Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflex

Reflexes are amazing!  A reflex begins with some sort of stimulus, whether it be stretching, or hitting, light, or even a simple touch (i.e. the gag reflex) which leads to a response without even having to signal the brain first.  Whoever wired our bodies did a pretty incredible job.

There are many types of reflexes:  Tendon reflexes, eye reflexes, eye-lid reflexes, face reflexes.  Reflexes that help us to flinch.  Reflexes that keep us from falling when we trip.  Even babies have their own set of reflexes.   

This might shock you, but I am an anatomical anomaly.  I have more reflexes than other people.  Here are a few of them:

Push-snooze reflex
Squish-face-of-child-with-cheeks-filled-with-water reflex
Shove-food-in-sneezing-baby's-mouth reflex
Hit-side-of-garage-with-rear-view-mirror reflex (This one PLAGUES me!)
Holding-tightly-to-baby's-legs-instead-of-grabbing-his-falling-body-and-head reflex
Insert-chocolate-into-mouth reflex
Let-go-of-rope-and-clap-hands-when-finally-up-on-water-skis reflex
Running-with-child-down-the-hall-while-she-is-throwing-up reflex
Kick-husband-when-child-cries-at-night reflex (It is instantaneous!)
Let-go-of-shopping-cart-(with-child-inside)-pointed-downhill reflex

Now, they haven't been documented yet, but I am convinced that these must be reflexes, because while they are happening, I am definitely not using my brain.



Freaky Tuesday

Here is a conversation between my five year old and me:

"What is that?"

"A piece of candy."

(with hand held out) "You have had too much candy today. If you keep eating it, you will get sick! Give me the candy."

(candy is reluctantly handed over) "What are you going to do with that piece?"

(shoulder shrug, fist clenched tightly around candy)

"Don't throw it away! Can I just have that one last piece? Then I won't eat anymore, Okay?"

"Okay. But after this no more, mom!"

.............

I have created a MONSTER!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

But I won't do that....

Here are a few things I won't allow myself to do on principle...

-Whiten my teeth
-Get cosmetic surgery (unless it is reconstructive surgery because of burn/accident/illness)
-Wear high-heels (mostly because I look ridiculous in them, but I refuse to look ridiculous on principle)
-Use the term "with every fiber of my being"
-Drink energy drinks
-Deep fry food
-Drive my husband's car
-Take pain medication
-Wear jewelry

.......................

Here are a few things I won't allow myself to do even though I am Asian:



-Dress up for Black Tie events.





-Blow-dry my hair





-Sit on my head





-Bleach my hair





-Wear foundation 





-Ride a bike with friends




-Eat money





I refrain...


...yet it goes against every fiber of my Asian being!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Eating Her Curds and Whey

Back when I was living with my brother and sister-in-law...

While raiding the refrigerator for a snack, I saw a bag of deli-sliced cheese.  Mmmm, I love cheese.  I looked over the package to see what kind it was.  

"Yummm.  Provolone," I thought as I ripped open the label.  I sat down, ate a slice, and blankly stared at the bag while I chewed.  My eyes initially glazed over the label, but then something on the corner caught my eye.

"It expires today!" I yelled in my head.  All of that cheese would soon become an inedible moldy mess!  As a fan of all that is curdled and pressed, I could not bear the thought of letting all of that glorious provolone go to waste.  So...

I ate it. 

All of it. 

Savoring, slice by milky slice.

And it was good.

That night, when my brother was preparing his lunch for the next day, he stood in the refrigerator doorway, touching shelves, opening drawers, shifting things, lifting things.  

Brother:  Do you know where the cheese is?

Me:  Which cheese?

Brother:  The provolone that I just bought today.

Me:  I don't know where that is, but I ate the cheese that expired today.

Brother:  We don't have any other cheese.  The only cheese we have was the pound of provolone that I bought today."

I watched him stand straight up, and then turn and look at me.  With an expression somewhere between disgust and amazement, he gaped.  "You ate a pound of cheese?!?"


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Shattered Christmas Dreams...

Dear Writers of The Office,

How do I explain to my daughter that "Santa Claus is real."


It is the doll that does not exist?

Seems kind of backwards.

Thank you for ruining her Christmas.

Yours Truly
-Token Asian Friend

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Remembering the shoes that Grandma made

I was driving along the freeway yesterday when I saw a billboard.  It showed a woman's bare midriff between a black shirt and pants, and written beside it were the words, "Hang Over?"  It was an advertisement for liposuction, or a tummy-tuck, or some other type of cosmetic surgery.  The thing is, the image didn't really phase me--probably because it looked identical to the midsection I see every day in the mirror...

...the one showing the battle wounds of motherhood...

...the one hinting that the owner indulges more than abstains...

...the one that I had never thought of surgically changing, until I saw this sign...

...........

On a separate, but yet related note...

These are the shoes my grandmother made.  They may look like they are just cute Asian shoes, but let me give you some perspective.


I outgrew these purple shoes when I was five years old.  They are about 6 inches long.


I was too young to remember when I last fit into these shoes.  They are about 4 1/2 inches long.

My grandmother learned how to make shoes like these because my great-grandmother, her mother, had bound feet.  

The process of binding feet began at age 3 and was a painful process of breaking, bending, and binding, and breaking, bending, and binding.  There were infections.  There were deaths.  But the price was worth it because with those small, lotus-shaped feet came the opportunity to marry well and live a prosperous life.  Every mother aspired to produce such feet from her daughters.

Barbaric, right?   What kind of society would force their women to mutilate themselves for social status?  What kind of civilization would hold this unnatural form to such high esteem that it caused not only the men to desire it, but also the women to desire perfection in it?  What culture would put such pressure on their women that they would go to such extreme measures for the sake of beauty?

And make grown women fit in the shoes my Grandma made?

...............

As I drove by that sign, the temptation flickered away as fast as it came.

Not this midriff!  

In your face, plastic surgery ad!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Christmas Program

(Caution:  Stereotypes ahead)

The school Christmas Program:  A people watcher's dream come true.

-There is flustered mom taking care of all the kids while techno dad is playing with his blackberry/iPhone.
-There is card is full mom who spends half of the program deleting pictures from her camera instead of watching her kid.
-There is front row dad (big tall guy, should have good view of kid, right?) holding his camcorder with extended view screen a foot above his head.  Then, there second row dad trying to get a shot of his kid under front row dad's armpit.
-There is cell-phone mom against the wall with a finger plugging her other ear.
-There is social trophy mom with strut with spiky hair dad who doesn't hold the door open for the people behind him.  She perma-smiles; he never smiles.
-There is photog mom who stands on chair, squats, leans, sprawls on the floor--all to get the best shots of their kid.
-There is jungle-gym dad, who, apparently, is his kids' mobile jungle-gym.
-There is pop-up dad standing to take occasional snapshots of his kid over 100 feet away in poor lighting.  How did those pictures turn out, pop-up dad?
-There is big laugh dad with cackle mom.  They find a lot of things to be funny.

(Guess which ones we are!)

Then, there is THIS guy.

A Polynesian family with their multiple kids have saved seats for family and friends.  The mom had placed items on the seats on both sides, except for the seat she and her husband were in.  They stood up to bring their kids to the teachers.  Then, THIS guy sat down with his kid and wife in those two empty middle chairs.  Polynesian mom and dad come back and say, "Oh, we were sitting there."

THIS guy:  There was nothing on these chairs. 
Polynesian mom:  Yes, but our stuff is all around you.  We were sitting in those chairs and just got up to take our kids to the front.
THIS guy:  Well, we didn't know that.  We just sat down on these empty chairs.
Polynesian mom:  (expecting them to move, but when they didn't...) We've been saving these seats.  We just needed to bring our kids to their teachers.  

THIS guy and his wife just sat there.  They didn't even budge!  There were entire rows available, but they didn't stand up, or look around, or anything.

Polynesian dad:  Well, if we move our stuff on the other side of you, can you at least move down so we can sit together?
THIS guy:  Fine.

Then, two seconds after the sit in their new seats, THIS guy says to his wife, "How was I supposed to know they were sitting there?  Those seats were empty for crying out loud.  I'm just trying to find a place to sit."  

Three reasons why THIS guy was lame.

1) People don't usually come up to random strangers at a school Christmas Program and say, "Those are our seats" unless they really were in those seats.

2) The fact that their stuff was on both sides of the empty seats proves that they were really sitting there and intended to use the empty seats as well.

3)  HE WAS ARGUING WITH A POLYNESIAN GUY!!!  I must say, Polynesians are always nice, but it because they want to be, definitely not because they have to be.  Who in their right mind argues with a Polyesian man???  



Oh, THIS guy.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is he???

Many years ago...

Friend:  Did you speak a lot of [Asian] growing up?
Me:  Not really.  Mostly things like, "time to eat," or "go to the bathroom," or "I am going to spank your butt."
Friend:  Really?  So your mom would never speak [Asian] with your dad?
Me:  She would, but it's mostly stuff her friends told me never to repeat.
Friend:  Your dad didn't get mad?
Me:  No, my dad doesn't speak [Asian].
Friend:  I just figured since he was Asian and married your mom that he would speak it too.
Me:  Um...my dad isn't Asian.
Friend:  Your dad is TOTALLY Asian.  
Me:  No, he's not.
Friend:  Yes he is.  He has jet black hair.  He has dark skin.  
Me:  What, so everyone who has black hair is Asian?  And of course he is dark.  He has been working out in the yard all summer.  He doesn't even LOOK Asian!
Friend:  [Token], I have SEEN your dad.  He is Asian.  He even wears traditional Asian clothing.  Remember, that night we talked to him at your house?
Me:  That was a bathrobe! 
Friend:  He speaks with an accent!
Me:  He is from the South!
Friend:  Whatever!  I don't believe you.  Your dad is Asian.  

....................


Do YOU think my dad is Asian?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Das ist Kaputt!

My mouse won't scroll.

Our sink broke.

My shoes won't velcro together

The office chair snapped.

My husband has three rock chips in his car's windshield.

Mine has three rock chips and one crack.

Our garbage can is busted.

My husband has poop on his suit.


It is as if entropy is alive and feels the need to stimulate the economy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Super sad story

My kid fell down the stairs, and by the time I found her, her hands were on the bottom stair, head one stair up, and legs were sprawled upward. I flipped my child around and, while cradling her in my arms, heard though screams and sobs, "I did...(sob)... a somersault...(sob)... down the stairs,..(sob)... and it...(sob)... was SUPER SCARY! I hurt...(sob)... my finger...(sob)... SUPER BAD!"

All i could think was, "Since when did super become an adverb?"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

FISH

(Because I am in a poetic mood.)

"Eat your fish!" said the Asian mother to her son.
"Eat your fish!" said the Asian mother to her daughter.
"You'll grow hair on your chest," she said to the son.
"You'll grow a chest," she said to the daughter.

So the son and the daughter faithfully ate their fish,
Anticipating their future with much optimism.

"How does fish do it?" they asked each other.
"How could fish do one for the one, another for the other?"
"What if it did one for the other, and another for the one?"
"Or what if it does both for both?" asked the son.

So the son and daughter reluctantly ate their fish,
Dreading their future with much scepticism.

And so the years past, and the boy and girl grew.
And the man and the woman in the end both knew

They should have eaten more fish.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ode to Winter-Worm Summer-Grass


You once were a caterpillar, pupating in the ground
Up in Tibet with the snow all around.
But then you ate up or breathed in something funny
Now you are dry and worth lots of money.

That something inside you, it started to grow.
It very much killed you, as you probably know.
What once was your body is now mummified
by that wee fungus that grew from inside.

That fungus, it grew from the top of your brain
but it didn't hurt because you no longer feel pain.
It sprouted in summer and broke through the earth
To shed more wee spores--in essence, give birth.

Then perhaps some Tibetan or some Chinese friend
Helped from the soil your body ascend.
For you have the ability to help and to cure
So many ailments, no one knows what for sure.

Here you are now, as my honored guest.
But I must insist, I have but one request:
Please take your little, but expensive troop
And get your medicinal selves out of my soup.

(Have I been served this in soup?  Yes.  Have I eaten one?  Would you?)





Friday, December 5, 2008

Out of context

My husband called me on his cell phone and said, "Rotten milk experiment."

"What?"

"In the lab class you taught, did you do a rotten milk experiment?"

"Yes, why?"

"That's how she knows you.  You were her instructor."

Mystery solved.  That is why the wife of my husband's work-mate looked familiar.  

It's in situations like these that you hope you made a good impression the first time.  That is why I try to be nice when I meet people, because you never know when you'll run into them again.

......................

I was at Costco with a friend.  Why we were going to Costco when we were single was beyond me, but we were probably getting a jumbo bag of gummy bears or a box of Gushers.

While we were walking, I ended up face to face with a man that looked SO familiar.  He was thinking the same thing.  He smiled at me and said, "You look familiar.  What is your name?"

"[Token, Token Asian Friend].  What is yours?

"[Guy with glasses].  How do I know you?"

We smiled as we talked about where we lived, what high schools we went to, where we used to work, our family trees, his best friend's sister's friends, my old dog's former owners, trying to find some reason why we knew each other.  There was that familiarity, like we were old friends that had gone through trial and adversity together.  We had to solve this mystery connection!  Then, I said, "Well, I went to college [here]."

Glasses man said, "Me too!  When were you there?"

"From [year] to [year]."

"What did you study?"

"[Major]."

Within seconds, I saw the spark of recognition come into his eyes.  Then I saw the smile slowly leave his face.  He said, "You were my lab TA."

Then, I remembered that smug little grin grumbling cynical remarks.  I visualized his eyes rolling behind those very same glasses.  I heard that voice say, "Do we really have to do this?" and,"This is a waste of my time." and, "Can we leave now?"  

One split-second later:

"Well, it was nice to see you again."

"Yep.  Have a good one."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

All in one day!


Tripe for breakfast





And a sensible dinner


No, I did not get these pictures off of the internet.
Yes, I am being dead serious.
Yes, my husband is grossed out.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Imagine

Imagine your young daughter's joy as she holds up an invitation to a classmate's birthday party.

Imagine packing a present, a stroller, and a baby doll in the car next to your ecstatic child for the Cabbage Patch themed celebration.

Imagine the trust you have in your child when she says, "Yes, I can show you how to get to her house."

Imagine the confusion as her directions lead you to the elementary school parking lot.

Imagine realizing that your child is a few cards short of a full deck when she begins to push her stroller to the outer reaches of the school playground.

Imagine following her to the base of a steep hill filled with weeds and thorns and cacti and bugs and snakes, and watching her finger point to the white house at the top.

Imagine climbing up that hill, feet slipping, rocks falling, thorns pricking, hands gripping, holding the blasted doll and stroller with one hand, and helping your struggling girl with the other.

Imagine, at the top, having to scale a chain link fence with stroller, baby, and child.

Imagine the looks of the other mothers as you try to act natural.

Imagine your child as she smiles one last smile at you before pushing her stroller with the rest of her friends.

I don't have to imagine it.

I lived it!

Thank you, Dad! I couldn't have climbed that hill without you!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Trial

Today, my husband said to a room filled with people, "Hello.   Let me introduce myself.   My name is [his name], and I am a Pisces.  I am [age] years old.   My wife is sitting over there, and she is (reflective pause) older than me.   We have [x number] of children and quite possibly the fattest baby in the ward."

Would it hurt to be a little less honest?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wrong Number

Brrrrrrring

Me:  Hello
Angry Man:  Who are you?
Me:  Um, I believe I am supposed to ask you that question.
Angry Man:  Oh, this is Kevin.  Who are you?
Me:  Are you looking for someone?
Angry Man:  Yah, where's Bill.
Me:  You have the wrong number.
Embarrassed Man:  Oh!  I am so sorry!

..............

Brrrrrrring

Me:  Hello?
Person:  Is this [name]'s Automotive?
Me:  No, but their number is one number different from ours.  Try ###-####.
Person:  Wow, lots of people must make this mistake.
Me:  Yep!


..........

Brrrrrrring

Me:  Hello?
Old Lady:  Is this the [random name]'s home?
Me:  No, you must have the wrong number.
Old Lady:  Okay, thank you.

1 minute later-Brrrrrrring

Me:  Hello?
Old Lady:  (frustrated) Oh, it's you again.  Now, tell me, what numbers I am getting wrong?  I have the last numbers as ####.  
Me:  Yes, those are the last four digits of my telephone number.
Old Lady:  I must be mixing up the prefix, then.  What prefix am I dialing?
Me:  ###.  Do you want me to look up a phone number for you?
Old Lady:  (angrily) No, no.  I don't need that.  What prefix is [other city]?
Me:  Well, there are a lot, but try this one.  ###.
Old Lady:  Thank you.

20 seconds later-Brrrrrrring

Me:  Hello?
Old Lady:  (shaky voice) Can you please help me?  
Me:  Is everything okay?  Are you okay?
Old Lady:  (crying)  I need to call my sister, and I don't know the right phone number.
Me:  Let me look up the phone number for you...

...........

My Mission:  To help random people, one wrong number at a time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I love...

So, I've seen this commercial in Karin's blog and in Andrew's blog, and I have to admit that when I first saw this on the Discovery Channel, I fell in love with it, too. 


What a great song!  What a catchy tune!  And then, I couldn't get it out of my head.  I sing it all of the time, only in my mind, it goes like this:



The A&E TLC Song (sing with me!)

I love to catch crooks.


I love to catch them, too.



I love to catch them



while sporting this hairdo

We love the whole world, enough to keep it safe,

Boom-dee-a-ta,
boom-dee-a-ta,
boom-dee-a-ta,
boom-dee-a-ta.


I like to improve



I love to cook, mate.



We love chic fashion



We love to procreate.



I love the big world, and all it's littleness.




Boom-dee-a-ta,
boom-dee-a-ta, 
boom-dee-a-ta, 
boom-dee-a-ta


I love to give birth.


We love the multiples.



I love to dissect.




I love to diagnose.


I love the whole world, and it's reality.


Boom-dee-a-ta, 
boom-dee-a-ta, 
boom-dee-a-ta, 
boom-dee-a-ta.

Boom-dee-a-ta,
boom-dee-a-ta,
boom-dee-a-ta,
boom-dee-a-ta.






Gratitude

It seems to be the theme of the season:  gratitude.  With the family gathered together, all around the TV, watching Thanksgiving football games, I find myself sitting in the back by the cheese ball and crackers contemplating about life.  

Here are my thoughts:

People are funny.  We spend the first twenty years of our lives wishing we were older, and the last sixty years wishing we were younger.  I have started to do the latter, so, I am going to stop this vicious cycle. 

I am grateful that I am [my age] because:

1)  A friend told me that I can now run for U.S. Senate.  I don't plan on it, but with the economy as it is, I am glad to know that I have this option available for me.

2)  My bodily functions are still in my control, except when I am pregnant.

3)  I  am not in pain all of the time.  

4)  I am at the age where I can bake, crochet, quilt, and sew one day, and go to a raging concert the next.  I can wear orthopedic shoes, or huge fuzzy flip flops.  I can shop from juniors to sportswear! 

5)  Token Asian Friend=Old Asian Woman.  Old Asian women are cute.  Therefore, I am cute.

6)  When I stand up, I can count the number of joints popping on only ONE HAND!  Of course, I need to use the other hand to count the joints that pop from counting on the one hand...

7)  I can now look at popular musicians and say, "Punk Kids!"

8)  Passing different fitness levels on my Wii Fit is actually an accomplishment.

9)  I can begin the countdown to retirement.

10)  A friend of mine said that he is grateful to be [my age] because it is "one of those invisible barriers where people respect you more as an adult."  I guess this must be the age where, "respect your elders" is referring to me.

What do you love about being YOUR age?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Today

A friend came up to me and said, "Token Asian Friend, my daughter said the funniest thing.  She was looking at your  husband, and the light was casting a really weird shadow on his lip.  She said, 'Look, daddy, Brother [my husband] has a moustache!'"

I replied, "That is a moustache."

(Laugh, then straight face)  "Really?"

............

A neighbor came up to me today and said, "Token Asian Friend, who is responsible for these?"  I look at the Sacrament Meeting Programs/Bulletins he held in his hand.

"I am.  What did I do wrong this time?"

"Oh you did nothing wrong.  We were just amazed by the amount of power you have!"

"Huh?"

Then I saw it written in the bulletin...."* December 30--New Year's Eve"

So, mark your calendars, for your Token Asian Friend has spoken!


Friday, November 21, 2008

On my Soap (Opera) box

Did you guys see this article in Yahoo! News?  The daytime soap opera is DYING!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What has this world come to?  We stand to lose an entire genre of television!  What will happen to the women (and men) who have devoted their 11:00-3:00 block Monday to Friday to following every episode?  Have they lived their lives in vain?  Have times really changed that no one is willing to commit to a twenty-year-long daytime drama?  Do mothers no longer instill in their daughters the value of drawn-out plots with questionable acting?  What will Hollywood do without soap operas to weed out the good actors from the bad?  What would those unemployed actors and actresses do?  Telethons?  Host Reality TV shows?  What could ever replace the soap opera?



OH!  Infomercials!

Same time, same stations, same overly-bronzed faces, same bad acting, and same unrealistic story line.

PHEW!!!  Problem solved.  


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Our relationship, in a nutshell

"Hey, hubby. How was your day?"

"Great, how was yours?"

"Good. Did you know that [child's name] can do jumping jacks?"

"Yah, he/she showed me."

"Oh. Cute, isn't it? Hey, your mom called..."

"Yep, she left me a message."

"Good, so you got that.  So, I heard the [Neighbors] are having a baby."

"Yes, TWINS!"

"What?!? Wow, that's amazing. I didn't know that. Guess what?  Your cousin is getting married."

"Got the e-mail."

"Read on the news that the Indian Navy shot down a pirating 'mother ship'?"

"Saw it on Yahoo!."

"The [neighbors] got a new puppy."

"Held it."

"Elder [Missionary] wrote a letter."

"Wrote him back."

"GM wants part of the bailout money"

"Saw it on  MSNBC."

"Massage chairs are on sale."

"Ordered one."

"Bishop called."

"Got the text."

"I'm pregnant."

"No you're not."

"AARRRGGGG! Forget you!"

"Love you."

"I'm going to bed."

"I'm already there."

"Good night, Jerk."

"Can't hear you because I'm sleeping."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Hand

My baby lay there, cradled in my arms, finally taking a much needed nap within a large, crowded room.  While I sat rocking my sweet sleeping baby, a hand reach from behind and grasped my baby's huge cheeks.  

...SQUISH...

Not like a little jiggle of the fleshy baby face.  Imagine the force and speed of two fingers snapping, only with a big chubby baby face between the fingers.  

(You just snapped, didn't you?)

His shocked eyes flew open, his back arched and his hands involuntarily reached out.  He was breathing in to scream when...

...SQUISH...

The hand had returned, with even more resolve to awaken my slumbering babe.  His head began to fitfully turn from side to side as his arms and legs flailed about.  And then, he flipped out.  The bystander next to me was visibly upset, and turned to her husband to say, "I would be so mad if that were my baby." 

I stood up and buried my outraged infant into my chest.   I turned and looked into the set of smiling eyes, and I watched as the offending hands clapped together in quick succession, and then stretched toward my restless child...

...and the laughing voice said, "Let me hold the baby."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Honor thy Father and Mother--the Asian Way

As my children run past me, I like to catch them, hold them tight, and just sit there with their cheeks close to mine as they wiggle, and scream, and sometimes cry because I won't let them go.  Then, I ask, "Will you please stop growing?  Will you stay this small forever?"

The younger ones always say yes, or burp.  The older ones say, "No, people don't stay the same size.  Everybody grows up."

.............................
Flashback:

  I wake up one morning when I feel a heavy weight on my legs.  Groggily, I look down and find my mom kneeling next to my bed hugging my legs tightly.

"Um, Mom, what are you doing?"

Without even looking up, I hear her reply, with her Asian accent "Just holding on to my baby."

I pause for a moment and say, "Mom, I'm in college."

"I know, but you are still my baby."

.........................

I know, you have a few questions.  Why was I living at home when I was in college?  Because I loved being with my family, and I didn't know how to cook, I was too cheap to pay for rent, and I may have been a little bit spoiled.  

What did I do next?  Well, I just laid there, and waited for her to let go.  

Why would my mom do that?  Because she is a native, and they were taught about filial piety.

What the crap is filial piety?  It is basically respecting your parents (or elders), sometimes to a very extreme level.  

And they learn this in Asia?  Yes.  Growing up, I argued with my mom a few (hundred) times.  Then, my mom would whip out the big gun--guilt.  "I would never talk to my mom this way."  "Whatever, Mom.  Everyone talks to their mom this way!!!"  Well, that is what I thought, until I lived there, and I realized she was right.  She probably never did talk to her mom that way.

What makes you say that?  A lot of the Asian culture and religion revolves around filial piety.  It stems from the idea that your mother, from producing you within her body, to giving birth, forgetting the pain of birth, giving you the milk that sustained you as an infant, to raising you, protecting you, clothing you, washing you, worrying about you, and being compassionate toward you, has given you all that she had, even the nutrients from the very core of her bones.  The dads do some stuff too.  Anyway, the idea is, after all that they have done for you, you could never repay them.  In fact, part of Confucius's teachings says that if you were to carry your father on one shoulder, and your mother on the other, for one thousand miles until your bones were ground to powder by their weight and you were ankle deep in your own blood, you have still not done enough to repay your parents (believe it or not, I chose the least gory example).

What can I do to be a filial child?  A man named Kuo Chu-ching (1280 - 1368 AD) compiled 24 examples of filial children.  One of those examples was a grown man who, to make his parents happy, would dress as a little child and act like a baby, thus allowing them to feel young again.  

Really?  Dead Serious.

So, is that why you laid there?  Yes, because I was being a filial child.

And, because I hope some day my grown children will understand why I grab them, awkwardly cradle them in my arms, and with my cheek smashed next to theirs say, "Will you please stop growing?  Will you please stay this small forever?....




...Will you please put on those footed sleeper pajamas I made for you?"




Saturday, November 15, 2008

Someone should invent that...

I often find myself in a situation where I have 100 things to do, but I've got little obstacles in my way that keep me from my goal.  In these situations, I always say, "Someone should invent..."

A Shopping-cart-wheel-degunker.  How many times have you picked "the wrong cart" while grocery shopping?   I've had my kids hang on one side of the cart, hoping to counterbalance the pull of the gunk-on-the-wheel.   Think of all the man-hours wasted just trying to push those carts around.

A Moving-walkway in the drive-through.  Saves gas and the frustration of waiting for "that guy" to put his change in his wallet.  

A Training bike.  A kid's bike that begins with two wheels on one end and one wheel on the other.   The more you pedal, the closer the two wheels get until they in essence become one wheel, and BAM!  Your kid knows how to ride a bike with no effort on your part.

Bluetooth Internet.  Think about it.

Baby Hover Board.  All I'm saying is, a woman of my stature was never designed to carry a 22 lb. five month old.  

Electronic marquees on our cars to communicate with drivers around us.  We could display things like:

-Welcome to the fast lane :)
-You are no longer welcome to the fast lane :(
-I've been signaling for like an hour.  I know you can see me.  I see your lips move as you read this.
-What movie are you watching?
-If you CAN'T read this, your car is giving off too much exhaust.
-The slower you go, the more frequently I honk.
-Undercover Police Officer
-You want to merge?  Over my dead body--HEY!!!  I WAS JOKING!!!
   
Well, maybe we shouldn't make those marquees available to the public. 








Friday, November 14, 2008

Bright Idea!


Why do some people hang their Christmas lights so early?  Is it because they are extremely festive?

No!

It's because they have procrastinated before and have paid the price.

So, if you CHOOSE to delay the inevitable, know this:

-Salting the 2 inch slab of ice beneath the 20 foot ladder does not keep it from slipping.
-Thick snow, heavy boots, and a roof with a 45 degree slope = bad combination.
-You will not get any volunteers to help you.
-Have you ever tried to hang lights with gloves on?  Less Effective.
-Those blasted plastic clips break so easily at 15 degrees F.
-Trying to attach a rope of lights to a gutter can be a daunting task, especially when you are staring up at hundreds of pointy icicles hanging off the edge.
-If you drop anything, you'll be looking through 3 feet of snow to find it.
-Because severe cold + having your hands above your head for hours at a time is an instant recipe for frost bite.
-Your nose will run, but your face will be so cold that you won't even know it.  You probably won't care, either.
-Replacing tiny light bulbs with numb fingers is NOT a good idea.

So please, take my advice.  String your lights up tomorrow.  That's what I'm going to tell MY husband to do!




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Signs

I was taking one of my children for a bathroom break in a store/restaurant. As I sat my little one on the potty, I looked next to the sink, and I saw this:



(In one of the languages, it actually says to not pee or poo anywhere.)

Was this for real?

There was a toilet RIGHT THERE!

What was going on in there BEFORE they put that sign up?

Are there literate people out there who, if given the choice, would rather go on the floor than on the potty?

The only thing that lessened my anxiety was the fact that the bathroom smelled heavily of bleach and the floor was newly mopped...



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why no, I'm not baking cookies....

I buckled.

I thought I could withstand all of the societal pressures to have a delectable smelling home.  I had resisted the urge of going to those sweetly scented parties.  I wouldn't allow myself to ask friends what makes their home emanate the flavors of vanilla and cranberry orange.  I even threw away a catalog, thus removing the temptation to peer into it's aromatic-looking pages.   

I thought I was stronger than this. 

But then, a blond neighbor girl came with an order form and brochure.  Part of the proceeds would go to help her buy dance costumes.  So, IF I were to buy something, I would really be helping her.  IF I were to succumb to the fragrant pressures, I would know deep in my heart that I was only trying to serve...

...and they have a scent that captures the essence of home sweet home...

...and I've never heard of a winterberry, but it sounds like it smells yummy...

...fresh cut cantaloupe?  Mmmmmm, my FAVORITE!...

...ooooh, and this style of warmer would look perfect in my kitchen...

...with this color...

...and this little plug-in is sooooo cute...

...and if I buy three more flavor bars, it will only cost me X number of dollars...

(...and I could host a party...and I could start my own business...)

...all this, and this little girl can have 2% of what I spent to help her buy her much needed dance equipment!

So, don't judge me!  And if you have something to say, COME SAY IT TO MY FACE as the aroma exuding from my open door envelopes you and lulls you into a state of savory tranquility and olfactory bliss.






Saturday, November 8, 2008

:-{D


It's MOVEMBER time!  Raising funds and awareness for men's health one creepy moustache at a time.    

At the beginning of the month, many men shaved what facial hair they have to start anew and find out who really is the man!  Right now, most men are still at the youth 'stache stage, so if you notice a lot of wimpy lip-ticklers out there, cheer them on!  By Thanksgiving, they will be combing, waxing, clipping, and shaping those handlebars into works of Movember art.  Here are some pictures for inspiration, boys!!!















Aaaaaaannnnndddd, notice there are no Asians.  Oh, WAIT!  I found one!!!









(Big thanks to whomever took this picture!)


Now, I know that technically doesn't count as a moustache, but that, my friends, is a dang good effort!

Go Movember!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yup, I'm still a nerd

Time for another PARASITE SPOTLIGHT!!!

There was a request for the worm that crawls through the skin, and I found a few, but we'll have to wait until next month, because I found a FUN one!

Trichinella spiralis--but we'll call him Curly!

Curly is yet another worm that is found in almost all types of flesh-eating animals.  About 1.5 million Americans are currently carrying a Curly or two (or a million), and up to 300,000 more Americans get Curly every year.  Most people acquire Curly by eating infected pork.  Now, don't go all vegetarian on me!  At the end of the post, I will tell you how to prevent infection, OK?

As I was saying, Curly is a little larval worm that lives in muscle tissue.  When the infected meat is eaten, Curly makes his home in your small intestine and within two days develops into an adult and is ready to PROCREATE!  One female can produce 1,500 larvae in a few months.  

These little Curly larvae move from the intestines into the blood stream and are carried to many different muscular parts of the body.  Some of their favorite nesting spots are the eye muscles, the shoulders, chest and rib muscles, the diaphragm, the calf muscle, and the tongue!  YUM!  These little Curly kids then enclose themselves in a cyst and wait and wait and wait to get eaten.  Now, hopefully, their parasitic cycle ends in humans!  

Depending on how many larvae you have per gram of body tissue, you could still have symptoms of infection that could cause death.  If you only have 10 larvae per gram of muscle (by the way, a gram is about the weight of a paperclip, so it is a very small unit of mass--most humans weigh tens of thousands of grams), you are probably OK.  If, however, you have 5000 Curly babies in one gram of infected muscle, you could die.  5000 per gram!  AAAAACK!


Now, I don't know if cooking destroys Curly.  It probably does, but again, I don't know.  There are measures being taken to prevent infection.  Laws prevent the feeding of garbage to pigs, which significantly reduces the number of Curlys.   If you don't trust the government, just freeze the meat (quick freeze to -40 degrees C, or freezing it in your normal freezer for 20 days or more) to kill any existing larvae. 

See, all is well.  Just make sure you:  

1)  Freeze your meat.  
2)  Don't eat garbage or feed garbage to your food.


You just went vegetarian, didn't you?  You would.

Maybe this will help you feel better...



Who's yo Daddy?

Thank you to this site and this site for the pictures.  And, thanks to BioRAD for the Video!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could up chuck?

My offspring sporadically spewed, spawning the spark for this splendid spiel.

1) I have been throwing up since I was a little girl. In third grade, during quiet reading time, the deviled eggs I ate for breakfast were not sitting so well in me, and I leaned to the side of my desk and threw up. I felt really bad, so I silently grabbed paper towels and removed the regurgitated egg matter from the carpet. I told the teacher that I threw up and was sent to the nurse's office. While waiting for my mom to get me, my teacher came in and drilled me about whether or not I actually threw up, and where the said throw up could possibly be. Turns out I had some mad cleaning skills because that janitor looked and looked but could not find that supposed pile of puke!

2) (This one is for YOU--you know who you are!) A friend of mine had a little shihtzu. On day, while holding the dog, he said, "Hey (dog's name)!" and blew in his face. The dog immediately vomited.

3) A man I love dearly had just completed the Fuddrucker Challenge (1 lb. specialty burger, large chili-cheese fries, and a large brownie/cookie sundae) and was driving back to work with a few co-workers. He made a left turn into the median and twisted to the right to look for an opening when his gut surged. As he rolled down the window, he gasped, "Tell me when to go!" As some screamed, "Go!" others just screamed as ice cream flavored puke splattered across the driver's side windows in the accelerating automobile. His shirt was soiled, but thank goodness he had his newly won Fuddrucker's T-shirt that said, "Are you MAN enough?"

4)A neighbor knew of my nasty nettlesome nausea during pregnancy, and so teased me relentlessly. I drove passed him one day when he looked at me and pretended to heave. "Ha ha! Very Funny!" I blurted. When I pulled into the garage, my husband came out to greet me and saw "the look" on my face. He grabbed the garbage can and raced to my side just in time. I'm not sure whether to attribute his speed to his endless devotion for me, or because of the fact that I was in his car.

You might be asking, "Why on Earth would she write about this?"

1) Because vomit is funny (after the fact).

2) Because my husband knows a man that throws up whenever he hears about throw up, and I'm secretly hoping someone will show him this post.

No, not really! No, really!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What I've learned from Halloween

With all of the excitement and celebrating at an end, I can now contemplate and reflect on what I have learned from Halloween.

1)  Handing out candy is fun.  Handing out candy with a Bullhorn is more fun.
2)  Don't let children bring accessories to their costumes unless you are willing to carry or wear all of them (I was a Native American Uncle Sam Fairy!)
3)  Three Musketeers (fun size) has only 2 grams of fat, so I can eat like 200 before I gain a pound (of fat).
4)  My kids came home empty handed.  I came home with buckets of candy, a flashlight, a hat, a wig, an umbrella, a jacket, gloves, glowing bracelets...
5)  Everything in the house gets stickier after Halloween.
6)  The parent that got to hand out the candy and watch basketball inside the warm, dry house misused the "you need to bond with the older kids" card.  
7)  Most of the candy we received looked good, but I had to taste-test most of the chocolate bars.  Safety First!
8)  When you knock on someone's door and they choose to answer with a scary mask and a loud howl, laugh really loud before the kids get a chance to pee their pants.
9)  The fifth Milky Way bar definitely tastes better than the eighteenth.
10)  If it is bright blue going in one way, it will be bright green coming out the other.


Monday, November 3, 2008

My Fears

I fear very strange things.  I mean, besides the normal things people tend to be uneasy about, I have a few others to be proud of.  I severely dislike overpasses--especially being stopped at stoplights and having to wait under overpasses.  I have anxiety in airplanes.  I try not to walk directly under birds.  I don't go spelunking.  I won't play a team sport or sprint at a track meet.  I don't like rivers.  I prefer to make right turns.  I don't dance in public.  I fear the ocean.  I am hesitant to get LASIK eye surgery.  I choose sushi with cooked fish.  I'm not a fan of elevators.  I wince when I hear a door slam.  I don't like to hold puppies for a long time.  I microwave my meat after I cook it.  All of these fears can be traced back to one experience or another I've had earlier in life, and so I believe my fears are valid. 

Now, let me tell you a story.

A friend of mine had returned home from a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I had a new baby, and brought the child with me to welcome him home (I know what you are thinking, and it was not his baby--shame on  you).  After a while, my baby started to get cranky, so I knew it was time to head home.  I said a bunch of good-byes, teased a few people, laughed at a few more, blew a few kisses, and I was off.  I had just put the baby in the car seat when a bowel explosion occurred (not me, the baby).  

So, I went back inside and changed the diaper and the clothes, chatted, laughed, insulted a few people, mocked some others, waved good-bye and I was off, again.  I drove about five minutes away when I had to stop and feed my screaming infant.  While I was, um, nursing my babe, I realized that I had left the diaper bag back at the house.  So, I buckled my baby, drove back, and luckily caught someone outside to watch my kid while I quickly went inside to grab the bag.  

I went back inside, explained myself to confused onlookers, grabbed the diaper bag, tormented a few people, pointed and waved,  high-fived a few, hugged a few, patted some on the back, and quickly left.  As I was walking out the door, clutching that diaper bag, I paused and felt the cool night air flow straight to the core of my body.  As I looked down, I realized that I had left my shirt completely unbuttoned.

I now have a fear of exposing myself in public.  I don't ever want that to happen.

Again.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

And the winner is...

Hello, my name is Token Asian Friend and I have a fat baby.

The thing I love about having a fat baby is the different comments that are showered upon him.  Everyone has a comment.  The topics range from his girth, sibling and parent BMI history, genetics, nutrition, my upper body strength, my back, my mammary glands, how gravity affects his mobility, etc.  But, I have to give credit to those who have given truly unique and praiseworthy comments.  This post is for you.

Here are some of my favorite comments:

--Gravity is really taking a toll on those cheeks, huh buddy.

--Come roll that little guy over here.  I want to hold him. 

--Is he getting thinner, or am I just getting used to him?

--Your stroller is making ruts in my yard.

--It looks like he's sucking on two plums.

And the winner is:

--You just want to stick an apple in his mouth.

If you have any comments you wish to make about my fat baby, feel free to share.  

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bath time fun



Did anyone see the sunrise on Halloween morn?  Now you have!  

I was bathing two of my kids the other day.  They were splashing and giggling and getting me wet and laughing and being goofy.   I stood up, looked at them sternly and said, "YOU are a nut, and YOU are a nut."

And then my oldest child said, "Who has two little nuts?"

The mommy in me wanted to say, "I do!" but the second grader in me couldn't stop laughing.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Next Halloween



So, I've made a few Halloween costumes in my day.  It was a lot easier before I had kids, but I still try to make them fun.  The first Halloween costume I made was for my husband.  He was one of the Three Amigos:
I beaded that puppy by hand.  That was (and still is) an AMAZING costume.  Next, I made a big Easter Bunny costume, just like this for my husband:

only it was bigger, bluer, and didn't have those extra bunnies on the feet. 

My Husband has also been this:
(Yes, I made that into a costume.  Don't ask why.)

And this:


And this:

But, the more kids we have, the more difficult it is to make ALL of the Halloween costumes.  So, I'm trying to figure out costumes for next year that will still be unique and fun, but not so difficult to make.  So, I came up with this...

I could make my kids outfits that look like little ping-pong balls.

My husband can wear a wig, grow out his chops, grab an 80's heavy metal rock band T-Shirt and be this:


And I have a lot of traditional Asian outfits to choose from.  I could wear one of those. 

Now, I know what you are thinking:


But I was actually thinking more along these lines:



After all, his outfit is much more modest, and my hair does that anyway!



Monday, October 27, 2008

Token Asian Friend's Peanut Gallery Comments -- Disney Cartoons

If you were to watch a movie with me, I don't blame you for dumping your popcorn on my head.

Incredibles
:
 Only Elastigirl could give birth to Jack Jack.  Look at his head!

Beauty and the Beast:  The beast was cursed for 10 years until his 21st birthday...let's see, 21-10=11.  Hello!  He was 11!  You were a stranger and you offered him a rose if he would let you in his house.  Of course he's going to say no!  Stranger Danger!

Give the kid a break, old hag!

Bambi:  Traumatizing children is fun to do!

Aladdin:  Modesty is for creepy old men and grandpas.

Peter Pan:  Oh!  So racism is acceptable as long as it is put in the form of a song.  Good to know. 

Lion King:  Listen to the crazy monkey in my head.  He knows the way!

Jungle Book:  Wait...NO!  Don't listen to the monkey!  Bad monkey!

Tarzan:  No, DO listen to the monkey.  Respect the monkey.  Fear the monkey.  For one day, you will BE the monkey.

Pocahontas:  I think the writers at Disney said, "History, Schmistory.  Historical facts are for LOSERS!"

Dumbo:  Under aged drinking was funny in the 1940s.  Pink Elephants were not.

Monsters Inc:  "See, there is nothing to be afraid of, little child.  The monsters in your closet are FUNNY monsters!  Now, sleep tight."

Mulan:  You can roast pot stickers on a stick over an open flame?  How did I not KNOW that?

Sleeping Beauty:  Lots of red flags pop up here.  Arranged marriage.  Underaged female.  Kind of sounds a little TOO familiar...

Cinderella:  So, was this a Secrets of NIHM prequel?  Because I saw a lot of talking vermin in that movie, too!

Cars:  I don't get it.  Where do baby cars come from?


In honor of Grandpa, who made us laugh.  



Who do I look like?

So, I don't know many Asian celebrities, but I listed a few here.  I have been told by people that I look like each them at least one time in my life.  But there is one that, surprisingly, a lot of people tell me I resemble.  Can you guess who?
Connie Chung?


Zhang ZiYi?


Michelle Yeoh?

Vera Wang?


Lucy Lui?

Lisa Ling?

Katie Leung?

Tia Carrere?

Demi Moore?

Chow Yun-Fat?

OK, so I know that Demi Moore technically isn't Asian, but an Asian friend of mine said that I look like her.  

The winner is....

drumroll please...

Chow Yun-Fat!  (Seriously, I have had more people, independent of one another, say I look like him than any of the others.)

Can we still be friends?