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Ayame
18 February 2012 @ 01:26 am
Back in July, the fiance moved in with me.  Yayness!

Sometime in August, he got pretty tired of my cooking.  Uh oh.

In November, I obtained my cookbook.  Yayness again!

I'm now exploring the exciting world of Making Shit That Tastes Good (That He Wants To Eat...tm).  Mostly, this has been done by cooking rice, a vegetable, and a protein, and tossing it all together.

The specifics suck a little more than that.  The fish is the easiest since it isn't in the book...but we got sick of that.  The chicken takes a tarragon and leek sauce which is TASTY, but the whole dish takes a couple hours to prepare (great with asparagus).  The porkchop takes bacon fat gravy...which is bad for me, and also takes a while.

Last night I made empanadas that are, as near as I can tell, a variation on either an Argentinian or Chiliean recipe.  So tasty and SO CONVENIENT TO EAT...but so time consuming.  I blame the dough.  >.<;

I've also figured out how to make some of my own stuff!  Rice with chicken thighs and a sauce made with onion, shallot, garlic, thyme, a chicken broth/wine mix, and a bit of butter.  Ideally dumped over roasted acorn squash.

This is, of course, supplemented with frozen pizza and pasta from a box.
 
 
Feeling: nerdynerdy
 
 
Ayame
30 May 2011 @ 07:27 pm
Life's been hectic.

Beginning about...oh...mid-April.  My laptop managed to get a registry error, so I didn't have that for more than a month.  This happened to coincide with the due date of a major paper...that I had to actually pry myself away from my MMOs to write.

God forbid.

In any case, I managed to finish that up, and got one of the legitimately highest grades in the course, so dad is now unloading his summer grading on to me (because he can).

A little less recently, I got rejected from graduate school because I don't volunteer enough (sidenote: I didn't know if I could put "I make sure my family functions" as volunteer work, so I erred on the side of caution - potential mistake, and I'm going to try to worm my way in regardless).

A little more recently, my mom broke her hand (her fifth metacarpel to be exact).  I was the one driving her around to doctors appointments, since my father had to stay by my brother's side.  I'm the one who drove her to surgery, and signed her out...there's probably a sheet still floating around somewhere that certifies that I'm a "responsible adult."  :o

Most recent yet...David asked me to marry him.  O_O

Actually, he asked back at the beginning of April, but there wasn't really a ring yet, nor had he told his parents.  Now there is and now he has.  I'm not sure they fully approve, and I'm fairly sure that I've said and done a couple of things that they find fairly horrific (see: replying that David is not marrying my father so no when asked if David asked my father's permission to marry me).

I'm not sure what to make of it all yet.

There's no date set yet.  We'll work on stuff one step at a time.
 
 
Feeling: happyhappy
 
 
Ayame
18 March 2011 @ 12:52 am
http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/17/house-votes-to-cut-off-federal-funds-for-npr/?icid=maing|aim|dl1|sec3_lnk1|50527

This was on my AOL feed.

House Republicans wish to cut funding to NPR because it isn't important to use federal money to fund agendas.

If this is the case, shouldn't they be lining up to cut funding from the programs that they agree with that are undoubtedly getting federal funding?  -_-;

Here's to hoping it doesn't pass the Senate...
 
 
Feeling: irritatedirritated
 
 
Ayame
21 February 2011 @ 02:07 am
Writing this might well be a mistake.  Making it a public entry might be a mistake.  But bear with me, as this has been brewing for a while, and every time I see people ranting about it (some more coherently than others), it does piss me off...and there really IS no safe place to say anything about it.  On the offchance that this attracts any attention at all: I'm presenting my view and being civil.  I'd ask that anyone responding do the same.

There's no nice way to say it: I find it HORRIBLY insulting...ableist, even...that a bunch of apparently neuro-typical people have taken it upon themselves to be "crusaders" for those who are "unfortunate" enough to not have the same privileged, able status as they do.  Included in this is telling people that using the word "retarded" is hurtful to actual retarded people when you yourself have never experienced the effects of ableism (being called retarded and treated like you are - which, by the way, are two entirely different things) in all its glory.

Since sometime in college, I've made secret of the fact that I've got mild to moderate Asperger's.  That's a high functioning autism spectrum disorder, folks.  It means I'm not neuro-typical.  The diagnosis was fairly life-shattering; I was 14 or 15 and had been struggling in school for a year and a half.  At first my parents chalked it up to uprooting the family and dragging us off to Arlington, VA (where the public schools are flat out awful) for a year.  Then we came home to a good school system and I still failed to succeed the same way I had in a somewhat alternative middle school.  They took me for testing, most of which I don't remember.

I do, however, remember how I found out: my mom was the first to know, since I was, of course, still a minor.  Her first move was to call a neighbor who had experience in child psychology, saying that she didn't know how to deal.  She thought I was at the computer with my headphones in and couldn't hear.  Her solution was to have me pretend that I had not, in fact, heard something life-changing and to pretend to be happy.  I think I got dragged off to watch Man of La Mancha later that night, but I was completely unable to enjoy it.

Of course, at this point, since it was KNOWN what was "wrong" with me, steps were taken to "fix" it.  In this case, that was an IEP.  For more than 3 years, my peers KNEW there was something different.  I sometimes took my tests separately because I couldn't concentrate in the same room as everyone else.  I received notes in packets, and didn't actually learn how to take my own until I took a class where note-taking wasn't a required skill.

Because the school had never dealt with a HIGH FUNCTIONING autistic student, I got put in the special academic lab with the rest of the kids the school had...uh...PROBLEMS with: lower functioning, severely hyperactive or ADD.  I stuck out like a sore thumb, and these kids did what kids do when one person in their midst is unlike them.  I think they were thrilled to have someone to gang up on and call retarded for once.  This academic lab was topped off by a teacher who was clearly unqualified for the job, and insisted on giving us photocopies of Sesame Street coloring books and crayons to occupy us if we didn't have homework.

Then there was the debate about whether or not I should be ALLOWED to take honors courses.  I wasn't ABLE to take honors English.  Hell, I barely functioned in regular English.  This is the Asperger's at work: to me, a story is a story.  I don't look for deeper meaning unless I'm hit over the head with it.  Looking for deeper meanings is all honors English (and, to a lesser extent, regular English) fucking is.  I was, however, completely able to finish an honors social studies course and an honors science course, both of which were courses the school was reluctant to allow me to take, because I'd failed so spectacularly in English.

That isn't saying anything about when I go to the doctor's office and say "I have [x] problem" and they immediately ask "is it because of your Asperger's?"  Or when they ask me if I'm on a certain medication because of the Asperger's.

Hello, ableism.

Here's the deal, though.  I see a bunch of neuro-typical people who haven't slogged through half as much shit trying to be "crusaders" all over the place.  I find this insulting.  Why?

1: If I want your help, I'll request it.  Note that I didn't have a diagnosis until I was in my mid teens.  My parents had suspected something was off, but they sure as hell didn't raise me to be utterly dependent on them, my teachers, my professors, the disabilities services at the university I attend, or anyone else who is classified as neuro-typical.  In fact, I find this whole crusade by the neuro-typical for the neurologically atypical (or otherwise disabled) to be insulting, demeaning, and ableist in and of itself.  ARE WE IN NEED OF THAT MUCH HELP THAT WE'RE UNABLE TO STAND UP FOR OURSELVES AND SPEAK THE FUCK UP IF WE FIND SOMETHING WRONG?  DOES SOCIETY DISREGARD US THIS MUCH THAT WE NEED NEURO-TYPICAL OR OTHERWISE NOT-DISABLED KEEPERS TO MAKE A POINT FOR US?  To be perfectly blunt (possibly insulting, and completely not politically correct), are the retarded too retarded to make their own point?

2: If I ask for your help, I don't ask you to speak for me.  I have my own voice, and I can use it.  I might, however, ask for some support and maybe some guidance.  This hearkens back to point 1.

3: Regarding the use of the word retarded...yeah, I've been called retarded.  You know what?  I DON'T REALLY CARE ANYMORE.  You know what stuck with me more than the word?  The treatment I received.  The bullying at the hands of my classmates in that academic lab.  The dumbass, unqualified teacher who talked down to me and handed me stuff to color.  The school wondering if I'm CAPABLE of taking the courses I know I was capable of taking.  Words don't mean anything; the only people who called me retarded were my classmates.  The people who actually managed to treat me as such were TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATION.

Further, while "retarded" might not be the best word choice and I tend to not use it in public forums (I've slipped a few times, so sue me), I still regard it as a massive gray area.  If a forum's rules (and good common sense) don't explicitly prohibit the use of the word, then how about you just let it be?  One person's common sense is different from yours and might not include this; oh well.  If you work to censor out everything that MIGHT NOT BE POLITICALLY CORRECT, the only people who win are the hardline Conservatives who...want everything censored anyway.  Good plan there, those who classify yourselves as liberal proponents of equality for all.  You deserve a round of applause.

Incidentally, if people weren't calling low-functioning folk "retarded," they'd be calling them something else, and it would be equally hurtful.  Why?  Because of the attitude behind it.

4: For the love of god, don't contain your "activism," if you insist on being an "activist," to the internet.  And please do something more useful than "crusade" by "attempting to defeat ignorance wherever you find it."  Yelling at people who use retarded to describe particularly low functioning people or stupid situations encountered online that "WORDS MEAN THINGS, DIPSHIT" is about as effective as my cat trying to catch the laser dot he so loves chasing.  It doesn't convince anyone of anything and it makes you look ridiculous at best, and like an idiot at worst.

Instead, how about you get out there in real life and volunteer with those who are actually disabled/neurologically atypical/low functioning (because, you know, there's a lot of ignorance to defeat in real life, too)?  I'm fairly sure that no one in their right mind would turn you away if you went to volunteer at a group home or something.  These people often are craving companionship, and who knows, maybe you could help teach them some healthy skills to cope with the people who attack them for being "retarded."

Yeah, I know that's easier said than done, but if I can eventually learn that I'm worth something despite years of crippling bullying (that isn't related at all to the word "retard" or my diagnosis)...with the whole god damn system against me...then it's entirely possible for people to find a place within them where they realize that there's something INHERENTLY WRONG WITH THE BULLIES AND THEIR ATTITUDES.

I've heard the argument that people who are disabled and need caregivers are provided with them and these caregivers can be companions.  While this argument, when it was directed towards me, was RETRACTED (upon mentioning that my brother was in such a situation, and that I'm the only person who visits him who doesn't change his god damn diapers), it's still a fairly dominant view.  Do something to change that.

So, yeah.  Until you've experienced what you're on a crusade against, you really don't have a clue what you're talking about.  You can, perhaps, experience it second hand and SEE the hurt it causes people, but you don't KNOW what it feels like until you yourself have experienced it.  Until you've experienced it, kindly don't go on a crusade (or rampage) like you have.  Thanks.
 
 
Feeling: annoyedannoyed
 
 
Ayame
18 February 2011 @ 09:35 pm
Don't you love it when you buy stuff special for people, present it to them, and they sort of look at it and go "...yeah, wtf?  I don't care."

On Tuesday, I heard that the local organics store was going to have fresh green beans on Friday.  Today is Friday.  SCORE.

So I purchased my green beans and headed off to my parents' house.  Picked up the newspaper and walked in.

Upon finding mom, I presented her with the green beans.  She gave me THAT LOOK and grabbed the newspaper...and then outright told me she didn't care that I bought fresh veggies.  Nice.  >.<;
 
 
Feeling: blankblank
 
 
 
Ayame
16 February 2011 @ 11:05 pm
So.  On the offchance that anyone still reads this.

As many people know, I'm a fan of the more...um...MAINSTREAM...items that Anthropologie puts out there, both staples and the more special ones.  But this?  This kind of crosses a line.

http://www.bhldn.com/

Observe.  They have a wedding line.  Go ahead and poke around a little.

The stylish bride must, of course, be size 14 or smaller.  If the stylish bride selects bridesmaid's dresses from here, Anthropologie has essentially put a size cap on friendship; her bridesmaids can't be larger than a size 14, either.

The shoes are pretty unique and nice looking...but they don't come in anything larger than a size 10.  NONE of them.

Quite a few of the headpieces look like things that could be thrown together with the raw materials and hot glue.  If you can't do it yourself, etsy would likely have most of them for less.

The bridesmaid's dresses are the ones that really piss me off.  If you're a plus-size bride, if you have big feet, and if you're on a limited budget for headpieces, you can simply choose to not shop there.  But if you're a plus size bridesmaid for a bride who has chosen one of these dresses...well, there's just no other way of putting it...you're just FUCKED, because you're probably just not going to find them anywhere else.  And the truly sad part is that there are a LOT of women out there who are going to consider the "overall look of the wedding" more important than the people standing by her side.
 
 
Feeling: pessimisticpessimistic
 
 
Ayame
27 November 2010 @ 08:19 pm
There are no pictures, because most of the highlights are people who were either so lacking in intelligence or looked so incredibly stupid (or both) that I couldn't help but do a double take and think "wait...what the fuck were you thinking?"

~a lady with frosted neon pink lipstick and penciled on eyebrows at a rest stop in TN. She rejected the handicapped stall. When asked what was wrong with it, she mumbled "there's no rolls." There were 2 enormous rolls in the dispenser, she'd just have to reach up to get paper.
~A clueless man in TN who continually asked me if I was in line for food at McD's. I replied "no, I'm waiting for my food" every time. Finally, I got a little pissy (I had not been caffienated yet), and he got standoff-ish.
~Almost getting into a car wreck when I pulled into the leftmost lane at the last exit/onramp at Padoucah so that some jackass in an orange truck could merge into traffic. He repayed me by almost taking the front of my car off.
~TWO very obese chicks wearing leggings as pants. The first had that jiggly inner thigh fat, and the second was wearing black lame` leggings with granny panties.
~The woman who had only one eye done in raccoon makeup.

PS: St. Louis is the worst city ever to drive through. Biggest damn clusterfuck ever. D:

I miss David. D:
 
 
Feeling: tiredtired
 
 
Ayame
15 November 2010 @ 05:44 pm
Remember the McDonalds Monopoly promotion?  They lied.  1 in 4 does not win.  I ended up with maybe 18 pieces...some of them obtained from actually consuming artery clogging meals, and some of them found on the ground around the University.

All of them were actually board pieces - not an instant win to be found.  And the codes?  2 of them were winners.  And what did I win?  A grand total of 60 Coke Rewards Points!

Do you know what you can do with 60 Coke Rewards Points?

Neither did I until I actually looked.

Turns out that you can A: save them, B: use 1 point at a time to enter into raffles for expensive crap like blenders and stereos, or C: use 30 at a time to have coupons for free Coke sent to you.

There's no point to save them, since I don't even know where they come from aside from this stupid McD's promotion.  I don't need a blender, and I guess I could sell it if I won it, but the chances of winning it are so damn low that it's not even worth it.  I didn't eat artery clogging food TWICE just to piddle away the "prizes" I got from it.  God dammit, SOMEONE is going to benefit from this.

So I guess that left the coupons.  Now...I don't drink Coke.  Or any soda, really.  But my mom does...so it isn't like this stuff is gonna go to waste.

Well, the coupons finally arrived.  I saw them ripped open - rather enthusiastically - sitting on the kitchen table.  The ensuing conversation went something like this.

Me: (to mom) oh, so you got the coupons.
Mom: yeah.  Free coke!
Me: ...you're welcome?
Mom: huh?
Me: (I explain the McD's promotion and how I only won a pathetic 60 Coke Rewards points and how I decided that coupons were the best option.)
Mom: ...oh.
Me: so...you didn't even notice they were addressed to me?
Mom: ...no...I was just wondering why the hell I was getting coupons for free Coke sent to me.
Me: *facepalm*
 
 
Feeling: geekygeeky
 
 
Ayame
14 November 2010 @ 08:16 pm
My mom and I have made this for dinner a few times and it's amazing.

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

~Chop veggies - zucchini, onion, bell pepper, tiny potatoes (leave the skin on), mushrooms (if you like them) and garlic (if you so wish).

~Spread veggies on a cookie sheet (previously covered with foil).

~Drizzle with olive oil (unfortunately, I don't have an exact measure on this; I made it tonight and there was slightly too much), sprinkle with salt (a small pile about the size of a quarter - err on the side of caution here, if you find they aren't salty enough, you can always salt more later), and add rosemary to taste (no need for it to be fresh).  Mix it all up!

~Pop in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until veggies are cooked.  I tend to use the carrots or potatoes as a guide; if the thicker chunks of either are still crunchy or firm (respectively), they still need to be cooked a bit longer.

Enjoy.  Pretty much the only way to screw it up seems to be to set it on fire.  Or...you know...over-salt it.  Last week, one pan of ours was way too oily, and that was kind of not as tasty, but it still managed to not ruin it.  o_o;
 
 
Feeling: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
Ayame
09 November 2010 @ 07:47 pm
Today I woke up at quarter to 8 and...

~rushed to get dressed, and then rushed off to get my car inspected, so that I could subsequently register it online. Tags should be coming soon. I still don't know why the dealership was trying to talk me out of an inspection when I got a notice in the mail...
~took courtesy shuttle to coffee shop downtown, had coffee. Did some homework. Picked up car. Went to parents' house.
~went to bank. Deposited a check for $4 (I never have to work again).
~wandered off to Michael's to pick out ribbon to adorn my friend's wedding gift. Presented said gift.
~entertained my brother.
~cooked dinner for my family.
~came home and prevented my cat (who is apparently lacking in brains) from eating a temptingly crunchy leaf.

ALSO. I HAVE NEW ICONS.

This lovely display one is by my good friend Chika, aka sillywalnut! It expresses vaguely how I feel when reading trade chat. Also vaguely how I'm feeling now. I love it, and you should check out her art if you want art and she's taking commissions. <3

I also got myself a birthday gift of ARTS from a lovely lady whose art I've been admiring on wowladies. That icon might pop up every so often, and IT IS AWESOME - my lovely troll is PIERCED LIKE SHE SHOULD BE (why can't I have more piercings on my troll in game?) and looks like she's about to wtfpwn some boss somewhere or maybe some Alliance. I LOVE IT TOO. <3
 
 
Feeling: exhaustedexhausted