glass_icarus: (potluck 2)
First one in a while, which is probably a good thing? On the other hand, random impulse baking means I ended up with a pretty great modified version of these easy peanut butter oatmeal cookies.

Mods:
- used slightly less than 1/2 c sugar (certainly not packed), because
- added probably around 1/2 c dried cranberries
- melted a few chunks of unsweetened chocolate & mixed it in with the peanut butter
- added a few shakes of cayenne pepper

DELICIOUS. Also, I could've maybe done this vegan by leaving the egg out altogether- the peanut butter and melted chocolate combo seemed thick enough to hold pretty well.
glass_icarus: (fireworks heart)
Since the school year is well and truly over, in last night's edition of mentally-exhausted bumming, I decided to start watching Nirvana in Fire/Lang Ya Bang (thanks, [personal profile] colorblue!). HAHAHA. "Just one episode" turned into eight pretty much instantaneously; I only stopped because sleep was necessary for me to make another attempt at working in the office today.

Still at that stage of incoherent flailing about everything and everyone, so no spoilers here but OMG. CAN I JUST SAY THAT MEI CHANGSU/NIHUANG/JINGYAN IS THE MOST GLORIOUS OT3. And Meng! *draws 10,000 sparkly hearts*
glass_icarus: (avatar: appa's five stomachs)
♣ In an ~epic moment~ of impulsive 30th-birthday genius, I decided to attempt the free Windows 10 upgrade. I didn't particularly like the new interface and was distinctly unenthused by the built-in OS activity tracking thing (are we not sufficiently tracked already??), so I decided to revert to Windows 7. HAHAHA. Hello, endless startup loop with total repair failure! Hello, 3 days of aggravation and off-and-on troubleshooting attempts! Hello, unsubtle reminder from the universe that I really need to improve my system backup habits! (I'm super paranoid about schoolwork, current/recent research, and resume-type things, but my equally necessary mood-equilibrating/happy memories stuff? Not so much.) I have still not managed to block out time to actually fix things because I need to finish my endless lit review first. /o\

♣ Officemate didn't believe me when, in our mutual exchange of birthday-almost-twin wishes, I told him I'm 30. Buddy, I realize that you're trying to compliment me but... have you never met any other Asians our age??

♣ Last night must have been the first time I've managed a full REM cycle in a while. Most of the time I don't dream even when I do get decent sleep, but I woke up this morning with very perplexing half-images of a NYC dance friend, what seemed to be a toy koala bear (?!), and pretty but nondescript cityscapes with parks and buildings in my head. What even. 0.o

♣ My family is coming to visit this weekend, and I don't think I have enough time to actually hang out with them because WORK WORK WORK SO MUCH WORK (and also a previously-organized trip to a cabane for dinner). Non-overlapping spring "break" schedules are the devil.

♣ A friend of mine in NYC really wants to become a copyeditor, and is generally seeking information on careers in the publishing industry. Does anyone have ideas or recs for info sources, or maybe some general advice that I could pass on to her?
glass_icarus: (potluck 2)
The other day, I attempted yet another mod of the lime yogurt olive oil cake I love so much because I have a bag of Meyer lemons and wanted to play!

Normally when I make this cake, I halve the sugar and ignore all measurements re: lime juice in favor of juicing an entire lime, or occasionally 1.5-2 limes. This time, rather than juicing and zesting, I decided I'd just toss a whole Meyer lemon in my bullet blender along with a couple slices of chopped frozen ginger and the 1/3 cup of vegetable oil (I don't have olive oil at the moment). I used a packet of "ginger tea" (basically, really strongly flavored ginger sugar) instead of regular sugar that prooobably amounted to ~1/4 c, which is about half again what I usually do for this cake. Also, I used maple yogurt rather than plain or vanilla. (When in Canada...?)

Results: The batter came out thicker than I'm used to, possibly because a whole blended lemon changes the texture a bit, or alternately because I usually ~double the lime juice. The Meyer lemon gives a great smell but not as much flavor intensity; I think I'll double it if/when I try this again. Also, I've finally gone below the minimum re: cutting sugar; 1/4 c was definitely too little given that my maple yogurt wasn't all that sweet. What I ended up with can be more accurately described as "interesting, subtly-lemon-flavored bread" than "lemon/ginger/maple yogurt cupcakes" (I used a cupcake tin this time). xD Sticking to 1/3 to 1/2 c sugar is safest!

:(

Jan. 14th, 2016 08:20 pm
glass_icarus: (light on the water)
RIP, Alan Rickman. ;___;

My strongest impressions of him are from Love Actually, and of course as Snape. He was so good at playing those characters I'd love to hate, but who are also so complicated and interesting. The tributes by HP cast members are touching, especially DanRad's. "As an actor he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child"-- a;sdflkajs;dlfkjasd.
glass_icarus: (trek: live long & prosper)
Happy 2016, everyone! Overall, 2015 was pretty good to me, but I still hope this year is better for all of us than the last. I've zouked my way into the new year (though of course I got distracted from taking any sort of decent non-giant-group pictures) and spent today hanging out with old friends, so I'm feeling both supremely content and like a creaky marionette.

My one-word intention for this year is generosity (see also: How Generous Are You Willing To Be?). This is the third year I've decided on an intention as opposed to new year's resolutions, which I rarely remember and never manage to keep. I find it a lot easier to prioritize one thing to work on at a time (2014 was connection, 2015 was communication). I've thought about sticking to my previous words before, but these things are always works in progress, and a new year deserves a fresh start.

So: generosity. It's something I'm always reaching for and never quite grasp, and it's particularly hard to achieve when I'm tired, angry, busy, entering school tunnel-vision mode, etc. By generous, I mean actively taking time out of the day (each day, ideally; most days, realistically) to be present with or for someone. I mean being openhearted, forgiving, non-judgmental, a good and active listener. I mean being vulnerable by making myself more visible to other people, taking up the spaces I take up and being unafraid to share them. I mean expressing my emotions the way I feel them, rather than squashing them down to size. I mean being myself in unapologetic, kind truth. If there's one hope I have for this year, it's that we are all more generous with (and to) ourselves.

gaman

Dec. 28th, 2015 02:28 pm
glass_icarus: (john cho)
Went to see Allegiance with my sister last night, and- as I mentioned elsenet- it was heart-exploding. George Takei!! Lea Salonga!!! And of course, that story. ♥ It appears that the primary facilitators of my access to literal gross sobbing are immigrant stories, of course. (I am not a frequent crier!) Also, can I just say how fucking refreshing it was to go and see a Broadway show with a majority-Asian cast?? As in, there were maybe four non-Asian people on stage (WHO SAYS THERE ISN'T A TALENT POOL). Such satisfying feelings of comfort and freedom and recognition and yes.

Of all the things George Takei must intend this story to be, it feels like a conversation starter more than anything else. The history of the Japanese internment camps, race relations, questions of belonging and citizenship, family tensions, the ways diasporados choose again and again to hold on or let go, the ways we express strength in the face of suffering, how we define and choose to be loyal (to a nation? to a family? to our history? to tradition?). It's about the borders we cross, how we live within them, and how we carry them with us. It's about how and where we choose to make our stand. And, of course, the prices of the choices we make.

I may never be able to achieve the most critical mindset about this musical. Quite frankly, to see George Takei perform on stage and pass on pieces of his family's own story put me in a state of emotional flailing even beyond the one accessed through Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights (and oh, when I saw in the program notes that George Takei also cried with recognition at that show. ♥ Immigrant stories!!). Also, LEA SALONGA!!!! My sister, who seems to have retained more dignity and critical thought than I did at the time, said quite accurately that she was great, but everyone else was a bit meepy. This is a fair statement, but it's not that the voice quality of the cast is mediocre; it's that Lea Salonga fucking eclipses everyone else in the room when she opens her mouth to sing.

Other assorted thoughts: spoilers-ish? )

In short: loved it, and if you have the chance to see it, do! Especially if you are in/around NYC and may therefore also be able to watch GEORGE TAKEI and LEA SALONGA live on stage. My only regret is that we were running for the bus and therefore couldn't hang around the theater to attempt to greet the cast as they left.

Yuletiding

Dec. 26th, 2015 09:34 pm
glass_icarus: (ofelia)
First dive into the archive today! :D (Still not returning to Yuletide writing, but devouring all the fic remains one of my favorite things about this time of year.) Kicking things off with my year's-end nostalgia fandoms, by which I mean (for now, at least) the stuff still withstanding my Arthurian-legend burnout: The Dark is Rising* and GGK - someone wrote Fionavar this year! And Kim/Dave, no less. (I always get a kick out of seeing GGK fic written by NOT ME, as I don't really know other people who have written multiple GGK stories, lol.)

*Favorite of the lot: Wherein was bound a child, because... well. Because. asdkfja;sldkgj *_________* ♥

So excited to see Riddle-master fic this year omg!! McKillip's trilogy is one of my oldest favorites, and Like Petals from the Bough is basically heart-exploding.

Also, this year I can appreciate Georgette Heyer! Like this Inconvenient Marriage one: Inconvenience- a perfect non-textual love-triangle resolution if there ever was one, hah. And this Devil's Cub one: a thing with feathers- a modern AU that works surprisingly, hilariously, well.

And Bel Dame Apocrypha fic: The Ending is the Same Every Damn Time - Rhys/Nyx, pretty much the way I'm convinced that would go.

And Matrix fic! Ahh, I never realized I needed a fic like Parking in places with girls until I read it. Dorky Neo and awkward Trinity!! Heee. ♥

Also, Queen's Thief, eeeee :D for sins and false alarms is a great look at Gen's attendants, and you got me begging, begging, i'm on my knees is... exactly what it sounds like, heh.

Also excited to see a bunch of stories for Captive Prince and the Imperial Radch! And Gangsta. fic, which reminds me that I mean to read it at some point when I actually have time to spare... And good lord, 57 Hamilton stories (59 if you count the RPF)?! I haven't watched the show or really been particularly tempted to do so, despite my general appreciation for Lin-Manuel Miranda, but at this point I might just have to.
glass_icarus: (to smell)
Since I tragically can't seem to find Guerlain's Pamplelune in Sephora anymore (I'm pretty sure it was [personal profile] kaberett who pointed me in that direction? if so, thanks!!), I've been playing a little bit with related citrus-y smells.

♣ Limon Verde (Guerlain): DELICIOUS LIMEY CAIPIRINHA!!, but more so in the bottle than on me (the herby bits come up a bit stronger on my skin). Basically, HOORAY. I still prefer grapefruit over lime/lemon/orange smells, but this one is fantastic.

♣ Mandarine Basilic (Guerlain): Orange, but a bit sweet for my liking. This is also a bit herby on me. Not bad, but I'm not the biggest fan either.

♣ Herba Fresca (Guerlain): The only non-citrus thing I tried, mostly because it was in the same line. Herby/grassy in a nice, light sort of way, but not something I'm super excited about.

♣ Cleopatra (Tocca): Really, really nice, grapefruit-y but with added sweet-ish/spicy layers. The mix is quite a bit richer than Pamplelune (which I love for its simple, perfect capture of cutting into a fresh grapefruit), but in a way I can appreciate. Definitely keeping this sample.

♣ Orange Sanguine (Atelier Cologne): A much better orange, imo! This one is also sweet, but in a fresher way than Mandarine Basilic. It also has a bit of a spicy undertone on my skin that smells not-quite-but-almost-like nutmeg? Also a sample I'm keeping.
glass_icarus: (french quarter)
So! 3 months into the move, I'm still living in a mostly-English-speaking bubble. This is annoying, as the language thing is really standing in the way of non-school social integration, exploration, and other things. Yesterday a friend of mine posted this Quebecois pour les nuls video, and I realized that if I can't reliably get my friends to speak French to me, there are other ways to go about it!

Therefore: any recommendations for French-language videos? Songs? Podcasts? News sources? Taking any and all suggestions, but I need to hear it more than I need to read it- I have an easier time of comprehension/recall when I have text in front of me; it's things like slang and pronunciation that trip me up.
glass_icarus: (french quarter)
So! I did a bar tour, a food crawl, went to tam-tams at Mont Royal with various people, stopped by the YUL EATS food festival at Quai de l'Horloge on my way to check out the Brazilian festival (& then abandoned it because there was no dancing yet), and wandered back through Vieux Port and Vieux Montreal and Chinatown, but my favorite place in this city so far is 21 balancoires. Best stumble-upon EVER. :D
glass_icarus: (bradley/colin ipod)
THE EEPHUS IS OUT!!!! EEEEEEE, SO EXCITED. I already know and love half of this EP, as Jidenna's Classic Man and Janelle Monae's Yoga were released as singles earlier this year; I can't wait to check out the rest of it. Wondaland is Janelle's label, too! :D :D :D

♣ Not related to The Eephus, but similarly amazing: the Wondaland crew has also released Hell You Talmbout in support of #BlackLivesMatter. You know, in case you haven't already seen it.

This tweet by George Takei kind of makes me want to caption it "How to Make a Furby", omg. xD

♣ Via twitter, a fairly accurate list: top fanfic tropes! )

♣ While sorting through piles of random things to prepare for moving, I found this necklace: )
The cross pendant is not removable, which makes me hesitant to wear it as I'm not actually Christian. I'd be happy to send it on, if anyone here is interested! I also have a bunch of other jewelry (earrings from street fairs, etc.) but that will probably end up in another post.
glass_icarus: (ofelia)
Now that I suddenly have a little less than 3 weeks left before moving (?!), I'm scrambling to check more items off my to-read list! It's been kind of slow lately, as I included some of my non-fiction list as well (much shorter than the fiction side, heh).

+ News for All the People, Juan Gonzalez & Joseph Torres: It took me the better part of two plane rides, a decent chunk of downtime in Taiwan, and a little post-trip jetlag adjustment attempt to finish, but I really appreciated this book! This history of race and the US media is fascinating, and pretty well encapsulates many of the reasons I find watching/listening to/reading mainstream US news so frustrating. The last chapter is about the rise of the internet and the net neutrality arguments, which I also found pretty enlightening.

+ While poking about on my goodreads page, I also devoured three excellent short stories:
- She Commands Me and I Obey, Ann Leckie
- Night's Slow Poison, Ann Leckie
- The House of Aunts, Zen Cho

I read the first two because scrolling past Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword gave me a sudden craving to revisit the Imperial Radch universe, and they did not disappoint! I thought She Commands Me was the stronger of the two- the layered politics and doublespeak were super powerful in that one. *___* My favorite ended up being The House of Aunts, though! The family shenanigans bits made me laugh so hard (AUNTIES BEING AUNTIES, omg best). I really enjoyed the slow unfurling of the story, piece by piece, especially that last big reveal. Heartbreaking and hopeful, all at once. ♥

Next in line: Juan Gonzalez's Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America! News for All the People was engaging enough that I thought I'd take another shot at Gonzalez, and I'm hoping to persevere before my probably-last library requests (fiction) arrive.
glass_icarus: (kuroko no basuke: riko)
Finally blocking out some writing time this summer! I've been missing the inspiration and creativity of fandom for... a long time now, really, and I'd like to jump back in while I have the chance. So! Give me a prompt, any prompt, for any of my fandoms, and I'll attempt some sort of drabble. Chances of fills are greater for the fandoms I've written before, but really- you name it, I'll take a stab at it. Let's see what/how much I can come up with by tomorrow.
glass_icarus: (tempting)
+ I've been avoiding Rachel Dolezal bullshit beyond headlines and friends' snarky commentary. It makes my head explode, and right now I don't have the energy to deal with rage or the processing power for comments beyond "wow, dat entitlement doe." Thankfully, life has been full of shiny and emotionally restorative distractions lately!

+ Had an awesome weekend in sort-of-upstate NY with dance friends, cooking, exploring rivers and waterfalls, and generally relaxing. ♥ I need more of this kind of time this summer.

+ Loving the music video for The New International Sound Pt. II by GENER8ION and M.I.A.! cut for embed )

+ Upcoming dance weekend!! *\o/* So excited to see everyone from out of town again, hooray :D

+ Also planning to take a day or two (sometime next week or so?) for a mini writing blitz- I miss writing fic. Toss me some prompts, please? Any fandom is fine, though I'm feeling a bit biased towards A:TLA and HP at the moment and I can't guarantee that I'll fill everything.
glass_icarus: (ofelia)
One of the many things I plan to do in this before-the-storm summer is read ALL the fun things, but I seem to have been slowing down on that lately for various reasons. I figured going back to booklogging would help with this problem, so here's what I've read in May so far:

An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir: I waited ages for my library request to be filled, and I enjoyed this quite a lot, though I'm not sure it was great enough to deserve a two-month wait. I think I'll be rereading it before I return it, just to process some more.

Grapefruit, Yoko Ono: The other thing I decided to do was tick a bunch of things off my to-read list on goodreads, so since I saw this was available, I borrowed it. :D I really liked this one, not as much for the language as for the processing it requires. Yoko's instructional poems are deceptively simple, you have to let them sit in the back of your head for a while before you realize how interesting the concepts are. As a result, I blew through the first half of the book in about 20 minutes before slowing down. I think it would have been even better if I'd read a few a day for a couple of weeks, but I'm a habitual book-binger and the return date was sneaking up on me, so. ^^;

Invisible Flower, Yoko Ono: This little story is also deceptively simple.

Season of Migration to the North, Tayeb Salih: I've definitely spent too little time reading non-academic things lately. I ended up being so confused by narrative chronology that I didn't really process everything this book had to say.

The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley: REALLY interesting concepts in this one! God's War had a much more visceral impact for me, though; in comparison, this book was less satisfying.
glass_icarus: (rolly bird)
Trying to get back in the habit of posting, so I'm reverting to lists/assorted randoms while I wait for today's paper comments.

+ Apropos of today, I think I forgot to mention that I finally watched a Star Wars movie a few weeks back? Can't say I found it particularly exciting, but it was entertaining to watch with zouk-geek friends. I'd much prefer a proper LOTR marathon, though (we did a Matrix one already).

+ FINALLY got my hands on An Ember in the Ashes! I put in a request at the library nearly two months ago, hopefully it's worth the wait. :9 *excited*

+ Speaking of books, I haven't been reading as much this year, which is something I should fix as I will be back in the grad school grind soon enough. Does anyone have recs for shiny things to hunt down? So far my list consists of the rest of the God's War series, but that's about it. Anime and manga recs are similarly welcome!
glass_icarus: (saiyuki: goku gold)
You believed in your own story,
then climbed inside it --
a turquoise flower.
You gazed past ailing trees,
past crumbling walls and rusty railings.
Your least gesture beckoned a constellation
of wild vetch, grasshoppers, and stars
to sweep you into immaculate distances.

The heart may be tiny
but the world's enormous.

And the people in turn believe --
in pine trees after rain,
ten thousand tiny suns, a mulberry branch
bent over water like a fishing-rod,
a cloud tangled in the tail of a kite.
Shaking off dust, in silver voices
ten thousand memories sing from your dream.

The world may be tiny
but the heart's enormous.

-- Shu Ting (trans. Donald Finkel)
glass_icarus: (wave)
I recently read a Marxist history of the city by George Rudé
to help me understand why so many English decided to leave

for New Zealand, among other places. I can see why now, and
with compassion. The historian says there aren't many histories

of faces in the crowd. He talked about mistreatment of
minority believers, gin's evils, class differences, diseases -

all before the Victorians' great reforms when our people were
taken into the British family of nations to be kept as children.

It's an old story of course retold by many such as Lemony Snicket
in his recently completed A Series of Unfortunate Events.

-- Robert Sullivan
glass_icarus: (bibliophile)
A poem thought it saw
the flash of an axe or ninja
star spinning toward it
in the dark. But the poem really saw
a man standing on a corner
waving his hands. The poem
got startled. The poem
got scared. The poem
didn’t understand what
the man was saying. If
the poem mistook the man
for a hydrant, would the poem
have shot? )

-- Patrick Rosal

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just another fork-tongued dragon lady

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