Monday, August 28, 2006


Last night, I saw a Guido.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t my first time. As someone who has seen many before, I spotted him quite easily. Hair styled into loud, angry spikes protruding from all sides of his head, skin tanned a deep orange, electronic communication device in hand.

Cat and I were standing outside of a local bar, sharing a cigarette, waiting for a friend who was still inside doing her “goodbye” rounds when we spotted him. He was standing at the curb, toes dangling off the edge, a large PDA/cellular phone prominently displayed in one hand. It appeared that he was waiting for someone arriving by way of automobile.

I do a double take.

“Hey, that guy looks familiar,” I mumble to Cat out of the side of my mouth.

She looks, “Oh, wait, I know him!”

She trots over and breaks his focused gaze on the approaching traffic. After taking a moment to register her, his eyes light up in recognition. “Oh! Hey!”

I stand at the side and make no move to approach as they exchange obligatory “I haven’t seen you in a while” banter.

“Did you go on vacation somewhere? You’re so tanned!” Cat comments on his skin burnt a comical, almost alien hue—not quite orange, not quite red with a hint of charcoal grey thrown in.

“Oh, no, I went tanning,” he points down the street to the tanning salon on the next block. “I go twice a week.”

I emit a small squeak and quickly purse my lips.

Cat, in a show of superhuman restraint, manages to smile and spurt a convincing, “Oh really? That’s cool,” before asking, “So, where are you going? What are you so dressed up for?” She motions to his white pinstriped blazer over white wifebeater, white creased slacks and white sneakers—offsetting the bright orange of his skin. Two large jeweled studs adorn each ear.

“I always dress like this,” he says with a small arm flourish. “I’m just waiting for my homegirl, you know? She pickin’ me up.”

“Oh,” Cat nods thoughtfully.

“Yo, you should gimme your number!” he says suddenly. “I’ma be in a movie!”

“Oh, really? What kind of movie?” she asks.

“It’s some indie flick. It’s gonna be at Sundance.”

“Oh, so are you, like, an extra or something?”

“Nah yo! I’m the star!” He gestures to himself with another flourish.

I snort loudly and immediately burst into a fit of coughs. They turn to look at me. I raise my hand in the universal sign for “I’m okay.”

Jenny finally comes out of the bar and interrupts my late-night showing of “I Dream of Guido” and we start to saunter towards the car.

“Holy shit,” I say to Cat, exhaling for the first time since she started her conversation with him. “I’ve never seen a more Guido Guido in my life.”

She shrugs and manages a chuckle.

But really, so what? I saw a Guido. They run rampant through the five boroughs and most parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. I might as well tell a Londoner that I saw fog, a Parisian that I saw a café. Why is it worth recounting this tale?

Because I realized why he looked so familiar midway through Cat’s conversation with him—he went to my church.

My “Guido” was 100 percent Korean.


Friday, August 25, 2006

And now a word from our sponsors

Mr. Feeny of Boy Meets World:

"Gutenberg's generation thirsted for a new book every six months! Your generation gets a new web page every six seconds, and how do you use this technology? To try and beat King Koopa, and rescue the princess. Shame on you. You deserve what you get.
[Bell rings]
Sit down. Stay where you are. For the first time, I choose to walk out on you."


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I Can't Think of a Good Fucking Title

"When's the last time you read a book by a woman?" I interrupt Z as he gestures toward his recommendations and launches into pocket-sized diatribes about each.

"I read that one by that Ann Coulter chick a little while ago."

"That doesn't count. It’s not really a book book.”

“Well, I read this other one. It was one of those dating books.”

Dating books?” I raise my eyebrows at him.

“Yeah, someone gave it to me and-“

“Whatever, that doesn’t count either. You know what I mean. When’s the last time you read a novel, memoir, narrative that was written by a woman?”

He pauses to think. Silence.

Both of our eyes fall on Memoirs of a Geisha.

“Even that was written by a man.”

“I was just about to say,” his voice trails off.

I don’t blame Z. He may be a misogynist, but he’s not sexist. I can barely remember the last time I read, or even expressed any interest in reading, a book by a woman. In the age of devils who wear Prada, sluts and the city and Manhattan call girls keeping diaries, it’s hard to find a strong female voice that can relate to people as opposed to just women. When’s the last time I saw a successful contemporary female author who wrote books that didn’t involve career-driven women who wore Jimmy Choos and Chanel suits and found time in their hectic schedules to obsess over shiny Wall Street bankers? None of that shit interests me either.

I would rather read about Hunter S. Thompson bingeing on drugs in Vegas, a Chuck Palahniuk sex-addict choking his way to financial security, bullshit nights in suck cities, John Updike's crazy Rabbit sex. I’m not saying a woman needs to pepper a narrative with profanity in order to be taken seriously, but she needs to make characters people can relate to; and if not relate, at least be interested in. Not many heterosexual men are interested in Vogue and Page Six. Not many women are either.

It’s reached the point now that women who do write material that is relevant aren’t taken seriously because the general male public assume their material is not relatable. All female literature is lumped into the bubble gum genre of “Chick Lit” and regarded as yet another tale of a big city gal with big city aspirations snagging her big city man and achieving all her big city goals while looking fabulous to boot.

Just fucking kill me.

“When I publish my first book, I’m going to do it under a pseudonym.”

“What kind of pseudonym?”

“I’m going to use a guy’s name. Maybe something androgynous.”

“What, are you gonna be John Wong?” he laughs. I roll my eyes.

“It’s not going to be Asian either. I could write something about living in the South during the Civil War, but if my name’s Kim, they’ll file it under ‘Asian-American Literature’ and the only thing that sells less than being a woman is being Asian.”

"They'll think it's about math."


Monday, August 21, 2006

Hometown Pride

The smaller-scale version of “Ethnic Pride” so prominently displayed on bumper stickers, flags, t-shirts and little weird rearview mirror dangly things is “Hometown Pride.” Hometown Pride isn’t quite as conspicuous as Ethnic Pride, usually surreptitiously woven into hip-hop lyrics and adorning baseball caps and sports jerseys. However, a “Hometown Shout” will harvest the same cheers as an “Ethnic Shout” while a playful jab at a street, town, neighborhood, county will garner a similarly incredulous and defensive response from those inhabitants devoid of a sense of humor. Scream “Williamsburg sucks!” whilst aboard the L Train and you’ll find yourself being stabbed and beaten with charcoal pencils, giant black portfolios and guitar cases by young urbanites with torn jeans, obscure band t-shirts and greasy hair.

Case in point. The post that received the most responses on this site (still, a depressingly low number) was one where I discussed outer New York City boroughs and the pretentious asswipes who hate them. On a larger scale, Muk, a resident of Park Slope, was inundated with responses to this. Now, I don’t know much about Park Slope. From what I’ve heard, it’s a nice neighborhood, somewhat wealthy, somewhat trendy—the new Upper East Side if you will. I knew enough about the neighborhood to find his t-shirts tamely amusing. So I was shocked to see that he received some incredibly callous feedback.

I fail to see what aspect of these t-shirts are offensive to Park Slope natives. I don’t know when it came to pass that poking fun at the frequency of parents pushing expensive strollers in the area came to mean “people with children should die” and “Park Slope is evil” but a decent number of people took it to mean this. But I guess if you’re spending $800 on a Bugawoobieboogle stroller because Vogue told you to, you would be a douchebag with no sense of humor. It just goes to show, people are deeply affected by any statement (negative or positive) in relation to their locale and feel the need to “represent.”



1) Kevin Federline makes me feel warm and fuzzy in my secret places. Did everyone see his performance last night on the Teen Choice Awards? I sat through that two-hour brain fart just so I could see him, and let me tell you, it was completely worth it. Watching him is like watching Nascar bungee jumping into a trailer park and getting stung by a bee. Even the audience of coked-up pre-adolescents had difficulty cheering for the train wreck that was his performance.

2) I have a huge mosquito bite on my right bicep and it’s swollen up so big that it looks like I’ve been working out only one arm. Or bowling a lot.

3) I once dated a professional bowler.

4) Tom Glavine might need season-ending surgery on his pitching arm. That puts the Mets’ postseason in jeopardy. That makes me sad.

5) I know someone who works in publishing who adamantly refuses to tell anyone about job opportunities at his company because he doesn’t want other people getting a piece of what he does. I don’t know how to feel about this.

6) I’m eating lobster today. Cooking lobster makes me sad. That poor fucker just sitting there thinking, “Wow, it’s hot in here…” Eating it, however, makes me pretty happy.

7) This season of Entourage has been pretty weak. Too much career drama, not enough sleeping around with nasty hoes. And does anyone else think it's unfair that the highlight of Turtle's season has been getting sneakers?


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lost in Translation

It's no secret that Asian people got the shit end of the stick when it comes to foreign accents. No one gushes to their friends about the man they met with the sexiest Chinese accent they ever heard. No one spends time in Korea and attempts to Madonna their accent upon their return.

I worked with a girl who was born and raised in Canada, spent a year working in London, and managed to come to work in the New York City office with a thick English accent. We call these people "assholes" and "poseurs" but that's beyond the point. No one's going to do it with a Malaysian accent.

As first generation Americans, my parents speak with a thick Korean accent. There is logic to this, of course. If you learn to speak Korean, you'll see that there are certain letters and pronunciations in English that don't have a Korean counterpart. For example, a Korean person can pronounce a 'b' or a 'c' because there are the equivalent 'buh' and 'cuh' sounds in the Korean alphabet. Ask them to say a word with a 'v' or an 'f,' however, and you'll have them replacing them with a 'buh' and a 'puh' as in "very" = "bery" and "fuck" = "puck."

My father got an engineering degree from City College in New York, so he possesses a solid enough grasp of the English language. He may still say "I sink you arl stoopeesh," but his English is decipherable. My mother on the other hand, came to the U.S. for the first time when she got married. Therefore, her Engrish ijn't bery goosh.

She has taken an interest, numerous times, in improving it, and in doing so, I have discovered several inexplicable pronounciations for English words. No matter what logic I attempt to see behind her choosing to pronounce the following words as such, I can't find any.

1) V (as in the letter, 'V') = Boo-ee
When she asks me to spell something for her, she likes to repeat the spelling I give her. Without fail, whenever I say 'vee' she responds with 'BOO-ee.' "It's VEE!" I'll enunciate. "BOO-EE!" she'll respond. And we'll go back and forth like this for a little while.

2) Purple = Purf
For the longest time, growing up, my mother, for whatever bizarre reason, would pronounce this word "purf." Just like that, one syllable, 'purf.' When I got old enough to be a wise-ass and question her, I tried to correct her. "PUR-PULL." Her response, "FUR-FUR," which, after several repetitions, became "PUR-FUR" and I'm pretty sure that's as good as it's going to get.

3) Fish = Hooey-shee
This is the word we have been working on most recently. She's always tried to pronounce it as two syllables (as in 'fishy'). I finally called her out on it, and for a few months, we managed to get it down to 'hooeesh." Lately I've been trying to squeeze the 'f' outta her and I've gotten several variations of 'heesh,' 'hweesh,' 'weesh' and finally, 'fesh.' She curls her lips and looks ridiculous when she says this, though, so we're going to have to stick with "hweesh."


Monday, August 14, 2006

All Crappy on the Western Front

Note the reviews of this film, as opposed to this one.

Can’t forget Madonna’s claim to the Bad Actress Hall of Fame and the movie it was based on.

They’re even crapping up the already crappy ones.

And most recently this, versus this.

Starting to notice a pattern here?

Apparently, Hollywood is not. Despite these and many other well-documented failures at remaking foreign films, they continue to do them. Why don’t they just slap subtitles on them and release them in the US like every other country does? Is there a Spanish-language version of The Ring floating around starring Penelope Cruz? “La nina! En el televisor! Dios mio!” I don’t think so.

And what the fuck was up with their remake of The Grudge? They didn’t even change the setting or any of the characters. Oh, right, they made the main characters white.

The final straw came for me when I read this. For those of you who have never seen Battle Royale, I recommend not waiting until it’s butchered to death, recast starring that girl from that show on that network that used to be called the WB and its decaying skeleton is showing at a theatre near you.

As much as I understand that Hollywood doesn’t like to give Americans any credit (after all, a whole crapload of them think Jeff Foxworthy is funny), this has to stop. True, a lot of people are too lazy to read. And, frankly, a lot of them can’t read too good. But why don’t they try cutting the public some slack? They did it with Hero and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Last I heard, those movies were nominated for Oscars. What, really, do they accomplish by remaking already well-done films into incredibly bad ones? Well, other than stealing money from a bunch of idiots before everyone starts to catch on that the movie fucking sucks.

So, when this asshole, who brought us such gems as the American version of The Grudge, the American version of The Lake House, the American version of Dark Water and the American version of The Ring, destroys Battle Royale because he doesn’t understand the concept of being creative (read: coming up with your own shit), do everyone a favor and don’t watch it. But if you absolutely must, download it off the internet.

And if he ever remakes Oldboy, I call dibs on shooting him in the face.


Friday, August 11, 2006

The Prime


“And I wonder, when I sing along with you: if anything could ever feel this real forever, if anything could ever be this good again.”

What is/was the prime of your life? I had a dream last night in which I was telling a table of friends about the prime of my life, and the only thing I could talk about was college. College wasn’t great by any means, but it was pretty exciting. When my parents drove away that first day of college, I remember thinking to myself, “Holy shit. I can’t believe they just left me here by myself. Did that really just happen?” Then I went out and got really drunk.

The scary thing about the prime of your life is that you usually don’t know you’re there until you look back at the events of your life in retrospect. While I was in college, I thought life sucked. At the time, it seemed like life was full of a lot of doing nothing. All I did all day was sleep, play video games, get drunk and fucked my girlfriend. But now that I think about it, how fucking cool is that? What more can you possibly want? If any of you readers out there are in college, for the love of God, stay. Stay as long as you possibly can. When the dean tries to kick you out, kick and scream and cling on to that wiry 5 dollar bed frame as if it were the fountain of youth, because I tell you now, it is.

So what now? People fear the unknown, it’s an inevitable truth, but completely understandable. One of my greatest fears is the future. I keep imagining that my life will run it’s course like pretty much every other person who’s ever lived. Married to work and a wife, kids, a house, grandkids, cancer, then death. How scary is that? It’s terrifying to think that your future, in all probability, will run it’s course with complete and utter normalcy. Well then, just shoot me now and get it over with.

I think humans by nature have a hard time letting go of things because of this fear of the unknown. If in the moment, you’re happy and having a good time, you’ll stay. You’ll be flattered that life decided to throw you a bone and turn happiness into a reality, if only for a moment. And as that happiness comes to a close, you’ll feel that pang of hurt as you wonder if anything will ever be that good again. And who knows, maybe it will. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, but I wont hold my breath.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I know, I know... writing absolutely sucks as of late. In fact, the way I write on this site as a whole doesn't accurately represent my writing style as I consider myself more of a fiction than non-fiction/op-ed writer, but whatever. The fact of the matter is, I suck lately. I'll try harder next time kiddies, although I can't say for certain when I'll be fully on again. This is my disclaimer to assure everyone that I'm not running out of steam (steam, anger, cynicism, sarcasm, judgement--all things I have in spades). I am, however, stressed-the-fuck-out so cut-me-some-fuckin'-slack.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get ready to go to the Mets game tonight to welcome Mike Piazza on his "triumphant return to Shea." Although Mike's triumph isn't what I'll be rooting for.

Adios assholes. Remember to punch someone annoying today. It'll make the world a better place.


Monday, August 07, 2006

A Brush With Fame

A few months ago, I had the chance to go see one of my favorite, if not favorite, bands, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, live at Roseland Ballroom. The band is marked by its raw, unpolished production, and despite recently selling out, manages to maintain its innovative, edgy, indie sound. The lead singer, Karen O, is well-known for her unique screeching singing style, bizarre dress and onstage antics. She is also my hero, my idol, my role model. If I could have anyone’s job, I would have hers, jumping madly around a stage in garish outfits and ripped fishnets whilst screaming at the top of my lungs and chugging beer. Sadly, she beat me to it, and does, possibly, a much better job at it than I would, so the closest I could get was to watch her from the heat and humidity of the sweaty throng packing the Roseland floor.

After the fantastic, albeit much too short in my opinion, show, I resigned myself to dragging my smelly self home and getting to bed so I would be well-rested for another day at my wonderfully hellish job. My plans took a slight detour when the friend I had come to the show with informed me that he had managed to procure two backstage passes from his friend who works at a music company of sorts. I became lightheaded, I started to sweat, my lungs swallowed air in loud heaving gulps, foam started to collect at the corners of my mouth—this was it, I was finally going to be face-to-face with Karen-fucking-O. Would she be nice? What would I ask her? What would we talk about? Would she even want to talk to me?

I wish I could tell all of you the kind of fan encounter story that ends up on a single-page article in NME or SPIN. I wish I could say that I ended up in a dressing room backstage where the Heineken and Cristal flowed, Karen and I ended up having a few drinks together, retiring to a Lower East Side dive bar, getting completely plastered, hitting on creepy-looking men with too much facial hair, running a pedestrian over in a rented convertible, waking up in the penthouse of a four-star hotel facefirst in a mountain of cocaine, empty wine bottles scattered about, and calling in sick to work.

Unfortuntely, I can't. Alas, “backstage” turned out to be a quartered off side area where a bunch of people hung out and ordered drinks from the bar. When the band came out, no one batted an eyelash, and Karen O made a beeline for four small Korean women, one of whom turned out to be her mother. Despite standing five feet away from her in all her six-foot, glitter eye make-up, crazy haircut glory, I opted not to charge in between the conversation she was engrossed in with her family, and I slunk away, defeated and disappointed. As I was trudging out of the club, shaking my head, I realized something. Even when I had gotten the backstage passes, amidst my cloud of euphoria, I had felt a twinge of dread. I couldn’t put my finger on it then, but I had known right away that no matter the circumstances, even if I had met her when she wasn’t busy talking to “real” people, I wouldn’t have approached her. I would have stared, hoped she would talk to me, and went home. I didn’t truly understand what would have bothered me so much about charging her, gushing about how great she is, how much I want to be like her, until I read this.

I won’t even try to explain the entirety of this phenomenon here because Dan does it so well, but he finally put his finger on something I had known for a long time. I have always as long as I can remember, told people that I don’t get star-struck. While my roommate flipped the fuck out when we saw Kevin Spacey in London, and my friends lined up for an autograph when we saw Freddie Prince Jr. in Central Park (this was at the height of his fame), I opted to hang back. Why? Because celebrities are people just like you and me, and if you approach them as a fan, an admirer, a subordinate, you lower yourself to them. You declare your status as below theirs thereby eliminating any possibility of them ever relating to you on a friendly/human level. Not saying Karen O and I will ever be friends, but you get the point.


Let's Make a Deal

In case you haven't noticed, I'm at a bit of a loss as of late in regards to what I would like to do with my future. My options are as follows:

1) Get a crappy office job. Hate life.
2) Go back to school for a Master's Degree (possibly abroad). Immerse myself in debt.
3) Strip.
4) Get an internship(s). Be poor.
5) Keep holding out in hopes of getting the job I want (although I'm not even sure what that is anymore).
6) Teach English abroad for a year in Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, Japan, Germany, or Insert Cool Country Here.
7) Create interesting internet alter-ego. Blog. Land book deal.

I have a potential internship in web journalism in the works. It's unpaid, but it seems like the type of environment and work that would suit me nicely. It's only 10 hours a week, so I would be able to pursue options 2, 3 and 7 at the same time.

I don't know what to do, so I'm leaving it in your hands. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Friday, August 04, 2006

"Why I will never go spelunking" or "Tired of all this Snakes on a Plane hype? Try Chicks in a Cave."

What made my week? Watching a commercial for The Descent. Why? I wrote this in September of 2005 for my old site after I saw it in London.

The Descent - **** It is such a shame that this movie will never make it to the US because you guys are definitely missing out. C and I, despite our irrational inability to stomach horror films, cracked and went to see it because our friend adamantly refused to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I know I scare easily so I don’t have the authority to accurately asses horror movies, but I've definitely seen my fair share of supposed scary movies that were so ridiculous they made me laugh (Thirteen Ghosts, Darkness Falls, Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer to name a few). C and I figured, "It's a movie about a bunch of chicks in a cave. How bad can it be?" The answer: very fucking bad. I spilled half a tub of popcorn and a plate of nachos within the first half hour from violently jumping out of my seat. The last half hour, I was so exhausted from being scared that I was in physical pain. My chest started to hurt and all my muscles were sore from tensing. Even the guy we went with (who doesn't scare easily at all) said he was pretty impressed. I guess this is a pointless review to everyone back home because it's a European film, and it isn't mainstream at all, so it probably won't be released in the states. But if it's been a long time since you saw a good horror film (one that didn't involve ghost girls with long black hair, or their bleached-white American counterparts) you should definitely make an effort to catch this at the Angelika or on DVD. It's the perfect mix of gore/psychological/emotional/holy-crap-I-almost-shit-my-pants horror. Needless to say, C and I have been sleeping in the same bed since we saw it.

So, being the loser I am, I was absolutely thrilled when I found out that it’s being released here. I’m not big on plugging things, but I honestly think that everyone should watch this film. People who enjoy movies likes The Devil’s Rejects and Hostel for the mindless gore and shock-horror value will appreciate this film for the many scenes that almost made me throw up. People who are averse to horror films because of their lack of thought-provoking material will love the brilliant story line and character development. It comes out today, so go watch it immediately. Just do yourself a huge favor and do not read anything about it beforehand. If you know the full story line, it might appear hokey (that’s why the trailers are so vague), but if you go in blind, I assure you, you will not be disappointed.


Thursday, August 03, 2006


Your parents moved out of a one-bedroom, roach-infested apartment in a shitty neighborhood and bought a house in the suburbs. This tiny three-bedroom ranch house was like a mansion compared to the closet you used to call home and you and your siblings ran around the living room with your mouths hanging open. When the summer ended, you became the new kid at the local elementary school and you cried all week and vomited in the middle of the cafeteria while confused classmates stared at you with wide doe eyes. Grade school became junior high. Thrust for the first time amongst children you hadn’t grown up with, making new friends and becoming popular became paramount. You failed and no one liked you, but junior high only lasted two years, and soon enough you were in high school. You smoked your first cigarette, got drunk, went on your first date, smoked drugs, got a body piercing, swallowed pills, snuck out of the house, adopted a bizarre fashion sense, screamed at your parents and packed your bags for college. You spent your college years figuring out where you fit in while watching super-super senior frat boys convert their student loans into liver damage. You found yourself in your first serious relationship, funneled your first beer, became a theatre and creative writing geek, survived for weeks on ramen noodles and popcorn, spent a semester in Ireland, made out with someone ugly and graduated with a degree in English.

And then life began.

When I was a kid, the idea of twelve years of school, plus four more years of college, and possibly another two years of grad school was beyond my comprehension. Time existed in hours and minutes, and the concept of years was beyond me. But the time somehow manages to speed ahead and send you barreling headfirst into the reality that exists outside the safe confines of education and dormitories and office hours and classes and teachers who hold your hand on the way to the bathroom. Suddenly you’re sitting alone at an interview for a job you don’t want, fidgeting in your suit and trying to remember what you’re supposed to say as opposed to what you want to say. You’re applying to entry-level positions that require a minimum of two years experience and wondering if there is a parallel universe you were supposed to slip into between graduation day and the application process where you collect experience points via office challenges—make three pots of coffee within five minutes, file 50 documents in ten minutes, copyedit four manuscripts in one hour. So you suck it up and take that crappy job figuring any experience is better than none, and at the end of the day, when you finally abandon it all to get on the road to do what you want to be doing, everyone’s closing the door because somewhere along the line you fucked up and your resume has been stamped with a big red “unemployable.”

Yes, there was a time in my life when I wanted to act. I can’t say for certain that that time has completely passed, but I did what all successful people don’t do and decided to be realistic. Now, as I truly begin on the road towards a career in writing, I’m doing everything within my power not to be realistic. I’m trying to shut myself away from the chorus of pity, the “you should go into marketing instead”s, the job offers in finance, the silence that fills my inbox. I keep applying to the positions I know I won’t hear from, steadily lowering my compensation standards, reading websites about how to freelance, how to get an agent, how to write a proposal.

“What do you want to do?” my coworker in London asked me as we sat in the Snooty Fox drinking pints and discussing the steps I need to take to get a job as a writer.

“Everything,” I said, without missing a beat.

She laughed. “I’m laughing because I know you’re completely serious.”

I want to make a living being creative. To be able to wake up in the morning and love the work laid out before me. To have the liberty to travel. To have financial security. To do things the right way.

I don’t want to sell myself short. To be chained to a 9-to-5. To have to answer to someone else. To set my standards on someone else’s terms. To have a routine. To have to wait.

As I slowly discover the process and the politics behind getting where I want to be, it grows increasingly difficult to remain hopeful. You can have talent, but if you can’t prove your marketability, you’re useless. Proposals, much like auditions for an actor, go against everything you learn as a writer. You spend years making sure every word in a 300-page manuscript serves the function you intend for it, and an editor asks you to summarize, in three pages or less, what the book is about and why they should publish it. Vivid descriptions and character development take a backseat to tales of drug use and lewd sexuality. Bloggers sell book rights based solely on the merit of the internet persona they choose to embody. Much like the silicone-infused actress treks to Hollywood fame with a brief pitstop in Soft Porn City, mainstream writing becomes a joke. So, I stand at a crossroads. I can give up and resign myself to a lifetime of steady paychecks and dull routines, or I can continue on this road, one that does carry the potential to lead to ultimate failure. I can continue doing what it is I'm supposed to do, make every effort not to compromise my ideals and blindly rest my faith in the belief that hard work and dedication lead to success.

But what happens when you do everything you need to do to get where you want to be, and the ride that was supposed to meet you in the middle never shows up?


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The New Age of Stupidity

In college, I fancied myself something of an actor. I ultimately opted to minor in Theatre because English is a more useful major, I was too lazy to double major and I wanted to graduate early, but if you had asked me then, acting was what I wanted to do. I ended up changing my mind because writing meant blowing proverbial dick as opposed to literal dick, and I wasn’t ready just yet to prostitute myself in the hopes of snagging some cheesy role in a B-level horror movie. Plus actors have to be too Goddamned happy, and that I am not.

One class that stood out for me during my foray into the world of drama was a Voice Work for Actors class, something every “serious” actor considered a requirement. The class entailed a lot of breathing heavily through our mouths, rolling around on the floor, mumbling gibberish, discussing our feelings, stretching—it was essentially a giant orgy sans orgasm plus feelings and grades and a lot of people crying. In other words, my version of hell.

“How’s that weird acting class going?”

“I dropped it.”


“It was too new-agey mumbo jumbo bullshit for me.”

“But the drop deadline passed, how did you get out of it?”

“I went to the registrar’s office and cried.”

“Always works.”


Our society has gone through a spiritual revolution of sorts in recent years and I don’t fucking like it. When I first learned what a vegan was back in junior high, the first word that came to mind was, “freak.” With all the weird shit people are putting into and pulling out of their bodies nowadays, vegans are considered normal. Any society that labels the likes of Moby and Michael Stipe “normal” is not a healthy one. The apocalypse is near.

That acting class, whose final exam included buying new Nikes and drinking Kool-Aid while talking about our feelings, merely scratched the surface of the bizarre lengths people will take to get in touch with their “inner voice” or “inner child” or “cleanse their body” or “become flexible enough to fellate themselves.” Lately, people are doing disgusting things to their lifestyles and their bodies to achieve some impossible level of spiritual nirvana.

One such thing that I have been seeing a lot about lately is the Master Cleanse. Celebrities swear by this to lose weight post-Oscarworthy performance weight gain. I heard about it for the first time through a co-worker. She told me that she knew a recipe for a drink that would help you detox. She had used it several times in the past to great results. Coming off a week-long drinking binge, I asked her to email it to me.

½ fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 cup water

Easy enough. Until I continued reading. This mixture is all you can eat/drink for ten(!!!) days. Oh, but you’re allowed to drink as much of it as you want. Whew, thank God for that! Stanley Burroughs, professional Unqualified Hack M.D., invented this system to help you lose weight and cleanse your system. Some might think it bears a startling resemblance to something called Anorexia, but I assure you, that sprinkle of cayenne really adds some nutritional oomph to that glass of lemon water. Every morning, you chug a quart of salt water (I was under the impression that drinking salt water kills you, but a graduate of the Institute of Doctor Things probably knows better). Within an hour, you will have several bowel movements (also known as the Hershey Squirts). Don’t worry though, the painful cramps, aches, irritability and fatigue are merely the body’s reaction to the toxins, mucus, waste and disease mobilizing in your system. “Waste” and “disease” are pretty broad terms. You’ll just have to assume that you have “disease” somewhere in your “inside” and when you’re vomiting and squirting burning liquid outta your ass, it’s your “inside stuff” getting rid off the “goo.” After ten days of this, you will feel refreshed, revitalized, mentally clear and healthy. Or you’ll be dead, in which case, Dr. Burroughs does not assume responsibility for any death or injury incurred to persons stupid enough to follow his cleanse.