Friday, June 19, 2009

Asian-Americans and Dating: Gross

Don't mind who the people in this picture are. The photo was taken not to capture their faces but to capture the spirit of their lunch. As I posted about before, I'm on jury duty. That basically means that I was destined to have lunch in Little Tokyo--it's a short walking distance, and I don't get to have food from around here all that often. Upon entering my favorite lunchtime eatery, Koraku, a Japanese diner-style restaurant, something about the two above people struck me right away. The scene seemed all-too familiar, but I waited until I had sat down and eavesdropped (come on, it's not like you wouldn't have) a bit before I passed judgment.

She was cute, and he was not bad looking and fairly well dressed. They sat about a foot apart for most of their meal together at the counter. Their conversation drifted from how many BTU they thought the burner used to silence to some other fatuous topic and back around the rosy again. By the time their food (and mine, for that matter--Koraku is quick) arrived and they idly shared a plate of gyoza amidst their individual bowls of ramen, it was clear that I was right about what I was witnessing. The icing on the cake was when they both put in for the check. I've been there before. It was a platonic date.

All throughout high school, I never really knew what dating was beyond what the WB showed me. I never really went on what would qualify by their standards as a date. I had "hung out" countless times with female companions, but there was never any inclination towards romance. And this is how "dating" occurs among Asian-Americans in this area--it doesn't. A male and a female hang out platonically until the female deems it acceptable for the two to become a romantic item. For this reason, I really commiserated with the dude in the picture. I don't know how many times I'd taken a "friend" to an out-of-the-way, somewhat special place to share a meal only to drop her off with the promise that we would share other meals like it in the future. Let me tell you, I may be in a physical form of purgatory, but that guy was in relationship purgatory, a weird middle state in which he spins his wheels until something happens to change their dynamic. I don't know where this horribly inefficient system came from, but it's no good. People should be clear about what kind of relationships they want between themselves and others instead of picking whenever it's convenient. Now that I've seen the other side (I had talked to Aimee twice before asking her out on a date), I know that the entire roundabout mating ritual these kids go through is pointless. Thank goodness for that.

I finished my lunch quietly (which was no small feat considering I had a big plate of fried rice, shrimp omelet, and gravy), snapping that stalker-ish picture without belaboring it. If this infringes on anyone's rights, I apologize, but I wanted to show what I saw and what I went through en route to learning a little something about how the world should work.

Partially Purgatory

If there were ever things such as Heaven, Hell, and someplace inbetween, I'm here. Writing to you from the beautiful Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in historic Downtown Los Angeles, I am suffering in a big white holding room. Stay tuned for updates throughout the day.

Edit: Although I intended to liveblog my jury duty experience, nap time and lunch time interrupted that process. This is not to say that the process will ever begin, though, since I've found something more interesting (to me) to talk about.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A dear friend of mine

Any Dodger fan will tell you that Vin Scully is the greatest baseball announcer ever to have called a game. I'm sure a lot of non-Dodger fans would say the same. However, something that Dodger fans alone can claim is that Vinny is a close, personal friend, someone with whom they have shared some of the best and worst of times with.

If you asked, I couldn't tell you the first time I heard Vin's sterling silver tones. I couldn't even tell you my favorite of all the games he's called. Those things aren't important when it comes to Vin. Our relationship isn't predicated on remembering anniversaries or gift giving, just really amazing conversations. So many times he'll comment on a little girl or boy in the crowd or tell a story about players from the Polo Grounds in Brooklyn, and I'll feel as though we were chatting idly over coffee and a Farmer John Dodger Dog or two.

To be fair, Vin might not be the best play-by-play man in the league, but Dodger fans don't watch just to see what happens. They tune in to televised broadcasts and the first three innings of radio in order to experience the game alongside an incomparable companion. The destination is important, but the ride doesn't have to be a three hour drag one hundred and sixty two days a year (well, less than that since Vin doesn't travel too far away from LA these days). Even if you aren't a Dodger fan, watch a Friday night or Sunday afternoon game that Vinny's calling, and pay less attention to the game than the overall experience provided by one of the warmest and gentlest friends you'll ever have.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pooh vs. Jack

Once I was able to keep Jack, there really wasn't much training to do. Of course there were some house rules he needed to familiarize himself with: Not jumping on the couch unless invited, not begging for food, and so on. He never got into to any trouble with my family because he was a sweet, respectful dog with a quiet disposition. He behaved pretty well the first few weeks back. Instead of having to take him out on a set schedule, Jack would tell me when he wanted to go outside by placing his head on my lap, or if I was laying down, he would sit on my back. Also, when he did go out to relieve himself, he would go to the back yard and come back to the house on his own. He completed this, and many other tasks wonderfully. The point is that Jack earned the status "good dog".

Before I tell you what happend between Jack and Pooh, let me tell you how Winnie the Pooh and I crossed paths. My sister is about twenty-nine now, and when she was little she had received this Winnie the Pooh and then later gave it to me, so making Winnie the Pooh twenty-nine as well. We were inseparable, I took my friend everywhere, from Lake Tahoe all the way to Thailand. I never left home without him. When I had bad days, he was there for me to cry on. As I got older, Pooh grew older as well as dirtier and saggier. I still had a special place in my heart for him. When Jack came along the situation changed. Jack soon became another good friend, like Winnie the Pooh.

Jack was never allowed to sleep on the bed. He had his own bed on the ground. But one night I had decided to let him sleep on my bed considering he had a good record with my parents and myself. The night had went well, no barking or crying. My alarm went off, and when I went reaching for it I felt soft, fluffy pieces on my bed. I opened my eyes and it had rained yellow all over my bed. Jack had supposedly mistaken Pooh for a chew toy. I was infuriated and upset. I yelled at Jack and demanded he leave my room. He looked at me with sad eyes and displayed his belly to me as a sign of submission. The whole day he didn't returned to my room; he realized he had done something terribly wrong. But throughout the day, I had come to a realization as well, that I was wrong to have yelled at Jack and although he had chewed up Pooh, he was still just a dog. He had no idea how much Winnie the Pooh meant to me. I also thought that there was no reason to be upset over material things, that I had Jack, a new blessing in my life and a best friend for years to come.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Flashback Monday, part 3

Rain on my Parade:

This memory is not so distant. In fact, it comes from this past Monday. Before Tommy, Aimee, and I got on our way to Disneyland, we had to stop for gas. Nothing out of the ordinary. However, as I took the nozzle out from the car, I felt something hit my head. It felt like a nut falling from a tree, so I looked around to see if I could find it. Then I realized that there were no trees even remotely close, and the gas station was covered by a big platform, too. Finally, I smelled it, and I knew: I was hit by poo.

I didn't say a word after. I put the nozzle back in the pump, closed up the gas tank and door, and opened the front door. All I could do was stare at Aimee, but she was preoccupied with something else, so I just said it: "A bird pooped on me." I went over to the passenger side and she cleaned off a bit of it with Kleenex, but it was pretty clear (as can be seen in the picture) that we would have to go back to Aimee's so I could wash my hair. We did that, and it came out pretty easily, but I just couldn't believe that our trip came to a screeching halt because of my rotten luck. Aimee says that being pooped on is good luck, but only seeing that happen will make me a believer. Although we eventually got going and had a really good time at Disneyland, I don't think I'll ever forget this. I know that I certainly won't forget the smell . . .

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Prayers for a Miracle

Jack's previous owners wanted him back for reasons unbeknownst to me.I had feelings of both anger and sadness. I kept wondering how these supposed "dog lovers" could be so selfish and cruel to this animal; to give him away and then want to take him back. Jack had basically become a part of the family as well as my best friend. I was giving away a part of me. Tears were streaming down my face while I put the leash on Jack. He licked the tears in a gesture that said don't be sad, I love you. I headed outside towards my mom's car. The day was a sad shade of an overcast gray, the sky seemed to know how I was feeling. I placed him in the passenger seat of the car, gave him a hug, and said my farewell to Jack. He looked up at me with sad eyes; he knew that he was leaving me. The day he left was one of the worst days I've ever had in my life. I was depressed, who wouldn't be. In my head I thought that I had lost my best friend, and he was never coming back. Every night I'd cry myself to sleep and every morning I wake up to bloodshot eyes and a feeling of never wanting to leave my bed. My parents tried to convince me that it would be "okay" and that he will be just "fine" and they would eventually get me another goldiedoodle. I didn't think it would be fine or okay, and no other dog--even one of the same breed--would ever compare to Jack. I prayed every night not necessarily just to get him back but in hopes that he was happy and well-taken care of at his current home. I had a small voice inside my heart telling me that maybe he would come back, but my head told me to be realistic, that life doesn't always go the way you want it to. More than a month went by and I was still upset, but I had accepted what had happened. I went to school that day and in the middle of class my cell phone began to vibrate with my mom appearing on the tiny screen. I left class to see if it was an emergency. My mom said that it was no emergency but instead good news. She said that when Jack went back to his previous home, he wasn't the same--he was depressed, refused to play, and cried at night. The owners decided to give him back. I was elated; I couldn't believe it. I was getting my best friend back. My prayers came true.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

an enthusiasm for boating

my, my, my...
what a pretty day it is today. the sun is out. i bathe in its bright, bright light with my shirt off and my flab exposed to the neighbors across the street. they stare at me with funny little eyes, squinting, trying oh-so-hard to sneak a peak at my sizzling skin. ...gosh, enough of that! 
i have no idea where i was going with all of those curious little descriptions - if i wrote a book, i'd probably call it "Dithering Heights," you know, for the sake of irony.

last night i went to a karaoke bar in Downey. it was quite contrite, or at least the patrons were. me and the boys got there around ten, right as the Dodgers vs. Angels game was coming to a close. Fans of both teams were in attendance at the bar, and speckles of blue and red people spotted the otherwise drab decor.

i was glorious in my two-toned green button-up from Barneys, in my dirtiest pair of blue jeans, in my $77 dollar guarache sandals, with hair perfectly coiffed and a wrist that shone like the moon, that is, because of the ethnic bracelet that i bought from a peddler on the streets of Yuca, California. ...but that's another story.

After the Dodgers were humiliated on their field, a guy named Steve set up the Karaoke machine by connecting a long black chord from the machine to the projector. it was all very fascinating to watch - Steve's Nightly Ritual. I knew his name was Steve because I heard one of the lady bartenders singing to him as he left, "AWwww, Steve, don't leave, don't leave me...Steve."

Needless to say, I drank more than my fair share of booze, and by the end of the night everybody in the bar was calling me, El Greco - because of my beautiful brown curly tresses, apparently i'm what they think a greek person looks like - and everyone shouted like maniacs during my rendition of "Cocaine Blues" because my hair was quivering from the robust vibrato of my singing, and they loved watching the gyrations. 

We must remember that we are speaking of drunk people, all gathered together in the ceremony of Friday night under a single roof; and in this strange habitat, all social expectations are drowned, no behavior is taboo, and popcorn is free until 11:30.

As soon as i got home, i passed out. My friends took full advantage of my insobriety, and they drew thousands of penises (different sizes and shapes and colors) all across the length of my back and stomach and legs and feet. I was covered in cock. i suppose i can understand why my neighbors were so interested in watching me sun tan.