Wednesday, May 31, 2006

At The End of the Day

Sometimes I get into these ruts (OK, usually when I'm PMSing) in which I need to have something to look forward to. It can be something really small, like a TV show, that will make me look forward to getting out of work.

Actually, just not being here should be something to look forward to, but going home with nothing to do is not all that great.

This week I have nothing planned after work and it's sort of driving me nuts.

In fact, I have nothing planned until Saturday night.

I should look at this downtime as good, a way to relax. But instead, the empty slots of time make me anxious.

It doesn't help that part of me would like to lay around and do nothing, since that totally contradicts my "need" to be doing something.

I hate this feeling, this weird reminder, that I don't have any plans.

Blah Blog

It's my own fault, really.

Trying to have an outlet, not only to write about what's on my mind, but also what's going on in my life, doesn't always work. Because no matter how anonymous I half-heartedly try to make it, it's not totally secret.

And so there are things I'd like to say, things I'd like to get off my chest, but I just can't. Not here.

I sat and stared at this screen for awhile, trying to figure out what this post would be about, but none of it's appropriate.

Sometimes I wish I still wrote in my journal.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Career Change?

The show was a lot of fun and I was really happy with the turn out.

A lot of people asked if we had a CD, which we don't. Hopefully I'll have something to give to them, even if it's just a copy of the live performance.

I've been wondering for a long time if I shouldn't be trying harder with this singing thing. Should I be aggressively looking for others to work with? Should I be trying to write my own music, from start to finish? Should I be investing in better computer equipment or instruments?

Is this what I want to do for a living instead?

I think the thing that is holding me back is fear. I'm afraid to fail and I'm afraid I don't know what I'm doing. This, of course, is totally lame and I know I'll look back and regret that I didn't try harder, just like I already do when I think of all of the opportunities I missed out on growing up.

It's irrational to think I'm going to end up lying in a gutter somewhere or that I will have wasted time on it. Shit, I've already wasted 4 1/2 years in my current career, doing nothing fun or creative or even enjoyable.

What do I really have to lose?

Yet still I feel like I'm stuck at square one, limited only by my unwillingness to TRY.

I have to get over this feeling of foolishness when it comes to pursuing music as a career. I have to tell myself that it IS worth going for, all out, just once.

Friday, May 26, 2006


For my 8th grade graduation, I was set to sing "Wind Beneath My Wings" in front of my peers and their families, including my own.

The day before, we all went to Great America, and I screamed on every roller coaster, nearly losing my voice before the performance.

Lets just say, it didn't go so well. Besides losing my voice, my accompanyist was pretty bad, and all around I was fairly embarrassed.

Good thing I was moving to another suburb that summer.

I'm finding myself in a bit of the same scenario. I rehearsed Wednesday night and then spent most of yesterday training our new person, read: talking a lot nonstop.

And now I feel my voice slipping away to a half octave lower.

I considered staying at home, but figured I need as many paid time off pay out days as I can once I quit, plus, I'd probably be bored out of mind. And Boat helped by answering my question "would calling in be lame?" with "a little".

So I go back and forth between worrying that I'm going to forget the lyrics to not being able to sing at all.

I've never truly lost my voice. And I don't honestly think that's going to happen now. Also, I figure, even if I have to push it the point that I can't talk tomorrow, so be it.

As long as I don't suffer the humiliation of 8th grade graduation again, I'll be fine.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Nitty Gritty City

Yesterday I finally put my scraper in the trunk of my car. I'm assuming I don't have to worry about snow for awhile.

Anyway, I found a cd case filled with Bjork, Liz Phair and Ani DiFranco.

I popped in "Little Plastic Castle" this morning on my way to work. It reminded me of some of her earlier work, when she talks about moving to New York and how hard it was. She describes a dark city, a dirty that I always sort of imagined.

And yeah, there's a part of me that thinks some of the reason I want to move there is to have this experience. Ya know, living in a little dump where the shower's in the kitchen. Just scraping by, trying to enjoy all of the free and cheap things. Hanging out in bars, sipping on no name beer. Feeling risky, yet free.

But the truth is, I'm not 21 anymore. I've had a steady job for five years now. I've fallen in love with shit like health insurance and driving a car.

My 27 year old self knows that I'll be living more modestly in NYC, but definitely not "on the edge". I've already considered how we're going to paint the place and which pieces of Boat's art I'd like framed and put on the walls. I dream of our brand new couch. I think about possibily adopting another cat.

I envision us ordering grocieries off, cooking dinner for us...and I guess, making a home for a period of time.

It's certainly not the raw experience I always fantasized about when listening to Ani's lyrics.

"The Cause"

The guy who I play music with, let's call him The Guitarist, mentioned someone may be at our show tomorrow night, gathering information for a documentary about Asian Americans in music (or the arts?). He said the guy might aske me some questions, which I said was fine.

Though now that I think about it, I have no idea what I would say. I mean, I don't consider myself an Asian American artist. I consider myself an artist. I haven't concentrated on the fact that I'm a minority who just so happens to also be a musician. The people that I invite to my shows are friends, people who don't see me as their Asian American friend.

The problem is, given certain situations, I can joke readily about being Asian...especially amoungst my Asian friends, who make up about half or more of the people I hang out with.

It's not that I deny being who I am. It's not that I'm ashamed or embarrassed. But on the other hand, I'm not a huge activist either. Of course I stand up to racist or ignorant comments. I hate stereotypes, yet it's OK to poke fun at them in the right company.

I had a conversation with Boat while we were on our trip about what I think of being a minority. The thing is, there is a bond formed between two people who are non-white in America because you feel a connection. There's a similar situation you can identify with that brings you together. This extends even further when that other peson looks like you. Now the experience is more vivid, more identical.

"Oh, people always think you're good at math too?", "They are amazed at your "perfect" English?"

But with music, I don't put the two together. I sing because I like to. I sing because I think I'm pretty good at it. I perform in front of an audience because it's an amazing feeling. I love music, because as far as I'm concerned, it's universal and often times, colorblind.

You may assume black people like rap or R&B, but they don't EXCLUSIVELY like rap or R&B. You may assume young, white teenagers like pop music, but they aren't the only ones. You might figure all Latinos love reggaton.

BUT! Do you listen to music based on the color of the musician's color of skin? Do you choose whose album to buy based on their ethnicity? Perhaps.

I certainly don't. I like music because I love the singer's voice or lyrics, I get hooked on guitar riffs or beats. Sometimes I'm pretty surprised to see who's behind the mic.

I want people to like my music for those same reasons...because it sounds good.

When I go up on stage, for anything, I don't think twice about my ethnic background. Though yes, I am concerned with how I in, do these jeans make my butt look big?

No Way To Live

I was reading the success stories in People magazine about individuals who lost over a hundred pounds in a year or two. They all looked great in their "After" photo.

But as I read over their daily menus: a handful of almonds, a banana, two slices of turkey on whole grain bread, A Weight Watchers meal, I decided I'd give up an amazing body if it meant I could eat what I want.

I know that is gluttonous and unhealthy, but shit, life without good food and restaurants would seem pretty bleak to me. Even little things like making a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup, or grilling hamburgers and hotdogs would be missed.

I suppose if I exercised, I could justify my eating habits a little more.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Before I Go

There are probably a thousand things I haven't seen or done in this great city that I'm sure I would have enjoyed. Actually, 1,000 of them are probably restaurants and another 1,000 would be non-food related.

I don't particularly regret this, as I find myself more a creature of habit in the past four or so years.

I'm completely out of the loop when it comes to new bars and clubs. I haven't gone to a show in forever. I never got into the theater scene. And the few art galleries I hit up were mostly because of friends either going or showing their own work.

So now that I'm compiling a list of things to do in my head before I go, none of them are all that exciting to the naked eye. But they are things that I have always enjoyed about the city and feel I need to do "one last time".

Here's what I have so far:

1) Going out dancing with the girls
2) Sunshine Cafe (probably more than once)
3) A show (Empty Bottle, Metro?)
4) Late night at a diner
5) Spending some time at the lake with Boat at our old spot
6) A fancy/fun dinner with my cousin
7) A pork bun from the Vietnamese bakery on Argyle
8) Bowling
9) Karaoke!
10) A burger in Moody's beer garden
11) One whole day with my mom in the city, doing whatever she wants
12) Half price pizza at O'Fame
13) An oatmeal shake from Irazu
14) A ride on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier
15) A drive along Lake Shore Drive, during the day and at night

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

No News Is...

not so great news so far.

I didn't sleep well last night. I had weird dreams, mostly disjointed ones about the apartment and I kept waking up trying to figure out what was real and what wasn't. It didn't help that I drank a lot of water at dinner, so I got up to go to the bathroom twice.

I had a great time with friends when we met for Korean barbeque. I laugh when I'm with them, which is something I really need.

I came home around 9:30 to find Boat and our roommate watching the Spurs and Mavericks game. I got caught up in that for about 45 minutes, sitting through the overtime and cheering for the underdog.

But then I laid down to sleep and started worrying, trying to hypothosize what was going to happen. It wasn't a panic, as much as trying to deal with the uncertainty, all the while trying harder to contain my pessimism.

As of this morning there still is no word from the broker. I'm fairly certain my dad faxed in all of the information they needed from him, so now it's just a matter of finding out whether a lease can be drawn up or not.

Last night, one of the girls asked me what I wanted to do job-wise once I got there. All I could say was that I really wasn't interested in doing what I'm doing now.

I have no idea what I really want to do, what would make me happy. I know I want a fairly stress-free enviornment. I think I want less interaction with people. I don't want to be bored of course, but I don't want to be going out of my mind over things I could care less about.

I suppose there's nothing wrong with the unknown, but it's not making things easy either.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Big Bad City

My mom expressed concern that the daily grind of New York City would make a person like me, a person who stresses easily and is not such a nice person under pressure, break.

I've thought about this a lot. It's true, I can get totally manic in certain situations, and it ain't pretty. Take Saturday afternoon, our last day in the city. We're sitting in the broker's office signing papers and things aren't going right. Who do I take it out on? The person sitting right next to me, of course, the guy I live with, the guy I love and respect. It's wasn't right, but I did. And five minutes later when we're in the elevator leaving the office, I apologize. Because it's not his fault. It's not anyone's fault other than mine.

How am I going to handle the crowds, the noise, the commute? How am I going to stand the enormity of NYC?

I have no idea. But here's what I figure: if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere. If anything, this whole exerience will be a lesson in introspection...learning how to be more patient and understanding, figuring out when I've reached my breaking point and not blowing up.

Sure, I'll probably have to do a lot of yoga and take many walks in Central Park alone, but it's a challenge that I'm actually interested in taking on. What better way to try and improve yourself than to be put in not so ideal circumstances and dealing with them.

To Make A Long Story Short

Hopefully I'll have more time to write later (OK, probably not here at work), but I jsut wanted to say hello and get you up to speed.

We did find an apartment and put an application in. There are a few factors that need to be tweeked, including making sure we can actually get a lease that starts no earlier than June 15th. Our broker seems to think this is more worrisome, than us actually getting approved for it.

New York was good, though we didn't have much time to do anything fun and when we did, we decided to stay in the hotel room, in bed, giving our tired feet and legs a much needed rest. I swear, all of the walking we did was the hardest workout I've had in years.

I can't really explain how I feel right now. I guess, mostly nervous, hoping all of this works out from here, even though it's only a piece of the puzzle involved in this move.

I'm hoping to know more later on this day.

Until then, I hope all is well with you!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Playing Interference

I'm in a rather awkward situation.

We have hired two new people. One is starting in two weeks, the other three.

There are two open offices. The person starting in three weeks is taking my job, so he will have to temporarily sit in another office until he can move into mine.

The two offices vary in size. One being rather small and awkward, the other a little more spacious.

My boss has decided to put the person starting in two weeks in the little office and have the three week guy in the bigger office until he can move into mine.

This is causing a problem. Why? Because the person starting in two weeks is a black woman and the person starting in three is a white male.

Through the grapevine, I've been informed that by him putting the black woman in the smaller office, my co-workers are going to be upset.

I've been asked to talk to him. And frankly, I'm not quite sure how I can do this eloquently.

The thing is, even I'M not sure why she is going into the smaller office. In my mind, the guy can wait it out a whole two and a half weeks until I leave and get into the even bigger office. And the person who we haven't even hired yet could get the small office.

Yeah, so this is going to be interesting.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Thin Line Between Pessism and Being Realistic

I know I should be more excited about our trip to New York.

For one, it is three whole days being away from work, though I can't help but think of how bad it's going to be when I get back.

Second, we are visiting the city we plan to live in, and we're apartment hunting (fun, right?).

Third, there are so many things I've wanted to see and do, so many things I haven't even figured out I want to see and do, but know they're there. So I should be looking forward to the downtime, when we're able to grab a bite to eat, or walk around a neighborhood we haven't spent much time in.

Yet I can't get the voice in my head, the one who keeps saying we're not going to find an apartment, to shut the fuck up. I can't stop worrying that this whole thing is going to unravel this week. I don't want to stack the odds against us, but besides having a rather large chunk of change in savings and Boat's dad acting as a possible guarantor, we still don't have jobs.

I don't know how to be optimistic. Well shit, any of you who know me could agree with that statement.

I just wish I could try and at least look at this trip as an honest attempt at making a huge change in my life, instead of panicking and walking around with this doom and gloom attitude.

Friday, May 12, 2006

My Problem is My Brain

I've eaten a chocolate chunk scone everyday for three days in a row.

In fact, the last piece of today's is staring at me as we speak. I saved the best part...the middle, that's all moist and delicious.

The smart part of me wants to throw it out. Because 1) I'm not even hungry and 2) it doesn't even look tasty at this point. Oh and 3) my waistline doesn't need it.

Unfortunately, I probably will eat it. Why? Because I'm crazy. Because my brain tells me I want things that I don't actually want or need. And then my stupid body goes and gets money out of cash machine, walks downstairs to the cafeteria, and picks up a chocolate chunk scone as though it might die without it.

Then, later that night, my body sees itself in the mirror after showering and cries at its own sight, only to repeat the chocolate chunk scone buying process the next morning.

Even my jeans are trying to tell it something by becoming rather ill-fitting in the thigh area.

Maybe if my double chin returns this horrible cycle will stop itself.


You Paid How Much?

When Boat's mom asked him what I wanted for my birthday, and he in turn asked me, I was a little embarrassed, but told him I would like a gift certificate to Victoria's Secret. I really needed a couple new bras.

I was excited when I received the $50 gift card in the mail and figured I could buy two, and probably have to to cough up $10 or $15.

Well, that certainly wasn't the case.

I walked out of there with $.50 left and ONE bra in my bag. One NUDE colored, wire, demi cup doo da. BORING and WAY TO FUCKING EXPENSIVE.

Seriously, I have to pay $50 to keep my boobs in place?

Well no, I don't. If I could find a good fitting bra somewhere else, say the department store where at least they have decent sales, than sure, I could probably pay less.

It just sucks that I finally found a bra that fits me right and am paying out the ass for it.

Victoria, I would like to know your secret. That way I could sell it to Maidenform a pay half the price.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Garage Band

Last night we rehearsed for the upcoming show.

The practice space is in a building filled with rooms where the doors have huge locks on them and a mix of music is pulsating through the walls.

There was a group of guys hanging out in by the front door, bringing in gear. Actually, most of the people there are guys, which I find amusing for some reason.

I sat waiting for my co-collaborator to show up, sitting in my car writing up thank you and Mother's Day cards. I'm sure if any of them had walked passed they would have wondered what I was doing there, or assumed I was some kind of groupie.

I could see the appeal of it though. Ya know, being in a band, practicing a few times a week, performing at bars and clubs around the world. It would be hella fun, though I don't imagine you'd be making much money.

I'm not sure if I'm really the type of person who stuffs clothes in a backpack and hits the road, sleeping on other people's floors or couches, living off of pub food and cheap beer.

I'll tell you one thing, though, I would never want to date a musician. There's no way my jealousy could stand the sight of another female drooling over my man or the crazy thoughts that would creep into my head if he were on tour, away from me.

It's sexy for like, two seconds, and then he's saying shit like "I can't hang out because I have band practice".

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I am officially on a band poster.


OK, my last name is on a band poster because my "band's" name IS my last name.

Either way, I'm pretty excited about it.

I can't quite say "I'm in a band". Mostly because there's only two of us and I've never considered it more than a collaboration of sorts.

So anyway, yeah.

Cool, huh?



I didn't write yesterday because I was in a foul mood and didn't have anything positive to say. At least, not without repeating myself.

Here's what I promised myself not to write about:

1) Work
2) The move
3) Work

So then I drew a complete blank and couldn't think of anything besides David Blaine. At that point I realized I should probably just wait until today to attempt posting.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Setting Sail or Throwing the Anchor Over

Our roommate has been looking at condos. He's shown us pictures and talked about each one, explaining his pro and con list, asking us what we think, etc.

It's been interesting to see the process unravel and wonder what I might do if in the same situation.

I'm excited for him. The places he's looked at look are beautiful and will be at least two times bigger than any place we may have in NYC. In some of the units, he'll be able to pick the floors and cabinets and paint. It sounds fun.

But personally, I'm not there yet. I'm in no way ready to say "this is home for awhile". Even with New York, Boat and I have both decided we'd give it a try for two years and then reevaluate our situation. I figure if after a year we're not thrilled, we'll spend the next year saving and move on.

I'm much more comfortable with the thought that things can change, than the thought that it's going to stay the same.

I'm not at all opposed to the possibility of semi-permanence, or home owning. I just want my life to be in order by then, that I'm really content and satisfied.

I suppose it'll be one of two things: needing change in order to be/stay happy or finding a long-term, stable scenario that I'm cool with.

Thinking in "Last's"

Driving down Lake Shore Drive early Saturday morning, I sat in the back seat of my friend's little Honda Civic hatchback and soaked in the familiarity. The lake glistened on our left and the skyline stood tall on our right.

This was to be the first weekend of two for my last bowling tournament. Sure, the sight of women in weird matching bowling shirts and bad 80's hair and make-up is humorous, but I think I'm kind of going to miss them.

Illinois is a large state, which includes a demographic that I don't really match up with politically, socially, or religiously. However, there are so many beautiful and interesting parts, with hospitable, Midwest folks.

I suppose I can't help but imagine the masses in the streets of Manhattan, bulldozing me out of the way and taking up room on the subway. A lack of connection between people.

We ate at Culver's (my first time), and I couldn't help but think this would probably be the first and last. I mean, yeah, Culver's will be replaced by some other awesome burger joint in New York, but it won't be the same as these cookie-cutter chains that I've grown to love.

Last night, Boat and I dined at a cute little Argentinian place that makes a killer churrasco. I had had a delicious drink the last time I was there and decided that even though I didn't need the extra calories, or cost, I was pretty positive we wouldn't be returning, so I indulged.

There is something very bitter sweet about these last several weeks. I think in the end, one will be silver and the other gold.

I say all of this with the assumption that we will actually be in New York by July 1st, which is really only a possibility at this point.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Go Fight Win!

OK, that was the end of our school song in high school. I didn't really know the rest of the lyrics, but I liked the "Go Fight Win!" part of it.

Lately I feel like my head is spinning. A part of me is saying "slow down" and the other is saying "cram everything in that you possibly can before it's TOO LATE", as if the world is ending or that I might not ever come back to Chicago, EVER.

The weekends are filling up with this and that and at times I've wanted to just sit and do nothing, though I end up bored and restless.

Laundry has once again piled up, the bathroom is disgusting and those two things make me feel anxious when I'm at home. I'm actually going to try and do a few loads tonight before I leave for bowling.

On top of this, I'm nervous as hell as our trip to the east coast approaches and pressure to find an apatment is weighing on my shoulders like a one ton elephant.

A publishing company called Boat. They are screening possible candidates, so it would be awesome if they called him back for an interview while we're out there.

All of stress from work is really getting to me, and in combination with my PMS, I'm extremely unpleasant to be around.

I hope that six to twelve months from now, I can look back at this time and say "that was then" and be relieved at how far I've come.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

That Would Be Me

Damn. "Invasion" is still fucking awesome and I think they've done a really great job keeping the story line going and making it "believable".

Next week's episode where they basically allude to the genocide of all humans is mind-boggling, yet totally believable.

And I can tell you right now, if I were a hybrid alien thing, I'd probably go right along with the mass execution of a race that COULD turn around and try to get rid of me because I'm "different". Because, ya know, every alien for himself!

My mom and I once talked about what would happen if the bird flu came and how everyone would be acting like the kids in the Lord of the Flies. Since there aren't enough vaccinations, it would all come down to who had the money and means. There's no way to ethically decide who should get to live or die, so as they say, only the strong would survive.

In the face of a nuclear war or something along those lines, I know in the past I've heard that the chosen people to survive would be doctors, scientists, you know, people that would hypothetically be able to rebuild Earth.

I would definitely NOT be one of those chosen few.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Extreme Ups and Downs

I'm Happy:

-Did get an interview in NYC
-Meeting my friends at Hot Chocolate tonight for dessert and coffee
-A friend from another company is here helping out
-We're going out for lunch

I'm Crazed:

-Stayed late Monday and Tuesday and will again tonight
-Am actually pretty annoyed about gas prices and having to fill up
-Seeing no end in sight at work
-Feeling the days left here in Chicago slipping away

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What I've Been Watching

1) The NBA Playoffs
2) The Office
3) America's Next Top Model
4) Invasion
5) O'Grady
6) One Life To Live
7) Degrassi High: The Next Generation
8) Law & Order: C & I and SVU
9) Honey, We're Killing The Kids
10) What Not To Wear

And you?

My Cool Uncle J.

Yesterday I received a small package in the mail.

It was from my uncle and his partner, who live in Ithaca.

They sent the 2006 Zagat guide for restaurants in NYC along with a check for me and Ian to use on dinner.

It made me smile.

Uncle J. lives in a very cute house, modest, filled with artifacts they've collected on their travels. He is trilingual, speaking English, Japanese and German. He works as a speech pathologist and in his spare time, acts.

He and his partner are having a second house built in Minneapolis that is supposed to be beautiful.

When my mom and I went to visit them, we got to stay upstairs where the guest rooms are. We ate dinner at a small Japanese restaurant near the campus of Cornell and ate delicious donburi. We visited a really kick ass farmer's market, where I indulged in big plate of Indian food. The organic farmers looked like straight up hippies.

Another night, he grilled up salmon with mango salsa, and we sipped on wine outside on their deck. We woke up to a spread of fresh juice, scones and other assorted baked goods and coffee.

I know my mom fell in love with their lifestyle right away. They entertain and host out of town guests constantly. They travel. They listen to weird indigenous music.

They are smart as hell. Sometimes I'm intimidated to even have a conversation with my uncle's partner because the guy is a genius.

They are just two really cool people that I'm happy to have in my life and I hope our move to New York brings us closer. In my head, I'm already planning long weekends there, hanging out at the farmer's market, sipping on good wine and having a tasty meal with them.

Ha Ha, Dumbass

I'm not sure why I derive so much pleasure in others doing stupid things, especially since I do as well, but I can't help it.

They are repaving our street and have bright red signs tied to the trees saying we can't park for three days from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It's been a bit of a pain, but I've managed to find decent spots the last two nights.

This morning they were TOWING people away.

I know I smiled.

And possibly even laughed.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Excitement, Big and Small

1) Making Italian sandwich creation in my new toaster oven.
2) Possibily having an interview in NYC.
3) Leaving to find an apartment in 2 1/2 weeks.
4) Performing again!
5) Really, seriously going to the Bulls game this Thursday.
6) Last night of bowling!
7) Packing! (OK, not really exciting, but a sign of moving)
8) La Mora and La Fonda.
10)36 days left at this job.

Just Call Me An Idiot and Get It Over With

Great Bulls game, huh?

Yeah...It was awesome watching it from home on my TV.

Oh, you thought I had tickets to the game? ME TOO!

So, what DO I have tickets to?

Well, it's funny you should ask. I have tickets to game 4 of ROUND TWO! That's right, ROUND TWO, not ROUND ONE.

Did my dad drive all the way from the suburbs for the game?


Did we drive all the way to the United Center?

Why, yes we did.

Did I go up to the Will Call counter and find out I didn't actually tickets to this game?

Funny enough, yes!

Did I come home, sulk, and then eat a Frescata sandwich from Wendy's to make me feel better?

Of course.