Sunday, November 30, 2008

XV: Fascination

I've been feeling very A.D.D. lately. With everything that's been going on - trying to get coursework done, trying to find internships for next semester, planning for the holidays, maintaining a social life, finding time to read and play guitar for pleasure AND attempting to document it all (for my sake as well as whoever is interested) - has left me confused and flustered most of the time. And I'm betting that when I'm done writing this entry, it'll be quite a jumbled mess of information... just take it as an implicit reflection of the current state of my life.

Anyway, I was riding home on the Picadilly line last night (I barely caught the last train home just after midnight) and I was fascinated by this strange man sitting across from me who was counting through a giant wad of cash. What the hell was he possibly thinking? He was just sitting there, flipping through who knows how much money, with a stupid smirk on his face, looking up way too often to wink at me. Gross! What did he think, that his money would impress me and I would jump up from my seat to smother him with kisses? If anything, it just disgusted me and made me ponder all the CRAZY people I see day-in and day-out in this nutty city.

When you don't have a car and are forced to use public transportation, you become witness to all the nutters in the world... people like the cash cow, or the ones who constantly mutter incoherent words to themselves, or the ones who stare at you incessantly as if you couldn't see them, or the mothers who curse at or smack their little children right in front of everyone.

Or people like this one who do full-blown interpretive dance routines right on the platform :

Oh wait, just kidding, that's my friend Ashley... she's only crazy some of the time.

My favorite of all these are the Italian men (no offense James... they just always happen to be Italian) who always travel in groups of 3 or more and will sit right next to me or directly in front of me and say things like "che bella" with a really perverted look in their eyes. Then they'll lick their lips and talk to me in Italian, laugh with their friends after I take out my iPod to drown out their comments, then talk louder to interrupt my music and continue to stare and smile and talk at me until they reach their stop. Lucky for me, I live a bit further away from most people and never have to worry about any of them following me home.

I don't get it. Some people just have no tact... and the ones with mental problems, why are they allowed to leave their homes? I know they're not homeless because they're always dressed relatively nice, carry cell phones, and obviously have the money to ride the tube. You'd find a homeless person sitting in front of the stations begging for money before you'd see them anywhere past the turnstiles.

The worst part is, they always look and seem like normal people until the train starts moving and then it's like a full moon just rose. At least in Simi, we already know who the crazies are (Frankenstein, the hot water guy on his bike, that freak with Teret's who assaulted Becky, the parrot man and let's not forget EVIE) and we can just avoid them when we see them.

But here, no, they're much more sneaky. Maybe I'm just an asshole, but I won't pretend that I'm the most accepting or accommodating person in the world, because obviously I'm not... whatever, the truth's gotta' come out some time. Thank God I've got friends here who feel my pain... and we can talk about it to each other to maintain normalcy.

Speaking of friends (I guess I can change the subject now that I've got that rant out of my system)... Many of my friends here are American, and so we were all in the same lonely sort of mood this week with Thanksgiving and all. Most of us had class all day on Thursday, so we planned to celebrate it on Saturday. (Hence me having to catch the last train home last night.)

Given that we're in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, it was a real interesting challenge to find all the necessary ingredients to make a proper Thanksgiving dinner - but I'm happy to report that our feast was still a success, even without the canned cranberry sauce and mashed potato flakes.

Our German friend Fabian even joined in and offered some homemade German cookies... (notice Chris' homemade Pumpkin Pie and yeah, store-bought chocolate cheesecake, but delicious anyway):

You know how you can buy those boxes of stuffing mix from the store and just add in whatever ingredients? Well, they don't have that here. So I had to make the stuffing from scratch. And I'm so proud, because I totally did it and it turned out super yum. (And sorry friends for not being able to host Stuffgiving this year... I promise it'll be even more fantastic in 2009 because now I'm a stuffing pro AS WELL as the turkey queen. (Wow, that sounded really conceited... sorry).

All I need is some white bread, apples, a lot of sage and a little bit of love... oh! and I might have to import this incredible Waitrose sausage:

Hooray for having leftovers to eat for dinner tonight. I love Thanksgiving.

Which then leads me into another train of thought... it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The high street markets are in full-swing here - lights, inflated snowmen, happy Brits who have upgraded their demeanor to only "semi-grumpy" instead of 110% grumpy. But of course, this makes me a little sad because I won't get to see family (especially Francis). It's really weird, after being so used to spending holidays with my ginormous and wonderful family, to having to get through it alone.

But luckily, Kim is flying down from Edinburgh and we're finally (literally, not metaphorically) going to cut the Dutch cheese and make our very own 2-person feast. I think everyone in my house is going home for Christmas... and all the rest of my friends are going home as well. I told them to send my love to the states and to bring me back some hot cheetos.

Then on the 28th of December, Shawn and James are flying in for New Year's - and we'll be celebrating Hogmanay in Scotland, going on a Beatles pilgrimage to Liverpool on New Year's Day, paying homage to Oasis in Manchester and then back to London, where I can attempt to show them around town for a week or two.

And to equip us for all the wonderful friendtime goodness, I've started working on a new mapping project. I just learned that you can build your own personalized maps on google and share them with whoever you want. So, I've started compiling some of my favorite London spots so anybody anywhere can see where I like to go: My Lovely London

View Larger Map

Isn't it cool?? Besides all the other places I've been documenting on this blog, you can now follow me around London from the convenience of your own home. Now you don't only have to rely on my photographs of places like:

Millenium Bridge:

The inside of Tate Modern:

But you can also be geographically correct while doing it. Ah technology, how I love and fear thee.

Okay, so I hope it wasn't too difficult to follow this lame-ish, tangent-filled, random train-of-thought, digital excuse for a thing I like to call my blog. And if you've made it this far I congratulate you and offer you a musical reward...

I've been a little obsessed with this Danish pop band called Alphabeat (they are HUGE here), so I've embedded a video. They're very indie-pop and by the looks of this video, maybe too influenced by the 80's, random cinematic dance-sequences and nerd-rock, but man oh man, do I love them. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Queen of the Universe

I'm really distracted. I have a ton of work to do. I have to plan a trip. But I can't wrap my head around anything except for my guitar today. So instead of doing anything realistically productive, I decided to take a narcissistic departure from my studies and feed my own ego:

I've also just been granted the power by my landlord to kick out anybody in the house who annoys me... especially the guys.
"You americken girl... are very good girl. If anbody give you trubble, you tell me and I giv them 2 week notice and they hev to leave!"
This has consequently caused Chris and Simon to call me "my queen" and I can now order them to get me tea whenever I please. Though I won't do that because I like them... ahhh, my loyal subjects.

I am the queen of the universe.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

XIV: Only in Dreams

Everytime I experience a new piece of art that I enjoy, I can't help but get the feeling that I've been missing out on this secret world of creativity for the last 27 years. This past week has been full of incredible artistic experiences... I have to keep figuratively pinching myself, just to make sure I won't wake up from what feels like a continuous lucid dream of epic proportions.

This is me declaring that I am officially in love with art. I am also in love with dreaming. So when I met Luke Jerram at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) today, it was almost impossible to NOT fall in love with him too.

This artist, who also happened to propose to his (now) wife with the first-ever phonographic engagement ring, is the best thing to happen to sleeping and dreaming since the invention of the goose-down pillow. Some artists use oil on canvas; others use pencil on paper, light on film, or spray paint on cardboard boxes.

But Luke Jerram doesn't. He creates mental pictures on the spaces of our dreams. This is the Dream Director (I borrowed this photo from his website):

Participants of this art installation are invited to sleep over, inside the gallery, while an electronic eye mask monitors periods of rapid eye movement. When the computer senses that a person is in REM sleep, various sounds (like rushing water or chirping birds) plays through speakers in the sleep pod, consequently manipulating the dreams of the person sleeping. And apparently, it works!

Unfortunately, I didn't get to try it myself because the waiting list for this installation is super long... but I did get to review some of the data collected after last night's session. Everyone who's tried it has had remarkable dreaming results and really, I just find the whole concept for the work incredible. Think about it, you can see a piece of artwork while you're sleeping... that's just too cool. As for the artist's goal in his works: screw traditional paintings, it's all about exploring alternative realms of "perceptual locations." Brilliant.

Speaking of non-traditional artistic spaces, I also got to visit 2 installations by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (that artist I was really excited about a couple entries ago...)

On Monday afternoon, I saw his "Frequency and Volume" installation at the Barbican Curve gallery. He utilizes flood lights to cast shadows against the wall as you walk past. Then, depending on the size, shape and movement of your shadow, a computer uses its measurement to tune-into various radio stations. As you move around, the volume of the radio also changes.

The second one, "Under Scan" took place in Trafalgar Square... again utilizing flood lights and shadows. In this installation, a video image of another person pops up within your shadow and starts waving to you or doing other weird things. If you walk away from it, your "shadow person" goes to sleep. But if you continue to pay attention to it, it will continue to interact with you.

I've had so much fun with Lozano-Hemmer's works that I'm actually doing a theoretical & critical presentation on him for one of my classes. This whole "new media" thing is just amazing when you look at it in an artistic context. I wish you all could see this stuff... but both installations will have moved on by the time some of you come out to visit.

As for other things I've done this week:

I saw the Annie Leibovitz exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery... which was obviously great. I got to see the original prints for the photos she did of Queen Elizabeth and a whole bunch of her celebrity portraits for Vanity Fair, including this one:

This past weekend, I went to Brighton to see another exhibit... but my friends and I decided to make a day out of it since it IS England's favorite beach town. Oddly enough, it reminded me a lot of San Francisco and Santa Monica put together - lots of hilly neighborhoods squashed into just a few square miles, complete with pier and carnival rides.

Last, but certainly not least, I saw Death Cab For Cutie at the Carling Academy Brixton. As expected, it was a perfect show... especially when they ended with a 4-song encore of my would-be requests: What Sarah Said, Title and Registration, The Sound of Settling, and Transatlantacism. Brilliant again.

So as you can see, it's been a pretty busy week for me. It's weird because all these things I'm doing are relevant to my education... it just so happens that I'm thoroughly enjoying it all. Basically, I'm getting a master's degree for experiencing a whole bunch of fun stuff. I think I really lucked out in choosing this major... who knows, I might even come out of this wanting to become a curator. I just hope it isn't all a dream...

Friday, November 14, 2008

XIII: Life in Technicolor

How am I not myself?

Imagine a world where you can look any way you want to. You can change everything... from the shape of your fingers to the space between your eyes - all without spending thousands of dollars on plastic surgery. You can fly, you can teleport, you can visit any place in the world - and you can even create a piece of space on your own. You can never get physically hurt, you can meet as many people in a day as you wish, or not interact with anybody at all. And the best part about it? When you get sick of life itself, you can just turn it all off... without having to actually commit suicide.

Meet Daphne. She is me. I am her. But because of her, I got to visit Venice Beach earlier without ever having to leave my bedroom in London... and I even took a picture:

No, I haven't suddenly become a gamer. This isn't The Sims, though it might look like it. Daphne is me in my second life. Unfortunately, Daphne is still homeless and rather lonely, but I hope to find her a home and some friends quite soon. Right now, she's probably going to spend the night on a beachmat in Venice.

Okay... I swear I'm not crazy. Let me explain.

Second Life is a network-based virtual world that anybody can become a member of. Some people will call it a game, but in the academic world, that's becoming highly debatable. In my opinion, it's a very sophisticated networking site that, because of how it is structured, can easily replace the "real" lives of the people who use it.

It goes WAY beyond The Sims, in that it has its own working economy (with a fluctuating exchange rate), allows for the purchase (with real money) of land and other property (including brand-name goods). It has museums, theme parks, churches and LAWS. It's like real life... except it's not. Or is it?

Either way, I think my discovery of Second Life (which was made possible by one of my professors), has sparked a serious consideration for it as a dissertation topic. Here are a few of my observations of it thus far:

1. Everyone in Second Life is YOUNG. But I doubt that the real people at their computers are ALL 20-somethings... which then raises an interesting question about the value our culture places on youth.

2. People on Second Life start REAL relationships. Take this couple, for example, who according to BBC, got married after meeting on Second life (but not until after the man was divorced by his REAL wife for cheating on her in the cyber world).

These two are obviously not what you would consider "beauties," which is another interesting element in itself.

3. You can't just walk around naked and NOT get in trouble. But you do have the free will to do so... which is not something you'd find in a regular game. Daphne walked into this clothing store earlier and found this sign (she would have gotten banned for disobeying it):

4. Real companies like NIKE have extended their product line to sell goods in Second Life. These particular shoes were being sold at the SL Nike Store for $299 Linden dollars (no, you do not get a REAL pair sent to you AND yes, you do have to exchange your real money for Linden dollars):

Daphne's broke so she didn't get to purchase a pair. In fact, she hasn't purchased anything, particularly because I REFUSE to waste my real money buying pixels for my doppelganger to wear in her world.

Okay, so that's just a few observations...

When I first joined this thing, I was greeted in the welcome plaza by a girl dressed like a fairy named "Talatha." She was nice enough to give me some clothes - instead of the lame default ones that came with my avatar when I chose her. Talatha then showed me around a few places and told me to visit some of her favorite spots - like Prim Hearts theme park. I also went to a Buddhist temple where I had to "wash my hands" and "take off my shoes" before going inside.

It reminds me of how, in real life, Helen has taken me to some of her favorite spots in London... but in the virtual world, this is just insane.

So this is what I'm proposing: it's not a nerd-fest project because personally, I think Second Life is freakishly scary and that it has the potential of being REALLY detrimental to society.

However, I respect that it's created a place for people to come together in a new way. I've even heard of a professor at Columbia University holding his "media studies" classes in Second Life.

I think it's an incredible indicator of culture within the context of new media, especially in the increasing phenomenon of globalization. And it would be extremely interesting to look at it in terms of how we represent ourselves online - to go as far as comparing it with facebook and myspace. Those of us who have made the decision to participate in online networking are forced to develop a new kind of identity... But what EXACTLY is Second Life doing? Maybe re-defining the meaning of life in technicolor?

What do you guys think?

EDIT 10:19 p.m. 11/26/08

I just had to add this clip. (Thanks for finding it, Ari!)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Way To Die

I don't think further description is necessary...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

XII: This Fire

This fire, is outta' control! We're gonna' burn this city, burn this city!!!

While I was home sick this past week, I was a little bummed to miss out on the first round of celebration for the UK's Bonfire Night. For those of you who have seen the movie V for Vendetta, this British holiday might ring a bell... but if you've never heard of it, here's a bit of a history lesson:

In 1605, under the rule of King James I, a group of 13 English Catholics (who felt they were being persecuted) conspired to overthrow the monarchy and blow up London's Houses of Parliament in an act of murderous terrorism. So, the extremist Catholics got a hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder and stored them in a cellar within the Parliament building... waiting to blow it all up.

However, a few of the terrorists had attacks of conscience and one of them, according to legend, sent a letter to a friend urging him to stay away from Parliament during the early morning hours of Nov. 5. Supposedly, the letter was intercepted by the king, and when his authorities raided the building, they found GUY FAWKES (one of the terrorists) in the cellar with all the gunpowder. He was caught, tortured and executed. On Nov. 5, 1605, the Brits lit bonfires across the country to celebrate the safety of their king.

Since then, the UK has been commemorating Nov. 5th with parades, fireworks displays and declarations of patriotism & love for their monarch.

I know... why should I care about any of this? Well to be honest, I just wanted to see fireworks, because I heard it was quite the spectacle... and plus, what's the point of living in another country if you completely ignore their traditions? I've already adopted boots, skinny jeans and excessive consumption of tea - why stop now?

But like I said, I was home sick on Nov. 5th so I resorted to sitting at my window to listen and catch a glimpse of some of the fireworks, which were being illegally lit by people around the neighborhood. It was very anti-climactic. Aw.

LUCKILY, the following day, I received an invitation from one of my friends to attend the "Lord Mayor's Fireworks Spectacular" on Saturday night. I guess this was the better thing to see anyway, because it was a display on the River Thames near Westminster.

By the time Saturday rolled around, I had pretty much gotten over being sick - so a group of us got together to see the show. Hooray!

As you can probably tell from the picture, it really didn't look like much of a show - but that's only because we ended up standing on the wrong bridge. The fireworks started at 5 p.m. (an indication of how ridiculously early it gets dark here now that it's winter time) and we had a rather hilarious adventure trying to find exactly where we were supposed to be.

First, we got off at the wrong tube station. Then, there was some miscommunication with one of our other friends - and we had to meet her somewhere else... about 15 minutes walk from our original meeting place. Then we had to take a bus to somewhere else, all the while searching for a crowd that would show us the way. But all of this to no avail, because we still didn't make it to where we were supposed to be. In the end, we were standing at some random bridge, unable to hear anything, and limited to watching fireworks from behind a bunch of buildings. Oh well. At least we tried.

By the time we made it to the right bridge, the show was completely over... so we finished off the night with some coffee, then sushi (yeay!), and because it was still ridiculously early, we went to Leicester Square to see the new Bond movie. But it was sold out. Again...

Did I mention that this is probably how I ended up losing my cell phone and camera in the first place (more on this in my last entry)? Each time I tried to see the Bond movie it was sold out, so in the course of 2 weekends, I've now seen Burn After Reading, Eagle Eye, and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. Oh well again.

The good news is, I'm feeling much better since writing my last entry. I've gotten my new phone, I'm no longer sick, and obviously, I've replaced my camera as well.

I was quite happy to see the exact same Panasonic Lumix on sale at Jessops in Islington... except I got it in black this time - in memory of the original silver one. Cheesy, I know. But I'm happy about it, so there.

And to celebrate my "rebirth," if you will, I spent all day Friday catching up with some gallery visits.

First, I went to see Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's solo exhibit at the Haunch of Venison Gallery in Soho. The artist loves interactivity... and the "finale" to this exhibit was this thing called "The Pulse Tank." It uses your pulse to create ripples in the water... and then the whole thing is illuminated so it creates light patterns on the ceiling and on the floor. It was really weird to activate something simply by touching it, but really cool at the same time. Expect to hear more from me on this artist - because I like him a lot and he's doing this giant-scale installation in Trafalgar Square in a couple weeks. I'm really excited for it...

Then, on my way to the tube station, I found this random cafe hidden down some stairs in a semi-quiet alley:

Victory Cafe! How fitting for my newly acquired sense of victory.. for bouncing back so nicely from those few days of hell earlier this week. I stepped in for a cup of tea, and was pleasantly surprised by the service (I'm convinced that most Londoners don't like being nice). The place is also connected to this large, underground antique mini-mall. It was like walking into a time capsule.

After my tea, I went to the Andy Warhol exhibit at The Hayward. (I know what you're thinking Roxy- and let me assure you, I only hoped to give the guy a second chance by seeing his work in a gallery setting.)

But besides the success of representing the scope of the work he did, the exhibition really just ended up being EXACTLY the way I expected - a high-ticket, over-exaggerated, kitsch and chaotic spectacle that was full of a whole lot of nothing.

All-in-all, it was too much to handle... down to the pink and yellow cow wallpaper, the Edie Sedgwick movies where she's not doing ANYTHING interesting, the sound "pods" playing old audio of Warhol and Capote bickering about something you can't really make out, and the "silver clouds" that were really nothing more than mylar balloons bouncing around in a small room.

Meh. I've made my decision that Andy Warhol is just one of those artists that I love to hate. But if anything, I'm still glad I saw it - if for nothing more than confirming the opinion of how much of a douche he was.

So that's it... life is good again. It's getting much colder, windier and rainier outside but at least, (thanks to all the time I spent at home this week) I now have a goofy poster of Shia LaBeouf on my wall (thanks Becky), I have calendars on my wall keeping me on track for finishing my 14,000 words worth of essays before Christmas break and most importantly - I'm not letting a few shitty circumstances keep me down. I guess I'm back to being the optimist. Take that, London! (p.s. I love you still... oh how I burn for you)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

XI: No Sunlight

Some people eat ice cream when they're in need of comfort food. Others eat mac 'n cheese, or chicken soup, or chocolate... or a bunch of other common delicacies when they've had a bad day.

But I eat Sinigang. Because I love Filipino food and because it makes me feel better. And God knows, after the last few days... I definitely need it. So as I type, I'm sitting at the kitchen table waiting for the ingredients to boil through - just a few more minutes until I add the Tamarind Mix that my mom sent me last week... the sour powder that makes Sinigang, well, Sinigang.

And on the television (because I unfortunately insist on saturating myself with media at all times of the day) is the news, reporting the latest information on the U.S. presidential election. The polls say Obama is slightly ahead. In just a few hours we'll know who the 44th president of the United States will be... CRAZY.

I stole this from Josh:

I've been waiting for this day since I arrived in London... and by that I mean the day(s) when everything seems to go wrong and causes me to finally hit a serious emotional low. It's just a coincidence that it's the same day as the election. So before the world as we know it changes for good, I figure it's also my last chance to be completely selfish and whine about the series of unfortunate events that I've had to deal with in the last 48 or so hours. (Though I can't promise that I'll stop being selfish about my blogs... because obviously, that would completely defeat the purpose of keeping one.)

Anyway, before I continue let me mention that there will be no pictures taken by me in this post... because... I'll get to that.

Kim came to visit from Edinburgh this weekend (she was my absolute saving grace 'cuz I probably would've had a debilitating freak-out Sunday night if I was left alone). She arrived Friday morning at 6:45 a.m., where I met her at Victoria Coach Station. It was the ROFL-fest weekend that we had been waiting for all month and it started out great. After getting back to my house, catching up a little bit and having some breakfast, we hit the town.

We began by hitting up Primark (the provider of the cheapest of European clothing and fabric-based household items like towels and bathrobes), where we both reached an important fashion milestone - the adoption of skinny jeans. Because here, you just don't wear boots unless you're wearing a skirt or skinny jeans. I vowed once never to wear skinny jeans because I thought they were ugly. I lived in California then. But after purchasing a couple pairs for £8 each on Friday, I was forever changed. Never say never... ever.

After a couple hours at Primark, and when our lack of sleep began to catch up with us, we went home for a few hours to relax. Then we went out later that evening and met up with a couple of my London friends for a mini-Halloween celebration: dinner at Cantaloupe and drinks at Corbet Place on Brick Lane.

On Saturday it rained... and rained... and rained... A LOT. We made use of this day by going to The British Museum, stopping at Platform 9 and 3/4 at King's Cross Station, and then to the movies to see Burn After Reading. Somewhere along the way, in my rainy-day fluster, I lost my umbrella. I got rained on, but at least we had Mexican food for dinner. Yum.

Sunday was a much nicer day - no rain. So we did the tourist thing and went to the Tower of London - which was amazingly cool. I only wish I had pictures...

This is where things start to get lame. We met up with London friends again for dinner and another movie - Eagle Eye. Oh, Shia, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. But on the way home in the tube, I check in my pockets and realize that I've lost my cell phone... the BRAND NEW one that I just got on Thursday with a contract that gives me unlimited international calling and free skype. Ouch. I had just used it in the movie theater, soooo, I figured that it probably fell out of my pocket or my purse while watching the movie. I figured I could just go back the next morning to reclaim it.

So, in case you're not keeping track... I've so far lost my umbrella and my cell phone. (Did I also ever mention that some jerk in Worcestershire got a hold of my debit card number a few weeks ago and charged more than $400 to my account? But that's another story.)

Then, at home, I was sitting at my computer when I made a semi-joking comment to Kim. "I better upload my pictures from (The Tower of London) before I lose my camera too." And when I checked my purse for my camera... my beautiful Panasonic Lumix that made me so happy because it took the BEST pictures a point-and-shoot could ever take... it was nowhere to be found. Seriously? It made no sense. Because I've been super super super super careful with my things. And like my cell phone, I had just used it that day.

Luckily... Kim was there to keep me calm - and so sweetly said she'd accompany me the next day (Monday) to retrace our steps and find my stuff. Unfortunately, after hours of retracing our steps Monday, making a bunch of phone calls and pleading to the theater people... I still came back empty handed. The good news is, I'm getting a replacement phone sent to me tomorrow (even though it's costing me a little bit.) The pictures and camera however, gone forever.

So yeah, to recount, I've lost an umbrella, a new cell phone and a digital camera all in the course of 48 hours. And to make matters worse, after Kim went back to Edinbugh last night, my body decided to partially shut down and contract a slight fever and cold... probably because I got rained on.

It's all very sad business indeed. Which leads me to today. I've lost a whole bunch of beloved material things and while those can be replaced - I'm still very sad about losing photographs that were never uploaded. It also just made me mad at myself because apparently, I wasn't careful enough. I can't stand situations that could have been avoided... especially since I've been extra careful about my belongings since I've moved here. (Not having a car really makes you more aware of your habits...)

Besides that, it made me feel defeated for the first time while being here. I know that sounds shallow, but I can't help how I feel. It sort of started a chain reaction... losing things + having to say goodbye to Kim + getting sick + REALLY REALLY missing Fran because I couldn't be with him for Halloween + missing the rest of my family + missing friends back home = a very melancholy me. I started to crack. So I stayed home from school today.

It's been a rough day. I could use a hug, and a cigarette, and a funny conversation with my brothers on the porch. It's been a little difficult to exhale today.

Good thing for Sinigang.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I will not get angry.

Things that drive me crazy:
-spending long hours on the phone due to delays in financial aid processing
-being a victim of credit-card fraud in another country
-losing my umbrella on a super rainy day
-losing my 3-day new cell phone w/unlimited international calling
-losing my camera

I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I will not get angry. I WILL NOT GET ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Easier said than done,