!!!

Feb. 17th, 2017 09:25 am
glass_icarus: (alethiometer)
I figure I'll just leave these here while I'm waiting for my morning caffeine to kick in.

Our Congress is less popular than herpes - I remember thinking it was ludicrous that Arnold Schwarzenegger got to be the governor of California. Little did I know that a) I'd actually achieve nostalgia about this opinion today, and b) HOW MUCH I WOULD ADORE/DIE LAUGHING AT THIS GERRYMANDERING VIDEO. Making the most of your old movies, Mr. Schwarzenegger!

A COMPANION TRILOGY TO HDM?????? *flails* I am somewhat conflicted about this because I thought HDM ended exactly the way it needed to. On the other hand, I'm so there for stories about Dust, or more Lyra (or Will, but really, LYRA- even if it's Lyra at a distance).
glass_icarus: (dance 2)
[personal profile] rydra_wong asked what I've been doing with dance lately. Mostly the answer to this is zouk, and I'm happy to say that my practice-partner and I are coming off hiatus next week! Before our break we were working on spins, counterweight, and balance moves, which are all areas I tend to find challenging, so I'm looking forward to getting back to those. There are three things that really make a dance for me: partner connection, spatial awareness, and musicality. Luckily, S and I share all three! We have a fantastic connection which has only solidified since I moved here, so that's not something we have to fine-tune much; and he's always looking at where he's going and where he's leading me, since he has a safety-first attitude towards dance. Similarly, we share an intense musicality that allows us to play so much with every song, which is really the quality that turns "yay dancing with this person is awesome!" to "DANCING WITH THIS PERSON IS LIKE FLYING AND ALSO MY NEW FAVORITE THING, HELLO NEW DANCE CRUSH!" What I mean by musicality is a really subtle and detail-oriented kind of ear for music (I developed mine through years of classical music lessons as a kid; I'm not sure how S trained his). I've noticed that most leaders fall into one of two categories: those who listen for the melody of a given song, and those who listen for the beat. S is one of the few people I know who pick up on and play with absolutely everything, which is why he's one of my favorite leads ever. :D

The other thing I've been doing is only zouk-adjacent, though I definitely think of it as a kind of cross-training, haha. Last summer, I started doing contact improv practices with a few zouk ladies, and it's really opened up my body awareness and sensitivity. Thanks to years of ballroom, I have a long-established habit of falling into learned patterns of movement that I've never quite lost. This is all very well and good for choreography/competition/performance purposes, but it's a problem when I'm dancing zouk in a social setting because zouk is super improvisational in nature. You can't do improv well if your muscle memory operates like an autofill/autocorrect! Contact improv helps to correct this issue because it literally doesn't have any preprogrammed movement; it breaks me out of default muscle memory and thinking ahead and focuses my consciousness on what's happening in the moment. I've said before that A:TLA's "wait and listen" description of earthbending captures the essence of what it is to follow in dance. Contact improv is helping me to achieve that state faster and without having to dance-marathon my way out of my head the way I've done at congress parties before. This, too, is a work in progress for me, but even with the few months of weekly practices we've done, I've noticed a distinct improvement!
glass_icarus: (rolly bird)
新年快樂! Last night I:
- watched Pink (the Bollywood film) with roommate and honorary roommate, which involved some shouting at the screen and also lots of cackling about Batman!Amitabh Bachchan;
- went to an awesome Szechuan restaurant in Chinatown with them and a couple of former housemates for New Year's Eve dinner, where I enthusiastically over-ordered things, including 水煮魚* (I confused people by saying to leave some for the next day, which they interpreted as "you want to leave it at the restaurant?!"), spicy cumin chicken, and a sizzling platter of... potatoes;
- ended the night with some beer with two classmates, which is always fun for the conversational sidetracks we manage to get into. Yesterday's included anarchists, inappropriate Tinder profiles, awkward loud street conversations, and old ladies who shout back when shouted at.

Small-group socialization is so much less draining; definitely a good way to go this year. Also, it amuses me- when it doesn't kind of sadden me- that I celebrated new year with not a single other Chinese person.
glass_icarus: (korra: korra firebending streetfight)
1. Leaving this up top for anyone who, like me, is in danger of disappearing into a political news vortex: How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind

2. The65 has a list of issues and weekly calls to action, which are likely to be super helpful.

3. An incomplete list of shit going down as seen on fb, from 4 days in: It's Tuesday y'all )

4. Verso's Fuck Trump Reading List

5. Poem: From the Encyclopedia of Alternative Facts

6. Indivisible Guide: a practical guide for resisting the Trump agenda
glass_icarus: (katie coffee)
♣ Back from my dance weekend (so worth the massive sleep debt) and back to work! The dance post will have to wait until later this week, but I haven't forgotten about the meme prompts.

♣ Not having participated in any of the marches, I was still super happy about all the updates my friends and family were sending me this weekend. Must figure out a photo post, but for now, the best sign I've seen (c/o my sister): "SUPER CALLOUS FRAGILE RACIST EXTRA BRAGGADOCIOUS", and the best link I've seen: protest llama!

♣ Lunar New Year is coming up this weekend, and I'm not sure how I'm going to celebrate yet! Well, I've already figured out when I'll get my preparatory cleaning in, but that's about it; I don't know if I have the time or energy to do a dumpling party the way I did last year. We could go to Chinatown for dinner or something but I'm guessing it'll be crowded and possibly a bit more expensive. Maybe a potluck or a dim sum brunch...?

♣ I've lost track of a number of links from private conversations, alas, but I've updated my resource list with some additional organizations.

♣ Roomie got some perfumes and essential oils on her family vacation, which all smelled nice but were completely perplexing. My nose is not accustomed to this many different things! The lavender oil she gave me relaxed me into a puddle of contented sleep yesterday though. \o/ :D
glass_icarus: (alek wek)
I just picked five organizations to donate to! That was much more fun and interesting (and felt way more worthwhile) than trying to figure out how stocks work as my dad has been pushing me to do, lol.

Every day is a great day to put The ArchAndroid on repeat, but today it feels especially relevant. Thank you, universe, for the gift that is Janelle Monae.

... & now I need to finish some readings before road tripping off to my marathon dance party. I hope you do something to restore your energy this weekend too! ♥

verklempt

Jan. 19th, 2017 09:49 pm
glass_icarus: (obama glee)
My ability to read serious political news remains low, especially now I've started reading for my area exams, but these two things made me tear up.
Obama's goodbye letter
RESISTANCE POSTERS OF AMAZING (including some made by the artist of Obama's "Hope" poster)

I'll be marathon-dancing off my Trumperdink feels this weekend. This era is ending; all that's left is to center and sustain.
glass_icarus: (Default)
To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation is a somewhat questionable title but a really interesting read. I had never thought about the doings in the White House mailroom before, but reading this, I think it's going to be one of many legacies that I'll be sad to see come to an end.
glass_icarus: (saiyuki: makai tenjou)
Finished an old Dragon Age: Origins game yesterday, which is the first one where I persuaded my way into Cousland/Alistair royal power couple, almost entirely because I wanted to see Alistair's script at the beginning of Awakening if you're married and queen. Despite my completist urges about this game (ALL the origin stories! ALL the character types! ALL the fighting styles!), there are still a number of narrative choices I have trouble making because a) I can't turn my personal ethics off long enough to play through the resulting consequences, and b) I can't bring my character to act like a complete asshole. (Yes it's a game universe, but what's the point of spending so much time on a character that I don't even like?)

... Am I the only one who has these problems? *g*
glass_icarus: (saving face: ma)
Still can't bring myself to watch President Obama's farewell speech, though I saw clips of him talking about Michelle (with Malia trying to keep it together) making the rounds on youtube. And I did watch the Hamilton crew's White House performance of One Last Time, which, augh, is managing to give me feels even without having watched/listened to Hamilton.

Whatever else there is to say about President Obama- and there's a lot- he knows how to carry hope, and grace, and love.
glass_icarus: (sott: euphemism)
[personal profile] littlebutfierce asked about my adventures with French, which I have to say are not exactly... progressing, lol. I spend most of my time in my monolingual school bubble, which means I'm not used to switching gears outside it, which restricts my listening comprehension and vocab more than they otherwise would be (judging by my experiences in Chinese-speaking environments). My ability to parse the Quebec accent is maybe marginally better when my brain flips the switch, but I still can't understand most of what dance-buddy S is saying. To be fair, he's from rural Quebec, so his accent is more pronounced than most other people's I've encountered. I don't think my reading comprehension has deteriorated super badly, as I've had no trouble grading assignments written in French or reading emails or fb group messages with Francophone friends. Text is more forgiving for me, in French- I'm better at working out meanings through context through reading than listening. It's completely different than Chinese, in that sense, where illiteracy means I'm always working at comprehension the other way around.

In terms of French news/podcast-type listening sources, my adventures are basically non-ventures, alas. I've never found a good way to integrate those into my daily routine, and I try to avoid youtube spiraling for reasons of productivity, but music seems like it would be more promising? I'd appreciate any song/artist recs people have!
glass_icarus: (partners)
Went to a dance social last night for the first time in... about 2 months? It was a great party and I spent a long time dancing with practice-partner S (we've been on practice-hiatus for a few months, but we tentatively agreed to start again :D), as well as a couple of people visiting from elsewhere in Quebec. I've missed my zoukers a lot, but damn, I need to get back in shape. Time to see if I can get into the habit of doing pilates workouts at home a couple times a week.

A few of you have asked me to talk about dance and I think it might be a bit much to try to combine all of those posts into one. [personal profile] jhameia's question about muscle development feels apropos today, since I woke up sore in my everything. Honestly, muscles are a thing that I never particularly cared about- I'm not the biggest exercise junkie, and I started dancing because it was fun and not because I wanted to have great abs or whatever- but the more I learned, the more I started to realize how valuable the muscle training aspect is, even if I'm still not particularly good at it outside of dance contexts.

babble )

Er, looking at this, my response might miss the mark on things you wanted to know, but if you have further questions feel free to ask! :P
glass_icarus: (jasika nicole)
Having updated some of my tags and icons, I've also edited access/subscriptions, which I've been neglecting for... years, oops. >.> This was mostly an exercise in dropping subscriptions to those who seem to have abandoned their journals or whom I haven't interacted with in years, but I thought I'd post an FYI, in case you're one of the people who suddenly got an add notification and were wondering why.

Today has been a day where academic readings have actually been entertaining, and since an open access file seems to be available, I thought I'd post a link: Burt & Simons, 2014- Pulling back the curtain on heritability studies: Biosocial criminology in the post-genomic era. As I said elsenet, this is a comprehensive academic rant on behavioral genetics that I'm too incoherent to make myself. It also includes probably the most entertaining conclusion paragraph that I've read to date:
We have argued that there is compelling evidence that heritability studies are methodologically flawed, especially for complex social behaviors such as crime. We have argued also that heritability studies are based on an oversimplified and incorrect model of gene function and that the goal of partitioning genetic versus environmental influences on variance in phenotypes is biologically unsound. We therefore recommend an end to heritability studies in criminology. Moreover, given the many flaws in heritability studies, we also call for an end to the use of the oft-repeated version of the phrase: “We know from a wealth of behavioral genetic studies that the heritability of [insert crime or related phenotype] is roughly 50 percent.” Based on the arguments and research discussed in this article, it is apparent that we unequivocally do not know this to be the case. Furthermore, no amount of quantitative genetic research can establish the validity of such heritability estimates or their putative support for the irrelevance of shared environmental factors. Technically flawed and conceptually unsound models—no matter how often published or repeated—do not by virtue of their numbers make for sound evidence.

(Burn much? *g*)
glass_icarus: (fireworks heart)
[personal profile] schneefink asked for my ~5 favorite scenes in Nirvana in Fire/Lang Ya Bang, so naturally I couldn't resist the temptation to rewatch! It's so good that I'll have to subdivide by the overall plot arc, I think. :D Attempting to limit spoilers so I won't go on too long, but here's part 1: top 5 scenes, eps 1-10 )
glass_icarus: (ofelia)
[personal profile] coffeeandink asked what I've been reading lately! Unfortunately most of it has been school-related, as my 2016 bookshelf can attest. Last term I read a few ethnographies for class, which were interesting, but I wouldn't exactly call them funtimes reading. I'm hoping to finish Edward Said's Orientalism before this semester's readings swamp me.

My leisure reading last year was mostly limited to fic, since it's shorter and doesn't require much brainpower; this will likely continue as I have area exams coming up. The only new book I read for fun was Sam Starbuck's Nameless, and I reread Kristin Cashore's Graceling series somewhere around the end of summer/beginning of fall (all thanks to forgotten e-copies). I also spent some of my brainless non-gaming time this winter break rereading the Kushiel series, The Redemption of Althalus, a few Agatha Christie books (Cat Among the Pigeons, Lord Edgware Dies, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, By the Pricking of my Thumbs), and Georgette Heyer's The Unfinished Clue. I started Nisi Shawl's Everfair but didn't have time to finish it before I came back north. That and anything on my fun to-read list will have to wait until June-ish, I think.

*waves*

Jan. 4th, 2017 06:09 pm
glass_icarus: (avatar: sokka got game)
Trying out a friending meme for the first time in ages (hello, new people!):


This also means I haven't written an intro post in ages, so... bear with me? ^^; Relevant fannish details: I am a HUGE MAGPIE and a lifelong SF/F fan, which you may have noticed if you checked out the list I linked, heh. I mostly write (or at least, wrote) fic, and have occasionally made icons. Relevant personal details: I'm a grad student, a social dancer, and a Chinese-American woman currently living north of the border. I talk loudly and unrepentantly about race and politics, though I've done so less often in internet-public lately.

I'd go into more detail, but since I'm also doing a daily posting meme this month, you can leave me more specific prompts or questions there!
glass_icarus: (uraboku: touko/tsukumo pinky-swear)
I'm safely back north of the border, nearly 2 hours earlier than projected! :D I've seen this meme floating around and it looks like a great way to start off the year, so c/p-ing below:

Let's start 2017 off in a positive way with a Pay It Forward meme. The first 6 people to comment (and more if I can manage it) will receive a surprise from me at some point in 2017 - anything from a book, a ticket, something home-grown or made, a postcard, absolutely any surprise! It will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy.

(If you don't like surprises and would rather have something off a wishlist and/or some warning, let me know in your comment. The goal is to make you happy.)

If you can, post this in your own journal and pay it forward. Let's do more kind and loving things for each other in 2017, without any reason other than to make each other smile and show that we think of each other.
glass_icarus: (red cliff: sun shangxiang)
In hopes of fixing my lack of conversation here, I've decided to have a go at the January posting meme. Give me a topic and a date of preference, if you have one, and I will do my best to post daily for the rest of this month. :)

(I'm also hoping this will assist me with some awkward and recent failures at having conversations that are not about school, dance, or Trumperdink. Academia has, in some ways, really worn away at my ability to be a person, even one who has never been good at small talk. *facedesk*)
glass_icarus: (zoe hand)
I've spent the entirety of winter break in quiet: partly finishing up the last of my fall work before next term starts, but mostly unwinding at home. This is the first time I haven't visited the city- yet, at least- or tried to meet up with friends while on break, which feels a bit odd and which I may regret later. I just felt, somewhere below the level of conscious thought, that I'd like to spend the last of 2016 gathering myself and restoring my energy (read: hermiting) rather than spending it all outwardly.

In between the work, actual leisure reading (!!), and bouts of gaming with my sister (Fallout 4, Civ 5, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect 3), I've been thinking over my one-word intentions. I started with connection in 2014, moved on to communication in 2015, and last year I was working on generosity. This year is going to be the start of many challenges, so I think it needs something else. I've considered follow-through, clarity, blaze, sustain, and open, and I'll probably go for one of these in future years, but after 2016 I need to re-center. I want to rediscover the things that will keep me grounded, that will anchor me to myself and to what's most important.

Happy new year, everyone! Let's write ourselves a better 2017. ♥

:D :D :D

Dec. 26th, 2016 06:37 pm
glass_icarus: (rolly bird)
I was gonna wait to read more before I started on Yuletide recs but I can't, because LOOK A HUGE LONG NIRVANA IN FIRE FIX-IT FIC! The Next Life made me laugh, and cry, and laugh, and the character interactions are pitch-perfect. ♥ ♥ ♥ (Spoilers for... the whole series, I guess?)

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

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