Deadpan Poet

she looked up at me and the entire world fell around her yellow deadpan face to the floor. she saw me, and i thought that just for a half of a second, she was smiling.

just because it is a new york times best-selling novel doesn’t mean that it’s good May 14, 2009

I’ve read a lot of books. That doesn’t mean that I’ve covered everything on the AP list, but I suppose I have time. Obviously, as all readers, I have encountered some wonderful books –the kind that you obsess over and have to read at least twenty times before even thinking about loaning it out, and I have also come across some terrible ones –usually the ones that I was assigned in  high school or some of the assigned readings even in college. That doesn’t mean that everything I read on my own time is spectacular either.

For instance, I was probably one of the last people to read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. What mainly attracted me to it was its cover –incredibly simple and somehow enticing at the same time. (I just finished reading Paradise Lost, so I feel like apples are everywhere.) At first, I really liked it. I was impressed by her story-telling, though I’m not sure I would place her style on the same pedestal as JK Rowling (because despite whether or not you like the Harry Potter books, the woman has done something incredible; I envy her big imaginative brain). I was interested in the idea and some of the characters and I looked forward to see how it would play out. But then I continued to read the other books and that’s when I came to the conclusion that while most people get stuck in the fanatic obsession with the series, I didn’t.

WHY? One word: BELLA.

She is the worst role model that a writer could release into our pathetic society. She’s selfish. She’d run over all of her family and friends just to be with Edward. She obviously has no qualms with emptying the money she had saved for college in order to cope with Edward’s absence. And last but not least, even though she is the narrator, she is far from a heroine and she lacks personality. Aside from the fact that she is in love with a vampire, there’s not really anything interesting about her. She is the typical Caucasian female. And the fact that in the fourth book, when she becomes a vampire, she admires her beauty –that’s just vain. How vain. What are we teaching girls? And not just middle school and high school girls; I’ve seen the book everywhere on my college campus. Life is not a fairytale. People die. You make sacrifices. You lose people. You can’t have your cake and eat it too –which is what the books promises. And yet it is a best-selling book.

What about the other best-sellers? Nicholas Sparks? John Grisham? Dean Koontz? While they have some good books out there, does that mean that if they give birth to a new one, it’s automatically brilliant? What if authors had to start from scratch (with their popularity and the trust of the readers) with each book? Imagine how that would turn out.

One of the best books I’ve read is one that I stumbled upon one night in the bookstore. I was drawn to it because of its cover (once again).

asas

As Simple As Snow by Gregory Galloway remains one of my favorite books to read whether I want a break from Shakespeare, Milton, or Dickens or simply read something enjoyable. I’ve read it several times and still don’t have everything figured out. If you want to chew on something, chew on that. It’s a fascinating piece of work. But back to my original thought, I have yet to see it as a best-seller, but I don’t mind arguing that it’s better than some of the books on that list. Therefore, just because it’s not a best-seller doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth the time.

This is what I’ve been thinking about my situation with an interracial relationship. I’m not Caucasian. I’m Asian. What if guys automatically thought things about me that weren’t even true? It just so happens that Asians are usually pegged as brilliant rocket scientists or mathematicians. I’m far from both. But what if the stereotype was that Asians are thieves, liars, and don’t have jobs? And what if those were immediately applied to me on the spot? I wouldn’t know it unless the person with those feelings blatantly expressed it, but it’s there –inside the minds of everyone around you. Judgment.

In nowhere does it say in the Book of Revelation that God’s judgment will be based upon skin color/culture. In fact, the idea is that the inclusion of the word “Gentiles” in Revelation is a way of stating that all people are worthy of salvation and will receive it (if they are washed in the blood or if their names are in the book of life of course –can’t leave that out). John never says, “God will appear on his throne surrounded by 24 elders and the four living creatures to judge minorities and high-five Caucasians into heaven.” Salvation, according to Revelation, is something available to everyone based upon faith and good works (I know people argue that good works has nothing to do with it, but Revelation does include it). So if we’re speaking in the Christian mindset, people will ultimately be equal when it comes to judgment. If we’re thinking this way, then why would being a different color matter? How can Christians read Revelation and not see that discrimination and racism are wrong? –Then again, most people don’t really read Revelation or study it for that matter. So what is wrong with our world that we automatically insinuate these stereotypes or labels that dehumanize people of a different color, and make interracial relationships inferior?  *By the way, if anyone is offended by this, don’t be. When you read Revelation and figure out the different myths of Nero, the controversy over the authorship of Revelation, the meaning of the four living creatures, and what the different colored stones mean, come talk to me. Otherwise, know that I studied the book this entire semester and even though that isn’t very long, it’s more than a simple glance.

Slyh made a good comment the other day. “This is 2009. Parents shouldn’t be worried about race. Would they rather their daughter get with a white guy that treats her horribly or a black guy that treats her right? Think about it.”

I guess it all comes down to happiness. Whichever or whoever makes you happy. Life is too short to stick to societal norms or socially imposed rules that include stereotypes and placing certain groups of people above others due to outward appearances. I’ve known some really “pretty” people and they are some of the worst people I’ve ever met.

Caucasian is deemed the “best-selling novel,” while all the rest are left off. This isn’t the case for everyone everywhere, but pretty close. What if none of us gave books like As Simple As Snow a chance because it didn’t belong to Oprah’s Book Club or was the number one best-seller of the week? Just because these books aren’t best-sellers doesn’t mean that what’s inside isn’t worth reading. Same goes with people. I know it’s wrong.

But how do you forgive yourself or force yourself to come out from behind the curtain when you know that the majority of the people in the crowd are ready to throw tomatoes at you –before you give your performance? It doesn’t even matter the quality of whatever you plan on performing. Society is harsh. It doesn’t care.

The last guy I dated was Caucasian, about 10  years my senior, and had/has a really good job. I could have lived a very comfortable life with him had I decided to stay with him and get that Tiffany’s ring that I wanted. I probably could have just stayed at home. But at the same time, this guy was the one who took a 14/15-year-old girl out into vacant parking lots to have sex with her and then tell her not to tell anyone because it was considered statutory rape. This guy was okay with his brother mistreating the same girl. This guy was okay with his ex calling all of the time. This guy was okay with lying and ignoring whatever came out of the girl’s mouth.

Then you have an African American guy who is about the same age, still in college, can’t flash a brand new Mustang in your face or buy you whatever and spoil you by spending ridiculous amounts on tiramisu and amaretto sours. But he’s a better person. The quality is better. The personality is there. The humor is there. The caring and thoughtfulness are both there. And so, with that description (minus the identification of him being black) you would want to choose him. But when you walk into a restaurant, people in this area are more likely to approve or “handle” the sight of the Asian girl and the established Caucasian male than the Asian girl being on the arm of the African American. Forget about statutory rape. It looks better. It fits better.

How sick.

Burke and Yang from Grey's Anatomy --when I liked the show

Burke and Yang from Grey's Anatomy --when I liked the show

I hate some of the New York Times best-sellers because some of them are just terrible. They lack quality. They lack concentration. They lack style and precision and talent. They’re thrown together, but with a certain author’s name on the front, it’s automatically awesome beyond awesome. You cannot argue that all of these books are excellent. Just like you can’t argue that all of these books are bad. Just because a book is a New York Times best-selling novel doesn’t mean that it’s good. Quality isn’t obvious. It’s assumed.

 

fortuitous fortune May 11, 2009

I wanted to share that I was chosen to be a participant in the 2009 First Trip Home  sponsored by GOAL. 40 are chosen. I received the e-mail this morning right after my psychology final. It was a happy moment, but also a scary one. It boils down to the fact that in doing this, I will be confronting many of my fears at once.

  1. fear of flying
  2. fear of being in a different country
  3. fear of being thrown into the unfamiliar with the unfamiliar
  4. going back

1. When I tell people that I’ve never flown before and then they remind me that I have, I get annoyed and tell them that I don’t remember it. But I have a severe fear of heights. Perhaps I should be more afraid of the fact that I could be sitting around a screaming spawn of satan that needs to be spanked.

2. North Korea sitting right above is no consolation. I have this scary vision where North Korea busts into South Korea, takes over, and in doing so, trapping us (the Americans) inside. I don’t want to die in another country.

3. I really don’t like change, but when it hits me, I’ve learned to deal with it much better than before. But that doesn’t change the fact that while I love to talk to strangers, I’m not too thrilled with the idea of traveling with them and rooming with them. I keep telling myself that they are KADs (Korean Adoptees) too, therefore, they are there for the same reason. I tell myself not to worry. I tell myself not to be afraid.

4. I have a fear of going back. It’s plain and simple. There’s really not too  much depth behind that statement. In general, it’s just one of those things that I could have completely avoided. It could have been quite possible that I would have died before seeing Korea. It really was.

Question: Why am I bickering about this instead of leaping for joy?

Bottom line: I’m scared, despite the fact that this is a fortuitous fortune.

On top of it all, I was asked out by a guy this afternoon. Lord knows that I haven’t been out on a date in about a year. No jokes please. Every time when I think about dating, I get stressed out because I don’t really see anyone in this area as available. I don’t really like what I see. Maybe I just expect too much out of the opposite sex. Maybe I just like to keep too much distance. Because when guys start talking to me and they mention things about hugs and stuff like that, it sort of creeps me out. Am I too old fashioned? Am I just no fun? Is that why I don’t have many friends? –Or a boyfriend? No. I don’t have friends or a boyfriend because it is my choice. I prefer staying at home and spending time with myself. I’m a selfish person when it comes to my time… Even though I’m not doing anything at all. But still, I’m trying to talk myself into going and hanging out with this guy. He’s nice enough. We’ll see.

The main conflict that arises at the thought is that he is black. He’s one of those cases where he’s “whiter than white,” but still, in the world’s eyes, he is black and I am Asian. For some reason, people can accept the idea of me dating a white male than a black one. Why is that? I was talking to someone else about this today. Why is it that I automatically started thinking about that? It doesn’t make anyone any less of a human. It doesn’t make a friendship or a relationship any less or insignificant. So why are we like this? Why is society so stupid?

I shoudn’t worry about this. It’s just one movie night. I’m not marrying the guy, but still, it all just makes me annoyed by this small town where everyone is under scrutiny. I get tired of it. But it’s really sad when you question yourself just because you know society will. And I’m interested in the guy. He seems really nice. He told me that he “kind of liked me ever since he saw me,” which is a nice compliment. Despite his kind words, I’m worried.

In Psychology: Personality this past semester, we discussed self-regulatory systems and the cognitive. I’ve been figuring out my issues with other people, friendships and dating. And I find myself annoyed with the fact that I’m embarrassed at the thought of being touched by someone else. It’s sort of like stepping out onto an unsteady plank 100 feet up on one side with a hand reaching out from the other side. It’s terrifying. Relationships in general are scary. Commitment isn’t just applied to your significant other. It goes for any and all relationships in your life –even friends, even the little old man that you wave at every morning at Starbucks or something. It’s all about committing yourself to seeing them and thinking the same things about them when you do. It’s scary. Possibly even scarier than flying in a plane, getting stuck in Korea, being in the unfamiliar with the unfamiliar, and going back to the motherland.

That’s really sad.

taken early yesterday evening. check out the cheerios snack mix. it's so good. *notcie the missing keys on my laptop. anyone want to donate some $ for a new one?

taken early yesterday evening. check out the cheerios snack mix. it's so good. *notice the missing keys on my laptop. anyone want to donate some $ for a new one?

 

she says shhhhhh May 10, 2009

i am officially finished with writing papers this semester. i turned in my milton paper yesterday and i couldn’t have been more relieved. now all i have to do is study for three final exams. someone asked me if i was stressed out and i had to be honest in thinking about the conclusion of paper-writing before replying, “the worst part is over.”

my cap and gown are stuffed in individual plastic wrappers and somewhere in the backseat of my car. pratt was in the backseat the other afternoon and asked, “you know your cap and gown are on the floor, right?” i nodded and chuckled. they’ve been back there for a few months now. i’ve just never felt like carrying them in with me. after all, we have to return them anyways, and it’s not like this is necessarily an exciting event. i am participating in the ceremony next weekend, but i won’t receive my diploma until next december, so technically i won’t graduate until next december. boxx summed it up perfectly by stating that it was a “fake graduation.” still, i hope that i haven’t lost the tassle and that it’s still stuffed in the cap, because it might be a little weird if i didn’t have one.

i didn’t even want to do this whole ceremony, but i am doing it for two reasons. first, my parents want to take pictures. second, the provost and her secretary (both of whom i greatly respect) insist that i attend. i suppose it is normal for your parents to want to attend your college graduation and take pictures. my mother’s surgery is that following monday, so i feel more compelled to do it because of her, not to mention that i’ll be spending my entire summer in the provost’s office working for her and her secretary. they would harass me about skipping out on the ceremony, but remain content with the knowledge that i would just be doing it next may. *the provost is the one who can give permission to avoid a ceremony and because she is my favorite professor, my academic advisor, andthe provost, it just so happens that i’m the last person that she’d allow to do so* so here i come in my fake cap and gown for my fake ceremony on saturday. yee.haw. i sort of hope it rains. the thought of sitting out in the sun for several hours participating in something with a lot of people that i don’t know makes me a little disgusted. i guess that’s my fault for being a commuter. i know a few people that will be graduating, such as webster-hughes, gilkison, damron, and dickinson. i find consolation in the fact that it will be a fake graduation for boxx.

tomorrow is when GOAL will announce the winners of the free trip to korea. it’s a one week thing, but it’s all paid for. korean adoptees get the opportunity to go to their orphanage, meet their foster parents, and possibly their birth parents. i am interested in it to see my orphanage, foster mother, and meet and mingle with other adoptees. if anything, my essay is the only thing that i have to remain hopeful about. i want to go, but i don’t. because when you want to do something, it makes it that much harder to handle the news that you’re not. but wanting to go makes the whole thing worthwhile. at any rate, whoever the 40 or 42 participants are, i am excited for them and wish them luck.

my first exam is tomorrow at 9. psychology: personality. i’m going to the library this afternoon here in town to make notecards. i need complete silence when studying, reading, or writing –or concentrating in general. plus there’s something about studying or working somewhere more foreign than your home that helps you get things done. it’s ironic that i’m planning on scurrying off to the library because i remember when i was in middle school and high school, i never really viewed the library as a place of solitude and greater thinking (then again, you’d have to see our library). i remember deeming the librarians as mean and rude when they fussed at us for running up and down the aisles or laughing and talking too loud. and even though i’m older, i still stand by the fact that the librarians are rude (it wasn’t until college that i developed respect for librarians), but at 22, i would be the first one to jump up and slap a child for  running or being too loud. occasionally, when i want children to be quiet in a movie (since their parents aren’t doing anything about it –idiots), i inhale and “shhhhhhhhhhh” loudly. it makes heads turn, but usually it embarrasses the idiot parents and they make the noise stop. maybe it’ll work this afternoon.