I survived

I survived a workshop that I delivered to a bunch of teenagers on the weekend at the Seattle Center, a project that we had to do for a graduate seminar on public scholarship. The group I got was, however, not a group of teenagers. I got a bunch of preteens which is not what I had prepared my material for. This was a workshop on race and the media. When I showed a clip from NCIS of a non-profit office burnt down and a bunch of Middle Eastern men being interrogated by white cops who suspected they were terrorists, the kids thought the characters were Mexican. Things went downhill from there, with the highlight being the scuffle over pens at the next table which was also mostly pre-teens (AKA children).

After that we we went to a bar to celebrate and ran into this crazy junkie bitch. Two of my team mates arrived first and sat at a 4-person booth. The crazy junkie was sitting in one of our chairs but they let her be since we hadn't arrived yet. When we arrived my teammate asked her to move since the rest of the party had arrived. Her response, "Uh no, this is not your seat. Can't you see I'm sitting in it? So no I'm not going to move." The next booth where her two friends were sitting had two empty chairs since she was sitting in ours. Yeah, after dealing with the drama of the workshop we practically get in a fight with a crazy woman. Luckily her friends convince her to move back to their booth and sit in one of their chairs and so we get our seats back. Needless to say, the first thing I ordered was a beer, and with that a big sloppy cheeseburger and fries. When I got home I had to sleep. I was knocked out for 2.5 hours and still woke up with a headache.


time capsule

So my department opened up a time capsule that has been sealed for 50 years. Or so they thought. Sometime between the late 70s and early 80s someone broke into it and added a few extra items.


In another article I read it said the undies were dirty. That is just gross.

I'm impressed that they were able to get this thing out of the wall and undo the bolts to sneak the stuff in. Kinda funny.

OK, gotta go watch hockey and grade speeches.



Man I love my people. Thanks to Denny for this. I'm sure Vancouver is a ghost town right now with game 7 on. I'm trying to do my grading while I watch the game. I'm so happy I get CBC. Go Canucks!

As Game One of the Canucks first round series against Dallas stretched on and
on, it seems few in the Lower Mainland were able to pry themselves away from
their televisions. Instead, not wanting to miss a minute of the action, most
Canucks fans appear to have decided to wait until the intermissions to make a
trip to the bathroom. So many decided to wait until the end of a given period
that by the time each intermission was finished, the Burnaby area had
experienced a steep drop in water pressure.

From http://canucks.com/view_archive.asp?sectionID=5&id=2042



Tomorrow is Monday. Fuck.

hockey etc

I got back from Michigan at 11:30am yesterday. I slept the first leg of the flight from Lansing to Minnesota and most of the second leg from Minnesota to Seattle. That's about 4-5 hours of intermittent sleep which I thought would do but no. No longer can my body handle short trips across three time zones. I used to do these trips from San Francisco to Houston, Raleigh, and Orlando and be able to get back to work. Yesterday I got back and had two naps, graded some speeches, caught up on email, watched the Calgary v. Detroit game and then the Canucks v. Dallas game (thank the gods for CBC in Seattle) and was in bed by 10:30pm. This morning I got up at 10am which means I slept 11.5 hours.

Tonight I watched Calgary v. Detroit's game 7. So over 24 hours I've watched 3 games which is more than I have all season (except in December when I'm back home and watch NHL, Jr. Hockey and Spengler Cup). And all 3 games, my teams lost. I told Denny that this is all my fault. He claims it's his mom's fault. She's been watching the same games. I think together we're messing with the chi that helps Canadian teams win. Still I have to watch Canucks' game 7 tomorrow. It might be their last.

In other news my long lost best friend Caron from high school found me on facebook. Yay! Facebook has been a mixed blessing. Reconnecting with old friends has been fun. Seeing everyone all settled with kids (some of them school age already) is kinda scary though. All the ladies with kids are stay at home moms or working in administrative or service jobs and did not finish a four year degree. Does that mean women can't have it all, or do the ones with lofty and possibly unattainable career goals just start the family stuff later? (way later when they realize this career shit is all a waste of time...or not at all, no family, perhaps just a cat or 12)



I gave the shittiest conference presentation ever. I never read my papers but since I wrote this one back in Fall and could not remember my own arguments I had to read it. And reading makes me nervous because I get all ADD and lose my place and read my own words wrong. I should take my own advice as a public speaking teacher and NOT read a presentation. And my audience got really weird for an Asian American conference. All these undergrad looking white kids poured in, some of them in the middle of my presentation and they were doing what most undergrads do at a talk -- fidget, squirm, make faces, look around the room, and exchange glances with one another. Apparently someone had their students attend for extra credit or something. Fuck this kinda thing throws me off my presentation groove. Oh well. I got to have dinner with a friend I had met at APAGSO last year who is also a fellow blogger, though I only found out about her very hilarious blog tonight.

I guess all in all it was a good experience to hang out with her, to see a bit of Michigan, and listen to an incredible key note speaker. So it's all done now. Back in my hotel room procrastinating because I have to read, grade 10 speeches, and prep for leading my class discussion this week. I have to get up at around 5:45 am tomorrow to catch my flight, which is insanely early... or in west coast time it's 2:45 am if I want to think about it that way.


Lansing, MI

I am in Lansing rehearsing my presentation in my hotel room. This is the first time I've set foot in Michigan. My first thought upon arriving at the Lansing Airport, "holy shit, am I the only Asian person here?" My second thought, "wow this airport is tiny." When I got outside there were only 8 cars waiting to pick people up at the curb and 3 people (including me) at the curb waiting to get picked up. There was no honking, no backed up traffic, and no cops yelling at people who aren't actively loading or unloading passengers. Actually there were no cops anywhere within sight. It was...eerie.

After checking in I headed across the street to get a gyro for dinner and some baked goods for tomorrow's breakfast. It dawned on me that I'm in a predominantly white city just a few days after a disturbed Asian American student went on America's biggest shooting spree. As I walked through the half empty shopping plaza I saw only white people and a couple of them glared at me briefly from out of the corner of their eye with a look that didn't exactly say "welcome to Lansing." And I don't think I'm just being paranoid.

Just as I was in Illinois and all through childhood, I'm feeling a little uncomfortable in my own skin. I couldn't imagine what it must've been like for people of Middle Eastern descent in New York the week after 9/11.

Mental illness affects people of every color and that shooter could have been white, black, or brown. If he were white there certainly would be no discussion of race in this situation at all because to be white is to be default, normal, colorless.

I hope and pray to every god in the universe that there are no acts of retaliation against the Asian American community.



As I sit here grading speeches the TV is on and Oprah is having a "townhall" about the Imus issue. This is great to bring attention to issues of race. I applaud Oprah. But where was she when the Tsunami Song about "screaming chinks" came out, or when Adam Corolla did his "ching chong" parody of the Asian Excellence Awards? How about when JR Gach did the piece about slant-eyed gooks? How about that part in the movie Dodgeball with the opium smoking Chinese people throwing human heads? Why are all her panelists either black or white? Why is this sounding like it's never happened before? Or that it only happens to black people? Racism is an issue that is not just black and white and this Imus incident is not the first. When is it going to matter that Asian Americans are frequently the target of racism in the media? We need more Asian American leaders in the media.


Step It Up

It's 10:15 on a Saturday night and I wish I could be at 1015 (as in the San Francisco nightclub) instead of here. I've got field notes and interviews from the Step It Up event I went to today to type up, a conference to prepare for, 2 papers to edit, and readings to read.

The Step It Up rally and march was pretty fun. It was great to see people from all walks of life concerned about global warming (I think climate change is a stupid euphemism and I refuse to use it). Unfortunately it poured rain for a bit and my research partner and I bailed before the big event with the speakers. We were just too drenched and having collected 20 interviews together, we felt our job was done.

Message from me for the day, if you don't do something about global warming we're all going to die -- that includes your children, their children and all those cute animals. Even before that time comes our earth is going to change in very noticable ways very soon if we don't do something now. You can do small things at an individual level and/or you can write to elected officials to make sure this is a priority and that we're not going to forget about it. Here are some more ideas:



Unlike Friendster and MySpace, Facebook has the unique ability to let you find people you went to high school with. I just joined a group for those who graduated from my high school between 93-95. I have a strong urge to post a bulletin that reads, "I fucking hate all of you and there is something satisfying about knowing that most of you live pathetic meaningless lives and haven't moved beyond 5 km from that miserable 'municipality' that we grew up in."



Today the bus I was riding took a corner too tight and ripped the bumper off a car. You always see them come *this close* especially when you're the one driving in the next lane. I guess this time really was too close. All the passengers had to get off and walk to the next bus stop to wait for another bus. Luckily mine came within 10 minutes. Alright, that was my excitement for the day.

I've got a busy three weekends. Tomorrow I'm helping some other PhD students with some field work/data collection at the StepItUp.org event, the following week I'll be out in the midwest presenting at a rinky dink little conference, and the week after that one of my grad seminars is running some teen workshops downtown. In May it's final project deadline time so I guess there's no resting until June.



Friday night was interesting. After surviving two hours of teaching I stunk up the entire hallway that joins the graduate student offices by microwaving my cod with black bean garlic sauce. I knew it would be stinky but (1) I need to eat (2) I had nothing else to eat (3) I didn't know it would be stinky enough to elicit comments like "who is cooking fish?" or "oh my God what is that smell?" Last time I did this was at my start up company where I reheated some Chinese dumplings with leek, cabbage and pork. Turns out those things are full of garlic and onion powder that stink when you cook 'em and also result in very nasty burps. Anyways, after surviving another 2 hour lecture that afternoon it was off to my friend's place to pick up some furnture she was giving away. Using all girl power we managed to move a couch (to another friend's place), a dresser and a nightstand. We then spent the evening at another classmate's apartment indulging in deep thoughts and pizza.

At 10:30 that night I get a phone call from one of my best friends in Vancouver.

J: Hey what are you doin'
V: Hanging out at a friend's place
J: Can we come down and visit?
V: Sure, when?
J: Um, now? Oh and there's 3 of us
V: uh.... bring sleeping bags. Call me when you get here

My friends are impulsive and crazy and that is why I love them. This is the same friend who on a couple hours notice drove from Vancouver to San Francisco (15 hours) without stopping to come visit. Apparently conversation that spurred the decision to make the 2.5 hour drive went like this:

JH: It's such a beautiful night. Let's go hang out in White Rock [which is by the border]. Actually, since we're driving all the way to White Rock let's go a bit further and hit the Tulalip Casino
JL: Well shit, since we're going to the casino we may as well go a bit further and drive to Seattle to visit V. Hmm let's call A and C and see if they wanna come.

Before you know it there is a 5-person caravan headed to Seattle in the middle of the night. They arrived at midnight. By the time I got back home to meet them they were all standing outside my apartment building with sleeping bags in one arm and an open beer in the other. We hung out, drank, watched half a movie, made fun of each other, gossipped, ate some pizza and went to bed. 5 people fit quite comfortably in my living room. The next morning we went to Kona Kitchen for brunch and then they headed back as one of them had some work to do on Saturday. Man I love my friends.

Today is Sunday. It was unusually sunny out so my roomate and I went and ran around Greenlake. Unfortunately I forgot my watch so I don't know my time, but I did manage to run the whole 3 miles (actually I hear it's more like 2.8) without stopping, walking, or throwing up. After that, I headed over to my roomate's friend's place down the street and gave my car its first wash since leaving California. With all this activity it's been hard to get my homework done so that is what I have to get back to doing now.

New free furniture, a girls night, a visit from my best friends, a car wash, a run. This is the most productive and interesting weekend I've had in a long time.



I read PostSecret from time to time. Not often because it makes me kinda sad that so many people out there are so troubled.

I have to say though, this recent one is among my favorites.


So it was like 23 degrees C today (that's in the 70s in F) today. All the girls were in their flip flops and the shortest skirts they could find. I even got off my ass and went for a jog/walk which, with my hay fever, asthma, AND poor physical condition, was very difficult. Once upon a time, like last year, I was doing 3 - 4 mile runs back in good ol' Foster City, CA but when it rains every fucking day from Fall to Spring you just don't get the opportunity. Anyways, I'm a little annoyed by the newscasters celebrating the warm weather. One woman said, "it's 20 degrees above average in Medford, OR. Spring has really sprung!" No you fucking idiot. That is not Spring. That is global warming. Mr. Gore, thank you for bringing the issue to America's attention but it looks like people are too stupid to get it so you might need to go recruit those seal hunting assholes from Northern Canada and have them club idiots like that newscaster over the head.


fuck Duff

So I went to CNN to find a link about something that happened at school today but I got derailed when I noticed that one of CNN's "top stories" is http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/04/02/hilary.duff.ap/index.html

CNN has these "story highlights" (for people who find Internet news isn't convenient enough and need their news written in 3 bullet points) and for that story the highlights are as follows:
• Hilary Duff says she feels pressure to be thin
• 19-year-old says media can be "judgmental and mean"
• Duff has sold 13 million albums worldwide

Are you fucking kidding me? Sure it is the last item in the list of "top stories" on the CNN home page but who the hell gives a rat's ass that Hilary fucking Duff "feels the pressure to be thin?" Go whine to your Hollywood therapist you spoiled little brat. There are unreported cases of genocide taking place all over the world, the country is still at war, there are random hate crimes happening all the time, children are being sold into slavery, global warming is going to render us extinct soon, and the CNN home page has a story about Hilary Duff's emotional insecurities and her concerns that the media can be "judgmental and mean." Fuck that.

Anyways what I was going to write about is the fact that ever since I started going to the UW, there have been shootings like crazy, mostly in the U District by the frat houses on weekends. Today though at 9:30am an admin in the architecture building was shot by her ex who had been stalking her for months. He shot her, then turned the gun on himself. I find this out 20 minutes before it's time to go teach. Horrible way to start a week and it totally threw off my concentration. This woman had a restraining order (which is basicaly meaningless) on the guy and had even sent out emails with the man's photo to her co-workers because she suspected he might come and harrass her at work. But emailing photos is no good when dude arrives with a gun. People like this should skip the first step in their mission (shooting other people) and just start with step 2 (shooting themselves).



So get this. Some asshole filed a noise complaint against my roomate and I. That is complete bullshit. They were complaining about bass (which the idiots in the management office spell base). I have a very tiny sub attached to my computer speakers and the only bass that might ever come out is whatever bass is in fucking meditation music because that is all the music I can handle these days. And I don't ever play it that loud because I am always reading when the music is on. So I gather one of two things happened. My next door neighbour heard the noise coming from downstairs and thought it was us. Or the asshole downstairs whom I've complained about 3 times is trying to get back at us by issuing fraudulent complaints. It might not help that when I hear them pumping up that punk rock music I tell them to knock it off by jumping up and down really hard.