Category Archives: made of win

Ferguson Library

My apartment library. At least the living room part.This is a quick update and notice that Ferguson Library is open and serving the community in a way that only libraries can. They have volunteers, including teachers, to help with the education of the students of Ferguson, who cannot go to class because the schools closed preemptively. They are taking book and monetary donations, which provides a tangible way for people outside to offer even small assistance. Check their Twitter feed and their website for more information.

Yay! Libraries FTW!

Beautiful People

My friends dressed as The Supremes for the OCDT drag show.
My friends dressed as The Supremes for the OCDT drag show.

I went to a drag show fundraiser the other day, to support Orange County Dream Team and my friends who preformed. And I was talking with some of my friends before the night really took off, when one of them asked if I thought of them differently since they were in drag. (for a bit of context – this particular part of the conversation included me and 2 male friends, 1 gay and 1 hetero, and it was the gay one who asked the question). And I thought about it a moment (because I can only answer trivial questions without thinking), and I said I didn’t think differently about either of them, because what does it matter to me what clothes they wear?

And this is true, but it is the simple gloss of my thoughts on that situation. Especially, since the way the question was phrased and asked, it felt most like a question about whether I felt differently about my hetero friend dressing in drag.

The longer answer is that seeing my friends in drag helped me better understand them and my thoughts and feelings toward them. I realized that they could’ve been dressed in trash bags, and I would’ve still been standing with them, talking, because they are my friends. Socially, it’s more acceptable for gays to drag, but societal conventions are really the best rules to break, and they both looked phenomenal in their dresses and wigs and makeup. They’re both attractive when they look like the social definition of male, and they were still attractive when they were dressed in the social markers of female.

But their physical attractiveness isn’t even what I saw when my friend asked what I thought. I saw my friends; 2 guys I’ve talked and shared with and worked toward a more just world with and debated ideologies with. And I thought of specific moments in Saga* and Game of Thrones** and realized I finally understood these moments more completely.

There’s a moment in book 2 of Game of Thrones where 1 character, a spy and master of disguise comes to the house where another character has hidden his mistress, a prostitute, to discuss the political situation. The man doesn’t immediately recognize the disguised spy, until his mistress calls the spy by name to offer him a drink. Her lover realizes that she can see beyond the physical distractions of appearance to see the person, and he attributes this to professional necessity.

Saga has a gorgeous moment in Chapter 8 when Alana is talking with Marco’s father, Barr. He is trying to understand why Alana would forsake her own race to run away with Marco, in an effort to understand why his son would willingly sacrifice everything for her. Alana begins by telling Barr that Marco annoyed her when they first met, so Barr asks her why she would risk everything to be with him. Alana says because Marco is “so goddamn beautiful.” Barr assures Alana looks don’t last forever, and Alana explains she wasn’t talking about Marco’s looks.

In a moment where my friends were disguised and asking if I viewed them differently in a context where others might have thought less of them, I saw my friends as they are and thought, through breaking the conventions (1 even more so than others) they were showing those who haven’t had the chance to get to know them like I have what I knew already – how beautiful they are. And sometimes they only way to see the truth of a person is to see through the disguises they wear.

 

*Saga is the great comic by Brian Wood and Fiona Staples. It’s other-worldly (like literally set on other worlds) and set in the middle of a war no one really understands but is over differences no one can change. I love this series, and highly recommend it, especially if you like comics that deal with issues.
 
**Seriously, if you don’t know what Game of Thrones (I know the real book series goes by Song of Fire and Ice but that’s too long to reference all the time) is, run the Google search and you can catch the drift. Basically it’s an epic fantasy about politics…

 

The Year of Adventures Continues!

Collecting books for readers in the reserve stacks, 1964I’ve cataloged some of my adventures here already, with the promise of updates to come. But I have a new one starting this fall.

I’ll be embarking on a PhD program!

The thing about this is that I’m moving from English to Education. English is still my first love; it’s just Education is proving to be more open to my crazy ideas. And I think that policy discussions surrounding Education provide more opportunities to make significant changes. Plus, it’s a PhD program, so I’ll still get to read a lot (They warned us it could be up to 200 pages per class per week assigned. I almost laughed out loud).

So soon I will be back in school and I can’t wait to wander around with stacks of books again! And getting buried in research! And writing papers! I’m super excited.

Here’s to the next adventure!

 

Adventures in cooking

How it beginsI enjoy cooking, but I hardly ever participate in the activity. Except when I choose to spend  money on other hobbies and adventures instead of prepared food.

My favorite aspect of cooking is that all the measurements and ingredients are more suggestions than rules. I’m quite slap-dash about measuring, and am known for forgetting (rarely the important ones) or swapping out ingredients. The kitchen is always a disaster when I’m in it (but I’m very careful to clean it when I’m done), because I enjoy the whole process of making food.

So, since my grand plans for major adventures direct, I’m finally putting my How to Cook Everything Vegetarian cookbook to use. And I’ll be taking pictures of what I make as I go.

And for those of you wondering, I’m an omnivore. But most of what I’m making is actually vegan, because cow’s milk and I get in in fights (and the cow’s milk always pwns me). And I’m not buying meat, because it’s expensive, and I’m only cooking for 1 person, which means the non-meat leftovers will last a smidge longer.So far all the recipes I’ve tried have been successful, including vegan cinnamon rolls (that I inadvertently added too much flour to, whoops!)!

This time of cooking is just another adventure to go with the all the others in my life right now. I’ll chronicle the best successes and the most phenomenal failures here, on flickr,  and on twitter, as long as I remember to take pictures of the food before I stuff my face or throw it out, whichever the end result deserves.

And if you have any recommendations for recipes or places to find them, please include them in the comments! The recipes and sites can be whatever you want to share related to food, as I’m never afraid to modify.

So here’s to cooking adventures and the ensuing deliciousness!

Planning the New York City adventure, or how Molly Crabapple’s art will begin the meeting of a life-goal.

The best days are the ones that contain an adventure or several. The second best days are the ones where I get to plan an adventure.

Today was one of those second best days.

It’s been one of those weeks, where all I wondered was when the week would end (which was particularly cruel since the source of my dread this week was work, and it’s a 6 day work week O.0), and I was searching for something to look forward to.

Normally, I would plan a trip to visit friends, because most of my friends moved far away, and I love an excuse to travel. But I just got back from visiting some of my friends in Portland, and the other places are quite expensive (but I’m still trying to plan for those in the near future).

Continue reading Planning the New York City adventure, or how Molly Crabapple’s art will begin the meeting of a life-goal.

Santa Anita Canyon hike

Santa Anita Canyon hiking trip

So the other day, we went on a hike through the Santa Anita Canyon. It’s just east of Los Angeles. And it’s beautiful. We hiked for hours; I ached for days after (yep, I should exercise more). The day was cloudy and rainy and we ended up soaked (seriously, I looked like a drowned  cat), and it was a perfect day. It was a great moment with new friends.

Enjoy the pictures! And if you ever get the chance to hike through that area of the Angeles National Forest, you absolutely should! Especially if it’s raining!

 

Shiny new avatar!

gaw_chandraLook at my cute new avatar! It’s a custom piece by Len Peralta, geek artist extraordinaire.

I backed Geek-A-Week 4.0 at the level where I got to send him a picture of me and I would get this –>

Len Peralta’s work is phenomenal, and I’m always on the look out for ways to pick up more of his artwork. And now I get to look like one of the cool kids on the internet 🙂

There are other offers of personalized artwork on his site, so check them out!

 

A few of my favorite quotes I found reading

My brainSometimes I have more time than I know what to do with. Now isn’t one of those times, which means that I’m finding everything in the world to do that isn’t my ToDo list. Including Facebook.

I was wandering through my friends’ quotes, as posted on their profiles, and I decided that was a game I could play, too.

So I culled some of my favorite quotes (and 1 paraphrase) and put them in a list. I left off the authors on purpose to see who could ID the quotes without my assistance. I figured bonus points for getting the paraphrase, too.

And I decided to post them here, because why not? Also, see 1st paragraph. For those of you who share my loathing of the Facebook (or can’t figure out how to see them in the new iteration), I’ve pasted them below. Have fun!

“In a minute there is time / For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”

“Remember your name.”

“Trust dreams.
Trust your hear, and trust your story.”

“‘We all love you. No matter how different you are, no matter if you leave us one day.’ She kissed his cheek. ‘And if and when you die your bones will lie undisturbed, we’ll see to that, you’ll lie at ease forever, and I’ll come see you every All Hallows’ Eve and tuck you in more secure.'”

“I dwell in Possibility –”

“Mother says she prays for me… to learn, away from home and friends, what the heart is and what it means to love.”

“‘You’ve a good heart,’ she told him. ‘Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go.’ Then she shook her head. ‘But mostly, it’s not.'”

“‘Kiss a lover
Dance a measure,
Find your name
And buried treasure…
Face your life
Its pain, its pleasure,
Leave no path untaken”

“These fragments I have shored against my ruins”