Monthly Archives: November 2010

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

i tried to watch eternal sunshine of the spotless mind this weekend. i made it 22 minutes of 107. the basic premise is a couple who decides to have their memories of each other erased when their relationship fails. a novel idea. one that was first written about by alexander pope, where forgetfulness is the only comfort one can take when love turns sour.

i wonder if this technology was available today, if i would go for it. i doubt it. bottom line, i’m chicken shit. because without those years to remember, who am i then? that’s the question i’m most fearful of answering. would i be lost without those memories? because in those 22 minutes i watched, those characters seemed genuinely lost, without direction, without vision, without sound. i’m already having a hard time with all those, WITH my memories; sans memories, i think i would drown from all the watery air that seems to seep thru me lately.

the main thing that i remember about the movie (jesus, it was only just last night that i saw it!) is the train. at the beginning-ish, they’re riding on the train, it’s near empty, just two people and somehow she migrates to where he sits, looking out the window at the passing scenery. i don’t know what they’re saying, i don’t even care. because i’m envisioning myself sitting on a train and taking it further than i needed it to take me, maybe even until it ends. that’s how i feel sometimes, it’s what i wish for sometimes, just to leave and possibly not come back.

but i hate not finishing something that can easily be completed, unless it’s a shitty ass highly acclaimed movie where the characters need to shower.



props to the Baltimore Tattoo Museum, particularly to Bill Stevenson who took the time to meet me beforehand to answer all my asinine questions and who took the time during the inking to calm my fears.

a few things:

#8 in my life list is done.
it’s a whisk. i like baking & getting a kitchenaid mixer inked in such a small space was not a good idea.
it did hurt, but not as much as the one on wrist.
i’m in love with this particular tattoo because it’s wholly me & i make no apology for it.


i’ve a quirky streak. there is no rhyme or reason behind it all. and i’m ok with that.

1. john cusack was my first celebrity crush. it was his nerd character in 16 Candles that did it for me. patrick dempsey in can’t buy me love made me swoon.
2. i wore glasses until 11th grade because peter wouldn’t spring for contacts. so i tutored a 6th grader in math (my weakest subject) and entered a poetry writing contest. what i earned & won went twds my first pair of contacts. i will never wear glasses again. unless i get pink eye.
3. Voltron is still my favorite cartoon. of all time.
4. i dressed up for the midnight showing of the Return of the King. as an elf. complete with ears.
5. i used to make up LOTR trivia with the bff. she & i would keep points.
6. i know about 90% of the dialogue in Top Gun.
7. two words: Harry Potter. i cry STILL when i read the last book. the flood gates will be OPEN come this weekend during part 1 of the movie. BRING.IT.
8. my so called life still speaks to me… 15 years later.
9. foodtv and the cooking channel viewing are my idea of an exciting night in.
10. i get caught ALL THE TIME by coworkers either singing out loud or shoving grapes in my mouth (my record is still just 7… weak). i really should just keep my office door shut.
11. i watch Alias reruns. Sydney Bristow is my effing TV hero. after Vicky from Small Wonder. (tell me you didn’t walk around speaking like a robot and i’ll call you a liar.)
12. in high school i would skip class to read. rebel dork, if you will. my goal was to read a book a day. it’s alarming how little sleep i needed back then.

and last: my two most significant relationships were with an accountant and an ESOL teacher. both were crazy dork smart and i dug it. i also had a very minor fling with a php coder who spouted out HTML to me. {quiver}

Fragrant Orchid Poem

i hated my name when i was a kid. teachers never got it right during roll call. i wanted a name like Rachel or Julie, but my grandparents couldn’t pronounce it.

pronunciation is up for debate. peter pronounces it one way, i prefer it another. either is correct, tho i think my preference is more right.

and who named me is still unclear. it’s been stated that my paternal grandmother named me. she does have a history of naming her grandbabies. i was there when my first half sister was born, she showed up in the hospital room and threw out a “suggestion” that was really a command to be followed. and it was followed. but there’s the timeline dispute. i don’t think she knew of my existence until bio mom showed up with me sick in her arms, seeking help. i was already a year old. so it’s natural for me to think that bio mom named me. peter vehemently denies it and i haven’t the inclination to prove him wrong.

now the meaning of my name. Lan is chinese and vietnamese for orchid. combine that with peter’s and bio mom’s names and you get Fragrant Orchid Poem. pretty yes? that’s one interpretation. Phuong also means “phoenix” or “direction” but that doesn’t flow right.

when i became a citizen in 2007 the interviewer asked me if i wanted to change my name. had she asked me when i was younger i would’ve jumped at the chance, i would’ve wanted to erase my ethnic name and chosen a western name, easy to say and remember. but i didn’t become a citizen until i was almost 30 and such things as roll calls don’t exist in my life anymore and i can’t imagine answering to any other name. while i don’t identify with the meaning of my name, i feel like i own my name now, regardless of pronunciations.

the habit of lying

i went thru a phase when i was 10 where i fibbed every chance i got. i would make up tall tales, on the spot sometimes. outlandish and over the top, dramatical and far fetched. peter never could figure out why i was lying so much. i would tell bold face lies without blinking or stuttering. i’m sure as a parent, a new one at that, it was frustrating for him and my stepmother, who was only 28 at the time.

but i didn’t care. i was living half way across the world, away from the only family that i knew, away from my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins who were my built in friends. i was lonely and scared. so i lied. often.

it could be said that i was acting out because it was a new environment for me, i didn’t know how to act or behave. or it could be said that i learned from what i saw, that i lied due to the environment around me. everyone lied. manila wasn’t fun, i didn’t like my new family, the worst of all was the lie that i was fed all my life, a lie that he still maintains despite the fact that i’ve already met the woman: that peter had no idea where my biological mother was.

i outgrew that habit, of course. i learned to deal, i only had 8 years with them. and when i hit 18, i went off to college and didn’t look back. and now the truth is all i want. i would rather be stung by the truth than be hurt by a lie.