box_of_doom: With cake (cake)
Adapted from Cooks.com" recipe.

1.5 cups flour
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
.5 cup white sugar
.5 cup brown sugar
dash of salt
5 tbsp oil (canola or whatever's available)
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix all ingredients up to salt.
Add wet ingredients and mix until smooth.

Cook in 9x9 cake pan for half an hour, or cupcake/mini cupcake pans for less time.
box_of_doom: With cake (cake)
My mother's or grandmother's recipe

2 Cups flour
3.5 tsp baking powder
.5 cups shortening
1.5 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350F
Add all ingredients except eggs & beat 3 minutes
Ad eggs & beat another 3 minutes

Bake in 2 cake pans for 30 minutes or 1 angel food pan for 1 hour.
box_of_doom: meditation (honeyxmori)
I finished rereading Ouran today.

You know the kind of thing that sticks with you, can make you feel giddy again and again upon rereading, and makes you want to reflect on yourself? Yeah, Ouran’s always been that for me, and I love it to bits.

There’s a particular bit of imagery in chapter 66 that got to me this time: early on, it starts with a young Tamaki making a house out of building blocks. But it turns heart-clenching when this changes to an older Tamaki, no longer building alone but with the entire club by his side.

They’re building a home together. They’re making a family. It’s silly and unorthodox and who knows how well it will last over time (except that they go live in Boston together, they fly to Madrid as a unit, even when they don’t have to, and you have to think that this means something, even if it’s really just for the purposes of story, even if the mangaka expects them to grow a bit more apart as they age.) But it exists, and it’s strong, and it’s oh so important.

And I wish I’d had something like that back then.

I have complicated feelings in answering if I have that now.

And once again, I’m reminded very much of how I relate very well to Mitsukuni Haninozuka.

I cosplay him. I roleplay him. If these are not well-known facts, well, they probably should be; I’ve been at it for almost a decade. It’s even odds as to whether or not I will refer to the characters by their standard names or Hani-senpai’s versions. And if I were to be asked my favourite, I’d be hard-pressed to choose between Mitsukuni and Takashi for… several reasons.

But this only scratches the fact that I relate to him.

One of the things we discover about Hani-senpai is that he struggled with balancing who he is with what he is perceived as and what he is expected to be. We also know that the way Hani-senpai presents himself is as much a construct as natural: his cuteness has a natural base, but his actions are largely performative.

I… felt these divides a lot back then. I struggled a lot with figuring out who I really was, and what parts of me were things I’d been told as opposed to what was truly part of me. (This may not have been completely solved, but a lot of clarity there and comfort with identity came with my 20s, something that I’m grateful for even as new challenges arose.) Perhaps I’ve never been quite the object of affection he has (understatement) but I’ve always been the short, cute one nonetheless.

One of my best friends in university related similarly, though with Mori. Although not particularly tall in the endgame, she hit her growth spurts early and was amongst the tallest in her year for a long while, and was quite taciturn, among other things.

…there may actually still be a couple people who know us best as Hani and Mori out there. We used those nicknames for a good while.

Anyway.

There’s another way that I relate to Mistukuni. It’s… a strength and a weakness both, in many ways.

In volume two, we’re introduced to the Host Club as a family through a series of 4-komas. There’s the father, mother, eldest sons, and eldest daughter. There’s also the neighbours (but we’ll ignore them.)

Of course, Hani and Mori are the ignored neighbours.

(For disclosure’s sake, I love these 4-koma and that is one of my favourite versions of Hani-senpai to cosplay.)

Really, this sets up the way relationships work in the host club. Everyone is part of one big happy family, but Hani and Mori are always slightly more to the outside. They’re a part, but apart.

This means that they can be slightly eccentric, and doing their own thing, which is great and really works for them. It gives them the room to observe, see what’s going on, and wonder about the bigger picture. It also means that they often don’t quite belong in the main action as easily as everyone else.

And therein lies on of my biggest points of overlap.

I’ve always had problems with feeling like I belong, like I am accepted. Even within groups of friends, I’ve generally felt like I’ve been on the perimeter, not in the centre

That… doesn’t go away too easily.

(There are exceptions, of course, but more often than not it returns to this feeling in time.)

I’m also remarkably good at seeing issues from various sides; at trying to understand where various people are coming from. (Too good, in fact, and this may have lead to some of my emotional issues… tldr empathy and bottling go hand in hand far too well.)

And really, all of this is fine when I have a Takashi by my side; someone who’s both in the same boat, but also provides a balance. Someone who is Mine. (I could rant about Mitsukuni and Takashi and their relationship to each other, and how I have a thing for the tiny cute one also being the dominant one and how I can be more than a little possessive at times… but perhaps I’ll leave that for another day.)

I’ve a few people who fill different parts of that quota right now, but no-one that fully fits the bill. And that’s a little frustrating, because sometimes I need that semi-co-dependency to fall back on, even while being fiercely independent. (Another rant I could give is a comparison of the twins and Hani and Mori and the mechanics of their two different forms of co-dependency, but that’s another issue yet again.)

But really, sometimes it would just be nice to belong to the group as a whole; to feel fully on the inside, rather than adjacent.

And maybe it’s just my mentality that’s the problem, or maybe it’s geography. Or maybe I’ve just not found the right place, space, or people for everything to be quite congruent. But I hope I find it. I hope I get that sense of family. I hope I get a chance to belong from right there in the middle and have that feeling never fully fade.

I think I’m getting closer, but I’m still not fully there.

I’m glad to be the neighbour, but I’d love to find my Home.
box_of_doom: meditation (Default)
My style is changing.

I can feel it happening and it's kind of weird, and frustrating, but kind of cool. Weird and frustrating because I have stuff dating all the way back to high school in my closet, and only recently have started to have the occasional problem of still having lots of clean clothes and going "nothing feels right". On the other hand, it's kind of cool because I'm growing as a person. Things have been changing in my life. I want more things to change in my life. There are ways in which I know that change could happen, there's a buildup and I feel like there's chrysalis and so much potential energy and I want to take the next step and I'm also terrified of taking the next step, but at the same time at peace with it.

There's a lot to win and lose both in moving forward, and that's terrifying.

It's also entirely a necessary part of life.

And half the time I don't know what to think, except I know what I want, and sometimes it doesn't always align in a neat little package.

But such is life, and maybe I'm just not seeing the solution that's right out there in front of me. And maybe I just don't have all the pieces yet.

And I'm going to get frustrated about this again. I already know that. It's pretty much impossible for me not to. I'm also going to get depressed. And overjoyed. And elated. And hopefully cobble together a life that is wonderful for myself, no matter what form it takes. Because I think I know what I want, but there's still some pieces that I don't know how to reconcile. And maybe that means that things need to change, and I need to find a new and even better dream life. And maybe that just means compromise and figuring out things as I go along.

I'll probably have to do some of the latter anyway, because life. Hopefully not too much of it, because I want to be a little selfish sometimes. But. A healthy amount of everything. Yeah. That'd be nice.
box_of_doom: With cake (half-smile)
Heh. I don't even know if anyone is reading this anymore. But. *flails*

I'm 27 now. Officially in my mid-to-late 20s. Wow. Half the people I know seem to be turning 29 this year. Which is weird but cool. Although by "half" I may mean "at least three and one last December so it practically counts".

Equal parts emotions and flailing under here )

I need awesome job, and I need geography to fix itself and make things much more possible.

Maybe sometime soon I'll be able to have one of the conversations that I want to have, or need to have.
I'd like that a lot.

I just don't know if I'll do it tonight, even if my body is screaming that they need to happen, like the words feel like they want to burs out from within.

Hopefully they'll find their timing soon.
box_of_doom: "Now with amazing push-button shushing action!" (amazing shushing action)
I ended up rereading a wonderful fic today. It hits home with me in ways that I'm not entirely sure I can, or at least not entirely sure I want to explain. That said, I've been having a lot of emotions lately that I'm not quite sure how to express. There's... a lot. None of it bad, at least none of it in that camp. Just. A lot, and I'm not quite sure how, or where, or to whom, to put it into words.

This week's been... interesting though. Monday, I had an interview for AWESOME SHINY JOB (of which there is a SLIGHTLY AWESOMER SHINY JOB but this is the AWESOME SHINY JOB that I am more likely to get of the two probably, and BOTH ARE ALMOST EXACTLY ME AND IN A PLACE THAT I REALLY WANT TO WORK AND AAHHHHHH), and the day went pretty well. But then everyone else was having bad days, and that brought me down because I felt pretty much guilty for having a good day when everyone else didn't. >.< And then Tuesday we had internet problems and I thought I'd be pretty much without for two weeks. Which I can do, but saying as I found out at a pretty bad time... yeah, not a good headspace. And then yesterday... I went downtown, got free tea and a very cute jacket, and saw a show and had dinner with friends, which was good. But I also broke my umbrella and got rather wet, got sidetracked a few times due to the streetcar being down, and had some general flailiness. Also what might be my first non-positive experience at a DAVIDsTEA. (not a BAD experience, just a "I got kind of annoyed so I left before purchasing anything and bought it at a different DAVIDS instead, at which I had a great experience except the bag my tea was in broke.) Today... shift was overwhelming and had to do it at the public library because there were supposed to be people coming over and changing our modem during that time period. The people didn't come, and dad has since gotten and installed the new one himself (along with a new plan which hopefully means I won't have to stress about internet again for a long time). But yeah. Thankfully, I really needed an evening of introverting and/or cuddles, and I was able to get the former, which was nice. Kinda scarfed down dinner so I could start that sooner, but after that shift... yeah I kind of needed that. (Note: I still love my job. Just sometimes shifts are a little overwhelming and I need to decompress after. Usually this is not the case, but it's not a bad decompress when such happens. Just an augh I need downtime.)

I'm really hoping that tomorrow I'll find out that I have a second interview to prepare for. I DO know that I'll have to do some work, and maybe some sewing if I'm feeling really industrious.

I also have a giant ToQger fic to write. Which should be lovely.

And Saturday is my birthday. So I'm really hoping for job news as present because best present. Especially if I get the thing. But yes.

But right now I'm just kind of getting over my feels from the fic. Which I probably should talk about with someone eventually but it's an odd topic and feelings, you know? And... yeah. Maybe sometime.
box_of_doom: meditation (Default)
I have two wonderful opportunities coming my way, both of which will change A LOT about my life and my career trajectory in different but related and good ways.

I have my leanings about where I want to go, but the fact is, either I will have a great opportunity come my way, or I will have a great opportunity come my way. There has been frustration and headdesking, and there probably will be more. But. Things are falling together in a way that they only have once before in my life, and that is making me feel like I am on to something.

Now just to just finish the preparations on my side, and see which way life decides to take me. :)
box_of_doom: With cake (cake)
IT IS [personal profile] tsukinokage'S 25TH BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!!!!!!!

HAPPY 25TH BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY YAAAY!!!!!!
box_of_doom: "Now with amazing push-button shushing action!" (amazing shushing action)
I did some aduting today. I have a stack of paper to show for it.

It was actually a positive experience -- I can't say for sure if I made the best decisions, but I think I made solid ones, and I knew more or less what I wanted to look into when I was in, and getting it feels good. Hopefully it will feel even better in the long term.

I'm a little disappointed though, because I was thinking about making bread, but then grandpa bought a loaf (and while I am a huge fan of leftovers, I don't generally like to have more than enough in the long run). I also may have figured out that he has problem with produce sometimes (and telling when things are good in general sometimes) because he has some colour vision problems. I... already knew this at base, but it's an easy thing to forget and/or not link together. (It also makes it harder to tell when meat is done, but that's neither here nor there.)

Tomorrow starts my 6 day run at work (half shifts, half training), after which it's just one day of rest before heading down for Cat and Estel's wedding. I'm excited!
box_of_doom: "Now with amazing push-button shushing action!" (amazing shushing action)
So. I may not be going back to school in the fall, but I plan to be doing pretty much three courses worth of things on my own merit. Two of them are reading courses/guides/syllabi relating to my area of interest (one on fandom, and one on serious leisure by quite reputable names in both fields) and the third... well... I plan on doing some code academy.

I'm also debating looking into some MOOCs or something of the sort, but I figure this is a nice start, especially saying as I can do each of these three on my own time, whenever I feel like it.

Also, I might be going to an unconference on fandom in September. I don't know if I'll be accepted (there's only, like, 25 spots, but I've put my name in).

Now just to put in a job application or two, and see how my work schedules me in the fall.....

(Note: yes I do have a job, but most people there who are part-timers have two, and that's seen as totally fine. So. I shall go for it!)

PS: I'm totally getting ready for applying for programs in 2015. Which is both fun and daunting and I CAN'T WAIT.
box_of_doom: With cake (cake)
Why am I not going back to school this fall? I have so many things I want to write and awtewarlykahwetjwaetwaiuth. Next year....

But for now...

I need to start a blog and/or writing down all the things going through my head seriously. I need to see what it is possible for me to do while only marginally affiliated with a university. Librarians do publish, so I may be in luck there. But aghawtjlwkjht.

I need to make myself reading lists. I need to read and write a lot.

I need to look into contacting a few people whose work is related to what I want to do. I already am in contact with two, and I know there's at least one or two more people that I should look into. I need to email the two I'm in contact with again with updates.

I need to look into schools and figure out where and when and how I want to apply. And figure out what I'm willing to do and where I'm willing to go. (Am I willing to give up my preferred location for a year? Am I willing to put my own money into it? How much?)

I need to research scholarships and grants.

I need to apply to jobs to hopefully raise money this year so that I have it available during lean but fulfilling years ahead.

I also need to work on cosplays and maybe take a few commissions for things. Maybe. Aaaah....

Welp. It may be a full year after all.
box_of_doom: "Now with amazing push-button shushing action!" (amazing shushing action)
In which stress, anxiety, and depression are all related, and I know what the stress is, and I'm not very good at openly expressing myself.
box_of_doom: meditation (Default)
It only took me 25 years, but... over the past year, I've started to figure out in less ambiguous terms where I want to go and what I want to do. Some of it is still vague -- I can't predict exactly what the perfect person will look like, or what my job's title will entail, or the exact layout of my future home. But I have a sense of what that person will be like. I have an idea of what sort of career path I want to pursue, within the career path I'd already chosen. I'm finding peace in defining myself, even while leaving enough open that I hopefully won't miss the steps to the perfect opportunity as they come.

I actually have about a page of handwritten notes (actually two half-pages of handwritten notes) on what I want in the short term and long term in some detail. It's concise enough that there's a lot of room for interpretation, while being specific enough to hit what I truly do value and want.

(Part of me doesn't know if I should share it or keep it private and only written.)

I hope I can find all the pieces. I hope that I can get moving towards a bright future soon.

There is so much that I want, and I feel so much that I just need that catalystic first major step so that I can truly get started. Maybe it will work like that, and maybe it won't.

I could wallow in what hasn't been that I thought would have, but that will do me no good.

I need to look forward, to keep my eye on what is ahead, and get balls rolling so that I'm not missing any opportunity that comes my way.

Here's to trying. Here's to the attempt. Here's to pushing myself to get there. Here's hoping I remember, and don't give up five steps in, or worse yet, before I even begin.

Here's to the future, with all the hope that it can be as bright as I want it to be, and that I can begin to see the shimmer approaching soon.
box_of_doom: meditation (Default)
I found out today that, if I can get into a PhD program, depending on where I go, I may be able to get a full ride, plus a stipend that's within a few thousand dollars of working full-time at minimum wage.

I don't know if they would even consider me; I've got a Masters, but it wasn't with a thesis, but I was already thinking of going back, and this means that it might be entirely financially plausible.

I'm....

I need to do more research, but this is potentially life-changing. Literally.
box_of_doom: meditation (Default)
emotions, death, and oblique references to periods )

Also, I'm debating whether or not I want to apply to a job. It's academic and has to do with LM Montgomery, in PEI, part time, and less than a year in length. Part of it sounds a lot like something that could be interesting. But... I'm also not quite sure if it's worth it for the duration. I... don't know.
box_of_doom: meditation (Default)
Because I know that there are a few people reading this who may or may not be planning to get married in the near future this is not meant as a blunt/obtuse hint, I promise.

However, for some reason, weddings and Disney have been coming up repeatedly lately. And, as it turns out, Disney has some pretty awesome things lined up for Weddings and Honeymoons, including a wedding registry that allows people to pay for parts of a Disney Honeymoon as their gift, and drop down menus on their wedding planning page allowing you to choose the gender of both parties (it defaults to bride and groom, but both are changeable).

I'm not sure if that's in my future at all (the least of which because destination weddings are expensive, and I would like to get off the continent at some point) but. Points for you, Disney. Points for you.
box_of_doom: meditation (Default)
I forget who I was talking to about Actual! Cecil Baldwin and his sexuality but:

It would’ve been very easy for Joseph and Jeffery to write a love interest for Cecil as a woman, but it would’ve made the show less interesting. Also, as someone who is gay I appreciate that here is something that I feel like the gay community can hold up and say, “Look we have a hero, we have something to look at and say, yes, we are normal, we are accepted, this Cecil and Carlos relationship is just as normal as anyone else’s.” And that’s what makes it interesting.

(from here. link goes to the cached version because I can't seem to get the non-cached to load.)

(The site also has an interview with the new Carlos. It involves hair politics. Just saying.)
box_of_doom: meditation (Default)
I just found out that this is going on on Sunday. Personally, I'm not quite interested -- Hobbystar tends to treat people like cattle and I've long since come to the conclusion that I prefer fan-run cons that are more interested in giving people a good time and making people happy than… making money and giving people a place to buy stuff.

Still, it is a con. And thus I feel obligated to report on such.

However, if you are interested, it's just $10/person. So. In the interest of due diligence and the like…. I'm putting that out there.

Actually, I've learned that there's two cons this weekend, but Saturday's already too full to even think about that one, and to be honest as far as Sunday goes I'd still prefer to just desolate Smaug….