Last day of the first-ever FIVE DAYS OF FAIL! We are here!

Read all the blog posts about the first #5DaysOfFail:

* Day 1-2: http://jennyyang.tv/blog/2014/1/6/5daysoffail-failers-of-the-world-unite

* Day 3-4: http://jennyyang.tv/blog/2014/1/8/5daysoffail-failers-of-the-world-unite-days-3-4


(FRIDAY, JANUARY 10, 2014)

#5DaysOfFail: Day 5. Place

Blog/Essay: “Barnes and Nobel: My Mecca” by Jenny Yang

My favorite place is the bookstore.  It’s the place where all of the people who care about words and beauty congregate and it is where I always want to be.  People often say to me, Kelly, why do you spend so much time at the bookstore?  I say to them, because books bring people together - real and fictional.  It’s like one big party!

Why read your Harry Potter books for the fifth time by yourself at the comfort of your own home when you can enjoy the comfort and company of other adventure and knowledge-seeking individuals. We can be smart and inspired and titillated together.

I have my favorite spot at the Barnes & Noble at The Grove.  I forgive the fakeness of the Disneyland mall that is the Grove because my mecca is there.  And, no, mecca is not a metaphor, it is actually the mecca for me. I walk seven times counter-clockwise around the bookstore before I enter. I stop at the animal sacrifice.  I’d like to think that I sacrifice my brain cells for the cause instead.

The CD section is a joke. I like to head up the elevators to the third floor when I first walk into the store.  That’s my favorite part of starting my bookstore visit.  The elevators rise into the atrium of the entire building and allows me a bird’s-eye view of everyone in the store.  There are always the old hippie men and women who carry way too many tote bags and sometimes pieces of rolling luggage with them. It’s like they can’t bear to part with their office supplies when they need to conduct their reading business at the bookstore.  I find that they tend to congregate at the cafe tables nearest to the bathrooms.  I find that they always have something interesting to read.  Sometimes I sidle up near them until they catch a glimpse of me so that I can flash a friendly grin toward them. I like them to know that I am accesible and that I can be their friend.  Strangers are underrated.  They are like walking novels just waiting to be read!  It’s exactly the same process we experience when we crack open new book.  None of us are familiar - it’s like meeting a complete stranger. But with some patience and careful listening, page after page we are able to learn more about the book’s story until we know they like they are long-lost friends.  Strangers at Barnes and Noble are just like that.  Instead of the word strangers, I like to think of them as pre-friends. Or like in romantic comedies, “friends that are waiting to happen.”  Friends happen, y’all. Friends happen.

After I get a conversation going with the hippie book lovers, I try to read a few pages of my own.  Quite honestly, it gets tough for me to focus on my own book whenever I plop down at the bookstore.  There are just so many interesting people and things happening around me. I almost wish I knew what everyone was reading so that I can have our own little book club session - you know, as if we’ve known each other all allong.

While a friendly smile is a great accessory for making new friends, I also find that accessorizing accordingly helps to draw attention to yourself and create great conversation starters.  Like, I really love to wear this totally rad headband that I decorated myself with just two dollars worth of crafts and materials. Okay, I confess, it’s basically like a Minnie Mouse headband. Ha!  Minnie mouse or Hello Kitty. Sometimes I don’t know the difference. Who cares. All I care is that it looks super cute and it is waaay less expensive than buying some crappy imitation from Etsy or some other online price gouging website.

I have to confess though.  I constantly think about whether or not the next stranger/future-friend I meet will be “the One.” It’s always on my mind when I’m at Barnes & Noble.  Sometimes I psyche myself out about whether or not me thinking about bumping into “the One” actually prevents me from letting the serendipity from happening. I never know about these thought games that I play with myself.  I stopped with the not stepping on cracks on the sidewalk a couple of years ago but I can’t stop thinking about the beauty of the people around me at the bookstore, especially when I need to take a little more energy to look past any facial hair or weird outfit to see the real person underneath.

That smelly fifty-year old looking dude with the worn out first edition of “The Catcher in the Rye.”  I bet he’d be kinda hot with a good hot shave.

But no such luck.  Most of my outings end with polite conversation with whomever sat down next to me. By the time I feel the need to stretch my legs is about the time when I get hungry.  A lady can only live off of so many dried cranberry scones.


Goodness. I'm writing this so late and I'm so tired that I am barely conscious while this was written. I find that a bunch of this week's fails basically end because I'm like tired and just want it to end. Hahah. I'm glad these are good "starts" so I can more fully flesh out these ideas.  A bunch of them are gonna help with our How To A Good Asian web series writing process. Yay for Fails!

SARAH: Character monologue a day

Inspired by "place," I tried to push myself in a really weird direction. I don't know if it totally works -- it feels more like a little sketch of an idea than a fully realized piece. I did incorporate like a paragraph of Law & Order: SVU fanfic, though.

SHIN: Song a day

as the days progresses it got harder :( none of these were executed well but you get the idea

PRISKA: Song a day

This one's called "Quiet"

Weirdly, I kind of like this one. The emotional chord that it hits. I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to make it through the last day. I was bathed in doubt. But somehow... I found strength or blind hope somewhere within myself to give it a shot. (Not to be dramatic) And I'm so glad I did. Because I'm stupidly pleased with where this song might lead.

It's funny presenting work like this... it's without any of the connective tissue. It's without the things that make it seem seamless. Either way, here it is! Day 5! We did it!

KEIKO: Something a day

Last day. Kinda sorry to see it go. This was a fun adventure... after the initial fear. I hope to bring the "casual" creativity that I have found in the last five days into my regular week. I think that it is important to play and experiment without consequences. Today's "something" was a recorded poem.

KELLY: Short film script a day

Man oh man oh man oh man. I can't believe it's over! It's been a crazy five days, and I feel good about my failures. Forcing myself to write a short film script everyday has definitely made me more productive, to say the least. It has also made me realize that I need to keep forcing myself to produce terrible work so that I can get better. Gotta get through the rough stuff, so I can get to the gold! I'm excited to see how everybody else's fails came along!

TRACI: Visual art a day

Right when I was about to try and draw kitties on the board, peanut jumped up on the table to help and to let me know we were done whether or not I was ready to send this. This doesn't quite convey what I'd like it to yet. Failing this week was a ton of fun though. Have a great time tomorrow night!

SRI: Photo/s a day

Maybe it just looks like a stack of books in a photo, but, it's very me. A friend of mine who judged me to be a ridiculous nerd when we were children slammed together by the babysitting gods, still laughs about the fact that when she asked me where I wanted to go when I was about 7 or 8, I would respond, "I don't have to go anywhere, I can go places with my books."

Maybe I learned the line from Reading Rainbow or somewhere else on TV, but it sincerely meant something to me (and I think some part of me wishes it still would). When there were things happening around me as a child that I wanted to tune out or overwhelmed me, and I just wanted to be somewhere else, I'd go hide in a corner and pick up a book to read as an instant escape.

Even though nowadays, being a lawyer has sadly conditioned me into impatience with creative set-ups and long hours of "pointless" reading, I often keep books around my living room - not only the ones I'm currently trying to work my way through, but also those whose contents feel like my current state of mind, remind me of things (like reviving my love of creative prose), motivate me, or sometimes even to decorate for the season, e.g., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe for Halloween?

This photo is what's lying on my living room table right now. Places of mind, places to go, places I am? Something like that.

THOMAS: Comedy sketch a day

Better late than never. This is poorly executed, but I sort of like this concept. Another one to shoot, maybe? We'll see... wooohooo, Five Days of Fail complete!!!


WE DID IT! :-)

I will be running another #5DaysOfFail in February via tumblr! Stay tuned! COMMENT BELOW and let me know if this has inspired you to fail more! :-)