Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"It took me 30 years to get the best shot of my life."

Said by Hawaiian surf photographer, Brian Bielmann, in the September issue of Outside magazine.

Can you imagine working a full three decades before producing what you think is the best work of your life? Holy shit...
What I would give to eat an entire Hass Avocado right about now with nothing but some salt & pepper and a spoon...
"The being alone is better. That is what one has to learn ultimately. It really is better to be alone; it is horrible---but it is better.
                 
Worst of all, I am ashamed of being alone. Or is it my loneliness that I am ashamed of? I have closed the shutters so that no one can see. Me. Alone."

From Lorraine Hansberry's informal autobiography---To Be Young, Gifted and Black. Page 146.
“I’ve had one motto that I’ve always lived by: dignity, always dignity.” 

Said by the character Don Lockwood, played by Gene Kelly, in the movie Singin’ In the Rain.

I just watched this movie for the first time in my life the other night. And, words can’t describe how amazing it was. I don’t really enjoy musicals in particular that much, but a well-made movie is a well-made movie—and Singin’ In the Rain definitely falls under that category. It doesn't happen much, so I appreciated that I really was able to completely lose myself in the film, and even the fact that I’m living in Thailand or that I was watching it on my bed with my laptop slipped my mind for most of the duration.

The thought of my mother being 60 this year---in addition to Singin’ In the Rain celebrating its 60th anniversary this year---also helped me wonder about how life would’ve been like watching it in the theatres at that time. If I was a little kid back then, I think I would’ve gone apeshit because it’s such a great experience. The actors are just perfect for their roles, the musical numbers are fun and heartfelt, the comedy of the film is hilarious, and some parts were even sort of trippy with different colors and other cool visuals.

I had never watched a film with Gene Kelly before, so I was just in awe of his talent. I have to say though that my eyes were more drawn to Donald O’Conner instead because oh man, he's just so physical with his talent. He’s singing and smiling and dancing and jumping and all this other crazy shit in every dance number---and while Gene Kelly is also doing the same, Donald O'Conner is more of the comic relief of the movie and so his slapstick definitely comes through as a little more zealous. And Debbie Reynolds was just spectacular. She was so beautiful and her voice and dancing made me so happy. I first came to know her more as Grace’s mother from the sitcom Will & Grace, and she was hilarious and perfect in that role as well. My favorite line of hers from one of her episodes was when Grace’s younger sister complains about something being unfair, and then Debbie Reynolds’s character said, “And so is my cottage cheese ass!” That still gets me every time—even just thinking about it makes me chuckle. Watching her in Singin’ In the Rain while knowing what she would be capable of many decades later, made it so evident that she’s such a talented and special person. 

Anyway, if you're looking for a family-friendly and all-around-fun and good-quality movie experience, check out Singin' In the Rain on its 60th anniversary---I can definitely understand why it's such a classic and will remain timeless forever. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

"The only sinful people in the world were dull people."

From Lorraine Hansberry's informal autobiography---To Be Young, Gifted and Black. Page 48.
"Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most: when they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain't through learning---because that ain't the time at all. It's when he's at his lowest and can't believe in himself 'cause the world done whipped him so."

From Lorraine Hansberry's informal autobiography---To Be Young, Gifted and Black. Page 39.
“For all its complexity, Mexican food is primordial—it speaks on a gut level. It’s no wonder: Carried in its DNA are the slow-simmered flavors of the indigenous kitchen, which was little more than a fire pit, earthenware pots, and a clay griddle. Grounded as Mexican cooking is, it’s also bright and transparent, having adapted all kinds of imported foods to its palette of beans, chiles, tomatoes, and corn. From the Spaniards came the grilled meats; lime and cilantro were brought on galleons in the 16th century; breads like bolillo, the Mexican sandwich roll, are the legacy of the French, who came in the 1860’s. Mexicans welcomed new tastes. They melded them with their native flavors to create something new. I love the way these foods are so expressive of the specific geography, climate, and culture in which they were born. That regional distinctiveness can be astonishing to Americans who only know the food that’s served in Stateside Mexican restaurants. In fact, what cooks are making in Baja California is worlds apart from what folks are eating in the Yucatan or in Oaxaca. As a chef and devotee of the Mexican kitchen, I’ve spent nearly four decades immersed in these cuisines, and there is one thing I’ve learned for certain: A lifetime is not long enough to taste it all."

So beautifully written by chef Rick Bayless in the August/September issue of Saveur magazine.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"Don't be so hard on yourself,
Those tears are for someone else."

From the song Don't Cry by Seal from his album, Seal II.
Life in Bangkok.














Friday, August 24, 2012

Where do I belong...
I know I have a stick up my ass, but seriously---people here sometimes really need to just HURRY THE FUCK UP or get the HELL OUT OF THE GODDAMN WAY. Having to come across idiot after idiot while walking down a street really adds up.
Struggle.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Through my time living here, I've come to learn that corruption is a huge problem in Thailand, but this was my first time stumbling onto a rally to stop it. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Disconnect.
Words can't describe how beautiful the weather is today here in Bangkok.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Day 1 can start at any moment...

A new minute. A new hour. A new day. RIGHT NOW.
There are two types of conversers: one that engages with statements about themselves, and another that engages with questions.
I was wiping my glasses yesterday evening before doing some reading in bed, and they completely snapped in half. These were from ALO in Seoul and lasted me a good two years. 

Thanks for everything, old pal.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

You were in my dreams again last night... I wish we could be together...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"I am the sole author of the dictionary that defines me."

From Zadie Smith's new book, NW (via the September issue of Essence Magazine).
More dogs of Bangkok.








There are too many hoes and prostitutes that live in my building.
Serious is good.
.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Why is it so hard to find somebody that has the same views on commitment and a future?
Ten minutes before closing. Hold on bud, you're almost there.

The trees in Lumpini Park are so diverse and beautiful. 

One thing I appreciate and noticed a while ago about living in Bangkok is that when having a drink or meal with friends, the topic of conversation usually leads to the sharing of personal travel stories.

Since it's so easy to travel to nearby countries, islands and other awesome destinations from Bangkok, many people who reside here seem to take full advantage of all of that.

And while I've heard many funny and amazing stories so far, a friend recently shared one that I thought was pretty special. He told of traveling to Mumbai alone, and then going out to some bar one night. Things were progressing uneventfully until he became friendly with some locals, who then ended up getting him a drink. He said that after drinking it, he became dizzy and then blacked out. When he woke up the next morning in a hospital, they had stolen everything he had on him.

Thank goodness that in retrospect, he's able to tell this story with laughter, because it sure would've been impossible for some of us to hold in ours.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"The other day I cried. I felt stupid. But you know what? FUCK that day. That's why God, or whoever, makes new days."

Said by the character, Precious, in the movie Precious.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

"What makes someone a New Yorker?
Being in love with the city.
           
From Carol Kane's 21 Questions interview for New York Magazine.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

"I can only compare it to the feeling of opening your cupboard to grab a cookie, but instead of getting a cookie you get dick-slapped."
           
From the essay titled First Love by Lenha Dunham in the August 13 & 20, 2012, issue of The New Yorker.
Sometimes when a random childhood memory is triggered from listening to a song, I think, "How is it that that actually happened?"

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Do people not ask because they don't care, or because they're not naturally wondering about it?
Bad habits are so hard to change: the immediate is not always the best.
Patience.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Rice in unexpected teddy bear form, pork cutlet in a size that's more for the teddy bear, twelve french fries, and all served on a fading polka-dot dish.

This was not what I anticipated when ordering, but I have to give credit though to the restaurant for creating such a fun distraction. I guess small portions can sometimes be a good thing haha.

"You stood in my doorway, with nothing to say
Besides some comment on the weather."

Foolish Games from the 1995 album, Pieces of You, by Jewel.

I've listened to this song a countless number of times since the 7th grade, but today I noticed so many different things about it. There were a lot of lyrics that I suddenly thought were hysterical, but some others that I thought were so great and made much more sense to me now.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Azaleas by Kim SoWol

When you turn away from seeing me
and go,
gently, without a word, I shall send you away.

From Mount Yak in Yongbyon,
azaleas
I shall gather an armful and scatter them on your way.

Step after step away
on those flowers places
before you, press deep, step lightly, and go.

When you turn away from seeing me
and go,
though I die, no, not a single tear shall fall.
Snowy Evening by Kim SoWol

This evening as the wind dies,
as white snow comes pelting down,
just what you might be doing,
this very evening, now this year...

Even a dream, just let me have one!
Falling asleep, won't we meet?
The one I lost, that very one,
she comes riding down the white snow.

Evening. Let the white snow come pelting down.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

This photo was taken eleven years ago in 2001 at South Street Seaport when I was 18 years old.

Sometimes when I look at old photos and think of all of the positive growth that has happened since then, it's sobering to realize that not all demons disappear with time---and that it's imperative that I myself learn how to manage and deal with them because only I am in command of them, and not them over me.

Food is my friend.
There are days when all of the ugliness and darkness of the world is all that I am able to see.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

With such an off schedule for the past few weeks with visitors in town, my insomnia seems to be back in full force.

It's almost 3:30 a.m. here, and I've been trying to fall asleep to podcasts for the past few hours, but it's been ineffective.

It's August. Stating that almost has no significance, yet at the same time it so does. 

There are too many of the same questions, but with nothing new to help understand how to answer them, so I push them aside and focus on what I can.

Good night.