Wednesday, November 29, 2006

usa, a-okay

I watched miracle last night. it's about the 1980 "miracle on ice" when the us hockey team beat ussr in the olympics. it's your run-of-the-mill sports flick. formula: authoritarian coach, plucky little team with a lot of heart, intimidating rivals. but i like sports, so that's okay. half the time i think sports are another anesthetic or distraction from reality, like the roman circus of old. and the other half of the time, i love how sports can bring people together and how much fun it is to play and watch. depends on the context of it, as is true of everything else in life.

as for the movie and event it documents, i was surprised at how much this hockey game meant in terms of the world politics and the morale of america at the time. it was the us vs. the menacing soviet union, and the game came to symbolize the confrontation between these two power. better than actual nuclear warfare i guess. what if the us had lost? i wonder if things would have unfolded differently. sometimes a game is just a game and sometime it isn't. who's to know?

anyway, it made me think of other cold war era, bordering on american propaganda movies that i like. which i will now discuss, but will have little meaning for people not well versed in pop culture. in no particular order:
red dawn - america is invaded! this movie is every survivalist's fantasy. and who should fend off the enemy in guerrilla warfare but the 80s brat pack stars as high school students? there's something for everyone in red dawn. this movie once held the distinction in the guinness book of world records as most violent movie, with an act of violence occurring on an average of every 2.33 seconds. go wolverines!

Rocky 4 - dude. this might be the top cold war movie ever though. rocky's got his american flag boxing trunks, and ivan drago is so evil, he has a black mouthguard. and rocky's post fight speech singlehandedly inspired mikhail gorbachev to enact the practice of glasnost and perestroika programs that brought an end to communism. seriously.

other memorable films:
top gun (duh)
spies like us
hunt for red october
war games

time after time

this song popped up on my ipod today. it made me immediately remember this movie. and then i tried not to burst out laughing while i was riding the BART train. though i did smile crazily to myself. it's one of the silliest awesome dances ever. it would be awesome to break out at a wedding reception.

repetitive motions

i spent an hour today tying knots on plastic bags. the bags contained food for to be distributed to kids in the oakland and berkeley schools. the food is not for a lunch program, but intended to sustain them through the weekends. interesting, somthing i had not considered before. i figured that this opportunity to volunteer might be a better way to meet people rather than in awkward small group settings (which have been documented on this blog). plus, i want to volunteer, as a good use for all this time that i have.

i was glad to volunteer and felt like i was able to help, not like in other previous volunteer experiences where there are too many hands and i ended up feeling useless and frustrated. we bagged 800 bags of food. so the part of meeting people didn't happen so much, as we (about 20-30 people) were plugged into an assembly line, complete with rolling conveyor belt to pass the bags down the line. in fact, the air of urgency with which everyone worked kind of threw me for a loop. i was late though, so i'm not sure if they did any introduction type thing or if everyone already knew each other. mostly i wondered if this need to go superfast was an American thing. i got a ride back to the BART with the guy from my church who heads up this organization and he seemed pretty cool and i learned more about what they're doing.

Monday, November 27, 2006


i watched this movie last week. borrowing dvds from the library is one of the best things ever.

the quick plot synopsis: Stanley is a perfectly adjusted, conservative trans-sexual who’s about to take the final step to becoming Bree, the woman he always wanted to be - until he finds out that he is the parent of a 17 year old son. Afraid to tell the rebellious teen-ager the truth, he embarks on a journey with him that will challenge and change both their lives.

i found it quite moving. felicity huffman certainly deserved her oscar nomination for this role. i thought she was amazing. she didn't simply act as herself, as a woman. she had to act as a man that was acting as a woman. i often forgot that she was a woman. i really did see her as bree. the movie is not so much about the issue of being transgender, but about human relationships and how people grow and change.

wheels, baby

there's a freighter somewhere between here and japan with my car on it. a honda fit, the sport model. blue, just like in the picture. it's a cool little car. in the meantime i pound the pavement and mooch rides from my mom.

where did the year go?

i don't understand how it's now almost december. time passes strangely...

my goal (besides the immediate and ever present goal of finding a job) is to survive the holidays. that's my slogan for the next month. so, one down and one to go. i've already caught up on my sleep lost from thanksgiving. i did get to see my cousin beat streetfighter 2 in 45 minutes. he beat the first 9 guys in about 15 minutes and then the last two gave him some trouble. i think my family is in timewarp back to 1993. only now after the games are done, we go out to bars. so not my cup of tea at all. wondering, as ever, how to connect with my family.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

oh right

yeah, it's thanksgiving tomorrow. i still don't feel back in the swing of american holidays. driving to LA tomorrow for the celebration. typical family gathering. which, if i've told you anything about my family, you will know it is complete chaos. i bought ear plugs. somehow i never thought to do that ever before. thank goodness for little bits of foam to stick in your ears so you can get some rest.

personal grooming

i got a haircut today. i haven't gotten it cut since june, my hair was a bit out of control. walked down to the salon where my mom goes. i've known this hairdresser since i was in junior high, beginning with an mom-enforced and ill-advised perm for my 8th grade graduation. no, i do not want to talk about it.

anyway, we chatted as usual, catching up on her grandkids and where i've been. she's a church-going lady. we've talked about many religious-type things in the past. she lit up when i told her i had a masters in christian studies and said she wanted to pick my brain about the end times and the book of revelation. and about the middle east stuff. and the da vinci code. and what i thought about the ted haggard scandal. not all at once of course, our conversation meandered in these directions. we connected on some things, i think. and missed each other on other points. i really like her, and i spoke my mind more than i would to a more casual acquaintance. as usual, i am aware that my views may not really jive with, say, the majority middle class America. so it makes me cautious about what i say to people. i mostly just feel awkward. but even if i might know more about a subject than other people, i feel the responsiblity to present whatever knowledge that is with a gentle spirit, rather than hit them over the head with it, because HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY THINK THAT WAY? though the second option has been very tempting but of course, it could also be applied to my own views from someone else. it has been an interesting journey thus far.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

today's cool moment

sitting outside during my work break.
sun shining through the milky clouds.
drinking some kick ass french roast coffee.
eating an awesome pumpkin muffin from the bakery across the way.
listening to stevie wonder's smooth voice in his definitive collection on my ipod.
reading "reading lolita in tehran."

a good convergence of different factors and taking the time to enjoy the moment.
there are worries to be sure, but small blessings also.

Monday, November 20, 2006

life's little instructions

today i was cleaning in the back room of the coffee shop (i finish up there this week). i saw that there were books sitting in one of the cubbyholes for our general use. being the book worm that i am, i check out the books more closely. the title on one of them: "so you want to be a lesbian?" whaaaaa? with a title like that, it was hard to remember what the other book was. i already knew that a few of the other employees are lesbians. i just didn't think any of them needed a how-to manual. hell, i'm straight and i wouldn't mind an instruction manual for my life.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

an afternoon walk

walked down to the library on saturday. it was warm enough that i actually broke a sweat (this probably angers my seattle/vancouver readership. oh well). i remembered to bring my camera along and nurture my amateur photography skills. it took me twice as long to get to my destination. but it was good for my soul to look more closely at my surroundings.

Pied Beauty

GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.
- Gerald Manley Hopkins

Thursday, November 16, 2006

taking a new tack

From Wikipedia: A tack or coming about is the maneuvre by which a sailing boat or yacht turns its bow through the wind so that the wind changes from one side to the other.

after considering the circumstances of the last few days, i quit the coffee shop job today. with my old beater car, i figured i could just get a job to pass the time during the job search. post car-death, i realized that i need to get some real cash flow going. so, now i sell low grade plutonium for nuclear weaponry (and time machines). JUST KIDDING, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, WHO IS CONSTANTLY SCANNING THE INTERNET FOR KEY WORDS!! i'll temp, or get some awful seasonal retail job that will make me want to punch shoppers in the head. actually, i would want to do that to people who are buying coffee too, so maybe i have anger issues. having something concrete to work for (the car and upkeep of said car) is more immediate as a goal, not so much my search for vocation. so i hang up the apron again. oh well.

actually today, i found a posting for this volunteer organization run through the jesuits. it seems pretty cool, area director for a year-long volunteer/spiritual formation program for recent college grads. so i sent a email for more details. we'll see. i'd describe more specifically, but i don't really feel like showing up on any google searches.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

sweet relief

my class is done and done. thank goodness.

i've learned some stuff that i will probably be glad to know at a later point. i saw myself improve as an editor over the duration of the class. but when i sat and listened to the teacher describe the need to draw an arrow for editing purposes, i thought to myself, "i can't believe i paid to hear someone talk about drawing an arrow." really, any amount is too much.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


things? not that great. could be better.

started at the coffee shop last week. it's all right. they make good stuff. i'm new and awkward and learning.

applied to work at my church. after a follow-up phone call to them with no response, and then going to church and noting that the job posting was no longer in the bulletin, i called again yesterday and got a message today that they had already hired someone. right about the time that i turned the application in. it seems to me simple and courteous enough to make one phone call and let me know what the situation was. or an email. i'm just pissed off and disappointed right now. and unsure of what to do next.

oh, and there is no available car right now (one of our cars died, hence the previous post) so i feel like i'm 15 again and stuck at home. my brother and i have to get our mom to drive us to the BART station (that's subway around here), since we have to share.

and wondering if this coffee shop is worth it since the other job fell through and it's kind of a pain to get out to the store since, as i said, i have no car.

aaaannnnnnndd, i have a final tonight in my copyediting class. the only upside here is that my class is OVER. i would study more, but i don't care.

when it rains, it pours.

Friday, November 10, 2006

horns of a dilemma

today my parents suggested buying me a new car. they'd pay the down payment and then i'd take over once i got a job. they said it would build up my credit rating.

i should be glad for this generous offer. they have been more than generous thus far, as i am living here rent free and eating the food. is this one of those cases where i should just accept this offer, so we have a point of connection? we have precious few of those in the first place.

my initial reaction was negative. i'd like to live simply. a car seems like a big headache to me and i hate driving. yet it is a necessary evil where i am living right now to get to any place i'd like to be. and this whole credit rating thing - i could really not give a damn about that stuff. i wonder if that will come back to get me. so i am quite frustrated and wondering when my life will take more of a definite shape. it remains fluid and vague. i lack motivation, inspiration and anything else that ends in -tion.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

my youngest brother is home for the weekend. it's nice to have him here. especially if it means that we listen to a cd of hall and oates' greatest hits (such as "maneater" and "private eyes") in the car on the way to his favorite taqueria. you can bet that i copied those songs into my itunes once we got back home.

let's go crazy, broadway style!!

those in vancouver: please clear your couches/futons/social calendars for yours truly between december 5th - 9th. it's just a month away! woo! i'd like something crazy like this to happen:

please prepare accordingly.

Friday, November 03, 2006

happy birthday wishes

today is lara's birthday. if we still lived in vancouver (and conveniently the same house), i would take you to burgoo or savary island pie company for a birthday meal, and have a treat from st. moritz patisserie (my mouth is watering as i type this). and i would babysit sienna so you and jeff could have a date night. and then the next day maybe play chickenfoot with dane and jane. we could wear funny hats, like so.

when she's not being a fabulous mom to the cutest baby ever, lara also models at lighthouse park, like so. she throws some mean pottery, pours a cool rosetta leaf, and is a good friend. her kryptonite is chocolate, but that is the case for many of us. hope the 27th year is a good one for you and your family!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


the computer was in the shop. had a ding in the casing that kept me from shutting it easily (perhaps because of me being careless, not really sure how i did it though). this time around, apple supplied me with some new casing and trackpad. gratis. really, why would you not own an apple?