Skip to content

Inspiration Folder

I have (had?) an inspiration folder. A collection of pages that I’ve removed from various magazines because I deemed the content worthy of a second look. I started it in the latter half of my freshman year and based if off design portfolios that we had to keep in Publications. Basically the same concept, but for class credit.

I’d like to believe that the design portfolio assignment pushed me to keep an eye out for savvy design. I actually believed that starting my own inspiration folder would gradually help me become a better designer. But that never took off, designing just isn’t my thing. I can certainly recognize good design from bad design, but I can’t seem to be original and create my own look.

So, my more recent additions to my inspiration folder have been interesting or creative photos (journalism or editorials) rather than any real design. There is a point to this entire spiel. The thing is, I seem to have misplaced my inspiration folder and it’s driving me nuts. It seems like it might be a real “nbd” sort of moment, magazine pages are easily replaceable or found online. It’s the principle of it all! I can’t go around losing my long term project commitments.

When (if) I find my folder .. I’m getting a hold of a scanner and creating backups for everything.

Testing, testing …

My baby is back! Thanks Alvin and Roger.

Blogged.

Quick Thought:

There are some people who should probably just stick to reblogs, or reading blogs, or not blogging.

They don’t do a good job of being coherent when they try to be original.

Is that mean? Sure.

Tough cookie.

Edit: I’ve also now discovered that my blog technically no longer exists. It is not linked to anything on the whshoofprint site. I feel like an abandoned puppy…

Word of the Day

Often connected to the condition of modernity, ennui, like the Italiannoia, has connotations of the effect of anaesthesia, the numbing boredom with the taedium vitae or weariness with the ‘tediousness of life’, and of anhedonia - an inability to find pleasure in things that should be pleasurable.

Jacky BowringA Field Guide to Melancholy 

Or rather it’s the emulation of the feeling as to avoid the mind’s inner workings.

This message is brought to you by my troubling inability to reconcile two though processes today.

And my inherent need to write reviews in my head, but never put it down on type.

Life Stories

I think I have a new goal in mind. Write (more like type) down my family’s history. Go a bit down my dad’s side and my mom’s side. Pretty much from the time we left Stone Age Cafe (hate this place) till we got home, my mom and I talked nonstop about my grandparents and such. I found out that my grandparents on my father’s side hail from the village right near where the Terracotta Warriors were unearthed.

Found out a bit about the cruelty of my great-grandparents, the practice of forcing all the work (and I mean all) onto the first daughter-in-law. And I discovered a lot about my family history.

Somehow my mom and I started talking about Puyi, the last emperor of China. Apparently my great-grandmother on my mom’s side is from the Manchu clan. Ya know .. the clan that the great Empress Cixi came from? Pretty cool.

Look at this lady, I feel as though she was basically the Chinese Queen Elizabeth. I realize the Manchu Clan is huge, but it's still cool.

I told my mom about what I was learning in TOK and somehow that lead to me asking my mom about her relationship with my dad. And I found out that my mom broke a few hearts back in the day, pretty amazing.

I think that this is the longest time my mom and I have had just one-on-one conversation time in a very long time. The last time this happened, I think I was in the middle of a slight school-breakdown and I couldn’t handle my lack of direction. But this time, everything was good and easy. It’s conversations like this that make me happiest.

One of the worst meals of my life.

As per the title, tonight I had one of the worst meals I’ve ever sat through. It wasn’t a matter of portion, it was a matter of taste and principle. My mom and I got take out from the new place that opened up where Dolphin Bay used to be, next to Sun Fat Supermarket on Colima. Stone Age Cafe. We went with the promise of a Mos Burger like snack. Basically rice packed together to form a bun and meat (of the non-patty assortment) in the middle. Sounds delicious. I also got a Fried Shrimp with Cheese on Dry Noodles for good measure. I figure it’d be good, shrimp on pasta with melted cheese, yum.

Looks are fucking deceiving.

Of course the place looked nice. It was filled with fobs, and the service was terrible s-l-o-w. My mom and I had time to go to KiKi’s Bakery and get some food at a place next door, come back and still wait. I figured it’d be okay, Asians enjoy good food right?

This place looked like fob-centro.

But when we got home it was a serious moment of, what the fuck am I eating? The rice honestly tasted a bit reminiscent of plastic. And the meat was like swallowing rubber. Ok, that was on the outs. I can look forward to noodles right?

Mos Burger kimpira rice burger

By the way, this is what the fantastic Mos Burger like thing is supposed to look like.

WRONG. The “dry noodles” they so kindly labeled was just instant noodle. Literally, it still kind of looked like it was in it’s rectangular form just brown and cooked. And it smelled just like msg. Oh, and I forget to mention there was a sign that said “No MSG” on one of the windows in the store. They DO know that instant noodle comes with MSG right?

Not what it actually looked like, but reference for good measure.

And the “shrimp” tasted like it obviously came from the freezer and the “cheese” tasted like plastic. Why does everything o in quotations? Cause it was disgusting and didn’t taste like real food. I wish I took pictures to supplement my response, but I didn’t expect this. The restaurant just looked so nice! The Earl Grey Milk Frost I got was pretty darn good. Everything else? Disgusting. I just stopped eating and drank some juice and water. The smell of the instant noodles made me want to throw up.

I hate this place.

Waiting

I recently picked up a bit of a reading frenzy and started it off with Ha Jin’s Waiting. In all honesty, I was drawn to this book because of its cover. Didn’t know it was possible to be shallow when it came to books, but the cover just looked so minimalistic and perfect. I’ve always been drawn to books dealing with Asians, not Asian-Americans though. Nothing against that sort of story, but I just would rather not read about the typical “overbearing Asian mother.” And the fight between new American ways and old tradition. Don’t need that.

Nevertheless, Waiting is set during the Communist Revolution in China. And I loved the occasional mentions of discontent and and unrest of individuals who remember the times before Mao. And we get to see the great changes in society, from the time of rigid rules to a relaxation of formalities as people tired of strict regulations.

The novel spans more than two decades, following the life of Doctor Lin an army doctor who is torn between his wife by arranged marriage Shuyu, and  his girlfriend nurse Manna. The relationships between these characters are never sensual or particularly passionate. And if they are, they’re mostly one-sided. And I spent the majority of my reading time waiting for something to happen, to show me that somebody would get what they wanted and have the same result that they originally wished for.

But I was disappointed by this book. Not by the writing, which was superb, but by the way everything turned out. It’s odd that a random book had an unexpected impact on me. I find it difficult to have the same continued faith in love and fidelity.

When I imagine this book in as a movie, I see long scoping scenes of the country life contrasted with grey city buildings. Spots of red being a prominent symbol of Communism, forfeiting itself to the greens and browns of farm life. There isn’t a lot of dialogue, and things move slowly. One scene shocks everyone with its violence, and the characters age quickly and without any reprieve. It’s an indie movie in the making.

In all honesty, this book just made me sad. I’m not one to always look on the positive side of things, but I believe that if there is a way to minimize the amount of sadness in my life – I’ll do it. Hopefully I won’t read a book like this again. It is definitely not a bad book, it’s just not something I enjoy.

Somewhere in the Hundred Acre Woods…

What is this? This magical number?! Of course, it’s a hundred. A one hundred? Perhaps merely a hundred. 100 it is!

Productive Day

Despite my not so stellar mood today, I’m pretty pleased with how my afternoon at home panned out. Went to Von’s with my mom and got a couple of cards. Extras in the emergency event of “Birthdays creeping up without notice.” My beautiful friend Iris lives in Massachusetts and it’s her birthday this coming Sunday. Though she’s a quiet girl, I disregard that and pick the loudest and most obnoxious card that I can find. And I made a collage to go with it. Cause ya know, bringing back the middle school days.

 

It sings “Celebration” for a couple of measures, longer than I expected actually. I hope it properly embarrasses her in the best way possible. And of course, I drew a dinosaur for Iris. Because that’s how I do. It’s 11 by 11, this is a big card.

Fun story of me and my mother trying to figure out how to use the automated label machine. Easy enough, but then I couldn’t figure out which mail box to put the envelope in. Had to ask some stranger, I felt so out of my element. Need to send more snail mail.

 

 

And my Amazon orders came in! So quick, so quick. As I mentioned on my tumblr, fun fact: I like to put things under my sister’s name when I order things because she enjoys getting packages. But yes, yes, more books to read. Some “classics,” I got On the Road by Jack Kerouac and the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Still waiting on two books I think.. but I’m still working on Waiting by Ha Jin so I can’t get too excited or distracted yet.

But most importantly, I finally got a hold of Lisa Hannigan’s new album – Passengers. (Apologies for the glare)

Its rare that I buy music and for some reason I just wanted this one. I’m really, terribly just .. awfully disappointed that I can’t go see Lisa Hannigan this Saturday. It would have been a really nice birthday gift, but alas, Santa Barbara is just too far out. And I don’t have anyone to take me. But seriously, just really disappointing.

Either way, the album is good. I’m not feeling it the same way with Sea Sew, but it’s short and I haven’t really listened to it. Maybe more impressions later.

 

The Help

I believe that some time or another I did a short (if not incoherent) blurb about just how much I loved Kathryn Stockett. But now that I think about it, my rave review was actually a long message sent to my friend who I felt would like the book (“live blogging,” frightening).  Either the way, the novel follows the lives of three central characters from Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s.

Lazy girl’s blogging? I’ll just quote a synopsis.

The novel is told from the point of view of three narrators: Aibileen Clark, a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children, and who has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson, an African-American maid whose back-talk towards her employers results in her having to frequently change jobs, exacerbating her desperate need for work as well as her family’s struggle with money; and Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, a young white woman and recent college graduate who, after moving back home, discovers that a maid that helped raise her since childhood has abruptly disappeared and her attempts to find her have been unsuccessful. The stories of the three women intertwine to explain how life in Jackson, Mississippi revolves around “the help”, with complex relations of power, money, emotion, and intimacy tying together the white & black families of Jackson.

I know, a large chunk to get through. I’ll reward you all with some pictures. As you can see below, Skeeter is played by the fantastic Emma Stone. My girl crush for her knows no bounds. This girl is sass and sarcasm in a beautiful balance of female.

And Viola Clark and Octavia Spencer played Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson, respectively. And let me tell you, these women got it down. 

The trouble with book-to-movie adaptions (as I’ve previously touched on before) is the difficulty of translating character depth to the big screen. But these women, if I could get applause through the interwebs I would. You see, maids like Aibileen spend their lives raising the children of white families. Though she loves them with all her heart, they’re taught prejudices. In the end, after they’re all grown up they forget the love that people like Aibileen gave to them. But this character, she tries to end this chain when she raises her last child. She’s chubby and not very much loved by her parents. So everyday, Aibileen teaches her a mantra.

Honestly, this is just the truth.

I watched this movie the second week of its release. I knew that the movie wouldn’t appeal to all audiences but I was disappointed when I walked into a theater full of middle age and upper adults. I was the youngest person in the room by at least 8 years. Still, I wasn’t deterred. I read the book in a day, I sure as hell was going to enjoy the movie.

No surprise, I loved it.

Everything from cast, costume, music and production .. it just all worked. A few weeks later, the movie’s picked up steam. It stayed at number 1 for a full weeks, and I think it was just a fluke the first week that Hurricane Irene deterred moviegoers. In a rare case, I’d like to say that the movie is just as good as the book.

And if you don’t go out to read it book or watch the movie: