Never Look Back (Except Now)

[Enjoying Bamboo Nation's new regular features? Good! Well, every Thursday will now be reserved for "Never Look Back (Except Now)." You may not know that I've been blogging since 2003, so I have more than five years of posts (hundreds and hundreds of them) at my disposal. And now once a week, I'll be digging into my archives to present to you a glimpse into my recent past by re-posting a classic entry. I'll also give some commentary on each post, sort of like a DVD special feature, to give you extra insight into my state of being at the time.

The first classic post for Never Look Back (Except Now) was written just a few months after I moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco and just a few months after I had started blogging. I was working a temp job so mind-numbing ( I did data entry for a water analysis company—I know!) that one of the ways I retained my sanity was to enter essay contests online....]

February 5, 2003

I have a new hobby. I enter essay contests. Not prestigious essay contests run by colleges and institutions. I enter sweepstakes run by corporations, in which you can win ski trips and cars and boxes of chocolate and paper towel holders. They ask you to write, in a hundred or so words or less, on such topics as "How You Found Love at Starbucks" or "Why You Are Joe Average" and stuff like that. I've submitted essays to about a dozen contests so far, pushing the boundaries of reality and, um, good taste. I’m telling you, this stuff is some of my best, most brilliant, and funniest writing.

Rica thinks I may make the judges crack up, but I'll never win that romantic getaway to Venice. In response to why I think I’m Joe Average, I wrote: "I am Joe Average. That's because I'm Asian, and no one can tell us apart. My own mother can't pick me out of a crowd. If that's not average, I don't know what is." I think Rica's wrong, and I can at least get second place.

In response to "Tell Us How You Almost Met Your Maker" for the Final Destination 2 Contest (you win movie tickets), I wrote: "My friend Keith dragged me to a Celine Dion concert. Her voice made my ears bleed, and I had fits of hyperventilation. I managed to crawl out of the stadium before she did her encore, during which I would've met my certain death."

My favorite entry, though, was the contest held by Saturn. They ask you to compose a haiku. The title of mine was "Me Win, Everybody Else Lose." And here it goes:

Saturn makes me smile
The car, fool, not the planet
Car drives, planet don't

[Prince's Note: I never did win anything.]


  1. Did you ever win any of the contests? Because you totally should have won the Saturn one.

  2. Your essay response to the Celine Dion concert may have been exagerrated (or was it?) but it had me wheezing with laughter.
    Thanks for the encore!

  3. (pruf: 'exaggerated' UR-HUR-HUR!)

  4. I actually have a bunch saved somewhere on the hard drive of my old computer. Have to dig them out.

  5. I am a big fan of the new regular features so far. I too, have been blogging since 2003 (5 years this year) but I am not nearly as entertaining as you.

  6. That haiku is incredible!

  7. Ashley, that is one of my favorite pieces of writing!