Top of the pops.

For my own curiosity's sake, really:

Most listened to tracks by week, 2008
12/31 - 1/6 - Profit Money & D-Why, "Country Roads Remix"
1/7 - 1/13 - Alizée, "Moi... Lolita"
1/14 - 1/20 - Pulp, "Like a Friend"
1/21 - 1/27 - Serge Gainsbourg, "69 Année Érotique"
1/28 - 2/3 - Serge Gainsbourg, "69 Année Érotique"/The Knife, "We Share Our Mothers' Health"/Roxy Music, "Virginia Plain"
2/4 - 2/10 - Girls Aloud, "Call the Shots"/楊千嬅, <<陌路>>
2/11 - 2/17 - Modern Lovers, "Modern World"/Modern Lovers, "Someone I Care About"/Ariane Moffatt, "Petit Animal"
2/18 - 2/24 - Jeanette, "Porque Te Vas"
2/25 - 3/2 - Ariane Moffatt, "Petit Animal"
3/3 - 3/9 - Lio, "Le Banana Split"
3/10 - 3/16 - Koxie, "Garçon"
3/17 - 3/23 - Duffy, "Mercy"
3/24 - 3/30 - 楊千嬅, <<化>>
3/31 - 4/6 - 官恩娜, <<地平線>>
4/7 - 4/13 - Najoua Belyzel, "Gabriel"
4/14 - 4/20 - Najoua Belyzel, "Gabriel"
4/21 - 4/27 - Najoua Belyzel, "Gabriel"
4/28 - 5/4: Crystal Castles, "Magic Spells"/Crystal Castles, "Alice Practice"/Crystal Castles vs. Health, "Crimewave"/Kate Nash, "Pumpkin Soup"
5/5 - 5/11: Najoua Belyzel, "Gabriel"
5/12 - 5/18: Omnikrom, "Danse la poutine (avec TTC)"
5/19 - 5/25: Omnikrom, "Danse la poutine (avec TTC)"/Omnikrom, "Été Hit"
5/26 - 6/1: Jacques Dutronc, "J'aime les filles"
6/2 - 6/8: Omnikrom, "Été Hit"
6/9 - 6/15: Kinderkoor Prettig Weekend, "Hup Holland Hup"
6/16 - 6/22: Omnikrom, "Danse le poutine (avec TTC)/Omnikrom, "Été Hit"/King Geedorah, "Fazers"
6/23 - 6/29: Ariane Moffatt, "Réverbère"/Ariane Moffatt, "En l'air (intermède)"
6/30 - 7/6:

Most listened to artists by week, 2008
12/31 - 1/6: The Knife
1/7 - 1/13: Galaxie 500
1/14 - 1/20: XTC
1/21 - 1/27: The Knife
1/28 - 2/3: The Knife
2/4 - 2/10: Mirah
2/11 - 2/17: The Knife
2/18 - 2/24: Quasi
2/25 - 3/2: Manic Street Preachers
3/3 - 3/9: Girls Aloud
3/10 - 3/16: El Perro del Mar
3/17 - 3/23: Girls Aloud
3/24 - 3/30: 楊千嬅
3/31 - 4/6: 楊千嬅
4/7 - 4/13: Cansei de ser Sexy
4/14 - 4/20: Camille
4/21 - 4/27: Manic Street Preachers
4/28 - 5/4: Yo La Tengo
5/5 - 5/11: 周杰倫
5/12 - 5/18: Omnikrom
5/19 - 5/25: Omnikrom
5/26 - 6/1: Wire
6/2 - 6/8: Ariane Moffatt
6/9 - 6/15: The Knife
6/16 - 6/22: The Knife
6/23 - 6/29: Ariane Moffatt

From these lists we can tell that I am still obsessed with The Knife (who have a chance of becoming one of my three most listened to artists over the past two years), love a ton of shit that is not in English and prefer that my pop songs are sung by females.

I'm pretty sure that the song that'll top my charts this week is Duffy's Mercy. It's not even that great but God, I can't resist its charm.
  • Current Music
    El Perro del Mar, "Party"

Les glorieux

Le Journal de Montréal, 2 March 2008

First place in the conference at this juncture of the season in fifteen years! Oh Habbies, how I love you so. I can't believe that at this time tomorrow, I'll have seen them play the Sharks in San Jose. Go Habs Go.

No lines to read in between.

Don't bother saying you're sorry
Why don't you come in?
Smoke all my cigarettes again...
Every time I get no further
How long has it been?
Come on in now
Wipe your feet on my dreams

You take up my time
Like some cheap magazine
When I could've been learning something
Oh well, you know what I mean

I've done this before and I will do it again
Come on and kill me, baby, while you smile like a friend
And I'll come running... just to do it again

You are the last drink I never should've drunk
You are the body hidden in the trunk
You are the habit I can't seem to kick
You are my secrets on the front page every week
You are the car I never should've bought
You are the train I never should've caught
You are the cut that makes me hide my face
You are the party that makes me feel my age
You're like a car crash I can see but I just can't avoid
Like a plane I've been told I never should board
Like a film that's so bad but I've got to stay till the end

Let me tell you now it's lucky for you that we're friends...

June fourth.

Today is eighteen years since 6/4 (Tiananmen Square protests of 1989) and I think the saddest thing is that, yes, while the PRC government and the People's Liberation Army acted in a completed horrifiying and cowardly manner, I am not so confident that other governments around the world would not act in a similar manner if faced with a similar situation.

The smartest thing the PRC did was doing nothing when the handover of Hong Kong was completed. There was initial talk and fear of mass arrests of individuals, of PLA troops on every corner. If only something had happened once again, perhaps we would be free now instead of fighting for some diluted form of universal suffrage and democracy.

Quintessentially American.

This is life before everything changes in a couple of days.

Lying down with my head at the foot of the bed and staring at the three holes punctured into the ceiling, back when I had lanterns and not a bedside table lamp. I lie there with my hands behind my head and my elbows pointing off in two separate directions while music that could unfortunately be described as "loungy" by some plays in the background. It's there, but it's not dominating the room. I don't feel the need to really pay attention, to sing along, not that I could if I was asked to.

This is life spent in silence, except to occasionally talk to myself and non-ironically refer to myself as "dude". Life spent in silence, in diametrical opposition to the life spent talking (in my head and to others) that will take place this week, that has always taken place because I am paid to talk, to communicate, to placate, to put a nice spin on things when they go bad, to prod, to nudge, to motivate without hurting feelings or being discouraging. I've gotten good at talking, but bad at saying anything. I talked to Emily's sister's boyfriend the other night and thought to myself that I sounded too much like I do at work, too "on" and not really myself, like when I'm talking to people who are in social classes that I can never imagine being part of. I sat and paired an award winning novel from the turn of the century with bastardised immigrant food while listening to the non-stop conversation from the couple next to me and wondered if I can manage to say anything, to hold a true conversation anymore.

My day off, my only truly guaranteed day off until God knows when and I spent it making something I saw on a television show hosted by a much maligned celebrity chef. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Has life been reduced to marinating chicken drumettes with teriyaki sauce and crushed pineapples? Until today, I had no idea that pineapples came in so many packaging options, all guaranteed to be one hundred percent Hawaiian as if my purchase of pineapples would be guided by patriotic principle.

My fingernails smell like fake flowery fabric softener and the bath tub smells like plastic. The light that the aforementioned bedside lamp gives off is too bright for my tastes, too bright for someone of my disposition.

This will be life after everything changes in a couple of days, too.
  • Current Music
    Emilie Simon, "Chanson de Toile"
sunderland réalistes.

Someday I'll learn I don't need your fuel to burn

House wine and staring out windows

So I find myself here on a Wednesday with a day off, sitting and staring into the alley through the windows of a small, homely sandwich place. I was going to have a Stella or even skip alcohol since I am waiting for happy hour to start at Dan & Louis' Oyster Bar two doors down, but I'm working on a five dollar glass of the house wine here.

This morning on the bus downtown to meet up with Tim & Brian to watch the Portugal/France match (Allez France!) on the big screen in Pioneer Courthouse Square, I basically wrote everything I wanted to say in my head and ended up thinking about what exactly it would take for someone to invent a device that would read my thoughts and post them onto a computer. Since the chances of that technology being readily available & affordable are slim, we'll have resort to attempting to duplicate what I thought about while listening to Yo La Tengo as the bus worked its way west on Division.

On Thursday, I believe, I received a txt message from Abra informing me that Brian finally told his ex-girlfriend, Emily (Donaldson-Fletcher), that he was dating one of our other roommates, Gillian. I was sort of shocked and wondered how that transpired. When Abra, Jolina and Abra's friend all went out on Friday, Jolina and I talked at length about that situation and what Emily must be dealing with right now. I have always felt this kinship with Emily (or Duffie, as I like to call her) because I have this notion that her and I were in the same role in terms of our respective relationships. In fact, during the few times we hung out on our own, she always seemed to talk about her situation with Brian while I would talk about Malia. Anyway, in talking with Jolina and trying to explain how Duffie must be feeling, I talked about my situation with Malia and what similarities and differences it must have with her situation with Brian. I keep feeling like I have been pretty good in terms of getting over Malia, but talking and thinking about it seems to be the opposite of what the doctor ordered. Now I find myself slipping into this mode where small things like looking at a map of Seattle or listening to a Doves song makes me think of her, which in turn makes me feel like I've been punched in the stomach.

I think why this whole Malia situation is tough for me is because I am in this sort of purgatory. On one hand, I can't forget her and doubt that I ever would want to. I am the type of person who likes to remember all his experiences and try to learn and grow from them, which is always easier said than done. On the other hand, I also have no desire to see her, email her, text her or to get her back. It's this second ending of the relationship, if you will, that I am really struggling with. Her dumping me to go back to Jeff? I'm fine with that. Like I told her at the time, I fully understood because I had done the same thing to Natasha to go back to Emily many years ago. I wanted her to be happy or at least have this illusion of being happy. However, when things started getting weird in the time period from October to February, that's when it really got bad for me. I can't fathom why she would say all these things that she said to me, when she directly told me that she understood that I was someone with strong feelings. To this day, I am still so furious with her for acting the way she acted, even though I understand how awkward it must have been for her. I also know that part of my problem is that unlike Duffie, I never actually let Malia know how I truly felt. I took the high road and I'm glad I did, but sometimes I wish I could let her know how much she hurt me. I think what scares me is that if this situation in which I gave my best, was understanding and accomodating with someone that I clicked so well with (and when things were good, we really liked each other so much, even though in a way, I feel like we were an odd couple), what hope to I have with someone else? If my best has led to failure, then the rest will also end in failure, right?

While watching the fireworks on the bluffs by Oaks Bottom last night, I stared off into the West Hills and for a moment or two, it reminded me of the way I failed to understand the geography of Seattle. Everytime I enter Seattle while driving north on I-5, I just have this lack of understanding of what's to the west of the industrial area and train yards. West Seattle? How can there be a West Seattle when the city is sitting right on the Sound? Seattle has always felt mysterious to me and even the proudest Portlander would probably admit that Seattle is more beautiful than Portland. Looking at the West Hills, I felt lost, too. Looking at an area that I didn't understand and one that looked similar to various parts of Seattle. In a way, I seek solace in trying to trick myself that I'm lost in a city that I know so well. I know I do it because it's some form of escapism, that I can maybe pretend that I don't know this town, don't know the people here and that maybe I can be someone different and just be anonymous (even though my lack of a social life certainly renders me anonymous, anyway). I think back to that day that I drove to Seattle and it is the loneliest feeling, the loneliest day that I have experienced in years. I wandered up and down Broadway waiting for a call that only came as I was driving through Centralia. I tried to distract myself with window shopping, with a visit to our store in Seattle (where the kindness of my Seattle co-workers, along with all the hours spent on the phone with Emily, Jolina, Eric and Annie, probably saved me from feeling like I hit rock bottom), with beers at a bar, with record shopping, but in the end it still felt so incredibly lonely. I abhor that day, but a part of me yearns for that loneliness again. I was foolish and stupid to go up there that day, but I'm glad I did it and I'm glad this whole thing finally was ended. Because of that day, I feel like Seattle remains off limits to me. I some times think about going up for the day to see the Mariners or just to get out of town, but I know that for the near future, Seattle will always hold memories of Malia for me and because of that, it makes it rather difficult for me to go there. I know that when I am there, the whole time will be spent in a funk because I will just be thinking of her and how things ended.

I look back on all of this and I really want to be at a point where I can truly appreciate all the good times we had. I think that because of those good times we had, it will always be difficult to truly despise her. I can despise what she did (or didn't do), but I don't think I can ever hate the person behind those actions. She & I had some great times together and she showed me affection like no one else has for years and for that I feel like I can't have a grudge with her.

Yes, this is one of those cloudy Portland days that make me think of disappearing, of getting lost in this city. The sun, the stupid sun has finally disappeared for a few days and we're left with this grey backdrop to all of our actions, thoughts and desires. I like that it is a little on the chilly side and I'm actually grateful for it. I'm grateful to nature for deciding to match my mood. While I am in no way in a bad mood, I do find myself on the pensive side this afternoon. This is, in effect, a perfect day to listen to Yo La Tengo and Galaxie 500.

Besides all this internal struggle with the Malia situation, I find myself getting rather frustrated with events at my place of employment. I remain confident that things will work themselves out, but am growing impatient at the fact that my promotion is still not official and that I have yet to properly negotiate my wages. Besides all that it seems increasingly doubtful that I will take a vacation in August since the timetable for the opening of the new store basically falls within my vacation days and the fact that one of my co-workers is going to quit in August and that my boss just had a kid and won't be back anytime soon. I just can't see myself being able to leave since we'd be so incredibly shorthanded. Then again, all this is super boring if you don't work with me. I must say though, that this is all rather exciting if you are indeed employed by Mario's.

It's funny because years ago, I would spend my days at the Half and Half with no job and no school. I would sporadically look for jobs but would instead just wonder about what the hell I would be doing to make money. Most jobs scared the shit out of me, that I was too good for them, that it'd be like my first job where I telemarketed to people living in the less glamourous parts of Washington, such as Kennewick or Wenatchee. Now that it's two years later, I find myself with a secure job, on the verge of a promotion despite only investing a little over a year into my job. I snuck in through the back door and now I'm here and no longer have to worry about work. I bring this up because I can only hope that this is how my love life is going to end up, that it'll randomly fall into my lap and before I know it, I'll feel like while it's been hard work, it'll also feel like it's easy and everything will work out fine, just like my job. I can only take solace in the fact that Portland seems to be teeming with attractive young women and even though I have no idea how to meet them or talk to them, at least they are attractive.

Vive la France! Allez France!


(This is probably the worst thing I've written about Tiananmen in all these years. All apologies to those who gave up their lives. You deserve much better from myself.)

In midst of all my personal battles that I am losing at every turn, in the back of my mind is that in a few short hours here in the Pacific standard time zone, it will be June 4th, yet again. I make it a point to always write on this date, as my small, small way of paying tribute to what happened seventeen years ago in Tiananmen Square.

Through the years, I think that anything I have to say about Tiananmen has already been said. It's amazing to watch China progress at its current rate, to be bandied about as the next superpower and yet so many there either know nothing about June 4th or refuse to publicly admit anything about June 4th. June 4th to someone my age is the most despicable thing that the government of the PRC has done. Unfortunately, there are many more from where that came from.

It's weird because in a way, if I hear others criticising China, a defense mechanism kicks in, where I automatically defend her, yet the same things that people say about China are things that I've said and thought, too. I've always had a rather love/hate relationship with the Mainland. On one hand, I think that as Chinese people, whether we're Mainlanders, Hong Kongers or Taiwanese, we should stick together. Then again, I know we're all different and we all sort of dislike each other for a myriad of reasons, some appropriate, such as the 228 Incident or the Central Government's (PRC) handling of SARS.

It's so weird because every year I think that June 4th is less significant to me than it was the previous year and that for once, I won't be crying when I basically have 血染的風采 (Grace of Our Bloodstain) playing on a loop.

Every year, I'm wrong.

(For Hong Kong, I can only hope that before I die, that someday we will have a real democracy where if we make mistakes, at least they're OUR mistakes to make.)

Since when were you so generous and inarticulate?

This is a low, but it won't hurt you
When you're alone it will be there with you
Finding ways to stay so low...

The weekend before she came down to see us and honestly, really to see me, I was nervous about the gesture of giving her a mix tape I had made. I figured that maybe there wouldn't be so much pressure because mix tapes seem to run in indie circles, whereas she was really the antithesis of indie. However, I knew that that was just a lie to try to make myself feel better, to take any nervousness out of the situation. I can't quite remember how long I spent on the tape, except that there was a night or two that I became really frustrated because I couldn't quite get the tape down. I ended up finishing the cover to her tape the day that she was arriving into Portland, cutting out a picture of a daredevil BMX rider leaping over the Great Wall of China from some year in review magazine that came with a South China Morning Post. She seemed like she enjoyed the gift and more importantly, she understood what the tape meant and all that it carried with it. I sometimes wonder where the tape is, whether she's binned it or if it's just in some anonymous box in the basement of her abode.

There are two reasons why I mention this tonight. First off, This is a Low is pretty much my favourite Blur song (that or Young and Lovely) and it ended up as the last song of the tape. This is a Low has never meant anything to me in terms of lyrics. After all, legend says that it was written while Damon Albarn was listening to weather forecasts for shipping lanes on the radio. However, the atmosphere that that song generates has resonated with me since I became a bit older and loved Blur for more of their challenging work as opposed to pop song after pop song. I love it's quick geographical tour of the British Isles, I love the guitar and I love the fact that it (almost) ends Parklife.

I also bring all of this up because I had a wonderful evening with Shasta on Friday night. We met after I got off work and headed down to a trendy Japanese restaurant downtown. With it being Friday night, it was quite packed, which led to our food taking a ridiculous amount of time to get to us. It didn't really matter, as the time just flew by with both of us just talking and talking, seemingly with no natural lulls in the conversation. Since we're also co-workers, we talked a bit about work, mainly our new co-worker, but mainly we talked about our own romantic situations and the headaches involved.

The past month has been spent in anger, or at least my feelings towards her have been very angry. I have made a vow that I am not getting in touch with her whatsoever. If she were to get in touch with me, I would respond, but I am no longer making that effort. I have been angry at the way things fell apart and the manner in which they were handled. During our two hour stay at the Japanese restaurant, Shasta brought up a situation in which there were uncanny parallels to my situation and it opened my eyes a bit to the way that she may have been thinking. How things went from unchecked excitement in regards to my upcoming visit to all of a sudden freaking out and not being able to see me at all. How she had the audacity to say to me that she didn't want to lead me on because she knew that I was a person with very strong feelings, yet with that knowledge, still flippantly ran her mouth about various things that she knew I would take seriously.

I don't know what I'm trying to say here. I don't know if I miss her or not, I really don't. I find myself really, really isolating myself from everybody. I've been bad with emails, I've been bad with phone calls. There have been too many nights spent alone, nights in which there is no excuse for not going out and attempting to be social and yet, like tonight, I find myself alone in my room, singing along to whatever songs that the iPod throws up for me.

Once again, the only justification I have for any of this is that this is the way that things have to be, that this is the price I have to pay. My question now is that I have no idea what I'm paying for and how much it's going to cost.

(And at the same time, I really just want to go out and meet girls)
  • Current Music
    達明一派, "天花亂墜".