Moments I Love…

1.

It was past 10 at night. The janitor started vacuum the office by then. The timer-controlled overhead lights went off long ago, so did the AC. It was stuffy. Turned off the table lamp, I slumbered my way downstairs in the semi-darkness, out to the parking lot, where my little white car was faithfully waiting for me, all alone.

Sat into the driver¡¯s seat, my entire being just collapsed. Tired. Turned on the engine, I noticed the gas indicator was right next to the red bar. ¡°Oh! Shoot!¡± I forgot to get gas at lunchtime. I don¡¯t know whether the Chevron right by the highway was supposed to open 24 hours. In the suburb where I used to live, all gas stations close by 10pm.

My doubt evaporated as I approached the intersection. The gas station was brightly lit, and packed with sports coups, laughter and noises. I pulled up to the only empty gas pump, Indian dance music was blasting out of the car across the island from me. Indian movies were one of the few kinds the communist China considered appropriate to import. I grew up with this music. It was such happy music. I smiled. What was there to worry? It is afterall the middle of the Silicon Valley, where pulling all nighters must have been such common practice. I surveyed the drivers around me, Indian, Chinese, Chinese, Korean, Indian. I smiled some more. As I was driving away, young Chinese guys from other cars have started shooting flirtatious glances my way. My tiredness evaporated, too. The night was crisp and clear.

2.
Woke up to a foggy morning. Little hills all around our apartment were enveloped in milky fog. Pretty. As I walked to my car, I realized it was actually raining. It was the softest, gentlest, soundless kind drizzle, like lover¡¯s glance, subtle and inescapable. I drove away, wrapped in this rain blanket. My entire being was lightened up and softened, as if I could fly, lowly close to the ground, in a murmur noise.

By the time I reached the southern end of the city, it was a clear and blue sky, dotted with fluffy white clouds. I had the urge to brake in the middle of the traffic and take a picture of the view. On my right were hills that had golden brown coat, dotted with dark green vegetations, their heads covered by the same kind of milky white fog like the ones by our apartment. In front of me was the bay in a hundred shades of green, grayish green, bluish green, pastel green, aqua green, etc. They formed stripes that divided up the water surface.

Driving down the peninsula towards silicon valley, the highway snaked in and out of multiple weather systems, sunshine, clouds, windy hills, rain clouds, rain, sunshine again. Etc. The gentleness of the rain in the city remained with me all the way, all day.

Gmail Swap

Saw this interesting post in Gmail-Swap:

I’ll vote for you
Author: NotGWBush
Date: 18-05-04 12:31

Well frankly I have not much to offer, but I’ll vote for the candidate of your choice for a Gmail account. I’m a registered Republican and will vote the party line otherwise.

Sounds like a threat doesn’t it?

I figure most of the people with accounts us Apples and vote Democratic.

Here is the Original Post with Comments.

“Jean’s Weblog” Anniversary

Just realized that I’ve missed my blogging anniversary.
May 8, 2003
Wow, it has been a year!

The most delightful aspect of discovering a new blog I like is to piece together someone’s story. The process is just like working on a jigsaw puzzle, where I could collect the little beautiful pieces. Together, they form a recognizable picture. The vagueness of the picture doesn’t bother me; even its incompleteness seems to be an attraction rather than a shortcoming. Because then I would come back for more!

However, I also find myself looking for ‘About’ section in a systematic manner. It is good to know a little fundamental facts of the person so I could build up an interesting enough base to start.

So here are a few facts in case anyone is interested:

1. My native language is Chinese, and you can find my Chinese weblog here.
2. Occasionally I would write the same weblog entry twice, once in Chinese, and once in English. But they almost never translated verbatim. They often ‘feel’ different, too. I don’t know why but I can’t help it.
3. Won’t blink twice before I curse in English, but I can’t bring myself to say the mildest curse words in Chinese
4. Dream in color and with massive details
5. I’m a word person. (versus being a picture person or a musical person)
6. I’m a cat person. (Dogs are cool, but cats are so much cooler)
7. My high school was a boarding school in the center of Beijing, and it was supposed to be one of the finest in China. It means we were taught some rather liberal ideas in the late 1980’s China. It was only 15 minutes away from Tian’an men square, on a bicycle.
8. Wasn’t into politics until 911.
9. Enjoy traveling and have traveled to a few popular western European countries by myself. I enjoyed traveling alone. I enjoyed being alone in general. yes, i’m anti-social.
10. I’m now living in SF with someone I love and who claims to love me as well. If Happiness is a promise, then i think we’ve gotten one.
11. Among all the cities I’ve been to, I think San Francisco is the best place to live and work. The runners up are Nice and Barcelona.
12. I graduated with an EECS (pronounced ee-ks) degree but I gave up pursuing the profession of circuit design the day I graduated. I’m doing software programming for a living. I equate debugging with working on jigsaw puzzle. So I enjoy it somewhat. I changed job in June 2005, and I’m doing a mixture of technical account management and project management now. Debated heavily whether to go back being a programmer and finally decided against it. I think i am a good programmer, but i’m far better at proj. management than programming.  So i stop fighting with my head, even though my heart might be else where.
13. Listen to NPR everyday. Ever since i started taking company shuttle to work since 2007, i haven’t been listening to NPR as much. That might change soon, fingers crossed.
14. Believe all things are balanced out at the end, you gain some and you lose some. No tragedy will last forever.
15. Love good stories well told. Love good movies well made. Then again, who doesn’t?
16. I cry frequently when watching movies, in a very non-discriminatory fashion, i.e. including those not so well made ones.
17. I say no often, but i change my mind often, as well.
18. Love Skiing with a passion. There are few things can make me happier than craning down a slope while light snow following on my face.
19. Legally allowed to operate a motorcycle. Scuba certified. Sky dived once. No, I don’t think I’m crazy. It is more a kind of “you gotta try everything at least once” curiosity.
20. Used to be a social cigar smoker. Martini, Cigar, smokey bars, and jazzy piano music seem to go together. Since I love jazz, the others were loved in the same package. In Chinese, we say, if you love the bird, you gotta love the house where the bird lives, too. (As all your Chinese speakers out there know, i got this one backward. The actual saying was “if you love the house, then you must love the bird land on the roof, too.” i like my version better. 🙂 )
21. Love musicals, and cities that love them: New York, London, Toronto…
22. Used to drink black coffee only. Drinking something warm was immense comfort to someone who had to get up at 4:30am and catch a Monday morning flight.
23. Most of my friends think i’m a city person. I start to believe it, especially after I moved to the city in March’04. [update 2008- it is confirmed, i’m definitely a city person. I can’t imagine living in the suburb again.]
24. Used to rock climb regularly, both indoors and outdoors. During the peak of my “climbing career”, i did Nutcracker Sweet in Yosemite with my climbing partner at the time. It was a classic 5.8. 5 pitches total, 600 ft of perfect granite, it took us 6 hours. It is by far the craziest thing i’ve ever done. Skydiving can’t even compare.
—end of original 2004 list—
25. My biggest asset is passion, which is contagious (i’ve been told); my biggest shortcoming is impatience, which i have been trying to tame for a few years. i have mellowed out substantially comparing to my younger days.
26. I love a good argument. I’m opinionated and judgmental. But I adore quick wit and rational thinking. Thoughtful argument, clever come back, and most importantly kindness can swing my opinion (at least i’d like to think so).
27. I love data-driven results. Show me the facts!
28. I’m intensely curious. And i’m worried someday my curiosity will get me in trouble. I prefer to think myself as a hopeless romantic. My best friend Gui thinks I’m more rational than i’d like to admit. 🙂
29. One quality in others that i admire the most, also the quality i wish i had is the ability to persuade.
30. I don’t do diet because my mom taught me, “There is no shame in gaining weight, your body put in lots of honest labor to acquire those weight, you didn’t steal them.” 🙂
31. I don’t do regret either. Move on already!

This is fun! 🙂 I think I will come back and update this post from time to time…

change log:
v1: 2004.05.25
v2: 2008.12.19

The World According to Programers

I have been stuck on a problem at work since last Thursday. Some old code that I inherited that used to work with the previous release of our product, stopped working after I port it over to our new product. After some initial inspection, I found out the culprit is a specific class X. I looked into X and how it has been used in the old environment. It was surprisingly simple and elegant.

I asked around, people shook their heads, ¡°The author of class X is no longer with us. You are on your own.¡± Or, ¡°Class X has been deprecated, no one has tested it in the new release. You are not supposed to use it any more. Why don¡¯t you try Y or, better yet, Z?¡± I don¡¯t want to rewrite everything to use Y or Z. I looked at the code some more. It is using ORB, something fundamental to our product line. We haven¡¯t shifted architecture direction that drastically yet. It has to be something simple that I overlooked in the new environment. Only if someone familiar with this part of our product can take a look.

But I kept on hearing ¡°no¡±, everyone who knows it is gone.

Finally a more senior co-worker identified J, ¡°He knows this stuff inside out, I¡¯m sure he could take a look and tell us what we did wrong.¡± For the past few days, I¡¯ve been trying to track down J. Finally today he came by and spent an hour with me.

It was a ¡°Matrix¡±-like experience. He asked me to turn up the trace level, my log files suddenly were filled with hex data. He scrolled through those hex numbers and apparently SEEING all sorts of activities, sitting besides him, I felt like I was looking at the Matrix screen where green letters kept on flying off, but he is seeing ¡°blond¡± and ¡°brunette¡±! He gave me a few pointers to tweak our log output, and finally he said, ¡°¡­looks like the event was received by the transport layer but transport layer is not giving it to the ORB.¡± He lowered his head and thought for a moment, ¡°I wonder what happened to the dispatcher. Let¡¯s try this¡­¡± He asked me to add in one line of code that will start a ¡°dispatcher¡±.

Voila!

It worked.

Everyone was ecstatic! 🙂

The world according to programmers is always controllable. Every problem has an answer. When something doesn¡¯t work, there is always a reason.

Only if our own world behaves the same way¡­

Beautiful City by the Bay, in May

Recently I seem to be spending a lot more energy in my Chinese weblogs. Quite a few local interests spots were introduced to my Chinese audiences instead of my English ones. Sorry.

Writing in English still requires an effort. I tried my best at commenting in the gallery pages of each of our outings. But i understood the value of documenting them in an article instead of fragmental remarks beneath a thumbnail.

I will try to do better in the future, i promise i will. 🙂

Summer is coming to this lovely city by the bay. I’m expecting more pictures and more events in the upcoming months. So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, here are the some outings and interesting local spots documented in pictures, which have been known to be worth thousands of words. 🙂

1. Sonoma and Jack London State Park, May 1, 2004
2. Bay to Breakers Race, May 16, 2004
3. Dali Exhibit, & Pizzetta 211(23rd Ave. & California) , May 23, 2004

Four Feathers

Friends joined Netflix recently. So they always have two or three DVDs on hand. Sunday we watched ¡°Four Feathers¡±, directed by the same Indian born director Shekhar Kapur, who directed The Elizabeth.

I was a little surprised by this little movie that I have never heard of before this night. Despite its many flaws and the obviously lacking of a focus point, it is not a bad movie. After watching the special features and learning the director¡¯s intention and his many opinions that were obviously not in harmony with the original novel, one could understand why it is the way it is.

As a result, the special feature seemed a much more interesting part of the movie than the movie itself. Kapur was trying to take the movie somewhere it has never been before despite its being made twice already, in 1939 and 1977.

Kapur explained his intention on showing the conflict between a nation that¡¯s devoted to empire building and its absolute devotion to structure and control versus a land and people that had lived in chaos and uncontrollable natural elements for generations. ‘The Brits and Western Europe at the time considered 80% of the earth population heathens. They were determined to teach their way of life to these barbarians, to civilize them. That arrogance was astonishing.” Hearing that, I turned to my friends, “Isn’t that what is happening today, still?” Gui nodded, smiled knowingly.

But that is the way of history, the way of conqueror and the conquered. Let it be the Ottomans, the Romans, Genghis Khan¡¯s Mongols, the British, and now the American. Culture sensitivity and politically correctness were only introduced in recent years. I appreciate Kapur¡¯s attempt at giving the old story a more modern and more sensitive face. His attempt to paint a more complete picture of the colonization versus anti-colonization and his determination to produce a movie that wants to portrait a young man¡¯s self-discovery journey gave this little movie a voice, however weak it may be, however bewildered and unsure of itself the final product is. He tried his best given the limited resource and time he had. He didn¡¯t take the easy way out. Hats off to Kapur. 🙂

A few interesting observations that have amused us:

1. ¡°The Royal Cambrians¡± uniforms were so strikingly assembled today¡¯s doorman uniform, it was hilarious. It is understood that in the real chronological of events, ¡°The Royal Cambrians¡± came first. But, still, in the life story of myself, I saw those doormen first. Sorry chaps.

2. The British military¡¯s fighting ¡°Square¡± is fascinating. ¡°Like a moving tank made of highly disciplined British soldiers, aided by the superior technology (raffles) it was almost unbreakable, until 1880¡¯s in the Sudan.¡±

3. The whole idea of sending a feather to say ¡°you are a coward¡± is rather interesting. It reminded me of a Chinese saying that one could die an admirable death as heavy as the Mountain Tai, or one could die an insignificant death as light as a feather. Similar concept? Similar expressions. In the same movie, we were shown that African tribal warriors use feather to symbolize their ferocity: ¡°it symbolized the first man I killed.¡± Another subtle point planned by the director, maybe, to indicate the cultural difference between the conqueror and the conquered?

4. The main puzzle of the movie was why he had refused his assignment to begin with. The movie was caught in between of two rather polarized ideals. The original book gave him a reason that he was afraid, in a way, a coward and he knows it. The movie however wants to give him a more culture sensitive and somewhat loftier excuse that is actually rather acceptable in today¡¯s world. ¡°I wouldn¡¯t want to fight a war for anyone or any thing!¡± At the end, the movie couldn¡¯t make up its mind which way to go. So us viewers were left wondering forever what the movie was about since the very beginning.

5. My theory was he really just didn¡¯t want to wear that doorman uniform and he is really not afraid. He just prefers to go to that god forsaken desert on his own terms. 🙂 Bravo to him! I say.

Troy – the Human Story

It was possible that our expectation of this movie has been reduced to minimal, thus we were able to be pleasantly surprised. Walking into the theatre I was expecting something similar to Independence Day, battle scenes and eye candies, but nonetheless a butchered Homer saga. I didn¡¯t expect it to be interesting, and thought provocative (somewhat).

The battle scenes made me long for Lord of the Rings again. It was not as gorgeous and as well made as LOTR. However, Achilles armor kept on reminding me of the Elves. Their elegant lines and curvy shields. Thanked to education provided by LOTR¡¯s extended edition DVD, I was able to notice the markedly square lines used throughout Troy army while the Greeks seemed to be uniformly fond of circles and curves.

I didn¡¯t care too much about either of those love stories the movie added to lighten up the original plots, let it be Helen-Paris or Chryseis-Achilles. I was, however, amazed at how much more interesting it became when those quarrelsome Gods had been purposely left out of this war. Suddenly everyone¡¯s action started to have meaning and every decision a purpose. Brad Pitt¡¯s Achilles was actually likeable, and Eric Bana¡¯s Hector was my favorite by far. Both of them were defiance of the Gods. Is that why they were admired through the generations? Us humans pretending to love the gods but secretly admiring the ones that dared to say no to them?

¡°The gods are envious of us because our mortality gave every moment meaning which they could never have.¡± I first learned of this point of view from the book The Fall of a Sparrow, where the professor taught his classic class that Odysseus chose to remain mortal and to return to his wife over staying with a goddess and to have an eternal life, preciously because of this reason that death defines life. Because we would all die, thus everything we were able to achieve as living creatures turned to gold, precious and meaningful. When I heard the same line delivered by Brad Pitt¡¯s Achilles, I wondered who stole from whom, or where this point of view originated. I remember when I first told Gui this line, she laughed, ¡°that is such a human thing to say.¡± We were not gods, therefore we couldn¡¯t fathom what the gods really think of themselves and what do they hold dear to their hearts. But this is at the heart of the matter, isn¡¯t it? The fact that Iliad was so hard to get through maybe was because the purposeless of the gods described by Homer. As a human, how would he know what the gods were really like? His creation and imagination remained markedly human. Thus the quarrelsome gods with eternity to kill, they played with humans for entertainment.

The movie¡¯s godlessness gave Iliad a human face to every event. I started to see every battle and turn of event in a new light.

One thing that really irritated me was the voice over at the beginning and ending of the movie, supposedly delivered by Odysseus(Boromir!). Both were making one and the same point, that some names were carved into history while most others were forgotten. It was all right with me that if the director was trying to tell us that wars largely exists to serve the ego of a few, there was no other meaning whatsoever. But I think the movie could have been a lot more interesting and subtle without this kind of slogan shouting. For example, before Achilles decided to go to Troy with the Greek army, his mom told him that going to Troy would mean the end of his life but it would also guarantee his number 1 hero status on the history billboard, staying home would mean a happy and fulfill life but he would be forgotten by history. Achilles decision to go could mean he longed for the number 1 spot on the billboard, but it could also mean he didn¡¯t buy it. He didn¡¯t believe the gods could determine his fate for him before he even left home. He went because he intended to show the gods wrong, that he could win himself the glory AND he would return unharmed.

But with all the emphasis on glory and remembrance, this possibility of interpretation was lost in the thumping of chests by armies of Homo sapiens.

Another moment that I found fascinating was when Hector had the far sight to recognize divisions among the Greeks and objected attacking them, but he still couldn¡¯t resist the temptation on the battle field when a weaker ¡°Achilles¡± appeared. He was visibly excited. As rational and peace loving as Hector was, he could not escape the spell of war, the sweet temptation of winning. Of course, as Gui pointed out that as he later confessed that he had dreamed of the final battle before, it could be as simple as him recognizing the moment and embracing his fate. But I¡¯d like to imagine otherwise and I¡¯m grateful the movie didn¡¯t shout some slogans here to ruin that possibility. To err is human, and inperfection makes one more loveable.

Quite a few critics complained about the music. I found myself loving them. Especially the Asian minor folklore, the female vocal echoed through the scene without any instrumental sound to interfere. Like the fierce wind blowing over Hindu Kush, that eternal sounding voice chilled one¡¯s heart.

I myself is still laboring through the thick Iliad on my nightstand. But now I know I could look through the gods quarrel and see the humans, finally.

MT 3.0 New Pricing Structure

Regarding all the “injustice” cry over MT 3.0’s new pricing structure, this funny response is a must read! via MovableType RIP | Metafilter (http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/33072).

This is getting talked about throughout the blogsphere and the reaction is pretty much universally negative.

The BLOGOSPHERE spake with one voice, and it said:

“Give us free stuff!”

And the Developers said, “Sure, why not,” and gave them simple web tools to played with. And the BLOGOSPHERE played with them, and rejoiced, and it was good.

And then the BLOGOSPHERE said:

“Give us more features!”

And the Developers did their best to comply, and they didst labour for many a year. Occasionally, they would shower.

And the Developers didst look up from their keyboards, and looked about their shabby one-room walkups, and they didst declare:

“Holy shit, we’re starving here. Does anybody have any money for some ramen or something?”

And they looked upon the BLOGOSPHERE, who didst use their product, and their many Amazon affiliate links and AdSense banners, and they said to themselves:

“Hmm. How do we get in on that action?”

And then it hit them, like a wet fish.

Yea, though they had planted the seed, watered the sapling, and tended the tree, but they did not reap any of the fruit.

“Fuck that noise,” they said, and they didst add a licence fee to the next upgrade under certain circumstances.

“AAAUUUGGHHH!” said the BLOGOSPHERE, which, like Slashdotters, never readeth the fucking article. “This is unjust. This is unexpected. This is so . . . so proprietary. Software should be FREE!” they said, as they cashed their cheques from Google.

“It’s not that great software anyway,” they said, as they entered stage two. “Anyone could whip up a blogging app. It’s slow. And the server doth verily give me those stoopid 500 Internal Server Errors.”

And the BLOGOSPHERE looked around and said, crying with a great voice:

“Anyone else want to give us free stuff?”

NEXT
posted by mcwetboy at 8:57 AM PST on May 13

The Triplets of Belleville

Watched The Triplets of Belleville at Gui’s last night. It is an interesting little film. I liked its twisty and bizarre plot, and wacky characterization of its actors. The film was in a nostalgia brownish hue, beautifully drawn. It is amazing how it kept me engaged for over an hour without any dialogues. I started to understand how silent movies still command a following to this day.

As Matthew kept pointed out, the dog totally reminded me of our Nappy. Even though they don’t look alike, they have almost identical wacky little habbits. Loved the dog’s dream! ha!

I was able to have a peek at the ¡°making of¡± section before I took off for home. The designers claimed that the city of ¡°Belleville¡± was an imagined city that combined Paris, Montreal, and New York. The funny part was no one would doubt it was a parody of New York, except the hilly streets, which reminded us of San Francisco. I could see a little bit of Paris after they said so. But can¡¯t really see any trace of Montreal. Sorry, Canadians. 🙂

Oh, and frogs shall never look the same to me ever again…

Earth Your Dancing Place

Lovely poem from today’s Writer’s Almanac produced by NPR.
As always, favorite lines in bold.

Earth Your Dancing Place
by May Swenson

Beneath heaven’s vault
remember always walking
through halls of cloud
down aisles of sunlight
or through high hedges
of the green rain

walk in the world
highheeled with swirl of cape
hand at the swordhilt
of your pride
Keep a tall throat
Remain aghast at life

Enter each day
as upon a stage
lighted and waiting
for your step
Crave upward as flame
have keenness in the nostril
Give your eyes
to agony or rapture

Train your hands
as birds to be
brooding or nimble
Move your body
as the horses
sweeping on slender hooves
over crag and prairie
with fleeing manes
and aloofness of their limbs

Take earth for your own large room
and the floor of earth
carpeted with sunlight
and hung round with silver wind
for your dancing place

Happiness, Promise, and Beauty

Woke up early on this bright sunny Sunday morning. Was able to finish a couple of short stories from Ted Chiang’s short story collection. The last thing i read before getting up was a quote by Stendhal.

Beauty is the promise of happiness.”

It reminded me of what Gui said after i told her the paragraph from “The Reader” that touched me so much,

“So happiness is a promise, huh? I like that.”

All day, “Beauty is the promise of happiness.” lingered in my head. Interesting.

The $104.1 Million Picasso…

The $104.1 Million Picasso that was auctioned off at Sotheby yesterday.


The only board game I bought myself is called “Modern Art”. It simulates auction houses competing for arts. I was introduced to the game by an enthusiastic young couple during a ski cabin weekend up in north Tahoe. What¡¯s intriguing about the game was the dynamic of an auction market. There was no telling what could happen to any of your ¡°art holdings¡±. Each player¡¯s personality and the dynamic created by the group could produce unexpected market trend.

Here is a picture of Sotheby during the auction of this painting.

Glosses.net is Back!

I¡¯m so happy.
She went on a hiatus last Oct. After going back and check for her regularly for three or four months (I didn¡¯t find her rss then), and seeing the same last brief entry, I gave up looking.

Tonight I discovered that she has come back starting Feburary¡¯04! Hallelujah!

I just spent better part of the evening catching up on her writing for the past three months. Followed (Tried to follow is a more accurate phrase) her through some language lessons in obscure languages in the Slavic area, enjoyed some mystical stories she translated from lesser known languages, and was delighted in some of her everyday observations. She is learning Czech right now.

Her site was redesigned (twice! And I missed the first one). Beautiful as ever. Interesting enough that she switched from MovableType to WordPress. Hmm¡­ I wonder if I should follow suit. Php does sound more interesting than perl. And the prospect of not having to do the stupid ¡°build¡± each time sounds wonderful, too. Maybe when I have more time.

A few new entries that I really enjoyed from glosses.net:

1.¡°The world around me..¡± – with beautiful folk art from a people called Inuit.

2.Omorzhilsya – Interesting language lesson on Russian, plus an interesting folklore called, oddly, ¡®Woman gives birth to a whale¡¯.

3. Making of Sharona¡¯s Journal – with beautiful illustrations! I’m envious of Sharona to no-end.

And here is my old blog entry that introduced glosses: wintu

Book Review: Bob Woodward¡¯s ¡°Plan of Attack.¡±

READ THIS! It is Unbelievable! Bob Woodward¡¯s ¡°Plan of Attack.¡± by Hendrik Hertzberg. From The New Yorker Issue of 2004-05-10.

The most astounding passage in ¡°Plan of Attack¡± comes in the epilogue, when Woodward is recounting one of his tape-recorded interviews with the President:

I asked about his father in this way: ¡°Here is the one living human being who¡¯s held this office who had to make a decision to go to war. And it would not be credible if you did not at some point ask him, What are the ingredients of doing this right? Or what¡¯s your thought, this is what I¡¯m facing.¡±
¡°If it wouldn¡¯t be credible,¡± Bush replied, ¡°I guess I better make up an answer.¡±

Bush struggles to remember a ¡°poignant moment¡± with his father. He comes up empty. ¡°I can¡¯t remember a moment where I said to myself, maybe he can help me make the decision,¡± he says. ¡°I¡¯m trying to remember,¡± he says. ¡°I don¡¯t remember,¡± he says. ¡°I could ask him and see if he remembers something,¡± he says. And, finally:

¡°The discussions would be more on the tactics. How are we doing, How are you doing with the Brits? He is following the news now. And I am briefing him on what I see. You know, he is the wrong father to appeal to in terms of strength. There is a higher father that I appeal to.¡±

Bush¡¯s talk of a higher father is one of the reasons that the Bush-Cheney campaign (like the John Kerry campaign) has recommended ¡°Plan of Attack¡± to its supporters. That kind of talk, after all, is sure to please the base. But if the son is capable of so thoughtlessly blurting out, in effect, that his earthly father is weak¡ªthat the boy is determined, at long last, to show his dad a thing or two¡ªthen there may be something stranger and darker at the root of our present difficulties than a noble effort to change the world.

Reading Time…

I wish there was a season when no one will have internet access at home. Kind of like how i imagining “Monsoon Season” to be like, when people were all trapped in their houses by the rain. So there was nothing to do but read.

Currently on my nightstand, there are two wonderful books and two most recent issues of New Yorker magazines waiting to be read. God knows how i want to read them but there never seems to be any time! 🙁

Therefore, I have to make some time and put web-surfing curfew in place.

That said, here are two new websites I just discovered, one, Cynical Rantings, has good writing and another, Pages of Pages, is simply filled with book reviews. Best of all, the author’s reading taste seems to be very similar to mine! Her ( i think it is a her) most recent entry is about no other than the book sitting on my nightstand: The Name Sake.

Right now I’m reading The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri. It (like the movie Monsoon Wedding) makes me wish I was Indian. But alas, I am not. So I have to settle for buying naan at the grocery store and occasionally watching some Bollywood with Scott Fosdick. (Not that I really do that so much anymore, but you know.)

Anyway. If you’ve never read anything by Jhumpa Lahiri, you’re missing out. She’s fabulous. She also has a short-story collection called Interpreter of Maladies that is pretty awesome.

I agree with her one hundred percent! Jhumpa (how do you pronounce that exactly?) Lahiri is fabulous!. So was Interpreter of Maladies.