Sunday, July 18, 2021
Saturday, July 17, 2021
Won't Even Start - David Choi
渐渐 - 赵薇
搞笑 - 罗志祥
Wish You Were Here - Avril Lavigne
失忆的金鱼 - 杨丞琳
Happier - Ed Sheeran
就让这首歌 - 张震岳
冰雨 - 刘德华
眼泪的名字 - 谢安琪
Consequences - Camila Cabello
참 쓰다 - Lee Ming Jung
Everyone feels sad in their own way.
In that sense, you tend to gravitate to the songs that speak to you.
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Father's Day wasn't something that was in my lexicon for the longest time when I was young. These days it carries a little more weight, though it's not official celebrated.
There are two songs that remind me of dads in general. 1 in English, 1 in Chinese.
This song is in the perspective of a father giving his son some advice.
I actually heard it first in Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2, at the end.
Guardians Vol. 2 deals with family and what it means to be family. Lindsay Ellis has a great video essay here.
I couldn't really focus at the song at the end with my initial viewing, but the scene with the song was always very moving. As with the original soundtrack, I bought it and started listening to it.
Then again, this song never really got to me until more recently, after I talked more with my dad.
I think it's always going to be a complex relationship with fathers, be it the ones that are present, or the ones that aren't there.
“How can I try to explain?
'Cause when I do, he turns away again
It's always been the same, same old story
From the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen
Now there's a way and I know that I have to go away
I know, I have to go”
有幸运的 成为知己 有不幸的 只能是甲乙”
“Reminiscing is actually not the theme of this song
I believe it's not just me that find recollections draining
Between two men, it's extremely likely that the only thing you share is that you look alike
Lucky ones become confidants, unlucky ones are mere passersby”
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Don't know why I'm bad at this, uh
I know it's a habit of mine
Perfect, perfect timing
I ruined it before it began, oh
Last night was the last night of my past life
Got me here like you could never figure me out
Last night was the last time, was the last time
I never let you figure me out
Sitting here, talking to myself
Thinking how I used to use you
Only thing I'm used to
Last night was the last time, was the last time, woah
Gave me what I wanted when I needed it
Honestly, I mean it
You know I would feel it, I would
Monday, May 31, 2021
He set a direction in this GPS for home.
Wait, is there still light out? He looked at his watch, 8:30, there's still time perhaps.
Updating his destination, he started driving.
It was already very dark when he got there, almost.
He walked up the hill, he didn't expect there to be the overgrown trees, though to be fair the last time he was here was in winter.
At the spot where he took the last picture, this time there's more people, with drinks and music.
He misses the peace and quiet, but definitely not the cold.
Still, he found a spot and sat down.
He had missed it. Though the city lights are starting to make up for it, a different scene than what he expected to see.
Walking back down the hill, some mini fireworks started from up top. Seems like the people are compensating for the lack of real fireworks. The sound reflects from across the valley, seemingly doubling the amount that's actually there.
Heh. So many things running through his head.
Sunday, April 25, 2021
With his arms around your body
Laughin', but the joke's not funny at all
And it took you five whole minutes
To pack us up and leave me with it
Holdin' all this love out here in the hall
And I didn't like the ending
You're not my homeland anymore
So what am I defending now
You were my town
Now I'm in exile, seein' you out
I think I've seen this film before
Like you'd get your knuckles bloody for me
Second, third, and hundredth chances
Balancin' on breaking branches
Those eyes add insult to injury
And I didn't like the ending
I'm not your problem anymore
So who am I offending now
You were my crown
Now I'm in exile, seein' you out
I think I've seen this film before
So I'm leavin' out the side door
Of crying I can do for you
All this time
We always walked a very thin line
You didn't even hear me out (You didn't even hear me out)
You never gave a warning sign (I gave so many signs)
I never learned to read your mind (Never learned to read my mind)
I couldn't turn things around (You never turned things around)
'Cause you never gave a warning sign (I gave so many signs)
So many signs, so many signs
You didn't even see the signs
Saturday, April 24, 2021
When you are young, they assume you know nothin'
Playing hide-and-seek and giving me your weekends, I
I knew you
Your heartbeat on the high line, once in 20 lifetimes, I
You drew stars around my scars
But now I'm bleedin'
Steppin' on the last train, Marked me like a bloodstain, I
I knew you
Tried to change the ending, Peter losing Wendy, I
I knew you
Leavin' like a father, running like water, I
And when you are young, they assume you know nothing
I knew you'd haunt all of my what-ifs
The smell of smoke would hang around this long
'Cause I knew everything when I was young
Chasin' shadows in the grocery line
I knew you'd miss me once the thrill expired
And you'd be standin' in my front porch light
And I knew you'd come back to me
You'd come back to me
And you'd come back to me
And you'd come back
Under someone's bed
You put me on and said I was your favorite
Sunday, April 4, 2021
Saturday, March 20, 2021
After I saw Minari, I told someone that I found it "generic".
I would like to take that statement back.
Minari is a 2020 film starring Steven Yuen, Han Ye-ri, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Youn Yuh-jung.
A Korean family that moved to Arkansas from California to start a new life, along with their daughter and son.
I see a dad trying his hardest to make something of himself. To have a new start. I see a mother trying desperately to keep their children safe and well. The clashes and fights that happen because of this. Hard to say, if there weren't any kids in the picture, if they would still be together.
I see a child trying to wrestle with his health, his bed wetting and his new grandma that came into his house.
It won "Best Picture - Foreign" at the Golden Globes.
Is it foreign because of the language that they were talking in?
Is it foreign because it features an Asian cast?
Detailing their trials and tribulations, their fight for the American Dream. Is that foreign?
I found it generic... because I've seen it, I've heard it, hell, I lived through some of it.
Being so happy to the point of crying because of chilli powder? Been there with salt water popsicles. True story, I happily drove to a supermarket super out of the way to get that. Paid like 5x the cost. Best time ever.
A lot of the stand ups that feature immigrant comedians already covered these scenarios a lot. In my mind, I thought it was already well known. I realized then, perhaps the same as what I said in my writeup of The Farewell, people who understood the situation laughed because they could relate, people who didn't understand laughed because the situation described was just plain absurd to them.
What I realized... is that we downplay a lot of the experiences that we went through. We downplay them because people:
- won't understand
- can't relate
- treat any experience that's out of the norm as foreign (and in turn weird, if not hostile)
The events of this week, the spa shootings and the subsequent coverage of said shootings, tells me that representation matters.
It's great that Minari is here this year, just as The Farewell was there 2 years ago. Stories, that are told, and shared, most importantly, recognized.
Minari is also a vegetable that's also used in Korean cooking. Known for its resiliency, and its ability to adapt and grow.
Fitting that it is worked into the film and used as the title.
Just like minari, we'll do the same.
Thursday, March 11, 2021
He was crossing the road, warm day, picking up some groceries.
He saw her. Though, she looked disheveled, unsure of her surroundings. Not going to lie, he thought she was one of the homeless wanting some change.
Unconscious biases can be tricky to dismantle, as he walked past she reached out to him, trying to flag him down.
In that moment, he stopped playing his music.
"Hi, can you help me take a picture?"
"Yes, a picture with my cake".
She started moving towards her belongings, among them a cake bought at the local grocery store.
"Sure, of course."
She gestured to give him the phone. He thought about the pandemic and how this person was an unknown... then he saw the words on the cake. It read... "Happy birthday"
"Yes I just want a picture with my cake, it's my birthday."
"It's your birthday? Wow, happy birthday!"
"Yes, can you please take a picture with me and the cake in it? Please make sure to get the words on the cake."
Fidgeting around with the phone, he took multiple pictures of her with the cake, making sure that she had copies in both portrait and landscape.
"Well, I did what I could." He hands her the phone back.
"Thank you so much."
"Happy birthday again!" He walks away smiling to her, then sighed.
If it wasn't for the current circumstances... would she have been standing alone in the street, asking a random stranger to take a photo of her with her cake?
Her name is Jenna.
Saturday, March 6, 2021
Usually songs that have explicit versions and clean (Radio Edit) versions are either censored or edited to a way that's unnatural.
Take P!nk's "Fucking Perfect" vs "Perfect"
"Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel, like you're less than, fucking perfect"
"Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel, like you're less than, less than perfect"
The lyrics removes the burst of emotion in that part. That's the sacrifice you make for the radio edit.
Other explicit songs just does the bare minimum... Ariana Grande's "7 Rings" removes the vulgarities without replacing them.
Granted, I am unsure which method is better. The mind always fills in the gaps where the censored word should be, and when you're doing the sing along... you sing it anyways.
Then comes Olivia Rodrigo's drivers license
"Red lights, stop signs, I still see your face, in the white cars, front yards, can't drive past the places, we used to, go to..."
"cause I still fucking love you"
"cause you know I still love you"
Personally I downloaded the clean version of the song and had been listening to it, without realizing that there was an explicit version. I thought well, that's a sad song.
Then YouTube Music served up the explicit version... I thought, damn, that's a desperately sad song.
The clean version alludes to at least knowing the feelings of the breakup, that they talked about it and decided it was best to go their separate ways.
The explicit version... is so one-sided. unrequited. raw.
Fundamentally different songs.
Olivia recently appeared on Saturday Night Live singing Drivers License. And she did... well this...
For the second verse of the bridge she sang "I still... I still love you", this kept inline with the explicit version while still being TV friendly.
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Let Her Go - Passenger
还是要幸福 - 田馥甄
我很好, 那么你呢? - 王心凌
那些女孩教我的事 - 品冠
Already Gone - Kelly Clarkson
爱的代价 - 张艾嘉
开始懂了 - 孙燕姿
Always Remember Us This Way - Lady Gaga
我好吗 - 梁静茹
Moral of the Story - Ashe
如果这就是爱情 - 张靓颖
Acceptance in any way shape of form.
It could be bittersweet, could be liberating, could even be taking a deep breath.
It could be smiling, while crying, with snot running down your nose.
Truth is, you don’t really need a playlist for acceptance.
Acceptance is when you can listen to any of the songs in the playlists before, and maintain composure.
Maybe there is a hint of regret, a sight bitterness.
Remember, happiness is a choice.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
He brought along one of those smaller beer cans, ones that could fit into a soda sleeve.
Despite it being a good sunny day, the wind was still blowing strong, doubly so where we are. The ice, now broken up into large pieces by the warming weather, is moving along with the current. Two birds stood on top of one of the pieces, seemingly enjoying the trip they are on.
"There are 3 women I've ever loved in my life."
"Yeah?" I took a sip from my own can.
"All of them different from each other, and I love them all with my heart"
He looked away onto the lake. Deep in thought. The sunset was happening on the horizon, half obstructed by the giant structure to our right. I could see partially the beauty of it through the chimney stacks and steel walls, piecing it together with the reflection of it on the lake.
There was suddenly beams of light coming towards us. How the police manage to drive their car onto a walkway near the water will always allude me. I guess... very slowly?
I shifted my can behind my backpack. It's always the small details that give it away, and I was not planning to get a ticket.
"So... then are you still in contact with the other two?"
"No. No... Heck no."
"I wouldn't be able to control myself."
Saturday, February 20, 2021
"But I met someone. And she's helped. And now I want to stay clean. And shit! Maybe that's... Maybe that's me being selfish. And Ali just scared the shit out of me because he told me that it wasn't gonna last. And, fuck, you know what? Maybe you're right. But I really, really, really, hope you're wrong."
- Rue (Euphoria / '03 Bonnie and Clyde)
"Everything that's good to you ain't always good for you."
- Waiter (Euphoria / Trouble Don't Last Always)
"I can survive just fine without you, you know. But... there’s a chance that life can be a little less mundane with you in it."
"OK, come on. Let's see if we blow up and die."
- Sarah (Palm Springs)
"Closure is really for you you know. There isn't anything on the line for the other person."
- Some jackass I know
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Looking out the window, people at the skating rink are leaving. It is getting late, isn't it.
A thought suddenly pops into his head... huh that's weird. Why is this thought suddenly coming up, and why is there an urge to speak it.
Throughout the night there's been a lot of conversations going on, a lot of talking, a lot of understanding and heartfelt feelings.
It's beginning to turn into a word vomit, like something you can't stop any longer.
He looked down at the bowl of pomelo, at the can of beer that's been consumed.
Rationally, there's absolutely no reason why this needs to come up now. There is a plan for everything... there's a plan.
What is a plan?
Heart pounding now.
He looked up, looks at her, and said: "I still like you."
Monday, February 8, 2021
"If you didn't leave at that time, would it make any difference to our relationship?"
"If at that time, you had the courage to get on the subway train, I would've stayed with you forever."
When I first heard that, I didn't read too much into it. It just sounded like regrets on top of regrets, a load of "What-ifs".
Later while listening to Eason Chen's main title song: 我们 that I saw the following YouTube comment, and everything clicked into place.
"This might be the difference between man and woman: While you are happy and contented, I have nothing. I really do not have the courage to get on that train, afraid you will follow me and live a terrible life; Meanwhile, she wants to see the attitude and determination in him, hope that he love without any doubts or fear. Hence, if you make this step and get on the subway train, I will follow you for the rest of our lives."
Thursday, February 4, 2021
He walked with her, through the mud, to get to the small creek.
"No you go"
There was a log nearby, they sat down. He took out a snack to eat.
It was dry and it sucked up all of his saliva. He hurriedly took out the plastic bottle from his bag and chugged the water.
"I know of someone that recently broke up."
"Yeah the person I was telling you about before"
"Maybe I should introduce you two, cause you're both now single"
He didn't know what to make of it.