I'd take my Face...off...

11/30/2005

Got my Yes Asia order yesterday (thanks Holly!) with the Myth, Dragons Forever, Project A & Skyline Cruisers…disappointed to see that the copy of Dragons has no English subtitles…damn it…well, at least I get to see Jackie and that Filipino guy (Benny 'The Jet' Urquidez) go at it again…some of the kids at Casa used to call me Jackie Chan- which at first bugged me, but I came to the realization that these kids probably had no previous extended interaction with an slanty eyed person before…hopefully I didn’t taint it for others they come across in the future…plus, hey Jackie is cool…

Saw BONES again last night again- less emphasis on the science and more on Bones and her past as well as Court Drama stuff…I really like this show- I hope in the future the shows focuses more on the science aspect as well as the quirky characters (and that they don’t jump the shark and get the two leads romantically involved- in fact that’s what I liked about last night’s show…that Agent Booth (aka Angel) didn’t get all jealousy when Bones’ ex showed up…)


Today’s Play List:

Isn’t she Still…- Pretty In Pink Soundtrack tribute: was this ever released? The copy I got was a promo and I’ve never seen it in stores…maybe I can eBay it for mucho dineros

Kung Fu Hustle Soundtrack:

Cowboy Bebop Movie Soundtrack:

Faith- The Cure: If I ever commit suicide, this will be playing in the background

Future Perfect- VNV Nation:

From www.comicon.com/thepulse re: superheroes’ religions:

# Batman (Bruce Wayne) - Catholic
# Superman (Clark Kent/Kal-El) - raised Protestant (in some versions prior to 1986, he worshipped Kryptonian god Rao, which was explicitly addressed beginning in mid-1980s)
# Spider-Man (Peter Parker) - Protestant
# Wonder Woman (Princess Diana aka Diana Prince) - Greco-Roman classical religion
# Captain Marvel (Billy Batson, published by Fawcett, then DC) - Greco-Roman classical religion
# Daredevil (Matt Murdock) - Catholic
# Captain America (Steve Rogers) - Protestant
# Elektra (Elektra Natchios) - Greek Orthodox (clearly depicted at the funeral of her father in the 2004 movie; according to some sources she is depicted as Catholic in the comics)
# Wolvertine (Logan, of the X-Men) - atheist
# The Punisher (Frank Castle) - Catholic (former Catholic seminary student)
# Robin/Nightwing (Dick Grayson) - Christianity (practicing, but specific denomination not unclear; Nightwing comics have shown both Catholic and Evangelical Protestant books, music)


Chat with Brian Wood @ http://comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=6254
I love this guy’s work…indie and damn proud of it.

Remembering Pat Morita @ http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/29/opinion/29tue4.html?emc=eta1. I’d like to add that they also use James Wong in the same stereotypical roles Mr Miyagi had…and that Rob Schneider is half a Fob- but that’s no excuse- he still plays ethnic caricatures…

Learn more about Kathy Reichs- the chick who the show BONES is based on at http://www.kathyreichs.com/biography.htm . She seems like cool people.

Face/Off is my favourite American John Woo Film- now life imitates art in the first human face transplant: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4484728.stm

Events Occur in Real Time...

11/30/2005

Yes, I’m still gonna keep bitching about it- there was ice on the car this morning again and yes- it’s still too fucking cold.

In the words of Jack Bauer: “DAMN IT!”

It'll make sense when we grow up...

11/29/2005

Ice on the car again this morning…this has got to stop.

Austin American Statesman has an article re: the new Calvin & Hobbes collection that reprints the entire series…C&H is my favourite newspaper strip, especially after the strip got over it’s initial experimental slump and dove straight into what made it work so well- the world as seen through a mischievous and at times thoughtful little boy. I love the fact that Hobbes is not a gimmick- he’s always real because to Calvin he IS real… check it out at http://www.statesman.com/life/content/life/index.html

Saw an actual good reality show last night on PBS (presenting a BBC show) about a group of people trying/learning to be spies…it’s called creatively- SPY…learn more about it at http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/spy/index.shtml

Awesome article about Asian Americans making it back in Asia at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/11/27/MNGH0FU3OB1.DTL.

Today’s play list (remember, most of my CD’s are still in storage- so this is gonna get repetitive soon):

One Thousand Screaming Children- Cure Tribute: Tribute from indie Texas based bands, a lot better than I expected especially after multiple listenings

Wolf’s Rain Soundtrack: a more mellow but still jazz infused piece from Yoko Kanno…I have never seen the anime but plan to…the ecology angle always hooks me- really enjoyed Princess Mononoke and Arjuna who have similar themes

Alias Season 1 Soundtrack: JJ Abram’s bastard step child now that Lost is a hit but still the best thing he’s done…the music is good too- love James Bondian tributes…was watching the Tarantino two-parter last night and enjoyed it as much as the first time I watched it- which is odd- Alias is a show you can’t usually watch at random due to the complicated arcs…

Faith- the Cure (special ed. 2nd disc): Love the Cure Special Editions! The second discs are totally awesome…can’t wait for the Wish one with the Lost Wishes…this one has some great alternate takes…yellow, yellow so cold!

Welcome to Earth- Apoptygma Bezerk: Not as great as their other albums but still a good listen…the album version of Kathy’s Song is a must listen to!

120 Days Gone by...

11/28/2005

Four months to the day (almost) in Texas by the way and no, I’m not used to it yet…

I told you I'd be back

11/28/2005

Today’s Playlist:

Escaflowne Soundtrack- love the show, heard about it a long time before finally seeing it on Fox Kids of all places in a heavily censored version. The DVD’s were rip offs at so few episodes at high price (like most anime which is why I don’t watch as much anime as I used to) but were worth it. One of the first shows I’d marathon through. Plus it’s Yoko Kanno

Playing the Angel- Depeche Mode: like most if not all 80’s bands a shade of what they used to be. But it’s still nice to hear new stuff from them…like an old friend stopping by to say hi

Radio JXL- Junkie JXL: the Robert Smith song on this album is what I wish new Cure songs are like…sigh…

Hocicco- Hate Never Dies: Songs to kill your best friend by…

Paris- The Cure: classic sampler of the ‘darker’ Cure side…yup- doesn’t really matter if we all die


PS: the flashback lunch just reminded me that the Cure’s Head on the Door album came out 20 years ago…wow, I listen to oldies…

Interview with Datuk Michelle Yeoh at http://www.darkhorizons.com/news05/geisha3.php. But she’s still playing a Japanese woman in the Geisha movie (along with Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li)…it’s a little odd.

The Bruce lee statue in Bosnia has already been vandalized...you BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Plus the statue in HK is already up...it actually looks cooler than the one in Bosnia...

Monday yet again...sigh...

11/28/2005

Welcome back- the Thanksgiving weekend is over and we are officially in the Holiday Season…yeah…the weekend was okay- like I said before, four day weekends should be the norm- or at least three…what I did this weekend:

1) Was lazy…
2) Watched the BBC comedies of Alan Partridge and Nick Frost’s Danger 50000 Volts. Very Funny…I don’t usually buy comedies because it’s never as funny the second time around- not sure how many times I’m gonna re-watch these, but at least I can say I saw them and they were worth getting
3) Saw the first half of BBC’s Tinker Tailor Sailor Spy- very slow paced as I expected but good…a very different spy drama from what I’m used to
4) Went to some early morning sales violating the Buy Nothing Day thing…but I didn’t buy much (not that I had loads of money to buy anyway…). Got the 1st season of the Shield, Aeon Flux and some comics…
5) Read the comics I bought- Ed Brubaker’s Captain America (the hardcover and the run up to the latest issue) and the 1st volume of Young Avengers. Both were very good although the Captain America story was way darker than I expected…but I have a long affection to Cap- my dad used to keep a pic of me in his wallet wearing the costume and I used to make cardboard shields…

Other things of note:

Pat Morita passed away…we shared the same birth date…fond memories of the first Karate Kid- used to try the Daniel-San stance from the end of the movie and kicked my sister in the head once doing so…she recovered…I think

This is the last season of Alias as many expected…how do I want the show to end? With a multitude of costumes, seeking a scientist in a dance club, a huge battle with Rimbaldi himself with Sydney of course winning in the end collapsing from exhaustion and waking up in a strange ‘village’ on an island facing a small fat bearded man in a round chair as she asks, “Who are You?”

His Response? “For now…you are Number Six.”

Fade to Black.

Also finally finished watching Enterprise this weekend (I have the 3rd & 4th seasons…avoiding the first two). Better than expected and the show died when it was starting to be really good…would have loved to see the fifth season with Shran as a member of the crew and stories of the bumpless and less honor bound Klingons…

Thing about Maggie Cheung at http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10217694/site/newsweek/ .
Maggie Kicks ass. The article is mostly about her ‘serous’ movie career but she was in some really awesome action movies as well. If you can check out the Green Snake. She’s the highlight of the movie. Too bad she wasn’t in more English speaking movies as she has a dead sexy British accent.

Finally (for now) check out http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4474316.stm. Bruce Lee Statues in eastern Europe. I think I’ve mentioned it before…in a land of conflict and scars of war, the one thing that the dividing groups (Serb, Croat & Muslim) find common ground in is a little guy named Bruce Lee. It’s awesome I tells ya…when I was in Hong Kong I came across a wax statue of Bruce that they said was life sized. If it was, dude, he was smaller than me (I’m 5’4 and 120 lbs).

Bruce is the king…very rock n’ roll- lived fast and died young.

That’s it for now…more later…maybe

Salamat po...

11/23/2005

"The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness; only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest." - Bruce Lee

Yes- it’s a short day at work but it’s also a slow day at work…it’s the last hour of the work day and how much you wanna bet it’s the freakin’ longest?

So…Thanksgiving…my first exposure to it was reading about it in Brunei as a young fob in the Charlie Brown Encyclopedia (no need to hunt down that set as a grown up but happy to find the strips in the Peanuts 50th anniversary book…). Didn’t really know what to expect from the day itself when I moved here in 1991- all I knew was that I was hanging out with my relatives at my Uncle’s house…dude, it was such a surprise to see a table full of white man’s food at a Filipino house. They had everything: cranberry, stuffing, ham, casserole, pumpkin pie and of course- turkey. And it was great too- my Uncle Sonny is one of the best cooks out there (just ask Holly who hates ribs but devoured the ones I brought home that my uncle made).

I’ve had less real Thanksgiving meals since I’ve moved out on my own (yesterday’s luncheon don’t count mostly because I didn’t really know the people I was munching on turkey with and the fact that it was a Tuesday)…either Holly and I sleep in or I would put in a day’s work at Casa- but since I now work for an agency that’s closed that day of the year, we’ll probably just sleep in again this year and watch DVD’s.

But I still look forward to it…it’s one of the few real weekends in the year…a day to decompress from and forget about work…another day to head out and shop if you want and two more days to just relax…weekends should always be like this…

So- what am I thankful for this year?

1) Holly and the Cats- as always
2) The fact that I have a job- seriously thought I’d still be job hunting …
3) Being in Texas- I don’t love Texas yet and still miss So Cal but it’s a new experience and I’ve been wanting to try and live somewhere new in a long while
4) No regrets
5) Good people that I work with here…they’re not Super Heroes but they believe in a good, honest day’s work
6) 4 years at Casa Pacifica- I’ve mentioned this before but I’m thankful for my time there, the people I’ve met and that there’s a place like that for kids to go to
7) That I haven’t lost my mind yet

Well, there’s more…but they’re too boring to list and I wanna quit while I’m ahead…

Happy Thanksgiving out there and stay always crunchy…even in milk

Be Water, my friends...

Now, for something happier than pet deaths, how about something from my main man Bruce:

"Water is an example of wholeness without form; it can fill any container, and yet it is substance without shape. Because it is formless, it permeates all.... Water can flow, and it can crash!"

Ah…..be water my friends, be water…

The new National Geographic has an article (excerpt at: http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0512/feature4/index.html) about the rise of Buddhist beliefs in daily American society…I’ve only read the excerpt myself (gotta get the mag) but it really sounds awesome…one thing I love about Buddhism is that it can be more about a way of living rather and coping with the daily struggle. No wars (that I know of) have been fought over Buddhist beliefs…can’t really say that for any other religion…

I also honestly believe that attachment is the source of all pain and suffering in this world…there’s a lot you can say about it even in just of the context of the current war on terror…although I also believe that the right balance of attachment can be a source of strength…my attachment to Holly is a source of strenght that keeps me going from one day to the next- lets me know I’m working and living for a Better Tomorrow (bad ass John Woo movie by the way)…but if I’m not too careful- it can turn to a Fatal Attractions thing…if you know what I mean…

Wouldn’t mind going to India one of these days to walk the lands that Buddha once did…speaking of which, there’s a movie out there called THE CUP that’s worth tracking down if you can…it’s about Tibetan Monks that live in exile in northern India and their young prodigies as they try to fight their very earthly desire to watch the soccer World Cup…based on a true story yo…

Doin' the Bob Barker thing...

As much as I hate it, read this article: http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/2005-11-18/pols_feature.html

Spay or neuter your pets people…I hate seeing kittens get euthanized. What’s worse is the pics of that dog that looks like Scooby get injected and get placed in a body bag that suspiciously looks like a trash bag…I didn’t finish reading the article…

I’d like to say that there’s nothing I’ve done that I’ve regretted- I like to see them all as learning experiences…but one thing I did that I always hated was to let an old roommate get rid of her puppy…poor Thug…

The Dickens you say...

Ah…Just Like Heaven…the perfect three minute single…

There’s a semi-cool thing happening in downtown Austin this weekend. It’s a Christmas thing with actors in costume and character from Charles Dickens…I hope to run into Marley’s ghost and into Fagin to see if he wants to put his mad skillz working for Casa Pacifica…the thing that makes it only semi-cool? They’re also gonna have recreations of western fights and brawls not unlike what you’d see in Universal Studios…so I wonder if Oliver Twist is gonna sound like he’s from the South and not the South of London…oh, well…

Well, the annual Black Friday is two days away…and with nothing really jumping at me deal wise, I might actually support Buy Nothing Day this year…if you’re not familiar with Buy Nothing Day- it’s a thing advocated by the folks at Adbusters magazine (www.adbusters.org) to battle the rampant consumerism running around today. It’s an admirable act I believe…I myself have too much shit that I don’t need and/or want and the same applies to everyone I know- after all, how essential are cell phones anyway?

However, I do wish that the Adbusters people should pick another day to designate as Buy Nothing Day. The day after Thanksgiving (and shopping on that day) is a tradition to most and it’s cool to find stuff at awesome prices…the Masses buying nothing would be as effective and attention grabbing if it were to happen all of a sudden on a random day in the year rather than on a day full of temptations of great deals…reminds me of a couple of years ago when they tried to do a Buy No Gas Day to battle rising fuel costs- I don’t think the masses cared or noticed and neither did big oil…

Oh, well…

Mistakes

Re: my play list- I accidentally brought Matter+Form instead of Future Perfect from VNV Nation…ARRGGGGHHHH…I wanted to listen to Future Perfect…anyway if you get a chance listen to Chrome from Matter+Form- it’s an amazing single with an interesting structure that basically makes it two completely different songs in one- with a transition so smooth you don’t notice immediately… it’s genius I tells ya…

And another mistake: Torture is not book ended by 2 uppity singles- but still, it seems like Torture & If Only Tonight We Can Sleep belong on different albums than Catch and Why Can’t I Be You?

Odin's Day

11/23/2005

Short day after work- but I got errands to do after, hope there’s not that much traffic and people…wanna get the Aeon Flux box set…

Anyway, my play list for today:

Alphaville: Forever Young- a lot better than I expected from a one hit wonder band, I really like Dark Angel and the Jet Set

Macross Plus Movie Soundtrack- if you had a gun to my head I’d have to say this is my favourite movie…and the music is a big part of it. Usually in movies when a character is required to be a singer the songs made for the movie are usually crap…but this is a great exception. The movie has everything: a compelling storyline, a tangled love triangle, action, great visuals and giant robots…I wanna watch it again…

New Order: the live disc from the boxed set- their box set is not as definitive as the Joy Division boxed set, however it’s way less gloomy. Some great live versions here…one of these days New Order will put on a proper US tour again…

The Cure: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss me- an awesome album albeit a little schizoid…how the hell do you book end a song like Torture with two uppity singles? I’ve known people who bought the album just for JLH and then get horrified by the first song…definitely not a first album for new Cure listeners…but a great mix of who the Cure are…

VNV Nation: Future Perfect- took me a while to actually like this album, but like all their stuff I totally love…I didn’t actually really like VNV (and the songs on this album) until I saw their Live DVD- which totally blew me away an made me watch it everyday for several days in a row…hope for great things to happen to this band

I feel sick...

11/22/2005

Today was the Thanksgiving lunch at work, so real work is at a minimum (hope I just didn’t jinx it…)

Anyway, lunch on my plate was:
Deep Fried Turkey- decent but it was cold
Ham- not a big fan of sweet meats but is was okay
Rice- a-Roni (the San Francisco treat!)
An ariscaldo- type thing with turkey and dumplings- but was really good, my fave
Roast beef- didn’t touch it
Dressing (known in So Cal as Stuffing)- was good
Pecan Pie- looooooove the pecan pie
Cider-a little too sweet but happy for the warmth it provided
Dr. Pepper- now I need to stay awake

Ate too much too fast…now I feel sick…

My play list for the day was:

Matter & Form- VNV Nation…love this album (their latest), but still too many instrumentals in a row

Come Lie Next to Me single- Apoptygma Bezerk (my fave thing from them, love the remixes)

Best of- OMD (reminds me of someone every time I listen to it…and of a certain period of my life…)

Here to Stay promo single- New Order…the best thing they’ve done recently

Light- KMFDM…I laughed out loud the first time I heard this song

Signos de aberracion- Hocico…funny story about how I found out about this band, heard it from a car on the 405 and we chased him down to tell us the name of the band…for the longest time we couldn’t find their albums cuz we didn’t know how to spell Hocico…

Once upon a Time- Siouxsie & the Banshees- Siouxsie is my biological mother

Cowboy Bebop- Yoko Kanno…the live disk from the boxed set very fun to listen to

Show- The Cure…like OMD, used to remind me of a time in my life…but not so much anymore, maybe cuz it was so long ago? Anyway, my fave Cure CD- mostly cuz it was my first Cure Album…still wanna get the 2-disc version that was the same as the cassette version- now that will bring back muchos memories…problem with the CD- the sound mix isn’t loud enough, not helped by my lousy computer speakers…

101- Depeche Mode: Like Show, my fave D-Mode album cuz it was my first one…

As Always: Let there be…Let there always be…never-ending light…

CD Trader Sale

11/22/2005

From my email- go if you can, these are great people:

Santa has arrived early at CD Trader! Stop by this Friday, Saturday, or Sunday,
November 25-27 for big savings on everything in the store:

All New CDs & DVDs 10% off
All Used CDs & DVDs 20% off
All LPs up to 50% off

Also, CD Trader Gift Certificates are available for those hard to shop for audiophiles & cinephiles, or we can order almost any CD or DVD that is still in print & have it in plenty of time for the holidays.

CD Trader is located at 18926 Ventura Blvd in Tarzana, between the Tampa & Reseda exits off the 101 freeway. Store hours Monday-Saturday 10-8, Sunday 11-7. We will be closed Thanksgiving Day.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS & ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Drive from So Cal to Austin

11/22/2005

One of the things I was researching the internet madly before I got here was for any information regarding the drive from So Cal to Austin, Texas…I wanted to know how long it took, what places you should stop at and the like…the only thing I found was some biker’s trip there and it wasn’t helpful…so here’s my account:

I left Northridge on the 26th of July at 8pm pacific standard time and got to Texas on the 27th of July at 11pm central time…so what- that’s 25 hours? I was driving a 91 Acura that that was filled with stuff ( I loaded to the brim but I made sure I had a good view through my rear view mirror of the back), my passenger seat was the same (loaded but made sure I could see my mirror), a bunch of snack bars, a case of MONSTER and of course, my two cats, their beds and a litter box (and leashes if I ever wanted to stop the car and let the out for a breather…)

Now, if you can get your pets there safely some other way- do it…we couldn’t fly with our cats because: 1) they were too heavy to ride in the passenger compartment with us and 2) the airlines will not guarantee their safe arrival at the destination…and there are stories out there of people’s animals reaching somewhere frozen to death…pets are treated like baggage by airlines- not living things.

Also, if you can find some other way that driving to get to Austin from So Cal do it…I was willing to shop my car- but the cat situation forced me to drive…which is usually something I don’t mind- but the whole stress of the move was getting to me…and then, taking the 118 East exit from Reseda- an exit I’ve taken millions of times before and realizing it was the last time I’d be taking the exit for a long time…ai yah…

Anyway- back to the drive…I downed a whole can of Monster before leaving and had one open in the car as I was driving…nevertheless I was dead tired by 11pm and needed a rest…I was taking the 118 east to the 210 east and then the 10 east for about 1000 plus miles…the 10 would take me to Phoenix, to El Paso, to Albuquerque, to El Paso, to San Antonio where I switched to the 35 north to the 183 north. But anyway, about 11pm, I did my first rest stop and pee break. I did what I had to do and then did some shut eye- at that point I just wanted to catch a break as I was swerving that too-tired-to-drive-swerve. I napped for ½ an hour- much less that I thought I needed but I felt rested enough to drive again…

Reached the border at about 2:30am, got gas and said goodbye good bye to California…

At about 5:30am I reached Phoenix…this was in the middle of a severe heat wave of which I could feel even at that early inside an air conditioned car…but the streets empty and I was able to breeze through the city pretty quickly…although on the other side of Phoenix were several accidents, but it was early enough to escape any gridlock…

One of the reasons I left at night was because of the heat wave- I have an older car, the two cats and not very fond of extreme heat either…so I was expecting a stop somewhere as the sun came up across the desert…the sunset over Arizona was an awesome sight…it was coming up as I came up through classic American desert scenery- cacti, weird geological formations and all, really wished I could stop and enjoy it all, but from the car will do…for now…I think I stopped at about 8am to stretch my legs, call Holly and drain the lizard…I forget the names most of the towns…

The cats seemed to be enjoying the trip (much more than me anyway) and were more active that I would think…the fat one actually made an effort to sit in my lap- which he never does anywhere else…and both seemed to enjoy the view outside as we sped by…both walked the little space above the baggage- although every now and then I had to be rough as they tired to go to the area where my feet (and the brakes) were…it’s also safe to assume that by this time I was covered in fur…fortunately for the whole trip neither made a mad dash out the car or laid a steaming, stinking pile of crap.

Reached the border to New Mexico at about late morning (10am or so)…I think I stopped just past it for a another 30 minute nap…but New Mexico- at least visually unremarkable…it was still morning cool at this point…if I had more time I would have loved to detoured and seen the white sands, the VL array and since I was watching a lot of X-Files at that point- Roswell…but, that’s another trip for another time…New Mexico only took a couple of hours to get through…although it there was gridlock at Albuquerque…but it wasn’t too bad…just annoying…

Then, Texas in the early afternoon at which point I had traveled 500 miles or so of my 1000+ mile journey…nothing really remarkable about the border crossing except things all of a sudden looked a little dirtier…but not of all of Texas is dirty- although there does seem to be more litter here that in So Cal generally…

El Paso was a lot bigger than I thought and was my sleepover point if I had been too tired to continue…Holly had a co worker who had a brother in El Paso who was willing to let me crash for a couple of hours (side note: the day I left Casa one of the guys said his parents had a winter home there or something and could also have let me stay there…wish I had known sooner, but thanks John Ruff!). However, since I reeked of Monster, bad breath and was covered in cat fur along with the fact that I wasn’t tired- in fact I was pretty awake I pressed on and left the last big town for about 450 miles…

Now, the one thing I did hear about the drive was that once you passed El Paso there was nothing till San Antonio…which is mostly true- it’s like hitting mostly nothing after Santa Barbara on the way to San Francisco but magnified because of the huge distance…

After El Paso was about 100 miles of flat land, 150 miles of hills and a couple hundred miles of country…now, they also had markers for every mile from the border and it was a straight shot from the border to San Antonio…which annoyed me to no end because it kept reminding me how far away I was from my destination…very much like Sisyphus and his stupid rock…thinking about it now still pisses me off…if I had gone insane anywhere along the trip it would’ve been due to those stupid mile markers…

Anyway, so far along the trip…in a severe heat wave…it was overcast as I sped though the first third of my way through…then in the distance, lightning- which I usually love to look at except I was in flat country…

Another rest stop and I was at the hilly portion of the drive- which isn’t bad at all- no huge inclines or anything and with the weight I was carrying a relief…it was here to that I passed from Pacific Standard Time to Central. The funniest thing was that there was a road sign proclaiming that fact…made me want to stop, get out of the car and jump from one side of the sign to the other yelling “It’s one o’clock, no- it’s three o’clock!” But that would be childish…

And then it started to rain…and rain quite a bit…not a deluge like So Cal gets during El Nino years but enough to get a bit…chilly…and that I had to use my defoggers…figures that I was expecting a heat wave and I get rain…

It rained quite a bit through the hills and into the country portion of the drive…but noting too bad as I said…

At this point I had stopped though a couple of rest stops (some were just that rest stops with no bathroom facilities…), was a bit fatigued but mostly just wanted to get the whole thing over with…the freeway was after El Paso just mostly a two lane highway, traffic was minimal even when passing though the small towns…the weather was still overcast/rainy so I have no idea what it’ll be like to drive thorough when the sun is out…

Traffic did a get a bit heavier as I go closer to San Antonio which I reached at about 9pm (central time)…stopped for gas, called Holly and left relived that the last leg of the journey was about to start. The cats at this point were less active and did more sleeping although for a while the fat one kept crying for me to pet it…at one point I thought it’d lose its voice…then I left the 10 freeway- last link to So Cal…

From San Antonio to Austin is about 80 miles so, a bit more than an hour on a good day…but then again, this is me we’re talking about so I encountered what I thought I left behind in So Cal- heavy grid lock. There was construction and rain and thunder and lightning- though I couldn’t see the lightning through the heavy clouds…if you’re looking to move to Austin to escape traffic- go somewhere else- it’s as heavy here as it is in LA- difference is that it’s a way smaller city- so, it can be not as bad…

Also the freeways a smaller, lanes are fewer (and smaller) and there’s the phenomenon known as frontage roads…most (if not all) are one way only so if you miss your exit or turn it might be a few miles before you can turn around and find your bearings…

Got to my place at 11pm on the 27th of July 2005 in the rain after almost missing the entrance to the compound…tired as hell with two cats, a car full of shit, happy to see Holly after a month, happy to shower and brush my teeth and sleep like a normal person and not in the car…

So my advice to anyone wanting to do a similar drive…DON’T. Unless you have an RV, or less shit to bring with, or if someone else is doing the driving or if you have a few days to spare and want to see the country…it’s not that bad a drive, I just don’t want to do it ever again…

Car Crap

11/22/2005

Took my car to get its oil changed yesterday after work- couldn’t take it to Firestone cuz at 5:30pm they were done for the night (they close @ 7pm) unless I wanted to leave it overnight and they’ll take care of it first thing in the morning…bastards…

Eventually took it to Wal-Mart…where at least they were able to do a 15-point inspection as well…one thing about the mechanics here in Texas is that when they say your car is done in an hour, it’s done in an hour…in So Cal when they say an hour, they usually mean two, possibly three…nevertheless, I still really miss my mechanic in Northridge- just down the street from where I live and a Honda/Acura specialist to boot…I’ve only found one Japanese car specialist here- and it’s too far go on a regular basis…oh, well…plus my car is creaking weirdly…damn…hope it’s just the cold…

Going home after last night, saw a pregnant woman pan handling…the fact that she was pregnant was not odd, the odd thing was her youth- a lot of the folks you see panhandling by the intersections and freeway entrances here are pretty young- I’d say close to my age or so…never saw that in So Cal (unless you count those losers at the Promenade in Santa Monica)…you still do see older people as well (along with the Vets)…I don’t know- just interesting to see people my age begging for spare change (I’ve started to noticed this prior to all the Katrina refugees coming here, by the way…)

Sha Po Lang

11/21/2005

Saw JASON X this weekend- forgettable fun, then again all those movies are…surprised to see Lexa Doig as the lead. Interesting to see a Filipino chick as the lead one of these kind of movies…especially since her race is of no issue in the story…I’ve heard a lot of Lexa but I’ve never bothered to watch her show Adromeda…

Review of Pirates of the Caribbean 3 @ Latinoreview.com…I guess Chow Yun Fat doesn’t really do anything in the movie…too bad…

Review of Sha Po Lang at : http://lovehkfilm.com/reviews_2/spl.htm I gotta see this movie…bad ass martial arts/gritty cop film…very Hong Kong.. .quote: By the time the fighting rolls around, SPL has engendered so much audience goodwill that Chow Yun-Fat and the 12 Girls Band could come crashing through the roof on ziplines and the paying audience wouldn't bat an eye. As an ace crime thriller, SPL is more generic than genuinely enthralling, but like the great HK movies of the eighties (e.g. Tiger Cage, also starring Simon Yam and Donnie Yen), it's not the story, script, or acting that necessarily wins the day, but something that can only be called cinema panache. SPL has it in spades, such that its minor debits can be easily forgotten. Slow second act? Doesn't matter. The usual Donnie Yen preening for the camera? Forgotten. Borderline pointless symbolism? Not a factor. Actually, SPL is much better than most current wannabe crime thrillers, and possesses a satisfying, if not predictable series of Hong Kong Cinema "moments" that fans should cotton to pretty damn quick. For longtime fans, SPL is a gift.

Also out is Dragon Squad- another movie I wanna see but not as bad as SPL (the reviews for squad call it so-bad-it’s-good) this one is produced by Steven Segal- the man who wants to be Asian so bad he’s probably munching on dawg somewhere…plus Michael Biehn is in the movie!

Plus- Cuz Donnie Yen Kicks ASS!- Doonie Yen just finished choreographing fight scenes for Stormbreaker. Based on Anthony Horowits's best-seller, Stormbreaker tells the story 14 year old British teenager Alex Rider, who has been unwittingly trained by his uncle with the skills need to be a spy. When his uncle, whose true identity is a m16 agent, is killer, Rider is forced to take over his uncle's dangerous unfinished mission. Alex Pettyfer plays the lead character and the cast also includes Ewan McGregor (Star Wars prequel trilogy), Alicia Silverstone (Clueless) and Andy Serkis (Gollum of The Lord of the Rings and King Kong of King Kong). According Donnie Yen's fan site DonnieYen.net, Stormbreaker is the first of three deals he signed with Miramax, when Harvey Weinstein, who had known Donnie Yen for years, was still in charge of the Disney subsidiary. The North American rights of Stormbreaker now belongs to The Weinstein Company.

It's just Monday...

11/21/2005

Happy Monday again…still cold as fuck out there, but at least no ice on the car…

Gas is $1.99 at the Costco- never thought I’d see that again…

They’re remaking the PRISONER…I still haven’t finished watching the original- but I love what I’ve seen…a remake might be good- but too bad they’ll never make it as good as that McCoohan’s done…PS: watch the Simpsons homage episode- it’s damn funny…

Finished ALIAS Season 4 this weekend- a lot better than what I expected, but then again my expectations were lowered…hope the last season is the last and that they go out with a bang…

Speaking of spies, interview with ex-CIA from CHUD.com

Interviewing celebrities is cool. It's fun to sit next to George Clooney or Matt Damon as they discuss their new film, Syriana (and look for what they had to say later this week). But for me that's becoming old hat - I've interviewed plenty of actors and filmmakers. What the Syriana junket offered that was quite unique was the opportunity to interview a real live spy.Robert Baer was in the CIA from 1976 to 1997. He served as a case officer in the Directorate of Operations, working in places like Iraq, Khartoum and Beirut. Seymour Hersh calls him "perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer in the Middle East." After leaving the CIA, Baer wrote a book called See No Evil that inspired part of the story of Syriana, specifically George Clooney's CIA agent. The book is a gripping eyewitness account of the situation in the Middle East in the 80s and 90s as it boiled up until September 11th, and you can buy it from CHUD by clicking here.Warner Bros saved Baer for the end of the press day, and many of the journalists chose to leave rather than speak with him, but I couldn't imagine doing any such thing. This was a rare chance, and while everyone had been interesting all day, I felt that it was likely that Baer could be the most illuminating person to speak with.Q: How real would you say the film is in how it portrays these situations?Baer: I would say that the movie is absolutely authentic. I don’t usually watch movies, and I would never, ever watch a spy movie. But this one – it’s everybody I knew in this world. Oil traders… I spent a lot of time with Islamic fundamentalists… it was totally authentic. It was based in reality.I traveled with [director Stephen] Gaghan and every voice – he mixed up voices and faces to do this. He spent three or four months getting these people right. We were in Monte Carlo and spent the day with an Arab prince who is just the complete opposite of the Hollywood cliché of what an Arab prince is. He was classically educated at Oxford, a polo rider. Absolutely a beautiful house, not in the least bit garish. He knew history and American literature. He has just read The Corrections.Q: How complicated was it for you to write your book, to sit down and cover all those years?Baer: It was complicated to make it readable because bureaucrats, CIA, government officials don’t write like normal people do. To even interest people in a very convoluted subject is hard. I think the middle of the book gets dense, with the Iranian stuff. The only people who really understand the middle part are the Israeli intelligence services.Q: What was your most harrowing experience in the CIA?Baer: I got shelled. I was being hunted by Iraqi helicopters. I was living in a cave with Talibani, getting shelled for a week straight. There’s nothing you can do when you’re getting shelled by 155s.Q: What a contrast that is to sitting in George Clooney’s house in Italy. How long did you visit him?Baer: A week or so. We flew in and he couldn’t have been more gentlemanly. He ran out and grabbed my suitcase out of the car. It’s hard for the CIA to meet Hollywood. He was writing Good Night, and Good Luck at the time. I didn’t even know what he was talking about – how do you take the Edward R Murrow story and put it on film. In black and white? He didn’t get any suggestions from me on that. We talked a lot. I asked him questions, I’m a CIA officer. I asked him how do you ever get married? You’re rich, you’re famous, you’ve got a nice house, you’ve got a nice personality. How would you ever meet a girl who you knew really loved you?Q: What did he tell you?Baer: He said he would never know.Q: It must be hard being a CIA agent for similar reasons.Baer: It’s awful. That’s one of the reasons people get out of the CIA. If you’re a woman and you’re a case officer, you’re going to work all day and all night – what’s your husband going to do, sit home and watch videos when you’re assigned to Rwanda for three years? What do you do with your spouse? What do you do with your children and their education?Q: How hard is it to get out of the CIA?Baer: Me? I backed out firing two guns – metaphorically.Q: My impression – and a lot of people share this – is that the CIA is a dangerous and possibly evil organization. At least that’s the emotional reaction.Baer: That’s because you watch too many movies. Q: Yeah, I was going to say, is there anything you can say to dissuade me from that?Baer: It’s a bureaucracy. But the movie is looking at the evil side, which is that they’ve taken bad information to target someone overseas and kill him. The CIA does kill people, you have what is called lethal findings, in spite of 12333 Executive Order. You have the case of Khaddafi, you have the case in Yemen where they fired a missile into a car with 6 people and killed them all, they’re trying to kill bin Laden with Predators. It does happen. My experience has been that the CIA gets into a bad position and does the wrong thing when it’s politicized. Look at the Bay of Pigs. If you look at the history of that, it wasn’t the CIA’s idea, it was Kennedy’s idea. It started with Eisenhower, he did it, he forced it through. It was done against the advice of the analysts on Cuba. Iraq – I know the name of every source they had on Iraq, and I know what they said. I knew before going into this war that that information was crap. They were using the National Intelligence Estimate from October 2002 – I knew it. I knew that Chalabi and his sources were lying and making this stuff up. I knew that the Germans didn’t know, the French didn’t know. It was a supposition that he had weapons of mass destruction. That’s what should have been in the National Intelligence Estimate. You should have had some psychiatrist saying, ‘Well, knowing as much as we know about how Saddam thinks, I’ll bet he kept some weapons.’ That’s all it should have said, because we had no evidence. But the fact is that Cheny went to the CIA until he got what he wanted. It’s the politicization of the CIA.Inside the CIA you’ve got basically liberal people – Democrats or moderate Republicans – that don’t like torture, they don’t putting lies on reports, and they don’t like subverting governments. It’s called action but neither is it covert nor is it action. It’s just a way to fill up space in the newspaper because it always gets leaked.Q: So what do you think of Porter Goss?Baer: Total politicization. He was sent to the CIA to keep its estimations from getting out. The chief of station in Baghdad, who wrote in October 2003 that we can’t win the war and never could, was fired basically. He was shunted off and he knew he had to leave. He is studying for a PhD now, and he’s totally disgusted. I got calls from four or five CIA people today disgusted with the place. They don’t like the torture, they don’t like the politicization, all they care about is putting their kids through college. Q: But how does this movie fit into the public perception of the CIA?Baer: It’s going to make it worse. This is a story based on a certain degree of truth that goes beyond my book. There was a prince in the Gulf who I was dealing with who was targeted through a couple of private entities because he was talking about unitizing fields in the Gulf, which would be to the detriment of the oil companies. He was eventually kidnapped.It’s based on bad intelligence and a CIA that’s been politicized, and it’s true. But I blame official Washington, I don’t blame the CIA. I have no problem with the CIA’s counter-intelligence program, which looks for spies and works great. We do great on countries where there’s no political interest.Q: So this starts in the White House.Baer: White House and Congress.Q: Speaking of politicization, can you talk about the Valerie Plame leak? Does that, to you, rise to treason?Baer: Yeah. They didn’t know what kind of cover she was under. And the fact that they bandied her name – my name was leaked in the campaign finance hearings of 97. They didn’t care. Democrats leaked it. There wasn’t a Justice referral. But it’s that kind of politicization that goes all through the White House.This nonsense that Iran is going to become democratic and Westernized is total fantasy. These people are operating in a bubble. We can see with the current president that totally the opposite has happened. All you have to do is go to Iran this year and ask people what they think – in southern Tehran, ask the people who vote. You have the American Enterprise Institute saying, ‘Don’t worry, Iran’s coming around, this is the end of the Babylonian captivity’ – it’s just drivel.Q: How do you get someone like the head of Hezzbollah to be a friend?Baer: Hezzbollah is the most sophisticated political party in the Middle East. Why they would sit down - they sat down with Gaghan. I interviewed, for ABC, Fadlallah. They’re sophisticated. They know I’m out of the CIA. They Google my name and see I’m independent, I say anything I want – for them or against them. Q: How about the Israelis?Baer: They’re great. You spend a week with Shin Bet, who know the Palestinians, or you spend a week with the army – I spent a week in Hebron – and they say, ‘Let’s get out of the West Bank. It’s a waste of military, it’s dividing Israeli society, it’s not what the army is for.’ The only answer is [UN resolution] 242. The crazy settlers – I just avoided talking to them. They denied that the Hebron Massacre even occurred. Of course that’s the beginning of suicide bombings, 40 days after the Hebron Massacre. Those people deny it but they’re religious fanatics who the Israelis are more distrustful than anybody.Q: I don’t want to give anything away, but in the film there’s an assassination. Could that kind of operation, as shown, be carried out today?Baer: Why not? They’re assassinating people all the time in Iraq today. The tribal chief that helped Gaghan understand the politics of Iraq, I was supposed to go stay with him in the war. His house was hit by 6 missiles, JDAMs they’re called. Missiles as long as this room. Killed him and everybody in his family.There’s fabulous technology. These satellites and Predators are great. You just sit there with a camera and it’s all remote. You could be watching everybody in this room – you just need the right angle. But what good does technology do to fight the resistance in Iraq? Yeah, you can kill people, but their relatives come after you like in Jordan. You’re just causing more problems. [Jordan happened] because we went into Fallujah. You can’t go into Fallujah and kill Bedouins, who do have blood feuds, and not get payback.Q: Do you think there will be payback against the Sh’ia who did it?Baer: We’re going to. We’re going to arrest family members, but that just makes it worse. It’s a cycle of violence you can’t win. The only time I have seen anyone win the cycle of violence was the Syrians, in Hama, in 1982. I was in Hama right afterwards, and they flattened the town. I don’t think that’s a good idea for the West to do, but that’s your choice.Q: Gaghan was saying that when you were showing him around the Middle East, you weren’t just showing him around, you were looking for the people responsible for the murder of Daniel Pearl. Can you talk about that?Baer: I’m a trained intelligence officer and ask questions. I go to Hollywood and ask questions. I was just at FX, which is over the Warner Bros lot, and I said, ‘Hey you guys have great line of sight.’ They asked what that means, and I said, ‘For audio. You can find out what Warner Bros is doing.’ It was a joke of course. But I keep on asking questions about the Middle East. It’s a fascinating place and I want to know what makes it tick. Everybody has something new to say. So while Gaghan was doing whatever he was doing, taking notes, I was asking questions.Q: He feels that you may feel some personal responsibility in the Pearl case.Baer: I saw Danny Pearl a lot before 9/11. After 9/11 he emailed me from India, he was in Bombay at the time. I still have the emails. He said, ‘Who did it?’ I said that the last guy I knew who was planning to run planes into American buildings was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. I had tapes from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed talking about this. Clandestine tapes I tried to send to the CIA, but they didn’t want to hear about it.Q: Why didn’t they want to hear?Baer: Because once you’re out of the CIA, you’re out for good. They don’t like people, especially like me, because I yap my mouth.Q: Again, Gaghan felt that you feel guilt about it all.Baer: I do feel guilt because he was in Karachi asking about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. It was probably Khalid Shaikh Mohammed who killed Pearl. Q: What are you doing next?Baer: I wrote a novel called Blow the House Down. I was so tired of people asking me if 9/11 was a conspiracy so I drew up the perfect conspiracy, which you can’t disprove. It was done from the inside.Q: When is that coming out?Baer: May.Q: Can you explain more about the conspiracy?Baer: People say, ‘How did they know the World Trade Center would collapse?’ I know there’s a formula that you can put into jet fuel that makes it burn at a much higher rate once it implodes into a building. I took elements and real people – the last American who was with bin Laden was a friend of mine, he was Porter Goss’ staff director, and he was found with his head blown off in a motel room in Virginia.Q: Did you meet Osama?Baer: No.Q: Clooney’s not playing you, but he’s playing a character sort of based on you.Baer: Clooney’s perfect. He’s a burnt out guy at the end of his career and he’s got nowhere to go. He’s offered the chance to get ahead finally. He’s been out in the field, out in the trenches, for years, and he doesn’t really know how Washington works. He grabs at the chance. Everybody in the film makes compromises. I’ve certainly been offered compromises, as everybody in the CIA has at one point, to betray a principal.Q: What do think the CIA is going to think of the movie?Baer: What do you think Tenet’s going to think about it? They’re going to hate it. They have a whole office in the CIA that works with Hollywood that tries to make favorable movies. They were clichés, they were crap, these movies.

I need warmth...

11/17/2005

Ungodly cold again…complete with an ice covered car- I just wanna stay home and fuck- then again, that’s all I ever wanna do…

WEIRD TEXAN THINGS:
Guadalupe is pronounced GWA-DA-LOOP here
Pecan is a one syllable word here
Manor is pronounced MAY-NOR

Just thought you’d like to know…

PS: everyone should check out www.brianwood.com – he’s one of my fave artists and writers- very indie and proud of it. He’s one those people I wish I could be…

More later…

Buy your pee here...

11/16/2005

The Raccoon problem in So Cal is getting worse- check it out: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/valley/la-me-lopez16nov16,1,4765960.column?coll=la-editions-valley
I was starting to notice them quite a bit in Northridge before I left…a clear sign that the housing boom is having an effect on natural habitats- even in the San Fernando Valley…I’m just happy I never had to buy Coyote pee…although prior to today I never knew you could buy it…



Plus the new SARS is here:
China has first bird flu fatality
China has confirmed its first human death from bird flu.
A woman in the eastern province of Anhui died after being infected with the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the health ministry said.
It added that a boy in central China had also contracted the virus but had recovered. The two are China's first confirmed human bird flu cases.
The H5N1 virus has killed more than 60 people in South East Asia since the latest outbreak began in 2003.
The Chinese health ministry said the 24-year-old woman who died was a poultry worker.
The nine-year-old boy who recovered had developed pneumonia symptoms following an outbreak of bird flu in his village in Hunan province.
His sister also fell ill and died - it is suspected she too had bird flu, but her body was cremated before samples could be taken.
Outbreaks of the H5N1 strain among birds were first spotted in Vietnam and Thailand in 2003.
It spread to several other countries in the region and beyond, with reports of the disease among poultry in Russia and Kazakhstan in July 2005 - and outbreaks in Turkey and Romania.
Pandemic fears
China alone has reported 11 outbreaks among birds over the past month.
The authorities have culled millions of birds, but experts are warning that the virus is entrenched in parts of the country.
Beijing on Tuesday vowed to vaccinate all of the country's estimated 14 billion poultry, but it is feared wild birds could spread the virus.
The disease generally still does not transmit easily to humans, but fears of a pandemic have been reinforced by its spread.
The World Health Organisation's Dick Thompson said it was essential that surveillance efforts were stepped up around the world if the disease was to be kept under control.
"As this virus reaches out to Europe, probably soon into the Middle East and Africa, the change in the virus could occur anywhere," he told the BBC.
However he added that no mutation had occurred so far that would increase the likelihood of people passing on the virus to others.
"It's still very rare that humans get this virus, and there seems to be very limited, very few cases of human to human transmission."

Gibberish...

Sleep…just want to sleep….

The Republican-led senate broke with Dubya in asking for an exit strategy from Iraq…how much you wanna bet he’s just gonna fly onto another carrier and declare MISSION ACCOMPLISHED again? Actually I do hope it’s over soon…although realistically I see this lasting another decade…

Trailer for Bryan Singer’s SUPERMAN after Smallville- dude I’m there…

From Angry Asian Man:
AZN Television (still a horrible, terrible name), has announced it will produce and nationally televise "The 2006 Asian Excellence Awards Featuring the Rémy Martin® X.O Honors" (gotta get that sponsor in there). Sort of like our version of BET Awards?
The award show will be taped on January 19 at the Wiltern LG Theatre in Los Angeles, and aired on AZN TV the eve of Lunar New Year, January 29, 2006. The competitive award categories will include Outstanding TV Performance, Outstanding Film Performance, Outstanding Feature Filmmaker, Outstanding Live Performance, Outstanding Athletic Performance, Outstanding Fashion Designer and Outstanding Newcomer. The "Rémy Martin® X.O Honors" are non-competitive categories, and awards will be presented Lifetime Achievement, Visibility and Inspiration. The nominees and honorees will be announced in December.
That's all the info they've got so far. Here's the press release.

Capitalism Rulz!

Check out the following- it was placed in my comments:

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2:38 PM


Dirty Capitalists…I wonder how many people see that they have comments on their blogs and all they see is things like that…I wonder how many suicides it’s caused…It bugged me at first, but now I just ignore them…they’re slightly funny anyway- I think there was one a few posts below that started “I know how you feel and I totally agree..” like it was starting a discussion but soon reverted to ad speak…I wonder when the dirty pop ups will start to invade…

HUMPED

11/16/05

Saw BONES again last night…I like that show, makes me wanna become an anthropologist (except I don’t think they used any real anthropologizing last night…). Plus that Deshandel gurl is purty…although I wish I couldn’t have solved last night’s mystery 15 minutes into the show- COME ON TV! You’re supposed to be smarter than me!

COLD SNAP! It was actually normal-esque in the apartment but outside? My ears hurt as soon as I stepped outside…thank Ganeesha for heaters in cars…

Too cold to actually think but check out the following:

Bush trip suggests Asia matters
By Jonathan Marcus BBC diplomatic correspondent
China is not the first stop on President George Bush's itinerary.
But China's rise is the issue that will be in the forefront of people's minds at each and every one of his stops on a tour that takes in Japan, Korea, an Asia-Pacific summit, China and finally Mongolia.
China's emergence, not just as a regional but also as a global economic player, is changing the diplomatic landscape in Asia.
China's diplomacy - often linked to the quest for raw materials - now extends into Africa, into the Caucasus and even Latin America.
But it is in Asia that the most immediate effects are being felt. And China's economic rise is being accompanied by concerns in some quarters about its developing political clout and longer-term fears about its military power.
Diplomacy tends to be presented as a zero-sum game - if one side is rising then another country's power must be waning. And a sense that US power in the region is in decline is part of the complex package of perceptions that President Bush will be trying to dispel.
In part, the Americans have themselves to blame for this perception.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice failed to attend an important Asean meeting. And the Americans have sought to use successive Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summits to push their agenda of security and counter-terrorism - issues which are less central to other Asian actors.
There is a growing impatience, a feeling that Washington is not sufficiently engaged with the rest of the region's agenda.
Regional rivalries
Part of the problem is that the policy options facing the Americans are complex.
Security matters still loom large, notably the continuing controversy over North Korea's nuclear programme.
China's military modernisation is also sounding (possibly premature) alarm bells in the Pentagon.
And regional tensions between China and Japan and between Japan and South Korea - frictions that hark back in one way or another to Japan's war-time behaviour and its legacy - make Washington's task even harder.
Indeed these rows, which appear to be about the past, are often much more about the present - about who is going to emerge as regional top-dog.
A problem too is that on China, as in so many other areas of US foreign policy, opinion in Washington is divided.
Some Republicans want to pressure China on human rights issues while others - the more business-orientated - want to pursue an active engagement.
The dichotomy in US policy has been neatly described as a struggle between "panda huggers" and "dragon slayers".
The difficulty is not just in framing policy but in finding language to describe it.
"Managing China's rise" sounds patronising and affords the US an ability to shape China's destiny which it simply does not have. "Containing China" hankers back to Cold War terminology which is equally unhelpful.
Reconciling these tensions is Mr Bush's task. He hopes to demonstrate on this trip that despite the problems of Middle East peace or of security in Iraq, and irrespective of the so-called global war on terror, Asia matters.
And it looks set to matter more and more if China proceeds along its present economic trajectory.

Oh, L.A.

11/15/05

Someone here at work just got back from a vacation in So Cal (she was giving away Los Angeles Post Cards) - she stayed in Winnetka, went to Calabasas, saw the Regan Library, passed through Northridge and then…visited Van Nuys…I did not have the heart to ask her why one of the porn capitals of the world is a tourist destination for a nice elderly lady.

But it did make me nostalgic (again) for So Cal…ah, yearning for the days when the person next to you in class could be a porn star…

Hey, Hey Hey...I'm a monkey...

11/15/2005
The DJ on the radio just called Nirvana Pearl Jam…all together now- AI YAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Listening to the genius work that Yoko Kanno did for the anime Cowboy Bebop and wondering the following: where have all the good anime gone? (not including of course Miyazaki- whose output and quality still surprises me…just watch Howl’s Moving Castle…) But no new anime have really caught my attention or interest…even the new Gundam (I tried watching it but the insipid animation just disgusted me…). Part of it of course, is that anime has priced itself away from me…too expensive for most of them- I really wanted to watch the rest of NOIR but couldn’t afford it…also wouldn’t mind trying Samurai 7, Samurai Champloo, Burst Angel, Mezzo and finishing FLCL…sigh…I do take donations you know…also now that I think of it- there are new anime that I’d like to watch- but the American Market is oversaturated…time to slow down dudes…

There’s Star Wars Transformers: I say this goes too far but the Darth Vader/Tie Fighter Transformer looks really kick ass! If only it was die cast…check them out at http://www.starwars.com/collecting/news/hasbro/news20051107.html

PS: They’re re-releasing the Sandman Books as Absolute editions…kinda like Criterion Special Edition DVDs…they’ll probably be $75 a piece…ai yah…remember what I said about donations?

UCLA has a bad ass Asian movie screening- Dude, go if you can, they even have a new print of Once Upon A Time In China! www.cinema.ucla.edu.


Check out the following from Kung Fu Cinema: Tony Ching Siu-tung, action director of House of Flying Daggers, has been busy cooking up his expert wirework action for a couple of international productions, including the latest video game-to-movie adaptation from modern movie shlockmeister Uwe Boll and the sequel to the Bollywood equivalent of E.T.
Ching’s working on the Dungeon Siege movie which I had no interest in seeing…until I heard Ching was involved…but dude, how funny is it that there is a Bollywood version of ET?

PS: Kudos to Louie on his new job part-time as a HSI Assistant Archivist for the Urban Archives Center.



Redirected from Angry Asian Man:
Chinese American veterans' service often gets overlooked
By MIKE BARBERSEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER
The air raid siren sounded as 26-year-old Arthur Chin lay helpless in a full-body cast, trapped in China by severe burns suffered when he was shot down by a Japanese plane.
It was late 1939. Japan and China were at war. Servants were rushing Chin's wife, Eva, and the couple's two children to the safety of the cellar. Eva, however, refused to leave her husband's side.
Then it was over. With the smell of cordite, dust and smoke still in the air, servants and children made their way upstairs. Eva lay across Arthur, limp. A small piece of shrapnel had pierced her body, killing her.
"She gave her life for him," Susie Ennis, 59, Arthur Chin's daughter by a second wife, says from her home in California. "Each of us girls in the family, our middle name is Eva."
The tale of love and war that Arthur Chin lived illuminates the often-overlooked contributions of Chinese American veterans. Chin was the first American "ace" fighter pilot, but it took 50 years for that recognition.
In Seattle, 14 Chinese American veterans came home from World War II and founded the American Legion's Cathay Post 186 in Chinatown. Sixty years later, they are still some who keep their sacrifices alive.
Korean War veteran Dick Kay, 76, feels the touch of war each time he walks by Chinatown's Hing Hay Park. His brother's name, Lawrence Lew Kay, is among 10 carved on a granite block of Chinese American servicemen who never returned from World War II.
"I was 11 when my parents were notified that he went down with a troop ship in the Mediterranean Sea."
Like veterans organizations nationwide, Post 186's membership has fallen despite its long record of community service, educational scholarships and contributions. Prominent Seattleites such as the late Wing Luke, the first Chinese American city councilman, and Ark Chin, a University of Washington regent, came from its ranks.
Today, Post 186, which never owned a building and meets at Marpac construction company, numbers 130 members from all backgrounds.
"We need younger members to join, but they're not," laments Bill Chin, 80, who grew up in Chinatown and served with the 13th Armored Division in Europe during World War II.
Bill Chin, Kay and Bill Sing, 85, an aerial gunnery instructor in the Army Air Corps during World War II, joined Jimmy Chinn, 76, an Air Force veteran of Korea and Vietnam, at Hing Hay Park on Thursday to share their experiences.
Chinese Americans numbered nearly 13,500 in the armed forces in World War II.
Chinese Americans fought and died even as the Chinese Exclusion Act remained in effect, severely limiting job opportunities while encouraging ugly stereotypes.
Congress repealed the act in 1943, 61 years after it was enacted as a temporary measure to limit Chinese immigration but which was made permanent in 1902, making Chinese immigration illegal.
Chinese American veterans like those from Seattle laid the foundation for that repeal.
"The way to overcome is not by whining but by working harder and gaining a little respect, and demonstrating by example," says Sing. The group admired Arthur Chin, whose father was Cantonese and mother Peruvian, and how he and 13 young Chinese Americans went to fight Japan nearly a decade before the United States entered the war.
Concerned about Japanese aggression against China, Chin and the others took flying lessons in Portland, and in 1932, when Chin was 19, signed up for the Cantonese Provincial Air Force. Among their numbers were the late John Wong and Clifford Louie Yim-Qun, both of Seattle.
Though outnumbered and outclassed in their comparatively primitive biplanes, Chin recorded nine victories over Japanese pilots, becoming an "ace" for having at least five victories.
Chin was awaiting evacuation to the United States when his first wife was killed. He returned to China after the United States entered the war and flew supplies over the dangerous Himalayan "Hump." He retired to a quiet life as a postal worker in Beaverton, Ore., and married two more times.
A half-century after the war ended, the U.S. government recognized Chin as an American veteran by awarding him the Distinguished Flying Cross. Chin died in September 1997 and his ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.
RELATED LINKS
To learn more about Arthur Chin, see www.airpowermuseum.org/exhibits/acahof/assets/pdf/1997/chin.pdf and surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/china_chin.htm

I like to think I'm smart so I read...but not that much...

11/15/05 Here I am Again…and cuz Louis did one like this

Before I forget- I’m reading Greg Rucka’s newest Queen and Country Novel (PRIVATE WARS) right now…slowly I might add- one chapter a night- it’s one of those stories that would read great serialized…it’s also in that genre that I’ve recently come to enjoy: the (slightly more) realistic spy genre. Mostly because I’ve come to really love 24 (my now fave show) as well as Alias (more fantastic), MI-5 (AKA Spooks) and La Femme Nikita (despite the sucky first season)…

Other Books I’m currently reading (very Slowly):

The Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide by Douglas Adams ( I sped read the first two and a half books a while back…then stopped because I overloaded on Douglas Adams- getting back into it- mostly due to the better than expected movie)

Star Trek: Federation by the Reeves Couple: Yes, I’m a Trekkie…this book is an anomaly now due to changes they made in the official timelines…but I’m hoping to ignore that and still enjoy the book…plus it’s cool to see the cast/s in my head in this imaginary story

All the different Mirrormask Books: Because I have yet to see the movie, because I’m a Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean freak and because Anansi Boys took me a week to finish and I wanted more…

Bubba Ho Tep by Joe R. Lansdale: Dude, I loved the movie…

One book I eventually want to read: JOURNEY TO THE WEST- I kinda know the story, but I still want to actually read it (not sure if I’ll get the 4-volume version or the abridged one)…

Still wishing there was a Trade Winds Book store here in Austin…

Happy Tueasday

11/15/05

Argh…it’s only Tuesday…

Supposed to have a cold snap arrive today (temps in the 30’s)…at least I found one of my thicker jackets…still not looking forward to it…

Sign that I’m not in So Cal anymore of the day: the DMV here is split in two- the Department of Transportation (for your registration needs) and the Department of Safety (for Driver’s License issues)…they had to make it difficult don’t they?

Ai yah……….

Plus more evidence people hate Asians:
NEW YORK - Eighteen-year-old Chen Tsu was waiting on a Brooklyn subway platform after school when four high school classmates approached him and demanded cash. He showed them his empty pockets, but they attacked him anyway, taking turns pummeling his face.

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He was scared and injured — bruised and swollen for several days — but hardly surprised.
At his school, Lafayette High in Brooklyn, Chinese immigrant students like him are harassed and bullied so routinely that school officials in June agreed to a
Department of Justice' name=c1>SEARCHNews News Photos Images Web' name=c3>
Department of Justice consent decree to curb alleged "severe and pervasive harassment directed at Asian-American students by their classmates." Since then, the Justice Department credits Lafayette officials with addressing the problem — but the case is far from isolated.
Nationwide, Asian students say they're often beaten, threatened and called ethnic slurs by other young people, and school safety data suggest that the problem may be worsening. Youth advocates say these Asian teens, stereotyped as high-achieving students who rarely fight back, have for years borne the brunt of ethnic tension as Asian communities expand and neighborhoods become more racially diverse.
"We suspect that in areas that have rapidly growing populations of Asian-Americans, there often times is a sort of culture clashing," said Aimee Baldillo of the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium. Youth harassment is "something we see everywhere in different pockets of the U.S. where there's a large influx of (Asian) people."
In the last five years, Census data show, Asians — mostly Chinese — have grown from 5 percent to nearly 10 percent of Brooklyn residents. In the Bensonhurst neighborhood, historically home to Italian and Jewish families, more than 20 percent of residents now are Asian. Those changes have escalated ethnic tension on campuses such as Lafayette High, according to Khin Mai Aung, staff attorney at the Asian-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which is advocating for Lafayette students.
"The schools are the one place where everyone is forced to come together," Aung said.
Brooklyn's changes mirror Asian growth nationally. Between 1980 and 2000, the number of Asians and Pacific Islanders grew from 3.7 million to nearly 12 million. After Latinos, Asians are the nation's fastest-growing ethnic group.
Stories of Asian youth being bullied and worse are common. In recent years:
• A Chinese middle schooler in San Francisco was mercilessly taunted until his teacher hid him in her classroom at lunchtime.
• Three Korean-American students were beaten so badly near their Queens high school that they skipped school for weeks and begged to be transferred.
• A 16-year-old from Vietnam was killed last year in a massive brawl in Boston.
Some lawmakers have responded. The New York City Council, after hearing hours of testimony from Asian youth, last year passed a bill to track bullying and train educators on prevention. Also last year, California Assemblywoman Judy Chu won passage of a new law to allow hate crimes victims more time — up to three years — to file civil suits; the bill was inspired by a 2003 San Francisco incident in which five Asian teens were attacked by a mob of youth.
In August, the Oakland-based Asian Pacific Islander Youth Violence Prevention Center organized a first-ever conference on the subject in Sacramento. Isami Arifuku, assistant director of the center, said she expected about 200 participants but nearly double that number attended.
Experts offer several broad explanations for the bullying problem.
In the broadest strokes, Baldillo said, Asian youth are sometimes small in stature and often adhere to cultural mores urging them to avoid confrontation and focus on academics. Many don't report bullying because they fear repercussions or don't want to embarrass their families, she added.
Language barriers also exacerbate the situation. "I have to hear, '(Expletive) Chinese!' at least three times a day, and they always say it to people who look weaker and don't speak English," said Rita Zeng, 19 and a senior at Lafayette High. The parents of limited-English students often have little access to translators and struggle to advocate for their children, Aung said.
Chen Tsu described his beating in April at a subway station, saying through a translator: "Those guys looked like they could kill somebody. ... I was scared to go back to school."
Increasingly, some victims are fighting back. A 2003 California survey by the Services and Advocacy for Asian Youth Consortium found that 14 percent of Asian youth said they join gangs for protection. Department of Justice school crime data found the number of Asian youth carrying weapons nearly tripled from 1999 to 2001.
"There are more Asian kids being brought to juvenile court for assault and battery," Arifuku said. "The thing we're finding in their history is that they had been picked on — called names and teased — and in some cases they lashed out and retaliated."
Advocates and students say that, typically, large fights erupt after weeks or months of verbal taunting.
That's what happened at Edison High School in Fresno, Calif., according to Malcolm Yeung of the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco. For months starting late last year, Hmong students had been repeatedly called names and had food thrown at them.
"There had been patterns of this happening over and over again," said Yeung, whose group investigated the case on behalf of Asian students. "But the school had overlooked the issue."
On Feb. 25, the lunchtime taunting escalated into fights involving at least 30 students, according to Susan Bedi, spokesman for Fresno Unified School District. Seven students were treated for injuries, 12 were suspended and two faced expulsion, she said. Eight were convicted of misdemeanor assault, said Fresno police Sgt. Anthony Martinez.
This year, officials at Edison High added more security and started an on-campus human relations council to address ethnic tension, Bedi said.
At Lafayette High, tension has long been high on campus and in surrounding areas, said Steve Chung, president of the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn, whose group was founded in late 2002 after an earlier student beating. That incident "was like the ignition — it started a fire" in the community.
The student, a straight-A senior, was thrashed to unconsciousness while anti-Chinese slurs were yelled at him. Some news reported dubbed the school "Horror High," and Chinese students began going public about the problem.
"The more we dug into Lafayette High School, the more we found," Chung said.
Aung's probing revealed that school administrators seemed reluctant to intervene, translation services for parents and students was spotty and teachers who reported the problems may have been punished.
School officials say some reports were exaggerated. But "the problems there went back many, many years," said Michael Best, general counsel for New York City schools. Since signing the consent decree in June, he said, "the situation at the school in our view is very, very different." A Justice Department spokesman agreed that the school has been "very responsive."
Teachers this year are getting training to curb harassment, translation services throughout the district have been beefed up, and race relations experts are working with students and staff on campus, deputy New York schools chancellor Carmen Farina said.
Last year, Lafayette's longtime principal retired, and many are optimistic about the new principal, Jolanta Rohloff. In addition, new vice principal Iris Chiu is fluent in Chinese and working closely with parents and students. "We actively sought someone that we knew could handle the delicacy of the school," Farina said.
Still, she said, an incident already has been reported since school started: An Asian student was attacked by several classmates on his way to the subway. He suffered minor injuries.
________________________________________________________________________________
Plus a thing on overachievers (which I never was- I’m too lazy):


There they were looking out from the back page of the Tribune's main section Wednesday. Those brainy bespectacled young Asian women who "year after year ... outpace their peers on state tests," the story said.And there they were on the front page of the New York Times Sunday Styles section last month: two Korean sisters flogging their book "Top of the Class: How Asian Parents Raise High Achievers--and How You Can Too."And then there I was at my desk Wednesday reading an e-mail from a stranger who reminded me that exactly one year ago the high-achieving Asian-American author Iris Chang escaped it all by ending her own life.That's when I knew I had to write this little rant.You see, as much as the mainstream press wants to applaud Asian-American emphasis on high achievement and never bringing "down the whole race" with "a B," as one Asian student said to our reporter, we rarely look at the downsides of such pressure.Those downsides can include extreme fear of failure, unpleasantly competitive natures, withdrawal from society, stress-related disorders and most sadly, Asian-American women holding the highest suicide rates in the nation among women age 15 to 24--an American age category that holds the highest general suicide rates to begin with, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.6 suicides in 4 monthsBetween December 2003 and April 2004, the Chicago-based Asian American Suicide Prevention Initiative anecdotally recorded six suicides in the Chicago area of Asian-Americans under age 30, according to Aruna Jha, the agency's founder and a professor at University of Illinois at Chicago.And an article in the latest issue of the journal Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior states that for reasons not clear, Asian students are 1.59 times more likely to seriously consider attempting suicide than their white peers.This isn't big news in the Asian-American community, but rather our dirty little secret.Just about everyone knows someone whose relative died mysteriously. But no one wants to talk about it. And for some who are living with the terrible shameful secret, they couldn't talk about it even if they wanted to.Just last month a fellow Asian journalist told me about a local Korean mother who spent an afternoon sobbing in the journalist's car as she recounted her daughter's suicide at an Ivy League school. No one in the community knew about it. And she was forbidden by her husband to speak of it. So for years she's kept her daughter's story locked up inside, just as her daughter kept her frailties locked up inside until she saw no escape from high expectations except in death.Later in an e-mail, the journalist, who was from New York, told me that she, in fact, met three such Korean mothers during her visit to Chicago.But the pressures don't just come from parents. In the United States, where the model minority myth is peddled regularly by the media, and in books such as "Top of the Class," the stereotypes begin to perpetuate themselves. Luckily, Asians and others familiar with the issue are starting to talk back.The New York Times' interview with "Top of the Class" authors Soo Kim Abboud and Jane Kim noted that, "Some educators believe such a single-minded focus on achievement can be harmful." It quoted anthropologist and Asian studies professor Kyeyoung Park, who observed that some Asian-American kids can seem lost and disoriented when they get to a university.Still, the angry letters came flowing in the following week. Ruchika Bajaj, the mental health policy coordinator for the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families in New York, wrote, "The Kim sisters believe that strict households and associating failure with family dishonor is the best way to raise a successful child. Taking this position, they do a disservice to the Asian community by perpetuating the model minority myth that all Asians are successful and over-achievers. The results reported provide an image of success that is only skin deep. By stressing the model minority myth, we are placing undue academic, social and emotional burdens on youth and further supporting unrealistic stereotypes."Another passage from the Times interview read, "The authors themselves acknowledge that Asian career values can be hazardous to one's health if taken to an extreme degree, as in Japan, where pressures to excel in an exam-focused educational system have been linked with high dropout rates, social withdrawal and suicide.Jha says many Asian-American students don't feel like they have the freedom to tell parents what they really want to do in life, "So the students are performing but not necessarily in arenas that they enjoy."A grain of truthIndeed, when we yellow scribes get together at Asian American Journalism Association conferences, there is almost always a crack during some speech that goes like this: "I think it's clear why we are all here today. [Pause] Because we were no good at science and math."Sure, we all crack up because we see a kernel of truth in it, but the fact that a bunch of Asian-American journalists are meeting at all makes it clear that not all of us have gone the lucrative smarty-pants route. And that we--the disappointing losers who went into a low-paying profession like writing--can be reasonably happy too, even if our parents probably lie to their friends about what we do.But as the immigrant generations march on and greater acceptance of Asians-Americans in non-traditional fields grows, so may a greater acceptance of non-traditional Asian academic mediocrity.State test result day also happens to be report card day for Chicago Public Schools, a day that inspired terror in some of my Asian-American pals growing up. In my Asian-Hispanic household, however, it was never a big deal. When I get home tonight to look at the report card of my one-quarter Asian son who started 1st grade in CPS this year, I will applaud his good grades and discuss the bad ones. But I won't love him any less for them. As a half-Asian parent, sure I'd like my son to be a high academic achiever, but most of all I'd like him to be a kind and happy little guy.

Nothing Significant...

11/14/05-Lunch…

Hey- www.deepdiscountdvd.com is having their sale! I’ve ordered my stuff- mostly BBC stuff…(Sandbaggers, Alan Partridge, Nick Frost & Tinker, Tailor, Sailor, Spy)- you need a code for the discount…I’m sure you internet savvy people can find one on the various DVD websites out there (come on, if I can find it…)

They’re coming out with an Aquaman show ala Smallville…hope it’s better than Surface…I might like this show, I’ve never known much about Aquaman so my expectations would be different from a Superman show…too bad he won’t be played by the guy who was in Smallville- he was pretty decent…

DAY OF THE DEAD remake coming soon…better be good, I love the original (although I gotta rank it as one of the most depressing movies ever…). They’re also remaking ROBOCOP- now this I think is a bad idea…

Follow the link to the cover of DC’s Infinite Crisis # 5: http://www.newsarama.com/dcnew/Feb06/DCFeb05Solicits.htm
I love it…hope the old Supes kicks the newer Supes @$$!!!!

SPL comes out in Hong Kong this week- I wanna see this movie so bad…

KUDOS to Stephan Chow and Kung Fu Hustle for winning the Taiwanese Oscars…

Monday, bloody Monday...

11/14/05
Things that currently bug me:

Coming back to work after a vacation/having an extra day or two off- just doesn’t feel right…in the Four years of working at Casa I only took one real vacation…but coming back to work- it always seems a little off, like the world turned a little askew and you don’t notice it- but you know something is not right…

Being sick…I got sick after D-Mode…not sick like a dog but still sick enough to be uncomfortable

The Neighbours who smoke too much it permeates out apartment…didn’t really bug me till this morning when I discovered my work shirt reeked of it…

Holiday sales...so much shit I want, not enough moolah...(I just think of the Gaiman saying: the price of getting what you want is not wanting it anymore...)

Oh Well...

Fast Fashion

11/10/05

Okay, so D-Mode kicked ass- they actually surprised me with their set list. A good mixture of some new songs (40%) and the good old faves (60%- if the math is wrong, don’t worry- I’m not one of the smart Asians anyway…). In no particular order, their set list consisted of:

Pain that I’m used to- sounds good live…it’s my fave song off the new album
John the Revelator
Policy of Truth- Awesome
Personal Jesus- almost thought they wouldn’t play this, some of the other songs had a similar percussion and I’d they’d segue into it but they didn’t
Precious
Home- LOVE THIS SONG…slightly different from the album but in a good way
Suffer well
Walking in my shoes
I feel You- complete with NUDITY!
Enjoy the Silence
(not listed: some new songs that I don’t really care for…)

Encore 1:
Somebody- surprised that I knew all the lyrics…
Just Can’t get Enough- totally unexpected until the played the next song
Everything Counts- so thought they never played this live again

Encore 2:
Never let me down again
Born a Lover- ended the show with this…the one song I wanted to hear from the Exciter Tour that they didn’t- it’s my fave song from Exciter…


The venue was cool- smaller that I thought and we had a good view of the band. It’s where the Spurs play and by the entrance to our seats they had a marquee of one of their players shoving aside someone in Laker Colors…bastards…

Suprisingly- no one was smoking inside…unless you count the inevitable pot that someone always manages to slip in…

The only thing that bugged me was the drive there and the drive out the parking lot. Texan drivers are very aggressive- leaving concerts at So Cal there was always a courtesy in exiting the lot…letting some through, and later some let you through- very karmic. Here it’s a free for all. Our little car was almost crushed by SUV’s that saw us and didn’t care. ASSHOLES. And the drive to get there? I was going past 80 mph (the limit was 65) and there were big rigs tailgating me….the whole way…why they just didn’t go around me, I’ll never know…at least Holly had fun mocking all the weird names we come across here (example: Bexar…which for some reason the locals pronounce Bear- how? I’m not considering myself a local yet…)

Also missing from the D-Mode show? The huge Hispanic presence that always shows up in So Cal for those kind of shows…kinda weird and one of those thing you don’t notice until it’s not there…

Oh Well…

PS: Downtown San Antonio looks like the bad part of Van Nuys (or Pacoima…)

Other news: I got Holly’s car state inspected today- it’s annual inspection that’s not unlike a smog check and a visual inspection of the car…except not as thorough- but is required to renew your car’s registration…

Also Joss Whedon is returning to the Buffyverse! But via comics and we’ll take whatever we can take…

They announced on the radio that Aerosmith is playing in January and for a moment I thought they said the SMITHS…

Saw the Fifth Element again today- the movie is starting to look dated- I still love Milla in the film…

Still braindead…slept for five hours (took the day off from work- yeah I’m a lazy bastardido)- woke up, took Holly’s car in, did a bunch of errands and now just being more of a lazy bastardido…

More later

Maybe…

But incase I forget (and since tomorrow is Veteran’s Day)- I don’t support the war, but I do support the troops especially there are people out there that I know…and it’s not their fault they are there…I’ll give an extra offering to Vishnu for you guys…be safe (extra shout out to my cousin Gwen- hope your home to you two little precious ones soon…)



Stay Crunchy- even in milk…

Just rambling...

11/09/05-Lunch

Hey- they played tow D-mode songs (Master & Servant and Fly on the Windscreen) in a row during the Flashback lunch!

There some stories that I was gong to post but decided against- the stories just disgust me. One of them is in regards to Kansas and their issues against evolution. Look at this quote from the BBC:

"Teachers have been ordered to tell pupils that Darwin's theory of evolution is unproven…"

Then there is the tale of the Japanese increasing their whaling. Whatever dude- could you at least stop calling it ‘scientific research’? If you love to eat Willy just say so...

Death is Everywhere- there are flies on the windscreen

11/09/05
They’ve voted here in Texas to ban gay marriages…well- it is Texas…freedom to live and love as you please- but you can’t get hitched here! I guess we won’t see Captain Sulu at any conventions here…

Oh, well…

On the plus side: DEPECHE MODE IS IN SAN ANTONIO TONIGHT!!!!!!!!

I am so excited- been listening to DM albums all morning…last tour they didn’t really play a lot of old songs- mostly stuck to songs from albums after 1990. I hope they buck the trend- I would love to hear PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE…

Hope it’s a cool venue as well…I wonder if Texan concert crowds are different from the So Cal ones?

Casa...

11/09/05

I watching BONES last night- the new show on FOX…it’s a good show, I don’t watch it all the time but I know every time I tune in I won’t be disappointed. Last night’s show touched on kids and foster homes and the dreaded ‘system’.
It really reminded me of my time at Casa Pacifica…I must have seen about 200 kids come through that place- their stories may be similar- but they’re all unique…when I started working there I gave myself six months before I would look for another job- after all I had a 45 mile commute, the pay wasn’t great and the hours weren’t either- but I ended up there a little over four years. Given the turnover I witnessed almost made me Methuselah…(except that would be Sloyan)

I’d like to say I saw pure evidence of evil over there- after all, who would abuse, neglect and abandon all those kids…but I also saw the hopelessness, desperation and anger (amongst other things) in many of the parent’s eyes- and I know we all have the potential to do to these kids what they did. It’s just that we are capable of managing our pain, guilt, and our negative emotions and not reflect it upon those around us. Most of us are able to take it and use it and learn from it.

(Now, of course, there were some parents who were just totally evil)

But I did see real evidence that when people want to, they are capable of really greater doings. The hours suck, the pay suck, the kids spit on you (amongst other things). But the people I worked with (most of them) didn’t let that get to them- they knew these kids needed a safe place and they gave it to them. And they did it with style.

Now this is seeing it through eyes after having worked there…while I was there were times I would like nothing else to work somewhere else- after all you could only take the horrible stories of what happened to these kids for so long…but I’m reminded of the time I went to Hong Kong- all the expatriates there (and their kids) all work six figure jobs and have bad ass titles like head engineer, international representative, and really impressive stuff…when I told most of them I worked for a children’s shelter they mostly wouldn’t know how to respond to that- white collar folk don’t know what to say to those in the social services…but one lady smiled and immediately told me that I was an asset to my community.

That made me smile.

I’m proud of my four years at Casa Pacifica. I hope that I was able to make at least a slight difference in those kid's lives.


Check them out at www.casapacifica.org

For Holly...

For Holly- because she loves this show (from SMRT-TV):


In the mid 1980's, Remington Steele premiered, offering a slightly post-modern take on the lack of sexual equality in the work place. Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist) is a brilliant detective who owns and operates a failing detective agency. No one wants to hire a girl detective. So she creates a myth, a man who embodies all of her own fantasies, and builds him a life, an apartment, and hands over the agency to his non-existent hands. Business takes off. No one ever gets to meet the elusive Mr. Steele, yet cases are solved with genius and discretion. Laura has her cake, and gets to eat it too. Mostly. Until one day a con artist discovers her ruse and steps into the identity that she's created. The next four years are filled with wild cases, palpable sexual tension between Laura and Steele (Pierce Brosnan), and a running commentary on identity and how we shape it, create it, fall into it. Laura is caught in the post second-wave era of feminism, both on television and in the world around her. As a result, the viewer is allowed to explore the way that women's abilities are both mistrusted and appreciated as the world tries to grapple with new roles.

Because Laura has created the identity of this man that she must defer to, people assume she's a secretary, a peon. She can't tell them the truth, and yet she's also obligated to give the imposter the knowledge and skills he needs to play his part so her deception won't be discovered. The fact that she's actually the brains of the operation, the women behind the throne is a representation of both the ways in which our culture was more comfortable seeing women and the dichotomy of maintaining authority and shaping her own identity. Laura has set herself up for the challenges she faces, both in trying to make the flesh and blood Steele into the person she envisioned and figuring out ways to deal with him getting credit for the work she was doing. These issues mirrored the realities of the time while still offering us some telling mysteries and sexy banter.
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