Friday, September 30, 2005

Welcome to October.

Giles and I decided the facial hair thing wasn't working anymore. So we shaved.

      >> 11:43 PM

Whoever invented deadlines should be shot.

I love the Women's Studies program staff. Earlier today, I was at a brunch for an ambassador, an older "women's issues" politico-type "lady." She's the type of feminist who sees women's empowerment and leadership as a straightforward project for achieving gender equality, never really questioning the institutional face of patriarchy or the way gender difference functions in uneven ways. When I arrived, I walked into a room of women, with the ambassador introducing herself individually to each person there. She never made it around to me, though, hiding in a corner. She told us about what it was like receiving an honorary degree from Duke the evening before, and then we broke as a group to get food from the serving table. Pat, the program coordinator for Women's Studies at Duke, came over to talk to me and noted that I must feel out of place as the only man in a room with an old-school pre-feminist women's issues activisit. What was funniest, though, was that she said it would be interesting to see if the guest came over to introduce herself to me and what she would say. A few minutes later, the guest came over to say hello. Pat mentioned that I teach in the program. And then the guest proceeded to ask me what my ethnic heritage was, completely ignoring any discussion of why I was in the women's studies program. Pat had thought, of course, that what would stand out about my presence is that I am male. Instead, it was because I am Asian.

On the shuttle ride back to the airport in San Francisco a couple weeks ago, Rob and I were subject to the annoying chatter of two suburban parents, the likes of which I grew up around and which my parents aspired to be. These are people who are so obsessed with the name-recognition of schools for their children, with the kinds of degrees they got and what kind of career their kids would pursue. Well, at one point, the woman in the conversation noted that her son didn't get into UC Berkeley, but that was probably for the best since the place is so "competitive" and he wasn't the best student. Then the conversation took this weird turn, a logical jump that I later mentioned to Rob and he said confused him as well. The two people started talking about how "those Asians" study so hard and are so dedicated. It was weird.

      >> 1:54 PM

Thursday, September 29, 2005

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming....

      >> 6:18 PM

San Francisco/East Bay Signs (from a couple weeks ago)

Police get all the good spaces.

Wheelchair accessibility.

Alcohol bad.

Which way's up?

Obligatory Crepes on Cole visit/smoking photo.

Loitering and congregating. Dogs.

No nothing! At the duck pond.

      >> 6:11 PM

Monday, September 26, 2005

Sometimes it's disheartening, but usually it's wonderful when Giles responds wildly inappropriately to my emotional states. The last few days I've been generally down, and this morning I was standing in the hallway just whining because I was feeling so pathetic. Giles looked at me, did the tilty head thing, and then spazzed out running around me like I was about to start a fun new game.

      >> 8:11 AM

Friday, September 23, 2005

Posted on door of stall.

      >> 1:19 PM

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

It is so hot and humid here; I want to cry.

      >> 12:44 PM

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Garg. Trying to update my email accounts on my mail program (adding an account, changing another to imap from pop), I erased my main account and all the mail I had lingering in the inbox to respond to later. Oops. I hope nothing too urgent was in that mass of hundreds of emails. I guess this is one way of wiping the slate clean. Only 8 messages in the inbox now....

      >> 11:03 AM

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Holy crap. Job listings posted today. Some really great looking job openings in my field. I think I will become a friend of Excel to keep track of positions and my application materials....

      >> 10:07 AM

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It was a beautiful wedding.

      >> 10:58 PM

Monday, September 05, 2005

I woke up today in an awful, disconcerting mood. I think in my sleep, in my dreams, I work out or express emotionally things that I haven't acknowledged in my waking life. It's not that I dream about the situations that are disturbing me, but whatever the manifest content, I wake up thinking about particular things.... This time, I think it probably has to do with being worried about how my brother will react to Rob, especially the two of us staying at our parents' house with him.

To shake the mood, I headed out for a walk with Giles and Sarah McLachlan's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. One thing is certain about a change in my listening habits -- I no longer listen to albums all the way through the way I used to. It could be due to technological changes (discrete object of cd to the digital files on an mp3 player) or a change in how I relate to popular music consumption in general (bordering on obsessive -- not being able to walk out of a record store without a purchase -- to not really listening to much anymore except occasionally while driving when not in the mood for classical music or NPR). But in the past, I would buy a record and listen to it non-stop for weeks until the songs became tied strongly to particular moments, spaces, and feelings in my life. Tori Amos's To Venus and Back, for example, is the New York subway system and streets for me. While I lived in New York, I made a tape copy of the cd and listened to it on repeat on my walkman as I traveled around the city each day. Sarah McLachlan's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy takes me to high school angst and the drawing I did to sublimate it. Today, by the time I reached "Ice Cream" on the album, I was feeling much better. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear the acoustic version of "Possession" at the end of the last track, following a moment of silence and a guitar sound marking a transition from the previous song. I'm sure Giles was happy, too, that we spent close to an hour wandering the premises.

      >> 12:16 PM

Sunday, September 04, 2005

A Dog's Life

Today, Giles had a packed day. This morning, we went out for a long walk around the apartment complex with a brief interlude to run around off leash in the tennis court. Then we went to brunch at grandma's where he got to play with the cat Chester and get fed lots of treats. He also ran around the house looking for the other two cats in hiding. Then later in the afternoon, we went for an hour-and-a-half long walk with a friend on the American Tobacco Trail, followed by green tea drinks and the dog park. Giles played well with the dogs at the dog part, mostly. I had to pull him off one puppy a couple times when he got too rough. And then shortly before we left there was a really really really small dog (named Chewy!) that he was a little too overbearing with -- biting the dog, it looked like he was going to swallow the poor thing -- chewy, indeed! The owner removed the dog to an adjoining area where the dog ran back and forth along the fence playfully with the dogs on our side. All in all, a very active day.

      >> 6:54 PM

Friday, September 02, 2005

Self-portrait with father in Providence.

Posting happy pictures because all-doom, all-gloom is not happy-making.

Self-portrait with Giles at home.

      >> 9:08 AM

[Local Officials Criticize Federal Government Over Response]

Chaos and gunfire hampered efforts to evacuate the Superdome, and, Superintendent P. Edward Compass III of the New Orleans Police Department said, armed thugs have taken control of the secondary makeshift shelter at the convention center. Superintendent Compass said that the thugs repelled eight squads of 11 officers each he had sent to secure the place and that rapes and assaults were occurring unimpeded in the neighboring streets as criminals "preyed upon" passers-by, including stranded tourists.

Now this is incredibly disturbing.

[Military Due to Move in to New Orleans]:

"These are some of the 40,000 extra troops that I have demanded," Blanco said. "They have M-16s, and they're locked and loaded ... I have one message for these hoodlums: These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so if necessary, and I expect they will.


[Sniper fire halts hospital evacuation]:

"We were coming in from a parking deck at Tulane Medical Center, and a guy in a white shirt started firing at us," Curiel said. "The National Guard [troops], wearing flak jackets, tried to get a bead on this guy."

This is one of those times when you weep for humanity.

      >> 7:39 AM

Yesterday afternoon, I finally felt well enough to go to the gym for the first time in a month. Also, I was fed up with this lingering cough and decided that exercise could hardly make it worse. It seems I may have been right. I woke up this morning not from a coughing fit, and my coughs are more "productive" (as the cough medicine with expectorant describes it). So perhaps giving the lungs a bit of a heave-ho did help.

I really do need to figure out how to work (write dissertation) without externally imposed deadlines and such. This school year, I've decided to quit all my part-time jobs and to focus just on teaching and writing. This leaves me, technically, with oodles of unscheduled work time from Thursday afternoon through Monday, especially if I can confine my teaching work to Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning (as I would like).

I'm going to hide away in my apartment most of this coming weekend, in large part because going anywhere requires driving which is now verging on prohibitively expensive. I wish I still lived on the other side of town and could walk to various stores, restaurants, coffee places, and even Duke's campus. As it is, I can only walk around inside my apartment complex, which is bounded on one side by a heavy-traffic, high-speed thoroughfare and on the other sides by impassable (is that even a word?) woods. At least this might mean more quality strolling time with the dog who's been acting super-caffeinated lately. Plus, the weather is cool and dry! I even turned off the air conditioning yesterday for the first time in four months.

      >> 6:40 AM

Thursday, September 01, 2005

So sad. Only one student recognized (or admitted to recognizing) the clip of Björk's "Human Behaviour" I played in class today.

      >> 9:02 AM

Hello, September!

      >> 6:48 AM