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/Aeri. (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, probably 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 and is waaay more accessible 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 boyfriend 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.

Read more…

Halloween Costume 2017: Rachael from Blade Runner

I’m slightly overdue for a How I Spent My Money post and really overdue for a lately post, but first!!! I was really happy with how my Halloween costume turned out this year, so I wanted to share this while it’s still somewhat relevant.

I didn’t have a new Halloween costume planned this year (for the one party I attended, I re-wore my Mathilda costume from The Professional, with my boyfriend as Léon), but exactly 11 days before Halloween, I decided to see if I could put together a costume for Rachael from Blade Runner.

I actually only watched the 1982 Blade Runner for the first time in August, in preparation for the release of Blade Runner 2049 in October. I was pretty psyched to finally see it, in part because my partner is a fan of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, but mostly because over the years, I’ve seen so many visually stunning GIFs and edits of the original movie that I was sure I was missing out.

I was not wrong. (I also didn’t know there was a scene of Extremely Dubious Consent, which, like, does not read well in 2017, but I get what was trying to be conveyed… I just don’t think it was executed well.)

ANYWAY, I spent the 11 nights leading up to Halloween making Amazon Prime orders and practicing victory rolls and bumper bangs and pinning and sewing and cutting and gluing and this is what I came up with:

blade runner rachael halloween costume - anothertoast - samglorious - rachel replicant sean young black skirt suit outfit 1940s victory rolls bumper bangs

Not bad, amirite?! Yeah, I’ve got a chunk of stray hair flying away, and my nail polish is too dark a shade of red, but aside from not finding a feathered owl prop in time for Halloween, I’m pretty damn pleased with myself.

I plan to post a costume guide eventually (hopefully before next Halloween, ha-ha.. ha….), and I hope I’ll be able to get a Deckard costume together for my boyfriend next year, but until then, I’ve got a pile of laundry and Sunday night to-do items to knock off my list.

Have a good one, y’all.

[EDIT: Here’s the costume guide for Rachael from Blade Runner, 4 WHOLE DAYS before Halloween!]

Halloween Costume Throwback: Léon: The Professional

A few weeks ago, I was incorrectly informed that nobody at my office would be dressing up for Halloween, so I put away all thoughts of dressing up with my boo* as Jacobim Mugatu and Derek Zoolander, or as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, or as any other partnerrific pop culture reference.

A few days ago, I was informed by our office manager that we would be having a costume contest, complete with photos and voting and prizes. I had given up all hope of coming up with a good costume for this year, but my coworker Rory came up with the brilliant idea of everyone in our block of cubicles dressing as each other, but off-by-one, clockwise. (So Rory will dress as David, David will dress as Bernardo, Bernardo will dress as me, and I will dress as Rory.)

It is a great idea, and I think it will be really, really funny.

But as much fun as it will be to figure out how to style my waist-length hair into a faux undercut worthy of Rory’s real undercut, dressing as a normal person doesn’t really satisfy my theatrical, costume-loving, bargain-hunting, cheapskate ass on Halloween…

And so, allow me to reminisce about Halloween 2015, when my boo and I dressed up as Mathilda and Léon, from Léon: The Professional (which is a GREAT movie that you should watch if you haven’t already seen it, and if you have, you should watch it again).

Leon and Mathilda from Leon: The Professional Halloween couples' costume

Here we are in our fully costumed glory, standing by the women’s restroom.

I am still suuuper proud of this costume (not least of all because I still wear the bomber jacket, choker, and t-shirt on a regular basis) and would love to find an excuse to wear it again (and take a billion photos, instead of, like, three).

I had a hard time finding useful resources when I was putting our costumes together, so I’ll have a post up soon with a detailed rundown of how I did it, in case anyone else wants to dress as Mathilda and Léon!

(You know who wants to dress as Mathilda and Léon? Everyone. EVERYONE!!!)

Gary Oldman screaming EVERYONE from Leon: The Professional

*I don’t usually refer to my boyfriend as my boo, but I’m trying to be festive and spooky.

[EDIT: The costume guide is finally live! Check it out here: Mathilda from Léon: The Professional Halloween Costume]