things i watch

[media log] february 2017

The library is a great resource for watching movies that I not-so secretly wanted to watch but didn't want to shell out actual money for.

Legend of Tarzan
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Star Trek Beyond
Bridget Jones' Baby
Secret Life of Pets
Queen of Katwe

John Wick: Chapter 2
The Great Wall
Moonlight (half-ish; slept through the first act)
Hacksaw Ridge

Voltron S2 01-13
Outlander S1 01-16
books - book stack

[book] bone season

Been a while since I've wanted to write about what I'm reading. I really slacked in my reading last year so I'm making sure this year will be better in terms of catching up on titles that I've been wanting to read as well as keeping up with what books people are into lately.

Anyway, this YA novel is a few years old at this point, and it's not very remarkable. It's the first in a planned series of seven books and unless something changes in the next hundred pages, I doubt I'll be reading the sequel, even. It's set in an alternate universe where an alien race is tapping into the powers of clairvoyants ("voyants") in order to fight these scary monsters, as well as feeding on their powers to sustain them. It's an odd mix of Hunger Games, Twilight, and Maze Runner all in one.

But I think the main reason I'm not going to continue this book is because I marathoned Outlander this past weekend. Bear with me here -- so in Outlander, the last episode of season 1 has the brutal and intense scenes between Randall and Jamie. It's the most twisted take of the hurt/torture vs comfort dynamic that I've ever seen. So, in Bone Season, the main character Paige is in a similar situation with the Warden, the alien who's taken charge of her. Before watching Outlander, the events in Bone Season were kinda blah, but with the events of Randall and Jamie still fresh in my head, the situation between Paige and the Warden is actually more disturbing and discomfiting. And it's escalating! There's blood rituals and feedings and all sorts of awfulness. Hurt/comfort was never really my kink and as I get older, the more squeamish I get about it.

I dunno, we'll see. Maybe things will change once I'm closer to the end of the novel, but I highly doubt it.
tsubasa - kurorin

[fitness] today was HARD

Was supposed to go to the gym on Monday and Wednesday, but I did not schedule it as one of my priorities that day so only got a chance to go back today -- FOUR DAYS since I was there last, and boy, did it show. I didn't even do cardio since there were a lot of people on the machines, so headed straight to weights and the mat. I couldn't even bear to stay there for the entire hour we're usually at the gym.

Never again. Never skipping a workout day since it just makes the next time I go back feel like hell.

[real life] why spring cleaning?

There must be something about the longer days and the warmer temps that makes me want to declutter lately. I think it's been a permanent project since I've moved into this apartment, but this week, all the clutter and dust and cat hair has really bothered me, so now that the job hunt is over and I didn't really have any big plans today, I figured I'd clean house.

First off -- all this time living in Brooklyn and I've only now discovered the Goodwill. For those of you living in other cities/states that's not NYC, this sounds laughable -- but I guess in New York City, there's only one in each borough? I actually sorted through my closet last week to separate out the clothes that I haven't worn in a couple of years (or more) that are still nice enough to donate. They'll definitely do somebody else much more good rather than just languishing in my closet for another year.

Actually seeing the store and what sort of items they'll accept for the next run was extremely helpful (I know, I've never actually been inside a GW before, how sheltered of me). As soon as I got home, I went through the shoes and the kitchen shelves and the bookshelves and started putting items that I'll donate into totes. The mere act was cathartic. I just have so much stuff that I bought or received as gifts that I'm sure I loved owning at one point, but today, they're just more things taking up room.

Having done that, I then moved on to sorting through papers and documents. I threw away a lot of notes and odd handout sheets when I graduated nursing school, but there are still a few odds and ends hanging around that needed to be trashed. I'd rather not buy a new thing just for organization, but I need a place where I can store important papers that'll protect them. M is saying that maybe I should get a safety deposit box for important docs, but that just sounds like overkill.

[cat] Danila, day 35

Danila's real name is Joey, but the receptionist at the vet thought that it was Danny, so using that incorrect information, we've taken to calling him the Russian equivalent of Danny anyway. Stinky butt is actually my preferred name for him, but Mikhail says that it's kind of mean for me to do that.

As with all the previous fosters, he's incredibly adorable. He's the one who's gotten along best with Renji. I've caught the kitten grooming Ren several times -- something which has not ever happened before with any of the other cats. Renji tolerates the kittens being around him, but not to the point of allowing himself to be licked and groomed. The fact that he lets Danila do that is actually a big deal.

Danila's problem though is that he's too energetic for his own good. He likes -- correction, LOVES -- knocking down the garbage can. Even if the damn thing is empty, he'll knock it down just to make sure that there's nothing in there for him to scrounge or scavenge. Till we're able to buy a heavier garbage can with a lid, I've taken to putting the bin under the sink, which I hate doing because it makes it easier for the person who needs to take out the garbage, aka Mikhail, to remember that it's down there.
cat - renji

[cat] Sei-chan, day 43

I can't believe he's been here almost a month and a half already. Granted, the situation with the eye added a couple of extra weeks of needed recuperation, but I also think that not putting his ad up on Petfinder did add to the time it took for him to be adopted.

Anyway, his new mom is coming over tomorrow and she seems really excited to see him. We took him to a BBQ with our friends over Labor Day weekend and unexpectedly, R fell in love with him the most. Everybody thought he was adorable (which he is), but R cuddled with him at least 3x! I felt like I was pimping him out, but I felt bad for him since nobody was applying to adopt him before this week. And as much as I like fostering, I don't think kittens should stay with me too long (now), since we all get too used to each other which then makes parting that much more difficult (especially for me, not sure about the cats).

Ren, on the other hand, still has an ear infection. I hate giving him the ear drops as much as he hates getting them.

[cat] Sei-chan, day 9

Even though he spent a couple of days in the vet, I'm still counting the days since he arrived here part of his stay...

Such a big difference pre- and post-operation. I thought his personality was what he showed us when he first arrived, but now I think how Sei-chan was during those first two days were due to the pain. He's much more active and hyper now that his eye isn't swollen and bleeding. Renji doesn't like him though, but I think that's becaus of the cone, which Sei-chan has to wear for a couple of weeks and then (fingers crossed) he won't scratch his left eye socket anymore and it'll heal properly forever.

Unlike the three other kittens, Sei is a big talker (or meower). He knows how to get my attention with his little pathetic meows, and then, when I pay attention to him, he either licks me or runs off to do his own thing. Like a little kid, pretty much. He generally tries to get Renji's attention too, but Ren doesn't care for him (which I hope will change once the e-collar comes off). To be honest, Sei's level of independence and intelligence is the same as the other kittens. He has figured out all the ways to get up on our desks, even with his vision impairment. If you ask me, there's no difference in his skill/capability compared to the other previous fosters.
popcorn during a stampede, mlp - pinkie pie

[food] plant-based

So, gained a ton of weight because of all the takeout I was eating most of nursing school, 'cause let's be honest, I wasn't up to cooking when I had ten chapters of Med-Surg to read. Now that I have less than two weeks left of this, I'm getting back into cooking more at home and making meals that are made up of more vegetables, less meat, and less fat. So far, my goal this month is to eat one all-vegetable meal a day, be it a salad for lunch or a meatless dinner. It's definitely a lot easier to do this during the summer when there's more of a selection of fresh vegetables and when I'm not really in the mood to slave over a hot stove so the meals end up being lighter by default.

I never really have a problem eating vegetarian or vegan. I think my problem comes about when I have to think about the other people who'll also be eating my food. Not everybody is vegetarian or vegan, and while most people don't have a problem eating meatless, that tolerance won't last forever though. I don't find myself craving meat -- the only reason I end up choosing to eat meat is because it's more convenient, ie. when I'm out and about and find myself hungry, it's easier/cheaper/more convenient to get a hamburger than a salad, or I know how to prepare more dishes that are meat-based than non-meat based when I'm thinking about what to cook at home. I know these are all excuses, but the only thing that I can do is to keep on doing what I can. I genuinely want to change my eating habits, not merely for weight reasons but for overall health reasons too.

[real life] finally, a summer

Two more weeks left till nursing school. It feels like a dream. I still remember my elation when I got the e-mail saying that I was admitted to Downstate, and now, it's practically over. The boards, and job hunting, to follow!

Because I didn't get to have a summer vacation last year, I'm doing my best to have a semblance of one this year. I went to the Naomi Novik reading at Brooklyn Bridge Park yesterday, for instance. I had class most of the day, but since the reading wasn't till 7 pm, I knew I even had time to head on home and change and have a snack before trekking out again to BB Park.

Authors Peter V. Brett (l) and Naomi Novik (r)

View of downtown Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge Park

It's funny how now they name certain locations in the Park whereas before it would've just been "that spot." The reading was held at Granite Prospect, which I suppose they named because the steps are made of giant granite slabs, arranged so that they form a stadium-like mini-theater facing the East River. The reading itself was okay; I didn't know the other author, and they set up the reading so that both of them were reading "deleted scenes" from their book and explained why they decided not to include those in the final publication. Maybe if you're an author doing so many of these readings throughout a season you'd like to mix it up so you're not doing the same thing repeatedly, but for the audience members like me who don't even know what the current book is about, reading a deleted scene isn't going to make me want to go out and buy/read the novel. tl;dr, I didn't care for the materials the authors read but it was a good thing they had a lively q&a, where Novik openly talks about her fanfiction-writing and how she double-checks if she killed off a character through the fan-made wiki. Goes to prove that fanwork has value, even to the original creator, even if they don't admit it.