theladyrose: (Default)
First of all, many happy returns to [ profile] st_crispins on her rather belated birthday! I suspect I've missed a number of other birthdays, too, since I last posted a few months ago - hope they were all good ones :) Thanks to [ profile] eldritchhobbit and [ profile] agentxpndble

I do feel somewhat guilty about not posting in months - I've been wrangling with writing an entry for weeks but keep being tied up with more pressing matters with eminent deadlines. I've been keeping up with reading entries but rather lax in commenting :( It's strange to realize that in approximately a month's time I'll be a grad student, working on my master's in gerontology. Unlike many of my friends of a similar age, I have a year before I'm confronted with the financial realities of being an adult. In other news, it's been six years and nine days since my friend Cathy passed away, and it's the first time when I can honestly say I'm at peace with what happened to her.

Sometimes I wonder what her life would've been like if she had lived past her teens, but I recognize the futility of immersing myself in the potential energy left of a live left behind. All too often we mourn those who die young for who they could have become (or rather, who we wanted them to become), less so for who they actually were. Reminiscing about my friend is a shadow exercise in assessing my own life. Lately I've been wondering about all those other lives I've could've inhabited but have willingly relinquished to the tail ends of the probability curve. Back in high school, I was expected to go to Stanford, maybe an Ivy, and then go to law school because that's what relatively enculturated Asian/immigrant parents "strongly" recommend, outside of med school and engineering. Needless to say, I ended up at a university that used to be known for its football team but has the most badass gerontology department in the nation. (I can't believe I just juxtaposed "badass" and "gerontology" in all due seriousness.) Thankfully, my parents have been really supportive in letting me figure out my career. That, and they probably got tired of me babbling about constitutional issues at the dinner table when I was taking AP US History, in that pseudo precocious way that ambitious but not really brilliant high school students tend to talk.

More youthfully self-centered ramblings about my future )

In other news, my "gentleman caller" as my mother refers to him, will be meeting my godparents over dinner in two weeks :) I suspect that extremely nerdy conversations will be taking place, given that Weird Al's "White and Nerdy" might as well have been written the gentleman caller, and my godfather (dad's old roommate) is rumored to have been complicit in some wicked MIT pranks back in his college days. The fiery readhead (FR for short), as [ profile] dragonfly66 has nicknamed him, will be joining me the first few days of winter break after we're done with finals next Thursday. If any folks from the Bay Area are around the 17th to the 20th want to meet up with both of us, that'd be tremendously exciting!
theladyrose: (Default)
I haven't been very responsive here lately, I'm afraid; the end of the semester crunch has been occupying my time, but I'm home now.

I feel rather lucky to come home just in time to celebrate Mother's Day and be with my family again. We ended up going to see the new Star Trek movie, then I treated her to this awesome Vietnamese place. Short, non-spoilery review of Star Trek: worth seeing once for entertaining viewing as long as you don't spend too long staring at all the Enterprise-sized plot holes. It was surprisingly less campy than I had anticipated, with the actors playing Kirk, McCoy, and Scotty really owning their roles. Zoë Saldana's Uhuru is pretty damn awesome, too. Seriously, I was apprehensive about Kirk after watching the trailers, but he had enough charisma to actually pull it off. Unfortunately the bits with Spock just didn't cut it for me, especially that one scene at the end; there wasn't enough time to really flesh out his character with all the action going on, and the whole brooding Sylar in disguise characterization felt forced. But when it comes to hooking in a new generation into the ST franchise, I think it's quite effective by creating another dimension to the series for new and old fans to play with.

Anyway, Mother's Day once again has made me realize how lucky I am to have the people who support me in my life. I tend to wax sentimental when I write, but it really is true. As cheesy and cliché as it may sound, I do consider those of you who read this to be my extended family, the kinds of people I could only wish I could be related to just so I'd have an excuse to see you more often because you're all so awesome :D

And I can't imagine where I'd be without the wisdom, humor and guidance of the surrogate parents in my life who tell me the sorts of things that I have difficulty believing when my biological mother tells them to me. Even simple things like "Good luck" and "take care of yourself" - I take that to heart. And goodness knows you've helped me out in so many ways I can't name them all, from your Christmas cards to letting me interview/coerce you to helping me out on class projects to your sympathetic and often hilarious comments. Once again, thank you all!
theladyrose: (Default)
I've never understood the vitriol about Valentine's Day. Sure, $14.7 billion spent on gifts this year as a proxy for love strikes me as patently ridiculous; what scares me even more is that total expenditures related to this holiday's festivities are at a record low. But the true sentiment behind the day shouldn't arouse so much bitterness and ire. Believe me, I'm as familiar with heartsickness as the next person, but I refuse to let that prevent me from recognizing all there is for which I'm grateful.

I see Valentine's Day the way I see Thanksgiving and Christmas: an opportunity to reflect on what I have that I all too frequently overlook. This day is a celebration of love; I just expand that definition of love to something beyond the romantic kind.

When I think of love, I think of my family and friends and the friends I secretly count as family. I honestly can't imagine what my life would be without you. Call me a romantic, but I find it tragic how often we don't notice or acknowledge all those things that make us smile as we realize that yes, someone out there does care about us.

Love is someone checking in to see how I'm doing after angsting about a bad day. Love is someone going out of their way to send you a DVD featuring your favorite actor or a CD featuring your favorite composer. Love is someone baking green tea pound cake just for the fun of it and not minding when you end up eating most of it. Love is someone letting you continually bum rides off of her even though she refuses to let you pay for gas. Love is someone writing you a story or sharing a favorite poem. Love is someone washing your sheets and remembering to stock up on your favorite snack every time you come home. Love is someone sending you ridiculous lolcat photos and random cartoons because he thought you'd be entertained. Love is someone you haven't seen in ages sending you a letter or a postcard. Love is someone reminding you to stop taking yourself so seriously and learn how to crack a smile every so often. Love is someone who means it when they urge you to take care of yourself on the days when you don't think you're really worth caring about. Love is someone teaching you something new that they thought you'd enjoy. Love is someone trusting you enough to share a secret. Love is someone sharing something they've created so beautiful that you forget to breathe for a few moments. Love is seeing someone you admire stand up for what she believes is right and inspire you to take action, too.

I may be single, but I do feel loved this Valentine's Day. Thank you for being there.
theladyrose: (Default)
I've been meaning to write a real entry for ages. I swear I will, and really it won't be angsty. But in the meantime, this poem probably best sums up how things are at the moment:

I worry about you-
So long since we spoke.
Love, are you downhearted,
Dispirited, broke?

I worry about you.
I can't sleep at night.
Are you sad? Are you lonely?
Or are you all right?

They say that men suffer
As badly, as long.
I worry, I worry,
In case they are wrong.

(Wendy Cope)

This could describe how I feel about many people, as if somehow carrying around this growing mass of angst about other people will somehow counterbalance their anguish and make it all OK.

Dad's not been doing too well lately. It's been more like a sudden shift in decline rather than a full blown avalanche, but it's hard to tell how bad things are over the phone. He's lost a tooth and got stitches around his face twice within the span of a week and a half from falling down the stairs. I'm hoping that he and mom didn't have to go to the emergency room again tonight for an uncontrollable nosebleed.

Dad's seeing his neurologist this Friday; at the very least, it'll be interesting to see what sort of effect, if any, the stem cell therapy from two years ago has on his condition.

Frankly, I wish we could reset the clock to when I was five so that my family was happy and healthy again. It kills me not being able to do anything.

Any good hopes and prayers for my parents are very much appreciated.
theladyrose: (Default)
My mother and I are passing outside a stationery store and take a moment to peek in at the merchandise.

I am chuckling over a proto-Lolcats featuring a kitten wearing a funny mask.

My mother is laughing, too. "Porn for women! That's just brilliant!"

I turn to stare at her. "What are you talking about?"

She points at the calendar next to the cat one. It features a shirtless man vacuuming the carpet.

Such are the differences between how an asexual views the world and how most others do. But at least I have an idea of what else I should get Mom for Christmas!
theladyrose: (Default)
Many happy returns to [ profile] gandydancer and [ profile] storybox! I hope you had wonderful birthdays.

Dear X: Semi-feeling me up in front of your mother, even in the guise of a friendly hug, is just awkward. Even if you're slightly drunk. It's especially awkward when we share the same grandmother. But you're my cousin and ultimately one of the most decent guys I know my age, so I won't snap at you this time.

So, within the past week:

I got Kim Cattrall's autograph while passing by some random restaurant in Rome. She's absolutely stunning in person - maybe even more so than the brief glimpses I've seen of her on screen.

The AARP apparently will offer me a complimentary travel kit should I join the ripe old age of 20. Do my web browsing patterns really mirror that of a baby boomer that much? This must be a sign that I should get off my sorry butt and get ready to apply for my gerontology grad program this fall.

Morgan Freeman practically fell on top of my dad yesterday night as we were leaving the theater where we had just seen him perform in the Country Girl. He was quite the gent about it, being very apologetic while being crushed by a horde of autograph seekers right outside the stage door. I also caught a glimpse of Matthew Broderick, who was in the audience that night. I swear these things never happen to me when I'm in LA, although meeting the cast of Finishing the Game last November at the premiere was one of the coolest experiences in my life so far.

It is crazy how much less expensive things seem, even in New York, after Italy. I've heard more French spoken on the street and in the stores these past few days than I did the entire time I was in Europe.

Whenever I finish my two news stories (hahaha, as if I ever turn anything in before deadline) I have a lot to still write about Italy (I know, I know, that's what I always say). I guess I could sum it up as follows:

It was overcast with the vague sense of dampness at odds with the electric bustle of a big city at night. Arriving in New York's JFK last night was, in some ways, remarkably similar to my arrival in Italy at Milano's Malpensa airport.

As much as I have learned of life from the stories people have shared with me, some things really must be experienced to be understood beyond an intellectual level. I won't remember every church and fresco I saw, every note of each piece performed at the concerts I attended or even every lick of gelato I tasted. But what will stay with me is the impact atoms of personalities colliding into each other in transit, with even the relative brevity of contact subtly or significantly altering the trajectory of each party in the encounter.

I've gained enough confidence to at least make some effort to haggle with street vendors. I can navigate subway system in a language I don't know. I've learned that falafel and döner kebab stands are the best deal the other side of the Atlantic. I now know what it's like to be on a train for 13 hours (I spent ~77 hours in total on trains) and hope to never repeat the experience. I've felt the spine-tingling experience of the otherworldly when entering the darkened majesty of cathedrals that have laid witness to thousands like me passing through. I've scrubbed off the dust and dirt of centuries settle on my skin after wandering from one side of Rome to the other.

I don't know if I'll ever return, but I've brought back enough to last me for what I hope to be a lifetime's worth of value. But at the same time, I won't forget what I left behind.
theladyrose: (Default)
It looks increasingly probable that I'll be staying an extra year here to get my master's in gerontology, or the study of human aging. It also means that I have to get my recs and whatnot for grad school ready by fall of next year, but on the bright side, I don't have to take GREs, and I think my chances for getting into the program are pretty decent. Mostly it's that USC's really making an effort to retain undergrads for their grad programs...unless it's the clinical science psych program, in which case all bets are generally off because it's one of the most research-intensive out there. Go figure.

What happened to clinical psychology? The average PhD acceptance rate is lower than that of med school at 6%, and I don't think I have the mettle to last 7-8 years in a research-oriented program. After doing research just as an undergrad, I've realized that I'm really not cut out for it; my mentor/professor was so right when she warned me that (quantitative) research sucks out your soul. Seriously, I wasn't sure if I had a soul until research this semester nearly drained it from me. My chances of getting into a doctorate program are much better if I specialize in working with traditionally underserved and rapidly expanding population, and if doctorate programs don't end up working out, at least I have a good vocational safety net in an area that honestly interests me. My preoccupation with caregiving issues and the fact that I have a much easier time connecting with older adults than with kids seems like a decent preliminary indicator that the subject matter's a good match. At the very least, all of us grow older, so you might as well learn while you're young about the issues that you'll be facing.

My mother's response to hearing about all of this was "We'll support you, but is your heart really in it?" That's the first time I've been criticized for giving primarily practical reasons for a decisions! I laughed inwardly when she said that - my mother, the would-be writer who wound up in finance, is much more the closet romantic than I am. People, even my mother, tend to see me as either having a brain or a heart, but not both in equal measure. I attempt to research my future in nauseating detail so that I can plan accordingly; dreams are great, but you can't expect that desire alone will get you where you want to be. I can't exactly tell her that one of the main motivating factors is that I want to know how to take care of her and dad better in the future when she herself is anxious enough about the prospect of aging. I don't know how to explain to her that pragmatics can coincide with passion, that I understand that compromise is necessary if you're going to achieve anything sustainable and worthwhile.

On a somewhat related note, Dad has his "one year later" follow-up with his neurologist to check up on the progression of his Machado-Joseph disease in a couple of hours. Around this time last year, he showed "significant clinical improvement" a month after a month of stem cell treatment in China. As for the long term gains, who knows. I'm personally skeptical that it'll do any good in the long run. Due to the fact that Dad received spinal cord injections of umbilical cord stem cells and not embryonic ones, he basically received a sophisticated form of blood doping where most of the stem cells turned into extra red blood cells, which temporarily make one feel more energized. I can't quite remember where I obtained this information, but from what I've heard, umbilical cord stem cells aren't as good at passing through the blood-brain barrier.

In some ways, I'm one of the worst people to be "educating" people about stem cell therapy from personal experience. I've written a brief account about it here, but I seriously doubt that anyone on campus really read it. The reporters still call home sometimes; inevitably, we know what articles will be written by the Western press. Honestly, it pisses me off that they write about we patients like we're a bunch of desperate patsies looking for any cure that has some sham of promise. There was this one Salon article that makes me cringe for its condescending tone. People don't pay $20,000 to be human guinea pigs solely because they're naïvely deluded about the possibility for being cured. The prevailing social stigma and discrimination against people with disability makes their lives so unbelievably difficult on them and their caregivers that they are willing to try anything because they have nothing to lose.

When you've grown up with a parent with a chronic medical condition, you know better than to even think of cures. I don't expect to see a cure for my dad's condition in my lifetime; to be honest, from a utilitarian viewpoint, funding's better allocated to other medical conditions such as cancer and stroke that affect a greater proportion of the population. I just want to live in a world where people with disabilities can actually find jobs in accessible workplaces and be able to use public transportation without fearing that the bus drivers won't stop for them because loading them on will delay everyone's schedule. In some ways, that's why I have difficulty understanding all of these "Walk to Cure Muscular Dystrophy" races. I don't doubt that new vaccinations and screening measures will benefit everyone in the long run. But why must we spend so much time and money on developing medical treatments that will inevitably only work for some of the population and yet neglect relatively simple accommodation measures for people with current impairments? The medical conceptualization of disability posits disabling conditions as needing to be cured, rather than to be accommodated and a focus of lifestyle adaptation in cases where the underlying medical conditions currently lack a cure. A social model of disability advocates an environment that's universally accessible and recognizes the influence of social attitudes about the capabilities of those with physical and cognitive impairments play in the roles we have available for people in the disability community. And being tired makes me ridiculously wordy.

Anyway, getting back to my original point - as important as it is to foster dialogue about the ethics of stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine, we risk overlooking the underlying issues of disability awareness and rights. The dangers of focusing so much on finding cures for severe medical conditions is that we ignore the necessity of providing accommodation for those with disability and creating more enabling environments so that everyone, not just the able-bodied, can truly celebrate “culture of life.” Using stem cells to cure chronic diseases underscores the prevalence of the medical model of disability and the social prerogative in eradicating the conditions that cause disability. Patients are driven to seek expensive, potentially risky experimental treatments abroad because they find that their quality of life has significantly deteriorated due to the lack of resources for people with disabilities and their caregivers. If legislators are hesitant about funding embryonic stem cell research, they could invest public resources instead into extending access to people with disabilities instead of forcing scientists to pursue embryonic stem cell research elsewhere. The ideal goal of stem cell therapy is to improve the quality of life for those with medically related impairments, but there are multiple avenues of pursuit in achieving this objective. As important as it is to acknowledge and protect the rights of humans coming into being, it is all too easy to overlook the eroding civil rights for people with disabilities and the sociopolitical conditions that have made stem cell therapy such a pressing issue in the first place.

OK, I confess: this is my belated Blogging Against Disablism Day post. And there's a lot more I have to say about the subject, except that I really need to finish my take home final for my disabilities and healthcare class, so I'll get around to that later.
theladyrose: (Default)
I officially have somewhere to live next year! [ profile] lilbabiangel888, Xiaolin and my friend April and I are living in a decently nice 2 bedroom 2 bath place not too far away from campus that's less than our current rent. And unofficially I'm the coordinator of the PEER mentoring/counseling program next year, so I'll be gainfully employed doing something that really matters to me with people I love as well :) Oh, and I'm officially going to Verona this summer! I'll be there from May 20-July 13 before heading out to New York for our annual family reunion.

It's been hectic getting a number of things out of the way before going home spring break next week, where I can catch up on more work/evaluating research tapes. Theoretically I'm organizing the TO academic conference (where I gave a presentation last year) coming up in April alongside everything else. Maybe [ profile] laleia does have a point about my inability to say no. Thank goodness at least we have a committee to plan it all so that the work is spread out in a much more manageable fashion.

After much encouragement from a mentor/professor, I have a website with various snippets of writing up. Most of it is academic under the pretense that I have something to show grad schools/prospective employers (?), but I also have some more personal odds and ends there as well.

I should really stop procrastinating on a paper proposal due in a couple of hours, but once you start figuring out basic website stuff (and I mean really basic), it's disturbingly addictive.
theladyrose: (Default)
The good thing about having so many family birthdays take place within the same two week period is that you remember to look for gifts all at once; unfortunately, I've been absent from LJ lately after a week in New York and three days in San Francisco and have a lot of catching up to do. Depending on what calendar you look at, my parents have the same birthday - the same as [ profile] wiccagirl24, actually. Many happy belated returns to you, Sarah - I am so sorry that my gift is late in coming, but I swear I'll be ready with it soon.

And before I forget - happy birthday, [ profile] eyepiece_simile! Hopefully you've had a chance to open your card by now :)

My cousin Venus (the only artistic member of my family since the Tang dynasty; sadly, I don't think I'm joking) is getting married this weekend, so I'll be gone until Wednesday. And somehow, magically, I am going to start and finish my LA Chinatown and Westminister presentation...soon. [ profile] laleia, do you know if we need to have our presentations done by the SWA retreat? If we do, then it looks like I'll be bringing my laptop on vacation with me.

So, to pretty much sum up this month - I've been gone, I'm going away again for family-related reasons and am playing catch up on pretty much everything. I didn't even realize that there's supposedly some sort of mass exodus from Livejournal going on at the moment as [ profile] laleia has recently informed me? I just thought people were busy or on vacation. Be seeing you!
theladyrose: (Default)
I have to confess, I underestimate my cousin Peter - he embodies my vision of Mr. Frat Guy, but he has the street smarts I'll never have. In between his tale of drinking a "das boot" and enjoying Prague's nightlife a little too much on his five week trek through Europe, he pointed out something that had always struck me as interesting.

After you introduce yourself as an American, most Europeans will rip apart America apart as if you personally personify all of its evils. But once you tell them that you're from California or New York, it's as if you've spoken the magic words to join the civilized bastion of Western culture. Actually, I think people from Washington, Oregon and Hawaii tend to be let off the hook as well - the whole Pacific coast, really. If you're not Caucasian, you gain even more credibility, and if at least one of your parents is an immigrant you walk on water. Sure, I tend to be pretty liberal and see a number of things that I'd like to change about the American government and general social attitudes. I did seriously consider going to college in Canada, though not all for political reasons.

I do find it amusing, though, that America so often becomes the scapegoat for Western anxieties. Does the US serve as a case study for many social ills? Yes. But that doesn't mean it's not the only place that could use a serious dose of reform. It does seem to me, though, that the Europeans I've come across tend to be much more interested in discussing these larger issues and have ideas, if not always the most feasible or practical, ways of addressing the problem.
theladyrose: (Default)
It is an unspoken law of immigrants that the suitcase stuffed with all of the gifts for the relatives "back home" is the heaviest one.

That suitcase must also weigh at least 1/3 as much as the strongest person in the house, and at the very least, 1/3 of the suitcase weight is dedicated to food. I still remember when I dragged up 30 pounds of roasted peanuts for my grandmother when I was 11, but customs is a bit stricter nowadays.
theladyrose: (Default)
Only in my family would a wedding invitation:

a) be received 5 days after the actual wedding
b) have too much postage
c) have our last name spelled incorrectly
d) have creepy gold leaf anime cartoons on it
e) be claimed as the reason why my grandmother is currently on an operating table for a broken foot

Can you guess why we have so few family reunions nowadays?

Oh, and happy International Workers' Day!
theladyrose: (Default)
My mother and I baked lemon bars together for the first time since I was seven. Or possibly the last time was when I was ten. This temporal distance seemed much more significant to me several hours ago, but I'd like to take today's baking as a good sign for the future.

Needless to say, it's amazing how much of your own handiwork you end up eating in the process despite trying to save the remains for other people. Was it Agatha Christie who said that good intentions pave the path to hell?

On a different note, I'm fairly certain about where I'll be headed to college (USC) and will probably be sending off my enrollment info tomorrow afternoon if not Tuesday. Kerstin, try not to look like you're attending my funeral.
theladyrose: (Default)
My grandmother had a minor stroke yesterday, but my parents are already planning what to do for a future funeral. I want to believe that they're being overly pessimistic.

Movement has been feeling surprisingly heavy.
theladyrose: (Default)
My father has way too much fun describing his roach killing exploits. Though it's not as scary as knowing that he, a geeky class valdectorian, had at least six times as many dates as I did by the time he was my age.

The finance presentation today possibly squished my brain like a rotten watermelon being run over on my street. Seriously, all of the vague considerations I had for business school pretty much crawled into a hole and died; my fellow IHLers are smart, but most of us (I presume) don't really know anything about private equity and investment banking. I would've been even more lost if my mother didn't randomly give me economics lectures during dinner. Tonight we calculated that while you'd make $10/hr at the internship they're offering, the cost of transportation and lunch alone would eat up any profit.

In other words, it looks like I better look for a summer job elsewhere. I'm seriously considering trying to find some kind of tutoring work but I don't know how many places would hire a mere high school grad. I've heard that SCORE is decent.
theladyrose: (Default)
Useful lesson of the day: Never mix anything meant for a blender with a tablespoon, especially for a milkshake.

Useful observation of the day: When the moon is out you can actually see where you're going when dragging out the trash instead of tripping over random things and seeing your trash can rolling down the street. And the stars are quite pretty. That's what I missed this past summer, except for the nights of the meteor shower-not being able to see what's up in the sky due to light pollution.

Not terribly useful realization of the day: I'm going to really miss dinnertime conversations with my family when I'm in university.

I've attempted to figure out the key components of said conversations-I can't think of any dull at-home dinnertimes in just about...ever. They seem to usually compromise of the following, among other topics:

-three references to a Pink Panther/Mel Brooks (almost always Young Frankenstein, but the Producers and Blazing Saddles have been known to appear as well)
-my mother waxing (slightly) melodramatic about her experiences with hospitals
-my mother and me speaking in at least two strange accents
-my mother remarking about how strange I am
-my mother wondering why my friends are crazy
-my objecting to my mother's claims that I meet too many crazy people
-my mother expostulating on why all of us belong in the local insane asylum
-my pondering aloud why we aren't all in the insane asylum
-my father relating some obscure occurence during my childhood to avoid any awkwardness and succeeding slightly
-my father scheming of ways of using various kinds of military technology to get rid of random bugs around the house
-my mother looking guilty about having stuck me in daycare for roughly ten years, though mostly not on a full time basis
-my parents quizzing me about my friends' and classmates' college decisions
-my father making some sort of reference to World War II out of context
-my mother complaining that my father rerecords way too many Band of Brother reruns
-my mother claiming that she is an alien
-my discovering that I have even more cousins than I thought previously (the official count is at 28)
-my discovering that someone in my family has some sort of freaky medical condition
-my father asking for his daily serving of phosphoric acid (a.k.a. Coca Cola)

And I seem to have gotten into college. Sort of-it's mostly implied. I only figured that out about thirty seven minutes ago. But the mail has made me happy today.
theladyrose: (Default)
Canadians: it's hard not to love them.

Really hard. Pretty much impossible, actually.

Did I mention that my cousin Venus is terrific? (Yes, that is her real name.)

Except that if I didn't know her, I'd be really tempted to mock her for being a really uber new age West Coast urbanite with her new organic food and yoga obsessions. Her long-term boyfriend, Vince, is a pretty cool guy, too.

I'll probably discover that I have even more cool cousins next year; I discover the existence of roughly three new ones a year. Last time I checked the total was somewhere around 25?
theladyrose: (Default)
The funeral was this Saturday. I have no idea what to say.

Ellie has gone off to HK to renew her passport and deal with some of the aftermath, so I now have the slightly depressing distinction of being the only able-bodied person (and only driver) in the house.

What continues to surprise me about grief is its continued ability to suffocate all emotions with it. Somehow you manage to function perfectly while your emotions slip into a coma. The day's experiences slide off like beads of water on wax; no mood lingers and merely mirrors those of the people around you.

If I haven't said so already, Joan Didion's essay on grief published in the New York Times magazine two Sundays ago is possibly the most brilliant thing I've read in weeks.

Somehow by the end of tonight I'm going to finish my French absurdist play for my French seminar. That requires me to figure out what the hell I am going to write in English, and then afterwards translate my ideas. Err, right.

Somehow that's going to happen. And somehow tomorrow I'll find the time to do that Italian project Powerpoint that I should've turned in last Friday except that my computer account will neither let me save nor print anything. And then I need to study for my AP Euro test.

Luckily I didn't screw up my Columbia interview today; actually, I'm surprised that he said that I did a reasonably decent job and that I will probably get in (although I don't believe that last part at all). My interviewer was...interesting, possibly what one might call a reverse racist? He puzzles me.
theladyrose: (Default)
If anyone you know happens to keel dead sometime within the rest of this week, I'm really sorry. I think I'm carrying a strain of impending disaster upon way too many people I know, so perhaps I should just stick myself in quarantine.

RIP, Bakey Tsuan. He's the last of my maternal grandfather's living male friends. I'm sorry that I never got to know him better because he's the closest I ever had to a grandfather.

And I can't go to the funeral because it's the same day as the SAT. Damn you, apocalypse.
theladyrose: (Default)
My cousin Jason got married this Friday! Congrats to him and his new wife, Jenny; may you have the happiest of times together. And happy 77th birthday to my paternal grandmother as of yesterday!

I left Thursday afternoon to go up to NYC for the wedding and got back at around 8:30 to my dorm this evening. There were tons of relatives from both sides of the couple's family plus a lot of co-workers and whatnot. The ceremony was held at this psuedo-Victorian manor on Long Island where the festivities ended up being held inside as it was pouring ropes that afternoon. The bride cried a lot, and the maid of honor gave the sappiest speech I have heard in years. The flower girls didn't show up until the ceremony ended (their father got hopelessly lost in the rain), the best man dropped the rings down the aisle, and the groom kept bumping his head against the floral arrangement hung on the top of the wedding arch, but I still think it's the most entertaining wedding I've ever attended. Then again, I've only been to two others before, and the first one was when I was three so I remember nothing. I was amazed by how many of my stiff-faced relatives flung themselves about on the dance floor with the aid of a few drinks. My cousin even took off his bride's garter blindfolded in the middle of the dance floor; luckily my grandmother's eyesight isn't so great anymore. And then the best man, who caught the garter afterwards, had to put it on the girl who caught the bride's bouquet with his eyes closed. Nobody ended up starving-there must have been enough for two entire small African nations to consume within a week. I'll confess that I'm not particularly fond of the bride from what I've heard about her, but if she and my cousin are happy together and will continue to be happy together, then who am I to judge?

I met a lot of people who knew me and my father when we were younger; two of them actually showed my old Christmas card photos to everyone else at my grandmother's birthday dinner yesterday. I nearly crawled underneath the table but thankfully I was slightly photogenic then. My female cousins are all much prettier than me; what happened to our gene pool to give me the short end of the stick here? To be very shallow/defensive, the married ones have unattractive (which doesn't mean ugly) husbands, although they seem to be nice if dull human beings. We have tons and tons of photos that I'll post up later if anyone remembers to send them to me.

While I was up in New York, I also visited two universities. As chance may be, I always end up liking the places that I expect to detest and don't really like the places that I thought I'd want to attend. The only exception to this finding is that college where [ profile] cutemew will be attending in the fall. Hmmm.

Apparently my semi-existent accent is "transatlantic," the accent that was super popular for women appearing in spy films and TV shows in the 60's so that they sounded exotic while still being understandable. Personally I think like I sound like a pretentious anglophile who can't drown out the American tones in her voice, but whatever.

If I'm not making any sense and am rambling on excessively, I'd like to blame ingesting a lot of caffeine on a relatively empty stomach as the culprit. My nightly boba drinking may be the cause of my semi-insomnia/late night hyperactivity.

And now for some long-awaited musical commentary that probably will bore and confuse just about everyone )


theladyrose: (Default)

June 2010

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