Met some interesting people on the FLEX bus and waiting for the L bus…a mother taking her half-Arapahoe little boys to the reservation for the first time to see their father – the smaller boy kept handing me his Lightning McQueen car to play with but wouldn’t say anything; two ex-prisoners chatting about parole, rehab, and Thanksgiving dinner at “the Mission” – the middle aged guy passed around some mints and the little boy eventually threw his on the floor; a trio of Omani freshmen going to Denver hoping to buy a TV and PS4 on Black Friday (good luck, guys!); a widow?divorcee? who recently moved back to Colorado from California and invited me to her house next week. Happy Thanksgiving you all!
I’ve been pretty much hiding indoors sulking for a month since arriving in the USA (terrible, I know; there are so many people who want to be in my position). But I accepted the job, and now it’s dawning on me that I have two weeks left to Get Stuff Done before plunging back into a full-time position.
One nice thing about being back in the USA is that I can start ordering stuff as an Amazon Vine reviewer again. I got five books and a vacuum cleaner. Yes. An ENTIRE FREAKING VACUUM CLEANER. For writing a lot of opinionated book reviews when I was an undergraduate, free stuff every month for as long as Amazon sees fit.
One of the books is by Paul Collier, on migration. Naturally this is a subject of great relevance to me. According to the back-cover blurb, he thinks it needs to be limited for everybody’s good. He admits that persons like his family are in a sense “parasitic” which makes me rather uneasy because I have to admit that even though I hardly consider myself a jet-setter, me and mine are internationally mobile people.
I argue for a lot of counterintuitive things. I don’t think that necessarily makes me a hypocrite. I argue that Chinese Malaysians should hang on to southern Chinese languages (deprecated as “dialects” in Singapore and Malaysia even though they’re not) even though I’m a total banana, because I think that our history is precious. I argue that science and maths shouldn’t be taught in English, because they need to be taught in the most easily understood medium. It will be interesting to see this man who has a family scattered all over argue that people shouldn’t migrate so much.
Some of the Vine books are the first edition whereas others are uncorrected preprints. If I’d known The Hunger Games was going to get so popular I totally would have hung on to mine. Basket. The one of A Most Wanted Man had a handwritten note from John le Carre as the cover, which was pretty cool. This one is just plain orange with block lettering.
Anyway I’m still in the intro chapters where he’s laying out the problem. One line that jumped out at me was “One indication that democratic institutions matter is that a change of leader only makes a significant difference to economic performance if these institutions are weak.”
That means…BN’s claim that Malaysia will descend into chaos if Pakatan takes over is an admission that the government they’ve been running for fifty-plus years SUCKS.
The first time I got a student visa, terrorists brought down the World Trade Center five days before I started university.
I immigrated on an IR1 (spouse of a US citizen) visa on Monday and the federal government promptly shut down.
…the way it’s going, if I took up citizenship, probably an asteroid would hit North America or the Yellowstone supervolcano would erupt.
I’m just sitting at home in the middle of a living room floor strewn with unpacked and unkempt personal belongings, empty of furniture, because booting up a house takes longer than booting up a 2000 PC running Windows Vista. I am, uncharacteristically, afraid.
I’d like to write a story for an action movie that goes like this…
Three young women go off for a beach holiday, a well-deserved break from being up-and-coming professionals in unusual fields: one is a public policy researcher, another a social worker helping refugees, and another a biologist who handles exotic viruses. All are deeply passionate about their work, and they will soon find that, in the worst possible way, they haven’t left it behind. The boardroom conspiracies of Western pharmaceutical companies and the steel tentacles of the global arms trade fuelled by the crisis in the Middle East converge in a whirlwind of blood and money. The fate of a young nation hangs in the balance, and at the pivot stand three young women…
My family (sans B-Boy because he had to work) went to Legoland Malaysia. I’ve been skeptical of it in the past, but my teenage cousin from Los Angeles said it’s better than Legoland California, which I liked very much despite being freezing cold.
What I really like about taking pictures of stuff in Miniland is that if you get it right, you can get shots where the viewer doesn’t realise certain people or buildings are models until they re-focus.
Here are a few pix I took, click through to see the rest in the album.
My parents and the Mouse (recently finished her Master’s and is going to be a Teach for Malaysia fellow) are down in Singapore for a visit so we had dinner together with our cousins Judoka and Spiderman, and my housemate and Mouse’s classmate Dormouse. I don’t know if other people think we’re just weirdoes, but my family are hilarious.
On the subject of cut-throat competition in schools (stealing notes when someone goes to the toilet in the library, spying on exam results and the like) my father said, “When I was in Form Six I kept a very good Physics notebook. Then just before finals, it disappeared.”
Mouse: “People could read your handwriting?”
These are some bad puns I made up. (not saying nobody else could have come up with them independently so don’t get mad at me if you heard them from a friend)
Why is gambling addiction such a serious social problem in Singapore?
Because it was founded by Raffles.
(a friend who’s a curator at the National Museum says Raffles was actually against gambling, it was his successor Farquhar who licensed gambling dens.)
What do you call a female security guard in Malaysia?
How do you hail a female cab driver in South Korea?
Heyyyyyyyyyy, taxi lady!
And last, not a pun but definitely in the “really bad” category:
What’s the different between a husband and a bicycle?
There is such a thing as one’s bicycle being too stiff for a good ride.
“Hi, I called yesterday and made a reservation. Can you give me directions to Ocean Bay please? I’m cycling from Tanjung Pinang.”
“You go out of the ferry terminal, go left, and straight all the way.”
Considering Pantai Trikora is literally on the opposite side of Bintan from Tanjung Pinang, and stretches up and down most of the east coast, that’s not a terribly precise direction.
A couple of years ago I bought a packet of German leather scraps from Art-Friend. This was like 500g of randomly-shaped and -coloured offcuts for less than SGD 10. But I’m the kind of person who has a lot of ideas but little follow-through, so for a long time all I did with it was new insoles for a pair of sandals (maroon suede) and an abortive attempt to repair my husband’s cheap Ikea office chair (black shiny).
I’ve had an Android phone since the first model, the T-Mobile G1 (rebadged HTC Dream). I got one with a cracked but working screen off eBay a couple of months after it came out, even though I didn’t have a data plan in grad school – being able to use Gchat, Facebook, etc. at home and work was good enough. And it was totally worth it when the seafood counter guy at the grocery story came running out from behind the counter going “Miss! Miss! Is that an Android phone?”
My latest is a Relay, which unfortunately is a USA-only model. I got it via eBid. Just thought I’d share my log of all the funny things I’ve done to it so far. If you’re interested you can find the info I’m referring to by searching the XDA forums. The gods of mod have not yet seen fit to create a Relay forum.
2013/2/14: got new phone
Trying to install ClockWorkMod using Odin from various sources – the XDA thread, the Github page, the Galaxy Y guide. Still not rooted. Trying to boot into recovery shows Samsung logo with message “Recovery booting” then screen goes blank. Also couldn’t figure out how to get into fastboot to try to flash it that way (booting into Download and doing “fastboot devices” from PC came up blank). Continue reading