31 December 2008

Why Bother

Being here in Orange County is like being on motivational opiates.

29 December 2008


I was just thinking how I'd like to move to a different planet and know nobody and have no past or anything, but I realized how that is unpractical and now my position has shifted. I think the way to solve my dilemma is to just recreate totally from scratch any conception of who I think I am, and the first thing I need to make clear is that I am not a cool person in any way or by any means.

I'm not implying that previously I thought of myself as 'cool,' but I think by having a facebook profile and trying to enjoy good music and keeping up on trends I gave the impression that I think of myself as cool or seek to be seen that way. For the record I don't, and I can't be. I'm just not cool enough as it is and I have no motivation to make myself cool-- it's just too much work. Is blogging cool? I don't feel cool as I type away at my computer so I'm going to say no, it's not necessarily cool.

For one, I used to be funny but now I'm not. Somewhere along the line I lost the energy to make myself a spectacle and now I'm much more satisfied sitting on the sidelines. That's not cool. I also don't get fucked up enough anymore to be cool-- I get scared of blacking out and driving now, and I get hangovers really easily all of a sudden and it's just tiring having to deal with feeling shitty. I also can't BBM, so there's another subtraction of coolness points. I only have an iPhone and with that you can do everything but BBM. Poor little me. I don't really have a desire to BBM but I'm sure that statement will be met with "You don't know what you're missing"'s by others. Oh well.

Also, everything trips me out. Everything. Anything pop culture, movies, music videos, shopping, it all trips me out. It's not that it paralyzes me and makes me want to cry, it more inspires me to think and notice cultural problems and want to write about them. That is sooo not cool. I should be able to get excited about an upcoming film or be motivated to listen to the hot new jams but instead I'm more liable to find some huge social problem linked to media consumption and then tell myself I will not, would not, can not see that film. Or that show, or whatever. That's not cool, that's weird. And I'm estranging myself from society when I do that. A good example is how I see certain movie posters and I laugh inside and worry about the future of humanity because of their mass appeal while a friend then says he is so excited to see the same film. What's wrong with me, can't I have a little fun? The same goes for television shows, except I never know what's going on in TV land because I don't have a television because the shows can't hold my attention and the commercials I find truly insulting to my (and our collective) intelligence. All of this is not cool. Not cool at all.

I also have few friends and for some reason am not consistently troubled by that. Occasionally I'll want to meet people but I never make the effort and I'm not trying to pity myself. It's just how it goes. A few people have told me later after becoming friends that when we first met, they thought I hated them and I seemed like a jerk so I guess that may be somewhat linked to my low friend count. It's just so much effort to act like a cheery, friendly sorority girl though. I can't do it, it's too hard. I'm really not a jerk though, those people were mistaken. I'm a nice guy; but I'm not a cool guy.

Because of my few friends I also generally don't go out much. That's like the end-all for anyone that wants to be cool. To be cool, you have to be really social and go out a lot and do things, I think. I generally go to work and keep up on homework and read, or get really excited when interesting things happen in the news or just teach myself about interesting social movements and subcultures like the beginnings of drag queens or Cyberpunk. None of this recounting of my life is supposed to interest you the reader, I'm just using this to prove how truly un-cool I am.

Finally, I do things that are really not sexy. I pick my nose, I don't ride a bike or drive, I take the bus mostly everywhere and everybody knows the bus is probably the most unsexy mode of transportation out there. I also do not 'work-out.' I'm really skinny and pale and totally out of shape and none of this bothers me, which just shows how inherently uncool I am. One of my favorite parts of the day is waking up to an empty house and drinking my coffee and making a bagel. Then I manage to top it off with a shower and I'm super pleased. I don't even think people eat breakfast anymore so the fact that I make it a point to have the day's 'most important meal' is totally not bad-ass and thus, not cool. I'm also pretty good at budgeting my money and saving, which is not the typical tendency for my generation. We all have bad credit and don't care about money, but for some reason I can't help but stay on top of my finances. The fact that I even talk about finances is totally not cool because money is supposed to be totally insignificant and meaningless to my fellow free-spirited youths.

The point of this manifesto is basically to lower any expectations that myself or those around me may have regarding my actions. Do not be surprised if I bore you, because I have made it clear that I am not a cool person and am probably left with my own social apathy far into the unforeseeable future.

28 December 2008

Still to Come! Is an Asteroid Headed Towards Earth...

This is so cool... Pink Floyd and the apocalypse. Amazing. I recommend watching in HD.

26 December 2008

He Cheated On Me

Why do people insist on monogamy? What is in us that makes us crave a singular person, and more importantly, demand the inverse? Is it just because of our indoctrinative upbringing or is it a human need? I know there are some people out there in the world that believe they can make polygamous relationships work, but they are an incredibly small number and honestly I doubt how stable the relationships are.

The point is not even for me to reinforce the importance of a one-to-one relationship, in fact if anything, it's the opposite. But as much as I personally believe in questioning social orders, a part of me feels that I too would expect a love that is dedicated and reciprocating.

Maybe the reason why people want their lovers to be 'faithful' (ew cringe I hate to use that word) is simply connected with their expulsion of energy. It takes physical and emotional motivation to make love--oh I'll just say 'have sex'--with someone, and maybe when you find that the other person has multiple sources for sexual satisfaction, you feel like, what's the point? Why should I waste my energy on you when you could get something similar to these efforts of mine from someone else? But no--that wouldn't make sense, because sex is a two-way thing, both people benefit so it's not like you're giving all this energy and emotion and not receiving anything in return.

Could it be an issue of authenticity? Maybe someone is turned off by thinking that he or she might genuinely 'love' someone else, and their affection towards you is false. But that's kind of pathetic, I mean, can't you really really love two people at once? You can, right? I think that might be possible.

The authenticity issue kind of plays into a jealousy issue as well. Maybe one person gets jealous that their partner is getting some from someone else and thus, getting more sex than they are? And maybe that makes them jealous? No... That's too simplistic. Okay a hypothetical situation--a couple (hetero homo whatever doesnt matter), and they like are all about each other, but both are also hooking up with someone else too. If they found out, which they would in this story I'm telling, would they be mad at each other? Both are getting the same amount of sex, both people really adore the--- this example is falling apart, I can't tell where I'm going with it. But maybe that just reinforces my conundrum: if you know you're not planning on spending the rest of your life with a person, then why are we all so obsessed with monogamy?

24 December 2008

Happy Christmas Eve, Iraqis!

I hope all of you are biting your nails in anticipation and behaving your best for Santa, because he's always watching you! Kind of like the CIA or the Bush Administration under the Patriot Act...
I found this fun (?) little tool, and I dont know if it's really informative or if it's just potentially ironic and grave. But anyways, you can put in an address or anything and see what the damaged area would be if it were subjected to an atomic bomb! Or any "WMD," for that matter... even the ones Saddam was allegedly using. Cool, huh!

So for example, if my school, UCLA, was bombed by the same weapon that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945, then basically the whole campus would be obliterated and a lot of the surrounding homes in Bel-Air would be as well. Major bummer. Try it for yourself! It's interesting how someone can make a gadget dealing with atomic bombs and it's relatively fine, but if someone hypothetically made a tool where you could animate airplanes crashing into your favorite buildings, a few people might find it upsetting. Time can heal so much.

Merry Christmas!!

and Happy Fourth Day of Hannukah!

22 December 2008

Northern Lights

I've ALWAYS wanted to see the Aurora Borealis. Ever since I was a little boy. For real, because I learned about it when I was a little boy and I've wanted to see it ever since I learned about it. It's incredible.... Where could you ever see something like what's shown in these images? Amazing... I could use swear words to describe it but then I would just sound even more like a nerd. Look at these photos and then TELL ME you don't want to travel up north and see the real thing.

I'm drooling.

What's Wrong With This Headline??


Am I the only person that sees this as somewhat problematic?? A few excerpts from the article:

"'All Iraqis are Christian today!,' the [Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman] says."
"Santa balloons hang from trees. An artist uses oil paint to create a portrait of Jesus."
"Afnan, 12 years old, shows me her model called 'Arresting the Terrorists.'"
"Many of the people attending the Christmas celebration appear to be Muslims, with women wearing head scarves."

Umm, damn right they appear to be Muslim, 97% of Iraq's population are Muslim!! Call me crazy, but it almost seems like this story was solely reported on and written for Westerners. The way it describes the 'hopeful' scene is as if it's painting a palatable picture of a progressive Baghdad reveling in its moments peace, security, and Christianity. The fact that this outright Western celebration is being orchestrated by the government, I think, shows how tight our country's hands are wrapped around the Iraqi Ministry's neck. What are huge portraits of Jesus, Men dressed up as Santa Claus, and decorated Christmas trees doing in a country that is less than three percent Christian? Not only that, but also the fact that we all know the country is really struggling to maintain its cultural identity amidst an occupation by ignorant Westerners. It's not that I think Iraq is some muddy third-world country that will never comprehend stability, I just think it's a bit peculiar that an ostentatious celebration of Christmas is being promoted by the government for three percent of its constituents.

It makes me think that if the natives there aren't exactly begging for such a celebration, then maybe the party isn't really even for them, maybe it's for some other people that loooove Christmas, and love to see others celebrating their beloved holiday that successfully fuses the consumers of religion and the religion of consumerism. Basically just a last-ditch effort to gain some approval from Americans or at least give the air of progress?

21 December 2008

No Place Like That Place Where the Heart Is

So, I recently returned to my parents' house to stay here for a while and celebrate Christmas. It's great to see my family and our dog, whom I love, and it's great to have a laundry machine that's in the building rather than down the stairs, around the corner, and tucked into a shack that looks like it could also be temporary living for LA's homeless population. It's also nice to have unlimited food at my disposal and free of charge--I was really starting to improvise with cooking at my apartment (which I guess can't be a bad thing really).

Anyways, the whole time while I'm describing this situation I'm deliberately avoiding the use of any notion of 'home,' the reason for which I'm writing this post. It's strange, and relieving in a way, how second-nature my being here doesn't feel. I've heard a lot of people remark recently, "I'm so excited to go home," "Ugh, I can't wait to just get back home," as if the place they've been living at for months and months has been some never-ending sleepover at a friend's house or something. I mean, I say things like that at the end of every day, and I'm talking about going to my apartment, greeting my roommate, and zoning out.

When I was living in New York, I felt the way I think many people feel. Their living space at school is temporary, whereas home, it's permanent, unchanging, and comfortable. When I came home then, as hostile and tense as the environment quickly came (for reasons that will remain untold), for a while it was all that warm-and-fuzzy shit it was supposed to be. I don't feel this way now, and not only is it refreshing but it's also gratifying.

Upon leaving my apartment, I was somewhat sad and wistful, knowing that I would actually miss it, because now I think that's where I feel at home. Being here at my parents' house--it's strange--not in a negative way, but in a way that is constantly reminding me of myself, and the fact that I'm here. It's no longer second-nature just getting around the house, I have to be more deliberate. In a way, I feel like I'm speaking my native-tongue for the first time in a while, but it no longer remains my natural language. Yeah, that's how it feels. As if speaking English suddenly became less instinctual. I suppose all this really means is that I'm moving on, which should come neither as a surprise nor as a pat on the back. It's only natural. After all, Orange County was the only populated coastal region of California that went for McCain in November. I think that's a small hint of how much of an anomaly I felt while living here.

19 December 2008


Okay I just realized/remembered that last night, not only did I dream about getting stoned with and being charmingly seduced by a friend of mine that I'll probably always have a minor crush on, but I also dreamed that I hooked up with a silver metallic booty-short-clad Zac Efron after our yoga class. And then! I dreamed about me and MEGHAN considering having drunken sex just so we could tell our friends and weird them out. Talk about having sex on the mind! Oh man, I'd love for someone to psychoanalyze that. Wow. Last night was a great night for dreaming! I guess no matter how rational and deliberate I may try to be, I'll somehow always be a typical, carnal, guy.

So Help Me, _____

Blah blah blah blah blah, so help me God. That's what a politician or a person in court says, and supposedly, after they say that, everything they say is the truth. Or if you're Muslim, I'm assuming you say 'so help me Allah,' or something different. But you put your hand on the Koran, not the Bible.

What does an Atheist say? 'So help me, myself?' Is that sufficient? What do they place their hand over, Sartre's Being and Nothingness? It's kind of silly that we make some arbitrary oath pleading for someone's help and after that, everything is valid. If anything, it seems like the oath itself is there to maintain the appearance of truth, when the opposite is what is really happening.

It's like when someone says, "I swear to god!" Oh, I believe you now, you just swore to god. You must mean it. But if you really meant it, couldn't you just say what you meant in confidence without any form of swearing?

But back to the Atheist question, really, what do they say? It may seem silly but how are they supposed to prove to the religious world that what they are saying is all they know to be true? Blah blah blah blah, so help me all that is human and worldly. I guess that might be one way.

The implications of the religious social structure are so far-reaching, it's incredible.

18 December 2008


If I EVER had to witness THIS firsthand, first I'd scream, then I'd pee my pants, then I'd start pulling my hair out, and THEN, with a sore throat, wet pants, and hair in my hands, I'd realize that this world is fucking amazing.

It's a 'dirty thunderstorm,' a combination of an erupting volcano and a thunderstorm.

17 December 2008


Blaise Pascal said in his Pensées, "Without diversion there is no joy; with diversion there is no sadness. That is what constitutes the happiness of persons of rank, for they have a number of people to divert them and the ability to keep themselves in this state."

Well Blaise, I don't have that ability because I'm too much of a loner. Why does it seem like I constantly have to reassess what makes me happy? This is why it took me so long to declare a major, or even understand what interests me. I'll never be satisfied. Does this make me unique? I don't feel so. I'm sure everybody struggles with unhappiness, but why does it not seem to frustrate them? I don't know what my problem is. I hate everything, but I don't hate anything. 

Why do I never feel like I fit in with people when I specifically want to? It makes me feel like there is something wrong with me, and doesn't help my self-confidence. Speaking of self-confidence, I am terribly insecure. I can never seem to tell what other people think of me, but somehow I tend to be spot-on when it comes to how they view themselves. And enough of this "I don't care what people think of me" attitude from everyone that is allegedly supposed to make us feel empowered or something. The "I don't give a fuck what you think" actually means "I care so much what you think that I have to repeat 'I don't give a fuck what you think' to myself as frequently as possible to make myself  believe it to be true." But honestly, two things-- first, we all care what others think. There's no getting around it. Not everyone will agree with this statement, but honestly, if you really don't care what others think, then you're probably just unimaginably self-centered and only don't think of other's views because you don't think of others at all. Secondly, isn't it important to care what other people think of you? If none of us cared what others thought, what would motivate us to do well in our workplace, take showers, or make any form of self-expression. The act of transmission inherently implies some form of reception. 

But insecurities aren't what I intended this post to be about. I just don't think I'll every be truly happy and it really bothers me that I don't know why. About half a year ago, I actually remember realizing that I was in a phase of my life where I was admittedly satisfied. All I did was read and work. I read books, wrote about them, and worked at Starbucks and made an income stable enough to be saving money while only meagerly leeching off of my parents. There wasn't much of a social life, but somehow it didn't bother me. Sometimes my social ineptitude really bothers me while other times I look at is as positive attribute that might come in handy. 

The most unfortunate thing of all is that I cannot deny the truth of what Pascal says, as much as I want to. I've always felt that I was probably unhappier because I can't stand to watch television and most movies seem consistently predictable. And because of that, I more frequently sit in self-reflection or read or get superiorly wasted and do dangerous things that I eventually regret. Is my personal lack of diversions the reason for my self-dissatisfaction? Is that really the answer? I seriously hope it isn't because that would mean that we are all fundamentally sad and hopeless. But I just can't bring myself to think of the answer as being any other way.

A Crystal Methodology

I found these wonderful pictures of snowflakes super up-close. I can't believe that they can get pictures like this, it trips me out. How did they not melt? So many questions. 

Snowflakes are great because in our world of American Multiculturalism and pervasive political correctness, I think all of the different cultures can agree that these icy wonders represent one part of 'the holidays.' Whatever your holiday is. Even if it doesn't snow where you live. Whatever. I still can't believe they really look like this.

for more (and there are many more) go to snowcrystals.com

16 December 2008

Diagnose Me, Please

If my hypothetical frequency was 700mhz, then my friend meg's would be 950mhz. Basically, what I'm saying is we operate on the same frequency. But wait! The numbers are different. Well, two transmissions can't actually operate on the same frequency together because the signals get mixed and jumbled and the message source becomes unclear. So we operate on different frequencies, but we understand each other's transmissions very acutely. So, paradox? Does this point make sense? Why did I bother with the analogy? Either way I'm reducing us both to aspects of machinery. Yes, we are slowly becoming robots. Posthumanism replaces Postmodernism. 

The reason for Meghan's mention, her first little blog post at Name This Psychological Disease. I know I have some psychological disease, but I researched all the popular ones and mine doesn't quite fit the material. Has my disease been invented yet? If not, then what am I experiencing? I go crazy all the time. But I'm technically not crazy because my mental state has no name? It'll be named eventually, but will it make me feel better? When you have OCD, does someone categorizing you as victim of Obsessiveness and Compulsiveness make you feel better? Why should I bother naming my disease, it wont change the conditions. Maybe everybody should get to be named as a victim of a psychological syndrome so that we can all feel like victims worthy of pity as well as unique individuals that are problematically special.

15 December 2008

That Time of the Month.

I payed rent again today and I have to vomit, but unfortunately this time the two are not a causal relationship.

18 November 2008

Just Because...

...my blog needed a little charm.

Long Day?

Today at my work we hosted a conversation between two good friends, Linda Barry and Matt Groening. Ms. Barry, in addition to giving many (and I mean many) LOLs, offered some wonderful advice regarding her work (her art) and the approach to creating such. I'll try to recount it. 

When people set out to create art (not necessarily art, work in general), many create their work thinking what it will get them. She likened the productions to a baby (in her case it was drawings). If your work is a baby, you dont produce it and then order it, "MAKE ME RICH, MAKE ME FAMOUS, MAKE MY DINNER, MAKE ME SUCCESSFUL!!" Rather, you tend to it, raise it, develop it, and let it grow and affect you positively. The same approach, she said, should be considered with any work. One can't draw one sketch and be let down when it fails to produce intergalactic stardom. The aim is to let the talent, creativity, motivation grow and be patient. Or do such simply because it gives one a simple pleasure. 

I hope my translation sufficed to convey the message. Her performance of the story was hilarious, and truly inspiring. 

You Put A Spell on Me..

What's the deal Britney? I know I'm a music pirate, but you didn't have to jinx me.

I've missed the bus four times since my previous story, and it's really starting to wear me down. It's only been 24 hours since I last recounted my prolonged wait for transportation. I mean the fresh beats I get to listen to are a nice emotional cushion, but it's starting to get a little frustrating. I was late to a meeting with an HR director at my work today and it wasn't a problem, but come on. I hope I don't miss the bus tomorrow morning. It's so sad to see it stop across the street and feel the surge of desire in me to sprint across Santa Monica Blvd. But I can't break out in a run, because I'd get hit. And look desperate. And heaven forbid we look desperate. 

So I beg you Brit, stop this hex!

17 November 2008

Sorry, Britney

Okay, I stole Britney Spears' new album, which I guess kind of makes me a hypocrite according to the RIAA, considering my previous anti-war post. 

But Britney, firstly, a BIG THANKS. I was walking to catch the bus this evening and as I approached the public transit vehicle it unapologetically sped off. But thanks to you, I gracefully (almost gleefully) waited for the next ride as you sassed your way through 'Circus.' In fact, the real difficulty was restraining myself from becoming a boost mobile commercial and assuming the role of an urban youngster wholeheartedly breaking out in dance at a public bus stop. I'm assuming they have commercials like that, I'm sure some cell phone provider does. Maybe it's a McDonald's commercial. Regardless, I'm lovin' it. 

But anyways, I'm going to say it--Circus is the best album of Ms. Spears' career. The infectious dance songs are not only in plenty but they're also surprising and fresh. As far as slowing down the beat goes, Britney means it here. These ballads are grade A, high school-slow dance cheese, exactly as they should be. They make me feel like a teenager in his prime again with the way they siphon wistful romantic emotions out me that I didn't even know existed. This album is good, I might even buy it. I really won't though because I have a low-paying job and I'm living off of federal funds, but the intent is totally there. Full review to follow. Maybe. Probably not.

See you on tour, Brit.

I am a Pacifist

Yes, that's right. I am a self-proclaimed anti-war personality. It's clear by now that the most, absurd, irrational thing that humans can do to each other is go to war. But then we all knew that. Or we'll suppose we do and just let it leak into our collective consciousness. 

Well today was a bad day for warmongers. They learned about the faulty grenades that are being sold to the government while also exploding without warning and deafening the ears and damaging the hands of those who carry them. Additionally, we all heard that the Gulf War illness is in fact a real disease affecting veterans from the conflict that Jean Baudrillard famously (and IMO rightly) declared "did not take place." Apparently memory and concentration problems, as well as an increased chance to suffer from ALS, are what you get when you're exposed to toxic chemicals intended to protect you from nerve gas. 

I'll leave us today with two things: first is an image of Picasso's Guernica (you may want to google it for a better size) to remind us of the nonsensical, dehumanizing aspects of war, and second is an article from the Onion that was published after 9/11 but recently resurfaced on Digg. As much as I maintain my deliberate attitude of incomprehensibility towards the notion of religion, this article (if read in entirety) can be slightly moving and almost insightful. Peace!


I just paid my rent for the month and I think I'm going to vomit.

16 November 2008


I just got home from a longer-than-expected trip to the library. I knew what I was planning to write about but for some reason I couldnt get my act together. Actually, I know exactly why it took me so long but I wont bore you with the details. Here are some delights: 

bye bye bull market: the end of wall street

theanyspacewhatever. i'd love to view it but i don't have the time, among other things.

i think what this is is pretty clear

black peter performing in ny

another reason to like madonna

shepard fairey's new poster. i think the intent is obvious.

goodnight, world.

15 November 2008

The Obscene

These images are going to occupy a large part of my brain for the next few days. I figured I'd let them at least pass through yours.

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
all images: wikipedia

Just Marvelous

I love Bill Cunningham. It's always a nice surprise that brightens a dull internet-surfing session to find a new slideshow he's done. Mr. Cunningham reminds me of my loving, fabulous, keen-eyed grandfather that never existed. His classic New York accent and his penchant to use outdated-yet-unceasingly relevant adjectives put me at ease and give me the feel that I'm viewing street fashion through the eyes of a native New Yorker. I hope that as I age, I can maintain the broad, yet keen perspective and charming attitude that this fellow has come to embody. Here are some slideshows of his for you to enjoy, if you don't already.

Peeps -15 Nov 08

After-Party -8 Nov 08

Boo! -1 Nov 08

Joie de Vivre -17 Oct 2008

for more, come over here

image: getty