Wednesday, June 30 3:56 PM :
: fu schnickens. do you think you are superior to all your friends? your first politically correct instinct might be to say "no way." but technically, most people do. or rather, some people do. why? because if you thought your friends were all superior to you, why would they have you hanging around? you may not be the smartest, the best looking, the most skilled, the most fun or the best athlete but chances are you are one of those things. if your friends were superior to you in every respect then you just become the leech, never contributing to anything except a warm body and large group discounts.
so if everyone thinks that they're superior to everyone else, how does a group of friends stay together? the answer is teamwork and individualized talents. our analogy is this. every super friend must think that they are the best super hero, that they are superior in their abilities and powers. you know superman thinks he's the shit. batman thinks he's better than superman. wonder woman knows she can do anything the men can do. the green lantern possesses the most powerful weapon in the universe -- except against the color yellow. heck, even hawkman and aquaman -- as weak as they are -- proved to be useful at times. and so this is how a group of ego tripping friends work, because there is little to no overlap of talents. do you think another sea creature controlling super hero would make it onto super friends? hell no, because that would be redundant. would they need another billionaire techy crime fighter? no way, batman would never vote him in.
and so, this is the way with friends.
if you were superior to somebody in every way, why would you even want to hang out with them? unless you were a coach or a mentor or given to wasting your time, what's the point? you can't learn anything from them, they aren't going to help you in anything, they can only make your life miserable. example: the wonder twins, totally useless except as comic relief and/or plot devices. one could even argue that the wonder twins were superior to all the other super friends for their comic relief so that they were allowed to hang around. but i won't argue that. there is a word for folk like the wonder twins: extraneous. if somebody doesn't have any added value, why let them be part of your team right? right.
on the flip side, hanging out with someone superior to you in all respects must be killer too. sure you get to name drop and be in the backgrounds of photos but aside from that your sense of self worth must be torn to bits. "anything i can do, he can do better." one way to prevent this type of apocalyptic ego drop is to carve out a niche for yourself or to convince yourself that you are indeed better than all your friends at something. "hey look! my egg hard boiled in eight minutes! that's faster than you hard boiled your egg! i'm the king of egg boiling! woohoo!" this is why guys are competing all the time, to establish dominance and rankings for every activity.
Tuesday, June 29 9:09 PM :
: man overboard. so real world san diego is winding down. i vowed to watch it religiously but social obligations took me away and in truth, there wasn't anything all that exciting about this year's cast. sure it started off kind of promising. frankie was a walking ad for hello kitty and had the damnest style of all time. the cast seemed to be chill and perfect for san diego's mix of sunshine and sailing. it was exciting to see where in the city they went out to and such. but after awhile, the drama got old.
robin was a belligerent drunk. cameran and brad, brad and cameran, blah blah. cameran is cute as a button and that's really about all i can say about her. anyone else think brad looks like the superman version of jerry seinfeld? tell me i'm wrong. randy is a nice guy but his haircut is atrocious and i really can't look at him for longer than two seconds without reaching for my clippers. ugh. frankie turned out to be too 'punk rock' for everyone and booted the house, taking along with her all her issues (ie. cutting, cystic fibrosis, aversion to large boats, general craziness). i stopped watching the show when frankie went wild. too much whining and too much frankie. a man can only take so much hello kitty, contrary to popular opinion about my tolerance for things pink and kitten shaped. i heard there was a new roommate added after frankie left but i'm sure he's just fluff anyway. in short, this real world san diego just didn't do much for me.
plus nobody in the house really appreciated the fact that their job basically consisted of hanging out on a boat all day. hello, how is this even a job? sign me up real world, i need you as my head hunter.
the two coolest people on the show got no air time. i've yet to see an episode with jacquese doing anything other than sit there in the background and comfort people and try to be smiley and friendly. he just seems constantly amused. his bio describes him as having "developed a quick wit and an even quicker tongue" but we never got to see this because jacquese was never around.
and jaime is just an extra too. i saw the episode with her trying to connect to her korean mom but that was just too stereotypical to be exciting. her trying to get to know her mother on national tv, trying to communicate despite her halting korean. "i'll graduate college, i'll get a good job and help you and dad, don't worry." i don't know why but for some reason jaime has no clue who her parents are ("dad's retired?!"), maybe she was sent over to the states at an early age? i don't know, i must of missed that explanation when i blinked twice in a row by accident. it was nice of mtv to devote ten minutes of their season to her, see you later jaime. at least she got into kayaking and fishing while she was down here. jacquese and jamie seem to be people you would actually want to hang out with. the rest of the cast? probably not.
in short, this real world season blew. and i'm not just bitter that i'm not on real world san diego. really. oh and one more thing, the story about the real world rape is finally cleared up for me.
Monday, June 28 2:23 AM :
: gene asked me the most curious question the other day. "do you think your circle of girl friends will expand or remain the same as you get older?" of course i answered "expand," without hesitation. i wonder what he meant by it. should one's circle of opposite sex friends remain steady as you grow older? should it diminish? is there even a right answer to this question?
Sunday, June 27 8:15 PM :
: asian man to pretend to be my fiancee. i am applying for a new job. compensation is negotiable but the travel, food and lodging are free. and this is part time so that i can still concentrate on my budding (invisible) writing career. i'm quite perfect for the position since it will involve much lying and deception. i have been unwittingly preparing for this job my entire life. it is a job that includes hanging out with older asian people and fooling them into thinking that you are semi-responsible and a good person. i am adonis.
connie forwarded me this job from craigslist. "hi. my grandfather is really sick and his last wish is to see that his grand daughter (me) will find a good, asian man to be my future husband. i'm in my early twenties and very independent, but my family is afraid that my independence will turn an old maid out of me. i just need someone to pretend to be my fiancee so everybody will get off my back." if this ad does not have the ring of truth and desperation to it then bush is not a liar. i, super jon, will move in quickly and save the day. i have written her an email expressing my interest. will it work? time will tell. if this job doesn't come through, it's back to unemployment and loser-ville for me. oh wait, i'm already there.
my name is jon and i would like to be your faux boyfriend. having extensive experience fooling the elderly, i feel my qualifications and character recommendations for this position would astound and amuse you. luckily, my area of expertise also happens to be asian elderly people. a friend forwarded this opportunity to me with the subject heading "you are perfect for this job." if that sort of two thumbs up-ness from a friend of a stranger doesn't intrigue you enough, i don't know what will.
i am sure i look better than your ex-boyfriend since all ex-boyfriends are inherently misshapen and doomed to the ninth circle of hell. i speak conversational mandarin and am able to order basic solid foods at chinese restaurants. if you are not of chinese descent then i might be useless, but let our peoples forgive (but not forget) the grudges of the past and create a new asia america. i know that you prefer a queer man but allow me to inject here that i am the "gayest straight guy" any of my friends know. i embraced the term 'metrosex' when it came out and have had extensive experience with not only my little pony but also the baby sitter's club book series. plus, my hands are inhumanely soft and delicate. just screams gay doesn't it? so rest assured, there is no booty chasing for this straight male. your booty is safe with me. on a related straight note, i am also insanely not luvvy duvvy, so have no worries, there are no tears or emotions sitting in my corner waiting to rear its ugly head.
if you don't want to bother replying to this email, i understand. but please do since i'm deathly curious if this is one big hoax or an actual life situation. great, thank you for listening. continued good health to your grandfather. perhaps you could convince him to go to disneyland as a last wish? i mean, that would be much easier and cheaper for you. i've heard the new haunted house is quite extraordinary.
your future asian man to pretend to be my fiancee, with utmost contrived depth and feeling, jon
ps. don't ever let anyone tell you that you are an average jane, since all life on earth is beautiful. and that would logically imply that you are beautiful. this my brown nosing, in case you missed it. au revoir.
Saturday, June 26 7:06 PM :
: beastly. someone explain the beastie boys to me. i don't know where they fit into the hip hop pantheon. i'm watching them on mtv, as part of the $2bill concert series and it looks to me like a bunch of polo shirt wearing white boys yelling into microphones. my spider sense tingles.
i've never heard the beastie boys really, except for a few random songs here and there. i know that many people like them but i'm not sure why. were they like the eminem of their time? where they posers? where they hip hoppers? i'm cruising the bio and i'm learning that the beasties were def jam's first signing and rap's biggest selling album of the 80s. that sounds like it might lend some credibility. but what does that tell me really? that the beastie boys were able to cross over?
i'm really confused by this because i feel like i've missed out on something here, since the beastie boys seem to be quite popular and also a large part of hip hop's history. confusion reigns.
Wednesday, June 23 2:08 AM :
: the wanksta. i have a theory about why james is the way he is. the reason is because he's the rare one point five generasian who never had to go through the dorky fob clothes days. or suffer through the indignity of having to wear huge glasses -- this means he has good genetics ladies, ahem cough cough hint hint. see, young james the hepcat was generally cool and did stuff like skateboarding and art, very non-traditional dorkasian things to do. young james didn't play video games, wasn't buried in the library, wasn't stuck at home with curfew, got to dress himself, had a social life, didn't have overly strict parents and generally avoided things that might put him into contact with dorky asians. some history for perspective.
james wang the first immigrated to the united states from china at the age of six. james and his family settled into houston for three years while his father got his masters at the university . so far so good, very normal, but it gets interesting. in 1987, the wangs moved to laramie, wyoming -- yes, that laramie. it was here that james deviated from his destiny as dork king. he got into art and skateboarding and petty theft. in super white wyoming, he wasn't exposed to the dorkdom that was other recent immigrants. instead, he played on the wide open ranges and tore up the state with his little middle school ponytail (james will not authorize posting of his ponytail pictures, should we start a petition?). with eagle eyed vision and skater street cred, james was already too cool for school. cue 1992 and his move to san diego. thrust into an ethnically diverse environment, james didn't automatically cling to the asian cliques. he hung out with the skater kids and the art kids, who were pretty cool and far removed from the social black hole that was the alamo of the dorkasian.
see, my thing is that most asian kids have to go through a dork period. glasses, strict parents, terrible clothes, bad english, social ineptness, everything contributes to ultimate dorkdom. so what does that mean as dorkasians progress through life? well, they either grow out of it or they don't. but regardless of if they do or not, they are always well aware of what is cool or not cool. in trying to assimilate to a foreign culture, dorkasians (and dorks of all ethnicities) have to try to figure out what people think of them and how they can get others to think of them differently, if that's what they want. they possess a need or awareness of being accepted and "in." or at least observing what "in" is.
james doesn't really possess this trait. james has marched to the beat of a different drum -- or should i say gong -- for all his life. he's like the anti-asian. as least as far as this fundamental asian american-ness is concerned. sure he had the strict musical upbringing common to our generation (his mom is a piano teacher and james was chained to the piano since the age of five). sure he's got his culture and his semi-traditional upbringing (but no chinese school since he didn't need it), but james is in some ways distinctly not asian american -- in regards to his lack of social insecurity. and my theory is because he was never a dork at any point in his life. except i mean, maybe now. he got seriously into video games and xbox in his twenties, so he's like retroactively dorky-fying himself. if only we could make him like board games and then somehow mess up his vision so he'll need two inch thick glasses. then he would know what it feels like to be a dork. for now he'll just have to be satisfied with his big......camera.
ps. just because james was not a dorkasian does not mean that he is automatically not a cockasian. take that any way you like. hi james!
Tuesday, June 22 1:34 PM :
: i think my ten year high school reunion is approaching. and when i say approaching i mean it's two years away. and when i say it's two years away i mean it's right around the corner. and when i say it's right around the corner i mean i better do something with my ass aside from blogging. "so jon, what have you done since high school?" "well, i went to college, dropped out of college, finished college and in-between did some other stuff. and now i'm back in san diego doing not much. oops, you just dropped your baby. and your husband is outside waiting for you in the mercedes, i understand, we'll have to talk later. stay in touch okay?"
i'm sending george into our high school reunion. i mean, she'll enjoy something like that. i'll lend her my digital camera and a notebook. then she will return to regale me with stories. what i really want to do is go back to school and DDT with my old high school buddies. actually, i just established previously that i had no high school buddies. so i guess i just want to go back there and DDT. with whom you ask? with my high school crush for one. i want to know if i ever had a chance. "jon who?" okay, maybe not. what i want to do is find out how people's perceptions of me were. i don't think i've changed much, but i must of somewhere, because any of the things you might say about me now are totally not something high school folks would've say about me then.
i want to know if the popular kids remained popular or they suffered from the small fish in a big pond experience of college. i want to know who failed out of school and who didn't. i want to know if joelle really bought her way into stanford or if that was just a rumor. i want to know who got married to who. i want to know who was drinking and drugging it up in high school. i want to know who died. i want to know who does what and who lives where. i want to know basically, what is going on with this group of people that i have no tangible memories of. my high school experience is totally lost to me. i don't know what kind of impact they had on me or me on them. would i get along with anybody from high school now? would i connect with anyone? now that i've become social and aware? or would i leave a ten year reunion feeling the same way i did when i entered it: alone and wondering.
i want to know if i'm good enough to play basketball with the guys from my old team. or if i'm still supposed to be sitting on the bench.
Monday, June 21 1:17 AM :
: carlos the dwarf. so who do i identify with: the geek or the freaks? obviously, the geeks. but here's the thing, i don't think i was a geek. yes yes, george might disagree. but a geek wasn't what i was in high school. a geek is somewhat socially inept, i wasn't inept, just asocial. i had social skills, i just don't know if or when i used them. i got along with people fine, even if i can't recall for the life of me, any real conversations i had with people. things i might of had talked about with my friends: classes, teachers, school gossip, video games, sports, role playing games, comics, books, movies and sometimes girls. but i can't remember talking to anyone all that much at school. i just got through my day somehow.
i had my group of friends at school. the kids who were in all the AP classes, competing for the best grades and the approval of the teachers. but i was a step below them. i didn't care about my grades (which weren't as high as theirs were either) and i didn't hang out or talk to any of my teachers. i just coat tailed my way into various activities -- like key club. i had no real interest in extracurricular activities and the things that i did, i just did them because my friends did them. they were the nerds, i was like the nerdling. but we weren't nerds either, i mean, at least not the type of pen protector wearing nerds that you might see on tv. we just weren't cool, like at all.
it's hard to be cool when lunch time was spent playing video games in the computer lab or huddled in a classroom playing dungeons and dragons. i was unaware that this type of activity was uncool. i just did it because i enjoyed it. i don't think i ever went through the whole "where do i sit in the cafeteria" thing. mainly because we didn't have a cafeteria, but also because i always had my lunchtime activities. video games or basketball, that was it. needless to say, i didn't exactly hang out with any girls in high school. in fact, i can't even name a single girl that i was friends with from high school. how odd. the closest female friend that i ever had from high school was....nobody. george? does that count?
gosh, what would i have done in high school without george? she always had girl friends, and they were nominally my friends because i sort of knew them, if not personally, at least by name. and she was always up to date on the school gossip so she could fill me in. her social standing at my school was a few notches above mine. not in the totally cool crowd but in the almost pretty cool crowd.
the thing about my school -- that might in retrospect be a saving grace -- was that our classes only had eighty students total. so even if you were on the outskirts of the scene, everyone knew who you were. and because you could've gone to school with these people for many many years (the school was grades k-12), you sort of got to know people by osmosis. so yes, that was my social evolution: osmosis. and because the school was so small, nobody could be totally shunned because if you didn't have classes with somebody, you were probably on some mandatory sport team, belonged to some club or rode on the same bus. everyone knew each other and the class was too small to have impenetrable cliques.
so i guess what i got out of my ten thousand dollar private school education was the lack of normal social pressures and stresses that most other people might have gone through. thanks mom and dad.
Sunday, June 20 11:59 AM :
: the greatest show on earth. "i don't give a damn 'bout my reputation, you're living in the past it's a new generation." that's the beginning lines to the song that introduces freaksandgeeks. hands down the greatest tv show ever made. it was criminally cancelled after one season (just like my so called life). i've just spent most of the past weekend watching all eighteen episodes and as much as it pains me to admit, this show is heads and shoulders above my so called life. i love mscl (and i have the special edition lunchbox to prove it) but i think i can say that i revere freaks and geeks. it's consistently amazing, smart, witty and has the best one liners. why do all great things have to end after one lonely season? once again, i argue that there is no justice or god in this world. crap goes on for decades and hollywood squares gets resurrected? who are these nielsen families? shit. shows should not be evaluated by random people, it should be evaluated by a select panel of individuals who exhibit tremendous taste and insight. ahem. if we leave everything up to the random masses we get crap like....well, we get crap.
i've seen many great dvd series in my time on earth -- mscl, sopranos, sex and the city, the life of mammals, most of 24 -- but honestly, this is the best. praise dvd sets. if commercial-less dvds were a pantheon of gods, i would convert in an instant. i have so much more to say about the show but the sun is rising and i really can't stay up any longer, i have get my rest to enable me to go through all the episodes with commentary and watch the deleted stuff. i guess i know what i'm doing this week. thank you christina -- she let us borrow the set -- for the greatest gift any human has ever bestowed upon another human, short of child birth, which is arguable as a gift anyway. see the first eight minutes of the pilot episode here.
"what's great about the geek spirit is that all of life's obstacles never seem to stop us, and they never seem to kill our enthusiasm, our optimism, and our hunger to experience the world. if the world knocks us down, we just get up (albeit slowly sometimes), brush ourselves off, regroup and try again. we keep our sense of humor, we protect our dignity, we talk to our friends about the experiences and then we start again fresh the next day. and from this we grow and understand how the world works and eventually figure out how to find our place and our happiness. and even then, we never stop trying to make it all better. and that, my friends, is the freaks and geeks way." -paul feig, creator/co-executive producer of freaks and geeks-
Friday, June 18 2:24 AM :
: potemkin village. this is the problem i face when i sit down at the computer. should i email or internet surf? i know, big dilemma right? this is the type of stuff i must think about at two am. internet surfing (is there even a cool way to say this now? is surfing even in still?) is easy and takes no energy of any sort. you just click around, check blogs, check articles, read about something that interests you, go from link to link, vicariously learning and living. sounds very cabana boy-ish doesn't it? but then two hours later you are left with that deflating feeling of "man, i just wasted two hours of my life even if i just did learn all about voles and sleepwalking." there's probably a point when ninety five percent of additional knowledge is useless knowledge. i reached that point years ago.
now, i could be using those two hours to "productively" write emails to people. i could be composing long exciting emails to friends and sharing with them my life, my thoughts and my concerns. then tomorrow in the morning i can start the "when will they reply to me" thoughts. i have emails sitting in my inbox that i want to reply to -- like really really want to reply to -- but i just can't muster up the energy to. i mean, writing email takes work. you have to think about something to say as well as have the concentration level to not just throw up three line pieces of shit. if people wanted pieces of shit in their inbox they would just turn off the spam filter. so, writing email takes commitment, a department i'm sorely lacking in as you well know. so, i just let old email sit in my box for awhile, sometimes never replied to. i have a simple system for email replying: insta-reply, two day, one week, when i feel like it or am inspired. i find that when i'm at home and not at a job, the insta-reply category is all but extinct. nobody is an insta-reply, i just don't have that type of time anymore now that i'm unemployed.
i do always keep an unreplied email on my mind for many days/weeks/months. thinking of ways to answer it, when to answer it. for example, i have an email from my friend in new york, dated april twelfth of this year. it's seventy five words long and ends with the obligatory "how are things with you?" i don't know what to do with that line. if i had answered it two months ago i could have honestly answered it quickly. but now that two months have passed, i feel the need to reply with a somewhat detailed yet kind of vague exposition of how things are with me. so this email sits until i am ready to commit two hundred words to my friend, one of my favorite people in the world mind you.
let's go back to april third. i got a three hundred sixty four word, eight paragraph email from another friend. it's a real email. filled with stories and people's names and thoughts about life and love. i haven't had the strenght to tackle this particular email. i haven't even given it a chance really. i just think that this email can wait, even though i have composed dozens of much longer responses in the intervening two months. why does an inbox not work on an first in first out basis? because we are not accountants that is why. we prioritize and take into account when a reply is expected. at any one time i can only handle two people who get near insta-reply long email status and about five thoughtful albeit short correspondents. everyone else is just waiting their turn. this is not to seem like i get a lot of email. i get an average amount of it i'm sure and everyone faces this dilemma. but i thought i'd dramatically write about my email life since i can't choose who to email now and so i'm blogging. my friend did say "write when you get a chance," and i guess the chance just hasn't come up yet.
one more email note. when people end emails with "talk to you soon" or "see you soon", is it really just a way of signing off? the semi-committed good bye but not a "i've grown tired of writing you, bye." i mean, when i say things like "see you soon", and i've only seen a person one time like ever, is that even something correct to say? since the chances of you meeting anytime -- much less soon -- are very slim? should we be more honest and say "see you maybe later, talk to you maybe later."
1:53 AM :
: more email talk, how grand. back in the day when people only had letters and phone calls, it was very possible to lose touch with your friends for extended periods of time. has email made friendships too accessible? it helps to be able to contact friends at your leisure but in a way, it causes you to not really miss them. my father and uncle andy weren't able to keep in touch for maybe ten years and during that time they established careers, families and grown up personalities. what must it be like to lose track of your good friend, only to reunite with them down the road, with enough distance for both of you to have changed? now we witness every change in our close friends. when they get the new girlfriend, what movie they saw, what books they read, what frustrations they have on the job, how hard it was for them to poop today. is it too much? is there something to be said for having some distance in a friendship?
on the other hand, email has been an excellent way for me to get to know people i would otherwise have no business knowing. people i've met once in reality life but have had very fulfilling email relationships with. (bonus question: are these one night email friendships more email fulfilling than normal email friends because that's the only way i have a connection with them? so that the only thing that makes us friends is email and so thus, the medium is elevated?) if i had met these people fifty years ago, we would probably just have hung out for some period of time and separated forever. through the power of email, we are able to talk to each other while at the same time not having to go the whole letter route. email: it's simple, it's efficient, it's convenient, it's easy. it's the whore of communication.
5:23 AM :
: patently, joyfully normal, lisa was the embodiment of everything i found depressing. nothing set her apart from the thousands of other girls i saw each day, but this fact did not disturb her in the least. in her desire to be typical, my sister had succeeded with flying, muted colors. unlike me, she would never entertain deep thoughts or travel to distant lands in the company of a long-nosed proboscis monkey. none of them would. along with everyone else, she had traded her soul in exchange for a stocking stuffer and now would have to suffer the consequences. -david sedaris, naked-
Wednesday, June 16 5:07 PM :
: blow out comb. i've found a new favorite show. well, maybe not favorite since i've only seen one episode but the fifteen minutes i saw was enough to intrigue me. what show is this? "they're opening beverly hills' newest salon. it won't be pretty." blow out follows the opening of a new salon called "jonathan salon." aside from the obvious attraction i have to the name, the show itself looks ripe for drama and intrigue. how will the hair stylists get along? see the behind-the-scenes action of running a hair hot spot. see c-list celebrities flock to aforementioned salon. this is similar to the restaurant but it's really so much better because the characters are much more stylish and we get to see catty hair dressers and not boring wait staff.
it's great to see the stylists kissing up to their clients, convincing them that they are beautiful, showing them that this hair style is the right hair style. and how seriously the stylists take it all (which they should since hair dressing is their profession). jenn, senior stylist and extensions expert, is a hair artiste and has this to say about it all. '"i like finding unique solutions to my clients' hair problems. i crave that challenge. the show is an exciting opportunity to put myself in a new situation, and it's also a great tool for letting people see what is possible with extensions." i want to know what is possible with extensions! i wonder how much a cut by jonathan salons might cost. someone rich and with more hair than i go find out.
of course this show is brought to you by the same producers and tv channel behind queer eye for the straight guy, so it's bound to be money. i smell multiple hits for this production team. what next? behind-the-scenes of the laundromat?
right after watching blow out, i switched over to the karate channel and watched some butch eighteen year old girl win a forms competition. her sponsor? paul mitchell. hair is officially the new it thing for 2004. i'm growing it. i'm declaring it.
Tuesday, June 15 2:52 PM :
: this is how they do, in 1972. yesterday i had dinner at my friend jennifer's house. we've known jennifer's family for pretty much all of our american lives -- since i was six. her dad used to go to college with my dad and they remained close over the years as both families settled down in san diego. every time i go visit with them, uncle andy gets a bit tipsy and starts regaling us with stories of his and my dad's college exploits.
apparently they used to run things at taiwan university, the "harvard of taiwan." they were student association officers as sophmores so they got to do things "their way." like getting the school library to adopt an open shelf policy, taking over the contracted food vendors that rented space from the student union, changing test scores, that kind of thing. they also threw parties, the first officially sanctioned party of any kind at taiwan university. because taiwan is such a small country and the prestige of taiwan university was so high, they invited all the movie stars, singers and celebrities to attend this inaugural college party. to me, this idea seems ridiculous. it's like some college throwing a party and deciding to invite britney spears, justin timberlake and the olsen twins to come on down and party it up at some rented dance hall. no way that would happen. but times were different then.
so what did our dads do at these parties? first off, the boys of taiwan university had to go pick up girls from the other colleges to attend their parties. taiwan university is co-ed but having a fresh supply of females never hurts. so, the males of taiwan university would drive up to the nearby all girls college (the one my mom attended) and just pick up girls. no pre-arranged rides or times. just roll up in your car, wait a few minutes and girls would come out and be whisked away. imagine a taxi line of cars just sitting there and an endless supply of random chicks jumping into them. my dad's hometown of tai-jong was south of taipei and much poorer and country so uncle andy told us that when they went to a party down there, the boys of tai-jong would go pick up the girls in a similar fashion, but with bicycles. so a line of bicycles would be ready to pedal girls away to the party. is this not funny to you? c'mon, have a heart.
once at the party, all the males would line up on one side of the hall, all the girls on the other, and then when the music started, a mad dash by the males to go select a female. kind of like dodgeball i guess, with the girls being the balls. or i guess musical chairs would be more appropriate. back then, a girl could not ask a guy to dance so any girls left unpicked just sat there, sometimes for the whole night. my father and uncle andy's group of friends took it upon themselves -- as hosts and shining knights -- to target these sad lonely girls. they were the collective wingmen i suppose.
and what kind of music did they dance to? all the oldies, names that uncle andy reeled off but i do not recognize (except for elvis presley). they would make mixtapes (mix hi-8s?) with two songs each of all the ballroom dances. two waltzes, two cha chas, two lindy hops, whatever. and this was how they partied. alchohol was forbidden but there was juice and pop and snacks. i'm not sure what the policy was on taking a girl back to your dorm since i didn't really need to know those details. or how the girls got home. like did they go back with their original ride or get taken home by whoever fancied them? i have no clue. i will find out more next time.
isn't "fancy" just the classiest way of saying "i have feelings for you and/or i want to jump your bones?" i'm gonna use that word instead of "like" or "attracted" from now on. i feel the need for some class in my life, among numerous other things.
Monday, June 14 2:39 PM :
: mr clutch. it's easy in a controlled environment to see who is clutch, who thrives under pressure, who is able to deliver when needed most. but i find in life that it's much harder to see who is "clutch" or not. on an individual basis, it's maybe easy, depending on how you define "clutch." a close friend who is always there when you need them is clutch. but i'm not really talking about being there for someone. the clutch i'm referring to is more of like in life, coming through and making the life winning basket.
one problem, life is never as neat as a game. you can't watch the tape and say "okay, last two minutes, it's crunch time." in life, we never know when crunch time will be. is it when your car is speeding recklessly towards the other lane? is it when your steak is three seconds to overdone? is it when someone steps up and coerces the bouncer to let your underaged friend in? is it saving your friend from a drunken make out session with a busted chick? are all these moments clutch? taking all these types of moments into account, are some people never clutch at all? do they shy away from the pressure of possibly failing in front of a grand audience? at the worst moments possible? these types of players certainly exist on the court, they must exist in life right?
so i ask myself, who is the mr/ms clutches in my life. who do i trust in moments when something just has to happen. if we have to make the plane by seven, i know they'll be ready (actually, this is more a timeliness issue as opposed to clutch). hum, i must think about more clutch situations in life. i wonder if i would surprise myself with my answers. are the people that i already deem "reliable," clutch as well? or are reliability and clutchness not associated with each other?
and i must know, who among you is unclutch, so that way i can game plan to not have to fall back upon you as a last line of defense. basically, does clutch come down to how much you trust a person? or is that unrelated because clutch is just a measure of a person's ability to step it up in key moments?
Sunday, June 13 11:10 PM :
: 24. this is what i've realized about fitness gyms, they don't want you there. after you pay the introductory fee, the monthly upkeep fee, the oxygen fee, the gym has no more use for you. every time you come in, all you are doing is taking up space and contributing to an overcrowded environment. if the gym could be honest, it would say "please try not to come in more than once a month because our other patrons like it better when all the machines and facilities are free." i mean, what is the financial reason for the gym to encourage you to come visit them? none. they don't sell more t-shirts, they don't get more money, all they get is more sweaty towels. all the bells and whistles they have (sauna, pool, basketball court, juice bar) is only there to get you to sign up so you feel good about having these facilities at hand, even though you would never use ninety five percent of the amenities.
this is in direct contrast to a visit to a sporting event or disneyland. the amount you will spend at a game or inside the happiest place on earth will probably match the entrance fee they charged -- if not exceed. these places want you to stay at the venue longer, and to get tired and thirsty, because they have concessions and merchandise. fitness gyms have nothing. the only reason gyms might want to see you there is because if you go work out a few times a week, you will feel like your monthly dues are "worth it" and you'll continue to pay. but if they have you under contract, they would much rather you just stay away for the duration of that contract, since they gain nothing extra by having you around.
the only way to combat this is by going to the gym all the time and trying to sweat more than usual, as to use up more towels. this way, you will not only get your money's worth but also be beating the man. and isn't it always about beating the man? wait, actually, they make you bring your own towel to the gym hunh? damn, shows what i know. well then, if that is the case, the only way to "win" is to take extra long showers to drive up their water bill, even as you shield your eyes from the sight of naked old guys waddling about on two and a quarter legs.
Wednesday, June 9 4:11 PM :
: play the fucking game. i knew kobe would hit that shot, didn't you? i mean, c'mon. this is how the world works, in the most dramatic way possible. and i knew kobe would take the game over in overtime. sometimes you just know what will happen. kobe is certainly jordan-esque. not quite jordan, but doing a great imitation. i hate him. kobe, not jordan. i wish you could assign fault in real life as easily as you can to a sporting event. larry brown lost the game for the pistons. no coach worth his salt should lose a game leading by six with forty seconds left. tell your boys to foul, man. hack a shaq, do i need to spell it out for you? clearly, the game was larry brown's to control. it's his fault the pistons lost.
our recreational games are never quite like this, it's impossible to single out one person at fault. we've lost a few games the last times out on the court -- five of the last six i believe. every time we step off, everyone is like "my fault my fault." it's much easier to admit fault when million dollar salaries aren't on the line, there is also less finger pointing. it's much easier to admit to personal guilt when you aren't a nba caliber player. despite my lack of abilities, i come off the court in a rage, angry at all the world that we lost. but rationalizing that i can't do anything about it because i'm not good enough. then i get a drink of water, sit down, and think "okay, we'll get them next time." but then if we get waxed again, i get all frustrated and angry. i wonder if this is a character fault. pointing fingers at others while not being able to take personal responsibility. real men carry the team on their shoulders, but my shoulders are thin and reedy.
in the great game of life, it is all about basketball. i'm working on a doctorate relating to "how people reveal their personalities on the basketball court." if i were to apply this to myself, i might come to the conclusion that i am "quick to assign fault but never self critical." i can always tell you where you went wrong. and when i mess up, i have some excuse. on the court, i throw blame like i drop dimes (and turnovers). hum, sound familiar?
last week we had one discussion about people that play team sports. about their awareness of others and how they interact with them. i feel like there is some innate equation that determines who is a good leader/follower based on their experiences in team sports. this is an at work theory but i think it's pretty valid. some people who don't play team sports lack the ability to see beyond their own personal goals. this applies to any situation when a group goal supercedes the individual. like dancing. this was the context anyway. further anecdotal research will be conducted. funding appreciated.
Tuesday, June 8 7:54 PM :
: sometimes, not right now in particular, i dread the ending of this wonderful thing i have going with my darling boyfriend. it's sure to happen at some point, statistically, i do believe. and since it's horribly naive to think otherwise, i am resigned to the fact. i wonder how it'll happen, and why. hopefully it'll be something painless, like sudden mutual amnesia when lost at sea (in different seas.) or let me be in a coma for the whole ordeal. or lobotomized! anything but involved. -technicolor.org-
4:51 PM :
: "whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire."
as a result, (catherine) commits to marrying the lesser man, even though she admits that "my love for linton is like the foliage in the woods. time will change it, i'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. my love for heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath -- a source of little visible delight, but necessary. ...i am heathcliff -- he's always, always in my mind." -wuthering heights-
Monday, June 7 1:19 AM :
: my fervor for gym events was once my unique trait. when a friend changes, flips, what obligation is there to remain a friend? at what point are they no longer the person that you wanted to befriend but some other entity entirely? contrary to my relationship ideas, i'd say that friends should always be friends, even if one changes. after all, isn't that what friends are for? to give each other room to grow and shift? to evolve or mutate as they see fit? but are some people only willing to be friends with others if they remain a certain way? when does the "i don't even know who you are anymore" statement apply?
i think i've been watching too much sex and the city again. i'm ending everything with question marks. annoying.
what if what you liked about a person in the first place is entirely replaced by all the things that you detest? he/she used to love to hate freddie prinze jr with you but now he is a freddie prinze jr supporter. what can you do? i mean, can you even say that you would want to be friends with such a person? do you quietly remove yourself from their life and remain friends in name only? or do you accept that all that you connected on before is gone? i'm trying to think about people in my life that have completely flipped, so much so that i barely recognize them. i don't think it's happened dramatically yet. but as we grow and mature into our adult-hood, our life choices will take us further and further away from each other. the common bond of being students or fresh out of college will fade. will occupations, marriages, children, interests, lifestyles, slowly pull people apart?
will we eventually look upon our friends from this era of life as we do now on friends from elementary school? like we used to connect really deeply on subjects such as gi joe but now we no longer have that. at what point are you reminiscing more than creating? even now, you can sometimes have conversations with a supposed "good friend" that you just feel lost in. you look at a familiar (or not so familiar) face and wonder "who is this?" and then you have to remind yourself of how you got to be friends in the first place.
i look at my parents. who their friends are. my dad had his group of good college buddies but they weren't numerous or around very much. most of my parent's friends were made after they moved to this country, or specifically, san diego. at some point, will all these people that i know now just be lumped into this past friendship category known as "college friends?" i don't think so, but wouldn't that be interesting. to realize that everyone you know now, you won't be close to in ten years? would that change how much you care and interact with people now if you knew there was a time limit to your closeness? i'm not saying i want this of course, but it might happen.
if you meet random people now, and dismiss them as "oh i'll just meet them this one time, so why bother trying to get to know them", how would knowing that this person would only be in your life for six months affect you? yes, every person is a star that can impart faerie dust and change you, but realistically speaking, would you invest less in the short term stocks and pour more of your energy into the long term friends? don't most people do this anyway? invest in the people who they think will be around longer? or have been around longer?
i need a friends reality tv show with time travel as the gimmick. actually, i just need time travel made into reality. screw everything else.
Sunday, June 6 12:45 PM :
: women want all or none of it; they want to be understood but not typecast; they want companionship but don't need someone to make them happy; they want honesty but seldom the truth; they want equality while being placed on a pedestal. -krista allen-
1:48 AM :
: what kind of games girls really play. "they (this group of girls) get a point for every hookup - two if it's in public, two for a double, three for a hat trick and negative points with more than three hookups in a week because that means 'you are a ho.' you have to put in 5 bucks for each week you don't kiss someone." i can't even quote who related me this story. it just sounds too fantabulous to be true. at the end of a few months, all that penalty money is used toward's a girls' debauchery night. amazing isn't it?
12:02 AM :
: "ken starr spent $70 million to find out i'm a sinner. you could have told him that for free." bill clinton, as a native of real estate acquired in the louisiana purchase, is legally entitled to run for president of france.
Friday, June 4 3:27 PM :
: owie. as i sat patiently awaiting my teeth cleaning and routine retainer check, i noticed that a small child was screaming in the chair beside me. on his first or second trip to the dentist, this boy was crying his little lungs out. for me, the dentist has become not something to fear but a fact of life. genetically weak teeth i say and i'm sticking to my story. anyway, i was trying to figure out at what point i stopped being afraid of the dentist. i'd say middle of high school, when i realized that the pain from the drill is only momentary. after being shot up for millions of cavities, i rationalized that any new pain is no worse than it ever was before. if i'd lived through novacaine shots -- and root canals -- in the past, i could suffer through it now. this was the same rationale i had for convincing myself that getting a tattoo wouldn't hurt. "a needle punching into my skin? please, i go to the dentist all the time, i have no fear." this absence of fear only applies to smallish needles, i still fear gun shots, paper cuts and the occassional purple nurple.
but for little kids, what do they know? all they understand is pain, they can't grit their teeth and get through it. they can't clutch the sides of the chair, roleplaying strong and quiet, even as the cleaning pick digs into your soft flesh. all the kids can understand is that each time they visit the dentist, they get hurt. so what can you do to make them feel better? the boy's mom had a novel line of reasoning. she said (in chinese), "don't cry if it's good for you. only cry if something hurts you and is bad." this sounded very reasonable but i don't think it helped much. my old dentist used to have a big wall of prizes, one of which was yours if you were a good patient. as stupid a tactic as it was, the thought of getting a dyed rabbit's foot or a cheesy ring was enough to keep me from hating the dentist. how stupid was i? but i think this strategy works well in life.
if you are going to hurt someone, you should offer them something at the end that is prize-like and enjoyable, so that their memories can be tied into receiving a gift. just broke up with someone out of the blue? leave them some chocolates and jewelry. why use those things during the courting and retaining phase of a relationship? you really need it during the breakup phase. the key is to give give give after the breakup. beat the shit out of someone while playing a sport? buy them a jamba juice, so they can have something to wash down their pride with. just found out you failed a class? get a star button from the teacher for "good effort." it seems so easy doesn't it?
my friend birthed a baby last week, au naturel no less. i heard that she didn't make any sounds during labor. no screaming, no histrionics. when asked why, she replied "it hurt so bad i didn't see how screaming would help much." in her case the pain was tremendous, life shattering, but what does a birthing mother get at the end of the pain? a baby! see how this works? by presenting a present at the end of the pain, you reduce/eliminate the negative memories associated with that pain. isn't that great? set it and forget it.
from now on, if/when i offend you or hurt you, ask for a lollipop or a piece of candy from me, so that way we can still be friends and you'll think i'm sweet.
Thursday, June 3 2:45 PM :
: served. every trip has the moment, the thing that everyone remembers. this year's moment was more of a move, or a series of moves actually. come do you combine capping on somebody, showing them up and having them love you for it? ask jon g. because he did it all. and made everyone laugh all out while doing it. what did he do? jon g did "the hong." what is "the hong" you ask? it's the face and dance moves that hong uses up in the club. jon g has obviously been studying hong very carefully and this weekend he showed us all what he had learned. i'm not even gonna describe what it looks like because it's impossible. there exists some shaky amateur footage of it all but none of them really were able to capture the moves. suj's video is here but it only catches the very last arm swing. (jill's "scandalynn" impression is here too, but again, it was not fully captured).
jon g was asked for the rest of the weekend to "do it do it." one time i accosted him in the hallway to "come with me (to do the hong)" and he thought he was in trouble or something since i was so serious about getting him to follow.
the first time jon showed us his amazing gift, it was at green tea house, the boba house we frequent. eddie was blasting music out of his car and everyone got into a semi-circle and jon g just went at it. busted out the hong. people from the boba shop came out and were watching. one of the guys who worked at the boba shop came out and did a little break dance thing in the circle. then martin did a little bit. and then there were some palak bhangra imitations or something. and then there was jon g's challenge to hong to both do "the hong." but that challenge was declined. i can't convey in any way how amazing this experience was. you just had to be there. i'm sorry if you weren't.
i've been thinking of ways to humiliate/love hong for years but now i'm giving up since jon gotianse has single handedly, with a few seconds of dance move, accomplished more than i could've ever imagined. jon g is my hero.
Wednesday, June 2 4:41 AM :
: the big hit. since the dawn of memorial day dancepeoplegatherings, there's always been this crazy thought of how dope it would be if everyone was able to get to san diego for a trip. but it seemed logistically difficult. people would have to fly in from around the country, cars and drivers would be needed, that sort of thing. new york gatherings had the advantage of having mass people already situated there and transportation was built right in. appreciative clap here for the nyc mass transit authority.
six weeks or so ago, word began to spread that some people would be willing to fly to san diego. once the first person bought their ticket, other people started to jump on the san diego train. then more people, then more people, then more people. each new addition made me go dope, dope, dope. this is gonna be great. but with increasing numbers comes increased pressure to make the trip a good one. showing three people a good time in sd is easy: thirty people, slightly more difficult. but dammit, with the party to go any gathering is bound to be a fun one, even if it's just an empty room. so how can any gathering go wrong? it can't! it's meta-physic-spirit-logistic-mental-everything-ally impossible.
this weekend was great. on so many levels. when friday rolled around and the skies were cloudy we were getting hella worried that our finely crafted and detailed plan would be busted up by that bitch mother nature. luckily, the elements were on our side -- as if there should of been any doubt -- and the sun rolled around. and we could enjoy the beach, the pool, the outdoors. san diego is not a fun place if it's cloudy and drizzly, especially when people are coming here expecting clear skies and paradise, with hopes of returning with a tan. well, as annalisa would say, "goal accomplished."
i'm not even gonna go into what we did, since i feel like we did enough of san diego for everyone to get a taste of what it had to offer -- and to come back?. having everyone in hotel pan worked out superbly. sleeping space was tight but people (for the most part) had room and the bathtub didn't have to serve double duty as emergency cot. fuck it, i'm gonna go into what we did. it's not like i have a normal life really.
basketball east coast versus west coast was off the hook. both teams left with some bragging rights and just having a dozen guys who you know running up and down the court together is the greatest feeling in the world. the away team was physically smaller but they had some crazy swarming defense, team orientated offense and mad quickness. team west coast lost the first day's series and was down 2-1 after friday night. can we talk about how crappy it feels to be down in a seven game series? bottomless pit of despair doesn't even begin to describe it. i felt like we were on some lakers-celtics shit with the desire to win on both sides. in the end, it doesn't matter at all who won the games because just the act of playing basketball with friends is enough for me.
throw in boogie boards, the beach, the pool, a greek bath symposium of all guys in a small hot tub and the outdoor activities were taken care of. indoors there was games. mafia, catchphrase, tetris, ping pong, poker, making fun of each other. people were hanging out, san diego friends got to meet michigan friends, it was just lovely. i know with a group of thirty people it's hard to mobilize but people were so dope about being patient and putting up with the inevitable delays. chaos may not have taken a full on vacation but he was present only minimally, much to the surprise of many. i think any fears or hesitations about how this would work out was put to rest by the second day. people were cool about helping out, keeping organized and clean, adjusting to shifts in schedule, and chilling on downtime. yeah, showers were a bitch but what's a little dirt and an hour long bathroom line between friends? all lost cell phones have now been recovered by the way, and we have a collection of left behind towels that you'll have to come back to pick up.
question: is catchphrase the greatest and most accessible group game of all time? it is certainly one of the loudest, as the bitch next door calling the police can attest to. luckily, only a warning was assessed. why oh why was mr alchohol gene kim out there with hong talking to the cops? someone explain this one to me. anyway, this police warning will end up as some sort of suburban legend. has anybody else ever had a board game moment busted up by the cops? can i see a show of hands? exactly.
i love looking at huge groups assembled at a long table or at a club or anywhere. it's just like...damn. i love it. i try to capture the image in my head so i can re-experience the feeling later. the big ass group pictures just really do it for me. i can't wait until we have like ten of these and all the photos can be presented via slideshow or something. with the most memorable moments acted out via live montage -- onstage, choreographed to music. i can see it now "memorial day ten: the musical." memories man, this stuff is for real.
taking over an establishment is fun too. whether it be gene's performance, restaurants, clubs or the local boba store. more on the boba store later. suffice to say, dancing, boba and roasting have been been fusion-ed together. or should i say funktion-ed?
we went out once and thanks to babbs' eminent popularity and hookups, things worked out real easy. we had a guest list of fifty plus. i don't even really know fifty people, much less ever having fifty people that i personally knew in one building. my whole high school class was only eighty kids for jiminy's sake.
i had to be filled in on all the clubbing hijinks because i was sorta maybe possibly drunk. my buzzed state was due to four or five jager bombs (i am weak sauce i know), mostly attributed to megan's insistence that i be on my way to the trash bin. i started the night with the goal of being super designated driver but somehow ended up having to be driven home. i missed all the dancing, all the fun that was happening inside, so i guess i'll have to live vicariously through pictures. but i'm good at that, living vicariously through pictures. i saw pictures on my camera the next morning i don't remember taking. yes, i jon yang, drank for once in my san diego incarnation. i wasn't drunk -- thank you pepcid ac -- but i was definitely on super buzz and talking shit that i don't even know what. but i remembered all the conversations and there was no puking at the end of my night. go me. the next semi-not-really goal is for me to be a fun drunk, as opposed to just being noteworthy for actually drinking. then again, i don't really mind being boring dead weight at clubbing parties. that role sort of fits me like an armani.
i wish people coulda stayed longer. seriously. i feel bad for everyone because they have/had to go right back to reality and work; getting off the plane and changing in airport bathrooms to arrive at the office in the morning. that's dedication. my ass will be on memorial day high for a month at least, with no distracting reality to get in the way of euphoria. i can't believe people were able to mobilize and get out here on their own dime and then turn back around and thank hong and i with ipods. i freaking pods. are you seriously kidding me right now? how dope are you? i'm not even gonna verbalize how amazing that present was. i think it was way too much. shit, other people are organizing and hosting all the time, they didn't get no ipods. but i'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, even if i just saw troy. plus i've been dying to join the white earphone club. and now i'm in, i am somebody, and i feel oh so cool and maybe now the shadowy figures on those colorful posters will now dance for me. thank you all so damn much. it's really amazing present enough for me that everyone can get together and just have a good ass time. that's really all i can ask for in life, meeting up at least once a year. a huge gathering that reminds us that we can still be irresponsible and bummy again. i mean, yeah, i live that life daily but thirty people and time to burn is college all over again. let's put to rest the "when will this happen again?" because it's gonna keep happening, it's kinda unstoppable.
trips that transcend expectations and continental divides are great. i need to learn more words to describe this sort of thing. or make up a word to describe the essence that is party to go. somehow, repeated usage of "great" "dope" and "cool" just doesn't give the experience enough justice.
my spirit is filled, my brain is running at ninety miles an hour, i'm just infused with energy. i slept like five hours a day and saw the sunrise every morning but yet was up before eleven. hallelujah. that was the most surprising thing, people were gathering outside the house and awake by ten am every day. east coast time i guess. once some morning person wakes up, it was over for the rest of us. i'm gonna try to write down and record every moment and thing and conversation for posterity, just for the "life is really good" book. thanks again for coming out. seriously. don't thank us, thank you. ya'll are amazing. and i just used "ya'll" like i thought i could, when obviously i can't. [pictures] [$]