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Month: January 2017

I’m tired but I will stay angry

I’m tired but I will stay angry

I’m so tired of governmental fuckery and I’m trying so very hard to stay angry because complacency = death

This Muslim ban is racist and punishes innocent people who have done nothing wrong. It even punishes some of the Muslims who risked their lives to help our American troops not die in the Middle East. And what really burns at the pit of my stomach is the fact that this is not the first time America has done this. But America has done this to the Irish, the Italians, Chinese, Japanese, and to Jewish people.

AND WHY THE FUCK DO WE KEEP DOING IT????

IT HAS NEVER KEPT US ANY SAFER.

It’s frustrating that we’ve never learned our lesson.

It’s frustrating that whenever old white men are in power they decide to punish some vague Other instead of focusing on issues that really affect the country.

I’m just…the story about the Iraqi translator reminds me of what the US did to the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who helped America during the Pacific campaign during WWII. They were promised citizenship. The US reneged on that promise after the war. And the US only *just* gave acknowledgment to these Veteranos for their sacrifices within the last few years.

So…like…if you help America win a war, you have to wait upwards of 70 years for your reward??? Really????

I’m sickened. This is not my country. My country’s ideals are to welcome the huddled masses, not turn them away. Both my parents came to this country on employee visas and became naturalized citizens. Citizenship is a long, arduous process that may take upwards of 20 years to fulfill. And there are members of my own family who have waited more than a decade to become an American. It pisses me the fuck off that the Vulgarian and his ilk consider themselves more American than my cousins, my uncles, my aunts. Like, fuck you, you don’t know America like my family knows America, like how every immigrant or refugee family knows America.

One of my cousins had been going through the naturalization process for the better part of 10 years and was just about to take his final interview. A couple of days before his appointment, he suffered a massive heart attack and passed away. He passed away after 1o years of waiting and wanting to become a US citizen, and now he’ll never get to be with the rest of his brothers and sisters here in the US. He spent so much of his life working and waiting and yearning for citizenship and he’ll never get it. And here’s T. and Co. saying they think they know what’s best for Americans. They think they know who would make the best Americans. And I guess it ain’t Muslims (though not from Saudi Arabia or UAE, or some other countries that Trump has business dealings with) BUT IT’S NOT ABOUT BEING RACIST AND GREEDY GUYS

I’m tired but I will stay angry.

Random Thoughts from a Rando

Random Thoughts from a Rando

  • Every time something happens in the Trump administration, I die a little inside. I mean, alternative facts. That’s a new one to me. Here’s some facts for you: more people attended the Women’s March than attended the T inauguration, and that’s a fact. Not just a subjective, alternative fact, but a true, objective fact. There are photos and first hand accounts that back up the fact, too. I do have to wonder about those people who voted GOP for single issues and not because they bought into the T Kool-Aid hook, line, and sinker. I understand that the world is a kind of scary place and you might feel like it’s because of black people. I’m here to tell you now, black people aren’t nearly as scary as the rich white man you voted into office. His lack of self-awareness is staggering. He’s never been told no. He’s never been told to compromise, even though politics is all about compromise and diplomacy and give and take. T is ruining entire generations of politics as usual. I mean, I’m sure that’s why his supporters love him for it, but I look on with confusion and fear. I know I’m going to get tired of keeping track of every bullshit thing T’s doing, but I feel like I have to, otherwise he and his administration are just going to gaslight an entire country. And that’s just not right.
  • Jeff’s mom is from Japan, and she immigrated to the US in the 1950s, after the whole Japanese internment camp bullshit. So she never experienced that kind of discrimination. She went to college in Florida, which at the time was still under the thumb of Jim Crow. Jeff told me a story that his mom was going to use the “colored” bathroom and was warned by her white friends that she can use the whites-only bathroom. I think, maybe, this instilled in her an idea that she was still better than black people and an honorary white person. I don’t think she’s ever shaken that part off. She’s impressed with T., she thinks his businessman’s expertise is just what this country needs, and I’m terrified that an Asian (she has a green card, and is not a citizen) would even think that T. is good for anyone. I can’t say this out loud, or in her company. It’s just, I have a hard time when POC are racist to other POC, and I know there’s a history of anti-blackness in the Asian-American community. It’s just hard to stop.
  • It’s less than a month until I go to Disneyland again, and I think I’m going to need this trip more than ever. I just purchased my park hopper tickets and I’m doing some last minute prep. I just need to get away for a while, I think.
And so it goes

And so it goes

I’ve missed a few days of daily blogging, but rather than attempt to catch up, I’m just going to run with it. This is an update when you can sort of blog and not an update daily no matter what blog. This entire week has been filled with annoyances, and now we have a new President who might or might not lead our country into ruination before his term is over. I didn’t catch all of his inauguration speech, but it sounds like he went negative, not touting the good things that America is or represents, but pointing out our weaknesses and informing us that we can solve them. I’m not a fan of Trump, regardless. I just think he’s an awful human being who isn’t fit for public office. But he’s our President. I mean, I really hated when Bush II was President, and he was pretty awful, but through all that, he didn’t seem like a bad person. Trump’s just a bad person.

But life goes on.

Today I had lunch at my favorite pho place and then did a little shopping at the mall, spending a bit of Jeff’s hot cash from Hot Topic on a Funko Pop (Baby Moana), some Doctor Who-themed socks (there are Fifth Doctor socks, which made me laugh so much I had to get them), and a couple of Steven Universe blind bags, which had a Steven and a Garnet. The Garnet is fairly rare so I’m excited that I got it.

We just need to enjoy the little things and then work hard to keep the big things from overwhelming us.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the most Asian show on TV you’ve never heard of | Toronto Star

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the most Asian show on TV you’ve never heard of | Toronto Star

The superhero series is as close to a post-racial universe as you will get on TV, with visible minorities both in front of and behind the cameras.

Source: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the most Asian show on TV you’ve never heard of | Toronto Star

It is kind of annoying that this has to be a thing, but I’m still very pleased that one of my favorite shows has a bunch of Asian-Americans on-camera and off and has always encouraged diversity in its cast. I do have some reservations about the whole LMD storyline, but that’s for another post, I think. For now, I’m just going to bask in the fact that AoS still exists, for now, even though I’m still worried that they might not get another season after the current one.

In which I am somewhat salty about Sherlock

In which I am somewhat salty about Sherlock

I mean, I didn’t hate the newest season of Sherlock. There were many bits I enjoyed about it, but maybe the bits I truly enjoy about Sherlock are the bits which make me fond of the entire Sherlock Holmes mythos. The inscrutable mysteries and the man who is able to untangle them. The loyal doctor always at Holmes’ side. The bizarre clients and strange circumstances that Holmes gets saddled with at the beginning of the case.

Michelle, you’re better off watching Elementary. I think maybe someone’s asking that right now.

Just so.

I adore CBS’s modern Holmes a bit more than BBC’s version, possibly because of the single fact that there’s a lot more of it. Elementary’s going on 5 full on, 24 episode seasons now, while BBC’s take on Holmes has managed 12 episodes over 4 seasons. Granted, those episodes are all like movies in and of themselves. But….to me Sherlock has always been about the episodic. The original stories were printed individually in Strand Magazine. You were supposed to enjoy them one by one, in chunks, and even if some characters continuously popped up from time to time, there was no exact reason why Holmes attracted bizarre cases. He just did.

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Happy birthday to meeeeeee

Happy birthday to meeeeeee

After hemming and hawing about what my birthday dinner would be, I ended up wanting prime rib, so I went to The Food Lab since I trust Kenji about as much as I trust anyone. Serious Eats has an amazingly simple prime rib recipe which I followed to the letter, and it came out a perfect rare without the frustrating bulls-eye ring of more well done meat at the edges versus a more red center.

I love red meat. It’s the carnivore in me. It’s the part of me that loves the slight tang of sashimi and steak tartare. There is a Filipino dish that is basically raw beef mixed in with bile (yes, bitter bitter bile) and a little bit of salt and vinegar. It’s one of my favorites. So, I dearly love rare beef. Here’s how my dinner came out, with a thick slab of prime rib, some broccoli, and of course rice because I’m Asian. (Actually it was because we didn’t have enough potatoes for everyone for me to make baked potatoes)

Come to me.

Jeff’s parents bought an Oreo cake for me from Safeway, and I think they changed their parameters for an Oreo cake. It used to be that the cake itself wasn’t too sweet and neither was the frosting. The result was a nice balance between the bitterness of the chocolate and the lightness of the frosting. This time, however, in addition to the cake being a three tier instead of a two tier (which was intimidating, to say the least), this cake had regular chocolate sponge, which was a little sweeter than what I’m used to, and some really sweet frosting. I liked it, to a point, but I couldn’t finish a slice easily like I used to.

Three tiers. Whyyyyyy….

I also received a couple of nice birthday gifts. A book, the Finding Dory Blu-Ray, and a Disney Stitch dress from Hot Topic which will come in handy when I go to Disneyland and can dress up like a dork like all the other dorks who dress up in Disney stuff at Disneyland. I can’t wait.

Time to start hotel room shopping in Anaheim….

Natsume’s Book of Friends – An Appreciation

Natsume’s Book of Friends – An Appreciation

I just finished watching the fifth season of Natsume Yuujin Cho, or Natsume’s Book of Friends. It follows the life of a teen aged boy named Takashi Natsume. Ever since he was little, he’s been able to see and interact with youkai, which is the Japanese catch-all word for spirits, demons, monsters, basically every supernatural thing. He was orphaned at an early age, and has been bouncing around from distant relative to distant relative until he ends up somewhere in the country. Everyone believes he’s weird or off because he freaks out over things that aren’t really there. In reality, he’s reacting to the myriad spirits who still inhabit the world, out of the eye of most of humanity. But slowly and surely, Takashi gathers a group of friends, both human and youkai, who grow to care about him.

A line from Doctor Who comes to mind when speaking of Takashi: All that pain and misery and loneliness. And it just made him kind.

Takashi is a gentle soul, despite his gift. He wants nothing more than to live a normal life, but he realizes that his ability won’t ever give him that normal life. He’s seen too much weird shit. And, because he’s one of the few humans who can see youkai, youkai tend to seek him out for aid.

Takashi’s grandmother, Reiko, could also see youkai, and it seems like she lived a life similar to Takashi. Ostracized because of her gift, she sought the friendship of youkai. For a reason that hasn’t been explained (even though it’s been 5 seasons already), Reiko collected the names of every youkai she met into a book she called The Book of Friends. If you have the names of youkai, you are able to control them. Reiko didn’t seem like the type to take advantage of the youkai she met, and from every flashback we’ve seen of her, Reiko seems to be just as kind to the youkai as Takashi is. But, Reiko passed away at an early age, and so did Takashi’s parents. It could be the bad karma they collected for being to see youkai, which doesn’t bode well for Takashi and his future, but maybe his unique relationship with the local (and powerful!) youkai who inhabit the mountain near his home will be some protection. Takashi inherits the Book of Friends and the youkai start coming to ask for their names back. He’s able to bestow their names back to the spirits by tearing the page out of the book, placing the page between his lips, and exhaling. The words fly off the page and then enter back into the youkai’s possession.

Takashi is never without his “bodyguard,” a powerful youkai named Madara-sama, but long ago Madara was sealed into a Maneke-neko, a lucky cat statue. The result is that when Takashi accidentally releases Madara from his prison, Madara is obligated to help Takashi deal with the youkai world. On the pretense that Madara (or Nyanko-sensei as he is called in his cat-like form) will eventually inherit the Book when Takashi dies and the control of all those youkai. Over the course of the seasons, however, it’s clear that Sensei truly cares for Takashi, and he might have started off their friendship with rather selfish pretenses, but Sensei is now friend and advocate for Takashi.

The ending of the fifth season of Natsume’s Book of Friends includes a line from one of the youkai whom Takashi befriended. He speaks about flower petals, and even though you know that the flowers will eventually fall, you’re still entranced by them. Humans don’t live very long, which is a fact that youkai keep forgetting. Most youkai who seek getting their names back even think that Takashi is his grandmother Reiko, not realizing that so much time has passed between their meetings that they’re seeing Reiko’s grandson and not Reiko herself. It gives the anime a rather melancholy tone. Takashi is always trying to understand his grandmother, and thinking that perhaps he has it better off. He gets a flashback of the youkai’s memories of his grandmother every time he returns a name, and from what he’s seen, Reiko is always alone.

Takashi, however, has friends. Classmates who know his secret and others who don’t, who sort of ground him in the world of a normal Japanese teenaged boy. Youkai who he’s helped and now they feel beholden to him. It’s pretty adorable to know that Takashi, a boy who started out with no friends at all, now has a supportive family structure and a collection of friends. And despite his doubts that any of it will last (because it never has before), maybe he’ll escape the fate of his grandmother by being just a little bit open with his emotions.

John Lewis: Trump slammed for attack on rights icon – BBC News

John Lewis: Trump slammed for attack on rights icon – BBC News

Social media users rally round a US rights activist caught up in a row with the president-elect.

Source: John Lewis: Trump slammed for attack on rights icon – BBC News

Ah, excellent. Yet another reason to hate Trump (as if I didn’t have a million reasons already). Representative John “All talk, no action” Lewis marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. trying to legitimize African-Americans’ right to exist as people in America. I’m still trying to come up with a single thing Trump’s done to further the cause of civil rights. All I can think of is how much the tiny-fingered vulgarian is gonna destroy everything Mr. Lewis and his colleagues have ever fought for. Seriously: Fuck Trump. He is not a legitimate president. He doesn’t have the temperament for public office. He flies off the handle at the slightest criticism of himself but criticizes everyone else who doesn’t fall in line with his beliefs. His lack of self-awareness is mind-boggling. I’d be beyond embarrassed if I’d accidentally insulted a civil rights icon and would’ve begged forgiveness immediately. But Trump thrives on controversy and I’m sure he’s snickering about his Twitter rant about a friend of MLK on MLK weekend.

Once again: Fuck Trump. I did not vote for you. You are not my president. You will hold the office. You will be sworn in. But I will never call you President Trump. Good lord, I’m even pining for the days of Bush II. He was a little bit of an idiot and he misspoke about a lot of things which became Daily Show fodder, but at least he was able to work with rivals without insulting the crap out of them? I mean, at least he knew that being President wasn’t a frickin’ walk in the park and that being the leader of the free world meant something. I suppose it helped that his father was already President so he sort of knew what the job entailed. You don’t do it for the money or the adoration. You do it because you want to serve your country. Trump still doesn’t understand that. There isn’t an altruistic molecule in his entire body. Of course he wouldn’t understand.

Trump loves the attention but he doesn’t wanna work. He made a mistake running for President. He’s going to leave all that stuff to his VP, I think, who is also a douche canoe of the highest order but at least he’s held public office and is aware of what that entails. There’s a story about Pence after he was booed by the audience when he attended a performance of Hamilton. After his daughter was frustrated by the audience’s disrespect, Pence reminded her that this is freedom. At the very least, Pence understands the American citizen’s right to protest, their right to free speech. I’m not sure Trump knows a single thing about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He pays people to understand it for him.

So, on MLK weekend as we stand on the precipice of the coming darkness, we have to believe that King’s message of unity and equality will still resonate. We have to, because I’m fucking terrified of the alternative.

Birthday weekend

Birthday weekend

I’ll be turning 42 on Sunday. It’s an odd feeling because some time in my 30s, I stopped caring about dwelling on how old I am. Age really is just a number, and while I am legally an adult, and I’m adept at a lot of adulting things, there are still some aspects of human life that I think will always feel alien to me. Probably the most important of these is the fact that I don’t really feel like I should become a parent. I’m such a screw up a lot of the time, and I don’t want to take out my mistakes on another human being who might resent me later. Honestly, this sounds like quite a mature attitude but really I’m just scared. The world is just so screwed up right now anyway. Is this really the environment that I want to raise a child in? A child I don’t really want? A child whom I would have been pressured to have so that I’d resent them?

I guess I’m getting a little morbid and cynical in my old age?

Finished Final Fantasy 15 aka alliteration rocks

Finished Final Fantasy 15 aka alliteration rocks

Apart from a bunch of sidequests I still need to do, and also leveling up Noctis’ fishing skills and Gladio’s Survival skills, I am effectively done with Final Fantasy XV. It’s kind of incredible after falling out of playing the series after Final Fantasy XII. I’d heard that XIII wasn’t that great, and I don’t play MMORPGs, so I haven’t played XIV. After 10 years of development, how was XV?

It felt pretty short, actually,

And of course there will be spoilers after the jump

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