void98 / juhi ♫( -_・) ︻デ═一  ▸

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Aquarius sun moon
I am from the east bay
I am 22 yrs old
I like to draw and paint and listen to music
I love the grateful dead
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012121

i saw the world's most beautiful sunset...
it was cloudy and cold in cow hollow where i went to get all the hair ripped off my vulva. after my appointment i felt invigorated by the chill ("not a chill to the winter but a nip to the air") and made my way up to polk to get a latte from saint frank's. i got a winter solstice latte to warm my hands and marveled at the beautiful blue sunset, the victorians basking in the last gleam of greyish sunlight, the lights slowly turning on across the city...
driving up and down the hills on franklin is a meditative kind of experience, the streets smooth and the view progressively more maritime and pensive. on the way to my appointment i had the thought that i was experiencing time, and at x+1 i would be in pain, and at x+2 it would be over and i would be past it – and here i found myself at x+2 walking down union and wondering where all the time goes. (alex g playing on repeat as a backdrop to my thoughts...)
i suppose that all of life is like that, if you pay attention, but i've never paid too much attention before. now i think about it, sitting in my bed in fremont i think that soon my cousin will be here, and i will be present in that experience; driving to pick up zach from the airport i think that soon zach will be sitting in my car, and i will be experiencing that current future as if it were the present. oddly enough whenever that future becomes the present i'm never thinking about it, there's always a distraction, lively conversation with the person i am awaiting, the pain of individual hairs being ripped from my being. but walking down union at x+2 i thought about how i was in that present which was my past future, and how peculiar that was.
among these thoughts, i was enveloped by the painstaking beauty of everything around me...i thought about how grateful i am to have momentary respite from the real tragedies of life, to be consumed with my love life as the main source of my stress as opposed to death, loss, grief, pain, self-hatred. when my therapist asked me how i was today, i said 'fine', then corrected myself to 'good' – i know how much worse it can get...
everything was so beautiful at x+2 i could cry, and when it all gets so much like that i begin to have a peculiar feeling that i am about to die, not unlike madeline in vertigo, which i just watched the other night. but i thought in response to that fatal feeling that if there was anywhere to die it was here, in thrall to the strange sad beauty of life, car accident or stray bullet be damned. i felt compelled to drive to the water, so i headed idly north and ended up at fort mason. i walked along the cliffside trail and watched the lights in the windows slowly turn on, en masse, in harmonic concert with the waning sun. the scene made me contemplative and emotional, and as i looked out over the water at the golden gate bridge, i thought, as always, about elliott, and my dad, but instead of passing like they sometimes do, the thoughts consumed me, and i was wrought with emotion. sometimes i have a critical distance from the grief, that allows me to observe the sadness in kind of a detached way, but i struggled to wrap my head around the fact that the same bridge i looked out over, purple in the fog, was the same bridge that elliott decided to jump from, the same bridge i sailed under to scatter my dad's ashes into the sea. it occurred to me that the only difference between then and now was time, and everything else was the same, and somewhere in that water was my dad, papa, disintegrated and long gone, and fragments of what used to be an intelligent, beautiful, sweet boy named elliott qian.
i walked down the precipice a little more and heard a woman talking on the phone, to a friend, about how excited she was for something, and for some reason i assumed she was talking about a child, a new baby, but then she said something about the new business she was going to run, and i felt immediately incredulous and lost, searching for a connection between the arcane beauty of this place we were inhabiting together and the narrative arc of her life. i thought about how we all will die, her too, and whether she will be happy with her new business, and how i would like to be with my dad, and disappear into the unending sea.
grief is a powerful and never-ending emotion, and we learn coping skills by sheer necessity, but the permanence of loss will never cease to destabilize us, send us reeling. after a cathartic cry at a picnic table overlooking the water, i drove home, feeling the pain wash over me in waves, in complete surrender, just like every feeling feels like on shrooms. i remembered that was how i felt right after my dad died, like i had no agency, like there was nothing i could possibly to do make things right, all i could do was feel the feelings that life was making me feel and be present. i remember feeling in my bones that there was just no option than to rise from the ashes, the dying embers of grief, like a phoenix, and be determined to seek joy, beauty, happiness, love, wisdom, enlightenment... there was just nowhere else to go, and nothing else to do.
at fort mason there is a grandiose american flag, lit up with gold light, glowing against the navy sky. i felt no allegiance or positive feeling toward the flag or to 'america' – it means nothing to me. all i feel allegiance to is the people who surround me, the people who i love and who love me, sometimes the people who i share this lovely city with, not even always...but in any case, whatever 'america' is or might be has nothing to do with it. with my back to the bridge i thought about how there was nowhere else i knew but san francisco, nowhere else with my stories, my feelings, my history, but here. i remembered going to dinner with my family across the bay at murray circle, at a restaurant my dad wanted to show us, some years before we were out there on the boat scattering his ashes. it was similarly a foggy, cold night, and we looked out at the dark sea and the city before us, but i was a kid and my dad was still there, i had some abstract sense of his authority and paternality, and now i guess somehow i'm an adult and he's not here anymore, and i am on my own. i remembered having dinner at another restaurant on clement after my dad was gone (one we'd been to just months before, me, my mom, and my dad, and we joked about all the hats they used as decor), and how strange and alien it was to make reservations for 3, how uncanny to see only 3 placemats at the table. this dinner was maybe a handful weeks after my brother encountered my dad's lifeless body hanging from a rope in the garage, (or maybe more weeks, i don't have any sense of time from that period of my life) and while we picked at our food my brother seized up, his face contorted as if having an intrusive vision, and i was scared and i asked him what was wrong, and he shook it out and said 'nothing, nothing' and i felt powerless to help him, and acutely aware of the bleakness, desolation, and wickedness of life. (this feeling has never been unfamiliar to me, but it took on a particular color in those months as something totally outside my control, something that had nothing to do with me or my personal failings, something that existed outside the violence of my own mind...)
the same night, or maybe a different night, i sat in the car with my brother and it was quiet and rainy outside in the richmond, he wanted to tell me that he would never do to our family or to me what my dad did to us. his words hung so heavy in the air, his purity and earnesty so great and moving, i thought i must be in a dream, a fugue or some illusory trance.
i remember driving around the summer of 2017 in san francisco at night, doing what i'm not sure, but feeling the poetic emptiness of the city so profoundly, and understanding just how lonely the city could be without the people you love. i find myself thinking back to those nights whenever, by force of circumstance, i end up driving solo through the richmond, finding my way home through the fog.

012021

skimmed the inauguration on youtube, it was the first one i've ever even thought of watching, and it was grandiose and chilling...unpleasant to say the least! it's crazy how much we just consent to spectacle, willingly, throw ourselves at this charade, as if it is in our nature to gift celebrity, a deep human need for the deification of others, for hierarchy... why? i guess there is an argument that that is maybe the most innate human tendency, religion, entertainment, all seem to support...
the libs are getting on my nerves so much today...on one hand, they are culturally corny, and that's enough to make me roll my eyes, but on the other hand, they are insidiously deranged, and continue to perpetuate so many lines of harmful ideology completely un-self-aware... or maybe they are aware, and it's conscious, and it just serves to reify the status quo, protecting them and their class interests... i guess that seems like it would make more sense... on the third hand, i resent them for being superficially grouped with real leftists, when anyone paying the slightest bit of attention could parse out the serious differences...
on a client call today, our check in question was what our favorite inauguration coat was, and then our favorite moment of the ceremony...i am being completely serious... inauguration COAT... and somehow i am contrary for disbelieving in the legitimacy of the state and disapproving of the whole pageant to begin with? why isn't this a more common take, especially in a 'leftist' space? why was i the only one to voice this concern... i'm not contrary for the attention... in fact i wish everyone was like me... i wish everyone drove a personally expressive car and challenged the institutions that governed us...not just how they govern but the institutions themselves...where is this criticality? all these people are adults, older than me, i am but a fragile 22... o_O
to discern between the different takes on twitter is an interesting chore...i saw some people calling for GoDaddy to take down some alt-right organizing website, what happens when they take down an anarchist website? what do we do then? the real question is why are we vesting this authority in random platforms and the figureheads that control them...who are they? who runs godaddy? "aman bhutani"... why should i trust him? the whole thing is just rot to the core...
recently i feel like i've started avoiding political conversations with people who i feel won't agree with me, because there was a point at which it just became too much emotionally for me, especially around the primary here in california... i think working at my company has done it to me too, made me bite my tongue to avoid controversy, when i feel so often that i do differ substantially in my political opinions from all the other people that work there... i wonder if this was good for me, or good for the world...
this shit is literally the fucking hunger games... i cannot BELIEVE the fawning over lady gaga and ella emhoff and whoever the fuck else's stupid fucking outfits... we're going to sit here and applaud these people for wearing thousands of dollars worth of haute couture to this fucking stupid parade of elite rule and military power? and we're just gonna sit here like fucking morons like 🥺😭🥰 yas queen? this shit KILLS me fr... im legit incensed... i saw a tweet that was like, motherfuckers be out here last year like ACAB and now they cheer for the natl guard... cognitive dissonance BE like...
also how can't everyone just see the absolute self-parody that is Lady Gaga performing at this thing? and this absolutely fucking ridiculous photo of john legend...
johnlegend.jpeg


011521

I painted my room and assembled my bookshelf yesterday... it is fresh and clean and new and me... and I feel so much joy...
I do not want a single thing that I do not feel is mine in my room... I do not want a single thing that I do not feel possessive about... I want only objects I have a relationship with and to... I want only things that are useful to me... I want only things that I care about... no clutter...
I watched the live-action mulan the other day with my family... and it was honestly pretty good.... the objects in that movie were so beautiful... their lives so different but beautiful.... elegant... majesty... ritual... tradition... care... all the conversations we have had about tradition and objects coming full circle... a beautiful engraved sword... a utilitarian red robe... palatial and grand architecture... life must have felt so meaningful and full.... rich.... I want that everywhere.... I do not feel that about my iPhone... I do not feel that about my credit card... I do not feel that about my mom's midcentury modern furniture.... these things are not mine.... but they do exist...
I want to feel it about my music.... my clothes... my food... my furniture.... my room.... my plants... my books... my paintings.... I want the things to feel special.... I think zach and I are on the same page...
taking it further I want to know who made my things... the things that are now mine... I want them to have a story... I want to have a story about them and how I came to acquire them... on a lengthy and tumultuous voyage like a bright seafaring young lad...

jeffersonstarship.jpg
Jefferson Starship free concert, Marx Meadow, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco – May 30, 1975

there's so much good shit in here – the whole blog is absolutely Sicko Mode.

Paul Kantner's son is a restauranteur in LA with multiple sexual harassment allegations lmao

im going fucking crazy..... I start with grace slick and I end up at Harker....
can't believe im saying this but some interesting stuff here on Harker's 125th anniversary timeline (celebrated at the gagosian last year lmfao, and now the gagosian is closed! so it goes...)

"After Europe, the Airplane paid $73,000 for an outrageously palatial mansion at 24000 Fulton Street, San Francisco. They painted their new HQ black, moved in their personal coke dealer and installed a medieval-style torture rack in the basement, which was first tried out on David Crosby. Slick bought a shotgun and amused herself by firing it from her window over the trees of Golden Gate Park."

Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick once plotted to spike President Nixon with LSD with Abbie Hoffman

some great photos here of the dead/airplane free concert in September 1975

011321

a lot of things going on these days...
+ last wednesday (the day of the coup) i was really sad, a bunch of things just had been piling up and i felt lonely and miserable. i cried the whole day about all the responsibility i felt placed on me and how it seemed like no one cared about how i felt or could understand what i was going through. i convinced myself my friendships were not real (a recurring feeling) and that the pain of life was insurmountable. i felt a little better by the evening and the next day felt full of hope, as it always does for me after a breakdown. i think i tend to push the feelings down for too long and then they explode when a small thing goes wrong, like in high school when i would drop a pencil on the floor by accident from my desk and decide i should kill myself. a small victory was convincing myself to reach out to ella, who validated my feelings and made me feel a bit better, and gave me some evidence contrary to the belief that my friends don't care about me. i was proud of myself for saying something, because i rarely ever do...
+ my breakdown segued into therapy on thursday, during which i realized i had a lot of unnecessary stress about finishing my car so i could go back to sf. i had this arbitrary date in my head when i wanted to 'have my life together' and there were too many things i had to do ahead of that time. (this arbitrary date was, literally, an arbitrary date that i had with a guy from hinge.) my therapist helped me realize that i had set up this rigid schedule in my mind that was not obligatory or steadfast, and i had full power to change it and do whatever i wanted. this freedom hadn't occurred to me but was extremely welcome, and i sought out to leave fremont and its extreme malaise whether or not my car was finished.
+ on saturday i had a nice time with my cousin running errands in palo alto, jerry garcia on the mind. we got some silly takeout from palo alto creamery ($$$!) and walked around, i picked up my sephora birthday gift, we walked around stanford shopping center after i returned a package at neiman marcus, we went to warby parker so i could try out frames. palo alto is so immeasurably upscale, i feel bad for the lower-income stanford students who somehow have to hack together a college experience in such an expensive place. it is just so aesthetically pleasing, though, and feels so nice. in the evening i drove up to oakland to partake in a delicious feast that jon put together of paella, salad, and rice pudding. my new friend, isaac, brought cookies, which i forsake my gf diet to consume. it is always so nice to just kick it with friends, it makes 'during this time' so much easier to undergo.
+ on sunday i spent 8 hours painting my car, and felt totally deadened, then had to help my grandma sort out her medications, which was quite the task to do at 10pm at night without going absolutely insane. i feel extreme guilt for complaining at all, and i don't understand how anyone with more responsibility than me does it.
+ on monday i went up to west oakland to get my tattoo, which was a really nice experience all around, i loved my artist and it was so nice to get a tatt from a woman of color for once. we went up to sf after and my cousin and i made vegan sushi which took like 3 hours.
+ tuesday (yesterday) we spent all day painting my room white, it looks really nice now and i'm happy with it. i went on a date in the evening and it brought up so many thoughts for me, maybe i'll write them down at a later date. what kind of people do i like? what does it take for me to be interested in someone? how does dating even work? questions i don't as of yet have the answers to...
+ today (wednesday) i drove us back to fremont in the morning for my optometrist appointment, and now i'm sitting here for the next couple days maybe, i'll try to finish up my car and bring a bunch of things back to the city. we have to paint a little bit more, then i have to assemble my bookshelves, and move on to the myriad other tasks on my never-ending to-do list. my arbitrary date got pushed a few weeks later, which is so classic and ironic i can't help but laugh because i had so much stress about it, and for what? life is fluid, time is fungible and we are subject to so much change that it makes no sense to be 'married to an outcome' (borrowing from the DBT lexicon). some sort of lesson in there about attachment, disappointment, resilience, about treading lightly and with frivolity, without so much anxiety, overanalysis, and stress... i have some perverse notion that i can control everything, that i have power and agency, and in so many ways that is not the case, and i need to just let go...the universe was trying to teach me a lesson, i think, and it took this arbitrary date to really get into gear and start living my life, but now that my arbitrary date has essentially vanished in a puff of smoke, it's all for me, and i'm glad to be doing it, and there is no due date anymore, and for that reason no stress...i've been thinking about the line a lot from today by jefferson airplane —
"To be any more than all I am would be a lie...
I'm so full of love I could burst apart and start to cry..."

010721

acid, molly, 4fa, 5mapb, 2c, k, norcos, oxy, opium, vyv, addy, dmt, shrooms, coke, gbl, ambien, kratom

010521

man, i really try to not get into my love life here bc im afraid of who will read it, but i feel like no one reads this anyway so watever...plus it's been on my mind so much lately!
i've been talking to this guy who i'm really excited about, and the whole thing is so interesting to me because it's making me reevaluate and interrogate so many of my feelings and thoughts about sex, love, previous relationships, etc... and also how certain thought/behavior patterns of mine carry over into other aspects of life...a few bullet points just so i don't forget in the future:

010121

happy new yr! =)
it's been nice to have some time off work...i'm not really looking forward to going back
last thursday (christmas eve) i got to see aditi, which was so nice. we hung out at their house and talked then went to go pick some guavas from their family friend's tree in milpitas, then came back to mine and laid around and talked about love and relationships and sex. on christmas day i went on a brief hike in the rain with my mom up in the hayward hills, and it was chilly and a little austere, familiar in a classically east bay way. on saturday, i caught up with gabi over lunch at a little hole in the wall filipino joint, where i had some delicious bbq pork and we bitched about high school and how unwoke silicon valley is. that night jon met aditi and i at moreau and we drove up to the hill behind where they used to smoke in high school. we chatted and looked out at the sparkling city beneath us. i love introducing my friends to each other, its a special kind of joy. afterward we walked around downtown hayward and got some pizza and mozz stix from a strange sort of corner joint that had no discernible framework to its interior design – again, very classically east bay.
hayward.jpg
i've been painting my car, that's been my big project these days. after that i need to paint my room, then set up my bookshelf, then finish my mural downstairs, then finish my mirror...many things to do before quarantine is up, which to be fair doesn't seem to be on or even approaching the horizon. on tuesday night, i went up to oakland for dinner and jon made an elaborate ramen meal (gf!) and we went on a nighttime walk around longfellow. then we had a little early new years eve celebration day before yesterday, chris and jeff and i met up in santa cruz and jeff brought a whole platter of sushi and champagne (real glasses, too!) an indulgent way to cap off what was quite frankly kind of an indulgent year for me. we ate and drank on the rocks on the shore and chris got me the sweetest christmas gift, a zine of sf rave flyers from the early 90s, which made me feel so thankful for friends who i feel understand me and make me feel seen.
we took a long walk by the ocean all the way to the boardwalk, then to downtown, where i got an absurd cinnamon almond latte with torched marshmallow fluff (fr) to keep my hands warm as we trekked back to our cars. i feel really blessed to have friends who i feel like can hang, can keep up, can entertain me with their myriad references, insider knowledge, capacity for thinking outside the box, raw ambition. i don't think enough about how alone and misunderstood i felt in high school, and how so much of that fell by the wayside when i got to college and felt immediately like i was in community with my peers, people who were searching for truth, meaning, joie de vivre outside the confines of 'normal' life. i take it for granted that we have this common framework, this way of seeing the world and ourselves in it, these shared dreams and desires. probably most people are boring, or uninteresting, or uninspired, like all the people i knew from high school. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ not to say that there isn't merit or legitimacy to whatever they are, whoever those people are now, but it just doesn't seem like my cup of tea, and my friends most assuredly do. i've always vested a lot of importance in my social relationships, and i feel really blessed as this year comes to a close to be able to rely on them for so much. if i felt as lonely as i did in high school for a single more year i dont think i could handle it.
my new years eve was uneventful, in a way i kind of desired. up until new years eve day itself, i had some impulse to celebrate in a more all-out way, thought i might go down to monterey and kick it with chris or hang out in oakland with jon, but on the morning of dec. 31st i woke up feeling a particular kind of way. i felt that the right way to go out was just to be home, revel in a kind of solipsistic comfort, a day for navel gazing and some music that understood me (slanted and enchanted, bleach, emergency & i were some of the albums i chose to keep me company at night). hearkening back sort of to the early days of quarantine, where i began to find in myself the joy and optimism that before i had thought i could only attribute to going out, endless activity, being present with others. not to say that those things aren't in themselves healthy, fun, obviously enjoyable and full of energy and spirit, but i think i was lacking a sort of self-satisfaction and comfort in alone-ness that being forced into solitude really helped me develop. all of a sudden, i didn't need to go out to feel something, i didn't need to see my friends every weekend, i had worth and purpose and drive inside myself to entertain and preoccupy me, and i got to paint, and work out, and cook, and find mirth in those activities. and it reminded me again of how i used to be in high school, where by nature of my social isolation i was forced to look inside myself for entertainment and purpose, look to music and art for a reason to live. it became easy in college and afterward, when i found myself integrated socially and presented with so much opportunity, to then begin to lose some of that selfhood and derive value from more external activities. quarantine was really good for me in that way, and i think i really found contentness somewhere in october or november with zach in san francisco, a feeling that has eluded me for most of my life.
where was i anyway? oh right, so i wanted on new years to kind of pay homage to this new feeling, that maybe was there all along but hidden, the feeling that i am a person, with complex desires and convictions, that doesn't need to have a big ol new years blowout to deserve life and all it has to offer, and it doesn't mean i am failing at being a person if i have nothing to do (like i felt in 2017 at home with my family, bitching the whole time about not having any exciting alternate plans). i felt a sense of liberation and power from deciding to do absolutely nothing, and have a mundane evening marked notably only by deliveries from family friends of various goodies (among them, a rum cake, a cheesecake, freshly baked garlic bread), facetimes with various friends, and painting my car. i reveled in the mundanity of it all, something i absolutely never do, and felt secure in my personhood and value outside being exciting and chaotic all the time. i thought too that the night really was just like any other night, except we collectively deem it an excuse to party, and honestly we're not supposed to be partying now anyway so i could take a sort of moral high ground in that, of course in a tongue-in-cheek way. finding joy in small things, like helping my mom smoke from a tobacco pipe as part of her hare ram hare krishna costume, getting to see my grandma as the first person in the new year, getting drunk on canned wine and tequila and munching on snacks (i decided to renege on being gf for one night). the first time i drank was when i was 14, alone and extremely depressed on new years, and i remember getting wasted and crying in my bedroom...although there were some obvious parallels, my new year's eve couldn't have been more different from then. i thought about how far i've come in the past 8 long years!
today my mom and i went on a walk around lake elizabeth, and marveled at the beauty of a heron, and i thought about all the places i have been time and time again, and how i am different each time. the cold light felt apt, a sort of bright grayish light, and the solemnity reminded me of 5 years ago when my mom and i walked along sutro on the 1st day of the new year, 2016, and i felt a similar quietude emanating from the pacific. my mom brought up that day independently this morning, how we had no idea how our family would be so shaken by the course of events that transpired that year, and i think she feels similarly about that day as i do. new years day always has an otherworldliness to it, it always has for me, like the austere beginnings of an indefinite nuclear winter, where all of time stands still for a day.

entries from December 2020
entries from November 2020
entries from October 2020
entries from September 2020