Lorena Gaillot went to NYC from France and didn’t know what a hipster was. So she set out on a hipster quest.
Excerpt from lessons learned after studying abroad:
Towards the end of my study abroad trip, I met a man in the market who told me how happy he was that I was in Mexico. He told me earnestly, “You have to go home and tell them what we’re like here. Go back and make them see that we’re people, too.”
And that’s key—of course, you’re studying abroad for you. But you’re also taking on a responsibility. This country has taken you in, fed you, taught you, broken your heart, and healed it again.
How will you return the favor?
I have some invites for a free movie screening of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
About the movie:
In this adult drama based on the best-selling book by author John Boyne, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS is a fictional story that offers a unique perspective on how prejudice, hatred and violence affect innocent people, particularly children, during wartime. Through the lens of an eight-year-old boy largely shielded from the reality of World War II, we witness a forbidden friendship that forms between Bruno, the son of Nazi commandant, and Schmuel, a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed wire fence, their lives become inescapably intertwined as friends. The imagined story of Bruno and Shmuel sheds light on the brutality, senselessness and devastating consequences of war from an unusual point of view. Together, their journey helps recall the millions of innocent voices- victims of tyranny and evil.
Most of the screenings are on 10/28 or 10/30, depending on location. Leave a comment including your area of residence if you’re interested and I’ll send you a link.
Here’s a chalkboard summary of my summer in China:
I don’t like to be friendly.
I don’t like people.
I don’t like friendly people.
I don’t like sharing food.
I don’t like hugs in hot weather.
Thanks a lot for not letting me be comfortable, FRIENDS.
It’s been almost two months since I left. I’m ready to head back. There are just too many people here. I miss having my own quiet space. Of course, I miss Paul and Rufus. Ok, and everyone else too.
Just got back from a sneak preview of The Forbidden Kingdom that opens this Friday, along with Expelled. Don’t worry, no spoilers here because I don’t really like to write. I’m just embarrassed every time Jet Li speaks in English. I think filmmakers make the effort to minimize his lines. But boy, he does move beautifully. Jackie Chan–always funny. Great choreography by the famous Yuen Woo Ping, whose moves most Americans would know from the Matrix movies and Kill Bill.
I remember watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in the theater, especially during the scenes when the Chow Yun Fat ran across the water or over trees, people whispered “that’s so fake.” OF COURSE IT’S FAKE, PEOPLE!!! Anyhoo, I think The Forbidden Kingdom will make just about anyone appreciate fantasy martial arts movies. My friend’s 3 (almost 4) year old daughter Mackenzie was so gripped by the movie that at one point she yelled out about Jackie Chan’s character “you just can’t kill him!”. Too cute.
This is the first film that features Jet Li and Jackie Chan together. Apparently, Jackie Chan said it was pretty easy to work together.
I have not worked with someone whom I’m comfortable with, in terms of
movements, rhythm and natural reactions, in the last 10 years. I have
done many fight scenes with others but there were usually more than 10
takes, which is a waste of time as the person may forget his moves and
unnecessary injuries. When I fought with Li, our actions were quick. We
also didn’t have to do the same stunt over 20 times. #
Ok, I’m motivated to go to the park again. My new dream job: to be in a movie with both of them.
Boy was the spirit of the Olympics ever-present at the Torch run protests today! Everyone showed strong team participation and competitiveness. Check it:
Team Darfur (represented by the green balloons):
Team Vietnamese Fisherman:
Team Friendlies (yes, that’s what the Mascots are called):
Team Lion Dancing:
Team Fudan (represented by the blue flag-i have to give a shoutout to the university where I was last summer):
and my favorite, Team Athletes:
Where did all these people come from? How did they start “cheering” on their respective teams? Where were they before all this? Are they JUST starting to protest now? I felt a little left out, like I should have been holding a sign or something.
Here’s my chat with Melissa after we left:
Me: I just bought sek lau jup (guava juice from a store in chinatown)
Melissa: I just bought a mocha
Me: guess that means I’m pro-China and you’re pro-America.
Can I just be pro-people?
The Olympic flame landed in SFO today around 3:40am. There have been so many protests already. Being Chinese American, I am proud of China’s rise in power and prominence, but at the same time, I am dismayed at all the controversy surrounding the Olympics. I don’t condone China’s civil rights record, but c’mon people, when you try to bum rush the torch bearer, you are doing exactly that which you are protesting against. I wonder what
I’m also proud that my city will be the only North American city to host the torch relay. The current published route (IF it’s not cancelled) has the Torch ceremony beginning at 1 P.M. tomorrow in McCovey Cove and finishing up at Justin Herman Plaza. (SFGate Map of Torch Route), but the route could change up to and even during the relay, said Mayor Gavin Newsom. Even with all the protests, China vows to continue the relay. I’m tempted to take a day off tomorrow, but I don’t want to fight the crowds. Anyone out there going?
Update (April 5, 2008): Everyone’s knows of his “I Have a Dream” speech, but check out his very last speech in Memphis, the night before he was killed. Part one and part two, which is especially powerful and moving.
Photo Credit: Trikosko/Library of Congress
April 4, 1968- Dr. Martin Luther King was shot dead at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee. I was listening to NPR on the way to work this morning and heard a story of Robert Kennedy delivering news of MLK’s death:
It was supposed to be a routine campaign stop. In a poor section of Indianapolis, 40 years ago Friday, a largely black crowd had waited an hour to hear the presidential candidate speak. The candidate, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, had been warned not to go by the city’s police chief.
As his car entered the neighborhood, his police escort left him. Once there, he stood in the back of a flatbed truck. He turned to an aide and asked, “Do they know about Martin Luther King?”
They didn’t, and it was left to Kennedy to tell them that King had been shot and killed that night in Memphis, Tenn. The crowd gasped in horror.
“For those of you who are black and are tempted to … be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling,” he said. “I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.”
Many other American cities burned after King was killed. But there was no fire in Indianapolis, which heard the words of Robert Kennedy.
“What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.”
Two months later, Robert Kennedy himself was felled by an assassin’s bullet.
Remember history and learn.
Is black the new green? Google turned its home page black in support of Earth Hour. TechCrunch brings up a good point: Google, ironically, is causing more people to visit their site, using even more power to celebrate Earth Hour than they would on a normal day. It looks so funny that it almost made Christiana reboot her computer.
Am I the only one out of all my friends who uses Twitter? Maybe it’s because I’m the biggest internet geek I know or it’s because of my unlimited free texting that comes with my phone plan. Either way, there’s so much hype about it nowadays that I finally had to see why people like it so much. I signed up for an account a few months ago, but it wasn’t until these last couple weeks that I decided to give it a second look.
Here’s a good introductory video on what it is (from Commoncraft.com):
I’ve included my latest updates under the “What am I doing?” section in the sidebar using Alex King’s Twitter Tools plugin for WordPress. I also use TwitterSync to make my Facebook status match my Twitter status.
People might be thinking “who really cares about that kind of mindless trivia about your day?” but for the techie-types out there like me, here’s a good article about why twitter isn’t a waste of time.
Anyone else out there using twitter?
City!N (read CityIN), is a new China-based social networking site that launched earlier this month.
An article at VentureBeat explains why it’s a bit different from Facebook.
Users create profiles where they explain their interests such as favorite movies, cars, or celebrities. They rate items and then the site recommends other people in the same local areas who have similar interests.
Currently, the site is only in Chinese, but they plan to expand to English language support at some point in the future.
1. The day of one’s birth.
2. The anniversary of one’s birth.
Wikipedia mentions several things about birthdays.
- The celebration of birthdays is not universal. I remember working with family who were Jehovah’s Witnesses and they didn’t celebrate birthdays.
- Some adults loathe celebrating it as it reminds them that they are getting progressively older–which means, closer to death.
- It is also customary to treat people specially on their birthday. Why not treat them special ALL the time? Wouldn’t people rather celebrate their unbirthdays because those can occur so much more often?
I always have mixed feelings at this time of the year. I love Christmas, but I’m not sure if I like what’s coming up before that. I imagine it’d be neat to have a special day in June, but maybe I just have to settle for a half-birthday. According to wikipedia, “most half-birthdays go unremarked, but they may still be celebrated as a special day. Perhaps the most common use is by people whose birthday falls near Christmas, a holiday so widely celebrated that it can overwhelm private anniversaries.”
A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age. — Robert Frost
After Saturday, I might have to join Facebook for old people.
My friend Craig had extra tickets to Barry Bonds’ last game with the Giants, so he invited me and my friend Nathan along. We had really good seats (row 10 on the 3rd base side). Even though I’m not a big fan Giants fan, it’s always fun to go to a ballgame and of course, take pictures! Nathan and I brought our cameras along, but the the people who sat in front of us had big posters that blocked our photography efforts.
In the middle of the 6th inning, I went to use the restroom, and asked if anyone wanted me to get anything. Craig asked for garlic fries, but he told me to get them only if the lines were short. There were a handful of people in line, so I went ahead and stood in line. All the while, bottom of the inning, Giants at bat, Bonds on deck. I was very tempted to leave the line, but I figured, it’s ok, I’ll just watch on the TV’s. Apparently, it was his last at bat. He was leaving because his big toe was hurting (poor baby…*said in the tone of Hanz & Franz*) Anyways, I guess the fans gave him a standing ovation. He came out, waved his hat around…yay. And poof. Just like that, he’s gone. No speech to thank his fans. Not even an interview with the press. Bonds and his attitude, all the way to the end.
Anyhoo, here’s why I’m posting this today. Craig IM’ed me this morning and sent a scan of the front page of the sports section in today’s San Jose Mercury News:
Click on the link to see what I’m talking about. You can see my friend Craig on the left with the hat and Nathan on the right with his camera, but WHERE AM I??? Yes, I was in line–missing. Totally missing. These things are only supposed to happen to someone like Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents.
Funny, I wasn’t that upset about missing Barry Bonds. I’m more upset about being missing from the newspaper. There goes my 15 millimeters of fame.
What: Survivor: China premiere
When: Thursday, September 20, 8pm ET/PT
Why: The show claims to be the first full American television series to be filmed entirely within China. I’ve read that many aspects of Chinese culture and history have been included in this season. Each contestant was supposed to receive a copy of The Art of War by Sun Tzu (which is excellent, by the way–I just finished the audio book earlier this year). The show supposedly had “unprecedented access” to several historical Chinese monuments, including a Shaolin Temple and the Great Wall.
What: PARK(ing) Day
When: Friday, September 21
Where: San Francisco and across the world
Why: It’s a one day event where people temporarily transform parking spaces into public parks.
What: Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节)
When: Tuesday, September 25
Where: Wherever there are Chinese people
Why: The mooncakes have landed! The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month each year. This is one of my favorite times of the year when I get to overdose on lard lotus seed paste.
What: Special Olympics
When: October 2-11
Why: There was a lot of hype for this during the summer when I visited a home for the mentally disabled. This is China’s beta testing for the Olympics next year. The Special Olympics will start almost as soon as the FIFA Women’s World Cup ends. Nearly 7,500 athletes from more than 160 countries, 40,000 volunteers and 3,500 event officials will descend upon Shanghai and athletes will compete in 25 Olympic-type sports in venues all across the city. Oooh, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Colin Farrell, Yo Yo Ma and Zhang Ziyi will be there at the opening ceremony on October 2 at the Shanghai Stadium!
Oh, and happy talk like a pirate day.