Tag Archives: Hawaii

Bye Old Blog!!!

Choose Our Own Adventure has moved!

We’ve moved to Choose Our Own Adventure dot com!

I realize it’s the same domain name as before.

But it’s different.

Kind of.

Trust me.

This blog will remain at chooseourownadventure.wordpress.com.

Love AND Luggage Part 2 coming right up on the new blog!

See you on the other side!


Love AND Luggage, Part 1

For Jenn:

My one carry on.

Love Ryan

Luggage. (jenn)

I am so thankful for Ryan.

We know I don’t slow him down.

We know I am not convenience over connection.

We know he is not settling for something he doesn’t really want.

It still stings, to read these words copy and pasted below from a Hawaii newspaper–but only for a minute, like that bee on your bicycle seat that time when you were five and in your bathing suit, about to peddle to the pool. It stings because I know the truth is I have been luggage.

But I’m not allergic. There’s no swelling. And now the bee is DEAD.

Death by ghetto booty.

It’s true.

Amsterdam was both the saddest and most beautiful time of my entire life.

It had nothing to do with drugs–the ingested, smoked, injected kind.

It had to do with my own chemicals–a slow tide, how they slip past a horizon I cannot see–leaving me somewhere barren. And grey. (Are barren places any other color?) Later, back from wherever they receded, I go back to floating, belly up, watching the sky and hoping it will stay bright and endless.

P.S. My sister sent me this link today. It almost made me want to come out of the melancholy closet, to wear my dark black nihilist ribbon, to reclaim “clinical” as a hip power-word, that I can say openly in conversation, just like how gay people can say the n-word.

See. Sad makes me FUNNY.

Anyway, tomorrow we’re waking up at 5 am to deliver flowers to people who actually GET flowers on Valentine’s Day. It’s going to be the best V-day ever!!! Expect us to read everyone’s little flower cards and use them as blog ammo.

And now… enjoy this article about how I am LUGGAGE from the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Is it love or luggage?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

by Gloria Baraquio

My best friends are visiting from Honolulu this week, and we’ve been having sleepovers every night they’ve been here. We feel like teenagers again — setting up our sleeping bags, staying up late, watching movies, playing games, eating junk food, and of course, catching up on all sorts of conversation.

Our main topic of discussion has been about relationships — current loves, past loves, ones that involve us, and ones that involve our good friends. We feel like we’ve lost some of our friends to partners they’ve chosen for themselves or attracted into their lives … and not necessarily for the better. That saddens us. It’s like instead of dating someone they like or enjoy, they seem to pick someone who seems to work for them. It seems like they’ve chosen practicality over passion, convenience over connection. How do I say this?… They’ve settled for something they don’t really want.

And so the question on the table this week has been: Is it love, or is it luggage?

[Anonymous Friend] puts it very eloquently when he speaks about our best friend’s girlfriend “She comes with two wheels and a handle. She holds his personal items.”

It’s not that we don’t like the girl. She really is cool. It’s just that she doesn’t seem to enhance our friend who we know and love. In fact, she kinda slows him down. He’s always checking to see if she’s OK or not. She often seems upset or irritable around the group, and she doesn’t talk to any of us. The two of them don’t kiss much or show much affection. He kinda seems stressed out by her. Luggage, that’s what we call it.

This past week, we met the boyfriend of one of our girlfriends. He was nice and not bad looking. He didn’t talk much, and the two of them barely interacted. Supposedly, he’s great in the kitchen and in the yard. As we all hung out, we felt like he just wanted to go home, but our girl was enjoying herself with us. But they soon left because there was nothing comfortable about it. Luggage, we call it.

We don’t mean to be harsh. I mean, I guess luggage doesn’t have to be a bad thing, someone carrying your baggage around for you. But I’m thinking, why do you gotta have someone else carry your stuff? Why can’t you deal with your own stuff and just get rid of them yourself?

I can be empathetic. Part of me feels like sometimes we just need luggage. We’re not ready to let go of our stuff. We don’t even know how to go through all of it, how to unpack it, how to organize it. And so it’s nice to have someone carry it for us while we free our hands to do other things in life, like our art or our craft or whatever it is that we need to do, even if it’s just buying us time to avoid the issues that are too dark and dirty for us to face.

[We] spent quite a bit of time talking about who we think belongs together, who we think will last, who we think will break up. But the reality is that it doesn’t matter what we think. People are gonna do whatever they’re gonna do, and we can never really know what’s going on between two people, let alone what’s going on inside one person’s head. How many of my boyfriends did my friends and family disapprove of?

I don’t care how much we think we know someone. People grow and change and move and morph.

They may no longer be who we thought they were or what we want them to be. And maybe they really are happy even if it doesn’t look like it. We don’t know what’s really going on.

And bottom line, that person in their life is serving some sort of purpose for them in this stage of development, somehow.

As friends, we just want the best for our other friends and their personal growth.

But then I thought about it, and I suggested to the group, “Maybe love isn’t the goal in every relationship. And sometimes, maybe love is just about finding other baggage that matches your own.” Don’t we all love matching luggage?

We laughed and somewhat agreed. Everyone has baggage, stuff, issues, and pasts, but just deal with them and keep it light. In the end, I think the three of us decided you only have room for one carry-on, so leave the rest behind.

I Hate Roaches. (jenn)

Dedicated to all my Hawaii peeps and our PTRD (Post Traumatic Roach Disorder) stories.

If you have a good story, comment!

I hate it when you wake up in the middle of the night to pee, and after sitting, you hear a roach scuffling along the inside of the toilet bowl.

I hate it when you can’t pee in the middle of the night for the rest of your life.

I hate it when you pour a glass of orange juice in the morning and take a sip, only to notice the floating roach exoskeleton one sip to late.

I hate that.

I hate it when you come home from work and a flying roach dives down your bra for no obvious reason while you are trying to take off your shoes.

I hate it when you are trying to shake said roach out of your shirt, but instead you accidentally squash it against your chest.

Shit. That’s the worst.

I hate it when you are trying to put on your shoes and you feel a roach crawl between your toes and you throw off your shoe and scream like a little castrated man named Earl.

I hate it when there are roaches on the front seat of your car. They can’t even drive.

I hate it when people say, “They’re more scared of you than you are of them,” because that’s bullshit.

I hate it when there are little dead baby cockroach carcasses in your toothbrush.

I hate it when they are alive.

I hate that my whole life I thought cockroaches was spelled cockaroaches.

I hate it when you open up your medicine cabinet to take your Prozac and there’s a roach sitting on it and it says, BOO!

I hate it when you spray a phatty momma roach with Raid, and suddenly she lays a gooey roach egg on your kitchen counter on her frantic crawl towards the light.

I hate it when you go to the kitchen in the middle of the night to get some guacamole and there’s three huge roaches having a pow wow on your floor.

I hate it when roaches have names, like Sanchez and Bob, and wear hats.

I hate it when you’re in bed at night and hear them running along your wall, especially because of that time when you woke up and one was in your hair. How fucked up is that? 100 points.

I hate it when you’re camping at Bellow’s and you can’t sleep because you’re scared of the Blair Roach.

I hate it when roaches exist.

I hate it when you are trying to throw away a dead roach in a paper towel, and suddenly it comes back to life, only long enough to slice your finger with its razor sharp roach leg and quote Dylan Thomas.

I hate it when you find a roach leg floating in your saimin.

I hate it when you eat it, confusing it with a food that resembles roach legs.

I hate it when roaches take the shape of my mother in my nightmares, wearing matching aprons, and all shaking their hairy roach leg/finger, saying I’ll never amount to anything.

I hate it when your baby says, “Hey look mom at my new toy,” but it’s not a toy, it’s a roach.

I hate it when you have to throw away the overflowing roach motel and you look inside and know FOR SURE that there can’t be a god, because why would god make roaches?




Some park by our house, Seattle

Time: 11:40pm
Setting: In car outside public library, stealing free wireless
Mood: Brr

When someone says: you’re slacking on the blog, I like to take it as a compliment, as in, wow Hee, you are so gifted and dynamic, I wish you would blog every day!

Yes! Then I shall try to blog every day!

Then another someone might say: shiiit girl, I’m totally behind, your shit is just so fucking heavy, you and Ryan, it’s not like I can skim your words.

Yes! Then I shall not blog every day!

Occasionally a “friend” calls to catch up, and hypothetically asks about my Christmas. After I answer, said person says in shocked manner: you went to Amsterdam?!! Dumbass, I respond, don’t you read my motherfucking blog? I may feel very insulted because I think all my friends ought to be as interested in me as I am. If you had a blog, I could say, I would read it religiously. In other words, if you had a blog, it’d be really boring, and that’s why you don’t have one. Your comeback might be: at least I can afford a sailboat with my oodles of moola, and I might say, who the fuck says oodles of moola? You, friend, might say I would never say that–you, Hee, make other people sound like douchebags in your blog to make yourself look smarter, and I might ask, did it work?, and you’d concede: yes, good game.

I haven’t not been blogging because I resolved to never use the a-word again in my last entry, but because I’ve been trying to write pieces that will hopefully one day end up in MONEY, since all of you freeloaders read me for free. I didn’t get the ‘zines with homeless teens job at the YWCA–THANKS FOR NOTHING HARVARD–and every time I open the Sunday classifieds or browse Craigslist for hours, nothing sends my heart even slightly a’twitter. This world of employment is just not for me! I need to freelance. It’s the only job that has the word free in it, which subliminally is very satisfying. Right now, our life is perfect. Ryan and I wake up, write pieces that have cute orange end buoys bobbing on the horizon, scribble down parts of Big Pieces, compose absurd and brilliant songs, eat in, use Mati as an excuse to go to Marymoor dog park and laugh at dogs and their people, walk down to Chinatown, drive to the Seattle café of the day, park outside the library and use the free wireless, read our brains out, make fucking awesome videos using the simplest Mac software imaginable, and try to see how little money we can spend going out while having the best time ever.

Sample weekend, last:

Thursday Night—Chinatown karaoke with Big Will—definitely best time ever, but money was spent.


Friday Night—Ryan falls asleep at 7, mid-Breach, both of us sideways on our free loveseat made for one normal sized person. I spend the rest of the night making love to my computer screen, and by making love, I mean writing. A cheap date if I ever saw one!

Saturday Night—Dancing to 80s classics such as “Beat It,” with Ellen and Jordan at Buddha Bar. Ryan does a brilliant impromptu duet dance with an equally insane white woman of advanced age who was either a mom with a mission, the wife of a biker-man, or my fourth grade teacher. It was hard to pinpoint her personality based on her grand jetés. She grabs Ryan’s balls and gives him the come hither finger all night. Ryan tries to pretend he’s with me so she’ll stop groping him. Nice try, stranger.

Best time ever!!!

Sunday NightComedy Underground to watch Paul Ogata. We pretend we’re his crew and since we’re Asian the scenario is plausible and this gets us in for free. I laugh so hard I snort brain matter out of my nose. Best time ever!!!

In conclusion, we had three best nights ever for the price of one.

Reduce, Reuse, Reblog

I wrote the following piece in my old website/blog, but since way more new people read this blog, especially now that Ryan’s ass is heavily featured, I am re-posting it, mainly in the hopes that someone will send it to someone who will send it to someone, and it will become chain blog-mail. In a week it will come back to me, telling me I have to send it to 7 people in order to have my wish come true, which was to have this letter turn into chain mail, therefore it will have already become true, thus breaking the wish-cycle of chain letters. And somewhere out there will be that special person who opens me, a one-of-a-kind unbirthday present for all occasions, only to say: oh, she’s perfect! Here’s $100,000 a year to do just that!

P.S. I can be reached at: jennmeleana@mac.com

Cover Letter, My Ideal Job

Dear Future Employer:

(Which ideally would be me.)

Dear Self:

If I were to take all my experiences and mesh them into one occupational position–it would be to create an alternative treatment center for emotionally-disturbed private school-educated orphans of gypsy descent. There, I would teach them avant-garde writing in the form of stick figure portraiture, Surrealist photography in the form of aggressive napping, cardio kickboxing, imperfect veganism, and proper contraception implementation. I would treat them from their addictions to god, to family obligation, to morality as a washboard for our animal instincts, to guilt/blame, to ego, to refined sugars, to Myspace. This center would be in a former Communist nation where there would still only be two types of cheese–yellow and white. I’d recycle my diploma into toilet paper. Ivy League 2-ply.

The lesson of the day: degrees are for assholes.

Each morning, we would climb the metaphorical walls of our flimsy defenses before settling into our line-less Moleskins. Blank pages–we could go any way. After loosening the figure 8 knots of our old convictions, we’d rappel into philosophical caves, rooms of our own, walls padded with the insulation of our old bullshit, writing character sketches for our self of the day. At recess, we’d have a pep rally, cheering on our own genius ideas.

“G-E-N-I-U-S! Gooooo Genius!!!”

At lunch, we’d photograph trees, bury first drafts in self-destructing time capsules, invent ten new ways to eat pumpkin, stuff kaleidoscopes with fortune cookie fortunes, laugh at the distortions, the possibilities, laugh at our pasts which we’ve pulled from our mind like a loose shirt thread and re-woven into a quilt large enough to cover our cold feet. At night, we’d reclaim constellations, snip every imaginary line connecting memories to fear, expectation to fear, preservation to fear. Cassiopeia into The Persistence of Memory. The Big Dipper into Guernica. We’d praise the sky as a figment of our gorgeous imaginations. We’d be as endless as we wanted to be. We’d take our fears, write them on gold origami paper, folding each into 1,000 cranes, into one crane in the shape of a kite, and fly our fears past the point of control, and let them go, let them all go.

And then we’d be free for the first time in our lives.


I mean, c’mon already. I am awesome. Hire me.

My most productive hours are between the hours of 12 and 4 am, I need really good health insurance, a company car or bike would be SO COOL, can my dog come?, I cook a mean pumpkin bread, do I really have to be present physically every day?, I think having the option to work from a park or cafe or hey, my living room– would be fantastic, and gym membership as a corporate benefit, hey, I’ll take it!


In the meantime, enjoy our latest photos from the lovely Pacific Northwest!


the secrets of the universe (jenn)

The Treehouse Coffeeshop
Collingswood, New Jersey

…said Tweedledum, “You know very well you’re not real.”

“I am real!” said Alice, and began to cry.

“You won’t make yourself a bit realler by crying, “ Tweedledee remarked: “there’s nothing to cry about.”

“If I wasn’t real,” Alice said—half-laughing through her tears, it all seemed so ridiculous—“I shouldn’t be able to cry.”

“I hope you don’t suppose those are real tears?” Tweedledum interrupted in a tone of great contempt.

amsterdam multiple choice:

(a) leidesplein. the waterhole. live dutch honky tonk mixing with drunken laughter, with heat stirred smoke, with joker smiles, with throbbing lights, my head and heart throbbing faster, less and less th, more and more bb.

i cannot breathe/people smiling waving/if i look at them i will cry/i don’t want to exist.

(chorus: how did i get here.)

i see us crashing from a distance, i’m the accident, i’m driving by, there’s glass between us, i see them clearly, clustered, sing-shouting lyrics.

we match eyes.

i’m crushed.

i exist all over again.

i exist all over again and have to answer to life, have to half-feign half-interest, have to smooth my rage over with gritty sandpaper, smooth.

i don’t do smooth.

i’m so lonely. here. where we have gathered to not be lonely. where the waterhole is the saddest room in the world. where the slightest socializing nauseates me with the force of ten back-to-back tequila shots. i drink nothing. where 1000 dull cliché daggers stab me, gut and heart. 100 every time someone laughs. 100 every time the group wraps their arms over one other’s shoulders, swaying in a team huddle, a circle, a ring around my neck.

i cannot breathe, but i could cry for the rest of my life.

(who is this girl.)

misery indeed loves company. just not this company. misery watches joy and doubles over in pain, too shy to find a tram to step in front of, too tired to get up from this bar stool, where it’s easier to sit and cry and pretend this is just a bad trip, your existence.

i know i can take something, anything, and lift myself from this sadness, buoy on up to the surface, float and bob with everyone else in a sea of beer-flavored sweat and good vibes.

i know my sobriety is worse than any drug. i flood myself with stress. i drown from the inside out.

i decide not to turn things around.

i walk home alone.

i miss my friends.

they know what i mean when i say i can’t.

(ryan calls us enablers. we say this life shit is hard and nod. we sigh oh sadness and hole each other up in empty houses on flimsy stilts of empathetic words. we say what the fuck and high five. we say at least we get it and laugh with ourselves. we are eye-rollers. we are half-empty. we wear grey-colored contacts. we throw our individual angst into the kitty and save it for a sunny day. we keep collecting. we wouldn’t know a sunny day unless it gave us skin cancer. we exaggerate. we have life dysmorphia. we keep going.)

(b) the morning after, i find the things i’ve lost:

1. left contact, crumpled in the corner of eye—i thought i cried it out somewhere between honk and tonk.

2. hair elastic, the one that sent me again spinning again as i got ready–the vaguest reminder of how easily i lose the things that hold me together.

3. ryan, patient, forgiving, as loving as he has ever been, when i have been as crazy as i have ever been.

(c) i am not writing to write. i am writing to sweat out toxins. the smell of last night’s dismantling is the smell of bad and regretted sex, of pissing yourself.

i am writing to have myself to console.

(d) hi. my name is jenn. i am the anti-life of the party. invite me. i’ll bring my cheap platter of thinly sliced complaints. we’ll eat and eat and never be full. we’ll take shots of our own fermentation.

a toast: to one after another after another.

(e) i hate how heavy i become, when i close my eyes and an outside hand spills hate over me, a whole tanker of oil. i suffocate. all i see is all i cannot see, you know, now that i am covered in oil. and i know i’m close. i’m close to air, to hands, to another side, to my realer self. but the impossibility of opening one eye. the impossibility of having to face everything i hate (breathing, standing, etc., etc.). why. why do it. i want to drug myself back to sleep and try again tomorrow. i am always trying again, never getting to that place people aspire to when they try again. my try agains are loops, not points on x and y axes inclining me to the ideal self point. i zoom into my worst. i can’t see whether i’m on the up or down slant. just a point without context. i need the full picture. the monet. i need to be pointless.

i am good from far.

(i think i have ups and downs, but my life, graphed, printed, is just an average EKG stretched out over 28 years. i’m beating myself for nothing. this is what a life looks like.)

(f) i don’t want to be here, in this room, with these strangers, with the first snow of expectation shoveled down from the sky. we run outside, throw ourselves in it.

we make the shape of angels.

the next day, we want sun. it will be months. we will slip on our own ice. we will crack our own heads.

our angels, how quickly they evaporate.

no matter how many layers we shed for each other, what we see is not what we get.

(g) ryan brings me mega-dose pills of vitamin c and ginseng. i want a different memory of myself in amsterdam than crazy bar bawler, so i put on a new face and we all go to the sugar factory. i drink vodka and then i really drink vodka. we dance for hours to dj music spun in between incredible live jazz sets, the lead british singer’s voice, sultry and unsyllabic, thickening the air. we breath it in through our ears, exhale her through our fingertips.

we are only vibrations.

i am finally happy, the happy i only am when drunk enough to hold onto exact and whole moments, which seem endless and thrilling.

(h) what’s the color of the sky right now? –little boy to mom in the treehouse cafe

(i) i miss home. i don’t know where home is anymore. i miss mati. i miss solitude. i miss the feeling of not missing anything.

(j) ryan offers to buy us both tickets home early. even at my craziest, i am still chinese, cheap even with unemployment money not my own. i know tickets home early is not the answer.

we sit on a bench by our amsterdam apartment. ryan breathes for me. he is happy; he can help. he has given me everything and more:

-he supports my dreams
-he brings me to the best place in the world for christmas
-he supports our bitch mutt, takes her out for early morning poop
-he lets me sleep
-he has given me everything and more

we discuss theories for why i am losing all my shit:

theory #1: ryan is in the best mental space of his life and with no one to commiserate with i feel extra-super-lonely.

theory #2: ryan knows the secrets of the universe and i am jealous.

theory #3: i constantly convince myself of reasons to feel bad. really, i need to be happy for no reason, and here’s why:

(k) ryan is morning. he wakes me through the curtains. he sweeps hair from my face. he brings me back from nightmares with soft strokes, down my arms, down his guitar. he tells me there are no real nightmares. no one hates me. only i hate me. i can turn everything back into a dream. it’s just a switch. reset my own circuits. flow, light, be on and on.

(l) i wake up new. i hear the tram rushing past the bedroom window along kinkerstraat, the same tram i fell asleep to, the sound synesthetic to a movie wash out. ryan crawling into bed cross dissolves, our bodies curl into parenthesis, lucid dreaming begins. morning fades in twice—once, still dark, it could be 5, it could be 9. fade back into sleep. fade in again—bicycle bells, a steadier stream of cars, white sun. i get up. i feel exactly how i want to feel, make green tea, cream of wheat and soymilk, write four sentences i am satisfied with, read rats, wake up and up.

the rest of the day is perfect: a warm and bright afternoon wandering vondelpark, playing games of ice bocce with sticks and corks, trying to drop ice through ice. hawaiians—never underestimate our ability to amuse ourselves with a half-frozen park pond that is probably teeming with leptospirosis. locals look on as we would if we saw tourists picking rocks out of the ala wai, skipping them, and shrieking like five year olds at magic mountain.

the day passes, a simple daydream that glows with you into tomorrow even though the details are forgotten: which songs were sung, who said what about why, whose idea it was to climb the twice-rooted tree, slick with moss and cold.

we are twice rooted in each other, ryan and i.

we are the architects of our days.

we are (im)proving our own theories.

we are all of the above.

the cave we call home
central district, seattle

Alice laughed, “There’s no use trying,” she said, “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

1. hey, this is how not to suffer

(there is so much more to write about than my moods.

ryan on jenn as re-told by jenn as herself: i think my writing about how i act like an irrational psychopath excuses it, that molding my social retardation and sadness into something that sounds nice is a skill i value, and so i do it, blog and blog again. i write about how alone i feel, and a world of people relate.)

2. ergo, i feel less alone.

(really we’re just enabling each other’s bitterness. we take nothing away from my words beyond a sense that we all suffer similarly. i never say: hey, this is how not to suffer, and write about all the joy i experience. i sift content about how things really can change down to a fine dusting, flavoring my blogs with an imperceptible sweetness. mostly, i throw in handfuls of raw animal lard*. every single one of my myspace blogs is the same story, different day. oh i’m blue colored. oh i cry at house parties. oh i don’t belong in this world.

oh i am so fucking sick of oldself.)

(oh oldself.)

*example of something that disgusts me

3. vulnerability, hear me meow

(i try to get everyone on my “side” by shouting out the easy conundrums of being that i know i can get everyone to say AMEN! to.

me: isn’t it hard to date a person who talks a lot about philosophy?

world: AMEN!

me: isn’t it hard to change?

world: AMEN!

me: shouldn’t boyfriends never yell at you, no matter how rancid a psychopathic bitch you are being?

world: AMEN!

me: isn’t vegetarianism WAY better than non-vegetarianism?

world: amen?)

4. i am one with myself

(ryan says that by feeling deeply embarrassed about my psychotic self makes her real. instead, i must stop making her real. stop giving her my body. stop feeding her little gummy hatebears to gnaw on all day.)

5. so this is the last time

(the last time i blog about my life in crazyland. offering more and more case studies of myself for the masses about exactly what happened, using completely biased, post-hoc reasoning as to why i justifiably freaked out (chemical imbalance, hello?), so that i can avoid these things in the future. [crowds, areas with no immediately accessible exits, strangers of odd height, dentistry, male nurses, baroque-style buildings, leather couches, tomatoes off the vine.] i could tattoo a do not do list on my body memento style for the rest of my life, but all this does is make it all true. none of it is true if i don’t want it to be. it is all yesterday’s jenn.)

6. i have a fucking incredible life

(on paper, my facts do not suffer: born and raised in goddamned paradise, harvard, hapa, all limbs accounted four, athletic enough, smart enough, adventurous enough (?), 5’3” enough, not in financial debt, has best boyfriend ever, best bitch mutt ever, best friends ever, best family ever, best best ever.)

(these are the only truths worth believing.)

zeitgeist coffee, seattle

in amsterdam

in amsterdam, we fell in love over and over again. ryan–during my worst “sober” trips, he was calm and kind, wrapping me in his new full embrace, an embrace that promised we were a locked safe, no one else knowing the combination (our shared dreams spelled backwards in hieroglyphic x language). he would stay by me, but stay afloat, and would not drown down to where i was, and if i just held on, and kept holding, he’d pull me somewhere safe, with words and laughter and better eyes.

we have been together almost all day of every day since we left philadelphia on november 1st. this traveling has made us a pack, a fixed family, synced systems with updated software.

(how romantic!)

this is the most true:

in amsterdam, we had the best moments i have ever had in my entire life.

amsterdam was watching birds trace the sky for hours on the roof of the science museum, talking, laughing, imprinting our bliss on each other.

amsterdam was our night of endless tribal-revival-hippy-free love style dancing at the rokerij to pure lover avi’s flutes and a drummer who could even play scissors and rubber ducks like a badass motherfucker, ryan singing with his new singer’s voice, kealoha slamming poetry, their beat boxing duets–a room of dutch people wondering if we were the audience or the show, wondering what we were on.

we were audience, we were the show. we were on happiness.

amsterdam was ryan and i standing on the edge of the ponds in vondelpark at night, seeing the sky reflected in the dark water, the black crooked branches of winter trees probing something bottomless, deeper than we could ever imagine. my stomach churned as though we could step off the muddy bank and into that void. our held hands kept us safe from stumbling, let us see the menacing infinite as breathtaking.

amsterdam was early evening biking through town, just the two of us, two days before we left, the city a well-lit amsterdam montage, a sitcom of our entire year together:

past the book store ryan found me in after we fought, our first few days in amsterdam, when we were still not sure we should be there, when there was too much cost-benefit analysis flooding our lagging heads. costs were high, and we weren’t. when ryan was old ryan, and jenn was old jenn, and old ryan said i’m going this way and old jenn said i’m not, walking forward while ryan turned back. i knew he had no idea where we were, how to get back without a map. without me. without his wallet that i had conveniently been holding.

later, on the third floor fiction aisle of a random bookstore, deeply apologetic jenn said

you found me.

and still uncertain ryan said

you’re so predictable.

two weeks later, peering through the closed dim windows, we laughed at ourselves, standing inside that silly bookstore, the day we tried to stir up a batch of the end of the world using ingredients that existed nowhere but inside our old rotten heads.

we moved on.

walking our bikes through crowds of giant dutch people, down the same once empty main streets we pedaled down in the middle of the night with mikey, hearing only the whir of wind in the tires, blurring past fashionable clothing stores we never went in and all the falafel places we did.

over the bridge where we bumped into keali’i reichel, who sang one of our favorite hawaiian songs. for those few minutes, we were warm, we were home.

the same bridge where we met the happiest bum in the whole fucking world.

past the shopping tunnel where the boys freestyled the witty commentary on everyone walking by song, and earned their first 20 cent euro coin.

past the many coffeeshops we read, wrote and smoked in, past the corner where ryan took me from hysterical sobbing to hysterical laughing, all with one line, a line i can’t remember, something absurd, something that made me certain you can turn moments and moods around, realizing i do choose to persist in my sadness, and a bad thought is just a bad drug. you, overdosing your system.

on that corner, cries of i can’t do this anymore turned into irresistible, irrepressible i can do this forever giggles, giggles that rose up and out of my heart into the collective hymn and hum of the world.

there was still so much of our journey left.

into the park where we all played that sunny afternoon with the frozen ponds, down the corridor of sloping trees, black on an orange grey sky, damp from invisible rain, laughing maniacally at the non sequitur squawk of ducks, hidden in the dark chocolate colored marsh, dinging our bike bells to pass by no one but our old selves, stopping at the twice-rooted tree, remembering it was all the best, and to never be misled by the wrong memories.

only the best times of your life will exist if you want them to.

amsterdam was meeting a cast of characters. realizing we were probably the same to everyone we met. our stories written into each other’s life lines. ‘til syndication and beyond. hawaiians in a foreign land, crazy-haired and ski-masked, poets and artists singing i want you to drop baby, drop baby, drop until ryan’s fingers froze, collecting a lifetime worth of stories, epiphanies, art, new laughters, new new.

the secrets of the universe.

it’s the year of the rat.

it’s the year of the fuck naming years. the year of living each day as a year. the year of last times. of first times. of all of it all of the time.

dear kealoha, minja, and mikey,

i’m sorry for being a crazy bitch whore cunt.

i wouldn’t want to do amsterdam with anyone else.

i just didn’t know it at the time.

a toast: to the year of many years.

to blogs that do not use the word angst, its synonyms, or angst dressed up in pretty frocks of any written form.

to i control the shit!!!!!


dear ryan,

i love opening a book, seeing our double dog-eared pages, me speed reading to catch up, always one chapter, one theory behind.

thank you for waiting.

i love that you are smarter than everyone.

(p.s. i am not everyone.)

i love crawling into bed next to you, knocking ankles, whispering there’s no place like home, and knowing we’re already there.

(m) all of it, all of it,

together again!

i feel a photo montage coming on!

we’ve been…

dr dolittling…

learning how to roll joints with sushi mats…

hanging out with Bulgarian Best Friends Forever Yulia and Bobi!

playing in trees…

pretending we’re Asian Tarzan…

making friends with homeless people/dutch street gang members…

having guitar envy…

listening to Keali’i Reichel serenade us after we just happened to bump into him on a bridge next to a hot dog stand in motherfucking AMSTERDAM and conveniently had our guitar…

playing music, crossing streets…

tunnel jam seshing…

playing bicycle tag!

vondelpark meandering…

freezing our hawaiian vagina balls off…

reading the diary of frida kahlo, rats, the black swan, on the road, fear and loathing in las vegas, no one belongs here more than you

meeting hip dutchsters…


coffeeshop meditating…

throwing down poetry at the rokery

genius next level new us freestyling, singing, dancing…

and listening.

we’ve been in something better than love.




this is our life on drugs.

amsterdam ’07-’08: mikey, kealoha, minja, ryan, jenn

our secret language:
every hour, on the hour, pure love avi, udu, cajon, ice-o-later, swimming, you know, theo van gogh, top of the NEMO, borishka, keisha vs wong, toothbrush vs. potato chips, i am wave, i am particle, who is tarzan?, guess the TV theme song contest take 2, panini?, i don’t give a fuck about the golden teacher, free diesel, 100% cheese, wipe your ass, year of the RAT, lucidity, constellation tree, hitler coin toss, good game, good game, things that don’t go together, nutter butters are doors, time is love, thoughts are drugs, the secrets of the universe, ne zor!, maniacal laughter, standing at the edge of the sky, pools reflecting, pools, all of it, all of it… all.

home sweet… SEATTLE!!! (jenn)

(seattle. central district. friday night. 1 am. drinking miso soup, at home.)

yes. at home. our new home–the bottom level of a house, the foundation for our next adventure, here in what we’ve heard is a transitional neighborhood formerly known as ghetto. perfect: we’re transitioning, or we transitioned (have we?). how quickly we doze in the post-transitional glow, ashing our cigarettes on the map we origamied into ashtrays shaped like half-full shot glasses, staring contentedly at the oddly near roof above our heads, amazed by what just happened, how much it meant to the both of us, now zipped up side-by-side in twin orange cocoons–the REI sleeping pods we never used, too sissy to camp in cold weather, but now, now that we’re home, we need our bedding, we need the random shit like my super sponge, half a bottle of peanut oil, and bags of 3/4 used hygiene products that somehow made it into the murano from philly instead of my spice collection and our printer.

we need each other to reaffirm back and forth that we made the right choice to stay.

jenn: yes.
ryan: did we make the right decision?
jenn: yes. did we make the right decision?
ryan: yes.

we wanted to live in this exact apartment even though we are paying twice as much for a unit entirely of our own, because we realized we need our space. we hate to tiptoe, and love to oof. and it’s a strange space—asian-friendly low-ceilings, the floor on level with the ground outside, such that the bottom of the window matches the top of the lawn. the apartment is a circle—we chase mati in laps on our mini carpet track. the 7 1/2th floor, a donut, our home.

and its best feature is the 6’2” alabaman who lives upstairs and goes by the given name will, and the indian name lives with asians. big will is the best stranger-friend we’ve met in a long time. he understands randomness. how it’s all randomness. he flipped a coin, and we were heads, and some other LOSER couple was tails. if we were tails, we’d be in portland today. but we were heads, so we got the phatty pad below his phattier pad, and more importantly, we now rent a part of big will’s incredible exuberance for all things life. big will is a plain-clothed superhero. for group hugging us. for bringing mati a welcome home bone and ryan a welcome home 6-pack.

we needed a group hug.

we needed an empty, quiet space.

(so that we could throw all our shit all over and not pick it up. EVER.)

in one closet, ryan has been sitting on the floor with the big mac, calling it his sound studio.

since yesterday i’ve had to replace the hours i spent each day figuring out where’s next. i have thus become obsessed with the “free” section of craigslist. without trying, we’ve acquired a queen-sized bed, a small desk, a TV, microwave, lean mean grilling machine, and other kitchen toys from big will. today big will’s equally kick-ass filipina friend mel gave us an orange corduroy love seat. we can’t wait to fill our new cave-like home with free furniture that never imagined itself together in one space. tomorrow we’re driving to a new stranger’s place to grab our new free computer desk and free entertainment center.

eventually, we’ll grab ourselves some new strangers for keeps.

in the meantime, i’m also waiting with my trigger finger on craiglist for a free queen-sized feather bed cover, coffee maker, printer, and kitchenware.

they shall cometh, friends. oh they shall cometh.

craigslist is seriously addictive.

so far, seattle is phenomenal. maybe it’s just the new city/new life buzz. rain, grey, and all—we’re going to do living better this time. we still want to come home. we still want to live in SF. in LA. in portland. mostly, we still want to live. so we decided to start with seattle. and group hugs.

tonight we watched requiem for a dream at a slant, as our projector didn’t quite survive the journey. after, we needed an 11pm pick-us-up—and after driving by a closed and severely misnamed insomniax cafe—we found an open late cafe nearby–bauhaus books and coffee.

bauhaus ramblings:

i can’t label the crowd cluttering the second level without flinging clichés pollock-style at my white page. we’re all staccato clichés, some of us with less drip and more stick. some of us selling faster than others.

(i am a recovering insomniac. i shouldn’t drink spicy chai after sunset. i might not be able to get up in time for sleeping in tomorrow.)

this chai isn’t changing my life, but this effortful hip vibe might. i don’t remember a neighborhood in philly where everyone dressed the same. i find it kind of endearing, like it’s a homecoming spirit day. goth gone mundane. we’ve got the black leggings, yes we do, we’ve got the black leggings, how ‘bout you?

i shouldn’t judge so early. maybe another hour, another chai, and i’ll want a hoodie with hello kitty repeating skull print too.

i like a place where i could be cool just because i’m here. because there’s a total venn eclipse between possible coolness and the perimeter of this cafe. because i’m inside the eclipse watching the shadow fall over me. match me. enable me. because this is our longest stop—our 7 month motel for 2 + dog, our home paid for by ryan’s unemployment and as many liters of words i can squeeze out, methodically pumping my fists at even intervals, before being too drained to wake up and know who i am.

this cafe is a library turned cafe or most likely a cafe turned library—brick wall by book wall, matching books lined up on dark mahogany bookshelves, two ladders for the top shelves. i know if i climbed everyone would stare. what are ladders if they can’t be climbed. what are they there for. since when are 30* feet tall ladders accessories.

fake flowers.



the music playing sounds like pulp fiction b-sides.

i miss the too sweet, soy creamy chai of philly.

i miss montana.

i miss the ONGS.

i miss being a bus ride away from harmonie and chad, scott, and lacy in bulgaria.

mostly, i miss not having more things to miss.

tomorrow night we’re having dinner at ellen’s—a friend from the glory high school days of studying for national latin examinations and marching band. i am sure we are much cooler people now, although maybe we’ll bust out some cicero and a flute-clarinet duet for old times sake.

already there is so much to say, to write, to reflect on. i feel like november 1st, our first uncertain homeless day in cambridge at melissa’s—was an entire year ago. our november was a year. an incredible fucking year. 2007 1/2. we are now both addicted to the road, and can’t wait to travel to portland, california, canada—but for today we were ready to have a room of our own, as my purse runneth over with mini-condiments, as our brains overfloweth with words, words, words.


bauhaus books and coffee, seattle

this episode of choose our own adventure is brought to you by the letter ryan. without the letter ryan i wouldn’t be possible.


just look at all the font emphasis styles i used to express my love!

bold + italics = true love

*i can’t estimate height. 30 = very, very tall.

you are particles too. (jenn)


you drive hundreds of miles by thousands of homes. (ohio. indiana. illinois. wisconsin.) you wonder how people do it. how they stay in one place, with one person. find enough room in cold basements to store all their dissatisfactions. distract themselves with soccer practices and bathroom renovations. you wonder if they dream. you wonder what makes them all choose the same templates. you genuinely want to know. you feel foreign with your short-attention span and impending sense of doom. also, you are a split lip victim of domestic dog-abuse.


where’s my ability to love someone longer than a few years? where’s my overpriced golden retriever who appreciates my affection?

i need someone to teach me the game of simple functioning–someone who’ll be a coach/father figure, who’ll cheer me on by saying go get ’em hee, play for life! tackle that lack of commitment to employment and/or men! go long! go long!

just kidding. really i just want a big sports mvp award for sitting on the bench with my favorite books, abnormal values, and pleasant expression.


you’re on a beach in milwaukee. you think about hawaii, your home. you wish you could be quantum-sized, in two places at once. why can’t you? you are particles too. but you exist here and only here, in milwaukee, on a beach. you wonder why there are no dogs running on the beach. you turn your head and see a sign that says no dogs allowed. you wished all your questions were answered just like that. why can’t i get a real job? why can’t i ask strangers for directions? why do i keep switching from second to first to third person? i turn my head but instead of signs with succinct answers, there is only ryan. and he’s doing that thing where he’s sleeping and makes noises like he’s choking on air about to die, but he doesn’t, and keeps breathing. i think it’s sleep apnea. he’s definitely dying this time.


this time.


and you wonder why you can’t turn off the iolani in you that wants to attack his brain with a red pen every time he defies all grammar rules known to keables in his blogs. you wish you too could embrace schizophrenic capitalization.


you’re in harmonie’s bedroom and you don’t know where to go next. head towards fargo, go and go and settle in california? isolate and write in small town canada? go home? finally. go home. or turn around. drive back to jersey. stay with a friend and wait until december 14th, when we have tickets from philly to amsterdam—the trip of a lifetime, a christmas present to ourselves before ryan got fired. you wish the computer was a fortune cookie. you want to be told something ambiguous such as “go to amsterdam” so that you can interpret it to mean exactly what you want it to, which is go to amsterdam and forget that you’re two unemployed bloggers with a dog mouth to feed and all your life possessions in a murano.

you do not make the best decisions. prom dresses, 7th glass of wine, bulgaria. you decide to pick up a book, turn to a random page, and read the first sentence you see. usually you prefer magic plath 8 ball, but harmonie only has the gulag archipelago on her floor. you grab. you open. you read:

“thus a person could disappear from the face of the earth with the help of the OSO even more reliably than under the terms of some primitive court sentence.”

amsterdam it is!

God, I wish I was a chinese dragon [ryan]

[road trip launched: 11.01.07]
new hampshire.

some motel in cleveland.

maybe chicago tomorrow.

my bestest friends comment on chooseourownadventure.com:

Help us help you help yourselves:

let us know where you are by beginning each post with your location, then we can better choose your own adventures, you fucking fucks!!

Love you,
minja and kealoha

minja and kealoha

my comment to their comment:

first of all, howz you? secondly, ok fine, you’re right. that is the way we should do it. in fact, we started out that way. Then we realized that this so called road trip has quickly turned into we’re staying at Jenn’s cousins.

Jenn’s cousin steph and her husband tony [maryland]

it feels like there has hardly been any road to this trip. And really, in all honesty, the chooseourownadventure.com angle is just an excuse to share our twisted thoughts with friends and family and potential threesome lovers. we’re just trying to make our trip feel more dramatic, sheesh. I mean, one of my blogs was a movie review on apocolytpo. this is not your typical road trip blog. It’s more like, I’m jobless and homeless but I have a car trip. and while I roam around, pretending that having no where to go is an adventure, I’m going to write some stuff and share it, kind of thing. I don’t really need people to choose our own adventure, really, I mean, not geographically anyway, I just thought it’d be more fun to comment on our writings that way, since most people couldn’t care less about existentialism–especially my version of it. having said that, we would love people to give us any kind of comments–including geographical suggestions. It’s like how the chinese dragon at grad parties is not really there to dance for you, but he dances for you. He wants you to put it in his mouth. in his mother fucking mouth. I’m not here for anyone’s adventure choice, really. I’m here for the actual adventure. which is mostly in my head, mostly in friend’s living rooms.

I’m here for you to put it in my mouth. my mother fucking mouth. but I want more than cash, although cash is fine, I want your heart in my mouth friends. yes, I want your blood. I want your dreams inside my mindgina. deep inside. I want you to tell me everything, and so I’m telling you everything. The adventure is in our minds.

The adventure IS our minds.

However, even though I like the abstract idea that your life can be great whereever you go, so go whereever, in reality, it fucking matters where you go, so don’t go whereever. In reality, I’m choosing my own god damned adventure. and it probably won’t be in Detroit. I just wanted to play with my friends. you know, just play along assholes. pretend you’re choosing, but know that you are not choosing. I was kind of hoping that people would understand if I didn’t really teabag the lincoln memorial, in real life, even if that was their choice for my own adventure. Look, I do want people’s input: choices, suggestions, mp3s, cash, poems, quotes, pics, vids, other abbreviations, room, board, massages, books, movies, etc. sure. but I don’t expect them.

“It’s for fun”–Nacho Libre

The only reason why I ask for these things is that people seem to want to give them. and hey, no arguments here. We’ll take it. It’s like tipping. waiters get it, mailmen don’t. who knows why. it’s not really fair. I know this. I feel like a 3rd grader asking people to pay me for reading a bunch of books. it seems silly, but people pay! so if people want to give us anything, we won’t argue. comments, cash, whatever, we’ll take it. or not. whatever. but chooseourownadventure.com is just a metaphor. we’re still going to do our chinese dragon dance though. but unlike the dragon, we actually really just want to dance. what you put in our mouth is purely bonus! but having said all that, you are still right–we should always say where we are–even if it’s to uphold the veneer of a road trip!

bottomline: you helped me to further explain what is we’re doing–at least to myself!

so thank you minja and kealoha!
from cleveland,

still heading west, in general, but paradoxically with 2 tickets to amsterdam from philly [december 14th] in mind!

Ryan and Jenn

to all the choosers:
thank you for all your chooserosity. your cash. your comments. your support. your heart. your blood. your dreams in our mindginas. thank you. we need you. we need people to dance for. we need people to put it in our mouths. we have big mouths, so keep on putting!

love Ryan and Jenn

God, I wish I was a chinese dragon
by ryan matsumoto


God, I wish I was a chinese dragon
then I would make money for dancing.
but aw man, I would have to eat the money.
If only chinese dragons had paypal buttons.