Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Conversations from grad school

"Why wouldn't you just mark A?"--My classmate on the "expected grade" portion of our end of class surveys

"My better is better than your better."--Another classmate

Coffee and Snow

for all the people who were snowed in in Seattle.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My father says that I don't post here enough

Which is probably true, although it's only been 4 months. There are tons of people who take way longer hiatuses than that. How are things? Things are ok from where I'm at. Although to be honest I don't have much to say. Any time that I'm not eating or sleeping I'm probably working. Which is why over the break I got my annual celebratory post-final getting really sick. It was exciting. I've got a couple pictures leftover from other places not LA that I'll post at some point. Taking pictures in LA is kind of weird. People look at you funny, which makes me self conscious. Why can't I just take pictures of signs and shadows like I used to in the NW?

Anyway, for the last couple days I've been too tired and lazy to contemplate doing much of anything productive or scholastic. So instead I looked at art. Some of these people live here or close to here, which kind of makes me want to stalk them. But I won't. One of my favorite new finds is Deth P Sun. If anyone is still reading this thing, go knock yourselves out. I'll be back. Or maybe I won't.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Observations so far

I've been in LA for about a month now. Not a whole hell of a lot to report so far. Although apparently it's a HUGE faux pas for grad students to use the undergrad library. Even if it's prettier and nicer. The business library is the best one, although its 4th floor is apparently a VIP section for VIP business students. On a certain level, this seems kind of natural for a business library.

My general opinion on the undergrad/grad divide is that the graffiti in either library seems about equally inane. Considering the age gap, this doesn't reflect well on my peers now does it?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Superhero movies

I honestly think I'm maybe a little bit too much of an analytical machine to watch superhero movies anymore. The subtext just gets to me. Recently the last two movies I've seen in the theater were Iron Man and The Dark Knight. I really disliked Iron Man, mostly on the grounds of class antagonism, the protagonist is a rich, immature, selfish bastard who has had everything handed to him. He has one setback and then supposedly reforms.

I also objected to the whole setup on racial grounds, hell, he even had a noble savage helping him out who predictably sacrifices himself so that our hero can live. The day that ethnic characters no longer have to sacrifice themselves for the white protagonist is a day I'll die happy.

There's also the dubious message of stopping violence by um, blowing more shit up. If it was supposed to be an anti war movie, it really failed. Although like the time I watched the Transformers movie, it was interesting to see the presence of Iraq in the film. There's a paper waiting to be written there.

The Dark Knight is a much better movie. Although thematically, I think it also gets a little murky. The idea of the righteous vigilante as well as the incorruptible Batman get a little muddled. Batman definitely does bend the law, kidnaps and tortures people. Works outside the law and is only accountable to a higher authority, yet somehow he's assumed to have limits. Does he really? It seemed like the movie was attempting to have its cake and eat it too.

I'll admit it, I enjoyed the film, but these things really bothered me. However, the cast was remarkably ethnically balanced even if most of the main leads were white. At least the HK gangster spoke good English, although he also spoke in Mandarin. Which isn't very believeable in HK. But that's a minor quibble.

So Cool

Why can't I think like that?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Conversations from my life

Me: I really really really need to pack.
My boss: I don't want to hear about it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

You know

sometimes I get really fed up with my apparent inability to take people at their word and trust that they'll follow through. I actually have some really good reasons, since I've gotten burned hella. And usually when I do rely on other people, it doesn't go very well. But at the same time, sometimes I wish I could just take people at their word. It would be a lot more emotionally healthy and I would save myself a lot of worrying time that could be devoted to be something else.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Conversations from a non-profit

Vietnamese American coworker (setting other Vietnamese coworker up on a date): He drives a BMW, he works at Boeing....
Vietnamese American coworker 2: But is he interested in social justice?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Full Fathom Five

by Silvia Plath

Old man, you surface seldom.
Then you come in with the tide's coming
When seas wash cold, foam-

Capped: white hair, white beard, far-flung,
A dragnet, rising, falling, as waves
Crest and trough. Miles long

Extend the radial sheaves
Of your spread hair, in which wrinkling skeins
Knotted, caught, survives

The old myth of origins
Unimaginable. You float near
As keeled ice-mountains

Of the north, to be steered clear
Of, not fathomed. All obscurity
Starts with a danger:

Your dangers are many. I
Cannot look much but your form suffers
Some strange injury

And seems to die: so vapors
Ravel to clearness on the dawn sea.
The muddy rumors

Of your burial move me
To half-believe: your reappearance
Proves rumors shallow,

For the archaic trenched lines
Of your grained face shed time in runnels:
Ages beat like rains

On the unbeaten channels
Of the ocean. Such sage humor and
Durance are whirlpools

To make away with the ground-
Work of the earth and the sky's ridgepole.
Waist down, you may wind

One labyrinthine tangle
To root deep among knuckles, shinbones,
Skulls. Inscrutable,

Below shoulders not once
Seen by any man who kept his head,
You defy questions;

You defy other godhood.
I walk dry on your kingdom's border
Exiled to no good.

Your shelled bed I remember.
Father, this thick air is murderous.
I would breathe water.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reasons which make it difficult for me to not hate white people

When I am introduced to my roommate's parents and her mom acts like I'm hearing impaired, gesturing to herself and saying her name loudly and slowly.

In my own fucking house, in my own fucking house.