Underneath my yellow skin

Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Battling the holiday onslaught and other miscellaneous thoughts

Now that Thanksgiving is done and in the bank, of course the whole nation turns its attention to Christmas.


Before I get to that, however, I want to rave about how adding twenty minutes of stretching to my taiji routine when I first get up and sprinkling more stretches throughout the day has really helped my back and my leg by extension. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s amazing how my back pain has nearly disappeared, and the numbness in my right thigh changed into fiery hot pain in the upper thigh, then fiery hot pain just above the knee, and then back to numbness but to a much less degree. Then, after class yesterday, it was back to fiery hot pain, but only for a few seconds. In addition, we did the whole Solo Form (Medium) yesterday, and for the first time ever, I was able to do the whole form without my back hurting like hell by the third section.

However, my sleep is all over the map, which means I’m probably getting sick again. Which, you know, sucks. I’m so fucking tired from the minute I wake up until the minute I drop off to sleep. I also have this thing where if I miss the window for falling asleep, I’m up for a good long time. I was up for nearly twenty hours yesterday, not for any good reason, but just because I couldn’t fall asleep.

Now, let’s talk about NaNoWriMo. I said before it started that I was going to set my own goal because writing 50,000 words a month for me is not a problem. I was already writing 2,000 words a day for months before that, so yeah, I wasn’t worried about 50,000 words. I said I wanted to look into marketing and publishing, but that didn’t happen. I’ve decided I will set aside a different month to do it in. In that month, I’ll lift the 2,000 words a day requirement and focus on editing, marketing, and publishing. I’ve decided which novels I want to publish (one which is on my other website), but I need to do a little updating.

So, what have I been doing this month? Starting four different novels. I worked on the first one for a few weeks, then decided to shelve it. The second one lasted a few days, I think, and the same with the third. Then, I had a conversation with a Twitter friend, @NotSoSilentMajo, who inspired me to start something completely different. I don’t want to talk about it right now because I prefer to wait until I’m done with a novel before talking about it, but I can say it’s urban fantasy. I’ve never attempted fantasy before (though I love reading it), so I’m excited about it in a way that I haven’t been in quite some time. Thank you, @NotSoSilentMajo for giving me the kick in the (not-so-flat yellow) ass that I needed to get out of my rut!

Now. On to Christmas. Me when thinking about it (apropos because I dressed up as Yoko Ono for Halloween one year):

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Break From the Ordinary

I had another post planned for today, but sometimes, reality takes precedence. My mom fell this afternoon, twisting her knee. She tried to tough it out by icing it, but it was really hurting. I took her to the Twin Cities Orthopedics (Coon Rapids) because they have Urgent Care that is open until 8 p.m., and I’m relieved that nothing is broken or torn.

However, because of it, my whole schedule is in shambles, and I’m not up to writing the post I was originally working on. Therefore, today, you get Shironeko (white cat with orange markings in the background) and his buddy just chilling.

I could do with a little serenity, and Shironeko helps me get there.

Odlly enough, however, for all my PTSD worst-case scenario catastrophizing, I’m actually pretty good in a real crisis. Instead of overreacting as I normally do, I’m calm, focused, and relaxed. I concentrate on what needs to be done, and I’m not upset or flustered by what is happening. I think it’s because I’ve practiced in my mind for a disaster so many times, actual terrible things are easier to handle.

It’s also taiji. I’m always going to give credit to taiji for making me calmer and more able to deal with stressors.

The doctor told my mother that all she needed was ice and Tylenol. She (the doctor) did give my mother crutches, which she’s using to hobble around. The doctor looks twelve, by the way, but she was terrific, as was the technician and the front desk person. All in all, it was an easy and smooth experience, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs orthopedic work.

Here’s an extra video of Maru relaxing in a hammock plus various other activities, including laying flat on his back with his tail lazily swishing back and forth. Bonus appearances by his sister, Hana. I can’t with the cuteness!

RIP, Chris Cornell

I woke up this morning to the news that Chris Cornell is dead. Not only is he dead, it’s possibly a suicide. I reacted strongly to the news, and that surprised me. See, I was never a big Soundgarden fan, nor an Audioslave fan. I was not into the grunge movement at all, but of course I knew who the slight guy with the huge voice was. I was in the middle of writing another post when I read an article on FB about Cornell’s death, and I can’t get it off my mind ever since. I’ve been listening to this on repeat for the last half hour:

His voice is otherworldly. There’s something angelic about it, but also earthy. Like many gifted people, he made it seem effortless when he’d glide from a growl to falsetto with ease. Every time I heard him sing, I thought he was not meant to be living among us. It was always metaphorical, though. Like, a voice like that is meant to soar high above us, not mingle with us mere mortals. He is one person whose singing can send literal chills up and down my spine.

I’ve listened to several of his covers, and they are incredible. He takes the song and makes it his own without losing the core of what made the song powerful in the first place.

The thing is, when I listen to Cornell sing, I can’t help but feel all the emotions pouring out of him. The pain, the rage, the agony. Especially the pain. Cornell lays it all out there every time he sings, and there’s a steep price to pay for that.

I think that’s what I can’t get over. More than losing an incredible talent that could evoke so much emotion from his listeners, it’s knowing he was such a conduit for all the darkness in this world. One of the downsides to being creative is being exposed to all the shadow emotions that most people deny, shy away from, or simply don’t realize exist. I don’t think you have to be mentally ill to be creative, but I do think you have to be open to things that aren’t always safe or good for you. The trick is knowing how to control it and not let it control you, and that line is invisible at times.

It can be a burden to see things others don’t see, to feel things so deeply, your heart literally aches. I don’t know if this was true for Chris Cornell, but his voice says it was.

Chris Cornell is, was, incredibly attractive for so many reasons. I joked that I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating crackers, and it’s not just his piercing blue eyes and intense gaze. It was the whole package, including that incredible voice and, yes, his brooding nature. I’m attracted to the darkness as are many other creative types.

I’m sitting here, stunned, by the death of a man I didn’t know, never met, and only knew through his music. I can’t put into words why I feel this way because I simply do not know. I haven’t been hit this hard by a celebrity death since…Alan Rickman. That one made sense to me; this one does not.

I wish I had something pithy or wise to say to wrap up this post, but I do not. All I can say is it’s so fucking sad that Chris Cornell is dead. Another one taken from us way too soon. RIP, Chris.

I. Cannot.

So, Hollywood has chosen yet again to cast a white dude in the role of an Asian (Hawaiian, this time)–a real person this time. They haven’t learned from their high-profile failures, and I’m done.

I’m also tired and grumpy today, and my effluvia isn’t getting any better. Therefore, here’s a video of Vienna Teng and Alex Wong singing Antebellum just because.

More Sciencing Going On

I’m still sciencing in the hopes of bettering my health. Sharp cheddar with Lactaid pill causes very little side effects, so it gets to stay for now. Yay! Yogurt, on the other hand, even with Lactaid, not good on my system, so it’s out. I mentioned on Facebook that I liked almond milk for drinking, but it’s too thick for cereal. Someone suggested lactose-free milk, which actually has less than 1% of the lactose enzyme, so I’ll give it a try. I also bought some tapioca bread from my local Cub. We’ll see if I like it as much as I like the rice-tapioca bread. I won’t be able to get anything from the deli of Cub any longer because everything has dairy if not gluten. I used to go to a different co-op than my regular one which is closer to me, and I may have to start doing that again.

Today, I’m coughing less, so that’s a good thing. My nose is running wild, though, so that’s not. I’m hoping it’s just my system adjusting itself to my new diet. I’m also watching a video of Gordon Ramsey’s tips to master 5 basic cooking skills. One of them is how to cook rice. Ooooh, ooh, I know this one! Use a rice cooker, motherfucker! Why am I watching this video, you ask? Because I may actually start cooking *gasp*, and I need to revisit the basics. I *can* cook, but it’s been quite some time since I’ve done it.

Is this going to help my bronchial issues? I don’t know. It’s not going to hurt them, however, which is why I’m willing to experiment. If I have to give up all dairy except aged cheese, I can live with that. If I have to give up cheese, well, I’ll deal with that when I get to it. In the meantime, here’s a video of Gordon Ramsey with ten helpful cooking tips. God, I love his accent.

I’m in Love With The Mazzy Show

I’m still sick, but slightly better. Still not up to writing a full post about all the bullshit of the world, so instead, I’m going to share with you The Mazzy Show: Cooking with Mazzy, a YouTube series about cooking with a cute Asian girl, Mazzy.  The first episode I saw was her making cha siu bao (BBQ pork buns), and I was hooked. She’s so cute, I wanna ask my brother to have another kid, and cha siu bao are one of my favorite foods ever. I watched all her episodes back-to-back, and they brightened my day. Enjoy!

P.S. I want Mazzy and the BBC interview girl, Marion, to team up for their own detective/cooking show STAT.

h/t Angry Asian Man for the heads up on Facebook.

Cha siu bao, Mazzy-style.

Pigs in a blanket. “Good night hot dog.” Be still my heart.

Blah Blah Blah

One of the weird things about recovering from being sick is that my sleep gets really weird*. One of the only things I like about being sick is that I can get a solid chunk of sleep without much effort. Granted, I’m still fucking tired when I wake up, but at least I get some rest. Ironically, I know I’m getting better when my sleep starts to get worse. As I’ve said before, it’s as if my mind/body will only allow me to get good sleep when it has an excuse–me being sick. The second I start getting better, my sleep takes a nose dive. As a result, I may feel physically better, but I’m just as exhausted. That’s where I am right now. Exhausted and crankier than hell.

My favorite video for the week: BBC interview interrupted by the interviewee’s daughter who walks into the place like she owns it.

Predictably, several memes around this family have emerged. My favorite tweets:

is pretty great, only to be equaled by:

I love this little girl so hard and tweeted that I wish I had a tenth of her confidence and sense of style. I also said of the latter tweet that this pairing should be True Detectives, Season 3: Who stole all the rainbows in DC?

BBC interview girl is the best, and I hope to be just like her when I grow up.


*Weirder than usual, which is pretty damn weird.