Archive for July, 2003

July 29, 2003

First day of official COMPs studying at Diedrich’s today. Seven hours of it. Or was it five or six? I can’t recall because towards the end, I got way distracted and started doing a crossword puzzle with the staff. The kind you find wedged into the daily comics section of the newspaper. It was my first time doing one. It was pretty difficult, actually. At one point we had to come up with a five-letter synonym for insipid [vapid] and later, a three-letter name of a city in Nevada. [Ely.] I really got sucked into it. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, a synonym for vacuous is inane. Just a heads-up.

So, today was a start. I’ve a long way to go. A long, long way. At least I’m only sleeping 8 hours a day now and not 10 or 12. At least.


July 21, 2003

I’m done! I put The Neverending Prooooooject to bed twenty minutes ago! It is on its way to the printer! Goodbye to Photoshop for at least a month. Yippeeee!

Now a new chapter in my life begins: studying for the COMPs. I have to pass a set of comprehensive exams in order to get my masters degree in speech pathology. Time to whip out all the notes I’ve taken in every speech class I’ve taken thusfar and drill the information back into my brain. Whew. I’m breaking into a sweat just thinking about it. Not an easy feat, but a necessary one.

July 19, 2003

My godson Adam just got a new 12″ iBook! Yeaahh baby! He is sooooo stoked! I am sooooo stoked! We’re a regular Apple family.

July 16, 2003

Spent an hour in the late afternoon hunting down a pair of clearance shoes that were, in the end, non-existent in my size. Oh well. You win some and you lose some. And sometimes you just end up not spending $14.00.

And then there were five. Just five images left to edit on Photoshop and I’m done with The Neverending Project! Woo hoo!

Streaming through iTunes right now:

Soundtrack to Ma Femme Est Une Actrice [My Wife is An Actress]
Lots of jazz, mostly by Brad Mehldau

July 14, 2003

Stick all the reviews out there about a particular CD, game or movie in a blender and press liquefy. What do you get?

July 14, 2003

Just saw Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. All I have to say is, wow.

July 11, 2003

Since the beginning of summer, The Neverending Project has consumed me. Those of you who have spent time with me at Diedrich’s or wherever know. You’ve seen me pound away on my trusty iBook, for hours on end, easily distracted of course. For three weeks an end to this tedium has eluded me. But as of tonight, I sense that the end is near. The end is near.

July 10, 2003

I am enjoying the summer, even if it is so hot. Today I spent the latter part of the afternoon and a good portion of the evening in the lovely city of Pasadena.

For a while, I chilled at Zona Rosa and worked on my project. The Neverending Project, that is. At 1900, I walked a few blocks to Vroman’s Bookstore.

Aside: what I love about Pasadena is that a lot of it is walkable. It has a small town-feel to it and has its own identity and character, something a lot of suburbian SoCal cities lack.

Back to Vroman’s. I was there to hear Tess Uriza Holthe speak and read from her book, When the Elephants Dance. Holthe is a Filipina-American writer who grew up in the Bay Area. When the Elephants Dance is her first work as a writer and is partially based on her father’s experiences in the Philippines during WWII. Her dad suffered in a Japanese concentration camp for a while. Pretty harsh stuff.

Holthe grew up with three career choices (supplied by her parents of course): she could be a doctor, a lawyer or an accountant. She chose the lesser of the three evils and became an accountant. The first few years into her career, she decided to take a creative writing course in Marin County. Triggered by the innumerable war stories she heard around the mahjong table as a kid, she began to write. She wrote for about a month and a half straight. At a writer’s conference, she found an agent and a few weeks later, Random House bought her manuscript. The rest, as they say, is history. She’s almost done with her second book, although at Vroman’s she said that she couldn’t divulge any details.

The first few lines from Elephants:

“Papa explains the war like this: ‘When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful.’ The great beasts, as they circle one another, shaking the trees and trumpeting loudly, are the Amerikanos and the Japanese as they fight. And our Philippine Islands? We are the small chickens. I think of baby chicks I can hold in the palm of my hand, flapping wings that are not yet grown, and I am frightened.”

Later, I took a stroll through Old Town Pas. Really, summer nights are the best. The best kind to be out and about with no agenda. Just to be out, rambling about, enjoying a summer night. Chirping crickets and all.

July 9, 2003

Why is it so insanely hot outside?

July 7, 2003

Last night my family and I drove over to my aunt’s place in LA for a post-4th of July barbecue. Prep time adopted a mood of chaos as is the custom in my family: my aunt grilling on the patio while simultaneously watching a Food Channel special on San Francisco; my cousin Adam bouncing from room to room with his walkie-talkie in hand, trying to pick up random frequencies; my mom stirring up a satay sauce in the kitchen; my dad conducting business on his cell phone in the living room and my brother engrossed in a Xbox game in my cousin’s room. Multiple conversations took place in the same room and sometimes they traversed walls, with sentences beginning in Filipino and ending in English. My aunt burst out at one point, I want baklava for my birthday cake! [Her birthday is at the end of the month.] And me, I was just soaking it all in. Okay, I’ll admit I was glued to the Food Channel for a good portion of that San Francisco special. They talked about a bakery in the Sunset district that makes fresh phyllo dough every day! I am seriously getting me some of that when I get back to Fog City.

When it came time for Adam to set the table, he put exactly two ice cubes in everyone’s glass or mug. He then proceeded to turn everyone’s mug so that all the handles faced the same direction. Gotta love his exactitude and attention to detail. He reminds me of how I was as a kid.

I predicted that we wouldn’t get to eat until 8 p.m. I was right. When my Aunt Julie’s bird clock chirped 8 o’clock, we sat down to quite a spread: barbecue chicken and sweet, smoky baked beans, salad a la Michelle, grilled red onions and asparagus, pad thai, shrimp fried rice and more bird. It was a pretty chill time around the dinner table for my family; no-one got too riled up and generally, we laughed quite a bit. There was a lot of lizard talk for some reason. Heh heh Times to be thankful for: breaking bread with loved ones. Really, a good night.

Have a great week, everyone.