jhameia: ME! (Default)
Have stayed at completely different places in the last three days: Corral Creek Cabins was in the mountains right by Kern River, then Sequoia Riverfront Cabins was a weird place which WAS right by a river, not across the road from one, and its front desk was a general store about a mile away, and now in a beachfront resort in San Simeon. My brother has been driving us a lot. We've been radio-surfing a lot.

Tomorrow we'll head to Santa Cruz, and hit up Monterey on the way, and after a couple of nights in Santa Cruz, we'll go to San Francisco.

I'm really liking the beachfront place. The front office gave us two rooms, one with a view of the ocean downstairs, and one upstairs with a fireplace. And I snagged the downstairs immediately because I wanted to work at a desk with a view of the sea. It's not been working, of course, because I spent most of the evening texting with A instead of working. But hope spring eternal?? We don't have to check out until noon anyway.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
well.... commencement happened, I looked banging, I went #7 in line and stayed the rest of the THREE GODDAMN HOURS HOLY SCHNYKIES

Nalo was there to hood one of my friends, yay!

I hoped to get into the Eaton stacks to get pictures of myself in full regalia with my books in the stacks, but oh well. Some other time, maybe.

My parents are annoying but what else is new. But now they have heard from professors in my department how awesome I am, so yay.

We are going to Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Forest (I think) (some of part that range) and then to Santa Cruz and then to San Francisco.

I have worn makeup twice in three days and my face feels very tired >_>

Gonna bring my computer with me on the off chance that I can keep working on the diss while I'm on the road. Wishes and dreams and stuff.

Gotta decide if I wanna take the 10pm Bolt Bus or an 11pm Greyhound. I guess in the long run it doesn't matter? Gonna go with the cheaper option.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Apparently when I'm home and downstairs working, I cannot be left alone to my own devices because one parent or another is always talking to me if they happen to be home. I've been distracted by my dad so many times this morning I let loose a long, angry little "fuuuuuuccccckkkk." Which is par for the course! But Dad was all "gee... hard words." NO YA THINK?

It's especially annoying since I work best in the mornings atm, given how really hot the afternoons get and I'm just tired all the time after noon.

But I did get started on my dissertation stuff. Re-reading stuff in my proposal, and I realized there's a bunch of things I just cannot do while I'm here. So I might go back early August after all, so I can get to writing. For now, though, I'll just read all the articles I've downloaded and start synthesizing some ideas. Hopefully I'll have enough scribbles to really get started once I'm back in California, and will have exploded my proposal a bit more.

Some of the comments make me realize just how vastly far apart my writing style is from my adviser's... she's got "this is a convoluted sentence with ten ideas in it" and I go "well, yes, that's the point, because all told breaking them down is not for the proposal to do and anyway, I come from Twitterland where economy of words is important."

jhameia: ME! (Default)
Wow, I slept at 2am last night winding down from the party, and then woke up at 5am for whatever, and got out of bed at 7 because my brother was told to take me to Gasing Hill for a hike. We had to send the maids downtown first, but yeah. Then I showered, we went to eat, and then I headed straight to Jaya One for my meeting with my dad's friend. She wants to develop a kind of kids' camp that would give youth a space to express themselves as freely as possible, to give them their own platform and community with which to exchange ideas in a somewhat safe space. She's been doing little "unity" projects of encouraging little kids to say nice things about people from other races. I told her that I've studied critical race theory and critical multiculturalism, explained to her a bit of what that entailed, and she was very interested in knowing if it could be taught to teens. I told her I could run it seminar format, assign readings, come up with a syllabus. Three weeks, two seminars a week, two and a half hours each seminar, run as an intensive course, just to give then a start in talking about these issues. She asked me for a quote, I calculated real quick how much I get paid by the hour in the States and just gave her an estimate of what that might sound in ringgit.

Then I went to a nearby cafe to futz around and have some cheesecake on my own, and write maybe 30 more words on my prospectus which has been sadly neglected. I will have to really get back to it when I get to California. Kat came to get me, and then we drove to Taman Paramount's LRT to pick Zarrah up, and the three of us went to Hop Hop Cafe, which is a bunny cafe in my town! Then around 8pm I went to have dinner with my family and another family.

So yeah. Still socializing. I have to pack all day tomorrow BUT in the morning I'm meeting Nin Harris, of Delinquent's Spice!!! SO EXCITED.


Sep. 10th, 2014 09:09 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
OK, back from Penang! Yesterday we picked Ray up and drove bravely on. Took us about four and a half hours, and we made a stop at Ong Cheng Huat in Sungai Dua for lunch around 2.30. They deep-fry spring chickens there, you see, and it's delicious. It's also hard to find unless you know what you're looking for, because it's in a slip road and actually behind some residential houses in an industrial area.

We then went to find my Auntie Mimi in her nursing home. She's worse than the last time I visited; this time she practically did not recognize me. It's kind of sad situation; it's an understaffed institution and I feel everyone's sitting around waiting to die or something. There're no activities, nothing to give the residents any mental stimulation. My aunt is the kind of person who needs a lot of mental stimulation, and without it, her dementia has become a lot worse. She's also losing threads of memory that she never lost before, like who her brothers are, how many kids they had. She thought I was her sister (which I take to be a sign of how much weight I've gained) and forgot she had a niece, much less two. When I said goodbye, she practically waved me off, already tired of me questioning her, and I just had... this terrible terrible feeling inside. I tried to hug her but she was in no mood for it.


Anyway, we went to an aunt's house to stay. She's currently out of the country, attending her youngest daughter's graduation, but her mom was there, my Sook Poh as we call her. We hung out in the living room chatting with her the best we could: she speaks Cantonese and Penang Hokkien (and of course understands some English and Malay). Ray speaks a bit of Penang Hokkien, and Roy and I stumbled with Cantonese and English the best we could. It's the first time Ray's met her, too. We had dinner with Uncle Jimmy, wandered around for apung.

Sook Poh was shocked to hear we were only staying for one night. She'd given me a set of keys with an autogate controller with the full expectation that we were hanging out for much longer, sigh.

I didn't sleep well, had to pee, and then had a nightmare about yelling at my mom who had come to WisCon and was going around asking me intrusive questions about my friends, IN THE SAFER SPACE no less, after which it was a lot of being worried about something terrible happening (in the vein of her harassing my friends and triggering them in some way). Ray getting up for morning prayers got me out of the dream, thank goodness.

Roy had trouble getting out of bed, but we were on the road by around 8.30am. (Sook Poh looked so sad as we left. Sigh.) We hit up some food first , then went to Mount Erskine to find the columbarium where our grandparents' ashes are kept.

Roy and I found Grandpa and Grandma fairly easily, so Ray got her first ever look at our grandparents' ashes. They died before she was born (I have 9 years on her; she's the youngest of my generational cohort) and she'd never been (partly because her dad died when she was really young too, so her mom doesn't really know where the ashes are). What with the family trying to keep track of the family tree lately, I thought it'd be nice to make sure she got to see the place at least.

We had a lot of time, and our last stop, Ai Linn Boh's coffee shop, didn't open until noon, so we headed downtown to Armenian St and saw Hock Teik Cheng Sin temple (and the preparations for the Tua Peh Kong festival) (he's a local prosperity deity), the Khoo Kongsi (they have a very impressive family court that's practically a tiny town), the Nyonya beading shop I've been meaning to go to for years (40 years of beading, and he makes the shoes from scratch. It was super awesome; he showed us works in progress, past examples, some of his process. It was so terrific), and another nearby shop that the beading guy told us to go to because the lady there gives classes (she wasn't in, but her brother was and called her for us, and he has kids on the US side of the pond too). Grown-ups are so great.

We hung out in a hipster cafe for a bit, where I learned about the Depressed Cake Shop which is a festival program to raise awareness of mental illness. The Wifi at the hipster cafe was kind of shit, but Ti Kuan Yin tea is pretty nice. My brother had a lamb harissa which was pretty delish.

(Somewhere in the midst of this were exhortations from my dad to buy some fruits for my Auntie Mimi so Roy had taken off to buy some oranges.)

Around 11.30am, we headed out to Tanjung Tokong to find Ai Linn Boh. I called Uncle Jimmy to let him know that we were on the way, and also to ask which dialect she speaks (the night before, he offered to call her to let her know that we were coming). She runs, with her son and new daughter-in-law (I missed the wedding because I was in Singapore), a coffee shop, one of those affairs in a canteen area by a housing estate. They sell kaya toast and various beverages. They also make their own kaya, every morning. Just as we were settling in, Roy asked me which one she was, because the last time he saw her was years and years ago, and I was like, "she's the one on the phone, she must be, because she's now looking at us, quick, wave, I bet that's Uncle Jimmy on the phone."

So, that was cool! She was very pleased to see us too. We waved at our newly-married cousin. Uncle Jimmy came by. We got three servings of toast with butter and kaya (they now serve three types of bread so it was imperative that we tried one of each) AND two half-boiled eggs each. We were so wired on sugar for a while and I am still crashing.

There was also a box with a couple of horseshoe crabs flailing about in it which was both fascinating and freaky. Roy bought them for RM8 and we went to a nearby beach (I never knew that the coffee shop was literally 20 meters away from a beach) to set them free.

(Somewhere in the middle of this, we told Uncle Jimmy of the plan to stop by the nursing home once more to drop off the oranges Roy bought, and he sighed a long-suffering sigh, told us about the time he brought her fruits: "she wouldn't eat them AT ALL. And then she wouldn't let anyone take them away! So they basically rotted the whole time." So we changed our mind and headed straight home, super late.)

The way home was pretty uneventful; a couple of pit stops, a prayer stop. I fell asleep early on and my head was tilted back, so I pretty much snorted myself awake, which was kind of an awful sensation. (I put the back down and put my feet up and that helped a lot with the dozing.)

On the way down from Penang, there's a stop at Gunung Tempurung, which has a drain leading to a tiny river. In the drain, there tends to be a whole flock of butterflies. Not just ANY butterflies, though! These are Rajah Brooke's Birdwing Butterflies, which are about 2 - 3 inches wide with a glorious black and green wingspan (and red bodies) (they're a sexy butterfly). So, that was pretty cool. I'd glad I got to catch them; the day was kind of rainy.

We got to Shah Alam by around 8pm to drop Ray off, and Dad had cooked fried fish (pomfret, fuck yeah) so yeah, we got home in good time.

The oranges were delicious, my brother and I agree that they are sweet, but my parents think they are sour, and we have no idea what accounts for this.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Last night I had a birthday party--more specifically, an unbirthday party for people of my dad's generation. Also my brother wanted to test out his new grill... a "practice cookout" for my actual birthday party this Friday. It was fine; an aunt came, my mother's brother and his wife, couple of dad's friends. Also, my cousins on my dad's side! Terry, especially; he's the middle one who's always been a bit of a social misfit, but he's gotten so much better as he's grown, and he's doing REALLY cool things. It seems everytime I've come home and want to hang out, he's off in the jungle somewhere researching stuff (he's not ALWAYS in the jungle, he kept insisting). Right now he's looking to get into a PhD program at Universiti Malaya to research dung beetles (his area is entomology).

My brother's lamb and chicken were awesome (we're thinking of getting some fish in for Friday) (there's no beef because my mother has suddenly decided that now that we have a Guan Yin altar we shouldn't cook beef in the house anymore).

The cake that one of my dad's friends brought in was pretty amazing. We broke out a bottle of chardonnay, which was kind of dry, and a bottle of Vidal ice wine from Grand Pre, which went down well, as ice wine always does with people who aren't fans of dry wine.

In the afternoon prior, my mother insisted I accompany her to Subang Parade, for lunch and also so she could get her eyeliner embroidered on her face. She injured her hand so she can't draw her eyeliner properly, and she seems to be under the impression that eyeliner will detract from puffy crying eyes (it doesn't). I left her to it, went shopping on my own, came back an hour later, only to be told to come back in ANOTHER hour. When I returned, having had my eyebrows threaded (for a cool TEN RINGGIT), it was to find that she'd also paid for a facial and had paid for several more facial treatments and wanted me to get my face done as well.

I rather wish I'd inquired the details because as it turns out the facial at this place involved ELECTROCUTING THE ZITS and if I had known I would have booked it out of there as soon as I understood.

Today, most of the day was spent moving crap and sweeping my mom's new premises. The renovators are going to install a new plaster ceiling so we had to cover the furniture. My mother has a condo in the same building so we had to move stuff up (she's thinking of moving in there and I can't handle how slap dash the place looks).

Then my brother and I went to a cafe nearby, to hang out and try out their stuff, but didn't realize my mother expected us home for dinner. So we got home in good time, had dinner, then my brother was fading so he went home. I dragged my mother to Parkson to shop with me. This may seem counter-intuitive, seeing as my mother cannot help but harp on the fact that I'm fat as if it's a bad thing, and she's also a bit of a social embarrassment since she no longer knows how to keep track of sales assistants unless they speak Cantonese with her. She also has a different shopping style; she can't see a piece on its own and needs to buy whole outfits. But we do tend to have tastes that align, and I figure it cannot hurt to give her a couple of hours of bossing me around on something relatively neutral. She says she doesn't like shopping because it makes her tired, which, whatever, something doesn't need to energize you to make you happy.

Also, she bought way more stuff than I would have bought for myself and I also now have long skirts WITH POCKETS, four blouses, and, uh, two jackets.

I am also now an XL. Ten years ago I was an M. How time flies and changes a person!

On the way home, we overheard on Capital FM (a women-centric radio station) what sounded like the start of a discussion on cultural appropriation, with ALL THE FAIL that one might hear from it. Some woman was all like "I don't think it's offensive because the Native Indians are all wiped out anyway" and the DJ was like "well I like tribal designs, what do you think, listeners? SHARE YOUR OPINIONS" and I was like HELL NO and switched the channel because I cannot deal with that kind of ish when I'm tired.

I may have then ranted about it on Twitter. I also mentioned them so maybe they'll see it.

Tomorrow I head up to Penang with Ray and Roy (hahahahahaha). We've got to visit Auntie Mimi. Ray's never been to see our grandparents' ashes either. So, that will be special! It's also my first road trip with my brother without the parents, so this should be interesting. We're only going for one night, and coming back down Wednesday because Ray has to get her new (secondhand) car.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I had dinner last night with cousins from my dad's side, who we don't often see. Growing up, they were just as far away from us as cousins from my mom's side, but we saw them less often. Which bugs me. I asked my dad once, why don't we have meals with them more often? He said, "well, it's kind of hard to eat with them, since they're Muslim." Which made no sense to me, because we live in a Muslim country, and you actually have to look for the NON-halal restaurants.

Anyway, it was a great dinner. My cousin graduated from an interior design diploma a few months ago, and then finished her piano exams, and thus now qualifies as a teacher, so that's what she's been doing. She's also twenty-one, and tiny. I mean, like, 4' 8" or something. Cute as a button.

I saw her again today; her friend got her to her job interview this morning (she got hired, obvsly), then they swung by to get me out to Shah Alam. My family doesn't go out there too often; it's an unspoken thing that Shah Alam is predominantly Malay, so it kind of makes a lot of middle-class Chinese people uncomfortable.

Anyway, my aunt, cousin, cousin's friend and I went out for a Nyonya lunch (fried siakap and inchi-kabin, nom), then we went fabric shopping. It turns out my aunt and cousin also sew! I got to try out their Very Old Sewing Machine, even. It's so old it's not even electric. Takes a bit of doing though; you gotta get it going first before you start pedaling. It's fascinating.

We went to Jakel, which is a five-storey fabric store. I mostly wanted to get some stuff for a dress for my friend's wedding in December. I got a nice mint-y green thing, with a matching darker green songket material. Merdeka sale day means bopping an RM33/m price down to RM25/m. I also got myself some lycra material, and even lycra lace! Yay! That stuff should be able to make some ten pairs of underwear XD

We meant to go to Nagoya, but they had to go home to pray first (my uncle converted to Islam when in Saudi Arabia, so his family is Muslim with varying levels of piousness), and we rested instead. I showed Ray (my cousin) pictures of our aunt-cousin in Portland, who also sews, and explained bra mechanics to her (Ray, being so small, will probably had to start making her own stuff).

So, yeah, a good day. I'm hoping to get up to Penang sometime, and take Ray along, because she's never been to the columbrium where our grandparents' ashes are held.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
So, my brother and I were out of the house for practically the whole day today. Cut for potential boringness )


Jan. 9th, 2011 01:56 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
My brother sent me and my dad Amy Chua's racist screed on how her abusive parenting skills are better and inherently Chinese, because he'd "never thought about it that way before" and I had to remind them both that it's racist, Orientalist, and abusive on several levels, plus it's a fucked up, terrible interpretation of Chinese ancestor worship. My dad emailed back laughing and said apparently my mom thinks she had a hand at all in my getting cum laude in my BA.

cut for personal angry stuff )

jhameia: ME! (Default)
All righty folks! I'm off to Singapore for the rest of the week. My itinerary:

7.45am - Bus to Singapore
6pm - Shoot with Alvin

Thursday: 4pm meet with James, 6pm shoot with James AND Geoff, on the happy-couple shoot I was talking about a while back.

Friday: Possible shoot in the morning, hanging with [livejournal.com profile] jolantru in the evening, assuming all goes well.

I'll be staying with my beh-de (Hainanese: uncle) in Tanjong Katong area this time, because my cousin in Bishan has a ton of things on. He's like, a million years old, and can actually speak Hainanese, so... I might ask him to teach me stuff. He and my dad both went to Hainan Island several years back, so, and he's lived through WWII, so. Yeah, I don't know where this is going. I'm going to bed now.
jhameia: ME! (Totes Me!)
So like, my mom is totally greedy.

Jha says:
my mom is GREEDY
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
What happened now^
Jha says:
i asked my dad this afternoon to buy me a packet of prawn crackers
let me explain to you why this is important
these prawn crackers are EPIC
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
And you probably haven't been able to get them here, right?
Jha says:
like, one cracker can be AS BIG AS MY HAND
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Jha says:
so my dad very nicely got me one
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
(Okay, is it just me, or did FWD get hacked or something? *stares confusedly at random weird page appearing*)
Jha says:
and he bought mango for my mum
which is, you know, awesome and all
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Jha says:
so i went out for dinner with a friend
had a great time!
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Jha says:
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Jha says:
yeah, we went to the bookstore
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Jha says:
at the local mall
which is a piddly mall
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Jha says:
and thus, has a piddly bookstore
yeah, awesome fun was had
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
(Srsly, though, go to FWD and look at it. :/ )
Jha says:
but i decided to cut it short because i felt really bad about having doorkeys
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Why was having doorkeys bad?
Jha says:
oh dear
they;ve definitely been hacked
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Jha says:
because, well, the maids dont have their own
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Jha says:
normall i put these keys out in the shoe cabinet so they always have access
but this time i forgot
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Ah, gotcha.
Jha says:
so i came home early to make sure my mum and the maids werent locked out
went upstairs, found her
dad called
and he's like
did mum find the mango? he asks
and i say, yes, she did! because i could see the bowl on the table with the mango
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Jha says:
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Jha says:
..... and then they both laughed
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
That's so not cool.
Jha says:
it;s not lkike
a serious serious i am sad and upset and depressed
it's actuially really funny
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Also still unfair. XD
Jha says:
like =DD: sort of way
Caitlin - has an awesome place for next year! <3 says:
Jha says:
so yeah
that's my exciting story of the evening

I went back out and got two more packets of prawn crackers. The lady at the cashier recognized me. "You finished already?" and I said MY MUM ATE IT BEFORE I GOT TO IT. And she laughed.

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