laceblade: 5 girls of K-On! anime, carrying UK bags. Text: let's go abroad! (K-On!: Abroad)
Yes, I am behind on that meme and also on comments and also many things. I have plans for blog posts, though!

That said, I’m going to be spending the month of April in England. [My partner's employer has a retention problem that they combat by giving a month-long paid vacation anywhere the world for employee and a +1 every 5 years they work there.]

Do you know of any books, comics, or manga that are published/available in the UK that are not available in the US? Tell me about them, ;)

I’m also going to be looking into anime. While I understand that DVDs there are a different “region,” for a while the UK had the Studio Ghibli movie “Only Yesterday,” which was only finally released in the US LAST YEAR. WHAT IF THERE IS MORE. I’m willing to nose around a little, but if you have thoughts/knowledge on other forms of media you think I’d be interested in, I’ll take that, too.
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Default)
Weekend Recap
This weekend was intense! On Friday night, I went to a bar on Capitol Square with Antoine and some of our friends. It was the first time I had made an open tab with my debit card at a bar....and then I forgot the card there, and didn't realize it until we were half-way down State Street! I borrowed one friend's bike, and another friend's helmet, and booked it to the bar and back. I wish I had my bike here! Even if I didn't ride it to school or work, it would be nice to have for exercise.

Saturday, Antoine and I drove down to Mitsuwa, the Japanese marketplace outside of Chicago, for its annual Bon Odori Festival. Many Japanese Americans were dressed in traditional clothing, and it was awesome. I was a little put-off by the few non-Japanese Americans who chose to show up dressed as anime characters. I don't know. Maybe I'm too judgmental. It just felt really weird. A cultural festival is not the same thing as an anime convention, where it is expected that people freak out and wear cat-ears and dress like what's-his-name from the series Bleach. I don't know. It felt disrespectful, but I don't feel as though I'm eloquent enough to articulate why.

Other things done/obtained at Mitsuwa )

Antoine and I spent the night at a friend's house in Kenosha, along with 4 other friends. In the morning, we ate doughnuts and then went to the Bristol Renaissance Faire. I had picked an excellent combination: skirt (hella hot and humid) and socks/shoe-boots (had recently rained; lots of mud), although it looked pretty ridiculous, I'll admit. I did a good job of not buying much of the expensive, pretty things that are at the Renaissance Faire. I did get a sterling silver necklace, with a Celtic pendant that has an onyx in the middle of it, though.

Antoine and I ended our trip with a dinner at Real Chili, and it was delicious. I came home exhausted, but it was a pretty sweet weekend!

Hello, World.
Also, what the hell, I'm actually going to be in Madison this weekend, and thus far, my only plans are for Friday night (and a possible slight hangover on Saturday). Sooooo....let me know if anybody is up for anything! Gretchen, maybe we could watch the last disc of season 3 of Buffy this weekend!

I have updated my Bookmooch inventory with some of the random sci-fi stuff I picked up at the sale last week. So, if you see anything you like, you should mooch it! Also, if there's something really good in there, let me know, because I haven't read all of them (except for the Dawson's Creek books. I definitely read all of those. Shut up.) In spite of lots of manga being uploaded and mooched by people who are not me while I sleep, or while I'm at work, I still have lots of CLAMP titles that should be coming my way. Bookmooch is a pretty nifty website.

IBARW
It is International Blog Against Racism Week. I will start with some links.

If you have not heard the story about the Jena 6, then you should read about it here, at NPR's website.
And after that, you can go here to watch some footage of the families of those involved, etc. It is an appalling story about how a racist culture is very much still alive.

The terms 'racism' and 'racist' tend to get people all riled up. It's scary to most white people to be called out on their racism, because they don't try to be racist. And thus, here is an excellent article to read, especially if you are white, such as I am. How not to be insane when accused of racism (a guide for white people). The guide is directed at white people, of course, because in the United States as in other places, they benefit from white privilege.

Oyceter had a nice post defining terms, such as "white privilege," and race (as a biologically artificial construct, which has become socially real).

Links are a good place to start. I will perhaps write something of my own wording before the week is out, but for now, there is a bit of work to be done for sleep.
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Default)
Firstly!
OMF, Antoine starts his job today! Did I mention here that Antoine got a cool job, after quitting grad school? Well, he did. Go Antoine!

A Pwn-tastic weekend
This weekend, I went to Chicago. Saturday morning, Antoine, Chad, and I drove down in my car. Usually, the way it works is that I drive until we get to Illinois, and then Chad takes over (if I knew exactly where I was going in Chicago, then maybe I could handle it - I can handle Madison! But still, the highways and city-driving there are frightening). So, we did this. Also, we (and by we I mean I) grooved to the 12-or-so songs that I have downloaded to Chad's iPod for just such an occasion.

We picked Kristy up downtown, and then checked into the Radisson in Schaumberg (a suburb) that we were staying at. Saturday was spent shopping at the rather large shopping mall there, and then going to IKEA. I performed pretty decently this weekend, not buying too much. I did get a nice sweater and a tank top. At IKEA, I got a nice wooden cutting board. I don't know how to cook many things, but most things that I cook involve cutting up vegetables. So now I have my own cutting board, and it only cost me $3.99! I also got some wooden hangars. By the way, IKEA is an amazing store.

Actually, I lied. After picking Kristy up, but before driving to the hotel, we ate lunch at Kroll's, the Chicago-branch of a popular Green Bay restaurant. It was yummy, but the waitress sucked at keeping our water filled. Whenever any one of us asked for more water, she only filled that person's glass. I DON'T THINK SO.

After IKEA, we went out for Mexican food for dinner at a restaurant called Chevy's, and it was one of the most delicious meals I've ever had. Apparently, they mix their salsa fresh every hour, and it was SO GOOD.

On Sunday, we went back to IKEA (it was that awesome!). I enjoyed breakfast for $1.99 (amazing!) and we shopped around some more. The only thing I regret is not being able to find a lamp, but there really wasn't enough time to get one. Oh, well! I think I have two matching small ones that my sister gave me, and are waiting for me in my closet in my parents' house, so I can try to use those effectively in my space.

We walked around downtown for a while, and it didn't rain on us very much. We eventually met up with Steph and Gordon (who drove down on Saturday much later than we did) for lunch at a Panera-esque restaurant. Then, Kristy caught her train back to Indiana, Steph and Gordon set off for the Art Institute, and Chad, Antoine, and I made our way back home to Madison. We did get caught up in traffic, but Chad booked it and we made it back in about three hours. All in all, an excellent weekend!

Looking Ahead
Chad's parents picked him last night to take him home, and now I am here alone in my house until Thursday, when I leave for my parents' house. I am really excited to go home this time. I tend to mostly affix the faces of my sisters' children to my homesickness - probably because they are small and cute. My sister and her family has moved into a new house since the last time I was home, so I would like to see it.

Also, my father and I will sit down to do my taxes, which I am very much looking forward to (....you know, or not).

This Thursday will be a new episode of The Office! Will Roy really kill Jim?! PLEASE GOD, NOES! Holy crap, I love that show.

Last night, I didn't even unpack once I got home. I spent the rest of the night until 11:30pm finishing up the essay exam for my online class (19th Century Scandinavian Fiction).

I have a very long list of things that I would like to do today, and not much of it is homework. This hasn't happened to me in a long time, so I am understandably excited.

An interesting story from this weekend!
In the mall, Antoine and I meet up with Kristy and Chad outside of J. Crew. "Come inside," says Kristy, "I want you to try on these two dresses."
"I can't afford dresses from this store, Kristy. I'd like to see the price tags before I try them on."
"Just do it for me, please. I might be asking you to wear something like them." (Kristy and Chad are getting married in July 2008)

~~Much swearing and cursing on my part later, and I find myself in a dressing room with two dresses, both of which have halter tops. For those unaccustomed to such terms, it means that while the waist-down is skirt-like and full, there really isn't a back, and instead there is fabric that covers my front and thins down into two wide straps that are tied at the back of my neck.~~

So, I know what my body is like in clothing since I've now spent over 20 years struggling to find clothing that will fit on it. I weigh a bit more than I should, but I am not really overweight. However, I am, shall we say, "well-endowed" and while most people would blush and titter to describe themselves this way, I have no qualms in doing so because mine are so large that they are a curse. Cute, well-cut shirts that I would like to own do not fit me because I am too large in one area of the body. Shirts that are able to get on my body often hang in awkward ways because they fit one part of my body well, but are too big for the rest of it. One of the reasons why I "suck" at fashion is because my body doesn't fit well into it. If I can find a shirt that fits me, I really don't care what it looks like, and I'll buy it.

Anyway. Back to the story. I think Kristy really didn't believe me or something, because when I made her come into the dressing room (those-who-aren't-my-close-friends), she was astonished. I was pleased that from the waist-down, the skirt was attractive and flattering to my figure. I point to the fabric covering the things-in-front-of-my-chest*. Visible on every side of the things-in-front-of-my-chest* due to there not being enough fabric is that-thing-girls-wear*. I point to the fabric and say, "Yeah. As you can see, halter tops don't work with Jackie. And as much as it inhibits the dress options, you really don't want to see how much worse the situation gets if I take off that-thing-girls-wear*."
"This dress would make you look like a porn star," said Kristy.

*Normally, I have no problem using words such as these, but I am very conscious of the fact that mothers of my friends (like Kristy!) read my blog. Also, so does my sister, and this is probably the one post out of 4,000 that she would mention to her.

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laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Default)
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