gloom sweet gloom Seattle and The Wong Sans Wheels Chronicles #7
December 11th, 2008 → Leave a comment
I’m in Seattle in a cute little coffee house in the I District. The weather is like the worst of San Francisco all day long. But seeing a real winter with falling leaves has it’s charm. I only know winters in LA because the City puts up holiday decorations on Wilshire and there is a temporary ice skating rink in Santa Monica.
I got in yesterday and I’ve been staying with my composer friend Byron who helped me find a tv set so we could watch a “Double Shot at Love” with the Ikki twins.
It was feminist research.
After two seasons of Tila Tequila, just when you didn’t think it couldn’t get worse, the folks at MTV looked under the bottom of the barrel and found two obscure import models who are both “bisexual.” They are quite homely looking and uninteresting. But they are much more convincing at being bisexual than Tila Tequila was.
We ended up watching the show at my friend Howard’s boyfriend’s place. It was so funny to watch the show with three gay men. They really got into it and were commenting on the selection of straight men as if they were the Ikki twins.
There’s much more critical theory I can go into about reality dating tv shows. But I won’t.
I randomly got a comment today on an old and really personal blog entry I made over two years ago, back when I was in a relationship (that was actually disintegrating partly because my career “blowing up”– at least that’s what I’d like to think had happened…. ). That was a weird blog entry to reread. I can’t believe I put it out there. Oh well. So it goes.
And now two years later, I still find myself in somewhat of the same boat. Still traveling the country, alone, coming home to the cat. Except, I’m married to myself. Which (somehow) helped ease the feelings of being crazy when I’m on the road alone. It was a hard life to get used to but time has made me slightly more resigned to this roaming the country with my art as being a way of life.
Just ten years ago I hated being alone. I didn’t know what to do myself if dropped off in a new place to explore. And now, it’s a marvelous way of living. I guess.
I am weary of traveling alone as a single Asian woman in other parts of the world. Safety is a huge concern. As is feeling marked by my body. I went to Europe in college and the incessant screams of “Konichiwa!” in the street were enough to make me punch someone’s lights out.
I’d like to pow-wow with other single women artists of color my age who make a living doing creative work and have to travel so much to make a living. Are we the revolutionaries of our generation? Or the new spinsters?
Speaking of unmarried spinsterism, I am actually hanging out with my friend Wes Kim tonight and spinning yarn with his wife after dinner on her spinning wheel. It’s all I’ve been looking forward to about coming to Seattle all year.
The Wong Sans Wheels Chronicles #7
I also realize I have not blogged about being carless in a while. So here is the update.
The good. The bus means I’ve actually been reading the newspaper instead of letting them pile up in the house still bound. And I’ve been reading books! My mind has been wandering back to a more creative space now that I don’t have to stare at the ass of a car in traffic for hours on end. I also have a lot more money at the end of each month which I blow on booze.
There are some downers about it. Like, I was offered a free month of acting classes, except they were in Burbank which is a pain to get to, especially at night– do I rent a car just to go to that class? Or do I just pay for classes that are in my area for the equivalent amount? There are also tight time frames that I can’t do. I used to have this ritual on Sunday of going to the Farmer’s Market, getting a tamale, and then going to church, and maybe after going for Ethiopian food after. But I can only choose one of the three. It’s also trickier to do a lot of errands, even if they are along the bus route home. Like I can’t just jump off the bus, do the errand, and get back on like it’s the subway in NY. I’d have to buy a day pass and be prepared to wait and wait and wait at the stop and only do errands where I won’t have to pick up things that are super heavy.
The quirks. The poop pee vomit smell on some of the buses is no fun, nor is the more eclectic company of homeless people I wait at the stops with. Though it is interesting to see how long some of them can sustain conversations with themselves.
I’ve been researching backpacks with wheels to make things easier on my back when I have things like a laptop and stuff to lug around. This is admittedly a baby step towards becoming a total bag lady. Though I think I’ve already gotten there in the shopping cart that I keep padlocked to my balcony.
Byron is also turning me on to getting an electric bike. That way I can get up hills and do long distances easier without having to get a special license or scooter insurance. The issue is… electric bikes are around $1400! Bleh.
I still haven’t quite figured out the safest way out of downtown at night. The other night I went to visit my manager in Downtown LA and even though it was only 8pm when I left, it was kinda sheisty out. I insisted on waiting for the 720 which is a half block from his office, but when these homeless people started screaming at each other, he walked me to Pershing Square to get home, so that I wouldn’t be waiting at the 720 stop like a big target. He’s actually quite supportive of me going carless and excited about this new show I’m (supposed to be) working on about LA carlessness because he’s from NY. I thought when my car caught on fire that he’d be like, “You need to get a car! How are you going to take meetings in this town without a car?” But he seems to sympathize with my car trauma. Though he does say I’m being “really hardcore” to go so long without a car.
I still have car owner phobia. It’s a good time now to buy a new car because nobody is buying cars plus car dealers are desperately trying to meet end of year quotas. But I’d so much rather put that money into a house or my friend’s restaurant. And even the idea of having to buy new tires or get an oil change sends shivers of post-traumatic Harold stress down my back.
I have dreams about owning cars. At least twice I’ve had dreams about owning a smart car (those little two seaters). Harold (my old veg oil car) has shown up in a couple dreams too. I also had a dream that my grandpa was driving me around because I had no car.
I met someone the other day who owns a vegetable oil car. She said her car was doing fine. I felt so alone in my veggie-car-on-fire sadness. How come I seem to be the only one whose car caught on fire after thousands of dollars in repairs? Why me?! Why?!
I think this new carless show will be a love story/ story about an abusive relationship. The automobile that betrayed me. The ones that call me back to own them. And how I fight his beckon call to instead, travel about the world on my own two feet (and bus pass). Smelling like someone else’s vomit.