Saturday, September 24, 2005

Follow up to Mary Had a Little Lamb

Regarding my post on calling Mary Had a Little Lamb on a phone:

Apparently Fuji TV, the TV network that makes Trivia no Izumi, had to issue a warning on the web site to not call the phone on land lines or public phones, since punching in the digits will actually cause them to call someone up (well, duh).

The translation from Google is pretty hilarious. Here's the link.

More trivia from Trivia no Izumi!

From Trivia no Izumi:

#818:

8 months before Apple came out with their iPod in Japan, Zojirushi, a company known here in the US for rice cookers and electric bread makers, introduced i-Pot (the site's in Japanese), an electric water boiler that monitored its usage. People can look up a specific i-Pot on the internet to see when it was used.

This was aimed primarily at the elderly to provide some sort of monitoring, since many elderly in Japan live alone and this was an easy unintrusive way of checking up on them.

The actual show had a clip of an old woman using the i-Pot to make tea, then using her iPod to listen to (and dance!) to "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz.

The i-Pot seems like an interesting concept, but I'm not sure if there'd be an equivalent of something like that that could be used here in the US. A George Foreman grill maybe?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

How I spent my weekend...

The weekend was pretty much uneventful, though we did get to see a show put on by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California highlighting 5 Japanese American entertainers who were well known in the 50s and 60s: Mako, Pat Suzuki, James Shigeta, Pat Morita, and George Takei.

It consisted primarily of songs, tributes by various actors (the highlight was watching Tamlyn Tomita touch herself repeatedly while paying tribute to Pat Morita and Gedde Watanabe's tribute to Pat Suzuki).

The most curious tribute was the one to George Takei where, while there was no mention of his long history of supporting the LGBT community or him being openly queer, they did get a girl to sing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," which immediately brought snickers to all my queer friends there (and the husband). Gedde Watanabe (otherwise known as the infamous Long Duc Dong in Sixteen Candles) was apparently also seen at Badlands hamming it up the night before.

What did surprise me is that for all the racist bullshit that these actors had to go through while they were making it big in Hollywood and Broadway, there were a number of sensitively portrayed movies and other things that were done by these performers--stuff that seemed almost improbable today even if America claims to be more culturally aware.

Some cases in point:
o James Shigeta played a Nisei (or is it Kibei?) in Crimson Kimono who falls in love and actually gets the (white) girl in the end.

o Flower Drum Song, the 1960 movie (which is playing for free thanks to Kearny Street West), was apparently the highest budgeted movie to date, and was the first (and probably only) full-length feature movie with an all-Asian American cast.

o Pacific Overtures, a Sondheim (*gag*) musical about American imperialism in Japan, was cast originally with an all Asian American male cast.

I also had no idea Pat Morita and James Shigeta were so hot back in the day...

Which brings me to a way-off tangent.

I remember seeing a book about photographs of same-sex couples pre-Stonewall and was absolutely stunned to find a picture from the 1940s of an Asian-Asian (presumably American) male couple in the book. I'm curious to know who these guys were, and what their story is. The name of the book escapes me, but I'll post it once I find out about it.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Only to be used with cheap champagne...

From Trivia no Izumi:

#591:

If you put a raisin in champagne, the raisin will float up then back down, and float up again.

Recommended for the cheap stuff, not the Veuve Cliquot or Dom Perignon.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The poor husband...

He slept 15 hours last night, after taking the 3 meds he's supposed to take...

He woke up at 3, had something to eat, took his next round of meds, watched TiVo for 3 hours, then promptly started sleeping again.

At least I got my work done and my studying done, and was able to do a whole bunch of other things while he's sleeping, and his back is feeling better.

Oh yeah, I have an interview next Friday--wish me luck. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Nothing new...at least with me, anyway

Due to popular demand (hi joz :P), here's an update on what's going on with me...

--My poor husband threw out his back while doing kickboxing last night, and he's hobbling around. According to him, he did a kick, felt a twinge in his back, and couldn't move halfway through the class.

Ouch. I was supposed to work out afterwards, but thankfully the class at my gym (UCSF's Milberry Union, probably one of the better clubs in SF) got cancelled so I took him home straight away (after getting him some Hawaiian food at Ono over on Sloat by SF State, of course)

We went to see a doctor this afternoon who thinks he may have either accidentally compressed a disk in his spine or gotten sciatica. In his confusion at the office, he said, "yeah, I hurt my sciatic nerve. Let me show you..."

The poor receptionist looked at him in horror as I said, "Honey, I'm a medical transcriptionist. I know where it is. You don't need to show me."

"Oh."

So now he's hopped up on Vicodin, Flexeril and ibuprofen and forced to lie down on his back for at least the next 3 days. It's just as well, since he's in so much pain that he can't even bend down to put his shoes on (guess who had to do that! :P).

Poor thing--I guess it's a good reminder for me to be careful when working out--I usually err on the side of caution and don't push myself when I don't need to, and I definitely stop when I feel that something's not going right. My husband has a bad habit of pushing himself a bit too hard at times when he exercises, but with a back injury like this, it can happen at any time for no reason, so I know that's not the issue here.

--I'm kicking ass in my Bio class. I guess that's not much of a surprise, but it does help that I'm extremely underemployed so I have a lot of time to actually study. It also helps that my teacher is at least queer-friendly, if not a dyke herself.

She outed me the day I left to go down to LA. She was explaining some chemistry concepts and talking about attraction between ions and said, "Suppose Efren and I are attracted to each other and holding hands..."

She stops at that point, looks at me, and says, "Well, maybe that's not such a good example."

Everyone in my lab starts laughing in lecture, and I'm blushing. Not that I really care all that much to be outed, but geez.

--I'm still deciding whether I want to apply for pharmacy or medical school, though I'm about 98% sure I'll apply for pharmacy just because it seems so much more suited with what I want to do with my life. Guess all those years transcribing medical exams is actually coming in handy.

--I've been taking a hip hop class at my gym for the past few months (little known fact: I've been taking hip hop for about 10+ years, but you will never get me to perform any moves for you, even if I'm stinkin' drunk or high) and it's interesting to watch the people in the class (practically all women, and who have had really no experience with hip hop outside from the class and/or what their kids listen to on the radio). If anything, they're frickin' way too serious about the class. For me, dance has always been more about having fun and enjoying myself, not being self-conscious if my booty shaking or my isolations are correct (and I know they're not). The ones who look the best are the ones who are just taking it for fun and really enjoying themselves--and it shows. I find it funny to watch these people practice their moves over and over, while I pretty much forget it as soon as the hour is up (except for my kinetic/bodily memory, anyway). If it were something that demanded more technical expertise, like a more advanced hip hop class, or even the Lindy Hop or other dance classes the gym offers, I can understand the need to practice. But beginning hip hop, frankly, isn't all that difficult. Once I remind people to just have fun, they look so much better.

--I need to hang out with more gay guys. That's pretty ironic considering that most of the time I hang out with other folk, straight men, queer and straight women, etc., because most of the time, most gay men piss me off, just because of their weird politics or the sexual tension that seems to happen every time I meet another gay man (unless I nip it in the bud immediately by talking about the husband--or unless I want to encourage that tension :). There's a certain energy that comes across from other gay men that I don't get at all with other people, and considering I've been sequestering myself from it for a while, I guess I need to get back into the swing of things.

So that's all in my life. If there are any cute gay men who want to hang out with me, e-mail me. :)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

What I did on Labor Day weekend...

I went to LA to visit friends that I hadn't seen in a while and ended up getting a huge dose of nostalgia.

We stayed with a friend of mine who I met 10+ years ago when I was coming out, and we've basically been good friends ever since, though we didn't get a chance to really hang out since the husband and I were doing our thing while he was doing his. Hung out with my ex-bf and went to the Getty Center (which was pretty cool, especially since we saw 3 deer running up the hill when we were walking back to my car, along with all the great exhibits), and also with jozjozjoz and yoshi (we were there till 2 in the morning!). The husband and I went with jozjozjoz et al to this restaurant called Usui where I ended up getting this chanko nabe (the soup that sumo wrestlers eat since I was having a craving) and ended up getting this huge pot of stew for $9. I think the husband has pix of it, but not sure.

The main reason why we went down was for my friends' BBQ (they just bought a house over in Pasadena), and we ended up going to Lucky Boy (this greasy spoon on Arroyo Blvd. in Pasadena a mile after the 110 freeway ends in Pasadena) and gorged on fried veggies (amazing deep fried zucchini and onion rings) before walking out to Old Pasadena.

Along the way to Lucky Boy/Old Pasadena, I had to drive down a couple freeways that I was really familiar with since I used to live in South Pasadena and that's when the first twinges of nostalgia hit. It made me think of all the stuff that's happened to me ever since I lived there (broke up with my ex and got together with my husband; left two PhD programs) and all the old haunts that I used to go to in Old Pasadena where I graded papers and studied for my MA.

Then driving to our friends' BBQ really got me going--I basically ran into all my queer Asian friends that I hung out with when I was at UCR--one of whom remembered my old fundie days when I was still trying to be an ex-gay (Thank God that didn't work out). We all talked about the old days, what we've been up to over the past 10 years, all the old drama and gossip. It made me remember what I was like in my early 20s, and made me really glad I'm now in my early 30s. :)

Nostalgia's a weird thing sometimes, since (at least for me) I tend to gloss over a lot of the stuff and conveniently forget all the bad stuff that's happened and remember the fleeting moments of happiness and joy, although looking back, all those times when I was confused and upset, when I had no idea what the hell was going to happen to me, when it seemed my world was turned upside down only to right itself out. I've started to appreciate it. I guess this has been pretty pertinent considering that I've been thinking about whether I regret leaving both UCSB and UCSF's soc PhD programs, and not pursuing pharmacy earlier, or whatnot; or regret ever being the executive director (and/or executioner) of FTFA, etc. It also made me realize that things work out for a reason, whether it be Fate or God or whoever you want to believe in.

My husband's always said, "Do whatever makes you happy and I'll support you."

It's nice to know that he kept on saying that, and that I'm finally starting to do that for myself, and not just depending on him and my other friends. It feels like for the first time in a long time, I'm allowing myself to really do what I want to do, even if it's extremely scary and I'm in a (temporarily) precarious position.

That's the funny thing--I'm at a pretty difficult place financially and whatnot, but it feels like I'm happy with myself--the first time I've felt like this in years.

I used to think that nostalgia was for people who had nothing left to live for in the present. Now I'm realizing that there are reasons for nostalgia--and to make sure that you don't forget all the lessons learned during that time.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Yes, I changed my template...

I was getting tired of the old one anyway...and besides green is slowly becoming one of my favorite colors again, as long as it's not too over the top.

And I finally added some crap on the side about websites that I actually take the time to read when I'm surfing the web.

Geez, the things you can accomplish when you're procrastinating (I've been doing way too much studying for bio and typing--I really need this mini-vacation!)...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Roller skating...

From Trivia no Izumi:

#811:

When the inventor of roller skates tried them out for the first time (at a masquerade party in the early 1700s), he didn't install brakes and ended up crashing into a mirror.

And my own little story:

The one and only time I ever went on roller skates was with the service frat (or sorority, depending on who you talk to) I was in my senior year in college. We went out to the beach one month before I was to graduate--I lasted all of 1 minute, fell down, twisted my knee and couldn't walk until two weeks before the graduation ceremony.

I refuse to go on any sort of roller skates, roller blades, etc. ever since.

Going to LA this weekend!

So I'm driving down to LA tomorrow with the husband after my Bio class (which I'm apparently doing really well in, surprisingly enough).

It should be a lot of fun, since all we're really doing is just hanging out with friends (the main purpose is to go to a friend's barbecue over in Pasadena), like the (in)famous jozjozjoz, my ex, and otherwise just relaxing. We also plan on checking out the Huntington Garden (since my ex says there's a "Chinese Garden" there now, whatever the heck that means), and going to Lucky Boy, this greasy spoon of a burger joint off the 110 in Pasadena (I used to live in South Pasadena about 10 years ago, and that's one of the places that I miss the most, if only because their fried zucchini's amazing!). It's just funny how people in SoCal seemed to know where you live if you tell them what freeways you're close to--I would tell people I lived in South Pasadena, but they'd only get it if I say, "I live where the 10, 110, and the 210/134 meet". We also plan on going to the outlet mall in Camarillo when we drive back on Monday, since we'll be taking the 101 back up (it's a lot less crazy than taking the 5--the only reason why we're going down the 5 is because the friend that we're staying with lives where the 5 and the 405 meet in the San Fernando Valley.

It's kinda nice to go down to LA to visit, even if I know there's no way in hell I'd ever live there again. :)