I Am Sexy Like…

That moment in your Sexy Booty class when you realized that your instructor was not asking you to demonstrate you’ve reached the 9 months old toddler’s milestone when she asked you to crawl towards her.

Yeah, I am sexy like that.

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To Those You Love…

… show them:

Show them your appreciation.

Show them your adoration.

Show them your patience.

Show them your loyalty.

Show them your curiosity.

Show them your passion.

Show them your true self.

Be it your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, friend.

Show them, your love.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

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China Should Send Us Their Wall, Done!

Have you guys seen these new “executive orders” delivered by Jon Stewart?

My favorites were, “I thought a Presidency is supposed to age The President; not the public!” and “China should immediately and without hesitation, send us their Wall; done!”

Times like this, we all need a little humor.

All jokes aside, exactly what Mr Stewart said , “It is going to take relentless stamina, endurance, and every institutional checks and balance this great country can muster to keep me, Donald J Trump, from going full Palpatine. We have never faced this before: purposeful, vindictive chaos. But perhaps there lies the saving grace of my presidency. No one action will be adequate; and all actions will be necessary. And if we do not allow Donald Trump to exhaust our fight, and somehow come through this presidency calamity-less, and constitutionally partially intact, then I, Donald J Trump, would have demonstrated the greatness of America, just not the way I thought I was gonna.”

Wish everyone a more relaxing weekend compared to the last.

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Then They Came For Me

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Lately I haven’t been able to sleep.  After Women’s March, it seemed like things just kept on getting worse each day.

I immigrated to the US from Taiwan 30+ years ago; back when one couldn’t openly criticize the KMT government. We’ve all heard of stories of someone who knew someone who mysteriously disappeared in the middle of the night.  I remembered adults whispering in hushed tones when they were dissatisfied with certain policies.  Back in the early 80’s, Taiwan was basically a one party country under martial law.  The US was a beacon of light for the world.

I became a US citizen in college. I remembered being so proud that day during swearing in: to belong in a country where one feels safe to speak her mind; where anything is possible if one works hard enough.

I want my daughter to feel this freedom and pride about her, my, our, country to eternity.

Now 30+ years later,  Taiwan flourished under democracy.  People voted in their first Taiwanese female President.  People are open-minded and free to criticize the government, though sometimes perhaps too enthusiastically.  Citizens of Taiwan are working on legalizing gay marriage.  Progress!   

And what has become of my adopted motherland, the United States of America?  Executive power has grown over recent years, and no president highlights the risk of this increased power than President Trump.  We should take actions to maintain the balance of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches that is fundamental to our government.  Our Founding Fathers had put in the checks and balances system for a good reason.  And what has become of “building a wall of separation between Church & State”, as famously stated in a letter by Thomas Jefferson addressed to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802?  That is the kind of wall we need; not a wall between neighboring countries!  The First Emperior of China, Qin Shi Huang, had already built The Great Wall of China more than two thousand years ago.  Emperial China in isolation has already proven self-destructive.

We need to learn from history.  We need to speak out for one another.  With the dizzing array of presidential cabinet nominees, conflicts of interests, family ties, financial ties, we are playing whack-a-mole at a lightning speed.  It seems as though we are traveling and swapping roles back in time.  Whoosh, whoosh!

My Republican mother-in-law said to give The President a chance.  She was vehemently against Clinton because of Monica Lewinsky.  I did not point out to her that it was Ms. Clinton that was on the ballot; nor did I point out the obvious difference between consensual sex in an unfortunate adultery case versus flagrant sexual assault against innocent beauty contestants and women at large.  I let the communication drop, because my heart broke for her.  I really hope she will not regret her choice one day.  My Republican neighbor said The Donald is going to be able to balance America’s checkbook, “look at his wealth!  He’ll know how to fix America.”  I now park my car on the other side of the street.  For someone to only look at their pocketbook and their bottom line while turning a blind eye to racism, sexism, misogyny, bigotry, and exploitation, that shows me who they are as a family more than what they tell me who they are.

My relatives and friends living in the “Red States” told me how lucky I am that I live in California.  “Your senators and your representatives are already working for you!”  They are right!  I see Kamala Harris on the news, telling listeners her office number and whom to call to help them with the new immigration ban.  I see Elizabeth Warren on the news, closely examining the nominees and speaking her mind.  I see Bernie Sanders, Robert Reich, Ted Lieu, Tammy Duckworth.  I see the millions of women marching around the world just last month!  I am profoundly grateful for all those who marched, who protested, who cared.  Together we need to speak out for our fundamental human liberty and civil rights!

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Now What?

What. A. Day.

Starting from the poster making with friends, explaining to Plumster what and why we are marching, taking the train to downtown LA in jam-packed cars, to finally stepping out onto sun-kissed Pershing Square, and be surrounded by the phenomenal crowd; oh the chants, the songs, and all the creative, positive energy.  We absorbed it all like hungry malnourished plants in a drought.  On the train ride home, a mother mused out loud to no one in particular, “I wonder if what we did today made a difference.”

Did we?

On the face of it, what with the social media coverge, the 670+ sister marches around the globe from Anarctica to Nigeria to Hong Kong, with the 5 million participants, we must have made a difference, right?

The truth of the matter is, I am not sure.  We can march, and make posters, and “like” and “heart” all the posts we want, but did we make a difference in the future we are trying to leave to our children?  Is there anything else we can do, after such an energizing AND exhausting day?

Well yes!  The march is just the beginning.  You can go to Women’s March website and start the 10 actions in 100 days.  Here are some of my suggestions to do at home while the iron is hot:

  1. Subscribe to professional journalism.  Sure, I rely on the trending feeds on my facebook, or the New York Times free 10 articles a month as much as anyone.  To ensure our source is reliable in order to hold our new administration accountable, we need honest, in-depth news report from the professionals.  We need the feeds from people who were trained and have the time to gather data, analyze their findings, and, report in thoughtful ways.  And we need to pay for their hard work!  Go ahead, take you pick: New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, The Wall Street Journal.  How about something for your listening pleasure?  Donate to NPRKCRW?  Instead of accidentally picking up propaganda fed by the Kremlins, let’s pay our fellow Americans for doing their job.  And no, I do not have any financial disclaimer to disclose.
  2. Don’t let the political parties divide nor define us.  Our elections have turned into a political sport, what with the Red team and the Blue team going against each other at all cost, including, not the least, supporting an unfit presidential candidate.  I believe that despite our political and religious differences, we all want basically the same things!  We all want shelter, food, health, human decency, clean air, and to be with people we love.  Don’t we?  We all want to leave a clean environment to our children.  Don’t we?  We all want to teach our children to do the right things.  Don’t we?  So what difference does it make if someone prays to a different God?  Or decide that they want to spend the rest of their lives with someone of the same gender?  Or want to be able to carry their guns in a safe way?  Let’s not let the political parties divide us!  Prepare and educate yourself by reading from reliable resources (see point 1).  If you care about health care, education, environmental, and human rights issues, does that make you a disloyal Repulican if you vote for a Democartic candidate?  No!  That makes you a well informed voter.  Your party’s politicians don’t own you.  They work for you.  You do not, and I repeat, YOU DO NOT, have to vote for a candidate because he or she is your party’s nomenee.
  3. Reach out to one another.  Are you the lone climate change believer in your family’s Thanksgiving dinner?  Join your local groups, talk with people who share similar values, energize and don’t despair!  You are not alone!  There really are people who believe in civil rights, gender equality, climate change, doing more to save our planet, basic human decency, and taking care of each other’s medical needs.  There are so many of us around the world!  You saw us today!  We are with you.
  4. Plan for a visit to another American city for a vacation!  Meet the people who put Trump where he is.  Visit their grocery stores, local libraries, cafes, their local attractions.  Engage.  And most importantly, LISTEN!  Listen to their grievences, formulate positive connections.  Nothing infuriate them more than a know-it-all-city-bloke coming down to lecture them.  Listen and engage in a positive manner.  Then, and only then, should you voice your opinion.
  5. Realize your New Year’s Resolution.  It’s been twenty one days since we rang in 2017.  Did you make your resolution?  If not, what would you like to improve this year?  For me, I want to get back to an exercise routine, make more home-cooked, healthy meals, spend more quality time with little Plumster and MK, and participate in more research projects.  In the wise words of Confucious (or the fortune cookies), “don’t try, just do”.  It will energize you, make you happier and want to change the world.

Below are some pictures from Women’s March in Los Angeles, if you would like to see:



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My Fish, Obsidian 

 This is my fish, Obsidian.  

He sleeps on its side like a human and enjoys swimming up-side-down.  

We got him from a pet shop the day after my daughter won his ex-bowl mate, Ash, in the famed LA-based 626 night market.  Ash died soon after, like all carnival terrorized/caught fish.  But Obsidian was born in a pet shop and did not have the crazy life style that Ash did.  So he lived.  He’s been with us for over 4 months now.  

I seem the be the only one who is attached to him.  Plum asked if she could dissect him.  So I moved Obsidian out of Plum’s bedroom.  Once I made Monkey King watch Obsidian falling asleep.  I wanted to show MK how Obsidian would just float up to the surface and turn either to his side or up-side-down, depending on his mood I suppose, as he fell asleep.  “But you have to be really quiet and don’t move!  So that you can see how our fish fall asleep!”

“Oh how fun.  Just how I want to spend my Friday evening!” MK lamented. 

And so this is how our fish became my fish.  

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Recent Conversation with My Nine-Year-Old

On Black Friday:

Me, as I stepped in the door after work: Hurry, let’s get to the store before they close today.  They are having a 25% off  Black Friday sale!

Plum, reading her book without looking up: But if we don’t go to the store, you save ONE HUNDRED percent!

Well, common core math at its best!

 

On Puberty, Sex Education, and Religion:

Plum, after her sex education including menstrual period and intercourse: Mommy, so does it hurt when people have sex?

Me: Yes, for the first time for women.

Plum: What about for men?

Me: Umm… I don’t think so.  I think they probably feel pretty good.

Plum: Wait a minute here, so you are telling me that sex hurts the first time for women, and they have to bleed once a month, AND they have to carry a baby for 9 months AND deliver them?!  What about men?  It’s not fair!

Me: Well, you shouldn’t look it that way.  We GET TO carry babies and have the honor of deliver babies!  We are powerful!

Plum, not buying it: Clearly God is sexist when he invented human!

 

On Not Adhering to Her Bedtime When Daddy is Not Home:

Me: You should be in bed now.  It’s already 10 o’clock.  Daddy will be so mad when he comes home.

Plum:  Why?  That he’s not home yet? BECAUSE I AM!

 

On BFF:

Plum: Mommy, you are like, literally, my Best Friend Forever.

Me: Aww.. that’s really sweet.

Plum, now managing my expectation and leveling with me: I mean, I will probably have friends that I want to spend more time with than I want to spend with you when I get older.  But they will probably not be with me forever.  But you will be my best friend forever.

Me: Awww..  you are my best friend too.

Plum: Well, more like I will be your best friend forever, and you will be mine, but not forever, because I will live longer than you.

Me, speechless with the profound realization that, yeah, this kid, my kid, IS my BFF.

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