I started wearing my wedding band again. To remind myself that I’m stronger than I feel. I recently interviewed Amy Jo Martin, who wore red nail polish every day for 5 years as a confidence trigger whenever she felt unworthy.
This is my wedding band. It’s an ouroboros. Eternal chaos and renewal. My physician told me that my life has been series of crises, one after the other. He referred me to a crisis therapist, but I never called. Because I never feel stressed or sad unless it involves a broken heart.
Otherwise, I’m stronger than I feel.
In our time of shiny happy social media feeds, I figured I’d try to review my year in earnest and show you all of the darker periods and how it’s ok. How I’m doing ok and whatever shit you’re going through – that too shall pass.
This was the year that my divorce was final. And although I haven’t spoken to Chris since I filed a restraining order against him, it marked a real sense of closure. I don’t talk about this often, as it is a particularly painful story – but it is over. The important lessons are to always put your personal safety first and never let a broken person, break you.
This was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to overcome, which is why I’ve chosen the ring as my talisman for courage.
My boss, the CEO of American Apparel, Dov Charney gets booted from the company he founded
This has been covered extensively in the news. And while it may be fun schadenfreude fodder for those who have participated in the culture of American Apparel in some way for the past decade, this had very real and difficult ramifications in my life.
While I had been living out of a suitcase since 2009, I was accustomed to the organised chaos and rhythm in which we ran the company. I’d written about my thoughts on this here. There was an extremely high level of uncertainty and instability.
When you’ve dedicated most of the waking hours of your adult life to working there as I had, it often feels like your career is all you have. Some malevolent force was fucking with the one constant, my every day, my foundation, my family.
I was fired
After 7 years of tenure, I was fired from both of my positions at American Apparel as Marketing Director and Retail Director of our Australian subsidiary. Under new management and within 2 weeks of a new supervisor – I encountered hostile bullying and discrimination, filed an HR complaint, 48 hours later I was out of a job, my US work visa, and $40,000 worth of unpaid bonuses.
This didn’t stop them from taking credit for positive work that myself and my colleagues were responsible for, after throwing us out the door.
American Apparel has filed for bankruptcy which make my shares worthless and legal claims effectively frozen. But bad situations give us the best ideas, my views changed in ways I never thought they would.
When cash is scarce, you figure out what your life essentials are. In things, in people, in beliefs. This means that I no longer put up with a lot of bullshit out of loyalty, obligation, or mercenary reasons.
My dog died
Miss you, Albert Einstein. You were a great physicist.
Now, remember how I said it’ll be alright? I had a destabilising year, but the pros always outweighed the cons and I thank Based God for the generosity of all the people in my life. Here’s what kept me afloat.
Incredible sex will change your life. Let’s not discredit how something so basic can alter your entire mood. I thought I was doing alright in this arena until I was dumbfounded by a specific experience. I asked my partner at the time how he became the best I’d ever had. For someone who never says much, his response was sweet and profound.
“It’s not me, it’s us. It’s about two people connecting, and we’re just very connected.”
Imagine going your entire life having never been vulnerable enough to share that kind of connection with someone.
Sometimes you have to love like you have nothing to lose.
And who knows? Your entire universe might expand in a moment of surrender.
No relationship is stronger than that of a female bond. I wholeheartedly believe this. I just broke up with someone I really, really, really liked. For every time I’ve been in a tailspin, the unconditional support and humour from my friends and sisters have always brought me back to some semblance of sanity.
Women confide in each other and listen, really listen and care. It’s a type of intimacy that may never be achieved through romantic relationships. For romance to work, there has to be some suspension of belief and female friendships are as real as they get. Ugly cries, guilty admissions, secret slobby behaviours, and mental hospitalization levels of cray are all safe territory in the context of BFFs.
Love you, bitches.
I’d never been to Europe before, and this year I made it a priority to get to Paris. It wasn’t all that.
My favourite moments were centered on one-on-one time spent in my air bnb with some very special dear-to-my-heart dudes.
Hot showers shared, home made breakfasts, listening to lesser-known Bieber tracks. It made me miss home.
Home being a person, and not a place.
Here’s to you, my people.
Happy New Year.
This entry was written by Friends, Joey Ng, Los Angeles, Love, New York, Sex, Writing and tagged Albert Einstein, American Apparel, Amy Jo Martin, Divorce, DJ Slow, Dog, Dov Charney, DTLA, Echo Park, Endless Love Ring, Ilirjana Aлусхај, Kiara Sayer, Lena Vanderford, Lower East Side, Marie McNally, Marketing Director, MTV, Nora Kogan, Paris, Penelope Trunk, Refinery29, Silverlake, Social Media, Susie G, Thina Desancic, Thomas Duval, Tiffany Tyson. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on December 31, 2015 at 5:09 pm, filed under
I don’t want the small talk
I don’t want a fucking coffee
you should know by now that I don’t drink it anyway
You know me better than this
I don’t need you to fix
I want your bloody forsaken heart
I want your face between my legs
I want your tears before a closed door
and do it again.
Ok, only truths.
We should have stopped
When you leaned over to kiss me
I should have realised
I should have driven us off the PCH
and on to the edge
to the beach
and kissed you for real
I wanted to hold on to you
and let them Santa Ana winds
It would have been
But I kept my eyes on the road
and let you play
in my car
This entry was written by Joey Ng, Los Angeles, Love, Writing and tagged American Apparel, Barcelona Stripe, Malibu, Paradise Cove, Stripe Tricot High Cut One-Piece, Suede Circle Skirt. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on June 25, 2014 at 9:18 am, filed under
One year ago, I saw this. I saw Michelle’s facebook status on my feed and I couldn’t believe it. I said no. No. And I called Trudy. I called Trudy what seemed like a thousand times and she wasn’t answering. So I sat there going through my phone book calling anyone I knew who might’ve also known you. Ron picked up. He saw it, too. But he didn’t know, nobody knew exactly what happened.
Except that you were gone.
I couldn’t move, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t do anything but cry and listen to the sound of my emails coming through hundreds of times all day like they do every day. Except for the first time in years, I had absolutely no intention of dealing with them.
There wasn’t much of the ceramic floor that wasn’t covered in kleenex butterflies.
Marissa got a flight to Miami.
Remember when the three of us had lunch on the patio at Urth Caffe? It was years ago. But not so long that I couldn’t tell you exactly what was said. What happened in the days after, word for word.
I didn’t sleep.
I got pretty the next day. I held Charlie’s hand in the cab from the airport back to 14th and Collins. He asked me how I’d been and I had to tell him “My ex passed away” and pretended to be ok.
It was a lot of pretending to be ok.
We ate and we fucked and we hung out on the beach. And then Marissa arrived, for my sake, and it was a lot of fun like it should have been. Listening to Mario, wearing leopard prints, singing Disney songs drunk, and ordering tater tots at The Standard pool. And it was the same, mostly, for the rest of the year.
A lot of coasting by.
But there are times. Like when Dov said I could write a memo to the staff about you, between a plate of oysters being removed and another dish being placed on the table. Or when I had to live in the house I last shared with you, for months. And I could feel you in every corner. Making fun of me. Or every single. fucking. time I see that polaroid of you, the one that Maceo said was his favourite of all.
Today, it will be hard.
And I think the worst part of it all is knowing that they will never understand – all the people, everyone who hadn’t gotten to know you – just how incredibly special you were. There will never be another you. Absolutely not.
And I know, by no means, am I a patron of your memory. These are just mine.
And I miss you.
Forever, at times.
Richard Scott Gimbel II, February 17th, 1979 – January 15th, 2012.
This is me at three. You know I am three because you can tell by the number of fingers I am holding up and I have always been a fan of talking in numbers.
Anyway, it was Halloween and you can’t tell what my costume is because it’s a shit costume.
Being immigrants – and if you don’t already know, immigrant parents give zero fucks about your bullshit-made-for-drugstore-sale holidays – the story I’ve retained in my head was that my Asian mother forgot about Halloween. We get to school and everyone is in a costume and I can’t be the only kid not in a costume. We jump back into the Ford Taurus and my mum sews leaves and patches on to my clothes. Rubs dirt on my face et voila! I am a bum for Halloween. I am three and I am a bum for Halloween. My mother dressed me up as a homeless person and she thought it was hilarious because she gives zero fucks about Halloween.
I, on the other hand, am three and I am fucking devastated and humiliated.
You can tell because in this picture I am clearly the only child without a ‘real’ costume and I am not smiling.
I got over it.
It doesn’t matter that I was strange and upset because in the end, I triumphed. I don’t know what happened to almost all of the others kids in that class but I also don’t care because we can betcher bottom dollar that I WIN.
It’s been a while since anyone’s talked about Tiger Moms, but every day I am reminded that I am a product of a Tiger Mom and as a result, totally a Tiger Mom myself. This is related to the rest of the post insofar as I believe that you need to focus on what matters (personal success) and what doesn’t (being dealt a bad circumstance).
Some moms don’t subscribe to Halloween. They might make you feel like shit from time to time.
The important thing is if they direct you to your highest potential.
That they teach you when you get knocked down by anyone, anything, or any occasion to get the fuck back up.
So if you have to cry, go outside for this is not the place, and I am not the kind of person you should be going to.
I am the kind of person who will tell you to go home, get that dirt off yo face, try harder, and win at life.
(From my Asian mother’s facebook timeline, because all of a sudden, Halloween’s a thing she does now.
I guess I’ll ease up when I’m older.)
This is my dog. It is a boy dog and his name is Albert Einstein.
I rescued him from the Harlem Animal Care & Control Center on August 18th because he was cute and he was going to die if I didn’t.
At first, he was meant to be a foster. We’d have him for a few weeks until he’d find a forever home but he was so well behaved and adorable, we decided to adopt him.
I love our dog. Chris loves our dog. Although, I am pretty sure that Chris loves our dog more than I love our dog.
This is my relationship with the dog. I don’t wake up in the morning to take it for a walk – Chris does that. I feed him. He’ll scratch at the door and I’ll let him into the room but he’s not allowed on the bed.
I say a few things like:
“Hello you are dog!”
“You are so cute!”
“Who’s a fluffy nutter? Albie!”
I make sure his vet and food costs are taken care of. That he is clean and warm and walked at appropriate intervals. That’s about it. That’s as far as my love goes.
Chris takes him out about 90% of the time (thank you). He sleeps with the dog. He talks about loving our dog so much and how that is why he knows he’s capable of loving, which in turn must mean that he’s not a bad person.
I think Chris loves our dog so much because our dog loves him back unconditionally. Albert’s needs are very simple. His job is to be cute and loving. That is it.
There is a point to this. My thoughts are, that it’s very easy for a man to love you. Make him feel like a better man, make sure that you love him a fuck ton, but especially, don’t be demanding with your love. Emphasis on the last part of that sentence.
Be simple and sweet.
But who wants to be simple?
That is why I’m glad I have a dog.
This entry was written by Joey Ng, Love, New York, Photos, Writing and tagged Albert Einstein Reed-Ng, Chinatown, Chris Reed, Dog, Poodle, Two Bridges. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on October 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm, filed under
by Chris Reed
[A guest post]
Put the kleenex down and stop freaking out. This isn’t about Mr. or Ms. Right versus Mr. or Ms. Right-Now. This isn’t about being in a relationship or being single, neither is it about polygamy or monogamy, nor anything so tightly defined. This is about how there is no “The One” for me or you, and about how that is okay.
I live in New York, the most populous city in North America, I’m straight, and I’m 25. That leaves less than 0.5% of the world’s population to sample when looking for my soulmate, who – if she exists – is probably in India or China, and we will most likely never meet.
Kleenex down! This is a good thing! Free from the pressure of finding a perfect mate who fulfills your every desire and never fucks it up ever, you can seek alternatives to the old models that breed resentment and result in failure.
Entering a relationship knowing that it’ll eventually end doesn’t mean I don’t get lost in my partner. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have a great time. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have great sex; that we don’t make each other better people; that it doesn’t hurt when it ends. What it means is that there is no one experience worth forfeiting all other experiences. It is an admission that as we grow and change as people, our desires grow and change and that drifting apart is as natural as coming together.
Love no longer has to be Kerouac’s “long sad tale ending in graves” but a series of informed encounters that are structured to be conducive to you and your partner(s) needs. Remember this as you spend the rest of your life with The Only One – yourself.
This is precisely how I feel about being in Los Angeles right now.
I’ve always felt like home was a person and not a place.
I feel so homesick. Homeless, rather, more than ever.
I want to say that I’m trapped, here, in my transience.
I want to say many more things, to explain. I don’t have the wherewithal.
Bianca wrote me this morning. The subject was simply “<3". Another reminder that everyone who cares for me lives in New York, or Berlin, or Toronto. A few days ago, her company, Small Girls PR, had sent me a pair of Tortoise & Blonde sunglasses.
They arrived precisely on a day when I had been crying steadily. I needed these glasses. Thank you.
She suggested that I elaborate on the motto inscribed in the case “ONE Today. ANOTHER Tomorrow.” I think I’m supposed to write about babes and adventures and how life goes on. How I could have one of each of the aforementioned today, and another tomorrow.
But I can’t. I haven’t decided what it is I could say that would make things better or whether they’d be worse.
I’m afraid that I may have already said enough of the wrong things, rendering irreparable.
I’ll let my new Sunset shades tell you how I feel –
black and blue.
For now, I just want to take each day as it comes. One today, another tomorrow.
This entry was written by Fashion, Friends, Joey Ng, Los Angeles, Love, Photos, Writing and tagged Bianca Caampued, DTLA, Los Angeles, Silverlake, Small Girls PR, Sunglasses, Sunset, Tortoise & Blonde. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on May 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm, filed under
Photos taken from my hotel room in Sydney overlooking Darling Harbour.
I’ve had this post in my drafts folder for about a month. I guess it’s never going to feel right, so I’ll post it now.
Let’s be honest here. And by ‘let’s’, I can only mean me. I am sad. It comes and goes, and it comes less often than it did but when it does, it’s no less heartbreaking.
I want to talk about our last conversation.
I want to talk about every single memory.
But not quite, in its entirety. At least not yet.
I took a shower this morning, I cried in the shower. I started making a list of things I felt I had learned from feeling pretty fucked up in the past few weeks.
P.S. It’s for me, mostly.
1. Fall in love. A lot.
I don’t have a lot of time. With people. In one place.
It comes with the territory of not having had a home address in years. So people often wonder how much you can possibly love a person in mere months or weeks or days.
Have you ever had a moment?
When your world started to shift
revolve around a person.
I probably fell in love with Richard by the third night I had spent any time with him. We were on his red velvet couch. He lay a mass of ginger curls on my chest. Just for a second, maybe seventeen of them. And I knew I’d always have an immensely, intensely, emotional reaction to whatever it was that he
would ever do did. We didn’t have a lot of time. I couldn’t have loved him any later or less. I would not have forsaken it for anything.
So fall in love. Whole-heartedly and as often as you’d like. Even just for the 20 minutes it takes to lie on the driveway in front of a McDonald’s to make out with someone you’ve just met. I have. And it was great.
2. Write it down. Especially if it’s important, even when it’s difficult.
A few weeks before Richard died, I found out he had written me a letter. He said it was probably best that it was at the bottom of his car getting wetter by the day. I don’t have that letter. I wish I did, and if there is any way I could read what he had wanted to say to me regardless of its contents and sentiments, I would.
I read his journals when we last played house. I tell people this was an asshole thing I did but really it’s the kind of thing I would do unapologetically. If I can learn something –anything– more about a person I care about, I will.
Some of it was unsettling, but mostly amusing. It was all important. It was important for me to know his thoughts – whether mundane, dark, or genius alike. It’s important to me that I knew him.
I also wrote a lot about him. I adored him at times and hated him at others. The way we related, he called it ‘tumultuous’. And in these whiskey encouraged extremes, I wrote. I’ve read them over and over. To remember.
Write it all down – one day you may want to remember it, too.
3. Know what you want. Deliver others what they want.
In my last hour with Richard, I had ordered a cup of tomato soup, a side of potato salad, and a side of arugula salad with shaved parmesan. Then the server asked if I wanted to get a combo of 3 sides. The list of permitted options in his proposed combo contained none of the things I had originally ordered so I said “No, thank you” with a look. A look that said “No, thank you. You idiot.”
Dick laughed. “This guy obviously doesn’t know you. You of all people know exactly what you want.”
He was right. I’m not very compromising. I know what I want, and I fight to get it. Sometimes that didn’t help our cause, but it was what I wanted. Y’see Richard dumped me years ago because I had to travel with my job and he wanted a stable, local girlfriend. I’m very grateful and happy with where I am even if it meant letting go of potentially wonderful relationships because that’s what felt right at the time.
I love my job, the city, and the people I surround myself with. He fell in love the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen and they made art and love and a home while it lasted.
I think we both found what we needed, afterall.
4. Keep the ones you love in your life.
It was months before we spoke again. Richard had ended things with me over BBM and I had the drunkest night of my life. I deleted him out of my phone, and blocked him on facebook. Four months had passed. He called. Ever the sweetheart, of course he’d be the first to reach out.
We became friends again and infrequently lovers. We kept each other updated, but mostly each other in check. I was dismissive a lot of the time. I’m sorry, Richard. I hope you know I care.
I found out that he had died through a friend of a friend’s facebook status.
It sounds so fucking stupid but I hated myself for blocking him on facebook. Over the years, he thought it was funny and we made a pact not to pry in each other’s social media profiles. But it seemed so overwhelmingly important to be able to see photos of him. All the hilariously ridiculous updates that I had missed. Every heartfelt message left from our grieving friends.
But then I remembered that’s what he had wanted. For us to share what we had to share between us when we could – in person, by phone, or text. A personal connection. At least I had that. All of our memories. And I can’t imagine how much worse I would feel if he’d never been a part of my life again.
It may be hard at times, nor the best idea at others but eventually, reach out and keep the ones you love in your life. Don’t be cruel. You don’t want to regret losing someone for good.
Richard, you said you had a dream that I’d told you I wished I’d never have met you. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Every day I wish you were still here. At bus stops, in elevators, every street corner of downtown LA, I think of you. I miss you. You are loved so dearly.
This entry was written by Friends, Los Angeles, Love, Writing and tagged DTLA, Echo Park, La Cita, Millie's Cafe, Mustache Mondays, Richard Gimbel, Richard S. Gimbel, Richard Scott Gimbel, Silverlake. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on March 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm, filed under