Thursday, November 15, 2007

some random stuff

Ok guys- I've seen that site that hosts some of my archives, but don't really feel like linking to it. In a way, starting over is a good feeling, so this post will serve as an 'about me' section. First, though, I HAVE to mention the NYC opening of the best store in the world. Muji SoHo opens tomorow (Friday 16) at noon. There's nothing else like it in the world, so check it out if you are in the area and want sleek, contemporary designed stationary, housewares, clothing, kitchen supplies, furniture, some health and beauty at a reasonable price.


I was born in late 1978 in Japan. I am ethnically Japanese, and am adopted. My parents are 'white' Americans. My dad used to work in Tokyo in the mid 70s to early 80s, and as my parents had a hard time having a child, they decided to adopt there since it was much easier than to undergo the American adoption process. They did look into adopting in nearby Korea, but decided against it since it was more difficult due to longer waiting periods. Adoption in Japan is and was incredibly rare-- I don't mean to sound like 'I'm so special!", but it's simply not common. I think there were around 15 international adoptions in Japan the year I was born.

My birth mother was from Saitama Prefecture, much of which is a bedroom community of Tokyo. She was working class, single, and was left by my natural father. She went to a clinic in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture where I was born. The OBGYN specialized in adoptions, and was an activist in helping single mothers. He was an outspoken opponent of the stigma single mothers and their children carried on 'koseki', or family registries which contain information such as marriages (or lack thereof), education, etc. In an old post, it could be interpreted that my adoption was slighltly illegal, but it was not. It went through the courts, and all the proper documents were in order.

I became a naturalized American citizen in 1981 in Hawaii. I grew up in Westchester County, NY, went to college in New York City, and here I am.

I have a sort of love/hate relationship with NYC. I love what is available here. I love that you can be who you want to be here and people don't care. I love the accessibility of foreign food eateries and shops, the 24 hour subway, museums, cast iron buildings downtown, the whole cultural melting pot. I don't, however, like many NYers, even though I am one. The stereotypical loudness, people talking loudly on cell phones in shops, restaurants (you shouldn't even talk on your cell phone in McDonalds, in my opinion), not being able to differentiate indoor and outdoor voices, etc. I especially can't stand the 'I'll play my stereo loud at 3 AM, and if you don't like it, fuck you, it's NY, deal with it' attitude'. But, it's not like everyone is like that by any means (usually just ex frat boy yuppies), and at the end of the day, this is the place I feel the most comfortable in the world. I just try and tune out the 'entitled' mentality of some people here.

Even though I have many, many opinons and have voiced them on my blog, I'm not really a 'loud' person. Sure, I share opinions with friends, or people I feel are on the same wave length, but I'm also quite reserved. It may seem from reading this site that I tell people whatever I think whenver I want, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I'm actually quite reserved, and I'm very much a 'time and a place for everything' person. I just judge what or what not to say based on reading the person, and of course in professional circumstances, or with people like older family friends, I am quite diplomatic.

Several people have told me I have a good aura, and on hearing this, I always want to laugh. I don't exactly know what that means, and I feel that I'm often kind of tense and uptight in certain social situations. I'm very NOT new agey, hence the wanting to laugh....

I love food and cooking. For the most part, I don't have high end tastes in cooking. To me, the best foods are based on the peasant cuisine of different cultures. Of course, I do like Peking Duck, good sushi, etc :-) My favorite food when I do not have social plans, but feel like eating out is ramen, or the Japanese version of Chinese noodle soup. It's kind of like a fast food, but tastier--and no, I do not mean those instant packages you buy in the grocery store 6 for a dollar. The real stuff, baby! Rich broth of pork and chicken and soy, fatty slices of roast pork, hard cooked egg, naruto, bean sprouts, shinachiku, etc. Indian, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Malaysian are generally my favorite foods.

I'm a clean freak. I shower thorougly and vigorously. I HAVE to have a hand held shower head. The typical American style shower head that is attached to the wall is no good for me. I use what in Japan is called a 'body towel', which is semi course woven nylon cloth that gets rid of the dead skin all over your body. You can even wash your back with it and REALLY scrub hard, it feels so nice. You wet it, add soap or body wash, work up a lather, and turn off the shower so the suds don't rinse away. When done, rinse it off thorougly, ring it out, and it drys quickly. I usually toss them after 3 months or so.

However- while I love and am obsessed with showering, I have some pairs of jeans I never wash. I want my favorite several pairs of jeans to be comfy, and not be subjected to the shrinking or fading of laundry. I just febreeze them every once in a while. Stop judging me!

I'm gay and not that into the 'scene'. Sure, I go to bars and have fun, but I don't feel that being gay is that big of a deal and that I have to make it my identity. At this point in my life, I know who I am, what I like and dislike. I'm too apathetic to be any sort of activist, pride parades annoy me, and the thought of going on a gay cruise is the last thing I would ever want to do. Chelsea on a boat? No thanks.

I smoke. I try not to smoke in my apartment often, as I don't like the smell, so I'll grab my jacket and go outisde in the winter, unless it's absolutely freezing. Smokers of the world, unite! *cough, wheeze*

I love watching and going to the movies. If I had to list a few of my favorite films, they would be 'Tampopo' directed by Juzo Itami (which is focussed around ramen, yum), 'Raise The Red Lantern', 'Purple Noon', 'A Single Girl', 'All About My Mother', 'The Breakfast Club'

I get angry when people ask me if I am of Korean or Chinese background. Maybe not angry, but my face will sour.....

If I had to list my skills, I would say that it is being highly observant and being able to 'read' people. I can take things in easily and I remember things vividly from chidlhood vacations. I'm curious at knowing why different people in the world do things the way they do (sociology major). My weakness is making small talk, like on an airplane or talking to other travellers while on a vaction, for example. I get shy, feel awkward, and find it an invasion of my privacy.

Anyway, more to come. I don't want to make this post too long....


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