Monday, June 14, 2010

f|back (sept '08): friday's fish & chips

as if it were yesterday ... i remember the yippity-yap over sweet potato fries with co-workers. we'd head over to zebulon (to be relocated) for an excuse for the fries. yum! i recently reminisced about this with a friend affectionately known as friday fish & chips (ff&c) gal. i can't believe this was nearly 2 years ago - my how time flies! (pass the malt vinegar, please.)

(repost 09/05/08)

fish & chips (?!)
aka ff&c)

several weeks ago ... here's how we rolled in san francisco on ff&c.

when it comes to chips, it's about the sweet potato fries. (apologies to the english pubs). unfortunately, even with almost traditional f&c, shoestring fries were offered up. perhaps we would have sought the traditional f&c, but we were hungry, and this place is close to work. (and actually, we just weren't quite sure where to get good ol' traditional fish & chips nearby work. NOTE TO SELF: yelp.)

as for our ff&c sistah peeps over in phoenix, az ... they roll with the real stuff!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

(repost from 06/02/2007 comment on story)

here are thoughts from a, mr.-ever-changing-hairdo dude whom we **heart** dearly!
Baphomet vs. Buddha

Ate S,

Your writing is great. It sounds like you because it is you. You provide enough pieces so your picture can be seen but still allow the reader to fill in the silly details. I did not feel sorry for you (or the character in your short story). Probably because early in the blog you let the reader know this would be the last time you would be in his apartment. If you aren’t looking for sympathy, putting this hint early on prepared me. And yeah, I did not like the pacing dude but since I suspected he was going to piss you off, all I was waiting for was how he was going to do it. Besides, I already know there are worse people out there. The funny thing with me is that given enough time, I can find a way to get out and just be a witness. Witnessing is not painful or as painful (i.e., getting hurt versus witnessing getting hurt). Seems like yogi stuff but one way for me to cope.

We are all foreigners. It is impossible to know what it is like to be someone else. Some don’t even know themselves. I believe you know who you are though words will fail at times to express it. I believe you continue to learn about yourself and in the process, you learn of others. This experience gave you a new understanding of the pacing dude. You understood. And then you made an attempt to be understood. He probably did understand but he was not willing to accept it and then be it. Leave him. Witness yourself leaving him. Because understanding and then knowing and then not acting on that knowledge is worse than ignorance. Oh well. Hang in there. It was nice to see and read you.


PS Maritess and the Justice League clip was great!

thanks, a, for feeding my ego
and for taking time out from family to type out!
(hi to kxs, also!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

r|thoughts: about "my foreigner" ...

(repost from 05/07/2007 comment on story)
well, well, well-I think I'm more shocked that you haven't felt this ignorance that people have towards us (filipino woman) before this event, or have you? I mean, I cried a little at the end because you're writing is beautiful (you should send this on to a publication/magazine-Oprah would be a good one). But my outrage turned to contempt, a feeling I've had before when I've encountered this ignorance.

I think you can't assume that people will understand that you are not a foreigner. They look at you and see something else, because you're cute, exotic, different, etc. They see you from a perspective that we (filipino woman) never see.

I'm an American, born in Rhode Island, raised in a pretty american culturized environment. I've been told by caucasian men, that I don't talk like a filipino (whatever that means). I tell them what does that mean? I was born and raised here. Why would I talk like someone from the Philippines? Because of how I look, girlnutkin. People make assumptions (I am included) of other people based on how they look, not what actually is.

This event is empowering because you may have changed how you perceive people's perception of you. You are now in a place, have the opportunity, to use this to your advantage. I mean, I like to think that once someone gets to know you, they look past how you look. And admire you for who you are, what you do, how you think. I think that guy, those guys, those people will always underestimate the strenth that comes from being systematically lumped into a category that no one really fits into(foreigner)-if anything, you come away from those relationships, those encounters knowing that you are more than how you look...and that guy is just an ass...philosophically speaking!

-kim in sd

Thursday, June 10, 2010

(repost from 05/07/2007 comment on story)

i was having a chat with my good pal, c, and she brought up a hopeful concept.

i don't see myself as being political, mostly because i think politics = a game where no rules ARE the rules, and it's okay to lie and cheat. not the kind of game i want to play.

but if you look at ignorance in a general sense, most of it comes from a time when people lived comfortably in that ignorance. just because the laws changed doesn't mean that people changed. but generations that followed were educated and cultured, and have grown to understand so much more than those that came before us---about being human and respectful.

the people that still have left-over prejudices will soon be wearing big-people nappies, and drooling on themselves, while clearer hearts will be in positions of power. i'm not saying that politics will turn fair quickly---or at all---i'm just saying that there's hope for a younger brand of wisdom to make it thru the muck of mediocrity, and steer this country to smarter, kinder, better ways.

while it sucks you went thru captain cardboard's twisted imposed pocket-reality, it is kinda good you didn't do something insane-O like marry the guy before finding out something so fundamental.

i once had a yuck i almost married. i thank God every day that he morphed into a total shit and left me. whew! dodged a bullet!

your beauty and wonder are properties of YOU. don't let mr. mcSleeze occupy another second of your time. you've been set free! even the universe knew he wasn't good enough for you. - k

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

(repost from 05/27/2007 post)

thanks, k, for sharing your thoughts after reading the story and my thoughts. so i am posting your thoughts here, as well, as others may also have thoughts to share.

I can't help but feel overwhelmed by...?

I don't even know how to describe the sensations I currently host.

On the one hand, I am inclined to sympathize with your experience. I have to admit, I too have encountered several--and by several I mean countless--occasions where this same scenario has panned out. Perhaps I have become numb, the shock of such "ignorance" having worn off after repeating incidences. At this point, it rolls right off, without even a flicker. Most times I find myself amused at the remarks. Utter disbelief really. It doesn't stem from any feelings of anger nor shame. Instead, it's merely: wow [?!] to the effect of "wtf" minus the emphasis, as I shake my head.

I once had a co-worker comment that I was quite pretty for a Chinese woman, considering that he had been to China before and they were all rather unattractive. I believe he meant it as a huge compliment, though I can't help but feel a little insulted. And as much as I would like to say that I don't take these things personally, the fact that I can vividly recall that conversation evidently illustrates otherwise.

After having been exposed to such reoccurring incidences, as aforementioned, I find myself posed with philosophical queries as well. After all, an individual's perspective on/in life has a geat deal to do with their upbringing, and could I really blame someone if they are SINCERELY ignorant? And by blame, I don't mean that the individual is free of accountability, but rather... could I really be ANGRY at that person?

Feelings of hurt may naturally arise, but if I in turn reserve the right to counteract with notions of my own superiority and freedom from such ignorance, am I not being ignorant as well? And to that extent, am I not worse insofar as I believe myself so far above such unknowingness??

I suppose a great deal is also inextricably tied to how one defines or understands "ignorance" to mean and also what emotion is aroused as a result. To react angrily and feel superior, I would have to contend that on some level, it's quite possible that ignorance of one's own pretentiousness can be found. Where the root of such superiority grows from will/may vary. Upbringing perhaps, or even to mask feelings of inferiority or maybe to distance oneself from a shared trait.

Yet, if ignorance is synonymous with naive, innocenct or lacking in knowledge, one might be apt to excuse whatever act--however horrendous or minute. Would this then create a vacuum of unaccountability? No one ever feeling the need to be compassionate nor understanding? Stuck within a little bubble that may snow ball into another Jim Crowesque situation? Or am I falling prey to creating a world of what-if's under no reasonable means?

Consequently, I feel compelled to question my own sincerity for the desire to find a satisfying resolution.

First, I am evidently not ignorant because I understand the injury. I am also further excused of ignorance because I don't react angrily in response thereby demonstrating my benevolence and compassion. [aren't I great and smart now?!] But... could there be a next level? Perhaps simple contemplation without extrapilating any sort of emotional attachment. ZEN.

Ultimately. my constant need to "feel better" about myself and how I react to any given situation presents me with the conundrum: SELF-IDENTITY. Why do I care? What does it matter? If I am so "confident" as I would like to be, can anyone really harm me? Emotionally? Psychologically??

In a perfect world, I would like to accept a situation for what it is and move on. I haven't learned how to achieve that yet. A constant theme that seems to be prevalent this year so far is that I know a lot of things, but I fall short of understanding them.

In the end, I find myself asking: What's the point? Does it matter? Do I really care?
Answer: Yes, but maybe not enough. or maybe too much...

Despite it all, I do thrive on the dialogue. And yes, it's feeding my ego because it makes me feel smart.
again, thanks, k,
for taking a couple hours of your time to share.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

r|thoughts: about "my foreigner" ...

(repost from 05/15/2007 post)

i wrote this little short story, my foreigner. my intent? to write. to express a recent event in my life. to share my disappointment and surprise.

when i shared this story with friends, the responses ranged from "are you serious?" (e.g., disbelief) to "what a dick head!" (e.g., anger). as a result, i've found myself reiterating the intent of the story to my friends - letting them know i wrote the story to emphasize that it was my becoming aware of his ignorance, which i intended to express. i've tried to figure out edits - edits to elicit a reader's first response of "wow, that is kinda ignorant!" or "what a bummer to find that out about him!" or "i wonder if he knew what he was saying?!" - basically, elicit a reader's response that, preferably, did not involve anger.

inevitably, several conversations have resulted, with expressions and feedback - disappointment, shock, ignorance, confusion, profiling, patriotism, family upbringing, values, conservatism, liberalism, being american, and racism, to name just a few.

in the story, i wrote, "and that was when i realized i knew what ignorant meant." and in fact, it was that moment - actually, one of two memorable moments for me that evening, that i felt like i had been kicked in the gut - in the heart, even. i felt as if the wind had been knocked out of me. there i was, in a relationship with a man that i wanted to continue getting to know. for the time i had spent with him, i thought of him as funny, witty, caring, pensive, interesting, intense, law-abiding, nostalgic, intelligent, creative, opinionated, impatient, complex, and several other characteristics. conversations with him always were enjoyable and dynamic. i always felt encouraged to have open, honest, and shared conversations.

however, at that moment in his apartment, i remember having some sort of unexplainable response, while i was sitting there. i just wanted to leave politely. i didn't want to share my thoughts with him. i wasn't sure why i felt that way. now? i have continued to ponder. so some thoughts -
ignorance ... confusion ... disappointment ... disbelief ... uncertainty ... surprise ... discovery ... sadness ... shock ...
will revisit these thoughts later.

Monday, June 7, 2010

my foreigner

(repost from a 05/03/2007 post)

a saddening moment late one evening back when i had been dating someone for about 2 months. however, it was a turning point - in fact, a bit of a mini-epiphany that has led me to an on-going growing interest in ignorance (mine, others, ...) on a variety of levels. here's a little slice of that late night moment ...

my foreigner
"... and maybe it's their culture ... but they are here now ... don't they ... these foreigners ... oh. uh ... no offense. you know. and ..."

i was less than 7 feet away from him in his less then 500 sq ft studio apartment. it was midnight. he slowly paced back and forth in front of me, justifying why he asked his neighbor to refrain from talking loudly. i agreed. it was disrespectful of his neighbor. a nightly event, his neighbor was outside talking on the telephone. i was inside sitting on one of three chairs - four chairs, if i counted the ottoman. he stood between his doorway and me. this would be the first and last time i visited his apartment.

i was certain i heard him say "... oh. uh ... no offense. ..." who might he have offended? his door was closed. his neighbor did not hear him.

"... oh. uh ... no offense. ..." he waved with what i later understood to be a preemptive, pacifying, left hand gesture toward me, while he paced back and forth and continued to talk. when he exclaimed about the need for foreigners to adapt and assimilate to the american culture, on occasion, he looked over his shoulder at me.

he really did say "... oh. uh ... no offense. you know. and ..." was I not to take offense? and his hand gesture? i knew i was american - filipino-american. he knew i was born in florida. certainly there was no reason for me to take offense. i knew i was not a foreigner. would a foreigner, however he defined one, be offended by his statements? it's simply bad manners to be disruptive at midnight.

he qualified his statements about adapting and assimilating. his context seemed credible, to explain the reasons behind his statements, to assure some rational thought. he was clear and specific. in fact, i believed he had valid perspectives. at least, for several minutes, he sounded educated and informed.

"uh, wait. what the hell? do you think i'm a foreigner? you know, don't you, that i'm not a foreigner? right? i'm not a foreigner."

born in the united states with a father who always extolled the virtues and opportunities of being an american citizen - i voted. my parents raised their family as bi-cultural, with the american slant more prominent. he? he was a european mix. he was american. he, too, was not a foreigner.

"oh? right. uhm..." with an awkward silence, his pacing stopped. then he faced me, shoulders squared-off, about 5 feet away from me. "well ..."

i interrupted him, "you understand that i'm not a foreigner. right?" more awkward silence as he stood still.

"well, you know what i mean? ... " he stepped back a few feet - resuming his pacing, rationalizing, and explaining. and that was when i realized i knew what ignorant meant.

i interrupted his explanations, for the last time. "i hear what you think you mean. i hear. i understand. ... " i began to explain what i understood. i believed i would convince him of what he did not understand. then with my voice trailing off, suddenly, i realized my disappointment. i knew i was not a foreigner. he did not. i no longer commented. he had his stage. it was his home. this was his soliloquy. i was his audience, very eager to leave his chair for the first and last time.

while he spoke again, i began to realize that i was someone else in his eyes, in his mind, and perhaps in his heart. my "looking different" and "being different" from him, which he often expressed as part of his strong attraction to me, afforded something else.

often he would say, "your eyes are different. you're cute. your skin is different. you have a different look than me, which i find sensual. you grew up differently. look how small you are. i know you are more than asian. i like that your dad raised you american." what i had understood to be observations and compliments began to have different meanings.


i might simply be that someone to adapt and assimilate to standards he held, and until then, he might consider my actions, my convictions, my values, and my beliefs as foreign to him - not to be shared with him. i - not someone to be understood by him, not someone of equal value to him. he - not someone who respected me, not the someone i believed i knew. that night, he became my foreigner. no offense.

[by Shirley © 2007]

Sunday, June 6, 2010

BetterMe Coaching Tool

surprise?! ...

gonna start (re)blogging again, and just blowing off the dust and cobwebs (uhm ... from the blog). revisiting and regrouping on YHD (finally!), so first step - health stuff.

BetterMe Coaching Tool: "The Go Red BetterMe Coaching Tool is the perfect companion to the Go Red BetterU 12-week program. Every day, you'll get tips, reminders, and more sent directly to your tool. You'll also be able to chat directly with other members of the program on the “Wall” share tips, motivational quotes, and work through barriers with others. You can also access and edit your journal entries directly from the tool."

more to come.
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