One less day

Is what I’m thinking about as I’m typing here.

Another friend and I said farewell to each other today.

The reality hit me hard. At one point, I almost bursted into tears (again).

I’m not dreaming. I’m leaving for China…

 

UCLA Extension found out about me not actually enrolled into the program, they gave me an ultimatum asking me to pay for my tuition by October 8. I told them that I’m leaving on Oct 14 so don’t bother. They replied that I had, not 30, but just 14 days to exit the country that I had been residing in for three whole years.

It was like the bouncer found out that I was underage and I didn’t pay for my own drinks, so they tried to pluck me out of the crowd.

Then I said, “How dare you. I’ll walk.”

But after I walked the walk for about a mile, I couldn’t talk the talk. Because I broke down crying, missing all the pals whom I wouldn’t be able to say proper goodbyes “under the influences.”

Would I be doing this after I’m back in China? I hear you ask.

You betcha.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. Check out the latest #RBYZ episode featuring myself. It reads narcissistic. Hope it doesn’t sound so. Judge it for yourself.

Cry me a river

Three years ago, I told myself I would not look back and try to make it—

  • In Hollywood;
  • As a legit screenwriter;
  • Livin’ an American dream.

Then 2016 happened… To look beyond my personal low after I discovered my landlady’s scamming scheme—

  • Obama left.
  • Hilary lost.
  • Trump became the POTUS.
  • My former mentor, whom I’ve estranged since, once told me Trump doesn’t look crazy at all in person. That wise man, out of anybody, was considering taking a job on the Hill should the opportunity presented itself.

I witnessed the student potests on the UCLA campus. I bantered with a policeofficer and I shrugged off.

I was just an outsider. At least I thought I was. It was none of my business, just the way I was taught growing up how to react to the P word. [Translation: Politics.]

I didn’t know the impact of Trump’s shitshow to me, a total bystander, until I did.

What to do apart from screaming WTF?

I started to follow news commentators like Rachel Maddow. I realized that nobody is in anything alone. I would know how to talk about the P word more intensively next time after I’m back. And I’ll be back.

For now, let me just lie down on my back and cry some more.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. Latest #RBYZ episode out now. I’m my own guest. This time, I talk about how I feel about leaving LA head-on.

WARNING: It’s pretty raw.

The Customs – Part 3

I can’t believe there is a third part to this saga!

I used USPS to deliver 15 boxes back to Shanghai. Now 13 of them got confirmed by the customs. Two are still MIA. One is duvet and pillow stuff. Another is clothes and dresses including a Vera Wang puffer overcoat…

I used DHL to send yet another box of paintings back to Shanghai a couple of days ago – as if I hadn’t had enough of the trade war crap.

My dad just got a call from the customes saying that they need invoice and will charge 30% of the receipt value.

I think I would have been really pissed off just a few months ago.

Okay, Trump is having fun trade-waring with China right now. And the customs lady told my dad that it’s nothing personal.

In short, it’s nothing but in response to Trump’s “very, very large a-brain.

My dad’s response is short and sweet, “Seems that only the not-rich folks got taxed.”

In the background, my mum’s voice screached in, “Return that package back to the US. It ain’t my duty to pay somebody else’s duty.”

“Ignore her.” My dad mouthed a response.

Since after mid-August, my threshold for pain and misery has gone up quite a bit. As long as I have my physical and mental health, I think I can live with two missing boxes, a few more bucks on the Trumpism taxation, Trump being the president and Kavanaugh being the Supreme Court judge.

This is not ideal, but it’s not fatal. And it’s certainly not final.

I’ll live.

And the world will live to see Trumps and the Kavanaughs crash and burn.

Oh what, Lindsey, you’ve got somethin’ to say?

 

Yours truly,
YZ

History has its eye on you

The final vote of the Kavanaugh supreme court nomination is what everyone talks about all day today.

I felt like an American from the liberal side, appalled, disgusted by the result.

The enraged women voices outside the senate pierced into the chamber when the vote was underway. Every aye makes the holy place sound like a slaughterhouse.

Tears trickled down from my face. I realized that I was crying.

Ridiculous.

I’m not even American. This country won’t even issue me a visa. I’m leaving for China in a week. What do I care?

Here is why 

My heart went out to the Americans whose hearts are in the right place, who are the Americans I know, who are the reasons I love about this country.

“You can’t see it anywhere else. I admire America even more, regardless of the setbacks.”

Yeah. But what about Kavanaugh?

We’ll see. History has its eyes on us.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

A round of drinks

Not on me. My tabs were taken care of through and through.

Even after I told my friends that I just landed a rewriting gig.

“Don’t you dare.” One friend said.

A group of us UCLA old-timers remnisented about our orientation day at the UCLA Film School from three years ago, what we still remember to this day…

I pointed out the obvious fact that the four of us met as a group on that very day and have remained friends since.

They asked me what I would miss most about LA, what I migth expect in Shanghai…

I said, “Who would have thought that I could meet people like you and call you my friends, you creative minds? And who would know my own people back home might judge me because I’m not the me they know from three years ago?”

Most of my friends here tonight are and/or can write comedies, so everyone was laughing, or fake-crying at best.

“You’re one of the nicest coolest person I’ve met in LA.” I was told at the end of our gathering.

“Really?” My eyeballs were buldging out, as if someone just said, “Look, UFO!”

I heard my friend repeating the fact that I’m a nice kind person ‘dryly,’ as if it’s so obvious that everyone knows.

A thoughtful friend ordered a cake with a candle.

“Make a wish.” She encouraged.

“It’s her birthday?”

“No. Dummy.”

Before I blew off the candle, I said a little prayer. And it has something to do with LA. I will just leave at that.

Here are some photos from my UCLA Film School’s orientation day back in the fall of 2015.

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I’m so proud that I have met you, the kindest, wittiest people I’ve met out here. Angels are in L.A. after all.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

The frog

10 days from now, I’ll board that Shanghai-bound plane.

I’ve had more meetings with potential clients in the last three weeks than in my entire three years added together in LA.

I seem to act better when I’m under pressure.

I am more active, more relentless, and much less fearful.

When everything is okay, I stay put and lie to myself that everything is just fine.

What I don’t want to admit is that, I’ve become that frog in the boiling water… until I realize that I’m too hot to jump out.

I never want to be that frog again.

Bring it on.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

 

Competitive Yoga

I had a meltdown just a few days ago.

I gave my friend a call in that darkest hour of my soul. My friend, who has a braver older soul, felt drained hearing me out that evening.

“No. It isn’t self-doubt.” I heard myself arguing. “I have no problem knowing my ability. But I just doubt whether people can see it.”

“It’s still self-doubt.”

He’s right. I just didn’t know whether I would really be able to kick start my business when I move back to Shanghai, whether I would find someone I want to date, whether I would be able to support myself being an entrepreneur.

My poor friend listened till the wee hours. He didn’t try to give me solutions. When we met yesterday  at this exotic Moroccan restaurant known of its plush cushions and healthy couscous, I let my guard down.

“Sign up for a yoga class.”

“Excuse me?”

“I know anything you do you start at the top. This time, find their entry level class. Sit with yourself. Be with yourself. Have no expectations. Set no bars.”

“Okay.”

“I wish I could start it much earlier. It’s not that I want my body to be more flexible. None of it. But it makes me more receptive of me as I am and be okay with it.”

“I’ll try.”

“Remember, there is no such thing as ‘competitive yoga.’ If you find yourself gaging for air it’s not yoga. It’s torture.”

 

Yours truly,
YZ