or lack thereof. So I think I've mentioned that I have an early class on Wednesdays (8:30) and that knowing I have to get up at 6:45am puts me into this stupid panic that I'm not going to wake up in time for class. This panic makes me do weird things like check my alarm clock about a million times to make sure it is set correctly, to am and not pm, and that it is actually on alarm mode. So after that OCD induced ritual (I actually turn it off and back to alarm and then off and then alarm many times just to make sure it is definitely on alarm), I get into bed. Last night I looked over at my clock with the very large numbers for very nearsighted people like me and it was 3 am. I still couldn't sleep. Just knowing that I need to sleep early so I can surive 7 or 9 hours of lecture (alternating weeks) prevents me from falling asleep. I think it must've been close to 4 before I finally got to sleep and in the morning I hit snooze until 7:05am. So I spent first class (as usual) basically in a coma but with my eyes half open. And for some strange reason I'm not sleepy now. Why? Probably because there is adrenaline pumping through my body which, when it stops, will cause me to sleep for 15 hours or something like that. My friend Will can sleep about 6 hours and run a fucking marathon or triathlon. I can't even speak coherently without 8 hours MINIMUM and it is not likely I will ever get off my ass to run a marathon (even if I sleep 30 hours the night before).

In other news the demolition people have torn down half a block of businesses on Lake Shitty Way. Maybe this area will start to look less like a slum. As long as that doesn't drive up my rent, that's a good thing.


Kenneth Eng

I cannot believe my eyes. Kenneth "Asian Supremecist" Eng, you are a racist, an idiot, and an embarrassment to the the Asian American community. And Ted Fang of AsianWeek, are you out of your fucking mind? Like my colleague once wrote, you can't stuff the shit back into the horse. What in hell possessed you to publish that garbage?

Let's get something straight here. Often the media pit minorities against one another as a means of maintaining the invisibility of whiteness and white privilege. Cultural hegemony, perpetuating dominant ideologies serving the dominant class and and the naturalizing of inequalities to seem like common sense (per Gramsci bla bla bla). It's a distraction. Case in point: the construction of exaggerated Korean-Black animosity during the LA riots (see the film Saigu). But for AsianWeek to publish rubbish written by someone who is clearly (Asian and)racist will only drive divisions among people of color who need to be working together (not against one another) to extinguish deeply embedded racist ideologies, structural inequalities, and racial discrimination.


I decided part of what is making paper writing so difficult is that I haven't had a change in scenery. I spent my entire weekend either in my living room or in my room (the only other rooms left in my space that don't belong to my roommate are my bathroom and the kitchen). I can't handle the noise/children in the public library and was too lazy to trek down to school over the weekend. Today I decided to put in a couple hours on my paper at the Suzzallo reading room in our graduate library. I like to call it the Harry Potter room because it reminds me of Hogwarts. It definitely feels like a place where graduate students before me did a lot of thinking and coming up with brilliant ideas. I figured maybe that would rub off on me. Not sure that it did but at least the fact that you can hear a pin drop kept me quiet and still for a couple hours. I think I'm going to have to force myself to visit this place at least once a week for some quiet time. If only they could pump in some meditation music and light some candles in there and maybe add a fully stocked fridge. That would be perfect.



Yesterday the people upstairs invited a herd of children to run up and down the fucking hallway while I tried to write a paper. I promptly went upstairs, opened the hallway door, and there they were all 5 of them (I think) staring at me. Each was no more than 4 1/2 years old. Realizing that you can't yell at kids that young and have them understand a thing I'm saying, I said in my most non-threatening voice "could I ask you guys not to run up here because it's very noisy downstairs." I went back to our apartment and the running ceased (probably because their parents heard me issue that warning...or I scared them back into their apartment). I was hoping it'd be older kids so I could yell a little bit because I like to do that. Y'know, yell at other people's children.

So now in an attempt to not completely lose my mind whilst writing, I have my candle burning and I'm listening to meditation music on shoutcast. Yes, meditation music. Laugh not. It's the only thing keeping me marginally sane. Thing is that I'm blasting this meditation music to drown out the rock music coming through the floor from downstairs. How fucked is that really? I hate my neighbors and I hate apartment living.


asshole in 14c

[this is my first letter to a corporation that isn't a complaint or suggestion].

Dear Alaska Airlines,

I am writing this letter aboard Alaska Airlines 375 from San Jose to Seattle (departure 5:35pm on February 20, 2007). There is a man seated in 14C who is also writing a letter to Alaska Airlines as I can see it from where I’m seated in 15D. He is writing a letter of complaint and I am writing to defend the actions of the flight attendants on this flight. Our flight was delayed about 10 minutes prior to boarding and then we did not actually leave until 6:20pm. The second delay was caused by a woman in the 24th row having medical issues. I overheard the flight attendants mentioning that the passenger was dizzy and having a hard time catching her breath and they had a medic checking on her to see if she was okay to fly. After a short delay the lady was escorted from the plane and the flight attendants apologized for the delay and let us know that they were tending to the safety and well being of one of the passengers. No one else on the plane seemed to have a problem with this delay.

During the delay the man in 14C was complaining loudly that Alaska is never on time anymore and that he spent 1.5 hours waiting on the tarmac aboard an Alaska flight yesterday morning. It was obvious he was speaking in a loud volume in an attempt to garner support from nearby passengers but I think most people, like me, were just getting annoyed with his loud incessant complaining. While the fight attendant apologized for the delay due to the medical issue, he continued with comments like, “whatever, we’re going to get there at what time now? We were supposed to land at 7:38.” As we prepared to take off a flight attendant asked him to turn off his MP3 player and he scoffed at her, rolled his eyes dramatically, and gestured as though it was unnecessary, then turned it off. As she walked away, he said loudly, “last thing we need on Alaska now is bitchy flight attendants.” The flight attendant (blond woman) came back and said to him, “this is your last warning, or you’re going to the gate and getting off.” After another round of dramatic gesturing as though he had done no wrong, he finally shut up.

On a second check through the cabin before take off a flight attendant asked him to bring his seat all the way up for take off and leaned over to push the button and get his seat back up. The man got all flustered again and as the flight attendant walked away this time, he said loudly, “what a bitch!” I’m not sure if the flight attendant heard but by that time the plane was starting to pull away from the gate and I think everyone just wanted to get to Seattle with no further delays.

His behavior, tone of voice, and body language were unnecessarily rude, obnoxious, and hostile. People have medical problems and I think the staff onboard took the right precautions in making sure the passenger was safe to fly. That, of course, takes time but no one else on board seemed to have a problem with a delay that you cannot fault an airline for. And calling the flight attendants bitches is absolutely uncalled for.

I too get frustrated with airline delays but I have to come to the defense of the airline for once. That man’s behavior was despicable and I hope you take my perspective into account when you review his letter of complaint (it’s a long one). The flight attendants did no wrong (in fact they were fantastic) and do not deserve any disciplinary action whatsoever.

Sincerely, Vanessa Au



So I don't trust people particularly baggage handlers. I also don't like to check in bags because it takes too long for it to get to the baggage claim. Oh and stuff gets stolen and lost. So I decided that I'm only bringing a carry-on suitcase and my backpack. Problem is that I have to haul all the Wii shit down there for Simon and since I also fear getting mugged I've decided it's all going in my carry on suitcase and not in a shopping bag. Right, so that means 90% of my luggage space goes to the Wii, games, and my laptop and I get 10% for clothes and stuff. Miraculously it all fit. Being short and, as a result, having smaller clothes made it all possible. So yeah, a thin layer of clothing on top of what you see in the photo is all I'm bringing. Don't be taking me anywhere fancy. I won't be dressed for it.



I hate Valentine's day just as much as I hate Christmas and my own birthday. I just don't do well with these celebratory holidays in general (or in the case of birthdays, I'm just not into marking the passing of time). I guess I kinda like Thanksgiving because it's not focused on emotionality and sentimentality and spending money for no reason, and it's more about food, which I'm more than fine with (okay so I ignore the giving thanks part, whatever). Plus doesn't Valentine's just feel like a day of making single people feel like shit? Having a Valentine almost makes me feel guilty. Okay enough ranting. I had a shitty day, can you tell? I'm going to crack open a beer and finish grading papers.


locked out

For those who were eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the story of my friend locking himself out of his uncle's house while house sitting (and pictures) here it is.

story (you'll see from the pics that he had to smash a window and climb in)

pictures (click >> to advance the photos. Kinda funny how much smaller the window looks when Denny is climbing through it. hehe)


Spring Break

So the break between this quarter and Spring quarter is coming up and I'm thinking Vanessa needs a vacation. Either that or a good therapist or perhaps both. Was thinking to run around Manhatten but it's unseasonably cold right now and that's the last thing I need. Could make it a big snowboarding break but now that I live here I can go any time really. I think Hawaii is probably the furthest we can go without spending half the break on a plane. Definitely no more Mexico. After 4 visits there I need to really resist the cheap all-inclusive (read: drinking 24 hours a day and getting stupid drunk on the beach) and go somewhere else. Somehow we also have to fit in a big huge party for my friend Lieon who is finishing his internship here and going back to Duke to get that Phd. Hooray for Dr. Lieon.


Okay I thought McCormick and Scmicks had an awesome happy hour but tonight after yet another near break with reality due to too much work to do in too little time and really poor coping skills I decided I needed to get out and try to rescue my sanity. So happy hour it was. We went to Ivar's on Northlake and I had the cheapest raw oysters ever. $2.95 for a half dozen. I also got a crab quesadilla which was stuffed with huge chunks of real crab for $4.95. My heffie was $2.95. Check out this menu!!! Now I'm stuffed and over my grad school induced panic (for now). But my 4 page position paper which I haven't started unfortunately is still due Wednesday and I'm going to be observed while I teach (by two people no less) on Friday. I can't wait to get over this week. It is killing me (not at all softly).


God make it stop

Oh I forgot to mention, it happened again. For some reason when people approach me I always assume that they're about to ask directions so I put on a big smile and get ready to do my good deed of the day.

And then they say, "Hi I'm from the Apostle's Mission, and I..." and then smoke comes out of my ears, "NO THANKS" comes out of my mouth, I put up my hand to block their God-fearing face from my view and walk the other direction.

For fuck's sake. Seriously. Stop it with the church recruiting nonsense. Can't you worship without running around trying to get everyone else to join you? If you are going to go about your religion, "bless" your heart. Do whatever makes you happy. But if I'm going to burn in some fiery hell, that's my business. Don't try and rescue me or whatever.


This video about Black children prefering white dolls makes me sad (and proud of the girl who filmed it). And that's partly because I have vivid memories of choosing dolls that were blond haired and blue eyed because that's what all the perfect little kids on the commercials looked like. All the girls at school who had long "corn silk" hair were also the ones praised for their beauty. Even the pictures I drew were of people who were white and that's not just because the "flesh" coloured crayon was white (by the way, FUCK YOU CRAYOLA for that). Hello parents, how did you not clue in on this?

I did internalize my status as inferior because I wasn't white. I wish I had at least grown up in Vancouver, 40 minutes west of that stupid suburb I that I did time in. Even if there weren't any yellow skinned people on TV at the time, I could've at least seen other yellow skinned people in real life other than my parents and the other token few in my school (many of whom were regularly humiliated in one way or another). If you're a parent thinking to move to a place or send your kid to a school where s/he's an ethnic minority, stop now. Don't do it. It doesn't matter if it means a big back yard or a great academic program of some sort. It will make your child miserable and bitter for a lifetime.


seattle day tour

Recycling is good. Like recycling of an email I just sent to a friend who is in town for a couple days. I haven't been out too much around here but enough to recommend a day of stuff to do before heading up to Vancouver:

Happy Hour
It's always 5 o'clock at McCormick & Schmick's--except, of course, from 3 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight, when fancy snacks like oyster shooters, bay shrimp cocktail, and New York-style "counter burgers" (with fries!) cost a mere $1.95. 3-6p.m., 10p.m.-midnight daily

You must eat Crab Pot for lunch or dinner (dinner can get busy) --you get a bib and a mallet and a bucket of seafood dumped on the table. Simon's favorite. I would recommend going for lunch tomorrow and then hitting Pike Place Market before going to the Underground Tour

Underground tour http://www.undergroundtour.com/

Bruce Lee's grave -- Capitol hill
The cemetery address is, Lakeview Cemetery 1554 15th. Ave. E Seattle, WA -- look for the flagpole. it's nearby in among some hedges

Red Hook Beer Tour -- Woodinville
http://www.redhook.com/ $1 beer tours in woodinville very close to bothell. And you get a free souvenir cup

Ballard Locks -- you can see the water change levels and go downstairs to see salmon swim upstream
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks3015 NW 54th St Seattle, WA 98107Tel 206 783 7059

And unless youre on some angsty path of self destruction, dont eat dim sum in Seattle, it is HORRIBLE.

In Vancouver try to hit (my 2 favourite restaurants):

Guu on Robson http://www.guu-izakaya.com/robson.html
1698 Robson Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6G 1C7TEL: 604-685-8678[Mon-Sun] 17:30-0:00

Kiyo in Richmond (best sushi hands down anywhere, and good prices)



Headlines about the war, soldiers, or bombings no longer catch my eye and often I don't read them. Just more news of bloodshed and rhetoric quoted from the president about why it needs to continue. But this story was beautifully written. Can't really say what it's about because it will spoil the read, but I'll say it's not just another war report. It's about resistance. Read it. I would say that both are my heroes. The second certainly no less than the first.



Went up to Vancouver for a night to celebrate a friend's 30th and to try on a couple bridesmaid dresses. Somehow on the trip up (I hitched a ride with another friend) I finished grading papers and on the Sunday I finished an outline for a paper so all was not lost this weekend. We even had time to pop in a movie that I brought with me and hadn't watched. Floored By Love is yet another story about lesbian Asian women. This one was a made for TV movie that aired on CHUM City TV. But unlike Saving Face and Red Doors the acting was horrendous. It was so painful to watch I had to turn away more times than I could count. Part way through the 50 minute film, my friend Alex, without consulting the other four people in the room, got up and shut it off. Not a word of protest was uttered. Actually I think I heard a sigh of relief. Seriously, I wanted to like it. I really did -- It's Canadian, it features Asian Canadians, it deals with a complex topic...but seriously I think our grade 9 production of Peanuts was more riveting.


The Motel

So I've been on this 2 week free trial with Blockbuster online so I can catch up on all the films that my students are writing response papers on. I've since moved on to the $5.99 deal -- 1 movie at a time, 3 movies a month which is plenty for me. Anyways, I've seen Saving Face (okay until the cheesy ending), Long Life, Happiness, and Prosperity (a little contrived, not my favorite), Eat Drink Man Woman (hmm okay, older film), The Matador (that was not for class but pretty funny), and The Motel. I have to say The Motel by Michael Kang is my favourite by a long shot of the Asian American films I've seen recently. It seriously blew me away. It was touching, real, gritty, and didn't attempt a tidy happy Hollywood movie ending (which was my beef with Saving Face, Red Doors, and, well, most other movies). I can't believe this was Jeffrey Chyau's first gig outside of a couple commercials! The acting was really stellar and I wish I could've been there at the premiere at Sundance a few years back. If you rent this, be sure to watch the extras.



Taking Denny to the airport tomorrow. By the way he's fine after the locked-out-of-uncle's-house incident. Glass had to be broken though. Anyways, we're going to eat brunch before I take him to the airport. I've selected Pete's in Greenwood based on Citysearch reviews. Yay food.