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 (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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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 boyfriend’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. I am far too comfortable and too content and too scared to leave San Francisco any time soon.

And beyond the thicket of fear that is the prospect of uprooting my life here, of moving far enough away from my mom and my family and friends that the number of times I can expect to see them before they or I die dwindles from the hundreds into the dozens, is the insidious thought that I wouldn’t be able to survive in New York City unless I were working a high-paying tech job.

Then again, I don’t think I can survive in San Francisco unless I’m working a high-paying tech job either.

It’s too black and white to be true, the idea that I have to either have a tech job or die. (After all, why not both?)

But it feels true. I know it’s just a story I tell myself out of habit, and I’m working on finding a new angle, but it’s like every time I try to look at it directly, it goes blurry around the edges and I can’t hold it in my mind.

Every few days (or hours), I regret quitting my six-figure tech job, 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 can’t yet see a way forward that doesn’t involve either forcing myself into another tech job, or dying. I’m trying to remind myself that my emotions make sense. That my response was a reasonable one, and that if I don’t or can’t work in tech again, I’ll still be okay, somehow. That it’s possible I’ll recover my original enthusiasm for web development, given enough time and room to breathe. And that until then, my most important task 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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