Addiction – I was never on Breaking Bad

It is a hard thing to struggle with addiction. I have most of my life. Right now I see so clearly and I hate it. It makes me want to rip my eyeballs out and flush them down the toilet. I hear all toilets flush to China… so maybe I would get to see that country!

I am a walking tornado clothed in a hoody and pajama pants. Most of the time I look like I just rolled out of bed. My blog, if you actually view it as a whole, shows a clear cycle of my moods and emotions. It shows my anxiety issues and also my bouts with addiction. Before you get an idea of a meth head, manic depressive Korean in your brain kill it. I am not that type of guy. You can be an addict and not be on Breaking Bad.

Anxiety is a physical weight that many deal with. Where that anxiety rests depends a lot on a person’s body, mine sits on my neck and weighs down my soul. I hate it. I know it. It will never go away.

As I struggle with writing what I don’t want to write in this book I have found many old doorways opening. These doorways lead to a hall of depression that I thought I had left a long time ago. Depression is not a single road… there are many and they all have their own bumps. Relating to another person’s struggles is fine, but we should be careful to not try and project our definitions on others. I never attempt to do that. I am my own devil, no one needs me adding to their pot.

And so I sit here for a couple hours while my daughter are at school and I close my eyes. I allow the waves of pressure, anxiety, frustration, ….want, and need to roll through my body. It hurts, it sucks, and at the same time the struggle amuses the shit out of me. How weak must my body be to react in such a way? I would say pretty weak, but I already knew that. I am a bad person.


Black Belts, Eagle Scouts, and Ninjas

I equate a black belt to being in the same category as an eagle scout. I do not know Karate, yes… let’s just let the shock wear off for a second… … … all done?

There is no martial arts form practiced by me other than the art of bottle opening. I have that form down. Still, I of course have an opinion on martial arts even though I don’t take it.

When I was young my parents took us to a Karate Dojo in town to see if we were interested. I felt out of place. Why you ask? Well I seem to recall the Sensei’s name being Rick (my imagination wants to add the last name White) and he was very much NOT Asian. Call me racist, but unless you are Chuck Norris I don’t buy it.

I was walking past a dojo just tonight, they seem to catch my eye, and inside was an older Caucasian woman with a black belt on. I will admit it made me a little angry. Granted… perhaps this woman has the necessary skills to wear such a coveted mark of achievement, but I doubt it. I highly doubt it. When I see a black belt around the waist of a human I see a potential badass, or at least I want to believe it. You are a walking ninja out of costume to me and that belt is just as important as an Eagle Scout badge. It means you can dragon punch the shit out of Godzilla and maybe even do some Street Fighter moves.

I am ranting a little bit, but that is because I don’t know kung-fu, karate, or judo. I therefore view people that do know these forms, like my brother-in-law, in the highest regard. If you don’t even look the part though… that is an instant negative mark in my book. At least look like you can break a board with your mind ok?

Sorry Rick White… I won’t be attending your dojo.

-Opinionated Man

Three Things I Try Not to Watch

There are three types of movies that I try to avoid watching. I dislike movies in which torture is highlighted, movies about slavery or people being forced against their will, and movies about Jesus and especially about the crucifixion. I have never watched “The Passion”, I made it twenty minutes into 12 Years a Slave, and I dislike watching films like Hostel (even though I saw it). Allow me to explain my distaste for these different categories.

I refuse to watch movies about Christ and “overly dramatized” pieces on what his final days were like. I have never seen the popular movie “The Passion” and I see very little purpose in the making of these films. I highly doubt they were intended to “spread the word” and were instead used for shock and awe affect. I hate when people create something just to do it, with no personal attachment whatsoever to the subject. That to me just reeks of desperation for attention. Further, what else needs to be shown about the crucifixion? Why do people keep making these stupid movies? Conversions… please don’t make me laugh.

I made it 20 minutes into 12 Years a Slave. I found the first 20 or so minutes to be average quality and the reason I cut off the movie was due to the torture scene when he gets drugged and captured. Now some people might say “well you should force yourself to watch it. The very fact you turned away lets you know how important seeing this movie is!” Um… excuse me? How is my discomfort by the subject indicative of any hidden guilt or need for personal growth? I never owned slaves and slavery was an evilness that consumed the whole world, not just America. It still goes on to this day. While I understand the need to study and understand the past, I am not sure what purpose films like this serve. If anything I see the potential for greater anger from both whites and blacks from simply observing the story. That probably depends on where you watch this movie, but I imagine watching a movie on Korean comfort women taken by Japan during World War II. If half the theater were Japanese and the other half Korean would that not be a recipe for violence? What is the difference from these movies? For those saying “well OM you are being unfair” I challenge you to read some of the posts and articles by blacks and whites that did NOT like the movie. They are far more aggressive in their words.

I don’t like torture scenes. It makes me feel uncomfortable and queasy. My greatest fear is to be held against my will and tortured, or to have this done to my loved ones. That is part of the reason I refuse to travel to Mexico, I don’t intend to be the next tourist wearing a tire. There are crazy people in this world and some talented ones as well. The talented humans made these movies… I suppose. The crazy people would be the “John” next to you laughing his ass off while a girl is cut up graphically on a large screen. Think that guy isn’t just a little bit off?


Why I don’t care for Martin Luther King Day

OK, here it goes. There are some good reasons why Martin Luther King Day is not important to me and ironically many of those reasons were born in Memphis, TN. I am Korean born, but was raised by Caucasian parents. Let me first say that I had black and white friends growing up. The black friends I had were born from friendships at my 80% black school (maybe it wasn’t 80% exactly but it sure felt like 99% most days). I had a lot of white friends because I came from a small church community, even though we were all living in the middle of Memphis, TN, that kept strong ties together and were sometimes even cultish in their rules and regulations.

Now that the background information is over, let me say a bit about why I don’t care for this holiday. My school was “pro” anything that made African Americans feel important. To highlight this fact I recall one incident where we were eating lunch in grade school and the vice principle, a large heavyset black man, rushed into the room and grabbed the microphone to joyfully tell us O.J. Simpson was innocent (insert eye roll to this day)! I hated my school, I generally hated the kids there as well. I could not escape a day where I was not made fun of for my eyes, skin, or just because I wasn’t white or black. I remember one day a black kid, actually a former friend, said my eyes were so small he could blind fold me with dental floss. I retorted, “Well at least my people weren’t slaves.” Sob story to be sure, but that is not why I dislike this holiday, so let me explain.

I learned with every other kid in my school the good works that Martin Luther King did and I was truly proud of his accomplishments. What I could not understand was how could the Blacks at my school celebrate equality and freedom and in the same breath bash with malice an Asian kid for being Asian. It was so hypocritical to me that my disdain extended past the handful of kids tormenting me and included their whole race. It did not breed hatred, at least not at this point, but what it bred was a scorn for this holiday and even this man that was not fairly handed out. But pain and suffering create feelings that are not always rational. I know this now, looking back I probably knew this at the time as well, but the result is still the same. I dislike this holiday and all I see is hypocrites.


The Night of the Big Game

It is a Friday night and I am just now getting ready for the school football game. It is my sophomore year of high school and things have changed somewhat. My friends and I are able to drive, life is a little bit more fun, but the bullying still exists on a frequent occasion. I yell that I am leaving to my mom and rush out the door to my waiting friends and the feeling of freedom and the lack of adult supervision for a few hours. It would be a long few hours.

I don’t remember much of the game, which is odd because I rarely went to football games or large school events as it only invited more opportunities of conflict. I recall it was a nice humid evening, in Memphis, Tennessee, as we pulled into my parents’ house. I remember the familiar double beep of the alarm as I opened the door. In front of me was the door leading to the pool area of our home and to my right was my mother crying. Wait, why was my mother crying?

“Mary is dead,” she says as she rushes to hug me. Shock… I didn’t even cry when I heard the news, possibly because I did not want to believe it. I stored that sadness for later.

Mary had been living with us for the better part of the year of 1998 while she “reorganized” her life. She was smart, witty, had a great sense of humor, and a smile that could slay a room of men. She was from Jackson, Mississippi, where I had grown up and my mother’s hometown. Mary’s mother was my mother’s good longstanding friend. The other connection was through our particular sect of church which had a close knit group of friends from both cities, many of whose parents had gone to college together. Mary was important.

For a kid that had few things going for him, the attention she showed me was amazing considering she was in college already. To a sixteen year old boy, who’s every friend both in school and church was murderously jealous of him for being able to see her every day, this was a huge deal. And now all that was gone. I have a couple special memories with her, oddly enough both involved smoking cigarettes. My always “good for bad habits at the time” brother had introduced me to the joys of nicotine, so I would sneak out and have one on the occasion. When Mary arrived the first week she offered to drive me home from church one night, she had a white Pontiac Grand AM. I will always remember that car. We drove off and as soon as she hit the corner she had one lit. I laughed, and when she glanced at me in question I made a gesture for one to which she gave me with another surprised look.

“Yea, I thought I had caught a smell of smoke the other night, but your perfume does a good job of masking it,” I said with a grin.

“Just don’t tell your mom,” she replied with her memorable laugh.

The second memory is stronger, Mary had been dating my best friend Tim’s brother for a few weeks, but one night she rushes in my room. “I need a cigarette so bad!” she cried with a dramatized sigh. “Quitting for Michael not going so well?” I say with a chuckle as I fish mine out. “No it is not, but I don’t want to leave the house your mom might wonder.” It quickly becomes apparent that with the help of my sister our best option was to climb out one of our second story windows and smoke on the roof. It is one of my best memories of her, maybe of my past, I have. I remember feeling free from my troubles that very minute as we smoked our Marlboro Lights, and for a boy with multiple internal and external struggles going on, this was a blessing.

“They are saying they think she was hit by a drunk driver on the way to visit her mom,” my mother says with a sob. Mary had left that morning. My sister and I had come home to a handwritten note left in our shared upstairs living room telling us to be good and for me to be nice to my sister. It was the type of thoughtless gesture that still touched your heart that Mary was known for and I don’t mean that in a frivolous sense. Her smile could have brightened your day.

We are in Jackson, Mississippi at our old church, Mary’s church. It is a strange thing to know everyone at two separate churches from different cities, but my family does. My father is a Priest, an assistant pastor as he is a full-time physician, so we are forced in a sense to know everyone. I walk to the church doors and I see her coffin. I have never seen a dead body before, is her body ruined? It is my first real encounter with death and I have still not cried. This is possibly one of the two sources from which I learned the lesson of “delayed pain.”

I take a deep breath and walk in. As I approach her body I can feel eyes on me. Everyone knows that she was staying at our home, everyone knows who I am, but most don’t know how this girl, this woman, made an uncomfortable, depressive Korean kid feel like the world might be ok to live in. No one knew that her friendship was like a physical hand on my soul, comforting. As I approach her coffin and I see her face, so pale and still, I am suddenly angry. Nothing good lasts, is my thought as I turn abruptly away and stride quickly down the center aisle and out the door.

It is even more humid and hot in Jackson, than it is in Memphis. I am sitting on the steps of the church as my Godfather, my best friend Tim’s dad actually, comes out to see if I am ok.

“You really cared for her, I know son, it is ok to grieve, ” he says while laying a comforting hand on my shoulder. I tense, for I do not normally like to be touched, but from him it is ok. From him it was a trigger.

I begin to cry.

For Mary, Memory Eternal 1998.


I am Turning into my Parents

Hey! What button did you guys push on my stereo! I told you not to touch it!!!

Hey! Stop hitting! We don’t hit!… …well don’t hit her back!

That wasn’t smart was it? And what did we just learn?

We can’t go yet Anna we have to wait our turn. Oh… those people are just rude trolls that don’t know about the concept of waiting your turn. Don’t be like them when you grow up.

Marriage? I don’t think that will exist when you get older. Yea… I know sucks. Life sucks sometimes.

Boyfriends? Men are horrible creatures… I told you guys I was saved by a giant panda.

Do I look like the maid? Just because I do it all the time doesn’t mean I like to!

Girls come clean this stuff up I almost died falling down the stairs.

Nemo will be ok… all water leads to the ocean.

I swear I just cleaned this.

This shit is dirty again?

How many cups can you use in one day? Seriously…

Do you use a different towel for every body part? Why do you have so many dirty towels in just one week?

I can actually feel myself getting older.

Birthday? One more closer to retirement.