Pulled In Many Directions

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

Friday, May 26, 2006

Hmmm

(My Internet connection was much faster than expected! Less than three hours and done!)

In the interest of anyone who wants to wait to see the finale for themselves, I'll just say that a) I think Desmond cleans up real nice (heh) and b) I really have no idea where the writers will be going at the start of Season Three but it should be cool to watch it all unfold.

(Now I'm hearing that new episodes will start in October. So when is it??)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part...

According to my faithful BitTorrent tracer, in no less than 223 hours will I have the latest, last episode of Lost until the next one starts up in I guess it'll be next February, if they are going along with the revised schedule. I hope it's a good one!

*I know it'll be much shorter than that, but the time tracking always cracks me up on these things -- as if someone would keep their computer on for like 5 days straight for a 1 hour TV show!

** Tell me what happens in the comments before I see it and you'll be banned! I am so not kidding!

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Disturbing Discovery

I worked out today that I generally drink away about $100 USA a month on coffee. This doesn't include anything else I drink or eat. Oh my God. That's like almost one student loan payment. That's definitely more groceries. And as an afterthought, that is like 6 CDs a month!

How the hell do I kick this habit?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Too Good To Not Share

I found this on USA Today's entertainment blog called Pop Candy. It's a listing of videos from way back when MTV and VH1 actually played music videos, instead of making shows talking about them.

I have been wasting tons of time on here dragging myself down memory lane. Some of the highlights include:


  • "In a Big Country" by Big Country. I remember seeing this video when it first came out, and really being drawn to the song. And many moons later, I still love this song. I love how the guitars in this song remind me of bagpipes. (Fitting because they are Scottish.) I love the whole James Bond-lite storyline they have got going in the video. (Also fitting because hey, Sean Connery, he too is Scottish.) And Stuart Adamson is rocking a mullet in the video too.
  • "Our House" by Madness. This video cracked me up when I was younger. And I thought I was funny by adding the lyrics "Our House, where we used to smell our feet." My mom loved it anyways. I was about seven at the time. It's also a song that gets played a lot on my iPod. I just like how happy and poppy it sounds. It's another 80s song that absolutely does not sound dated one bit today. (If you want to see the video, look it up on YouTube.com)
  • "Hyperactive" by Thomas Dolby. I remember seeing this video when it first came out, though "She Blinded Me With Science" has since completely overshadowed it. I remember the puppet in the video freaked me out. It's really cool to see a video like this and realize that for its time, it was pretty cutting edge.
  • "Rock On" by Michael Damian. Ehm. It's pure cheese, but my 29 year old self can still see why the 13 year old me thought he was pretty cute. Although the hair....(See also "In a Big Country" regarding bad hair decisions I overlooked.)
  • "Fantasy" by Aldo Nova. This is an afterthought. How the hell could I forget to mention this one? Again, when I was younger, I remember another video of his being played all the time, called "Monkey" or "Monkey On Your Back." Anyways, that video featured some killer rhesus monkey or orang utan symbolizing addiction that terrorized many people, jumping on their back and eventually taking them down. This is according to my dad. (I guess I didn't need Nancy Reagan in those days when I had my dad spelling everything out that happened on MTV.) In this video the most notable thing is that Aldo Nova (yes, a he, and not a band like I had always thought -- you learn something new every day!) is sporting some really ridiculous leopard print jumpsuit while performing. It's pretty bad. Yes, so bad you have to check it out.

There's just too many to name. "Oh Sherrie" by Steve Perry has to place first in the "So Bad It's Good" category, though Soft Cell's Tainted Love video also gives it a run for the money. After seeing this video, I think I now understand why everytime I saw the video for Tainted Love it was a "live concert" version. The version on this website is really freaky.

But see for yourself. If you love 80s music as much as I do, you'll be sucked in in no time. You're welcome!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Tales From the iPod Part....6?

It's been awhile since I've shared what's been on my Top 25 Most Played Songs on my iPod. That's because for awhile there really wasn't much changing. Since it's been a couple of months, though, I figured what the hell.

You're The Reason I'm Leaving Franz Ferdinand
Lithium Nirvana
Shady Lane Pavement
Free Fallin' Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Beautiful Day U2
Do You Want To Franz Ferdinand
I'm Your Villain Franz Ferdinand
Daydream Believer The Monkees
Insinuation The Folk Implosion
Rain on the Scarecrow John Mellencamp
Check It Out John Mellencamp
Into Your Arms The Lemonheads
Love Is Gonna Get You Macy Gray
Drain You Nirvana
Toys In The Attic R.E.M.
Rebound Sebadoh
Vertigo U2
Original Of The Species U2
It Never Rains In Southern California Albert Hammond
I`ve Just Seen A Face The Beatles
Country House Blur
New Moon On Monday Duran Duran
Celebrity Skin Hole
Malibu Hole
Small Town John Mellencamp

Monday, May 15, 2006

We All Want To Be Bugs Bunny When In Reality We're More Like Daffy Duck

Ugh. Today is a day I could be playing "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of" on repeat. I had a job interview. The man who interviewed me was really impressed with my background and how I seemed to know how to assess someone's English ability based on how they answered different kinds of questions. (Well, obviously "What's your name?" is so much different from "How can we achieve world peace?" or something like that!)

But when it came to literally assess someone, the company's assessment form really threw me off. I had to rate this man I talked to on like 8 different categories which followed a TWELVE POINT SCALE! Like from 1 to 12, where 1 through 2 was poor, then 3 through 4 was fair, then 5 through 7 was average and 8 through 10 was good and 11 through 12 was excellent. What the hell is a difference between a six and seven? Or an eleven and twelve?

And while I looked at the paper, it was only until later that I realized I had the key to the assessment right in my hands! Too many friggin boxes though. It threw me off. The man even told me, if the guy doesn't speak perfectly, you can't give him a good mark. That was another thing. First I had to rate him on various tasks on a three point scale, either he was poor, good or average. Then came the longest scale ever. Anyone else could do this, but not me!

I keep getting job offers from this company which will take a huge bite out of my paycheck, so I am hoping this one from tonight will actually pan out. If it doesn't I'll have to keep plugging away. But I'd like to have some extra money rolling in. It scares me, how little I may actually end up with.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Car Awaits?

I might be able to buy a car after all, if luck holds out. Look what I saw on the web:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
It may look like a roller skate, but it would be my roller skate!

It looks cute. (Yeah, I know, what a girly thing to say! I have read online that they seem to be pretty safe cars. Not like Volvo safe or anything, but not SUV notorious either.) I think I could actually afford this one. Maybe. We'll just have to see in another...nine months. Heh. So much to decide on and plan for!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Random Musings

  • Sometimes I look at the housing for rent ads on some L.A.-based websites, and it sets me off into a panic when I consider that I will also need a car and a job basically to provide for it all. I think I will never have enough money. But yesterday I looked at some more sites and they seemed a bit more reasonable -- we'll have to see how the neighborhood is! -- but I feel a bit more optimistic about my chances of survival in L.A. In any case, I have to realize that it's not like I *have* no other choice but to be a teacher or a writer, and it's not like if I find California too expensive, I have to return to Asia.
  • A friend of mine basically told me she has not been single for about half of her life. I find that really amazing. While I'm stuck on a one way street in boring suburban Singleville, she's been crusining on down the dating highway and never taken a single exit ramp or made any rest stops it seems. (Well she's exited relationships of course, but hasn't ever really had any alone time.) I think it's good for down time in between relationships, to be able to remember who you are, and to do things you really enjoy doing, as relationships are about compromise. Yet as I say that, I'm starting to think I have really had too much downtime lately, and partially consider her lucky to be in that kind of lifestyle.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mini Movie Review: Crash (2005)*

*I've yet to see the 1996 David Cronenberg film...

What is there to say about a movie that takes on a beast that lies within us all, prejudice and racism? This is a movie that asks us to look at whether there really is quite a difference between lynching a man and choosing to cross the street when you see someone who doesn't look like you come up in the path you're traveling.

Every group is under the microscope here: Middle Easterners, blacks, Hispanics, whites and Asians. The film asks some really good questions: If you are a minority and live a high class life, are you selling out? Is it possible to be "not black enough"? Is it a form of racism to mix up someone's home country for another in that region? Can anyone be totally free of racist or prejudicial thoughts or are we all racist to some degree?

It's just a damn shame the story is so heavy handed and everyone is painted with a very large brush. I liked Crash but don't see how it took the Best picture Oscar when it was placed side by side with Brokeback Mountain. Both movies deal with A Message, but I think Brokeback handled the delivery of its Message with more style than Crash.

The dialogue seems forced at points, the director ready to artificially escalate a situation so that racial epithets can be thrown down with the threat of violence not too far behind. I understand that yes, this happens sometimes, probably more often than I can ever comprehend, but I can not imagine that a black man dating a Hispanic woman would, even in a fit of anger, call her the wrong nationality and then when corrected, dismiss it, saying it doesn't matter because "you all park your cars out on the lawn." I think in reality he'd be dumped pronto.

Even when the writer introduces a side of the character that we are not supposed to expect, something that is supposed to add depth to the characters, it feels forced. Hey! The racist cop is a good son to his dying father! He humiliates a black woman by performing a cavity search on her in front of her husband (yes, that cavity!) and then redeems himself by rescuing the very same black woman he degraded not even a day before! A Persian man accidentally shoots a little Hispanic girl when he was actually going for her father, a man he thought cheated him out of a repair job. But wait! The Persian man's daughter knew he was going to do something stupid and so bought a box of blanks to go with the gun! So the girl is saved and the Persian man is left to think about his actions and what brought him there in the first place!

There are quite a few other storylines in this movie. Another thing I found unbelievable was how tangled up everyone was in this movie. I know about the whole Six Degrees of Separation thing, but everyone coming into contact with everyone else would hardly happen in L.A. the second biggest metropolis in the United States.

After I saw Brokeback Mountain, I was haunted for days by the last image, and the movie certainly drove home a point about whether it's gay love or straight love, it's always important, always essential to have someone who can understand you. Crash is definitely well-meaning and at points it is thought-provoking, but many times, I felt like I was being manipulated to feel something. You could argue that is the point of all dramas, really, but it's better of course when you don't know you are being told how to feel, isn't it? Taken separately, its many story lines are compelling, but as a whole, the film lacks cohesion and it doesn't do justice to the Message it is trying to convey.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Today is a day where I need to revel in my slugitude.

Meh.

I had to be up early today for a Parents' Day our school had. I talked to like three of them all day, but we all have to be there I guess as the Chinese teachers obviously have to be there.

I am so tired. I hate feeling like this. And I already had one coffee today. I'm getting to old to be sucking down gallons of caffeine to keep me afloat, but maps make me feel really yucky after I wake up.

Have I become 60 without realizing it? Have all the days I have spent living ahead of my friends finally added up?

The headmistress of my school asked me today what my plans were after my contract was up in February. I didn't feel safe telling her the truth right now, so I told her it was too early to tell and I'd be sure to let her know later on in the year like when I had three months left, what my plan was. I'm not sure why she was asking; I hope it's just curiosity.

I rented some movies, Crash and The Weatherman. I plan on watching the Weatherman soon, if I have no luck with finding the correct current episode of Lost, as I want to be completely coherent for Crash.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bring On The Happy Little Trees!

As you know, I am currently broke.

And I will be broke until Thursday, sometime in the a.m.

Unrelated to my brokitude, my water was shut off today because of some glitch with the landlord not paying the water bill. (I'm really not sure how this works, and damn me for not asking questions earlier, but I hand in money to the school, who, up until now, I believed mailed off a payment for my bills to the respective utility companies. Now I am not so sure.)

So I have no:

  • shower
  • water to do dishes
  • ability to flush the toilet

To quote Emily Dickenson: This sucks. (It was in one of her really secret, unpublished poems.)

I can't wait to be out of Hong Kong. I'm sick of the very space I live in. I have a crap landlord and the place is running down. The headmistress told me was newly renovated before I moved in. She's leaving her job soon and I think she should work either in politics or comedy.

But I found a Bob Ross video on line and that made me feel a bit better. What a cool guy he was.