daily specials:
drew's tasting menu:
appetizer: unflaming, whiskey-soaked inari
soup: whipped rice congee
entree: seared duck breast (from a young, but fed-up bird)
dessert: fresh asian fruit salad with bitter melon-lemon dressing

Monday, August 25, 2003

So I have been out of touch, or at least not blogging. Yesterday I spent working out by jogging and reading in the park, Werther, mostly, which was perhaps appropriate given the perfectly cloudless skies and light breeze, sunlight lightly diffused for the right unsweaty warmth, and kites being ineptly flown, but still, I am getting to the age where I appreciate streamers.

Ummm.. so the plan at that point was to swing by Alric's for some Robert Rodriguez. After my jog and somesuch, I got sidetracked to Joephet's for greasy Popeye's dinner (bonus thigh!), and was of course unable to extricate myself. A three-piece meal became a nap, a TV show or three, some ramen, a few puddings, and then some reading and some sleep. But all is well, of course.

Umm.. this morning was a rising, and then brunch with Alric on his turf. They apparently put something extra in my omelette, and had to take it back. And short of jism, I don't think much would have kept me from eating it (paying is another matter, of course...): I am also told that my hilarious Holocaust jokes are inappropriate. Apparently, much of my material is not well-suited for movie production, and I am utterly implausible as a human being. After some more chattering, I dropped Alric off at Times Square and proceeded to wander around, rather aimlessly, still rather over-loaded with stuff from the previous evening: I was vaguely scouting boxing gear, just for the thrill of it, and dropped by JHU, where there were way too many temptations to be had. I decided that my mission for the afternoon would be to find Lois Lane #106, in which Lois becomes a black woman for a day, to experience what it is like to be a black woman for a day. Yes... But sadly, I had no luck--neither at St. Mark's or the other place which I was unable to actually find. But it's just a matter of time...

I caught up with Kenneth at some point, after being buried for a while in the Strand, and we were off to dinner in our usual several-stage mode of attack, though this time I was not smoking, miraculously enough. So we got caught up on the comings (heehee) and goings, and I was roped in to a project involving a merlion and the ASS. But this is a perfect excuse for webwork, which I have never really settled down on. I was also duly informed that I speak Chinese like a scolding old man. His apartment is well-situated and economically furnished by IKEA, which makes me wonder again about my bed plans.

My present reading kick is on Western views of China, along with Barthes' Empire of Signs, as the historico-theoretical framework from which to begin my anti-imperialist writings on dating.

And now caught up with Joephet chattery. Jelcs misses him to when he's not around. She wants to be like him when she grows up, I suspect.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

So cleaning's done and I'm home again. It's strange to realize that I actually have hardwood floors. Even the underbench area is clean. Hrmm.. Last night was rather restless, meaning that I was up late reading one of my many dictionaries, this one the Isms one, which is surprisingly rightwing in the "common sense"-un-PC sort of way, proving once again that all dictionaries are ideological. It also, like me, includes "jism" as an -ism, being the only one I have no ideological objection to, per se. Ping is a strange duck, and I will devote a separate post just to him. There is evidently no particular reason why he is yellow, or Chinese.

Ummmm... so the day spent tidying up, unearthing and marvelling, before sweatily making my way to Chinatown to run briefly into Kenneth, who was grocery shopping (big surprise), and to feel more than a little alienated, actually: people just seemed uglier today than usual. This impression is hard to explain. The mannequins were Aryan and handsome, though. So I dunno: I just wasn't feeling it today, though I did stop by the famous chicken cart to say hello and buy some lo mein, as always. It's nice to have a mother figure who doesn't expect you to get a PhD. My stopover in Columbus Park (or whatever) was strange, as I was by far the youngest Chinaman there: the rest were overaged Chinamen loudly slamming Chinese chess pieces as they played Chinese chess. I wonder what it would take to get in on a game. This might be a sometime occupation.)

After a few detours, eventually I made it to buy yet more comics. The Red Star, a magic/hard-sci-fi/fantasy retelling of Soviet war history, is a bit strange, and not as politically punchy as, say, Red Son, but is decent as an epic-type narrative. More exciting about the new Human Target and of course a Top Shelf anthology. Indie/Altie stuff is always more invigorating.

Meanwhile, American Splendor, while patchy in a few places and a bit too meta at some point, is a fine study in sympathetic oafery. Makes me really wanna go dig up my Bijou anthology. And it's all very fast, but it works: the metaness doesn't leech it of all feeling, as with Adaptation. Post-modern trickery is still fine by me, as long as it's more pastiche than self-reference.

Dinner with Alric as concerns movie plans still rather nebulous. I am in it. And some traumatic-girl-experience for the analogue to him. But of course, it's not clear what that might mean. I have been scripting a monologue for most of my adult life.

Friday, August 22, 2003

So my purchases today: two dictionaries to further flesh out my dilapidated collection of dictionaries with dialectical, satirical, subversive punch, or just quirkiness, and then a children's book in Spanish, La Historia de Ping, about a Chinese duck who is yellow. Plot summary forthcoming.

So I am cleaning up. This is an attempt at filing, knowing that I owe it to Joephet, but mostly to myself. I will be working at a desk at home. I am tempted to buy a laptop. Then this computer could go, and from there... a bed? These are frightening thoughts in some sense, but less so when you realize that I was cleaning cat piss and cat shit this morning. So getting a bed is not exactly a major step down, I guess.

Hrmm... to save on MetroFare, I did indeed end up walking basically all the way to Union Square, with a stop off with Cody and Julia for some Curry Hill goodness, marvelling mostly at how distant the past seemed, how free from it I remain, glorying in my past triumphs over Broke, but not dwelling on it: there have been greater victories, and involving the Blacks...

So I been reading: Persepolis, which is excellent Iranian stuff, readily and inevitably comparable to Maus, though much more moving despite its stylistic blankness--just the right sort of political punch--say it don't spray it. And Ha Jin stories, which are quite satifsying, the sort of slice-of-Asian-life stories I would want to do, only mine would be Asian American, of course. Hrmmmm... So reading is satisfying, though it is only truly possible when a computer is inaccessible.

In the only bookstore in Queens I have managed to locate, I was shopping today when my Asianness somehow seemed foregrounded repeatedly: once when there was a conversation about David Carradine (ugh) between a customer and the guys at the desk, and another time when there was this random lisping Chinese girl from the restaurant next door poppingbubblewrap as if it were World War III already: I was strongly distressed at what another ten years might mean in terms of her relation to white men ("she's cute now, but wait till she's eighty..." i heard...). But no... it has been quite satisfying, this quiet day, even as I continue to consider whether or not I should indeed try to fit boxing into my busy schedule... one gym I was at seemed like some sort of Russian mob training facility...

Other than that, just some minor hilarity and drama involving the quest to get Joephet an iron for his day tomorrow, at some sort of court. At one point, I am in the bathroom, staring at myself in my tight t-shirt, waving an iron, furious, in my left hand as I sweatily clench a cellphone I don't dare hold against my ear in my right hand, yelling something like, "I have an iron in my fucking hand! Why do you want to go to K-Mart! They're closed, the bastards!" (Sorry, Bessie....), but that was eventually resolved, even though he put me on hold for twenty minutes and then forgot I was on the line. In any case, once iron and french fries were purchased, it was more than pleasant enough sitting outside in the breeziness.

I must, however, maintain that the local Genovese is the worst place on earth. Some clerk, in cleaning up, threw an apple (McIntosh) from a candy display bin into a trash bin, and almost hit me with it. There is something about late night purchases at a pharmacy that total over $40 of basic staples which somehow has more than a faint whiff of desperation which no deodorant or multipack bar soap can quite cover. The dispute between frantic schoolteacher lady with scissors coupon and filler paper confusion is too painful to recount. It truly is the worst place on earth that's not an actual place of suffering as opposed to fist-clenching frustration.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

So from the screams from outside, there is some kid selling iced tea for twenty-five cents. I can't tell if I am that thirsty yet. I am lifting a bit again. Cody's in town, so it looks like I will after all make that march into Manhattan, wandering perhaps through the Socrates Sculpture Garden and such as well on the way into Midtown.

This Friendster thing is brilliant, if only because it is my main pipeline into West Coast Asianness and Asianness in general--it is a strange way to go about it, but I feel as if this is perhaps more honest raw material than ever--perhaps not self-aware shit, but a beginning at least into self-presentation. And it is none too encouraging at this point--sometimes I wonder if I should have more friends, or at least friendsters--I don't even know that many Asian people to begin with, but somehow the point is more that I am out of the college loop, and still relatively picky overall when it comes to time-spending-with.

Sadly, Miss Fegs is out of town. I guess Krotch is coming back to town, which will be blessed and long-overdue. Where are the heterosexual role models in my life?

So Alric claims he wants to make a movie featuring me. D's partner-in-crime Mike is unemployed He is a maker of puppets, out of foam and papier maiche. Which leads me to the question: how much would a life-size puppet of me cost? And could I afford it? And is this the way to make a movie? For it's been said that only four people could play me in a movie: (1) Philip Seymour Hoffman (if he lost some weight), (2) Jack Black (if he lost some weight), (3) Chris Rock (but he's black), (4) some sort of muppet. I will keep you posted on this front.

So I am once more a free man. I went to the library today for the last time in a while, and I also finished finding the classes that I will be taking this Fall, which sounds like it might be too much--three days a week I will be going to school, which seems like 2 hours of traveltime I could spend in other ways. Looks like I'll be eating a lot more jerk chicken (sounds like a whipped sugardaddy). Also breezed through a last final, though I did sweat a bit. Amazing how fucking slapdash omnicompetent I am. A tragedy, really: in any case, the library netted Lawrence of Arabia stuff, which I have found fascinating, this worship of a man who's 5'8. A man, after all willing to go hungry and native for the sake of imperialism. Hard though to understand how central this person is to Sue, and through Sue somehow Alric--this is just too easy of a person to admire for my particular polemic.

So I celebrated by running off to another taping with D, which was spent mostly reading comics, actually, though very quickly I tapped out all of the ones available, disgusted by Neil Gaiman and generally by the sort of mastubatory glee with which franchise characters are revisited. A pleasant conversation about comics and education with one of the random hangers-on, and anti-social chessplaying as well. Sadly my schedule has fallen out of synch with Joephet's, but I've been absorbed enough for this not to really matter quite yet. Still, I do miss the bugger. Just not out of proportion.

I guess Joephet's my kinda faggery: I'm not for partying or for strangers or just volume in general. Patience, quiet, sitting, listening. This is the right start.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

So I been reading this Frank Chin novel Gunga Din Highway, a 50s American of Chinese descent novel (well, a contemporary novel with that setting), and it is nice to see the multiplicities of experience, but it seems much more difficult to write in view of that: it all feels somehow very different from my own limited experience, and again it's not clear why I am so compelled, other than this uneasy sort of hatred and disgust. I guess I will just need to own up to my own shameful class background, and how that has skewed my experience. And I need to make more progress--I have gotten lazy in this latter phase of classes, and have been thoroughly unproductive prosewise, with very little poetry to boot, either. In many ways, as I don't intend this blog to be fully narrative, I feel as if the death of the old logging activities has made me lackadaisical, fallen off from my old routines of working out and such: much less reflective in the longer term, much less self-textual, much more episodic. It's just a different mode.

I was thinking meanwhile in terms of politics, and realistically how far I can actually get. I am thinking of doing a massive Manhattan schlep on Wednesday, emboldened by my freedom and my subway-less wanderings from before, but the point of that is that I can save on MetroFare and still get this manga Eagle, the first Asian-American president. But realistically, what with the war coming and all, there is little chance I'd ever rise that high. For I guess I still have some leftover ambition--in the first grade, I memorized, like a good little chinaboi, all the presidents, and could still recite them now, though with perhaps more of a pause--but when it was mentioned that a previous student in that little red schoolhouse had stated the ambition to be president, and had his wish fulfilled (he was two years ahead, and I guess now we are the same class), I, in my meekness which I bear with me to this day, never mentioned it again, not wanting to be a copycat. Of course, then it was more 6-year-old ambition, rather than the anger and impotence I feel now. Well, that an arrogance. So maybe I've not made that much progress after all. The point, though, is that there are other levels, but there is only so far that a gaysian leftist (and a short one, at that) can go within the system. I might just hafta grit my teeth and be a principal, or just a teacher, or something more modest externally--past the adolescent desire to cure AIDS (which would only cure the rich first, of course), and focusing not on helping strangers to win their praise, but helping those you know, or get to.

So I should clean, and I should write. And I should come up with a template for lesson plans. Now or later which is never.

Monday, August 18, 2003

So I am fired up. Something I will miss about this routine of reading the Nation on the way to school on a lazy afternoon. I am a ragin' American right now, and it is a bit helpless that I feel, where the best that I can do for anyone is just to code my programs and move on, somehow, saving my battles for later. For there was a tomorrow yesterday, and a tomorrow today, and a tomorrow tomorrow. By induction...

So I want to draw a line someplace in the sand. It's time to stop being selfish. I was incredibly selfish. I was more interested in getting laid and asserting my moral (sexual, interpersonal, artistic, culinary, budgetary, athletic, cultural, ethnic) superiority over Alric than actually helping my students.

It's time to get organized and actually write lesson plans day-by-day, and actually take attendance, and actually give representational grades. Little things like those which you can so easily take for granted, but which do add up to something.

I want to say much more--much more about white imperialism in the gay dating world. But that's for later, as ever. It burns me up.

Light-headed on pine and must

So I have spent my day largely in anticipation of these bookshelves, and now they are here and after some work are stocked. This place is beginning to look up, to the neglect of my computer-class duties, to which I now attend: two more days then freedom, for a short while and then another beginning on another school and another year. I need to close my eyes. Another afternoon or so and my room will be thoroughly presentable, to anyone, and I am glad I did not go the particleboard route, though at Home Depot these same shelves go for 50 a piece, with fake veneer at that.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

So it has been quite a few days and quite a few reasons since my last post.

That AT&T is inefficient spared me a stranding on the subway system on the way to cancelled classes. My blackout experience was unremarkable, despite some invisibly splattering soy sauce all over the kitchen. By the time I woke, early, the sun had risen and the power was back on. Three bucks if you can guess whom I called. The rest of the day I did nothing other than fall back asleep, eventually going on a 6.5 mile march to Alric's, with a pit stop at Joephet's and a field trip to Best Buy and Marshall's, which has to be one of the more dilapidated incarnations of the store, with fond memories of the old days and weekly runs with Jon and Alric to that particular shopping complex.

The weekend and the ride, despite a bujii diner and misbehavior on my part, was quite relaxing, with plenty of exploring of waterfalls and dead fish and beaches, and soakings and near drownings and the ironic failure to gesture "friends with benefits" in charades. Way too many carbs, but not much guilt; plenty of trips to the porch to phone with Joephet, who is sick, sadly, and so on. It was strange seeing that house, for the last time in the next seven years--and to think where we would all be at that point. Bessie, as always, was a great host, and I fear that I was a bit out of it, playing with digging irrigation channels in citronella candles.

Beyond that, and a ride back, surprisingly little to report, perhaps: I have gone a bit dormant for the past few days. I will resteep and write again.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

So I should be headed to class, but instead I am just sitting here, on hold with AT&T. They have sent me a phone with a California phone number and a Midwest coverage brochure. And they can't change the number without it costing me $40. All this for their error. And it does no good to rage at low-paid customer service drones (sorry, Alric): they really don't know anything, are quite disposable, and at best make no impact whatsoever in the world. This is just ridiculous, this entire business. And I thought VoiceStream was bad (they charged me for two deposits, neither of which I ever got back). So it's just bad news all around. I hate capitalism. It's not clear which economic system would make this easier, but perhaps less of a profit margin would make better service possible--I really see it as a zero-sum game too often on that front. So yes: I have a useless cellphone, unless I want to pay 80 cents/minute for roaming. And I consider myself a relatively well-educated consumer. Jesus.

More later on this saga, and on my intense hatred of Asian fetishes, which is only getting worse with age. It is really is imperialistic nonsense, and I will argue this more fully eventually.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Because I should
A short story in Asian-Asian heterosexuality

So unbidden, today I was recalling Asindia Chang, though that might not be the spelling of her first name, as it has been so many years since. I forget the exact chain of thought that led me back to her, but in any case, this was way back in my under-five-feet days, when I was but a third-grader in the Gifted program back in Miami. The point is that I was a newcomer, as I always seem to be somehow, in my life, and when I joined the school I had to be placed on a team for math. In our proto-capitalistic training, these teams were to gain points for answering math questions and other such challenges correctly, and got rewards for reaching certain benchmarks. I do not remember if my team even had a name--that was privileged earned through points. Let me just say that with me joining the team (Asindia's, strangely enough), we soon earned a name ("The Chinese Connection," I believe, though today it would be "The Asian Invasion" or perhaps even "ABC SuperStores") and before long dominated (perhaps even by an entire order of magnitude) all the competition in the field.

But my overwhelming mathematical prowess even at an early age is not the point of this little story. No, I was attracted to Asindia Chang. Her parents I'd even met long before, when they were giving some sort of presentation to a fifth grade class I was somehow affiliated with, and they were artists in the Chinese mode, with pretty watercolors of tigers or birds or other Chinese animals. So yes, it would have been a good match, the matchmakers I have only heard of through Amy Tan and so on would have approved, and she was Chinese, and seemed virtuous and small. I recall even an erotic dream in which (I couldn't have been more than 10 at the time) I was clad only in an off-purple ratty polo-shirt and doing cartwheels, my boyhood flapping in the wind for all to see, turning cartwheels (I cannot turn cartwheels, but it was a dream) till I came up to her, though she was embarassed, somehow, and I awoke, somehow likewise abashed that I had dreamwise so overstepped the bounds of propriety.

Of course, objectively, there was little attractive about her beside her race--she was not very bright--few are. And I long-buried that particular attraction for a series of other girls, but those are stories for later, accompanied by actual arousal, actually: the point, however, is the strangeness and unfoundedness of it all, which I will pick up when I get home eventually, and rant about Asian fetishes some more, as it just bothers me as I reach old age.

Last I heard, Asindia had grown up to the famous giver of blowjobs in cars. Hrmm... I guess she and I have more in common than I had first thought.

So I'm sweating here, in the early afternoon, uncertain as to what I am to do with myself. One of these days I want to suddenly change in the middle of a sentence to a high-fantasy novel set in a world of wizards and warriors. Just to run with it. And this is not nonsense, but a well-earned shift. It would be a particularly bad novel in that way.

My routines of summer will not long last, I fear.

So today I accomplished plenty, I'd say, even though I was delayed in getting as early a start as I would have liked. The purchase of some unfinished bookshelves has turned me on again to woodworking, something I'd forgotten for some time, rooted in my late experiences on crew for a musical back in the day, and the thought that I would have more leisure (and disposable income) than I have actually turned out to have. Table saw! Just a pleasant afternoon strolling Steinway with Joephet, and then kinda passing out so as to be again late for class, which is actually speeding up. (It's fucking amazing how much time I spend with Joephet, and how much we get along. Beautiful, really). My blogging really does suffer when I'm happy: something about bile that is wonderfully transformative somehow, that makes for better prose--I've been touring gaysian blogs minorly, and measure up just fine: I do not quite narrate I suppose, and am politick in what I actually expose about my life, in my own way. I dunno: some more reading, as for a blogger, I don't really read many blogs.

I have been thinking more about prose style. When I do some writing, I'll let you know.

Over a week without a cigarette! And no cravings. Welcome to a life without undue stress...

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

So I had all these ambitions to somehow be the foremost Asian American rapper, called MC Wonton, of course (what else?), but now, and this is not really new news, as my kids told me about him, and that he was legit (though of course this is not very meaningful, perhaps, as my kids, while they are useful for "keeping it real" relative, to say, Alric's affection for Eminem, buy into a lot of corporate capitalistic misogynistic materialistic hip hop nonsense), apparently Jin is the act to beat. But it is too early to judge without listening to the music. It just seems a bit too packaged. NMBHS is not really ghetto. He is not a Chinatown native, blah, blah, blah. These issues of authenticity I am familar with, perhaps. I dunno: I suppose it wouldn't hurt to much to go and fucking buy an album. I imagined my own work being more polemical and in Chinglish, less foregrounding my ethnicity than speaking from it, like my self-racist fiction, perhaps. Worth thinking about.

So it is sad sad sad to go to class and realize that you have reverse-engineered most of what you're being taught. But it is very satisfying, after correcting the instructor (helpfully), and realizing a few things that will help your own presentation while digging up some philosophically interesting factoids, to roll on out of there, the bujiilay in your backpack leaden in its glassweight, ready to be drunken, but first a 2-train ride straight up to Alric's, to meet up with ol' Bessie and sister Lotte and to make pleasant conversation, even if you try to pass off your gesticulatings not as happy rubbings-off but rather as some sort of hip-hop rapping thing. But that was blissful, with promises of a great weekend. And then home to unwind and to chat with Joephet on the phone and email Lex about matters philosophical, which is satisfying. Life is good, and I only spent 3 fares today ;)

Monday, August 11, 2003

So there are few things more satisfying than a hearty chicken roti, the curry sopping through to the chick-pea granules between the unleavened bread-faces of the roti. And though I know what guava is, Irish moss is somewhat of a mystery (well, I know lots of untasty mosses, but), so I will have to assume that the colloidal nature of the drink is regular. I guess I am used to having bubbles in drinks, but I am more used to those bubbles rising of their own accord.

So I been a good little boy, waking up early this morning around 8, walking home from Joephet's (which is a goodly distance of 2.14 miles, according to MapQuest) to save on the MetroCard fare, and doing my homework for a few hours, and for the remainder of the term. So it's been quite productive. And again I run off early to classes, unsuccessful as before in my commerce, though delivery to Astoria for bookshelves is cheap enough that by the end of the week, everything I have will proudly be on display. And from there it's a quick drop to having a bed. Ugh.. Apologies for the decline in blogging: I am a bit too wrapped up in life to be talking about it, if that makes sense.

So I been outta touch, mostly because I have not been in internet range as much as I would like. Uhhh... So a fine carouse this weekend, with an appearance by Alric in his old, my current, neighborhood, at the Beer Garden, which is still fine even when it's pouring out: drunken yuppies or so tend to make the stage a massive slip'n'slide, which is amusing after you have plenty of whiskey in you, and generally, I suppose. Something charming about umbrellas being carried, and people being ferried back to dry land and more alcohol. And Alric did well for himself then. Ummm... There's something about these days that feels a lot like college, what with ending up at Neptune Diner afterwards, and not even all that late: we were kind of lightweights, I suppose.

Ummm... it's troubling when you arrange for a fag-brunch on a Sunday afternoon and end up eating around 5. Some things I will not get used to. I am also not used to dining in groups where the faggery is well-over 50%. Even in college, this was uncustomary. I suppose Alric is unaccustomed as well. Hrm... So in the end, I helped Joephet move around furniture to keep Asha out of the bedroom, so that she will no longer piss on his bed (this is his unsubtle hint that I should not piss in bed, if I don't want to be locked out). Actually a late-night food run Dannisward, which I suppose is Broadway. Life's tough without internet, as I learned that perhaps I should not have skipped class on Thursday...

This morning my plans to get both a cellphone and bookshelves have been foiled. In the former case by my lack of credit. In the latter case by my being up way too early for anything on Steinway to actually be open. And I am no longer skipping, so I will need to go to class all the time. I really do need to cancel my landline, though. $90 is a bit much to pay a month for a nonmobile phone. Stupid capitalism.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

So there are a few notable train stories. Yesterday or a few days ago, or sometime: on the 4/5 to college when in rushes an entire herd of little black kids on a field trip. Their noise is glorious, somehow, though a little upsetting for some. They fill literally every space, until they leave. Today, returning from Jersey, I doze quite happily, to the sounds of two little white kids jabbering on about all sorts of random shit, repeating the souped up announcements the conductor is making, and as I am first falling sleep, in high-pitched, post-toddler, pre-adolescent voices, "I have good blood! My family is very athletic. The people in family are strong. I have their blood in me..." I wish I were awake enough to transcribe, as it now feels a little implausible..

But it was quite good tog et away from the city and the rush for a while, and take a step back, as it were, into the past, and to

Ah, Rosie-dog. One forgets that dogs continue to exist. And then one forgets the same fact about friends, on occasion. This is sad.

Some memorable lines:

"You're not poor. You just can't have everything you want"

"This cheese is stinky."
"It's nothing. I'm a cocksucker."

So I forget what it is that I wanted to say yesterday. Many things are a little hazy now. Down in Jersey now, visiting Hanna and Lex, revisiting the Ninja Turtles, now nearly 20 years old, somehow... Thursday-Friday night I slept remarkably well, rising early enough to hitch a ride down without the actual need for NJ Transit. Hrmm.. strange memories of five years ago, and also perhaps an odd prescience. We'll see.

And implausibly enough, we had lunch yesterday with a certain Jeremy from ages ago. Yes... not much ever changes. What can one do? This was not what I was 'specting.

Friday, August 08, 2003

portland first thursday tonight... galleries, two buck chuck, and the most beautiful gay men on the planet (well, after drew). and i had bubble tea...

So today was all right, even though I found in watching Gigli with Alric that I have been on dates shockingly similar to the interaction between Ben Affleck and the black-channeling retard that he abducts (Why must the retard be obsessed with Hip Hop? Is this amusing, somehow? As the expression of animal lust? Let me not get into this). If homosexuality is so easily overcome by dick, then, well, oh, wait. Wrong kind of homo. Damn. J Lo plays the worst sort of Orientalist--another minority who can't see through the oppression and marginalization that white misunderstanding (and native selling out and dilution) of ancient lore represents and reinforces. Though she does own a yoga mat (Alric claims I should do things like explain that I sleep on a yoga mat instead of a real bed. However, that's fucking inexplicable!). I don't feel as deviant. Though I am not as foxy. And the violence is gratuitous, waved away, consequenceless.

Hrmm... pleasant if rather late lunch with Francis contrasting West and East Coast gaysian experiences, as well as trying to get at what meaning might be left to being Asian in this country. And this fascinates me, somehow, as I look for more meat in my self-racist fiction (which I had a hard time explaining to Alric over dinner--"So, you see, it doesn't really foreground Asian-ness, as being Asian-American-literature, as such.... It's just polemical short fiction designed to point out the inadequacies of Asians..."). But this is dumb. Francis, meanwhile, seemed not as mopey as usual, but maybe that's just the ease of complaining over IM, where lag can mean that you are happy by the time that you are read. Hope the same for me :)

Thursday, August 07, 2003

So I should note, as a personal aside to Bessie, that my previous comment about sleeping well due to Joephet is still remote-sleeping well--that is, sleeping well even though we are far apart. That is all you can ask for, eh?

Umm.. I'm skipping classes today, even though I made it to school just to change two lines in my code to make it slightly more backwards, slightly more correct for the assignment. It's about a difference of two points, ultimately. Jeez. But it was a pleasant train ride, and I would blog more, but I was helping my classmates with their work, and so I must go if I am to turn in my work without being caught by anyone, and then if I am to call Alric and watch Gigli with him by 7. Damn.

So I been sleeping rather well, which I would like to attribute to Joephet, lemme tell ya. Hrmmmm...

I've been saying goodbye to two things now, which have long been pillars of my life. Ever since Alric took his TV with him when he moved on up, I have been without TV. Perhaps because my schedule is off-prime-time anyway, given when I hafta get into classes, but I don't miss it at all. That is to say, I have much more time for net-bound activities, and I'm sure I'm not missing anything in the summer anyway. I suspect I read more and focus more. And if I really need TV, I can go visit Alric and watch some DVDs. It feels like college again, but this is not a bad thing. I have forgotten so much about Iron Chef, though. This is a tragedy.

Smoking, though, is something that is an even more daily part of my life for not as long. But this lingering sore throat has helped me to quit. If I can stay on this wagon, I'll be a lot healthier. We'll see.

So, um, I dunno how much I've been mentioning this of late, but sitting in on this math class--really basic shit, really: relations, set theory, propositional and quantificational logic, counting--for a nonspecialist, CS-student audience, taught by this somewhat overbearing, joke-wielding instructor who is heavy-handed and lame in his jokes (we differ in that I am not white, and I am much more technical and sharp in my jokes, and I am more well-rounded mathematically), has really thrown sharply into focus the frustration and futility of my chosen work. The simplest ideas are not communicated well enough, and training and expertise are for nothing, and there is no time to slow down, to really ground things carefully, there is only rush-rush-rush. It is a sad thing, to have an instructor who is fine with the material (a rarity, it is to be admitted at the public education level), but who still can't get through, wehther because of pedagogical shortcoming (which is true) or insurmountable substructural student deficiency, stuck on the most basic of facts, never making progress, and wasting hour after hour, where the most beautiful of proofs are duly noted like the year of the Treaty of Utrecht (1742; it ended the War of Spanish Succession). And this is what I do all year. Which isn't to say that I haven't made great progress. I'd like to think, that, aside from my obvious pandering to the Chinese (it's kinda hard to make jokes about reading order in Chinese, when your students actually don't know what you're talking about: left-right/top-bottom versus top-bottom/left-right? Hrmmm... but we don't read either language...), I have made good progress in coming up with useful explanations of basic mathematical facts and conventions. And this is grounded, philosophically useful, and perhaps demystifying and confidence building for my students. But is it enough? I guess next year I will go about things like the whole ass that I am.

Hrmmm... Lunch with Joephet. Quite pleasant Thai restaurant, though perhaps we should not have been discussing incidents of really needing to shit while miles away from an accessible bathroom quite as much before our food arrived. And then a pit stop at his house, where the fact that Asha had pissed on his bed (ummm.. Asha is his cat.. yeah...) meant we had to, um, improvise... Yeah.. We Asians are an ingenious lot... It is unclear, however, if this ingenuity will translate into our seeing Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle before it passes out of theaters.

Classes unremarkable. Patricia Williams refreshing. Now well-past half-done with the summer. Which is a little frightening. But the above frustrations with teaching math to non-brilliant people I think is helping. I will try and write some essays about method and philosophy soon.

Bessie, meanwhile, is back in full-force. I have somewhere around 8 emails from her today. This is a most welcome addition to my daily routine, I must say.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

So of course there is little to say--I am now revisiting Lone Wolf & Cub, which makes me all emotional, like, with its simplicity and its rawness and its fluid violence, its authenticity--I was also getting pissed off at the new Nation as I was on the subway (mostly for what was going on within it). And on the way home, there was this cute little black boy, who couldn't have been more than 2, but was already talking and gesturing and everything. Sigh. I must be PMSin', the tears really do well up sometimes. Ugh. Not enough time to change the world. Maybe it's arrogant to think people want saving, but I dunno... I guess it's just making their lives as easy as mine were, back in the day.

Ah, well. Alric does not have good news on the dating front. But I am working on that. I feel as if he and Juliana could get along rather well, actually. I was woken this morning by a call from D, who's a sweetie, who sends me these postcards with naked women, which I place on the fridge next to the postcards of naked men that my older friends who know me send me, who is still trying to help me out with girls. But yeah. Juliana and Alric? Stranger things have happened. But apparently chicks dig my politics.

I really need to skip more math classes. Induction is a great thing, like the first three times you learn it. You really don't need to see it more often than that. I'm just a snob. But it is an amusing proof that all collections of n horses are the same color. Hrmm... And there is a philosophical thrust to it all, which is that in the case that any group of 2 horses are the same color, then... But I dunno.

In the modal logic, I am happy to report that I am reaching philosophically meaty stuff as far as existence goes. My sort of kneejerk admiration for Quine's sort of deflationism is being deflated. This is actually meaningful philosophical substance with actual logic to go along with it. There might be a paper in here someplace.

Making plans with Joephet for tomorrow and the weekend somehow makes me very happy. Like I have something to actually look forward to. And yes: I am evidently going shopping with him this weekend, which I suppose we will hafta try and document in some way, as those who know me will find this rather difficult to believe. I am a very cheap dresser. Cheaper than any you could find at IKEA.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

So my throat still hurts, but less so, after some chicken from the Chinese place, which was embarassing, as the entire family was sitting down chatting about their next meal of dog in the dining area when I walked in, and so they hurriedly rose to serve me, which was a bit strange, to say the least, and these excellent vitamin C drops that Halls makes which have made it possible for me to swallow without my entire torso performing the peristalsis, though the pain is still a little nagging.

I really do need to get into college early if I ever hope to make any headway on this math--there are some things I need to look up and some novels I need to check out, and the new Nation should hold me over just fine until I get to the library and new material: but so far it is a blank sort of day, having lost the push to produce comics, my letters stand there, languid, accomplishing nothing. And my summer dribbles away.

I really should try and write a comprehensive manifesto as regards math education as directed toward the aim of democracy. Yes. That would be nice. But maybe I should read a bit more before going off.

i have been awol as usual... up and down mountains, tangled in huckleberries, more than slightly drunk, eating bread and oil, looking for color, buying dresses, remembering...

but really i should just go to mexico and paint.

So apparently Joephet and I are "dating exclusively" now. I guess I know what that means, unlike all of the past 2 months or so. So I guess my little black book is going back into retirement. And this after I had to rubber-cement the spine back into the cheap 1$ chinatown leathery cover. The most ghetto little black book in the history of faggery.

Meanwhile, I have a sore throat (no homo, please), and this is troubling me, as I still need to smoke, and it fucking hurts. I am such an idiot and should just quit, but this is hard to explain to nonsmokers. It's like trying to describe how coffee smells, y'know. I will think about this some more and rhapsodize. But it's worth giving up.

Monday, August 04, 2003

So I need a plan. I'm here between classes, having finished an exam early, retrieving a lost disk from the computer lab. I wonder if this is legal for working in this lab. Who's to say? I guess I just feel the schoolyear approaching all-too-fast, without having really done anything to prepare myself, after a fashion. And this scares me more than a little bit, somehow. Certainly my new nocturnal rhythms will not in the least mesh well with next year's requirements. This just annoys me. But with only two more weeks of classes (even though Joephet goes back to school next week, at least in some sense), and then two weeks off, I wonder if I shouldn't take a trip someplace, but of course I have failed to plan ahead enough: we'll see, but I am restless, and this is not a good thing.

So I am still at somewhat of a loss, just hanging out in the computer lab, having been successful at finding satisfactory Caribbean food in the way of slightly overcooked jerk chicken. But something about that steamed cabbage:

Meanwhile, amazing how fast I was able to read through From Hell--done within twenty-four hours, the sort of leisure that will be well-beyond me come fall. And after that food I feel healthy again, even capable. It's just a matter of needing to produce, to feel somehow indispensible and unique again, which is a frightening responsibility, the sort of thing that makes you drag yourself into work to see your ungrateful kids even though you have sick days stored up and are sick as a dog--when people ask me why don't I find another job, you seem so unhappy and overworked, I guess this job is the thing for me to now do. As much as it may be questioned at times, I think I am on the right track--it little profits to look at other plates.

I have been strangely emotional. Maybe it's the force of the Alan Moore. Or maybe I been seeing too many little kids on the subway. My biological clock is ticking.

So I am off early to classes today, and perhaps to enjoy some Caribbean food in Flatbush, though I am still feeling a little sick, though not under the weather, which is so bright and clear and sharp. Things with Joephet are at an odd pass, perhaps. I am generally bored, or rather sick, and I have been reliving the glories of Alan Moore's From Hell. I really need to get my comics collection organized: my productivity has ground to a slow and sickly halt, and I miss how Bessie is not around to read my blog and email me her comments, as I'm too HTML-dumb to include them myself.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

So I am feeling a little sick today, and have been pretty grumpy in general. Plans having fallen through, I have not made it out of Queens, or even more than a mile from my house today, the only accomplishment having been a haircut, which, for once, I did not even intend to give myself. That, and snapping at people unnecessarily.

But this is liberating in a way, not having a day of which to speak, that I might ramble as before more untethered from my contingencies. I think I am reaching the point in my life when I begin to wonder if I am serious enough. This, however, is not to say that I worry about the opinions of others--that is a worry long left behind in college. It's more about how big a world I fit into. For instance, now on Friendster I am connected to some 54 thousand people (within 4 removes: what would Plato have to say about that?), but this is surely a bujii, netbound subset, and many of my first-remove friends are newbies I am grooming to help with my expansion. But this is too small a view too: I guess it's that old scale I have long used to characterize (from my male-centric view of the world, I must admit), which is not to say that these are definite stages in some inevitable process of evolution, but tendencies, directions you can go in how you act, react, think, plan, review: there is the boy, presexual in his desires, the type who watches Star Trek or builds model cars and has all of this wonderful trivia to share, still marvels in the world as a menagerie of minutiae; there is the guy who is sexual, and this is to say competitive--worth and value and values are defined in terms of others, of keeping up, how much and where and how often, of a peacock strut conspicuously consumptive; there is then the man who lives more in terms of responsibility, not only to family and friends, but for community--the statesman in the aristocratic mode, but defined not by blood but by purpose.

The point here is not taxonomical, reductive, categorical: the point is to point: to point where one can go, to give a framework for why we do what we do. I will not stop drinking, I will not stop cruising (to some degree): but I am getting old enough to want to have a point.

So there are some things one can only realize when one is standing guard as a break from the wind and the view for someone who has the functional role of a Joephet in your life, being lightly sprayed by the unending stream of much-complained about piss even as you are not looking, cuz you've seen that particular unit before, as the piss splatters on a Prizm you hope the guy walking across the street does not own. It is not clear what realization this is, but it is pretty clear that one should be pissing on a more expensive car.

And it started out relatively well, a bag of Cape Cod chips, and plannings with Alric to recoup the loss of last night, though not the $400 worth of drilling (teehee) that Alric did manage to somehow purchase. But waiting around so long for Joephet to show up was a little lame, and hot, but so it goes: falling in and out of sleep while reading Waugh is frightening: it makes one quiver like an English schoolboy about to be caned.

And after a dinner at Golden China with Joephet, which was a bit tense given what was discussed so drunkenly last night, it was off, late to Alric's, where we managed to polish off a bottle of wine (we could have done more) and the first disc of Manhattan-based namedropping which now at last makes sense to us both. And yes, it is difficult watching this show as a Marxist. It is more difficult watching the show with a Marxist. And to Alric I grow closer, if only intrigued by how his attempt to make straight male friends in the city is stymied by the fact that his lunchdate casually mentions "this guy I've been dating for a few years" in the elevator ride back to the office. A lot of learning yet left for the both of us.

Out of loyalty I drag myself, sweating, swearing, my pencil broken, down to 46 Grand, for Joephet's cousin's birthday party, or somesuch. In any case, this is a drunken mess, in which Joephet loses his hat, and I am swallowing half of the bitterness that I could so easily spew (but it would be too easy...): and so I have little more to report, beyond perhaps the following attempt (for I have not much of an ear for dialogue, which makes my fiction suffer) at transcribing some Flip plans for what is to happen next in the evening:

"Yo, let's just go to White Castle."
"White Castle, their burgers are so small, yo"
"But they're cheap, like fifty cents for a [gestures with hand, in a small square]"
"You need like six to get full"
"That's like 3 bucks, though, so let's go"
"Naw, 70 cents each, that's 420. We should go to Chinatown."
"For dimsum?"
"No, for 4 bucks you can get some fucking wonton noodle soup. That shit will fill you up."
"I just want White Castle, I wanna go home, I'm tired."
"No, you can get curry beef rice for 4 bucks, rice, man, they're still open, and it's like not far."

Lather, rinse, repeat. Better Luck Tomorrow here we go again.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

And there is hope

David pulls into the driveway and turns off the ignition, gets out of the Camry, wishes that he had fewer keys: this ring has too many for tuxedo pants. He approaches the door he's approached before and rings the doorbell he's rung before, and waits, waits for Mr. Caldwell to appear refracted in the beveled glass, before he is recognized, before the door is opened, before he enters.

He steps into the foyer, and shakes Mr. Caldwell's hand firmly, though this is a first in all thse years. "Mrs. Caldwell is still upstairs, helping Jane get ready. They're almost ready. Come, have a seat, David."

He smiles, and follows Mr. Caldwell into the living room, which despite the occasion is in its usual disarray, magazines open on the coffee-table, an ashtray with a few butts and a smouldering cigarette quickly, apologetically stubbed out.

They settle in, Mr. Caldwell in his armchair, David on the sofa, the corsage on the edge of the coffee table. They discuss summer plans before the move to college in the fall, that freedom that comes only between accomplishments, that separates achievements: a gradual goodbye to this way of life, though campus is only two hours away, routines will change, will fit, are unimaginable with any accuracy, but accuracy is not the point.

They are still talking when they hear the muffled steps on the beige carpet upstairs, two pairs, somewhat out of synch, a purse that's dropped and picked up again, the contents replaced, the zipper secured. The steps pause when they reach the top of the stairs, then first a right step, then a left step, each now alone.

And there will be college, just two hours away, but far enough to feel free, rooted enough to friends who will go with, but things will change, and things will grow, and we will take our friendship with us, though we will not need to pack it now, it will ride equidistant between our cars, and we will start out in the same classes together, and we will still spend hours together in the lab, joking as we do. At first we will knock, but then we will just come in, for all reasons, and for none. And we will laugh, laugh at old jokes we have brought with us, and at new ones we would not now understand. And we may fight, and we will reconcile, and we will support each other, as we grow, and we will stay up late, and one morning we will watch the sun rise, and we will put our arms around each other, and shiver slightly in the cold before dawn, but neither gathering dew. And some night we will begin taking turns sleeping, as we complete our problem sets, and then we will stop taking turns. And we will eat together, not every night at first, and still not every night by the end, but often. And at the end we will look back, together, as if it were just the blink of an eye, and we will continue.

Right step, left step: followed by Mrs. Caldwells, two steps behind. And David can see now from the sofa two powder-blue shoes.

Fond and Fiercesome Symbiosis
OR
And this is beauty
OR
Winged Hoarse
OR
This Ethnic Slur
OR
One page at a time
OR
Aging Americans
OR
My Whitey something
OR
Chinese Exercises for Eyes
OR
Jwei Jwei (apologies to pinyin)


Epigraph:
'Do you speak Chinglish?'
'No'
'Meh. Coulda been love.'

'I love your hat.'
j'Well, will you abandon capitalism?'
'No.'
'Meh. Coulda been love.'

Instructions:
Imbibe:
two maker's marks, chilled to perfection.

Hippo and peckerbird
OR
blackwoman redtaping entry for cleaning
OR
3K loan revisited
OR
every terminal 'l" become 'o' (e.g. 'possible' become 'possibo')
OR
how pedophiliac senators show love
OR
something something
OR
unlikely, metaphysically impossible, impredicative
OR
superlatively drunk

So it is frightening, this sharp line, this bright line between my week, my weak. And there is Ben Keightley. And he is beautiful.

I am not jamaica.

And there was Miss Fegs. And I am party to tacit greek racism. For I worry about how she is viewed, and me in my closetedness. But is OK. And she mistreats new help. And it is fine. And she had two husbands, and now none, and it averages out to one. And there will be many more.

And there is Alric. And he is faggily incompetent, in his faggy enthusiasm for me, the highlight of his week (and he could use a platinum-blond streak or two), he locks himself out of red wine and sex and the city. And there is woe looking for a locksmith with the last four digits rubbed out, like an amputee who has only and only and only his thubm on his right hand, which is crucial, because Joephet is occasionally and intentionally (robot voice) inaccessible like the location of the minimal fixed point in Kripke's theory of truth. I love math. I love joephet. And I part with Alric. And it is fine.

And I go to D's filming, though he is trying to set me up with Chastity or Charity and Juliana. But they are dickless. And I am bored and intrigued. And i walk to Pegasus via Columbus Circles, which is appropriate what with the faint and malingering scent of horseshit and horsepiss, for that is all that gaysianness is. And that is OK.

And at Pegasus there is Karaoke again, without scoring. For how could I scorew ithou my Joephet, my boy, my pillow, my baby, my paratactical truth.

And I come home, sweating, my metrocard damaged (and now mailed) beyond repair, like my life without my pillow.

And I am here. And so on and on and on.

And on Colubmus Circle it would be so fucking easy to be bitter. And that is why I am not so, so, so. And so I hope.