8.30.2006 : 5:34 PM :
oh the places you'll go. when they said that you'd share your life with someone (when you're in a relationship), i didn't think it meant you would share things so directly. i've been to vegas, disneyland, and dave and buster's more times than i would have liked to. but we all make sacrifices/compromises, don't we? tonight i found myself sitting in the stands watching an american idol concert.

the experience was similar to going karaoking with your friends, albeit with an arena full of people and amazing singers on-hand. pretty much it was like watching the greatest karaoke show on earth. no original songs and all crowd pleasing favorites. not exactly innovative but thrilling nonetheless.
however, just as in real karaoke, some songs you think will be super hits flutter out. for example: "waterfalls" by tlc. sounds great on paper and for about fifteen seconds, but then you realize it sucks as a karaoke song (except when connie does it complete with the left eye rap). stick to the rabble rousing anthems with lyrics that everyone knows. pretty much any fast song is doomed to fail. beyonce's "crazy in love" track? fail. it's nigh impossible to imbue the song with the originial artist's personality. especially if you are no beyonce physically. 90% of popular fast songs are simply unkaraokeable.
and to realize you're watching team-c talented singers is sobering, because you realize how good you have to be to become an a+ talent. take alicia keys. black girl, piano player, good singer. lisa -- who got cut very early in the show -- is like alicia keys lite. black, plays piano, good singer. she sounds great but you just know alicia's light years better.

what american idol did get right was that each person eliminated got eliminated in the right order (well, except taylor's fluke final victory of course). as each of the ten singers ascended the stage for their star turn -- three songs -- the singing got better and better. america chose right. except that katherine mcphee or elliot yamin (he's my new post-show favorite, utterly ridiculous) should have won. taylor is trash.

and that's all the american idol talk my life can handle.


8.28.2006 : 2:52 PM :
bay to breakers. "how is it living up north?" basically the answer is that it's exactly the same. usually moving to a new city and a new area entices you to explore and expand your horizons. instead i've spent the past two weeks acclimating myself to another cookie cutter suburban area and trying to establish all the amenities that i had in san diego. nearby jamba juice? check. boba shops? check. costco and cheap hawaiian food? check. the only thing i'm having trouble finding is a shaved ice place and a panda express. by september i hope to copy my entire previous life in southern california and replicate it here. what do they say about people when they turn old? they become stodgy and crotchety? i already had crotchety in spades, now i'm working on the stodgy.

after i settle in i plan to implement my "expand and conquer" mindset. the one where i visit the city a lot, make new friends, jump start my writing career, and simply take over the peninsula of san francisco. then again, i could just settle into my comfortable life in fremont and become lost in the morass that is middle class suburbia. aren't i too young for this? shouldn't i want to explore a hip happening city? instead i find myself tired out even by the prospect of wandering the aisles of target -- for the third time this week.

is my mind an exploratory young twenties but my body a lazy late fifties? it could be possible.


8.25.2006 : 1:35 PM :
lady is a tramp. it's tough to be a female isn't it? to balance that fine line between being womanly but not obscenely girly? a friend recently pointed out to me that she thinks i suffer from an issue of being attracted to females who look a certain way (cosmoplitan and feminine) but really desire an intellectual woman who has a stronger force of personality and tastes that may not be in line with traditional images of beauty. which is not to say that one can't be intellectually deep, cosmopolitan, and feminine at the same time, but it's just a rare combination to find. my friend pointed out that often times with people, what you see is what you get. so if i insist on being attracted to women who look a certain way, then i shouldn't be surprised when they turn out to be more focused on the superficial or have standards that conform to the classic views of relationships and life. after all, if someone buys into the ideal of a typical (societally indoctrinated) female, then that should also indicate their (typical) mindset to an extent right?

i'm still working this one out in my head. if this is true, then it could explain some things in my life. if it's not true, it's still something to ponder and discuss.

anyway, i'm watching a recent episode of made where a belching, farting, dirty slob of a girl wishes to be made into a lady -- in time for her sister's bridal shower. what we have here is a college-aged female who is a classic "one of the guys." her male friends declare that they would never date her because she exudes no accoutrements of feminitiy. an hour of reality tv time later, marissa becomes a well coifed, beautifully coutured, and daintily behaved princess.

boys suddenly notice her, she goes on a real date, her sister is "so proud of her." life changing stuff.

this brought me to the realization that even though men always express admiration and (momentary) interest in a girl who can "be a guy," they inevitably return to the sanitized conformist image of a girl who has a bit of refinement and sex appeal. women aren't just men with attention enhancing chest attachments; they are a different, and potentially very lovely, creature altogether.

men are still attracted to women who are, well, women. i know females all around the world realize this. maybe i'm a little late to the party but any females who are reading this are going "duh." but after my friend's "insight/accusation" and watching this episode of made, i'm really starting to think about what makes me/us attracted to certain females. it may not be anything as mysterious as pheromones or as obvious as physical attraction; it could be very much in the way someone walks or talks. and if she walks and talks like a dude, then you'll probably end up treating -- and thinking -- of her as an undateable dude.


8.16.2006 : 12:08 PM :
hold me closer tony danza. when i used to play house with my sister and our family friends (all females), it never occurred to me that playing imaginary house would last well into my late twenties -- and probably early thirties. it's disheartening that the most home related thing i own is a toaster. a toaster that wasn't even purchased by me but gifted by an ex-roommate. i own no couches, beds, dressers, microwaves, mini-fridges, shelves, permanent boxes, or anything of the sort. it's borderline pathetic, to be 27 and having only a toaster to your name. it does make moving easier but it's not so good on the soul.

was this an option when we were young? to be 27 and furniture-less? shouldn't we have moved away from ikea by now? isn't this about the time when we should be shunning (free) off the streets furniture to shop at west elm or slighter higher end furniture stores?

i just bought a $19.99 shower head today and i thought that was a big purchase. i also just installed said shower head using some brute strength (and a wrench thingy). i thought that was pretty manly of me.


8.11.2006 : 9:46 AM :
"as soon as i'm in a relationship, i promote fear from clerk to president, even though all it can do is sweep up, turn off the lights, and lock the door."
-the wonder spot, melissa bank-
lemons and limes and pears, oh my. oh relationships, without relationships what we would gossip about? life would be dull, conversations would stagnate, the world would stop. there's this perception held by some people -- especially those who are relationship novices or amateur relationshippers -- that by getting into a relationship, the dating roller coaster will smooth out and become a blissful ride through the tunnel of love. what people don't realize about getting into that tunnel of love is that right after the entrance is a steep drop-off followed by a turbulent ride more closely resembling "mr toad's wild ride" than "it's a small world."
"vincent (ex-boyfriend) says they're headed to another party themselves. he kisses both my cheeks and looks at me as though he cares deeply for me, a look i never got when we were together, a look that seth (current boyfriend) notices, and i think, phew: seth will think another man loved me; he will think i am the lovable kind of woman, the kind a man better love right or somebody else will."
-the wonder spot, melissa bank-
and they say that nobody should play "games" in relationships, but that's also false. relationships are a balancing act where everything you do is under heavy scrutiny and you need a good (logical) reason for doing anything that may strike someone else as aberrant. trying to stay on the same page at all times is not only nigh impossible, but perhaps, not even desireable.

a relationship is a daily battle of tug-of-war. there's near constant evaluation of where each person stands, how to maintain happiness for both parties, being on high alert for trouble areas. people think that with committment comes happiness, but in many cases, being committed means taking away from your individual happiness in order to promote dual happiness. taking one for the team, winning by losing, two wrongs make a right, that sort of thing.

relationships require honesty, but honestly can oftentimes be accompanied directly by hurt. there's a difference between "the truth" and "honesty." i'm not even sure which is which anymore, but i know that one is important to stress while the other is important to maintain.
"there are two types of bad boyfriends. the egregious type and the passionless type. the egregious type behaves in wrong ways -- cheats, lies, insults, cuddles with other girls, etc. the passionless type is worse -- sticks around physically, but is not there mentally or emotionally, though the girlfriend assumes otherwise. a going through the motions type. so i'm guessing in the past you belong to the former but the latter i think is worse."
-excerpted from an email sent to me by a friend-
i've found that being in a relationship can often be compared to being on pins and needles all the time. each action and reaction in a relationship is magnified beyond all belief. happy one moment, scream-worthy the next. stepping into a relationship is choosing to step into a spotlight. if you can't handle it, it's probably best to step away.

so why do it? the short answer is because what other option is there? we are surrounded by couples (maybe not right now, but in the long run), if you're not a part of one, you stick out. the long answer is the dialogue that occurs between friends consoling, advising, listening to each other.

relationships is hard work man. and we all should know that going in; but there are times when that truism really, finally, sinks in. i think that relationships are less about math than they are about art, which is something which is glaringly true, but something i'd not realized until somewhat recently. and even with that realization, i've still been bean-counting versus painting. know what i mean?


8.04.2006 : 3:01 PM :
"i shall take a building. a building shaped like a cross, furnished neither for habitation or defence. i shall multiply this building by a thousand, by ten thousand, by a hundred thousand...

it may be as small as a single room; it may soar into the sky. it may be old or it may be new; it may be plain or it may be rich; it may be of stone or it may be of wood or it may be of brick or of mud. this building is in the heart of cities and it is in the wild places of earth. it is on the islands and in deserts and upon mountains.

the walls and furnishings of this building tell stories; they talk of kings and queens and angels and devils; they instruct and they threaten. they are intended to uplift and to terrify. they are an argument made manifest.

the argument is another matter. what i am trying to demonstrate at this point is the amazing legacy of god -- or the possibility of god -- by way not of ideas but of manipulation of the landscape. churches have always seemed to me almost irrefutable evidence. they make me wonder if -- just possibly -- i might be wrong. which is how i came once to pray."
-penelope lively, moon tiger-


8.02.2006 : 11:32 PM :
what is this feeling? i got a chance to re-watch wicked again. my stated goal is to watch it anytime it's showing near me. which i hope amounts to at least once a year for the rest of my life. i love it that much. for unrevealed reasons, hong almost made me late to the show. i was straight panicking about not being let in until after the opening number. i rarely stress out, this was one of those times.

it's always jarring to see something live after you're used to the recorded versions. people will be off-key, harmonies will be totally wrong, the sound will be jacked up, it's never picture perfect. for some forms of musical entertainment, the energy will capably substitute for studio perfection. for a musical that you've listened to time and time again, it takes quite awhile to let go of the idea that "this is imperfect, this is live, why does this sound weird?" having said that, wicked is still the greatest musical ever. i'm so glad that i have memory issues because many of the jokes and moments still genuinely surprise me. i'm not anticipating anything, and i can see things through new eyes again.

it's tragic, however, when you want people around you to feel the same things that you do. when you are obsessed with something, you want to find others who are equally obsessed (and for the same reasons). you can't force this kind of obsession on anyone. it's either just there...or not. i think that's when people most feel like islands, when they can't get anyone to relate to them. luckily, i have a handful of friends who relate to wicked like i do -- at least on most levels. it's not a thing to overlook.

some of the performers came out afterward the show for a cast q&a. most of the questions were posed by wicked obsessed little girls. their questions ranged from "how long does it take to put on the green make-up" to "when elphaba and fiyero kiss, is it a real kiss?" it's crazy to see the performers in street clothes mere moments after seeing them on-stage. the characters are stripped away and the pounding thought you have through your head is "wow, they are so normal!" the actors/actresses were funny, erudite, sarcastic, inspired, and seemed grateful and genuine. at first i thought sitting through a q&a would be akin to pulling the curtain on the wizard, revealing his magic, instead it just enhanced the mystery.

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