to fly back home, where I can watch them on a ginormous screen! ([ profile] fannishly, want to have a party?) WHOO!!

The bad: The fixer-upper people have found (even) more damage on my car, and they don't think it'll be fixed by the time I get back. Which leaves me rather carless. Sigh. Don't want to get another rental... At least the people there were really nice. The amount of damage has reached a monetary amount that I don't even want to think about, even though I'm not paying. Sheesh. I am very, very thankful for insurance (especially the other guy's, heh).

The in-between: In the process of finalizing packing and preparing for the flight back home. It's almost a bit of a ritual now, and I feel myself gradually moving from Me-in-the-States to Me-in-Taiwan mode. My head is probably going to explode when the boy lands in Taiwan -- collisions of worlds! Confusion! Terror!

Airports and airplanes are such odd, liminal spaces. They even look it, imho. All the stark greys and boring color schemes, the drowning noise, the impersonal nature of it, it all detaches you from any sense of place or time. I suppose that's actually a bit opposite of traditional liminal spaces (from the very little I picked up from my one anthropology class that I mostly slept through). I remember more traditional liminal spaces/rituals being larger than life, even more colorful, with that sort of Fool/Trickster quality of breaking the rules. Whereas in airports and airplanes, everything is even more rule-bound, especially nowadays.

Does anyone else get this impression? I always feel so strange and detached and not-me in airports and airplanes. In airports, it's a little better -- there are shops and magazine stands, and sometimes your family or friends are there to see you off. But then you go past the impenetrable "going through security" line, and it's a totally different world. The gates especially are very odd. Everyone is just sitting there, in their small pockets of personal space, trying to distract themselves.

Airplanes are ten times worse, particularly if you don't know anyone on them. The long flights are the strangest. Time never quite passes in the same way on the plane, where they have artificial days and nights using the internal lights and lowering and raising thee window shades. When I was a kid, I used to stay up the entire flight and watch the sun rise over the sea of clouds. The plane itself almost tries to cut you off from everyone else -- the ambient noise is so loud that it's difficult to carry a conversation without severely irritating everyone within twenty feet.

I'm perpetually fascinated by airports and airplanes. I know Terry Pratchett has that L-space in which all libraries meet (right? or is that something else all together?). I think there's a strange pocket of space in which all airports meet and become one, and if you just keep walking down that aisle, or make a slightly wrong turn out of the restroom, you'll end up in Heathrow when you were just in SFO two minutes ago. I think they keep this a deep, dark secret so that they can keep the planes going and because there are very strange things lurking around in airports.

Heh, private rituals of my life. I spend (and have spent) entirely too much time in airports and on planes.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Partly based on [ profile] msagara's two posts, and partly by [ profile] shadowkat67's meme.

I haven't had the chance to make any extremely close friends online, but I suspect that's more a factor of time than anything else. I know there are a lot of people on my FL who I like a lot and think there's great potential to be very good friends with, but I've only had my LJ for about two years. It feels like foundations are being laid now; I'm getting used to people on LJ finally (I take a long time to get used to things), and I'm only just starting to feel very comfortable with my LJ environment. I'm telling you, it's that magic year-and-a-half mark ;). And I've always just sort of assumed that I would end up meeting people on LJ in RL eventually, or at least I hope I'll get the chance to. Online is well and good, and has been a godsend in the past two years, but there's also the fun of being able to go over to someone's house and snark over movies and popcorn, or just gossiping about books, life, clothes, and everything in between.

Two years also feels like a very short time to build a friendship. It doesn't mean that one isn't friends with someone else; it just means that it takes a lot of time to build all that foundation so that arguments and spats don't shake things up to much, it means enough time to get really comfortable with various quirks and habits. I'm also very influenced by my school with regards to the time factor -- I've known most of my friends in Taiwan for a good eight years now, and most of them, I've know since I was about nine years old. While I made some good friends in college, three years is still not that long of a time, all things considering.

I guess there are several factors in friendships -- time, frequency, interests, personality, etc. So there are friends that I've made just because I see them so often, even if I don't share many interests with them or our personalities don't quite mesh (these are the ones that tend to fall to the side the fastest). Time is a big one, but time can be pretty easily trumped by interests and personality, imho. All the people I still talk to from high school are people who I get along with at a very basic level and people whose interests I do share, which is good, given that we all suck at keeping in touch with each other and that we only see each other once a year, if even. And I think the personality thing is a big one -- you can share tons of interests with someone and even see them every day for years and years, but if something in your personalities don't click, it's so hard to keep it up. And it's hard to really know if personalities will click until you meet someone face to face. Or at least it is for me. I suspect you can get a good sense from someone's tone of voice on their LJ and the way they talk about things, but it's just more concrete in person.

But then, I'm also completely making this up, given that I've only met a handful of LJ people in RL, and even fewer on a semi-regular basis! I'd really love to meet more, but alas, I sigh over geographical constraints. And I don't mean to belittle the people I've met via LJ at all, because to be honest, LJ has been my social life for the past two years now, and (heh) I've often had a lot more fun on LJ than in many RL events. I'm hoping this changes a little (i.e. I hope RL gets more fun, not I hope to get off LJ), and that relationships I've made both online and off take off.

The really strange corollary to all this is that I see my good friends so rarely these past few years that they've become sort of online and phone friends as well. Or just see-once-a-year back at home or whenever they venture over to California friends. I'm actually still amazed that I have my good friends from high school still, because we all fell out of touch in college and went our different ways, but I can also pick up the phone and talk to them, and it feels like nothing has changed. And in another funny conflation of RL and LJ, I know at least one or two of my RL friends keep track of my LJ, and I keep track of their Xangas, because, as stated before, we all suck at keeping in touch. Another funny bit is that one of my really close friends is actually someone that I mostly got to know via the internet and phone, even though I had first met him in RL (*waves to Cy*). He wasn't in my class at school, so we didn't see each other that often then, and when I finally did start getting to know him, he had to gall to go and graduate ;). So we've kept in touch via infrequent visits and IM conversations, email and telephone calls, and while it can be a little funny meeting him in RL for the first five seconds, it still works.

It's gotten to the point in which I don't feel very strange at all talking to people primarily online -- the only people I talk on the phone with are my parents and the boy. And I'm horrible at phone conversations and IM as well. Maybe now I even associate online with something permanent? Hard to tell. But honeslty, the most reliable way to reach me is via email or LJ. I have horrible cell phone reception, I always forget to turn off IM or leave an away message, I hate answering the phone anyway because of telemarketers (and while driving, which scares the brains out of me). But there's this underlying sense of comfort in my friendships, that even after changes and various life experiences, they'll still be there. LJ feels a little like that to me as well. I think it's because of the community factor. I like having this group to hang around, even though I value good one-on-one friendships. And one-on-one friendships sometimes feel a little odd with no community context around them, which is what LJ provides that penpal-ship doesn't for me. I'm very big on community, probably because I grew up in a very tight-knit one in which my mom will tell her friends about my car accident and their kids (my friends) will IM me a week later, or another auntie will call to check up on me. One of the things I like best about where I grew up is the generational friendships, having family friends who are my own personal friends as well as my parents' friends so that outings are much more fun and less of an "adults having fun while the kids stare awkwardly in their corner" type thing.

Of course, it gets very claustrophobic and gossip-ridden at times, but that's just the flip side of the coin. Anyhow, I'm wondering if LJ will be my new community -- it already feels a little like it is, and I miss that sense of community so much. And now I've completely gone off the topic!

Therefore, it's time for the meme I mentioned earlier!

(But I do want to add that I'm still incredibly grateful for LJ and for LJ people... It was this giant help during senior year, when I felt like I wasn't connecting to anyone at all and losing myself completely, and it helped so much again during the huge depression that resulted during the job hunt. I had so few people to talk to and interact with in RL, and I seriously think if I hadn't had LJ during that time, I probably would have gone stark raving mad just talking to the boy and the rats. And of course the worst part of depression is that it isolates and makes you not want to try to connect with people, and because of the strange public-private space of LJ, I felt more comfortable talking about all the things that were going wrong with my life here than in RL, where I was apt to burst into tears and scare everyone off.)

Read more... )

(no subject)

Sun, Dec. 12th, 2004 10:15 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Luckily the horrible week has ended and the weekend has been pretty good. I was social all through the weekend! And not just social, but happily social, instead of those horrible social situations in which you have to go and make awkward small talk and don't get anything out of it except free food. On Friday I went to see Finding Neverland with [ profile] fannishly, which I liked and she didn't quite really. But I was really happy because it was all about Peter Pan, and I have many fond childhood memories of Peter Pan. And Johnny Depp was, as usual, amazing. As was the kid who played Peter. And there were just some lovely little sequences in there that I liked, especially that final shot of the Kate Winslet character in the garden. I also seem to be a sucker for biopics on authors, which is interesting. I usually am not all that fond of biopics, but I love watching these movies where people speculate as to how certain elements of an author's life has crept into their works (Shakespeare in Love, etc.). On a totally shallow note, I wanted everyone's clothes. Mmmm, Edwardian age.

I think it's rather odd how I have some sort of fondness for most Western time periods except the Regency and the medieval period, which seem to be fairly popular with most people. I think I just never read books set in those periods that I imprinted on early. With the Edwardian period, there was Anne of Green Gables. I got into the 1800s with the Little House books and Gone with the Wind, and I like the 1700s because of The Scarlet Pimpernel. In fact, that book and Sara Crewe's fascination with the French Revolution fueled many fantasies as a kid. And then there's The Three Musketeers and the 1600s. Gah, I should reread that. I loved that book.

On Saturday, [ profile] sophia_helix and Alex and one of their friends came over after the Dickens Faire and we all had a great deal of fun playing with the boy's racing setup (yes, my boy has a racing chair with a wheel for his games), eating pizza, and chatting. And I'm quite sure my rats had a lot of fun because there were new people holding them and playing with them. Life must be so good if you are a rat. I'm afraid I foisted a great deal of books onto M, but you see, it is quite to my advantage. All I have to do is fill up all the empty spaces on my shelves with new books before the boy comes home, and he will never realize I bought more! Haha! It's perfect. No, the boy is actually very nice about the amount of books I buy -- he's just sort of hesitant about buying new shelves for me, given the utter lack of wall space (and the fact that I already have five shelves).

Today I woke up extremely late but still managed to run some errands. Then I spent the entire afternoon watching The Princess Bride, partly because it felt suitable, partly because I haven't see it for forever, and really, who needs a reason to rewatch Princess Bride? And then headed over to a potluck of a friend from the bookstore, which was really cool and fun, and maybe there will be even more people to hang around! The best thing is that all the people there live about a block away from me. So now I am entertaining high hopes of game nights and movie showings and etc.

This feels good, actually. I think I'm starting to have a social life again. I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic, and I guess it sort of fits. From personal experience, I don't start making real connections until I've been somewhere for about a year and a half. So this is roughly the right time. Read more... )

(no subject)

Sat, Dec. 4th, 2004 10:03 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
And now, a post that will be happy. Or if not happy, at least completely normal, because my life has felt like some sort of Lifetime drama this week. I don't want my life to be a drama. If my life had to be some sort of genre category, I'd want it to be a romantic comedy, or a sitcom. Or maybe a musical, and everyone would dance around, and laugh, and be happy (unless it were a demonic Buffy musical, hrm....).

The boy and I went to the Dickens Faire today, which was very nifty, and I bought myself a bonnet. It's a very cute bonnet, and now I have to figure out how I want to decorate it, and if that means I have to learn how to sew or what. Anyone here skilled in the arts of millinery? I probably should be trying to save money because of the accident and subsequent costs and the like, but what the heck. And I'm working a few extra hours at the bookstore for the next two weeks. And you know, thank God for insurance. I mean, really. And I am so glad mine covers the rental car. And I am also so glad that I have real health insurance now and can go to the hospital and not be broke. Counting my blessings.

Anyway, and I got a wassail kit (what is a wassail anyway? Is it some sort of mulled wine?), and cute ornament for the Christmas tree that we're not putting up this year. I also ogled at many, many hoop skirts and dresses and corsets, but I settled for just getting my wonderfully cute grey bonnet. I'm quite fond of it. Actually, I find myself wanting to keep it in my lap so I can pet it and name it "George" or something.

Then I headed off to the library and got copies of Tooth and Claw (even though I'm going to end up buying it soon), Firethorn and Strong Poison for [ profile] inklings_lj. It was a nice day, and I walked through the park to get home, and there were some gingko trees that were still shedding their leaves. Bright yellow leaves scattered in circles around two or three trees on the green, green grass, absolutely gorgeous. So I grabbed my books and waded through the leaves, and waded back, and then circled around and gleefully kicked leaves up in the air with my boots, and felt immensely satisfied.

Later on, I had some very good buffalo wings and barbecue, the really good kind when you take one whiff of the sauce and get that satisfying firm kick to your head because of how strong the vinegar is. Ooooooh yeah. But Chuck's still has better wings. Gah, I love wings.

And now, I shall relax and eat some pie and watch Good Eats.

(and one more thing to be happy about... I finally got a non-scratched copy of Angel S2! W00t!)

(no subject)

Thu, Nov. 25th, 2004 11:51 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Although I am slightly confused, because there are Christmas decorations up everywhere now, so the more primeval part of my brain is having a hard time remembering it's still November.

I am thankful for good food, good books (I just finished [ profile] sartorias's Crown Duel), good friends who feel close though they mostly live far away (that's you guys!), my family, being gainfully employed with health insurance, my relatively healthy body, the fact that my depression seems to have gone into remission, cute rats, the boy for being the boy and putting up with me, and numerous other things like public libraries, used bookstores, Good Eats, tv on DVD, falling leaves, roses blooming in Stanford Mall, the washer/dryer in my apartment, Livejournal for helping me get through depressed times and happy times, satsuma season, California weather, finding connections to home in the strangest places, and that I am alive and can enjoy all of this.

(no subject)

Fri, Nov. 12th, 2004 10:28 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Owowowow, this made me laugh so hard I cried. I think the best one is in the comments, on a cat, a hamper, and a rubber band.

*collapses into giggles*

I think I am finally beginning to understand the cult of Friday (otherwise known as "TGIF"). In Taiwan, we went to school Mon.-Fri. with another half day on Saturday. They changed that my senior year so that we only went to school every other Saturday (but took out a few national holidays for it). I think after I graduated (of course), they finally changed it so that people had a five-day week like the rest of the freaking world. But, I got rather used to working on Saturdays.

College, everyone's schedules were completely out of whack, especially later on. I had the occasional free Tuesday, or one class only on Thursday, or etc. At the bookstore, I worked Saturdays and got Sundays and Wednesdays off.

Now, I have normal weekends. And on Fridays, there's this incredibly different atmosphere. Everyone is somehow bouncier, anticipating the weekend, more jokes are made. I sing loudly in the car. It's quite nifty, really.

I've found that I don't actually mind my commute all that much. Well, I hate driving, so it's on the tolerable level, and there are many annoying cars on the road. I think those super-fast cars that like to weave in and out of lanes without a turn signal deserve a special place in traffic jam hell. But I have my bouncy CDs and Assassins in the car, and since it's just me, I sing at the top of my lungs. And somehow, the driver's seat has shower-like acoustics, so I actually sound not-so-bad when I do it. The bad thing, though, is that now I'm in the habit of randomly bursting into song for my favorite bits ("Chaaaaarlie said, 'Hell! If I am guilty than God is as well.' But God was ac-quit-ted and Charlie com-mit-ted until he should haaaaaaaaaaang... still he saaaaaaaang..."). That wouldn't be so bad, except now I do it at the top of my lungs and when other people are still in the car. So far, "other people" have mostly been the boy, who doesn't really mind, but I fear I will start doing it and completely embarrass myself one day.

I'm very good at embarrassing myself. Lately I've begun haphazardly walking into cubicle walls. I don't think anyone has seen me do this yet (thankfully), but still. It's not like the cubicle walls have moved or anything. My feet and brain just somehow manage to miscalculate so that I bounce off them. I used to be very good at opening doors and not coordinating it very well so I would just perfectly get the half-opened door edge right in front of my face and walk smack into it.

Really, how can I be expected to play video games and make those characters walk in a straight line and avoid walls when I can't do that in real life with my own body?

(no subject)

Wed, Oct. 20th, 2004 09:34 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
One of the strange things that's happened because of my taking up LJ around the same time I graduated from college is that I feel so inexperienced now. When I was a kid, or in high school, or in college, I always had this view of myself as being very mature, as though I understood the world. I felt wise and knowledgeable. And while I felt like I would be learning things about life all the time, my own self impression was that of age.

Now it's completely different, probably because of the change of environment. It sort of started with LJ and getting to know people of different generations as friends, not as "friends of my mom" or some such thing. I think in school it's so easy to exaggerate that one year difference between juniors and seniors, or the three year difference between freshmen and seniors. It feels like an unbreachable gap (especially for dating purposes). I mean, back then, I would think of people two years younger than me as "my sister's friends." Now they would probably be the closest people to my age that I've interacted with in a while (in RL). Also, back in high school, I always knew more people in the classes below me than above. Plus, I am a big sister, and as such, have often felt older and wiser (yes, that sound you hear would be my sister choking back laughter).

In college things were a little different -- I got to know the classes above me more, and as such, was sort of the baby of the group for a bit. Not me, per se, but I was the little soph playing with the juniors or something like that. In LJ, things feel even more like that. Possibly for the first time in my life, I got to talk to people who have been reading genre for longer than me, people who have a much better understanding of the sci-fi/fantasy tradition and canon and etc. I never had this sort of community in high school, because we were all discovering the same books at roughly the same time. That was wonderful too, in its own way, just as it's wonderful to show up here and say, "I like such, such and such" and have recs pour in.

I think another big factor is work. Obviously, since I am a recent grad, most people are work are older than me. The people at the bookstore were split between a generation a little older than my parents, and then a few people around my age (give or take ten years). The people at work now are, I think, about ten years older than me, and everyone is talking about not even marriage (which is still a scary thing for me to think about), but having kids and raising kids and kids blah blah. I sort of eye them and my brain goes into panic mode when all this is mentioned. And because it's work, I have to act as though people much older than me are my peers, which is very, very disconcerting. It took me a very long while getting used to calling people older than me by their first names instead of Mr./Ms. So-and-so or Blah ahyi/shushu (auntie/uncle). It still feels extremely unpolite to address emails by first name to people higher up on the corporate ladder.

And so now I feel like I'm just really starting to crawl around in the world and only beginning to get a grasp on things. I feel very displaced and lost also. I can't quite figure out (still) where my life is going, despite the new job, or what the meaning of it all is, or anything. And it's especially odd and frightening watching my parents grow older and worry more about health issues. Mortality seems much closer now than it did when I was in school.

Of course, I will reread this a year or five years, or many more years down the line and shake my head at just how little I know.

(no subject)

Tue, Oct. 19th, 2004 11:06 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Calvin and Hobbes comics)
It's officially fall and/or winter now. I find it strange how a ten degree change in the temperate can cause such a large mood shift in me. But it's slightly chilly (well, for California, which is about as much chill as wimpy me can take), the skies were overcast all day with nary a beam of sunshine in sight, and I have a fuzzy sweater and boots on. It feels like the right weather to listen to Del Amitri.

But everything outside feels just a tad bit sharper and more unwelcoming, and interiors are looking brighter and cheerier hour by hour. Even the flourescent-lit cubicles looked downright cozy compared to the wind and rain outside. I looked outside this morning and decided it was a day for curling up in the couch with rats and a McKillip book (currently in the middle of Song for the Basilisk right now. Sadly, after this, I will only have a few more McKillip's to go through before I've read them all. I am parcelling them out slowly for days like this.)

It feels like everything is slowing down, taking measure of the past few months, contemplating more. It's time for hot soup and family get togethers, holidays and tradition.

I still miss summer. I don't operate well without much sunshine. I mourn the heat, the bright, intense colors, loud blaring music, sunglasses, the smell of grass.

Speaking of rainy day books, probably any book is a good rainy day book. Rainy days just seem to inspire books and reading. But I would particularly pick up old favorites like Robin McKinley or favorite books from childhood. That, or big fat epics to be buried in.

Book memery )

(no subject)

Sun, Sep. 19th, 2004 01:26 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Saw Sky Captain today, and was immensely entertained by the sheer retroness of it all. Also, the opening scenes set in 1930s, sort of Art Deco-y New York were gorgeous. I ogled and ogled and spent half the movie trying to figure out what was CG and what wasn't, and then decided I didn't care because it was so spiffy. Must go see again. And it was unexpectedly funny! I actually liked Joe and Polly, which I was not expecting to -- I was more there for the aforementioned retroness and I had figured the characters would bee sort of place-holder characters who only exist so that someone can act out the plot. But they were funny, which was nice. And Polly was amazingly not the incredibly annoying intrepid reporter that I thought she would be, all spunky and the like. Well, she was, but everyone was aware she was, so it was all ok. And, and, flying airships! Backpack rocket propellers! Doomsday devices! Squee! Must watch again. And again. Because me, so prey to the prettiness.

I feel really strange being back -- completely out of the loop on LJ and feeling too lazy to catch up. It's strange wandering back into society here after having been in the company of my parents for so long. I don't miss Italy. It was absolutely wonderful being there, but by the end, I wanted to stop living in hotels and to be in a place where everyone spoke English again. But despite the occasional annoyingness, I miss my parents now =(. It probably helped that I got the job offer prior to the trip so there was no job stressing, which would have led to grumpy, snappy me and an unhappy trip.

It's also frightening because my parents are getting old. I don't like thinking about it, but we were eating at some restaurant one day, and I looked at them, and suddenly they were old. Their skin is sort of losing elasticity and assuming a different texture; I spotted grey hairs on my dad and age spots. And I've known this for a while -- hard to avoid when the big topic with them and their friends is health and medicine, but it just struck all over again. And it doesn't quite seem fair. I want to keep being a big baby forever who can just run home and be petted over by my parents (or yelled at, given the circumstances). And of course, there's the whole mortality thing, which I don't like thinking about at all because it scares me, because they're my parents and they really aren't supposed to grow old. Thinking that, I feel like I should somehow be there, except I'm in California with no family nearby at all. Still attempting to lure my sister over after she graduates.

Sigh. I miss my family and the utterly strange yet completely familiar dynamics, even when they drive me absolutely batty.


oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

October 2017

151617181920 21

Most Popular Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags