Monday, December 24, 2018

Resolutions



It’s not quite the New Year but the idea of resolutions is already on my mind. The last few weeks feels like a time for reflection, change and a reassessment of the year gone by. 2018 was a mess of a year and I can’t wait to be able to start again. It’s a funny thing this marking of cycles. We do it because we need it. Below are some resolutions for myself and perhaps the world at large.

Save Money – Feels like money has been made of water lately, just draining out of my hands and debit card like it is feeding the flowers. I’m not sure how I have become such an extravagant with the actually unglamorous life I live but this will be the number one change on my mind because golly, it just can’t keep going on this way.

Exercise – Hahaha. Yes, this old one again. But really as we all age it is reality. We lead such sedentary lives, well most of us, and sadly we have to re-enact mobility and motion so that our brains and bodies don’t become as puddled as our society wishes them to be.

Less Obligation – A hard one to achieve but this coming year I will feel less obligated towards everything and hopefully it will all work out. I’m not sure if my guilt complex will adjust at the same rate but heck, being less obligated towards even that feeling could be a good place to start.

See More Art – I’ve been a dull dull and lazy girl when it comes to seeing art and that just has to change. So much out there to see, so little time it feels. But it’s truly amazing all that we have just a few subway stops away.

Start a New Project – Not sure what it will be but starting something new and being excited about how to figure out how to do it is really one of the most generative things one can do.

Care About Looks – So easy to do, so silly not to.

Drink Less – The party has to stop sometime and to be honest, it’s so much more fun when you can remember it the next day.

Treat People Less – Sort of related to the money thing. I can’t seem to help treating people to things. Drinks, food, presents. I enjoy it obviously but it’s not necessary, at least not to the scale I find myself doing it. It’s also a good deed to not make people feel indebted to you somehow.

Watching TV – Brain drain. Books come back to me!

More Vegetables and Fruits – Will try to pretend I live in LA.

Make New Friends – I do this every year but the new friends I have made in the last, or the friendships that have become stronger, have been probably the most rewarding thing about this past year.

Forgiveness – Of myself and others.

Go Away – Some how I find I’m always desperate to go on a trip, even something short or near, and I find myself still stuck in the city. Next year I want to travel more. The bug has hit and I will follow it.

Be More Sincere – Those who know me know that I am honest (sometimes to a fault) but bring sincere is another thing. It’s softer and more generous. I think I will take a stab at it and hopefully don’t rupture anything in the process.

Trusting Others – Walls down, defenses released. The act of trusting others is difficult for fortressed hearts but through letting other in and trusting that they mean no harm I think we will all be better for it. The receivers and the givers.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Checked Out





Aiyiyi, so yes, it’s Friday and I am posting this now because the last few days, weeks, probably months have been a perfect storm of busy and ennui. How are these two things spinning on the same coin? I’m not sure, but I guess it’s my way of saying that it has been this duality of social frenzy meeting with recoveries involving the necessity to do nothing at all.

This ceaseless pace and flip-flopping has made me crave being checked out. Checked out from work, life, family, friends, responsibilities, stimulation, obligation, the whole damn gamut.

And the funny thing is, is that I want to embrace this desire to be checked out. It’s like as if I feel I deserve to be able to make that choice. Do you know what I mean? This sense that you are always having to do one thing or another for something (or person) or another and you are this elastic and capable person who feels mostly happy to do it all but then you just snap or are all tangled up and all you want to do is bow out, hit pause, step out of the vortex that is your life and just watch it a bit from the outside.

Checking out is perhaps a cowardly act but also it can be seen as self-care. It’s something you can choose to do wherein it’s not about figuring it out, anything out at all, or even naming the issues or the causes. It’s merely just making it so that it doesn’t matter. It can all just wait. It all can go on without your participation.

In our society we are made to believe that volition is granted to those that are invested, are involved, are committed. But is that really what the point of this whole living is about? And I think that this impulse/this training is actually very scripted. We are not the authors of the lives we are living but performing characters that we have been allotted.

Checking out seems selfish. I have to say I feel guilt about it sometimes (a lot of the time). Somehow I have constructed such a complete and thorough version of myself in the pre-deemed obligations and personality of myself that it seems like the only thing that makes me well, valid at all. But I have reached my ‘fuck it’ point. The point where I want to just light a match to all the agendas (self created as well) and hit pause.

This checking out is also for social media. I’m dying to just turn my phone off for a week and just see what happens. What would the texture of life and oneself feel like without all this constant management and affirmation that we have selected the right path or are correctly presenting ourselves in the world?

But as you can see, even with all these grandiose persuasions, I can’t seem to completely check out, because here I am again, blah blah blahing to the void to who knows if anyone.

Well, forgive me. I am weak but I think I am speaking a version of truth for myself and maybe this resonates with some of you. I don’t want to drop out or disappear. I just want to re-center the core of my gravity and to be outside the tornado of my self-constructions. If only for a little while.

How can one do this is this day and age? I’m not sure. We are all in this gilded cage together and it seems pointless to pretend otherwise. But that’s the thing. I’m not trying to pretend. I’m not trying to take a vacation or have a rest. I just need a break, a form of stopping, pausing, a sense of choice in the lack of control over anything.

If this sounds appealing, I encourage you to try to do the same. Even if for a day, a week, or whatever you can spare. We who are fortunate enough to be able to check out once in a while should. Nothing will be gained really, but also what is there to lose?

Monday, December 10, 2018

Random Questions on Random Things





These last few weeks have been a bit cray-cray but the end of 2018 is within sight and I don’t know about all of you but thank gawd that it is. Below is just a bunch of things that are ponging around in my brain because heck, sometimes our brains need a winter purge as well.


Is Being Quiet More Powerful?

So, I am loud. Like sometimes really loud. Like so loud that I have been asked to leave places and things like that. I think that’s unjust at times but I also think that it is totally valid other times because I have this Napoleon complex where I overcompensate for being you know, short, non-white, woman etc. etc. And sometimes I think I lash out with my verbosity because of these expectations/societal conditions. But the other day I was really thinking about how culture really values people who are quite. The idea that it is a form of power in some ways. You see this in art all the time. I call artists who don’t speak cyphers. You know them so clearly, they are super visible but you can’t imagine their voice/opinion. Someone like Cindy Sherman for example. And this happens in politics too. People like Jared Kushner, the pitch of his voice is startling once heard. Or like Robert Mueller III whose stoic silence in the Russia probe is both enthralling and making the Trump administration squirm. Also, in another vain, the idea of ghosting. That weird power of detachment and creation of befuddled obsession for response makes the person who does this act very potent even in their invisibility. Anyways. Just a thought. Maybe I should try this tactic. I’ll probably fail at it but meh, might be fun to scare people with my silence once in a while.


Is Trend Forecasting Dead?

Does trend forecasting even matter anymore? My thoughts are NO. I mean what’s the point? The cycles are no longer even cycles. Time is irrelevant, fast fashion has made the cannibalization of clothes not even worth mentioning. There are too many people doing every form of everything (art included) that it all just churns in churns out. The only trend I’d be down to forecast is the end of trend forecasting. Glib. Whatever. Glib is in.


When Will China Take Over the USA as #1?

Economically I think maybe 50 years (for the total steady trend of their dominance). Culturally maybe 100 years (capitalism will have to evolve and nostalgia will still be ripe). These are all obvious total guesses in the wind but it will happen. And I’m not sure if I’ll be here to witness it but things change, I hope they do and I hope that they are different and have more room for everything and everyone.


Will Rich People Ever Stop Running the Art World?

No.


Is Over-Information Making Us All Detached?

The other day there was an image of a Yemeni girl who was starving (then starved to death, age 7) in the New York Times. This picture spurned an uptick on coverage on the war in Yemen that Saudi Arabia is leading and which the USA has been allowing. It was a hard image to see but then it was like most of these types of images, it blips off the radar. It’s like the image of the migrant refugee child dead on the shore. Or the little boy in a shock, covered in dust in Syria. So many images of so many children in war-torn areas and other areas that are unseen, forgotten or being brutalized to its core. We stop collectively to see these images. We impart them into our brains and it tugs at our humanity but then we turn away because there in our hands 24-7 is a buzzing, blinking, notification streaming of our lives, other’s lives, everything else that we may or may not care about. Now more than ever we have all this information, all these images right there, literally finger tips away but just as easily we swipe, refresh, reload, move on to something else. This inertia of constant over simulation makes it all flatten out. All blips. And we can forgive ourselves about our passivity because even the second or half-second that we give our attention to such sad things in the world makes us feel informed, somehow doing our duty as a fellow human being. Somehow, just awareness is enough. But it isn’t. Like all things acts and deeds are the measure of intention. I’m not judging or blaming or anything of the sort. I too just stared at the image of the Yemeni girl and thought what an impossibility it all felt. But something has to change right? How, I am not sure but if it keeps going then all we are left with is thoughts and prayers and nothing but screens and keys to touch.

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Policing State



Whoa, whoa, whoa… Is it just me or are things way out of control with all the policing people are doing to each other lately? By policing I mean, being called out for literally any perceived offense/slight/misstep in regards to politics, race, gender, etcetera, etcetera… I mean yes! Times are a changing and things need to be talked about and many, many things need to be overhauled, revamped and thrown out the window but WOW, the sheer level of bitterness and total lack of true empathy and kindness is not only upsetting but frankly offensive.

What am I talking about? Well, I guess I can relay a few incidents that just happened in the last week to me personally. (Last week was a doozy of WTF in incidents).

Example 1 – Working on a project and I accidentally spelled someone’s name wrong because I was literally in the throws of a viral infection but still had to go into work because of the timeliness of the project. Sent email so participants could check that their names and info were correct since I knew I was a bit out of my gourd from illness. Person with misspelled name is furious and says I’m basically a racist, xenophobe etc etc. on and on. I apologize and correct. Person continues to imply I was intentional in misspelling and asks if spelled anyone else’s name wrong. Turns out I did, a seemingly easy to spell white male’s name… Was confronted about incident in person. Apologized again but made point to say their reaction was unjust. It was just a human error… Issue resolved.

Example 2 – Same project and was still loopy from illness so forgot to include someone’s name in email, noticed mistake, emailed person, remedied and apologized. Person working on project with me emails demanding that I need to call missing person and apologize. Insane. There was a form of some white-guilt on their part I thought the demand of accountability and power play seemed totally inappropriate. Said nothing of the sort but resolved anyways. Person that was left out of email was totally cool with oversight and said that I was “the best.”

Example 3 – Person was rejected from a program I oversee. They email saying that they don’t understand our review process and that it is essentially rigged and that other’s who got it in the past don’t deserve it. Was incredibly out of line and totally baseless. Program has a blind jury of three panelists that don’t even know who each other are until end of voting. Usually email like this would not upset me but was feeling shot to pieces by the bitterness of it and the total lack of understanding. Didn’t reply back because really what is the point?

Example 4 – Post something on social media using the word ‘derpy.’ Derpy is an actual word meaning silly/foolish. Like it is in the Oxford English Dictionary. Someone DM’d saying that I probably didn’t know I what I was doing but using that word was offensive against mentally disabled people. I’m in shock. Have never seen it used that way and start to google what the heck they are saying. Vague vague references to this equalization. Feel pissed that a COMPLETE stranger has audacity to message this to me. But also feel guilty because I don’t want to offend anyone regarding mental disabilities. Like I literally tell people off for saying the word “retarded” in any manner whatsoever. I remove ‘derpy’ from post. Feel defeated. Trolls win.


So these are just a few snippets of my disaster of a week dealing with call out culture. These events and the general tenor of late has made me feel like a total bag of crap and in addition it has made me furious! Most people assume a lot about everyone. We all do, but I have the added layer of confusion because my name reads as one thing (possibly male and white) when my actuality is not (Asian women). People assume a lot just because of this and it’s totally mind boggling to have to position myself as an ‘ally’ all the time when hello, look at me! And not only look at me (because actions are the most vital part of positioning) look at my life! What I do! Who I support!

But, I guess these are the times we are living in. Everyone is feeling both desperate and empowered to make changes, to fight the fight, to stand up, stick out and change what they see as injustices. The way of going about it through anger and judgment is relevant and at times necessary but there also needs to be a moment of reflection. Self-reflection, and some compassion and openness and respect above all. So if people want to throw eggs at my head for literally, I’m not sure what – being a human that makes mistakes or is being perceived as a power hungry gatekeeper – then go ahead. But it makes me not want to stand with you, it makes me pity you and wish that some of that anger would lessen so that there is more peace, understanding and love for oneself and others.