katekat: (Default)
Ok, so, I caught another cough this week and ended up being at home wed & thurs just to try and rest it out (and drink buckets of water and tea - BUCKETS!). I was really worried wednesday night because it was the second night i'd had night sweats, until i realized that the weather had warmed up significantly and it wasn't my body it was actually, you know, the super-heavy-winter blanket i had on my bed making me so hot. LOLZ.

after dragging myself to class today (which was good - i actually did mostly ok, and did the reading, which was good, and class helped explain the reading, which was *even better*), i gave myself a friday off.

this afternoon and evening I've been doing marvel-movie marathon! Captain America, Thor, and finally my 50th viewing of the Avengers. (ok, not 50th, but seriously, like possibly 7th? 8th?). And so here are some thoughts that at this point can't be spoilery, right? )

Oh, and on the heels of that fannish stuff, I was mentally musing about Black Widow and how she came off to other people, and ran across this awesome review/discussion talking about black widow spinning a web around the avengers that gave me an entirely different lens to look at her actions with. Not that I think Joss is the be-all-end-all in feminist directors (because he's not) like the reviewer does, but because it brings up *really* good points about the actions Black Widow takes in the film and HOW she goes about doing it all as a human amongst super-beings.

Finally, looking for a giggly little bit of Sterek? (you know you get your Teen Wolf on), check this out:

The Scientific Method by uraneia
Stiles/Derek | Teen Wolf | Teen | 5,947 words
Stiles’s life was so much easier before his BFF got super powers. “But, so, werewolves have super strength, right? And super speed. And better vision, and better muscle control, and healing powers, and stuff. And some of that’s probably, like, genetic, if you can be born a werewolf. Right?”

“Yeah,” Scott says. From the perplexed look on his face, he doesn’t yet know where Stiles is going with this. “So?”

“So what if you have condom-defeating supersperm?”


have you guys heard of the other non-facebook/tumblr/twitter sites in this article? cuz I haven't. made me feel old.

i miss my oven because of things like this chicken bastilla recipe (cinnamon + chicken = GOOD)

my favorite death in the last episode of sparticus was this guy's death (SPOILERS!) but I was mostly pleased with the last episode - or as pleased as I was going to be by this third season because really, this season had problems )

and now that i've prattled away, i'll let you get on with your day/night/what have you.

OH, but if you're into Giles, don't forget about [livejournal.com profile] summer_of_giles sign ups! Or just join the comm to see what happens.
katekat: (Default)
1. man, I never get to say that! 今晩は (konbanwa), i mean. It's partially that I end up studying at home at night, and partially because you don't *really* say 今晩は much anyway when you walk by people at night (my neighborhood is very much a 'nod' 'nod back' neighborhood, not a spoken greeting neighborhood). All i know is i hate the way the announcer guy says it on the American Iron Chef. Hate like burning.

2. Anyway!! HI everybody! I have been wrapped up in the end of school stuff for the last two weeks... Not that our program is over, but we are four days away from finishing our third semester. And then we get a two week break! SO needed - I was getting exhausted just from the schedule and the continual push pull of homework.

3. My presentation today went well - 15 min in Japanese on revising the definition of SF, with ten minutes or so of question and answer. The lovely part is that people got enough of my presentation to really actually ask probing questions. Good and simultaneously tiring since it's heavy lifting answering these questions in either language.

4. So all my shoes died. Not that I had a ton, but I had three pairs of boots all get holes or start losing their soles one after the other. So I found our neighborhood shoe repair place. Of course the two guys who work there are very nice and chat with me about what the hell i'm doing in Japan. They are literally astonished that I am studying Japanese literature and told me over and over that they had NEVER heard of anyone doing that. I am a serious curiosity. When I picked up my shoes yesterday they invited me to hang out with them and other shop owners in the neighborhood - apparently they get together on the weekends and grab food and drink. I gave them my number, so we'll see if they call, but it will be interesting. I'm afraid I'll feel a bit like a zoo animal, "Come one! Come all! See the Japanese Literature Grad Student in her Japanese-habitat!!" but we'll see.

5. I am currently involved in making plans to go to a festival in Japan where they parade a giant penis around the town. Yes, for reals. It's a harvest festival called 豊年祭り (Honen Matsuri) I will not be praying for my own fertility though.

6. As a treat I made myself this chicken piccata and OMG. If you like chicken and capers and lemon, you must eat this IMMEDIATELY (or as soon as you can). I took pictures of my own dinner and will post them when i get the energy. But OMG SRSLY.

7. hanging out with Sam's housemate last week and I found out she is in fandom too, and was sort of horrified that one of the other students in the program had found her fandom tumblr. Of course, the reason why that person had found the tumblr was because *she* was *also* a fan (so hey, equal levels of geekyness). We did have a talk about anonymity/revelations/etc. One of the things I comfort myself with is that if someone's going to find my stuff they will also have to be fans themselves to find it. Though these days I'm more ghost-like than fan-like, but hopefully there will be two solid months this summer when I get back to the states wherin I will PLAY ALL THE TIME and make some fannish contributions above and beyond 'kudos' at A03.

8. got linked by another one of the students at our program (who is nice enough to rec sherlock fics to me) to a post at fandom_wank and got lost down the rabbit hole this afternoon. It's been a while since I've paid attention to their posts and I love them so. Also, please, take a look at this ridiculous Misha Collins Youtube Video of him and his son having the most goofy time. I don't know if it'll strike you guys as totally awesome or not, but I literally laughed out loud over and over again.

And if you're curious about the Sherlock fic, I haven't read it yet, and the reccer tends to like angst with a happy ending, but here:

The Fabric of Life by [archiveofourown.org profile] holyfant (Sherlock/John / 150,000 words / read the warnings)

9. did my taxes! am getting money back! (of course, that's because according to my earnings statement i'm not exactly living above the poverty line). glad they're done though. i just wish all the other paperwork i have pending (forms for my program in the states, etc.) would be as easy to take care of.

10. it is *almost* cherry blossom season. There is a plum tree that is covered in white blossoms (very like cherry, but white) I see every day on my walk to school. The starbucks has started offering 'sakura' (cherry blossom) flavored drinks (which taste like pink). Over break I will be trying my damdest to get to one of the viewing spots that isn't super croweded to take some pictures (well, if things actually blossom during break...) it's hard to pinpoint the time exactly, but the air is getting warmer these days, and the sun does feel stronger, so I have hope! ... well damn, just checked, and the best viewing day according to the "sakura weather map" is April 4th. oh well, at least spring is coming!
katekat: (Default)
went out with Sam and Kat and Colin and played pool last night. Kat is like some kind of a pool shark (though she did not try to take our money, because we're friends!) with crazy accuracy. Colin is pretty damn good too (thus they make a good pair - since they're married it kind of works out well) and Sam wasn't a slouch. And then there was me. Who cheered when I got my first ball in because I literally played an entire game where I DID NOT SINK ONE BALL. finally they took pity on me and started lining up angles so that I could take proper shots.

But it was also just hilarious because we were, you know, in Japan, playing pool. Sometimes life is just bizzare.

The other strange (well not so strange, but weird to us) thing was that this pool place had no one else on the tables, and the entire group of other people there were either watching or participating in the very serious dart games going on. This seems to be a major Japanese pastime - darts. Throwing things at very high speeds that requires lots of accuracy.

It was a really good night! And low and behold, because I am now in charge of locking the chain lock, I was able to get back into my apartment when I came home at 11:30 last night. HOORAAY!

Let's see, other than that, I ended up taking thursday off after the great roommate debacle of wed. night (although by the end of the night, for those following along at home, roommate and i had reached new detente that didn't actually involve armed hostilities, but instead some redrawing of lines and different negotations, and now hopefully things are going to be ok). but even after she and i were done talking i was too keyed up to sleep, so ended up awake until 2:30 am. So, I took the day off. Little did I know that, out of the 5 students in my afternoon class, 4 of us were going to take the day off all on the same day! So we got a strongly worded email from our teacher asking us to please get our asses to class. And it really was sort of accidental - one guy had a friend in town and had emailed the teacher letting her know, one girl had a doctor's appointment, and then me and the other girl decided to take personal days. And yeah, it had to be horrible for the teacher, but in retrospect it's also kind of crazy.

this is also the third actual school day i've taken off since i've been here. the other two were for sickness, and frankly, being emotionally sick counts just as much to me. so, while i feel a little bad for how it must've looked, i'm only *slightly* guilty for the horrible cooincidence.

anyway, had a really good day so far today - woke up and was able to talk to both parents, picked up my stuff at Sams (left my backpack there yesterday), went grocery shopping and got stuff to make cumin-crusted pork loin tonight, stopped to grab a kebab-pita from the kebab guy next to the train station and had a nice chat with him, and am hoping the postal guys are going to bring me a care package from the mom.

OH, and I got Sam to divulge his recipe for fresh sauerkraut (which, i know, isn't sauerkraut because the cabbage hasn't fermented, but which tasted REALLY GOOD anyway).

this is more a list of ingredients than a recipe, because that's kind of what sam does - throw things at pans and make them go )
katekat: (Default)
so I'm trying to meditate once a day to guided meditation things off of youtube.  I know that's kind of absurdist in an 'get your enlightenment through the internet' kind of way, but I have trouble staying focused if I just sit somewhere for 10 minutes, and the relaxation steps are good.  So far I've found two videos that were (mostly) ok as long as you've got your eyes closed - one for relaxation (that is really about body relaxation) and another that says it's deep relaxation (which i guess was mostly about breathing). 

Why all this sudden interest?  I started trying to figure out what might help me improve my memory since this semester I'm going to be reading something close to a book a day to prep for my exams, and I found this website all about how you can improve your memory and concentration through games and other stuffs like meditation. 

It all came from this wired article someone on facebook linked to titled (oh so comfortingly and not at all sensationally) Digital Overload is Frying Our Brains. While I think there's a lot of naysaying going on about what exactly digital life is doing to us, I do also think I'm personally moving into a pretty heavy stress period and that last semester wasn't exactly a cakewalk, and I could use all the relaxation and focusing techniques I can handle.  Though, frankly, I spend oh probably 6-8 hours at least on the internet every day (some days closer to 12) and I can still read books, do complex tasks, write papers, etc., so I think some of the short-attention-span-panic is overblown.

Since I basically spent the last week goofing around on the internet reading, I will try to put together a recs list of things I've found.  Until then I have another recipe, since I got bored last night waiting for friends to figure out what they were doing and made yeast-free cinnamon rolls.  This is one of the few recipes I've found where the dough actually does plump up (from the baking soda & powder).  I mean, no, not like yeast rolls, but I'm not dedicated enough to have yeast hanging around my house all the time.

squishy cinnamon rolls, here they come )

I start classes tomorrow with a bang - I am holding the section before the class starts (it's a Tuesday/Thursday class with sections on Monday morning - I don't even know - scheduling is like ... yeah). I'm looking forward to TAing a Japanese literature class since most of what I've done has been literature-adjacent. It feels weird to hold the section before the class has even started, but this will get the preliminaries out of the way so that next week we can actually talk about the readings.
katekat: (_xmas girl)
First Set: John's Pecan-Lace Cookies

full recipe here because I don't want to lose it )

Second Set: Chewy Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

and again, full recipe - though really any oatmeal cookie recipe will work )

Third Set: Alton Brown's Sugar Cookies

full recipe, and really I just chose this one because I still find Alton recipes tasty )

Fourth Set: Crisp Anise Cookies

i know, they are martha stewart, but whatever, my mom wanted to use her anise, so full recipe here )

Topping: Royal Icing

ok, this one is the recipe to make the icing that should allow the pretty designs of my last cookie post to be made )

ANNND, so last night I arrived at my mom's house, walked the dog, had some dinner, and froze my toes off because it went to 20* below (and ok, those of you who live in cold places can laugh at me, but i have thin blood!! and am not ashamed to admit it!)

Today we ran every errand under the sun so that way we can spend the next three days crafting, cooking, cookie-ing, and having an LOTR marathon and the whole process tired us both out. Not so much that we couldn't hop in the car after dinner to drive around town looking at people's christmas lights (pics forthcoming), though. It should be a fun time for all!
katekat: (_xmas girl)
As my white elephant gift for a party tomorrow I decided I'd make cookies, in part because I ADORE these cookies and in part because I'm tired of bringing 'amusing' gifts to white elephant exchanges.  Besides, these are tasty.

So, in between finishing up this damn prospectus that has been my procrastination piece for like this entire semester, I am making cookies.

And I'm saving the recipe here because I have to search every frigging year for it.

Five Spice Gingersnaps )
katekat: (Default)
The menu worked out so amazing I want to go and do everything over again. But the fun of holiday cooking is getting to explore other things, so possibly not?

all the dishes and links to the recipes )

(and then, when we had everything again the next day, we also did orange-cranberry sauce!)

And, a Turkey Day Picspam:

the four ladies of thanksgiving invite you in )

As you may have noticed from the image up there (and the pics) I got to celebrate my turkey day with [livejournal.com profile] elizabuffy & my mom & amber! We had an amazing time - lots of eating, lots of (slightly unplanned) car riding, a planetarium show, an awesome silent movie, a bbc sherlock marathon, and seriously amazing company. Sadly EB & Amber took off this morning for other parts, but I get to keep mom for a couple more days. My brain is offline enough that I can't come up with the perfectest words to express how awesome the entire couple of days were, so you'll have to just take my word for it. For all this? I'm thankful.

*hugs you all*
katekat: (cordy - red hot)
the only other entertaining thing I've done in the past week (it has been atrociously hot here and it leeches the energy out of humans at an evil rate) is to play with a cooking thing that my mom ([livejournal.com profile] dhranstz is her LJ, and she even occasionally updates it) suggested on Saturday.  They're like mini-quiches except you don't have to work hard on the crust... and they are SCRUMPTIOUS.  We made a set on Saturday, gobbled them all up, and then made another set last night.

let's just call them 'those muffin things' shall we? )

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