Tuesday, October 13, 2009

NORMAL TO FANTASIZE ABOUT OTHERS...

I have to admit once while I was getting head, I craned my neck - hey! it was way before TiVo - to the right to catch that night’s episode of Felicity. I mean, well, who didn’t want to know whether she chose Ben or Noel? Right?

Luckily, I wasn’t fantasizing about Ben - at least I don’t think so. Maybe. But writer Dan Savage shares his opinion on whether it’s normal to fantasize about others while your partner/lover is out of town or on top of you.


I agree, Dan. And I say it’s also okay to catch a glimpse of the tube too. Right?

Friday, September 11, 2009

THE POWER WITHIN

Author Marianne Williamson’s Miracle Thought Of The Day on Oprah.com invokes poet Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous quote - “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us” - to steer us to the “power within.”

Williamson goes on to say that too many are enraptured in the past and future - even though they don’t exist, except in one’s mind. In the present, she says, we are able to experience what lies within us, and no matter what has happened in your past. And every moment that we spend neurousing about the past or future, we withhold the power, attention, and focus on what is available to us in the moment. In the present, the power of new beginnings is available to each of us. We all have the power to tap into what is available to us now.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

CUONG’S SPIRIT SERIES

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.

***
Smile, breathe and go slowly.

- Thich Nhat Hanh
In keeping with the theme of being in the “moment,” noted Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh offers many insightful words on the topic of mindfulness. His Peaces Is Every Step and The Miracle of Mindfulness serves as guides on purposeful living in every moment of your life, in everything you do.

We know it is hard to be mindful, but it is simple to do. Try it. As he says: Smile, breathe and go slowly.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, September 07, 2009

FRIENDS: REPLACED IN 7 YEARS

Apparently, when it comes to close friends, you replace them with new ones every seven years, according to research from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Really? I don’t believe you replace close friends, what I consider my family of friends - ever! But I do think that during the “discovery” stage of any friendship, you might find it not right for you or them. Hmm, can someone at Utrecht University do some research on that?

Whatever, I like being a “Special Guest Star” - like Heather Locklear - so I can come and go as I’d like, and not have to put effort into anything. Does that make me a bad friend? Yeah, probably.

Heather Locklear


Sunday, September 06, 2009

‘UNFRIEND’ YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER

According to sex therapist Ian Kerner, you may want to ‘unfriend’ your significant other to bring the mystery and excitement back in your love life. And in doing so, you might gain a lover.

The darn status updates - that I abhor so, so much ’cause nobody gives a shit what’re you’re eating or who you’re blowing - creates a sense of disconnection. Says the article: a “Facebook marriage” replaces mystery with the mundane. Some comments from his patients:
  • Let’s see, yesterday my wife: Felt bloated, realized she has nothing to wear, posted yet another adorable photo album of our boys..., was missing Michael Jackson and, oh yeah … DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH ME!
  • He’s always been the jealous type, but now he’s like a stalker. Every new friend is an interrogation. It’s like I’m being monitored by the thought-police!
  • Do I really need to know that my wife is about to do something totally nutty like go have a second cappuccino? What happened to the wild woman I fell in love with?
For the love of God, please dumbasses, stop updating your lame statuses! - nobody cares where you’re going, who you’re with, or what you’re wearing. Just shut up and stop it with the status updates already!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

BE MINDFUL: HERE’S HOW!

Last time we talked about the importance of mindfulness. According to Ellen Langer, a psychologist at Harvard and author of Mindfulness, “Everyone agrees it’s important to live in the moment, but the problem is how.”

Overriding the distraction reflex and awakening to the present takes intentionality and practice. From Psychology Today, here’s how you can do it:
1. To improve your performance, stop thinking about it (unselfconsciousness):
The key is to focus less on what’s going on in your mind and more on what’s going on in the room, less on your mental chatter and more on yourself as part of something. “When people are mindful, they’re more likely to experience themselves as part of humanity, as part of a greater universe,” explains Michael Kernis, a psychologist at the University of Georgia. That’s why highly mindful people such as Buddhist monks talk about being “one with everything.”
When you focus on your immediate experience without attaching it to your self-esteem, unpleasant events like social rejection, seem less threatening... Instead of getting stuck in your head and worrying, you can let yourself go.

2. To avoid worrying about the future, focus on the present (savoring):
Often, we’re so trapped in thoughts of the future or the past that we forget to experience, let alone enjoy, what’s happening right now. We sip coffee and think, “This is not as good as what I had last week.”
Instead, relish or luxuriate in whatever you re doing at the present moment—what psychologists call savoring. “You could be savoring a success or savoring music,” explains Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist at the University of California at Riverside and author of The How of Happiness. “Usually it involves your senses.”
Why does living in the moment make people happier? Because most negative thoughts concern the past or the future... Savoring forces you into the present, so you can’t worry about things that aren’t there.

3: If you want a future with your significant other, inhabit the present (breathe):
Living consciously with alert interest has a powerful effect on interpersonal life. Mindfulness actually inoculates people against aggressive impulses, say Whitney Heppner and Michael Kernis of the University of Georgia... “Mindfulness decreases ego involvement,” explains Kernis. “So people are less likely to link their self-esteem to events and more likely to take things at face value.” Mindfulness also makes people feel more connected to other people—that empathic feeling of being “at one with the universe.”
Mindfulness increases the gap between emotional impulse and action, allowing you to do what Buddhists call recognizing the spark before the flame. There’s no better way to bring yourself into the present moment than to focus on your breathing. Because you’re placing your awareness on what’s happening right now, you propel yourself powerfully into the present moment.

4: To make the most of time, lose track of it (flow):
Perhaps the most complete way of living in the moment is the state of total absorption psychologists call flow. Flow occurs when you’re so engrossed in a task that you lose track of everything else around you. Flow embodies an apparent paradox: How can you be living in the moment if you’re not even aware of the moment? The depth of engagement absorbs you powerfully, keeping attention so focused that distractions cannot penetrate.
Flow is an elusive state. All you can do is set the stage, creating the optimal conditions for it to occur.
The first requirement for flow is to set a goal that’s challenging but not unattainable—something you have to marshal your resources and stretch yourself to achieve. The task should be matched to your ability level—not so difficult that you’ll feel stressed, but not so easy that you’ll get bored. In flow, you’re firing on all cylinders to rise to a challenge.
To set the stage for flow, goals need to be clearly defined so that you always know your next step. You also need to set up the task in such a way that you receive direct and immediate feedback; with your successes and failures apparent, you can seamlessly adjust your behavior.
As your attentional focus narrows, self-consciousness evaporates. You feel as if your awareness merges with the action you’re performing. You feel a sense of personal mastery over the situation, and the activity is so intrinsically rewarding that although the task is difficult, action feels effortless.

5: If something is bothering you, move toward it rather than away from it (acceptance):
We all have pain in our lives. If we let them, such irritants can distract us from the enjoyment of life. The problem is we have not just primary emotions but also secondary ones - emotions about other emotions. We get stressed out, the primary emotion is stress. The secondary emotion is feeling, “I hate being stressed.”
The solution is acceptance - letting the emotion be there. That is, being open to the way things are in each moment without trying to manipulate or change the experience—without judging it, clinging to it, or pushing it away. The present moment can only be as it is. Trying to change it only frustrates and exhausts you. Acceptance relieves you of this needless extra suffering. If you feel anxiety, for instance, you can accept the feeling, label it as anxiety - then direct your attention to something else instead. You watch your thoughts, perceptions, and emotions flit through your mind without getting involved. Thoughts are just thoughts. You don’t have to believe them and you don’t have to do what they say.

6: Know that you don’t know (engagement):
You’ve probably had the experience of driving along a highway only to suddenly realize you have no memory or awareness of the previous 15 minutes... Autopilot moments are what Langer calls mindlessness—times when you’re so lost in your thoughts that you aren’t aware of your present experience. As a result, life passes you by without registering on you. The best way to avoid such blackouts, Langer says, is to develop the habit of always noticing new things in whatever situation you’re in. That process creates engagement with the present moment and releases a cascade of other benefits. Noticing new things puts you emphatically in the here and now.
If we see the world with fresh eyes, we realize almost everything is different each time—the pattern of light on the buildings, the faces of the people, even the sensations and feelings we experience along the way. Noticing imbues each moment with a new, fresh quality. Some people have termed this “beginner’s mind.”
Remember, living a consistently mindful life takes effort. But mindfulness itself is easy.
You can become mindful at any moment just by paying attention to your immediate experience. You can do it right now. What’s happening this instant? Think of yourself as an eternal witness, and just observe the moment. What do you see, hear, smell? It doesn’t matter how it feels—pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad—you roll with it because it’s what’s present; you’re not judging it. And if you notice your mind wandering, bring yourself back. Just say to yourself, “Now. Now. Now.”
Become aware of being alive. And breathe. As you draw your next breath, focus on the rise of your abdomen on the in-breath, the stream of heat through your nostrils on the out-breath. If you’re aware of that feeling right now, as you’re reading this, you’re living in the moment. Nothing happens next. It’s not a destination. This is it. You’re already there.

Friday, September 04, 2009

MINDFULNESS: WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

“Breathe,” God said to him over the phone, when he asked how to live in the moment. “Whenever you feel anxious about your future or your past, just breathe. Try it with me a few times right now. Breathe in... breathe out.”

It is that simple. Buddhism, meditation, and even Thich Nhat Hanh talks about it. But we simply don’t do it. Here from Psychology Today on the wisdom of why we should breathe to be more in the present moment of life:
Life unfolds in the present. But so often, we let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and unseized, and squandering the precious seconds of our lives as we worry about the future and ruminate about what's past. “We’re living in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, disintegration, distraction, decoherence,” says Buddhist scholar B. Alan Wallace. We’re always doing something, and we allow little time to practice stillness and calm.
...We dwell on intrusive memories of the past or fret about what may or may not happen in the future. We don’t appreciate the living present because our “monkey minds,” as Buddhists call them, vault from thought to thought like monkeys swinging from tree to tree.

Most of us don’t undertake our thoughts in awareness. Rather, our thoughts control us. “Ordinary thoughts course through our mind like a deafening waterfall,” writes Jon Kabat-Zinn, the biomedical scientist who introduced meditation into mainstream medicine. In order to feel more in control of our minds and our lives, to find the sense of balance that eludes us, we need to step out of this current, to pause, and, as Kabat-Zinn puts it, to “rest in stillness—to stop doing and focus on just being.”
We need to live more in the moment. Living in the moment—also called mindfulness—is a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present. When you become mindful, you realize that you are not your thoughts; you become an observer of your thoughts from moment to moment without judging them. Mindfulness involves being with your thoughts as they are, neither grasping at them nor pushing them away. Instead of letting your life go by without living it, you awaken to experience.

Cultivating a nonjudgmental awareness of the present bestows a host of benefits... Mindful people are happier, more exuberant, more empathetic, and more secure. They have higher self-esteem and are more accepting of their own weaknesses. Anchoring awareness in the here and now reduces the kinds of impulsivity and reactivity that underlie depression, binge eating, and attention problems. Mindful people can hear negative feedback without feeling threatened... As a result, mindful couples have more satisfying relationships...

Living in the moment involves a profound paradox: You can’t pursue it for its benefits. That’s because the expectation of reward launches a future-oriented mindset, which subverts the entire process. Instead, you just have to trust that the rewards will come. There are many paths to mindfulness—and at the core of each is a paradox. Ironically, letting go of what you want is the only way to get it.
The next installment will cover how we can be mindful, but if you absolutely can not wait a day! then check out books from Thich Nhat Hanh or on Buddhism or Taoism.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

ABS WATCH ’09

Do you think I’m fat? Just asking...

Watch out Zac Efron and new 90210 hottie Trevor Donovan! I’m totally binging and purging, so I’ll catch up to you both very soon!


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

DON’T LOSE LEVERAGE

I don’t sleep with my friends - mainly because they think I’m ugly. Oh, I digress. Apparently, there’s a benefit to it: friends who want their friends horizontally lose leverage. You, my friend, do not want to lose leverage!

According to Psychology Today all friendships, and I should also add relationships, start with a flare of attraction, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean it will turn into something, it can get tricky when one wants something more.

“When one friend is waiting for another to suddenly fall in love with him, a nasty power imbalance develops that can threaten the long-term viability of the relationship. If you’re the piner,” Nando Pelusi, a New York City-based clinical psychologist, suggests “working through your own sensitivity to rejection so you can deal with the imbalance in an honest and non-dogmatic way.”

That’s big! So, whatever you do, don’t lose leverage, dumbass!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

HIS FRIENDS SUCK MORE

I can’t think of a group of people that hate me more than this one: my boyfriend’s friends. I know, I don’t get it either. Have they met me? What’s not to love? Whatev -

Well, we all need to just move on. According to Psychology Today, here’s how:
  • Accept that people come in packages, which includes friends and family. You will connect with some, toss others, tolerate a few, and dislike/detest/hate many. (They use “few,” but...) They key is that your partner shouldn’t automatically drop people you don’t happen to like, nor should you stop seeing pals that he doesn’t care for. Instead, “everyone has to move over a little bit.”
  • Meeting admirable friends of your partner affects his reputation. (Okay, fine, so no more racist or sexist jokes around them. Ugh!) And while disliking most of his lame-ass friends is not automatic grounds for ending the relationship, but “if your concerns about his friends mirrors your concerns about him and his values, then you should take that as a warning.”
  • So, let bonds form naturally between all parties. Don’t complain about your partner’s friends. So, instead nurture friends who genuinely like both of you. (Wow, that’s gonna be very hard)
Really?!? No complainin’? At all? Have you met his friends? Ugh, this is gonna be very, very hard! Very!

Monday, August 31, 2009

ABS WATCH ’09

Abs Watch ’09 Continues: Ugh, I don’t watch the new 90210 - really! - but according to a number of news organizations they’ve apparently added a new little ab, uh, I mean boy. Relax, he’s actually 30. Yesss! It is on Tuesdays this fall?

Trevor Donovan

Trevor Donovan

Oh, his abs’ name is Trevor Donovan. I think...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

NY GOV.: NO TO THE “O”!

Yeah! to New York Governor David Patterson!

According to Asian Pacific Americans for Progress, Governor Patterson signed a bill that would eliminate the use of the word oriental “in documents used by state agencies, public authorities and municipalities when referring to people of Asian or Pacific Islander heritage.”

As we all know, the o-word is an unacceptable term to describe Asian Pacific Americans not only because it’s Euro-centric, but because of its use in history to malign Americans of Asian ancestry. Don't use it.

Good work, Governor Patterson!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

NOT ALL MODEL MINORITIES

Fox News NY's Ti-Hua Chang reports on Asian Americans and poverty. The press too often touts the model minority myth of Asian Americans, but many, I would even say most, aren’t. Some things you should know:
  • According to Asian American Federation’s study “Working But Poor: Asian American Poverty in New York City,” the poverty rate of Asian Americans is higher than African Americans
  • One in five Asian American family is poor, making less than $20,000 a year
  • Two in five Asian American families make below $40,000 a year
  • About 75% of New York City’s Asian Americans are immigrants, thus lack perhaps the skills or language to earn a living above the poverty line
  • While 12% of New York City’s population, Asian Americans only receive about 1% of government and private foundation aid
Asian American Federation advocates: economic development in Asian American communities, English classes, low-income housing, health insurance, child care, and senior centers. Help!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

VISUALIZE YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS

Maria Sharapova does it. The world’s best athletes do this - visualization. Visualization is “the process of creating a picture in your mind of a successful outcome.” Researchers have discovered that going through the motions in your head does actual help with your outcome. Ugh, it’s obvious I don’t visualize. Need. To. Do. It. NOW.

It’s a well-know that, according to The Huffington Post, “we stimulate the same brain regions when we visualize an action and when we actually perform that same action.” Mentral practice works, according to Journal of Sport Psychology researchers Debra Feltz and Dan Landers, in three possible ways:

  • Symbolic learning: Imagery helps develop a mental blueprint by creating a motor program in our nervous system. Rehearsal of the sequence of movements involved in a task allows us to learn them symbolically; we then apply them when we go out on the field of competition.
  • Psychoneuromuscular reaction: Mental practice produces very small muscle contractions similar to those involved in physical practice. The process suggests that images produced in the mind transmit electrical impulses to our muscles and tendons for the performance of an athletic exercise or event.
  • Psyching up”: An offshoot of the psychoneuromuscular theory, this states that the muscular activity associated with mental practice represents a level of overall arousal that may be optimal for athletic performance. In essence, mental practice sets up a certain amount of energy in the body that prepares us for our athletic endeavors.

Here’s what you need to do, loser:

  • Keep it vivid: Create as much detail as possible when you’re mentally practicing so your body creates that feeling of success.
  • Tailor your speed: When a task is new, run your simulations slowly so you can focus on the details.
  • Watch and learn: Observing others perform can activate the same motor programs in your head, making you better.

Watch out, Oprah!

Monday, August 24, 2009

ABS WATCH ’09

Yeah, Zac Efron personally doesn’t do it for me. I prefer men to boys, but I mean, I wouldn’t say “no” to Zac, and apparently he’s got major abs now!

Hmm, Zac still not so much for me. But his abs, that does do something for me. It’s called a little chub, I’m not gonna lie to you... Thanks, Zac.

Zac Efron

Sunday, August 02, 2009

CALMING FOODS

If you’re like me, you love, love, love food...and still have a six-pack. Okay, so most of you aren’t like me - you don’t have a six-pack. Sorry, fat asses! (I know, I’m a hot!)

Food makes me happy, and according to RealAge, food can also calm you down. But if you’re not OCD, schizophrenic, and a hypochondriac - like me - then you can skip to the next intellectually stimulating entry on WOW. Actually, go to a real blog, like Dlisted.

But if you got issues and you need calming, here’s what you need to eat:
  • Berries (any)
  • Guacamole
  • Mixed nuts
  • Oranges
  • Asparagus (Ugh! This I don’t like!)
  • Chai tea
  • Dark chocolate
Just don’t eat it all at once, fat asses!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

CUONG’S SPIRIT SERIES

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.
- Oscar Wilde
I grew up with the idea of “safe,” that everything in this world is dangerous, scary, unsure. I think that’s why I don’t take enough risks, I don’t take enough chances. I admire people who task risks, who live beyond their means. I wish I could do that. Hmm, I think I can. I can.

Live beyond your means. Do it.

Oscar Wilde

Thursday, July 30, 2009

CALIFORNIA APOLOGIZES TO ASIAN AMERICANS

According to Time, California legislature on July 17 “quietly approved a landmark bill to apologize to the state’s Chinese-American community for racist laws enacted as far back as the mid–19th century Gold Rush, which attracted about 25,000 Chinese from 1849 to 1852. The laws, some of which were not repealed until the 1940s, barred Chinese from owning land or property, marrying whites, working in the public sector and testifying against whites in court.” Umm,it only took 150 years to apologize?!?

Next up is a federal apology for the heinous Chinese Exclusive Act of 1882, the only federal act ever to exclude entry to America based on race. (Thanks whitey!) It was repealed in 1943 by the Magnuson Act.

Can someone get me a bill passed to apologize for Texas? Just asking...

Friday, July 24, 2009

FEAR AND YOUR BRAIN

We all have fears, especially. And depending on your personality, the way you process fear differ.

According to Psychology Today worriers (yep, that’s me) tend to be distracted, preoccupied, and potentially provoked into more serious hopelessness or depression. Yikes, that’s not so good. But deniers “will ride through the anxiety more smoothly, though as always their denial may prevent them from taking reasonable measures of self-protection.” Ha, ha, you suck too!

However, understanding how fear works on your brain might shed light on how we can overcome fear. When overwhelmed by thoughts of failing, the brain’s fear center, the amygdala, “effectively hijacks the executive functioning center (the prefrontal cortex), making it difficult to think through new ideas, which is exactly what one must do to adapt and survive...”

What to do? Uh, I don’t know. I think it’s something to do with - seriously - positive thinking and being proactive. Seriously.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

JERK IT

I would have to agree with Psychology Today: “The thing about masturbation is that it’s incredibly efficient, while relationships are not. For some men, that’s all the encouragement they need to enjoy masturbation even when a partner is readily available, and especially when it has become the more regular form of sex.”

Efficiency is very good.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

OPRAH’S SEX TIPS

Oprah Winfrey doesn’t like having bad sex. I mean, who does? Well, unless you hate the fucker or it’s pity sex. Anyways, I digress. So on her Live Your Best Life series, she explored Live Your Best Sex Life. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, the title of the show is very creative. Oh, I digress again. Here are her - well, her expert’s - tips:
  1. Tell The Truth: Ugh, I already don't like this one, but apparently “if you want a more satisfying sex life, you have to start telling your own sexual truths now.” Damn, bad sex for me...
  2. Ask For What You Want: If you aren’t getting what you want, you gotta ask for it, and that includes drawing it. I like to just show dirty pics and videos, and point to what I want. It’s faster. Right?
  3. Let Go Of Negative Messages: This is for people who grew up thinking sex is bad or wrong - basically, all Asians. She says to conquer the negative messages that haunt you in the bedroom can also help you improve other areas of your life.
  4. See Your Doctor: Check. I see my doctor all the time. He thinks I’m crazy. I don’t really think this one’s necessary for you. Just saying...
  5. Make Sex A Priority: Yes, schedule sex. I have to say it’s not a bad idea. I really think it’s great because then I don’t have to unnecessarily shower, clean my bung ho, or brush my teeth. Yeah!
Happy fucking!

Friday, June 26, 2009

IN MEMORIAM: SCHOLAR RONALD TAKAKI

UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus of Ethnic Studies professor, author, and race relations pioneer Ronald Takaki passed away last month.

Takaki is considered a pioneer in Asian American Studies and a scholar on race relations, even helping President Clinton with a speech on race relations in America in 1997. He taught at Cal for over 30 years, established the nation’s first ethnic studies Ph.D. program at Cal, and authored Strangers From a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans, Democracy and Race: Asian Americans and World War II, Iron Cages: Race and Culture in 19th-Century America, and Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II. Considered the preeminent work on Asian American history, Strangers from a Different Shore was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1989.

Takaki’s work and passion undoubtedly touched the lives of many of his students. I was one of those students who was moved after reading Strangers From A Different Shore and was privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from him at Cal.

After one of the last classes I had with Takaki, he sent me a note with these words: “Wow, what a riveting read. What you have done as a writer and artist is to give ‘voice’ [through your writing]... You have my best wishes to your bright career as a writer.” Those words touched me then, and they still do now - more than ever. Thank you, Ron.

His family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Takaki’s name to the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco.

Ronald Takaki

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

VINCENT CHIN: HE STILL MATTERS TODAY

Vincent Chin died 27 years ago today in Detroit, Michigan.

His death still reverberates today. Twenty-seven years ago, his world collided with Ronald Ebens, a Chrysler employee, and his step-son Michael Nitz, who was recently laid-off. Ebens blame Chin for Detroit’s automotive troubles, calling him racial epithets, and telling Chin: "It’s because of you little motherfuckers that we’re out of work." Ebens bludgeoned Chin to death with a Louisville Slugger bat, leaving him brain dead. Guests invited to his wedding instead came to his funeral.

Father and step-son pleaded guilty in a plea bargain to a lesser charge of manslaughter. Wayne County judge Charles Kaufman heard the defense, but the prosecutor in the case didn’t show up. After a 5-minute recess, the judge sentenced them to three years probation and fined each $3,000. In Detroit, the fine for killing an animal is $5,000.

Outraged, his mother Lily ignited the fight for justice for her son. It lead to two civil rights trial on violation of Vincent Chin’s rights to use of public spaces (accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964). Ultimately, a second federal trial in Ohio in 1987 acquitted the assailants. His death still matters because it united us as a community.

Vincent Chin

Friday, June 12, 2009

YOU CAN DO IT!

I guess I shouldn’t have ignored this most of my life: A positive attitude can protect your health, according to RealAge. Positive thinking appears to protect your health in the two ways:
  • Enhances immune system function
  • It also encourages independence and an outgoing attitude, fending off depression
Damnit, now, I’m so mad at my parents for screwing me up, causing me to be dumb, and filling me with self-doubt. Ugh, this sucks!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CUONG'S SPIRIT SERIES

I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.
- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
It’s clear what Mother Tersea meant, that in life the best way to live is to be for something, to have positive energy. Spend your time being for something - your passion, your beliefs, your yourself.

Mother Teresa.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

LILY CHIN

Lily Chin, mother of slain Vincent Chin, died seven years ago today.

Mrs. Chin fought valiantly for justice after her son was bludgeoned to death in Detroit in June 1982 by two automotive workers and were only sentenced to three years probation and fined $3,000 each. Ronald Ebens and his step-son mistook Chin for Japanese and blamed him for the decline of the American automotive industry. Because Ebens uttered a racial slur, he was tried on federal civil rights charges for violenting Chin's rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A second trial acquitted Ebens.

In the end, Mrs. Chin never found justice for her son. She returned to China, and then returned to Michigan. Her work, courage, and strength ignited the Asian Amerian Civil Rights Movement.


Lily Chin

Monday, June 01, 2009

OH MAGGIE

In the second grade, I had my first crush on Maggie Bolivar. My earliest memory of Maggie Bolivar left an indelible mark in my mind. The feelings would fester, grow and thrive deep inside of me. It’s one of those things that stay within you.

Maggie Bolivar and I were in Mr. Pollack’s second grade class at Buchanan Street School. She was my first crush. She had short, wavy, dark brown hair and a sweet smile that lit her eyes. She was best friends with Erica Torres. Even then I knew that I had to get Erica to like me for Maggie to like me. Admittedly, I was a precocious second grader.

It might have seemed odd to others: the dark-skinned kid who hung out with Maggie and Erica. But three of us were inseparable. They were my friends.

My father drove me over to Maggie’s house and waited in the car. I walked up the steps of her house nervously with a sheet of paper and a pen in my hand. When I rung the doorbell, Mrs. Bolivar answered and greatly me with a smile. She asked me to come in, but I awkwardly stayed outside, so she turned and screamed for Maggie. When Maggie came out her smile lit my face.

I told her if she gave her number to me my father would take us to the movies. She said yes. I handed her a piece of paper and a pen. A smile crawled onto my face. She pressed the paper onto the wall and wrote her number on it. She turned around with that smile and handed me the pen. I held it tightly in my hands. As she captured me with her eyes, she folded the paper in her hands, twisting it, crumbling it, and then crushing it into a small jagged ball. Maggie gave me her hand, offering me the crumpled piece of paper. I reached for it, but it slipped out of her hands and rolled onto the porch. I chased after it, almost desperate to capture it. She was still smiling. I smiled back shyly and bent down to pick up the ball of paper. Excited, I turned to leave, unfurling the piece of paper as I walked towards my father’s graze. Her number in my hand.

I opened the crushed piece of paper and straightened her words out onto my lap. I showed my father her number on the piece of paper, my most prized possession. He looked at it quickly and drove off. I asked my father when we could go to the movies. Not sure, he responded quietly. Next week?, I probed. Not sure right now. Let me think about it, he countered. I am not sure what happened to him that day, but he never took us to the movies.

I was embarrassed the movies never happened, but Maggie never brought it up. We were still friends and nothing had changed.

It was near the end of second grade and Mr. Pollack told us that we would perform the dance in front of the next school assembly. He announced that after recess he would pair us up with partners for the dance. I knew immediately who I wanted to dance with.

I was excited. Somehow I knew I would get to dance with Maggie. After pairing up most of the class, Mr. Pollack announced Maggie’s name. I smiled inside. Then he announced my name. I raced up to take my place next to Maggie Bolivar.

Maggie looked at me with the same bright smile that lit her eyes. I almost couldn’t believe it. I was happy. She turned away, almost embarrassed. Then she turned to me and asked, maybe she said. She uttered, “Why did I get stuck with you, nip?”

Nip.

I took a step back and looked into her eyes. Nip.

In the second grade, I had my first crush on Maggie Bolivar. My earliest memory of Maggie Bolivar left an indelible mark in my mind. The feelings would fester, grow and thrive deep inside of me. It’s one of those things that stay within you.

Friday, May 22, 2009

...UNTIL YOU GROW

I was in WeHo - don’t judge! - when I heard a queen say to a buddy: Friends are people you have until you grow.

His words really bothered me. I valued the idea of “friends for life,” “friends...forever.” But looking back, that queen was right. Damn, wrong again! My “coming out” friends, my druggie friends (they were awwwesome!), my parties friends aren’t still my friends. Friendships inevitably grow apart, and that’s why - here’s what I believe now and it’s good! - the ones you grow with are your family of friends.

According to Psychology Today, we often choose friends similar to us, but the challenge is “whether you can accept the trade-offs that occur when friends individuate.”

While it seems normal to be annoyed and feel discomfort, Terri Apter, a psychologist at the University of Cambridge, recommends confronting small conflicts to avoid a schism. And also, examine your own changed feelings, for example, instead of feeling neglected if someone hasn’t called/emailed, you might want to empathize. (We’re learning this in therapy - so get ready for greatness!)

The bottom line: Accept that friendships erode but sometimes rebuild, communicate, and accept that friends who aren’t like you. I know it’s hard, but that’s why I’m here. Really.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

HOW NOT TO FIGHT

You would think that with all the self-help books I worship that I would be the Asian Oprah - wise, smart, thoughtful, black, and rich. But I’m not. Apparently, I don’t even know how to fight correctly. Yeah, the self-help books (and now podcasts) aren’t helping. Ugh!!!

According to The Frisky, here are the 5 things I do in a fight...that you shouldn’t do:
  1. Baggage Claim: As hard as it might be, don’t make your current future-ex pay for “the sins of his predecessors” or he might be. I would add (though my opinion is usually very wrong): the past is the past, so don’t bring up the time he fell on another guy’s pants and kept licking it or the time he fucked your raw when he promised he’d slip it on (even though you’re still mad about it). Sorry about...
  2. Name Game: Name-calling is weak; it means you’re a dumbass: “The smart and effective arguer makes her point without resorting to name-calling.” Exactly.
  3. Ancient History: Hmm, I think this is covered under #1, but you probably weren’t paying attention (just like my BF!), but “you can’t keep adding it to your laundry list of wrongs every time he gets on your nerves.”
  4. Scream Queen: I used to think - still do! - that the louder you scream the better your point. Umm, I’m wrong (really?): “...shrieking at him like a crazy person” isn’t going to convince the asshole you’re not crazy and actually right. Darn!
  5. Fault Finder: I’m really, really good at fault-find, but apparently “...once you put words into the ether, try as you might you can't take them back.” Ugh! I wish I could take all the words above back...
So, I know I’m just not going to remember all five rules, so I’m going to say it now: Sorry for being an asshole in fights. Really.

Monday, May 04, 2009

CUONG'S SPIRIT SERIES

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.
- Dale Carnegie
Hmmm, I had to read it twice. I like it: Happiness is wanting what you get. Be grateful.

Dale Carnegie.

Friday, April 10, 2009

OH, TEXAS...

Once again, another dumbass paints Texas as ignorant. First, Jimmy Norton. Now, Terrell, Texas Rep. Betty Brown!

During House testimony on voter identification legislation, she said about Asian Americans: “Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese...do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?”

You can educate her at the state’s capital address:
Room E1.404, Capitol Extension / Austin, TX 78701
betty.brown@house.state.tx.us / (512) 463-0458

She is a real dumbass. Dumbass!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

TEXAS ROCKS

Love is difficult, love is hard, but I believe confidently that I just found the one: shrimp fried rice woman in Holtom City, Texas.

I’m not sure what she looks like or even if she loves long walks on the beach as much as I do, but I know I love her already. Why? Well, when she aks for extra shrimp in her fried rice and didn’t get it, she did what any normal person would do: she called 911. (Yep, was huuungry. I get it.) She told the dispatcher, through tears and sadness, I’m sure, “He didn’t even put extra shrimp in there.”

Gosh, I love the way she loves shrimp. Ugh, how can you not love her? Right???

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

GOOD THING I DIDN’T HAVE A CAMERA PHONE...

Thank God (whoever your God is...) they didn’t have camera phones when I was growing up. I would be a registered sex offender! Ugh...

Sexting, the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos primarily between cell phones, is something that many pubescent teenagers, gays, Miley Cyrus, and Vanessa Hudgens like to do. It’s a phenomenon that is spreading like STDs in a gay bar with barely pubescent teenagers. And some are paying the price by being charged with child pornography and having to register as sex offenders. Oh, the shame!

It’s clear lots of underaged, horny teens enjoy sending lascivious pics of themselves. Just don’t forward it to your buds if you’re over 18, dumbass. But thank you God for not creating the camera phone when I was a horny teen. Jail would not be cute.

Sex Offender.  Asshole!

Above: Phillip Alpert is a registered sex offender as a result of sending a nude photograph of his 16-year-old girlfriend. Loser!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

DREAM ON...

I am bad at many, many things. But there’s one thing I am passionate, proactive, and excited about at work, and love spending 8-hours working hard at: daydreaming.

Yes, in between shuffling paper around and sending point-the-finger-at-someone-else emails, I daydream incessantly. It turns out, it was the right thing to do at work. According to PsychologyToday.com, “...daydreaming now appears to be a vital function of the psyche—a cauldron of creativity and an arena for rehearsing social skills.”

Who knew? Finally! Thank goodness, I am good at something besides perusing blogs, beating the crap out of pubescent teenage girls, and looking stupid. Yes!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

BEING SMART IS BAD FOR DATING

I’m not ashamed to admit it: my friends aren’t smart. (Sorry buddies and dumbasses, but it’s not like you can read this anyway...) And thus, they don’t have my problem. According to this article, smart people have the toughest time dating. It goes on to say: The smarter you are, the more clueless you will be, and the more problems you’re going to have in your dating life.

That’s my problem! Glad to know it’s not because I’m easy. What a relief!

Friday, March 20, 2009

MY FAVORITE T-SHIRT

The Special Olympics is urging fans to stop using the word...retard.

“Most people don’t think of this word as hate speech, but that’s exactly what it feels like to millions of people with intellectual disabilities, their families and friends,” a statement from Special Olypmics read. “This word is just as cruel and offensive as any other slur.”

Ughhh!!! I get it. I. GET. IT. I do. I feel bad now and I’m gonna stop using it. Really. But can I still wear one of my favorite t-shirts? (I don’t mean it that way, so...)

My t-shirt

Seriously, I do have that shirt. So, can I still wear it? Please...

Monday, March 16, 2009

REMEMBER MY LAI

March 16, 1968: Sixty to 70 combatants of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division entered the Vietnamese village of My Lai, under the command of Lt. William Calley. As the “search and destroy” mission unfolded in a civilian village full of women, children and elderly, it escalated into an unimaginable massacre. Eyewitnesses reported seeing old men bayoneted, praying women and children shot in the back of the head, young girls raped and killed, villagers ordered them into a ditch and mowed down in a fury of machine gun fire.

BBC News described the scene: “Soldiers went berserk, gunning down unarmed men, women, children and babies... Women were gang raped; Vietnamese who had bowed to greet the Americans were beaten with fists and tortured, clubbed with rifle butts and stabbed with bayonets. Some victims were mutilated with the signature “C Company” carved into the chest... My Lai was in a state of carnage. Bodies were strewn through the village.”

The destruction in My Lai took less than 30 minutes, but extinguished the lives of 500 innocent women, children, elderly. Calley served three years of his life in prison.

My Lai

Sunday, March 08, 2009

CUONG’S SPIRIT SERIES

Not everyone can be famous, but everyone can be great. Because greatness is determined by service.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Do it, be great... Everyone can be great.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, March 06, 2009

HARDBOILED IS 12

Hardboiled, UC Berkeley’s (unofficial) Asian Pacific American newsmagazine, is now in its 12th year of publication!

hb, as we referred to it in its first year and has even spawned its own student-led class on APA journalism, started out as a proactive reaction to the attacks on diversity in and around Cal, and in California politics. We aimed to create a forum for dialogue, ideas, and change. I think we did.

You forget how you can change the world in college. It seems so far away... I now volunteer to teach Citizenship classes to immigrants with CPA (and no, I don’t do it to put on my Facebook so I can get dates... Assholes!). There are a lot of great organizations out there so go to VolunteerMatch and find out how you can help others!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

YOUR EATING HABITS...

Last night, I finished dinner and I was full. No, I was stuffed. (Yep, getting back that 6-pack!) And then it crossed my mind: order as much food as possible from Ollie’s and shove it down my throat. I considered it, and then...

Binge eating disorder is a newly recognized eating disorder. Yes, I have another one... It is characterized by overeating or starving, and is often a way to cope with stress, depression, or anxiety. Most people binge eat to cope with their feelings and emotions. For me, since I have no feelings or emotions, it’s because I really, really love, love food. Really. But here’s how you know if you have binge eating disorder, fatty!:
  • Eating what others consider an abnormally large amount of food (that’s me!)

  • Feeling unable to control what or how much is being eaten (that’s me too!)

  • Eating much more rapidly than usual (yep, check!)

  • Eating until uncomfortably full (oh, yeah! tots!)

  • Eating large amounts of food, even when not hungry (of course that’s me!)

  • Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food eaten (yep, me too!)

  • Fluctuations in weight (bingo! me too. suprise!)

  • Frequent dieting (uh, yeah... i’m the Asian Oprah here... Sigh...)

If that’s you, sorry, losers! So, last night, I thought about it and decided I wanted dan dan noodles, yeung chow fried rice, and then beef chow fun. But I was really full, so I didn’t order it... Whoa!?! Who am I?

Friday, February 27, 2009

RESIST DOING THINGS THAT...

Pablo Casals wrote about his legacy, “...[I]t is the lesson of never losing touch with life, one’s own and that of others, to resist doing things that have no meaning for life.”

Resist doing things that have no meaning for life.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

DRINKING IS THE NEW NORMAL

For years now, I’ve longed to be a New Yorker. I’m not quite sure what that means. I mean, I don’t like spitting on vagabonds, having sex in the rambles, or selling drugs to junior high school kids. Oh, well, maybe someday...

Well, according to a new study by Siena Research Institute, that someday is now. How’s that? Well, let’s look at the numbers:

  • New Yorkers drink more than other city folks. 63% drank in the last year
  • Of those that drink, 46% have one or two drinks a week
  • Only 21% average more than a drink a day

But from my experience, 100% of New Yorkers consumed at least 42 drinks a week, but maybe that’s just my friends. Nevertheless, for the last few years, when I stumble home drunk, I cower in shame and guilt, feeling like a dirty whore. But no more! My alcoholism is New York. Thank you, vodka soda and Vlada’s mint kamikaze!

I’m finally a New Yorker. Yeessss!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

HELP OTHERS...

The three mothers in China had never met until their only children were killed in Ohio.

On March 8, 2007, Bian “Jack” Jin, 27, was returning from shopping with Sun “Zoe” Yan and Xue “Jo” Bing, both 24, when Jason Skaggs, then 34, crashed his Chevy Tahoe into a car at 98 mph, went airborne and sandwiched Bian’s Taurus between a Chrysler and his Tahoe. The three Urbana University graduate students were killed instantly.

During his trial, the media uncovered a serious of driving violations: a speeding ticket for driving 91 mph in a 65-mph zone just weeks before the wreck and an aggravated vehicular homicide in 1994, killing a 79-year-old mother and her son. A judge in August sentenced Skaggs to the maximum 34 years in prison.

Ironically, it was China’s law that devastated them. Because of the world’s one-child-per-couple policy, Bian, Xue, and Sun had no siblings, so their families’ future rested upon them, which was crushed in a Ford Taurus.

“When you raise a child in China, you are basically insuring your old age,” Sun Yan’s mother, Yu Ming, said, weeping as she spoke through a translator.

The three mothers not only lost their only children, but also the prospect of security in old age and money they didn’t have. Because all three had promising futures, their parents were confident asking friends, relatives, colleagues and even their kids’ classmates for money to send them to graduate school at the 1,500-student Urbana University. However, now they are unable to pay their debts, which have escalated with funeral expenses and trips to the US to attend Skaggs’ trial.

“Even after I die, I could not close my eyes,” Bian Jin’s mother, Cai Tie Juan said, describing her stress and exhaustion through a translator.

Two years later, the women still struggle with American law and language, and wade through a cultural morass in order to try to repay their debts. Urbana University has set up a fund and you can help by making a donation. Do it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

LOVE IS...DEPENDENCY

Every week, a new scientific journal study confirms what my therapist and probation officer know unequivocally - I am wrong...about life and love. Yes, unlike you, I need to be told in print that I’m a loser. Hmm, is this why I’m single? Oh, damn!

It turns out love is about dependency. Wha??? Love is “the continual search for a basic, secure connection with someone else,” according to clinical psychologist Sue Johnson.

I have veraciously mocked dependency, but it appears we are wired to seek “security and safety” in emotional contact and responsiveness from significant others. It’s a survival instinct that we seek from cradle to grave, and evolves from our relationship with our mother and then to our partner.

When a relationship levels off from its on-set, it jeopardizes our sense of security, our human hunger for safe emotional connection, and creates a primal fear of panic. “It sets off an alarm in the brain’s amygdala, our fear center... Once the amygdala sends out an alarm, we don’t think - we act,” the articles says. “If we feel abandoned at a moment of need, we are set up to enter a state of panic.”

And when we talk to our partners, we talk about surface emotions, often failing to touch upon the real issue at hand - our deeply rooted attachment needs. Conflicts are really protests over emotional disconnection. What we want to know from our partners are: Are you there for me? Do you want me? Do you need me?

To repair bonds, we must accept our attachment needs (don’t be ashamed of it). And use healing touch: Men see their children’s vulnerability and respond to it, but with their wives, “they see only someone who is judging them. But she feels vulnerable, too.” Touch “is the most basic way of connecting with another human being.”

So, I’ve been mocking dependency, which is I guess...wrong. And I promote boundaries instead of touching. Wrong, too! Yeah, that’s why I’m single. Dumb. Ass! Damn it, I shouldn’t have listened to Oprah. All her fault...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CUONG’S SPIRIT SERIES

Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.
- Anaïs Nin

Wow. Read it again. Just once more...

I have never heard of author Anaïs Nin, but her words struck me like a trailer tractor plowing through my chest, spilling blood and guts and blood everywhere, and opening me up to the simple truth that every human interaction is a sacred connection. It is that simple. It can shake your world.

Her words are a manifesto, a call to action. And we must do so!

Anaïs Nin

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

NOTES ON HAPPINESS

It happens every Friday and Saturday nights in bars across America as 2 a.m. nears and people grab the most acceptable trickster to take home. Margaret Cho called it “dick o’clock.” For me, it’s shoving as much food as possible in my mouth. Thank goodness, I am not as dirrrty as you all!

The truth is, we all seek happiness. Happiness - as agreed upon by neuroscientists, psychiatrists, behavioral economists, positive psychologists, and Buddhist monks - is more like “satisfied or content than ‘happy’ in its strict bursting-with-glee sense... It encompasses living a meaningful life, utilizing your gifts and your time, living with thought and purpose.”

Happiness requires acting in life, and not merely taking it in. It is maximized when: you also feel part of a community, you confront annoyances and crises with grace, your willingness to learn and stretch and grow (which sometimes involves discomfort). Here are some other notes on happiness:

  • Some People Are Born Happy: It’s not me and it’s also not you, but so for the rest of us it’s important to engage in positive internal dialogue, which is actually a mark of the mentally healthy.

  • Getting What You Want Doesn’t Make You Happy: After a temporary period of excitement, we ultimately bounce back to our previous level of happiness and seek something new again. To get off the “hedonic treadmill,” where happiness is always just one notch away, we need to focus on activities that are dynamic, surprising, and attention-absorbing.

  • Pain Is A Part of Happiness: I believe that life is supposed to be hard and that shiny moments of joy and happiness is what we should covet. It is, says the article, not your reward for escaping pain. But rather, it demands that you confront negative feelings head-on, without letting them overwhelm you. “If you’re going to live a rich and meaningful life,” says Russ Harris, a medical doctor-cum-counselor and author of The Happiness Trap, “you’re going to feel a full range of emotions.” Sadness sheds light onto happiness.

  • Happiness Lies In The Chase: I like to do nothing as much as you lazy asses, but action towards goals makes us happy (not necessarily crossing the finish line). Remember that! University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson has found that working hard toward a goal, and making progress to the point of expecting a goal to be realized, doesn’t just activate positive feelings - it also suppresses negative emotions, such as fear and depression.

  • You’re Wrong About What Will Make You Happy and You’re Wrong About What Made You Happy: The past is the past. It exists, but it’s not always a reliable recording device. People tend to remember beginnings and ends, but not “the middle.” Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert’s advice is to forgo your own mental projections.

Here’s my take-away: The next time “dick o’clock” rolls around, fight your wanton urge to the death. Chances are you’ll lose because you’re a whore. But you can stop your perverted ways by reading the rest of the ideas on happiness. Do it, you whore!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

ENEMIES OF THE BRAIN AND HEART

Attraction can make enemies of the brain and the heart, notes clinical psychologist Nando Pelusi.

When boys are emotionally unavailable (and sometimes psychologically unstable), then lo and behold we want them! Um, or is that just me? You know you love them too, and here’s why. Bad boys have good genes (as defined for men): high-testosterone-fueled masculinity, symmetry, height, and parasite resistance (I know, the last one is weird). Thus, those men are confident and dominant.

“Women intuitively get attracted to brave acts of altruism more than to altruism per se,” says author Daniel Kruger. Thus, chicks are drawn to acts of bravado in bad boys. (Losers! Oh, that’s me too...) But secretly, they hope to change their cads into loving dads. The result is that she may not keep the guy for long.

We know bad boys are fun: they make you bring them beer after sex, slap the shit out of you if you want to watch Lipstick Jungle instead of monster truck racing, and steal drugs in your private stash. But maybe this year, we should consider dating nice guys: ones who have a job, can spell, and are multi-syllabic. I mean, just a thought...

Nice guys...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

SORRY FOR THE MISTAKES I’VE MADE...

We’ve explored how to apologize and ideas on forgiveness. While it may be unrealistic to forgive and forget, this article notes that forgiving “means you’re willing accept the mistake, look past it and start over. Truly forgiving means making a commitment to never bring it up or use it your advantage.” And while forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve forgotten, “attempting to forget is part of the package of forgiveness.”

I like that: Attempting to forget is part of the package of forgiveness. Aha! that’s big! So, to forgive someone you should consider the four R’s:

  • Regret: Does the person regret the action and hurt they’ve caused you?
  • Repentance: Has the person said, “I’m sorry”?
  • Restitution: Have they made it up to you?
  • Rehabilitation: Have they made a sincere effort to never repeat their mistake?

Marianne Williamson said it most eloquently when she offered these words: “The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” So, do it. Do it for you.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

WHO DOESN’T?

I just got trounced, did I say trrrounced!?!, for having a Gay.com profile. I mean, what ’mo doesn’t, right?

You can’t take everything you read online seriously. Look, my Facebook profile says I eat dogs and feed vagabonds at Port Authority on weekends. Guess what? That’s not me... (I know, shocking!) Online profiles are a form of entertainment - the random adulation or the anonymity of conversations between strangers. It could be fun, it could be healing, it could shed light into your world, but most of the time it’s retarded. So it means whatever life you choose to give it. You give meaning to it...

Yahoo! Personals says active profile doesn’t mean active dating. Online is just like offline, just because you’re seeing someone doesn’t mean you put blinders on, says Michael Lasky, co-author of Online Dating for Dummies. “This is nothing new,” he explains. “Do people who aren’t married consider the possibility that there’s someone else out there for them? The answer is yes.” So don’t assume.

Ha, I dare you to look me in the eyes and tell me I’m a perv...

Hmmm... Okay, so maybe I look like a perv. But it’s just the way I look. It’s not me. Really.

Friday, February 06, 2009

GIFTS FOR YOUR BEST FRIENDS

If there’s a group I know very well, it’s alcoholics. That’s because most of my friends act like pubescent, horny college students: binge drinking, hangovers (everyday!), and frequent black outs/potential rape targets. (Don’t judge, it’s just who they are).

Well, there’s good news for them because the gift of an intervention has gotten easier, faster, and lazier. (But probably bad news for potential rapists...) According to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, even when delivered by email or the internet, one self-help session can decrease one’s drinking habits.

Online sessions not only provides “personalized-feedback interventions,” but could be anonymous, thus allowing society’s worthless to hide their shame and avoid eye contact. Aweeesome! My friends will be very pleased.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

SCHADENFREUDE RULES!

I know it strikes you too. When the hottie you wanna bang dumps your good friend or your buddy finds out he has an STD, try as you might to hold that frown, your smile is just dying to burst out! That’s you. And you my friend, are a maniacal bitch too!

Schadenfreude is a German word that means: pleasure in other’s misfortune. It’s not as diabolical as you might think, according to PyschologyToday.com, if you understand some of the reasons people find joy in other’s misfortunate, which include:

  • It benefits you, namely makes you feel superior (...external validation isn’t real)
  • You think the person deserves it
  • That it’s cosmic justice, if you will. That it’s an “unsolicited gift”
  • It is “passive” payback for due infractions (ones we lack authority over or don’t want to bloody our hands with...)

Schadenfreude, the articles says, if pertaining to minor misfortunes and involving the belief that justice has been done and that we aren’t responsible for eliciting the misfortune, then it isn’t so resprehensible. I am not sure I agree, but I think you’ll agree that laughing at your friends’ misfortune is fun. Kinda...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

IF THE CAMERA’S ON, DON’T DO IT

It’s official: Miley Cyrus has a middle name. It’s Dumbass.

If there’s one thing you think she would learn, it’s that if the camera’s on you might not want to do it... First, 16-year-old Cyrus sends lascivious pics of herself all over the internet, she then emulates child porn, shags a 21-year-old old hottie boyfriend, disses the lovely Selena Gomez, and now, she’s proven she’s a redneck racist.

She and her cousins (who are also her aunts and uncles) posed in photographs mocking Asian Americans. I can’t even post the pics because she is so stupid (I know, I’m sorry, Words of Wisdom is all about positivity, but...), but you can see the pic here.

Regardless, I think her middle name is fitting. Don’t you?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

ANOTHER PYSCHIATRIC DISORDER!

I am ashamed to admit it, but I have another mental disorder.

Like most psychiatric disorders, it’s characterized by all the voices in my head fighting each other - all the damn time! So tiring. Though everyone has different symptoms, mine are: obsession about a flaw with my appearance — a flaw either that is minor or imagined, frequently examining myself in the mirror, and frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction. Okay, kidding about the cosmetic procedures...as of now.

Yes, I, along with 90% of gays, have BDD - body dysmorphic disorder. Oh, the shame! While BDD, sometimes called “imagined ugliness,” is mockable, it could have serious ramifications, including: suicidal thoughts/behavior, depression, anxiety disorders.

There are many causes, but one is your environment, aka your evil, eating-disorder friends. Thanks guys, especially - let’s just call them - Patty Myra and Ailly Brmas! And guys, definitely check out NYTimes.com’s Body Mass Index calculator. Feel fat, bitches!

Robert Buckley and Kim Raver

Friday, January 30, 2009

REASONS NOT TO EAT EVERYTHING

For three days last week, I smelled a distinct yet savory odor. It turns out I didn’t wipe after some wash room activities - for three days! Huh, how could I forget to do that?

Well, it also turns out it wasn’t my fault. It was the onion rings, calamari, and more onion rings! According to a published study in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the fewer calories you consume the stronger your memory performance is.

The study suggests that the memory improvement might be linked to a decrease in insulin and inflammation. It is believed that lower insulin levels might “increase the sensitivity of receptors” in the brain and improve insulin signaling, allowing memories to be maintained longer.

So, does that mean I’m giving up onion rings? Hell to the no! But you might think twice about shaking my hands. Just saying...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CUONG’S SPIRIT SERIES

Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.
- John F. Kennedy

Now is the time to make you your first priority.

My mother grew up in a different world and she didn’t raise me to put me first. It was what she knew. So she always put us - her children - first. I was always keenly aware of that. I am a firm believer now that in order to be a good friend, lover, partner, child, neighbor or citizen you must be whole. You must make yourself whole. That starts by putting yourself first... And only then can you possess the light, energy, and knowledge to shed light onto other’s worlds. Your gift to the world is you.

John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NOTES ON LOVE...

I love New York City in the summer!: everyone breaks up to whore around, walking around and watching people sitting on their doorsteps crying (pathetic! who does that? who cries in public?), and jerking off to shirtless boys in the park! Yummy...

Clearly, neither my priest nor future ex-boyfriend would approve. So, I present you some notes on love - so you can do better! - from PsychologyToday.com:

  • It is also true that the less love you have, the more depression you are likely to experience in your life. Love is probably the best antidepressant there is... (Great, I’m freakin’ shit out of love. No one loves hookers! Ugh...)
  • To get love and keep love you have to go out and be active and learn a variety of specific skills. (And not just giving good BJs. You know what I mean, gurls...)
  • Recognize the difference between limerence and love. (Ha! You read it here first, bitches. Oprah who? That’s right!)
  • [L]ove is a learned skill, not something that comes from hormones or emotion particularly. Erich Fromm called it “an act of will.” If you don’t learn the skills of love you virtually guarantee that you will be depressed, not only because you will not be connected enough but because you will have many failure experiences. (Looosers! Oh, that’s me... Damn!)

Anyhow, there’s more uplifting news for you lonely lame-asses like me, besides we’ll die earlier, don’t get laid regularly, or don’t have sugar daddy buying us expensive ass-less pants. Ohmigosh! I am a loser!

Monday, January 26, 2009

YEAR OF THE OX

It is the Year of the Earth Ox, 4706.

Every year, I feel it more and more. I long for home. There’s nothing like Chinese New Year...there. I worry I have forgotten what Chinese New Year is about. The night before this Chinese New Year, I cleaned my little studio apartment and had Chinese food. Like I’m supposed to. But it’s not the same. I long for Monterey Park. Where my parents are now grandparents. My nephew and niece are probably running around. My brother and his wife run our five-bedroom house. We have homes now. We are worlds apart. On Chinese New Year.

I long to be five again. To be my parents’ son. To be a big brother. To be a nephew and cousin. I want to hear the firecrackers scaring evil spirits way. I want to eat for days, laugh with family and friends for nights. To collect red envelopes. To visit with the dead. To be back again in that small one-bedroom apartment we lived in in that alley. I want to go back. To remember that Chinese New Year is about hope.

I long for hope. Again. Like back then...

Family Portrait, 1981: me, my father, my sister, my mother, and my brother

Sunday, January 25, 2009

LOVE DOESN’T LAST

Every weekend in Hell’s Kitchen, there’s an asshole that stumbles the streets screaming at people in love: Everyone breaks up!

I used to think he was another jaded queen that didn’t see the magic in love like I do, but I hate to be the first to admit it - he’s right. Love doesn’t last. According to Pavia University researchers, that feeling of being in love - romantic love, crazy love, lovesick, stalking, mad love, euphoria - is triggered by a molecule known as nerve growth factor (NGF), which increases your love molecule.

But that feeling of limerence - the involuntary cognitive and emotional state of intense romantic desire for another person - has a shelf life, anywhere from three months to three years. Thus, love ends. The loss of limerence is gradual and ultimately returns your molecule back to normal levels before love. Once limerence ends, couples either choose to love - which is an act of free will, personal and spiritual growth, and commitment - or they detach.

So, it’s true: being in love doesn’t last. That asshole was right! Ugh...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WOW, I KNOW MORE THAN ZERO!

Yesterday was a historial day - my birthday!

Okay, no one cares about that. And apparently tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams don’t care about my birthday too...and, oh, the inauguration. ’Cause they won’t vote! Says Venus: “I really am not a political expert. I know zero...” It’s very clear that I’m a dumbass and obviously so are Venus and Serena. Welcome to the club, girls!

  1. If you don’t vote, don’t admit it. Lie, eat their face, throw yourself into on-coming traffic, do anything but admit it. People look at you like you’re a bum jerking off on their face on a subway. For reals...
  2. Jehovah’s Witnesses are the new Filipinos - they suck!
  3. How can I be smarter than Venus and Serena combined? Best. Wednesday. Ever.

Okay, sorry Filipnos for the joke. I kid. You are still not Asian, but you are not hated. But Venus and Serena are the new...lame. Congrats, girls! T-shirts are on their way!

For Venus and Serena

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

STEVE JOBS: FIND WHAT YOU LOVE

Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivered this commencement address in 2005. His message is similar to Tuesdays with Morrie’s powerful line: “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” It’s a simple reminder that when we are living on earth, we must fully live.

Jobs’ first two stories were on connecting the dots, and love and loss. His final story was this:

“If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” [The quote]...made an impression on me [when I read it at 17], and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog... On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Monday, January 19, 2009

MAKE YOURSELF A PRIORITY

So Oprah had 1,000 cookies too many, but she got this right - the importance of putting yourself first.

A lot of you think I’m already too self-obsessed. To those of you: Fuck off. But the lesson is more than just declaring it, it is making active choices to grow your spirit, create balance, find time for you, nourish your body, strengthen your mind, and love, love, love yourself. That may mean different things to different people, but for me it’s: exercising, putting nourishing things into my body, writing, spiritual growth, visits to my shrink!, and the prospects of new episodes of Lipstick Jungle. I think it is important - and it’s okay - to make you your #1 priority. Do it.

“When you love yourself enough, you take care of yourself. You have to make yourself a priority,” says Oprah, wrestling cookies from her staff. They win. She tears up. “To love yourself is a never-ending journey.” Thanks, O. BTW: No. More. Cookies! Okay?


Editor’s Note: Oprah's lawyers have demanded I clarify that by “1,000” I mean 40 cookies. Sorry. Yes, she does read my blog losers!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

CUONG’S SPIRIT SERIES

We probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do.”
- Olin Miller

Take a moment and breathe those words. Let it live in you. There’s really not much else to say. They are words to live by... Do so.


P.S. For Liz. Girl, remember it!

Friday, January 16, 2009

LUKE AND NOAH DO IT!

Luke and Noah finally had butt sex. Yeah! (I think it was butt. I hope it was...)

Anyhow, 17 months after their historic kiss on As The World Turns, Luke and Noah finally had sex on Monday’s ATWT. (I mean if most people waited 17 months it better be back-door sex. Right?!?) Regardless, it was the first time two males characters consummated their relationship on daytime TV. In all seriousness, it’s ground-breaking.

As a matter of fact, CBS’s spokesperson said, “Yes, it’s the first time ever any gays have waited more than two vodka sodas to have sex. Those perverts!” Just kidding! CBS didn’t say that, but they did have this to say, “For the last year and a half, we’ve been telling Luke and Noah’s story in a sensitive, respectful way and their romance has evolved over time. The scenes in Monday's episode represent a natural progression of their relationship.”

I don’t watch ATWT, but I had to watch them bang. I know, I’m a perv... Ah, suck it!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

FATHER OF THE YEAR

It's only 15 days into 2009, but I am ready to award Father Of The Year to…

Japanese Guy!

54-year-old Japanese Guy, whose name was not released, was caught impersonating his 20-year-old son to help him pass an exam. Wow, I want a father like Japanese Guy. All my father ever did for me was beat the crap out of me, tell me I was stupid, force me into bowl-shaped haircuts. But my therapist thinks I'm over it. Thank goodness...

Oh, anyway, Japanese Guy even permed his hair so he could pass as his son. Now, getting a bad perm on Asian hair - I know 'cause I did it once - is the epitome of love.

Sorry, Hiro!

Congrats, Japanese Guy, you deserve this honor!

Editor's Note: Sorry, that was the best image I could come up with...