I think the Snails in LA are causing the traffic:
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I'm thinking of spending my mid twenties here:
And then my late twenties here:
Sounds like a plan.
(Stole this from a Filipino Tumblrer: http://orkposters.com/ for other cities.)
My camera turned up! Woot! and Darn! because I was looking forward to upgrading.
Monday, July 27, 2009
So, I lost my camera. Somewhere between the Documentary and Home, I dropped it. I lost pictures from Manhattan Beach and Shawtel Boba with Andy.
But that's okay. I think of it as an opportunity to upgrade. Right now I have my eye on the Canon SD780 IS. Super slim, super sexy. I'd rather buy a new camera than laptop. Though, I miss my Canon SD1000 we've been through a lot.
I'm feeling Clazziquai's 4th Album, Mucho Punk. Thanks for giving me the 411 Thwany. Clazziquai is a mixture of Classical and Jazz, combining funky beats they create a musical sensation that really feels good. I love driving home to this stuff. The first song that I heard, Come To Me still gives me chills.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
LA has pockets of Cultures. Thai Town, Jewish Community, Little Armenia... I want to discover them all... and it helps that I have scattered friends from High school, Middle school, NSU, VSA, even Key Club willing to reconnect with me and show me their specialties of LA. I've been collecting business cards up the wazoooo!
I find myself taking at least 50 photos a day and realizing that I don't have that photographic eye that would allow me to frame pictures artistically. (I should stop taking pictures of downtown while driving!)
I've been sharing Ernesto's room and I'm trying to be as flexible as possible since I am invading his space. "I lived in a coop (Cooperative housing at Berkeley) Chris, I know how it is to share space." I was thankful because most wouldn't be so willing to give up so much privacy. For me, the only privacy I need is in the bathroom.
While driving, Ernesto saw a random set of stairs on a steep mountain and asked me if i wanted to climb it one day just to see where it goes. I got so thrilled I nearly spilled something. You mean, you're interested in doing something OTHER than staying home or going to West Hollywood? I am so lucky to have reconnected with him.
The Best Thing to Do
I haven't nor am I interested in finding a boy. And Jimmy wanted to visit me sometime soon. I quickly thought of James and how he cut communication with me because it was the best thing to do. I told Jimmy that he could visit me if he wanted, I would like to see him, but I wanted him to know that I wouldn't travel to bay to visit him. I wouldn't. I said the same thing to Joe, Szeto, MoaNy, the same thing to my mom and dad. I am trying to be some where else and returning home so often, to somewhere comfortable, would ruin what I am trying to achieve: independence.
So I told Jimmy that maybe we should hold off on visiting... "I don't want you to be attached." (I hated how arrogant that sounded). And he quickly assured me that he was already trying to date other people. *Insert slanted smile.
I go out on weekdays and I naturally wake up at 7am. Going to work with 4 hours of sleep is not a problem. You can sleep when you're dead, that was one of Chris's favorite sayings.
Today I was at Manhattan Beach, I watched a Documentary in Echo Park about the South Central Farmers and found myself in heated discourse among activists and unkempt hipsters. I'm now listening to live music at a wonderful family owned coffee shop sipping on a orange pineapple margarita.
Yesterday I went to Thai Town and went to an award winning Thai Restaurant (Jitlada) with a friend who was stranded and needed a ride to his car. Apparently he got so drunk he Cabbed himself home, but his car was at his friend's place.
I discovered that I am grossed about by people/friends who put their foot on the dashboard in the car and ON TOP OF THAT pick at their toe nails... or people who gaze at the mirror and say out loud, "I'm Adorable." I hope I'm not like that... dot dot dot. Seriously.
I spent the rest of the day thinking about Michelle... blogging... morning and got my mind off of it by going to Sawtell street in Westwood where there's a lot of Asian things: karaoke, boba tea, Japanese market etc. for an hour.
The night before (Friday Night) all my Gay friends went to West Hollywood and I was thankful that I had some straight friends available to go somewhere more interesting. I had dinner with Kevin (who was actually too sick to go WeHo) at Mario's a delicious Authentic Peruvian Place in Hollywood.
I lugged my ass to San Gabriel valley to kick it with some AZNs at a Dinosaur themed Taiwanese Lounge: Jurassic!
Three words are misspelled for that one item. "Shitlings" was the best snack: Squid in Carmalized Sugar! We got 3 pitchers of beer and played this awesome dice game. The waitresses were dressed at Cavewomen: similar to my last Taiwanese adventure in San Gabriel Valley at Indian where the waitresses were dressed as Native Americans. Are there laws against this? (I'll post that on a July Recap!)
That night I found myself sleeping in my car and then on the patio because I didn't have house keys and didn't want to crash with my straight friends because they were beligerant (like I said straight ppl get all crazy when they party.. pulling out hair extensions.) and when I was let inside BOTH of my roommates had BOYS over. So I slept on the couch on the patio. But that's what it means to be flexiable.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
She's a fighter.
My cousin, Michelle passed away this morning. You're never prepared to hear such news, but in a sense Michelle's friends and family knew that it was just a matter of time.
I am ashamed to say that I didn't do much for her. The last thing that I said to her was how excited I was to finally get an interview, but I don't think I ever told her that I moved to LA and started a new life. When I talked to her I didn't want to ask her how she was doing because I was positive she was tired of being asked the same questions.
She was there for me last year when I was having a hard time. She looked over my resume, sent me some contacts gave me so many priceless words of encouragement...
She told me that my blog was one that she read religiously. She told me that I provided her great entertainment while she was trying to recover. I can hear her voice right now, talking to me and giving my life...value.
Thanks to Project Michelle, 4 people from the bay area donated their stem cells. One of which was MoAny. By donating to a stranger, he donated to Michelle....
When I heard the news of her death, I didn't react. I was in Thai Town having lunch... Michelle was half Thai. I remember a year ago she was upset that I didn't invite her to go to Thai new years.
Last month she got news that she had 4-6 weeks to live and she turned to Eastern medicine for a last resort. The news didn't keep her from celebrating her 27th birthday that was themed: I Love the 90s
Taken from her blog, "... although we understand the position we’re in today, we remain hopeful. There are so many success stories walking in and out of our herbalist’s center every day. It’s absolutely amazing. We hope we’re the next ones. With this in mind, we’ve been able to stay remarkably light-hearted. We cry a lot but we laugh more."
She will always remind me not to be afraid of living. That there are people who have no choice BUT to stay at home. That there are places to explore and things to learn about and living with your mind closed, is not living at all. Only 27 years old and she has already touched so many people.
I will keep you close to my heart. Thank you Michelle... I love you so much.
Instead of blogging about my drunk night with my belligerent straight friend in which I ended up sleeping in the car and then on the patio because both the guys I was staying with both had guys over and I had no house keys... I'm going to pick up my friend because he is stranded with no phone and offered to take me to Thai Town if I drive him home. And Cultures is my sweet spot. But in the meanwhile read this REVIEW of The Secret (The Book) written by a prisoner.
Link (second review): http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A3R7PU67SRMD1E/ref=cm_pdp_rev_all?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview
Please allow me to share with you how "The Secret" changed my life and in a very real and substantive way allowed me to overcome a severe crisis in my personal life. It is well known that the premise of "The Secret" is the science of attracting the things in life that you desire and need and in removing from your life those things that you don't want. Before finding this book, I knew nothing of these principles, the process of positive visualization, and had actually engaged in reckless behaviors to the point of endangering my own life and wellbeing.
At age 36, I found myself in a medium security prison serving 3-5 years for destruction of government property and public intoxication. This was stiff punishment for drunkenly defecating in a mailbox but as the judge pointed out, this was my third conviction for the exact same crime. I obviously had an alcohol problem and a deep and intense disrespect for the postal system, but even more importantly I was ignoring the very fabric of our metaphysical reality and inviting destructive influences into my life.
My fourth day in prison was the first day that I was allowed in general population and while in the recreation yard I was approached by a prisoner named Marcus who calmly informed me that as a new prisoner I had been purchased by him for three packs of Winston cigarettes and 8 ounces of Pruno (prison wine). Marcus elaborated further that I could expect to be raped by him on a daily basis and that I had pretty eyes.
Needless to say, I was deeply shocked that my life had sunk to this level. Although I've never been homophobic I was discovering that I was very rape phobic and dismayed by my overall personal street value of roughly $15. I returned to my cell and sat very quietly, searching myself for answers on how I could improve my life and distance myself from harmful outside influences. At that point, in what I consider to be a miraculous moment, my cell mate Jim Norton informed me that he knew about the Marcus situation and that he had something that could solve my problems. He handed me a copy of "The Secret". Normally I wouldn't have turned to a self help book to resolve such a severe and immediate threat but I literally didn't have any other available alternatives. I immediately opened the book and began to read.
The first few chapters deal with the essence of something called the "Law of Attraction" in which a primal universal force is available to us and can be harnessed for the betterment of our lives. The theoretical nature of the first few chapters wasn't exactly putting me at peace. In fact, I had never meditated and had great difficulty with closing out the chaotic noises of the prison and visualizing the positive changes that I so dearly needed. It was when I reached Chapter 6 "The Secret to Relationships" that I realized how this book could help me distance myself from Marcus and his negative intentions. Starting with chapter six there was a cavity carved into the book and in that cavity was a prison shiv. This particular shiv was a toothbrush with a handle that had been repeatedly melted and ground into a razor sharp point.
The next day in the exercise yard I carried "The Secret" with me and when Marcus approached me I opened the book and stabbed him in the neck. The next eight weeks in solitary confinement provided ample time to practice positive visualization and the 16 hours per day of absolute darkness made visualization about the only thing that I actually could do. I'm not sure that everybody's life will be changed in such a dramatic way by this book but I'm very thankful to have found it and will continue to recommend it heartily.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Ernesto invited me to go his modern dance class. Like most, I was hesitant, but then I HATE regretting things so I agreed. (Ernesto was surprised at my "open mindedness" - this is important to me). The studio was cute and lit with small lights lining the trim. The class before was an intermediate Jazz class. The Asian guy in the back was breathtaking and was arguably the best in the class. The control of his body, the clean movements and of course a great smile to match.
We made eye contact to acknowledge each other’s homosexuality.
She eventually taught some choreography and I found myself doing slow powerful movements, creating (ugly) lines and really embracing emotion through dance. Head rolls, reaches, on your tip toes, run, dramatic drop, contract your muscles. One of the moves required me to curl into the fetal position on my side and then stretch out. This was where I felt a lot of my energy from my life released onto the wooden floor.
I felt comfortable and confident. I felt Happy.
After the Modern Dance class, I went to Tiger Heat with Jon to see the Paradiso Girls perform live. (Petron Teqilia, me and my mamacita!) The building was in an old theatre and reminded me a lot of FUZ. I pictured Tiger Heat to be dominated by white shirtless muscle guys (like Fresh in San Francisco at Ruby Skye), but there was a lot of color, twinks and hip hop music which I loved of course.
This passed Wednesday, I went to an Elbow concert at the Wiltern in Korea Town (which is more like Korea financial district/good food and residence). The building was made of stone and was sturdy beyond belief. During the work week I get tired and Elbow reminded me of Phil Collins. Great show, but I was quickly put to sleep. I was thankful to be in good company and to check out an awesome venue. [Check]
Before the concert I had great Korean Chicken at KyoChon Chicken and they had my favorite Korean dish!!! Duk Bok Gi!
Sandy doesn't have a car in LA, she makes it work!
This Sunday Ernesto is going to go a Grace Jones and Of Montreal Concert. Not being able to find someone to go with him did not stop him from buying tickets. I’m considering going with him, but I really need to save.
Eventually I want to check out this Middle Eastern Gay club called Club Nur where I can finally show off my offensive dance moves that I learned off Bollywood (that’s Indian, I know it’s a joke) while dancing up on some hairy man. Click the link to see them stroke their Hookah. (NSFW)… well, it’s Yelp so it’s not too bad. There’s a roller rink in my neighborhood and a gay hipster bar- I hope they play synthesized music, I love that stuff too! And then Cinespia- movie screenings in the Hollywood Cemetery!
Tonight is Friday and I have no plans. Going out on the weekends is stressful in LA; unless you roll deep with the parking fees. So I plan on sitting at my neighborhood Tribal Café listening to its amateur DJ and pretending to be a hipster. Where is my headband?
I like it here.
[Please check back, I’m going to add pictures to this entry.]
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sarah texted me 4 times to go out with her because she was in town. I really appreciate it when friends go out of their way to invite me places. I headed to Pasadena for a nice house party after having a homemade steak dinner with the future roommates.
It was a nice college style party.
No more shot glass? I used a rice measuring cup!
I totally click with Sarah:
After prepartying with 6 shots of Jack Daniels, we walked to Old Town to go to Menage, a three floor straight club with stripper poles everywhere.
I'm in LA, trick.
But some folks were in Virgina apparently.
The music was so good. The DJ played ALL the songs I knew. We all sang along at the top of our lungs. I don't understand why gay clubs play such terrible high energy substanceless SHIT music. I'm sorry guys, I really hate that high energy- makes me want to clean my house in turbo speed, makes me want to do aerobics "music." Sometimes it's nice to listen to in the car when you're trying to rush somewhere. BUT- Part of the fun is KNOWING the lyrics... so that you can manipulate your dance moves to match, so that you can look at your friends and point to them and say, "PUSH IT REAL GOOD!" So that you can body roll backwards and shout... "DO the ROCKOWAY! LEAN BACK!"
The one thing about straight clubs is that straight people are dramatic to the point of violence. Gay people would just snap their fingers and say arrogantly, "bitch ain't worth my tyyyyme." Straight people would beat the shit out of you if you looked at them wrong especially girls. I've seen the hair extensions on the floor... ... crazy heteros.
One of the girls I went with got socked in the face because of shit talking or whatever. Stupid straight people. That killed my buzz.
The morning after I headed to a Dumpling place in Arcadia! Din Tai Fung, I think it's pretty popular.
The host called my group and Alysia and Sandy weren't there yet.
SO I said, "they're parking."
The host looked at my with her cute Asian American face and responded, "Are they really parking because some people lie."
I looked at her and smiled, "Yeah, I lied..... they'll be her in 10 minutes."
Not even slightly amused she said, "sure, don't worry, there are lots of tables opening up."
MMmmmMm. Desserts and... Donut Peaches, Strange
Alysia told me about this trashy club that she always sees in Old Town. She says there are dudes trying to get her and her friend to go in and she would quickly refuse. I told her I went to Menage last night and she exclaimed, "THATS THE ONE!"
Well, I guess, I enjoy trashy clubs (with frequent brawls), BUT I also like swimming in a kiddie pool with Alysia:
So freaking hot.
Alysia's backyard in 2000:
Alysia's backyard in 2009:
I hold on tight to my friends. Live like kids, worry about grown up things later.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I'm couch surfing with friends until I can finalize a place to live in August.
I moved out of Glitzy West Hollywood and into Calmer Echo Park... and I feel like this is more for me.
I prefer to live near poverty than next to a huge mall where parking is 5 dollars even with validation. I prefer to be surrounded by folks of all shapes and colors over feeling inadequate next to rhythmless carbon copies of lean muscle and impatient sharp attitudes... their modelesk faces don't exude life experiences. But of course, I have to get my one month fix of WeHo because a little plastic keeps the heart from becoming too raw.
I learned about gentrification and it makes me sad for the Spanish community because all of its rich culture is being devoured by people who want to transform it into something completely different.
Ernesto gave me a great tour of his neighborhood... showed me a lake, a book store and his favorite ethnic restaurants. I fell in love.
Brazilian Coffee shop around the corner with wi-fi and hipster DJ:
After recovering from his birthday hangover Ernesto showed me how shop for hipster clothing.
Oh! Expensive ugly clothing made to look OLD and handmade! I get it!
This is the place where I will be staying for a week or two: lots of parking, and a patio to sit and people watch... and Cholo neighbors leaning side to side.
Rich Spanish culture vs. commodification of Spanish culture
OO.. look at what they sell at the Time Travel Mart:
In the back of the Mart is a free well known tutoring center- http://www.826la.org/
The parking signs of a city are hilarious, please decipher theses:
I can use that Cheese recipe book JV bought me:
While hanging out with Ernesto, I learned about "gay face" which is basically possessing a face that innately looks gay. We were going through my facebook friends and Ernesto and Mike would say, "he has gay face... no, that's straight face... etc." I guess it's like "gay voice."
Work tomorrow! But I still need to post about the "trashiest club" (great music, vicious women) in Pasadena and lounging in a kiddie pool during this LA heat wave.
I hope the 7 mile drive west isn't that much different from my 3 mile drive south from WeHo. *Anxious*