Things I Might Do

April 30, 2012 § 2 Comments

These are some of the things I would do if I had the resources to do (mostly) whatever I wanted with my life after growing up a bit (without bingeing on the luxuries), ranked in somewhat chronological order. I realize that some of these are frivolous while others are near-impossible (unless the Romneys adopt me, perhaps), but if I had full control over my life, these are some choices I would make. The beautiful thing about life, however, is that we never are fully in control, so it’s safe to say that most of the following will never come true, and I’m OK with that.

1. Lasik surgery

I think I look better with glasses than without, but my eyesight is only getting worse with time, and I don’t want to be blind by the time I’m too old to find my glasses on the nightstand. I’m not sure I’ll have the guts to go through with it, though, because they slice your eye open!!!! It’s too much to handle. I think my blood pressure rises every time I think about it. Still, I see it as an inevitability. If only insurance covered the procedure.

Cost: $4000+

2. Custom-painted car

If I had the option, I would buy a Mini Cooper and get it painted hot pink, probably with a black top and two black stripes down the front. I’ve wanted a Mini since before I was 16 (it is the most popular brand among women, after all), and having a pink one would just be the icing on top of the Barbie cake of my life, if I liked icing. This is risky, though, because I’d worry that my car might get keyed or egged by hateful people. As Taylor Swift put it, people throw rocks at things that shine, and a hot pink Mini shines pretty hard.

Pretty much exactly like this

Cost: $21,600 + $7,500

3. Personal chef

I can keep my house organized and take care of most household things fine, but cooking is something at which I am purely mediocre, and if I could, I would really rather just hire someone to cook dinner for me (and maybe do the dishes ha ha though it seems most of these services are more on the delivery end than in-home) than have to worry about it myself. I’m not a picky eater, so it wouldn’t really be difficult for whomever I hire, as long as they can make authentic Chinese food. I usually do OK making food for myself, but the thought of someday having to make dinner every night for a family (or even myself + husband) is just too much. I don’t think I could handle the pressure. Good thing gender roles are more fluid these days, meaning I won’t be saddled with the full responsibility of it in the future, right? Speaking of kids…

Cost: $11,700/yr for a personal chef AKA deliveries, $55,000/yr for a private chef, cost of groceries not included for either

4. Surrogate

The thought of being pregnant freaks me out and is totally unappealing. It might be weird or taboo to admit this publicly, but oh well. (I still want kids!!) I think it would be awesome to watch my baby grow…in somebody else’s body. Yup. If I could be a seahorse, that would be pretty super. I have a feeling this is the least likely to happen out of all the things on this list (if I can count my future spouse as a personal chef, heh heh) simply due to the astronomical price, which makes me sad.

And would I outsource the already-outsourced pregnancy (ie. out of the country, to save money) or be a helicopter biological mother? What kinds of people become surrogates, anyway? Would I be able to find a smart, healthy young lady? I’d like to hire a white woman just to be absolutely sure that it’s my baby that comes out. LOL

Cost: $100,000

5. Adopt

Kind of goes along with the previous one, but more compelling. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to adopt a child (probably a girl) from Asia (probably China). I was a bit deterred after learning that some people steal babies to sell to adoption-seekers, which is absolutely appalling. There are already so many unwanted children in the world and you’re going to steal a baby that somebody is already taking care of to sell to an unsuspecting couple?! WTF!

Anyway, my heart goes out to the orphans of the world, and I’d love to do my part to provide a home for one someday. Also, as someone who ranks overpopulation as one of the World’s Most Pressing Problems Of Today, I think it would be great if people could adopt the children that have already been born instead of senselessly procreating like there’s no tomorrow, which there won’t be once this planet’s resources dry up and everyone has to move to Mars.

Cost: $20,000-30,000

6. Mr. Duker

This one is kind of bizarre, but my favorite band director once told us (in middle school) that someday if we got rich, he would really appreciate it if we could help fund him to take a trip to outer space because he really wanted to go. I wrote it down in my notebook and haven’t forgotten, for some reason. Since then, Mr. Duker has gotten married and had at least one baby, so I’m not sure if he’d be down for a trip outside the atmosphere, but if I could, I would happily send him to space and back, for all the good times in band class.

Cost: $200,000?

Space travel is free if you're nyan cat


On Etiquette, Or The Lack Thereof

April 19, 2012 § 4 Comments

This is something that I’ve seen more than a few times in my life, and most of the time it’s (sadly) been in China or perpetrated by Chinese people. Sigh. I hate to post a rant about my own people, but this is just embarrassing and most of all RUDE!

I went to another press event this afternoon — it was a very intimate affair, with only seven media people and about just as many of the brand’s employees flitting about. We were tucked in the corner of the cosmetics department behind the counter of the brand whose launch we were attending, seated in folding chairs almost elbow-to-elbow. It was scheduled to start at 2PM but didn’t begin until around 2:30, which is an issue in itself, but I’m slowly getting used to this delayed timekeeping. (The only thing that worries me is that I’m not sure if I make a good impression by showing up on time — and first — or if I just look like a huge n00b. But mother would be proud.)

Once the event was ready to begin, the general manager started her welcoming spiel and was half a sentence in until she noticed that two of the attendees were still on their phones, so she paused to let them finish. One of them quickly ended her conversation, while the other literally kept going for a full minute while the rest of us waited. I was like, are you serious?? Do you not see us sitting here waiting for you? (Cue dramatic eye-rolling from me.) She wasn’t speaking loudly or anything, but obviously they wanted everyone’s full attention before beginning. After all, there were only seven of us in the audience.

As the event went on, we got to watch a demonstration of one of the brand’s new facials, conducted by one of their professional international trainers who had a British accent. About five minutes into it, as the therapist was explaining the process, the lady sitting next to me received a phone call and actually picked it up. I was flabbergasted. Like, who is so important that you can’t miss one call? (I wouldn’t know because both these women spoke Cantonese into their phones.) Do you not know that there’s this thing called texting that allows you to communicate with other people without blatantly disrupting what’s going on around you?!

She carried on her conversation quietly, but since she was sitting right next to me, I was distracted both by her talking and my ire, so I just side-eyed her as demeaningly as I could without appearing unprofessional. There aren’t many other options for reacting to this situation.

This is seriously a problem, guys. I remember during class one time at HKU, a girl actually picked up the phone during the lecture (it was in a regular-sized classroom) and ducked behind her laptop so as not to be noticed. (I might have blogged about this before.) I was shocked. I mean, these people can’t all have a relative on his deathbed, right?? Or a friend flying in from overseas who is calling from a pay phone? Those are the only acceptable scenarios I can come up with.

Anyway, I might just be particularly sensitive about this. I even hate it when I’m with a friend and she constantly checks her phone or texts someone without telling me what she’s doing. Like, are you with me or are you with your phone?? Can you give it a rest or at least let me know what’s going on that’s so interesting over there? Ugh. People and their phones need to learn some manners.

Phones In The Library With Their Asians

March 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

someecards realBy now, I’ve read and watched countless responses to Alexandra Wallace’s rant about Asians in the library. Most have been entertaining or insightful, and I didn’t think that I would have anything to add to the conversation; however, one issue has gone unaddressed, so I’m going to speak out about it.

In certain responses, both online and with people I’ve talked to in person, people have drawn attention to the way Alexandra is dressed. “She’s kind of…popping out,” a guy friend said to me. I’ve heard things from “slut” to something along the lines of “you dress that way because you try to hide the fact that you’re fat.”

I definitely don’t condone the racist things Ms. Wallace chose to say. But I also cannot support slut-shaming, which is basically what most of these comments do. “I can’t respect her or take her seriously because all I see are her boobs” is what they translate into. And whether you say that while being serious or being humorous, you’re still fighting racism with sexism.

From what I saw, Alexandra was clearly getting comfortable sitting on her bed in her room talking to her webcam. Yes, maybe she could’ve covered up more, but please. What she wears is none of your business — there’s no way she could’ve foreseen that video playing from millions of computers around the world. Can you be a mature, non-sexist adult and look beyond her wardrobe choices to the actual person?

A Public Affair

February 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

My capstone class is one that I was initially very reluctant to take: Journalism and Democracy is a course advertised as the “capstone for people who no longer want to do journalism after graduation,” and I was extremely displeased when I didn’t make my first capstone choice.

However, it has turned out to be much better than I expected. The work is probably less practical [and just less in general], but our readings and discussions on ethical issues and how journalism relates to democracy make for some interesting brain food.

Today, we read Ethics: Going Public with Rape from Time magazine and debated the pros and cons of publishing a rape victim/accuser’s name in print. It doesn’t seem like a big deal at first, but editors have to go through a number of ethical processes before coming to a decision. Even my professor admitted to being torn on the issue.

Our visceral reaction is to probably take the side of not publishing victims’ names. I frowned in class when I was assigned to the “pro-publishing” side of the debate. To have that kind of personal trauma broadcasted publicly seems like the wrong decision automatically. And there’s the very real possibility of the “secondary injury,” which would impede the victim’s recovery. You could also argue for the potential of the perpetrator to find and harass the victim, though 84% of women know their attacker, according to I Never Called It Rape by Robin Warshaw, so the accused being able to discover the name is not the problem.

As journalists [and rational people in general], however, we can’t base these ethical decisions on immediate reactions.

Rape is one of the most underreported crimes both in terms of being reported to the police as well as reported in the news. The impetus for the story in Time was Nancy Ziegenmeyer’s decision to let the Des Moines Register publish her name, by which “she hoped to focus attention on this underreported crime and thereby prevent other women from being raped.”

Rape as a crime is treated differently than other crimes. If a woman is beaten up and mugged, it wouldn’t be such a difficult decision to publish her name as opposed to if she were raped. The difference in treatment could be valid. Or you could blame it on “society.” In any case, journalists have a duty to take the more ethical decision.

One obstacle is the widespread practice of victim-blaming. “Naming cannot be divorced from blaming,” Katha Pollitt wrote in a 1991 article on the subject. It’s been two decades, but “she deserved it” is still an implied or explicit response from many. This ignited a short vent from one of my female classmates whose guy friend always tells his female friends to “be careful and make good decisions” when they go out. Even though his advice might be given out of genuine concern, let’s not forget that rape is a deliberate crime, not some occupational hazard. Men could use more of the “scantily clad does not mean TOUCH ME and neither does a fancy dinner” lesson.
“There seems to be an emerging consensus that women should be encouraged to admit that they have been victims of a form of assault for which they need bear no guilt,” wrote Andrea Sachs in the Time article, which is notably from 1990.

Nothing has changed much since then. Most newspapers stand by the policy of not publishing victims’ names, but that hasn’t ostensibly benefitted society as a whole. Rape is still stigmatized and underreported. My professor pointed out that by hiding the names of accusers, it makes it seem like there’s something to hide. Certainly, I wouldn’t expect a rape victim to tell the whole world about his or her experience, but nothing is going to change if we don’t question the status quo. I also wouldn’t expect an individual woman to “become the face of” a crime she didn’t bring upon herself, just like Rihanna didn’t go around addressing teenagers about domestic abuse after the Chris Brown fiasco.

Another related issue that I learned about in sociology was that many times, the press focuses too much on the victim. Rape is somewhat sensationalized, and so the details of the crime tend to render the rapist invisible with something as simple as language. “The woman was raped” should be changed to “The alleged offender raped the woman” lest we forget that rape doesn’t just happen by chance.

In the end, my group decided that the best choice would be to only publish victims’ names with their consent. I’m not even sure if this blog post made sense because I’m simply regurgitating my thoughts as well as built-up frustrations at the system — I could probably write on and on about how much I hate how rape is handled in our society.

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