Oh Wow, Lovely

How words could describe my words.


Tell me something, anything.  

4/15/14

I think my earliest memory is a dream. and in the dream I’m riding a train. but I know that I’m not just riding this train, which is kind of curving around the edge of a cliff and there’s a river at the bottom of it. I know that I’m also at the bottom of the river looking up and watching myself ride the train. I’m also seeing the train from above. I’m seeing it just like a movie. I feel like I’m watching myself go somewhere beautiful.

I keep these sets of images from childhood, or maybe from life really, so that I can retreat to them when I’m trying to pick up the pieces. I think a lot of the time, I am perceiving myself through the eyes of being haunted by ghosts that are both my own and maybe real. it’s an atmosphere that you can almost enter, as if it were a haunted house of someone else’s memories. both spooky and sweet. like a haunted train ride through the woods or a vision from underwater.

Yeah went with mom to th art museum. then a little in Georgetown. This summer like a saturday in May lets meet up in georgetown for lunch and then shopping. Ill pick a weekend and put it in our iPad calendars. Saving this text from Ty forever. He doesn’t know it, but it captures every essence of his being. Except maybe throw in “and I saw a chickadee” somewhere in there. Such a great and interesting kid.

I’d like to dedicate the exact replica of this song, with pauses for conversations and all, to February 17, 2014.

…Should’ve went with the stripper-gram.

Fall asleep peacefully to this.

I want a kind of guy with the sort of dead-pan sense of humor.

Bottom of the Hill in SF is one of the most incredible venues I’ve experienced.

Jeff Mangum, 1998

Van Gogh ate yellow paint because he believed it would get happiness inside of him. Many thought that it was the incredibly toxic lead-based paint that made him turn mad. Nevermind that eating yellow paint had absolutely no correlation with happiness, but I don’t see it that way. If you were so profoundly unhappy that maybe even the sickest ideas, like painting your GI tract yellow, could possibly work, then you will do if. I equate it to falling in love or using drugs. You increase the risk of becoming heartbroken or overdosing, but people still do these things because they are willing to take that chance. They’re maybe willing to believe that perhaps their circumstances will change by doing so. Everyone has yellow paint.

Reconciling Stereotypes About Being A Double Minority

  1. Spend your first five vague years of life anticipating for the very moment you board the plane and leave it all behind. This is what your parents have graciously dedicated their life to… so that you can have a better one. They already drink/smoke too much, but their deteriorating health is compensated for if they can afford to enroll you into an International school. English is much harder than Thai so you have to start learning it now, in fact, now may already be too late. They know the challenges you/they will have to face out there across the ocean, but they have confidence that you’ll have no other choice but to succeed. You’ll achieve the American dream, otherwise, it would be for nothing.
  2. Manage to get through the majority of your early and mid-teenage years avoiding questions and conversations about the opposite sex and sex in general. Continue to have confused thoughts and feelings for both girls and boys throughout those years.
  3. Live in what you would call a normal, suburban, Republican, American town where you went to school with mostly daughters and sons of politicians. Start to wonder if you were less than normal for really wanting to be friends with the pretty quiet girl in your 7th grade English class. Brush off the idea because clearly, this is how girls feel when they want to be BFF’s. Develop an affinity for the “boy’s section” at clothing stores and think you’d look smashing in a bowtie.
  4. Walk into your first Gay/Straight Alliance meeting in high school where the first dialogue uttered was “Gender, sex, and sexuality. What’s the difference?” You honestly didn’t know. The answer was “Gender is who you are, sex is how you do it, and sexuality is who you’re doing it with”. Become aware, go to protests around the Capital, dye your hair purple, get voted GSA president, and feel like you’re really making a difference in the LGBTQIQA community. Decide that we are in the midst of another civil rights movement and this particular minority group had the biggest potential to make an impact. You’re determined that you will see nationwide equality [in the eyes of the law] in this lifetime.
  5. There are two main things Asian parents want their children to achieve: Getting a good degree in a reputable subject in order to get a well-paid job that can support them and their parents. The second is marrying another well-educated and well-presented person in order to make lots of little grandchildren and carry on the family line. That being said, lucky for you, doing well in your studies will always be at the forefront of their minds.
  6. Keep quiet when your extended family asks you if you have a boyfriend yet or when you’ll get a boyfriend at Christmas gatherings.
  7. Your heart finally gets broken by both men and women, and you wish you could confide in your mother like most of your female peers. Realize that regardless of sex/gender, your parents would be pissed off about you dating anyone so there’s no point in telling. Take comfort in the fact that your uncle is gay and his sister (your mother) helped you fold 375 ‘Legalize Gay’ shirts for the club with no questions asked.
  8. Go to an in-state university where approximately 50% of the enrolled are from within a 400 mi. radius of your hometown. Despite the apparent familiarity, notice that here; Asian people seem to only hang out with other Asians, blacks with blacks, whites with whites. Feel a little weirded out by it, but people will be people so I suppose it’s not your place to judge, right?
  9. On being mistaken for an International student: “What country are you from?” Me: “Northern Virginia?”
  10. In your general education classes (whuddup, liberal arts college!?), you hear blanket statements on the topic of racism like “we no longer have slavery”, “our president is black”, or worst, “all that happened so long ago, why are we still talking about race?” Wonder to this day if that person realized that segregation occurred in our parent’s lifetime…
  11.  On others hearing me on the phone with my parents: “Woah, I didn’t know you were bilingual! What language were you just speaking?” Me: “Thai” Person: “Oh! So you’re Taiwanese, nice.” Have a looming notion that white privilege means never having people be surprised that you speak English well.
  12.  Have your former roommate actually ask to see your passport because she doesn’t believe that you’re actually a citizen.
  13. You try not to be offended, but goddammit there’s a difference between curious-and-willing-to-learn versus succumbing-to-every-ignorant-stereotype. Be annoyed at the amount of cultural misrepresentation that runs rampant, but give people the benefit of the doubt anyway. They’re doing the best they can.
  14. Others learn of your bisexuality, mostly by assumption or from others, and expect you to be overtly coy and submissive in person and transform into a yuri-esque sexual prowess in bed.
  15. Apparently, your girlfriend at the time has ‘yellow fever’ because she dated you and another Asian girl. Later at a party, a drunken dude tells you that you have freedom to do anything you want because ‘we’ liberated you ‘from your country’.
  16. Cut your extremely shallow prided past-the-shoulder-length hair to a short cut because your heart and soul are begging you to defy the conventional senses of beauty. It’s been 14 months and you still feel like a different person every time you look in the mirror. Accept that for as long as you choose to have this haircut, 90% of people who notice will assume you are a lesbian or international student. Expect acquaintances to doubt your feelings for men and marvel at why “you’re acting really straight” when you dance with them at parties.
  17. Leave the bubble that is your college campus/downtown and avert the staring from “townies”… Oh yeah, did you forget you were also a woman? Go to The South and hide certain aspects of your personality in lieu of more “white” ones. Faking it makes you sad, but they say it’s so that you don’t get lynched.
  18. Constantly be at war with others about Affirmative Action. It wasn’t about the meritocracy of the admissions process.  It was about their sense of entitlement and feeling like someone else got something that was theirs, thus any system that excludes them is unfair. Give confused looks to classmates who scoff at you for being “so Asian” when you get an A because you honestly don’t know how to react anymore.
  19. Try, just try, to not be offended when Halloweekend arrives and place bets on how many people misappropriate a culture. Bonus points if it’s your culture.
  20. For the first time, you sense that the minority within a minority that double binds you impacts how you relate to the world and the relationships that you cultivate.

At some point, I’ll get there. One day, I will be totally cool with the whole “race” thing and the whole “bisexual” thing. The anger will subside, and I will learn to love again. It’s not that I have problems with my own ethnicity and sexuality. Rather, it’s that I have problems with the way my ethnicity/sexuality is used as a way into me and the preconceived ideas about who I am.

#MinoritiesAtMadison

Tonight I was fortunate enough to see Mary Lambert perform. I’d admit that going in, I did not know anything about her except for her debut sample in Macklemore’s song. However, my friends, did I shed tears tonight. In a matter of minutes, by opening up herself this woman put me in the most vulnerable place I have allowed myself to be in publicly for quite a while. The turn out was small, especially compared a venue such as the Grammy’s stage, but she was gracious, humble, and an absolute joy to watch. A wonderful poet/songwriter and incredible storyteller. It made me glad that artists who have these powerful and necessary messages are still able to have viable outlets.

"Lay your hands flat and feel the surface of scarred skin
I once touched a tree with charred limbs
The stump was still breathing
But the tops were just ashy remains
I wonder what it’s like to come back from that

Sometimes I feel a forest fire erupting from my wrists
And the smoke signals sent out are the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.”

— Mary Lambert, “Body Love”

"She keeps me warm…"

—Mary Lambert

Some strange appeal in this short of sorts.