So the good news first and then the scary stuff. I got accepted to present at my very first academic conference. I'll be going to the Asian Pacific American Graduate Students Organization conference at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in March 2006. I've never been to Illinois and I actually applied to that school's Communication Research program so I'm excited. Yay!
So I was IMing with my dad last night about hockey and somehow we got to gossiping about family because that is all we talk about being an uptight non-communicative Chinese family and all. I found out that my cousins, aunt, and uncle on my mom's side who lived in Willowdale, Ontario lived many years in a house that was haunted. They moved out just within the last few years or something. Like each of them had seen the same damn ghost on several occasions and got used to it. How the hell do you get used to that shit and continue living there? It seems like everyone in my family has seen crap like this. It's kind of disturbing. OK I don't want to talk about it anymore because I get scared typing about it. But it's just so fascinating. I admit sometimes I feel guilty about trashing religion because I believe in ghosts but haven't got the God(s) stuff figured out. I left the Catholic Church behind after our priest threatened we'd go to hell for missing mass (dammit I had gymnastics meets on Sundays sometimes, jeez), told us that gay people have a disorder, told us that girls can't serve as altar girls and then explained that only men could be priests (and could thus be closer to God than could women). Even at age 12 I figured that this was rather sexist, homophobic and generally extreme (duh). While religion provides guidelines for being nice to other folks and all that, it also spawns hate, causes wars, prevents people from thinking independently, and divides families (and countries). I've always figured you can make your own rules for being good to yourself and people around you without having to worship someone/something and follow a bunch of arbitrary rules and archaic customs. I believe in a higher power but what form s/he takes I don't know. All I know is my future kids will not be forced to go to weekly mass and catechism. A little independent learning about Buddhist philosophies maybe. But that's it man.