Wednesday, December 31, 2008

obigatory new year's post

i started to write a longer, warmer, squishier blog about the specifics of 2008 but it was starting to get too long [even for me -- shocking, i know]. besides, i'm still trying to find the perfect balance between healthy vulnerability and TMI when it comes to the blogosphere. i find that when it comes to my blogging, i either share too much, apologize for sharing too much, or share next to nothing. despite the fact that i've been blogging since the beginning of time [give or take], i still haven't gotten over the weirdness of the medium. i'm constantly aware of the fact that the words i'm writing are available for the whole world to read, even though only a handful of the world's population actually has the patience to get through my verbose rantings.

so in the spirit of bloggers everywhere, i submit for my faithful handful the following: jHong's random and arbitrary list of best, worst and most [insert adjective here] of 200GR8!

favorite musical discovery of 2008: jamie lidell. i discovered him at this year's sasquatch festival and ended up at his show at the insistence of a friend. by that point in the day, i had every intention of sitting down and resting my weary feet but once he got going i couldn't help but get up and shake a tailfeather! it's infectious, catchy, soulful... and his live show is incredible! i've been listening to both of his albums non-stop. i highly recommend you purchase one or both of them immediately. other notable recommendations: jonezeta - "cruel to be young", wild sweet orange - "we have cause to be uneasy", jay-z - "american gangster", kings of leon - "only by the night"

most embarassing moment of 2008: my unceremonious ringing in of 2008. truth be told, i got accidentally ham-tossed last NYE and thus only remember bits and pieces of that particular evening [apparently during the bits and pieces i don't remember i was kind of a drunken biznatch to my homies so perhaps it's for the best]. other than those first regrettable hours of 2008, i haven't had more than 2 or 3 adult bevs per sitting and haven't gotten more than a light buzz since; probably a sort of Pavlovain reaction although it might also have something to do with the fact that i kinda sorta work for a church.

strongest vice of 2008: cell-phone solitaire. i attempted to kick my addiction during my post-Lent celebration this year but to no avail. according to my game statistics, i've played a total of 5,142 games and clocked in over 14 DAYS worth of solitaire playing. kiiiinda ridiculous.

thing i'll miss most about 2008: having an excuse to write the number "8". i don't know if any of you have a favorite number to write or have ever even devoted any thought at all to a favorite digit but for whatever reason, i have. most people write their 8's by making a little figure-8 [hence the name, i suppose] but i like to make my 8's by drawing a little circle and then drawing another equal sized circle underneath. i don't know what it is about making those two mini circles that's so satisfying for me but i'm kind of sad that i won't get to write one every time i date something and i'll only get to write one on the 8th, 18th and 28th days of the month and of course, the whole month of august. i mean i guess i could write an "8" whenever i want but i won't have the built-in excuse. [side note -- i just spent the last moments of 2008 blogging about how much i enjoy writing the number "8". how does that make YOU feel? :D]

favorite blog entry i've written in 2008: why valentine's day doesn't have to suck. i know it's self-indulgent to write about a favorite blog of my own but i am in fact that shamelessly self-indulgent, i'm afraid. this blog entry in particular i meant to write in some form or another long before i got around to doing it so it was a bit cathartic to finally get it done. i also enjoyed the opportunity to exercise my paint skizills. close second: true story. i'm only mildly ashamed to say that i made myself LOL when writing this one.

favorite blog discovery of 2008: the satorialist. something about this man's ability to spot simple but incredible feats of street fashion around the world is so inspiring. my fashion taste is a bit more expensive than my budget allows at the moment but i try to make do with what i've got. but even if i never acquire the riches to buy all the designer clothes of my dreams, i hope to one day be satorialist worthy.

favorite class of 2008: my poetry class. sure, i might be a little bit biased considering my raging crush on my poetry teacher but even still, i have found the challenge to improve my writing incredibly rewarding. the poets that we read in class were also incredible and i've gained a new appreciation for modern poetry. close second: intro to cultural studies. again, i loved the reading and i appreciated the challenge of thinking critically about popular culture. i was also introduced to the genius of Foucault and one of my favorite reads of 2008, delillo's 'white noise'.

favorite meal of 2008: prix-fixe monday at tilth. for my birthday, my brother took me out to this amazing wallingford eatery and i was absolutely blown away, course after course. from the amuse-bouche [a term i only know because of top chef] to the dessert course, it was UNBELIEVABLY delicious. if the great food and wine pairings weren't fantastic enough, in true sustainable seattle fashion, every monday tilth features a different local producer. so not only is tilth awesome, it's awesomely green. :)

most overused adjective in retrospective blog of 2008: incredible.

i think that's all i got for the moment. it's well past midnight now and this blog's publication has already been delayed by a couple distractions including but not limited to a call from my bff and spanglish, which my mom and i are currently watching [quite a departure from last year's celebration, no? :D].

HAPPY NEW YEAR! here's to 2009!!!

p.s. -- remember that one time i said that my first attempt at new year's blogging was starting to be too long and then i subsequently wrote one that was just as if not longer? yeahhhh... i'm awesome.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

i hate to say you told me so

so i was wrong about me. actually, i was wrong about you. i said in my last post that your words wouldn't make a difference, but strangely they did. and not to diminish the power of your words but at the risk of i'm tooting my own horn, i'm gonna go ahead and say that my own words might have made even more of a difference [toot toot!].

you would think that talking and writing about my hopelessness would make me feel more hopeless but strangely it has had the opposite effect somehow. now i'm not recommending that one should commiserate at length as some sort of psychological self-medication. usually pity-partying leads to more self-pity so i'm honestly really baffled as to how this could've even happened. my only hypothesis is that this mysterious sense of hope might be the result of a really poorly delivered joke.

i'm sure you're thinking that i couldn't POSSIBLY have been the one to deliver said bad joke but believe it or not, sometimes i'm not hilarious. i know! i know! sounds crazy! [i'm sorry about the butt injuries for those of you who just fell out of your chair] but a several times in the past few weeks i've been trying an old joke and not getting any laughs. the first time i told it, i was talking to some friends that had been inadvertently hush-hush about their relatively new status as a couple. the girl turned to me and asked, "if you were dating someone, would you just randomly announce it?" and i said, "um, of COURSE! if i were dating someone, i'd tell everyone i knew: REPENT! REPENT! THE COMING OF THE LORD IS NIGH!" and then... crickets.

now i thought this was some of my better material. so much so that i attempted to tell the joke again a couple more times but again my brilliant punchline was met with a couple uncomfortable giggles but mostly, just crickets. i thought about trying to salvage the dead silence by quoting Revelations 37:85 which i believe says something about white horseman, plagues of locusts, and Jessica tricking a boy into dating her [that's just my paraphrased version; don't quote me on that one] but then i remembered that verse in Proverbials about not kicking thine deceased horses, Amen.

i'm guessing my audience didn't find my joke funny mostly because the subtext is so sad. i acknowledge that it's quite a passive-aggressive way to whine about my singleness and i acknowledge that whining about one's singleness is generally pretty gross [especially in a blog, so my apologies kind readers]. i would expect anyone to be annoyed by such thinly veiled self-pity but i found that the victims of my bad joke -- and you kind readers of my blog -- instead seemed to be kinda sad. and not just sorry-for-me sad, but more like sad with me that i would feel so hopeless. i guess i'm proof that misery really does love company? granted, i could just be lacking in skills of perception and there could be non-commenters out there too annoyed with my self-pity to even comment but i'm gonna intentionally choose to read the silver lining embedded in the binary code; i'm trying not to sabotage this miraculous sense of hope i have. and though my hopelessness was almost exclusively wrapped up in my hang-ups about my singlaciousnesiocity, this hope isn't exactly hope that i'll magically become un-single anytime soon. i guess i'm just re-remembering where my hope should be coming from in the first place. i'll probably need to re-remember this a whole lot more in the future but for your sake and mine, i'll try not to blog about it so much and i'll try to refrain from passive-agressively joking about it. or at the very least, i'll make sure my passive-agressive jokes are effing hilarious.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

she ain't got no alibi

as many of you have noticed in the last few weeks, i'm a little bit kind of almost famous [question mark].

the gentleman on the left is my friend and bandmate and he just so happens to work for the newly infamous FAILblog. he thusly wrangled some other friends and i to participate in a relatively impromtu photoshoot for the blog's new merch.

when i first saw the picture, my initial reaction was to make a submission to FAILblog's sister site of me and my doppleganger, jabba the hutt. but i told myself i needed to quit being ridiculous because i'm my own worst critic, right? hmm. turns out i'm not.

i'm not sure what the traffic numbers on the site are exactly but it's getting to be pretty popular with the kids. i didn't really take that into consideration at the time nor did i take into consideration the fact that all of the aforementioned kids have the ability to make comments and say whatever they want about me for the world wide web to see. i hadn't even thought about it until a friend said something about the comments that had been made and against all my better judgment, i decided to check out what my critics had to say. although i was flattered by the dude who wanted to propose marriage and the douches who proposed lewd acts, i was more shocked by my detractors and believe me, there were LOTS of them. some questioned my gender, others compared my head to a potato, and others called me straight up U-G-L-Y.

i thought about shooting something back about their small weiners and/or how big boned their mama was but i knew that i was a few weeks too late and that even if i had responded promptly, it would be pointless. even the perfect retort wouldn't add anything to my life and it wouldn't subtract anything from theirs, whoever "they" are. this is probably the point at which either you or me is supposed to point out how bored, insecure, and hateful "they" are and how i shouldn't give a second thought to anything "they" have to say but the unfortunate thing is, i already have.

in fact, i've given a second third and fourth thought to their words and the effects have been shockingly devastating. i have a pretty resilient self-image that has stood up to a whole lot over the years. strangers and loved ones alike have said some pretty awful things about me, sometimes with the intention to hurt and other times with no intention at all. i'm a rational girl who has a pretty good handle on my emotions, almost too good at times so for the most part, even the harshest words have rolled off me with minimal consequence. but for all of my strength and rationality, this past week has still been marred by the impact of the words of some fools i don't even know.

i know that the nebulous "they" know nothing about me and that their words aren't truth. i am not a she-man, i'm not a potato head, and i am not ugly. nevertheless, it is concrete evidence of a lie. even the picture itself and the awkward angle captured therein is concrete evidence of a lie. my chronic singleness is, again, concrete evidence of a lie. i know i'm supposed to cling to the hope and truth, albeit a hope and truth that i can not see, but it's a lot easier said than done sometimes. so much so that the words of some cyberdouches has jacked up my week and not even the words of a friend who knows me better than any of these efftards ever could was able undo the damage. i talked to my best friend about it and she told me what i would tell anyone in my position: "who the [bleep] are they? what does it matter? you can't let this stuff effect you." and she's right, i shouldn't let it effect me but i'm not entirely regretful that it has because at the very least it's made me aware of my frailty. i do a lot of posturing, some sincere and some just frontin' but in the end, i'm not as strong as i think i am.

i'm tempted to put my signature little life-lesson at the end of this blog as i tend to do in my subconscious homage to my sitcom-saturated childhood. i would love to say that i'm all better and that the power of positive thinking has magically delivered me. the verbal grenade i inadvertently threw myself upon is probably the result of the psuedo-anonymity of the internet and the perception of freedom and absence of consequence online that leads people to type what they would never say to another person. the metaphorical violence was indeed senseless and i shouldn't let it harm me but the fact of the matter is, i'm still a person -- specifically, a girl person [despite allegations to the contrary] and i still can't deny the fact that i'm hurt somehow. i know my friends well enough to know that you're now probably feeling the pull to say something nice and i guess i shouldn't tell you not to but i'm afraid that though words did the damage, words alone won't be the source of my healing.

ultimately, my problem is not my hurt feelings, it's my hope or the lack thereof. and hope is the only answer hopelessness.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

mike & michael

december 2nd. i'm not even sure how to begin to describe the significance that this day will always have for me.

today my friend michael's birthday. although i know a lot of people and am surrounded by countless amazing friends, my list of close friends is a short one and michael is definitely on that list. we've known each other since middle school and lost touch after high school but we reconnected right around the i was getting ready to move back to seattle a year and a half ago. he is a big part of what made my move back to seattle so great in spite of all the uncertainty and uneasiness of what was a daunting transition. anyone that knows me knows that i'm capable of talking at length about nothing but when it comes to actually sharing the things that are close to my heart, there are very few that i've felt secure enough to trust so having a friend like michael is a blessing to say the least.

today is also the one-year anniversary of my cousin mike's passing. i can't believe it's already been a year -- it's still so fresh and so surreal. i was actually on my way to michael's birthday party last year when i got the call about my cousin mike. i've only recently gotten to the point where i can even share part of the story without breaking down in tears and honestly, even then i can only talk about it for a moment at a time. and though the loss i feel personally is huge, i know that a lot of my grief is tied to my heartache for his parents and his brother and sister. as much as my heart has been broken i know that theirs is broken that much more. and though it's painful to remember the hurt so acutely, i hope in some ways that i never forget the loss of him because i never want to forget him at all. it's not something i want to get over ever. his life, though tragically short, was one marked by a deep love of life and love of people so even if i can never extract my heartache from my memories of him, even if remembering will always be painful, he will always be worth remembering.

they never even met but to me the lives of mike and michael are forever inextricably linked. they're even linked by their names -- although i should note, my cousin was distinctly a mike and not a michael; like many other immigrant parents, my aunt and uncle didn't know about the American custom of informal shortened first names so the name on my cousin's birth certificate is in fact, mike.

there's a part of me that hates the dichotomy of this day because it feels like it should be either reverentially solemn for my cousin or joyous and celebratory for my friend -- one or the other and not both. but i also know that this forced juxtaposition is kind of gift as well. it's a reminder to appreciate both lives, to celebrate both lives, and [pardon the redundancy] it's simply a reminder to remember. like i said, i never want to forget my cousin mike so i'm thankful that as long as i have my friend michael, december 2nd will be a day to celebrate the life we have and a reminder not to take any life for granted.

so to mike and to michael - i love you both very much.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

is too healthy unhealthy?

one of the many the many bonds i share with my best friend is our emotional stability. if i may be so bold, i would say we're exceptionally rational people and though we go through occasional bouts of crazy [or as we like to call them, trips to crazytown] for the most part, we sort through our thoughts and feelings with an emphasis on the former and a skepticism of the latter. recently we've both encountered some circumstances that to the normal individual with a heart of flesh [as opposed to our titanium tickers] would warrant a trip if not a full-fledged camping out in crazytown. while it seems to be an indication of emotional health that we chose not to indulge our craziness, at the same time we both found ourselves asking the question: is this really healthy?

is it really healthy to have such rigid control of your feelings? i know that i'm by no means impervious to my emotions but anyone who knows me well knows that i'm not exactly a fragile flower. there are very few things and few people that i allow to get close enough to hurt my feelings or piss me off. while this sounds a little detached and creepy, it's kind of my way of living out the biblical warning to guard my heart, seeing as how it's the wellspring of life or whatever. on the rare occasion that such an infraction occurs, i'm usually able to reason that feeling away on the basis of human fallibility. i have yet to master the delicate art of compassion but i am very intentionally honing my skills every chance i get which usually means letting go of petty and sometimes not-so-petty hurts. this seems like a reasonably healthy thing to do [after all, "love keeps no record of wrongs"] but i sometimes wonder if my truest motivations are more passive-aggressive and less give-peace-a-chance.

[--brace yourself for bloggish vunerability--] i also have a pretty strict rule against unrequited crushes. the general principle is essentially this: if some dude doesn't have the good sense to have a crush on me, why would i bother wasting my precious emotional energy on said dunce? i'm awesome [duh]. again, i think there are good principles at the heart of my crush ideology [or crusheology, if you will] but i sometimes wonder if again, my motivations aren't as noble as i would hope. maybe i'm just scared of rejection [although who isn't?] and maybe i'm just playing it safe [although i would argue i'm not really playing much of anything at all these days -- *cricket* *cricket*]?

as with most things in my historically goody-two-shoes life, i am choosing to err on the side of caution when it comes to my emotional health. i haven't always lived on this side of the crazy fence and was for several seasons of my life a resident of crazytown [a city council member, even] so i don't take for granted this relatively new-found self-control. but perhaps the pendulum has swung over too far? is there such a thing as too healthy? do i need to be a little more i-get-so-emotional and a little less domo-arigato-mr.-roboto? is there a happy medium that i have whizzed by or am i actually there already?

this is your cue to validate my outlook on life. may i suggest any variation the following [verbatim is acceptable; imitation is the sincerest form of flattery]:
- "Why what do you mean, Jessica? You're the model of emotional health!"
- "Girrrrl, Oprah ought to give you a call! This blog entry was better than The Secret."
- "I think you're doing just fine. By the way, I have a close friend who's been dying to meet you and has offered to father your children. His name is Jason Schwartzman and he's recently accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior."


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

who i'm praying for tonight, and the next few nights or years for that matter

every one who is angry.

every one who is disappointed.

everyone who is worried.

everyone who is scared.

every one with a heart that feels heavy with anxiety about the years to come.

every cynic who is waiting for the failure of our next president.

every jaded non-voter who was more plagued by disappointment than apathy.

every religious radical that has put their words in the mouth of god.

every bigot that will revel in this opportunity to hate and exploit the hidden hate of others.

every citizen whose hidden hate is bubbling up in their consciousness under the guise of rationality.

every would-be assassin that is plotting the worst.

every would-be prophet who is secretly cheering them on.

every disheartened man and woman who doesn't know how to hope for much of anything anymore.

every hopeful man and woman who will certainly have their hopes challenged by the very things that promised them hope in the first place.

this is a scattered list and i make no claims at poetic poignancy. i know my list reeks of negativity but it comes out of a heart burdened by hope. make no mistake, i am inspired by the possibility of the things to come, i am excited about who we elected as president, and yet i can't help but feel the weight [albeit preemptively] of the inevitable challenge ahead. this election has both illustrated how much our country has healed and exposed the long untreated wounds that still infect our people. though i have felt a great deal of indignant disgust for the ugliness that has been center stage during much of this election, in a weird way i'm thankful for it all the same because at the very least, it is being exposed for what it is. it has exposed the ugliness in our nation and the ugliness in myself and though both are painful to contend with, they must be addressed. my prayer and hope is that those old wounds would be treated at last. that before we start pointing out the splinters in the eyes of even the most splintery-eyed wack-jobs, we would first address the planks in our own. that we would treat every radical, every pharasical nutzo, every racist, every bigot with more love then they or we deserve. that we would not depend upon government to legislate our morality but rather be governed by a morality that is more rigid than any law. and that we would love first and foremost whether or not we got the opportunity to do anything more or less than just that.

i know what i'm saying is laced with a certain amount of cliche but i think that sometimes cliche endures simply because of the truth embedded within. so excuse me when i say that the next president is not the hope of our nation.

you are.
i am.
we are.
and most of all [and most cliche of all]
Jesus is.

on Christ the solid rock I stand - all other ground is sinking sand.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

new york, new york

a week ago, i returned from an exciting albeit exhausting vacation in the fabulous city of new york. i've been told by enumerable friends and acquaintances on countless occasions that i would love new york, that they could "totally see me" in new york, so on and so forth. i attribute generalizations like these to my penchant for multi-colored wackadoodle fashions and my aversion to all things that resemble anything that could be under any circumstances dubbed "outdoorsy". my expectations were high and i'm happy to report that i wasn't disappointed.

as i mentioned earlier, this vacation was anything but relaxing. i'm fairly confident i walked the entire breadth and length of the island of manhattan at least three or four times over during my nine-day stay. although i'm usually not a fan of excessive physical exertion, there was so much to see and it's a beautiful city to explore on foot. perhaps the greatest advantage of my pedestrianism was the opportunity to indulge my celebrity-obsessed depravity and put my IMDB-like robot brain to good use. NYC is chocked full of celebutantes and i've got a keen eye for even the most obscure specimen. i only had one day sans celebrity sighting so for my fellow perezzians and people-watchers, i present to you my definitive NYC celebrity sighting list [as maintained via my handy centro memo function]. hold on to your britches, young lads and ladies, there are some good ones!

- Ben Harper - the Shake Shack in Union Square Park. He was wearing a weird vinyl plaid coat and some pretty fly sneakers.

- Wilson Cruz AKA Ricky of My So Called Life - streets of the West Villiage. I don't think I can explain how excited I was about this one. I was hoping that someone could magically cue "What is Love" so that I could witness first-hand the glorious dance moves he demonstrated at World Happiness dance. I know you probably don't know what I'm talking about and I've thus disengaged 99% of my already meager blog readership [not your fault, I know I'm an inconsistent blogger] but trust me when I say, he is AMAZING [skip to the 5 min mark for the fabulosity].
- Courtney Cox & David Arquette - the Spotted Pig in the West Villiage. As my friend and I were making our exit, much to my shock and delight, none other than Monica Geller Bing was making her grand entrance! In my excitement, I accidentally kicked her husband in the shoe on my way out but I think he was too busy looking after his wife to notice or care. I'm happy to report that she's absolutely gorgeous in person not nearly as overly-botoxed as she appears as of late.

- no sightings. :(

- Elijah Wood - streets of Soho. When I first spotted this diminutive hottie, I thought I was just checking out one of NYC's many adorably nerdy offerings. It took just a split second to realize that the mini-hunk I was beholding was none other than Frodo himself [although he'll always be North to me].
- Jesse L. Martin of Law & Order Fame - streets of Soho. This is probably one of those sightings that only a weirdo like me would spot but between my fellow Law & Order obsessed companion and myself, we spotted this tall drink o' water instantaneously. Admittedly, it took a lil IMDBing to figure out was his name was but his face was unmistakable.
- John Mayer - streets of Soho. He was zipping across the street late that night and again, it didn't take much to recognize his face. Thankfully, he wasn't making this face at the time.

- James Franco - in front of NYU. It's one thing to be good-looking. Anyone can do that. But to be SMART too??? Ugh. Be still my nerdy heart! James Franco is currently pursuing a master's at NYU [i know this because of my aforementioned perez addiction] and as evidenced by the backpack he was wearing the time, he was actually GOING to class! Needless to say, I was beyond impressed.

- Al Roker - streets of Soho. I thought about asking him to wish my grandma a happy 97th birthday but besides the fact that my grandma is nowhere near 97, he was on his cell phone at the time.

- Michael Phelps' mom and (presumably) his sisters- near Time Square. Many friends have disputed Michael Phelps' mom's celebrity status but I would argue that since the camera was constantly cutting to his mom's reactions during his ubiquitous Olympic coverage this summer, she's a celebrity by association.

- Seth Meyers and a very preggers Amy Poehler - West Villiage. We spotted these two SNLers enjoying Sunday brunch and being generally very sweet and adorable. While they seemed to be quite friendly co-workers, the bun-in-the-oven actually belongs to none other than Gob of Arrested Development, Amy's Blades of Glory co-star.

- Maura Tierny - Pastis. I know that most of you just asked "Who the +bleep+ is Maura Tierny?" She's most recently known for her role on the post-Clooney seasons of ER but to me, she'll always be that girl from News Radio [one of the many 90's sitcoms that I LOVED].

there were undoubtedly celebrity sightings that even my keen eye missed but i think i did pretty good for my short stay. i also want to give honorable mention to a few other sightings that may or may not have been actual sightings:
- Jorge Garcia or Hurley, to you Lost fans. I asked my companions to confirm this sighting but we all concluded that it may or may not have been a random beardy big dude with curly hair and not necessarily Hurley himself.
- Regina Spektor. I don't quite know her face well enough to confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was her but after reviewing my google image results, I'm moderately confident that it was indeed her.
- Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter Fame. This one was definitely him and um-- ALL of him but I don't know that I can count it as a sighting since I did pay to see him. I caught his Broadway performance of the scandalicious Equus. I'm happy to report that despite the controversial premise of the play and the highly-publicized nudity, it was actually a exquisitely written and beautifully acted performance. I felt a little pervy enjoying it as much as I did but whatchugondo. I'm flesh and blood, damn it.

all in all, it was a WONDERFUL trip. i look forward to future visits and although i don't anticipate leaving seattle any time soon, i'm not discounting the possibility of NYC residence some day. stay tuned, kiddos.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

happy birthday?

i've contemplated writing this blog for several weeks. i'm usually fairly hesitant to discuss serious issues on the internet, much less serious issues that pertain to my personal life. in fact, that's kind of true of my life in general i think. it's not that i consider my personal life to be such privileged information, i don't really have anything to hide. i guess i just don't really feel the need to share a whole lot. i've got a handful or less of people that i share my insides with and i don't really need much more than that. nevertheless, i feel like i should keep my friends informed on the important stuff and this topic in particular has been one that i've had trouble articulating to even my closest friends.

this sunday, i'm turning a quarter-of-a-century old. birthdays have never really been a big deal to me but this one is a different situation altogether. it's my first birthday without my cousin mike. mike's birthday is the day before mine so my entire life, i've never had birthday where i don't think about him as well.
as some of you guys may know, my family suffered a huge loss this past december and i'm afraid we're all still in various states of grieving. even now, it's hard to even think about him without breaking down. i can't even get through typing this without crying which is why i'm choosing to blog rather than attempt to talk about it the way i'd like to.

it was a tough decision figuring out how to celebrate my birthday or if i even should at all. i feel so incredibly lucky to have amazing friends who want to celebrate me and who i'd love to celebrate with but i don't know how to articulate how hard it's going to be this year. i change my mind every few seconds about what to do or not do. i have so much to celebrate, between my amazing year back home in seattle, amazing friends and an incredible family. even his life -- as painfully cut short as it was -- is certainly something worth celebrating. my younger cousin jane shares his birthday and she is certainly worth celebrating. the birthdays of two of my best friends in the whole world are the day after mine and they are certainly worth celebrating. and i know as cheesy as it sounds, mike would probably want me to celebrate too. it's just still really really hard and really really fresh.

so this is not a plea for sympathy, i've been so generously showered with understanding and sympathy by my incredible friends. i guess this is just an update of sorts. it's strange because every time i talk about my birthday, i want to follow it up with a disclaimer but i know that if i were to start, i wouldn't be able to get through it without tears. i dunno. i guess i'm at a loss as to what else to do at this point. it's not that i haven't wanted to talk about it but besides the fact that i can't talk about it without crying, i've been trying to avoid "that look" from my friends. it's a look of genuine care and sympathy but a look that makes it impossible not to cry. and not that i'm avoiding my grief or trying to be distracted from it, not that that's even possible. my good moods thus far haven't been and in the future will not be disingenuous and while i don't want to preemptively predict a tear-filled birthday, the reality is, this year may just be that. and maybe it won't, i don't know. i guess the only way i know how to articulate this spot i am in is by saying more or less what i said in december: there is no right way to grieve when you're dealing with a circumstance that is so incredibly wrong. and the inverse is also true, there's no wrong way either.

i appreciate your patience and understanding in the meantime.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

if left to my own devices

i am the quintessential night owl. if it were up to me and didn't have pesky responsibilities like school and work and blahblahbler, i'd probably go to sleep at around 7am every night and get up... well, when i felt like it. which would most likely happen sometime between 3 and 5pm. but being the disciplined young lass that i am, the past several nights i've been going to bed at the early hour of 4am instead. how do i pass the time, you ask? by doing what any disciplined young lass would do: play lots of facebook word games while watching reruns of law & order: criminal intent. duh.

i'm not sure what the appeal of the wee hours of the morning is-- er, are. umm-- is/are. perhaps it's the absence of distraction [i don't consider computer games and television to be "distractions"; i call them brain fuel thankyouverymuch]. i also find that i'm most creative late at night [you're currently reaping the benefits in blog form -- you're welcome, by the way]. allz i know is, i love sleeping, but i hate waking up and i LOVE staying up. i'm not sure how to reconsile these somewhat conflicting passions in a practical way since i can't seem to go to sleep before midnight for the life of me. if i were able to trick myself into thinking that going to bed at 7pm was fun, i could get the eleven or twelve hours of sleep my body so yearns for. but then i'd miss out on all the fun tv and what kind of life is that, hmm? no life at all, as far as i'm concerned.

but alas... my body betrays me and my eyes are currently doing that perpetual tearing thing spurned by relentless yawning. i guess i should go to sleep since i had to get up so early today -- noon. yeesh.

g'nite gars and goils.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

happy anniversary to me

i'm a few weeks late but this is me wishing myself a happy one-year anniversary! it's now been over a year since i moved back home to seattle. and this is the part of my anniversary blog where i spout out all the cliché truths:
time has flown by!
i can't believe it's been a year already!
i can't believe it's only been a year already!
a stitch in time saves NINE! [i dunno what that one means either.]

naw but for realz though, it's been an incredible year. i miss my nashville friends a WHOLE lot but i have also been incredibly blessed to have made some of the best friends of my lifetime. i am so fortunate to have found an amazing church. i'm a lucky, lucky gal and being the nerd that i am, i LOVE being back in school. i blame that last bit for my inconsistent blogging. the good news is, i'm taking creative writing classes this quarter and next quarter so i'm going to have plenty of material cut and paste into my blog for your consumption. after all, isn't that what blogging is for? getting supplemental validation that i may or may not be getting from my teachers???


Monday, June 9, 2008

true story

this afternoon i turned in my final paper for my cultural studies class with mere minutes to spare before the deadline. being the studious young gal that i am, i started this paper at about 10am this morning and by 2:45pm, had churned out seven pages of earth-shattering, ideology-destabalizing, smarter-person-making academic gold [GOLD i tell you! muahahahahahahaha!!!!]. i handed it over to my instructor at about 2:55pm and apologized preemptively for the aneurysm she would surely suffer once she read my paper and her brain exploded from all the complex genius therein. she wiped the single tear from her eye and thanked me profusely for lending my vast intellect to her insignificant little english class for an entire quarter. i told her to quit bowing, back-handed her for her insolence, and sashayed out of her office with a tip of my hat and an exaggerated wink for good measure.

in other news, i've spent the last few hours pretending like i was going to start work on the take-home final for my ethnic studies class due on wednesday. instead, i've been farting around on the internet, sucking down yet another mug of delicious happy juice [i believe the common folk call it "coffee"], listing to the this american life podcast [i totally have a crush on ira glass], playing about a dozen games of cellphone solitaire [several dozen, if i'm honest] and ultimately writing this very blog. i've recently been questioning the significance of this very blog as i haven't been inundated with praise or thanksgiving in comment form as of late. i was expecting at LEAST a "LOLZ! ur so funney!" or seven in response to my last blog but alas, no such luck. it looks like i'll have to continue settling for the validation i get from the academic world.

now if you'll excuse me, i'm off to pretend like i'm gonna start working on my next epic intellectual masterpiece [i.e. play some more solitaire, check perez for the millionth time and maybe check youtube for FOTC clips or something].

Monday, June 2, 2008

dead beat blogger

i know i am, it's true.

to the kind people who have checked back on this blog every so often, i apologize for not rewarding your efforts with one of my literary [cyber-ary?] gemz. truth be told, i've had every intention of blogging several times on several different topics but an incredible amount of my brain energy gets sucked up by school these days. the remaining brain energy gets sucked up by online social networking sites and celebrity blogs every time i sit in front of a computer. by the time i think to blog, my synapses are firing at the rate of a nerf bow and arrow [and not the kind with the convenient ammo storage attached, i'm talkin OLD skool nerf. mmhmm. you know what i'm talkin bout].

nevertheless, earlier this evening i decided that i wanted to blog but wasn't in front of a computer at the time so i told myself, i said "jDawg [i call myself jDawg sometimes], youz GOSTA blizzeryblogg, yo!" [when i call myself jDawg, i also like to speak in the kind of pseudo-Ebonics employed by caucasian actors in racially insensitive comedies]

so despite the fact that it's nearly 2am and despite the fact that i've got class in the morning and despite the fact that i'm risking writing brainless drivel as much of my meager brain energy has been sucked by the aforementioned social networking sites and celebrity blogs, i am indeed blogging. and what am i blogging about? astrology.

now i know as a Bible-believing Christian, i'm not supposed to believe in horoscopes and i'm supposed to sprinkle holy water on zodiac books and stuff. and though by no means do i subscribe unequivocally to astrology, i must admit that i've found elements to be true or at least applicable to my life. for example, i'm a cancer which is a water sign and water signs are characteristically sensitive to the cycles of the moon. on several occasions i've discovered that my bouts of crazy seem to come right around time time the moon is full. and sure, that could be a complete cop out but ya know what? i don't really mind. milli-vanilli got to blame the rain and win a grammy [nevermind that it got taken away], i'd like to take comfort in blaming the moon and thank the bathroom mirror for my imaginary grammys, all 7 of them [*sniff* do you smell a full moon?]. so rather than facing the distinct possibility that i am, in fact, coockoo-bananas from the inside-out i'd really appreciate it if you would kindly spare me obvious logical counterargument pleaseandthankyou.

the other concrete indisputable evidence i have to further solidify my confidence in the stars is the weekly horoscope provided by my favorite local publication, the stranger. there's a section in the back of the paper right above the "i saw u" section [ by the bye, it's totally a life goal of mine to be spotted and published in this section one day, even if it's by a creepy dude with zero social skills and a wicked case of yellow-fever. what can i say? i love validation.] where was i? oh yes. right above the "i saw you" section is the "freewill astrologer" written by a this dude rob brezsny who i'm pretty positive could either be my best friend or one of the aforementioned creepy dudes with zero social skills and a wicked case of yellow fever. either way, he seems to have a handle on my particular brand of neurosis and the proof is in the pudding. i give you this week's cancer horoscope:

"Dear Rob: My mother tells me I'm fat but feeds me pork rinds. My strongest supporter is a person I want to wrap up like a mummy, put in a canoe, and push out into the middle of the lake. My exuberant imagination has taken me hostage, violating its own principles. I'm so completely ambivalent and indecisive about everything that even my addictive nature can't figure out what to be addicted to. I'd embrace my contradictions if i could, but I can't because they've got me surrounded like a pink-haired, crossdressing SWAT team frothed up on Red Bull. Can you point me in the direction of the exit from this circus-like hell? - Crazy Crab." Dear Crazy: I detect a lot of wit and style in your meditations. Maybe that's the purpose of the limbo you're temporarily lost in: It's an opportunity to build your skill at being lively and feisty and smart no matter what your circumstances are.

gah. i read it and i felt like Rob had read the inside of my brain on a tuesday or something. granted, i feel obligated to submit the following disclaimers, which i suppose aren't necessarily disclaimers since they're coming AFTER you've already read that horoscope... um, so i submit to you the following proclaimers [not to be confused with the scottish dudes that sing that "500 miles" song]:
-- my mother doesn't feed me pork rinds although she sometimes tells me i would be more attractive if i lost 20 pounds -- but she says this with love. well-meaning, sorta-misguided, culturally-mistranslated, i-don't-have-body-dismorphic-disorder-by-the-grace-of-God love.
-- i don't actually want to mummify my strongest supporter. my supporters are all quite fantastic and i'm sure that the strongest of them could easily beat me up real bad or at the very least outrun me as i'm not quite in peak physical shape. plus i'm not really a big fan of running in the first place so i'm certainly not vindictive enough to go through all the trouble of exerting such significant physical energy for the purposes of mummifying somebody who thinks i'm awesome.
-- my addictive personality has DEFINITELY picked something to be addicted to: cell-phone solitaire. i thought i might be able to curb my appetite for that delicious techno-card game what with post-Lent and all but it seems those teeny little cards have captured my heart and my attention indefinitely. i may need to consult some kind of 12-step program soon. do they have cell-phone solitaire rehab? hmm...

other than that, this Rob kid sorta has me pegged i think. at times i get so freaking overwhelmed by the myriad of possible life choices in front of me, i fail to actually choose one and instead invent unlikely scenarios complete with gilmore-girls-esque dialogue and law-and-order:SVU-esque turns of plot [minus all the unpleasant sexual crime and murder and shizz]. i get so caught up in trying to hyper analyze possible outcomes that i am paralyzed and incapable of actually seeing an outcome come to fruition in real life. Rob's horoscope may not have provided me with predictions of the best day this week for love [thank you, Cosmo for supplementing Rob's neglect] nor with any winning lotto numbers [thank you, pan-Asian "Chinese" restaurants for the same] but he did give me this: some good ol' fashioned understanding. when you're as neurotic as i am, all that thinking can be isolating and you can sometimes fool yourself into believing that you're somehow tragically unique and beyond the reaches of anyone's true understanding. so color me crazy and call me delusional but no matter how shallow and weird it makes me, i take comfort in knowing that even the most obscure and wacky crevices of my brain are not completely mysterious to all of humandom. i welcome any and all evidence of understanding, even if in the form of horoscope found adjacent to an advertisement for transsexual escorts [pre-op].

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

testing, testing... one, two, three.

not only have i blogged about this topic already, i'm recycling an old blog title [although in my defense, the subject matter was entirely different and in fact, it wasn't even on this blog]. nevertheless, i'm clearly at some kind of rock bottom or at least a rock middle. but i digress...

i think i may be a bit of an anomaly. [not to be confused with an amelie, although at times, i feel as though i might be one of them as well. wishful thinking maybe? whatev.]

i'm not one of those performance-driven Asian kids with the sparkling school transcripts and ridiculously high test scores. i am a contradiction to the socially constructed stereotypes years of hegemony and discrimination have established [they teach me big words in school]. although i am in fact a nerd in my heart of hearts, it's not the grades that fuel my nerdy fire. i love school because i love learning and to be honest, i rather resent tests. i feel like tests take my focus away from synthesizing concepts and applying them to the world; instead i'm forced to roboticly memorize facts and terms. i understand that i need to have a firm understanding of the aforementioned facts and terms in order to situate the things i'm learning in history and develop context for the aforementioned concepts but GAH! it all feels really freakin tedious. and as wacky as it makes me, i would much rather write a five page paper on this ish than sit for two hours trying to recall definitions, dates and the names of scholars.

so instead of studying, i'm blogging. i know that one of my post-Lent commitments was to be more studious but... well, i have no real excuse. i would blame my "nature" but the problem with synthesizing concepts and applying them to real life is that you figure out that you can't take terms like "human nature" and "common sense" for granted as they are often the products of socially constructed dominant ideology. *sigh* so i'm effed either way. go fig.

Monday, April 21, 2008

racial profiling

i know racism is wrong.
but when confronted with evidence like this:

you HAVE to admit,
Korean babies are the cutest.

we win.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

singing songs

i've had the privilege and pleasure of playing music publicly twice in the last couple weeks. before that, it had been about a year and half since i had attempted to play more than one of my songs for an audience. i expounded a little bit on my previous blog about the things that have been holding me back but it's funny how the simple act of putting myself out there and doing what i've been talking about doing has already dispelled a lot of my apprehensions. am i exactly where i want to be? no. am i making exactly the kind of music i'd like to make? not yet. but i am out there and i am doing something and ya know what? it's kinda nice. i'm finding that despite all my insecurities and shortcomings, somehow what i'm doing is connecting with people and really, isn't that the whole point? yes. yes it is.

so thank you everyone for your encouragement. thank you to the people who were able to make it to the shows. thank you to everyone who has listened to me talk about my dreams and pushed me to turn that talk into action. thank you thank you thank YOU.

in other news, post lent is going very well. already i feel a lot more balanced and myself. it's funny how much self-improvement takes place when you take the focus off of yourself. go fig.

p.s. i made myself one of those superhip myspace music pages. granted, there isn't any music on it quite yet, but there will be eventually, hopefully sooner than later. so hollaback, kiddos.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

not okay

i confess, i've been a TERRIBLE blogger.

turns out when you actually do your readings for class, it sucks up your fun superfluous internet time. i mean don't get me wrong, i still check all my online social networking sites a shameful number of times a day but blogs take time and thought and i don't have a whole lot of time or a whole lot of thought to spare these days.

i will expound albeit concisely [for me, anyhow] about the exciting things unfolding in my future. ladies and gentlemen, in the next two weeks i will be playing not one but TWO shows! bum-ba-da-BUMMMM!!! while i should be thrilled at this opportunity [somewhere deep down i am, i promise] i'm also terrified and i mean TERRIFIED. playing out is something that i know i've got to do and something i know i should have been doing but i don't know... it's SUPER DUPER scary. even more than a fear of failure, i have an INTENSE fear of mediocrity. i've been justifying my reluctance to play out by reasoning that i would rather play nothing than play something that's just okay. there are millions of okay songs out there by millions of okay writers sung my millions of okay singers -- i don't want to be one of them. i don't want to make boring music, i don't want to be a boring singer/songerwriter, i don't want to contribute to the dumbing down of culture in our society. not that i have these lofty aspirations of making super pretentious "high art" [whatever that means anymore] but i know that i want to do something real and something new -- a tall order in this day and age.

but i know that i've got to do SOMETHING first. even if that something isn't awesome or earth shattering... even if that something exposes me and my lack of sophistication... even if that means that someone will think i suck. i'm not gonna just land at greatness out of the simple desire to be awesome or out of a fear mediocrity. i'm gonna have to endure my own crap. i've got some growing to do.

[know what those are?]
baby steps.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Easter Sunday marks the end of the Lenten season. Lent is a time to reflect on the 40 days Jesus spent preparing Himself for the agony of crucifixion. many people choose to give up certain comforts or take on practices that serve as a tool to keep focus in the midst of a world of distractions.

this year, i decided not to participate.

um, i didn't feel like it.

quite frankly, i was kind of a brat about it and there wasn't anything i felt like giving up. instead, i spent a good chunk of Lent being a bummed out whiny self-pitying mess. that's right... while other people were out there reflecting on Jesus, i was whining about petty woe-is-me blahdibarf and la la la. real cool.

in light of this revelation, a few friends and i have decided that it's time to quit whining and focus on the health of our souls. ladies and gentlemen, i give you: POST-LENT!

for the the next forty days, i'm going to be doing what i probably should've been doing for the last forty days. but more than just changing a few behaviors [which i will be doing, details to follow] i hope to change the way i've been thinking and subsequently, the way i've been feeling. to help me in this endeavor, i plan on doing the following:

++ i'm giving up cellphone solitaire. i know this seems like the lamest thing to give up but if you know me or if you spend more than a few hours at a time with me, you know that cellphone solitaire is my go-to supplementary entertainment. i looked up my game statistics and did the math and i have spent over EIGHT DAYS of my life playing cellphone solitaire. pathetic, i know. in the absence of my beloved game, it looks like i'll actually have to pay attention in class and do something other than just shut my brain off whenever i don't feel sufficiently entertained. it's gonna be rough.

++ i'm gonna work-out [kinda]. again, if you know me, you know that working out is hardly a priority for me. i don't think i'll ever be able to exercise on the basis of superficial motivations. i have a weirdly awesome self-image that while fantastic on many levels, keeps me from tending to the health of my body. i dunno, i guess when you feel like you look good it's easy to feel sorta invincible. so i've enrolled in some hip-hop classes and i'm gonna try to walk greenlake [a 4.5 mile lap] at least once a week. i'm not concerned on the effect it'll have on my outward appearance but i'm hoping it does my mind and soul some good. but if my booty shrinks so much as a centimeter, i QUIT! kidding. kinda. :)

++ i'm going to read more. i have yet to finish the amazing book i started before the beginning of the quarter, partly due to the reading i had to do for school but largely due to the fact that i spend so much time watching trashy reality tv. so not only will i be reading more of that book and the countless other books on my list, but i'm going to be doing something i have neglected to do for the bulk of my educated life: do my assigned readings when they're due [gasp!]. one of the pitfalls of being such a gifted BS-er is my tendency to rely on my ability to articulate rather than on good ol' fashioned hard work. so i'm going to try a very novel thing [pun intended] and READ the things my teacher tells me to. it's a big step, believe me. oh, and i could also stand to read the Bible more often. so i'll be doing that as well. :)

beyond those bigger goals, i'm going to try focus on more than just myself and my immediate needs and issues and work on activities that will foster real growth. i'm going to have to exercise more moderation in my tv watching and my hangout times [sorry kiddos!] in order to restore some much needed balance. this includes but is not limited to actively working on my music stuff especially since it looks as if i've got a couple potential shows next month [eek!]. also, i'll be praying more. i know that's a very trite thing to aspire towards because what does that even mean really? nevertheless, i know it needs to be done and this post-Lent is all about DOING.

so if you didn't partake in the Lenten season or if you're just generally in need of some extra focus, you are more than welcome to participate with us for the next forty days until may 2nd as we [bum-ba-da-BUM!] POST-LENT [copyright jHong 2008]!

Monday, March 10, 2008

graph paper

i wrote a poem on graph paper
hoping the boxes could contain my thoughts
hoping each little block
could accomplish what my will can not
like maybe my thoughts would fall in line
or at least fit in between them
like the letters that fill each
delightful little space
my thoughts might fall right in place
and make the mess that is my mind,
this chaos currently masquerading as my brain
as measured, managed and orderly as
this ordinary graph paper

Monday, February 25, 2008

like a koala without a pouch...

... a banana without a peel ...
... a soccer mom without a minivan ...
... a dave bazan without a beard ...

... such is how i feel without my cellphone.

i left my cellphone at home today.

i usually keep my brain stimulated during class with a rousing game of solitaire but in the absence of my beloved treo, i was forced to take a nap instead. [being a student is no walk in the park, folks -- i'm tellin ya.]

now with the rest of my day ahead of me, i should be focused on completing the schoolwork that i consistently put off. i would run home and get my celly-cell but i live deep in the suburbs and my inconsistent obsession with efficiency won't let me leave the comforts of the city to do so. not to mention the fact that once i get home, it would be really hard for me to leave again. and since there's no way i'm gonna be able to read jane austen when i've got the option of catching up on the episodes of 'flavor of love 3' and 'rock of love 2' that i missed last week, i'm just gonna cut the umbilical cord [albeit temporarily] and try to go through my day without it.

the past few times i've accidentally left my phone behind, i've imagined coming come to a slew of panicked texts and voicemails from my codependent friends who don't know how to go a day without my wise council and witty banter. much to my shock and disbelief, i'd usually come home to no missed calls, texts or pleas for my attention of any kind. and although there's still a lingering fear that someone may be cursing my name to the heavens whist shaking their fist screaming "WHYYYY??? WHYYYYYY???", i'm gonna bet that no such person exists and that the world is more or less functioning with or without my immediate availability.

it begs the question, what did any of us do B.C. [before cellphones]? how did we function? i inherited my cousin's cellphone at the tender age of 16 and i'm not sure how i survived without it. and how did i live pre-texting? i remember the days when texting was a cumbersome task - so much so that the ringtone i assigned to texts was [and still is, for sentimental reasons] the destiny's child classic "bugaboo" [this was before i had the glorious qwerty keyboard of my treo and before i had mastered the t9 function of my previous cell]. nowadays, i can speed text with almost as much dexterity as i can this very blog that i'm composing at lightning speed this very moment [if you were looking over my shoulder, all you'd see is a frenetic blur of tangerine colored nails].

i'm not really sure what the point of any of this questioning really is. i guess i'm just finding myself more and more put off by the flippant convenience of technology [not that it keeps me from utilizing it]. i think about whittling down my bank of 419 myspace "friends" and weeding out those who i am rarely [if ever] in contact with in the vain hope that it would make myspace more authentic. i don't for fear that i'd hurt someone's internet feelings, which is both absurd and completely realistic which makes me contemplate deleting my myspace account altogether. but i know myself well enough to know that i'd no sooner cancel my cellphone plan and throw my treo in the the depths of puget sound.

it's not technology that grosses me out -- it's me.

the truth hurts.
but the truth will set me free.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

a blogspot exclusive

the past several blogs i've written, i've subsequently cut&pasted onto my myspace to maximize exposure. this begs the question, why a whole separate blog? why bother? that blog has a pretty specific audience and this blog has a different audience as well but since i'm not too concerned about catering to either crowd [no offence, my babies] why even separate the two?

a big piece of the equation is my vanity. i want as many people to read these things as possible. i want you to read what i write and think that i'm smart and funny. is it working? [don't answer that. seriously.]

but again, why two blogs? should one serve a purpose that the other does or can not? SHOULD i be catering to my devoted readers whom i love so dearly? all four of you??

i have no idea. it's kind of like the mystery of multiple social networks. i personally belong to three -- each with some overlap but each with varying degrees of 'privacy'. sometimes i wonder what the point of it all is. i don't tend to take these online 'friendships' all to seriously and truth be told, i'm a bad online friend if we're not real-life friends for real. the whole thing kinda creeps me out and it makes me wonder if every new wave of communication technology was met with this kind of wariness. like were the first users of the telephone thinking to themselves, "gee, it's quite odd to be speaking my deepest thoughts into this plastic thing in the wall?" i certainly feel funny about attempting to type genuine thought and feeling onto a screen [nevermind that my funny feelings rarely stop me].

i don't really get any of it. i just know that it's all very confusing and scary. it's scary to think that my kids may grow up with friends they never see in person. it's scary to think that future generations will value pixels on a screen more than the tone in a voice. i still remember what my best friend's house smelled like in elementary school, will my grandkids have that? frightening.

don't get me wrong, i love technology [cue kip dynamite!]. i love the opportunity to connect with long lost friends and to maintain contact with faraway buddies. i love that there is a place for me to write and rant to my heart's desire. but i hesitate to take any of it seriously. i hesitate to assign any real value to it and my heart is constantly guarded and kept miles away. as technology is progressively intimacized and intimacy is continually technologized, i'm not sure how long i'll be able to maintain my distance. but please forgive me if i hold out as long as possible.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


i'd like to think i'm somewhat of a trendsetter. i try to stay ahead of the curve, two steps ahead of the game, keep the kids on their toes... you know how we do. everybody does that whole cliché hum-drum run-of-the-mill single-shmuck-depressed-on-valentine's-day thing! i'm an innovator, dang it. so while you bozos are wasting your woes this february 14th, i'm gonna save up all my angst for april 25th -- arbor day.

on arbor day, i'm gonna bunker down with a pint or two of haagen daaz and watch 'the notebook' ["if you're a bird, i'm a bird!"]. i'm gonna bust out my copy of pride and prejudice and remember that jane austen based it her own tale of love except that she had to fabricate a happy ending because her love story didn't pan out and she died alone. i'll be putting out a big green-thumbs-DOWN while i dwell on the massive injustice of the legit girl to legit guy ratio and the ridiculous disparity therein. while all those hippies are out there planting their trees, my ass is gonna be planted on my couch pouting about all the almosts, near misses, never haves and never wills.

in the meantime, valentine's is gonna be a blast! me and annie are gonna grab dinner at my favorite korean restaurant and watch a movie that is sure to be a major contender at next year's academy awards: step up 2 - to the streets. and if you think that i'm the type of girl that would dance shamelessly in the middle a crowded movie theater, well... you're right. i am that type of girl. hollaaaaaaa!!!

so hop on the bandwagon and have a happy valentine's days, guys and dolls! this arbor day's gonna be a doozy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

hope against hope

i am currently watching what is easily the most depressing movie of all time. i have no idea why i'm even watching it. it's not even that great of a movie to be honest. the first time i watched it i felt like gouging out my eyeballs with those teeny little plastic coated baby spoons. and yet here i am, watching it again. maybe i'm a masochist.

scratch that maybe. i know exactly what i'm doing and i'm doing it very intentionally. i am challenging my hope. i've never been much of a competitor, i don't take dares [i think they're dumb] but i am incredibly stubborn and sometimes i go to great lengths to prove my point, even if i'm the only one i'm proving it to.

i am watching this movie to test my hope.

my last blog was not a particularly hopeful one. the point i made wasn't that single people should try to make valentine's day some kind of deluded sunshine&lollipops fest. my point was that valentine's day shouldn't suck any more [or less] than any other day.

and yet despite that evidence of unhope, somehow i am not a hopeless person. i have no idea why i'm not a hopeless person as i have every reason to be.

my hope is not a warm-fuzzy hope. it has nothing to do with naivety - i've heard those stories, i've lived those stories. it's certainly not a hope based on reality, or at least not physical reality. my hope has nothing to do with fairy tales, nothing to do with humanity, and it definitely has absolutely nothing to do with my own merits - real, perceived, or otherwise.

my hope isn't even as simple as faith. i know many people who have had enduring faith and yet have had their hopes dashed in very real and painful ways. i know many people with lots of faith and relatively little hope, if any at all.

i wish my hope was contagious but that doesn't always seem to be the case. probably because my particular breed of hope doesn't have the typical symptoms of hope; things like a sweet temperament, blind optimism, and the color pink - things i don't have and things i don't like. but my hope is resilient, i have no idea why. my hope is as stubborn as i am, and thank God for that. no seriously, thank God for that because as simplistic as it sounds, He's the only one that deserves any sort of credit.

i'm watching a hopeless movie to prove to myself that i still have hope. the good news is i do.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

why valentines day doesn't have to suck

it's that time of the year, kiddos! all the hallmark stores are adorned in pink and red, the floral shops have beefed up their inventory, the olive garden is all-hands-on-deck and russell stovers is the happiest camper on the block. and of course, it's the time of year when us single folk are asked that dreaded question. sure, we get this query in many variations all throughout the year but right around february 14th, the question is thrown in our faces like a fistful of poo: so, are you seeing anyone?

after giving a sheepish shrug to the negatory, smug non-single person comes back with the only question more painful than the first: WHY? to add insult to injury, this follow-up is usually accompanied by some suggested responses: maybe you're being too picky? maybe guys are just intimidated? maybe you're not making yourself available?

truth is, i would LOVE to have a plausible answer. i would love to be able to say, "you know, i think it's the tail. i mean it's prehensile and everything but dudes just don't seem into it." at which point i would form my tail into the shape of a question mark right next to my head to further illustrate my confusion.

but i don't have a tail and i don't have an answer. i have no idea why my treo isn't chocked full of dates and why there isn't a line of attractive young fellas that look like this hunk lined up outside my door. my guess is there really isn't an answer, or at least there isn't one answer. there isn't a formula and none of those self-help books or Christian dating manuals have a sure-fire key to getting un-single. it's pretty much a crap shoot, folks! which is PRECISELY why valentine's day doesn't have to suck.

i'm sure one day valentine's day will be an awesome opportunity to celebrate the love i've found and blahblahbarf once i'm finally cured of my singleness [KIDDING]. in the meantime, it's just a day! it doesn't have to be any more dreadful or torturous than i make it. i'm not saying being single doesn't suck. it does suck. it can be fun at times but for the most part it's pretty crappy [ESPECIALLY when you're being bombarded with irritating questions like, why are you single?]. but why waste energy dwelling on its suckiness just because of a socially constructed holiday? there'll only be a pity party if you throw one. why not pour that energy into celebrating something more positive like the fact that you have running water, a roof over your head, no festering boils [anymore], and a computer screen in front of your face? i know it's easier said than done, but i think it's worth the effort. it's certainly a better use of energy than being a whiny woe-is-me debbie-downer and making your fellow singlefolk wanna punch you in the face.

so buck up, singles! put away that copy of 'the notebook' and take this blog like a lil nudge to the chin. if nothing else, be thankful that you have good friends and that you don't have a tail, prehensile or not.

Monday, January 28, 2008

vanity [un]fair

so the other day i went to the dmv to get my washington driver's license. technically, i don't have to get it renewed for awhile but i had a free saturday and i wanted to get it early so i'd have plenty of time to register to vote [woop woop!] without pushing the deadline like i usually do. i made sure to spend a lil extra time getting ready and all cute so i could take the best picture possible [ladies, you know you do it too. shoot, so do you fellas - don't even front!]. i anticipated a hefty wait so i plugged in the ol' ipod, let the juno soundtrack fill my heart with glee and finished a couple chapters of this delicious book. finally, after TWO-AND-A-HALF arduous hours of waiting, my number [#530] finally got called. i stepped up to the counter and handed the dmv dude my tennessee license and proof of address.

"hong, huh?", he said.
"yep.", i replied.
"uh, yep."

-- sidenote: why did bro feel it necessary to point out that i was korean too? is it really that relevant? i mean forrealz, homie... you're renewing my license right now. c'mon. --

anywho, he leafs through my paperwork and says, "what else you got?" i'm all, "saywha?" he proceeds to pull out a brochure [a different brochure, may i note, than the one in the lobby] that ennumerates the fifteen-thousand pieces of identification needed to transfer a license. nevermind that he was able to pull up my old washington license and openly chuckled at the sight of my chubby sixteen-year-old face [i still remember the red 3/4-sleeve v-neck gap sweater i was wearing that day. it was my fave.]. needless to say, i was taken aback and notably agitated when confronted with the harsh reality that the last two-and-a-half hours of waiting was for NOTHING. add to that the fact that bro was talking to me like i was twelve ["now, what are you going to be bringing next time?" to which i wanted to respond "a blunt object with which to impale that smug grin off your big fat face."]. add to THAT the fact that this condescending lil so-and-so kept calling me "jess" like he knew me or something [i don't mind when my friends call me jess but YO, DUDE! YOU-ARE-RE-NEW-ING-MY-LI-CENSE-RIGHT-NOW! C'MON!].

it goes with out saying, but i was QUITE perturbed. i may or may not have given dude a divalicious neck roll complete with a trifecta of snaps [*snap* *snap* *snap*] from the safety of the parking lot. aaaaaaand i may or may not have called up a couple of confidantes and unleashed an expletive or fifteen [God bless my friends and they're unwavering patience with me]. if i'm gonna be really honest, it wasn't the waiting that made me so mad because i had great music and a GREAT book to read. it wasn't even the dude that made me mad because really, it wasn't his fault that i didn't have my stuff together - it was mine. what REALLY made me mad if i'm REALLY being honest, was the fact that i had taken SO much time getting cute. and dangit, i was lookin CUTE.

i'm not a high-maintenance chick. i know a lotta ladies claim that, but like forrealz-FORREALZ, i'm really not. i don't spend a whole lot of time getting ready in the morning. i MIGHT throw a dash of make-up on my face once or twice a week - tops. so when i DO take the time to get all cute, i wanna freakin milk it for all it's worth! the same frugal waste-not-want-not attitude i have towards my money, i apply to [what i like to call] my "good face" days. if i'm gonna take the time to get my face did up, i want it to be appreciated by as many people as possible goshdarnit. in other words, i'm a vain lil sand-on-da-beach.

but for all my vanity, i'm also quite rational and when i analyzed [hyper-analyzed, more like] what was at the root of my frustrations, i felt like quite the a-hole. i mean, for realz? i'm mad cuz nobody's validating my sense of cuteness? i'm mad cuz i don't have the superficial approval of strangers that i have no real desire to know and who don't have the capacity to appreciate more than my exterior? FOR REALZ? awesome, jess. really cool. the same vanity that had me all mad has me posting my blogs both here and here to maximize the exposure so that i can be validated in comment form [*ahem* blatant-comment-plug *cough* *cough*]. and yet even despite that shameless plea for attention, i can clearly see the flaws in my pursuit.

there's a fine line between self-confidence [which i got] and vanity [guilty as charged]. i found myself on the wrong side of the line last saturday; i can't say it was the first time and if i'm honest, it probably won't be the last either. as a girl, it can be quite a frustrating paradox to acknowledge the fleeting value of superficial attention and yet crave it nonetheless.

balance. i think it's my word for 2008.

wait, hold up.

it's my word for 200GR8!!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


i sometimes feel like there should be a soundtrack accompanying these blogs. maybe it's the result of a childhood saturated by sitcoms but i feel like there should be a button that my readers [all four of you] press right as you start to read the last couple paragraphs. it would be like that moment when danny tanner sits stephanie down on the couch and says "listen steph..." and then you hear those delicious warm synth string pads flavored by sprinkings of artificial piano that signal the onset of a pivotal life lesson. i don't know why i get so sappy and after-school-special-y and i'm not sure i'll ever be able to teach a lesson quite like danny tanner did but gosh dang it, ima try.

last quarter i took a poetry class that had a profound effect on my life. i had never really attempted poetry before and found that it was an entirely different process than writing lyrics. melody can be a little more forgiving when it comes to word choice while poetry, at least when you scrutinize your stuff the way that i do, can be made or broken by every word, every line break... even font choices can change your reaction to any given set of words.

the hardest part of the process for me is always revision. i've never had a problem picking apart the prose i write [including but certainly not limited to these blogs], but i've always had a terrible time revising lyrics and it seems the same struggle applies to poetry. i get married to every word and divorce is just not an option.

in this particular instance, the revision process was made infinitely more difficult with the passing of my cousin. i missed the last week of the quarter and had the very difficult decision of whether or not to finish my school work. i decided to finish out the final chapbook for my poetry class and the end result was incredibly cathartic. it was an opportunity to work through some very painful and confusing feelings and although i'm still working though them, revision was an opportunity to turn that introspection into something constructive.

i've posted a couple poems on this blog before but i've since made some revisions both to the pieces themselves and to my life in general. here they are and here i am, revised.


i’m going to try to keep from saying more
i’m sorry secrets aren’t my forte
i haven’t got the power to ignore
the things my heart keeps wanting me to say

i’m sorry secrets aren’t my forte
i’ve other strengths designed to compensate
to hide the things my heart wants me to say
fueling constant heart and mind debate

i’ve other strengths designed to compensate
to overcome my overactive mouth
fuel for constant heart and mind debate
somehow shutting both and neither out

i’m overcome by overactive mouth
it keeps my heart from saying what i mean
somehow shutting both and neither out
and losing purpose somewhere in between

my heart keeps me from saying what i mean
but i don’t have the power to ignore
the pain of losing purpose in between
i’m going to try to keep from saying more


I was once told that the best way to defend yourself when you’re about to be raped is to defecate and rub it all over your body, thus rendering yourself undesirable and your assailant flaccid. I should note however, this advice was given to me by the type of woman who constantly forwards those email horror stories, the kind you’re supposed to PASS ON TO ALL THE STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMEN YOU KNOW. Tales of sickos that sneak up in your back seat when you’re pumping your gas and so they can slash your Achilles heel when you least expect it and frightening first-hand accounts of predators that prey on unsuspecting women who didn’t check their email that day. Stories that up pepper spray sales and add paranoia to the preemptive fear that that type of woman already feels so that now when she walks to her car at night, the purse she already clutched close contains a can of mace alongside her tube of lip gloss and now the two can click together in time as said woman walks confidently with keys like claws between her fingers. However, I am not said woman and though the image has never left me, I’ve never been tempted to carry laxatives in my purse much less mace. My defenses are meant for offences far less violent but violations none the less so that when I feel threatened, when I fear my heart is about to be intruded upon, I’ve been known to say the wrong things on purpose or say the right things with purpose, to say too little but more often too much to effectively cover myself in poo.

crazy is a cutting word the connotation kills
the way it’s wielded like a weapon wounding me at will
floods of insecurity flow in while blood is spilled
to fill the void that dignity once but no longer filled

crazy is dismissive in its limited portrayal
the way it keeps me hidden thickly underneath its veil
cruelly compensating where compassion often fails
confining me unwillingly in ignorance’s jails

crazy is a dirty word defiling what is pure
a verbal masturbation pleasing tongues of the demure
tools of mastication used to mangle and obscure
effectively dismembering what stomachs can’t endure

crazy is so circular it works without intrusion
it sneaks into my psyche without warning of confusion
collaboration clean and quick in seamless execution
prophetically condemning me in my own persecution

a pain and pleasure to explain
why crazy is my given name

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

thank you, friends.

this may come as a shocker, but i'm a bit of a thinker [does it show?]. i tend to think through every possible possibility for every scenario that i may or may not ever face in real life and in within the confines of my overactive imagination. my mind is a veritable 'choose your own adventure' book taken to a grotesque other level. as a result, not only am i ape-[poop] bananas sometimes, but when i am, i'm very hard to console.

i can be a pretty stubborn, proud beeotch. i'm very hard to give advice to as i'm usually five steps ahead of anyone that tries to give it. i begin just about every response with three incredibly irritating words: i know, but...

i've shut-down many a well-meaning friend. i've left many speechless and exasperated. in my arrogance, i've rejected advice that probably could've saved me a lot of heartache. and for what? what do i have to show for it? my pride?? in the end, i lose that anyway, whether i like it or not.

i've wasted a lot of time trying to be a know-it-all when i know very VERY little. recent events and recent introspection have proved beyond any doubt that i know nothing. seriously, nothing. as much as i know myself and i consider myself to be self-aware, i'm only now beginning to get to know me. and i'm not all that smart, to be honest.

so to all my friends who have endured my ridiculousness, who have patiently [or justifiably impatiently] tolerated my rantings, who have offered wise council despite my rejection of it and who have lovingly stood by me in the midst of my craziness --- thank you, from the bottom of my big dumb heart.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

daydream believer

so i dreamed that a volcano erupted and lava was flowing all over the place and i was running away from it. at one point i had to jump out of my car as my car went tumbling down a steep hill. according to the online dream dictionary i consulted:

To see a volcano in your dream, indicates that you are unable to control emotions, particularly if the volcano is erupting. The end result may be damaging and hurtful.

To see lava in your dream, signifies an expression of anger which you have kept inside for awhile.

To dream that you are running away from someone, indicates an issue that you are trying to avoid. You are not taking or accepting responsibility for your actions. In particular, if you are running from an attacker or any danger, then it suggests that you are not facing and confronting your fears.

According to biblical interpretations, dreams about falling have a negative overtone and suggest that man is acting and walking according to his own way of thinking and not those of the Lord. Falling dreams also often reflect a sense of failure or inferiority in some circumstance or situation. It may be the fear of failing in your job/school, loss of status, or failure in love.

so to recap, apparently i'm uncontrollably pissed about someone or something, i'm not facing it, and my car needs to repent and get over its inferiority complex.

watch out, kiddos. it looks like i might claw your eyes out or something.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

careful what you wish for [a year's resolution]

every passing year seems to zip by a little faster than the one before and 2007 was no exception. it has been without competition the strangest year of my life.

last year found me on my worst behavior. the vast majority of my life has been spent erring on side of caution so i suppose my momentary departures from goody-goodydom are still relatively harmless. nevertheless, for the most part my "bad" experiences have only left me with every cliche feeling sunday school said it would: guilt, dissatisfaction, needless questioning of self-worth and inconsequential attempts at reclaiming it. i've had little bits of fun along the way but the ends never really justified the idiotic means. thankfully, even my poor decisions were made fruitful in the end as they have equipped me with some much needed humility. it seems that even goody-two-shoes need to be spit-shined with grace sometimes and i know now more than ever, that any good behavior on my part can only be credited to God's goodness, not mine.

yet despite the obvious and sometimes trite silver lining, this year has had more than its fair share of hard times. although my burdens have never been outweighed by my blessings, it certainly hasn't been an easy road. i never could've expected that i would have to deal with the things i've had to deal with this year, but looking at last year's little retrospective blog and it seems that perhaps i should've:

[1.11.07] my hopes for the new year:

* to learn how to shut off my brain long enough to feel at least a little something. i grew up being a very emotionally driven girl but somehow along the years, i've trained myself to be driven almost exclusively by rational thought which has proved to be both helpful and hurtful. i feel like there's a happy medium i've yet to find...

- i'm not sure if i found the medium i was hoping for but i have CERTAINLY found my feelings. i've probably cried more and cried harder in the last few months than i have in a very, very long time [not to say that tears are the end all be all of emotion]. i have felt more deeply than i ever have towards circumstances both positive and tragically negative and through it all, i've come to the conclusion that it wasn't a medium i needed after all. i can be wholly rational and still wholly in touch with the groaning of my own heart. the command is not to love with one-fourth heart, one-fourth soul, one-fourth strength and one-fourth mind -- but with all of each, all of the time.

* to be truly appreciated. i'm not really lacking in self-confidence [by the grace of God] so i figured out that it's not really validation i seek from the opposite sex so much as appreciation. i just want someone else to acknowledge what i already know about myself. and if that someone could also cook a gourmet meal and keep it gangsta, that would be pretty cool too. :)
- ummm... i'm gonna go ahead and leave this as an almost check. [cryptic, eh?] ;)

* to do something real with my life. i have all these goals and all these ambitions and all this talent and yet for the past 23 years, i haven't done much more than just talk about my goals, my ambitions and my talent. and where has that talk got me? not very far. i should probably DO something about that.
- i'm still mostly talk, but i'm hoping 2008 will for real [i mean, for REAL for real] be the year that i start DOING. feel free to hold me to that and nag me all the day long. i'll probably need it.

i don't really have any resolutions in the way of resolves for the new year. my only resolutions are the conclusions i've come to in 2007. the greatest and most significant of these has been my conclusion that i am who i am and there is no use apologizing for that. i can't regret my past decisions [good or bad], i can't deny who i am in my heart of hearts, and i can't avoid who it is i am purposed to be. actually, i'm capable of avoiding that last one but it's time that i simply refuse. life is fragile and sometimes unfairly short. i have got to make the most of every moment that i have and the only way that i can do that is by being wholly myself and wholly resigned to the amazing grace of God.

happy new year, kiddos.

p.s. if you haven't heard, i'm blonde now or something. woop woop!