Archive for the ':: mom ::' Category

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Being sick sucks. Luckily I’m much better now.

I’m not quite 100% but I feel a heck of a lot better today than I have for the last couple of days.

This cold thing really kicked my butt and I’m glad it’s only taken me a couple of days to get over it. Tomorrow I go back to work. Bleh.

Unfortunately, my being Ms Sicky all weekend has gotten in the way of my many weekend plans which included seeing Teebubble & JeniJeniJeni, going back to OC to visit my Mom, and of course to visit my Grandma (which I absolutely won’t do until I am germless).

I also had crapload of paperwork to do, some of which I made a dent in yesterday, but most of which is still piled on my desk. I thought about working on it today, but lying in bed and keeping warm sounded more appealing… so guess what I’m doing now?

Tonight we are supposed to have dinner with L & S which is great because I haven’t seen either of them in ages.

Does that mean I actually have to leave the house then?

Going back to work sucks.

I had to be in the office by 6:45am to get ready for a 7am conference call/webex/training session when I went back to work on Wednesday.

That training session lasted until almost 1pm with only a couple of short breaks.

I can’t believe how quickly my calendar is filling up from now until the end of the year. Yikes!

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
Since I am really bad at buying Christmas gifts, I decided my present to Yoshi and my Mom would be to take them out for a nice concert. I had heard that Chanticleer was going to be in LA and performing a Christmas concert at Disney Hall.

We had dinner in Little Tokyo at Usui and despite a little rain, it was a lovely night on Tuesday night.

The Chanticleer concert was very enjoyable, a full house… we ran into at least 3 different people that we knew but didn’t know were coming in our section alone.

And the celeb sighting of the night? Gedde Watanabe sat exactly 3 rows in front of me. It’s kind of funny because this is probably the third of fourth time I’ve gone to a public event where Gedde was seated next to/near me.

Because it was raining so hard, Mom spent the night and was still asleep when I left the house to go to work at 6:30 in morning.

Glad we got to spend the time together, but sucked that I had to be up and out the door so early.

I have a new job: My Mom’s publicist.

Ok, so it’s not really a new job.

But in the last two weeks, I have booked my Mom a newspaper interview, a TV interview, and a radio interview.

It’s been a year and a half since my Dad passed away and last year was an extremely tough holiday season. It’s still hard, but this year has been better because Mom’s back from Taiwan and we are planning to spend the holidays together.

One of the things we have been doing together is volunteering for One Legacy/Donate Life. At the time that it was all going on, I didn’t want to talk about it very much but our family made the decision to honor my father’s wishes to donate all my father’s organs and tissues so that our loss could possibly help another family in crisis. One of the things we stipulated is that we not want to know who the recipients were: even though some families don’t feel this way, to us a donation is a donation and we felt that the compassionate thing to do was to try and help someone else if we could.

The One Legacy/Donate Life folks have been absolutely wonderful and caring with us. They were so appreciative of the decision and have been following our family with kindness and caring, knowing that it was so hard to lose someone we loved so much. Throughout the past year, they have had many memorial events for organ donor families where we have met other families who have gone through similar situations as we have.

One of the things that has become a little easier to do over time is to talk about it. Whereas we were extremely private about our decision at the time that we made it, especially in this time of year of giving, we think about the gift that my father was able to give as an organ and tissue donor.

Did you know an organ donation could save the lives of eight people, and a tissue donation could enhance the lives of another 50 people? (If you are in California and want to find out more about how to sign up online to be an organ and tissue donor, visit http://www.donatelifecalifornia.org/)

Joz decorates the 2008 Donate Life Rose Parade float

A few weeks ago, the One Legacy/Donate Life folks asked us to participate in the decoration of their annual Rose Parade Float. On this date, the “Ambassador” families (of those donors featured on the float) came to decorate the portraits of their loved ones. In some cases, donor families were introduced with recipient families: a very moving scene.

My Mom and I went down to Pasadena to volunteer our time toward the float and to also do a newspaper interview with the World Journal (Chinese Daily News). The interview and article was in Chinese, but it was published in the Sunday paper the next day. If you’re interested, here is the link to the article and picture of us (good luck translating it: Babelfish didn’t do a great job): http://www.worldjournal.com/wj-la-news.php?nt_seq_id=1632716

On the same day, my Mom was asked to give an a TV interview (I don’t know which media outlet interviewed her; I just saw cameras pointed at her) and also to say some things on camera, possibly to be used for a public service announcement. We’ll see if that airs anywhere at some point in the future.

While I was in NYC, I got a call that the Los Angeles Chinese radio station, KAZN 1300AM 中文廣播電台 was going to do a piece on organ donation and wanted a donor family to speak along with a couple of recipient families. Since I was supposed to be in NYC at the time, I suggested that they interview my Mom for the piece instead.

Last night, the radio segment aired and everyone said she did a great job telling the story of my father and our decision to donate. Lots of people have called her, including my Uncle Peter and various friends who just happened to hear her on the air. They said that she really touched them with our story and were inspired by my father’s noble and compassionate act to consent to being a donor and by our family’s decision to support that.

I am so proud of my mother for giving voice to such an important cause and for being brave enough to talk about her loss and our father so publicly in the hopes of helping save more lives.

She is an amazing woman and I love her so much.

“Trick-or-Treat Goodies (our way)” – Fourth time around

It’s almost 6pm, I’m late for class, I’m going to be stuck in traffic, and I haven’t seen a single Halloween costume all day (been stuck at my desk).

Aside from my Grandma being in the hospital, I’m just not in a Halloween-y mode.

But it’s becoming a Halloween tradition on my blog to recycle this Halloween story. To anyone who has already read it, I hope you’ll read it again. To any first timers, I hope you enjoy.

Happy Halloween.

Joz at the pumpkin patch in 1984.  I like how my eyes are closed in this shot.  (How did 20 years go by so quickly?!)When we were kids, we learned about a lot of American traditions for the first time on television or in school. Since our parents came to the United States only a couple of years before I was born, they learned about American holidays pretty much at the same time my brother and I did.

Halloween was something fun and exciting because my Mom understood the concept of “dress up” and although she claimed that she didn’t know how to sew, she always came up with costumes for us for Halloween so we could go trick-or-treating and come home with a bag full of candy that we were later not allowed to eat, since it would “rot our teeth out of our mouths.”

Since we weren’t allowed to eat the candy we got from trick-or-treating, often the strategy was to send us out early & to give away the candy that we had received earlier in the evening. We didn’t mind; that was just the way we did things.

As we got old enough to go to school (and have neighbor kids in the same classes with us), we began to become concerned about what candy was being given away at our front door. One year, my Mom informed us that our cousins were planning to come to our neighborhood so we could all go trick-or-treating together. Although this was exciting, it also meant that Mom would actually have to prepare treats in advance for my Dad to pass out while we were out.

I still remember how horrifying it was when Mom returned from the supermarket, proudly announcing that she had purchased “the BEST trick-or-treat goodies” for the neighborhood kids.

My Bro and I excited went through the grocery bags but we didn’t find any Smarties, M&Ms, candy corn, or little Snickers bars.

“What? Where? Mom?”
Continue reading ‘“Trick-or-Treat Goodies (our way)” – Fourth time around’

Visited Grandma today

Tonight, my Uncle Peter called a family meeting at Grandma’s place to discuss the situation.

As you can imagine, this was not a fun family meeting.

After the meeting, my Mom, Bro and I went to the hospital to visit. Grandma’s condition was not better than it was the last time I visited. She is still in CCU.

Thanks for keeping her in your thoughts.

Too busy to blog.

(This is being written on Sunday, 10/14/2007. But I’m going to pretend like I wrote it on Friday, 10/12, when it was intended to be written.)

This morning, I was on my way out the door to work when my brother texted me.

9:19am

Fuck. Mom just called me. Said someone hit her car when she was exiting [street name of offramp off the 10 freeway]. I don’t know anything else.

I immediately tried to call my Mom, but she wasn’t answering her phone. I knew where she was and that it was about 20 minutes away from where I was.

Mom called my Brother because he had the day off of work, but it would probably take him an hour to get to her. I was much closer.

So instead of driving to work, I got in the car and headed to where my Mom was. I called my boss and let him know that I wasn’t going to be in in the morning. I figured that Mom was OK because she was able to call Bro, but since I couldn’t talk to her, I was worried. I called my brother, who was already on the road, to let him know I was on my way and that I’d probably be there sooner.

I called Bro to see if he had anymore details, and he said that all he knew was that my Mom had called right after the accident had happened, because he said my Mom had called him and screamed, “Somebody crashed into my car!!!” in Mandarin and in the background, he could hear a lady screaming (at my Mom) “You’re crazy!!!” and my Mom yelling back at the lady in English, “No, YOU’RE CRAZY!!!” He said that she hung up right after that and he texted me right away.

While I was driving, my Mom finally called me. I asked if she was OK and she said she had a headache, and that the other driver had hit her car pretty hard. A police officer was there making a report.

The long and the short of it is that Mom is (thankfully) ok, but we had quite a scare.

My Mom said the other driver had hit her car, then immediately gotten out of the car and started yelling at her. That’s why my Mom refused to get out of the car until the cops showed up. (Smart lady.) She said that the other driver was really mean and kept screaming, so my Mom called the insurance company from her car, and they said, “Call 911.”

The car is damaged and will need repair, so I already filed a claim to our own insurance since the police who took the report wouldn’t let my Mom get the information from the other driver and said, “Everything was in the police report.”

Sigh. What a pain. But luckily, and most importantly, Mom is OK.

Blur of a Weekend

-Yoshi was sick all weekend. Boo!

-On Friday I started to feel ucky so I left work early. Mom and Bro came over in the afternoon since we had to do something together on Friday. Mom and I went to visit Grandma shortly in the evening and we went grocery shopping together. Mom and Bro stayed at my place until almost 11. We watched the episode of Bizarre Foods episode that Andrew Zimmern did in Taiwan. Woot to Andrew Zimmern for describing Taiwan as an “independent nation” during the episode.

-Mom, Bro, and I went on Saturday morning to visit my Dad’s ashes together. We didn’t stay long, but it meant a lot for us to all be together again.

-Spent all Saturday afternoon working on a class project for school. It’s a tough project and I’m frustrated at the slow pace at which everything on it is progressing.

-Had dinner Saturday night with Mom, Bro, and Bro’s gf. This was the first time Mom met Bro’s gf, but I think it went pretty well. Second time in a week that I dined at Olive Garden, after not having it for many, many years. Yoshi couldn’t join because of aforementioned sickness.

-Sunday: Woke up and watched a little TV. I worked the auction and came home to watch a little more TV and then actually do some work. I didn’t play the Wii today, but I made Pro at Wii Tennis earlier in the weekend, after only having the Wii for a week. It will probably take me a long time to master the other sports. I’m quite terrible at them, especially golf.

-Oh yeah. It’s nice having Mom back.

Mom is back from Taiwan!

Yay!

Just picked her up from the airport tonight and she’s staying with us tonight.

I missed her so much and am glad she’s back.

Also, she brought so much stuff back, but the things that brought tears to my eyes were my Dad’s things and photos that meant a lot to him.

Bye-bye T-Mobile…

Hello (again) Cingular.

Er, I mean the new Wireless from AT&T.

(Funny. When I changed to T-Mobile, I had a very similar post title. Just goes to show how NOT creative I am.)

My contract was up and due to crappy connectivity at my parents’ place with T-Mobile, we’ve decided to return to the network we used to be on for some still-crappy-but-less-crappy-than-T-Mo service.

In the process, I got a new cell phone, which I might decide to sell. (My magenta Motorola RAZR is still in working order and I’m not too picky about cell phones.)

I got a Motorola KRZR K1 in blue.

It’s still in its box.

After everything was said and done, I paid $190 for three new phones, but will be getting $130 back in rebates. My brother got a new Nokia N75 and we picked out a simple Nokia 6126 for my Mom to use when she gets back from Taiwan.

It makes me a little sad because in this process, we dropped my Dad’s cell phone line from the family plan. But it’s been over a year and I’d been paying $9.99/month for it to be sitting there, unused.

Still, it made me sad.

Anyway, the point is, sorry to all my T-Mo friends, no more free mobile-to-mobile calls for you! I am now going to chat away with my friends on AT&T.

Question is: Do you use AT&T Wireless and do I have your #?

Happy birthday, Mom!

Dear Mom,

I can’t believe almost a year has gone by since you left for Taiwan. I miss you so much and am always happy to hear your voice when you call me to talk.

I wish we could spend your birthday together this year, but I’m happy that you will be home soon. I can’t wait for you to get back!

Happy birthday! I love you.

So much happening, yet so little to report.

Let’s see:

-Slowly progressing on HP7; should be done before the end of the week. I’m about halfway through now.

-Mom called this morning around the time I was supposed to be getting ready for work and we talked for 20 min. Last week we had sent her a package and she’d let me know that she received it. I sent her some pictures, mostly old pictures, but a couple of new ones. She said that the one of me and Yoshi (taken in a photo booth a few months ago in Santa Cruz) made her laugh.

-Work is work. I’m finally starting to feel situated in the new gig even though it’s been more than a month. Usually I fall right in and hit the ground running.

-Today was Freecycle/Craigslist day. There was a bunch of old furniture I needed to get rid of (this was not my personal furniture). One of the loveseats I gave away (the brown one) belonged to my grandparents. The guy who picked it up couldn’t get over why I was giving away such a nice piece of furniture. It was a nicely made piece of furniture and I was a little sad to get rid of my grandparents’ stuff, but at least it felt good to know it was going to get new life with someone who appreciated it. (If you’re curious about what I gave away, check out the pix on flickr: coffee table, end table/cabinet, brown loveseat, purple and teal loveseat. Actually the coffee table set cleaned up pretty nicely after I took all the junk off of it.) Anyway, I couldn’t believe how many responses I got for all this stuff and the best part was that I knew that this stuff wasn’t just ending up in a landfill & that someone else was going to get use out of it. And everyone who I made appointments with to come pick stuff up showed up on time and followed directions (bring someone to help carry down the stairs). Rawk!

-Went carb crazy today. Had lunch at Fabiolus today and had an order of Penne alla Siciliana (my favorite). Then for dinner stopped by Noodle World and got two orders of rice noodles to go for me and Yoshi. Also got a frozen Lychee slushee drink, too. Yum.

-Got my grade for my Business Law class… whoo hoo! An A-! In this case, I am pleased about the A- because knowing the grading scale, it was an uphill battle to even get an A- and an A is damn nearly impossible. (Still upset about the A- in Marketing, though). Unfortunately, getting another A- (instead of an A) drops my GPA down still further to a 3.900. My semester GPA is a horrid 3.700. Yikes! If I had just taken classes with some other professors, I know I would have gotten two solid As. Oh well. That’s life. I’m actually quite glad I didn’t get the B+ in Biz Law, though. I can still say I’ve gotten all As in grad school. (A-s are still As!)

Here’s to an A day tomorrow! (We are taking a company fieldtrip to the Arclight and watching the Bourne Ultimatum tomorrow afternoon!)

Yay! I talked to my Mom!

My Mom called out of the blue tonight to give me a few updates.

All is good but she’s delayed in returning for a few more weeks (she was supposed to have returned yesterday).

It was good to hear her voice and talk to her for more than 2 minutes at one shot.

We were so engaged in talking, she nearly missed her Metro stop in Taipei. Oops.

I’m ok.

It’s just been a tough month or so and now I’m heading into finals for the summer term.

I can’t wait for this term to be over, but I’ve just got a few more weeks to hang in there.

I know I haven’t been writing, but don’t worry… I’m fine… just a little quiet is all.

And yeah, I do really, really miss my Dad.

(And my Mom, who is still in Taiwan.)

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Joz & Dad at T's graduation party - 06-2006

This picture was taken almost exactly a year ago, on the night of my cousin’s graduation celebration at Macaroni Grill. I got to sit between my parents; I didn’t realize that it would be the last time for that. Bro sat with all the boy cousins.

For Father’s Day last year, we took my Dad to a Chinese buffet place, the kind where they serve about 100 different kinds of food and you eat until you think you’re going to pop. This was Dad’s favorite kind of place to eat, mostly because there was a huge variety of foods he could choose from. The place we went also gave out Father’s Day gifts. Since Bro and I were treating, we went to pick up the gift for Dad. It was an “I love you” mug with a little stuffed bear inside, which I gave to Dad. It’s still sitting by the front door where he left it when we got home.

I can’t believe Father’s Day 2006 was the last time we were together as a family.

I love you and miss you so much, Dad.

McYummy or McYucky?

Growing up in America with immigrant parents meant we ate food that my Mom knew how to make. In my lucky case, this meant Chinese/Taiwanese foods. (No matter what, the yummiest food anywhere is food made with love by Mom!) I can honestly say that until I was 18, I had McDonald’s less than a dozen times in my life.

It’s been 10 years since I’ve been back to Taiwan and one of my favorite parts of going back is the cheap and yummy food you eat off of carts. It was always trippy to go into Taipei and people would want to take me to McDonald’s or Pizza Hut or Sizzler because people thought I preferred “American foods.” I would oblige to be polite, but aside from not liking any of these places too much in first place, the “American foods” served there tasted weird. I did not enjoy the cut corn pieces on my Taiwanese Pizza Hut pizza. And the cheese on my Taiwanese McDonald’s cheeseburger always tasted too sweet. But hey, I know they’re catering to “local tastes,” so whatever. The point is, eating at a McDonald’s while travelling didn’t seem too appealing.

Fast forward 10 years and the knowledge from Will Work For Food’s post about special McDonald’s foods from around the world. Here’s a sampling:

HONG KONG
* McDonald’s sells chicken and pork burgers, fried chicken wings and nuggets. In some restaurants, a separate counter sells ice cream and desserts to pedestrians. Some restaurants have a section for the McCafé. Apart from the general menu, it also promotes some other foods seasonally or longer, like spicy french fries, the Shogun Burger (a pork bun served with Japanese Teriyaki sauce and cabbage), Grilled Chicken Burger, twisted macaroni breakfasts, salads, soups, pineapple or red bean sundae, pineapple pies, taco flatbreads with pork, beef or chicken, rice fan-tastic (a burger-like entree with rice patties in place of buns) and many others.

INDIA
* Beef and pork products are not served to cater to Indian religious sensitivities. Chicken (that too, only non-Halal) along with fish are the only meat products used.
* The Big Mac is replaced by the Maharaja Mac, which was originally a mutton burger, but is now a chicken burger.
* In India, vegetarian and meat dishes are prepared in separate areas of the restaurant in respect for vegetarians, and cooks preparing vegetarian dishes wear distinctive green aprons.

JAPAN
* Teriyaki McBurger: Ground pork sandwich with mayonnaise, lettuce, and teriyaki sauce.
* Ebi-Chiki Set: 2 shrimp nuggets and 3 chicken nuggets.
* Ebi Filet-O: Shrimp burger similar to a Filet-O-Fish.
* French Fries can be purchased in barbecue, seaweed, and Italian basil flavors.
* Ume Nuggets: Chicken McNuggets with sour ume sauce for dipping.
* Chicken Katsu Burger: Breaded chicken sandwich flavored with soy sauce and ginger.
* Salsa Burger: Breaded chicken sandwich with salsa,
* Koroke Burger: Sandwich with breaded mashed potatoes, shredded cabbage, and katsu sauce. Served with or without cheese.
* Tamago Double Mac: Hamburger with 2 beef patties, pepper sauce, bacon, and a poached egg. Served with or without cheese.
* Green Tea-flavored milkshakes
* Macaroni and Cheese Burger

KOREA
* Has the Bulgogi Burger (pork patty in bulgogi marinade, as of 5/07), McBingsoo(Korean Shaved Ice), as well as the Shrimp burger similar to Ebi-Filet-O in Japan. Also interesting is that there is a deposit levy charged on cups (100 Won) which is refunded on return of cup to any McDonald’s location for recycling or reuse.

PAKISTAN
* There is a Spicy McChicken burger that has chutney in it. There is also a McChutney Burger, a meatball sandwich called the McKofta, and strawberry custard pie. A pineapple-flavored sundae, pineapple pie, and a mango-flavored milkshake are seasonal menu items. Also, McArabia was recently introduced, with a chicken patty rolled up in Pita bread.

PHILLIPINES
* McDonald’s sells spaghetti (to compete with local fast food franchise Jollibee), which is called, unsurprisingly, McSpaghetti. In 1993, a popular combo featured spaghetti with fried chicken wings. Also unique to the Filipino menu is the Burger McDo, a ground pork burger served with a Thousand Island dressing like sauce to cater to local tastes. Also sells “Rice burgers” chicken fillet or beef burger served in rice toasted to shaped like buns.

Personally, I’d like to try me a Maharaja Mac, a Bulgogi Burger, and the Ebi Filet-O. I’m not sure if they’re McYummy or not, but I’d definitely try them once to find out.

(See the whole post here.)

h/t: Ernie. Cross-posted at 8Asians.

Mother’s Day without Mom sucks.

I called my Mom to wish her a happy Mother’s Day late last night (so that it would be Sunday in Taiwan). I only got to speak to her for a few minutes, but it was nice to hear her voice. She told me she got the card and pictures my brother and I had sent earlier in the week. So glad they got there in time.

After a hellish Saturday, I woke up way too early on Sunday: 6am. My alarm was set for 9:30. Why I woke up so early, I have no idea. Since I was up so early, I thought I would try and visit my Grandma early, before I had to be at work at noon. Unfortunately, at around the time my alarm was set to go off, I go really tired and was going to take a 15 minute nap. My 15 minute nap ran an hour and a half too long, so I just got up and went straight to work instead.

After work, I had to run a quick errand to K-town, and then I got back in the car and went to visit Grandma. But not before I went to fill the gas tank and pick up an air-pot style hot water heater/dispenser (so they can make tea at my Grandma’s house without boiling a whole pot of water). By the time I got there, it was after 6pm and I had missed my Uncle and Aunt by only 10 minutes. I gave Grandma a framed picture of us (her, me, and Bro) from her birthday in 1981. Then I hung around for more than an hour.

I came home and futzed around, ate junk, and paid bills, all instead of reading Business Law. Now I’ll be up for a few more hours to try and knock out a chapter tonight.

Why Asians are Better at Math

Dave Chen wrote a thought-provoking post entitled “Why Asians are Better at Math.

He cites a BBC article which compares questions from British and Chinese math tests. Says the article:

A glance at the two questions reveals how much more advanced is the maths teaching in China, where children learn the subject up to the age of 18.

Dave uses his own experiences as an Asian American to speculate upon the reasons he believes Asians are better at math:

1) Their parents
2) Their curricula are the hardest in the world
3) Their schools are oppressive, draconian environments from which there is no escape

While I do agree with Dave’s assessment overall, I wonder if there is more to it? One article suggests that Chinese language and English language speakers calculate problems differently; that language seems to have a role in this. We could probably make this list miles long, but I think a key factor missing from the list is effort. I think Asians just try harder and put in more effort (than say Americans). Yes, that may because their parents expect them to, because the of the level of the curriculum, as well as the oppressive school systems… the end result is more effort put into math, in my opinion.

Heck, remove something as subjective as effort, what about time? I’m sure we could pull up studies about how many more hours Asians spend in school, doing homework, or even practice calculations. (Did you ever have to do practice calculations? My Mom used to buy math workbooks and made us do tons of problems on top of our regular homework.)

(On a sidenote, Dave’s post has 732 diggs as of right now and a ton of comments there… first comment: “Too bad math doesn’t help when you’re behind the wheel.” An Asian driver joke. Nice.)

I’m sure there’s more I’m not even thinking of right now. What other reasons contribute to Asian excellence in math?

As an Asian American, I grew up with parental expectations to excel in school. I did well in math, compared to my cohorts, but I always knew in the back of my mind that I wasn’t a math genius. It didn’t come easy and I definitely had to study for my grades. I knew that if I had been going to school in Taiwan; my “stellar” math performance in the US would land me at the back of the remedial class there.

I’m not sure it’s worth arguing whether or not Asians are good at math; I think there is enough evidence that shows that students from Asian countries regularly outperform Americans, including Asian Americans. That said, how does this supposed “Asian Mathematical Superiority” (my words not Dave’s) affect Asian Americans who were educated in the United States? There is evidence that Asian Americans outperform students of other races in the U.S. I believe this goes back to parental expectations; I spent my after school time studying, not watching TV. I imagine many second generation Asian Americans probably had immigrant parents who enforced rigorous studying more akin to what they had experienced in Asia. I wonder how third and fourth generation Asian Americans will fare, especially if second generation Asian Americans are more lax with their expectations?

I, for one, sometimes feel like a mathematical idiot, never having taken a class beyond calculus, especially since my major in college was based in the humanities. When I started business school, I struggled with basic calculations because I hadn’t used any math since high school (and any math I needed at work or otherwise was done by Excel or a calculator). It upsets me when people say “Oh you’re Asian, you’re good at math,” because it frankly makes me feel like some sort of fraud or maybe some sub-par Asian. I know I shouldn’t feel this way because I’m basically acknowledging some sort of Model Minority complex, but then I wonder, shouldn’t I expect more of myself? Clearly, I think to myself, if I had just put some more time and effort into math, I wouldn’t be such an math dummy.

I don’t think Asians are “inherently good at math.” I think most Asians work their asses off and develop their skills through good study habits and time and effort spent on math. Yeah, there’s that annoying math savant who can recite pi out to the ten-thousandth digit and tell you the square root of any number you name, but if you want to talk “ASIAN MATH SKILLS: NATURE VS NURTURE?” I would put a big ol’ “X” on the nurture column.

What do you think?

Related links:
::An Analysis of the Factors That Impact Academic Achievement Among Asian American, African-American, and Hispanic Students:: ::Motivation and Mathematics Achievement: A Comparative Study of Asian-American, Caucasian-American, and East Asian High School Students:: ::Confucian Work Ethic (1983 Time Article):: ::The New Whiz Kids (1987 Time Article):: ::Behind the High Achievement of East Asian Students::

Weekend round up…

I just wrote a post for blogging.la about the Rose Hills Columbarium, which is where my Dad’s ashes are interred. Check it out if you are interested.

Saturday

  • To Rose Hills for a chanting service for my Dad with my brother
  • Brother and I went to visit Grandma/have lunch in Alhambra (Kang Kang Food Court)
  • Hung out at Grandma’s for a bit
  • I went back home, watched TV and played some Sims
  • Sunday

  • Woke up fairly early
  • Did laundry
  • Put dishes away
  • Vacuumed
  • Made meatloaf
  • Washed dishes
  • Swung by to drop off something for cousin Nina and her daughter Ashley (first time I’ve seen Nina with bulging belly for baby #2; also saw cousins Sarah and Daniel)
  • To Orange County to see my brother
  • Dinner at ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney with Bro & Yoshi
  • Dessert from the Jazz Kitchen Express: Beignets and Bread Pudding
  • Back to the house to take care of a few things with Bro
  • Called Mom with Bro
  • Filled out our census survey
  • Back to L.A.
  • Blog
  • Oh and even though I don’t celebrate Easter, I hope you had a good one.

    Today is my brother’s birthday

    Since my brother’s birthday is the day after Dad’s they have always celebrated their birthdays, except for this year, of course.

    We miss Dad so much and I know I’ve been having a particularly tough time over the last few weeks as the date inched closer.

    I know it’s really hard for my brother, too. He was never much of a “birthday” guy, but I know that he can’t help but to think about Dad when his birthday comes around.

    Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, to my favorite (ok, only… but still my favorite) bro. I love you lots and we’ll celebrate some time when we’re not all so blue.

    What I did on February 28, 2007.*

    -Spoke to my Mom a couple of times on the day of her wedding anniversary. I miss her terribly. She is doing ok; her friends took her to relax on a Taiwanese mountain. (Why does that sound so weird? It sounded pretty normal in Chinese!) I realized this week that no matter how old I am, it always feels good to be my Mom’s kid.

    -Worked at the office. Yoshi was the guest visitor for the day. Visitor in the office = Bossguy distraction so I can get lots of work done. It only kind of worked… Bossguy didn’t totally leave me alone. Bossguy also laughed when Yoshi bonked me on the head (lightly) with an empty plastic water bottle. Way to come to my defense, Bossguy!

    -Dinner at Yamashiro to celebrate JeniJeniJeni‘s birthday. I haven’t been to Yamashiro since I was a teenager. Gorgeous night and a beautiful view of L.A.; the winds blew all the crap out of the air so we had a clear view all around. And the food was delicious… after eating fairly well for about a week, I pigged out. We shared a ton of sushi, an order of black cod, and a New York steak. Sealed the night off with 3 desserts: warm chocolate souffle cake, strawberry preserve filled donuts with whipping cream, and a banana rum cake with cashew brittle. Plus the birthday girl got a special birthday panna cotta-like dessert. (Notice how I describe the dessert in detail.) If it wasn’t so cold, I’d have swung by pinkberry on the way home.

    *Written on March 3, 2007

    My parents would have celebrated their wedding anniversary today…

    I don’t know what I should say to my Mom when I call her.

    I don’t want to make her sad.

    I’m sad just thinking about it.

    Another call from Mom this morning.

    I got the update from Mom about stuff happening in Taiwan. Lunar New Year is coming up soon. Time flies, doesn’t it?

    I was talking to Mom about my Dad this morning and I was struck by a stinging sadness. All of a sudden I realized that I finally understood something about my Dad I never truly did before today. I always knew that he had sacrificed a lot for us, but suddenly I had a true epiphany about the depth of his sacrifice and love for us. That’s all I want to say about that.

    I don’t like to talk about it, but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Dad. Is it sinking in? Dad’s not in Taiwan; Dad’s not coming home.

    There’s all this stuff that still needs handling. It’s up to the three of us to figure it out, I guess.

    What else?

    Finally finished the book I started before we left for Vegas, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. I’d have finished it sooner had I not been running around Vegas. Or if I hadn’t left it at work yesterday. I look forward to seeing the movie. Mostly because Kalpen Modi (Kal Penn) is the lead.

    Called my Auntie for her birthday. Had a long talk with her about random stuff.

    Big changes at work today; no one was fired or anything, but it involved some big announcements and lots of work ahead for me. More info to come, I’m sure. I left the office stressed out and irritated.

    School: Behind in my reading. Behind in my 15 page paper. Behind in my assignments due on Monday. And I just realized I deleted a bunch of important files off my desktop and I have to re-download them. Yikes.

    Blog: Frustration. It’s not writer’s block. The truth of the matter is, I’m a pretty private person. At one time in my life, I’d have put it all out there. I’m not the same person I was a year ago, much less when I first started my blog. Before the days when everyone and their mothers had blogs, I was doing something unusual. Now everyone has a blog. I feel so ordinary. I’d have quit a long time ago, except that I do like knowing that if I write it in my blog, I can probably go back and find it again. That, and I would miss hearing from my friends via blog, since I’m so terrible at replying to emails.

    Ok, sorry about the melacholiness of this post. I’ll try to end it on an upbeat note. Do you see the little icon that shows up before the URL on my site???

    Didn’t mean to make you worry…

    …I’m ok. Thanks for all the calls, emails and IMs asking if I was ok.

    I’m just a little blue. I got something in the mail this week that reminded me that it’s been more than six months now since Dad’s passing.

    My days have been so incredibly full and busy, I have been avoiding reality by watching mind-numbing television after work at night; probably not the best use of my time or energy. Also, there’s been a flurry of stuff happening with family.

    -Grandma has been recovering from her surgery. She’s been home for over a week; I haven’t been able to go and visit yet.

    -Bro and his friend from out of town came to visit last Saturday night. I had class all day Saturday (8:30am – 4:30pm) and then worked most of the day Sunday, so Saturday night was the only time I had to see them. Went to dinner, then a movie (Curse of the Golden Flower, which is possibly the bloodiest movie I’ve seen in a while), then stayed up past 3am talking.

    -Mom called me earlier this week before I started my Monday night class. Miss her; worry about her.

    -Uncle Peter called me Wednesday about stuff happening in Taiwan. Had to get Mom and Uncle Peter in touch with each other.

    -Talked to Mom again Wednesday two separate times about two different subjects. Found out my Uncle S (her older brother) had gone to the ER the night before.

    -Spent a few hours trying to track down my aunt/cousins to see how Uncle S was doing and to pass a message on for my Mom. (As of Thursday, Uncle S was doing OK; getting better after having been admitted to the hospital. I didn’t get check if he was released to go home yet.). Got updates from my cousin S, and my aunt that night.

    -Also talked to briefly to Nina, glad to have her number in my cell.

    -Good news: Heading to Vegas this weekend to spend time with Yoshi’s parents. Not sure if I’m going to do any gambling, but I doubt it. Ask anyone; I’m a scary gambler.

    Singing telegram sent to Mom

    It was wonderful, even though it made her cry.

    I love her and miss her.

    Can’t wait to talk to her soon.

    Hmmm… maybe I did need to sleep all day.

    I was awakened around 8 this morning by a phone call from Mom in Taiwan. I think she’s feeling lonely and sad in Taiwan and it makes me sad that she’s feeling that way. She says she can’t come back until she takes care of a few things there… how long that stuff takes is beyond her control. Anyway, I talked with her for a bit and then she began to worry because she could tell I was sick (my voice was all wonky), and then she started to worry about my health. I told her not to worry, but you know how Moms are.

    Anyway, after talking to Mom, I decided that I should eat something and take some meds so I would stop coughing so much. I was heating up some food in the microwave and *poof!* I blew another fuse in the kitchen. Did not know that the slow-cooker being on at the same time as our microwave would cause a blow-out. Ooops.

    I was futzing around the place we keep the extra fuses and realized that we only had one fuse left. All this noise woke Yoshi up who told me that since I have blown the fuses in the kitchen 3 times, that I need to go to Home Depot BY MYSELF and get replacements. Needless to say, I began whining and pretending that I wasn’t the one who blew the fuses. (“Nice try,” says Yosh.) For the record, I did change out the fuse, all by myself. Unfortunately, I accidentally turned the power off in both the bedrooms, so our computers/server got rebooted and all the clocks were flashing 12:00 after that.

    Anyway, after all that, I decided to go back to bed. Which was probably a good idea because I crashed out and slept until 5:30pm (at least 6-7 hours) when some inconsiderate telemarketer(?) called my home number and woke me up. Since we don’t have a phone in the bedroom, I ran out of bed and into the office to get the phone.

    “Hello?” I answered groggily.

    “Mrs. (Joz’s last name)?” came a wimpy male voice.

    “Huh?” I asked.

    *click*

    I got hung up on.

    GRRR! Not only did I get awakened, I got hung up on! Doh!

    So I’ve been up since then, waiting for Yoshi to get home. We were supposed to try to make it to our friends’ holiday party, but since I am not 100% and Yoshi called a few minutes ago saying, “I think I have a fever,” the party is probably not a good idea.

    So that’s another holiday party I am going to miss out on because I’m sick. Booooooo!




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