Category Archives: Misc

  • There is a God

    I met up with my former work crew (from the university) earlier this week. We were celebrating the next one to escape, a writer on the team who’s starting a new gig in San Jose. It was good to see everyone: I find it curious though how despite all the changes and turmoil, so many things still remain the same. Like that drama character T. She cracks me up. She got a swanky new car and then near the end of our lunch, she ran out of the restaurant all frantic, claiming that someone had broken into her car. Yes, her car that was parked right up along the sidewalk, where there’s tons of foot and car traffic in broad daylight. Of course, the car was fine. Just the shade from a tree made the window appear open/broken. And she received some joke/prank text from her hubby at the same time. Or something. She had also made a few mentions about my dog sitting services. She said she looked at my profile but saw that I only took old dogs (her dog is 1.5 y/o), plus she can’t afford me. Sure. Whatever. Yesterday, she texted saying she had a question about dog sitting. Um, how about just text the actual question??? Jesus people. It’s like voicemail 101. Don’t just say, call me back. Tell me what you’re calling about. Specifics!! I was out biking/having dinner with a friend, so when I replied three hours later, no reply. Wishy to the washy, for reals.

    The biggest news though out of my old workplace is that the tyrannical AVP (who applied for the permanent job even though she repeatedly said she had zero interest) DIDN’T get the gig. Holy. fucking. shit. There is a God!!! T told me she had reported the AVP for some uncool interactions. I like to think that T’s report, coupled with my scathing exit interview doc, played some minor role in making the decision makers think twice. Goddamn, that woman was a royal beotch. SMH. For someone who was always pushing training and learning and improvement, it’s amazing she never took social skills 101. Seriously. She was the oddest, most inept anti-soc ever. And I have encountered my fair share of them!!

    Then again, given all the other bullshit that’s happening in the world, her asshole behavior is quite minor. And yes, I’ve definitely asked myself why I haven’t lost my shit with the more serious daily injustices we are witnessing day in and day out… Honestly, I don’t even know how to respond. When I think of people who have lost their lives to senseless violence, it makes me so sick. But I feel speechless and paralyzed. What is there to say? How does change happen from here? These are truths that perhaps many have known since forever, and now to see them exposed, to see the systemic racism, it’s freaking scary. And Donald Trump. Ugh. As “unlikable” as people say Hillary Clinton is, how can anyone be as unlikable as that con-man ass monkey?!?!? It’s fine to be anti-establishment, but shit people. Open your eyes. Don’t let your purported patriotism bring a Hitler to power. It’s crazy how he is singlehandedly desensitizing people to inflammatory, hateful, fear-mongering rhetoric. Part of me that is glad my parents are moving back to Taiwan. This shit is getting bad really fast.

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  • Mind Racing

    I’ve been thinking about so many different things lately… the most common theme being that it is fucking hard to be a woman! A few weeks ago, I watched some videos from the VMAs. There was all this hype about Britney Spears’ performance so you know I HAD to watch that. I mean, first, hats off to anyone who retains that level of longevity in show business. Pop culture is a fucking fickle beast, so staying relevant takes a huge amount of discipline and hard work. Even if I’ve only liked a few of her songs here and there (same with Madonna), I still gotta give props for her insane dance moves. I just think about how I’ve taken two low-level Groupon dance classes, and shit, I can’t even imagine the amount of dedication, coordination, and physical exhaustion her fitness requires. So yeah, obviously, she’s an amazing performer. That said, I’m still a frickin’ prude-ass and shit, her show made me uncomfortable as fuck. All the sexy outfits and gyrating movements… I mean, it should come as no surprise that shit made me cringe. And then I stumbled on some other YouTube videos containing commentary lambasting Britney for being a “whore,” for glamorizing strippers or whatever. And it got me thinking again about how you just can’t win! Honestly, who the fuck knows where that exact line is… the one that separates empowering/confident/sexy from trashy/degrading? On one hand, she’s an entertainer and people seem to clamor for her style and delivery of entertainment. She’s just “knowing her audience.” On the other hand, is she adulterating young, impressionable minds? What message, if any, is she sending? I have friends who give me crap, bc I watch the Kardashians. I don’t agree with every damn thing they do, but my friends give me shit bc they insist that no legit feminist can support Kim, esp given her penchant for naked selfies, her immodest overexposure (literally and figuratively), and most importantly, given her ascent to fame due to a sex tape. Can feminists support Britney and Beyonce? They prance around in some pretty risque outfits and are also quite active (overexposed/self indulgent) on social media. Are they acceptable bc their sex tapes were kept private and also bc they have “real” talent, whereas Kim’s media savvy and business acumen don’t count for crap? Ultimately, here’s the thing: we are all hypocrites in this life; we all do things and act in ways that are incongruous. Why? Bc we’re not fucking robots!

    For example, here’s an easy disconnect: I’m feminist, and I wear makeup. Yes, I wear makeup partly bc I don’t like my natural look, partly bc I don’t feel “beautiful” by society’s standards, but also bc I derive enjoyment from experimenting and playing with makeup. I’m feminist and instead of being completely independent and self-sufficient, I’m currently a homemaker who has dinner ready for Bubbey when he gets home. I’m a feminist, and I do nearly all of the housework, regardless of whether or not I’m working outside the house. I’m feminist, and I spend substantial hours and dollars studying images of women (er, objectifying women), most of which are heavily Photoshopped and/or where the women are made to look totally different from how they naturally appear. I invest in superficial things like makeup, hair color, self-tanner, clothing, shoes, accessories… When I watch award shows on tv, if I’m honest, I’m more interested in the fashion and the makeup than in the women’s professional craft/work. I do all these things and yet, I’m a feminist bc I support the policy/advocacy of social, economic, and political equality for women. Are we there yet? Clearly, not. And I’m sure me falling into these existing gender roles and cultural constructs (if even by choice) doesn’t exactly move the needle at exponential speed, but you know what? I’m not perfect. I do things that conflict all the time, and that’s just how the cookie crumbles. I don’t live in a utopia. I still engage in society and sometimes play by the existing rules and yield to the current pressures.

    I don’t know the exact history of the Kdash sex tape– was it leaked deliberately as some stunt masterminded by the mother, or was its reveal accidental? I don’t know, but that sex tape does NOT get to define her forever. She’s not peddling that tape around 10 years later, telling people, “Hey look at me, watch me in this video!” Yes, she takes nude selfies but that’s not ALL she does. Could she be less self-absorbed? Sure. So could all of us. For me, I watch the Kardashians, bc I am intrigued by their family dynamics. I’m impressed by how the entire family has parlayed negative publicity into so many different business ventures: makeup lines, clothing lines, shoe lines, the show, a book, product endorsements, design/artsy portfolios, etc. Yes, I absolutely think Kylie is growing up way too fast for a teen, but I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by how she and Kendall have handled the Bruce-Caitlyn transition. Would I be so supportive if my father made those changes and choices? Hellz no! Would I be able to see the bigger picture of his happiness and place that above the public circus and humiliation? These girls are not even 20 y/o! That’s some serious shit to grapple with. If you really strip away the glitz and glam, in the end, they battle similar issues that I battle: cultivating friendships/relationships/marriages, hustling for work (let’s just admit, they understand PR and media), and making choices/decisions despite the criticism/judgement within and outside their circles. I can’t relate to Kim’s desire to have kids to the point of undergoing IVF, but that’s a very real struggle I have witnessed among my friends and colleagues. Then there’s the long-term unconventional relationship between Kourtney and Scott. Yes, both are annoying as fuck but in any relationship, esp a long one, when do you know to keep plugging and when do you throw in the towel? There’s also the topic of mother-daughter relationships. I’ve always found the “mom as your BFF” concept to be odd but it works for some people. I’m curious to know if Kris really is the mastermind behind everything, or is she just the ESTJer getting shit done? Finally, with Lamar and Rob, how do you love people who are self-destructive or addicts? Maybe that’s the thing about me and entertainment. I always see the us in them. No matter how different our lives and settings are, I see similar struggles and emotions. Humans are fucking complicated man, and you can’t just put people into neat little boxes.

    And that’s the other thing I’ve been thinking about: the whole media shaming thing. Obviously, the Cincinnati zoo incident was disturbing as fuck. And I will admit, my very first gut reaction was, “Come on, people. Keep an eye on your fucking kids!!” And that’s probably due to my own bias against people with children. But at the end of the day, no one wanted this to happen. I mean, hell, life is unexpected and unpredictable. Who would have expected that my sis-in-law and her beau would go to a wedding last summer and only she would return? In retrospect, it’s easy to say he shouldn’t have drunk so much or he shouldn’t have been a smoker or he shouldn’t have jay walked, blah, blah, blah. Well, shit happened and you have to go from there. The 4 y/o somehow made his way into the pen and rather than getting upset that it even happened, the zoo and its team had to make decisions about the immediate problem. Moving forward, yes, let’s consider how zoos and visitors can prevent this from happening again, but honestly there’s no point in shaming the parents (and of course, the mother is being shamed MORE than the father). Shit happens and life is appalling every. fucking. day.

    Finally, I want to end on a few things I’ve recently watched on tv. The OJ Simpson series and Confirmation, about the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas debacle. And now, the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp situation. It’s not easy to be a woman who steps forward. I remember that I was only a child during the Justice Thomas confirmation hearings. I didn’t follow the news closely, but somehow as a child, I had determined that she was lying. I didn’t like how she described such graphic disgusting exchanges in a formal setting and why had she come forward so late? Looking back, I clearly had a bias, one that dismissed women and supported men. Where did I pick that up? As an adult, it saddens me that I thought that way of such an accomplished and brave woman: rather than be infuriated by Mr. Thomas and his gall in talking to a colleague with such inappropriate and sexual details, I somehow blamed her for his harassing behavior. And the whole OJ thing? We see this theme over and over again where famous men get some kind of pass for criminal behavior just bc they contribute something else that we admire, enjoy, or value. Roman Polanski. Woody Allen. Ray Rice. Bill Cosby. Jerry Sandusky. Michael Jackson. Forgiveness for men is so easy. It’s like we can’t possibly fathom that men are complex and deceptive. They’re just good ‘ol boys, just bros. Johnny Depp’s daughter and ex came forward insisting he was a gentle soul. He never abused them. Well, OJ never beat the shit out of anyone other than Nicole. Whatever. Just another day where women get dismissed, discredited, and/or vilified with an incommensurate level of anger and outrage.

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  • Dapper Dabbler

    So I’ve been continuing on my Pinterest challenge. Over the holiday weekend, I attempted this concoction. I was pretty happy with it. The Chambray shirt, man. That’s a key item. I got mine for like $7 at Ross, and I’ve been looking to upgrade, but I haven’t yet found the right fit and cut. For now, this cheapie will have to do. Meanwhile, I’m not like walking around town picking up a shit ton of compliments a la my friend G either, but I feel good strutting my stuff– mostly re-styled versions of items I already own. Today, my first Schoola shipment arrived. I’m sad to say that one top was mint instead of white (the color didn’t come across accurately online), and another top looked pretty unique/funky (asymmetrical) online, but it just didn’t work. They will go back in my bag of donated items. Not a huge bummer, considering everything is like $7 each but you know me: I’m always aiming for that perfect score.

    This afternoon I am trying a navy, flowy midi skirt from my shipment. Man, midi skirts are such a bizarre length to work with, esp since my go-to skirt length is mini to above the knee. I know, years ago Stacy and Clinton insisted “No miniskirts after 35,” and for a while, I followed that rule, but now that I’m 40, fuck it: I do whatever the hell I want. Defiance with a capital D, mother fuckers! So yeah, today I’m being very experimental and pairing this midi with a black/white gingham button down shirt and strappy brown wedges. It’s an odd mix of country and 1950s. Not my usual silhouette. Then again, who cares. It’s almost 2pm and I’m pretty sure no one has seen me, except for Marty and Ramona. That said, this afternoon, I will be hitting up my hair salon. You see, last night, J tried his best to refresh my side shave using his trimmer tool. To give full context, 1) he admitted he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and 2) the tool is not exactly a buzzer like they use at the barber shop. I mean, these days I’m a badass risk taker, so even with those caveats, I agreed to give it a try. Why not, right? So um now the side shave is uneven as fuck. Short hairs by my ear and longer hairs near the split. Pretty much a hack job. What can I do but laugh. Thankfully, no one sees the Hermit day to day. Whatever, I’ll have my stylist Mindy take that shit down to the 2 blade and then trim up the longer ends of my mullet. That part is getting kinda long and I’m not feeling the layers, so we’ll see what she can do.

    In other news, SmileClub Direct still has my molds. I’m waiting on the sample trays (for complimentary teeth whitening) and details on the full-blown treatment plan. Then again, if I get a job sooner than later, maybe I should just go with the legit dentists using a decent dental insurance. I dunno though. I still kinda want to try this remote dentistry option… I know, I’ll probably end up being one of those dumbasses who goes to get liposuction and then dies bc the doctor was a total quack using a goddamn Dyson. Fuck man, 40 is making me lose my mind!

    J had something come up tonight with his former colleagues. We did a lot of cooking over the weekend, so I’m ordering Munchery for me, another new app/service I recently tried. The meals are somewhat hit or miss, but the food is definitely on the healthier side, and the app ordering and delivery make things pretty damn easy. Plus, you know I use coupon codes every. damn. time. I will say, the Caesar salad is my fave. I know, you’d think a Caesar is pretty basic and easy and just tastes the same everywhere, but I’m telling you: there are differences. And I def crave Munchery’s. If you are curious and want to try for yourself, here’s my referral link.

    Oh, I almost forgot: J and I hit up an RV showroom in Gilroy this weekend. As you know, Bubbey went on that two-week cross-country road trip last summer with his brother-in-law. I think that trip kinda opened a can of worms, bc ever since, Bubs has been talking about getting a tricked out large shuttle/small RV so we can go national park hopping. Admittedly, I have my own romantic thoughts of living on a ranch and/or buying some land and building a container/prefab home. I’m very much intrigued by the tiny home/small living concept. That said, I feel like renting out our house and living out of an RV for an entire year is a completely different beast. For starters, neither one of us is mechanical or handy. These things require a lot of maintenance and people def break down while driving these rigs. I don’t exactly like the thought of being broken down on the side of the road (possibly a less traveled one) waiting for help. We’re not exactly survivalists who would know how to last in high heat or in the wilderness or whatever. Second, while some units are extremely luxurious, the environmental engineering side of me is pretty skeptical about the plumbing and waste management. I mean, you’re essentially lugging all your sewage around with you until you can hit a pitstop and swap it out. I dunno. It makes me think of cruise ships too. I swear some fraction of that sewage is just getting dumped straight into the oceans. Third, I’m concerned about personal safety. I mean, where are we parking this thing and who else is around? I know the Houseboat isn’t exactly top security either, but I dunno, somehow it still feels safer and more secure than a vehicle in some random lot or campground. Finally, being on the road for a year is a long time. I feel like we don’t even know how to vacation for longer than 10 days. But the thing about relationships is this: you have to at least try with encouraging and facilitating your partner’s dreams. That’s just what you do bc you want that person to be happy and you also want to continue growing together. So I’m not saying no. I’m saying I have my reservations, but I’m open to further research. The next step? He’s going to look into a rental for sometime this summer, and we’ll see how that goes. Ok, gotta run now. Time to fix my hacked hair!

    RV1RV2 RV3

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  • Pinterest Poseur

    I’m instituting a (yet another) new challenge. Since I’m not heading into an office place every day, I find that it’s easy to spend my hours looking schlumpy in gym clothes. And shit man, frumpiness is like a gateway drug. Once you start letting that shit slide, you quickly lose all care for style. Been there, done that.

    To combat the downward spiral towards such carelessness, I’m going to try re-creating an outfit I see on Pinterest at least three times a week. Over the weekend, I hit up Savanna Jazz club with some friends, and I tried a multi-button up shirt layering look. That’s the thing about Pinterest. I usually have the basics down, like what fit and cuts suit my body type, but it’s the added complexities (layering, pattern mixing, accessorizing) that I want to step up. I got it partially there, and then I consulted my friend and style maven G via FaceTime. Dang, that FaceTime ain’t just for lovers, folks. Thankfully, G got me another step up. The result? Red gingham shirt under a chambray shirt under my red pleather jacket. Dark skinnies on the bottom. Gold hoop earrings plus gold bangles. Red peep toe wedges. Sadly, no final photo. But this was the inspiration.

    Today, I’m attempting the bright skinnies + striped shirt combo. Again, I kinda get stumped on the jewelry and even though I have lots of bracelets, the friction and jingling on my wrists bothers me. Trying to suck up the discomfort of the jewelry and my too tight green skinny jeans (blame it on the JCC elliptical, man!) in the name of fashion. The sacrifices!

    As for makeup, I’ve been doing the CoverGirl Aquasmoothers foundation for a couple weeks now after first moisturizing the crap out of my face. The application/finish does seem to look and last better. As for the brows, they are a daily mixed bag. Sometimes it seems the arch is too extreme; other times, the thickness feels wonky. I dunno. Maybe it’ll get better with practice. The stencils used to work like magic, but something changed and now I’m freestyling that shit.

    Also, since not working makes me “play my game” super hard, I’m looking to shop more at secondhand places. It’s also the more eco-friendly thing to do. So I recently discovered Schoola, which supports the Malala Fund. I’m going to start donating my clothes to it, and I recently ordered four pieces for like $32. We’ll see how they work out.

    Ok well, time to hit the books again.

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  • Recent Epiphanies

    I admit: every time I see J’s sister S, I admire so many of her qualities. She makes me wish I were mentally tougher, more extroverted, more professionally accomplished, more high powered, more fashionable and stylish. I aspire to be better, but at the same time, I realize that I still need to work within my own constraints. Like I can try to be more outgoing and I can work on dressing better, etc., but it’s highly unlikely I’ll start shopping at Hermes or Prada or whatever. Sometimes I get frustrated when I feel like Bubs is pressuring me to move more in the direction of his sisters. It’s just too far beyond the boundaries of who I am… It would be like me expecting them to get excited about recycling/reuse/waste reduction or to consider living in a tiny home/shipping container home and aim for the 100 Items Challenge… Anyway, I’ve just been thinking a lot lately about judgement, acceptance, and shame. In the past, I’ve let other people’s success make me feel happy for them but also simultaneously feel worthless about myself. Hearing about S’s high stakes/high rewards career, hitting big corporate numbers, earning hefty bonuses, and flying on corporate jets… I very quickly feel lame: working/leaving my low-wage jobs and now studying real estate. I think of all that my parents invested in me to be successful and I swear I fight this feeling of disappointment and failure every fucking day. Still, I’m trying to stay focused on swimming in my own lane and keeping my head above water. I have become more aware now of shame and how it impedes me.

    In a similar vein, I remember how before, even for simple interactions, if I was curious or wanted to know more about a product or process, I would just keep quiet, for fear of appearing dumb or coming across like I was bothering or inconveniencing others. But recently, I’ve realized there’s a way to ask about something with interest and curiosity and without coming across like an entitled ass. So now I’m trying this new thing where if I have unsettled thoughts or unanswered questions, I’m trying to verbalize my concerns rather than internalize them. Like with Martin and the new dog sitter: I hemmed and hawed about asking her for a reference with whom I could speak on the phone. The sitter already had multiple written/posted reviews, but after reading about how reviews for some services like AirBnb can’t really be trusted I really wanted to hear a client’s voice and just listen for other hesitations that wouldn’t necessarily come across in a written review. Also, she had received one scathing negative review. Normally, I wouldn’t have brought it up bc maybe it was too confrontational. But I did. The sitter was super fine and accommodating with both my requests, and honestly, I felt even better about her after seeing how she handled them. Long story short: I recently vowed not to let shame or fear of embarrassment/judgement keep me from asking questions and from learning more. The next time a contractor comes to the house to talk HVAC, no holds barred. Another shift for me now that I’m older and wiser at 40 (close enough anyway). :)

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  • Grow Baby, Grow!

    Speaking of being manic, Operation Front Yard is finally done. S/O to my buddy J whose watercolor painting kicked started this whole thing… Now, it’s time to sit back and watch her grow! Bring on the April showers.


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  • For the Love of Research

    OMFG, I have been in killer research mode. I mean, I know I’m kinda perpetually in research mode bc I’m curious about so many freaking things but lately, the intensity has seriously been elevated. First things first: my vanity. Yeah, disappointed by the ortho visit, I looked into the cosmetic densistry/veneers/bonding route. Turns out the veneers dentist I found is on vacation until next week. So while I wait, I returned to the face research. I was going back and forth via email with one skin clinic doctor, but getting info (esp on basics, like cost of the consult and cost of typical treatment) was like pulling teeth. I know a lot of skin lasering shit is elective and not covered by insurance, but I still need to know how much shit costs before going down the path. Like, who says there is a consult fee and then doesn’t tell you what it is?

    Late last night, as Marty was having another restless bout (maybe bc he didn’t get an evening walk… also the Tranquility tincture wasn’t working), just for kicks I thought I’d revisit my old school forums over at– you know, read their comments about treatments for scarring. Back in the day when my face was a monstrous mess, I combed every square inch of that website. Returning and seeing all the pictures made me feel so sad, bc my god, acne can be so damn traumatizing. To my surprise, there was an entire thread on laser resurfacing… There are different kinds but most people said it made the scarring WORSE, and shit, story after story, people blew thousands and said the lasering like went way beyond just smoothing their surface but changed their face to the point of them not even recognizing their own face in the mirror. WTF??? Like Jennifer Grey shit? Oh fuck no. As I read through the posts, I learned that my scars are actually called ice pick scars, not nearly as bad as boxcar scars which is some really fucked up shit. Goddamn acne, man. It was one of the most damaging experiences of my life… I tear up just thinking about how debilitating it was and I’m so grateful things got better. Who knew that after trying every possible prescription cream and oral antibiotic plus Accutane (that shit did work although for a short time), the ultimate answer would be icing, benzoyl peroxide, and mandelic acid serum (and maybe California air?). But I digress… Last night, a bunch of people suggested subcision and micro needling over laser. What the hell are those? More research. So in both cases, the idea is to use a needle to poke around and under the skin where there is scarring. That “breaks up” the scar tissue and triggers the body to regenerate and create more collagen to repair the area, thereby replenishing it with new skin (and smoother surface).

    So this morning, I booked an appointment with M’s doctor for mid April, but I also started looking into this dermarolling/micro needling concept. Multiple before/after pics and YouTube videos later, I’m sold. I ordered a kit from Banish in Los Angeles, and I’ll give it a go. If anything, it’s not just for acne scarring but also for anti-aging and overall skin improvement, like people have also used it for stretch marks and skin tightening too. I’m not gonna lie: the bloody videos are kinda scary and some people say it fucking hurts (You’re essentially rolling a meat tenderizer over your face), but what can I say: I’m a vain beotch, and I want better skin. Stay tuned.

    In other news, as I’ve been booking lodging and shit for Europe, I was getting a little nervous about my dad’s MRI results, supposedly coming tomorrow. I looked into trip cancellation insurance and holy crap, our United Air Explorer card has trip insurance built-in, which means in the event of sickness or illness of you or your family member, the insurance covers up to $10k for prepaid travel bookings. I mean, if shit were bad, we would certainly do what we gotta do, but it’s nice just having that piece of mind. I swear, it’s a whole other job knowing about those damn credit card benefits.

    I remember a few years ago, I worked with this guy who had a very elaborate system, like if he got gas, he used Card A; if groceries, Card B; if travel, Card C; etc… It was serious, and while I was definitely impressed, I guess there is a point of OVER-optimizing, as Bubs likes to remind me (e.g my dad). So yeah, J and I aren’t super duper on the ball, but man, I do admire the hustle, and I get super excited whenever I uncover little secrets here and there… Speaking of which, have you heard of the Southwest Companion Pass? Holy crap, I just learned of this last week. Yup, I’ve already applied for two cards in an attempt to try and get it. What can I say, a woman’s gotta have goals. Shrug.

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  • Kudos to Kdash

    Being the prude that I am, I wasn’t particularly thrilled this week when Kim Kardashian posted a nude selfie (with strategic blacked out areas). In fact, when I saw it appear in my pop culture social media feeds, I kinda rolled my eyes thinking “self-absorbed” and you know, generally “overexposed as usual.” Then the Bette Midler/KK twitter storm happened, and I gotta say: Kdash has a point. Why am I being so critical/judgey about a grown woman’s choice to do what she wants? Admittedly, in my younger years, I was all about being judgmental. Judgement was practically my middle name: why is she being so trashy; why is she celebrating sex rather than intelligence? Why is she objectifying herself? As I got older though, I started to come around. Perhaps I started to get a taste of my own judgey medicine, enduring the judgement of my parents, my relatives, and even my friends, regarding anything from my choices on profession, family, politics, philanthropy, attire and/or spending habits…

    It’s one thing to be judged when you’re young and foolish (and obnoxiously self-righteous– been there, done that!), but it’s an entirely different thing to be judged as an adult. Sure, my parents didn’t hide their displeasure even as I entered my mid 30s: the child-free thing, the non-career job hopping thing, the living abroad, the casual attire (jeans!?!)… I suppose some part of me just came to expect their constant criticism, although by now after all the recent shit I’ve had to handle for them, they are finally letting up. I can’t necessarily say the same is true for my friends. Sure, I def went through a phase of you know, “hit me with the truth.” I don’t shy away from radical honesty, so at times, I ASKED for brutal honesty. I actively solicited the feedback. But issues arise when we disagree on our choices, and people start telling me what I ought to be doing or how I should be behaving AFTER I’ve already expressed that I’ve decided for myself. That’s when shit starts to get messy and irritating. And so for Kdash, I see her point. What she posts to her feed is her choice. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to follow it. On a related note: if Bette Midler were indeed friends with Kdash, does that mean Bette has to agree with Kdash on everything? I don’t think so, but apparently, Kdash expects complete agreement (maybe she interprets that as loyalty) from her friends. I think that part is kinda immature.

    But let’s take a real example: politics and/or philanthropy. My top causes are the environment, women’s health, and medical/humanitarian services. Those are my core issues. I know the Bay Area is in the middle of a housing crisis. I know there is low supply, high demand, and sky high rent/purchase prices. Cost of living is through the roof. Clearly, this area is NOT affordable. But when I’m asked why I’m not attending town hall meetings or supporting rent control policy and legislation or whatever, it should be enough when I say that it’s not an issue that I want to spend my time/energy/resources on. My choice on what I prioritize shouldn’t be questioned, and I shouldn’t be harassed.

    The bottom line is this: my parents are immigrants, so there’s no notion that you HAVE to live in any given place. I have lived in five different states and in two different countries. I know there is abject poverty in the US, but shit, there is a very different prevalence and intensity of poverty that I have seen in other parts of the world. I have never felt that any given city/place is my “rightful” home. In other words, I’m not entitled to live anywhere just because I grew up there or bc my family lives there or whatever. In Shanghai, people go where the jobs are. Housing is also crazy expensive, so people live in zero space with multiple roommates, or they live far away in the suburbs or somewhere else entirely. Sure, the Bay Area is well beyond affordable even for educated, yuppie professionals. If yups get priced out of the area, they should move. Isn’t this a natural progression for cities? They get expensive and people move away (but there are always people who can still afford to live there). I have seen this play out over and over again: Taipei, Shanghai, Tokyo. Life doesn’t guarantee anyone a home anywhere. And then with all the recent news attacking tech workers bc they are earning higher income. Why are tech workers obligated to support any given cause? I mean, sure, in general, civic participation is a good thing, but should it be mandatory? Should it be an expectation? And if tech workers, as high wage earners, have a responsibility to the community, what of the average American who is living in ridiculous extravagance compared to people in developing countries. And what about parents? Do they have an even greater responsibility or obligation to be involved in the process? After all, they have kids who are the future. Why aren’t they at all these meetings? Most parents I know don’t even keep up with the news, and shouldn’t they bc they actually are invested in the future? Who is to say?

    You see, I’ve been on both sides of the judgement spectrum. How many times do people consider me selfish or insular for not having kids. It’s as if, I just want to live my own life and not care about other people or the community or the future. Partly true, but when Jennifer Aniston was harassed in yet another interview about being child-free, she countered, “just bc I don’t have kids doesn’t mean I don’t care/nurture people or friends or animals. There are many ways to demonstrate care…” Yeah people. Back the fuck up. Don’t act like you’re God’s greatest gift just bc you are raising a kid. I’ve always argued to my parents that kids aren’t a purely selfless act: at least for the Chinese people I know, kids are an investment in the parents’ own future– it’s their way of ensuring someone is around to take care of them when they’re old. Anyway, long story short, Kdash just really got me thinking about choices and judgement. I guess I’m saying it’s hard to have an opinion and yet refrain from being judgey. Still, I try my best to catch myself and to stay vigilant.

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  • Raunch Overload

    So there’s been a common theme with me lately… everywhere I turn, I’m faced with major raunch. Is this how the world has always worked and I’m only seeing it now, or maybe it really is just me? First, dance class continues to be ridiculous. Tonight was my very last class, and I’m kind of relieved to be honest. Surprisingly, I kept up with the routine today, but man, teach is just too much for me. For reals. The final step was basically this move where my weight is on the right foot and the left knee is bent with the left foot pointed on the ground and then there are five hip thrusts with the feet staying in place. I had some trouble getting this movement down (I basically just kept bending my right knee), so I asked him to go over it again. Big. mistake. Holy fuck. He lifts that left leg up as if it’s on an imaginary chair and then again, he says, “You know, imagine you and hubby are going at it and uh, uh, uh, yeah, get in there deep!” WHAAAATTTT??? OMG. I was so embarrassed. I don’t even know how to respond other than to make a nervous laugh, shake my head, and cover my eyes. Holy crap. Are gay dudes really this sex obsessed???

    Then yesterday, K and I went to a relationship play. It’s been forever since I got my theater on, so I was really stoked about catching this production at a small black box theater in San Jose. The play was Closer, based on that movie from a few years back starring Jude Law, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman, and Julia Roberts. In retrospect, it was a fucked up movie with a lot of mind games and dysfunction. Somehow I just got caught up with all the good reviews and I dunno, I also forgot that the Clive Owen character was a sex/porn addict. Needless to say, we’re in this small theater with like 20 other people (mostly bluehairs– typical), and suddenly a scene begins showing an online chat dialog on the projection screen. It’s a chat convo for a sex forum. OMFG. The language. The raunch!! The c word, the p word, everything crass and more! And then there’s this old couple in the row in front of ours where the woman can’t read the text on the screen, so her hubby starts reading her the lines. Holy. shit. I about died. The thing is, I’ve found so many damn winners through Goldstar, but every single time K and I do a Goldstar activity, it’s a fucking dud. Argh, what a fail!

    Meanwhile on the homefront, Bubs is in NYC this week for work, which means I have full control of the tv. Holy crap, there is a ton of shit on the airwaves. Of course, I enjoyed KUWTK. I don’t watch the Kardashians consistently, but when I do, I enjoy it. I know they have a lot of haters, but I dunno: there’s something curious/intriguing about their tight family and about all their moguling. I mean, they have their brand EVERYWHERE. They can’t be total bimbos to amplify that shit all over the damn place. Plus, it’s one show that doesn’t get me all stressed out. 

    In addition to the Kdashes, I recently discovered there is a Real Housewives of Potomac. I only watched the Atlanta one ocassionally a few years back ,but I was curious about this one since well, I’m from Maryland. Oddly enough, I learned yesterday that the cast is predominantly black, which is def not how I picture the demographic of Potomac, where Bub’s oldest sister lives…

    Tonight, I came home and the tv was already tuned to the Bachelor. I have to say, I have not watched a single episode of this show, bc the premise just makes me so fucking angry. Apparently, in tonight’s episode, he’s like meeting the families of the four remaining women. Are these women for real? I mean, how can you keep insisting that your connection with the dude is so authentic and that it’s “real love” when you KNOW he is multi-timing you!! I mean, it’s so standard that the guy hooks up with like every single chick on the show from the beginning!!! Ugh. This show disgusts me. And then when the parents are like talking to him and asking him questions, he never even gives specific, genuine answers. Like “Why are you interested in my daughter? How is she different from the other ladies?” And he just gives generic answers, like “From the moment I met her, I just felt a connection.” Puhlease. 

    Wow, holy crap. With the last family, the two brothers just grilled him hard!! But then the parents were all empathetic, saying the bachelor is in a tough spot. Really? You’re going to feel bad for a dude who plays 20 women at the same time??? OMG. Why do people do this show? WTF??? Of course, I will watch this episode to the end bc I have to give it a full review. Haha. Btw, how can these women say that he has all the qualities that they want? Is one of those qualities being a player?? Every single one of the four women says she’s in love with him… after TWO single dates and a few group dates. Fucking tards. Married at First Sight is so much better than this crap. Off to bed early to clear my mind of all this raunch. Tomorrow’s a new fresh day, I hope. Clean slate.

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  • Sleepless Nights

    So after losing three days (and counting) to sickness, I can’t sleep again. The mind is just overwhelmed right now. The recent good news? I learned two helpful tidbits yesterday from my side hustles. A few weeks ago, after upgrading our cable box to Xfinity X1 (same cost but better technology), our receiver suddenly stopped putting out sound. Mind you, we got this thing in 2012 and Bubbey didn’t know why it went kaput. I looked up the warranty and even with the Visa/Amex automatic extended warranty of 1 year, it was def beyond the coverage period. So Bubbey just bought a different one. The old one got relegated to the garage, and then this week, I finally shot a pic and posted it on Freecycle. Well as with most electronics, I got a ton of response. The next day, I set it outside labeled for the first person to come get it. Soon after, I received an email from someone else who said this is a known issue with Onkyo receivers from that period: Onkyo will fix the defect for free and extend the original warranty. I clicked on the link and sure enough, my model qualified. Had this Freecycler not informed me, how the hell was I supposed to know about this option? I’m usually pretty good about looking up warranties etc. And even after going to the Onkyo support page, there wasn’t any kind of obvious recall/factory callback. This person could have easily collected my receiver for free and then turned around and gotten it fixed for free, scoring himself a $450 receiver, so I was thankful and thrilled that s/he shared the knowledge. I dunno how this person might have stumbled on the info: perhaps s/he also had a faulty unit? I dunno, but yay!

    The second thing I learned? I sold Bubbey’s electric shaver system with the auto-cleaning feature on EBay. I included the alcohol-based cleaning cartridge and got the package all ready for shipping until I realized that the cleaning solvent is flammable. I tried to figure out online what the volume limitations might be for shipping flammable liquids… No clear information. Finally, I had to go in person to the post office and even the clerks had to look up that shit. Confusing but I was pleased to learn that at that volume (5 oz) and in that packaging (a sealed plastic cartridge), I was good to proceed. Interestingly though, there are potentially restrictions on like perfume and aerosols and stuff. Who knew? I’m building my repertoire of shipping knowledge for more optimal EBay store operation in the future! Btw, I really need to up my shipping costs. I always just guesstimate a fixed cost, and I get screwed every. damn. time. Note to self: double the shipping from what I think it’ll be.

    In other news, last night was probably one of the worst nights. I slept in my office bed, bc I didn’t want to get Bubbey sick. In the middle of the night, Marty typically goes in and out of his doggie door. At some point, I was awoken by a sudden thud. I thought maybe it was an intruder. I called out to Bubbey who was in the bedroom. I asked if he heard that and what was the noise. He barely uttered a reply. For some reason, I started getting a little freaked out… But seeing as Bubbey went back into a deep slumber, I ventured out alone into the living room. I looked around and didn’t see Marty. But something felt or seemed amiss. I then heard loud panting. Marty had collapsed by the doggie door, and he was lying in a pool of urine with drool around his head. WTF. His whole body was limp. I was speaking to him and kinda saying to Bubbey that something was wrong and that something happened. Bubbey still didn’t hear me. WTF, dude??? Wake up!! Jesus Christ.

    Having seen something similar with Remy in her old age, I suspected that Marty had had a seizure and collapsed by the door. He was so tired. Earlier in the day, he had seemed especially lethargic, but I thought it was from his lack of sleep and arthritis in his back legs. Maybe those were signs? Bubbey finally came over and he lifted Marty up and put him in his bed. Oh man. The only other time he ever had a seizure was when we gave him the flea med without food. Old dogs, I tell you. Shit, I hope he isn’t going down the Remy path, bc she started getting seizures in her final months and then in the end, she was getting them like multiple times a day. Eventually, she lost strength in her legs. Fuck.

    This morning, Marty was back to his old self again– wagging the tail and trying to barge through the front door. Maybe it was the new doggie treats? Maybe the non-chicken meat I gave him?  Maybe this is just the aging process. My poor baby. I put him up in my bed in the office today. He slept like a baby.

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