I Talk To Four Walls - an online journal

Thu  Sept 6 -  Officially Bored?

Caught the premier of the new reality TV Show, "The Amazing Race," last night. Considering that I even watch the lame ass show "Big Brother 2," aka "Smokers Galore,"  I think this new show will become another TV show addiction. Unlike the other reality type shows, I truly wouldn't mind being a contestant in this show. Even if you are eliminated in the first round, the adventures that you would've had up to that point would still be memorable. And you don't have to spend time with the other competitors if you don't want to, just your teammate.

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You know, this online journal could be renamed, "The Bitch Monologues".

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Geez, when you're not writing, you don't feel like bothering with a new entry 'cuz you think you have nothing to say. But when you start typing, things just spill forth. 

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Finished:

Oil Painting Is Fun by Alois Fabry. No, I've never oil painted. In fact, I don't own any oil paints and I'm not planning to oil paint any time soon. Gotta start with acrylics first.

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According to Colours for Men by Carole Jackson (my brother's book), I think I'm a Winter. From experience, I look good in sharp, pure colours like pure white (NOT ivory or champagne God forbid) and fuschia. But unlike other Winters, I look awful in black unless there is a lot of skin showing to break up the monochromatic- ness of my black hair and black clothing. 

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For super-learning, you're supposed to record the information you want to learn over 17th & 18th Century baroque (string) music and then listen to it. Slow 4/4 largo movements at ~60 beats per minute. e.g. Vivaldi's Winter Movement from Four Seasons. That's my public announcement for today. You're welcome.

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Thinking about:

Wanting to go to Asia with my parents and their friends but not having been invited to, and knowing I need to take care of some personal business here first. And even if I go, I'll have to miss out on doing some things here, like taking my drawing class, etc. 

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These last few days, my right eye has been tearing up constantly, blurring my vision as I type this on the computer screen, as I read in bed, as I do anything. I'm not crying, 'cuz my left eye isn't watering, so I don't know what's going on.  I'm getting concerned. 

Ok, I'm officially incredibly bored- bored to the point of actually wanting to do some real work. This isn't the kind of regular boredom that renders me a zombie sitting in front of the computer playing games or reading online journals. This is the extreme type of boredom, which if persists, is worth rejoicing about. This is the kind of boredom that is the metaphorical 'last straw that breaks the camel's back" and signifies change. The waiting-to-exhale type of change. Why now? Because the things that I so dreaded doing finally seem more interesting that what I'm doing currently, which is nothing. I'm BORED with online journals. I'm BORED with computer games. I'm BORED with TV. I'm BORED with playing with my 3-year old niece. I'm bored with playing only. The things that I do have no purpose beyond having fun and killing time. I need mental stimulation. In fact, I don't mind meeting assholes and bitches to deal with, just to break the monotony of my life.

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Meanwhile, back to regularly scheduled reality programming...

a) On Saturday, I went to the beach to play v-ball and have a potluck BBQ. I learned that at some Korean place on Kingsway near some Samosa place (uh, like that narrows things down), you can buy vacuum-packed bags of marinated Korean beef to cook .  Had yummy sweet, golden corn on the grill too. 

Watching volleyball players at the beach is a fun past-time too. Even if there are no really good-looking people, there'll still be exciting v-ball action to watch. Saw some guy in the next court who was a stunning replica of Colby from "Survivor II". Had the whole bandana, tanned athletic body, and smile thing going. Guys with easy-going smiles (and good bods) definitely catch my attention. 

Unfortunately, at the next court over, some Asian guy in his 20s kept saying, "My bad," every time he made a mistake. Hearing grown men say these trendy phrases repeatedly is so annoying to me. It's like they're trying too hard to sound hip. Saying these phrases once in a blue moon is ok, not 5-6 times in one afternoon. Same goes for the word, "Sweet!," as in for example, "Good frisbee toss". 

We played v-ball til it was past dark. We really ought to purchase glow-in-the-dark paint to paint over vballs and tennis balls. There are ultimate frisbees that have lights attached. What about a light inside the vball?

One thing that annoyed me was that M still expected me to pay for the volleyball games. I refused because I didn't believe that she ought to charge friends to play with her, using equipment that was already paid for several years ago (including by me) that she gets to keep, though I didn't tell her why. They were heading back up to some guy's place to cook up more food after the vball and BBQ at the beach, but I wasn't that hungry. I don't believe in over-indulging just b/c the food is good, and free, and abundant (not that that has always stopped me at home). So, I asked her sister  who I had to drive home whether she wanted to stop off for bubble tea instead. As usual, she didn't have any money. So I didn't say anything further.  But then M said that since I hadn't paid for vball for the whole season (actually, I had reluctantly paid for a game once - Gawd, this sounds SO lame; I can't believe I befriend people like this), and two of the other guys standing by her, that I ought to treat everyone for bubble tea. Had I done that, it would've cost more than it would've had I just paid for the whole season. Some other occasional vballers hadn't paid either, including her sister, but M didn't seem to directly go after them. I should've just explained to M why I didn't agree with what she was doing. Another guy who also didn't agree with her just stopped coming altogether. Even stopped returning M's phone calls. But b/c I hadn't, I was made to look like the bad person for not paying- a free-loader. In retrospect, I should've also said that SHE ought to be treating everyone for bubble tea that night, since she was the one who took people's money. But hindsight is 20/20. The point of this rant though, is that sometimes I'm not really sure that sticking to your principles is always the right thing to do. In this case, maybe I should've just treated everyone for bubble tea, and appear the bigger person, instead of someone who is concerned about who owes who money. Why sink to those people's level? I don't want to be miserly. I want to start being seen as a generous person.

b) Went to the Pacific National Exhibition with the niece and my mom on Labour Day. Random bit of subtle discrimination: I was negotiating with one of those Chinese ladies standing on the curb about parking on her driveway (for a lower price than in the parking lots). We agreed to $7 for 3 hours, so I backed up a bit in order to turn into her back lane, as her house was actually located in the middle of the block. As I backed up, a driver coming from the opposite direction yelled out at me, "Watch where you're going!" I didn't even look at him because these rude people didn't deserve my acknowledgement so actually, I don't even know whether he was Caucasian or not. But being a visible minority, I'm very sensitive to any kind of perceived discrimination and bullying. I really think that this guy just assumed that because I'm a Chinese female driver, I'm a terrible driver. But I wasn't even in his way. 

It was a fun afternoon. I had missed a couple of singing/dancing/acrobat shows due to careless planning, but we still had fun eating cotton candy, looking at horses/ cows/ lambs/ goats/ chickens/ ducks/ llamas, going on the merry-go-round, looking at kids on the other rides, enjoying the sunshine, and general people watching. 

/start rant #2,000,039/ Oh yeah, a couple of other things that annoyed me was when I lined up with my niece to get a balloon animal. The clown was making some crappy looking snake for my niece when a bunch of other kids just surrounded the clown, butting in front of my niece. Then, the clown forgot who he was making the balloon for. And I was thinking, "How in the world can he forget that he was making it for a Chinese girl when right in front of him there's only one Chinese girl surrounded by a bunch of white kids?" Prior to that though, my mom really embarrassed me when, after my niece hesitated in telling the clown what colour balloon she wanted, my mother told my niece in English to, "tell the uncle," what her favourite colour was. Argh, yeah, Asians (but not I)  have this overbearingly familiar style of referring to people their parent's age or older as "Uncles" or "Aunties", but really, this Caucasian clown probably was taken aback my mom's audacity for referring to him as an "Uncle." I was actually mortified. There's no way in hell we'll refer to you as an Uncle. For all I know you could be a racist, chauvinist pig behind that clown suit. We certainly were not trying to curry favour with you. /end rant #2,000,039/


c) Yesterday, I went to help my dad bring some roofing material onto the roof of the carport at our rental property. Dad is no perfectionist, so we don't work well together. I'm anal retentive when it comes to these things and I can't stand it when things are done half-assed. Here's the scenario: The roofing material on the carport was originally red. Then some parts deteriorated a few years ago, along with the roof on the garage,  so my dad covered the garage and parts of the carport with some new black roofing material. Now, the remaining parts of the red roofing material have deteriorated, so my dad went out and bought new roofing material. Gray-coloured. This I helped him bring up to the roof. I kept telling him that this gray was going to remain gray, and would not change to black over time but he wouldn't believe me and refused to go back to Revy (5 minute drive) to exchange the stuff. He finished up the roll but it wasn't enough to cover the carport, so now the carport sports red, black, and gray roofing material. When we arrived at Revy afterward to purchase more supplies, we found that the black roofing material was available...right. beside. the. gray. material. (and was cheaper too). And the nails that my dad had used weren't roofing nails, but drywall nails. Lovely, especially in rainy Vancouver.

Anyway, as I was heading back out to the car to go to Revy, I had to duck my head because the carport was really low near the side of the house. But I had underestimated how low it was, so I ended up banging my forehead against the roof and falling down. Jesus Christ. I would've sworn really loudly, but the tenants (with young kids) were home and the neighbours were enjoying the colourful view from their porch. 

We used to live in this house before we upgraded to another one. And it saddens me how while you can go back to your old haunts, things just won't be the same. The house is getting run-down as it often is the case when a house is inhabited by renters instead of homeowners. It doesn't look like it's worth saving, and will likely be purchased by a developer if we do decide to sell it. The vegetable garden we used to have now is overrun by grass, weeds and briars more than anything else. The flowers in the front yard have been uprooted. There are weeds and junk everywhere. The cement where I had imprinted my last name has crumbled under the elements. Some trees that I had grown up with are cut down. Most of the neighbours that I knew have moved away. Not only that, but some of the homes that I would pass by each day on the block have been replaced with new ones. This is no longer my neighbourhood. The bigger reminder, though, is that there is no permanence. In how many years will all evidence that my family once lived there be gone?

d) I watched the PBS series POV last night. They were showing an Alan Berliner documentary called, "The Sweetest Sound". Berliner was trying to explore the power, meaning and mystery of people's names. At one point, he found 12 other Alan Berliner's across the US and invited them to dinner in New York. (Gee, I'd love to do the same for people with my name.) Anyway, you've got to check out Berliner's documentaries. They're not staid, boring, solely educational fairs. He's funny. For example, he would show someone making a declaration, and then in the next take, he would show something that contradicts that claim. And he's certainly not a silent filmmaker. They're very personal films so he likes to talk/ sing in front of the camera. And he interviews his family members. His dad is the funniest. So animated. Alan would ask his dad who uncle so-and-so or aunt whoever was named after and his dad would say repeatedly, "I don't know." One time, he said, "How am I supposed to know? I wasn't born yet." But then when it came to his name, the dad would suddenly show interest and launch into a story. And his mother would get exasperated at Alan when Alan asked her why they had named him Alan. Why not Alex, Albert, etc? I liked that unlike most other documentaries, this documentary didn't just show the interviewees answering questions that they knew the answers to. In another documentary of Berliner's that I had thoroughly enjoyed a long while ago, "Nobody's Business", Berliner's dad was asked something about his family origins, and his dad would exclaim, "I don't know Alan, who cares!"  I really like that dad - so funny. And Berliner is a fantastic story teller. He isn't interested in just interviewing people to elucidate the answers; he's interested in telling us something in a humourous, entertaining way. It isn't just what people know, but what they don't know, or don't care about that also tells us a lot.  

I just had to mention Berliner's documentary here 'cuz I LOVE DOCUMENTARIES and Berliner's made me smile. So much so that I wanna donate money to PBS. Hell, I wanna make documentary films too (or work for PBS). Only rarely do you encounter someone who you are convinced have found their calling in life. And while I have never met Alan Berliner, I think that he was meant to be a documentary filmmaker/ social commentator/ story-teller.  

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