hello 2019

Jan. 1st, 2019 11:03 am
glass_icarus: (fireworks heart)
Happy Gregorian New Year!

2018 was a rough year, both generally and personally speaking, but it wasn't without its bright spots. I'm not sure I have the energy to go through it all, but let's just say that grad school, zouk, and the random scraps of everything else in the rest of my life have all been exhausting and rewarding. My one-word intention (open) definitely helped me through it all. 2018 also brought lots of new experiences, especially relationship-wise. This thing with D hasn't been without its (many) challenges, and I'm still smarting from a snag we hit before the holidays. Even so, this is the first time my instinctive response was to hold on rather than to let go. I trust my gut, so I'm keeping my eyes forward and looking toward our next steps.

I thought over a few words for 2019, but I think the one I'm going with is clarity. Clarity of mind and thought, certainly- yes, hello, proposal-writing that I must conquer- but also clarity of purpose, in my actions and decisions. Clarity of communication, in all my relationships. Clarity of emotion, because not running away from feelings is a constant struggle given my ingrained rationalist leanings, and my flight responses aren't effective anymore (if they ever really were).

I think that's a big part of my wish for everyone this year as well: to maintain or find clarity in the messy uncertainty of things to come, along with the health, happiness, and better circumstances that I hope for.
glass_icarus: (potluck 2)
Super cold weather this week makes me want to bake, so I decided to play around with this chocolate peanut butter cupcake recipe! Modified as follows:

1.5 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 c sugar (approximately)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c lukewarm coffee (mine was instant and on the warmer side, oops?)
1/2 c milk (I used my roommate's extra 1%)
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
splash vanilla extract (I didn't measure this; 1-2 tsp?)

I mixed the dry ingredients and then added in the wet until everything was combined, no separate-bowl-mixing because I'm too lazy for that (same reason I used my cake pan instead of my cupcake tin, lol). I embedded 4 chunks of Trader Joe's 70% dark chocolate into the batter before I put it in to bake. My devil oven means that I play temperature/bake time roulette every time, but my best guess for people with temperature dials that actually correspond to their oven temperatures would be somewhere around 40 minutes at 350F? Once the toothpick came out clean I crushed a couple of dried Thai chili peppers on top.

Verdict: halving the sugar was appropriate for my fairly un-sweet tooth; however, next time I'll add the chili straight into the batter for a more infused (hopefully) spice kick. It could also use some flavor boosting on both the chocolate and peanut butter fronts- I like the lightness of the cake I ended up with, so I'll probably just embed more chocolate chunks next time. Straight replacement of butter with peanut butter apparently doesn't give the most peanutty flavor, so I could swirl in some extra peanut butter or try using chunky peanut butter? (You could also do a peanut butter frosting or just straight up spread it on top after the cake is done, but I'm not a big fan of frostings/icings/etc.) Hmm. Worth additional experiments!
glass_icarus: (katie coffee)
[personal profile] eglantiere asked me about my original writing! The short answer* is, I haven't pursued original writing in years and have never been very serious about it. Mostly it's been limited to poetry (based on rl inspiration) and fail-provoked personal essay-type posts. Nothing gets me ranting faster than immigration/race stuff, I'm just saying. :P My one (long-ago) attempt at original fiction I abandoned very quickly because it required more research, time, and energy than I could afford at the time.

Now, 100% of my writing efforts are academic. I'm sure somewhere, some PhD students exist who retain their capacity for original non-academic writing during their degree, but I am not one of them. Speaking of which, it's back to work for me!

*The long answer is more theoretical than real, since I'm not really sure what to expand on, so I guess if you have further questions just ask? xD Also, feel free to drop me a prompt if there's something else you'd like me to talk about!

&Katara;

Dec. 9th, 2018 12:13 pm
glass_icarus: (avatar: sibling love)
[personal profile] musesfool asked about my Katara feels! I spouted off about Katara (and my feelings about her feelings) once before, so I will try not to repeat myself, heh.

Katara is the most mature person in the Gaang from the beginning to the end of the series, and that and her strong moral compass- she has enough empathy that she could manipulate anyone into anything, and enough compassion that she never will- mean that her growth curve is a lot less steep than everyone else's. Unlike the rest of the Gaang, she already knows and is confident in herself- emotions, values, beliefs, capabilities, potential, and all- and is unafraid to show it. The one major area of self-development she wrestles with is her anger, not because she doesn't understand it, but because she's afraid of how far she might go if she can't control it. Even then, her struggle isn't so much about anger management as it is the line between justice and vengeance. Katara doesn't want to cross that line because she recognizes what she'd become, and the parts of herself she would lose, if she does.

The bulk of Katara's growth arc is figuring out her friendships with the Gaang. I don't mean to gloss over the more romantic moments she has, but they're not the main part of her storyline, and I for one really appreciate that. Katara is super grounded in her family and her place in the Water Tribe; between taking over for her mom and having goofball Sokka as an older brother, she's relinquished any little sister vibe she ever had (I say this as the older of two sisters, lol). She's spent so long doing How to Adult that she doesn't really remember how to cut loose and be a kid again, so it's an interesting contrast to Aang and especially Toph. Katara's meeting with Aang is the first time she gets to be playful again, but it's not the cornerstone of their relationship progression; she and Aang get along because they're both fundamentally people people. With Toph, who's had to hide her mischievous nature for so long and has Huge Parental Issues besides, Katara finding her way back to her inner child is literally half of their conflict resolution, not to mention what seals their friendship. For obvious reasons, her issues with Zuko primarily revolve around regaining/rebuilding trust, but Katara joining in on the collective teasing is what really lets him know that friendship status has been achieved. It's the cutest and most relatable thing. :D

tl;dr Every A:TLA character is my favorite character, but I have SO MANY FEELINGS about Katara and how she's the best! (Also, if there's anything else you'd like me to babble about, feel free to leave a prompt.)
glass_icarus: (korra: korra firebending streetfight)
ALSO not a daily December meme post but !!!!!!! The DA4 teaser trailer is... really so small to provoke this amount of excitement, ahaha. Seriously though, the Dread Wolf story arc is DO WANT. Part of what I love about Dragon Age is its lore/codex; trying to puzzle out history and timelines and turning over the worldbuilding is one of my favorite things. Looking forward to new canon!

academia

Dec. 3rd, 2018 09:32 am
glass_icarus: (sott: euphemism)
For the daily December meme, [personal profile] sheafrotherdon asked me what my most and least favorite things about academia are. End of semester is a great time to get this one out of the way, I think!

Least favorite first: I really hate how grad school/academia eats away at my emotional and mental health. I never felt this way during my masters program, so it's possible this is more PhD-specific? But oh man, in the immortal words of Aang, not fun. details you may want to skip )

I'm cynical about academia a lot, but my favorite thing- what brought me here and keeps me stubbornly fighting my way through- is the process of problem-solving and puzzling things out. I love brainstorming, sharing info, and unapologetically nerding with people who are in the same boat, whether or not we have the same areas of interest. It's often as (or more) frustrating as it is satisfying, but I find it inspiring to be around people with so much curiosity about the world and how things work.

PS: if you'd like to suggest a topic for me to babble about, I'm still taking prompts!
glass_icarus: (bey telephone shout)
Since I'm having trouble updating/talking about things that aren't dance or school related, I figured I'd redo the daily December meme! Leave me a random topic and a date (optional), and I'll post about it sometime during the month. :)
glass_icarus: (red cliff: sun shangxiang)
Inspired by a recent exchange with [personal profile] rydra_wong, I thought it would be nice to make a list of life-giving media content that's been helping me get by! I noticed upon my latest rewatch of Nirvana in Fire that the comfort reading/media consumption I do to cope with politics these days is distinctly different from the comfort reading/media consumption I do in response to general life stress. There's a specific flavor of schadenfreude involved in the former which leads me to look for plots involving political takedowns and reforms for great justice, for one thing, though I will also settle for characters resisting and/or getting justice in a less socially comprehensive sense. *g*

My political coping list is much less extensive than my general comfort list, but here are a few things I've been leaning on:
♥ Nirvana in Fire/Lang Ya Bang - I would rewatch this show anytime for any reason because of the amazing characters, but it is especially satisfying as political coping because of Mei Changsu's beautiful takedown schemes (also, there is an explicit hierarchy of court corruptness being dealt with)!
Captive Prince - similarly satisfying, but to a lesser extent. I love Laurent's plotting, but Mei Changsu eclipses him in terms of layers, let's be real.
♥ Black Panther - the most comforting parts of this movie for me are Shuri, Okoye, and Nakia, tbh. I love soft-hearted T'Challa, but those three are what I watch for these days.
♥ A:TLA - this is also a general comfort thing, but for political coping I like turning to the latter half of Zuko's character arc and, uh, pretty much every episode where Katara gets angry, because she's glorious when pissed off and never gets punished for it. I also like all the fights with Azula; they're quite cathartic for me!
♥ Kristin Cashore's Graceling series (er, I forget if that's the actual series name? but all three books!) - I like these because in addition to the various trash fires and takedowns, they don't shy away from the parts where everyone is also coping with the traumas involved during and afterward. There's a raw generosity and kindness in Bitterblue, especially, that I really appreciated post-November 2016.
♥ V for Vendetta - clearly explosions are not a solution to shitty government, but some days there's only so much bullshit I can take before I just want to watch it (fictionally) burn.
♥ The Matrix - same as above? xD
The Handmaid's Tale - I started rereading a couple of weeks post-Kavanaugh, but it was a bit much then (also, I was away that weekend and got distracted by people). I think it would be good to revisit another day, though.
♥ Janelle Monae's entire discography - not only is she an incredible musician, her music videos (Many Moons, Tightrope, and Dirty Computer especially) are such amazing portraits of everyday #resistance.
♥ In the Heights soundtrack - maybe Hamilton would be more satisfying (I still haven't seen it), but literally all of this is immigrants surviving, thriving, and going about their everyday lives, and I desperately need more immigrant stories. (I would cite Allegiance too, if I owned the soundtrack!)
By The Still Waters - I love and have been rereading this fic so much, because it is all about choosing and dealing with the consequences of your choices. Also OMG, what an incredible character piece! (Spoilers for Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition.)
♥ LOTR - for all those comforting Dire Moments with Frodo, Sam, Eowyn, etc., haha.

What are the things you've been turning to? Any recs?

relief

Nov. 7th, 2018 01:42 pm
glass_icarus: (janelle)
Blue wave vs. gerrymandering battle: not as crushing as I feared! So, so happy to know that some real momentum has been achieved, including the passage of some great criminal justice measures- FUCK YES TO ENDING FELONY DISFRANCHISEMENT IN FLORIDA! ♥ Only allowing myself this short break to skim results before it's back to work for me, but consider this a cordial invitation to comment-party about the things you're celebrating! Candidates, ballot measures, close races, voting experiences, or anything else. (I for one am hoping for news or better yet, some proper stats, on the Great Slate races at some point.)

argh

Oct. 30th, 2018 05:22 pm
glass_icarus: (saiyuki: makai tenjou)
I feel like prefacing this with a content note for US news/politics is... sad and unspecific, but it covers all my bases, really. /o\

Today I have been USELESS thanks to the brain-explosion that was 45 announcing he'd like to dismantle US birthright citizenship, which is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. Neither his white nationalist leanings nor his complete disregard for the Constitution are a surprise, and legal scholars have been pretty clear on the utter ridiculousness that is the "argument" posed by the "subject to the jurisdiction of" phrasing; the SCOTUS ruling (United States vs. Wong Kim Ark)1 that upholds today's interpretation of birthright citizenship was made over a century ago. It's also a blatant pre-midterm attempt to drive far-right-leaning and other conservative voters to the polls. Coming on the heels of Pittsburgh2, which I have yet to find the words for? For me, at least, it's a notable grossness in a two-year string of trash fires.

It's definitely a sign of our times that the low likelihood of support is no comfort to me. A president with no respect for the law- or anything or anyone else- clearly doesn't care if the means to his ends are legitimate; his public record of No Fucks to Give is, what, 20 years old now?

So I can end on a laugh of sorts, have a link from the New Yorker (via a fb friend): Trump strips citizenship from children of immigrants, thus disqualifying himself from presidency

1. WaPo: Birthright citizenship: A Trump-inspired history lesson on the 14th Amendment
2. WaPo (guest post): Why the Pittsburgh shooter raged about immigration before attacking a synagogue
glass_icarus: (hp: mwpp up to no good)
Really appreciating the work Data for Progress is doing right now, though the critiques are also on point- why wasn't anyone doing this before?? I got excited upon seeing their new list of 8 women candidates and tossed another tiny donation in the ring in support of post-Kavanaugh rage.

My impulse donating these days is pretty similar to my impulse buying (i.e., occasional emotionally-driven snap-decision-making). Hopefully it will have better and longer-lasting consequences!

a tbt icon

Oct. 18th, 2018 07:27 pm
glass_icarus: (havemercy: yes we ke-han)
Making a note of my tiny political behaviors as [personal profile] rydra_wong suggested! Being registered in a blue county in a blue state, and having already submitted my absentee midterm ballot, I tossed a small donation to ActBlue's #GrabYourBallot list a few days back. This one includes Heidi Heitkamp and Beto O'Rourke. Other candidates whose blurbs caught my eye are Kyrsten Sinema (senate race) and Paulette Jordan (governor).

Any particular candidates/races on your radar? I'd appreciate hearing about them if there are; it makes a nice change from my sporadic Twitter- and headline-skimming.

love meme

Aug. 22nd, 2018 10:30 am
glass_icarus: (shaggy heart)
Anyone who needs a love meme right now, [personal profile] kaberett is hosting one here! (eta; my thread)
glass_icarus: (korra: unhand me strange woman)
I emailed off my proposal draft today! Since I saw a couple of fic prompt posts float by and it's been years since I wrote any fic at all, feel free to drop me prompts!! I'm guessing it'll be easiest for me to do A:TLA, HP, Ouran, Dragon Age, YOI, or Saving Face but feel free to mention any fandom you know we share. :D I'll try to respond to them over the weekend.
glass_icarus: (janelle)
Ahhh, I'm so happy about all this Janelle Monae content! DIRTY COMPUTER FLAIL PARTY IS OPEN, COME AT ME. :D One thing that particularly struck me is her aesthetic transition from sharp-edged monochrome into vivid pop-art color explosions; if you haven't spent an afternoon re/watching ALL the Janelle music videos post-album drop, I highly recommend it! The effect is so good. Also, that interview with Rolling Stone! ♥ I really want to see her perform live; maybe I can finally make that happen this summer...

What are your favorite songs, visuals, lyrics, etc.? Best part of the interview?
glass_icarus: (landshark)
My free time/fluff-brain entertainment has basically consisted of nothing but fic for... I'm not sure how many months now? It's been nearly a year since I last posted any recs, so have an incomplete list of things that have given me great glee:

» YOI:
The requisite Victuuri:
- talk crap get smacked - sly prankster Yuuri is one of my FAVORITE YUURIS
- crust and sugar over - asdf;askdj;lk the Yuri/Yuuri friendship here, omg!!
- on growing; - the Yuri's-two-dads trope will never stop being ♥ ♥ ♥
- destiny knot - a Pokemon AU series I loved without actually being in Pokemon fandom
- The Viktor Nikiforov Affair - ahaha omg has anyone else watched The Thomas Crown Affair??? ART THEFT SHENANIGANS that I loved before the Shadow of the Templar series existed!
- I think you'd look pretty good on me - oblivious heartbreaker Katsuki Yuuri vs. probably-Chad
- a dime a dozen - annnnd probably-Chad is a thing I will apparently laugh myself to tears to, every time! Can we call the Chads a trope yet???
- Fated - LOVELESS CROSSOVER OMG!!! I never did finish reading Loveless back in the day, but this does such an excellent job of worldbuilding/dealing with the fucked-up-ness of the Loveless world.
- Collector's Edition - Victuuri fanboying each other + social media = two great tastes that taste great together!
- name is a four-letter word - Viktor's epic pettiness about JJ gives me such life

Otayuri:
- one thing I could save from the fire - Pacific Rim fusion! :D
- Otabek and Yuri Find a Baby - I find an extra layer of hilarity in baby-fic with these two, even out of Yurio's awkward teenagerhood *g*
- he's beauty, he's grace, he'll punch you in the face - if you suspect I first read this without looking beyond the title, you'd be 100% correct
- Work Even to the End

» Nirvana in Fire:
- Handfast - MCS-as-MCS/Nihuang arranged marriage fic :D :D :D
- But Everything Changed - a MCS/Jingyan/Nihuang A:TLA AU! ♥ ♥ ♥
- for every atom belonging to me as good as belongs to you - SUPER satisfying MCS/Jingyan HDM-daemon fic (as the AO3 summary says, a fandom can never have enough daemon fic!)
- New Spring - also MCS/Jingyan; even if you dislike ABO, the amount of family feels in this series (not to mention its integration of ABO dynamics into politics!) makes everything worth it

» Black Panther: I think it was [personal profile] kate_nepveu who pointed me to home training, but the entire erik stevens, prince of wakanda series is GOLDEN. ♥____♥

» Dragon Age: Inquisition: Probably everyone who's into this fandom/the adoribull ship has already read these, but since I'm doing this I may as well include them anyway...
- Titanomachy, a Pacific Rim fusion (I can also never get enough of these!)
- Seven Habits of Highly Effective Dragonslayers, aka adoribull old marrieds with a new generation of ducklings
glass_icarus: (black panther: killmonger/t'challa)
Watched Black Panther last night at laaaaaaast, and with great company! At least, it feels that way; it was only released here about a week ago but even that was pushing my limit re: spoiler avoidance. The worldbuilding and the design aesthetic just blew me away, and I could easily have watched another 3 hours/movies of actual storyline unfolding. Things I loved, more and less specific:

spoilers and spoiler-ish )

rage/flail

Dec. 2nd, 2017 10:27 am
glass_icarus: (havemercy: blue face)
I am SO INFURIATED that the Senate passed the tax bill. I can't afford to be lost to incoherent rage! I found out yesterday that my area exam is supposed to be held a week before I thought, & I'm not nearly done reading!

At least last night's group practice was good, I don't know what I would've done if that had been soured also. Tell me something that made you happy recently?
glass_icarus: (p&p bitch please)
UPS just added an extra layer of fuckery to my phone replacement headache: today they sent me an email claiming that I had to pay them C$174.50 in import fees, more than 30% of the phone price! Being suspicious, I of course turned to google, and it turns out UPS has been trying to scam people into paying exorbitant brokerage charges since at least 2010. After calling UPS, who denied that there were any fees included beyond duty and taxes, I went to the local Canadian customs office to check for myself. Turns out there ARE no duty fees for shipping a smartphone, and the provincial taxes that I'm actually supposed to pay are approximately $80. That's a ~$90 brokerage fee of dubious legality that they tried to pretend didn't exist! If you see suspicious charges for UPS or another private shipping company, heads up: it's definitely possible (if bloody inconvenient) to clear the package with customs yourself and not have to pay the broker fees. At least this is the case for Canada; I'm not sure about the rules/procedures in other international shipping contexts. >:|

In happier news:

1. The lady at the customs office was also disgusted, and spent a long time on the phone with UPS trying to help me resolve paperwork so I wouldn't have to go through the hassle of rejecting the package, getting it sent back to the warehouse, and coming back to customs to pay the taxes. UPS hung up on her, so I'll still have to do it, but I appreciated all the time and trouble she went to to give it a shot.

2. Swung by Chinatown on the way home and picked up bakery treats, baozi, fan tuan, and a few grocery items. :9

3. Practice with S tonight! Probably we'll be reviewing the choreo instead of finishing it, but hey, either way I get to dance off my frustrations.
glass_icarus: (janelle)
1. Shared a mooncake and spent some time throwing around a frisbee yesterday with friend A, which was nice! Also hilarrible, because the frisbee said "Caneh!dian". A said it was the last one in the Walmart she was at; I think that sounds suspiciously like a troll setup. xD

2. Choreo catch-up practice with S last night. It's still not done yet, but that's because we had to pick up the finished pieces after our mini-hiatus, not because I forgot my ideas.

3. NYC for the long (Canadian Thanksgiving) weekend! It's going to be exhausting but amazing- so many dance friends to catch up with.

Happy mid-autumn to everyone celebrating!

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glass_icarus: (Default)
just another fork-tongued dragon lady

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