1. life! it’s fast!
July was a month with a lot of Life Events. You can probably tell, because I’m even later with this post than I usually am. I had my first real brush with death when my grandma passed away, which left me feeling unmoored and confused; like I wanted to Google “how does death work” or “how do you grieve”. I still want to do that, and I’m not really sure if I’ve processed it. That’s something I’ve heard people say when someone they love passes away – it takes time to “process things”. But how do you know if you’ve processed things? So, anyway, I wonder if I might have just pressed pause on figuring that feeling out in my head — or if maybe that’s the point, that I don’t have to figure out all my feelings. For someone who spends so much time feeling vaguely depressed, it’s been a change of pace to have a concrete event to point to as a reason for the melancholy. The news stories I remember reading over a year ago now, about people who couldn’t say goodbye to their loved ones because of travel restrictions, have a bit of a new bent to them now. That was probably the defining part of July 2021 for me. It felt odd to have happiness too, with birthdays and anniversaries and patting myself on the back for going to the gym regularly and whatnot. But I suppose that’s what life is like.
2. je suis une critique
Yuri on Ice: What a show! What! A! Show!!! This anime is about a Japanese ice skater (our titular Yuri – very cute, soft, glasses-wearing boy), who has a real bad time at a competition when we meet him. He flubs his routine and goes to his hometown in a big funk. Meanwhile, Yuri’s ice skating hero, Viktor (Russian, very cute in a different way, silver hair, tall, flirty, sounds like Gru in the dub) is at the peak of his career and is figuring out his next steps. Viktor becomes Yuri’s coach, aiming to get him the gold at next year’s big competition. Romance ensues! I loved Yuri on Ice in the gently longing way that any queer Asian gal hoping that one day Kristen Stewart will be in a good lesbian rom-com does. It’s sweet and lovely, and it’s wildly wonderful to be straightbaited. As with any great anime, I’m learning, there’s a host of great side characters supporting our main boyfriends: toddler (? Unsure how child ages work) triplets named Axel, Lutz, and Loop; a Swiss ice skater who cannot resist throwing it back on the ice to climax; a Russian ice skater coming out of a bad breakup in hugely dramatic form; Yurio, an angry Russian kitten. The ending left me feeling happy and satisfied, like the show had done everything it needed to do and everything I needed it to do. The best endings are like that: while I would be happy to hang it with it more, I was also OK parting ways. 5 out of 5. (Watched on Funimation.)
Superga: Is it unfair of me to lump an entire brand and all their products together like this? Perhaps. Is it wildly unfair that I, an innocent young woman who just wanted a nice pair of white sneakers, am unable to have my wish granted because Superga’s ankle hole is too large? Absolutely! I didn’t ask for stupid little bird ankles! Shouldn’t they be more adjustable?! Shouldn’t there be options?? 2 out of 5. I realize I’m being unreasonable and give it one star for that, one star for how great the shoes looked in the mirror before I started walking around.
Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Face Serum SPF 60+: I bought this after seeing it recommended on Gothamista’s YouTube channel. Despite us having different skin types (I think she says she’s very dry; I am very oily), I thought the description for this one sounded good and I just really want to have an everyday sunscreen that I can easily pick up at an American store. ‘Twas not to be. It made my face super oily and I started breaking out after about a week and a half of everyday wear. 1 out of 5.
3. reading list
HOW BUJO AND A HOBONICHI PLANNER HELP ME KEEP MY SHIT TOGETHER by Jude Chao at Fifty Shades of Snail
A Spelling Quiz from The New York Times (I got 10 out of 15 right, which was rather disappointing I admit)
I Am A Fan Of TikToker LeendaDong. However… by Tanya Chen for Buzzfeed
How I’m Putting Together an Outdoor Tablescape for Summer Entertaining by Jess Kane for Cupcakes & Cashmere
Once again, no idea how to remember to keep track of the articles I read/podcasts I listen to.
4. watching list
5. camera roll
OK! I leave you with a shocking musical realization. I knew I was an avid Taylor listener, definitely above average, but — her fans are crazy! Surely the rabid Swifties listen to her more than me? Apparently not and I’m in the top 5%. My god.