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Showing posts from March, 2009


A brief comparison of two movies I watched in the past week: Slumdog Millionaire and Amal.

SM: set in Mumbai, a mix of the slums and the slumlords' mansions
A: set in New Delhi, a mix of the slums and the rich's mansions (some of whom are involved with slumlords)

SM: follows the story of Jamal Malik, a child of poverty
A: follows the story of Amal Kumar, a lowly auto-rickshaw driver

SM: Jamal might win 10 million rupees*
A: Amal might inherit billions of rupees*

SM: English, with some Hindi and English subtitles
A: English, with some Hindi and English subtitles

SM: central characters include a poor beggar girl named Latika
A: central characters include a poor beggar girl named Priya

SM: brothers turn rivals - who will triumph?
A: family drama may result in death...

SM: will he win the heart of lovely Latika?
A: will the beautiful & feisty Pooja be his?

SM: bittersweet, but hopeful ending
A: bittersweet & ambiguous ending

In short, they are surprisingly similar, for all their difference…

Much Music Monday

I've been listening to and thinking about music a whole bunch this weekend. Not that this is unusual at all.

Because of the rain, I have three musical video shout-outs for your viewing pleasure.

My friend Selina - or was it Aban? (both like to send me links to random things!) showed me this video to a song I already enjoyed. Now I like it doubly. What an ingenious music video idea!

This song is ridiculous because it is true. In that, girls think like this and we are weird. It is also catchy. Props to Nadine for the Bedingfield sharing.

And finally, my roommate Manuela is going places. You heard it here first! She went to LA in the fall to make this video. Enjoy!

Winding Down From Being Wound Up

Work, work, work. It is coming fast and furious these days. My email is finally down under 50 in the inbox. I just sent the last one of the evening. It's 11:02pm and I am ready for bed.

Oh wait, I stayed online too long and people are talking to me. People I can't brush off.

I was relieved that my friends cancelled on our Office watching party.

Outside of work, I may have unintentionally offended a friend of a friend. I feel terrible about this, but it is beyond my control at this point. Sigh. I wish I could make people know when I commit a faux pas unintentionally, and that I could make them respond maturely. But I can't. I can only try to do the same when the roles are reversed...

Okay, I am not saying anything more because I'm losing coherence.

Swimming With Your iPod

Last night, I had some more vivid dreams. I don't remember most of them, but one moment stood out to me.

I was stretching - doing yoga or situps - on a dock. It was an urban waterfront, and I may have lived in the building right behind me. It was a cold and blustery day, kind of like this past weekend. As I was exercising, a girl jogged into sight. She was wearing appropriate jogging apparel and had an iPod in her hand. . She ran from the street onto the dock (it ran lengthwise along the waterline, not jutting into the bay) and then ran across it. She continued toward the water and stepped off the dock as if she was stepping down onto another level of street.

Obviously, she was not. She fell into the water with her iPod, floundering and surprised. All of us on the dock and street noticed, but before we could help she had lifted herself back onto the dock.

Embarrassed, she seemed ready just to run away. In my mind, I was about to call out, to offer her some dry clothes (I lived in the…

I Don't Care

Yesterday, I learned a new Mandarin phrase. When one of my friends stole it and tried impressing our Asian friends with her new-found knowledge, I was playfully upset. When she said to me, "Tianqi hen hao," (The weather is good.) I wanted to retort, "I don't care." But it would be so much more impressive if I could say it in Mandarin...

So I asked a student, "Hey, how do you say 'I don't care' in Mandarin?"

She looked perplexed, "Why would you want to say that?" I explained. She thought about it. "I don't know...I have always avoided saying that."

Wow. What a polite kid. So I moved on to another student. Two of them, actually.

"Hey, how do you say 'I don't care' in Mandarin?"

She laughed. "I don't know - I've never said it...[in my culture] you always care!" Her friend nodded. They thought for a moment and came up with a suggestion - which I took to a fourth student.

"Is this h…

C'est La Vie

I recently discovered Chromeo, and when I heard this song*, I couldn't help but compare. Apparently, I am into the funk-electro-dance scene.

Unfortunately, I can't embed the video...but please note the sweet dance moves and Yoshi-esque egg.

(*thanks, Jonathan!)

The Voodoo Room

The dream started out with the two of us walking into a store. It was also a cafe/club, and I found the owner behind the counter. I smiled and gave him my CD, saying we'd love to play a show sometime and here was my album so he could hear what we sound like.

"Any chance you can play tonight? Our band just cancelled on us..."

"Yeah! Well, we're not exactly dressed for it - don't you need to hear us first?"

"Right. Yeah," he seemed a bit distracted, "I will take a listen. Why don't you two just take a look around the store?"

We wandered around and I spotted a table of hoodies and reached out to touch a light blue and brown one. "Ooooh, if we get this gig, I am buying this hoodie. I love it!"

We wandered around until the owner came back to us...we were a go.

"But I need a hair elastic. And some make-up..."

"Oh," he said, "No problem. If you just head into The Voodoo Room, there's extra makeup in there…

A Long Day

When a day starts and I am already behind, I tend to panic. But time and time again, I remind myself that panic and anxiety are not the ways that Jesus wants me to live my life. So I take a break and stop thinking about all that I need to do, and think about who He is.

Some days, it enables me to persevere through the details and the lists and check things off. And other days, it enables me to set the list aside and focus on people, relationships, opportunities.

In the middle of a conversation, when someone says, "Yeah, I'm a friend of so-and-so's. They told me about you," and this is a positive thing - I am encouraged.

When I answer a question and someone says, "Wow, that's a great way of explaining it," I feel relieved that I am understood.

At the end of the day, when someone says, "Talking with you (your organization's people) has really changed my perspective on religion. I really respect your integrity and your thoughtfulness," I go home …

Sunday of Sweetness is Almost Here

That is how I will be thinking of Sundays from now until Easter. (When you observe Lent, you get Sundays "off" as a day of celebration.)

Growing up, we didn’t observe Lent; I didn’t know that anyone other Catholics did until university. The last couple years, I’ve found it a helpful and encouraging discipline, even if it is “extra-biblical.” I could go an as to why, but I will save that for another time (if anyone is interested).

This year, I have given up dessert. My prayer, in doing so, is Jesus, I want you to be as sweet to me as the sugar I crave.

It has been four days.

I have been failing miserably.

On Wednesday, I ate three bites of a chocolate bar on the coffee table before I remembered that Lent had just begun.

On Thursday, a friend brought me cupcakes as a celebration of our friendship’s “one-year anniversary.” It would have been rude to refuse her thoughtfulness.

On Friday, I offered to take a guest for bubble tea before I remembered it was Lent. Again, it would have bee…