goodness, life, martial arts, school

The rapid-fire beauty of October

This past October was insanely busy.  I wanted so badly to write a post about the pumpkin carving and all the pumpkin-themed food and drink I’ve been making and enjoying, and all the awesome friendships that have been developing for me lately.  October was amazing, actually.

I invited a ton of people to the pumpkin carving and got about 50 people, including a bunch of foreign students who had never experienced Halloween pumpkin carving shenanigans of any kind.  Success!  Their pumpkins were awesome!  There was one Japanese woman who I befriended when she got lost on campus looking for her husband’s law school orientation who came to carve with her husband and a friend in tow.  They were amazed by the others’ pumpkins, and when I mentioned that I knew what sugoi means (amazing) due to watching so much anime, that’s all they could say, lol.  There were a bunch of different circles of friends there, and they all mingled well (although whenever my family comes, they tend to sequester themselves in the kitchen, which they did this time too… *sigh*).

the results of a successful visit to the pumpkin patch

the results of a successful visit to the pumpkin patch

The party was fantastic.  I made a huge pot of pumpkin drink and left it on the stove for people to enjoy.  It was empty by the end of the night.  There were two dozen carved pumpkins in all, I can’t believe I didn’t get any photos!  I was sick and too busy hosting and enjoying everyone’s company.  Of course there were a couple board games going on at once (Zombicide and Betrayal at House on the Hill).  A bunch of my friends from the dojo came and played Betrayal (and beat the haunt by cheating, lol).  It’s so great to hang out with them outside of the dojo, and apparently this is a new development.  Once most of them had left, Dojo Happa and I stood around chatting by the front door while a large group played Cards Against Humanity on the floor next to the piano.  We were chatting about how nice it is to see everyone outside the dojo, and he said, “Yeah, it’s awesome, we didn’t use to do that.  It’s because of you.  Oppa Sensei didn’t used to come out like this, now he comes to everything.  He was at the pumpkin patch, he came out tonight, he comes out to eat with us.  He’s not doing that to see me, it’s you!”  We laughed about my tendency to bring people together and make people laugh.  He seemed really appreciative, and it’s so nice to hear in so many words what I try so hard to do.  I really enjoy their company.  One of them (Senior Ecuador) invited a group of us to his parents’ house in the valley after the pumpkin patch to have a late lunch/early dinner of mostly Ecuadorian food with his folks, who could not have been nicer.  Earlier in the month, I had him over to get drunk and watch Hansel & Gretel, which wasn’t actually as bad as we expected.  He and Boyfriend actually kinda liked it, but they’re idiots, it was total trash 🙂

The founder of the martial arts style I’m studying now (Kaiso) had his 65th birthday party mid-month, and although it was expensive, it was a really fun time to see everyone dressed up and happy.  We had sushi and really good shabu shabu, and some amazing cake and green tea ice cream (which I got totally busted for scarfing down before we all had to leave in a rush to walk Kaiso to the valet and see him safely off).

I had a bunch of presentations and projects due within the last two weeks of the month, which coincided perfectly with the huge event my office hosts every year where thousands of people visit campus to participate in our programming, so that was pretty stressful, but I’m either getting awesome at handling stress, or getting better at handling my work load because October wasn’t nearly as emotionally/mentally draining as I thought it would be (though it felt super rushed all the time).  Also I was sick for the first time since I quit Karate Job.  Worst.  Timing.  Ever.

So... something to shoot for at next year's pumpkin carving

So… something to shoot for at next year’s pumpkin carving

A couple days after the pumpkin carving party, I went to a Danny Elfman Concert with Diminutive Friend and German Friend, which was amazing.  Although I’m not a huge fan of concerts, since there’s not much to come away with other than the music, which I already have access to and enjoy whenever I want.  Still, it was Danny Elfman’s first concert in something like two decades, so it was very exciting.  Loads of people in the crowd dressed up in what can only be described as a hodgepodge of steampunk, goth, circus, Halloween gear, and they all looked great.  And I kinda lost my shit when Danny Elfman came out and sang, “There are few who deny at what I do I am the best, for my talents are renowned far and wide…”  I knew he would sing that first!  And not just because it’s Jack’s first song in Nightmare Before Christmas, but because those lyrics are perfect for a comeback concert!

Then a couple days after that was Halloween!  I gave a presentation for one of my classes (in full costume, of course-Ren Faire gear this year), then zoomed downtown to an old professor’s class to defend my work (which he loved so much, he’s been using it as an example for current and future classes) and ended up giving my final presentation from his class all over again.  The students asked some really good questions, and I even managed to quote from the article he drew from most and essentially based the class upon, and I cited the page number of the quote.  So yeah, I’m a fucking amazing academic, thanks for asking.

Afterward he and I went out for a drink and chatted for a couple hours about my life, what I’ve been doing, what I will do, and why I’m not staying in academia (he wants me to so badly).  Midway through our time at the bar, I thought, “This is what it must be like to have a mentor.  Someone who knows the framework of your life, and what you’re capable of, and then looks you in the eye and demands that you go further and continue to challenge your self.  This is amazing.”  It was also super intimidating, but he was satisfied at the end of the conversation that I was getting enough stimulation (I convinced him my friends are all geniuses who don’t get drunk for fun, and that Boyfriend has a great sense of humor and is fully capable of keeping up with me), and that my selflessness might not be such a crutch after all (“So explain this to me: You have this sense of giving, this selfless streak coursing through you, but your’e American, and Americans are selfish, so how does that work?  Where did that come from?”  We had a good laugh about that, but he was mostly serious).  I invited him to come see the beehive some time soon, and he seemed enthused.  He’s also stoked to write me a letter of recommendation, and he’s super fun to hang out with, so overall I’m feeling pretty lucky to have encountered him in my life.  We walked by the Mayan on the way back from the bar, and he seemed particularly tickled when I fist-bumped some guy dressed as Deadpool (and Deadpool enjoyed being recognized, of course).  Overall an amazing evening.

And now it’s November and I can finally relax.  I’m feeling less sick every day, I only have a couple more projects to do for school, there’s nothing crazy going on at work (aside from the non-existent job security, bleh), and Boyfriend’s three closest friends are randomly flying into town for four days toward the end of the month for no reason other than to bug him and have fun together.  They’re great people, I can’t wait to see them and watch Boyfriend disappear for a few days into that tight circle of friendship and love.

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goodness

Halloween time!

what a cutie

It’s almost October (the best month), which means it’s almost Halloween (the best holiday)!  I’m pretty excited.  I’m hosting a pumpkin carving and game night at my place, the house where I’m living in sin with Boyfriend (it’s been awesome so far).  Speaking of whom, Boyfriend never dresses up for Halloween.  What a jerk.  Honestly.  So this year I thought of a great costume idea for him, and he’s on board!  He’s going to be a hipster.

We live in Silverlake, and we go to this great pho place nearby that’s like hipster flypaper.  It’s really fun to people-watch.  So he’s gonna wear his tightest pants, a loose v-neck shirt, pointless large-rimmed glasses, and one of my scarves.  I’m going to draw some ironic wolf/YOLO tattos on his arms, and maybe a feather on his neck or behind his ear.  Should be an easy, hilarious costume that he’ll be comfortable in, and our friends will enjoy.  He’ll probably change out of half of it before the end of the night, but who cares!  It’s still progress.

Meanwhile, I’ll be dressing as a lady!!  I’m wearing my Renaissance Faire costume, which I love, and I bet my Ren Faire buddies will wear theirs, too.  I’m wearing it to work too, and if my boss doesn’t like it she can just suck it.  Halloween is for dressing up.  So there.

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anime, badness, goodness, nerd

Stop it, anime

So, *sigh* I was poking around Things from Another World, when I came across some anime inspired figurines of Catwoman and Wonder Woman.  Which, in a nutshell, means their outfits are even more impractical, Wonder Woman’s sword is absurdly large, and Catwoman is inexplicably wearing semi-mechanical-looking claw-shoes.  And of course they have to wear heels.  The thought dawned on me, “Stop it, anime.  Stop throwing up on everything.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And yet… I like Catwoman’s getup.  For a futuristic reboot, it totally works.  But for a present-day re-imagining, it doesn’t make sense for her character.  She’s a self-made, single-minded crook.  She doesn’t need or want a fancy costume; she’s a ninja that steals shit.  And in case you didn’t know, she’s the best character in the DC universe.  So stop fucking her up, anime.  ^__^ lol

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goodness

Halloween!

It’s Halloween!  The best holiday ever!  Everybody dress up and act silly!  Kids!  Eat all the candy!  Adults!  Wear your costume to work (and stop dressing like sluts)!  Everybody get a little scared!  Time to watch A Nightmare Before Christmas!  Don’t do any work at Office Job!  Mess with kids at the dojo!  Hooray!

I had a scratch in Office Job Friend's office

I was stressing this morning on my way to Office Job.  I didn’t see a single person in costume.  A bunch of elementary school kids crossing the street with their parents were all in uniform.  On my walk from the car to campus, still no costumes.  I had to ask the woman who was stopped at the crosswalk with me, “It’s Halloween today, right?”  She laughed and confirmed, yes, today is Halloween, and my costume is awesome.

My costume came about in the way most good things do: as the result of harmless shenanigans.  I used to teach an hour-long free martial arts class to my friends every Saturday morning for a while at a park nearby Boyfriend’s old apartment.  One day we discovered our usual spot taken by a bunch of lunatics training their dogs to go through the kind of obstacle course you’d see at a dog show.  We were not amused.  It was the only shady spot at the park that wasn’t muddy, and it was ours.  We had to get it back.  So we hatched a plan that involved one of us dressing up as a dog owner/trainer guiding another of us dressing as a dog through the obstacle course (with varying degrees of success).  Naturally, I was the designated dog.  We got a camera, a leash, and a dog costume.  We showed up at the park a few weeks later, ready to roll, and they were gone.  They never came back.  We were pretty bummed.

And yet behold!  A Halloween costume was born, and all were glad.  I’ve worn this costume for… wow, four years.  The first year I went to a party in Mid-Wilshire, got drunk, and barked at people who knocked into me in the crowd.  When else would that be even remotely appropriate?  Only on Halloween!

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family, goodness, humor, life

Halloween time is the best time

i love a good haunted house

A graphic designer named Mike Doyle recently caught my eye with his creation of abandoned houses built completely out of Legos.  These things are big enough to cover my desk, and rise about four feet high.  They’re serious business, and super cool.

I love Halloween.  I love everything about it: pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, costumes, decorations, getting scared, all of it.  I also love having so many random encounters with people because of costumes, and asking for candy from (and trusting) one complete stranger after another.  What other non-religious holiday allows for that?  Everyone loves Halloween!  It’s the best!

JEALOUS

As a kid, I dressed up as a pirate for four or five years in a row.  I wore stockings, a red and white striped skirt with a jagged hem, and a thin white shirt and a pirate hat.  I also had a hook, if memory serves.  My mom would draw a curly mustache on my face at my behest, because apparently, even female pirates had to have Captain Hook mustaches.  Gender confused and full of sugar: needless to say, I was a typical, happy child on Halloween.

Sister dressed up as a candy devil one year, which involved Mom hot gluing candies to her tail, which she then unwrapped and ate before the end of the night.  I dressed as a werewolf one year (black clothing, All Star sneakers, and a mask), and as death another year (complete with armageddon cloak, scary face paint and scythe).  That turned out to be a semi-unfortunate choice, as I was invited to go to my first Halloween party by a 5th grade classmate where I felt forced to decline my first (and only) encounter with spin the bottle due to my awesome and really fucking creepy makeup.  I couldn’t believe we didn’t go trick-or-treating.  “What a waste,” I thought.  Plus, Sister and her friend both decided to dress as hippies, which only encouraged her to reiterate her favorite chant of “Angel, Devil, Angel, Devil” that she enjoyed cackling whenever she (often) wore pastels while I wore darker colors.  That shit went on for years.  I came to refer to her fashion choice as “Mug Me” colors, since I saw them as something that would make her look like a target.

But I digress.  Halloween is the best, even with an annoying Sister and friends trying to ruin my night with their stupid boys.

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goodness, nerd

Ren Faire costume!

optional hood? YOU BET

I went to the Renaissance Faire with friends last weekend.  So much fun.  Now I need to get a real costume instead of just pairing that bodice I have with a tank top and long skirt.

Which means I’d have to start working nights as a security guard, because those costumes are really, really expensive.  I’ve been eying this little number (pictured) from Ravenswood Leather for a ranger-type costume, something tough but feminine, because that whole damsel look is pretty but just not me at all.

I’d have this stuff forever, too.  Every Halloween I don’t want to wear the full dog-suit costume, BAM! I whip out the Ren Faire getup instead.  It’s a totally foolproof plan.

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