In defense of the Alex Tizon article 

*I tweeted this discreetly after a blow up on social media from various parts of the world about the controversial long read. I noted there: article, because I intend to defend the article, not the things that happened in Alex Tizon’s piece for The Atlantic about his family’s secret

People demand truth but they blow up when it’s not to their liking, failing to recognize that the work was not a lie, in fact, a brave truth. It’s naive and idealistic to demand stories to paint black and white portraits of explicitly good and bad characters and behavior. Real life is a web of intersecting good and bad, where people, customs, mindsets, and the ways of the world, are allowed to change and grow. Scrutinizing and nitpicking issues from the place of privilege where one “knows better” is self righteousness guised as righteousness. People wanna intellectual-speak instead of opening up their hearts to a writer who poured his into this. Their bond, in spite of all that was wrong in their circumstance is more genuine than how subordinates anywhere in the world get treated. Note that you can hurt and walk all over people without having to break any laws or violate any basic rights. This was a lovingly written memoir of a family that captures the ff. very crucial phenomena in the human experience:

(1) There are remnants of servitude that haunt us as revamped forms of it still exist today.

(2) There is love in dark and difficult places.

We are all Alex Tizon when we are silent, but we can also be Alex Tizon when we choose to be kinder and softer.

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Untouchable

*Read the powerful letter the Stanford rape victim read aloud to her abuser, whose name isn’t really worth mentioning, and it really moved me. 

rm

“And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you. As the author Anne Lamott once wrote, “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” Although I can’t save every boat, I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can’t be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you. To girls everywhere, I am with you. Thank you.”

“I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story.”

—the Stanford rape victim whose name I wish I knew because the words, “Stanford rape victim” just doesn’t do any justice to the strong human being that she is

A little surprised and a whole lot thankful

Today to my absolute surprise, I had myself quite a rare and fair happy day. And in my attempt to bask in the afterglow of sweat and rain, I’m going to write a little about it.

whataday

I don’t know if it’s sheer luck, coincidence, or fate but some things out of my ordinary happened throughout the day.

And I’d just like to say, thank you, Universe, for giving me this one.

Although I’m running on just two hours of rest and there’s no denying I dozed off once or twice, I’m still feeling pretty energetic from all the that’s happened in just one little day and in school if you’d believe! Little miracles do happen in Taft. They happened to me in the form of pleasant surprises, nothing huge or tangible. This isn’t an everyday thing for me, which is also why I wanna stay awake longer just to hold on to a pretty good day like this. It’s the kind of feeling you just wanna share to your friends and parents. I hate to squeal on little big things for me, still a part of me couldn’t help but to hint it.

Wishful slash over thinking aside and the uncertainty of every other day from here on out; rather the certainty that there are more ordinary days than the opposite. I want to carry this good with me.

Stay strong yet stay light, and do all things with love, to the Aidee tomorrow that might hang on to the day and day-old hope, nostalgic for a good day and a bunch of good things that have gone.

Right now I’m thankful this happened. Today’s been a pleasant surprise.

Aidee HD DB_0509

It’s been so long because I lost track of consistently jotting down all the movies I watched when there was school, but here’s the fourth edition of Aidee’s High Definition (Movie) Database. These are just some films I watched over plane rides and a number of these of I consider girly girl therapy. Enjoy!


honeyishrunk.jpg
Honey, I Shrunk The Kids (1989)
★★★☆☆
Szalinski kids

Grew up watching the third one almost every single day on VHS so that might be my favorite of all the Honey, We Shrunk-series or is it trilogy, but this is pretty good too and a lot older. This is the first, yeah.

matilda.jpg

Matilda (1996)
★★★
cause I’m big and you’re small

I just had to choose that photo up there because it was such an epic scene I remember so distinctly. This is yet another feel good movie but it doesn’t ever get old for me. Especially this Brucey scene and the ending. I also would like to have a cottage like Miss Honey with wild flowers and tea. And look as good as Elizabeth Davidtz in overalls.

sexandthecity.jpg

Sex and the City (2008)
★★★
labels and love

I first saw this movie with my mom and her best friend in the movie house when I was at the brink of girlhood, haha. I was bordering tomboyish and should-I-be-girly. I surprisingly enjoyed the movie then so much that I watch it every time I go through sad things, haha especially heartbreaks or just when I’m bored. It’s really long, probably 3 hours and within that time, I always manage to feel better. I can write a separate post about Sex & The City but for now if you think you might be that kinda girl, you should totally give this a watch. It’s something one of my closest girlfriends, Pam and I really enjoy, haha! It’s a really quote-able movie too.

danishgirl.jpg

The Danish Girl (2015)
★★★
Einar is dead

I don’t know if this deserves a 3? I’m being biased. I didn’t feel good watching it? Otherwise it would’ve gotten a 4.5 for the set and costume design and acting even. Maybe I’m just not cut out for real life, haha. I probably have a weird gauge of depressing and woah was this depressing. In a nice way? Like it was artfully depicted on screen which I really like. Period films have a way of either hitting the mark or killing me, and this kept fluctuating in between? I was mildly disturbed and annoyed throughout the movie. Confused too. I couldn’t relate to any of the characters on any level but I guess that’s why. It’s not because of the gender roles, it’s more than that though. I felt that it was so certain then empty and stubborn in a way I can’t understand? I thought the characters were rather unreasonable. Again, not entirely because of the gender roles. I know it’s supposed to be empowering and although it probably is to a lot of individuals, maybe just not to me because it doesn’t affect me that way. If their love for each other was really like this however, then that’s really admirable. I also had high hopes for it. I do think it’s worth watching. If you’re looking for a transgender film, I recommend Transamerica if you wanna see something quite entertaining, touching, and informative. However, I guess it’s really different because The Danish Girl was loosely based on a pioneering transgender. Hmm… It’s interesting to watch, like I really did feel like an audience and it’s all new to me? Applause to Eddie Redmayne and Alexandra Vikander. But perhaps I like Eddie more as a guy, haha. Personal opinion. But I don’t see anyone who would’ve done it better than him. He could have given more from the inside though. Like I saw all the physical developments but I didn’t see character development. I just saw the switch and the snap. Maybe it’s the script? Not sure..

mothersday

Mother’s Day (2016)
★★★
them soccer moms

If I had to be a suburban mom someday, may I have these women’s bodies. I thought it was pretty entertaining, comedic then a tear-jerker too. It’s something I caught with my mom for our mother-daughter bonding this mother’s day in the movie house. She likes these kinds of Garry Marshall light-hearted movies. And sour cream popcorn. I like Gary Marshall too. I didn’t enjoy his more recent attempts I admit, like Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve. This would have to be the more recent favorite in spite of its bad reviews. But of course I like the older Gary Marshall stuff. The cast was a surprise, it always is. And Timothy Olyphant was such a treat haha who wouldn’t wanna baby sit for that dad? Father’s Day, please.

jurassic world

Jurassic World (2015)
★★★
Blue, Charlie, Delta, Echo

I loveeeeed Jurassic Park. And I love Jurassic World. Watched it again recently because my little cousin didn’t wanna watch the original because it was too scary for him, and I think it is too for a six year old, so this had to do. But it’s great. It’s like Universal Studios but dinosaurs, I mean c’mon?

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Excess Baggage (1997)
★★★
you don’t have to be drunk to kiss me y’know

Caught this one afternoon on HBO. I’m adding it here just because for some odd reason I will never understand, despite the weirdness? Ugh I was touched by some of the scenes here with Benicio del Toro and Alicia Silverstone. Thumbs up to this scene. The only time I felt this way about a scene was when Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing were learning the steps with Hungry Eyes playing in the background hahaha. I just had to stop then breathe in and out. (Lol I should write a post dedicated to my favorite mushy gushy scenes of all time?) I’ve always loved Benicio del Toro, no judgement here k, haha. And I superkaduper love Alicia Silverstone. Never thought it’d work but maybe it’s the unlikeliness of these movie couples chemistries that get me. 0:51 to 2:51. Hey bring me to a lake just like that with mountains and a fog surrounding the place one morning and why not add that Dave Matthews Band song in the background, then see if I don’t go a little nuts too. MY HEART. People usually go on to describe long walks in the beach and all as their ideal somethings but this is my ideal thing. A lake, below 20 degree weather, some mountains on the background, and that Dave Matthews Band song, gahh. *Enter butterflies in stomach* post card perfect.

uptowngirls.jpg

Uptown Girls (2003)
★★★
tea cups in Coney Island

Honestly I thought this movie was made in the 90s and I’m surprised to find that it was just made in 2003. I feel old? Because 2003 now looks real old to me. Like iconic vintage? I may have enjoyed all the clothes and the setting more than the storyline itself actually. Props to young Dakota Fanning for taking on another one of her earlier mature roles. New York, New York apartments, shift dresses, overalls, it’s a visual treat for me. The stars mostly came from the setting and the outfits, haha.

bridesmaids.jpg

Bridesmaids (2011)
★★★
I mean ladies, it’s a Fritz Bernaise

Female version of The Hangover except has a better story. Such a feel good movie. Something to watch with the girlfriends too. I like TV weddings too so mixing that with haphazard planning is fun. This just goes to show that anyone can hit rock bottom and still have an awesome comeback.

fathersanddaughters

Fathers and Daughters (2015)
★★★
POTATO CHIP

Personally, this movie is a dramatized tragic version of my relationship with my own dear old dad. The part where she screwed up with her relationship also kinda spoke to me. Except, it isn’t real life, grr haha. Russell Crowe can play mentally ill roles rather well, then to see him juggle that with a dominant father role is just really touching. I love Russell Crowe. And I love my dad too!

spotlight.jpg

Spotlight (2015)
★★★
and the Oscar goes to…

I should be writing a post dedicated to this entire movie and maybe I will too. Spent nights of research and reading about the true story. I’ll try to keep it short here. What a cast. What a story. A true story. This doesn’t exactly glorify journalists but sheds some light on what the job should really be about. Who doesn’t wanna be a better journalist after seeing this on film? I come by some articles online that always make me wanna be better, but yay a movie. But thank you for putting the spotlight too (hehe word play) on the significance of the job. The score is strangely nice too. Michael Keaton. Mark Ruffalo. Rachel McAdams. Umm, Mark Ruffalo & Rachel McAdams. Dream guy and dream girl in the same movie? Lovelovelove.

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How To Be Single (2016)
★★★
breaking up sucks, but you know what’s even worse? Wasting a night in New York City

Aw this movie was.. I almost said life changing but my life’s the same even after watching it. Haha, I’m still single but after watching it I’m more motivated about making it happier and okay. The title makes it seem like a guidebook but there’s actually a nice storyline and it’s entertaining. I laughed, cried, and got all giddy for different reasons. In the plane. So much that I asked for three more croissants in the plane ride? Very very very very relatable. I just wish I lived in New York, too. (Canada now actually) Good cast. Good characters. It’s nice they’re making films about more real situations about people being assholes, awkward situations, un-fantasies, in a fantasy-like way? Am I making sense? I think every 20-something girl in 2016 ought to watch this. It doesn’t just preach to single girls about the single life but more about time and timing. It happens to anyone and everyone being single and not being single, but within given times so make the most of your situation whatever that may be. Maybe even the crappier, the better. It’s real empowering. It’s a happy-sad movie. Watch it happy and watch it sad. Personally, just like Alice, there are greater heights I both literally and figuratively want to climb on my own. I really ought to. There’s something very millennial and 2016 about this movie like it was made for us? Appropriate timing.

Cold showers

Summer began
with the heat of ending conversations,
from the fiction of your push and my pull,
and the way some of those words burnt me,
and it hurt.

Summer began
with lasting cold shoulders,
the only kind of cold that ever bothered me,
and how I sit under each cold shower,
waiting for artificial rainwater
to take me away.

tub

was gonna use a real photo I had but it’s in my laptop

Reality o’clock

I go to bed with the thought in my mind, giving me an unfitting sense of comfort and hope. I dream the unlikely, the impossible, mistakenly thinking it’s all real. I wake up to find that it’s not. No calls, wrong messages, daunting reality. I wake up to find that everyday it’s gone. 

XXII: Miserable & Magical

*Taylor was right it IS miserable & magical oh yeaaah… 

Birthdays are a strange thing. An ordinary day in the calendar is marked by people you haven’t heard from in ages that go out of their way to type one sentence to remind you, you’re a little special for just for a day or they just remember you a little more than usual. And greater loved ones hug you and attempt to spoil you without a cake because they know you don’t like (most) cake anyway. I like it when people know me well enough not to give me cake. It’s different this year though. It’s different every year.

As I turn a year older, the Universe gifts me with a sadness I can’t shake off. It’s with me even as I tie my growing short hair into a pony tail after making an effort to put on some blush and dress up to look my age. It’s with me as I stared into my notes about the first philosophers then stared at my ceiling.

The Universe has gifted me with a certain sadness. I don’t mean this with sarcasm or bitterness but it’s a bittersweet becoming. I am learning the most valuable lesson of finiteness and space more and more. Things can change so much within a (leap) year, and while some things stay the same, there are also some spaces, even if I’ve tried to fill up with others, that will never be the same. Some spaces will remain empty. I will however never say that such spaces are all just lessons to me now. I am still learning not to take those dear to me for granted. While some spaces are room for the many comings and goings, others have made room and this cannot change. What has been dear to me will stay like that to me. Just to me.

Maybe this is why man has since the beginning of time been so fascinated with learning about the outside world. Where everything looks like a sprinkle of dust, inconceivable and unreachable. It’s all larger than us and time, so far away. As similar systems of galaxies are also working within us, outer space must have been something we’ve all known one way or another. It’s quite familiar perhaps and certainly beautiful. I hope to know it all again within my time. I am filled with so much of space.