Sunday, March 28, 2004

Fight for the White and Blue!

OK, yet another half-assed random list entry because damnit it's friggin' hot, my allergies are acting up, and I'm still as giddy, yes, that's right, giddy, after Duke made it into the Final Four after two straight years of chumpin' it at the Sweet Sixteen.

1. Business Card Chick might be the most passive-aggressive person I've ever met. I suggested that she could mail me the business cards when they get in if she felt more comfortable doing that. She writes back she totally understands if I don't want to meet her anymore. Hating the whole "Hey, I don't want to take responsibility so I'll make you feel bad", I reply (in a very humorous oh you just had to be there way) that of course I want to meet her, but that I suggested mailing the cards only because I thought she felt uncomfortable. So we're now back onto meeting, she invited me to her gig that night (which I didn't go to--friggin' tired plus I needed to watch Duke beat Illinois), and now she also thinks I'm "stinkin funny". Sigh. Aren't there any stable arty chicks out there?

2. Wasn't there some light wuss-rock ballad from the eighties or seventies that described the situation in Point 2 in my last entry? Probably something by Journey or Foreigner. Bonus karma points to those who can tell me which song it was. At least I have an idea to incorporate into the novel.

3. OK. So while this whole Set-Up Chick non-situation was evolving, I had a dream involving the infamous Makeup Chick. I was in London on an illicit vacation. I was supposed to be at work, but I was fed up. I decided to travel to London by myself, which is unusual because I hate going on vacation alone. Anyway, I'm at this open drinking fair--like Octoberfest, but, ummmm, British. So I go to the urinals and there's this other American there. He's all "Dude, cool, another American. Let's grab a brewskie." It's nice to be hanging out with another Yank, but then he starts making a fool of himself by trying to speak in a British accent. Kinda Madonna bad British accent. He meanders off back to the urinals. The locals start looking at me in a hostile manner. I say, "That's a Yank in a bad need of an ass-kicking." Then everyone starts laughing. And I start making fun of bad British accents, and the audience is like putty in my hands. I see Makeup Chick. I'm about to say, "Hi, it's really cool seeing you here," but she says before I can open up my mouth, "Hi, my name is Calleigh."

Monday, March 22, 2004

Red Suitcase Full Of Clothes

Because work has been insane lately (like I just wanted to rest my eyes for five minutes and when I opened them back again it was an hour later insane), I'm gonna be an ol' wuss and do one of those random list of things on my mind in the past week.

1. Best cynical yet pleading lyric about love made even more poignant by the context of the song I've heard in a long long time: "True love ain't that hard to find / Not that either one of us will ever know." Ryan Adams, Please Do Not Let Me Go.

2. Random snippet between High School GalPal and Marty Stark last week:

Marty: Yeah, I know that I shouldn't be pissed off about Biz Card Chick, but that whole 'Hey, you're not my type but please still validate my ego and tell me I'm good' response is just way lame.

HSGP: I know. She sounded like a seventeen year old. But how about the chick you tried to set her up with you? What's her story?

Marty: What do you mean what's Set-up Chick's story? She has a live-in boyfriend she's been going out with for 5 years, she's the boss' sister, and I work with her. That's the story.

HSGP: Uh huh, and she randomly gives you calls at home to talk, and everytime you talk with her, you speak for hours. She's told you several times about how she's had her talk with the live-in boyfriend about marriage and he just keeps lamely pushing it off. When you mentioned Makeup Chick and how she had a boyfriend, Set-Up Chick said that didn't matter and that women live with their boyfriends for the wrong reason. And you two have had dinner with each other several nights now.

Marty: OK, where is this conversation going?

HSGP: Let's put it this way. When you talked about Biz Card chick, I didn't hear a smile in your voice. The only time I hear a smile in your voice is when you talk about Set-up Chick.

(Lengthy pause)

Marty: Oh fuck.

3. Images Marty Stark Had After Conversation Identified in Point 2: Slow motion black and white footage of buffalos going over a cliff, Binky the Crotch-Hammer of Frustration laughing maniacally, a man hit in crotch with football.



6. I know it's a song that the WB will be playing over and over again on its teen angst One Tree Gilmore Hill In Everwood shows, but Ryan Adams' cover of "Wonderwall" has been on repeat today. The original Oasis version worked fine on its own--a power pop Beatle-esque song of the classic slightly drunken boy telling girl how much he loves her sung with a confident swagger full of guitar flourishes. Ryan Adams' cover is stripped down, almost acoustic. Instead of a swagger, he sings the verse "I said maybe you're gonna be the one that saves me" in an almost questioning way, like he's nervously bearing his soul, knowing that in all likelihood the girl is going to reject him. And the song is made better for it.

7. Point 6 has nothing to do with either Points 2 or 3. No. Really.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

You are Schroeder!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I woulda thunk I was more Charlie Brown than Schroeder, what with the huge head and girl problems. At least it got the neuroses thing right.

I Maintain In The Slow Lane

Ummmm, just so y'all know, that last entry was not a cry for help. I mean, c'mon, there's three weeks of March Madness to look forward to! (Though if the Blue Devils bow out before the Sweet Sixteen) . . .

So I Turn Up The Sound And You Are Nowhere . . .

"Friends is no use to me, Jack. I've got friends. I don't need anymore. What I need is someone who'll light up the woods so I can find a place to stay." Nearly, Spares by Michael Marshall Smith

"In a very real physiological sense, what we've incorporated in memory from the past also significantly affects how we experience the present and form new memories. 'Experiences are encoded by brain networks whose connections have already been shaped by previous encounters with the world,' says Daniel Schacter. 'This preexisting knowledge powerfully influences how we encode and store new memories, thus contributing to the nature, texture, and quality of what we will recall of the moment.' We remember only what we have encoded and what the brain decides to encode depends on our past experiences, knowledge, and needs." The Mind at Night: The New Science of How and Why We Dream by Andrea Rock

I've been driving on this forest road for as long as I can remember. Maybe there once was a time in which I saw sunlight filtering through the branches. I remember once seeing the moon casting its light, throwing the trees into sharp whites, blues and blacks. But now, the only things that aren't the blurred black shadows of trees rushing by are the sickly yellow beams that flicker orange from the car headlights, the mottled brown road in front of me and the green coming off the digital dashboard clock that's been reading 3:00 a.m. every time I've glanced at it. I think the battery is dying.

This isn't to say it's always been a lonely journey. There were rest stops and coffee shops along the way. I had some pie with friends. The coffee was always hot, the pie sweet, the company warm and understanding. But my friends had places to stay, people to be with. And anyways, a booth at diner is no substitute for a warm bed and someone at your side. So as always, I get back in the car and drive back onto the forest road.

I've had to open up the windows in the last hour despite the fact that there's frost on the windshield. I'm at the point where the coffee my friends packed for me doesn't keep me awake--it just makes me jittery and nervous. My eyes are beginning to feel like they're sinking into their sockets, and almost every other breath I take is a yawn. I try not to count the steady whirring sound of trees that I drive pass. The clock still reads 3:00 a.m. I know that I should stop the car, rest at the edge of the road, and perhaps when I wake up, I'll see the sun and hear the ocean. But you see, the rest stops, the coffee shops, I get this yearning, a yearning for a place to stay. Just as my body is boneweary, my mind is tired of knowing that every rest is temporary and once more it will go on its own into the forest.

I've passed several places before, but, well, the beds weren't for me, or another person had just claimed the space, or they looked fine on the outside but had too many shadows once you walked in. The places where the beds weren't for me made me the saddest. So I just kept driving.

And I've been driving for so long that my heart begins to feel sick, and my mind begins to falter. I nearly crashed, mistaking a gathering of fireflies for a home.

The clock still reads 3:00 a.m.

I know I should pull over. But my heart is racing now and my mind is fatigued, sick with trip, sick with beds that weren't for me, sick with the beds that had been claimed by somone else. I know I should pull over, but my foot becomes heavy on the accelerator. I no longer care if there's a hairpin turn in the road.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Move On, Move On, There's No Point In Waiting

OK, so that keeping mum instead of blathering about the situation like usual in hopes that things turn out differently? Didn't work. Didn't work at all. Sigh, at least I get cool business cards out the whole thing. Maybe it's karma for my last post.

Monday, March 08, 2004

He'd Rather Be Alone Than Pretend . . .

Yes, I know I should be happy that there are Asian women on out there who wuuuuuuuuv me, who are jonesin' for the Starkster. Ohhhh, that coy little wink, that soft lens graduation photo and that broken English that sounds like disposable chopstick instructions. I guess I would find that sexy . . . if I was some creepy mid-fifties accountant wearing tan suits off the discount rack from the Piscataway K-Mart who surreptitiously surfs for websites that have the term "Asian" within three words of "Slut" or "Fetish" at work.

I know some of you are saying, "Whoa Marty, why you bein' such a hatah? Them phillies just be needin' some of your luvin'." And I admit, everytime I get these thoughts when I open up an e-mail from some chick from the Fujian Province, I feel a little bit guilty. But since I'm such a self-aware guy, I've been thinking about why I get this reaction. And it goes deeper than just hating FOBs.

What it comes down to is they don't friggin' read my profile. And I don't feel guilty anymore.

So in this last week, I've received a spate of "winks" and e-mails from women living in China. Now, before you start thinking that I look like Long Duck Dong (may you rot in hell John Hughes), I actually look like Elvis Costello, but, ummmm, Asian. I don't have a bowl cut nor am I wearing badly pressed dress shirts with pen protectors in my photo. And if you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I can write, so no, my profile does not read like a Japanese advert for scotch.

Anyway, back to this whole Nancy from Nanjing crapola that's been flooding my e-mail. See, the reason why I'm annoyed is that my profile specifically says I'm looking for women within 50 miles of Los Angeles. If you don't take the time to read my profile, then why should I take the time to get to know you?

Hmmmm, still think I'm going a bit overboard? OK, so let's say you meet someone. You tell them your name, a little bit about yourself, a little window into you. And during this conversation, that someone starts calling you the wrong name, gets your profession confused, keeps stepping on your toe. Yeah, don't tell me you wouldn't get peeved. Now imagine that this happens to you all friggin' night. The reason why you get peeved is because that someone has shown an utter lack of consideration toward you.

Now reading a profile is a helluva lot easier than listening to a conversation.

Thrown into this whole lack of consideration is the vibe I get from some of these e-mails. And that vibe is "Oooooh, lawyah, american, he rich! Maybe he invite me to america too! I get rich! Live in big house! Buy big car!" And before you accuse me of stereotyping, just take a look at a random sampling of profiles from anywhere, and you will see "lookin' for sugar daddy" profiles. The women from China seem to be more pushy about it.

Now I appreciate why some profiles that I read the women explicitly state "DON'T REPLY IF YOU DON'T READ THE PROFILE" and are all bitter. They get mooks all the time who don't read the profile hopin' on the off chance that they're the frog that gets the princess. Instead, they're just the frog that doesn't friggin' read the profile and show an utter disregard from the woman whose profile they're reading.

I'm tempted to write "NO FOBS--IF YOU LIVE MORE THAN 50 MILES OUTSIDE OF LA, DON'T WRITE BECAUSE I WON'T WRITE BACK TO YOU," but hey, that comes off very very badly. That won't stop me from kvetching about it here though.

Marty Stark, providing you yet another window into the Asian American male mind.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Look Up

Eventually, I'll put up an articulate, driven post about why it is the responsibility of every Asian American male to hate William "She Bang" Hung and those that would make him famous (short answer--William "She Bang" Hung and the producers of American Idol have set back non-FOB prortrayals of Asians in American Pop Culture by two decades, it's as if Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat and Yao Ming didn't exist), but it's 86 degrees here in the City of Angels and I have another project going on. So, I'll leave you with some random thoughts I've had in the last couple of days, sorta' like Larry King without the insanity.

1. Yeah, I'm glad that Duke won last night against UNC. I'm also very glad that UNC is looking much improved under Roy Williams--a rivalry ain't much if the other team sucks ass. Anyway, during the half-time show, the commentators were mentioning what a strange year it was when UCLA may not even make it to the Pac-10 Tourney. So here's a question for you: UNC and UCLA--both teams are going through a restructuring year under a new coach after several mediocre seasons. Both teams have the talent--during their lost years, they showed signs of brilliance admist the dross. The new coaches of both teams come from Top 10 programs--Howland from Pitt, Williams from Kansas. And to be silly, both teams have powder blue in their uniforms. So why is it that UNC is doing well in a rather bloody conference while UCLA seems to have given up the season in a craptastic conference?

2. So I might be a bit premature about that whole being written off for my religious beliefs (or lack thereof) by a certain woman in a band who happens to be designing my business card thing. OK, that's all you get. I'm taking the cautiously optimistic path for now, and trying not to jinx anything by blathering about it like my usual modis operandi.

3. Random Santa Monica scene: Near empty British pub three blocks away from the ocean, eating a fish and chips lunch with Guinness. At the bar, an old man with a heavy Mancunian accept blathers away with the all American bartender. Yet another reason to love living in L.A. area.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Charlie Chan Is Dead

Topic that has been percolating through my head in the last week: Every Asian American male should hate William "She Bang" Hung--hate him with a mad passion. Discuss amongst yourselves.