what is it with blogger and their frequent changing of the ui (a.k.a. user interface?). it drives me nuts. just let me post my thoughts, and leave me be!
i just wanted to wish everyone a happy new year. i don't have much to say that is either profound or amusing, except that i can't wait to get back to sf and moving. when they say holiday pounds, they really do mean 10 extra pounds. ugh. too much food.
which moves me to say, the asian culture is really geared around food. i think i was lucky and unlucky in that sense. my parents were always more than willing to cook us great food. as in the case of this vacation, however, it has proven to be a little too much for the belly =).
in any case, happy new year to everyone. i'm in boston right now so if you want to hang out, ring me on the cellie. otherwise, see you in 2-double-oh-four!
new york city fun
i'm not quite sure how i feel about nyc. i love how dynamic it is, but the sheer numbers of people in this city is enough to drive me batty. i also noticed, in just the few hours i was out and about, they look too beautiful compared to the lazy grunginess of san francisco. san franciscans never dress up unless necessary and i've grown to like how laid back they are in mannerism and appearance. compared to the east coast, however, they're slobs. another things about new yorkers is that they're always walking too fast. i get jostled all the time. or perhaps it's because i walk too slowly... and their suspicion. i had a free day pass today i was trying to give away. i had used it up and wanted to pass it on to someone who could make use of it.
no kidding, i tried to pass it off to 10 people. 2 people walked away from me like they were afraid i was going to hurt them. 1 asian woman pushed me away and said, i don't want your card! it was a bit jarring that an act of good could be greeted with such doubt.
well, tomorrow i head off to the metropolitan museum of art. at least paintings and mummies won't push you away and chastise you if you try to be nice.
grammatical/linguistic pet peeves
huru and i have compiled i list of things we hate.
i did good
i see that alot
that was the bestest time i ever had
their it is
it's going to be fun
dur. everytime i see one of those mistakes, it's like a siren goes off in my head.
"warning warning. a grammatical error has been committed. 10 seconds until shutdown."
i know it's unfair to blame someone when they do that. plenty of erudite people do it. but it just drives me batty. and when it happens during a date, a sheen of red covers my eyes and i feel my stomach churn a little. please, please. just say, i did well.
the taiwanese obsession
although i grew up in a very white, jewish town, my parents and i frequently attended taiwanese association activities. it consisted of mainly 10 families, all from neighboring towns, who would gather their children every holiday and head to one family's house. i grew up very aware of my culture because of this association, and still maintain close friendship with some of the children.
the thing about the taiwanese association is that there were waves of obsession. the first was karaoke, based on tapes. and then there was the phase where everyone got bread machines. for about a year, the fad was to see who could make the most creative loaves of bread. then we went on to laserdisc based karaoke, then chinese soap operas. i can't tell you how many hours i spent as a child watching demented love triangles, or people in ancient chinese garb fighting and flying across the tv screen. at least my mandarin and taiwanese were shaped up from so many hours of watching those ridiculous dramas. for a while, people went through this weird tai-chi phase. tai-chi videos still fill the shelves of our family room. when uncle lin got a camcorder, everyone else did. lately, the new craze has been buddhism and korean soap operas.
i tell you, for the most part, these fads haven't been too harmful. maybe the bread was a little much for my marsupial pouch (a.k.a. the pacific rim), but everything else i've been able to tolerate.
the korean soap operas, however, are killing me. for hours everyday, i can watch these amazing looking asian men who are nice, intelligent, sensitive, kind, athletic, well dressed, etc. they all open doors, they are all careful with women's feelings, very expressive and communicative, and they all want the girl who isn't beautiful but is nice, loving, and sincere. and they are all filling my brain with useless thoughts of what i'd ideally like love to be, but find it not to be. i can't watch these tv shows anymore. they make me all screwy.
if your ears itch...
someone is thinking about you. or, at least that's what my dad's best friends (a.k.a. another "uncle") once told me. so who is thinking about me today?
so after a 3 month hiatus from swing dancing, after doing 11 hours of it one weekend in october, i'm going to go next week with huru. very, very excited, i am, i am. i spent this weekend in a meditation retreat, more time shopping with the mater, and this weekend i go to nyc, back to ct, and then up to boston. it'll be odd being there, especially as i plan to drop by the old firm. that will certainly be an interesting experience. i plan to see some old friends, some old teachers, and my old high school. gosh. hard to think i started out as a freshman in high school 10 years ago! what have i been doing in that time?
i'm glad to be back on the east coast but good lordy! do i miss san francisco. i think it was the best move i've ever made because it feels so much like home, although i've only been out there for a few months. but i already am missing my soft couch by my bayview window, hula roomie's fragrant cooking, and the warmth that envelopes me when i leave my apartment in the morning. missing the green trees, the strong evergreen scent that wafts across from the golden gate park, the view of the city at night as i cross the bay bridge. i think i'm truly intoxicated with san franny.
other than that, thinking of taking a graduate seminar in clinical neuroscience at berzerkeley... AND, i get to see legolas soon. good lord, is he a beautiful man.
i have noticed though, that all my male friends seem to despise orlando bloom. i guess that's what you get for being beautiful.
augh!! where did all this snow come from? it's everywhere.
i must admit that sf's warm weather left me completely unequipped for the east coast's snow and wintry winds. brrr.
so update on the pepper:
1. bone marrow donation procedure is going through. the tests reconfirmed that i was her best match, and i'm planning the procedure for next month. hear ye, hear ye - all you people out in sf must come visit me when i'm bedridden.
2. i'm a graduate student: a professor told me, unofficially, that the committee has accepted me. wahoo!!!
3. i'm not sick anymore.
as mhao says, dang.
i'm sick again.
and i blame the boy. yah, that one. the one i find myself seeing, dating, being interested in, having lunch brought for, whatever. i never know what to call it.
i tell you -- men are no good. they enter your life with all their niceties (goofiness, the ability to reach the top shelf in your kitchen, fuzzy shirts that smell of clean laundry, red cheeks, braininess), and you feel the necessity to take care of them when they are sick. and instead you find yourself, a few days later, left with a sore throat, stuffy nose, and swollen lymph glands. and when they do feel bad, as happens occasionally, they then offer you zinc tablets that taste like asphalt in sad penance.
i swear it drives me batty. and yet, i find it so oddly endearing.
uhhh... why is the smoke alarm going off?
i am a self-proclaimed genius.
even more than that, i'm my apartment's self-dubbed engineer. i'm the one who drills things into walls. i'm the one who pretends to know what she's talking about with bits and bytes and computers. and i'm the one who operated the chimney hatch last night, right before we lit a log to celebrate hula roomie's birthday. (i really have three roommates. hula roomie, socal roomie, and crazy doctor roomie).
so there we were, wine in hand, orlando bloom AND johnny depp in hand, and suddenly, a high pitched beeping jerks us all from our happy reveries of hollywood infatuation. and yes. it's my fault. i closed the chimney hatch. so in i stick my hand, over the fire, and the smoke clears.
when i woke up this morning, the living room had a stench of burnt firewood.
doh. my fault.
hey, i never claimed to be a good engineer. just a wannabe one. and then there was the time erik had to fix my no-dial tone phone by well, simply plugging the cord into the phone jack. well. maybe i'm not even a wannabe engineer now. i'm some weird ex-patent agent, ex-engineer, psychologist-to-be, pending graduate student, never-to-be-a-monk freak.
i guess even that is pretty cool. except for when you practically set your apartment on fire. it makes me wonder, and i asked my roomies this last night, i'm so ridiculous. how can anyone possibly put up with me?
bye bye, chucky
the president of mit has finally decided to say goodbye. click here.
despite the fact that he was a fundraising powerhouse, i never really liked him. i've met him about 10 times, and each time it was as if he never cared at all, he never remembers students' names, and he wasn't very friendly. his wife wasn't very friendly either. they always seemed very absorbed in appearing formal and classy. but then again, when you have the professor paul gray as your advisor, it's a totally different world. maybe the new prez will be able to both fundraise and interact with students.
is it possible that i have finally found a NG that is nice, normal, well-adjusted and good to me?
all my past relationships have burgeoned under far too intense circumstances. after i recovered from the whirlwind courtships, i was left terribly ill-equipped to enter the realm of being non-single. no matter how i tried, in the end i found that i couldn't avoid the clouds of doom that dogged a weakly built foundation.
i always wondered how it'd feel to fall into a relationship naturally. to feel a liking grow. to spend a succession of dates with someone and find them increasingly charming, without feeling suffocated or threatened by intense emotions, to feel like there was plenty of time to get to know the person. that life could let the possibilities unfold naturally. perhaps the fault lay in what i was seeking - the instantaneous, cataclysmic attraction akin to what romeo and juliet felt for each other. but that never lasted. it set up inflated expectations, and blinded me to disappointments and wrongs i knew lay dangerously on the road ahead.
but maybe this time i've found a guy i can like, enjoy spending time with, and find totally endearing without feeling that independence and rationality is being wrung out of me. for the first time, i'm not thinking about how far it can go or where it'll lead or what things mean. it doesn't matter. we're having a good time.
and he bought me a chocolate bar for no reason other than he thought that they were yummy. how much more cute could he get?
poetry by pepper
hear ye, hear ye.
do a little dance.
oh yes, you brethren. move thy tush.
make a little love.
fancy yerself a stallion o' romance tonight.
get down tonight.
and do thy best!
yah i'm weird. i'm in a good mood. get to see NG today.
"china and taiwan"
are at it again. i don't really see a peaceful resolution to this issue. neither one is willing to abdicate their "rights" to ownership of the sovereignty.
when my grandmothers died, i felt that i had lost my cultural footholding. i don't know what it means to be taiwanese anymore, because all those lessons that were meant to be taught to me were buried with their passings. but it begged the question, is heritage and ethnicity in language, is it acts of celebration, or is it in a way of living? the values i hold are not specific to the taiwanese. true, a greater majority of the taiwanese possess them, but the irish, the jewish, the hispanics all place tremendous importance on family values as well. perhaps it's in the way i wrap my "jung tze," but that seems like a lesson that can be passed on to anyone. as for holiday celebrations, that seems to be more a product of habit, specific to my family, than it is an act general to a culture. so what does it mean then, to be taiwanese?
and now i see my country, fighting for legal independence, something they haven't had since the early 1900s the japanese arrived. even before that, a few hundred years ago, it was the dutch. it makes me wonder, does legal right to one's country make you culturally more independent or pronounced? haven't the taiwanese retained what it means to them to be taiwanese all these years, despite the japanese occupation, despite the arrival of the nationalist soldiers? so what will it mean for them to have legal title as an independent country? will it mean that then they are truly taiwanese, that they have found a way back to what it means to be formosan?
i used to be very pro-independence. taiwan is separate, and not chinese. the taiwanese have a right to retain their identity, and their sense of self. but i'm not quite sure that's achieved anymore through legal means. identity and sense of culture seems to me an emotional, potently personal, and unidentifiable struggle and discovery that labels, titles, and legal holdings won't fix.
is a labeled ethnicity worth all the possible bloodshed and strife that may ensue? i don't know.
"i want a green thumb"
but i don't have one.
i suffered through the deaths of two of my plants. my beloved treloar, and my pretty lily. sigh. i felt saddened. greatly saddened.
last week, when i was in the farmer's market gathering ingredients for thanksgiving, i bought another plant. it's a beautiful little lemon tree and it actually bears fruit. it sits on my desk and keeps me company. when i wake up in the morning, it's the first thing that i speak to. i sing to it when i'm lonely. it hears me rant and rave when i stub my toe. it greets all my visitors with fragrant flowers and endeavors to jive with me when i practice my swingout. yesterday it commented on my painting. it said it liked it.
i love my lemon tree.
what should i name it?