Pulled In Many Directions

Not-so-daily rambings about my life and my thoughts

Monday, May 30, 2005

Work Isn't Completely Intolerable

I have had one girl in my class who has taken on the responsibility of being the mother hen of the class, and I’m not too fussed about it because the role almost suits her. She’s one of the most serious, hard-working, responsible kids in the school period. I’ve had to tell her to ease up a bit on her finger-wagging to her classmates; after all, she comes in after I’ve talked to someone who’d been misbehaving, and who likes to be told twice that they’ve done something wrong? Still, I know she means well.

But it cracked me up to see her, embracing her role as class lecturer (a role I like 50 times better than class tattle-tale, by the way), during play time while sitting in a big toy police car we have at the school. The image was priceless, as she was kind of hovering along the perimeter, taking the entire scene in and then pushing off as fast as her feet could take her when she thought she saw some kind of trouble.

Also today, I had to sub for a teacher’s class, and she has some very interesting students as well. One is absolutely excited about this month as it is the same as her middle name. So, when I asked the class about the date and the class answered “The 30th of May,” she got all excited, shouting “I’m Clarissa Mae!” in this 4 year old voice.

Then one of her classmates, out of nowhere, told me he didn’t like to pick his nose. Well, that was random. To say the least.

My class has a lot of hyperactive kids and I feel bad I really don’t know how to communicate with them, and that they set the dynamic for the entire class. That dynamic, can be summed up in one word: chaos. But in case I do have to clarify this, I want to say that there have been moments where I am happy to be working with young children, for their honesty and their genuine nature.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

You Know You Drank Too Much When...

I've been on this island longer than those castaways have and I'm still waiting for some feeling of redemption for the things I did in my past.

I know what you're thinking "Dammit, it's only a TV show!" But there's usually a pretty good reason why someone might prefer science fiction to say romance novels. The idea of doing something so wrong and then just not being able to fully let it go, until you get a chance to relive your life almost with a starting over point really appeals to me.

Anyways, I guess the time to start to try to be a better person is now.

I once mentioned liking a band and saying that they sounded poppy, but not in that One Tree Hill kind of way. So now I'll further contradict myself and post the lyrics to a song (the One Tree Hill theme song, actually) that I really like.

"I Don't Want To Be" -- by Gavin DeGraw (theme from "One Tree Hill" -- yeah yeah, shut up already!)

I don't need to be anything other
Than a prison guard's son
I don't need to be anything other
Than a specialist's son
I don't have to be anything other
Than the birth of two souls in one
Part of where I'm going, is knowing where I'm coming from

I don't want to be
Anything other than what I've been trying to be lately
All I have to do
Is think of me and I have peace of mind
I'm tired of looking 'round rooms
Wondering what I've got to do
Or who I'm supposed to be
I don't want to be anything other than me

I'm surrounded by liars everywhere I turn
I'm surrounded by impostors everywhere I turn
I'm surrounded by identity crisis everywhere I turn
Am I the only one who noticed?
I can't be the only one who's learned

I don't want to be
Anything other than what I've been trying to be lately
All I have to do
Is think of me and I have peace of mind
I'm tired of looking 'round rooms
Wondering what I've got to do
Or who I'm supposed to be
I don't want to be anything other than me

Can I have everyone's attention please?
If you're not like this and that, you're gonna have to leave
I came from the mountain
The crust of creation
My whole situtaion-made from clay to stone
And now I'm telling everybody

I don't want to be
Anything other that what I've been trying to be lately
All I have to do
Is think of me and I have peace of mind
I'm tired of looking 'round rooms
Wondering what I've got to do
Or who I'm supposed to be
I don't want to be anything other than me

I don't want to be



I want to be someone who is brave and who can not run scared from things when they get tough and someone who will always (or most of the time) do what's right in a situation. I think in the past, I've let self-righteousness sometimes and fear other times make a mess of everything, and I hope here, where like on the TV show Lost, "moving" to the island has given me a second chance at life, I can really become the person I really want to be, or at least accept the ugly parts I have, and realize that everyone has them.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

This Freaks Me Out

Surfing around BlogExplosion, I came across a story about Simon Ng, a guy who had recently been murdered.

Police, by reading his blog, were able to figure out that his sister's ex-boyfriend was the one who killed him and his sister in his home.

I've tried to read his blog, but I just can't. It's too creepy and what I have read, he sounds like this very happy-go-lucky sort, a freshman in college, and it breaks my heart to know he was murdered.

It absolutely chills me that he decided to write about this guy, his sister's ex, as a way to chatter about something, just before he was killed.

There are a lot of people leaving RIP comments on his blog, but as someone else pointed out, it seems a bit silly. He's not able to read them, of course. But then, this strange turn of events makes me wonder if something, that knew he was only living with his sister with his parents so far away, decided to take care of him and make sure his death would not be an unsolved case.

I don't know this guy of course, but am definitely saddened by what happened, and just mystified at the lucky break (or was it?) his family got.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

In Case If You Were Wondering How Geeky I Am...

Oh, hell. I can't help it.






Star Wars Horoscope for Libra




You are on a lifelong pursuit of justice and determined to succeed.
You convey the art of persuasion through force.
You always display your supreme intelligence.
You have a great talent in obtaining balance between yourself and your surroundings.

Star wars character you are most like: Obi Wan Kenobie



My brother interestingly enough was born under the sign of Darth Vader. Hmmmm.......

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Travel Plans

Not because of a certain TV show I am obsessed with (cough cough) or anything, but I've been thinking lately about taking a trip to Hawaii for my summer vacation. It'd be like going back home, but not, I think.

Does anyone out there know of any good flight booking websites (for Hong Kongers) so I can see if I don't have to pay an arm and a leg to go?

Now That's What I'm Talking About!

(To Blog Explosion surfers: I'm going to talk about the new Star Wars movie here. I think a lot of what I'm saying is common knowledge for any Star Wars geek like myself, but maybe you'd like to close your eyes and hum the Imperial March for the next 30 seconds and then click on the magic number to send you on your merry way, credit in hand, instead. You've been warned.)





I just got back from seeing the third Star Wars episode, and while I don't want to spoil it for anyone who really wants to see it, but hates waiting in long lines, I do want to say that this movie completely restored my faith in George Lucas and his idea to make the prequels in the first place. My faith was essentially shattered when I saw the first one, The Phantom Menace. Jar Jar Binks. Meh. George Lucas had originally planned a 9 part series, and if he can continue to create stories of the same caliber as the third installment, I really hope he goes on to make them.

[non sequitur]And I just love Ewan McGregor. Love love love him. Love him. [/non sequitur]

Heh.

I just loved watching the psychological transformation of Anakin Skywalker and how the rebels were again up with their backs against the wall. The ending scenes showing the birth and whisking away of Luke and Leia and the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into the Darth Vader that we all came to know were my favorite parts of the movie. I guess I like movies with uncertain endings. This one, I guess for someone who is eight and hasn't seen the other older movies, this would be a movie with an uncertain ending. Since I'm much older than that and have seen the original three waaay too many times to count I know how it will all end. Happily. And with Ewoks.

But even when I was growing up, my favorite one of the three was The Empire Strikes Back, and it still is. I just like how the rebel forces are behind the 8 ball in that movie -- behind the Death Star, I guess -- and Han Solo is frozen and Luke is thisclose to having an existential breakdown over knowing who his father is, and there was just so much suspense and drama. It's just a classic movie.

Be It Ever So Humble...

Just got back from a co-worker's housewarming party and had a really nice time there. She really knows how to cook and they have this amazing place, in this amazing area, almost like an actual suburan part of Hong Kong. In their house there are all these rugs and knick-knacks from the places they have been, and a lot of pictures of their family and friends and themselves.

In comparison, I think my roommate and I felt like we were still living in college chic style. She did a quick glance over of our colleague's place and told me, "This isn't an apartment. This is a house!" and I looked around, seeing all the shared memories on their shelves and the care that went into making the house liveable, and told her "This isn't a house. This is a home."

I still have ideas for what I would like to do with my house to make it more a home, but I think I'd be better able to do that once I felt that I was settled in somewhere.

Monday, May 16, 2005

I Took This Test So It Must Be True...





You Are 45% Normal

(Somewhat Normal)






While some of your behavior is quite normal...
Other things you do are downright strange
You've got a little of your freak going on
But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself




I love the little kitty peeking her head not quite above the cutoff point of the picture. The girl looks a bit like Tanya Donnelly too, I think.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Maybe Those Cookies Will Come In Handy...

So I said I had to do something else and I did. It was horribly awkward, but I'm hoping things will be OK between us. After all, I wasn't thinking anything bad, but I did think nothing was going to move forward. I didn't really want to see things move forward, didn't feel they would anyways, and was happy where things were. That's essentially a friendship and not much of a relationship.

Having said that, Internet hugs are welcome...

The Simple Things In Life...

Am baking the last batch of chocolate chip cookies right now (from an old family recipe of course...if my last name were Crocker). Got Bit Torrent to start working properly again, so also am now downloading the new episode of Lost as well. The funny thing is, I had all these problems with the connections and was ready to blast the stunted technology of Hong Kong when I realized that I only had to update to the new version of the downloading program to get it to start working like it had been a couple months ago.

I have tomorrow off as well. :)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Free At Last

I almost want to hesitate before I say this, (given the universal piranha-like nature of the sales rep) but I do believe that my personal trainer will respect my wishes to let me go on without him. He threw in a bit of a dig at me about how I just essentially wasted my money, but I don't care.

I know that it seems strange, to make a bit of a deal over this, but seriously, I think one of my faults is that I find it extremely hard -- extremely hard -- to put my needs first, essentially, when doing that means either I might hurt someone's feelings, (and I hate doing that) or because somewhere down the line, I realized it was easier to go along with what someone else wanted for me, and that stuck.

So, now I just have to take care of one more thing, and hey presto, Personal Growth 101 is completed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I'm Dreaming of a Warm Thailand!

Today was one of those days where I seriously again considered that potentially useful CELTA course I've heard so much about, the one (to make the choice even tougher) taught in Thailand for a month.

I'm afraid if I give an inch, I'll be taken for a mile. That can happen anywhere, I know, but it's becoming one more thing to consider.

I'm a cliche!

I think I want what I can't have and don't appreciate anything readily available to me.

This is a sad realization.

Monday, May 09, 2005

One of My Other Questions Has Been Answered, Maybe

I had earlier asked for book recommendations (and sorry to say, I was in a bookstore earlier this evening, minus the mini-list some of you have compiled for me) and was going to ask about music recommendations later, as I was just interested in finding something new. I was surfing down the line of my frequently read blogs and saw on Verbatim, the author had posted about this new music download program called "Indy" (which is basically a database of music that the artists have already released to the web -- so it's all legal ) where you can rate the songs you hear, and as you rate the songs, the program becomes smarter to the stuff you really like.

It's kind of funny, the term indy. When I was in high school, Indy to me, meant Sebadoh, Pavement, and anything really weird-ass or obscure, as in drunk friends getting together with lyrics written 10 minutes ago and someone's malfunctioning tape recorder. But what I've been hearing so far from this program is this hip-hop group (didn't quite like it) a woman who had a Norah Jones style about her, a (maybe) Portuguese ska band, and Thelonious Monk. Only one other band in the 6 I have heard so far had that "indy" "Replacements from England" type feel to them.

So hopefully in a few days time, I'll be able to tell you all about some bands I have discovered that I really like.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Vote for Allie!

One of my favorite blogs is in a contest, The Blogette Awards, and if she wins, she'll get $1000. This blog, 63 Days is one of the most powerful things I have read in a long time. So please go there and read her story, but don't get too sidetracked and forget to vote!

Looking for Good Books To Read

Has anyone out there read any good books lately? I'm really interested in finding something worthwhile to read. If you check my profile, you'll see some of the books I have already read, the ones that made quite an impression on me, anyways. I bought a bookcase earlier and have about one shelf and a half that are empty, waiting for more books. I'm not really into Michael Crichton or John Grisham type books, I do like the Shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella, and would be really keen on reading a good biography or "classic" book.

Drop me a line or comment if you have any good suggestions!

More on my Last Post, and It's a Short One I Promise!

Wow, did I ever get carried away on the last post! I guess the main thing I really wanted to say, and maybe show was that I find it kind of funny, that that girl and I became friends, as I saw her as someone so completely unlike me as well. She was impulsive, and said whatever came to her mind. I have to hide in my blog to do that. She was athletic in high school, and I certainly am not. She had been really good friends with my brother before, during our childhood. I was the subject of their torment actually for quite a few years before high school came around, my brother dropped out, and she and I got to know each other better.

It's nice that through the years, there are going to be those people who seem to fall off the face of the earth, but then one day you get to talk to them again and see how they are. There are too many people I know from high school who I haven't spoken to since then. College as well. So it's good to find at least one person from your past, someone who knew you back then, that you can catch up with.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Blast From the Past

When I was in college I joined a number of online high school reunion sites, hoping I'd be able to keep tabs on everyone I hung out with. Then life happened and I pretty much lost touch with everyone I knew. Just a few days ago, however, I got a message from a high school friend of mine, someone I had lost touch with over the years. This is her letter to me:


hey...was in nh a few weeks ago and thought of you. how've you been? i read your bio. everything sounds great. i was wondering if you were planning to the come back to the states, but i guess you're taking your time. good for you. there is no rush. i am slowly starting tae kwon do. hope all is well. take care. say hi to your family too. i'm still in california...just south of san francisco. got married last nov. this came up in a conversation recently...hi-o-roj!(name)

This is what I wrote back to her:


"this came up in a conversation recently...hi-o-roj!"

Ick. Ick. Ick. :) So tell me, how is (your brother) doing these days
anyways?Sorry for the long delay, but I JUST received your mail. You could later
try me by email if you would like.This is weird. I was surfing around the net
and found (a former classmate's) homepage which led to (another former
classmate's) webpage and then (another classmate's) and found
that (a former mutual friend) is in a band with (another former
mutual friend.) Strange how sometimes the friends you make in high school
stay with you. It'd probably have been easier for me had I stuck around in the
USA huh? :) I never even studied tae kwon do in Korea. Good for you for trying
it! And congrats on getting married, that's cool! I will be sure to tell
everyone back home you said hello. (My brother) is now the father of an
almost 5 year old boy, and he's still around (our hometown). My father moved a
couple years ago to escape the cold. :)I hope to keep in touch with you!

Take care!

And this is her reply:

I'm going to give you my other email account. Anyways, you sound great. Lots of excitement. Teaching in S. Korea is a stretch from becoming an astronaut. I was just on the phone with my sister when I got your email. She was surprised that I knew what you were up to.

I guess your family is doing fine. I probably wouldn't recognize your brother if I saw him. Speaking of the fam...what's up with your mom? Is she still alive? The whole MS thing came up recently, and I had a flashback of the street we grew up on.

My brother is bartending. He's going to pursue a career in radio. He's fascinated by the satellite radio market.

I just got an email from (one of our former mutual friends with a website) about the 10 year reunion. If you want to be on the list go to his website and email him. It's going to be the day after Thanksgiving. He would love to hear from you. I'm going to see (yet another different mutual friend's) play in NY in a few weeks. It's probably terrible. (Former mutual friend) is not in a band with (another mutual friend) from our class. He met a different girl with the same name.

So what do you do besides teach? Do you live alone? What's a typical day in the life of Kate?

Me

PS. If it did, I didn't mean to upset you by asking you a question about your mom. I have no idea what your relationship is/was like.

Contacting you is surreal.


My reply:

Hi there!
Well, I'm not going to sit on this email. :) Great to hear from you! My profile is old, and I haven't updated it. I'm no longer in Korea teaching. I'm now teaching in Hong Kong at a kindergarten. (I wanted a change after 3 years.) Kindy is a lot different from teaching grade schoolers or middle schoolers. It's about the same as teaching Korean uni students however. :)

I don't know. I can't imagine (my brother) has changed much since I last saw him, unless he's somehow put on a lot of weight or something. Probably still has the same close cropped haircut he had ages ago. :) He's still playing in a band as far as I know. I hate to tell you this but my mother passed away almost...2 years ago. She died in her sleep. I guess her last couple of years were where she had been in a vegetative state, as far as I have been
told. I made it to the funeral and saw my mom's side of the family for the first time in 15
years then. I tried to keep in touch with my aunt and uncle (her brother and sister) but they never answered my emails.


God damn it sucks I'm terrible keeping up with my family! I find it really telling you said you don't really know what my relationship with my mom was like. Lots of people said that to me, when I told them my mom had passed away: "You never realy said much about her."

Hmmm...That's cool (your brother) wants to get into radio. From what I remember he'd have a good voice for it. I've heard a lot of radio in America has gone automated though. Not too sure about that, but I hope he catches a break.

(The former mutual friend with website) would love to hear from me? Hmmm....that's strange. :) I never really talked much to him during high school, but yeah, I'll drop him a line soon. You'll have to tell me how (another mutual friend's) play is and say hello to him for me (and anyone else from our high school you run into.) I doubt my hello will set anyone on their ear, but it'd be nice to know how they are.

That's weird about (our former mutual friend) and (his bandmate who shares the name with one of our former friends). I saw the website and hell, it's been 10 years, the woman looked well enough like her and seemed well enough to be like her. :) Do you talk to her at all?

What do I do besides teach? I do laundry and dishes.LOL It seems that's what I do outside of teaching. Ohand I prepare lesson plans. My kindy has taken up all my free time! Well, it's not that bad, but it is a lot of work. Korea was easier compared to here! Usually...OK...every Friday I go out and drink with my roommate at the Outback (yeah yeah) and sometimes I stay out late, but lately I haven't as I am also working another job on Saturdays for extra money.

It's weird...you think life in a foreign country is soooo exotic (well maybe you
do) ;) and that everything is such a big experience and adventure, but I think right now I am at
that point where I am simply living my life as an expat. When I first started working in Korea,
ordering a pizza on my own over the phone...that was cause for celebration. Maybe if I
ever did something like get a job in India or rural Indonesia, then it would be another life "experience."But aside from trying to get my bearings straight about the job, I'm pretty well
settled into Hong Kong life. I go to the movies sometimes, go shopping, go out to eat, stuff like
that. It's a bit weird where they drive on the left here, but that is about it. I would like
to learn some Cantonese, but that'll be hard to do. It's got like thousands of characters and
something like 9 different tones, so one character can be said (sung?) 9 different ways and mean entirely different things.


By the way, I'm not really thinking of moving to Indonesia or India, but am seriously considering going to Thailand to get certified to teach adults at some point in the near future. :) As I said, I live with a woman from Australia who also teaches kindy at a different school in the neighborhood for the same company. We get along pretty well, but she's like my complete
opposite, very loud and very opinionated. I am pretty sure she means well though, so it's not a big deal really.


Wow, I wrote a lot. So what's new with you? Will yoube attending the reunion you think? How is life in the city treating you? I loooooove that city soooo much! :) And tell me all about the guy you married as well. :) I'll talk to you soon!

Love
Kate

There was more said, but I'll leave it alone for now. I'm just really wanting to share with people the news that a good old friend of mine has written to me,and maybe show how our lives are right now.
Anyways I have to run to the gym...will post more later.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A Question

Is it absolutely wrong to say I don't think I will ever want children? And that my belief is rooted in the job that I have? Imagine...a kindy teacher not wanting kids. That's almost like a mortician absolutely afraid of death.
I just think that the only way I would want a child of my own is if it was guaranteed that they were smart and courteous. I know someone would then tell me that as a parent, it would be *my* responsibility to make sure they grew up smart and courteous, but maybe that is a responsibility I would never want to have.
It was like today all my students were flying off the walls. Even the normally quiet and sweet ones. I generally have some kind of patience, but not at all today. I don't know how others do it.

Monday, May 02, 2005

My Trainer Is Trying To Kill Me

I'm only saying that because it makes me feel better than if I (told the truth) and said "Going to the gym has made me feel like a fat, weak, uncoordinated cream-puff." Also, working out the reasons why he wants to have me killed will surely make the time on the Stair Master go by quicker, right?

Apparently I am also some freak of nature whose right side is much stronger than her left, and her bottom half is much stronger than her top. So I guess if I ever get into trouble, I'll start hopping on my left foot, kicking with my right foot, and pray that the person is just stunned by my display of foolishness and leaves me alone.

And When He Wants to See Friday The 13th, I Guess That's When It's Over

I watched Closer earlier and when I told my friend I had seen it, she said to me "That's not a date movie!"

OK, so Closer is a pretty dark movie. But it's a dark movie with Julia Roberts in it. That's got to count for something, right?

Anyways, what she said got me thinking of a time where in hindsight, I used the movies I had seen with a guy as a sort of barometer of our relationship. There was the time where when things were going really well with a guy I had just started seeing, we saw "O Brother Where Art Thou?" in the theaters. We both laughed a lot and really enjoyed the movie. Things looked promising. We saw Suicide Kings, which I didn't like so much and he did. Then we saw Pearl Harbor in the theater and it all just quickly went down hill from there. At the time, I didn't see it as a coincidence.

Then there was the relationship I had where the first ever movie we saw was "There's Something About Mary." The highlight of that movie was not when my date told me "I can't take this anymore," and walked out of the theater. We stayed together for a long time, though never really watched too many movies as he believed a lot of the movies were -- as he put it --liberal propaganda. At the close of Chocolat, he was fuming about how the movie turned out, and I told him the movie was essentially saying it's a bad thing to be repressed. His response: "What's wrong with being repressed?" I remember after that, what we saw were movies of the harmless, fluffy variety, like Peanuts cartoons. Using my theory then, I should have paid attention to the fact that we were, as was our relationship, acting as though we were stuck in the 4th grade.

So what to now say about seeing a movie where the people are in a relationship, but still lonely? Seriously in need of attention, so much so that they push it away when they receive it? It's not at all hard to imagine that someone in the movie would probably have cheated on their partner only because that person overheard they were described as someone who would never cheat.

So, yes, if I still thought movies were a barometer of relationships, then I probably would have thought I would have dug myself into a hole...no, a relationship abyss. But I don't think that way anymore, thank God.

For the record, while I agree that the movie is certainly not a date movie, it was really well written and acted. The guy I was with said it could have used a few more car chases and explosions, but I have the feeling he was kidding.