Thursday, October 20, 2005

My Mom asked me today what the word arrogant meant (a.k.a. another side of Katrina).

Mom works for the housing department of the local government. With the recent departure of Katrina, came the arrival of its evacuees, many of whom relocated to our area. Mom was on the front lines of assistance, trying to place as many families as possible into "new" homes. These homes are far from being new or perfect, but they are much more than what many of these evacuees had left behind, providing a safe place to sleep and a roof over their heads. The program that my Mom worked for normally placed low income families and battered/abused women into government subsidized housing.

This word "arrogant" apparently had come up in conversation among her coworkers. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been issued a deadline by the President to remove evacuees from local shelters and place them into new homes, some of the evacuees are being picky and refusing their new homes....Mom and her coworkers get stuck in the middle. On paper it looks as if the local government is not accomplishing it's goals, in reality, many of the evacuees are refusing the housing options being offered with the hope of getting something bigger and better. A local participant in the program would have been removed from the waiting list once they refused options twice in a row, why should we be lenient on Katrina victims? Beggars can't be choosers.

On another note, alot of the local Katrina victims are extremely grateful at the "raise" they've received with the new jobs they've acquired in the area. Unfortunately, many of them are realizing that $20K doesn't go very far when you're living in one of the top 5 fastest growing local economies in the US.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

September has just ended and it's time for Christmas!

It must be official when:

Your mailbox is inundated daily with a flood of catalogs
Neimans has set up their tree
...and Halloween and Thanksgiving have yet to arrive.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Asians have blue eyes?

I received an email from Banana Republic today touting their new Asian inspired fall collection to hype the opening of "Memoirs of a Geisha". Nothing special of course, "inspired" means watered down and Americanized till it blends in with all the rest of your black work clothes. What all American girl would want to own an understated and demure silk kimono evening gown that makes you look like a giant bat? There's no color no innovation, and a complete lack of attention to authenticity.

Thankfully the email included a link for the trailer which was somewhat redeeming. The movie certainly looks like it will be exciting, but it will be FRAUGHT WITH TRAGIC EMOTIONAL DRAMA which is so typical of Asian movies *yawn* (why can't we make "normal" movies that aren't so desperately tragic or stupidly slapstick?). Not to mention one of the movie posters depicts a blue eyed Zhang Zhi-Yi (they had contacts back then?) as Sayuri and all three major female roles are being played by Chinese women as opposed to Japanese. Almost the entire supporting cast is Japanese. Authenticity seems to be an issue with this whole enterprise. I am pleased to find that Zhi-Yi's English has improved greatly. Chinese actresses playing Japanese women in an English speaking film. I'm confused, aren't you?

fresh has introduced a line of cosmetics and bath products inspired by the film with no end of cheesey stereotypical Asianness in sight.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Bathroom Bandit strikes again!

Several months ago I wrote about the signs that someone had put up in our bathroom stalls here at work. I finally got around to taking a photo. A very cute poem, don't you think?

The Bathroom Bandit

Recently, a new sign has found residence below the first signs. No cute poem, just straight to the point. Quite frankly, I'd be embarrassed if my mother had to clean up after me in the restroom.

Return of the Bathroom Bandit

Maybe there should be an initiation into adulthood with a test trial to see if you can properly use the loo.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Friendster now has a *new* feature where you can view which Friendsterites have recently viewed your profile. Fantastic! I can now see what kind of freaks have been stalking my profile.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

While travelling, I like to try activities that are native to the area.

I've been racking my brain for an itinerary that would be representative of the places I'm visiting on my vacation. Other than eating as much of the regional food as possible, I've added Japanese hair straightening to my list. This technique was invented by the uber fashion and trend concious Japanese and the results are phenomenal, think stick straight hair that flutters in the breeze exactly how fashion magazines dictate that it should. In doing some Internet research (thank goodness for an abundance of information on every little sordid subject), I found that it really is just a perm. The process breaks the hair's natural bonds that hold the curl and restructures the bonds to be, well, straight. I also found that there are those in DC who are amused that the process was invented by a race of people who already have relatively straight hair (it just points to the Japanese tendency to take everything to an obsessive extreme) as well as curiosity towards the political and social desires of wanting to be in the majority possessing straight (and/or blond or light colored) hair.

Personally, I just want manageable hair so I don't look like a poufy lion. Whether it be curls, waves, or straight, anything attractive and doesn't take too long in the morning to "do" would be just fine by me.