za_lee: (ginzura samurai jacket)
2013-06-04 05:46 pm

it's been a long time...

I, ah...wrote something for a character I love and posted it over at my wordpress blog. Haven't checked yet if there's a Mizushiro Setona group up in here, but if anyone's looking for good, possibly heavy summer reading, The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese and its sequel The Carp on the Chopping Block Jumps Twice is probably one of the most lovely, compelling meditations on adult love I have ever encountered.

Here is my love letter to Imagase Wataru from the series.
za_lee: (Default)
2012-08-16 01:19 am

thus spake...za lee...(oh shit, did i just mix up romanization systems AND accents?)

Yes. It wasn't easy. I took the seldom tread way, over Greenland, the ever arctic sun, flirted with Siberia, Mongolia, and a vertical cut of the PRC before landing in pirate island, aka, Hong Kong!

Vague memories of some blockbuster and lackluster in-flight entertainment (why "in"?) -- as well as a rather joyous moment when they served us Haagen-Daaz -- fade as I embrace the land of cha shao (or charshiu?), of family restaurant cafes (茶餐廳), of USB gadgets that are born from pure need of gadgetry, and of...Cantonese. 

In HK for the 2012-2013 school year...


 
za_lee: (Default)
2012-06-25 03:06 am
Entry tags:

a PruAus ficlet: valediction

 

I wrote this in a fraught moment and wasn't really planning on ever posting it to a community, but figured I'd post it in my journal. So here it is. Basically, I had lines from Donne's "Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" running through my head for weeks and couldn't stop thinking about a parting scene starring PruAus, so this is the result.

I have no idea why Prussia or Austria would be familiar with British metaphysical poetry (it's one of my favorite...and I was feeling sad, okay?) and have no historical knowledge regarding the period in question. I am tinkering with the idea of building on this possibly after I've scrounged through some history, but that might just as likely take me in other directions...so, as it stands, a ficlet.

Fandom: Hetalia
Characters/Pairing(s): PruAus, implied Russia
Warnings: affected sadness
Obligatory disclaimer: neither Hetalia nor Donne are mine

(link to Ao3


 

za_lee: (consumption)
2012-06-25 01:57 am

more fickleness...

161. Absolute Boyfriend, vol.1 (Watase Yuu, Viz: Shojo Beat)
162. Absolute Boyfriend, vol.2 (Watase Yuu, Viz: Shojo Beat)
163. Absolute Boyfriend, vol.3 (Watase Yuu, Viz: Shojo Beat)
164. Absolute Boyfriend, vol.4 (Watase Yuu, Viz: Shojo Beat)
165. Absolute Boyfriend, vol.5 (Watase Yuu, Viz: Shojo Beat)
166. Absolute Boyfriend, vol.6 (Watase Yuu, Viz: Shojo Beat)

Is this what shojo is usually like? I like the crackiness and the fun-meta commentary, but the main character really tries my patience more than once. Maybe this is a sign I'm getting to old for this, but I prefer when heroines gain rather than are distracted (by beautiful boys) from self-awareness. I still teared up though (I'm a sucker...and have been trained by K-dramas to cry)...



za_lee: (consumption)
2012-06-25 01:47 am

old school reverse harem

152. Hana Yori Dango [Boys Over Flowers], vol.1 (Yoko Kamio, Viz) 
153. Hana Yori Dango [Boys Over Flowers], vol.2 (Yoko Kamio, Viz) 
154. Hana Yori Dango [Boys Over Flowers], vol.3 (Yoko Kamio, Viz) 
155. Hana Yori Dango [Boys Over Flowers], vol.4 (Yoko Kamio, Viz) 
156. Hana Yori Dango [Boys Over Flowers], vol.5 (Yoko Kamio, Viz) 
157. Hana Yori Dango [Boys Over Flowers], vol.6 (Yoko Kamio, Viz) 
158. Hana Yori Dango [Boys Over Flowers], vol.7 (Yoko Kamio, Viz) 
159. Hana Yori Dango [Boys Over Flowers], vol.8 (Yoko Kamio, Viz) 
160. Hana Yori Dango [Boys Over Flowers], vol.9 (Yoko Kamio, Viz) 


I'm still waiting to feel empowered, but I guess high school is more about misguided toughness and being overwhelmed with change. Fickleness ensues...


za_lee: (consumption)
2012-06-25 01:41 am

tamaki suoh, won't you let me son you?

I gave in one afternoon when I was sick in bed...thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jedishampoo for urging me (with her fic) to give this another try. Tamaki damn near breaks my heart with the sheer way he is of it.




138. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 2 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
139. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 3 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
140. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 4 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
141. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 5 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
142. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 6 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
143. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 7 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
144. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 8 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
145. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 9 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
146. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 10 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
147. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 11 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
148. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 12 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
149. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 13 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
150. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 14 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
151. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 15 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)
za_lee: (kurogane blush)
2012-06-25 01:32 am

blast!

Who ever said the only sure things in life are death and taxes totally forgot about bugs and loneliness. And I know it might be uber-humanist-squeamish-silly of me to feel this way, but I hate them bugs. Pests, we call them when they intrude on our homes, but I prefer to shelve that distinction to a) preserve the truth of my massacre of them as part of my personal issues rather than any territorial whatever (I don't like them in nature either, which is why I don't do camping) and b) pretend they care about the sincerity with which I approach their extermination.

I'm mad I can get felled by this kind of thing (very unawesome, would say Gil), but the same can be said of greater beings (what's that lion from madagascar?). It was near midnight and I was finally hitting a human bed time for once in forever, when, before my eyes, sailing gently on the breeze of my rotating fan, was a tiny grey spider, like a ghastly kite on an invisible string. 

Had I had a moment longer to be awestruck, I wouldn't have caught the little beast (they all grow up to be fierce, leggy bastards) before it effectively crawled into bed with me. But it didn't take many moments longer for all these things about today to click...the suspicion of fuzz balls floating before my eyes, the distinct feel of a pinch with no usual suspects in sight...yes, where there is one tiny spider, there is bound to be a whole bunch of them spreading from some hatching point.

Luckily, the nest quickly presented itself...and I was able to make a concentrated effort at attack.

*cruelty towards other living beings censored*

After doing a quick sweep of all ceilings, vacuuming the floor, and lightly spraying down possible cracks and openings, I decided a shower was in order (could they be CORPSING IN MY HAIR????). As I wait for my hair to dry, I suddenly recall how Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder once said that Huey, Riley, and G-pa Freeman are all different parts of him. Didn't Philip Pullman also divulge that the gimmick of daemons in his famous trilogy was meant to facilitate narration of interiority?

Well, right about now, the story of my life is showing a personification of a younger me (a childhood friend perhaps, or a rodent) shaking their head at the current me and saying, "You didn't use to be like this."

And this is followed by a flashback montage of the two years I spent on my own in Wisconsin battling spiders that only come in degrees of furry, featuring one scene where an infestation was so sudden, I was smashing them into my rug with my bare hands. Argghhhhhhh! All be damned if I let such trivialities mess with my well-laid plans. 

Man, my childhood friend/rodent sighs, you were such a badass then. And then like Tsukushi from Hana Yori Dango, I gradually work up that old mojo towards unexpected alliances and new experiences!!!!!

If only the toil against such an insignificant certainty could be life altering.

In reality, I'm just shot with adrenaline, so now I'm going sit here twitchily while I try to catch up on some entries. 

For that, I apologize in advance.
za_lee: (story of my life with books)
2012-06-10 04:17 pm

eeeeek...

3. Margaret Atwood, Dancing Girls and Other Stories 

I read it for "Rape Fantasies" which is interesting for the 70s...a whole lot of angst for that one story, guys. 
za_lee: (consumption)
2012-06-10 04:12 pm

beck...still...

i think i'm going to take a break from this...just because a series is finished doesn't mean you have to read it to the end in one blow...

133. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.13 (Harold Sakuishi, Mangascreener Scanlations)
134. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.14 (Harold Sakuishi, Mangascreener Scanlations)
135. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.15 (Harold Sakuishi, Mangascreener Scanlations)
136. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.16 (Harold Sakuishi, Mangascreener Scanlations)

then again, there's the series that are just too much fun to stop reading...if only my life were as idle as that of these silly boys and girls...

137. Ouran High School Host Club, vol. 1 (Hatori Bisco, Shojo Beat)




za_lee: (consumption)
2012-05-31 01:15 pm

the rock band drama...

In the words of one fanfic writer with regards to Ryu...everyone here is so straight it hurts.

121. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.1 (Harold Sakuishi, Tokyopop)
122. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.2 (Harold Sakuishi, Tokyopop)
123. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.3 (Harold Sakuishi, Tokyopop)
124. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.4 (Harold Sakuishi, Tokyopop)
125. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.5 (Harold Sakuishi, Scanlation: Gatsu, Snickerer, Stephen)
126. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.6 (Harold Sakuishi, Tokyopop)
127. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.7 (Harold Sakuishi, Tokyopop)
128. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.8 (Harold Sakuishi, Tokyopop)
129. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.9 (Harold Sakuishi, Tokyopop)
130. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.10 (Harold Sakuishi, Tokyopop)
131. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.11 (Harold Sakuishi, Tokyopop)
132. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol.12 (Harold Sakuishi, Tokyopop)
za_lee: (consumption)
2012-05-16 10:30 pm

the power to revolutionize the world!

116. Revolutionary Girl Utena, vol.1 (Saito Chiho, Viz)
117. Revolutionary Girl Utena, vol.2 (Saito Chiho, Viz)
118. Revolutionary Girl Utena, vol.3 (Saito Chiho, Viz)
119. Revolutionary Girl Utena, vol.4 (Saito Chiho, Viz)
120. Revolutionary Girl Utena, vol.5 (Saito Chiho, Viz)
za_lee: (shion & nezumi)
2012-05-13 03:25 am

natsume yuujincho: episode 1 (猫と友人帳)

For a long time, as it went into 2nd and 3rd and 4th season, I've wanted to revisit this gorgeous, gorgeous anime: the tranquil scenery and character design, the gentle movements of wind and slight that are so reminiscent of Miyazaki, the incredibly sad commentary on memory and our dying connections with alternative forms of life.... I had avoided it because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to take the heartbreak.

Nearly three years later, I've taken the plunge back on an equally sleepless, restless night...when everything is clamoring and I just want to be emotionally spirited away. On the brink of summer, with no energy left for remaining responsibilities...I'm going to rekindle my visitation with Natsume...and keep a journal here of my findings.

Hopefully, as I get better at this, I'll start putting up screenshots and eventually make an icon for the purpose, too. For now...just some ramblings...

2 moments:

- Nyanko-sensei notes that youkai don't bother much with gender. This warrants some rehashing of posthumanism's ties with gender-queerness and woman or the feminine as an inherent category of queer. (what investment could we possibly have in straightness?)

- "She didn't call me today, either? I'm lonely. Even more so than before! Give it back! Give me back my name!" Umph. What else is there to say? The exchange of names, the formation of bonds, and the ensuing loneliness. What you give and take in this act is more than words. This is the new iteration of Saint-Exupery's episode with the fox and the wheat fields. A spiritually invested articulation of broken promise, unanswered expectation. If I never knew you....

And the recurring moment that will always take my breathe away is Natsume returning the names...those words flying from his lips, what he pays to return those broken promises, so heavy with the weight of unanswered expectation. The concentration of his feline eyes, so uncharacteristically nestled in that gentle, gentle face and hair. 

Maybe I should consider taking a Japanese spirituality and animation course in the future...it seems like it might be tons of fun.

And so begins the journey through latent tears...
za_lee: (consumption)
2012-03-16 01:58 am

and the graphic novel journey goes on as well...

112. Endou-kun no Kansatsu Nikki (Hayakawa Nojiko, Acme + Futari wa Pretty Anon Scanlations) 
113. Kuragehime [Princess Jellyfish], vol.1 (Higashimura Akiko, Hachimitsu Scans)
114. Kaze to Ki no Uta, vol.1 (Takemiya Keiko, Shougakukan) <-- old school yaoi angst!
115. Kino Nani wo Tabeta, vol.5 (Yoshinaga Fumi, Kodansha) <-- he said "please picture Gilbert when you imagine my bf"
za_lee: (story of my life with books)
2012-03-16 01:49 am

i read non-graphic books, too

finally...my list of entire books begins, albeit quite humbly.

1. Jean Paul Sartre, No Exit and Three Other Plays (other plays being "The Flies", "Dirty Hands", and "The Respectable Prostitute")
2. Emily Horner, A Love Story Starring my Dead Best Friend <--i love...the present perfect tense


 
za_lee: (kurogane blush)
2012-03-06 04:21 am

老師很傷心...先生悲しい...teacher is sad...(and, ok, a bit po-d)

I suppose the fact that I'm up thinking about teaching woes instead of drowning myself in some extended un-promising narrative is a sign that my master plan to re-integrate (the temporality of this word choice is suspect) into RL via taking on highly un-rewarding but very "the ways things are" type teaching is part success (other parts include narcissism and self-pity).

there are so many things I didn't know about this gig. well, some of it I knew but didn't know (like Swimming vs. swimming...damn you Kierkegaard...). I know some of you out there are teachers and "splendid adults" as they say, so please forgive this epic fail at getting over oneself...but man do I feel vulnerable and helpless when I reflect on my time in front of the classroom sometimes.

here's what's got me down. plagiarism/cheating. man. if this isn't ever a problem. i think having a language issue in many of my classes (many of my students are international students from China) and also different cultures of pedagogical treatment (being expected to crank out formulaic answers vs. being expected to say something original etc.) might contribute to this issue...but since two cases came to light, transforming what formerly seemed like just an unfortunate possibility into a pressurized inevitability, every paper seems shady as hell. they smack of google translate of random blog commentary...students who couldn't articulate an opinion about The Matrix (i don't teach this) suddenly are talking about psychoanalytical theory (nor this)...the same sentence patterns and structures keep appearing among clusters of papers...and i'm so tired from trying to discern between fob English (and trust me, i'm reasonably fluent at this), well-intentioned uses of reference material, readings generally endorsed by the communist state (these are chinese lit courses), and flat-out whackness.

thinking back to high school, I know it may be privileged, at worst un-mindful, and more innocuously just naive to think that teaching ought not to include things like policing and, I mean this in the most general way, parenting (even though this is never really part of any job description and certainly not what attracts me to a profession in education). and no, i have no personal investment in essential notions of adulthood versus childhood and what forms of behavior or formal elements of presentation should come with (although standards of formal elements of presentation and behavior seem to be key to classroom effectiveness and general efficiency/progress)...but as far as I know, we haven't yet reached the point of cynicism where college is just a glorified/extremely expensive kind of daycare to put disaffected youth...have we?

(says friend: go read some zetsubo-sensei and you'll be fine)
za_lee: (Default)
2012-01-22 05:39 pm

Happy Year of the Dragon!

2012 is the year of the Dragon and today is Lunar New Year's eve.

As the kitchen bubbles and the satellite TV broadcasts festively garish holiday programming reruns from China, I've found a moment to post this whack-ly edited version of an image I sketched for a holiday card exchange with [livejournal.com profile] jedishampoo whose fic led me finally to embrace Minekura Kazuya Ming-Qing-novel-rewriting-love. This, I passed on to a cousin, who looked up at me mid-volume-1 and said,

"Wait, the dragon is his pet?"

Me: Yes.

Cousin: And the dragon is the jeep.

Me: Yes.

Cousin: And the dragon's name is Jeep.

Me: Yes.

lol. Yup and Jeep is totally the 5th bishie in ikkou. Seriously all, if you haven't read this ish, get on it! 

Happy Lunar New Year! Thanks for being around. May this year also be filled with the best fantasies and the truest stories!


   

Go 'head, you handsome flirt. Show them how cute Chinese dragon can be when they get some wingalings.

za_lee: (consumption)
2012-01-18 12:28 am

back to the journey...

Minekura Kazuya breaks me heart...

108. Saiyuki Gaiden, vol.1 (Minekura Kazuya, MangaCity Scanlations)  
109. Saiyuki Gaiden, vol.2 (Minekura Kazuya, Dragon Voice Project scans)
110. Saiyuki Gaiden, vol.3 (Minekura Kazuya, uncredited scanlations)
111. Saiyuki Gaiden, vol.4 (Minekura Kazuya, uncredited scanlations)

"This life be over soon, heaven last forever..." -The Color Purple

At the beginning, Sanzo ikkou returns to say f that s. 



za_lee: (ginzura samurai jacket)
2012-01-18 12:00 am

solar powered me (not a new year's resolution)

On my bulletin board, off a clear, shiny pin, hangs a green rubber bean pod. Gracefully portioned into three sections, it even comes with its own leaf-like placard, printed with place of make and maker (China and Bandai, incidentally). When you give any section a gentle squeeze, an impossibly delicious looking plastic bean will rear its roundness and beam. It's so inexplicably stupid delightful, you beam back, thinking, "how stupid delightful!" and then you squeeze upon the one rogue bean marked with a silly face, and the stupidity delight becomes absolute.

mine is the old man face, i mean, bean

This is an example of a the kind of gag toy which graces convenience stores East Asia-wide and which members of my family find irresistible. True story: during a visit a few years ago, my grandmother walked into her nephew's 7eleven in Taiwan and walked out with 2 tea eggs and 5 of these (I'm pretty sure the store's entire stock). One hangs off a designer bag she carries from time to time.


read on, read at... )

za_lee: (happy ewon)
2012-01-11 03:46 am

the best kind of crapshoot is one that leads to imaginary harems

last week, yoneda kou tweeted her results for 7 ikemen (good-looking) characters with whom she is most compatible according to shindanmaker.com and noted with amusement that 2 of the characters on her list are not human. [click here for original post]

2D and the idea of "character" is totally post-human in my mind, but what I find amazing here is that the 2 non-humans in question -- Totoro and Doreamon -- are floating around in some good-looking male (?) characters database. lol. I mean, I guess

source

Anyway, I don’t have a “real” Japanese name, but I tried the diagnostic thingy with my name in some variety of combinations and scripts and thought I’d share the results, why not? I mean, I haven’t looked deeply into how this site works, but all you are inputting is a name so the resulting meaningfulness is probably like a notch or two above what you get out of a fortune cookie…or, better yet, a capsule toy machine, either of which, well, if you’re anything like me, is perfect!

Oh, also, I love some of these characters to death whereas I didn’t know who other characters were, so I’ve provided series titles and picscam, why not?


why 7, pray tell? and like i said, picspam )

za_lee: (consumption)
2012-01-11 01:54 am

sampling the next fall...

105. Nigai kajitsu [Bitter Fruit] (Kano Shiuko, Take Shobou) <-- depressing as hell...
106. Prince of Tennis (Konomi Takeshi, VIZ) <-- 気分転換
107. Spice & Wolf (Hasekura Isuna, Ayakura Juu & Koume Keito, Yen Press)

"there isn't a day I don't think about it..."