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Starstruck...Almost

I saw Andrew Bynum of LA Lakers yesterday. Very cool.

Where did I meet him?

A shooting range...

How weird is that?

Happy New Year

Happy (belated) New Year!

Hope everyone is doing well! I can't believe it's already 2009...eck!

So here are some of my quick resolutions for this year

1) Get a full-time job in the field of education.

2) Go to the gym 2-3 times a week; alternate: running/walking on the beach

3) Read books.

4) Go out at least once a week at night.

5) Grapple with some mathematical concepts that I have not grasped from high school and university

6) Call brother and relatives (cousins) more often

7) Travel to an old or new city for Spring Break (Seattle, Portland, DC/Virginia, New York City)

8) Update contacts.

9) Blog little bit more.

10) Cook or bake something new each month.

More updates to come. Have a good day!

Does Facebook Replace Face Time, or Enhance It?Collapse )

Reasonable restrictions....regulations...

The court has really struck down every government effort to try to regulate it. We tried with regard to pornography. It is gonna be a difficult thing, but it seems to me that if we can come up with reasonable restrictions, reasonable regulations in how people interact on the Internet, that is something that the Supreme Court and the courts ought to favorably look at. - May 28, 1999 NPR Morning Edition

And what would these restrictions and regulations be? I'd like to ask AG Eric Holder who stated this couple years ago. I'm waiting but not holding my breath.

And what the heck is civilian national defense force?

And why Hilary Clinton as the Secretary of State?

Left Brain, Right Brain

So Ed and I were talking about left/right brains and personalities...and Ed told me that I am very much left-brained person and that I like order and structure. I paused and I agreed somewhat with him on his observations. I tend to think out loud, weight pros and cons, and I do not like disorder and chaos. I plan things ahead of time...for a day or week, or even years. My plans are not always detailed but they are like my outlines. And when I analyze art, I like certain kind of arts like antiquity stuff and not so much contemporary artworks at MOCA.

Ah yes, it does not help with grad school education. I read what I had to read and I read the stuff I want to read when I had time. I wrote whatever way that the professors wanted me to write and I felt suffocated and pushed to the wall at times.

My need for control and structure can be traced back to my hearing disability. I have noticed that I tend to jump in conversation or change subjects when I think I am getting off track from listening. I fear losing control of my heart, faculties, etc and facing and not liking the consequences if I let go.

Yet I yearn to be a more creative, free person. I am tired at times of being too serious and feeling like a failure for not being able to connect with a group of people, even kids (though with loved ones and friends, they'd say I am little bit of both -- serious and silly!) I think it's essential for me to loosen up, to embrace the creative side of me and be little bit more more human.

So I am attempting to awaken my right side of the brain by listening to music, reading books and dancing.

Thanks to my tutoring times at the library, I have readily access to books and musics. I am now reading John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and I will read F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise. I read 1-1.5 hrs a day before I go to sleep, yay. I am listening to one of Yo-Yo Ma's albums in the car. And...I am closing my eyes to rest and to day/night dream of dancing tango with someone.

Hopefully I feel more balanced and at ease for weeks to come.

The Bucket List

I finished watching Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman's "The Bucket List" movie. They are two cancer-ward hospital roommates who decided to live and go out in style. Great, heartwarming movie! I should come up with my own bucket list and carry it around with me wherever I go. I think setting up personal goals do help give a person a sense of purpose or something to look forward to. At least we live and try again another day. I'll post a copy of it when I am done with writing the list.

I am beginning to learn more and more about being a substitute teacher. One thing I learned is to be flexible and be prepared for anything. I usually move from class to class and I do not stay still. I sense that I am still little bit awkward (or uneasy) around students -- I certainly do not want come off like a boring, detached teacher. It is important, however, to have a sense of humor and to show that you care.

I'm dealing with more math problems than I had in last two years. I even had to ask Dad to clear up some misconceptions I had. I realize that I am not exactly a visual learner; I learn a lot from modeling and practicing. Explaining fractions to 11 years olds has been (and still is) an adventure.

I feel like I am fixated on a certain person right now and I am thinking it's because I am just intrigued about how the person turned out after all this time has passed. I need to get the person out of my head one way or another. C'est vie.

Friendship

It does my skeptical heart good when I am able to see old friends and catch up with them.

I haven't seen or heard from her in years and I've thought about her often. It seems like when one makes the least effort to find or do something, something happens. It is true in this case. I was working with a student at a local library and at the closing of the library, I noticed that there was this person walking toward me. She called my name first and I stared hard at her, trying to recognize her face. My first reaction was that her hair changed and she got shorter. My second reaction was followed by "What the hell happened to you?." I walked by that counter so many times that afternoon without noticing her (because I was meeting my student for the first time in the library and I was a nervous wreck.) Anyway, I am glad to reconnect and to have another person to hang out in South Bay.

My second friend was one of my many "powerhouses." We used to walk home together from school and talked about all kind of random things. In fact, I think our conversations on random topics made me feel comfortable enough to hold a conversation at great length with people. I lost touch with her once I went to Vietnam and she went incognito. I thought she ran away to Europe and had all these glamorous adventures, heh. Her recent Facebook status posts indicated me that she was alive and well...and well, I messaged her to say hi and she responded. Today we hung out and had boba..and talked...and talked...mostly on politics and academia...Where the heck has she been? ;)

Anyway, recent developments (work and personal) are making life bearable at the moment and I couldn't be more pleased.

Thumb Up of the Week: Seeing my student get "ah-ha" moment
Thumb Down of the Week: Being rerouted to sub for a 2nd grade class

More Martinis for Me!

http://www.miamiherald.com/living/columnists/dave-barry/story/756596.html

"So basically my analysis is that, whatever happened, we are, as a nation, doomed. We are also bitterly divided, because whoever wins, roughly half of us will despise the other half, and vice versa.

You know what I miss? I miss 1960. Not the part about my face turning overnight into the world's most productive zit farm. What I miss is the way the grown-ups acted about the Kennedy-Nixon race. Like the McCain-Obama race, that was a big historic deal that aroused strong feelings in the voters. This included my parents and their friends, who were fairly evenly divided, and very passionate. They'd have these major honking arguments at their cocktail parties. But unlike today, when people wear out their upper lips sneering at those who disagree with them, the 1960s grown-ups of my memory, whoever they voted for, continued to respect each other and remain good friends.

What was their secret? Gin. On any given Saturday night they consumed enough martinis to fuel an assault helicopter. But also they were capable of understanding a concept that we seem to have lost, which is that people who disagree with you politically are not necessarily evil or stupid. My parents and their friends took it for granted that most people were fundamentally decent and wanted the best for the country. So they argued by sincerely (if loudly) trying to persuade each other. They did not argue by calling each other names, which is pointless and childish, and which constitutes I would estimate 97 percent of what passes for political debate today.

What I'm saying is: we, as a nation, need to drink more martinis.

No, you know what I'm saying. I'm saying, now that this election is over, whatever the hell happened, can we please grow up and stop being so nasty to each other? Please?

OK, I didn't think so.

Please pass the pitcher.

P.S. The CNN hologram is the single stupidest thing I have ever seen on TV, and I am including Carrot Top in that statement."

Morning After

http://news-press.com/article/20081105/NEWS0107/81105032

Campaign addicts now confront the morning after

ASSOCIATED PRESS

At age 53, Anne Summers discovered a susceptibility she never knew she had. She was an election junkie.

Her affliction started with late-night news programs, then progressed to incessant Internet surfing. It culminated in door-to-door campaigning for Sen. Barack Obama near her home in Fairfax County, Va. “Addiction wouldn’t be too strong a word,” she says.

So today, Dr. Summers will experience a sense of emptiness familiar to recovering addicts. Never mind that she is a soccer mom, wife and full-time cardiologist. The election is over.

“To fill the void I’ve bought some poli-sci books,” says Dr. Summers. “And I’ll catch up on my medical journals.”

The end of the most-followed presidential campaign in recent years will leave many Americans feeling lost, even if their candidate won. The 2008 race provided drama and suspense to a nation hooked on reality television, mystery novels and Hollywood epics.

Arin N. Reeves, a Chicago-based diversity consultant, says she lost hours of sleep to late-night cravings for new campaign developments. For her, the vice-presidential picks were among the many suspenseful episodes — with the emergence of Gov. Sarah Palin deliciously surprising. “Week after week after week the story just kept getting better,” she says.

Seldom in American history has a presidential campaign offered such compelling narratives: The rise and fall of former first lady Sen. Hillary Clinton. The come-from-behind primary performance of war-hero Sen. John McCain. The emergence of Barack Obama, the biracial Harvard Law star raised by a single mother. The moose-slaying Sarah Palin, who proudly embraced her unwed pregnant teenager. The father, Sen. Joe Biden, who raised his young sons alone following the death of his wife and daughter in a car accident.

On the morning after the election, however, it’s as if “The Sopranos,” “American Idol” and “Desperate Housewives” all ended on the same night.

Kathy Gilbert, a 62-year old educator in Grand Rapids, Mich., took to making twice-daily phone calls to her equally obsessed sister in Chicago. Campaign gossip was a way for the two to connect. “I’ve just been hooked on it night and day. It’s definitely aberrant behavior for me,” she says. “What now?” She compares her current state to being on an emotional roller coaster. “I think I may need to join Politics Anonymous.”

Until this election cycle, Pamela Miller, 50, manager of a medical clinic in Phoenix, had never done anything more than vote. But after serving as a telephone volunteer in recent months for the McCain campaign, she’s now feeling withdrawal pains — even as she was anticipating a McCain victory Tuesday.

Issues, of course, underpinned interest in the race. Worries about economic upheaval, war and health-insurance coverage stoked passions, as did the debate over tax plans.

But to a great extent this became a competition not only between candidates but narratives, giving Tuesday’s vote an Academy Awards quality: Who had the best story? The disparate tales of Sens. McCain and Obama inspired people in a way that differed from, say, the 2000 election, which featured two candidates born to the political aristocracy.

The narratives in this contest created intrigue across party lines. Dr. Reeves, for instance, is an Obama supporter. But her fascination with the campaign intensified after the Republican vice-presidential nomination of a woman whose infant son has Down syndrome. “After Sarah Palin, women started talking about abortion very differently, openly, as if her candidacy were an entree into forbidden grounds,” says Dr. Reeves, who advises law firms and legal departments on issues of diversity.

For Miles McMillin, a corporate communications manager in greater Kansas City, the addictive habits began early in the morning, with the “Today Show.” National Public Radio gave him a second fix during his commute to work, allowing him to soak up details about each candidate’s schedule and speaking engagements. At night, he fed his cravings with a buffet’s worth of cable-news helpings.

“After Wednesday night, I guess I’m going to have to reintroduce myself to my kids,” says the Obama supporter.

The end of the campaign won’t leave its addicts utterly bereft. Post-election, there will be no shortage of questions to analyze: Did pollsters get it right? Was the loser’s concession delivered with grace? Who will the winner appoint to his cabinet?

For extreme cases, solace is already available in the form of political futures markets. Intrade, a self-described “prediction market,” is accepting bids for the 2012 presidential nominations, featuring Sens. Obama and Clinton on the Democratic side and five Republican possibilities, including Gov. Palin and former Rep. Newt Gingrich.

But just as a campaign’s end can promote healing among political parties, abstinence can be healthy for political junkies. In recent weeks, when a chiropractor diagnosed Mrs. Gilbert with “computer elbow,” she told him, “It’s not going to heal until after the election,” when she stops checking the Internet for campaign updates.

Ms. Reeves says the campaign close will enable her to stop biting her tongue at soccer matches when less-informed parents — meaning those who didn’t stay up past midnight dissecting polls — start talking politics. “People would think it was a little weird if they knew how much I know,” she says.

Sleep, a casualty for some addicts, will make a comeback. “I’m just tired,” says Vikki Watson. The Kansas City-area communications consultant stayed up late so many nights watching cable-TV pundits that at one point she told herself, “You’ve got to stop this. You’re going to drive yourself insane.”

As chief of sleep medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, Ralph Downey III advises patients to stay away from late-night television and Internet use. “But unfortunately, doctors don’t always take their own advice,” says Dr. Downey. He confesses he was drawn to check his computer for campaign updates as many as three times a night.
I thought this article "Depression, Anxiety, and Worry - What Can an Atheist (Or Anyone Else) Do About Them" was interesting. Click here to check out the article. The author also discusses religion in the article as well.