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Jun. 12th, 2016

soul

(no subject)

A weird thing kinda happened today.

I was walking out of McDonalds and a homeless guy asked me for some food. Without hesitation, I turned back and I handed him one of the Big Macs I had just bought. He thank me and I walked away, wondering why the hell I just did that.

I like to think I'm a good person most of the time. I try very hard not to be mean and evil because I know my personality leans towards being unkind. It's something I'm aware of so I try actively to be better. I may not be a good person by default, but damn it, I'm going to try my best to counteract it.

But that's probably why I feel uneasy about the whole exchange. I know homelessness isn't a choice. And that it's hard to get out of. I try to give people down on their luck the benefit of the doubt and try to think the best of them. So even though my mind is thinking awful things that everyone thinks of the homeless, I try through my actions to be better than that.

I always said I would give a homeless person food if they ever needed it instead of money. They can't exactly use a sandwich to buy booze or drugs, right? But it's never happened before. I've never run across a homeless person while I had something to give on me (aside from cash, but hell if I'm ever going to show my wallet to someone homeless -- and there goes my mind going to nasty places again...) before. Until today. Is that why I gave him a Big Mac? I really don't know.

I wasn't even going to go to McDonalds. I don't particularly like their food, even though Big Macs are my weakness, but it's a National Streetpass Weekend and I wanted to take advantage of that. And I wanted to try their strawberry lemonade. But like I said, Big Macs are my weakness and they have that McPick 2 for $5 promotion so I decided to get a Big Mac for now, and to squirrel away the other as a snack later. I wasn't buying the other Big Mac for someone, and I really don't need to eat two Big Macs so it's perfectly give awayable. Plus, it's not like $2.50 is going to hurt me. I spend much more than that just on the strawberry lemonade and all Starbucks I drink.

It's like a good deed for $2.50.

But I still feel uneasy. Did I just enable this guy? Is her going to panhandle more because I gave in? Obviously it works since I gave him food. Why would he stop if it works? Am I contributing to the homelessness problem that's already become a problem, even in my small town? Is my good deed ultimately not good? I feel like I should have walked away. But would I feel the same sort of guilt if I did? Or guilt of a different kind? I have no idea if what I did was wrong or not, only that I feel kinda weird about it. Good because I hope I did help that homeless guy but I have no idea if I did or not. Bad because I feel like I just enabled him and bad because I feel bad for thinking that way. :\

Apr. 15th, 2016

soul

(no subject)

I called 911 for real a few weeks ago. For the first time.

I was at work and someone had collapsed. She had passed out and was lying on the ground like she was dead. I thought she was dead. Her husband was right next to her. They were an older Native American couple that I see around maybe once a month, or maybe once every couple of months.

The way he sounded when he called out her name, begging her not to do this to him and to wake up... I don't think I will ever forget how it sounded for the rest of my life. I've never heard such blind panic before.

So I grabbed my cell and I called 911, hoping to get help in time. Thankfully, she came back to during the phone call, but it was while I was relaying things back and forth with the operator and her husband that I found out she was in her early 60s (slightly older than my own father!!), and that they both had diabetes. The husband was afraid it was stroke or a heart attack, but when the paramedics came, they determined her blood pressure was good and that her heart rate was in the 30s and was what had made her pass out when she bent down to pick something up.

They thought there might be a blockage or something else that was causing the low heart rate and because it was bouncing back up to normal, they determined it was best if they took her to the hospital for further tests.

I have no idea if she's okay now. I hope she is. It would be a shame if something more happened to her.

What made me think of this now is that someone I knew moderately well just passed way along similar circumstances early this week. He was with his wife, shopping at a mall and had just had Mexican for lunch when he felt like he had some horrible heartburn. And then he collapsed right there. It was a heart attack. They tried shocking him, but it was too late. He didn't even make it to the hospital. And he was only 41.

It's crazy. I just saw him last week too. He seemed perfectly fine. I mean, he was morbidly obese so we all knew it probably wouldn't end well with him but none of us ever thought he would go this soon. I always assumed that once he retired, he would take better care of himself now that he had all this free time. And he retired less than half a year ago! He didn't even really get to enjoy his freedom! It's such a damn shame.

He left behind three daughters, two of which are still in high school... His own mother only passed away two years ago... *shakes head* Everything about this is depressing.

His funeral is on Sunday, which by some extreme coincidence, none of us can go to because Sunday is my niece's 100 Day party. It's been planned for weeks now and there's a ton of family and friends invited so it's not like we can get out of it.

And through all this, I can't but be selfish and think of myself, my own mortality, and of that of the people around me. It's sad and scary and I just don't know anything anymore... It just makes me want to hide away in my house and never come out again.

Dec. 12th, 2015

soul

(no subject)

I am feeling rather anxious... But it's typical for this time of the year... It's almost Christmas so that means a lot of things to do...

Giftwise, I'm pretty good. I have something for everyone and I'm working on something for my sister... I don't know how it'll turn out but I'm feeling hopeful about it. It's going better than I thought it would at least...

I'm also doing Reddit's Secret Santa exchange so this year I have an extra person to shop for. I did international and now I kinda regret it. It was super expensive and in a way, I feel like I might relate better to an another American. It didn't help that my giftee is basically Reddit's core demographic -- white, 20-something male gamer. I was really hoping for another geek to geek out for... Anyway, I didn't feel like I did my best... :( But hopefully it was good enough.

And now I still have shopping to do. I still have some Christmas baking to do but I can't start on it too soon or they won't be awesome...

So far, I plan to make white chocolate cranberry bars, snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, and I'm thinking gingerbread people. I bought some cute gingerbread cookie cutters last year and I want to give a gingerbread family to everyone...

But people don't really like gingerbread. And I don't do gingerbread very well either (so many bad recipes out there) so I might switch it out for something else.

I'm also thinking chocolate dipped biscotti... That in a nice bag, a tin full of cookies, a bottle of my homemade vanilla extract, a small glass jar of vanilla sugar will make out my giftbags for this year...

I want to get working on it already but if I don't time it properly, it won't work... Biscotti can keep for a while, snickerdoodles and sugar cookies can have their dough made ahead of time and frozen... Vanilla sugar takes very little time and the extract has been infusing for a while so the only thing I need to do there is buy the bottles and jars, but thank god for Amazon Prime and their 2-day shipping...

But the bars won't keep and I have no idea if gingerbread can be frozen... And it's not like they're easy and quick to make... Just decorating them takes forever.

And I also want to make some red velvet white chocolate chip cookies too... I made some last year and while I gave some to my brother's girlfriend intending on them sharing the cookies, apparently she ate them all before he could get one... And he was miffed he didn't get a tin of cookies to himself... But really, even Diana and her husband only got one giftbag to themselves too... When you're a couple, you share the swag. But now I feel guilty and feel like I want to make it up this year...

But last year I did four types of cookies too (red velvet chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, bourbon chocolate crack, and Mexican wedding) and that was a lot of baking over a one week span. I'm not totally sure I want to do more this year...especially when some of those recipes are new to me...

And what the hell is up with butter prices this year? It's like $5 a pound!! O.O

Nov. 30th, 2015

soul

(no subject)



NaNoWriMo is over! Not too bad, I think!

I didn't finish my story. T_T

But I got really close! And much further than I have with any other story I've ever done with NaNoWriMo!

I have no idea if I will ever finish my story. Or post it should I ever finish... I'm half tempted to edit it in parts, post them up as I finish edit them and then that will force me to finish writing the story because then it'll be out there and people might actually want to finish reading it. But then again, I get scared that it's absolute crap (which is a distinct possibility) and it makes no sense and I'm going to get ripped apart by the reviews and then I reconsider ever even thinking about posting it out there...

Geez, things were a lot easier when you're a fearless kid... Now I'm old and I worry about everything...

Nov. 14th, 2015

soul

(no subject)

So, somehow I managed to get past 30K words today. Yay...

I'm not too enthused because ever since I skipped that one part of the story, I feel like I'm out of sync with my story. It's not coming as easily as it was before and I don't know, I just don't feel as much passion as I did. Maybe it was always going to happen. I mean, I'm finally writing my own story, one that isn't dictated by canon after all. And maybe I just hit a natural slump since I'm this far into the story. I don't know, but whatever writing I'm doing now, it's slow going...

Still, I'm not doing that badly, I think. The weird thing is I think I've developed a bit of complex with my dialogue. Because it is an anime fanfic, sometimes, I can't help but think what these characters might say in Japanese at certain times. And then I write in English my sorta translation of it and it's making my dialogue somewhat weird and stilted. I need to get away from that, but at the same time, I want it to feel like these characters could be saying what they're saying and part of it is dictated by what Japanese would say at certain times. OTL

And another issue is that I'm treading very close to Victorious Kiss 3Q right now. I've avoided doing anything similar so far but it's really hard because I've come to think of certain moments as practically canon and I feel like I need to steer my story towards it. I guess that's what I get for rereading it so many times since I got it last week... It's ingrained itself into my head. I love it, but I can't copy it. I absolutely cannot copy it!

But aside from that, I guess NaNo is moving along well for me. And outside of that, Oregon won against Stanford today!! We knocked them out of the playoffs! Whoo! That's revenge for those back to back years where they knocked us out of the National Championship!

Nov. 12th, 2015

soul

(no subject)

You know what? I can't stand it. Knowing what I know, knowing what I lack, I find myself at a standstill...

Even though I committed to the next part of my story, this overwhelming feeling of unease is paralyzingly me. I know I can move on. I know what I wanted to do -- scenes that I planned to use are in still there, I just wanted to weave them through the established canon. Unfortunately, I'm just not able to do that now.

I want to write but I don't at the same time. I can't get over the fact that this feels very wrong to me. I write linearly -- one thing leads to another to another and it all builds on what went before. I don't skip to the good parts, I sludge through to get there. That's just the type of person I am.

So, I've decided to take today. I'll read up to volume 25. It'll take a while but I don't read that slow. And if I have time, maybe I can do some writing today... I don't type that slow but working with canon is always so going for me so who know how it'll go.

I feel slightly better about this but I'm still not totally okay with it. Usually, I'd like to ruminate on the canon , think of how I can work around it but I feel like this is really rushed. I don't think I can bring out the best as I am now. Or even after devouring several volumes at once. I probably should skip this section of my story anyway. At least I'll have it in my mind to work from instead of having this blank.

Oh man, I just don't know what to do. I've decided on something but is it the right thing to do? Am I overthinking this too much? This NaNo seriously is the most troublesome I've ever been in.

edit x1: You know what, I'll sleep when I'm dead. I'm going to make this work somehow...
soul

(no subject)

NaNo really is a roller coaster ride this year!

I got to a really good place with my writing yesterday. I finished what I wanted to do, got to where I thought I needed to be and was rolling on so smoothly, it felt like I could continue forever. I had a handle of my story! It was exactly where it needed to be! What could go wrong?

But now...

Not knowing the full canon is really kicking me in the ass. Like, I fucked up so badly. I totally miscalculated. I should have realized when I watched the Tip Off episode. I should have realized when I realized volume 25 was dedicated to the Teikou 3rd year. And I thought since I got the gist of that volume, that I would be okay.

Nope, not fine. Because the whole Teikou arc? It started at the end of volume 23. I'm still two volumes behind. I had no idea there was enough in the manga to cover all three years of Teikou.

Why the hell didn't I check before now? Why didn't I check the volume before and after 25 when I realized what volume 25 was about? How could I be SO STUPID. And there's no way for me to write a coherent story without knowing that era. I mean, geez! What the hell! All my talk about canon... I should have realized it was impossible if you don't have the full canon with you.

The worst part of this is that I'm there in my story. I have no idea where my source material is in the manga so I'll never be able to find the right parts for my story... I'm so tempted to just skip the whole thing. The thing is, I kinda wanted Kise to fall in love during that time -- those couple of months when things were working right with the team before Aomine started going off the rails and up the 2nd Championship. And I wanted Kuroko to start kinda soften towards Kise so it's actually an important part of my story so how can I skip it?

I really can't. Not in the story at least.

But what I can do is skip it for now. I'll come back to it after I get a chance to get to the manga. I should have used today to catch up but I've been making a ton of stupid decisions when it comes to NaNo lately so of course I didn't. I mean, seriously, what was I thinking? Writing a fanfic for a series that's over? That's like perfect! All you need to do is know what happened in the series by finishing the damn thing! Why would you ever go and write a fanfic where you're only 2/3 of the way through? I doomed myself from the very beginning. So stupid...

Anyway, so I've decided to skip it for now. I'll jump to the next major point in my story -- Kise convincing Kuroko to go to Kaijou. It's in that time after the 3rd Championship when Kuroko decided to quit the club and basically decide to skip school all the time. I seriously have no idea how that's possible since the Championship is probably in July/August so the 3rd years can retire and focus on entrance exams. Final grades for the second semester will be in December and exams will happen in January and Febuary so that's like seven or eight months that Kuroko would have to be absent for. No matter how great his perfect attendance is before he started skipping, I sincerely doubt he'll be able to graduate if he decides to skip for that length of time... So I'll have to come up with something.

So that's where I'm at. My story wasn't supposed to focus so much on Teikou but when I realized I wanted Kise to fall in love first, I realized it had to be during that 2nd year when he first joined the team. So that's why I've spent 20K words on it. OTL

This was supposed to be about Kaijou Kise/Kuroko. I feel like I've let my story get away from me. At this rate, I'll never actually make it there in 50K words! It'll have to happen in the sequel! I'm laughing so much because there isn't going to be a sequel! No way! This story has grown way too freaking big. I was way too ambitious! Oh god, what a fucking mess. And not to mention, I don't feel good about jumping over this rather important part of my story, even if it is temporary. I wanted to discover in love!Kise, use that to transition to this part of the story that I want to write. I mean, I know how I have Kise falling for Kuroko, I just haven't explored it in depth the way I would if I were writing it out. *sigh* I just feel uneasy about this. And slightly guilty. This was supposed to be the fun part of my story too...I've spent the most time thinking about this part of the story. I mean, it's Kaijo KiKuro so of course, I had to think of a way to get them there in the first place. Kise is easy but Kuroko? After what happened in the 3rd Championship? Yeah, that was always going to be a problem. But I've thought it out properly, planned it out like I was supposed to and I was looking forward to writing this part of the story.

Frankly, I had planned on this being a focal point. It's one of the reasons why Victorious Kiss 3Q made me so upset -- it did what I wanted to do the most and did it better than I could have ever done it. So now I now I feel uneasy because there's a hole in my story. And I feel excited because I'm going to write what I wanted to write about since the beginning, the reason why I started this story in the first place! There's always something you want to see happen when you write a fic, right? This is my moment. You build up to it properly and then you go have fun. I haven't built up to it properly so I don't feel good about it at all... But this is what I wanted to write the most! So I'm still excited to see it come to life. But I'm also guilty that I feel that way because I failed as a author because of my lack of preparation.

I really have no idea what kind of story this is going to be. Thank god, I currently have no plans to actually post this anywhere. It's such a mess, it's probably going to take me forever to rewrite...if I ever rewrite it...

And now I've shifted back to hating NaNo. But just wait! In two or three days, when I have my story rolling again, I'll probably be flying high again. Or not. I might just hate it even more at that time. I don't know. Right now I just feel like I suck so badly at writing. And at NaNo. It all just sucks.

(But I am still writing, so at least there's that...? OTL)

Nov. 11th, 2015

soul

(no subject)

NaNo went super smooth for me today.

Or so I thought.

And then I realized the anime sorta contradicts what I wrote since I was basing everything on the manga. I mean, I've seen half of the first season of Kuroko no Basket but I've read 20 volumes so all I really know is the manga. Unfortunately, the Tip Off special is in the latter half of the first season that I haven't watched yet. And it messes with my story.

So what should I do? Rewrite that part of the story? If I do, I'll have to reorder it as well. Timeline wise, the anime jumped around what was written in the manga so while I could make it work, it'll take a little finesse. And they added stuff too, and I kinda do what to put that in my story, but since that part of the anime is in Kise's PoV and my story is in Kuroko's, it'll take a little work there too. Plus, I'm not really sure it's all worth it to be truthful. I liked what I wrote. It fits with the manga. It's not bad. I'm almost loathed to lose it because for once, I'm actually somewhat satisfied with what I wrote. It's not all crap! Do you know how rare it is for me to feel that way about my own writing? I suppose I feel like if I change it, what I write now will inevitably be worse than it was before. But what if it's better?
I don't know what to do.

Trying to write a story that based on canon is hard when you have two sources of canon... And when they're slightly different from each other.

I know I should have finished the manga at the very least. And it would have been better if I had finished the anime too before November. But I didn't. And I'm still working on it. I need to get to volume 25 at the very least. That seems like a very important volume since it's basically all Teikou and how they all fell apart and it's essential for my story because that's where it all comes together for Kise and Kuroko... I have to get them together at that point. If I don't, then this story is meaningless and I've failed to tell my story. OTL

I'm feeling kinda lost here. Rewrite? Add extra content? Should I push myself to match up with the anime canon? Does it even matter? Maybe I should think about this after November... They do tell you not to edit, right? Ignore the inner editor... But ugh, if it wasn't a canon issue, I would feel much better about this. I don't like stories that take place in canon to take a lot of liberties. And based on that special episode I just watched, I took a lot of liberties. o.O

So how can I ignore this?

And seriously, I felt so good about the 3K I wrote today too... I made it to 20K words total, I didn't hate what I wrote, I got to a good place in my story... And then this had to happen. It's so sad, it's funny.

OTL

NaNoWriMo, you continue to frustrate the hell out of me. Even when things are good, they're still bad.

Nov. 10th, 2015

soul

(no subject)

There's something about this year's NaNo... It feels different in every way. I feel more of afraid of my story but I'n also more excited to write. I can't say what I'm writing is any good (I'm pretty sure most of it is crap) but I feel like I'm doing better than I have in the past compared to where I'm at during the same time of the month... If that makes any sense. And it's not like I'm writing more or anything like that... I do about 1800 words, a little more than the daily quota. In the past, I would usually have built up a few days' cushion by now but not this year... Maybe that's keeping me from bot burning out so quickly? I don't know.

But not frantically trying to pad my word count means I've been able to do other things with my free time... Mostly I've been reading Kise/Kuroko raw doujinshi and watching Chihayafuru...

Raw doujinshi is AWESOME. Why have I never indulged before? And now, people are so good about putting out high quality scans... It's definitely helping my Japanese which is awesome. I just wish a lot of them weren't on tumblr... That place is exhausting trying to find download links.

As for Chihayafuru, I've just finished both seasons! It reminds me so much of Hikaru no Go, I couldn't help but fall in love with it. But it's also so freaking heartbreaking that it destroys me.

I mean, I like Arata. A lot. I seriously think Chihaya is in love with him too. And he likes her! And they love karuta together! It should be perfect...

But then there's Taichi! Who is always there! And the story makes you feel sorry for him. And since Arata is hardly ever there, Taichi is the one person you get to know. And I want him to be happy....

Ugh, that series... I'm not even sure how I want the manga to end anymore... Can't they all just be friends? :(

Nov. 7th, 2015

soul

NaNoWriMo 2015

How long has it been since I last wrote anything in my LJ? A year? Two? After making the transition to AO3 as my center of fanfic reading, I haven't been using LJ at all... Instead, the stuff I usually would write about in my LJ, I would tweet about. Or maybe write a FB post if I needed something longer. And the longer I stayed away from LJ, the harder it was to come back.

But I've gone through a ton of emotions today and I need to decompress somehow. A tweet isn't going to cut it. (I tried.) My FB post was too brief and I was hesitant to go in depth about my fannish ways. So here I am, back at my LJ.

NaNoWriMo talk/rant/me going a bit insaneCollapse )

Oct. 17th, 2014

soul

(no subject)

Top Chef is back!!!

I love Top Chef!

I love food, I like the art of cooking (not necessarily cooking myself, but I do enjoy it when I've made something good -- it's just that process of getting there and sometimes having it not be good that makes me conflicted about it), and I like watching people make delicious things. So of course, I've been waiting for Top Chef to come back on the air as soon as it went off the air.

This year they're in Boston and there are not one, but two Portland chefs!! That's so awesome! We've never had any Portland chefs on before! So of course, I'm rooting for both of them. Gregory Gourdet already won a sudden death quickfire and Doug Adams was in the top three of the elimination challenge so I'm footing good about their chances. I generally root for any and all Asians (represent!), so Mei Lin and Melissa King (? she didn't get much screen time this first episode so I don't have a good feel for her yet) are automatically on my list. And Mei Lin was so freaking badass with the lobster she basically became my favorite chef within the first five minutes of the episode. It certainly didn't hurt she won the elimination challenge with a congee! Oh how I ADORE congee... There's rarely a congee I don't love (probably blood pudding congee but I just can't do blood in my food -- I just can't!) and she made a congee that was complex and surprising...who can say that? He's to hoping it's Mei Lin for the win! (That or Doug, or Dougie as he likes to be called. I have a pretty good feeling about him too.)

And lastly Katsuji Tanabe... He's Mexican-Japanese, he's Jewish, he cooks kosher, he makes tacos in Beverly Hills... He's just so interesting. I like him but I can already see he's one of those chefs that has way too many ideas and way too much unbridled passion... That could be a good thing and he can turn out genius dishes. But then he can also turn out some hot messes... I just hope he lasts for a while because he's really different and I like that about him. And he counts as a half Asian so I was already pulling for him out of the gate but with all the other stuff, I just feel like he's the guy I'm going to be hoping isn't eliminated every week...because he'll always be in danger of going off the tracks. He's the guy I root for out of sympathy.

Overall, I'm feeling this season already. Although, Padma got on my nerves a bit, which is new. I know a lot of Top Chef fans can't really stand her and have this crazy hate towards her, but I've never felt that way before so I've never really understood it... But today, I thought she was being a bit too overly dramatic about the fatty pork belly (I like my pork belly super fatty so I'm biased), and I really hope this isn't the start of my conversion to one of those people who has so much hate and disdain for her...

Oct. 6th, 2014

soul

(no subject)

Ever have one of those dreams that stick with you, even days after you had it? I never did. My best dreams and my worst dreams never linger more than the day I had them. I vaguely remember some of them now...dreams about teeth falling out are very freaky and driving when I was too young to drive tend to stick with me. And actually, I think both of them have the same sort of dream meaning -- things out of my control / me feeling out of control in my life...

Anyway, a few days ago, I had this awful dream. It started off innocently. I was using Find My iPhone to track my mother's cell phone. She was out with my siblings and we (me and my dad) were wondering where they were and when they would come home... Apparently in my dream, Find My iPhone has a function where you can turn on the camera and see and hear everything around the phone. My brother was driving on one of those elevated freeways and they were apparently in a traffic jam. And for some reason, there were no borders and all of a sudden, the cars around my brother's car started surging and they pushed one of the other cars off the freeway, sending it crashing down. The horror and fear in my brother's voice when he realized what happened is something that is still freaking me out. I've never even heard that voice before so I have no idea where my subconscious got it from... He kept yelling for someone to call 911 but before anyone could do so, everyone stuck in that traffic jam started to freak out and all started to move, trying to get away from that horrible fate happening to them. Of course, this causes more cars to be jolted off the freeway, one of them being my brother's car. All the while, with me and my dad watching it on the iPad. And the broken sound that came from my father as he realized his wife and two of his kids were probably dead was another sound I will never get out of my mind.

It was so horrifying... And of course, I woke immediately up from that dream, completely shaken. I was wide awake, and I felt like I never wanted to fall asleep again because that dream would be waiting for me... *shudders* And now I can't shake it. My mind keeps slipping towards it and because I'm actively trying to forget it, that just sends me back to thinking about it.

I really wish I could just have my good dreams. Why a nightmare? :( It's just not cool. And I don't even have nightmares generally. I think I've had a handful in the past decade. It's been several years since I even had a nightmare so maybe I was due? I just wish it wasn't so awful...

Sep. 23rd, 2014

soul

(no subject)

Trying out this new LJ app for Android and I've got to say, it's a lot slicker than the old one. Although, I was perfectly fine with the old one since I didn't exactly use any of the extra features other than the journaling part of it. Still, I am a sucker for thongs that look good and this app definitely looks a lot better than the old one. Whether or not it works better remains to be seen since I haven't had much of a chance to play with it yet.

So, lately I've been trying to stop habit of having late night snacks. I can help but think they are making me fat... But since I got into a routine of having a little something something every night before bed, now I feel like I'm starving during those couple of hours before I turn in.... :\ It's gonna take a bit getting to use to, that's for sure.

Last night, I had to restrain myself from making some ramen. Or a quick hot dog. I didn't even let myself have a granola bar. But I ended torturing myself by looking at food blogs, tempting myself with yummy foods I wasn't allowed to eat. In hindsight, that was a really stupid idea. But one of those foods was a broccoli salad, something I haven't had in years...

So preoccupied with this broccoli salad was I that I couldn't let it go, not even when I went to sleep. So I ended up making some for lunch. Broccoli, cashews, onions and bacon covered in a tangy, sweet mayo dressing -- it was glorious. I think I've satisfied my broccoli salad craving for at least another couple of years.

And in other news, fall TV has started premiering! So much new TV! But I still haven't caught up on old TV... Or even just summer TV... And now I have Netflix... There's just too much to watch and not enough time in the day. I don't think I can watch it all or even catch up. I'm probably going to have to stop my Netflix subscription and give up on a good number of shows that I'm not totally interested in.... :( I'm still wondering if I should finish Halt and Catch Fire (computer revolution in the 80s) or Manhattan (Manhattan Project)... They're good and all but I always feel like these sort of shows (not set in modern time) takes a bit more brain power to watch and really, I like my mindless entertainment. Frankly, I like entertaining TV and it always feels like these shows are always trying to say something. There's a reason I never finished the last two seasons of Mad Men (besides Lane killing himself T_T)...

We'll see... I'm gonna have to give setting up eventually...

Sep. 19th, 2014

soul

(no subject)

So, it's football season again. Week three just started with a rather dismal showing from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (I stopped watching in the 3rd, which considering it was 42-0 at that point, was probably too long to have kept watching) and my Seahawks have lost their first game of the season.

And I've started watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix. It's not really my thing, the football thing aside. It's set in Texas, probably my most hated state, it's about Middle America, which isn't my favorite demographic, it's South with a capital S... But it does have Kyle Chandler whom I adored in Early Edition and it has Jason Katims on production who does Parenthood. And I've always heard good things about and everybody knows how it survived multiple cancellations... It's practically legendary. And it is about football. So I decided to give it a try.

And then today, I get to the episode where it becomes clear Matt's grandmother is suffering from dementia. She wanders out, got lost, went into someone else's home and started taking a bath. She then gets discovered by the family who lives in the house in question and gets escorted home in a police car in tears, all the while her grandson is frantically combing the neighborhood trying to find his grandmother.

The whole thing was enough to make me stop watching. I started tearing up and then they became actual tears and I was struck by a wave of emotion.

It's been over a year since my grandmother died. Actually, it's been a year and one month. And I still seem to be affected by it. Is that normal? Shouldn't I be less emotional about it now? Having lived through a grandparent having dementia, being responsible for them, making sure they ate and took their meds, I'm not really sure I want to continue watching. Because if it's anything I know about dementia, it's that it always gets worse. And just when you think it's gotten bad enough, it'll get even worse. Seeing Matt deal with all of that, alone, doesn't sound all too fun to me.

Maybe I should just stick to watching real football games... But there's only football four days in a week... Five if you count high school, but really, I don't care all that much about high school football. At least there's a narrative when it's fictionalized... :\

Jul. 20th, 2014

soul

(no subject)

I bought my first red onion recently.

I can't be the only one who has been a bit perturbed by a red onion. Or red cabbage for that matter. Or even red kohlrabi... Red vegetables that aren't normally red freak me out just a little bit. So I've spent most of my life avoiding them. I can't say I've ever had red onions before. Or red cabbage. Certainly not red kohlrabi.

But now I'm finding myself a little more adventurous when it comes to my foodstuff. And in the grand scheme of things, red onions aren't as freaky as some of the other foods out there -- blood pudding, for example, which I still can't stomach in my bun bo hue. Or in my congee for that matter. And fun fact -- it's apparently Cantonese people eat it all the time. Just not this Cantonese person. Sometimes I wonder how I would be like if my family had eaten it ever since I was a young kid, too young to know better or to be grossed out by it like how I was with tripe and chicken feet (both delicious). I could have grown up eating it, like it, and not have this weird inhibition towards it whenever I see it. But I didn't, why I have no idea since both my parents apparently enjoy it, and now I can never get over that first initial hurdle where I put something that I know is made of blood in my mouth, much less chew it and swallow it. *shudders* It's solidified pig's blood -- why would anyone do that to themselves?!

So when you compare red onions to blood, red onions are a far tamer food to try eating. Mostly, I just wanted to put onions in my sandwiches that weren't as strong as the normal yellow onions I use. And everything online tells me that if I wanted to eat onion raw, red onions are the way to go. So that's the way I went.

And oh my god, how good are they! It's like having all the yummyness of onions but without the lasting burn. And it certainly elevated my turkey sandwiches, which were good before, but are amazing now... Lately, I've been sprouting my own alfalfa sprouts (very easy and really quick too) so I've been doing alfalfa sprouts, honey smoked turkey, pepperjack cheese with oat-nut bread (my favorite because the protein). I've been using homestyle mayo, which I can't tell the difference from regular mayo besides the thickness of it, and course ground dijon mustard. That with a sprinkling of black pepper makes for a superb sandwich, chock full of protein. Did you know alfalfa sprouts are almost one half protein? I didn't but now I know. And now adding red onions to it just made my sandwiches so much better...

Mmm... I just had a sandwich and now just writing about it makes me want to have another... But two sandwiches is a bit overkill... >

Jun. 28th, 2014

soul

(no subject)

I think it's been months since I last wrote anything in my LJ. I keep meaning to, but then I get lazy, or tired, and I decide to do something else instead. And ever since my fanfic reading has moved away from LJ to AO3, I've been hanging out more and more there than I do here which doesn't help things.

Anyway, a quick update. Right now I'm constantly tired. I always feel like I'm in need of a nap. Most of it is due to the fact that there are way too many things to watch right now -- the World Cup, Wimbledon, summer cable TV has started up and it seems like the big network channels have followed suit (somewhat) in the last few years giving us short summer series too... And add on to it, I've started watching Pokemon from the very first episode, in order. They have all of the episodes online to stream so it makes it easy. I think I got through almost 200 of the episodes before the World Cup started. I'll be going back once it's over but damn, there are a lot of Pokemon episodes out there! I remember watching up through the Orange League back when I was a teenager, which apparently is just a drop in the ocean...

What it has done is make me really into Pokemon. God, they're so freaking cute. I want plushies of all of them, but especially some of my favorite ones (Charmander, Pikachu, Slowpoke, Psyduck) and they can get so tiny and adorable that I want to spend all my money on importing them from Japan...

And it makes me want to play the games again... I stopped playing after the Black/White 2 series simply because XY was on the 3DS and I still only have a DS Lite... But now I want to buy myself a 3DS and Pokemon X (although I kinda want Y too...), and that's sorta insane, right? I didn't even get that far in White 2, mostly because most of my gaming now is done on either my phone (Android) or on the iPad, which seems easier? My DS Lite certainly has gotten much less love the last year or two than it has in any other time since I got it... :\ But still, I'm tempted.

Another thing that's been happening lately is that for the first time in a few years, my allergies went into overdrive. It was insane. I was sneezing all the time, and despite being stuffed up, I was blowing my nose constantly because of how much mucus was in my nose. It was super gross. At times, it felt like I couldn't breath, or rather, it was hard to draw a deep breath. I had that happen before but it usually didn't last as long or was as bad as it was this year. And it was affecting my sleep, so that also made me super tired. I kept waking up from it, which was not fun. And once awake, it was hard to fall back asleep with the brightness of the morning sun on me. The sun comes up so freaking early this time of year (before 5 AM even!) and while I never used to have a problem falling asleep with light, now I'm not so great with it. Or maybe I just dealt with bad sleep better when I was younger. I don't know, I just know that I sleep a bit better when it's completely dark.

Anyway, I turned to a nasal rinse to ease my suffering, which was something I never thought I would do. It's like the neti pot, except instead of using that, I use a squeeze bottle full of saline that uses a bit of pressure to get up into my sinuses and out the other nostril... It's a bit like trying to drown yourself. At first, I wasn't really leaning forward enough and it kept coming out of my mouth so that wasn't fun. It's salty and when it goes out your mouth, it also is going down your throat and I have a sensitive stomach and a super strong gag reflex. Suffice to say, it made me throw up a bit in the beginning. But I kept up with it and eventually, I got to a point where I could do it pretty easy. The trick really is to lean forward as much as you can, while tilting your head as much as you can. That keeps the saline from flowing anywhere but where it's supposed to go. For some reason though, it's a lot easier when I do my right nostril and harder from my left. I have no idea why that is though... It did seem to work. I wasn't able to stop taking my antihistamines, but I was less drippy, which is really nice.

Fast forward to this week and I finally feel like I'm to a normal allergy season. My symptoms are still there but it's not as bad as it was and is about as bad as it normally is in the past few years.

And to deal with the sleep issue, I bought myself a sleeping mask. I've become one of those people who sleep with a mask on. I never thought I could and that first couple of nights was a bit rough (I don't think I ever went into REM sleep because I felt half awake the entire time I was "sleeping") but I started to get used to it around the beginning of the second week. Now, it doesn't bother me. I can fall asleep with it and I can mostly stay asleep with it on the entire time. Sometimes I wake up in the morning before I'm supposed to be awake and I tug it off, but that happens far less frequently than it did in the beginning. I was a bit surprised at how it generally stays on my head all night unless I pull it off myself. I suppose I always thought it would fall off while I move in the middle of the night but then again, I've never been much of a mover while I slept... When it comes to sleep, I'm an extremely light sleeper (unless I'm absolutely exhausted), a rather still one, and I tend to wake up in the middle of the night regardless of allergies (although allergies makes it much worse). I suppose my light sleeping has something to do with that too... But at least the mask seems to help with that... The only problem thus far seems to be the fact that it's harder to wake up with it on. I don't know how much that is to do with the fact that I haven't been getting enough sleep lately, but on the odd days that I do, I still end up having that problem... And it takes me a bit longer to fully wake up in the mornings. I feel like a zombie much longer than I generally do...

Right now I'm watching Nishikori Kei play Bolelli. It's a replay since I didn't get to see it live. Play had still been suspended due to rain when I went to sleep and I really didn't want to stay up watching Nadal play whomever he played (he had been down but then started to steamroll over his opponent when I finally went to sleep) until play resumed on the outer courts again. If it had resumed because at that point, I had no idea if they would get any more play on the courts. Plus, the soccer match between Brazil and Chile had been in a few hours and I wanted to at least get some sleep before that match. In the end, I watched Brazil luckily win with penalty kicks against a pretty good Chile team and I'm once again, sleep deprived.

This Nishikori match though, it's a bit worrying. I'm at the point where Bolelli is leading 5-4 in the fourth set, two sets to one, and after losing Li Na a few days ago, I really want the last Asian player I'm rooting for to make it but damn Bolelli's service games are so freaking good. For a lucky loser, he's playing really well! And to make matters worse for me, I find out that Serena has been upset to. :\ That freaking sucks. It's like everyone I'm supporting are dropping like flies in the 3rd round. Or even earlier like with Sloane Stephens... I can only hope I have better luck with the US Men's National Team but I'm not sure how far they can make it... I think they can beat Belgium but really, who knows with these things? I mean Brazil almost lost today, and there are people biting other people. Soccer is super unpredictable...

Okay, I'm going to try and toughen out the rest of this match and then I'm gonna take that nap that I've been putting off. I can only hope I don't fall asleep while watching it...

Mar. 26th, 2014

soul

(no subject)

So I got my matcha today! I ordered it over the weekend after buying yet another Starbucks iced green tea latte... Lately, I've been trying to taper off my coffee drinking so I've been interspersing my normal hazelnut macchiato with toffee nut instead of vanilla with iced green tea lattes. And it occurred to me that after that iced green tea latte went by wayyy too quickly, that this was something I could be making myself. It's not like my macchiatos that need a nice espresso maker to do it justice, it's just matcha, milk and simple syrup...

So instead of continually dropping $4 at Starbucks, I decided to buy some matcha and try it out. I've thought about it before but the price of matcha has always put me off... I mean, I bought my matcha from Stash and it was $18 for 30g...and from what I've seen, that's on the lower end for good matcha. Anyway, I've been anxiously awaiting my shipment of matcha ever since I ordered it since I knew it would get here relatively quickly after it shipped considering they're based in Tigard. But waiting for it to ship was driving me insane. How long does it take to package a small container of matcha? In the end, it was shipped yesterday, which I guess two days is pretty good turnaround time, and I got it today. And I immediately made my first glass of iced green tea latte.

It was good, really good. I'm not sure I was very good at getting it to dissolve though... I dissolved it in some hot water before adding sugar and milk but the milk was cold since I intended it to be on ice... Maybe I should have done it the way the Starbucks baristas do it, shake it in a shaker? But the matcha ends up on the bottom that way too so I'm not sure it would do much good.

I can't wait to have more of it. I only added a teaspoon of matcha and I still feel the buzz from the caffeine. I know it's not as big of one as I would get from coffee but it'll do. And the good thing about green tea lattes is the fact that it's pretty much all milk so I'm getting all the good stuff from it that I normally don't get because I don't drink milk. A little gas and bloating is nothing compared to the yumminess that you get from making your own green tea lattes.

The only bad thing about it is how there is... I knew 30g/1.06 oz. is a small amount but damn that little container of matcha is really small. It's cute, but tiny. And there's not that much of it... They say there's about 10-20 glasses there but considering I like my green tea lattes strong in the green tea flavor, I think it's gonna be more towards the lower end of things. Still, it's a better deal than buying that many lattes from Starbucks so at least I'm coming up ahead in that respect...

Mar. 24th, 2014

soul

(no subject)

So...generally, I am about 125 lbs. I would prefer to be around 120, but I don't mind being 120. A few years ago, I was around 115, which was when I was at my most emaciated (due to various reasons I don't really want to go into, mostly because it's embarrassing and slightly too personal). I realize, for my height, it's still on the normal BMI side of things even if it was extremely close to underweight. But in the last six months, I've gone up to 130 lbs.

I'm not a girl who generally worries about her weight. Or takes special care in diets or minds what they eat. I eat what I want, when I want. But around the time my grandmother passed away, I started to comfort eat, and it's slowly spiraled out of control. I need to preface that with "for me," since I realize for lots of other people, Americans especially, spiraling out of control with food means people gaining a lot of weight very fast, and five pounds is probably nothing to worry about since I'm still firmly in the normal weight category, but for me, it feels like I'm ten pounds from my target weight. Also, I discovered bacon, which in the past, was something I just didn't eat -- too fatty, too salty, kinda gross. But apparently my tastebuds have changed and I've joined the world in the belief that bacon make everything better. Because it can.

The problem is that now that I've gotten into the habit of eating more (snacks in the middle of the night, right before bed, in between meals...) and eating bad stuff like bacon, I can't seem to restrain myself. I just get hungry. And then I want to eat. And how can you not eat when you're hungry because you're hungry! You make plans when you're not hungry to not reach for the crackers or chips, but then you become hungry and all those plans fly out of the window. I can see why people fail at diets. :\

My pants have gotten too tight. If that's not a warning sign, I don't know what is. I feel kinda shallow for even worrying about the whole thing because I should be happy with my weight. I'm not obese. I'm not even overweight. I'm sure there are tons of girls out there who wish they had my body size. People still call me tiny but that's only because I'm Asian and when you compare me to an average American, yeah, okay, I'm smaller than them. But I'm larger than what seems like is the typical Asian girl so it still feels like I weight too much.

Sometimes I wonder if I haven't just been brainwashed by the media to believe weigh too much. But I counter that with the knowledge that I know my own body and I know what I weight I should be. Is this just a symptom of getting older? Do we just get fatter and bigger? I haven't had children so I feel like there shouldn't be major changes in my weight. My metabolism is slowing down, majorly, that I cannot deny. How do people deal with that? Do they just change their eating habits? Do they eat less? Don't change and gain weight? Is that what normally happens? If so, I'm not sure I like that...

Right now I just figure the only thing I can do is eat healthier snacks. If I'm going to eat, and who am I kidding, I'm going to eat, I might as well be eating fruit rather than junk food... *shrugs* I figure that at least, will manage things for now. I'm not sure it'll make a dent in my weight; I suspect I'll have to go back to my old eating habits for that to happen... That'll be my next project. That and probably the dreaded "E" word... *shudders*

Jan. 22nd, 2014

soul

(no subject)

So...I've been sick for the last few days...

I think it's just a cold since it doesn't feel as bad as the flu I had last year. That knocked me out for days... I had all the symptoms of the flu: fatigue, chills, aches, cough, sore throat, sneezing, runny and stuffed up nose... But this year, it just seemed like a milder version of it. I started off with the mildest of coughs that lasted a few days. That led to a sore throat, which wasn't that bad, to tell you the truth. The day after that, is when it really started to hit me. I was hit with dizziness I hadn't felt since I was in elementary school. When I get sick, I don't usually get dizzy. I don't even usually get headaches, which is funny because I get a ton of headaches normally anyway (yay tension headaches). But damn, Monday was like any smallest movement felt like I was whoozy. Even without any movement, it felt like I was swirling around. I spent the day asleep but it was strange because I thought that would fix things but each time I would wake up, I would still end up feeling dizzy.

I think I ended up sleeping around 20 hours on Monday. That's when I started taking something for the symptoms, mostly because being dizzy was really annoying. My mother had some DayQuil from her bought of sickness the week before (guess who I caught my cold from?) and I had taken DayQuil back in middle school and I didn't remember any side effects so I thought I would be safe.

I was super tired, but I wasn't feeling the aches I was feeling last year. It just seemed like everything was just not as bad as last year which is why I thought it was just a cold. But I was still crazy tired. On Tuesday, I spent most of it asleep as well. I would wake up for two hours and then go to sleep for four. But during one of those two hour stretches where I was awake, I found out I was having an allergic reaction to the DayQuil. Hives, everywhere on my body. It was crazy itchy... My hands were red and my fingers swollen. It hurt just making a fist. And it itched. And was painful, like stinging needles. It was worst on my arms, hands, legs and feet though. It looked like I was sunburnt, it was red all over. And the spots that wasn't just lobster red, I had the red, raised bumps. It was over my neck (a particularly itchy spot that is still bugging the hell out of me right now), my back, chest and torso, but mostly just splotches and intermittent bumps.

I really hate hives. They're itchy in the a way that's unlike normal itchiness. And they're painful. Why are they painful?!

But I took it calmly even though this reaction was actually worse than the one I had last year. Thankfully, I only took two doses of DayQuil before I found out about the allergic reaction so it might have been even worse if I hadn't slept through the time when I should have taken that third dose... I took an Allegra since this reaction was so much worse than last year. It was the only antihistamine I have in the house... Everywhere online says to take a Benadryl but I've never used to because I've always heard that it knocks you out and I really don't like to be drowsy. So I take non-drowsy allergy meds for my hay fever. It seemed to work since I started to feel better an hour after I took the Allegra. I would have slept through it if I could but I couldn't because it was too itchy and too painful to sleep.

Today, I'm still itchy. Still red. Still have the bumps. The redness is not as red which is good. I still see and feel the raised bumps, and it will never stop being freaky to me... My normally smooth skin... T_T

I really wish I could avoid the whole hives thing. I mean, I've taken DayQuil before. Sure it's been like 15 years but I don't recall having an allergic reaction to it... But I still should have known better. I mean, DayQuil has acetaminophen, which is essentially Tylenol. And I'm allergic to Tylenol. And it has dextromethorphan, which was in the medicine I took last year that I had a reaction to as well. Before taking the DayQuil, I thought about the acetaminophen and wondered if I should risk it. But the thing is, ever since I started having an allergic reaction to Tylenol when I was a kid (elementary school age, so young), I've avoided Tylenol. No acetaminophen entered my body for the last 20 years. My pediatrician switched me over to Motrin and I've been taking that ever since. Yay ibuprofen. It's what gets me through my cramps every month so thank god I can take something for pain relief... But the thing is, it's been so long since I last took acetaminophen, that I started to wonder if I wasn't remembering my allergies wrong... And I was hoping I also grew out of it... I mean, people grow out of their childhood allergies, right?

Yeah, not so much. :\

But at least I know now. No more Tylenol. Ever. Because hives suck. And they don't go away for days and who can hide away for days anyway? Seriously, how do people with chronic skin problems deal with this because I don't know what I would do if the redness stayed forever and not just a couple of days...

Outside of the itchiness, I'm still tired. This is the only thing that makes me wonder if I didn't just get a mild flu because how can I still be tired with as much sleep as I've gotten the last couple of days. All I want to do is sleep... I wake up for food and then I sleep. I'm watching the Australian Open right now but I feel as though I'm gonna nod off any moment from now...

I am so over being sick.

Jan. 18th, 2014

soul

(no subject)

OTL

 

For a few hours it was looking so good... And then I started to install programs and on a restart after some installations, I am now getting stuck on the Welcome screen... It just spins and spins...and spins...

 

I am getting so tired of all of this...

 

And all I want to do today is watch Grimm! Ugh, I should have taken advantage of it all being good while I still could...

 

I suspect tomorrow will be yet another round of this crap... Fuck it, factory settings might be easier. I'm starting to become completely unglued by this so I think I'm just going to sleep and deal with it tomorrow...

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