Sunday, September 24, 2006

When I grow up, I'm gonna be a cat lady. You know, those octogenerians on the end of the street who have an infinite number of cats? Yep, that's going to be me. Here's why:


World's cutest kitten, right? SO CUTE. And he looks just like Buttons. They are brothers from other mothers.

He needs a name, though. Any suggestions are welcome!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Everyone in my apartment is suffering from pretty intense colds right now - it's funtimes for all. We've barely gotten off the couch all day. Fatigue, stuffed sinuses, runny noses, itchy throats, horrible coughs - but my favorite symptom of all so far is that I've lost my voice. Not only have I lost it, I seem to have found another that unfortunately sounds like a 50-year-old chainsmoking man.

Does the saying go starve a fever, feed a cold or feed a cold and starve a fever? Either way, it's time to get some vitamin C in my system. Ice cream and pizza is high in vitamin C, right? Good.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It's been only a few weeks and already the semester is kicking my ass.

Meanwhile, I think Wycherley's The Country Wife would be a really great play to adapt to Bollywood. Someone please forward this as a memo to Indra Kumar or David Dhawan.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

It occurs to me that, although I try to write academically, even in mediums such as blogs where it isn't entirely necessary, I speak very dialectically. I may have just invented that word - what I mean to say is that I don't speak the way I write. My speech has become a sort-of mashup of different dialects.

Earlier today I was showing my friend how to use her new coffee-maker, and towards the end of the demonstration I said, "Now we just have to wait for it done drip." I laughed when I heard myself - "That was good English," I remarked.

"It was," my friend replied. "You sound Trini."

I realized then how much my speech has been informed by my surroundings. I've clung to some of the midwestern turns of phrase I was raised with, such as the pronunciations of words such as "caramel" (three syllables, not two!) or "pecan" (it's pe-cahn). But some other words and varying grammatical usage has snuck in there, too. Some of it is very obvious to me - for example, I noticed firsthand how native Trinis don't use the words "her" or "him" - "She eating she food," they'll say. Interestingly enough, Jamaicans are the same with the words "she" and "he."

So into my speech have crept words in different languages or different yet still acceptable ways of speaking, and I think it's a direct result of living in New York City. I mean, I live in the most diverse area of the western hemisphere, which is not only expressed in the demographics of my neighborhood and university, but also in the demographics of my apartment - among myself and my two flatmates we speak three languages fluently. Because of this, I've begun "adopting" some of their words without even realizing it (the word in particular I've started using more often is que, although I usually use it with English adjectives - "que nice!").

I used to mentor at an elementary school in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and for a while all of the kids gravitated towards me more so than all the other tutors. I asked them why, and one of them said, "You don't talk white, like the others." I didn't quite understand their meaning until they began mimicking the other tutors in exaggerated ways - it was not only a difference in language, but a difference in tone.

Anyway, what it all boils down to is this - I really need to cut back on the coffee. I can't be up at all hours during the semester.

That's not really what it all boils down to, but since I can't quite figure it out for myself yet, I'm going to have to leave this post with a cliffhanger ending.
Besides Bollywood movies, I watch an inordinate amount of documentaries. Yesterday I woke up to some sort of "prehistoric beasts" marathon on the Discovery Channel, and I was overjoyed. Hours and hours of dinosaurs and mammoths and other ginormous monsters? Wonderful.

Today, though, I'm watching much more somber fare - Paradise Lost: The Child Murders and Robin Hood Hills, a 1996 HBO documentary following the cases of three teenagers accused of murdering and mutilating three 8-year-old boys. The tagline - "It's frightening to think they did it. It's terrifying to think they didn't. " - is quite appropriate.

Regardless of how horrifying the crime is, the documentary primarily reveals how flimsy the cases against the teenage boys are. The police, the detectives, and the prosecution don't do a very good job - there's none of the neatness or precision that's shown on Law & Order or CSI. And the thing that makes me mad is that, in this rural, Southern, primarily Christian community, what gets reiterated the most is that these boys don't quite fit in. They like heavy metal, they wear black, they're interested in different religions - so what? In any city, no one would think twice about it. The strongest evidence against the oldest of the boys was testimony of two girls who supposedly overheard him talking about the murders at a softball game. One of the accused, the one who had initially confessed and implicated the others in the case, only has an IQ of 72.

Someone needed to be punished in this case as badly as the the community and the parents wanted (and the parents had some pretty vitriolic things to say) but I'm not certain at all that they got the killers. I'm not sure what sits worse with me - the crime that was committed or the trials that ensued.

I should have just read The Country Wife like I was supposed to today.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I can't be the only one

So I just watched Selena for the fiftieth time and Selena died again. Can't they let her live just once? Just once?

On a related note, am I the only person who watches movies (or reads books, for that matter) and somehow hopes or expects the ending to be different, somehow?