Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Eye of Newt, and Toe of Frog, Wool of Bat, and Tongue of Dog..."

first and foremost, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!! :) (btw - i have pics up at flickr of the paloma in her costume, which i made... *patting self on back* ;) )

second, i have a new post up at chicagomomsblog called "Eye of Newt, and Toe of Frog, Wool of Bat, and Tongue of Dog...". MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

third, following is a random sampling (in no particular order) of what's been happenning over here in the past two weeks or so:

* the paloma and the porkchop both came down with croup.

* i came down with a bad cold.

* the thin man came down with laryngitis.

* after years of abuse, my glasses finally gave up the ghost. a screw came loose. a lens fell out. and now, i'm walking around with one lens in my busted set of eyeglasses. i'm SO not kidding.

* the thin man got laid off (boo!) and then got hired by someone else (yay!)

* we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary (10 years together - WOOT!) at coobah restaurant (think cuba, spain and brazil meet the philippines) which was EXCELLENT!!! except for when they turned on the baseball game on the widescreen tvs which were showing beautiful jellyfish when we first walked in .

* the paloma taught her preschool class what it means to be filipino american and how to count from 1 to 10 in tagalog.

* i made a tinkerbell costume for a doll (see flickr).

* i re-organized and de-cluttered the sewing rooms of two sewing friends.

* my brother in law and his lovely wife are new parents to a bouncing baby boy!

* my lovely in laws came for a visit.

* my poor mom came down with strep.

* i pulled the paloma out of a tumbling class when i realized that not only had her teacher insulted her by saying her shoes were the ugliest shoes he'd ever seen - that he'd also traumatized her... she couldn't stop talking or crying about it for days. i think she's finally over it.

* we picked out pumpkins at the children's farm together and carved them.

* i pimped out one of my best friends to one of the thin man's best friends. alcohol was involved. yes, they call me "yenta".

...and that's about it. :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

peckish for books

boo! i hab a code (and so does the paloma...) *sniffle, hack, wheeze*

yay! daddy in a strange land just tagged me with a bookish meme (keeb n myde, i'm udder de infooence uf daykil) :

1.Hardcover or paperback, and why?
i love the idea of hardcover books. but there's something endearing about beat up, well loved, dogeared books to me.

2.If I were to own a book shop I would call it…
big fish books. i have a thing for fish... and second chances... and epic, magical, mythological stories of romance, tragedy, triumph, and redemption...

3.My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is…
i just picked a book off the shelf (yasunari kawabata's palm of the hand stories) and my favorite quote from the book is from the story "the grasshopper and the bell cricket"

"Even if you have the wit to look by yourself in a bush away from the other children, there are not many bell crickets in the world. Probably you will find a girl like a grasshopper whom you think is a bell cricket. And finally, to your clouded, wounded heart, even a true bell cricket will seem like a grasshopper. Should that day come, when it seems to you that the world is only full of grasshoppers, I will think it a pity that you have no way to remember tonight's play of light when your name was written in green by your beautiful lantern on a girl's breast."

4.The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be…
i've already been lucky enough to spend three weeks with jessica hagedorn. but for a lunch, i would say david sedaris 'cause i can't imagine he likes to spend more than half an hour w/ people he doesn't know and he must have some peculiar eating habits and i'd get to go to france for a day. i would LOVE to have a playdate with jk rowling, visit graceland with douglas adams' ghost, build sandcastles with anne rice or pick apples with stephen king.

5.If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be…
annie dillard's pilgrim at tinker creek. no contest.

6.I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…
would physically transport me into a story/book to observe everything as if i was there - eating, dancing, fighting, riding trains, shopping at markets with characters.

7.The smell of an old book reminds me of…
my first drafty garden apartment where i often read on a thread bare, thrift store, damask couch in the small patches of sun that came in thru the eastern windows in the morning. i realize now what a luxury it was to browse used bookstores, bring the loot home and read and read and read.

8.If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be…
mark carwardine in last chance to see. (does that count?)

9.The most overestimated book of all time is…
i hate to admit this because i have NEVER met anyone else who had the same issue...

i could not get through "a heartbreaking work of staggering genius" which kills me because i REALLY want to read it especially with author dave eggers being chicagoan and the story being set in suburban lake forest, blah blah blah... i will probably never get thru this book.

the only other book that i could think of that was "overestimated" and i read - the davinci code

10. I hate it when a book…
doesn't get from point a to b successfully/logically (for me)... for example, the last harry potter was really disappointing (for me)....

so, heads up, chgo chick, bloggo chicago, flahute, uncle hambone and the thin man - TAG, YOU'RE IT.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

take your show and shove it...

just an fyi - i have a new post up at filipinamomsblog titled "take your show and shove it..."

(apologies in advance for how unbelievably pissed off i was when composing it...)

[steps on soapbox]

ok so, i'm late to this "party" (filipino time jokes aside), but i lost some sleep over this whole desperate housewives thing and i just had to get my $.02 worth of nonsensical rambling out because of it. and apologies in advance, to my fellow filipina moms bloggers for hogging our blog lately.

full disclosure - i used to be a big fan of the show... i used to watch it religiously. it was and is escapist entertainment. it is quintessential voyeuristic, trainwreckish, trashy eye candy on steroids. for a while, i actually felt like the housewives were kindred spirits when they complained about the constant daily grind of sahms over margaritas. but slowly and surely, the show started a downward spiral for me and has since jumped numerous sharks for me. i think i catch some episodes now in the hopes that it's redeemed itself. and then i read that susan's character opened her big (now, apparently ignorant) mouth and inserted her klutzy foot. and then, i got angry and went looking for fellow pinoy misery/camaraderie online.

i mean no disrespect but can i just say it never ceases to amaze me that when an issue like this comes up that so many filipino bloggers either ignore it or worse - defend it and then condescend to those of us who do care about it by virtually comparing us to fantasizing conspiracy theorists. by blogging thus, they excuse bigots and their remarks and even justify sophmoric and damaging humor. do filipinos/filipinos bloggers really want to be associated with or encourage racial humour where the punch line/brunt of the joke is the difference and/or assumed inferiority of a person of color?

i'm all for freedom of speech - censorship is not an option. but, free speech is a two way street. celebrities get to offend me on primetime tv with a "harmless (racially motivtated) slip of the tongue" and i get to petition ABC to see if i can get an apology (which by the way, was a non-apology apology - F*CK YOU, ABC). i want to help foster community building and open forums for diverse opinions, yada yada yada... but ultimately, these bloggers help to undo the countless hours of dedicated work of asian american activists and feminists in the second or two it takes someone to read their post. they encourage apathy, prejudice and ignorance, anti-asian racism, sexism and frankly, as an asian american woman, they embarass me.

all night long, i thought of all the negative stereotypes that desperate housewives perpetuates (shudder to think how it redefines that whole "ugly american" sterotype abroad) and it reminded me of something i read a while ago from the Media Action Network for Asian Americans. it is a list of "restrictive asian portrayals constantly repeated in the mainstream media". this morning i googled for the list again and found it here. some of the characters/character traits in the list are exact matches to asian characters/their portrayals in desperate housewives:

yao lin (played by actress, lucille soong) - the solis' housekeeper from season one. she wasn't on very long (she was fired after insulting gabrielle) but i distinctly remember that she was constantly wanting something from gabrielle - either for her to confess to having an affair or money or guarantees of money/barter for services rendered. she was definitely portrayed as someone inherently predatory. i don't remember for sure, but i think she also played the part with an accent perpetuating the foreigner who can't be assimilated stereotype.

xiao mei (played by gwendoline yeo) - the solis' second housekeeper who spoke broken english and was another neighbors slave and then, baby surrogate and then, homegrown homewrecker. she gave birth to an african american child due to a mix up at the sperm bank and has never been seen or heard from again. first, she was the perpetual foreigner who spoke little english and was constantly in fear of getting deported, then she was the model minority and then she was the china doll - exotic, subservient, industrious, eager to please, and finally, after learning from gabrielle that men in america didn't like virgins she becomes the dragon lady. she schemes and backstabs gabrielle by having an affair with her husband.

melanie foster (played by actress, joy bisco) - former sex crazed and obsessed girlfriend of matthew appelwhite who killed her after she threatened to turn his brother in for assaulting her. she's the dragon lady who gets sacrificed for the greater good.

vern - (played by actor, alec mapa) gabrielle's gay best friend who helps her with her new model training racket. once again, the asian male not only doesn't get the hooch. he's not even interested in the hooch. that's right hollywood there are asian males out there who are sexy and straight! they are our fathers, our brothers, our nephews, our husbands and our sons and they are just as delicious as their white counterparts.... STOP THE PRESSES!

in the end, why do i give a sh*t? Aren't there more important things to get enraged over like the war in Iraq or the disappearing benefits of legal immigrants? It's just a TV show right? These are just stereotypes, no one thinks like this in REAL life...

well, in my REAL life, i have a stepsister who was verbally harassed ("hey chink, stop taking away our jobs!") by a bunch of white men in broad daylight near wrigley field and was then dragged into and beat up in an alley. no one, who passed by the very busy intersection, came to her rescue when she screamed at them for help.

and like my sisters, cousins, friends, it's been assumed that i'm my kids' nanny, i'm "The" asian woman (we all look alike right?), that i don't speak english, that i'm good at math, that i'm a submissive partner in relationships but also naturally good in bed because my vagina is shaped differently, that not only will i do the work that's required of me but i'll do it for less money and never complain, and of course, that i often butcher and then eat dogs to celebrate big events....

already, my toddler children have experienced nuanced forms of stereotyping and prejudice. my guess is that it will on>THAT'S why i give a sh*t.

[steps off soapbox]ly get worse and worse the older they get. i'll be there to help them pick up the shattered pieces of the dream that was sesame street but it's by getting pissed off and militant and vocal about ignorant crap like this, that i'll know that i did my best, that i fought the good fight for them. that i actually tried to make the world a better and safer place for them to live in.

and elsewhere in real life, marie stephanie martinez was beaten on a bus just for "looking chinese" and joseph santos ileto was murdered by a white supremacist for "looking latino or asian". marie stephanie could have been my sister, my niece or my daughter. joseph ileto could have been my father or my uncle.

Monday, October 01, 2007

fascinating rhythm

we were listening to ella fitzgerald in the car yesterday and fascinating rhythm came on and the lyrics resonated with me more than ever before....

last thursday, i got the chance to see the beastie boys (again) @ northerly island with some of my (formerly san francisco) b-girls. there aren't enough superlatives to describe the show or the performances or the boys themselves (yo quiero MCA!). suffice to say, i was rendered deaf and mute by 11 p.m. and BIG LOVE to the city of chicago itself for looking absolutely stunning and providing such a breathtaking background for the band. it made getting trampled on by the *ssholes in the mosh pit OK! (no, not really.) check out some pics here and some videos here. i also heard music from a band i'd never heard of - the jazz crusaders:

and just when i thought i could recover... some other dear friends from sf, lavay smith and her red hot skillet lickers,

came to town to play a couple of nights at the green mill. it was crowded when i walked in friday night, but i made sure to wear something sparkly so that lavay or chris would see me. and it worked - she saw me, waved, complained that i was wearing something too sparkly and dedicated "everybody's talking about miss thing" to lil ol' me... *blush*

drinking, drunkdialing and dancing ensued....

thankfully, the thin man was nice enough to let me sleep most of it off on saturday. and then, my mom rescued both of us on sunday.

today is monday, i think, and thirtysomething parenting normalcy (and my hearing and voice) has returned for the most part - the palomas tantrums, the porkchop's screaming in lieu of language, the mama melodrama, the snackage, the constantly going up and down the stairs and the continuous loop of pixars' cars movie, etc, etc, etc....


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