This was the HuffPo headline I saw in my head when my eyes were covered with blazes, like in anime, when a character loses his or her shit.

There really is no point to this post.

Yet another LOL-oh-so-hilarious irony that’s so sharp it cuts.

Let me rewind a bit.

Scene: Dinner table

Cast: My family of four. Me. Husband. The two boys.

The subject of homecoming dance came up, well, because we have a 16-year-old. My 11 year old on a lark asked, “Hey, dad, who did you go to homecoming with?”

I laughed. “He went with Auntie Phuong.”

“It’s not Auntie Mai Phuong that we see every Christmas. It’s Auntie Phuong whom you probably don’t remember.” Husb added.

My 11 year old who would have chosen the faction of Candor if we lived in the Divergent universe blurted out with a “gotcha” smirk, “So, you have a thing for Asian women.”

The air froze around me. Or was it instead getting hot? Everything around me simply paused. The voices were coming from far away. I was pulled away from the set but also immediately thrown back down to earth violently.

I sucked in my upper lip and my nostrils might have flared. With my eyes shut tight, I took a deep breath.

I think I am going to lose my shit. 

“Mom lost her shit when child was unPC” would have been a hilarious HuffPo click-bait title. I also thought.

“So…” I decided that I could not let this slide. Isn’t it part of our job as liberal, feminist, culturally and politically conscientious moms to take full advantage of teaching moments such as this?

“So. You’re suggesting that Dad went out with me not because of anything special about me as a person, but because I am Asian first and foremost?”

I think I am losing this. Look at those blank stares. They, both of them, don’t get it.

16-year-old being the diplomat that he is [Thank you Model UN!] stepped in, trying to broker a peace treaty, “Mom. I think you’re overreacting.”

I was ashamed. What kind of sane mother ruins a great family dinner by reacting so vehemently to her child’s remarks? I stepped away from the table with resignation.

“Liberal, feminist, culturally and politically conscientious mom lost her shit when child spouted an honest, possibly innocent, observation that unfortunately harkened back to unequal racial dynamics and power relations”

The easier route would have been to let it go. But we never take the easier route, do we? So I marched the three steps back to the table, going in for the second round.

“No. I am not overreacting. That’s what we’re told every time we raise issues with racist statements or behaviors. Oh you’re overreacting. It’s just a joke. Don’t take it too seriously. You should learn to take a joke. No. Not any more.”

Again, bless his heart, my 16 year old came to his brother’s defense, “That’s not a racist thing to say. It’s just an attribute. It’s no different than saying someone has a preference…”

I stopped dead right there.

I don’t think I am cut out for this. Fuck all these theories, post-colonial, performative, race and ethnicity, feminist, blah blah blah, they are useless when it comes to parenting. Useless when it comes to parenting this generation of kids. 

This generation of kids who were brought up to be “color blind” by TV programs, YouTube videos, and Tumblr memes and GIFs are ignorantly and blissfully blind to racism. They simply do not believe in racism. And by not believing in racism, they believe that racism does not exist.

It’s like reverse Tinker Bell.

“We don’t believe!” Kids to racism.

Racism, “I am getting weak. I am dying.”

Poof. Racism be gone!

[Scene. Lights up. Back to reality]

They think that people like me who cannot let “race” go are the problem. “Why does everything have to be about race?”

Believe me. I wish I were oblivious too, kids.

 

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So were men consulted when mother’s day was invented? Did they agree to the deal or was it simply a unilateral contract? Maybe it seems unfair to some that they have to be on their best behavior the whole day?

What’s up with “I” have to do everything around the house? The whole 24 hours?

I imagine a tiny voice grumbling.

I expect the same thing on father’s day then.

Maybe it will work better if the mother is removed from the environment of the house then there’s no hard feeling going around about who’s doing what on the day when all the commercials make you believe that we’re all supposed to be waited on hand and foot without lifting a finger, that all our whims are catered to, etc. It seems such a drag for all involved. The crushing weight of expectations. A stifling cloud of unspoken, unjustified disappointment hanging.

Maybe it should just be mother’s morning? Mother’s luncheon? Till after lunch? And then everything goes back to normal? To be honest, I can’t wait for this day to be over myself so I can go back to doing things per life dealt me instead of having to wait until Monday.

Most likely this is just another whining episode of first world problems when so many mothers out there genuinely deserve and need a break. I wonder whether you would consider joining me in making donations to non-profit organizations that land a helping hand to women, especially mothers? From Heifer International, Women to Women, to Help A Mother Out (Did you know that the simple act of donating diapers can help change somebody’s life for the better?)

Have a truly happy, contented, mother’s day!

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Minard 600x286 The Brutal Eloquence of an Infographic

(Click on the flow map to see the larger version on Wikipedia)

This flow map was recently touted by Dr. James Grime on Numberphile as “The Greatest Ever Infographic”. It’s created by Charles Minard, a French civil engineer and a pioneer for “information graphics”.

So, yes, Internet, I was just as startled as you’re now to realize that Information Graphics are not new, and that they used to actually demonstrate useful information and sometimes even tell a gripping story, such as this masterpiece published by Minard in 1869, depicting, in its chilling reality, in graphs nonetheless, Napoleon’s 1812 disastrous March through Russia to Moscow.

All you really need to know to appreciate the totality of Napoleon’s defeat and the enormity of suffering and loss is that the width of the beige colored band represents the size of Napoleon’s army on their way to Russia (442,000); the width of the black colored band, that of his army retreating after Moscow (10,000).

Dr. Grime spoke with great compassion of the point on the flow map where a second black-colored band joins the main one. It tells the story of the Battle of Bérézina, spanning four days in November 1812. The retreating French Army suffered unspeakable loss – the number goes from 50,000 before the Bérézina River to 28,000 afterwards.

I’d never shed a tear looking at a graph. Until I saw this one.

 

…defy the pen of the historian by its brutal eloquence.   — Étienne-Jules Marey

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Surprises from Germany!

March 7, 2014 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

  Best find in Germany: Kinder Eggs (Kinder Surprises). I was indeed pleasantly surprised that the toy is a Lufthansa plane. And the pieces all fit together nicely. (Remember those horrible experiences with your sobbing, disappointed kid because the cheap toys broke or could not be put together even with Super Glue?) My son said, “Duh. […]

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Der Rambling über Berlin [sic]

March 3, 2014 through the looking glass

I spent 7 Euro for the privilege of going inside the Berliner Dom. Money so well spent.   So… This happened. I walked into the hotel and there’s this giant aquarium about 25 metre tall in the middle of of the lobby.       A room with a view.     What happens when […]

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Snowman Cookie GIF

January 12, 2014 a picture is worth a thousand words

I love this GIF so much. Courtesy of Google+ Autoawesome and Android magic.

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Polar Vortex vs Tardis

January 8, 2014 no manual for parenting

Many would be mightily disappointed by the misleading title of this post. My apology. By Tardis, I mean the awesome Tardis fleece blankets found on ThinkGeek. Each of the boys got one for Christmas. I was blue with envy as soon as I touched it. So soft and fuzzy. AND it’s bigger on the inside! […]

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Help! Cuteness is everywhere.

December 29, 2013 through the looking glass

I had the privilege of flying on one of Eva Airlines’ Hello Kitty planes today.   Everywhere you turn on the plane, you see signs of Hello Kitty: from the pins on the flight attendants’ uniforms, their pink aprons, the pillow covers, to the air freshener in the lavatory.   I started chuckling as I […]

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Already started…

December 29, 2013 random

My plan to eat nothing until I reach Taipei completely failed. Thanks to Asiana Airlines.  

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Flying home. Musing.

December 28, 2013 random

On ASIANA plane less than 5 minutes I’ve Already noticed vast differences. First of all: Flight attendants’ smiles & willingness to help. 3 flight attendants offered to help me with lifting my carry-on to the overhead bin despite the fact that I’m bigger than all 3 of them combined! They’re also all very young, thin […]

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