Books and movies

Today, I finished reading the book (well, listening to the audiobook, anyway) Crazy Rich Asians.

I had read the book, because I had enjoyed the film, and discovered that it was based on a book, and that there was actually a whole little series of books, and that it was written by a man…, and my interest was piqued… especially by that last fact.

I had just recently been to Singapore a couple times, so the film easily held a little warm spot in my heart, especially since they go to eat at one of my favorite places in the world to eat (the hawker stand when they first arrive to Singapore).

At long last, I got hold of the audiobook, and dove in, and, though it was different from the film, I enjoyed it.

I mean, I knew it would be different from the film – books always are different from their film counterparts.

Except, perhaps, The Princess Bride… that one is purty darn near exactly the same…, though it does have slight differences still…

Anyway, two things came from this, but I’ll wait…

Whenever I finish a book, I let goodreads.com know, and it adds to my list of books read.

It also sends me an e-mail: You finished [fill in the blank book]. What’s next?

And then it gives a brief bit about the book, including the first few reviews on it, and then info on the author and how to follow him on the website, and, finally, other books that people who read this same book also liked/read.

On this e-mail, I saw part of a review that interested me, and so I clicked and was led to the full review, which I read.

The writer of the review and I had very different impressions from the book – I very much enjoyed it, and she was somewhat annoyed by most of it.

I easily disregarded the review, knowing full well that I often disagree with most reviews I see of books.

(Also, I almost never accept film recommendations, because people seem to have such terrible taste in films and in film quality…)

I have certain people I trust with book recommendations, and I rather distrust most others in the world for a book (or film) recommendation.

But this got me thinking more on the book…

There are probably loads of people who dislike and have terrible and ugly things to say about just about any book, right?

As JRR Tolkien wrote in the beginning of the 1976(?) edition of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, there will be always those who dislike things he likes, and also who dislike the way he told these stories.

(He said a lot more, but that is the most relevant part in this conversation.)

As I thought about the film’s being so different from the book, I found myself wanting to talk to the author, Kevin Kwan, and to ask him how he felt about that all, and what his thoughts were on it…

Is it not basically a group of individuals declaring that your story was good, but just not good enough?, I thought at him in our mental interview within my own mind.

Then, it had me wonder, What is it like with reading the various reviews of your books by readers? All those nasty comments and thoughts…Do you just ignore them entirely and never read them, because that isn’t why you wrote them, anyway? You wrote them for those who would enjoy them?

And this idea had me think about whether it mightn’t be a good idea to go ahead and gather together people who love me, and have them tell me how they dislike or do not like something that I have done or created… practice the rejection, so to speak.

Not to experience the suffering, but to learn to separate their unkind words from my own satisfaction and pleasure from the work I have produced… to aid me in learning to love my creations period, with no dependency on what others’ opinions are, good or bad.

My mood is up to me, and my art can be perfect just for me… everything else is insignificant.

If it brings others joy, yay: joy for them and for myself.

If it doesn’t bring others joy, yay: joy for myself.

That’s why I wrote/made/created it, anyway, was for myself, right?

In some way, anything I create must be for myself… it is something I was ready to express, and in this particular form at this particular time… it is for myself that I do it, whether I realize or acknowledge it or not.

Yet, those bad reviews really stick with us… as I recently was called to consider from a quote by Orson Welles:

Every actor in his heart believes everything bad that’s printed about him.

So, I wonder, how can we move past that?

How can we be untouched by the bad reviews?

And, even, the good reviews, too, for, if they suddenly were to cease, would we be saddened?

How can we be self-sustaining in our joy and satisfaction with our own art, and untouched by the opinions of others?

The second idea was about how films are always different from the book, even when the book is spectacular already.

Why must the book always be changed?

Why?!

Ugh.

Post-a-day 2020

Cinco de Mayo

Perusing the various social aspects of my phone as I get in my final required steps before I am allowed to go to bed for the night, I have noticed a sense of slight oddness…, but I have been unable to identify what is odd, nor really be sure that something is, indeed, odd… I’m just tired, and under the after-effects of a large margarita (from six hours ago, mind you) and lots of tamales and tacos to fill my belly and tire me out.

I had consciously decided to gorge on them in celebration of Cinco de Mayo – truly more of a Texas day of celebration of Mexican culture than a Mexican celebration of boosted morale in the midst of a takeover by France… – and to be delighted with the whole experience… and I have been – today has been great.

But, sitting here on my bed, there is something tickling at the back of my tired mind and body…

I wiggle and trench my shoulders a bit, and it suddenly hits me, as I declare happily, “That’s what’s weird! I don’t have a shirt on!”

As usual when I am really tired, I messed up the order of things in getting ready for bed, and forgot the one that involves putting on a shirt. 😂

So, I popped over to clothes, selected a soft t-shirt, and pulled it on happily.

Aaahhh… that feels good… satisfying.

At last, the oddness is gone, and I feel whole in my bedtime preparations. 😂

Silly, silly… 😂

Post-a-day 2020

Cookies, anyone?

Look, I know people love cookies.

I do.

But I almost always prefer the batter to the cookies themselves.

Seriously.

One of my favorite treats in life growing up (aside from certain breads 😂) was taking a spoon (or fork!) to the roll of Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough… mmmmmmmm…

Slicing the end off with a serrated knife, sucking out the bit from the end piece, and then having at the rest.

Not even joking here… we would stand in the kitchen at night, sharing from the roll, my siblings and I.

Oh, it was just so good… I have no words for it…

Haha

It may or may not be something I have been known to do in my adult life… on more than one occasion…

(Okay, like three times, so don’t get all crazy on me about the raw eggs – the gluten and sugar in it hurt me more than the eggs ever have or likely ever will.)

And no, I didn’t even bother to bake cookies, whenever I get the roll.

(Not for myself, anyway, but I might have baked them and just given them away, because nobody needs that much cookie dough.) 😂

So, yeah… I was supposed to have some on my birthday, actually…, but it didn’t work out with timing, and I am rather strict about following my dietary guidelines and rules, and the allowance is only on two specific days a month, and I don’t want to waste the cookie dough on just any old day… I want it to be a celebration, so I can bask in it, and also share in delight with those around me, who also are celebrating somehow…

Perhaps we can do a Christmas in July celebration, and include it then… hmm…

Or else, I’ll just wait another ten months for my birthday to come around again… :/

Yeah, anyway…

Cookie dough is delicious, so long as it is in small quantities and not some crap recipe, anyway… 😂

Post-a-day 2020

Friday night sucks…

Let’s talk for a minute about how we live into the future…

You know, on any given weekend, Sunday is kind of the sucky day of the weekend, because we are acutely aware of having to go back to business Monday morning… and then, if we have a vacation coming up, we’re overjoyed and excited all the time, all throughout the day, even if it is Monday morning, and we have work to do…, because our vacation is soon(!)… The boring meeting right now has no power over our cruise that starts Saturday morning…

In that sense, we live into our future, right?

Right.

So, for me, I need to be around people – I need to have my solo time, but I also need to be with people, really be with them… a friend(?) recently mentioned the term “ambivert” to me, and I like it… it very well describes my situation with all of this being extroverted and introverted…, which people almost never seem to understand, by the way…

Anyway, I need people in my life.

For the past two weeks, I have been living with very few people in my daily life… it was enough to get me by last week and the start of this week, but then the working from home this week has crushed all interactions with people in my daily life now…

However, I had work to get me through the week, e-mails to exchange, interactions (though cyber) guaranteed to be had throughout the day…

But tomorrow is Saturday… I have no work, no e-mails, no semblance of human interaction…

And I am miserable… I almost – scratch the almost, I feel like weeping, I am filled with such an experience of stress and of being unloved…

There is that beautiful quote of, “I have called you by name; you are mine,” and, though it is used initially as defining a part of the relationship between God and humanity, I feel it applies to how we interact with all things and beings in our life… when I have called you by name, given you a name of my own, I have given you a place in my heart, and you are dear to me – in some way or other, you are mine.

When people interact with me, call me by name, I often am filled with the love that is present in our relationship, whatever that relationship may be… essentially, when people interact so directly with me, I feel and experience their love for me.

In contrast, when people do not interact with me directly…, I sometimes lose sight of that love…, I sometimes begin to convince myself that the love has faded, and that I am left to myself, to be loved by no one else…

And the experience of that always sucks.

Just saying, it does.

And I know that my love is enough, and I know that the pieces of God that reside within me are enough to sustain me and fill me in every way…

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck to feel unloved by the rest of the world.

I know I will be okay… I will be far more than okay…

I’m just letting myself experience this overwhelming feeling of sick right now, so that, in acknowledging it, in allowing the intense, hiding yet ebbing emotions to express, I am able to let it all go, to release it all in a cathartic convulsing of body and searing tears…

It is already late tonight, but I know that I will go to bed in an intentionally much improved state…, and I will get out of bed in the morning and take care of myself – I will play music and make art and work my body as hard as it needs to release anything else that might remain in the morning… if I cannot focus my love on others, perhaps there is something missing in my love for myself, something on which I would do well to improve… I am worth loving, and I know that and experience that with my whole being… even when I stray to wonder at its being true…

Nonetheless, I will take care of myself… I will do what I wish others would do to show their love for me, because I love me, and I am worth being loved (and even lavished), and being all alone for so long and for so much foreseeable future is scary right now…

But perhaps it is this problem exactly that has me in this situation… perhaps I need to grow more comfortable with providing all the love on my own, so that I become fully clear and comfortable in the fact that I do not need the others’ love – I merely want it.

As I was thinking in a dreamed conversation just today, do you really want to be with someone who needs you?… Would you really choose that over being with someone who wants to be with you?

I have said it before, and it still holds true entirely, I want to be with someone – in all my relationships, really – who doesn’t need me, but who wants to be with me nonetheless… who wants not to be without me, and so chooses to be with me.

It is in times of these feelings of isolation that I wonder where the people in my life stand on this spectrum, to what degrees they want me in their lives…

I have yet to find the far edge of the spectrum of wanting me…, but perhaps it will come some day… soon…

Anyway, I’m off to clean up and get ready for bed, now that I’ve finished this whole cry fest… who would have thought that Friday night and an entirely open weekend ahead could be so upsetting??

Haha

Anyway, this was how I spent my evening: eating fancy stew straight from the pot, while watching the first half of one of my favorite films, which was just recently gifted to me for my birthday, all while detachedly wondering about something that won’t seem to leave me alone lately… (I mean, what are you gonna do, right?… it’s like when a song gets stuck in my head… just let it ride, and it eventually will be replaced by something [hopefully] better, you know?)

Post-a-day 2020

Food…

Have you ever had a strong physical reaction to food…?

I don’t mean like food poisoning or allergy, not at all.

I mean like… an arousing… reaction…

No?

Well, tonight, riding home through the cool, misty air, I passed underneath the train tracks, and hit the first wall of Sunbeam bread being freshly baked for the early morning send-off…

I inhaled deeply, sucking in the warm, glorious smell I always delight in crossing…

And I felt an instant, almost overpowering, reaction in my body… my muscles tensed, and an intense shiver, originating … well, yeah… below my belly, rose powerfully upward, through my belly, my spine, down my arms and spreading through the hair follicles on my entire body… in a sense, it was a moment of ecstasy…. It was deep and intense and thorough, though only for a few moments.

My whole body was suddenly tightly wound, and utterly warm, for just a moment…

As the shiver released through my body, its spread all-encompassing, it flowed out my finger tips and skull, and dissipated entirely, leaving only a questioning sense of ‘What the h*** just happened?’ in my mind…

I wasn’t opposed.

But I certainly was surprised.

I mean… wow.

Bread.

Not even… the scent of bread.

Just… wow.

So, that’s been on my mind since I arrived home tonight… haha 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Some thoughts not wasted

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, they always said.

This morning at breakfast, I was very bummed when I asked if my food could possibly be heated, since it was served cold (and just tasted terrible cold), and I was informed first that it could be, but then told that the plate was being re-made… so wasteful…

When it was re-served only slightly warm and significantly worse made, I didn’t dare say anything about it, and instead just wrapped it up to take home for one of us to eat later, after we could warm it ourselves.

Tonight, we had some king cake after dinner, and it was far too dry for me to be interested in eating it beyond a couple bites or so.

But no one wanted to take it home to finish, and none of us had anyone at home with whom to share it anyway.

So, I was curious when I crossed a kind-looking man on a street corner during my drive home.

I rolled down my window, called out, asking him if he wanted some cake, and was delighted to see his face light up, and to hear him answer with a genuine and surprised, emphatic, “Yes!”

I handed him the box of a more than 3/4 king cake, and wished him well as he thanked me.

It made me want to go back and spend some time with the man, and I even felt bad that I didn’t give him water to go with the cake.

(I mean, it isn’t painfully dry or anything – I just really only like king cake when it is super moist on the inside.)

I considered bringing him water, actually, but then saw the absurdity of it, and left it for now… I don’t exactly have the money to be driving back and forth, anyway.

I also found myself thinking about the safety level of going and spending time with him – I often want to do this with people, homeless people typically, but have learned not so nicely that there are often chemical imbalances that can provide an unsafe environment for me if I were to go spend time with the homeless people around town… not always, but often enough to make me reconsider most of the time…, which kind of bums me out… also, I’m afraid of being stuck with really bad smells, which then sends me into a whole ‘nother level of looking for what I could do to help, and then having to manage keeping myself safe…

Anyway, the whole thing reminded me of how one of the most valuable things we have to offer in life is our attention.

People always say “time”, but I think they really mean “attention”.

I can give you an hour my time, but never once pay attention to you, versus give you ten minutes of full attention, and I think the latter will win every time for being the most appreciated.

Sure, things like laying bricks would prefer the former, but when it comes to people-to-people interactions, it is or attention that we all most desire and most need… it is through our conscious attention that we share the most love with others, not just our showing up.

Like someone said after a dance thing the other weekend – he noticed that I kept to myself and didn’t really talk with many people, but that I took genuine interest, asked real questions, and waited for real answers whenever I talked with him… I spent a lot of time on the room, making little impact on anyone, but ten minutes of talking with him directly had a huge impact on him.

I’ve kind of gone off the initial idea here, but I guess that’s how ideas work, anyway, always linking us to different connections, one after another, always and forever…

Which makes me think of brain storming… what a storm it is… debris flying every which way, leaving it difficult to find the origins of certain things, they fly so fast at times, and cross so many turns and twists in the system of the brain, in the storm…

I guess the biggest difference between a brain’s storming and nature’s storming is that the former usually gives us solutions, and the latter often gives us problems… haha… that’s funny… I’m going to continue thinking on brain storming…

Post-a-day 2020

Oh, dear…

I overhear a girl complaining… I look up.

It is to her friends that she complains… it seems she went to the cafeteria to get food for all of them.

She is complaining that she is hot and tired… a girl commented at her in the cafeteria, “That looks like a lot of food…”

“Yeah…,” she responded, slightly ironically, but in agreement.

It seems she did not say it was for multiple people… for three people…, and she felt extreme embarrassment at being considered someone who would be eating it all herself…

“Can you imagine what it must be like… standing there with all this food?.. like…”

I reevaluate what she holds in her hand, as she fans her face with the free hand.

She holds three small paper trays, each with two medium-sized egg rolls and a sweet and sour sauce container in it – any pair of the egg rolls could fit in the palm of my hand at once, with no concern of being dropped.

I probably could hold all six in one hand, if I curled my fingers upward only slightly.

It is not a lot of food.

It is three servings of an appetizer.

And it is to be lunch for three high school girls.

I guess the sauce has loads of calories, but how can they possibly survive on such a meal?

I am hungry just watching them, and I already had lunch.

The worst part for me, though, is how they are embarrassed at the amount of food – all three were embarrassed for the one who bought it all and was seen carrying them solo – and that they consider it to be “a lot” of food for one person.

It makes me gag just thinking about the eating disorder tendency…

::sigh

😦

And then, what’s worse, they didn’t even finish eating all of it…

Post-a-day 2020

Dreams

Last night, I dreamed that I was in a live-in minimester course at UT (Austin) with the temporary professor Johnny Depp.

The class began beautifully (though a couple people almost got hit by cars in the road), and was about learning to pinpoint pieces of perfection within one’s artistic expression in various aspects of art and life.

He was a very good teacher and quite a silly, introvert-esque guy who really didn’t seem to be too bothered by anything negative, and who was a good teacher naturally, without really trying or having to think things through too much.

It was a great class and very non-professional-like in terms of traditional school, but the activities and approaches were spectacular from a learning standpoint – he really got us getting in touch with everything within our inner core, and challenged us beautifully.

He commented multiple times about how he doesn’t really have many/any friends, and that it mostly because 1) he was weird and 2) he was busy working on stuff and being silly, and most people had normal jobs and weren’t interested enough in doing something like a paint swimming day with trampolines and dogs instead of going to the office.

They aren’t too interested in hooky…

Thus began my brief time of befriending Johnny Depp…

And then the dream ended, and I awoke wanting donuts…

I still want those donuts…

… hmm…

Post-a-day 2020

In-N-Out

In-N-Out Burger has landed in Houston, Texas.

Well, the Houston area, anyway – not in Houston proper, but in a couple highly populated suburbs of it.

I went to the nearest one today for lunch, as I was somewhat already on the way there (compared to where I live in inner city) due to my working location this morning.

And it was all because my mom sent me a photo of their onesie pajamas that she had discovered online (though, I’m not too sure why she was looking not why she sent it to me).

When I checked Google Maps to see if it was open already and how to get there, I noticed only where it was and that it opened at 10:30am and that the other location was already open for today.

Yay!

So, I went.

And cars were everywhere.

Traffic cones line the street next to the parking lot.

Traffic cops direct cars.

About ten to fifteen In-N-Out employees are moving around the neatly organized parking lot, taking orders, it seems, and managing the drive-through lines.

Another employee or two are handing out hats and stickers to people waiting (outside) in line for dine-in ordering.

I tell my mom that I hadn’t known it was opening day, and she says I might as well stay and eat anyway, especially because of that, and also because I had come al the way out for it already.

I agreed that I could sit and read one of my current books, and begin following signs for ‘Dine-In’.

The parking lot-based employees tell me to pass a certain way, and they move a couple cones and a sign for me to truck through into the front parking lot, which is today exclusively for dine-in customers.

I go in, wait not much more than five to seven minutes in line, place my order, and receive my ticket.

As I am heading outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather while I wait, I head the number two called.

My number is 75.

Everyone is in a good mood, though, and is waiting happily enough.

I am delighted for In-N-Out.

Eventually, my mom and my cousin’s husband join me, and I have an outdoor table in the shade, and I get my food.

The cousin husband shows me a saddle that he’s just picked up – super cool, by the way – and heads off, while my mom sits with me while I eat.

We invite a couple to join us at the table, since they already have food but no table on which to set their little trays.

They inform us that the store has been open for a while, and that it is like this every day, open to close.

Wow.

The food is delicious, as usual.

When leaving, I see a couple doing just what I had considered doing, if we hadn’t been able to sit at a table by the time the food came.

It felt like a very cute Texas touch to In-N-Out.

Plus, it was just adorable to see, so I really enjoyed it.

Like dessert to my meal. 😛

Anyway…, welcome to Houston, In-N-Out Burger!! 😀

Post-a-day 2019

Early risers vs the nots

I asked my mom what time she needs me to have breakfast ready for tomorrow.

I asked her to find out a better eta for the family driving down.

She didn’t understand why, at first, but eventually got it… somewhat…

I wanted to know what time breakfast needed to be ready to serve tomorrow.

But she just kept telling me that it was okay to have it ready at 9am…

Family won’t event be arriving until ten at the absolute earliest, based on their most recent check-in with us.

AND my mom doesn’t like eating breakfast until closer to lunchtime than breakfast-time…

I don’t see a need for me to be up early tomorrow just because my mother is… I am not a morning person unless I must be… which is almost never.

I don’t care if it is Okay for me to have breakfast ready at 9am… I care about knowing when it needs to be ready, so I, therefore, am able to sleep as long as is possible tonight…

I have been to bed way late, and then up super early… I need to sleep in for once, especially if I will have little girls running around me all day… hmm…

(Fun fact: I just realized that I might be able to do some photos of the kiddos…that would be awesome!)

Anyway, goodnight. 🙂

Post-a-day 2019