NEW HOME

Not that anyone reads this thing, but I’m transitioning my blogs to a new home:

http://teachmehowtobeckie.tumblr.com/

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The 12 Months of 2011

..3..2..1..HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Forget the bullshit cliche New Year’s Resolution of years past. I have a new one, and one that I hope to accomplish.
Seeing all these deals for classes on GROUPON and KGBDEALS inspired me to make this resolution: to try out a new class every month. It’s going to cost time, energy, and money but I’m determined. It’s too bad I’m so picky about it though. Bikram Yoga? No thanks, can’t stand being in a sauna let alone do yoga in a heated room. Scuba class? Sounds interesting enough (I nearly drowned snorkeling in a man-made tank in DR, mind you, so a scuba class would do me some good) but it’s just an intro course, I need something that will somewhat last through the month and won’t drill a major hole in my pocket.

Hopefully this won’t fail like my “bucket list” although that’s more of an ongoing thing. I still have yet to watch “Wicked” or have a slice @ Grimaldi’s.

I’m looking forward to January’s class already, whatever it may be.

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YOU ARE A DIRTY HAMSTER!

ew, crumbies.

So right now I’m talking to my friend Ryan and we are talking about dirty roommates and it’s finally giving me something to blog about.

I’m not Mrs. Clean or anything but I have to say, my hygiene is up there (I wouldn’t be able to do what I do for a living if I was a slob) and I am a very courteous roommate and house guest. Can’t say that for everyone though but I’m not naming names. 1) To protect people’s low down dirty shame 2) Some of the examples I will name doesn’t necessarily apply to anyone I’ve personally lived with, just observations I’ve made when going to people’s homes or hearing about other friends’ nightmare living situations, and 3) Nobody can admit that they are the dirty roommate. Either they are in deep, dirty denial or they really don’t realize that they live in filth.

I don’t know how some people can leave all their belongings on the floor. I mean ALL OF IT. Like I would not know if you had carpet or hardwood floors because I am knee deep in your shit kind of mess. Like I told Ryan…leaving clothing on the floor is like squirting lotion on the floor and applying it on your body. OK so clothing isn’t the worse thing one can leave on the floor. Let’s say, bowls of food, or bowls with remnants of food. That’s not savory…what the fuck is a bowl of oddly colored milk (finished your Fruity Pebbles/Lucky Charms/Fruit Loops I see) doing on your fucking floor anyway? What is that growing out of your half eaten yogurt cup? Are those ants crawling on your semi-licked lollipop? How do you not have diarrhea or some kind of plague?

OK..I’m being too harsh. Whatever landfill you want to make out of your own room should not be any business of mine. What IS a business of mine would be common areas like the living room, kitchen/dining room, bathroom, and front entrance. The living room normally doesn’t get that messy from most living rooms I’ve seen so I’ll skip that for now. One of my biggest pet peeves is the smell of food when I’m no longer eating it. Ask my co-workers they call me Lysol lady for a reason. Why does it smell like food when I’m not eating? It’s not because somebody else is eating it. It’s because someone forgot to wash the dishes/pan/pot/spatula for the past week. Or maybe because the food is in the fridge, uncovered, and rotting away. Or, it’s in the trash, at the top, threatening to spill over but nobody is willing to take it the fuck out.

Speaking of the garbage, how hard is it to take the garbage out? Maybe if your garbage shoot was on the first floor and you live in a very inconvenient dangerous high rise then sure, you’d want to put that off. Or if you live acres away from your front door. This is NYC, there’s a garbage shoot on every floor and we have acres of nothing. Maybe you like maggots and raccoons but I’m not a big fan.

Oh yea, back to the common areas. I hate dirty bathrooms. You may think, “well nobody likes a dirty bathroom, Becky”. Well you thought wrong. Apparently some girls love dirty bathrooms because their bathrooms are constantly dirty. Take your fucking long hair out of the tub drain/sink/floor. Ew, speaking of the sink, one time I was visiting a friend in their dorm and the light was broken so I dropped something in the sink and when I reached for it, I felt something hard and small with something slimy on top. My first guess was a dried up contact and then a gooey booger being the slimy thing on top. What the fuck. Since this was a dorm, it could’ve been anyone of those dirty bitches. UGH my poor hand. OK back to what I was saying… wipe the toothpaste off the mirror, why are you standing thaaat close anyway? Don’t you know where your teeth are? And no, our shower curtains aren’t THAT frosted, that is fucking mildew, woman!

Well, as much as I dislike living at home sometimes, I do like the fact that at least my mother is a very, very clean person. She’s a neat freak actually and she drives me nuts with her constant nagging but at least that nagging taught me not to be a dirty hamster. (I love that line, sometimes Situation comes up with some funny one-liners…the season finale sucked btw). Not sure why it didn’t work on my brother, he’s kind of a dirty one too.

I may be messy at times, but my mess consists of random papers all over my desk or clothes on my bed. So there is a fine line between “messy” and “dirty” and many people trudge their mucky shoes all over that line. I hate clutter and I hate grime and I honestly don’t know how some people can stand it. I’m sorry if some things came out harsh and if you felt like it may have been about you, but I am not sorry for pointing it out. You should all be sorry for making clean, hygienic people live in your realm of uncleanliness.

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Inception

YOUR MIND IS THE SCENE OF THE CRIME.

What a cool poster tagline. Along with an amazing cast and an intriguing trailer, I’ve been wanting to see this movie for months, but somehow ended up being one of the last of my friends to watch it. It was all over everyone’s Facebook statuses being described as “amazing”, “mind blowing”, “great mind fuck” etc. Did it live up to the hype? Well, it was a good movie. Leo was superb, as usual, but the supporting cast was very good as well, although at some points there was very little dailogue, as with most action-ish flicks. The visuals were beautiful, nothing overly sci-fi but some effects were too obviously Warner Brother-esque. The plot…oh the plot. That’s what I have my issues with. It was not “amazing” nor did it blow or fuck my mind.

The plot sounded complicated and I was fully ready to be taken on this trippy, outer body experience that would make me question my very existence with this kind of plot. That experience never came. It was actually quite straight forward, and simple, up to the point where you didn’t really have to think, because everything actually made some sense, it was just executed in a complicated, cinematic way with plenty of sidestory and visual distractions. I’m not dumping on this movie, since I liked it way more than films like Matrix or Vanilla Sky (wonder if anybody made the Vanilla Sky comparison yet, because it reminds me more of that than The Matrix) but I was really hoping to have my world rocked. It’s not that anybody ruined the movie for me, but just hearing that the ending was “open-ended and up to interpretation” and actually seeing why made me internally roll my eyes. It was a serene and peaceful ending, Christoper Nolan was probably trying to make it eerily ambiguous and for me it came off as boring and groan inducing.

Despite all my bitching and nit picking, I did like the movie and I would probably give it an 8/10. Leo and that Gordon-Levitt kid made the movie for me, Cillian Murphy had a weak character to work with but his very presence was good enough to add to the strangeness of the movie, and everyone else was good/OK but could’ve been played by anyone else. I can’t criticize the visuals though, it was definitely a treat for the eyes. My favorites were probably Gordon-Levitt’s hotel hallway scenes and when Ellen Page’s character first discovers she can manipulate the architecture of the street.

I say, just watch the movie already if you haven’t. It has good elements in it and it’s been some time since an original screenplay has made it as a box office hit. Why should all the remakes and vampires get all the glory??

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If “Real” Woman Have Curves, I Guess Only The Bottom Half Of Me Exists.

curves up top!

First off, notice the irony? Victoria Beckham is teeny tiny but she has huge (fake) boobs. So is she a real woman or not? Because technically, she has curves, they are just on one part of her waif-like body. BTW, I love Posh and I love her bag even more.

Secondly, I am sick of women’s magazines embracing the bigger woman while shunning thinner girls. Don’t get me wrong, everybody needs loving, so why can’t everybody get the same amount of positive attention and support? Almost every women’s mag I see contains the title “REAL WOMAN HAVE CURVES” . Sooo women who don’t have curves aren’t real women? If putting size 0-4 models in pictorials are a bad influence for girls, encouraging anorexia or whatever, isn’t putting double digit models encouraging childhood obesity? That was mean, I know, but I’m annoyed and this is my blog I can say whatever catty thing I feel like 🙂

I’m not bashing on the bigger ladies out there. I’m criticizing the mags that are sooo obviously trying to suck up to a certain demographic of readers (because you know skinny girls are too busy making themselves throwup to read a magazine…KIDDING KIDDING!) by embracing a “women with curves” aka meatier gals, while making the smaller women feel like they have something to apologize for. Thin-guilt?

I’m a size 2, in some circles I’m thin, in others I’m average. Most of my girl friends (and some guy friends even) are super petite double 0 types so of course I feel like a giant compared to them. You know how tiny some Asians can be, haha. I have my weight and image insecurities too from time to time. I have cellulite, I have stretch marks, my weight fluctuates every other day, and I’ve weighed about 15lbs heavier less than 10 years ago. BUT do you see any women’s mags telling you to embrace your cellulite? NO.

Referring to my title, “…only the bottom half of me exists”, yes I am implying I have small boobs. Now I am outright saying it. Sure, I can enjoy the luxury of not having to worry about those babies going out of control when I jog or don’t wear a supportive bra, but hey! Small boobed women have their struggles too. It’s embarrassing not to fill out certain shirts or dresses and to have people know if you are wearing a padded bra or not. Am I not a real woman? I have body image issues!

All right, all right I got off track. What I’m trying to say is, yes, we need to promote a healthy body image but healthy can be anybody. You can have a healthy size 10 but you can also have a healthy size 00, it doesn’t just come in ONE shape, size, form, weight, dress size, etc. Same with beauty. That hourglass figure is the ideal image of sexy, but we can’t all be Scarlett Johannson now can we? Some of us are wristwatches (what I call myself, smaller on my polar ends and rounder near the middle…my unusually large booty for an Asian, not my stomach), some are alarm clocks. Nothing wrong with that. Just eat right, exercise, work hard play hard love hard laugh hard, and wear clothes that compliment your figure and make you feel like you are the shit. THAT is what a real woman looks like.

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Shanghai (Morning) Noon (Night)

I have a love-hate relationship with my mother’s motherland of Shanghai.

Ruby’s upcoming trip to Beijing & HK is reminding me of how much I do miss Shanghai…sorry, I don’t miss Beijing very much, since we went during the cruel, cruel Northern Chinese winter and walked on the Great Wall…just imagining it will give you frost bite! But to be fair, walking on THE WALL was one of the most humbling and culturally significant moments in my life. Not being dramatic here. I also can’t miss Hong Kong because I haven’t been there in 20 years or so, but I would love to revisit soon.

Summertime in the city always reminds me of Shanghai because of the humidity and the crowding, minus the STANK. I guess I can compare it to Pudong, only more interesting.

Onto my love-hate relationship with Shanghai…

These were some things Ben and I detested:
1) Traffic and lack of traffic/pedestrian etiquette.
I don’t remember how the traffic lights in Shanghai looked like and I can guarantee most of the Shanghai citizens don’t know either because NOBODY LOOKS AT THEM! It doesn’t matter if you’re crossing a tiny residential street or 6-lane traffic during rush hour. You will probably be in danger of getting run over, but for some reason, nobody ever gets run over. I suppose being a passenger is better than being a pedestrian. Despite the immense traffic and blind pedestrians, it doesn’t seem to take too long to get from Point A to Point B, or maybe it’s because everything seems relatively close together and I’m too preoccupied with staring out the window to be in a hurry to get anywhere.

2) Lack of Manners.
Don’t you hate getting on/off the train @ Grand or Canal Streets because people with shove you out of the way to get on/off the train and practically fight you for a seat? Don’t you hate that lines are non-existent at most Chinese-run bakeries/markets/restaurants/butcher shops/delis/etc? Don’t you hate that people hock loogies everywhere? Don’t you hate that people are screaming into their multiple charm-adorned cellphones? don’t you hate that nobody says “please” or “excuse me”? Well that’s what it’s like in Shanghai on a daily basis. Places like Pudong and the French Concession don’t count because they are Westernized and patrons are mainly American/European/Australian expats or visitors.

3) “You’re Not From Around Here” Radar.
Not a mainlander? Prepared to be gawked at. You know how some people actually get into fights here over “staring problems?” Yes, I’m talking to you, high schoolers, my Brooklyn bitches, and guidos! Well in Shanghai (and quite possibly in most places where the population is pretty homogeneous), nobody has a staring problem. They don’t want to start a fight or any trouble, for that matter. They know you’re not a native and they just feel like staring at you. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m Chinese-American but I look and seem American enough for the people over there to completely ignore my Chinese-ness (funny, people here can ONLY focus on the Chinese sometimes). Thus, I can’t go anywhere without thinking I will be ripped off. Once this bitch working at the juice bar in a HuaHai Lu Mall dared to charge me 3x the amount for an off-menu item. I asked how much a plain strawberry shake w/o banana was (for some reason they only have combos, no one-fruit shakes) and she had the audacity to say it was 45RMB. So I asked her why that was since NONE of the shakes on the menu exceeded 15RMB and I’m only getting one fruit so why charge me so much. Then the juice bar bitch said it was because “cao mei hen gui” (sorry my pinyin sucks but translation: strawberries are really expensive). Woman please! Don’t try to hustle me, I’m from Brooklyn! What kind of logic is that? Suffice to say I gave her my stank face and walked off the line. Ben, being the ABC laowai that he is, had no idea what our spat was about and complained that he was thirsty. I told him to shut up and I’ll buy him a drink from the nearest Kedi (Asian 7-11).
My mom found that incident hilarious, but just as precaution, she volunteered herself or one of our Shanghai friends/family members to tag along if we need things that were service/money related like going to the salons or street markets and such. She said she feared that my bitchiness would get Ben and I into trouble, even though she generally applauded my bitchiness. Oh mother, where do you think I learned it from? Other than being ripped off, people also stare at you if you speak anything other than Shanghainese (local natives). They will then proceed to speak to you in Mandarin, since it’s the lingua franca of China, but little do they know, my dialect is better than my Mandarin. How can they tell you are not from around the area, even if you are ethnically Chinese? Same way we can tell who’s a tourist from the MidWest (fanny-packs, mom jeans, feathered hair), Europe (casually stylish, pimp ass camera, speaking rapidly and quietly to each other), etc.

OK, enough things that I hate about Shanghai. There are several things I love as well:

1) Munchies.
I’m going to say it now. Shanghainese cuisine is not my favorite, and I don’t think they are world-renowned for their cooking either. However, they do have some amazing munchines. You all know about the famous XIAO LONG BAO (literally: little dragon buns, but it’s really just soup dumplings with pork). Yes, it’s xiao long bao (Shanghainese: “shaw long baw”), and yes, I do have a gripe about people who insist on calling them “siu long bao” in their attempt to correct me. What are you correcting me in? I’m saying it the correct way, maybe I should correct you. To my Cantonese people, when was the last time you had a good XLB in Guangdong or Cantonese dimsum establishment? Never? Exactly. Now the XLB gets all the glory for being the most famous regional dish, but if you haven’t had shengjian mantou (Shanghainese: “san ji mudou”) you haven’t lived life. In layman’s terms, it’s a pan fried XLB but it’s super savory. The best place to get it would be the chain of fried dumpling joints: Yang’ sfry Dumpling. No that was not a typo on my part, that’s how their signs read as you can see from the title picture lol. BTW, aside from the upscale restaurants and foreign chains (Starbucks, Haagen Dazs, etc), most food in Shanghai is insanely cheap. Example: a dozen sanji’s will run you around $2.20 USD, a Nestle King Cone is around 60 cents, most 20-oz. bottled beverages are under $1 USD.

24/7
2) If NYC is the city that never sleeps, then Shanghai is the city that never, ever sleeps. I know there are more residential areas where it’s quieter and not safe to wander at night, but for a city with over 19 million inhabitants, how can one find time to sleep? Something is always open, be it a restaurant, karaoke mega lounge, night food market, or smaller shopping boutiques (they close, but not until really late). It’s also convenient to get to because they are all crammed together.

Lights! Camera! Action!
3) Blueberry flavored Lay’s chips? An entire supermarket aisle devoted to instant noodles? Flexible no-contract cell phone plans? TV on the subway? It’s still not as technology advanced or quirky as say, Tokyo, but Shanghai has so many flavors, colors, options, customize-it-yourself choices that the combinations just don’t end. I’ve always wondered why out-of-staters are so fascinated and head over heels for NYC (well I know WHY, we’re awesome) when we take everything for granted here. It’s because the rest of America, save for a handful of cities, is incredibly dull. I’m talking tree-lined streets that all look the same, with strip malls that all have the same stores, and places that actually close on Sundays, or clubs/bars (if any) that close at 2AM. Now just imagine how weird I felt when I came back from NYC after being in Shanghai and actually feeling really bored. I mean, we are amazed at new flavors of Doritos, for crying out loud. The other day, I was using the bathroom at the Time Warner building and was excited when I saw that the mirrors had tv screens behind them. Are we that homely here?

Every time I even make a slight mention about Shanghai, my mother jumps at the chance to ask me when I want to go. Honestly, as much as I do miss it sometimes, I am not ready to go back, and certainly not in the summer (I forgot to add, SUMMER IN SHANGHAI IS A NIGHTMARE!) because I’d still like to live and breathe in a clean, humidity-free environment and not wonder when the next rainstorm will be. I’m contemplating on going in October, when the weather will be pleasant and I’ll catch the World Expo near it’s end. The operative word here being contemplating. If I have to save up that much for a future trip, I would like to visit a place I haven’t been to yet. I’m leaning towards Tokyo&Seoul, or a little Eurotrip. Stay tuned.

Hope my little post on my mother’s motherland was informative. Have fun in Shanghai and don’t come back until you’ve hit up YANG’ SFRY 😉

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I’m Not In A New York State Of Mind.

I’m an NYC girl at heart, and this is where I eventually want to live, raise a family, and grow old and grey, with a side of Botox from Manhattan’s leading dermatologist of course.

However, it’s all I’ve ever known. Aside from my short stint living off-campus (shoutout to SJU) during college, I’ve never been away from home, much less the state of New York, for that matter. It’s strange, because I’ve always been self-sufficient and independent and have a tendency to go against the grain. Yet, I’ve had all my schooling and work experience in NYC. My brother Ben, on the other hand, is a big mama’s boy, spoiled, and is somewhat of a homebody. Yet, from the time he was 17 (late birthday) he’s gone to school 500 miles away and come this fall, will be attending grad school in Philly. Not to mention, his career will probably take him across borders and oceans, whether he wants to go or not.

I just need to experience life on my own, outside of our awesome oddly-shaped state, and just live. The thing is, I’m not brave. I fear that my mom will get lonely. I fear that my friends will slowly forget about me, I fear that I will slowly forget about everyone else because I have a tendency to be emotionally detached. There were many times when I wanted to book a one-way ticket to LA and stop myself because I have no idea how I would support myself, plus I hate driving. I would also never live anywhere north of NYC because I hate the cold, and I would never live in a non-urban area. See, I’m my biggest obstacle.

Will I be able to give up on the convenience (and urine-scented hobos) of the MTA? The miles of shops, bars, food sources, and who knows what else? The millions of faces that cross my path on a daily basis? Happy hour with friends? Late night runs for junk food in the neighborhood?

You know what? I’ll start small. Maybe Philly won’t be so bad, since Ben will be there. I’ve considered the DC area as well, since I have friends and acquaintances not too far away. Maybe if I’m a really big wuss, I’ll pick Jersey, but then again I doubt my mom would let me move to Jersey if I can just commute. Afterall, I did spend a good portion of my day travelling to and from SJU (Never again do I want to ride on a D train for 55 minutes, then spend 25 on the E, and another 15 on the Q46. This is hardly including wait time for these Godforsaken modes of transport).

I know I will return one day, and maybe I’m just taking this city for granted, but NYC, and I? We need a break. I feel both overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. I often feel this way during the winter (S.A.D.D.?) but never, ever under the glorious rays of a proper NYC spring/summer have I felt this restless. I don’t need a vacation. I don’t need a weekend getaway. I need to take a leave of absence. It’s a journey away from home that I can’t avoid for too much longer. Some other state is calling out my name, but which one? Where?

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