Best narration of what’s up in Game of Thrones by Jules Winnfield himself! 🙂 (“The Starks. Nice family, right? Don’t get too attached.”)
May you all have a great Sunday!
When I grow up, I hope to be as fabulous as Iris Apfel!
This article has been going around the internets for several days now and I just love it! Warning: Curves Ahead nailed it. May we all be as fabulous as — or even more so — as the women featured. Here’s the rest of the piece. Go check out her awesome site, too!
In which I make sense of my Asian-ness.
“Oh, I thought you were Thai,” said a flustered massage therapist in Phuket, where we just spent a week. I laugh. In Thailand, locals chatter away at me in Thai, before getting clued in by my clueless expression that I probably wasn’t who I seemed. And then they apologize. It’s okay, I tell them. I get that a lot.
But then, it also happens in Vietnam, where my slitty eyes (as D teasingly calls them), get me mistaken for Vietnamese; in Indonesia, where sarong vendors, mistaking my skin color and hair, plead with me to buy their wares in Bahasa or Balinese before they realize I couldn’t understand them; in Cambodia, where tuk-tuk drivers speak to me in the local dialect. I’ve also been mistaken for Chinese and Japanese. D teases that I am “the girl with many faces” or maybe no-face girl, referencing Game of Thrones.
The most memorable so far was at the London Eye. D and I were in the queue when one of the ushers told me to follow the line of people down the corridor, before ending his instruction with “Sawasdee krup“. I was bemused and asked D what was that all about. His explanation: The usher probably mistook me for a Thai bar girl visiting London with her English lover. Hmmm… D says it wasn’t unheard of for British men go off to Thailand for a holiday and come back with a girlfriend. Oookay then.
Do you mind it, he asked. Not really, I replied. It’s not as if I can control people’s perceptions and preconceived notions, anyway.
Oddly enough, I don’t get mistaken for my own race all that much — at least, not outside Singapore. However, in Pilates class, one of the instructors, who is Filipina, thought I was Thai. She initially said she didn’t feel the “lukso ng dugo” (poetically, a leap of the blood), a Filipino term which refers to that sudden leap of recognition of one of your own. For instance, I can usually tell if a person walking towards me was Filipino and can accurately tell if a person is Thai, Malay, Indonesian or some other Southeast Asian race. “How do you know this?” D would ask me, frustrated by his inability to tell which Asian is which. I don’t exactly know how. I guess we all have an instinct for recognizing one’s own, or what’s familiar. It’s not a trait that’s unique to Filipinos. D can usually tell what kind of European it is just by looking, while I have to wait until that person speaks, and not even then.
So what’s with the preoccupation on race and color, you might ask. Shouldn’t we all be color-blind? I guess I became more aware of my nationality/color/race when I started living in another country where being part of a multicultural society was more predominant and race factors in pretty much everything. Being in an interracial relationship has also gotten me to thinking more about it.
In the Philippines, it wasn’t something we thought of at all, mainly because we are a fairly homogenious lot and consider ourselves Filipino, whether or not we’re half something else. In fact, we tend to adopt Filipinos from other countries (like Hollywood actors with a hint of Pinoy blood, whom we claim as our own). We’re inclusive that way. But I think there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging each other’s color (or race). It is after all, part of who we are. It’s when we assume certain characteristics or take on prejudices about races that it becomes a problem. I don’t see anything wrong in genuinely wanting to know about a particular nationality so long as there’s an openness and acceptance of each other’s differences. In my case, people mistaking my identity always leads to an interesting conversation about each other’s differences and ways we’re alike. It’s an ice-breaker and a door-opener. And ultimately, people-connecter.
For those who need a backgrounder or a refresher on the show, the books and the stories behind it all. For the Unsullied and book experts alike.
EDIT: Aside from the fabulous art, I love that it’s narrated by the characters in the show. The stories in this video (as well as the other videos for Season 1) narrate the background and history of Westeros, pre- and post-invasion by the Andals as well as backgrounds on the major houses featured in the show. There are vids for Seasons 2-4 as well. Fans would do well to subscribe to Mayes T’s channel on YouTube to watch everything. Enjoy!
Early morning sun in Toa Payoh
I subscribe to this site called Daily Page, which gives you a writing prompt — basically a topic that you could write about for the day. In theory, the prompts are is supposed to help make you a better writer by compelling you to write everyday. Of course, I say “in theory” because you actually have to do the writing yourself — bummer, right? So how have I done so far in the site? Miserably, if truth be told. I had written a bunch of stuff when I was new to the site, but the discipline tapered off, for various reasons. So for the past few months I have been ignoring the emails that have come from the site, until today.
I was struck by the topic for today: Name three things you are grateful for. It seems like such an easy subject to write about. Until I finally sat down to write and nothing came out. It’s not that I don’t have a lot of things to be grateful for. The problem is choosing from among the many.
Or, to be honest about it, choosing to focus on the good things instead of wallowing in the muck of bad stuff. It’s hard not to focus on the unfortunate things. The last half of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 have been a bust for me. I lost my job and the one that I found this year turned out to be a disaster. When I lost my job last year, I wasn’t at all worried; I was confident that I would find another one quickly. It’s been that way for most of my working life. Things just sort of fell into place for me. I was rarely out of a job for more than a few weeks, and would be smugly puzzled by other people’s inability to snag a viable post right away. Fast forward several months, and who’s smug now? Not I, that’s for sure. While friends and family have gone ahead and done Stuff — published a book, gotten great jobs elsewhere, raised/are raising cool kids — I seem to be stuck in a rut. Don’t get me wrong, I love that the people I love are going places and doing cool things, I just wish that I was along for the ride too. I guess I didn’t realize how much the loss of my job, something that defined me, would be such a blow to my self-worth. This isn’t an exercise in self-pity, far from it. I do know how lucky I am, in the grand scheme of things. I guess what I am trying to say is that setbacks do make it harder to focus on the good things, even though it’s more important than ever to shine a light on the positive.
So, what three things am I grateful for today?
- A thriving family. Almost everyday, I check up on the family via Facebook. I love that the older nephews are doing the things they love, the younger kids are fun and funny. My brothers and their wives are all doing well. And that my mom is as fun and fab as ever. Over in the other side of the world, I love that D’s parents are doing well and look forward to his dad’s bullet-point emails complete with photos of the lovely flowers and plants growing in the garden, sacks of compost and the latest in gardening gadgets.
- A peaceful day. I’m all alone in the apartment, typing this with a picturesque view not many get to see everyday. I’ve just had lunch and it’s looking like it’s going to be a good day. For the past month or so, I haven’t had a peaceful day — one that wasn’t filled with stress and worry (about finding a job, paying my bills, etc) — and having one today feels like a blessing. I know it’s a respite, but I welcome it nevertheless.
- 3. D. An old part of cool girl Terrie who eschewed mushiness wouldn’t have even put this last in here. But I recognize that I am indeed a lucky woman for having someone who actually understands and is supportive of me, even if he’s probably thinking by now that being in publishing is bollocks and I should try something else… like, I don’t know, sell insurance maybe, haha! But he’s been a rock these past few months. I read somewhere that one of the reasons successful writers end up being successful (aside from the talent and the perseverance to succeed aspects of it), is the fact that they had supportive partners they can depend on. That’s my D.
Actual view from my desk. It’s a little dramatic right now, what with the coming rain, but see the light in the upper right? That’s where the sun will eventually shine
So that’s my little list. What are you grateful for today?
So this was my lunch today. I was checking out the fridge for what to eat (and also with the idea of planning dinner) when I spied a lonely eggplant in the corner of the veggie crisper. Voila! Lunch dilemma solved. I sliced it up, fried it and had it with leftover rice. Dipping sauce is made up of rice vinegar, soy sauce, chopped up garlic and a bit of salt. Yum!
While I was eating, I was reminded of the time D and I were making moussaka. Our version involved sliced up eggplant, which you then fry and layer with sliced cooked potatoes, sauteed minced lamb, white sauce and lots of cheese before baking everything to perfection in the oven. As we were frying the eggplant, I turned to D and said that in the Philippines, the fried eggplant alone with rice would be a complete meal by itself. D looked at me like I was crazy (but in that polite way Brits do it) and merely said that it didn’t sound appetising to him at all. I only laughed. Which got me thinking about the different ways we’re culturally conditioned to like certain things that someone from a different culture might find strange. For instance, D with the fried eggplant and rice (and probably a lot of Pinoy dishes; but this is probably more because of my cooking than the inherent qualities of the dish itself. I once cooked him adobo that had too much vinegar in it. He hates sour dishes, so that adobo probably, uhm, soured him on the dish forever!).
In my case, am still struggling to come to terms with his love for the quintessentially English baked beans on toast. We once had this for lunch at home in the UK, because we couldn’t be bothered to cook something and I was thinking then that it was a strange meal. I eventually mentioned that I found the combination of beans and toast was not what I’d consider a meal. He was amused and vowed not to serve it to me again, remarking that as a penniless university student, he practically lived on the stuff. I guess to him and many Brits, baked beans is a staple, same as rice for Filipinos. Or maybe instant pancit canton (fried noodles), if we’re going by the analogy of starving uni students. For me, that was the staple and even for a few years after uni, which is probably why I don’t eat it today. There’s a pack of six Lucky Me Instant Pancit Canton packets in the pantry that we bought last year (I think) and I haven’t opened it yet. I don’t know why I bought it. For nostalgia? Or a worst-case scenario for when the zombie apocalypse happens maybe and we’d need supplies? Who knows!
So what did you have for lunch?
Got the fright of my life today. I was thinking that I really should update ye ol’ blog again so logged on to WordPress via my laptop and while I got into my blog, all other pages were white with only the WordPress logo on them! WordPress did not even recognize my account name and password! I know I don’t post as much any more but this incident has made me realize how important this blog is to me! Any ideas why I could’t access my blog from my laptop?