For many years, I have been unsure of whether I should like you or not. I mean, it doesn’t really matter in the end, since you are somewhere around 8,650,932 times more famous than me, but I like to think my opinion matters.
Though I have occasionally made negative thoughts about you to myself, (is that even gramatically correct?) I really feel as if this gives me a concrete, tangible reason to dislike you. I hope you and Ryan Reynolds are happy together.
I went home this weekend - I saw No Doubt in concert and I very much enjoyed seeing them. Gwen Stefani and company evoked a certain type of nostalgia with memories of childhood and the past; glossed over images of supposedly happier times.
Well that Friday and there was still Saturday and Sunday, which largely consisted of binge eating and binge sleeping. Also, it took four hours to drive from West LA to Central San Diego, which makes me very very sad.
One of the few eventful (yet still uninteresting) moments took place during a rather routine trip to Costco. Seeing how I live in another county and essentially live alone, Costco is not a very practical place to pick up groceries and the like, but it’s amazing place to see a slice of modern Americana, the proverbial tossed salad of our nation’s landscape looking for a 200 gallon bottle of ranch dressing to go along with it.
Two particulary awkward moments took place during my brief expedition, which I felt compelled to re-live and write down to make it official.
First, while browsing for pants, I recognized Erica Nicole folding clothes in the middle of the warehouse. Now, I’m not sure if she has two first names, a la Neil Patrick Harris, or if she just wants her middle name acknowledged at all times. Either way, it’s on her name tag and it was in our yearbook. Erica Nicole and I went to high school and we have mutual friends, though I doubt either of us are super close to them these days. Every time I walk into this particular Costco, Erica Nicole is working. I visit this Costco around every other month, so it’s not crazy for this to happen, since I imagine she works there full time.
However, I just had no idea what to say to her and I felt weird having this become a routine, so after recognizing the back of her head, I changed directions to walk away and of course, she says, “Hi Edward.”
I was trapped, so we made small talk (she’s doing good, by the way, in case you were wonder) and parted ways. I internally noted that she has braces now. Good for her, orthodonistry is expensive.
I bought two pairs of khaki/cargo shorts. I still don’t know the difference between the two, but hopefully it’s clear that my pant choice was not the reason I wanted to write about this experience.
After browsing and eating the prerequisite samples, I headed toward the shortest line I could find to pay. Having just two items really makes me doubt the value of my Costco membership, but it’s the one place where I feel like I belong, even if I have to pay an annual fee to stay around.
So there I am, waiting in line and three men get in line after me. Two of them are somewhere around my age, but I’m a horrible judge of age, so they could be graduating high school seniors or just very athletic young adults. One of black and wearing an adias UCLA football shirt - the type that looked official enough to either imply he’s on the team or just purchased it. The other guy was white and wearing a University of Michigan football shirt, same deal.
With them was a middle aged white male, perhaps the Michigan guy’s dad or coach (or lover?), on the phone with someone. He kept asking the unidentified called to look up Acer to see if it is an American “nameplate,” which I assume is really “name brand,” but I could be wrong. He encouraged his caller to do a search on Google, which I imagine turned up something like this Wikipedia page, which would show that it is in fact a Taiwanese “nameplate.”
He never got that far, but when I turned around to note who was behind me, he made eye contact with me and said, “Hey, do you know if it’s an American name plate?”
Surprised that he would ask me - the easiest conclusion to jump to was that he assumed that all Asians knew what manufactuerers are Asian - I just shrugged and said no.
It was strange because they also had a small purchase, I suppose the middle aged man was debating whether or not to purchase an Acer product, but in the mean time, he had placed a handle of Captain Morgan. A quick Google search shows that it’s basically an American liquor, but it’s not really produced in one of the 50 states.
I assumed the man was concerned about purchasing from a non-American company, which in the Great Recession/New Depression era, makes a lot of sense, especially in a particularly conservative area such as San Diego. And it is Memorial Day Weekend, so I could also see how it would seem slightly unpatriotic to purchase something from a foreign company.
But that encounter was strange. I wasn’t offended, I think that middle aged man would have asked me regardless of whether I was Asian; I was male and had glasses on, which is enough information to conclude that a person is at least somewhat computer savvy. I’m also not quite sure what to make of his younger companions, two linebacker-looking-types who were talking about something or another. Not a deep follower of sports in general, I would have no clue if that one guy actually played for UCLA Football or not, especially since the team is about 100 players large.
It probably is inapproriate enough for me to spout off my opinion of nationalism and the economy, too. I mean, I think it’s safe enough to say that it seems a little foolish these days to hold on to such ideals; we live in a NAFTA world full of fancy terms like globalization and free trade, so while I drive a Honda, it was made in Mexico and though I’m typing this on an Apple MacBook, it was assembled in China. So though this probably had the potential to be an intriguing discussion of race relations and the global economy, it’s heading toward 4 a.m. now and I forgot what point I was trying to make, so those were just two weird things that happened to me on Sunday while trying to buy pants as Costco.
This month so far, I have listened to a variety of way more important people deliver speeches: Julie Andrews, Chuck Klosterman and Anderson Cooper. While the former and latter seem to be far more recognizable, it’s surprising that most people aren’t even mildly aware of Mr. Klosterman. Though I’m not a devoted follower by any means, at least I know who he is - given my supposed role as a pseudo-student journalist, he’s at least more relevant to my interests than Mary Poppins.
It’s difficult for me to determine exactly what I have taken away from each experience. I’ve never been the note-taking type, it’s not in my nature to, you know, pay attention and stuff, but these people had important thoughts to share about life, journalism and time travel. Though I don’t exactly have their exact words down anywhere, I’d like to think I at least have the gist of what they were talking about in my head.
But have I actually absorbed any of their words and taken their messages to heart?
On a quick tangent first: Mr. Klosterman totally spoiled the ending to the season finale of “Lost” while speaking at UCLA. Though it did air the day before, not everyone watches it live - I actually stopped watching after the first season when I realized I lacked the patience to wait it out until 2010 to get any sort of satisfying resolution. But still, I emphasized with the 5 or so people who had planned on watching the show online or from their DVR, but don’t need to anymore because ol’ Chuck spoiled it for them. It’s just rude to assume that everyone watched it the day it aired.
Anyways, I felt so uplifted about journalism after hearing Mr. Cooper speak today on campus. I found myself quickly discouraged by the profession a long time ago - maybe by winter quarter of my first year. Yet, my life, as evidenced by today, largely revolves around The Daily Bruin. So much, in fact, that I decided I would write an essay about The Bruin for an essay contest about transformative experiences in college. I wrote a draft or two, thought about it some more while trying to fall asleep and eventually reverted to my usual anti-risk-taking pattern and let the deadline pass without submitting anything.
Though nothing came of it, one of my drafts started off anecdotically, recalling a late night trip to a diner. Being a fan of diners, it’s one of the places I prefer to write about. Oops, off topic again!
I guess I procrastinated and ultimately never wrote the essay because I wasn’t ready to explore exactly how college has transformed me - I came as an undergrad with what I thought were the most concrete ambitions to be a journalist, or at least a writer in some manner. It didn’t take long to feel let down, to feel that I wasn’t very good at it or that it was too demanding and harsh for a profession for me to envision as a lifelong career.
Every now and then, today being one of those moments, I mull over my supposed exit and whether my aspirations are truly dead or not. I tell people I don’t want to be a journalist and I internally roll my eyes after hearing about how people such as Mr. Cooper or Mr. Klosterman got to where they are now. They had it easy, it was a different time back then with an entirely different industry that wasn’t dying finding its place in modern society and well, if you mom is Gloria Vanderbilt, you cannot function as a realistic role model for people to emulate.
Tangent #3: I was interrupted by an earthquake, whoa. It’s sad to think I could have died blogging. Tragic way to go.
Back on topic: I find myself puzzled. Mr. Cooper was so well-spoken, clearly communicating his passion for reporting and Mr. Klosterman was so casual about pursuing his love of pop culture, his success merely a case of happenstance. Ms. Andrews is just awesome and talented in every aspect so there’s not much to gleam from her, other than her surprisingly lengthy career as an author and her apparent crush on Robert Goulet, but we’re talking about me here and Mr. Goulet is not anything special.
But neither am I.
I wonder if these commencement-like speeches I’ve heard recently have resonated enough with me to make pursuing journalism in some form a worthwhile endeavor. I mean, to be fair, I have no other idea what I would do post-graduation, a problem that has been lingering around in my head all throughout this school year. I desperately would like to head in some direction, metaphorically, because it seems as if I am going nowhere fast.
There’s no conclusion to my thoughts, I’m just inching to go to Wooden to power walk away my anxiety and uncertainty. I guess it’s weird because I’ve grown to feel very self-conscious about posting anything online that would make me vulnerable. It’s a new thing for me, something developed after a particular friendship blossomed (and apparently ended?) I love tumblelogs so much because their brevity prevents publishing anything too personal - just short, sweet little bits of the Internet that I come upon.
Well, I just broke all the rules of tumblr or whatever. At least I didn’t break my leg in an aftershock.
“Orman is nothing if not a contradictory personality — someone who travels with her own healthful, organic food but who also rewards herself, after a day in which she has sold $1 million worth of her books or financial-planning kits on QVC, with a binge at Taco Bell. Karen Fonner, who works with Orman at QVC, recalls that at the end of a workday about eight years ago Orman told her that she craved a hot dog. Fonner took her to a hot-dog stand and watched — everyone in the vicinity watched — as Orman devoured six hot dogs.”—
“WHY WOULD I USE TWITTER??? I ONLY BLOG 5 PERCENT OF WHAT I’M UP TO IN THE FIRST PLACE. I’M ACTUALLY SLOW DELIVERING CONTENT BECAUSE I’M TOO BUSY ACTUALLY BUSY BEING CREATIVE MOST OF THE TIME AND IF I’M NOT AND I’M JUST LAYING ON A BEACH I WOULDN’T TELL THE WORLD. EVERYTHING THAT TWITTER OFFERS I NEED LESS OF.”—Kayne West, from his blog.
That party last night was awfully tame, but I wished we taped it because then we could’ve went nuts with it in After Effects! I bobbed my head a lot and talked to this one girl but she probably won’t remember because it was just for a second and she didn’t want to talk about the new Star Trek movie and she hooked up with my friend Charlie instead.
Drink my beer in a Lord of the Rings cup and I don’t really smoke, but my good friend is all I need (Charlie, who I’m a little mad at, to be honest). Go to sleep at midnight because that’s an optimal time to go to sleep for people ages 18-22, wake up at 8 AM because I’ve got to get some studying in, go out to eat in the dining hall, then do it again, but probably without Charlie.
I’m all about the latest trends - it’s important for me to stay on top of what’s new and hot. It’s a means of denying the fact that I’m rapidly aging and losing my youth when every second passes.
Anyways, have you heard about New Boyz, a Los Angeles-based teen rap duo? Their claim to fame is a song called “You’re a Jerk” and The Los Angeles Times hails it as this year’s summer song, because it combines “the Neptune’s minimalist era (think productions for the Clipse’s “Grindin’” and N.O.R.E.’s “Nothin’”) with mega-trendy hipster-hop fashion sense and oodles of youthful bravado.” What fancy wording. In my opinion, there’s nothing particularly special or interesting about this song, it’s forgettable as another sign of the times, "Vans" by The Pack. In other words, nobody will remember this song in 2010. Judge for yourself.
On a related note, this whole “jerkin’” dance is a trend that has taken quite a while to build momentum (or I’m not as trendy as I claim to be, which is an equally valid hypothesis.) I’m looking forward to when it’s over. Here is why:
One of the many, many, many things I dislike about myself is my uncanny ability to overrelate to song lyrics. It just feels juvenile, if not plain stupid, to have a thought along the lines of, “OMG, this song is just like my life!” I’ll buy into a cliche such as, “Music speaks to the soul” or whatever, but it’s just embarassing to realize how literal I take such nonsense.
This song is a pretty good example of my unfortunate habit. Sometimes I listen and think back to the one person I’ve met so far who has felt the way I have about this song and I wish we were still in touch. “Letter Read” probably carried different meanings for me and her, but sometimes I wonder if she hears the song too and feels foolish for feeling the way she does.