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.
WELL. We’re somehow halfway through the year. Before I begin my post, a couple things:
- If you haven’t yet thought about how and why people want to abolish the police, here’s an explanation in meme format.
- If you haven’t taken a few minutes to sign petitions lately, here’s a good thread that has a bunch of petitions I didn’t see last week/the week before.
- If you have funds to spare, consider donating to Ear Hustle-suggested organizations the Prison University Project (to help incarcerated residents at San Quentin State Prison access higher education) or Bonafide (to help formerly incarcerated people adjust to life on the outside, through social support (e.g. peer and community networks) and practical support (e.g. cell phones, cell service, clothing, and more)).
Alright. Since my last update, I…
…wore my Jongin-inspired bear cap for the first time, felt disgustingly cute:
(My face mask is from SHEIN. I usually wear thin two-layer stretch cotton masks for going on walks (since we’re outdoors and also unlikely to come within 6 feet of anyone), while I save my masks with nose wires and filter pockets for more high-risk situations like grocery shopping (indoors + close quarters) and picking up food from restaurants.)
…watched The Half of It on Netflix, loved it. (I actually remember watching Alice Wu’s other film, Saving Face, in a small theater with a couple of my cousins waaay back in the day, which is kind of wild.) I love Ellie Chu and her quiet love for her father and her premature sense of responsibility and her affinity for the English language (especially when juxtaposed with her father’s difficulty with English; that immigrant story though!!!). I got teary at all the nods to being Chinese American (the five spice powder, the Yakult, the packed dumplings, the filial piety, the way she silently endures being called “the Chinese girl” and the stupid fucking jokes about her last name). And I LOVED that this movie is about all sorts of love, not just heterosexual Hollywood romance. Basically, I thought it was cute and funny and very, very tender, and if you haven’t seen it yet, I think it’s worth a try.
…tried CosRx Centella Blemish Cream. I’m liking it so far, but I also finally got a new bottle of Vitamin C serum (both items arrived with a Jolse order I placed in mid-May), so I’m not sure which one’s actually doing the heavy lifting.
…read Six of Crows by Leah Bardugo, LOVED IT SOSOSO MUCH. FUCK!! I seem to always love heist stories, but I also just really love KAZ BREKKER, MY SMOL AND HORRIBLE MURDER SON. I love the whole ensemble of characters, tbh, but I got most attached to Kaz, Inej, and Nina. This book is full of action and danger and scheming and close calls, with plenty of Feelings artfully sprinkled throughout, and it’s all just SO well done. It’s got a sequel, but I’m going to put off reading it for a while so I can have something to look forward to.
…received these NCT 127 griptoks/popsockets/phone grips via group order!
…discovered @wishesmark, an amaaazing NCT makeup Twitter account. They post their own interpretations of NCT’s makeup looks, with picture and video tutorials and the products they used to achieve their copycat looks. Some of my favorites include WayV Hendery’s shimmery golden bronze-y brown “Turn Back Time” look, NCT 127 Taeyong’s 191129 glittery burgundy smokey eye, Taeyong’s gray and peachy-pink “Cherry Bomb” smokey eye, Taeyong’s suuuper seductive~ SuperM smokey eye, and Taeyong’s bright orange NCT U look.
Overall, there are just lots and lots of browns and pinks, with shades veering into taupe or gray or coral or burgundy, and I LOVE them. (See: one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen) I haven’t been wearing much makeup lately for pandemic reasons, but I’d love to eventually add a few more shades of brown to my eyeshadow collection, and to find a few shades of pink/coral/burgundy that don’t crease to kingdom come. I’ve mostly avoided buying Korean eyeshadow palettes because people (Americans) complain that the colors are too subtle, but maybe that’s exactly what I want these days… 👁👄👁
…placed my first order on KTown4U, for EXO-SC’s first full album, 1 Billion Views. Previously, most of my K-Pop albums have come from group orders, but group orders are slow by nature, and sometimes they’re actually more expensive than ordering and paying the international shipping fees by yourself, depending on how many albums you order.
(I learned this the hard way with Baekhyun’s Delight album, which I ordered all 3 versions of. For 1 Billion Views, I also ordered all 3 versions, even though they haven’t released any album details yet. I just regret not getting all 3 versions of What a Life because my shelf looks incomplete, so I don’t want to have FOMO again.)
(Also my What a Life albums arrived via group order like six months after the album was released. I also still haven’t received my posters even though I paid to have them shipped in poster tubes last November. I know it’s because this particular GOM is overwhelmed with too many orders, but it’s just kind of a bummer.)
(I’ve also bought single albums on Amazon before, but they don’t come with unrolled posters, which can be pretty disappointing if the first press posters are pretty. More recently, I pre-ordered the Chemistry version of Delight from SubKShop, which supposedly ships albums with unrolled posters. It didn’t seem overpriced to me, and hopefully it’ll be less hassle and less waiting than a group order. But I only went with SubKShop because a single album isn’t economical to ship internationally. 2 is slightly better, but it’s at 3 albums that the shipping starts to be worth it.)
…have taken to wearing this dragon-embroidered bucket hat to hide my dirty hair when going for walks or to pick up takeout:
Do I even have hair? What gender is the person in this photo? We just don’t know.
It’s not very good embroidery tbh but I only paid $4 for it, so.
…methodically worked through a bunch of my Marked for Later fics on AO3. Notable reads:
Paid friend: DON’T BE WEIRD by Anonymous, written for the EXO Big Bang Writing Event (EXO, Xiumin/Chen, E) – This is SO FUCKING CUTE. The friendships are really well done, and the romance is ADORABLE and SO soft. The only thing I’d want to add (because it’s not mentioned on AO3) is a content warning for mentions of (past) nonconsensual sharing/viewing of (consensually taken) nude photos. (The sharing is depicted in a very negative way, while the viewing is depicted negatively but as a significantly less heinous violation, so if this is something you’d rather not encounter, this fic is probably not for you.)
until golden brown and fluffy by minijhi (EXO, Suho/Baekhyun, G) – A magical realism fic that involves Baekhyun turning loaves of bread into dogs. It’s very cute and so, so charming.
leave no distance by minijhi, written for the EXOHOUSEWARMING SUMMER 2017 ROUND (EXO, Baekhyun/D.O., T) – I literally cried while reading this haha. It’s so soft! It’s so ROMANTIC!!
to build a life on the capital We by minijhi (EXO, Baekhyun/D.O., T) – This is the sequel to the previous fic, and it’s also very soft and very romantic.
Lawyer Up (My Ass) by at1stsoo (EXO, D.O./Kai, E) – To be honest, I don’t usually gravitate toward KaiSoo as a pairing because Kai/Jongin is so often portrayed as super dominant when in reality he’s xtra smol, so it interferes with my suspension of disbelief, but this fic is HYSTERICAL and I literally lol’d while reading it.
should’ve left my phone at home (’cause this is a disaster) by shinealightonme (The Raven Cycle, Ronan/Adam, T) – Oh my GOD, this is SO cute. Adam works at the Apple Store, and Ronan keeps breaking his phone.
…cried over the first new Chentube cover in AGES:
o! how i have missed his voice!! 🥺
…LOVED this performance cover of Red Velvet’s “Psycho” by various boy group members, of whom I can only identify ASTRO’s Sanha by sight (the one in all black except for his white turtleneck). (This took me a hot minute to sort out, but other boys are Wanna One’s & AB6IX’s Daehwi (the one with the wildest pants and the harness with pouches), Golden Child’s Bomin (the one with the triple strap harness and armband), and Stray Kids’ Hyunjin (the long-haired blond one).)
…cried over this West End performance of “When You Believe” from The Prince of Egypt.
…listened to SHINee’s entire discography, or at least everything that’s available on Spotify. It was nostalgic and very soothing for my brain. This time around, I especially liked “Romantic” and “A-YO” for some reason. And I thiiink 1 of 1 might be their best overall album, but I’ll always have a big soft spot for Dream Girl – The Misconceptions of You because that’s the era when I was first introduced to SHINee.
(In other SHINee-related news, I can’t believe we’re getting Onew back from the military in less than a month. He was my first big K-Pop crush, even before EXO’s Kai. (Probably influenced by EXO having very limited video/photo material to fangirl over at the time, lol.) I just… look at him laughing until he cries!!)
…received and tried out my Le Labo fragrance samples! Here’s what I bought:
And here’s what I thought:
Another 13 – I sampled this solely because NCT 127’s Doyoung supposedly uses or likes this, and oh my god I don’t even know how to describe this. It starts out with a blast of eye-watering rubbing alcohol, then becomes, very clearly, damp wood with a slight bitterness to it. It’s very masculine, IMO. It smells “dark,” but it’s also lightweight? It’s inviting, but also really dirty/filthy. I also picked up this weird side note of metal or wet paper or possibly salt(?!). It dries down a little bitter on me, but in a delicious way. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s very low-key sexy. Someone on Fragrantica described it as “Being in the arm pit of a sexy, clean man” and they’re absolutely right. I’m not sure I’d ever spring for a full bottle unless money were no object, but I’d be very happy to receive this as a gift (lol).
Jasmin 17 – This starts out straight-up jasmine-floral, then gets really fruity, and then creamy and vanilla-sweet, then fresh/green, but the jasmine carries throughout all the layers. After a couple minutes, a touch of bitterness comes out, like a strong cup of tea. It’s quite dreamy and heady and inviting. During the dry-down, I get a candy-sweetness, almost like Smarties (the powdery American ones). It’s a powdery kind of sweet floral – really yummy, but quite a bit girlier than I usually like. Definitely not a full-bottle purchase, but I’m glad to have a little sample vial on hand.
Baie 19 – This opens like bitter Chinese medicine/herbal tea, then develops a sort of menthol/Vicks VapoRub smell (the juniper berries, I presume). THEN… Then I get this weird burning rubber or melting plastic smell, or like the smell of tar being poured, or gasoline – just something really synthetic and vaguely industrial, which I assume is what the “ozonic notes” refers to. Then I get this sort of damp fragrant wood smell, and greenery. It takes a few minutes, but a lovely petrichor/wet cement smell does come out very clearly after a wait, and it dries down musky-sweet and very pleasant. Overall it’s a very cool scent (like temperature/color-wise), and it’s another Le Labo fragrance that I’d be reluctant to buy a full bottle of myself, but which I’d be very happy to receive as a gift.
Lys 41 – This is another Le Labo I sampled solely because NCT 127’s Doyoung supposedly uses or likes this. I don’t know how true that claim is, but if it is, WHAT a bold move, because this is very sweet and floral. It starts out really sugary-sweet, then becomes a sweet floral, then quickly morphs into something that reminds me very, very strongly of Johnson’s baby oil and/or baby lotion and coconutty sunscreen. It’s a very heavy, edible, coconut-creamy floral, with a touch of baby powder, and it dries down musky-floral-sweet. Not a full-bottle fragrance for me, but it’s nice to have a little sample vial for when I’m in the mood. [EDIT: I tested this again and liked it a lot more; I’ll detail this in my next post.]
The weirdest thing I discovered while going through these samples is that the sample vials are CHEAPER per fluid ounce than the full bottles. What the hell?! The 0.05 fl oz sample costs $6, whereas the 0.5 fl oz bottle costs $83. That means the 0.5 fl oz bottle is $166/fl oz, whereas the sample is relatively much cheaper at $120/fl oz. WHAT THE HELL LOL
…received this absolutely SICK NCT 127 Neo Zone-inspired varsity jacket:
The artist is @_MochiLand and omggg the material is SO much nicer than I expected from fanmade goods. It’s not one of those crappy lightweight jersey jackets that were all over fast fashion stores when varsity jackets made a comeback however many years ago; this is thick and nubby, just like a real high school letterman, and the interior is quilted(!) so it’s actually warm. The embroidery is also very neatly done and it just looks SO GOOD.
The quilted interior! C O Z Y
Closer pic of the front embroidery. I like the font they used for the “NCT 127” with the wonky little 7, just like in the Neo Zone album photos.
THE BACK EMBROIDERY! A MASSIVE FUCKIN DRAGON HEAD!!! Just like in the C version album cover!!!
Closeup of the back embroidery.
I got mine oversized, and when I have reason to leave the house regularly again, I want to wear it with a pleated miniskirt, maybe with a bright red or yellow top. Or super skinny jeans and chunky sneakers. OR A BERET!!! I’m just really excited to walk around with a giant dragon on my back.
The jacket also came with these freebie stickers, and I can’t wait to slap ’em into one of my notebooks.
…laughed SO hard at this ancient video of Taemin singing along to EXO’s “MAMA”.
…had a weird dream where I was staying at some kind of massive guest house for someone’s wedding, and I had a bedroom to myself. Right next door to me were a couple of Korean Australian lads, and I somehow knew they were members of Stray Kids. (I don’t really know what any member of Stray Kids looks like, and I basically only know the names of Felix and Bang Chan, the Australian members.) I was the second youngest party in the guest house, so I got the second-to-last bathroom slot, and I was the second-to-last to go to bed. (The Stray Kids members were collectively the youngest, so they were last to use the bathroom. Also I heard them staying up to play video games.) Around 4AM, I woke up to pee and ran into two of them leaving the bathroom (I don’t know why two of them were in there at once), and we just kind of nodded at each other. One of them had left his plaid flannel shirt on the floor, so I rolled it up like a hotel towel and put it on a low shelf. And the other had left his checkered fringed scarf IN the toilet bowl… and I decided to pee on it anyway. Then I woke up. @ my brain, thanks for making sure I didn’t wet the bed, but also wtf mate
…loved all the concert videos that Day6 just released, but especially the one for “Shoot Me”. They’re just so damn good live.
…received this Taeyong Seasons Greetings diary set by @TyrantSyndrome (via reclaim from a GOM):
It came with prints, stickers, a keychain, and the diary itself.
The stickers! The set on the bottom is shiny/holographic 🙂
Closeup of the prints. They’re glossy and printed on surprisingly heavy paper. Aside from the super high quality printing, the photos themselves are GORGEOUS.
The keychain! I had to include a pic of the back of the packaging because it’s too cute ;__; The keychain says “taeyong friends” because Taeyong’s fans are collectively called “Taeyong friends” or “tyongf” for short.
And the diary! Here are the front and back covers. 1) How pretty is that rose gold?! 2) THAT COVER PIC OF TAEYONG WOWOWOW
The first few pages are super aesthetically pleasing designs/photos. (“Long Flight” is Taeyong’s solo SM Station song.)
The yearly layout, with a sweet lil rose to mark Taeyong’s birthday uwu (which is tomorrow!! or today, in seoul time)
Here are a couple of the monthly pages. I looove the overall design and how the Taeyong pictures are incorporated so cutely, rather than just dropped in as uniform rectangles in the layout.
Another creative and very cute example of how the photos of Taeyong are incorporated into the layout.
I think this is SO clever – big Taeyong in the bottom left and SUPER TINY UPSIDE DOWN TAEYONG in the upper right.
HE’S SO SMOL
Another page with a tiny pic incorporated in the upper right, this one of Taeyong’s booties. I just think it’s a really cute and clever design, especially compared to other fansite seasons greetings. It’s delightful! It sparks joy!
Here’s a more standard~ style of layout, with the pic incorporated as one of the rectangular cells. (Also I just really like this pic of Taeyong.)
(I like pretty much every photo in this diary. TyrantSyndrome has such a good eye. But also Taeyong is just mad photogenic.)
Another weekly layout, another gorgeous pic.
Another weekly spread, this one in a horizontal layout. I like the variety!
Toward the end, the diary has full-bleed photo and memo pages. This one is lined with the same graph-paper-like grid as the calendar pages and features 1) Taeyong in pink and blue hair, a choker, a sheer lace shirt, and rhinestone encrusted gloves and 2) pink-haired Taeyong sticking out his beautiful little arm.
Here’s another memo page, this one unlined. Is Taeyong not ridiculously photogenic?!
And finally, the last several pages are full-bleed photos. This two-page spread is of NCT 127 ‘s notorious jungle gym/play structure set for their “Baby Don’t Like It” stage where the members just, like, writhe sensually as they sing. (Taeyong is very good at it!) IS THIS PHOTO NOT GORGEOUS?! I just really love TyrantSyndrome’s aesthetic sense.
Another two-page spread, featuring Taeyong’s gorgeous profile and his very hard-working scalp.
There are even pics with other members in it, which is pretty damn rare when it comes to fansites! There are more where this came from, but this was the only spread I took a photo of.
I spent quite a while wondering if Taeyong’s fansites are particularly good photographers, or if he’s just really, ridiculously photogenic. I think it’s the latter, but I think Tyrant Syndrome also has a particularly pleasing artistic aesthetic. Also, the fact that Tyrant Syndrome supposedly only became a Taeyong fansite after seeing him at a concert they were attending for a different artist and being shocked at how beautiful Taeyong is… The fact that they only take photos at public performances and don’t follow him around at the airport… The fact that their SG includes photos of other members instead of cropping them out… DELICIOUS.
…mended a cloth pad (the material was getting worn down around one of the snaps so I just did some reinforcing) and three socks that I’d previously darned:
A new hole opened up right below the previous mended patch in the heel of this sock 😐 The colors of the first mended area (red, yellow, orange, blue) are really visually discordant, so at least I went with harmonious shades of purple for this second area. I did a messy job, and I’m pretty sure this sock was like $1 from a Forever21 multipack, but it feels nice to take care of my possessions.
I busted through the toes on both of these. (The heels were previous mending jobs.) If this keeps happening, these socks may end up being more mending than sock…
I did this toe in a sort of circle shape for reasons unbeknownst to me. It made it much harder to get the weaving even-looking, so I’ll stick with a rectangular shape next time.
And here’s the other toe. You can see that between the peach and pink/lavender patches, I used a scrap of metallic silver embroidery floss on this sock, just to try it, but I wouldn’t do it again. It’s quite scratchy, and I doubt it’s going to get comfortably matted into the knit the way the cotton floss will after some washing & wearing.
…cleaned up all the junk that’s piled up on my bedroom desk since the holidays. I threw out/recycled a bunch of things I didn’t need anymore, put away things that’d been sitting there for months because I thought I’d need/use/work on them soon, and found new homes for a few things. I also found a space-themed 2018 calendar that I never opened! I could’ve just recycled it or saved it for wrapping paper (although I’ve done that with past calendars and still haven’t used any of them…) but! I remembered that one of my old coworkers made really neat origami coasters for an office white elephant gift one year, so I looked up instructions for how to fold them and made some pretty space-y coasters!
They’re not perfect, but they sure are pretty and they get the job done! I used 2 calendar pages per coaster, each trimmed into a very rough square. I would’ve ended up with 6 coasters from 12 months of photos, but I messed up on my first try and trimmed the square way too small, so I’m 1 coaster short.
And the back/bottom views. The Jupiter one is pretty, isn’t it?
…struggled really hard with falling asleep and waking up at normal hours. This is an ongoing issue, I guess. It sure would be nice to be able to breathe through my nose at night! Or even to freely breathe through my nose during the day! Which I can’t! It’s been a struggle for the last several YEARS, and I suspect it’s because I spend so much time around the cat, to whom I am allergic. I’ve tried over-the-counter allergy drugs and they haven’t seemed to help at all, so I pretty much just live with it. But man does it get frustrating sometimes.
…did some rewriting and reworking in Scrivener and am feeling much better about the character dynamics in this story than I was a few weeks ago. I think one thing that helped me was to physically take pen to paper and just write uncensored until my hand got tired, because I have way too many thoughts about everything, all the time. It’s good to just DUMP them all in a medium where I expect my words to eventually be destroyed. It’s not like typing into my Day One diary; it’s way more reckless and unstructured, and I guess I find that freeing. (I also guess this is the whole point of morning pages.)
…got fully dressed exactly once:
We were bringing food to my partner’s parents.
Sweatshirt: UnderArmour, hand-me-down from my brother. Skinny jeans: Uniqlo. Gray oxfords: Cole Haan.
It felt weird.
Do I have anything to end this post with? I do not.
When I was finishing up my last post, I was going through a protracted bout of suicidal ideation, but I decided I didn’t want to talk about it on here. I still don’t want to talk about it on here. What is there to say, other than it happens to me often, but I have learned to cope, and it passed, as it always does?
I’m not optimistic about the future re: the coronavirus, all things considered. That is to say, I’m not optimistic about the world’s future because of capitalism’s slimy stranglehold on public health issues, and more specifically, I’m really not optimistic about the US’s future. Everything continues to feel… utterly futile. Can we, as a nation, collectively get it together and reduce harm by taking slightly inconvenient actions in order to be more considerate of others? It sure doesn’t look like it.
Gonna go continue feeding my brain with wholesome, life-sustaining things. And get back into this writing project, which I’ve been away from for a few days. Hope you’re taking care. ✌🏻