As great as it is to see Max and Annette so concerned about me, I'm not an emotional wreck. Sure, it was a kick in the teeth when Chen-ai stopped in to solve the whole problem of the Wong sisters on the one hand but try to clamp down on my life with the other, but on the other hand, maybe I needed it. If I we're really twenty-one, would I be thinking of marrying the first guy I've gone out with more than two or three times? Nah. And back when I was a guy, I would dump a ton of bitches before they had the chance to end it with me.
And, really, who has time to try and even deal with a long-distance relationship this year? I've got to make a fucking movie to graduate, I've promised someone else is act in his, and there are all sorts of regular classes to attend even if I weren't trying to carve out a few hours a week to practice Mandarin on the phone with René and Romain, because who knows if I'll be able to get a visa to stay in America next year, and even if I go "back" to Hong Kong after graduation, that film industry has basically imploded, with a ton of the talent working on stuff meant to sell in the Mainland.
Don't get me wrong, all of this stuff is kind of thrilling - as much as would sit myself in and just code shit in my original life, being behind the camera doesn't mean you've got to be any less "on" than acting. I'm working with someone in the Film Production program who's got a minor in business, and he's really helping me stretch my budget for what's kind of an ambitious sort and handling a lot of the negotiations with locations and such. The practical end of it is so crazy - like, I've got a scene in a bar, and we've found a place that will let us shot, but it's got to be between 6am and noon, and that restricts the angles we can use because we want it to be at night and not show blackout curtains, plus we've got to get a bunch of extras in there. There was a gag in the script about the guy in the lady-boot body pushing someone over because he didn't know his own strength, but that would have meant stunt performers and insurance! It's kind of nuts to try and figure out what I can make look like a secret lab, because just writing "INT: SECRET LAB" doesn't build anything. Heck, Annette is kind of pissed that we had to scrap the hospital scene that she says we need to establish that his body is well and truly damaged beyond conventional surgical repair, but Chen-ai is not going to let me drain my trust fund so that I can hire people to build a hospital set!
Compared to that, throwing a big Halloween party this weekend is nothing!
Why add that to my plate? Because it's fucking Halloween, and while they do like it in Hong Kong, the version of it that I love is an American thing through and through, and next year being Chinese rather than Chinese-American is something I can't push back anymore. And while I don't talk about them much on this blog, I have made friends over the past couple years, and add to that the fact that I can actually invite my brother and my best girlfriend, and maybe it will be the only time I can.
It's not necessarily a hugely involved process, in some ways. You buy a ton of booze and some snacks - I thought it would be fun to put little pumpkin trick-or-treat baskets full of candy in various corners. Make a playlist, equal parts top 40 and Halloween novelties. And decorate. I did not fuck around with the decoration; once all the furniture was pushed into corners, I made my apartment into a haunted cavern with a whole bunch of papier-maiche rocks, cobwebs, bats with little red lights for eyes, blue LEDs in every lamp, silent horror on the big TV... It doesn't sound like much, but it was a pretty big deal.
So right now, I'm sitting in a pretty freaky-looking apartment with a super-sexy cheerleader uniform laying on a chair. It's kind of funny, looking at it - growing up, we always used Halloween as a way to be able to bring the Chinese portion of our lives to the forefront, and this weekend it's a way to hold onto being America.