Saturday, September 26, 2009

Words_You're Waysist! Series: #2 - "The Passerby-ers"

Please note that passerby comments are fairly normal. People notice you're Asian and of course care to put in their two cents. This may be executed in karate sound effects, shouting out an Asian country, or naming an Asian celebrity like Lucy Liu or Connie Chung. There's no explanation to these outbursts, they're just outbursts, with no rhyme or reason.

Passerby #1
Porkchop, Luke and I attended one of the last few O's games in September. We were walking back to my car after a pitiful loss (surprise surprise) and pitiful stadium might I add (we noted how fans cheered more for the Crab Shuffle and the ketchup, mustard and relish race than the actual game). We were following a large family in front of us and there was a group of twenty somethings next to us.

One of the twenty-somethings blurted out a strong expletive. His friend immediately reprimanded him which I thought was because of the handfuls of children walking in front of us under the age of 14. I heard the guys respond, "They can't hear me, look, she probably doesn't even know English."

Remember, these guys were next to me so I couldn't see who they were referring to; but after assessing the white family in front of me, I could only assume they were talking about me. I'm not 100% but I'm fairly certain I was the only one around that qualified as a possible subject. And for that, I would like to punch him in his face, possibly with his own penis. Just sounds more painful for some reason.

Passerby #2
Two days ago, Ray and I were downtown chatting on a bench. Earlier, we had grabbed a cup of coffee and witnessed a customer dressed in swimming trunks, construction boots, a white shirt with a cut off jean jacket, and bandana on his head. He was noticeably crazy, maybe high, possibly schizo. He was jittery, thin as a rail, made abrupt comments, and was generally unsettling to stand next to.

As we were talking, he passed by us. I felt him stare at me and then say audibly: "Konichiwa." My first reaction was to laugh because the fat white guy scenario had just happenend a few days earlier and I wondered if someone had put a target on my forehead. And then I remembered my target was that I was Asian. Awesome.
Ray stops talking because I'm laughing and then says, "Did he just say what I think he said?"
"What," I say, still laughing.
"Did he just say konichiwa?"
"Mm-hmm," I roll my eyes. "Don't worry about it."
Ray jerks his head to see the guy still talking to himself, retreating farther and farther away. Ray is paralyzed with anger and he holds his hands up to show me that he's shaking. He says something about beating the crap out of the guy and throwing him in the water; he might have also said something about blood and police, which I appreciate, but discerned that it may not be the best idea.
"Seriously," I say. "Don't worry about it. It's stupid and it's not worth it."
Or is it? Regardless, it's nice to know Ray has my back. In his own words, "Yeah, 38 years of anger coming at you is not a good thing." Amen.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Words_You're Waysist! Series: #1 - "The Fat White Guy"

The last time someone made a humorous comment about my race (Korean/Asian or if you're The Ferg - Native American) was actually yesterday courtesy of yours truly. I told Porkchop I was going to come pick him up in a rickshaw. Lame. Overdone. Stupid? Whatever.

The last time someone made a serious comment about my race (Korean/Asian), was, let's see, yesterday. And three more times before that this summer. Here are the scenarios starting from the most recent:

The Fat White Guy (Yesterday)
I'm shooting photography for a local cornhole competition (gross) as a favor for a friend; pro bono.
Total life sucking hours: 7
Perks: 1 free beer (thanks Mahaffey) and veggie burrito; use of sweet Canon 30D camera

So I'm making my rounds with an extra camera and a camera bag in tow, trying to capture as many emotional moments that cornhole is known to conjure up in a competition. Believe me, it's serious stuff, folks. I see a guy in a black shirt and visor, probably mid to late 30s with a visible beer belly, waving his hand at me. I assume he wants his photo taken as this is the same gesture I've responded to all day. He immediately shakes his head with unmistakable irritation as I poise myself to shoot. I lower my camera and walk nearer to him, hearing a hum of undecipherable mumbling. I eventually make out some words with questionable clarity: "...when you put two and two together, you're just perpetuating the stereotype."

I stop. Is he saying what I think he's saying? No, no, couldn't be. This guy doesn't even know me. He's kidding, he's got to be kidding.

"Excuse me?" I narrow my eyes at him.

He shrugs and says again, "You're perpetuating the stereotype, you know," he nods toward my camera equipment and then at me, looking almost angry; definitely serious; definitely unhappy. "I just thought you should know that."

Stunned and pissed, I say sarcastically, "Thank you SO much for letting me know," I put my hand to my chest dramatically. He shrugs again. I will myself to walk away, wishing I had the sharp ass-kicking wit of best friend Big Mouth or the actual ass-kicking fervor of yes, I'll say it, Jackie F-ing Chan. Why do all the great comebacks come to you post-incident? Honestly, it's probably a good thing I didn't retaliate (not like I could because I was shocked into speechlessness). Although, it did take EVERYTHING in me to not key his Japanese-made Acura. Ha!

Reflection #1
I guess what was most perplexing was that he chose to offend me with a comment that was completely irrelevant to the situation. All the people who stopped to talk to me asked where the photos were going to appear, logically assuming I represented the media; not that I represented an eastern tourist.

Reflection #2
The other perplexing observation was that he was really irritated. He was acting like I was offending him with my cameras and my Asianness. How do you respond to that? I just don't get it.

So, my question to you is, how would you respond to someone who sees your cameras and your Asianness and tells you that you're perpetuating a stereotype?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Words_The Beauty of Absurdity

Tonight, over portobello mushroom burgers (topped with beautiful caramelized onions, havarti cheese, lettuce, and tomato), full glasses of sangria, and oh yes, cheez-its, Raych Arles and I got down to business.

Our mission? To script a play, or a sitcom, or a series of sorts, documenting our odd, outrageous, awkward, hilarious personal experiences, fictionalizing when necessary of course. The story will follow our main character, Whitney, a recent college graduate and her two best guy friends (names to be determined). Making frequent cameos will be Whitney's best girl friend, Sirisha, a starving blogger who once ran a Korean hair extension kiosk called Hair Wow Now (which happens to also be where she and Whitney met). The story will document Whitney's futile attempts to finding her dream job (personal assistant to B-list celebrity) and the ups and downs and twists and turns that accompany the journey.

Hooked yet? I know I am!

More to come...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Words_Late on It

Okay, this song ("Time to Pretend") is sick. I know, I'm late on the boat. It's probably been featured on every show targeted to 16-year-old indie heads and will probably be a fade in fade out snippet on mtv's "the city" documenting Whitney Port's late night walk home with a svelte love interest down Fifth Ave. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do/did.

Watched 4 shows tonight:
1. The Office 4/5
2. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia 3/5
3. Community ehh/5
4. Archer 3.5/5

Bought a pack of portobello mushroom burgers tonight and plan to consume over a large glass of vino tomorrow night with The Raych Arles. Jealous? Don't worry, the reaction is natural.

I attempted to send the same text message to The Ferg* tonight while driving and stationary. It was supposed to say: "Ab to break my coffee freeze." Instead, I sent: "Ab to break." What do you say to that.

I spent about 15-20 minutes listening to Porkchop explain fantasy football. Not sure how I feel about that yet.

* Web programming guru

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Words_Another Day, A Little More Gay

On a recent visit to the PA, a discussion developed between Porkchop and King Rabbit on the percentage of gayness that existed in each band member (Luke and Marc) and occasionally using other musicians as means of measurement.

"Robbey is 30% gay," Rabbit said definitively. "And if Robbey's 30%, then David (band member of Lorien and Robbey's bff) is definitely 70% gay." (David is self-admittedly sensitive and is known to cry frequently while reading the endings of Harry Potter books while clothed in a Griffindor robe and holding a $75 wand by candlelight.)

"And Marc's at least 60%," Rabbit said of the chiseled, skin-tight tank-top wearing drummer, adorned with an artful collection of tattoos splashed across his chest and arms. Incidentally, Marc's girlfriend Danielle nodded in agreement.

"What's Luke?" I asked.

"I don't know but I definitely witnessed him and Steve holding each other on the couch for at least forty-five minutes," one of the two said.

"And I'm pretty sure Luke's tongue has been in a few guys' mouths," Porkchop said, which instantly resurrected a memory of meeting Luke for the first time and me capturing a photo of him planting a kiss on Robbey's unwilling cheek. That's legit, I thought.

I'm not sure how often heterosexual guys do a homosexuality check but I felt oddly fortunate to have witnessed such a conversation. I'm also comforted that out of everyone, Robbey came out the most heterosexual which is a nice thought to go to sleep with knowing your boyfriend isn't eyeing up the pool boy instead of you. At least, not yet.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Words_The Raych Arles

I can't believe I failed to mention one of the other key players in my life: The Raych Arles. (Yep, you read it right.) Writing about her doesn't do half the justice of experiencing her in person; you have to witness firsthand all the eccentric, charismatic sweetness that is Raych Arles.

During my impromptu ghetto pizza party where we--Raych Arles, friend Brittany, Stephmon and I--dined on a (serious) jug of sangria, many weeks-old pita chips, frozen guacamole, and two yummy pizzas from Whole Foods, a wonderful idea came to me: Raych Arles and I should start some writing sessions together. Perhaps just come up with a few characters with some ridiculous plot and build from there. I have no idea where it might go, which is more than okay for now. But her wit, experiences, and wildly random scenarios are too good to go undocumented.

So, I told her we had $15 worth of Starbucks money to get us some through some brainstorming sessions. And from there... only time will tell.

Look for some fresh ideas coming to you soon...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Words_Intro the Fray

A text from Porkchop at 10:23 a.m. "Into the Fray."
Translation: He and his band are recording their 2nd full album this week in TN. (12 songs in 5 days. Yikes!)

For me, this meant the start of something else I've been chewing on lately.

My life is pretty simple. I wake up; I work; I buy Dunkin Donuts coffee; I come home; sometimes I run; sometimes I eat eggs; sometimes I take naps with Carebear; and I go to bed dreaming of hot dogs (that's what she said). Simple, no?

What I've been thinking about is making more out of my time. More productivity? Of course. More profitability? yes, please. So, with my one connection, I landed an "interview" Wednesday to wait tables at a local Asian-American restaurant. I'm not really sure why I chose waiting tables to fill my time when my only memories of waiting are from college when I was a mediocre cocktail waitress who never knew what the specials were and confused bar menu items with regular menu items. Needless to say, this did not fair well with Mr. Bossy Boss.

If I dig down deep, I think the attraction to this job is me trying to redeem myself from a horrible waiting scenario where I accidentally poured beer on two lesbians having a romantic dinner together. I was freshly trained and terrified to have to ask for another beer from the Nazi bartender so I kept re-giving the same beer to the irritated lesbian. It pains me to relive the moment even now. What was I thinking?

So, without further ado, in two days, yes, "into the fray" I will go.

Sunday, September 13, 2009



  • Directed by Daniel Day-Lewis's wife
  • First time I've seen a performance by Camilla Belle. Survey says? Enchanting; I'm interested in seeing her in other projects
  • Recognized Ryan McDonald from the movie Fierce People (recommend); his performance in TBOJ&R was really quite good
  • Movie bonus: songs a la Bob Dylan
  • Catherine Keener: brilliant as always

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Daily Grind

Today's "To Do" List:
  • Resurrect blog with hopes of
    • a) becoming famous
    • b) writing everyday
    • c) averaging 2 hits a day (not counting me or my mom)
    • d) historical value
  • Gym (check)
  • Go to bed in rockstar time (3 a.m. to never) to make up for going to bed last night at 10:30 p.m.
  • Laundry (check) *
  • Paint fingernails (check)
  • Paint fingernails well (check!)
  • Spend way too much time customizing blog that no one will read (check!)
* I washed an O's shirt I shamefully bought for almost $40 which proved to be the best oversight ever because the shirt (Men's fit mind you) now fits famously! Yes, this deserved the asterisk.

The Beginning

No fancy introductions, here. (Shocking, I know).
This is mere documentation of a very uneventful life; 75% uneventful; 22% mildly interesting;  3% blogworthy.

You'll need to know the following list of main characters:

Kimi; hence, a la kimi.

Robbey, the boyfriend; the best friend; the bassist; the cynic; also a term of endearment

Big Mouth
Mandy, bff in Boston; currently acquiring her law degree; should be in fashion; recently used the verb "jackhammering" to describe what the guy across the way was doing to his girlfriend with the windows open

Ashleigh, other bff; located in Raleigh, NC; social worker; says things like "bawitdaba da bang bang"

My Carebear that yes, I sleep with okay, and who I've had since I was a wee asian porkchop; you might also find her on Facebook

More of a supporting character; was big in 2003 to entertain my nieces and nephews; exists mostly on the floor or under my bed

Stephanie, my sister-in-law; mid-30s; 3 kids; married to my brother; brings up thoughtful questions like: "I wonder if there's someone out there named Harry Chin?"

Other characters will inherit a blurb as they are introduced but I think those are key for now.

Remember, if you're looking for edgy, off the cuff, riveting tweety juicy information, you are in the wrong place, and frankly, I feel bad for you.

However, in my defense, there is an art to making the uneventful interesting. I plan to put that on my list of talents, interests, or expertise upon my next job application. It'll be a hit, I can see it now.