lately (01.15.20)

This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.

I! πŸ‘ Would like to make more blog posts than I did last year. I’m not sure how successful I’ll be, but here’s my first one for 2020. Since the start of this year, I’ve been…

crop top knitting progress

…knitting and frogging and knitting and frogging (and frogging and frogging) the same crop top I’ve been working on for ages. The going is slow, but I want to get it right! I actually restarted the whole thing sometime late last year, so in addition to the original hot pink yarn, I’m also using an emerald green one and an oatmeal/sand one from CamelotDyeworksLLC on Etsy. My original plan was to do very chunky colorblocking, but I think I might end up doing stripes of random widths instead.

…reading Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. I know I read an Artemis Fowl book in middle school, but I think I must not have started from the beginning of the series, because I didn’t remember anything that happened in this book. I did somehow recall the gnome swearword, “D’Arvit,” but nothing else was familiar. I really think I would’ve remembered reading that dwarves can unhinge their jaws in order to tunnel through the earth at such a rapid pace that the dirt comes shooting out of their anuses at speeds high enough to concuss a man. My GOD.

…starting to read

…cooking a few new things, including

  • this okonomiyaki recipe (which I chose solely because we had too much red cabbage leftover from making this extremely healthy and not very appetizing soup. If I were to make it again, I’d add some miso. And chicken.) I made a double batch in order to use up all our cabbage, and it was a lot of work, but they turned out pretty dang good, and they reheated quite well too. (Also, we didn’t have mayo, so instead of sriracha mayo, I made… sriracha ranch. And it was fine! Furikake is the more impactful topping anyway.)
  • this West African peanut soup (which I chose solely because we had too much kale leftover from making the aforementioned extremely healthy and not very appetizing soup). A couple notes: We used almond butter instead of peanut butter, and it was fine. This freezes well. I would strongly recommend eating this with rice or another grain, because the flavors are very strong and it’s a little overwhelming without something starchy (for me, anyway). I’d love to try this with sweet potato and/or chickpeas as noted in the blog post.

okonomiyaki with red cabbage - west african peanut soup

Okonomiyaki (left) and peanut soup (right). I’d apologize for the quality of these photos, but by the time I’ve finished cooking anything (especially on a weeknight), I have zero interest in trying to make it look nice in pictures.

  • balsamic roasted baby carrots, because we had way too many baby carrots left over from snacking during post-Christmas D&D/video games. I’ve roasted carrots before, but this was my first time using balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. (I usually use the spice mix from Smitten Kitchen’s roast broccoli recipe.) They turned out pretty good, but I feel like the glaze was just okay and most of the taste came from the freshly chopped parsley.
  • this white chicken chili recipe, which we kind of fudged so we could incorporate more veggies. We ended up adding carrots, red and green bell peppers, extra onions, and extra celery. We also made this in the Instant Pot (30 minutes on high), which worked pretty well, but I think next time we’ll make a giant vat and do a very long stovetop simmer. The chili/soup was delicious, and I’m hoping it’ll freeze well. (We’ve been using Souper Cubes to freeze 1-cup portions. They’re SO much easier to use than freezer Ziploc bags.)

…watching Coraline, which was great. I read the book when it first came out back in 2002 (I’m pretty sure my mom let me buy it from a Scholastic book order or the book fair), and while my memory of reading it is a little fuzzy (though not fuzzy enough to forget that Wybie doesn’t exist in the book), I gotta say that both versions of the story are plenty creepy.

…getting so excited that Jongdae (Chen from EXO) is getting married and having a baby that I couldn’t fall asleep (lol). I mean, just… the way he phrased it… “I have a girlfriend, whom I want to spend the entirety of my life with”… the COMMITMENT… the STRAIGHTFORWARDNESS… the ROMANCE!!! I need to go clutch my heart and listen to “Shall We” again.

…taking some inspiration from Saoirse Ronan as Jo March in Little Women and

  • finally wearing this dark green plaid Ines de la Fressange x Uniqlo blazer my mom bought for me in 2014:

uniqlo ines de la fressange gray brown tweed wool plaid blazer jacket 2014

As soon as I put it on, I was like “Why did I wait so long to own/wear this?!” which is exactly how I felt the first time I wore my Sam Edelman monk strap oxfords.

amazon white victorian blouse stand collar high neck lace - little women jo march

I got the white stand collar version, and the quality is surprisingly good. I’m now one step closer to the modernized Victorian style I’ve idealized since… at least junior high.

(The last good dramatic blouse I had was from United Colors of Benetton. It was super fitted and had puff sleeves and I loved it so much, but I bought it in 2009, and I no longer have the body of a teenager.)

(In fact, I loved it so much that I went through my ancient blog archives and dug up these photos from 2013, when I was still trying to wear this blouse despite it being so tight in the bust that I had to double-sided tape it closed.)

2013 sam - white United Colors of Benetton puff sleeve blouse - red plaid pants - black ribbon neck tie - Ann Taylor blazer - Born lace up ballet flats

Blazer: Ann Taylor. Blouse: United Colors of Benetton. Ribbon: scrap from some craft project. Red plaid jeans: probably delia’s. Flats: BΓΈrn.

very flattering photo of 2013 sam - white United Colors of Benetton puff sleeve blouse - red plaid pants - black ribbon neck tie - Ann Taylor blazer - Born lace up ballet flats

ah yes… a signature sam face

  • buying a couple longline bralettes from Aerie, one in cream/off-white (unpadded with a shelf bra) and the other in very pale pink (with removable padding):

aerie ribbed longline cami bralette - shelf bra - off-white cream

Aerie Chill Ribbed Longline Bralette in Soft Satin, $24.95 $17.46

aerie lightly padded longline lace bralette racerback pale pink

Aerie Starry Lace Padded Longline Bralette in Bloom, $39.95 $11.98(!)

I bought them partially for wearing under white blouses (I’ve never liked the way normal bras look under white blouses, so I thought longline bralettes might look more camisole-ish), and partially because not having to dress for an office in so long has made me very apathetic about bras in general. I used to actively prefer underwire bras with moulded cups (and I still do, for specific types of garments), but I think a big reason for that was because I grew up when big boobs were in fashion (when people actually cared about Victoria’s Secret Angels), and it’s taken me a long time to shake off the idea of what boobs are ~supposed~ to like. But frankly, my idealized boob shape is the same as my actual boob shape!! I like my boobs as they are, and I think they look best with just a tiny bit of support.

  • making my first ever order on SHEIN, which was very environmentally unfriendly of me. I ordered 5 white blouses (1 with ruffles, 1 with a pussy bow, 1 with a Peter Pan collar, 1 trimmed in lace, 1 with Swiss dots), 3 blazers (1 black, 1 dark green, 1 light brown tweed), 2 white camisoles, and 1 gray plaid midi skirt. I’m still waiting for my order to arrive, but I’m hoping a few of the items will work out. (I also ordered a pair of lug sole Chelsea boots, but not for Jo March reasons. I got them to wear to the SuperM concert, in the hopes that the 2″ platform will give me a slightly better view. I really hope they’ll fit…)

…finally buying some new underwear from Aerie. The last time I bought new underwear was in late 2017, and most of my older pairs are from 2013-2015, so I think this was a long overdue purchase. But I kept putting it off, because buying 10 new pairs of underwear at once (to get that 10 for $35 pricing) seemed so excessive! But some of my underwear is so stretched out that I can’t wear them under skinny jeans anymore (like, they’re looser than my skinny jeans), so I finally caved and spent the money. (Actually, I ordered 10 pairs, and Aerie sent me 9 pairs and a sweatshirt I did not order, which was fine by me.)

…acquiring tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with Alice and Victoria at the Curran in a couple months!! (s/o to Alice for coordinating πŸ’) Overall, I’m not a big fan of the screenplay, but I’ve heard very good things about the stage production, and, well, we were all theater kids once, so there’ll still be some magic for us there, regardless of how we feel about how Voldemort apparently… fucks? πŸ’€πŸπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

…eating and drinking a few new things, including

  • hot pot at Fiery Hot Pot. It’s all-you-can-eat, and the sides are served buffet style, in neatly pre-portioned dishes. I liked pretty much everything, but the grass jelly dessert was particularly tasty.
  • honey wine, from Bee D’Vine. It was delicious. Also I learned that mead is (practically) the same thing as honey wine, which I somehow never realized. Neat!
  • the best banchan I’ve ever had, and the best seafood pancake I’ve ever had, at a restaurant called K-Pop that I cannot yet find on Yelp. My partner and I went there expecting to be dining at the same ramen place we’d been to a couple months ago, but apparently they rebranded and it’s no longer an izakaya. The seafood pancake was perfectly crispy and had cheese(!) and super fresh seafood in it, and the banchan included conch(!!!), which I rarely see at restaurants.

kpop korean restaurant - banchan - conch

That little clear cup is raw octopus with wasabi. I’ve only had it once before, and I still don’t like it very much, but I think it’s mostly because I don’t like wasabi. Everything else was hella up my alley, though.

…cleaning out some old skincare and cosmetics. I don’t usually keep up with throwing out old skincare/cosmetics except when it comes to sunscreen (3 years) and mascara (3 months is recommended, but I do it every 6 since I wear it so rarely), but I haven’t done a cleanout in a while. I said goodbye to 4 metallic liquid lipsticks, 2 sleeping masks, 3 tubes of expired sunscreen, 3 tubes of expired BB cream, 2 exfoliating masks, 1 cleansing mask, and 5 bottles of glitter nail polish, among many other things.

…counting, dating, and sorting my sheet masks. I’ve got 34 total, and 26 of them expired last year or will expire this year. I stopped buying sheet masks well over a year ago because I don’t use them that often, but I keep receiving them as gifts, so my supply hasn’t really gone down. I want to get through most of them this year, but I don’t think I’m going to be masking much until the weather gets a little warmer, because I get cold too quickly after showering to want to lie down in a sheet mask for 20 minutes.

…washing my hair, once, on the 8th of January, for the first time since mid-December, somehow. It’s pretty gross in retrospect, but I just… didn’t really notice? I mean, my hair gets greasy, but (as I’ve mentioned in previous posts) I usually just put it in a topknot or braids and ignore it until my scalp starts to feel itchy. I guess I haven’t really been sweating, so that helps. My partner even came up to me and smelled my hair and my scalp and was like “How do you… somehow… not smell?” Anyway. If you’re a longtime reader, you’ll know that I’ve had gross hair habits since college, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

…receiving a bunch of packages from group orders. Favorite items include

SuperM - EXO Baekhyun - hand slogan banner towel - DaymareDoodles - K-Pop

im ready 2 jop!! i wish MPST was selling their Gucci Yellow slogan of Kai in this devastatingly cute outfit onsite, but it seems like they only attended the first leg of the SuperM tour and won’t be selling onsite for the second leg πŸ™ in my desperation, i found a taobao listing and am taking my chances proxy-buying through yoybuy, but i should’ve just taken up one of the nyc attendees from discord on their offer to proxy buy for me πŸ™

  • this massive X-EXO version of the Obsession poster, which has just replaced the April, and a flower poster in my bedroom:

EXO Obsession album poster - X-EXO version - K-Pop

I Can Be Your Angle Or Yuor Devil

  • these adorable ghost-Chen stickers by @domeryl12:

EXO Chen Jongdae ghost stickers - fanmade K-Pop - domeryl12

i think they may’ve gone on private bc of the chen wedding/jongdaddy news, which is a shame bc 1) i wish people were more supportive of idols having personal lives and 2) their art style is SOOO cute

EXO-SC What A Life enamel pin badge - your___forest - fanmade K-Pop EXO Sehun Chanyeol

~ * V I B E S * ~

  • these Travel the World on EXO’s LadderΒ Baekhyun stickers by @LoveMeDoh:

EXO Baekhyun Travel the World on EXO's Ladder stickers - fanmade K-Pop LoveMeDoh

i loved those eyeball balloons from S1! and baekhyun was absolutely devastating in those glasses

I actually ended up joining so many GOs last year that I had to make a spreadsheet to keep track of all my orders, which I know is kind of ridiculous, but one of the reasons for that is because I consciously allowed myself to join sticker GOs when I felt like I needed a little rush of shopping-induced dopamine. Now, of course, I have a fuckton of stickers, but at least they’re cute, they don’t take up much space, and they were cheap. At this point, the majority of my goods have made their way to me, and I’m no longer as interested in joining new GOs because the excitement’s worn off, which is probably a good thing (although I’m still really excited for the Seasons Greetings and the teddy/borg cap with bear ears that should be heading my way soonish).

…finally selling my extra SuperM ticket.Β Here’s a list of protips if you’re trying to sell a will-call ticket on Twitter or some other social media website:

  1. Don’t buy will-call tickets. They are so fucking hard to sell.
  2. If you do end up buying a will-call ticket and need to sell it, don’t ever post screenshots of your ticket without watermarking them; people may steal your images in order to scam others. Instead, use the drawing tools on your phone or laptop to write your username or some other identifier across the entire image before posting it. I would suggest using the fattest marker/brush tool and changing the opacity so you can still read what’s under your writing.
  3. Buyers will want proof that you are actually the ticketholder. The most common way to do this is to make a screenrecording where you open the (e.g. Ticketmaster) app and show the ticket. I would suggest starting the recording with your conversation to the buyer open onscreen, so that they know you just made the recording and aren’t passing off someone else’s recording as your own. (It’s a bit difficult to prevent scammers from stealing your video, since they can just crop the video to remove any identifying clips, but hopefully most sellers will think to ask for proof that the recording was made specifically for them.)
  4. Buyers are going to be looking for sellers who are willing to accept payment through PayPal Goods & Services, so that they can request a refund if you turn out to be a scammer. (Protip: Don’t be a scammer.) If you refuse to accept G&S, you’re going to have a hard time selling your ticket.
  5. As a seller, you need to watch out for buyers scamming you via PayPal G&S – they can overpay and then request that you send the difference. Sometime later (after they’ve obtained the ticket from you), they’ll request a refund and claim that they never received the goods from you, and PayPal will almost always side with the buyer. You won’t have a shipping or sales receipt to prove that you actually handed over the ticket, so you’ll be forced to pay the refund amount.
  6. The payment solution I came up with that puts equal risk on the buyer and the seller (I think…) is having the buyer pay half the amount upfront via PayPal G&S, and half after they’ve received the ticket (either with PayPal G&S or in cash (preferable)). Upon receiving the ticket, the buyer should message you to confirm that they’ve received the ticket as described (even if you are meeting in person, get it in writing so you have something to back you up if they try to open a PayPal dispute). This way, the buyer can lose at most half the amount (if the buyer pays the 1st half upfront and the seller just disappears, the buyer has only lost half the money; plus, the buyer can still request a refund if it was through G&S), and the seller can lose at most half the amount (if the buyer disappears and never pays the 2nd half; also, you’ll have your conversation history to back you up if the buyer tries to open a dispute). It’s not perfect, but I think it mitigates some of the risk.

sock mending progress - darning

…busting holes in more of my socks. I’ve broken out the embroidery floss again to do some mending, but it is excruciating on factory-made socks. I should probably get a bigger needle to make things less painful. (I should probably also use longer pieces of floss, but I’m trying to make use of all the scraps I have lying around first.) I’ve been separating the embroidery floss into individual threads so it’ll pass through a sewing needle, but it’d be so much faster to use the whole width of the floss for each stitch. I should probably dig through the basic embroidery kit I received for Christmas to see if it includes a big needle or two…

…triggering the 2nd worst bout of vasovagal syncope I’ve ever experienced while inserting my menstrual cup. Luckily, I didn’t faint, but I put my menstrual cup in too forcefully (or perhaps just in a very wrong position? I’m still not sure) while in the shower and felt like I was going to pass out for the next six(?) hours, even though I removed the cup immediately. I was having heart palpitations, and both shivering and sweating, and I kept dry retching even after I’d laid down for a while. I ended up using cloth pads for the rest of my cycle, and now I’m a little worried it’s going to happen again next time.

(The absolute worst vasovagal syncope I’ve experienced was when I was standing on a stalled Muni train with my knees locked for so long that my vision was whiting out and I was shivering and sweating and scoping out the least disruptive place to vomit on the crowded train. I did end up being able to exit without incident, but I literally could not see because my vision was fading in and out, and I bumped into, like, everyone on the way out. Luckily the train was really crowded, so that wasn’t all that unusual, and as soon as I got off the train, my vision started coming back.)

…listening to NCT 127’s “Paradise” and EXO’s “Day After Day” on repeat. Something about those wobbly electronic noises in “Paradise” makes my heart sing. They just sound the way that a celebratory drink feels.

…chugging along with my coursework. πŸš‚Β So far, I’ve done a fuckton of practice problems/exercises, passed my Project 5 presentation (which means I’m now past the halfway mark for the course, which is pretty good considering I basically took off the entire month of December to spend time with my partner/family), and started on my first app.

I actually got stuck for more than a day while trying to implement a very basic swipe/gesture-based feature, only to discover that… my code wasn’t the issue; the issue was with the default (recommended) emulator/virtual device. As I said to my partner… I always do this. I always assume the problem is me and I’m just too dumb to figure it out, but it always turns out to be the library or the environment or someone else’s code that’s the issue. I need to get better at blaming other people. ✌🏻

…As usual, this post got out of hand and is now way longer than I’d originally intended, but SO IT GOES, eh? Let’s see what the rest of January brings.

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