Angry Reader of the Week: Austin Jose

"I'm all about lighthouses, and living a life akin to one..."

Hey, folks! What's good? It is time, once again, to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Austin Jose.

Who are you?

In times of existential confusion, I'm just a random cluster of molecules meandering around between planets and stars whose name doesn't matter. When I'm not thinking about that stuff, my name is Austin Jose.

What are you?

I'm a nerd boy parading around in a man's body (somewhat), who designs video games, hosts events, animates things, and does a ton of random, creative things, especially in the Asian-American community.

Where are you?

Currently, I'm typing this from my office desk in Culver City, bathed in morning, dripping from the sunlight above me. I reside in the City of Angels, California, in the U.S. of A., North America, Northern hemisphere, Earth, Milky Way galaxy, Universe 125972.

Where are you from?

I'm originally from Jersey. You can tell because I omitted the word "New." I was born in South Plainfield, subjected to ridicule by my siblings because I was the only one not born in Newark. Youthful summers were spent in Woodside, Queens, NY, while the roots of my parents and grandparents stem from the Philippines (Gattaran, Cagayan as well as Manila and Binmaley, Pangasinan).

What do you do?

I throw myself passionately and wholeheartedly into creative pursuits driven by my wandering curiosity. Because of this, my resume goes from stage managing to supervising medical labs, from songwriting to game design, from event producing to storyboarding, from commodities trading to cooking, from film production to photography. I also wait till a television series is entirely finished before I binge-watch all 10 seasons of whatever it is. I make sure doors are either completely opened or completely closed, because it's unsettling when a door is ajar. I talk with my hands. I hug often. I arrange dinners so that genuine folk can meet other genuine folk. I also swim constantly in an ocean of nostalgia, so I watch The Goonies once a month, collect video games, vinyl records, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, and old toys like I'm buying back my childhood. I read Vonnegut and Salinger religiously. I deliver toasts on the fly. I mentally count off the long string of "I know"s as I sing them whenever Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" comes on. There are 26 of them. I also ask myself, "Is the juice worth the squeeze?" before I do anything.

What are you all about?

I'm all about living deliberately and sucking out all the marrow of life, if I could invoke some Thoreau. I'm about family. I'm about friends. I'm about the invisible, connective tissue that lives in between everything. I'm about bottling up all that idealistic hope and wonder you had when you were seventeen, reading Kerouac on a road trip, writing poetic musings in a little black book, while a friend sings Fleetwood Mac's "Gypsy" out of the car window at the passing Kansas scenery. I'm all about lighthouses, and living a life akin to one, being a guiding beacon to those who need shepherding home, mostly spiritual, but sometimes literal, when a friend is shambling around a city street after a bar crawl and eight whiskeys have slid down his or her esophagus.

What makes you angry?

Disingenuousness makes me angry. I'd take an asshole who does characteristically assholey things over somebody who is disingenuous. The asshole at least doesn't hide behind a mask. As I get older, my patience wears thinner, and I tend to just not waste time or breath on people I believe to be fake. Flyers on my car also make me angry. The large swaths of people the world over who prioritize their pride over logic and reason and empathy -- they make me angry. These are largely comprised of people who feed the monster of political squabbling, remaining gleefully uninformed, but parroting things toward an opposing party, just so they can feel like they haven't chosen the wrong allegiance. Nobody wants to feel stupid. Unwillingness to accept accountability and responsibility also makes me angry. Itchy sweaters make me angry. People who smugly cite Michael Bay as an awful director as if they're now part of an elite club of people who are better because they've repeated a platitude that's so cliche. Racism makes me angry. Hecklers make me angry. Online trolls make me angry. People who unwittingly spoil films for others. People who refuse to give The Beatles their dues just because the rest of the world overwhelmingly adores them. Flakes. Uncooked onions in hot things, and grilled onions in cold things. Cybersquatters. Why do they even exist? Social inequality makes me angry. Stubbing my toe makes me angry. Watching people let life pass them by, as if they're mindlessly watching commercials between shows they don't care about. That makes me angry. People who trivialize life and death. People who can't stop themselves from giving advice, when all you wanted was somebody to listen. They make me angry.

And on nights when I can't get to sleep, and light and shadows create modern art on my ceiling, I mostly get angry at not understanding why most things happen -- why we're here, and not knowing where we go when we're gone, wondering if our souls end up residing on the same plane where deleted words go when they're backspaced, somewhere drifting aimlessly, hanging in the ether. I get angry at myself for not being the best Me I could've been that day. I get angry that Loss exists. I get angry that time can only move forward, and that clocks give us a way to quantify how many measurements we have left in our lives. I get angry at the squandered opportunities I've had to tell the people I love that I loved them before it was too late. I get angry that despite your best efforts, sometimes, you have to lose. I get angry that that feeling of life being a limitless well slowly fades away as the years pass. I get angry.

And when I'm thinking about all those things, I guess I lay awake, safe in the thought that I'm just a random cluster of molecules meandering around between planets and stars whose name doesn't matter. An accidental god with no control over anything whatsoever. At least, that's what I tell myself to make myself less angry.

But by morning, I'll be Austin Jose again.

angry archive