oritsu_luv: (Default)
- For dessert I made Raspberry Syllabub, which is basically raspberries with sugar and rosewater folded into lightly whipped cream, and I think it is my favorite thing ever. Thank you, Nigel Slater.

- So I've been following her since her first album, but after listening to JASMINE's new single, she is definitely my favorite female singer in J-POP right now. I'm loving every single song. Her voice, her lyrics, and her music continue to be awesome.

- So the other day I got totally into Hank and John Green's vlogs and now I love them and their commitment to decreasing World Suck, such as John's comment about a girl who asked for advice because her boyfriend thought she was too smart for him. "The Venn Diagram of Boys who Think You're Too Smart and Boys who You Don't Ever Want To Date is a circle." I am also bizarrely glad that I read aFioS a few months ago, and don't have the problem of those Nerdfighters who love the vlogs and are too scared they might hate John's books to read one of them. Although I actually had the opposite problem, in that I was scared his vlogs would make me not like him when I loved his book so much. Luckily I needn't have worried!

- Speaking of awesome people, Jason Alexander wrote a very articulate piece on the need for gun control here: http://ontd-political.livejournal.com/9867948.html
What with this, and his heartfelt apology to the LGBT community following an insensitive joke he made referring to cricket as a 'gay sport' - in which he not only actually apologized, he actually learned something in the process - my estimation of him has gone up a lot.

- My sister totally loved the book I lent her, which is awesome.

- Stage Beauty is still an awesome movie. So is the Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightly. Also, she looks stunning in it, which I didn't think in say, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. She has a very witching face.
oritsu_luv: (Default)
- Liane de Pougy and Jean Chalon is my new RL OTPNoTP! They were BFFs because they both loved everything to be a huge gesture and thought all publicity was good publicity! Jean wrote filled his newspaper articles with glowing superlatives describing Liane! Liane wrote adoring paragraphs about 'Chalon' decades later in her memoirs! He was like a male version of Liane, says the biography I'm reading. And you would have called what they had a grand love affair except that he liked the messieurs instead of the madames and she like girls better than boys! Liane was the original diva and Chalon was her original 'gay BFF'. Chalon was the original fabulous snarky gay columnist and Liane was the original 'fag hag' <3333

- Having listened to the previews, I am very excited for Ayu's new album!
oritsu_luv: (Default)
There's a new audio edition of the first three Vampire Chronicles out, so I gave the samples a listen. Pretty good. Apparently the narrator, Simon Vance, is a professional audio book narrator. I think that would be a fun career. Sort of like being a voice actor. I've always kind of wished I could do that. Follow in Grandpa Karl's footsteps, as it were. (Speaking of which, when you google my grandfather's name, the first picture that comes up in Google is actually him. That's cool.)Especially when I worked at the call center and got so many compliments on my 'phone voice'. I remember once one of the callers said I should do audio books. LOL.

Daesang thoughts )

Bookstores

Apr. 8th, 2012 10:18 am
oritsu_luv: (hell no)
I have a prediction to make: Five years from now, there will be no more bookstores.

Here's my evidence. Holly Black's new books came out, so I decided to go buy it yesterday. But I didn't buy it - why, because I couldn't find it. They didn't have it at the one bookstore I could go to.

Here's the thing. In the five years I've lived here, the two big bookstores in town closed. One was Barnes & Nobles, which of course is a huge chain, and one was an independent bookstore of the same size as B&N called Cody's. Berkeley still has a lot of bookstores - but they're all used bookstores. Some of them sell a selection of new books - but it's only a small selection, so most of the time if you're looking for a specific new release, you're out of luck.

So in order to go to a new books, I would go into the city to go to the Borders at the mall. Failing that, I'd go to the other Borders in the city.
The problem with that is that as most of you probably know, Borders is closing. At the moment they are still open, but they're all in clearance mode and not getting in new books.

So I had to do a search for book stores in areas of the city, and I went to one that was in an area I'm familiar with. It was a nice book store, but the YA section was about 1/4 of the size of the old Borders I used to go to, and they didn't have the book.

So now I have two choices: continue to hunt down bookstores that are significantly out of my way and try to find the book, or give up and order it on Amazon. (Because my library doesn't have the book either.)

On a sidenote, while I was walking to the bookstore, I passed the neighborhood GBLT bookstore - a store that has been there since 1978, only to find that it too, is closing down.

The whole thing makes me sad. Bookstores shouldn't be something you have to hunt down. Bookstores are some of my favorite places. Sure it's easy enough to order a book on Amazon, but it's not the same as walking into a store and being able to read the book right then and there. And what if you don't have a specific book in mind? I love just browsing the shelves, just killing time there, and as there are fewer and fewer bookstores, it's rarer and rarer that there will be a bookstore that you can just pop into to browse.

It makes me sad because...bookstores were supposed to be a constant. How many hundreds of years have there been bookstores? There was supposed to always been bookstores.

The whole thing made me think about a passage from Interview with the Vampire, probably because I just finished re-reading it, for the first time since I was about 15.

It's during the bit where Armand is telling Louis about the hundreds of vampires who don't survive. Louis asks if those vampires are killed, and Armand says no, almost never.

"How many vampires do you think have the strength for immortality? They have the most dismal notions of immortality to begin with. For in becoming immortal, they want all the forms of their life to be fixed as they are and uncorruptable: carriages made in the same dependable fashion, clothing of the cut which suited their prime, men attired and speaking in the manner they have always understood and valued. When in fact, all things change except the vampire himself; everything except the vampire is subject to constant corruption and distortion. Soon, with an inflexible mind, and often even with the most flexible mind, this immortality becomes a penitential sentence in a madhouse of figures and forms that are hopelessly unintelligible and without value.
One evening a vampire rises and realizes what he has feared perhaps for decades....that whatever style or fashion or shape of existence that made immortality attractive to him has been swept off the face of the earth."


For some reason it got me thinking about how fast things are changing, how fast the pace of technology and invention is and how it's sped up the process of change. The world and the way we live has changed even in the past 15 years or so in ways that previously would have been the accumulated changes of maybe a century, so that here we are, standing like those vampires, aghast at all the changes that have happened around us.

All in all, maybe this comes back to something I keep thinking about, something that my host mother said to me a few years ago, when I was lamenting that hadn't been to Japan in years, and couldn't go anytime in the conceivable future. She said to me, "Don't worry. Japan will always be here." (日本はなくならないから) That's what I kept thinking about, over and over, after the earthquake and the tsunami, and even now, during all of the nuclear radiation problems.

I was talking to Michiru yesterday, and she was telling me about an article she read, which was talking about how while the number of dead in the Tohoku earthquake is rising to 11,000 people, and as horrific as the number is, the number of suicides each year in Japan is 30,000 people (most likely more because only cases in which a note is found are counted as suicide). About how such a high suicide rate indicates a problem with the way society is constructed, and how Japan has been pulling together so much after the disaster, really talking to each other and helping each other, and how hopefully, this will become a point of change for Japanese society, and how it may become a kinder, warmer society for getting through all of this. I don't know if it's true, or ultimately, how helpful it is to take such a long view of history, but it's kind of a nice thought, that somehow, out of all of this pointless death and grief and misery, something good can be born.
oritsu_luv: (Default)
I'm working from home most days, which is really nice, since it saves me about 4 hours a day in commuting time.

I've been enjoying autumn recently, as much as one can in Northern California. I've been making a lot of autumny food, lots of soups and potpies and poached fruit, and eating a lot of apples. Right now the perfect apples are McCouns from NY, they're not local, but the local apples have been mealy, and these are everything an apple should be, gloriously, teeth achingly crisp.

I finally got around to watching the Duchess, which was based on the Amanda Foreman biography of Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire. I felt in many ways the film may have suffered by being released so soon (relatively) after Marie Antoinette. Georgiana and Marie (who were friends) shared many similarities - their vivacious, charming personalities, and their love of parties, fashion and gambling, and this meant that much of her life an endless frenetic party, and I think the movie didn't show much of that possibly because that side of 18th century life was such a big part of the Marie Antoinette movie. But I thought the film was a bit poorer because of that, because a lot of the characterisation of that side of Georgiana's personality was told to us, rather than shown. That said, I thought all the actors were quite good, props on them for going the whole way with the Georgiana-Bess-Duke love triangle/threesome, and I was no surprised to see that the costume maker won an Academy Award because unlike Marie Antoinette, which was very very stylised, the costumes in The Duchess, while also absolutely gorgeous, also looked like they were actual 18th century costumes.

I'm kind of in love with all things Georgian now, as I am coincidently reading a Heyer set in the period, and also, just got a biography on Emma Hamilton out.

Also, and unrelatedly, congratulations to Miyavi and Melody on the birth of their second daughter yesterday!!
oritsu_luv: (mattias)
So, apparently Felicity is going to be retired this year. Samantha and Kirsten have already been retired - Samantha was the first to go, around 2008, which shows you how closely I've been paying attention to American Girl news. Then again, what would I? I'm far too old.

However, the American Girls dolls are a big piece of my childhood.

The first three American Girl dolls (Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly) were released in 1986, although I didn't get my first until I was in first or second grade, I believe.

The AG dolls were unlike any dolls on the market - they weren't baby dolls, they were girls who were supposed to be 8 or 9 years old. 'Our age'. When I was in elementary school they were HUGE.
Every little girl had one and the ones who didn't, wanted one. They were quite expensive, making them Christmas presents. I knew a girl who cut out the life-size picture of the doll from the huge, gorgeous catalog (Pouring through the new catalog was always one of the highlights of the month for me.) and carried it around until her parents too pity on her and bought her one.)

My first was Samantha. I had wanted Kirsten, because she had blond hair and blue eyes, like me, but my best friend and next-door neighbor Rachel had just gotten Kirsten, and she didn't want me 'copying' her. After Samantha, I went on to get Kirsten, and when she was released in 1991, I got Felicity, who would become and remain my favorite. (She was a redhead who liked horse, so it was like she'd been made for me.)

My friends and I played constantly with these dolls. (For some reason, one game I remember most vividly involved them being orphans toiling as indentured servants to cruel and haughty wealthy mistresses.) My friend Ann had all of Samantha's accessories and furniture, and one of the first things I would do at her house was look covetously at the gorgeous little wicker table and chair set that was part of Samantha's birthday set. My friend Robin was the only one I knew who had Molly. She also had the 'outfit for me' version of Molly's red and white striped pajamas.

For years, Christmas revolved around the dolls.One thing I asked for every year was one of the trunks to put all the dolls clothing in. My dad, ever the woodworker, actually made me a gorgeous wooden armoire with double doors that locked with a little key, to put all their clothes it. He also made me a little wooden bed, with a fancy headboard, for them to sleep on.

My grandmother made me Felicity's nightgown to wear for Christmas one year. In the following years, she gave me Samantha's nightgown and Kirsten's - although she bought them as it had been so much work to make Felicity's.

Whenever we went on trips, at least one of the dolls came with me, dressed up properly in her traveling outfit. (And of course Felicity went with me when I went to Colonial Williamsburg, that trip having no doubt been inspired by her in the first place!)

I read all the book's in each girl's series, even Molly's, despite not having the doll. I had the set of plays, and my friends and my sister and I would often put the plays on. Speaking of my sister, one of the first games I remember playing with her after our parents got together involved a setup where all the dolls had been gathered via time machine to make a rock band. (The highlight was Samantha singing 'What is Love' with Kirsten's brother Peter.)

I credit these dolls with getting me interested in so many things. They fostered a love of history, especially certain periods, and a love of reading, and even the smaller things that I can only see now, like that scene where Felicity dresses in Ben's clothes to go riding and how that is probably connected to my love of stories including cross-dressing! LOL

Without them, my childhood would have been very different...

So here's to you, Felicity Merriman. Thanks for the memories!
oritsu_luv: (Default)
You know what I really want?

I would like a cohesive, genre-savvy, up to date overview of the KAT-TUN fandom. (Heck, of all of JE fandom, really.) Something that incorporates both official canon and image, as well as things gleaned from TV shows, interviews, etc, that goes into depth on inter-member relationships and members individual personalities.

I've seen a lot of really great primers for Arashi, so I'd love one for KAT-TUN.

Something up to date, because I feel like KAT-TUN has changed a lot recently, especially Jin.

Is this out there somewhere?
oritsu_luv: (Default)
I wodner if anyone else read any of these?

under )

Randomness

Apr. 7th, 2011 09:49 am
oritsu_luv: (Default)
This morning I had some Pan de Mie bread and butter, and some instant coffee with Cinnamon creamer. I know, who ever would have thought I would drink instant! Well, thanks to Japan for making me lose my snobbishness in regards to it, because it is quick and easy and cheap, and means I don't have to make the entire office coffee and stick my mg underneath the pot to get coffee right away in the mornings. (Which makes me sound like some sort of caffeine fiend. A Caffiend?)

The nice boy at the bakery who always waves to me, and would definitely be played by RPattz in a movie, because he looks a lot like him, was wearing a salmon colored shirt and was very very cheerful today.

I took a copy of SF Weekly today because the cover said 'Dandy Rotten Scoundrel'. I <3 Dandies.


I really want to eat a chicken pot pie. I should get my grandmother's recipe, since her's is the best.

Let's see, what else?

This weekend Cy and I are going to see a play called girlfriends which is about a romance between two boys. I am very excited.

I'm watching Goong AKA Love in Palace on my iPod, which is about what if there was a monarchy in Korea, where the heroine ends up being engaged to the crown prince, who fell in love with her after she threw a shoe at him and called him on being a jerk. It's pretty fun like I remembered it from the last time I started watching it, although my copy doesn't have subs on the written words which takes some of the charm away. Here's a picture, because it's cute.
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Last night I watched 90% of the first episode of Magerarenai Onna (The Unbendable Woman), which is good so far. I also have episode one of Love Shuffle and that one about med students who solve crimes, the title of which I forget.

I am finally officially a member of the Co-Miyavi International Worldwide Family. Yay!

I really like this comm about journals, [livejournal.com profile] embodiment. It makes me want to start a moleskin sketch journal. LOL

I found out that two Heyer novels - These Old Shades (愛の面影) and The Grand Sophy (素晴らしきソフィー) - have been translating into Japanese. It's funny, because I'm re-reading These Old Shades now, and had been thinking baout that sort of thing. I'm anxious to see just how they translated it - I don't envy the translator at all, considering the book is full of old fashion turns of phrase, actual Regency era cant, and random bits of French!

It did kind of make me wish I was a translator from English into something else though, it would be fun to work for a company that published only romance novels! LOL
oritsu_luv: (bill)
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I love Bill's hair like this. He's so pretty!

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Tom and Bill are looking so good right now! And Georg is a secret hotass, as always. Gustav is Gustav. (LOL, sorry Gustav)





Wow, for some reason this interview (from which the subject line of this enry is taken) brought home to me just how utterly...not normal...their lives are. I mean...having had assassination attempts at 16? Having to see movies after the last show? Not being able to go ANYWHERE without a body guard? I can't even imagine living like that or the effect it's had on their psyches.

It also got me thinking...in terms of Bill's sexuality... The last time he had a girlfriend or was 'in love' was 14? Most people don't count those relationships as anything but puppy love. He's never had a real adult relationship, not through that whole period when many people are figuring out who they are and who they are attracted to. (Unless they figure it out during the colleges years). And Bill has been in the situation where he's never gotten to do that kind of experimenting and figuring himself out.

So...even if Bill is gay...I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't know it himself yet. Especially considering how much pressure I'm sure there is on him to be straight, from the label, etc. (And even if you count just the pressure from himself, wanting to prove everyone wrong.)
oritsu_luv: (Default)
...if I had an ice cream maker.



- Strawberry-Pink Peppercorn, maybe with a balsamic ribbon

- Elderflower-Gooseberry

- Earl Grey-Lavender

- 'Eton Mess' (Sweet Cream Ice cream with a raspberry swirl and meringue pieces)

Things

Mar. 2nd, 2011 11:12 am
oritsu_luv: (Default)
It's very rainy, and quite cold today. I'm very glad to be inside - especially with my London Fog Tea Latte.

I ran across this recipe for Irish Stew, which uses beef instead of lamb, and I'm seriously craving it now. How perfect for a day like today!

I've been doing some sewing lately, for the first time in ages, and I'm starting to toy with the idea of trying to make some clothes for myself. (I've only ever made costumes for Halloween, or back in high school, cosplay.) As I looked through this months issue of Vivi, it seemed to me that many of the clothes would be easy enough to make myself.

[Unknown site tag]

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I'm in the mood to order some books. Maybe I will.
oritsu_luv: (Default)
That as much as I love the book "The Egypt Game", and learning about Ancient Egypt in 6th grade, my real love of Egyptian Mythology came from this movie:


oritsu_luv: (Default)
Spent the morning playing 'competent adult' for Cy, who had to go in for a quick procedure. Took my drowsy girl home with her bill of good health, set her up with some jello and Pineapple Express on DVD, and headed into work.

The streetcar I caught was from 1914, which is one of the more rare cars, and one of my favorite. I sat in the wooden seat and looked out the windows at the fog over the bay and the farmer's market stalls lined up in front of the gorgeous ferry building and fell in love with my city all over again. It made me want to get to know it better, to spend some more time this year exploring various neighborhoods that I don't often get to.

Got to work to find my package from Amazon arrived safe and sound. Here's what I got:

3/25sai kore kara no Watashi no 'Yume to Genjitsu', by Ayana Tsubaki
"3/25 years old My 'dreams and reality' from now on", is a book of essays by Ayana Tsubaki, the transgender model/talent I became a fan of (for lack of a better term, I really respect her and want to support her) after reading her autobiography.

C'est Ma Vie, Ayana Tsubaki Photo Book
self explanatory

Kyusou ha Chiizu no Yume wo Miru dorama CD
"The Cornered Rat Dreams of Cheese" drama CD, audio play of the manga of the same title, which is my favorite yaoi manga right now. The emotional honesty and realism kills me every time.

Sojou no koi ha nido haneru 2 dorama CD
"The Carp on the Choppin g Block jumps Twice" drama CD, radio play of the sequel of the above manga series, disc 2. (I bought disc one in Japan)

Welcome to SPEEDLAND SPEED live DVD 2009 @ Budoukan
also self explanatory

GLAMOROUS magazine, January issue
VoCE magazine, January issue
Both have Namie on the cover and were the reason I placed this whole order to begin with.
oritsu_luv: (Default)
So I'm a little late on this one, but I just found out that Gourmet Magazine ceased publication with their November issue.

I was really sad to hear it. Gourmet has been my favorite of the American cooking magazines for a long time. I have an entry in this very LJ about how much I love it. Gourmet went beyond the recipes, it had evocative articles and gorgeous photography. While I was working at my old job, paging through the new gourmet magazine was one of my favorite parts of every month.

I'm sad that Gourmet has come to an end on a more general level as well. With its first issue hitting the shelves in January of 1941, Gourmet Magazine was the very first food magazine published in the US, and it set the bar for every food magazine to come after it.
oritsu_luv: (Default)
* The moon is very clear and bright tonight, and the air felt so nice and cool, especially since I was wrapped up in my lovely new [fake] fur-lined hoodie, which is so warm.

* Two whims for next year's Halloween:
- Artemis, in short hunting chiton, with lace up sandals, quiver of arrows, and crescent moon diadem on the forehead.
- Prudence/Peter from 'The Masqueraders', or Deborah Sampson or some other character that let's me wear 18th century men's clothes: stockings and pantaloons, waistcoat, cravat and frock coat. Why does Halloween always bring out my urge to cross dress? (LOL)

* Empires is the best music for walking at night. Sean's voice goes so well with it.

* I liked 'An Education' pretty well, except that David's character skeeved me out to no end. I loved the sets and costumes, especially Jenny's new sophisticated clothes (the white/red dress, and the white gold one especially), and Helen's white fur stole tied with a white ribbons was to die for. But my favorite thing was the way that, for all her naivity and mistakes, Jenny stuck to her principles, and when she felt something was wrong, or unfair, she called people on it. I thought that was so great.

Meggings!!

Oct. 27th, 2010 12:52 pm
oritsu_luv: (Default)
I first saw this on aramatheydidn't, with a Youtube video about the rise of 'legging boys' (leginsu danshi) - young men in Japan who have adopted leggings as their own - wearing them under shorts or pedal pushers - and in answer, many brands of men's leggings have begun to crop up, with a wide range of colors and patterns.

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It looks like the trend is not confined to Japan, only Western men like to wear their leggings just like their female counterparts: as pants.

Witness the lovely Russell Brand:
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The sequin trend: also not only for girls!
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Even Dollfie boys love leggings!
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Now, I love androgynous/girls clothes on men as much as the next girl. (Okay, probably way more.) But
I personally think that they look best under other shorts, While I am always a fan of a well turned ankle and finely shaped calve...I'm not sure how I feel about men's thighs quite so exposed. There is a definite difference between leggings and the skinniest of skinny jeans.

click here to buy meggings!! (Well, in Japan they just call them 'men's leggings', but still.)

Related question: Why has it just hit me that I used to wear leggings all the time in elementary school? (Only they were called 'stirrup pants'.)
oritsu_luv: (Default)
...can be almost entirely explained by this:

The contents of the box which the Story Girl's father had sent her from Paris made our eyes stick out. It was full of beautiful things, among them another red silk dress - not the bright, flamehued tint of her old one, but a rich, dark crimson, with the most distracting flounces and bows and ruffles; and with it were little red satin slippers with gold buckles, and heels that made Aunt Janet hold up her hands in horror. Felicity remarked scornfully that she would have thought the Story Girl would get tired wearing red so much, and even Cecily commented apart to me that she thought when you got so many things all at once you didn't appreciate them as much as when you only got a few.

"I'd never get tired of red," said the Story Girl. "I just love it - it's so rich and glowing. When I'm dressed in red I always feel ever so much cleverer than in any other colour. Thoughts just crowd into my brain one after the other. Oh, you darling dress - you dear, sheeny, red-rosy, glistening, silky thing!"

She flung it over her shoulder and danced around the kitchen.
 


                                                                            The Story Girl,  L.M Montgomery
        
oritsu_luv: (Default)
There is a photobook of Kyoko Fukada in entirely Lolita Fashion which was published at the same time as the 'Shimotsuma Monogatari' (AKA Kamikaze Girls) movie came out. Why do I not own this????
oritsu_luv: (Default)
Today I feel like a candystriper from the 50s. I wonder if they still have candystripers? My mom was one, in the 60s. Also, why are half the candystriper photos I find so trashy and porntastic? I guess it's an offshort of the nurse fetish?


It's so nice and warm out today. It really feels like summer. I've decided I don't mind the whole weird SF 'cold in July and August, hot in Sept and Oct' thing. Because even if they're cold, in my mind, July and August are still summer, and then you get a Sept and October that Feel like summer, so it's like you get a doubly long summer!

I've been listening to Issa's solo album this morning. I think that Issa has a very summery voice. Another song that feels really summery to me is KAT-TUN's 'Water Dance' - it's supposed to give you the feeling like you're under water, and their voices sound so nice and cooling in it.


Speaking of music, I got an e-mail that my CDs from Denmark have shipped! Yay! I wonder how long they'll take to get here?

I think the world is conspiring against me so I never get to see Blood on the Dance Floor live. They're actually coming to Berkeley, but to a venue I can't get to! And then they're coming to the city, to Slim's, where I got all the time, but I will be away then! ;___; I just want hear 'I <3 Hello Kitty' live!

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