I finally broke down today and bought a new game for myself. After finding out last night that my money-saving efforts were pointless and stupid, I decided to just play it by ear. As long as I still have a roof over my head, does anything really matter?
I also decided I needed more social activities in my life; not that I’m being very social by skipping the after-work event my coworkers had planned, but I almost feel more refreshed by taking a solitary walk around the city to wind down. I really enjoy the serenity of strolling down the city block, sucking in cool, brisk air with every breath. With a cigarette in my hand.
I just got really hungry all of a sudden.
My point is, there’s always so much going on in the city at any given moment. Book groups, yoga classes (great for meeting women), AA meetings (also great for meeting women), all of which provide ample opportunities for social interaction. With my friends leaving in a few months, I need to fill the void they leave behind. Not to sound cold-hearted or anything, but I actually prefer to cycle through friends every now and then; that way I never feel too attached to any one person.
And therein lies my problem.
Perhaps it’s just a defense mechanism. I keep a well-maintained wall around myself (complete with cannons and whatnot), and, not unlike the City Wok guy from South Park, I’m just trying to keep the metaphorical "Mongorians" at bay. Sometimes it’s just easier to stop caring about people.
Am I wrong?
My friends and I celebrated Snowman’s birthday today. Technically his birthday was 2 days ago, but who the hell’s counting anyway?
I got off of work 30 minutes early so I can go buy Snowman’s birthday present: a Polish phrasebook and a Lonely Planet travel guide. Even though it hasn’t been confirmed yet, Snowman’s anticipates on going to Poland for med school—God knows why. The food sucks, there’s nothing to do, and there aren’t any hot girls there…
Anyway, we met up tonight in a restaurant in Chinatown called Jobee’s, where back in the days (I feel so fucking old saying that) all three (four?) of us would hang out after work/class and talk about random topics (actually, mostly about women). Jobee’s only has passable food, but the owner was Taiwanese, so we immediately felt an unspoken connection to her. Plus she would give us free food so that’s always an incentive to go back.
Now we actually have to pay for food. I miss the good ol’ days…
Now that I’m taking on more and more pet projects, I find that I have less and less time to do other stuff—like play video games. I guess that’s how time works: the more you use, the less you have.
I work during the day, and at night I dedicate at least an hour and a half to exercise. Afterwards, I write blog entries that no one ever reads. I wonder what I really get out of writing these. I don’t make money from ads, I don’t have "fans" flocking to my site and worshiping me, I don’t have groupies to cater to my every "whim"—so why do I write anyway?
Well, for starters, blogging affords me a certain amount of immortality; nothing on the interwebs is ever truly erased. Take Facebook, for instance. In order to delete your posts, photos, contact info, and all those "private" messages you’ve written, you have to sacrifice 2 ovulating female goats, name your first and second born after Matt Zuckerberg, and donate your left arm to stem cell research—and even then complete erasure isn’t guaranteed. You still have messages left on your friends’ walls, remnants of your existence on apps you’ve installed. The list goes on.
But perhaps that’s what entices people about the web—one never truly ceases to exist on the internet. No matter how much or little you do online, traces will, for the most part, remain in the form of snippets, screenshots, videos, Google cache, and photos of your face superimposed on random naked people. In other words, you’re immortal in cyberspace.
Or at least until the internet implodes.
Subconciously, I think the reason for my wanting to start a journal and a blog is I want to write stories—engaging stories that other people could relate to. To which other people could relate. Whateverthefuck.
I’m not a good enough writer yet and I realize it. I do not yet have the grasp over language and style to write anything meaningful. Yet as I’m reading some high school essays for an essay contest, I’d have to say that these kids really suck. Now I know an essay requires much more effort than a journal entry, but even a mundane, everyday journal entry takes hours of to reach the pinnacle of storywriting, much less a coherent essay about an engaging topic written to capture a reader’s attention long enough for them to place it on the "yes" pile.
Did that sentence even make sense?
Anyway, my point is that I don’t know if I could write an essay that I’d want to read. If I reread some of my old high school crap today I’m certain I would laugh my ass off, then promptly jump in front of a moving train.
However, I did have a greater grasp of the English language back then than any of these kids, and English isn’t even my native language. Their level of writing is borderline depressing; I’m surprised they can even pass remedial English class.
This is the future of our country: a group of barely-literate flunkies running an already broken country. I suppose the interwebs era has something to do with their inability to form complete and coherent thoughts on paper. IMs, text messages, emails, all of these contribute to their butchering of their native tongue.
It’s too late to save them; we should just ship them all off to Canadia.
Why the hell would a waiter ask you what you want to drink if he has no intention of bringing it over? And why is it so difficult to remember to bring the damn thing afterwards?
The hospitality industry is seriously going to hell. Moonlight Diner is officially on my shit list, along with Johnny Rocket and Burger Heaven, though these two are on the list for different reasons (I will elaborate another day.)
On a different subject, I saw the movie "21″ last night. Shit like this movie is why I rarely go to movies anymore—that and the $2,000,000,000 price they charge for movie tickets and pretend-butter popcorn. I did learn one thing though: the book that a movie based on isn’t necessarily better either.
In this overly-dramatic Hollywood rendition of the "true" story, it seemed like they’ve completely disregarded morals in storytelling. Granted, this movie made me want to fly to Vegas and brush up on my card-counting skills, so perhaps I’m not the best person to ask when it comes to morals, but what happened to bad things happening to bad people
Fuck, I sound like a preacher.
The problem I have most of all is that the protagonist, Ben "whiny-ass bitch" Campbell, fails to succumb to his own hubris. Without giving away too much of the movie, I’ll just say that everything is peachy in the end, like all Hollywood blockbusters. This cheat, who uses gambling as a "means to an end", embodies the assumption that the world rewards cheats, liars, and anyone who’ll stop at nothing to get everything.
Wait, that sounds a bit like real life.
As a person whose family was destroyed by a compulsive gambler I take slight offense in their nonchalance at representing a gambler-protagonist that loses nothing in the end. Not that I’m offended enough to do anything about it, but it worries me that the general public will, if last night’s crowd is any indication, cheer and root for the protagonist through the end, welcoming the closing credits with a standing ovation.
But then again, the general public is retarded.
Race, I discovered, was an issue with the movie as well. Not so much with me but with those tightwad Asian advocacy groups. The movie, they claimed, under-represents the Asians in that most of the original blackjack team, including the leader of the group, were Asian. The movie "whitewashed" the characters by casting all the main characters as white people, while the Asian actors settled for peripheral roles.
Well, guess what: we’re lucky to have half an Asian in a non-kung fu movie, much less 1.5 Asians. What are they gonna do, cast Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu as the main characters?
I’m quite content with 1.5 fake Asians in side roles. It’s a start.
I finally broke down and bought the Macbook. The little thing runs great—I brought all my files from my old Powerbook, imported my songs from the iPod, installed Windoze on my bootcamp, and configured all the options to what I’m used to. The only things that didn’t quite work are some of the applications from my old computer. Moral of the story? Don’t pirate software.
I really need to start working on the motion graphics contest. Less than 2 weeks remain of the deadline, yet I’m still struggling to think of ideas and to work on the storyboards. Getting a new toy yesterday didn’t help either; I spent too much time messing with it last night, and wasted some valuable brainstorming time. Not to mention I didn’t play my video game last night.
I feel the need to post a couple of entries on my blog tonight. Not that the masses are eagerly anticipating my earth-shattering observations—I just need to get into the habit of periodically updating my page. I also need to start designing it so it doesn’t look like shit. That’ll be the hard part.
I noticed it’s been a while since I wrote anything meaningful. Part of the reason is that I’m burned out—on work, on life, on the mundane and unnecessary formalities that I have to go through every day. The slush in my brain is all but spent, and I haven’t the time nor the opportunity to replenish it.
I need a vacation.
I’ve officially moved from Movable Type to WordPress. I’m not really sure why, though, since I rarely write on my site anyway. But with my recently renewed vigor for daily writing I decided that I will at least post a few entries a day, just to keep my mind sharp. So here’s the first one in almost 2 years.
I have a few thoughts I’ve been saving for this occasion, but it’s 6pm on a Friday night so that will have to go up later. I need to work on this motion graphics contest this weekend so I can get some money for my sorry ass.
I just realized that my previous entry was in 2006, and if I’m not mistaken it’s already 2008. Damn.
It’s not like anyone reads this blog anyway, but leaving this semi-fertile field untended seems a waste. So I have decided (or now at least) to restart this whole blogging thing. Not that I have anything interesting to say most of the time anyway.
Astoria, NY has an eclectic mix of culturally distinct areas. Among these is a small cluster of Middle Eastern shops and restaurants along Steinway. Juanita #2, a friend of mine who shall remain pseudonymed, took me to an Egyptian restaurant on the edge of the cluster. I recently returned to this crack-in-the-wall establishment with a couple of my other friends so I can experience again the wondrous feeling of not being able to understand what my server/cook is saying to me.
But he sure is friendly. I practically had to shove his lard-laden potbelly out of my face when he recited the daily special to us. After not listening to him go on for about 10 minutes I was ready to order. Because I came prepared. I had a list of dishes I wanted to try out, ready and written in my little sketch book. He would have none of that though. I showed him my list and, instead of jotting it down on his order pad, he told me "Dis iz vat I vil do fo’ you. I vil make-a de nice combo deesh fo’ you and your vondafool friends. Don’ta oda too much. Eef not enough, you oda more." Like a child getting caught stealing, I kept my mouth shut.
The food is great, though half the time I had trouble recognizing in which food-group my dishes belonged. I ordered Hummus, a typical fare in Middle-Eastern cuisine, and Egga (a dish made with eggs, apparently,) for starters. As my friends and I shovel the appetizers into our dripping mouths (a result of not having enten in at least 8 hours) I tried to order a couple more items. I now know why the chef didn’t want us ordering everything at once: the dishes are HUGE. Not the quantity of food though. The actual plates are HUGE. We had space for about 2 plates on our table, so I’m guessing he wanted us to clear these first before ordering anything else.
A total of 6 dishes and 3 sodas came out to around $80 (3 people total); a bit steep for everyday fare but acceptable once in a while. We had no leftovers but we left the restaurant stuffed and feeling like Egyptian royalty, minus the gold and riches. I’ll consider posting the name/address one of these days.
I haven’t really gotten into the mode of writing just yet, so I will post something I typed up in the past but never published. (My English has really gotten worse since I’ve been in NY…)
Just a bit of background… About 2.5 years ago I went on a trip to Beijing. A free trip. My mother has a friend that needed to send her 1 year old child back to China so her parents could look after the kid. At first the friend (I’ll call her “Juanita”) wanted my mother to take on this mission, but after my mom feigned sickliness everyone decided that I should be undertaking the task. Being gainfully unemployed, penniless, and loserly (I coined it!) I agreed. I have to admit that it was a life-changing moment for me. Transporting an illegal (I think) one-year-old child across international borders on my own had been my only achievement since graduating college… Come to think of it, that was probably my most impressive achievement to date. But I digress…
Feb 18, 2004 3:35 PM
“Arrival… I didn’t know what to expect of Beijing. Sleep depravation has caused me to be less perceptive than usual, since the kid I had to deliver wouldn’t let me doze at all. Close to 36 hours of neither sleeping nor smoking made me want to kill myself, but luckily I had arrived before the kid started to be a little pain in the ass. After about 2 minutes spent at customs, I pushed the light-puke-green stroller to the gathering area where maybe a hundred or so family members of other passengers waited faithfully, hoping the plane would arrive earlier than expected. I found my “uncle” and “aunt” (this is what I’ll call them from now on, even though they’re not really family. Likewise when I refer to the kid, I’ll call him my “nephew.”) almost immediately. They look like your typical Chinese old couple: short, old, and friendly. Waving a big sign with the words “Wang Zi (Prince),” they were ecstatic as they watched me push their precious grandson towards them. I was ecstatic as well, knowing that I would be freed from this little devil in only seconds. After the initial handshake and congratulatory remarks, we walked out of the airport in search of a ride home. Because of the sheer number of people in Beijing (do some research yourself… I don’t know the numbers) most people rely on public transportation, bikes, or taxis to get around. The cars and taxis, though, are tiny. We spent a total of 200 RMB (about $25) on a van to haul us home. I don’t really remember what happened afterwards, except that I fell asleep sometime around 6:00 PM.”
To be continued…