An Explanation

I actually haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth – I’ve just moved to the other side of it, again. It’s a journey that probably started back in September of 2016, when JC and I decided to come back here. At that time we had been staying with our parents for over a year, and things actually weren’t so great. You can see it in my posts from the time, from hinting that I was realizing how much our parents fucked us up to how I tried to convince myself that things were good. There was even a list of things that I missed from Hong Kong.

The first time around in Hong Kong we still thought of our parents’ places as home, and kept things there. But this time would be different. Having been at home for a year, I realized how tethered we still were to our parents, how we weren’t really as independent as we thought. No, if we were to leave this time, I would not use my mom’s house as a storage unit. I would take care of all my shit, whether that meant taking it with me or getting rid of it. From the past year of museum posts and magazine scans, you can see what I decided.

If I had the money, and the means to make that money, I would stay in the Bay Area. Even as we were selling our things and packing our suitcases I told JC that Hong Kong actually isn’t so great, we already gave it a go, and we came back to the USA. But where would we stay in the Bay Area? We tried looking for a place to live in early 2016. I actually had a job with decent hours and pay. But it was a shit life, a draining life. Work all day doing something you don’t like, ride in a stinky train before and after, and repeat daily. Hong Kong would be the same, but at least the train wouldn’t be stinky. I wouldn’t have to worry about my surroundings all the time. But I’d still have to deal with the shitty parts of living here. In the end, given a bunch of shitty choices, we picked the least stinky one.

So this is where we are now, more than 6 months back in Hong Kong. Despite now being independent, we’re still not as happy as we’d like to be. Adulting is fucking hard, and the more you live and experience, the more it seems like it’s all bullshit. JC is working and dealing with office politics, and I am not, a repeat of early 2014. As I posted back then, I still got nothin’, no motivation to work, no hunger for money, no plans for the future. I still just want to play basketball and video games, read books, and drink Scotch. We can’t exclusively do those things because we don’t have money, but if we commit ourselves to earning money, then we won’t have time to do those things. What a vicious turn of events.

I often think of things to post here, about life and our current situation, and the future. And yet, when the time comes, it seems difficult to organize all my thoughts. We’re not quite 40 yet, but life seems tiring. Is this all there is? What’s the meaning? Is there even supposed to be a meaning? Why does it seem like most people are deceiving themselves? Or are we the ones deceiving ourselves?

I’m looking for a job now, so I won’t post this just yet, because despite my angst, I understand how the world works. Just more bullshit, right? For the record, I started this entry in January, and today is April 11. Let’s see what the actual date will be when I finally post…

No Internet, Part II

This post originally completed on May 21, 2017 at 1:23 AM

Another post to explain why many posts are being uploaded on the same day – I’m once again back at that previous location.

In a nutshell, we tried to switch internet providers but the timing was a little off. Now, it has been almost 30 days without wired internet. It hasn’t been terribly bad since most of us have mobile internet, but for me personally, this location happens to be a T-Mobile dead zone (AT&T can at least make calls, but isn’t much better). At this very moment, my phone reports that it’s connecting through EDGE, but if I actually try to load any sites, nothing happens. In 2017, I am dealing with the exact problem that I dealt with back in 2004.

Thirteen years is a long time, and I am no longer the person I was. I’m not going to spend my precious time chasing support representatives trying to solve a telecom issue. I can simply scan my magazines and post them at a later time. But although I’ve changed, it seems that telecommunications companies in America (well, the SF Bay Area at least) still suck. It’s been about 16 days since I put in an order for new internet. Yesterday, two techs from AT&T finally came out to install, but due to a labor strike (I’m not kidding), they had to drop everything and leave immediately. They didn’t bother to reconnect the landline, so now even the phone is dead. No ETA in sight. Looking back at my HK records, when we first got our place there, we stopped by a PCCW store and ordered our 300M fibre connection on March 4. On March 8, a PCCW tech spent less than an hour setting everything up, and that was it. I know that the grass isn’t greener on the other side, but damn. That’s a big difference, isn’t it?

None of this surprises me anymore, because I have experience working with various telecom providers throughout the years. I would guess that anyone who’s had experience wouldn’t be too surprised, either. Slow, shitty service, ancient tech, it’s like these things are normal here. And that’s the part that gets to me a little, the part that’s sad. We treat this as our standard, as normal. Things going wrong, not getting what you paid for, wasting extra time trying to set up what is now considered a basic necessity, these are all normal. Going from sign-up to IP address in 4 days? That would be considered a ridiculous expectation.

Which got me thinking about the whole “make America great again” movement. If you replace “telecom providers” in the preceding paragraph with a multitude of other goods and services (public and private) in this country, it would still be true. It has always been true. In my nearly 30 years in this country, there have often been these types of head-scratching moments when I’m asking myself, “Huh? This happened? In America?”, whether I’m experiencing it myself or reading about it in the paper or a history book. We’re actually not that great, if at all, and we’re mostly just like everyone else: average (I’ve actually brought this up before). As I type this, I am wondering if it would be a good idea to post it. In the land of the free, I am considering self-censorship (it wouldn’t be the first time). Wouldn’t want to be called unpatriotic or to be told to go back to where I came from. It’s not too different than criticizing the Chinese Communist Party in China and being called a subversive element. If we have more in common with authoritarian China than we would care to admit, then perhaps we’re not that great after all.

But, I digress. The point of this post was to once again explain the reason behind having so many posts with “originally completed on” posted on the same day. Now you know.

No Internet

A quick note to explain the posting dates of May’s posts up to this point. Internet has been down at my location so I haven’t been able to upload these scans as I make them. Instead, I’ve been creating text files for uploading once the internet returns. As of this moment, I don’t see internet returning to this location any time soon, so it may have to be until next week that I get to upload the queue.

May 4, 2017. 12:45 PM.

Super Hang On

I was listening to some Herzog Zwei background music just now when I realized that it’s been over a year since I last played this game. Just like that it’s been a year, and just like that it’s been 12 days since October started. I actually have a long post coming up that I started working on on October 1 but haven’t gotten around to finishing. Another thing I never got around to finishing was posting a video of Super Hang On that I made back in June of this year. After finishing what I was doing while listening to Herzog, I came in to write and post this quickly before I “don’t get around to it” again.

So, Super Hang On. If I recall correctly, this was the free game I chose from one of the promotions Sega had early during the Genesis’ life. I don’t remember exactly but the idea was that you buy two or three (I think it was three) games, cut out the UPCs, send in the UPCs and receipts, and in return Sega would send you the game of your choice (if available). I have a faint memory of this game arriving at our old house. I can see it still shrink-wrapped. I remember the texture of the clear plastic on the box. This was also before Sega changed the Genesis logo, before they enlarged and added “16-bit Cartridge” underneath it.

In terms of gameplay, there was Arcade mode and Original mode. Arcade mode was pretty straightforward; it was a matter of how long you could keep your attention span because each difficulty level was just a progression of gameplay length. Original was kind of cool. You started off with the shittiest bike possible (compared to the maxed-out bike in Arcade mode, the starting bike was unmaneuverable), being able to upgrade it only after winning races and earning money. I enjoyed reading the descriptions of the parts in the manual (something that’s missing from games these days). My favorite (or at least the most memorable) is the titanium-monocoque frame. It was probably my first encounter with disc and drum brakes as well, and where I learned the difference.

Below is the video of myself playing Arcade mode on the easiest difficulty level. Enjoy!

Site Update 12-19-13

With the recent release of WordPress 3.8, I thought I’d give the new 2014 theme a try. I also cleaned up the categories a bit. Can’t believe there are only 6 days until Christmas. Happy holidays, everyone.

Update: thought the 474 pixels for the main entry content was too narrow. I understand why they did it that way, for people to use the extra widget on the right. Since I won’t be using the widget, I created a child theme to make the width 600 pixels.

Site Update 8-23-13

I finally took the time to make the site look like I’ve always wanted it to look, the way it looked before I switched to WordPress. If I knew it would only take me a day, I would have done it a long time ago. Previously, I had already created a child theme, using the WordPress Twenty Eleven theme. I messed with the CSS a bit and got the site to somewhat look like my old one, but there were some issues such as the sidebar not appearing on individual posts, some fonts being too large, etc. Well, it turns out that there have been plenty of other people with the same sidebar issue, so I was able to find a solution pretty quickly. After that, I used Firefox’s Inspector feature (under Tools->Web Developer) to look at individual elements to see which part of the style.css file I should edit.

The site is a better reflection of me now, and I am happy.