Saturday, October 15, 2016

Not Being Selfish for Once

Jimmy asked me if I could refer his recently graduated little brother to jobs in media.  His current start up gig was abusive and he had enough.

I reached out to some old coworkers on Linkedin and within hours Jimmy's brother got a phone call, in two days he scheduled an interview and within the week he went in and got the job.

I spent about an hour and a half adding industry jargon to his application answers to secure his spot.  His ideas were there, I just developed on them.  I prepared him for the interview by telling him what he should expect and how to approach it.  He was very qualified - his experience, his interest and the timing was right.  When a media agency has a spot, they fill it fast.   When he got the job I felt this amazing feeling of accomplishment.  This older brother mentorship that I've been lacking even though I have a little brother that needs guidance himself.

With my little brother, I feel useless.  His interests, his goals, his life approach is completely different than mine.  No advice I could provide would be helpful or would even resonate with him.  Theater production? Voice acting? Online gaming?  I wouldn't even know where I would begin to guide him and feel awful and selfish for being such a terrible older brother.

We're as different as can be.  6 years a part.  But these studio pictures will always be a part of what we do together.  In the end, he'll figure it out.  He's finally feeling the pressure to leave his bedroom and accomplish something.  I have a theory that dragon mom and helicopter dad never existed in my house because their oldest (me) figured out everything on his own and left the nest immediately.  With my brother present, the family is still physically together. He's home taking care of our parents and grandpa which is more impactful than my twice a week Facetime with Mom.

Dad's 60th Dinner

I feel as though my brother can really provide my parents with that happiness that I can't provide.

What is that Asian American dream?  Successful kids, beautiful grandchildren all living together in Silicon Valley.  Early retirement?  Large Christmas parties with children and noise.  What life did my parents expect to have when they moved to the US?  It certainly wasn't this.

While Facetiming with Mom, she basically told me how she's watching Grandpa die in the hospital/nursing home.  His kidney was acting up.  She grew sad and saw her future in him.  "It feels so lonely."    To my mom, blood comes before anything else and a "gay family" just means friends - people who you can't really count on to grow old with you.  Loneliness seems to be something that my life facilitates: living in Los Angeles with my boyfriend + never being able to provide her grandchildren.    And maybe that's why there's little to no pressure for my brother to leave the house.  Him and his girlfriend are welcome to live the townie life - get local jobs and provide my parents with a larger family.  It's his job to provide that heteronormative American dream.  And what am I doing? Selfishly gallivanting in Los Angeles like Peter Pan collecting lost boys; more friends, not family.

But at least I helped out someone's family and start jumped their career.  For that moment I felt like I was being helpful and not selfish.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dating Friends

In my quest to being independent, I defaulted to going to Echo Park Lake to spend time with myself.  I had a picnic blanket, a book and a warm LA day.  I had exhausted my contact list and said to myself that I need to learn to be alone - finally.  I found a spot and enjoyed watching a lesbian couple play catch with a softball.  I noticed two gaysian boys sitting a few meters away who turned out to be my friend Jon and his friend visiting from Australia.

My effort at solitude was foiled and I was relieved. We talked about family, life, the difference between Australia and the US, relationships and the Aussie recommended the book "The Course of Love by Alain de Botton.   He shared a quote, "he will need to learn that love is a skill and not an enthusiasm."  The author also talks about how when we hurt our lovers, it usually isn't malicious but because we are hurting ourselves etc. etc.

This is something that we should be aware of.  To this Jon said, "well Chris, I feel that you're pretty self aware."   Maybe too aware as I talked about being 90% extrovert to the group... again. I expressed interest in the book because reading isn't a group activity.

The Aussie also talked about "The Family Law" which is the Aussie version of "Fresh Off the Boat" It's based off the life a Chinese-Australian who's basically the gaysian version of David Sedaris.  OF COURSE I became interested.


I ended up having dinner with the Aussie without Jon where we walked about 2 miles to get a burger because these "real" city people really love walking.  He got nostalgic and recounted 2 years of his life being lonely in LA.  He lived without a car, he jumped from house to house never having a lease.  He always had a book and sunglasses in a bag. He was free, but his time in LA expired.

As we got to know each other, I said to him that sometimes I feel like I miss dating.  The uncertainty.  The art of flirting, but playing hard to get.  The science of overthinking and over calculating.  The feeling of being attractive, valuable, wanted. The balance of obsessing and being cool.  The frustration of eventually asking, "what are doing?!" I don't play video games, but I remember that I enjoyed playing the dating game because it made me feel human.  But maybe not as much as some of my friends who are notorious serial daters.  Some folks seeing 5 different guys casually within a week and others in many 1 year relationships back to back.

"Oh god.  You're not missing much."  The Aussie responded in his mesmerizing accent.  He told me a few horror stories, but the point is at 33, he has no more time for that bullshit.

At the end of the night we exchanged numbers and email and I basically walked him to the door of his AirBnB.  For a moment I humored the thought that I had just completed a really nice "date" where the conversation was fluid, the feeling of getting to know a stranger was present, and a connection was made beyond finding commonalities like going down a checklist.

It's a problem when your dating pool is the same as your friend pool and you have to constantly question if the person was just being friendly.  Which I always am because #extrovert.  It's also a really tiny pool.  A friend of mine was dating two guys who then turned out to be friends.  Terrible.

But of course, it wasn't a date.  Two things have to happen for it to be a date - someone treats and you don't talk about your current boyfriend Jimmy for about a quarter of the time.  As we separated, I started to think about which thirsty friend of mine would like him the most and how I now have a housing option in Australia!

He texted me this morning with a selfie in front of the taco stand we talked about.  If this was following a date, then he just threw the ball into my court and it was up to me to respond or reject. I humored my imagination and I began to feel this false "enthusiasm."  This could potentially be a back and forth, overthought ambiguous exchange that takes so much time and energy and that most single people in their 30's are tired of having to do.  But of course, he was being friendly, just as I was and I jumped out of the hypothetical.  I switched over to Jimmy's text window and told him that I'm bringing home salad for him.

He responded gratefully and lovingly, "Thank you babyy!"   Like he does... every time.   


I re-read my post about sex positivity in the gaysian community and man, do I sound uber naive.  About 10 of my SF friends participated in Folsom this year.  Not just spectated, but actually dressed up with harnesses and skin.  What a sheltered bubble that I live in.

Living for my friend's heels

Sunday, September 25, 2016

New York and Chicago Skylines

I really romanticize the DTLA skyline, but my recent work trip in August made me realize that Chicago and New York have some definite style.  I guess DTLA just has the mountains in the back, a nice orange hue because of pollution and it's quite pleasant to look at coming from any highway entering it.

This view of Manhattan from the Hudson River park is quite stunning especially during sunset.  It was so nice to watch local joggers go back and forth.

It seems like my New York friends all live in high rises.  This is the view of downtown Brooklyn.  I enjoyed this after a great BBQ.

Joe lives in Hell's Kitchen which is the new gay neighborhood in Manhattan.  He lives in the sky.  I asked the door man, which floor 30A was and he said... 30th floor.  I'm sorry, I'm Los Angeles... most buildings are 2 stories!

A view from my work balcony has a nice complete view of New York City.

The Chicago office had a similar view and apparently an agreement that the view will never be obstructed.  I saw some water and asked if that was the Atlantic... apparently the Great Lakes are actually that great.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Gaysian Shorts on Youtube + Spa Night

I've always turned to the small screen to find people I could relate to.  I feel like I've collected a few videos and wanted to post them since I was all about these webseries in my previous post.

Some old gaysian shorts:

Stay (2010)

Are you my boyfuck or boyfriend?  Simple concept with actors that look like my friends.

Do You, Andy (2012)

I've shared this before, but I love this one so much

Thanks, Dads (2014)

I don't know many gay couples with kids, but this really made it a possibly

And I'm so proud of Andrew's film Spa Night which I got to see on the big screen.

Yes Asian!

Gay Web Series

I just finished The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo and posted on Facebook my new man crush Kenneth Kirby and my thirsty friends starting biting.  I mean, look at him:

And the fact that he has only 1K followers on instagram makes he very approachable.  He can be our friend that everyone dreams about.    This web series staring the guy that did the video "What actually happens when gay guys see other gay guys and straight people aren't around" is hilarious!  I found my self laughing until I almost cried.

I remember really liking The Outs and being very aroused by Hunting Season which is just soft core porn.  Both series take place in New York.

I haven't gotten the chance to watch The EastSiders which I've added to the list.

Paper boys takes place in San Francisco and stars a gaysian, but only has 3 episodes!! Come on guys! We want more!

Her Story is exceptional story about trans and queer women that had me crying as well.  It's up for an Emmy award!

There's something about how amateur and raw these web series are.  It feels as though I'm closer to the characters especially since I know a few folks personally in the entertainment space.

Some recommendations that I got:

Love Sick - Thai Drama
Disposable Teans - gay teen who is forced to runaway from home after coming out of the closet.
Cómo conocí a la chica de Ludisoft - Spanish series not too sure what it's about
G&T - Italian web series that seems to be very popular
Free Fall - Black web series from 2013 and has continued momentum
Spin the Bottle - Looks terribly corny
Alex and Benny - Chinese guys being domestic
Heroin - Chinese high school drama.. looks interesting

And during my research I stumbled upon this cringe-worthy gem:

So awkward, so preachy... and something I don't get being so sticky rice.

Here we go:

Much better.. except he better get stood up at 7:30.. oh hell.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Just Talking About Sex

Trying on leather 101
I'm going to be real with you blog.

The sex dwindles the deeper you enter your long term relationship.  And you would think that Jimmy and I would talk more about it, but we don't because things have just become so comfortable.  And at times sex feels like a chore or a check list item between laundry and cooking because we're supposed to be doing it at least once a week to be considered "a healthy couple" reaching the 5th.. or was 6th year mark of our relationship. This weekend we got to talking about what we need from each other.  And what do you know, we had amazing louder-than-usual sex.  Wow, communication works instead of just blaming it on our mismatched schedules.

I had forgotten that I have 6 erogenous zones and Jimmy only has 1.  And that I really needed to say what I wanted him to do... in order to have my eyes roll behind my head.  And now I'm craving more and he's out in Atlanta for work getting black dick without me.

When I visited Brooklyn, a group of new friends started to talk about sex positivity among the gaysian community; specifically about kink.  They addressed that gaysians just don't talk about it and that needs to change, but I argued, do they not talk about whips and chains because it really doesn't excite them?  That a community of freaky deaky gaysians is really small?  But maybe, it doesn't exist because we don't talk about it.  A paradox.  I know that some folks think that my house parties are lined with sex, but they are really sexless parties, esp. compared to some other gay spaces I've had the pleasure of being invited to.   Regardless, the 321 space offers other forms of pleasantries that I am grateful for.

I know the gaysians in my circle who are freaks and I try to n'sync them together.  To create a small sub-community within a sub-community within a sub-community.   There's a curiosity here to really elevate sexual pleasure and desire that's not really addressed and maybe it's time to get out of comfort and really experiment with things other than just generically "boys."

Without a doubt I feel like the gaysians in New York and San Francisco are hooking up way more than Angelenos.  Why?  Because your erection disappears when your $15 uber gets lost.  Or you don't know where to park.  Or you're not that drunk because you have to drive.  Car culture has really ruined hooking up.  And at times I feel like my friends are really sex-less because of this or because they're not talking about it.    But let's change all of that.

More sex.  More talk about sex.  And... how many erogenous zones do you feel have been neglected?

Just saw some Folsom pictures from the Gaysians in SF.  High heels, asses out.  Love love love.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Ya'll Left me Alone with a Donut

I've been on this health kick when my results came back and showed that though my overall cholesterol was down, my triclycerides were up.  I couldn't believe it.  This year I had better portion control, salads for lunch, exercise in the morning.  I trimmed down from 161 to 154.  However, I feel like I'm destined to have a heart attack, but Steven reassured me that it's probably genetics.  He reminded me that eggs are actually good for me and what I needed to watch out for was trans and saturated fat, not dietary fat that comes from animal products.  To my joy, I had some nachos to celebrate... but those nachos were on top of french fries... which were cooked in oil with lots of trans and saturated fat.  UGH.

But everyone seems supportive of my effort to get better and live longer.  These numbers HAVE to improve by next year.  Salmon and cheap California avocado more frequently?  No problem.  No taco bell?  Ugh.  I need to go back to my diet mantra "I know what it tastes like, I don't need to eat it."  And MORE exercise - working on it.    The weight goal is to be under 150 pounds because for my height, I am considered overweight according to the doctors.

I'm a cuddly bear on the beach.  

I told Joe that Jimmy deleted Grindr/Jackd because it was making him feel self conscious comparing himself to other guys which I didn't get 100%.  To my surprise Joe responded, "yeah! of course!  Constantly seeing impossible-to-achieve torsos in the gay world would have an affect on you."  And I thought to myself - oh... right, beautiful bodies which I usually glaze pass unless they attached an instagram link #morephotos.

Candipop at The Satellite in Silverlake 

Last night they were giving out free donuts and I grabbed one.  There were 7 of us total and we already had a lot to drink.  I previously bought everyone a round of whiskey which no one verbally thanked me for nor were excited about.  I should have asked instead of assuming because most of us don't want to feel like shit the next day; but I really wanted to share my joy that the week was over.  There should have been drunk hunger, but NO ONE wanted share this delicious treat.  Everyone politely declined, so I just devoured the fucking donut on my own on the dance floor listening to Willa Ford's - I Wanna be Bad.

I thought to myself, do my friends just not like donuts (impossible) or was there some sort of body consciousness tied to the refusal.  No sugar after 6PM or something? Is this donut really destroy that body of yours?  Here I am, talking non-stop about my cholesterol for the past two weeks and I'm like, "fuck this" and eat all of it in great satisfaction.  No guilt. Just freedom.

So what is it about body dysmorphia in the gay community?  Can we blame how the community is frequently exposed to chiseled bodies through media and... grindr / jackd?  Can we blame other gays who seem so fit, but complain the most about how "fat" they are after posting a shirtless pic on instagram while some of us have never exposed our bodies even at the beach?   Is it because having a hot body is like having a good fishing rod when trying to date because that's the only thing that seems to get a response (No Fems, No Fats, No Asians)?  Are we in constant competition with one another that we have to feel bad about ourselves every time we look in the mirror?  I don't know.

What I do know is, ya'll left me alone with that donut and I'm trying to reduce my cholesterol and ya'll be looking at it like the devil even though none of you have health problems (that I know about).  Help a brother out gaysians - you can afford that sugar; you're not going get that bulky man-meat torso anytime soon, lesbehonest.

All I want from my friends is for them to be healthy and not physique obsessed.  And to workout because it makes them feel good not so that they can get affirmations of self worth.   I want to be friends with people, not models and I'm proud to say that most of my friends have VERY average bodies because we are average people....  average people who should have one bite of a donut at midnight in a night club full of people born in the 90s without judgement once in a while.