Sunday, April 9

I'm #1 / Our metaphorical bastard child

OK, I admit it: I'm lame. Probably egotistical too. Because every couple of weeks (fine, hours) I google myself. The first time I did it, I was surprised (and disheartened) to discover that, despite my experience as the only person named James Yeh in South Carolina--hell, I'd never ran into any Yehs in South Carolina other than ones in my immediate family--in the grand scheme of things, I was pretty insignificant. I think I was #15 or so, maybe even lower.

Anyways, because of that it's sort of become a goal of mine to climb to the top of the mysterious Google search engine ladder. Most recently I saw that I occupied three of the top ten spots (#6, #7, #10)--pretty exciting stuff, I know. But this victory was short-lived as its timing coinciding with a very random blog comment I received from another James Yeh--the one who owns the email account ""--a very sought-after address. (Well very sought-after by me, at least.) In this comment my doppleganger wrote, "We have a pretty common name", going further to say, "I went to high school with 2 other James Yeh's. Three of us in a school of 1400."

This, of course, was heartbreaking to me. Despite the Google reports I had previously believed I was the only one--at least the only one who actually used the internet--all those James Yeh's above me were 200 year-old professors of Engineering or Physics or something. I was wrong and it shook me to the very core. The rest of the month was spent formulating a plan on how to become number one. Briefly I considered homocide, killing the other James Yehs, but I am not a killer. I'm barely even a man. A random guy I was talking to in a bar in New York cracked his knuckles and opened and closed his fists and I pleaded, "You're not going to punch me in the face, are you?" This I found funny. Homocide ruled out, I considered suicide--deaths always make people famous. But then I thought about it and realized that you first have to be famous to get more famous. It's one of those "We're looking to hire someone with experience"/"But I need a job to get experience" kind of dilemmas, somewhat archaically referred to as a "Catch-22". Plus, I really hate guns, heights, and the sight of blood, particularly my own. As I said before, I'm a real manly man.

But a new day is dawning.

Go ahead, google me. See what you find.

Yes, that's right, kind readers. I might not be the only one, but I'm the most important. At lesat according to Google. And they're always right.

This calls for a celebration. I should go hunting or logging or something like that, but instead I'm just going to hop online and enter a blog entry.

The previous #1 Google Search result James Yeh


In other news I found out Wednesday that the copy I had originally been asked to write for Hip Literary Publisher's Non-fiction Monthly Publication was, upon further editorial review, rejected. The piece had been sort of a bastard child from a one-week relationship with another writer. We had worked on it together at her place one night. In all honesty, she did most of the work; I said "yes, I like this" and "nope, don't think this works" a couple times. Looking back on it, this was probably the apex of our relationship, or at least one of the apexes--another was blatantly disobeying a rude waiter's order that we not switch tables at a local restaurant. (It was cold, windy, and rainy and we were right next to the door.)

What it is is that things, particularly relationships, particularly ones in which I'm involved, skyrocket to...uh, the sky only to crash down moments later. This fling was no exception. We even had a pretty ugly telephone conversation a couple weeks ago, right before I went on my grad school spree. During this conversation she gave me her assessment of my blog: "I just wanted to say, 'Get your own voice!'" Coming from another writer, one whom I actually respect in several ways, it hurt pretty bad. (Of course, she was mistaken. I have my own voice. It is of the not-gay, not-white David Sedaris. Or maybe the young Asian Denis Johnson. I haven't decided which yet.)

Well anyways, turns out we both suck. I was pretty pissed when I first found out. But now, in a strange way, it's sort of vindicating. And funny. I was even compelled to call her and tell her the news. I wonder if she'll think it's as funny as I do. I think she will. I can't help it.

(Dear you-know-who-you-are, if you're reading this (which I wouldn't be surprised if you were), I hope you won't think I'm being a jerk. I don't mean to be. You often misconstrue what I say. But I do it too. Friends?)


jenneral said...

Luckily, my name seems to be far less common than yours. Unfortunately, my own egotistical websearching is complicated by the many permutations of my name: Jennifer, Jenn, and there is probably some idiot out there who has spelling it "Jen". Anyway, it looks like all the the results for "Jenn Werkhoven" were for me, and all of the english results for "Jennifer" (there are a few foreign-language results, so I'm not sure about them). Unfortunately, one of the search results for "Jennifer" is for an internet petition I signed way back in the day to save a prime-time sci-fi cartoon that aired briefly on the W.B. On a crappy Angelfire page, no less. I guess the moral of the story is: at least it's more difficult for your embarrassing internet past to come to light. :D

Oh, and in response to your comment about the indispensable nature Belle & Sebastian, do they really reject people on MySpace?

angel said...

I think that picture needs to be your new facebook photo.

James said...

I had never thought of looking for alternate spellings. Jim Yeh. Jimmy Yeh. Jimmie Yeh. Jack Yeh. Jaime Yeh. Jamie Yeh. Jimbo Yeh. The possibilities are endless. Thank you, Jenn!

By the way, my spelling's gotten so much worse since my use of Word.

Angel, I have been sort of into older women lately...

angel said...

Who are you callin' sallow?!

What about "jaundiced," you racist?!

Well that picture is going to get you some GILFs, for sure ...

P.S. You can tell I've been cooped up studying by the frequency of my blog posts and retorts to your comments ;).

James said...

It's so fun being ethnic, Angel. I can call Asians sallow, Latinos good-fer-nuthin, or Indians dot-headed. Things my predominately round-eye audience couldn't. Or can I only make fun of my own? Where's the line? So I can step over it?

Wow. You can tell I've been cooped up...uh, studying, too. Actually I'm just a loser whose idea of a perfect weekend is staying in and writing, playing guitar, attempting to play piano, and napping at strange hours of the day.

Trevor said...

Thanks for airing the dirty laundry that was our relationship, James...even trying to cover by saying I was "female".

You have some nerve...but I can't quit you!

(Sorry to go all Brokeback on you)

I guess if you're the non-gay non-white David Sedaris, I must be the non-female Sarah Vowell. Which is awesome, because I can devote entire articles to the Trail of Tears, Frank Sinatra's legacy, and the messiness of long-distance mix-tape relationships. And making really long comments on other people's this.

I'll grab my coat

Anonymous said...

The good news is that you can join the James Yeh's rejected by Mcsweeney's club.

We can be a merry group. (Though to be honest my food review could have been funnier, and certainly wasn't as funny as the food review that they did post for the item. Pff, why be so was Butterfinger Crisp)

Don't believe me?
I present (begrudgingly)

Yes, that's me with something I wish was never EVER printed.

I swear it was my worst guess, I'm kinda convinced that they posted it because of how bad it was.

And yet I present it to you in the hopes that you cheer up.

Congrats on hitting #1. I had a death grip on that sucker for a while, but with my going into the working world (and all my research websites promptly going kaput), I had no ability to keep it. I wish I could tell you that we (and by we, I mean all the James Yeh's) had a trophy for this, but sadly we don't.

Feel free to make one though.


Another, but the same as that one other time, James Yeh

Harry the Hire said...

I write plays now, and have not written prose for almost a decade. The good thing about a play is that you do not especially need to acquire 'a voice', rather you need to acquire as many voices as there are characters in the play.

I like drama because my simple theory is this: if you put two people in a room long enough they are eventually going to fight or fuck; hopefully, for the sake of the drama, they will do both, repeatedly.

I think playwrights need to become familiar with the different ways that different characters release tension through dialogue.

Urgh, then again, playwrights like David Mamet seem to fill their plays with many characters that speak in similarly colourful voices.

I don't know. At the very least, I feel more comfortable writing in the voices of two women and three men of various ages than, well, in my voice. Perhaps I've spent too many years in foreign lands (ten), and no longer recognise my voice. If I was going to describe 'my voice' I'd probably borrow Henry David Thoreau's comment about the masses of men living lives of quiet desperation.

You see what I mean? Sheez! Imagine the kind of prose I'd write.

James said...

Nothing like a post about Googling oneself and writing voices to get the comments a-rollin'.

Trev--I'm truly sorry. Please accept this gift basket. It's got bath salts, your favorite.

Another JY, that submission was pretty bad. But, hey, least they published it online. Mine were so bad they put them into a folder marked, "WARNING: REALLY REALLY BAD, SERIOUSLY."
They have one of those, you know.

Light, you go a lot of places in that comment and I appreciate that. I especially like what you said about the "fight or fuck" mentality. This is the premise of just about every reality television show ever conceived and, coincidentally, the mentality of 98% of the male population at Clemson (where I went to undergrad) on a Friday night. Believe me, a bunch meatheads with hard-ons is a frightening sight.

Harry the Hire said...

yes, frightening indeed.

**Note to Mr Thoreau**

The masses of men do not always live their desperate lives so quietly. In fact, such desperation can be very, very loud on Friday nights.

James said...


Benny said...

Sometimes I'm predominately (sp?) round-eyed, but my mother is Cherokee... this doesn't give you any right to issue ethnic slurs, Jimbot. If you're going to insult me, do it because I'm a low-down, lazy broad!

I'm always afraid to Google myself. It's the same kind of fear as the one I have when I check my bank balance or the mess under my bed. It's stuff I'm better off not knowing, yanno?

Updating later,

Benny xo

James said...

Benny, [slams fist onto desk] it's dames like you that make my blood boil. Dames like you and Paris Burgers (with sauteed mushrooms and melted Brie[!]) that I've been eating once a week from Bistro Burger.