Pulled In Many Directions

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

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Crazy Thoughts While On The Treadmill

I seem to get these strange thoughts in my ead while I am on the treadmill. And not to sound like any one of those hidden Satanic messages were in my Judas Priest record people, I always seem to get them relating to the music I am listening to on my iPod.

So last night I was out with a lot of my female coworkers (one of them decided to have a girls night at her house) and we got to talking about bands, and one of the girls said she was really sorry she missed Franz Ferdinand by only a couple of months. And I thought "Yeah, I feel lucky to have seen them, but who would the next band be that could possibly come here that I would want to see?" And today while on the treadmill listening to their album, Elephant, I immediaetely thought of The White Stripes. I would be really disappointed if they came over here and I couldn't get tickets. I'd mull in my head idle plans of which student I could theoretically sell to get enough money to buy tickets. (Of course if the same happened with U2 or John Mellencamp, I'd feel the same way, but something tells me they aren't coming to Hong Kong, at least not for a long while.)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I Do Not Want History to Repeat Itself

A friend of mine has her daughter coming to town; unfortunately she wants to take her and us to the exact same restaurant where I was harrassed by some Spanish guy who really wanted to dance with me and wouldn't take no for an answer.

I think I'm going to have to sit this one out anyways, as a) I've never been a fan of salsa dancing, and b) even though I know chances are very slim that the same thing will happen to me again, never mind with the same guy, the whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth. It was also one where I just couldn't seem to get anyone there with me to understand how petrified I felt. The friends I was with at the time told him yeah buy her a drink and she'll dance with you and gave him my name. The friends I told later, also couldn't understand it. They only understood that I met some guy, however unwillingly I wanted that. They were probably thinking "Well, isn't it a good thing some guy wants to dance with you?"

Not if he keeps pointing at me and says "You're next!" in what sounded to me like a menacing tone. I've never been one who wants to draw unwanted attention. I know that if I wear a feather boa and leather pants and wacky sunglasses, and come into a room shrilling "Yoo-hoo!" I'll most likely get attention. However that night, I was wearing a new long sleeve shirt (not low cut) and jeans and I was happy with sipping my sangria and watching my friends dance. Even though I am not a salsa dancer, and would be happier pogoing to some rock band, I was simply happy to watch.

But now I'm thinking why bother watching. That's as bad as sitting down during a rock show, I think, and I also think if I want to take myself out of the equation, it should be my right and people should understand that I don't want the plans changed for me and that I would be happy enough to meet my friends afterward somewhere or see them before they go dance.

I really hope they understand. The worst thing that they could do is change the plans for me, or goad me into something I really do not want to do.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Random Thoughts

Saturday, I got a permanent crown placed on my tooth. The dentist told me the hard part was over and done with, so if I didn't feel I needed Novocaine, I didn't have to have it. Being a total baby when it comes to needles, I said OK to the offer.

But something happened along the way, where I just felt not painful, but increasingly uncomfortable, so I somehow was able to stop the surgery and leave. Then I found that after the dull pain in my mouth went away, that I was unable to bite down on anything -- my dentist hadn't sanded the crown down far enough so my mouth had become uneven.

So this was a bit of a problem. I bought a lot of pudding and yogurt on Saturday as I needed to eat something, but the final straw came when I was at KFC. I was in there for mashed potatoes, but the chicken burger looked really good to me. Real food! But then I discovered the only way to eat it was almost like a bird, head tilted to the side, so I could tear at it with the teeth that closed down together properly (again, we're only talking about maybe mere millimeters, but that really makes a big difference in one's bite!).

Today I scheduled an appointment with the dentist and she sanded it down far enough so I can eat well again. (She also went at the top teeth with the sander for symmetry, but I'm not going to think about that too much.) And when she was done, she said "You can eat a sandwich again!" And I thought, "What a great idea!" So after searching (and making 2 or 3 phone calls) I found Oliver's Super Sandwiches and had the best turkey and cheddar sandwich (with lettuce and tomatoes and dijon mustard on whole grain bread) I have had in a long time.

Also, on the way home, my iPod played the song Jeremy by Pearl Jam, and I have to say I think this is one of the best songs ever written. Yes, yes, I think it rivals or even surpasses Yesterday and Stairway to Heaven and all those other epic rockers. I know Eddie Vedder had a fascination for serial killers at the time he wrote the album, and even though Jeremy is not about a serial killer, it is about a very dark subject, a school shooting. I'm impressed with Eddie Vedder's sympathy for the subject, telling the story as though he were one of the survivors of the tragedy, looking back on Jeremy and that fateful afternoon.

I am really amazed at how well he seemed to have his finger on the pulse of American boys (or let's not get too specific --disaffected adolescents) at this time -- though Jeremy was about a boy who exacted revenge on his tormentors by killing himself in front of them (based on a true story taking place in Texas which Vedder found in a newspaper), not too many years later, it seemed that there was a slew of school shootings all around the nation, culminating in the Columbine massacre. And every one of them seemed like a carbon copy of Jeremy -- tormented, tortured and without the support of family, friends, school or the church to help them out, and suffering from delusions of grandeur that one day they would have their revenge on all those that mocked them. "Daddy didn't give attention to the fact that Mommy didn't care." People would actually blame the song for these shootings, but if they listened closely, it's more of a detached account, there's no real glorification of what Jeremy did.

And I love the video. I love how Mark Pellington first gives the details of the town's suburban ignorant bliss. It's a nice day, the day Jeremy goes to school in an affluent suburb. The weather is 63 degrees and cloudy. And then further on in the video the words "The unclean spirit entered." Now, I'm not a very religious person, and I know that lots of religions condemn suicide, but I stil think that is the perfect figure of speech for what happens when you decide to kill yourself. Not plan it, do it. Something goes wrong in your brain, you're no longer yourself, I think. So it's just as well to say, biblical phrasing or not, that the unclean spirit entered Jeremy when he decided to have the last word with his classmates.

Anyways, I love this video, I love this song. I'm surprised this one isn't on my iPod's Top 25 list, because I could listen to it over and over.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mini Movie Review

My friends and I went to see Capote over the weekend. I have to say that I liked it, and I thought Philip Seymour Hoffman did a great job emulating Truman Capote, but in the end, I think Brokeback Mountain was still a better movie.

One of the friends I went with saw Brokeback Mountain without me, and the next time I saw him, he couldn't go five minutes without barking out "I can't quit you!" in a voice that sounded like his mouth was stuffed with marbles. He would do it, and then be silent for a bit until he was overcome with the giggles and had to say it again.

I was worried he would pick up Capote's speech patterns after seeing the movie, but strangely enough, he hasn't. In fact, it is ME who is waiting for an opportunity to whine out a "How did you know?" and assert that I have a "94 percent recall ability."

Anyways, on to the movie particulars. I have always wanted to read In Cold Blood, from when it was first mentioned in the same review as "Boys Don't Cry" a movie about a horrid multi-murder taking place in a lonely farmhouse in Nebraska. In Cold Blood looks at Capote and how obsessed he becomes with writing a book based on a family's murder in their Kansas farmhouse.

There were some things about Capote I didn't quite like. At first he seems very willing to help the criminals out anyway he can. but once he realizes his story only ends when their lives do, he pulls back from them, without really explaining anything. But worse still I think was how little he cared that his childhood friend Harper Lee published a book and then saw it be turned into a Hollywood movie.

And while it's pretty clear that the criminals are guilty of murder right from the start, hearing one of them confess, and the way he confesses is still pretty bone chilling.

I plan on reading In Cold Blood (if I can find it) next month, and maybe I'll talk more about it then.

Just in Time For Sunday Morning!

MSN has an article about hangover cures and gets someone to try them out and rate each one.

Mine isn't one the list. When I go out, if I drink a lot, before bed I get myself a large bottle of water and eat a chocolate bar and take a Panadol. That usually makes sure I am feeling semi-decent in the morning. Then to take the edge off it completely, I go to McDonald's for (what would be the only option available when I wake up) lunch. A double cheeseburger. (And it is usually only when I am drunk that I really want to eat at McDonald's!)

I also have a friend who swears by downing Gatorade before he goes to bed.

Heh. Thank God I don't drink that often. It'd be nice to know of something that works that is a little less caloric. If you have any ideas, let me know, and if you've tried anything listed that worked also post a comment!

Don't Look At Me!

I haven't done this in a while but one of the pages that referred to my blog was a Yahoo search for "How to help tomboy girls dress."

As someone who is too old to be a tomboy but is still heckled by her friends on occasion about the wonders of makeup and low cut tops, I think this person looking at my website has undeniably hit a dead end. Sorry I can't be of more help. Heh.

Or I can take this time to say, Hey look, if you are a mother, make sure your daughter is happy with herself first and foremost, get her to develop hobbies that she really likes and make sure she feels comfortable telling you with whatever she feels like saying, because at the end of the day, that is far more important than your eight year old ruining her party dress by making mud pies.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Into The Wild

I know I have said in a number of previous posts there is a Wednesday Addams side to me, and because of that, yesterday while surfing around on the web, I came to a site called Dead or Alive, which is essentially a database that keeps track of famous and infamous people and whether they've shuffled off this mortal coil or not. Further piquing my morbid curiosity, I found there is a section for those who have died before they reached 30.

So among all the famous people dying from drug overdoses or vehicle accidents that I knew of previously, there were a few profiles that stood out because I hadn't heard of them before, and one of them was for a guy named Chris McCandless. McCandless was a guy who died in 1992, at the age of 24 in a very horrible way -- alone in the wilderness of Alaska, from starvation.

I found his story to be very interesting. He was a guy who was really bright, but took very much to heart the works of Tolstoy and Thoreau, authors who preached living very simply and renouncing wealth. Chris McCandless came from a very well-to-do family, but there are reports he resented his family background. He felt he was too well-off, and he considered his father to be a one-time bigamist. (Chris had a number of half brothers and sisters from his father's previous marriage. He was devastated when he found out his dad was carrying on with his second wife while still married to the first one for awhile.) He took on the name Alexander Supertramp in his travels and worked around the western part of the States, taking odd jobs whereever he could.

After he was able to survive in California and Mexico without many supplies, he decided to try his hand at surviving the harsh climate of Alaska. He had a savings account with $25,000 in it, (once earmarked for law school) but donated everything in it to Oxfam. He left behind his pocket change and his watch. He burned the paper currency he had. He only had a 10 pound bag of rice with him and some books, and few other supplies. Four months after he set out on his trek, his body was found in an abandoned bus. His family had no idea where he was going or where he had been for the past 2 years.

I found this story really intriguing, as Chris seemed like a lot of the guys I went to college with: very intelligent, but also stubborn in their idealism, and enthusiasm for an idea.

I have found a book that talks about his trek and his life, called Into the Wild, and as I read it maybe I will let you all know how I find it. His story sounds really heartbreaking, but of course, those less sentimental wouldn't be too far off in calling him crazy for going to the Alaskan wildreness in the middle of their winter woefully underprepared.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Recap of This Morning...

I had this very nice post about how I was feeling all set to post this morning, and then the damn Blogger server was flaking out, and I didn't even get a chance to save my post.

So, in short, even though I love the kids I teach, and one was even nice enough to make a bracelet with my name on it for me, I am really starting to feel I better find some inspiration to last me through the next year and pronto. I bet anything my friends think I am lazy, or conceited (when it comes to work anyways) but I'm just not feeling inspired in my work. I teach an under 2 year old who is really cute and imitates a chicken (!!) on command, but I can't relate to any of this. I'm not someone who wants to sing kids songs all the time, though I like singing when I listen to my iPod. I just don't feel anything passionate about it, and while some people can survive this way off their paychecks, I really wish I could find a job I felt excited about day after day.

I'm still thinking of getting my CELTA and think if it doesn;t pan out, if I feel I can't even stomach teaching after learning how to be a teacher, I think I can be confident enough to chalk it up to another thing that is not for me and move on. I just wish I could find that one thing I feel at home with, that I can use as a job skill, and soon.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My Top 25 On My iPod (Or As I Like To Call It: Filler)

I'm Your Villain Franz Ferdinand You Could Have It So Much Better
You're The Reason I'm Leaving Franz Ferdinand You Could Have It So Much Better
Beautiful Day U2 All That You Can't Leave Behind
Vertigo U2 How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
Do You Want To Franz Ferdinand You Could Have It So Much Better
Rain on the Scarecrow John Mellencamp Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits Disc 1
Check It Out John Mellencamp Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits Disc 1
Now More Than Ever John Mellencamp Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits Disc 2
Everybody Loves Me But You Juliana Hatfield Hey Babe
Lithium Nirvana Nevermind
Shady Lane Pavement Brighten The Corners
Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town Pearl Jam Vs.
Rebound Sebadoh Bakesale
Original Of The Species U2 How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
The Fallen Franz Ferdinand You Could Have It So Much Better
What You Meant Franz Ferdinand You Could Have It So Much Better
Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First) John Mellencamp Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits Disc 2
Teardrops Will Fall John Mellencamp Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits Disc 2
Rumble Seat John Mellencamp Words & Music: John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits Disc 2
Daydream Believer The Monkees The Monkees Anthology (Disc 2)
State Of Love And Trust Pearl Jam Singles Soundtrack
Strange R.E.M. Document [UK Bonus Edition]
Toys In The Attic R.E.M. Life's Rich Pageant [UK Bonus Edition]
Pressure Drop The Specials Grosse Pointe Blank Soundtrack
City Of Blinding Lights U2 How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

Weird this didn't take before, but as someone (I mean Micah) already pointed out, I sure as hell have listened to John Mellencamp quite a bit. The funny thing is that only nine of these songs have been played this month; the rest go back as far as December. (So much for "most played" really!) In my defense, Franz Ferdinand shows up a lot as I was getting psyched for their concert I went to back in February. But I'm not sure how to explain how John Mellencamp got stuck up there. It probably snuck up on me or something. Ha!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Long Time, No Write

Sorry for the delay in writing, for anyone who is actually keeping up with me. I was going through a rough patch and neither wanted to record the stuff that was going on or talk of anything else as a way to forget about it. I think I'm doing a bit better though now.

I've started going to the gym again. This latest burst of physical activity was brought on less for feeling the need to be healthy and more of a tip from my friend that I'm still paying for the membership even though I was led to believe I had signed a one year only contract. (Ah fine print!) Well, I better make the most of the money I am spending then.

While I am excited about my trip to California, I really would like to check out Hawaii sometime. I might like it.

I finally got a crown placed on one of my teeth. Now I have one nice looking tooth and like 30 odd scraggly looking ones. (Well, not scraggly looking, but not as perfect looking as this fake tooth is.) The process of getting the crown was a friggin ordeal and a half, filled with not one but TWO shots of Novocaine and the most foul tasting stuff put into my mouth for molds. I am such a baby when it comes to needles. Even when the dental surgeon was just using a syringe to squirt the molding stuff into my mouth, I flipped out a bit, thinking I was getting another shot. She really put up with me well.

You know sometimes I feel I have nothing to say. And then it looks bad I think when I try to say stuff anyways.