Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Look for a New Year

In honor of the New Year, I gave bloggy a new outfit and accessories. This is my way of encouraging myself to blog more. We'll see if that really works. However, I don't think the title "eggs and toast" really suites the sleek black background, or the new pics. Hum. I've been brainstorming new titles, clever ones that make me feel sophisticated and thin, like an Asian. (Stole that from Rachel Getting Married).

The problem is "eggs and toast" is a sentimental yet accessible title. Chenko use to sing the little phrase while shuffling to the breakfast table in the morning, bowls of zoom in hand. Its perky tri-syllabic rhythm made it easily interchangeable with other random phrases. Phrases like "bits of dew" and "walk to school" often spontaneously awoke myself and the elder four in the morning.

And then there's just the nostalgic and satiated goodness that the combination of sunny-side-up eggs and buttery toast brings to your heart. No, no, EGGS AND TOAST forever! Hips and Breasts for women!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Bacon List

I'm sitting here doing some algebra, because Wednesday nights full of algebra really do something to my ego, and I think to myself, "Ooo, I'd really like to make a list right now." And then I realized that Fuzzy Robot and I already discussed a list today and how that made me feel all Fuzzy Robot type fuzzy and want to say phrases like "little nap."

The reason behind the list-making hanker is because earlier today, Robot told me she gets to see Kevin Bacon tomorrow. This made me jealous, and then really hungry. And then I had to honestly ask myself if I would rather see Kevin Bacon tomorrow or eat an Urban Cowboy from Gandolfo's with the breaded chicken, bacon, and BBQ sauce. At moments like these it's best to distract oneself as much as possible because either answer would have proved myself ridiculous. (I really do LOVE both types of Bacon.)

Then I got on FB and did some socially-approved stalking for a bit, because that's all FB is good for (massive distraction), and decided I really do want to record my LIST that occurred after Robot and I virtually chatted. So, here's my list.

Hollywoodites as great as Kevin Bacon (and we are talking serious prime-Bacon-time):

John Cusack

Molly Ringwald

Elisabeth Shue

Tate Donovan

Johnny Lee Miller

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow, Snow, Snow

I was properly raised on the Michael Curtiz's classic "White Christmas." In fact, it took me a good ten years before I realized I would never be able to tap my foot as fast as Vera Ellen does in the piece "Choreography." That was a sad day. Heider Head has as thin as ankles as Vera Ellen, but she also can't tap her foot that fast. I know. I've seen her try.

Every Christmas season we (meaning Chenko and I) watch "White Christmas." And every year I realize how hot Rosemary Clooney is. Seriously, Hollywood just doesn't make them like that anymore. Where have all the curves gone? Anyway, I justed wanted to make that quick little plug for humanity during the Chrismas season because Christmas is made of cheer. HIPS AND BREASTS FOR WOMEN!

Maybe I'll make campaign buttons.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What are you grateful for?

"Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving."

-Kahlil Gibran

The past week I have had the same dream about three times. Now, somebody will tell me that you can't have the same dreams and this whole post will be invalid and then I will take another month and a half hiatus from blogging.

So, back to the dream. In my dream I am reading other people's blogs. Which, I can't remember who is the blogger or what they are blogging about except one particular blog. And the irony is, this person doesn't even blog! It's Barrister Joe.
Hilarious already, right? Plus, to add to the surreal-ness of it all, his blog is completely devoted to discussing and pontificating on pieces of art. Let the laughter ensue. Great, right. The art is so vivid in the dream against his white background and black text that I only remembered today that it was a dream and not real. However, the pieces or are are not works I've ever seen, although they all qualify for particular schools of styles. There is an impressionist piece, one fairly resembling a Carvaggio, and then some modern pieces that I don't like much, and others.

Anyway, he does a really great job expounding upon each artists' strengths and weaknesses. He also explores how it makes him feel and act; it is a very heartfelt blog. This all leads to, in some unknown way to me, gratitude. Hence, the inclusion of Gibran quotables.

Barrister Joe doesn't share my immense like for Gibran , but I felt that the above quote was suitable for the approaching holiday. (Later, he might pout that I gave him that much censure.) Back to the quote...a list in honor of Thanksgiving.

My Selfish List of Gratitude:

Brothers-Barrister Joe and the Head
they keep me on my toes about my education

Sisters-Heider Head and Bunnicula
they help me not take the brothers, or myself, too seriously

A Clean Inbox
helps me measure my state of mental well-being

Elliptical Machine
it works just as great as the treadmill but much more fun

Lip gloss and Black boots
a sure fire way to secure hotness and confidence in a minute

my secret pleasure

makes allowances for ridiculousness and inconceivable plots with out question



Four Seasons


reminds me to keep my "fish in the sea"; she's known for twisting idioms

will say "I love you" first on the phone

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Shakespeare According to Tian

I've been thinking about the following lines from Prince Hal's famous monologue in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 quite a bit lately:

If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work;
But when they seldom come, they wished-for come,
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents (events).

(1.2.198-201; Bevington. Necessary Shakespeare)

This isn't the main point of Hal's pontification; it is used to add greater depth and support to his argument that he is purposely being a type of prodigal son: bad now so that when he does change it will have greater impact upon those he associates with.

And, now Princess Tian will add her two bits.

It's like when you don't wear make-up or really don't do your hair for a couple weeks. You resort to jeans, sweatshirts, and tennis shoes everyday and look somewhat like a vagabond. (Do you always think of Elton John when you hear that word? I do. And not because I think he's a vagabond. Music, people, music.) And get dolled up one day and everyone tells you you're beautiful when really you look normal but they're latest impression of you has been terrible and so they honestly are quite taken aback by your appearance in the best of ways.

Well, that's all for today. Stay tuned for the next episode of Shakespeare according to Tian where we discuss how Will S. totally knew Rowling would be a bestseller.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Yi Fu de Wen Ti

I am currently wearing a very worn and faded navy blue skirt that almost hits my ankles and was worn probably twice a week in Taiwan for a year and a half with a light blue polo work shirt accompanied by a brown camisole underneath and bottomed-off with old black sandal wedges that are fraying at the toe from Payless. Which leads me to ask myself: Am I a fashion victim? Could I be chosen for TLC's What Not to Wear? Do others pass me by and sigh regretfully?

NO! (well sometimes I really am a fashion victim, but considering my upbringing, ahem hand-me-downs, you can't really blame me.)

I suffer from what I am now calling the "de-auto mobilized starving student syndrome." I, like the majority of mankind, have to work despite being a full-time student. And I don't own a vehicle, nor do I wish to at this point of my Tian existence. Every morning I sweatily ride my bike to work. (I mention sweatily because it's uphill the entire way.) However, I of course have a work dress code which means I can't wear denim, shorts, or anything that normal students wear.

Now, one of my special talents is riding a bike in a skirt but when I crossed that great blue mass of the Pacific Ocean I turned in my cute yellow girl bike, named Grandma in Taiwanese, with the low cross bar, front basket, and back rack in for a two-toned mountain bike with NO BASKET, no name, and an incredibly high cross bar. (I mustn't dismiss that it has new wheels though, thanks to Podly who likes to dote on the daughters that don't live with him.) Needless to say, mounting this anonymous jiao ta che (bike) in a skirt would prove fatal.

So, everyday I subject myself to ugliness. Beauty knows no pain...and ugliness...does. I use to be such a fashionable person, and then HeiderHead moved to Texas and took all her clothes. Ahhh, now, not only do we know that I am fashionably handicapped (which I heard isn't PC to use that term anymore) but I am a leech. Hum. I should stop writing now before I tell you that I usually wait for someone to invite me to be their friend on Facebook just so they realize how much they need me, and not vice versa.

That all finally released from my special place of pent up frustration, it is obvious that everyday I have to wear two outfits. (Now, if I were still in high school this wouldn't be extreme by any means because I used to wear 'like' four outfits a day.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Secret Pleasures

This list could go on forever, but I just wanted to mention a few things that I delight in secretly whether it be because it is out of my character to do so, or just obviously embarrassing.


-doing math; maybe after reading and analyzing and never coming to any pertinent or redeeming conclusion it's just nice to have one thing for certain

-lame teeny-bopper-overcome-all-challenges movies such as Step Up, Step Up 2: the Streets (which has much more kick if you say it quickly like this- step up to the streets), Center Stage, Take the Lead, Raise Your Voice, and the like

-dum dums (as in the lollipop)

-the shape of my ankles if I'm lying on my bed with my legs above my head and toes pointed

Well, now that that's out in the open I feel much better. What are your secret pleasures?

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Not that I typically use lower case for the pronoun "I", but Lester tagged me in her blog and I copy and pasted the format. And, Les has cleverly opted for no upper cases at all in her blog, so instead of seeming illiterate it comes off as thematic, and lovable. So smart, Les, so smart. Therefore, I am too lazy to change all the "i"s to "I" even though I took the time to write that disclaimer.

i am - a strict Chinese teacher and supportive sister

i think - all people should have a terrible part-time job at one point in life

i know - how to compliment others

i want - to speak Japanese for Kazue

i have - five beautiful nieces and nephews

i wish - I already had my MBA degree

i hate - feeling inadequate

i miss - my Taiwanese kindred spirits

i fear - being alone

i feel - blessed with loving family and friends

i hear - my dad saying "this too shall come to pass."

i smell - the unfriendly soap from the science center

i search - for friendship in a "kindred spirit" kind of way

i wonder - about architecture

i regret - not taking chances on love

i love - seeing the stars, again; delighting other people with kindness and humor

i care - about what others' think of me

i always - side with the underdog and nice guy

i am not - thin (that was really the first thing that came to mind, ha ha)

i believe - in God

i dance - when the music is right, and it's usually right

i sing - when doing the dishes, without fail

i don't always - tell the truth

i write - to remind myself how powerful words are

i win - when I eat a balanced diet

i lose - when I take myself too seriously

i listen - to my shuffle: an eclectic mix streaming from Smashing Pumpkins to A. Bocelli

i'm scared - of the dark (which is why I still do the run and leap after turning off the light and getting into bed)

i read - multicultural novels and memoirs.

i'm happy about - procrastinating my Shakespeare homework to write this; bring it on Bard!

So, now I get to tag someone. Of course, Hider and Devry because they need encouragement to blog.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Yesterday, was driving to and fro running errands and getting registered to be a substitute so that I can help out with the Chinese classes at the local Junior High. I'm a little nervous about the first day of school and have many urges to lay my clothes out the night before, or call up everyone I know to see if we have any of the same classes, except for the boy I have a crush on because then he might know I like him. But that's not my point...

...The point being, I was listening to a little NPR (which is what I do when I want to feel smarter than I am) and was briefing myself on the relations and current military uprisings (my fancy and ambiguous way of saying war because I'm not sure if it really should be categorized as war) between Russia and Georgia. Anyway, they played a sound bite (or is it byte?) of President Bush speaking of his friendly relationship between he and Putin; W. calls him Vladimir. But that's all changed, now.

However, the next sound clip (different word use there) completely distracted me from the whole topic of the radio program. Bush says, "I trust people on their word until otherwise." Well, that's obvious- you trust someone until you don't. Maybe there should be another clarifying verb in there. I recommend "proved", nothing too fancy or too original.

I didn't vote for him, but I still kind of love him. You know. He's such a great sport with all of us making fun of him. I'll be honest, I'm a little sad that he's moving out of the White House for the sole reason of humor.

It reminds me of the Tianozoic time period: so much funny English popping around. I couldn't resist sharing some of the great English rhetoric spewing from the little island Formosa. Most of it comes from all my Taiwanese companions; the others are just miscellaneous moments of Chinglish goodness. (The best part is how I have made a smooth transition and sturdy connection between George W. and Chinglish.)

From the mouth of Shi (pronounced "sure"); she learned most of her English from a radio, and then from me (zao gao/messy cake):

"I'm totally 100% afraid of snake."

"You got to know what's in your deep."

"Sister Tips, you will lose your pounds."

"Will you be my boyfriend?"

"Because I have circle-face!"

"Any boy who writes that many pages is boyfriend."

From the mouth of the Xiao-meister:

"I love you with my true heart."

"Sister Tian, I no feel your love."

From the mouth of Mickey Chen:

"You are wisdom and beautiful."

"I am Captain Am-azing." (I have no idea where she got that from.)

Printed on the face of the weight scale I bought in Nanzi: Presenting you with nice slim body

"Kiss and Ride"- printed on a road sign (this is HH's kind of country)

Printed outside the bathroom of a small restaurant in Renwu, right above the "corresponding" Chinese characters: CRAPPER

"Are you going new places? I will show you neat things." (printed on a book-magnet)

"AUSPICIOUS" (printed on a scooter helmet with a big-four leaf clover- who needs lucky?)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


(Cameron Spencer/Getty; Times Online)

So, needless to say, I've been consuming as much of the Olympics as I possibly can. I'm an avid supporter of the Olympics. When I was a little girl, women's gymnastics and and The Little Mermaid were basically on the same level of greatness to me. Actually, they both still are on a pretty high level in the "levels of greatness" in my mind. Other things that win medals in the "levels of greatness" include various foods (particularly tropical fruit, dairy, and pastries), expensive new lip gloss, homework due dates postponed- but only before you've done the homework, people who tell me I'm beautiful (I'll take "hot" too), and clean bathrooms. But, ever since the Olympics have been at Beijing, they have surpassed all levels of greatness, even Ariel and her seashell cups.
In the B.T. world (Before Tian), I really found the Chinese culture quite mysterious, and my greatest link to them yet another Disney animation: Mulan. (By no means do I mean to discredit Mulan and all it's greatness.) However, in the Tian and Post Tian worlds, so much more has been revealed. (I will spare you my mission memoir right now.) SO... let's take a "little" quiz.
The following two characters are the Chinese equivalent of the English "GO!" Not as in "stop and go" but as in you are cheering for David Beckham to either head the ball into the goal or break up with Victoria so that you two can finally get to know each other.
The first character is pronounced Jee-yah (Jia1) and the second is pronounced Yo (you2). On the first character kind of sing a straight note in your upper register. No slurs please; these aren't IDOL auditions. On the second character, start a little lower in your register and move your voice up, or follow this line with your voice: / GOOD! (I hope you are reading this at work because it's a great conversation starter.)
加 油

Now, for the quiz. You have two options. One means China and one means America. The goal is to complete the phrase: GO [answer here]!!!! So, what's your choice. Don't look it up; take a guess first.
1) 中國

2) 美 國

Okay, the next post will have the answer. Oh, this is great fun!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I'm liking this new background; it doesn't make me feel nearly uneasy as the dots. Bloggy likes it too.

So, Podly and Chenko convinced me to go to Denver this weekend to check in on Barrister Joe and the fam. What good fun came of it despite the 100 degree weather. (Post Tian life is great when it comes to the summer: since Taiwan, I have no sensitivity to heat. The other day I met this cute lady at the MTC- we were pretending to be investigators- sisters, to be exact, even though we are forty years apart. Anyway, we got talking about Taiwan and she mentioned, "Well, Ping Dong has two suns, you know." [It sounded really poetic in Mandarin.] Now, I have gone overboard because not only have I written more inside the parentheses than outside, but I am putting brackets within brackets. AHHHH!!!!!}}]]]]))

Back to the trip to Denver. We drove. It was long and gas station treats are lose their excitement after three hours.

Fortunately, this wasn't one of those typical Tian-Family trips with the old Isuzu Trooper. Due to the number of children in the clan, I often sat in the back with all the bags, facing opposite the direction of driving, thus, providing easy humor for the car behind us. To this day, I have this weird syndrome about giving up shot-gun to those who are older than me. I used to think it was part of the constitution of the United States.

Nice Person: Tian, you can have shot-gun.

Tian: Oh, no, you are older.

Nice Person: What does that have to do with anything?

Tian: It's the law.

Nice Person: (quizzical expression) What law?

Tian: I'm not sure, but I would feel better sitting in the back with the luggage, please.

There are other things I associate with driving too, besides the constitution. One of those is the San Rafel Swell. If you don't know what that is, then you were a blessed, blessed child and you probably took normal vacations like going to Disney Land. The Swell is the scenic route home from any Southern Beehive State location to our home.

I don't mean to belittle anthropology, archaeology, early civilizations, or historical monuments of any sort; but, in my book, once you've seen one petroglyph you've seen them all. And they don't evolve, by any means. Petroglyphs don't change over time; I know, because I'm smart like that.

So, whenever Pamlamadingdong gets that must-see-PETROGLPHYS-look in her eye, I like to remind her that Petroglphys are a lot like a Norton Anthology of early British Literature: they don't update through time. It's not like you can get a better edition.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Let's wear costumes!!!

Yes, I know--I am vain about my blog. But I was thinking this morning, "I get dressed every day in (hopefully) something different, why not Bloggy? Bloggy wants to look good. And, too be completely honest, I wasn't very peaceful about the dots.

So, Bloggy will be dawning new clothes and accessories periodically. Don't let it scare you away; it's still Bloggy.

Speaking of wearing clothes, one of my dear friends is staying in town rather than moving to one of the original thirteen colonies and that makes me really joyous. (That didn't have anything to do with wearing clothes but I wanted a good transition.) I just wanted to make one brief remark about how happy I am that Craigery isn't moving to D.C.

Of course, I don't want to gloat in his misery of having to stay in the second most arid state of the union, but perhaps subtle phrases like bare feet and wading, costume parties, Turandot, hummus, whirling dervish, and existential quantifier will make him feel better. I know that I always run a couple of those through my head when I'm having a long day, or a brief spout of depression, and it makes me feel much much better.

Besides being an oh so charming older brother-but-not-your-brother, Craigery has many good qualities. Since lists are this year's new black, here's a Column of Craigery Qualities:

-Latin crab dancing (this is a highly technical and advanced form of Latin Ballroom and has yet to be featured on So You Think You Can Dance)

-Showing up extremely late but yet giving the impression that he's right on time and he couldn't wait to get there

-Laughing ridiculously into the phone for minutes at a time at absolutely nothing

-Noticing and complimenting great rhetoric, alliterations, and new shirts

-Becoming obsessed with inanimate objects but not feeling a bit bashful or insecure about telling people about it

-Making small talk without giving the impression that he's making small talk

-Supporting any sort of need to release the inner-child

-Good kisser (okay, I'm totally kidding about that, but I just wanted to make him gasp and HH has been begging for more DRAMA)

-Ability to make and maintain friendships with ANYONE

-Willing and gleeful to join in any spontaneous song and dance

-Okay with allowing me to describe him as "gleeful"

-Being honest enough to tell me that if I want him to read Bloggy then I have to talk about him. (Let's face it, we all like to hear our own name, but only Craigery will admit it.)

Friday, July 25, 2008

"You selfish, selfish girl."

I read an article in the newspaper that made some implications to the ultimate selfishness of blogs. Well, duh! Isn't that why we blog?

I personally blog because...(well, main reason is ProSc makes us but he never checks to see if we really are blogging; so, this is more like reasons I continue to blog)

1) I am QUEEN of my blog.
2) I can talk about pretty much whatever pleases me at the time.
3) I can be as e-lam as I want.
4) I get to nickname people various different names and they are just grateful I'm not exposing their real identity to the virtual public (even though Fuzzy Robot has a way of finding out who anyone is in the digital network. Be careful of F. Robot- she may seem harmless, but she's a stalking genius.)

Of course there are other reasons to blog but they are selfish too. Hum. So, in an attempt to add to the completer selfishness of my bloggery, here's something entirely about ME!!!

For being the youngest of five, I am naturally the most talented and beautiful. In a frightful frenzy of revenge my older siblings have tried to alter my perceived sense of self in unusual ways. Their favorite method: nicknames.

All of my nicknames and their derivatives:

Holly Berry
Sister Tips
Tian Jiemei
Sister Tian
Hollence of Arabia
Bits of Dew
Holly Rose Bud
Hai Ruo
Holly Woddle Doodle Oddle Day
Suber Baby
Waldorf (Yes, as in -Historia)

Now you understand why I am so strange.

Wikipedia has some interesting things to say about nicknames (notice that nicknames are either cruel or endearing and sometimes both; funny how those two feelings get mixed up):

"A nickname is a name of an entity or thing that is not its proper name. It may either be used instead of, or in addition to, the proper name. Not to be confused with a familiar or truncated form of the proper name, such as Bob, Bobby, Rob, Robbie, Robin, and Bert for Robert which is called a short name.
The term
hypocoristic or "pet name" is used to refer to a nickname of affection between those in love or with a close emotional bond, compared with a term of endearment. The term diminutive name refers to nicknames that convey smallness of the names,[clarify] e.g., referring to children. The distinction between the two is often blurred.
As a concept, it is distinct from both
pseudonym and stage name, and also from a title (for example, City of Fountains), although there may be overlap in these concepts.
A nickname is sometimes considered desirable, symbolising a form of acceptance, but can often be a form of ridicule."

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Where Music and Fashion is Always the Passion!"

Bought two dresses over the weekend and it's all to blame on ProSc. I actually bought more than that but I don't want others to come to false assumptions about how much money I make because it would be, in a word, false.

ProSc is to blame because he's the one that gave the assignment to go shopping twice: once really dressed up in your bling bling, and once in your grunge. The point was to see if you were treated any differently, not to actually buy two dresses. Good thing I didn't go to a car lot.

I just like to shop.

Okay, I said it. Now, stereotype me in that mass of shallow women, but keep in mind that someday you will admit it too.

The first dress is a willowy blue with an empire waist that hits me about two inches below the knee. It is so innocent and romantic. It also looks great with my new collection of gold jewelry, compliments of Little Keebler. (She got me a really great pair of gold earrings for my day of birth.)

The second is the "momo" (thanks Jer for the NY adaptation of Mormon) version of the sexy little black dress. Little Keeb bought one two, that's how great it is. It does this really cool weave on the bodice and then swoops down with lots of material in the skirt for great fun when salsa dancing. Too bad the store didn't offer complimentary men to take you salsa dancing with purchase of the dress.

Anyway, as far as the actual assignment is concerned, I received the best service at Banana Republic, on my dressed down day. I did not even dry my hair that day, and I was wearing old flip flops which the clerk complimented. Maybe she felt sorry for me in my grungy mess and decided to be extra nice, all in the name of FASHION!

Chenko and Grandma went to Sears to buy a refrigerator. (We all went and saw Mama Mia together and laughed really hard at Remington trying to sing S.O.S.- good fun.) They reported that they walked through the store for about ten minutes until they were offered help. There were about five sales associates in the appliance department, all dressed really nice. Eventually, they were offered help by a young man dressed like he worked, according to Chenko, “in the back.” He was “so nice and cute, and did not wear a wedding ring.” His name is Brad and he is now my betrothed. What joy is mine. This is just like the time Chenko thought the UPS boy was cute and fitting for Heider so she began mailing lots of packages to Dallas in hopes that UPS boy would personally deliver them to Heider's front door.

Grandma commented that the other associates probably would have helped her had she been wearing her wig.

Good weekend.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

So You Think You Can Bollywood?

NOTE: I actually wrote this about a week ago, but never posted because I couldn't get the youtube videos to download. And, I tried on two different computers at various times. Sorry. I really am working on having more graphics and pictures and the like- I really think it will increase this blog's "viewership." Heiderhead and I discussed how cool it would be to be paid to blog; therefore, leading us into a discussion on ways to tempt people to my blog. We settled on making it PG-13 rather than PG, or maybe it's G. Hum. But that would mean my life would have to get a lot more exciting. You know, physical violence, passion, kissing (for HH), and other such "adult-themes." I'll work on it.

So, now that that's been said, here's my post:

I'm so thrilled. Why? 1) I love it when something you have loved for years finally catches on with the general public. Actually, I get kind of anxious inside like people are stealing my great ideas. 2) You can't help be pleased when two of your favorite things merge. (I will have you know that I use "merge" frequently when driving, as well as "protected permitted.")

You don't have to love this; you don't even have to watch the whole thing, but give it a piece of your heart for one brief moment and if you don't start bouncing your shoulders than you really have no heart but a large metal pump that circulates your blood and might as well make friends with other mechanical people like the Tin Man. In fact, once Nigel (he's the judge with the "weird" accent) starts talking then pause it so that you can bask in the leftover nuances of Bollywood.

(insert youtube video here; if you put "SYTYCD katee and joshua bollywood" in the search bar, you'll bring it up)

It just makes it greater that it is Katee and Joshua dancing it. Yes, I do watch SYTYCD enough to know their names and spell them correctly. But, I like ProSC, just think it's good manners to spell names right.

Last week on SYTYCD, Katee and Joshua did this contemporary piece by Mia. Oh it was so good that I wanted to rat my bangs really big and pin them in a bridge over my head. Yes. This dance is good for the "do I have a metal heart" test too.

(insert other youtube video; "sytycd katee and joshua mia contemporary")

The best thing about SYTYCD is that it's a family affair at my home. Chenko and Pod love the show too. More than me because I am otherwise engaged on Wednesday nights (meaning I can't get out of my church calling) and so I watch it on YouTube. Chenko and Pod are into the live-showing. When I get home, Pod gives me an update, and it's full of "features and benefits" (education application here). He tells me the facts and then he makes his own commentary.

In order to appreciate how ridiculously crazy this is, the 'rent aspect that is, you have to understand that Pamchenko and Podly never watch TV. (Oh, that was a big fat lie on Podly's end because he's a closet Treky. Actually, he watches more than that but we just like to keep it to the classics-so we tell people he just likes Star Trek.) However, Chenko never watches TV. She's a netflix gal. Once in a while she'll slip in some Masterpiece Theater- that's why I'm such a geek.

We started watching the show because a local is one of the contestants, Thayne. Thayne choreographed a dance for us when I was on the high school Dance Company. None of us could handle it, to say the least. Too hard. So, it gives me secret pleasure when the judges tell him he wasn't great. Now, Thayne is gone, but there are still two other Utah peeps on the show, out of the original four.

Speaking of the judges, Podly and I had a vigorous discussion about the judges on SYTYCD and American Idol. What the heck does Paula mean by "pitchy" and "tonight you were truth?" How can one be the entity truth? Say flat or sharp for crying out loud.

If anything, I'm glad for the mass production of reality television that's being produced. It's nice to be reminded on a day-to-day basis that at least I'm not lame enough to sign myself up for something like that. Then again, maybe if I was on reality TV more people would read my blog. The possibilities...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Another Boring Post- Library Session (in disguise)

So, ProSc requested that we post all the memos that we send him on our blog, or maybe I made that requirement up in my mind. Who knows? After he changed the syllabus multiple times, I got confused and so to be safe- I'm posting my "library session" assignment. If anything, I feel he is not as liberal about this blogging assignment as he originally let on.

Actually, I'm not going to post the actual memo I wrote because 1) it was scathing, and 2) it's not good to show your true colors on a blog that's being potentially read by...wait... people that already know how mean I am. Never mind, I have to come up with other reasons why I'm not posting the actual memo. Reasons yet to come...

Let me just say that I think it's cruel and unusual how the Y requires in their freshman English classes a Library Tour. Remember when you were a freshman? I do, granted it was in Before Tian time and I am now practically a fossil. (Especially in my YSA ward- come back Jer! I miss you. Who will be the Sean Connery of the ward?)

Freshman-ness is already particularly daunting. New classes, new people, new freedom, new responsibilities. There is one feeling I think we can all agree on as required in the "feelings we all dislike" list: uncertainty. That is what freshman means to me- uncertainty. (Look forward to a new post primarily designed to record "feelings we all dislike.")

It's like the first time you go to class: You are pretty confident of your skills to identify a building on campus and locate the matching room number on the door with the room number listed on your class schedule that you just printed off five minutes ago to assure absolute accuracy. You enter the room, find yourself an "average" seat, and just... wait.

However, have you ever noticed how we all sit there sheepishly, sneaking glances at each other, wondering "am I really in the right place; maybe this is a graduate level chemistry class. What if it is? Will they let me out without mocking me, or changing my blood into lithium? Is that what really happened to Wolverine? He probably never felt stupid in a class. Maybe Wolverine would date me if I had lithium blood. Hum. What should I eat for lunch?..." And the next thing you know you feel completely stupid and uncertain about yourself and the immense possibility that everyone right then could read your thoughts.

Well, that said, I'm so glad I'm not a freshman anymore, if not for anything else than I don't have to take the library tour. I bet whoever came up with the library tour started with this thought, "Let's find a way to times by about 10,435 the uncertain feelings freshmen have about themselves and compound that into 45 minutes in the second most public place on campus." THEY (meaning the uppity ups at the Y) originally wanted to do a Cougar Eat tour, but realized that the likelihood of throwing books was less than that of food. Let's face it, you throw that book and you don't know how long you have to wait on the recall list before you get it back.

Monday, July 14, 2008

No good title for this post, oh... Weekend Assignment #2

Really like this quote that was in my technical communication textbook: "truth is the view 'which is fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate.'" Harvard philosopher Israel Scheffler, Technical Communication, pg. 174

Feeling a bit sad because I just wrote a long blog including the memo I wrote for ProSc and then it all got deleted when I tried to post it, even though I saved it. Hum. Blogging has not been good to me lately. (Other things have happened but I'll spare you the details, especially because I have to post my memo and it is so ridiculously boring.)

Here it goes,...again (I made it small to emphasis how much I dislike it):


TO: ProSc

DATE: July 14, 2008

SUBJECT: Weekend Assignment (interview)

The following is a summary of my interview with Viona Budge- retired Human Resource Director of the old ZCMI that was located in Orem, Utah in the University Mall. The interview took place on July 13, 2008 at her home in Mapleton, Utah. The purpose of my interview was to better introduce myself to the world of business retail.

The interview started with some basic introduction questions. Viona began her work at ZCMI in 1973, a little bit after the store had opened. She was hired on as a temp to work through the May Day Sale in the accessories department. After a few weeks, management was impressed by her professionalism and moved her into an interview with the head manager. She recalls the interview going poorly, and feeling under-qualified and under-educated. However, at the end of the interview, she made small-talk about the sparkling geode set on the manager’s desk. He was thrilled by her geological knowledge and she got the position as his secretary. She worked the switchboard and PA system.

Viona advanced her way up until she eventually landed the position as the Director of Human Resources. She then had to fight to maintain this position as more, and younger, business students applied for her job. She was good at working with people though, despite her lack of education. However, she advised me to seek specific training in computer and accounting skills as well as organizational behavior. “I hired some turkeys,” she commented with regret, “and I should have made more fuss and noise.” She added without hesitance.

I found it interesting that the one thing she replied, when I asked her what she wished she would have known before she started her career, was how lonely it was. She explained that as you climb the corporate ladder, or any work-ladder for that matter, that you have less and less friends. You can’t associate yourself with any of the particular “clicks” because that may get you into trouble with a different department or group of people. A good director, manager, or CEO has to remain objective, especially with work-related friends.

As we ended, she recommended that I set some kind of “mission” goals before I take a job. And ask myself, “is this job a stepping-stone or where I want to end up and grow in?” And then be honest with those interviewing me about what my plans are. “Some bosses are okay with a high employee-turnover rate; they suck the talent out of them and send them on.” Viona remarked. To close, I asked for any last words of advice, “when you start something, finish it,” she stated boldly.

It was most interesting to interview someone, without a college degree, work her way through the 1970’s all the way to the late 90’s. She witnessed the technology boom and also felt the pressure of needing the college degree. But it was her innate ability to work with people that qualified her, and kept her qualified. “I prayed a lot,” she admitted, “some days I was praying all day long.”

In conclusion, as far as identifying specific skills needed for future employment, this interview wasn’t very helpful. In the future, I need to interview someone in a more specific job position in book editing. I didn’t have enough time to schedule and hold an interview. Maybe next time I could interview you. However, it was most interesting from the point of view of a Human Resource Director to know what employers are thinking when they are hiring new employees.


Tian Tian

Thursday, July 10, 2008

To Eden With Love

Sometimes I think about this sculpture. I haven't figured out why but she always pops up in my mind. Maybe it's because it's Rodin. Or maybe it's because it's Eve. Hum. It's probably the combination of the two.

I feel like Rodin can be so aggressive in his work but this conveys such a sense of vulnerability that it makes me feel better about my own weaknesses. I like to think this is Eve right after she has partaken of the forbidden fruit, before she has told Adam. She's so shamed and lonely standing there. It's appropriately tragically human. She has become all human, and more so, all woman.

Can you imagine what strength it took for her to give Adam the fruit? I have no such strength. I would have hidden in my transgression, and nakedness, probably snacking on fruit. But in those brief moments, or whatever amount of time, between Eve eating the fruit and her offering it to Adam, there rests a certain amount of power; power derived from knowledge. She is so utterly fallen but packed with potential it's overwhelming.
I can't stand it. I want to be with her, talk with her. I love Eve. I love Adam too, but more so Eve. And she has had to put up with so much criticism through the centuries. So, thanks Eve, for taking one for the team.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Weekend Assignment

Ah, I did it again: I made a title for this post before actually writing. Now you're thinking, "that's a very unexciting title." Well ProSc is the manufacturer of this post and therefore title-giver. (Note- I typically don't use the term "manufacturer" outside of retail, or other business-related, contexts; but, I watched the BBC series Cranford over the weekend, along with Remington, and one of the characters used this word in a context similiar to the one I'm using, and I thought to myself, "wouldn't that be fun to try out on a 21st century audience?" The series was fab, by the way, especially if you like to keep up on the British acting elite with titles. Wouldn't it be fun to be Dame Such and Such or Sir So and So?) Once again I have written more inside the parentheses () rather than outside, thus defeating the purpose.

So, the "Weekend Assignment" was to buy a stranger a coke and then blog about it. Well, I had to adapt the assignment to my current circumstance because the Y campus doesn't sell coke except for the caffeine-free kind which I just feel would be wrong to give a stranger. Something about that just doesn't sit right with me, can't explain it. So, I settled for a Snickers candy bar. I think a snickers bar is the most generally excepted of candybars and that I couldn't go wrong, but I'm open to arugment on that. I personally (wow, I just watched five girls walk out of a classroom and open up their cell phones at exactly the same time; it was so surreal and then I reminded myself that it was 2008) enjoy a Snickers.

In my pre-op plans, I most decidedly decided to treat a retail clerk. Yep, I have a little soft-spot in my heart for all those retail clerks. After my 3+ years at the 'Roc, I feel like us start at minimum-wage, no-collar, "I do this because 'some money is better than no money' (This I Believe)", bottom of the assembly line employees of corporate America should stick together. And you know what, I don't deny my time. I feel like my years in customer service has made me a much more accepting person. And I will always leave stores 10 minutes before closing. 

Anyway, I already knew where I would make my attack: the Cougar Eat. And it was so great. I just got in line and bought pop-tarts (they're the best bang for my buck and taste buds) and a Snickers and then gave the Snickers to the clerk who had already happily rang me up. She even gave me my coins before my bills, bless her heart. (If you don't know why that is important then you obvioulsy don't pay with cash enough.) And the best part is, all the candybars where the same price, so if she doesn't like Snickers she can switch it out. Come to think of it, she did look more like a Twix kind of girl.
Whoa, this is where I got the snickers wrapper pic from:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

And the last shall become first


Whenever people tell me they are an only child, I cry for them inside. But that's because all of my siblings are GREAT, and perfect for me. I wouldn't want one more or one less. Yes, I even will keep my high school arch enemy: Bunny. (Don't let her nickname fool you; she was an evil Bunny then. You always wondered where the children book series BUNNICULA came from now didn't you?)
Bunny and I didn't always get along, considering that she is the one closest to me in age and, well, let's just say that one of my talents is wearing her clothes. Sometimes, I will think back on Bunny and my "fights"; they were more verbal than physical which can hurt a lot longer than any slug. (She did once give me a black eye, but that wasn't because we were in opposition. Rather, we were attempting our own home-Olympics SLC 2002, and there was an athletic mishap on the couples' superman couch launch. You'd think we would grow out of it, but two weeks ago we were vaulting off each other's back side into the grand kids' swimming pool. Aren't we cool aunts?).
However, Bunny and I never fight now. She willingly (and will-fully, as I typically adverb that word) gives me her clothes, buys me opera and jazz tickets for special occasions, and always wants to hang out with me (that's the best feeling). In fact, only Bunny will rent all "Remington Steele" DVDs at the local library just to fire-up an old fetish of mine and kick off the holiday in style. Yes, that's right, we're having our yearly "Fourth of July and Remington Steele" party. This is our first year.
Other people don't understand my obsession with Remington Steele, neither do I. It's just one of those things that are totally lame but yet I completely love, and I will stand by that love. Only Bunny accepts this part of me. Bunny has a great talent for knowing what she and others are good and not good at; she willfully volunteers this information too.

Bunny: "I'm a good driver."

Me: "Yes, you are a good driver, Eve."

Bunny: "You're a good driver too, Holls."

Me: (thinking to myself) "Maybe that can be one of my talents.?"

Bunny: "Hide is not good at helping clean."

Bunny also always stands up for me against the "older ones" and the 'rents. It's strange, really, how she suddenly turned and joined my side after she graduated from high school. Maybe she feels like the job to criticize me should only be fulfilled by her. And, Bunny will let you eat all the tootsie rolls in her house, even when she is on a tight budget, including the flavored ones.
Anyway, so this was originally suppose to be a post about Barrister Joe because he's really great too and sends me flowers at worky for no reason at all, but I totally went a different direction than I planned. I suppose this is a good thing. Next time I'll have my title reflect my rantings and ravings rather than the other way around. Have you ever done that?: Thought of a good title for a book, poem, essay, blog, etc. but as far as the actual writing went, well, yeah, you get the picture.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Chemistry and Lies

The other day ProSC made the comment in class "I like to see what I can get away with." He was referring to walking the fine line between the socially acceptable and the faux pas. I must admit, I too have been tempted, many a time, to see how far I could push the envelope. There's something exhilarating about sacrificing your social reputation for a good joke, or just a great expression of your individual boldness. The statement caused me to reflect, and chuckle inside, at great moments of "getting away with" in my past life.
I can't believe I even remembered this experience, it's one of those that you completely forgot until you remembered it just once for some unexplanatory reason, but it comes back from my High School AP Chemistry days. (Now, I'm thinking, "of course I forgot that; I can't remember a lick of Chemistry.) Anyway, my chem teacher, Mr. H, was on his soap box about some professor at the Y and how he was a fraud, more acclaimed than he deserved, and, basically, a mock to the university. It was quite evident that 1) Mr. H really didn't care for this professor, and that 2)he was dangerously comfortable taking advantage of our naive minds by molding in us a natural distaste for this professor we might one day meet. (Now, as a disclaimer, I would just like to mention how much I really did love Mr. H- to the point that I was willing to take AP Chemistry, and really did value him as a teacher.) However, some sort of "let's not speak bad about others especially when they aren't here to defend themselves" bell rang within me, and I thought it a good time to soften Mr. H's heart, or at least, his tongue.
I quickly called out, skipping the hand-raising, "What's the professor name?"
Mr. H responded with some common English name, allowing my next reply. "Oh," my voice hardened, "that's my Grandpa."
Mr. H froze in his pacing; his face dropped into, no, not embarrassment or guilt, but unadulterated fear. The class was absolutely silent. It was pure bliss.
Mr. H mumbled some disclaimers about his previous ridicule, something about being a great person but not a great professor, while I reveled in his pain. I let him stew in his pain for awhile before I released him with my sweet, "Mr. H, I'm just kidding." I think he threw an eraser at me after that, lovingly.
I really don't know what came over me. Maybe it was because my Grandpa really was a professor at the Y and I just couldn't help but think, "this man is somebody's grandpa." For the most part, I am exceptionally well-behaved (乖 is the Mandarin character/word I really thought of first but then translated to English). But, sometimes, I get a little out of control in the name of justice, morals, And, sometimes, I just like to see what I can get away with.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Bad habit number one that is consuming my life: starting too many books at the same time. Yesterday, I realized my bedroom was being seiged by stacks of books in various places, none of which I have finished reading. I do judge a book by it's cover, and then I'll judge it by it's first paragraph. I continue to judge the book through the whole reading process, even to the point when I only have a quarter of the book left. One would think this means I obviously am drawn to the book in some way and should finish it, but sometimes I won't. The fact is, in the course of my reading I have started several other books that are competiting for my attention; I'm judging the books against each other and will continue to devout the about 65% of my reading-time to one until another proves itself more worthwhile. (And, yes, that was a very mathematical formula I solved in order to bring you that percentage.)

So, as it goes, the book which wins me over, until another more attractive, and tempting paperback makes it's way in to my life, is blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. I am fascinated, and motivated, which gives even greater credit to it's content and rhetoric. Perhaps there has already been a huge blink rage which I happened to miss out on while on a small, obscure island in Southeast Asia for over a year and half. But, it's new to me. I even attempted to share some of it's contents with The Head. Usually, I avoid intellectual or academic conversations with The Head because he makes me feel naive and defensive; but, I was feeling really good about blink so I decided to share with The Head while he was in the midst of monologue-ing about the latest and greatest in literature. He shot me down by sharing some bad reviews by some hoity-toity critics (whose names I can't remember because I was trying to think of something to rebuttle him with rather than listening to what he was actually saying). I finally asked The Head if he had even read blink and that caught him in his pontification. What joy was mine.

I'll attempt a synopsis: blink explores the world of quick and meditated decision-making. And when I say "quick" I mean within milliseconds. It's about trusting our first-impressions, facts versus feelings, narrowing in on a few poignant details rather than digesting a scope of events. Malcolm terms this "thin-slicing." It makes me a little hungry every time I read that phrase. Hum.

Anyway, the criticism that The Head shared with me, after I thought back to what he shared, I actually agree with but don't really care about. I've already accepted that weakness about blink. He menitioned that blink never came to any particular, or distinguishable, thesis. (Let's list synonyms, shall we: purpose, point, core, heart,...nirvana.? The weekend was fruitful with an intense game of Apples to Apples.) However, blink is still fascinating, and if you really like psychological studies, decision-making and/or would like to know a little more about your subconcious, than I recommend it...until something else comes along.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Making up for an actual post

Good quote I wanted to share...

"We need to accept our ignorance and say 'I don't know' more often."
-Malcolm Gladwell, blink

...which then lead to this...

"But what about my cheesestick?"
-Delly trying to distract me from putting her to bed

"I realized I was an adult when I could finish a whole fireball without taking it out of my mouth."

Me: I'm sorry, we are unable to offer you financial assistance to take that Italian course.
Dr. So-and-So: Fine. Can you connect me to the Italian Embassy, please? my job.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Newly Found Spontaneity

Fuzzy Robot called me on Saturday after I was leaving an incredibly boring wedding reception. (Note to Self: have fun at your own wedding reception.) I was on my way to buy eggs. Not that I usually buy eggs on a Saturday night, but Pamchenko felt more comfortable with the idea of starting next week off with a fridge full of eggs seeing that the fam's coming over and all. She even encouraged me, if my means allowed it, to buy more than I usually do. That wasn't hard because any amount of eggs is more than zero.
Back to Robot. So, while buying my eggs, she let me in on her plans to appropriately celebrate the summer weekend: scones and fireworks. The time was already 8:00pm, which brings up my point. Before the mission, I would have never agreed to go with Robot.
On the mish, you have to be flexible and creative. You never know what's going to come flying your way. Investo emergencies, bike accidents, your comp gets lost, and the worst- UNPLANNED TIME! That's when and where I developed my spontaneity.
In a typical "Before Tian" universe (which I will now designate as BT), I just couldn't get myself to do something other than the Already Planned on a weekend. Was I that boring? So stiff that I surpressed friendship in order to not violate my mental planning? If what I had planned for my Saturday was a movie and pizza, then I couldn't possibly squeeze in an hour of stopping by an ill-prepared party. What's planned is what will be lived! No exceptions.
Robot and I decided this is hereditary because Heider is totally the same way. Robot is completely opposite. She can schedule three events for one evening plus add four more during the course of events. Can you imagine? She's at a pool party at 6:00 and an old friend calls and wants to catch up and so she squeezes them in during the after-swim BBQ and her blind date at 8:00. I would have needed 5:00 to 8:00 just to calm myself before the date.
GOOD NEWS all you impulsive ones. I have broken the curse. After Tian is much more exciting and on her toes. I totally attended a sage and yellow reception, bought excessive amounts of eggs, ate a monster of a scone, watched the fireworks, and helped Robot's little brother sell glowsticks (which is right next door to the mish by the way, "Who else do you know that would like to buy a glowstick?") all in the course of one night.

Friday, June 13, 2008

"There is no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness." -Po (Kung Fu Panda)

Yesterday, we were driving home from seeing Kung Fu Panda, which was hilarious by the way and made me feel all Chinesey inside (good for my soul), when Delly told me, "When we get home, I'm going to have a drink and then do some dancing."
I love it when our deepest, secret desires are expressed through the mouths of babes. Who doesn't, at the end of a good movie, long day, or sleepless night, just want to "do some dancing." Why do we surpress the inner child?
I couldn't help but notice how much Pamchenko and the G-Vy were enjoying the movie. Oh, and let's not foget how "awesome" it is to go with Grandma to a movie. Treats were not denied!!!