Hyperion Anxiety

I often feel guilty saying that I have anxiety, but I do. When I went to Taix a couple of weeks ago, I felt genuine fear since I was with two extroverted, networking types and today, through various circumstances, I was to go see a comedy show 5 min away from home by myself, and I honestly was ready to pretend to overnap and avoid going. 

But I'm trying to stand up against my own weird little insecurities, so I got into my dirty purple car that's low on gas at the moment (another thing that causes me a lot of anxiety but that's a whole other thing), drove my ass literally 5 minutes to the Lyric Hyperion by my house, and went to a comedy show featuring a UK comedian I'd been into for a min. 

And I didn't die. In fact, with the help of some tequila inside a pretty good marg, things went really well. I think there's a lesson somewhere in all of this, but I'll probably have a million more moments like this before I feel comfortable, if that ever even happens. 

For tonight though, I'm going to have a little celebration that I did this for myself today. 


My friend is dying. She's dying and there's absolutely nothing in the world that can help and we will see her beautiful, stunning self slowly wither away and one day, many many long nights from now, she will disappear from this earth. 

She was the healthiest of us all. The most beautiful of us all. Mother Earth's jokes are always perfect, but I rarely feel like we get to be in on the punchline. 

I think about her every single moment of every day. Every moment of laughter is tinged with the thought that in this part of my life, her life, everyone's life, we have no control. It is already written in her core being and that is simply, that. 


The candle you bought me outlasted you. That's not that surprising, considering I was never the type to use candles on a frequent basis. But still. You promised me it wouldn't. You promised me a lot of things actually. 

I was always a sucker for words and I always seem to forget that not all take words as seriosuly as I do. I am a writer- each letter takes a piece of me and solidifies my existence into tangible proof. These words are all I have, all I can ever promise, and all that I will ever be able to give. That is my truth but it is not the truth, and that difference will be my downfall. 

So I was tricked by you and I've been tricked before and I'll probably be tricked by the one after you, but there's one thing you forgot: my words will never forgive you. These words will always haunt you, and we writers will never forget. 

tik tok

I am out of time, or at least, that's the way I've been feeling for a while. The days roll through fast, the hours slipping through my hands like sand. I clamor for more, but there is only so much the world can give me. It's the rules of the game. 

Where is it all going? Ever since Japan I have felt on an endless rollercoaster, and it feels like today was the first time I had a chance to sit down and think about who I am and what I need. And now 2017 is gone. It felt so strong, gaining strength in its madness just a month ago, and now we are departing with the crazy, chaotic friend. 

I feel like I've just had a chance to sit down for the first time in months, and everything is catching up to me. Friends going mad, the country going even madder... where am I going in all of this? I feel lost in a dark void, a place I felt like I had just left. 


My time here in Japan is coming to a close. Just a few days here left really and I'm already missing it even though I'm technically still here. It's been a beautiful, strange, eye-opening blur and I every time I leave I am reminded of my whole other life in this small suburban city in Osaka, but this time felt a little bit more special than the rest. 

I felt more grown up this trip, capable of understanding a little bit more and not feeling like my visit here was solely just to spend time with family. I have friends and family that are always waiting and know how to welcome me back from America, and I can't begin to express the gratitude I feel. 

Japan, you are a beautiful place, my real home, and I will be back soon. 

Fuck the Internet

I've been without internet the last couple of days because I didn't pay attention to the fine print on my Wifi port thing I'm using while I'm in Japan and my data was slowed down to a crawl because I went over the monthly limit. Anyways, because of that, the internet has been essentially dwindled down to working just enough to receive phone calls on Line and send messages. For the most part that meant I was listening to music saved on my phone, hoping the latest Hamish and Andy podcast can be streamed and staring at blurry photos on Instagram and the occasional update on Twitter.

But it also made me think about how much better my mental health was feeling. This limited access to the internet meant I was just taking in most news through Japanese television and newspaper or through third party discussions. It also meant hearing and making judgements for everything by myself, and sidestepping from all of the hoopla that comes from major bombshell/breaking news type stuff.

I finally was able to reaccess the internet again yesterday because there was a reset (thank you new month) and I checked all of the usuals, and it was... a miserable place. People bickering and arguing about things they know nothing about, stupid memes, stupid glorification of other humans... and I was honestly kind of tired of it all. I decided to try to find an older Aziz Ansari interview because for whatever reason I thought he talked about a specific app that blocked social media sites, but instead stumbled upon his GQ interview instead (he doesn't talk about any specific app or anything in this one), and I found that I really relate to a lot of what he says about the internet. I think I want to go back to something a little simpler. Obviously it's a little harder for me to just quit email and all forms of social media (he even quit email, which is a bit impossible unless you're a sought-after millionaire) but I think cutting back and deleting certain apps from my phone might be a good start. I've been reading White Trash by Nancy Isenberg anyways, and not having these distractions on my phone will be a good way to start reading it more. Anyways, my goal is to stop perusing these apps and spend my time being more productive. 

In other news, going to start studying UX design in my free time. Should be interesting. 


I'm sad.

I'm sad that people can feel so much hate that they are willing to run people over via car.

I'm sad, although slightly relieved, that the Republican party has finally shown its true face. 

I'm sad that we have a president that won't denounce White Supremacists for their actions. 

I'm sad that we don't have a minute to breathe as we go from one chaos to the next, but I am proud that people have not stayed silent. 

I'm sad that people can't seem to listen to listen to either side without calling each other names. 

I'm sad that certain people can't seem to understand the pain that they are inflicting on everyone else, and how everyone just wants to be on an equal playing field. 

I'm sad for everyone that is in a disenfranchised minority or community. 

I'm sad that Millennials get a lot of heat for things that are beyond our control, and for the fact that the previous generations seemed to hand us a full plate of mass chaos for us to deal with. 

I'm sad to think about everyone that came before us, who were stuck in an oppressive system. 

I'm sad that so many Syrians have died or been moved out of their home. I can't imagine my land becoming a terrorist free for all, running and swimming my way out of a country and then being hated by the biggest country in the world. 

I'm sad that we are represented by a man that not only has no experience in political work, but seems to openly dislike working to unite the country. 

I'm sad that Mitch Mcconnell was so intent on getting rid of healthcare even though his life was changed and improved by Federally funded healthcare. 

I'm sad that Tomi Laren is utilizing Obamacare herself but thinks that everyone else should have their healthcare removed. 

I'm sad that we even think that healthcare is a choice, like there are rich people out there openly opting out of healthcare because they feel like it. Like somehow we are all out there debating on whether or not we should have something that is so obviously necessary for a long and fruitful life. 

I'm sad of all of the people who hate me and my friends for things that can't be controlled. Our skin color, our gender, our sexuality, where we're born and who we're born to is deciding too much about our fate and its unfair. 

We all sit with these heavy heavy burdens, aging us daily as we sit through another day of mess. What I am proud about is all of the protesting (in more ways than one) that has been stopping most of the bad things from happening. It is the main motivation to help make the world a better place. We must continue to fight for our right to be who we are, to have more equal opportunity, and for some semblance of peace or else there will be no United States.

I worry that there will be more deaths to come, but I hope that we get through the year unscathed.  

It's The Simple Things

I've been studying for the LSAT lately, and since my course started, I haven't had much time for all of my usual ritual of weekend drinking and music events. Life has slowed, but it's been pleasant and healthy and calm. I feel like I'm in the center of chaos, tranquil amidst the madness.

I've been noticing how much the little things in life have been making my day. Yesterday I made curry, and a few days earlier I used some of the spices my mom gave me to make fried rice Japanese style. I cleaned my house, and I went to the Indian market by my house for the first time. I took a break from the day with a walk. It's small, seemingly inconsequential things that have been making my life worth it. I'm on my way to something bigger and better and greater than I can yet imagine, but for now, studying and focusing and being healthy has been the recipe for my success. 

Night Drive

When the sun sets on the city, the madness turns into tranquility, and on a slowy, dreamy night like this one, we get into the car for no reason, other than to spend time together as young kids brimming with boredom. Sleepy and slow, with the sea breeze slurring the humid air around us, we weave in and out of the few cars still on the road, taking in the special energy of this time of the night. 

We crank up the music, take in our youth. Our hair blends in with the night, the occasional lights from the street lamps hitting perfectly against the glass to create a strobe, our little escape from the pains of youth. Everything is okay here- music is our savior, and our city is the canvas. 

We are poor, we are young, we are stupid, but none of that matters. It is the best time of our lives, free from the shackles of responsibility and a moment of bliss before we return to a lifetime of work ahead. We will be doctors, lawyers, artists, writers, engineers, leaders, mothers, fathers, and more. We have a world of things to do, but the night air will always belong to our sleepy youths. 


They expect me to be a walking ray of sunshine and it is exhausting for me to bear. I am supposed to be unafraid in the face of pain and calm during the moments of crisis, but I am human, and I am not as strong as they want me to be. I feel sad when things don't happen the way I want them to, annoyed when people bother me, and mad, happy, glad, and more during all hours of the day. I am as complex as nature made me, chemicals swirling through me modulating how I feel, attached to a mind that does its best to maintain me through the day. That is all that I am. 

I am expected more. 

I have to be resilient against stress, a sponge against the evils of time, soaking up everything happening around me without expressing how I feel, what these things do to me. Even in moments of doubt, of confusion, I am treated like my unlikeable traits are a burden on the rest of the world, like somehow I cannot have my own reactions to the many problems that arise in any normal day. Why am I forced to feel guilty for not being happy and pleasant all of the time? I am not irrational in my attitudes throughout the day, but when something happens, why am I forced to feel like anything less than a smile is somehow a plight against the grains of society? 

I will no longer let anyone dictate how I am supposed to feel ever again, if only to maintain ownership of who I am. I will scream in moments of rage, love in moments of passion, and I will let my emotions, no matter how undesirable to the perceptions of society's gaze, roar like the thunderstorm it can be. The world has told me what to do enough, you have told me what to do enough. No more. I am mine, and my emotions are here to stay. 


Lately I've been feeling like there's a hole of loneliness I never felt before. I feel time slipping through my hands, the world failing to give me a chance to grasp onto reality. So much is changing- people are leaving, family are leaving, and I feel like somehow I am being left behind. I am trying to concentrate on anything, everything, to get it together, and yet, I am the one crying at the end of the day, alone, tired. No matter what I do next, the summer will keep on keeping on, and I will be here, trying to get it together. 

Summer Reading 2017

It's been a bit crazy here, and I'll start writing again very soon to explain everything that's been happening, but for now, here is my summer reading list. 

  • When Breath Becomes Air, Pal Kalanithi - I was drawn to what felt like a clash between his desire to be a doctor and a desire to be a writer, as well as the tragedy that ultimately befell the incredibly brilliant Stanford Neurosurgeon Nueroscientist. He was objectively a brilliant man, and his time was decades too soon, but in his constant confrontation with time, he showcases the true importances of life and gripping to sanity when the floor gives out under us too soon. I actually just finished this book today, and it's probably going to be one of my favorites in terms of writing style, brutal honesty, and eloquence in the way he kept his head high through every moment. 
  • House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski - I don't know a lot about this book, but from what I hear it's incredibly intense, but any book that can sweep away readers is one I'm interested in tackling this summer. I can use a break from what will probably be my most mundane summer as I dive headfirst into studying for the LSAT.
  • It, Stephen King - Admittedly, the stunning nature of the upcoming film's trailer, combined with King's alleged drug abuse whilst writing this novel has me interested in the book. I don't think this book will teach me any grand tales about life, but I'm sure this one will be entertaining. 
  • White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg - Growing up I knew I never considered myself a conservative- I remember when I asked my mom what a Republican was when I was eight and newly moved to the US, she told me it was "someone who didn't think that rich people had to give up any of their money for the poor," and I remember knowing I didn't agree with that. From then on, politics had always fascinated me, and in today's age, the American right has always fascinated me as I often find my own logic goes against their very essence, and vice versa. How and why we are at our current state has me deeply interested, and anything that can teach me how we got here is something I'm incredibly interested in reading. 
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond - Continuing on that thought above basically, this book takes a look at another aspect of our socio-economic structures. America is vastly complex, and understanding its core nature is fundamentally important for every citizen to continue growing as a private citizen. 
  • Ayoade on Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey, Richard Ayoade - I'm a massive fan of Ayoade- from his directorial efforts to his zany acting in the IT Crowd, I'm never one to shy away from the writings of someone as truly brilliant as he is. If he's anything like he is while being a guest on television shows like Big Fat Quiz, this one is sure to be a fun one.  
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz - I stumbled upon Diaz's writings when I was on the New Yorker once, and I quickly fell in love with his honesty, his ability to draw in readers utilizing imperfect and, at times unlikeable, characters. Bringing in his Dominican upbringing into his work, he showcases real people with incredible flaws with such precision that his characters burst through the page. I hate his characters often, at least the ones in his short stories, but their realness proves why Diaz is one of today's most exciting writers, and probably one of the books I'm most excited to read this summer. 
  • White Teeth, Zadie Smith - This was one of those books every list I read had on there, so I honestly have no idea what this book is about, just that everyone keeps saying to read it. 
  • In the Darkroom, Susan Faludi - People are fundamentally complex, and nothing says that more than Faludi's exploration of her father, who transitioned into a woman in his elder years. Complex and exploratory, this one seems challenging and menacing, while still being brutally raw. 
  • The Sellout, Paul Beatty - I haven't caught up on my modern day satirical literature in a while, so this one should be interesting. I also haven't gotten the chance to get into Paul Beatty
  • At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails, Sarah Bakewell
  • The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin (1963) - It's about time I got into the work of James Baldwin, and the writing style of this text is intriguing. I think I read some of his works in some classes I had in college, but honestly I can't seem to remember much actual academic activity taking place while I was at UCLA. 
  • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates - I wanted to read this and Baldwin back to back actually- their writing styles are different but apparently the texts are similar enough to consistently draw parallels. Still, their both incredible writers with a wealth of experience when it comes to the modern day Black American experience, and it seems important than I dive into as much about the lives of White Trump supporting blue collar workers as Black males to deeply understand the complexity that is the American life. 


Sometimes the best gift is a notebook. Almost every year around my birthday or Christmas-time someone gives me stationary as a gift, and every time it's like they've provided me with a brand new world, under my command and always at my direction. It's an incredibly powerful gift that gives me escape when I need to, refuge when I'm tired, power when I feel weak, and strong when I'm broken. 

Today I received something very special from my friend in New York, for no reason. It was a beautifully bound notebook. The kind anyone would be proud to carry around. I'm no real great writer of any kind, but there's no other feeling like running fingers through unwritten, untouched pages. Clean and clear and ready for my words, I feel grand and ready to take on the world. 

I'm almost too afraid to write in it, it's so perfect, but I figure I'll know when. 

23 Things I did When I was 23

Every year I try to write all of the things I did that year, tuned to the age I'm leaving. So, without further adieu, here is 23 things I did at 23. 

  1. Saw Dave Chappelle for like a 2 hour show randomly one night
  2. Met Snoop Dogg!
  3. Getting ready for the LSAT
  4. Worked PR (and left it...) 
  5. Saw Noah Purifoy stuff on a weekend at Joshua Tree
  6. Sent someone to the Medical Tent at FYF (...although not directly my fault)
  7. Moved to LA 
  8. Reconnected with some friends I never thought I would see again 
  9. Worked freelance full time
  10. Magnetic Magazine
  11. FCF
  12. San Diego trip with Jonathan!
  13. Trip to SF to see Jonathan
  14. Stopped taking in sugar
  15. Started walking and running every (other) day 
  16. Blueprint Sessions LA 
  17. The Eagle 
  18. Booked tickets for Japan!!!
  19. Learned that roller disco is not in my future 
  20. Went to a rich white person wedding of the Martinelli Family 
  21. Got into golf again
  22. accidental acid 
  23. TBA 


Old Habits

We fall in and out of old habits, naturally. Life is silly, humans are stupid, and love is blind. When we are together the world is imperfectly perfect, when we are apart, we fall apart. We can never be, and yet for little touches of time things manage to line up perfectly. Moments of beauty in what will be a friendship of pain. 

One day this will all fall apart, and I know I innately wait for this chapter of my life to close. But I am in no rush, for saying hello to a new chapter is just another game of chance. 

Oh, Brother!

I wish my brother had more time to talk to me. He's been too busy for me since he was 16, when the world of dance seemed to swirl him away from the rest of the family. At home, we often joke that he's a roommate rather than family. I think I honestly might spend more time with my parents than he does, and I live in a separate (albeit pretty close) city. 

That was alright for a while, but I can feel the whispers of change through the winds. My parents are embarking on the next chapter of their lives and unintentionally causing a ripple in our world. They are moving away and my brother and I will be all that remains of our family in Southern California. What then? Will my brother have no time for me? Will we meet up during the colder months to cook mizutaki and shabu-shabu together so that we can remember the tastes of home? Will he call me when he's short on money and visit me? Those are all things that have never happened before, and thinking that the future involves the two of us being a solitary team is both frightening and confusing. 

I've always considered us close but we don't text each other frequently or call to catch up. He's 20 and too busy for such a thing as familial bonding. I suppose in some ways I was that way too- I ran off to college while he stayed, so I had my chance to be away. But still...

I just wish he knew that I am here. 



I admittedly don't think about you often; the ravages of time have placed you often into the back of my deepest memories. We weren't friends for long anyways, and in the timeline of stories on Earth, our friendship came and went in the blink of an eye. It probably wasn't even that significant for one another. We came and went, like leaves swirling in the wind. But on nights like these, I go back through our years together and relive the simple moments, before things got hard. I never got to say goodbye and I wish I told you I was sorry. 

We lost touch over time, but I always thought there was going to be some set aside to make up for the bad memories. In the future, we were supposed to run into each other, and it was then that I could apologize for the pain I once brought. I imagined that we could be friends one day again, but life disagreed. 

We never managed to mend anything, but it was probably the least of your concerns when things took that dark turn. It's all I think about now when I think of you though. I wish I could have seen you travel and see your bright face shine. Go to college, fall in love, fall out of love, and become a new person. You were always so full of light, when did things go wrong? There was and still is life beyond the walls we were once confined in, and you of all people should have gotten a chance to see it. 

Our times together were small but meaningful, and every New Years Day I pour out a little drink and say a little prayer for you. Should I have been there? Could I have been there? All I know I can do is promise you that I'm going to live as much as possible for both of us, for all of us, for all that didn't make it to today because the Earth and our bodies were too cruel and punishing us for just wanting to live. That's the only real form of repayment I can give you now. 

Until we meet again, friend.