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glass_icarus
23 May 2015 @ 02:02 pm
One of the many things I plan to do in this before-the-storm summer is read ALL the fun things, but I seem to have been slowing down on that lately for various reasons. I figured going back to booklogging would help with this problem, so here's what I've read in May so far:

An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir: I waited ages for my library request to be filled, and I enjoyed this quite a lot, though I'm not sure it was great enough to deserve a two-month wait. I think I'll be rereading it before I return it, just to process some more.

Grapefruit, Yoko Ono: The other thing I decided to do was tick a bunch of things off my to-read list on goodreads, so since I saw this was available, I borrowed it. :D I really liked this one, not as much for the language as for the processing it requires. Yoko's instructional poems are deceptively simple, you have to let them sit in the back of your head for a while before you realize how interesting the concepts are. As a result, I blew through the first half of the book in about 20 minutes before slowing down. I think it would have been even better if I'd read a few a day for a couple of weeks, but I'm a habitual book-binger and the return date was sneaking up on me, so. ^^;

Invisible Flower, Yoko Ono: This little story is also deceptively simple.

Season of Migration to the North, Tayeb Salih: I've definitely spent too little time reading non-academic things lately. I ended up being so confused by narrative chronology that I didn't really process everything this book had to say.

The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley: REALLY interesting concepts in this one! God's War had a much more visceral impact for me, though; in comparison, this book was less satisfying.

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glass_icarus
04 May 2015 @ 12:40 pm
Trying to get back in the habit of posting, so I'm reverting to lists/assorted randoms while I wait for today's paper comments.

+ Apropos of today, I think I forgot to mention that I finally watched a Star Wars movie a few weeks back? Can't say I found it particularly exciting, but it was entertaining to watch with zouk-geek friends. I'd much prefer a proper LOTR marathon, though (we did a Matrix one already).

+ FINALLY got my hands on An Ember in the Ashes! I put in a request at the library nearly two months ago, hopefully it's worth the wait. :9 *excited*

+ Speaking of books, I haven't been reading as much this year, which is something I should fix as I will be back in the grad school grind soon enough. Does anyone have recs for shiny things to hunt down? So far my list consists of the rest of the God's War series, but that's about it. Anime and manga recs are similarly welcome!

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glass_icarus
30 April 2015 @ 02:32 pm
You believed in your own story,
then climbed inside it --
a turquoise flower.
You gazed past ailing trees,
past crumbling walls and rusty railings.
Your least gesture beckoned a constellation
of wild vetch, grasshoppers, and stars
to sweep you into immaculate distances.

The heart may be tiny
but the world's enormous.

And the people in turn believe --
in pine trees after rain,
ten thousand tiny suns, a mulberry branch
bent over water like a fishing-rod,
a cloud tangled in the tail of a kite.
Shaking off dust, in silver voices
ten thousand memories sing from your dream.

The world may be tiny
but the heart's enormous.

-- Shu Ting (trans. Donald Finkel)

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glass_icarus
25 April 2015 @ 10:09 am
I recently read a Marxist history of the city by George Rudé
to help me understand why so many English decided to leave

for New Zealand, among other places. I can see why now, and
with compassion. The historian says there aren't many histories

of faces in the crowd. He talked about mistreatment of
minority believers, gin's evils, class differences, diseases -

all before the Victorians' great reforms when our people were
taken into the British family of nations to be kept as children.

It's an old story of course retold by many such as Lemony Snicket
in his recently completed A Series of Unfortunate Events.

-- Robert Sullivan

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glass_icarus
22 April 2015 @ 09:05 am
A poem thought it saw
the flash of an axe or ninja
star spinning toward it
in the dark. But the poem really saw
a man standing on a corner
waving his hands. The poem
got startled. The poem
got scared. The poem
didn’t understand what
the man was saying. If
the poem mistook the man
for a hydrant, would the poem
have shot?Collapse )

-- Patrick Rosal

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glass_icarus
20 April 2015 @ 11:38 am
After a truly gorgeous weekend spent catching up with old friends from undergrad and waking up to an epic April rainstorm, I suppose it's safe to say that spring weather has finally been achieved! HOORAY, and double hooray for today not being an office day so I can attempt to do my work reading holed up in the house.

Since it's poetry month and I've barely posted anything, here's a couple of poems by Aimee Nezhukumatathil! I'm in a bit of a foodporn mood, in case you couldn't tell... *g*

THE WOMAN WHO TURNED DOWN A DATE WITH A CHERRY FARMER
Fredonia, NY

Of course I regret it. I mean there I was under umbrellas of fruit
so red they had to be borne of Summer, and no other season.
Flip-flops and fishhooks. Ice cubes made of lemonade and sprigs
of mint to slip in blue glasses of tea. I was dusty, my ponytail
all askew and the tips of my fingers ran, of course, red

from the fruitwounds of cherries I plunked into my bucket
and still — he must have seen some small bit of loveliness
in walking his orchard with me. He pointed out which trees
were sweetest, which ones bore double seeds — puffing out
the flesh and oh the surprise on your tongue with two tiny stones

(a twin spit), making a small gun of your mouth. Did I mention
my favorite color is red? His jeans were worn and twisty
around the tops of his boot; his hands thick but careful,
nimble enough to pull fruit from his trees without tearing
the thin skin; the cherry dust and fingerprints on his eyeglasses.

I just know when he stuffed his hands in his pockets, said
Okay. Couldn't hurt to try? and shuffled back to his roadside stand
to arrange his jelly jars and stacks of buckets, I had made
a terrible mistake. I just know my summer would've been
full of pies, tartlets, turnovers — so much jubilee.

CHEESE CURDS, THE FIRST TIME

Dairy aisle, and I'm confused. No one explains
why here in southern Wisconsin, all I can find
in the chilled silver bins at my local grocery
are blocks of orange 'cheese food,' wheels of it,
even sliced, individually wrapped if I desire.
Of course it's food, but the fact they

have to qualify it makes me suspicious.
And rightly so, says my neighbor, leaning
a meaty elbow out her window. In between
bites of potato salad she says, You's gotta go
to the Farmer's Market and getchu some
cheeeese curds. The way yellow oozes
out of the corners of her mouth when she says

this makes it hard to even sip my cola later
as I wander the maze of fresh produce and people
in wide-brimmed hats. A swarm descends on a booth
selling said curds, each person wanting the freshest bag-full:
white chunks, bite-sized, more solid than I imagined,
just a bit salty and sweet. Even a baby's
pink, fat hand (hoisted high above us) clamors

for a waxy bag of her very own. How I love
the grab and pull for something you can't name, only
knowing you want more. The thinness in your voice
as you try to describe all the breads and heaps
of fresh beans just waiting to be snapped.
I have not yet mentioned the squeak in your teeth.

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glass_icarus
14 March 2015 @ 02:07 pm
+ Ugh, I keep saying I plan to be Better At DW sometime soon and then, well, things just happen. I'm making a last-minute trip to Montreal for school stuffCollapse )

+ Happy even-more-pi(e)-than-usual day! I don't know that I'm patient enough to do this, but someone else should definitely make a PIE-RATE SHIP for today. :D I am, however, sadly lacking in pie-cons, so if anyone has images of delicious pie, please share so I can make those?

+ A has just informed me that Rodrigo y Gabriela are performing at the Montreal jazz fest, which is ~incidentally~ right before a zouk weekend event. Bribery: ACHIEVED.

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glass_icarus
27 February 2015 @ 02:53 pm
LLAP  
1. RIP, Leonard Nimoy. Comments are open for Spock Prime celebration; I think we all could use some.

2. Leisure reading, I have missed you!! I finished Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo yesterday, which I really liked. Actual book-blogging is a bit out of reach at the moment, but maybe later...

3. In-person interview on Monday! Fingers crossed. :)

And now, back to food prep for tonight's dumpling party.

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glass_icarus
18 February 2015 @ 08:01 pm
Lunar new year time = foodporn time, haha, hence the photospamming everywhere. #sorrynotsorry Happy new year to everyone celebrating! :)

om nom nomCollapse )

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glass_icarus
10 February 2015 @ 11:22 pm
Looks like I do need to check out Fresh Off the Boat! I guess we'll see how dead I feel after this week's grind is over.

Fresh Off the Boat: A TV Dad and Hundreds More Cram Viewing Party

Watching Fresh Off the Boat with 999 Asian Americans

Underwater Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor - environmentalism and sculpture! SO cool! :D Also, those pictures provoked ALL THE SEA-LONGING.

♣ Check out this interesting little fashion film with Mikhail Baryshnikov & Lil Buck! It isn't exactly breathtaking or charming like that Korea National Ballet Levi's commercial (BEST pants ad okay), but it was eyecatching in some interesting ways, I thought. videoCollapse )

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