Make Tiger Mom Weep

On our six-hour car ride to Mammoth, I busied myself searching for fun songs that we could all enjoy on the radio.  Plum; no not that one.

Me: how about this one.

Plum: how about you don’t play any song so that I can concentrate on my math homework?

Whose child is this?!! Oh yeah, mine. Definitely mine ūüėā 

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Sisterhood in Cacophony

Happy International Women’s Day!¬† To celebrate this day, I am planning on helping out as many women friends as I can today.

I will go over some clinic pearls with my residents, coincidentally both female this month.

I will ask after the front desk clerks, the nurses and the therapists to see how they are doing.  Today I will actually stop and listen.

I will email my co-editor on the textbook we’ve been working on, and see if she needs help on finishing up that very last chapter.

Most of¬†my beneficiaries¬†so far are mothers of Plum’s friends.¬† We are all mothers who work full time jobs, juggling different hats in cacophony.¬† One of Plum’s science¬†fair partner has scheduling conflicts and can not finish her assigned part of the project.¬† Her dad is coming home from an oversea business trip.¬† The project is due tomorrow.¬† “No problem, just bring the poster board over.¬† Plum and I will finish it tonight.¬† Enjoy your family time!” I¬†texted her back early this morning before walking in to my clinic.¬†¬†Plum’s other science project partner will be coming over after school to work on the project.¬†¬†“If you want to¬†have happy hour with your co-workers, I can feed your kid.” ¬†I emailed the second mother during my lunch break.

I will edit the English version of a photography blog for my little cousin tonight, as soon as I am done helping with the poster.

I will work on the talk I am invited to give to an all-girls academy on how being a female immigrant shaped me to become who I am today.

I will talk to my daughter about the progress women have made, and how much more we need to accomplish.  Some of the women she admire are Maya Angelou, J K Rowling, Michelle Obama.  All strong, intelligent, compassionate, and talented female who are not afraid to speak their minds.

There is strength in sisterhood.¬† There is love in solidarity.¬† Being a modern career woman, I have become so efficient that I forget to pause.¬†¬†During this¬†morning’s tumor board, I sat down next to our medical oncologist, a female, and wished her Happy Women’s Day.¬† She looked at me wide-eyed and uttered, “so… what are we supposed to do with this day?”¬† You see, she is used to¬†my¬†customary greeting of, “hi how are you¬†I have this patient I saw yesterday who really needs to get concurrent chemotherapy so can you see him tomorrow?” in a single breath.

By pausing to¬†recognize this International Women’s Day, I discover¬†that I am surrounded by¬† intelligent, hard-working women who¬†are preoccupied with their work and families, just¬†like me.¬† And I suspect,¬†if I¬†put in¬†a little bit of time and effort to¬†nurture our relationship, they could all¬†blossom into friendship!¬† A beautiful, solid network of working women around me, that is what I would like to seed on this Women’s Day.

How about you?  How are you celebrating this day?


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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 YouÔĽŅ 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


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 NPR?¬† KCRW?¬† 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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