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What Was Written

Time to continue the story

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I feel that I’ve already been the hero of my story in my lifetime. Maybe that’s why I feel that the world would be just right now, the world for me, the protagonist will be smooth sailing. Cause you know, the whole illegal immigration thing, I feel like that I’ve already been subjected to years and years of mental torture that it was enough. Maybe that’s the cause of my optimism in the future. Maybe that’s why when I see the world outside of my vicinity, my level of care for it is that it’s no longer my problem because I’ve already faced my problem.

Terrible way to think about it I’m aware. Or have I passionately feel aware of this? Like I’m aware of it, but do I care about it? That’s the internal conflict I have, and occasionally it’ll spark into my mind but most of the days I just go about my days and achieve the goal I set out for myself which is to find stability in this country.

My parents suffered for me so I can have a life that I have now. My goal is to make my parents comfortable and along the way I wish to have an active dialogue with my friends, hopefully with my level knowledge of the humanities have positive dialogue with people around me. Out do the comfort of my chair, at a coffee shop. Maybe those ripples are enough in the level of activism that I idealize.

I don’t know. When I see the world, I see that I’ve already won. But maybe I should slowly shift from that idea because this isn’t my book, it’s a book of the world, and I am only a small chapter in it.
May the world have a day of peace where families can gather, and friends are in each other’s presence. Where a boy can walk down the street without the feeling of death, and girl can ride their skateboard without the worry of explosives.

On the Privilege of Travel

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I’ve never traveled so much in my life before this past year and this year. Last night I just booked my ticket to Barcelona for as little as 75 bucks. Well, first I wanted to go to Germany, landing in Frankfurt, but I then discovered the use of “Fuel Surcharge Fees” aka additional fee for the sake of additional fee at a staggering 400 bucks. Also, a few minutes ago, I discovered the use of miles from separate airlines for about the same cost as round trip from a single airport. Instead, Barcelona España, the land of….. I have no clue, it just sounds pretty in both visuals, historical, and cultural, and artistic, and, and, and, I’M EXCITED. I’M GOING TO EUROPE!!! Is it supposed to be the dream of all westernized Americans right? That desire to go to a land where the ground has stood there for thousand years of their ancestral heritage. What about China? Isn’t that my historical heritage, well yeah, but I shall go to China in a few years when I attain my US citizenship. Currently, I have tiny desire to go, due to political reasons.

How? Privilege? Why? What do you mean 75 bucks?? WHAT?

So yeah… I used credit card miles. A lot of it, but the miles are lot cheaper than actually buying the tickets via standard ticketing fee. If you’re curious about traveling like this, (this sounds like an Ad… I know… I’m not making money from it.) here are the following criteria, if you’re within it, then I can recommend this method. If you’re not within the criteria, then I would NOT RECOMMEND THIS. Credit scores are critical in today’s era to buy new large object items like houses and cars, so be careful.

Criteria (Summarized from this wiki):

  • At least 720 credit score
  • Never have credit card debt
  • No credit card balance
  • No significant purchase in the six months, such as cars and housing
  • Don’t mind investing 1 hour in the first day to look into what you’re getting yourself into.
  • Let me reiterate what I just said “….ALWAYS pay the full monthly balance every month, NEVER carry a balance. If you do, this is NOT for you, the joke is on YOU!”
  • No loans, (student loans I am highly hesitant towards, I would advise paying off the debt first, but if the student loan has very little interest then it might be alright.)
  • You are meticulous with personal finance; you can’t deal with ten credit cards without an excel sheet.
  • No idea how to meet the minimum spending. Ask how to spend 3K in the first three months? I have family restaurants that I can meet the minimum spending on.
  • Goals in traveling, if you just get miles, and spend them at the worst possible time, then you’ll be wasting miles.

Travel Summary:

  • Detroit to San Francisco:
    • March 2015, paid using Barclay Arrive Card, (First trip using this method)
  • Detroit to Houston
    • June 2015, 200 dollars, paid using Chase Sapphire Preferred cashback.
  • Detroit to Dallas
    • Christmas 2015, round trip using Chase Sapphire Preferred cashback, 200 bucks
  • Detroit to Tokyo
    • March 2016, 70K united airline miles (5K of Sapphire transfer with 65K united Airline Miles
  • Detroit to Atlanta
    • March 2016, 300 bucks Chase Sapphire Preferred Points
  • Detroit to Baltimore
    • May 2016, 7k Chase Sapphire Preferred Points.
  • Detroit to New Orleans
    • June, 12K Chase Sapphire Preferred points, with 50 dollars cash.
  • Detroit to Barcelona
    • August 2016, 60k American Airline Miles
  • Detroit to Austin
    • Late August 2016, 25k United Airline Miles
  • Detroit to China
    • Christmas 2016, 80k Amex Points

Methods, go here to learn about how to do this. If you’re within the criteria and are sharp with your finances I believe you can really benefit from this usage. You may also follow my friend/mentor’s blog on this too here on TravelBloggerBuzz, he travels over millions of miles over 30 years and introduced me to the idea of credit card miles.

Helpful Websites:

It shocks me when I see people going to places for more than 300 bucks now, I know that I don’t have to worry about having a family and currently I have a job that allows me to work off site. Thus, it’s a privilege a lot of people cannot do, and also harder for a lot of people too. For that, I am truly thankful.

 

A Day in Santa Barbara

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It’s cloudy with a hint of sprinkle rain, El Niño rain (before turning into The Man). The streets around here are filled with tourist (I’m one of them…. So I would like to sound like a hipster), mostly to be European and Latinos. I almost forgot that it’s supposed to be winter since you know, there are green plants, trees, leaves, and t-shirts roaming casually around (I’m sure the plants are wandering in spirit). Not a bad place to sit and have lunch, brunch to be honest. Instead of looking at Yelp for thirty mins ( feels like sixty ), I finally found a place to get food and sought out this place, rather than the location in an arcade. The view here is worth it, the waitress standing in the entrance also is worth it (whatever that means right?).

I sat down, on the table right next to the front pillar, for about one and a half to two hours now (the pillar that shelters me and rest of the white/ and Spanish from the rain). To my left, is a table, when sitting down to that table the mother suggested the son to sit across feel her so she can see him, and the father sat next to the mother, he can also see him as well. They talked about the play, school play, that they’ll be late for (probably at UCS).

To my right, is a Dutch family ( or Spanish, or Italian, or French, or a mixture due from marriage). The daughter (probably 4 years old) can speak Dutch and English at the least, the mother (I asked while looking at her daughter smashing her mother’s pregnant stomach as hard as a toy car running into your feet [assuming the toy car is 1.5 inches and runs on the pure potential energy of you pushing it {and fuck it, I’m adding a thought within a thought within a thought} without really hurting anything or thought.]) She replied “Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian, and some Portuguese. But they (the husband’s mother), they can speak Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Italian.” “I can speak Dutch!” Her daughter shouted in the next instance (see, multilingualism is balls awesome.).

“Großmutter, Vater, Hut, Äpfel, Pomme, words right?”, the current obsession for me is German, thanks to my previous friend and the podcast I had, listening to during the five hour drive last night.”

“Look at that boy, he’s going to break his next climbing that tree.” The two Großmutter behind me said. The boy is about three years old, climbing less than a meter above the ground on the twisty tree in the picture posted(Imagine a parallelogram, where one of the edges are on the floor, the tallest height from he ground to the parallelogram is less that one meter [the tree is the continuous line of the line to the obtuse side of the bottom line]). “Oh Lord, just let the boy do his boy thing, like climbing a fucking tree and falling. These little humans are malleable, it’s bad enough that we live in an ultra sensitive society, let the boy do his thing” ( or, at least, that’s what I thought).

Around the corner of the tree, and the boy, and the Street, there stands a homeless entertaining man, face raggedy with the white beard and brown engraved wrinkles. But he’s juggling, he’s juggling sticks around as a level 30 necromancer (assuming the level system goes from 0 to 80, 30 is pretty small but still, it’s pretty impressive from someone who’s a level 0). His home, (away from home, in a shopping cart) is next to him, but I don’t see a coin hat to place tips. Strange, but amused.

In the time it took me to type this (by thumb), I’ve only seen three blacks. A lot of Latino, Asians, and majority whites. This city is very… I have no information to assess that completion. But I think I’m going to go drive.

All in all.

Food: Duck, 8/10
Scenery: Cloudy, 9/10
Coffee: Meh.
Overall Chillness: Not bad.
Proofread this again: Nope.
Next destination: la.
Update:

Spend the next two hours at a coffee shop across the street and talked with a newly graduated history major of the American West. Name Mason, while drinking excellent green tea. I needed to know why there are so many European tourist here, and a person who loves to travel while working at a museum was a real stranger to answer that question.

Like the entirety of this trip, my extreme impulsive nature has entertained me.

To Cheat, Maybe?

By | Culture, Non-Fiction, Philosophical, Thoughts | No Comments

To cheat, maybe? One of the moral lessons we learned in high school and maybe even some beginning college classes literature are the use of spoilers in reading. No Wikipedia entries, no SparkNotes, no external sources by none other than the self in reading a particular book. Until I realized that all of that doesn’t matter in the comprehension of a book. To read spoilers, and their interpretations of the text, to watch tutorials where the instructor gives us practices in the right direction the next lesson by telling us exactly what to do when we are in an unfamiliar land, can inspire us to become better readers through demonstrating. 

Within all of the classic literature, the reason it’s been classified as a classic is not the pretentious use of words of the text, how fanciful the difficulty of the text is. Rather, the classic text is the text that revolutionizes a historical, cultural, political, intellectual, artistic, or philosophical landscape. Nabokov’s Lolita influenced the cultural intersection between the beauty of writing prose with the scatological, and moral nausea. Ulysses’s journey through Ireland inspired an everyman’s life into a form of heroic adventure on the tiers of Odysseus while the style of his stream of thought writing made all that possible. What about Proust, why Proust where I’ve mentioned him countless times? Proust used the combined prose that would form dream-like states for the reader when he’s merely describing the fractals on the stained church windows. He would use the lens of an innocent nine-year-old boy to describe the cheating backstabbing nature of the French 1800s petite bourgeois, in a fashion that combines the political, and philosophical climate of that time.

I did not start reading Proust until listened to the lectures of Proust, of Lolita, of Joyce. I had not read any of the classics until I knew the text, what was going on with the text, what was the genre of the text, because I didn’t have the context of the book. Classical writings require a comprehensive conceptual framework of history, language, culture, history, and intellectual landscape, to have full grasps of it. There is no way in hell I could’ve learned most of it when I was 21. So I delved into the SparkNotes, the reviews, the lectures on the topic. One thing lead to another, and I begin to see links between links, topics within topics, and it became a web of cultural proliferation in those landscapes. A context, in a sense.

Without the context, I would’ve been lost, frustrated, and might have given up. As shown by many of the puzzles on the iPhone.

 

This post was inspired by this article: The complete guide to reading—and even enjoying—classic literature

Quick Thought on Kanye’s: The Life of Pablo

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Kanye has perfected all of his different styles of music, in his previous 6 albums and put all of that into this album. This is the greatest hits album that we’ve never heard of before. Kanye is a life troll, a shitposter on Twitter, the chaotic neutral of the media. His comments of Bill Cosby, of Taylor Swift, show his willingness to blow up all morals for the sake of performance. As witnessed by his postponing of producing this album from Friday to Saturday night, the modular nature of adding a song at the last minute makes this album purely unpredictable. Just like the evolution of his music. 

In the last paragraph of the New York Times’ Review:

Now his rapping is sparser, more pointed, less imagistic and more emotional. And when he truly needs to be heard, he can corral a dream team of collaborators. He’s so fluent that he can use others to speak for him, and be understood clear as day.

Manifestations

By | Fiction, Short Story | 4,830 Comments

“Turned on Spotify”

The exams are coming, there is havoc on the news of racism and police brutality springs into the background of my phone. I need a break, rest, something that can keep me sane again. The walls of Starbucks don’t seem to help either, everyone is in their zone, while in the background, “Santa Clause is coming to town.” I need to get out of here.

Where can I go that would alleviate me of all the stress? Maybe Narnia? Naw, that book is too young, what about into Summoners Rift? Naw, I’m only Bronze. I need grassland, I need a battle, I need to wait why is there smells of piss around me. Oh yes, I need Zanerkan. My father told me to never go there without music since that land is the manifestation of the music that occurs in one’s mind. So kind of like the Room of Requirements those wizarding kids go to, back in the 1990s. Remember the wizard Potter fighting the snake dude without the nose?

I took out my key link, it’s a small black metal square piece with four interwoven circles around the center. This core is called atomic-underworld-dimensional-interface, it allows me to go to whatever dimension I want to, and all I have to do is to insert it into my car. All I have to do is to set the coordinates.
Z-A-N-E-R-K-A-N
Coordinate number: 3-1-8-0-0-8

The whole car seems to turn into some form of spongey material then everything seems like 2D, then why is the dog on fire…., AHHHHHHh. My arms and legs are no longer fins and gills now, and the car seems to materialize on top of a grassy plane overlooking two sides of the flat green land. It always hurts when I go through another dimensionalI mean having your atomic structure rearranged and digitized while transferring through a wormhole may seem fun, but let’s just leave it to the pros for now.

So, this is Zanerkan; finally, I can have some fresh air and away from the Michigan cold. I put my headphones on and lay on the grass while watching Apollos pulling his divine chariot across the blue sky. Hours went by, well, for what it seems like hours, time and space in this dimension are a bit different than the one you’re reading right now, the good news is it’s always slower here than it is out there in the world.

“Beep beep beep.”

It was a Facebook Alert from Ryan, what’s weird is that my car seems to still transmit networking signals from the world that you’re in right now.

Ryan: Check out Two Hearts from Two Steps From Hell.
I went through my music device and looked for it, the song was glorious, epic, frenzy, well that was the word.

“Oh shi…….t”

Remember when I told you that the environment of Zanerkan is the physical manifestation of the music you’re listening to?

A massive torrenting fog in the shape of a cone came from the blue sky and onto the land below. Below the hill, two armies manifested. Two royal armies, one on the east side and one on the west side of the ground down below. To my surprise, this land seems to take into account all of the materials I have read so far, going from my love for Chinese Mythology to the ancient Greek Myth, and even modern day fantasy such as the lord of the ring trilogies. In my previous travel to this land, I’ve experimented with Eminem, which produced assortments of robot fighting. When I listened to Melody Gardot, I witness the rabbit moon goddess dancing away with her comely handmaidens while seeing little Piggy attempting to cat call her. When I listen to Daft Punk, I saw…… lots of robots, but unlike Eminem, they seem to just lose themselves to dance. Alright enough explaining, I’ve got to take cover before I am spotted. I drove my car away from the side of the hill, took out my iPad and zoomed right into the battle

Climbing on the west side of the field, it seems like they are these half human half horse creatures, wait, OH SHIT, they’re centaurs!! That’s pretty fucking awesome actually. The centaurs stood at 8 feet height, the top half being human and from the waist down, it’s all horse baby, in theory, they should have two rib cages but that’s just side note, and I wonder how they have sex…. Side note to the side note. Alright, focus. The formation of the centaurs is in a square formation, with what seems to be melee centaurs in the from line, facing the center of the field which is creek flowing from the hill I’m observing from. Behind the firsts set of centaurs are two pockets of what seems like really tall humanoids with staffs. Zooming in further with my shitty iPad camera (seriously Tim, make some better cameras on your iPad, 8 megapixels are simply not enough to film the epic nature of this battle, jeez) the tall humans with staffs. Those humanoids have long gray beards, wearing some form of the long brown hood covering their hoof-like legs. Oh, one of pointed their staffs to the ground and bones manifested out of the grown, following muscles, and finishing with dark patches of fur covering the summoned animal. From one, comes many, one by one the tall humanoids all started pointing their staff forward and sounds of howling and growling came from the ground below. Fighters, summoners, and now undead animals all lined up.

Forty feet behind the summoners and the fighters are centaurs holding on to their arrows and crossbows. The ones with the crossbows are in the front while the ones with the long bows are the units in the farthest back. I’ve always wanted a crossbow, I should steal one when they are done killing each other.

On the east side of the river, elves, and most of them are sitting on those huge walking creatures probably around 6 feet tall! Like the formation of the centaurs, the first lane facing the river are these quad pedal creatures that are formed by what seems to be like timber wolves with entangled branches throughout the structure of the body. Their heads are are similar to wolves except their neck which had large vines connecting their neck to their buttocks for securing the rider’s position. Sitting on top of the animated timber wolves are tall humanoid figures with skinny hollow cheeks. Their slender green body all have tribular marks on them from the ritualization process of going from young ones to old adult ones, in the shape of leaves circling through their entire body. Elves, I will start calling them elves, and they sit on golems much easier to say the least.

Behind the front line, there form two pockets of creatures, this time, bipedal large stone golems with elves sitting on their backs in some way of carrying seat. The elves on this group all take great rods that are used to channel a funnel of green energy to their golems, that must be the golem’s energy source. In between the two large pocket of golems stands a large orc-like creature that is comparatively greater than any other creature on the field, a 10 footed brown fur creature with a face compared to a wild boar. The orc’s hand had three large fingers with battle armor encrusting the entirety of its body. Their general is a tall forest Elf sitting on top of the orc holding on to a golden repeating crossbow.
Out of nowhere, the clouds assembled over the what was the clear sky. Zeus threw a shot of lighting with his right fist onto the soundless plane, and the floor started to tremble.

Foucault and Heidegger

By | Non-Fiction, Philosophical | 5,209 Comments

Two of the most influential philosophers in the 20th century are Heidegger and Foucault. Foucault offers us a genealogical account of power where the self is turned into subjects. Such an account acts as a blueprint that allows subjects to maneuver around the terrine of subjugation. On the other hand, Heidegger offers us an understanding and history regarding the nature of being: allowing self-deliverance from the world of inauthentic self to the authentic self so that we no longer view ourselves as objects. Both philosophers want to give an account of freedom through the notion of “Care”. In Heidegger, Care is a property of Dasein that interacts with the world. In Foucault, Care is a form of particular discipline that people imposed on themselves to become better, and to lift themselves out of their “everydayness”. First I will map out the Foucauldian subject through the chapter in Discipline and Punished called “Docile Body”; I will then compare that to the notion of care in Heideggerian terms. After giving these two accounts, a theoretical convergence can take place.

Foucault: The Care of the Docile

Foucault examines normalizing processes by which power subjugates humans and the self into the subject in a chapter in Discipline and Punished called Docile Body. He gives an extreme example of the Docile Body relatable to our daily lives: the soldier. For to become a soldier, a person must go through rigorous training to carve the meaning of what it is, be a soldier into their body. Foucault writes, “A body is docile and can be subjected, used, transferred, and improve.” (Rabinow 1984, P 180). A docile body is similar to clay: the lump of clay is always being subjected to the power of the molder. The subjugators found that they could have control over others. They (being the subjugators) set out three techniques of control: one being scale, rather than en masse, an “indissociable unity.” They focused on individuals by “exercising upon it a subtle coercion…at the level of the mechanism itself, an infinitesimal power over the active body.” Secondly, the object of control was no longer over the linguistic functions of the body: through moods and emotions, they would use their power to control others by their “efficiency of movement, their internal control.” Lastly, there is a constant stream of coercion; it is uninterrupted, ensuring that the control was throughout all aspects of their body and mind.”
Thus, Foucault defines discipline as “…The meticulous control of the operations of the body, which assured the constant subjection of its forces and imposed upon them a relation of docility-utility, might be called disciplines.” Discipline is used to dominate people.
Foucault differentiates and clarifies the difference between these forms of subversive domination different than that of slavery, which operates in the appropriation of the other body. This separates discipline from other forms of domination that are based on utility and the usefulness to the subjugator. (Rabinow 1984, P 181-182).

Foucault believes that “discipline is a political anatomy of detail” and precisely this was what Foucault was studying in The Use of Pleasure and The Care of the Self. Within the normalizing networks of power, there is a possibility for intentional creativity to bring forth new ways of cultivation. These new cultivations or new modes of subjectivization bring forth a new form of knowledge that is self-violating and thus breaks open new spaces for new formation knowledge of the self. Once one understands the power structure of society, one can newly theorize about it, and bring forth change in the relationship of oneself towards the society governing oneself.
Heidegger: The Care of Dasein

According to Heidegger, Dasein is Care. Ontically speaking, he shows that Dasein protects, repairs, and takes into consideration things in the world about the self and another. Due to the decaying physicality of all things, Care is alertness to death. Care is not a project that Dasein takes on any more than death as a fundamental and primordial object of cognition. Rather, Dasein is a being that is always concerned with the nature of being; it always exists. Dasein is moving towards the potential for a greater possibility of self-altering and self-becoming. The movement of Dasein through the world means that Dasein is ahead of itself.
The Care nature of Dasein replaces the Cartesian subject as a substance with qualities, since Dasein is a constant source of becoming, by interacting with the world (the clearing, or Lictung). While thinking about Dasein, and the effort of thinking Dasein as Care, that thinking “Self” becomes another “Self.” Constantly, a reflection of reflection begets more reflection, allowing us to engage in and with the agent of that which thinks. This form of reflection differentiates from the traditional Cartesian meditation, where the thinking thing considers the object out in the world ultimately separating from us, and thus does not interact change us.
Care requires three dimensions: Throwness, projection, and fallen-ness. Fallen-ness is “Dasein has, in the first instance, fallen away from itself as an authentic potentiality for Being its Self, and has fallen into the world”. Fallenness is manifested in idle talk, curiosity, and ambiguity. Each of those manifestations of fallenness blinds Dasein of its full potentialities in the world, the closing up of fascination. Fallenness is the leveling process, by which Dasein goes from authentic understanding to inauthentic understanding. Heidegger offers us a superb quote here:

In utilizing public means of transport and in making use of information services such as the newspaper, every Other is like the next. This Being-with-one-another dissolves one’s own Dasein completely into a kind of Being of ‘the Others’, in such a way, indeed, that the Others, as distinguishable and explicit, vanish more and more. In this inconspicuousness and unascertainability, the real dictatorship of the ‘they’ is unfolded. We take pleasure and enjoy ourselves as they take pleasure; we read, see, and judge about literature and art as they see and judge; likewise we shrink back from the ‘great mass’ as they shrink back; we find ‘shocking’ what they find shocking. The ‘they’, which is nothing definite, and which all are, though not as the sum, prescribes the kind of Being of everydayness. (Heidegger, 1984 p.164)

Convergence: The Subjectivizing Power of the They.

It is through the previous quote that I combine Foucault’s and Heidegger’s respective theories. Upon first reading Foucault’s rejection of subjectivity as a primary analytic category, and Heidegger’s important attention to Dasein as the phenomenology of the subject place, it may seem that these two thinkers are in severe opposition. However, a careful reading of both can generate appreciation for the similarities in their conceptualization of care and freedom. Foucault and Heidegger both give us accounts of normalization and processes by which we can attain a sense of liberty in the world. However, instead of separating the two theorists, one can see them on top of each other. Heidegger tells us the normalizing force of the “they”, and we can tell by Foucault that the normalizing force can be a force of actualization and freedom. Through the care of the self, self-cultivation, like the ancient Greek shoemaker, uses constant practice as a form of new creativity and liberty. For Heidegger, we can become authentic and for Foucault, authentic existence is very much a viable option within the realm of subjugation.

Both philosophers emphasized on the philosophy of life that is always to question one’s relationship towards the world. For Foucault, it was askesis, and for Heidegger too, philosophy is a transformative exercise of living. Both emphasized the danger of centralized ideas of history, of philosophy, and of dogma. Philosophy for them means to dance continuously in a vast ocean of conservatism, to abandon oneself in stasis, and essential identity…in the end, to become constantly queer.

References

Foucault, M., & Rabinow, P. (1984). The Foucault reader. New York: Pantheon Books.
Heidegger, M., Macquarrie, J., & Robinson, E. (2008). Being and time. New York: HarperPerennial/Modern Thought.
McWhorter, L. (1999). Bodies and pleasures. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press.

On Home

By | Non-Fiction, Philosophical, Thoughts | 4,839 Comments

I had a conversation with my bro Andre a few days ago, about the concept of home. Ever since my parents found a restaurant in Niles Michigan I started living away from them. They moved to Niles back in 2007, and j stayed back in Ypsilanti since my parents didn’t want to separate me from what I spatially was acquaintance with. From then on when I would say that I’m going to Niles it always irks me to say I’m going “home.” Niles Michigan isn’t my home; it’s a place where my parents live. Ypsilanti is my home city, but aside from the apartment I lived in since 2008 and before that my uncles house that I lived in for seven years, there’s not a physical house that I can call home. What about China? Well, as an exile there for about 16 years as a child kind of shake the idea of home there too.

I suppose to live this lifestyle of a homeless not home-less would shake the traditional notion of a nuclear family household. To allow us to speed up the nature of queer, of what is not normal, to question conservative notions of tradition and speed up that mental process that examines all things.

 

Chinese cuisine labeled as “comfort food”.

By | Culture, Non-Fiction, Thoughts | 2,165 Comments

It’s difficult to make Chinese food appreciable in this country, possibly due to the transformation of this food into a form of American comfort food much like fast food and fast pizza. What’s interesting is that in this country, even around ann arbor we don’t seem to have the first class experience that we have with other Asian cuisines, such as Japanese (Yotsuba), Korean (Seoul Garden, or Tomukun Korean), or even South Asian cuisines(Tuptim). Even Indian restaurants(Shalimar) in this city can be fancy, but with authentic Chinese food, it’s in a rarity for me not finding one yet. I don’t mean the mainstream Americanized restaurants like PF Chang; it’s still American fast food with the coats of Chinese food labels. Yotsuba, for example, is a lovely high-class expensive costing restaurant that does not get you much food for a high price. What about the more authentic Chinese restaurants? Evergreen and that place on Washtenaw gives you a lot of food for the price, but no were on the ratio of food/price as sushi, or any of the American restaurants on Main Street.
I’m also not trying to argue that the more you pay, the better the taste would be, a small restaurant with low-class settings like Best China in Canton is one of the best tasting restaurants objectively around the area. The diversity of its Shanghainese cooking style is better in taste than Japanese sushi (5 dollars per regular roll and ten bucks per special roll) and Nigiri (2-3 dollars per fish on rice), way better than the Knight’s Steakhouse filet mignon (45 bucks for 8 oz). And with the same amount of money for a dish of filet mignons, it would feed a family of 3 or 4 at Best China.
I’m curious on what would change the way we think about Chinese food, and how we can turn it into a fancy first class experience without turning it into a modern cuisine like Pacific Rims, a fusion restaurant rather than a distinctive Chinese cuisine. Another way of wondering is that who would open these restaurants, and how much of those who open the restaurant would originate from a Chinese style cooking rather than transferring from a first class American restaurant while infusing Chinese cuisine into American cuisine.
This question was inspired by watching Chef’s Table on Netflix as well as The Search for General Tso, where the latter evoked a form of existential, emotional response to me when they talked about the early Chinese settlers that came to this country to thrive in a land of segregation.

hand writing, scratches.

By | Philosophical, Thoughts | 5,231 Comments

handwriting notes are so intimate. they are so deliberate, in today’s day and age. you can see each marking, each mode of being.


that scratch off, the fast motion slowing down to the small, pause. what should I say next, what should I ask, what is he thinking. questions like how is her cat doing.


the anticipation, the tease, is no longer available through messaging now. a thought shall be sent, the other shall receive.

Most Recent Writings

Time to continue the story

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I feel that I’ve already been the hero of my story in my lifetime. Maybe that’s why I feel that the world would be just right now, the world for…

On the Privilege of Travel

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I’ve never traveled so much in my life before this past year and this year. Last night I just booked my ticket to Barcelona for as little as 75 bucks….

A Day in Santa Barbara

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It’s cloudy with a hint of sprinkle rain, El Niño rain (before turning into The Man). The streets around here are filled with tourist (I’m one of them…. So I…

To Cheat, Maybe?

| Culture, Non-Fiction, Philosophical, Thoughts | No Comments

To cheat, maybe? One of the moral lessons we learned in high school and maybe even some beginning college classes literature are the use of spoilers in reading. No Wikipedia…

Quick Thought on Kanye’s: The Life of Pablo

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Kanye has perfected all of his different styles of music, in his previous 6 albums and put all of that into this album. This is the greatest hits album that…

Manifestations

| Fiction, Short Story | 4,830 Comments

“Turned on Spotify” The exams are coming, there is havoc on the news of racism and police brutality springs into the background of my phone. I need a break, rest,…

Foucault and Heidegger

| Non-Fiction, Philosophical | 5,209 Comments

Two of the most influential philosophers in the 20th century are Heidegger and Foucault. Foucault offers us a genealogical account of power where the self is turned into subjects. Such…

On Home

| Non-Fiction, Philosophical, Thoughts | 4,839 Comments

I had a conversation with my bro Andre a few days ago, about the concept of home. Ever since my parents found a restaurant in Niles Michigan I started living…

Chinese cuisine labeled as “comfort food”.

| Culture, Non-Fiction, Thoughts | 2,165 Comments

It’s difficult to make Chinese food appreciable in this country, possibly due to the transformation of this food into a form of American comfort food much like fast food and…

hand writing, scratches.

| Philosophical, Thoughts | 5,231 Comments

handwriting notes are so intimate. they are so deliberate, in today’s day and age. you can see each marking, each mode of being. that scratch off, the fast motion slowing…

Little Rowlings

| Fiction, Short Story | 6,209 Comments

Nothing was perfect for her, at a very young age, she would read books and books all day and night. When she was in school all she cared for were…

Constant Recollections

| Non-Fiction, Philosophical | 7,305 Comments

2 am the time of recollection, the time that every movement I make seems to be a reach for the cake that recalls Proust’s memories. This one too, it’s so…

Who's Thoughts ?

Weixiang Zhang

Imaginarist, Biochemist, Programmer