Sunday, December 24, 2006

Efren and Santa


Efren and Santa
Originally uploaded by AiYahh.
Ho ho ho?

Seafood Bi Bim Bop in Stone Pot


Seafood Bi Bim Bop in Stone Pot
Originally uploaded by AiYahh.
Dinner on 12/22/06 at Wang Dae Gam, a good Korean restaurant in SF (5th Avenue between Geary and Clement in the Richmond). Good stuff. :)

A filling vegetarian dinner! (is that possible?)


Dosa with Potatoes
Originally uploaded by AiYahh.
Went to Saravanaa Bhavan, a chain of south Indian restaurants that recently opened up in Sunnyvale (on Fremont & Mary) on 12/23/06. Great vegetarian food, guaranteed to fill you up. I got a lunch combo plate, and it was totally filling. Do south Indians really eat this much all the time?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Asian Americans, music and reality TV...

So I just found out that Yul Kwon won the newest Survivor, which got me thinking about the abysmal record of Asians on American reality TV series, most notably the American Idol-ish ones.

Considering that Yul Kwon (from what I've seen the past few days on various mags and TV shows since I've refused to watch Survivor and its other shows in any other setting) is really hot, hunky, and smart, the fact that he's Asian probably won't affect how Survivor is set up the next time around, especially since he has other things to fall back on, and he's guaranteed to win his million bucks. Survivor, even with its short-lived, potentially interesting but ultimately disappointing experiment in racial dynamics, rewards those who are able to play the game--as long as they're fluent in American social dynamics, Kwon's winning shows that ethnicity isn't that significant a factor in determining the winner.

However, just thinking about American Idol and how the Asian Americans have performed--most notably Jasmine Trias, and also running into Harlemm Lee, it irritates me that there's still a belief (however true it may be) that Asians can't sell records in the US if they're pop-oriented. Jasmine Trias, while finishing 3rd in American Idol, has become a big star in her native Hawai'i and in the Philippines, yet barely registered a blip when her record came out a couple years ago on the mainland.

I've also noticed that there haven't been any really noteworthy Asians to make it to the finals in American Idol the past couple times, although they've figured relatively prominently before, even though Hawaiians called and texted in their votes when a Hawaiian is featured in the finals (nearly 5 votes per Hawaiian resident, or 5 million texts or voice votes when Jasmine Trias was in the top 3).

Harlemm Lee is a guy I've known for over 10 years after my coming out in LA, who's also won the first (and only) Fame reality TV series, and has since faded into obscurity after being told essentially point blank that he wasn't going to sell any records in the US because he's Asian. Chatting with him last night over dessert and tea in the Castro, he spoke with frustration and resignation about his being screwed over by not getting the contract that he won as part of his package for winning Fame. He's still trying to get his music out there, and is featured on Amazon.com, but at the same time, as he spoke, he knew that the odds were really stacked against him--how is a 30+ gay Asian American man singing R&B going to make it in US pop?

It burns me up to see that this guy who's worked so hard to do what he loves get continually screwed over because of the racism that's inherent in pop culture. Yul Kwon, by being the model minority, being the "strategic, soft-spoken" guy, will earn his 15 minutes of fame, then go back to being a highly paid management consultant since that's what we Asians do best. Harlemm, on the other hand, is still trying to be taken seriously, doing what he does, and yet will probably never get the big break he truly deserves.

If you're reading my blog, check out his CD or another CD by an Asian American artist. Start bugging your radio stations to include more Asian American artists. Put their songs on your myspace profiles.

Do something.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dreamgirls. Wow.

So I was invited to watch Dreamgirls with the husband tonight. I didn't have a lot of high expectations of the movie, primarily because Beyonce isn't exactly the greatest actress, nor is she really the greatest singer.

But I found myself after the movie liking it. Really liking it for a lot of different reasons. The movie itself was refreshing because it's the first movie musical I've seen in a long time that wasn't associated with Andrew Lloyd Webber, which in itself is noteworthy.

The acting was pretty much spot on--and I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of restraint Beyonce had throughout the movie. Beyonce, as the 21st century version of Diana Ross, could have played the role to the hilt, and tried to take over the movie. She plays Deena perfectly, as a woman forced from the background into the spotlight, an unwilling participant and pawn in Charles' (Jamie Foxx's) game of American musical domination. The other actors were just as amazing, though Jamie Foxx seemed to be the most disappointing, as his face seemed to be stuck in only one expression no matter what emotion he was supposed to be feeling, and his singing ability pales to almost everyone else in the movie, including Eddie Murphy (!!!). The chemistry between him and Beyonce was also the least believable, but Beyonce is able to pull off the tenuous relationship better than Foxx is.

The best surprise was Jennifer Hudson who plays Effie. Considering what I've heard about Jennifer Holliday being the original Effie, Hudson quietly yet firmly takes hold of Dreamgirls and makes it her own. She is able to fill in the shoes of Jennifer Holliday quite well, and her singing amazes in "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" even if her acting is a little stilted in that scene. Her acting and portrayal of Effie as the woman left behind as the Dreams take off is the glue that keeps the movie going.

There are some things that hold the movie back from being the blockbuster that it should be--I had trouble visualizing Eddie Murphy as the James Brown character until the very end, and there are some parts that are relatively slow. But overall, the movie is a wonderful surprise, and definitely worth seeing.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This is why I don't play video games at the Metreon...

So I was hanging out with a friend of mine in the Metreon in SF, and the Playstation Store there had the game Singstar (essentially Sony's version of Karaoke Revolution, but with actual videos of most of the artists). Some dorky Asian guy who didn't realize what the game was, chose Aretha Franklin's Respect, then freaks out because you have to start singing, and leaves.

I decided to try it out, start singing, and I end up getting the high score for that song. After the song is over, I hear clapping and look up--and realize that the entire store heard me sing.

It was kinda cool, but kinda embarrassing too. Oh well.

Oh yeah, I also got Snoopy vs. The Red Baron too. It's actually pretty decent for a flight sim. And Snoopy and Woodstock are the main characters!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Thoughts post-World AIDS Day...

I didn't even really think about it this year, except for the fact that the husband wore his Gap BO(RED) shirt to work today.

Well, I guess that's not entirely true. I had fleeting moments when I was alone, and trying not to think about the cold that's quickly leaving my body and my wanting to sleep but couldn't, where I thought about how it's really affected me personally.

I thought about all the men I've had sex with since I lost my virginity at age 19. I know of only one or two that have become HIV+ and wonder how many of them get tested, or have tested but haven't disclosed. I think of the few close calls I've had, the brief irritation and relief that I had had syphilis in the past but had been able to fight it off, knowing that I wouldn't have been able to if I had gotten HIV.

I think about the times where I had the frame of mind to stop in the heat of the moment to grab a condom. I also think of the times where I didn't.

I think of all the wonderful friends who've had the balls to be out about their poz status, and who've taught me lessons in humility, love and friendship. I think about how I've become comfortable with talking about people with HIV. I think about how most of the time, their HIV status is there and not acknowledged.

I think of all the friends I've lost, the friends who've gotten sick, the people who I knew briefly who died, buried behind a cloak of shame.

I think that I've been lucky to remain HIV negative, and knowing that I will always have to be vigilant to stay that way.

And I remind myself that in my own way, that the fight against HIV, the fight against its social stigma, the fight that has killed my friends, my acquaintances, my tricks, is not yet over.

And that we all have to fight together.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Someone drain my sinuses now. Please.

I have one of these annoying 3-day colds where it feels like I'm having a cold and someone pushed fast forwsrd.

I woke up in the middle of the night with a sore throat, and proceeded to get all in one day all the symptoms that I usually get in a week with a regular cold: sore throat to runny nose to stuffy and runny nose and now my sinuses feel like they're stuffed with cotton.

I guess it shows that my immune system is doing what it's supposed to do--and that I'm drinking tons of water to flush the damn virus out.

But I'm not sick enough where I have to be in bed--I just have this nasty constant postnasal drip and my sinuses are clogged--the rest of my body feels fine.

Blah.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Part 2 of my mansi-cello underway!

So I just completed the second part of mansi-cello, or limoncello using calamansi instead of lemons, which is just making a simple sugar syrup (getting a whole lot of sugar, and some water and boiling it for 15 minutes). I decided to try something different and instead of just using only water, I used the frozen calamansi juice that I had squeezed to get the peels in the first place, along with 2 cups of water to boil with the 3 cups of white sugar. After about 20 minutes, the kitchen had this heavenly smell of calamansi and the syrup was to fucking die for. I let it cool down for a few hours.

While that was cooling, I did a couple of personal bests today in swimming, doing 3040 yards in about 70 minutes and smashed my best time in doing a 20 yard sprint by over 2 seconds (from 16 to 14 seconds) and my coach said I could've done it in 12 if I were fresh and not doing it as my last 2 laps!

Came back home and put the sugar syrup and the decanted infused vodka, shook it, and it looked like fucking limoncello. I'm so excited I might just keep this first batch for myself.

Considering that I also just found out that I should ace both of my classes this semester, I'm feeling pretty damn good right now. :)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Is writing a memoir in your 30s self-indulgent?

I've been turning this over in my head a lot the past few months, and it's really begun to crystallize after reading my friend Rona's recent post on her blog, and it got me thinking about what I've done for the past 30+ years.

I don't think I really want to put my shit out there for public consumption, as I don't think I'd be comfortable as a writer. But on the other hand, I find it amusing that when I describe to people what I've been through so far in this extremely short time that I've been alive, that I've done more than most people have who are my age (at least from the surprised looks on their faces). Not to say that I feel like I've accomplished all that much, but I think that I've learned a lot and just want something tangible to look at in order to lay it to rest.

It is cool to say that I've done such things as come out on an international level; enjoyed a brief stint as some kind of known political activist/talking head/"expert" on a subject; found a love of my life; recognizing, celebrating and overcoming aspects of my past in order to embrace my future; made peace with my mom and dad; cursed those who've hurt and abused me growing up; and really discovering how to love and care for others by loving and caring for myself.

But I look at the (hopefully) 50-60 years more that I've got ahead of me and think that I've got a long way to go, and it feels like that I've learned not to engorge myself on everything life has to offer--but to savor and appreciate everything slowly. Some things leave a sweet taste and memory for a lifetime; others are fleeting, briefly and extremely bitter, but flavor your life anyway.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Me? Bitch?

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who I haven't talked to in a while since he moved up to Seattle to be with his boyfriend, and I was chatting about my life and how frustrating everything's been the past few weeks.

He said he was happy that I was talking to him, and that I was actually bitching about my life instead of talking about how great it was.

Which is kinda strange, because I feel like I bitch all the frickin' time, and I feel like I have to look at the good things in life more often than the bad.

Guess it's nice to have a fresh perspective once in a while.

So in other things going on in my life--looking forward to classes finishing up for the semester, watching in anticipation as my calamansi-cello starts to take shape, and being pensive about life in general.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, as the old adage goes...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Making a (cala)mansicello....

So I went to go see my dad earlier today and saw that the calamansi (a popular Filipino citrus fruit that tastes like orange, lemon and lime) tree that I bought for him 10 years ago as a Xmas/anniversary present was bearing fruit again. I picked about a pound of the fruit (all the stuff that I can get without falling off the ladder anyway) and tried to figure out what to do with it--bake Christmas presents with it? juice it? make sorbet?

I called a chef friend of mine who suggested I tried making a variation of limoncello with it (easy enough--get some Everclear, then macerate the peels in it for 10-40 days, add some sugar syrup, then let it sit again for a few more days). Oops, just found out I can't get Everclear in California...guess I'll just have to get some cheap vodka.

I take it I'll be very popular once this gets finished, at least with the Filipinos.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wow, Post #250.

I guess that doesn't really mean anything since there's a lot of posts that I've never published (either because they contained things that I wasn't comfortable in sharing, or they just plain didn't make sense at all). But I guess it shows how much my blog's evolved as I've gotten used to writing on a format like this--which is really about me, though it's nice to see that some people actually read it. I've gotten used to writing for particular audiences, whether it be scientifically or as an opinion piece, or whatever. But writing this blog was really more about me, and what I was going through. Not like an inane diary detailing the minutiae of my days gone by, but it seemed like I was marking things out, things that made sense in my life.

A lot's been going on in my life as of late, and I'm not sure how I'm going to write about it--I think that's part of the reason I've been holding back writing in this blog for a while. There's a difference between making an announcement and looking like I'm just a fool for attention.

Suffice it to say that the cosmos (or the universe or God or whoever's directing this crazy show) is telling me to combine all the aspects of my life and to make it a whole entity, and not just neat and compartmentalized. I think too much of my life has been spent trying to make distinctions (pre-gay vs. gay vs. post-gay, for example, or pre-my mom's passing vs. post), and I've been obviously very disjointed because of it.

I'm having to make a bunch of different decisions over the next few months, and the simple truth of looking at my life as a whole is something that keeps slapping me in the face every time I try to avoid it, and that ultimately, living my life is really only for one person--me. Others will participate, and others will float in and out of my life, and others will always be integral to my life (like the husband/bf/lover/whatever), but I'm realizing that if I'm not living my life and doing things for me, it's not worth it.

Maybe that's why I left the PhD program, swore off being a nonprofit whore, and stopped being a supposedly selfless activist--while it works for the most part for me...it felt like I was holding myself back because of untruths that I told myself. The funny part is my life feels so much more meaningful now that I'm being completely "selfish." Working the 40+ hours a week plus taking all these classes plus worrying about my bills and tiring myself out at the gym and loving my partner and the friends and family who are in my life---everything makes more sense now than it has when I was fulfilling some part of me that I thought needed it--and really didn't. The irony isn't lost on my dad who highlights the fact that if I just did what he wanted me to do 15 years ago, I wouldn't be where I am. On a side note, maybe I'll finally have the balls to finally come out to him--kinda ironic, considering that I'm probably one of the most out Filipinos out there, but I've never really told my family.

But I feel like I've learned so much about people, about myself, about everything--that wouldn't have been fulfilled if I were just the typical overachieving middle class boring Filipino American who was also incredibly closeted, fearful of criticism, and afraid of living of life for fear of offending people. I've started to slough that off. And I'm beginning to like what I see.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Interesting things I'm learning in classes...

So I've been taking a class on human physiology at CCSF and I've been learning quite a bit about how the body works, and learning about various diseases. It's actually pretty interesting (given that it's an 8 AM class and I'm invariably late, it says a lot), though the past few classes I've been thrown for a loop because I've been learning about how exactly my mom passed away (complications of bypass surgery along with having diabetes and a stroke).

It's weird because that was one of the few things that I had really been upset about when my mom passed. When she died, my family decided not to do an autopsy. After learning about how the body begins to die because of acute cardiac failure, I suddenly learned why. It was both a relief and a shock--that her death was relatively banal and, for lack of a better word, textbook.

I'm not sure how exactly this will fit in my memories of my mom, since I'm still having to study this for at least another month when I have my final, but learning this takes a load off my mind.

Monday, October 30, 2006

And now more gay-themed stuff in video games...

Here's a YouTube video taken from the new video game Bully, which apparently had enough controversy already, which shows the main character making out with another boy.

I still have to play all my other games with other gay characters, like Fable and Jade Empire, but for now Pokemon Mystery Dungeon's keeping me occupied (hides head in shame).

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

*sigh* Another childhood memory gone...

Wilson's Bakery, one of the places my mom would go to buy my sister and me treats when we were growing up just closed down. It was one of the few small bakeries left in Santa Clara that I would go to when I went to see my family, so seeing it close down was a bit of a shock. My parents bought all of our birthday cakes from there when we had parties (until my parents got sick of throwing parties b/c of all the cleanup), and they made the best sugared yeast donuts.

Here's a story from the San Jose Merc about the abrupt closing.

Friday, October 13, 2006

My article in the SF Bay Times (finally)

After about a month and a half, the SF Bay Times finally got around to publishing the opinion article I wrote about being a queer Asian man in SF.

Here's the link.

For those of you who know me, it's pretty much old hat. But at least it's out there. :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Let's hang out! :P

So I've been taking a bit of break from blogging--not because I don't like it, but I guess I'm feeling like I need to get myself from behind the computer and interact with people (at least with people here in SF--those of you who aren't, I'll still chat :P). There's lots of reasons why, but I just feel like I need to be with people and being in front of a computer (which I do every single frickin' day for either work or school) isn't cutting it for me.

To those of you who do read my blog and are in the Bay Area, let's get together. If you're not, I'm still around, just send me an e-mail or an IM.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Random thoughts (again)

o Damn, I'm tired.

o More from being too addicted to my newest game for my Nintendo DS Lite (Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime) than actual work, mind you (though that plays a big part).

o Been hanging out with old friends from Hawai'i and Vancouver who came here for Folsom Street Fair. I couldn't actually go myself (nor was I really into it--if I wanted to see old white men in ill-fitting jocks, I'll go to the gym) b/c of school.

o My friend from Hawai'i made an interesting point on what attracts people to SF--and how people try to stand out in this town. "Most people in SF come here because they stood out in the crowd--but when they come here, they realize they don't stand out anymore."

It got me thinking and realize how true that is, but then again, considering what I've done the past few years...I don't really want to stick out anymore.

o Same friend also challenged me to try the Rough Water Swim in Waikiki next year. Guess I really have to be serious about swimming now.

o Realized that swimming is one of the few things keeping me sane--I realized that I was pulling another jozjozjoz again, working 40+ hours a week, taking 2 classes, volunteering, and swimming. No wonder I'm exhausted!

o Got hit on by Mr. CSW Leather 2006 while having dim sum with some Asian leatherfolk on Saturday...he's cute! ;) And did I mention how fucking hard it is to find decent Asian leather tops?!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

If there's one thing I learned the past month...

Never go to a club after eating Korean barbecue for dinner--even if you have a significant other.

:)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Have to get my asbestos suit refitted!

So for those of you in the Bay Area, I've been featured in the SF Bay Times' front page for an opinion column I wrote about (the lack of) the queer Asian men's community here in SF as part of the San Francisco Gay Men's Community Initiative biweekly column, Sparks. It's not quite online just yet, but as soon as it is, I'll post a link in a future post.

The bulk of the column is essentially a polemic against the queer Asian men's organizations here in SF for perpetuating all the fucked-up -isms here in SF, sexism/misogyny, racism, classism, etc., not to mention looks and whatnot, and how these organizations haven't really done much to promote any sort of community here at all.

If you get a hold of a copy, let me know what you think.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Interesting article about bears...

Here's an interesting article from SFGate.com about the bear subculture--of course it's about white men (of course.).

I've always been ambivalent about identifying with this community, especially after I wrote an article for the now-defunct Noodle Magazine about Asian bears (I had the dubious distinction of being the only writer featured in the first and last issue of the mag). What struck me about the community was all the various distinctions that were made within the community--from how much body hair one has, to the amount of muscle/fat one has, age, etc., and how everything was so neatly compartmentalized. On the one hand, it makes things neat and tidy, but then it also seems extremely constricting, hence my ambivalence.

There also seems to be a distinct difference in the way the communities are set up here in the US, and the Asian-centered ones (like in Japan, though I've met--and done--numerous chasers from all over Asia, as well as Asian American and Asian Canadian chasers), where the ones in Asia don't have these hard and fast distinctions--and it always shocks me that guys from Asia seem to not have the problems with body size and being with other Asian men who are bigger as opposed to guys who came out here in the US, especially guys who seem to be the Asian version of Castro clones don't have these issues and are just willing to fool around with bigger men as with men who are similar to them. I'm sure it also has to do with how being fat signifies a certain sense of class privilege and signifies one being rich because one can afford to eat and get fat (at least in poorer countries like the Philippines).

It is exciting to see that there are more Asian guys here in the US who are being more open about being into G-Men (muscular bear/chub-type Asians). At least it gives me more opportunities. *grin*

Monday, August 28, 2006

National API LGBT survey--please participate!

For those of you who identify as LGBT and API (same-sex identified and Asian American or Pacific Islander), the NGLTF is conducting a survey of our experiences. I know Alain Dang, and he's a good guy. :)

Please help him out and fill out the survey below. Thanks! :)



The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is conducting the largest study ever of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. (That's LGBT APIs for short.) They are looking for 500 folks to complete the online survey. It's confidential, anonymous, and available in four languages: English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.



"The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Asian-American community is under-served, under-researched and under-studied. Its members are caught in the margins," said Alain Dang, Task Force Policy analyst and the study's lead researcher. "We need to better understand the experience of this diverse part of our community. The findings of this study will help us to include the voices of the LGBT Asian-American community at all levels of discussion."



So, why participate in this survey? Well, for one, it helps determine what people's collective experiences have been, particularly with harassment and violence related to sexual orientation, gender identity, or ethnic heritage. And the more data they have, the more solid info they have to show what kind of problems exist that need to be addressed, and to advocate for change.



Sound good to you?


www.thetaskforce.org/apisurvey

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

why I'm blessed...

I've been in one of those weird funks lately where I feel alone, even though I know that I have lots of friends and family and especially the husband out there who love and appreciate me for who I am--but it's always so much easier to remember what's wrong with me (or with everyone else, for that matter) than what's right. It's not necessarily a bad thing to be alone and to have fun by yourself, and I had to use that strategy a lot growing up in order to survive all the bullshit I had to deal with growing up. But it gets really frustrating to see that defense popping up for no reason at all.

So I'm writing a list of things that make me content, happy and otherwise good about myself to try to force myself out of it and to do something about this funk, because, frankly, I'm sick of it.

So this isn't a meme--and I'm not gonna call out anyone to do their own lists--but I need this reminder just to remember how lucky I am to be where I am. And if it inspires you to think of your own list, then cool. But I guess we all need a bit of self-indulgence from time to time.

So without further ado:

Things that make me happy (or feel blessed, or whatever--and things I like about myself)
o The husband--first and foremost. We've definitely gone through a lot, we've evolved, and I'm more in love with him than ever. He's also helped me appreciate who I am and made me see the real me--not just the me that I wanted to see. After almost 10 years, I'm still convinced he's the one for me.

o My journals. I've kept journals on and off for the past 10-15 years, sometimes on my computer, sometimes in print, but it helps to serve as a reminder of where I've come from, what I was thinking, and hwo much I've been through. Even looking through the blog (which I guess in a sense is my journal for the time being), I can see the subtle changes in my personality because of things that I've gone through.

o Friends. Such a weird amorphous term, since I have a lot of acquaintances, and quite a few acquaintances who are closer than just acquaintances, but there are an extremely small number of people in my life that I can truly call a friend. The husband and I have been chatting and we realized that we fell so hard into our relationship as lovers that we never took the time to be friends, and that we're trying to learn how to do that now. It's actually a fun and interesting learning experience, and I see him as even more well-rounded as before.

o Stimulating experiences. And not just the sexual type. I find that all the people that I'm really into, all the things that I enjoy, move me in some deep soul stirring way that forces me out of my comfort zone--or provides new areas in which to explore that comfort zone. Guess that's why I'm a foodie, a kinkyGAM, and I guess a hedonist--to make up for all the years of self-imposed repressive and suppressive Catholic guilt and living in denial of everything.

o Working out.
o Great food.
o Long drives (either by myself, the husband or with a close friend --or 5)
o Being pushed to my limits and forcing myself to break through them. Maybe that's why I'm so into swimming right now. I feel like I'm learning new things every time I swim. I didn't think that I could do 2500 yards in an hour. Now I want to see if I could really do 3000 or more. And it feels like I'm just breaking the surface of what I'm capable of doing.
o Talking with people.
o Being totally busy.
o Being completely still and quiet.
o I laugh loud. And often.
o The people who really know me REALLY know me. (Y'all know who you are!)
o I may be standoffish at first, but once you get to know me, I'm the most affectionate person you can be with.
o I'm really dealing with my issues. And it's hard--but I'm starting to make some progress.
o I know I can count on my friends to be there for me.
o I know I can count on myself to be there.
o I love hard and fast. And it takes a lot for someone to lose that love.

I'll think of more as I go along--but this is definitely more than I thought I'd write. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A little more breathing room...

So because of some unforeseen circumstances, I won't be able to apply for pharmacy school till 2008.

Considering it was because of some stupid mistakes I've done in the past, I guess it's only fair that I at least try to correct those mistakes before I try to go on with what I want to do. (And to really beef up my grades so that I do have a fighting chance to get in)

And also considering that I was killing myself (working 40+ hours a week, taking 3 classes, working out, etc.) for no real reason other than a self-imposed deadline, it has made me step back and begin thinking about how to realistically do what I want to do with my life.

Guess the funny part is that I realize that I have more time now in my 30s to do what I want than I thought I did when I was in my 20s.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Another swimming milestone...

Did my first 3K swim today (in about 90 minutes). I actually feel really good, but this one guy who's in the class after me gave me a backhanded compliment.

"You don't have the body of a typical swimmer but you seem really comfortable in the water."

Thanks for making me sound like a fucking manatee. Jesus!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

More random shit...

o I've re-discovered the joys of chatting on webcam. Chatting, not cam sex. :P I have a lot of friends over in Asia so it just makes it so much easier to keep in touch with them and you can see them, and it doesn't cost anything.

o Scored an A in my online Stats class, which was so disgustingly easy. This now means I have a TI-83 calculator which I will never, ever use that cost me fucking $100 from OfficeMax. Of course, it's now $70 at Fry's. Fuckers.

o Got into playing new video games, besides DDR Supernova--I'm really into old-school games, so got Retro Atari for the DS (which sucks except for Warlords, but it was only $10), New Super Mario Bros., Tetris and Mr. Driller (I guess it's not really old-school since it's only a few years old, but still damn addictive). I'm now eagerly waiting for Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, an RPG that's so disgustingly cute that I have to get it. It's about the slimes from Dragon Quest, for Christ's sake!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More random thoughts....

o Can't believe that I swam 2600 yards tonight in an hour. And I worked a total of 12 hours today.

o I also can't believe that I've gotten used to swimming this well so soon after taking a year off from swimming. I'm definitely going to have give Tsunamianother shot.

o Got a compliment from the swim coach who couldn't believe I was 32, and thought that I was his age (24!). And I found out he's going to pharm school at UCSD, though he wanted to go to UCSF.

o Was thinking about swimming and wondering why my mom was so against swimming because of her own racial issues about "being dark", and why she always got upset when I called her out on it, and thinking how I could've actually been a pretty good swimmer as a kid if it wasn't for her issues.

o The husband had surgery yesterday to remove the plates from his initial jaw surgery back in December and he's recovering really well. He's able to kiss me normally (though he still looks like a chipmunk since his face is still swollen).

o Excited and freaked about the pharmacy school app. I really hope I get accepted somewhere (hopefully UCSF).

Ok, I'm exhausted...I'm off to bed!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Ain't it the truth!

Here's an article about a letter written by a number of LGBT activists saying that the LGBT rights movement is too focused on marriage.

It's one of the things that's really bugged me about the whole marriage thing--while I think it's great that people are fighting for LGBT marriage rights, it's almost akin to putting all your eggs in one basket--and if we lose, we could lose a lot more than people bargained for, especially since even in California queers aren't protected from such basic rights as workplace and housing discrimination, and only recently did the domestic partnership laws change so that we have more rights that are akin to marriage, but are so badly written that there's still no real consensus on what rights those of us in DP contracts already actually have. There's so much that's tied into LGBT rights, particularly women's issues, POC issues, etc., and it's too much of an uncalculated risk for those trying to push an agenda on the rest of us.

It also pushes on those of us who aren't in monogamous relationships even more against the margins, and reinforces the belief that the only relationship that should be sanctioned are the monogamous ones.

I think that's one of the reasons why I like being gay/queer/whatever--we're able to look at the different ways sexuality reinforces arbitrary differences and see how those differences fuck us up in so many ways--in regards to gender, sex, race, class, religion, etc. For me, coming out of the closet opened up worlds of opportunity that many straight people have a hard time envisioning. On the one hand, it's made me jaded (though has helped me realize what I'm truly attracted to and aroused by), but on the other hand, I'm able to appreciate how people express their sexualities without being personally threatened by them.

As one of my friends said, "I didn't fight for gay rights just to get married!"

Ok, enough ranting for one day...

Another sign I'm truly evil...

So I was playing the new DDR arcade version, DDR Supernova, down by Sunnyvale Golfland (the one video game arcade I've been going to since I was 6).

The husband and I finish playing this one song and we're waiting to get our scores.

I get a grade B, and my final score is 6,666,666.

Too bad I didn't have the frame of mind to whip out my camera phone and take a picture of the score.

I'm surprised I haven't grown horns and a pointed tail yet.

Friday, July 28, 2006

What happens when you heat a garlic clove in the microwave?

Pretty cool! (and I'm a big garlic fan--though I think microwaved garlic would just be nasty)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I've always wondered about this soda...

Here's a little blurb from the San Jose Mercury News about Belfast Sparkling Cider, a soda that's ubiquitous at nearly all Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area.

It honestly doesn't taste much like anything, but it goes great with some Hennessy or Courvoisier when you're stuck at some god-awful Chinese wedding banquet by my relatives...

Oops, did I say that out loud?

The Devil Wears Prada...thoughts...

So I watched The Devil Wears Prada a couple weeks ago to cheer up a friend who's been going through some major life changes, and found myself liking it a lot more than I expected. It's fluff, but it's good fluff, if only because Meryl Streep made the movie (pretty much everyone else in the movie is a throwaway). I waited impatiently for her to come on since everything else seemed pretty formulaic, the story, the characters, etc. At least it featured the Sidekick pretty prominently--and also made me realize how much I miss mine (damn fuckers who stole my old one!).

Without giving too much of the plot line, the main theme seemed to be that no matter what life throws out at you, you're always free to make decisions even if you feel you can't. I guess it's pretty relevant for me, given what I'm going through right now (without giving too much away of that, either :P). I'm just continually reminded that the only constant in life is change, and that it's never too late to appreciate what life throws at you--and to always be proactive.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Blah.

So I went to go see my ophthalmologist today and after resisting getting steroids injected for this sty in my upper left eyelid that I've had for a couple months, I'm finally going to get it done sometime next month. The way that he was going to do it wasn't all that reassuring. "I'm just going to inject some steroids into your eyelid then stir it about to get the pus out." Lovely.

Also had to start paying my back taxes for my home job today. At least it's getting taken care of. Even more blah.

At least it was a beautiful day today and I was able to spend a bit of it catching up on my sleep this morning, then having lunch outside with the husband.

Just the idea of someone poking around my eye with a needle to inject steroids doesn't sound all that fun. Ick.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I met people with the most interesting names today...

Ida Ho (I kid you not), and a Mr. Bumpass.

I just hope they don't get married...

Please support the husband!

He's doing AIDS Walk SF this year and is hoping to raise a modest amount ($300) by doing so.

Here's his link, and please donate if you can!

I'm thinking I might do the swim a mile for women with cancer but haven't decided yet. :)

Friday, July 07, 2006

What would you do if you saw 100 people wearing balaclavas?

From Trivia no Izumi: The real name of the ski mask (used stereotypically in bank robberies) is called a balaclava.

Poor little doggy!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Gaki no Tsukai...

I blame Joz for this!

To give a little background for this video, the 4 main characters have spent the whole day in high school where they're not allowed to laugh, otherwise they get slapped on the ass. Hard. The first scene is at their "graduation ceremony," where they're treated to a performance by the principal, who ends up being this cute guy in a thong...who dances really badly. Now, if he didn't dance so badly and wore such a horrible thong, he'd be pretty attractive. It's just disturbing (and fucking hilarious) to watch.

And it all goes downhill from there.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

New discoveries...

So I went shopping with the husband the past few days and found some things that have proven very useful. If only I'd get paid for these endorsements. :)

The husband bought a rinse at Kiehl's to get rid of chlorine after swimming. Considering I've tried all these different things that haven't really worked, I was pretty skeptical, but after using it twice and discovering that all the chlorine's gone, I'm sold. It is pretty expensive ($15 for an 8 oz. bottle), but considering you only have to use a little bit to get rid of all the chlorine, it's really worth it. Considering my gym (UCSF Milberry) overchlorinates the water, it's nice to finally not stink after leaving the gym.

I noticed that Sports Basement started selling Crocs, the ugly-ass shoes that are showing up all over the City, both the clogs and sandals (which I didn't know they made). The men's sandals actually come in pretty restrained colors, and I'm not embarrassed to wear them in public. And they actually are comfortable, especially after swimming 2400 yards in an hour today (which I haven't done in a year).

I'm fucking tired!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Couple of quick updates...

o Please send e-mails of condolences to my friend, Joz, whose dad passed away last Saturday. Here's the link to her blog post.

o PINOYexpats.org, a website for Pinoy expatriates (what else?), has published their LGBT issue today. I did an e-mail interview about me getting married to the husband two years ago. Here's the link. I'm in pretty good company on this website--Kreatibo, Noel Alumit, Allan Brocka, to name a few. :)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

What a weird 24 hours it's been...

So I met two friends from junior high and elementary school (refer to my post below), and I had a surprisingly good time given my apprehension prior to meeting them. As I suspected, the friend who I came out to was dealing with his own issues about being gay and so didn't know how to respond when I had come out to him 15 years ago. So it wasn't surprising when he did come out to me last night.

What was a surprise was meeting my other friend who ended up coming out as a lesbian, who happens to be married, but only because her husband doesn't want to divorce her, even though she said that she would understand if he did. I kinda figured that she was a dyke, but considering she looked a lot more femme than I was expecting, it was a trip to see someone else come out. It also made me realize that out of the 10 or so Filipinos I was somewhat close to when I was in elementary and junior high, I know that at least half of us are queer.

It also made me realize how much I had tried to distance myself from the horrible time I had in elementary and junior high and being constantly picked on for being everything everyone else wasn't: working class, colored, a sissy boy, etc., and how painful it was to really talk about those years. My friend said that the only way to really get over it was to own it and see how it shaped us into the fabulous queers we are today.

I know he's right, but I guess it's another thing I have to accept that's going to take some time to deal with. Aside from hanging out with those two and a couple of other outcasts, I don't have a lot of fond memories of Catholic school at all.

At least now that I know that all 3 of us are queer and that we're all in the area, we're hoping we can hang out more often. It'd be a nice way to re-establish and remember the good times I had growing up.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

and I wonder why I don't go on myspace...

So I spent some time on myspace because a friend of mine said that a mutual friend of ours (well, I made out with this mutual friend back when I was 19 and he was 17 *sheepish grin*) was on it.

And I found out that said mutual friend is now a paraplegic after suffering a major car crash.
And that he's apparently Christian.

Not sure if he's ex-gay, but that would probably put the icing on the cake.

So after digesting that, I get an e-mail from a guy from myspace...

Who was my best friend in elementary school & junior high.
And who totally freaked out after I came out to him my freshman year in college (despite the fact that he was even a bigger flamer than I was).

And it looks like he still hasn't come out yet.

So we'll see what happens if he's really interested in being friends again. Considering he was totally needy when we were friends in school, I wonder how much he's really changed.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Thoughts about Pride and life...and other random shit...

Still reeling from Joz's announcement about her dad suffering a massive brain hemorrhage which brings back memories of my own experience of losing my mom 3 1/2 years ago, which was relatively sudden, if not unexpected, given her health. Please continue to send her messages and positive energy to her and her family. I guess if anything, it just continually reminds me of the temporality (does that even make sense?) of life in general, and that everything good that's going on needs to be appreciated; and everything bad, well, that'll pass soon enough. Probably the most lasting legacy of what happened was that I finally found the courage to be out completely, and to be true to myself and those closest to me.

SF's Gay Pride last weekend was, well, everything that I expected. Totally commercial (not surprisingly), though we did manage to sneak in some relatively non-commercial stuff like listening to joel tan do a fun reading of 70s and 80s songs that were racist against Asian Americans.

What's been bugging me was seeing the Radical Faeries areas, which were usually in a tent, but for some reason was out in the open this year. And while the Radical Faeries are known for being very sexually expressive, and with a lot of them walking around naked, and having sex with each other, for some reason it just bugged the shit out of me that a handful of them (maybe about 2 or 3 at most) were doing this in front of children. Most of them did it in their own space that was completely blocked off so that only adults could enter, which I don't have a problem with by any means. But it does make me wonder about the motivations of the ones who were doing it for all and sundry. Granted, some of the kids who happened to hang out were being led by idiotic parents who didn't realize what was going on, and there were other kids with their parentswere hanging out with naked men who weren't doing anything sexual except for just being naked, which is fine. But having sex in front of them...I was just extremely upset. Also given that many of the Radical Faeries (and a lot of other New Age folk) have this fucked-up romantic attitude toward primitive (usually Asianesque or Pacific Islander-esque, but also with pagan European traditions) where the historical and cultural context is lost among people trying to claim or re-claim these traditions, well, it was all I could do to not get into my educated ghetto mode.

Pride was fun for the most part, besides that. It was good to see friends who I hadn't seen since my self-imposed exile after being completely overexposed last year in the media, and I was happy to see that all my former staff is doing well.

Aside from that, trying to come grips with my own financial situation and realizing that I have to take control of my financial issues.

Blah. It's been a very introspective week, and it's only Tuesday!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Ow (again).

Stupid me walked around SF Gay Pride today without anysunscreen and now I'm paying for it big time. My upper body looks really red. Ow.

I have some random thoughts about my observations about what I saw at Pride today, but my brain's a bit overloaded. I'll probably post it tomorrow.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Please send your well wishes and positive thoughts to jozjozjoz...

She just posted something yesterday about her dad being in the hospital after suffering a massive stroke. Here's her post, and please send your well-wishes to her.

Thanks!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Thoughts about gay pride...

So it's the annual gay pride weekend here in SF, and so decided to post thoughts and questions that have run in my mind about pride...

o Is pride still relevant? Personally, no; socially, yes. I've realized I've come a very long way since being the closeted cyberslut when I was in college to now being 1/2 of the most famous married gay Asian male couple in the world :P and so I can look at pride as something that's evolved as the LGBTQ community (or at least the rich GWM community :D) has evolved to something more commercial (because of the myth that queers have a lot more disposable income; etc.) and rather irrelevant as the community becomes more conservative and not really standing for what I believe in, partly because of marriage, etc., especially as more people come out. But I am reminded that where I am personally as well as physically makes it easy for me to be both gay and Asian--talking to gay Asian folk who don't live in areas like SF, LA, or NYC reminds me how easy I've got it here.

o I've also been thinking about how fluid sexuality is--from dykes watching gay porn, to straight men having sex with each other and having sex with women for gay men--and to its more romantic/relationship side, especially seeing how my bi friends have started relationships with people of the same sex as well as with the opposite sex, and how people claim bisexuality--from people who are open to having sex and relationships with both men and women; to people who claim to be bi and have never had any sort of relationship with someone of the same (or opposite!) sex. I wonder how many gay men get turned on by watching straight couples having sex and then have to go through this whole mental rationalization of saying they were focusing on the guy. :) Unfortunately, it just makes me realize that I'm about as Kinsey 5.9999 as they come--I've had chances to have sex with women, but I've never been turned on enough to really go through with it. I'm probably one of the few fags out there who've never done anything with women.

More random thoughts to come...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Since Ghana kicked the US out of the World Cup...

here's a little video from Trivia no Izumi, making fun of the former chief of Ghana's soccer federation, Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe. "Nyaho" in Japanese is the equivalent of the English "meow," which is why there are so many pictures of cats in this video. :)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Father's day with my dad...

So yesterday was a double shot for my dad, it being both Father's Day and his birthday, and it was actually a pretty nice one. It also got me thinking of my dad since I don't really see him all that often because of my work schedule and his being constantly busy even though he's retired. Even though it's been almost 3 1/2 years since my mom passed, I still have a hard time thinking about my dad without thinking about "mom and dad." Especially since my sister isn't speaking to either of us for reasons that are still unclear, I'm sure it's hard for him to think about me just by myself without relationship to my sister.

Anyway, the one thing I noticed is that my dad is unusually taciturn as Asian dads go. Our conversations are usually extremely brief, punctuated by different types of grunts to signal his approval or disapproval, and the occasional sentence when he has something to say, which usually isn't much. So I took him out to the usual bad Asian buffet close to his house (I just stuck to everything that was cooked to death to make sure I wouldn't get any food poisoning considering how long everything stood out there), and we, er, I chatted, talking about pharmacy school applications, where I'm working, while my dad gorged. Driving back, he chatted about his aches and pains, and seemed to open up as I talked more and more about pharmacy school and how serious I am about applying.

Arriving home, my dad introduced me to his new thing, a little puppy dog named Spot that my cousin had given him about a month ago. He had given away my mom's cat to one of his cousins. Spot seemed really happy to see him, and me, even though I had never seen the dog before.

"So what type of dog is it?" I asked.
--Chihuahua, he said, with a straight face.

I looked at the dog again. He was small enough to be chihuahua-size and his features looked chihuahua-ish (short stubby legs, brief little yaps as his barks), but his fur pattern was definitely Dalmatian.

My dad seemed happy to show me Spot, even though he ignored my dad when my dad tried to get him to do his tricks. He just wanted to yap and jump since he was so happy to see him.

On the one hand, it was really nice to see him with his new dog, but then I suddenly felt weird that he had given away my mom's cat, and I couldn't figure out why--maybe it was because my mom had really taken care of the cat and knew when she had passed, but still stuck around, and that he was letting go of other reminders of my mom.

He started doing his chores around the house, and I stuck around to watch TV, most of which was in Tagalog and I could understand maybe a 1/3 of it (my parents speak another dialect, and so Tagalog sounds really strange to me). He was happy that I was there, even if we weren't really chatting or doing anything--but that my presence and my willingness to hang out with him even though I wasn't doing anything made him happy. I realized I had forgotten that.

After about an hour of me watching TV, he saw me off with a small bag of cherries and I drove around my old hometown, driving past my high school, trying to figure out if I should buy any new games for my Nintendo DS, and going to the old arcade that I went to a lot when I was a kid. Everything felt familiar, and yet everything felt really foreign to me, like the edges of me that should've fit into the neat puzzle that was my hometown and my life growing up had changed so that I didn't really fit anymore. Maybe that's why I'm feeling this sense of confusion that home has to be a mental and emotional place, and not physical.

I also realized driving back that this was the first time that I had truly done stuff on my own, without anyone else around, in a really long time. I drove home, listening to Sade's King of Sorrow, enjoying my friend's new mixes, and realized that if I were listening to this before, I would've internalized the lyrics like, "I'm crying everyone's tears/I have already paid for all my future sins."

But tonight felt different. It really felt like I was living in the moment, and I felt unbound by all the sadness and drama that usually happens when I see my dad or see my hometown. The lyrics and the singing still hit me, but coming to the realization that the song didn't really fit my life anymore was welcome.

I guess I really am grown up.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Last post of the night--Asian wins Mr. CSW Leather


Ok, I lied--THIS is the last post--while I don't
necessarily identify as a leatherman (though I have
done some kinky sex before...even the serious
leathermen were shocked :), it's always a welcome
shock to see more Asian men win these leather events,
particularly since it seems that the LGBTQ leather
scene seems to be a lot more welcoming of Asians
(maybe because of the kinky Japanese stuff that's seen
a lot, but who knows?).

I remember meeting this guy years ago and I had NO
idea that he was kinky, so it's very cool to see him
win.

Here's the press release from a good friend, George
Wong, a well-known leatherman from LA.

> P R E S S R E L E A S E
>
___________________________________________________________
>
> DATE: June 17, 2006
> SUBJECT: Mr. CSW Leather 2007
> CONTACT: Gio Micu, _MrBulletLeather@yahoo.com_
> (mailto:MrMrBulletLeather@yahoo.com)
>
___________________________________________________________
>
>
> Tom Wang Wins Mr. CSW Leather 2007
>
> CSW (Christopher Street West) produced Los Angeles
> Pride 2006 festivities
> the weekend of June 9-11 in West Hollywood, CA. CSW
> launched its inaugural Mr.
> CSW Leather contest on Saturday, June 10, at Erotic
> City within the LA Pride
> festival grounds. Gio Micu (Mr. Bullet Leather
> 2005) produced the contest
> under the direction of Raymond Rector and Steve
> Ganzell.
>
> The distinguished panel of judges included Joanne
> Granai, Director of
> Awareness Entertainment, Ruben Hernandez, Faultline
> Mr. Leather 2005, Lou Romano,
> Mr. Oil Can Harry's Leather 2005, and David Stern,
> publisher of IN Magazine.
> George Wong of Avatar Club served as Chief Judge.
> Contestants were judged on
> interview, cruise/bar wear, physique, formal
> leather and an extra challenge.
> The Hardware Store Challenge consisted of
> contestants going to the local
> hardware store to purchase $20 worth of materials
> to build a BDSM toy of their
> choice. Contestants described and demonstrated
> their creative workmanship on
> stage.
>
> Bob Johnson, Mr. LA Leather 2006, handled the emcee
> duties with fun and
> laughter. Bob was very accommodating to audience
> requests to show more skin
> throughout the event. Rob Henning, Gauntlet II Mr.
> Leather 2004, served as
> Contestant Coordinator to keep the contestants on
> schedule and relaxed as much as
> possible. Tim Stake, Mr. Oil Can Harry's 2006, had
> his laptop on hand to
> tally up the final results. Bob announced Tom Wang
> to be the first Mr. CSW
> Leather and Phillip Morton as the 1st Runner-up.
> Tom will go on to compete at
> Mr. LA Leather 2007 next March.
>
> Tom Wang is a young 33 and of Chinese descent. He
> is in a loving
> relationship with David Means and resides in
> Pasadena. Tom's other passion is creating
> large art murals on streets and sidewalks using
> chalk. Tom's
> responsibilities during his title year will focus
> on helping bridge the general LGBT and
> leather communities together within the LA area.
>
> The winner and contestants were awarded gift prizes
> from Rough Trade, IN
> Magazine, Leatherbyrd, Macleo Leather, Mr. S
> Leather, Oil Can Harry's and Eagle
> Bar who were vendors and participants at Erotic City
> during LA Pride weekend.
> Erotic City provided a safe place for the leather
> & kink curious to explore
> and learn more about the leather culture. An
> educational tent seated 250+
> people for fetish presentations and panel
> discussions. Maximus and Eagle LA
> hosted a Cigar Lounge for cigar and pipe
> aficionados to relax in. Erotic City
> was the place to be at during LA Pride. Come join
> us next year,
> _www.LAPride.org_ (http://www.LAPride.org) .

I'm more evil than Chad Fox?

Is that possible? :) (with apologies to Chad Fox.)

You Are 86% Evil

You're the most evil person you know.
The devil is even a little scared of you!


Ok, I'll stop with the posts tonight--I'm just in a funky (in a good way), summery kind of mood and that I had a really nice day with the husband (despite all the weirdness--just scroll down).

Why I _NEVER_ do drag...


IM000742.JPG
Originally uploaded by AiYahh.
Good lord...this is what happens when the husband makes me his living Barbie doll--at least I didn't have to worry about cleavage!

Did we ever send this to jozjozjoz?


IM001384.JPG
Originally uploaded by AiYahh.
From our Honolulu trip a couple years ago. :)

More random shit...

o So I started my pharmacy school application today--and I just found out that someone who has a flickr account for UCSF School of Pharmacy added me as a contact. I guess it's a fairly good sign (from somewhere). :)

o I've been watching some movies from Frameline, SF's LGBTQ film festival, and of course, I'm seeing most of the Asian ones--I saw The Masseur (from the Philippines) on Thursday, and just saw Innocent (Canadian movie about a gay teenager from HK adjusting to living in Toronto) tonight. Both movies weren't bad--but they weren't great, either.

o It's been really nice today in SF (meaning it was over 70)--and of course, I hung out in the Castro and saw all the shirtless muscle boys and everyone else in tanks and tees and shorts.

o And I got my first sunburn of the year. Blah.

o Went to an opening party for the husband's friend's new restaurant, Juni, on Sutter between Van Ness and Polk in SF. Interesting stuff that makes Asian fusion seen more interesting, and was surprisingly not as pretentious as I thought it would be. And it helped that the guys I were hanging out were cute (even though they were potato queens, which is probably a good thing anyway). Was caught off guard since one of his friends was asking how I knew the husband (who knows his bf too), and was taken by surprise since I didn't know how to answer because it sounded like he didn't know that the husband and I were together--so I just said, "We're just really close friends!" I doubt he bought it.

o Had a couple of mini-epiphanies today while driving home after dropping off the husband at his bf's place. Was noticing that my arms and legs are decent but the rest of my body isn't in shape at all (Also didn't help that I was trying to swim yesterday and felt like a whale). Came to this realization that while I'm hoping people won't notice my face and torso and just see my legs and arms, that it's the first thing many people notice (duh)--and saw how that plays into other parts of my life--hoping that people will just see the outside parts and not notice all the other shit I'm going through, but it becomes fairly evident through my actions anyway.

o Related to this--I started listening to what my body wants to eat, instead of indulging in all these things that I want (which is usually laden with fat, meat, and sugar), and have noticed with a shock that I've been eating a lot more veggies and fish and chicken and almost no red meat at all. I don't think I'm losing my taste for it as I'm realizing how I don't need it as much.

o Other mini-epiphany--after watching Innocent, which goes through the whole tired discussion of being queer and Asian in North America (at least the main character has interests in all types of guys), I had this small period of mini-angst (of maybe about 2 minutes) where I was wondering, "Where do I fit in? Where's my home?", blah blah blah, when the husband said, "I know it's a tired cliche, but home is where the heart is." That brought me back down to earth and made me realize that home is where I want it to be, not projected on someone or something, but where I am.

o Going to see my dad tomorrow to wish him a happy birthday/Father's Day--taking him out to another bad Asian buffet somewhere in the South Bay (his choice of course).

o Got a Nintendo DS Lite, and am hooked on the New Super Mario Bros., and Mr. Driller. I just need to get Dig Dug and I'm a happy boy. :)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Tonkatsu, anyone?

Trivia no Tane #135: How many blotting tissues does it take to soak up all the oil in a fried pork cutlet (tonkatsu)?



Excuse me while I go get some tonkatsu curry. :)

Otherwise known as the _other_ fat gay Asian guy...

So I was over at the temporary home for the California Academy of Sciences over in SoMa last night with the husband and admiring all the cool exhibits out there (and trying not to think about the bio classes I've been taking), when a guy walks up to me and asks if I posted on some website. I look at him, confused, trying to figure out what the hell he's talking about.

It suddenly dawns on me that he thinks I'm Ernie Hsiung, of littleyellowdifferent.com fame.

While I was chewing that over, half shocked that I could be mistaken for him and wondering how the hell this guy could think we look alike, when his boyfriend starts talking about meeting down in San Jose--and then I realize that his boyfriend made these nearly-lethal drinks at a video game party and I got totally wasted to the point where I was showing my tattoo to all and sundry (at least I kept my shorts on) and that I had met them before.

But I was still thinking--how the fuck could they get us mixed up??? Considering that I've never met Ernie (even though I have him on my Yahoo 360 and my flickr), I'd like to think that he doesn't look at all like me.

And I'm nowhere near as famous as him online.

(I hope.)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Test from YouTube...

Trivia no Izumi #475: If you play Hitoto Yo's song, "Weeping in Sympathy," at 80% speed, it sounds like Hirai Ken singing (J-pop R&B singer).

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Whoa.

Not like the Keanu Reeves way of saying, "Whoa," but it's been a pretty strange week nonetheless.

o Monday night, after taking my hip hop dance class at UCSF, I was driving along 16th Street to pick up the husband at his bf's place and stopped at Church Street. The light turns green, I start going into the intersection when a fucking SUV from Nevada going against the light misses me by inches. I honk the horn, the SUV breaks hard and starts to drift, nearly flips over before stopping inches in front of the apartment building on 16th and Church. The other cars stop stunned. I'm too much in shock to really think about it until after I have dinner, grab a dessert and calm down until I realize, "Holy shit--I was nearly killed just now." I pick up the husband, and he thankfully offers to drive me home.

o Tuesday night I decided to go in for an HIV test, partly because I haven't been tested in a while and I just wanted some peace of mind--especially since I get so fucking paranoid when I think about how some little thing here or there that I do when I'm messing around puts me at risk. Most of the time I'm safe, and I can count the number of times I've done something that put me at high risk on the fingers of one hand. But each time I've done something...I freak out. I couldn't sleep the night before (partly because of the fucking near-accident), but I think that my glands are swollen because I'm having pain at the base of my neck (never mind that the lymph nodes are actually more around the top of the neck). It isn't until I take some ibuprofen and realize...it was a muscle strain.

You can probably guess how I got it. :P

Anyway, I take the HIV test, which is the new OraSure, which, contrary to its obvious sounding name, is taken from a finger stick. I've gotten fingersticks before and they've never hurt. For some reason though, when the phlebotomist sticks me, it hurts like a motherfucker. Even she says, "Wow, that sounded really blunt!" I was thinking, "Think how I feel!" The blood draws I've gotten have hurt less...sheesh.

So after my results come back (negative, thank God), I also decided to take some other tests for STDs. The oral test was done by the phlebotomist and straightforward enough. But I had to do the anal test by myself. Nonchalantly, the phlebotomist tells me where to go (the men's bathroom of course) and how to do it. Sure enough, there's a huge sign showing you how to administer your own rectal exam.

Lovely.

The husband actually commented that when he got his last STD test done, he had the lab tech do it. Maybe he was cute.

I'm glad I did it myself, thankyouverymuch.

And my finger still fucking hurts from that stick...sheesh.

At least it's better just to have that stick than the stress of not knowing whether I'm still negative or not.

o Hopefully, the rest of the week will be better--going to the California Academy of Sciences for hors d'oeuvres and watching fish have sex (oh baby--squirt into the water!); then going to Napa on Saturday so the husband can get some wine, then seeing friends on Sunday and zoning out on video games.

Oh yeah, also got some Japanese porn from a friend--the week's looking better already. :)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Bulletproof underwear?

Celebrating my 200th post with a video :)

Trivia no Izumi #916: You can buy bulletproof underwear.

I think the guy modeling the underwear is kinda cute. ;)

Changed my template again....

I got tired of the nautical theme, and I wanted something more minimalistic, since it's what I'm feeling at the moment.

(And this is post #199 on my blog. Darn you, jozjozjoz! Darn you to heck!)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Recent goings-on...

o Still coughing and hacking up stuff from this nasty flu bug I got last week. Yuck.

o Went to an "Asian American Music Night" at StudioZ.tv and listened to this Korean folk singer who was unintelligible in both Korean and English, then listened to a good punk Chinese American band which had great guitarists, but then my ears were ringing so I had to leave (considering I'm a transcriptionist--that's not a good thing). The cool thing about it was seeing that the lead singer's parents and family were there to support him and they were really happy to see him play. It was actually pretty stunning to see that happen since it's stereotypical to see 1st generation Asian American parents not being supportive of their kids who want to do pop or rock music.

Considering that StudioZ.tv used to be the Transmission Theater, home of the old Jaded (sigh), it brought back good memories and the shock that it was a lot smaller than what I iamgined.

o Had gone to Good Vibrations with the husband earlier and noticed all the interesting vibrators that were there, like a vibrator that looked like a mole, and one that looked like a flower with a ladybug on/off switch (discreet until you turn it on I guess). Also pleasantly surprised to see a friend of mine published in Best Black Gay Erotica.

o Totally enamored by Beard Papa cream puffs. Considering I want to start swimming seriously again and whatnot, this is not good. :P

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I pulled a jozjozjoz yesterday...

(With apologies to the jozjozjoz-ster herself)

Ended up doing a 10 hour shift yesterday and didn't get home till 1 am last night (getting time and a half and double b/c of the holiday was a big plus).

Woke up this morning, tried to do some cleaning in preparation for the husband's brother, wife and his kids (aka Devilspawn I and II) coming over today for a few days, then went back to work this afternoon.

At least things are slow so I can blog.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Adventures in medical transcription...

So I haven't really talked about the job I'm doing to pay my bills and rent, medical transcription. For the most part, it's a fairly mindless job, if you have the ear for listening to polysyllabic words 8 hours a day and if you're into learning more about the human body and its anatomy (which is probably going to be a big plus for me once I start taking human physiology next semester and anatomy in the spring).

And most of the time, while some of the stuff is pretty run of the mill, like broken bones, heart attacks, etc., I have had to transcribe some pretty interesting stuff (for obvious reasons relating to HIPAA and all that, I won't be naming names). Interesting as in stomach-churning if you're not into it. Like complications from stomach-shrinking surgery for the morbidly obese. Or draining enough bodily fluids from various body parts to fill 2 liter bottles, and then some. Or doing a colonoscopy to relieve a severe gas problem (yes, it was that bad).

Some things are just downright bizarre, like the doctor who was stupid enough to let her patient try to do his own skin biopsy with a scalpel. Or the guy who wanted to make his balls look bigger, so he injected silicone into his scrotum. Needless to say, the silicone is leaking all throughout his nether regions, and now he has no balls, much less bigger ones. Or the female doctor who consistently yawns every time she has to dictate an ultrasound of the scrotum (at least she didn't do the one of the guy who injected silicone into his balls, but the guy who did have to dictate sounded like he was trying not to gross himself out during the dictation). The funniest part are the names that people use to identify themselves, and for some reason, many of these people use names that often sound like genitalia or sex acts (Too bad HIPAA won't allow me to divulge these names).

Some medical transcriptionists get so into this that many of them end up being doctors themselves.

After doing this for 7 years, I'd rather be a pharmacist, thankyouverymuch.

why did I know this was going to happen?

18 weeks of bio and o-chem while working at least 20-40 hours a week.

The day that I finish my final exams--I have a scratchy throat.

This always frickin' happens.

At least I rocked both of my finals, so I'm happy. :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tagalog podcasting on sfgate.com...

Just noticed that sfgate.com started posting podcasts for the Fil Am community, and saw it had Joey Ayala singing the Star Spangled Banner in Tagalog, and my boy Rex Navarrete talking about doing comedy in the Philippines.

Didn't think that sfgate.com would have stuff so ...relatively progressively Filipino.

Too bad I have an old ass iPod that doesn't really work anymore (and considering I can't find it), otherwise I'd take a listen to it.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Cal's "Naked Guy" kills himself...

Was just reading this article about how the infamous Cal Naked Guy killed himself in prison yesterday.

I guess it's really sad, but then considering how cold Berkeley gets, it seemed more sense for him to be naked near my school (Riverside is only 30 minutes away from Palm Springs and over 90 degrees most of the year). Was he doing the whole naked thing just to get attention? He didn't seem to be much of a real nudist at the time...

Now I'm actually curious to see what he was doing after he got kicked out of Cal, especially since he had a history of "assaultive behavior".

random thoughts on a friday night/saturday morning while doing laundry...(lots of theory crap)

o Chewing over the responses that people have when I tell them I left my PhD program and applying for pharm school next year. Amused that most of the responses usually begin with, "That's a totally different world..." Is it because of what they've felt about people who usually apply to pharm/med school (apolitical, money making sell outs vs. people who are realizing what their talents are and how best to serve themselves and the community they belong to?) and how I don't really fit into it (supposedly)? Personally, I think I'm a hybrid--a burned-out activist who wants to make lots of money and still find a way to help Asian Americans navigate through this fucked up health care system and advocate for themselves to get what they need to maintain and improve their health since it's the only health care system we've got here.

o Ran into some people that I admire tonight (Esther Lee and Lisa Chun, a fucking amazing Asian dyke couple. I'd like to think that the husband and I are the male equivalents). They've just had a baby, and one of them's going back to school to do biotech. Are we on the same fucking wavelength or what?

o Really happy that the more I get into this whole prepping for pharm school thing, studying and doing other stuff, that I'm enjoying this so much more than I ever did doing sociology.

o Amazed that I don't feel guilt out of watching the other Asians in my classes who are trying to find their way in terms of what they want to do with their lives, and not intervening or giving them unwanted and unneeded advice. Maybe it's because I'm finding my own way as well and realizing that trying to direct people's lives when I'm just now starting to clear my own path is really hypocritical.

o Went to go see some shows as part of the Hip Hop Theater Festival, and trying to figure out what "hip hop" exactly means and its relationship to me. What has hip hop meant to me? A voice from my youth that helped to open my political consciousness? An excuse to dance? Has hip hop gone from underground to mainstream back to underground again?

o Was reading an article about Fil Am performers in sfgate.com and a quote really struck me:

Some academics and activists see the ability to sing and dance to Western music as a legacy of colonialism.

"It's good, because it's a source of survival and livelihood for a lot of people," said Rene Ciria-Cruz, a Bay Area writer. "But if you're a performer, your material is not yours. Because it's so imitative, we have not found our niche yet. How can you develop industry from being a better Elvis? You need to be something completely new.
"

Was thinking about how true that is for Asian Am performers who are trying to be successful, either in the US or abroad, and how they seem to be copycats and touted as the "Asian American [insert pop star here]" while those who are trying to be "different" get ignored. [Considering that everyone claims to be "different" but having it fall into neat little categories doesn't make things all that different or innovative, IMHO]

Maybe that's why I like comedy and [good] performance art so much by Asian Americans. While it's nice to see that the good comedians and performance artists have material that really reflects Asian America, it also seems to be the easiest way to get those who aren't Asian an accessible taste of all the bullshit we have to go through in being of Asian ancestry here in America. {And it also helps that they can't get away with trying to copy someone else because most people really call them out on their shit quicker than in other forms of popular entertainment.]

o I'm pretty sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but is there such a thing as a "stand-alone" Asian American culture or a truly Asian American identity, and how is that represented and how do we represent it? If all we're doing is copying what white mainstream media does, or what we think other people of color are doing according to mainstream media, or even if we're copying what we think are "authentic" representations of our homelands EVEN if those in the homelands don't do it anymore, does that make what we're doing Asian American? [Trying not to use polysyllabic theory words that no one else really knows, obviously :)

o I guess it's all going to back where I stand, here near San Francisco, CA--a 2nd generation, queer-identified, middle-class, monolingual (English), ..., Filipino American (though I identify more strongly as being Ilocano rather than "Filipino" because of the discourse that dominates over what is "Filipino", but more on that later).

o And I guess that's the funny thing about being a minority here in the US, you're acutely aware that you don't belong in the mainstream (I refuse to use "double" or "multiple" minority because it's too problematic)--but then when you break it down even further, you realize that there's really no one place where you can feel truly comfortable unless you make yourself comfortable. And I'm not sure if that's an American thing--or an individual thing.

Shit, I'm such a fucking sociologist...

Friday, May 19, 2006

more useless trivia...

#938: 92 sentences in Japanese can be made from the same syllabic pattern:

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Loungin' kangaroos...

I swear, the husband looks like some of these kangaroos when he's watching tv. Hehe!

(#933: Kangaroos can lie down like a grandpa watching TV.)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A (mostly) good day along with a nagging dilemma...

So the whole day was spent with the husband, doing nice couple-y things together, watching a movie (which I can't really talk about yet), going to the SF Ferry Building Farmers' Market, stopping by my mom's grave (drama...), and dealing with random phone calls from the ex (we stopped dating 10+ years ago, but I'll get to that later).

I went to go visit my mom's grave earlier this afternoon--and ran into my sister, who hasn't spoken to me in years, and who still won't tell me why she's not speaking to me. I have been really mad at her, for obvious reasons, but I felt that there must be some cosmic reason why we ended up both being there at the same time. So I tried to talk to her, but was met with being ignored, while her husband said hi to me and the husband. The interesting thing is that the anger that I had towards her went away, and now I just feel sorry for her. I'm not sure why it went away, but there was something about her that...well, suffice it to say that I didn't recognize her at all, that she has become more of an automaton to her grief than functioning as a human being. Even after 3 years since my mom's passing, what struck me was that she was still wearing black, and acting in an obsessive-compulsive way in regards to the way that my mom's grave was being taken care of, which hadn't changed since my mom first passed. I saw her husband, dutifully doing these things with my sister, but with both of us unable to say the things that we wanted to her, ended up having to commiserate in silence. I had spoken with one of her bridesmaids earlier through e-mail, and she hadn't heard from my sister either, nor any of her other friends. I'm going to try to re-establish contact with her, slowly, and if she's not willing to talk, then there's not much I can really do at this point.

It also got me thinking about how my dad and I have come to grips with my mom's passing, and how my dad and I are going on with our lives, while my sister seems stuck. I'm not sure if I can really say how far my dad's gotten in handling her passing, being that the only way I really hear what's going on is through whispered conversations at my relatives' gatherings about both my dad and my sister after they leave those parties. I've stopped going to those gatherings because it feels like I'm caught in the middle of some weird contest--over who misses my mom more, my dad or my sister, and that my relatives seem to revel in all the gossip that they tell me. It makes me realize how lucky I was that I was able to reconcile a lot of my issues with my mom while she was still alive and that when she was in the hospital before that fateful surgery and her eventual passing that we had these deep conversations through body language and silence with very few words being said. I don't think my dad or my sister ever had that opportunity--they were both used to coddling her, while I was able to look at things at a distance, and was able to see my mom for who she really was--an imperfect human being who did the best she could, who also fucked up, but who also lived her life the way that she wanted to.

So while I've been chewing that over in my brain, I've also had to deal with drama from my ex. We dated about 10 years ago and broke it off after 8 months, and I still wanted to maintain my friendship with him because I thought he was a good guy, but I've started to wonder about him. He hasn't dated anyone since me, and while for the most part, I've been able to handle his drama because I've kept him at arm's length emotionally (and a distance of 500+ miles helps too!), I've started seeing how his inability to deal with who he is (sexually, personally, whatever) has also...kept him stuck. He claims to be straight, but is really misogynistic towards women; he has huge issues about homophobia, and doesn't want to date another man because his family wouldn't be able to handle it (supposedly); and he's built himself up to believe that everything's going to fall apart if he's not there to fix everything.

Which in a way, is where I was when I was dating him. I didn't know what I wanted in a relationship--I felt that I was absolutely integral to everything around me, and that no one could survive without me when I was involved in their lives.

Again, thank the goddess for therapy and good friends. I've begun to realize that maybe I've outgrown my friendship for him. I'm at a point where I'm starting to move on with my life, and I'm seeing how all of my other good friends are doing the same thing, taking chances on things that they never believed they could do, and they're really happy. The people who are in a rut are doing something about it (or Fate is pushing the issue). I feel sad because I'm basically having to tell him to fend for himself, but I'm tired of being weighed down. Talking to him used to be fun. Now it's a chore.

Oh well--drama, drama, drama. If it's not happening to me, it's happening to everyone else around me. At least I can just sit back and watch this time.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Surprisingly not overwhelmed...

I have a midterm in my o-chem class in about an hour, and I have to write a paper and prepare a short presentation for my bio class tomorrow morning, and I have a performance evaluation for one of my jobs before I go to my bio class.

And I'm not stressed out.

And I'm sober.

If I can find a way to bottle this, I'd be fucking rich.

*sigh*

bugs, bugs and more bugs...

Counting down to final exams in two weeks.

Let's just say thank God I've gotten over my queasiness over bugs. I've handled more insects in the past 5 months than I've ever handled in my entire life. Ladybugs, earthworms, grasshoppers; running experiments, cutting them open. Blech.

At least it'll be over soon.

Oh yeah, wish my luck on my final o-chem midterm tomorrow night.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Is everyone hot in Brazil?

Was going through my orkut account and just amazed at how hot everyone from Brazil seems to be, particularly all the Asian guys *swoon*.

There also seem to be a lot of groups on Orkut for Brazilians into Asian men (both men and women). Too bad I don't understand Portuguese at all, otherwise I'd love to know what they're talking about...hee hee!

Monday, May 01, 2006

the one thing I hate about SF...

the summers.

It doesn't help that it was raining until about 2 weeks ago, and now summer is threatening to come on any time soon.

So that means we go from cold and rainy to... cold and foggy.

At least now the weather's decent and I can actually wear short sleeve shirts.

As anyone who's lived in SF for any significant amount of time can tell you, don't ever come to visit SF during the summer--it's miserable. Wait until early fall or late spring, otherwise, bring sweatshirts and long pants.

grrr...

(if I do get accepted to UHH Pharmacy, maybe I should move there...)

If people were really serious about immigration...

I usually try not to be too political in this blog, but I've been so fed up over how fucking racist, sexist, classist, homophobic etc. this whole immigration debate is that I needed to vent somehow.

So if the government were really serious about immigration...

o they'd close the border not with Mexico, but with Canada. The largest group of undocumented immigrants is not from south of the border, it's from the north. Because the Canadian border is also much more porous than Mexico, many undocumented immigrants are coming in through Canada into the US (though Canada is much more willing to accept immigrants anyway).

o Realize that most undocumented immigrants come from Europe, not South and Central America. More racist shit.

o the government would entice American citizens to work the jobs that the undocumented do now. If they subsidized all the menial jobs in agriculture, services, etc., that no American citizen in their right mind would take because of the low wages, we'd see more white faces out there.

o the government would find a way to keep jobs from being outsourced.

o improve education in the United States and provide opportunities for Americans to hone their skills so they can compete in high tech, biotech, etc.

o find ways to improve the financial situation in the Third World most affected by immigration--stop internal corruption, provide financial and other forms of capital to establish businesses, build top notch universities and create jobs to entice the most highly educated in these countries to stay.

o fix the fucking visa system to allow same-sex partners to stay together, to fix the arbitrary racist policies that happened because of 9/11...

Etc., Etc.

Here in SF, I've noticed that while most of the Latinos have stayed home because of the Day without Immigrants, most of the Asians haven't.

So if immigration activists were really serious about immigration reform...

o They'd engage all groups in this struggle--it pisses me off to no end that many of these groups don't acknowledge the impact of Asian immigration in the US--which would have even farther reaching implications since so many Asians who enter into the US also take both blue collar, but also white collar work. Include Phillip Veracruz in the same breath as Cesar Chavez at least!

o Engage the LGBT community--there are many transnational same-sex couples who must split up every day because they're not given the same protections as het couples do.

o Get those who do have amnesty to become citizens to vote. People of color are potentially the largest voting bloc in the main cities in SF and LA (Asians in SF and Latinos in LA), and fund budding politicans of color so that we can get some influence.

etc., etc.

That's what I get for being versed in ethnic studies and sociology--I'm too cynical to believe that the boycotts will really change anything, but that both the government and immigration reform won't do really enough to fix the immigration problem.

Friday, April 28, 2006

It's funny what can happen in 9 years...

So the husband and I celebrated our 9th anniversary together last Monday. Thinking about this past year and how so many things have happened to him, to me, to us, and how we're still together, it amazes me.

I'd like to say that our relationship has seemed to be one of inertia, where we keep on keepin' on in terms of our relationship, but inertia's one of those things that are more or less the sum of everything that's happened: good things cancel out the bad things that've happened, the cuddling and laughing with the arguments and tears, etc. And somehow, we still end up together, still loving each other, still wondering how the hell we managed to stay together for so long because of and in spite of everything that's happened to him, to me, to us.

I think the past year we've learned more about each other and ourselves than we have in a while, and I've been shaken in terms of my complacency of being with the husband. And we keep discovering that we love each other. And we find out new things about each other. And we still drive each other crazy. And we still laugh over the stupidest things.

The husband's helped me discover more about myself than I've ever wanted to; some intentionally, some unintentionally. I've helped him find out things about himself as well; things that he likes, things that he can't stand. I guess that's the great (and frustrating) things about being in a relationship; they're much more about yourself than the person you're with--and he's helped me to love myself and to appreciate myself and he's stood by me through everything that's happened.

Happy 9th anniversary, Howie. I love you.