esmenet: Mugen with his sword over his shoulder, Jin with his at his side. From the opening of Samurai Champloo. (the voice of summer)
Today I got to talk with a man whose English nickname is Super, because he has a character (超) in his name that's the same as the 'super' in Superman (超人). It was marvelous.
esmenet: Pinkie Pie with stars in her eyes (*stars of glee in eyes*)
Portland: surprisingly reminiscent of Kyoto! As far as I've seen on today's short walk, at least. I suppose it's not really that much like Kyoto, but it makes me think of areas like Arashiyama and some of the neighborhoods on the edge of that city. Absolutely gorgeous, loads of plants (everybody gardens, it seems like) nice little shops. I thought it would be like Indianapolis, where everything's really far away from everything else and it's difficult to get around without a car, but I was pleasantly surprised. It seems like the kind of place I'd like to live.

Speaking of tiny shops: I bought books! Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes is one I've been looking for ever since [personal profile] rushthatspeaks posted about it, so I'm super excited to have it now. Other finds include: Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red (which you must read, though it deserves some warnings first which I will give once I've read it again — it is genuinely one of the best things I have ever read), a new translation of Herodotus, and A History of the World in 12 Maps, which looks like decent pop history and is probably a suitable jumping-off point for me to begin taking an interest in cartography.
esmenet: Anthy, with swords (pink!Anthy w/swords)
right now I am super homesick but I know in like a month once I've had time to settle down in our house I am ALSO going to be super homesick

for shanghai

help I'm having feelings

--also I'm having a Kanye West situation. In that I accidentally started listening to his new album and wow it's pretty awesome. THINGS I DID NOT KNOW I WOULD BE A FAN OF: 2013 EDITION.

and I don't know if I'm imagining it or what, but it seems like every cafe in shanghai has better-tasting coffee than they do hot chocolate

so I've been drinking a fair amount of coffee because I need an excuse to sit at a table and study/internet for three hours

...caffeine does basically nothing for me, as previously suspected. (I got caffeine jitters once for about two minutes when I had coffee on an empty stomach, and then was immediately super tired.) it's nice to have this confirmed, I guess. But I've been mostly drinking the ones with lots if caramel and milk, so they taste pretty decent.

--though what I've really been drinking is overpriced fresh fruit juice. I keep telling myself that an expensive fruit juice addiction is better than an expensive alcohol addiction, so I can feel better about drinking so much of my money. (Fresh mango juice is amazing, btw.)

I've been feeling super down a lot lately, and it feels like a big departure from my usual baseline, but I was looking at some old DW entries from a few years ago and apparently now is not much different than any other period of my life except that I've been cleaning/internetting/shopping more and writing/violin-playing/cooking less. Hmm. I wonder if there's any kind of sustainable fix, or if this is just how things are.

SO. I want to write more (short) stuff! If y'all have advice/suggestions/fic-a-thon recommendations/prompts/things you want to see written about, it's all welcome.
esmenet: Ty Lee holding Azula's hands in front of a circus tent (tyleezula4ever)
Today was the first time in a year that a dude said something that could be construed as hitting on me and I was flattered rather than creeped out! (Literally a year, hah, since the only other time that has ever happened to me was at the JLPT last December.) I think it's because I know he's completely unserious. Finally, someone I could potentially have a vaguely-flirtatious friendship with! Like, you do not know how much I have been wanting someone to play-flirt with who gets that we are headed due PLATONIC. He already knows that I am a lesbian (close enough), so this can pretty much only go in a positive direction. :D

As opposed to the last dude who said I was pretty, whom I have had continuously-pushed-back dinner plans with for a while now and then the other day he said something vaguely flirt-y and I got instant DNW feelings. Boo. Maybe I need to wear a sign.
esmenet: Aki Natsuko from Re: Cutie Honey, looking stern (*glasses check*)
I have realized that when I want do things—not necessarily everything, but definitely career-like things—it's not because I feel a calling for them or even because I think they particularly need to be done. It's because someone else is doing them wrong.
esmenet: Dark red background. Black Fire Nation symbol and text "Maybe Iroh can pass down to you the ways of tea and failure." (tea and failure)
...I'm not sure, but I think someone just offered me a job? The conversation ended with her giving me a business card for RamenPlay with her cellphone number written on it, at least. I think I'm going to call her tomorrow, but I have NO IDEA what to say. because I know nothing about jobs or work or anything. eep.


--relatedly, I seem to have a strange talent for bonding only with people who are not actually from China. I know I need to make friends with native speakers, etc etc, but apparently when people talk to me in Chinese I get super nervous super easily unless I already know them, which is not helpful. I need to find a not-in-English knitting circle or church or something. But this proves it's not just that I only make friends with people in my building! Somehow I just always end up talking to people from Mongolia or Singapore or Japan or Korea, whether it's in English or Chinese.

This is probably not related to my talent for finding good restaurants.
esmenet: Mugen with his sword on his shoulder, from the opening of Samurai Champloo. Text reads "Live what you love." (live what you love)
Nice things that happened today:

It kind-of-rained-kind-of-didn't, and it wasn't terribly cold or windy, so everything outside looked beautiful and was perfectly pleasant if one happened to have a coat.

I am learning things in my Chinese class that my Japanese class didn't get to until the second semester! (Admittedly this goes both ways.) I now know how to say someone is doing something rather than that they do it, and just today we learned a) how to say someone said something, and b) basic time descriptors (when x was going on, y happened).

Symphony concert! Sometimes I get really worried about being out of tune/behind/ahead, but even though I that did happen a few times today, it was glorious. The best way to listen to orchestral music is to sit right in the middle of the musicians. (I think this may be why I like performing in an orchestra better than by myself; if I'm in the orchestra then I'm there to help and to listen, if it's just me then I feel like I'm playing for people, which is sure to ruin everything.) It's a real rush, and bits of the pieces are still echoing in my head. ENTIRELY INCIDENTALLY, Jonathon Daly is a pretty amazing cellist.

During the break I was all by myself, because everyone else went off with their friends and I am no more than mildly acquainted with any of them, but then on the way from the band room to the stage I had a tiny conversation with one of the wind section girls, and then after the concert I had another tiny conversation with a guy who may or may not have been a brass player, and then a longer conversation with one of my fellow second violins and also a little bit of hanging out with my stand partner and some of his friends. So, um. Yay, I am not fated to be all by myself in a crowd of teenagers just because I didn't go to high school?

And I've been been thinking of going into languages and linguistics for quite a while now, but some stuff the harp soloist said reminded me just how cool the idea of making instruments is. Maybe something to look into.

I have decided pretty clearly on the title for that Harry Potter fic with all the girls! It's one that's been hanging around my head for a while, marked 'possibly for Dean/Hermione queerplatonic hijinks' so I'm glad to have something semi-definite to use it for.

[personal profile] littlebutfierceguessed me as the creator of zir Kaleidoscope gift! I, of course, refuse to confirm or deny.
esmenet: Azula's face (aaaazula)
I feel like I should stop attempting to be friendly with the guys in my language classes. First semester of Japanese: talked mostly to awesome older girl, had few awkward moments, everything mostly okay. Second semester of Japanese: talked mostly to this one dude, he apparently thought I was flirting with him and asked me out. Third and fourth semesters: one dude tended to talk my ear off about video games and Wheel of Time but was pretty much okay, other one was Benevolent Sexist. First semester of Chinese: dude I talk to the most comments "That's what happens when you're a whore, nobody likes you" about a single mother in a film we were watching in class.

. . . .Yyyyeah, gonna stick with girls for a while. Sometimes I feel like I should just not talk to guys face-to-face at all. I love the internet; you can tell if someone's a jerk BEFORE you say anything to them.

Next class, going to sit on the other side of the girl I sit next to, because if I don't I'll be twitching at sitting next to that dude again.


(On the other hand, almost all the dudes in this year's Japanese 101 seem perfectly nice. I should visit that class more often.)
esmenet: Jin, with the caption "I AM SMART" (I AM SMART)
At some point I will learn how to balance 17 credits (ten more than any time in the past two years), music, books, television shows, writing, cooking, cleaning, laundry, family, and keeping my laptop from overheating.

That day is not today. Online history classes are really hard, okay.
esmenet: Dark red background. Black Fire Nation symbol and text "Maybe Iroh can pass down to you the ways of tea and failure." (tea and failure)
AAAAAA THERE IS A GIANT WASP IN MY ROOM AAAAAAAAAAAA *RUNHIDE*

Okay, the door is closed and I am safely hidden downstairs! But all my books and homework and, um, EVERYTHING is in there, including my ipod. Annoying.

Not annoying enough, however, for me to venture back in there until I get someone else to go in and kill it. SCARY WASP AAAAAAAGH.


I dread the day I become An Adult and have to deal with things like this all by myself. I will probably end up asking a stranger off the street to come in and do it for me.
esmenet: Red flowers with long stiff angled petals (red flowers)
I need to send my violin off to its makers to get a new bridge (& some fine tuners while they've got it). They'll probably have it for at least two weeks, which means I will CRY. I love that violin so damn much, even if I sometimes forget to play it for a few days. If anything bad happens because of my sending it away, I will never forgive myself. It will be like in one of those anime where the hero couldn't protect his little sister or something, where the terrible grief will overshadow the rest of my life. I'm not even kidding! I don't worry about most of my stuff, even if my ninety-year-old Dunsany gets trashed I'll at least be able to find the content somewhere else, and a bottle of nail polish or whatever is no great loss. Even shoes are really just shoes, much as I love them. But violins matter. If mine got badly damaged I would be inconsolable for weeks, and have "I couldn't protect you" nightmares for, like, years. Violins are magic boxes you use to make music, and they're just made of little delicate pieces of wood, carved absolutely perfect, that can warp and break in hundreds of ways. And this one is mine.

But it needs a new bridge, and it needs it before orchestra season starts, so I have to send it off soon. I damn well don't trust any of the places in town; I sent my hacked-up rummage-sale violin to one once when I was thirteen for bridge-fixing (not even replacing, just fixing) and they made the damn thing WORSE. I wouldn't let them within twenty meters of any instrument I actually cared about, and the other place is really just for sheet music.

So either the place we mail-ordered it from, or something up in Chicago. Probably the former, because they might charge less. But I will still be going nooooo violin come back to meeee the whole time.
esmenet: Azula and Zuko fighting on the deck of Azula's ship, circa early season two (sibling love-love)
My twelve-year-old brother just came up to my room with a mostly-finished kite and asked me to write some kanji on it. Any kanji! Your favorite! Whatever!

*sigh*

I explained that no, I would not write some random words in a language he doesn't understand just to make his kite look 'cool', and asked him to at least come up with a reason other than 'I couldn't think of anything else.'
esmenet: one hand held in two others (hands)
A while back, there was this one comment on a post about the "It Gets Better" project that rang very true to me. The content was essentially "It doesn't get better, you get better," which, yes. I don't know if the world is any better or worse as a whole than it was five years ago, but I'm so much better at dealing with many things in my life than I used to be.
esmenet: Kanae standing at a window (kanae)
The postman recognizes me! I guess I've been sitting on the front porch when he comes often enough that he recognized me walking down the sidewalk back to my house and handed me our mail. Thank you, Mr Regular Mail Guy! <3 Someday I shall give you cookies or a scarf or something.

I think I might be starting to understand how cooking works! What spices go with what legumes go with what vegetables and all that. Hooray! \o/

My Hello Kitty notebook, which I am saving for Chinese this fall. It has an embossed cover with Hello Kittys and bows and pink on it, and a ribbon bookmark with a little plastic slightly squishy Hello Kitty on the end. And all the pages have at least one Hello Kitty on them. SO CUTE. It totally makes up for the lack of a ring binding!

I've started plotting out bits of Knife & Ink again! More specifically, the one where Yue and Zuko adopt a toddler.

So far, I'm two for three on 750words! Must try and get an earlier start on that, I've ended up going to bed half an hour late each time.

I kind of want adorable Hello Kitty everything.
esmenet: A duel scene from Revolutionary Girl Utena (wakaba+utena)
Blegh. I hate it when I spend a long time thinking about saying things and then don't say anything, whether it's out loud or online. I've been doing it a lot lately, and it's making me kind of twitchy.

Things I've thought about making extended-ish posts on in the past week or two and haven't:

-Driving and my reaction to it (when my mother told the lady at the driving school that I had been "very excited about driving" and she didn't get why I'd broken down—over some other stuff, as it happened—and been unable to drive one of my scheduled times, I thought yes, if by 'excited' you mean 'oh fuck, I don't want to do this').

-How low-level ticked-off it makes me, lately, when someone sorts me under my dad's last name instead of my mother's (he's a great dad and all, but my mother's surname is nicer and quite honestly we all like her family a lot better than most of his). The guy at driving school kept sorting me under [dad's surname] and it bothered me just little enough to ignore, but finally on my second-to-last day, well, he kept me under [dad's surname] on the order-to-hand-back-tests list, but said [my first name] [mother's last name] when he called me. So that was pretty okay.

-My relationship with my given name, and with people using my name, when they don't have to, in general (have I ever actually said my given name on the internet since I started using Dreamwidth? I don't think so, even though it's free for the asking; it just hasn't been important).

-My misfortune, lately, with getting cakes out of their pans in one piece

-The things I've been reading

-The things I've been watching (read: Seirei no Moribito)

-How much I need to catch up on Natsume Yuujinchou

-How much I adore the local Indian/Pakistani grocery

-Fics and the (not) writing of.


Yeah, I think that's about it. *rolls up metaphorical sleeves* A'ight, let's get to it.
esmenet: Pinkie Pie with an expression of measuring something (measuring face)
I'm finding it hard to believe that I actually have muscles now. Not big ones, but the side of my calf goes in a bit when I stand on tip-toe, and I actually have a tiny bit of a bicep now. I finally found exercises that can be done in reasonably fancy clothes (i.e. an underwire bra and non-T shirts), without tying up my hair (unless it's hot out), and while watching Japanese television on my computer (if it's nearby). They actually feel good. It's amazing! Does anyone have recommendations for more?

It's just kind of a pity that, while my body really enjoys moving and wants to do lots of it, my brain is still kind of stuck in its mode from a few years back, when I would sit in front of my computer for hours and hours at a time. And my brain tends to be louder. :( But I've gotten to the point where I can just kick myself out of the house to go for a walk if I'm not feeling okay, so that's good.


You know what shoe I'm in love with right now? This one. I love the pink one, but that is a bright bright candy blue. <3 I'm sure it would slide off my heel the minute I stood up, but at least I can dream.


And I finally decided not to sign the paperwork to join the Central Illinois Concert Orchestra. Because I have to drive kind of far to get there, it's on Thursday nights, and I would have to pay them $375 in addition to everything else. Also they were going to make me bring my own music stand, which. No. I have one of those little wire-ish stands that doesn't go up nearly tall enough, and it's a pain to carry around, collapsible or not. (I want one of those big heavy black stands all the universities have.) Instead I will probably join the local orchestra, whose conductor lives like a block away. So yay for that, I guess?
esmenet: Zuko crouching, arms on his knees (Text: angst moar) (angst moar)
I am hiding from so many things right now, everyone. SO MANY THINGS. The joining/not-joining thing for the half-an-hour-away youth orchestra, the volunteer application to the twenty-minutes-away library, emailing my librarian friend at the local library for a volunteer application there, calling the director of the local orchestra to apply, my almost-finished scarf, exercise, cooking, Chinese tones, all the unclicked 'reply' buttons in my f/r-list, all the read but un-replyed-to emails in my inbox, signing up for Arabic class in the fall, signing up for fma_ladyfest. And all my ongoing writing, of course.

The one thing I am not hiding from is kink_bingo, because I am absolutely unable to participate in it. It's kind of sad, really—I see everyone so excited about it every time, but all my kinks are narrative kinks* and so there's never, ever anything I'd want to write. Plenty of stuff I'd enjoy reading, because there are plenty of amazing authors signed up (and asexual kink lists, yay!) but I guess I just don't write about that kind of thing. Oh well?

And so now I'm going to get ready for the book sale this evening, and then after that I will maybe start writing the fics I've been plotting in my head, and I will sign up for [livejournal.com profile] fma_ladyfest and I will watch Japanese things with the subs turned off and do leg exercises. Yes.

I wish there were a thing that I could just set to block all cis-abled-dudes-centric fics unless I specifically turned it off or added exceptions. Because the majority of fic that I don't really enjoy all that much but waste all my time on is cis-abled-dudes (it's never just the one dude) fic in large fandoms, and I would really really like to be able to stop doing that in favor of doing something useful. I mean, refreshing my email every half hour is just as non-useful, but it takes a lot less long.

*Along the lines of "people hang out and solve problems and maybe hug sometimes!"
esmenet: Scar using his destructive alchemy on some dude, creating a blue electric flare (scar=fire nation royalty?)
So now I am home! My last evening in Kansas was spent in the house of a very nice lady I may or may not be distantly related to (she lives across the street from my great-aunt and -uncle, and she was only ever referred to by her name) where I was given a very nice spare bedroom and bathroom all to myself, free run of the kitchen, and REAL FOOD. By this I mean hummus and crackers and carrots and celery, but that makes it no less REAL to someone who has been living off protein bars and carbohydrates for four days. The spare bedroom helped quite a bit too, I think, given that all the forced proximity to my dear family (she says without a trace of sarcasm) had been and still rather is making me angry and snappish about tiny things. I like people! I love people! Just not the same ones for long periods of time without being able to go away and cool off when I need to. *twitchy twitchy twitchy*

Also, related to this, I discovered a lot of my boundary issues, and my opinions of hotels/non-vegetarian restaurants/people who don't cook, and my feelings about + desires for the 'perfect girl' mould (nail polish, makeup, cool clothes, high heels, loud pop music) as armor against mood downswings/fucking up/little things that annoy past the point of tolerance/other stuff that makes me cry. (Having it on won't always work, but maybe it helps, and putting it on usually works. I can blame its not working on not having access to all the things on the list at any given feeling-shitty time.)

However, I have been moderately successful thus far at plotting out the Hermione/Dean acefic! It is kind of big and serious and tackles some of the same wizarding-world issues as the Hufflepuffs-and-Slytherins fic (still on the stove, though back-burner for now), but without the happy escape theme. Well, that'll be there a little bit because it is kind of a Thing for me, but running away into the Muggle world will not fix things even just for them. It sucks and they can't get out because there is no out and things aren't just going to get better and leaving it to other people is not going to fix anything either. And it's going to take them a long time just to find out everything that's wrong and deal with it being that way, never mind fixing it.

. . . it feels like the only longfic I'm capable of producing is Dealing With Canon Issues fic. Eh, that's okay.

Anyway, I wrote a Tracey Davis poem! I think I like this 'writing poetry' thing, though it always feels like NOTHING WILL EVER BE EDITED ENOUGH. This one punctuation choice/line break/word feels a teensy bit off, AAAAAGH IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD. :|
esmenet: Scar frowning (:[)
Something I am sure is news to no one but me: Kansas is absolutely shit for vegetarian food. Like, in the last few days the only protein or vegetables (and most of the fruit) I have eaten has come out of our cooler. I did not know that I could actually go into a restaurant and find nothing I wanted to eat except dessert! At home, even if I were banned from cooking for a week or two I could eat pretty well. Possibly without eating the same kind of food twice. Apart from all the college-student-y restaurants, we have a bunch of small groceries with vegan instant food and the like, as well as plenty of places to get fresh vegetables that can be eaten raw. I'm sure some of that is due to my living in a college town, and some to living there for fifteen years, but in Tampa and on that Christmas cruise there was plenty of fairly good food. Even at the airports. In Kansas, all I've found are carbohydrates and sugar.

I actually almost cried at the restaurant this evening, where everything contained meat and everything that did not contain meat contained cheese. Every. fucking. thing. Even what I did end up ordering, except for the cake-mix-y chocolate cake with overly-rich ice cream that I couldn't finish and felt sick after trying to.

So tired of Kansas, y'all.

Am dreaming of vegetables and chickpeas cooked in olive oil and dal with jasmine rice. Can't wait to go home and cook again.


One more day in Kansas, one more day driving home. Must have patience.
esmenet: Azula raising her eyebrow and giving a sidelong look (*raised eyebrow*)
I have lots of THOUGHTS and FEELINGS about everything, and have been torn between "You should post them! Get them out of your head and into the interwebs where someone else could be entertained!" and "No, definitely not! Your thoughts and feelings suck, self. Keep them quiet at least until they're coherent, srsly." But tomorrow I am packing for the NINE-HOUR DRIVE TO KANSAS and FOUR AND A HALF DAYS OF NO COOKING AND NO VIOLIN. Which I forwent practicing today in favour of making dinner, oops. So, since I refuse to depend on crappy hotel wifi unless I really have to, here are some of them.

I hate long car trips. Hatehatehate. I can barely sit still long enough to watch a movie most of the time, and I get a general bleeeeaaagh feeling if I'm confined too long even in a big house with my own room where I don't have to share anything or put up with people if I really don't want to. And this one does not even contain any cousins at the end of it. (Plus I'm skipping my weekly-ish friends meet-up that is the teen library group.) NO FUN, WORLD. NO FUN.

On the other hand, it will force me to focus on novels and history and languages, things which I can have on hand when there's no internet, for at least nine hours total and probably more. Yay, learning things! I've been having sort of a block on novels lately, so maybe this will break that a bit.

Knowing some Japanese is kind of frustrating right now. It's like, I know stuff! But not enough to understand the things I want to read! :| Oh well, it'll get better if I keep practicing. And it's kind of interesting when I'm just starting Latin and Chinese, because with Chinese you get the fun of "Hey, I recognize that hanzi! But I know it's absolutely not pronounced jou." And with Latin, you get the fun of "Yay, easy pronunciation! No extra alphabets! Wait what conjugating nouns WHAT IS THIS MADNESS."

I am going to end up packing All The Language Books tomorrow, I just know it.


Okay, pretty sure Keima (of The World God Only Knows) is asexual. SO MANY NAKED GIRLS. SO MUCH LACK OF SECOND GLANCES. I can't think of any fic to write for this manga, but I'm sure it would be amazing. (Possible KHR crossover?)

I wanted to talk about Utopia of Homosexuality, but it looks like that'll have to wait until I have more sleep and mental distance. I have mixed feelings, by which I mean the manhwa's premise is cool but the execution made me acerage. (Finally, a chance to use this Azula icon! Sorry, lj-ers.)


Lady Gaga's new album has been growing on me. I don't quite know how I feel about it, but I think overall it's better than The Fame Monster. The lyrics are pretty good, and it's all so catchy! I think it was worth the extra money for the deluxe edition just for the Born This Way remix (despite my problems with that song).


I am utterly failing to find Korean counterparts of things like Nurarihyon no Mago or Pandemonium and Parade. This is probably because I'm not looking hard enough, but dammit I could really use some. And I need to go look at that map of the Avatar world so I can figure out where to put alter!Korea. And what to call it.

Ho hum.

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esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Default)
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