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2/16/17 08:43 pm - The only--ONLY--series that puts me through shipper hell for my OTP (and even then they're a BroTP)

I caved.

While in California, I stopped by a Japanese bookstore and bought all four volumes of Kaze Hikaru that they had on impulse.

Volumes 36, 37, 38, 39.

The last time I had a chance to skim through them at a manga cafe was around 36, and I had hoped that buying these would bring me closer to whatever conclusion they are doomed to head toward.

But. It's. Still. Going.

It looks like it will stretch out forever, what with the characters who are still alive and kicking for now (or in Okita's case, at least alive). And now that I've started I'm afraid I'm going to keep.


It all.


2/16/17 07:47 am - Still not unpacked but...

Back in China, went back to work yesterday, about to head out again. The trip was heavy and tiring, but worth it.

Need to get refocused on the weeks ahead, but you know what's coming?

Feb 20-ish: Another highly anticipated chapter of Akatsuki no Yona
Feb 25-ish: Another highly anticipated Digimon Tri movie

Life in the next couple weeks will be good. Gimme that **SPOILER** and Sora development! Answer my questions, tell me what's going on! You hooded figures that teased me the ends of the previous installments have some explaining to do!

2/11/17 01:17 am - Mostly through a week in California visiting the relatives out here

Going... going... going... no chill! no chill! no chill!! Stuff quality time down everyone's throats!!!

A bunch more people to see in the next few days, which I'm looking forward to, but I'm almost looking forward to the long flight back to China just for some peace and quiet.

Aaaaaaand I'll hit the ground running as soon as I get back. orz

2/6/17 02:23 pm - Different kinds of fandom with the family

Watching Akatsuki no Yona OADs with my teenage sisters: I am standing and cackling--relentlessly--as my sisters are crying on the floor.

Watching the Digimon Adventure Tri movies with my 13-year-old brother: My brother and I are hugging each other, cheek to cheek, trying to contain tears as we silently watch.

In other news, I leave tomorrow morning and I doubt my 10-year-old sister will take it well. Nor my mom. 8-year-old brother will probably take it better but still been sad and clingy before going to school. Other siblings are like, "hey, cool, nice to see you, bye~" but I guess I'm fortunate I get even that much. We've got drama here and there, but for the most part, but family gets along really, really well and I appreciate that deeply.

Leaving feels heavy. It's this heaviness that makes me most likely to live back in the US someday for the sake of being closer, but whenever I try to think of long-term career options with connections to Asia in Colorado... well........ hrm. I tell myself I could always have Asia-hobbies, but.... hrm...... well.......

Speaking of hobbies and getting in touch with Asian culture, I can no longer take my Wing Chun lessons as the same place. T__T My teacher informed me of a couple different locations I could go to, but the one I was going to was *so convenient* and even then I would barely make it in time for lessons after getting off work. I'll figure something out, but I'm very disappointed and probably won't be able to go as often. It was such a highlight of my life in Shanghai too. T__T

1/14/17 11:46 pm - AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA hahaha haaaa this gold---no--NOOOOOOOOO

I just started rereading my LJ entries from January 2007.

First of this, is was very amusing because I feel despite how much I've matured, at my core, I really don't change at all. XD I still identify so strongly with my 18-year-old self.


12/30/16 10:21 pm - It's time for my 2016 reflections and 2017 goals

Well... that was quite a ride, wasn't it?

It's worth touching on a couple of the world scale things that occurred this year, though I'm usually not directly affected by things going on the news. Politically, my heart was in a lot of turmoil this year, especially seeing as I fall liberal on some topics and conservative on others, all in the name of trying to do what's right and respects life and strives to improve it, even if it's not always the easy option. I opened my mouth on a couple topics I cared most about (that I am pro-life and anti-Trump) and got a little burned for them and likely shunned, which is highly unpleasant. However much I disdain politics and shudder anytime someone far-right or far-left starts spouting hate, I have constantly had to remind myself that if I care, I can't afford to stay silent for the sake of preserving non-conflict in my personal life. The heated divide in the US is very distressing, almost as much as the actual implications of the upcoming Trump presidency.

More generally, I went through a stressful move from one foreign country to another, and that made the plight of refugees very heavy on my heart. I've been paying a lot of attention to stories about them.

That makes a good transition over to what 2016 has been to me personally. Let's take a peek at the goals I set last year and then go from there!

And the results are...Collapse )

That's enough reflection on the past. Now let's look ahead! I'm posting this tonight because I'm leaving tomorrow to spend a couple days in Guilin, because mountains.

Drum roll, please!Collapse )

12/19/16 08:34 pm - In a funk

I've generally been doing better and better here, and many good days, but today started a nice day off but kind of spiraled into being very down about my current life and fretful about the future.

In my right mind I know there's a lot of names for what I'm feeling, but I'm feeling those sorts of anxieties and sadnesses anyway.


I am very eager to go to on my trip to the US (though I know it will be over before I know it and it will probably come some family drama in some form or another), and as much as I just want the next 35 days to blow by, I know I have things to look forward to in the meantime too.

I'm just going to try to recognize my sadness and anxiety for what it is, and try to focus on the nice things.

12/19/16 11:04 am - My people

So... I'm homesick for Japan, yes, I finding groups to speak Japanese with sometimes was important to me.

A while ago I wandered into a little Japanese restaurant and looked at a little newspaper there aimed at the Japanese community living in Shanghai. In their classified section, I found a couple groups I decided to get in touch with.

First was the rock climbing group. It was fun, everyone was pretty chill, there were cool people, and rock climbing was hard but fun. I'll probably do it every so often when I have time, but my open times do not usually sync up with those of the rest of active members of the group. While getting to know people, I mentioned that I did naginata before, and people are usually pretty surprised to hear this. Like, "wow, that's... um... you're more Japanese than I am (and now this is awkward)" so I didn't really want to bring up all the other very, very Japanese things I was often involved in.

I got the "more Japanese than Japanese people" comment a lot in Japan, and though it was often meant to be a compliment, it was still a comment that rubbed me the wrong way. I'm passionate about traditional Japanese culture, but I'm not Japanese and don't claim to be. Likewise, does not having much of an interest in traditionally American things like BBQ or baseball make me less American? No. And yeah, there's a smidge of awkwardness when a foreign person knows far more about an aspect of American culture than I do, but there's no need to say they're more American than I am--and gosh darn it, I love it when some manga authors have really nailed American culture when writing it as a setting, and they're enough to make me look at things and nod and yes, yes, that's exactly it! How had I never noticed that charm before?

But anyway.

I went out last night to a kimono party held every few months. People dress up, go out to eat fancy food and chit chat. I was really on the fence all day about going because I had such a sore throat--literally changing my mind every minute. But I wound up going through all the effort of putting on the kimono and preparing to spend a small pile of money, and I'm really glad I did.

At this kind of circle, when I say that I practiced tea and naginata, I got a bunch of comments like "I want to do kyuudo, they look so austere! Hey, I practiced omotesenke too! Let's have a tea party in spring, I've got a few tools! Ohhh! Please tell me where you take your Chinese culture lessons, I want to go to!"

<3 These are the sorts of people I fit in with, no matter what their nationality.

It's also very cool that many of these ladies have lived in Shanghai for a long time (and elsewhere) and really like living in China. I've been having trouble adjusting--partially due to homesickness for Japan--but part of my goal for the next year is to remind myself how much I like Chinese culture. And I'm always reminded of that every time I go to my Wing Chun or Chinese tea lessons, so the desire to enjoy traditional Chinese culture is still there--it's just even harder to find people to appreciate it with in my daily life.

Turns out one of the ladies at the kimono party runs her business around kimono and Chinese dresses and she lived almost exactly across the street from me. The restaurant happened to be pretty close by, so we walked home together and had a very nice conversation, and even being a white person in Shanghai, it didn't feel odd at all to be wearing a kimono around town if there was someone to do it with me.

:3 With any luck I'll have some excuses to wear qipao soon too.

12/15/16 07:13 pm - YES

Today I found Digi-Tri gashapon at a couple of subway stations. I, who usually do not get very excited about merchandise, was really, really excited.


It only took three tries (about $15 altogther), BUT I HAVE OGREMON ON MY KEYCHAIN NOW, YEEEEEEEESSSSSSS

To clarify why this is exciting, I was keeping an eye out for a new keychain anyway since the one I had been using for five years broke last week. Plus, when I saw what designs they had available, Ogremon spoke the loudest to me because I feel a spiritual connection with Ogremon on my moody sullen days. And now I've got an Ogremon to take around with me on those moody sullen days, yeeeeeeeeesssssss

Plus, if other people see it, they'll either be like "????" or "!!!!", not a lukewarm in-between like "Oh, you like insert-character-eeeeveryone-knows, so does everyone else."

And I have Yamato/Garurumon and Metalgarurumon, but I'd feel weird carrying around my sister's favorites. Like I'd be breaking our own personal canon. I'll probably take them home of her. I'm really happy I got Ogremon like I wanted, but maaaaan, the ones with the kids/champions are *adorable* and I would have really liked the Angemon too and I'd very, very happily take home the Hikari for my friend. Who knows, I might go drop another $30 on these things.



11/30/16 12:01 am - 185,552 words

Just barely made it in time to say I finished on the 29th--THE FIRST DRAFT IS DONE.
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