From the monthly archives:

May 2012

I don’t have any new rules to share with the world like Bill Maher and his team of writers. What I have though is a list of OLD rules that I just want to humbly scream out loud into the abyss of the Internet.

  • Old rule: Don’t say that you do your own laundry if you do NOT fold the clothes. Throwing in the dirty laundry into the washer and then moving the clothes from the washer into the dryer is like you accidentally getting a girl pregnant in the back of a Chevy. The real work is in carrying the baby to term and giving birth.
  • Old rule: It does not count as doing the dishes if all you do is rinsing the dishes and stacking them on the kitchen counter.
  • Old rule: Please stop telling people you enjoy cooking. Try cleaning up the kitchen next time and we will discuss how much you still like cooking afterwards.
  • Old rule: Turning on the turn signal AS you are making the turn is the same as NOT using the turn signal, and it makes you a law-breaking d-bag.
  • Old rule: If you drive a sporty car, DRIVE it like a sporty car. Don’t go under the speed limit. It is not Cruise Night. Listen. Your car is crying.
  • Old rule: Just because you can see me, it does not mean I can see you. You can see me because I am driving in a car with its headlights on; I cannot see you because you are effing riding a bike wearing dark clothing at night.
  • Old rule: Just because you can see me, does not mean I can see you. You can see me because your back is towards the sun; I cannot see you because I am driving dead west at five o’clock and the sun is attacking my eyes with its giant laser beams.
  • Old rule: Adding a smilie face at the end of your curt email only highlights the passive aggressiveness of it.
  • Old rule: If you don’t know the back story, don’t tell someone, “Don’t be a bitch.”
  • Old rule: You ask me to have coffee and catch up. Please refrain from scanning the room the whole time seeing who else comes and goes. I don’t know about you, but the whole networking approach taught in B school is really getting on my nerves. You’ve climbed far, more power to you. Next time, please feel free to fail to contact me. It will save us both time.
  • Old rule: It is extremely rude to make that “hurry up” gesture when someone is talking no matter how long that person has been droning on.
  • Old rule: Be nice to people who do not matter, e.g. servers, doormen, delivery people. Your true character shall be judged on this.
  • Old rule: It makes you an asshat if you do not hold the door open for the next person if they are within “the courtesy zone”.


Whenever I find myself in the awkward zone, I hurry up so I could get into the courtesy zone asap


  • Old rule: When you find yourself in the awkward zone, DO hurry up so the person that’s holding the door for you can 1. stop feeling awkward, 2. move on with their life. He’s not your doorman. You are not god’s gift to men. And for goodness sake, thank them!
  • Old rule: When someone says “Thank you”, the proper response is “You are welcome” and not “uh huh”. It makes you sound bitter.
  • Old rule: Use Please. Thank you. Excuse me. It is really that simple.


I know there are a lot more. It’s 4 am. Old rule: Stop telling people what time it is when you are banging out gibberish on your keyboard. Just go to bed already. Anyhoo, would LOVE it if y’all wouldn’t mind adding your own in the comment section.

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Mother's Hand by Antanas Sutkus (1966)

Source: La Lettre de la Photographie

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Yes, I am the Grinch, Mother’s Day version. I wrote a whiny, bitchy, grouchy post on/near Mother’s Day every year. I thought about restraining myself this year because as we all know, bitterness is extremely unattractive. The problem with bitterness is that it easily borders on envy, and as we also know, envy is one of the seven deadly sins. (That being said, I still call bullshit on the killer’s motive in Seven…)

Unlike the optional Father’s Day that celebrates the underprivileged, undercelebrated fathers of the world, Mother’s Day is an internationally recognized holiday. My memory of Mother’s Day was forever ruined when I was a kid back in Taipei. In grade school, for Mother’s Day every year, a period would be scheduled for making carnations out of tissue papers and wires. Sounds fun, right? Now consider this: There is a suggested “rule” for the use of carnation: wear a red carnation if your mother is still alive; wear a white one if your mother has passed away. And imagine this: someone in your classroom had just lost his mother… Picture this: on every desk was laid out pieces of red tissue papers, except one.

I cannot recall whether the boy cried or not. But whenever I think of Mother’s Day from that day on, I see the white tissue papers on his desk.

And then I want to go back in time and punch those stupid teachers.


As I said, I was going to shut up about Mother’s Day and join in the festivities at least online. (IRL, I am working, and nothing has been planned to mark today any different from any other Sunday. In fact, I completely forgot about it for myself, and therefore I forgot to get anything for my MIL and my own mother. Yes, I can be a heartless bitch. I am very sorry, Mom. I really really am… One more thing, if I may ask, why is it MY job to remember Mother’s Day for MIL and Father’s Day for FIL? I love them dearly but still.)  That is, until I saw this Forbes article about the founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Marie Jarvis. I knew that Jarvis campaigned to have a day established to commemorate mothers all over the world per her own mother’s wish. She asked people to wear carnations on this day in memory of her mother because carnations were her favorite. What surprises me, and should everybody else, is that Jarvis was outraged by the gross commercialization of Mother’s Day soon afterwards. “Jarvis detested the commercialism of what the day had become. With her sister Ellsinore, they spent their family inheritance fighting the day’s designation.” She dedicated the rest of her life to campaign against Mother’s Day, or probably more accurately, the gross commercialization of Mother’s Day.

A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.

So there you have it.

Jarvis would have been an awesome blogger, imo.

Did I ever mention that I have a pathological need to be liked? Ok, it may not be obvious considering how paradoxically I cannot help being a sarcastic bitch. Anyway, that need extends to my children as well. I don’t doubt that they love me, but LIKE is something else. You need to earn it. (Except on Facebook, I guess.)  My decidedly unsentimental sentiment towards Mother’s Day aside, every year on this day, instead of expecting some obligatory adoration from my family, I become even more paranoid about how I have been performing as a mother. The self doubt becomes overwhelming as the day progresses and I just want it to end so we can all get back to our regularly scheduled programs. I was rescued from myself when Mr. Monk handed me a hand-made card with a twenty dollar bill inside. I burst into tears as I read the words. Maybe Mother’s Day does not suck that much after all.



p.s. But wait. What does he mean by “inside every dark world”? Is he saying that his world is dark? That he is unhappy? He’s not even 10 years old yet. What have I done to my child??!! Oh lord… The saga of my guilt trip continues…

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Let’s make it official

May 9, 2012 mark my word: twitter will doom us all

Today, on May 9, 2012, for the first time in history, the President of United States publicly announced that he supports same-sex marriage. [Let’s not overlook the fact though that he also said each state gets to decide whether to legalize same-sex marriage or not… But still…] What makes it such a groundbreaking moment in […]


O rly?

May 6, 2012 no manual for parenting

  I don’t remember ever sign on a labor division agreement in which I am the designated parent in charge of school projects. Learn from my mistake: Before you get married, in addition to the pre-nup, AND the chore chart, make sure you and the other party agree on 50-50 should you ever become parents, […]



May 3, 2012 random

Someone asked me today, quite bluntly but I appreciate her directness – she started our conversation with this question, “Are you happy in your marriage?”, whether I get hit on a lot when I travel. Have you hung out at the hotel bar? Airport lounge? And nobody ever hit on you? Frequently. All the time. […]


I am from the Internet

May 2, 2012 random

I’m waiting for the day when, if you tell someone ‘I’m from the internet’, instead of laughing they just ask ‘oh, what part?’                         xkcd I met a fellow blogger yesterday.  It no longer feels weird to me to meet someone who I have been […]



May 1, 2012 random

As soon as I stepped into the house from a business trip, I heard a moan from a heap at the corner of our sink-and-swim sofa. Shit. I thought to myself. “Dad was not like this a second ago. He was ok before you came home.” Mr. Monk, my 9-year-old, informed me with mischievous glee. […]