Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Funny Life

Funny how things happen. Funny how things begin and funny how things end.

I'm old enough to know that life never happens the way you think it will. Recently, so many unexpected crazy outlandish things keep happening to me. My friends say that I am a magnet for trouble, and I guess must agree. However I think a bit of crazy is just fine by me, because in the words of Van Gogh-" I would rather die of passion than of boredom."

I have been waiting, waiting my life away-hoping to hear back from a certain school. If I get accepted, then I will be leaving USA(forever?), and my life will change in every way.

I don't believe in God, but I do believe things happen for a reason-so I hope there is a very real reason for me to be dreaming of next year...


Ice Bar Stockholm-Nordic Sea Hotel

I am listening to:
"You, Me and the Bourgeois"- The Submarines 

Friday, May 24, 2013


"Hear ye, Hear ye!" The 18th Annual Asian American Showcase has arrived in Chicago from May17th to May 30th!

All the movies playing at this event were either produced by Asian Americans or star Asian Americans. This was my first time hearing about an event that focused on Asian American films, let alone attending one. It is no secret that Asians are generally portrayed as ninjas, concubines, geeks, restaurant owners, manicurists and other assorted stereotypical characters in American films. I cannot recall watching a documentary or film-that did NOT involve kungfu, or geishas-where the lead character was Asian. I guess the recently released film, Cloud Altas, starred a female Asian lead, but even then I could not help but be irked some of her...forms(watch the movie and you'll see what I mean).

Of the 8 films showcased this year, there were two in particular I was very interested in watching: "Seeking Asian Female" and "Xmas Without China". From the Showcase website-

"Seeking Asian Female, directed by Debbie Lum, could be called a documentary about Yellow Fever or even an unlikely love match, but it’s so much more and it more like unlearning stereotypes and the judgments that stem from them. Debbie’s work has been seen in our Showcase multiple times, not just as a director, but as an editor too, and now in her feature length debut she also becomes a character in the film having to translate for subjects in this complicated relationship. Don’t miss this movie… everyone will have something to say about it afterwards."

"Another timely film is Xmas Without China, directed by Alicia Dwyer. China seems to be in the news almost every other day. Whether it’s about politics, finance or manufacturing, China is so misunderstood in American media. These misunderstanding are further explored when a Chinese immigrant challenge his neighbors to celebrate the Christmas season without any Chinese Products. What sounds like a consumer mission-impossible soon becomes a deeper journey to understand the complexities of the divided loyalties between the US and China."

Since there were no mention of dragons, martial arts or General Tsao(who the h*ll was General Tsao anyways, and when did he make chicken??),  I pushed my skepticism aside and watched the first film, "Seeking Asian Female". I am happy to admit I was blown away! The documentary was intimate, hilarious, and painfully honest at times. Two facets really stuck out to me about this film. First, in response to the question, why do American guys "love" Asian girls? I truly think these poor boys have their facts all wrong. Speaking as a Asian American girl, I can personally attest to the fact that we are NOT all "obedient", "skinny", "quiet" and "look the same". Sorry boys, but we were NOT put on this Earth to serve you. And I admit most of the time it is pretty damn awesome being an Asian girl, but when Yellow Fever takes center stage, things can all too easily cross the fine line between flattery and just down right creepy! Like any girl, I want a guy to adore me for who I am, and not for the subtle yellow sheen of my skin...urgh!

The other part of the film that really resonated with me is difficult transition of the new Asian immigrant in the film. Even though I have lived in America since the tender age of 5, watching the young Chinese bride's(Sandy) awkward attempt to integrate into modern American life-I could more than empathize. During the multitude of onscreen cultural clashes, I laughed so hard that I could feel tears in my eyes. I thought back to when I first learned English and how weird the slippery sounds felt on my flat Chinese tongue. I also remember being so suspicious of cRaZy American foodstuffs like mashed potatoes, and the ever-confusing string cheese. I was also totally bewildered but eventually entralled by Halloween. I really rooted for Sandy to succeed and to find her happiness in USA. But as her disillusionment with her life in America grew, I could sense her overwhelming loneliness emanating off the big screen. Just like me, she is and will most likely always be a long way from home...However we Chinese, are nothing if not resilient. So I guess you have just have to watch the movie to find out happens! :) And me, you ask? Well... I guess I am still a production in progress...

Unfortunately I was unable to make it to the showtimes for "Xmas Without China", but I hope I will be able to watch it sometime, somehow. I have been focused on China's rapid economic growth for a while now and I am fascinated by what these tremendous changes spell for the future of not only China but the World. All and all, I am so glad that I attended the Asian American Showcase in Chicago and was exposed to films depicting Asian Americans in realistic scenarios and non stereotypical roles. The films highlight the complexities of being Asian American, and they do so in a honest and endearing way. I genuinely hope my friends and readers(anyone?) will also take the time and opportunity to view some of the amazing work at the Asian American Showcase!

-Ran-A Nostalgic Nomad...

Yangtze Gorges, China-2004

I am listening to:
"Naoki"- Guitar

(Almost) Summertime In Chicago

For the past two months, the weather has been very unpredictable here: rain, sun, SNOW?!, sun, wind, fog...when is summer going to officially arrive in Chicago??!

Growing up in Dallas, the Texas summers stretched on endlessly. Bikini season was from March to October, and snow seemed like something far-off and magical....that is until I faced the harsh reality of a four month long blustering, bone-chilling winter in Chicago. I guess I had to learn the hard way-why Chicago is called the "Windy City". Maybe I never gave this town a fair chance, because ever since I almost froze to death during one of Chicago's worst weathers in history, which coincidentally was my very first winter here, I have spent almost 3-6 months out of the year traveling(aka avoiding Chicago). However, seeing that this could very well be my last summer in Chi-town, I want to see everything, eat everything and try everything that Chicago has to offer!!

With a population nearing 4 million, Chicago is the third largest city in America. Often referred to as the "Second City", Chicago has the luxurious trappings of a cosmopolitain metropolis while retaining the relaxed atmosphere of a true Midwestern town. I am not sure exactly how much longer I will be in this town, but I do know that I will try my best to enjoy whatever time I have left. So wish me luck as I set off to explore the Windy City!

-Ran- A Temporarily Non-nomadic?..Nomad

PS. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will finally get hot enough for me to take a dip in the lake! yeeeah~!

Some pictures from my recent adventures in Chi-Town:

Lincoln Park Zoo

Who doesn't love Dipping Dots??

Kumas Too -The Biggest, Baddest Burger in town! :D

On the way to Mayfest
I'm looking a bit grumpy because we took the wrong train :(

Trying to get to Mayfest in Asbury

Marisol's Farewell Party at MCM Pub

Sisters from another Mister! I'm going to miss this girl!!

Craft Beer Week in Chicago-Trolley Tour!

Its Beer and Trolley Time! XD

I am shopping at:
Zara Printed Jacquard Top and Shorts

Marc by Marc Jacobs "Clearly" Bag

I am listening to:
Kodomo-Concept 11

Coming Soon-A Cautionary Tale: The Week I Thought I Had HIV(Part II)

---Coming Soon--

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Waiting Game.

Holding my breath and waiting for my future to find me…

Its during those trying times, that you see who are the real ones in your life. May it be a kind word, a gentle smile or a reassuring hug, a small bit of kindness goes a long way when one is adrift in a sea of uncertainties-a small life preserver amidst stormy waters. When the bonds of friendship and unconditional love are tested to the upmost, I have been amazed by the overwhelming love and support I received from most, but I have also been sorely disappointed at the ignorance and cruelty of a few. But in the end, I thank you- thank you for setting me free from having to love you.

Nothing worth having in life comes easy, so I work, I learn and I dream. One day I will find what I am looking for...


I am listening to:
"A Happening" - Hyperstory
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