Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Being Better in 2018

There was a moment in Hawaii after a lot of drinking when Jimmy called me entitled.  In the hotel restaurant at 2AM, I got upset when Jimmy wouldn't sit with me while the kitchen staff reheated my food.  I obnoxiously responded to his awkwardness, "I paid for this overpriced hotel, It's okay that I asked that they reheat my leftovers."  It was all inline with policy, but Jimmy wouldn't sit with me because he felt bad for the staff.  He was embarrassed and said that I was acting entitled.  I told him sharply in a drunken state that people can call me cheap, tacky, naive .. whatever, but to call me entitled or wasteful was the worst thing you can say to me and I did nothing wrong by asking the 24 hour kitchen to reheat some food.  I was upset that he made it a big deal and I was furious that he called me something that I was so disgusted by and took that opportunity to tell him that I hated hotels, but instead of lashing back at my ridiculousness he told me something that made me feel extremely guilty.

He told me that when he was young, his family couldn't afford to stay in hotels so they would just drive by and he would pretend that he was staying there.  To be able to stay on a beach side hotel now that he's older was an absolutely luxury for him.  While I roll my eyes at the extra fees and announced that I'd rather stay in a poorly kept AirBnb with no AC for a fraction of the price, he was enjoying something that he thought he could never have.  He was already thankful for being there.

I started to cry... cry heavily... because I was drunk and because I was so upset at myself and because of his story.  And I apologized and told him that I would be better.  "We had such a wonderful night, let's just live for that," he responded and that's what we did.

At times it seems like I do a lot for him, but he does even more for me by being patient, loving and understanding which is why we've been together for so long.  My new years resolution for 2018 is to be better.  A better person, a better boyfriend especially now that it's our 7 year anniversary.

I've made many mistakes that I've held close to my chest.  There is so much temptation to be selfish, but I need to remember that we're in it for the long run and that together we can be better people at least for each other.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy with what Life Has Given Her.

My mom is an only child and both of her parents have passed away.  Our family dog also passed away in August of this year which led her to cry for hours.  She tells me that she's worried about getting old because loneliness is inevitable.

As a child of immigrants, I feel lucky that my parents are living happy comfortable lives.  Like many, I've internalize a sense of guilt.  Taking care of your parents and making sure they're happiness is intact is the natural next step.

For gay children, we've become convinced that we've grown up to be the furthest type of person that our parents can be proud of.  For some, hearing "i love you" is rare... to hear, "I'm proud of you" is a dream.  However, the guilt that I was struggling with is that I feel like I cannot grow the family in a way to help my mom with that loneliness which will compromise her happiness.

My mom asked me over lunch, " you want children?"

"I don't know... but I know that having a children would make you very happy."

She interrupted me, "that's the wrong way of thinking.  To have children is to provide happiness for yourself...  it's not about me.  It's for you."

"I'm... very happy you said that."  I wasn't expecting this sort of response, especially not that quick.  I paused and took a 3 minute break holding back the tears; glancing at strangers to see if they noticed that the conversation had turned into something more serious.

"What is it?"

The swelling in my eyes increased, "I know... how lonely you are, and having grandchildren would make you very happy... and all I want to do, is to make sure you're happy."  I verbalized the internalized guilt that I had been repressing.

Without missing a beat she responded, "I have two beautiful children, I've accepted what God has given me and I can't be happier.  I've lived a very difficult life.. your dad saved me from being abused, I've seen a lot of bad things, but I accept everything as a gift.  And I gladly accept that grandchildren may not be in my future, and that's okay.  God has already given me enough."

I absorbed everything she said.  It was something that I needed to hear.  It was such a powerful conversation to have; for my mom to express that her happiness wasn't dependent on what I could provide her and that having me was enough.  That I was enough.

It made me realize that coming out to my parents two years ago was only the beginning.   Talking about the future, talking about happiness was the next.

So do I want children?
I still don't know, but if I do...  it'll be for me especially now that I know it's a possibility. For the first time in my life, I've met two Vietnamese American Dads in their late 30’s and their 5 month old daughter. and talking to them, though only briefly, showed me what my future could possibly look like:

So much love and happiness.  It's just mind blowingly expensive  and terrifying.

SO...being a gay uncle is still my number one choice.  Come ON little brother!!  (But of course, do it for you.  ;) )

Monday, December 18, 2017

321 Christmas Party: Our Hard-On Will Go On

When we came up with the theme, Andrew go extremely excited.  So excited that he bought this GIANT sofa from craigslist.  In the end he had to chop it up and throw it away because it wouldn't fit in the door frame, but we lucked out with a smaller chair and trunk with the negotiation.

Meanwhile, I decorate the house with large plastic nautical themed things.

Andrew kept saying "Iceberg Straight ahead!"  He bought that captain hat, telescope and the heart of the ocean jewel.  Man, that fact that he was into this theme made me so excited for it.  We concluded that cult films like the Titanic and Jurassic Park (Dat-Ass-Ic Park) is Andrew's specialty.

And I'm all about reusing.  That's my Mean Girls wig, my space helmet because the "Old lady dropped it in the ocean at the end," and my white shawl from Easter Egg Hunty.  Also, I had that gold string drappy thing sitting under my bed for years from another white elephant!  I has purpose and changed up the background from Shenyun!

I drove to one hour to Beverly Hills in traffic to buy this giant Titanic poster for $20 that apparently works if you shine a light behind it.  Thank you OfferUp!  We're at the premiere!

Not really Christmas, but I felt like we have enough candy canes and santa hats.  The other idea was to lay a door on the floor and do ariel shots.  But it wouldn't quite create the illusion since you can't get a second person to hang off of it like Jack.  Never let go!

Party was a success!  For 3 years we've had it on a Friday because it usually conflicts with Jimmy or Andrew's schedule.  We kept it this way to thin the crowd too.  One year we had 60 people which made for a painful white elephant game.  This year was only 30.  Which made it quick and easy.

And if you didn't have a costume, no worries!  I have top hats.

We put up everyone's drawings of the French Girls.  The 1912's style photobooth.  Lots of big boobs. 

Here's the original couch.  Somehow we got it up the stairs, but couldn't angle it into the bedroom.  Andrew had to saw it apart to get it back down.  It was about a days worth of work.  The other chain in the photos was also difficult to get into the room, we basically spun it in like a rubics cube.  Hashtag: worthit.

Gaysians and their White Elephants

This year we hosted our 9th annual 321 Christmas party.  The title: "Our Hard-on Will Go On."  It was Titanic themed to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the film as well as our success in avoiding eviction.  We thought that 2016 was going to be out "Last Christmas."  But we'll never let go.  The photo booth was pretty epic, but I'll save that for another post.

After posting this picture I noticed that other gaysian groups that I follow on social media began to post their own large group photos holding up gifts along side a sprinkle of women and white folks.

Each group probably complaining about their white elephant gift.  Each group excited when someone brings chicken McNuggets.  Each group happy to see each other in a comfortable environment in which they are not a token.   Looking at these group photos makes me feel as though we all follow a script.  And that even though we're trying to live unique lives, fight stereotypes (some more than others), there's just a lot that's predictable.

I can confidently say that each group is dealing with their own issues involving drugs, over partying, body dysmorphia, mental health, dating drama, family disconnection, complacency, insecurity, loneliness.   Intersectional issues that involve being both gay and Asian in which the only way to feel "normal" is to have these sort of gatherings so that we can reassure each other that we're doing just fine because we're all in it together with the support system that we've built.

Anyway, everyone loves a good white elephant.. usually not for the gift you receive but for the drama to unfold in front of you during the game.  And being with people that get it is like being with family which is especially needed during the holidays.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Chicken Thighs Save Lives

I feel like I've blogged about this before, but this year I've started to develop a love of cooking for Jimmy. I task Jimmy with finding a recipe.  After work, I head directly to the grocery store and buy ingredients for the night.

I'm learning that chicken thighs save lives: it's cheap, it's delicious, it's moist and it's so easy to cook.  I've compiled the recipes that I've completed on my pinterest board! I've made all those things.  I also make enough for Jimmy to have lunch the next day.

After dinner Jimmy provides me with with so much unsolicited appreciation and affection.  "Thank you baby it was delicious" as if I've achieved some amazing feat. "Let me do the dishes!" He shouts as I put things away.   It's so wonderful and makes me so happy when he responds that way.  Food is love.

He's usually home by 6:30 and dinner is ready.  One time, he came home earlier.  To my excitement he was able to help me like those couples on TV!  I gave him basic instructions and after completing them he just sat down.  I was annoyed.  As if the rest of the meal was going to prepare itself!  I thought about it for a moment, cooking is the last thing he wants to do after work and forcing him wouldn't help.  So I just took a deep breath and made a mess in the kitchen while he scrolled his phone.  He offered to help when I was basically done, (of course.)  He proclaimed how delicious and it amazing it was and gave me a giant kiss.  I compare it to how I never offer to drive.  Driving is the last thing I want to do and he knows this, so he ends up driving us to restaurants and events and always finds amazing parking.  I should show more gratitude for this.  While I can't say Jimmy loves driving all that time, I think it's fair to say that we find balance with things that we don't mind doing for each other.  I feel pretty lucky that we're able to compliment each other in this way.

Cooking has allowed me to become creative with left overs.  I always take home extra rice to make fried rice and recently I turned a box of leftover veggies from a party platter into soup!  No waste ever!  One of the best moments was turning cherry tomatoes into a light marinara for pasta!

I should take better pictures of my creations, but for now... here's an Instastory about my journey with Emeril  Braised Chicken Thighs and tiny hands.


Friday Ups and Friday Downs

Last Friday was a little rough for me.  I've come to realize that I'm not interested in the escape rooms since every day at work is an escape room.  I'm challenged with getting client questions which my initial response is, "WHAT?"  And after pinging coworkers willing to help me, scanning 20 page resource docs, reviewing presentations, and reaching out to slow-responding specialists I'm able to provide an unconfident answer.  It's puzzle after puzzle.  Duct tape after duct tape applied on multiple tools that are supposed to work with each other.  And "digging" for the solution becomes more and more literal.

The job can be frustrating. And last Friday I was defeated.  I apologized to my urgent requester:  "I'm only as good as my resources."  I also embarrassed myself in front of VPs of VPs when when I asked a question that I should have know the answer to 2 months into starting, not 2 years.

But this Friday was different.  I prepared for a 2 hour presentation and killed it.  My throat was dry at the end of it and the room of 8 was gracious and asked me if I could come back.  My counter part was grateful that I was able to do them this favor and informed my manager that she wanted me to work on these accounts that could turn into millions of dollars.  I want to work with her.  Good at her job and genuinely cares.  My rating has improved to "Exceeds Expectations."

Driven to do better, I was on the phone with another client for 1.5 hours working passed 5PM on the same Friday... like back in the day when I was entry level.  Put in those hours.  But I can't complain.  I feel like these Friday ups and downs have helped me re-engage.  Work can easily become mundane but these days have shown me that a roller coaster is good for me; to keep me holding on.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Gaysian YouTube Vlog Click Hole

Jimmy really wants this $1,000 point and shoot camera: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V 20.1 MP Digital Still Camera.  While justifying the cost, I found that it's very popular among vloggers.  So I started to search for Gay Asian Travel Vloggers... which got me to a bunch of random hits.

This is how I'm spending Wednesday...

Hank!  I'm suprised this gaysian is still vlogging.  An with Mike Bow too who apparently is hustling.  Get those entertainment dollars Mike.

Is this my future?  I'm always amused when I stumble upon content from people I know.  I guess, it's not as exciting as before since you can find them once you're friends on facebook.  I miss the days when you needed to get a screen name. RIP AIM.  Quentin is a friend of a friend that I've been introduced to before.  Interesting to see what he's up to...

Ooo A Thai film about "Fathers."  Maybe when I feel like watching something alone and crying.

I met Sam Tsui at Ikea.  Super nice guy and very talented.  I remembered watching this music video wedding video and Jimmy cringing.  LOL.

Will is fighting cancer right now.  He's super entertaining and I don't think he's gay, but he's speaking Salitang Beki which is gay lingo in Tagalog.... which apparently is an art form.

Oh god, this kid is going to regret this one.  But it's cute.

I... no words.... but I screamed a couple of times.

Something different.  This guy was adopted by two dads!  How cute.

Putting Project Gelb on my to-watch list.

LOL!  I'm really into these Consent videos by ACAS Asian Community AIDS Services

Ooooo Gay Asian Web series!!  YES!  But only one American one.    And so much bad kissing.

The Boy Next Door - Korea
Hanging Out  - The Philippines
Paper Boy - America
Red Ballon - China
Awakening Love  - China
First Kiss - ?
We are Gamily - Chinese
People like Us - Singapore
All About Sec 377 - Indian

Wow there's a bunch of interracial gay couples on YouTube.   Errr.. got a bit complicated labeling their race, ethnicity and nationality per usual... corrections welcomed.  But.. hmm, couldn't find a gaysian couple.  Where ya'll at?

Nozomi and Micky (Japanese and English)
Michael and Luigi - (Japanese American and White American)
Adam and Wil (White and Asian)
Rupert and Juan (Latino?)
Tsukasa and Jonas (Japanese and Swiss)
Jack and Ben (Black and white)
Aaron and Stephen (French and American)
Huey and David (Asian Canadian and Canadian)
Bernardo and Adam (Brazilian and American)
Shawn and Taiyo (Japanese and South African)
Matt and Blue - (White guys... but that's Kyle XY!)

Oooo and a channel dedicated to Gays with Kids!

Whoa... what a roller coaster.

Hmmm Gaysians with blue contacts...not quite it... Albert Pham and Scotty.

Okay gay travel vloggers, finally: Estevan's Travel Vlog Playlist, marco in a box, Ravi Round the World, Nomadic Boys and two bad tourists.  Ugh.. but no gaysian travelers or gaysian couples....... Oh well.