Wednesday, December 31, 2003

nothing like looking back and sharing stories, especially embarassing ones.

on july 6, 1982, my family celebrated my aunt's birthday by eating three lunches at three different restaurants. my mom had indigestion that night, and i was born by morning.

my happiest memory is somewhere in bangkok, under a palm tree, with sun tan lotion and sticky rice, and somewhere in the shade my mother sleeps.

when my brother was born i was so happy i jumped as high as i could and crashed into a table. i still have the scar on the back of my head. i would make faces at my brother and he would try to smile under his big overgrown cheeks.

my best friend before my brother was a plastic toy shark named monstro the whale. one time i took monstro to ocean park (hong kong's theme park) and i accidentally pooed in my pants. in public. in front of everyone.

i grew up in an apartment on the 14th floor of a green-tiled building somewhere in hong kong. i would bike in my building's parking lot, dip cookies in soy milk, and hold funerals for broken gi joes. when my brother slept and my parents worked, i'd sneak to the balcony and watch the sky turn black over the city.

my mom stuck me in an english pre-school, a chinese kindergarten, and then a french school. i couldn't speak a word of french so i had trouble making new friends but i didn't mind. i playing by myself and pretended leafs were spaceships.

i was at my friend's eigth birthday and i fell in love with a girl - a love only nine years olds know. i would whisper into her ear, share stories, jokes, and silly things, and when i ran out of words, i would yell "tag, you're it!" we only knew each for one day. i would only run into her again much later. it was mid-autumn full moon at a park, all children ran around red with little lanterns. i nearly bumped into her and the only word my nine year old mouth could mutter was a "hi." we then both stood shy for a moment and walked away in opposite directions. i remember sitting by myself on a swing set and really watching the moon for the first time.

in paris, france, my brother and i drew norse gods in my grandparents' dusty living room. loki was my favorite god, such a prankster. while mami napped on a recliner chair, my brother and i got into a bitter argument over absolutely nothing that tragically led to the two of us tearing each other's drawings to shreds. we woke mami up with our bickering and we both cried.

she, little blonde girl, broke her arm while climbing a hill so i, little bowl cut boy, rushed to her hospital and gave her a kiss.

benjamin jumped off a building. erik hit by a taxi. they're still so small in my dreams. benjamin shy and lanky (all the girls liked him, i think.) erik with the quick wit and warm smile. it's ten years past and i still can't say "goodbye."

my worst memory is somewhere in a bedroom lurking under the curl of my father's belt.

by then i begun to notice that my classmates were either considered cool or uncool (often calculated by the circumference of the waist of their jeans and how low they could sag.) i had tight jeans. i figured i would become cool, someday. perhaps by thirteen. if not, definitely by eighteen. if not then, surely by twenty one.


i was fifteen and feverish the day before i moved out of hong kong. i spent the evening neck deep in a hot bathtub. "cook the germs out," i thought. i was delusional on the plane trip to los angeles, singing michael jackson's "black or white" in my head as a farewell tune to the small island.

it's very shallow of me, but the memory that comes to my mind right now as i think of high school is a drunk tony danza yelling "who's the boss? you the boss!" to me from the visitors bleachers of senior homecoming game.

i got to college and i learn (or re-learn) to simply dooOOOOOOOOOOOooo it.

(much more later. but now i rush to my bed with a swifness no one knows save the wind. no, that's not me trying to sound like a poet. i still have all the fanciful hobbit and middle earth lingo stuck in my brain.)

Monday, December 29, 2003

i am preparing myself for my next journal entry. memories of 2003 (sorry for the cheesy name.) it hurts to write it out but i promise you i will say what is hardest for me to say, yes, i am actually writing a preview to my next blog entry. new regions of nerdom has been reached. now i have created expectations not only for myself but for the audience as well. bad move. bad move. forget you even read this journal entry. move on to jamie's blog. she updates everyday if you haven't noticed. just click to the left.


j-live was off the hook! pigeon john too. didn't dig la symphony. living legends were fun. missed typical cats cause the line outside was too long too slow!

Friday, December 26, 2003

nightmares say hullo to me at night. maybe this house is haunted. or maybe berkeley is haunted and i took the ghosts home with me. lost confidence when i checked out my grades online. did i really do that badly? i sort of saw it coming. sadness over grades is sorta foolish, but these grades suck, let me feel sorry for myself for a few days. i'll regain my confidence once i start spiking my hair again. when will i really grow up. do i want to be an architect. will i survive if i trust in my passions and not in my securities. i've been reading a lot of good stuff lately. junk on world economy, international politics, terrorism, marx, development policies, and soap opera-ish samurai stories. i like to diversify my literature. i'll rock the architecture digest, new yorker, maxim magazine, and socialist worker in one sitting. cosmo too. especially cosmo.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

there is more poetry in a mother's smile then there is in the history of this blog.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003


i want us to be nightingales, gypsying over the yellow candle lights of a city without electricity. the laughing moon will be over our heads and we, plus our shadows make four, will dance through the sky and earth, while children stuck in stopped trains point to us squealing "look, oh my, look!"


i want to be three inches tall, trying to catch the songs dangling out of your mouth with a butterfly net


i want you to be the wind knocking on my window at this very moment

Sunday, December 21, 2003

tomorrow we will go to war in what may be the most significant fight of our generation.

the force that has propeled, influenced, and redefined our generation is (unbelievably) the internet. no other cultural phenomenon has gripped and changed our lives quite like it, and it will effect our future in ways we can only imagine. the internet, with its file sharing, blogs, e-mails, and countless websites, means only one thing: us. the internet is often dismissed by those who don't understand it as a high velocity way of wasting time. and, like the internet, we too are often dismissed by those who don't understand us, by the people who often make the most important decisions of our lives for us in congress, senate, the white house.

only two people have a chance at winning the democratic nomation and go up against george w. bush come 2004 . wesley clark has regional advantages (have you noticed that every democratic president since JFK have been southerners?) and has been raising good press lately with his accomplishments as key witness at dictator milosevic's trial. howard dean has something quite different. he is all that anyone can talk about. the other candidates rage and attack on him without remorse. the press repeatedly dismiss him as having no chance of winning (quite condescendingly, if i may say.) but somehow, amazingly, he keeps on climbing the polls, he continues to lead the race and pulls further and further away from the rest of the race.

the secret to his breakthough is the internet. like FDR and the radio, like JFK and the television, howard dean is bringing new meaning to the internet. while other candidates simply use it to advertise their latest press releases, howard dean brings boldness into the internet and turned it into a movement. countless debates and discussion are wage online. news that doesn't get mainstream press get launched acoss blog to blog to message board to e-mail. activist strategies are constantly thrown around. meet-ups with other organizers happen on a weekly basis thanks to internet resources (type in a zip code and you get contacts to other activists in your area.) the dean campaign managed to race $15 million dollars through small donations from hundreds of thousands of people (i gave $20) in three months through internet organizing.

his campaign is unbelievable, and should he win the nomination, we will have a battle between two very different world come 2004. we have bush and his CEOs dictating their agendas on one hand, and on the other, we will have ourselves, throwing our voices from the bottom up. this is the fight of our generation, encoupled with our internet. radio and television were powerfool tools that lost meaning once the people were taken out and the corporations moved in. we lost radio and television but we will not lose the internet. we have ourselves and our warm hands, and what we have we will never lose.

Friday, December 19, 2003

my favorite songs right now are the beatles' "i am the walrus" and andre 3000's "hey ya"

but cds i have on heavy rotation right now:

kiwi's writes of passage (fucking dope, you're the shit, kiwi...)
jonny greenwood's bodysong (insane jazzy wacky songs)
primal scream's dirty hits (dark, sexy, brooding, fun)
postal service's give up (it's pretty)
andre 3000's love below (finally, booty music for cocktail parties)

actually, no this is my favorite song right now: iron and wine' "such great heights"
so i half-jokingly ask my architecture professor, "how will architecture get bush out of office?"

and she sighs, half-winks at me, and coolly replies "Tokyo has some really lovely buildings, but not many. Mostly this is a mean city, and it does somehow wear on people. I am always having little old ladies tell me how beautiful they find Chicago or Paris, and speculating why there are no cities - I mean none, not Kyoto, not Nara, none - that are lovely, or even have parts that are lovely in Japan. I think architects have not been able to offer a voice about the importance of urban space, and the result is that people have been happy for a long time to abuse this poor land to a degree even Bush can't contemplate. There is dioxin in the air, asbestos is not removed in any way that protects people walking around on or near the sites, and the sulfur content corroded my bike fittings in about 4 weeks. (No joke.)

Being in places like this makes me realize that architecture does matter to me, because it can enhance human dignity. That is not the only answer, but it is one I believe in. If you don't, you must find the one you can embrace and commit to."

my eyes are crying ashes. i'm so burnt out.

this semester i've organized a big concert against proposition 54 (war on 54), co-curated a student art gallery, wrote and co-directed a cartoon, read poems around the east bay, co-wrote and co-directed a multi-media play about the war, designed a webpage, and designed two buildings, while balancing two part time jobs and classes.

i've done way too much. i've embraced the things that i loved but instead of letting them enrich my life i let them take it over. i'm not sure if i'm a student anymore. it's hard to prioritize and hard to find time to actually learn from classes.

how can i let my outside activities feed my main work?

i need to admit to myself where i really want to be. i need to land back on my feet.

this winter break will be about confrontations.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

a beautiful chapter from italo calvino's "invisible cities"

he said, "it is all useless, if the last landing place can only be the infernal city."

and polo said: "the inferno of the living is not something that will be... if there is one, it is what is already here. there are two ways to escape suffering it. the first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. the second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space."
a snippet of a conversation at thai temple this day

if i'm a coke, and you're a pepsi, is he's a coke?


but listen, if you're a coke, and i'm a coke, is he a pepsi?

Saturday, December 13, 2003

denise was the first to die. tony is innocent but no one listened to him as they threw him deep into the icy lake. ronnie likes to start riots and lynch locals and doesn't appreciate the irony when he is stabbed away in the middle of the night. the townspeople still hear the ghost of towndrunk jimmy laughing at them as they struggle to sleep. kathy bach is a brave doctor who saved ben but forgot to take care of the knife in her gut and bled to death. sara is a murderous doctor so the townsmen hung her for it, leaving her rotting corpse displayed for days. andinh broke from the vietnamese gangsters to team up with luca and incite the people to bludgeon bruce in broad daylight (they later regretted that.) andinh was shot later that night. luca, even though he wasn't the killer, had too much blood on his hands and just had to die, cold and alone. mike richter didn't cry for anyone and found loneliness in being the last one alive.

dina and mike nguyen got away with all the murders.

dina was mafia twice in a row.

from ohio congressman sherrod brown:

Never before has the House of Representatives operated in such secrecy:

At 2:54 a.m. on a Friday in March, the House cut veterans benefits by three votes.

At 2:39 a.m. on a Friday in April, the House slashed education and health care by five votes.

At 1:56 a.m. on a Friday in May, the House passed the Leave No Millionaire Behind tax-cut bill by a handful of votes.

At 2:33 a.m. on a Friday in June, the House passed the Medicare privatization and prescription drug bill by one vote.

At 12:57 a.m. on a Friday in July, the House eviscerated Head Start by one vote.

And then, after returning from summer recess, at 12:12 a.m. on a Friday in October, the House voted $87 billion for Iraq.

Always in the middle of the night. Always after the press had passed their deadlines. Always after the American people had turned off the news and gone to bed.

Friday, December 12, 2003

i just woke up. slumberland is slow snowed with ballerinas stuttering across frosted flake lakes. the rain falls the sheep so we have to count with our fingers. dust bunnies hopscotch with scotch on the rocks. legolas is not the coolest lord of the rings character. you're in for a surprise if you think this is just gonna be one of those new year's again. i'm getting ahead of myself, school's not even over yet. i haven't even started to think about oh well i'll get it to it later. i have bed hair.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

sara and i might have been food poisoned and cafe strada. possibly the milk. yes. the milk is suspicious.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

lili dreams of peking duck and honey, andinh yearns to wrestle, denise is haunted by dogs being thrown out of speeding cars, and sara pulls me in, sings karma police, and lets me sleep against her shoulder

Thursday, December 04, 2003


"Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed a 100% elimination of all college outreach and college prep programs, which include Early Academic Outreach Programs, MESA K-12 Programs, High School Puente, ALL Transfer outreach programs,, UC LEADS, test preperation, financial aid, student run health clinics, graduate and law school programs, research programs, and many other programs that prepare students for higher education. All of these, will be GONE without action.

The Governor's proposal will be voted on sometime between Dec. 6 to early January. If this bill passes, all of these
educational access and support programs will be GONE starting JANUARY 1, 2004, meaning that all staff for these programs will be receiving a pink slip for the Holidays. Also, the negative impacts of these cuts will be a direct blow on education."

fuck you arnold! fuck you!!!

today's new your times states that the Iraqi census came up with a detailed plan to do a population count so that they will be able to hold national elections by next september. but the Bush administration rejected the plan, fearing the daunting logistics that it would take to give Iraqis a direct election. the Iraqi Governmental Council never even got a chance to review it.

a commentary from the daily kos: No census, no voter rolls, no voter rolls, no direct elections. What�s the story? It�s amazing when the puppet-master doesn�t even trust the puppet. First, the Governing Council wasn�t given any advance input on how to spend the $20 billion U.S. taxpayers are contributing to reconstructing Iraq. Now we learn that the IGC was never consulted about holding a census.

Not content with their general record in the employment arena, the Bush Administration seems determined to put satirists out of work as well.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

e-mail that i sent to my friend an in paris:

"i would write you a longer e-mail but jerry informs me that i must use the
bathroom now.

i will think of you as i poo

instructions on how to take back a country

1. know that politicians in the backseats of limousines are not chariot riding gods. that they know fear when walking through the city street at night.
2. whether you write web-pages or take out the garbage for a living, as long as you have a body come out and dance on the empty streets at midnight tonight. whether you swing six-steps, salsa, or simply nod your head, your body will be the beginning of the revolution.
3. food will win the war. cook, imagine the kitchen like an orchestra, strum the oven, let the water boiler sing, play the microwave like a piano. cook a symphony, and wrap it in your best tupperware, and share it with strangers. our cooking will scare fast food chains, meat packaging industries, and all the petit bistros into fighting on our side.
4. simply do what we do best to win the war. animal trainers get birds to swoop over the capitol and to drop poo on unsuspecting suits. actors pretend to be over-seas ambassadors, talk your way into a conference with the tyrant and, at an opportune moment, break into a belly dance and spit confetti into his face.
5. when the war is won, do not rejoice just yet. sing a song and maybe the world will listen, and maybe they will forgive us for all that our tyrant did in our name.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

tonight is the night when breakdancers summersault into sparrows, when computers explode into chicken wings, when bicycles become birds. we�ll play tag over the bay, the milky way is home base (only cheaters hide behind clouds)