In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Aunties and Books

I suddenly realised that I'm trying to get my friends to go out with me more often. Much more often. Am I clingy? Yeah, pretty much.

This is odd. I was never like this in school - I'm introverted by nature.

During uni days I'd lock myself in my room all the time, not caring for mixing around. It's probably from my father's side of the family - he's definately introverted. And seeing as how I'm trying to avoid his bad life choices as much as possible I guess its no surprise that I'm trying to improve my social life.

But somehow, I don't think that's it.

A workmate paid me back for some food today, but I was busy keeping things so I left it on the table. "Aiya, just put it in your purse before you forget."

"Wait-lah, I'll keep it later...wallet! It's called a wallet! Not a purse!"

At which point I started blabbering (as I sometimes do), much to their amusement, "Now see here! My mum used to say panties instead of underwear. My friends laughed at me for days! It's called underwear, not panties! Underwear! And this (holding up wallet), is a wallet! Not a purse!"

Later, my workmate asks, "Daniel, can you put something in your..."

"...satchel! Not handbag! Satchel!"

Good greif! I've been surrounded by people nearly double my age for more than two years - almost all of them married women. Either that or one fifth of my age. And there's no other guys even close to my age in my line of work. I'm starting to think and talk like middle-aged women. The horror!

So my friends whom I've been bugging, please, bear with me when I call you out repeatedly. I *very* much desire to hang out with friends- old friends, new friends, straight, gay, I don't care! As long as they're men and close to my age. Please, save me! I'm too young to become an old auntie!

:p

-------

Letsee, shall I read 'Harry Potter and the Half blood Prince' or 'Spinning Straw, The Jeff Apple Story'?

First one has Harry's friend getting killed (did I spoil it for you? Well, boohoo!) and second one is about an autistic boy/man who eventually beats himself to death due to uncontrollable self injurious behavior and how his family struggles to help him all the way til that point.

Oh well, I always thought Harry Potter was overated.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Holidays are here! (Not!)

With the party for the kids leaving our center last Friday, classes have ended this year for the kids at my center. I, however, still have to work.

There's a LOT to be done- I'll cover them as we actually start on each task. Right now we're filling in the checklists of each child's current skills. Or we would be if the checklists we ready yet - so a little spring cleaning while waiting for the checklists to come back from the photostating shop. 'Little' isn't really an accurate way to describe it, but whatever.

Those checklists of skills are really really complete, covering individual skills in the six domains in our curriculum: Gross Motor Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Self Help Skills, Social Developement, Language and Communication and Reading, writing and Early Numbers. So complete in fact that they cover skills that we aren't even focusing on in our center in practise due to lack of time. Ack. But then, keeping tabs on what we teachers haven't been doing is the whole purpose to the damn things, so I shouldn't complain. But I can tell you, I'm really, really not looking forward to doing those darn things.

Fortunately we already finished each child's progress report for the year, using my new format I designed that *hopefully* gives the info more effectively with less hassle for us teachers. Previous format was basicaly a short essays describing the child's progress - not good for our teachers since their English isn't as good as they wished. I toned it down summaries of skills based on their IEP goals since that's what we work with in practise anyway. That and a teacher's comment, usually on behaviour and whatever else needs to be said.

38 kids worth of paperwork between 3 teachers. Eeks. I'm just glad we don't take them all at once during classes. If only we had more time to prepare for them for next year- phew!

Edit: Btw, I teach in a center for children with learning delays. Autism, Down's syndrome, ADHD, the whole lot.

Dirty old men

I was just thinking about marraige again (it's the season!) when I remembered when a friend of mine showed me the site in Melaka. The infamous cruise site.

Now, a little disclaimer. Sexually, I'm off limits to this friend of mine - simply because he has no immunity to Hepatitis B which I carry. But I'll talk about Hepatitis B another time...maybe I'll ask Paul to do it for me in his blog. Heh.

So anyway, here we are looking at people, myself fully knowing I want nothing to do with them but my friend was keen on watching the action. My guess is he's into it himself, and would be had I not been there. Whatever. Mostly Malay folks near the gate. (it was Raya then. I ask my friend, "What? Dinner with relatives followed by cruising for sex?" He replies, "They sneak off after dinner when everyone's gone or asleep." It wasn't even very late. Hurrah).

What I remembered was the men sitting and waiting in a whole group at the far end of the walk. My friend explains that they're looking for blow jobs from transverstites, and that they're actually straight. At the time I was just filled with loathing...must I explain why? As I walked past I was massaging my knuckles.

What were these men doing? Why were they even here? Didn't they some other avenue to turn to release their sexual needs? For that matter, who in their right mind would come to men like these?

Who would come to men like these? Lonely people who are desperate, possibly. I imagine these men practise whispering sweet nothings as their members are being taken in the mouth. The people who come to these men know it's fake, but probably don't have a better alternative.

Who are these men? Either men who really have nowhere else to go or live in denial of their attraction for these women.
Nowhere? Most of them were old. Probably poor so they couldn't afford to pay for the services, and so unattractive both outwardly and inwardly that they couldn't land a date. Maybe they've lived their whole lives alone and just don't give a shit about anyone else anymore.
Denial? From their point of view, I imagine it's all good for the ego if they're clever enough to trick a trans into giving them services time and again, but certainly not to really admire one. Or maybe this was the best they could get without soceity knowing the love for women who used to be men. Out of all the old men, there was one who was *young* - getting shown the ropes by the older pervs. I still don't understand why.

Jessie and Joshua are extremely lucky, in comparison. I doubt they feel that way when all the pressure from all the publicity they've received starts building up, but they are really fortunate to have met each other. I hope their love braves the storm.

I don't understand what's going on here. Not enough to make proper judgement. In any case, it all sounds so sad somehow. And I really shouldn't since I fully grasp the issues here, but I still feel like visiting those leering idiots sitting around and beating the tar out of the lot of them.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Good enough

I'm surrounded by bad marraiges.

Okay, maybe that's not a nice way of saying it. But to put it honestly, it's true. Due to the nature of my work, just about everyone I meet is a parent, and even my colleges and the volunteers are almost double my age. Mostly women too. And I admit, their way of thinking is rubbing off me. Wonderful. Back on topic:

J is divorced. Her husband left her and her kids for another woman. Old, familiar story but heartbreaking none the less.

A is not so happily married to an elder guy. She thought that she would be more loved by a husband who was older. Something about stuff she read from a novel when she was younger. Anyway, said husband keeps back most of his income for himself to spend on god knows what and she is very frustrated and poor.

Ja is also not so happily married. She loves her husband and vice versa (woohoo!)...but there's the problem with him borrowing more money than they have for gambling. Twice. Living in fear of debtors and ah longs once in your life is not good for the soul, much less twice.

And there's my own parents. I'll touch more on that some other time.

All these marraiges share one common little trait - it was the man's fault and the woman suffered for it.Doesn't that make you feel proud to be a man? Somehow, after working with these ladies for 2 years my expectations in my future steady has dropped dramaticaly.

So when I read about how difficult it is to stay commited with someone (yes, from a blog) because there so potentially better fish in the sea - I say nonsense. It doesn't matter if there's someone better out there. Sexual chemistry doesn't matter in the long run - we're all doomed to be old someday. And the romance doesn't last in most relationships anyway - so I'm told by my friends in LTR. But you know what? It doesn't matter to them. People don't just marry for romance - they marry for what the marraige gives them, and they believe in their partner because of the bond that's built between them. What do they want from marraige? All good things mind you - children, a clean house, food on the table, company, someone to share responsibilites with, a caring spouse, emotional support. And yes, sex that's safe. If both sides remain commited to each other, over the years the bonds build up and so does the trust between them. That's really why they stay together.

What do we need for a good marraige? Who knows! But I could name a few - Financial stability is good. Commitment is a must. Dependabilty not to totally screw up is another - should be obvious but it always happens (say through addiction to alcohol or drugs or gambling or what have you). Being able to communicate with each other is important. Thinking on the same wavelength helps, but isn't actually essential. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Let's not be greedy. All I really ask for in a life partner is 'good enough'. Even that is hard enough. Find one, stick to each other, build bonds, forget that there are other fish out there. At least, unless we break up.
I may not have the best one out there. But at least I'll have someone. Someone decent is 'good enough'. Adult reasons instead of young infatuation? Yeah, I hope so.

I've really got to hang out with more guys closer to my age.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Prologue

“Esther, please read out the second paragraph on page 7.”

“The western Allies invasion of Normandy, held by Germany, commenced on the 6th of June, 1964. It was spearheaded by…”

“Hold on. I’m sorry, we already covered Germany last lesson didn’t we? Start from the seventh paragraph please.”

“On the Asian side, the Allies were gaining the upper hand. Allied warships continued to raid Japanese shipping and coastal areas, and Allied bombers would increase their attacks. Air attacks by long-range B-29 bombers had begun on June 15, 1944, from bases in China. Throughout the summer of 1944, the U.S. 20th Air Force raided Japan, Formosa, and Japanese-held Manchuria, about once a week. The Army Air Force flew more than 15,000 missions against 66 major Japanese cities, and dropped more than 100,000 tons of incendiary bombs. The Allies held such superiority in the air that early in July 1945, General Carl Spaatz, commander of the U.S. Army Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific, publicly announced in advance the names of cities to be bombed. The invasion of Japan was imminent.”

“Continue.”

“In July 1945, the heads of government in Britain, Soviet Union and the United States conferred and were told that Japan was willing to negotiate a peace, but unwilling to accept unconditional surrender. An ultimatum was issued, calling for unconditional surrender and a just peace. Japan ignored the ultimatum, and thus the Allies commenced the invasion of Japan- codenamed Operation Downfall.”

“Okay, stop there. Matthew? The third and fourth paragraph, if you please.”

“Operation Downfall was an almost exclusively American operation. It had two parts- the first invasion operation codenamed Operation Olympic and the second main invasion codenamed Operation Coronet. Operation Olympic launched on the 1st of November, 1945. It was an amphibious assault on the heavily fortified island Kyushu on the southernmost corner of Japan after a massive naval and aerial bombardment. Over four hundred thousand American soldiers lost their lives in this operation alone with many more injured. Losses on the Japanese side were much greater in both military and civilian unit casualties, estimated to have reached the million mark. The American forces succeeded in taking Kyushu on the 13th of November, but the invasion did not stop there.

The goal of the second invasion on 1st March 1946, Operation Coronet, was to a total naval blockage by securing Honshu and Tokyo; thus prompting the unconditional surrender of Japan. The initial bombardment of Honshu and the Tokyo plains is largest bombardment in history to this day – an estimated 10000 tons of explosives were dropped on Honshu and Tokyo before the final assault. At least 22 combat divisions of the American forces then invaded the islands soon after. The Americans succeeding in taking both Honshu and Tokyo plains after nearly two weeks of fighting on the 13th March 1946. The loses on both sides were staggering- with estimated casualties of about 1.5 million Japanese soldiers and civilians and six hundred thousand American soldiers.”

“Okay. Joshua- skip to the first paragraph on page 9 please.”

“ ((draft)) leading to the unconditional surrender of the Japanese on August 14th.


“The Allies were determined not to repeat the mistakes of World War I, in which the peace after World War I ended had failed to be en. In ((June 1941)), nine European governments-in-exile joined with Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries in signing the Inter-Allied Declaration, which called for the unification of these nations under a single banner. The United Nations was born on October 24, 1945. The first elections for were held the following January in Washington.

Eventually all the countries around the world complied, as they found it beneficial to be part of this new world super power. As it does today, the United Nation’s main office is stationed in the White House where representatives from around the globe guide the UN under the leadership of the world’s President- all chosen by the people through democratic elections.”

“Very good. This lesson we won’t be covering the process of how the United Nations came to include every nation in the world as it does today. Suffice to say for now it was a long process to convince every nation to give up their sovereignty over their own nation in favor of world unity. Let’s look back…Yes, Joshua? Do you want to ask something?”

“Sir? What about the nuke?”

This gave Mr. Hawkins pause. “I’m sorry, what about the what?”

“The bomb, sir. The nuclear…bomb.”

Mr. Hawkins raised an eyebrow. “Nook-liar…bomb? What is this nook you’re talking about?”

“The…I...”

“Nook as in ‘I’m not getting enough’ maybe,” Matthew offered. Students around Joshua stifled their giggles in vain, looking at each other with knowing eyes.

“Quiet! I’m asking Joshua a question!” Mr. Hawkins shouted and banged the closest table with his heavy wooden ruler. The innocent student whom the table belonged to cringed back and the class quickly resumed silence.

“Well?”

Joshua remained silent, eyes staring down as if his shoes were the most interesting thing in all the world.

Mr. Hawkins shook his head. “Joshua, this is the umpteenth time…no. I’m talking to you *after* class. Matthew- I’d like to talk to you as well.”

“Eep,” Matthew said just loud enough for the adjacent students to hear. Again students around stifled a giggle, again in vain.

“I said quiet!” He banged down his ruler repeatedly and to show he meant it- much to the prior mentioned student’s discomfort. The class quickly resumed silence in response.

“Right then. Let’s us resume the history lesson.”
-------
- exerpt from the novel I'm writing. Still a little rough, many bits need a rrewrite.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Oppai Missiles, Fire!

My brother's been playing Super Robot Wars...alpha 3? 4? Anyway, watching him dunk the manly hero pilots in the female mechs for laughs prompted me to post this up.

Behold, the legendary Oppai Missiles of the Mazinger series! It all started with Aphrodite Ace:





















Aaaannnd it was so popular they did it again!























And again...























And again...







Mazinger's the great grandaddy of all giant robot anime and manga. The Oppai missile is such a...'classic' move that there are parodies everywhere now- but this last one's enough, really.








No prize for guessing what 'Oppai" means. Hmmm, do straight guys really dig this sorta thing?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Misrepresented Minorities

Aaand I already have something to write about.

I just watched "Cello" recently with two nice guys. In it there's a girl who gets possessed by a vengeful and hostile spirit. Now the movie never mentions it, but the girl is meant to have autism. She never speaks a word, had a one-to-one special ed teacher and obssesses with an object for no apparent reason.

Wow, this is just what all my parents with autistic children need! A movie that tells them that their children are vulnerable to ghost attacks or *are* already possessed by spirits! Pure joy!

Children with autism are very often believed to be possessed by 'monkey' spirits, and sent to temples, datuks, bomohs and just about whatever to be healed for instead of going to seek practical therapy. Some of my kids still wear white clothes with a holy 'chop' and are barred from eating nuts and fruits.

It never works, of course.

Autism is a very poorly understood condition, and not very well known in Asian countries. Heck, only a few of my friends have never heard of the condition. There is strong evidence to believe that most cases of autism are usually tied to genetic causes - definately not spirit possession. Children with autism typically look normal physically, unlike say Down's syndrome which causes physical features that are more easily spotted.

Autism is, unfortunately, for life. Just like another mental 'condition' I know of...

Autistic children are *not* spooky. They laugh like other children, and many enjoy Barney the Dinosaur and Bob the Builder and playing with toys. They're socialy handicapped and even act strangely, but they're not spooky. And they're NOT possessed.

Casting minorities in movies and literature is tricky - because minorities are minorites (public doesn't meet many of them), movies misrepresenting minorites have significant impact on the public's view of said minority. If there's a minority group in a movie, please, close one eye and don't assume that's what they're all like.

Am I saying I'm immune to discrimination and misrepresentation? Surely not. In fact, here's me finding out just that.

Eh, it's a pretty big link so take your time. Go, take a bath and have dinner then come back here.

The community's a bit aghast at first, but remember that people with albinism have been misrepresented in movies and literature time and again (Time Machine and Powder are two examples). Of the posters, only Skyla bothered to e-mail me and chat further about my ideas. Oh well, at least I asked.

Now my sci-fi race has white fur covering their bodies. Heh. At least watching Chris freaking out was entertaining. ;)

Definately not the Matrix

Ooookay. Here's me getting into the act. Something that bottom-ish people do eh? Heh.

Hi and hello, this blog is still under construction (why the heck is it called a blog anyway? Blog of ink? Blog as in thought bubble? Blogged down?*checks Wiki* Oh, short for weblog. Riiiight.), please enjoy your stay, watch that landing, and please, please, please, no crude jokes about the name of the blog. Thank you.

Would have made one sooner, only I asked myself what my motives for making one would be. Ego? Seeking attention? Desperation?

Quote Paul's sms: Do it for fun. No need 2 overanalyze. It's a freakin blog

So, here we are then. :)