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.