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be yourself

It is 2:03 am. I am all of a sudden wide awake.

Note to self: Listening to PRI Selected Shorts podcasts while cleaning the house is a sure way that your mind will become overactive and that you will have trouble falling asleep.

I will pay for this indulgence: lying down on my Therapy Couch and talking to you all, my imaginary friends, (I am going to start calling you Soren Lorensen I think…) soon since I have a 6:30 am flight to catch and I have not packed yet. Coming here has clearly become a serious addiction. I carry this urge at my throat to write something down all day long. I am afraid to open my mouth lest a scream may come out.

I often panic when I am made aware of this since it feels so similar to Narcissism…

Someone very wise, probably wiser than Confucius since she is female (and Confucius was obviously not) and women rock because of our uterus, that I have had the privilege of meeting through this little patch of heaven I call my Therapy Couch (or hell on some bad days I won’t lie to you) told me that she could tell that “blogging is both a creative outlet and just outlet” for me.

She was right. When I first started doing this, I really did not expect anybody to come by and get into a conversation with me. I saw this as a different medium of talking to myself since I have been doing that inside my head for a long time. Why not? I simply jotted down whatever came to my mind. No self-censorship. And no editing either, to be very honest with you.

It felt like liberation from Facebook. From the potential for censure by family, friends, colleagues. It felt like liberation from Twitter. From the bondage of 140 characters. And it felt like the earth after rain. It felt good.

When I began to have supportive friends who stop by on a regular basis, to check me out and make sure that I am still operating in a socially acceptable manner, I was flattered yet incredulous. “Surely they have mistaken me for someone else, or something else.” With that self-congratulatory realization of “OMG I have fans” came the burden to please. Or at least, since I have no mental filter once my mouth starts running, the fear for offense. The desire to please everybody, nay, the compulsive need to please everybody is one of those soul-killers that I am trying to escape. I am afraid I may have lost my way.

At the risk of sounding like I am trying to recast myself as the cliche in I’ve Never Been to Me… I am getting back on my journey to understand myself better. The peeling of the onion. What is more important though, is that once I find myself, I really need to just be myself. Perhaps the being and the finding happen at the same time.


Dear Soren Lorensen,

I hope you will stay. But if you outgrow me or the other way around, I wish you the very best.

As always, a pretentious rambling such as this will not be complete without a quotation from a famous, yet just a tad out there, writer. Preferably by e. e. cummings. Here it is.

To be yourself

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I have to say, and yes, the following reaction says a lot about my pretension, my secretly wanting to appear to be what I am not: edgy, devil may care, swashbuckling, avant garde, ground-breaking, cool, I WAS DISAPPOINTED MY BLOG WAS RATED

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

WTF? I am seriously crushed.


I would think it at least warranted a PG-13.

Sadly Rated G

I can’t believe I have only said FUCK once. So after all this, I have been exposed as a Prude. Great. Just great… Great as in


p.s. You can also rate your own blog on this dating site. And come back and gloat if you are rated better than G. Yes, come back and GLOAT! So I can curse you and thus improve my rating.

p.p.s. In case it is broken, I tested the accuracy of the rating algorithms with The Bloggess’ website. Fuck. It is very accurate…

NC-17 No Shit

p.p.p.s. PSA: Do remember to clear the histories if you are married or in a serious, supposedly committed relationship, you know, so you don’t get into unnecessary fights with your significant other(s). (Am I awesome or what for reminding you this?!)

p.p.p.p.s. I want to ask you guys: this format of Endless Postscripts, you all used it at high school when passing notes back and forth with your girlfriends, right? Don’t let me down.

p.p.p.p.p.s. Turns out I am rated differently on different dating sites. Excuse me, but why are dating sites offering blog ratings?

This must be from a super conservative or Self-denial Anonymous dating site: the reason for my blog’s BETTER rating is cited as Fuck (x1), Death (x1).

Rated R

Credit: I need to give credit to My Wildlife’s Words. I found this phenom of Blog Rating badge-thingy through her “connections”.

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For Chinese people or people in the know, American Born Chinese are known as ABC, and different from Chinese immigrants (be their parents or their distant cousins), they have to cope with a different set of tribulations, and many of these are psychological. This book, or rather, graphic novel, follows the tradition of Frank Chin's angry plays ("The Year of the Dragon" and especially, "The Chickencoop Chinaman") and Maxine Hong Kingston's Americanization (or rather, Asian-Americanization) of Chinese folklore in "Tripmaster Monkey", and provides a 21-century spin on growing-up Asian/American in the USA. In fact, I have to wonder whether the young brilliant author Gene Luen Yang has read Chin's and Kingston's works — he must have since these are part of the "canon" now. 
All the above probably makes the book sound rather dry, it would be my fault. The book is a wonderful combination of humor, irony, insightful reflections, and great story-telling. It is a wonderful and short read: my husband, my 10-year-old, and I passed the book along and finished reading it in one night. You obviously do not have to be an ABC, or an Asian American, or an Asian for that matter, to appreciate the underlying theme of this book: you have to learn who you really are and appreciate who you are to begin to reach your full potential, and to truly feel that you belong wherever you go.  The theme of "trying to fit in" will resonate with any young person (and not so young) trying to find a place in the world for themselves. 
The book has won several awards, including the National Book Award for Young People. 

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The trend continues: the hat stays. And I am inspired!

November 17, 2008 no manual for parenting

Tweet And it is not just a hat, nor is it a cowboy hat. It is a FEDORA. My 5 yo got a wool fedora for his upcoming 6th birthday. He has been wearing that hat ever since. People would comment on how cute he is, esp. when he tips his hat slightly, and say, […]

My youngest’s got a fedora and a cane…

November 8, 2008 no manual for parenting

Tweet Son: Hey, do you know the name of my cane? Us: No. What? Son: John McCain! (Confession: he was, for the longest time, pro-McCain. There, I said it. He actually cried over this several times pre-election day. His mind was set on McCain because he saw a lot of the commercials by the GOP […]

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Obama calls himself a Mutt and I have two!

November 8, 2008 this i believe

Tweet Is it wrong to have hero worship towards a politician? Ever since the night of Nov. 4, I have been walking through the clouds. Elated, of course, but that feeling also comes from my disbelief that we actually did it. Or rather, he actually did it! And of course, we all know there is […]