The Catalogue: No. 15

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


15 is my favorite number, so obviously I'm going to dedicate Catalogue No.15 to fifteen of my favorite things in life. In other words, things that make me so, so happy to be alive!


POETRY
1. Archaic Torso of Apollo | Rainer Maria Rilke
Otherwise this stone would seem defaced/beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:/would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place that does not see you. You must change your life.

2. YILAN | Kristin Chang
In Yilan, they will gather the dead/parts of the tree & burn away/the rot. 
It was my grandmother/who taught me to burn/only what you must, then water
the rest. Who taught me/that a tree is a body/through which water becomes fire.

3. In Response | Shihan
If there is ever a time you can't find me/don't worry. I'm doing alright. 

LECTURES/TED TALKS
4. The Secret to Desire in a Long-Term Relationship | Esther Perel
So if there is a verb, for me, that comes with love, it's "to have." And if there is a verb that comes with desire, it is "to want." In love, we want to have, we want to know the beloved. We want to minimize the distance. We want to contract that gap. We want to neutralize the tensions. We want closeness. But in desire, we tend to not really want to go back to the places we've already gone. Forgone conclusion does not keep our interest. In desire, we want an Other, somebody on the other side that we can go visit, that we can go spend some time with, that we can go see what goes on in their red-light district. You know? In desire, we want a bridge to cross. Or in other words, I sometimes say, fire needs air. Desire needs space. And when it's said like that, it's often quite abstract.
UPLIFT/"ASK POLLY"
5. 'I Feel Empty' | Ask Polly
You have to abandon the empty, successful, shiny shell of a person you became in order to please your father, to win your selfish boyfriends, to gain your glamorous magazine jobs, and you have to look into the inky hot abyss of your soul and pull out this wretched, messy self that you fear. You have to wipe the goop out of this self’s sad eyes like it’s your sick puppy. You have to cradle this self until it can stand and then walk forward. The very thought of this probably disgusts you. You’re sure that this pathetic self, who cares too much, is unworthy of love. That is the center of your malady. If you stare at that, without looking away, you will discover magic where you thought there was only a void.
6. 'I Love Myself, but Hate Being Single' | Ask Polly
You will find it. People who believe in life-changing love are the ones who find it. Keep believing. You can embrace reality and keep believing. You can honor death and keep living. Say this to yourself: I will believe in love until the sky falls. This is how I choose to live. When I believe, the stars shine more brightly, the birds sing together in chorus. Love will come to me in time. My job is to be patient, to try to take the obstacles in my path less seriously, and to savor the sweet, sad wonders of this day.
INSTAGRAMS
7. @hotdudesreading 
Literally what it sounds like. So delicious.

8. Similarly, @dilfs_of_disneyland
Side note, I used to live across the street from both a major park and hospital system so there were often hot doctor dads jogging with their kids in strollers and it was great.

9. @garyjanetti 
The funniest Instagram, ever. This is the best thing to binge-scroll through during shitty commutes. My favorites are the sassy Prince George ones.

10. @gryffindior 
Harry Potter characters in couture.

ART
If you follow me on Instagram (and it's fine if you don't), you might know that I've tried to dabble more with art recently. My favorite art supplies:
11. This Sakura Koi Watercolor Set, which is teeny tiny (like a travel first-aid kit) and comes with a brush pen.

12. This 24-pack of gouache paints, a long-meditated purchase when I realized I don't actually enjoy watercolor all that much (but I still like my little set that I take everywhere).

13. Punk Post Co. 
An app-based snail mail service that commissions "handwriting artists" to hand-letter and address cute cards for you! I'm currently applying to be a "handwriting artist" (fingers crossed though I'm not as good as I thought I was), and I've already sent two cards. They range from $4-$6ish (with international shipping!) and I've been so pleased each time with the artwork. You can also add confetti or photo prints for $1 each. Anddddd, your first one is free! Can't say enough good things about this, especially if you've always wanted to send a sweet love letter but have shitty handwriting/no artistic skills. And if you want a guaranteed way to make somebody's day, send them a card just to say that you are proud of them and you are rooting for their best life.

14. Ferme a Papier is a San Francisco-based stationary collection and my current art inspiration! One of my dozen (no exaggeration) side projects is an East Asian-inspired set of gouache prints. Think Rifle Paper Co. meets Hakka prints meets loose hand-lettering. Can't wait to show you on the IG if this ever becomes a thing.

15. Not really an item, but I've recently had such energizing conversations with friends/strangers about the underrepresentation of Asian Americans in PR/Advertising industries (2.6%!!), Asian American masculinity/desirability, interracial relationships, 'To All the Boys I've Ever Loved,' literature, Taiwan, religion, etc. If you ever just want to chat about stuff with no apparent segue (you don't even have to ask me about my life just to be polite!) I am here and I love to talk! I also hate small talk! Let's dive right in!

Finally, with this little snippet on joy from an AAWW interview between AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL and ROSS GAY.
RG: I am spending more and more time studying joy, in part because I suspect it is connected to (or one of the expressions of deep awareness of) love. And in part, too, because I think we have an obligation, like an ethical obligation, to study what we love, what we want to preserve and keep with us and grow. Joy strikes me as one of the ways we know we are in the midst of such things. It’s like a finger pointing to the thing, saying “Take care of this!” Saying, “Sing about this!” That might be a gathering of beloveds or it might mean someone giving you directions, both of you using languages you do not speak fluently. It might mean the green birds in Barcelona, or the sound of kids’ voices from somewhere you are not sure of. It might mean the creek like a xylophone when all the frogs hop in. Joy strikes me (it is funny that I am inclined to say that joy strikes me; this is a good strickenness, trust me) as, like, I don’t quite know how to say it, because I was going to say a kind of fabric between us, but it’s more like the way the fabric itself holds together. Joy alerts us to the moments when our alienation diminishes, or, even, disappears. It reminds us of our wholeness, our togetherness—which is the truth.

With joie de vivre!
L


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