Pulled In Many Directions

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

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Mini Movie Review

I had to see what all the fuss was about Brokeback Mountain today. Apparently it's been banned in mainland China for its subject content and has been quite controversial anyways anywhere else, and what with all the Oscar talk about it, I had to see if this would be one of the greatest movies I have ever seen.

It was pretty good. The scenery was beautiful. The story was compelling. Yet I and my friend, we had no idea where this love story came from. (But then maybe that is how the greatest of love stories seem to start, out of nowhere. Maybe one day you're blogging about how lonely you are and the next day you go to McDonald's minding your own business and yet you hit it off with the person in line ahead of you. As an aside, I'm still waiting for it to happen, but whatever.) We were thinking that in the beginning the "relationship" was a product of loneliness or boredom, and then from out of left field, "I can't seem to quit you."

Well.

I just got the feeling, how sad a life they must have lived. Everyone. I wondered to myself why they couldn;t just picked up and moved to San Francisco for crying out loud, in the 1970s and gotten work as say construction workers or mechanics or something like that. I know it sounds so overly simplistic, but maybe my thinking just demostrates how far we've come since the 1960s when it comes to accepting gay people in society. It must have been really hard in the 1960s to be a gay man who works in what essentially is a very manly profession (is the Marlboro Man an interior decorator or a banker? No!) which is essentially handed down generation from generation. I mean being from the Northeast, I have no idea what Wyoming fam life must be like.

I'd say go see it if you haven't already. Maybe because I'm not a guy, I didn't find anything uncomfortable with the one major sex scene or any of the kissing. It definitely is a tragic but tender love story though.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I'm Having A Crap Day, So Maybe You Should Move Along...

The last couple days have been rough for me work-wise. For the first time in a very very long time, I got angry with my students and yelled at them to be quiet. I know it could have been worse, I could have said lots of bad things to them or thrown something, but I still feel bad for yelling, even though they are a really tough group to work with. (What does once a week for 20 minutes amount to in the eyes of a 4 year old? Not much. I can tell you that.) Even worse was how my coteacher handled my outburst of frustration, but pushing some of the students down to the floor. I felt sick seeing that.

I felt so worn out when I got home, like I had a good cry, but with none of the cathatic effects. And I have just been feeling blah lately. I am constantly feeling lonely. And I know, but how could I? I don't know, but I always, no matter where I go, feel I am on the outside of things, with people. I'm not outwardly hated, for sure, but I guess I just worry I am so easily forgotten at times. I want to be special and needed by someone. Lots of times I daydream about saving a friend of mine from some kind of danger, even though I know I panic in tense situations in real life.

I had a dream last night where I moved to California, and met a guy who became my boyfriend. When I first met him, he told me about his job -- as a magician/vampire slayer. Now, I ask you this. Do I take the high road and think "of course my subconscious is saying that I couldn't be with just anyone, the run of the mill teacher or banker or construction guy, he'd have to be pretty interesting"...or is my subconscious saying that the chances of meeting anyone who is a magician/vampire slayer are so super slim, as are the chances of me finding anyone worthwhile, and not only that, wanting to spend time with me?

I love the students I teach, and I hope they have a good life. I remember my own life seemed to fall apart when I was about 10, and I hope they never have to go through anything I did, hope they never have any of the self-doubts that I do, and if they do, I hope they are better than me at handling the challenges of successful social interaction.

Monday, February 20, 2006

They're Baaaack!

I have reacquainted myself (re-addicted myself) with The Sims.

In the latest installment I have been playing, I created a house of two hip sisters, Melinda and Samatha, a Libra and a Gemini. They enjoyed each other's company, had a great house and great jobs, but something was missing. There was a lack of eligible men in the general vicinity of Veronaville. So I created the Cavalleri brothers, Jonathan and Chris. (I'm really boring when it comes to picking names in a crunch.) Jonathan is a bit of a playboy, and has gotten it on with essentially the town bicycle Titania. (And it's true, for those who play the game...she'll get with anyone, leaving her husband behind to marry -- and "marry" -- over and over and over again...)

My plan seemed to work when Chris and Melinda hit it off over at Chris' place. But then the dumb blonde ate a rancid sandwich. She was sick for days, but that didn't stop her from going over to Chris' and spending "quality" time (wink wink nudge nudge) and hanging out with each other (in between running to the bathroom to vomit that is.) But Chris, the nice, studious guy that he is, always was there to happily clean up the mess Melinda made, bided his time, and then proposed to Melinda.

(Melinda was so happy she puked, by the way.)

Thank God that is over.

Anyways, Jonathan has taken up with the French maid that used to clean the boys' place. Chris has moved into Melinda's place and Samantha moved out, and the Turners have just adopted a child named Jerry. (He came to the house looking a bit like David Spade -- the haircut anyways. Maybe there is a reason he was adopted....)

I hit the kaching cheat a few times so I might just have them quit their jobs to raise Jerry properly, or maybe I will make him have an interesting childhood full of the bumps and bruises that help one decide to focus on a career in the pickpocketing arts.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Words of Wisdom to Live By

It's probably not a good idea to order wine at a restaurant that will keep refilling your glass. Stick to bottled beer or even better, Sprite. Cause a half glass here and a half glass there, here a glass there a glass and all the time a glass glass (Hmmm..I wonder if Old McDonald ever had a hangover?) will most likely catch up to you by the end of the night, and you'll get to revisit the lovely dinner you just shelled out big bucks for.

Or so I've been told. Anyways.

I hurt.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Coolest Playlist Ever

Sure I geek hard, but you already knew that!

In honor of my next holiday to California, and hopefully a possible permanent relocation there in 2007, I give you my Playlist a la SoCal*:

Going Back To Cali LL Cool J
California Phantom Planet
Hotel California Eagles
California Uber Alles Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
Free Fallin' Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Malibu Hole
Santa Monica Everclear
Californication Red Hot Chili Peppers
California Uber Alles Dead Kennedys
California Dreamin' The Mamas & The Papas
California Love Tupac and Dr. Dre
It Never Rains In Southern California Albert Hammond
L.A. Woman The Doors
Losing California Sloan
Walking In L.A. Missing Persons
I Left My Wallet In El Segundo A Tribe Called Quest
Going To California Led Zeppelin
Drinking in L.A. Bran Van 3000
I Love L.A. Randy Newman

* To probably be added onto later. Can you think of any other songs? They should have California in the title or have something to do with Southern California. Hey, I need something to do now, and something to listen to at some point on my long long flight there!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Reasons Why My Kids Are Cool:

  • I sing a song to them to the tune of "Ten Little Indians" and one of my boys interjects with a sung "Chao siu bao" at the end. It's really hard for me to not crack up at a bit of random.
  • I am doing math in my small group class and in a poor attempt to get my kids to settle down and not literally throw their books at me to correct them, I'm telling them they need to sit down and be quiet (not in an exasperated way even) and one of my girls says "Because you only have two hands!" Again, how can I not crack up at this pearl of wisdom from a 5 year old?
  • I meet a coworker's student in a supermarket tonight with her helper. (She's 3. The girl, not the helper!) She saw me and happily squealed my name, and we chatted a bit (The helper not the girl, though she really wanted to tell me something.) We went off and a bit later I ran into them again, and the girl shows me a 4-pack of milk boxes, saying "I'm over here!" (according to the helper.) Then she counts off the milk boxes and says to me "I will give you one!" never mind she hasn't paid for them yet. It's too cute cause this is a girl who for the longest time, really showed that she didn't like me. She'd turn to run away when I was talking to her. (Which was too bad, cause I thought she was really cute, a real tomboy type.) But as of late she's decided to warm up to me, which is really nice.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day Doesn't Have To Suck!

I think I just had one of the best Valentine's Days ever. I went to see Franz Ferdinand tonight. They were very loud, and while there were some people in the crowd really mixing it up and having a blast, from where we were there were too many people sitting down and not rocking out. I mean they might as well have gone to HMV, bought Franz Ferdinand's concert DVD (which came with a concert T-shirt, by the way) bought some chips to eat and spent only like two thirds of what we did. (And you remember how much we paid! Why on earth would you sit through a rock show? Oh, and to answer the question of whether they were good seats, I couldn't tell what color the drummer's eyes were, but my friend later made a comment about the color of the socks the singer was wearing. And his girlfriend noticed that in between songs he was taking puffs off an inhaler. So there ya go. I guess tons gets by me!)

Also, I didn't really care for the idea that they were selling these red and black or white and black striped shirts for like HK$200. I swear to god, anyone with any ambition could find anything like that in a thrift store. I mean they are cool shirts, but not worth $200!

Image hosting by Photobucket
See these are pretty damn cool shirts, aren't they?
But do you wanna pay $200 HK to look like them?


Anyways, enough sniveling about stupid shit.

The show rocked. It really really rocked. I was so surprised at how good it was, as this band is something that sounds so really carefully produced on CD -- the drums are all flash, the bass is cranking, and I had to seriously wonder if it was possible there'd be an adequate reproduction of the sound. But there was!

They did play some songs off their first album, Franz Ferdinand, but I wasn't too familiar with them. But you know me, I plan to rectify that soon.

It's really weird seeing this, but their style of playing and their sound and their dress kind of reminded me of what it may have been like to see The Knack in action. (It was all retro-style. And I do mean that as a compliment. Obviously, they are doing much better than The Knack and My Sharona is a pretty good song. It won't ever change the way I think about poverty or world hunger, but still a good song nevertheless. And I digress...)

I was cracking up over Alex Kapranos' (he's the really happy looking guy in the stripey shirt front and center) stage presence many times. He looked like he was participating in a hoe-down half the time, stamping his right foot enthusiastically, pretty much bringing it up to the knee before dropping it down again. And he would also do split kicks with his guitar and I *think* I smelled irony in the air, but I can not be too sure. Ah well. They had a thing at the end where two other people joined the drummer to rock out and that was really something.

The whole thing was just too damn short. And I mean, I know, the Beatles never played more than half an hour even in their screaming-girls hey-day, and Franz Ferdinand only have two albums out right now, but hell, is it really so strange to want a good thing to not end?

Maybe I can see who is playing next year on Valentine's Day wherever I am and make this a tradition or something. I seriously gave thought to making a tradition of going to what would have to be a kick-ass show for future Valentine's Days as I was watching the show and enjoying its energy unfold over the people in the floor seats and my friends next to me. Until Brad Pitt's no longer busy, that is.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I Wonder If She Knows Who She Is?

"If there is someone who makes your world a better place just because they exist and who you would not have met (in real life or not) without the internet, then post this same sentence in your blog."

From Discombobulated Mia

It's Done

I sent the letter to my dad today, so we'll just have to see what happens with it.

I had a really nice talk with a friend of mine who was really supportive of the whole thing and listened to me when I told him about how sad I was when I got the letter from my dad and then helpfully told me of his mother who also has issues with other races. He even revealed to me that he had kind of thought that way in the past as well, until he left his home country to go travel and saw the world.

I don't know...I guess even thoigh I almost expect my friends to have pretty much the same views as me, at least when it comes to being prejudiced or not, of course, I really appreciate hearing from someone else how similar their family situation is to mine and how they deal with it. I guess I have come to expect that generally speaking, liberal-minded parents produce liberal-minded children and the opposite is true with conservatives and there I was, a pretty open-minded individual (if I do say so myself) coming from a father who seems very narrow-minded.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Birthday Party Recap

Not mine. My friend Mark's. We had a pretty good time, I think. At least I did. We started off at the Union Bar and Grill and I ate some pretty good ravioli, which was served with some dried onion strips on top. Since I planned to be not kissing anyone that evening, I ate them. It was a pretty different way to serve pasta, but definitely not too bad.

My friend's boyfriend also asked me just "What do I think?" and as I don't hang on to his every word, I had no idea that he was talking about his haircut, and he got a bit miffed. Hey, where was he when I got my hair colored or chopped? All right then!

So we then went to Bar George, where Mark, being the "birthday ho" had to complete all these dares, much like I did way back in October. And he completed them all, from walking around with a strip of toilet paper tucked down the back of his pants, to asking a group of guys where he could go to pick up some men (and maybe lucky for him, he managed to subliminally use his gaydar and asked a group of gay men this question.)

After Bar George, we went to Wanchai, where at Venue, some silly cow in her stiletto heels stepped on my foot. I woke up this morning, and in the shower, as I was looking at my feet and noticing how my Thailand tan was still there, realized that some squarish blue mark right under one of my toes hadn't been there before. Thankfully it doesn't hurt too much.

Cow.

Then the highlight of my evening, karaoke. We went to this place which, unlike the places in Korea I had been to, has a library of childrens' songs available to sing. So at one point there was "Sixteen Going On Seventeen" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." I wound up singing two on my own, "Vertigo" which I think I did a pretty good job of, if I do say so myself, and "American Idiot," just cause I like that song quite a bit, and the message of the song, though I can not say I am 100 percent familiar with that song.

Anyways, I went to bed at 5 a.m., and I'm just really tired now, after a meal of McDonald's and Panadol to set me right. The stupid thing is I have to work today in about 90 minutes, some silly face painting thing for our school. I think I'm seriously considering going back home after my contract is up, but the reasons why are for another post later.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Be My Career Counselor...

And when I become rich and famous I'll send you a check.

I really hate having to report my every move to someone and I hate how during work hours, if I need to buy something at a store for school, I am not allowed to do it. (I'm not talking about a coffee or lunch or a CD, I'm talking about school supplies or whatever.) I guess I figure I'm an adult and can handle the responsibility of resisting the temptation to goof off outside of work. (But Lord knows I have plenty of opportunity to do that AT work as I am not allowed to run errands and prepare for classes duing work hours apparently.)

So I like human interaction and I can sit in front of a computer for long periods of time and I really like music and I hate bureaucracy and anal-retentive rules from companies which are designed to put its plebes in their place and make them feel like 3 years old.

I guess I just wish I had a lot more freedom with my job and wish I worked in a place that actually cared about its workers. I am aware that there are plenty of places back home that act in the same way, people who are small minded enough to get drunk off their job title. But I'm even thinking if I go back home, it won't be as a teacher. Not sure what I'd do next but who knows?

Friday, February 10, 2006

This Is My Decision About My Dad

I think I am going to take Mandy's suggestion and write my dad a letter telling him to please not use the kind of language he had felt so free to use with me in the past. So we'll see what happens with that. Maybe I'll have some friends read it over or something, but I dont think I am saying anything too hurtful to him anyways.
What'll happen is I'll probably get another letter where he calls me pompous or pretentious or some other kind of crap like that. Hmph.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Disappointment

I received a letter today that helped me narrow down my vacation plans.

It was from my dad telling me that coming to see him in April would not be good for him. Work is so slow, he is going to have to sell off his motorcycle to make the property taxes due. He said he couldn't help me at all with airfare, which I wasn't really considering at this point. It'd have been nice, but I was mainly relying on the refund amount for my ticket to Korea to help me get back home in April.

So I am a bit disappointed in the situation, but then he starts talking about what I mentioned in my email to him, that maybe I could stay in Atlanta and visit him, have the best of both worlds for me, cause I know how much he hates cities. He then told me he didn't think that it was such a good idea because Atlanta is "100 percent black and crime-ridden." and mentioned a bumper sticker that he finds funny "General Sherman, where are you now that Atlanta really needs you," where Sherman was the general who burned the city down during the Civil War.

I don't even know what to say to that. Do I tell him not to say crap like that to me cause it's unappreciated? Do I send him that letter with a white bed sheet set and make mention it'd be the perfect weekend/evening attire for he and his friends, provided the sheets are big enough for a hood and gown? Do I just ignore it for good and let the silence speak for myself?

All I want to do is have some kind of connection with the family that I have left. My mom is gone, her side of the family doesn't want to keep in touch with me (and I have tried in the past), I haven't heard from my brother in months, no Christmas card or thank you for the birthday gift or anything, and then my dad...How does he justify being so comfortably racist with me? This is my own father, the only one I have, and I am really disappointed in how narrow-minded he is, and disappointed that this is what I have to work with, I guess. My brother was telling me the same thing in not so many words when he told me of his visit with him earlier in the year.

I try to explain it to myself that we come from a pretty white part of the States, that probably my dad didn't even go to school with anyone who wasn't white.

I feel I have no real family to speak of sometimes. And that makes me sad, as I feel it's really hard to keep up with them or understand them, but for God's sake they are my family and it's not like I want to cut them off completely. This whole thing really makes me feel a bit lonely.

I want a family who'd be happy to see me and make room for me in their life and be interested in what I am doing, call me, write me, visit me. I have been away for so long and if my own family could just open their eyes, they may realize that where I am living is not so bad. I wish I had a more progressively-minded family for sure.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Big Pat On The Back For Me

I had my Chicken Tonight tonight with rice. And while the rice could have been boiled a wee bit longer and the sauce might have been in the pan a tad too long, the chicken was well done. As in good, not black. As the first meal I made for myself in ages can be pronounced much more than simply edible, I look at this as a success!

Monday, February 06, 2006

I Tagged Myself

From As The Law Books Close, the new and no-need-to-be-improved version:

Four jobs I’ve had in my life

1. Music store clerk
2. Editorial Assistant
3. Middle School teacher
4. Kindergarten teacher

Four movies I can watch over and over

1. School of Rock
2. The Breakfast Club
3. Legally Blonde
4. Toy Story

Four places I have lived

1. Massachusetts
2. Washington D.C.
3. South Korea
4. Hong Kong

Four TV shows I love to watch

1. Lost
2. CSI Miami
3. My Name Is Earl
4. Queer Eye For The Straight Guy

Four places I have been on vacation

1. Malaysia
2. Southern California
3. Koh Samui, Thailand
4. Alabama

Four of my favorite dishes

1. Spinach Lasagna (wherever I can get it)
2. Grilled Salmon (from the Outback)
3. Tiramisu
4. Veggie Omlette

Four websites I visit daily

1. CNN.com
2. iMDB.com
3. Songfacts.com
4. Popwatch@ew.com

Four places I would rather be right now

1. While Hong Kong is pretty cool...
2. I still get a bit of a tug toward home (America)
3. At a rock cocert (I'll soon have that opportunity)
4. Backpacking through Europe

Anyne else want to latch on to this? Be my guest!

My Latest Creative Burst...

Much like every other hobby I have had in my life, this will be over soon, but I have recently discovered this room I have in my house called a kitchen and these things in my kitchen called pots and pans, and I have decided to attempt cooking.

Nothing too elaborate, though. Not yet anyways. I'm trying to build up to that point. I saw this really good chocolate chip cookie recipe that has oatmeal in it (and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are the best in the world; healthy somewhat, but not really. Healthy enough to pretend I'm eating something good for me, never mind the chocolate.) which I would like to try, and recently at the local grocery store I have discovered the "foreign food" section.

I bought:
  • pesto (god bless the little basil leaf!)
  • turkey slices
  • whole wheat multi-grain bread
  • spaghetti
  • fusili (cause pesto and spaghetti is not good enough for me)
  • tomato sauce for the spaghetti
  • Garlic in its own mill (to jazz up bought spaghetti sauce)
  • Italian seasonings (for the same reason)
  • Parmesan cheese (yes, in the green can, but whatever!)
  • Chicken breasts (this should be interesting. Rarely if ever do I prepare my own meat to cook and eat!)
  • Chicken Tonight sauce in Spanish Chicken flavor
  • Boil in bag rice (ostensibly to go with chicken)
  • Soup (lentil and minestrone varieties probably to go with sandwich stuff)
  • Aero Bar (in Mint flavor cause those are damn good)

I suppose if the chicken experiment goes well there'll be more of the same. I guess I'm just tired of eating out and even though I wish the powers that be made food portion sizes for people who only cook for themselves (for example, one can of Manwich sloppy Joe mix serves 8. Hmph!) I'll just have to roll with the punches and see what becomes of this. Maybe this will actually inspire me to have people over for dinner sometime. Whatever the case at least it's not chicken nuggets or frozen pizza this time around.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Damn Oprah

I borrowed a friend's Oprah magazine (shut up!) and in it was an article about how single women need to stop asking themselves "Why am I still single, what's wrong with me?" because those sort of questions lead to panic which leads to a guy who you don't really want to be with.

So what happens when you are sure of the kind of guy you want to be with but he is unavailable, either cause he is with someone else now or he is just not physically in your life yet? I'm trying to be a good friend to all my friends and do what makes me happy, but it's hard. I wish I had a crystal ball. I want that chance to prove to myself that I have grown as a person in the last year or so, that I can take care of myself as a person, that I won't take up liking cricket or trying to wrap my head around having a casual relationship when I know that isn't me. I want the chance to prove I will not lose my mind around a guy, but maybe I'm also hoping to meet someone soon where I have to keep reminding myself of that promise.