Sunday, June 29, 2008

RWA 2008

I'm going to San Francisco! Woohoo!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

friday night movie

After a long day (for five days) of indentured service, to relax was a delight. The last local lowly maintain dollar theater (which actually costs $2 in the evenings) was chosen.



Yes, this is what I saw. Nim's Island. It was this or Baby's Mama, but my one friend who joined me took pity and help choose the movie we knew nothing about (thus no expectations) and completely random child-like fun.

Abigail Breslin, Jodie Foster and Gerard Butler makes the cast complete in this off-the-wall island adventure.

Without giving too much away (as most movie trailers do), Nim (Breslin) lives with her father microbiologist Dr. Jack Rusoe (Butler) on a secret island known only to the two of them. Home schooled and very self-sufficient (she puts those Survivors to shame), Nim and Jack lived a happy and peaceful life after the death of Emily (mother and wife respectively).

One day, Jack needed to stay two nights collecting plankton at sea, Nim convinced him to let her stay during her friend Chica's eggs hatch period (Chica's a turtle, Nim also has a Sea lion called Selkie, Fred the Bearded dragon, and Galileio a Pelican that's a lot more useful than one would imagine), while staying in touch through satellite. During this time, on the opposite side of the world lived Alexandra Rover (Foster), famous author of the adventure series of Alex Rover (Butler again). Despite creating these larger than life adventures, Alexandra had not left her apartment in 6 months. Yes, she is agoraphobic.

Through the wonders of email, Nim and Alexandra (who Nim thinks is THE Alex Rover) connect. A monsoon hits both the island and the peaceful sea where Jack was located (oh no, no more satellite conversations). The villainous plots by the cruise ship staff of the Buccaneer brings patrons to 'invade' the island. Nim was injured on a previous trip to her neighborhood volcano to help Alexandra with research requests 'Alex' to come help. Did I mention Alex Rover was also played by Gerard Butler? Cuz, ya know, Alexandra has conversations with Alex. Heh.

Thus began this adventure for all three on their own individual crazy journeys to meet on Nim's Island.

Overall, I loved it. Granted, I was never able to suspend the possibility of disbelief. The CGI was wonderful and I had trouble figuring out when the real animals were used in conjunctions with the animatronics (sometimes it was obvious). I really enjoyed seeing Jodie Foster in a comedic role. Gerard Butler twice on screen was always a treat. And Abigail Breslin was a wonderful imaginative 11 year old. Of course, my friend and I had tons of fun making movie commentaries (yes, hate me, I talk in theaters-I do it more often when I know I'm annoying a few of the patrons, but you know what? If you can stand that freakin screaming baby who doesn't even watch movies, you go ahead and take my commentaries) and joking about the randomness of the movie.

It was predictable. It was very far-fetched. Lots of issues I'd normally rant about, but you know what? It was fun. Very empowering at times to encourage imagination, action, and living life.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

random questions

What counts as good and what counts as bad?
When everything is so grey, how does one action become more dignified than the other?

Things are not complicated, but if it could be more clear maybe certain decisions would not be as tough to call.

At which point is it okay and which line is it not right to cross? Is there really a line?

If things go well, a many big changes will be occurring. Should things go poorly, changes are still coming- except much more turbulent and exhausting. Yet, that is life.

I'm writing a short story. I think I've lost my voice and I want to get it back...so, random writing it is!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

cuz everyone's doing it


When I put it Alice, I got Beethoven's 63rd by Sofia Coppola.

Yi Yun gave me A Tale of Psychedelic Redemption by Kevin Smith.

Hehehe.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

random reads

With tons of books stuck in a tilting mountain form, I thought it best to rifle through some and finish them off before they take their revenge and cave on me...while in my sleep. O_o

Sadly, instead of going to the good stuff, I picked up a lot of *pause* social and cultural books. Let me make it very clear that the books were not bad. It contained great information and was rather entertaining in their own right. At the same time, the level in which they are written (no matter the mass of information and knowledge injected), much of the writings had given me a hint of unease (and not because of the contents alone).

You're Too Kind by Richard Stengel.

An enjoyable and often satirically written book on the history of flattery. There is a LOT of information, thus hard for me to fully describe and explain without going into essay mode. Although it did make me laugh(the writing itself-really wonderful), think, and frown- the most important thing I gained from this book is to realize how bad I am at flattery, because I do not believe in it. This book, although humorous, painted a very sad picture of human culture. The future of increasingly self-serving people using glistening words to gain ground rather than true hard work and knowledge is bound to cause some trouble for others. Is not our current political problems globally a clear enough warning?
While reading this book, if often made me think of Sense and Sensibility (what? did you honestly think I wouldn't link romance, no matter how small, to this post somehow *wink*). People do prefer sweet and false lies to truthful honesty. Flatter has become so fluid, it is sometimes hard to discern an individuals true intentions-where doubt may mistakenly be placed upon friends.
One thing was very clear, I do not like flattery. I doubt it when people speak of me kindly...especially for the purpose of it getting back within my hearing range. I would rather someone be cruel and truthful, giving me time to comes to terms with my own mistakes and shortcomings, instead of a plastic facade with the easy of hiding the very sharp knife in which to stab me when my back is turned.
It made me doubt and it is not a good thing. At the same time, even if I choose to believe in people and in the kindness of those around, the books makes me realize how I should not maintain a naive mentality. Understanding there will be fake people out there does help more than waking up one day with a knife in my back (yet again) and then blaming myself.
If nothing else, the book did make me laugh at the absurdity of flattery (which, I believe, was a little of the intention).
So, conclusion: good book, worth reading, but can be a bit depressing. Maybe find it in the local library.

The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker.
This book, highly recommended by a lot of people, had contents much more disturbing than I would like and more because of the language than the actual events described.
The writer himself is very eloquent and very well versed in the experiences. He, sincerely cares and even has a disclaimer of writing this book with male audience in mind. In the same instance, about three chapters in, it finally hit me with the force of a hurricane upon a tiny beetle (yes, I am the beetle in this case) of why I was constantly uncomfortable while reading a book that was to help recognize and help prevent violence. I, as an individual of no expertise other than that of a me reading, felt victimized. Or more precisely, violence being blamed on the victim. Let me very clearly say this, it is not the intention of the writer to do so. In actuality, I know, very clearly and sincerely, Mr. Becker wanted to help readers become aware of their surrounds and help stop the chances of violence before it could ever happen. The goal is to trusting your instincts (which I feel, really sums up the book; there are more, but those are not my focal point).
Yet, as engaging as the writing, this teaching of how people can and should recognize the premise to violence (although not wrong) is written in a way that throw a little too much responsibility at the feet of a victim. It is true, we are often able to feel this bit of prickling at the back of our necks, signaling how uncomfortable we are about someone, some place, or some situation. But saying, you knew it and chose to ignore it...well, that is a double-edged statement.
In truth, it could be me reading too much into the subtle aspects of the book that are not meant to be there at all. Yet, the feeling of blame is there (which I feel is completely unintentional and he would probably sue me for slander if it isn't for the wonderful First Amendment and the fact he does not seem like a kind of person to do such a thing).

I do recommend this book, it has much to offer, but I would suggest readers to keep in mind the book takes some rather complex situations and somewhat simplified it. A good read, but borrow before buy is best.

A little background on myself and why I feel rather strongly about the second book(highlight if you have time and are bored enough to read ^_~); I majored and graduated from college with an undergraduate in Women's Studies. Rather than go into a lengthy and boring explanation of that major (because truthfully, I do not quite know how to explain it myself), I can only say I went into the major because of an incredible professor; without much thought except to grow as an individual, and came out very openly critical of the study itself (it's mostly out of love that I am so harsh on this major because I do love it very much, being in the major is also part of the reason why I found the first book depressing). During my years of education, I had to study and learning, watch and read, as well as speak and discuss issues that were discussed in this book. I am no expert, but if I am be so bold as to say, being female often makes fear and violence (mostly intermingled) more a fact of life rather than a distant event. As such, I get rather riled up about anything that even hints at blaming someone whom was unable to control an event that occurred and have thus caused pain.
In the meantime, I did start on a very special and absorbing book where I'm taking my time to make it last. So...don't kill me Katiebabs. I'm reading it ^_~.

Edit: So, I came back and realized I've been focusing more on the 'problems' I had with the books, rather than equal limelight. So~~~

You're Too Kind- The writing was very funny. The author, Mr. Stengel had an interesting way of presenting information where it's actually fun to read. Entertaining, yet informative. My favorite kind of books. Going through history and how flatter is still a very vital and present part of our lives, he paints a very different view in terms of religion, culture, and of people in general. For me, I was able to gain the knowledge of what to look for should someone be trying to flatter me. At the same time, as an individual who loves learning, the sheer amount of information provided had me checking out history books and wanting to learn more.
A side note, if you're easily offended about certain personal views, you may want to read with a bit of caution because the book is not shy about pointing out possible meanings. Reading with a light-hearted and satirical mentality would be best. I really enjoyed that aspect, in which nothing is off limits-even if I did get a little taken back at some aspects. Still, I like keeping the book around and flipping through it every now and then. Not for too long or too often, because I would start thinking too much and then depress myself.

The Gift of Fear- As the writer statee, all the evidence he provided in the book were based on real experiences, events, and statistics. That sheds a rather bleak, but important light on the problems with violence in this century. Mr. Becker often brought up possible solutions, which I found to be a great addition to books about social issues. Not shy about pointing out the absurdity as well as genuine importance about different aspects in terms of fear and violence, the book attempts to be truthful. To some extent, it succeeded to bring it to the readers attentions. At other times, it becomes a bit obscure and overshadowed by the storytelling of the individual experiences. Not a bad thing, but the desciptions and explanations are not for everyone. I enjoyed the book, but probably will not pick up this book again unless I need specific information or details.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SA reclassify Ethnic Chinese

Ethnic Chinese people in South Africa are reclassified as black, to benefit from affirmative action policies.

I've been saying it for years; through threats, slights, and mockery- even pure disbelief and being excluded from so many places. Well, guess what, I am black-so HA!

At least only in South Africa.

More comments later. ^_^

~~~
Okay, along the lines of a little girl goofing off...

If you haven't seen it yet, drop by Dear Author on the upcoming RITA showdown. Please turn down your audio, make sure no one is around-it really is a hoot.

Monday, June 16, 2008

antithesis

I'm going into a depressive and self-pitying mood. Not good. Not good at all. Need to do something to get out of this runt. I'd make a lame joke just about now, but I'll let people guess ;) Hahaha.

It'll get better. Probably just need more books. Once an entire fort is made from the aquired TBR pile of books, anyone is bound to be happy.

Five more books to add on. Shopping, books and chocolate. :) Feeling better already.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A week in Retrospect

Things I shouldn't have done: Gone shopping (and not even books this time O_o).

Thursday- Bought parents matching shirts for Father's Day (yes, I know it's only for the paternal, but in occasions such as these, the other feels neglected. *sigh* Making me spend more $$$). Now, I need to exchange one due to size. It fits, but Mom wants 1)pink, 2)loose for comfort.

Needed skincare, I am breaking out all over. It's horrific >_<.
Saw the cutest pair of red patent leather maryjanes...from Jimmy Choo. I didn't get it (it was so expensive, I wanted to cry), mostly because they didn't have it in my size (hahaha, don't know what I would have done did they actually carry my tiny feet size). Then went to another store and found a of shoes on discount...but still expensive enough to make my heart bleed (if I had one ^_~).

Friday- One of my few longtime dearest friend (I've known her half my life ^_^) and I met up to hang out...at a crafts store first. It was wonderful, except still hurtful for my wallet. I got acrylic paint! Wee!!! If only I could find the right brushes.

We did go to the bookstore and browzed, after we both got some yummy caramel apple...mmm. Got some drinks, found some journals I could use. Then chatted for several hours. *happy sigh*

She finished Dreaming of You and LOVED it. Now, it's either Demon Angel or Slave to Sensation. Hehehe.

Watched Paris, Je T'Aime. Love in all its various aspects between lovers, friends, and family set in Paris. There were two particular stories where, had I been able to, I would have cried. Some were cute, others sweet. A few I had to watch a few times to get, and others where I wasn't quite sure what they were saying (aside from the fact I don't speak French >_<). Overall, I thought this was a rather good idea. I know they're planning two more installments, one set in New York and the other in Shanghai.

I did read a new book (rather than re-read the same wonderful books continually) from my extremely dangerous TBR pile where any wrong step and one may be injured under the rubbles of pulverized story containers. Emma Holly's Hunting Midnight. Yeah, didn't know it was a series until after I read it. She's my, errr... comfort read. Sort of.

Watched X-Men The 90s animated cartoon, Gargoyles, and Darkwing Duck. Only in bits though. I think I'm going to watch Twelve Kingdoms though, while I clasp the books as close as possible.


A rather good amv...I get chills just watching clips. Chills...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The After-Thought

Please bare with me as I voice an oddity.

As of late, with the recent turn of events concerning work and friends, it has come to my awareness of the continual repetition in how certain people are treated a certain way. For sure, I am not the best of individuals, not even close. If anything, maybe I am too self-contained.

What is it that I have been doing to allow those around having taken to treat me as an after thought?

It is understandable we all have our own lives and best interest at heart. There is nothing wrong with making different plans or even having something else more important come up. Sometimes, scheduling does not work out and things are the way they are.

Yet, almost consistently, through out the years, I have been placed as an after thought of some kind. Is it wrong to want to be priority at least once or twice? To be on someones mind BEFORE they actually execute their plans for a fun-filled or even quiet night?

It has to be me, something that I am doing where most of my friends either makes plans without me, finds me when all other plans are unavailable, or cancels on me for other people.

More than anything, I want those I care about to have fun and be as happy as possible. If that means making plans without me due to my own personal schedules and curfews, I would whole-heartedly support their decision.

Until the previously mentioned event, it never really hit me as hard to realize how disposable I've become. Even earlier this evening, on a very short and often silence filled phone call, a friend made it very clear I shouldn't make said friend feel guilt for making plans on off days. Another friend suddenly contacted me at nearly bedtime to hang out because all other plans were cancelled and when I refused, got mad and basically left me alone.

Maybe it is the timing of these close knit events, but now the nagging feeling of the occasional emptiness in being adrift has become a full blown tempest harshly and violently sucking the life out of me.

I know I am a rather difficult person, often being too stubborn in my choices and actions. Demanding and self-contained. I may live for myself, but I do not live by myself. It is out of concern that my genetic donors puts limitation upon my actions. Every action has consequences, I cannot make decisions and not think about how those closest to me will be effected. It is easy for someone to tell me that I should move out, that I should be independent. Constantly throwing my age in my face and how I'm being the poster picture of the filial Asian girl. Yet, if I suddenly throw all my belonging into a luggage and walk out, would these same people freely and kindly lend a place of one to rest their weary soul? Would they help with any financial or economical difficulties? Talk is cheap if you do not have to deal and live with the consequences. I may be well pampered, somewhat arrogant, often long winded, and socially awkward, but I am not callous enough to disregard the feelings of those whom have placed years, time, money, and really loud demands (most of which are unreasonable) upon raising me, for the sake of someone else's ideas about freedom and Independence.

If not being able to leave at the middle of the night to fulfill someone else's expectations, having a curfew, and prefer to make plans becomes a hindrance to friendship, then I am doomed to a very lonely existence.

Always an after thought. Hearing about how several other friends got together and had so much fun is great for I want nothing better than to see those around me in joy. Hearing about how one's friends thought about, or realizing half way through, how much their friend (me) would love to be there at which ever area or what ever event, BUT knowing that I wouldn't be able to go because of so-and-so reasons...
I don't blame anyone, but recently, it occurred to me how much happier I would feel if these friends grabbed a knife and just tried to stabbed me.

At least I would be able to see it coming and either run or defend myself. Instead, I'm left with an awkward speechless half-smile because they obviously thought about me. What is there to confront about? Why would I need to make a big deal out of nothing? They thought about me. Isn't that what matters in the end? They care. It is because I have trouble making spur of the moment plans, that I live too far away, that I don't drive well at night, that I don't want my parents to worry, that I get pushy and want my way the few times we're all able to get together, that I am making too many excuses...

This is probably why I'm so addicted to my books. They don't ever leave me, even after the tattered pages slowly crumble...the pale yellow of aged books only shows the years they've been a part of my life. Stories will always stay with me, if only in my head.

Edit: I guess I should put in a little disclaimer to say that this is not include ALL my friends. In truth, despite my bitterness and obvious grievance, I'm more upset at myself. Seriously, what have I been doing which consistantly gives an image that I'm okay with being systematically expendable? Especially among close friends.

It was also the last individual's unhidden anger at me not running out to meet up the moment the person suggested some get together at ten in the evening. Also the fact, in the last two months, every single one of my friends has one time or another, left me out. It wouldn't be such a stinger if one event did not happen after the other. Continual for two months in various forms, some one was bound to notice.

This has been a better month and I did get to do some fun stuff. That'll come in a later blog of course. After some food and happiness. ^_^

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Desert Island Keepers


The official Desert Island Keeper Blog site has been born!

The HLO have merged with them, although we still insist upon the equal and dignified treatment of the heroes. There shall also be the inclusion of heroines...sometimes. ^_~

Horray to Romance novels!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

changes in june

As spring turns to summer, the lazy heat drawing people to the slinky clad beaches, I find myself hoping to be able to return to the ever growing pile of ink printed wood pulp for worlds far from my own. Maybe this month would be of better luck then last.

Things have been going through this insane roller coaster ride which refuses to stop. Aside from two weeks of irresponsible management h***, constant bombardment of worldwide tragedies, and flaky friends that request my presence then leaves me hanging when I could have been at home reading!

I refuse to mention any more about work aside from trying to find the fastest way out of there for my sanity's sake. Stress is fine on occasions, but too much makes little shiny bald spots appear on my already black thin hair. I can handle a lot, but I do not deal with irresponsibility of those contracted to work very well. Especially consistent continual irresponsibility at length.

The final straw was when I cancelled a wonderful night at home surround by wondrous reads to spend time with friends from long years past. First off, I had to wake up early in order to finish off my hours so I would be able to meet at the appointed time. After an hours drive on Friday traffic and a near 15 minute parking, inform her of my presence and get cancelled on because she didn't get Sex in the City movie tickets. There was already a 6 hour gap since lunch. Getting tossed aside in such a way was not only disturbingly rude, it was insultingly irresponsible. This was not my planned event. I had confirmed the moment I was there. Yet, the only explanation I received was insignificant and an awakening slash of cold water from a warm deep slumber.

I was pissed. Beyond befuddled at the absurdity.

Things are moving at a much better pace now, for there is no need to dwell on the unhappy. We all have lives and I have 30 some odd books awaiting me. My dear friend also drove down after hearing my sob story and we spend some time shopping (oh my wallet).

On that note, I introduce said friend to the joys of Lisa Kleypas' Dreaming of You, Nalini Singh's Slave to Sensation, and of course, Meljean Brooks. This is just to start. One thing though, we got the last Dreaming of You, with only two copies of Slave to Sensation (all VoH was gone, one CBI was left, and very few MtP), and you know what? They were completely sold out of Meljean's books!!! I kept circling and circling, but they sold out completely! Does this just makes you all giddy knowing our favorite authors are constantly sold out at bookstores? Giddy and paranoid I'll have to fight people at the bookstore of the next books...oh, the upcoming months...

June has started a new trend of increasingly irregular extremities. I received awesome news from Katie(babs) (I really needed that phone call, thanks!) and had crazy fun threesome chat (pun intended what with all the jollie talks lately ^_~) with Kristie(j). Then wake up to incredibly interesting emails from my blogsphere friends. It's beyond fun.

My fellow HLO co-founder, Aymless, also wrote a wonderful book review on a series I will be starting soon. After I watch N&S first...and that's after a few more books. Hehehe.

A lot of other more depressing stuff also happened, but the happy stuff mostly outweighs it by a ton or two. It is a slow step by step. In the meantime, I think I need to acquaint myself with pictures more...as in, uploading them here. ^_~