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Erg. I bought a pair of shoes online that I ended up not ever wearing because it was too tight. I kept hoping it'd somehow magically fit and left it in my closet. I realized recently that the store has a one year return policy and decided to just return the damned thing. I checked my records and found out I missed the return deadline by a couple of weeks. *sighs* Now I have a lovely pair of shoes I can't wear without what I suspect would be quite a bit of pain that I can't let go because they weren't cheap. I'm wondering if stretching can save them....How much can leather shoes be stretched? GAH.

I counted up the number of manga I bought this last trip and it was a pathetic amount. I even forgot to pick up the new Viewfinder! I am now rethinking my run around Japan then end up in Tokyo and go crazy shopping strategy, as the go crazy shopping can't happen if your body is exhausted and unwell from the running around Japan by the time you get to Tokyo. The best new book I picked up this last trip is hands down S.S.SP. I know I mentioned the book, but I haven't had the time to write a lovingly detailed post on it.
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This morning the major thoroughfare through Waikiki was shut down for the 2010 Aloha Festivals Floral Parade, so we decided to walk over to watch it. I've actually never seen the Floral Parade in person but I've seen pictures of it growing up. The highlight are the pa'u riders, a queen and two princess and male escorts riding horses and bedecked in flowers the color of each island. It's really lovely to see in person! I foolishly didn't bring my camera, so I have no pics of my own. Luckily the internet provides! First off, I found out exactly what pa'u riders are. When the horse was introduced to the islands in the 19th century, Hawaiian women wouldn't ride side-saddle like the women of the time were supposed to. They rode wearing their flowing dresses. More info here. At many parades around the state there are pa'u riders with male escorts in cowboy gear. Some pics from various parades here, here, and here. I personally adored the Oahu court, which is yellow for the pua 'ilima. The queen wore flowing yellow and black with yellow and green lei on her and her horse. Also lovely was Kaho'olawe (the uninhabited island used by the military for years for target practice but recently taken back by the...state? I think?), whose color is grey. So they wore grey and dark red, with lots of moss and dark red leaves in their lei. Amazingly gorgeous if not flashy like the other islands. The other islands were lovely as well, but those were my favs. I think I'm going to watch next year's parade as well.

One funny detail: the marching band of an all girl's Catholic school played Lady Gaga's Pokerface (I've never seen the video for this song before, but damn, this video is incredibly normal considering some of her other ones...) as they passed us. I was surprised at what a good marching band song it made (the staccato bits sound particularly good done by brass and percussion), and I was amused that an all-girl's Catholic school played anything by Lady Gaga. XD;
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I've been in a bit of a blah fandom/BL-wise. No fandom loves, no good BL novels, no good manga. I have been craving more "Hakkenden" by Abe Miyuki, and just explained to friends over dinner how baffling I find "Super Lovers," the series (I assume) she's abandoned "Hakkenden" for recently. I haven't started rereading the Fujimi Symphony novels yet, either. I was kinda disturbed by the idea of Founding Fathers slash potential.

I've been working and trying to figure out how to eat mostly non-meat meals. It's amazing to discover how much meat played the central role in meal planning now that I'm trying to do something different. Been borrowing scary numbers of cookbooks from the library...It reminds me of how I used to borrow so many I'd lose track of them and end up paying tons of overdue (or lost!) fines. :P
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My internet connection went down a couple of days ago. I called tech support and was told to do a bunch of things that didn't work. They told me that they could see my computer attached to the DSL modem via the Ethernet cable but that it wasn't making the connection. In the end they said they'd send a new modem to me, so I should hook it up and see if it works. After several days of no internet at home and finding out that I missed a UPS delivery that was probably the new modem, I couldn't take it anymore. I repaired permissions on my computer, restarted, and tried to connect. The wireless router asked for permission for something or another. I clicked okay, and suddenly I was connected! With my old modem! I felt like the world had opened up to me. Being involuntarily disconnected from the internet is very stressful. ^^;

(Internet at work doesn't count since I feel constrained. I didn't go to LJ, for example.)

I also unpacked more books....I can only say that I own too many books. I really need to get rid of some more. I can donate or sell some of them, but I don't really know what to do with the BL books/manga that I don't want to keep. I know the local used Japanese bookstores tend not to take those, and I can't bring myself to donate them to the library. :P
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A package of feta in brine fell out of the frig, spilling brine all over the place including on my house slippers. When I opened the frig again to put the feta back after refilling with brine one of the shelves on the door broke, dumping everything on the shelf and shattering a bottle of sherry. Nothing like standing barefoot in the middle of a sea of sherry and broken glass to ruin your day.

ETA: The way it gets worse is if you knock over a glass of water that ends up soaking a bulb of garlic as you try to grab paper towels to sop up the original mess. Yay!
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I care almost nothing about sports, but I do listen to a weekly sports podcast (I'm a podcast whore) and had heard about Dallas Braden of the Oakland A's getting upset at A-Rod of the Yankees over some supposed breach of etiquette by crossing the pitcher's mound last week. This week the same podcast pointed out a hilarious graphic with the pitcher's mound called "Bradenia" as an "autonomous region of Oakland Athletica," "Monarch: King Dallas I," "Population: 1," "Visa Requirements: Not Being A-Rod." XDXD;;

I also liked the tidbit that the guy who makes the graphics is a British dude who'd gotten addicted to baseball watching it on MBL online while avoiding his ex-girlfriend with whom he still lived with in Germany.

I tend not to take care of my car. As long as it runs I'm good, so I don't get it washed very often. This past Sunday I noticed lots of bird poop on the hood when I filled the gas tank, so I got it washed at a fundraising car wash. I took my mom out to a very mediocre dinner with an awesome view* for Mother's Day, but it resulted in a HUGE bird poop right on my hood again. I only got to appreciate a clean car for, like, a couple of hours! And since bird poop isn't good for the finish I suppose I'll have to get it washed again. GAR

* I knew that it wasn't a great restaurant but I'd read online that if you asked for the lanai it had a great view of the sunset, so I decided to go with that instead of going for a really tasty place. The food (Japanese) was worse than I'd expected. I...could've done better, especially considering the price. But the view! The view! It was on the far end of Waikiki, right on the beach. So you could see the curve of Waikiki beach and the rest of the south coast of Oahu from the lanai. The sound of the ocean was soothing, the sunset was lovely, the twinkling of the lights on the airplanes taking off and landing in the twilight was delightful, and the lights of the hotels and the rest of the island as it got darker was A++. Too bad the night ended in discovering the bird poop. :P
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I saw bits and pieces of Watchmen, the movie adaptation of the seminal eighties comic book about the dark side of superheroes, at a friend's house. I was repelled by it, and I didn't even see the parts with all the gore and sex because my friend knew I wouldn't want to see them!! The end was stupid, too. I just felt gross afterwards, though I couldn't articulate my feelings at the time. Luckily we then saw most of the Merlin episode in which Gwen is mistakenly kidnapped, which helped get the icky taste out of my mouth. It's a silly but entertaining show, but damn are the fanworks so much better written. I'd never actually seen any episode of the show, so I was really surprised at just how overwhelmingly geeky Merlin is. If I hadn't already had a mild attachment to the character via fandom, I actually think I'd have been repulsed. This is very similar to my reaction to Rodney on SGA, actually. ^^; The banter between Arthur and Merlin were quite amusing. The funniest (and most painful) thing was Launcelot, though. OMG that man spouts the most ridiculous noble romantic crap ever! I'd rather just mute the sound when he's around and look at him because he's certainly easy on the eyes. XD;

I had a silly, momentary dilemma at the farmer's market the other day. There are a bunch of flimsy foldable plastic benches set up for people to sit and eat. They are clearly labeled "Do not sit at end" on each, probably because they'd tip over since they are so flimsy if there was no counterbalancing weight. I sat in the middle of an unoccupied bench and enjoyed my beignets with lilikoi (passionfruit) sauce. Just as I was finishing up a woman sat at the very end of the bench I was on. I was paralyzed for a while trying to figure out if I should tell her she needs to scoot in so that I could stand up without fear of making the bench tip over, just stand up and walk off without saying anything, or just sit there being the counterweight. Luckily she got up fairly quickly so I was freed from making a choice. I can't express how relieved I felt and how silly I felt feeling so relieved. ^^;

cool stuff

Apr. 1st, 2010 06:05 pm
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Fun interview of the creators of South Park on Fresh Air. They are smart, funny people. XD;

Star Trek The Exhibition in San Jose, CA until April 11. Replica of the TOS bridge! We took a picture of everyone falling over except one person falling over in the other direction. I went over on a weekend trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. Also awesome is Winchester Mystery House, a house that was constantly under construction until the owner died. The tour is over an hour and lots of fun. That house is nuts!

My computer! I got it back! The hard drive wasn't wrecked! *hugs it tightly*

gah

Mar. 19th, 2010 09:46 pm
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My laptop has died. No response at all when the power button is pressed. I dropped it the other day, making a dent. Apparently this could have screwed up a ton of different things. It will cost a pretty penny to fix, but what choice do I have? Bleah. Plus, now I'm on old and slow and tethered to the power cord computer. I suppose I should be glad to have something to fall back on, but still...I want my computer back!
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Got a call early in the morning canceling/rescheduling an event today....Because there's a tsunami warning. Soon after heard the civil defense sirens. There was a massive earthquake in Chile (8.8!) yesterday and there's supposed to be a tsunami heading this way. Current estimates are that the tsunami height will be pretty low for my island, but some of the other islands may be hit by pretty big waves. What a Saturday...Feels like can't do anything...

ETA: Turned on CNN to get more info on Chile...They aren't providing survey-type info, but the damage looks pretty bad. So far the death toll isn't too high, I hope it stays low.

bah

Jul. 22nd, 2009 07:40 pm
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From The Minimalist: 101 Simple Salads for the Season
I've been enjoying romaine lettuce and red onions with a creamy garlic dressing I bought a while back made locally by some small outfit. It's a bit sweet, but the red onions add some bite to balance it out. XD

I'm a bit bitter because I spotted the perfect dress to give as a present online, but decided to check out the clothing in the store to make sure I'm in the right ballpark. I went today, confirmed the size, then went back online...to find out the dress had sold out. To make things worse, I had a back-up dress, but the VERY SIZE I WANT TO BUY is the only one to have sold out. I called the store and they don't have that style in yet (it's a new arrival online), but I feel...cheated. It's only been a few days! Now I have to go look for something else, which will probably never measure up to the "perfect dress" I'd found and lost...
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To mac users: Any good free or cheap game programs that include the ones that you get with windows for free (especially spider solitaire and mah jong solitaire)? I've been playing online versions to feed my addiction when I'm not at work but I'd like versions on my computer for those times when the internet isn't working right. (the sad thing is I'm not even particularly good at these games...I just like playing them for long stretches at a time)

Speaking of windows, I just got a new computer at work that has vista on it. It looks...odd. Too rounded and attempting to be pretty? I liked the boxy non-aesthetic of the older windows versions. Felt utilitarian. I have my mac for the pretty. XD
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I can't sleep. I'm tired, but I can't sleep. UGH.

I want a shiny, new song to be addicted to. Haven't had a song that made me listen to it on repeat for days in a while...

This week has been a bit odd for me. This morning I woke up, totally thought it was Friday (wishful thinking, perhaps?), and dressed casually (we have casual Fridays). It was only at mid-morning that I realized that it was actually Thursday and I was not dressed appropriately. I felt bad for a while, but decided to act like I meant to dress this way (like I was going on a site visit to a construction site or something). It was a very comfortable day, if anything. I also forgot to wake up early for the Inauguration. For some reason I didn't realize that the swearing in was at noon and that the East Coast is six hours ahead...Thus I should've woken up at 6. I woke up at 6:30, yay!

Some articles on food I saw in the newspaper last week and forgot about:

Simple techniques to try Nobu way at home

Fresh Start for a New Year? Let’s Begin in the Kitchen by Mark Bittman: I hate IN/OUT type lists, but he has a bunch of interesting ideas in this one.
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On a whim I visited the Honolulu Academy of Arts and spent several peaceful hours walking around. I first went to check out the Hiroshige prints from the series "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo". Some of the ones that struck me:

New Year's Eve Foxfires at the Changing Tree, ōji (9th Month, 1857)
I just like this for the subject matter, about the fox spirits gathering on a special night at a particular shrine.

Sudden Shower Over Shin-Ōhashi Bridge and Atake (Ohashi Atake no Yudachi) (9th Month, 1857)
Considered the masterpiece of the collection, it is admittedly a really cool piece. It's also a lot more fuzzy and dreary than the others (don't I make a splendid art critic! my way with words, too amazing!), which makes it stand out. Van Gogh painted it in The Bridge in the Rain (After Hiroshige).

Suruga-chō (9th Month, 1856)
I didn't realize that Mt. Fuji was visible from the streets of Edo. It's just such a different situation from modern-day Tokyo I just stood in front of the print, dumbfounded for a while.

I also got completely sucked into an exhibition called Muraqqa´: Imperial Mughal Albums from the
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin that showcases stunning illustrated manuscripts, calligraphy and paintings from the reigns of two famous Indian emperors (including the one that built the Taj Mahal). Holy crap, the details were exquisite. The gold-lined border illustrations made me swoon. The little dollops of white paint to create pearl necklaces were so fine and delicate. I might go back and look again before the exhibition leaves the museum to soak it all in again. They provide magnifying glasses so that you can get real up close and personal, but I didn't bother with them this time. Maybe next time? And maybe read up on the time period beforehand, too.
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I woke up from a really unpleasant anxiety dream where I was a first-time waitress and failing miserably, partly because the people working in the kitchen (also complete novices) were not very helpful. Not even my co-worker who is usually very good at following direction yet in my dream totally doesn't follow through. The worst was the person charged with making the beer. She was apparently an artist, and took her time making her "creations."

I think the President stopped by to eat and then it all went to hell. When I started awake and saw I'd woken up too early, I thanked my lucky stars to be free from that nightmare and got out of bed. May that dream never haunt me again.
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I am totally enjoying the bottle of Akitabare Koshiki Junzukuri I bought the other day. Dry and refined, fairly complex, just oh-so-drinkable.

Why Youtube kicks ass: Sneaky cat. So cute!

Another reason Youtube kicks ass: Que Sera Sera by Doris Day. This song was mentioned in a book I was reading and I was overcome by a desire to listen to the song. I want to find a really good version of this song...I'm sure there must be tons of covers, right? It's so catchy!

Something more serious: The Child Porn Lie (And Other Hits): The top five underreported sex stories of the year. The thing about the manga as child porn is just...UGH. Two interviews on the subject on On the Media here.
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I refreshed my inbox and was shocked to get an email that said "Borders Closing, 40% Off Clearance Sale." I immediately thought about having to use the gift certificate I received for Christmas before it became useless...Then I clicked open the email and was relieved to find out that ONE store was closing instead of the entire chain. But the subject line didn't sound like that, did it? Especially in this climate you never know which big company will go belly up next.

Now I'm motivated to use up all of my gift certificates as soon as possible. :P
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To those who celebrate it today. ^_^ I had a nice selection of stuff picked up from Whole Foods (the mashed potatoes were particularly tasty) for a mid-day meal (around 3 pm), with leftovers that night. I had thought of going to a nearby restaurant for a fair inexpensive turkey meal, but I saw a pretty good line when we walked past it so I'm glad I didn't go that route. Eating at home is much more relaxing, anyhow. My mom and I walked over to the nearest hotel and wandered through the grounds, having fun looking at the various birds and fish (flamingoes and penguins!). Then we saw a very lovely sunset over the beach. I *really* wished I had a camera right then. There were some wispy clouds in front of the sun that made it so picture perfect. It's so easy to forget the splendid yet free things you can experience right in your own backyard (or nearly so). I only had to pay for the (totally overpriced) tea. XD;

I'm also contemplating checking out the sales in the stores tomorrow. I've never bothered before because I'm laaaazy, but for some reason this year I am very motivated. Maybe the proximity to some major shopping is affecting me....I wish I needed a TV, though. They have some *great* deals on them. I already got mine. :(
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[livejournal.com profile] wednesday_10_00 posted some hilarious and adorable scans from a Maiden Rose doujinshi she shelled out big bucks for here. The above is from the omake pencil board that came with the doujinshi. The box Klaus is in says "Take me home." So cute! Check out her post for more. XD

In a different kind of hilarious: Dear America by [livejournal.com profile] mistress_siana, the election as bad fanfic.

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