What do Chinese people say when they just can’t even? 心塞 (xīn sāi)! - literally, “Heart attack!” Say this when something unexpected (but not serious) happens to you, and you can’t even think of a way to react. Like when you spill hot coffee on your pants, step in a puddle, or find a hair in your food!
What makes you feel 心塞 (xīn sāi)?
Example sentences: 我踩到口香糖的时候，我就觉得很心塞！(wǒ cǎi dào kǒu xiāng táng de shí hou, wǒ jiù jué de hěn xīn sāi) - Whenever I step in gum, I just can’t even handle it!
我好心塞！我新的iPhone掉进水坑了! (wǒ hǎo xīn sāi! wǒ xīn de iPhone diào jìn shuǐ kēng le) - I can’t even! My new iPhone fell into a puddle!
It was a pleasure to be able to work on the Ladybug Zine with all the talented artists involved. Thanks May for organizing this for a very good cause. These are my submissions to the zine! I hope everyone will get their copy safely.
#1 was inspired by tarot cards obviously! The lily of the valley is a flower associated with luck in France so I wanted to enclose our protags in it with the appropriate card.
#2 was Chinese inspired, I really wanted to draw Ladybug wield a Chinese yo-yo in lieu of her usual one, so this piece was born.
Don’t judge a book by its cover! 不要以貌取人 (bú yào yǐ mào qǔ rén)! This Chinese idiom, or 成语 (chéng yǔ), is super useful when telling someone not to judge someone or something by appearance only. Use it on the next friend that tells you Chinese is too hard to learn. 😄 不要以貌取人 (bú yào yǐ mào qǔ rén)!
“What?” Jason said irritably, looking up from his Western Civilization textbook. Octavian sat in front of him on the bed, legs crisscross, applesauce, a pout on his face. He didn’t even know Octavian could pout, and it was oddly as cute as it is frustrating. He had a Chinese yo-yo and he was flicking it back and forth as he spoke.
“Pay attention to me.”
“What’d I just say?”
“Um…” Jason realized he actually hadn’t been paying attention, but they both had a huge test the next day so he really shouldn’t have been at fault for studying. That being said, he didn’t want Octavian to know he was kind of ignoring him, so he made an educated guess and said, “You were talking about us getting a Chihuahua.”
To his relief, Octavian adopted an impressed look. “Right. Okay, so, I was thinking we could name it Augustus—”
“Look, Octavian, I love you but you should seriously study for this stupid test, okay? We can talk about smuggling a dog in here when we both have As.”
He went back to reading about the Tiber in silence. Perfect, peaceful silence. Wait… it was too silent. Jason looked up cautiously from the text to see Octavian, an expression of surprise frozen on his face. His cheeks were slowly reddening and his ears were pink at the tips, his hands frozen on the kid’s toy. What was he so shocked by? All Jason had said was… was… oh, shit. He’d just told Octavian he loved him. In the year they’d been together (after the years of knowing each other) neither of them had ever even whispered the L Word, and here he was just saying it casually. When had he even realized he felt that strongly?
“Uh, what I mean is, uh,” he stuttered, setting the book to the side, “was, um, we should really get some work done.”
Octavian snapped his mouth shut, his eyebrows lowering back to where they were supposed to be. His brow furrowed and he began to flick the yo-yo again.
“Well, if you love me you should have no problem getting me a dog,” he said finally. Jason rolled his eyes. That was a quick recovery.
“After we ace this test. I promise.”
“Now!” Octavian demanded. “I don’t want to study; I want to pet a dog. Specifically, a dog of the chiweenie variety. Or a pug-zu, I could go either way, really.”
“Okay, stop. Listen,” Jason said, sighing. “How about this: let’s play a game.” He eased off of the bed and stood in front of the table by the door.
“What kind of game?” Octavian followed cautiously, a suspicious look on his pale face. He didn’t trust Jason completely; he knew this would more than likely involve studying.
“I’m going to ask you questions—”
Octavian knew it.
“Jason, I don’t want to—” he started to interrupt.
“—and if you get them right, I take something off,” Jason finished.
Octavian stopped, one eyebrow raised. “And by something…”
“Clothing,” Jason confirmed. A slow smirk spread over Octavian’s face and he nodded.
“Okay. I’m in.” This is going to be so fucking easy.
“If you get something wrong, I’m putting something back on,” Jason added.
“I’m not going to get anything wrong.” Octavian had the look on his face that he got when he played tennis, or when he played Monopoly ™; the look that conveyed that he was going to win, whether you liked it or not.
Jason wanted to wipe that smug expression off his stupid, arrogant face, but it would have to wait. He needed to lure him into a false sense of security first.
“Alright, Octavian. Which city did the Romans destroy in 146 B.C.?”
“Carthage,” he scoffed.
Jason took of one sock and Octavian rolled his eyes. Jason sighed and took off the other one, too, since they technically came as a pair.
“Next: Which emperor conquered Dacia?”
“Trajan,” he replied lazily as Jason shook his arms out of his pajama shirt. “If this is the best you’ve got you’re going to be shivering pretty soon.” The truth was that he was trying desperately not to focus on Jason’s amazing stomach and his happy trail and oh god why was this so difficult focus Octavian focus.
Jason smiled. He knew exactly what he was doing to Octavian. “I’ve got more, don’t worry. For example: which king of Pontus was forced out of Egypt by the Romans?”
Octavian’s face went blank for a moment before he smiled triumphantly. “Mithridates.”
Jason shrugged and very slowly and deliberately peeled off his pants, revelling in the pained expression on Octavian’s face. He smirked at his frustrated room mate and stood straight and still in his fried egg boxers. Octavian was biting his lip: that was a major tell. That meant that he was using all of his willpower to remain calm, and he was terrible at self control. Ace in the hole.
“Alright, Octavian. Get this one right and you win. Think you can handle it?”
“I can handle anything, Jason,” Octavian retorted, but his brow was furrowed and his hands were clenched.
“Alright, then. Tell me - what was Tiberius’s middle name before he was adopted?”
“Caesar,” Octavian blurted, then froze. “Wait, no, hold on, I take that back, I didn’t mean that!”
Jason stepped back into his pants, laughing. “Sorry. No take backs. You get one more chance, though: double or nothing. Last question. You in?”
Octavian glared. “Bring it on.”
“How high was the Colosseum?”
“The outer wall?”
“Uh…meters or feet?”
Jason rolled his eyes. “Either is fine.”
“48 meters,” Octavian said triumphantly.
Well, a promise was a promise, even if he had wanted to mess with Octavian more. Trying not to feel embarrassed, Jason stripped.
Later, they were both lying on the floor in the dark, talking about the future: tomorrow, the next week, and so on. Octavian rolled over onto his stomach to look at Jason. In the dark you could hardly tell he looked like a god.
“I heard someone was getting rid of some chihuahua puppies. I asked them about it; we can get one fairly cheap, with all its initial shots and papers and everything.”