Blog Archive

Grouponaholic kicking the habit

September 26th, 2011

Last weekend, someone told me they were reading my blog and I was like, “You read my blog?! I better update it!” Because all three of you have been checking my blog for updates that you can’t find on my FB Fan page or twitter… I am giving you an update here on my neglected longform blog.

I’ve been back home for nine days.  Still jetlagged and/or perpetually tired and sitting under of an avalanche of work. But I feel happier than ever and more content with my solitude than I ever imagined was possible.  Travel is so great!  I was up last night looking at a map trying to figure out where to go next.

Now I’m occupied with writing commentaries for some fancy websites and Marketplace Radio!

Marketplace aired my story I recorded before I left the day I came back.  It’s about being a Groupon Hussy!  After coming back from Southeast Asia, Groupons seem silly as all of Southeast Asia is like the dollar store gone wild.

Enjoy my radio commentary here! Will post more updates soon I hope!

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I met the person I want to see the world with and her name is me.

August 29th, 2011

Greetings from Hoi An, Vietnam!  I am over three weeks into my trip and just a few days ago finally got into the groove of being a tour bus of one!  With the exception of a few mis-steps, this really has been the trip of a lifetime.  I’m literally walking through poetry.

Most of my updates for this trip have been made via Facebook.  If you aren’t lucky enough to be one of my 3 billion fb friends, here is your stalker friendly update broken into convenient lists of ten (though there is no particular order of importance).  I’ll add photos when I get back to the states.

Most Wonderful Moments of this Trip so Far:

1.  The first 20 minutes in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  My friend Anida is there on a fellowship (her invite for me to visit, triggered this whole trip). She  sent a tuk tuk driver for me at the airport.  Cambodia is jawdropping!  Five people on a scooter!  Oxen in the street!  Death wish driving!  It’s the third world straight up!  When I got to Anida’s place, the whole family, including her new baby were there to greet me.  It was joyous.

2.  The Gay Sex show in Bangkok.  That whole rumor about Asian men and small dicks?  So not true!   I have proof!

3.  Riding a bike alone last night in Hoi An, Vietnam and being so captivated by the silk laterns, the quiet, the old buildings, smell of food grilling, and hell notes burning for the dead.  I was in total bliss and peace.  If I could, I would have made out with myself right there.

4.  The Reclining Buddha in Bangkok.  There is a huge manmade two story high, block long Buddha that’s reclining (duh) and the visit is punctuated by the sounds of coin offerings being made!  It’s found music and visual spectacle at once.

5.  The $7 boat tour in Nha Trang, Vietnam by the “Number 4 Boat Tour Company”.  For $7 we got to tour several nearby islands, but more impressive was the crew of the boat!  They fed us this awesome seafood buffet, had a floating bar, played drinking games with us, took us snorkeling, and sang for us.  It was joy.

6.  The Fairy Springs at Mui Ne Beach.  It looks like a mud puddle from photos but it’s actually an ankle high stream of warm running water.  You walk it to the source for 1km (by the way, I am learning the metric system).  It’s like a meditation and at the end is a waterfall (and a Vietnamese boy soliciting you for money)

7. Six hours of massages, facials, sauna, salt baths, scrubs, fish eating dead skin off your feet, buffet and other non-stop pampering at the Regency Hotel spa in Saigon, Vietnam.  Total price?  $34.

8.  Taking Third World Glamour shots in Phnom Penh for $30.  I will have to post these super photoshopped gems  for you see the full kitsch that is the Khmer glamour shot so you can really appreciate this.

9.  The Jungle Temple at Angkor Wat.  Google this, it’s even more amazing in person.

10.  Riding on the back of scooters.  Sometimes with friends or moto drivers.  Sometimes with or without helmets.  Everywhere in Southeast Asia.  It’s a rush and it reminds me: Yep, I’m really here.

What I am learning about myself from this trip.

1.  I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life, but deciding to see the rest of the world has made up for all of them.

2. I am glad I’ve cut the dead weight in my life so I could be here now. This dead weight has come in the form of old partners,  bad friends, procrastination and my own negative beliefs.  All that was getting in the way of the dream.

3.  There is a whole wonderful world out there outside of Asian American depression, cats, and being carless in LA (the topics of my last three shows) waiting to be discovered.

4.  Traveling alone is awesome.  As a woman alone, it can be done and done well.  Screw everyone who says traveling solo is lonely.  You get over it once you realize how much fun it is to love yourself and wander wherever you want.

5.  Old friends in faraway places are gifts waiting to be realized.

6. I am so glad to not be married with kids.

7.  I’m falling in love with myself again after three years of self marriage.  The last two years had been getting sour but now we are back on track to hot loving!

8.  I’m totally a first world citizen.  And while grappling with this power which comes at the expense of other people  is often confusing, I am glad to have privilege than not.

9. I want/must  learn how to best use my privilege.

10.  I want to do this “seeing the world” thing every year.  Every chance I get.

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Category: Blog

Eat, Pray, Dryhump: Southeast Asia Visionquest 2011

August 2nd, 2011

I can’t believe it.  After months of saving, scrimping and half-assedly planning, I’m going to backpack through Southeast Asia for seven weeks.  I fly out tomorrow.  I’m going to live out of two carry-on bags for 44 days!

I have about $2000 to do this trip!  Apparently this should be enough to have me living like a queen.  The first place I stay in Thailand is only $18/night.  And it’s $6/hour for a Thai massage.  Which just has me asking… WHY THE HECK DID I SPEND SO MANY SUMMERS SULKING IN LOS ANGELES?!

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get a trip like this together.  This is the kind of thing I should have done out of college but was too clueless and too chicken to do something like this alone.

Knowing there’s a whole world out there outside of art and my own neuroses has reinvigorated me with hope.  I want to do this every year!  And I haven’t even gotten on the plane yet.

Here are some things I’ve done to prep for my trip.

1.  Gotten over $300 of vaccinations (I declined the vaccination for Japanese Encephalitis.  At $600, I figured I could chance it.)

2.  Printed out a piece of paper which describes in Thai and Vietnamese how I don’t eat meat and will have “severe allergic complications” if they serve me meat (I won’t, but apparently this is the only way to have restaurants there take vegetarians seriously).  There is a cartoon of animals with big “X’s” through them for me to show to the Cambodian and Lao people.

3. Watched Eat, Pray, Love (In a peculiar way, I identify with the 40 something year old white divorcee dating James Franco, having an existential crisis… except it’s not clear to me how she was able afford taking off for a year)

4.  Sprayed down all my clothes with Permethrin (mosquito repellent).  I will not be eaten alive again!

5.  Watched “No Reservations” and “Bizarre Foods” to get my palate ready for Asia.

COUSIN OF THE MOTHERLAND!  HERE I COME!!!

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A San Francisco Homecoming

July 15th, 2011

I’m here in San Francisco where Going Green the Wong Way opened last night.  July is a weird time to do a show in any city, so a one weekend run is even more tricky to rope in an audience.  Because CAT LADY also plays in San Francisco in November at ODC Theater, we agreed with ODC that we’d to do a “low key” marketing plan for the show this weekend to not detract audience from coming to November’s show (this is a common agreement in live theater that performers not do other shows within a certain timeframe of a show date).

But “low key” marketing doesn’t pack theater so I find myself making up for lack of major press by posting on the Facebook walls of everyone I know who lives in San Francisco to come to the show.  Most of them from high school.  It’s trippy to see profile picture after profile picture of babies and toddlers as I rapidly cut and paste a hello and link to the ticket page.

I feel slightly disingenuous as I cut and paste on the walls of people who I barely talked to in high school who through the friendship hoarding of Facebook am now allowed to spam.

But it worked, because last night was packed!

Last night was crazy!  I missed my high school reunion and it was like this whole life reunion came in on me.  Friends from middle school, high school, college and adult life all came out. I had drinks with folks I did theater with in high school.  It was like nothing changed.  I think the 30s is a good time to see people because I don’t have anything to prove anymore.

Press from the SF BAY GUARDIAN!

In other news, I’m loving the life of being a national radio commentator. My story on Carmageddon aired on Marketplace two days earlier than scheduled and it’s archived online here.  I am at 17:07 of the broadcast.

It’s great!  People from other parts of the country all wrote or called that they heard me!  I haven’t had that experience in a while since my work of late is so analog.

This is such a fun way to come home.  A lot of work though.

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Category: Blog

Going Back to the well.

June 28th, 2011

As if I didn’t shake my audience/ friend base down for enough money ($7500+) last year to put up CAT LADY, I am now doing another online fundraiser for another show which touches down in San Francisco in two weeks!  Unlike other shows which are usually presented by theater companies, universities, or museums, this one will rely on ticket sales!  Yeowks!

However, I have an offer from a big ticket donor who challenged me to raise $1500 from individual donors.  If I can do that, she’ll make a 2-to-1 match!  Giving me a $4500 budget to put up the show!  Woo hoo!  So far I’ve made over half my goal.

Even if you can’t give, at least watch the video which stars the chickens!

To get this fundraiser going, I’m giving a handsewn doll to all $50 contributions made in these last few days of June!

Other than the non-stop work, I’m enjoying the eggs the chickens are laying.  The last few days they’ve been laying deformed shell-less eggs.  :(

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