Saturday, February 04, 2006


Ya-Ya in bloom -- a good read for Spring

With so many new movies pouring out everyday, movie buffs may vaguely remember "Divine Secret of Ya-ya sisterhood", but then again may not. Well, hopefully at least female book groups, sipping coffee at local cafe or sipping wine at some quiet wine bar, may still remember the book they loved so much it became national best seller, which in turn became a well loved movie.

It's one of few movie I was able to convince both my mother and sister to go see with me, so it's something dear to me. Story of a mother-and-daughter fallout and bonding, seen by a mother and two grown daughter, it couldn't have been a better selection. We also selected an old styled graceful theatre with classical interior, and as we saw it well a month after the movie was released it was nice, quiet and comfortable.

My sister liked the movie enough to get the book, which in turn I read it as well.

I tend to read books laying around in the house that seem somewhat interesting.

The book was quiet insightful in human nature, interaction between friends, mother-and-daughter, and insightful of emotional difficulty a young woman faces growing up as a southern belle, becoming a mother in 60s, and embracing her old self.

The book was quiet fixed on this heroine called Vivian Walker, better known as Vivi.

I think the characters were pretty well picked, as the book was well translated into movie, and neither would interfere commanding audience(viewership or readership) of the other, yet it was intriguing enough to leave the audience with questions and be mesmerized with each individuals in the movie.

Well, when I was told that the author wrote a several books with same characters, to dwell different stages of life, with perspective of different characters, it was interesting. I'd let my sister buy another book, and read? Well, it didn't happen before she moved, and I happen to get giftcard; while surfing site, I saw this 'Ya-Ya in bloom' on bargain.

I was hoping it was about Vivi's early childhood, as I was wondering how difficult it was for Vivi that made her this somewhat insane primadonna, living with self-righteous father with belt to discipline children and devoted catholic mother who's viewed as unhappy and jealous of her own daughter.

Is it possible parents are more poisonous to children than actual toxics at times? Or was it just genuine mismatch of personalities that if two grown adults were stuck with they would easily seek a divorce and moved on?

Anyways, it turned out 'Ya-Ya in bloom' is that and it isn't. It's focus is to visit chapters of their lives, as recollection of Vivi after her reconsilation with Sida, her eldest daughter.

It briefly covers how Vivi and her three friends met, and also briefly covers how each of her kids lives were and her own in happy times of their young childhood. And, the book finishes with more recent incidents with focus on Vivi's grandchildren and an incident where one of her grandchild is kidnapped, and how the whole clan reacted and coped with.

It seems Vivi's husband Jim Walker still remains in the dark. Why would she marry him, why would he marry her? Why would they stay married throughout her crazy times, throughout his absentness as a father that would drive her even more crazy?
His involvement in the plot remains quiet a mystery to me. Hopefully there'll be yet another book with more emphasis on Buggy, Vivi's mother, and Jim?

The book is cute in writing styles and character the author choose to depict for each chapter.

It's a good commute read for me, and I might look up that other book with Ya-ya saga, and may lookup the DVD that should lie around somewhere once again.
A nice heart-warming read...

Monday, November 28, 2005


Spam Kings -- By Brian McWilliams

Read Spam Kings from "Safari Tech Books Online" today.

Unlike what I expected the book wasn't about how the spamming is analyzed in technical sense, but it's more of a history book on big spammers.

List of a few spammers, where they rooted from, and how they got caught, and what some victims have expeirenced, and so forth.

It was quiet a novelty reading, but not so nice a reading for online fine-print reading materials. Straining my eyes. Also for short-chapter book, it was a bit confusing who's spammer and who's anti-spammer, and who's hacker catching spammers, and so forth.

But it was an interesting reading enough. I didn't know Hawke began as Nazi-worshiper before he turned into a spammer, and also I didn't know much of other personal stories of other spammers & their reaction upon being hacked.
I also didn't know of a lady who got over 10,000 spam mail in her inbox in 2 days. I thought my inbox was flooded w/ mails both ham & spam. I don't even have a thousand per day, and many of them are from mailinglist not spam.

Now, I gotta search a bit more technical aspect of spam/anti-spam reading materials.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Master Sijo Poems from Korea -- Classical and Modern --

This is available at UC Berkeley's East Asian Library, with number
PL 975 .6 M3 1982 EAST
published by 'Sisa' and translated by Jaihun Joyce Kim.


some of translated poems I collected include works of U T'ak, Yi Pangwon, ..., etc.


U T'ak (1262-1342)
was one of the first Koryo scholars to be concerned with neo-Confucianism. When most of the sijo written by scholars are lacking in humor, U's work contains humor and ironical laugh.

Holding thorns in one hand
and a stick in the other,
I tried to block with thorns the road to age
and strike the white hair with my stick.
But the grey hair knew better than I
and outwitted me by a short-cut.


Yi Pangwon (1367)
later became King T'aejong as the fifth son of King T'aejo, founder of the Yi dynasty. An eminent general, he was largely responsible for his father's successful achievements. A legend says that Yi Pangwon tried to win the support of the influential figures of the old regime of the Koryo dynasty. He toasted to Chong Mongju, the loyal subject of Koryo, with a taunting song at a party, in an effort to persuade him to join the new regime.

What does it matter
if you do this or that?
Who cares if the arrow-roots
go entangled on Mansu Hill?
We could be like those vines,
enjoying ourselves for a hundred years.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Understanding closed ones, family members, especially parents and children seem rather tricky thing.

Even famous people seem to have some parents-children issues unresolved that are publicly known, including Sigmund Freud, Jean Paul Sartre to name few.

A few years back this movie was rather popular chic-flick movie, and had many promotional interviews on TV as well. I went to see it with my mother and sister in Oakland's Piedmond theatre. I went to see movies there and was impressed with some movies having organ playing at an opening night and took my sister, and she was impressed with its old sytle design. So when we tried to setup some hangout time the movie came up and my sister was eager to take my mom there as well. The movie was already been showing for a few weeks and thus we got a smaller theatre with few people.

The movie was fairly impressive for fun hangout but I quickly dismissed it as a typical chic-flick drama, and forgot all about it. My sister, on the other hand, took it seriously and got herself a paperback. I've later heard from some friends that the book is a second of a sequel and that it was well known book that many women have read.

Just a random search got my sister's book landed in my hand, and as I was reading it I found out that there were much more to the story than 2 hour movie could tell. I think I ended up watching the movie after finishing the book and now the movie's plot and sequence mean more to me and I seem to remember the scenens better.

Anyways, it was pretty complicated story.
A successful playright is facing a review that makes her mother upset and upcoming marriage when she's not sure of herself. And, thus the adventure of her relationship with her monther in present, past as well as her mother's past are reviewed.
And, the moral of the story is that all parents do try their best, and life tends to be a little difficult. Also, it seems most kids do blame themselves for their parents' unhappiness.

Subconsciously I've been thinking of this concept, yet it was buried under other thoughts and other ideas. I was watching a Korean TV drama, while online, and saw this movie director scolding a budding actress to ponder the heroine's past as well as present when she didn't seem to digest the character's theme, that a girl fell in love with the lead actor because she was lonely and scared growing up without parents.

I'm not a best daughter to my mother. And, I think my mother and my sister also aren't perfect. We do try, and sometimes it seem we try too hard. And, also explain less of how and why things do happen in certain ways. Like Vivian in the book, my mother tends to talk more of her glorious days then her pain, I know.

I think the book certain does make one think. The movie also seem pretty well made, although it could easily have been dismissed the way I originally did.

How do we survive our own selves? How do we survive our loved ones?
It is certainly a question on many people's mind, and also rather a private ones for each of us to just blot out a simple solution. It takes heart, open mindedness, and patience. Aboveall, it takes knowledge which we all seem to be quiet shy to share. Why I've acted certain way toward certain individual, what am I trying to get at, ...

Also, motherhood seem a lot more difficult, in emotional sense, that one would normally think. Perhaps we should all condemn Tom Cruise for critisizing hastily about Brook Shields' post-pregnancy depression.

Why did Vivian's mother so cold to her only daughter?
How did Vivian and Walter have so many kids yet lived lives apart without helping each other at raising children?
How was it to have a distant father and drunk/abusive mother?
There are much questions.

Perhaps reading other books by Rebeca Wells will give insight to all these questions, or perhaps will provide more questions.

I'll have to try Rebeca Wells' other books, and will also try reviews and other clipings I can find.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Kate Chopin's Short Story -- The Storm

The Storm
A Sequel to "The 'Cadian Ball"

by Kate Chopin

Chap. I

The leaves were so still that even Bibi thought it was going to rain.
Bobinot, who was accustomed to converse on terms of perfect equality
with his little son, called the child's attention to certain sombre clouds
that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by
a sullen, threatening roar. They were at Friedheimer's store and decided
to remain there till the storm had passed. They sat within the door on
two empty kegs. Bibi was four years old and looked very wise.

"Mama'll be 'fraid, yes," he suggested with blinking eyes.
"She'll shut the house. Maybe she got Sylvie helpin' her this evenin', "
Bobinot responded reassuringly.
"No, she ent got Sylvie. Sylvie was helpin her yistiday," piped Bibi.
Bobinot arose and going across to the counter purchased a can of
shrimps, of which Calixta was very fond. Then he returned to his
perch on the keg and sat stolidly holding the can of shrimps while
the storm burst. It shook the wooden store and seemed to be ripping
great furrows in the distant field. Bibi laid his little hand on his
father's knee and was not afraid.

Chap. II

Calixta, at home, felt no uneasiness for their safety. She sat at a side
window sewing furiously on a sewing machine. She was greatly
occupied and did not notice the approaching storm. But she felt very
warm and often stopped to mop her face on which the perspiration
gathered in beads. She unfastened her white sacque at the throat.
It began to grow dark, and suddenly realizing the situation she got up
hurridly and went about closing windows and doors.

Out on the small front gallery she had hung Bobinot's Sunday clothes to
air and she hastened out to gather them before the rain fell. As she
stepped outside, Alcee Laballiere rode in at the gate. She had not seen
him very often since her marriage, and never alone. She stood there
with Bobinot's coat in her hands, and the big rain drops began to fall.
Alcee rode his horse under the shelter of a side projection where
the chickens had huddled and there were plows and a harrow piled up
in the corner.
"May I come and wait on your gallery till the sotrm is over, Calixta?"
he asked.
"Come 'long in, M'sieur Alcee."
His voice and her own startled her as if from a trance, and she
seized Bobinot's vest. Alcee, mounting to the porch, grabbed
the trousers and snatched Bibi's braided jacket that was about to be
carried away by a sudden gust of wind. He expressed an intention
to remain outside, but it was soon apparent that he might as well
have been out in the open: the water beat in upon the boards in
driving sheets, and he went inside, closing the door after him. It
was even necessary to put something beneath the door to keep
the water out.
"My! what a raint! It's good two years sence it rain' like that,"
exclaimed Calixta as she rolled up a piece of bagging and Alicee
helped her to thrust it beneath the crack.
She was a little fuller of figure than five years before when she
married; but she had lost nothing of her vivacity. Her blue eyes
still retained their melting quality; and her yellow hair, dishevelled
by the wind and rain, kinked more stubbornly than ever about her
ears and temples.
The rain beat upon the low, shingled roof with a force and clatter
that threatened to break an entrance and deluge them there.
They were in the dining room--the sitting room--the general utility
room. Adjoining was her bed room, with Bibi's couch along side her
own. The door stood open, and the room with its white,
monumental bed, its closed shutters, looked dim and mysterious.
Alcee flung himself into a rocker and Calixta nervously began
to gather up from the floor the lengths of a cotton sheet which
she had been sewing.
"If this keeps up, Dieu sait if the levees goin' to stan' it!" she
"What have you got to do with the levees?"
"I got enough to do! An' there's Bobinot with Bibi out in that
storm--if he only didn' left Friedheimer's!"
"Let us hope, Calixta, that Bobinot's got sense enough to come
in out of a cyclone."

Friday, April 08, 2005


Tribute to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Pope just dies, and there's much coverage worldwide on his burial ceremony.
All the traditions, all the procedures, and all the people coming to Rome to watch his burial.

Not long ago, back in Feb to be exact, 2 public figures took own life, one here in America, and another in Seoul, South Korea. Lee, Eun-ju, who killed herself by hanging in Seoul was a young girl of 25, and was actress. The other who took his own life w/ gunshot wasn't suffering depression, if you don't count his life-long wrecklessness and drug abuse. He was way over 60s, been married 3 times over, and lived in Colorado, publishing many well known articles in Rolling Stone magazine as well as publishing his books, of which is a famous made-to-movie "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

He sure did publish quite a few books, and had fair number of followers at the time of his death. A living icon, so to speak.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Home Depot's "Home Improvement 1-2-3"

Anirban let me borrow his "HOme Improvement 1-2-3".
The book si pretty comprehensive, covering wall paper/painting, wiring, even how to install carpet or dish washer.

Bet it'll save time and bundle of $$$ installing and fixing everything yourself.

Perhaps buy run-down ghost house and re-wire, re-paint and fix up the wall and it'll be a brand new house!

Gotta say the book makes things a lot simpler & easier than in realistic sense, I think.

For their 'expert', 'handy', and 'novice' there should be an extra category or should double the time estimated for 'novice'. Well, if I can be counted in novice category, that is.

Anyways, it's fairly thorough & inspiring book to get started with house fixing.

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