I am extremely complicated and perfectly simple at the same time. …which is weird, but I think that ANYONE who is self-actualized and awake and aware is going to be this way. Maybe I just described only 1% of the world's population but they are the only people I care about anyway.
Chances are good that I hate you, but if I do, you won’t even realize it. I love people and I love humanity and want to save it but at the same time I do think that the vast majority of people are mindless cattle, and that they are that way through conscious choice.
The normal response for elitist people (like me) is to separate, isn’t it? To secede into a splinter world of narrowly defined tastes and critique and irony and actively maintained and carefully farmed ennui. Hipster-ism is surrender, though, you know? “Separate but equal” all over again. I’m interested in culture at large.
I’m interested in everything.
What am I? I am not “chill”, I am not “laid back”, I don't like to "just sit in and relax with a movie". I’m not constantly tired. I don’t need a vacation. I might have made a good, um, …democracommunist. I don’t believe that we’re going to hell in a handbasket.
So, I recently realized that I am sort of a force of anti-chaos: I like to go around and order and organize and arrange things and make things run more efficiently. I pick up trash that isn’t mine, although grudgingly. I hate inefficiency and stupidity, laziness and pigheadedness.
I hate the word “just” more than any other; I believe that when cognitive dissonance happens, the sound effect is “just”. Like, it’s the onomatopoeia. I knew the word but not how to spell it.
Are there ANY profiles on this thing that don't start and end with "Well, pretty much I'm a pretty laid back and down to earth person, pretty much, pretty much I just like to chill and hang out, pretty much...pretty much?" FOR FUCK'S SAKE people.
Why would anyone list "hanging out" as an interest? Or LAUGHING? That's like, it’s like listing "breathing" as a hobby. Oh, you like to hang out with your friends? Whoa, wait, you like to relax and chill wit' movies? Oh, you're carbon based? Got 46 chromosomes? Oh, oh, oh, your DNA is shaped like a double helix, too? OH WELL FUCK ME! We've got so much in common WE SHOULD TALK.
So, I'm pretty much an ex-geek.
Step 1) Gather up your anime, manga* and whatever other children’s stuff you shave.
Step 2) Realize that you are in your fucking twenties.
Step 3) Now throw it all out the window.
Time is my polder (any James Joyce fans?), reclaimed from the bog of excess amounts of time spent playing video games. (Thank Christ I dodged the WOW bullet.) A computer is a tool, not a way of life.
*I still have a soft spot for Lone Wolf and Cub, as well as Samurai Executioner, although Path of the Assassin was weaksauce.
"I was uncool before being uncool was cool." I hate this neonerd trend. Look, those are cute glasses and a very tight fitting shirt indeed, but you don’t understand quantum physics, ok? No one does. I know you can shoehorn some ideas that you heard people talking about, once, into some ill-fitting analogies, but you can’t fool someone who’s sober. Just calm down.
You know what else is awesome? Unquestioned dogmatic hate of Christianity. Man, I can't get enough of that one. Listen, I'm definitely not some neo-con fundy fanatic, but I am tired of the cheap laugh. “Smart people make fun of Christianity. Therefore, if I make fun of Christianity, I am smart!” Somewhere, in a corner, statistical correlation WEEPS softly to itself because no one understands it. We talk about respect and tolerance, but for some odd reason these are courtesies never extended to the Christian religion. Know that I am definitely against ChristianDumb, I hates me some Phelps, and I’d like to think my theology has evolved past Sunday school rhetoric. But anyway, as I was saying. Social acceptability, I guess that’s what this is about. “Correct opinions”. We have certain prejudices that are socially acceptable, but I draw the line.
Also, I would love to see the day when “accent as joke” DIES and is properly regarded as boorish and ignorant. “Me so solly.” Fuck you. Here’s a phrase that’s been jangling inside my head for years: “Asian cultural rights movement”. And the Margaret Cho’s of the world make it worse. In my culturally irrelevant opinion, sometimes she’s wholly awesome, being all pro-whatever-she-is, but other times, she’s today’s Madame Butterfly. I think about racial relations today, in this day and age, and my teeth just sorta gnash themselves. Do you hear the gnashing?
I guess I don't really like sports and that sort of thing. I watch football, sometimes, because I have a penis and I like to drink beer and shout. I guess I theoretically like any sport where men visit violence upon each other. And ping pong. And Canadian logger sports. Hmm. I’ll get back to you on this one.
I think Hot Topic and Spencer’s Gifts just about embody the things I hate about youth culture. Well, CollegeHumor, too. Snorg Tees. Will Ferrel is Satan’s avatar made flesh and come to earth to torment us with fratboy comedy. Every time I laugh at something he says I die a little inside. Ok, the Super Bowl commercial was good.
Sometimes I hate clever and I usually hate irony. "Watch/Listen to/Read/Drink this; it's so bad, it's good!" My carefully articulated response: "Choke on poison and die." UPDATE: Ok, to be honest, though, I do kinda have a thing for horrible movies sometimes. That’s why I’m going to see Zombie Strippers, and I’m going to make my roommate watch The Guy with the Secret Kung Fu.
Am I an insufferable prick? Let me know if it's getting obnoxious. We can talk about stuff I do like.
I like to spend time in bars and coffeeshops and my friends' apartments and bookstores and libraries and museums and music stores and clubs. (I bet I can say that sentence in Spanish I. French I, as well. Yes, those are languages. I know; I took them in school.)
Note: When I say “bar” or “club”, I don’t mean crowded meat markets packed with Chlamydia vectors and douchebags with slicked back hair and incurable senses of entitlement. I don’t want to see the letters V and I anywhere near a P. And obviously, when I say coffeeshop, I don’t friggin’ mean Starbucks. *sigh* It’s shallow elitism, but it’s MY shallow elitism.
Among others, these webcomics bring me joy:
I recently took my girlfriend to the zoo, and then we gotta do the aquarium. I guess it’s obvious to say that we love those things, but we LOVE them.
I work a lot, whether it's literally at work or at home. I love my job. I love working in general. Definitely not “working for the weekend”. I still idolize The Office, of course. (Theorem: You don’t have to identify with something to think it’s funny, even when the humor is largely based on identity. Citations: My love of black stand up comedians, Jewish comedians (n.b. Fran Drescher), and The Office.)
It's unfortunate that the mathematician Erdos's quote - "A mathematician is a machine that turns caffeine into theorems." – is so... cutesy? and has been so overused and bastardized, because it’s true. We also metabolize alcohol into non-sequitor corollaries.
I piss away far too much time on the internet (but lifehacking is so much fuuuun). I organize and reorganize and systematize things obsessively, constantly trying to grease the wheels of the machinery that is life. You know those people that carry around notebooks? I’m trying to become one of those people.
So I've recently become obsessed with DIY, environmentally friendly household cleaning supplies. I know, exciting! Recycling! Filtering my own water and using non-BPA bottles! Yay! (It only took the environmentalist movement, what, 40 years to catch on? Better late than never. Thanks, Al Gore!)
My roommate wants to kill me (and if he doesn't, he should) because I have way too many tools in my apartment - I'm totally getting ready for that whole "Daddy's playground is the garage" thing later on. Dremel - it's not just a tool, it's an interest. I like building my own furniture and furnishings. Well, theoretically, I do; I am still a guy, after all, meaning I can’t ever finish a project.
I'm a nerd. (Proud to be a nerd, but not proud of being proud of being a nerd. Discuss.) I love learning and reading and discussing and analyzing everything. EVERYTHING. An unexamined life... Emerson once said, basically, “Wise men change their minds.” At first, I didn’t believe him.
Just ONCE I wish we could all break into sing and do a big choreographed musical dance number in the streets. (I work in Dupont, for fuck’s sake, make it HAPPEN!) I love walking through the city. I love running into friends by surprise when I go somewhere. It sounds ghey, but that shit is magical. Everything is exciting and big and full of potential.
All anger and love. It's the Korean condition.
I am self-actualized, intellectual, and completely nuts
Trying to live a complete life. I'm religious and believe in an eternal hereafter yadda yadda yes but I still think we only get one shot on this earth and it's our job and duty to experience and absorb and create as much as we can while we are here. If you are Christian, then you probably know the parable of the fig tree that Jesus cursed, and if you're not, then you're probably not interested. Anyway, that is perhaps the single biggest theme in my life right now. Same story with Jacob, wrestling the angel, demanding his blessing.
***** Soon, I REALLY want to have just a 2 or 3 year long career in music, touring with a band, playing in front of live audiences in coffee shops and small shitty clubs with good and cheap beer.
Dreaming about travelling.
I want to take over the entire country's education system and burn the fucking thing to the ground and start over again and raise this country's standards of education to match that of other countries.
I want to be FAMOUS for a while.
I want my black belts in tae kwon do and kumdo. Or even the time to just get back into that.
I want to write books called "I'm Angry at Everyone for Being Stupid", one called "Koreanism", and a whole set of math books intended to teach everything from pre-natal fetus math to Calc 3. I could do it, too.
I'm going to go to Gottingen and see Gauss's brain. This isn't even a wish.
I WILL solve one of the Millenium Problems that the Clay Institute has published. (after I learn enough math to actually underSTAND what all the questions are...)
...oh wait, what am I *actually* doing with my life? Oh. Seeing a lot of bands, mostly local. Cramming as much knowledge into my brain as I possibly can. Working, and working on working: writing GMAT and GRE programs for work. Lifehacking.
Getting INTO stuff. I just read an article on polycarbonate reusable water bottles and then I did some research and now I'm INTO Nalgene bottles. What does this mean? It means that I am more like a sitcom character than anyone you know.
I'm not bitter; I'm cynical. And I'm not cynical; I'm observant. And actually, I'm pretty happy.
I hate the phrase "I like making people laugh" because that makes me sound like someone on reality TV show but the truth is I love making people laugh.
I'm not a skinny person; I guess that's pretty hard to miss.
Small things don't bother me. What people notice is that I have a much broader definition of "small things".
I am a workaholic and a walking stereotype. I teach math, for fuck's sake...
There are enough Asians here for that to be no cause for confusion or alarm.
I use bad words sometimes.
My list of five essential texts: Self Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson. The Twelve Virtues of Rationality, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho. The Book of Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi The 2005 Kenyon Commencement Address, David Foster Wallace.
Know these texts and know the best humanity has thought and known.
MOVIES: I love movies and I hate movies. I love highbrow or pretentious or artsy or cutesy foreign stuff (Juno, Run Lola Run, Amelie, The City of Lost Children, Chung King Express, Hard Candy, Happiness), and then I'm going to go see Zombie Strippers. I thought Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was heartachingly brilliant, and one of my favorite movies of all time is Shaolin Challenges Ninja. I want to see but have not yet seen a lot of movies: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, No Country, Cloverfield, Lars and the Real Girl, Superbad, Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Once (shut up), There Will be Blood, The Lives of Others.
I enjoy stupid comedies every meow and then. There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who liked Snakes on a Plane, and those who refused to see it. This is a good and true observation.
MUSIC: Indie, punk, old hip hop, math rock, math metal, metal, jazz, blues, reggae, ska. Jangly guitars and odd time signatures. Sing-a-longs. Against Me! I try to avoid mass-produced, overproduced, slick, popularized, consumer culture radio friendly flavorless garbage.
There are three music scenes in this area that I really dig:
1) The all-ages punk and metal stuff, including my friend's two bands One Third Dork and The Two of You in Red (RIP both bands).
2) The coffeeshop scene, with singer/songwriter-y types and acoustic guitars although man, let me tell you, there's so much of it that I'm forced to be ultra picky.
3) DC! Arlington! Alexandria! Indie music from the upper 20 something crowd that's so very vital and right now and brilliant. Middle Distance Runner, Greenland, Telograph, Monopoli, Run Silent Run Deep (RIP), Koshari, Washington Social Club, Death by Sexy, Nunchucks, Cedars, Go Home Robot, Soft Complex, Pawns, Hello Tokyo, The Dance Party, LeJeune, Two If By Sea. oh man oh man oh man. DC.
FOOD: I can't think of a specific ethnicity of food that I know I *don't* like, and I love trying new ethnic foods. I like Korean, American, French, Mexican, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Greek, Salvadorean, Sicilian, Chinese, etc. etc. You think I get to looking like this by being picky?
I'm trying to avoid fast food and midtown crap; no more McDonald's! And Denny's: I don't care how late it is or how drunk I am - never again!
TV: Bonus section. I normally hate TV, but every once in a while you find these gems: Arrested Development, Firefly, Scrubs (as much as I dislike Zach Braff), The Nanny, Golden Girls, The Office, Hell's Kitchen, Food Network, TLC, Discovery Channel, AMC, The History Channel.
2) Intellectually stimulating friends and acquaintances. People to uplift me from the drudgery of the everyday! Beacons of light and newness in an otherwise mentally draining world. People against whom I can bounce my crackpot ideas. People who remind me that I am not the only thinking being in the world, and also that I'm a jerk for thinking so. My anvils.
3) Nerdy gaming. Steve Jackson games, Loony Labs, D&D (I said it), Fluxx, Apples to Apples, Jenga (a love born in 5th grade GT), Munchkin, Chez Geek, Settlers of Cataan, trivia games in general. Love it.
4) Art/Music/Politick/Economick/Religion/Current Events/The Internet/STUFF. Stuff to talk about and analyze and discuss and be interested in. If you offered to replace my dreams with NPR, I'd consider it.
5) Tools, tools, and more tools. I love everything Tim Allen did, except for everything that wasn't Home Improvement. This Old House is like porn to me.
6) Hands. Now, I'm totally setting myself up for a tragicomic hubris thing in the future, but hands let one work with tools and play guitar and type and fold paper and write proofs and essays and letters and cook and. I don't know how I could survive without them. Every once in a while I look at them and I just MARVEL. (Note how often I do drugs).
Newest: EVERYDAY, I think about this question: How do we proceed? As individuals, as society, as beings with imperfect knowledge. I've been thinking about incomplete knowledge and the inherent bogosity of artificial labels. I wonder if my formal mathematical training has crippled my ability to think analytically in the truest sense of the word, only leaving me with the ability to manipulate my (albeit large) library of Feynman's so-called tricks. I guess it's part of this whole growing up nonsense; trying to find answers and forging my own where none exist. Precedent? You ever think about how helpless we are without it sometimes? I guess trying to balance that with the relevance of existing and established wisdom.
*** Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it doesn't prevent it either.
At the deepest level of everything lies paradox, but that doesn't give you an excuse to stop trying to understand; you actually kinda have to *earn* that paradox. Godel saw behind the veil.
How do I reconcile a) my very liberal, blue collar working class proletariat belief that all people are good and honest and true inside, with b) my empirical observation that people are a fucking bunch of slavering, boring, bland, passionless zombie cattle? I'd be all for objectivism except for the fact that people are not rational and they don't make any goddamn sense and they are all too stupid to help themselves. The electoral college is there to protect us from turning the presidential race into a reality TV show. You see it? But on the other hand, I firmly believe that every vote should count and we should all have a voice. Blah blah blah. Some of the sides of my basic paradox.
I'm just trying to BE complete and real and myself. I want to be a useful human with useful skills and worldly knowledge, but not so much that I become a useful robot. I want to be idealistic and furious, but not so much so that no one in the world takes me seriously, just writing me off as "just another whack-ass liberal". Me and Christianity....fuck, we have a lot of talking we need to do. You know what I mean, though? There are a lot of facets of my...NESS that I'm trying to keep balanced.
The fine line between charming and smarmy. Am I deep and thoughtful or am I faux-etic. Do I try too hard or am I awesome and intense. Do I have extremely high standards, or am I just being naive. Should I learn to compromise and bend like the willow or should I be strong like the mountain. When I appeal to traditional Asian imagery like that, do people see it the way I still see it, or has the Asian style TREND sucked all the relevance out of that particular vein of wisdom? There it is again: "Asian cultural rights movement".
Am I just totally full of shit? Just who the hell am I and what am I about, and I mean REALLY? HOW DO I FIND BALANCE?! Is there no one source to which I can turn, to completely dictate to me who I am and how I should decide things? Someone whose advice I can always follow without having to question his or her allegiances and various personal biases?
No. No, there isn't, and there shouldn't be. Crap. Back to work.
It's not just what you decide, but HOW you decide. How to proceed with limited knowledge (all knowledge is limited!), but strong intuition, sharp reasoning skills, and a strict moral code. Balancing WWJD with "What would Emerson do?" and "How would Buddha handle this?" and "What gadget would MacGuyver create here?"
Is it easy for other people? Do they just not see all the layers of ...!!! that surrounds everything? Is that how people become Christian hypocrites? Just by living and never trying to reconcile their ACTIONS with their BELIEFS? Is that how people become alcoholics and addicts and losers, and go on to live miserable and petty lives? Am I secretly racist because I love black stand up comedy? Am I secretly sexist because I hate British female authors? Why does ANYONE let Jerry Seinfeld do anything?
Do I suffer horribly from Peter Pan Syndrome?
Am I a philosopher? Or maybe just a philosophizer. Maybe I am. Well, if I call myself one, maybe I'm not. Oi, it's that whole "purpose behind altruism" thing again.
Ok, ok, ok, it's 4am. No more.
*** With Krysten, either out or at home. Out or at home by myself. Seeing a show, cooking dinner (or helping Krysten cook dinner), watching a movie, hanging out with friends.
*** At: Black Cat, DC 9 , Velvet Lounge, 9:30 Club, Iota, Galaxy Hut, Jammin Java, The Fox and Hound, Ottobar, Rock and Roll Hotel (although I hate that place kinda), T.T. Reynolds, The Firehouse, The Warehouse Next Door. Providence Rec Center, The Space, Strangeland Records. Never been to The Red and the Black. Never made it to CBGBs :-( Once, that pin was a promise, but now it's just a lie.
So, once I was working on an all-nighter project, and I was dying. A friend of mine gave me an Adderall, explained to me what it was and what it did, and I took it. My girlfriend was so mad at me. To this day it remains the only time I've ever done... drug.
I get nervous around people who are high/drunk plus emotional, e.g. drunk and angry, drunk and sad, high and philosophical.
You know what, I'm just going to say it: For all of my egalitarian, liberal, tolerant, open-minded rhetoric... certain people and certain behaviors freak me the fuck out. Polyamory is probably top on that list. Ménage à trois? Pas pour moi! Over the top and "alternative" spirituality scares the hell out of me, even if it is supposedly Christian in origin. I used to get matched with people who were into anime and Ren Faire and the like, and it's like, no thanks, emotionally stunted adult-children with no poise or self-possession need not apply; theatre class is over!
As much as I love rationality and intellect and math and science, I have a couple beliefs that are pretty fundamentalist. For example, how's this for paradoxical and crazy: I think fortune-telling and tarot and astrology and all that can work, and if/when it does, the power comes from an ungodly source. I know! Doesn't that sound like I'm a weirdo? And yet there it is.
Also, I don't want any followers or fawning and doting toadies.
Do you ever use the phrases "having a life" or "having too much time on one's hands"? Because I don't know that any phrases piss me off more than those. (I love YouTube comments!) YOU have time on your hands, too. You just use it, doing... what, exactly? Taking pictures of yourself drinking with your friends?
I used to love meeting new people but I’ve also been disappointed a lot. You know how you meet someone cool and it’s on your terms and everything is awesome and you like the same music and the same movies and have similar interests blah di blah. Then you meet their roommates or their friends or their friends’ friends and it gets further and further away from your comfort zone, which is maybe a good thing, you think, until the guy starts cataloging all the different drugs he does and you yawn and you wonder “what am I even DOING at this party.”
Point is, I’ve been fairly anti-social in terms of meeting new people, but I think some new blood might be cool at this point. Guys or girls, doesn’t matter.
It’s so funny how tentative and careful you have to be, as a guy, when talking to another guy on here. “Hey, uh, I, uh, well look, you seem pretty cool. Maybe we could, uh, hang out, you know? Drink some beer, and see a band, and like… bang some chicks.” But all my band seeing buddies moved out west, so I wouldn’t mind meeting dudes, particularly those who like the indie musics in this area. Maybe you play something. My guitar has been sitting in the corner for months. Non social-morons who play D&D and don’t laugh too loudly and don’t think “No Fat Chicks” shirts are funny are welcome.
Maybe you’re studying for your GMAT or GRE. I am very good at this. (If you’re studying for the SAT, then you should... Probably get off this site and go do your homework!)
I don’t talk about myself this much ordinarily.