Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bouts of Happiness

So even among my depressive mood and general malaise (yes, it's still going on), I do have bouts of happiness, fun, and laughter interspersed about. Let me share some.

1. So, a couple weeks ago, I was going home from the mall after returning my tux. And in the parking lot, as I got to my friend's car, this little kid sitting on top of his dad's shoulders saw us. He said, "Hi!" and waved at us. I responded with "Hi!" back. Then he asked, "What are you doing?" His dad was like, "He's not shy, haha." I told him, "I'm going home!" Then he waved again and said, "Bye!" To which I waved and said the same thing.

Kids are so cute! I want one, or two, or three . . . but no more than three . . . some day. Not today. They're so innocent and straightforward. They have no tact, no hidden agendas, no false faces. They're just pure fun and curiosity (until they cry). Kids are so predictable and it's so easy to keep their attention, once you realize they have like permanent ADHD. They're also like a blank slate. You can tell them anything, teach them anything, and they'll just absorb it with awe. Yeah, I personally think kids are awesome. Teenagers less so - they get grumpy and weird, and sometimes mean.

2. Bread pudding! I made bread pudding last night. I think it was the best one yet. It had the right consistency - not too runny, not too dry. It was sweeter than usual, though I added the same amount of sugar. It was the variable ingredients - aka, the fruit I add. This time it was raspberries, blueberries, and mango. It was delicious. Next time I make bread pudding, I'm sticking to this combo. Usually I add in apples, bananas, and cinnamon.

3. I really like reading the books (in the English translation) in my Chinese literature class. I was talking with SR-F last night about our respective "some day" list. In other words, books that we want to read "some day." Books like Monkey (more commonly translated as Journey into the West) and The Story of the Stone (more commonly translated as The Dream of Red Chamber) have been on my list for quite some time, and I like taking classes that "forces" me to read them.

It's interesting that the professor keeps saying how different Chinese fiction is compared to Western fiction. It's true, but it doesn't read any worse, or even really different sometimes. Western fiction utilizes heavy character development and tends to focus solely on the main character(s), with the other characters just being there. Chinese fiction delves into all the characters in depth, so you have their background and their whole personalities. However, Chinese fiction doesn't really have much in terms of character development. The development tends to be the development of a group of people on the whole.

For example, there are 4-5 main characters in Monkey. Each of them has their unique story, unique personality, and represents a part of a person in the allegory. But, each character doesn't develop much, but as a whole, they do. So the parts of the individual don't develop much, but the individual as a whole does. If any of that makes sense. In The Story of the Stone, there are about 400 characters in total. And for each one you learn about their background, their relations, and their personalities. Yet the whole story really centers on 3 characters.

It's said that Chinese fiction isn't so much "linear" as it is "circular" in a sense. Linear is basically cause-effect, where an event causes something that causes something else in a linear fashion, contributing to the development of the character. Chinese fiction focuses on the network and branches of relationship between each character and the next. These relationships change and evolve, though each of the characters not so much. Also, every detail counts. Something you read in chapter 1 might come back or be fulfilled like 10 chapters later.

4. So I've been good at running every day this week (today not so much, but I played basketball). I've lost like 4 lbs this week, yay! Too bad I just ate out tonight with several friends at a German restaurant, consisting of lots of meat and starch (potatoes), and some desert. Sigh, haha. More running and working out tomorrow!

5. Now, for the final (and most meaningful part). I had lunch with ES-M. To jog the memory, he's the guy from Malaysia in my Chinese class last semester that I had a crush on. While he's taking Chinese this semester as well, we're not in the same class because our schedules conflicted. He did want to be in my class because I've helped him out a lot in Chinese (though, I probably couldn't have helped him much this semester - the vocab's much harder).

Anyway, I waited for him to meet me. Apparently, he overslept and was very apologetic. I kept telling him last semester that he should sleep more regularly, and not in the middle of the afternoon (or morning, in this case). But, that's a habit he's not likely to change soon. When I saw him, he looked much thinner (he was originally pretty lean). I asked him why. He reminded me how he got the chickenpox a month ago or thereabouts. That was kind of funny, to think that he had never gotten chickenpox before, and hasn't been vaccinated, and then got it in college.

So we had lunch at a noodle place. It was good. We only had about half an hour to talk and catch up, since he overslept. But that was still good. He's staying in town for the summer, and I'm almost certainly staying for about 2 months over the spring/summer. Before he went to class, he told me that if I were doing something (concerning the gym/running/whatever) that I should call him. That's pretty cool, it'd be a good way to hang out.

Lastly here, though rather unrelated, I saw my RA (resident adviser) from my freshman year. He's a med student here at the university. I had a mini-crush of sorts on him. He has such a great body. And he's so smart. He just has very piercing eyes, and a mind that's equally piercing. All the same, he's a pretty good guy. Eccentric too though - wears an emo/goth-like attire, but detests both such groups . . . yeah.

Anyway, enough randomness. I'm done. ^_^


B said...

That's really interesting about the differences between Western and Chinese literature. In several psychology classes we learned about differences between individualistic and collectivistic cultures. It's amazing how pervasive the differences are.

Aek said...

I think it's pretty cool to be able to appreciate differences like that. It can be subtle, but it's quite interesting to read. Cultural differences is what makes this human world of ours interesting.