the backstage epiphany

where reality is so subjective it's entirely optional

Monthly Archives: November 2007


Répondez s’il-vous-plaît
This is how I might have to send out my son’s (if any) wedding invitation in the future :


Dos bienvenu

Sometimes backtracking really does help. As far as this blog is concerned, it seems as though the past few months’ posts have hitherto been nothing but anecdotes and lyrics hinting at the current state of affairs (i.e. my life). Therefore, in manner of true old-fashioned blogging — sans the Dear Diary part — am going to provide an account of what’s really been going on for the last few months.

Am now nearly 10 months into OPT (Optional Practical Training) status, the expiration date being January 31, 2008. Career-wise, nothing has changed. Have not been able to procure another job that could result in the attainment of the H1 visa, and so am left doing the same thing that have been doing since February. After being strung along by ECMC (Erie County Medical Center) for about five months about an Executive Assistant position, it was given to someone else who had previously worked for an organization that is affiliated with ECMC. Have learnt to live with it, though, because as someone once said, “If something doesn’t work out the way you want it to, it just means that you were meant for greater things elsewhere.” And am beginning to think that it’s true, because if something wasn’t meant to happen, fighting tooth and nail isn’t going to make it happen, and at some point the fighting just has to stop.

Fortunately, all is not lost. Have been accepted to the Boston Academy of English for the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certification Program. It lasts four weeks — the best part of which am going to be staying in Boston for a month — after which will be a fully qualified English teacher and able to teach anywhere in the world. Am obviously going to try and stay on in this country to teach, failing which will try going to Europe — particularly back to France — and if all else fails, will go back to Malaysia to teach, because apparently Malaysians have finally realized that their lapse in English has made them a laughingstock of the world and are now clamoring to improve it. The session that have signed up for begins March 31, 2008, the timing of which is perfect because that if not for this program, that would have been the last day of the post-OPT 60-day grace period.

In other news, my best friend is about 7 months pregnant with the soon-to-be-named Aiden Xavier Robb, and I now know volumes more than I would ever have liked or needed to know about babies. The Royal Pitches Winter 2007 Concert is this Friday, November 30, and am quite excited about it because being away from the group for one semester made me realize how much I missed singing. The Pitches have (again) been accepted into the ICCA (International Championship of Collegiate Acappella), which am a bit apprehensive about, because tempers always run high during the course of preparing for the quarterfinal round.

To end on a funny note, the following conversation ensued between self and another woman at the front counter of Chez Ann Salon after paying for a sugaring session:

Woman: Excuse me, I just have to ask you, who did your eyes?
Me: (with that famous eyebrow-raise) Excuse me?
You have such pretty eyes! Who did them?
Me: (looking a bit confused and assuming she was asking where I’d gotten a makeover in reference to my eye makeup) I do them myself.
Woman: No, I mean… Did you go to a doctor?
Me: (now looking quite horrified as the real meaning of her question dawns) No, these are the eyes I was born with.
Woman: (with the grace to look infinitesimally embarrassed) Oh! Well, it’s just that I don’t see many Asian women with eyes as big as yours, so I just thought…

Apparently Asian women with eyes bigger than the average Asian’s are immediately presumed to have had plastic surgery. The presumptuous woman who had the audacity to ask looked at least 40 years old, and was, of course, legitimately Caucasian.

And now, back to the anecdotes and lyrics.

Was it that difficult to say?

A few questions that I need to know
How you could ever hurt me so
I need to know what I’ve done wrong
And how long it’s been going on

Was it that I never paid enough attention?
Or did I not give enough affection?
Not only will your answeres keep me sane
But I’ll know never to make the same mistake again

You can tell me to my face
Or even on the phone
You can write it in a letter
Either way, I have to know

Did I never treat you right?
Did I always start the fight?
Either way, I’m going out of my mind
All the answers to my questions, I have to find

– All Saints, Never Ever

Letting go

Oftentimes it’s the most difficult and painful thing to do, and yet it can be easier when we know that we have no other choice. But then before we say goodbye, the need for ‘closure’ arises, and we seek to get it in any way we can. Sometimes it’s not so much to find out why we have to let go, but more to acknowledge that we have to let go, and say what needs to be said. It’s the same way as when we say, “I love you”; we don’t say it on the condition that the other person has to say it too. So just because the other person left without saying goodbye, it doesn’t mean we can’t step up, be the bigger person, and say our own goodbyes either.