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.

If you ahahahaha my god what a thought – if you don’t support the Black Lives Matter movement why are you reading this blog??? get away from me.

If you do but you 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]

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 (05.15.20)

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.

samglorious - anothertoast - shein matte oversized double hair clips barrettes

(oversized matte hair clips from SHEIN)

Helllllooooooooo. I’m writing this intro on Thursday night, from the dining room table, where I’m folded up on my chair in cute floral-embroidered sweatpants and an ancient, ratty sweatshirt that may have once belonged to my uncle. The cat is curled up in a softly meeping circle on a nearby chair, snoozing on top of my partner’s sweatshirt, while my partner is at his desk, partially hidden by a piece of cardboard we hung up so I wouldn’t show up in the background of his video calls.

Since my last update, I…

…finished reading all 12 available issues of Fence by C.S. Pacat x Johanna the Mad. It was a TREAT and I’m excited for more!

…finished reading The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert. It was sexy! It was fun! I love consent!!! This book was written by a pan woman of color, whose writing voice was probably a huge factor in why I wasn’t squicked out by the sexual content, as I sometimes am in M/F romances. (The male love interest is bi, which also helps.)

…finished reading The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World by Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips. I didn’t really like it, but eh. It was largely about VR and how to build empathy into tech, but the author lost me within the first few pages because I have very little interest in listening to someone who thinks politics are a matter of opinion, not morality. When children are being held in cages and hate crimes are on the rise and people are being urged to risk their health to go to work in the middle of the pandemic for the sake of the economy, it is… literally a matter of morality. I just didn’t think the information in this book was particularly insightful, and I was disappointed that it took an entire book to basically say “People want to use VR for sex, but also for therapy” and “We need more diversity in tech.”

…started reading Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (aka the author of several of my favorite Drarry fics), and it is SO FUCKING GOOD. It’s magical! It’s dark!! It’s feminist!!! I don’t even want to finish reading it because I don’t want the book to end!!!!

…somehow came across and read “unbelievable” by mullethyuck, a Bee Movie AU NCT fic where Mark Lee is introduced as “Mark. Mark Bee.” I truly love fandom.

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lately (03.31.20)

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.

anothertoast - samglorious - quarantine selfie

our bathroom is kinda gross, and so am i!

SOOO. Shortly after my last update, San Francisco issued a shelter-in-place order, closely followed by California issuing a stay-at-home order. I am so, so relieved that I was able to convince my mom to take one more sick day and avoid going into work, because the shelter-in-place order came literally hours later, so it would’ve been pointless exposure to other people if she’d gone in anyway.

(My uncle is still going into work, as he’s considered an essential worker. He takes public transportation and lives in the same house as my mom, so we’re still pretty worried he could get sick (and subsequently, so could my mom), but there doesn’t seem to be much to be done about it other than being as careful as possible.)

I am not an epidemiologist, but I have vague, wild hopes that because the Bay Area has so many tech workers (almost 30% of all private sector workers, according to Wikipedia), and because so many tech companies encouraged WFH pretty early in March, with most mandating it by mid-March – I have the vague, wild hope that regionally, at least, we might’ve slowed the spread enough (by taking so many people aka disease vectors out of their typical travel + interaction paths) to buy our healthcare workers more time. More time for PPE to be produced and distributed, more time for ventilators to be produced or refurbished, more time for hotel rooms to be requisitioned as quarantine facilities, more time for people to realize how seriously we need to take this.

I’m probably wrong. But I hope I’m right.

This post is basically gonna be a wall of text given the fact that I’ve been sheltering in place, but since my last update I…

…left the house a handful of times for 1) paranoia-inducing walks around the block (followed by religious hand-washing and surface-disinfecting), and 2) starting the car engine, once, just to let it run for a couple minutes. Sunlight is great! So is fresh air! I’ve completely given up on sunscreen! A whole new world!

…made one last trip to the grocery store before settling in at home for a couple weeks. It’s been 2 weeks since my last update, and I’m hoping we can hold out for a few more days before another trip to the grocery store. We can survive on what we have in the pantry, but it’s getting kinda depressing.

On our last trip, a lot of things were sold out, so I’m just going to give my late-February self a pat on the back for preemptively buying a carton of eggs on every grocery trip (though it seemed ridiculous at the time), and for freezing an extra loaf of sliced bread. We’re down to a couple butt pieces now, and I (like everyone else) am contemplating… a sourdough starter. I’m not sure how long our flour will last us, though, between baking and feeding the starter. (I’d considered buying extra flour and sugar and yeast in early March but then decided I was overreacting. I was a FOOL.)

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lately (03.15.20)

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.

Henlo, friends.

San Francisco had its first 2 confirmed cases of coronavirus a few days into March, both from community spread, and we’re up to 37 cases as of this morning (up from 28 yesterday).

I think most of the city has hunkered down for a long stay at home by now. The coronavirus is very much here, and while I continue to worry for the rest of the state (and the country, and the world), I feel pretty relieved by the measures my own city has taken to make sure we take care of each other.

(Some of those measures: Events and gatherings have been shut down or restricted, schools have been closed, school breakfasts and lunches are being made available for pickup, libraries and rec centers have been converted to emergency childcare centers for kids of healthcare workers and kids from low-income families, the citywide sick leave policy has been expanded, and utility shutdowns have been prohibited. It’s all disruptive, but it feels hopeful that we’re taking this seriously, in a very community-focused way.)

It feels weird that this thing I’ve been low-key panicking about since January is now a thing that most people around me are panicking about, but at this point I don’t care how many of them were mocking people like me for “overreacting” about things “unlikely to happen.” Sure, I still wanna yell at them for only believing what’s up after it affected a fuckin NBA player, but however people get here – I’m glad they’re here. We all need to work together to protect each other. As someone on Twitter said, “This is a group exercise, and we pass or fail together.”

My partner’s WFH indefinitely, and I couldn’t have picked a better person to be holed up with. I’ve been feeling extra grateful for him and my family lately.

So as you can imagine, things have been pretty quiet, but since my last update I…

…started joining NCT group orders because there aren’t enough EXO group orders to stress-join right now. So far I’ve joined GOs for an NCT 127 varsity jacket (which is absolutely sick; the back is embroidered with a massive dragon head), Mark Lee stickers and washi tape, a whole bunch of Neo Zone stickers, and some stickers of the other NCT boys.

…joined a couple more EXO GOs, including orders for a bucket hat (never thought I’d ever be swayed into buying a bucket hat, but… slap a fandom logo on it and I’m sold, I guess), beaded bracelets, and phone cases.

…bought a couple things from the official NCT 127 website: a physical Neo Zone album (the yellow/N version) and a “Kick It” sweatshirt. The sweatshirt design features the Chinese characters for “hero,” since the Korean title for “Kick It” is “Hero.” Feels kinda empowering to want giant Chinese characters on my clothes instead of being ashamed that I’ll never be white enough to be likable, ya know?

…lit a lot of candles. I’ve mostly been burning Frostbeard Studio’s Christmas at the Burrow (which smells like Christmas baking) and Bath & Body Works’ 3-wick Mango Mai Tai (which smells like tropical fruit with a little too much sugar), but I also recently acquired 3-wicks of Fiji White Sands (as mentioned by Baekhyun during an Instagram Live; it smells the way lying on a hot beach reading a steamy fic feels), White Tea & Sage (leans a little too floral for me, but it’s nice and clean, like something you’d smell in a yoga studio’s bathroom), and Paris Café (smells rich and deliciously coffee bean-y, with a touch of sweetness). I know it’s not great for indoor air quality to burn a lot of candles, but it’s hella hygge and I’ve needed a lot of soothing lately.

bath and body works 3 wick candles - mango mai tai - fiji white sands - white tea & sage - paris cafe

I’m particularly fond of the White Tea & Sage container. The concrete is just very satisfying.

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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

LOOK AT HIM!!!

…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.

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SuperM in San Jose (02.02.2020) – Concert Recap

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.

SuperM concert - stage photo - San Jose SAP Center - kpop EXO SHINee NCT 127 WayV - Baekhyun Taemin Kai Taeyong Ten Lucas Mark

(photo from SuperM’s official Twitter account)

TO THOSE ABOUT TO JOP:

This post is WAY too long, but I’m writing this for me, so I don’t even care (여긴 우릴 태울 stage).

Let the jopping begin.

On February 2, 2020, I jopped from Floor 1, Row 2 at the SuperM concert at SAP Center in San Jose. As the kids say, I had barricade. 😎

SuperM San Jose SAP Center - barricade floor seat - EXO lightstick Version 3 Eribong

(That’s not actually saying much, since the floor had assigned seating, and my section of the floor was only 2 seats deep, so everyone who wanted barricade got barricade. Also, SAP Center has a fairly big gap between the barricade and the stage, wide enough for a cameraperson and dolly to pass through with room to spare, so we certainly weren’t close enough to, like, reach out to the members in a desperate plea for a brief hand touch (which I’m pretty sure I would’ve done if I thought there was any chance they could reach me). But anyway.)

My seat was in the second row, on the far right (stage left) side of the floor, right next to the walkway that led from the main stage to the extended stage. I genuinely could not believe how close I was. The members walked by so many times, and literally every time, I completely froze up, as I am wont to do around EXTREMELY HOT PEOPLE.

But let me back up.

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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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