february, 2021

1. here for a bad time, not a long time

February, my lord. The shortest month got me. What do I even have to say? It’s already the second week of March, and February was a blur. I think I felt extra scattered during this month, but I also think that’s maybe just ‘normal’ right now. My daily life is fairly routine at this point in the global pandemic – I work and go to school from home, I take a walk outside, I go to get groceries, I hang out at home with the same couple people I’ve had for company for a year now – so I think I feel as if I should be optimizing for productivity, given that I have a regular routine and am lucky to have that? And that’s why I think I feel more scattered, when maybe it’s just normal to feel scattered. My therapist and I talked about this recently, when I told her I was surprised I was so irritated at something that wasn’t a big deal. She said that right now we’re all operating at a higher constant level of stress and anxiety – if the baseline is 8, it’s easier for smaller things to bump us up to a 10. I think that’s a good way of thinking about it. I’ve been at an 8 for so long, and it’s exhausting. I’m trying to be gentle with myself when I have a weekend where I’m not productive at all, and not immediately equate “not getting things done” to “worthless lump of coal”.

2. miscellaneous things i liked

Attack on Titan: An unexpected one! I usually don’t enjoy violence and gore, but I got sucked into this after peeking in and out while other people watched it. I mean, I’m still not into seeing people get eaten, but I’m into everything else happening. Now I’m fully desperate for Attack on Titan Sundays to roll around. We spent this month watching AOT and the show that I’m going to complain about soon, so I don’t have much else to say and I’m gonna take some extra time to give my unsolicited commentary on thighs. OK. Welcome to my office. I’m steepling my fingers, I’m leaning in, I’m giving you serious eyes. This is an important topic close to my heart. There is no goddamn way all these people’s thighs are the same size. In those credit sequences where they’re all lined up in their scout uniforms? And their legs all look the same? No way. Not a chance on earth. They fucking squat for a living! Their gear is attached to their hips, they use it by squatting and jumping! There is no earthly way that Reiner has the same size thighs as Mikasa! There is no way Erwin has little thighs!

Folklore and Evermore played with alternating tracks: I listened to Folklore, like, non-stop when it came out, but I was rather disappointed by Evermore. Not anymore! This playlist on Spotify arranges the tracks from both albums so that it’s one track from Folklore followed by one from Evermore, and so on and so forth until both albums are all there in full. It’s somehow made the whole thing sound good. I’m baffled by how it works. Suddenly some songs I didn’t previously care for are great!

Universal Yums: For Christmas, I got my partner a subscription to Universal Yums, which is a subscription box service that sends snacks from different countries. We’ve gotten Italy and Ukraine so far, and it’s super cool! The snacks are enough to try, but it also comes with a little flyer of trivia about the country, fun facts about the food, and even a recipe or two from the source country.

3. i have a bone to pick: protagonists i don’t want to root for

We finished the show Toradora, and it was fucking shite. I don’t think I’d feel as big of an urge to shout about it if it didn’t have an 8/10 rating on IMDB. The Google Search rating is 4.9 stars out of almost 1500 ratings – what gives?! Why are all these people suffering under the collective delusion that it’s a good romantic comedy? Why are there legions of fans devoted to this main character?

This is an anime that follows a group of teenagers in high school, and we got recommended it after looking for slice of life cute things similar to Fruits Basket. The setup is that Ryuji has a crush on Taiga’s best friend, and Taiga has a crush on Ryuji’s best friend, so they get together to wingman each other. Hijinks ensue, spoilers are ahead, feelings are complicated. At the end of the show, Ryuji and Taiga end up together. Sounds alright, no? No! Taiga is a flaming asshole. She punches Ryuji and calls him her dog, is abusive and mean to everyone around her, and shows no signs of any positive characteristics that would merit having loyal and lovely friends. She skips out of town without saying bye to anyone, and that’s supposedly a sign of character growth that she’s going off to work on herself. Then she comes back after a year and immediately headbutts Ryuji in the face after he says he loves her. I mean, what the fuck? So, the character development is nonexistent/not well-written. I think the point of her and the story is that she goes from being an asshole to showing her soft caring inside? But she never got there. She was just… always an asshole, beginning to end, with little variations in assholery to keep things fresh.

Anyway, clearly I have strong opinions about fictional characters. I’m also pissed off I watched this entire show instead of pulling the plug two episodes in. In the spirit of the month of love though, I stuck through it because my partner wanted to. I should not have compromised. These videos below are the only good thing to come out of my time with Toradora –

4. things worth remembering

Becoming Aggrieved: An Alternative Framework of Care in Black Chicago by Laurence Ralph

Miromoda: The Indigenous Māori Fashion Apparel Board that formed in 2008 and is New Zealand’s leading indigenous fashion events company.

Peabody Essex Museum

Crimes of Fashion: Intellectual Property and Indigenous Dress

Osklen’s Spring 2016 RTW Collection

Stunning Images Show How Native American Fashion Looks Without Cultural Appropriation

White People Need to Learn How to Appreciate a Different Culture Without Appropriating It by Alisha Acquaye for TeenVogue

Aurora James Talks Brother Vellies and Cultural Appropriation vs. Appreciation by Danielle Kwateng for TeenVogue

7 Girls Show What Beauty Looks Like When It’s Not Appropriated by Elaine Welteroth for TeenVogue

The Dos and Don’ts of Cultural Appropriation by Jenni Avins for The Atlantic

5. a new thing from my planner

I’ve started using a digital planner on my iPad using Goodnotes, with photos as a bit of a journal thing. So here’s the camera roll for this month! Luna pics, walk pics, lots of food that I’m ever so lucky I had no hand in making, and a whopping two instances where I wore a real outfit and revelled in the look.


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