Tuesday, January 31, 2006
>> 2:04 PM
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Yesterday I could not wake up. I kept napping and dozing off. Today I realized I probably do need that morning coffee to jump start my day. And so far, it's working. I'm awake! But the doggy is asleep....
>> 10:57 AM
Saturday, January 28, 2006
>> 4:50 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
I look so innocent!
Can't deal with stuff right now. Going to take crazy dog (been whining and barking out the window all afternoon) into the bedroom with me. Put in dvd of Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Just popped som popcorn. Horror as escape. Will emerge in a couple of hours.
>> 3:55 PM
Sunday, January 22, 2006
"I know I have worried you," I said, eyes down. "I'm sorry, and I want to explain. It has to do with Brian." The words came more haltingly after that name. "When I was with him, I felt some things for the first time. I realized the peson I will love--the person to whom I am tied--will not be a woman."
The silence arced and fell, and arced and fell, like a soundless telephone.
My father said slowly, quietly, "Are you saying that you are a gay?"
His grammar had at last been stressed beyond its usual perfection. But I was not about to quibble with the construction of words I did not have the courage to utter.
"Yes," I said.
I looked up. My mother's face as she looked at my father is one I will never be able truly to describe or forget. I can only say her eyes looked for translation, solace, meaning that he could not, for once in his life, provide. I thought: I, so confident of words, have now met the limits of language. I will find no words that will catch that gaze in their net.
"But if this is so," my mother said in Japanese, "we will never be able to go back to Japan." I realized then what I had feared about coming out to my parents. That someone--myself, my mother, my father--would die. Would curl up, turn face to the wall, and expire. When my mother spoke those words, I knew she was telling me of a death--a metaphorical death, a social death, but a death. That was the albatross I killed--her cross-shaped innocence, her idea of home.
She saw me flinch. She switched to English. "What you are doing," she said, "is very courageous." It was as if one language could not contain her two voices.
We broke away awkwardly. I lay on my bed, breathing as if after a race. I experienced the moment as a shattering, an end to years of silence, lies, and equivocation. I felt cameras shifting, as if I were no longer the bit player in someone else's story, but finally the hero of my own. This moment is the cusp on which my life breaks, the talisman I touch to reassure myself I have not failed life's test.
--Kenji Yoshino, Covering
>> 11:25 PM
Rob and I are going to watch Brokeback Mountain finally tonight. And we're going to see it at the multiplex rather than the art-house movie theater. It just opened at the multiplex down the street from us. We're lazy. Plus, bigger screen. I'm justifying this as a research excursion, to determine what a "mainstream" audience for this movie might be here.
>> 6:28 PM
Reading with the dog.
Looking out the window.
>> 10:32 AM
What means this word, "wait"?
>> 7:27 AM
Pay attention to me!
>> 6:45 AM
Saturday, January 21, 2006
>> 8:06 PM
I like it when Giles hides under me.
It's been a pleasant day so far, despite the rainy weather. I got to bed late last night (3 am? 4?), but I managed to get out of bed at 10 am when I woke up. I spent the morning reading the first part of Yoshino's Covering at a cafe, then ran a few errands. I bought a bunch of dog treats and toys for Giles. When I showed Rob, he said I spoil the dog. Maybe I do.
I brought home lunch (breakfast for Rob), played with crazy dog a bit. Then I went to read some more at another cafe type place with a friend. I think I need to get out of my apartment at least a little each day just for sanity reasons. The idea of being a hermit is appealing, but in practice it just leads to craziness. And it's not like I have to interact with people, but being out in public can be soothing. I feel less trapped in my writing-thinking paralysis. I'm reminded there's a whole world out there.
I'm finally getting my apartment a bit cleaned up. It helps just to take out the overflowing kitchen trash sometimes. I ran the dish washer before I left this morning. And I'm doing a few loads of laundry this evening as I read for Karen Tei Yamashita's Through the Arc of the Rain Forest for class.
I had a bit of a headache for a big chunk of the day, but it's gone now that I finally took some Aleve.
Now I'm about to sit down to a lentil-veggie loaf for dinner.
Sometimes, boring is good.
>> 7:30 PM
Click image to see Giles run.
>> 4:40 PM
>> 9:24 AM
There's a lonely pair of galoshes on the sidewalk in the middle of the night.
>> 12:49 AM
Friday, January 20, 2006[Dirty Pretty Things], directed by Stephen Frears. (It's two days overdue at the rental store -- ack! The craziness of the start of the semester kept me from watching it all week.) It was very disturbing. I don't know what else to say. These hidden economies of immigrant London where money, body parts, and sexual acts become frighteningly exchangeable with each other and for passports, a withheld phone call to the immigration authorities, freedom, or understanding. Plus, the actor who plays Okwe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, is totally awesome.
>> 11:06 PM
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Ha ha! My new phone finally came in. The above picture is taken with it. At first I was a bit disappointed in the phone. The screen layout is kind of tacky, and for some reason, taking pictures to use as the wallpaper for the screen leaves ugly empty space on the sides of the screen. Also, I can't seem to set the train choo-choo sound as my ringtone, even though the sound file is on the phone already.
But I was just playing around with it, and it has voice recognition software! OMG I don't have to go through and assign name files for each contact. I can just say the person's name and the phone will pull up the person! That is cool enough to pull its own weight, I say!
>> 2:55 PM
And my phone still isn't here! Gargh!
>> 1:27 PM
>> 11:30 AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
My copy of Kenji Yoshino's Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights came in the mail today, though. I need to read through it quickly, maybe cite it in my chapter on accent discrimination and equal protection law. But of course I haven't really written much in weeks. Ugh. I'm still sitting on this 10-page colloquium paper that I really need to get out today. The colloquium meeting is next Wednesday, and I need to give the respondent and participants time to read it beforehand.
Class has gone pretty well the last couple of days. In my contemporary literature class, I had students go through and describe the large cast of characters in Karen Tei Yamashita's Through the Arc of the Rain Forest. I was very happy that it seems most of the students did the 70-page reading for class. In the gender and popular culture class, we talked very generally about popular culture studies, gender critique, and Asian Americanist critique. I think the class will be very smart and talkative. All in all, things are going well. I'm delinquent on like four different writing projects, though, and that's not good. One editor has sent me a second e-mail today asking my whereabouts. I really should respond....
>> 5:07 PM
Monday, January 16, 2006
Look! It's been awhile since I've gotten an actual e-mail meme like this. Thought I'd post it here instead since anyone who does come here is asking for it!
Where has our time for nurturing friendships gone? Welcome to the fall 2005 edition of getting to know your friends. What you're supposed to do is copy (not forward) this entire e-mail and paste it onto a new e-mail that you'll send. Change all the answers so they apply to you, and then send this to a whole bunch of friends including the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends, if you did not know them already!
1. IF YOU COULD BUILD A SECOND HOUSE ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD IT BE?
Second? I wish I had a first! But I'll take this to mean a house anywhere not here. This is easy -- New York City.
2. YOUR FAVORITE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING?
3. THE LAST CD YOU BOUGHT?
On-line, through iTunes with a birthday gift card, the James Blunt Live in London EP. In terms of a physical cd, I think it was Blunt's full-length album, Back to Bedlam. I think I'm obsessed with him.
4. WHAT TIME DO YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING?
Ideally, always around 6, to make the teaching 8 am class easier. But my sleep schedule is way too erratic, ranging from 4 am wakeups to 11 am ones.
5. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE KITCHEN APPLIANCE?
The stick blender, immersion blender thing. Though I hardly use it. I talked about it constantly a couple years ago, and then Rob bought me one for my birthday.
6. IF YOU COULD PLAY AN INSTRUMENT WHAT WOULD IT BE?
The piano, which I technically do. The acoustic guitar, which I totally don't.
7. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SPORTS CAR OR SUV?
Sports car. If you're going to guzzle gas, might as well be speedy about it.
8. DO YOU BELIEVE IN AFTER LIFE?
9. FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK?
Hmmm. This is a hard one because I love so many of them (but can't remember the names). I love Chris van Allsburg's picture books.
11. IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
13. CAN YOU JUGGLE?
14. THE PERSON FROM YOUR PAST YOU WISH YOU COULD GO BACK AND TALK TO? ??
Hmmm. My grandfather (on dad's side). He died when I was, like, 10, and I only ever saw him a few times because he lived in Taiwan while we were in California. I would love to know what he was like.
15. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE DAY?
I hate all days equally.
16. WHAT'S IN THE TRUNK OF YOUR CAR?
A comforter, two emergency road kits, and a large bottle of water.
17. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SUSHI OR HAMBURGER?
18. FROM THE PEOPLE YOU WILL EMAIL THIS TO, WHO'S MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
19. WHO'S LEAST LIKELY?
20. WHO DID YOU RECEIVE THIS FROM?
21. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER?
22. FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Strawberry (especially from Baskin Robbins).
23. BUTTER, PLAIN, OR SALTED POPCORN?
24. FAVORITE COLOR?
25. WHAT KIND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE?
26. FAVORITE SANDWICH?
27. ON VACATION, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
28. FAVORITE BRAND OF CLOTHING?
Still trying to find one that fits. :(
29. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
31. COKE OR PEPSI?
32. R U A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?
Morning person! (At least in theory....)
34. WHAT IS YOUR SHOE SIZE?
35. WILL YOU EVER FILL OUT ONE OF THESE AGAIN?
Next time I'm bored, sure!
36. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?
About to take the dog out for a quick walk and then to bed!
>> 12:12 AM
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Sunny out today -- off to the dog park!
>> 11:38 AM
[Dog watches world go by.]
>> 10:05 AM
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Giles and I are currently sitting in the dark. He's lying down beside me on the floor. Sleepy puppy.
>> 2:29 PM
Dog is my co-pilot.
At the gas station.
Are we done yet?
>> 12:06 PM
Friday, January 13, 2006
The mall on a Saturday evening is horrendously crowded. I stopped by quickly to pick up a copy of Margaret Cho's latest dvd (for research purposes, of course, hence not technically money spent for "leisure"). It's insane how many people converge on that place at the same time.
I also dropped my new glasses off at the store to have the lenses re-done. The optometrist, when I went back to have the prescription checked because I couldn't see very clearly, didn't really know how to correct the prescription. I don't have high hopes for the replacement being much better. Which would suck because these were damned expensive glasses! My bank account is like a sieve being used as a bucket. Sigh.
>> 6:22 PM
The new semester has started, and I'm battling this debilitating cold-type thing. It started Sunday with sinus congestion moved to violent sneezing Monday night, then subsided, with the help of Benadryl, to this utter fatigue. Doing much more than lying on the couch watching tv makes me tired tired tired. I'm feeling better these last couple of days -- enough that I can be up and about with only minimal fatigue as long as I don't do much physically. I was able to go for a short walk with the dog yesterday, and that was nice.
My second class meets in a few hours, and I'm still pulling together the syllabus. I have all these articles to assign but need to figure out in what order, for which days. It's highly unfun. Then I have to work furiously to scan some of them to post on-line. I'll be really glad when February rolls around and all these craziness has settled down.
>> 8:57 AM
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
>> 12:40 PM
>> 7:14 AM
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
>> 10:36 PM
Monday, January 09, 2006
Apropos of not much:
My father has his own favorite joke about the subversive possibilities of whitewashing the truth: A Chinese professor (just like my dad) is attending a banquet, and the kindly matron seated next to him leans over to inquire, "Likee soupee?" The man smiles and nods politely. Then it is time for him, the keynote speaker, to address the audience, which he does in eloquent, flawless English. When he takes his seat again, he asks his neighbor, "Likee speechee?"
-- Lynn Lu, "Ancient Chinese Secrets and Little White Lies"
>> 6:06 PM
Sunday, January 08, 2006
I also weighed myself at the gym -- I currently weigh 127 pounds. I think I was 125 pounds in college. Lots of people probably want to kill me. I'd like to be up to 130 pounds at some point.
>> 2:18 PM
I'm working on getting Giles to calm down when he spots
squirrels taunting him with their twitchy tails outside the window.
>> 12:05 PM
Stencil-spray painted on a construction barrier.
Shadows of ourselves.
The dog, himself.
>> 11:13 AM
>> 9:09 AM
Friday, January 06, 2006
On deck tonight: (1) the new season of The Dog Whisperer starts with an episode at 8, (2) the controversy-raising new show The Book of Daniel premieres on NBC at 9, and (3) one of the two movies I just rented --D.E.B.S. (is it true I haven't seen this yet? or am I just forgetting that I saw it???) and Dark Water.
I'm really in a tv/movie watching mood these days. Haven't really been in one for months.
Still haven't gotten myself a mocha, despite plans to do so each of the last two days. I do want to reserve it as a reward, and frankly, I haven't been very productive, only last-minute-y churning out these postdoc apps instead of working diligently all day on those applications, my dissertation chapters, and course syllabuses.
>> 6:40 PM
I watched a few episodes of the [Dog Whisperer] yesterday. It seems that Giles's increasingly crazy behavior, his aggresiveness towards other dogs, is probably a result of my stressiness and lack of authoritative confidence. I'll have to work on projecting what Cesar Millan calls calm, assertive energy. I'm like the opposite of that. No wonder Giles is so neurotic.
It is kind of weird trying to accept Cesar's theory of dog psychology, the pack mentality and assertiveness stuff (echoes of masculinism). But it also makes sense, and it's also true that people often treat dogs like people when they are not. Dog needs are going to be different from people needs, but we can still have humane and reciprocal relationships.
>> 11:16 AM
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
One of things I've been trying to change about myself over the last few years is my vindictiveness. I really began to notice this side of me when I began dating Rob because he is so even-keeled, so reasonable about perceived slights. I, on the other hand, am passive agressive beyond belief and will throw out veiled barbs in the hopes of making people feel bad. The other day, when I was stuck at the DC airport for five hours before my flight finally left, I talked to a ticketing counter agent at one point. I never outright said I was angry at them for being so bad about informing passengers about delays (reasons, accurate updates, etc.). Instead, I asked these stupid things like, is there a rental car booth nearby?, as if that question would cue them in to my seething frustration at having a cancelled flight and a delayed later flight as well as make the ticketing counter person feel bad about it. So I guess I need to address the vindictiveness thing on two fronts -- (1) my own inability to express rationally and directly my frustrations and (2) letting go of things that aren't worth getting angry or exasperated about. Like, at the airport, though the gate agents could've let us passengers know better what was going on with our flight, there was no reason to yell at them (the way some other people did) because they couldn't exactly make our flight less delayed. (They could, however, have helped some of us decide whether or not to re-book for a flight the next morning instead.)
>> 11:24 PM
During the movie, Giles kept trying to steal my friend's guacamole chips. And then he slept on the couch next to me. It was nice. My friend and I drank a bottle of merlot, too. Wasn't great but wasn't horrible, either. Hooray for movie nights and puppies!
I'm finding it really hard to get my days started. Only one week left until the semester starts! And I'm so not prepared!
I watched bits of Serenity and X-Men in bed with Rob this morning and also read some comic books. Rob and I agreed that we have no idea what is going on in the mutant Marvel multiverse anymore and wish that they would stop making wholesale shifts in realities all the time.
Time for a shower and lunch! Then a library stop for some books and a coffee place for some writin'!
>> 12:50 PM
Tuesday, January 03, 2006[Stone Reader] (lent to me by the friend coming over to watch Ethan Mao tonight). And it's really true of non-fiction writing as well. Constant writing -- whether of the "actual" thing or not -- is necessary for steady progress. This is the major reason I think I need to return to this blog. If nothing else, in the past it has kept me writing every day, the result being a constant push to think through things, both dissertation related and not, rather than stagnating through my days in a stupor.
>> 7:42 PM
I went to the optometrist to check out my new prescription since my new glasses seem a bit off -- things are a bit blurry and I might be getting headachy from the glasses. I spent an hour waiting for the optometrist. She saw me and checked out my eyes again. But she said the prescription seems to be just fine and my description of my difficulties didn't seem to be about the accuracy of the prescription. Things seem out of focus generally, but if I pick one thing and look at it, it comes into focus fine. It's more sort of a holistic sense of things that is out of whack. Like, when I'm driving, that's when I notice the most.
So I stopped by the optician after the optometrist visit. And he was wonderful. He explained what the problem seems to be -- basically my eyes with the strong prescription and imbalance between right and left often results in a sense of discombobulation when switching to new glasses. And the way to remedy that is to try to make the new glasses sit on my face the same way the old pair did. So he did that. I'm not sure it's really helped but at least I feel like I have an explanation. Plus, this means that if I give the glasses a few more weeks, they'll probably settle in fine. So, errand accomplished, but really it was an hour and a half down the drain.
Then I went to the cashier's office at school to pick up my financial aid loan checks and to start direct deposit. I find out there, though, that I already have direct deposit set up (checks to be processed on the 11th). HOWEVER, since I also have payroll deduction set up to take my tuition and fees out of my teaching stipend, this will apparently be an accounting nightmare between the payroll office, the cashier's office (which processes loans), and my department. Generally, the cashier's office automatically pays tuition and fees from incoming loans before rolling over the extra to my bank account. UGH! The woman at the cashier's office advised me to cancel payroll deduction. I called my department to find out how to do that and was directed to human resources who told me that I had to fill out a form and bring it to them in some weird off-campus office building. Sigh. I'm thinking about just leaving this one alone and then reconciling the payroll deduction/loan thing later.
Then I had a pleasant chat with my friend at a coffee place. We talked about a syllabus for a course she is proposing, about my MLA interviews, about postdocs I should be applying to, and about campus job talks I need to work on. I have so much work to do in the next week! I am in total denial. A student from my Duke course e-mailed about when class starts, and I just don't want to think about it. It was really nice to catch up with my friend after weeks without much contact, though. I didn't want to leave the coffee shop to go to the gym and the grocery store. I stayed longer than I had planned, as a result, and finally left for the grocery store when I realized I didn't have time to go to the gym anymore anyways.
Tonight I am going to watch Quentin Lee's latest film [Ethan Mao] on dvd with a friend tonight. We will probably drink wine.
>> 6:10 PM
Here's my brother photographing our birthday cake with Giles attentive at his feet.
By the end of the trip, though, I think my brother was beginning to warm up to Giles. He even bought him a Christmas present:
A red hoody for the dog!
It was sad when Giles and I drove my brother to the airport. When my brother got out and walked into the airport terminal, Giles was very sad. He whined and looked out the back window as I drove away. Anyone who's driven with Giles knows this is a big deal since he is almost always looking out the front window as my navigator.
Anyways, upon returning from DC, I received a note from my brother with a check (birthday present from my dad). I love the notes that he includes with things.
The stationery is lovely -- notepads from pharmaceutical companies abound in our house.
Throughout his visit, my brother kept mispronouncing Giles's name (with a hard "g" sound instead of a soft one). Also, he kept referring to Giles as "it." Rob was greatly amused.
>> 11:57 AM
Monday, January 02, 2006
Look to your left!
I'm ready for my closeup now.
>> 6:30 PM
>> 4:21 PM
>> 12:15 PM
I originally tried to draw the squid and Giles locked in mortal combat/play.
But it was really hard trying to draw the silly dog from the photo I had taken. After a couple hours of that, I gave up and decided to do a cut-and-paste photo project instead. I printed out the photos of the squid sculpture and Giles.
Squid sculpture by [Don Foulds].
Giles bowing for treats.
I cut them out of the backgrounds, and then re-scanned them.
I wish I could be more thoroughly digital. I find it so difficult to manipulate images on the computer, though.
Click picture for larger version.
Happy new year to all!
The plan is to return to this site now.
>> 11:22 AM
atom site feed
asian american writers' workshop
the new york times
jon carroll @ sfgate
the village voice
let bygones be...
the old stuff