From the monthly archives:

July 2010

The worst thing about this camping trip...

2:19:39 PM: We didn’t get on the road till 2 pm. Just lk “Stuff White People Like” says about camping: we stopped by friggin REI! I’m driving now.

2:23:16 PM: sayz: Camping is for Bears: Live Blogging My Misery http://goo.gl/fb/DuYyx

3:46:31 PM: Tis a good thing I drove. Parking lot half of the way. Husband wouldve died from burst blood vessel before we got to camp site. We are here.

3:47:11 PM: Best billboard ads ever: Your wife is hot… Time to get your AC fixed!

5:14:49 PM: We hadn’t got to our camp site b4 we were eaten alive by bugs. I’m going to die by bug spray or bug bites. Burka sounds lk a good idea now

5:25:09 PM: We r surrounded by giant campers. We r of course doing it old skul. The green dom is our friends’ http://twitpic.com/2ahq9i

7:54:03 PM: Camp fire. This one is going to toast the marshmallows in a second! Ok. Maybe camping isn’t so bad. http://twitpic.com/2aj4ml

9:21:54 PM: Perfectly toasted marshmallows are science and art. And retractable roasting sticks are the best buy http://twitpic.com/2ak199

I am still f awake! First it’s the loud cacophony of bugs & frogs. Now my back is killing me. I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue?

2:42:31 AM: I am still f awake! First it’s the loud cacophony of bugs & frogs. Now my back is killing me. I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue?

2:51:14 AM: At least I got my own sleeping bag. The 1st time MR only packed 3 saying I could share w youngest as a blanket. Of course it got F chilly…

2:53:50 AM: I wrapped youngest in “blanket” then shivered the whole night thinking I was going 2 die while they snored away. At least the kids can sleep

2:58:02 AM: Our friends work 4 mobile company yet don’t get our fascination w “electronic gadgets”. I’ve been sneakily tweeting. Bathroom. Car. Woods.

4:34:19 AM: Why can’t I fall asleep? Why R zippers in tents so loud? Why do birds chirp so loudly since 4 am? How long can I hold my pee/?

4:52:50 AM: MR who came back from Asia on Fri left w car @ 5am. I hope he’s not checking in Red Roof Inn… On 2nd thought, I hope he does & invites me!

5:15:43 AM: The tent smells like gym. I’ve been awake since 2. My back hurts. I need 2 pee. THIS makes me happy: http://twitpic.com/2anagg

6:13:46 AM: What’d ya know? As soon as I started to drift off, kid woke up & the day began! #NoRest4TheWicked http://twitpic.com/2anr7u

8:56:06 AM: Eating like royalty: Mountain Man dutch oven cooking. Guess I’m not losing weight this weekend. Ugh. http://twitpic.com/2ap39c

9:57:10 AM: Conquering the giant sand dune. So proud of the kids. I am “watching over” the kids. Look at them go http://twitpic.com/2aplr7

12:28:36 PM: It took MR coaxing me half way thru & disappearing on me & my oldest volunteering 2 b “Butt Pusher&qu http://twitpic.com/2aqsv9

12:31:21 PM: MR yelling “You can do it!” I made it 2 the top. So did the 3yo girl in our group. Great streching! http://twitpic.com/2aqtni

4:34:16 PM: I kept on forgetting this is not the ocean but Lake Michigan. It’s so damn hot. No umbrella. ūüôĀ http://twitpic.com/2asqoq

5:55:10 PM: Took 2nd shower of the day… OMFG! Houston, we have a problem! Raccoon eyes! I got racoon eyes right b4 #BlogHer10 & company shindig! F*ck!

8:03:48 PM: Now that’s a fire! But why am I still getting bitten, after 2 different bug sprays?! http://twitpic.com/2auejb

6:30:26 AM: So hot last night. Had hard time sleeping. Even fanned myself with my hand! Then it got cold. Cold & wet. Woke up shivering. Good times. Ugh

6:35:02 AM: Good thing I had sugar coma at first from these giant marshmallows. We called them marsh melons. http://twitpic.com/2aycxz

10:52:08 AM: Worst things about camping: bugs esp. bug caught in my eyelash; sleeping in hot tent & hard ground; needing 2 pee in the middle of night

10:55:38 AM: Best things about camping: big sand dune; the lake; breakfast w bacon & then eggs & pancakes made in bacon grease; camp fire; marshmallows

10:59:26 AM: Lesson learned on this camping trip: wear a hat instead of sunglasses b/c full moon face/new moon chin is better than raccoon eyes

3:25:29 PM: Finally home. Gained ONLY 2 lbs on camping trip, thank goodness! Now unpacking & then packing 4 biz trip. Can’t wait for 6am flt! NOT! -fin-

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2:59:29 PM: sayz: Crazy week ahead… How to keep my Tamagotchi alive? http://goo.gl/fb/74Hr6

3:00:14 PM: Let the live blogging begin!

3:02:08 PM: Here’s my schedule starting this Saturday: Camping till Mon. Tue 6 am flight out on biz trip. Back Thur evening. Friday 7 am flt 2 NYC. Nuts

3:12:16 PM: Thought I’d try out Twitter update. BECAUSE I naturally assume that y’all want to know what’s going on in my life. EVERY SECOND. #Egomaniac

3:14:19 PM: Camping trip will prove to be hilarious also as I hate the outdoors. There, I said it. It’s not even b/c I am hip. I am just lame and lazy.

3:24:59 PM: Did I break Twitter? Again?

3:25:49 PM: Hey @forthebirdsblog you are now in my blog post! “I am in a blog post. Look again. The liquid bread is now diamonds” #OldSpice

3:27:35 PM: Thank you @forthebirdsblog for being my confused guinea pig. ^_^

3:30:29 PM: Liquid bread is a good call, @forthebirdsblog. But “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.” Vodka? STAT & keep it running

3:34:51 PM: Wax on. Wax off. Now off. This liveblogging session is now off. Thank you. Bye. See you. Hello? Hello? Are you still there? Anybody?

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I have been back to my real life since two Sundays ago. ¬†After a week on the beach, doing nothing, having no appointments to make, no place to rush to, I find it hard to adjust back to life in the suburbia 100%. On the first few days after The Beach, I caught myself thinking that I was about to get ready to go to the beach. I got a bit disoriented when I was driving because I was expecting to make the right turn and go into the development where the beach house was. In an almost¬†imperceptible¬†way, memories from the beach (even when I did not know I was remembering specifically any scene, any event, so perhaps it is more aptly an “aura”) seeped into reality as I am trying to adjust to life back to normal.

Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.

Disorientation. It happens every year after The Beach. Naturally it does get better as the week of post-coastal coital tristesse advances.

Perhaps because I now have a Tamagotchi blog to keep, I am even more self-reflective; I was caught by surprise by how I reacted with happiness to some of the things back home. Things I hadn’t realized I’d missed while I was doing The Beach… in addition to the Internet and robust Wireless coverage, it goes without saying.

My bed. Ok. Our bed. And I did consciously miss it during The Beach. At least my aching back did. A lot.

When we moved into our current house ten years ago, my husband and I made a conscious decision to get ourselves the best bed we could afford without going against our principle, “Only losers pay retail”. Considering how on average human beings spend one third of their lives in bed (i.e. 8+ out of 24 hours every day in theory), a firm and comfortable bed that allows you to wake up refreshed is one of the best investment with the highest ROI a person can make. ¬†Our bed is one of those memory foams similar to Tempur-Pedic, and true to the marketing claim, we seldom disturb each other when we lie down or get up from the bed. ¬†The downside of having such an awesome bed is 1) We feel like going straight to bed most of the time, and 2) We are so spoiled now that we find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up without kinks or aches when we travel.

.

My car.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard a joke about driving while female? How about driving while Asian? Now put those two together, you got? Me.

I have to write about my love for driving one day, but for now, it suffices to say that I missed my car even though we had a nice and clean rental car, a Toyota Camry, that week. ¬†I didn’t realize that I missed my tiny¬†hatchback. In fact, after a long absence, I tend to be hesitant when I put my foot on the gas pedal, feeling like a virgin driver. I supplied pressure with my foot tentatively and my car purred (the way a small, non-sporty car does anyway). I thought, “Oh how I have missed you!” I love the¬†familiarity. The comfort and ease. The confidence I¬†exude¬†when I am behind the steering wheel of my itty bitty car. ¬†Possibly the smallest, everyday car, used to transport kids on a regular basis within the 15-mile radius of Suburbia. The pride, most likely undeserved, I feel in my heart when I am surrounded by gas-guzzling SUVs. ¬†Especially when I encounter a Cadillac Escalade on the road (which for some reason happens more often than I wish), I see my itty bitty superduper hatchback as a finger extended in its general direction.

Booyah!

.

Chicago. Or any other larger city with a diverse population where I will not be stared at like a zoo animal. Where I do not stand out. Where I blend into the mosaic tapestry of life effortlessly. Where I will be ignored, just like everybody else.

For one reason or another we end up in the northern most tip of OBX every year where even the groundskeepers are white.  No shit. Even the seasonal workers they employ in the stores and restaurants are of Eastern European origins.  This year, for the first time, I saw two Asian cashiers at the supermarket, and (I did not imagine this!) they looked startled when they saw me at the checkout line.

Yeah, I am going to sound like a reverse-racist but it gets on my nerves every single year on the beach, this lack of diversity. This pervasive whiteness. I am never the only person of color there because my sister-in-law is of Asian Indian heritage. (Born and bred in the U.S. of A.). ¬†Although she laughs every time I mention how 1) this has got to be the worst week for their property value, 2) the two of us double the population of Asian descent instantly, 3) “I am going to integrate now!” before I head towards the local super market, she may not be as sensitive as I am. ¬†I, the product of years of Ivory-Tower immersion in race theories, American histories, cultural histories, identity theories, racial politics, post-colonial literature and theories, what have you. ¬†Every year I counted the number of people of color I saw on the beach, in the pool, in the general area. This year I saw on the beach one African American family and a family of white parents and their children adopted from Asia. Then there were me and my sister-in-law. ¬†That’s it. ¬†Never more than a dozen.

The staring.  The surreptitious looks.  Sometimes became too much.  Without knowing it, I became edgy, stressed, and bitter because I was on display.

I whisper-yelled at the kids to behave more than I should have done, I didn’t know then but I do now, because I wanted to make sure that THESE PEOPLE not walk away with ANY false impression of Asian people. God forbid if I were the only Asian person they have come in close contact with in a shared environment, i.e. outside of Chinese¬†restaurants, dry¬†cleaners, nail salons, [fill in stereotypically Asian-owned businesses]. I certainly don’t want them to draw any negative conclusions about Asian-looking people because of the mistakes I made. (Great! Now they are going to think that Asian mothers yell at their kids too much! Fuck!)

I was ON the whole time. I was on my best behavior. I made great efforts to speak with as little hint of my foreign accent as possible because FUCK if I wanted to perpetuate the stereotype of Asians as perpetual, inscrutable, foreigners in this country. (The irony of me being indeed a FOREIGNER was not lost on me. Thank you very much. And I hope you all American-born people of Asian descent appreciate my fighting this battle alongside you so please no more making fun of people speaking in a foreign accent so you can feel, you know, American…)

As soon as I stepped off the plane at O’Hare Airport and emerged from the jetway, I was greeted with faces of varying shades in the bustling gate area. ¬†I let out a sigh of relief. ¬†The tension in my¬†shoulders, which I hadn’t known was there, dissipated with such force it was physically perceptible to me. ¬† The chip on ¬†my shoulder melted, figuratively and physically even though I hadn’t realized I’d been wearing one. ¬†I was able to relax. ¬†I did not become fully aware of it until I no longer felt subconsciously¬†the need to¬†represent.

Yup. I missed not having to represent.

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What ya doin’?

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Sarah Connor I ain’t. Ay, there’s the rub.

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Celebrate my birthday this Sunday? Have a Slurpee from 7-Eleven and a Solar Eclipse on me!

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You did not heed the warning from the man in Chinatown

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