I don’t know why…

February 28, 2008

I have a clear list of things I need to do. Not even that great of a list. Just some simple tasks that are sort of necessary….however, instead I have been sitting for several hours. It was like watching a trainwreck in slow motion, my laziness. Now I am too sleepy to do anything. I am going to lie to myself and say that I will wake up early and do the various things I need to do. 98% of myself, after experience after countless experience, realizes that this is a lie, but that 2% left over is hoping that this time I’ll actually wake up and do work, instead of just pressing the snooze button every 15 minutes.

WICHITA!!!!

February 15, 2008

Last week, my friend, Megan, and I went to be extras in the new Gus Van Sant movie about Harvey Milk. The movie’s been filming in San Francisco, especially in the Castro. They’ve redone some of the storefronts so the neighborhood sort of looks like it did in the 70’s. As an extra, we had to dress as if we were from the 70’s, or more accurately dress like we weren’t from now. I wore jeans, plain sweatshirt, a henley shirt (I didn’t know what it was until I before this extra thing), and red converses (that technically belonged to Megan but somehow has been in my possession in the last few years).

Extras were supposed to meet in front of the Castro Theatre at 6:30pm. They told us to go to the parking lot of the theatre. There was a bunch of herded into this deserted alley like parking lot. There were all these huge, empty moving trucks, with the back opened. At first, it seemed like a nefarious plot to entrap us into those trucks and dispose of us queers. I wasn’t the only one who had that thought. While we were waiting for instructions, we started chatting with this older gentleman who was actually here for all the marches and protests for Harvey Milk. That would be so crazy!!! To have been in the actual march for Harvey Milk, and now you’re in the movie version. Weirdly cathartic, and meta all at the same time. He had moved here from LA in the 70’s. He said it was kind of weird how the movie changed the Castro to look like in the 70’s, but didn’t get it exactly right, like this store isn’t located here and what not. Apparently, he had been at work during the riots, and almost decided to go get a drink in the Castro when it was over, but decided against it because there probably would have still been a lot of cops left.

In the scenes we filmed, we aka “the background action”, had to be angry protesters, and this is when Harvey Milk is still alive. It’s supposed to be a rally in the Castro, our direction was to “mill around, be anti-establishment, and have unfocused anger”, then Harvey Milk speaks and we’re like “who’s this?….wow my anger is now focused on battling homophobia”, and then he starts marching and we follow him chanting “Gay Rights Now”. We got to see Sean Penn during this part, and as Harvey Milk, he looks like a cross between a gay pixie and a used car salesman.

The next scene was similar, but instead of us listening to a Harvey Milk speech, we’re listening to a Cleve Jones speech. Cleve Jones is a major queer activist, who originally conceived of the AIDS Quilt Project. The real Cleve Jones was there and told us about the historical context of the scene. Since the crowd was noisy and tall, I didn’t get to really hear or see him. Gay rights had just hit a blow in Germany, and a gay rights bill was rejected in Wichita, and Anita Bryant is being a real bitch. Our direction was to listen to Cleve Jones’ speech, and when he mentions Wichita, he loses control of us, and we angrily march towards City Hall. I learned that I’m not very good at being an extra because it’s too easy to make me laugh. A few guys behind me would always angrily yell “WICHITA!!!! WIIIIICCHIIIIITAAAAWWWWWWWW!!”, obviously not knowing the historical context but just yelling that because that’s the last thing that was said. That never failed to make me laugh. But i’m so short that i doubt you could see me anyway. It kind of sounded like they were at a rock concert for their favorite band whose name is Wichita.

There were two kinds of extras, us the unpaid folks who signed up on the MilkMarch website, and special PAID extras, who got to wear cool clothes. Oh man, did I feel lecherous. There were so many young pretty boys (and by boys I mean late teens to twenties), with 70’s facial hair (so many handlebar mustaches!) , in fun 70’s clothes, what fun eye candy. I wish I could have a handlebar mustache. Maybe I’d get a speaking role in the film. The film has a pretty mancentric view of queerness and SF. What else was fabulous? There was this guy is a black sweat suit that had colorful sparkles all over that lit up.

After awhile, me and Megan got tired, got some food and decided to head home. Much to the chagrin and inconvenience of everyone, BART closes at midnight, so like Cinderella I must hurry home before the clock strikes 12. As we were leaving, we decide to sit and watch for awhile. We sit on the platform that people were giving speeches on earlier that evening. There were all this loogies that were spat on it. Megan said it was probably Sean Penn’s spit. It was pretty gross. At first I thought she meant that was incidental spit, you know the accidental stuff that sprays when you talk, and I was absolutely horrified. But then she said he probably cleared his throat by hocking a loogy, which was a much more reasonable explanation, and probably spat on the platform to avoid spitting on people. After finding a big enough, spit free space, we sat down. Suddenly this guy affiliated with the shoot comes towards us. We assume he’s going to tell us to get off the platform. Instead he yells to the crowd and tells everyone to look at him (which means looking at us). Suddenly hundreds of people are looking right at me and Megan. This older woman is behind him. He introduces her, telling the crowd they should be excited because Princess Leia has come to visit them. Yep, it was Carrie Fisher, the woman who played Princess Leia. She first said that speech about “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi”, and then said stuff about how great it is that they’re doing this movie, that these volunteers are participating, how awesome the gay community is, and that everyone should go see her one-woman play (ok it was more the guy who was pimping out her play then she). Very awkward. Princess Leia was two feet away from us. She moved towards the platform, and I had to skooch over a few inches, skooch over for Princess Leia in front of hundreds of people, all by accident. Awkward turtle!!

This is a photo from that instance, that Megan found on someone’s flickr account:

carriecastro.jpg

(writing on the photos = me not copying perez hilton, but a color homage?)

Sad Realization

February 3, 2008

Okay, as some of you know I’ve been mistaken for the character Ugly Betty in the past (it’s been made very clear to me that it’s the character I resemble, not the actress America Ferrera who’s quite attractive). Today I did this online thing where if you upload your picture, it gives you a list of famous people you supposedly look like. It says I look like Kim Jong-Il, the leader of North Korea. To be fair, this same test also said I looked like Ashley Tisdale and James Spader, but that’s beside the point. Essentially, I have discovered the equation of how I look:

+ =
sass.jpg

Waterfall tears.

I was listening to my IPOD in shuffle mode, and suddenly I had the definitive vision of what my funeral should be like.

I want my funeral to be a joyous celebration of my life, and I want the people I love to be a little sad that I’m gone but mostly happy that we knew each other at all. I mean, having a little bit of on2 in your life is more than most people ever get to have. I envision my friends who are singers and musicians, coming together as one super group to play at my funeral. And what song shall they play? That’s where IPOD shuffle showed me the way:

I envision everyone in the pews being given special lyrics sheets, and also kazoos, shakers, etc. little instruments so people can play a long. I just want to see everyone singing and playing a long, in this joyous yet slightly melancholy way (which I think the song is like). After the song, then I can get buried, cremated or whatever (I’m still not sure which I’d rather do…on one hand I think I want to be cremated, but I have this fear that I’ll somehow wake up at the very moment I’m locked in the incinerator). I’d like to think that the last moments the people I love will have with me will be celebratory, and involving eighties music. Also, from then on, whenever you’ll hear ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, hopefully you’ll remember me fondly. Now that’s the kind of legacy I want to leave!

I’m kind of morbid, if you can’t tell. In my middle school and high school years, I was a very dark and angsty person, who apparently was able to hid that well because everyone thought I simply nice and bubbly. I don’t think I’m really that person anymore, but I still can’t help but think of death and dying everyday. I don’t want to die, I just kind of think of it, which is weird I know. Here’s an example. I practically live on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), which is kind of like the Bay Area combo of a subway and a commuter train. And every single time, without fail, when a train is approaching for a split moment I envision myself jumping in front of it, more as a curious imagining, kind of like what JD does on Scrubs but less entertaining. I don’t want to jump at all, it’s just I wonder what if, what would happen (which is easy to answer). Maybe I just have issues with mortality and I deal with it by having a daily intellectual confrontation with it. Hmmm…I think this morbid, perverse part of me is linked to my weird want to see “27 Dresses”).

So….I start a lot of posts and save them and never really finish them (which is probably why this blog is so rarely updated). I started writing this awhile ago. I just saw “27 Dresses” tonight with my friend, Marisa. I love it when you and someone else is on the same wavelength. We were deciding what movie to watch, and were suggesting stuff like “Atonement” and “There Will Be Blood”, until we both just admitted we wanted to watch “27 Dresses”. Further awesomeness, is that we were originally going to go to the Metreon but instead went to this other theatre because the Metreon didn’t really have any good movies, and somehow we both admitted that if we had to go to the Metreon the only movie we would want to see there would be the 3-D Imax Hannah Montana concert movie.

anyways, “27 Dresses” is enjoyable completely calculated fluff. Was it a good movie per se? Hell no (though Katherine Heigl and James Marsden were pretty good. It’s nice to see James Marsden as a lead, and not playing the douchey third wheel like in the X-Men movies and the Notebook. Never cared for him much before, but he won me over as Corny Collins in Hairspray). Is it entertaining? Yes. The way I see it, I just try to judge movies on what they try to be. It’s like if I was reading compositions by third graders and had criticisms like “This grammar is horrible! The sentence structure to simple. These themes are childish and cliche.” Dude, they’re like 8 years old, they’re not trying to write the next great American novel. “27 Dresses” doesn’t try to be the next great anything…and it succeeds! It’s formulaic but I enjoy the formula. What can I say, I have an addiction to romantic comedies, and I’m finally coming out of the closet with it!

RIP AZN TV

February 3, 2008

So my friend Cynthia just sent me this link announcing that AZN TV is no more:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2008/01/29/apop.DTL

Since I wrote my thesis on this network, along with iaTV, I wrote a weird ranty e-mail to my old thesis advisers. Voila my itty bitty rant that I wrote covertly while I was at my internship (maybe one day I can actually get a paying job).

I think it’s sad, but the way the network was going it was kind of understandable. Some of the original programs were outright terrible (They had a series about the NBA and Asian-America, which basically consisted of non-Asian basketball players talking about how they like sushi and traveling to Beijing), and they would repeat the same episodes of a show literally four nights a week. However, these programming choices were probably more due to a lack of funding and not having proper resources, since Comcast kept slashing its budget and its staff again and again, so it never really gave the network the chance to actually regularly deliver compelling programs.

It’s interesting how the article lists iaTV as the only Asian-American targeted network left standing. It cites the fact that iaTV is part of Imaginasian Entertainment with its multifaceted approach towards media, including radio, and film distribution (which it ties to the tv network) as the reason why it’s still afloat. I think it’s also because it’s independently funded, and its owned by an Asian-American company. At first this seemed to be an obstacle compared to AZN Network which was owned by a cable powerhouse like Comcast with more connections and money,  but in the end I guess it was a plus, since even though it was owned by a smaller company with less resources, Imaginasian Entertainment held iaTV as the priority. Though in general iaTV had a stronger dedication to unite a pan-Asian English speaking audience (all foreign-language programs were subtitled, and the original programs were a bit stronger), there’s still alot of similar problems to AZN TV, (the variety is still paltry, and if you watch the network for one day, you’re set for the week since it will just rerun the exact same thing again like every other day) that iaTV must overcome if it wants to create a sustainable, sizeable audience.

The Greatest Band of All Time

December 24, 2007

As some of you know my dream for this Christmas is to have an electric ukulele and a keytar. Imagine the possibilities!!! All the positive I could do for the world!! Here is a peak into the future if someone will grant my wishes:

ukepossiblity-copy.jpg

And now close your eyes and listen to this!

Finally, if I had a keytar, the world will come to know ROCK as it has never experienced! Who would want to deny anyone this?

keytardreams-copy.jpg

The story of my life (pt. 1)

November 11, 2007

Vivian showed me this, and this pretty much describes my life (and my childhood!)

After visiting Claremont

November 2, 2007

Last week, I spent five days in Claremont, crashing with various folks. Overall, it was pretty fun, and it was great to connect with people again, and have face to face conversations, and have people be more than just a Facebook profile. (not to hate on Facebook. The opposite. When we’re apart at least I can have you in my life as Facebook profile, which is much better than nothing at all!).

By weird coincidence, during my stay there was this great talk by these great Vietnamese women, a film critic, Ngo Phuong Lan, and a  filmmaker Pham Nhue Giang. Their lecture was entitled “Nationalism in Modern Vietnamese film”. Due to time constraints, it was mostly the film critic talking about different clips she showed and about her book, since there wasn’t an opportunity to show anything of the filmmaker’s (she made a fun snarky comment about it). It was pretty cool to see these Vietnamese films I never knew existed. It made me realize how limited my knowledge of Vietnam is because the only lens I’ve ever really had to learn about the country and culture was through my parents and family. They have particular biases, interests, political beliefs, etc. My parents don’t really like cinema, and nor do they like leftist politics, so how in hell would I growing up ever been exposed to these really awesome anti-imperialism Vietnamese films from the 60’s? In this talk I saw clips from films I never knew existed, but knew in my gut must have. Since media, movies, TV, music was such an important factor in my growing up and defining myself, having access to these things from another country is my way of learning about that other culture. Part of the reasons why it was hard for me to connect to Vietnamese culture as a kid, was that I had no exposure to quality media from Vietnam, no cinema, no non-shitty overproduced music, etc. All I had was Paris by Night, and Chinese movies badly dubbed in Vietnamese. If I knew there was this prolific film tradition, that would have been an aspect of Vietnam I could relate to, could see myself finding a place in. When I find out about these things, like these films, I always at first kick myself, wondering why I haven’t been able to find them earlier. To find it, you have to make the conscious choice to, cuz with this stuff you’re not going to stumble into it. I always think I didn’t try hard enough. At the talk, one of the professors in the audience, said something that made me feel better. She said to not take it personally, not knowing about your people, cuz often THEY (white supremacist capitalist patriarchy) try to keep you from knowing about your history. True that.

It was interesting coming back to Claremont. On one hand, it was still pretty familiar. How could it not be, since I lived there for 4 years. Though I thought I would still know a lot of people (which I did), there so many young’ins who’ve I’ve never seen before in my life. One of the things I was missing about college was being with people my own age. Here, I am always the youngest person by at least 10-15 years. When I arrived at the airport, I ended up sharing a cab with three first years from CMC. When I got inside, I thought to myself, “Oh, I forgot about 18 years olds. Huh”.

In the trip, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I relate to people. As with going back home to high school friends after college, I feel like I am in this transition where I am learning who I consider friends and who I consider friendly acquaintances. Who do I prioritize to see, who prioritizes to see me? Or, maybe you think you’re close to someone, but when you see them you don’t really connect with them the same way anymore. It’s like when you see old friends again, and hanging out you have the same dynamic you always had, of easy conversation, etc. With some folks I expected that but it didn’t happen. It’s always an interesting process. On one hand it’s a little sad, because you wish you had stronger relationships with people, but on the other hand it’s pretty freeing because you know who you want to spend time with, and you’re doing that, and cutting through the bull shit.

Not to say that if I didn’t see someone than I’m not their friends. It’s still a hazy space. Sometimes it’s pretty random who I ended up contacting and who I didn’t. I sent an e-mail and just picked random folks because I thought the gossip would run like wild fire. Also, gmail doesn’t check the name if I type in just a few letters lik the old Pomona e-mail did, so people who I didn’t know how to spell their name didn’t get contacted simply cuz I was too lazy to look it up on facebook. Harrummph. In general, in looking at my own behavior, I became a lot lenient with other people in the past who might not done a good job keeping in touch with me, or giving me a heads up when they’re in town. You only have a short amount of time and you don’t want to be too overwhelmed.

I also noticed that people seem pretty detached or distracted when I interacted with them. Not everyone, not all the time, but a substantial amount. If we’re having lunch or something, it would just be clear that the other person have a zillion things on their minds. It totally makes sense cuz life at school is crazy like that. I know I was definitely like that, and people have complained to me about it. Here, even though I don’t see my friends as often because of job schedules, distance, and what not, when I do get to see them, they’re emotionally present, which is nice. I’m sorry to folks who I flaked out like that on!!!!

Also, a funny thing is that I kind of became an instant counselor. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, or because I had leadership roles on campus, but people wanted me to talk to me about their issues from relationship drama, to academic crisis, and actively listen, give support, advice, etc. That’s definitely a dynamic I don’t really have with my friends here. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. It’s just something funny to notice.

I’m glad I went. It was a good to see people I care about. It was a good amount of time, where I felt like I could see a lot of who I wanted to see without rushing or cramming it all in a short time. Also, by the end I was ready to go, so that’s good. Though there are aspects I miss about it, I feel definitely done with college, and that I’m in my next stage in life (even though it’s not exactly clear what I am concretely doing in this next stage). Oh yeah, I got to meet Buster from “Arrested Development” (Tony Hale), and he was really nice.

Old blog, new blog

November 2, 2007

Hello! I haven’t really been talking about my personal life lately, or have done any rants about what I’ve been thinking, issues that have been weighing on my mind lately. Part of the reason is that I haven’t blogged that much at all. The other reason is that when I do blog, I just like to post silly videos, because they take up space and make my blog look colorful. However fun that is, I think I’m going to try to write more, cuz I know blogs can be a way for people to stay in touch. I read my friends’ blogs to get a better sense of what is going on in their life, etc. I don’t know if I will fully get all livejournal, but I’ll try to have more thoughtful posts. Try is the operative word. I might just still post silly things, because that is more true to who I am, (a deeply shallow boy-girl).

As I said, posting silly things, particularly youtube videos is a part of who I am. I created an additional outlet for these tendencies. Come visit it! It’s absoludicrous.wordpress.com

Hmmmm…..

Here’s the U.S. preview of the next week’s episode of Heroes:

Now here’s the Canadian preview:

Hmmm…

Which one would you rather watch? I also wonder does this illustrate in terms of the difference between Americans and Canadians (cuz I love grand sweeping generalizations)