7.29.2005

biggots on myspace

Surfing sites like MySpace and Xanga for hours and hours on end (OK maybe my thesis idea wasn't such a bad one) and you see a lot of, well, stuff. Lots of stuff. I just came across the page of a woman named Stella of Irvine, CA who blogs about hate comments she got. I'm going to repost here because, really, they're beyond description.

This came from Mike in Nebraska
Jul 26, 2005 10:17 AM
yur a fukin jap u dont deserve 2 kiss girls go back 2 yur god damn ching chong land

And from a 12 year old girl named Cassidy whose profile has since been taken down.
*~~?Cassidy?~~*
Date: Jun 23, 2005 2:39 PM
Subject: No Subject
Body:
EWW UR ASIAN THATS FUCKING DISCUSTING...U MAKE ME WANNA HURL...OMG OPEN UR EYES CUZ UR UGLY(O I FORGOT U CANT!!)

Hope this serves as a little wake up call to those of you who think that Americans aren't racist anymore. I am actually scared of seeing most of America. When I don't have my feet safely planted on the west coast or some state on the (northern) east coast, or better yet in Canada, I find myself very uncomfortable and constantly looking over my shoulder. I don't care how prestigious certain universities are or how much funding they offer doctoral students. I'm sticking to where I feel at ease. Preferably right here in the Bay Area.

Canadian TV

I'm going to be delivering a guest lecture on Canadian TV in September. I get a 1/2 hour timeslot but don't know the specifics yet of what exactly I need to cover -- content, regulation, policy... who knows. So I'll throw it out there. Anyone have any interesting facts, stats, research, or funny tidbits to suggest?

No matter the focus I think I'll have to cover CRTC regulations, the Gemini Awards, our love for Hockey Night in Canada, news programs that are more global than in the US, our so-bad-it's-good original programming (Beachcombers, Danger Bay, Degrassi, Canadian Idol, The Littlest Hobo), kids' programming (Polka Dot Door, Mr. Dressup), and stuff we came up with that really was pretty darn good (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Kids in the Hall, The 5th Estate, The National, Holmes on Homes).

Can anyone send me a clip of This Hour has 22 Minutes' segment on Talking to Americans? Maybe I'll just show that for 1/2 a hour hahaha. Except I'll be the only one laughing.

opened box of Cream of Rice

OK so when I'm bored I surf for free stuff on CL. Here's a good one. the guy actually took a picture of it and uploaded it for this post.

opened box of Cream of Rice

7.28.2005

hamster home renovation

With the passing of Oreo a month back (may he rest in peace) we were left with 2 female hamsters and 2 aquariums. These two live together and are inseparable (dwarfs do not have to live alone) so we've given them more space by connecting the aquariums. I was worried that they'd end getting separated with this 2-level configuration and then forgetting the scent of the other hamster (they're stupid this way) and then getting in a huge fight as a result of mistakening the other for a stranger. Luckily, when one goes upstairs or downstairs, the other follows close behind. So far so good.


latest hamster home configuration, can you see Snowy?

Fatty struggles up the hill (she's no Lance Armstrong)

Fatty makes it to the ground floor of her home

Snowy's already made it down and finished a meal

7.27.2005

linguistics

I was continuing my search for interviewees for my thesis when I found this profile from a 20-year-old San Jose woman

iM nIce...& fHuN-2-b-wIt... i LuV tO daNz aNd paRtY... aNd i LuV fOodz...i LuV tO eAt..hehe!!! i LyK tO haNg-oUt wIt maH fweNdz aT the MaLL... i dNt LyK baCkStaBbeRS...aNd i h8 ghUyz hu chEAtz oN ghUrlz... aNd LyK haViN new fWeNdz...i thiNk daTs oL i caN saY bOut mHe...u ghUyz jUzt add mHe uP if u wUnt heReS maH aDdy:

Man oh man. Any linguistics scholars out there want to make a thesis of this?

bad retailers

I ordered a book from MegaChoices, an Amazon Marketplace vendor, on July 5th. I waited and waited and waited. No book. So I emailed them today to complain and they replied:

Hi Vanessa,
Please accept our sincere apologies. The publisher of this title notified
us that it was included in our shipment but when it arrived, we had been
shorted. We placed another order for more stock from them but they have now
notified us that they too are also out of stock. I have refunded your order,
thanks for giving us the opportunity, I wish there was more we could do.

Sincerely,MegaChoices Customer Service

My question is if they know the shipment arrived with my book missing from the order, couldn't they be proactive about it and refund my order? If I didn't email to bitch them out what would've happened then? No book and no refund? Another case of consumer beware. I went back to check their ratings and looks like I'm not the only one who had this problem.

Keep all your records of online purchases e.g. order numbers and contact info and do something when things don't seem right. Sorry MegaChoices but you're now in my bad book along with Haier America, Comcast, and UHaul. If something really pisses you off, be sure to file with the BBB and post to http://www.ripoffreport.com

7.26.2005

construction

OK my loser neighbours have been installing carpet for like 3 days now. I work at home and quite like the comforts of being here. But the noise is really pissing me off. Simon's advice was to play really loud _porn in their direction. I think I will make it even better by repeatedly slamming the bed against our shared wall whenever they start pounding with a hammer again.

I don't mind working from the public library too much except that I don't like public bathrooms and the ones there are especially nasty with the number of kids coming in and out. Parents, please train your children to flush the God damn toilet. Actually I bet some adults are to blame too. Bathrooms at clubs/bars are also gross. I don't understand why people have such a hard time with this. Stand on one foot and flush with the other. It's the only considerate thing to do. Sometimes I wish we could adopt some of Singapore's laws around cleanliness. I would personally volunteer to cane dirty inconsiderate people.

my other blog

http://vansthesis.blogspot.com/ for anyone who wants to see how I'm coming along with my project. No there will not be pictures of the women I talk to or of any scantilly dressed women for that matter. Sadly I have more to say on this blog - ramblings, bitching, absurdities of life in general - than I have to report on my thesis blog. Ah well.

7.25.2005

my job sucks

It's 5:10 pm and where am I supposed to be? I'm supposed to be at the library tutoring a 13 year old. I'm going to keep this toned down because it's a rather public blog with my name on it, but still there's smoke coming out of my ears right now so I have to write something. So I showed up at 4:30pm. Same time as usual mon-thurs. Pretty easy to remember right? We've been doing summer tutoring for a month and this is the 3rd time he's pulled a no show. Why? Because he's a little lacking in time management skills but this really is his parents' responsibility to get him there don't you think? After the last no-show his dad gave me a bunch of numbers to call when this happens. (at the time I thought WTF?) Anyways, so I called the kid's cell phone today and turns out he forgot again and was nowhere near the library. So I call his mom's cell to leave a vmail that goes like this -- [kids name] didn't show up AGAIN today. Last time [husband's name] gave me a bunch of numbers to call when this happens but I really can't be expected to chase him down when he doesn't show. I show up on time always and I just expect the same from him. [end] What pisses me off most is all I get is some quasi-apology (sometimes) and no pay for the time I wasted getting there, waiting, waiting some more, and then going home. Over the school year this has probably happened about 10 times. But what can I do when this is one of the few things I can do to cover my own fucking health insurance, car insurance, gas, cell phone and expenses? Luckily my other students who are off for the summer are always on time and ready to go and make me laugh like crazy everytime I'm with them. No matter what I actually plan to keep in touch with these kids to make sure they do OK well into college. And their parents are incredibly responsible and considerate. Maybe it's just time to find more students like that.
----------------------------
On a happier note, Ceaz has started a blog.
Welcome Ceaz. Hope ya post regularly.

weekend update

This weekend we bid farewell to Herman, fellow Vancouverite and Bay Area transplant, who moved on to work in Australia a couple years back. He's off to a gerjillion countries in Europe and Asia before he heads back to work down under.

------------------------------------------------
And an update on my neighbours who sound like they're about to strangle each other. There will be no more drama. They moved to the east bay this weekend. Hopefully we'll get some cool (and quiet) neighours moving in in August. The rude karaoke singing family next door on the other side decided to install carpet at around 7am Saturday morning. Yes, that requires hammers hitting adjoining walls. I'm am still pissed off about that.

7.22.2005

raise

TAs, RAs, and GAs in the UC system here somehow make a shitload more money than we GAs/TAs in the Cal State system. They also get tuition waivers, health care and all these other goodies while we get completely shafted (as usual). So apparently there's been a movement to unionize and demand a fair salary. I'm not too big on unions, especially when they're aligned with the United Auto Workers but apparently we've gotten a raise. Yup. For Fall Semester I can look forward to a $54 bonus check and a 3.5% raise. That means $8.96 more per month to blow (at the dollar store maybe). Yay. Oh and if we want to join the union as we've been encouraged to union initiation fee is $10.

7.21.2005

damn

So I've blogged about my next door neighbours before. We've got the anti-social karaoke-crazy family with thug teen children on one side and the married couple on the other side. Not long ago the married couple had some huge fight at like 6am that woke me up. This morning they broke their record. All sorts of yelling, screaming, howling, screeching, and crying at 4:30 am. I'm pretty sure they were both home by around midnight so it's not like one of them came home at that hour so I'm not sure what the hell would spur a big spaz like the one they had this morning. The argument actually moved from room to room, doors slammed, and I'm pretty sure I heard some other crashing and banging that sounded like things being thrown. I think it's the most intense battle I've heard from them yet. I'm not sure how a marriage like that is worth staying in. I almost feel bad that every time we see the guy, Simon and I are giggling and coming in and out of the house together to do stuff together. In the 2 years we've lived here, I have seen them together twice. We are still scared of the guy's wife. Neighours sure keep life interesting.

youthful optimism

I was watching public TV tonight, a documentary on recipients of some sort of big scholarship (Presidential something or other, forgive me, I'm not American and don't know the details of these things.) All these incredibly articulate 18 year olds. The best and brightest getting ready to go to Princetone, Juilliard and the like. I couldn't help but compare my attitude to theirs. There were winners in the visual arts, dance, drama, and music and they were heading to the top schools in their fields. But unlike me, they're not jaded by rejections, lay offs, and various other tragedies that come with age. Most of them probably don't even know the taste of failure. Have no idea that the dancing they study at Juilliard will not likely get them a secure or well paying job. They have no bitterness or regret, just hope, and anticipation. I sometimes wonder if this unbridled optimism, if somehow injected into my psyche, would change how I approach things. And if that in turn would change how things turn out in my life. Afterall, you are a part of your environment...you influence the outside world as much as it influences you. I've always envied those people who see the positive in any situation. But that's not something I've ever been able to force myself to do.

7.20.2005

for hire: blogging teacher

I got a catalog for the San Francisco State College of Extended Learning in the mail today. I was flipping through it for general interest courses that I might be able to afford when low and behold I come across a course titled "Writing and Blogging. "

Instruction will include the skill of uploading text and images to the site, as
well as adding links to the blog and websites of others. Class members will
maintain a blog journal. Oct 28 - Nov 18, 2-4pm $75

Whoa Nelly, that is 4 weeks of 2 hour instruction. 8 hours! And $75! I really don't understand how it could take so long to teach someone how to blog unless you are also teaching stuff like how to turn on your computer, introduction to Windows, and how to use a web browser. What a scam. If anyone out there is reading this (knows how to use Windows and a browser) and would like to learn this stuff in about 1 hour, I'll only charge ya $30!

7.18.2005

fresh blogs

Is it me or has there been a blogging drought lately? You folks seem to be blogging less and less frequently and I crave fresh blogs to distract me from the dullness that is life lately. I have to admit I'm also guilty of blog neglect but my life just hasn't been all that interesting. Hardly even any library drama to report. Today I slept in until 11am because I've had all these cold symptoms the last two days - scratchy throat, cough, stuffy nose - yet I'm not feeling the associated headache and fatigue which leads me to believe that I'm not actually sick but need the 10 hours sleep to allow my body to rid itself of whatever was causing the symptoms.

So anyways, I just finished watching a show called Gone Without a Trace or something like that. booooring. So I jumped back on my laptop and decided to delete some links to blogs I no longer read because I grew tired of them or they never get updated anymore. Then I started checking out other people's links to troll for new blogs to add to my reading list. Not much luck so far but I realized what I look for in a good blog. It has to:

- be relatively well written and intelligent (grammatical mistakes really get to me)
- include bits of sarcasm, ample amounts of cynicism, and a little dry humor
- be speckled with some honest to goodness, straight from the heart bitching and complaining about the little things that make life a bitch (these really warm my heart, I don't know why)
- get personal (ie not a review of electronics or sports highlights)
- generally be written by people over 26
- not be all about your new baby or significant other (sorry, just too nauseating for me)
- not be a transparent display of your wealth of knowledge on [insert subject]

Recommend any new blogs for me to develop an addiction to?

puppies and stuff

I worked from Simon's office all day Friday so we could head down to South San Jose afterward to see a friend's new Shiba Inu puppy appropriately named Sapporo. Our friend had just gotten him the day before. It was the cutest thing ever. I didn't bring my camera but these dogs basically look like this. It was adorable, sociable, playful, and amazingly quiet. I didn't hear a peep from him. Playing with other people's puppies makes me want my own but just thinking about it reminds me of the hideous instability of my own life. When I go to Vancouver I stay for 2-4 weeks at a time, I have weddings to attend out of town on a regular basis, I can barely pay my own health insurance and car insurance, and I don't know where the hell I'll be living even a year from now. On top of that, I don't see this chaos letting up for at least another 5 years. *sigh* OK so this went from a happy post to another my-life-sucks sorta post. I wish I could switch lives with someone, I'm not really liking how mine is turning out.

7.15.2005

what I've learned so far

My blogs are getting dull. All I talk about is my thesis and Phd apps. Ho hum. Welcome to my fabulous life. Anyways, I thought I'd make it slightly more interesting by posting things learned in this process (of looking for import models to interview and schools to apply to):

1. Xanga has web rings, or blog rings as they call them, while MySpace has groups. Groups are just people who can log in to post to a particular forum, but is not by any means a web ring. Friendster has nothing of the sort but you can click on interests to find others with matching interests.
2. Asian Avenue is pretty much dead. Too bad their articles are decent. I'm sure there's no audience for them since their members are high schoolers hanging out in the forums talking about throwing farts at people.
3. MySpace has the youngest audience (lots of middle schoolers and high schoolers), Xanga is somewhere in the middle (early college crowd), Friendster seems to be more popular with the late college to young professional crowd.
4. Some university web sites are really garbage and/or really outdated. Some even have dead links. C'mon now, how the hell are you going to recruit students?
5. Recruiting interviewees is like having a sales job. Tracking warm leads, making contacts, recontacting people.
6. People sometimes offer to help out of the blue because they're well...nice. People you don't expect help from and have really nothing to gain by helping (e.g. Jacob, this photographer/model coordinator for an online magazine, Tine's friend Jon who frequents car shows, various people on Ehclub, grad students giving detailed application advice - thanks everyone!)
7. I spend 2 hours out of my house each day - 1 hour at the gym, 1 hour tutoring - and I'm still getting cabin fever. I need to interact with more people before I lose it.
8. Transcribing interviews is HELL. I type faster than the wind but I can only retain so much in my head at one time - play, pause, play, pause. Took me several hours to transcribe a 34 minute interview. @#$%
9. Many graduate programs no longer have print material for prospective students. You get that crappy web site, some online application system, and that's it.
10. Time flies when you're multitasking online

Weekend is here already. Tonight have to head to South San Jose to see my friend's new Shiba Inu puppy, then try to haul ass back north for a going away party in the city. Saturday, import model interview, then out to see Deep Dish. This time I'm taking it easy, can't afford to lose a Sunday cracked out and hung over.

7.13.2005

applications

So whilst working madly on recruiting participants for my thesis, I'm also researching Phd programs that I want to apply to. I'm thinking to broaden my search to include not just media/communication but also social cultural anthropology, ethnic studies, and sociology. There's also the more interdisciplinary programs like cultural studies and "history of consciousness" (UC Santa Cruz). I sometimes wish I were into a more straightforward field of study, y'know like medicine, law, optometry. But being me, things have to be obscure and complicated right?

Anyways, anyone have any tips for grad school applications or programs that might interest me or samples of killer statement of purpose essays? (my research interests = ethnicity, gender, new media, youth cultures)

If this all seems really vague to you non-liberal arts types, I essentially want to one day publish multiple books like this and teach at a university, and then later maybe move into university administration (hey that means longer vacations and free tuition for my future children, I'm not being that impractical)

7.12.2005

fishing

A little late posting this but on Friday night we headed under the San Mateo bridge to do a little fishing. We caught nothing but these striped sharks but it was good fun. After that, we went to IHOP for grub. $5.99 for 2 eggs, 2 sausages, hash browns and a funnel cake. Yum! I don't think they ever had funnel cake at the fairs in Vancouver. We were big on mini donuts and beaver tails but funnel cake is big here.


shark that James caught

shark that James let me reel in

shark that Simon snagged through the back

7.11.2005

making some progress

Special thanks to Christine, Lonny, Calvin and Joe for messaging/calling me with contacts for help on my thesis. I'll definitely contact those people for help. In the meantime I've been lucky enough to get 2, maybe 3, girls to interview. I kinda caved and decided to give a $10 giftcard because I just dont think anyone will want to interview with me for an hour just out of the goodness of their hearts. Hopefully the momentum snowballs and the girls I interview send me more contacts. I think $10 / hour of their time is a fair trade.

In other news, I've been searching like crazy for flights home for yet another wedding but looks like I might not be able to go. $500USD is just a bit much to head back to Vancouver, especially when I also have to pay $80 roundtrip for ferry to Victoria on top of that. And those web specials to San Diego were BS. I went to book last night and all $63/each way fares were "unavailable" and the costlier ones were still only available for weird hours like 6 am. What the hell is up with air travel lately. Ridiculous. I think it's cheaper to fly to NYC than to take a 2 hour flight home.

7.08.2005

I'm so lame

So I was trolling around looking for more import model sites and came across one that had "biotch" written in big letters. I think to myself, wow what in intelligent ambitious young lady, not many young people are that into "biotech." Then I did a second take. I'm now embarrassed at how uncool that was. I think my uncool vibes are keeping potential thesis participants away. I need to think young, maybe dress young, listen to hip hop or something. When did I get so out of freakin' touch?

SD?

Might head down to SD in a couple weeks. It's not for sure yet but for those who live there or who've been there:

- what are the must see attractions?
- what's the best area to stay? (I see coastal, old town, downtown and some other areas I'm not familiar with)
- where do locals hang out and eat?
- any good clubs or lounges for house music?

7.07.2005

frustrating

I'm already starting to wish I had chosen a different thesis topic that didn't require soliciting interview participants. I have spent several full days wading through Asian Avenue sites and Friendster pages, squinting to read the text written in alternating lower case and uppercase letters, trying to translate slang as foreign to me as Latin, and attempting to understand why it is so cool among America's young people to deliberately spell things incorrectly. Despite my best efforts, I've recruited zero participants so far and it's beginning to freak me out here. My posts to various import culture and Asian American forums have gotten me replies that read like this:

They let you pick that topic for your MA? By: AznPatriot
Too bad I went the route I did for my MS. I could have done a study on women's
boobs and the correlation between nipple size and income level, or some other
equally interesting [yet useless] topic.

Another guy flamed me for having only posted once and thus "using the forum for my own personal gain". What the hell am I supposed to do, give you advice on your engine swap just to show I'm reciprocating?

I'm so sick of this already.

7.06.2005

thesis help!

So I spent yesterday searching AsianAvenue.com for participants for my thesis project and posting bulletins on import car forums but no one has replied yet and I'm shitting myself already. I should've done textual analysis instead, dammit. In any case, here's the bulletin I posted. Please pass it on. Any help would be appreciated!


Are you an amateur import model with your own personal web site (Asian Avenue sites are OK)? If so, I’d like to talk to you!

I am primarily interested in the gratifications that import models derive from authoring personal web sites. I am conducting graduate research at San Francisco State University on import models as part of my master’s thesis. By conducting interviews with import models I’m hoping to get a preliminary understanding of the gratifications you derive from authoring a web site. In order to be eligible to participate in this study you must:

- Be female and at least 18 years of age
- Be an amateur import model (you have other full-time pursuits and import modeling does not comprise your primary source of income)
- Be of Asian ethnicity
- Be born in the United States or Canada OR
- Have lived permanently in the United States or Canada since the age of 12 or younger
- Have authored a personal web site that indicates your interest in import modeling

Participation will involve a 60 minute face-to-face or telephone interview* which will be recorded and transcribed. Your identity will remain confidential and only a pseudonym will be used to identify your data in published work. Interviews will take place at a mutually convenient time and location.

If you are eligible and interested in participating, please reply to this message as soon as possible or email importmodelstudy (at) gmail.com. Also, please feel free to forward this email to others who might be eligible and interested. * Interviews by phone will be conducted only if you live outside of the Greater Vancouver, BC area, San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County

7.02.2005

Happy Canada Day

...Belated Canada Day that is. I spent yesterday recovering from a severe hangover induced by celebrating at the Canada Day Bash at Kell's pub on Thursday night. No cover band playing Bryan Adams hits this year but it was OK. This year Canada Day and 4th of July share the same weekend so we won't be doing anything especially Canadian this year but I think I will bust out a Cadbury Wunderbar and a cup of Red Rose just for old times sake. Oh and last night we watched some show on VH1 which essentially teased the hell out of us but it was kinda funny. So how Canadian are YOU?

Take this test (especially you Americans) and leave your score in the comments section
http://www.okcupid.com/tests/take?testid=11689202949138017783

Here's my score:

Pretty CanadianYou scored 85 Canada speak and 75 Canadianess!
You know a lot about us. You probably know someone who owns a Ski-Doo up at their cottage.