10.10.01 >1916

"Fighting for Life 50 Floors Up, With One Tool and Ingenuity." (via andy's chest)

And in case you're reading this ... a quick *hug* to you, Robert. Thanks so much for the card!

Coming tomorrow : expression.


I love this bit of inspiration :

The Paradox of Our Time

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgement; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life, we've added years to life not life to years.

We've done larger things but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; big men and small character.

Remember to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent. Remember to say "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. If you love someone, tell them in the moment, for you may never have that moment again. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, time to speak, give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

(via tristesse)


We watched a film yesterday in Social Science about a civil rights organization whose name I had only heard but never knew much about.

In 1964 the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committe (SNCC, pronounced "Snick") organized the Mississippi Summer Project and called on both black and white student volunteers from across the nation to help in a program which aimed to persuade Southern blacks to register to vote.

The SNCC leader, Bob Moses, was not much to look at. He avoided eye contact in public and stumbled over his words. He looked more like a scholar in street clothes than an activist for black civil rights.

We had to stop the film at a part that seemed crucial to me. Three of the volunteers - a Southern black and two Northern white students - had disappeared and were later found dead with gunshot wounds to the head. Moses gathered the other volunteers in an auditorium and bluntly told them that they were risking their lives by helping with the Project. He told them that they had the choice to leave if they wished, and stressed that they would not be looked at as cowards if they made such a choice.

No one walked out of the room before the meeting ended.

You couldn't have known to expect anything from another civil rights activist, a young minister whose famous "I have A Dream" speech was delivered without the help of notes, on the night before he was killed by a sniper's bullet.

I suppose the obvious lesson here is to go beyond outward appearances and consider instead the contents and motivations of the heart.

The Civil Rights Movement was borne out of the activities of people who wanted change. Change never comes easily; there will always be those who oppose it because they fear what change brings with it. Some changes are good, some are bad.

Consider the costs of change, the motivations behind it, the effects ... and then decide whether you're for or against it.

(Go here if you'd like more information on SNCC.)


After five-plus hours' worth of distraction ... I think I'm finally ready to write this.

The entry Rich wrote for today brought something to light that's been sitting right under my nose until now : the religion factor of this "war against terrorism."

Fundamentalism in religion has plagued the Christian faith for centuries. I think that making it the official religion of the Roman Empire had something to do with it ... you've probably recognized this pattern for quite awhile. Religion and politics aren't a great mix. Or perhaps they are - combined, they produce the unhealthy religious extremism that's been evident in parts of the world for far too long.

Fundamentalism in Islam has only been around for the last three centuries. It's extremely unfortunate that the virulently fundamentalist groups are the newsmakers in our society; the 09.11 attacks demonstrated this too clearly.

There's more than just religion that plays into this scenario. (A good example is the the first world vs. third world factor L.T. included in his "rant" - and I really don't think that was a rant, either. *grin* Call it information that needed to be shared. But I'm digressing!!) However, this war is rife with religious overtones - but it's just that.

Plain old, stinkin' RELIGION.

Religion without faith or principle - without God, period - is just window dressing for a set of manmade rules that dictates whether or not you'll get to heaven. Remember the Pharisees of Jesus' day?

Now apply this sort of religion to Islam. Add a dash of fundamentalism and watch it grow and spread like a virus as your religion is altered and twisted to back whatever claim you'd like to make.

You get governments like the Taliban.

You get religious extremists like militant Muslims willing to sacrifice themselves in order to kill thousands of innocent people, and they expect to go to paradise for this when their Holy Quran actually says you only go to paradise if you die while defending someone. (Last time I checked, there was a big difference in meaning between the words "defend" and "kill.")

You get empty religion, a mask.

And ultimately,
You get repression.
You get fear.

You get death.

10.08.01 >2224

A couple months before the attacks, I picked up this curious habit of making sure I said goodbye and hello to my sibs and parents, or gave them a hug, before we went our separate ways.

I say it's curious because before then I didn't really care too much about saying hi or bye to any of my family. We saw each other every weekend. We spoke to each other on the phone every day. And my parents had gotten a cell phone for me and my three sibs for a reason!

But then I started getting this nagging feeling in the back of my mind - what if they got into an accident while coming from Livermore to San Francisco or vice versa? What if something happened while I was away?

It didn't help that sometimes my own doubts and fears caused me to throw everything I believed in out the door for something more temporary and fleeting. (Trust me, this past summer was both a good and bad time for Sarah the Believer.) So I picked up this "curious habit," which has become more of a ingrown practice for me as time went on.

And then 09.11 came, and all the strings attached to it ...

Fast forward to Sunday (yesterday), when I'm sitting at home - it was just me and Larry, my brother; the rest of my family had gone to S.F. like they usually do every Sunday - and I'm checking my e-mail. I find this strange e-mail from a close friend of mine waiting for me, and frankly, it sent a chill down my spine.

Subject: Thinking of you-from judy
Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2001 11:09:34 -0600

If anything happens in your area, PLEASE remember to send out a blanket email to all your internet friends to let us know you and yours are ok!  And PLEASE, make sure my name is on your list ok???

Love and Blessings to you!

It took a little prodding, but by the time the day ended, I realized that I was worrying a little too much, even if I didn't think I was.

"Whatever happens, happens."

I'll still hug my family and say hi and bye to them every time I leave home, but I won't worry about them anymore.

Worry, after all, is pretty much the same thing as saying you don't have any trust in God to take care of you.

So worry is out of the question. (Do or do not. There is no try.)

If it takes a lot of repetition under my breath, fine. I won't worry.


Links to check out :

Melanie posted some comments by Mark Schubin that're worth reading.

In light of the 09.11 attacks, the following article provides some insight on how much responsiblity a religion should have when some use it for their own means.
L.T. told me about this extraordinary man awhile ago : Emperor Norton I. His grave is located in the cemetery right next to the one where my grandfather's buried.

Argh. I hate midterms.

10.07.01 >1456

Omens of Terror.

And speaking of omens, or terror - (whichever!) - by now you've probably heard that our country's begun to bomb choice targets over in Afghanistan.

I just hope they don't hit anybody they shouldn't.

10.06.01 >2213

A friend of mine from church told me yesterday that I think too much. And now that I think about it some more (I mean, c'mon, you can't really stop thinking, anyway, unless yer dead or something) ... there's this line of thought in my head that makes me wonder just how much someone can depend on reason without being totally blinded by their logic or intellect over a certain period of time.

Ya get what I'm saying?

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

(1 Corinthians 1 : 20)
Sometimes it seems like a lot of Christians don't use their minds too often, or don't like to depend on it too much. In fact, sometimes it seems that we like to plumb our emotions too often, though I'd like to think that reason mixed with a sprinkling of emotion produces something good. Buuuuuuut (you probly knew this was coming, huh?) - we are told to love God with all of our heart, with all of our strength, and with all of our mind. And we are also told that we have the mind of Christ.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you like to dabble in apologetics, try not to depend too much on pure logic when defending the Christian faith. And if you've been schooled in seminary or something like that, don't try to sound too lofty-minded : explain things on our level! Use everyday things/events as examples or analogies. And if you haven't spent enough time studying Scripture in order to be prepared when someone asks you about your faith (I'm speaking to myself as much as I am to you), start now.

Oh, yeah, and another thing : I sure as heck ain't a perfect Christian, but I realize that I need to work on some areas that still bug me a lot. And one of those areas involves language. I mean swearing. So I'm asking you, esp. if you know me and interact with me on a regular basis ... if you hear me swear for any reason, check me on it. Please? Thank ye in advance!

Ack. That ties in with some other areas ... but those are other stories for a different time. Don't wanna keep you here all night!

Baring my heart a little more,


YEAH! Triplanetary arrived!


Leslie pointed out something on Thursday (I hafta remind myself that it's no longer Friday) that struck me as interesting:

I haven't lived through a war and I'm under no illusion that Manhattan in September, 2001 is anything like wartime. I just thought it would help inform my sense of scale. Plus it would be nice to hear a story I know had a happy ending, even though the middle was as unpleasant as anything can possibly be.

The funny thing is people go on and on about how the life of an American has gotten so complicated. If not explicitly, definitely in the parlance of longing for "simpler times." I only just realized what a fallacy that is. Times were no simpler, it's just another conceit of media. Mass media is what complicates everything. Technology has made the actual process of living today far simpler, it's just confusion created by media that makes everything seem complicated because it works so hard to rob us of any comfort we might feel over being who we already are.
I've been reading other blogs where people seem to be connecting lost innocence with a sense that my generation hasn't yet tasted the bitterness of war - until now, when things are so uncertain and we don't know what's going to happen. The Prez is still trying to drum up support for his global "crusade" against terrorism, and yet it's still not clear who the enemy really is. I wonder what sort of lesson Americans have learned so far since 09.11 - and there're plenty of lessons to choose from.

10.05.01 >1418

The links page has been completely redone. Enjoy.

~ * ~

Have you ever gotten the sense that some people just don't want to come out of their self-contained bubbles?

Finally got through The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham. (Now it's back to Ringworld, which I'm halfway through.) There are two characters in there who're so different when it comes to holding some sort of worldview that I can't believe they were going to get married at one time. Several times in the book Larry Darrell tells of his wanderings in Europe. It's his journey and his search for something to soothe his restless spirit that makes him endearing and endlessly mysterious; you can't pin him down or label him. His former fiancée, Isabel Bradley, is so stuck on being the outgoing, beautiful, gracious and wealthy debutante ... and she has a vicious side that made me think of that cliché, "Beauty is only skin deep." Yeesh ...

10.04.01 >2224

The Seattle Times has this great feature on the different turban styles. Check it out! (via cheesedip)

Argh. If there's one bad thing about Halloween, it's the candy - especially the candy corn, which is so dang addicting! (O' course, I'm just being facetious - I'll eat the candy corn until I get absolutely sick of it. And then somewhere down the road, the cycle repeats itself. Ah, the sorrows of junk food.)


One seems to maintain innocence nowadays when one chooses to live in ignorance.


From The Perfect Kiss :

Weblogs are very ironic, I think; any journal maintained on the internet is, really. They profess to be windows into our thoughts and our worlds, but they are really nothing more than propoganda. Whether they are to make you out as a good person or not, they exist to show people only what you want them to see.

You don't see the moodiness, the confusion; the depths of character. You don't see the frustration or the boredom. All you see, here in this happy place, is what I want you to see.

Ironic, isn't it?
When I first saw this yesterday after I'd finished my "re-design spree," I had to sit down for a second and ponder a little.

Yes, I s'pose that there are certain aspects of my life that I don't want you dear readers to see. I use this page a lot to vent, to pen words in prose when nothing else is willing to come out of my head ... to just be me in writing. I reflect a lot here, too, and ask questions that probably don't have an answer, and never will be responded to - at least, not out loud, and not here.

And sometimes ... sometimes I just feel like I'm writing public e-mails to a faceless, nameless someone who will never write back. Not that that's a bad thing. Who knows what sort of project or creative avenue this could lead to?

Hrmmm ... Doc Searls brought up an interesting phrase in his 10.02 entry that makes me wonder some more about that intersection between blogging and journalism : "personal journalism." Would you agree that this is something of a definition for the word weblog?


Five little children sitting in a row
Using colored pens
To give life
To black lines on white paper
The tranquillity of the moment
Eludes these little people
But does not escape the poet
Who tucks this small jewel of time in her mind
In vivid shards of whispers
And giggling behind hands


10.03.01 >2251

Yes, this is Creative Slips. No, hackers didn't do this. I just rearranged a few things. Surprised? *grin*

Went to see comedian Rex Navarrete tonight with Ylang, who didn't have to use much convincing to get me to tag along with her (she was kind enough to pay for my ticket). I guess RN is a lot more popular than I thought, because he did his thing in front of a sold out crowd - and a majority of the crowd was (surprise, surprise) Filipino. It was pretty much a culture shock for me - I haven't really shown much interest in the Filipino side of my heritage, though I suppose I should ... But my stomach is still pretty sore from laughing so hard, and for the most part, I enjoyed the show a lot.


I just realized I never really answered the second question I posted last night. Let's try this again ...

What does blogging equal in journalistic value?

The Seybold conference I attended last Wednesday asked how publishers fared in covering the 09.11 attacks. Three bloggers were included in the discussion panel; the others were journalists. (You can find the entire transcript from the session here.)

Some highlights from my notes :

Someone from the audience remarked that in broadcast news, personalities like Peter Jennings suddenly seemed more human.

A matter of integrity : news websites like nytimes.com and cnn.com still had to consider the accuracy of the news reports before posting them, no matter how crucial it seemed to make sure the news got out there.

More issues re: integrity - would you expect someone to be receptive if you were to suggest that Americans or Israelis were behind the attacks, and not militant Arab Muslims? (I know lots of rumors were flying around about this one ... thankfully they were just rumors. Just don't take that to mean that I'm glad it was really Arabs behind it, not some of our own people or Israelis, because that's not what I meant.)

Blogs - are there Afghan bloggers out there? (And I'm sure there are! But considering that there are such tight restrictions on the use of technology by the Taliban government, that might be why we haven't heard anything from them.) How about Afghan bloggers in the States? I would love to hear their side of the story ...
Back to the original question : what does blogging equal in journalistic value? A point came up about amateur journalists vs. professional journalists. Or was it really a matter of individual journalists vs. professional news organizations? Could bloggers be considered amateur journalists? And if they could, are they trustworthy?

I know that during the attacks, I relied only so much on news sites for the latest news on what was happening ... I surfed NYC blogs more to get the more personalized version of the story from folks who were watching everything as it happened. And since the news sites were getting clogged by folks who wanted to know what was going on, I started to rely more on blogs that had turned into scripting news services to get the information out there as it came. Okay, so how does ethics get an angle in on this exactly?

Jason posted something on his site today that's worth reading ...

10.02.01 >2116

Journalism + ethics + economics = ?

Good question. Try this equation : healthy business = good journalism

Went to listen to Jay Harris, former publisher of the San Jose Mercury News tonight, who gave a lecture on the impact economics has on diversity. He used his former paper as a case study, describing how they'd started a Spanish and a Vietnamese version of the paper to reach out to these specific ethnic groups in Silicon Valley.

The economics of journalism doesn't really interest me, to tell you the truth. I was convinced I'd wasted about an hour of study time, and then it was suddenly time for Harris to go - but before he did, he gave us aspiring journalism students a bit of valuable advice. This part especially struck home for me : "clear expression." Or as Harris so eloquently put it, "Make sure that what you intended to put in a sentence gets across to your reader." He also put a lot of emphasis on fairness and accuracy, and said to consider the human and ethical dimensions of a story and the impact the story would have on your intended audience before sending it to print.

So it turned out not to be a wasted hour after all!

~ * ~

Now consider this : what does blogging equal in journalistic value?

The Seybold keynote address I attended last Wednesday raised a lot of questions for me on a personal level that I hadn't been ready to post about until tonight, mainly because what Harris said at the end of his lecture revived all those vaguely receding wonderings about the career I'd chosen.

Not that I regret choosing journalism as my major, but sometimes I've asked myself whether I should've chosen creative writing instead. The creative writing program here at State is awesome, but it's almost unheard of because our stupid administration cares more about making a profit than making sure the students get the education they need ... But I'm really, really digressing! The more I consider all my options, the more I realize why I like the journalism field so much. For one thing, it helps me deal with my ignorance. I don't know everything, though I'd like to, but I choose to stay informed (now if only the rest of the American population felt the same way). For another thing, this gives me a chance to develop my people skills, which were almost non-existent about three years ago. Yeap, I've come a long way - by the grace of God, I have! Lastly ... as a friend told me a little while ago, this is a great time to be a journalist, when so much is happening in the world.

Yeah, I've bared my heart a little tonight. Go easy on me, will ya??


If you had to write a self-reflection essay, which elements would you include in your paper? Morals, religion, social standing, history (personal or otherwise)? Family? Talent? Choices or proclivities? How have any of these shaped you and helped you understand yourself?

10.01.01 >2109

Happy B-Day to the Ashinator!! It's been a pleasure to get to know you and your family this past year, and I hope every day is filled with blessings for you and yours, no matter what obstacles you may face. Love ya muchly, sis ...