As somewhat of a follow-up to the previous post, I didn’t exactly mention all the lies that I have thrown around during my life (so far). Now, confessing my lies wasn’t exactly the intent of my previous post (and if you didn’t get that, maybe you should give it another read. Oh, and if you need a explanation, what can I say other than “I’m a sinner”?). However, thinking about this aspect of my life and my struggles with it did make me think about another lie that I’m guilty of telling. If I were to rate my lies, I’d say there’s one lie in particular which stands far above all the others. Probably the biggest lie I have ever told anyone… or maybe everyone. This is probably the most frequently told lie as well. As for what draws this one out, you could blame it on this question:
My sister discovered this little item inside Daiso Japan, a dollar-store type franchise located in San Francisco’s Japantown. Yes, that is “Arcilla” on the box. “Arcilla suave” is Spanish and essentially translates to soft clay, as noted on the package. I had absolutely no idea that arcilla translated to that until I saw the image. I guess arcilla was never on our list of vocabulary words during my 4 years of Spanish in high school. Now that I know the definition, I find the meaning of my surname strangely fitting… for myself in particular, anyway. As moldable and shapable as clay is, I believe the same applies to me.
Long ago, when the Internet was relatively young and social media was still in its infancy, I used to frequent this website called Asian Avenue. It was essentially a community where you could create a profile page for yourself, upload pictures, and chat with other users. I suppose it was kind of like how dating sites are today, though I didn’t really use it for that purpose. (Okay, maybe I did sorta kinda meet my ex there, but that’s not important…) Webcams and digital cameras weren’t common electronic devices back then, so getting pictures of yourself uploaded onto the web was somewhat of a task. You either had to have a webcam or a scanner. I didn’t have a webcam at the time, but I did have a scanner. Unfortunately, I had a very limited selection of pictures of myself to scan and the ones I did have were quite dated at the time. Obtaining pictures of myself was mostly limited to those taken during special events like weddings or school portraits. Instead of waiting for the next of those to occur, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I turned off the lights in my room, placed a towel behind me to block out external light sources, and opened up the lid on the scanner. I pressed the scan button and tried to remain as still as I could while the light of the scanner slowly worked its way across the surface. I probably pulled 2 decent images of myself with that little endeavor. I remember also having a lot of fun manipulating the images by moving with or against the image sensor. As embarrassed as I am to admit to doing this back then, I suppose you could call that my first selfie.
(Okay, maybe not exactly the “naked” as in this old SNL skit, but I suppose it’s revealing in a different sense.)
I would like to think that I’m fortunate to be a product of the 80’s and 90’s. As a child, I would sit my parents’ car during our various outings as they listened to all the sappy love songs that would play on our local adult contemporary station, KOIT. I grew fond of a few artists back then such as Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Peabo Bryson, Luther Vandross, and Michael Jackson just to name a few. Later, I got hooked on R&B and listened to artists like Boyz II Men, Blackstreet, Shai, Silk, Brian McKnight, and several others.
Sometime during my late elementary school years, I was exposed to the Internet for the first time. My brother was attending CSU Berkeley then and he would sometimes use a dial-up connection to access the University’s network. I don’t remember much of it as it was pretty much all monochrome screens and text-based back then. I don’t even know if my brother used it much after accessing it the first time.
Sometime around middle school, our family picked up an internet connection through Prodigy. I don’t remember why we got it, but I believe I was the one primarily using it at the time. I would constantly tie up the phone line as I logged on to the barren wasteland that was the Internet. There was no YouTube or Wikipedia. There was no checking your Facebook or even MySpace, and a tweet was simply the sound a bird makes. You couldn’t do any shopping at Amazon or any other online retailer because eCommerce didn’t exist. I don’t even remember using Google or Yahoo! back then, though I do remember using engines like WebCrawler and AltaVista.