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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • July 07, 2006


    I Was Outed Over Thai Food!

    I hung out with my friend Tony and my cousin Fiona on Sunday. We were planning on Indonesian food in downtown but after circling around the block several times we couldn't get a parking space. For Plan B we were off to Valencia for Thai food at Osha. Squeezed into a gritty Mission block, the small dining room is a stylish, peaceful respite from the outside, with jungle-foliage wallpaper and fluorescent lights softened by a gauzy mesh curtains. Blond-wood tables, Jetson-like plastic chairs and black-clad waitstaff complete the mod-squad feel, though the patrons are the neighborhood's standard blend of yuppie-meets-grunge. I opted for my usual noodle plate--Pad Khee Mao--fried thick rice noodles with tofu, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, basil, bamboo shoots, chili, Chinese broccoli. The street food stalls in Bangkok make this noodle plate very savory and spicy, but it was somewhat bland at Osha. The fried rice plate Fiona ordered tasted better, and so did the rice paper spring rolls and the papaya salad.

    Tony mentioned something about the night market in Hong Kong and the conversation nudged to the street prostitutes donning tube tops and carrying fake LV bags awaiting patrons. Anyway, I made a comment about how I'm not interested in women and Tony seized the opportunity to out me over Thai food! While I'm out to all my friends and co-workers, coming out to family is a difficult terrain I have to negotiate. The funny thing is, Fiona has always known from my innuendos and the ways I carry myself, and she's been waiting for me to tell her in person. I've been holding back from telling her because I don't know how she would have taken the truth. I wish to thank my friend Tony for releasing some of the worries and burden off me, and am grateful for Fiona who doesn't think less of me now as she did before. Thanks cousin.

    The next and the ultimate stride will be talking with my father, who might have suspected or even known about me but decides to be hush about it. I came out to my mother when she was battling against cancer 8 years ago--but there is a mysterious, tacit understanding that exists between mother and her children. After all, I shared her pulse and heart beat inside her womb before she brought me to this world, right?

    Picture 1: Fiona 9 months, and me 4 in Hong Kong.
    Picture 2: Fiona, Yanny, Jeremy, and me.


    Blogger Robert said...

    What!??! You're are not interested in... in... women?!?!? teehee! j/k. Those pictures are adorable, well, not the pictures really, but you guys! :-) Fiona is a cutie, and she still is. So did you two fly back to HK together?

    Outed over Thai food. haha... well, it could've be worse, right? Happy Friday Matt! Enjoy the weekend!!! xoxo

    7/07/2006 8:00 AM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    I let my hair grow for the occasion because you're not supposed up for a fest skin-headed. Superstitious!?!

    No we flew separately. Now I'm trying to talk her into going to Thailand with me. Travel with the queer eye LOL...

    Enjoy the weekend!

    7/07/2006 10:59 AM  
    Blogger Greg said...

    It's good that you're not upset with Tony for outing you to a family member. I've always held that the coming out process is very personal, and you should be the one to decide when and where to let your family know.

    My parents discovered my gayness by going throgh my trashcan and finding a copy of Frontiers ( LA Gay mag). We sat and discussed things for about 3 hours after that, but I wasn't prepared for anything.

    7/07/2006 11:39 AM  
    Blogger Tony said...


    Love your choice of noodle plate at Osha. I haven'tg had Thai food in years.

    As for your journey telling your dad about your sexual orientation, I hope you find the right time that works for both of you. I am still working on telling family myself, though I believe my mother has an 'inkling' now that I am gay. I just need to have a feel as to how the rest of my 6 siblings will potentially handle the subject.

    7/07/2006 12:46 PM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    Heyya thanks for sharing your thoughts. I *truly* appreciate--they make my day!

    Coming out is pvery personal, indeed. I remembered coming out to Tony--actually he outed me in his car while we were driving up to Stinson Beach--a few years ago. He asked me a bunch of questions and he said "Oh you're what's the big deal, I'm gay." That was my turn to be shocked. I didn;t know he was gay?!? Oh well...

    As for my cousin Fiona, I think she has been suspecting for years and in her mind has confirmed. My personal annoucement is all that she's expecting, like Tony B's comment down below, waiting for the right moment and timing. She's always been like a sister to me so she must have "felt" me.

    Like Greg have shared, once I left a couple gay magazines on my coffee table and I knew *for sure* my faher had spotted them. I think he decides to be hush hush about it--trying to evade the confrontation. My mother has known a long time ago--she was the one who broached the subject of my sexual orientation when I was an undergrad. To my mother I have always been neat, organized, meticulous, quiet, soft-spoken, "anti-girlie" LOL so she knew for sure that her son will grow up to be one fine gay man! Looks like you are too Tony!

    I know you have many support from the blogger friends, but if you wish to talk I am here.

    My qualm is not about my father because I know deep down he wants me to be happy. I'm worried about my relatives--they are the ones who are so preoccupied with the public image of being gay. But after all, I can't make everyone happy right?

    7/07/2006 3:50 PM  
    Blogger Robert said...

    "But after all, I can't make everyone happy right?"

    I can't make everyone happy either I'm afraid, but I have a much better chance of making everyone miserable!! BWHAHAHA!

    Enjoy the weekend (x2)!

    7/07/2006 6:40 PM  
    Blogger mingerspice said...

    I am totally in envy of the number of books you get to read!! Do you do work that facilitates all this book reading, or are you just good about using your spare time to read?

    That outing experience sounds very awkward! I came out to my family when I was young and impetuous, but luckily for me they were all (eventually) supportive and accepting, if sometimes a wee bit clueless. Despite the best efforts of Victorian colonialism to instill sexual sanctimony and shame, I think the Chinese migrant values of loyalty to family members (in a generally hostile world) won out.

    Happy to have found your blog, and will be back frequently to read those great reviews! :)

    7/23/2006 12:04 AM  

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