Friday, January 25, 2008

You know who you are

Anonymous commenters, I appreciate your feedback. I can understand why you might want to be anonymous:
1. Laziness, don't want to fill out the form, etc.
2. Would like to keep it private for spouse, work, etc. reasons
3. All of the above and any others I missed.

I do wonder about a couple of things...
1. In general, do you expect or want responses to your comments?
2. And if I do respond to your comments, how will you know? (If you use blogger or other kinds of logins, you'll get an email when I respond; this is so useful for staying in the loop.)

I suggest you do what my brilliant 21 year old cousin did. Create a pseudonym that will be completely obvious to me who you are. Unless the reason why you want to be anonymous is to keep your identity from me, then that won't work. :P

NY times editorial staff endorses Clinton and McCain

I enjoyed reading this well-written endorsement on Clinton and was slightly amused by the piece on the endorsement of McCain. Although I feel a little funny about a newspaper taking a stance...aren't they supposed to be unbiased? And the comment they made about Giuliani in the McCain endorsement article..."The real Mr. Giuliani, whom many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man who saw no need to limit police power. Racial polarization was as much a legacy of his tenure as the rebirth of Times Square.
Mr. Giuliani’s arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking."
I agree with it but it's also harsh and biased for a newspaper to blithely publish insults like that.

I did not know that!

Quote from this morning's WWD: "Most bloggers are under 30 and are likely to live in the suburbs; only a third live in urban centers."
I guess blogging helps cure suburban boredom. But we're really hungry for good and cheap takeout, blogging doesn't seem to help there.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wanted: practical answers, stupid questions need not apply

In my younger days, I experienced a lot of consternation over questions like, "Where are you from?" I always wanted to launch into a deep discussion of my family and their migratory patterns and which languages are in our arsenal.
Today, I've taken a 180 from where I was. It's now one of my pet peeves, meeting well-intentioned(?) individuals who say asinine things like "Where are you from?" I tease them by saying, New York. I know the question is really, "What Asian country are you from?" I don't like to reveal the truth as an ice-breaker. I hate to be pigeon-holed or categorized for a first impression. I'd like to think about a clever retort for my kids, surely they will be hit with this innocent sounding ice breaker more frequently than I have in my lifetime.

Chasing rainbows

At this point in my life, I am pretty confident in my ability to nonchalantly state that I'm Thai, Chinese and American. But when I was growing up I had a lot of identity issues -- figuring out who I was or where I belonged was a big deal. I never felt "American" because I'm of Asian descent. And among Asians, it was hard to figure out where I belonged, with the Thais or the Chinese. (There isn't any real "Asian" solidarity, but rather union among national descent.) I didn't speak or write Chinese but had a lot of exposure to the culture. I read and spoke Thai but had very little exposure to the culture. Blah, blah, blah.
Today, I find myself thinking a lot about whether my bi-racial and multi-cultural children will have the same angst towards their identity. I read somewhere that these children tend to choose one or the other culture/race to identify with. I'm hoping that as the human race progresses, all these differences become insignificant; we become more of a rainbow and we don't have to choose.
How can I bring this rainbow to my kids? I think and dream a lot about moving to Hawaii. I heard that mixed race couples and children are common there. I'd like my chidren to grow up in an environment full of rainbow people like them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bread and Olive - a good place for lunch (Middle Eastern food)

I'm not accustomed to any kind of VIP service, paid or free. So today, when I ate lunch at Bread and Olive (just wonderful), I was so surprised when they rolled out the red carpet for me. I can only attribute this to making small talk with the cashier. He gave me a free bottle of water and two falafel balls - completely UNSOLICITED! I'm definitely going to be a regular. The food tastes high quality, fresh and delicious.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hanging on and in there

Even though I'm pretty lazy and feeble-brained, I do believe in perseverance. It sounds so cliched, but I do believe that if you set your mind on something, you can achieve it. Two cases in point: the first example seems to impress everyone but the second one is much harder and garners very little applause.
The first example is birth without drugs. I did this twice. I really wanted to give birth without drugs and experience labor like my long gone ancestors. Not easy but I did it.
The second example that goes completely un or under-appreciated is nursing and related to it is nursing beyond 3 months. Nursing is so hard and painful the first 6 weeks. Just thinking about it hurts me everywhere. But then it gets easier and the pain goes away. Then you like it and then the inconvenience of it all hits you. Can't go to work parties, go on a date with your husband or take a trip without a lot of forethought, misery and planning. You're chained to your baby and it kills every kind of spontaneity.
Yet there's something magical about being able to nurture a baby from my own body. Every day, I struggle with when I should wean. All the pros for it are based on getting my life back. Today, I announced that I was ready to wean. I enumerated at least 4 reasons to quit. It's pretty easy to come up with reasons to stop. But it's also easy to want to cling on to this special time.
Tonight, as I come home late from a "date" with Josh, I am so excited to see my girls. I gingerly walk into Saydee's room. She's sleeping peacefully. I resist the urge to touch or kiss her. I then walk into Daisy's room. She too is sleeping peacefully. I pick her up from her crib and nurse her. She stays asleep the entire time. But I take advantage of our time together, I smell her; I hold on to her soft pudgy hands; I rub her head; I caress her and try to take in as much of her as I can. I know this stage will soon pass. I enjoy loving her this way and I feel sad that it's coming to an end.

Vindicated for herstory!!!

I like re-visiting the past, whether it's dwelling on old pictures, videos or talking about how things used to be or recalling the feelings of significant events, I can get lost in the past. My husband earnestly pointed out to me that my fascination is a waste of time.
Well, something wonderful happened to me today. Someone at work gave me a compliment that I joyfully accepted. He noted that one of my talents is to take history or past events and apply or connect them to the present so that we can focus on where we've come and where we need to go.
Hurray! I feel so good and needed.
Another related passion is curating my husband's history. My explanation for it is that even though I'd rather piece my own history, it's too difficult with few opportunities for successes, whereas his is ripe with rewards but with an appropriate amount of challenge. He grew up in the same town, same house, same parents, same # of people living together with him but he suffers from CRS (can't remember shit)!
I guess feel comfort in being able to put together past events because my own childhood was so disruptive.

Blog-o-mania!

I'm so excited. I'm a successful blog missionary. My father in law now has a blog. My husband will guest star on mine from time to time.
Now, I've got to convince my sister and mother in law to get one. My sister in law doesn't think a blog qualifies as any kind of relationship or connection. I'm trying to prove otherwise...Like back and forth comments are akin to dialogue; blogs are more interesting to me if I know the person; blogs help you stay in touch with people you know, etc. etc.

Monday, January 21, 2008

supercooled water (geeky guest post)

I witnessed some really strange sience this morning:
I left 4 bottles of water in the car when we went to VT this weekend, and before we got in the car to return home, I went out to get a couple bottles to bring inside, to let them thaw before our trip. It was around 10-15 degrees - maybe 20-25 degrees in the car that morning. All the bottles were next to each other in the backseat, and 3 of them were clearly entirely frozen: that whitish color ice filled the bottles. One of the bottles, though, was NOT frozen! It looked clear, like a bottle of water ... so I figured I'd bring that one inside. Unless I was hallucinating, when I picked up the bottle, it froze - right there in my hand. I saw the ice extend from the top of the bottle, right across to the bottom, taking a little under a second to do so. It sounds impossible, like I couldn't have seen that ... but then I remembered something which might have been from highschool science class: I think water can exist in a liquid state below 32 degrees, if it's very still and undisturbed ... and then when it gets disturbed, it will form an ice crystal, which will cause a chain-reaction forming most of the rest of the water into ice. I think this is what happened ... expecially because there was still some unfrozen water in the bottle, while the other bottles were completely frozen through. I think that makes sense because when water turns to ice, it releases heat (I think), and so as a bottle of 25 degree water, it wasn't cold enough to freeze the whole bottle through. Strange, no? Possible?
-JS