Review of Barbie (S. Korean Film) by Sang-Woo Lee

Here’s the link of the Movie Review I did for Ricepaper Magazine Issue 18.1

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Richmond, BC

Richmond, BC

after Robert Fitterman

_________ Garden Restaurant

Sesame Oil
Hoisin Sauce
Chilli Oil
Rice Wine Vinegar
Soy Sauce
Sriracha
Fish Sauce
Kitsup
Red Vinegar
Oyster Sauce
Plum Sauce
XO Sauce
Canola Oil
Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil
Kitsup
Rice Wine Vinegar
Red Vinegar
Soy Sauce
Hoisin Sauce
Sesame Oil
Sriracha
XO Sauce
Fish Sauce
Soy Sauce
Canola Oil

Canola Oil
Sriracha
Fish Sauce
Soy Sauce
Rice Wine Vinegar
Red Vinegar
Oyster Sauce
Hoisin Sauce
XO Sauce

Sriracha
Oyster Sauce
Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil
Fish Sauce
Red Vinegar
Rice Vinegar
Kitsup
XO Sauce

Soy Sauce
Sriracha
Sesame Oil

© Carousel Calvo, 2014

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Random Musings: excerpts from a forgotten journal

Vancouver, August 19, 2013

I’m not one for long posts, but the past few days have been surreal. I’m leaving in 2 days to move to Montreal and I’m apprehensive and excited. I’ve lived (on and off for 3 months or so) in three different cities within three continents in the past year (this move will be my 4th). Usually when I start to pack for a trip or move, I have this intense shiver run up my spine from anticipation. I’m eager, raring even, to leave each time, yet as my departure date looms near, I’m thinking of other things that I shouldn’t be thinking about, such as those dreaded what ifs. These pesky thoughts started circling around in my head that I succumb to a moment of utter panic yesterday, screaming at the top of my lungs at a Tim Horton’s parking lot. It didn’t help that my close friend was leaving for vacation and wouldn’t be there to talk me through the anxiety. Then, later, to stem the overwhelming anxiety, I started making plans on what to do when I arrive. List calms me down so I made lists and it made me happy. My moods are screwy right now.

The past few months have been sublime with friends and family. Although, I’m anxious that I won’t have that ease and comfortability with other people when I’m in Montreal, I’m glad that technology has made it possible for me to call/text/poke them instantaneously.
I know that beneath all my anxiety is a well of excitement, waiting to bubble over. I’m just letting the anxiety course through so I’m not too overwhelmed when I’m finally there. ETA #Montreal 3 days #gradschool #scaredshitlessbutupforthechallenge
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Book Review: Miah by Julia Lin

1894770994

ISBN: 9781894770996
Book Review: Miah, by Julia Lin
By Carousel Calvo

When elders talks about family history, they try to speak about them in a cursory manner, and often levity creeps in even when the conversation turns to serious matters. Nostalgia colours their perception. They try to brush off the discomfort, and, sometimes, conveniently forget the pain since they tell themselves: “time has past; all is forgiven.” Likewise, those who have lived long may say that Fate has a hand in shaping a person’s own history, so they say “It cannot be changed; it cannot be altered.” Yet, when elders finally allow themselves to unearth the secrets they have kept buried, we share in their catharsis, and, thus, we glimpse a part of ourselves in their stories.

In Julia Lin’s collection of short stories Miah, she questions yet reasserts the value of fate in human lives. Her stories are based on three generations of Huang women from Taiwan that accept the burdens they have acquired in life. The lives of these women unfold with gentle descriptions of domesticity. Lin’s prose brings to mind the peace and solitude of rural Taiwan. The lush descriptions of rainforest and tinkling riverbeds conjure images of happy childhood. Even the camaraderie and hostility between kin captures the reality of family and filial relationships. However, interspersed between these placid scenes are images of tragic violence – torture, suicide, and abandonment. Lin does not shy away from talking about the Japanese Occupation or the Kuomintang reign in Taiwan. Her characters understand the injustice that has befallen them. Their lives impacted by something larger and grander than they are.

The women in Lin’s stories endure. They are receptacles that quietly take on the burden of their family’s history. Their sadness is palpable in the page:

Once, when I was very daring, I thought perhaps I was on my destined path, but then I quickly realized that fate would not be so cruel as to deprive my husband of both a son and a wife… (“The Colonel and Mrs Wang”)

These women understand how tragedy is part and parcel of history, so they accept their fate with grace. They understand their role, and so they endure.

Although Miah is grounded in vivid and, often times, poetic images, its dialogues are stilted and forced. Lin’s hand in weaving a picture in the reader’s mind is self-assured, but when her characters speak there is nothing fresh to say. They repeat the emphasis of the theme or symbol which unfortunately makes the point redundant. Despite this problem, Lin’s debut heralds a new voice in Asian-Canadian literature. Lin’s stories are personal and honest like stories told after dinner plates have been taken to the sink, and hot oolong tea rest quietly in their porcelain cups.

This review was published on Ricepaper Magazine’s 18.2 Issue

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Reading Challenge: Book Review

I’m adding my name to a pool of bibliophiles at World Without Ends. I’ll be reading 12 books from 12 women author’s and reviewing them each. I’ve selected all the authors randomly. The instructions did not state that all has to be random, but I thought it would be interesting.

For those interested, Here’s the link: https://www.worldswithoutend.com/authors_wogf.asp

Happy Reading!

(P.S. My reviews will be posted here and at the wwe website)

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chapbook and self-publishing

My very first chapbook.

My very first chapbook.

I made this chapbook last year as part of my end of term creative writing assignment. I worked for days, a labour of love, and gave it to my friends as  mementos. I also thought of sharing my chapbook to other people, but I was hesitant to hand it out, too afraid of what their reactions will be.

This past year, I learned to loosen up about sharing. Jesse, one of the many people who edited my manuscript as part of my admissions requirement for Concordia University, told me that artists need an audience. In my head, I understood the concept, but it’s hard to be vulnerable in front of other people: to share certain things about my life, to let them peek at how I think and write and feel. However, I understand now that in order to grow as an artist I need other people’s output, regardless if they are negative or positive.

So here I am, in the process of revising my chapbook. I’m going to distribute it hopefully within next week. I don’t know the first thing about self-publishing, and I’m scared of how things will turn out, but if I don’t do this, it’ll be one of those decisions that lingers.

Happy Writings everyone.

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The Itinerary

Cebu (and other places in between) – November 15, 2012 – February 8, 2013

  • Hiking trails – did not go since no one wanted to go with me and I did not want to get lost @ Sergio Osmena Trail
  • Kawasan Waterfalls – had the opportunity but stayed at the resort to sunbathe and read The Progress of Love by Alice Munro
  • 2 Cemeteries (Carcar and Balamban) – done – visited ancestors – I finally had a glimpse of my father’s past which no one told me about when I was young.
  • Visit Balamban – done – had an awesome time with relatives during the Feast of Saint Mary. They served us an exceptional sea weed salad.
  • Visit CIC and USC-GH (my old high school and elementary school) – did not go because I was lazy. I am a ashamed to admit since I really wanted to visit but never had the urge after I arrived in Cebu.
  • Learn how to ride a bike – I have had this on my list since forever but I never do it. Will learn this summer before moving to Montreal.
  • Scuba dive – does snorkelling count? I snorkelled in Thailand. I think it counts – done.
  • Take out bride and groom plus family for dinner – reservation – done – My cousin’s wedding was on the sixth, so we had a dinner to celebrate her upcoming nuptials. It was fun. We bonded.
  • Wedding – December 6 – done – what a great night of food, gossip, laughter, and family
  • Xmas celebration – dec. 24 – done – finally Xmas in the Philippines. I wanted to see fireworks and elaborate set-ups and eat really yummy food.
  • New Years celebration – jan. 31 – done – I realize now that I don’t like loud firecrackers. It’s scary how kids are allowed to play with fireworks here. I saw in the news kids with fingers blown to bits.
  • Visit Hong Kong – Hong Kong was just like Richmond but with a better transit system – food was amazing and the streets were confusing but I enjoyed getting lost. My brother was sick with the flu when we arrived so I was by myself for two days exploring. Highlight:The night market was daunting but to be in such chaos was Fun! Victoria Peak is worth the trek up, even with tourists.
  • Macau – smells luxurious. It smells of expensive perfumes and decadent desserts. Although Taipa’s landscape is predominantly billion dollar casinos, there is an oasis from the frenetic exchange of money and goods. Settled within its circle of gargantuan architecture is a sleepy hamlet full of wonderful temples and Portuguese inspired architecture.
January 8 – Julius, mom, and dad arrive!!!!
Korean air – free return change… No charge!!!! Yay!
3405431 – Korean air Cebu
789-3700- Korean air Manila

 

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