James T. Hsiao

If you're reading this page, you either know me or you have too much time on your hands. But as long as you're here, allow me a moment to inflate my ego.

I was born Hsiao Tze-Ming around 1:00 AM on the nineteenth of December, 1973. That's one year after Alyssa Milano was born, which is probably the closest I'll ever get to the glitz of Hollywood*.

The name Tze-Ming means "brightest of the people," where Tze means "bright" or "bright one" and Ming means "people." Of course, Tze can also mean "swamp," so you could also interpret my name as "swamp of the people" or "swamp people." Go figure.

Tze-Ming has a variety of anglicizations, including Zemin, like the leader in China. So not only do I share a birthday with a sensual, deeply attractive actress, but I share my name with a grizzled, old Communist ruler. The mind reels.

Hsiao means either 1. absolutely nothing or 2. lonely. Oh, the irony.

[ Take my hand . . . ]

I have an Anglicized name, as well. James. When my parents moved from Taipei, Taiwan to Miami, Florida (pit of the universe), I started to go by Jimmy. They figured Tze-Ming (pronounced Zuh-Meeng) sounded enough like Jih-Mee to be a match. Again, go figure.

The name James means "friend." And I'll tell you, if names have power, like those who partake of magick advocate, never name your son James. Yes, yes, I know all about that fictional Bond guy, the Darth Vader-CNN fellow with the kickass voice, and the Godfather of Soul—but if you're going to curse someone with the name that's interpreted as "friend," you'll be setting him up to hear "Let's just be friends" or "I don't want to ruin the friendship" for the rest of his life. No. I'm not bitter.

And always serving as the consummate friend doesn't help when your former girlfriend decides that one of the guys you hang out with looks like someone to consider. Trust me. It sucks. Again.

So if you're male, and you like this little snippet of my personality, then make sure you either have some form of significant other or live a drastic number of miles (or kilometers**) away from me before introducing yourself to me. For those of you that qualify, I'll make sure the vomit doesn't miss the toilet and even help you clean up before the better half gets home.

Otherwise, get the bleeding hell out of my damn life before I meet someone new. No, really. I'm not bitter.

. . . you build up all these defenses, you build up this whole armor for years, so nothing can hurt you. Then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life, you give them a piece of you. They don't ask for it. They do something dumb like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore . . .

Neil Gaiman, Sandman

So, from my birthday, I'm a Sagittarius, which means the symbol of the sign I was born under is decidedly phallic (then again, generally anything that's more long than wide can be construed as phallic). I was born in the year of the Ox, which means something to the people of my ethnicity-what that is, beyond that I was born in 1973, escapes me.

Yes, I write poetry, which means I have entirely too much time on my hands to think. I usually write poetry because some girl told me that she just wants to be friends or would like to start seeing other people (specifically, a so-called friend), however, so damn straight I have too much time on my hands to think. No, I'm serious. I'm not bitter***.


* I'm ignoring the time that a certain actress's mother wrote email to our system staff threatening legal action if we didn't remove naked pictures of the delectable Ms. Milano from our webserver. My boss got to talk to Alyssa's mom—which is about the closest he got to Hollywood glitz. I, on the other hand, got a large handful of squat. But hoo-boy, I'll tell you, many web browsers were up and running within seconds of receiving that mail.

** If you're without a better half, moving to somewhere that calculates distances in kilometers is preferable.

*** Oh, alright, fine. I am bitter. So there.