20 December 2005

Poem: Star Wars Party

Star Wars party here!
Time for discussion of films,
with some diehard fans.

29 November 2005

Poem: College Life

Last week of classes,
papers and finals to do.
Will I reach the end?

06 November 2005

College Life, Episode 5

Oh glorious construction crew and tractor, where would I be were it not for your constant noise and ground shaking techniques?

So, the third phase of Parkside has started. For those of you who do not know, I live in Parkside Apartments. These apartments were the first to be built. When my sister was going to 'SC, they started the second phase, it was a building of suites and an international cafeteria, very nice (you can see a tiny part of the suites building in the picture, it is directly behind the tractor). Now as I have said, the third phase has begun, which when completed will introduce another building of suites to the Parkside community.

The above picture is a demonstration of what I see while sitting at my desk and glancing out of my window on the third floor. I am not complaining about the noise or anything because all people moving in were forewarned about the plans for construction when we applied for housing here. I actually love my little apartment, but it is quite interesting.

See the thing the tractor is lifting in the picture? Do you know what that is? It is a large chunk of sidewalk. Guess what he's going to do with that? Oh yes, he is going to back up and drop it. Then pick it up, drop it, over and over and over again, until the slab of sidewalk breaks into many smaller, manageable pieces. Every time he drops that slab of concrete, my entire building shakes. It is like being in a mini earthquake every couple of seconds. Lovely. And that is why this little adventure has made it into my "College Life" series.

24 October 2005

Commentary: Rock On Saroeuth!

One of the most surreal things in life is hearing that someone you knew and cared about has passed away.

I found out earlier today that my Junior Varsity Volleyball Coach, Saroeuth Phim, had passed away in a car accident a couple of days ago. No, we were not the best of friends. No, we did not keep in touch after that year that she was my coach, but we did share a lot of memories.

The weird thing is that a couple of days ago I came across this picture of her and thought, "I wonder how Saroeuth is doing?" I do not know the exact date of the car accident and I do not know the exact date that I looked at her picture again but the question is still there. Was the fact that I just happened across her picture again a mere coincidence? Or was there something behind it? For all I know, while I was looking at her picture and wondering how she was, she could have been breathing her last breath. Life is weird but death is even weirder.

I feel sad not because she's no longer a part of my life but because she is no longer living her life. Like I said, after my Junior Varsity year, I would still see her from time to time but we did not really keep in touch. However, before I could think about her and ponder, "What is she doing right now?" Now, when I think of her, I will know that she has passed away and that if she is doing something, it is her spirit that is doing it in some afterlife or another.

She was only twenty-one. I hate to think about death even though it is a huge part of life because I know that I can die anytime, anywhere. Thinking about death and what happens afterwards and all of that stuff baffles my mind. I really do not know the answers to the questions regarding death. Like Confucius said, "We do not know life, how can we know death?" I think that is why I try to live my life day by day or week by week. Sure, when a school assignment is set a month or three months in advance I will think about it. Or when an important event is set up way in advance, I will mark it on the calendar but for the most part, I just do not think that far ahead. My thoughts of the future are pretty abstract, something along the lines of, "Yes, I plan to do this thing sometime within the next year."

I think of Saroeuth and I think of her smile. I cannot get her smile out of my head. Even when she was mad, the image of her smile was there just beneath the surface. She was one of the Varsity volleyball players I was afraid of during my year on the Freshman team but I respected her immensely and was awed by her skills. She was an awesome server. One day, late in my freshman year, I finally got enough courage to ask her for help and advice on serving because I sucked and she actually did help me out. When she was my coach for the Junior Varsity team, she continued to help me with my serving, along with so many other things.
Saroeuth, I have so many wonderful memories of you. You are in my heart and I will never forget you. I know that you are in a better place now so all I can say is, "Rock On!"

22 October 2005

Commentary: Christian Mongols?

One of the most interesting things I have learned this last week is that there were Christian Mongols in the 10th and 11th centuries. I guess I should have known, I mean, religions spread readily and what would stop some Mongols from adopting a new religion?

I think I was surprised by this fact because of the stereotypes I still hold about the Mongols. I am glad that I am learning more about them and their civilization because it helps to dispel such foolish beliefs. Obviously, for the most part, the things we learn about the Mongols are from the Western vantage point. As we all know, the West was not happy to meet the Mongols because their only experiences with them involved sackings and bloody losses. Due to this Western perspective, all I ever learned about the Mongols was that they were fierce warriors - scary people who were not to be messed with.

So why is it that we never hear about the Mongolian point of view? Because Mongol history is still kept under-wraps in The Secret History of the Mongols, a book that is still exclusively only for Mongols to access and write in. What little we actually do know about the Mongol culture and history has been based off of the bits and pieces that have leaked out from the book or from rare documents that tell us about the Mongols without a severely Western biased opinion of these people.

Anyway, if you are wondering what inspired me to bring this up, it was Eliot's blog. He had some posts about religion on his site and that reminded me of the Mongols. The Mongols who did convert to Christianity, did not convert to the Christianity that most people are familiar with; it was not the Christianity of the Byzantine Empire. The Mongols actually converted to Nestorian Christianity. The Nestorians were dissenters of Byzantine Christianity who broke away from the religious practices of the Byzantines because they believed in the diophysite (dual nature, divine and mortal) existence of Christ while the Byzantines believed in his monophysite (the belief that even as Jesus, Christ was essentially divine in nature) existence. When these dissenters broke away and formed the Nestorian branch of Christianity, they moved east of the Byzantine Empire to escape persecution.

Thus it came that the people who then adapted Nestorian Christianity were the people in Central Asia, the Sogdians (interchangeably called the Parthians or the Persians). Many Sogdians were merchants who traveled the Silk Road and during their travels, they passed through a great part of Central Asia. It is not surprising that they met some Mongols along the way and that some of these Mongols were influenced and persuaded by the Sogdians to convert to Nestorian Christianity.

There are many reasons why the Mongols were not barbaric or uncivilized, but I think the fact that some of them did adopt a monotheistic religion suffices as proof to those who believe that they were just "heathens." There is a lot more that I can say about the Mongol culture but I do not think I will get into all of that yet. However, the Mongols were an advanced group in their own way. Did you know they had a complex system of roads known as the Yam? During its time the Yam was comparable to the Roman Roads and the Persian Royal Road, in fact, it was such a successful and admirable network of transportation that the Mamluks (of Egypt) adopted their own version of it! Just as remnants of the Roman roads still remain and are used today, parts of the Yam exist and are also used in contemporary times.

30 September 2005

College Life, Episode 4

So...I was just about finished cooking dinner when I thought...you know what, an egg would be a nice edition to my little meal. I went to the fridge and grabbed an egg and hit it against the counter to break it and lo and behold, it would not break. I hit it pretty hard a couple more times and no luck. What was up with that egg? It was frozen. Unbelievable, who would have thought that you could freeze an egg? Well, actually, I mean I know it's possible to freeze eggs but the thought of a frozen egg is pretty weird. Anyway, let this be a lesson to you. If you have a very effective fridge, DON'T keep your eggs towards the back because they will freeze! Geez, I don't even have my fridge set to being seriously, ridiculously cold, but I guess it was cold enough back there for the poor eggs to freeze. Heh, I guess that's why a lot of fridges have slots for eggs on the door (it's also a convenience thing). Heh, so now I've moved the eggs and won't be eating anymore until they have all thawed out nicely thank you very much! *big smile*

Recollection: LACMA - Netsuke

Hehehe, so here is some stuff that Frank took pictures of while we were at LACMA - I say Frank because I mean that Frank seriously took the pictures. I tried to take some but I guess I have a really unsteady hand or at least I was shaky that day because whenever I took a picture it came out all shaky...*sigh* Anyway, this little lady is a netsuke; she's a Japanese miniature. I am such a big fan of miniatures but I mean, what do you do with them? They just end up cluttering things... I should know, I have tons of them sitting here and there and then there are still more just patiently waiting in my desk drawer, waiting to be put somewhere! *sigh* Heh, but back to this little lady, she was just so cute! I had to get a picture of her so Frank was kind enough to take a picture of her for me. It's weird when you go to look at these netsuke because they're miniatures so they're so small but then obviously, they have to be encased too for their own protection so you end up walking into this room that has rows and rows of these little miniatures lined up and you just walk up and down the rows crouched over to look at the little figures. *smile* Oh, and the netsuke of the kitty is absolutely, positively one of my favorites! I can't believe how cute that little kitty is...hehehe

Recollection: Los Angeles County Museum of Contemporary Art

Ah...my, my, my, isn't that a mouthful? Yes, it certainly is, that's why this museum is affectionately known as LACMA by those who actually know of it. So I went to LACMA to look at some artworks that I had to write a paper on for my "Foundations of Western Art" class but since we (Frankie and I) were already there, we figured why not go around and see all the other good stuff since we could? And of course, we ended up taking pictures of the La Brea Tar Pits (located right next to LACMA) instead of the stuff at LACMA, go fig right? Hehehe, I hope you enjoy them!
You know, when The Power Rangers were the thing, I really liked Trini because I thought that her saber-tooth tiger was awesome... and because she was Asian... although I think the second part was much more of a subconscious thing...

28 September 2005

College Life, Episode 3

Hey all! So sorry that I haven't posted anything new in forever! *sigh* I've just been busy these last two weeks and it still isn't at an end. I'm taking a quick break from studying at the moment because I have three midterms and one paper due for this week so it's been work, work, work. Alrighty... this busy bee's got to get her kester goin'... *big smile*

14 September 2005

Quote: From Thucydides

So I was doing some reading out of my course reader for my "Foundations of Western Art" class when I came across this quote:
"We do not have to spend our time practicing to meet sufferings which are still in the future." - Thucydides
I like the quote so I decided that I would post it, so there it is!

11 September 2005

Commentary: September 11

Hey guys... it's September 11th. Can you believe that it's already been four years? Four years. That's crazy. I still remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard about it... do you? Do you remember the lessons you told yourself you would learn from it? Somehow, I feel like we've really strayed, like we, as a nation, have lost sight of the lesson.

10 September 2005

College Life, Episode 2

Alright, so realistically, this episode should've come before number one but you know what, it's alright, we'll live and just go with the flow from here. So, is anyone wondering what an on-campus apartment at 'SC looks like? Well, today is your lucky day because this episode features Onigiri23's on-campus apartment and I just happen to be going to 'SC, alright! *applause* Alright, so to get back on track, um, I'm not showing the entire apartment because I don't really know how my roommate feels about having her stuff posted on the net, ya know? Oh and I didn't take a picture of my closet because I didn't think looking at my ROY G BIV ordered clothes would be very interesting (everyone already knows I'm a freak, why would I want to reinforce that notion?). And finally, no, I did not take a picture of my bathroom because it's pretty plain and I didn't think anyone would want to see my toilet but if I'm wrong, please, just let me know and I'll post a picture of it up right-straight (like the punch). Okay, here we go...
Alright, so here is my bed and some decorations... shh... I'm not supposed to make holes in the walls but screw it, I'm not going to go all year long looking at such plain walls...by the way for the art history people, did you know that Andy Warhol did Pop Art of cats? I was really surprised when I found out that's why I bought the two posters that you see with kitties on them...oh and if you're wondering what kind of stuffed animals I have...

...here they are in all of their magnificent glory! Hehehe, my little (from right to left) Pookie (from Frankie), Kyo (from Frankie), Yuki (from Frankie), Hogwarts owl (I have a pink owl so take that!), (imitation) Pikachu (I won this sucker from Pharaoh's Lost Kingdom, alright?!), ibex, mouse (from little Miki), Bijou, and Hamtaro (both from my sister). Hehehe. I can't believe I just named all of my stuffed animals and told you the history behind them (well sort of), ah, thank you for bearing with me because the tour is moving along...

...so you thought that the tour of stuffed animals was over, right? Well, I thought the same thing but I can't just leave Mr. Bear out of this! No way! Mr. Bear has been with me through thick and thin and he goes everywhere with me so he's been to Thailand and Mexico and Arizona and Nevada and Utah (you get the picture) so yep, there's Mr. Bear (he's on the pillow, I've had him since I was like two)...oh and the bear you see behind him is one that my Pecan gave to me because he's a sweetie *smile*

Alrighty then, here's my work area, it's right at the foot of my bed (if you can't tell by the picture) and yes, I absolutely LOVE my Hamtaro calendar; they're just so cute!!! Oh, and yes, the Egyptian picture in the background is one that I did; it was for the final in Mrs. Mount's class (remember that?)....

...and here you have a nice view of my desk, dvds, and little knick-knacks... where would I be without all of those little adorable Pikachus and other characters?

Here's a close-up of my bookshelf, I took this picture mainly to complain... can you believe that those books you're looking at right there... cost me over $500?! I couldn't believe it...ah, it was painful to buy them but they are good books (and by the way, I bought a lot of them used and it still cost me that much!)... hehehe... and in case you look at the close-up...yes, I was required to buy a book for my aerobics class...

So now we're moving onto my kitchen...nothing all too interesting to see but I've got to tell you... it does rock to be able to make my meals and eat here!

Hehehe, do you remember those word magnet thingys that Cabanas has? Well, hah (!) I've got a set of my own... they are so much fun! Seriously, if you have a refrigerator... you should definitely buy a set, they are well worth the money for the never-ending enjoyment and amusement they bring... and in case you're trying to read what my roommate and I have put together so far...

...ta dah!!! You may read but I warn you... they are copy written! Hehehe, no really, it's all good and yes, I realize there are some funky ones up there but hey, what do you expect, we do this for fun...

So, there you have it! You have officially been on a tour of my apartment! I hope you enjoyed the tour and if you didn't don't tell me (j/k I'd appreciate ANY comments). Please have a nice stay at the Radisson Hotel (located across the street) and please watch your feet as you step off of the tram. Thank you and have a nice day! *big cheesy smile*

College Life, Episode 1

So last night, my roommate and I decided to treat ourselves to an awesome meal, I mean, it was Friday night so we figured, why not? Hehehe, with her cooking and me just helping out with little things, we managed a masterpiece... and the result was what you see to your right! Okay, so I know that it's not that impressive but it feels good when you can get a nice, filling meal, seriously believe me, it does! Oh and obviously, that was just my plate, my roommate had her own thing going on and we also baked a whole loaf of garlic bread... mmm... it was delicious... hehehe. As good as eating well feels though, there are some things that I miss eating. Yes, I do miss eating at fast food places. Living at 'SC and not having any means of transportation (other than the obvious walking) means that I don't get out and about much so I haven't eaten as much fast food as before (which I know is better for my health but still, what wouldn't I give for some good ol' fashioned hamburgers from In-n-Out!

09 September 2005

Commentary: Self-Introduction

Hello! Okay, so maybe this would've been a more appropriate picture for my profile but you know what - it's too big so oh well. Okay, so anyways, hello world, this is me! I haven't been working on my blog all too much but that is going to change, yes sir-ee-bob, seeing as to how I have time now, that is going to change!