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... be useful. be active. 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.