Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Where are you?

Growing up, I had a dysfunctional family. Who doesn't, right? Still, I feel I was deprived of the sense of "family" during my childhood more than my friends were. My parents divorced when I was just entering the first grade. My older half-brother, who was 20+ years my senior, moved out of my house after an altercation with our dad when I was just four or five years old, and I wouldn't see him for at least another decade. I only met my mom's side of the family once, as they all live in Korea; to this day, I don't know who all of my uncles, aunts, and cousins are in Korea. My dad forbade me from ever seeing his side of the family, and I never dared question why he hated them so much. I just obeyed.

Still, mama knew me better than I knew myself, and knew that I would one day crave for a sense of family, if I wasn't already. She went behind my dad's back to get me to start seeing his side of the family. The matriarch of the family, aunt Jannie, who I rarely ever saw. The eldest male in the family, uncle June, who potty-trained me and sympathized with me about my dad and "his ways." The youngest male in the family, my "little dad," who owned a popular restaurant in one of the biggest Asian marts in northern Virginia. The youngest female in the family, Kathy, who sadly gets dubbed as "the crazy one" and the drama queen of the family.

Aunt Jannie passed away from brain tumors in 2004. It was at her funeral that I was re-united with my own brother, and the first time I hung out with all of my cousins as a "grown-up" and not just as a child. We played poker, they let me have some beers, and my brother won me some seed money for college in poker. I would start seeing the family more regularly--and not just during the 4th of July and New Years--for the next few years. Then, I went off to college and spoke to nobody but my mom. I never heard from my brother, I heard from my dad maybe once or twice a year, and I was once again only reunited with my cousins during the 4th of July and New Years.

I graduated college after four years of learning just how selfish/selfless I am, how much I want to belong somewhere, how much I crave love & affection from friends and family, and how I can drive myself into madness with thoughts of loneliness and remorse. Shit happened during those four years. I lost quite a few friends, I gained many more, I learned secrets about still others that had been my friends this entire time that I was oblivious to. I was ostracized, I was celebrated, I was hated, my character was questioned (by both others and myself), and I was still loyal (to others, but not to myself). I lost myself, but found myself in the way I care for the people in my life. I lost myself again when I realized I care too much for the other people in my life and not enough for myself. I pushed myself. I took things for granted, and appreciated them when I lost them and promised myself I would learn more about gratitude as I entered the real world.

Graduation day, mom told me about you. And I realized just how mortal we all are.

Certain things stopped being important. I don't care if that boy loves me or not anymore. I don't care what that girl is saying about me to her sorority. I don't care if plans are cancelled, because I have somewhere more important to be anyway. I don't care if I have to spend a ton of money on gas to drive 90 miles to Maryland and back just to catch a feeble dozen crabs. I don't care if I got three useless degrees from university, because your degree was useless, too, and you still did very well in life. I don't care if much of our time together was spent in silence, watching television and drinking beer. I don't care that you never asked for anything in return, because I still wish I could have done more.

Where are you? Why are you gone? How did this happen to you? You were the best one out of all of us. Can you come back, somehow?

You were the protective, funny, street smart, cool-but-dumb, don't-fuck-with-my-family older brother that I had always wanted. Of all of us, why did you have to go? Why wasn't it me? It could have been any of us. The illness clearly runs in our family. Why was it you? Where are you? Can you hear me?

After you left us, I started working in food service. I know you would have given me so much shit for that: "Why is your life going ass backwards? You're going from working in government to serving food? Can you at least hook me up? What's good there?" And then upon learning that we had no seafood or barbecue dishes, you would have scoffed and walked out. Your dad passed away two months later, following you to the afterlife, a father going after his son. Is there an afterlife? Where are you? Can you hear me?

I then picked up a job in retail. You would have still given me shit for delving further into the service industry, but then begrudgingly would have told me you respect my work ethic and that "you gotta do what you gotta do to get by." I was working 60-70 hours a week dealing with other people so I wouldn't have to deal with myself and my grief. My dad didn't show up to either your nor your dad's funerals, by the way.

I got a job with the government around a month ago. Sub-contractor, actually. You would have given me shit for that, too. "You suck so much that you can't even work for a contractor for the government, but you work for a contractor for a contractor for the government? What's wrong with you?" You were such an asshole. You had a way of making fun of me for absolutely everything, and I loved you for it. Any time I fucked up in life in the past few years, I would tell you, and you would just laugh. You would help me realize that mistakes are just funny stories you can tell to people in the future (and to your cousin with cancer that will make you sheepishly realize that things could be worse). You helped me see the humor in life. You would sometimes tell me about your own similar fuck-ups--which actually ended up being worse than mine--which made me feel better. There was one fuck-up of mine where you didn't even want to know details, because you knew I was so ashamed, and it was no poking-fun matter. But you helped me out anyway, shoving a wad of cash in my hand and telling me not to worry about it. And I knew you knew what it was. But neither of us spoke about it out loud, and that's when I really started to get who you were as a person.

You were the one that really helped me feel like I finally had a family. You brought us together. You always talked shit at poker nights while smoking your cigars, wearing those stupid sunglasses, bragging about how you've got a huge dong. I knocked you down a peg, when you referred to your manhood as a "Jimmy Dean bratwurst," by replying: "I think you mean Vienna Sausage." Weirdly enough, I think this is when you started to respect me--when 15-year old me made an unexpected dick diss.

I have more time to myself now. I've quit my retail job. I only work about 60 hours a week now, but 40 of those hours are a desk job where I honestly have nothing to do, and so I am left alone with my thoughts--the thoughts I refused to acknowledge about your absence, about uncle's absence, about dad's self-alienation from the family, about the evanescence of life. And I've been fucking up a lot lately with friends and my mom and finances and job stuff and friends and ambition.

I need you to laugh at me again. Where the fuck are you?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rest In Peace, 'Donger.'

You wouldn't think that when you hold your baby as he takes his first breath, you would one day be holding him as he takes his last breath. It's not something I've ever considered, at least.

It was my college graduation day--May 11, 2012--when my mom told me that cousin Tom has cancer. What kind? I asked, as if there were any good kind of cancer I could hope for. She didn't know how to translate it from Korean into English. 췌장암, she said.

Pancreatic cancer.

When I returned back home from school, I started visiting Tom every weekend I could. Sometimes just to watch Nats and Redskins games with him, sometimes just to play with his dog, and sometimes to eat some good old seafood with him. Why did it have to take cancer to bring us closer together? Nonetheless, I'm glad he got to taste some Hot N Juicy and Chasin' Tails cajun seafood before he went, and that I also got to bring him some live catch of my own.

"He's in a better place now," people tell me. Where is he? And how is it better? As someone who doesn't believe in a heaven nor hell nor nirvana nor any other sort of life after life, this consolation means almost nothing to me, but I wish it did. It's times like this that I wish I believed.

"You were so good to him," Aunt Kathy tells me--the youngest aunt in the Park family. "I know you were." I felt like I didn't do enough, though. And I know there were others who did more for him. I could have taken him to a Nationals or Redskins game. I could have taken him with me to my crabbing and fishing trips. I could have done a Marvel movie marathon with him and watched some stand-up comedy with him. But I didn't. When his mom and Aunt Kathy and others tell me that I was "good to him," I feel like I am being commended in a way a helpless child could be commended for chipping in loose change to help pay a mortgage.

He is 19 years my senior; most of the Park cousins are considerably older than me and had grown up together, and I was the baby. My very first memory of Tom is when I went over to his house to visit my aunt and uncle with my mom, just a little after my parents had divorced. He walked over to me and stuck his foot in my face and then laughed when I got scared; I thought that he was going to smother me with it. Always the jokester. He continued making us laugh even after he was gone. As we were going through his things, one of the very first things we found were two very--let's say, explicit--DVDs in his top drawer. James handed them to me before I knew what they were and said, "Do you want these?" Also, I myself have been known to steal stupid things--giant stuffed toys from Kings Dominion, dinnerware from my campus dining halls, souvenirs from vacation spots. Imagine my amusement when we were going through his things, and I saw two green fold-up chairs in his closet and room that very clearly said "Patriot Center" on them--from his alma mater, George Mason University. I also found a sketchbook with drawings by his 14-year old self. They were actually pretty decent. He and I are more similar than I thought. On the paddle he got from his fraternity, which was placed on his casket, I learned that his nickname was 'Donger.' I'm not sure why, but it somehow seems appropriate.

While he was battling his illness, there were a good amount of times when we thought he was reaching his end. Whether he was particularly beat up from chemotherapy, or when his stent had a blockage and he vomited everything he tried to keep down, or occasions when he got delusional and unaware of his surroundings. But each time, he somehow pulled through, and the next time I would see him, he would be his usual snarky self, laying on the couch watching TV with his dog while his brother James cooked some spicy pork outside on the grill. He was invincible. I got used to thinking that no matter how horrible his condition got, he would recover. I foolishly thought there would always be more time. Only, last week, he decided he couldn't fight anymore. He was done. He got to play one last round of poker with our cousins and his friends. He got to have a proper farewell with a lot of people. He requested that "Amazing Grace" be sung at his viewing, and I hope I did it justice--although I'm sure if he were alive to witness it, he would have told me that I sucked and booed me off the stage.

I was afraid of asking him out of the fear of offending him, but I finally did, because others have wondered the same thing when I tell them about him: "Why have you been fighting for so long? What makes you want to keep living?" He had no wife, no kids, and I guess for some people, if you don't have those things, then you don't really have anything to live for. Of course, they would be wrong. He had his cousins, his brother, his adorable niece Alexis. He had his mother, who was holding his hand in her sleep when she awoke to his grip loosening as he passed away; she wailed "my baby, my baby" over his body through the morning. He had his father, who collapsed on the front porch as he watched the coroners cart the body away. He had his friends, his Alpha Chi Rho fraternity brothers, his job. He had all the people that showed up to his viewing, funeral, and burial ceremonies. Indeed, when I asked him why he was holding on, he responded by saying, "Alexis. I was fighting for her. But I can't do it anymore." It's damn near miraculous that he made it over two years with pancreatic cancer, and I am in awe of his resilience.

I think of all the could-have-been's. Having been a bachelor all his life, would he have found love and settled down if it wasn't for the cancer? Would he have liked Kevin Hart and Louis C.K.? If he ever did meet any boyfriend of mine, would he really have given them a "beat down," as he always threatened to do whenever he thought I was dating somebody? "He better treat you right, or we'll give him a beat down."

They simplified his life so much in the funeral program. August 27, 1971: born in Korea. 1977: immigrated to the United States. Elementary/Middle/High school. George Mason University (English Major). Work at a bank. Work at a mortgage company. August 28, 2014: deceased at 5:20am. There was so much more to him than that (as there is to anybody, of course). The district, regional, and state wrestling championships he participated in and won. The countless people he helped out that were in trouble by giving them all sorts of money and resources without expecting anything in return--myself included. The Treasurer and Vice President positions he held with Alpha Chi Rho. The crass dick jokes. The amazing shrimp barbie recipes. The surprising secret artistic abilities. So many other things that I myself will never get to know about him firsthand.

At his viewing, his mother wept at his casket while his father repeated, "It should have been me, I should have gone first." It will take an eternity for me to forget my aunt's cries of "my baby, my poor son" over his body.

The day I found out from James that Tom's condition was rapidly deteriorating, it had been almost two months since I had last seen him. You always think there would be more time. How did I let almost two months go by? I am a fool. I am a coward.

Last Tuesday, August 26, I went to his house as soon as I got the word from James. "Good to see you," Tom greeted me while he was drinking some soup. I tried to contain my shock at his 80-pound frame. He looked like a skeleton with skin stretched over his bones. I kept him company in his room while we watched the Nats game, and that's when he started to lose it.

"Hey, is the game on?" he asked, his eyes closed. I was confused, and didn't realize what was happening to his mental state..
"Yes...? We're watching it right now," I replied, worried. He stayed silent.
Then, a few moments later: "Oh, man, do you need anything? Are you okay?" he said, his eyes half-open.
"What?" I laughed. "Do you need anything? You're the one with cancer, man."
He paused and then chuckled. "Wait, sorry. I thought you were in labor just now. Must be hallucinating," he mumbled. More silence. Suddenly, he started rambling on in gibberish and groaning, and I cried openly in front of him, knowing he wasn't aware of it and thusly couldn't make fun of me like he had in the past when I cried for him. I caught the words "plastic Indian" and "sing sang sung steam," but didn't make sense of much else--not that those phrases in themselves make any sense.

I couldn't stay to watch him anymore, but he was slowly regaining his coherence. I walked over to him and told him I would be back the next day, and that we would watch some Louis C.K., as he had never heard of him before. He groaned in agreement--I think. Then, something I had never said to him before--something I rarely say to people in general, but especially anybody in the Park family, because they (we) all think lovey-dovey stuff is cringe-worthy: "I love you." Gratifyingly enough, I got an "I love you, too," in return.

The next day, Wednesday, August 27, I went to his house. It was his 43rd birthday. He was bedridden for most of the day. I went to his room, sat down next to him, and placed a hand on his sharp hip bone. His hand slowly reached over to meet mine, and though he couldn't speak, the gesture spoke volumes. Later, while I was in his living room with his parents and friends and brother, we heard him hop out of bed. He appeared in the hallway right outside of his room, saw us, and said, "What's going on?" We looked at each other in surprise.
"It's your birthday! This is your party!" we exclaimed. He grinned like a little kid, then went back into his room. Seeing him in the hallway was a harrowing view; with no shirt on, we could count each rib, each vertebrae.

Thursday, August 28. I woke up to a voicemail from James. "My brother has passed away. My mom says he went around 5:10, 5:20." I will never forget how cold Tom's skin felt on my lips as I kissed his forehead before his body was taken away.

I will live twice as hard for him. I don't have room for fear or apprehension or awkwardness or anxiety anymore. And there will always be room for tomfoolery (how apt of a word!).

If there is a heaven, I would like to think he's feeling "aw shucks"-abashed at how many people are mourning his death and how many people cried at his funeral. There's probably unlimited cajun seafood up there, with lots of steak and cigars and football and wrestling and fishing and poker.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

science and Reddit trivia that changed my perspective on things

  • Technically, you're not necessarily looking "up" at the stars--since directions can be arbitrary/relative, you could also be looking "down" at the stars, considering where you are on earth and where we could consider to be "up" (i.e. outwards of the perimeters of the earth? upwards in terms of the "plane" that the orbits of the planets are generally forming? north pole?).
  • Everybody that was alive when the oldest living person was born is dead now. All of them. On the planet.
  • In fact, 54 million people that are alive right now will be dead within the next 12 months.
  • In 100-120 years, it will be a whole new crop of people inhabiting this earth. Rinse and repeat.
  • Before wishing for invisibility as your superpower, think again--being invisible means you would be blind as well. If your eyes are invisible, then the light has nothing to bounce back to, rendering you incapable of seeing anything.
  • There are many bug-parts in chocolate, as bugs can't really be kept out of the cocoa beans. The FDA allows a certain percentage of bug parts per ounce. When someone is allergic to chocolate, generally, they are allergic to the bugs and not the chocolate itself.
  • The smell of fresh-cut grass is actually a distress signal from the grass being cut. It 'warns' other grass blades that destruction is near, and upon being warned, the grass redistributes most of its nutrients closer to its roots so that its losses are minimized. Basically, plants are more metal than I thought.
  • Eating one single banana exposes you to more radiation than being within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant for one year. Note that this is a testament to the safety of nuclear power plants (so long as it is in compliance with regulations), not the radioactivity of bananas; the stigma around nuclear power plants is rather misleading.
  • Arthur C. Clarke: "Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."
  • Mathematically, there have to be other lifeforms in the galaxy, and it's almost certain that some of them are intelligent--maybe as many as 10,000 different civilizations. The catch is, space is so big that as far as we can determine right now (some 15 billion light-years across), given an even random distribution (unless it's not so random... but that's to contemplate another time I suppose), none of us will ever likely meet each other or even detect each other. For all intents and purposes, then, we are alone in the universe. Any intelligent alien races likely suffer the same lack of significance as humans do. Not only is it improbable that alien life exists within reach, but it's even more improbable that we are co-existing at the same time.
  • If the acceleration model of the expansion of the universe is correct, things will start disappearing from our visible sky. People of the future (provided that human civilization can last that long) will have no way of knowing these things ever existed through their own direct observation; they'll have to rely on our documentation.
  • We don't use "10% of our brains." We use all 100%. There is no secretly-unexplored chasm of superpowers in our brain. We just happen to not use all 100% at the same time, since each part of the brain does something different. We aren't doing math and writing a symphony and playing soccer at the same time (although I'd like to see that).
  • The stronger the smell of chlorine in a swimming pool, the more contaminated it is with sweat/fecal matter/urine. Sometimes I forget that the nostalgic smell of summer is really the smell of stank.
  • Our monetary system has been set up so that there will always be more debt in existence than there is money to pay it all off. We will never be out of debt until the USD (and subsequently every other world currency) collapses.
  • Eggs are basically a chicken's menstruation.
  • When you eat figs, you are basically eating wasps; figs can't become the way they are without a female fig wasp flying into the center of the syconium to lay her eggs; one inside, there's no getting back out.
  • Ladybugs have the highest STD-rate among animals.
  • Green apple seeds contain cyanide.
  • Red-colored candy and soda is made out of ground up beetles; see if you can find "carmine" as an ingredient in these items. Gelatin is also made out of horse/cow hooves and is an ingredient in most types of candy and gum.
  • Flipper (the dolphin) committed suicide. The majority of dolphins held in captivity commit suicide.
  • You have never actually been 'touched' the way you think you have. Our atoms all repel each other and don't actually 'touch' because of the electron cloud. The tactile sense you feel is really just the repulsive forces occuring on the molecular level.
  • Statistically, American women have a better chance at becoming princesses than Supreme Court Justices. More American women have become (or always been) a part of some royal ancestry than they have become Supreme Court Justices.
  • The idea that racism is bad is newer than the automobile.
  • Bread is actually bad for ducks. You are slowly killing them when you feed them bread.
  • Sometime in the future, you will be thought of for the last time.
  • Bats have the highest percentage of homosexuality among all animals. (Keep this in mind when Batman vs. Superman comes out...)
  • Every dog in that movie or TV show you like so much is dead now.
  • Hugo Boss designed and produced the uniforms for the Nazis.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Four things to be thankful for today.

  • Friends like Jan and Casey who will come help me at last minute's notice. My dad's BMW 750 has had battery issues in the past, but never when I was in possession of the car--until today. It was confusing enough just to open the hood and identify the positive and negative terminals (and I somehow cut my finger deeply in the process?). Jan came to the rescue with his A4 and cables and jump-started my car. :)
  • My mom, who I know will help me if I'm in trouble without expecting anything in return.
  • My room mate, Jasmine, who is patient with me and gives me all the constructive criticism I really need for problems I encounter, both personal and professional.
  • My determination. Opportunities can be found in setbacks. To be honest, I'm glad that certain choices are made for me, even if they aren't what I expected them to be. If my biggest worry is that I have too many choices, then I am a fortunate individual.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Plans for the rest of 2014

I plan on...

  • getting my credit card balance down to almost $0 by the end of this year. I have completely max'ed out my limit as of now, at the end of April, after spending moneys upon moneys on graduation gifts, birthday shenanigans, and just treating people to food in general.
  • foregoing my MBA this Fall, due to the sad fact that I still have about $30,000 in student loans as well as a barely-livable salary and an apartment in Fairfax County.
  • leaving my position as an Intern for DHS and getting into a permanent and higher-paying position, whether it be in public or private sector.
  • getting my body fat down to 11% (I have no idea what it is right now but I'm fairly sure it's not below 15%); I don't really want to gain muscle either, so that might just end up becoming 10-15 pounds to lose.
  • going crabbing at least three times a month May through September.
  • buying an actual box/frame for my mattress.
  • finishing at least two pieces of artwork.
  • cutting certain people out of my life--and not pussyfooting around it, either.
  • working harder to keep certain people in my life--and not pussyfooting around it, either.
  • watching all of Orange Is the New Black. I haven't started it yet, but I hear it's a good show.
  • finishing the rest of Community and Weeds. Bonus: get through at least the second and third season of Glee.
  • getting a tattoo of an octopus or starfish on my shoulder or hip.
  • writing the lyrics to and recording my voice for at least three original tracks--one of which I'm going to be rapping on. I know, I've only ever presented myself as a pianist or singer, but I really admire spoken word and rap and want to learn more about it.
  • taking a walk by myself during a big thunderstorm around my neighborhood.
  • making a spontaneous trip to a beach by myself--probably Virginia Beach or Outer Banks or even Ocean City. Who knows? It'll be spontaneous, after all.
  • getting something (less controversial) published on ThoughtCatalog again.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Four things to be thankful for today.

Jan, who I know will help me out no matter what kind of trouble I'm in. Thanks for the Big Mac and the shisha.

Same with Ann, who also bought me Thai iced tea tonight.

Training sessions and courses I get to attend as an employee for the U.S. government, which have given me a lot of opportunities to meet highly-ranked military officials, presitigious federal SES's, and just some pretty cool people in general.

My mattress warmer, which keeps me cozy and snug when my room mate blasts the air conditioning. Very thankful to have a warm bed to sleep in, especially during the cruel winters.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

RE: "18 Things Females Seem to Not Understand (Because, Female Privilege)"

I recently read this article about "female privilege" on thoughtcatalog by a guy named Mark Saunders and decided that I can't let it can't go unaddressed. So, to counter the 18 advantages that the author believes females apparently have over males:
  1. Male privilege is being comfortable with walking down the street at night without fear of sexual assault (Saunders, you realize that your first point of men not being able to walk down the street without being feared as an assaulter is something to blame men for, not women, right?).
  2. Male privilege is being able to ask out girls because it's the norm; when a girl asks a guy out, she is interpreted to be too ballsy or aggressive and depriving the guy of the role. Male privilege is also not having to deal with overeager, oversexed, unsolicited "creepiness."
  3. Male privilege is being able to get drunk and have sex with a girl and then getting away with it on the grounds that it was a "grey area" and that "these things regularly happen anyway."
  4. It is male privilege to turn on the TV and see yourself represented in a positive way and be encouraged. Male characters, no matter how unappealing or unambitious or otherwise unattractive (ugly and lazy, in Saunders' words) they are, can still score quality women. Male privilege is not having to deal with the intense body image pressure and "thinspo" bullshit as unrelentingly as females do. Male privilege is being a bodybuilder and getting praise; females become bodybuilders and they are met with misogynistic "that's disgusting, that's not how a girl should look" comments. Male privilege is being able to work out without a shirt on at a gym and not being kicked out, whereas if a woman were to work out with a sports bra and yoga pants, she gets kicked out.
  5. Male privilege is being recognized for heroic actions, whereas female heroines are rarely heard of in media and history.
  6. Male privilege is being able to decide whether or not you want to be a father, whereas for a mother, it is apparently not supposed to be a choice (if the law prevents a woman from being able to choose to be a mother or not, then the law should also prevent men from being able to abandon fatherhood. It took two to make the baby).
  7. Male privilege is being able to get away with writing a check every month for child support while the mother actually raises and supports the child. You want to talk about responsibility for supporting a child "you didn't want to have in the first place"? It's not just about money.
  8. Male privilege is not having your gender used against you and everybody else; it is not having your gender associated with inferiority and weakness. It's never being told that the way you are born is, by default, wrong: "You throw like a girl," "Stop being such a girl," "You run like a girl." I fight like a girl, and you can test me on this.
  9. Male privilege is being able to joke about rape.
  10. Male privilege is being able to leave your wife and not have anything to do with her or the kids anymore because you found a younger booty to chase.
  11. Male privilege is being able to frighten your spouse into not calling the police and simultaneously cultivating her Stockholm Syndrome.
  12. Male privilege is being commended for being empathetic and sympathetic; dare females be as cold and indifferent (read: calculating and objective) as men tend to be, we are admonished for not being sensitive enough.
  13. Male privilege is being taken seriously at your job and not having to deal with sexual harassment--which, even when reported, may not actually be taken seriously as an issue. Male privilege is not having a glass ceiling. Male privilege is being able to make your way to the top without anyone assuming you fucked your way up there. Male privilege is being able to be a stay-at-home dad and get reactions of commendation, not people sneering at you for being "unproductive." 
  14. Male privilege is being found guilty of crimes and still serving less harsh sentences than women.
  15. Male privilege is not being discriminated against in qualifying tests and winning the majority of athletic scholarships.
  16. Male privilege is being able to have an opinion without being told you are a picky or high-maintenance or self-righteous bitch.
  17. Male privilege is being able to discuss sexism without being written off as "just another crazy feminist."
  18. Male privilege is arrogantly believing that sexism is no longer an issue.

    Those match Saunders' 18 items. But continuing on--
  19. Male privilege is not having to deal with the backwards-ass patriarchy that still pervades in today's societies (first world societies aren't the only societies to exist, you know) such as having to read articles like the one Saunders published on Thought Catalog. 
  20. Male privilege is being able to sleep with numerous partners and be revered, whereas females are called whores, sluts, tramps, and the like for doing the same thing. Even if men are called "manwhores," notice that the root word is "whore"--which roots in being female. 
  21. Male privilege is not having to put on cosmetics and make-up and shave your body hair to appear more presentable and pleasing to the eye. Male privilege is not being told the natural functions of your body that come with your gender (and being a human in general) are inappropriate or disgusting, such as menstruation, menopause, body hair, facial hair, hot flashes, and cramps.
  22. Male privilege is being able to walk on the streets without being honked at, whistled at, or having lewd comments shouted at you. (see this article on objectification)
  23. Male privilege is having so many superheroes and protagonists to relate to, where as females, for the most part, are just eye candy (see Laura Mulvey's Male Gaze theory).
  24. Male privilege is not having your worth automatically discounted upon reaching the age of 30 (I love the show, but in HIMYM, Barney often discredits women over the age of 30 and deems them unworthy, or "expired").
  25. Male privilege is not automatically being deemed a bad driver and suffering higher insurance premiums.
  26. Male privilege is not being deemed loose/brazen for partying and drinking.
  27. Male privilege is not being expected to pay for birth control pills, plan B, or other medical contraceptives.
  28. Male privilege is not having your innards bleed out of you once a month as mother nature's way of morbidly congratulating you on not being pregnant.
  29. Male privilege is not having to check out in a lane with a female cashier for some purchases.
  30. Male privilege is not having to go through the judgment of buying a pregnancy test or the morning-after pill.
  31. Male privilege is being able to keep your last name and not depleting your parents of funds for the wedding.
  32. Male privilege is being able to cry about something and being told that "it takes a real man to cry," whereas when a female cries, she's just being a drama queen.
  33. Male privilege is having your emotions and thoughts validated as being genuinely from the autonomic self, whereas female emotions are just hormones.
  34. Male privilege is not having to throw away your jeans, shorts, skirts, dresses, blankets, panties, and other such textiles and linen that are in the firing range of your vagina when it's at its angriest time of the month.
  35. Male privilege is being able to eat sushi and medium-well/medium/rare meat and ride roller coasters and smoke and drink and sleep on your stomach and not vomit and keep the same clothes and not have to take supplements because you won't ever be cultivating something that is technically a parasite inside of your womb, let alone be pushing it out of your genital area.
This list is clearly biased against males by using falsely universal statements--just like Saunders' list was clearly biased against females by grouping them all together. Also note that many of his grievances actually can be traced back to men fucking up and ruining the livelihood of women to the point where we HAD to create those "privileges" for ourselves.

Obviously, none of the points on my list are universal or descriptive of every male ever. They are generalizations, many (if not most) of which can easily be challenged and disproved. There are exceptions to every rule, and you know what? Everybody has their own opportunities and privileges, and likewise, they all have their own crosses to bear. We need to quit bitching about how unfairly we are treated by others and look to how we treat each other, and then collectively learn to treat each other with empathy and respect. 

Also, f*** you, Mark Saunders.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Throat closing tight
Eyes straining tight
Fists clenching tight

Mind running loose,
Lips running looser--

Did I say that out loud?
Did anybody hear me?

Can anybody hear me?

This must be what it feels like
If my mind were a prison
My thoughts convicted of crimes they did not commit

Where is the warden?
He must have dozed off into a drunken stupor again
Just like yesterday,
Just like the day before.
Still, the prisoners do not escape
Out of fear that freedom is not
What they hoped it would be

They have learned to sing in their cages.

The sun has set;
Yet another day
The prisoners' schemes have gone unnoticed
As they pass cigarettes to each other,
The warm red glow providing their only light.

Monday, April 7, 2014

What I learned from How I Met Your Mother

  • You can have multiple best friends. Despite the struggles between Marshall, Ted, and Barney to claim sole bestfriendship with one another, they were all best friends. Also, as with Lily and Robin/Jillian (the teacher from her kindergarten), sometimes you just have different best friends for different reasons. But honestly, it's like picking a favorite child (I'm assuming): you can't do it. You love em for different reasons, but the same great amount. 
  • Before settling down, people should be able to pursue their individuality. If they can't do this together, then it may just be necessary that they do have to be apart. Lily couldn't have married Marshall without having moved to San Francisco first to try and pursue her art dreams. Robin couldn't have ended up with Ted without having traveled the world first. Ted couldn't have ended up with his heart yearning for someone else to love (that is, Robin) upon losing Tracy if he hadn't lived out his dream of being a father and a husband. The title of this show was, after all, "How I Met Your Mother." It wasn't "How Your Mother and I Fell In Love" or "How Your Mother and I Spent Our Time Together." It was about the process of learning and growing and running away and confronting and making mistakes that ended up leading to that moment under the yellow umbrella. And, of course, it was a sly dig towards his kids about whether or not they would be okay with him being with Aunt Robin.
  • Life is for the living. When someone you love dies, you feel aghast that the rest of the world doesn't stop and mourn with you. I'm sure Marshall felt the same way when his father passed away in the series, and Ted, too, must have felt stricken by Tracy's death. You end up tying your own fate to the deceased. We can't put our own lives on indefinite pause, though. Our loved ones who have had their lives stopped short would surely want for us to move on and do great things with ours.
  • We don't always get answers to the things we ask. This will always bother me as a philosophy student, despite the whole Socratic method of admitting to ignorance and lack of knowledge. Where did the pineapple come from? When did Robin become a bullfighter? (Ted's older self mentioned that in the Christmas episode where he put up lights in the living room for Robin: "Your Aunt Robin was many things . . . she was even a bullfighter at one point, I'll get to that . . . but there was one thing your Aunt Robin never was. She was never alone.") How do you play Marshgammon? What is that game Barney always played with the Asians in AC?? Did Ted ever win that tricycle belt? Who was Barney's baby mama?
  • The cheerleader effect is real. True for both girls and guys, as noted in the show itself, the cheerleader effect deludes onlookers into thinking that some group of people consists of attractive people when, observed individually, they are actually unsightly and awkward.

  • If you've got chemistry (i.e. compatibility, attraction, passion, intimacy, what have you) with someone, it's still not enough, because you need one other thing: timing. And this isn't something you can help. Whether it's because one or both of the parties are in a relationship, are not emotionally available, have starkly different priorities, are living somewhere completely different, are focused on work/career, are not mature enough, or simply are not into the other person, timing is something that has to solve itself. And, as the show has taught us, if something is worth being called 'legendary,' then we must wait for it.
  • Everything happens for a reason, but that reason is either subjective or not meant to be discovered until later on down the road. When adversity happens to you, you can either interpret it to be a sign that you're doing something wrong or a test to prove yourself and demonstrate how much you want whatever it is you're pursuing. Or when you simply don't know why something is happening to you, just put faith in the future. You will know the answer when you need to, and until then, you are still growing. If Stella never left Ted at the altar, if Ted never got the butterfly tattoo, if Barney hadn't proposed to the (then) love of Ted's life, he never would have met the mother.
  • Not everything has a clean closure of catharsis. As with the ending of the series itself, I was left wanting a little more, feeling unsettled and even indignant and cheated. But as with falling-outs and break-ups, there can't always be a clean break-up. There will be sunken costs that can never be recovered, innumerable unanswered questions, unresolved conflicts, and other loose ends... but you have to come to terms with the idea that you are big enough to deal with it--you are bigger than the lack of answers and confrontations, and your life is more than your problems. And sometimes, you may just have to compose the closure yourself.
  • You shouldn't have to wait for "signs" from the universe. The universe, I would hope, has better things to do than to hand you some stop/go signal for that job or that girl or that move. Just do it because you want to do it, not because of some foresight granted to you by "signs." If you're waiting on a sign from the universe, then maybe you are not ready to do it...
  • Making every night legendary means that, paradoxically, no night is legendary. I took a very brief but very necessary social break earlier this year, and in that time, I was at my apartment alone (apart from my room mate), watching TV and smoking hookah and reading by myself. It was calming and helped me recalibrate myself. I don't want to become desensitized to the awesomeness that is my friends' company and the adventures we go on together.
  • Making an ass of yourself for love is highly underrated. One of my best friends makes an absolute ass out of himself sometimes (though he doesn't show it to his friends) for the girls he falls for. He is just as much of a facebook/instagram stalker and text re-reader and conversation overanalyzing rehash-er as I'm sure Ted is. I know some other people who are like that, but they get called "thirsty" or "desperate" or "obsessed" or downright "creepy." Objectively speaking, I think it's pretty sweet and thoughtful, and I'm sad for them that they end up choosing the wrong people. Ted consistently made an ass of himself for Robin, and ultimately, that planted the idea of associating dependability and trustworthiness with Ted in Robin's mind.
  • Things almost never go as planned. Marshall planned on being an environmental lawyer, Ted planned on meeting the one by the time he was 23, Lily wanted to be an artist... But in pursuit of our elusive goals, we end up sometimes finding something even better. We can't rush to where we want to be and skip the journey. With that said...
  • Things have to fall apart to make way for better things. Can't build that skyscraper if the outdated hotel is still in its space. Can't meet the love of your life if you're with the wrong person. Can't get your dream job if you're working for a promotion at a job you hate.
  • There will be moments when you will lose faith. It's your determination and strong will (and probably some stubbornness) that will end up pushing you through, though.
  • People will find a way back into your life if they really want to. That is, they can recognize that having you in their life is more important than their pride. They can apologize to you for wrongdoings and own up to their debts. They can reconnect with you if they miss your company.
  • You will get too old for some shit (see: Murtaugh list), but not for others (see: Barney's playbook being resurrected upon his divorce). You decide.
  • Consolation prizes might actually be destroying the integrity of people's will and motivation. Yes, it's good to have fun, but participation trophies and the like go against the very purpose of trophies and prizes. To be honest, I myself find them insulting. I don't need your charity. I lost, don't rub salt in the wounds by giving me something you and I both know I don't deserve.
  • More than anything, this show has taught me how to move on. When I was going through my own break-ups, I heavily relied on this show to distract me and provide me with some sense. I ended up being able to apply so much of what Ted learned to my own heartbreaks.
  • In relationships, there has to be both conflict and support. While Ted and Zoe fought over almost every issue that divided them as a couple, Marshall and Lily constantly supported each other despite individual misgivings. Both parties went mad at some point. Bottom line is, stay honest with each other, but know to pick your battles; it's better to lose the argument than to lose the person.

  • "The One" is more of a subjective concept than it is an actual objective, indefinite/discrete entity of a person that transcends your notion of love. There may be the "one" for your specific timing/situation. Robin was the one when Ted had first met her. Stella was the one after that. Tracy was the one after eight or so years of going through other trials that helped shape who he was (including thinking that Stella was the one). Robin was the one six years after Tracy had passed away and Ted was ready to love again.
  • Tight-knit groups drift apart. It's happened already for me with my high school group. One of my best friends from high school went to Duke and then moved out to San Francisco. Another went to Berklee College of Music and is now living in Boston. Another stayed in-state for college, but then moved to Los Angeles and is planning on staying there for at least another year. Thankfully, I still have a lot of my best friends within driving distance of this area... but I bet that within 5-10 years, some (or even all) of us will move and go our separate ways. Some of us will get married and start raising kids and only be able to hang out with other parents. Some of us will end up traveling the world. But as we move on with our lives, we will end up developing different social circles. I do plan on ending up in the same nursing home as one or two of my best friends, though. We've talked about this. It's happening.
  • People do get divorced. Being a millenial in my 20's, I see a lot of people on Facebook posting up engagement/wedding announcements, and I feel very happy for them. So many of them (if not all of them) seem perfect for each other, and I envy them for their happiness. But as one of my more cynical friends put it, "Who cares if they're already getting married? It just means they'll get divorced sooner than I do." Yes, divorce happens. I don't know if I'm just cynical because my own parents got divorced, but I think divorce will happen in my future too, only because I'm not a very static person in terms of priorities and preferences and even personality; I change every couple of years, and that's bound to create conflict with my significant other... I would hope it doesn't, but I need to be realistic and prepared.
  • People do get terminally ill. Poor Ted and Tracy. I would be so fortunate as to simply die of old age, perhaps even peacefully in my sleep or in my deathbed after I say goodbye to my loved ones. But illnesses don't care how old/young you are or how much you're loved or how good of a person you are or how many people you have to stay alive for and care for. My cousin has been battling pancreatic cancer since April 2012, when he was only 39. My aunt on the same side of the family died of brain cancer in 2005 in her late 60's. My uncle (the aforementioned cousin's dad) had esophageal cancer and now has lung cancer going into his mid- to late-70's. My own dad has been having health issues for the past couple of months. I'm grateful that no other people in my life are sick. Illness can happen to absolutely anyone.
  • What you want changes over time, mostly because your expectations change over time. This is perfectly epitomized in everyone's reaction to the finale: so many of us were outraged over Ted and Robin getting back together. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't all of us actually want Ted and Robin to be together at some point? And we agonized over the fact that future Ted would always refer to her as "Aunt Robin" because it meant that they really didn't end up together, no matter how much we wanted them to. I got painfully sympathetic for Ted every time Robin rejected him, and I was furious with Robin when she would realize what a great guy Ted was only when it was too late. Eventually, I accepted that they wouldn't be together, and I eventually wanted Ted to go ahead and meet the mother and fall obliteratingly in love with her. Funny thing is, after I accepted they wouldn't be together, they end up being together vis-a-vis the finale. Also note, in the Pilot episode, Ted is talking abstractly about his future wedding with the Lebanese girl that turned out to be dating Carl, and he said he wants a "band, no DJ." He was so anti-band for Robin & Barney's wedding! Although, of course, that might also have been more about a band being a metaphor for Barney in general.
  • It's more about the investment itself than the return and outcome. Economically speaking, a sunken cost results from an investment from which you don't get sufficient return, and you cannot recover the losses. The biggest sunken cost for us, of course, is time. The time we put into relationships and pursuing dreams can never be recovered. We should spend our time wisely doing the things we love with the people we love.
  • Every ending is a new beginning.

Farewell to a show that I bonded with people over, a show I learned a lot of lessons from, and a show that got me through some tough times.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day 30: 5 Things I want to be remembered for.

  • My curiosity in life. I'm that friend that will ask, "What does this do?" and then proceed to either injure herself or otherwise fuck something up because I'm curious and I want to learn things firsthand. I wish I had all the time in the world so I can learn everything there is to know about everything. Sciences, cultures, history, humanities, arts, everything.
  • My artistic talents. Maybe it's a little shallow, but I hope people remember me for my voice, my piano talents, and my drawing. I am by no means professional in any of these three, nor have I had any formal training (apart from piano lessons. And an art class from my local community college, I guess). But of all the descriptors people ever use to introduce me, I hear "She's crazy artistic" or "She's a good singer" the most. Although the next descriptor that comes close is...
  • My ability to eat. I am such a big glutton, and I know my body's gonna pay for it someday. But I eat like somebody four times my weight/size, and I never exercise. I'm too busy eating, after all. It is not unusual for me to have 2-3 dinners and 2-3 lunches (usually only one breakfast though). In high school, I challenged the tallest basketball player on our high school's basketball team to a chipotle burrito eating contest. He was 6'7", I'm 5'3". I ended up winning. The secret is pooping a lot. Gotta make room.
  • Being a good friend. I'm not gonna be the friend that always agrees with you, and I personally am almost never biased (read: just because I'm friends with you doesn't mean I'm going to agree with you); I try to remain as objective as possible. However, no matter how much I disagree with you or how angry I am with you at the moment or how disappointed I am in you or how crazy I think you are, I will still stand by you and support you. When shit hits the fan, I will clean it up for you, because you are my friend and I care about and love you. It has nothing to do with "loyalty," which I've always thought was arbitrary; I am friends with people from absolute opposite sides of the social/political/whatever spectrum, and I am friends with people that actually hate each other. To me, it's about who I've shared my own life experiences with, and who has shared their own with me as well. I don't take sides (which some might end up saying makes me a bad friend, but I really don't like being biased/skewed in my judgments). No matter how many times you've complained to me about something, I will listen. Even if something you're doing doesn't sit well with me, why should that matter anyway? It's your life, and I respect your will to do whatever it is you want with it.
  • My friendliness/affability. Yeah, sometimes when people meet me, I seem very cold and standoff-ish. I don't mean to be. I think it's just in my natural Korean bitchface, maybe, or the fact that I act casual and comfortable with everyone whether I've been friends with you for 5 years or 5 minutes (aka I don't bother with niceties and manners sometimes). But I hope people remember me for bringing them together, for being so open, for making them laugh, for asking them about how they're doing, and for being thoughtful.
Wow, done with this 30 day challenge... what next?!

Day 29: What people most misunderstand about me

By a long shot: my sense of humor.

I have a very dry, sarcastic, and satirical sense of humor. It's my fault for assuming, but I would think people in this day and age can understand satire. Satire and mocking is a big part of my sense of humor and how I get people to laugh; if you take me seriously, then you'll think me to be a much more horrible person than I already am.

People say it's hard to tell when I'm kidding, apparently. To those people, I say that I don't care, you and I probably wouldn't get along anyway because you're too fuckin' stupid.

Just kidding.

But who cares about your misunderstandings of me? In the words of Louis CK, if you have something to say to a joke I'm telling, shut up and stop being selfish. It was a joke, completely rhetorical. It's not about you! If you do have an opinion and you have something to tell me, here's what you do. You get a piece of paper and a pencil, write it down, fold it up, and on the way home, throw it away and then kill yourself.

If Louis CK or Amy Schumer has joked about it, it's most likely in my repertoire of humor, too. I'm not sorry you misinterpreted my joke so much as I am sorry that you're oversensitive and stupid.

There are other things misunderstood about me, and it mostly has to do with people believing what they hear and assuming that it's all true. I suppose it's more of a problem of their ignorance than it is of my projected image... or is that super ignorant of me to say? :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Day 28: My love language

I completely forgot love language was a thing. I thought this was some rhetorical question like, "What speaks to you in love?" or something sappy like that. Nope. There are five different love languages. Basically, they are different modes through which people express their love and form bonds with others, and almost everybody has a strong preference of one or two over the other three or four.

Anyhow. The five are Words of Affirmation, Touch, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Acts of Services. I happen to be divergent. Lolol jk. I like all of them except for Touch, apparently. DON'T TOUCH ME. Have you seen that gif of that cat that's growling and looking like a little hunched up ball of terrified mess at the same time as a hand is approaching it? That's me. But I do like words of affirmation; who doesn't like being told they're appreciated? That was my highest-scoring one. Next one down was Quality Time; I like spending time with people, even if it's not even spent doing anything productive. People with whom I can have comfortable silences are the best kinds of people. The next one down for me was Acts of Services; I know how lazy I am myself, so when I see that people go out of their way to do things for me, it makes me feel really loved. Receiving Gifts was second to last. I kind of feel uncomfortable when people give me gifts on random occasions because I'm usually the person that's like, "Oh, I didn't get you anything..." and I look like a jackass lol.

Day 27: My favorite part of my body

I like the curves that go in at my waist. My torso goes out at my ribcages (from all that singin'!), curves in around my navel's level, and then back out for my hips and thighs. Makes me feel very feminine. And I'm not a very feminine person. Of course, I also like my butt. Did a lot of squats in high school to earn it!

Day 26: A popular notion I think the world has wrong

That we are alone in the universe. How can you think that there are 15 billion lightyears' worth of space (and possibly more, if the solution to the information paradox turns out to be true and the Big Bounce is actually a thing) and tell me that there has been no other living civilization in all that time? How arrogant do you have to be to really believe that? I really hope there are other beings out there because humans kind of suck.

 We are not alone. The truth is out there. :D

Day 25: Dinner with anyone in history

I would have to say Sergei Rachmaninoff. I don't want him to come to our time, though; I want to go back to his time. Specifically, I'd like to know him right when he was starting to come out of his depression. It was then that he was starting to work on Piano Concerto No. 2--his best work in my opinion. I wanna get to know the guy who had the mindset to write that piece.

I would probably seek out some seafood. Or I could take him crabbing with me ^_^

Day 24: Family dynamic then vs now

Family dynamic was rather complicated when I was younger. My parents got divorced when I was really young, my dad doesn't like his side of the family and so kept me away from them, and my mom's side of the family was all in Korea.

Fast forward twenty years to where I am now. I respect my parents a lot more. I appreciate that they got divorced instead of staying together. After my parents' divorce, my mom and I continued visiting my dad's side of the family behind his back because they were all we knew in America. Now, I go to my cousin (also on dad's side)'s house almost every weekend--the very same cousin I used to be terrified of when I was younger. I don't know why?? I guess being the only girl in a group of grown-ass dudes made me feel really intimidated when I was younger.

In the summers, I go crabbing and bring back my catch to my cousin's house, and we all feast on it. I've been reunited with my brother (who was 20 years older than me and so left the house very long ago), and though he's in China now, wonderful technology allows us to stay connected. I've moved out of my mom's house, and absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. I can really see how much she's done for me, and I am indebted to her. Great mother. Not always sound or sane, but who is?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Day 23: Why I love my top 3 hobbies

I have so many hobbies, though! I am a woman of many interests!

Sike. My top three hobbies (and really my only three hobbies) are smoking hookah, crabbing, and music (usually transposing popular songs into acoustic piano/guitar versions).

I love smoking hookah because it's a nice palette cleanser and, on the rare occasion, it gives me a nice, heady buzz. It's also a great social lubricant that doesn't damage my liver (just my lungs... and probably brain, from oxygen deprivation...) nor make my judgment screwy. I've met so many people at hookah lounges and developed bonds with people by just chatting by the pipes. I also have one of my own, so it's a nice way to get some one-on-one time at home with friends as well. And, of course, smoke tricks. I swear 70% of the reason I even smoke hookah in the first place is so I can perfect my smoke rings and other such tricks. But yeah, if you go out to a hookah lounge and invite me, I will say yes 80% of the time. The other 20% is a no most likely because I am already at another one.

I love crabbing because being by the water is so calming. It's hard not to feel really humbled by something as great as the sea. It also makes me feel very... primal? I mean, I think catching your own dinner is pretty cool. Lately, crabbing hasn't been too good in the Chesapeake, but hopefully this year's populations will be up. It's yet another nice way to bond with people; I almost always take at least one person with me on my crabbing trips. It's a road trip (about 1.5-2 hours' worth of driving each way), too, so there's nothing to do but listen to music and/or talk. When we get there, it's just water and sun and tanning. My cousins also love crabs, so it's nice to come back to them with a nice catch that we can all eat. Old bay, lemon juice, vinegar. Crabbing's been in my family for a very long time, so I love it for personal family reasons; it was my dad and I's primary bonding activity. Also, I'm a cancer, so there's some symbolic connection there, too. And have you HAD blue crabs?! They're called Callinectes sapidus ("savory swimmer") for a reason. So tasty. Yum. It's also pretty exciting to do in general--moreso than fishing, in my opinion (but then again, I'm not as well-versed in fishing, so there's probably more technique to it than I'm thinking); I crab with lines and bait  and not crabpots or crab traps because those are for noobs. And every now and then, I catch giant terrapins and eels, the latter of which make great bait for crabs (and the former of which make great pets for the day before I let 'em back in the water).

I love music because...I just do? Usually when I'm in a bad mood or feeling a general bout of sadness, I realize eventually that it's because I haven't done anything musical in a while. I learn a new piece on the piano, and then I feel better. And like the other two hobbies I've listed, music is a great way to connect to people. I've been fortunate to have a lot of performance opportunities lately, and I do most of them with a partner, so there's the bonding in that alone (between me and said partner). And then, of course, there's the connection between the performer and the audience. It's kind of difficult for me to explain it without sounding like a pretentious douche, but I'll just say that performing has helped me meet a lot of people in general. Harmonizing with people, creating arrangements for choirs/a cappella groups, and shit like that in general is amazing. It's like your minds come together to make sweet musical love. That's really all I can say about that. It's also nice to be able to indulge in your own creativity when you see your musical talents/inclinations/skills coming to life and to be proud of yourself for something you know you are passionate about and work very hard in.

Day 22: In 5 years, 10 years, 15 years.

In 5 years, I honestly don't know. I don't know what job I'll have, who I'll be with, where I'll be living, or anything of that sorts. 5 years is so close, but it's still far enough that I don't really think to have a detailed plan for it. I actually don't even have a general plan for it, apart from being alive and still not living with my parents and maybe have at least half of my student loans paid off... I don't know where I could be. Honestly, I only say this because I still have my ambitions of becoming a performer. If I somehow manage to make it big, then in 5 years, I see myself performing at Madison Square Garden and being on the cover of Cosmo. :) If I end up being a regular Jane Doe then I see myself in a cool intelligence/analyst position (either government or private sector, I don't really care, but it'd sound extra cool if it were a government job), living with a Jindo or a German Shepherd or a Husky (or maybe all three muahaha) and still in Northern Virginia. It's a nice place in terms of things to do and restaurants and resources and landmarks and whatnot. Sure, the weather sucks, and some people act really entitled/spoiled here, but those aren't enough cons (not yet, anyway) to motivate me to get out of here. I might do a brief 1-year long stint in California or something just for the hell of it, but I see myself still ending up here.

In 10 years, I think I'll finally be settling down, if not already married. The only reason I don't want to be single by then is because I don't want to have a child that late; breast cancer risk (as well as a host of other risks) increases if you have your first child after the age of 30, and I wanna have my first kid (and the rest of the kids I may have) with someone I'm married to.

In 15 years, I see myself divorced and being a cougar preying on college boys. HAHAHA jk. I don't know why but it feels like divorce is inevitable in my life. I feel like I will either get annoyed of my husband or my husband will cheat on me. :/ I'm such a cynic. I like the idea of being a cougar though. :P Of course, I can also see myself having a tough time with my kid(s). If somehow, in the next five years, I get married and have my first child, then they'll probably be reaching that age where they'll really start rebelling and getting exposed to sex/drugs/etc. I can only hope they'll know that popularity and acceptance isn't everything. Motherhood will probably be wearing me down.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day 21: If I could have one superpower...

I would love telepathy.

I don't keep secrets from anybody, and I wish they wouldn't, either, just by principle. But of course, the bigger motive is that I'm just plain curious. What are you thinking about? Who are you thinking about? What do you think of me and my outfit and what I just said?

The people-pleaser in me also just wants to know what I can do to help other people. I don't know if I would want them to be aware of my telepathy or not, just so I don't have to explain how I know what I know. Also, people might be afraid to be around me in general out of fear of my judgment or nosy probing or something. I don't think I'd want it to be able to go in the other direction where I can plant thoughts in people's minds the same way I can receive thoughts from their minds; I don't wanna mess with free will to that extent.

Telekinesis is lazy. Flying is impractical in the winter, and I'd probably get a lot of bugs in my mouth/face in the summer. Invisibility is stupid if I can't also be inaudible and able to walk through things. Teleportation is also lazy; I like driving/traveling! Time travel is too finnicky and there are too many rules behind it (e.g. grandfather paradox) that I wouldn't know how to figure out, probs.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Day 20: 3 significant memories from my childhood

  • Birds. Something I really appreciate my dad for is how he noticed how much I liked birds--particularly blue jays. Every time he saw one, he would call me over. My dad used to keep a few bowls of water in the backyard for the birds to come and bathe in. He also would look for small twigs with me that we could scatter in a small area of the backyard so that birds would come by and pick them up to use to build their nests. This is the same man who chased away the squirrels in our yard by hurling rocks at them and attacked a beehive with fire. Not your best idea, dad. Also, I remember this one time our backyard randomly had a giant flock of blackbirds just chillin'. That was kinda weird.
  • My brother. Being 20+ years older than me, he moved out of our house when I was very young. I remember bawling like mad when my brother left. He spoiled me--he bought me my N64 and the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (which he himself ended up playing and never let me have a turn, in true older brother fashion). I remember a few days before he left, he took me to the mall and bought me a lot of things to keep me distracted from the fact that he was leaving, but no tamagotchi could keep me from my brother's indefinite departure from our home.
  • Elizabeth. Better known to my friends nowadays as Liz or JinHyung, she was my first friend, and we are still best friends to this day. We met at church. I was one talkative little shit. I remember the first day I met her, I literally wouldn't leave her alone until she agreed to be my friend. I'm glad I was so persistent. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Day 19: If I could live anywhere...

The first thought that comes to mind is anywhere classical music performance and study is rampant. Preferably in Europe, like Vienna or something. But that's so far from my family and friends...

The second thought that comes to mind is anywhere my friends are. In that case, it's northern Virginia (although California is starting to catch up...). I don't want to go anywhere without my friends in easy access.

The third thought that comes to mind is that it's gotta be somewhere I can go fishing and crabbing. I cannot be away from the water.

And the last thought that comes to mind is just the general landscape. Sunny, but also prone to wicked thunderstorms. Nice breezes, not too hot, not too cold.

Day 18: The hardest thing I've ever had to forgive

This goes with Day 17. I've had shitty people do shitty things to me, but forgiving them came relatively easily anyway. It's always easier for me to forgive other people than to forgive myself...

I've had to forgive myself for letting people take too much of me. I can't seem to help it; I've tried to tell myself over and over again that the fault lies with them and not me because they are the shitty people that did the shitty things, but my reasoning always ends up bringing me back to what I could have done to prevent the shitty things from happening in the first place.

I should have done this, I shouldn't have done that, I should have let go before it was too late. I've had to forgive myself for the way I've treated people as well as the way I've "let" them treat me, but my masochistic self doesn't seem to want to yield to self-exculpation. 

Day 17: The thing I wish I was most great at

Letting people go.

Honestly, I don't know when to cut people out of my life. I never saw a need for it. I can endure and tolerate a whole mess of stuff. I make excuses for people, and I justify them and then deem them valid.

I wish I could find the determination and confidence to tell myself that my life and I are better off without this person in my life. Whether it's because they are toxic, manipulative, needy, selfish, inconsiderate, overdramatic, or just plain mean, I have come across a multitude of people I have considered cutting out of my life. But I can't. A part of it is the notion that maybe they really need me in their life, and if I'm not there for them, then who will be? In other words, it is self-martyrdom and guilt that chains me to people. Another part of it is the golden rule; I wouldn't want to be abandoned because I'M too toxic, manipulative, needy, selfish, inconsiderate, overdramatic, or just plain mean. I am all of those things as well, and I wouldn't want any of the people in my life to cut me out for those things...

But when things are clearly not working out and they are exhausting me or stressing me out or taking a toll on my happiness in general, I still can't get myself to let people go. I really don't want to abandon people because I don't want to be abandoned. I'm not really sure if that makes sense...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Day 16: My 5 greatest accomplishments

  • Great credit score. Actually I don't know if this is actually much of an accomplishment because it's not something I actively worked towards; it just happened. But yay!
  • Learning Liszt's "La Campanella" (variations of Paganini; Etude 3). I never performed it, apart from maybe a snippet for a YouTube video I posted. But apart from a few friends (and one of their moms lol--I only remember because she called me a virtuoso pianist and I was so flattered), nobody knew I learned this. This was solely for me, and it was very gratifying--despite straining my carpal tunnel--to realize that I can do anything I put my mind to; I thought this song was legitimately impossible for me to learn. Didn't think I could ever learn a Liszt song all the way through, let alone an etude by him, because of the patience and dedication and frustration I knew it would entail...but I did it! Of course, this was in freshman year of college, and I remember none of it now...
  • Picking myself up after being knocked down. Of course, this wasn't without the help of a few friends that I consider to be among my best friends today. But there was a time when I could very easily have given up hope, and it was pure stubbornness on my part that made me persevere. I had to force myself to wake up in the morning and do things with my day that I really didn't want to do, but I knew I had to because I would otherwise have continued spiraling downwards. I had to start somewhere, sometime. It was this one single accomplishment in itself that led the way to the accomplishment of many other things, including graduating from Virginia Tech with 3 bachelor's degrees, leading a fantastic a cappella group in college, falling in love for the first time, performing at the Verizon Center, dancing with a pretty awesome dance crew for really fun performances, and networking with a bunch of really wonderful people by putting myself out there in general.
  • My selection of friends. I have retained some great people in my life, and I couldn't be prouder of my friends for their own accomplishments, in addition to their intellect, their personalities, their hotness (I have some pretty darn attractive friends), their morals and sound judgment (or even lack thereof--come on, they make for some pretty interesting people), their senses of humor, their emotional support, and countless other reasons why they are some of the best people I know.
  • Is it sad that it was really difficult to come up with 5 great accomplishments in my life? Looking back, I don't know if I've really done anything noteworthy. :( Uhhh I won a scholarship through AASuccess (Asian-American Success) two years in a row, for $1,000 each year.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Day 15: If I were an animal...

I think I would be a crab. :)

Tough on the outside but soft and tender on the inside. When provoked or aggravated, either withdraws into shell or lashes out with pinches and swipes or assumes an otherwise aggressive stance. Ruled by moon. Loves to swim; loves the water. Foams at mouth when angry and/or dehydrated (I don't really foam at the mouth but I do huff and puff in general). Clumsy. Turns red when boiled in water (I imagine I would too).

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Day 14: "Describe 5 strengths you have."

Some of these, like my weaknesses, probably overlap with each other, too.

  • Humor. I'd like to think I have a good sense of humor. Sure, it can be on the very dryly-witty, sarcastic, obnoxious, offensive sides of humor, but I can also just be downright corny sometimes. I like laughing, I like making people laugh, and I like hearing that people think I'm funny. One of the better things to hear about yourself. I also know how to laugh at myself, which I think is important for the lightness of the heart.
  • Open-minded. I am one of the least judgmental people you will ever meet. I know that doesn't sound quite right, if you know me--after all, I spew harsh judgmental statements about what people are wearing or what they look like or other sorts of superficial judgments, so let me clarify that I consider them to be just that--superficial judgments. I don't know them as a person, and I wouldn't infer anything about somebody's character just based on superficial judgments (which, in all honesty, are jokes. Jfc, I know some uptight people. I'm sorry you interpreted me to be a complete bitch because you thought I was serious about my judgments or because you thought I was implying disapproval just because I made fun of that girl's eyebrows with you). With initial judgments, I'm careful to note that someone "seems" one way or another, because I'm sure that that's not how they really are, and/or there's more to them. In fact, it's the people I have bad first impressions of that ended up being the best people in my life. Given circumstances and beliefs and morals (or lack thereof), people end up making wildly different choices from each other; I'm not one to judge, because I'm sure if I was in your situation, I would be the same way. I'd like to think that this is why people have told me some 'horrible' things they've done or thought; they are sure they can confide in me without my reprimanding or judging of them, because I can understand and perhaps even empathize with the most sinful, perverted, morbid sentiments of people. After all, I have my own secrets too. I'm also open-minded for concepts and experiences in general, not just about people and morals.
  • Multi-faceted. There are many dimensions to me. I am masculine and feminine; I am complicated and simple; I am dominant and submissive; I am logical and intuitive; I am a criminal and a victim; I am obedient and rebellious. I have multi-faceted interests as well, as I pick up on things pretty quickly, and it's a point of pride with me. I love learning new things in general, so the eagerness kind of drives me to adopt new processes and concepts and paradigms very readily. I want to be well-versed in the topics that interest me (which is almost everything ever). I like to have a little bit of everything in my character. From my hobbies to my fields of study to the instruments I play to the people I consider my best friends to the people I've dated to the movies to the books I love reading over and over again to I love to the music I listen to, I would like to think I don't fit into any single category or niche comfortably. I think outside the box and can be very artistic and abstract, but I also like sticking to rules and following reason.
  • Forgiving. Upon confiding in a friend about random stuff over this past weekend, he said to me: "You're too forgiving." I didn't know if that was a good thing or not at first, but I decided that it is, indeed, a good thing. I've learned a lot in the past few years that have helped me forgive people with the confidence that if they wronged me again, I would be able to let go because my life and I are bigger than whatever wrongdoing is in question. I also don't like holding grudges; it's a nasty weight to carry, and I don't like holding hatred in my heart for anyone. Of course, forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean that things are okay and back to normal; the relationship itself could be irreparably damaged in its own way... but it just means that I can seek and obtain closure for myself and have the decency to let go of my negative feelings towards my debtors.
  • Dependable. I am there for my friends (or so I'd like to think... if this doesn't sit well with you, then let me know). I can come pick them up from university and bring them back home if their ride falls through. I can pick up their phone calls at 3 in the morning when they want to mourn the end of their most recent relationship. I can listen to the same laments and complaints over and over again and give different pieces of advice depending on what I think is most appropriate for their present state of mind because I know what it is they want and need to hear. I am almost always available to hookah (and hang out in general), whether it's at my place or yours or at a lounge. I very, very rarely cancel plans or fail to follow through with something I committed to. If I say I'll do something, then I'll do it. I rarely make promises I can't keep. And as multi-faceted as I am, I am nonetheless a pretty consistent, predictable person for the most part.
  • Honesty. I know, 6 items instead of 5, but whatever. You can pretty much expect me to not lie to you, because I am very honest. Brutally honest. Too honest, even. Honest about things I don't have to be honest about. But I think it's better than being deceitful or manipulative by lying. Although, as Jack Sparrow says, it's the honest ones you've got to watch out for...
  • Day 13: "Describe 5 weaknesses you have."

    I'm pretty sure a lot of these overlap or are direct effects of each other. Yay for positive feedback loops...

  • Hypocrisy. I tell people not to be late, and then I myself show up past due. I preach direct confrontation and straightforward honesty, and then I myself sometimes pussyfoot around things and/or twist the honest truth into a wispy white lie. I look down on arrogant people, yet I, too, hold myself in high regard at times. I despise inconsistency, yet I am inconsistent--a hypocrite. I'm definitely making an active effort to practicing what I preach, but I don't always catch it. Please help me do so, if you are one of my best friends.
  • Over-analysis. I have a habit of reading into things way too much. It's ironic, because I can't read between the lines and pick up on hints and identify motives for passive-aggressive behavior. However, it's because I am aware of this unawareness that I make an extra effort to analyze the crap out of things (and all the wrong things, too). I end up driving myself into insanity by contemplating different "what-if" scenarios and exploring the myriad of possible meanings of what somebody did or said and scrutinizing why what I did might have been wrong and what I need to do to ready myself for the consequences of said wrong action and wondering if someone favors me or dislikes me. I overanalyze texts, behavior, 'signs' in life, conversations, body language, everything. I have a constant headache from making mountains out of molehills. What's worse is that sometimes, I end up being right in my over-analysis, and so I am only reinforced to keep doing it.
  • Inconsiderateness/insensitivity. I never mean to be inconsiderate. That's just what it is: non-consideration. I never considered that something I did or said would offend or insult or hurt you. I was most likely joking and/or simply not realizing that you were sensitive to the matter at hand. Yes, I can be inconsiderate--but this does not mean I intentionally am trying to offend/insult/hurt you. Being inconsiderate really sucks because it's a self-sustaining trait, and people get mad at me without me realizing why. I then get deemed cold or selfish or bitchy or demanding because I failed to consider other people. I didn't mean to fail to consider you; I just simply didn't consider you. It wasn't an active effort. I realize this only makes me sound even more like the traits I just mentioned. And maybe people don't really care about intentions as much as I do. I would hope it's some sort of consolation to your increasingly-negative perception of me that I don't hurt you because I mean to; I hurt you because it's collateral damage of my blindness. After all, it's not like my thought process is, "Oh, have I considered his/her feelings yet? Maybe I should. Nah, I won't." It just never even crosses my mind. I'm sorry to those who have had to put up with me through this, but I am even sorrier to those who don't call me out on it--if you don't call me out on it, I'm never gonna improve, and you're most likely going to have to keep dealing with my bullshit. Please, please speak up if I am doing something you don't like or if you want to have more of a say.
  • Complaining. I don't realize I'm complaining until someone tells me I'm complaining. Another part of being inconsiderate, I guess. I just thought we were venting/talking... but neither the word 'complaining' nor its connotation sits well with me. So when someone tells me I'm complaining, I really try to shut the hell up. I don't even readily know what the opposite of complaining is. Appreciating? Praising? I do know, however, that I stopped expressing gratitude for positive things going on in my life because people kept saying I was just bragging. "I'm humanly unable to please everyone at the same time, so now I find my peace of mind living one day at a time..." To be frank, though, I think I would rather complain than appreciate; complaining helps me articulate what is wrong in my life, which then leads me to wonder what I can do to fix it. Please know, people, that when I complain, I don't do it for the sake of complaining. I'm trying to think out loud and brainstorm something (preferably with your input, if I'm indeed 'complaining' to you) to get rid of the dissonance in my life.
  • Overcommitment. I'm known as an overachiever among my friends, and it's more of a vice than a virtue, really. I tend to bite off more than I can chew, and the only reason I end up being able to follow through with everything I signed up for is because of the next item on this list. But if I could back out of things without any negative consequences, then I would. I sign myself up for all sorts of performances and events and trips and hangouts that I end up burning out. It doesn't happen often anymore, since I am rather used to it now (and I actually kind of thrive on it now), but back in college, I was just constantly running on fumes. I think I've achieved a decent balance of when to chill out and when to go full force into everything in my life, but there are times every now and then that I hate myself for not really thinking when I say 'yes' to things/people.
  • Stubbornness. I know it says to do only 5 weaknesses, but I have more than just 5 primary ones. There are a bunch more of secondary/tertiary weaknesses, too, I'm sure. I get my stubbornness from my dad, my family says. Too prideful to back down, too determined for negotiating or compromising, too hot-headed to yield to others' suggestions. Sometimes, I just do shit just for the sake of doing it, not because I even particularly feel like doing it anymore. I just don't want to go back on my word, and I want to try and be consistent, but also I just feel like doing things my way and my way only. I've wasted a lot of my time and resources because of my stubbornness, I'm sure, but I'm too stubborn to care.
  • Overapologetic. My mom raised me to believe that this is a good trait. By reinforcing me with accolades of my character, I ended up becoming a fuckin' martyr. Everything is my fault, everything is my responsibility. I need to take responsibility. If I had just done this or if I hadn't done that, then things would be fine. People would be fine. Somewhere along the road, I realized that I heard myself say the phrase "I'm sorry" more often than I heard it coming out of others' mouths. I started to resent apologizing, and I still do, honestly. I hate apologizing now. In trying to alleviate others of their guilt/responsibility, I ended up taking on the burden myself and losing myself in the process. Like I said, a martyr. Why can't people apologize to me, for once? And no, it doesn't count if you follow the phrase "I'm sorry" with a "but." No "but"s in apologies. Also, someone pointed out that it's awfully presumptuous that I apologize for everything. This kind of entails (although I never saw it this way) that I'm in control of everything and nobody else is; I knew/know what's best and nobody else does; I apologize because it's the higher road.
  • Sunday, March 16, 2014

    Day 12: A typical day in the life of alice.

    I'm not quite sure I have a set day-to-day routine, apart from going to work... I drive to Vienna metro and ride 13 stops to Gallery Place/Chinatown and walk to work, where I do my contracting stuff (although soon, it's going to be business operations/intelligence stuff) from 8am to 5:30pm, with a few snack breaks and teasing between coworkers and over-the-cubicle-partition jam sessions with the guy who sits adjacent to me, who happens to have a beautiful voice.

    I metro back, drive back (sometimes with my room mate, since we both metro).. and then from there I'm either going to cook dinner, smoke hookah, have a jam session with my friends, shower, write, play piano, draw, read and/or just watch movies/TV and go to sleep. :) A simple life. There are days when I have performances scheduled (for which I am thankful that it happens pretty often), or days I meet up with friends, of course. And weekends are dedicated to sleep, since I don't get much of it during the weekdays.

    Day 11: Pet peeves.

    • When people eat and you can hear their saliva. I don't really care about mouths being open whilst eating or whatever, but when you can almost hear how the person's tongue is moving the food, it's really unappetizing D:
    • Uninvited guests. If I invite you, I'm inviting you specifically. If you want to bring someone, ask me--I will say yes probably 90% of the time, but don't just assume it's okay and bring someone to what might have been among the 10% of occasions in which I wanted things to remain private! 
      • Building on this--people who can't go anywhere without their significant others.
    • No use of turn signals whatsoever. Rude
    • People who mercilessly believe that mainstream music and "good" music are mutually exclusive terms. Shut the hell up and let people enjoy the music they want without your judgment being imposed on them. There's shitty music on mainstream radio, yes, but there's shitty music not on mainstream radio, too. Stop hating artists who find success, and stop hating people that support them. People can listen to mainstream music and still manage to be individuals.
      • Don't even get me started on people who think they know music without actually knowing the history, theory, and notable composers/innovators of music. You don't impress me just because you know The Strokes' entire discography. If you're going to be a pretentious twat about music, I'm going to one-up you on it and ask you about Rachmaninov's and Liszt's compositions and the history of motets & madrigals and whose piano etudes you prefer. Sit down, we both have a lot to learn.
    • Passive-aggressive behavior. I used to be the most passive-aggressive bitch there was--in high school. Then I grew up. I learned how to confront people, say what's on my mind instead of pussyfooting around it, and be direct. You waste time when all you do is drop hints and subtly try to lure someone into doing or saying something and, most of the time, you don't even get what you want out of it. Save everybody some time and anxiety by just saying what you need to say. If it's not important enough to perhaps risk altering a relationship, then keep it private. But quit posting shit on social media hoping that your intended audience will not only read it but realize that it is about them and then cooperate accordingly.
    • People with annoying catchphrases. 
    • Girls who talk in baby voice.
    • Vocal fry.
    • People who talk or text during movies. Watch the god damn movie. Visuals and audio are equally important and have to be experienced in full!
    • Being talked down to. 
    • Obese people. I'm not talking big-boned or chubby or plump people. I'm talking about people whose upper arms look like my thighs (and I've got rather chunky thighs). What is your life? (unless you've got elephantitis or a thyroid condition or the like)
    • Having my time wasted. Whether you keep asking the same questions I already answered a while ago, or you're late to some plans we made (and you didn't tell me you were going to be late), or you are just a very slow person in general, I am very particular about not having my time wasted. Instead of waiting for you or repeating myself, I could have spent some extra time eating or napping or watching TV. :]

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    Day 10: My most embarrassing moment.

    I'm not one of those people who are kept up at night by their brain replaying all of their embarrassing, shameful moments.

    Sike. I totally am. Er I think I was at one point, but not so much anymore. I'm not sure what changed, nor when it changed, but I just find great liberty in laughing at myself. Besides, if you can laugh at yourself, then they are laughing with you, not at you.

    With that said...

    I can think of moments that had me in absolutely ridiculous situations. The following are a few of them, because I really don't know which was the "most" embarrassing. 

    • I was eight years old and my dad was trying to get me assimilated into participating in the scripts of regular social dialogue, such as ordering food. He had me order food by myself at McDonald's. I got the food in the bag, and the cashier was handing me back my change (I have no idea how we got the food sooner than we got the change back). As I held the change scooped in my hand and brought my arm back from over the counter, my elbow hit the bag of food and fries flew everywhere. My dad yelled at me and I cried, which made him yell even more. The employees felt so bad for me they gave me a second serving of food anyway free of charge.
    • I was around fifteen or sixteen, and I was the accompanist at church for service on a particular Sunday. In the middle of the sermon, I suddenly got a stomachache. I rushed out of there (from where the piano was, all the way in the front) and hurried to the restroom, did my business, and then hurried back. In my haste, however, I hadn't checked to see that I was...decent. My dress was tucked into my stocking, and everyone could see my underwear. Nobody mentioned anything until after service, though.
    • This was last week. I had too much dairy towards the end of my work day and lactose intolerance turned its ugly head on me. Let's just say you shouldn't park in the row near the exit of the North parking garage.
    • My parents are super foreign, and their accents and broken English can be pretty embarrassing to a kid whose other classmates are all white/black. I realized in a few years, though, that broken English is simply a testament to that person's ability to speak more than one language. It's something to admire, not ridicule.
    • I think I was either thirteen or fourteen. I was hanging out with the 'popular' girls, one of whom had a crush on this 'popular' guy in our grade. She asked him out, and he said no. So, in an effort of camaraderie, we all decided to ask him out one by one throughout the rest of the day so she wouldn't feel alone in being rejected. Though the point was for him to say no to the rest of us, I still felt rather abashed that the first time I asked a guy out was not even a genuine gesture on my part and that I got rejected by one of the cutest boys in our class.
    • I was singing with my high school a cappella group and best friends, Bella, at some event hosted by WKYS 93.9 and Boys & Girls Club. We were singing "Bridge Over Troubled Water," and one of us didn't hit the right note. It threw the rest of us off. We all stopped singing at the same time, and although we were just supposed to be background noise, the audience stopped whatever they were doing and turned to look towards us on the stage. All four of us, 16 years old and embarrassed, looked at each other not knowing what to do, until finally one of us legit announced, "Okay, thank you, bye!" We all ran off the stage. As soon as we got backstage, we burst into laughter. The rest of the event, we were too afraid to come out from the backstage area, apart from one time when they sent me out to get their purses because I was the least embarrassed. We still talk about this incident to this day.
    • Senior year, auditioning for a solo for the senior recital in orchestra. I was not prepared at ALL. I kept stumbling, and eventually it got to the point where my face was burning so hot I started crying. I was so ashamed that I was so poorly prepared for this audition. This happened again sometime last year when I was supposed to be the pianist for some recital and I had no time to practice at all due to personal issues and two other jobs I was working, so come dress rehearsal, I sounded like crap and the director was incredibly angry with me and basically pushed me off the bench so she could play the songs herself.
    • Gong show, junior year. I got gonged and then booed off stage.
    The cool thing about embarrassing stories is that they end up redeeming themselves as really amusing anecdotes.