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the chinchilla doesn't like it when i wear socks.

every winter we go through this, where it finally gets cold enough that I have to be wearing socks during chinchilla time, and the chinchilla takes this as her personal invitation to ATTACK MY FEET WITH IMPUNITY. The first winter I thought, "maybe she's never seen a sock on a foot before and thinks it's eating me and i need to be freed" but

A) the chinchilla is not anywhere near that altruistic, and if by now our relationship is good enough that I think she might save me from something if it were easy and not at all scary, it surely wasn't that good two years ago.

B) she's way smarter than that. she knows that's my foot in there, I know she does, she's just being a jerk. she's so smart she's pretending to be dumb so when i yell at her she can be like "whaaaat? i don't know any better! I'm a silly rodent!" Just like she fakes not understanding what i'm saying when I tell her not to chew the door/baseboards for the 1000th time.

C) THIS IS HER 3RD WINTER. SHE KNOWS WHAT A SOCK IS.

Watched the men's short and free programs for the NHK Trophy (I had to switch my VPN to canada so i could stream it, but I managed), and I enjoyed all of that. I'm looking forward to the finals in a couple weeks. Yuzuru is an amazing little darling, but the best part is him breaking 300 total points, turning to his coach, and saying "I still want a few more." His coach was like "I KNOW YOU WANT A FEW MORE, SHUT UP."

After the babka, I made Mac and Cheese with cornbread crumbs for thanksgiving and holy shit it was amazing. I recommend doing that.

NaNo is only at 11k because I am the worst, but it's okay, I'll keep working on it. Cubeverse is fun. Yasui just tasered Genki in the bit i just wrote. Being a ghost hunter is a hard life.
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Santa Fe isn't even close to my favorite RENT song, but I've had it stuck in my head for a couple days. it seems appropriate.

I thought about making a post a couple times after the election last week, but always feel like what I have to say isn't helpful or constructive or even nice. basically I'm just intensely tired of thinking "come on guys, we can do better than this" and then, nope, no rational sense at all. Just insanity. I feel kind of hopeless, not about my self/life personally, but just this keeps being a problem and we never fix it, we just let it be the same problem over and over and everybody gets all mad but then we just circle right back around again and surprise, it's the same problem.

okay, maybe a tiny bit of the hopelessness is about myself, because when I gave up around 2am that night, I went to bed thinking that I should feel more anxious personally but since I'm basically never dating anyone, does it even matter I'm not straight? But whatever, it's also almost thanksgiving week which is one of the 2 weeks in the year that I feel the most awful during, and since I can't seem to make that stop either, the best thing to do seems to be to just try and be sad quietly without dragging anybody else down. Like in Inside Out when Joy draws the circle around Sadness and tells her just to stay inside it and not touch anything. That's me. She even looks like me.

Ever since I moved to this apartment Miyata the confused christmas cactus always blooms like crazy at Thanksgiving instead, and I've started to wonder if he is trying to make me feel better. If Gaya the birthday orchid does the same thing around my birthday I'll know they planned it.

I took my dad to see Sungha Jung, the acoustic guitarist, last weekend, and he was really amazing in person. That kid is so talented and he was super nice when I got to talk to him for a minute while he signed my poster. Live he's unbelievable, he doesn't even seem real. The other guy was Trace Bundy, who I hadn't heard of before, but he did some really cool stuff with echo and loop pedals and his acoustic guitar, and I wholeheartedly recommend him. My favorite, hands down, was Overtime where he uses an echo and then by the end is kind of playing in between the notes of the echo and no video can do it justice of how cool it was live, but I'm linking it anyway.

I started writing Gravity Verse for NaNo but it's going super slow and I'm only at 7k. I feel pretty okay with that, though. Eh. We're doing a shiritori reshuffle soon and at some point I have to start JE United, but the window on that is hella long, man. I need more frequent shorter exchanges.

Yuri on Ice is....something, isn't it. I really like it, I do, but it's punching my teacher/student squick right in the balls. Coach/older student is still too close. It's great it's not getting censored or labeled funny and the writing and character development is so good, but every time it flashes to Yurio having a tantrum watching Yuri and Victor on TV, I'm basically right there with him.

I guess that's it. Let's get this snow on already, I'm ready.
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Sanapig died over the weekend. I'm glad it's over because he was just a shell of himself for weeks at the end and I hated seeing him like that, but he was definitely my favorite Snowpig since Shelbi posted about them being born and I'm pretty sad about it.

 photo BiggerMini-Guineas001.jpg

When they were babies, Sanapig and Nokkun were inseparable and even as adults, if I got one out, the other would pace the cage making anxious noises. I never got a picture of it, but often I would look over and see Nokkun casually nibbling Sanapig's ear over the food bowl, so I hope wherever guinea pigs go, they're back together now. I bet his sisters are there too, since I can't imagine all of these pigs lived as stupidly long as Sanapig and Datte have.

the Lucifer single dropped the week they were born, and during the 17 hour drive home from Kansas with 3 terrified baby guinea pigs, I played that song over and over for them because it made them purr. As adults, they would still sit and listen to music or concerts, but would get more excited and purr for SHINee. It's impossible to guess how many Shounen Clubs Sanapig has watched with me, or how many episodes of One Piece.

I've taken so many pictures of Sanapig in the 6.5 years he's been here that it's hard to decide what to even post here but, here.

no title

He's been here so long I don't even know what to say about him. We always called him the most oshare one because of his calico and super long whiskers. He used to nap on top of the ledge in the same position as I was sprawled on the couch and would watch terrible TV with me, especially Hoarders and Storage Wars and Law & Order. He liked to eat bites off my banana because he didn't want me putting pieces on his cage floor (it would get dirty). He was huge, like a small rabbit. At the vet they had to weigh him on the dog scale. When I had to get his steroids from the real pharmacy a hilarious string of mishaps happened where I had to explain no, Sara is not short for Sanapig and no, I am not his spouse.

Sanapig was my sadness buddy. When Nokkun died from a tumor about 3 years ago, I thought for sure Sanapig would just follow him right after, but nope, he just kept on going even though he and Datte fought too much to live together. He really liked Christina, and when she moved out he moped on the couch with me for weeks. I swear to you this is not projection, he would just lie on his side and look up at me sadly. Even the chinchilla took it better than him.

Since Friday I've tried to talk to him, give him something, or gone to pet him at least 25 times. The new babies are fun and silly, and Datte is still going strong, but none of them are Sanapig.



I miss you, buddy.
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my apartment reached a state yesterday where today i called my mother this morning and begged her to come over and help because I just couldn't do it. it wasn't even a matter of physically doing it, like psychologically I had gone past the point of no return.

actually let me back up. about 2 weeks ago I ended up with a pair of baby guinea pigs.



Cute, aw. Taiga has the stripe on his nose and Jesse is the other one. They're doing really well in terms of friendliness given that they've only been here two weeks. but they came in a cage that was intensely too small for them as babies, much less adults. so I broke down and bought the components for a C&C (coroplast) cage with a 2nd level, and then i decided to try and merge them with Datte, whose cage has always been too small. This meant for a week I had four cages - the huge new one, the two smaller ones they were still basically living in, and Sanapig's cage. Plus the new cage was jammed in a corner with my DVD bookcase, and I had to take the chair out of that corner so it was just in the middle of the floor.

Plus the boxes the new stuff came in. Plus the two bags of hay and the 3 (yes 3) bags of various types of bedding I was trying to merge, all of them huge. Plus the two bags of fleece I bought on sale yesterday and the 30lbs of birdseed and about four guinea pig blankets either on the kitchen floor or bathroom floor or taking up half my couch. Everything had to be somewhere other than where it was, but I couldn't move anything because everywhere there were things. My bedroom was covered in folded laundry. the living room had a definite path.

so it's awesome that Datte and the new boys somehow learned to get along in the big cage in about two days when I thought it would take forever/not even be possible. and it's even more awesome that in that whole week nobody peed on the fleece part of their cage even once without me having to 'train' them at all. But man, this week was hard, and i didn't get nearly enough sleep and school is like uugh and no lie, I was about a day away from actually being the kind of hoarder they do TV shows about. Mom and I spent from 1-7 moving things and cleaning cages and vacuuming and taking loads of stuff to the trash/recycling.

I got no school work done, either job school or grad school, and after I took mom home I cried for no reason, but it's over. now there's only one spot that looks stupidly hoarded because that's where all the fleece is still sitting. Taiga is over there popcorning like a nut, though, so at least somebody appreciates it.
mousapelli: (objection)
This school year feels different. Or more like, I feel different. It's been a good start mostly for me personally, reasonably calm, but like last year, it's exhausting. Every year they add more stuff, and they never take any stuff away, and I redo the same stuff over and over and over because honestly I'm not even sure why. But that's not what I mean. This year I really felt suddenly like I was in the middle third of my career, like I really knew what I was doing and I felt comfortable with what each of my 4 levels should be doing when, and I've made a few new activities but it wasn't because I HAD to, it was because I knew I could run an efficient enough to get an extra thing in that class and I wanted to, because I thought I could make it better. And those things did work, and they were better. It took ten fucking years (it's supposed to take 3-5 of teaching the same class but when you have 4 levels AHAHAHA). I can't really put into words what exactly feels different because I don't really feel better or happier or less stressed out, but different.

and yesterday I had a day where just, it was too busy and stuff kept going wrong and happening unexpectedly, and in the middle i found myself sort of laughing about it, because what can you do, whatever, and I was thinking about how if I had had that day my 2nd year of teaching, or maybe even my 5th, I would have cried. Definitely. Probably in the hallway. So at first I was like, maybe this is what being an adult is actually like, it just all washes over you, but then I thought, maybe I've just reached a point where I've exhausted all my emotions about all of this stuff because it certainly won't get easier or probably any better, so all that's left is to chuckle ruefully no matter what happens.

Sanapig is still alive, somehow. I feel really bad for him, but there's nothing to do but pet him and give him all the lettuce he wants.

Steven Universe back on hiatus I guess, which sucks. All this week i've been trying to make a post about how the Mystery Girl made me feel, but it's complicated. On the one hand I could see how it should be one of my five favorite episodes, if not actually my favorite episode. On the other hand the reason I like Pearl so much is because I empathize with her unfixable loneliness, and giving her a possible remedy to that set at odds my desire for that to actually be the case (SU would do it so RIGHT) against being sad that I am somehow now getting left behind by even fictional characters.

and then I feel bad that that's even a thing I think about, but i've come basically to terms with the fact that having no real person to put emotional investment into, I just channel it all into Japanese guys and apparently now animated gem ladies. Also I thought Onion Friend was dumb but I always feel like that about onion episodes.

Speaking of living vicariously through fandom, today on Jweb Miyata was complaining Tama hadn't sent him a birthday text but then added, "Well, we do share a dressing room, and also live under the same roof" which is pretty glorious. At what point can we decide this is a real thing? Is it now? Their phone game CM is adorable.

I have an intense love for In the Storm, SixTONES new Shounentachi song, so of course it's written by Steven Lee. He writes everything I love!! cannot WAIT to see it on shokura. although I will never see Hokuto/Taiga's chained up version of Rockin Party (or yasui/nabesho duet) dammit, but I guess you can't have everything. One of the posters this month immortalized Taiga's pink hair, and it is already on the wall next to my bed where it pleases me every day.
mousapelli: (Tsukkisaurus)
school starts tomorrow so I'm an anxious mess, ugh. I swear it gets worse every year. I don't really understand why since I'm not changing jobs or classes and half my students are kids I already know and okay last year was intensely hard but now I get to reuse all that work I already did? So what is the problem????

Sanapig is still kicking, bless him. He's so skinny even though i've been giving him lots of treats. I gave up on both of the meds the vet gave me since they were 'just in case' things and didn't seem to make him either feel better or have any other effect. I just couldn't bear fighting with him about swallowing medicine twice a day in his last days, poor guy. Every morning I'm like "Hey buddy, are you still alive?" and then there's a tense couple seconds before he shuffles out and looks up at me suspiciously because he isn't sure whether it'll be a carrot or the antibiotic again. Sigh. His brother is still doing fine, by the way. Probably just waiting for the big cage to finally be his.

I updated the website the whole way up to 2016 before I stalled out this time. There's too many shiritoris! Some moron keeps writing them! But the website has over 1000 things on it now which seems crazy. Speaking of writing, I guess no JE FQF this year? That is a bummer, man. I always turn out good stuff for that. I guess I should just think about United, Halloween, and NaNo instead.

or pretty much anything besides school starting tomorrow nooooooooooooo.
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Back from my last summer adventure~ Boooooooo. Actually i had a really nice time visiting [personal profile] beltenebra and it is totally not her fault that the only train from there to here leaves at 7:30am. I caught her up on Steven Universe and she made me watch some Shougeki no Soma which, after the peanut butter tentacles, was much more tolerable in the next couple episodes. Also I played a lot of the 2nd Phoenix Wright game on the train, which I love, but what is the point of having a health bar if four times a trial it's like "YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE."

Shinchilla was purportedly very well-behaved and even ran her wheel for everybody (chinchillas running chubbily on saucer wheels is so funny you have no idea). My mom was like "She would run it and then come over to get a cheerio from me!" and I was like no! don't teach her that's a treat trick! bad grandma!! The guinea pigs are always like 'oh you're back .___. " because my mom gives them a ton of attention while dad runs the chinchilla.

Steven Univeeeeeeeeeeeerse. For real, this show. I have all the feelings for it. I love the steady pace of revelations about other gems and homeworld and what happened during the Gem Wars. I love how it's sometimes weirdly dark, but so firmly in Steven's sweet POV that they get away with stuff on a "kid's" show that i'm like "DID THAT ACTUALLY JUST HAPPEN?!" The season 3 Nuke provided me with my now favorite song "It's Over Isn't It" which I have been singing constantly for weeks now, and it always amuses me that the original Rebecca Sugar ukelele demo of any song is always practically better than the finished version. I want an album of all of those. TAKE MY MONEY. Also a Lion plush. I want it.

cut for other real facts thing I want to say about SU in case some of you aren't watching this amazing piece of television art )

Also due to reasons I mainlined all 3 seasons of Bojack Horsemen in about four days and uh...don't do that. Or at least, don't do that until you won't end at the end of season 3 anymore. Idk if 4 will be less soul-destroying, but at the end of 3 I basically felt like I empathized way too deeply with this guy (horse) that nobody ever should even sympathize with and EVERYTHING IS MEANINGLESS OH GOD. Maybe starting with "Brap Brap Pew Pew" was also a bad idea. Or honestly, maybe it wasn't? like if you're trying to figure out if you can handle this thing, maybe you absolutely should start with that one (it's mid-season 3). I'm not even sure whether I'm recommending this show or not. I thought it would be bad, like I think Archer is bad, but I kind of think it's good, in a dark guilty way. It's definitely honest, in a way most TV isn't. It has clear narrative arc and characters that are sometimes bizarre but never in an uncharacteristic way. Why am I defending Bojack Horseman? I don't even know.

You know, BJ and SU are kind of like the polar opposites of the best things on TV right now, or at least their tones are opposite. SU's message is like growth and change are hard but positive and works best when you extend trust to others around you, BJ's message is more like past a certain point there's no way to change or escape the deep core part of yourself, even if you want/need to, even if that part happens to be destructive or self-destructive. So both of them are like "You have to be yourself" but SU is like "You have to be YOURSELF" and BJ is like "You HAVE TO be yourself."

I'm not even sure why I just sat here and thought about that for 20 minutes. OKAY.

So anyway school restarts soon and I'm already anxious ugh. I've been trying to update my website and I'm down to just shiritoris (plus I guess SASO) so if I could finish that by the end of summer I would feel good about that.
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I am sitting on my porch because it is not 1000 degrees! Yay!

Man, summer is flying. Usually it's like that because I'm busy but this summer I've been doing a lot of desperately needed nothing, and it's still fast. Only a couple weeks until school starts noooooo. Also I finally registered for my fall class only to discover that apparently we will be doing that at 5pm Mondays. Whaaat. What is thaaaaaat.

Been having a lot of fun doing both main rounds and bonus rounds of SASO, although this last bonus round is remix and while I think it's cool if anybody wants to remix me, I'm not sure I'll do any of them. Last round was lore/magic which I had a good time with but there weren't any prompts, so I didn't do as many fills as I probably would have if I'd been presented with a huge list of ideas. But I did write Kuroo/Tsukishima using Polyjuice potion to experiment with all the gender combinations (here), lol. It's been so long since I wrote HP jokes that I had to look up all this weird stuff.

Steven Universe every night is great, and once week 4 is over I'm going to be in withdrawal. Last night's double episode killed me with all the feelings. Honestly I'm glad they're usually only 11 minutes, regular 22 min episodes might kill me. although I had trouble with the end of this one, for the first time basically ever in this series, in the same way I had trouble with the end of Civil War. I have some faith SU will come back to it, though.

I do have a good scary anime rec, though, and it's the first season of Yamishibai. They're 4-min episodes that do urban legends and a couple of them definitely got to me. Seasons 2 and 3 are watchable, esp for something with 4min episodes, but 1 is definitely best.

I guess that's it? I'm not full of news. It's 70% couch and 30% chinchilla around here.
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the problem with giving me unlimited free time in the summer is that I basically do nothing with it. Since I've been home from Japan I've been alternating between getting up at 8am and 2pm because getting to sleep all I want doesn't change the fact that I'm used to being awake for 18-20 hours at a time. The guinea pigs and chinchilla just side-eye me whenever I come out to give them hay because I can't settle on a schedule and stay on it.

All of the animals survived my parents baby-sitting, even Shinchilla. Although my mom did move shit around in my apartment despite being instructed directly not to, and they lost an interior piece of my vacuum somehow. I was like "doing weird shit in my apt will not save you from future chinchilla babysitting, so you can stop."

I've been playing Pokemon Go, but that week+ gap before I could start means all the gyms around me are pretty unapproachable, and there aren't a lot of stops/gyms around me. I essentially have to drive to them. Not that I'm not doing that, but it feels like cheating. Also creepy because a lot of them are churches, so lurking around is uncomfortable. But yesterday I drove 45min to have lunch with a teacher friend and there were a bunch of different pokemon around her (around me it's all pidgeys, weedles, and rattata). Also, honestly, it's just been too hot this week to go out and do anything, much less wander around for more rattata. Although there is a drowzee lurking around my building which I want intensely but can't track down.

I won't lie, though, it was really funny to be walking around with 3bro outside my parents house catching shit together. If you actually have RL friends, I bet this game is amazing.

I have been writing a fair amount for SASO and Shiritori, which is nice, and I finally broke down and updated my website, which I haven't done for like 2 years. I still have a ton of shiritori's to add, which seems insurmountable, but all the other stuff is on. It's stupid that I let it drag out so long, but the last update was one of the last things I did before the breakup so mentally the two things are tied together.

And I started catching up on One Piece, although i'm back on 634 which is...pretty far back. Oops.
mousapelli: (objection)
Good to know my random sleeping issues weren't entirely due to my hellacious school year, since last night they persisted for no reason. I think we're going back on the "watch One Piece until I pass out" plan, which was how I used to cope when I was super depressed. One Piece is very soothing for some reason.

Crazy art school friend was supposed to come visit saturday, then sunday, but every day she texts and moves it back a day so uh she might arrive before Japan, maybe. My mom is so much more distressed by this than I am, bc honestly I'm on summer break so I don't care? but mom is like "When? Did she text you yet? When?!!" and I'm like, you've known her for 30 years, idk why you think she'll suddenly start being predictable now.

Fixing up the last bits of SASO main entry and I'm pretty pleased about how it's turning out barring the last little bits I have to edit because I stupidly didn't adhere to the thing we said and now mine doesn't match. Noooo. honestly I like writing collaboratively? I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but I miss co-writing regularly.

I started cold-brewing coffee at home because I was going to the Sheetz too much and I have a coffee maker for reasons but I won't get it out of the cabinet for other reasons, and anyway it turns out cold brew takes longer (18-24 hrs) but tastes a lot less bitter. I've been mixing it with unsweetened vanilla almond milk so that it's basically no carbs vs the "sugar-free" thing I was making at Sheetz which was...not. Clearly it's not as sweet, but it's good once you get used to it.

Okay i guess I better go back to editing. Blahhhh.
mousapelli: (revolution now)
SUMMER DA YOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I had serious doubts in the middle about whether I would make it, but I did. 10th year teaching was somehow even worse than years 1-3, so here is hoping next year is better. or I will die. Because I have no idea what else I would even do. only 25 more to go? Uhhh.

Had excellent visits with both Amy and then Eri, and Shinchilla now enjoys having new buddies to climb on during Chinchilla Time. Also rode every single ride at Hersheypark since Eri had never been, and got so sick it was ridiculous. That's really the first time anybody's ever come and stayed with me? People should come and stay with me, it's fun.

LET'S GO SHARKS!! JOOOOONES!!! I'm really enjoying this Stanley Cup series vs the Pens, so it can go right on to game 7 so far as I'm concerned. Jones has been amazing as our goalie, so I think I might pick him to wear his number around, but I can't find a T-shirt with him, only Pavs and Thornton and stuff. What the heck NHL shop, give me my dude.

really enjoying doing all the SASO prompt fills for mostly Haikyuu, but a little Hikaru no Go and Prince of Tennis, since for bonus rounds you can write any fandom included, not just the one you signed up for. It doesn't hurt that when I repost stuff on Ao3, I get a ton of hits and nice comments out of it. Fandom, did I find you??? there are people here what is this???? anyway I'm team Kuroo/Tsukishima in reality but somehow I keep writing a bunch of Ukai/Takeda.

This week at lunch I told the breakup email story like it was a funny story, which it certainly lends itself to, but that's the first time I ever told it for that purpose. I also at no point in the story glossed 'the girlfriend' as 'the roommate' during it, which I typically do at school, so that was probably new information for a bunch of those people, many of whom were new staff this year. I'm not sure why I'm telling you this, except just to say, like, i guess it's a thing I can joke about now, or at least pretend successfully that I can joke about it. Also I've reached an age/longevity at my school where I don't especially care if people know I'm not very straight, not that I go out of my way to make a point of it. I guess when you've only had one adult relationship of either gender in 12 years, it's not so much an issue.

I think Exo's new album is GREAT. even if their MVs are pretty what the fuck. Dear JE, is there any universe in which someday I will be able to buy your music easily over itunes? Please? and I picked up some Royal Pirates stuff i was missing too because hell yes.
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oops i didn't post this last night.

SHARKS VS PENS AW YEAH
lol I feel like I am playing "sports match or nature documentary" but that is fine. Last remaining good school friend is a huge Penguins fan so it's been fun to actually bullshit with somebody about something. I caught the last 15 minutes of the game because the chinchilla came over, plopped down in front of the computer, and poked me in the leg until I turned on hockey.

We had a talk about how hockey is not a year-round sport but I'm not sure that's sinking in because my damn team keeps winning, so anecdotally the hockey seems endless.

Listened to Kisumai previews and was really please with everything, especially the solos. They sound like so much fun and I'm so excited to see those this summer. Soon! I am so happy for them that they all have member solos now, even if it took until 5th anniversary, we made it. I didn't ever really doubt that it would happen, given Kisumai themselves, but there were times it felt like the road after debut was a lot longer than the one before. It makes such a good narrative when you get to an amazing milestone like this, though, which is probably part of the plan, I guess. You get more attached when it seems less sure? Like I like Prince a lot, but I have no worries about them debuting at some point, so I like them in a much flatter, non-crying kind of way.

STEVEN UNIVERSE IS BACK. that show is my jam. the new season is pleasing me mightily. But I can't figure out wtf this schedule is? lol I don't even care since we're getting new episodes. tonight's was soooooo goooood aaaaaaaugh.

Eri is visiting for the holiday weekend, which I'm excited about, even if us doing stuff means I'll start next week twice as exhausted, and tbh I'm dragging pretty low already. But it won't get better until the school year ends so oh well!

game face

May. 18th, 2016 11:04 pm
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this whole week has been me teetering on the brink of revealing that the way people think i am a super competent adult is like 80% a really good game face, and then somehow pulling through at the last second. I had a student award parent thing today that I was bizarrely nervous about, and also had to write a script for myself in like 20 minutes because I had nothing to work from and also we had an altered/shortened schedule all day. But it went fine, and if I was at school for 13 hours today, well, it's that time of year.

Sharks are in the conference finals! the chinchilla continues to watch hockey intensely (I had to finally take a picture because school was demanding proof of this story. Last night's 4-0 shutout was niiiiiice. although I kept having trouble with my stream and I ended up having to watch the Russian coverage of it. Why are Russians covering the Sharks anyway? also their announcing was very flat, not that I understand any Russian, but even when there was a goal their voices didn't change at all, as if nothing had happened.

I have an awesome new migraine symptom which is like my molars on the left side of my face sort of...buzz? it doesn't hurt, but it's like when you ride a bus or something too long and your teeth kind of vibrate ticklishly verging on unpleasant. Excedrin does NOT fix this symptom, which sucks, because I have had it all week. I will take weird copper taste in the mouth over this one any day.

I baked blackberry fruit bars with that base recipe we made the Zimbits with, and oh man, so tasty. Blackberries are my favorite so i think that might be a go-to this summer. I left the ginger in and everything, but I didn't ice them. but they were GLUED to my pan, so parchment paper, next time.

I did all the Japan stuff, except concerts which isn't a thing I can control really, so otherwise I am set. I am trying airbnb for the first time, so I hope that goes well, and I got purple concert binoculars which I am excited about. Rail pass! SHINKANSEN COME TO ME. I feel better about the whole thing, but right now it's hard to see past how I'm going to spend the 2 weeks before that doing nothing but sleeping because of this school year. I am going to Hakone and I'm going to ride the Hydrangea train and I am disproportionately excited about that. also about how NEWS's con good guy is apparently working on Kisumai's goods? yesssssss.
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that is not a euphemism for anything, she really does. She sits in my lap for 5-min stretches, which is about unheard of, and watches it on my laptop, and last night when Pavelski scored a goal when she was sitting there she made a satisfied little "KEK" noise. I decided I was going to watch the Sharks since they have the same initials as me and the time change makes it easy to watch them play during chinchilla time. In the time I've been typing this Yuri has come over twice to sit in my lap, then run off again when hockey has not been presented to her. It doesn't happen every night, brat!

Latin festival is over for another year which is a huge relief. It actually went sort of okay, no big disasters this year, so I should be thankful. Just a month of school left. I might make it.

speaking of that, I have to pull my life together about this Japan trip but honestly I don't know where to start since some of it hinges on concerts and what other people are doing. Also it's normal work time for everybody so a lot of it will be me entertaining myself. I don't really know where I'm going or staying or what I'm doing. i'm having a lot of trouble pulling myself together Orz

that's about it I guess? Spent all weekend sleeping and i needed it but on the other hand laundry has reached critical mass. Uuuuugh.
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i will not delve into the details of this but I had an incredibly frustrating field trip today that will hopefully be funny at some future point. I'm sure my version of events will make other people laugh tomorrow at lunch, but that is not the same as me thinking it's funny myself.

you know, that's a really good allegory for my whole life. I don't even know why I'm mad about the stupid field trip, but hopefully this pervasive sense of just fuck everything, i can't is PMS and will go away after a while. as it is I had to stop watching Sense 8 halfway through episode 10 because it was just making me cry.

I finished the Raven King on the bus. There was an odyssey across the river to get this book last night after Amazon changed the arrival date from "release day 4/26" to "maybe by July 7th." my reaction to the book overall was disappointingly neutral but maybe that's because of the melodrama surrounding all the other parts of today, and also what I get for getting really excited about something. Dream Thieves is still my favorite. if anybody wants to talk about it, I can say what I thought in comments but otherwise I'm going to give it a few days.

I went and painted a vase with ladybugs on it for my pottery place's vase contest. I needed to do something calming. it almost worked but then my parents called me 3 times about the hockey game tomorrow which centered around pick-up time confusion and the fact that my mother persistently says "just bring a friend~" as if i have twenty of them hanging around. newflash: i was at the pottery place alone because that's like -200% reality.

Steven Universe is coming back in May, at least.

Kisumai's album looks good, in terms of extras and solos.

the KuroTsukki is at 13k but I can't seem to finish it.

my grad school advisor said i don't have to take a class this summer. that sounds fabulous.
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Have you read any Check Please? It's an amazing, adorable comic about hockey at Samwell college and the main character is the cutest little thing from Georgia who bakes pies for his hockey team, and you should read it okay? But the main pairing is Jack Zimmerman/Eric Bittle (he's the baker) and so it's called Zimbits.

Well, [personal profile] beltenebra came to visit me this weekend, and we decided that Zimbits sounded like a cookie. A delicious cookie that had peach and ginger for Bitty and maple for Jack. AND THEN WE MADE IT HAPPEN.



Zimbits (Peach Ginger Shortbread Bar Cookies with Maple Buttercream Frosting)

Sidenote: we debated a version where you soak the peaches with bourbon and call it "Faber After Dark."

credits: We got the original peach shortbread recipe from Smitten Kitchen before we modified it a little, and then googled a generic buttercream icing recipe to add the maple syrup.

Bars:

1/2 cup brown sugar (I used dark)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 3/4 cups cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice (it's a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves McCormick sells)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 Tbl) browned butter (see below)
1 large egg
2 peaches, pitted and sliced (mine were frozen from summer so it was more like goo)

Icing:

2 sticks (8 Tbl) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Browning butter (From Smitten Kitchen): Melt butter in a small/medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly after it browns and the very second that you turn around to do something else. Set it in the freezer until solid (about 30 minutes).

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 9×13 inch pan.

2. Slice peaches and mix with a couple extra shakes of the pie spices. Since mine had thawed from the freezer we had to strain a of liquid out here. You could probably add a little extra maple syrup here if you wanted.

3. Combine brown sugar, baking powder, flour, salt, and pie spice. Scrape in the solidified brown butter and add the egg; SK recommended using a fork or your fingers instead of the stand mixer so that it turns crumbly.



4. Put most of this in the bottom of the greased pan, but leave enough out that you can sprinkle another thin layer over the top of the fruit (we saved about 1/4 but I could have gone for more fruit less crumble on top). Press the bottom layer down firmly with your fingers.



5. Layer the peaches on top of the shortbread base, or, in my case, spread the goo around. Put the rest of the crumb over top.

6. Bake for ~30 minutes, until the edges are turning brown and everything is set. Ours was done at 27 minutes, so check it early. Let cool most of the way before icing.



While bars are baking, make the buttercream maple icing. We did use the stand mixer for this step.

7. Cream butter and powdered sugar until blended.

8. Add vanilla, maple syrup, salt. Use the whisk attachment at decently high speed until it looks like icing. We had trouble getting it to smooth out, so Amy melted a cup's worth of the mixture in the microwave, then tossed it back in with the rest, and then everything was fine. We let ours sit at room temperature, but if you wanted stiffer frosting you could put it in the fridge a bit.



9. Once the bars are cooled, spread the frosting on top. Enjoy your Zimbits! Here they are again because they were so worth it:

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It's birthday week for both me and princess Shinchilla -- her ownership anniversary was yesterday (15th - Tax Day) and mine is coming up on the 19th. Dad kept badgering me about what I wanted (nothing? for it to be summer? to not have my birthday be the terrible sex anniversary?) and in the end I asked to go to one of the playoff hockey games for our nearly by minors team.

That's the fault of Check Please coming back from hiatus and everybody on my tlist discovering it and then being linked a 150k fic which was the best Check Please fic that can possibly exist. I'm about the worst sports follower in humanity but I like hockey okay? I should learn to follow some team like it's a fandom so I have some chance of talking to a live person about a thing I like. Some small, tiny chance.

Also my mom came over and we sewed a new duvet cover for my comforter because I couldn't find a new one that I liked, so I just bought fabric. It was kind of like sewing a giant pillowcase, only I underestimated how much of a struggle sewing something that big would be, so it was good there was two of us. My sewing machine continues to hold up like a champ, but honestly I should probably take it into the repair place and have it cleaned/tuned up because it's starting to click a little. I don't want it to blow up!

Last Raven Boys book out sooooooon. I meant to reread but idk how far I'll get with that (see above re 150k fic). Oh, and Amy is coming to visit this weekend! Yay! I'm super excited about that.
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THIS WEEK. oh my god this week.

A bunch of other stuff happened, but it was the kind of stuff which is annoying but super tiny so you can't even tell anybody why it's annoying, but then after all of that I came home really late from school to find my entire bathroom and hallway flooded. It was amazing. Turns out my upstairs neighbor incorrectly installed, wait for it, an illegal bidet.

at first the problem seemed just outside the bathroom, but by the next night it had clearly soaked all through my carpet and was coming up under everything heavy in 3 different rooms. so two bookcases are probably ruined, all the chinchilla's play stuff had to be flipped over to dry in the kitchen, and now i have piles of books/stuff covering every surface of the rest of my apartment. I've been wearing the same t-shirt for two days because I can't get to my dresser. I have industrial fans blowing under my carpet and I have to leave them there until Sunday so I'm sure this electric bill is gonna be fabulous. Also their job is to dry everything out so I woke up with a headache and a nosebleed this morning.

I have to do schoolwork all weekend~ both for school school and grad school. i hate everything~ it's the end of the quarter and everybody took a test i have to grade on top of their stupid projects~

In more hilarious news, one of the teachers i have to meet with had a concussion a couple weeks ago, so I have to keep texting and calling her to make sure she remembers that we talked about meeting. This is my third phone call and she hasn't remembered any of them so far. Her husband keeps telling her they have a new hot tub and then laughing when she believes him over and over.
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We're five episodes into Yorozu Uranaidokoro Onmyoya e Yokoso (the hell is the abbreviation for that thing) and every time Ryo goes "Ohoho" all three of us crack up. I'm not even sure why it's so funny -- except that Ryo's giant hat can kind of make anything funny. I like it a lot, although the 5th one about the girl who liked stars was unexpectedly tear-jerking.

Also I made homemade karaage (like fried chicken, but ginger-soy and fried in potato starch) and holy shit I'm never going back to that packet I had been buying before. I cannot wait to eat more of it cold for lunch tomorrow. On the other hand I accidentally dropped a big piece back in the oil and burned the everliving shit out of my palm when I caught like a spoon's worth of oil in my hand. DO NOT RECOMMEND. I don't know what's wrong with me lately.

I did so much nothing over my 5-day break and I needed every second of it, plus a bunch more seconds that I can't have. I feel slightly more like I might be able to survive this school year, whereas middle of last week I was getting less and less sure. I think the worst part is how burned out the kids seem too, and how many take zeros for refusing to turn in projects. I'm glad every single day that I don't teach a core subject, because if I had a bunch of parents and administrators riding me all the time about the amount of kids I am surely going to fail this year...I wouldn't work at my school, if that were the case, I guess.

Been working on this fic for days and tipped over the point where I know the amount of effort I've put into it has far surpassed any interest other people will express in it. Ehhhhhh.
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I swear to god it never fails that when I'm already at the end of my patience the last thing that happens is always so stupid that I look like some sort of crazed asshole when I lose my shit over it. In other words the chinchilla ate half a keyboard key again. It's so annoying because she knows she's being an asshole, it only happens when i've fallen asleep on my face so it's really my fault, and then i get to spend two days worrying that shards of plastic will kill her.

Tomorrow just cannot end fast enough. I need this break so badly. I just want to lie here and watch the rest of the Twilight Zones on netflix and try to regain enough sanity that I have half a chance of not getting fired over the remaining 50-some school days. Also i have to do my grad school project so that it's just over with.

At least the quiche i had to make for lunch tomorrow turned out all right. My mom had to type up the recipe for me because I guess she has a really old handwritten one from who knows where, so she typed in a bunch of strange comments because she is my mother ("I use frozen pie crust now - didn't have those in the 70s HAHAHA"). I tried making margarita chicken in the crockpot using the leftover margarita mix, but honestly I couldn't taste it at all in the end product. I would have done a lot better just to squeeze a couple limes in there.

I had my hair cut and recolored yesterday and my hair dresser did something weirder than usual which I'm not a fan of. Everyone at school was like 'oh you're trying something new' and I was like "I wasn't trying to, believe me." Hopefully after it grows out a week or two i'll think it's less stupid, but nothing is going to help the fact that one of my blonde streaks is right where I part my hair, so it looks like there's way more blonde than there should be. This is just not my week.
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