Archive for September, 2007

Dangerous Lunch

Friday, September 21st, 2007

images5.jpg Oh my god, like last week, this woman had a meltdown at the deli b/c she said she kept cutting her mouth on the plastic spoon. The owner came out and cooed over her, offered to cut up her fruit. We all looked at her like she was totally nuts. What a freak.

But then, today, I got one of those spoons? Totally cut my mouth. It’s hard out there for a pimp.

Booze and Philip Seymour Hoffman

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

images4.jpg images21.jpg I’ve sworn off booze except for special occasions (like weddings, bar mitvahs, etc.) till the first snow, in order to help my trainer make me look good. Interestingly enough, reading about Philip Seymour Hoffman who said (on some quote lifted by imdb.com) that he quit drinking at age 22 after he noticed a lot of different self-destructive behavior emerge when he drank and subsequently swore off the stuff–a feat alone I kind of find impressive, and wonder how much that helped him just focus on achieving. It’s VERY hard not to drink in New York City. I feel bad for any member of A.A. It’s just part of all social occasions, some business meetings. People feel bad when you don’t drink with them, like they’re committing some awful act or they feel guilty. It’s strange.

Now that I’m eating better, I do notice how much I use food/booze to kind of treat myself after a day of work at Animal Planet (my office), and need new outlets to express this…leading to major shopping sprees, so eventually, I will return to booze, b/c it’s cheaper than clothes.

I mean, an Oscar would be nice too, but I have no major goals with my hiatus with booze, other than to fit in my pants. Thank you.

Music flashback

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

lisalisa.jpg Recently, I had the urge to hear some of the dance tracks that were popular when I was in junior high school. “All-Night Passion (gets me through the day)” by Teena Marie, “Let the Music Play” by Shannon. There was “I Wonder If You Take Me Home” by Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam Full Force (My husband says I’m the only person who says “Full Force,” but I saw Lisa Lisa say the full name with righteous attitude on some award show so I’m not making it up.) God, that last title was particularly awful and had the singular power to make me feel utterly alone in the world, making me wonder when will this NJ adolescent hell end?

But time is a funny thing. Music I used to despise now makes me smile. Maybe nostalgia is like booze, making you feel warm and fuzzy towards life; you start to hug strangers. (Okay, perhaps not so much.) AC/DC, for example, is a band that benefits from this desire to revisit the past. If you dug “Back in Black” at my school, that meant you were into acid wash jeans, fringe leather jackets, and mullets. Today, it’s an honorable song to like and I think back on the kids called “the metal heads” with affection. And actually, AC/DC’s hits are great songs. Have you heard the beginning guitar intro of “Shook Me All Night Long”? Please. Just stop right there.

I was hoping I would have the same reaction to the “guido” (oy, an NJ word; any substitute suggestions?) dance hits of yore that I imagine blared on the stereos during junior high school Valentine and holiday dances, the gym lined with a perimeter of my teen peers steadfastly refusing to dance/move/respond to the music, paralyzed by shyness. (Though these kids were less shy than I was, since I never even showed up for one of these things.)

I was like this close to downloading tunes from Itunes, but there’s some station in NYC where Whoopi Goldberg does the a.m. show and they’ve been playing these old hits, probably b/c they’ve identified their audience as thirtysomethings flashing back hard to the tri-state area’s version of the 80s…and I hate to say it, time has done nothing for this line of music. At first listen, I kind of bounced the apartment to the beats, but…the songs are still pretty awful.

Racism and the white man

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

wo_cocktail_shrimp.jpg You probably know by now that I’m married to a white guy. Ethnically, he’s a mix of Scottish, English, and like one-eighteenth Cherokee (which I’m like, that’s so little, do we really have to mention it? It’s like a touch of bourbon in a vanilla cake). But in any case, he deals with racism of a different sort. People sometimes make racist jokes or comments to him and assume he’s cool with it.

He’s a pretty enlightened man as it, but since we got together, he’s become even more aware about ethnic/racial things, because….he is married to me and I talk and think about these things, as my friends will tell you, a lot. (In many ways, I’m still the fourth grader from Staten Island who played Golda in “Fiddler on the Roof” and have been a committed secular Jew since, but I’ve also since noticed…that I’m Asian.) Like at this garage sale we ran at my parents’ old house, this guy came up to my husband, looking for my dad.

“Hey, where’s that old Chinese guy?”
My husband bristled visibly and replied in a crisp tone.
“He’s not Chinese, and he’s my father-in-law.”

(Ahh, this spouse of mine continually warms my heart. In a way, that garage sale made him feel more like blood than our wedding, but that’s another long story.)

Back to assumptions. He had a co-worker who made Asian jokes a ton–Indian accents, a lot of them ending with the punch line of how Asians really dig fish and sea food. (I have no idea, I wasn’t there, but you get the picture.) Every time this guy made these jokes, David would come home and fume. I was like, “He’s just some douche bag, who cares?” (See Matt Damon? Douche bag.) Sometimes, as my pal Kris Malone’s dad says, being in the world is like being on constant a-hole patrol, why not chill? But if it were something that really bugged him, I instructed my husband to open his mouth. I was always impressed with how my friend Calvin Chin handled racist comments thrown our way when we walked down the street. He didn’t make a big deal, but would stop and look them in the eye and ask “Excuse me? Did you say something to me?” as cool as can be and the perpetrator would kind of gulp.

My husband was so pent-up by the time he opened his mouth, I think he exploded and Douchebag smiled and apologized, said there was no way he was racist and that my husband took it the wrong way, and that he’d loved to meet me, whah, whah, whah, whaaaaah. So the next time there was a work function, I was busy by the buffet table, stuffing myself with shrimp when Douchebag introduced himself. And my only thought was Great, why do I have to be eating seafood the first time he meets me?

Latest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

Friday, September 14th, 2007

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I just talked to my husband who spotted a dog he described as older than God, dressed in little dog booties so his feet would be protected from the ground. The other thing he noticed was that when dogs get old, their–and pardon me, the tender among my readers (readers totaling 7 now, yeah, dawg)–nut sacks get old too and saggy.

“Like they drag on the ground?” I ask.
“Kind of.”

And then it hit me — the Dog-Nut-Sack-Bra. We could make millions, quit our jobs, and pursue our dreams of painting flowers on lamp posts on the streets of New York. Mu-ha-ha.

Matt Damon

Friday, September 14th, 2007

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Not to be too mean, but to be mean, I read this interview with Matt Damon, b/c my pal Al left her GQ at my house, and I have to say, the guy bugs the hell out of me. First of all, he uses the word “fag” and “so gay” as derogatory terms to describe himself and Ben, and while I grew up in an area (the tri-state) where we used those words freely as putdowns, now that I have a clue and have gay friends, I am DEEPLY offended by his language. What a jack ass. It’s one thing if you keep that language in your private orbit (which is not cool either), but now you’re a public figure, and you use it in an international publication, which pretty much tells other people it’s okay to use those words. Really? Really, Matt? The other thing that makes my skin crawl is his insistence that he acts deliberately boring so that the press don’t bother him, saying that all the great actors like DeNiro, etc. are never in the tabloids, which is affiliated with their talent. Give me a break. Newsflash, dude, you ARE boring.

I don’t think his acting or his looks are so spectacular. His fighting is excellent in the Bourne movies, but so what, that’s a great franchise that even benefits screen vacuum Julia Stiles. I just find the whole “pretending to be boring” thing very pretentious. MEOW!

But here’s one friendly tip. Instead of putting down gay people, use the word “douchebag” for your zingers. Thank you. That’s my PSA for the day.

Segway

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Thanks to nkk. The machine I hoped to win, for which I sacrificed the sanctity of my personal email account, is called a SEGWAY. Here’s a picture:

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Here’s President Bush falling off a SEGWAY:

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Spam comment ho

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

I’m so stupid. I got a comment that said “Great site! ciao :)” from a user named “NY-Sunbed.” And me, being a pig for compliments, allowed them in. Only when I went to their link did I realize I had been taken in LIKE A FOOL, defeated by my ego needs once again.

Spam is disease, people. It’s so hard to avoid the innundation of advertisements. There are so many questionnaires or sign-ups that dangle the possibility of free prizes as a reward. My husband loves these. I don’t understand it. I’m like, honey, you know that you can’t win a free laptop by sweepstakes, right? You know that, RIGHT? But he keeps on believing, whereas I’m more comfortable being the skeptic. Thing is, I tripped up and answered one of those questionnaires, and do you know what prize caught my eye? One of those motorized thingies where you can stand and speed around. I don’t even know what it’s called. I saw it once on “Frazier.” I don’t even really want one and even if I did, there’s NO room in the apartment for it. Now my personal email account is going down in flames with the endless ads that follow.

Groceries, the earth, blah

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

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You know, I read that book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which is about, in short, about how corn is taking over the world and most commercial meat is produced in a way that’s so grody that you start to seriously consider becoming vegetarian. So do my part, I started getting organic groceries delivered through Urban Organics. You know, less pesticide, better for our bodies, better for the earth. All part of my attempts to being a more enlightened individual in 2007.

It’s just that…there’s a lot of dirt in the lettuce. My salads are extra crunchy, so when I withdraw a rather large piece of sand from my teeth, it kind of doesn’t help my motivation.

Megan McCafferty’s work

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

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I just finished Megan McCafferty’s most recent YA book in her series about her heroine Jessica Darling, a series I initially thought was god-awful, but b/c of the romantic cat and mouse ridiculousness and the burgeoning complexity and style of the writing, slowly got hooked. The most recent installment, which isn’t perfect but still is fun, shows the author’s growing concern that we’re all becoming more disconnected due to technology options, her stance on the Iraq War (she’s against it), and a more sophisticated take on love that concluded with an ending that blew me away. I can only HOPE to make someone feel like that with my writing. Anyway, if you’re in the mood to read something light and quick, check her out. Also, FYI, she’s the poor writer who was plagiarized by the Harvard freshwoman, who happens to be Indian-American.

Which brings me to my next topic—these days, I enjoy a story less, at least at first glance, when all the characters are white. I just do. When I saw the preview for “Reservation Road” starring Mark Ruffalo and Joaquin Phoenix, I leaned over to my friend Jesse and said “White people, they suffer so” and we giggled like evil Asian gnomes. It bothers me in particular when kid movies feature all-white casts like the earlier Harry Potters, like the latest Johnny Depp “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” b/c to me, it’s like a message that’s particularly unfair, that unless you are white, kids are not allowed to participate in magic and chocolate fantasy boo-yeahs.

But then, I remembered when I was a kid, I related to white people. Or rather, I didn’t think or see race. I enjoyed a good story regardless of the characters were Korean or not. (Probably more so if they weren’t, just one of the pleasant side effects of my upbringing.) Only after college and after working as an actress did I become enlightened to see things in colors, and that has been both a blessing and a curse (not a curse like I grow fangs in the moonlight, but you know what I mean). When I’m with the folks I’m close to, I don’t see race, I do not see color. But with strangers or at first glance, I can’t stop my brain from calculating, analyzing, and assessing. For instance, Owen Wilson played a character named “Oscar Choi” in “Armageddon” and he thought it was cool that they didn’t change the name, whereas I’m like, “Thanks jackass, you just robbed an Asian American man from a job.” (Apologies to Owen, due to his current sufferings.) So what can I say. I think race is a social, intellectual, and economic construct, and sometimes, those things lead to actions that tick me off. But race is not something you feel (or not something I feel), so when people volunteer Korean or Asian-related information or stories to me as something I might connect to, I bristle. (Most likely b/c where I grew up, Asian=foreign=discounted, and dude, I am not to be discounted. You will not find me on some 60%-off rack.) Or if someone were to suggest I have friends who are Asian b/c of that common factor, I tense. But then again, there must be some truth to it, but like so many things on my mind these days, my heart is divided, and so…I’ll probably keep talking about this topic.

Incidentally, there are no bacon-eating, New Jersey Koreans in Megan McCafferty’s work. What the.