Sunday, November 27, 2011

Style Icon

Improbable as this sounds, one of my style icons is Woody Allen.  The thick black frames,  the corduroy pants, the white shirts.  It evokes in me the image of intellectual sophistication.  Urbane yet accessible.  Condescending but amiable in a way that makes you feel grateful for being looked down on.

You don't think that there's a look to this but there is.  Among others:

White oxford shirts
Glen-plaid jackets
Herringbone overcoats
Black turtlenecks
Loafers
Cableknit sweaters
The aforementioned corduroy pants

All of these I love and cultivate to shore up my crushing insecurity and doubt.

If I had more confidence, maybe I could happy in lowbrow sweatpants or plain old unintellectual Henleys. I wish I could be that carefree guy-next-door who doesn't care what he wears.  So beautiful in his carelessness. I wish I could be that guy. I really do.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Defending Lady Gaga?

I don't know why I am defending Lady Gaga.

I am a fortyish man who should be waaay beyond having heated discussions about pop stars.

However, when I mentioned that I was enjoying the new single Yoü and I from her new album, my friend D said that it sounded too much like Shania Twain. Now, ever since the song Born This Way was widely criticized to sound too much like Madonna's Express Yourself, there seems to be a major backlash going on against Lady Gaga.

For the general public, I get it, we always want to tear down our idols, especially when they get too big, probably because maybe we can't give our love to someone and then have them be a happy, successful millionaire. We want them all to ourselves, poor, hungry and coke-addicted, preferably in Alexander McQueen.

However, I don't understand how gay people could be tearing down such someone who has been a trailblazer for GLBT rights. Especially one who is clearly talented. I mean, NOBODY, not even the holy Madonna has ever put in the words "no matter gay, straight or bi / lesbian, transgendered life / I'm on the right track baby / I was born to survive."

I particularly see this in gay men of a certain age (read: old middle-aged queens) who are constantly comparing Lady Gaga to Madonna. Seriously? First of all, Madonna didn't even write Express Yourself by herself. Stephen Bray probably wrote the song and Madonna hummed along and got a songwriting credit. Don't get me wrong. I LOVED Madonna. I was CRAZED about her. But even I can see that her songs are collaborations with whomever producer/songwriter she is working with.

Yes, I can also stand back and suspect that Lady Gaga is exploiting us and our culture, but to be honest, I don't see how putting her neck on the line so overtly sounds calculated. If anything, I am sure her managers are screaming at her to tone the gay down.

Madonna, who mined gay culture for years never actually put the word "gay" in her songs. She never championed for gay rights in a nationally televised HBO show explicitly, without talking between the lines. So while giving Madonna her props, I think that Lady Gaga has far exceeded Madonna here. Lady Gaga has done something nobody has ever done at this level: push GLBT rights and made it the #1 song in America.



I could write more about the music itself, Lady Gaga's originality etc. etc. but I'll be more honest and just include the e-mail I sent D. This was my response when he said Yoü and I sounded like Shania/Mutt Lange. It's rambling and somewhat pointless, but that's really me. Please also note that I typed this out in my ipod and I hate typing in that shitty thing.

Are you talking about the melody or the production? ;) I think that her singing sorta sounds country in this song but that's what's unique about the record : it is 80s rock with 2012 dance sensibility. Nobody said she was the most original songwriter (or imaginative). The chord progressions are pretty standard dance or rock progressions. So yes you can practically sing any song on top of them :) but she is very entertaining. Before this record nobody ever said that this or that song sounds like something else, but if you think about it the whole record is a throwback and sounds like a whole genre. I think that ultimately is what is new with this: it takes a whole stack of 80s records and remixes it for this generation but then adds Jesus, opera, glbt, metal influences and blends it together. If you sit back and listen to it, the whole thing makes sense. This is what I love about the record, it "recalls" something else while being about millenial themes. However nothing will save the unicorn song . It has the stupidest lyrics in the world no matter how catchy. The only person who can sing about unicorns and pull it off is rainbow brite. My favorites are government hooker and scheisse because that is what metal/grind/dance should sound like. Against this backdrop born this way and judas fit amazingly well. If you listen to the Bollywood remixes of her songs I challenge that they sound like anything else. This is because stripped of the familiar 80s production they sound pretty original. J and I were saying how we can listen to the whole record over and over and see how the whole concept goes well. It isn't perfect but the great thing about it is that she tried to do something completely different instead of doing exactly what was expected. That's ultimately what I can respect. Word to your mother. :p




Check out the Bollywood mixes of Lady Gaga's songs @ DJ Evil Twin.

UPDATE: Lady Gaga premieres the video for Yoü and I. Check it out at DJ Evil Twin.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Universal Math

From my brother's secret blog:
When you're studying Math, you're not studying "1 + 1 = 2"; any calculator can do that. When you're studying Math, you're studying "2 = 1 + 1". They are not the same thing.
Sometimes, my brother's writings are very inscrutable. Does he mean this literally, or is there a deeper meaning? What is he studying? The transposition of the equation does seem profound.

One thing that I have come to learn ever since I started stalking my brother's blog is that his inner life is very deep and complex. I suspected it, of course. He is very literate, with a deep love of storytelling, music and art. When he was a teen, he used to draw reams and reams of manga-style comics on those long yellow pads.

Like me, my brother has a network of blogs. Some are public, where he has shared their URLs with me and others. Others are hidden away in the 'netverse. I found this one, after idly clicking through some links in his profile. I think that this blog is like an easter egg--something he left behind for someone to find.

This blog is much darker than his other writings. It is like this blog is the long shadow of the other blogs, if you step into it, you fall into the rabbit hole...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Love Letter

I had been looking through my e-mail, combing through my past. I saved some of them unconsciously, as if I knew that one day I would revisit them. This one brought a smile to my face.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002 11:12 am

Hey baby,

Dinner and a movie sounds terrific. Getting to spend time with you before I leave for a week is all I want, no matter what we do!

I have to tell you that I was feeling pretty good last night after I dropped you off. I spent the whole drive thinking of how lucky I am to have you in my life, and how much I have grown to love and cherish you. I think of you not only as my boyfriend, but a very good friend as well. I love you to death. And then, when I had just turned on to Harlem, I finally got to the hidden track. I almost burst into tears. You had put "Something like you" on the CD, and that meant a lot to me that you remembered.

I had always thought that I would like to find someone who that song reminded me of, and you are the one. Sorry if i sound sappy, but I was in a weird mood last night, and you made me so incredibly happy last night. I can't thank you enough for being so good to me, and loving me, and just being you.

I look forward to many more nights of passion, of warmth, of holding you, and many more days filled with your humor, with your intelligence .... with YOU!!!

I love that there were three exclamation points here in this last line, each one fraught with meaning.

I want to remember that there was a time when love was young, it was amazing. That this shining moment can live forever, in me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What Is The Use?

An excerpt of an e-mail from my mother to my twin brother (on which I was copied), on June 4, 2001:
Dearest,

I am feeling very dizzy recently, and am in very bad mood with all the things not to my liking. I hope you and Paul will take good care of yourselves, learn to help & care for each other. Father and I were very happy to know that Paul was very supportive and generous to offer his help when you were out of job. Siblings ought to support and love each other and not to fight among themselves .

What is the use of being brothers and sisters if there is no love with one another?

My parents have planted suspicion and selfishness to us their children, that one suspects the other of double-crossing each other, of greediness with the inheritance, kicking the daughters out of the inheritance,and criticizing the daughters for not helping out with their problems, that Love is not cultivated within the family. I hope this will not be the case with you.

Also, I hope one of these days, the 3 of you will find a partner to begin your life with. My heart aches with all these unhappiness.

It is hard when you have to take care of the others, when you yourself are not in very good condition. But as the host, I want them to feel that they are welcome in our house.

Love,
Mom

I found it very interesting that my mother used the term "partner" instead of "wife" in the second to the last paragraph. I believe that in 2001, I was only gay to her through innuendos. I think that this was a signal to me even then that she knew about me and my brother, and in a way, was accepting that this was the way things were.

Even though I never outright lied to her about my sexuality since I moved to Chicago, I never said out loud "I am gay" (even now). Because I haven't said so, I feel that I can't share my life fully with her.

Isn't it strange that that my reticence is what prevents us from being completely open with each other? I used to think that she has to accept who I am before I could share everything with her, but looking back now, she was open, but I wasn't.

Maybe I was (am) still ashamed of who I am. The roots of shame are very deep and hard to untangle...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Scruff

Scruff, if you didn't know, is a gay hook-up app for the iphone.  It's pretty interesting to me because I don't know anybody who's hooked up on it. I am sure people do, but like everything online, it's all just posturing and shit like that.

Personally, I've never been successful with hooking up online, probably because people see "Asian" and immediately think "bottom," "small dick" or "prissy" which is quite puzzling to me.  Why would they think that when I lie about it in my online profile? They must have internet telepathy or something.  Anyway, I know it's because I'm Asian because I created the same exact online profile as a white dude and you wouldn't believe how many guys wanted to fuck me. Whatevs. Online, people want/need/have to rely on stereotypes because the reality is, you can't really tell what a person is like based on their online profile, no matter how long you've been texting with them. In fact, the longer you've been texting instead of meeting, the more likely the other guy's a complete troll, despite their picture.

There is actually another app just like Scruff and it is more popular, but I got banned from it because of my "suggestive" profile.  Seriously? It's a fucking hook-up app. What fantasy land were they living on? People aren't going to become friends using this app. Don't they know that gay men don't become friends unless they have sex first?

Anyway, to prove to you that it doesn't matter what's in your profile, it's your picture that counts, the following is my actual profile on Scruff. 

Username mankini

What I Do
In my head I like to think that I am a little like Paul Rudd, charming, sensitive and maybe just a little dopey.  But nope, I'm just a scumbag.

I don't have hair on my face, my chest or around my sphincter. It's not a character flaw--it's just my own brand of super power.  I have a beard though. Her name's Suzy.  She's awesome in family gatherings, but less awesome at Steamworks.

I'm the kind of guy that will turn my underwear inside out when I run out.  They are $50 each please.

I used to lie in my online profiles and feel guilty about it. But then I got laid so I got over it.

Activities and Interests
Books Beats Comics Vids 6string Apms Manga Pr0n Weights Rock Tats Roofies Coq (au vin) Alcohol

Super friendly
but only when I'm drunk. Otherwise, I'm a super friendly douche.

Been known to use drills, hammers and wrenches, you know, like an interior decorator.  Hey those Elfa closet shelves aren't gonna put themselves up.

Life's a box of chocolates, then you eat them and get fat and depressed and you eat another box. I'd rather snort coke.

Let's play. Guitar.

What I'm looking for
Friends--somebody to do jeagerbombs with after dumping the body in my rape van.

I know this sounds all snarky and maybe even brainy but that doesn't mean that I'm not shallow.  Which means I have very low standards. And herpes.

You would fuck me, right?

Friday, June 17, 2011

No Milk Please 360º

No Milk Please has been going through a lot of changes.  The site has been re-vamped with new templates.  I have been spending time tweaking the template to make it more streamlined and coherent.  I have also been trying to integrate my ancillary sites the NMP SideBar and DJ Evil Twin in here. The site is now compatible with mobile devices.

No Milk Please will be the site to contain my personal blogging and Twitter status updates.

NMP SideBar will contain news, gossip and culturevomit and my running commentary. I have been spending a lot of time on this site posting and blogging. Please check it out.

DJ Evil Twin will contain my musical tinkerings and other music-related bits.

You should be able to get a glimpse of everything that's happening with me through the main site, but feel free to jump directly to any of the other sites.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A Letter From My Sister (in Haiku)

even if i'm sick
   or Depressed--it is not a
                        choice, this Lazyness.



i tell you the truth:
i would have killed all my kids--
   myself--
               without God.



you, him, me--we four--
        we are all hard-headed and
                        so emotional.



i understand him,
                   his depression and my own.
then jesus healed me.




if you cannot stay
                          and follow-thru with your plans,
DON'T SAY ANYTHING.



he has to do it
                     all on his own now. he has
                                                             your father's blessing.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

From My Brother's Secret Blog

"Friends"
"Sigh. A woman's Friend Zone is a very cold place. You're not really friends because she holds you constantly at arm's length and she automatically shuts the door when you try to get closer. I am forever frozen out, outside of Paradise."

"The Part Of You I'm Most Familiar"
"When I look back at my life and remember the part you played in it, I will look at you and realize that the only thing I remember about you, the part of you that I am most familiar, is your cold shoulder.

Sometimes, I can't really understand why. Why I foolishly hoped that there could be more between us. Why you mattered so much to me. Why I couldn't turn away from you. Why, why, why....

So you turn your back on me again and the silence once again fill the space between us. Yeah, I'm also very familiar with your back and with watching you walk away."

Monday, June 06, 2011

Sidebar Action

Hmmmn. It seems that the NMP SideBar is getting a lot of action.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Body Building

When I was 21, I weighed a painful 108 lbs. I had a 26 inch waist. I could not buy anything off the rack unless it was in the Boys department, which I refused to do. It was just embarrassing.

You know how when you're a teenager, all you wanted was to grow up as fast as you could, so that you could live your own life? I wanted it so much, but my body fought it the whole time, resisting each inch, each pound, as if it was some burden to carried, like a humpback, club foot or a heavily jeweled tiara.

Shortly after I turned 21, I made plans to move to a Big City. I didn't know where, but I didn't care. Any Big City with a vibrant scene will do: Chicago. New York. Cincinnati. I didn't care. Get me out of the sticks. I wanted to hear music. I wanted to see the bright lights. I wanted to use a glory hole.

I wanted to get laid, but I found out that my appeal only went to a subset of the gay population that saw M. Butterfly and subsequently fetishized Asians to be some docile, delicate, dramatic diva. Notice the alliteration.

In the Big City I started working out, lifting weights. I ate a lot of eggs, chicken breasts, nuts. Taken pills, supplements and other fart-inducing protein powders. On the outside, my body had gained forty pounds of muscle. But in my head, I didn't gain a ounce. Like a funhouse mirror, the reflection of me was that of a beanpole.

But my wrists are still relic; as if the rest of my body grew up, but my wrists are still that of that an awkward teen. I buy chunky, metallic watches to counter the flimsiness of my wrists. Even now as I type this, my wrists mock me.

Sometimes, in brief flashes of the mirror, I will see the image of myself that others see. But in a blink, that image is gone.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I Understand If You Don't

When I read your latest post, I thought about calling mom. Do you even know that I read your blog?

It sounded desperate: Sometimes I really don't know if I can hold on much longer. I’m tired and I just want to die. Then, you wrote that you were willing yourself to hold just a little longer, just until you are too tired to stay awake.

You’ve been going through depression for such a long time and I don’t know if you’ve just given up on the meds or given up on life and the possibility that it won’t get any better than it is now for you.

I know what it was like, when death seemed preferable than going on. For me, the choice was to have the strength to leave everything and go somewhere and start over, to be the "real me."

I don’t know if running away from home like I did would help you. I don’t think so.

Maybe you don’t need to run away from home. But maybe talking with other people who are going through the same thing would help. I don’t know. Maybe you need different meds.

For a few days, I was afraid that I would get a frantic call from J in the middle of the night. I left my cellphone on instead of turning it off like I usually do. When I saw your facebook status--just a cellphone pic of a half-eaten hamburger--I was relieved. I know it doesn’t mean a thing, but maybe you found a way to hold on just for another week, just another month.

Please hold on. But I understand if you don't.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Downlow

This time it will be for me. This time, only you who are still here will know.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dusty

Dusting off this thing.

Been poking around the site and checking out what I had written before. It's a bit strange looking at these posts, these memories.

I updated the template, customized it a bit. I had a lot of great ideas for the blog which I still may yet do. Maybe. I don't know if I have the time to devote to it this time. I know this about myself: my projects start with a small burst of energy which sometimes will snowball into something big. I don't know if this small burst is that. I guess you'll have to see...