*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?)
glass_icarus: (avatar: toph/katara mudfight)
Vacation doesn't officially start until I've finished the last of the synopses for the lit review I've been putting off, but I am back in the states! I managed to finish half a scarf on the train ride home, based on this pattern, except I plan to modify it to an infinity scarf. (I actually like the natural off-white/beige color but the yarn I had is a glorious red, so... maybe next time.)

Meme from [personal profile] tielan, who gave me the letter T:
1. Comment on this post with "MEEEEEE!"
2. I will give you a letter.
3. Think of 5 fictional characters and post their names and your comments on these characters in your LJ.

Toph Bei Fong (A:TLA), because OF COURSE. ♥ ♥ ♥ What can I say about Toph that I haven't said before?? She takes no shit and gives no fucks (with her parents as the single exception), and her FACES are my favorite! (Well, okay, all of their faces are my favorite, but really though. &TOPH;)

Ty Lee (A:TLA), who I love for being 100% upbeat and also 100% underestimated, hahaha. Her section in that story I wrote about the Fire Nation ladies explains pretty much everything about my feels. :D

Tonks (HP), who was my favorite independent bouncy badass lady figure in HP, pre-Remus, and also because the metamorphmagus thing is super cool- I have a soft spot for transformation magic. I still don't love the Remus thing and personally am interested in shipping her with almost anyone else (I do have an R/S OTP problem but there are SO MANY interesting options- Kingsley for Auror fun, Charlie or Bill Weasley for oddball family hijinks, Fleur because that would be AMAZING, etc.?!), but the more distance I gain from HP6 & 7, the more I think I've come to appreciate some of fandom's takes on the tail end of canon too.

Tamaki (Ouran High School Host Club), who is probably the most ridiculous character I have EVER SEEN, but also one of the most lovable, hee! My favorite thing about him is that his heart is so enormous, and that he's completely unashamed of wearing it on his sleeve at all times. Where Kyouya is all about the IQ, Tamaki is all about the EQ, which is why they make the perfect team, and he truly embodies the emotional generosity that I strive for.

The Iron Bull (Dragon Age: Inquisition) might be a liiiiiittle bit of a stretch, but I've got Dragon Age on the mind, so. *g* It's been a while since I last played and I'm looking forward to gaming with my sister; hopefully we'll get to this rather than Fallout (though teaming up on that last time was fun). Bull is an amiable and easygoing character who didn't strike me much during my playthrough, but he's definitely grown on me through fic (why yes, I have been reading ALL the Bull/Dorian, and it's been glorious). You have to love a spy who comes straight out and says he's a spy, and then proceeds to be so straightforward and genuinely thoughtful and good with people that you kind of forget that. It's a truly unique kind of sneaky! Also I love that he treats sex, kinks and safewords and all, with the same kind of easygoing openness that he treats everything else- canon sex talks with Bull are the most refreshing I've seen, actually.
glass_icarus: (to hear)
1. Seriously (written by Sara Bareilles), Leslie Odom Jr.
2. Hallelujah, Pentatonix
3. Cold War, Janelle Monae

as;dlfkja

Nov. 14th, 2016 03:38 pm
glass_icarus: (korra: lin/korra)
Resource post has been updated to include suggestions from another friend (this time with issue-specific organizations). & now, back to schoolwork!
glass_icarus: (hp: mwpp up to no good)
1. Yes, I'll accompany my neighbor is a great initiative in NYC, if anyone would like to participate! This is a small, simple thing that you can do to help keep Muslims, POC, LGBTQ, etc. safe, and I would also suggest looking out for and/or creating similar commute-company or rideshare initiatives local to you. It doesn't have to be limited to the US either- given the post-Brexit spikes in hate crimes, perhaps there are already things like this in the UK?

2. I know a lawyer who was "a little salty" over donating to the ACLU, as they are well-funded, and they suggested a number of alternative legal organizations that I thought would be worth passing on. Most of these are national groups so local suggestions would be welcome; I don't mind being the list-keeper for this if you don't mind some delays (grad school and all!). ^^;

a miscellaneous but immigration-heavy list:
- CARA Pro Bono Project
- Nebraska Appleseed
- Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP)
- Immigrant Defense Project
- National Immigration Law Center
- National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
- Central American Legal Assistance
- Make the Road New York
- National Domestic Workers Alliance
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Southern Center for Human Rights
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
- Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice
- National Center for Access to Justice
- Immigrant Defenders Law Center
* Immigrant Justice Corps also has a list of host organizations.
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Desis Rising Up and Moving
- National Day Laborer Organizing Network
- Mijente
- Sikh Coalition
- CUNY CLEAR (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility)
- National Partnership for New Americans
- New York Immigration Coalition
- Detention Watch Network
- Families for Freedom
- Dream Defenders
- Black Alliance for Just Immigration
- South Asian Americans Leading Together
- United We Dream

They also suggested Arab American Association in NYC, but other organizations supporting Muslim communities would be welcome, so feel free to jump in and comment.

eta; some organizations supporting Muslim communities (thanks!):
- Muslims for Progressive Values
- Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity
- No One Left Behind
- Council on American-Islamic Relations
- Muslim Advocates
- MPower Change
- National Network of Arab American Communities

eta 2; more resources from another friend!
3. Fighting climate change:
- Sierra Club
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- Nature Conservancy
- NRDC
- 350.org

4. Gun control:
- Brady Campaign
- Everytown for Gun Safety

5. Investigative journalism, 1st Amendment Rights:
- Pro Publica
- Mother Jones
- First Amendment Coalition

6. Reproductive rights:
- Planned Parenthood Action
- Center for Reproductive Rights
- National Network of Abortion Funds

last updated: 1/28/17

checking in

Nov. 9th, 2016 12:35 pm
glass_icarus: (Default)
I couldn't sleep last night, but this morning, as President Obama said, the sun rose again. My heart is heavy, but if there was ever a moment for generosity: this is it.

Open thread day: how are you all doing? I'm listening. ♥
glass_icarus: (havemercy: yes we ke-han)
I voted absentee weeks ago, but I've been watching my friends back home do their part, today and for the last couple of weeks: voting today, volunteering for voting drives, giving people rides to polling stations, wading into (and/or starting) more discussions than I'm ever willing to have on fb. I wonder if my election anxiety is higher than theirs, now that I'm across the border and everything's out of my hands.

I know there are real reasons to dislike and disagree with Hillary Clinton, reasons that have nothing to do with emails; nothing to do with being "uncharismatic," or too loud, or shrill, or a woman seeking power. I know our two-party system is big and unwieldy and often results in choices that feel forced. I wrote a post on citizenship 6(?!) years ago that I'm still thinking about today, because my ambivalence about being USian may remain the same, but I still have a voice and a responsibility to use it. I've made my choice, as I hope everyone back home makes theirs today- a real choice, or a strategic one, rather than a protest. We could spend all our lives waiting for a perfect candidate and never find one. Reality is what it is.

Imperfect as she is, I'm standing with her. May the odds be ever in our favor.
glass_icarus: (saving face: wil curlers)
Yesterday, I watched The Handmaiden as a birthday-prelude outing with a couple of girls from my cohort. It was a super busy week (or 10 days, whatever), so all I'd based this decision on was this one-sentence synopsis from IMDB. Lady spy! I mean, really, there are a million awesome movies to be made about lady spies! Surely one can't go wrong!

So we go to the theater and get through Part 1, and huh, lady spy movie with lesbian romance? If ever there was a fanfic setup, but way to put that on the big screen. (At this point I note that I haven't read Fingersmith, which my friends later told me this was based on. Given that they came with me to watch this anyway, I likely wouldn't have changed my decision.) semi-detailed spoilers-ish start here )

Overall reaction: what did I just watch. (Answer: a bad fanfic.) My friends inform me that most of the reviews for this movie were great; I highly disagree. My sister calls it over the top; I'd call it an interesting mess that buried all the interesting bits in piles of wtf. Given wider media trends of hypersexualized Asian women, not to mention Asian women in porn, a lot of this movie made me uncomfortable. It's SO male gaze-y, often with LITERAL ON-SCREEN MALE GAZE. (Weirdly, the lesbian sex scenes are probably the least male gaze-y moments I could name in this movie.) Also, this movie perpetuates the narrative that Asian women need saving from Asian men, though at least vague spoiler? ). The various portrayals of mental illness, suicide, various types of abuse, and general sexual skeeviness probably need trigger warnings; I sure as hell wish someone had warned me about those. In conclusion, I'm not sure I exactly regret watching it, but it definitely left me in a haze of perplexity and dismay.
glass_icarus: (saving face: fence)
Randomly saw the women's soccer team response to the Harvard men's team's misogynist ratings, and just had to take a moment to appreciate this sentence: "I can offer you my forgiveness, which is- and forever will be- the only part of me that you can ever claim as yours."

Leaving this thought for further consideration, as it is a much truer reflection of my intention for this year than my recent moments of drunk grading!
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.

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just another fork-tongued dragon lady

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