happy new year!

Finally finished grading. Yay! Gotta run some errands and off to Da Nang I go. Thank goodness, been waiting for a break for a while :) Not sure when I'll be able to update next, since grammy has no internet. Wishing everyone a safe and happy lunar new year.

too much information

Last Friday, a friend invited me some private party that was being thrown. As I waited for friends to get there, I happened to sit and chat with the father of the party, or more specifically, the father of the guy who was throwing the party and he happened to be some kind of producer. The next thing I know I'm being introduced to him and various other producers, directors, and actors, one of which happened to be Dustin Nguyen from 21 Jump Street.

Fast-forward to yesturday. Dustin and his fellow castmates are filming a movie here and me, all curious, and somehow happening to be a multimedia teacher, figured I should go check out how all the gear, cameras, lighting, post-production, etc. worked in the real world. They picked me up and gave me a tour of the post-production studio which was not fully set up yet. This industry is almost all men.....

So I'm sitting here in a room of six or so guys and what do men talk about .... at first it was business, dissecting the film industry in Vietnam and the two most recent films that were directed and released here and the next thing I know, the conversation moves to ' hey have you been getting the runs lately?...Oh, please stop, that's way too much information.....'I swear its because we went to Singapore and had clean food. We're so used to eating on the streets here that we can't handle clean food no more'.....' picking your nose is cultural, you don't pick your nose?', 'Of course not, where are you manners?That is utterly gross!'....

At some point, I needed to go the bathroom and the men proudly informed me that their bathroom had no toilet paper. They had no use for it "What!?" That's what the extra hose next to the toilet is for, hosing off. "What!?" I had always thought the extra hose was there so it was easy to rinse the floor when you cleaned the bathroom, but no, it is apparently used to hose oneself off and airdry. They suggested I do that. Are you crazy?! I'm a lady! After 10 minutes they finally found an roll. I went and came out to round of applause.

* shakes head*

One of the guys promptly retrieved the toilet roll and informed us that he was returning it to its rightful location: on the kitchen table!

Remind me never to eat with these people.....

Finally, I was taken out the filmset, which is at an old prison in district 5. It was pretty cool and the people were all so nice. The female lead gets to beat the crap of some of the guys and from the stills, she looks great doing it. I can't wait to see how the film turns out, but it won't be done with filming and post until next summer.

case of mistaken identity

Twice in one night I was mistaken for someone else. In the first case, the person thought I was a Vietnamese pop singer by the name of Hong Nhung. Weird. The girls and I then went to have some dim-sum at a place near the Caravelle. A group of Vietnamese Australian guys thought I was some woman by the name of Julia Vo, they hollered the name at me during half our meal. I wonder who the heck she is cause she's got a ton of fans.

my two stacks

Just as I finish, I'm getting another couple of batches. One more week.... so close I can almost taste my grandma's 'goi'. I can't wait for TET!

think my arms are gonna fall off

Its nearing finals time, which means a lot of grading of assignments to give back before the exam. Only two more stacks to go, then I can get more than four hours of sleep. I'm so slow at this.

so disgusting!

I have a myspace account and this is the message that I got from some random creep named Mike.

The title of the message was " Hi from America":

hi would you like to cum to america???? if yes i am looking for a wife. i have alot of money. am lonley and want an oriental girl for wife!

Are you kidding me? That is not how you strike up a conversation with someone you barely know and if the guy was smart enough to even read my profile, he would have figured out that I was already an American and didn't need some pathetic loser to offer to save me from my life here. He has shit grammar, uses derogatory terms, and then expects women to fall all over him for money? Augghhh, so unappealing, makes me wanna barf. I hate people like that.

phone art

Yet another way to personalize your digital gadgets: Phone art. If only it were available in Vietnam. I would get rid of the yellow smiley face that constantly stares back at me and replace it with something by Ogi. But for those who can, here is the website:

Start Mobile: Art for Mobile Devices

night-time picnic

It started out as a 'joke'. I was riding in a cab with Bao while she was telling her friend Christine about how she sometimes read under the statue, in the round-a-bout, in front of Cho Ben Thanh. Even though she was reading in the middle of all the traffic, she actually found it quite peaceful. So as we passed, musing aloud, I said, "Huh, we could have a picnic there sometime." Of course, I wasn't really serious about carrying it through, just one of those random thoughts that float through one's mind.

But Bao jumped on the idea and the next thing you know we had it all planned: Some grapes, cheese, crackers, and a bottle of Dalat wine. It had to be Dalat wine. Bao was adamant. Wine? Was it even legal to drink alcohol in public, much less under a city monument. I prayed that we wouldn't get in trouble with the police.

It was just supposed to be another 'Numbers' night, for Patricia's benefit since she was outta town when we did the first one. There's the added twist of a picnic, but still just us girls : Bao, Christine, Patricia, and I. But eh, plans go awry and it grew to a party of 12. How that exactly happened I do not know.

No more than ten minutes after we got there, then three policemen showed up and sat on another side of the monument. I'm pretty sure they were keeping a watchful eye on us crazy foreigners. The minute we got up to go in search of more substantial sustenance, they got up as well. All in all, quite a pleasant experience that I wouldn't mind doing again. Anyone up for another night-time picnic?

Picnic in the round-a-bout.

The police, watching just around the corner.

Some kids that were there. They were very curious about my camera.

Went to Bao's favorite Indian resturant for grub. She goes there so often, they gave her a 10 percent discount!

The original 'Numbers' crew.

Bao looking ultra cute in her dress.

Johnny, Kym, and Huy, pretty chill dudes that joined us.

Group Picture

Wavy hair club :)

The Roomies.

Ensuing Sillyness :)

new year's eve

Rung in the New Year with Giap, Xuan, and Bao.

Giap and Bao breaking out with their best moves.

My girls!!!

Even got a New Year's kiss. Had to give him back though.

Giap and Xuan. They make such a cute couple :)

All decked out:)