Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Beautiful Burbank

The view from my office, looking north over 'the valley' and toward the mountains. In the morning and late afternoon.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sorry About the Oscar, Eddie

But you'll always have this.

p.s. Is Rick James still alive?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday Ramblings

Who stamps your passport if you go to Antarctica? A couple penguins?

Not really interested in the Oscars this year, but I'll watch some of it, as usual. I'm predicting no upsets. I wonder how long the standing ovation will be if Scorsese wins.

We're now three (four?) episodes into Lost 2007 and I'm beginning to lose faith. It started off strong (I liked the episode about Juliet), but now it's officially lame. This week's episode was especially awful. How many more Jack flashbacks do we need to endure. Does anyone care that he got a tattoo in Phuket. I think this third season needs to be the last. Wrap it up!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Have Car, Cell Phone, Skyscrapers, Will Marry

The NYT reports that South Korean men are going to Vietnam and other Asian countries in search of a suitable bride. It seems that South Korean women are more eductated and, with more options, aren't marrying their Korean counterparts. The shortage has sent the men looking elsewhere.

When I was little, my dad had a friend who had a really hard time finding a wife. He was oldish, balding, thrifty. He lived in California, but couldn't find anyone. So he would go on trips to Vietnam, Australia, Hong Kong. Later I learned that the purpose of all these trips was to find a young, Vietnamese woman who would come to America in exchange for being his wife.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mr. Her

Things might be getting easier for husbands who want to take their wife's last name. The ACLU has filed a gender discrimination suit on behalf of Mike Buday. Right now, in California, he is required to do much more than a wife who wants to change her name. He has to file a petition, pay over $300, take out a public notice in the local newspaper (!) and appear before a judge.

I'm all for guys changing their names. I know three men who've done it. If this catches on (I'm not holding my breath), we'll have to think of a word for the male equivalent of "maiden name" and "Mrs."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tuesday Already

The relatives came and went and now the house is quiet again. We had over 40 people (including 15 kids) over on Saturday. It was great. The biggest family gathering since my wedding. In fact, it reminded me of my wedding... Once again, I was running around, distracted (but happy), saying quick hellos and thanks for coming, while Mr. Octopus relaxed and had actual conversations with people. Next time we do this, we'll have to swing it so that I get to play and Octopus does more work.

We capped off the long weekend by seeing The Lives of Others. Hands down the best movie I've seen in a long time. I don't want to say too much about it, but here's the basic story. Set in East Germany in the 80s before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Secret Police has put an East German playwright under surveillance to determine whether he's a subversive... Tense, sad, gripping. Definitely go see this one.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy New Year!

Chanchow's extended family will be gathering in full force this weekend to celebrate Tết. We'll be celebrating on Saturday because, according to Wiki, Tết is on Saturday, while Chinese New Year is on Sunday (there's a one hour difference between Beijing and VN, which explains the one day difference). We're expecting 40 relatives, which is about as big a gathering as we can muster short of having a wedding.

The older I get, the more I like family gatherings. I used to think they were exhausting and boring, but now that my cousins have kids, they're actually fun again. Kids really make a party. They're like the new alcohol. They make conversation easier. And you can avoid uncomfortable questions from your aunts and uncles by following the little kids around.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

annie lennox

From her 1995 Central Park concert. I wish she'd go on tour.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Private Schools

When did everyone start sending their kids to private schools? I hardly knew any private or prep school kids until I moved to NYC. I figured it was mostly an East Coast thing.

Apparently it isn't. I'm finding that a bunch of people in LA are sending their kids to private schools. And these aren't just rich people. These are middle class folks putting all their money into private schools. Was it always this way?

I suppose if you grow up in the public school system, then basically all your friends are from public schools. Same goes for private schools. Two worlds of kids that don't really mix until they go to college (even then, they may not mix).

What really blows my mind is the idea of sending your kid to private school from age 5. Folks in Manhattan are even sending their kids to $20,000/year pre-school. Well, NY is different. But what about the rest of the country?

I can understand sending your kid to private school if your local school is abysmal, but what if your local school is pretty good? What's the value of sending your kids to private school then? What do you lose? I don't have kids, but the idea of sending a kid to private school all their lives is really troubling to me. High school, I can understand, sort of.