Category Archives: Month in Review

April 2012 in Review

What happened

– I continued to be out of my apartment for the entire month of April while the place is renovated. had a few phone conversations with my landlord that involved lots of yelling. In the end, Meg and I won because I yelled at him enough for him to give up on me and to give me what I had asked for (pro-rated rent reduction, for everyday that he was going over a month. totally reasonable).
– Uranus began to square my natal Venus early April (and continues to do so), during which time some scary bullshit happened with one of the roommates of the place I was temporarily staying at. I had to leave that place as my home-base and move elsewhere.
– I finished the 2011-2012 school year. Not much to report.
– I was accepted into the BEd program at OISE! Hooray, another year of mindless schooling so I can get to where I want to be!
– Enjoyed the spring colours immensely. This is one of my favourite times of the year, when the city is greenish-yellow, yellow-ish green all over! As my astrology teacher, Julia Beyer said to me a few weeks ago, Taurus and Gemini seasons are the best because it’s only during those times that beautiful chartreuse shades cover the city. Ain’t gonna get those nice greens during Leo season! Nope!

– I didn’t cut my hair all month! It’s actually been, like, more than two months since I last cut my hair. I’m trying to grow my hair out as much as possible because…wait for it…wait for it…I AM GETTING MY HAIR CUT PROFESSIONALLY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FIVE YEARS. Yes, I’m waiting to get my hair cut by my hairdresser, Kitty, who is the best. I want her to have as much hair to work with as possible. Soooo, I’ve been lookin’ a little shaggy and feelin’ a little unattractive sometimes. Oh well, come the end of May, I will be a smokin’ hot again.

– Applied to the Fight Boredom Distro Zine Residency! And I actually applied, like, five days before the deadline, which, for me, is pretty much unprecedented in terms of applications and deadlines. I hope to be going to Montreal for the two week residency sometime in June or August!
–  Began reading my first Octavia Butler novel. This is long overdue. I first tried with Parable of the Sower, but just couldn’t get into it! I renewed my public library card and took out Kindred at the end of the month and have been devouring it. It feels so good to enjoy fiction because I haven’t been able to lose myself in novels for the last few years.

Some things I learned this month

– Hard transits from Uranus to my natal Venus is a terrible transit. Hopefully the next time it comes around, it won’t be as horrible as this one.
–  That’s it. That’s all I learned.

A list of things I am thankful for this month
mud masks, library cards, that my landlord isn’t raising our rent for the next year (that will make it five years without having my rent raised once), sarah creagen and her apartment.

The keywords for April are edginess, rage, productivity, and irritation. So…not too different from March’s keywords. Sounds about right; April feels similar to March, but ampli-fucking-fied.

What I’m looking forward to in May

– GOING HOME AKA TAIWAN AKA BEAUTIFUL ISLAND AKA MY LOVE. Going home with lil sis, Ruth, from May 10th to June 3rd. We are meeting our parents in Hong Kong first, to pay respects to my paternal grandparents and tomb sweep, and as a family trip. Then, it’s food food food. The best food in the whole, wide world. THE BEST, I TELL YA. And humidity (good for the skin!), heat, sweat, tropical fruits, scooters, pollution! 再見 Toronto!

This is my neighbourhood! And that’s my apartment building! The orange building with “Dadun 12th St” across it! Ahhhhh!


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March 2012 in Review

What happened:

– Anxiously anticipated Kenji’s return to the city from his mom’s, where he was recovering. We got to spend a few days together before I left for Chicago, during which time I cared for Kenji, tried to get school work done, and frantically made what felt like a zillion copies of my zines in preparation for the Chicago Zine Fair
– Went to Chicago with Sarah!

My bedroom after Day 1.

The kitchen on Day 6 or so. See? Inhabitable.

– A week or so after coming back to Toronto from Chicago, our landlord informs Meg and I he is starting to do major renovations in our house (wiring, plumbing, heating/ac, new kitchen, installing washer and dryer) in three days. He “gave us warning” about two weeks prior to this, but never specifying which of the four apartments he was going to start on. Meg and I frantically packed most of our belongings up into garbage bags in fear of the dust storm that was inevitably going to take place in our apartment. Our apartment is inhabitable, covered in plaster dust and completely trashed. Major added stress to our lives. We are closing in on two weeks now not being able to live in our home, with no firm completion date in sight. I haven’t been to the house in the last five days. I can only imagine it is even worse than the last time I was there, considering they hadn’t even started doing the worst part of it (kitchen and heating).
– Moved in temporarily with Kenji, as the apartment gets renovated. The space is very small, but we have managed for two weeks now without pissing each other off. It’s been really nice, actually! Unfortunately, my lack of time management skills has meant that we haven’t been able to do very many fun things together because I’m always scrambling to finish school work. This will be over by April 5th.

 Some things I learned this month…

– I learned wonderful and valuable lessons from being at Chicago Zine Fest which I will be posting about shortly!
– If you’re flying Porter, always anticipate delays. That’s just the price you pay for a comfortable lounge with snacks and free Wi-fi. So book your flights accordingly.
– The only way to effectively communicate with my landlord is to yell at him, to interrupt, and to treat him like he is an irritating and stubborn uncle.
– I need at least nine hours of sleep a night to function properly during the day. This never, ever happens, but I’ve been going to bed early since staying at Kenji’s, since he has to go to bed early because of his early AM job. It’s been amazing.

A list of things I’m thankful for this month:

– Kenji. For allowing me to stay at his place for the past two weeks while my house gets renovated, with no end in sight. So thankful for a place to go to after class and work every day. And the rubbermaid container he bought me when I moved in for me to store my shit.

This is a poster for a workshop Mimi Thi Nguyen (Punk Planet, Evolution of A Race Riot, Slander), Osa Atoe (Shotgun Seamstress), Mariam Bastani (Maximum Rocknroll), and Daniela Capistrano (POC Zine Project) have been facilitating. A version of this workshop was held at the Chicago Zine Fest and I got a chance to attend! Besssssst.

– Old lady punks like Mimi, Mariam Bastani, and Osa Atoe. For their persistence, for their creativity, for their fierceness, for their resistance, for their opinions.
– Sharing groceries with Kenji and therefore, staying more accountable with what I eat. This has meant I have been eating out less since I (temporarily) moved in with him.
– Coconut oil, coconut water, fish oil. These things have made my month so much more comfortable and healthy.

The keywords for March are frustration, anger, rage, gratefulness, and relief.

What I’m looking forward to in April…

– To be fucking done with this undergraduate, non-degree bullshit. I’m so over it.
– Finding out whether I got into OISE for their BEd program (and consequently, my future for the next year)
– Riding my bicycle (which is really just Meg’s bike) around the city! Not restricted by streetcar tracks, subway maintenance, and busses short turning!
– Going to see a Miyazaki film at TIFF Lightbox! Magical worlds on the big screen, guys.
– Applying to the Fight Boredom Zine Residency in Montreal! I HAVE TO GET ACCEPTED. I MUST GO. I am forming the application in head right now…
– Maybe, possibly submit an abstract to the Feminist Art Gallery‘s upcoming publication, TIME SENSITIVE. The pieces in the publication will all examine what it means to revive historical queer and feminist work in contemporary times. !!!!
– Working on a new zine with Meg about being maladjusted queers and the shit we have beef about within queer social life.
– Go to the gym…a few times? Okay, I think I can do that.


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February 2012 in Review

What happened:

February 14th surprises from the corner store (Kenji + roses + chocolates)!

– Spent a lot of time with Kenji, just hanging out, being silly, keeping each other company while we did our own things. And it has been so nice. No-stress hangouts with my favourite guy are the best.
– Took Kenji out for a fancy meal to send him off to Montreal for surgery. What I remember the best from the date was Kenji making fun of the dish I ordered, which he called cat food (I had a housemade fettucine with chicken livers, sage, and pecorino). He clearly forgot how much I hate being made fun of about my food!!! Despite all that, I had a wonderful time.
– Started going to the gym at my local community centre for $46/three months. Guys, it’s the best thing! That’s $15 a month! I like it there because it’s unpretentious and mostly nice people from the neighbourhood (I got in the mornings when there seems to be more middle-aged exercisers). Oh, and the Aquafit ladies are sure to brighten your day with their chitter-chatter and laughs!
– Had my chart updated by my astrologer/astrology teacher Julia Wawrzyniak-Beyer! I’m looking forward to some sweet Neptune transits in the next couple of years, hopefully doing some good in the career side of things.
– Oops. I’m going to cheat with this one: I started a Twitter account (okay, I started it at the end of January)! I mostly try to keep my tweets to Toronto-specific food, critical fashion and style, and a bit of personal updates.
– Little sister visited! I love sister visits! We laugh about things that we don’t with anyone else (in Canada). Seriously, it’s humour that 1) has to be in Mandarin and 2) has been developed over the span of our lifetimes. It’s very special, let me tell ya. I remember grocery shopping with Ruth once in Peterborough at what was once Price Chopper, and we spotted someone in the store who we didn’t want to bump into and make small talk with…so we just hid in the pasta aisle, trying to hide behind the other person (which doesn’t make any sense) and making ourselves really, really rigid and small. We died laughing. That’s the incident I always think of when I think of laughing with Ruth. We discovered some Korean restaurants that beats any other places I’ve been to in the Koreatown area: go to Seoul Restaurant for 2-person pork bone stew and Paldo Gang San for their cheap do-it-yourself BBQ. Full and satisfied!

Little sister getting smothered by Calamity Jane

Some things I learned this month:

Robarts Library ain't that bad on an early weekday morning.

– I’m almost done with this whole non-degree-student thing at U of T, picking up the credits I need for my BEd. And that realization has made me less of a Scrooge. Last month was not so easy because it was the beginning of a new semester that I didn’t even want to start in the first place. Now that it’s February, I feel like I’m close to the end, so am feeling much lighter and less down about it all.
– I wrote a paper for my Urban Historical Geography course about how the development of the railroad facilitated the growth of Chicago from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. Ask me if you want to know! Ha!
–  After Kenji’s surgery, I really got into learning about general anaesthesia (emphasis on the after surgery!).  My mind was blown. I knew so little about it and never really understood why it was such a scary thing (and why anesthesiologists were paid so much money). And damn, when I did read more and watched videos, I was floored. WHEN YOU ARE UNDER, YOU ARE BASICALLY THE LIVING DEAD. YOU ARE A ZOMBIE. YOU ARE IN A STATE THAT I CANNOT EVEN COMPREHEND. WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU ARE PUT UNDER??? Mind. Blown. I couldn’t stop thinking about this for days.

A list of things I’m thankful for this month:

Kenji’s smooth surgery, the doctor, the nurses, his mom, Kenji himself, my favourite regulars at work who make having to deal with shitty customers a bit better, torrents, second-hand stores.

The keywords for February are patience, gratefulness, and shopping (lots of shopping…).

What I’m looking forward to in March:

– For Kenji to come back to Toronto! I miss that guy.
– CHICAGO! Sarah Creagen and I will be tabling at the Chicago Zine Fest! This will be my first time tabling at a zine fair, which is super exciting. Also, Chicago happens to theeeee American city I want to visit. There is so much history, art, architecture (did you know that the first skyscraper in the US was built in Chicago??), and urban geographical history to absorb in that city! And looks like the city is good for thrifting, too.
– Continuing to monitor  my digestion problems. I have started to drink a cup of warm water with the juice of half a lemon every morning on an empty stomach, which was what my nutritionist told me to do. And it’s a miracle. Just have to be diligent about this.
– Watching more movies from the canon (mostly the Western canon). I still haven’t seen the biggies like The Godfather and Jaws. Craig taught me how to use torrents and it has changed my life. Watching movies and TV shows are no longer a burden! No more tracking things down on Side Reel! Last night, I finished watching 12 Angry Men (1957). I have Blade Runner lined up next.

Happy leap day! As the brilliant and beautiful disability justice warrior Mia Mingus said, take a leap! Take a risk! Do something brave! Tell someone you love them!


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January 2012 in Review

What happened:
– Started my weekly schedule of class Monday to Thursday, work Friday to Sunday
– January was a month of being indulgent and letting me treat myself to nice food. I checked out Enoteca Sociale, The County General, Union, Aji Sai‘s all-you-can-eat, and Yours Truly. Union and Yours Truly have won my epicurean heart.
– Had Lunar New Year dinner with the usual suspects, as well as some new friends. Diasporic holiday gathering helped with the inevitable homesickness.
– Challenged myself and signed up for The Social Feed, a communal dinner with a big group of strangers, at Marben.
– Made my first ever pickles! I made some bread-and-butter-ish pickled carrots for the fridge.
– Really was not motivated to focus on school at all. I am disinterested in most of my classes and sometimes just want to forget about assignments and never do them. This continues to be the case…
– went to see a Chinese herbalist for the first time. She told me, “Your body is not capable of digesting all of the food that you put into it.” Dead on. She’s got it dead on. The herbal tea I drank for five days helped with my digestion problems.
– Feeling similar emotions as I did this time last year, which has been a wee bit difficult
– Feeling blue towards the end of the month and upped my daily dose of vitamins

Lunar New Year Eve dinner in Chinatown with some dear friends. January 29, 2012. 

Some things I learned this month:
– My body may not be very wheat-tolerant
– I can be vocal about feeling like I’ve being treated with disrespect and thoughtlessness

A list of things I am thankful for this month:
Traditional Chinese medicine, red wine, and my TTC pass, big firm beds, tiny indoor fairy xmas lights

So the keywords for January are food, sadness and health.

What I’m looking forward to in February:
– Working on my zines during reading week for Sarah’s and my big trip to The Chicago Zine Fest
– Getting my second astrology chart reading done by my astrology teacher. We’ll see what’s in store for me in the upcoming year!
– Making dill-pickled carrots!
– Continuing monitoring my body’s reaction to different foods/different amounts of food

Here’s to a good February! Dear Universe, please let it be a good one this year!

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