The calm at the center of a pearl

June 10, 2008

Drama makes the world go round

Filed under: Journaling — Tags: — kyraninse @ 12:27 pm

Got back about two days ago from the wedding.

It was hectic, exhausting, utterly worth the trip, and not something I’d ever want a repeat of.

Just had a convo with a friend and feeling rather slapped at the moment. I’m sure it’s silly of me to feel that way, but I was trying to talk about how I saw a certain issue and he said that he really didn’t want to talk about such things anymore. Such things being prattling about the issues our friends have, I suppose.

Made me feel like a gossip-mongering whore, which I’m positive wasn’t his intent.

But anyways.

I like to discuss people. What makes them tick, why they did something, what they did that made me upset, what they’re doing wrong at the moment, what they’re doing right, what’s going on in their life, etc.

I don’t like shying away from topics just because it’s uncomfortable and I hate it when someone tells me to cut what we’re talking about short because it might be offensive or because it’s awkward making.

I don’t try to offend, I just try to understand as thoroughly as I can what you think about the subject and try to tell my point of view. If the calm exchange of information is offensive, then that grates on my nerves.

May 30, 2008

How many Earths did you get?

Filed under: Journaling — Tags: , , — kyraninse @ 8:56 pm

As a natural result of tooling around online and reading about greener ways of living — I looked up the website for Consumer Consequences: the interactive website that tells you how many Earths would be needed if everyone lived like you do.

Frankly, I think it’s a useful thing to take a look at, but I don’t put that much store by it.

For the record, I plugged in some numbers based on my predicted living methods when I go to Boston, upon which it told me that we would need 3.1 Earths if everyone lived like I did. If I used the numbers for when I’m living at college, it would be 2.7.

It’s useful, yes, but only so much as it reminds me to live more lightly on the Earth and doesn’t plunge me into depression.

I think, the simple fact is that the Earth has way too many people. I’m not saying: “Oh hey, it’s all hopeless and we’re never going to get the result of 1 Earth unless we all start living on communes and farming our own food — so let’s all just screw it and do whatever we want.”

But, at 6.6 billion people on this planet — really, what can we do to make it so the results get down to 1 Earth? I got down to 1.1 Earths by almost never leaving the house, walking when I did, and eating all vegetarian. At that point, I said: “Fuck it, this is ridiculous.”

I’m willing to try and do my best, but I draw the line at where life becomes not-fun. Although I try to eat vegetarian most of the time, I like my bacon once in a while. I also like steak once every so often. The need for commuting isn’t going to go away, and neither am I going to sit at home all night after work and twiddle my thumbs because buying books involves cutting down the Amazon and going out to the movies consumes too much energy.

Also, if you really think about it — having kids is really bad for the environment. Throw-away Pampers, anyone? And you’re essentially bringing someone else into the world to help consume it, and what’s even worse is that you might raise a kid who is a veracious carnivore, who hates recycling, and was born to shop.

What then?

In the end, sure there’s some entitlement going on — but I’m not going to make my life a study in asceticism just because there’s 1.3 billion people in China alone and India close behind.

Not that I’m bashing those two countries — they have so many problems regarding population and they know it. Neither am I saying: “ZOMG, white man’s burden!”.

But the question isn’t always as clear cut as edifying yourself.

May 21, 2008

Really don’t know why I bother…

Filed under: Journaling — Tags: , , , , , — kyraninse @ 1:48 am

But I henna-ed my hair again today and have spent the past 2-3 hours reading about henna on the Internets.

Couple of points.

Henna is a natural dye that is absolutely safe for the majority of people to use, except if you have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. In that case, it can be extremely dangerous for you to use it as it will cause a hemolytic reaction and can be fatal. Also known as “can’t eat fava beans or will die” disease, so if you can’t eat fava beans without having to go to the ER — don’t henna, mmk?

Henna deposits dye molecules onto your hair shaft, so it will give your hair a reddish tint. It will not lighten your hair color — it’s very much like doing a red water-colour wash over tinted paper.

At this point in time, I have white hairs growing out, so henna-ing my blue-black hair isn’t an exercise in complete futility – but it’s pretty damn close.

I’ve read a lot of conflicting views on preparing mixtures, body art quality henna (BAQ) or simple natural food store henna, dye release times…etc.

I’ve concluded, after reading more than 11 pages into the forums at hennaforhair.com that henna apparently can work however way it pleases and there’s not necessarily rhyme or reason to it. Including to add oil or no, to acidulate or not, to wait for dye release or no…etc.

Actually, there’s actually multiple very logical reasons for why/how one way works and why it also works the other day. But I’ll go into that some other time if people are interested.

What I did today was I made tea with 1oz of hibiscus flowers and then put in 5 oz of henna powder and fucked up here cooked it for faster dye release. What I forgot was that you can’t over-heat it or the dye starts demising — which led to only a blonde tint on the white hairs.

FAIL!

At least, I know my henna shipment is in at the natural food store, so I think I’ll try again tomorrow. This time, I’ll just do what I’ve always done, which is to use hot tea to make the paste, and then just glop it on and sit around for 4+ hours.

What’s interesting, is that using henna almost always gives me a headache. I’ve also noticed that the headache gets worse progressively — the longer I sit around with it glopped on my head, the more my head hurts.

There’s a couple of hypotheses I have for that.

Some people say that it’s the weight of the hair. Considering I have waist length hair and the henna paste weighs a lot — that’s not implausible.

What I think is the real cause is that henna is supposed to have a cooling effect on the body. There’s also Chinese medicine theories that say that if your head is too cool, you will get headaches and be less healthy. The two theories combined explains the headaches.

Before I get slapped down for woo-woo voodoo henna Chinese mysticism crap — I have to say that sometimes when I don’t blowdry my hair and my head stays cold, I get terrible headaches that only get better once I break out the blowdryer.

*shrug*

More likely to believe in the latter, with that personal anecdote.

Anyways. Henna! More henna tomorrow, possibly!

May 20, 2008

Greens, greens, and nothing but.

Filed under: Journaling — Tags: , , , , , — kyraninse @ 12:39 am

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what to do when we move to Boston.

There’s going to be a hella lot of money spending coming our way then, both as one-time expenditures and higher fixed costs of living in a big city.

If we take the apartment the broker found, then there’s going to be a one-time $1k brokerage fee. Then, since it’s a $2k a month apartment, not including utilities, internet, or the initial furnishing — then the fee breakdown for the first month will look more like this:

$200    – Brokerage fee
$400    – Rent
$100    – Water/electricity (this is the quote the landlady gave)
$50      – High speed internet (No idea how much it actually will be, but much easier to budget more)
$500    – Deposit
$500    – Transpo to Boston from Ohio along with STUFF
___________
1750*2 = 3500

This isn’t even counting the furnishings that will have to be bought for our room or food or student loan payments or commuting costs. And if we don’t manage to find a job in time for the next month? Then we’re so screwed it’s not even funny.

It might actually be better to find another apartment — except I’m not so sure that we will find another one that is as good as this one by ourselves.

So, the one we’re seriously considering right now has rent control, free use of the dryer/washer (fantastic even though we pay for utilities), is in a good neighborhood (has a preschool opposite), four bedrooms, decently sized kitchen and living room, good lighting, hardwood floors, and is near a bus stop which takes us right to the red-line.

I really don’t think that Zora can find something better. I sincerely hope she does — because then I can save up that $400 brokerage fee (Chris and I) that is breaking my heart — but I doubt it. Nora was telling me about a $2000 two bedroom apartment somewhere else and that seems pretty typical for the area.

Therefore, I’m trying really hard to think of ways to save more money before and after we get there. My costs right now are pretty fixed since I’m living in the college housing which is $7 per night including all utilities and internet. Then there’s laundry and food. I’m going to try and stick to a $5 a day food budget — I’m going to hate it, but I don’t think I have a choice, really — and pray for the best.

After we get there, I’m thinking of having shorter showers, drying clothing using a clothes-line or rack, packing our own lunches to try and stick to a $10 dollar maximum food limit, and in essence — be the tightest penny-pincher I can be.

I’m hoping that Zach, Zora and Kell will be with me on this — because I can’t kill utility bills by myself alone. I’m pretty positive they will be, but I’m so apprehensive about the future.

May 6, 2008

WoW gripes

Filed under: Journaling — Tags: , , — kyraninse @ 11:29 pm

Macroed anything is usually bad — but for some reason warlock macros usually take the cake.

Warlock: I will give you a soul shard if you answer my summon, Felguard! Attend to me from the Abyss from which you will come. Please answer my call, Felhoun!
*felguard appears*
Warlock roots around in a bag and throws a mysterious shard to Felhoun.

Ok. I have nothing against RPers, let me just get that out there.

However, NO ONE wants to have to read that every single time you summon your pet.

What’s worse is when then have different macros for different pets and then there’s the summoning their steed thing and…

Seriously, I’m starting to believe that warlocks as a breed are just more prone to being drama queens. You don’t see ME saying something retarded like “Kyraninsa just magically misdirected hatred from herself onto Ravenclaw with an arrow of arcane energy” every single time I use mis-direct.

Jeez.

Networking goddess — I am most definitively not

Filed under: Journaling — Tags: , , — kyraninse @ 3:22 am

Dad just reminded me of my host mom.

I feel really bad about it, but I was assigned a host mom when I first got to college because I’m an international student — and between one thing and another I never really ended up hanging out with her asides from two or three times at most in four years.

It’s really all my fault — since I neglect to email her on my own, invite her to things, etc. Not that there’s much going on in my life in terms of baseball games and recitals and all that…

I find it hard to keep in touch with people I don’t see on a regular basis — and I’m bad about posting updates about myself and whatnot.

But now dad mentions that we should probably go hang out with them and bring them a little something for that “thank you for being willing to take care of my daughter” aspect and I have NO idea what to get the kids. There’s two kids, who I’m sad to say I don’t even remember their names and ages, and they’re boys. They’re about junior-high-ish age.

God — as if I didn’t have enough stress in my life already.

Anyone have any ideas?

May 3, 2008

Thank you, God.

Filed under: Journaling — Tags: , , , — kyraninse @ 9:22 pm

That was the pseudo-prayer on my lips when I stepped out of the student dining center and was smacked right between the eyes with glorious, shining beauty.

I wish I had a picture so I could share — but it was pure stop-in-your-tracks perfection, a riot of sunshine, spring’s new green attire, and flowers.

The brick lined path bordered and shaded by trees in the lightest flimsy green, the pink and pale purple of the blossoming trees and the vibrant primary colours of the tulips…

In my near 4 years here on campus, I’m amazed that I’ve never truly experienced the campus this way, as it can be – unapologetically lovely.

Regardless of whatever else may have happened here, all things considered, I would not have changed my decision to come here.

Thank you, God.

-More snarky-ness will be back after these messages. Your regularly scheduled rants will not be affected by this brief stint of sentimentality.

April 23, 2008

Officially passed Senior I.S!

Filed under: Journaling — kyraninse @ 6:28 am

I feel slightly sheepish, since I actually officially learned that I had passed — almost 36 hours ago, actually.

But, I’m officially done with my senior graduate capstone study: “How MMORPGs are used as social networking devices.”

Anyone who is interested in reading it should feel free to leave a comment!

I was shaking like a leaf the entire time and I was worried that I was coming across as not knowing my stuff. But it got better as it went on and in the end I truly felt like I knew what I was talking about — which is the most amazingly empowering feeling in the world.

All too often, even when I’m relatively sure I do know what I’m talking about, I’m not entirely sure I actually do — since, really, searching for the truth is an uncertain business and especially in the realm of psychology, all too often you can put the wrong spin on the data and come up with entirely different conclusions.

Of course, a correlation value of 0.9 would pretty much rule out any opposition — but not much is that clear cut.

I’m done. Done done done done.

Which actually means that I’m almost certainly going to graduate this summer and so now it’s onwards and upwards with the resumé writing and the summer job applications and such.

April 15, 2008

Blegh.

Filed under: Journaling — kyraninse @ 8:42 pm

*sigh*

To be honest, I think I don’t read “ethnic” (do not bomb me for using that word) blogs because mostly, I don’t want to deal.

I can understand why people post about their concerns about the treatment of blacks/yellows/etc and rant about how there is not enough support against racism and sexism and all the other -isms that abound.

Yes, it’s something that needs to be said, and we are the weaker for not speaking out against it.

Yes, it’s important and if you need to talk about something that’s important to you — that’s your perogative.

Yes, ultimately no one should care what I think about their choice of theme because ultimately it’s their blog and I’m not paying them to entertain me.

All that said — it’s wearying to read nothing but negative stuff about race and how it impacts our world and etc.

I’m not saying this to bash certain blogs or whatnot. I think, to a certain extent, I’m trying to figure out why, although I feel guilty about it, I don’t read Asian-American blogs as much as I would want to.

I think, to a certain extent, I’m looking for what I found, to some degree, in Clotilde’s Chocolate and Zucchini. It’s not frequent, but there’s these blessed moments of grace where she addresses where she’s from, the different cultures she’s been exposed to, and how she’s managed to merge the two into something that is wonderful. Something very like, chocolate and zucchini.

—caution!!—really long post!!–caution!!—proceed at own risk!!—you have been warned!!—

As such, there’s the rundown:

  • I’m a TCK, and as such I’ve realized that it’s not just about race. The people from Taiwan look down on people from the Mainland, and people in Shanghai look down on people who aren’t from Shanghai. I’ve heard that Parisians do the same to their countrymen, and I certainly know there’s the Northern/Southern divide in the U.S, along with the lovely New England  pride.
  • There’s anti-American sentiment also, not that two wrongs make a right. There’s the usual concepts of “Americans are bad at math and stupid” and “American women are fat, lazy, and bitchy.”
  • I have an American BF, and I hate constantly having to deal with other people wondering if he’s fetishizing me and not really wanting him to tell other people that he’s dating an Asian, etc.
  • I don’t even really like people on WoW or forums or MOOs to know I’m Asian. I feel, even if it’s not justified, that a neon light saying “SEX ME UP” lights up.
  • My family is not at all approving of this. There’s no talk of dis-owning, but then that’s because he’s white. I know it’d be so much worse if he were black or even just — say, Pakistani.
  • I have lots of family issues regarding being a “banana”
  • I know I have racism issues. I often feel more apprehensive when wandering near groups of black men in baggy clothing and lots of metal on their body — I know there’s almost the same degree of fear for white men — and I feel bad about feeling worried. Although how much of that stems from being a short girl and how much from racism I really don’t know.

In short, I would argue that I know what I’m talking about when I’m discussing racism. I’ll talk about socio-economic status some other time, that’s an entirely new basket of worms.

In general though, I would like to live my life with some measure of grace. It’s a horrible world out there, but is it so bad to occasionally look at it and say, “this has made me stronger”, and see the beauty that can be, even in shattered glass?

Burnout, is a very, very real word.

February 3, 2008

On writing, raiding, and so – such

Filed under: Journaling — kyraninse @ 6:55 pm

“There is but one temple in the universe and that is the body of man.” – Novalis

I finally got around to actually writing yesterday. It wasn’t pretty, per se, but it was writing. Then OpenOffice crashed and I couldn’t find the auto-save.

Uh-oh.

Cue me raging on WoW at Chris about: “WHAT KIND OF FUCKTARD WORD PROCESSOR DOESN’T FUCKING HAVE AUTO-SAVE?!”

Of course, after I  screamed at him in all caps about how it was all his fault because he wouldn’t get me MS Office, which auto-saves, and etc etc — I found an updated version. Oops.

Then we were raiding in Kara when a rogue in the raid says: “OMG GF BITCHING!” and there was the requisite jokes about it. I sent an aside to Chris: “Aren’t you happy I’m a nice, reasonable GF?” He sent back: “Uh, yeah, with regards to raiding, but not so much with the screaming over your lost document earlier.” Aggrieved, I retorted: “Well, raiding isn’t quite on the same level as losing WRITING.”

On that note, I sent in an application to be a romance reviewer. I hope it goes through because then it means that I will have free fluff to read in class. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll post some of the fluff I’ve been writing here after I tidy it up some. Not that people actually read what’s here, so it’ll just be open season on it — eh.

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