wAug 6, 2007

This blog post is for reals, unlike the last one, which was for lols

Weekend Recap
This weekend was intense! On Friday night, I went to a bar on Capitol Square with Antoine and some of our friends. It was the first time I had made an open tab with my debit card at a bar....and then I forgot the card there, and didn't realize it until we were half-way down State Street! I borrowed one friend's bike, and another friend's helmet, and booked it to the bar and back. I wish I had my bike here! Even if I didn't ride it to school or work, it would be nice to have for exercise.

Saturday, Antoine and I drove down to Mitsuwa, the Japanese marketplace outside of Chicago, for its annual Bon Odori Festival. Many Japanese Americans were dressed in traditional clothing, and it was awesome. I was a little put-off by the few non-Japanese Americans who chose to show up dressed as anime characters. I don't know. Maybe I'm too judgmental. It just felt really weird. A cultural festival is not the same thing as an anime convention, where it is expected that people freak out and wear cat-ears and dress like what's-his-name from the series Bleach. I don't know. It felt disrespectful, but I don't feel as though I'm eloquent enough to articulate why.

With that aside, though, we met up with Steph and Gordon, who we walked around with all afternoon, and also ran into a healthy amount of people from Anime Club, who were enjoying the festival. We went to a store called PUPPIES, which contained adorable puppies that were for sale. We did not buy any puppies, but I did buy a snap-together figurine of Sakura, from the Naruto series, two stores over (they didn't have Sasuke; sadness). While at Mitsuwa, I also obtained:
*honey-flavored Pocky (an excellent flavor!)
*Volume 8 of the Honey & Clover manga, in Japanese. I've seen the entire series, so I do know what's going on despite not being able to read Japanese. Also, this contained lots of stuff with Ayumi Yamada, my favorite character in the series!
*Volume 11 of Neon Genesis Evangelion. I think I'll be able to figure out what's going on while I wait for it to come out in English.
*Some manga magazine thing like Shonen Jump! with a sweet Final Fantasy Tactics poster on the back cover. It may or may not be the only reason I bought it, :D
*Delicious food, such as Japanese candy cigarettes, a good bowl of ramen, a red bean paste daifuku, and some kind of tea that promises to give me a clear complexion! Bwahaha.

Antoine and I spent the night at a friend's house in Kenosha, along with 4 other friends. In the morning, we ate doughnuts and then went to the Bristol Renaissance Faire. I had picked an excellent combination: skirt (hella hot and humid) and socks/shoe-boots (had recently rained; lots of mud), although it looked pretty ridiculous, I'll admit. I did a good job of not buying much of the expensive, pretty things that are at the Renaissance Faire. I did get a sterling silver necklace, with a Celtic pendant that has an onyx in the middle of it, though.

Antoine and I ended our trip with a dinner at Real Chili, and it was delicious. I came home exhausted, but it was a pretty sweet weekend!

Hello, World.
Also, what the hell, I'm actually going to be in Madison this weekend, and thus far, my only plans are for Friday night (and a possible slight hangover on Saturday). Sooooo....let me know if anybody is up for anything! Gretchen, maybe we could watch the last disc of season 3 of Buffy this weekend!

I have updated my Bookmooch inventory with some of the random sci-fi stuff I picked up at the sale last week. So, if you see anything you like, you should mooch it! Also, if there's something really good in there, let me know, because I haven't read all of them (except for the Dawson's Creek books. I definitely read all of those. Shut up.) In spite of lots of manga being uploaded and mooched by people who are not me while I sleep, or while I'm at work, I still have lots of CLAMP titles that should be coming my way. Bookmooch is a pretty nifty website.

It is International Blog Against Racism Week. I will start with some links.

If you have not heard the story about the Jena 6, then you should read about it here, at NPR's website.
And after that, you can go here to watch some footage of the families of those involved, etc. It is an appalling story about how a racist culture is very much still alive.

The terms 'racism' and 'racist' tend to get people all riled up. It's scary to most white people to be called out on their racism, because they don't try to be racist. And thus, here is an excellent article to read, especially if you are white, such as I am. How not to be insane when accused of racism (a guide for white people). The guide is directed at white people, of course, because in the United States as in other places, they benefit from white privilege.

Oyceter had a nice post defining terms, such as "white privilege," and race (as a biologically artificial construct, which has become socially real).

Links are a good place to start. I will perhaps write something of my own wording before the week is out, but for now, there is a bit of work to be done for sleep.

Current Music: Hope on Fire - Vienna Teng

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scribbled mystickeeper at 10:52 PM

I wish I knew about these blog weeks in advance, I always come up a day late and a dollar short.

No racism problem at Jena High, eh? Any racism is a problem, and clearly the students wouldn't be brawling over each other's skin colors if they weren't racist. It's not unreasonable to "play the race card," when things unrelated to anything but color go down. For some reason a lot of the conservative white people I know always jump to conclusions about how people of color are always crying wolf. That kind of behavior is exactly what perpetuates our race relations pain.

PS honey pockey is my favorite now

By Blogger Steph, at 1:56 AM, August 07, 2007  

talking about racism makes me nervous. Mainly 'cause I don't want to offend anyone, but I'm sure that it's possible for me to do so in a thousand tiny ways. On the other hand, I think it's important to talk about it and recognize one's own privilege or inherent assumptions.

By Blogger Tas, at 9:55 AM, August 07, 2007  

Steph: Sorry, I suck at life, I should have advertised in my blog!

Kristen: Yeah, it can be scary, which is part of why a lot of what I do is post links to thinks that other people have said. Recognizing that we benefit from privilege is a huge step, though - one that a lot of people struggle with. There is a saying that 'racism benefits from silence,' and I think it's true. I understand where the nervousness comes from, though. Baby steps, perhaps? I'm still very much in a 'listening to what other people say' mode.

By Blogger Jackie, at 10:55 AM, August 07, 2007  

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