Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Generosity

When I say I lived in China, generally speaking I mean that I lived in a bubble. As one of the spoiled little brat expats (and trust me, even among expats I was a brat) I found the experience of seeing the incredible poverty around me to be a little disenheartening, but not really, kind of like seeing a dying animal through the bars of a zoo cage. There's a lot of shame to be had for my apathy at the beggars and street people that I brushed off casually while walking through the markets or trying to convince my mom to cook imported Spam (did I mention how incredibly spoiled I was?) for dinner.

There is one thing, though, that I remember as being an example of that quiet strength my mother posesses but doesn't normally show. We were driving through the center of a busy intersection when my mother spotted an indigent, grungy-looking man sitting crosslegged directly at the center of the crossroads. My mom looked like she was going to do something but instead we kept driving, and I didn't think much of it.

She changed her mind and had our driver take us to one of the teeny little stalls that embraced the globalization trend of the 90s by selling Ritz crackers and Sprites. Armed with a two-liter and a box of Ritz we went back to the intersection and my mother got out of the car into the unpredictable winds of China traffic and gave the man food.

It is a particular shame to me that I forgot about this simple example of generosity until just the other day, years later.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

New Year's Resolution

I had a lot of facetious NY resolutions (decapitate the Statue of Liberty!) but until today I haven't really "felt" them. Then I spent an hour and a half talking to a young lady who happens to be feeling a little despondent about her relationship, and giving her affirming advice. It was both draining and exhilirating at the same time. I've forgotten how that works. I was asking myself why I do things like this, and then, like a bolt of lighting, the answer hit me.

I just got the experience the best eighteen months of my young life, all on karmic "credit", and not for anything I've earned (symbolic of something, neh?). So I'm 'in debt' for 18 months of the purest joy I could ever feel.

It's time to start earning it back.
A Story about Hope

So my roommate's girlfriend told me a story about how she had been deeply head-over-heels for him, and was absolutely thrilled when he asked her to come on a long walk with him. Thrill turned to disappointment when she found out he just wanted to ask her advice...about another girl that he, in turn, wanted to figure out. So of course, she was disappointed and emo, just as I am now...and now, months later, he's forgotten all about the other girl, and he and his girlfriend are happy together.

She probably told me this for one of two reasons: to get me out of my mini-funk (funky town....) by giving me a little misbegotten hope, OR to very gently hint to me to drop whatever it is I feel for That Girl, since she's taken. But what she didn't realize was the first thing that this hinted to me was neither of those things.

Instead, it reminded me of a very familiar story of mine own.

Regular readers of this blog will recall stories about the first girl on the list of odds below, and they are multifarious and interesting; however, the story that I was reminded of about her was a little different.

She was exactly two "attractiveness levels" above me, meaning that the first thing I thought when I saw about her was "no chance". This was in 8th grade, well before I had developed anything regarding a theory of attractiveness levels, yet my always-sharp instincts had correctly deduced the situation. So after languishing a little, I relented, let go, and eventually helped set her up with my friend Oliver, a quite decent gentleman. Like most pubescent relationships, it was a stormy affair that lasted three days, and by three days, I mean a short bus ride. And so not only was she out of reach, she was also the ex of one of my friends (again, no theory of Cardinal Rules about Dating, but still I had some very sharp instincts). There was no hope- hence the 10-1 odds, which were perhaps a little generous- otherwise who would have bet on me?

Three months later, at the impatient behest of what seemed to be the entire 60-odd member community of 8th graders, I ended up dating her for about a month. It was stressful, bad for my self-esteem, a wee bit immoral, terrible for my friends, and a helluva lot of fun (time-limited relationships tend to be, but that's an entirely different story and 5,000 extra words).

The moral of the story, don't give up hope, no matter what happens, because sometimes even 10-1 odds pay off. And that's a really good thing.

Of course, the other nine times, it sucks.


[Note to faithful readers: *real*, non-emo blog posts coming soon]

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Candidate for Worst Analogy Ever

Eating hot chocolate mix raw is just plain wrong. Hot chocolate powder is in its elemental form- it *wants* to evolve, to become real hot chocolate. Eating hot chocolate powder is like trading enormous quantities of lead instead of using the Philosopher's Stone to turn it to gold first.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Renovations complete

I am at peace with the world and with God.

Regular blog service will resume today. Look out for the vacuum story, if I can ever get time to write it...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

James 1:12: Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

I'm almost out of the woods, and ready to fly...details tomorrow.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Why? Why do I want her back so badly?

Why do I want her back if she keeps pushing me away? If she keeps marginalizing what we had so I can't even have the memories anymore? If she keeps baiting me so I can smash myself against the rocks? If she keeps denying me like Peter?

Why do I want her back when she clearly doesn't want me?

Why do I know that wanting her back is the right thing to do?




*note: normal blog service will return on wednesday, the author is just in a slump right now, apologies for all inconveniences*

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Another day, another misfire. And I still have no idea how it's going to end.

Tomorrow I will know if I had enough coin to pay off St. Peter at the gates for second semester, but until then I'm stuck in this limbo of not knowing if I should be happy, or sad, or angry, or melancholy in the Shakespearean sense...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sword of DamoclesShe said, "I think we can do this, but I need a few days to think it over" and "I haven't really thought about it- I've been too busy vomitting" respectively, so now I wait for her to call me, something that hasn't happened in a long, long time.

And so I sit with the sword swinging over my head, with honestly no idea if this is a happy ending romantic comedy or tragicomic opera that ends with a lot of death (metaphorical, of course).

The waiting, though, is killer. Some of you may recall a post I wrote a while ago about going to an amusement park with a few friends who had passes and about the tower drop, how it's harder at the top when you're anticipating the fall then when you actually do fall. This is kind of how I feel, except I don't know if it will be a thrilling white-knuckle ride fall, or a one-in-a-million-every-safety-system-failed-accident fall.

So I sit, and I wait for a call...