Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

October 6th, 2017

I really thought this title said “Little FRIES Everywhere” and I was pretty excited. Ugh. Will still read the book, though am now incredibly left down. Have no idea what this book is about.

Kazuo Ishiguro

October 6th, 2017


I love him. I’m so glad to hear this. “Never Let Me Go” is one of all-time favorites, though my friend recently cited as a cold, unfeeling book. I feel about “Never Let Me Go” the way I do about “Purple Rain.” It’s such a weird, creepy story, I just ATE IT UP

Food

October 6th, 2017

A co-worker circulated a quote about Angelina Jolie stating how frogs and crickets are quite delicious with beer, apparently a popular treat in Cambodia. Other people expressed horror and made fun of Angeline Jolie, etc., typical stuff. I was at a kids party and some parents were joking about hot dogs, and an Asian mom volunteered a comment.

Her: “You know like how Asians eat dogs.”
Me: “Why would you say that? I don’t know any Asian who eat dog.”
Her: “It’s just a joke.”
Me: “It’s not funny.”

What I really wanted to say is that “you’ve internalized some racist ideas and you need to stop.” Husband cautioned me that maybe she’s not as comfortable being Asian than I am, and that she was naming the hurtful comment before someone else did. I agree with that assessment.

It’s just none of this is funny to me. If someone has bugs, frogs, or dogs in their diet, then it means their country and people went through a period of desperate starvation. This is my chip-on-my-shoulder reaction that I cannot shake and cannot be easygoing about. I’m never going to use someone else’s suffering as material for a joke. Nor is racism cool with me, by the way. Not sure why people persist in teasing Asians for these weird foods. Not like we mock early European Americans for the Donner Party cuisine choices….maybe we should. Goofy Americans, cannibalism, etc.

predators

October 6th, 2017

There’s a wave of public outings of men in the entertainment industry of sexual predatory behavior (I’m not even talking about Roman Polanski). I think when the Woody Allen scandal first hit, it was confusing to me because I love his work. Joss Whedon, producer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of my favorite TV shows, a fictional heroine who inspires me to keep going when I’m physically and psychically exhausted, has also been outed as someone who cheated on his wife for decades with twenty-something actresses. That was a major blow. When the Bill Cosby story was beginning to circulate, I had a co-worker who didn’t believe it since she had worked with him and he was such a gentleman. Our personal experiences aside, I believe in the saying where there’s smoke there’s fire.

They are particularly tough when the stories about men who have at least professionally championed women, but I have come to feel these false idols need to get knocked down. And this is just Hollywood. Pretty sure every sector has scary stories about men in power who have been taking advantage of vulnerable, lower status women for decades, just like Harvey Weinstein. I think it’s healthy that these stories have come to light and these developments give me hope that things could be shifting, although you know what they say about progress – one step forward, two steps back – so we’ll have to wait and see.

Superbowl lift, Prince, et al

October 6th, 2017


Man, if you’re ever having the blues or just can’t focus because the state of the world is so goddamn apocalyptic, I highly recommend watching Prince at the Superbowl Halftime Show in 2006. I’ve heard the song “Purple Rain” for years, of course. It was ubiquitous during junior/high school and on so much, you didn’t even notice it any more. But watch how Prince sings this ancient song, especially during the guitar before he sings “whuh-whuh-wwhoooo” Do you see how much he loves what he’s doing? His face shows that he’s feeling so much that I find it impossible to not to be moved. God, he was great guitar player, extraordinary musician who really came up with such a weird, original combination of sounds. (That is as eloquent as I can be about music, being a Neanderthal music critic. Most likely my cousin Ed, who is a musician, would be a better person for that job, of coming up with explaining why some songs are so goddamn good).

I also recommend the Beyonce Bruno Mars Dance-Off Superbowl Half-Time Show in 2016. I have documented my love for Bruno Mars pretty frequently, and I have to say, I am also slowly become recruited into a Beyonce fan. (Of course, she is awesome, but she’s so mainstream and popular, I get repulsed.)

Cryin’: Roy Orbison Part 2.

October 6th, 2017

“Crying” by Roy Orbison is, of course, a great song, but this is more about crying than classic Orbison. I was thinking about how we cry in my family. My parents and I do not cry in front of each other. It’s unbearable and makes whatever painful situation even more acute. I remember when my emo flew in from Ohio when we first found out my dad had cancer, I picked her up from the airport, cried, she cried. When she got to our house, she came up to hug my dad and tried to say something like “hung-boo” (which I think means “brother-in-law” but I can barely remember like my kids’ names these days, so don’t take my word for it) but she couldn’t get the words out, because she was crying, which made my dad cry and pull away, so he could pull himself back to stoic. With my kids, they cry in front of everyone pretty easily of course, because they’re still young (though First Son is starting to seem to sense of embarrassment about crying), and sometimes, I end up crying in front of them – not like all the time, but some nights are super-hard and the tears come. If I can sneak into my room or the bathroom, I do it, but sometimes, that’s not possible so the kids witness my waterworks. They ask me about the tears, and I just tell them point blank “I’m crying because I’m tired” or “I’m crying because I’m sad” – and I’m beginning to think this might be actually the part of parenting I’m doing well unintentionally. I think it’s good for them to see someone get upset, cry, express/release, then move on, because the older I get, the more stressful the demands are on my mind/time/body, I am beginning to understand how it’s not helpful to hold all your stuff in. I’m not saying go overshare adult problems with kids, I’m saying, sometimes, you feel like doody in life, and it’s okay. You weep, then move on. We shall see. This is a distinctly different from the way I was raised. Also, when the kids ask about deep, crazy stuff, I try to come up with a simple explanation that won’t make them anxious. First Son matter-of-factly told me last night how he was telling his teacher about my dad’s cancer, how he has brain cancer and how it affects the way he walks/talks. Huh. The other night, Wonder Twin Girl had a meltdown at a restaurant and because I read this story that went viral about a dad who let his kid freak at Walmart, since he was raised to let it out. It made me realize, when possible, I have to give them room to feel like crud.

We’ll see what kind of adults they become.

Pretty Woman: Roy Orbison, Part 1

October 6th, 2017

God I still remember Patrick Marquez singing “Pretty Woman” in the sixth grade talent show. He was a shy Philipino kid whom of course I noticed, there being like two Asians in my school and all, though of course, we did not speak to each other. He had enough confidence to sing and burgeoning friendships with popular kids, so had he stayed in my school system, perhaps he’d have ended up okay, socially speaking. They got three other popular boys to back him up on guitar, drums, and bass, and a little popular girl get on stage to walk during the spoken part of the song, where Roy Orbison says “well okay” in a glum, tired-ass, I-give-up voice but then perks up when the girl waits and turns back to him, and starts seeing “Oh wait, what do I see? She’s walking back to me.” It was totally adorable and I can’t imagine corralling children into choreo. It’s also funny to me that teachers make children act out to the songs that were popular in their youth. I love that actually.

my finer moments

September 3rd, 2017

Ever shake your salad dressing without fully closing the top? Ever spill coffee on your nice white blouse before a meeting? My god, if the answer is no, you have not lived, my friends. My aunt gave me and my cousin Aimee a long, tiered skirt. My cousin pulled it up under arms over her boobs and added a long beaded necklace. She looked great, and the skirt looked like a cute, strapless summer mini dress. I copied her style and was feeling it, til I caught my reflection. I did not look like I was wearing a cute, strapless mini dress. I just looked looked like a crazy lady who put her skirt over her boobs.

langurous pool scene

September 3rd, 2017

I had this vague memory of being at an uncomfortable party at a luxurious pool in the countryside. I couldn’t tell if it were a memory of an actual experience or a film, but my friend B recently reminded me we went to a freshman mixer at this older wealthy professor’s house in a rural part of Connecticut. He was no longer allowed to advise male students. She remembers because he was her academic advisor and he was terrible. The world is a strange place.

music, makes the people

September 3rd, 2017

Just a quick round-up of music the kids have been into lately:

* Call Me Maybe
* I Don’t Care, I Love It
* When The Night Begins to Shine (from “Tean Titans Go”)
* Watch Me Whip
* 24K

Wonder Twins lip-synched 24K at their camp show. I just about passed out from my hysteria and excitement.