Wednesday, July 26

There have been lies propagated about me...

#EDITOR'S NOTE (7.27.06): Shit! I accidentally pasted over what had previously been published. If anyone knows of a way to get it back, do tell!

#EDITOR'S NOTE (7.27.06 about thirty mins later): Wow. I just retyped the whole thing, from memory as much as I could. I am a really big loser.

Two things that need clearing up.

Point of Clarification #1: Contrary to my premature previous post, I will not be living in the dorm for adults in Harlem. While living in Harlem undoubtedly would have given me some great stories (and street cred), when I telling my parents about it, I made the mistake of using the word "Harlem". It's a long story, but basically upon hearing this, the parentals freaked out. Actually I guess it's not that long of a story, it just seems that way due to the three hours of intermittent bitching I received from my mother, who called every time she thought of another reason why I shouldn't go ("Not safe." "Too far from school." "Who are your roommates?") All the while ignoring the real reason of their concern: THERE ARE BLACK PEOPLE THERE.

The nagging and subtle hints of racism were all too much (and the threat of refusing to co-sign for me) and I decided to continue my search, eventually finding a place in Morningside Heights, about nine blocks from school. It seems like a pretty good situation.

A quick look at my roommates, by the numbers:

75% Male
25% Female

Profession (including side projects)
50% Writer
25% Journalist
25% Teacher
25% Musician
25% Small internet business owner

Allentown, PA
Anderson, SC
Westchester, NY
Vienna, Austria

And, mom and dad, best of all:

50% Jewish
25% Palestinian
25% Yellowredneck

Sigh. The things we do to please our parents (and find adequate NY housing).

Point of Clarification #2: Contrary to the byline, this recent list published by McSweeney's is not by me, but by my doppleganger/alter-ego/namesake. Yes, the person I'm referring to is none other than, the other James Yeh. This James Yeh, if you will remember, was the author of this particularly creative comment on my blog. (About midway through the comments, signed "Another, but the same as that one other time, James Yeh".) This James Yeh is also the reason for the incessant messages and calls I've been receiving (OK, OK, the three messages and calls I've been receiving -- all from people I know) saying, "Hey James, great job! Congrats on getting published by McS!"

Sorry guys -- wrong James Yeh.

I wish my namesake all the success in the world and sincerely would love for us both to become literary superstars. Still, I hope he isn't the first to get big. How annoying would it be to have to write "By James C. Yeh" after everything I write? And how pretentious? Maybe I follow the example of poet e.e. cummings and go by something like "j.c. yeh". Maybe I won't even use periods: jc yeh. Perhaps I could eliminate the j and c altogether, adopting the singular name example of Brazilian soccer heroes like Pele and Romario. "YehYeh" does have a nice ring to it, doesn't it?


FatMan in Charlotte said...

I'm sort of the opposite of you. I went from NYC to Anderson before settling in Charlotte.

I didn't think anyone from Anderson would ever find the Net let alone be able to blog!!:)

Benny said...

Too bad you won't be living with black people, James. I'm sure you and them woulda got-along faaaaaamously. Hmmm.

And I didn't think that was your work in McSweeney's. I mean, it seemed your style, but it really didn't seem your style. So this guy really IS your doppleganger, I think.

Is he black?

Benny said...

doppel/dopple. Who's counting?

James said...

FatMan, ha. The only nets most Andersonians know are the ones they use to catch crappies and brim.

B, yeah that's basically what my other friends have said about the list. Dopple -- you got me. It was late, or I was tired.

barista brat said...

i kind of fancy the idea that you are the other james yeh and you've paid some young hipster for the use of his photos.

and i know how the "discussions" with asian parentals go. totally circular with no end in sight. all the while in the back of their heads "you would be much easier child to manage if we never left (insert home country of choice)"

barista brat said...

ok, i was already laughing at the original post, but the two editorials had me in stitches.
just wanted to let you know.

feel free to erase and re-type your posts whenever you want. they crack me up.

angel said...

haha i can see my parents saying something like that too. they're so racist ... but don't even get them started on homosexuals.

James said...

You're Asian too, Brat??

I totally want to get them started on homosexuals, Angel. What would they say if you were gay?

Harry the Hire said...

Poland is 99% Polish - and on top of that nobody could travel outside of the Soviet Union before 1989.; People here thing multi-culture is a form of terrorism and they are very, very suspicious of an Australian male stripper.

barista brat said...

half asian. but my asian parent was SO domineering, i might as well have had two of them.

and i find it extremely humorous that my prejudicial asian parent married outside the race.

James said...

Ev: I bet. I see it like this: An Australian male stripper standing before a hostile crowd. Suddenly on the stereo system Men at Work plays. The lyrics "I come from a land down under" blaring and everyone breaking down their previous hatred for one another and embracing. The song "Oh Yes It's Ladies' Night, Oh What a Night" comes on next.

Brat: That traitor!

Harry the Hire said...

that might be a possible scenario if I actually went to discos or bars that played music - but the closest I get to live music these days is a song about a gerkin in a green jacket - my daughter sings it a lot.

Trevor said...

Imagine how poor John Smith feels everytime somone else with the same name does something notable: "I wouldn't know if she was stacked, you see, I've never even been to Colonial Virginia."

"And my address isn't 'Anytown, USA'...we moved to Pittsburgh."


Benny said...

Evipper! You said "gerkin"...


Harry the Hire said...

yes, it should have been an 'ogorek', really.

Anonymous said...

Ah Allentown, as in

"This James Yeh lived just outside Allentown for a few years, and thank God his family moved."

To impress your new roommate, regale him of tales of the monster truck shows at the Trexlertown Velodrome.

(I actually don't know if they held monster truck shows there, but I'm certain there WERE monster truck shows in Allentown. What a hole.)

There is some precendence for 2 people having the same name being more or less in the same field. There is Mark Wahlberg who is an actor and formerly ran with a crew known as the Funky Bunch, and there is Mark Walberg, host of ridiculously bad tv shows. I know which one I'd rather be...

Also, my middle initial is C. So, everybody play that Twilight Zone tune.


Also, Yehyeh is my nickname from high school, bestowed upon me by my spanish teacher who found out that phonetically "yeh yeh" meant grandfather. And since I was a 73 year old high school junior, it stuck.

But I get the sense that your literary dreams are more print/book related, whereas I just want to write for my own sitcom, which I'm sure will never ever happen. So I see no problems here. Your name will appear on the cover of a book. My name will run in the credits, which will be shrunk by the fact that the network will be showing a preview of what's up next. I'm guessing this show will be about single people living unrealistic and uninteresting lives.

Fucking network...

But if you want to clear this up, have your people call my people. But I request the first order of business would be to determine who's crew is the funkier bunch. I propose a Parliament Tribute Battle of the Bands. I can't wait to rock the Bootsy Collins sunglasses.

That other James Yeh

angel said...

my dad said you were fat today.

if i told them i was gay, they'd most likely disown me.

James said...

Which fat are you talking about? Pudgy fat or spelled with a "p" phat? If it's the former, he sounds like my dad: "Jame! When I used to be your age, I weighed 125 pounds!"

Which is funny, because if anyone is fat, it's either your dad or my dad. I'm totally skinnier than those guys.

About you telling your parents that you were gay, mine would probably do something simliar. Better keep it in the closet a little longer.


jenneral said...

I have the entire test of your previous entry in my RSS feed. Here you go:

Two quick things to clear up.

1. Contrary to my premature previous post, I will not be living in a dorm for adults in Harlem, although I think it would have made for some great stories (and street cred -- it's a long story -- I made the mistake of using the word "Harlem" when talking to my parents about the place. Actually it's not that long of a story. It just feels that way because the conversation with the parentals was about three hours long, mostly consisting of me getting bitched at and my parents coming up with reasons why it wouldn't be a good idea to live there -- all of course, ignoring the real reason, which is that there'd be BLACK PEOPLE THERE. Whew -- long parenthesis!) Anyways, I will instead be living in Morningside Heights about ten blocks from campus. The roommate makeup is as follows:

50% Jewish
25% Palenstinian
25% Yellowredneck

75% Male
25% Female

Profession (including side projects):
50% Writer
25% Journalist
25% Teacher
25% Small internet business owner
25% Musician

Allenstown, PA; Anderson, SC; Westchester, NY; Vienna, Austria.

2. Contrary to the byline, I did not write this recent list published in McSweeney's. It was actually done by my alter-ego/doppelganger/namesake. This James Yeh was, if you remember, the author of this creative comment on my blog. (It's about halfway down, signed "The Other James Yeh".) And now in addition to this amusing bit of internet randomness, this Other James Yeh is also the reason random people (OK, just three people, all of whom I know) have been messaging or calling me saying, "Hey James, saw ya in McS! Congrats!"

Nope, sorry -- same name, wrong guy.

It would be great if we were to both become literary superstars, but seriously -- how annoying would it be if he wore the first to make it big and thus secure the name James Yeh (like he has done with websites ( and emails (, and I had to sign everything "James C. Yeh"? And how pretentious? Maybe I'll just go by "J.C. Yeh" from now on. Or maybe I'll follow the steps of sporting greats like Pele or Romario and just go by the singular first name. "YehYeh" does have a nice ring, doesn't it?

James said...

You're amazing, Jenn. Too bad I'm such a loser I re-wrote the whole thing already. Heh.