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Zombie Apocalypse (Serious Business)
Sunday. 10.12.14 6:51 pm
This post is inspired by an article titled “In Case of Emergency, Open File” by a fellow blogger named “stilllearning2be”. She points out that in times of actual crises, the human mind may become muddled. She encourages her readers to formulate a carefully structured plan in advance to deal with such moments of indecisiveness during critical times.

Thus I shall outline my plan for the most plausible and inevitable disaster that we will surely face in the very near future: a zombie apocalypse! Let’s first establish that this is happening folks. The people over at cracked.com outlines just how prevalent this issue is. In an article titled “5 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Apocalypse Could Actually Happen”, the cracked team scientifically assures us this looming threat is super cereal. I’ll give you one example of humanity’s undead fate.

Brain parasites: There is a parasitic protozoan known as Toxoplasma gondii. This lovely creature has already infected nearly a third of the earth’s population. It is a versatile parasite that can call nearly all warm-blooded creatures home. Now the interesting aspect of T. gondii is their ability to manipulate the behavior of their hosts.

Although they can inhabit any host, they need a cat’s intestine to reproduce. So how do our parasitic friends accomplish this? For now, they infect rats and begin manipulating their host’s behaviors. They force the rats to expose themselves to cats (that sounds weird). After the initial blushing and awkwardness, these poor rats are promptly eaten and the T. gondii get their warm cat intestines to breed in.

Extrapolate this scenario. As the evolution of these parasites advance, it is feasible that they begin manipulating human behavior as well. Imagine a world where human beings wander the planet in search of adorable cats to feed themselves to. I’m sure those cocky felines would be more than happy to oblige us.

But wait, there’s more! (r.i.p. Billy Mays), imagine what these guys would do when they gain the ability to breed in our intestines as well. That’s right…cannibalism at its best. We would roam the earth with a hunger for human flesh. But wait, there’s more! Do you know what caused mad cow disease to spread in the first place? That’s right, cannibalism. Farmers began feeding cows morsels of their fallen companions. More officially known as Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, this type of neurological degenerative disorder is not just limited to cows.

Humans have their own version of this disease. Caused by a prion found in humans, a monster named kuru emerges from our friends in Papua New Guinea. How is this disease spread? You guessed it, cannibalism. An interesting symptom of this disease is pathological bursts of laughter. Now combine the Toxoplasma gondii’s manipulation with our own mad cow disease. Imagine human beings eating each others flesh and intestines while laughing uncontrollably. This is just ONE in a whole spectrum of possibilities that marks our demise.

But don’t lose hope just yet. As a leader in the field of zombieology, I have constructed a comprehensive step-by-step survivor’s guide to ensure your survival and continued quality of life.

Step 1: Preemptive measures are key to surviving any catastrophic event. I recommend investing in a good sword. It is unfortunate, but history has taught us that bullets should be used with precision and frugality. You can’t just run around emptying clips into everyone. In his quest to create a world of flawless people, did you know Adolf Hitler killed off the mentally disabled? But metals were precious to the Third Reich (seeing as they were in the middle of war) and they needed to use bullets sparingly. This deutsche bag would lure mental patients (under the guise of a harmless shower) and execute them with carbon monoxide gas through the vents. This method would later be used to exterminate the Jewish people. Anyway, invest in a good sword. I recommend a Japanese katana. You should also go to the DMV and earn a Commercial Drivers License in your state (CDL). Also train yourself in firearms, kendo, archery, and stamina. Invest in a large truck with 4×4 capabilities and a large camper. Keep some toilet paper in there for now. Oh and learn how to drive big boats as well.

Step 2: When the time does come, it is imperative that you move quickly. Decapitate all zombies in sight with your trusty sword and arm everyone close to you that you wish to preserve in your post-apocalyptic life. Your immediate inclination may be to pick up your loved ones that are further away, but you must exercise patience and trust in them for now. Call them and ensure their safety. Grab your truck and head to your local arms dealer first. Arm yourselves to the teeth with guns, knives, bullets, bows (stealth will be needed at times), batteries, and walkie talkies. The next stop is the water store. Do NOT go to a grocery store. Your enemies are not limited to zombies. If movies and life experience has taught us anything, our greatest enemy will always be fellow man. Grocery stores will be brimming with people and zombies alike. Find a quiet water store and clear it of any dangers. From there, fill all the jugs they have with fresh water and load it into your truck. Food is not a priority at this point. Human beings can go months without it. If you’re fat like me, you can go even longer. Grab whatever Mexican snacks they have at the water store for now.

Step 3: Now comes the part of gathering up all your loved ones. Drive that truck and pick up your family and friends (not your entire Facebook list). Refuel and grab more vehicles when the opportunity arises. You will be moving together as a caravan. It is important that you do not pick up any other survivors. I’m sorry to say it, but the risks outweigh the benefits. Your supplies must last you, you must be able to trust the people around you completely, and you need enough room to fit everyone that you wish to save. Harden your heart and run them over if needed. This journey may take months, so lock yourself in for the long haul and be alert at all times. Take that truck off the main road as necessary to get to your destinations. Draw your guns on any outsider that may approach you and shoot them if they refuse to leave. If your instincts tell you that they may be part of a larger group, shoot them anyway just in case. Pity and hesitation may cost you the lives of both yourselves and the ones you cherish. You can stop and grab snacks whenever you come across them safely.

Step 4: Now you have everyone you need. It’s time to settle down. But where do you go? To the sea of course! Set sail for the big blue and find yourself a cruise ship (preferably Disney). This will be your new home from now on. Zombies can’t swim and humans will have much more difficulty raiding you on water than on land. Meticulously clear the entire ship of any zombies and people that may be around and make yourselves at home. Take the ship a bit offshore and set anchor. Tie smaller boats to it for supply runs. From here on out, it’s smooth sailing. Kill any outsider that attempts to approach the boat (unless someone finds them super attractive). Load up on sniper rifles, fishing equipment, medicine, cannons, and whatever else your heart desires. This is where you establish a new society. Scout for people whenever you go out on your supply runs. You will need doctors, engineers, mechanics, supermodels, peace officers…etc. Shoot all politicians on sight. They will eventually usurp the new order, for their dehydrated souls can only be quenched by control, condescension, and pretension. They’re ultimately useless people (especially in Christopia). It is time to begin your life anew. Good luck!

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Saturday. 10.11.14 2:56 pm
At my core, I am a Disney romantic. I still believe there is one special person out there for me that will bring about a fairy tale happiness and love undying. Love is more powerful than the foundations of existence itself. Cowering behind a nimbus cloud black as hatred, God will quiver in fear as he looks upon a timeless love that transcends all that is and all that was. His eyes, two flashing emeralds dripping with green envy, he will look upon us and weep his ruination. The tears of the false prophet will nary quench the flames of our passion. Powerless, he will cower, transfixed, as Heaven and Hell alike are incinerated in the scorching flames of the Phoenix incarnate. Convulsing and writhing amongst the plumes of smoke and smoldering wreckage he once called glory, something slowly takes form. He looks into the eyes of truth and begins to scream. Things fall apart. The center cannot hold. His shrieks pierce through all of creation as his sanity slips away into nothingness…Gods too decompose (Gotta love Nietzsche and Yeats).

Lol anyway, in his standup, “Never Scared”, Chris Rock makes the claim that people are limited to two choices in the game of love: Married and bored or single and lonely. Is this really an accurate depiction of reality? Or is it simply a philosophy derived from jaded cynicism?

According to biologists, the idea of monogamy invariably has a minority representation in the wild. Dieter Lukas, of the University of Cambridge, states that merely a measly 9% of mammals actively practice monogamous breeding. Some say this practice is derived for the protection of their offspring from outside acts of infanticide. Others say it may simply be a lack of regional availability of females. There are many other theories out there, but this ain’t no research paper. In short, we are a unique species.

Whatever the case, I feel that in human relationships (and everything else human for that matter), individual perspectives make a HUGE difference in the outcome. I’d like to take this time to share with you my own perspective on commitment.

To give a little background on myself, I guess I better first concede that I have never been married. However, I have been in monogamous relationships in excess of five years and I have cohabited with women in the past. With that being said, I’d like to start by sharing my experience of what it is like to be fully committed to another. Like all life experiences, there is a learning curve, and an evolution of growth that comes with it.

Naomi, a friend of mine, once told me that the human mind is pliable. She believes that one is able to force a contrived perspective through sheer willpower until it becomes an unwavering reality. Perhaps she is correct and it is really such manipulations of instinct that truly set us apart from the animal kingdom. If my romanticism and realism were to both exist in a synergistic relationship, Naomi’s philosophy becomes paramount to a successful relationship.

I’m going to go ahead and just discard the first year of any relationship to make it easier. This is the period when everything comes effortlessly (in general). You are deeply in love with each other and every damn thing the other person does is friggin adorable. Even their flaws serve as an additional bonus that adds to the uniqueness and strength of their character. The conversations at this stage are abundant and overflowing with content and the sex is amazing. You are fucking each other in bathroom stalls, theatres, sofas, counter tops, parks, swimming pools, and roach-infested motels (I’m sure many of you are way more kinky than myself, but you get the idea).

Assuming you have managed to stay together for a year or two without one of you cheating or betraying the other, the relationship becomes difficult. You have already heard each others stories over and over. You become so attuned to your partner that you are often able to predict exactly what they will do and say in any given situation. You even start to become annoyed ahead of time because you know they’re just going to say or do something to piss you off in the next ten seconds.

Sex is nothing like when you first became intimate. The excitement is diminished and there are even times when it feels like a chore and lacks spontaneity. You begin noticing other people more often as well. Qualities that you admire starts shining in the people around you. You may even begin to start thinking that another person would be the perfect match for you instead. You look at all the posts from social networking sites and think how much happier your peers seem to be compared to you two. You begin to slowly regret your decision to commit yourself to this one person. It sure seems like the end of your story. Is the love no longer there?

In my opinion, this is a critical junction. This is the stage when love no longer comes effortlessly. Reality and romance meet and you are asked to embrace both in order for this love to thrive. Calling it a junction may be kind of misleading. Even if you make the conscious decision to stick to the person you have chosen as a committed partner, it is not a single event. You have to be prepared to maintain your choice through every second of every waking moment unto death. This requires a tremendous amount of tenacity and it often leads to mental fatigue. I think this is one of the more tragic elements of human nature. However, it is not without its rewards.

Have you ever really conquered your fears of failure and worked for something with all your being? That satisfaction and sense of accomplishment is irreplaceable and sweeter than any reward you might have obtained with more ease.

You have managed to find someone that loves you for who you are. They know every single one of your flaws. They know you snore like a train. They know how petty and prideful you can be. They know how inferior you feel to every other human being on the planet. They know that you’re a fatass that hates vegetables and has the taste palate of a 10 year old child. They know you get nauseous after running a few miles. They know all your shameful, sexual perversions. They know you’re terrified of heights and only ride roller coasters to prove to yourself you’re not a coward. They know you look in the mirror and loathe yourself. They know you secretly think “The Titanic” was an awesome movie. But most of all, they know you belong together and have made the choice to stick by you no matter what.

I now believe love to be a combination of choice and heart in equal parts. As Steve Carell would say while attempting to quote John Lennon, “You may call me a dreamer, but I’m not” (Dinner for Schmucks 2010).

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Breaking Up
Saturday. 10.11.14 1:07 am
Breaking up is surreal. Rarely does an event incite so many simultaneous emotions at once: doubt, regret, anger, sadness, guilt, hope, hatred, happiness, jealousy, fear, joy, disgust, trust, anticipation, surprise, shame, kindness, pity, indignation, envy, wonder, courage, pride, respect, confusion, and of course, love.

If I were a really tacky guy (and I most certainly am), I would say that breakups sort of resemble earthquakes. Two tectonic plates wander over the earth’s mantle on the aesthenosphere of love until they find each other in the darkness. From afar, they are both convinced that this is their perfect match, the perfect plate they can spend the rest of eternity with side by side. From a distance, this seems to be true. But when they finally do join hands, it is never a truly smooth process.

There is ultimately no such thing as a “perfect fit” and they inevitably manage to bond together with much difficulty. Sadly, there are times when the friction is too great and one poor plate is subducted under the other. Regardless of whose "fault" it is, the magnitude of the quake is too much sometimes?

But the initial quake isn’t always the worst of it. There are times when the aftershock is far more potent and destructive. Much like an earthquake, your emotions also seem to come in random waves. You are relieved that the worst of it is finally over. All of a sudden, your heart is gripped with dismay as the emotions return stronger than ever before. There really is no predicting such events. The catalyst may be a television commercial you just saw, or maybe you see a blade of grass that reminds you of a salad that she ate once during one of her frantic diets before a formal event.

Whatever the case, there is no avoiding or predicting it. It is not a tornado you can shelter yourself underground from. It is not a rain you can comfortably admire from the safety of a warm home with a steaming cup of coffee. It is not heat, it is not cold, your very world is crumbling and falling apart. The very foundation that you’ve taken for granted as a constant has betrayed you. How do you fight back against your world itself? Maybe that’s why broken couples always erupt together one last time ^-^

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My Life Story (Super Boring)
Thursday. 10.9.14 2:25 am
I know it’s cliche and selfish, but I wanted to use my very first post to reminisce with you guys a bit. In essence, I’m planning to use blogging as an anonymous diary of introspection. With that being said, I’m going to talk about myself incessantly as if I was the only human left in this world.

I was born in May of 1985. This becomes relevant when you consider the transitional nature of growing up in the 90’s in the United States. If I had to summarize this decade (strictly from my perspective), it was just anger and raw aggression.

People were pissed off at just about everything. This marked the rise of gangster rap, hard rock, punk, and really fucked up clothing that never matched in size or color (remember Jinco jeans?). This was the aftermath of crack after all. On the other hand, it was also a time of tradition and ignorance (not saying the two are correlated or anything).

This was before the public availability of the internet. Even cellular phones didn’t exist unless you were one of those rich people with those gaudy, gargantuan satellite phones. In short, it was a time when information was not so readily available to anyone who was not willing to put in a substantial amount of effort to attain it (i.e. libraries and world books). Many of us had the unwavering belief that Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, and all manners of fictional manifestations were real. You know what else was big then? Disney movies man. I still love them so judge not lest ye be judged.

So in short, you have this pissed off group of people, angry at life, the establishment, their parents, society, police officers, and religion. Rush the fucking condescending, money-grubbing pricks that keep us down and burn them in front of their children while we spark a blunt! fuck yeah! America! On the other hand, you have the traditional upbringing opposing this. Jesus loves you yes we know and the American Dream is alive folks. White picket fence, a stable nine to five, a loving wife, a few kids, no premarital sex, unquestioning nationalism, pseudo-friendships to drink with on Friday evenings, and church on Sunday to repent.

So what reaction do you get when you drop a Korean kid in the midst of this volatile society? That’s one for the sociologists. But I’ll give you my own perspective on things. My parents birthed me within a year of their arrival in Los Angeles. Korea is an interesting topic in itself. They pretty much ran an agrarian society until the Japanese annexation came. Following World War II and the consequent “independence” of Korea, the country’s economic growth was rapid.

I say that to say this: their views, to this very day, are fairly traditional in many aspects. I guess some would refer to this mentality, born of the clash between tradition and wealth, as “new money”. My parents didn’t really have the luxury of generation upon generation of westernized culture or eastern wealth (i.e. China). I was told that if I wanted to make a friend, simply go up to them and say “Hi I like you, let’s be friends together and play!” You can imagine how that went over with my peers.

I spent the first few years of my life in the lovely city of Los Angeles, CA. Unlike many other Koreans, my parents are, and always have been, dirt poor. Ok it’s time for a bit of minority clashing. Blacks vs Koreans on the streets of Los Angeles ding ding! I’m kidding. I was too young to have many recollections of that period in my life. I do remember my parents telling me about their nightly routine with cockroaches though. They would come home from work and flip on the lights. Lo and behold, an army of roaches awaited in military formation to greet them after their hard day’s labor and the nightly battle would ensue. That’s kind of off-topic but cockroaches are black too. As far as actual black people go, I was told that the ones in our neighborhood would jump on top of our car while we were driving sometimes and walk on top of it. My parents decided to move out of Los Angeles.

Man I took a really long time to get around to my actual life…yeesh I’m a terrible storyteller. I’m kind of a state of consciousness writer I guess. I’m not really into rigid formatting and…anyway, we moved to a small town (by California standards) and began our lives as a family unit. So going back to what I was saying about how much I suck, my cultural upbringing, in concert with my inept English skills, pretty much left poor Christopher with no friends. The city was also severely lacking in Asians of any kind in general. I think I was actually one of five or so in my entire city.

My father managed to open one of those one hour photo businesses and my mother retired and became a housewife. By the way, I’m all for feminism and equal rights, but don’t be one of those women that hate on other women for what you deem as a belittling enslavement by standards set forth by men. My mother has been through things that many of you have not. Her decisions and values are derived from the knowledge and wisdom she has accumulated over the years. It is not your place to snobbishly disregard all of that and judge others as brainwashed or inferior to you. Anyway, this was before the digital era was in full swing. People still bought those film rolls from Kodak and developed the negatives.

In the meantime, my mother passed the time as a notorious window shopper. She would frequent discount stores like Ross, T.J. Maxx, and Marshalls from opening to closing time on a daily basis. Poor me had no choice but to find a way to cope and satiate a child’s desire for stimulation. I eventually found this in the respective reading sections of those businesses. This sparked my love for literature and reading in general. Within books, I could travel to the magical country of Narnia, wonder what exactly is on the 19th floor of Wayside School, see what a problem monkeys are to guys with yellow hats, cheer on a little girl with telekinetic powers that nobody appreciates, imagine what green eggs and ham tastes like, walk to the edge of the sidewalk, find the dude with terrible fashion sense in a grossly overcrowded environment, jump in a toy car and have it become real as you drive past a tollbooth, and become terrified as you realize that everybody in town was a ghost all along.

In this manner, I grew up experiencing everything and nothing. Whether it was a hollow life of solitude or a rich life of introspection and imagination, I couldn’t tell you. I CAN tell you that at the time, it was a pretty lonely existence. I would watch the other kids fall in love, go on dates, go to parties, play sports, and even have sex (this part I didn’t actually get to watch). I’m going to give you a specifically pitiful memory from my childhood. When our family moved out of one of the neighborhoods we were in, the kids literally held a large block party to celebrate our departure. Gotta love racism eh? ^-^

Masculinity played a large role in my difficulty with my peers as well. All that stuff I mentioned earlier about the anger and aggression of the 90’s, these were alien concepts to me. It was a time when respect was largely earned through fighting and indulging in your own ignorance. When I look at the youth today, a much more androgynous existence seems to be the thing. Intelligence, health, sensitivity, empathy, and independent thought seems to be celebrated traits in both young girls and boys alike. In this sense, you guys are way cooler than we were. You know what you guys lack though? That fighting spirit and fiery passion of generations past (just my opinion).

That aside, my parents are kind and simple folks. With the whole apple falling thing, I am undoubtedly a product of these two people. However, that constant loneliness eventually gave way to rage. Around the eighth grade, this manifested physically and I began cursing and started fights with people who made fun of me. Ironically, hating people made them like me (go figure). I actually began making friends, and this led to a really contrastive lifestyle from before. At the time, I felt that my parents had it all wrong: Goodness gets you nowhere in life and respect is synonymous with fear. I had finally found a place in society. With these new values in place, I dove headfirst into this new world.

I’ll rush through this part of my life (I don’t remember much of it anyway). I dropped out of high school my sophomore year and dedicated my life to drugs and other things I considered to be “real”. I got into some legal troubles and spent some time in Juvenile Hall twice. After that, I was separated both legally and regionally from my acquaintances. It was around this time that I realized I wasn’t even happy. Have you guys ever excelled at something in other people’s eyes but never felt that it was really you?

All of it was an act. I am a softie just like my parents. For many years, I reverted back to my life of solitude and a lot of time was spent on the internet and working as a residential painter. The catalyst for the biggest change in my life can probably be attributed to a girl. She encouraged me to go back to school and had just the right balance of “good” and “evil” for me to respect her opinions as an equal at the time. I quit my job and went back to school. I earned my high school diploma and began my life as a college student. Although she turned out to be pretty terrible for me, I’ll always be thankful for her influence on my life.

But what major to choose? I’ve been through quite a few: Computer Science, Biology, Marine Biology (I love aquatic life and fishing), and Mathematics. Although Marine Biology was my most serious venture, I realized that childhood tends to linger into adulthood with an annoying and constant tenacity (like gravity). At the root of my existence, I love books and I love to tell people about all kinds of things. So I signed up as an English major and I hope to someday teach at a community college as a literature professor to hopefully spark a passion in someone that may just need it even more than myself.

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