Friday, August 27, 2004

David Letterman's Top 10 List

Got this from a friend's blog. It was funny, so I just had to copy and post it here to share.

From the August 26 Late Show with David Letterman,
the "Top Ten Ways New York City is Preparing for the Republican National Convention."

10. Special group rate on rental cars for all the visiting terrorists

9. To meet increased demand, extra muggers being dispatched to midtown.

8. Seventh avenue sidewalks have been closed to taxi traffic.

7. Neckline being raised on Statue of Liberty's robe to John Ashcrofts's specifications.

6. Hello Deli changing price of grilled cheese sandwich from twelve dollars to seventeen dollars.

5. Three words: Bomb sniffing rats.

4. City has suspended alternate side of the street hooker rules.

3. At President Bush's request, the Empire State Building is on "King Kong Alert."

2. While Cheney is in town, Waldorf-Astoria sign changed to read "Undisclosed Location Hotel."

1. Bill Clinton is showing up to the convention just to get patted down.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Delightful Surprise!

One of my childhood best friends is pregnant! I squealed with delight when she emailed me to confirm that she indeed was pregnant!

Few weeks ago, she paged me to inform me that she'd be "making an important announcement next week." I immediately paged back asking if the "surprise included 10 little fingers and toes." She smiled. I waited few weeks. Finally, she announced that she and Shane were indeed expecting a baby. I was so thrilled!!! Tee hee! Every time I think of her and Shane expecting, I just smile with delight and happiness.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Discounts, My Ass.... are they trying to "pacify" us Democrats and protesters with so-called discounts? Note what kind they're offering discounts on for the "peaceful activists" and the republicans. Aren't there enough republicans filling these hotels and eating at these restaurants? Let's see these "rich" greedy republicans use their well-kept money from their self-given tax breaks, program-cutting initiatives, etc to fill in the economic gap left behind by folks fleeing NYC during the convention. They should be able to afford it. Read the article below.
Tell me what kind of buttons should be handed out to the republicans.

New York Offers Discounts to Peaceful Protesters
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER, The New York Times

(Aug. 18) -- Thinking about smashing windows or overturning cars during the Republican National Convention? Think again: that will cost you a discounted buffalo chicken salad from Applebee's or a cheaper ticket to see "Tony n' Tina's Wedding."

In a transparently mercantile bid to keep protesters from disrupting the Republican National Convention later this month, the Bloomberg administration will offer "peaceful political activists" discounts at select hotels, museums, stores and restaurants around town during convention week, which begins Aug. 29.

Law-abiding protesters will be given buttons that bear a fetching rendition of the Statue of Liberty holding a sign that reads, "peaceful political activists."

Protesters can present the buttons at places like the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Sex, the Pokémon Center store and such restaurants as Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too and Applebee's to save some cash during their stay.

If only the Romanovs had thought of this.
"It's no fun to protest on an empty stomach," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday, when he announced the program at NYC & Company, the city's tourism office, which will distribute the buttons to all comers to its Midtown office.

Protesters can also get the buttons from groups that have a legal permit to rally. But Mr. Bloomberg conceded yesterday that not everyone who wore a button would be strictly vetted for his or her peacefulness. "Unfortunately, we can't stop an anarchist from getting a button," he said, though he doubted any of them would want to wear one.

The discount program comes at a time when Mr. Bloomberg is under increasing pressure from the largest protest group, United for Peace and Justice, which is demanding the right to protest in Central Park, a request the city has repeatedly rejected. As a result, the city faces the prospect that the largest rally, planned the Sunday before the convention, will be an illegal gathering.

A spokesman for the group, Bill Dobbs, dismissed the discount program yesterday as a publicity stunt.

The city contends that it wants to give as warm a welcome to protesters as to delegates. "Most times, people try to keep protesters from coming," the mayor said, "and they certainly don't go out of their way to accommodate them."

In offering the discounts, the city also has its economy in mind. Officials want to make sure that hotels and restaurants are as fully booked as possible during the convention week; many have reported that reservations are slow for that week.

The discount program for protesters is modeled on one for delegates to the convention, and there are some notable differences. Protesters are offered $5 off admission to the Museum of Sex, while delegates are not. The Republicans get "Rent," the people who oppose them get "Tony n' Tina's Wedding."

Bloomberg administration officials say the list of offerings for protesters may grow. An up-to-date list appears on nycvisit.com; visitors to the site can click on "Welcome peaceful political activists." There, the discontented but hungry can also find information about the city's history and tour guides for the "politically minded visitor."

Mr. Bloomberg also said that the police officers and firemen who had been holding loud demonstrations at his public appearances in the past few weeks would qualify.

Yesterday, outside the mayor's news conference, Joe Miccio, a firefighter who came to hector the mayor, fingered the button presented to him by a reporter with some confusion. "We are peaceful political activists," he said, puzzling over the notion of discounted hamburgers and office supplies (at Kroll's Office Products, free magic marker included). "We'll take a look at it."

The city says it expects at least 200,000 people - both out-of-towners and aggrieved New Yorkers - to protest around the city between now and the end of the convention on Sept. 2. And, as Mr. Bloomberg pointed out, they will need to eat.

With the convention a week and a half away, there are already some who may not qualify for the discounts. Yesterday, four members of Code Pink, a women's protest group, were arrested for trying to dangle a 40-foot-long banner from their ninth-floor window at the Sheraton Hotel across from Mr. Bloomberg's news conference, the police said.

Jodie Evans, a co-founder of the group, identified the women as Andrea Buffa and Colleen Galbraith of San Francisco, Claire Varoney of Los Angeles and Danielle Feris of New York City. The charges against the women are pending, the police said yesterday afternoon.

Gary Ferdman, the executive director of Sensible Priorities, a business consortium, said yesterday that he came up with the idea for the discount program when the city decided it needed to reach out to protesters. "I'm afraid this Central Park thing is really going to blow up," he said after the news conference, perhaps speaking more bluntly than city officials about the motivations for the program.

In announcing the program, Mr. Bloomberg was joined yesterday by former Mayors Edward I. Koch and David N. Dinkins. While Mr. Dinkins said that he might have handled the request to protest in Central Park "differently," Mr. Koch said he agreed with the Bloomberg administration's plan to keep the largest protest off the Great Lawn. That decision has angered many New Yorkers, particularly those who have ambivalent feelings about the convention, which Mr. Bloomberg has repeatedly said will be an economic boon for the city.

Among more veteran protesters, the city's offer had a certain appeal. "Since we're both guests, New York City should treat us equally," said Aron Kay, who is also known locally as the Mad Yippie Pie Thrower. Mr. Kay is the organizer of a protest planned for outside Mayor Bloomberg's townhouse on the Upper East Side on Aug 22.

"Maybe we would like to eat in a restaurant or catch a play," he mused. Before or after haranguing the mayor? "I would say after," he said.

Starsky & Hutch

Watched "Starsky & Hutch" movie tonight with my roommate. It was a funny dumb movie. I was unsure about watching the movie until this line during the first 5 minutes of the movie: "Your nuts are mine," said Starskey as he chased a bad guy down an alley and flashed his badge.

Funny Sight

Saw an uniformed mailman literally drag a bag of mail on the ground while crossing a street in midtown today. The bag was full, and he was just dragging it along. Talk about nice respect for our mail.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Our Beloved Republican Convention

Our beloved republican convention is coming to town. I can't wait for it to be over with.

This morning, I passed a guy in a sharp expensive business suit who had a pin stating "BEAT BUSH." I gave him a huge thumbs up. He laughed.

For those of you who are interested in knowing what's going on during the convention, especially those against the convention as well as stuff hosted by the republicans... check the website below.

www.rncnotwelcome.org/calendar.html

This calendar lists different events taking place during the convention - against the convention as well as events hosted by the convention committee.

Condom Legislation

From today's New York Times... I would love to see how the state would go about for enforcing this legislation. Actors who chose to enter this kind of industry put themselves at risk for STDs and HIV. They play with fire each time they "work." Also, how does the industry know who likes to see or not see actors wearing condoms? Who will volunteer to do a survey on this? Any hands up?

Sex-Film Industry Threatened With Condom Requirement

August 24, 2004

By NICK MADIGAN LOS ANGELES, Aug. 23 - A member of the California Assemblyhas warned the pornographic-film industry, already buffeted by an H.I.V. outbreak earlier this year, that unless actors wear condoms while they work he will write a law requiring it. The warning, from Paul Koretz, a Democrat who represents West Hollywood and parts of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, came in a letter last week to 185 producers and publishers of pornographic material, advising sex performers to adopt "harm-reduction procedures" like using condoms or face the chance that the Legislature will "exercise its authority to mandate more stringent actions." While most people in the sex industry appear to agree in principle with the idea of consistent condom use, it has long been believed here that condoms are not sexy. "In any sexual interaction where condoms are used, consumers tend to drift from that," said Graham Travis, head of production at Elegant Angel Video, a production company that turns out as many as eight new releases a month. "What the consumers want to see is performers without condoms, something that's as real and intimate as possible." Forcing condom use, he said, would mean that "a lot of people would go out of business." In any event, Mr. Travis said, "I don't think the will is there from the performers." The issue of worker safety in the pornographic-film industry has become more urgent in the wake of the most recent outbreak here of H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. The outbreak was prompted in March by an actor who was infected while shooting a movie in Brazil and who transmitted it to at least three others after he returned to work in Los Angeles. As many as 60 actors were believed to have been exposed tothe virus, according to the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, which tests about 1,200 sex-industry performers every month for sexually transmitted diseases. Filming was shut down until the outbreak was declared contained in early May. Outside one of the foundation's two clinics in the San Fernando Valley on Monday, an actress who calls herself Nautica Thorn said the idea of all male performers wearing condoms was "great," but impractical. "People these days really go for the shock value, for the high-risk stuff," she said, "and that's harder to do with a condom." Ms. Thorn said she now goes to the clinic twice a month fora blood test, as opposed to the single monthly visits she was content with before. And it pays, she said, to know something about your work partners. "After that whole scare thing, girls are being more selective," Ms. Thorn, 20, said. "The guys I work with, they also have to have a blood check every two weeks,'' Ms. Thorn said. Another actress visiting the clinic, Kianna Dior, said she, too, was being more careful in choosing co-stars, even if condoms are not yet part of the act. "My heart says 'yeah,' but I know the business would probably not do as well if everyone used condoms," Ms. Dior said. "After this H.I.V. thing, I've just totally cut down on working." Sharon Mitchell, a former adult-film actress who earned a Ph.D. in human sexuality before co-founding the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, said on Monday that condom use in the industry had gone up after the H.I.V. outbreak to 23 percent from 17 percent and that it was now back to about 17.5 percent. "Honey, this is pornography," Dr. Mitchell said. "People don't pay attention to the Legislature. Why should they pay attention to Koretz's letter?" A week after the outbreak became known, Dr. Mitchell said, she struck a deal with 16 production companies under which they were to insist that performers who choose not to use condoms be tested for sexually transmitted diseases every two weeks. Across-the-board use of condoms, she said, was not on the table. "Clearly," Dr. Mitchell said, "they're not going to go for the complete barrier protection."

Organ Transplant for Deafness

Gotta be grateful that our brains and skulls prevent us from such ridiculous transplants.

From the newsroom of The Monterey County Herald. Monterey, California,Monday, August 23, 2004 .....

Organ transplants for deafness?
By Peter H. Gott, M.D.

Dear Dr. Gott: In this age of medical miracles, in which organ transplantsare readily available and widely used, why isn't there a transplant for oldpeople who are deaf? All that the doctors do is recommend that we put piecesof plastic in our ears and attach amplifiers to them. Can't something elsebe done?

Dear Reader: I have no doubt that a future scientist will develop some sortof transplant for the hearing impairment of old age. In fact, some types oftransplants -- notably cochlear implants -- are currently in use.However, age-related deafness is a difficult and complex problem, caused byactual damage to the hearing structure deep within the skull. This structureis surgically inaccessible and is very small. Therefore, it's safer, easierand less expensive to use a mini-amplifier or a hearing aid.Your point is well taken, but I'm afraid medical science still lacks theskill and technology to treat most deafness with transplants.

To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report"Ear Infections and Disorders." Other readers who would like a copy shouldsend a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, P.O. Box167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

Copyright 2004 The Monterey County Herald

Monday, August 23, 2004

Birthday Weekend

I am a strong believer in celebrating your birthday all month long. Since I had graduate studies and internship this month, I adjusted my celebration period to a weekend. This past Birthday weekend was fabulous!

On Thursday, I headed into CT to renew my driver's license and have a Brazilan lunch with my grandmother and mother. I enjoyed spending time with my grandmother. Her mind is going these days due to Alzheimers. Nonetheless, her mind was not gone enough for us to talk and share some loving moments together. I knew my grandmother well enough to know what she'd like while helping her pick out some dishes at the Brazilian buffet place. I really miss spending time with my grandmother. I wish I could see her more often and be there to help her with daily needs and errands.

*"Happy Birthday" tune*

I slept well into my birthday day. I took my time and did everything at a leisure pace. Then, I got ready for the birthday dinner at Kum Gang San Korean restaurant on 32nd Street. (Kum Gang is the name of a famous mountain in Korea). It was a delicious fun dinner with close friends and acquaintances. I truly enjoyed myself. We went to a nice Korean cafe nearby where we talked and ate more. Later, we went to the Escuelita club. Ran into few old faces and had good conversations. I have to admit that there were funny moments and few people we "vee-veed," especially the people who were very interested in the go-go dancers.

On Saturday, slept in late then woke up in time to head out to the Museum of Natural History for the interpreted tour of the Frog exhibit. I hadn't been to that museum in a while. It brought back fond memories of numerous school trips to the museum as a child. From age 1 1/2 to 11, I lived right outside of NYC in a town where one could view the NYC cityscape from select spots in town. I grew up going into the city frequently with my family, friends, and on school trips. The Museum of Natural History was one of these destinations. I also remembered seeing interpreted plays during the inception of HandsOn. Anyways, back to the museum tour of the frogs exhibit. These frogs were really cool and fun to view/learn about. The deaf folks who showed up were mostly older folks. I enjoyed seeing Renate and few familiar faces whom I often see at art museum tours and events.

Sunday was also a day of rest. I finished cleaning up my room. Watched some funny movies on the Comedy channel all afternoon-long. Later that night, I focused on some school-related work for the Graduate Student Association since there's a meeting later today with the school regarding the upcoming NYU New Student Orientation.

I think I will turn this birthday weekend into a birthday week. How else shall we celebrate? Mmmm... we shall see.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Vicious Allie

My parents' neighbor has 2 dogs. The younger dog is Allie, a mixed part-put bull dog. My parents, for the first time since 1990, have had a problem with these neighbors and dogs.

The neighborhood is generally very respectful, and neighbors are considerate of each other. The neighbors communicate too. Once, when my brother and I were younger and new drivers, we kinda made a turn into our street a bit too fast. A neighbor was kind to leave a note in the mailbox asking us to slow down on turns in consideration of neighbor kids and pets' safety. We quickly complied. Our parents never saw the note. Neighbors have kept an eye out for each other whenever a family was out on vacation and have called the police when someone was seen breaking into a house. Anyways, things were relatively good until the new couple moved in next doors with their dogs, especially Allie.

Last night, Allie broke out of her front door, ran through the invisible electronic fence at the edge of the lawn and attacked a dog being walked on the street by its owners. It took several people, kicking, yelling, hitting, and a thick wooden handle being broken over Allie, for her to back off.

Now, my parents are afraid for their safety as well as our family dog's, Hannah, safety. Mom warned me to be careful whenever I have Hannah with me anywhere in the front/back yards and the driveway.

Allie came after my mother yesterday, Dad several times during the past few weeks while Dad was doing yard work, and now that other dog. Allie's temperament is escalating. Allie lunges whenever she sees anyone, and she has snarled and barked endlessly. I personally have seen Allie run into my yard while supervising my dog going to the bathroom. Allie ran all the way around the deck to the dog run area and growled at Hannah. I shooed her away from the stairs I was sitting on. Allie growled at me. So, I just stayed quiet and told Hannah to sit. Hannah complied and shook while Allie growled at us. Finally, Allie ran off back to her own yard. I grabbed Hannah and brought her in.

The electronic fence that the neighbors installed obviously did not work for Allie at all. Allie leaps over the electronic fence all the time where she gets zapped electronically. She backs up and does it again and again. Sometimes, when she's aggravated enough, she gets through anyway despite the electric zaps and goes after people and now dogs. I have seen this with my own eyes too and do not walk along that side of the yard.

The police and town dog warden are now involved. Mom said that, until Allie harms a person, she is only racking up nuisance dog infractions.

Sad part of it is that the dog that was attacked is undergoing cancer treatment and certainly doesn't need that kind of stressor in her life. She has a large puncture wound in her neck, a bloody tongue, red eye, bloody ear, etc. The owners brought her to the vets after the police finally released them to go. The cops and warden took a long time to get the info from them. The wounded dog was standing up by then though. Allie's owner- the woman - was nasty to Daddy and accused him of provoking her dog! Dad was not even home when the attack took place.

The woman blamed my father for provoking her dog as if it was his fault that Allie had been upset lately! The neighbor yelled at everyone as she finally went in her house telling everyone to "all go home!"

I wonder what's been going on in that house of hers. I know she has an infant and a husband. What's going on with that dog, Allie?

As mom said, "hmmm, a hot time in the suburbs! hate to have unhappy relationship with a neighbor, but we need to be safe in our own yards. Pls remember to protect Hannah."

Allie's owner is paying for the vet bills, a fine for no registration of the dog and one for being a nuisance. The neighbors may have to put up a fence. The police and warden both took statements and are following up today regarding yesterday's attack. The cops told the owner of dog victim that they were going to press charges because of all of the previous complaints. No pictures were taken at the scene yesterday.

Today, Mom saw the owners of the dog victim. The poor dog, who has cancer, had a 103 fever today alongside many puncture wounds. The vet wouldn't put a drain in the largest wound because of the cancer type the dog had. Twice a day, all of the wounds have to be opened to be drained by handto prevent scabbing and abcesses. Gross. The poor dog was at the emergency vet until midnight last night for treatment then at her regular vet's office today for few hours. Poor dog. The owners are afraid to walk the dog on our street now. They will stick with the other neighborhood streets if the dog can walk that much in the first place while still healing from her wounds. Poor dog.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Jim Crow Ain't Dead

The other night, I went to watch an open-captioned movie at Lincoln Center. Afterwards, I mingled with other movie patrons in the lobby. I was introduced to a deaf teacher who works with deaf students. Somehow, we started talking about the regent tests. She stated that her students scored poorly, looked around, then pointed her finger to her hand... stating that it was due to their color, being black and spanish as the reason for doing poorly. I stopped breathing, and my eyes darted to someone who saw what the teacher just said.

I was about to need air resusciation and CPR the moment I realized what she just said.

That other person was also startled. She later told me that she thought, "Jim Crow ain't here anymore. Ah!"

Both of us struggled to keep our faces straight. I had met this person only few virgin minutes ago, and my virgin impression of her was forever shattered by her finger pointing-to-hand comment.

Think of how deaf students of color pick up on messages like this teachers like her. How does this help them with learning when they're already dealing with oppression and racism in their daily lives? The classroom shouldn't be one of these places.

I can't stop thinking about this teacher. I do not know if I will say something to her the next time I see her or .... What do you think?

Holding My Breath

Holding my breath now. The US and Czech women's volleyball teams are playing in the sand at the Olypmics. I don't know if I'll be able to breathe. Their bodies are SO svelte, beautiful, and breathtaking! I cannot get over how beautiful these athletic bodies are, with these muscular legs, good butts, that line running down their back, their abs, strong shoulders with slightly curved muscular arms that don't shout out "i've got muscles, look at me." Their bodies are gracefully strong and beautiful. And, they've got great tans to accenturate their fit bodies. They have great skin and hair. Wow. They've also got good sportsmanship. That makes them even more attractice. If I had to choose my last vision while breathing the last breath of my life, it'd be looking at these women. Gosh, I still need a fan to cool myself off from looking at these gorgeous women playing in the sand.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Are You Using Sign Language?

Don't you love hearies? Sometimes they do dumb stuff. While eating lunch with a hearing friend (who's an interpreter), she was talking when all of a sudden she paused in between words yet kept on going. Knowing her, she was goign to tell me when the time was right. She told me that the guy sitting at a table next to ours just talked to us and asked, "Are you using sign language? Is that what it's called?" My friend pretended to be deaf and just kept on signing. *shaking head* If you know what sign language is, and you know that deaf people use it, why orally ask a deaf person if that's sign language she's using at the moment?

Fun!

This is fun for you Bush-lovers and Bush-haters alike. Click on this and away you go! Many thanks to Meri & KB for this.

http://funny.ansme.com/politics/bush/build.html

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

John Mayer

John Mayer, a former classmate of mine in Fairfield for 2 years, who is now a musician... was recently shown in the August 23, 2004 issue of US magazine wearing a sweatshirt with a rainbow logo and this statement: "heterosexual. lover of rainbows." *chuckle*

August 24 - Paula Revere's Ride

I can't help but smile at the creativity of protesters who are hosting different events during the next two weeks. here is one that takes place on Tuesday, August 24th at 7pm. Paula Revere's Ride - Having scouted out the first Republican threat to NYC, Paula Revere and other patriots from Greene Dragon and TIME'S UP! will begin their historic ride on 'horse-cycles" down Lexington Ave., warning New Yorkers 'The Republicans are coming!" (Ride begins at Sherman Statue, southeast corner of Central Park)

September 1 - The Unemployment Line

8:13-8:31am The Unemployment Line a symbolic unemployment line representing the 1.2 million net jobs lost during the past four years and the more than eight million Americans who are currently unemployed, will wind through New York City. Beginning at the corner of Broadway and Wall St and ending across from Madison Square Garden. More info at People for the American Way or call (212) 420-0440 x.27 or email mlombardi@pfaw.org

The Power of Words

Words can be powerful. Word can bring people together or create tension. Words often lead to misunderstandings and assumptions. Some people throw words around like fireballs and are firestarters. Some people respect the power of words. Some peolpe use words to make differences in the lives of others.

The reason I'm bringing this up is after 2 specific incidences that came to mind recently. I realized that people's interpretations of particular words can make or break whatever relationship exists between 2 people. Also, some people hold on to words for so long and hold grudges or just do not forget. When someone recently called me "Bubba" few times, I decided to talk about it instead of letting it become a grudge. I sought to understand where the person was coming from and how he defined that word. I came to understand different views of "Bubba" and how offensive or affectionate that word could be. It turned out that the person who called me "Bubba" was being affectionate after all. Instead of taking offense according to my preconceived construction of what "Bubba" meant, I chose to find out what it meant to him. And, it turned out to be a postive construction for that person. So, it became positive for me after all.

Another incidence that came to mind was when I attended a lunch with my Project Liberty coworkers before the program ended. We were asked to go around and say a word that described each person. For one coworker, I had a specific word in mind. When my turn came, that word disappeared from my mind. I froze. The first thing that came to my mind was "bubbilicious." I was already ready to hit myself for choosing a word that ended with "licious" in the first place, especially as soon as I saw the look on that person's face. It was like a knife in my heart when I saw how offended she was by that word. I realized that she probably had a negative connotation or history with that word, bubbilicious. It was the last thing I wanted to do, especially when the definition I had for "bubbilicious" was actually complimentary and positive. I immediately felt so uncomfortable that I froze even further and struggled to clarify what I meant. I knew that it was probably it with her and that she probably wouldn't forgive me for my choice of word. To me, bubbilicious was positive and meant someone who was so full of energy and positivity, always on the go, celebrated everything with heart and passion, and was life-loving. In no way did I mean someone airheaded or anything (which is what someone later told me that she probably viewed it as). To this day, it bothers me. And, I wish that I had the chance to clarify what I meant because she probably still has that misconception and still takes offense to that. She even mentioned it in her blog a while ago. I have a lot of respect for this person's outlook on life, her faith in God, courage with things that come up in life, humanity, and love. Her supervisor was right when she said that this person was "love." She's full of love for life, God, people, the children she works with, and everything else. I have a lot of respect for her. I hope that she finds a place in her heart one day to forgive me for the preconceived constructin of the word I used to describe her over a year ago.

She's Back

Mom's back from her trip to Paris and Budapest. She did a church trip to Paris before heading out to visit her sister (my aunt) in Budapest. Mom got back yesterday and is now catching up on her sleep. Aunt Margie and Uncle Justin kept her busy with different cultural events, mineral baths, etc. Wow. Makes me look forward to my trip there next year!

Mom asked me if I'd like to go to the beach with her today if I was going up to CT today to take care of DMV stuff. I've got to renew my driver's license and take care of DMV paperwork as well. The weather's a bit weird today. Plus, I slept in late this morning, so I decided to put off the CT trip until tomorrow. It's so nice to have the luxury of time to put things off just because you could do so.

I sure am enjoying my time off from school. Ahhh...

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Pampering

I love being pampered. I treated myself to a pedicure and eyebrow wax last night after I left my internship site. I walked and chatted with my supervisor for a short bit which was a treat in itself. I love walking, and it was a great way to kick off my self-pampering night. I always enjoy chatting with my supervisor. She always reminds me about the beauties of life and the heart of people....as well as some of the ugly realities out there and how it affects people...and to turn your responses/knowledge/empathic reactions/pain/anger toward these ugly realities into action and empowerment. Through her and few I've met since January, I've seen and experienced love and the beauties of life and people. It's so nice to see what you feel inside also being shared and experienced with other people. I'm not quite sure how to put it in words here... so I'm just rambling... Anyways, after the walk, I went down into the subway station and rode uptown. By the time I got out of the station, it was pouring outside. I love walking in the rain. When the raining slowed down a bit, I walked and caught the crosstown bus just in time. While crossing 8th Ave, I spotted a tailor/dry cleaning shop, so I got off early and rushed in. The lady there was so nice and honest about the alternation I inquired about for the top half of the 2-piece dress I will wear this weekend. I'll pick it up today. Anyways, after that, I walked few blocks and ended up at my fave hole-in-the-wall nail boutique. I read a book a coworker gave me while waiting for the pedicure and eyebrow wax. The women there were friendly. When I asked about where the bathroom was, I couldn't understand the worker. It was a chain reaction as I walked down the alley-length/type shop toward the back (as the worker pointed). The ladies who were being pampered pointed...one after another... and the workers too.. as I walked down... and found the bathroom. Funny. When I came back, they smiled and gave me a thumbs-up (for finding the bathroom, not for taking care of business, mind you). I thought it was kinda funny. Anyways, back to reading... then I finally received such a nice pedicure. My feet soaked in the feet whirlpool (whatever it's called) for an extra-long time with my nose in the book that my coworker gave me.... while the workers finished up with other ladies. Then, I had such a good thorough pedicure. It's been too long. The eyebrow wax went well too. While my toenails were dyring under the fans, a worker gave me a great neck/back massage. Oh, how I needed that! I think I will go back next week. I came home feeling so relaxed and clean. Now, I've got a biore strip across my nose as I type. It's been a pampering week for me. I plan on doing more self-pampering during the next 2 weeks when I'm finally off from school and internship. Ain't life wonderful?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Australia is paying cash for newborns. I think this is ridiculous. If Australia wants to boost the declining population, why not bring in foster and adoptive children from other countries? Australia should direct the money to the Aborigines who were dislocated and taken out of their natural home environment by the White Australian society and help them become employed or reintegrated in their own ways, even if that means returning to the Bush. Australia has more important societal problems than trying to increase the population. I think that one reason they're seeing a decline in births is because of geography. Australia is a big island completely surrounded by water. Here, USA's land is connected to Mexico and Canada. There are also many islands off the shore where folks try to escape and cross the water to touch US soil. Therefore, folks can stream into the US. Australia is inaccessible. It would be interesting to see how Australia would handle immigration and booming population issues.

Also, it's too bad that mothers-to-be are being paid for having babies. I wish we could pay people here to not have babies, especially those who don't take motherhood seriously or aren't "good mothers" at heart/in whatever ways and end up hurting the kids and keep the child protection services in business. Don't get me wrong here. I'm all for people who want to have families. I just wish that we could pay the incompetents to not have babies. I get angry when I think about how they don't realize that they are bringing real lives and souls into the world and need to raise them to be productive healthy adults. Babies and children have feelings and needs too.

Read the article below.

Australia Paying Cash for Newborns

CANBERRA, Australia (Aug. 3) - Good things come to those who wait, the saying goes. For new Australian mothers in July, those good things were a baby - and a cash handout.
A federal government "baby bonus" of 3,000 Australian dollars (US$2,100) went into effect July 1, and a newspaper reported Tuesday that at least one private maternity hospital saw a slump in deliveries toward the end of June and a surge in early July.
Apparently, women who planned Caesarean section deliveries put off the procedure until after July 1 to ensure they did not miss out on the new bonus. The government had advised expectant mothers to schedule caesareans according to medical advice rather than when it would be most lucrative.
The government said the payment was intended to boost Australia's flagging birth rate, while opposition lawmakers branded it vote-buying ahead of elections expected later this year.
St. John of God Hospital in the west coast city of Perth reported that the number of babies born there fell 21 percent in the second half of June compared with the corresponding period last year, the West Australian newspaper said. But the number of births in the first half of July increased 30 percent compared to a year earlier.
There were 126 babies born at the hospital from July 1 to July 14, and 95 babies in the comparable period last year.
However, another private maternity hospital in Perth, Mercy, reported no difference in births after the start of the baby bonus period, while other hospitals said they had modest increases early last month.
The bonus was only announced earlier this year, so any parents who decided to have a baby to cash in on the government's generosity will have to wait several more months to collect.

If You're Ever Stuck...

If you're ever stuck with how to explain to your child how s/he was born, here's a modern version of the birds and bees story that might make more sense to them in this age of modern technology.

SON SAYS:* Daddy, how was I born? *DAD SAYS:* Ah, well, my
son, one day you will need to find out anyway! Mom and Dad got together in
a chat room on MSN. Dad set up a date via e-mail with your mom and we met
at a cybercafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, and then your mother
downloaded from dad's memory stick. As soon as dad was ready for an upload,
it was discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall. Since it was
too late to hit the delete button, nine months later the blessed little
virus appeared.


Monday, August 09, 2004

World's Hairiest Man Has Ear Hair Removed to Hear

Silly weird news. Read on ..........................................................................BEIJING (Aug. 6) - The world's hairiest man, Chinese rock singer Yu Zhenhuan, underwent ear surgery in Shanghai on Friday to remove hair that was impairing his hearing, the Xinhua news agency said on Friday.
Doctors said Yu had complained of constant earaches and nausea and had lost one-third of his hearing, Xinhua said.
Yu was recognized in 2002 as the world's hairiest man by the Guinness Book of Records, Xinhua said.
Yu's body, save the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet, is covered with an average of 41 hairs per 1 sq cm (0.16 sq inch), a condition doctors term "atavism," it said.
The hirsute 26-year-old Yu, a rock-and-roll singer, made his entertainment debut at the age of six in a movie about "a hairy child's adventure," the state news agency said.

Funny.....

Gotta thank RT and his cousin for this. RT - hope you don't mind me duplicating it from your blog. If you need to go to the bathroom, go before you read this or you'll otherwise wet your pants laughing.

To all my friends and family, Thank you for making me safe, secure, blessed, and wealthy by sending me your chain letters over the last year.
Because of your concern:
I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.
I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.
I no longer drink anything out of a can because I will get sick from the rat feces and urine.
I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.
I no longer golf since alligators will swallow you whole.
I no longer go to movies because I could sit on a needle infected with AIDS.
I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could get pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.
I no longer pump my own gas for fear of being pricked by a needle also infected with AIDS.
I no longer use my Budweiser Frogs screen saver because it is actually a virus.
I no longer use cancer causing deodorants even though I smell like a wet dog on a hot day.
I no longer park in parking lots because some one will assault me and steal my car.
I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and try to rob me.
I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaida in disguise.
I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops.
I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a stupid number for which I will get the phone bill from hell with calls to Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.
I no longer eat pre-packaged foods because the estrogens they contain will turn me gay.
I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.
I no longer look at the opposite sex because they will take my kidneys and leave me taking a nap in a bathtub full of ice.
I no longer have a cell phone but that will change once I receive my new Ericcson phone.
I no longer have any sneakers but that will change once I receive my free replacement pair from Nike.
I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.
I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me.
I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl about to die in the hospital for the 1,000th time.
I no longer have any money but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are sending me since I participated in their special e-mail program.
I want to thank all of you soooooooo much!! for looking out for me! Now, if you DON'T send this e-mail to at least 1200 people in the next 60 seconds, a large bird with diarrhea will crap on your head at 5:00 pm this afternoon.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Conventions Are Unnecessary Pep Rallies

Are political conventions really necessary? Who do they benefit other than the candidates and their party members? It's like an adult version of the high school pep rally, only the space, people, and money plate are bigger.

We already know who the candidates are. Why go through all the hoopla and spend millions of dollars to announce and formally nominate who we already know are the official candidates for presidency? Not to mention, millions of dollars are being spent on security.

What I would rather see with the money spent before, for, and during conventions are for the candidates and their party colleagues to, instead of holding a big pep rally about what we already know about, take all that money and visit social services agencies, schools, organizations, and shelters to formally donate the money they raised. Give the money back to the communities, states, and country you are hoping to represent. Candidates can talk all they want - various truths and worldviews, twisted truths, diplomatic talks, half-lies, and lies... but, no matter what, the actions are what speak louder and are heard in the long run. Granted, we do need their savviness and skills in order to get the resources we need, yet we need to be sure that the resources are going where they should go to. We also need to be sure that these are necessary resources and the right ones to obtain, secure, distribute, and enforce. This in itself is an art. Which candidates have the right balance of these skills to do the job and execute what needs to be done or upheld?

A colleague recently predicted that the Republican Convention will be cancelled. At first, my first reaction was, "ha, heck no." As time passed and I thought about it, I do think that it is a possibility. I still don't think that it'll be cancelled. But, I can think of different reasons why it'd be cancelled, especially with the recent increase in media attention and governmental warnings about terror threats, increased security in parts of the city, and so on. The convention could be cancelled due to security concerns or whatever reason they come up with. If it still goes on, I really hope that, in my wildest dreams, millions of protestors will converge on and make a huge statement. In reality, thousands will probably show up. Right now, it's a wait and see to see how the convention week goes. I have a feeling that it may be of historical proportion, unlike the Democratic convention which, altho it had some great speeches and figures, barely made any ripples across the country.

I am glad that many people hate Bush. What saddens me about this election that people are voting against Bush out of hatred and passionate dislike based on his poor performance as a President. Where's the spirit of true political campaigning and race?

Yesterday, I saw a picture of Bush and Kerry in the same town. They looked like fraternal twins holding up a piece of corn in the same manner. Who's copying who? Who's trying to save face here? I wonder who their political advisors and analysts are since they're in a town holding up a piece of corn with a smile on their face instead of doing some real work. What good does holding corn husks do for our country?

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Bubba

Someone I know keeps on greeting me with "Hi, Bubba" everytime I meet him. The last few times, I asked him why Bubba. I always replied with, "Hi, Hubba." He never had a good reason for calling me Bubba. It was one of these few moments where he did not have an explaination for what he said. He said it once again last Thursday, so I decided to ask a hearing person about what it really meant.

Bubba reminded me of the "hubba bubba" commercial song during Bubbilicious gum commercials.

Bubba also always made me think of Forest Gump's friend in the movie when they ran a shrimp boating business. Right now, there is a restaurant named after it in Times Square.

I mentioned "bubba" to an interpreter friend tonight. Her jaws dropped, and she said it was a huge insult. She told me that it meant a fat blubbering person who waddled from side to side and was very stupid or a big dimwit. She told me that whoever said that to be was really insulting me big time. She replied with, "Maybe it's just a hearing thing because it's a slang, especially in the South. It's not a good thing. I would have slapped whoever said that to me."

Later tonight, I looked up "bubba" in the dictionary. Bubba is a slang that means "brother" in the South and "A white working-class man of the southern United States, stereotypically regarded as uneducated and gregarious with his peers." However, in the South, it can just mean "brother"

I asked my friend for his definition. He said that it was an affectionate term. Hubba, thanks for calling me Bubba. That's such a huge compliment. My turn to *mwah*

Laughing Outloud

Laughing outloud often these days. Last Thursday, I met up with RT for a late late night KFC dinner on 14 St. Like RT once said, 14 St is very alive 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We both had juicy stories to exchange about a particular ex of mine. I had stories about her before she went insane. He had stories about her after she went insane. I rarely talked about her since I dated her before she became legally psychotic and insane. RT & I laughed so hard about certain things that this particular woman did on Gallaudet campus and around town in DC. And, as always, RT had some entertaining stories about Barfeteria and deaf community figures, landmarks, and incidences. I still cannot get over how Mr. Chapstick used a chapstick to carry out lubed "protected" copulation in a car after a night of drinking and clubbing. *shaking head and laughing* I am never going to look at a Chapstick display box at the pharmacy check-out register counter the same way again. On another note, I saw an older woman walk up an alley in a light trench coat wearing a medical latex glove on her left hand while holding a cigarette in her left hand. She did not have a latex glove on her right hand. That was a funny odd sight to see. I wonder why the heck she was wearing a latex glove and a trench coat in slightly humid/warm weather while smoking and walking up an alley. Anyways, gotta go to bed. I've got a midterm tomorrow, few meetings, and a paper to turn in. Buon notte.