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Kinder Surprises are the surprise I learned about the U.S.


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. That’s called German engineering!”

You can’t find these in the U.S. because the toys inside pose choking hazards. I just learned of the brouhaha of Kinder Eggs in the U.S. – Not only can you not find them in the stores, the U.S. Customs will confiscate them if they search your luggage and see them. Sometimes even a fine is imposed: My Google search turned up a 2012 story of $2500 fine per egg.

It’s overblown and ridiculous esp. considering how we refuse to even talk about stricter gun laws here in the U.S. The irony is killing me right now.

They say when you are from outside looking in, you learn new insights about yourself. Kinder Surprises. Yup.

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Scene 1:

There is this new website, People of Walmart, that’s gaining the buzz.  (Heck, even The Bloggess mentioned them as “shit-I-didn’t-write-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome” for this week…)

(Note: also wrote about it on August 31, 2009, the day after this post was originally published.)

Here is one of the most excellent specimen, in all its glory:


(Do check out the guy’s YouTube site as advertised on the back of his jacket…  Did I? Of course!)

Like a guilty pleasure and inexplicable obsession, I gawk at the pictures on a daily basis ever since I was alerted to its existence, shaking my head, unable to avert my eyes away from the grotesque.  The proverbial Train Wreck, and I am one of the Rubber-neckers.

I tweeted.  Sent the link to everybody I know.  “Hilarious. You’ve got to see this!”

Scene 2:

Last week brought this to our attention:

Glamour Shocks Readers By Featuring Plus-Size Model’s Belly


Lizzie Miller by all means is a gorgeous woman. We all agreed. The reaction from female readers to Glamour’s featuring her, tummy and thighs and all, is spetacular yet not surprising.

I want to believe with all my heart that this picture is going to stop myself from agonizing over my body image, to convince myself that what I see in the mirror is good enough – I am not greedy.  I don’t ask for “gorgeous”.  I am only asking for “confident”.  But despite being a gullible person when it comes to panhadlers, I, decidedly, unconsciously, took a cynical stance towards this whole “Rah Rah Big is Beautiful” self-congratulatory outbreak of celebrations in the cyber space.

And as usual, I feel guilty because I desperately want to do the right thing.

Scene 3:

I came upon this blog post by chance:

News Flash! Average is Beautiful. Then Why Am I Having a Fat Day?

“Jane” eloquently put in words what I could not have expressed.  The witty title alone summed it up.  Here is the part that resonated with me, hitting me like a bucket of cold water and an injection of warm vodka at the same time:

So I sit here. Feeling fat. And all this media coverage saying size 12 is beautiful hasn’t made me feel much better at all.

Although many would consider my self-critique of being overweight as insincere whining, “Is she backdoor-bragging? That bitch!”  Let’s face it, I am Asian, and if I am not willowy, I am considered fat. Also, I am just better at hiding the extra pounds:

Control-top panty hose, body shapers, smoothers, I have come to accept this, are my friends.

But are they really?


We have come a long way since the Corset scene in Gone with the Wind, or have we?

*See “Hattie McDaniel: What We Don’t Know About Mammy” for a re-reading of the Mammy character if this picture unsettles you, still, after you have seen it so many times…

Scene 4:

Back to People of Walmart, and this time, we encounter “Pink Belly“…


Part of me naturally gawked and tzzked at the unsightly middle bulge, the Muffin Top of all Muffin Tops, wondering why anybody in their right mind would let it all hang out like this.

“OMG, does she really think that is attractive?”

Part of me though wanted to say, sincerely,

“I salute you.  I admire you for the courage that I do not possess.  You go girl! Be yourself! Say No to corset! And wear whatever the fuck your heart desires!”

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So now I am completely obsessed with Anna May Wong. I wanted to find and read everything about her… then I found this:

Shanghai Express

This is fucking Marlene Dietrich we are talking about here…  Marlene Dietrich looks like this:

(Ignore the cigarettes. They didn’t know better back then…)

Annex - Dietrich, Marlene (Angel)_01

Annex - Dietrich, Marlene (Shanghai Express)_03

Annex - Dietrich, Marlene_17

Yeah.  I get the irony about me posting photographic evidence of objectification of these two gorgeous women after I posted We will not become what we mean to you.   I have the luxury of a revisionist perspective, looking back at these women and what they have done in portraying strong, powerful women, albeit always thwarted by the end of the film.

On the other hand, now this conviction, and personal, secret mantra, “We will not become what we mean to you”, just became even more powerful for me.  The paradox of the subjectification of the unavoidable objectification perchance will remove us from this endless loop, a discourse that goes nowhere.

I am spewing nonsense now.  This shit is complicated.  No wonder people avoid the discussion of gender and racial politics like the plague.

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Valiant Struggle No. 11

August 28, 2009 a picture is worth a thousand words

Valiant Struggle No 11, originally uploaded by The Absence of Alternatives. This piece is part of the Public Art exhibit in Chicago: “A Conversation with Chicago: Contemporary Sculptures from China“. Valiant Struggle No. 11 by Chen Wenlin I like “Protest Art”, or art with a message, as much as the next socially conscious and politically […]


“Gashapon”, cheap souvenirs for kids, sort of like pressed pennies…

March 18, 2009 through the looking glass

Ok, maybe not really like Press Pennie. But in spirit, just like pressed pennies, these "toys in a plastic egg" thingy are low-cost souvenirs that get my kids motivated.  They are called Gashapon in Japanese and are everywhere we go, and the varieties are impressive, so is the quality.  Only that, as you could see, some of the […]

Utah Senator Butt-Arse calls Gays immoral. And polygamy is? Where is the Big Love?

February 20, 2009 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

No flaming please.  I didn’t mean to compare Gays to Polygamists.  But if Utah Senator Chris Butt-Ars (A-ha!) has his right to speak what is on his mind, to spout garbage based on stereotypes and gross generalization and nothing else, despite being an elected public official, then I have the right to generalize the State of Utah […]