Wednesday, March 31  
11:57 AM : : what's a nubian? in a radio interview, paul hornung -- 60s white star from notre dame and the green bay packers -- had this to say. "we can't stay as strict as we are as far as the academic structure is concerned because we've got to get the black athlete. we must get the black athlete if we're going to compete. we open up with michigan, then go to michigan state and purdue - those are the first three games, you know, and you can't play a schedule like this unless you have the black athlete today. you just can't do it."


quite a bold thing to say. quite a wrong thing to say. he's basically telling us that black athletes are less academically proficient but more athletically capable. i heard him on the mighty 690 this morning and he didn't back off his statements or retract them due to misinterpretation either. he meant what he said. notre dame needs to get more black athletes into its program to win and one of the ways to do that was to lower academic standards.

now, the implications behind what he says is all terribly terribly wrong and totally un-PC. but there is something to what hornung is saying. nobody else says it publicly because any time people even hint at what hornung said, they get lambasted first off, for the record, there are probably a million reasons notre dame football doesn't win. and it isn't because they don't have enough black athletes. the simplest reason for notre dame being unsuccessful is because they suck. period. the golden dome no longer holds as much appeal to the high school athlete of today. it's still a prestige school but no longer a premiere football institution. so they don't get enough blue chip recruits of any color, brown, black, white, yellow, purple, green.

but look at the major sports today. the nba and the nfl are predominantly black. serena and venus are black. tiger is black (at least according to the media). barry bonds is black. aren't these guys dominating american sports? isn't it pointedly obvious to anybody who's played basketball at the local courts that black is better? it may have nothing to do with genetics or anything scientific but i'm willing to say that in a random lottery of guys at the courts, i would put my money on the team of five black guys winning over the five asian guys. same height, same weight, same physical characteristics. but my money would be on the black guys because they are probably more skilled and/or more athletic. just as a general assumption. many factors could go into why but i'm not gonna go into all of those, although they are all very valid. i would also, in the same sort of scenario, take the team of eleven korean guys over eleven chinese guys in a tackle football game. but that may be a more size related bias. although in my opinion, koreans, for some infuriating reason, tend to be more generally athletic. wow, how un-PC am i being right now? screw PC.

anyway the point being, there wasn't a "black court, white court, asian court" at the michigan gym for no reason. it was based on skill level of course, you could go play on the black court if you were asian and good enough but for the most part the middle court was the "black court." i mean, i will admit, even with my superior basketball talent (is there a tongue in cheek symbol on this keyboard?), when i step on the court against a black guy, i feel like i'll probably be slower and jump much less higher without even having seen him play. then again, i'm slow and can barely jump so this isn't much of a comparison. but what i'm talking about here is the general fear and perception of "whoa, they're black, can we hang with them?" hey, it's not just athletically, it's the same with dancing. the societal and colloquial assumption is that if you are black, you probably have rhythm. and dancing is most assuredly not genetic. although i wish it were so that i could explain my lack of ability in it.

i must say that of course there are many exceptions to this athletic rule. yao ming is an excellent asian basketball player. also only valued because he happens to be a seven six giant. european white athletes are beginning to dominant in the nba by way of superior athletic prowess. in fact, many white pro athletes are just as athletic, if not more than, their black teammates. but it's more rare and when a white guy can dunk like vince or dribble like skip we say "you must be black." not because we're serious but because it's the perception. that's what it all is, perception. like an oasis in the desert. a mirage.

so my point is, to bring it all back, is that i can see what hornung is saying. he's being possibly supremely bigoted in equating lower academic standards with blacks but in a way, he's speaking about what he perceives. he sees black athletes dominanting, he says "we need black athletes." he sees black college applicants scoring lower on their admissions tests (due to possible reasons too complex to get into here) and says "we need to lower our standards." what he says ain't right but the perceptions themselves aren't wrong either. it's what we do with those perceptions, such as using them to deny opportunity or equality, that matter.

thanks for listening. see you on the courts. don't dunk on me. i'm frail and break easily. plus, girls might be watching.

Tuesday, March 30  
10:45 AM : : passing me by. in a ucsd class that i took, we read a book called quicksand. the protagonist, helga crane, struggles with her racial identity and moves back and forth from the "black" world to the "white" world and never quite fits in. the term "passing" was introduced to me in this book and in this class. helga was racially mixed (white/black) and could pass for white due to the lightness of her skin. during this class we read many books that had passing as a central theme and many examples were shown us of writers, artists, people, who used their lighter hue to gain passage into the white world. quicksand, set in the 1920s and a semi-autobiographical version of nella larsen's experiences, was a revelation to me.

in the process of re-reading la confidential, i noticed that a periphery character was mentioned as "passing" and it made me think about the whole passing thing again. what an america we live in. what a world we live in. are the people who choose to pass not proud of their heritage? are they using their lighter hue to bypass the very real barriers that confront them due to their racial and/or ethnic makeup? i know of a girl who likes to pass for korean because of a certain status (arguably) that it provides. even say, being atheist and fronting like a christian at church can be similar to passing. i heard recently of a white man who, in order to appease his soon-to-be bride's asian parents, chose to surgically slant and diminish his eyes for that so in vogue "chinky" look. it didn't work but the parents were impressed by his dedication and so permitted them to marry. what the hell.

i read in da capo best music writing 2002 about a musican (i regret that his exact name escapes me right now) who put on a turban and pushed his "mystic" indian background in order to build a career. he was quite successful too; even got his own tv variety show. it turns out that this musician was not indian at all but black. he never told anybody, including his wife and children. this was "success." but it's hard to place blame on somebody using what they can to advance themselves in the world.

passing even works in reverse. in chasing amy, hooper, a comic book author, has to role-play a militant black man in order to move units. in reality, he is a black gay man who harbors no comparable militant views. when caught by an autograph seeking black kid as he's seen hanging out with ben affleck, hooper lies quickly and exonerates himself by saying "see that (white) man over there? he the devil! never take your eye off the man." is hooper trying to pass as militant black? i'd say so.

don't we all pass though? i attempt to pass as a responsible white collar worker each and every day i sit here at my desk. i take off my earrings, jewelry and cover up my tattoos in order to not offend the presumably strict office culture code. one might even say that the use of language is a common method of passing. i speak differently at work -- the hilarious "work voice" -- than i do at home. i use complete sentences and try to cut out the "dudes" and "cools" in order to come off as "professional." somebody might try to use certain words or ways of speaking to be included in a cultural niche. pass as "hip hop" or "californian" for example. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, depends on how good and natural you are at it i suppose.

but back to passing as a way of racial integration. another book from that ucsd class had a light skinned black man so effective at passing that he becomes the leader of a white supremacist group. now that's a huge assist. he worries that he will be exposed when he has children because what if his white wife gives birth to an obvious mulatto? how "tragic." i think in some ways, we in america (and maybe other places) are raised to listen to the message that "white is right." i mean, even michael jackson supports it. the ethnic models and celebrities who make it are generally lighter skinned or have "white" features. some of us are told to marry white because kids with paler skin wiill lead a better life. this ain't just scrimp and bullshit, people i've talked to actually hear this from their parents. entire racial groups sometimes culturally value lighter skin as more beautiful, desirable, successful or of a higher social standing. it's not only true, but obvious, the push for white versus dark.

i'm trying to gain some insight into the mindset that comes with the pressures of wanting to pass. what if by lying about your racial background you had access to a better neighborhood and better schools (a huge generalization, so excuse me). what if by marking "caucasian" on your census form you could get more tax deductions (fictional as far as i know, so excuse me). what if by fitting in you avoided being booted out, or even worse, beat up? would you pass? would you collect two hundred dollars?

Monday, March 29  
3:37 PM : : adventures in newlywedding. reporting in from the frontlines of yet another wedding. this makes, i think, eight in the span of one calender year. i'm too young to be going to so many weddings. but that's what everybody says. this wedding was for another family friend, the usual assortment of chinese aunts and uncles attended, with a few young kids, namely us and the bridal party. i'm not sure why anyone would want to have their wedding guests to be culled from the list of parental friends but it's a social pecking order thing i guess. i would want my wedding to be filled with friends and relatives, not necessarily friends of my mom. but that's how these things work.

if you've been to any family friend adult gatherings i'm sure you've heard the "wow, you're so big now!" the girls get the "how pretty you've become" line. slightly older yet still young adult people you knew from way back when comment on how "you used to be this tall." imagine in your mind the placement of hands right around the three foot mark. it's glorious.

even though you've known all these uncles and aunties for so long, you don't really recall their last names or even their first names, since you are trained to just say "aiyi, hsuhsu" everytime you see them. when you are responsible for checking them in -- as we were -- you have to ask them for their last names and then you are shocked to discover that they have english names like tom and patty and bob.

the funnest part of these weddings is watching the adults dance, since any dance move done by anyone over the age of fifty is immediately "cute." they may be the most terrible dancers in the world but once a fifty year old shakes their booty everyone laughs and says "haha, so funny!" and then at our family friends' weddings there is always this one couple who likes to show everybody up by busting out their classically trained ballroom moves. i can see the other couples wishing that they could dance like that. at this particular wedding the couple started dancing before the food was served and even before the newlyweds hit the dance floor. i thought that was kind of wrong.

i think snide comments at weddings should be outlawed since it's such a joyous occassion but sometimes people's outfits just need to be commented upon. how about the girl wearing the short short salsa dress with her cleavage line down to her ribcage? that was a nice wedding outfit. the bride changed into a green queen amidala-like dress at one point. fashion forward i must say, if a bit strange. the groom was radiant in his white tux, and his new bofo super fob hairdo. something about white on white just screams "superstar." i would never want to wear a screaming outfit at my wedding though. i mean, isn't it enough to be screaming inside as you say "i do?"

and can we talk about the boringness that is ten random people sitting at a table? with the foreknowledge that you'll likely never ever see these people again? superficial talk abounds. food gets stuffed into mouth rather quickly. on top of this, i was seated between a guy and a girl who were trying to flirt with each other. so pretty much i was flirted across over and through. which is not an experience i'm unaccustomed to, i do go clubbing with hong and babbs after all, but it's still a bit uncomfortable. the food was excellent though, which is always cause for eternal celebration.

something about weddings strike me as so unglamorous. weddings are usually one of those events that are much prettier in pictures. much like celebrities. once you are actually at the wedding, it's hard to ignore the wind, the chill, the dead times, the groom running around trying to make everything go according to plan (where was j-lo when you needed her?). it just seems like another day in the life of. maybe this is because i'm not the one getting married but weddings tend to come off as more of a nice event as opposed to an EVENT. i guess the wedding scenes in movies have corrupted me. i expect blazing trumpets, throngs of admirers, a few elephants and lots of confetti. but our confetti was blown away by the wind and never really made it onto the happy couple. sad but true. and that rush into the waiting limo? very choreographed and staged. not spontaneous at all.

i equate going to a wedding like being on the set of a movie. it takes away from the whole glamour of the entire experience. the movie may turn out beautiful and the pictures from a wedding may be unforgettable but the experience itself is usually somewhat underwhelming.

i still await my first wedding where everybody gets trashed and people are bouncing off the walls in craziness. actually, the agustin wedding was kind of like that but i knew it was going to be spectacular fun since eric and anna are fun people. so does this mean that boring newlyweds correspond directly to boring weddings? i hope not. otherwise i may have alot more boring weddings in my future.

just kidding. more champagne please...

oh one more thing, i might have mentioned this before. the clinking on glasses trying to make them kiss thing? some traditions need to die. seriously.

Sunday, March 28  
2:17 PM : : time passes by as usual and... the setting: dimly lit restaurant, mood music in full swing, pasta hanging off a fork, goo goo eyes met with goo goo eyes.

"so, do you believe in evolution?"
"well, i thought you were going to say something else..."
"i will but answer this one question first, it's very important."
"ok, um, yes, i DO believe in evolution." *batting of eyes, licking of lips*
*slams down fork* "it's over baby, sorry. i'm a strict creationist, this will never work."
no wait wait, i think intelligent design is a possibility!?"

cut scene. is this how seriously you take the debate on evolution versus creationism? this is how serious it is isn't it? how we came to be can be a huge signifier of your belief system and eventual compatability with friends, family, and foes. we've all heard about the debates that rage non-stop about where we came from right? aliens. big bang. amoeba. god. a clockmaker. who was it? this fundamental question is being researched by the brightest of minds and the most dedicated of scientists.

evolution is so interesting. isn't it cool to look at a monkey and think "heehee, we used to be one of those, then we evolved!" or to look at an amphibian and say, "ew, gross, i'm so glad they evolved into cute land animals like dogs and cats so that i can own one in my home." everybody learns about kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus and species in biology and we're made to think that the whole world is nice and orderly. taxonomy explains everything!

creationism is also appealing in its own way. look at the world, isn't it amazingly complex? how could random bursts of natural selection create all of this? that's impossible. mathematically speaking it would take the smallest of infinite chances to create life on earth. i can't wrap my mind around it, there must be a creator because everything works together so damn well. and what about those gaps in the evolutionary chain? those are surefire signs that creationism is right and evolution is wrong.

and then the theory that combines them both: intelligent design. this is popular because it uses one of christina's "universal answers to all questions". answer number two specifically states: it's a combination of both. when in doubt about a question with two sides, use the "it's both" answer to come off as thought provoked and even-handed. works every time. "is it your fault or my fault? it's both." "do you think it's men or women who are responsible for sexism? it's both." see how that works? anyway, intelligent design seems to be the land bridge that connects creationism and evolution.

so now i ask, how much does this all matter? for me personally, i love evolution. love it. biological anthropology was the greatest class. me and greg used to sit around talking about it even though we didn't take it together. with titles like "the last ape" and "the first man", this class was riveting. but i asked greg once, "wait, you don't believe in natural selection or evolution (due to religious reasons), how can you be so into it?" the answer that i received was that evolution was a cool mechanism to think about and explore but that creationism was still his belief. which makes sense.

in contact the book, a particular scientist is asked (paraphrased) "how do you have belief in god and science at the same time?" the answer that was provided was approximately, "the further i explore and understand science, the more i believe in god." which i took to mean the more we find out about the complexity of the world, the more beautifully designed it seems. brilliant.

so i'm stuck. i would like to believe in evolution because i don't believe in creationism. maybe a bias since to me, creationism implies higher powers which implies the distinct possibility of god or some god-like creature. but evolution has it's flaws. how does natural selection explain the very beginnings of everything? you can't naturally select from nothing. so i'm a bit confused. and i don't know enough to decide either way and i don't want to say "it's both." so i will continue to wander the halls of natural history museums and drink in all that they show me about bird's wings and panda's thumbs and go "amazing isn't it? this evolution thing?"

alternately, i could be convinced of any theory under the sun by the appearance of powerful space aliens during my lifetime, at which point i'll spout whatever they want me to spout. but if the powerful space alien turns out to be a religious diety that already exists i may have to question their marketing plan. i would have trademarked and stamped each organism that i created, if only to have creative ownership of my work. this may explain the existence of butt dimples.

Friday, March 26  
10:52 AM : : throw him your panties. shut down the escalators. the star of the show has arrived. yesterday, i joined approximately two thousand people to watch the phenom that is william hung. first rumored to be performing at a chuck e cheese (tryout for his long term occupation perhaps?), he appeared via limo at the nearby mall. i was introduced to the william hung phenomenon only a month ago but since then i've been following his "career" very closely. so when the chance came to see him "perform" it was too good to pass up. this apparently was the mindset of many other san diegans.

heading to the show, we had some questions. "does he have security?" "how many songs will he sing?" "think we can get a picture?" "how many people will be there?" "is all this freeway traffic for william?" "do you think he feels used for being so bad he's good?" all these questions and more were answered, expect for maybe the last one. we arrived at the mall a little late but with much anticipation and dare i say, excitement? i envisioned a small gathering of maybe one hundred fans, something familiar to me, like when santa visits the mall. never in my wildest dreams could i have pictured the mob scene that was william hung day. i saw little kids -- singing "she bangs she bangs" over and over -- dragging mothers toward the mall doors. what in the name of weird looking asian dudes is going on here?

inside, the mall was packed. three stories of shopping extravaganza were packed with people, lined up at least ten deep. it felt like the coliseum on slave kill slave day. here was america's melting pot. men, women, and children of all sizes and ethnicities were pushing to the rails, just to get a glimpse of william. i'm proud to say that being somewhat taller, i was able to see the back of his head numerous times as we stood twenty feet away from the stage. the munchkin guild i went with (nancy, lilly, susie: all around five foot two) was not so fortunate. luckily, we secured a spot near the side of the stage so that they too could get a glimpse of william's captivating right side.

i've noticed that it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement when fans are screaming in your ear. i didn't even know that all i wanted to do was see his face, catch one awkward dance move, or maybe blow him a kiss, until i had this urge to suddenly do all these things. i mean, was that too much to ask? apparently it was, since we never got any closer to him than a cardboard cutout.

observing this absolute madness, i couldn't help but think that william was destined for a vh1 "i love 2004" three minute segment. someday people will mention him in the same breath as chia pets and say things like "yeah, he inspired me to be who i am today." alternately, someone should spoof the "i love the (insert decade)" series by doing a "i love the 20s" special. they can round up all the obscure comedians from the senior citizen home and set them to talking about flapping, prohibition and art deco. it would be a huge hit don't you think?

william did two songs. his infamous "she bangs" song and then he busted out "circle of life." i shit you not. i must stop here, there's too much to say and only pictures can do the experience justice. pictures of our personal william hung experience is forthcoming. be patient. stop pushing me from behind. thanks.

Wednesday, March 24  
4:46 PM : : delightfully tacky, yet unrefined. nokia's "lifeblog" promises to document your mobile life. nokia recently announced a new product that will be available with some of its upcoming handsets: the lifeblog. no less than an automatic diary, lifeblog-enabled nokia phones will systematically record your pictures and text messages and synchronize them with your pc when you're back home. the result: a digital diary you will look back years after thinking "oh, that's what i was doing at that time". lifeblog should be available by the end of the year but the bad news is nokia will charge for the pc software that goes with the phone, unlike other software like the free nokia pc suite.
-cellphones at

wow. a phone that blogs for you? that combines two of my technological passions (the other being flush toilets). wait, where will i fit in? have i just been cut out as the middle man? am i no longer the missing link between a life and a phone and a life and a blog? man. i feel empty. am i just a person pretending i have a blog pretending i have a life? am i just a blog dreaming of free night time minutes? what? i feel lost. if you were to query the free world about three things associated with jon you might get "cell phone, blog, (insert something meaningful)." if they start mashing everything together i might disappear altogether.

stop the cheering. it's not nice.

but the time of the lifeblog has not yet arrived so i can still pretend to be master of my universe. however, my beloved cell phone is dying. it has served me well. weathered the storm through many hours of pointless conversation, saved me from surefire social death, acted as a conversation piece in times of distress, given me no insight into my minute usage (thus leading to outrageous phone bills), it has done everything i've asked of it and more. it has been dropped once or twice and the proud warrior now sports a crack along one side. well actually, the crack is just on the casing but what is a phone with no casing?

in fact, that's the entire reason i have stuck by nokia's side. customizable casings. i could care less about reception, battery life, phone dimensions, special features, ease of use. i just want to know what kind of pretty accessories i can dress my cellphone up with. currently (and for the last three years) i have a blue and white case with hawaiian flowers. some have deemed it ugly and "gay." i have used it as a touchstone to my californian roots. people laugh, i call for backup. and then i try to ignore them as i check voicemail. yeah, i got you punks. i can find solace in automated female voices. don't ever make fun of my phone again.

but every spring must have its winter and every summer must have its autumn, and every march its december and sometimes the snow comes down in june and sometimes the sun goes round the moon and sometimes it's all a big surprise. this song should really be a performance piece don't you think? it's so poetically....poetical. anyway, my phone is dying and nobody else has left over batteries from their old phones to support it. i've been extending my phone's life (and saving some bucks) by asking people for their old nokia batteries. that type of charity from friends could only last so long. i was so naive. uncaring bastards. you made my phone die. anyway, i can't speak on my phone for longer than five minutes before it starts to beep low battery and i have to say "look, i gotta go, my battery is dying." surprisingly, this is a useful feature but there are actually times i'd like to be on the phone for longer than five minutes. so, instead of buying yet another battery (now on ebay for five dollars, direct from hong kong), i will buy a new phone. or actually buy a new phone then send in the rebate, making a cool one cent in profit. rebates are great, unless you forget to send them in. which i think, is the point of a rebate as opposed to a straight up discount.

i almost went with a non-nokia phone. the prices and designs of other phones were so attractive. cobalt blue almost got me. but then i thought "what if tomorrow i don't want cobalt blue? i can't change it!" not that i've ever changed my nokia faceplate more than once or twice, but the point is, i could if i wanted to. freedom of choice doesn't mean you have to use it. you are free to own a gun, you don't have to shoot. confucius say.

i was tempted to shell out big bucks (anything more than fifty dollars is big bucks) for a hiptop messaging one but then it occured to me, "who would i message with my hiptop?" especially since soon they can just read about my phone's exploits via the internet? so i scrapped that plan. this is so sad, i can't even remember or find a picture of my old phone to show you, is it outdated even on the internet? but here (click on "blue urban") is the cover i want to buy for my new nokia 3595. actually, just kidding. although i like the orange but not the glow in the dark. my tastes have evolved, three years ago a glow in the dark phone was all i wanted. now i just want something that looks ugly. or i guess i could continue with the hawaiian flower theme. but now that i'm actually in california, that's kind of pointless. i feel like camouflage is in, with war going on and all. or is that just tacky?

it's stuff like this that makes me toss and turn at night. you too right?

my soon to be retired phone has been with me since august of 2000. that's a long time in cell phone years. the company that i got the phone and service from was crushed beneath the rubble of the world trade center. i lost my security deposit. i'm still bitter about that. but i guess i can't be too bitter right? after all, i'm sure the loss of their business was probably greater than my miniscule monetary loss. big picture, gotta keep that in mind.

Tuesday, March 23  
10:31 AM : : if a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. if he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)

is this what they mean by "waiting for the other shoe to drop?" there must be some correlation. must be.

Monday, March 22  
2:58 PM : : (f)hug me! (f)hug you! some people are not touchy people. i, for one, need some personal space. people lean in, i lean out. people get too close, i look for nearby open windows. close talkers intimidate me, but that's a different story. this story is about huggy versus non-huggy people. i have not met a whole lot of non-huggy people in my life but when i did/do, it was a "wow, weird." now, i am not talking about the quality of hugs, since that is a very personal preference. but rather, which people are open to hugs and which are not.

for me, hugging is a pretty routine natural part of a greeting or goodbye. see a friend, hug. say bye to a friend, hug. it gets a bit ridiculous sometimes, especially with the michigan people, when you realize that you have given them three welcome/good bye hugs in the span of six hours. but hey, excessive hugging never hurt anybody. after an evening of hanging out, hugs all around as you say your good nights. even to people you just met. i know, this weirds some people out, since they seem to say "well, i don't know them, do i hug or not?" most times, it's a group thing, if everyone is hugging good byes you might have no choice but to engage in it. the horror. call it peer pressure hugging.

but there are some people who just give off the "touch me and we go to defcon one" vibe. the very first time i can recall this happening was with these two girls we'd just started hanging out with. as we stood in the parking lot of a diner getting ready to leave --everybody standing in a nice neat row like good little children -- they gave off the "don't hug me" vibe. so i didn't. and to this day, the precedent has been set, i pause before hugging them, or don't hug them at all. this has happened with a few other friends too. i've even had one friend write me stating that "i think it's time, we can hug now." with her, i know physicality is an issue so i always made it a point just to say a verbal good bye and wave politely. but apparently now we can hug.

some people are big huggers. they hug everybody. i wonder if anybody is ever violated by that. big huggers. are they just so brave that they barge on despite the no hugging barrier? or are they just not aware of it? i'll have to ask a local big hugger to find out. who is the biggest hugger you know?

note that this problem also applies to guy on guy good byes. while most guys don't hug goodbye, there is some thought that must go into "should i slap hands goodbye or give him the hand clasp, half hug thing." this is just as difficult a decision as the hugging one. i guess the hand clasp, half hug thing is a gesture of warmness. after all, i wouldn't do that with just any random guy. the half and half is reserved only for people who are your friends. is this the way hugs are too? or are hugs more universal? i must know.

with certain people, who are only one degree separated away from being strangers, a hug is almost required. yesterday for example, we saw our friend and his girlfriend. he got the half and half, she got a hug. automatic. we've met her a few times, we couldn't even really remember her name, i've personally maybe said three sentences to her in my life, but a hug was in order. maybe because we knew her boyfriend? or because we hugged her last time? how you exit last time is how you greet them the next time? is there a rule i'm missing out on? i don't know. but i felt more comfortable saying a hug hi and goodbye with her than with some of my other friends i've known for years. weird how it all works eh?

go hug someone today and tell me how it works out.

Saturday, March 20  
11:10 PM : : the first rule of tickle club is: you will not tell girls. it's embarassing. there was some slapping, there the threat of a punching, there was actual punching, there was lots of tickling, and in the end, ameer ended up with a black eye. courtesy of your favorite five foot five pugilist, dave son. in all fairness to ameer's fighting prowess, gene's hand is all swollen, the important right strumming hand is banged up. note that these festivities were conducted under the cover of night, when most everybody in the house was already asleep. apparently a tickle nancy session turned into a punch each other silly session. neither combatant remembers the fight. and that was the capper on another night downtown.

in the hours before our group excursion out, me babbs and randall went to visit unun boutique, run by one of babb's friends. you walk in and think "oh, soho." the place looks like it belongs in new york, or at least pb, but not in downtown. the clothes are pretty cool and the items they carry are meant to appeal to a certain higher end clientele. the idea behind the shop is that "troubled" kids come to work there during the day and learn the ins and outs of the retail experience. a portion of proceeds goes back to funding the kid shelter across the street. pretty neat. babbs rocked their "hip hop is dead" t-shirt while onstage with gene for his friday night concert. the concert went well, the new fans (not associated with us) are showing up by the handful. it's growing.

before you go out for a night time clubbing experience (as opposed to a day time one), there's always this sense of "how will it be?" will there be dancing? good music? fun? will people have a good time? i've learned to just let things ride and if it works out, it works out. if it bombs like it sometimes does, then you go home early. babbs said he'd been disappointed some in his last few excursions out and that he really hoped tonight would be a good time. and so it was. a good time. short of hooking up (i assume this is fun, i don't know first hand), the "fun" of going out really derives from the stories you can share afterwards, whether it be about stupid human antics or funny "trying to get game on" antics.

all i know from the night out was that both jimmy and ameer were thrown out. and that gene was dancing his little ass off, and he can't really remember it. and mostly everybody seemed to have a sustained moment of fun. however you define fun. if it means slapping each other silly and then getting free drinks from the bartender, so be it.

oh, and about hooters. does anyone else feel uncomfortable? like they don't know where to look? like i know you are supposed to stare but then it's like "man, this is wrong." i prefer to stare out of the corner of my eye. it's a little less obvious if a lot less effective. being in hooters just makes me uncomfortable.

Thursday, March 18  
2:53 PM : : look at this stuff, isn't it neat? wouldn't you say.....don't make me sing it. mark cuban, owner of the dallas mavericks, has a blog. and not only is it a blog, he says that he "rather than providing any commentary or quotes to (reporters) on this matter, or on any upcoming matters, i (will) be posting whatever i (have) to say on my blog." how cool is that? mark cuban is a billionaire and ahead of the technological curve in many ways. and here he is endorsing blogs! his blog is part of a blog network that "is dedicated to creating trade weblogs (aka “blogs”) across niche industries in which user participation is an essential component of the resulting product." i think they are just starting to get off the ground but they have some cool official and unofficial blog sites. one of which, apple, is very very informative. i was hoping to purchase an ipod in the near future but due to information gleaned from this site, i'm probably gonna hold out for an ipod version four point oh, which will be released later this year. an apple is making a spoken interface. yeah, get geeked.

i am in the elite percentage of humans who blog regularly. i knew i was special. go me.

the nba has a "blog squad" composed of analysts, commentators and former players. it's awesome. and my new favorite blog is margaret cho's. she's a comedian of course, but she's so much more than that. she's quite the writer and her commentary on life and the world is outright hilarious. plus she's a huge fan of hip hop. who knew?

this article on the religious right can't be passed up. neither can this one, comparing elves and dwarves and ninjas and pirates, it's got geek written all over it. and this one about moral nihilism is interesting. and for more entertainment, have a free comic strip sent to your inbox daily. i would personally take calvin and hobbes, especially since people have taken the time to break the whole thing down. i've also been faithfully following the capitalistic adventures of julian dibbell, who is trying to make a living by participating in the virtual economy of a video game. intense.

i've been recently thinking that i must get a flash memory usb drive. one for my pocket. maybe two since they are so cheap now. think about how cool it would be to go to people's houses (not that i go to other people's houses) and just plug in and upload/download pictures and music. with a 64MB flash memory card i could bring twenty songs with me to share with others. it's easier and more exciting than burning CDs. i'm gonna go buy one this weekend. maybe i'll pick up the swiss army knife with the built in usb flash memory. yup, then i would be cool.

while reading a magazine the other day, i was fooled by an ad that had a giant picture of a gold watch with no face except a gigantic diamond. the ad copy said this: "goldex. look ma, no hands. the 154-carat goldex. for the gentleman too wealthy to give a crap what time it is. to be the king of bling, ring 212-555-6179." stupid me was actually thinking "this product is ridiculous! who would buy this? how much does it cost?" then i clicked on the link and felt stupid.

and speaking of stupid. bill gates is an advocate of a one cent stamp for sending emails. supposedly used to curtail spammers, this tax would make us pay for each email we send. assuming i send one hundred emails a week -- long, short, forwards, one liners, mass, crap, pseudo aiming -- that would be fifty bucks a year for something that should be free. email is like air man, i need it to survive and i don't feel like i should have to pay for it. do you agree?

lastly, this lady gets paid to go to celebrity parties, pick up gossip and then blog. what the heck? then again, i sort of get paid to blog. but it's not the same and you and i both know it.

Wednesday, March 17  
4:47 PM : : "it has come to our attention that a mysterious force is loose...somewhere in outer space."
"the mysteries of creation are there."
"up in the sky?" "up in the sky."
"the moon and the planets are there. and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. and therefore as we set sail; we ask god's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure of which man has ever embarked."
-inspectah deck and john f kennedy, above the clouds-

you see the universe which consists of the sun moon and star. and them planets that exist in my space. i love john f kennedy. i was obsessed with him in my formative years. i read every book i could get on him. some combination of his dashing good looks and his family being dubbed the "camelot of america" intrigued me. natch on the dashing good looks part. i am shameful to admit that i have seen neither oliver stone's jfk nor thirteen days -- two movies about mr kennedy. i will have to go rent those and watch'em. the whole kennedy family story is a modern day shakespearean epic. john being assasinated, bobby getting assasinated, ted doing whatever the heck he did, john jr starting a fancy schmancy political magazine and then disappearing into the bermuda triangle. jackie marrying to acquire that "o." all shocking stuff. all the stuff of legend. i used to read the gripping account of jfk's pt 109 story (now a gi joe) and thought that here, here was a hero. plus he had an affair with marilyn monroe. c'mon now. is this guy not great?

john was the first "television" president. john was the first catholic president. one of john's legacies is the space program, the zenith of which was the possibly fake moon landing. john was also polled as one of the most overrated presidents but screw the pollsters, what do they know? isn't it weird how i'm referring to him as john? when in fact all his close friends really called him jack? yes, i know this stuff. i'm not messing around. i was also similarly obsessed with all things benjamin franklin but that's another story for another time.

so why this jfk talk now? because the scientists have possibly discovered a tenth planet. yes people, a tenth planet. this is huge. well, not as huge as discovering a real live loch ness monster but still huge. when i read talk of a new planet, i thought, "wow, space is cool." and then i thought, hum, the lyrics from gangstarr and ghostface killah have things about planets and stars in them, i'll have to include that. then i thought, oh, the beginning of "above the clouds" from gangstarr has a jfk snippet. and then i arrived at my fond memories of jfk. see how my mind works? step by step, all the time. yours probably functions that way too, if you bothered to try. anyway.

the discovery of a possible tenth planet proves yet again that we know nothing. as technology advances, our whole concept of the world, how it works, and our place in it will change accordingly. so those people who think they/we know it all and who think that things should be closed and shut, they are all wrong. all of the knowledge we take for granted now could someday be revealed as fallacy. centuries ago we thought the earth was flat. centuries ago the sun was thought to revolve around the earth. we must be open to reinterpretation of our facts, while using all possible skepticism in not accepting any one truth. on a side note, it's no coincidence that religion was the last to accept the idea of the sun as the center of our galaxy -- going so far as to threaten jailing an aged galileo and banning the books of copernicus. skepticism is a powerful ally in the search for truth. i didn't get that line from a fortune cookie, really.

and the people who were outraged over the possible demotion of pluto as a planet are wrong. it doesn't matter how many planets we "traditionally" have. if pluto is a planet, it's a planet, if not, then we have eight. big deal. we have to keep our heads up and let new information change old facts. don't let tradition dictate what you think you know. just know.

tradition can sometimes be hella wack. jfk blown away, what more do i have to say

Tuesday, March 16  
4:02 PM : : glossary. in high school i had two good friends, justin and shane, who were on their own planet. i was not the lightbulb, i was just a hang-er on-er. they had codewords and acryonyms for everything. i was not privy to the meanings of many of them but the ones i do know were kind of gross. for example. "lmlyma" meant "lick my labia yelled mrs alexander." mrs alexander (name changed to protect the innocent) was a teacher at my school, english i believe. yeah, it was weird. the one thing that i was always dying to find out the definition for was "newht." this was their favorite word and justin even got it on his license plate. for many years i tried to divine the meaning behind this cryptic acronym but i never could. and now we are no longer friends or in contact. i may have to go to my ten year high school reunion just to ask him what the hell "newht" meant. anyway, some useful words and phrases that i/we have been using. with definitions and explanations.

fort knox of secrets. the self proclaimed fort knox of secrets is lynn chen. see, fort knox is highly secure, and so are secrets with lynn. or so she says anyway. to her credit, there have been no reported incidences of security breaches, so her title remains intact. this phrase can be adapted for your own personal level of secrets security. or for adding your own flair to the description. for example, you might want to be the vegas or the bellagio of secrets, instead of fort knox. or maybe you are the washington mutual of secrets -- free checking and no withdrawal fees. people with loose lips might be the seven eleven of secrets -- conveniently open for secrets purchasing at all times. i personally strive to be the salvation army of secrets -- i take everything on the cheap and mark up for the customer, all while under the pretense of helping others.

not a musketeer. the musketeer rallying cry is "all for one and one for all." a person labeled as not a musketeer is precisely that, not all for one and one for all. they may front and pretend to be for the group but when it comes right down to it, they do their own thing. this is more popularly known as the lone wolf syndrome. not a musketeer people will ditch the group at their convenience and will often be missing at events that they should be at. an easy example of a non-musketeer move would be for someone to move in on their friend's ex. exes should be off limits or only approachable when given the go ahead. anyone who crosses that line is not a musketeer. please note that non-musketeers are not tools nor bitches, although they can be both or all three. girls and guys are both equally capable of being labeled "not a musketeer."

draw the horse. a story to illustrate. three years ago, christmas time, we were all sitting around in my living room playing win, lose or draw. it was quickly discovered that george could not draw animals. any animal given to her inevitably came out looking like a horse. dogs, cats, sheep, cows, chickens, octupuses, everytime she put pen to paper she created a horse-like creature. this soon led to a losing position for her team. soon afterward, her team had to adopt the strategy of drawing a horse to confuse the other team. if anyone drew a horse, it meant that the guesses were nowhere close and to give up and not give the other team an advantage. so thus, to "draw the horse" is to "abort the mission." applicable in all situations.

peanut, coconut, pistachio nut, white pistachio nut, macadamian nut...... another abort code. when a group talk veers toward an unfriendly topic or line of questioning --say, when calling someone a tool when their cousin is sitting right there. hypothetical situation, of course. -- someone must call out the name of a nut. or if you are like fob jimmy, you can scream out "planters," which is a nut brand. anyway, by inserting a nut reference cleverly into the conversation, those in the know will know that the topic needs to be lightly steered towards a more palatable subject. brilliant. do you see why we are destined to become rich men? the nut reference is to a deleted scene in "best in show." if you've seen it, you'll know what we're talking about. and since you all now know our abort code, we may have to go to the secondary protocol, which i cannot reveal here.

cuddle raped. the action of being cuddled against your will. usually from behind and when you are asleep. many definitions can be created by adding "cuddle" in front of a common word. examples: cuddle whore, cuddle bitch. this is almost as fun as adding "in bed" after fortune cookies, but clearly not as cliche.

like ho. a description for someone who crushes and likes easily. instead of engaging in actual relationships and being one of those people, a like ho just likes people left and right, one after the other. no explanations really needed here. we all know who the like hoes are.

one hot minute. one unit of babbs standard time. it could range from one actual minute to three days from now. typically used in a phrase such as "i'll catch up with you guys in one hot minute." meaning "i don't know when i'll be there, but i'll definitely be there." he hasn't used this phrase in awhile but it's still funny.

hardcore. an e agustin original. anything played "hardcore" meant it was taken to the next level. getting hardcore meant getting your head pummelled with pillows while engaging in an activity. i hope i have this definition correct because i've never actually seen or participated in anything hardcore.

moltisanti. similar to "not a musketeer." christopher moltisanti is the character on the sopranos who is always doing things that go against the party line. like robbing uncle junior's trucks and getting tony in trouble. so, to pull a moltisanti is to pull a bonehead move that clearly brings your loyalty into question. so, a moltisanti move verges on the slightly traitorous. this is not usually a permanent title but used in case by case situations. "is so-and-so a moltisanti? was that a moltisanti?"

what's really good. sam introduced this one to my world. in fact, nobody else i know uses this. it's apparently a greeting used by hip hop people. a cam'ron song i believe? i have no clue. it sounds normal coming from sam but anyone else, it's just "hunh?" i've heard some people say "i have no idea what that means, what's really good?" mass confusion abounds. so even though this definition is available elsewhere, i must include it here since it has personal relevance. for the record, sam is the king of catch phrases and words. the undisputed king.

best comment overheard at gene's show last night: that guy's gonna get laid tonight because of gene. actually, it wasn't overheard, christina said it to me, but it sounds stylistically correct to say "overheard." anyhow, that's how good he was last night (show this friday @ twiggs, come on down!). the girl was gaga over gene's soothing voice and her head was leaning provocatively on her boyfriend's shoulder. go dave's son.

Monday, March 15  
12:08 PM : : gossip folks. there's a thin red line between talking about someone and gossiping. where is that line exactly? gossiping, it's such a bad thing. people are always like "i hate gossiping." but really, it's not so bad. entire civilizations -- or at least elementary school cliques -- have remained in power because of gossip. talking is one of our (humans) greatest biological advantages. the sharing of information has been key to our survival. for example, "i heard the king is going insane and is unfit to rule, let's start a coup." or "i heard romeo and juliet got married, let's go kill each other." people who stay in touch with gossip are informed and entertaining. entire industries have sprung up around the gossip that surrounds our celebrities but somehow that type of gossip is okay. because if you're gonna be in the public eye, you have to bear the weight of gossip.

the definition of gossip is: rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature. that pretty much covers it. gossip is personal stuff. stuff that a person probably doesn't want others to know. but then again, what do we ever want anyone to know? especially strangers? i make the distinction between gossip and information at whether or not the person i'm addressing knows the gossipee. if the person doesn't know whom i'm talking about, i feel like i'm just relating a story. if they do know, then i'm gossiping. i'm a bit surprised that the phrase "possibly untrue" or something similar doesn't appear in the definition of gossip. the word has such a bad connotation that you would assume it would mean "spreading false stories" or something like that, at least as an alternate definition.

it's interesting that gossip can be defined as: a close friend or companion. which leads me to logically conclude that among a group of close friends and companions, gossip is part of the glue that holds everyone together. and if that is the case, i've got the closest group of friends ever to grace the planet. through the power of aim and inquisitive minds, no stone is unturned when vital information is being doled out to the populace. sometimes you can actually hear the sound barrier being broken as news travels at supersonic speeds from coast to coast. or county to county, depending on which group of friends you are in my life. "dude, so and so got fired, but she's going to go to law school." "blank and blank finally hooked up." "i think he saw her again last night." "they broke up." no way. way.

sometimes you can get the news back full circle faster than you can spread it yourself. with a good gossiping network there is no need for mass e-mails. for example, i would say the news of anna and eric's upcoming baby broke all records for dissemination of information. i went to bed hearing about the news and was ready to spread the joy in the morning, only to be bombarded by "they're having a baby" messages popping up on my screen. i felt like a lazy journalist who had been out-scooped.

there must be some law, similar to einstein's theory of relativity, about the speed of gossip. something like the closer you are to the source, the slower time gets or something. although it would probably work in reverse. the equation for the theory of relative gossiping would probably be g = jr^2. with the (j) being defined as "juicy" and (r) defined as "relevant." so if some gossip is particularly juicy and relevant, it will be spread at speeds approaching or surpassing lightspeed -- warp speed if you will. with gossip, unlike theoretical time travel, we can sometimes predict and see the future. it's powerful stuff, gossip. i wonder if bad gossip spreads faster than good gossip. or if they are equal. i guess that would be the juicy coefficient. but does bad news travel slower than good news? since you might not define either as being particularly juicy? someone must give me a grant to study gossip. then i will have purpose, and that is so much better than having a life.

some people abhor being the object of gossip. these people are probably hypocrites, just so you know. i feel like if you want to know gossip, you must be ready to deal with being gossiped about. it's a double edged sword, you can't wield gossip and not have it come back to hurt you in the long run. but if you are willing to be "out of the loop" then you should be given the right to not be gossiped about. do unto others as you would have them do unto you. some people are gossip stoppers, as in information hits them and they just chew and chew but never regurgitate it back out. these people are the weak links in the gossip chain, they must be eliminated. we must be open and treat our enemies like our friends. look it up, it's in the bible. since we must gossip about our friends (as proved above by dictionary definition), we must also gossip about our enemies. so gossip on people. there is no gossip guilt that cannot be absolved later. god is all forgiving; humans are forgetful and mortal. there are no eternal consequences to gossiping.

you ask, "brother jon, how is it you know so much about gossip?" well, for many years i lived with the original gossip queen -- you down with o-g-q? yeah you know who! she likes to know everything about everybody. even people she's met for three seconds. she likes to know everything that was ever said about her, no matter how minute. she roots for gossip like pigs root for truffles. if there is gossip she wants to hear about it. know this, she is a gossip monger and she's not afraid to ask you for yours. this is how i know so much about gossip. i have been trained by the best. don't worry, your secret is safe with us. i mean me. your secret is safe with me.

izzy kizzy lizzy go, musi ques, i sews on bews, i pues a twos on que zat, pue zoo, my kizzer...

Sunday, March 14  
8:35 PM : : don't play dumb. we're better at it then you. since the 1950s, the american teenager has enjoyed more affluence, mobility and freedom than any other youth group in the world. yet look at american teen movies - from james dean's anguished "you're tearing me apart!" in rebel without a cause (1955) to john hughes's the breakfast club (1985), where one troubled teenager asks, "my god, are we going to be like our parents?" - and what do you see? a colourful and cacophonous parade of alienated outsiders, suicides, depressives, killers, spoilt brats, slackers, dopers, delinquents, generation x whiners and self-aggrandising losers. that golden age, when the pursuit of unhappiness was the patriotic duty of every young american, is now gone. in the mid-1990s, american teens decided that alienation and angst were the vaudeville and burlesque of the soul, something too out of date to do, and reclaimed their right to party.
-cosmo landesman-

Thursday, March 11  
4:53 PM : : who are you?! in an aim converation (is there any other kind?), i was asked: how often do you really try to understand who a person is instead of just trying to know them enough to predict their actions? e-mails with different folks this week have also revolved around this topic. the understanding, knowledge, closeness between friends topic. i will today, for my fourth grade speech, be addressing, "how to understand people."

i think the key to understanding people is to get at their insecurities. once you figure those out, you will have a logical fool-proof guide to their individual madness. we are all creatures of reaction. how much we react and how well we respond to insecurities shape who we are today. i have put this theory to the test and it has, for the most part, produced stunning results. it's almost astonishing how easy it is to trace a present action to an active insecurity. heck, it's simple to trace most actions to any past or present insecurity. this theory does have the flaw of assuming that everything that happens is caused by an insecurity, but since we are weak willed, pre-destined children of god, i see this as a minor flaw and easily dismissed. my critics might argue but my critics are for the most part feeble minded and surely destined to rest for eternity in limbo.

on the flip side, sometimes people feel like they understand you because they can predict every action. that's not understanding, that's just knowing. like you know what they are like in any given situation, but you don't necessarily know why they do what to they do. and neither do you understand. despite whatever your own way of doing things, some people just can't understand what makes others tick. i take some measure of pride in thinking that i am tolerant of anybody's ticking, even if it's totally different than mine. so that leads me to the, possibly false, belief that i understand people. but as we all know, nodding your head and smiling is not the same as fully understanding. you can seem understanding or actually be understanding. differences abound. don't you love it when things get all semantical? do you like? like like? love? in love? in love with? like like like? shut up already. for reals.

but no. semantics is my nation, where i reside. each word must be carefully placed in order to get the correct meaning across. if i did not believe this then why would i bother? ironically i'm terrible at conveying exactly what i'm trying to get across without using word diagrams and long roundabout explanations. pleonasm i believe it's called. that was the word of the day for me a few days back. i've used it successfully in a sentence, so now i own it like i own sub five footers on the basketball court. which would be very very occassionally. elementary school kids got game man, they got game.

a popular parlour question is to ask "how well do you know me?" the best way to respond i feel, is in percentages. the safe response is to say, "i know you about sixty five percent." this indicates that you know them better than the average but there's still a whole area of mystery. someone you really understand you might jack up to eighty percent. and that might be cause for celebration. but i think most people know their friends in the low seventies percentile. so is that enough to understand your friends? are they even related? knowing a percentage of somebody and understanding them? i can know somebody really freakin well but understand nothing. so from now on i will answer with two percentages when asked this "how well do you know me" question. the number preceding the slash will be how much i know you. the number after the slash will be how well i understand you. so for example. 25 / 60. meaning i understand 60% of the 25% i know you. man, math and friendships are so complicated.

Wednesday, March 10  
4:52 PM : : flair. i think a sign of the personal apocalypse for me will be when i decide to replace my fake cubic zirconia earrings with real diamonds that cost hundreds, possibly thousands, of dollars. on one hand such a purchase would signal that i "made it." but on the other hand, it would mean that i care too much about what goes into my ears (right now just lots of gossip and droning crap). i hope that even when i become a multi-millionaire pop icon, i will still shop at claire's and mall vendors for my ear jewelry. there are many improbable and disgusting things just said in that last sentence. some of them are life goals and some of which are actual current life realities. you figure out which is which.

but if diamond earrings were given to me, i might have to wear them out of respect for the giver. i would wear them not because i'd want to have diamond earrings but just because they were a gift. this rule of thumb does not apply to ugly gifts that are potentially wearable but not really fashion forward. like peta-approved beanie baby neck wraps. i cannot commit to wearing all gifts upon my body, it's just too dangerous.

i do expect everyone to wear dave's son buttons though. regardless of how well it does or does not go with your outfit. as if dave's son buttons wouldn't go with your outfit in the first place. please. martha is going to jail for bad taste, do you really want to join her?

Tuesday, March 9  
4:58 PM : : your own worst enemy. there's bad breath and then there's bad breath. take kimchee breath for example. that's pretty funking bad. top five worst breaths? in no particular order. kimchee, onion (greek/mexican food), garlic, smoking, morning. no gum can combat some of these breaths. it's just too powerful. drag-on indeed. and that taste that just comes back to you hour after hour? like some vengeful volcano? man. they need to invent stronger gum.

tangent: i'm never sure whether or not to put the "g" onto words like "funking", since i don't want to seem like i'm trying to be funkin' but then again, funking looks wrong. this is quite a problem since many words have this ' or g problem. usually i just go with the g to you know, keep it real. but sometimes the ' is so much more fitting. see, right there, i could of used a '. but i didn't. self restraint. it's a blessing.

there comes to be a certain point, when our conception of the world has been proved sufficiently wrong that you have to question if it is truly "me and not you." as in, maybe it is you who are wrong, and not them. i think the late teens and the early twenties should be used for figuring out how things work. but once you have an intial hypothesis, the testing phase can vary. for me, i'm still undergoing the testing phase, the practicality phase. how much do these things that i think apply? so far the results are mixed. but imbued with youthful arrogance i feel like i am right. every single time. but at a certain point, there starts to be a creeping feeling.

it starts on the edges of your perception, as all creepy things do -- otherwise they wouldn't be creeping now would they? anyway. a few small instances show you that maybe your world isn't the right world. but you dismiss the nagging feeling. slowly but inevitably, you start to see that "hey, this is not working out, something must be wrong." at this stage you can either re-examine your hypothesis and adjust accordingly or push on. i have decided to push on in hopes that my gestation period is just a big longer than most. but i've decided that by a certain age, you have to admit to the idea that "hey, i might be the one that's wrong." i'm going to arbitrarily set this age at thirty. since thirty is the age when athletes and women and many famous people are deemed too "old." they no longer have the cachet of youth and the promise of potential. so i figure by setting the "you are wrong" age at thirty, it will contribute along with the normal thirtysomething stuff to induce an early mid-life crisis. just get that crap over with to rush toward sudden inexplicable death at sixty i say.

people really need to face the idea that "hey, it's me, not you." this would make it all a much better place. self analysis and introspection is really not about figuring yourself out. but rather figuring yourself out honestly. which can be very tough to do. we never want to be the ones at fault, we're trained to skirt responsibility. or i was anyway. i mean, there's a reason i'm the world record holder in the 1000-meter responsibility ducking. actually most people face up to the music. i just don't.

do you ever wonder if you are one of those people that everyone says "someone should just tell him this or that or this, since he has no clue about it. or seemingly no clue." that would be horrible wouldn't it? to be living on your own little planet and not knowing that you were perceived totally differently than how you perceived yourself? how much does that "aha" moment come as a shock? or as a hurt?

Monday, March 8  
3:52 PM : : parents just don't understand. or do they? it's so strange, to hang out with a normal interactive functional family. not to say that my family wasn't normal or anything. i don't want to go down the "we're dysfunctional" route since my family was pretty functional. but there is something very different between a family that has clear cut parent-child battle lines and just "people who happen to be related." in making a broad generalization, most asian children i know have experienced the same sort of family lives that i've known. parents as parents, not as friends. your dad was your dad and your mom was your mom. they were, for various parts of your childhood, your support, your motivation, your enemy, your wallet, your conscience, your parents. dad may have been slightly aloof and found it hard to ever say "i love you." and you can count the number of hugs you've received from him on one hand. mom was the caretaker who was nagging beyond belief. you almost never saw your parents exchange physical contact or god forbid, kiss. this wasn't my life exactly (i don't think my parents were terribly typical "asian" parents) but it's the stereotype of asian parents that rings true in conversation after conversation.

dinner time with the family was sitting around the table chit chatting about nothing. if there was even chit chat. we personally moved to dinner time in front of the tv a long time ago. talks with parents were always a form of fencing, with a strike strike parry parry routine. nobody felt like their parents understood them or got them. or they didn't bother to share things with their parents. the things that parents needed to know were "what i'm doing in life and what i need from them to achieve such things."

and then to take all that and sit with, or live with, another (presumably non-asian) family is almost an extreme form of culture shock. when i used to go to mike's house down the street, we took part in family dinners and board game nights and watched movies and talked about various topics that interested mike's parents. when jimmy came to visit me in england and stayed for a weekend with my family, the thing we commented on most was "wow, look, here's a real family." when we went to lilly's house yesterday, we were entranced by lilly's parents and we were marvelling at how she interacted with her parents. real conversation? jokes? stories? what's going on here? moms that are so cool you wish you could hang out with them daily? what is that?

i'm sure none of us would exchange our parents or our childhoods for anyone else's but it's so interesting to see a family that seems like a family. where the phone call from home isn't a warning bell and conversations concern more topics than just "how's school?" i wonder what kinds of effects this has on us, to have these asian parents who have this significant connection gap with their kids. i think this is something that the asian american culture bonds around, the idea of having parents who were very much separate from friends. maybe as i grow older i'll start to think of my mom as a friend instead of as mom, but that time isn't now or in the foreseeable future. it's just shocking to see and interact with parents who don't vibe off like parents.

Friday, March 5  
2:22 PM : : loud as hail. i cannot even listen to the music on the radio nowadays. many people say this, i know. but i'm getting so frustrated with it that i must speak my piece. music sucks. specifically rap sucks. i don't use the terms rap and hip hop interchangeably. rap is an element of hip hop, even though it is common to say "hip hop" when you mean rap. but for clarity, the state of rap music sucks. mainstream stuff anyway. before at least, mainstream rap was decent, it was money hos and cars but it was danceable money hos and cars. (i can't even define when "before" was) now whenever i feel adventurous and flip to a fm-station, all i hear are retreads or crap that sounds like boomp boomp boomp. i don't know who the rappers are, what the songs are, nothing. and i don't even care because it all sounds so bad. once in awhile a gem shines through but it's not often. looking for good stuff on mainstream "urban" radio is comparable to looking for paris hilton's chastity. it might take you awhile. not that i haven't been trying other plans of attack. i've been watching BET and direct effect to see if i'm just missing out on something. but clearly, i'm not. the videos are terribly boring nowadays now. at least puffy and biggie spent money on their videos and tried to make it interesting. now it's just breast boomp breast boomp booty booty breast. nasty.

question: what is the proper way to spell the plural of ho? hoes? or hos? both look wrong to me. is there an apostrophe somewhere? apparently i don't write out the word enough since i'm only questioning the spelling now. i must not be down anymore. where's my rap dictionary when i need one.

i'm wondering if i'm being passed by. am i at the (st)age where current music starts to lose its appeal and i can only talk about "the good old days?" i hope this isn't true. there is so much music out there to be discovered but maybe my jazzy hip hop niche, my epoch, is over. every musical era must pass, it is the way of the world i suppose. people do send me some cool stuff to listen to and i really like it but it's not the same. i'm four years deep into the two thousands wondering "where are the nineties?" it's so sad. but i feel like i just need to get my money together so i can purchase some good stuff, the stuff that you can't find on kazaa or at a sam goody's. because i have a whole list of albums/artists that i need to get to, but not enough cash flow to invest. i have to think of music not as a luxury but as a necessity -- which i do already but as more of an everyday monetary budgetting type necessity. after all, if music is food for the soul, why bother using caloric food to upkeep the body? especially since the body is only temporal and expiring daily.

last night the unofficial mayor of san diego returned. babbs and the longhairz collective performed at ucsd with the freedom writers. i won't even say anything about the show because undoubtedly it was good. people need to support this stuff. i say this knowing full well that i didn't drop any cash into the basket during the blanket song. hypocrite right? i mean, if you want to support, support them in any way possible, with claps and cheers and cash. artists need to eat too. but i'm not a clapping, cheering or cashing guy. but i do take and soak in the energy and the essence of the show, and for that, i should give something back. and maybe i do in a performer-crowd reaction way, but i'm thinking something more physical in nature. support your peeps, give bling when they sing, bark with your dawgs. a big dawg, hop on one leg, make a noise like an orangatuan...

i have to ask this question and leave it open ended. can you be hip hop if you are not hip hop? if you are not a part of any of the four elements, if you are not a participator in the traditions of hip hop, are you hip hop? or just an outsider and a perceiver? this really applies to anything. you are not a poet until you write, you are not a basketball player until you play. if you don't participate in hip hop, are you justified in calling yourself.....hip hop?

one other thing that stuck out to me yesterday. when two people, or a group of people, share in a common passing away of a friend or a loved one, a bond is formed that cannot be understood by outsiders. it's a bond that cannot be ignored, broken or sometimes, spoken of. it's a bond that cannot be intruded upon, even by others who have encountered their own personifications of death. that bond can only be shared and celebrated to outsiders but in that transition to sharing, only a very small measure of the pain and joy and struggle and love reflect outwards. and that is what i saw and took with me from last night.

Thursday, March 4  
4:51 PM : : scrimp and bullshit. one must question the veracity of online personality tests, or just personality tests in general. when we take these tests, many times, the results seem stunningly accurate. "wow, i can't believe they figured me out!" and then you forward the answers to everyone you know in an attempt to have yourself described back to you. "you are so this! but oh, not so this." i've witnessed this phenomenon personally, through taking many personality and psychology tests. stuff like "where's your inner player?" and "how much do you really want -it-?" -it- being a substitute for anything you could think of.

of course, let's not kid ourselves, personality tests are pretty general. when you break down all the people in the world into nine categories or four out of eight traits, something will inevitably strike home. but personality tests aren't like horoscopes -- trying to just give broad answers to broad questions. personality tests are meant to pinpoint exactly what you are like. so far i've found that the majority of personality tests get me at about an eighty percent level. sometimes more if i'm not lying to myself and others. this might make me pretty generic and easily categorized but it's an interesting observation.

now. to think about why this happens. see, we all have this image of ourselves. who we think we are and also who we want to be. i just might want to be that asshole who is the last man on earth, so i (sub)consciously skew my answers in that direction. no wonder the test results come out the way i expected it to. is anyone truly shocked by what the personality tests reveal? if you answer in a certain pattern, you will end up with a certain answer.

there is an interesting world of thought in-between what you are and what you present or want yourself to be. and it is this in-between area that can skew your personality quiz results. this coefficient i will call the "ego differential." i have no clue what differential means but i think it sounds right for our purposes. actually i have no idea what a coefficient is either but i'm trying to sound mathematical. anyway. this ego differential is the part of ourselves that makes us mold our answers to personality tests (and to strangerse and friends). if we want to seem wild and crazy, we will look at the ink blot and say "bazooka." if we perceive ourselves as more plain and down to earth, we might say "shoe horn." see how that works?

i'm willing to hypothesize that -- unless a test is designed poorly and too generally -- most people who take personality tests are only revealing who they want to be as opposed to who they actually are. gp, are you with me?

2:45 PM : : ouch. it's official, i am the last man on earth. an online quiz told me so. "sorry, but most women would rather see the human species wither to an end -- and therefore deny the most fundamental instinct that living creatures have -- than sleep with you." this description is not altogether shocking but it is surprising that an online test can determine figure me out so well. i mean, i would of thought that only friends and exes could call this type of stuff out. some of the names for the types at okcupid are straight up hilarious. hornivore? ghenghis khunt? the false messiah? billy goat? who got to name these things? i want that job.

i'm making everyone take the test just to hear the funny results. so if you're bored you might as well do it too. i feel like i've missed the boat on this okcupid thing since most people have already taken it. but if you drop me your results i will do my best to match you up with the type that is recommended for you. and if you object to your results, i would like to know why. most people i know have agreed with their types, which means this okcupid thing must be incredibly true. which means if it comes down to only me and meteors and an abundance of promiscuous women, the human race would have no chance. heck, forget the meteors, if it was only me and promiscuous women, the human race would still be lost. let us pray.

"we've learned the following: you don't think things through. you're haphazard. you're dangerous. you're somewhat inexperienced. to top things off, when you do find your way into a relationship, you tend to be a dick somewhere down the line and fuck it all up."

i would sue for personality plagiarism if i wasn't so darn impressed by its accuracy. libel libel! who the hell is behind this website? nostradamus?

Wednesday, March 3  
2:15 PM : : ryde or die. what up dawg? what up homie? that's my boy! hang on, let me call my peeps. something's wrong with all of the previous statements. i'll let you figure it out. actually, i'd rather just tell you. i object to the use of terms like homie, dawg, dog, boy, troupe, posse, cadre, crew, clique and especially, peeps. i ain't your peep. we ain't a circus troupe and you are hardly important enough to have a posse. why do i object to it when people use these words? because it never sounds right. it just doesn't. we didn't grow up with dogs, dawgs, peeps, crews or homies. it sounds like a damn pet shelter. we grew up in nice suburban places where we had peers and voting blocs.

so really is what i'm objecting to the suburban middle class use of these terms in definition of one's chosen friends and interwoven social circles? yes. that is precisely what i am objecting to.

i personally might use "my people" or "my constituents" but really only in jest. "let me poll my people and i'll get back to you." but this is used in jest and if you don't get it, well, too bad. but when people are seriously using things like, "yo, let me ask my def peeping doggy squad what we're doing tonight..." that's a no no. am i making assumptions based on the way you look and the minimal parts of your history that i can surmise? yes, probably. is that bad? yes, probably. but what did you want? unconditional love? look in aisle three next to the butter. i just think that there is no need to resort to using the slang of the day to describe your friends. what's wrong with just saying "my friends?" "he is very near and dear to my heart." okay, "dawg" may sound better (and cooler?), but it's just tacky.

i've sometimes resorted to agreeing that so-and-so is "my boy." just to make it easier. "are those your boys?" i might reply "yes they are" if i don't feel like getting into it. something about "boys" just bothers me. also, in the interest of staying equal, i'm not a big fan of "my girl" either. "daisy? that's my girl!" people have a tendency to say it with a little too much oomph for me. rolling it to sound most like "grrrl." it just kinda bothers me. just a little. i won't hate you if you do it but i will notice. and noticing is one fifth the battle.

having said all this, i do grant some exceptions. i like it when ryan aka hoodlum calls me "homie." because from him it sounds so right and it's a greeting as opposed to a classification. actually it's kinda both, but he's exceptional so thus granted an exception. and gene can call whomever he wants "dog." especially if he punctuates it with a smile and an arm swing motion -- as he is wont to do. the rest of you, nothing.

and oh. please don't use any racial slurs in greetings or in group classifications. nobody is anybody's n*gga. especially if you are one and a half generation chinese/taiwanese/korean. i don't care how much you listen to hip hop. actually i don't think any color should be using the n-word but that's a different story. let's all just get along and call each other by our proper names. great.

you gon' be here for a while, i'm gon' go call my crew. you go call your crew. we can rendezvous at the bar around two.

Tuesday, March 2  
11:46 AM : : fiesta, siesta, whatever. just get it over with. lunch time has gotten progressively worse as we've gotten older. remember in middle school when lunch was the time to run around the yard and engage in tether ball beat downs and pink elephant genocide? middle school lunches, when the best thing to do was to go to the cafeteria, grab your corn dog and creamed crap and swallow it down as fast as possible in order to hit the yard homie dork style? hell, lunch time was great even before middle school. in elementary school you were pretty much going home by lunch time. lunch was pretty decent during high school too. a nice extended break to chat with friends, play basketball, go to the taco bell or, if you were like me, play video games in the computer lab. and during college, lunch was a great optional meal of the day, the one available to you sometime between post getting up and pre getting dinner. although half the people i knew in college wouldn't have known where to find lunch if it was brought to their bedside table at noon, it was still an appreciated option. in college, "lunchtime" was synonymous with "start of classes." unless you were one of those crazy morning people. you know who you are.

but now that i work, lunches are just a burden. you get all hungry by eleven and look forward to this one hour break in which you have the chance to rush out to scavenge for food. you sit there at eleven fifty three, wondering if the boss will notice if you leave seven minutes early in order to get a parking spot at the food court. and then you stand in line with your business casual wondering what all these other business casually attired people do business casually. and then you get jealous of all the people attired in just plain casual, because obviously they are more comfortable than you are.

then you fork over your five dollars for the meal of the day, usually some fast food or seven eleven hot dog super combo. and then you try to eat everything at your desk to avoid co-workers and conversation, or maybe eat outside because it's nice and you've haven't seen sunlight all morning. and maybe, just maybe, you happened to bring along some fruit or some candy as a special treat for being such an industrious little worker bee. um. sugar never tasted better. you feel like you really really deserved to reward yourself with that candy. you feel on top of the world. like a new man. but then you have to go back to the office for another four hours of work. plus you will eventually have to fight or succumb to the dizzying effects of food coma.

what the hell.

doesn't this seem wrong? the whole monotony of lunch? in order to conserve money, most people bring or buy the same crap day after day. or maybe they'll mix it up on tuesdays for some variety. say, carl's jr instead of mcdonald's. whoop de fucking doo. i've worked out the numbers, the economics of lunch if you will. if i spend five dollars on lunch each day, that would be one hundred dollars per month. one hundred dollars -- roughly 5-7% of my income -- on eating while i'm supposedly making money! and i'm not paid for lunch! so each meal i buy at work i'm losing money! is this not an atrocity? do we need a referendum on this? a constitution? lunches should be free. sure in middle school and high school we had to pay for lunches, but that's because it was a fun time. lunch at work is not fun. it's a break from work so looking at it relatively, it's "fun", but really, it's not that much fun. the one hour time limit, the crowds, the m.s.g. saturated foods. it's all so wrong.

and is there nothing sadder than watching forty year old grown ass people eating the same lunches you were eating at the age of fifteen? one piece of fruit, one cold soggy sandwich, one juice box, and maybe a bag of chips. we're working for twenty years to achieve the same level of lunches that we had as teenagers? no way. i object. sure it conserves money to bring lunch to work and to bring leftovers but it's just sad man. very very sad. the only remedy to not having sad lunches is to be given large expense accounts to buy real meals with. but then real meals lead to food coma and extreme unproductivity. it's a no win situation.

this is why i choose to nap at lunch. because no other option makes any real sense. it's just depressing.

Monday, March 1  
4:05 PM : : is that enough flair? today i am taking a day off. a much deserved day off. i have "shut eye," the less contagious cousin to pink eye. it's an affliction of the central laziness system. very debilitating. many assorted michigan folk were in town this weekend and that tends to make for some long nights. not as long as previous long nights since people start passing out around midnight nowadays but still, long nights. there is no greater shame than realizing that half the crowd will be asleep by two. we used to stay up until dawn people! wha'happen? even putting on a late night movie is hardly an option now because nobody bothers to pretend that they'll stay awake. "let's just turn off the lights and go straight to sleep, why waste the electricity?" it's a blow to reckless all nighters.

eric and anna are here for the first stop on their "anna has two hearts" world tour. anna (and eric by association) is with child. with child. can this sort of craziness be explained? to the untrained eye and the naked mind, it seems like this version of anna is the exact same version of anna from before. but when you start to play soccer, the most important rule is "don't kick the ball hard at anna." (kick it hard at jon g instead -- he got pegged three times, once from behind by his own teammate. what a way to sacrifice for the team.) during game play i kind of, not really almost, slide tackled near/at anna. i felt so bad. luckily my soccer skills are about as impressive as my memory so there was no danger. but when you have the shot, you shouldn't always take it. don't be maverick man, don't do it. especially with pregnant friends around. see, what i should of done was pull a somersault galvez-style to totally avoid anna altogether. but i can't somersault worth shit. so i had to suffer from post-slide tackle stress. i'd like to say that from that point on my soccer aggressiveness was curbed (i blew many many open shots after that) but in reality i think i just sucked more apparently. soccer is incredibly fun with a bunch of friends though. everybody running up and down the field for no good reason is kind of excellent for extraneous humor.

oh, gene received his button machine. this is the picture of the buttons we went wild on. brooke burke, eat your heart out. you'll notice that none of these buttons have dave's son marketing tie-ins. this was because the button machine was used for non-sanctioned purposes. but now that the button making itch has been scratched (after i made like thirty buttons), we can return the button machine to it's original use; which is to make gene famous. man, buttons are cool. is there anything more appealing than looking at a nice neat collection of buttons? if girls came pre-packaged with buttons it would be game over. i almost had a religious experience on saturday night, with all those buttons laid out on the ground before me. the question now is "where to wear all these buttons?" one tip james picked up at the mall was to put a button on a wristband, thus going from trendy to ultra-trendy, nipping at the heels of "way too much."




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3.01 - ds concert
3.06 - i love u, change
3.12 - riverdance
3.17 - saint pat's
3.18 - macbeth
3.18 - the DVD
3.19 - randall visiting
3.19 - ds concert
3.25 - william hung
3.26 - comedy show
3.27 - david's wedding
3.27 - magpie opening
3.28 - house move-in

4.04 - gaga to hk
4.09 - ds concert
4.11 - easter
4.27 - lynn move to LA

5.10 - mother's day
5.14 - vegas
5.31 - memorial day

4.06 - justin c
4.11 - hana
4.16 - jenny y
4.21 - jon g
4.22 - gerald
4.23 - scott v
4.24 - ameer
4.25 - vivian c

5.11 - sam sneed
5.11 - vidya
5.11 - sabina
5.14 - stacey o
5.16 - mandisa
5.22 - mark
5.24 - sharon
5.26 - greg
5.28 - brian c
5.28 - hsing