Quite Possibly, Our Last Post Ever

Hello WordPress.

It’s been a long time, and perhaps some of you are wondering what happened to us.

Don’t worry, we’re not dead or broken up.

Actually, quite the contrary, Emily and I are engaged now. I proposed to her in July, on Pfeiffer Beach at Big Sur, y’know, the place with that cool looking rock.

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Anyways, as the title suggests, we are most likely moving on from this blog. The nonexistent activity for the past 6 months probably gave that away.

Why? Well, a lot has changed in our lives, apart from getting engaged. We’ve both quit our jobs. I sold my house and most of our possessions a few months back. We’ve decided to see the world and spend a year traveling the globe.

That’s right, we’ve adopted the nomad life. We’re pulling an Alexander Supertramp, minus the isolation and general financial irresponsibility. We’ll be jumping around from place to place, and when we come back to the USA, we’ll be more evolved, refined, and better versions of ourselves (hopefully).

Oh, and we’ve started our own travel blogs! If you’d like to follow our travel blogs, please find us here:

Emily: http://happynfull.com

Chris: http://shotofglass.com

We really enjoyed A Couple Talks. It was pretty a therapeutic project for myself. I needed an outlet like this during a time of my life that was full of discontent and angst. I knew something wasn’t right with my situation back then, so I decided to make a dramatic change and experience life in a new way.

Thank you all for reading this blog, it was really nice to know that some of these thoughts and opinions written here resonated with people out there.

Live your life to the fullest. Don’t be afraid to take risks.

Peace and love,

A Couple Talks.

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For Anyone Out There, An Update

On the blog front, Emily and I have been quite stagnant. 

To put it bluntly, we’ve been lazy fucks when it comes to writing. 

For all two of you that may be wondering, we are still together and doing well. 

Here’s where I tease: a lot of change is in the works. We are up to some significant stuff at the moment. I’m not quite ready to put it out there, but I will soon. 

There’s so much inside of me that wants to come out besides my shit, but I want to wait until the time is right, like my shit. 

For now, all I can do is wish you well and ask you to stay tuned. 

I am tired, I am delirious, I am anxious, but I am excited for what’s to come. 

Cheers. 
Chris. 

Your Greatest Piece Of Art

Emily and I went to the LA Art Show this past weekend. The show was 200,000 square feet of eclectic paintings, sculptures, mixed media pieces, and live performance pieces, both foreign and local, traditional and contemporary.

In general, I was pretty impressed with the art. Of course, there were a number of how the fuck did this get here pieces, but overall it seemed like the caliber of art was high.

Art. What is art? It’s one of those super-vague, overly subjective questions that can bring forth answers akin to nails on a chalkboard.

Perhaps What is art? is not the right question. Perhaps the real question is, What is the purpose of art?

Art, if I may pontificate, is meant to elicit a response. The viewer should, in some form, connect with the art, and as a result, a feeling or a thought should come forth. If I look at a painting and think, I have no idea what this is, then the painting isn’t for me.

I bring all this up because there was one piece that elicited such a response, so much so that I’m still thinking about it now and, in fact, am writing about it in this very blog post.

Here it is:

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Basquiat. What can I say about this man that hasn’t been said already. His art transcended. He brought a new perspective and unique style to the world in a time where the New York scene was bubbling with the fullness of punk rock and the infant stages of Hip-hop. He dated Madonna before she became Madonna. He left this world too soon.

Basquiat. Yeah, his art was great, but look at his life. He was a slave to his addiction. As singular and one-of-a-kind as he was as an artist, he was also yet another heroin addict.

I have to say, that’s pretty weak.

When we think about art, hardly do we ever solely focus on the art, but instead we also view the artist with a watchful eye. It’s as if the artist is just as much a part of the art as the canvas and oil. There should be some congruence between the art and the artist’s lifestyle, shouldn’t there?

So what do I make of Basquiat? Yes, his art was awesome, but his life kind of sucked. Being addicted to heroin sounds pretty god-awful to me. Reading a bit on his personal history, his childhood and adolescence was full of turmoil and strife.

Should I be inspired by Basquiat, for all the timeless pieces he created, or should I look upon him with sorrow, wondering what could have been had he been able to conquer his demons?

And this leads me to my actual thought: For any creative person out there, the greatest piece of art should be life itself. If the art is badass, then the life should be badass as well. What’s the point of creating the next Mona Lisa or composing the next Bohemian Rhapsody if life sucks? At the end of the day, where did all the great art lead to for Basquiat, or Kurt Cobain, or Amy Winehouse?

Don’t get me wrong, I still find Basquiat’s art to be invaluable, but he’ll never be someone that truly inspires me, because he couldn’t figure out how to compose the most important piece: life.

It’s just a thought. Fucking art.

 

Chris.

I Can’t

Two words.

When you really think about it, we are the killers of our own dreams.

For a lot of us, if we’re asked the question, Are you doing exactly what you want to be doing with your life?, the answer is some version of No.

And for most of us, the reason is simple – It’s your own fault.

Think about this: how many times in the past week have you said or thought to yourself, I can’t? It might have been about something small like, “I can’t go out tonight because I have work tomorrow morning,” or “I can’t go over and talk to that girl because she’ll reject me.” You may have also said it for grander issues like, “I can’t quit my crap job because I’m in too much debt,” or “I can’t come out of the closet because my family will disown me.”

We get into this mode where we trick ourselves into thinking that outside circumstances are preventing us from doing and becoming what we want, but really we’re the ones blocking ourselves.

Look, I’m not above this either; I do this to myself just as much as everyone else. I can’t. I can’t. There’s too much goddamn I can’t in my life.

If you’re reading this, do us all a favor: the next time you say I can’t to something, check yourself for a second. Really ask yourself what you can and can’t do.

I’ll try to do the same.

 

Chris.

We’re All Sensitive People

Well, nobody’s perfect. As much as every guy tries to be James Bond or Don Draper, the truth is that the overwhelming majority of us fall woefully short.

What am I talking about? Of course, I’m talking about microaggressions. If you don’t know, here’s the definition:

Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

The classic microaggression that I’ve encountered in my life is the classic Where are you from? question. People have asked me that and I’ve responded with Los Angeles only to see utter disappointment in their faces when I don’t tell them that I’m from the Ching-Chong Orient. Sorry, fellas.

But what I really want to comment on is how everything is a microaggression nowadays. You really can’t say anything in the workplace anymore without fear of someone being offended by what you say.

This year, our company holiday party is being held at a Mexican restaurant. The holiday committee decided to make flyers for the party, which included silhouettes of people wearing sombreros, to which some people said, Nope, can’t do that. Microaggression.

I guess if you really think about it, I can see someone being offended by it. But that’s the thing; since when did it become necessary to really sit down and decide if anyone can be offended by the slightest detail of a party flyer?

A few months ago, our team in the office went out to lunch. We chose a nearby Korean restaurant. One female coworker ordered the oxtail soup. When her soup was placed on the table, she started laughing at her entree because it smelled funny. For a moment, I took her amusement as a mockery of my ethnic background and culture. I don’t hit women (I don’t hit anyone, for that matter) but I knocked her out, in my mind.

What I wonder is, would I have even flinched at all if we didn’t live in a world that catered to every sensitive soul? Have we as a society been conditioned to interpret anything and everything as a slight? Are we teaching future generations to take every comment as throwing shade at someone? Are we soft?

In reality, that hostility I felt towards my coworker lasted about 30 seconds. Why? Because I didn’t dwell on it, and that’s what may the problem with everything. If the ignoramous that asks me Where I’m from from is too lazy and dumb to know the difference between Koreans, Chinese, Taiwanese, or American-born Asians, then why trip over anything he/she says?

I get being sensitive to others, but what we really can control is our emotions and reactions. If we all became a little less reactionary to every little word spoken about us, then perhaps society wouldn’t be caught in this web of microaggressions.

But we all know that’s not happening. So tread lightly people, because we’re all sensitive nowadays.

 

Chris.

Guys And Dolls

WordPress, I told you I’d be back, within a week no less.

I saw this photo the other day, and I can’t lie – I laughed my ass off:

suggs

Look, I understand it’s cliche, but it’s true. To women all over the world – we just don’t think as much as y’all.

This explains why dating, and even more simply male and female interactions in general, are so messed up these days.

I admit it – sometimes I check out our Reader feed and I find myself amused at the countless number of posts from male and female bloggers who lament about their romantic struggles. But fear not – I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. I mean, really, you have to find the comedy in single dating life, especially if it’s your own. Don’t worry, once you’re finally with that special someone, you’ll look back at these days and laugh even harder.

The general opinion is that guys are bad at texting. I tend to agree with this (not me though, I mean, can’t you tell by the Pulitzer-caliber writing quality of this blog that I’m phenomenal at texting) with a caveat – men and women simply communicate differently. The photo says it all – she over-analyzes and he over-simplifies. Maybe, just maybe, if women kept it a little more simple and men pulled back the curtain a little bit more in the text game, then singles would be better off. Just a thought.

P.S. By the way, Guys And Dolls, how did I come up with this oh so witty title? Well, Emily and I were in Netflix and chill mode the other night when we decided to watch Bill Murray’s Christmas Special because, well, Bill Murray is awesome. In the special, Murray sings Baby It’s Cold Outside. I think to myself, Hey who wrote that song? I go on Wikipedia and find out it was written by Frank Loesser. I think to myself, Hey, Frank Loesser wrote Guys And Dolls. And here we are. It’s been three days and I still can’t get this song out of my head.

P.P.S. If you haven’t, you should watch Guys and Dolls. Marlon Brando singing is horrifically awesome.

 

Chris.

The Paradox Of Expectations

Oh WordPress, how I’ve missed you.

Actually, no, I haven’t. I’ll come clean; I almost forgot the password to this account.

Guess you’re our illegitimate stepchild after all.

We go into blogging with the mindset that we’ll keep it up and post regularly. I mean, c’mon, surely we have at least fifteen minutes a day that we can spare to blog, right? Right?

No, we do not. We’re too busy watching the same Vine loop a thousand times on our phone or stalking our ex-lover, ex-friend, ex-coworker, ex-whatever on Facebook.

If you’re new to blogging, just know this: one day you’ll hate blogging.

I listened to a podcast episode of NPR’s Hidden Brain the other day. This episode featured Aziz Ansari, and they discussed a concept known as the paradox of choice.

We love having options, but is there such a thing as having too many options?

I do get frustrated when I can’t decide on an entree at a restaurant that has a million dishes to choose from, as opposed to In-N-Out Burger, where I know exactly what I want since there’s only three items on the menu (secret menu notwithstanding).

How about dating? Is it good now that Tinder, Match, and eHarmony have given singles an endless pool of matches to choose from? I don’t know; it seems to me that the increased dating pool has left singles less satisfied with who they’re currently dating and more curious about what other, better options are out there.

 

The creator of the paradox of choice, Barry Schwartz, says that there’s a simple solution: lower your expectations.

Lower your expectations? The hell?

 

I don’t know about that. Lowering expectations can lead to taking less chances, and what is life without taking a chance or two along the way?

I would revise the solution this way: manage your expectations. Be careful not to expect something to be the best thing ever, yet don’t completely give up going in. Find that nice even ground that suits your personality and situation.

Like this blog. I expect I’ll post again once or twice before the new year. I’m not saying I’m going to do this everyday like I used to, but I won’t be forgetting my password anytime soon either.

 

Chris.