Little, Yellow, Different

Jul 12

To his defense, some people really don't like cantaloupe

May 11

Mother's Day. On the phone, in Chinese, English in ALL CAPS.

May 02

That Time I Went to Shen Yun -

Something I posted on Medium which I’m cross-posting here in case you don’t read Medium. 

Mar 27

“OONTZ oontz oontz oontz OONTZ
oontz oontz oontz OONTZ oontz oontz oontz
OONTZ oontz I’M… SO… HIGH” — A little haiku about the Ultra Music Festival. (via sobehaikus)

Mar 16

That moment where I almost trash 24,000 words of stories and start over again from scratch

Remember how I was working on a self-publishing a book? Or at least, make progress on it? I said I was going to do that. And now it’s been oh, a year and some change, and there’s been nothing.

So what happened?

At first, I was doing really well. Two Christmas’ ago, I had self published a test run of some short stories about my family to some friends and I gave it out to folks at our annual Christmas gathering. I wrote and I edited and I re-wrote again. I worked at Starbucks and I spent a New Years at a cabin in Georgia with no wifi. At the end of the day I had a rough draft that came to around twenty four thousand words - not enough for a novel length piece, just some stuff to see if it got the attention of the people who read it. The folks who did read it - for the most part, liked it.

My next step - and this is the deadline that’s been tougher for me to hit - was to have fifty thousand words of content about my family. The thought is that from there, I could find an editor to help me make it more of a cohesive story, maybe get a Kickstarter to have some assistance write the design of the book, finally cross “write a book” off my bucket list.

But no. Turns out that this has been tougher than I thought it would be, thanks to the following, in order of magnitude of excuses:

  1. I started a full time job less than a year ago, after a lousy two months of freelancing and worrying about where the next paycheck would come from. But a full time job with a steady paycheck and domestic partner health insurance means a sudden lack of wanting to do anything after work that involved thinking.

  2. My blog used to be funny, and so everyone - me included - expects my writing to be funny. And then things in my life became heavy, or at the very least the way I responded to these things in my life changed, and so I wrote in other ways. When I write stuff like this out, I relive it. And it could get exhausting, no matter how much of a funny spin I make things.

    So I tried writing funny stuff again, or at least did my best to put a funny spin on things - but otherwise I wrote some pieces that came off as angry and bitter. Those didn’t get published.

  3. Some stuff happened from my last trip home which, uhm, changes the narrative from what I previously written. Obviously I’ve had no problem writing about it before, but does that mean I have to write this thing all over again? My God, I’m tired of writing.

  4. Which brings me to that point: I’m getting a little tired of writing about my family. For example, I could write about my time here in Miami - and trust me, it’s been REALLY tempting to just throw all my stories into the deleted folder and start from scratch - but I know my worst happen is to not finish projects I am starting, so it’s something I’m shelving for now.

    On the other hand, I’ve written a LOT of stories about my family, and I still need a good chunk of additional stuff. There can only be so many stories which revolve around my sister being mentally ill, my mom being well-intentioned but eccentric, my dad being an 82 year old aging asshole. I write all of that in danger of me looking unappreciative, like I have issues and the only way I can get over it is by writing a tell-all.

    Maybe I do have issues. Maybe the only I can get over it IS by writing a tell-all.

"Maybe you should just walk away and not think about it for a while," my boyfriend suggested. So that’s what I’ve done.

But now it’s been a good chunk of time, I need to figure out what to do - either walk away and write this off as a life lesson or, make a final attempt to write (as well as make a serious effort to throw money at an editor to help me figure out if there’s a overarching story to all of these stories.) I think that’s why I’m writing this as well - maybe it’ll nudge me in one direction or another.

Side note to everything: the boyfriend is reading a 340-page memoir of a man who had self-described consensual sex with a dolphin, for “research purposes.” (The book reading for research purposes; not the dolphin sex. You’ll have to read the book or ask dolphin-fucker directly.)

Mar 07

What actually happens when I go to Fremont

Whenever I go back to San Francisco now, it’s always the same thing: I spend a week with my friends, usually eating as much Asian food as I can possibly handle. Carnitas too, usually in the form of burritos. For the most part, my home base will be in the Mission, where I lived for five years, with ventures into downtown to work at the local co-working spaces. Maybe I’ll be the very tourist I avoided as a local and walk along the waterfront or go to the Castro.

After that, I hop on the BART train to the end of the line, the suburbs in Fremont. I spend the second week visiting mom, in the room that my dad stayed in before he moved out and has now become the computer room. Or in my case, the guest bedroom. It’s a twin mattress, the bed frame I had as a kid. The mattress is super firm and it feels like a cot in the barracks, probably the most suitable sleeping environment for dad. I usually lie to my mom and tell her that I just flew in. I’ve told the truth in the past - that I’m flying to California but seeing friends first - but she doesn’t take it too well.

Staying here has been fine, for the most part. One part of coming home is always the inevitable English or technology based errand. Burn some CDs, make sure she wasn’t being convinced she was dying of cancer when she gets a English reminder about her mammogram. This time around it was to “fix her TooYoo,” by which she meant, of course, making sure her YouTube works.

I upgrade Flash on her Safari browser.

"What did you do?" she asks in Chinese. "Did you purchase something? They always want me to purchase something."

"No, I just installed Flash," I say in English. She has no idea what I’m talking about, so she leaves the room into the kitchen and returns with a parfait glass filled with pineapple chunks. "I salted them," she said. "Kills the germs."

The most annoying thing is the lack of locks on the doors because of Angela. As a result, mom and her opens the door at random times. Do you want some ice tea? Do you want some hot tea? How about some fruit? I cut up some fruit. Have you showered yet? Most of the time I brush her off: no, mom, I’m fine. Seriously. Mom, I’m okay. The times I eventually give in - sure mom, I’ll drink some water, okay, I’ll take a shower at night - I end up feeling guilty, like I’m enabling all of this to happen as a thirty-eight year old instead of an eight year old.

Angela comes in the room as well. “Is that your work computer?” she asks while I type this.

"Yeah."

"Do you have friends and freedom?" she asks out of the blue.

"I guess I do." I keep my eyes on the computer.

"I wish I did. I live in a straight jacket." She leaves the room again.

Just a Thursday evening.

Mar 04

[video]

Feb 26

Things My Chinese Mom Forwards Me -

When I first got my mom her computer and taught her how to type in Chinese (tracing in Chinese characters using a trackpad) she wrote me exactly three e-mails and then spent the rest of her time forwarding me Chinese language Powerpoint presentations.

You may as well come along for the ride.

Feb 24

[video]

Dec 30

As part of Ai Weiwei’s exhibit at PAMM they had a list of the 7000 children who died in the China quake a couple years back. I found a list of these kids with my last name.

As part of Ai Weiwei’s exhibit at PAMM they had a list of the 7000 children who died in the China quake a couple years back. I found a list of these kids with my last name.