The Broad Museum

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“You are a goddess living in a city of angels.”

We passed by the courier-sans painted declaration of love and self-love on the walk to The Broad, LA’s contemporary art museum. On the way, we were stopped by an angry protest in the streets. They marched in circles, shouting loud, the police surrounded. After a few attempts to go around the demonstration, we finally climbed up several warm blocks to The Broad.

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We took the three story high escalator to the massive airy room, which housed millions of dollars worth of contemporary art. Several sections were partitioned off, so we zig zagged through the exhibits.

At first, all I saw were scribbles. Blobs. Meaningless abstract figures. And, truth be told, I’d never been a huge fan of contemporary. It always seemed like a whole lot of nothing imbued with something. But the art began to morph into more complicated, familiar pieces. Roy Lichtenstein. Andy Warhol. Jeff Koons. Cindy Sherman. Kruger. 2D images, pixelated and printed, danced to life.

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Here I was, seeing the works of so many artists I’d researched, written about, drawn inspiration from.

Near the end of the museum, we found ourselves in a video exhibit. In a mid-size room, there were at least 10 projections on the walls. On each projection was a musician, cradling a different instrument.

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Each musician contributed to rising the symphony, each absorbed in his own world, his own space, while creating one with others. The music ebbed and flowed.

 

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New Blog Layout, Hurrah

Why am I looking up psychology studies at 12:30 AM?

It’s hard to believe that graduate school starts soon. I’m nervous and in slight disbelief.

But I have energy and resolve and whatnot. The only thing I’m wary about is…transportation.

My blog has undergone a makeover. It’s small and minimalist now. I’m not even sure if it’s intended for reading. The old layout was just dull and littered with ads. That was driving me nuts.

These image-ridden posts are getting tiring. I’m going to opt for more of these brief, blank text posts.

That’s it for now. My mind draws a blank.

Weekend Trip

This past weekend was a good one.

We roll in after five and a half hours on the road. For the first half, I immerse myself in the bloated dialogue of Altered Carbon, pausing every now and then to contemplate the soothing country road.

Do you want to make a stop? Why not? We take our bathroom break in the crowded & glorified stop. It glitters and shimmers with clamoring families and fake lashes and bustling bodies. The last time we came here, about two summers back, the bathrooms were cleaner.

A few hours in, we find ourselves trapped in miles of stagnant traffic. We drive onto the parallel local road, cruise up a few miles, then stopped again, snail-crawling our way around a closed highway. On a Friday night. Afterwards, it’s dark. I don’t pay attention to the tolls on tolls, just the small screen in front of me.

Eat, sleep, wake. There’s a stork by the lake, a spider on the window. We down some coffee, eat fried rice, drive over to GameStop, then the grocery store, and then back. Video games, dreariness, chattiness, and then the FunPlace, with the slightly overpriced roller skating arena. We glide on the cold cream concrete floor. Except for one. I am terrified watching him hobble his way dangerously on skates. He leans forward, like he’s about to topple over, and every push is a tense one. After two hours, we go home, sweaty and tired.

Another grocery run. Barbecue. DJing and grilling by the lake. Time passes. Around dinner, we pop in for food and the match. It’s a nervous match, and we’re on the edge of our seats the whole time. Good bye. Good night. You are the king, and I am the queen. I am the king.

Next day’s one spent with small people. Dolls. Fashion show. Hide and go seek. I, the dedicated hider, decide to hide for 36 minutes under a box in the garage. I send riddles with hints buried in them. We resort to more and more desperate measures. Fence hopping. Backyard sneaking. But still, the other games go by relatively quickly.

We call it a night, and half play games, while the other half plays music. Eventually, I conk out, tired, until early the next morning, when we leave.

Antiques & ESP

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Stumbled upon an antique shop today. The space was massive and littered with countless antiques. Innumerable. I can’t even begin to list them all–porcelain dolls, Victorian doll houses, juke boxes, 70’s film cameras…. This isn’t a paper, so I won’t go needlessly in depth, but god, I was taken aback. And mesmerized. And I don’t even think I even explored every room, because when I turned around, there was another space filled with unfamiliar objects.

It was by a slightly haunted-ish coffeeshop. Slightly, because there was one unhappy individual who didn’t want me by the connected church. For a long time, I wondered who had passed away there. Who was it? Since it’s in an older part of town, I wasn’t surprised, logically, but I was uncomfortable. I generally don’t blog about this, because it’s just one of those odd, personal things, but it’s subsided, the semi…6th sense thing. The reality is that this sort of thing isn’t scary at all, though it can be, depending on the individual…

For a certain chunk of time, I’d experience clairsentience. I would occasionally sense presences–more often, I’d sense energies. And we all carry our own energies, so there’s nothing strange about that. But there were times that these energies were, ah, how do I put this, very particular? in their negative emotions, and not visible. I would leave feeling spooked. Message received: I’ll leave.

Some people believe in this sort of stuff, and lots of people don’t. As with politics and religion, I don’t feel as though it’s my responsibility to convince them otherwise. But if you’ve ever crossed paths with a bad person–someone who did not have your interests at heart, who felt off or angry or manipulative–just imagine that person, but behind you. They don’t say a word, and you can’t hear or feel them, but just as you sense the person in front of you, you can sense them behind you. And it’s just…unnerving.

As aforementioned, this type of thing has subsided. For that, I’m grateful. One of my roommates’ mothers described being able to see these energies–now that I wouldn’t be able to stand. At the same time, there’s a difference between those who are earthbound, and those who have passed. The former are often disgruntled, angry, or confused; the latter are light, distant, and caring. So it depends on who’s communicating, and what the message is.

It’s been years since I’ve encountered these situations, but I’ll be honest: it still freaks me out, even to think about.

Chinatown, Los Angeles

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On the drive the Chinatown, the roads dipped and curved at odd angles. Los Angeles welcomed us with the smell and grit of urban spaces. People milled about; restaurants dotted the sidewalk; cars zipped through the streets.

I spotted the tell-tale entrance of Chinatown—a paifang, or, according to Wiki, a “traditional style of Chinese architectural arch or gateway.” We parked in a lot by the entrance, a block or two down the street.

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Bright red paper lanterns were strung through Chinatown, billowing pockets of vibrancy.

The shops were reminiscent of those in China, of small outdoor markets filled with colorful decorative goods. Hats, toys, and paper dragons spilled across the shops. It was strangely empty, but it was also noon on a weekday, when most people were at work.

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Near the center of Chinatown was a small park and pond. A woman sat outside smoking. A man in a bright pink tee rested on a bench.

In an abrupt reminder that this was Chinatown, LA, a burger joint interrupted the space. “Rush Hour was shot here,” painted letters on a wall.

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On the walk around Chinatown, we stumbled upon outdoor markets, where the clothes reminded me of my waipo, grandma. The fabric was thick and wooly, the colors rich and dark.

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We passed by a Vietnamese and Chinese bookshop, where the lettering and signs reminded me of childhood, when we’d walk through markets adorned with similar posters, searching for phone cards, herbs, spices and medicine.

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Tiny Catharsis

after I left, I realized that, well, in this life, we may make money, we may be successful, but who the hell cares if we’re not with the people we love? that’s what matters in this life—the people we love. we’ll die like everyone else, maybe leave behind a scrapbook or a few digital albums, maybe end up on Reddit’s oldschoolcool if we’re lucky, but that’s it: we’ll be dust. but if we’re by the people we love, it makes our time existing a lot more bearable.

7/7/19, 9:56 AM

writing in my journal feels like wringing out some soggy towel of thoughts and airing my brain out in the sun.