Sunday, May 16, 2004

Miscellaneous

Here are miscellaneous thoughts and comments. It's been a while since I last blogged. I was caught up with the finals and school-related activities over the past few weeks. Graduate school is impacting me more than I thought it would and realized.

So far, I've gotten 2 A's, 1 A-, and a P (pass). Whew. I am awaiting one more grade. I'm so relieved. I was so worried about the grades considering the circumstances I've had to deal with during the past two months. I continue to reflect on my first semester at NYU and all that I've learned. It's not just academic learning. Graduate school also involves personal learning.

This Wednesday, I'll receive a scholarship at a LHH meeting. I was moved when I found out that I was nominated and chosen for it.

My brother got a temp job working with a film crew doing a documentary in the Mojave Desert this past weekend. I wonder what kind of job he'll get next. He continues to work odd and end jobs while searching for a full-time job. He's wide open to mostly anything in the Los Angeles area.

My parents are now in Ukraine for the next 2 weeks. They're setting up a medical clinic and working on various projects at an orphanage and addiction treatment center while travelling around doing church work. Even though my parents sign well, I am still left out of the loop as far as family news are concerned. I just found out, through the email my mother sent out about family contact info, that my uncle was moving. I need to wait until she returns in 2 weeks before I can find out the details about the move. *shaking head and grinning*

Caught up on little stuff today. Took care of emails. Read some. Cleaned up a bit. Etc. Finally read some news online. Here are some tidbits I found.

A couple, who are homeless addicts and have history of prostitution, in Rochester were ordered to stop having children. They already had 4-5 children, and the woman is allegedly already pregnant with a 5th or 6th child. All except for one were born addicted to cocaine. All are in the foster care system. The judge ordered the parents to have no more children until they prove they can look after the ones they already have."All babies deserve more than to be born to parents who have proven they cannot possibly raise or parent a child,'' Family Court Judge Marilyn O'Connor wrote in a 12-page opinion. "The cycle of neglect ... needs to stop.'' Naturally, civil libertarians are speaking out. "All babies deserve more than to be born to parents who have proven they cannot possibly raise or parent a child,'' Family Court Judge Marilyn O'Connor wrote in a 12-page opinion. "The cycle of neglect ... needs to stop.'' The judge did not order them to stop having sex, use contraceptions, or have abortions. She was trying to show that they needed to step up to their responsibilities as parents and ramifications of their actions.

On a different note, I found a question amusing while reading about the billions of red-eyed cicadas (harmless insects) who wake up from their 17 years long slumber, crawl out of the ground, shed their skins and mate. They get only one chance every 17 years to mate, making this a rare opportunity to witness. Question: Will the cicadas dive-bomb brides at outdoor weddings? This question was asked by event planners. I don't blame them for not being aware about these little-known creatures. It can be scary when you don't know anything about the insect phenomenon you are witnessing.

Better get off and get back to my readings.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Housing for the Poor

Got this from today's NY Time online edition. What's next?

Killing Off Housing for the Poor

Published: May 10, 2004


he Bush administration's tax cuts for the well-to-do have taken a heavy toll on the nation's most important social programs for the poor and working class. Prominent casualties include child care assistance for working mothers and federal aid for needy college students. The latest victim appears to be Section 8, the government's main housing program for the poor. The program provides rent subsidies for two million of the country's most vulnerable families and encourages private developers to build affordable housing.

Section 8 subsidies go primarily to families that live at or below the poverty level, in households that include children, disabled people or the elderly. These families pay 30 percent of their incomes toward rent and the Section 8 vouchers pay the rest. Some cities give priority to battered women, many of them with children, who have to find a new place to live to escape danger. The need is so great that families often wait years for vouchers, which become available when voucher holders die or become ineligible after getting better jobs.

Congress rejected an administration proposal that would have placed a financing cap on the program and turned the money over to the states. But the administration's assault continues, through the appropriations process in the House and through administrative rulings at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has been trying to put the brakes on the voucher program. Last month, the department issued new guidelines to the country's 2,500 public housing agencies declaring that it would no longer pay the full cost of the vouchers but would cap the federal contribution at the level of August 2003, adding an adjustment for inflation.

This has already caused some private builders and financiers to back away from projects that would have produced desperately needed affordable housing. In addition, public housing officials in many states have made it clear that the new policies will force them to raise rents or evict tenants. Having paid lip service to the goal of ending chronic homelessness, the Bush administration is now threatening to kill off the only program that could possibly achieve it.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Worst President?

*groan* An acquaintance sent me this email. This made me shake my head and groan. A lot of crucial historical info leading to these events and in between these sentences have been left out, and the "truth" has been twisted. I would love to see that person write an article about how "great" the president was for our own Americans, our military, international relations, selfish American interests in other countries, budgeting, and so on. Now these are track records that writer needs to check out. We cannot afford more miseducation and media misleading. Read on...

Worst president in history?

The following appeared in the Durham, NC local paper as a letter to the editor. Please forward to all on
your list as this will put things in perspective:

Liberals claim President Bush shouldn't have started this war. They complain about his prosecution of it. One liberal recently claimed Bush was the worst president in U.S. history. Let's clear up one point:

We didn't start the war on terror. Try to remember, it was started by terrorists BEFORE 9/11. Let's look at the "worst" president and mismanagement claims.

FDR led us into World War II. Germany never attacked us: Japan did. From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost, an average of 112,500 per year.

Truman finished that war and started one in Korea, North Korea never attacked us. From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost, an average of 18,333 per year.

John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us.

Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost, an average of 5,800 per year.

Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent, Bosnia never attacked us. He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on multiple occasions.

In the two years since terrorists attacked us, President Bush has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, put nuclear inspectors in Lybia, Iran and North Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people. We lost 600 soldiers, an average of 30 a month. Bush did all this abroad while not allowing another terrorist attack at home.

Worst president in history? Come on!

The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking, but...

It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51 day operation.

We've been looking for evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records.

It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Teddy Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick.

It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida!!!!

Our military is GREAT! PASS IT ON.

(Now I am going to stick my finger down my throat and take care of business.)

Chopped Liver & Pepperoni Bits

RT- Hope you enjoyed your pepperoni last night. The chopped liver dish came out quite well. Thanks for the recipe idea!

Friday, May 07, 2004

Snoozer

After spending a short time at LHH, I headed to NYU for a friend's award ceremony. The pre-ceremony reception was delicious. I met few of my friends' classmates. After hearing about them for 2 years, there were finally faces to match his classmates stories. The ceremony was quite a snoozer. Afterwards, we walked to his home in East Village. His roommate was hosting a "Stern networking" party. We did our polite hellos before escaping to the safety of his "deaf bedroom" where we could have a decent conversation. We talked about the usual including Bush-bashing. That man is something. Bush's pea-sized brain is full of squashed peas. He has done more harm than good for this country.

The Bush administration has done more harm for this country than good. Program fundings continue to be cut down for various reasons such as "running out of funds" or not valuing the people the programs help. Money cannot be created for crucial program that helps US citizens in American society. Herbert Gans stated that there is a war against the poor. The Bush adminstration is one of the poor's biggest enemies. Yet, Bush is able to cough up billions of dollars for the so-called war in Iraq. Why couldn't he find money for crucial programs Americans really need? He's just trying to save face. What's going on is more than "another Vietnam." Bush chose the wrong war to partake in. Bush needs to let other countries step in to help out the mess he helped create. US should back out. Let Iraq take care of itself or have other countries help Iraqians rebuild the country.

Bush being voted into the office is the fault of many. Many people did not vote the last time around. I was one of them. Big mistake. Back then, I did not want to vote for the lesser of 2 evils. It was a choice between the evil (Bush) and the potato spud (Gore). I've since changed my philosophy. Not voting was a lame way to "protest." This protest style failed. It's better to just vote democratic, no matter what. Some people did not vote because they did not feel that their vote counted or would have made a difference, especially with electoral votes to weigh in. *raising hand* I was one of them. Wrong! All these votes would have helped keep Bush from being elected into the office. What I've learned over the past years, especially during my internship and work experience, confirmed what I've repeatedly heard whenever I shared that I did not vote: "Vote democratic, no matter what." I used to nod and just listen to lectures or explanations about why to vote regardless. This time around, I chose to cut it out with my pride crap and really listen and make the connections. Please do what you can to vote Bush out. We cannot allow him to continue to destroy this country and international relations. We cannot allow him to continue to waste American dollars. We need to invest more in our society so we can help our citizens be better people (and, in turn, better citizens with more to contribute to society and the world). America has enough foothold in the rest of the world. Delegate the power and status.

Swallow your pride and open your eyes. Look at the big picture of the candidates' character instead of what they have to say about your specific personal interests and agendas. It's been proven again and again that most candidates do not keep their campaign promises or uphold their statements. So, focus on their character and track record instead. And, vote democratic, no matter what.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Hell Shall Soon Be Over. Start Counting the Blessings...

Oh boy. Hell shall soon be over as soon as I finish the last final paper for the spring semester. I am half awake and struggling to not give in to the allure of a peaceful slumber. I've got to finish this paper first. Then I'll be home free for a short bit.

It may feel like hell at times, but actually life isn't really that bad. It's just the hellish moments that makes me appreciate life more. I recently found out that I'll be getting a scholarship. That's such a blessing. The love of my life is returning to NYC tomorrow. I really can't wait to see her. My heart just swells whenever I think about her. The long distance thing will be over soon. Sometimes I need to pinch myself to believe that it really is happening. In fact, I need to pinch myself for many things. So many blessings keep on happening. My beautiful cat is sitting here on my left arm just purring while I'm typing at the couch. I enjoy her companionship and seeing her happily purring. It's sunny outside. The winter is over, and spring has begun. A magnificent thunderstorm took place last night. Yesterday, I finished that one paper I'd been struggling with for a while. Wednesday night,I was struggling with writer's block. So, I watched "Juwanna Mann" on HBO. It was so funny. It got my creative juices flowing again. It was such a release to be done with that paper. The plant I've been trying to save is showing more green these days. I talked with my favorite aunt online this week. Tonight, I'll accompany a friend to his award dinner at NYU. Tomorrow, I'll be spending the night with good friends. I laughed more this week than I had in a while. All these little things add up to blessings that I count in life. Please make the time to count your blessings or at least appreciate the blessings you have in life. It makes a difference.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Rain, Go Away!

Rain, go away! I know that you help make the world green and thriving. You wash away the dirty corners of the city. Yet, enough is enough. Taxi cabs splash dirty puddles onto people's clean clothes. Umbrellas do air gymnastics straight into the trash cans. Bus seats become teary as waterfalls spew from wet umbrellas and cracked window panes. People bend and groan from old injuries reawakened. Downstairs neighbors play spooky haunted-feeling music to accommodate the rain song. There's no need to feel what we're seeing in the rain. Enough is enough. Rain, go away!

Don't Be A Witch

Just few minutes ago, a friend suntanning by a pool on the West coast just paged me. A little boy came up to her to stare at her pager. Then, he picked up her magazine. She got peeved. I told her, "Don't be a witch. He's just a little curious boy."

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Sleepless in New York City

Sleepless in NYC. That's me. It's another night of not being able to fall asleep until the wee hours, just before the sun dawns and greets NYC. When I finally fall asleep, I awaken to the bright smile of the sun just before my alarm clock is about to go off - if it ever goes off. These days, the alarm clock has been possessed and goes off once in a while when it feels like it. For now, the sun is my alarm clock.

During the the dark hours of the night in the city that never sleeps, people do different things. Some people go out to bars and clubs. Others just wander aimlessly down the streets. Folks sit in cafes and sip hot drinks. Discovery Channel documentaries may entertain some. Some stand on their roofs and just stare out at the lights all around them. I've done all of the above (with the exception of bars and clubs which ain't my thing save few times a year). Tonight, I'm just sitting on the couch trying to finish my papers. 3 down, 2 more to go. Sigh. I'm so sleepless that my mind draws a blank about what the heck to say in these papers. It's been like this all weekend. The people in the airplanes that fly over have no idea what the sleepless people are doing down below in the city. I've done my share of staring at their planes flying overhead from my bed next to the window. Only if they knew of all the life bursting and bustling below.

This reminds me of the last time I flew into LGA (from San Diego). The plane flew over Brooklyn, Manhattan, then Queens. I was excited to be able to identify various landmarks down below and know exactly what they were. The plane even flew above my apartment. *flash* *flash* You knew who the New Yorkers probably were because their heads turned to the folks who just took pictures of the city through the plane windows. For a minute, I was puzzled as to why the heck folks would snap pics. Then, it dawned on me that they were probably tourists enjoying the scene below. My attention returned to plastering my head at the window and just taking in the scene. I love New York. I get orgasmically excited every time I return to NYC. My heart just swells when I take in the familiar NYC life from the cab on my way home from the airport. There's no place like NYC. Perhaps I should get one of these $2 tacky "I love NY" t-shirts. Only in NYC.

For now, I'm going to just keep on being sleepless in NYC. And, I better finish my damn papers soon before I greet the sun once again.

Gay Circuit

Check out New York Time's article on Gay Circuit. Tell me what you think about it. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/30/travel/escapes/30CIRC.html

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Seeking Woman for My Brother

Looking for a woman for my brother. My brother, age 29, is a bachelor. Few weeks ago, he called up my parents and lamented about the fact that he was going to be "30!" this fall and "halfway until retirement." Normally, my brother is optimistic. Few weeks ago, he was freaking out about how he already lived 1/4 of a century and was well on his way toward retirement age. My parents told him to just enjoy his last year of his twenties and to look forward to being in his thirties. My brother is cool. He's into arts, cultures, etc and has a huge heart. He signs well and understands deaf culture, etc. He tells good deaf jokes. It'd be great to have a deaf, coda, interpreter, or open-minded hearing sister-in-law someday. If you know of a single woman, please let me know. I'll gladly send you a picture.