Archive for May, 2005

Friday May 27, 2005

May 27, 2005 - 11:42 pm 2 Comments

DI Globals was an epiphany in more than a few ways – some good, some not so good. It has changed the way I think and the way I value things.

Monday May 23, 2005

May 23, 2005 - 8:28 pm 2 Comments

ARGH! Packing supposedly my “professional clothes” for the banking internship. I am not the type to be worrying about what to wear, but nothing looks really acceptable. I don’t know what to do! I’m DOOMED.

Monday May 23, 2005

May 23, 2005 - 5:04 pm No Comments

The rain hasn’t stopped falling for the past six hours – the sign of a moody, gloomy day. I woke up rather late and studied Chinese frantically. I’ve practiced this new technique, in which I memorize the shape of words rather than the detailed steps of how to write each specific character perfectly. With this new technique, I’ve made progress in my reading, but none in my writing. Yet, recognition is the key step.

Preparing for DI – I have an empty suitcase and an empty desire to pack. I’m excited, but also a bit nervous. Spontaneous was always my strong suit, but approachable, instantaneous humor is not. I think Americans prefer slapstick. Slapstick humor requires a shedding of pride. Pride is something that I wish I could shed more often, but I know I cannot. Suggestions? Recommendations?

I need to pack for Taiwan. Evidently, full suits are mandated. The bad news, however, is that the temperature is always incredibly humid and incredibly hot. How can I survive in a full suit? The residents there have spent their entire lives acclimatizing, while I feel stifled if the temperature is above eighty degrees. (No, thinking cool thoughts does not help) I hope they’ll let me get away with the less-stuffy business casual dress, considering I’m an intern.

I generally don’t like it when other people buy me clothes, but my aunt has taken full liberty of buying a large set of suits for me. The thing is, my dad offered her a set of measurements that certainly will not fit me. (What was he thinking?) I don’t know what to do! She bought these suits in China so she certainly can’t just fly back there and return / exchange.

Leave me a comment if there’s anything from Taiwan that you’d like me to get for you.

Thursday May 19, 2005

May 19, 2005 - 10:15 pm 1 Comment

Woke up lazily today, still entangled in my dreams of the indefatigable exploits of Judge Dee – ancient Chinese magistrate extraordinaire, brought to life by the talented Dutch Diplomat Van Gulik. The mysteries are not only more complicated and intriguing than those of Sherlock Holmes, but also I prefer the ancient Chinese cultural flavor rather than the ambiance of 19th century England. I am, however, so ineffably relieved that I was born female in the 20th century in the United States rather than in ancient China. My mother told me that Judge Dee was only a minor figure in Chinese history, but I figure, Van Gulik’s decision to choose him as the protagonist was a good decision – more artistic and literary liberty.

I spent an entire day indulging in Judge Dee stories – almost a déjà vu from last year’s summer. I have to thank Steven for introducing them to me. Memories of 7th period Geosystems…gosh, that was truly a class that I legitimately failed, but ended up with an A in because I was on good terms with the teacher and had the image of a hard-working student in comparison to those other senior slackers who skipped. (She didn’t notice, however, that I was always playing games on the computer as she lectured.) I do hold Ms. Schmid accountable for the fact that her tests were often too difficult in comparison to the original material, and that twice, she compared my multiple choice answers to a wrong key. Ah…the innocent days.

Then, I went to the basement and resurrected my old childhood favorite books. In particular, I found “Ghost Cadet”. When I re-read it, I was struck by all the quite politically incorrect themes.

Very anti Yankee and pro Confederate– As a quite pro-confederate story, I was very surprised by all the references to the brave “War Between the States” heroes of the South and the cowards of the North (who pillaged dead bodies and stole priceless southern heirlooms). Also, there were multiple references to the terrible state of Yankee education.

Inferiority of women – The sister of the protagonist was characterized as this fashion-chasing bimbo who only sought the company of boys for her fulfillment. The book also cast the mother as a woman who would abandon her children to enjoy a get-away with her most recent boyfriend. There is no truly strong female character. Miss Leota, the stoic grandmother, despite her knowledge, remains subservient to the notion of her all-male ancestors. The mother of the ghost was cast as this weak woman who preferred to call her son “Willie” rather than the respectable “Hugh”.

And I was raised upon this book? (Well, it’s set in Virginia. I’m proudly from NORTHERN Virginia. We aren’t like the folks in the book…)

Later in the afternoon, I went to the Dentist’s Office. Oh, how I loathe that filthy place. The Dentist proceeded to pick painfully at my gums and comment morosely, “You haven’t been flossing. Your gums bleed as I am doing this.”

I held my tongue, but it’s so unfair! I do floss! But seriously, flossing is NOT the same as having a metal pick be driven into soft tissue. The Dentist also screwed up a few times and obviously sunk that sharp metal tool somewhere he shouldn’t have.

It was painful…

Then, I followed my mom to run a few errands and came back home, in which I watched a special TV program on 87-lb babies born with a deficiency known as “Momo”. 

What an unmemorable day…

Tuesday May 17, 2005

May 17, 2005 - 8:39 pm No Comments

I finally cleaned my room today, after waiting such a long time, staring at those endless boxes with a sense of desperation. Anyway, I found a series of poems and prose I wrote last year when I was in Taiwan with Lauren. We were at my Uncle’s office, and it was quite boring watching all his minions work. So I figured, why not make use of the time and jot down ramblings on a scrap of paper?

[Rambling #1:]
Commentary: I am such a clairvoyant – remember, this letter was written in JULY of 2004. I did it to tease Lauren, but that’s about it. Never imagined it to become true…oh well… See, Lauren, at that time, was quite enamored…already…in a way I thought was quite beyond ‘normal’ for Lauren.

Dear Ernest,
I love you. I can’t live without you because everyday, I feel the need to e-mail you or talk online. What else could it be but love? Every word you write, my heart roars like a man stung seven times by a bee. I need you Ernest. I read Pale Fire for you, Ernest. I read your xanga everyday, Ernest. I’ll start a personal fab club if in real life, you promise to like me. -Lauren Z

[Rambling  #2]
Commentary: This poem is about a vegetable – a carrot that is used as a metaphor for a dagger. Lauren read it and told me, “JOYCE! How can you write something so perverted??” I did not see anything perverted in the content, but in retrospect, I realize how…truly…disturbing it was. Well, I honestly didn’t see it when I wrote this poem last year. I guess a year really does change the clarity and focus of mind…

Haha…I think I’m too emabarassed to show it.
But honestly, it’s about a carrot used as a dagger.

[Rambling #3]
Alright, so I wanted to write a poem that was mildly disturbing. I entitled it, “Eating a child”. Written in twenty seconds, I think it captured what I was thinking at that time…

Standing over the dead child,
She felt a strange cooling
sesnsation that trickled slowly
down her pale body like
melted, sweet honey.

Stroking the child’s dark hair,
she rubbed her nose against
the white cheek
planting a red kiss
against the cold, inflexible skin.

Delicious, she whispered,
playing thoughtfully with the
child’s doll-like face.

Before leaning down
to taste that delicate, young flesh

[The moral of the story]
People change kind of quickly. Even in a year, my own words have become so foreign to me. Ah…that’s a life lesson. Maybe it’s a good thing that these words have become so alien to me…