Thursday, May 22, 2008

friends? foes? frenemies?

why do people say when they break up, "let's stay friends" or "i do love a friend." i laugh at these statements. statements people say to alleviate their own guilt. these words are to make the person doing the dumping or breaking up feel justified. of course, i didn't know all this back then. back then, i was a wide eyed, well, as wide-eyed as my slanty eyes can get girl.

college is when i was allowed to date. if you have kept up with my blog, you can refer back to the blog entry about how my mom broke a brick in half in front of my prom date, and hence, ended my first and last date in high school. nice huh? college is where i got to meet people who were different and the same as me. for me, college was the first place where i actually met my first love. here, i got my BFA and my first BF. having a boy pay any attention to me was freaky. no one talked to me in high school. i was the quiet girl who sat under a tree sketching comics or reading. no boy pursued me or wooed me. that was reserved for girls who flirted and dressed the part. not girls who played the violin and listened to dead milkmen. being in college, i got to paint, have an art show and also got told for the first time that i was pretty. i don't need to hear compliments. i am not a fisherman of compliments, but it was touching to hear. it is an asian cultural thing not to call your kids pretty. superstitious. if you call your daughters pretty, the devil would come snatch them away. it's an asian thing to just value education/intelligence over physical beauty. i excelled in school. i failed at dating.

i hung out with the artsy punk crowd. the poets. the writers. the thinkers. nothing mainstream. everything edgy. my friends were witty, funny, extraordinary. we would hang out, party, listen to records, watch movies. i was the disheveled one. hands usually black from charcoal drawing, overalls and vans covered in paint or clay from the potter's wheel. no makeup. hair in pigtails or just down. nothing fancy. nothing glamorous.

i figured if or when i did get a boyfriend he would be an artist, a writer, something like that. instead, the dating gods played a cruel trick on me. my first love turned out to the polar opposite of me. a frat boy.

handsome chiseled face. tall. dark hair. a nice rich tan in the summer from sailing on the cape. strong jawline. a deep voice. he was an art history and history buff. his trousers always pressed. he knew how to tie a tie.....well. he sported blazers with the greatest of ease. he wore vans when sailing. he wore dock siders every day. glasses. his one vice. he smoked. but that was given up quickly.

this is who would be my first love?! he approached me in the courtyard. i knew some of his brothers. he walked me back. we talked. he asked if he could call on me again. manners. diction. complete sentences. he built furniture. other girls wanted to date him. why the hell is he after me? i made him laugh and i was so different from him.

i dont wanna rehash details. it didn't work out. i never felt comfortable with him. meaning, when we first started dating, he would bring up the fact that i wasn't white. i felt at times that who i was was not who he wanted me to be or wasn't enough. the feeling of inadequacy is the most horrible feeling.

the comic "post it note" documents my heart/breakup. i read it now and i laugh. this was all before the sex in the city post it. i never knew such a little yellow note could shatter my heart. who knew the girl above would have her heart ripped out by a product of 3M. (i had to scan it in 2 parts).

Sunday, May 18, 2008

and to the victor goes the spoils

sometimes i have my emo moments, but really, i think i just do a lot of thinking. also, i am a crier. if i see someone cry, my slanty eyes start to well up with tears. sympathetic. empathetic. whatevs. i was chatting with other artists on twitter about comics and how i had documented my heartbreaks. it got me thinking about another idea. i put down my sock monster (yes, i think there is a monster that lives in my dryer and he eats my socks. of course, he eats only one of the pair, but his appetite is insatiable. he loves argyles. if you stop the dryer, you sometimes can catch his tail as he escapes into the lint worm hole of time). i begin to sketch out my story board.

my favorite subject to paint is people. i have series of portraits of friends, strangers, musicians, boxers, people i have seen, people i would like to see. so, it is no surprise that when i do comics, despite my penchant for monsters, i always continue to ink down human interaction, my memories of people, what ifs, what shouldn't have happen, my memories of crushing heartbreak, soaring victories, the mundane that makes me smile. this could explain my endless love for chris ware. mundane made beautiful.

my storyline, i don't wanna write it down since soon i will scan it once i finish it, but it focuses on what i think everyone deep down believes. when people break up, you don't really want the other person to be happy. you may think that because we should all feel that. but, really, you want to win. you want to be the one who whether the dumper or dumpee, you want to walk away being the better one, the winner.

harsh right? but is it? the truth hurts i know, but i just think, relationships fail or succeed. if they fail, someone points their finger to someone or something. i am sure there are some readers who think, no, i hurt him/her, i want them to be happy. ok, maybe you do, but we all have that run in with the ex and they are arm in arm with some supermodel or some dude who makes you feel like igor. it just is. at that moment, do you feel happy? no, you don't.

back to my storyboard. one can't expect people to pine. too victorian. one can't expect to always win, but we all have this in us. no one wants to be the one who loses. to lose a relationship is one thing. to be the loser as a result of the relationship is whole different matter.

so if i haven't ticked you all off, then just wait for my comic. maybe i can win some love back. i haven't gotten a title for it. that is the hard part for me. i leave that last.

Friday, May 9, 2008

ipods are the new roadblock, not roadblock from GI joe! :)

living in a city, one must comply to certain lifestyle necessities. for me, i believe that is owning some music device, ipod, mp3 player, Walkman, something that you can connect headphones and strut around this city listening to one's soundtrack as you dodge crazy cab drivers, angry septa bus drivers, bikers, and other pedestrians who believe they can stop in the middle of the sidewalk and just chat with people, not caring that they are taking up the whole sidewalk. obstacles. obstacles.

philly has a lot of homeless people. ok, not a lot. but, walking around you see them try to make eye contact with you, ask for money. for me, i used to give money to homeless, but realized they just bought drugs or cigs and weren't really using the money to buy a hoagie. i just send money to charities instead. wearing an ipod allows me to avoid people shoving fliers into my hands or bums asking me for money.

more importantly, wearing an ipod allows me to also avoid dudes trying to talk to me. this is great since if i want to talk to someone, i can take off my ipod earplugs, but it comes in handy. then i realized, girls wearing ipods just make it more difficult for guys to scam on a girl. it makes even more work for a guy to approach a gal. not only does the dude have to come up with some witty banter, but he has to tap the girl on the shoulder or get her to turn down the ipod or take off the earplugs. this seems to be like asking some guy to move mountains!

maybe this is why dudes just hand out business cards? business cards are the new classnotes. remember getting a note passed in class? business cards are essentially the same thing except without the wide ruled line paper and usually on heavier weight paper ( i like bone. in homage to american pyscho), embossed font (i like courier) and perhaps a watermark if the dude is fancy. these little cards are fancy class notes. contact info. email. sometimes even a photo of the dude.

i remember sitting with a girlfriend eating lunch outside. people hustling by. she took a phone call and i put on my ipod since she had signaled me that it was going to be a few moments. i didn't have my ipod on loud, but some guy in a sharp suit walks up to me and puts his card on the table. i am all confused. i look up and he states confidently, "my card. we should go out sometime." walks away. wow, i think. wow, not in a good way. i guess ipods are roadblocks. roadblocks to people starting up conversations.

unfortunately, i am addicted to my ipod, but i do love walking around philly and just listening to the city sounds, the cabs, the laughter of people walking, by, just the whole pulse of the city. i just wish while i was doing this, i wouldn't have some skeevy guy come up to me and tell me his yellow fever fetish. ew. by the time this line comes out of his mouth, it is too late for me to put on my ipod, so i resort to my favorite roadblock. i smile and i kind of squint my eyes as if i am confused and concentrating and i say, " no speaky....engrish."

it works like a charm.

Monday, May 5, 2008

iron man-the movie, the comic, the two suits of tony stark

i saw iron man with my parents this past weekend. and for those keeping up with the mushroom, this viewing went better than when we went to see rambo (refer to older blog rambo and the racist).

for those who don't speak marvel and geekspeak, iron man is the alter ego/persona of tony stark, genius and CEO of Stark Industries, manufacturer of weapons of destruction. anyhow, similar to batman/bruce wayne, stark's parents are killed. here, a car accident, failed brakes. he doesn't witness his parents' demise, like bruce wayne did though. both are rich men with dark secrets and failed relationships and in the end, they are alone. money can't buy happiness. trite, but true. anyhow, stark is a flamboyant international playboy. stan lee based stark on hugh, the original playboy himself. if this is obvious, which i thought this was common knowledge, but i figured i would just say it just to say it.

iron man has always been an interesting superhero to me since he is an ordinary man, so to speak, aside from the genius level doogie howser MIT level, stark is a rich party boy. his power is extreme intelligence. no utility belt. no xray vision. an invincible metal suit that gone through an array of colour changes, all grey, all gold, black, red and gold. stark's heart condition is his weakness, which later in comics get fixed through a transplant.

iron man is a cool superhero because it is a man inside an iron suit blowing things up. he destroys his weapons. then puts on his business suit and destroys other weapon companies through buyouts and mergers.

tony stark wears two suits, both strong. the powerful CEO corporate leader and the iron metal suit that soars him through the air and shoots at stuff.

knowing all of this, i went to see iron man with my parents. a quick scan of the audience made me feel relief since i didn't sense any racists in the audience. the movie was fun. it did not disappoint. RDJ was perfect as tony stark. stark in the comics is a smart ass guy who does some horrible things, but you still find yourself liking him. this is pure RDJ. paltrow was good in her role and i am no fan. her lines were minimal and funny. i do admire her moxie in herpower pin stripe suits and stiletto heels. women in heels. power. terrence howard was good. i like how he looked at the iron man mold and says, "next time," which foreshadows later on in iron man comics how rhodes later takes over the role of iron man for awhile. nice work hollywood. i did enjoy the obligatory stan lee cameo.

i like how the movie was action and action. the story line was kept simple. good guys v. bad guys. but, iron man later becomes more complicated. i heard this is a 3 movie deal. i hope so since iron man deserves to be explained and the character of stark needs to be explored. stark is not just a playboy, but one who suffers from losing his wealth, to unreturned love, to losing his life and losing his trust in friends. iron man is one of the comics i put aside for awhile and now as i write this, i remember why i loved it.

i better brush off the dust off my issues and fall back in love with stark.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

food poisoning

yesterday some people i work with and i went out for lunch in chinatown. normally, this is a fun occasion and i am all about grabbing a bite on a brisk spring day. it is always good to get out of the office for a bit.

lunch was good. fun conversation. venting. jokes. no dessert. no coffee. but a 2 hour lunch. :)

coming back to the office it was already mid day. i am already sporting a cold (thanks seattle) so i was feeling a bit languid. i shrugged this off as normal. eating a big meal makes one sleepy. no bigs. i felt a bit off and left the office after 5. upon my return to my house, i got into my pjs. i hopped into bed to catch up on top chef episodes. i must have dozed off for about 20 minutes or so. i awoke all disorientaled, groggy and then i felt it.

that feeling of sickness as it crept up my throat. slowly at first and then at warp speed. i jumped out of bed, ran down my spiral staircase, into my bathroom, kneeling at the toilet and then BARF. ugh. i spent the next hour just puking another 3 times. the whole time i was cursing the lunch establishment!

food poisoning. it sucks. as i sat there with my hair out of my face, i felt like some lame drunk soriority girl.

i spent the rest of the night sipping water and whining. i felt drained.

of course, i didn't today off. nope, work doesn't stop even if my stomach can't handle solid foods.

today at work i was the walking dead. i ate pretzels and drank water. i am home now. resting. watching bad tv. ate some chicken broth. i can't waste anyway. i am already tiny!

i am scared to eat out now. it is one of my vices. i love love love to eat out. why live in an awesum city if you can't dine out?

well, i need to get better. i believe the only treatment for food poisoning according to webmd is just drink water and eat bland foods and let it run its course. after puking 3 times last nite, i felt strangely better. it is amazing how the human body works. whatever i ate. bad lettuce. ecoli noodles, who knows?! but, my body knew, this stuff is bad and we're gonna make you barf it up.

first i had the flu a few weeks back. now food poisoning. gees. it can only get better no?