Saturday, April 25, 2009


No offense meant to the new Treasury Secretary of the United States -- I know how difficult a job he has dealing with the economic crisis as it is while balancing through the politics. But unfortunately, every single time I look at Geithner's face, I think of Peter MacNicol. Of course, to me, I think of Peter MacNicol a la Ally McBeal's John Cage. I realize he's done quite a few shows since then, but that character sticks in my mind. Which means that when I look at Geithner, I think he will get the job done in the end as long as the jury pleases him. And maybe he'll use some quirky antics here and there, but hey, as weird as they are, they'll be effective.

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Monday, April 06, 2009


No, not the midwest American state -- Japanese for hello! The title was meant for a draft post that I meant to post last month after watching two good Japanese movies, but since I've passed my one month mark, the title is still apt as a long-awaited greeting! The movie reviews are at the bottom.

Spring break
I've got time to blog because I completed Systematic Theology and also another Bible study that I finished leading today. That leaves me with two weeks of relatively 'free' time before I start my next course in May, plus another series of Sunday school lessons to teach... which basically takes me to pre- long vacation. My schedule is busy, but manageable. Looking back, this term was probably busier than the upcoming month, and yet, things thankfully work out without much stress. Periodic 'monastic sessions' with David have been fundamental to maintaining a stable pace of life (sounds elaborate but it's just a time of silence/spiritual reading/prayer).

Mediation of Christ
It turned out designedly fitting that our Easter four-day weekend was the week before my final assignment was due, and the assignment was to read T.F. Torrance's "The Mediation of Christ" and write a book review on it. The book takes patience to get through, but I recommend the time if you have not the time to read other theology books. His book expands on the role of Christ as mediator between God and man and presents how Christians should view the effects of his atonement on the cross. The book provided me with a more deeply meaningful Easter this year, and for that I am thankful.

Susan Boyle
It is a general habit for me to check Google News now, and so I inevitably came across Susan Boyle. As some articles say, "You must live under a rock if you have not heard..." Well, the funny thing is, I lived under a rock for two years because I did not hear of Paul Potts. :p I must admit I've been somewhat obsessed with watching their clips over the past two days and do find them uplifting. Perhaps, to me, it is a simple encouragement to see her perform just as she would at her church. I pray that she will not lose the genuineness of humanity that she possesses. The mass response to Susan Boyle has been incredible and interesting. For one, it remains to be seen whether people will truly change their cynical ways from this wake-up call. And unfortunately, the inspiration that she provides only directs people towards their individual desires and dreams and not as much towards, say, spending many years caring for an elderly relative.

Movie 1 - Departures
This movie is probably more widely distributed ever since it won the Oscar. This movie deals with death, and as typical, brings people into raw emotions of human vulnerability with one thing that we can't avoid. There are a few moments of amusing wit and many (unnecessary?) tearjerking moments. Definitely, a feel good film, but a good one, leaving you with the feeling of appreciation for life and love, as well as a feeling of peace, if death provides that for you.

Movie 2 - K-20:Legend of the Mask
I'm not sure how widely distributed this movie is, but I HIGHLY recommend it! Essentially, it's a Japanese version of a Batman-like persona (it's actually about a 'super-villain', not a 'superhero'), set in a fictional city (like Gotham) in a post-war period. Plus, the star is Takeshi Kaneshiro (ah!!!) Haha. Ok, I think he is stylish ('ying'), though not outstanding as an actor. The story is funny, keeps on moving, and keeps you guessing. It's also not as dark as the American Batman, so it enjoys a good degree of levity, and of course, many 'Japanese-y' elements that are very delightful, and as usual with Japanese imagination, sets that are 'way cool'. In a word, this movie is entertaining -- go watch it, you'll like it!

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam. :)