Tuesday, October 30, 2007


A couple of weeks ago, we covered "Why I Love Trash" by Josh Gamson in Social Problems (SOC 222). It is an argument about the ways in which talk shows construct social problems. Gamson argues that while talk shows may be exploitative in that they profit from their guests' misfortunes, they are also useful in that they tell us the ways that the producers draw boundaries between the deviant and normal. In class we had a discussion about this and then watched a "reality" type show,The Springer Hustle (2006), which depicts the production of the Jerry Springer Show. It follows producers in their search for stories, their pitches to the head honcho producers, and the somewhat involved "briefings" in which guests are coached to argue, scream, and fight on camera.

Aside from depicting the many ways in which guest's stories are distorted for the benefit of viewership and advertisers, "The Springer Hustle" also brings to light the tenuous grip the Jerry Springer Show has on reality. Reality, remember, is simply an agreement (implicit or not) between two or more people about the definition of the situation (Goffman). If you and I agree that we are married but hate each other because one is cheating on the other, we can begin to construct a scene, real or fabricated, which has the potential to be convincing. Most dramatic performers know that the ability to be convincing is only a matter of a few things:

1. embracement the characters' motives and emotions in the scene. Belief in one's identity. (The more you believe you are Colonel Mustard in the boudoir with a candlestick, the fewer steps away you are from legally being him.)
2. the norms of the scene and how well known they are. Plot points are particularly useful.
3. skill. The "Yes, and..." philosophy in improvisational comedy is such that actors in the scene agree beforehand to believe in the scene and to go with anything the other character says, building its reality as necessary. This also works for "actual" scenes in our daily life but it is implicit because we generally believe that scene participants have legitimacy... unless they prove incompetent. Fortunately, the "Yes, and..." philosophy and technique can be learned and honed.

I would guess that most consumers of the Jerry Springer Show (myself included) believe that the dramas depicted on stage are not fabricated by its guests for our amusement. Incidentally, it is far easier to do a scene on stage if you already have a history with the other guests, feel personally invested in the outcome of the conflict, and have a bone (the bigger the better) to pick. In the extremely small amount of times that I have had the occasion to be someone besides myself on stage, it would have been much easier to enact my assigned character had I convinced myself that I was actually them. But while participants in the show feel that they need their scenes to be played out (in order to actually resolve their conflict and, perhaps, to please the producers), the producers of the show could probably care less, as long as one key element is present: physical fighting. And why should producers care if plots are fabricated? Their needs are that the advertisers keep paying and the audience keep cheering the fights. Even if the producers could be legally responsible in some way should it turn out that their scenes were fabricated and entirely fictional, it is this author's opinion that short of some temporary embarrassment, this is the extent of their investment in actual reality.

In this way, the Jerry Springer Show has a true weakness: it does not need to be real. For those who want the opportunity to get a little acting exposure, this would be a nice setting. A free flight to Chicago, an included hotel stay, who could beat it? The reveal could take place in a behind-the-scenes amateur video documentation of the manufactured reality. But why stop there?

The Jerry Springer Show is the most popular TV show in its time slot. It is broadcast around the world and the host, Jerry Springer, has a 30 million dollar contract. On May 12, 2006, Springer celebrated his show's 3,000th episode. It is highly influential and has caused other shows such as Ricki Lake and Maury Povitch to change its format to be sensational. Now YouTube and TiVo make the show accessible to anyone who wants to take the time to see it. If one had a message and a dream, a little engineering, time and organization would be all it took for you to get on international TV. Stephen Duncombe has a new book which proposes that public enactments of visionary realities can help us define and make possible a new political future. Groups like Billionaires for Bush and the Cacophony Society perform scenes and pranks that say what they want in playful ways. The Springer Show could be another venue for such performances.

Some things to know about constructing your plot:
1. As I indicated above, the key element of the show is physical fighting. Some may lament that the show has devolved to this level. But there's a reason why people watch fake wrestling - it's fun. The show has hired security guards (sometimes reveling in this element. On September 24, 2007, for the episode "Rockin' Reverend", Joe Corvo, defenseman for the NHL team Ottawa Senators, served as a guest security guard.) It is imperative that they be used.
2. The conflict between the characters tends to be infidelity. Don't panic - there are variations. For example, I saw an episode last season which had young man who thought he was a vampire and the conflict was that he was literally cutting his wife's friend and sucking her blood. Still infidelity, but totally out there. Get creative, people!

The Jerry Springer Show has profited from real reality since 1991. It is fun, bizarre, and in bad taste. Some have even called it pornography. It's time to remind these folks that "the media" is more than just selling. It's consuming, too.

Be on the Jerry Springer show

Monday, October 15, 2007


Significant* life changes since moving to Baltimore:
1. Learning when, exactly, to hire people to do services for you (like moving your stuff)
2. Getting rid of almost all of my wire hangers
3. Buying more adult-looking clothes. I am also avoiding the t-shirt and jeans combo. But I still wear a lot of jeans but now I try to wear button down shirts or nicer knit tops with them.
4. Dinner parties
5. Buying a hair dryer and using it (I never have before). I do this to generally avoid looking like a rat.

* to me.

Ok, I've been thinking a lot about fear lately so I made up these questions. I'm tagging Elrond, Durham Love, and Jamy to answer them. I have a theory about it but I'm not tellin' yet.

The questions are completely optional. But this is an open thing, too. Let me know if you do it or just throw it in the comments. I'm really interested.

Part A (do these in order):
What images scare you enough to make you want to physically run away? (Open-ended question)

for me:
wrapped fireworks in a bag
a mushroom cloud
a certain faculty member who shall remain unnamed
and many unknowns (probably Shining-style waves of blood!)

for J:
neufatel cheese (cream cheese substitute)

Part B:
Which of the following acts of deviance have you experienced? (Close-ended question - check off and then explain)

Have you EYE-witnessed...
1. someone being killed by another person.
2. a dead stranger in a public place? (not in a coffin)
3. a pedestrian being hit by an automobile.
4. a dog or cat being run over by an automobile.
5. a car crash.
6. a physical fight
7. a person faint
8. a bridge or other public structure being destroyed due to a flood, earthquake or other natural occurrence, etc.
9. a mugging or other assault of the person
10. someone being caught stealing someone else's property

1. someone being killed by another person.
Not an individual. I saw 9/11 on TV and Faces of Death but that's it.

2. a dead stranger in a public place? (not in a coffin)
In the Atlanta airport I saw a guy die of a heart attack or something.

3. a pedestrian being hit by an automobile.
Never. Though I know several people that have been hit by cars.

4. a dog or cat being run over by an automobile.
Yes. As a kid, I didn't understand dogs. I was waiting in a car once for my parents, made eye contact with a dog across the street. It crossed a busy street and got hit.

5. a car crash.
My own (see below, in April). Also, I saw the back of a crash once - the glass flying. Didn't really see the contact.

6. a physical fight
Yes. One with kids (one banging the other kid's head against the glass right where we were eating on the other side in a restaurant), and one with adults throwing punches in a street in the middle of a rainstorm. Both in New Orleans, separate trips.

7. a person faint

8. a bridge or other public structure being destroyed due to a flood, earthquake or other natural occurrence, etc.

9. a mugging or other assault of the person
Sort of. When I was 18, I witnessed a car of guys trying to pull women into their car one night in Northampton, MA. It was scary at the time (they tried to get me, too) and we called the cops. But now that I think about it, it was super lame of them. It would still anger me today but now I think I would yell at them, maybe try to turn the tables somehow. I might call the cops too now but I'm not as sure.

10. someone being caught stealing someone else's property
Sort of. A cop witnessed someone trying to steal my bicycle once but it was lame.

I think there should be points assigned to the various occurrences. I feel like I've lived such a sheltered life, living mostly in suburbs and college towns.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


My spying continues. They are having workers replace the flat roofing in a section of the library. The other day I noticed that they had this flaming torch out there and I got excited. Unfortunately, the only shot I could really get was through this terrible foggy glass.

So here's a little bit about torch roofing from what I can gather on the internet. (I'm not completely clear on all of this stuff - feel free to comment and correct me!) When you have a flat roof, you have the option to use rolls of roofing material made of fiberglass and other material. Yesterday, I saw the workers laying down some very thick plywood with glue. They had a guy using this huge thing of glue with thick beads of the stuff coming out. Today they are laying down the rolls of fiberglass material on top. I think that the torch is used to seal the seams of the material so that it doesn't leak. At one point in the little movie above, you might catch him using the torch to heat up his trowel. That must be used to help seal the seams. I think it's about 80 degrees out there today but it was 95 last week. Hot stuff!

Roofing is best done in the summer so when you have a tool up there which is basically on fire, you've got a potentially dangerous situation. The person working the torcher has to be licensed (at least in some states) and there are regulations about having fire extinguishers and water hoses when it is being done. Last summer, the Learning Center's roof was being redone and it caught on fire. I realize now that it is probably due to torch roofing.

Incidentally, training programs are really important for safety in the skilled manufacturing occupations (which greatly overlap with the construction industries). It is also a necessity for contractors to have the proper certifications on hand for their workers in order to comply with state and Federal laws. So the question of who does training gets a little interesting because it is in high demand. If there is a strong union presence, they can require apprenticeships. This benefits the union organization's reputation, keeps their workers safe, and helps them build relationships with employers. Contractor organizations may sponsor training as well. Union apprenticeships are often much more comprehensive and, in my opinion, they are better in the long run for both contractors and the safety of the workers. Of course, some people will argue that the nature of these occupations have changed somewhat in that apprenticeships are only appropriate for people who wish to have a career in the building trades. This is not always the case.

The worksite at the library. The guy in the little movie was working in the far right hand corner which you really can't see in this photo - sorry!


Sorry this is so short - my batteries died. (As a side note, I'm looking into buying a real video camera so hopefully someday these will be less crappy.) I came out of the library yesterday and was unlocking my bicycle when I saw about 6 guys dancing to music. Campus is a little dead in the summer so it was a real treat to see them.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Here are some of the recordings from Patty in captivity. If it doesn't play right away, try moving the indicator a bit to the right - it may need to be jump started.

I just love it when she says, "Mom? Dad? I'm OK." I guess I really like the way she talks.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


My friend smoked this cigar Friday night. I think his wife said that he got it off the internet.

(I tried to get the background of this graphic to be transparent but I screwed it up somehow.)

I know that lately this blog has a fascist tone. I feel guilty about that. But whatever. I'm insane! Watch out!

Okay, so I've been kind of obsessed with Patty Hearst lately. It's really fun. She was the 19-year-old granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst when she was kidnapped by a 10-15 member, leftist radical organization in Berkeley, California in 1974. The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) was a real product of the times but they were really hard core. They were generally Marxist, believed that all African Americans in jail were political prisoners, and felt that poverty was unacceptable. They stockpiled weapons and shot people who they thought were part of the conspiracy. An escaped Black convict led the group and the rest of the members were young White people. From many accounts, it was militaritistic in organization.

Anyway, they kidnapped Patty Hearst in February, 1974. It was a huge deal and no one really knew what to do. The SLA set the ransom to be that her father had to donate millions of dollars in food to the poor people of California! He tried to meet their demands but it got somewhat botched and there was a riot at one of the distribution centers. A lot of people think that Patty Hearst developed Stockholm Syndrome (started identifying with her kidnappers) and she robbed a bank with the SLA as a sort of Robin Hood mission 2 months later. She was on the run from the cops for about a year. The film, Patty Hearst is a guilty pleasure-type of re-enactment of her autobiography, Every Secret Thing. I sort of recommend seeing that first before you see Guerilla which is a newish documentary about the SLA. Patty Hearst seems like she was kind of fucked up by the experience. She's okay now but it was an immensely confusing time. The way she describes it, the SLA loved the idea that they had made a convert out of her - an idea that was propagated by the press after the bank robbery. But in reality, Patty Hearst was really in a spot. Isolated in a closet for several months, she started to lose her identity and felt things slip away from her. She also feared that if she didn't at least pretend to go along with goals of the SLA, she would be killed. Meanwhile, she had a fiance, family, and friends back home who only knew her as a wealthy, UC-Berkeley junior and were calling for her immediate release. So she was simultaneously a symbol for the left and for the rich. She was completely cognizant of this in the end and I think that really made her think about what it means to simply be human instead of being boxed as this thing or that. I really like the ambiguity of her situation and it's story that is hard to tell because there are so many grays.

Patricia Hearst Shaw is now 53 years old and lives in Connecticut.

In retrospect, the Hearst kidnapping seems somewhat remarkable to me for a couple of different reasons. First, we don't have many truly radical lefty groups anymore in the states. Even back then, the SLA was being called terrorists. Part of the reason why we don't have many radical lefty groups is that all violent means of protest are completely out of fashion which is interesting in its own right. Second, the SLA were such a small group (10-12 at any one time it appears) but they definitely got a lot of attention and went down in history. This is very attractive, I feel, for the left today which feels so unwieldy, is easily ignored, and is immensely boring.

(Just to be clear, I am not an advocate for emotionally harming people or for killing anyone.)

Thursday, May 31, 2007


I'm not sure what to title this one. But that's what the bulldozer dude appears to be doing here. I like how he goes out of the shot. Good blocking, bulldozer dude!

Some new ideas, theories, and demands:
1. I'm trying to finish my dissertation. Someone recently suggested that I wasn't as stressed out as I need to be. As usual, anything is possible when it comes to my mental state. And... I HAVE been sleeping well. TOO well... I think I will try to get more stressed out somehow. I have too much malaise mixed in - that's probably fucking everything up. Caffeine might do it. I go a little bonkers on caffeine.

2. To everyone: please stop buying and drinking bottled water. It wastes plastic, is stupidly expensive, is possibly harmful as the plastic breaks down into the water itself, and commodifies a natural resource. It's driving me insane. For the love of god, people, stop the madness! Update: here's an article about the production of Fiji water.

3. In a regular day, how often do you actually see people produce things? We may come in contact with people in retail establishments but their work is consumed as soon as it is produced (a service). This hidden nature of work has consequences for the way we think of work, value, and effort. Consider the objects around you. Which of them were made by hand? (For many mass produced items, it does not require a human to touch them at all.) About two years ago, Old Navy put out a commercial which showed happy young people trouncing through a field and literally picking clothes as if they had been grown like fruit. This scared me. All stitched clothing needs to be touched by human hands. The hands of the worker may belong to someone you do not know and may never meet, but they do exist. How many other examples of this phenomenon can you think of? What else obscures the manufacturing from public view?

4. Check this out: did Goodling slip? Get to know what caging is.

5. When you watch TV, and see an ad for a show that is "next", what does that mean? Clue: it is different from "right now".

6. There's a lot of competition out there these days. Note the instances in which people work together for intrinsic motivations. Remember the good of the commons.
Examples of the commons:
a. natural resources (air, water, land, seeds)
b. things that are manufactured which we all need (food, medicine, housing, clothing)
c. information
d. human rights

What isn't "the commons" though? Urgh.

Monday, April 16, 2007


I helped in the projection booth at Full Frame again this year. This is A. breaking down a 35mm print of.... urgh, I don't remember. At the Carolina Theatre, they have a platter system which allows for enough space for all of the reels of a film to be spliced together in one giant reel. That way, you don't have to use a two-projector system. But, after the film, you have to break it down and get all of the reels back together in their metal cases to send back to the distributor. A. was trying to avoid having to do that at the end of the festival so he did a few each day when there was a break. I love talking to A., the projectionist that was there. He's a really cool dude and I don't have to do hardly anything when he's in there doing his thing because I only do the video stuff. We watched Crazy Love (Dan Klores 2007) on the monitors in the booth and we were totally floored when story twists. We even talked about it the next day. I noticed that none of the other tech people talked about any of the films they saw unless they were totally knocked out by them. So it seemed extra surprising that A. liked Crazy Love just as much as I did.

If you attended Full Frame this year, I'd love to hear about the film(s) you saw. I saw a bunch.

Here is more about what I did this past weekend, in case you are interested. They have two of us in the Fletcher auditorium booth handling video stuff in addition to any projectionist that may need to be there. Everything is already set up physically and mentally by the tech crew, so for volunteers like me, I do very simple things like putting in the tape for the little trailer before the movie, getting the screen to black, playing the movie on tape, and opening the projector shutter again to let the film show on the screen. We do sound tests before the show, too. I guess it helps to know a bit about the engineering of the set up, but that was much easier this year than last because the switcher was programmed to do everything - even setting the ratios for the high definition formats. I had fun because I felt more confident than last year, my first year doing tech. The best part was when I got to tell the venue manager on the walkie-talkie that they could "open the house". That's a pretty big power trip, quite honestly. If I got a chance to do it more than once this weekend, my head would be very big right now.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


When I walk into Bodies: The Exhibition, I am transported to another place and time. Organs wait anxiously behind glass to be viewed by curious strangers. Entire plastinated bodies are frozen, holding tennis rackets and kicking new, shiny soccer balls as if I just walked into the middle of a really good game. In another room, red lights make calcium-dyes shimmer as if they are from another planet, or in a hip bar where they sell overpriced cocktails with adventurous names. It’s one big party in here. The staff don white lab coats. I order a metacarpus on the rocks.

But it’s not a party. Perhaps I am reminded of this by the exhibit of the alienated nervous system, its strands divorced from all other bodily elements except a brain and eyeballs, looking absolutely stunned. It sort of looks like a freaked out tadpole.

“Where am I?”

It can’t hear the answer which I learned from one of its attendants but I whisper it anyway: “You used to live in China. Do you remember?”

“What?” its eyes say. “What the hell happened?”

Maybe I need a drink after all. My friend the nervous system and everyone else here didn’t always have the Latin names they do now. When you die and are unclaimed in China, the government does not require consent before you are placed on the market to be sold to others. Cadavers aren’t cheap and private companies don’t have an easy time of acquiring them. But, if a plastination company buys you, Dr. Gunther von Hagens or one of his proteges will soak you in acetone and then, in a vacuum, liquid polymer will replace the acetone. You will feel like a pencil eraser and smell like one, too. You are posed, cured, and shipped. Now you are here, in a mall next to Urban Outfitters and a short walk from Cinnabon and the Gap. You are a specimen, a learning tool, a scientific marvel. You have been transformed into something valuable now and the Premier Exhibition company of Atlanta, Georgia knows it. They are the owners of the Bodies: The Exhibition and they take in $24 a head. Leisurely scientific inquiry isn’t cheap these days.

More people enter the exhibit so I move into the next room. I contemplate another skinless plastic body. It is beautiful. It might even be art. The polymer shows off the muscles best, sinewy and textured. As my eyes move toward the face, I see that the eyes are glass but the teeth are real. Finally, an artifact of this person’s (former) life to inspect. Excitedly, I get close as there is no barrier to prevent it. The teeth that remain in the mouth appear to be original, dark and chipped. Where were the doctors and dentists when this person was alive? I smooth my tongue over my own white, shiny, immaculate set. Welcome to global stratification.

I head for the exit.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Durham, NC. Corner of Morgan and Morris- My first car crash occurred last night. I am in the car with the dotted lines. The blue car was stolen and being chased by a cop. As I was attempting to pull into the RBC Centura lot, I got side swiped and did a 180. It was a "drive by" type of thing.

Some notes:
1. Thank you Christa, DATA bus driver who was in the parked car by Centura bank. She saw everything, got out of her car, called 911 immediately on her cell, and hugged me because I was freaked out and upset. I hit my head on my window and the car got smooshed in pretty good on the drivers side. I wouldn't have known what to do AT ALL if she had not been there as I don't have a cell phone and I was facing the opposite way all of a sudden for no apparent reason.

2. This is not the best drawing of the accident (Morgan is three lanes, I think, etc. etc.).

3. For once, something besides grad school caused me to freak out! Hooray. After everything got reported to the police, I drove home and danced around with the cat. My priorities? Realigned, yo. Not world shifting or anything but it really helps to get out of my little bubble.

4. Cars suck. We shouldn't have set things up this way. I crashed into a pedestrian on my bicycle once and aside from the embarrassment, we were completely unscathed. Transportation is key to meeting the needs of large populations but the car option is too expensive and unhealthy. The use of automobiles promotes individualism to the detriment of community bonds, generates false symbols of wealth that help to separate and stratify people, and reinforces a culture of spontaneity which, although not inherently problematic, hurts our ability to think in the long term about how our actions affect others despite good intentions.

5. My car still drives quite well. I will file an insurance claim and everything but body work is the only thing that is needed. Last night J. declared that I would "drive my car into the ground". And to think that I used to be a bit proud of my Toyota. When I first got it, I gave it baths and attempted to wax it and stuff. If the insurance won't cover the body work (quite possible) I'm going to be tempted to enter demo derbys. Seriously. If you're going to drive a beater, go all the way.

Monday, March 26, 2007


1. I recently discovered that with the aid of a plush animal or puppet as a prop campanion, that I would be theoretically willing to do a routine on stage. This realization came about after a discussion of some of the extended scenes of For Your Consideration in which Nina Conti does her routine with a monkey puppet. For the record, I'm really against monkeys but Nina Conti is awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I think her little monkey is actually very cute. Please note: I would not do ventriloquism because I don't have the skills or "skilz" if you will. I could probably come up with a character and then I would try to interact with them though. If you haven't figured this out already, it would be pretty lame but the point is that even though I am a shy person, I think this sounds like a funny thing to do. I would rather do stand up than some stinky routine with a puppet but I think my skills (and lack there of) are probably better suited for ridiculous interactions rather than monologues and the like.

2. I am totally freaked out by the following photograph:

The photo is a still from the new film version (2007) of the Broadway version (2002) of Hairspray (which is a version of the original film from 1988, mind you). It depicts John Travolta as Edna Turnblad and Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad. It makes me want to stab myself.

3. I can't hold it in any longer: I am totally against Evite. I don't necessarily fault anyone for using this service. And I certainly like being invited to events. But, like many things in society, it's the system that sucks. If I was visiting Earth from outer space and I figured out how Evite works and what it is for, I would get the impression that everyone who uses it is a total control freak jerk that needs to know every little detail anonymously about my guests. The reason why Evite gives us this impression, I suspect, is that SOME people would like to know the number of attendees and WHY the HELL they aren't coming and everything. But most people probably do not feel this way and they just like Evite because it streamlines the whole process. It just sucks, I tell you. Not all online interaction is substitutive of real interaction (and lord knows that there's enough hysteria about this already) but I think that this is a fairly good example of it, actually. I think it plays a substitutive role in social interaction in that it replaces formerly totally fun, soulful aspects of party inviting with excrutiatingly boring typing, browser refreshing, and logging in as one's self. I'm nostalgic. Sue me.

4. Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is coming up. Please consider attending. It's one of my favorite things in the whole world.

That is all.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Watch the Video

This may be my strangest post. The other day I had this odd histamine situation where I was sneezing, had a runny nose, and my eyes watered for no apparent reason. I took some Benadril and then used a neti cleansing pot. I was cured! Anyway, I thought this a good time to finally come through on my promise to include something with the neti. I blocked myself out the best I could.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Here is Blueberry, one of the neighborhood cats. I realize that there are many social risks that I take when I admit to you that I really like this cat. I don't live alone and I don't own any cats. But, like most cats, she's not just some random animal that I have chosen to like. There are varying characteristics that I find particularly "cute" about her, if you will. But I will not go into them here. Because I AM NOT A CRAZY PERSON. She's not even that special. But, let it be known that she does have a white spot at the end of her tail, she has blue eyes, and she responds to her name. I think these are objectively good traits that just about anyone would think attractive in a cat. Thus, this still makes me 100% sane. And she also has a white belly. And she rolls around in the dirt sometimes. Okay, see? That's it.

Another topic I would like to address is Asia Cafe on Franklin Street. I visit this establishment at least once a month for lunch. Sometimes once a week. I find it is particularly fascinating for a few different reasons. First, the food is not very good. I think they have specials, sometimes, on the weekend which must be good because, otherwise, I have no idea why anyone would frequent this establishment. However, despite the poor food quality, I go. Secondly, I've noticed that I have never gone with anyone to this establishment. Like, I never, ever would suggest that a friend or acquaintance join me on any visits to Asia Cafe. I mean, that would be embarrassing because of the first reason alone but also because people tend eat alone there. It's just this thing that you DON'T DO at Asia Cafe. I've noticed that companionship is frowned upon there. Not by the administration, necessarily, but by other clientele. And by "noticing" I mean, "I have noticed other people frowning when people bring friends there."

Third, I find that my visits to Asia Cafe have an urgent air to them. I never "choose" to go to Asia Cafe, for example. I just find myself bending over the same styrofoam slop and then later notice that I am no longer hungry. This is not to say that I don't NOT enjoy going to Asia Cafe. I do, actually, enjoy Asia Cafe. But it is definitely not for any of the normal reasons to like an eating establishment. Usually people like particular restaurants because they serve good food, have good service, and have a reasonable sense of ambiance. Asia Cafe has none of these characteristics. None whatsoever. In fact, if it is wintertime, you will often find yourself quite cold in Asia Cafe. They don't seem to have any heat. And the trays, should you decide to use one, are incredibly sticky. So I guess you can't even say that it is comfortable eating in Asia Cafe. It is, in fact, kind of a chore. Still, I go. I must go to Asia Cafe.