Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Boo Hoo (Cry Me a River)

Whether it's at home or the cinema, I always like to unwind after an exam by watching a movie...I guess you can call it something of a tradition. Which is why, after my exam on Sunday (the first day of the Chinese new year -- totally sucks, I know), I came home, plopped myself onto the couch, and proceeded to gorge on my favorite Korean films.

I've watched The Classic three times, My Sassy Girl five times, and Il Mare four times, but I always end up disgustingly weepy at the end. EVERY SINGLE TIME. It's so pathetic, not to mention embarrassing. As Il Mare was ending, my brother walked into the room and went, "Girls are so weird. Why do you watch these movies again and again if you KNOW they're going to make you cry?"

Hell if I know.

Because, um, it feels good?

But really, why do we re-watch movies that we know are going to make us cry? Is there some deep psychological reason why we like to revisit sad movies? Or am I the only freak around here?

Well, I don't know the answer to that, but I do know which movies have the power of making me bawl at the drop of a hat. And here they are:

  • The Phantom of the Opera: Ah, a love triangle, unrequited love, and lots of opera and dancing. Although Christine left the Phantom for Raoul, he still loved her...even after she died. The thought of the Phantom living out the rest of his days alone in the sewers of the Opera Populaire is just heartbreaking. Le sigh.
  • Big Fish: The scene at the end -- when the son tells the dad how he's going to die and takes him to the river -- gets me every single time.
  • My Girl: "Put on his glasses! He can't see without his glasses on!" :(
  • Cold Mountain: Jude may be a scumbag in real life, but Inman isn't! Which is why he so didn't deserve to die.
  • Armageddon: "Your job is to take care of my little girl." :(
  • Love Actually: Technically, this movie shouldn't make me cry since no one dies, is left behind, or gets cast away. But you know that scene where Jamie travels to Portugal to propose to Aurelia? Yeah, well, it gets me every single time.
  • And, OKAY, I admit it -- Titanic (please don't all laugh at once.)

Well, if there's one common theme here, it's probably that someone either dies, is left behind, or is cast away.

I hope this doesn't mean I'm a morbid person.

Soo, what movies have brought a tear to your eye? And I don't care if you're a guy and are immune to tears, there has to have been a movie or two that's tugged at your heartstrings...


P.S. You can watch My Sassy Girl here and here. Enjoy. :)

Currently Watching: Memoirs of a Geisha. Well, I'm not watching it now, of course, but I did watch it last night. The book is one of my favorites, so I was really excited to see the film adaptation. Some might beg to differ, but personally, it did not disappoint. The cinematography was breathtaking and the acting fantastic. Ziyi Zhang and Michelle Yeoh were great, but, um, is it just me or was anyone else absolutely FASCINATED with the way Gong Li portrayed Hatsumomo? She's seriously one of those very rare and talented actresses who possess that ever elusive je ne sais quoi. I loved every scene she was in and was sad to see her go, even though she was supposed to be the evil bitch and all (huh -- does that make me an evil bitch?). Oh yeah, this movie made me cry, too. I know, I know -- PATHETIC.

Currently Playing: The very pretty Pride and Prejudice soundtrack. I love the heavy usage of the piano and the fact that none of the songs sound Hollywoodized at all. What I DON'T love is how the movie still isn't playing in a single theater in the city!! Why must they torture me so? Why??? But yes, about the soundtrack -- this is perfect for lounging around on those lazy Sunday afternoons.

Currently Learning: How to operate my new cell phone. The camera isn't perfect, but it's loads better than my old one, as seen by this pic I took yesterday morning before heading off to class. (P.S. I am so in love with wavy hair now, I may never return to straight locks again!).

>> Click to continue reading <<

Saturday, January 28, 2006

All the World's a Stage...and Boy Did High School Drama Suck

Or so Shakespeare says.

On Thursday, my brother performed in his school's production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (and yes, that is a link to SparkNotes.com, a site to which I am forever indebted to, as it helped save my ass on more than one occasion back in high school). I was impressed. Very, very impressed. Everyone got their comic roles down pat (Prang, who played Olivia, was a hoot!), and because the drama teacher, Mr. Herbert, decided to give the play a new spin, injecting a sort of Bollywood flair to it, there were saris and sitar players instead of 16th century robes and roving minstrels. They remained true to the script, though. I mean, English accents were seriously flying around left and right with the sole exception of my brother, who's known at his school as "that guy who talks like a Yank." I guess that shouldn't surprise me since it IS a British school. I tell ya, hearing someone shout "draw thy sword!" with an authentic English accent makes our high school renactments of A Midsummer Night's Dream seem rather pitiful in comparison.

It was fun watching my brother assume the role of the arrogant (and totally lovesick) Orsino. The kid's never been drunk his entire life, but he played a moody, lovesick one pretty well, I think. Of course, he's always had a yen for acting, something I attribute to the awesome drama teachers he's been blessed with over the years. I wish I could say the same. Instead, I'd rather stab myself in the eye and part with my left kidney than relive the horror that was high school drama class.

My intense loathing for all things thespian stems from Mr. P, my high school drama teacher. Fresh from Australia, he was a walking talking stereotype of the Melodramatic Drama Teacher. In my mind's eye, I can still see him with his fingers pressed to his throbbing temples, eyes shut real tight, lips pursed, and buttocks of perpetual anality clenched and on the ready. This is how I will forever remember him -- he was always harping about someone or something, whether it was the lights that were "TOO BLUE, FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!!" or the poor freshman girl (me) who did not look or sound enough like "A DISTRESSED AND AGONIZED MOTHER ON THE VERGE OF BREAKDOWN, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!"

I know it sounds like I'm making this stuff up. But I swear I'm not. Mr. P really DID do this kind of stuff. Ask any RISian, and they will vouch for me wholeheartedly, more than ready to share a Mr. P horror story of their own (Swita? Kenna? Caro? Alice?). This is why 9th grade drama class was very traumatizing for me. As if Geometry wasn't distressing enough already, I had to contend with this, too. Still, since it was a required class for all RIS high schoolers, we were forced to suck it up and kiss major ass big time.

And kiss we did. Oh boy, did we kiss. Every chance we got we would be all, "Good morning, Mr. P!!!" (note excessive perkiness) and "How was your weekend, Mr. P?" and "Oh, YEAH!! Drama is SOO the epitome of creative human expression!!!"

Whatever. I mean, if that isn't authentic acting right there, then I don't know what is.

Because in reality all we really cared about was fulfilling our theater arts credit. If my high school diploma didn't depend on it, I NEVER would have stepped on stage. NEVER.

Now don't get me wrong. It's not like I suffer from stage-fright. I'm actually okay with public speaking. Sure, like any normal person, I get a few butterflies before stepping on stage, but in general, I'm okay with talking before large crowds.

I, however, am not very keen of making an ass of myself on stage.

But because of Mr. P, I was forced to spend my entire freshman year making a perpetual ass of myself. The one incident that stands out most in my mind is probably the 1996 International School Fine Arts Festival. It was held at NIST that year, and in front of every last international school thespian in Bangkok, my fellow RISians and I were forced to make total asses of ourselves.

You see, while everyone else performed clever and touching skits about teenage angst and unrequited love, we were forced to perform an absolute abomination.

This is what Mr. P. made us do: With a strange jungle/pseudo-trance remix of Bruce Springsteen's War playing in the background, we lined up single-file in two separate lines. Facing the audience, we were told to raise our hands to our faces, Home Alone style, and cry "WAR! What is it good for? Absolutely NOTHING!" Then, with our arms akimbo and faces slathered with war paint, we had to perform some sort of military march/dance around the stage...or something. I don't really remember as I've tried very hard over the years to stamp out what little memory I might have of that day.

The funny things is that Mr. P thought our performance was very clever indeed. I'm not kidding. He seriously thought we were the shit; that we were making some sort of big anti-war, pro-freedom rah rah rah statement, totally kicking all those unrequited love skits out of the park. Well, here's the thing...

We weren't. The shit, that is. Like I said, we were an absolute ABOMINATION.

See, in reality, all the other kids from ISB, BPS, and NIST were snickering behind Mr. P's back at the big fat losers from RIS. Admittedly, some of the nicer kids managed to remain silent. But alas, even they couldn't stop themselves from turning deep shades of fuscia as they valiantly struggled to keep their laughter in check. Oh, the shame! Oh, the horror! We were certain we'd never live it down.

But that's not where the story ends. No, here's where it gets worse.

After our military march, I was forced to get down on my knees and play the mother of a soldier whose son was about to leave home for war. Not wanting to risk the wrath of Mr. P or give him another chance to yell at me for not sounding like "A DISTRESSED AND AGONIZED MOTHER ON THE VERGE OF BREAKDOWN, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!", I clung to my son's (this junior I had a "sorta, kinda" crush on) legs and cried in abject horror at the injustice and cruelty of war when REALLY what I wanted to do was cry at the embarrassment of it all. I mean, can you imagine? I was thirteen. THIRTEEN. I'd never even held a boy's HAND before, much less his LEG.

But thanks to Mr. P, there I was, clinging to my Sorta, Kinda Crush's legs (which were very nice, by the way), wailing that he "please stay and not leave me, oh GOD, no, PLEASE!!!!"

It was all very Meryl Streepish, if I do say so myself. Worthy, even, of a Teen Choice Award or two. Like, say, maybe Choice Movie Crazed Fiend or Choice Movie Psycho. I DO know I deserved Choice Movie Scream Scene since I was told to let out an anguished scream at the end of the skit when I was informed that my son/Sorta, Kinda Crush had died in the war.

But despite all my efforts, it STILL wasn't good enough for Mr. P. After the skit, he pulled me aside and tersely notified me that I could have injected more anguish into my voice and that the look of distress and agony I'd worn on my face hadn't been nearly convincing enough. I seriously could not believe my ears. I mean, hello! I'd actually clung to my Sorta, Kinda Crush's legs! Pleading! Crying! Wailing! I sure as HELL was distressed...not to mention agonized over the humiliation of it all.

But whatever. At least I got off easy. When he was through with me, he went into full-fledged Clenched Buttocks of Anality mode and yelled at a sophomore for not talking loudly enough. I saw the poor girl crying in the bathroom later. I felt so bad for her.

Anyway, I do realize this entry has been nothing but one huge tangent, but my brother's performance last Thursday reminded me of Mr. P and the horror that was high school drama. Last I heard, he's still harping on the kids. Amazing!

Fortunately my brother's drama teacher at Harrow is very cool. Check out this video clip of my brother's rehearsal last week...I don't know about you, but a drama teacher who isn't afraid to run screaming "haaaaaalt!!!!" like a headless chicken is pretty cool in my book. :)


Currently Watching: Thanks to Pam, who has re-awakened my inner Chinese FOB, I can't stop watching my husband's latest music video, Fa Ru Xue, taken from his latest album November's Chopin. This is seriously one of his most beautiful tracks ever, very reminiscent of Dong Feng Po. :) And the video is so beautifully filmed! But does anyone know what instrument is playing during the chorus? It sounds like a Chinese version of the Thai khim, but I can't quite place my finger on it. I DO know that the boy sounds positively heart-broken, though. Sigh. Oh Jay, why do you always have to write such sad, melancholy songs?

Currently Reading: Swita's very intriguing blog entry on beauty. What do you think: Do beautiful people get by easier in life?

>> Click to continue reading <<

Saturday, January 21, 2006

To Whom it May Concern (Part Deux)

To the French Guy Sitting Across From Me at Starbucks:

Hi. I don't know you, and you don't know me, which is why I think it was very cool of you to motion me and my brother over to your table and offer us a seat last Sunday, seeing as how all the other tables in the establishment were taken and pretty much filled, and all we could do was sort of stand around with our trays, looking like lost 4-year-olds as we impatiently waited for our (very late) cousin to show up.

So down we sat. You went about sipping your latte, chatting on the phone to your French friend about meeting up later at Baiyoke to check out the BKK skyline while I went about picking up my fork and knife, ready to dig into my chocolate croissant. All was great! All was grand! Bon appetite and all that.

Until I went and began wrestling with my croissant, that is. And the word wrestle is so very apropos here, seeing as how it took a great deal of atrophied muscle to tear apart a nice bite-sized piece, only to watch in abject horror as a huge chunk of it went flying.

Yah, flying. As in across the table and ONTO YOUR LAP.

But you were very nice about it. So, so nice. All you did was pluck it off your lap, drop it onto the table, smile, and carry on with your conversation en Francais AS IF NOTHING HAD HAPPENED AT ALL.

Someone else also acted like nothing had happened, opting instead to feign keen interest in his caramel frappacino and stare at me all confused, as though he'd never seen me before in his entire life even though we share the same last name, not to mention a lot of the same genetic DNA. Pfft.

You have no idea how grateful I am for this; how grateful I am that you didn't laugh at the way my face was heating up like Thailand during an April heat wave, or the way I was trying to frantically brush the stray croissant crumbs aside as if by doing so could hide the fact that I'd just sent a huge chunk of croissant FLYING ACROSS THE TABLE AND ONTO YOUR LAP.

So, thanks. I know I used to moan and bitch about all things Francais in high school, but I totally take it back now. Vraiment, mon ami. J'aime la France!!!

And by the way, in the future, when it comes to Starbucks, I am seriously sticking to the java and staying away from the chocolate croissants from now on. I've stomached a few dry croissants in my time, but AIRBORNE ones, too?

NOT FOR ME, merci beaucoup.

Gratefully yours,


To Ajahn ******:

Please know that it wasn't you your students were laughing at in class today. On the contrary, it was your audio-visuals.

You see, I understand that audio-visuals are very important to the entire learning process and all, but you honestly didn't think 80 not-quite-fully-mature-even-though-we-totally-think-we-are students would be able to watch an animation of an ejaculating penis without laughing just a little, did you?


You did?


We did try to focus on what you were saying -- really, we did -- but as mature as we'd like to think we are, you pretty much lost us as after the twenty-third loop of the, um, animated member. I was never very good at geometry, but even I know that the angle on that thing was, well, pretty impressive. Not to mention energetic. I know it was all the good work of pixels and graphics, but it looked more like the work of some digital Viagra. Tee hee.

Still, about the audio-visuls? Yeah, we totally appreciate the sentiment. Really, we do.

But you might want to reconsider the animated penis for next year's class. That is, if you don't want to spend a good ten minutes trying to get everyone to stop laughing.

Just a thought.

Sincerely yours,


To My Mom's Friend:

I know you're addicted to plastic surgery, you having been a former Miss Thailand runner-up way -- and I mean WAAAAY -- back in the day, but there really is a point when enough is enough.

What point would that be, you ask? Well, when you start to resemble the love child of Michael Jackson and Joan Rivers, well, then that's pretty much when you know you have to step away from the operating table lest you be forced to wear a mask and live out the rest of your days in the sewers of the Opera Populaire a la a much beloved Phantom.

And I'll have you know I'm not kidding about that part about the mask. I mean, I really don't think it was all that big of a coincidence that you and my mom's friend's 1-year-old daughter started crying when she saw you. All the adults quickly dismissed this as moodiness and crankiness...

But I knew the truth.

I knew why she was REALLY crying.

You might have been holding her oh so gently in your tender and very loving arms, but dude, it really doesn't matter. Because, I mean, the face? It's so got to go. Kids are very much in touch with their primordial fight-or-flight instinct; the very same instinct that saved our cavemen and cavewomen ancestors from fates worse than death many a century ago. And that kid's instinct? It was telling her to flee. Oh boy, was it telling her to flee. AS FAST AS HER LITTLE LEGS COULD CARRY HER.

But as bad as your rampant plastic surgery is, I have to say my biggest concern involves your headgear. Basically, GET RID OF THE HAT. Yeah, I'm talking about that huge straw hat you were wearing, complete with gauze veil and rainbow-assorted carnations and daisies. I seriously could not believe my eyes. I mean, that might be nice and very fitting for a day at Ascot, but for an 8 PM DINNER AT THE SHERATON???? I mean, what is UP with that?

Because that's just pretty f*cking ridiculous. Not to mention hilarious. You really can't blame the waiter for snickering while taking our order.

Concernedly yours,


To Boyd Kosiyabong:

Wow. Just WOW.

Had I had prior notice that your daughter attended my brother's school, I never would have gawked at you yesterday. Honest. And had I been wearing my glasses -- something that will never happen, since I never wear my glasses outside the house, classroom, or cinema -- I also swear I never would have squinted at you, as if to verify that, wait a minute, did I just see what I THOUGHT I saw???

Because it's not everyday you spot a famous and talented musician while waiting to pick up your brother from drama practice -- NOT, of course, to be mistaken with the plethora of Thai boy band and girl band members who used to attend my high school, and whose musical "talent" I always thought was just slightly suspect.

But besides the squinting and slight gawking, you want to know the really sad thing?

Here it is: it wasn't even you I recognized at first.


It was your daughter.

I remembered her from this.

Guiltily yours,


To the Politician Who Sat at the Same Table as Us at My Parents' Friend's Daughter's Wedding:

I know you think you're the greatest thing since Julius Caesar, but you want to know the truth?

You aren't. You really, really aren't.

Here's a thought: Maybe, instead of bitching and ratting about other politicians behind their backs for the entire duration of the evening, you could suck it up, roll up your sleeves, and ACTUALLY WORK FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE. You know, for the sake of your country and all.

Just a thought.

Oh, and can you PLEASE tell your wife that she
really didn't have to freak out and go all Mariah-Carey-on-the-verge-of-breakdown psycho when that waitress accidentally dropped some water on her Balenciaga bag? I mean, really. It was WATER. Not hydrogen peroxide. Although, now that I think about it, hydrogen peroxide wouldn't have been so bad after all...

Besides, it's not like Wifey ever uses her handbags more than once. God forbid she be seen using the same handbag more than once.

Oh, and another thing -- Khun Ying Balenciaga really didn't have to puff up and gloat about the new Chloe Paddington bag she purchased during her recent trip to London. I mean, PLEASE. Big freaking deal. They'll be all over Siam Square by next week.

Selling for a fraction of the price your wife got hers and looking JUST AS GOOD.


Smugly yours,

To Jennifer Aniston:

I told myself I wouldn't get sucked into the whole Brangelina hoopla -- me being a serious pop culture addict in need of some serious pop culture therapy -- but I really couldn't help it...

Especially when I heard the latest news about Angelina Jolie being pregnant with your ex-husband's baby!!!!

I was appalled. SHOCKED and APPALLED.

Actually, that's not true. Not true at all, because I so knew that Brad -- a TOTAL rat, even though he was pretty hot in Troy, Legends of the Fall, Meet Joe Black, and, well, OK, pretty much everything else he's ever starred in his entire LIFE -- and Angelina's relationship was anything BUT platonic the second I heard about your separation nearly a year ago. I mean, could he be any more of a rat? Everything from the scandalous W magazine photo shoot last summer to the recent adoption of Angelina's children has just been absolutely heartless. HEARTLESS and CRUEL.

But if it serves as consolation, I want you to know that I personally think Jolie-Pitt is a pretty unfortunate-sounding surname. I mean, Aniston-Pitt sounds so much cooler, don't you think? Yeah, I thought so, too. Plus, no amount of Tomb Raider could ever hold a candle to the awesomeness that was Friends. NONE. I am so on your side, Jen. Really.

I guess all I have left to say is...

Team Aniston For Life!!!

Loyally yours,


Currently Playing: Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz. This song was stuck in my head all day, so imagine how happy I was when it suddenly played on the radio this evening while driving home from class. Don't you love it when that happens?

Currently Reading: The Superficial. I told you I'm a chronic pop culture sufferer. Maybe this makes me shallow, maybe this makes me superficial. I don't care. Take away my Hollywood scandal and I suffer serious withdrawal symptoms.

>> Click to continue reading <<

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Huh. So.

Midterm results are out.

I got straight A's.

My honest-to-god initial reaction: "WTF??? How dumb! They totally screwed up my scores!!!"

Even my brother thought I was kidding.

He was all, "No, really, Lynn. What'd you really get?"

Not that I can blame him.

I am still reeling from the shock since this hasn't happened since...

Um, fifth grade? Fourth?


I really ought to go to Phuket more often.

Maybe it's something in the air?

Currently Anticipating: Watching Oasis, Stereophonics, Placebo, and Franz Ferdinand at the upcoming Bangkok 100 Rock Festival. I am SO excited about this, YOU HAVE NO IDEA. :D :D :D

Currently Reading: TheSmokingGun.com's investigative report over the whole James Frey ordeal. So it turns out Frey's memoir wasn't all that truthful after all. And maybe it was a little more fiction than non-fiction. OK, and maybe he made up that part about spending three months in jail. Not to mention that part about his girlfriend's suicide...and the part about waking up next to a hooker. Whatever. Crazy or not, the guy managed to con Oprah. Dude, OPRAH.

Currently Playing: Lyla by Oasis, of course.

>> Click to continue reading <<

The Time of Your Life

Forever charming and oh so sassy fellow RIS Class of 2000er, Swita, blogged about an interesting topic the other day. Basically, with the new year upon us, everyone's making resolutions left and right -- "I resolve to get that promotion. I resolve to finally make a move and ask so-and-so out. I resolve to donate more to the needy. I resolve to lose ten pounds. I resolve to go on that safari to Africa." On and on it goes. As Yul Brynner once said in The King and I, Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!

Well, with change on everyone's mind, Swita was wondering if other 20-somethings feel that these are the best years of our lives. Basically, "is this as good as it gets?"

Swita thinks it is. And I have to agree. She makes a lot of valid points (gakked from Tweet's blog):

  • We've graduated from college. We have credentials.

  • We're either onto our first jobs (Katie, Kay, Kevin, myself...) or pursuing an advanced degree (Noi, Lynn)

  • For those who have jobs, we are making our own money. Sure, we aren't millionaires, but it sure beats the $6.50 minimum wage we made in college being the college's museum attendant or doing a professor's research. Financial independence is bliss.

  • For those who are pursuing an advanced degree, y'all getting a jump start on life.

  • We have no familial responsibilities. No kids to worry about, no outside scruntiny of our marriage (and I don't mean from paparazzi), no worries on what blue chip or Roth IRAs to invest in so we can have retirement moolah.

  • And if we fail in our jobs, studies, or relationships, no one is going to say "man, that was his/her last chance to [find a spouse, establish a good career, go to grad school]" We are still in a grace period where we're still allowed a little room to wriggle.

  • We're much less insecure than we were in high school [the awkward years] and college [the i hope these $40,000 a year pays off years]. We have gotten to know ourselves, our friends, our limits a little better.

  • I echo Swita on all these points, mostly because I can't for the life of me think of another time in our lives when we'll have this much security and freedom again (granted some might argue it's all a false sense of security and freedom, but that's another topic for another day). Yes, it's a rather selfish period in our lives; a period when it's all about me, me, me. I, I, I. A period when there's no family to worry about, no serious obligations to hold you back. A period when there's all the time in the world to fix that tiny, little mistake tomorrow. Always tomorrow. Always that sense of possibility.

    And I totally understand what Swita means about that grace period. We're in our early twenties -- people almost expect us to screw up a little on our "quest to self-actualization." And YES, I know that sounds appallingly trite, but isn't that what every normal person is working toward in life, regardless of age, status, or nationality? That sense of, what Dr. Abraham Maslow once said was, "man's desire for fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming"?

    I pursued an advanced degree because I've always been in love with learning. Whether it was the arts or sciences, I was intrigued -- and still am, actually -- with it all. I guess that's one of the reasons why I love reading so much and will read virtually anything that crosses my path. I always thought I'd pursue a career in medicine; in fact, growing up, I barely gave much thought to anything else. But after doing a lot of talking with my cousins -- one a general surgeon resident and another an oral and maxillofacial surgeon -- weighing out the pros and cons and thinking about what fit me and what didn't, I began to seriously open my eyes and look around at everything else I'd overlooked in the past. Kind of how you don't tend to notice the small details about a familiar piece of art until you take a step back and take another hard look. Basically, I realized there was SO much about dentistry that appealed to me -- the subject matter, the work ethic, the lifestyle, etc. I'd just never given it the time of day before.

    And now that I'm fully immersed in dental school, I realize that this was one of the best decisions I ever made. I'm so relieved that once I'm through with dental school (provided I don't FLUNK OUT FIRST), I can honestly say that I love what I do. Because shouldn't you love your job, as it's going to be stuck with you for the next thirty to forty years of your life?

    Hell, yeah. I should think so.

    But sometimes I wonder if there's a drawback to spending so many years in school. While everyone else my age is off starting first jobs, soaking up invaluable experience, earning first paychecks, and climbing the corporate ladder, I'm still hunkering down over textbooks, trying to figure out how to do dental occlusions. I definitely don't regret my choice of pursuing an advanced degree, but sometimes I can't help but feel like everyone else is moving on and "growing up" without me...

    Does that make sense?

    Which brings me to marriage. I'm in no hurry to tie the knot. Like my super funny dental school bud, Goi, said the other day, I want to kick back and enjoy my twenties while I can, relish my youth just a little while longer. I always thought that other people my age thought the same. This is, after all, the 21st century, right? Not necessarily. Four high school classmates of mine have already gone on and married (a few years ago, actually), and another one is very close to landing that proposal (it's a matter of when, I guess, not if). Granted that's a very small handful of my graduating class, but back in high school, did I ever think these friends would settle down, get married, and become parents at such a young age? Definitely not. And neither did they. Because like a lot of things in life, you never know what's going to happen next. And especially with matters of the heart, you never know when Cupid's proverbial arrow's gonna strike next, right?

    Right. ;)

    Do I know what lies ahead for me in five years time? No. Ten? Definitely not. And I'm glad I don't. As cliche as it may sound, I want every day to be an adventure. I want to live knowing that anything and everything is possible. I could roll out of bed at seven in the AM, only to witness a meteor shower and have a run-in with an elephant a scant hour later. No, wait, scratch that latter bit; that's actually happened, this being Thailand and all... ;)

    I want to live knowing that I gave everything my best shot. I don't want to look back in forty years, wondering why I never thought to give this or that a go; why I let hesitation, fear, or doubt throw me off. That's one of the reasons why I bit the bullet and started sending my book out to agents last year. Did I know where it was going to lead me? Not really. But I did know I wanted something and that sitting around dreaming about it wasn't going to make it happen any faster. In the end, it helped me snag my awesome agent, and while I don't have a publishing deal under my belt yet, I know I've tried. And I know I'm going to keep on trying, writing ten more manuscripts if that's what it takes to get that elusive book deal. Stephen King's Carrie was rejected 30 times before it sold...and JK Rowling's first Harry Potter book 14 times. Other writers wrote ten manuscripts over twenty years before they finally sold...

    But the one thing they all share? They were stubborn. Stubborn and tenacious, pushing, writing, learning, honing their craft and submitting until they finally got that first deal. Whether it took them two years, twenty years, or never, they just kept on going. And like my agent's brilliant partner, Nadia, says, "Because if you make it about the destination, then you are ruining the journey." I guess that applies to a lot of things in life, and not just writing. I do know that this wild pursuit of publication is one of the hardest (and craziest) things I've ever done -- harder, even, than I anticipate dental school to be, since my studies are something that's all up to me, as opposed to the finicky publishing houses of New York -- but twenty years from now, even if I never do get that book deal, will I look back with regret?

    Hell, no. Because I gave it my best shot. And like Nadia said, it's all about the journey.

    And that, I think, is what counts the most.

    So live it up, I say. And while you're at it, have the time of your life. :)


    Currently Reading: The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad, per Baba's recommendation. Halfway in, and it's been a fascinating read so far. I also finished Rebel Angels a couple of days ago -- finished it in one day, actually -- and GOD was it better than the prequel, A Great and Terrible Beauty (which was pretty darn good in itself)! Definitely no sophomore slump here.

    Currently Playing: Believe Me from Rising Tied by Fort Minor, per Him's recommendation. I like rap, provided it's good rap. And this is good rap. Mike Shinoda really outdid himself with this one. There's no bling bling, "pimps 'n hos," Friday night clubbing, or shizzle my nizzle a la Ja Rule, Nelly, and 50 Cent on this album (which is pretty refreshing, considering all the crap on the radio these days). No, instead you have Shinoda talking about scenes from his second-story hotel window, accusations from the media, and the Japanese American Internment in '42. Where'd You Go is very reminiscent of Eminem and Dido's Stan collaboration from a few years back, but it's the lyrics of Kenji that literally made me stop and listen. Rising Tied's a solid album...plus it's fun to run to on the treadmill. :) DEFINITELY check it out.

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    Thursday, January 12, 2006

    All Over the Place

    My mind has been all over the place today, so this will probably be one of my most random and disjointed posts ever.

  • Maybe it was because of post-midterm madness, but two weeks ago I went and wreaked havoc on my hair -- I hacked seven inches off and permed it. Crazy, I know. It's gonna be a while before I look like this again, because I now look like this. You can't really see the waves (sorry for the crap cell phone shot; my parents took the cam with them to Shanghai), but I'll get a better shot when I get my camera back. I'm still trying to figure out whether I like it or hate it...I do know that I love waking up in the morning and not having to run a brush through my hair. I can literally hop out of bed and give my head a little shake and be all set to go. Plus, straight hair got boring after twenty-three years. I've always been envious of wavy-locked girls (I'm talking about you, Swita Tweeta). So far everyone's said they love it, except for my brother, who insists I look like I'm channeling a FOB from the eighties.

  • One day, when I'm a dentist (supposing I don't flunk out of dental school first), I'd love more than anything else to volunteer for this.

  • While waiting for my brother at his school today, I saw these two kids sharing a bike ride in front of the teachers' townhouses. It immediately made me think of darling Jeab and Noi-Nah in that one scene from the ever charming Fan Chan. Granted these kids were blond and British and looked nothing like Jeab and Noi-Nah, but still, the moment was like cuteness personified. I'm only sorry I didn't have my camera at hand.

  • Does my cousin Kym have the most badass dog ever, or what? I tell you, he's even ten times more studly in real life; all the ladies think he's hot stuff, including yours truly. :) (Gakked from Kym's hi5 page -- thanks, tee rak)

  • Do yourself a favor and read A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Please don't let the YA classification fool you; I don't care if you're sixteen or sixty, this book is one of the most chilling and beautifully written gothics I've ever read. I'm only sorry I didn't read this earlier. I have to seriously find a way to get my ass to Kinokuniya this week for the sequel, Rebel Angels. Speaking of, have you SEEN the size of the new Kino's at Siam Paragon? IT'S EFFING INSANE. They sure as hell weren't kidding when they said it was the biggest bookstore in Thailand. I don't know if it's quite as large as the Borders in Singapore, but I nearly swooned when I saw it. Then I proceeded to spend three hours there, leaving much later with eleven books in hand. The really sad thing is that I've already finished nine of them and hardly two weeks have gone by. I'd love to restock again sometime soon, but my wallet is still recuperating...

  • Will Major Cineplex please play Pride and Prejudice, already? It's January -- where's Mr. Darcy? We want us some Mr. Darcy!

  • I managed to get my greedy little hands on Lee Hom Wang's new album, Heroes of Earth (listen here), during the new year holiday, and now I can't get Zai Mei Bian, Hua Tian Cuo, and Wan Mei De Hu Dong out of my head. I don't understand a word he's saying -- with the exception of wo, ai, and ni -- but I sing along anyway, because DAMN if these songs aren't infectious. Plus, the way Lee Hom has managed to incorporate influences from classic Chinese opera with hip hop is pretty damn brilliant (the erhu in Hua Tian Cuo is so pretty!). In fact, as much as it saddens me, I just may have to fight Khun Pam for him, which may pose a bit of a problem, he being her husband and all. ;P

  • Congrats again to Baba and Him! Couldn't have happened to a nicer couple. :)

  • Went to watch The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Loved it, but I couldn't help but make comparisons to the LOTR trilogy the entire time. Still, it was a joy to watch my favorite Narnia book come to life on-screen. I was especially taken by the kids who played Lucy and Edmund. Also watched King Kong, which was fun...but -- and I'm probably going to get pummeled for this -- I really don't get why everyone's making a huge fuss over a movie about a big ape.

  • And finally, Friendster, MySpace, and Hi5 are no longer safe. There are some sick, sick people out there. NO, I will not be your tour guide during your visit to Thailand, taking you to all four corners of the country in exchange "4 a good time *wink wink*." NO, I do not want to see naked webcam pictures of you, especially when they involve you doing suspect things with the contents of your refrigerator. NO, I do not want to meet you when you come to Bangkok next month, even if you're "a really good guy who's sweet, caring, and nice and likes watching You've Got Mail, Two Week's Notice, and Kate and Leopold (news flash: I loathe You've Got Mail, Two Week's Notice, and Kate and Leopold. Oh, and if I want sweet and nice, I'll get me some Godivas). NO, I do not want to read your really, really bad poetry about pens, flies, and windowpanes, which was admittedly kind of funny (and not in a flattering way) at first, but now...is not. NO, I do not want to be redeemed and converted into a Baptist/Methodist/Evangelist to save my evil, Buddhist soul (news flash: just because I live in Thailand doesn't automatically make me a Buddhist, OK? And just because you're Buddhist, doesn't mean you're automatically evil, OK? OK!). AND NO, NO, NO I DO NOT WANT TO MARRY YOU FOR A PASSPORT INTO YOUR F*CKING COUNTRY! I've got my own f*cking passport!


    Sorry for whining and whinging, but I really had to get that off my chest.

  • Currently Reading: House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III. Again.

    Currently Playing: The Best of Hanson Live and Electric. Listen to this, and I dare you to call them bubblegum pop and make one single MMMBop joke. And...

    Could it be? My all-time favorite band covering a U2 song? Oh, be still my beating heart! Listen to that boy sing, will you? Golden Boy Taylor is spot on here and sings this song with his whole heart and soul...the very reason I fell in love with them in the first place all those years ago (has it really been nine years????). Oh, and I've come to a conclusion. Please don't laugh, but I think they've been spying on me all along. Seriously. I mean, c'mon, think about it. Haven't I blogged only ten million times in the past three years that Hanson are my favorite band ever and that I adore Bono like nothing else? Haven't I? And what have they gone and done? Cover U2's In a Little While. Amazing, huh? So, now do you believe me? Now do you see that THEY'VE BEEN SPYING ON ME ALL ALONG?

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