lately (05.31.20)

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.

Hello! If you support the Black Lives Matter movement but haven’t taken any action other than, like, liking or retweeting some posts (or staying silent and slowly feeling guilt creep over you) have you considered!!!

  • signing some petitions! (this is as close to a ZERO COMMITMENT action as you can get! enticing, eh??? alleviate some of your privileged guilt. sign some petitions.)
  • donating some money! (i mean obviously take care of yourself first but MONEY TALKS!!! it’s also a great way to reduce some of that guilt!!! i assure you that the protestor bail funds do not care if you donate out of guilt!!!)
  • talking to your family! (there’s a good chance you already have likeminded friends, but if you’re on decent terms with your family members and they still think these protests are an overreaction or that the police system isn’t inherently racist, try talking to them!! u gotta go slow cuz well honestly as good as it feels to just rage, you’re probably not gonna persuade anyone like that. go slow. do the work. it’s your responsibility as a white or non-Black poc right now and always(!) to do this work in your own communities.)
  • doing some educational reading or viewing!
  • [EDIT: If you’d like to help financially but don’t have the means, some YouTube creators have put out videos specifically to generate ad revenue that will be donated to various support organizations. I shared them with my younger cousin thinking she might be interested since it’s not like she has much money to contribute or permission (or transportation) to attend a protest, and she was really excited to have something she personally could do to help, even in a small way. Maybe you’ve got a teen in your life who’s feeling helpless and frustrated, too. I’m linking to tweets about the videos because they include streaming instructions (like disabling any adblockers, etc.) to make sure your views will count for ad revenue: one & two & thread]
  • [EDIT: donate via app downloads & donate via Sephora points]

(Please note that several of the organizations in the links are not specific to reducing police brutality or dismantling the police system, but they are all parts of the effort to dismantle institutional and systemic white supremacy, of which policing is a deeply entrenched and violent part.)

Many others have put together lists of actions you can take and resources you can consult, so go find ’em. You’ve got Google, and I’m not an expert. You don’t have to be either. But please. Do something. DO SOMETHING.

I know people worry about the balance between performative social media and actual action, but don’t stay fucking silent. It’s not purely performative if you back up your voice with AN ACTION. ANY ACTION. TAKE ONE FUCKING ACTION.

In the words of Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America,

“When we become Americans, we accept not only citizenship’s privileges that we did not earn but also its responsibilities to correct wrongs that we did not commit.”

Let’s try to make things right.

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lately (02.14.20)

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 originally started this post with a recap of the SuperM concert, but I’ve already hit 2000 words and I’m not done yet, so I’ll be putting my concert recap into its own post. Aside from attending the SuperM concert in San Jose, since my last life update, I…

…finally added a collapsing archive to my sidebar. I’m using the Expanding Archives plugin, and while I wish it were as lightweight as the old collapsing archives that I had when I was on Blogger back in the day, it gets the job done.

…ate a Samanco fish-shaped ice cream waffle sandwich for the first time. It basically looks like taiyaki but is filled with ice cream instead of red bean! And it’s DELICIOUS!! The ice cream filling has this slightly crisp(?) texture (compared to your typical ice cream sandwich), which I really enjoyed. (After reading the name of the brand, my partner asked me “Is that your company?” -_-)

…read Reflection: A Twisted Tale by Elizabeth Lim. This version of Mulan begins with the snowy mountain scene from the animated Disney movie and turns into a journey through the Underworld to save Captain Shang’s spirit. Mulan’s character is awesome and strikes all my favorite notes about bringing your family honor and trying to be true to yourself and feeling confined by gender expectations. Also Shang does his usual thing and… acts like a whole bi baby when he realizes this dude in his regiment is actually a chick and has an internal crisis over why he was so fond of Ping. (I mean, not explicitly, but honestly what else would be going on in his head?)

…received my group order for this adorable fuzzy baseball cap with bear ears (a la Jongin’s Instagram Live) and these tiny little EXO motto/slogan patches (“사랑하자” translates to “Let’s love”; one is iron-on and the other is sew-on)

exo kai bear hat - exo motto slogan saranghaja lets love patch sew on iron on

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lately (12.11.18)

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.

OKAY, PALS!!! Let’s set the scene.

I’m… crouched(?) on the floor of my bedroom (kind of in catloaf form but with sphinx arms; it’s very cute and sexy of me) blasting a playlist of EXO’s slow songs with my Frostbeard Rainy Day Reads candle burning atop my dresser.

The main development since my last life update is that I’ve gone whole-ass into K-Pop fandom, specifically the EXO fandom. I am now an EXO-L/Eri. (You can witness my thirsty descent over on Tumblr, assuming I haven’t been banned for reblogging this screencap of Sehun and Chanyeol from the “We Young” music video, which was flagged, possibly because Sehun is wearing a suit that’s too close to his skintone. 🙄)

I’ve casually enjoyed K-Pop since high school, and I started getting into specific K-Pop groups around 2013 (namely SHINee and EXO, to the extent that I learned the members’ names and picked out specific songs (and faces) I liked), but it wasn’t until recently that I became obsessed.

It started when I was scrolling through this post by Tracy at fanserviced-b and decided to watch the “Love Me Right” music video. Incredibly, I’d already seen and enjoyed the “Call Me Baby” MV, which was released just 2 months prior to “Love Me Right” and which is also a visual stunner and a big ol’ bop, and I’d seen and reblogged “Love Me Right” pics and GIFs (#sad defeated asian boys in athletic wear), but somehow I never actually watched the music video itself.

And then I did.

And it was just… shot after shot after shot of practically everything I find aesthetically pleasing on men. Tailored suits! Above-the-knee shorts! T-shirts tucked into tight jeans! Exposed legs and ankles! Men in pink! Suspenders! Floppy hair! Beautiful faces in ugly glasses! Sports uniforms feat. shoulder pads! Dirt smeared on their faces!

It was overwhelming. It was like the first time I watched the “Growl” MV and lost my goddamn mind over SO many dancing boys looking like hooligans in dress code-violating school uniforms. (Please keep in mind I first watched this five years ago, when I was five years younger. I was and still am younger than EXO’s oldest member.)

The difference was that this time, when I lost my mind over an EXO music video, it was mere days before their comeback single, “Tempo”, was released, which was simply too much good content for my small decrepit body to handle in such swift succession.

“Tempo” involves leather jackets, ripped skinny jeans, military-inspired jackets, decorative chains, and Kai in a DISTRESSED CROPPED SWEATER, SUSPENDERS, AND LEATHER SKINNIES, and yet! It was a mere ten seconds of Baekhyun in an unbearably smoldery smoky eye singing and dancing (from 3:08 – 3:18, see the clipped video below) that BROKE ME!!!

So now I’m here, awaiting packages from AliExpress, for an unlicensed cropped EXO hoodie with cat ears, and Snapfish, for 25 glossy 4×6 photos made from HQ images I found online of Baekhyun, Sehun, Chanyeol, and Kai.

(For the record, I was briefly interested in BTS in 2015 when they were mostly still going by Bangtan Boys, but while I like their music and dancing from an artistic perspective (not to mention this A+ cover of the Biebz’s “Mistletoe” c/o @keisha_pl), I’ve always preferred EXO’s musical aesthetic, which leans more pop/R&B. I also prefer their vocal line (here’s a cover of the Biebz’s “Boyfriend” by D.O., who may just have the smoothest voice in current K-Pop) as well as their faces (I am deeply biased for many reasons, but the biggest one is that Baekhyun has really pretty hands and looks absolutely unreal in makeup), but both groups have their charms. For example, BTS has a stronger rap line (EXO’s is solid and has good technique like pretty much all artists under SM Entertainment, but BTS’s rap line is really good) and is waaay more “knowable” in terms of social media and general media presence, thanks to Big Hit’s marketing. Anyway, they’re both great, but EXO came into my life first.)

But slipping down a fandom hole isn’t the only thing I’ve done lately. Since my last life update, I…

  • had various nose and throat problems for about a month and a half. I legit only started being able to breathe through my nose again around Thanksgiving. The smoke from the Camp Fire certainly didn’t help, but my partner had surprised me with a Coway air purifier a week or two prior, since I’m allergic to the cat with whom we live, and it’s helped a lot. Now I’m just dealing with what seems like neverending post-nasal drip.
  • read some books and fanfiction that I will detail in a follow-up post
  • watched some movies and television that I will detail in a follow-up post
  • cooked some new things. Sometimes I enjoy cooking, but mostly I just cook out of necessity. Weeknights are especially tiring (or at least they were when I was working 9 to 5 with an hour-long commute each way), so I’m always curious what other people cook during the workweek. I’m aware of meal prepping as a concept, but throw in food allergies, specific nutritional diets, and a bit of environmentalism, and the appetizing options narrow significantly. Anyway, here’s some of the stuff I’ve made recently:

crispy oven baked honey garlic tofu (i am a food blog) - roast eggplant with yogurt and tomato relish (smitten kitchen) - crispy fried eggs (smitten kitchen) - spicy vegan jackfruit tacos (minimalist baker)

Left to right, top to bottom:

Crispy oven-baked honey garlic tofu, using this recipe from I am a Food Blog. I tried making this like 5 times in a row and I’ve decided that medium-firm tofu works best, as long as you press out almost all of the moisture. I also foolishly used aluminum foil instead of parchment paper at first, which just made the tofu stick to the pan. IMO, this is a really tasty way to make tofu, but it takes a while to cook, and it gets chewy unless you eat it right away. (Did I overdo it on the green onion? The answer is no.)

Roasted eggplant with yogurt and tomato relish, using this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I’ve only eaten this with rice, not the suggested couscous, but the flavors are strong (and delicious!!!), so it’s a good idea to serve this with a plain starch. This is hella good, but it involves a lot of cutting.

Crispy fried eggs, using this recipe/guide from Smitten Kitchen. I don’t know how you can make this without a splatter guard, because it’s VERY dramatic, but these are fantastic over fried rice or with chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

Barbecue jackfruit taco filling, using this recipe from Minimalist Baker. I made this exactly once, and it took SO long to prepare the jackfruit that I will never do it again. Does it looks arrestingly similar to meat and have an appealing texture and tangy flavor? Yes. Is it worth the ridiculous amount of time it takes to deseed and cut/shred the canned jackfruit? No. Plus, jackfruit isn’t a good source of protein, so while I’ll gladly eat jackfruit tacos at a restaurant, I don’t think it’s worth having to prepare both the jackfruit and a protein (e.g. beans) for a nutritious vegetarian meal.

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this is progress.

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.

airplane safety placard infant water flotation device lifevest

a pictorial dumpling recipe

Henlo, friends.

I’m writing this post with my feet propped up on a chair at the dining room table while I wait for the Chinese herbal tea simmering in the kitchen to reach its full potency. My runny nose and I are working our way through a box of tissues, the cat is using the living room as her personal racetrack while she yells continuously (a Big Mood™), and my partner is perched on the Korean War-era military footlocker trunk we use as a coffee table, playing Grand Theft Auto V.

Last week I was in New York City for only the second time in my life, tagging along on my partner’s business trip. It was equal parts enthralling and exhausting to wander around Manhattan by myself, and by the fourth day, I was completely wiped out, partially because I’d spent the entire day prior wandering the Met until my soul was replenished and my feet were blistered, but mostly because my partner was working normal business hours, and it was damn tiring to be out and about and always watching my own stuff, my own drinks, my own back, always aware of how much time was left until sunset when I should stop being visibly alone in public. I admire women who travel solo. I don’t know how they do it.

But even though I spent the latter half of the trip Netflix-and-despairing in our hotel room (mainlining Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and short circuiting over the steaming pile of shit that is Brett Kavanaugh), I loved NYC in a way I haven’t ever loved anywhere but San Francisco – in a way that made me feel like I’d enjoy living there.

anal street - canal street subway - new york city mta

(insert “nyc i’m in you” joke)

(wow that was an unintended triple(?) entendre)

Granted, I haven’t traveled all that much, so there are probably plenty of diverse cities with solid public transportation systems that I’d enjoy spending my prime childbearing years in. London seems promising, for one.

But I don’t think I’d ever actually go through with it, not for anything less than the death of the people I love most and a disgustingly lucrative job.

Every few days (or hours), I regret quitting, but I’m trying to remind myself how unequivocally awful it was to work at my previous company. Reading the wall of one-star reviews (including my own) on their Glassdoor page helps. So does repeating the words of men I’ve worked with – words like “I’m sorry” and “As I’ve heard more of the stuff that you had to deal with, I’m more and more surprised you stayed as long as you did.”

I’m trying to remind myself that my emotions make sense. That my response was a reasonable one, and that I’ll eventually be okay, somehow. That my most important task right now is trying to not feel guilty or useless or like a waste of space. Or a human leech. Or a liability.

I’m trying, and sometimes it doesn’t work particularly well. (Especially not lately. It feels immorally self-indulgent to be contemplating my career when this country is hurtling back into the 1800s and this planet is hurtling toward total catastrophe.)

So to help myself, here’s a partial list of things I’ve done over the past month-ish that have made me feel like a productive human:

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