An Open Letter to LUSH

  • Nov. 15th, 2010 at 8:09 PM
mochi: myself, dressed up fancy and being silly/cute at a train station (Default)
Oh, LUSH, how we love your fresh, natural products! Wait, what's that? They contain methylparaben? Wait a minute, doesn't that cause cancer??

Yes my friends, the sad truth is that your favorite LUSH product may be increasing your chances of getting cancer.

Because I love LUSH products, I have written to them to express my concern, and my desire to use LUSH products safely. Here is my letter:

Dear LUSH manufacturers:

I love LUSH products and the LUSH ethos, but recently I noticed a very disturbing fact:

LUSH uses parabens.

The use of parabens is in direct conflict with the LUSH ethos. An example of the dangers of parabens, from

"EWG's Skin Deep database, which compares cosmetic ingredients to over 50 international toxicity databases, indicates that parabens are linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and skin irritation."

Yikes! How can LUSH, with its focus on ethics like no animal testing and no petroleum, allow the use of carcinogenic parabens?

Please remove parabens from your products, so your customers can enjoy them in safety!

Friends, I am sure that some of you also use LUSH. Please, please write to them asking that they remove all parabens from their products! You have my permission to copy and re-send my message.

It's important that we get as many people as possible to write to LUSH! If they see that a large enough number of their customers are demanding the removal of parabens, they will surely have to respond or risk losing business.

I am doing this out of love for the company. If I didn't like them so much, I would just stop shopping there--but I would much rather keep using my lovely LUSH soaps and scrubs, minus the parabens!

Doraemon on the morning commute

  • Nov. 9th, 2010 at 9:02 PM
mochi: Toothpaste fighting germs (Anpanman: Hamigaki)
Red leather shoes with black stitching and ever so slightly tapered tips are the first sign. Dark skinny jeans, near enough to black that at first glance they don’t reveal themselves to be denim, a black mock turtleneck and black suit jacket with three gold buttons on each cuff, and a pair of hipster-large glasses on a man too sophisticated to be any USA style hipster, all topped by the perfectly coiffed wave of his fine black hair, remove any doubt. The man who sat down across from me at Charles/MGH is from Japan.

He looks serious at first, a businessman on his way from one appointment to another, thoughts occupied by meetings and reports. He has placed a small blue backpack on his right knee, which is crossed over the left. Reaching into it, he pushes some items around, and his expression softens. With his right hand, he cradles a small figurine of Doraemon--the blue, time-traveling, robotic cat from the Japanese comic and animation of the same name.


“Papa, take this with you.”

“Doraemon? Won’t you miss him?”

“No, he’ll be helping you. He’s very resourceful.”

“Resourceful, hm? Ok, Akkun. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, Papa.”


Smiling now, he gently returns Doraemon to his bag.

I watch his face as we cross the Charles river and enter the tunnel to Kendall/MIT, my destination. He does not stop smiling, a quiet, private smile, all the rest of the way.
mochi: Oh, the stupid! Make it stop! (Oh the stupid!)
I can't state it any better than has already been said by Megan Gedris in "Why I Quit DeviantART Today And Am Never Going Back"

For further background, see [redirect profile] transfinite's post "deviantART, binarism, and transphobia"

60 weeks away from home

  • Nov. 4th, 2010 at 2:09 PM
mochi: A woman leans back on her dressing table (tired)
60 weeks ago, I was in college, it was my senior year, I made a post to Dreamwidth and had no inkling that it would be my last for so long. 

A lot has happened, it will take time to explain. 

Many of you who read this journal, perhaps, are no longer subscribed. I would not blame you in the least.

It's time to venture out again. It's time to share writing and life and activism and support. It will take time to get used to being here again. 

I look forward to connecting again.

WBEN: The Triangle

  • Sep. 4th, 2009 at 6:05 PM
mochi: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? (cute)
Despite not knowing why our college radio station is named after a polygon, I have signed on to be a DJ this term! The radio is broadcast online only, through the WBEN Website. Tentatively, my show is scheduled for Tuesdays 7-8pm.

So far my plan is to do a music-based hour, with a break at 7:30 for some type of interesting technology or otherwise geekish news. Maybe animation news? Simple format, with an intro at the beginning of the hour and periodic announcements of the music that has come before and is to follow. The college has all the permissions needed to play whatever we want. Time to start thinking about which songs!

Aug. 15th, 2009

  • 10:57 PM
mochi: myself, dressed up fancy and being silly/cute at a train station (Default)
[personal profile] gchick  linked to translationparty. Now I'm in trouble.

Comment if you find good ones!

mochi: myself, dressed up fancy and being silly/cute at a train station (Default)
Do want:

That right there is a super fancy hybrid motorcycle in development right now that will get 300MPG.
Yes, that is a motorcycle.
It will cost about $30,000.
I will save that money and I will get a motorcycle license and I will drive this thing everywhere. EVERYWHERE!!!


mochi: myself, dressed up fancy and being silly/cute at a train station (questioning)
"His name is Ray Summers and you are the first woman I ever heard say no to him."

He's a handsome, dark-haired, bar-frequenting, womanizing man in Dead Like Me.

Have I been reading too much Least I Could Do recently, or is there actually a reference here involving Rayne Summers?


Standing up to Emerson College Radio?

  • Jul. 22nd, 2009 at 5:15 PM
mochi: two girls named Kelly fight crime in matching dresses! (fight crime)
My favorite radio station is Emerson College Radio, WERS 88.9FM Boston. They have a policy and history of being commercial free, but recently started playing an advertisement for Alex's Lemonade Stand that absolutely qualifies as a commercial. I let it sit for a while, but today, just a few moments ago I decided to send them an email about it, because if they start playing ads I won't listen to the station anymore, and I really don't want to lose my favorite WERS.

I have decided that I would rather be a pesky voice giving feedback than to listen silently as things I care about are sullied.

For me that is the real inspiration of Barack Obama's rise to Presidency. Change for the better only comes when people speak up. Of course I knew that, somewhere, but I have seen it in action now.

Princesses and Brides

  • Jul. 11th, 2009 at 11:24 PM
mochi: myself, dressed up fancy and being silly/cute at a train station (Default)
My cousin Katie's wedding was today. The music she chose for when she walked down the aisle was the theme from The Princess Bride. She had a very lovely dress, which stayed pristine, and her husband Scott had a nice tux, which did not stay as pristine when his brothers tossed him in the swimming pool.
mochi: myself, dressed up fancy and being silly/cute at a train station (Default)
On Tuesday, a military board told Lt. Dan Choi -- an Iraq War veteran and Arabic linguist -- that it was recommending his discharge from the Army for "moral and professional dereliction" under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Despite this setback, Lt. Choi is not giving up. Bolstered by more than 300,000 signatures to letters of support calling for the repeal of DADT, Dan is now taking his fight to repeal the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy  to Congress.

Dan needs your help as soon as possible. The sooner DADT is repealed, the sooner he can return to service.

I just signed the letter below to Speaker Nancy Pelosi that Lt. Choi is going to personally deliver to her. The letter is being launched on Lt. Choi's behalf by the Courage Campaign, Knights Out and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

We need Speaker Pelosi to take leadership now and speak out publicly in favor of current legislation in Congress that would repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

More than 50,000 people, including me, have signed Lt. Choi's letter in just a few hours. Will you join me in signing it and urge your friends to do the same? Just click on the link below to add your name:



Goal: Trig re-learned by Monday.

  • Jun. 30th, 2009 at 11:01 PM
mochi: myself, dressed up fancy and being silly/cute at a train station (Default)
I am taking Calculus, which is kind of awesome. However, I have a bit of a problem. I need to have basic functions and identities of Trig memorized by Monday, and I haven't done any Trig in 4 years. I've been looking at the functions and identities as listed in my book, and all it's doing is giving a vague sense that somewhere in my brain I know what Trig does, but I can't quite call it up.

Does anyone have advice on resources to help me quickly refresh my memory of Trig? A website giving a basic rundown of how it works would probably be good enough to jog my memory. The problem I'm running into right now is that I'm given problems such as "find the limit as x approaches 0 of x^4cos(2/x)" and I can't figure out what to do with a cosine being involved. I get limits, and x^4 is no problem, but I stare and stare and poke and poke my brain to no avail trying to reveal something in the depths of that little "cos."


I'll give you an e-cookie. ^^''

Persepolis and #iranelection

  • Jun. 17th, 2009 at 11:32 PM
mochi: A woman leans back on her dressing table (tired)
Tonight I watched Persepolis. It seemed appropriate given recent events in Iran. I loved the quality and style of the animation. Very beautiful. I would be happy to watch it again with a focus on the actual animation. This reminds me that I ought to get to work planning my animations for the coming academic year. Marjane's personal story in Persepolis gave some perspective to me in thinking about the current situation in Iran. This is part of a long history of resistance and oppression. Marjane as depicted in Persepolis has a life, has desires and hopes, just like any woman her age, but her past is tied into the political struggles and oppressive regimes of Iran so that she is not free to indulge happily in life's pleasures and frivolities. It makes me think that since I don't have any weight of history tied to my own life, since I can indulge in frivolity, I should take the utmost enjoyment out of that freedom to not worry, and simultaneously do whatever small or large part I can to assist those who do not have the same luxury.

For example: I can sit here comfortably on my couch and post to my blog, without needing to connect to a proxy server, without fear that doing so may lead to my arrest. In Iran there is a young woman just like me who does not have that freedom right now.

It is astounding to me that Iranian's freedom of communication has been supressed. Even more astounding and appaling are the attacks on university students. This is not merely about election fraud, not about anyone's opinion on Iran as a country or its political place in the world, this is about people having their basic freedom to speak and go about life as usual taken away.

Much of the news is coming through Twitter on #iranelection and #gr88, although it can be hard to tell what is real and what is misinformation.

If you are on Windows, this page tells you how to set up a proxy server for Iranians to access proper internet. If you are on Mac like me, I'm not sure how to go about it or where to find instructions. If you know how or have a link that shows how, please comment. I will update with it.

A final thought: there is a strong support for the Iranian protesters, and with that comes a desire to do something, but as people begin calling for President Obama to take futher action, please remember that interference from the US could make things worse for Iran. Sen. John Kerry writes for the NYT about dangers of Western interference:
"We can’t escape the reality that for reformers in Tehran to have any hope for success, Iran’s election must be about Iran — not America."
In short, if you want to help, make a proxy server; help the Iranians keep contact with the internet. Blogs and Twitter will be essential to them in organizing as currently cell phones have been cut off.

Graphics, ahoy.

  • May. 27th, 2009 at 7:26 PM
mochi: two girls named Kelly fight crime in matching dresses! (KellyKelly)
Thanks to a slightly modified mixit layout from [ profile] thefulcrum, I now have a much more delightful layout.

I also created a few new icons for myself, one of which I am using on this entry. That would be myself and my name-sharing friend Kelly fighting crime. In matching dresses. I love us. My default icon is now also me. I feel narcissistic, yet okay with that.

Back in the US of A

  • May. 27th, 2009 at 12:38 PM
mochi: A woman leans back on her dressing table (fashion: resting)
After four months living in Japan, I have returned to the United States. Culture shock has not quite set in yet, but jet lag has. I am glad to be home, though, as much as I miss my friends from abroad.

Now that I am on summer vacation, it is time to bust out my Photoshop skills and make some icons from all the photos I took in Japan. Other art types as well shall be forthcoming, especially once Kristin and I get started drawing our comic.

Today I went to Harvard Square to visit Lush. Kristin introduced me to the chain while we were in Japan; I had known about it before, but never stopped in. The woman who helped me today gave me a free hand treatment, and I bought some deoderant sans-aluminum. It smells like citrus! Yummy. If I'd had a bit more cash to spend I would have bought the lemon and shea butter lotion as well, but after that I was going to pick up my car from the garage, so I needed to keep my money tight.

My car sat in my parents' driveway while I was in Japan. Naturally, after four months of sitting still it needed some tuning up. The poor thing needed parts replaced in the front breaks, which ran me nearly $400. Better to have working breaks than not, though. I have a long drive tomorrow! Some of you may know the radio show Car Talk; it's their garage that fixes my car, so she was in good hands.

Kaiyukan: Osaka's Aquarium

  • May. 22nd, 2009 at 5:10 PM
mochi: myself, dressed up fancy and being silly/cute at a train station (love)
(crossposted to my travel blog:

Since finals were cancelled, I have had a lot of free time. Part of what I did with that time was go to Kaiyukan, Osaka's aquarium. My real camera broke recently, so I all I had with me for taking pictures was my cell phone. The pictures are very small and not of high quality, but I will share them because some of the animals are interesting and cute.Pictures below the cut! )

After I left the aquarium, I rode on a giant ferris wheel from which I could see the whole port area of Osaka. That was the last trip I'll be taking into Osaka proper. Just two more full days in Japan before I head home!

May. 18th, 2009

  • 12:58 PM
mochi: myself, dressed up fancy and being silly/cute at a train station (Default)
Kansai Gaidai University has been closed down until Sunday due to a local outbreak of Swine Flu.

It is unclear how our classes are going to be graded at this point, because the final exams have been cancelled.

I don't mind not taking my final exam for spoken Japanese, but I'm a bit upset that I won't get to do my final performance.

Unrelatedly, I have fallen so far behind in checking Dreamwidth that it's not even funny. I need to pare off the "add me" and "friend me" communities so that it's just my proper reading list and I can keep up with all of you guys. Sorry for being a ghost!

The first suitcase hits the floor.

  • May. 8th, 2009 at 4:23 PM
mochi: A woman in dark clothing (dramatic)
I am in the process of packing a suitcase to send home with my dad, who is leaving Japan tomorrow.

Last night, Okaasan posted information on the shuttle bus to the airport, and put out boxes for our unwanted belongings.

There are only five days left of classes, and then exam week.

It is really beginning to sink in how very little time I have left in Japan. In just a little over two weeks, I will be leaving this country, leaving my friends, and heading back to the States. I feel a sense of lament and also relief. Living in a foreign culture is hard work. When I get home, I will once again be able to relax into a system that I fully understand. At the same time, I am only just now beginning to fit myself into the structure of Japanese society. I have reached a new level of comfort here. I have passed the biggest hurdles and reached the other side unscathed. In some ways, life back in the States will take a readjustment. I remember that last time I came back from Japan I was disgusted by the lack of cleanliness in public areas. I wonder what will take adjusting to this time.

I have, oddly enough, developed a nostaligia for buses that don't run on time.

Various settings up and a question.

  • Apr. 29th, 2009 at 9:22 PM
mochi: myself, dressed up fancy and being silly/cute at a train station (Default)
As I work to figure out my uses of this journal, I'm considering setting up some opt-in filters for content not everyone would want to read.

First off, filters:
  • Meme filter: I like memes. I am not a total meme whore, but I do post them somewhat often. Some people are not so into the meme thing, and I get that, thus they get a filter to themselves. You don't have to be on it unless you like memes too.
  • Adult content filter: For all things 18+, nsfw, tmi, etc. Topics would include discussing relationships, sexuality, and fandom-related things with adult themes.
If you want in on either of those, just leave a comment or send a message. I'm going to update my info with these too.

Things that won't be filtered:
  • Art/writing: Any comics, stories, animations, pictures, etc., both original and fan work. I won't share everything ever, but I'll post things I want feedback on, or feel were especially successful. I'll also use this blog as a place to look for collaborators, to discuss the creative process, and art in general.
  • Travel related blogging: I travel a lot, and while I do write a travel blog as well, I might post about my journeys on here sometimes.
  • General fandom: What I'm currently reading, watching, or listening to; questions about fandom; reviews, rants and raves. Icons if I start making them again.

Second, a question!

Do any of you know of a Japanese TV show, drama, anime, book, etc. that involves a girl receiving a complement and trying to turn it down?  For example, someone says she's pretty, and she say something like "No, no. I'm so fat/ugly/dumb." This is pretty common of Japanese culture, and I'm trying to find examples for a project in my Japanese Communication class. Thanks in advance for any help. ^_^

Catching up!

  • Apr. 27th, 2009 at 2:00 PM
mochi: myself, dressed up fancy and being silly/cute at a train station (Default)
Sorry for the long silence, everyone. Life outside of the internet decided to get really complicated all at once, preventing me from keeping up with DW these past few days. I'm trying to read through all the posts I missed, so you might be getting some comments from me on older things... ^^;

My father is visiting Japan right now. I took him to eat okonomiyaki earlier today. He seemed rather entertained by the whole thing.

Talking to him has made me realize that I have not only picked up the Japanese custom of using verbal responses to indicate that I'm listening, but that in fact using those actually does make me listen more intently.

I like the new user symbols on DW, but I haven't caught up in the news yet to figure out why there are so many. Time to head to the archives!