Monthly Archives: September 2004

drove for miles and miles

two months later
and she’s a floor above
but it’s the same density
and unchanged hues:
cluttered, pink.

the sheets are striped
red green yellow on white.
christmas lights all around
but it’s falling on the right.

i can’t help notice the dressers
and the drawers that don’t close.
everything is overflowing
and the desk space nonexistent.

i take a mental picture
but i’m already used to it.
it’s almost to the point
where i’m fond of the mess.

we play catch
but with looks and silences
most of them awkward
so i switch to gossip.

but you can only back-talk
somebody for so long,
so it’s back to zero decibel
but i’m still having fun.

oh and did you know?
finally a mayer song worthy
of those ears so picky,
and boy, am i glowing.

a handshake and a long look
probably all on my own face
but there’s something there,
i hope i’m not a fool.

remembering stolen moments

after a long, somewhat busy sunday, albert and i went to morton williams to pick up some veggies and other accessories for the burgers being cooked back in my EC flat by grace. we got onions, tomatoes, 2% kraft singles american white cheese, and romaine (none of that iceberg crap) lettuce. back in EC, we triple-teamed the burger effort in the kitchen, splitting the veggie preparation and meat cooking duties. the meat in action were of the omaha steaks variety, part of the multi-meat package i had received last week via special internet order. we made six burgers for four people. our fourth dinner member, christina, joined us just as we finished putting the freshly chopped veggies, sauteed onions, and hot meat with covered cheese on the table as a sort of a burger “bar” setup. the last two burgers we made had extra flavor as we added a dash of heineken to the cooking process. taking one last glance before creating my own burger, i remembered that i had a box of bacon (100 slices, also part of the omaha collection) in the freezer. thanks to its precooked composition, i was able to prepare the bacon in less than 3 minutes via microwave. albert and i then proceeded to “upgrade” our burgers with this extraordinary burger accessory.

while watching What Women Want (starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt) on TBS and eating our burgers on the floor of grace’s room – highlighted by the green and light green striped carpet from crate & barrel, a “centerpiece” of sorts – i caught a quick flash of awareness and noticed what a blissful moment this was. delicious burger in mouth, beer on hand ready to wash it down, decently entertaining movie on television, and three superbly pleasant friends in the same room. jeff, coming back from the gym, joined us on the floor as well, and i was once again reminded of the “good” things in life. we joked some, laughed some, and finished the burgers. it was too bad that reality had to invade so soon and take everyone back to their world of responsibilities and deadlines.

being the egomaniacal person that i am, i’ve decided to end this entry by referencing something i wrote a while back – a little more than a year ago on my now defunct pk@columbia series:

“I wish I can stop taking myself so seriously. When you get to thinking that everything you do is so important, that’s when you’re just asking for extra stress and unwanted problems. Forget the pressure, forget the big dreams, and lose the feeling of self-assigned importance. Learn to enjoy the nice weather and be happy to see your friends. Gosh, I sound like a fortune cookie. I’ll have myself another Choco-pie now.”

oh no you didn’t

so i was reading what is history by british historian edward carr and i came across a passage in which he talked about passing moral judgment on individual characters in history and how it was a fruitless exercise because such judgments bear little on historical events. because he is british, carr cites examples such as the “bad” King John and King Henry V, which didn’t interest me as much. but then he talked about how it was tough to avoid passing moral judgments on stalin and hitler because the actions they were associated with were relatively contemporary (carr writes in the 1960s) and the effects of their “evil” acts were still felt by living people.

this got me thinking as to how i, a korean dude living in america over sixty years after hitler’s rise, would write about the much-hated historical figure known as hitler. for all i know, my opinion of him is a product of the endless material (i almost used “propaganda” but that will get me hanged) that portray him as a demagogue with the evilest of intentions – i.e. the annhiliation of the jews. but then a part of me realizes that he was a big-time nationalist, “a product of his time” in that the germans were going through a rough period and was in want of a strong leader, and that he was, to a degree, allowed and supported by the people to do a lot of the things he envisioned (of course, there is also the argument that he manipulated the germans so well, but you can seriously only give oratory skills so much credit). but of course, i am not so stupid as to write anything about hitler without saying something negative about him or else i will be called a nazi apologist and an anti-semitic jew-hater. but what would carr say if he observed me writing a well-researched paper tracing hitler’s life, perhaps, against the backdrop of the various movements in his day, and prioritizing the “causes” of what led to the Holocaust, WWII, etc.? and in the course of my written work, i was able to avoid saying anything morally judgmental, but just wrote about the figure of hitler as an active individual unit in the course of an entire social movement (duh, i am sure this has been done many times over and over again, but just play along please)? i mean, com’on – anti-semitism, as TS Eliot most definitely proves, was an “intellectual” movement at one point.

but to backtrack on my jumbled argument above (if there even is one), i want to know if the people who are so anti-hitler today are such a way because they feel the pain still or because of a very effective campaign on the part of historical moralists to make sure that every child learning anything about history knows that hitler is evil. probably a bit of both, and i do wonder what the sentiment will be like another fifty or so years from now. will people relate less to the evil and think it as an afterthought? and how about them armenians? the turks still say they didn’t do nuttin’, but armenians claim that people died by holocaust proportions. how come turkey isn’t as evil? (okay, i must admit, 99% of my knowledge about armenians come from atom egoyan’s movie ararat)

hmm.. for my own safety, i should take the time now to point out that i have great jewish friends, and i do not endorse the actions of hitler or anything associated with the nazi party. perhaps carr should’ve mentioned that writing history is also a very political exercise.