Implementing final edits to Massive and had to screenshot this awesomely poetic reference word list from fantagraphics' proofreader. Just some of the colorful terms you can look forward to in our book! ^_^
You’re on your way into The City. The Train’s about to leave the Station, though, and you’re not ready to board. You:
1) Let it go and look up the train schedule for the next departure.
2) You board, unready, and spend the next half hour trying to figure out what to do about your lack of preparedness.
3) You pull the emergency brake and scream “BOMB!” Now no one’s going anywhere for a few hours and you have plenty of time to finish preparing.
You get to The City and after cleaning up, you head to The Diner for your Appointment. Miraculously, you’re fifteen minutes early. You:
1) Ask to be seated alone but mention you’re expecting someone.
2) Sit at the bar and chat up the man behind the counter, fast-tracking information from him and by the time your appointed meet arrives you are introducing them to the owner of The Diner and act like your meet is a guest in your kingdom.
3) Go to the bar next door and get tanked, out of view of the Diner patrons, so no one’s the wiser when you’re naturally effusive and relaxed.
After the Meeting you:
1) Walk your Meet to their subway station and awkwardly hug them goodbye realizing midway that they were planning on simply shaking your hand.
2) Are headed with the entire Diner staff who has just closed shop for the night, back to the bar where you got tanked earlier. You lost track of your meet, but they’re actually following you into the bar and you just can’t tell because you’re so bombed.
3) Let your meet walk you to your hotel, except you’re paranoid about telling them where you’re staying, so you mislead them into thinking you’re staying somewhere dingy. When you split ways, you wait five minutes and then cautiously head back to your true hotel.
I capitalized arbitrary subjects of this questionnaire because I am:
2) a metaphor
"They say the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull is lipstick." —Sarah Palin
Formula: Hockey mom — Pitbull = Lipstick
Hockey dad — Pitbull = Condom
Hockey fan — Pitbull = Canada
Hockey player — Pitbull = J-Lo
Hockey puck — Baseball = Z-axis asymptotes
It took Google more than a few seconds to result me this gem. Don’t get me wrong, I know exactly what it means, but I just wanted to see what The Internet had to say about it. This is actually a valuable lesson for the kids, I think, and I learned it myself from a Chinese literature professor in college: look up words you already know the definition of. It’s good for you.
I first heard “arriviste” watching “Loft Story,” in France, in the year 2000. Loft Story is their equivalent of Big Brother, and the arriviste in question was a French-Jewish woman who would prattle on for hours (seemingly) about her money and her connections. I had to ask whoever was nearest to me, what the word meant; though it was certainly to be inferred anyway. So I asked because I needed to hear it in French, then. And the whole room responded with their own version of a character, not simply trying to translate it directly into English. I’m grateful in hindsight that there was no smartphone on the ready to app-translate for us.
The respondents, anyway, are all in a room, in an apartment in Caudry, in Le Nord region of France. That’s not my pretentious way of saying I was in the north of France. It’s simply a region called “The North.” The region’s humility incarnate in the simple descriptive nature of its name, which in fact is a description only in relation to the rest of the country; like it can’t exist without the dozens of other regions under it, named after rivers, named after well… arrivistes. It might not have been Caudry, actually. This might’ve even been outside of the population 5,000 town, and in the population 200 hamlet of Caullery. All of this to say my neighbors were for the most part, blue collar or service professional natives with an inevitable lineage to farming in their recent heritage. I didn’t get the impression people moved into these bergs, so much as end up in them. Where better to learn the French word for “an ambitious or ruthlessly self-seeking person, especially someone who has recently acquired wealth or fame,” than in a place where everyone is willfully modest, ruthlessly unambitious.
This is all butter to help understand me. I dealt with a poignantly awful arriviste the other day, but I was confused at first by their lack of arrogance or greed. I suppose that makes this arrivisme insipid. The collective presence of the arriviste’s ego, manifest in social media affiliations and the kinds of questions they are so good at charading in praise, all served to humiliate me and I know I know, I can’t fault a person for having a persona. But this ladder-climb really bothers me today, even while the rungs lead perhaps toward rather my away from my own persona.
Statement: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
1. The enemy of my friend is my frenemy.
2. The friend of my friend is someone I would hook up with.
3. But the mutual friend of that friend will be really pissed off if they find out you’ve been sleeping around with the friend because they might be your mutual friend’s secret crush, in fact it’s very likely, unless either or both have incompatible sexual orientations, but even then, because it’s the 21st century, nothing should be excluded. Just keep it a secret.
4. The friend of my friend and I start dating.
5. Except he insists on calling it “expresso” which drives me nuts so I dump his tacky ass.
7. Soon, he and his friend, the one who crushes on him, are both mad at me.
8. The enemy of my friend’s enemy is me.
Statement: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
1. He who smelt it dealt it.
Think about it.
2. Pretty girls supposedly don’t do it.
This is a complete misdirection.
3. Silent but deadly.
cc: experiential advertising.
4. Too much of it might mean something’s really wrong with the system.
5. It’s funny.
Guy Trebay wrote about our Summer Pride 2014 collection for Opening Ceremony, featuring the artwork of Jiraiya.
Guess I’ll be toggling this for a while.
Friends who’ve seen me stressed or distressed know I say this a lot. When the laser beam is running up that sheet metal platform ready to sear me in half by way of my Double-0 Sevens, I start this mantra:
The very worst thing that can happen is ______________ .
Fortunately I don’t stress all that consistently. In hours flat, I can go from the spastic rantings of a nicotine overdose to the nihilistic contemplation of a jobless surfer, unfettered by the real world. So my guru om worst case chant, one could argue, works.
Part of what makes “worst case scenario” meditation work is the ability to see from other vantage points, and to watch them play out in flagrante delicto, as it were. We’ve all seen people fuck themselves in the ass.
On Father’s Day, I contemplate the joys of just being alive. I talk to him just to make sure we’re not in our worst case scenarios, and that seems to be just good enough, which is worse than spectacular, which is better than nothing at all.
Avoiding the worst is truly, boring.
I’m thinking a lot today about my flip-flopping on social/political issues.
I used to think only bimbos with low self-esteem got plastic surgery. Today I can’t even make a boob job joke.
Used to be categorically anti-guns, and still am sort of… except a lot of you, my friends, own at least one piece. I don’t know what’s worse: knowing I can’t do shit if you decided to shoot someone (me, most importantly), or coming across as a self-righteous liberal “melt all guns” hippie.
My position on God has changed more times than a diaper. These days, I’m glad my mom has one to believe in. A diaper, and a God.
I used to hate street wear. It was so hetero-opressive. Last week my business was described as an “urban street wear brand.” Rather than shoot myself in the face with your gun, I decided this gay apparel business can be the vehicle of change in a cis-straight crucible. Also, all street wear fanatics are definitely homosexual.
I used to hate yonus-linguistics—neologisms like herstory, and womyn—but now that no one wants to be an un-ironic “she,” and with so many famous “hers” opting out of wor(l)ds like feminism, well… I can’t believe I’m saying this but I really fucking miss the baked tempeh salad at the Womyn’s Labrary* café.
I used to hate cheese till I spent a year in France. Still not sure how I feel about France.
*Made-up name but we all know the stor(i)es.
I ate at El Pollo Loco today. Fucking love this place. I remember eating here once with a couple friends from the drumline and starting a chili pepper contest only because they had complimentary whole Serrano chiles at the salsa bar and we were poor kids. I barfed after eating like five peppers. The guy I beat was just convicted of sexually assaulting a minor under his tutelage at a high school.
Sidewalks in Diamond Bar are a joke. I rarely see anyone walking on them, and they serve only as elevated bike lanes and memorial plots for the victims of drunk/bad driving. My mother fell asleep behind the wheel of an Isuzu Trooper once and drove us into a potted tree. We uprooted the tree but barely put a dent in the front grill.
My gyno called while I was in an accountant’s office discussing longterm financial planning, to tell me I need to undergo a colposcopy. She urged me not to put it off. I let her patch me through to the appointments desk and continued my conversation with the accountant while I was on hold. He was able to explain the entire ecosystem of retirement plans during the time I was on hold. 17 minutes. When I finally got a human on the line he told me a nurse would have to call me back with a schedule. I did not put this off. This time.
The Korean American woman who was recently arrested for trying to set gas-soaked puppies on fire as part of an insurance scam is the older sister of a woman who used to come over to the third apartment we moved into after my parents divorced, and talked a lot about big dick. Why are apartment complexes in this neighborhood all called villages?
There was another case of arson nearby perpetrated by the son of my mother’s most pathetic friend. He’s in prison for at least 18 years now. This is the third Asian American man I went to high school with who’s been sent to prison, that I’ve heard of this year. Your children are fuckheads, you Kumon-proud neonazi Tiger Slunts.
There is no hangover too small for a three piece dinner for lunch at El Pollo Loco.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! (Slaps NPR and in my “Scandal” Mellie Grant voice) YOU TAKE EVERYTHING AWAY FROM ME.
I’m completely heartbroken that NPR is taking its ONE AND ONLY show with any REAL multicultural platform off the air. That’s just a million more of us now relegated to finding the champions of our public opinion where… on fucking Hot 97? And yes, I am speaking in part from the self-interested POV of an occasional talking head who benefited not just in intellectual but reputational gain, but “Tell Me More” really IS the only good thing on public radio, AND hosted by a person of color… fuck who’m I kidding, hosted by a *black woman*! The astonishing rarity of that alone makes the canceling of her show deeply saddening. This decision better have been made to give her an even better and wider berth of news and culture talk space.
And don’t tell me “but NPR still has those other race things.” Code Switch has never told me more.
I really wish someone told me sooner that GIRLS is basically a younger female version of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
They happen both to be shows I avoided for fear… of what I’m not entirely sure, but fear anyway, of at least my own repulsion against good entertainment. I didn’t want to end up self-righteously hating something so valued by esteemed peers (like I have with Beyoncé and Joss Whedon). On the other hand, I heard unfair criticism; mostly from bitchy gay friends who complain Dunham doesn’t deserve whoever she’s sleeping with (meanwhile nobody cares that Larry David gets to fuck beautiful women). I defend GIRLS for honor. I refused to watch it for fear.
Once I started watching, I found I really liked the show, but precisely because the viewing discomfort I have with CYE is improved upon by the complexity of a female cast. Forgive me for being the chauvinist, but GIRLS is more pleasant as self-ritualizing satire, than CYE is as self-ritualizing farce, and I find the dichotomy impossible to ignore.
My marathon viewing of the latest season of GIRLS began as an attempt to take advantage of some intermittent HBOGo access before heading to India on a vacation that would take me through Bombay to Rajasthan—a desert region famous for its forts and palaces, and literally translates to “Land of Kings.” Either way, it was appropriate viewing.
Upon landing in India, the first thing I noticed was the curious preponderance of animals everywhere. Cows, especially. Granted, I understood they were sacred animals to the majority population of Hindus in this country, but we’re talking ginormous, complacent, peaceful, not-as-smelly-as-I-feared cows. Wild cows. Just ambling down the street, across the highway sometimes, in the middle of one of the most densely populated cities in the world, and even more of them in the thinly populated desert villages, where the cows were followed by huge herds of goats, camels, peacocks and the occasional hog.
At one point on our trek through Rajasthan, our driver asked if we’d never seen animals before because we kept giggling and gasping at the sight of them on the road. I told him, “in American they’re all kept behind fences, in cages.” It was much more dramatic than it needed to be, as I will likely only be this reactionary vegetarian for two more days and then it’s back to old-fashioned slaughterhouse detritus-based lunch meats and burger cylinders.
Forget the Hinduism, it was simply remarkable to be in a country with so many vegetarians living cheek to jowl with so many animals; exotic animals at that.
The second thing I noticed was the curious preponderance of men, everywhere. I don’t mean universal man, but dudes; especially in the countryside. I started counting one afternoon in Bikaner, as we people-watched a pageant of rush hour pedestrians, scooter- and moped-drivers, and my unblinking eyes netted around 12 men for every woman on the street. That was after half an hour of eyeballing foot traffic.
There’s a Russell Peters joke about this, too, but one does in fact see straight men holding pinkies on the street (and it is indeed kind of funny). They also sit on each others laps when there isn’t enough room at the chai stand, and embrace each other from behind when hanging out on the stoop. And yes, it’s charming, but I couldn’t escape the thought that this is the same population of men who burn women for marital delinquency.
We met a fellow Western traveler who had spent close to five months in Goa before excursing to Udaipur, and asked him, “do you know what sports are popular besides Cricket?” He joked, “setting girls on fire” and then told us about recent news of a village girl gang-raped by 14 men after her father discovered she was in love with an outsider.
I know better than to assume the absence of girls is due directly or solely to the practice of “bride burnings.” I know better than to assume these are better or worse men than in America. I know that as in the rest of the world, the men and women don’t have a normal pattern of fraternization. That’s all fine.
However, the visual absence of girls in public really started to wear me down after a while. Day 8 into the desert trek, I felt what could only be described as withdrawal—headaches, irritability, loss of appetite. I didn’t want to interact with one more fucking guy. I couldn’t stop thinking about the violence against women I’d read about; the violence I assumed every man on Earth was capable of. There were men everywhere; from the hyper-accommodating hotel owner behaving as if my slave for the 24 hours I was actually in his charge, to the obnoxious textile merchants getting up in my face for a discount I didn’t want. Men. It changed the way my food tasted.
Meanwhile, colorful, gorgeous, bejeweled women would appear like a hoax. India is home to the most awesome women’s vernacular fashion. Saris, kurtas and leggings are the most comfortable and simultaneously resplendant articles of clothing. These are bar none, the best outfits for any body. Draped sheets of vibrant cottons and chiffons (and silks on special occasion), wrapped or cascading over pants without buttons or zippers. I mean c’mon. AMAZING. So when you do see a woman in India, it is a visual oasis. Yes, I’ve effectively objectified Indian women. It makes me no better than the Mattel on Barbie. Maybe this just makes me a proponent of white feminism, whatever that is, but the visceral effect of seeing one brightly clothed woman for every twelve men in dull grey-tones, is profound.
And then I found myself starving for the presence of girls. I was excited, even, by the strangest encounters with them. The pregnant bathroom attendant at our middle-of-nowhere pit stop between Jaiselmer and Jodphur, for example. I smiled like a lunatic at her, with only the faint realization that she would be cleaning up after my shit in a minute.
Suddenly it occurs to me that I might have seen more animals than women on this trip, and I get sad as all hell. Could this be some perverse parallel universe where women are kept behind fences in cages, and the driver would giggle and gasp when presented with women walking wildly down the street, peaceful and complacent?
Would that girls were sacred in any religion, though.
I happened to have been reading Maximum City by Suketu Mehta, and presently noticed that while he mentions murder and violence on almost every page—including the murder and violence against women—I counted but four mentions of the word “rape,” and one of them entirely out of context. I was saddened by the masculine apologism, but I no longer begrudge him this self-censure. I find it difficult to use the words to victimize women, myself. But it occurs to me that this might be precisely the problem—censure, inadvertent or not. There just aren’t enough mentions, presences, iterations, of anything to do with girls.
Mehta cites a great bit of wisdom from an architect who suggests the solution to India’s water supply crisis is not to bring in more water, but to train more urban planners. It’s sort of the “I could give you a fish or a fishing pole” answer to the infrastructural crisis. This tidbit has stuck with me. I have asked myself over and over, what would the equivalent solution be to the plight of women in India (or at least just their absence)? Right now my only answer is that there needs to be a curious preponderance of girls.