Thursday, November 13, 2008

Belief.

I've often thought long and hard about my beliefs, especially in the political realm. I'm not a diehard partisan, although I doubt I'll ever vote for the Republican party in its current form. I've always felt the Democrats naive and insensitively compassionate. I think Libertarianism is a train wreck (how can you purport to seek public office if your entire platform is to eliminate public office?) and I've found the Green Party to be condescending and patronizing.

But I do know what I believe in.

I'm not black, but I do know it is certainly wrong to judge others by the shade of their skin, the slant of their eyes, the waviness of their hair.

I'm not gay, but I do know that common rights guaranteed to citizens by their representative government should be rights inclusive to all citizens.

I'm not poor, but I do know that it is in our common decency to help our neighbors and our friends when they need it more than us.

I'm not religious, but I do respect for those who live their lives for a higher belief, a higher sacrifice, and for a higher purpose than I can ever do myself.

I'm highly educated, but I do not disavow others for not having the same opportunities, life situation, or luck as I.

Most of all, I am rational enough to realize that although I may not be on the wrong end of injustices, I am empathetic to those who are. History in America has a tendency to grant equality to those who are systematically disenfranchised. Barack Obama is proof of this. The phrase "the wrong side of history" has been used a lot in this election cycle to decry the political tendencies of the Vietnam-era baby boomers, and I am glad that my generation can always be proud that this time, we're going to be on the right side of history.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LUDA IN A RIOT!

I was flying from SAN to SFO yesterday, and someone was in line in front of me at the security checkpoint. And this person was getting checked by the TSA Security officials and was holding me up. You will never guess who held me up at security in San Diego airport.

NEVER.

Wait for it.

Wait.

For!

It!!!!!!

I got held up in San Diego Airport by....

LUDACRIS.

LUDACRIS!

LUDACRIS!!!!!

So it was totally awesome because the contents of his bag were being checked by the TSA officials, and I was totally all up in his bizness and he was totally calm as if he gets checked by TSA officials all the time. And he had his Blackberry and his iPhone out and get this, as they're looking through his bags, he is all nonchalant-like LOOKING AT PICTURES OF NAKED LADIES ON HIS IPHONE! I KID YOU NOT!

LUDA HAS HOES IN DIFFERENT AREA CODES!!!

God damn, I want to be Ludacris so badly at this point, IT HURTS ME I TELL YOU.

In the end, Ludacris had a bottle of COCOA BUTTER that was larger than the limit of liquids that you could bring on a plane so they had to throw it out. One of his posse was like - "Fuck that, throw it away, we'll get more of that in Frisco."

And I stood there in awe. All 5 foot 7 (very short!) of Ludacris and his two-man posse left the security area. Ludacris moved and I did not move. Just like that.

80 million different scenarios "what if" scenarios played in my mind.

I could have been like "what is taking so goddamn long to get through security!!? This is LUDICROUS!!!"

Or even like "Yo, Luda, MOVE BITCH GET OUT THE WAY!"

Or perhaps even a simple "ROLL OUT!!!"

Instead, I did nothing. But when I got home, I went to the store and bought cocoa butter. It helps prevent stretch marks and is wonderful for chapped lips and dry itchy skin as well as having a relatively pleasant aroma!

Cocoa butter is approved by Ludacris as well as multiple hoes in multiple area codes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Don't Vote.

I'm not normally one to mix celebrity and politics (except, ahem, when it comes to Gossip Girl!!!!) but I think this is cute.



I wonder if this type of stuff works on the current college aged voting crowds like my younger cousin who said a couple years ago that he wanted a machine gun for Christmas so he could defend his family if Osama Bin Laden and the terrorists came to his house. I think I gave him a hammer for Christmas that year.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mommy! Daddy! I need help!



eddo: this whole bailout thing
you know what it reminds me of

S: im not paying too much attention
what?

eddo: like wall street was a kid who played around too much
but always kind of got around it and never really got in trouble
until he like
REALLY got in trouble
all of a sudden hes like, oh shit i really really need some help now
so he turns to his parents as his last resort
who are now fed up with his shenanigans and the fact that his fuckups now mean their other kids are going to have to pay for this

one parent is like, fine, this is an emergency, we'll deal with it by throwing money at you but we really really need you to learn a lesson, so here are the terms of the deal

the other parent is like - if i dismiss you and let you off the hook now, how will you learn anything

and now here we are at a stalemate

eddo: thus ends my attempt at making every situation large or small sound like an episode of gossip girl

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Help, I need help.

My friend left me this voicemail at 3 a.m. last Sunday, September 14. This is the awesome level of trainwreck-osity that I deal with on a regular basis (no judgment, sometimes my own!). It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

When You're Alone and Life is Making You Lonely...

... you can always go... DOWNTOWN! I am totally waiting for a P Diddy or Eve or Missy Elliot type to sample Petula Clark into the hot new summer jam.

I love everything about this video. The dancers. Petula Clark's sauciness. Her flirtiness. Her attitude-filled snapping. LOVES IT.



Thanks to maw for the heads up!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ping Pong Table Cup Cakes!

It was my friend's birthday this Labor Day weekend (as it is wont to be every Labor Day weekend), and from nearly a month ago, she told me: I want to play ping pong on my birthday. She even considered having her birthday a) at her office (which would suck) or b) at Finnegan's in Cole Valley (since they have a ping pong table there) but nixed the idea. Instead she planned a barbecue on a lovely Sunday afternoon in a backyard of the always lovely Western Addition of San Francisco.

I had originally planned on making "cute" cupcakes for her on her birthday (I've never done anything of the sort, and since I'm diabetic, I never ever make cupcakes) so I hoped that it would be sufficiently both tasty and cute.

I decided to make a cup cake ping pong table. With the sage advice of cupcake mistress extraordinaire KinderCommando, I purchased a square Calphalon cupcake pan and thought about how to design this tasty table treat.

I finally decided on a table sized with 5 X 3 double stacked square carrot cake cupcakes with a handmade cream cheese and cinnamon frosting, paddles made out of toothpicks and Haribo black licorice wheels, a ping pong ball out of a tic tac, a ton of green sprinkles (the store did not have green frosting, but the green sprinkles came out really well), and the net made out of pushpins, two candles, and white mesh.

With my vision, The Millionizer, who was visiting me from the Santa C, assumed the role of lead cake stylist. In Project Runway terms, I was the designer, and she was the TreSemme Hair Salon, L'Oreal Make Up Room, and Bluefly accessory wall. Our finished product came out magnificently, and the birthday girl was all surprise and happiness when she saw our creation. The actual cake was delicious as well, and many compliments were sent to the chefs, who left full and happy.

Happy Birthday Sarah, we hoped you had as much fun eating it as we did creating it!





Sunday, August 10, 2008

On Being Chinese-American in 2008

People always say - write what you know. And I do. This is inspired by an article I read in the New York Mag on racial politics and Obama and it illustrates much of what I see and hear everyday and what I've experienced.

Some years ago, researchers conducting a study for the Diversity Project, at UC Berkeley’s Institute for the Study of Social Change, asked black and white college students about their perceptions of racism on a given campus. White students tended to say there was none, but blacks and Native Americans said it was everywhere. In fact, the study documented an interesting phenomenon: As Diversity Project sociologist Troy Duster put it, “White students see diversity as a potential source of ‘individual enhancement,’ ” while African-American students were more likely to see the goal as “institutional change.”

When the white students were asked to give illustrations that substantiated their positions, they spoke of their own experiences and of personal intentions. “Last night, I had dinner with a black friend,” they might offer. Or, “I have a black roommate, and we get along”; “I play basketball with a couple of black guys”; “I’ve never used a racist epithet”; “I treat everyone the same.”

The black students cited instances of relative privilege, things that were more structural, institutional, atmospheric. “The campus police are always stopping us”; “I get followed around in stores”; “Most of the white students don’t have to think twice about how much it costs to take prep classes for the LSAT or to spend spring break skiing in Aspen or partying in Cancún.”

It’s a familiar, even ubiquitous, miscommunication over the last ten years of the so-called culture wars: A black person speaks of racism or white privilege. The nearest halfway-privileged white person protests, “But I work for liberal causes. You’re lumping me with racists just because I’m white!”

The black person answers, “I’m not saying that you, personally, are a racist. I’m saying we live in a world where it’s easier to be white than it is to be black.”

“But I’m not part of that,” comes the reply.

“We’re all part of it,” insists the black person.

The tendency to turn the commitment to racial liberalism into sheer denial is strong. “I don’t see race” becomes “I don’t see racism.”


In no way have I experienced the severity of some of those quoted in this passage, but the overall message is there - that everyone is so afraid of being labeled racist that we fail to admit to seeing or acknowledging differences (positive or negative) in race and ethnicity. It is the white elephant in the room, society's racial equivalent to "don't ask, don't tell".

On the surface, I'm an open book. I'm an over-achieving Chinese-American who excelled in math and the sciences in high school in suburban California, got high scores on my SATs, passed all my Advanced Placement exams with maximum scores of 5s and International Baccalaureate exams with maximum scores of 7s (the first one in my school's district to achieve that distinction), went to Chinese school every Saturday for 10+ years, attended a prestigious university and have worked for several name-brand companies in the financial services sector. I am a minority, but I am for lack of a better term, a "model minority".

The 2008 Beijing Olympics has really gotten me thinking about being Chinese, or specifically, being Chinese-American in 2008. I am well aware of China's human rights violations in Tibet and elsewhere. I am astute to the gross suburbanization and advances in global and environmental pollution the modernization of China has brought. I am superficially educated in the role China plays in daily Taiwanese life, and I felt the pain and pride the country of China and ethnically Chinese around the world (hua2 qiao3) when Hong Kong was returned to China in the 1990s.



And despite never lived there, despite never having stepped foot on the mainland, I do feel a sense of pride. Their journey, for better or worse, is my journey. I've long since abandoned my "I wish I was white - I wish I was American" adolescent angst. But seeing Chinese athletes for the first time being able to perform on a global stage in their country's stadium, seeing a celebration of the ultra-modern with a flair for the ancient, I feel it not only enhances China's story, but my own.

My story is one of longing and belonging. Oftentimes, Chinese-Americans go through their own fork - should I be American, or should I be Chinese? I've long grappled with this personally and have decided that the fork I choose is the hard-fought but less-questioned third fork. I'm going to be both. I'm going to be as much one as I am the other. And this comes out superficially in the types of food I eat, in the way I communicate, in the type of life I want to lead. Because I feel, to choose my own path, to have an open honest dialogue with myself is in fact distinctly American. But to never deny my past, my black hair and round face and slanted eyes, my family upbringing, my culture - that is something that non-Chinese cannot understand and cannot feel. And unfortunately in America, to be Chinese-American is to be the bullied, the labeled, the "model minority".



I feel that openness with Western Civilization can lead to a more socially liberalized China. China's past is full of sadness and regret, but today, like it or not, is China's day to shine. And there will always be naysayers. But I hope the Olympics and a positive view of China can open the eyes of Americans to the plight of the Chinese in America, and can also open the eyes of Chinese-Americans to a better America as well.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Walking on Proverbial Sunshine, Margaret Cho, and the Curse of My Chin

I'm feeling pretty good about myself right now. It is easy to dwell on the things that aren't right in my life, but I'm learning instead to focus on the positives. I'm developing positive habits (cooking for myself more, eating out less, eating smaller portions, checking nutrition labels, keeping my online food journal current, exercising regularly, seeing my therapist on a regular interval) while maintaining the things I like to do socially, such as having drinks, going out to dinner, karaoke (a bit too frequently), maintaining strong friendships, and leading a social life that is full of things I want to do instead of things I feel I have to do.

My friend Mimi has a theory - all Asians end up looking like either Margaret Cho or Yoko Ono. I am a Margaret Cho. I mean, look, the resemblance is uncanny.

Me_Margaret

If I didn't know my own skinny ass tall sister (HI 6IXFEETHIGH!!!) was actually my sister, I would bet $100 that Margaret Cho was my own flesh and blood. Anyways, I bring this up because when I look at pictures of myself, much like Margaret Cho, I see my round face. My round face that MIDDLE AMERICA THINKS IS FOREIGN AND UNKNOWN AND MIGHT EAT THEIR DOGS. But whatever, I'm Asian, it's the shape of my face, I am not ashamed of it and I don't think there is anything wrong with it. What I do notice and ALWAYS notice, however, is the double chin, or triple chin, or quadruple chin, depending on what the case may be and the camera angle at the time (bitches, 45 degree angle from ABOVE okay?!).

I'm very sensitive about my chin. In middle school, there was this dude named Omar. We sat next to each other in math class - geometry in Mr. Sisson's class at the high school. Since I was a grade ahead in math, I had to walk from the middle school to the high school to take this class. He was in 9th grade and I was in 8th grade, and even though he wasn't exactly skinny himself, he had gone through puberty and I was barely entering it and I was smarter than him and so in suburban Southern California, he was higher on the social totem pole than I was. So there we sat, during 7th period, me and my pre-adolescent squeaky voice and my math brain and my thick glasses, and Omar, a roley-poley-shaped pimply-faced bully with a large mole on his left cheek with two pube-like hairs growing out of it and who couldn't do SOHCAHTOA if it hit him in the face and punched him in the groin. And Mr. Sisson made me sit down and teach/tutor geometry to this loser in life.

And for an entire year I had to sit there while his only comment to me was "Hey, Eddo, you have something on your chin" and I'd wipe whatever off my chin only to hear him say "NO YOUR OTHER CHIN". EVERY DAY OF MY ENTIRE EIGHTH GRADE YEAR.

And I'd go home and I'd squeeze my double chin and I'd pull it and I'd hit it and I'd position my head so I couldn't see it and I'd learn how to smile so as not to increase my chin and I'd figure out camera angles where my chin would be minimized and I'd learn how to expand my neck muscles and hold my breath so my skin would tighten just a tiny bit and I even went through a turtleneck sweater phase in always 85 degrees Southern California in order to minimize the shame that was my unacceptable gargantuan Droopy-esque flap of excess skin underneath my jawline.

Anyways, I just looked at a couple of pictures of myself taken within the last week, and compared them to pictures of me taken sometime in April, and I can see the difference, if not in my entire body, at the very least in my chin. :D

That was a fucking long time for me to wrap this entry up, but yes, I feel like I'm walking on proverbial sunshine.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

How Depressing.

I knew I was sad today when I read SFGate.com. These are the top 6 most read stories currently on the site:

1 Park nomad, laptop in tow, calls bushes home
2 Trader Joe's robbed - third holdup of chain in East Bay in a month
3 Canada bus passenger stabs, decapitates seat mate
4 Governor orders layoffs, steep pay cuts for thousands of state workers
5 Boy, 14, stabbed to death; S.F.'s youngest homicide victim this year
6 Boulder Creek man with dog parts on his property is arrested

Ugh, can't we go back to the articles about tree-sitters and Obama/McCain?!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I helped out the Things Younger Than McCain Blog!!

I rule!

You see, I saw this picture from the Huffington Post and immediately wrote a blog entry on it below.

Then I immediately went to one of the most hilarious blogs on the web right now, Things Younger Than McCain and told the blogger about the picture in the comments section of his most recent post at the time.

And he wrote a new entry on his blog and thanked me!

I left a comment entering into his caption contest, here was my entry:

“It’s 3am, and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?”

Hey Joe, wanna link me? ;)

Definitely check out Things Younger Than McCain for some hilarious posts. One of my favorites: The San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge is younger than John McCain.

Friday, July 25, 2008

ZACK MORRIS PHONE!

Seriously.

Don't even read the article.

Just click on this link and look at the main photo.

Hey, have you guys heard? John McCain is kinda old.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy

I've been seeing a therapist for a couple months now, and while I'm not totally enamored with him (he suggested that I go on anti-depressants, I don't think I'm ready for that quite yet) I really feel a change in myself.

One of the things that he's found quite evident in our discussions is that it's pretty clear that I am really tough on myself - I am my own worst critic. I have high expectations to be perfect in my eyes, and when I can't or don't meet these expectations, I become angry at myself and internalize my self-hatred, which in time turns into a debilitating depression and self-destructive behavior. Of course, like everything, it all goes back to how I was raised, and the pressure that was put on me to succeed. I don't hate my parents - in fact, I am coming to a point in my life where I really like my family - but I do realize that what I learned early on that pushed me to always excel is probably what is causing me to fall down so often - the fear of disappointment.

Our next session is supposed to focus on methods or ways of thinking that can help me focus my anger in a more productive way - in hopes of addressing a coping method in which I don't feel angry at myself for needing to be perfect all the time.

But I'm feeling good about myself right now. I am counting calories. I am doing well at work. I am saving money. I am focusing on both my mental and physical health. I am making lifestyle changes that I hope become healthy and positive habits.

I don't feel like I'm searching anymore. I feel like I'm attacking.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dancing

I'm pretty late to this by a week or so (thanks gwenythmelons!), but this might be the best viral video I've ever seen in my entire life. It features some dude named Matt Harding who is a normal looking American white guy who travels around to different countries and, well, dances. The very first scene starts out with a fricking GOAT ON A MOTORCYCLE in some alley in Mumbai, India and all and all, according to his site, features 42 countries and thousands of people dancing.

Apparently Matt Harding made a video in 2005 (pre-Youtube), was "discovered" and sponsored by Stride Gum (I have no clue how Stride Gum relates to a guy dancing but whatever) to do his next video in 2006, and his most recent video in 2008 has around 5 million hits on Youtube (I am embedding/linking the Vimeo version because it's widescreen and better quality, but if you're a Youtube ho, it's here).

Anyways, I've watched it on repeat for like an hour, and it fucking makes me bawl. I know I'm a wimp and a butterfly landing on a flower makes me bawl, but still yo, it MOVES me.


Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pride SF

San Francisco was overcast, the air was filled with smoke from the hundreds of fires surrounding the Bay Area, and I was hungover like a mofo, but it still chokes me up every time I see kids with "I <3 My Two Moms" and "My Two Dads Love Me" signs and t-shirts at Pride. You don't need to be a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, gendernorm, or hetero to enjoy Pride. You just need to have a heart.

Maria was talking to a photographer for multiple mainstream media (MSM) outlets, who said that the MSM was looking for pictures this year not of the crazy colorful wackos of Gay Pride Norm, but instead of normal-looking happy couples who had just gotten married. I suppose that's a good thing - most of America needs to be fed the "Gay! They're just like us!" line - but in another way, I think it's ok to be as weird or as colorful or as insane as you want, as long as you are not hurting yourself or others, and that people shouldn't be afraid of that. Oh well.

Anyways, I saw fisting for the first time this year, ate bacondogs, sang Karaoke at the Energy 92.7 and Wells Fargo booth, missed Crystal Waters (SOOO SAD!), and danced around to Kat Deluna (WHINE UP!).

Happy Pride, here's to love and equality for all. This November should be fun, both in California (November ballot initiatives tug at personal convictions) and nationally (Barack Obama).

photo credit: Christina Izzo /The Chronicle

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wow. I think I understand.

I've been pretty unhappy lately. I didn't know what it was. I didn't know why I was feeling so alone. I couldn't put my finger on what was making me so depressed. All I could think about was - what was the next thing on my "to-do" list? What should I eat for dinner? Who am I meeting up with tonight? Who should I put a smile on for today?

And it hit me today. I think I understand why I'm so unhappy.

I am at the part of my life, I think, where I know inherently, that it's time for me to grow up. It's time for me to be a better person. It's time for me to learn how to be a better person for myself. I can't keep on using the "I'm young - it's ok!" excuse, while eschewing adulthood and personal & social responsibility. I need to grow up. I need to make my life work for me.

It's not really about what I do. I can't really say, now I understand, and here's what I need to do to accomplish this, and once I've accomplished these x number of things, I'm good to do. It's almost an attitude change. It's a lifestyle change. It's the fact that my life needs to revolve around a social, moral, and personal philosophy that involves more than a calendar of events and a desperate hope that I will find a significant other that will stick to me, but instead revolves around a commitment to a way of living that is right for me.

So I don't what I'm going to do tomorrow.
I don't know how tomorrow will be different than today.

But I know that I know what's important to me.

And I think I kind of get it now. I think. And I think that's good.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chinese, the New Blacks

Check it: S Africa Chinese 'become black'

I guess Chinese in South Africa (200,000 of them. WHO KNEW?!?!) were classified as 'white' beforehand, but were steadily being discrimnated in business and economic opportunities. So, in a country where (some 15 years after the Apartheid) whites make approx. 450% more than blacks, and where there are special legalized Employment and Economic Equity programs intended for black/colored workers, Chinese people are now grouped in the 'colored' classification and can now receive this aide as well.

Hey, as long as I can still call them Chinks, I'm game.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I Lost Me to Meth

When I was growing up, California was deluged with anti-smoking campaigns. I will always recall the women who had to stick a cigarette through the hole burned through her neck in order to breath or some crazy shit like that, and hence, I never touched a cigarette until I turned 21... and well after I had begun drinking and uh, experimenting.

I think we've all seen the advertisements in subway stations, on buses, on TV... the very high profile ad campaign titled "Me Not Meth" which is "aimed at gay and bisexual men, and other men who have sex with men (MSM)" according to the MeNotMeth website. The TV ad was directed by Joel Schumacher and aired on several shows aimed at gay men including (shut up, Lizzie forced me to watch it) The Hills.

Anyways, there are several print ads, all of which can be found here, and which show pretty much ominous and hella janky dudes who are meth heads with sad sayings around them. The one that caught my eye exiting the Church Street Station in San Francisco was this one below:


I know it's hard to read but it says "My family was ok with me being gay. But I lost them because of meth."

DRAMA!

So with inspiration, I (with the help of my friend Brendan) made a wonderful inspirational poster I think should be the focus of a NEW statewide campaign against ONE OF THE MOST HARMFUL ADDICTIONS AROUND, CIGARETTES.


"My family supported me when they found out I did meth. But when I started smoking cigarettes I lost it all... MeNotCigs.org"

I can be a source of strength for cigarette smokers everywhere.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Everything that is wrong with San Francisco can be summed up in one word: NOPA

I've been unexpectedly enthralled by this book, called Freakonomics (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!) written by Levitt & Dubner. Freakonomics focuses on how the study of how economics (i.e. using certain tools and data to answer questions) can be used to explain or shed knowledge on social and human behavior.

One of the more controversial theories in the book tries to explain why crime rate lowered significantly in the 90s despite nearly all economic predictions to the contrary. Levitt proposes that this reason is due to the Supreme Court's decision of Roe v. Wade in the 1970s - that children that should have (and would have) been born previously to lifestyles under extreme adversity were now no longer being born. And just as these children would have been entering their criminally prime ages, the rate of crime began to plummet.

Anyways, it's ballsy, it's kind of heretical, it's offensive to both left and right, and I love it. "Conservatives were enraged that that abortion could be construed as a crime-fighting tool. Liberals were aghast that poor and black woman were singled out. As the media gorged on the abortion-crime story, Levitt came under direct assault. He was called an idealogue, a eugenicist, a racist, and downright evil. In reality he seems to be very much none of those. He has little taste for politics and even less for moralizing... genial, low-key, and unflappable, confident but not cocky... he speaks with a considerable lisp. There is nothing in his appearance or manner that suggests a flamethrower." (from book)

Now now, you're thinking, Ed, stop with the fucking lecture, and yes yes I promise you, there IS an actual point to this post.

NOPA (the restaurant itself) fucking sucks. Like hardcore. It's just not good. The braised duck legs are egregiously oversalted, the grass-fed burger consistently dry and mealy, the pork chops unimaginative at best and flat-out bland at worst, and for a place which harps on its "seasonal" menu, why, September 2007 sure looks a lot like May 2008, doesn't it now!!!

Coupled with the fact that the whole "neighborhood comfort" theme of an open kitchen and a communal table doesn't work in a space so cavernous and cold and loud (for a restaurant that does "neighborhood comfort" well, see Blue Plate on Mission), and disinterested servers and a wannabe Pac Heights (MORAGA CHIC!) crowd keen on coming down the hill to "clean up" the Western Addition (oops I mean NOPA oops I mean "we gotta call the hood a trendy name so we don't feel bad about gentrifying it even though OMG we'd never go into a restaurant where Black people go"... ever heard of Stuff White People Like = Knowing What's Best for Poor People?) makes NOPA an overall insufferable addition to the SF dining scene and an insufferable new "trendyhood" leading to the suburbanization of our urban hoods.

And, in the interest of taking this post full circle, I am fully aware that I'm gonna get flak from the "conservative" right (i.e. Newsom Democrats), who think I'm being too harsh on them for being rich and needy for their desire to purchase property and "clean up" (i.e. to marvelously VANILLAFY!!!) every last neighborhood in San Francisco with any morsel of personality whatsoever, and I am going to get flak from "foodies" who orgy over the very words "organic" and "sustainable" and "local" when every fucking other restaurant in the entire city serves the same exact nouveau comfort menu and has the same exact philosophy because I don't fucking care if it's organic if it is NOT GOOD.

But you know what, in the end, I'm just another guy, in an increasingly monotonous one-toned city, who actually cares about businesses and their effects on neighborhoods, who doesn't feel the need to gentrify every corner of The City, and who longs for a simpler time, when normal people could enjoy this gorgeous and modern and breath-taking City just as much as gentry could. In other words, I just want to be a normal guy in a normal world.

I am not a flamethrower.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

EDventures in Trannyism

The famous frat-party-a-go-go LOOK-AT-US-WE'RE-SO-WACKY ONLY-IN-SAN-FRANCISCO Bay to Breakers 7ish mile "Run" (more like drunk stumble and trash The City for the majority of its participants) is happening this Sunday, and it promises to be a good time. Why, you ask, after I harshly dismissed its participants with such a cool icy wave?

Because I am going what I always do every year, which is set up a table on the sidewalk in front of my apartment (which coincidentally, is on the route) and start drinking at 6:30 in the AM so I can watch the Nigerians pass us by, only to slowly watch the carnage as it massively moves its way though South of Market, along Hayes Valley, the Panhandle, through Golden Gate Park, and finally to Ocean Beach, from the comfort of my drunk front porch. And then I realize that it's 10 in the AM and I am FRUNK AS DRUCK and that this is not a healthy nor normal activity but I continue to drink anyways because I AM IN IT TO WIN IT.

Anyways, this event is also known for many other things (salmons swimming "upstream" i.e. from breakers to bay, the beginning line tortilla toss, naked old people, etc.) but one of these is COSTUMES. And if there is one thing San Franciscans are never too judgmental of, it's a god damn ho down COSTUME PARTY.

So I went to Costumes on Haight yesterday and purchased fishnets. Why, I do not know, perhaps it is to release my inner tranny? Do I have an inner tranny? I don't think so, because if I think I did, I think she would quickly become my OUTER tranny, but whatever. Quiet and shy, I am NOT. I was looking for some kind of costume, of what I don't know. But I thought I could do something with fish nets. So I opened them this morning to try them on and lo and behold, WHO KNEW FISHNETS WERE LIKE PANTYHOSE?!? I sure didn't. I thought they were like long socks.

Anyways, they don't fit. Like at all. They're made for women who are probably 5 foot 4 and 100 pounds. I am a 200+ plus pound 6 foot tall Asian man. The crotch reaches to my thighs. I think I'm going to have to cut a hole in the crotch or something, kind of like assless chap fishnets, I suppose. To solve this, I'll have to find a pair of red or black manties to wear. AND I just figured out my Bay 2 Breakers costume. I'm calling myself "CHINKSTINA AGUIRERRA"!!!!!!



I also bought a rainbow afro and a mustache, but I'm not yet sure how I'll incorporate those into my costume.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

AdWords

I still don't really understand the concept of AdWords (how the hell do I get paid to blog?!?!?) but I don't really think my blog has a market out there. Since I added Google Analytics to my blog, I've found that people find my blog while searching for the phrases "chez panisse chowhound", "blue bottle kyoto iced coffee", "crab scissors", "chinky princess", "how to look less chinky", "power ad m4w", "e in emo is for", "herra dating", "boiling eddo", "chinky american born chinese", and "chinky sweat".

However, my blog got a historic high of 13 visitors yesterday, so thank you very much anonymous readers!

Also, for the REALLY important news, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEA ARTHUR!!!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Vanishing Cities

With the minute possibility of moving to New York within the next couple of years, I've been reading articles/books/blogs about the current vanishing of New York, or at least, the New York worth preserving, and the bringing about of the same mindless driveling culture of today.

In particular, I've been intrigued by this blog, called Jeremiah's Vanishing
New York a.k.a. The Book of Lamentations: a bitterly nostalgic look at a city in the process of going extinct
.

I've been particularly taken aback by the entry called How Sex and City killed New York City, which details, in a general timeline, how the introduction of one horrible yuppie bar in the Bowery caused a transformation of "every woman into a clone of Carrie-fucking-Bradshaw" and consequently, how its streets became "overrun by cupcake-munching, giant-handbag-carrying, soulless robots". Harsh? Perhaps, but I see it happening not just in New York, but pretty much in every city I've visited in my entire young life, and especially in San Francisco. [As a sidenote, it bothers me that Sarah Jessica Parker's face looks so much like a foot. Also, does anyone else remember Kristin Davis from Melrose Place and HOW HUGE HER ASS WAS back then?! Effing Hott.]

True to life, one commenter (Rob, from San Francisco) on Jeremiah Wright's wonderful post says it all:

I live in San Francisco. I think you've misnamed the phenomenon. I think what you're really talking about is the recent era of the "in city." SF and NYC shared the spotlight in the 70's. NYC and LA in the 80's. In the early 1990's it was Seattle. In the late 90's it was San Francisco. Ironically 9/11 made NYC the next fashionable city.

In both San Francisco and Seattle being the center of the young and cool universe destroyed the very culture that brought it national attention as a cool place to be. Years later both cities are still trying to recapture that thing they once had before the locusts arrived.

NYC is coming up on the end of it's time in the lime light though. Soon the wealthy fashionistas well grow out of it or run to the next "It city." My money is on Chicago... It still feels authentic, which is really what people are chasing. It's too bad they can't become part of the culture without destroying it.


In my short life in San Francisco, I've witnessed reinventions of the Inner Mission, Western Addition (NoPa?!?!? *shudders*), Hayes Valley, Lower Haight, the Dogpatch... slow vanilla-fication of every distinct and personable neighborhood until what was once worth saving is now indistinguishable from what was once deemed urgent to stop.

Instead of Sex and the City and New York, perhaps us here on the Left Coast should call it the Newsom-ification of San Francisco.

Universal Troofs

I just realized that whenever I have a problem, my first reaction is to throw money at it until it goes away. Which makes me glad I don't have too many problems.

Monday, April 28, 2008

IN IT TO WIN IT 2008!!!

2008 is my year. I am actively looking to dump my single male status and ready to hit the ground running with some HOT GIRL ON GIRL INSANE STRIPPER GONE WILD ACTION. Or really, a nice gal who likes me and who doesn't make me hate the world would be nice. So I wrote a Craigslist ad - M4W here I come!!!

I am fat, judgmental, disdainful, AND ASIAN!!! - 26 - (hayes valley)

Alright, listen. I am probably too good for you. No girls wants to hear that, but I'm most likely right. I'm fat and I'm judgmental and I am smarter than you and OH YES I AM ASIAN!!! And, I probably hate you (seriously, Russian/Nob Hill bitches, stop fooling yourself into thinking you're more "indie" than your Pac Heights counterparts - Forever 21 instead of True Religion does NOT make you an Independent Woman and please do not throw your hands up at me).

But I've had a high earning corporate but also indie-hip job straight outta my namebrand college with double power majors (the kind where you say, wow you must be SMART!), can afford to live in a 1 bedroom in post-Central Freeway nouveau riche Hayes Valley, and am so free thinking that I can look down on Marina striped shirts AND Mission hipsters AND dotcom Burners AND silicon valley google-ites AND granola hippies AND MYSELF!!!!

Please do not respond if you are blond (= privileged), Asian (= daddy issues), skinny (= you hate life), insane (= bad in bed), or unemployed (= lazy).

Anyways, I'm pretty much a catch, and if you are okay with me passing judgment on your within the first 5 minutes of meeting you and dealing with the crushing blow and certain possibility that you are as unoriginal and easy to read through as a used childrens book, I AM SINGLE AND READY TO MINGLE LADIES.

Your pic gets my shirtless pic. MOOBS ARE SO IN RIGHT NOW!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's been over 4 years...

since my last serious relationship.

I wonder what she looks like now.
I wonder where she's working now.
I wonder who she's seeing now.
Or if she's engaged.
Or if she's married.
Or if she has children.
Or if she even thinks about me anymore.
Or if she ever thought about me at all.

I never talk about her. I rarely talk about my relationships, even when they are happening, not even with the people I am closest with. I sometimes think talking about them makes them less real. That the more you put reality into word form, the more static it becomes, the less opaque and the more tangible it becomes. That once you assign words to a memory, the more it becomes lore and the less it becomes how it really was.

I am pathetic. The relationship didn't even last a year. It was my only serious relationship in college. But it went so fast. And it felt so good. And when it ended, it ended so badly.

I often wonder how my life would be different if it never happened. If I would be as prone to immediately doom a relationship before it starts, like I normally do. If I would be more likely to embrace and less likely to reject. If I wouldn't run away from any person I thought would hurt me before even allowing them inside me.

In the past, my relationship with Melanie was perfect.
In the present, I fear my golden memories are perhaps gilded.
And in the future, Melanie might leave me worse than if she never happened at all.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

San Francisco Liberals...

are just as bad as Texas conservatives.

If you haven't heard, in a recent San Francisco fundraiser, when asked about the difficulty of luring blue-collar voters in Pennsylvania (and presumably, beyond), Barack Obama responded with "you go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and ... the jobs have been gone now for 25 years, and nothing's replaced them. It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

With full disclosure, when the California primary came around, I voted for Hillary. But realistically, if the primary in California were to be held today, I may even be persuaded to vote for Obama. I thought his speech in Philadelphia was incredible, I thought it might possibly be the most eloquent, appropriate, and politically daring speech to be delivered in my young life. No matter who receives the Democratic nomination for President, I will be proud to vote for either candidate for POTUS, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

What am I more disgusted with is the reaction that the quote received not from the blue-collar voters, but instead from the supposedly educated and liberal citizens of the San Francisco Bay Area. I don't care how much anecdotal evidence you have, I don't care where you're from or where your family lives, but to say things like "I don't even know what's wrong with his quote," and "What he says is right, I don't understand what the big deal is" is so completely out of touch with reality that it absolutely blindsides me. I immediately think: Stuff White People Like: Knowing What's Best for Poor People.

If you don't understand that some random person running for the leader of our country implies that the reason you turn to religion, the reason you believe in the 2nd Amendment, the reason you want immigration and trade laws enforced is because you are "bitter" and because you don't have a job - well, I don't know what to tell you.

And yes, I say, we are out of touch with the rest of America, and I think that's ok. But to be so pretentious and so presumptive about how people who don't live like us think, it is almost as insulting to them as it is to us when outsiders imply that San Franciscans are gay smug pot-smoking hippies. Essentially, it is a caricature and it is incorrect and it is judgmental and insulting. We are not better or worse because of where we live or because of our education or our race or our income or our place of employment. We're different, and that's fine. Let's just try not to be assholes about it, ok?

I love how everytime something happens in San Francisco, the SF Chronicle decides to be lazy and rerun the same "What?! Us?! Liberals?! People view *us* as SMUG?!?!" article. We take pride in our liberalism, and then we are surprised when others call us out on it. We can't have it both ways - we can't be both patronizing and idolized at the same time.

Besides, everyone knows the only reason educated white people vote for Barack Obama is because they still feel guilty about slavery and Jim Crow.

See how that feels?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

PPQ Dungeness Island

CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB CRAB!!!!

That is how my mind works whenever I think of PPQ Dungeness Island. Located in the Outer Avenues of the Richmond in San Francisco, PPQ Dungeness Island is a Vietnamese restaurant (run mostly by Chinese people, I think) known for its Roasted Dungeness Crab which is flavored with butter, garlic, garlic, and more garlic. It is delicious and one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco. Also, I have no idea where Dungeness Island is, but I want to know and in my dream it is one big long buffet table. Yes, Chinks dream of buffets. My dad even brings his own CRAB SCISSORS to buffets. He will say "even scientists can no be successful, weethout proper tool!" My dad is clearly a scientist of crab buffets and overeating. The nut does not fall far from the tree.

I went with 30 of my closest friends and family for my birthday this year. Us being us, when the crab arrived, we actually started CLAPPING and gave it a standing ovation. Yes, that is how we show our appreciation to dead animals that will sate us - we clap. We're fucked up and insensitive, I know.



My mom called me on my birthday this year, which also happened to be the day before San Francisco was the only North American city to host the Beijing 2008 Olympics Torch Run. What started out as a sincere Happy Birthday call ended up in a 20 minute lecture to me about how evil I was because My City (yes, to my mother, I now represent all 900K wackos in San Francisco, nevermind that most San Franciscans avoid crowds like the plague and most Tibetan protestors are dread-wearing white people from Marin) supports Tibet and people just want to believe what they hear and no one knows about how Tibet actually is and blah blah blah Chinacakes.

I argue with her a little, and explain to her how even if America was holding the Olympics this year, we'd probably be protested in other countries because we are seen internationally as a large country trying to impose our governmental standards on a smaller and less powerful country as well, and that I think it's cool people are protesting for what they believe in because well, you can't do that in China or other parts of the world. That's why it's happening in London, in Paris, in San Francisco - because people want to speak out to our government in ways that citizens of other countries can't.

Anyways, after stewing at me for a while, my mom asks me what I did for my birthday. I mentioned we went to PPQ Dungeness Island.

Mommy: Ohhhh, so feh-mose!
Me: Huh?
Mommy: Da dun-jah-ness creb. Soooo feh-mose!
Me: Yeah, we had it roasted and we also had garlic noodles. It was sooo good Mommy.
Mommy: You so rucky, you leev in San Fu-ran-seesko.
Me: What about all the protestors? I thought you hated San Francisco!
Mommy: Ah, you know, dees protestors, dey don't know. The only reason dey protest, ees because, efterwards, dey can eat dun-jah-ness creb.

My mom is convinced that the reason that people protest so much in San Francisco is so that they have a reason to celebrate afterwards by eating dungeness crab.

Which is totally not a far stretch of the imagination, I guess, since she is Chinese...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'm so cold...

Ed: how the hell did i get home last night


Luis: i durno
you disappeared like a ninja


Ed: haha
i know berna took me home
i remember her going, lets go
so i bounced
but iremember like
nothing
after that
im such a good ninja i fool myself


Ed: im so cold luis

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Separate is Not Equal by Gavin Newsom

I kind of hate Gavin Newsom, but this is pretty much the only issue I agree with him on. And for those not in the know, Gavin Newsom is the San Francisco mayor who on Valentines Day Weekend in 2004 allowed several thousand same-sex couples to be married in San Francisco City Hall.

from Daily Kos

Separate Is Not Equal
by Gavin Newsom
Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 11:48:44 AM PST

Four years ago, when Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon and more than 4,000 other couples said "I Do" this country took an irrevocable step toward securing equality for every American.

While many feel what we did was too much, too fast, too soon – we stand firm in the belief that our actions were not only just, but legal and constitutional. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the pursuit of happiness.

Today, the California Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether excluding gay couples from marriage violates the state constitution. Today, these Justices have a unique chance to follow in the proud tradition of California's high court, which took a courageous stand on marriage equality in 1948 when it ruled that the state's ban on inter-racial marriage was unconstitutional.

Four years ago, when we started this process we knew this day would come – that we would have the opportunity to argue for justice and equality before the state Supreme Court. Whatever the Justices decide, the struggle will go on, both in the courts and at the ballot box.

Right now, the same groups that sponsored the 2000 California ballot measure reinforcing the prohibition on same-sex marriages are circulating petitions that would write discrimination into the state Constitution and overturn laws granting benefits to same-sex couples.

Right now, as the Justices are hearing arguments on what I believe is the civil rights issue of our time, we have a chance to take a stand against hate, against injustice, and stand up for equality.

Please – take a moment right now and go to equalityforall.com and join the "Decline to Sign" campaign to discourage people from signing these dangerous and hateful petitions. The very best way we can show the Court, not to mention the governor, the state legislature and the country that equality should not be whim to popular opinion or the political winds, is to stop the newest effort to legalize discrimination.

No matter the outcome of today's arguments, it is clear that this battle will continue. I, for one, believe that it is a fight worth fighting and never giving up on, until we have won.

If you have a chance today, check out Judge Richard Kramer's opinion from 2004 in support of marriage equality. He offers a well reasoned, dispassionate analysis of the fundamental right to marry. His decision was overturned – but I believe that his reasoning will prevail, if not today then someday.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Stuff White People Like: Expensive Cameras with Oversized Lenses

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and if you haven't perused Stuff White People Like yet, then you should take a moment to read their awesome blog before you check out my modest contribution to the world of Stuff White People Like.

Expensive cameras with big lenses combine four things that white people love: technology, exclusivity, feeling artistic, and not having to work too hard.

When white people walk into any social situation and know no one, the first thing they have to do is pull out an expensive camera with a big lens, and beautiful blond women wearing halter tops and jewelry will smile radiantly and passionately. This gives them the sense of being "important" and contributing when they really have no real purpose or connection to the particular social situation.

Expensive cameras with oversized lenses are, however, by their very definition, expensive. And hence, exclusive. Hence, white people must justify to themselves that these cameras transcend selfish purpose and must attach meaning and intent for their frivolous exchanges. This meaning is art.

In order to add artistic credibility to their high minded hobby, a white person can take a close-up of a butterfly, or a flower, or an eye with a single tear running down. Beautiful women appearing pensive and non-rehearsed moments involving children and excess lighting are also artistically valid. A spoon on a table casting a shadow in high contrast lighting is suddenly an object of immense and unspoeakable beauty. A plastic bag floating in the wind can be the metaphorical subject of an Academy Award winning movie.


"Sometimes there is so much beauty in the world..."

Being artistic is easy when you have Photoshop to do so for you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm not a crier.

I've never been much of a crier. I am very much secure with my manhood, and I will be the first to admit that certain movies set me off - Joy Luck Club, for one, any movie that involves lifetimes of strained relationships between sons and their fathers, for another. But in real life, I just don't cry. Perhaps it's a protective shell I've always tried to build around myself, a sort of nonchalant iciness, but when I finally do break, I'm a big mess, it is at the point where I literally can't handle life anymore.

I'm not at that point now. I'm not happy, that's for sure, but I am not exactly in despair. I am in limbo. I am passive. I am useless. And I'm not pleased about it.

It's so much, really. I'm still at the point in my career where I can't exactly advance forward. But I'm also not given the opportunities to really showcase my talent, the talent that was recognized and lauded in my previous job, and the talent that I was ultimately hired for in my current job.

And I'm fucking tired of the dating scene. I'm tired of playing the game. I'm tired of not being in love. I'm tired of being alone. But women my age aren't. Women my age play their games all while lamenting the fact that they have to. Women my age aren't into me and I've thought long and hard about it, and it's not my fault. Women beyond my age value the traits that I possess, but cannot look past my age and my youthful faults (of which are many). And again, I find myself in a passive purgatory of hope and wish and... waiting.


And in a sense, this is what it all comes down to.

Waiting...

...to be useful.

...to be active.

...to cry.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Gong Xi Fa Tsai!


Happy Chinky New Year!!

In my family, we always celebrated Chinese New Year by putting a a red diamond shaped poster with the Chinese character of 福 upside down on the front door of our house. The character is pronounced "fu2", which I honestly don't remember what it means, but it is good - I think it means luck or prosperity or fortune or something (yeah I'm the worst Chink ever). The reason for putting it upside down, however, is because the Chinese word for "upside down" is "dao3" and sounds a lot like the Chinese word for "arrive" (dao4). Putting it upside down is like inviting luck and fortune into the household.

We'd spend the day sweeping (signifying sweeping out the bad luck with the old year) and not using knives (since we did not want to cut our fortune and luck in half for the upcoming year). For dinner, we'd usually have Chinese hot pot, which is basically a boiling cauldron of broth with veggies, tofu, and rice noodles in it in the center of the (round) table, and random raw meats that you pick up with chop sticks, dip into the boiling water, and after it is cooked, dipping the meat into a mixture of raw egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, and fermented black bean paste, and really, whatever odd Chinese sauces you wanted. This meal is very communal, as everyone needs to physically gather around the hot pot, and is meant to signify togetherness and strength for the new year.

We would also often have dumplings for the new year. Grandma, Auntie, and Momma would sit at the dinner table for hours, making the dough for the wrappers, making the filling that would go inside, and wrapping the dumplings, and by dinner time, there would be hundreds and hundreds of dumplings ready for boiling and eating. Sometimes, my mom would put a dime into some random dumplings, or fill it with a sweet rather than savory filling. If you were to be the person who ate the special dumpling, and found a sweet taste or money in your mouth, the upcoming new year was supposed to be extra special for you. I tended to get those special dumplings a lot, because I AM SPECIAL (or rather, I am a dumpling fiend and tended to eat most of the dumplings).

After dinner, we'd thank our elders and they'd give us red envelopes filled with money. The red envelopes are supposed to be given by people who are married to those who aren't married, but my grandparents stopped giving me red envelopes pretty much since I started to drive. I'm not sure what the reasoning was, but I totally miss getting all that money in early February that I would try to last me to the end of the year.

I was born in America and have never spent any amount of significant time in Asia, but I am grateful for the traditions my parents and grandparents had, and were able to pass along in my otherwise very American life growing up in suburban Southern California.

Gong Xi Gong Xi! Gong Xi Fa Tsai! Hong Bao Na Lai!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I hate Christmas. In February.

What I love about Facebook is that it tells you everything your friends are doing without any effort on your part. I also kind of hate that about Facebook.

I am friends with my younger cousin who is a freshman at Berkeley. This is the cousin who says on her profile that her favorite quote is "Making love is nice, but sometimes you just wanna FUCK." and who is dating a wannabe emo gangsta Azn thug who goes to Irvine and who doesn't smile in pictures and always allows his long straight hair to slightly cover just his right eye. Solemnly, of course.

On Facebook Marketplace, which is an online space where you can personally sell unwanted items, she just listed a new 1GB purple iPod shuffle that has never been opened or used for $50.

Christmas this year, I bought her a new 1GB purple iPod shuffle that had never been opened or used for $100.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Transportation Fact of the Day - 1/30/08

When you use your FasTrak through any of the state-owned 7 toll bridges in the Bay Area, a screen after the toll plaza says "Valid ETC" which I've always read as "Valid Et Cetera".

It in fact is supposed to mean "Valid Electronic Toll Collection".

And that is your transportation fact of the day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Cafe of the Bottle that is Blue

This past Saturday morning, after an *excellent* lunch at Vitrine (not Latrine, but Vitrine and also HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) on the fourth floor of the St. Regis Hotel on Third Street, my hot dining companion and I decided to hit up the new Blue Bottle Cafe at the Mint Plaza off of 5th Street near the mall.

I am one of the biggest advocates of Blue Bottle Coffee. The original SF location, located in Linden Alley in Hayes Valley, is exactly 78 steps from my apartment door (I've counted). I trust the baristas there, I have given bags of beans as presents, I live and die by their fresh drip and their espresso. I am acquaintances with the owner, James Freeman, and his wife who owns and oversees the Miette empire. They wave at me occasionally when I walk about the neighborhood. And I know that his passion for coffee is unsurpassed - it really is a calling for him, and he absolutely cares about the end product.

So I line up at Blue Bottle Cafe, which is located just off the new "Italian Piazza"-styled Mint Plaza. "Italian Piazza"-styled is actually marketese - what it really means is, cleaned up so white shoppers who frequent Union Square don't have to look at homeless people. The line is long, but that is expected, because Blue Bottle Cafe is new and I'm sure all the foodie blogs like Chowhound, Eater, Gridskipper, and Tablehopper all alerted the masses to the new Blue Bottle, and like a coffee mafia, they all came in funky hats and bed head hairstyles and messenger bags with anarchist patches. Gourmet in San Francisco is like the new hot ultrabar in Los Angeles - the blogs send out the calling, the masses convene, the first to arrive proclaim they've experienced enlightenment, and within a week the regulars proclaim to be over it and are onto their next gourmet conquest.

It is mother-fucking 9,000 degrees in there. I'm serious. I am sweating fucking bullets and it is like 40 degrees outside. Like Jesus MF Christ, I wanted to hurt myself then and there.

So I finally get to the front of the line. I am sweating bullets. I am dripping on myself.

"Iced nonfat latte please."

"I'm sorry, we don't do that."

"Yes you do. That's my regular order at Linden."

"No, the only iced drinks we make are the New Orleans Iced Coffee or the Kyoto Iced Coffee, and we're out of those."

"Well, I would like an iced nonfat latte."

"I'm sorry, we don't do that."

Um, EX-MOTHA-FUCKING-CUSE ME for ordering what I order EVERY SINGLE DAY at Linden. How dare I descend upon your coffee-enlightened haven and order something as unpure as an iced nonfat latte. How dare I refuse your New Orleans Iced Coffee because I am diabetic and it contains both sugar and hickory. How dare I actually DESIRE WHAT I DESIRE.

"Well, I need an iced nonfat latte. I have my reasons for ordering it."

"We can give you a latte and a cup of ice."

And I knew he was thinking "and an orange mocha frappucino, this isn't Starbucks, asshole."

"Well, if you do give me a cup of ice, can you not steam the milk, since it doesn't make sense to steam the milk of an iced drink."

This is bad when I know more about an espresso drink than my counterpart at one of the snootiest coffee shops in the country.

In the end, my friend was bullied into a fresh drip, and I received three cups - a cup of milk, a shot of espresso (ristretto), and a cup of ice. I.E. EVERY INGREDIENT TO MAKE AN ICED NONFAT LATTE but having to pour it all into the same cup myself.

Oh yeah, it tasted abso-fucking-lutely amazing. Like I knew it would.

Anyways, James, I will still visit your Linden Alley shop. The baristas there know me. They make my order without even asking me. And they don't give me attitude or make me explain the reasons for wanting a beverage that they can make. And the only reason I am glad the Mint location is now open is that people will now descend onto that hellhole of coffee misery, and leave me and my happy alley and my NICE BARISTAS alone.

I never expected Blue Bottle to provide me with the absolute worst experience of my cafe life, but an excellent product can only get you so far when you are hellbent on diminishing the simple needs of your flexible customers.