badness, family, goodness, life, manfolk

Jobs, jobs, and oh yeah, I’m bi

I’ve been avoiding writing a new post about what life has been like lately because there’s so much to report, and it’s not all good, and why would I intentionally, slowly, and in excruciating detail relive that?  Because that’s what this blog is for: my life.  All of it.

I need a full-time job.  So applied to the JET Program and got rejected.  I applied to AEON and got rejected.  I’d like to teach here in Los Angeles, and I’d like to travel, but really, I need a full-time job.  I heard from the host teacher at the ESL school where I volunteer that I might be offered evening classes as a substitute teacher, which would be a fantastic way to get my foot in the door, and get some real teaching experience.  Meanwhile, I had an interview at the journalism school at my university which sounds fun.  The woman I interviewed with was great, and we got along really well.  She mentioned that she might hire for the position I was interviewing for internally, but that that would mean another opening in her office.  I told her, “I’m not married to this title.  If I can work full-time in this office with people like you, that sounds fantastic.  I would love to work here.”  We chatted very briefly about anime, manga, cosplay, and martial arts (her best friend does Hap Ki Do, wtf).  She really seemed to like that I had gotten my master’s in teaching English as a foreign language.  Overall it went really well, and it would still allow me to be available in the evenings to potentially teach.  All good.

I got hired to work the Renaissance Faire this year!  All my weekends will be booked for the next six weeks or so (brutal).  I’ll be selling steak on a stake and sausage, which I’m going to be hawking in my best improvised, filthy Elizabethan (when we practiced during orientation, I shouted “Good day, m’Lord!  You’d like a hot sausage in your mouth, wouldn’t you?”  Once my mostly-teenage coworkers stopped laughing, our boss said, “But… make sure there aren’t any kids around if you’re going to say that stuff.”).  I ran into a friend from Office Job there, who invited me to work beverages instead, which I would love to do, so maybe that’ll happen!  I went to her place that evening to socialize with the beverage people, all of whom are older than me, and a total fucking hoot.  Working with them would be a blast.  I hope it works out.

I got drinks with a new friend from Office Job who used to work at an LGBT center at a conservative Christian university.  We chatted about gender and sexuality, and decided we should hang out, which we did last week at El Carmen.  When I went to the bathroom for the second time, there was a pretty girl sitting on the bench opposite the bathroom door, waiting her turn, whose face lit up when she saw me, and greeted me with a warm, “Hi.”  We flirted for a while, she took her turn in the bathroom, and when she came out we flirted some more, during which she called me gorgeous twice, we hugged, and before she left I said, “Wait, so, can I get your number?”  “Yeah!  Yeah…”  So.  I totally got some girl’s number for the first time ever.  I texted her a couple days later to see if she’d gotten home alright from the bar and don’t expect to hear back.  It doesn’t really matter.  I got a girl’s number!  Woot!

But what made me do that?  Hanging out with my new friend that night, we had been chatting a lot about sexuality, so it was at the forefront of my mind (plus I had a pretty solid buzz going after 2.5 happy hour margaritas).  I told her a I was bi, and we talked about that for a while, and she said, “Have you told your family?”

Cue record scratch.

My face dropped.  “Oh.”  It never occurred to me that I might have to do that at some point, unless I brought a girl home.  I don’t feel closeted, so I never felt the need to come out.  But she asked, and it got me thinking, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.  So when I hung out with Sister a few days later, I told her about this girl I had hit on.  “She was just so cute, so I asked for her number, and she fucking gave it to me.  Ugh.  So weird.”  Sister squinted a little during the whole story, but listened patiently with a hesitant “Ok…” here and there.  Afterward she said, “Wow.  So.  [my full name].”  We both laughed.  Then her boyfriend came in and the topic shifted to my graduate school graduation party.  However.  A couple days later she IM’d me over Gchat:

hey [tigerlilytoph]!
good seeing you last night and jumping on the invitation business
i want to talk to you about a conversation we stated earlier in the evening maybe next week

ok
I’m free most evenings I think
busy tuesday
and friday

ok cool 🙂
i have [friend]’s bday dinner wednesday

Monday?
or Thursday?

how about monday

okies
ugh now I’m kinda nervous
GROSS

about what?
me wanting to talk to you?

yeaaaaaah

llol
don’t be you goose
i’m just concerned your not happy that’s all

oh?

yeah so i just wanted to share with you my thoughts and be a good big sister

thanks 🙂

nothing to feel gross about silly [tigerlily]

well ok
i’ll stop throwing up now

llol
ew

right?

you going to hear [cousin] play tonight?

I am not going to [cousin]’s show tonight, but I definitely want to go to another one of his shows
His group has a good sound, and he seems really happy with them

So that conversation wasn’t a total disaster, and I think it’s going to be ok (of course it would be better if she hadn’t canceled to spend time with her friend who just broke up with her significant other, because now I’m all nervous all over again).  Now I’m mostly worried that she saw my hitting on that girl as evidence that I’m not happy with Boyfriend.  Blerg.  I can’t handle her judgement.  I want to hear her opinion, but if she could give it without all the fucking judgement, that would be just super.

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goodness, life, nerd

Renaissance Faire: Ultra Success!

I went to the Renaissance Faire with friends this past Saturday.  I was the only one to dress up because Treehouse Friend was lazy and his girlfriend, Ballerina Friend, couldn’t find her costume.  I invited a couple of students who work in my office who are from China and have never experienced anything like the Faire (one had never even heard of the Renaissance).  One came and brought two more Chinese friends, who seemed to have an amazing time.  One of them decided she wanted to rent a costume at the last minute, saying, “If I don’t, I will regret it.”  She took forever to pick something out and got some help putting it on in the dressing room by a woman working the tent.  When she finally had a look in the mirror, she jumped up and down and did her best impression of a boiling tea kettle.  Her enthusiasm lasted all day, and frankly, she looked beautiful.  She sashayed around the Faire and threw her skirts around in front of every reflective surface we passed.  She took loads of selfies and smiled all day (they all did, actually).  We moved through the Faire at a snail’s pace to make sure they didn’t miss anything, and I enjoyed answering their questions about people’s costumes, weapons, and common old English greetings (“Good day, my lady”).  I really enjoyed moving slowly through the Faire and interacting with more attendees and workers than I ordinarily would have.  I didn’t look at my phone more than a few times, and even then only to take a few photos.

the washing well women were doing less heckling of men this year, though just as much splashing

the washing well women were doing less heckling of men this year, though just as much splashing

And then things got epic.

Just as my Chinese guests asked about where we could eat, we came upon the food court.  I scouted out some shady seats and we all separated to hunt for hearty meats.  I went to buy a sausage/hotdog at one of the stands.  The guy cooking sausages was calling out to people passing by, “Come get your hot sausages!  Everyone loves a hot sausage, right ladies?”  As I approached I pointed at him and nodded with a completely straight face.  He laughed, “Hey!  This fine woman likes her sausage, don’t you m’lady?”  I put in my order with the woman at the front and gave a tip (which resulted in the standard bust waggling and HUZZAH! from her), and was about to walk away with my brat and sauerkraut when suddenly the woman running the stand came out from the back, looked me up and down and said, “You’re beautiful. You should be working for me.”  I thought she was kidding, so I said, “I’d be honored, m’lady!” and gave her a little curtsey.  She came right back with, “Great, come get my number at the end of the day, we’ll be in touch,” and I’m standing there with a giant sausage in my hand like ‘oh shit, she was serious.’  So I’m totally selling sausages at the Faire next year, LOL.

Overall it was a hallmark year.  I got to share something I enjoy with foreigners (which I love doing), and I might finally be able to work the Faire, which I’ve wanted to do for years.  Plus, among all the harmless flirtation you get from the men at the Faire, one guy said, “You’re looking lovely, lady green,” as I rushed past to catch up with friends, and gave me a small bow.  Naturally, I slowed my pace, dipped and offered a quick, “Thank you m’lord.”  Huzzah for nerds!

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In Communist Russia, customer serves you

totally accurate

totally accurate

Occasionally I poke around Medieval Collectibles to see what’s on sale that I might add to my Renaissance Faire costume.  I’d been poking around for years before I finally got around to buying a legitimate Renn Faire costume, so of course I bought the wrong size.  I chatted with some very helpful online service reps who assured me that if I bought the right size and sent back the too-big dress, I would be refunded the amount of the too-big dress and all would be well.

Well.  That was almost a year ago, and I only just got around to sending the too-big dress back this week.  I sent with it a note that essentially said, “Hey, I spoke with some very nice people at your company who assured me I could get a refund for this dress since I bought another one, so here it is and since you’ve all been so nice, please enjoy this group of photos of Benedict Cumberbatch transforming into an otter.”

I received an email from said company today:

I wanted to let you know that we received back Irish Dress and saw that you wanted us to process this as a return for refund. Typically a 15% restocking fee is removed before refunding, however since you already placed an exchange order, we are waiving this fee.

How nice!  They’re refunding me in full.  Then it said boring stuff about waiting a few days for the full refund without freaking out because where is my refund raaaaaaaagh!! /table flip.  Then there was this:

P.S. Thank you for the pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch, they were very funny! 🙂

Success!  Hahahaha omg I love that a human looked at my little note and smiled.  Totally made my day.

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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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goodness

Clan Gordon

I pulled over to check out an estate sale the other day, and bought a few things for super cheap: a solid pewter stein for my Renaissance Faire costume, a few pieces of silver, and an old book.  The book had an ownership label on the inside cover with a Latin phrase on it.  Turns out this book once belonged to Basil Gordon of Clan Gordon, the second oldest clan in Scotland.

So I found them online and emailed them about the book, offering to bring it with me on my travels to Edinburgh, and maybe pass it off to them there.  I heard back promptly (they have no interest in the book), but the member of the clan I’m in contact with (Kevin Gordon) was very nice, and said he was here in the states.  I wonder where he is…

I went back and got a little silver baby cup for my mom (she collects them), and some more old books, one of which has a copy on Ebay for $125.

I love old books.  As a kid, when I couldn’t sleep at night, I would get up and set next to the bookshelf in the computer room, and just pore through the old books my folks had.  Their age, the way they smelled, the strange little stories they told were so soothing.

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Two years!

I'm gonna need a sword (obviously)

Today is the two year anniversary of my blog!  Super exciting!  I’ve decided to commemorate this event by creating a page on this blog where I keep track of my dreams.  Should be weird.

The traditional gift for a two year anniversary is cotton, and it just so happens that I just bought myself a cotton gift: new Renaissance Faire costume!  I got this pretty green dress, plus the long, high-waisted yellow skirt underneath, which I’ve been wearing around with a dark green tank top tucked in and I look like such a lady.  Love it.

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The one percent

I was looking through my iPhone photos this morning, and a random thought occurred to me: what would my life look like if I could only see every hundredth photo?  I recently cleaned out my phone of extraneous contacts, photos, emails, apps, etc., and the aftermath is just over a thousand photos of the past year and a half.  Here’s what one percent of my life looks like:

#1
I have to include number one; it’s a good starting point.  My mom gave me her iPhone 3g when she got a Blackberry from work, so I inherited some of her photos, and haven’t had the heart to delete them.  She travels for work (too much), and took this shot at a waterfall.  It was nice to turn on my “new” iPhone for the first time, and see that my mom has a good eye.

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#100
I work at Karate Job in Redondo Beach three times a week now, and there’s a pretty strong jalopy following down there.  I used to see at least one every few weeks.  This one was particularly shiny and handsome.  The owners are always  happy to let me snap a quick shot.  It’s like a car version of really good cosplay; they put a ton of work into it, and are happy to share their enthusiasm with others.

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#200
I’m your average nerd in a lot of ways: table top/online/video gamer, cosplayer, renaissance attendee (with costume), BSG fan, anime fan, manga reader, etc.  When I bought some go-karting tickets for Boyfriend for his birthday, we decided to go with a group of friends, who promptly decided it would be fun to dress up like Mario Kart characters.  Some of us bought our costumes, others made theirs from whatever they had lying around.  I did a combination: I painted an old helmet like an 8-bit piranha plant, bought a green spandex body suit, and voila!  A costume I could wear on the track without using any of the public equipment.  This is the helmet in-progress.  It turned out really well.

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#300
My friends are (of course), nerds too, bless their little hearts, and for a while, Wrath of Ashardalon was our game.  We couldn’t get enough.  I even drew my own character art, and wrote a dozen spells specifically for him.  This is one of those games where you pick your final boss at random.  Our first game, we pulled the game’s namesake: the main boss, Ashardalon, a giant fire-breathing death lizard.  His character dwarfed ours.  We were honestly a little scared.  It was a close one, but we pulled it off!  A very exciting game, and one that I felt the need to document.  As you can see, one of us has already died, while another has just rolled horribly.  Note the cave-in in the adjacent room.  That was a fun series of disasters.

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#400
I love the Renaissance Faire.  It’s so harmless and fun.  Women dress like tarts and men dress like warriors, and no felony sexual assault results.  People walk around fully armed with many very sharp swords and daggers, and no one fights.  Everyone is friendly, even to that one guy who dresses as a ninja, or that other dude who came as Captain Kirk that one time.  Everyone is so wrapped up in admiring costumes, eating turkey legs, playing games, and going to hilarious shows that a sense of good will permeates the fair grounds, and one feels out of place without a smile.
Boyfriend couldn’t make it to last year’s fair, so I took this photo to remind him of how pretty I look wearing girly stuff.

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#500
Diminutive Roommate has been on the hunt for a house for the past year or so, and most of the houses within her price range are in the valley.  I like to go with her whenever I can go give her a second set of eyes, and just to hang out.  Of course, it’s sweltering hot in the valley half the year, so on our way back from visiting one of her prospects this past summer, she blurted out, “Let’s get a watermelon!”  I said, “You’re a genius.  You’re my favorite person right now.”  We pulled over at a Trader Joe’s, grabbed this little guy and strapped him into the back seat.  I’m still pretty protective of my new Fiat, and Diminutive Roommate was eating raspberries or something in the front seat, and had her hands full.  So I improvised.

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#600
I can’t believe it took six hundred photos to randomly fall on one of Calico, Diminutive Roommate’s adorable cat.  She’s like a dog trapped in a feline’s body.  She flops over to have her tummy rubbed.  She loves smelly feet.  She begs when we eat delicious meats.  She’ll cry until we feed her, or if she just wants some company in the morning.  She tackles our legs with all the force her little body can muster, and sometimes it’s really scary.  She’s very sweet, and super cute.  She loves her tennis ball, and she occasionally chirp/meows at the birds outside.  She had just gotten trimmed before this photo, so she looks tiny.  She’s usually pretty poofy.

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#700
My room needs some overhead lighting, so when Dad and I went to Ikea to pick up some cabinets for the apartment we’re fixing up, we decided to see if they had any cool light fixtures.  In order to get to the lighting section, you have to pass through the entire store, so like most people in Ikea, we went a little crazy.  Dad has a great sense of humor, so when he saw these stuffed sharks, this is the first thing he did.  I made him freeze so I could snap a quick photo.  Y’know, for posterity. (note the Lanikai Canoe Club hat 🙂 )

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#800
My family has had a rough time this past year and a half, but this Christmas was really nice.  Mom asked Sister and me to spend the night Xmas eve, and sleep in our old beds, just like when we were little.  She coerced us with a promise of pancakes and bacon in the morning.  It’s a commonly-known fact that my mom’s pancakes are the best pancakes.  You didn’t know?  Yeah, they’re the best.

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#900
Diminutive Roommate and I used to go grocery shopping together all the time, and we always had a blast.  It was like going to a theme park.  Every isle held something fun and stupid to laugh about.  It was a golden era; we were both dating nice guys named John, we shared a room in a pretty gated community in Culver City, we were still in school, and everything was as it should be.  This talent to find fun in ordinary places is one she and I have retained, but when we found a hat in the shape of a giraffe at Joanne’s while hunting for fabric to cover my couch, the pieces sort of fell into place on their own.  I think it really suits her.

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#1000
I just took this photo last night!  Diminutive Roommate’s coworker came over a couple weeks ago to play poker, and mentioned that he had taken up playing the ukulele.  He’s the outdoorsy type, and wanted an instrument he could take with him on backpacking trips and the like.  I said I had always wanted to learn to play the uke, and he offered to teach me.  Diminutive Roommate said she wanted to learn too.  My Lanikai uke just arrived yesterday; hers is arriving tomorrow.  I can’t wait to jam with her and her friend.

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A quick summary of the first thousand photos on my phone:
Mom has quite the artist’s eye on her travels.
Jalopy’s are fun and remind me of Archie.
Go-karting is a perfect venue to show off your love for Mario Kart.
My friends and I love our table-top games.
The Renn Faire is the only place I feel comfortable dressing like a lady.
Watermelons are the ultimate summer snack.
Calico is as adorable as she is deadly.
Dad allows himself to be mauled by a shark to keep us sane at Ikea.
Mom makes a delicious Xmas morning breakfast.
Diminutive Roommate does her part to maintain tradition of being weird and fun.
I love my new uke.

I’m pleased with the turnout here: family, hobbies, friends.  It’s a happy collection, but I’m disappointed at the locality of them.  New goal for the next thousand: exotic locations, new experiences.

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