My brain's too small for blogging!

The last few days I've had thousands of things swimming around my head that I want to put down in blog form. Ok, not quite thousands but sometimes I feel like it. So, I'll do a roundup of what's been on my mind. This is what I call a weak-sauce attempt at being a blogger:

  • First of all, Triết posted a great analysis of the improving/declining relationship paradox between Vietnamese Americans and Vietnamese in Vietnam. It sparked a lovely banter between us, which resulted in some great perspectives being raised and dissected. Instead of blogging it on my own, I'll just "blog ké" with his: A Tale of Two Peoples. Update: another good discussion I'm a part of can be found at OnlyBlue.org.
  • I've started uploading videos - ok, only ONE video - to Google video instead of trying to stream my own. I like the flexibility of doing my own, but trying to encode and script and stream my own flash videos when Google can do it all for me is like trying to make and kneed and bake my own pizza crust when I can buy one that's already done. Oh wait, I do that too. Anyway, here's my first video, or just view it right here.
  • Mitt Romney - I posted a while ago about him, and I've tried to save my breath whenever I feel like asking myself (on the blog, of course) "Is he serious?" Evidently, I'm not the only one thinking this, and it happens to be a somewhat-famous someone who's asking the same question. See Orson Scott Card's view of Romney as President (which I actually find quite entertaining, and a decent analysis of the whole "Mormon" issue)
  • I've been planning a post on my garden - spring sure does wonderful things to those ugly plants out back. Ugly during the winter. But not as ugly as Utah, at least mine stay green. The jasmine is bursting with white flowers and filling the air with its sweet fragrance, the blueberries are actually turning blue (which I thought wouldn't happen because I didn't think bees flew up to the second story), my first try at quế, tía tô, kinh giới (Vietnamese herbs) are growing like weeds (see guys, we were right!), and the banana tree just sprouted another leaf. Ah, spring... here are other posts about my garden.
  • My mommy just started her blog, which she is totally stoked about. She's a writer, so this should be a cool blog once she gets a good base of posts. Go, mom!
  • Much has been happening in Vietnam as of late. I can't put it all here, but here's an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal. This is a copy-and-pasted version of the article made on Google documents, which deals with the democracy movement currently taking place there. It's a good read.
  • Last month, a news story resurfaced about a handful of Chinese nationals - supposedly spies - who were accused of passing US defense secrets to the Chinese government. I don't know about that... the articles I read sounded too much like something from the movies. Police tapping phones, installing mini cameras in peoples' houses, arresting them right as they approached the terminal at LAX on the way to China... it's hard for me to believe the charges fully, especially considering the current mentality of America towards terrorism and China's rising economic dominance in the global market. See what you think: it happened in Anaheim, so here's the first article from 2005 from the local newspaper and the next from 2006. Also, another site with more detailed info and a whole gaggle of news stories.
  • I started a post on immigration, since the issue is getting hotter with the presidential election nearing and Jim Gilchrist losing his Minute Men to "hijackers," but it's turning out to something more like a senior thesis than a blog post. I'll see what happens. In the meantime, here's an interesting article about illegal immigrants, namely American citizens in Mexico who refuse to learn Spanish, assimilate or even watch soccer.
  • And last, something I feel necessary to address since it's such earth-shattering news: The Virginia Tech shooting. I'm sure anyone reading this will know more than I about the shooting, but along with the sorrow that is felt in connection to this incident, there is pent-up anger and even hate. The first thing I thought when I heard it was an Asian gunmen was "Oh, please don't be Vietnamese." If you thought something similar to this, then you already know that it is because once the ethnicity is named, that community becomes the first target of any hate crimes, violence or retaliation. I fell across a blog post today that compiles many articles addressing this very topic: it's ironic that it's called "Angry Asian Man."
That's all for now.


Jennie said...

Have you read Catfish and Mandala? It's a very honest and powerful story. Although I don't completely relate to the author, the assimilation and "going back to the Motherland" experiences are moving.

I'm interested in reading the different Asian perspectives on the gunman at VT. To be honest, it didn't register in my mind that there would be an issue regarding his race. People of all races do unimaginable things, just as they can do great compassionate deeds.

Btw, thanks for the comment on my blog!

xanghe said...

Actually, I have read the book, the summer before I went to Vietnam. My favorite part is his expression of his identity: Vietnam-born, American-raised, Japanese-looking... I think he says something like he can flow between identities like water through hands or something. Ok, that's probably embellishing :), but I just remember being impressed with how he took an identity that many say is "mixed" or "troubled" and turned it into a pivoting point that empowered him. Actually gave him more options and more possibilities than an "un-mixed" identity could have.

I'm sure the links at Angry Asian Man's post will provide you some of those Asian perspectives. I think most of them agree on one point - now that the his racial identity has been "revealed," the Korean American community will be marred forever. Before this, what did we think of when someone mentioned "Korean?" I think most of us subconsciously thought nuclear bombs or something. Now what will we think? Hopefully our nation is mature enough to accept the fact that "people of all races do unimaginable things."

Oh, and thanks for your comment. :)

Jennie said...

Xanghe, you wrapped up my last post on the mail-order brides so well, that I decided to not add to what you said. I'm glad that I found someone who is so involved with Vietnam's social-political issues!

Someone told me that Korean guy's parents committed suicide?!

xanghe said...

I actually felt bad for writing so much in a comment. I have this habit of making comments longer than the blog post itself. argh... But obviously I didn't feel too bad because I did it again a few days later. :)

I live in the Vietnamese American community, so I deal with such issues daily, but "Vietnamese brides" happens to be an area I've done a lot of study in (actually did my senior thesis on one aspect of it).

I haven't heard about Mr Cho's parents committing suicide. I work with a Korean man who is pretty on top of the news and he hasn't mentioned anything, but I'll ask him tomorrow.

travel log
  • 02.13.08 - to the temple with Luan and his mom, good to be back
  • 02.14.08 - Mẫu's alive! and staying for the weekend
  • 02.15.08 - floor hockey and Thái food makes for some strange dreams
  • 02.17.08 - frisbee and swamp monster at the park: fun but I'm pooped!
  • 02.19.08 - just read Triết's response to my last post - game on!
  • 02.20.08 - raining and expected to continue through Sunday - thank goodness!
  • 02.21.08 - 3-hour nap is a bad idea right before bed
  • 02.23.08 - to the beach to watch kites, a baptism @ 5pm, and homemade bulgogi - what a day!
  • 02.25.08 - just gave myself a haircut - woo, cold head!
  • 02.26.08 - 75° and spring cleaning - couldn't feel better
  • 02.27.08 - fed the elders bún đậu tonight - think it's their first time
  • 03.01.08 - working on new background...
  • 03.02.08 - finalized javascript to change background without muffing up my other scripts
  • 03.03.08 - fhe: "In his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12)
  • 03.07.08 - some decisions are harder than others, but some are downright excruciating
  • 03.08.08 - there is life after work... i almost forgot
  • 03.11.08 - the distance between good and bad is much shorter than between better and best
  • 03.12.08 - conversion is sometimes a gradual process, so much so that we don't even notice
  • 03.14.08 - for some reason everything was a little harder today, looking forward for bed!
  • 03.15.08 - last night after blog reading, I missed OnlyBlue, today I find she's back
  • 03.16.08 - best day of my life!
  • 03.19.08 - "Pray for the answer that they've been looking for"
release notes v1.0 - FINALLY DONE!
  • 12.07 - first thought of starting a new blog
  • 01.08 - busy with election stuff but blog design still on back burner
  • 01.13.08 - first idea to imitate jk rowling with the "desk" theme
  • 01.28.08 - start sketching current design, breaking down development into phases
  • 02.02.08 - election only days away but still drafting final plans
  • 02.04.08 - v0.6 LAUNCH
    • main components (blog body, sidebar, header, etc) designed and implemented
    • styling for font, links, drop caps, etc. finished
  • 02.07.08 - v0.8 LAUNCH
    • image style to imitate polariod
    • moveability - post-it notes and static clings can be repositioned by drag and drop
    • release notes styled and written
  • 02.16.08 - travel log (beta) added in hopes of catching the mundane
  • 02.22.08 - lightbox 2.03 reinstalled and working fine (hopefully - let me know otherwise)
  • 02.26.08 - v0.9 LAUNCH
    • travel log seems to be working, so I'll keep it
    • lightbox also seems to have passed the test, so it's a keeper
    • some credits/info added to bottom (will expand)
    • keeping old Viet terms in archive for future viewing
  • 03.18.08 - v1.0 LAUNCH
    • installation and testing of time-sensitive background completed (for now)