Saturday, February 29, 2020

"That's my shit, that's my wave.
Do it like that and I'll repay ya.
Don't be scared, I ain't afraid.
Just like that, come my way.

From the song Like That by Doja Cat ft Gucci Mane.
Is that necessary,
couldn't you just wait and see?
They promised the food was coming,
way to seethe.
Being a receptacle for sauce,
is what makes you the boss.
It ain’t none of my business,
except for my sandwich.
Cause the bite you’re taking,
I don’t think you can manage.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

"I hadn’t googled him in forever (I promise)."

From the February 28, 2020, New York Times Opinion piece: My Ex-Boyfriend’s New Girlfriend Is Lady Gaga. By Lindsay Crouse.

This was such a fun read, and I also didn't know that "google" as a verb is lowercased. I see it now though.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Brain off,
just mosh.
Zero thoughts,
oh gosh.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Oh donkatsu and tteokbokki,
where you can you be?
Your friend jjajang is waiting,
I'll show you, come see.
Prepared to be read, bread.
Cause I ain't feeling no threat.
On the subway seeing the action,
satisfaction with all that might, passion.
Give me so funny, so stupid, so many eyes rolling back.

Monday, February 24, 2020

At the stoplight,
don’t press rewind.
All day I think, "okay, why am I thinking this?
"Didn't even notice, no punches left to roll with.
You got to keep me focused, you want it, say so."


From the song Say So by Doja Cat.

I seriously was looking for this song for so long. After hearing it in a million memes, I was like ooh that's catchy. But because I could never really make out the words, whenever I Googled "Gwen Stefani new song," I still could never find it. 

I mean, now I totally know it's not by her. But when the song surprisingly came out just now on my Spotify, I went to look at its name and thought, that's now how you spell Gwen Stefani.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

"TAE, DO YOU WANT TO BE IN MY POETRY CLUB?"

An email with the subject line above was both my invitation and introduction to Thomas Miller's poetry club. 

It arrived in May of 2010, with the body of the email simply containing that week's poem, along with the name of its author and what years they lived. After giving it a read, I responded with an excited yes, saying I'd love to. But I wasn't sure what joining entailed, and if it took place at some sort of gathering or if I'd need to be buying books to prepare. So when I asked Thomas about how to join, my second installment of Thomas Miller's poetry club came with this email subject line: "You don't have to do anything...you just get a poem every week...like this one." 

And until this year, those poems have continued to come. 

I first met Thomas because he worked with my best friend Judy. Thomas and Judy weren't just coworkers who became close friends after years of working together, but they had a genuine friendship and connection. I mean, let's not even talk about them being birthday twins. But because he and Judy were close, I was able to get to know Thomas pretty well throughout the years. 

Thomas was genuinely one of the sweetest people I know. He was kind, and a definite one of a kind. He was loved for his big heart and also known for his unique style. And on top of all that, he was really interesting with tons of knowledge about art and whatever fine cultural events were happening in the city. On almost every day of the week, you could find Thomas out at an exhibit or sitting in the audience of some gorgeous production. Even the last time we hung out one-on-one was to watch ballet at Lincoln Center last year, which was my first time ever doing so. He loved anything that celebrated both the visual and performing arts and once told me he's "obsessed with looking at beautiful things." And this wasn't just for when he was outside his house.

Some years ago, a tough transitional phase of mine had me going through a long period of couch crashing. When Thomas heard about this through Judy, he generously offered to let me stay in his spare bedroom for a few months as I got back on my feet. Thomas had been living in his place since the 80s, so stepping inside his home was a deep immersion in who he was. Practically every inch and corner was decorated with some item. The spare bedroom I slept in was filled with things as well, from eccentricities I couldn't stop staring at to shelves of books and delicate figurines. And because there was no Internet connection in that room, a small analog tv near the bed was what I usually used to break the silence as I admired my surroundings. Being there in his home with all of the things he loved comforted me in a way. I was so used to living out of a suitcase with minimal belongings, and that's why Thomas' place was a great reminder in the serenity that can come from a home with stuff that brings you joy.

Sadly, Thomas passed away last weekend. His funeral was yesterday, and I was grateful to be able to go and say my goodbyes. You can read his obituary here, and also a recent article about him here. And as for Thomas' poetry club, while they became less frequent in the past few years, he had kept up sending out his poems since he first signed me up a decade ago. The final poem Thomas ever sent was on January 5th of this year.

While going through old photos to look for ones with Thomas, I found the following ones below I took at a work dinner of his, Judy's and their colleagues. This night is from exactly ten years ago in February of 2010.

Rest in peace, Thomas. You were a light to many.
Thomas Miller (1958-2020)










"He prolly thinkin' I'm in pain,
but I'm really on game."

From the song B.I.T.C.H. by Megan Thee Stallion.
"I've got a meeting in the ladies room,
I'll be back real soon.

From the song Meeting In The Ladies Room by Klymaxx. 
Turn off television.
Put away phone.
Blast music.
Open laptop.
Don't stop.
Let the prose drop.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

I don’t think I can do this anymore.
Turning 37,
has me asking when?

Monday, February 10, 2020

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Is anyone else watching Nora From Queens?

It's a new scripted comedy based on the life of Awkwafina and her growing up in Queens. I think it's really well made and super entertaining, I like the show a lot. And Awkwafina is straight up hilarious in it.

Her facial expressions and body language make all the writing that much more funnier and she seriously cracks me up. There's also this vulnerability she brings to her character, where Nora seems to just innately want the best for everyone around her. And in each episode, while Nora is trying to figure out her own shit in life, she's actually dealing with a lot of other people who are crazier and more out there than her, yet she really never makes anything about herself. Instead, as she attempts to handle her own stuff, she tries her best to make sure others are going be okay as well.

But what I love most about the show is how it displays layers and dimension to its Asian-American characters in a way that's not solely centered around them being Asian. It's like holy shit, finally! It's so refreshing to watch a show with Asian-American people who are all just living their damn lives like the average Americans that we are. We're just as funny and dysfunctional and as any other group, and it's these types of stories I relate to and want to learn from.

Compared to so many other shows that's ever featured an Asian cast who are always dealing with some sort of circumstance that's related to their race, this show is doing its own thing. Instead of any of the characters having to figure solutions to navigate all these different situations, being Asian simply just factors in to the conventional details of their everyday life. That means eating jook (porridge) for breakfast before heading out of the house or a Chinatown bus being the mode of transportation to get to Atlantic City. I find this highly relatable. I appreciate that the usual, clich├ęd storylines of an Asian person feeling like an outsider have been transformed into stories that unapologetically lay out the ordinariness of them going about something, first as just a regular person, and then also sometimes as an Asian person in America. Because there is nothing more lazy and played out than having another show with Asian-American characters who only undergo archetypical things like getting good grades, trying to become a doctor or grappling with being an outlier of some sort. Snoresville, for reals. I mean, sure, I guess that exists and is some people's truth. But that doesn't mean it's the only narrative to tell. And that's only like a small part of what defines anyone who actually feels like that---there a zillion other ways a character's story could be told. Previously, so many Asian characters were never allowed to be a full person with a backstory that included things like a messy room or job problems. Hollywood has framed this one-dimensional stereotype for so long and it's just so predictable. All of the people in charge of creating shows need to take some lessons from Nora From Queens because this is how you do it right. And don't get me wrong, none of the characters in the show ever deny their ethnicity, but instead, they're showing how it's just one facet of the many complexities that comprise who they are.

There are other things about the series that make me a fan as well. All of the episode storylines are ridiculous, interesting and just so well executed. I also like a lot of their subtle details that remind me of growing up as an Asian kid in Queens. From the 7 Train to soju bottles, to White Rabbit candy or the New York State Pavilion, it all brings me back. And then there's how Nora assumes some of her friends are living these amazing lives with fancy jobs like "video producer" or "lawyer" because that's what she thought she heard about them. When in reality, that's so far from the truth. I think that aspect really speaks on our current culture with social media making us compare ourselves to these picture-perfect existences that we think others are leading, when nothing is really what it seems.

Getting stoned. Queef talk. Kooky family members. Brokeness. Trying to figure out what it means to be an adult. The list goes on and on, but these are just some of the things you can find yourself laughing about in Nora From Queens.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

The game has changed,
nothing remains.
Yet you’re still the same?
That's insane.
Microscopic,
next topic!
Kick that thought,
emptied pockets.

Friday, February 07, 2020

"I'm gonna ride this motherfucker 'til the wheels fall off. Live your life."

Said by Martin Lawrence in his stand-up special Runteldat.
At this point,
it's smarter.
To let go,
bye martyr!
Tweaked.
Tweaker.
Obliques.
Bleaker.
The past few weeks or so.










Can't hear you,
can't see you.
Can't meet you,
won't do.
At sunrise,
be surprised.
Same bullshit,
it's true.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Well if you put it that way...

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

It exists.
Hit or miss,
stay true to your shit.
When running on empty,
stare at that list.
I have tteokbokki fever.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

"There's a certain detachment that sensitive people must maintain to endure the harsh realities of this world."

Said by RuPaul in his audiobook Guru.