Archive for October, 2010

overthinking?

October 27, 2010

If I think and hold on to a piece long enough, it becomes this completely different system than the initial idea, usually.

I like to think about each piece as its own thing – but the longer I sit on an idea, the more it grows organically (the less it looks like something nice from the grocery store and the more it resembles the weirdo fruit left at the organic food stand).  So my story I’ve been thinking about has become this organic thing – with all sorts of big ugly nodules and gnarly turns and unexpected ends, little annoying dangly roots, if not a huge rootball thing that binds you in its dirty coils – the whole rootbound metaphor thing.

The problem with fanfic (I feel) is that you want to cater to the fans – hence all the extra little bits about characters you normally wouldn’t write in, if it were your own.  What to do?

On the other end of the overthinking spectrum, especially at 3am on a sleepless night, feeling incredibly unproductive and unhappy, I find myself looking at my writing and hating it and wanting to just END IT ALL.  By which I mean, I want to delete it and never think of anything like that again, and hopefully the little monkeys in my brain will pipe down and I will have peace.  Of course, I never do this because I know I will regret it.  But still, that hatred comes out of the sheer frustration of dealing with this writing beast.  Other people I know don’t have this problem.  Sigh.

hung out to dry

October 25, 2010

Because of the laundry, I’ve been watching the weather report religiously.  I might take it a while longer before the line comes down.  It’s not like I’ve become one with the weather/outside, but you do notice things a little more when your laundry is on the line (pun intended).

Lately we’ve been averaging a load almost every night.  It’s sort of crazy.  You’d think because kids’ clothing is smaller than adult clothing, it would take up less room – which is true on an individual item basis, but on the aggregate, it completely false.  Kids just go through a lot more clothing than adults – they have sleep clothes, play clothes, paint clothes, and if the weather is bad, mud clothes and wet clothes.

Random Bad Mommy/Housekeeping moment.  I’ve started using the dryer – it’s getting too cold and the weather is too unpredictable to leave the laundry out all day now.  So I was in the middle of the laundry after eating breakfast, and Baby Girl J is playing with the clothes – and it’s just something she likes to do and I like her to do it because it keep her busy and content while she’s nearby.  I make sure I have those drier balls in there to cut down static cling, even though they can be a little noisy.  Okay.  Cut to two hours later, the wash is dry.  I unload the drier, pulling out socks, pants, shirts, and so on, and at the very bottom of the drum is a half-filled sippy cup of milk.  Damn!  I check all the clothes and they don’t seem like they’ve had milk splashed and dried on them.  Whew?  Maybe I haven’t come across it yet.  I check the milk – it smells scalded.  It was most certainly in the drier, and most likely from J’s playing in the laundry and my total lack of observation.

On the bright side, boy, those sippy cups really retain fluids!

not the karate kid

October 22, 2010

There’s a whole lot of identity things going on with me – I’ll be the first to admit.  Korean, Asian American, woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter, and so on.  I’ll also extend the idea that perhaps this is a little bit of either my education or environment – being in the USA that has made me so hyper aware of things.

So, this whole exposition is to talk about this one small incident a couple of weeks ago.

A new friend – who is directly from Japan, whose English is okay but not great – was talking about what sort of activities she was going to do with her kid after school.  I told her about the karate school nearby (run by a white dude, but still, he’s like a high level black belt and it all seems legit).

She crinkled her forehead – like she didn’t understand what I was saying.

I paused here.  This is the abyss into which too much identity rushed in.  Because I thought if I did the over-accented “ka-rah-TEH” pronounciation that it would just embarrass the two of us – I didn’t want to be all “I get my Japanese from Kurosawa films and anime and martial arts films” weeaboo – my Americanized pronounication of ‘karate’ is sort mumbly anyway –  so I side-stepped the issue entirely and said, “you know, like juijitsu and taekwondo?”

She nodded and then said, “Oh! Ka-rah-TEH!”

Right.  It’s not like she (or anyone really) should give a shit about my reconciliation with my identity and my pronounciation of ‘foreign’ words.   Who the hell is looking and taking notes about my extremely over-careful way of not embarrassing somebody who doesn’t even know it’s an issue?  Ugh. Self-consciousness – what’re you doing to me?!

(I don’t even know why I’m worried.  I’ve had it on good authority the karate instructor’s Japanese is horrible.)

girl clothes

October 20, 2010

Baby girl clothes is such a different world than boy clothes.

The saleswomen (and it seems they are almost all women) are really excited to help with girl clothes.  One even said boy clothes were boring (shirt, pants, underwear, socks, period) whereas girl clothes would be a “whole new world” for me.  You’ve got shirts, pants, underwear, socks – then tights, tunics, leggings, leg warmers, cropped pants, dresses, swingtops, cardigans (you really can’t make me believe real little boys wear cardigans, especially ones with a single button at the neck), lots of different shoe styles, hair accessories, ruffle socks and on and on.

God.  It’s like I haven’t dressed myself in years or something.  But I don’t wear half of that stuff.  Ruffle socks are only for special occasions.  (I’m kidding.)

Anyway, it is disconcerting to have to figure out this explosion of (largely unneccesary, I feel) choice.  A lot of this stuff is uncomfortable – the fabrics often don’t give, or are oddly tight, or cinch in a way that seems extraneous.  Which  leads me to the next thing – the extremes of girlishness J’s clothes can extend – ruffles, frills, bows, ruching, embroidery, and all sorts of other clothing treatments I don’t have words for.  Then the fabrics – sateens, velvets, lace, things boys haven’t been dressed in since that “Little Boy Blue” painting.  I’m not even going to talk about color – pink – because while there are some options – pink – it’s mostly down to pink.  It’s almost like clothing manufacturers have decided that the public needs to know absolutely without a single doubt that you have a girl baby and just to make sure we’re going to make every clothing option hyper-feminine regardless of how impractical it is (i.e. open-toed shoes in winter here in the upper latitudes).

I think about what I’ve heard about other cultures – how baby clothes are largely interchangeable between the sexes,  being fairly plain, and designed for ease of movement and comfort.  It sounds ideal.  I don’t know if this is a financial thing or just a statement on how this culture (and their clothing manufacturers) needs to dress up their babies – and how wealthy it is to be able to do that. It certainly says something about me, I know.

I do like having some girly clothes for J but a lot of her clothes are Henry’s hand-me-downs.  It’s only practical – nobody cares if she is wearing blue pajamas – and they are perfectly good.  Although it is a little awful when I’m out with only her and she’s wearing a navy hoodie and black sweatpants and someone remarks on how beautiful my son is. (This actually happened.)  I don’t blame them, but I can’t correct them – it’s embarrassing for us both, so I slink away before I slip up and call her a “good girl.”

Of course, Henry, when he was a baby, wore the same clothes and was called a “pretty girl” so, maybe it isn’t all me.

EDITED to add: I imagine people who have girls and then boys are in a little more of a bind.  Because a boy seen to be wearing a lot of pink is more out there than a girl in navy, I’m guessing.  Thoughts?

13 forever!

October 12, 2010

I can’t believe I’m going to be writing real considerations about this band – Super Junior –  because I’m totally not a part of the fandom.  (I wrote about it here🙂  But there is are a couple of songs that are out there that I really like.  (I’d be foolish to tell you what they are – but just imagine the giggliest, dreamiest, angstiest 13-year-old girl you can imagine and what she would like – that’s probably a good barometer of my pop tastes – look, I’m already embarrassed enough telling you that – I know that isn’t cool or age appropriate.  I should be listening to adult contemporary or light jazz at this point in my life.)

Anyway, the thing that drew me back to this group was the fact that one of the members is named Henry.  (Yes!  Like MY Henry.  If you’ve decided to name your kid something like Henry or Walter or Orson, whenever you hear that name, it’s going to caused your head to snap.)  It turns out that there is a guest member of Super Junior -M (one of the splinter groups – they re-do their Korean language songs into Mandarin) named Henry Lau (who is Canadian!  But more on my unseemly interest with Canadians later).  Let it be made clear to all involved that Henry is a guest – he is not a true member.

The thing I find funny about the fandom here is not that they were mad about the splinter groups and where their fave member is (and geez, you’d need a chart to get it all straight) – but that the fandom was incensed at the number of members actually might increase!  13 members was just the right amount – there was no room for one more.  I mean, who can keep track of 14?!

They did the usual fan things – they protested, they petitioned, they sent emails and letters, they gathered at the record company head quarters, they rose up in the dozens!  Then, (this is the part that makes me love them because it is so wacky) – they pooled their money and bought shares in the company that manages Super Junior so they could have a say on the board!  (They own ~0.3% of the company as of my sources.)  How crazy, capitalist, and outright amazing is that?!

Those are Super Fans, right there.

(All sources are based on internet articles with little to none secondary sources because this story was just so good.)

garage sale

October 6, 2010

I’ve just realized I haven’t been to hardly a garage sale this summer.  I don’t know what happened.

I haven’t picked up a couple of key things – mostly kid stuff.  I like to buy toys, accessories, clothes.  I don’t think there’s any shame in it.  (I don’t know if I’d buy my own clothes at a garage sale, but that’s more about my odd, short size and peculiar clothing taste than it is about the offerings.)

My mother hates me buying kid clothes second-hand.  Anywhere.  She even dislikes getting clothes from people who aren’t direct blood relatives.  I think if she hasn’t somehow been involved in the clothes – whether it be picking it, washing it, or merely noting wear over a period of time, she doesn’t like the clothes.

She once asked me “if I wasn’t worried if the other kid had the black plague” or something like that – yes I exaggerate about my mother, but not a lot.  If you’ve met her, you know exactly what I mean.

But we’re talking about kids here!  How much bad karma is there possible for a kid under 5?  I’m taking my chances (after washing everything, of course – I’m not completely foolish).

comics 3 – Marvel-ous

October 1, 2010

Maybe it’s just me, but I care a lot less about art styles than I do/did the storyline.  Sorry guys.

The whole DC way of thinking seemed, I don’t know.  A different universe, really.  Superman wasn’t where it was at for me, even though I had read some of the older stuff in a little paperback.  It is funny, because as an adult, I like the DC stuff a bit more.  All the Alan Moore swamp thing/Neil Gaiman Sandman.  But then again, I read that stuff in the graphic novel – so no waiting between issues (which I HATE SO MUCH).

I was never interested in Archie – I don’t know why except maybe it seemed so goofy.  And about high school boys.  I was never much attracted to high school boy stuff.

I did like comics that were comedic – like the newspaper funnies.  But not Archie – I wonder if it was the art that put me off.

But as a kid, I was totally a Marvel girl.   Life was described my way, in the backdrop of the Marvel Universe. No other comic company had that pull on me.  I am still, reflexively, for no good reason beyond the historic, a Marvel girl.  I haven’t followed in nearly two decades, and know very little about any number of the characters from the time before and after my involvement, and yet, I am branded.

As a side note:  it was only recently that I realized Stan Lee could be read as “Stanley.”  Duh, me.  I also think of his voice from the intro to Spiderman and his Amazing friends when I think about his name.  Something like “Hey boys and girls, this is Stan Lee!”  Oh, nostalgia.