I’m in Love

Near our favorite pho place is a dry cleaner or tailor who has a bird. I think it’s a myna bird. Sometimes this person sets the bird’s enormous cage outside the shop, and we stop to look at the bird. He/she/it is very pretty – iridescent black with yellow and orange markings on the face.

Today, for the first time, the bird spoke to us. “I am MPO,” he said, in a rusty little vocoder-sounding voice. Like a little robot.

Maybe he didn’t say “I am MPO.” Maybe he actually said something in Vietnamese. Still – it was cute as hell. And then he would whistle very, very loudly, with his little head turned way over. Then, he’d whistle quieter, with different notes. Then he’d say something else, in Vietnamese. Then he’d make a whistle like a video game.

“I love you, little bird. I love you!” I told him. And I wasn’t lying. Man, I wish I could afford a bird like that.

When we crossed the street to our car, the myna bird did his loudest whistle. “I love you!” he called in his husky robot voice.


Ethnically Conflicted Authors, Unite!

Today we went to the Asian Pacific Heritage Festival in hopes of finding cute trinkets and something good to eat. Instead, we saw a lion dance. And then I met this guy named Irwin Tang, who wrote a book called How I Became a Black Man and Other Metamorphoses. He seemed nice and his book was a short-story collection with a long title – my fave kind – so I bought a copy and let him sign it.

Irwin Tang gestured towards my boyfriend, Tad, and asked, “Is this your friend? Or boyfriend?”

I thought that was kind of funny that he just came right out and asked, but then again, I knew why. It’s not common for Caucasion women to date Asian men, they say. Asian men mention it on their blogs rather often. Indeed, Mr. Tang brings it up in his book.

However, people don’t usually come right out and ask me, “Oh, my gosh, are you, a Caucasion woman, dating him, an Asian man?!?” Even the local old Vietnamese ladies refrain from asking. (They make do with glowering at us disapprovingly, instead.) Everyone else, I assume, can see the love shining from Tad’s eyes and mine, and they just know.

Maybe Tad’s contacts were dirty at that moment. Or… maybe Irwin Tang asked because he was hoping I was romantically available.

Just kidding. Ha. So… On the way home, I read the first story in the book aloud, and everyone in the car laughed. So, if you see Irwin Tang at a festival in your town, you should pick up his book, show him your boyfriend, and give his stories a try.


Now, in addition to annoying asshole neighbors who are making noises downstairs as we speak, my apartment complex features giant, flying tree roaches. Yay, right? God damn it, I don’t know how it’s possible for me to be readier to leave this place than I already am.


[I’m not going to say anything about you-know-what (as mentioned below) until there’s something worth saying. In the meantime, please continue to wish, wish, wish for me, okay?.]

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Posted in culture, Houston on 04/30/2006 05:19 am

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