connections on craigslist

January 24, 2008

incited by a widely forwarded economist’s reponse to a nyc goldigger’s inquiry (which, i thought was hilarious) on craigslist, i decided to check out the website.

in chicago, the “rants and raves” section seems mostly to be frequented those with racist and sexist remarks. poorly written, spelled, and nothing particularly interesting. perhaps indicative of the audience/population here, but i doubt it. i remain convinced that R&R is just an arena for anonymous fielding of existing tensions. maybe venting in a “public space” is effective for some? though blatently oppressive, and often explicitly ignorant, i can appreciate being able to easily skim and peek into the brains of the unspoken/unheard. i wonder how effective other sections are, but haven’t been able to find a link to any success stories yet.

the “missed connections” section is much more interesting to me. wouldn’t it be movie-esque to click on it one day and find that someone is trying to find you?! come on, we all have moments of shyness and regret missed opportunities to say ‘hi’.

however, only part of the postings are actually of this “missed” nature. the others appear to be written by those who’ve mistaken what “missed” means. they’ve taken a now defunct “connection” to be “missed” whereas it is more likely an “avoided connection”. i’ve come to this conclusion after having only scrolled the postings over the last couple of days and finding many apologies, lawsuits, pleas, etc. stalking comes to mind…

nonetheless, i still think it’s quite romantic and encourage you to try your hand at fate. chances are slim, but you never know do you?

2007 in review – phew!

January 5, 2008

i should beginning this last post of 2007 by admitting to acknowledging the immediacy of impending new year only by hapstance, which is indicative of the blur  the fervour to which i will now recount.  

as i concluded 2006, by completing grad studies at the university of toronto, there were few things that were certain: i knew my new bosses were driving me up the wall, and with fewer things on my plate (e.g. school), i no longer felt satisfied at my work; but would need to wait for admission or rejection letters before i could leave my financially stable post for the next career move, which i had yet to plan.

amidst 4 rejection letters, i broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years.  it was certainly a liminal situation but armed with what i consider valuable advice, i set out to force-a-feeling.  that is, i tried (very hard) to allow myself six months to mourn my loss of academic and romantic dreams.  the intent during this time, was to spend time alone doing some “soul searching”, of which the implicit point was not to avoid thinking by other distractions (e.g. rebounds).  it seemed simple enough, although i did question – at the ripe old age of 26 – how adding another half year of singledom would help.  it was surprisingly difficult to instigate feelings though, it felt contradictory to what i normally did.  others noticed as well as i purposefully avoided social interaction, my brother noted my choice of sappy music, and indeed, i finally fullfledgedly moped.

i think i laughed and cried when, after bitching about the physical weight of a “no” in the the final letter of rejection which sat on my counter only half read for 2 weeks, i finally read it aloud, in its entirety. the rejection to the phd program came also with an offer of admission to an(other) masters program, for which i had ambivalent thoughts.  of course i was upset that i hadn’t gotten what i had originally wanted, but knew realistically that it was a far shot anyhow.  furthermore, i had a sneaking suspicion of the latent function of such a program: tuition grubbing by a well-known university.  at the same time, despite all my previous reservations, it seemed that committing to a second masters would not be lost time.  i was aware that my knowledge in social theory was lacking and sought to immerse myself in sociology en route to a doctorate program, which was promised in my research of the program to which i had been accepted.  in retrospect, perhaps i just didn’t want to plan for a year off.  as for the cost, i rationalized that one year of american tuition could be offset by my eventual, hoped for, funded offer of admission to a phd program.

i sent the requisite forms and eagerly set about resuming life as a student.  that is, though i wasn’t at the time a student, i pretended it was merely an extended summer vacation at the end of which, i would return to a brand new school.  during this time, i attended 2 beautiful weddings of close friends, spent 7 extraordinary weeks backpacking europe, and 5 mundane days in nova scotia visiting the rental units.  just prior to leaving for europe, my school sent a reading list which, in retrospect, i should have considered a warning about what to expect in september.

it didn’t hit me until sitting on the blue line train from the airport to downtown chicago, that i was moving there. that i could barely understand the thick vernacular of the other passengers, struck me as ironic since having just returned from my travel experiences where english is always accented in some way.   when i was given advice to avoid certain areas, i remained confident, if not stubborn, that i could handle my own.  although, when the university administrators seemed to stress the mental health stuff…it all sounded like fear-mongering.

huff – i’m not finishing this.  it’s already the 5th and i need to move on.

to say the least, i need to learn to write more concisely, quickly, and frequently.

also, i’m really not looking forward to 2008 ~ bah.

being white…

November 7, 2006

posted to previous blog on April 07, 2006
being white…
Reading a new book: Being WHITE: Stories of Race and Racism, 2005 – Karyn D. McKinney.

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself (only now on the 11th page), but I think this one could be a launching pad for future endeavours. Similar to any research paper, the first section deals with research methodology. Siince its format allows, the preliminary thought process, background, history, participants, etc. are explicated in depth. Now normally, I would have skipped this ‘Introduction of unnecessary particulars’, but here, I am entrenched. All the while that I have read lines (and footnotes!) within these 11 pages, I have been stopping, starting, going back, getting stuck:
a) dreaming about all the social phenomena for which I would apply similar methods to study them, and,
b) considering some of my friends’ reactions.
…I find myself snickering to myself and thinking… when did this happen – that I became such a dork?

When did i begin to engender difference? Maybe it was when ‘little town, in Canada’ wasn’t good enough when asked “where are you from?” or “uh, i mean where were you born?” or “no no! your parents… where are they from?”. Or maybe it started when they said “Your English is so good, you don’t even have an accent!” hmmm… Thanks. Or perhaps it was latter, when you referred to me as “the Chinese girl” or when you approached me with the hot-line, “i just got back from Korea, I just LOOOOVE asian girls”

“Being WHITE” is essentially a compilation of autobiographies by white students in the U.S. about, you got it… being white. The author considers these individuals’ stories/experiences and their broader political meaning.

Perhaps it’s too early to say, but judging from the table of contents, I wish some of my friends would also read this book. Chapters include: “I could tell my life story without mentioning my race” (thank you rachelle for forgetting mine so many years ago); “being born in the US to white parents is almost boring” (oh jaret, i apologize for my eyeball rolling – that you never even noticed in your heartfelt plea); and “i feel ‘whiteness’ when i hear people blaming whites” (wtf do you mean that racial profiling doesn’t exist! – you know).

Yes, it’s too early to say what my favorite message from this book will be. But there is something I wish some of my friends would consider: having grown up “not noticing” race (being “colour blind”) is often equated with being antiracist…IT’S NOT.

I don’t have the guts or the strength to say this to many of you (instead, you may accidentally read this rant). WIth some of you, I’ve tried previously – but now I’m nervous. Somehow, I can stand on a soapbox at school and at work, where I get dirty looks from my entirely white cohort/faculty and test the nerves of an all white board of directors… at times risking my education and career. I can handle that. But when it comes to you, I shy away… lest I say something “offensive” (again).