My dear friend Barbara taught me the term “extreme self-care” recently.

I was going to her Farewell Party. But I got sick three days before the scheduled date. Then we tried to reschedule for a few times until it was too close to her departure of November 4, which is tomorrow…

I could have dropped by her place as I stopped my eight-day IV treatment on Thursday. But she suggested that I listened to my body.

She was right. I was still weak. Plus, I was having a huge reaction to the medication that I was drowsy and depressed.

“In times like this, we need to exercise extreme self-care.”

That means that Oct 17 was the last time I saw her before her final departure…

I wish I didn’t stay up late every night for the last month I was in LA. I wish I rested more when I was on the plane. I wish I didn’t get up at 1:30 the first night I was back…  But I was too distraught to feel or act otherwise.

How many times do we ignore the signals from our body before we get struck down hard? My latest pneumonia episode should be a cautionary tale.

Like the world’s worst coach, we demand our body to go the extra mile for us when it’s at the verge of collapse.

“Where there is a will, there is a way” has been my mantra as long as I can remember before my health gets in the way…

Is it worth it? Is it faster to dash and get sick in the middle, or go steady and rest?

One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t fully enjoy LA until it was time for me to leave. Am I going to do the same for Shanghai when I leave yet again later?

I told dad this evening when we strolled in the neighborhood park that I wanted to exercise with him every dawn as I recover. I shared with him my fears, my anxieties – just like the way we talked via WeChat when I was in LA.

I vowed that I would be more patient with mum regardless of her hoarding pet peeve or her poor sense of fashion…

Honestly, how many more moments do we get to spend with our parents 24/7 as we become adults?

Enjoy while you can.


Yours truly,

The Likes

You do it, I do it, because we know we have a voice. We deserve to be heard.

I changed my Facebook profile photo, finally.

I turned off the notification and hid it from the Timeline.

I thought I was in the clear until a friend texted, “Nice hat.”

Damn, the picture.

I was still getting those Likes.


I told the friend how I felt being exposed.

His reply opened me up.

It’s about being shameless and knowing what you’re willing to die on.

So what are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want?

For example: I am willing to show people sloppy versions of my scripts because I want to be known as somebody who writes a lot. Somebody else might be more of a perfectionist and do twice as many revisions, but have half as many scripts and/or notes. But that’s what I sacrifice.

Since I’ve chosen to be on social media, I’ve chosen to give away some privacy for exposure and visibility.

If you don’t like to be Liked, don’t post.

If you don’t want to be read, don’t write.

If you don’t want to be criticized, don’t do a thing.


You do it, I do it, because we know we have a voice. We deserve to be heard.


Yours truly,

PS. Listen to the latest RBYZ podcast if you haven’t already. The guest is truly one of a kind! Episode show notes here.
PPS. Clocked in 103 words. Tallying 60,406 words. 14.8 days remaining.


A confession

She needs me. However long it takes.

Math and I have had a complicated relationship.

We first met in my kindergarten.

I know it was too early to be serious.

But we understood each other.

I thought we did.

Until he had my primary school teacher test on me.

I felt betrayed.

Against my will, he wanted to meet my parents.

I’m underage. It’s kinda illegal.

But he wouldn’t listen.

Dad was livid.

Conquer that little shit. He demanded.


So I managed. I created my marching orders.

Fast is never fast enough.
The cream rises to the top.
Hard work pays off.
Don’t you dare quitting.
Be the change. 


I talked with swagger.

I walked like a New Yawker.

I was going places.

I shoved that kid to the dodgy end.

She begged me.

I kicked her in the teeth.

She got lost.

Give me a map. Nope.

How ’bout an iPhone? Not gonna happen.


I’m a thirty-year-old now.

The weight on my chest is crushing me.

I can’t breathe.

I wonder how she’s been doing.

I found her.

It wasn’t hard.

She ain’t pretty.

She is the Elephant in the room, couching on my chest, weighing five tons, give or take.

Geez, what’s eating you?

I was perplexed.  There is nothing here except the moss.

She glanced over at me.

Plenty to feast on.

Anger. Rage. Frustration. Sadness. Melancholy. Distress. Misery. Depression…

Your shit nourishes me.

Let’s go to the gym.

Let’s go Whole Foods.


I tried to push her out of the alley.

It was a tall order.

My training shall pay off.

But she didn’t move.

We were stuck.

Well, she was.

I was spent.

I lost it.

You fatso.

Don’t you dare quitting.
Hard work pays off.
Be the change.

Com’on. Let’s go!

Uh-huh, doesn’t work on me.

I’m immune now.


Here is my confession:

I’m a Bully with a capital B.

I’ll stop typing now.

She needs me down there.

However long it takes.


Yours truly,


I’m a chameleon. I’m done impersonating. 

I’m bossy today but maybe sassy tomorrow.

I’m polite but I have a potty mouth.

I switch between American and British accents given whom I’m speaking to.

I carry a slight Beijinger (aka. New Yawker) accent that it’s hard for people to believe that I’m actually Shanghaiese (aka. LA). [Translation: “Are you from the North?” is suppposedly the ultimate sought-after compliment to a Shanghaiese amongst her friends from the North.]

I crave attention but I tried erasing myself fromt the Internet.

  • I deleted my photos from Weibo (Chinese Twitter) after being ghosted by a creep.
  • I erased my digital fingerprints so it’s harder to Google me.
  • I deactivated my LinkedIn when I had 500+ rock-solid CXO connections. I convinced myself that for my future line of work in the entertainment industry, IMDB would be the place to be. I don’t need LinkedIn. It’s for phonies and corporate climbers.
  • My public profile doesn’t matter. I should focus on my work, my screenplays.

Even when I started my podcast, or this blog, I call myself YZ to feel safe, to dodge bullets if people start trashing me.


Here is the thing: I simply don’t know how Madonna does it, or the likes of Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Adele, Lady Gaga… or the Kadasians.

Are they just Born This Way and can Express Yourself? Or according to Tom Wolfe, they just have The Right Stuff?

Where their successes are public, more so are their humiliations.

I often wonder what they do when their parents, their significant others, their children, their close friends and relatives learn about the excruciating details of their scandals with the world.

How can they live with the live-streaming of people smacking down their skeletons?
How would they ever face the public when the world knows their private parts better than their gynecologists?

So they spend the million dollars they’ve earned by being exposed and try to seek equilibrium via locking themselves within the multi-million-dollar bastilles in the not-so-hidden Hidden Hills.


But the question I’m wrestling with is this:
Can the rest of us be shame·less, fear·less if the Diva ain’t in our DNA?


After hurdling over some quasi-major pschological barrier, I posted my podcast on my personal FB page. I felt like I was pole-dancing, stark naked.

Now everyone knows my age, my humiliations, my pains, my fuck-ups.
Every potential guest I approach now would know my secrets.
They can laugh behind my back should they choose to.
If they care enough to look me up, that is.
Why the fuck would I care about whether if people care, anyway?

I, not somebody else, exposed me. I exchanged my privacy for exposure. No pain, no gain. But this, isn’t my cure.


I would practise Hip-Hop moves whenever I’m in front of a mirror.

People shouted at me, “Dude, are you totally mental? Stop it. Or we’ll send you to the madhouse.”

I just didn’t give a rat’s ass.  How could I improve my steps and care about what others think at the same time?

People get used to you overtime. If they don’t, they don’t.

I move on. I find somewhere else to dance.

Somewhere with an audience, who loves and appreciates me.

My guest, a Chinese filmmaker with shoulder-length long hair and bright yellow eyeglass frame, beamed as he shared his Journey to the West.  I shook his hand as we finished the recording.

I’m a chameleon. I’m done impersonating.


Yours truly,

Five days later

Five days, 120 hours later, I shine like a new penny. 

Five days ago, I was let go.

Five days later, I let it go.

Five days ago, I was depressed.

Five days later, I’m decompressed.

Five days ago, I was full of dread.

Five days later, I’m full of dreams.

Five days ago, I recoiled in fear.

Five days later, I allow myself to dare.

Five days ago, I played victim.

Five days later, I’m my own hero.

Five days ago, I stuffed down a whole pint of mint chip ice cream.

Five days later, I’m content with the organic salad and Paul Newman dressing.

Five days ago, I couldn’t drag myself out of the apartment.

Five days later, I beg my trainer to kick my ass till I’m out of his hair.

Five days ago, you tell me five days later I would be happy and free. I might ask you to fuck off.

Five days later, I look back at myself from five days ago. I have trouble recognizing that person.

Five days,
120 hours later,
I shine like a new penny.

Make it count.


Yours truly,

PS. I’ve decided to quit my free UCLA Extension course. And I do it out of love.