Tata ft. my stuffed animals

Too cute, I had to.

end the old, start the new
Yiyun and I broke up for real. We both saw it coming, I guess. I feel like she's really gone from my life now.

Haven't been able to get up in the morning for class. I need an intervention.

Speaking of interventions, my mother recently found out about the smoking, and told my sister, who bombarded me with sour nasty accusatory messages the next day. "You think smoking is cool? You think what you're doing is cool?" "How can someone as progressive as you do something so primitive? It isn't 1996 anymore." "Every time you smoke, you're wasting your time and your life." "Your father smokes, and he got a stroke before he was even old. Is that what you want?" "I can't believe you."

Great. Thanks, sis. How do I explain the fact that scolding me isn't going to get me to quit? I have a bunch of reasons for smoking. I like it. I like smoking with other people. I like going outside to take a break for a smoke. It gives me some company when I'm at my worst. There's something comforting about the routine of needing a smoke every few hours. I've been smoking for half a year now, and it's grown to be a bad habit that I'm pretty fond of.
Why do I have to justify any of this to you?

Why does she treat cigarettes and alcohol so differently?

so much work
Getting ready to move. Lots of packing to do. I wake up in an utter daze in the morning sometimes to the sound of my mother telling me how spoiled and unhelpful I am.
Thinking of moving out, maybe somewhere closer to uni. If lucky, this cool prof I know might land me a good translation job, one that doesn't count by the hour but by the word. Then I could live on my own, and I'd buy a motorcycle. Then I wouldn't have to wake up to the sound of my mother nagging, and I could stay out, stay out late, sleep in late, invite people over, not invite people over, be a hermit, fuck who I want, smoke on the balcony, and go to class hung over.
I just have such a distaste for my mother. I wish I didn't.

I told Yiyun that I slept with Tata, and that he's an important person in my life now, take it or leave it. She doesn't mind anymore. She still likes me, wants some kind of future with me. I don't know if I still like her though, she seems boring. But that might also be because I kept going over in my head about how I should tell her the truth, so I couldn't talk to her like I normally would.
I want to meet better girls. Smart, interesting, handsome girls. (Oh where?)
She got drunk and ended up puking in the park toilet for half an hour. I had to carry her back to my place.

Still grappling hard to find my own footing. Who am I without other people?
Everyone else has an artistic pursuit alongside what they're doing. I feel like I'm drying up, I don't have an artistic pursuit. What ever to do?

Subliminal Message?
I'm out with the guy right now, and yiyun messages me to say that she's having period cramps. Her period cramps are the worst.

Idk, Something is always up with her whenever I meet the guy, that makes me feel extra guilty. Is God attempting divine intervention?

Oh my FUCJ
I just sipped my coke and forgot that I threw my cigarette butts in there.
Gross gross gross tastes like mint gross

puff puff pass
I've been having a lot of thoughts about cigarettes these couple months. I went through a particularly rough patch some weeks ago, but I broke through. I think I finally found a brand I like. Smoking is nice.
I think I'm not bothered anymore by yiyun's smoking.

Oh! Funny thing. I smoked pot several times these months. It was fun, but I don't think I smoked enough, so I was mostly just relaxed and chill. I don't think it's worth the price though, both in terms of money and potential jail time. Damn, the Taiwanese law hates marijuana. Cigarettes feel way less healthy, and yet they're legal. Isn't weed more like a vegetable than a drug? In conclusion, if given the choice, I'd smoke pot over cigarettes any day.

NYU didn't accept me. Oh well. I kind of veered off my dream of being a filmmaker after the dorm curfew protest anyway, and I was sort of hoping I wouldn't get in. I'm pumped to stay in Taiwan and FJU now. I joined the student association, and there will be lots of things to do, lots of change to push for.
Strange how you can work at something so hard, and dream of it for a whole year, but then by the end something else comes along and it just sort of withers away. I wouldn't say I'm never having anything to do with film ever again, but it's much less urgent and critical of a goal now. Or I'm just fickle?
I have a little job as a translator now, for a startup company looking to sell sports equipment or something. It's an easy and flexible job, and making my own money is interesting.

I was thinking about moving out when I go into junior year, (maybe live with Yiyun), but I'm not so sure about it now. I don't love living with my mom, but at home I have Netflix and free aircon and a real couch. These things are nice. Costs no effort. If I move out, I'd have to worry about all kinds of things I didn't have to think about before, which I'm not sure I'm ready for yet, what with the various changes already going on in my life.
But well. I stil have time to think it over. At least I have to move out when I graduate. That's the limit.

Yiyun has a kitty now!

Her name is Woogi. She doesn't like being held and hugged, but she loves to bite your toes, especially if you're sleeping or having sex. She's very active and will chase around anything she can find. Maybe this is just a baby kitty thing, but also maybe she's actually hyperactive, like ADHD or something? Does that happen in cats?
Viper and Panther, on the other hand, are moving on to their 8th year. They have gotten fat and lazy. Woogi came to live with us for a couple of days, and the whole house was a mess. Viper would hiss at her, but not really make an attempt to move. Panther became scared and despondent. Woogi was a little shit, and was unfazed by any of it. She'd even chase viper around, despite being hissed at.
She also has a crooked little tail! It is the cutest. She's so cute, I love her.

We're also moving. To a smaller apartment. Which is good.

Yiyun and I plan to go to Taitung sometime late August. Should be fun!

Anyway, that's the update so far. I got a bright future ahead of me, and I know it because everything I want starts with doing what's at hand right now, which is the student association stuff. And onwards!

The news can tell you what I've been up to




I just had my first cigarette. Alone.
I did it of my own will, but it was more of a decision within a circumstance that I wish had never arisen.

Happy birthday.

recent plans and changes
Several things.

I left the volleyball team. This was around the start of this semester. I intended to stick around until I had some kind of footing in a film-related plan, and I didn't know what opportunities were available yet. I was going to stay at least until my NYU application was over. But then my friend on the team, who used to be the captain of my HS volleyball team, who is ALSO my ex, confronted me about how I've been acting on the team. She says that she can tell my heart wasn't in it anymore, even though she can't say exactly how I'm different. She chastised me for it, and said if I wanted to stay, at least give a shit. Otherwise, well, no one is forcing me to be there. And so I thought, fuck it then, and called the team captain and told her I was quitting the team.

Just like that, I stopped going. It's kinda weird that volleyball is no longer a part of my life.

Almost immediately after that, this club called Denpa Cruise made a post about looking for new people. Denpa Cruise is an independent club at FJU (meaning that it's not affiliated with the school in any direct way), and they mainly host music events where they invite indie bands to come play, and sell tickets. They do a lot of interesting and creative stuff with their events, and most importantly, they do some pretty serious promotional videos, as well as little event documentaries.
It's perfect really. I'll be helping to make fun shorts about our music events, as well as interviewing the bands we invite, and filming the event, etc. I went to their interview, and they accepted me, and we've recently held our first meeting. The event is already underway, so we'll just be doing some basic errands this time, but I'm still pretty scared and excited.

I also signed up to intern at the Taipei Film Festival, and I'll know if I get a place by the end of April at the latest.

And finally, most importantly. I've started on a new film project.

A little prelude: At FJU, the girls' dorms have a curfew, while the boys' don't. There have been numerous movements over years since 2009 to change this fact, but none of them have succeeded due to the school's insistence of protection.
The curfew is complicated, but the main idea is that if you return after 12, you get marked. And after two marks, you're much more likely to not get a dorm the next year. This is sort of reasonable, if you throw things like basic human rights to freedom out the window, along with the fact that, hello, we're all grownups here. But what's more bizarre is that after 1 a.m., you're not allowed in the dorm till 6 a.m. This is mostly because that, unlike the boys' dorm, the girls' dorm doesn't have those little card machine for a dorm card. Rather, they have an actual person there checking the people who come in. And this person needs to sleep.
That sounds outrageous. But apparently the school has vowed that this person can be woken up at any hour by a doorbell if need be, and she will mark the late students, and so technically, you're still allowed in, and you're still considerably safe.
However, realistically, the girls will often choose not to do this, and stay out somewhere all night instead. Either they're wary about waking someone up, or they're scared of doing something they've never done before, or if they just don't want to get marked.
The bottom line is, the fact that the dorm has a curfew and can't be accessed by a dorm card is probably more dangerous than having a rule that says the girls are allowed to return whenever and prance around the city all night if they please.

My original idea was to make a short film about a dorm girl, and her experiences with the curfew. The idea is to expose the curfew in a way that was also emotionally impacting. The film (as well as the filmmaking process) would be promotion for the dorm liberation movement, and the goal was to gain enough support and publicity that the school might be pressured into changing the rule.

I've been investigating into the matter for about a month now, and I've gotten several people from my department, along with Yiyun, to be my team and help me. I'm almost done with my first draft.

But the thing is, the more I learn about the dorms and the status quo, the more apparent the intricacies and complications become. Long story short, due to both factors of ideology and budget, it's unlikely that a movement right now would have any significant impact on the school.
So I've decided to make a documentary instead. It's going to be a series of interviews and tours around the dorms, to reveal the truth about the conditions and politics involved, as well as the liberation movements from years past. Girls' Dorm Unveiled. School Secrets Exposed. If I can't organize a protest, I can at least document the reality of what's going on right now.

Anyway, so that's my project. We'll see how it works out.

Artistic Influences My Ass
I have to write a 300 word essay about my Artistic Influences--film, book, tv, music, anything, how it inspired/influenced my work or the way I look at the world.
I've been having a staring contest with my notebook for about an hour now.

I just don't know? I've consumed a lot of art over the course of this year, and much of it has influenced me, but none of them in any especially concrete way that doesn't intertwine with like a dozen other things.

For example, I try looking at The Abigails. I don't see any clear influence at work. I mean, I got the idea of dividing the personalities up from The Breakfast Club (especially pajama girl, Ally Sheedy II), and House of Cards inpsired me with the whole slow-reveal-of-true-nature thing, but otherwise it was inspired by my own life, as well as Taiwanese culture in general, neither of which is a work of art.

I suppose I could talk about those things? It's just that when I think Artistic Influences, I feel like I should talk about The Artistic Influence, the most central thing I draw my inspiration from, the one thing that has impacted me the most.
And really...that's so many things. Lolita. Sherlock. The Smiths. Taiwanese indie music. But these things haven't inspired my work so much as just open me up to the world of literature and film and music, to a broader and deeper understanding of art and life. So far, art has impacted my life way more than it has impacted my art. It's been about feeling and learning and believing.

I don't even know what I am like as an artist, or the second part of the question, "How you look at the world."

I know how I look at the world. I see Taiwan at the middle, and America is land surrounding the it with twelve hours of ocean in between. that's the truth. I want to tell stories about Taiwan, about Taiwanese school girls and Taiwanese queerness in all girls schools, about the limp struggle against the wretched system, about enlightenment and isolation, about absent fathers, about hating and loving home, about hating and loving your mother.

But I only have 300 words. I guess I'm supposed to just pick a minor point of interest and elaborate on that.
But what, for the love of Nabokov, what?


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