On to the next chapter.

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Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

When I first started talking to the girl who would become my wife, I told her, “I love LA. I’m never leaving. I was born here, and I’ll die here.”

What an idiot I was, and — to a big degree — still am.

I try not to live in the past, but sometimes I can’t help myself. When I do look back, I cringe at my buffoonery.

A word of advice to all the youngsters out there — if you’re using words like “always” and “never” in excess, you will one day realize with astonishment how often you did the exact opposite of what you stated with certainty at one point in life. …


There’s something inside all of us.

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Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

I hated playing the piano as a child, but my personal tastes were of no significance. My parents forced me to take lessons for a while because it was something that Asian kids who were going to become something in this life do. Once a week I would walk around the block to an old Korean lady’s house and sit in front of her piano for an hour and practice some classical European piece that might as well been composed by a Martian to my indifferent ears. It’s a shame that I was force-fed these Nineteenth century works because I’ve always enjoyed music, and sometimes I daydream about an alternate life where I continued to play because I was introduced to Thelonious Monk and Art Tatum instead of Beethoven and Bach. …


What are we writers to do about it…

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Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

I miss watching The Simpsons. It was must-see TV when I was growing up. Come to think of it, a lot of shows were must-see TV in the early ’90s — In Living Color; Beverly Hills, 90210; and Married… With Children come to mind. I’m pretty sure that The Simpsons is still running but that sort of must-see TV vibe doesn’t exist anymore because it’s been replaced with see-everything-at-anytime TV.

Treehouse of Horror IV is an episode that I distinctly remember. Homer is taken to Hell, which comes in the form of the devil taking him on a trip to the “Ironic Punishment Division” and forcing him to eat “all the doughnuts in the world.” And with hysterical laughter, I witnessed Homer eat every doughnut with pleasure, puzzling a devil who was certain that this torture tactic would drive him mad. …


From unsaved to saved to unsaved again

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Photo by John Price on Unsplash

I hope my mother-in-law doesn’t read this.

Tina is a very devout believer. A now retired but once long-time restaurant owner as many Chinese immigrants are, she spends most of her time going to church and socializing with her fellow Christian friends. Diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer in 2012, she’s battled two recurrences and undergone multiple Chemotheraphy and radiation treatments. It’s an amazing feat and a testament to her strength that she’s alive and well today. I’m sure she believes that God did all that for her.

My wife Emily tells me that when she first told her mom that I was Korean, her heart skipped a beat in disappointment that I wasn’t Chinese. I never took that as a racist thing (it could be interpreted that way for those that don’t understand the inter-Asian dynamics in America; if that’s you, I wrote about it here) but a common sentiment that I understand as my mom’s heart skipped an equal beat of disappointment in her revelation that my then-girlfriend wasn’t Korean. But Emily calmed her mom down by telling her that I was a Christian, which apparently delighted her. …


How to set yourself up for success

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Photo by LARQ on Unsplash

The New Year has arrived, and with it the eternal optimism that this will be the year. The slate is clean and a fresh start is in order. All that has happened and didn’t happen last year is over and done with — new year, new you.

Well, at least that’s how it once felt. As the years go by, there appears to have grown a larger cynicism towards those dreadful three words — New Years Resolutions. …


I hope we followed our own advice.

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Photo by Ivan Oboleninov from Pexels

Dear Future Me,

I am writing to you on the last day of the 2010s. Ten years have gone by, which equates to 3,653 days, an endless amount of memories come and gone, faces encountered and forgotten, experiences good and bad. People usually write to their former selves, often as a futile exercise wishing certain mistakes weren’t made, a form of self-therapy. But I’m not going to do that now — we both know that there’s no way in hell we’re getting through to 2010 us.

So why am I doing this? Well, I care about you, me, us… you know what I mean. And plus, I am hoping — HOPING — that this is going to be an enjoyable experience for you. If the 2020s were this amazing journey that saw you reach new heights that you didn’t think you were capable of reaching, then you’ll be able to laugh and feel a warmth of satisfaction and gratitude waft over you like the smell of a fresh brew in the morning as you read on. Hell, you may have even read this letter a few times along the way. …


A character study that hits close to home

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Courtesy of IMDb

Today, we live in a world of micro-moments and information overload, where times of self-reflection and meditation come less frequently and naturally. In our never-ending fight to make the most of our days, we often wonder, “Where did all the time go?” We lose sight of our time, and as a result, ourselves.

Lee Chang-dong’s film Burning was released in May 2018 (October 2018 in the U.S.), and while it only grossed $7.5 …


We can learn a thing or two by simply watching others.

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Courtesy of IMDb

Some movies make us laugh, others make us cry, and some excite us through incredible actions. Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is the kind of movie that makes us think, particularly about ourselves. Much like his previous films such as Frances Ha and The Squid and the Whale, this movie isn’t plot-driven — there is some resolution at the end but that’s not the point. This is real life on the big screen with normal people working through everyday issues, and we get to sit in and observe.

The movie opens with Charlie and Nicole, played by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, describing one another in their own words. Charlie is a talented theater director who knows how he wants his visions expressed on stage. He’s the prototypical New Yorker in theater that has a knack for bringing people together and he loves his eight-year-old son Henry. Nicole is personable. She’s an actress in Charlie’s theater group who takes comfort in the mess she creates in her home. The little things that she does like cutting Charlie and Henry’s hair and being a great gift giver show that she really knows how to connect with people. Charlie and Nicole are married and they live with their son Henry in New York City. They’re the type of couple that you’d want to be friends with — good looking with a sharp artistic sensibility about them. They appear to be happy. …


Why Asian-Americans don’t really support each other as much as others would think.

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Courtesy of Pexels

Last year in August 2018, Crazy Rich Asians was released. It was the first feature film since The Joy Luck Club in ’93 to star a majority Asian-American cast. The masses flocked to the theaters as the film finished atop the box office on its opening weekend, then the second, and then the third. As of December 2019, it has grossed over $238 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

It took me three months to watch the movie.

But I wasn’t protesting. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. I thought Crazy Rich Asians was well made and from what I could tell those Asian actors performed well. The response and fanfare, in my mind, was deserved. …


How LA’s other team went from a likable sideshow to an object of disdain.

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Source: SB Nation

Sports fandom is a gateway into the illogical and downright disrespectful. While we cheer for and idolize our favorite teams and athletes, we express equal if not greater amounts of rage and hatred towards those we oppose. We don’t know these athletes personally and they’re really not affecting our lives at all, but yet they have the power to unleash a certain darkness within us that otherwise would lay dormant. As legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said,

Sports don’t build character; they reveal it.

Greater Los Angeles is a massive urban sprawl of around 19 million residents, the second largest market in the country. Isn’t there enough room for two NBA teams to exist here? Even for the devout Laker die-hards, the answer for a very long time was yes. But the acts that transpired throughout this decade that’s about to come to a close brought about a massive shift in sentiment for Lakers fans towards the “other” team that cohabits the Staples Center. It’s as if we suddenly remembered how bad the traffic gets on the 10 and the 405, how long the waits are to get a table at our favorite restaurants, and how inhumane and torturous it is to find parking in this goddamn city.

About

Chris Lim

From LA. Lover of burgers, bodyweight training, Bowie, basketball, The Beatles, breakfast burritos, bouldering, and beer.

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