Thursday, December 31, 2020

Hey 2021, I know we're about to meet for the first time, but please don't be an asshole.

K, thx.

The end of 2020 is less than an hour away...

So much stuff went down this year, but—I need to not end the past nine months of messed up (and totally awakening) stuff in the same way it's been going. Rather than thinking about that or what didn't happen, I also find myself going back to the most memorable time of what I'm missing the most right now: being out and dancing all night. 

For going out and partying, I had an exciting era where my life felt solely dedicated this. It started exactly 20 years ago from this upcoming February when I was a senior in high school and had just turned 18. My cousin's friend who I had become friends with said his older sister was going to this club called Exit in the city (I think it might've been her birthday). He was going to go for the first time and asked me to come along because he didn't want to go alone. I remember feeling lucky because my birthday had just passed, so I didn't need a fake ID to get in like my friend. He lived in Flushing near Northern Boulevard and Parsons, and I recall going to his apartment first so we could all head into the city together. That first night at Exit changed my life. I ended up going there weekly for years. There was specifically this one corner near the dance floor where all the Asian kids hung out. After going there every Friday, so many of us became friends and would party together. Light shows, bunny hopping, dance offs, candy bracelets, blowing Vicks VapoRub onto each other's faces, DJ Tony Draper, like wow haha. To just be that age and doing that back in 2001, it was so damn fun.

Now, as I'm thinking about all that happened in 2020, all I can do is blast old party music in my room and dance. It makes me miss being on that dance floor again while having the time of my life. I felt completely free back then and life seemed like everything was going to be okay. The old space of Exit is Terminal 5 now. I haven't stepped foot in it since it used to be Exit.

Here are some old pictures of that infamous corner from back in the day.










"Rhythm ready."

From the song Rhythm Ready by DJ Tony Draper.

This song seriously gives me heart palpitations. It reminds of partying when I was 18 and dancing in UFOs so hard.
"Do you think you're better off alone?
Talk to me."

From the song Better Off Alone by Alice DJ.
When my mind goes there,
why am I still even staying here?

I had such a great lesson about something today and I am feeling mighty fine.

Yo 2020,
don't you come near me.
Tired of your stunts, see?
Had more than plenty.
Be gone in the morning,
cause you ain't friendly.
When the new year comes,
your end won't bring envy.
Good morning, and happy New Year’s Eve!

I just woke up from a weird dream and since it’s the last day of the year, rather than go back to bed to grab a bit more sleep before I start work, I thought I’d stay up.

I dreamt this good friend of mine who I care deeply about was in town and over my place. It wasn’t in the apartment I’m living in now, though, but his visit was such a pleasant surprise that when he spontaneously suggested we go party somewhere (although we knew we shouldn’t because of the pandemic), I immediately said yes. As we were getting ready, my middle sister came home and began venting about her rough day so we invited her out as well. The three of us weren’t sure where to go, but we walked around some industrial area while helicopters flew about above the Manhattan sky. The next thing I know, we’re in some secret warehouse party where everyone is dancing and having fun. At one point I find myself staring at this tv monitor of the dance floor and I watch my friend spot a guy he thinks is cute before making a direct b-line for this dude to hit on him. This sort of upsets me because I have a crush on my friend and I decide to leave the party to get some air. While I’m outside, I see the cops about to swarm the party and I try to text my sister and friend to warn them. That’s when all of the partygoers slowly start exiting the huge building and I eventually spot my sister. I ask where the friend is and she said he ditched us to hang with that new guy he had just met. The cops are trying to herd everyone in to these tents while making everyone change into hazmat suits but I grab my sister and say we still have to go party somewhere. I double check with her to make sure she hadn’t taken off her mask inside the warehouse at any point and she confirms she didn’t, so we slip away from the side and escape. We end up wandering these small houses and shops that remind me of the side streets of Khao San in Bangkok. The two of us are linked arm-in-arm with our masks on and trying to find someplace to grab a drink or some food but since it’s a few minutes past the NYC 10pm curfew, everything is about to close or is closed.We eventually stumble onto this small spot selling Jamaican oxtail about to close up shop but still has some customers dining inside. The storefront isn’t like one in NYC, it’s like an old school spot in Thailand where all of the large windows are open and circulating fresh air. When my sister gets in line to order and I go to grab us seats, that’s when I woke up.

I always wake up really happy when I have dreams about this friend of mine.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

But the good news is that today was the first day in like a week or so where my Internet didn't have constant disruptions.

I'm craving good, deep, I want to know-who-the-fuck-you-are type of conversations.

It's funny because I feel like in my adult life, so many people always ends up telling me their secrets (and I mean everything). I'm always humbled to be entrusted with such precious info, but when it comes down to it, it's not really about the secrets. It's more about reaching this level of trust and connection, and that's what I'm really yearning for.
A bullshit thing I always ask myself is, why don't you just go let it all out by writing some fiction or some shit?

But it's like, who wants to do that when I can just be lazy and beached on my bed with a McRib dangling from my mouth.

The urge to party comes from the desire to be me.

I'm very in my thoughts and feelings today. Actually, I'm not sure how to feel... so I ate a whole bunch of crap food and overthought about everything of course. This perpetual state of being stuck lingers. I want to step over to the other side, but like where and how the fuck do I do that.

Monday, December 28, 2020

"That's the way everyday goes,
every time,
we've no control."

From the song Pink + White by Frank Ocean.
Had a cup ramen and now I'm snacking on some chocolate at my desk.

Every Monday this month felt like a Thursday, where a long week was had and the next day should be a well deserved Friday.
"If I get my money right,
you know I won't need you."

From the song Nights by Frank Ocean.
Solutions.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Sunday scaries,
don't freeze,
or dare me, please.

My friend Judy got me a rice cooker for Christmas this year. It's one of those fancy electronic ones and its cute size is perfect for a single mofo like myself. I just broke it in for the first time today, and it already feels better than the small aluminum ramen pot I was previously using to make rice over the stovetop. I very much enjoyed my meal before of rice and banchan with some SPAM and eggs I fried up, and am still full and happy from it. Lately, I've been craving simple Korean food to eat at home, so I'm thinking this new kitchen gadget will really come in handy for the winter.

I had a good Christmas this year. Last week, I woke up early on Tuesday to go to the CityMD near me so I could get a COVID-19 test. I wasn't feeling sick or anything, but it was a precautionary measure for the holidays. The line there was already super long even an hour before it opened, and it took me a little less than two hours to get to the front of it. Once there, they took down my name and phone number and told me they would text me in about six hours so I could come back and actually get tested. It was good that I got there early in the morning when I did, because I know a lot of people were turned away from a lack of availability. And luckily, it only took about three hours for them to contact me. Once I returned to the CityMD, I was in-and-out in about five minutes. It was super easy and fast, and I received my negative results via email within an hour.

Even though my parents live about 30 minutes away from me in New Jersey, I hadn't seen them in six months because of the pandemic. My family ended up not meeting up for Thanksgiving because we didn't realize that the lines for COVID-19 tests around then would be so insane. So we all decided to plan better for Christmas and try and gather now instead.

Spending time with my parents was great. Even though we talk on the phone regularly, it was nice to catch up in person. I had fun crashing on their couch while eating and drinking and doing nothing but spending time with one another. I think it really recharged me. I feel like I've been stuck in my room forever, just working and feeling isolated from so many things. To hug my parents and feel their embrace and hands in mine, I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas gift. Together with my sisters and brother-in-law, we ate so much food and laughed and chilled. 

I hope you all had a merry and safe holiday as well.

“I thought that I was dreaming,
when you said you loved me.”

From the song Ivy by Frank Ocean.
Radiator lullaby,
in the background while I cry.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Thursday, December 24, 2020

"You are now watching Mad TV."

From the show Mad TV now streaming on HBO MAX. Season 1, Episode 1.
Racket.
Gonna hack it.
Grab my jacket.
Real wack, kid.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

"I already know how to survive—so, why am I worried?"

Said by Vicky Vox in her podcast Doing Great With Vicky Vox. Episode 48.
The only property I own is the space I rent out in my head.
My Internet has been spotty all damn day.
I guess it's perfect for the longest night of the year.

Monday, December 21, 2020

I am officially on vacation until Monday, and it feels like a Friday night.

I'm eating homemade chicken salad out of tupperware and drinking a Maker's with water. Party on.
"Stop playing, keep it moving."

From the song Be Faithful by Fatman Scoop.

Notifications off,
nothing lost or gone.

 Gutturally.

It's amazing how helpful memes can be. I've had plenty of nights this year when I'm lying in bed super late and just laughing my ass off from them. And I mean like the genuinely cracking up, laugh-so-hard-you-can't-breath laughing. The deep type where clutching your stomach to hold on for dear life is the only thing you can do. It's like you're completely free for a moment and filled with this intense joy. Holy shit, what a good time. The feeling has been on mind a lot the past few months. With it, my mind keeps going back to this early memory from high school. It must've been during my sophomore year, but I'm standing with a group of friends in front of the Flushing Main Street Public Library (which was pretty new at the time). I think we had all just eaten together somewhere nearby in Main Street and probably hung out at some cafe for a bit, and we were there to wait for the Q17 so one of my friends could take it. I only remember my friend Natalia being there, because out of all of us, she was laughing the hardest. I don't remember what we were talking about or why, but I was trying to be funny and had everyone doubled over, and that in turn made me laugh harder. We had all started laughing back while eating, and by the time we were at the bus stop, we were laughing so hard that we could barely stand. The sound of Natalia laughing especially made me happy, and this epiphany that someone could think I was funny while being myself, well, I still remember that. Knowing I was gay at that age and desperately not trying to stick out had me normally holding back a lot of who I was. And it was only while immersed in this circle (all-girls, and I am still friends with) did I feel allowed to be silly, therefore feel seen. Don't get me wrong, I grew up with two older sisters and usually had them laughing a lot about dumb shit too. But this was different, because I was still getting to know these friends, and usually stayed quiet as a form of avoiding rejection. It's funny how laughter can bring back the weirdest memories.

Rely on the wrong things,
defy what your heart sings.

When I shop, it's usually while knowing exactly what I'm there to get.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Saturday, December 19, 2020

"다음번에 만나면,
못본 척하고,
지나쳐줘, baby."

From the song Happening by AKMU.
Dear friends,

I wrote a profile on how Legendary Rao’s in East Harlem Is Offering Takeout for the First Time in Its 124-Year History.

Check it out!

Dear friends,

I wrote about how The Karaoke Bars of NYC’s Koreatown Helped Me Find My Voice.

Check it out!

Dear friends,

I write about how Insamju Is a Korean Ginseng Liquor Often Overlooked by Younger Generations.

Check it out!

Dear friends,


Check it out!

A good Korean ballad takes me to places where nothing else can.

Having something really piss you off can be just the wakeup call you've been needing.

Laundry day always feels like a reset in life.

A good STFU is necessary every now and then.

Friday, December 18, 2020

My room suddenly smells like shumai at this late hour and it’s making me wish I had some.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

There’s supposed to be a big snowstorm coming.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

"I request the most benevolent outcome."

Said by Vicky Vox in her podcast Doing Great with Vicky Vox.

Pantry.
Panty.
Pant.
Plant.
Plan.
Plow.
Plea.
Play.
Please.

Monday, December 14, 2020

America's first vaccination for COVID-19 happened today, but the country also past 300,000 deaths in the pandemic.

I'm so happy 2020 is coming to an end. Like, it's finally here and just weeks away.
Kimchi gloves,
hot,
peppery,
love.
Ferment,
get ripe.
Burst with crunch,
each bite.
Spoon it up with rice,
eight more than twice.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

I've been going out and partying since I was in high school.

At 16, it was while ordering bottles of Johnnie Walker at a Ktown club called News. As all the straight guys I was with tried to mack it to the older girls around us, I was doing shots and dancing. At 18, I was at Exit every Friday. And it's no wonder that after just working and stressing in my room for so long throughout COVID-19, it's nice to chill out and remember dancing as an escape.
Stop suppressing this feeling to party it out and have some damn fun!
Yo, fuck it! Let's party!
"Fantasizing all the time,
move your body next to mine."

From the song Your Love by Frankie Knuckles.
When all else fails, go for a walk.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Trying to answer a question you didn't ask.
"If your hands are shaking,
just turn them into jazz hands."

Sung by Angie in the Netflix movie The Prom.
"A distraction is momentary. An escape helps you heal."

Said by Tom in the Netflix movie The Prom.
“Hey you,
always on the run.
Gotta slow it down, baby,
gotta have some fun.”

From the song Stop by the Spice Girls.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Whenever anyone tells me they’re sleeping well right now, I can’t help but feel jealousy and wonder.
Intentionally.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

"In the web that is my own,
I begin again."

From the song Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks.
Portion size?
Ha,
no more lies.
Be wise,
split the check,
but add fries.
"In the middle of my room,
I did not hear from you."

From the song Stand Back by Stevie Lyrics.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

It’s just been truck after semi truck after truck after semi truck going to and from the GWB.
Hi, guys!

Hi, ladies and gentlemen!

Hi, hums (hyooms)!
IMVT = I'm Very Tired

Monday, December 07, 2020

I think hearing the blaring sirens of cop cars, firetrucks, and ambulances constantly all damn day and night since March, on top of motorcycles, horns honking, and engines revving from my street is starting to get to me...

Sunday, December 06, 2020

After spending a massive amount of time on the opening sentence of an article, checking the word count to see how much more you still have to go feels quite futile.
"If you could be mine,
we'd both shine."

From the song If I Ruled the World by Nas ft Lauryn Hill.
"Still livin' for today,
in these last days and times."

From the song If I Ruled the World by Nas ft Lauryn Hill.
"Life,
I wonder.
Will it take me under?
I don't know."

From the song If I Ruled the World by Nas ft Lauryn Hill.
Eat! Yo, no.
Cosmic.
“I WOULD LIKE TO BUY: Ativan! Xanax! Klonopin!”

Yelled on repeat by a woman I saw walking down the street today.

I can’t say that there isn’t something to learn from her strategy of being so straight up about what she’s looking for.

Friday, December 04, 2020

"It costs a lot of money to look this cheap."

Said by Dolly Parton.

Lately, I've been thinking about this quote a lot because it's so damn relatable when it comes to writing. 

Like, my gosh, I'll look at some paragraph or blurb I wrote for work and find it unbelievable that it took hours upon hours to get it that way. But when it comes down to it, I'm usually able to get my writing to say exactly what I want it to in the way I want it to, so the end result is satisfying.

Thursday, December 03, 2020

The cold side of the pillow,
listening to chill 90s Korean music,
been so tired all day,
slept only a few hours yesterday,
but in bed right now,
feeling dread,
if I lived alone,
I’d probably just start getting tanked,
or uncomfortably full,
good thing I’m not,
because it’ll wake the roomie, 
I hate having to use the bathroom at night,
small apartment,
big anxiety,
sirens nonstop,
I refuse to rot,
keep thinking dumb shit,
gonna pop,
it’s past 3 now,
horns on the avenue still honk,
people yelling on the street,
I wonder who else is up,
with similar thoughts.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

It’s not going to appear in my brain on its own, so I need to read, hear, see, feel, and laugh it from somewhere else.
I miss going to karaoke.
My heart is beating out of my chest.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

There are moments when my mind wanders, and I can get teary-eyed at the turn of a thought.
Are any of us ourselves right now?
Dear Ambien,

Do I mean nothing to you anymore?