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Why March 15th?

The LoveHKFilm Awards are being announced today, which I’m sure is so exciting that it’s got the attention of hordes of people. Here’s a look at a crowd anxiously awaiting the results:

Little Green Men
Ooooo! LoveHKFilm Awards!

This was the first year I did a nomination-and-selection-by-jury sort of thing, and I could probably write a whole post about the actual behind-the-scenes experience. I won’t though, because full disclosure on the ins and outs of running is impossible - not to mention possibly damaging. Over the years, I’ve learned that I can’t talk about all the little things that happen around this website because I may inadvertently step on someone else’s toes, or hurt the feelings of those whose personal sensitivity needs to be taken down a notch. Decipher that however you wish.

Talk to my hand
Edison wants you to stop the hate

Originally, I was a little more forthcoming about my personal life in the Life with Kozo columns. One reader even wrote in to tell me that Life with Kozo was much more “warm” than the Damn You, Kozo! replacement, and I happen to agree. Life with Kozo really was a personal column because was created as a personal website. My personal experiences and interests really helped determine a great deal of this site’s initial content. Even the most minor words on this site sometimes had a personal reason behind them.

Since those early days, traffic and readership has grown, so I’ve kind of adjusted. It’s now my primary objective to write about what people want rather than what I want to talk about. I’ve tried to put my personal obsessions aside, and instead have attempted to make sure that whatever gets printed on this site is accessible and fair to the people visiting it. So, even if I do make minor personal asides on this website, I don’t let it get in the way of why people come here in the first place: to read about Hong Kong movies.

At least, that’s what I try to do.

“Pay attention!”
“Kozo cares about the reader. Remember that!”

Also, in the past six years my daily life has changed to the point where it’s regularly identified with this website, so if I talk about personal stuff online it could possibly affect the people I interact with daily. When I had no job and ran this thing from my bedroom, there was little danger of anyone being affected, but now that I work in an office of 100+ people and regularly deal with people who read or can choose to read this website, I have to rein things in a little. As a result, there are no columns like this one, which I strangely took the time to read the other day. That’s fine, because nobody who reads this site should really care about my mid-life crises.

Oddly, I found that I really enjoyed reading that previous column. It was about me though, so I’m heavily biased. That’s the curse of the “all about me” blogsphere.

I admire myself in much the same way that this guy admires himself

Anyway, the reason for this little trip down Life with Kozo lane is because someone asked me why I chose March 15 for the day to release the LoveHKFilm Awards. Well, if someone wishes to know the general significance of March 15, they can always check Wikipedia.

My personal response to the above question was that it was a convenient day because it was 3 weeks after the announcement of the nominations. But I have to admit, when I originally looked at the calendar to choose a day for the award announcement, March 15 leapt out very, very quickly. This is why:

personal memory ahead.
Turn back if you’re
determined not to care.

As I mentioned above, even the smaller decisions on this website have a personal reason. My decision to select March 15 as the award roll-out date is one of them. A former high school friend of mine once claimed March 15 as his birthday. The last time I talked to him was over sixteen years ago, when I dropped by his apartment to complain about my crappy roommate experiences. Unfortunately, I was too young, stupid, and self-absorbed to pay attention to whether or not he was having a good day, month or year. As a result, our entire encounter that day consisted of me bitching, and him putting up with me because he was too polite to tell me to shut it. Some weeks later, he took his own life.

I was not exceptionally close to him when he left, but having known him for many years, I felt a terrible loss. Selfishly, the thing that sticks with me years later is how when I last saw him I was too busy complaining about my own circumstances to ask him a simple question: “How are you?”

There’s an obvious lesson here, and while I learned it a long time ago, it took me many years of practice to make it a part of my daily life. To talk about the specifics would probably be too self-involved and uninteresting to the vast majority of the people who read this, but for better or worse, it’s part of what makes me who I am today. So no matter what, March 15 means something to me.

The small side story to my March 15 experience is that it was also the birthday of a girl I once had feelings for. The two of us got along quite well for a few months, and then, to borrow an oft-used phrase, IT ALL WENT TO HELL. I was basically told to take an unceremonious permanent hike, and after some pushing and pulling, I took the hint.

Since I met this girl only a year after my friend died and she possessed the same birthday as him, I thought at the time that there might be some deeper meaning to our chance acquaintance. Obviously, back then I was a total moron who had read too many astrology books, and was so self-absorbed that I would fool myself into thinking something so patently absurd. My teenage years are filled with similar tales of self-aggrandizing idiocy.

March 15 also reminds me of that girl, but whereas once it meant bitterness and regret, I now feel only a mild annoyance - kind of like if someone mentions to me how damn good The Drummer is. To further pad this trip down useless memory lane, a couple of years ago the girl sent me an email with a “How are you, I’m doing great, sorry about back then” message - which happened to be a full ten years since the last time I spoke to her. I never replied to her email because not everything in our lives should be canonized as having meaning, and frankly this situation is one of them. Sometimes, things should be left where they are: in the past and forgotten.

I’m not sure why I chose to write about this subject on Damn You, Kozo! because it doesn’t really fit the blog’s usual “Damn You, [random celebrity]!” M.O. Still, the story does have some roundabout connection to besides the March 15 thing. After my friend died, I became closer to his older sister, and in 1993 she and another once-dear friend took me to a little movie called Days of Being Wild - which became the first Hong Kong film I ever saw that didn’t involve John Woo or Jackie Chan.

Also, when that girl I once liked e-mailed me ten years later, she found me through, duh, Perhaps I should have used the Internet’s famous anonymity to my advantage when creating this website, but I did not foresee that it would last past year two of its existence. Had I known things would end up this way, I would have hidden my identity, or at least found a way to pretend that Kozo is tall, handsome, and still in his twenties.

Oh well, too late to change the past. Thanks for reading this far. As a result of this post,’s Alexa ranking just dropped another 3745 spots.

To end this, here’s a fun photo of a little girl pwning Eason Chan:

Ow, that hurts!
“Hey, that hurts! Why you little…”

13 Responses to “Why March 15th?”

  1. Tengen Says:

    It was sad to read that about the girl you liked and how things went. I don’t know what to say in these kind of situations, but be happy though because I’m sure that fate and some initiative will bring you to another girl that you’ll like!

    By the way with no offence and with all dear respect. Most of your blogs and pictures are really funny, but sometimes also quite pessimistic and a bit sad when you talk about your own life experience. But when you do that, you can still make people laugh, which means that you’re still happy with what you got.

  2. V Says:

    Beautiful post! Thank you, Kozo, for writing this. This post reminds me of why I like and miss ‘Life with Kozo’ so much.

    It’s fascinating how different people pass through one’s life and leave their mark, some by staying and some by leaving.

  3. Mark Says:

    Deep with meaning, Kozo.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. ryanuy Says:

    good post my friend. it takes a lot of hard work to maintain a website like this. thanks for all the hard work dude. keep it up!

  5. MW Says:

    This is your blog, you can write about whatever you think will be worth reading. Whether it’s “Damn You [random celebrity]” or a story about yourself, it’s all worth reading. Thank you, Kozo!

  6. LaiCheukPan Says:

    You should write more affectionate entries like this. Great job Ross. On a side note I actually laughed out loud when I read the one-line reviews.

  7. willow Says:

    Love your blogs. Always so sober and well-written. Your self-deprecating humor makes reading about your personal life all the more fun. Yes, and also enjoy the captions to the photos. Damn funny!

  8. eliza bennet Says:

    Thank you for this entry Kozo, it is as usual a great read.

    Eason’s pic is great btw:)

  9. Gabriel Says:

    After reading this entry, I looked at your Life With Kozo blogs. And the question I want to ask is: So, how’s your Cantonese now?

  10. wongsaurus Says:

    You are speaking with the increasing wisdom and perspective that only comes with age. However you are too young to be having a mid-life crisis. Take it easy Kozo.

  11. Darren Says:

    awesome entry…….specially “kind of like if someone mentions to me how damn good The Drummer is.”

    LOL that was a bad movie……shouldve read ur review on it first…haha

  12. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Gabriel,

    My Cantonese is still more-or-less nonexistent, though my listening comprehension has improved tremendously since I got here. I don’t have much confidence with speaking however, so I usually stay silent.

    Hi Wongsaurus,

    Thanks for your advice - it’s appreciated as always. I’ll try to relax more. That is, once I get over the flu.

    Thanks to everyone who commented on this post. To be honest, I can’t see myself writing many like this because I have very few personal topics that are appropriate to share publicly. If I can think of any, I’ll consider it.

  13. just a fan Says:

    Once again, I would like to comment on how much I enjoy reading your site and your blog.

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