9.29.2005

past/forward

So I went to the VC 35th anniversary event tonight which was just so fun. First there was the retrospective of of Asian American's contributions to music video featuring clips from the Jet's "Crush On You" as well as Clarendon Hills and some bunch of Chinese dudes doing "Straight Outta Canton." Then there was Dustin Nguyen's black-and-white Spider-Man shirt. Then there was free beer for some reason flowing at the unmanned concessions stand. And there was the beautiful ampitheater which looked for all the world like it was made to transform into a gigantic beige skullfaced colossus. But the most personal satisfaction came from when the composer for TA91 found me after the show. He liked my choice of music for the 30-second short they showed as part of the "Digital Slam" series. It was a string quartet rendition of Radiohead's "Let Down." It was also definitely my favorite part of the short, and I was hoping someone would notice it.

9.28.2005

eight hours later

well the angst situation is still pending resolution, but in good news, i woke up for the first time in three days without a severely annoying case of post-nasal drip. in other words, i took a breath, and then let it out. enjoy!

i really would like someone unrelated to me to be nice to me right now

...because I feel sorta lousy. My family members can't be the only people who openly tolerate me. I like my job, but not because the people there have ever done or said anything pleasant to me, ever. I'm uninspired and languishing, like all my creative projects. I wouldn't whine about it so much except that I heard that complaining about middle-class privileged problems is a really great way to attract the opposite sex, or any sex for that matter. I feel blah. I want a hug. At this point I think I would pay someone to notice that I need a hug. Lame.

9.26.2005

achoo

I went back to the Bay Area this weekend for my sister's birthday, and was all phlegmy and coughing the whole time. It wasn't just inside my parent's house. I felt a weirdly oppressive air everywhere. It's as if after five years of continuous exposure to Los Angeles pollution, I'm now allergic to Bay Area air. It's too floral and verdant. I stepped off the plane in Burbank and was like, aaaaahhh. It's like Gene Hackman says in that movie, "I don't trust air I can't see."

9.19.2005

money is stupid

...as everyone knows, but I didn't really realize How stupid until I started to see people regularly losing tens of thousands of dollars on a card game in which the only skill is counting to nine.
...so I'm trying to be responsible and save up some money now, which is relatively easy when:
A) your favorite food is Vietnamese sandwiches ($2.50 Can buy Happiness)
B) you have DirectTV and a reliable internet connection so that weird entertainment just comes your way instead of having to leave the house for it
C) you, and by you I mean I, abhor travel.
...of course because of my stinky non-entrepeneurial worker-bee mentality, the money can only accrue at the unimpressive rate, that is to say the distressingly constant trickle, of my middle-class salary. And of course I still am in debt to the nice people who helped fund my movie. But brushing that aside for the moment, I have to consider; the only reason I've ever saved money for anything was to accomplish some artistic project. If I save money now, the likelihood is that I'll blow it all on this wonderfully low-tech dogme-style movie I'm trying to shoot. But maybe I shouldn't. Maybe I should actually invest in or buy something that is going the help me break free of the daily financial grind, like a small business or a piece of property. I mean, I've already made one movie using a good chunk of my own money, which is like a total aberration in this business (in which it is industry-standard to not attempt making a film until you are sure you can waste at least $100,000 of someone else's money, and it's a news item whenever a movie star with the net worth of a small country does the unheard-of thing of financing the picture with his own money! gasp!). Anyway point being is, having already done that, it's not required that I do it again, it's just kind of a loop in my thinking. Maybe I should be thinking about saving up to throw money at something else.
...If only I knew what that is.

9.15.2005

just watched....

...the movie "All About Lily Chou Chou."

boy that was a fcked up movie.

i was going to make the generalization that i like more Japanese movies than Chinese movies because, excepting the kung-fu movies, most of the Chinese movies that we get over here are terribly sad. however, never are the Chinese movies as fcked up as this Japanese movie was.

it had the same basic concept as Better Luck Tomorrow, i.e. good kids becoming bad kids, but was a thousand times more visceral. it's weird, (and a little racist, but) the kids in this movie with their scrawny figures and perfect school outfits just seemed like they were really, yknow, GOOD, so the way they transform was just so much more affecting. i guess because i knew some of the people involved in Better Luck Tomorrow, and also because from early in the film you zero in on how contemporary American they are....i didn't have this rosy ideal that they were proper and innocent and that corruption was going to be a big fall for them. also, they don't wear school uniforms.

speaking of Asian American, i went to the Sherman Oaks Mini-Golf Palace tonight....Every Single Thing about that place reminded me of Better Luck Tomorrow. I'm not sure why, I think maybe they shot a scene there, plus there were all these asian dudes in white t-shirts with spiky hair, but the point I'm telling you is that the place was just resonating with Better Luck Tomorrow-ness.

9.13.2005

OK enough blogging about disaster for a while

I'm sorta lonely. I feel compelled to point this out on my blog because of its function as the new emblem of narcissism. The blog is the place where even people who aren't lonely come to be alone, and wallow in the self. Plus it's a great passive-aggressive tool for, yknow, trying to get people to care without really trying.
...I can go a whole day without speaking a full English sentence to anyone. At my job, I often try to speak as little as possible, so as not to contribute to the general din. If I do speak, it's usually in some kind of broken casino English, "Two thousand you got," "Sister we can't do like that," "Every day no problem," ad nauseum.
...I talk to voicemails. I whisper little things to my co-workers. I blog and write emails. I work on my movie projects, which involves regular meetings with the writer, director, editor, producers, and investors....that is, me.
...I miss community, I miss evenings in bars with friends who aren't married or planning their weddings to their dog or their children or whathaveyou.
...Today was a funny day at work because I was the only male on the swing shift out of 4 employees. Our company is male-dominated so that hardly ever happens. The whole day was spent doing an unusual amount of errands for my female coworkers and the predominantly female players; changing chips, fetching cookies, fetching turkey jerky, can you put this here, can you put that over there....it reminded me a lot of having a longtime girlfriend, or actually having 3 girlfriends, which I've never had. It also reminded me that women tend to ask for things that they want, whereas men tend to not ask for things and resent the fact that they don't have them. Generally speaking.
...For example, my face is sunburned, and I resent the fact that I have to go get aloe vera for myself if I want to have any. I don't even see my roommates enough in the daylight hours to ask them if there is any in the house. The last time I needed the stuff, I got it for myself. Whenever I need something, I pretty much get it for myself. Or I don't, and go without it. No one knows that I need it. No one has the option to worry about it.
...Of course, the grass is always greener, and I know I'm lucky to be self-sufficient and free and financially independent and all that stuff. I guess lately I'm suffering from that Not Very Hooked-Up Feeling. And I don't just mean in that romantic way, but in that "supplied with aloe vera and recommended reading material and snacks and all the other little tchotchkes that somehow find their way into your hands when you are a very hooked-up person" kind of way.

9.12.2005

oh no you don't get off that easy

So Mike Brown, director of FEMA, just resigned.
....Clearly the guy, a Bush appointee, was set up as the scapegoat for the administration's pathetic response to the disaster. They needed someone to blame, bad, before the blame is assigned to higher parties, like for example:
...The Department of Homeland Security, which seems to have proven out as another useless and partisan level of beauracracy....and a dept. that I have a personal beef with because they still owe me 800 dollars...
...The President, who really could've done...anything. Remember during the election when the talking point was "Bush's leadership" as if that was something that actually existed? Well, it really doesn't. Instead of a guy who extends compassion and support for the weakest members of his flock, we have a guy who looks for photo ops and tries to appear ass-kicking. Useless. The fact that he tries to squirrel out of trouble by scapegoating a toady is no less lame just because it's been done by every president in history.

9.11.2005

we must reiterate this point until something happens

I admit I'm kind of a nerd for the LA Weekly, but this week there was an article that gave me a moment of clarity.
....We all feel a little helpless after the hurricane; we all want to help, we all feel insignificant in the face of the disaster's magnitude. We all can and should contribute to relief. Some will and some won't, it is a big old country.
...But here's the big point I got off the Meyerson article: It is our Government's job to deal with these problems. It is their main job, and they failed it in a huge way.
...It is not the individual citizen's job to anticipate and repair the effects of hurricanes; how could it be? That kind of thing is not for the private sector. Individual relief efforts are courageous and necessary, but yes they are subject to human flaws, limited resources of non-profit groups, lack of organization, and individual opportunistic profiteering scams. It's a murky business just figuring out the best, least flawed way to help.
...The only thing that can handle disasters of this scale is the government. That's why we pay taxes, so that an organized power will protect us from the gigantic problems. Things that we can't work out on our own, or on a small community level. Like where highways should go, and what to do if a hurricane happens, even if they hardly ever do. I may have an opinion on how to solve all these problems, but so does everyone else, hence it is the job of democratically-elected government to override the individual inconsistencies and know the best possible path for the common good.
...It is NOT the government's job to, say:

- start wars on other countries for no adequately-explained reason
- redistribute wealth so that the rich become richer
- play political games to make itself look better

...those are just, like, hobbies. The citizenry would do just fine if government forgot about them.
...but we need them for hurricanes. They are bigger than one person's ability to act, so we had to create something that is big enough to act on behalf of all of us. And we created the most powerful force ever, which is the collected resouces of the U.S. Government. And it spends most of its time doing bullshit. It encourages us to accumulate individual wealth. It expects somehow that the most successful wealth-accumulators will take care of building levees and helping the sick and powerless in their spare time.
...They won't. But someone has to. So, to help the victims, and to help ourselves from becoming victims, we need a better governing body. ASAP.

9.09.2005

"Operation Angel Island"

...is the name of Los Angeles County's aid project for the hurricane victims. For those of us familiar with Chinese American history, that's a little funny. It recalls Chinese Exclusion Acts, paper sons, the struggle of emigration, the threat of deportation. Stuff that I'm fairly sure hurricane victims would not want to apply to their already-grievous situation. "But it's angels cos it's Los Angeles, get it, and we're an island because we're like, above water, teehee." Oh well, I guess they had to call it something. Sigh. Cute names, bad times.

9.08.2005

open letter to Michael Moore from the Bush Administration

Dear Michael,

We were busy, OK?
There's a war on. Two wars.
We're showing compassion and demanding things now.
This is a big disaster. It affects everyone, not just the people it disproportionately affects.
Floods happen. What can you do?

Stay the course,
GWB/DHS

9.05.2005

reset

Just watched a new cut of the movie with new, recently-arrived music and a large amount of sound design. Just thrilling, it is. Not a bad flick at all. In a few more weeks the thing will be sonically in the bag. Then my last big hurdle is where and how to do the color correction and online session. And after that, if I have any money left over, going to buy self a pony.

Haaa, not really. I don't like ponies. But I do like having Labor Day off.

...I would like to add that I just found out that the film "Lemming," which played at the Cannes Filmfest this year and was just picked up by Strand Releasing, was directed by a guy named Dominik Moll. That is very close to my name. If I was a German guy, it almost certainly would be my name.

9.04.2005

ok this is a little terrifying

...not "life and death" terrifying, more like "viral marketing permeates every pore of my being" kind of terrifying.

I got a spam as a comment on a blog post (try explaing that sentence to someone living in 1984). The comment is readable on the post right before this one. It's for chronic back pain or something. I mean, what the hell?

is this a joke? It's not even content-related, for the love of Pete. Is everyone who reads my blog (all 20 of them) secretly waiting for the right time to jump in and sell me a bottle of Cialis (taladafil)? I challenge you to reveal yerselves.

apparently I can get on TV just by doing this

(recited, deadpan, suggesting detached irony about something)

Loose. Foot loose. Kick off your sunday shoose.
Please, Louise. Pull me off of my knees.
Jack. Cut back. Come on before we crack.
Lose your blues. Everybody cut. Everybody cut.
Everybody cut footloose.

9.02.2005

In California, we have earthquakes and sometimes fires. Earthquakes happen everywhere all at once, but generally cause the most damage to tall buildings, manmade structures. Fires can happen anywhere, but rarely does a fire destroy an entire city.
....I've never been to New Orleans, but I'm sad that this has happened. My sadness is worth not much, to be sure.
....It's humbling to imagine a disaster that displaces an entire city's population. The idea that every single person had to evacuate, regardless of class or subculture, is kind of outside my experience. The image of the Superdome filled with thousands of people including the homeless and the poor and the fringe dwellers....how does that work? I mean obviously our infrastructure has already in some way failed these people on a daily basis while they somehow scrape by, so what happens now that the government has to contend with every single person in the city as a survivor of the disaster? When the city is habitable again, does everyone get re-inserted into their original place in the system? Is that even possible? I've never been there, I can't imagine it, I have no idea.