Sunday, April 29, 2007

It's called irony

Well, after all that Japan angst on my part, it gets even better.
Things both Japan and the US have done

Ethnic cleansing
Rhetoric of racial superiority
Invaded other people's territory
and now comfort women.

Who is more at fault here? Japan for allowing America to take over their infrastructure and supplying the comfort women, or the US for overlooking an unjust system because it was convenient for them? Perhaps it doesn't matter. According to US history, our armies are always the good guys. We fought Britain for freedom, the South to end slavery, WWII to end the Holocaust, according to the myths. I had an awesome history teacher in high school who punctured a lot of these myths for me, but I still think most people are taught this way in school, and continue to think that way. We don't know any different.

I think BrownFemiPower raises a good point when she asks why everyone seems so surprised that "our boys" would do something like this. Maybe this comes from the fact that "the comfort women" thing comes from one of the "good" wars, pre Vietnam where we were supposedly doing the right thing for the right reasons, standing up to fascism and all that. This is when the misplaced patriotic idea that "our boys" are better or more humane than anyone else's "boys" doesn't hold water. We just replaced one empire with another. We're no different or any better than they were.

On a more narcissistic note, my grandfather was in Japan during the Occupation. Looking at those pictures of the soldiers lining up, I couldn't help but wonder if he was in that picture. And what if he was?

Sheesh, it sure is getting heavy around here in general. Something funny better happen to me soon, or I may as well just color this blog black and rename myself Rayvenn Nytewyng or something. (Apologies to Laurel.)

Saturday, April 28, 2007


So recently the noisy family in the next building has been extra disturbing. A couple days ago, the father was screaming for two hours while a child wailed in the background. And the next day it was the mom screaming. I don't know what's going on over there but it's quite clear that it's not very happy. It's very awkward, everyone in our neighborhood has to know. I don't really even know where they live.

Also, the people upstairs have been doing things at odd times. There are these tiny feet that run around at 4 or 5 in the morning. I don't know if it's a dog or a rat or what.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

West 32nd

So Mike Kang's new movie, starring John Cho premieres in New York this week. Apparently it's some kind of gangster movie. Although I prefer Kal Penn to John Cho, I'm pretty excited.

I've been unlucky enough to be out of the country for the last two years which have also been an extremely (and arguably unprecedentedly) productive time for Asian American cinema. Honestly, when I see a movie, I want to see something I have not seen before. Asian American films guarantee me that I will see something I haven't seen before. Or at the very least, Asians who aren't stereotypes. Unless of course this is one of those wacky ethnic family comedies, (Saving Face and Red Doors, I'm looking at you,) but the less said about them the better.

That said, the fact that there are over 10 movies made in the last 2 years, that I want to see is pretty exciting.

Alright, fuck this heavy shit, let's get drunk

Shui Diao Ge Tou
In the ninth year of Xining, in mid autumn, I drank until dawn and wrote this poem while thinking of my brother.
Su Shi

How long has the moon been there?
I raise my glass and ask the evening sky.
I'm not thinking of what year it is
in the heavenly palace.
I want to grasp the wind and fly there.
I'm just afraid that that lofty jade realm
will be a bit too cold.
Dancing with my shadow,
what could be better than being here?

The moon shines,
glancing on crimson towers,
slanting down on embroidered windows.
I cannot sleep.
I shouldn't be bitter,
but why did the moon choose this lonely time to be so very full?
People have sorrows and joys, partings and reunions.
The moon brightens and darkens. waxes and wanes.
Although it is difficult to be together now,
if we live long enough,
we may be able to enjoy this beautiful moon together once more.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's about to get heavy again

since I'm in major endorphin free-fall, I washed my mp3 player (long time readers may recall the times I washed my wallet, twice, and washed a cell phone) and found a cockroach in my refrigerator. It's been that kind of day.

So for those who have been keeping track, an Asian American gunned down 32 people, slightly before that, an Indian exchange student stabbed his prof , an Asian American with Asperger's made an ass of himself on TV and in the newspaper. Before that, I remember a spate of Asian fathers killing their families and then killing themselves. In addition, I remember earlier statistics which tell me that Asian American women quite likely to kill themselves. Clearly the state of Denmark is not entirely sound.

It reminds me of something a friend of mine said. We were talking about families, and how both of ours were pretty passive-aggressive, and she said "I think most Asian families are." It kind of clicked for me then. Living in Taiwan, I've noticed most people tend to deal with things fairly passive aggressively. It's better, I think, than getting angry loudly and causing everyone to lose face. At the time it was something of a revelation, passive-aggression is generally seen as fairly negative, and immature behavior in the States. I guess I had never thought that it could actually be a cultural difference. So how does this relate to the stuff I mentioned above? I guess perhaps subjective proof that Asian people, even Asian Americans react to situations in a different way than white people. Both my friend and I come from pretty Americanized families, her mom is 1.5, her dad is 2nd generation, both of my parents are 3rd. However, looking at things now, I can see how we deal with things in a different way.

In poking around on the internet, I found that the model minority stereotype is blamed for Asian American depression, as well as isolation for immigrants. This might be true for some people. I guess personally, I never found this to be so. I never got depressed because I thought everyone thought I was perfect. The idea that I would be depressed because people thought of me as Madame Butterfly is laughable. I'm pretty sure most Asian American women aren't thinking about that, although you never know. (How many Asian Americans listen to Puccini anyway?)

I've been trying to think about why, I myself, once, and ever so occasionally these days, wanted to do bad crazy things to myself. And I guess I came up with an answer. It's not The Answer, however, I suspect it's a lot closer than the Madame Butterfly thing. It's comparing yourself to other people and finding yourself wanting. Comparison is both internal and external. Parents and relatives like to compare you to your siblings, cousins, family friends, or whoever. Furthermore, I suspect there's a certain amount of perfectionism in the way we're raised sometimes. Anything less than 100% is evidence that there is room for improvement. Failings, academic or social are also evidence that improvement is needed. If other children surpass you, you're not good enough. Comparison is then becomes internal. (Incidentally this is probably why I think Magnetic North are the most Asian American of Asian American rappers, they rap about being depressed and not feeling good enough.) Perfectionism, whether imposed or internalized, can lead to a variety of bad things, of course.

One solution for this, of course, is if our parents would just stop comparing us to other people's kids. That would be nice.

The other thing I think is the fact that mental health isn't really set up for Asian people, or I suspect, not set up for any sort of person who is not white. I don't know what can be done about that. Particularly since the Asian thing to do generally seems to be to just deal with it as best you can and not talk it publicly, or at all. This approach is actually pretty good if you just have problems. It does become a problem if what you have is not a problem but a sickness.

Getting back to the passive-aggressive thing, part of the reason I suspect that it wouldn't work is that many Asian families, that I know anyway, communicate about things fairly indirectly. While this communication style can often be described as unhealthy or somewhat unproductive, it's worked for billions of people for millions of years, so something about it works anyway. It seems to work well enough when everyone's playing by the same rules. It becomes more complicated when your family operates on different wavelength than the mainstream culture.

Honestly, in Asia, I have met many more Asian children and parents who are satisfied with their (or their children's) mediocrity on various levels. Perhaps the drive to have your children succeed means something different. I mean, most Americans want their children to be successful too, but perhaps we get a little more complacent, since American-born people grew up within the American social system and know it through and through. Foreign born Americans, being less familiar with the whole set up, might get more anxious, and therefore push their kids harder. That still doesn't explain my family though, or my friend's either. Dammit, I give up.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


I'm biased, but how could anyone not like them?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Conversations for real

Ex co-worker: You look different.
Me: Is it the hair?
Ex co-worker: No.
Me: (thinking) I am entirely unsure how to interpret this.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Mosquito is the second worst of all animals

The only reason they qualifies as the second worst is because, for some reason my hand-eye coordination has improved dramatically and I can waste those little fuckers in midair with my bare hands!

I am the Destroyer of All Mosquitoes.

My 2 cents (although I hear the dollar's not doing so hot these days)

I think like many Asian people, my first reaction was selfish. "Why does he have to be Asian?"

After that, I've been following, as best I can from overseas, what's been going down in America. More than anything, I've become disgusted with what passes for the media these days. Do I need to know that his parents tried to kill themselves? or perhaps they didn't, but they were hospitalized for shock? Do I need to know where his sister graduated from college? No, no, and no. Hell, I didn't even click on the articles but I already know enough to feel kind of dirty.

I've never really understood the "get inside the mind of the killer" news stories either. Has meticulously going over the Columbine gunmen's lives with a fine tooth comb brought us any closer to preventing something like this from happening again? Obviously not. Figuring out what was written on Cho's arm, or what movies he liked to watch probably isn't going to help us much either.

I think Kai Chang makes a good point to say that by spending so much time looking at things from Cho's perspective we are in fact doing exactly what he wanted. We're giving him the power to influence the world and our way of thinking.

Okay, I give, I watched his NBC video on the internet. People have been calling him an evil monster. I personally resist that. He strikes me as a really fucked up kid. I'll be honest, there have been times when I have hated rich kids as much as he did. There have been times I have hated white people as much as Kenneth Eng does. This does not mean that you go kill innocent people. I guess to do that, you have to believe that the people you kill are not really people. People do this and have done this all the time. People are doing this in Iraq right now.

I'm not saying what he did wasn't wrong. It was very wrong. But I think people are wrong when they say he's inhuman. People are clearly capable of doing terrible things under the right circumstances. Personally that's more frightening than one monster.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Things which bother me

Gentle readers, there are a few things which I have to get off my chest. They have been accumulating for about 1 and a half years now. So let's just get them over with.

When people tell a woman who just got her hair permed that her hair is beautiful because "it looks just like a foreigner's" or a handsome man is described as having a "nose like a foreigner" this bothers me.

When my student tells me that Chinese people are lazy because they can't distinguish between he and she in English*, this bothers me.

When I tell my boss some people think that Asians are not as creative as white people, and she replies "We aren't." in a tone of great certainty, this bothers me.

When people bob and smile and offer free discounts to white foreigners, this galls me.

When I explain the word "homemaker" and my student exclaims"Oh, like a Filipino maid!"in a tone of deepest contempt, this fucking bothers me.

When my student treats his Vietnamese maid like she's not even there when she comes to pick him up, this bothers me.

When no one but me talks to a student's Malaysian mother, even though she speaks Chinese, and everyone criticizes her parenting, because she's foreign, this bothers me.

When my student's father tells his daughter that America is dangerous because the "blacks and Mexicans kill each other and take drugs," this bothers the living fuck out of me.

Y'know when I first got here, I thought I would think about race differently. And I do. But these are the times when I wonder if it isn't just the same all over.

*The words for he and she sound the same in Chinese. For those who don't know Chinese, if you studied a Romantic language in high school, think of remembering the gender of every noun. Simple in concept, annoying and unintuitive in practice.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Anything I would want to say about current events Du Fu said better

Looking out at spring
Du Fu*

The country has split apart but the mountains and rivers remain,
The spring grass and trees have overrun the city.
Remembering old times, even flowers cause me to weep.
After saying farewell, calling birds unsettle my heart.
The signal fires have been lit for 3 months,
One letter is worth 10,000 pieces of gold.
I have torn at my white hair until
it cannot hold a hairpin.

Hey look it's my town!

Just for the record, the night market does look mostly like that. Except the lights in the neon sign are usually partially burned out, the girls who work in the night market are not nearly as hot as Hebe, and there are generally no gang fights. Any gangsters are not nearly as righteous as Jay Chou. That said, it looks like my town alright. How did I miss them filming it?

Monday, April 16, 2007


The Fighting 44s really do make me think. This post on immigration is kind of old, but I've been mulling it over for a couple weeks. (Actually it's a reprint of an article from The Economist) Something struck me as not right from the get go, and now I think I've finally put my finger on what bothers me. I think I'm being taken for a ride.

The premise of the article seems to be calling for reform to the immigration system. Particularly in favor of high tech, highly educated Asian professionals. The article uses the film The Namesake as a reference point. As well as an illustration of the new immigrant experience, according to the author the classic American dream, 2 kids, a white collar job, and apparently a rich white girlfriend for his American born son.

Mr Ganguli is part of a huge army of immigrants who have brought their brains and enthusiasm to the United States—not just Indians and Pakistanis but also Chinese, Koreans and Europeans. America’s high-tech industries are powered by foreign brains.

He talks about a number of things. In reading it, there are several opinions which occur to me. The biggest one being not what he's talking about but what he's leaving out. The quote above lists the nationalities he's talking about. South Asians, Northeast Asians, and Europeans. It's interesting who he's leaving out, Mexicans, Haitians, Africans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, to name a few.

The model minority stereotype, which has plagued many an undergraduate Asian studies class, as well as Asian American rap CD has reared its ugly head. We're being paid a compliment here at first blush. Well those of us who are smart enough, and white collar enough, and educated enough anyway. Apparently the rest of us just don't exist. According to this author, we're getting a ticket to suburbia, complete with the white girlfriend if we buy into this whole deal. (I really just can't get over the equation of the white girlfriend to 'an American success story.' Does that mean that if Gogol takes her with him to the airport he won't get 'randomly' searched as much?)

It's clear that he's not unaware of some of these other groups, he does mention fence building as evidence of anti-immigrant sentiment. However, they are invisible within the larger discussion. And anti-immigrant sentiment is just an inconvenience to him, because it creates obstacles in the pipeline of immigrant talent. It seems to be the author's view that immigration has been heavily skewed towards reuniting families rather than recruiting these eager young citizens of the world.

The author mentions HB-1 Visas, I am not that familiar with this topic, although I have heard that it has been criticized as exploitative. Import a bunch of fresh-off-the-boat techs, employ them at lower wages than American workers expect. When they become experienced and uppity enough to demand a more equitable salary, their limited Visa has run out and you can ship in a fresh batch.

Which brings us to the other half of the model minority myth, which would be The Glass Ceiling. The author fails to mention the fact that Asian Americans remain the most overeducated but underpaid ethnic group. We're educated enough to be the programmer or the lab tech, but we don't make manager. This is true for American born Asian Americans, it goes doubly for immigrants whose lack of fluency in English or different cultures can make even more difficult to "network."

I'm not sure what to make of the fact that the author doesn't really talk about how non-white collar immigration fits into his world view. Perhaps it's low class of me to ask. I also feel like this is proof that the "Asians are honorary whites" meme is still out there. We're good enough, white enough, non threatening enough to be gain some of the access and benefits. But we still don't qualify for the whole deal. However, some evidence has surfaced that seems to prove that we're not the tools that everyone thinks we are. So I'm not going to waste my time wringing my hands about how some of us may buy into this. Some of us probably will, I'm going to hope that most of us are smart enough not to.

Is there a Workaholics Anonymous?

I agreed to take another class, bringing my teaching hours up to 27. Plus maybe 2 hours of prep time a week, sometimes three, that brings me up to 39. Plus taking class and transportation and study time, I don't really want to think about that.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Lucky Jack

So I have this second grader, who first came to the school with the name Lucky. Fortunately, unlike the other Lucky that we have, he was smart enough to want to change his name. So he changed it to Jack, after Captain Jack Sparrow. He's very very small, and I can't say that he's cute necessarily, but he is extremely smart and has a very strong personality.

Apparently while I was finishing up the oral test last week, he entertained the rest of the class by dancing. For five minutes. So on Friday I requested that he repeat his dancing. And he did. I'm not sure if it's gongfu, because it kind of looked like it might be. However, some of it looked rather come hither-ish so it very well may be some other kind of dancing that he learned from...somewhere.

Jack is kind of a pirate.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

On visiting the man who lives on the western mountain and not finding him

Qiu Wei

I climbed up 30 li to reach the grass cottage.
There were no servants at the front gate.
Inside, there was only a table and some tea things.
He hadn't taken his carriage,
so he had probably gone fishing on the autumn river.
One coming and one going, we had missed each other.
I hesitated by the gate, for I greatly respected him.
The color of the young grass amid the rain, the sound of late wind at the window
matched my lonely mood, and stirred my spirits.
Although we had not been able to meet as guest and host,
I had clearly realized the truth.
My pleasure thoroughly satisfied, I descended the mountain.
What need was there to wait for him?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Japan (This is going to get heavy.)

I've been sort of depressed recently, and this kind of all came to a head yesterday, when I ran into a student of mine and her younger brother, who's maybe 5 or 6. And he said "Didn't the Japanese attack the Chinese?"

It demonstrated with a problem I've been wrestling with for a long time. That would be my relationship to the motherland. How do I relate to a land that my family rejected, but we're still marked by, and a legacy which involves, as highlights, ethnic cleansing, imperialism, rape, mass murder, and wartime atrocities on a large scale?

I guess I'll start at the beginning and when I come to the end I'll stop. I remember as a kid, watching the Olympics. I was cheering for the Japanese, I mean they looked like me right? And my mom said, "You're not Japanese, you're American." It was set out for me pretty early on that there was a distinction, a separation between my family and our place of origin.

That of course would be World War 2, and my family's internment. The experience divided us, between those who had been interned and those who had not. It was portrayed to me as a difference between Japanese and American. The passive Asian people who went behind barbed wire without a struggle, and their righteous American children who made redress possible for them later. I only see now that this is quite racist against ourselves. But I digress, I was clearly marked, as American.

And there were the little things too, switching from saying "Banzai" at weddings to saying "Kampai" because Banzai recalled the kamikaze pilots in World War 2. And this was told to me in the 90s. But I kind of figured this was all over. My grandfathers had paid their dues by fighting against their cousins in World War 2. Showing America that we were American (yeah right).

However, when I was in middle school, I used to get a lot of Korean kids telling me they hated me, because I was Japanese. Once I found out why, I never really knew what to say. I couldn't deny that they had a very legitimate reason to be angry. And I still feel vaguely responsible, especially as Japan continues to deny that it has done. However I often also feel quite resentful, how many times has my family taken the fall for Japan? How many more times will we continue to take the fall for Japan? And what was the mother country done for us anyway?

It's weird to be the collateral descendant of the Japanese empire, with its host of war crimes. Should I feel guilty? I don't really benefit from Japanese imperialism. Arguably, I have in fact been disadvantaged by it. However I certainly look Japanese (I've also been told I look Chinese, by Chinese people, whatever), I've probably benefited in some ways. (Ok in concrete ways, the history geek in me will point out that due to the superior political position of the Japanese government they did enact the Gentlemen's Agreement which banned Japanese men from immigrating to America, but managed to keep a loophole open which allowed Japanese women to continue to immigrate, allowing the Japanese American population to grow significantly in comparison to Chinese, and Filipino populations of around the same time, whose countries had no such bargaining power with the US. Thank you Ronald Takaki.) However, at the same time, y'know, my grandparents did not kill those people, my grandparents' cousins killed those people. So where does that leave me?

What exactly is the right thing to do here?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award (there will be much linking and gnashing of teeth)

So Magniloquence nominated me for a Thinking Blogger Award. Which is very sweet of her and of course, extremely gratifying. The rules are

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote

However, she also eliminated herself and Little Light, from the selection pool, which takes out a lot of my options, and also the two blogs that I read with great regularity that also make me think. We are, as she says, all alumna of a Certain Venerable If Hella Whitewashed Institution. Funny how that stuff works out sometimes.

Another tongxue from a More Diverse Secondary School, Wendao Jinxin is also someone who I read frequently and respect tremendously. My sole complaint would be that he's usually too busy selling his soul to corporate America to post very frequently. His blog bounces around between breaking down ways of selling things and what this means for communication, the datasphere,and repping himself as a sex god and lots of other good stuff.

Most of my other blogs of choice are written by Asian Americans, while attending this Certain Venerable If Hella Whitewashed Institution, I was pretty much the only Asian American, who actually identified as Asian American. Thank you, the Internet.

The Fighting 44s is a website I recently discovered that does make me think. They generally post articles culled from other sources but they're generally pretty good. The rape in the military article was particularly thought provoking, if incredibly grueling and heavy. As well as the evangelist vs. atheist debate.

Probably the site that I go to every day, and which definitely kept me connected to Asian America is of course Angry Asian Man. I'm not sure how much his comments, which are relatively short and to the point make me think, but the stuff that he posts sure does. Generally hate crimes, particularly those against Asians are often unreported by the media, which naturally does not give a fuck. Reading about it on his site reminds me that there's still a lot of progress to be made and things that we can do about it.

I also like The Angry Arab News Service from time to time. Since he provides a perspective on the Middle East that's pretty much at odds with every other American commentator, liberal or conservative. He's also got an awesome sense of humor, much of it involves the King of Jordan and PS3s.

I can't really think of anything else that makes me think. There are other things that I read which amuse me, but generally they do not really induce mental cogitation. Clearly I need to broaden my horizons. Although via Magniloquence's post I did find The Unapologetic Mexican, who looks pretty interesting as well. Hooray for linking.

9 more days until my next day off.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It is difficult to be grumpy when

the weather stops being a tease, and we have a sunny day once in a while. I have a new Blonde Redhead CD to listen to, and I am eating Thai curry. It's delicious! I think I'm going to eat at that stand a lot more from now on! I've been eating Chinese food more or less straight for almost 2 years now, so it's good to take a break.

10 more days until my next day off.

That said, I taught my favorite class the word "body" as in dead body. You know, they remember the weirdest stuff, I only said it once. And now Wendy will come up to the board and draw stick figures with big x's for eyes and label them "body", how does she even remember how to spell that? Why can't she remember some of her vocabulary words but she can remember this. Also on Tuesday, in that class, they started pulling out their hair and giving it to me. It was kind of weird.

Also, when I taught the "There are two chairs in the bedroom." sentence pattern, they came up with "There are twenty eyes in the bathroom." and made graphic stabbing motions.

Why do people entrust me with their children again?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

It's all downhill from here

Hooray for working 13 days in a row! You may see little of me in the next 13 days. If you do see me, I'll probably be in kind of a bad mood. I'll leave it to your not inconsiderable intelligence to figure out why.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

History, doomed to repeat, perhaps you've heard?

So, this recently came to my attention, as all things do, via Angry Asian Man. Apparently the White House is considering a new type of immigration "reform" which would grant more visas for undocumented workers, but apparently prevent American citizens from bringing non citizen spouses, children, or parents to the US.

It's being compared to the Chinese Exclusion Act, which not only restricted Chinese immigration, but also prevented the children or wives of Chinese residents from joining in the US. For fear they would spawn.

Angry Asian Man as usual has all the information here.

Apparently there's an organization organizing a write in, as well as a call in. Considering how much illegal stuff that the White House pulls these days, I can't say I'm optimistic about the chances of success, but hell I'll do it anyway. And so should you, if things were different, or if my ancestors had not been successful in navigating or evading exclusion acts and immigrant quotas, and that goes for anyone not purely of northwestern European ancestry pre-World War 2, this could be me, it could be you. Or maybe it is you.

*$&# this

If Eric Liu fucking spends the entire lesson texting someone on his cell phone and then shows it to his goddamn wife when he thinks I'm not looking, I will not be responsible for my actions or my blood pressure.

I've been angry from about 11:30 am to now. Good for the circulation, that.

On a more positive note, I read Magniloquence's post about hair politics and this has soothed my savage breast somewhat. If only because it is quite complex, interesting, and personal all at the same time.

Fuck this work shit, I'm going to go sleep on my mother's couch and sell my plasma.

On a more negative note, (is there any other kind of note with me?) apparently it is confirmed Jet Li is in talks to be the villain in the Mummy 3. Y'know, now I'm kind of glad Bruce Lee died young. Just so it never came to something like this.

Friday, April 06, 2007

What exactly

is the nationality of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? I mean they were adopted by a rat, and the rat was Japanese. But they were raised in the New York sewers, so would that make them Japanese American?

I think I just made myself sad.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hot or Cold

Here mothers will sometimes dress their children in ridiculous amounts of clothes. Four layers on a day where it's maybe 50 degrees on the inside. The kids are hot and therefore will request the AC. This offends my Captain Planet raised sense of conservation of resources and usually an argument will ensue something like this.

Kid: Teacher, I'm hot.
Me: How many?
Kid: pointing at clothing: 3 (or 4 sometimes)
Me: Take off your sweater (or shirt)
Kid: No!
Me: Then you're not hot.
Kid: Teacher I'm hot.

Now some of them, curse them, think it's funny and will start this whole exchange on purpose.english

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I wonder

if my Chinese teacher realizes that she's now given me four books to read in the next month. Plus two pieces of 散文 per week. I know she's trying to cram as much in to the next two months for my sake, but I think my hair's going to turn white by the end of this.

Chinese, truly you are a harsh mistress. Also, I'll confess, I've started drinking that horrible powdered coffee that you add hot water too in order to save money for my teacher's fees and for my trip. Truly, the harshest of mistresses.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The most unsettling thing about cats in heat

is that their cries sound almost human.

The cockroach is the worst of all animals

I killed my first cockroach of the year today. And it seems that the ants have also returned after a long absence. Do cockroaches have any ecological benefit? At all? I find myself taking after my grandfather, shooting cockroaches down with Raid. I only took to the Raid when I once mashed a cockroach in two,and the front half continued to try to crawl around, I put the dustpan on it and left it for 15 minutes, and lifted it up, and it STILL tried to run away. Cockroaches are tenacious little motherfuckers.

On a lighter note, I finally, after a year and a half of searching, own a copy of A Tale of Two Sisters. In my opinion, the best Asian horror film since The Ring. And only minimal appearances of a lady with hair over her face. After having watched it for maybe the fourth or fifth time, I think I finally understand it.

It's that type of film.

Why am I acquiring more possessions when I'm leaving the country in less than two months you ask? That's an excellent question.