lately (02.29.20)

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.

HENLO. I am trying to crawl into bed within the next hour and a half, so I’m cutting this intro short. Since my last update post, I…

…received a SICK whiskey (er… whisky) bottle from Spenser, from the Nikka distillery in Japan, with a SICK-ASS SAMURAI DESIGN. Look at it!!!

nikka whiskey samurai bottle


…finally watched Parasite and couldn’t stop thinking about it for, like, a week. I don’t know if this description makes sense to anyone but myself, but it was… symphonic? Watching it felt listening to a symphony, with every moment important and satisfying and tantalizing, whether it was sparse (in terms of visuals or dialogue or symbolism) or rich and layered. Also, this is extremely beside the point, but Park So-dam is SUPER pretty, and Choi Woo-shik… is Hot. Not with this Ki-woo/Kevin haircut, but, like. It’s there.

…watched Train to Busan, which Choi Woo-shik also happens to be in. (To reiterate: He’s hot.) It was thoughtful and thrilling and really entertaining, and I loved it. If you’re wary of zombie movies because they fall under the general category of horror (as I was), don’t worry; this one gets a little gross at times, but it’s not particularly nightmare-inducing.

…rewatched Pan’s Labyrinth for the first time since probably 2011. It’s definitely still one of my favorite movies of all time, and I definitely still want Ofelia’s green dress.

…watched To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, which was just alright. I’m not a huge fan of love triangles (or, uh, love wishbones?), and it was pretty much what I’d expected based on the book. On the one hand, it’s true that early relationships are messy and laden with insecurity and somebody always gets hurt, but on the other hand I was at least expecting Lara Jean’s outfits to be as cute as the first movie. They were not (they were… fine), and I was very disappointed.

…had my first Korean-style corn dog, with French fries encrusted in the batter. It was confusing, but also… an utter delight.

korean style potato corndog with french fries

It looks like a monstrosity and tastes like… an entire meal you would eat at a carnival.

(also pictured: leftover sushi and an overly sweet drink)

…had chicken pho for (I think) the first time, loved it!! I usually get beef broth with beef slices (and tendons and tripe and other things), but the chicken was absolutely delicious.

…finally had one of those brown sugar boba ice cream bars, which apparently have been in crazy high demand for months, at least in the Bay Area. It was SO FUCKIN GOOD. It didn’t sound very appealing to me at first, because who wants boba embedded in their ice cream? But you know what. The answer is me. I do. I want lightly chewy, lightly sweet boba in my sweet, tea-y ice cream. Seriously, it was so good that I’ve added it to my list of Things To Look Forward To In Order To Stave Off Existential Despair.

…made this sheet pan sweet potato and black bean hash (with corn, red bell pepper, zucchini, and eggs), LOVED it, promptly made it again a few days later. We ate it with ground turkey cooked with taco seasoning, which made for a delicious combination.

the kitchn recipe - sheet pan sweet potato black bean zucchini hash with egg

As always, I am not a food photographer.

If you decide to make this, I’d recommend doubling the spices listed in the recipe. Also, unless you have massive sheet pans, expect to use 2 half-sheet pans in order to get everything in a single layer.

the kitchn recipe - sheet pan sweet potato black bean zucchini red bell pepper corn black bean hash with egg

The first time around, I couldn’t tell when the eggs were done, so they ended up slightly overcooked, but the key is to just tap the egg white to see if it’s set. If you pull the pan out right after the egg white sets, the yolks will be the perfect combination of cooked but still soft and slightly runny in the center.

…watched Tiny Beautiful Things at the SF Playhouse. I rarely watch live non-musical theater these days, but I loved Dear Sugar before the world knew who Sugar was, and I loved Tiny Beautiful Things the book when I finally got around to reading it. The performance was lovely, mostly because of Cheryl Strayed’s words and the words of her readers, though I also thought the director did a great job making use of the limited number of actors and the single set. It was very nice to sit in a dark room and feel deep empathy for another human being struggling with the joy and injustice of being alive.

…set up magnetic vent covers on our bedroom heating vents. I was inspired by a friend, though her place has brand new registers, so she doesn’t have to deal with weirdly curved grills or giant levers or 3000 layers of paint like we do. We bought these cut-to-fit magnetic sheets on Amazon, and they don’t hold very well when the heat is on, but they do just fine otherwise. The main benefit of this is that it drastically reduces the amount of cooking odors that waft into our bedrooms from our landlords downstairs. (They cook a lot of curry, fish, and fried foods, and when they burn things it goes riiight into my bedroom and the light on my HEPA filter turns red to indicate the air is “highly polluted,” so this is a big improvement.) It also has the side benefit of muffling their voices when they argue, which they do a lot, so now instead of being able to clearly hear the wife say things like “you NEVer listen” and “you don’t deSERVE me” and “fuck YOU,” we mostly just hear what sounds like Charlie Brown adults talking.

…changed my phone background again, finally. I switched from EXO’s Obsession logo to an edit of Baekhyun’s Obsession promo pics.

phone lockscreen background wallpaper - exo obsession - baekhyun face chain

That face chain though… Baekhyun is really the prettiest.

…finally deleted Spot On from my phone. Spot On is a period tracker made by Planned Parenthood, and I’ve been using both it and Clue for… a very long time now. I like Spot On’s data entry format, but I care much more about being able to look back at previous menstrual cycles to spot patterns, and Spot On just doesn’t do a good job of presenting your entry history. I’ll be sticking with Clue for the foreseeable future.

…learned while making my SuperM concert recap post that YouTube has a relatively new issue with uploading vertical videos where the quality of the video is reduced to 480p even if the original video is 1080p. I was kind of annoyed with the final quality of my uploaded videos, but YouTube was still a better choice for me than Vimeo or DailyMotion. (I even tried Tumblr at first, but embedding was a mess.)

…finished reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It was such a warm, cozy, tender book. I love the March sisters SO much. Also, I’d expected to like Jo the most, but I actually ended up really, really, really loving Amy.

…started reading The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. I’m pretty sure I’ve read it in part, if not in full, before.

…started reading “Stop and Stare” by Saras_Girl. It’s a Drarry fic that’s 75K+ words long. I’m so excited.

…received some of the SuperM fansupport goods I wasn’t able to pick up at their San Jose concert:

superm in san jose freebies - exo kai baekhyun stickers

These adorable KaiBaek stickers were made by @pastelsebaekgo/@gravityhuns! They weren’t part of a banner project, but since she still had leftover stickers after handing out freebies, she also gave them away by mail, for the cost of postage. I am absolutely in love with Kai and Baekhyun in glasses, so these are perfect in my (myopic, heart-shaped) eyes.

superm in san jose - fansupport project - exo kai fan - lucas ten taemin baekhyun kai mark taeyong photocards - pins - stickers

This set of goodies came from the @supermsanjose fansupport project (though they’ve changed their @ so I can’t link them).

To be honest, I was expecting a plastic handfan like the ones made by fansites (I have a couple pics of mine in this post), and this one is foam board with a home-printer-quality image that’s been covered with multiple pieces of packing tape, and it arrived with the handle detached. So that was pretty disappointing, but luckily the rest of the goods are REAALLLLY cute.

superm in san jose - fansupport project - photocards - lucas ten taemin baekhyun kai mark taeyong - pins buttons - shinee exo nct 127 wayv

These fanmade photocards are business card-sized, and the material is quite thick. I LOVE the Privé Alliance pic they chose for Baekhyun’s PC. The pins/buttons are also of nice quality.

superm in san jose fansupport - stickers - taemin baekhyun lucas ten mark taeyong kai - exo shinee nct 127 wayv

And some stickers! Again, I LOVE the Privé Alliance pic of Baekhyun they chose, and the Lucas one is pretty great too. But more importantly, LOOK at how frickin cute the illustrated stickers are!! The artist is @fluffyinjun, and she sometimes posts other v cute art too!

…listened to BTS’ Map of the Soul: 7 and really liked the second half of it. (To be fair, the first 5 tracks were all from their last EP, which I felt pretty lukewarm about to start with (except “Intro: Persona” and “Jamais Vu”, which I love).)

My favorite tracks are definitely “00:00 (Zero O’Clock)”, which is just gorgeous, and “Inner Child”, which makes me feel both very sad and very happy. (It’s about, like, comforting your hurt younger self. About parenting your inner child. It makes me feel so sad, but it’s such a hopeful song.)

Re: “00:00,” It’s actually really surprising to me that I like BTS’ ballads so much given that I only really enjoy V/Taehyung’s vocals (Jungkook’s voice is nice but it bothers me when he stylizes it too breathily, Jin’s voice is fine but he strains quite a bit which I find unpleasant to listen to, and Jimin’s voice sounds to me either angelically whiny (which works really well in certain contexts) or nails-on-chalkboard, irritatingly high pitched, with no in-between). But “00:00” is gorgeous. Also I think the intro sounds like the intro to Pink’s “Just Like A Pill” which is fun.

(Side note: I wish I liked their lead single “On” more, but it’s one of those songs where Jimin’s voice bothers me so much that I end up not liking the whole thing, even though I’m well aware it sounds cool, especially toward the end.)

Other great tracks include “UGH!” and “Respect” which are SO good. Though I haven’t had them on repeat because I’m usually not in the mood for aggressive-sounding music, BTS’ rapline is really something else, especially Suga/Yoongi. Every time he starts rapping, it lights something up inside me.

I’m also a big fan of “Friends”, which is basically just this huge, joyous outpouring of love, with V/Taehyung and Jimin singing 🎵 you are my soulmate 🎵 to each other. Someone already said this on Twitter, but you know those songs that really resonate with you and when you listen to them you’re like oh, hashtag relatable? This is the opposite of that. This is like the ultimate third-wheeling song, even if you never look up the lyrics. And it’s GREAT.

The last track I want to mention is “Outro: Ego”, which is a J-Hope/Hoseok solo song. I tend to prefer Suga/Yoongi’s or RM/Namjoon’s rapping, but this track is SO FUN. It’s like an energy drink. Just give it a listen.

…started getting excited about Suholo. To be honest, the last time I was this interested in Suho/Junmyeon was EXO’s “History” music video (@ 1:11), only because he looked stupidly handsome. He’s still stupidly handsome (like the rest of EXO lbr), but I’m very curious if he’ll be dropping a pre-enlistment all-ballad EP like SHINee’s Onew did, or if he’s got other genres up his sleeve. (For example, he’s done quite a bit of musical theater, so I wonder if that would influence his song choices.) He’s talked about his ambition to do solo work for a long time, so I’m looking forward to see what he puts out.

…LOVED so much of NCT 127’s comeback promo, but especially the 90s realness that is “Dreams Come True”.

…took this very detailed Sorting Hat quiz that Alice found. I’ve always thought that the way JKR handled the Hogwarts houses was biased and oversimplified in the books, so it was nice to see that this sorting quiz makes a lot more sense as a way to categorize people. Instead of categorizing by ~character traits~, this categorizes by reasons/motivations + methods/actions.

I ended up with my Primary House being Slytherin and my Secondary House being Ravenclaw, with a Hufflepuff model. This actually reflects me pretty well, I think, because I do place my family above all else and all others (closely followed by my inner circle of friends), with very little remorse, hence my Primary House being Slytherin. I also tend to approach problems by planning ahead, and to tackle problems with practiced skills, previously gathered facts, and known tools, hence my Secondary House being Ravenclaw. I aspire to also approach/tackle problems through maintaining a reputation for being reliable and hardworking, hence my Secondary House model being Hufflepuff.

It was really neat, and I’m curious to know what houses other people end up in. Pottermore put me in Ravenclaw, but I’ve always thought of myself as part Slytherin, too, and this quiz confirmed my suspicions.

…wore some of my new clothes!

anothertoast - samglorious - outfit photo - shein brown tweed blazer - white ruffle swiss dot blouse - gray corduroy zip front skirt - oxfords

Brown tweed blazer: SHEIN. White ruffle Swiss dot blouse: SHEIN. Gray zip-front corduroy miniskirt: SHEIN. Pastel teal tights: Uniqlo. Gray oxfords: Cole Haan.

I wore this to go eat the aforementioned Korean corn dog encrusted with thick-cut fries. I was overdressed, but hey! I thought my outfit went well with this wall. Also, my miraculously non-stick-straight hair is brought to you to the generic Flexi-Rods I bought from SHEIN. They work great.

anothertoast - samglorious - outfit - shein green military band jacket - white frill ruffle swiss dot blouse - vintage navy blue white plaid gingham miniskirt - lavender tights

Dark green military/band jacket: SHEIN. White ruffle Swiss dot blouse: SHEIN. Navy blue & white plaid/check bouclé miniskirt: aunt’s hand-me-down. Lavender tights: Uniqlo. Double monk-strap oxfords: Sam Edelman. Hair scarf: LeSportsac gift with purchase.

I wore this to dinner at Doppio Zero with my partner and his parents. The bottarga and fettucine wild boar were hella good.

anothertoast - samglorious - outfit - shein white frill ruffle swiss dot blouse - vintage navy blue white plaid gingham miniskirt - lavender tights - monk strap oxfrods - hair scarf

I referred to an old black and white bouclé miniskirt in an earlier post, but amazingly I’m pretty sure this is not that skirt. I dug this one up from a box of old clothes my mom wanted me to go through before donating, and I’m pretty sure this is a similar looking but completely separate skirt, because 1) it’s navy blue and white, not black and white, and 2) it actually fits. I suppose it’s possible that I somehow lost a LOT of weight since the last time I wore it, but that is… extremely unlikely.

anothertoast - samglorious - shein white ruffle frill swiss dot blouse - green military band jacket - vintage floral hair scarf

I love when my hair has a little frizz, tbh. Feels… romantic.

anothertoast - samglorious - outfit - shein plaid tweed miniskirt - dark red tights - brown corduroy shearling old navy jacket - turtleneck - steve madden combat boots

Dark green turtleneck: Target. Black hoodie: American Apparel. Brown corduroy shearling jacket: Old Navy, brother’s. Gray plaid tweed miniskirt: SHEIN. Dark red tights: probably Uniqlo. Combat boots: Steven by Steve Madden.

I wore this for a family dinner, wherein my partner ate bittermelon for the first time and didn’t hate it. I was very proud of him.

anothertoast - samglorious - outfit - shein gray plaid tweed miniskirt - dark red tights - brown corduroy shearling old navy jacket - turtleneck - steve madden combat boots

im baby

anothertoast - samglorious - outfit - shein white frill ruffle swiss dot blouse - zara basic black tweed longline jacket - uniqlo skinny jeans - monk strap oxfords

Black tweed longline jacket: ZARA Basic. White ruffle Swiss dot blouse: SHEIN. Black high-waisted skinny jeans: Uniqlo. Christmas socks: gift. Double monk-strap oxfords: Sam Edelman.

This is what I wore to go watch Parasite, after which I had pho and quail and donuts (not together).

anothertoast - samglorious - generic hair curling rod stick - shein white ruffle trim swiss dot blouse - zara basic black tweed jacket

It felt weird to wear my hair down so much, but I’ve missed it a little…

anothertoast - samglorious - amazon olive green beret - shein white peter pan collar ruffle blouse - uniqlo ines de la fressange wool blazer - shein tweed plaid miniskirt - chelsea boots

Olive green beret: Amazon, gift. White heart EXO motto “Let’s Love” pin: donuteri on Etsy, gift. White ruffle Peter pan collar blouse: SHEIN. Dark green plaid wool blazer: Ines de la Fressange for Uniqlo. Gray plaid tweed miniskirt: SHEIN. Dark brown tights: Costco. Black Chelsea boots: Cole Haan.

Aaand this is what I wore to go watch Tiny Beautiful Things (and buy mini cupcakes, hence the box in the left pic). It felt good to dress up a little to go the theater. 🙂

…went through a deep and debilitating bout of anxiety about my Android class/project that lasted for the better part of a week, listened to D.O.’s “That’s okay” to self-soothe, cried, eventually did get around to tackling The Insurmountable Task (but not before having to switch from bash to zsh because I finally updated to Catalina… it was kind of a pain, but I did it!). I am… again at a point where the coding-related task before me fills me with dread even though it isn’t all that much work. I’m starting to think that maybe… this is never going to be a mentally sustainable way for me to make money, and that I should trust my partner when he says it’s okay if I pursue a lower-paying type of job, as long as I’m not a total deadbeat. And I am… going to let that idea simmer for a while.

…panicked about the coronavirus again. It was considerably less unreasonable for me to panic this time around, considering that there are coronavirus patients being treated in my city, less than 5 miles away from me, and that coronavirus patients have been confirmed in various parts of the Bay Area, including at least 2 with no relevant travel history or contact with known patients. (It is also no comfort at all to know that we don’t have enough test kits, and that the test kits have a pretty high false negative rate. Lmao.)

I know I personally am unlikely to die from this, but I have friends and family who are elderly and/or immunocompromised, and it worries me down to my bones how they’d fare if they got sick. I’ve seen plenty of people online saying things like there’s no need to panic, the flu is worse, just wash your hands, etc., and it pisses me off.

It’s true that panic is not a productive response, but it’s also true that most people will panic. It’s also true that most people saying the only thing you need to do is wash your hands and practice good hygiene because this isn’t a real threat… are not experts on contagious disease and the social implications of mass hysteria.

Like, if you go to fucking and click on the “Human Coronavirus” link, it specifies that you should have 2 weeks’ worth of food and water at home, plus OTC drugs and supplies usually used for colds, flu, etc., but people are saying wHy wOuLd yOu NeEd wAtEr iT’s FeArMoNgErInG. Sorry, I didn’t realize following the federal guidelines for emergency preparedness was fearmongering???

Bruh. I know utilities are unlikely to shut down, but potable water is a basic part of any emergency kit. The point of being prepared is so you, a relatively healthy person for whom coronavirus will probably be like a miserable but very much non-lethal chest cold, can fucking quarantine yourself and recover at home. So that you don’t have to go to the doctor’s office or a hospital and put more healthcare workers at risk than necessary. So that you don’t run to the store while contagious because you forgot to stock up on tampons and infect some sick person’s caretaker who’s just trying to buy decongestants. So that you don’t have to go to the grocery store and potentially infect others or be infected by others as often. So that you don’t have to resort to delivery services or healthcare services that other, more vulnerable, less mobile, etc. people might need more badly than you do.

(Also, to the people saying not to worry because it has a low mortality rate: It has a pretty high mortality rate for elderly and immunocompromised people, so you can fuck right off. I guess if you somehow don’t have a single old person you care about, then it’s whatever to you, but don’t tell me how to feel??)

I feel like I’m going insane, but like, I’m pretty sure people less paranoid than me are finally realizing they should prepare themselves, which is great, but also not great, because this means people are panic-buying with the intent to hoard. (This makes it worse for everyone, so if you haven’t grabbed some non-perishables and OTC medications to keep at home yet, please do it in stages, over the course of several grocery/drugstore trips.)

When my partner and I went to Costco last night to get toilet paper, there was a crowd of people just milling around because there was literally no toilet paper left on the floor. I’m not sure if staff was going to bring out more (hence the people waiting), but I for one have never seen a Costco aisle so empty of products. (If you live in hurricane country, I guess you probably have, but we rarely see that type of urgency here.) There was no toilet paper, no bottled water, and no boxed tissue. The canned food section was also decimated, though there was quite a bit of canned fish left. So yeah. I think people are hoarding, which is really selfish, which is why I wish the general response to this was not “don’t worry, just wash your hands” but “if you do not already have an emergency kit, we recommend that you prepare one over these next few weeks” in order to stagger the strain on available resources.

Also, I wish everyone had better health coverage and paid sick leave and just. Everything.

But anyway.

Here’s the music video for BESTie’s 2014 song, “THANK U VERY MUCH”, because they’re hot and I used to listen to this on repeat while coding:

And the dance practice for “Excuse Me” (unearthed thanks to Keisha), because women:

Here’s to hoping March will be good to us all. Cheers, pals. 🍻

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