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I'm so happy. I got a call about 2pm today, it was in the parking lot of a 7-11 convenience store about five blocks away from where they stole it. And apparently it had been dumped there the same night. The guy who owns the 7-11 was going to get it towed, but thankfully he called the police first. All the stuff (including all my textbooks) are still in there! \o/ The person(s) who stole it rifled through the glove box, but all they ended up taking that I could see is the third of a roll of quarters I had in the little cupholder thingy for parking meters.

*sighs with relief*

I still need to check with a credit monitoring agency or something, in case they took a copy of the registration papers that had my old address on it and tried to do some identify theft though. But the car is in essentially the same condition it went missing in, I just need to get some gas (luckily it was already in need of a fill-up when it was stolen, so less incentive to joyride?).

Yaaaaaay~ Off to class now~

ETA: Thanks so much to all of you for your good wishes. I gotta say, this past week, I've got awesome friends and co-workers. ♥
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My car got stolen tonight.

I studied at Borders with the Queen, then drove to the Starbucks for the once-a-month Deaf Coffee Social. Got there at 11pm, it was full of people, chatted until 12:15, and went outside with a friend to take a look at his camera. Car was gone. We walked all around the parking lot in case I was delirious and forgot where I parked. No go.

Friend was so nice and stayed with me through calling the police to take my statement. Woke up the Queen, she came and picked me up.

AAAAAAAAARGH. I don't even really care about the car, and luckily nothing life-or-death left inside it. I had my purse with me. But ARAARGH. My bag with my school stuff and a rented textbook was still in it. >.< I'm still in shock, I guess, because emotionally I'm kinda flat, though that's not unusual. Friends cheered me up, at least. ^^;;;

AAAAAARGH. That is all. Life: 1, the fruit: 0. Queen's giving me a ride to work tomorrow/today, 8:15. It's currently 2:47, since she just dropped me off back home. I am NOT looking forward to telling my mom and grandma about this. >.
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A day late and a dollar short, as the saying goes. But anyhow!

I wanted to wish all you lovely dears Happy Lunar New Year!

I only know a few 4-character sayings, so I'll trot them all out for you, hehe. ♥

新年快乐!(Happy New Year!)
恭喜发财!(Most people know this as Gong Hay Fat Choy in Cantonese, aka lots and lots of prosperity to you!)
万事如意!(May all your affairs go smoothly in the way that you wish! *snerkaffairsIamtwelve*)
身体健康!(Good health to you!)
学习进步!(May your studies improve/go forward positively etc.!)

Hope you're all doing all right; feel free to bitch with me about the stuff that's being a pain.

On the personal front!
1. I applied for grad school! Communications Disorders and Sciences, to be a speech therapist. I should hear back sometime in April.

2. I'm learning to cook more! I made fried rice with fish cake for my family's new year dinner.

3. fandom-wise I'm currently going between my old love of Arashi and a new obsession with Super Junior-M. A canon in which I can actually kinda-sorta understand when they're talking. [livejournal.com profile] primroseshows is laughing at me, I can tell. The fic is good and the primary characters I read fic for remind me of Nino/Aiba/Jun in their various permutations.

4. There is no four? But I'm slowly changing my life in small steps, trying to get out of this rut. We'll see how this goes. My to do list includes unpacking more boxes from the move, replying to people's emails, finish my taxes so I can do the fafsa, and find a new job. Small steps, ehehehe.

5. All my love to you! I fail at being around, but I deeply appreciate your presence online, sharing the fun, the depressing, the crazy, the silly, the gamut of human experience. That's all for tonight. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
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For those of you who haven't heard yet, last November California put civil rights up for a vote. Marriage equality. And it lost. Yeah, I know, and this is my home. >.<

This January, Proposition 8 was taken before a Ninth Circuit (Federal) judge to challenge it's constitutionality. Judge Walker took public comment and was going to allow the trial to be publicly televised and also broadcast on Youtube. Defendants (pro-8) appealed to the Supreme Court, who said nope, can't do it.

So! There are transcripts at a variety of wonderful places, such as http://prop8trialtracker.com, www.firedoglake.com (there's a few people writing there in several different posts, but there's always someone at trialtracker linking to the relevant posts in the comments), the San Jose Mercury News (My home newspaper! The link is to day 6, but just check out the sidebars), and the ever informative KQED public tv station.

And from the transcripts, the awesome people at http://marriagetrial.com/ will be putting up a re-enactment of the courtroom. Starting Wednesday, I believe. An article about what they're doing can be found here!
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Parts one and two here.

Reading these two parts of the liveblogging, and then the *comments*, goodness the comments. It's making me want to cry.

Dr. Ilan H. Meyer, Associate Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health is up. He will testify about the stigma and prejudice gay and lesbians individuals face in society.

The testimonies, the sociological and mental health data, the arguments are staggering. And then the community of commenters that have grown up around this liveblogging is just amazing. Different peoples' stories make me want to cry and cheer and rage, and everyone is so supportive of each other.
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So the Prop 8 trial in my good ol' state of California started Monday. Supreme Court ruled against allowing live media coverage. So much for transparency.

to try to make up for that, the Courage Campaign is doing live blogging from the courtroom.

http://prop8trialtracker.com

Please check it out.

ETA:
Reading through the first couple of days of courtroom summaries is amazingly edifying. A couple of the expert witnesses give us a crash course in the history of marriage in the United States, history of LGBT discrimination in the US, and lots of sociological tidbits. Also the folks commenting on the liveblogging are building into a thriving community, and people are sharing relevant links left and right.

Also! A hilariously relevant flash animation as SF Gate.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/01/13/fiorewhose.DTL
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Well, sort of. :D They jokingly refer to themselves as the oldest kpop idols currently in existence. Four member male vocal group Sweet Sorrow!

I discovered them last summer because someone on [livejournal.com profile] omonatheydidnt posted a video of them doing an a capella version of something by Super Junior. Their music is gorgeous.

Case in point: 5 minutes of music that is sexy and completely dorky by turns. :D




You may want to check out part 2 as well, if part 1 is interesting!

In other news, my computer is slooooooow. So [livejournal.com profile] flange5, I'll get to your chili post eventually. And tomorrow the Queen is coming over, and teaching me to cook Arabic food. So I'll be learning to make hummos (garbanzo beans with garlic and spices, mmm), a potato and cilantro salad, and kefta (beef and parsley and spices). *rubs hands together gleefully* I need to get up early and buy a mortar and pestle.

How are you darlings doing? <3

Hey all

Dec. 25th, 2009 08:46 am
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Happy Christmas to those who celebrate it. It's basically just another excuse to get together and have lots of tasty food in my family, since we're not in any way Christian. :P

Even if we don't talk much, even if we haven't known each other very long, I appreciate you lovelies being who you are, and your presence in my life. All the best to you and yours, a safe and happy holiday, and good health and a prosperous new year. <3

Also! The offer is still open for anyone who would like snail mail! It wouldn't be a holiday card, but I am in the mood to write letters with little sketches and suchlike in them. International (i.e. outside the US if you need a point of reference) is not a problem, just a bit more stamps. :P So please PM me with your address if you'd like a bit of mail.

<3

In other news, I'm glad this townhouse has a home warranty on it. The ground floor ceiling underneath my bathroom is leaking. DX I think the previous owner was never here enough, so he didn't notice that maybe when he had the master bathroom redone so pretty, the seals on the pipes or something weren't so good...
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Following links around, but the main points are from [livejournal.com profile] ilyena_sylph here and synecdochic on dreamwidth here.

Basically, for targeted advertising reasons, LJ intends to implement a requirement that you pick one, male or female. No more unspecified option (which I originally chose because I don't want to get ads) and no option to be other.

Yeah, a world of NO.

1) Reinforcing a gender binary, which is hurtful to anyone in the trans, genderqueer, that whole spectrum of people who just don't identify with one or the other.

2) Makes it easier to target crappy ads. Partly why I started out with basic all those years ago and never upgraded. Who wants to identify female and get bombarded with dieting ads?

The blogs above have links to where you can leave (politely worded please) feedback and show how you can change your current settings to unspecified before they implement.

I'm open for discussion or ranting or whatever in the comments.

Edit: The backpedaling has begun!

Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your concerns. We understand that gender is not binary, and intend to respect that understanding for our users.

At this time, the code you reference is not live on the site, and will not become so in the future. We know that you, and many other users, have serious concerns about any requirement to specify gender, so we'd like to take a moment to explain events and our position further.

The intention of this code was to change the sign-up process to include a field for the selection of gender; that the code would completely disable the "Unspecified" option at the same time was deemed unacceptable. While the code in question had gone to our beta (testing) server, it had not gone to our production server, and will not do so due to this problem. Furthermore, we'd like to clarify that code posted to the changelog community is not always final, as such code must then go through the beta testing process and can often be changed before actual implementation.

Additionally, some erroneous information has been spread regarding the potential public display of the gender field. We would like to clarify that gender is not currently publicly displayed on the profile, nor anywhere else on the site, and there are no plans to change this behavior.

Regards,
LiveJournal Community Care Team
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So I was at the main house watching the Golden Horse Awards (it's a Chinese movie awards show with entries from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc.) and my mom was reading the local Chinese language weekly. She turns the page to the entertainment section, and the first thing I see is this: )
I just wanted to share, because it amused me.

P.S. I don't do holiday cards. However! I have really cute holiday stamps from the post office! So if anyone would like me to write them a letter filled with silly sketches, because snail mail is fun, PM me with your address and maybe I'll have something out by New Year. :D Love to all, hope you're doing well.
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Happy Birthday [livejournal.com profile] kegom!!!! ♥

I hope you're not too stressed out, but I'm sure you're quite busy. So I hope school is going smoothly for you, and you had a good day with your family and got to eat good food and all. ♥ Here's to another Arashi year~
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Hey folks <3 I'm alive. And I will make a life-in-Melonland update soonish. But first!

So I went to Taipei, Taiwan last year to see Arashi in their AAA2008 concert (you can check my tags on the side for my journal entries about it). It was marvelous, and I ended up buying some concert goods. One of them was the penlight; the other was the group poster with the fireworks and all.

The point being, this poster has been hanging on my wall and creeping me out for the past year. ^_^;;;;; I've discovered that I'm kinda averse to having faces of people I don't personally know staring down at me, haha, as much as I love Arashi. I'm hoping there is someone out there on my lovely flist (or lurks, why not) who does not have my issues who'd like this poster! :P

clickie for pic! )

And since it's still November 3 here (ahaha though not in Japan anymore ^^;;;) Happy 10th Anniversary Arashi! Love and laughter to you from this day forward.

Love to you all, update will happen. Somehow. ♥
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In the immortal words of Granny Weatherwax. She is badass.

I'm....totally not in the mood to update about my life. Ehehehe. But instead, to have some useful content, I would like to direct everyone over to [livejournal.com profile] jerainbowbridge which just had an exchange. Basically a lot of inter-group unity and hijinks going on. Even if you don't know half the groups involved, that's okay, treat them like original characters. :D Because the talent over there is phenomenal, please go read!

My current favorites, working backwards:
Secret Places: Ohkura/Junno/Kame. Mmm, a definite curl-up-with-hot-tea-and-a-blanket story. Gorgeously lyrical writing.

How to Win Friends and Influence People: Yoko, Aiba, Nino, Koyama, Junno, Toma. Totally adorable friendship fic. Nino and Junno are my favorites in this, I think. ♥

eleven, uneven (perfect): Arashi and NewS office AU. At times silly, poignant, and revealing, this author clearly had a lot of fun putting different matchups together. Plus I am a sucker for office AUs.

Thin Line Between Work and Friendship: Toma/Yamapi, Yamapi-Jin-Ryo friendship. AU with Yamapi as a rent-a-friend. This was a lot sweeter than I expected from the premise. Yamapi's friends are not helpful. Except when they are. XDDD

Accidentally in Love ~or~ Five Times Jun Noticed Massu: Jun/Massu, Arashi, NewS. Guh, this is such an unexpected pairing, but pulled off convincingly, with neither party being unduly angsty or stupid. Koyama, Shige, Aiba and Sho kind of steal the show. XDDD So adorable.

Per Ardua, Ad Astra: NEWS, KAT-TUN, Arashi, Takki&Tsubasa, Toma & some other juniors, Hey!Say!JUMP cameo, Maki/Meisa cameos, ONE OK ROCK, Charlotte, Vistlip, SID (copied from the page because holy cow a lot of people. Okay, this one is epic. Cowboy Bebop or Firefly kind of epic. 4 parts epic. Hit all my space adventure kinks, though there's a bit of explanatory wordiness in lots of areas where Anon-san explains some of the physics or military stuff or technical what have you, it's not more than what you'd find in the average military space sci-fi novel. (Ahaha anyone who reads David Weber knows what I mean. XDDD) NewS and KAT-TUN as space traders of awesome. Two words: the ship's name is One Piece. XDDD

Never Compete with the Elephant in Defecating: Ryo, Junno, Shige, Kame, Koyama, Jin, Yamapi, Ueda, and Kinki Kids, with appearances by or mentions of other News and KAT-TUN members, Arashi, Tackey & Tsubasa, Toma, and select members of TOKIO and SMAP. Immigration office AU! Yeah, the title kind of threw me off at first, but don't let that stop you! Incredibly hilarious AU. Very strange people attempt to get past these officers and immigrate into JE-land.

Japanese Whispers: Mentions of practically every band pre-2006. The Johnny's Gossip Network plays Telephone. You'll want to be sure you don't have any food or drink in hand when you read this. :|b

shaka lacka boom boom
(alternative title: the one in which Arashi are evil robots programmed to take over the world)
: Kanjani8, Arashi, KAT-TUN, NewS; (Aiba/Toma, Nino/Kame, Koki/Shige, MatsuJun/Koyama, and if you squint, some Pin). Yeah, that title says it all, maybe. XD AU in which Hina and Yoko are mad scientists. This is the good crack, for serious. Also one to avoid drinking while reading. XDD

Lotsa good stuff. ^____^b Please feed the authors, I have to get my act together and comment on the stuff that came out earlier in the challenge posting. Definitely going to have to do some stalking after reveals are up.
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I'm posting this from my mom's computer, because last night my brother turned it on, and it went from Compaq to a black screen, whirr-clicked for a bit, and then this message: Operating system not found. /o\

It also puts up a message about Incorrect Drive A, enter setup, but I think that's some kind of SOS because it doesn't have another way to express itself, since I haven't changed the floppy drive in any way. Won't boot from the CD, so I'm searching for another way. I bought this steady computer back in 2003, and it's worked, slow and steady til now. At least all the data's on a secondary harddrive, so I just have to get access to it.

In other news, got to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] erjika and most of the Lunch Bunch for the first time in...seven months? And erjika's setting off for Hawaii for work (omg envious) tomorrow, and T's back to the Caribbean for med school next week. I missed them, all of us together is a whole nother plane of weirdness. I always swear I'm going to bring a voice recorder to our gatherings because there are always hilarious quotes. This time mostly about balls, like the AC/DC song. :D Mmmm, tasty food. :D :D :D

Anyway yeah, I'm going to be flying to Saint Paul, Minnesota tomorrow morning for [livejournal.com profile] amoraj's wedding, will be there until September 1, so if anyone's in the area and wants to hang? Or if anyone has drabble prompts for me to write on the plane? ^__^

Much love to all <3
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Happy Birthday [livejournal.com profile] amoraj!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

Here's hoping you are having a lovely day, with loved ones and delicious food and lots of fun! heart1
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Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] nicocoer!!!! ♥♥♥♥♥


Late, late, late, but I hope you had a lovely day with tasty food and rainbows and sparkles. ♥
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First things first:

Happy birthday my dear [livejournal.com profile] erjika <3!

You probably won't see this until you make it back to the land of internet access, so here's hoping your day was spent without having to machete your way through poky plants, you found some nifty rare species of herp or bird, and you had tasty food. heart1 We'll have dessert wine to celebrate when you come back. ^^
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I'll be getting to the comments from the other posts in just a bit. Ehehehe, I don't think I've posted this much since I went to Taiwan last year, and I appreciate the comments and debates going on. Just so you know, I haven't left Arashi behind; there's some stuff in the works but since I've been following what's going on in Iran I haven't quiiiite finished it up yet.

Anyhow, an interesting set of three perspectives in the Room For Debate section of the NYT.

Teaser: We asked three Iranian-American scholars, including two who are writing from Iran, to give their thoughts on what the uprising has revealed about the schisms in Iranian society."

The Arabs' Forlorn Envy of Iranians. It's kind of a provocative title, but the analysis of different views of what's going on in Iran from the perspectives of various Arab nations is quite interesting.

Related to that, The Arab world reacts (or doesn't). In the NYT Room For Debate section.

Mixed Media also takes a look at the varied response in the newspapers in Arab states.

Also, you can always count on the Daily Show for something funny and insightful. Has embedded video. Jon Stewart: "I just want to garden!" Also they manage to interview (in classic Daily Show fashion) three major figures before they got arrested.

Next set of articles are ones I've been bookmarking the past few days, concerning the women's movement in Iran, and women's position.

First up, this one's during the campaign, Zahra Rahnavard's work in her husband Mousavi's campaign. In the LA Times. An interesting comparison with our Secretary of State.

Right after the election, in huffingtonpost: Iranian Women: We Feel Cheated, Frustrated, And Betrayed.

This one's neat: The Lesley Stahl Interview: Christiane Amanpour, at the Height of the Iranian Election Crisis. Eight (short) pages of fascinating interview, including analysis of the Green movement, on the role of women in Iran's history, and her role as a journalist.

And finally, Democracy, made in Iran, from the Guardian on Iran's complicated history with the U.S.

ETA From Narcosphere, Brainstorming Iran: An X-Ray of Immediate History. A more, hmmm. I'm not sure of the proper label that applies, since left-wing doesn't really fit. But an activist view of things? Very interesting breakdown.

ETA 2 Family, friends mourn 'Neda,' Iranian woman who died on video. She's a symbol of the movement now, but this article is about her as a person, before the martyr.

ETA 3 An Exclusive Interview with a Pro-Ahmadinejad Cleric in Qom, Iran. Another viewpoint, though you can kind of tell the interviewer's biases. Read between the lines, as with any of the articles I'm linking.
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Sarkozy Says Burqas Are Unwelcome in France at the Wall Street Journal online.

WHAT. WHAT.

"The burqa is not welcome on French territory," Mr. Sarkozy said. "In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity."

The veils are "a test for our civilization," Mr. Gerin said in a telephone interview, adding that his goal is to "liberate these women."

WHAT THE FUCK.

I

I DON'T EVEN.

Do Scrippsies remember that article we read back in core, with Franz Fanon? About Algerian resistance to French colonialism via donning the hijab?

This is just...the stupidest revisiting of patronizing Western Otherization, ooh the Brown man is oppressing the Brown woman, so we, the heroic White men (and women, I've seen so much in that particular wave of the feminist movement that drives me batshit) are going to liberate them! Okay, yes, in certain societies (Hello Taliban!) women are forced to wear them, facing the moral police and I am definitely not advocating that sort of cultural relativism of oh, they do that there and it's their culture so it's okay. But if a woman wants to go with her preference for modesty? To me, you might at well mandate regarding mini-skirts (and my high school had, but then, that's school.)

I'm not that articulate, so if anyone else wants to have a go at this, please do. *flaps hand*
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Even in a Tainted Election, Voting Still Matters. By Azadeh Moaveni. A bit of history, the run up to the election.

This election is making me think a lot about the way we run our elections here. I've always voted absentee. And now I'm wondering, I need to do some research - are my ballots actually counted? Should I change to voting in person in my precinct? I'll be getting back to you about that, if I find anything.

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