Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The rat

There is a dead rat on the sidewalk. It has been there for over a month. At first I thought it was a dirty furry sock with a long thick tapered thread, but I later realized that the sock had eyes, a mouth, and the thread was a grooved tail. The reason I thought it was a sock at first is that it is completely flat. I don't know how it became a two-dimensional rat. It's like some cartoon cat rolled over it with a steamroller.

I've walked by this rat every day. In mild, cold, sunny, cloudy, snowy, and rainy weather, this rat has lain on the sidewalk. And every day, its perpetually opened mouth greets me. No one will clean it up. Perhaps it is because the rat lies exactly on the boundary line between a house's sidewalk and a church's sidewalk. No one seems to want to touch the dirty thing.

I'm thinking of drawing a chalk outline around the rat to bring attention to the rodent corpse (which strangely is taking a really long time to decompose...). Perhaps I will fashion a cross out of twigs and tape it in front of the rat. Or I could cut out a tombstone and write on it, "Here lies a rat. May he rest in peace on this sidewalk forever since no one wants to clean up his corpse."

Of course, the effort I put into thinking about the rat, blogging about the rat, and devising ways of bringing attention to the rat could be put into actually disposing of the rat myself. But I can't. I don't want to touch the dirty thing.

Accidental Vegetarian (or My Ode to Tofu)

I've been living as a vegetarian for the past few days by accident. It just so happens that I haven't eaten meat or fish, and if I didn't need milk with my cereal, I'd be an accidental vegan. At any rate, I don't feel any different or healthier (yeah, it's only been a few days). I've been on this tofu-kick.

I must say, I love tofu. I love it bobbing in my miso soup, gooey in my soon doo boo jigae, glistening under a heat lamp at a Chinese buffet, or just sitting cold and wet in its refridgerated plastic container. I loved it before it became famous for its health benefits, before it became a part of the health craze. When my mom would make her stew for dinner, I'd sort through the veggies and the beef with my chopsticks and go straight for those delicious white squares.

I know people shun tofu in its meat-ified state, e.g., tofurky and tofu-burgers. Why not appreciate it for what it is, rather than making it into something it isn't? As a tofu-lover, I'll be the first to admit that tofu will never taste like a buttery slice of turkey or a juicy steak. Never. And perhaps that's part of why some people think it's disgusting. Perhaps if people tried cuisine that accepted tofu for what it was, that celebrated those little squares of soybean goodness, they'd love it as I do. And oh, I do.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Annie Hall

I recently saw "Annie Hall," the famous film written & directed by Woody Allen. Two points in there that I found amusing with respect to dating:

1) Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) quotes Groucho Marx regarding women who'd be willing to date him: "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member." As unhealthy and dysfunctional as that sounds, sometimes I totally think like that! Like if a guy likes me, I'm like, "Okay, what's going on here? There must be something wrong with him."

2) Alvy and Annie Hall are on their first date and early on the date, Alvy asks for a kiss. She's like, "Huh? What, right now?" And he explains how he doesn't want to worry about it for the rest of the date and during dinner, because the tension will be unbearable by the end of the date, so he just wants to get the first goodnight kiss over with in the beginning. She responds, "Okay sure," and they kiss. Then they get dinner.

Funny movie. I'd be lying though if I said that throughout the movie I didn't once think of Soon Yi.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Catty behavior

Last night, I went to someone's house with a friend to pick up a movie. On the couch was a little mini-cat-couch upon which two plump furry cats snuggled against each other. I couldn't resist. My friend walked up to them and petted them with ease (she is friends with the owner). I walked up to one, whom I will call The Mean One, allowed her to sniff my hand at length, and attempted to pet her head. TMO immediately jerked her head back and just stared at my hand hovering uselessly over her head. I began petting the other cat, whom I will call The Nice One, who looked at my hand slightly alarmed. I let her sniff my hand, and she allowed me to pet her. Then I attempted to pet TMO's back, making no sudden movements, and cooing, at which point it jerked its head towards my hand, mouth agape.

"Uh, TMO almost tried to bite me."

My friend laughed. "Yeah she hates everyone."

We left the apartment, and I mused over TMO's behavior. Most animals like me, as I like to think I exude a gentle kind demeanor (ha). I suppose I felt slightly hurt that TMO didn't like me. I assumed that if you allowed a cat or dog to sniff your hand, that was sort of the "OK" to pet it unless you were evil or something. Then I thought about it more. Suppose some random stranger came up to me, did the equivalent of letting me sniff his hand (i.e. say "Hi, I'm Stranger, nice to meet you"), and then started rubbing my back or head. I suppose I wouldn't like that very much, in fact not at all, even if he was the gentlest, kindest man ever (well unless he was Johnny Depp or equivalent, but moving on...).

So I couldn't blame TMO for being so pissy with me. Either I just need to grow on her, or...she just don't like me.

Friday, January 27, 2006

La Biblioteca

I must be at the lowest of the low. I just borrowed the book from the library, "How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You," by Leil Lowndes. It was neatly displayed by the library entrance, and I couldn't help but walk over to it, open it, and page through. How the heck can anyone so matter-of-factly declare that one can MAKE someone, ANYONE, fall in love with her? People are people, not manipulable chemicals.

Yet as I paged through the book, I noticed questions in there I myself have pondered. Where are all the good men? Is there such thing as love at first sight? How important is the physical stuff when it comes to true love? blah blah blah. So I relented to my curiosity, and cringed as I handed it over to the young, handsome, MALE librarian to check out the book. As he handed it back to me, informing me of the due date, I gave an embarrassed smile and walked away, which I'm sure made me look so much less pathetic-looking. So embarrassing! But at least I'll be able to hone my love-inducing skills. Right.

I'm such a girl

So I had one of those nights where I was bummed by a couple events in my life. It was one of those nights where I just curled up in my bed and cried for an hour. I woke up feeling somewhat refreshed and very puffy-eyed.

My mother told me that women outlive men because women cry more; they release their emotions. Meanwhile, men repress their feelings, holding it in like a venom that is never released from their bodies, but simply recirculates and ultimately brings about their early demise. Okay my mom didn't really say the latter part, I extrapolated. Still though I think that's what she meant.

At least I'll know I'll outlive my husband. That is, unless I marry a younger guy.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


I was incredibly bummed out by a couple recent incidents, not just oh-I'm-bummed, but I-want-to-drink-myself-into-a-stupor-and-drunk-write-in-my-stupid-blog-bummed. But writing that trite entry below about getting away really made me feel better.

Hope springs eternal.

One day

I was sitting on a wooden bench, waiting for the train. I looked above the roof of the platform across the tracks and saw perfect blue sky. It was so clear, so cloudless, I almost wanted to dive into it.

As I adjusted the scarf around my neck and pulled the edge of my trench coat to cover my exposed shin, I began to daydream about being in southern Cali. Okay so I haven't been there since 1986, but I'm allowed to concoct random fantasies about it.

(The reader must forgive me for being utterly adolescent sounding, simple-minded, and pathetically cliche. But this is my fantasy goddamnit.) I take a few girlfriends along (prerequisite: all girls must be single and unattached). When we land, the dank cold air from the originating city that had been trapped inside the plane for hours finally escapes into the mild, sunny weather. We stay at a four-star hotel flanked by palm trees. (Oh wait, palm trees are everywhere.) We rent a cherry red convertible and drive around the city with the top down, wearing pastel halter tops and shorts with cute sandals, blasting music and squealing like obnoxious tourists. Then we go to the beach and alternate between baking in the sun and trying to surf. The men are drool-worthy with six-pack abs, sculpted arms and legs--and they're all straight. After we flirt with a few guys, we give them our numbers and they say they'll call us later that night to go out.

Then we go back to the room to unwind and freshen up for the night, at which point the hot guys call us. They invite us to dinner and maybe a club afterwards. With our newly minted tans, we have dinner at one of the new up-and-coming restaurants, not one of the tourist traps. The food is remarkable; and the conversation, like the wine, flows endlessly. Then we go clubbing and the club is fifteen times more lavish and larger than any club I've been in my life. I'm already buzzing and we dance the night away until the sun rises.

And that would be Day 1.

A sequence of tragic voicemail messages

1) Hi it's me. Just calling to see you how you're doing. Give me a call when you get the chance. 123-456-7890. Talk to you later. Bye!

2) Hi, I don't know if you got my last message. I know cell service can be unreliable and I have friends who've left voicemail messages that I never get. So JUST in case you didn't receive my last one, here it is. Just wanted to see how you were doing. Call me please. My number, in case you don't have it, is 123-456-7890. Talk to you soon!

3) Hey, it's me again. My last message was a little fuzzy so I don't know if you got all of it. I was just calling to say what's up. Give me a call at 123-456-7890. Take care!

4) Hello -- it's been a week since we last talked. I'm not sure if you're getting my messages. I've left a message on your work phone, home phone, and cell phone; and I emailed you at work and home. But electronic media can be so unreliable! Call me--123-456-7890.

5) Hey there, I was just in the shower and I realized my phone was off. I don't know if you tried calling me when my phone was off. I know some people don't like leaving voicemail messages. Anyways, if you did try calling me, just letting you know I'm still here at 123-456-7890.

6) Hey, I know you've been really busy with work and home and all. I totally understand! Anyway, I saw this thing in a store that I remember you mentioned you liked. So I bought it and wanted to give it to you personally. I can hand-deliver it to you at home or work. Or I'll leave it on your doorstep. Whichever you prefer! Call me to arrange a time: 123-456-7890. Miss you!

7) Hello, it's me again. You've been so distant lately. Did I do something wrong? Call me. 123-456-7890.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

An American greeting

One sunny morning, I was crossing a street when I saw a charmingly bedraggled man pushing a shopping cart. He looked at me.

"Good morning," I said.

His eyes lightened up. "You're a whore!" he said. "Your whole family is a whore!" he continued as he pushed his cart away.

How can a family be a whore, I wondered. At any rate, I replied "Have a nice day!" as I went on my way. God I love this country.

11:11 PM

The year was 2022. She tossed and turned in her bed. The back of her husband's head was dark and comforting. And she knew the kids were safe and sound at their respective colleges. Still though, it was always at 11:11 PM every night when her mind revisited the events of that one day in 1988.

It was the fifth grade spelling bee. One girl had already mispelled a word and was asked to leave the stage. It was now her turn. She stood up and tried to straighten the ruffles in her dress.

"Joy," the principal spoke into the microphone.

"Joy?" she asked.

"Yes, JOY."

Easy, she thought. "J-O-Y. Joy." She sat down, feeling very satisfied with herself.

The principal looked at the card, looked at her, and then turned to a fellow judge. There was murmuring. He went back to the microphone. "I said 'JOIN.' As in, won't you come and join the party."

"Oh," she said. "But I thought I heard you say 'joy.' "

The principal cleared his throat. "If you can't hear the word, then please ask us to use it in a sentence." They allowed her to sit on stage, but nonetheless she received 11th place. 11th out of 12.

So here she was, two Pulitzer Prizes and one National Book Award later, still musing over the incident. 'If I misheard the word,' she reasoned, 'then how was I to know I misheard it? By virtue of mishearing the word, one assumes that what one hears is in fact what they actually heard, not a misheard word.' It was the same question that haunted her every night. She wanted to go to that principal who was no doubt dead by now, and ask him, "If a tree fell in the forest, and no one heard it fall, then how the heck does anyone know a tree fell in the first place if they didn't f-ing hear it?" His tombstone would probably not retort a swift comeback. "Exactly. Of course, the force of this logic escaped you then, didn't it?!" Yet for some reason, the idea of visiting his grave to pose this very question seemed a bit tacky.

It was now midnight, and her mind began to drift to sleep. Until 11:11 PM tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tough love

This will be the last time I obsess about online guy #3. My friends had assured me, actually issued a verbal guarantee (which is legally binding in some states) that #3 liked me and would call me back after I called him. They rebutted every neurotic argument I concocted as to why #3 would not call. They insisted there was absolutely no way in heaven, hell or purgatory that #3 would not call. No. F-ing. Way.

Well, #3 never called. At least I can safely say this now since it's been two weeks since I last saw him and about one week since I left my short yet friendly voicemail message.

And now, not only is my ego ever so slightly bruised, but my friends have completely lost credibility. Now whenever they say "No you don't look fat in that" or "Of course you were right," I'll wonder whether they are telling me the truth or lying/patronizing me.

Perhaps it is part of the friend's job to lie to you. They say "His loss," when in reality, it is actually your loss. And what good friend would ever point out the cellulite dimples in your thigh while you try on a swimsuit? Would they ever admit that his new girlfriend who occasionally models for Vogue and Cosmopolitan is indeed prettier than you? Of course not. So perhaps I shouldn't be too disgruntled with the fact that my friends tried so hard to mask the reality that #3 didn't like me and consequently wouldn't call me. It's because they cared.

However, I do think there are times when friends need to give tough love. I would have preferred that this incident with #3 be that time. While it is sweet in the short-term to enable a girl's hopes and wishes, it is dangerous in the long-run because she will eventually find out the truth--that a guy doesn't like her, that she has cellulite, that the model is prettier--and that reality check, coming from a nonfriendly source, hurts even more.

Monday, January 23, 2006

My effect on boys in high school

When I was a sophomore in high school, I went to the homecoming dance with a boy. I later learned he was gay.

When I was a senior in high school, I went to my prom with another boy. I later learned he was gay.

Now from what I understand, gay isn't something one becomes. It's the way someone is. So I won't take the above-mentioned incidents as a reflection of my tendency to permanently turn men off from women. Perhaps I simply gravitate towards gay guys, or maybe they gravitate towards me. At any rate, I won't take offense. At least not until I turn another guy gay.

Ah, love

I've been in love two and a half times. Two guys were genuine (who comprise the "two"), and two other guys (who comprise the "half") were not. But I figure that the two non-genuine guys add up to about half. Saying "I love you" to someone is one of the hardest things for me to do, and if I said it to the two latter guys, then it must mean something. Then again, it's amazing how much pressure you feel when a guy says "I love you" to you first, and kind of just gazes at you, waiting for you to reciprocate the phrase. I may have succumbed to pressure.

Then I wonder, what if all this time I had thought I was in love with whomever, and in reality, I had never been in love? I had mistaken long-term, intense "like" for actual "love"? And then I will have wasted my I-love-you's on these undeserving guys. When you ask people who are in love how they knew they were in love, they give you that frustrating response: "You just know." Oh, okay. Thanks for clearing that up.

Or, perhaps I'm building love up to be more than it is. A friend told me that the idea of marrying for love is a modern concept, one that didn't exist until the mid-late twentieth century. Even my mom, who I think is a bit liberal for the average Asian immigrant mom, thinks it's better to marry someone who is good than wait for someone you love. "What is love anyways?" she asked. A bunch of chemicals in our brains that helps propagate the species? A social concept we made up to justify sex?

I'm sure I'll figure it out once I get there, whatever and wherever "there" is. And then hopefully, I'll just know.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Golden State beckons

I went outside today and was welcomed with blinding sunlight and melting ice and snow. The sky was a clear blue and I realized how long it's been since I've seen unadulturated sunshine and how much I missed it and how much I like it. And I suppose seeing "The Graduate" last night should have sparked my curiosity in deflowering a 21-year-old virgin more than in California living, but it didn't. I've lived in three of the five largest cities in the U.S.; and two of the three largest. I have one more city I feel I need to check out to determine if it "fits" me: Los Angeles. I was there once as a young child, and haven't been back since.

From what I hear, people either love it or hate it. They love the vibe, the attitude, the climate, the lifestyle. Or they hate the superficiality, the flakiness, the silicon implants and bleached hair. I suppose there's only one way to find out whether or not daily sunshine and seventy to eighty degree weather is for me: see for myself.

The reunion

So The Naysayer just informed me that our ten year high school reunion is coming up this year. I can now shift my focus from meddlesome boys to preparing myself psychologically and physically for the dreaded event. The Naysayer & this other chick (the only 2 friends I keep in touch with from high school) both went to our five-year reunion and bitched me out because I didn't go. I had an excuse though--I was spending Thanksgiving with my then-boyfriend and his family. So provided that no boyfriend's family will invite me to their home for Thanksgiving, I suppose I'll go to the reunion this year on the eve of Turkey Day.

I don't expect people to get too fat or bald. I'm more curious about my old high school crushes (i.e. all instances of unrequited infatuation). I suppose I should have some petty satisfaction in knowing I actually lost weight since high school and I haven't hit the wall in terms of looks. I'm guessing at least half the class will be married by age 28, some maybe with children! Wow, that's freaky. Who knows. Maybe it isn't a coincidence that I learned about the gym near me and the reunion in the same day.


Being the sad cliche that I am, last night (yes, Friday night) I rented a movie and pigged out on a bag of jalapeno potato chips (not baked) and fruit roll-ups (not sugar-free). I'm pretty disgusted with myself. Having recently learned that I live two blocks from a gym at which I have a lifetime membership, I decided to check it out this morning. I walk about an hour everyday (out of obligation, not discipline) so I never went out of my way to look for a gym. But once I got there, I was excited to see they had a swimming pool (I LOVE swimming); and the running track has a gorgeous view of the city. You can see the skyscrapers downtown from the top floor. And the gym was packed this morning with attractive twenty-something men and women. I wonder how many of them were hoping to purge their bodies of the gluttony of last night.

Friday, January 20, 2006


I just read my last entry and realized it makes me sound like I'm losing it. I'm not. I just kind of felt the need to blog about something non-guy-related.


I was walking outside today when pellet-like precipitation started falling. It reminded me of the pellets on Pacman & Ms. Pacman. I remembered as a child wondering what those pellets tasted like. I kind of imagined them to be good enough to snack on, but not good enough to go out of your way to buy at the grocery store. And maybe a little seasoned with moderate density (not like those puff snacks, nor like pellets of cheese). They seemed kind of yummy at the time. I wonder why they never made a snack back then of Pacman's pellets.

The not so nice end and The nice end

The demise of two of my latter online "things" (can't really call them relationships) have led me to feeling somewhat low. So low, in fact, that I don't have the effort to be sarcastic or flippant. I will not go in chronological order because I, wanting to be an optimist, like to end things positively.

1) The not so nice end (Online Guy #3)

He said "Call me." I called him. He didn't return my call that night nor did he return my call the next day. My friends said things to me like, "Oh, he's at a conference, or maybe he's really busy with work, or maybe he's traveling on business in a country that has no cell service or telephones or internet service." My friends, my dear sweet friends. Aren't they so cute? My guy friend told me "If he was interested, he would have called you back within 24 hours. He hasn't." Then he badgered me to log onto my online dating account so he could check out guys #3 and #4. #4's profile was down (for reasons explained below) while #3's account stated he logged on earlier that day. "Hmm," the rational part of my brain thought, "if he was in fact so busy or working in a country without any mode of communication, then how was he able to find the time or means to log onto the dating website?" The answer is pretty obvious. He's moving on.

2) The nice end (Online Guy #4)

He said "We should definitely do this again." I then wrote my post below about how I wasn't feeling any special zing for him. He called me and we were chatting on the phone. Then he said, "I have something to tell you." He then informed me how he wanted to let me know he was going to try to patch things up with his ex-girlfriend. Wow. I gave him props on the phone for being so upfront and honest -- most guys would drop off the face of the planet or fly one-way to the Island of Lost Men, but #4 was so kind as to let me know what was up. I thanked him for his honesty and noted how refreshing it was for a guy to be so forthright. And he reiterated that he did have a great time and that we should keep in touch. I agreed. And the truth was, I did.

So those are "The Ends" of the 2 guys. All in one day. There really is no easy way to sugarcoat the fact that a guy just doesn't like you. It's probably easier to be angry than sad. But I suspect it's healthier to be sad, sad without the rationalizing and guy-bashing, sad without the sarcasm, just plain calm sad.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Mysterious Island of Lost Men

There is a magical island. Its whereabouts are unknown. On this island are men, thousands of men, who have chosen to live the rest of their lives on this island. These are the men whom, after a few great dates, you never hear from again. They're the guys you clicked with at that party and asked for your phone number who never call you. They are the husbands or boyfriends who disappear without a trace. Ever since Miranda first mentioned the island on "Sex and the City," I have wondered about this place.

What mystifies me is not where this island is, but what the heck those guys do on that island. Certainly, given the trauma and pain that accompanies telling a woman "I don't like you," the island must be minimally hospitable. Do they sit around campfires and tell stories of "that clingy girl" who drove them to this final resting place? Or do they hide the pain and go about their food gathering and hut-building? How can they bear to live without the comforts and amenities of civilization? How do they keep up with their episodes of CSI? Or is shedding one's worldly skin just a gladly accepted price for never seeing "that girl" ever again?

We may never find out. But I wonder.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Toxic friends

Since one's first venture onto the playground, one will encounter many types of friends--the Fun Friend, the Casual Friend, the Best Friend, and of course, the Toxic Friend. A Toxic Friend is a "friend" who is (a) not really your friend, and (b) bad for you. I have encountered several types of toxic friends and just realized last night that one of my "girlfriends" is indeed toxic. The types are as follows:

1) The Cutter - She cuts you down in a subtle yet not very subtle manner. She makes back-handed compliments. e.g. "Wow that dress is so big and flowy. It really accentuates your shape." Or, when something crappy happens to you, instead of encouraging you or cheering you up, she says "Wow, sucks to be you! I'm so glad that didn't happen to me. I feel so sorry for you!"

2) The Competitor - She is very competitive with you, almost bordering on jealous. She can't stand to see you happy. When something really great happens to you--a new guy, a promotion, losing five pounds--she sulks, pouts, and changes the subject to something she has accomplished.

3) The Big Baby - She is very self-absorbed. She talks about herself 24-7 and asks you about her problems, her concerns, her issues. She never once asks you how your day went, and when you try to tell her about your day, she interrupts you to tell you how what you said reminds her of Issue #349.

4) The Car Accident Waiting to Happen - She is unscrupulous and unsettlingly impulsive. She's the girl who in ninth grade convinces you to sneak out at midnight so you guys can drive with a couple twenty-five year-olds to go to a sketchy club in the city. What makes her friendship so enticing is her lack of inhibition. But you know ten years down the line she could very well end up as a crack whore.

5) The Downer (a.k.a. The Hater, The Complainer) - This friend can always find something new to bitch about. Her co-workers. Her mom. Her boyfriend. Her hangnail. Everything and anything is a source of angst, pain, and suffering. She continuously exudes and defecates negativity.


Okay that's all I can think of for now. I'm sure there are more. Anyways, my "girlfriend" (actually a guy who I consider to be a girlfriend) is the Big Baby. Last night he moaned for about two hours about girls, about how he's moving, about his new job, etc. I dutifully encouraged him, gave him pep talks, and advised him. After two hours, I finally asked him for his advice on #s 3 & 4. I don't know if he's jealous that I finally have concrete romantic prospects while he doesn't, but he was like, "Yeah, #4 is out. And #3 is either repulsed by you or just wants to use you for sex." Then he changes the subject back to him.

Toxic Friend, anyone?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Checklist debunked

I admit that I was one of those simple-minded girls who had a hazy checklist of requisite qualities in a man. I believed that if I were to meet a guy who possessed all of these qualities, I would fall in love with him and happiness would ensue.

#4 seems to possess, from what I can tell thus far, a lot of these checklist qualities. He is charming, he is kind, he's a great conversationalist, he's good looking, he works out regularly, he has an Ivy-League caliber undergraduate and graduate education, he has a good job, he dresses well, and he wants to have children. What is wrong with this picture? Why don't I feel that extra bada bing / zsa zsa zou that one is supposed to get when one is supposed to fall for someone?

I can't figure it out. During our landmark six hour date this weekend, I asked myself throughout the night, "Could I kiss him? Would I let him kiss me? If I don't know, is that an answer in itself? Isn't attraction supposed to be obvious rather than a question?" Perhaps his applying chapstick near the end of the evening threw me off. The night ended with a very passionate ... hug.

I surmise that romantic chemistry can't be forced, let alone predicted by a superficial checklist. It either happens or it doesn't. My one friend suggested that maybe something about #4 subconsciously turns me off. I just don't know it yet. At any rate, it appears my whole checklist theory has been effectively debunked.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Juggling #s

Tonight I have my second date with #4 (tomorrow being a holiday & all). I never did discuss my first date with #4 in this blog, suffice it to say that he is very cute and easy-going. And he's the first Asian guy I've dated in a while. We're both white-washed twinkies, so it's all good.

One of my neurotic concerns is that I'll bump into #3 while on my date with #4. We're all in the same city. I can just imagine sitting in a restaurant with #4 when all of a sudden #3 and his friends come in and we all spot each other. #3 will look at me, then at #4, and wonder if it's a date. #4 will see my look of horror, look at #3, and wonder what's going on. How would one handle that?

"Hi #3, this is #4. #4, this is #3." I will omit the phrase, "my friend, #_."

"Hi #3," #4 will say.

"Hi #4," #3 will respond.

Then I'll say "See ya!" to #3 and hope he doesn't hold it against me when I ask him out the following Wednesday. If #4 asks me, "Who's that?" then I'll reply, "Oh a friend..." and hope the interrogation ends there.

I know that technically I am a free agent and therefore free to date whomever I please. Moreover, #s 3 & 4 may very well be dating countless other women. It'd just be weird to bump into one guy you're feeling out while with another guy. As one can see, I'm not adept at juggling men. How do people do this effortlessly?

We'll see what happens. I know chances of the feared event are slim, very real and existent, but slim.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I couldn't help it

It was almost a reflex. I was at a supermarket earlier today when I turned the corner and was confronted with this abomination of Valentine's Day confections and pink and red cardboard. I couldn't help it.

I rolled my eyes.

BUT other than that, it's still "Eh."

"Scary" people

There are some people you meet at school or at work who are kind of scary. Not like in a demonic or serial killer kind of way, but just very intimidating. Something in the way they talk to you or carry themselves is wholly unfriendly and very curt.

So it's very interesting when one befriends a couple of these "scary" people. There was an attorney I used to work with who terrified the staff. He'd snap biting one-liners at people before dismissing them, leave the room while people were still talking, and hang up on them while the other person was mid-sentence. I was however able to get to know the guy and discovered that some of it was an act and most of it was an "I don't give a rat's ass"-attitude. I found it all amusing. As I walked by him in the hall one morning, he looked away, rolling his eyes at me. Instead of cowering, I smiled and chirped an extra-happy "Good morning!" "Hi," he relented. He later told me he was annoyed because he wanted to be pissy but I thwarted his efforts by being so goddamn cheerful.

I knew a girl from school who also intimidated people, both men and women. Her poise and the way she spoke was very self-assured, blunt, and concise; and she's not one of those girls who goes out of her way to be extra girly and giggly. But people interpreted her behavior as condescending and cold. I got to know her and learned that she is actually a sweet girl who happens to be very articulate. I even admired her bluntness. e.g. Guy asks her at a bar, "Hi there, how you doing?" She responds, "Not interested. Goodbye."

So the next time I meet someone who seems to be "scary," I'll give it a second thought. No doubt there are some people out there who are 100% through and through scary and mean (e.g., dictators, some teachers); but I'd like to believe they are few and far between. For the most part, everyone has a little bit of nice to them that is hidden by their mistakenly scary persona.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


I walked into a 7-11 and saw, for the first time this year, pink and red heart shaped candy boxes. It's hard to believe that Valentine's Day is only a month away. Now I won't get all sad nor will I indulge in one of my rants about how arbitrary and silly and meaningless the so-called holiday is -- that would be cliche. My "rebelling" against the holiday took place mostly in high school. I remember a bunch of us angst-laden teenagers decided to wear all black on the special occasion, mocking the girls who wore pink sweaters or red turtlenecks.

Yeah, we were so original.

Even on occasions when I had a boyfriend, the holiday celebrations seemed kind of forced. We'd dress up, buy sweets for each other, and make the effort to be lovey-dovey. Sitting across from each other in a dimly lit restaurant drinking pink champaigne was nice and all, but somehow it seemed a bit...contrived.

I guess over the years I've learned to accept it as sort of a day people randomly choose to celebrate. I've been on both ends of the holiday -- attached and single -- and all in all, it's always been sort of..."eh." Not too misery-inducing nor love-inspiring. Just "eh."

A bus ride to NY

I was getting on a Greyhound bus to travel from Philly to NY when I had the unfortunate experience of sitting next to another Asian girl. It's not that I don't like sitting next to Asians. It's just that, in a non-Asian setting, sitting next to an Asian will have everyone thinking that the Asian you're sitting next to is your relative, long-lost twin, or, if he's male, your boyfriend. These people then utter very profound observations like "Oh you two make a fine couple" or "Is that your mom?"

So I was sitting next to the Asian girl when she started chatting up with the woman next to her. I could feel it coming on when I heard the woman say "So where are you two from?" The Asian girl responded with respect to herself and ignored the "you two" part. Then the woman asked, "So what are you two going to do when you get to the city?" The Asian girl kind of glanced at me, and then said, "Well I'm going to Chinatown, I don't know what she's doing." The woman looked at her, then looked at me, and said, "Wait, you two didn't come together?" We both looked at her. "No," we said. "Well you guys look exactly alike!" We then had that (ironically) identical mixed expression of being both embarrassed and insulted. I was a little more offended because the girl was not that attractive. "No, we're not related," the girl said.

I think the woman sensed our reactions. "Oh okay. Well you look exactly alike," she repeated and added eagerly, "I like Chinese people. I am friends with a Chinese woman."

I think it's funny that certain people think that because they "know" someone of a certain demographic, they are suddenly entitled to make dumbass statements regarding that demographic. Like somehow, her ignorant statement is redeemed by the fact that she was friends with a Chinese woman. And I couldn't help but wonder if the "Chinese woman" was in fact Chinese, or if like many other Americans, she was using "Chinese" to denote "Asian" the way some people use "Coke" to mean "soda." Oh, and I'm not Chinese. Still, I like getting compliments on behalf of the Chinese.

At any rate, the girl replied, "Oh, that's nice." She put on her head phones to end the conversation, and regrettably, I too had headphones. What a sight - a pair of Asian twin sisters with headphones on a bus to NY.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The upside of racism

There is the stereotype that Asians are awkward immigrants who can barely speak English or form sentences. I sometimes overcompensate for this stereotype by abrasively overenunciating my words with the perfect American Yankee accent.

However, latent in this stereotype is a power that can be tapped into when appropriate. One such appropriate situation is the single scene.

Sometimes I don't feel like dealing with the effort of formulating a tactful yet firm response to a lewd or unattractive guy hitting on me, so instead, I cover my mouth with my hand, giggle idiotically, and say "No English speaky." Even when I say "No English speaky" with my normal American accent, they still believe it and walk away.

I suppose I am in a sense perpetuating the pervasive stereotype of the Immigrant Asian. But the sheer simplicity of this method, the 100% effectiveness, is nearly impossible to resist.


So I'm sitting in my apartment last night, fretting over how I'm going to ask #3 out that very night. I have to be casual yet cool yet friendly yet non-desperate. Easy, right? As I'm doing quantum dating-calculus in my head, my phone rings. I look at the name. It's #3.

I let it ring a couple more times (more like I was spazzing so much I couldn't flip open the phone for a good ten seconds). I pick-up and breathe the casual yet cool yet friendly yet non-desperate "hello?" "Hi," he says, "it's [#3]." Of course I know it is him, but I reply "Oh, hi!" And so he asks me what I'm doing now, and I say "Oh, nothing." He says how he is thinking of grabbing some dinner and asks me if I would be interested in joining him. Of course I am. He tells me he'll be picking me up in about 35 minutes. Great. Sounds great. We hang up.

I neglected to mention that I had already eaten dinner. Also, this doesn't leave me enough time to hop into the shower and get dolled up, so I just doll up. Look cute, but not too cute, just effortlessly cute.

We go to one of those hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurants and chat away. He is looking very cute and is still the same charming funny guy I met on our first date. After dinner, he drives me home, opens the car door for me, and lets me out. We are standing outside on my street in front of my building. I am on the elevated curb, and he is on the street. It's a drizzly night now, and the street lights with the drizzle make everything seem kind of dreamy. I look at him, smile, and say "Well I had a great time. Thank you for dinner. This was a lot of fun." He semi-smiles and gives me that "uh huh" look. And I smile...and wait...and wait...(in my mind, I am leaning forward and closing my eyes).

"I gotta get back," he says to me and points to his running car, just in case I don't know what he's talking about. "Call me," he adds, and proceeds to hop into his car and drive away.

I'm standing on the curb, stunned. Okay, a kiss was optimistic, but no hug or even polite handshake? What did I do wrong? I revisited every discussion on our date to figure out what I did that turned him off so much that the thought of just shaking my hand repulsed him. My guy friend thinks that he was just very shy and awkward. I honestly have no idea.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Ah, hope

My guy friend just informed me that Online Guy #3 effectively placed the ball in my court when he said "Call me if you want to meet up again," so now it's my move to contact him. Damn it!

I have a coffee date with OG #4 tonight. I'm not too enthused about it, not because there's anything terribly wrong with him, but because that there's nothing terribly right. Also, he's not the dreamy elusive #3. But he's cute I guess, and nice. And the hopeful optimistic teenager in me prods me with "What if he's your soul mate and you don't even know it?" Hope springs eternal I suppose.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


My mother always told me I was very rash as a child. I do not think I was a bad kid, I just occasionally neglected to think before acting. I remember once in fifth grade, I thought it would be funny to carve two names on the blackboard, since my friend seemed to like this one boy. Needless to say, I got a berated for vandalizing school property. In eighth grade, I on a whim started telling students who had history after me that there was a pop quiz and they had to know X, Y, and Z. The history teacher was standing right behind me. I got a zero on that quiz.

Yeah, not too smart. I'd like to think I grew out of my child-like ways. And if I didn't, then I'd like to think I've evolved from brash to spontaneous, impulsive, and brazen. Okay, and maybe with a dash of rash.

Online Guy #3

I know my blog has inadvertently and temporarily turned into "Yellow Gal's Dating Diary." My apologies.

Lunch with OG #3 seemed to go really well. (#3 is the dude who took five weeks to ask me out.) After lunch, he asked me to go to X with him. Then after X, he asked me to go to Y with him. It was one of those dates that starts out as one thing and bleeds into four different activities that take up most of the afternoon. I had a lot of fun with him.

The end of the date threw me off however. He wasn't sure whether or not to hug me or shake my hand, and so I said "let's hug" and we awkwardly hugged. I felt really dumb. Then he said, "Well, call me if you want to meet up again." And I replied, "Or you can contact me." He said sure, and vaguely suggested doing Z next week.

So I'm thinking, Dude did seem to be semi-interested in me; he kept asking me to do more and more activities with him. He could've ditched me right after lunch, but he didn't. But then at the end, he didn't affirmatively say he'd contact me, and instead asked me to call him. My guy friends insist that he is just shy given the hug debacle and that it took him five weeks to ask me out. But come on -- when a girl giggles for ten straight minutes at every joke you tell, invades your personal space, and accepts your offer of a ride home when she lives one block away from where your car is parked, she is giving very clear signals.

Not sure what to do now. I think I'll wait it out. If he doesn't contact me, I guess he's just not be that into me.

Friday, January 06, 2006


After further reflection, I realized what I may have done that might have turned #2 off. I, whilst drinking a very strong cosmopolitan (yes, typical excuse, blame the alcohol), started spurting left-wing liberal ideology. I'm not even that crazy liberal. It's just that sometimes I get in the mood. He previously described himself as liberal, but now that I look back, I remember him just looking at me during my political ramblings, not nodding, not responding, just...blankly looking at me.

After the fact, I read this article on what topics to avoid on a first date, and ironically the #2 topic to avoid was politics.

Yeah. I sometimes wonder how I don't fall down more often.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Date results

Date with OG #2, on a scale between "sucked big time" and "perfect," was between "eh" and "fine." No crazy chemistry or anything. It ended with him shaking my hand and uttering a vague suggestion of "getting together some time."

Whatever. Looking forward to the date with OG #3 on Saturday.

Young(er) at heart

I have just taken the Real Age Test. The test results reveal that given my calendar age of 28.1, my real age is 26.9. Why, I'm just a girl!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Online Guy #2

Have a first date with Online Guy #2 tonight. Neurosis and cynicism wrangle with hopeful optimism. In other words, it might suck big time, but I hope it doesn't.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Year's

We went to a club in the city. I had suspected that I had reached an age where I was too old to go to a club with loud pulsating hip hop and house music, where strange men come up behind you and dance with you, and where the appropriate attire can be summarized in the adage: "Less is more."

I thought we were too old. But we weren't. I had so much fun. One doesn't realize the dearth of men who enjoy dancing, who avidly engage in it, and who are good at it, until she goes to a club where such men abound. I felt very uninhibited. And there was that superficial high a gal gets when she garners male attention in the form of dancing.

I gave 1 guy my number. For some reason, I harbor the belief that no substantive relationship can ever arise from a bar or club, even though my friends and I-- clearly non-hoochies--patronize the same venues.

All in all, a good time was had by all. Happy New Year's!

The gap

We are sitting on a couch in a cafe, nursing our respective cups of tea and cider. He is facing me, knee folded precariously close to mine. There is a perfect maroon gap between his knee and my knee. I concentrate on ignoring it as he tells me a story, so much so that I almost don't notice my tea is about to spill.


"Woops," I say as I adjust my hand.

He looks at me, smiles, and continues his anecdote. I look at him, his odd gesticulations and the way he tilts his head at the beginning of every sentence. And I'm still aware of the gap. Then, for what I believe to be for emphatic purposes, he places his hand on my knee. My heart races, and I must have exhibited some expression because he immediately retracts his hand.

"I'm sorry," he says.

"It's fine," I reply, sipping my tea.

"No, I'm not like you know--" he stammers.

I look at his embarrassed face and say, "No that's fine, it's okay." I take his hand and place it back on my knee. "See?" I say.

We then look at each other, then back at his hand on my knee. Suddenly we burst into laughter.

"Okay nevermind," I say, laughing. "Take your hand back." I toss his hand from my knee.

"Thank you," he says. I take another sip and see that his leg has unfolded. His shin touches the top of my knee.

I look at him and smile. "You're welcome."
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