arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Take a bite)
One thing I hadn't expected about living in New York? Laundromat living. Taking all my clothes on my back and hauling them half a block to be whip-washed and tumbledried, and maybe folding the contents of my sock drawer on the long table while I'm waiting for the sweats to dry.

Efficiencies develop differently in different places. The dorm laundries in college were similar in that they were long rows of big machines, but different in that they were secluded in a basement instead of tumbling my underthings in full view of the street. My bittypartment in Japants had a laundromat nearby for those few times when I needed a dryer, but what I used was the tiny, plastic, water-efficient washer on my back balcony. I hung my wet washing to dry like everyone else. No panty thieves dared make the climb.

The hosts in India had a similar, if more battered and less used, plastic washing machine. They hauled it out with great ceremony for me, and I expressed gratification and was duly impressed, but... it wasn't really very useful, when the power cut out twice daily and once at night.

So I hand-washed, like the hostmom taught me, with two buckets and a faucet and a brush, and a bright orange-red box of Tide just like the ones on the shelves ten feet from where I'm sitting now.* Soak first, wring out, lay out, scrub, rinse twice, hang up. Wave hello to the neighbor kids watching me do laundry on my rooftop. Smile and laugh and duck behind the pants for the little ones, who shrieked in laughter when I reappeared. Sing songs to myself, sometimes, always aware that someone on the road or a neighboring rooftop was listening.

(Retreat into my box, more often than not, and curl up on my bed with my laptop where at least no one could see me for a second or a minute or fifteen)

and emerge smiling, and take down the dry laundry after dark. Or sometimes not until the next day. But always, always, before the boy students appeared that afternoon for tutoring.

I pull my undies out of the dryer in plain sight here. Sometimes I even fold them while I'm waiting for the rest to dry! But always, always, I'm looking over my shoulder or down the table or out the window, just glancing, surreptitiously: who's watching? (Am I shaming someone? Will that kid tell his parents about it?) And sometimes I move around the table, so I'm blocking the view of my ~unmentionables~ from the sidewalk.

But I'm friends with my laundromat owner! He's a cool guy. Speaks Chinese. There was a stray book in Japanese left behind on the table, so I picked it up and started reading, and he promptly gave it to me. Said it'd just been kicking around the place anyhow. We discuss politics and world events, and when the dryer heating broke he comped my wash.

And, luxury: a dryer-warm rug, felt with bare feet.

*It was the brand names that jarred me on a daily basis. There I was, nodding hello to the shepherd who was shooing his flock along the dusty road, and one of his charges would be gnawing away at a chemical-bright reflective bit of plastic that said Frito-Lay.

I've mostly not eaten things out of hard polyurethane bags since I came back. It probably doesn't make a difference. I definitely don't make a Big Personal Stand out of it. But I don't buy popcorn or chips or things like that.

Everything else was dusty, but the imported advertising was bright. The sanitary napkins sold at the lady-run general store just outshone the whole place.

I think of the marketing executives in this city who made the decisions that led to that. I'm still peeling out what I think, and how I feel, a year and a half later, and to be honest all I really have to show for it is a vague bilious clot in the back of my throat. And a personal aversion to Ruffles.

You know

Apr. 6th, 2011 10:33 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Karma will get you back)
I wouldn't do tarot readings for myself so very often if they weren't so freaking accurate all the time.



Oct. 5th, 2010 06:56 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)

So I was describing this job, to various people, back in about month 2 of jobhunting. I had a picture in my head of my ideal occupation, and I used this picture to explain, to myself and others, why I wasn't jumping to apply to freelance interpreting agencies.

Interpreting is about people, after all, and lots of them. And they'd all be counting on my three-second linguistic turnaround, and in the med jobs their health might depend on it, and on the tour gigs they'd all be entitled about it, and I'm not great at that crap. Hell, I don't like it.

So I had this picture of a translating job, instead: just sit me down at a desk and give me a laptop and a few dictionaries. Let me work through written copy; give me a thirty-minute turnaround instead of three freaking seconds.

I didn't expect this job to be that. Frankly it was advertised as more of a customer relations/interpreting gig, and it's been made clear that'll still be the most important - if infrequent - duty I have.

But I've spent the last two workdays at a quiet desk, with three dictionaries and a laptop. I'm up to a rate of six short translation edits an hour - though it took me two hours today for a single page of my own. Still, most of that was spent in background research, which I won't have to do twice.

It's not bad. Not bad atall.


Sep. 28th, 2010 12:44 am
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Cheep cheep)
Unpacking a box today I found a note to myself. I wrote it sometime in December of last year.

It reads

[2010 Theory:

In Austin; learn to drive, buy car, pack it, find a room in NY. By Feb, be in NY & either on the hunt, settled into GK's book, or employed.]

I didn't buy a car.

And I'm not even chipping away at the book.

And it took me much longer to be even partially employed.

But... here I am.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)

So it's been awhile since I gave a basic state of the Lina, and life is beginning to resemble some sort of wacky routine so I figure now is as good a time as any. Also, LJ notifs are blown again so why not make it worse.

Yesterday morning I had training for the eveningjob. This is private tutoring, and it just about pays rent. The training, tho, is an excruciating exercise in SAT review, by the end of which I'll be well-equipped to write a full catalogue of the flaws in American standardized testing. I look upon this training as material-gathering therefor, and somehow manage to bear it.

Yesterday evening I had my second weekly four-straight-hours of German class. Two speaking, two writing. I suspect with a little effort I could sit pretty at the top of these classes, and accordingly plan to spend a little more so that the prof will write me truly spectacular letters to linguistics programs. The homework's quite fun, lots of translation exercise. And the class is full of philosophers, who are smelly but interesting enough to make them worthwhile. Mostly. With exceptions.

This morning I woke up, dressed in snazzy black and went to work in Midtown. My dayjob is much better this time! I'm the native girl at a Japanese art gallery. I spent the morning running translation checks and the afternoon internets-researching art markets. It's fun. And very quiet. I just need something to do while I'm trawling the webbernets for useful info, because biting my nails was a habit I broke in middle school. Wth, self?

At least I'll look appropriately ragged for next month's cosplay. I'm going to be Basch fon mf'ing Ronsenburg for NY ComicCon. Yeah you know you want to tap it. My first crossplay! I'm excited. There will be fake stubble involved and also a potholder.

I'm also excited because on the Sunday evening of Comicon I'm hopping a plane for France. But that's another story. I'll get back just in time for our gallery night the next Thursday.

So, yeah! Moved in to a real-life apartment. Furnished it. Got hired, twice. Go to classes on the one day I'm not working. Oh, that's also the day my volunteer shift starts next week! And btdubs, still trying to get back to those grad school apps. Next month: con! And suddenly France. What is my life.

I'm a real New Yorker now. I know where to buy bras, and peppermint extract. The comic shop guy and the hardware store family know me by sight. So does half the staff of the nearest coffeehouse-and-wafflery.

arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)

Book review: Girl with a Dragon Tattoo

We've spent so much collective time, these last few years, poring over business news and picking apart front-page articles as we try to understand Our Ongoing Financial Crisis. The sheer attempt to understand, to pull out why our friends were laid off and our health plans stripped bare, is a real effort to peer into what seems a dim and twisted world.

This is why the great advantage of The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo is its setting. )

Girl With A Dragon Tattoo! It's amazing. Read it. Be aware that it's not an escape. The only thing escapist about this novel is the way the woman achieves her victory: complete, brutal, and without compromise.

Posted via

arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (DC: Robin training)
Amazing how much better I feel when I get shit done.

Amazing how much feeling shitty about my current life motivates me to get shit done.

There's got to be a balance here SOMEwhere. Preferably one that doesn't involve living with roaches and cat pee.

Now splitting my reading between Zuckerman's Society Without God and Sachs' The End of Poverty. The days are full but the evenings are empty and more than a little lonely.

Still trying to do everything at once.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
What's the first time you ever killed off a character?

One of yours, I mean, one you'd petted and fed and watered and seen grow. One who'd surprised you, multiple times. One you'd grown to love and see yourself in, and - more gratifyingly - see all the ways you're different and always will be. One you'd enjoyed knowing, in all his or her or its imperfect rambling ways.

I'm two martinis in and I don't know how to feel.

Well now.

Apr. 22nd, 2010 08:14 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Take a bite)
I had this terribly depressing and awfully depressed entry all typed up on my phone, which client fortunately opted to be uncooperative and not post it on the subway ride home. Because it was only shortly after that little technological blip that I started getting defiant, even angry, rather than wallow in perceived stagnation. Why the hell should my self-worth be defined by employment, anyway? Not only is that premise illogical and indicative of a very warped perception of self, as psychological problems go it's embarassingly outdated.

So, hey! I found a new food market in my immediate neighborhood that's cheaper than the crappy one right by the station, got myself a weeks' groceries plus booze for $30, which means I'm making lamb sliders on biscuits tomorrow night and Death Chicken sometime this next week. And tonight I am making myself some bitchin' tunamelts.

My apartment might still have black mold, so THAT's still on the problem list, but it's a manageable one. (Bleah.)

Who's free to go out this weekend? One of the dudes at the Strand said the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens still have cherry blossoms!

*edit: Oh my god ohmygod you guys THAT'S IT I am going hanami. SOMEBODY COME DRINK WITH ME UNDER THE SAKURA TREES.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Cheer up emo kid)
This week I had a different fun occasion every evening.

Monday was a university-sponsored dinner lecture, political history: specifically the motivating fears behind the New Deal, with bonus parallels to Obama healthcare sort of buttoned along the sides. 'Twas the only event that came with a price tag, and that snagged me a free drink. I chatted with this nice old guy afterwards about European history, and then got into this animated discussion with the lady on the other side of me at the bar about urban planning and ways to forge forward. She kept saying really intelligent skewering things that forced me to reconstruct my thoughts. It was great.

Tuesday was the steampunk meetup at which I met several friendly ladies, an enthusiastic photographer, and one creep with a camera who I wish I'd stood up to and told him to stop flashing that damn thing at me. Next time I will. Because there will be a next time, as this group does fun stuff and one creep with a camera won't stop me from doing with them!

Wednesday was the media career fair. I ended up having a couple informative conversations with film crit people, hearing interesting employment pitches from a couple internet startups, getting into an argument with an indie writer, and laying out an artsy business plan with a musician/artist who didn't have anything better to do. And then I left my umbrella there, because I'm a genius that way.

And today was a college sales fair, with vintage clothing and accessories on one side and the products of an in-house jewelry class on the other. I chatted up the jewelry teacher and got on her mailing list for future classes, which are open to the public! Might never have found it if I hadn't gone back in a futile hunt for my umbrella.

Likewise I might not have heard about the Rare Books seminar downtown! Not that it was really all that informative, but it turned me on to this amazing bookstore-cafe that was hosting the thing. I picked up Chekhov, some translated poetry by this guy named Ted Hughes who I feel I ought to know more about, the second collection of Get Your War On, fuckyeah, AND a book of dance photography by Lois Greenfield! I am going to draw so damn much, you guys.

How much did this haul run me? $25. Yeah. I said it was a good bookstore.

In the checkout line I got a text what said we were getting an awesome new housemate come summer.

And I'm off to Northampton tomorrow for another weekend of dressing up and rocking out. I really need to take a jillion pictures of Smith this time. I wonder if that one art gallery is open on weekends!

So yeah. I do this thing with my life. At some point I just have to summarize what my actual DAY is like, ahaha. Twelve different directions at once.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Reply to this post with the phrase 'Findled in the checkout line' and I will free-associate five ityms of varying importance with you. Post about them in your journal when you spread the meme.
via [ profile] rawri:

1. Traveling.
Can't live without it. I suspect it's partly inherited, this tendency to lead a life between plane flights. The idea that my life IS getting on a plane, going somewhere, and doing insane and interesting things until I get that itchin' in my shoes again (as the lady Kimya likes to say.) If New York gets to be home, and that there is a real hopeful if, it'll be at least part thanks to the way it's so connected to most anywhere else.

2. Success.
Can't happen if I don't shoot for it. I'm starting to think that maybe a good measure of how advantageous the next path will be is how much it utterly terrifies me.

3. Tim.
Is going to have a rough month. His fortunes are inversely related to mIne more often than I like to admit. Sorry, kiddo. We've had a weird sort of mental sublet thing going on for going on two years now. He pays rent in entertainment, and lightening up my universe.

4. Food.
I like it? In spite of the unfortunate habit of forgetting meals. Been raised to believe it's important to obtain & consume good food, and to directly connect various failures of mind and body with failure to do so. Dang, I need lunch.

5. Demon-claws. (art)
The best stuff I do on paper always has a little element of the creepy in it. I try for cute, I do, and it either looks manufactured or vague and blurry. Or it turns out creepy TOO, ref. NYC Heartless.
I still don't remember drawing those demon claws. But now I want to try again.

And via [ profile] murasaki_kaze:
Attn: lexiphiles! Comment here with an unusual word you happen to know and like, and maybe we'll give each other one we don't know. Today's word from me is polymath: one who dabbles in multiple fields of interest.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Cheep cheep)
I UNDERSTAAAAAAAAND. Everything, or close to everything, after the duel with Juri. I think I even get why the story was told this way!

Incoming. )


Jun. 5th, 2009 09:04 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (TT: Beast Boy is no.1)
Hippo birdies, etc.

I love you ladies and you gentlemen quite a bit, I hope you know. You know who you are.

I'm divisible by a multitude of lovely numbers again. Though it was nice being prime.

My seventh- and ninth- graders in Absolute Favorite Backwoods Middle School gave me cards. And I made mochi-based leaf-wrapped steamed treats with my eighths and a contigent from the local old folks' home.

Plus, chocolate cake for lunch.

~*~*~*~*~*~ETA~*~*~*~*~ i do this transition because too lazy/tipsy to remember how to sparkletext.

ATSUKO MADE ME GINGERBREAD CAKE ;A; oh god life is so good

also the pub gave us a round of free drinks, local specialty, 山桃 (mountain peach?) booze? I am told they are not really peaches. IT WAS REALLY DELICIOUS and kinda strong and went very well with beef skewers and squid tempura and local specialty of deep-fried cheese, not even kidding. Hell YES it was the right idea to go out tonight!!

I gotta. Clear off some of the stupid stuff on my studio wall so I can put up ADORABLE BIRTHDAY CARDS omg. ♥
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
This first one, it's pretty nothing. It's just a thing I pulled straight off of a photograph, done in inkbrush and watercolor pencils. Poorly-applied watercolor pencils. But it's cute.

Cheep cheep. )


May. 14th, 2009 09:42 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (TT: Beast Boy is no.1)
Today was the day I got out of dance practice, a really GOOD dance practice with a bunch of fun and honestly active routines, and still had energy afterwards. And it feels GREAT. This is why we exercise, body! It does good things to us! So no more bitchin' and let's do more! 8D

Also, ice cream is delicious. And it's almost the weather for it again. ♥

ATTN: Sho, Flik, Caitlin. Before I ruin it with a terrible attempt at coloring!!

I drew you a Bat-Ent. )

PS. Oh, sinful. I just made an omelette, mostly for tomorrow's lunchbox, and oh, the amount of butter in this thing. Onions and 'shrooms and green peppers and I think I'm even getting the hang of using a few spices. :3

What is it about my brain, friendslist, that sees 'oregano' and supplies 'poison'? It doesn't stop me from using it. But it's always a little unnerving when my glance happens across the label and that little red thought just snaps up like a signal flag. Some days I just hold my neurons in deep suspicion.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
We were the opener for both acts of the local talent show. I set the tone by slipping and falling on my ass within the first four steps.

Recovered swiftly, though, and managed to fumble through the rest of this amazingly intricate dance which I've only rehearsed three times while only looking slightly like the troupe's pet foreign monkey. Must order myself some actual rubber-grip-soled tabi; naturally, such things are not sold in my size within a 200-mile radius. Aaaaaand otherwise I'm just trying to dance, deep steps, hops, and all, in dry socks on a polished stage. Ahaha.

Second round was great, though! Our signature act. No slip-ups. I was having a lot of fun, grinning the whole time and moving in that clockwork sync with twenty others of all ages. (In real shoes.)

Join me next week, when I do it all again with actual practice under my belt this time.


Apr. 25th, 2009 12:57 am
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
There is a lot of beef, in this here beef n' fried ramen. And kimchi, too! Good for the iron count. Which it appears I've been lacking.

I started today very badly. )

So I did what I always do when daily life comes apart at the seams. I made lists.

Three middle-school classes and a couple hours on email later, I was almost back on track for this weekend and the next, with some semblance of not-letting-everybody-else-down back in my life. It depends on how well I can keep everything together, but at least I got enough iron in my food today. And beef-fat. So maybe tomorrow I won't feel quite so much like total crud.

Om nom nom.

Feb. 7th, 2009 09:15 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (TT: Beast Boy is no.1)
I just fried everything for dinner tonight. In a great big pan. With nabe broth.

It was ALMOST nabe? Only, it ended up just being fried delicious.

Even weird schlicky sticky potatoes are good fried. ♥

Also? I didn't even get out of my pjs today. Oh, SATURDAY. I needed a day like this after week o' sinus trouble and migraines.

Gonna hit 10k tonight.


arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)

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