hani_backup: (Just Dance!!)

Happy? Really? I can be, sometimes. You know, when I'm not apathetic or depressed. :P I used to be happy as a kid, to the point that yellow was my favorite color because it was so cheerful. And my mom told me a few years ago she missed seeing me as the happy kid I was when I was younger.

Genuine - I don't think my level of "genuineness" is as high as others.

Passionate - well, obviously about the things I am passionate about. Or people. But I don't think I'm passionate for a lot of things or I don't seek them out as avidly as I could.

Thoughtful - I can be sometimes, but a lot of times I mis-step.

hani_backup: (Books first)
[Error: unknown template qotd]In not particular order of importance or priority but just done chronologically for simplicity's sake,

1) The Giver by Lois Lowry. I had moved in the middle of 4th grade to another school, another country and my home room teacher read to us every week. Two other books she read was Hatchet by Gary Paulsen which I didn't particularly enjoy and So Far From the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins  which I also adored. The Giver stuck in my mind because it was the first dystopian book I knew of and the writing was so simple but it raised all these questions about ways of living, conformity, pain, love, humanity, whether or not breaking the rules for the "greater good" (or so) was worth it, interacting with other people, independence. Every time a teacher hands out a survey asking for our favorite book, I write down The Giver, even in college. I do think almost everybody would find something in there that resonates with them, even if they are totally for conformity or live in a strict culture/community. I wasn't a big fan of the two sequels, but they did complete the story.

2) The first six books of Piers Anthony's eight-book Incarnations of Immortality series. In this series there are various offices of life and normal people are invited to take the office. On a Pale Horse is about Death, Bearing an Hourglass Time, With a Tangled Skein the three Aspects of Fate, Wielding a Red Sword about War, Being a Green Mother about Mother Nature, and For the Love of Evil about the office of Satan (book 7 about the office of God). The stories are intertwined, all the main characters affect or touch upon the world and work of the other Aspects by love or family. It's not confusing, though, if read in a series. It's set in a world where magic and science co-exist.

The reason I loved the first five books was because it really opened my mind to possible society and interactions between people. But grown-up interactions, which The Giver doesn't cover. While at the time - I was 13-15 years old - I wasn't experienced with relationships and physical intimacy, it gave me something to think. Also, thinking of Death, Nature, Fate, Time, War and Satan as mutable offices was fascinating, since I was raised in an organized religion household. I suppose my parents wouldn't be happy knowing that, yes, books were a factor in my growing doubts about the religion they raised me.

3) Mmmmm... I would have to say the series The Mage Storms by Mercedes Lackey. They definitely weren't the first books by Lackey I read but they reinforced the idea that competing, conflicting and multiple religions can co-exist on one world/one plane of reality without too much bloodshed. Also that old feuding nations can work together. Storm Warning, Storm Rising and Storm Breaking center on very powerful magical storms disrupting and changing magic and the physical world, as a consequence of magical devices used centuries ago. Ambassadors and envoys from different nations and rivals with different religious beliefs come together to face the storms and try to find a way to divert them or protect settlements. There's also the factor of an army in Hardorn, the neighboring country to Valdemar (with their Companions) and possibly threatening Valdemar. Also, old enemies rear their heads up.

I'm not very good at describing the plot.... At that time I believed in tolerance for religion but it was hard to feel it because of my family so it was nice to see it played out in series and in a way that made freaking sense. I still don't believe in a religion but I hope there aren't multiple supernatural beings who truly believe we should kill others for their beliefs and non-belief in them...

Color quiz

Sep. 1st, 2011 11:42 pm
hani_backup: (Default)
you are darkslateblue

Your dominant hue is blue, making you a good friend who people love and trust. You're good in social situations and want to fit in. Just be careful not to compromise who you are to make them happy.

Your saturation level is medium - You're not the most decisive go-getter, but you can get a job done when it's required of you. You probably don't think the world can change for you and don't want to spend too much effort trying to force it.

Your outlook on life can be bright or dark, depending on the situation. You are flexible and see things objectively.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

This was ganked from [livejournal.com profile] unico_love. I like blue... The list of words was very hard to pick because I can be very loud, and other times I can be very shy and quiet...  I am not good in social situations unless it's a small group of people I already know. But I do, sometimes, want to fit in, or at least not be thought of as the sad loner. (Someone told me at Matt's brother's party in June that he noticed I didn't talk to anybody and I was all alone and that that was depressing. :S Gee, thanks. That just made me more socially anxious. Figures he was a journalism major and liked talking to random strangers.)

Yeah, I'm not very decisive. Sometimes when I'm stuck between two items I buy both... (If they're cheap enough.) Pfft. If the world could change enough to let me have a job and stay in the US indefinitely, that'd be fantastic! Silly visa laws...  I'm not so sure about the flexibilty and seeing things objectively... Obviously it's easier to see a situation I'm outside of objectively. Though sometimes after a fight I can see the person's perspective. That can be good - I understand where they're coming from - or bad - I see what I did wrong and I beat myself up with guilt.
hani_backup: (Excuse me?)
*could be triggering*

This was a comment Constable Michael Sanguinetti made during a York University safety forum at Osgoode in Canada way back in January. He has since apologized for the comment. But what he said... It's stupid and insluting and, obviously, victim-blaming.

The comment triggered Toronto's SlutWalk to emerge. While sparked off by one police officer's insensitivie, moronic, stupid, insulting comment, victim-blaming has a much, much longer history.

It's frustrating. It's annoying. It's not a march where women (or men) are all suppose to dress provocatively in low-cut tops and hot pants. Protestors can dress in whatever manner of dress they wish. It's a protest against societal victim-blaming for sexual assault and rape. It's a protest against people thinking how a person dresses makes them "okay" to assault and rape, that they're "asking" for it.

I found out about this while still in school and it's been simmering. This struck a nerve because, like I've mentioned before, I watched The Accused when I was 6 to 8 years old and the attackers in Jodie Foster's character's public gang-rape was not taken to court until she had to personally pursue it with a female lawyer. Because of how she was dressed and acted beforehand. A gray tank, a short skirt, dancing with strangers, was drinking...

I just hate it. I realize that there are some smarter and less smart decisions people can make to decrease the odds of being assaulted, mugged, raped - walking alone in a dark alley instead of lighted streets that may be available, not being aware of your surroundings - but ultimately it is not the victims' decision that makes assault or rape happen.


(I say "some" because I think most assaulted children believe their victimizers when they're told they have choice, it's the way things are, etc. They sometimes aren't in a position to be able to avoid such circumstances and situations.)

My concern and feelings about this has heightened since going to college. I suppose that makes sense, because my four high schools never really put up posters about assault or rape. Also, in college I had much more opportunity to go to parties. In high school my parents never let me go to any parties that weren't school-sanctioned or held at parents' residences. At college I had the option to go to college parties, even if I didn't go to many. The few times I went alone or with another girl and not my boyfriend (at the time) I always got hit on by other guys or they got handsy. *makes a disgusted face*

It in my final year that I realized the posters around campus were all about how to AVOID BEING A RAPE VICTIM. It was fulll of tips like "Don't leave your cup or drink alone" or "Don't accept a drink that wasn't opened by you" or "Have others with you to make sure nothing happens." There was NOTHING about how to avoid being A RAPIST OR A MOLESTER OR ASSAULTER. Okay, maybe the phrase "Don't rape" won't work well because it seems a lot of rapists don't think what they did was wrong, or it happened in alcohol-induced situations where there are conflicting feelings and stories about what was consensual and what wasn't and things get forgotten. But there has to be something...just something, posters or forums or something about RESPECTING OTHER PEOPLE AS HUMANS WHO HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS ABOUT THEIR BODIES AND WHAT THEY WANT TO DO WITH IT.

I know several friends have been assaulted/raped on-campus, and I've heard of some of the things their assaulters/rapists have said about them/the situation. Before college, too, I didn't realize how much alcohol can affect the kind of interactions people have with each other. I remember one night where alcohol made things fearful for me.

I'm frustrated with some views I grew up with that made victim-blaming or victim-asking seem explicit or implicit. Don't wear shorts, don't wear sleeveless tops, don't wear shape-showing clothes, don't smile to males strangers, don't be friendly with male strangers, don't wear non full-length skirts, etc, you'll just make yourself seem more available to men and men can't control themselves. That's why we women have to protect ourselves and them from their horn dog tendencies by giving them less temptation. Yadda yadda yoo.

I find that so insulting. To males, females, non-female victims, other genders, everybody.

I'm still angry at myself for not being able to volunteer at SARP (Sexual Assault Recovery Program) back in my college town because I didn't have a license or car so I could drive to the hospital/any place I was needed to help someone advocate for themselves.

Slutwalk has spread around the world. Chicago is having theirs June 4th and I fully intend to go. Again, they don't say you have to dress like a "skank" or a "ho" or a "slut" in order to attend. I doubt I'd wear something much revealing, though I know some people think a tank top paired with jeans or shorts is revealing already. Since it's a lot of walking, sneakers! And maybe my hoodie if the weather will still be chilly then. I wrote a note about it on Facebook and tagged some people when in the library earlier this week. A lot of people can't/won't come because they're too far away from Chicago, busy, or not very interested, but I hope others will participated in the Slutwalks in their area, if there are any. I wish I could go to several others with some friends of mine around this country or world, such as Slutwalk Portland or Slutwalk Spokane. Over the past few weeks, talking about this on the phone with Matt, I've gotten so frustrated and verge of tears or teared up. I know there are other areas of society that some humans don't see other humans as humans - racism, homophobia, sexism, sexual trafficking, emotional manipulation and abuse, a whole lot of places. This is one place I feel passionate about.
hani_backup: (Perfect Day (Eliza Dushku))
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Past five years...So since 2005, when I was still in Romania, 19 years old...

The biggest major life change.... (And this phrase seems redundant to me.)

Hard choice to make. Probably choosing to go to Beloit College and going from an established biochemistry major to a pilot self-designed interdisciplinary major of Cognitive Science. So far it's a positive change, though it's been official only for a week! During the years since starting college I struggled with academics, dropped out school mid-semesters twice (and plane tickets back home to Romania and Malaysia are expensive), and made some really bad choices until I (hopefully) got my shit together and decided to make a major that would make me happy, and allow me to take classes I was/will be interested in.

There are other contenders, but this seems the "biggest major" one. (Oh, haha. Pun.)
hani_backup: (pi pie)
[Error: unknown template qotd]
This was the topic of my first speech for Introduction to Public Speaking class! I started it during the spring 2009 semester, before I dropped out.

It's very simple. I know. The professor commented that my first draft was not explicit enough, nor did it "show" my personality/let the audience know about me through my superpower choice so... I made it very blunt. I got 49/50 for the speech, too! Kyle and Matt helped me rewrite it and listen to me the night before. :D :D Good memories of that night. It's really awesome when your best friend and boyfriend/significant other are friends. :D

I do tell people when I like them, but only when I'm confident they like me, too. Actually...well, that part of the speech was very simplistic. Ever since that 8th grade situation, I've been lucky enough to have the people I was interested in reciprocate it. (Of course, after we got together was another story. The reasons for break-ups were multitudes. I remember my first boyfriend pretending to like my best friend so I would give up on him and realize he didn't want me back. >_>) So when I was relatively sure they liked me, too, and weren't just touchy-feely friends, I've told quite a few of them I liked them/wanted to date/be steady. With Matt, it was pretty obvious, and he told me. :-D That night was Study Night #2 for Biometrics for us and the final was the next day. It was hilarious how similar our answers/marks were for past exams so we couldn't really fill out the blanks/unknown stuff for a few things! *laughs* But yeah...that night he was very forthright and very considerate.

Introductory Speech – My Chosen Superpower

Bonjour. Ni hao. Assalamualaikum. Privet. Namaste. Konnichi wa. Hello.

These are but a few ways of greeting someone. It’s language, communication, connection. To instantly know every verbal language on Earth. All dialects included. To understand all body language. This is what I want. This is my superpower. I’m terrible at communicating. What’s the point of a superpower if it can’t give me something I lack?

I’ve lived in Malaysia, the United States, Indonesia, Vietnam and Romania. Whenever someone asks “How many languages do you know?” I must reply with “Only English fluently.” I knew a few Romanian and Vietnamese phrases but nothing beyond a tourist’s scope. I feel the deficiency of language strongly. I’ve felt this for more than a decade.

I knew Malay when I was younger. Learning English forced it from my mind when I was about five years old, though. I can understand conversational Malay but responding or writing in kind is beyond me. I’m embarrassed when I visit my grandparents and relatives who don’t know English. My parents have to translate for us. My relatives are strangers to me and I to them. This lack of language can be such a block. Even gesturing doesn’t get much across.

I’m very blunt and unperceptive. I love facts. I did much better during my sciences classes than my drama courses in high school. Subtlety escapes me. This was illustrated during a mortifying field trip. I thought the way a classmate behaved indicated he liked me but he actually didn’t. Unfortunately I told him on the first day of a week traveling together. This is one of many such experiences. This incident has made me reluctant to express my romantic feelings unless the other person expresses his first.

After I graduate from Beloit, I want to see more of the world, but on my own terms. Traveling for my own sake would be fabulous instead of following my dad’s diplomatic postings. I like knowing people with different lifestyles and backgrounds from my own. I’ve met many such people in Beloit. Better still to meet them in their native country and speak their native tongue.

I chose Beloit because a second language isn’t a graduation requirement. That’s how much language is a problem for me. I wish I could understand people who matter in my life or who might in the future. My superpower fulfills this wish.


Mar. 13th, 2009 01:40 pm
hani_backup: (faerie queen)
I really hope a lot of people answer this. I'm curious what others would think. (And I apologize for gender bias/stereotyping and simplicity.)

Imagine there is a woman has been severely abused, mentally, emotionally, physically, in a marriage with someone who is a narcissistic alcoholic. A child came from this marriage that she loves with her life, and because of this child, she was willing to escape the marriage despite the fear of the new, unknown and threats. She endures going through the law to have the husband put in jail. Afterwards, on recovery and learning to be strong by herself, she makes a lot of friends and meets a man who is willing to be her partner, and there is mutual love and care between them.

Imagine this woman is suddenly, for some unforeseen reason, sent back in time to before she met her abusive husband. Do you think she should go through the abusive courtship and marriage in order to procreate this future child she loved/loves? In order to meet her new partner in that particular time frame, and her new friends?

I know this is bare-bones and you might ask how deeply she loved her child and her new partner and such, but this is more about self-love/self-worth and results of choices that may have happy ending... Is it worth going through this a second time (even if the first time was in her memory), the self-degradation, the pain, because she knows what it'll result in? Or is it not? Is it worth it, knowing that if it wasn't her, another woman would likely would be abused by him, and she may not have the strength to try to remove him from society through the law? Is it worth it, or is the memories of how to be a stronger and independent woman enough to forsake that life and hope she can build another happier one? Are other people's responsibilities and happiness enough to balance against your own and possibly overcome it? (And you would remember everything from the "first" life, too.)

It's confusing - I don't know how to phrase all the questions I have inside. I know I can do this better in an interactive conversation.



hani_backup: (Default)

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