Category Archives: Random

As the title implies…

criticism

I read this article somewhere last year and found it rather upsetting (because it’s true for so many people), but was in the middle of adjusting to medical school, so I never wrote about it. It resurfaced the other day on fb, so here are my thoughts now!

Noel is definitely correct in the sense that in Asia, they have an entirely different standard of beauty. When I go back there, I usually can’t fit into anything less than a “large” and store-owners will say things like, “You’re so ~*healthy.*~” (Their polite version of “you’re fat.”) Family and family friends have no such reservations though; they will straight-up just tell you that you’re fat (usually followed up by something like, “You haven’t eaten much. Eat more!!!”), even when you’re not. Jun and I were talking the other night, and he pointed out, “I don’t know of a single Asian girl whose family doesn’t do that to them. Look at our group.”

This is kindasorta our group, give or take a few. (I still have yet to take a new group picture of all of us in the past uh, 3 years.) We were going for one of those Asian mafia family photos where everyone looks really angry.

Our group is basically almost entirely composed of Asians/Chinese girls, but before you start hating on me for not having too many non-Asian friends, please understand that I grew up in a sheltered suburban bubble where my high school was, I kid you not, 80%+ Asian [mostly Taiwanese/Indian, so I was already “out of the norm” since my family’s from Hong Kong]. UC Davis was almost 50% Asian and a fair amount of my activities (Hawai’i club, science+music majors, being an interpreter at a predominantly Cantonese-speaking medical clinic…) did little to change that. I would have had to actively go out to befriend what few non-Asians we had in our classes, and I feel like that’s practically reverse racism. (I’m not trying to play friendship bingo here.)

I was a scrawny son-of-a-gun for about the first half of my life, so I will attest to the fact that for me, genetics may play a part, but I still don’t believe that you’re predisposed to being slim just because you’re Asian. That’s like saying we’re all good at math, and my grades in freshmen year Honors Algebra 2/Trig will attest to the fact that this is wildly false.

Around the time puberty hit, my dad started telling me I was fat and to this day, it still hasn’t stopped. My mom usually doesn’t join in on this, but every now and then, a comment (at the way bottom of that entry) will slip through. I attribute my very intact (perhaps sometimes slightly over-inflated?) self-esteem to the fact that I just didn’t feel like believing him, and that I had and still have amazing friends, so I never listened to him when he told me I needed to lose 15-20 pounds. I guess it also helps that I always figured he was joking, but the other day, he told me, “I can’t remember a time where you were ever thin,” so I think this really means (a) he’s not actually kidding and (b) he definitely has a completely different standard of beauty than I do.

I do wish that I knew then what I know now about nutrition and working out. (I would be such a badass now. :[ …but you live and you learn. Better late than never!)

But while I managed to escape body image issues and eating disorders from over a decade of this “abuse,” I did in fact grow up hating my freckles. I actually used to pray that they’d magically disappear, because aside from the fat comments, I also heard endless comments from my parents and all their friends, “You’d be so pretty if you didn’t have freckles.”/”Stay out of the sun so you don’t get more freckles, or you won’t be pretty anymore.” Neither of my parents have them, so I’d also sometimes get asked if I’d been adopted. I couldn’t walk through a drugstore/skincare store in Asia without them pouncing on me/my mom and just assuming that I wanted creams to whiten my skin and get rid of my freckles (“You’re so dark! Here! Buy this cream to whiten your face so you’ll be pretty! And you want to get rid of those freckles, right? Here’s a cream for that!!!”). I was really self-conscious about them until perhaps somewhere in the middle of college, which is when I grew a spine and learned to stop caring about nonconstructive criticism on things that I couldn’t change. (My mom has offered to pay to have my freckles burned off my skin. Yep. Happened this summer.)

I’ve gotten nothing but love over here (or really, college and on) for my freckles. Pixie’s husband said something along the lines of, “An Asian with freckles? Could you be any more perfect?!” Thanks, Travis! <3

In any case, I now prefer to troll my parents because it’s great fun. :]

D: Farrah, you’re getting really fat. You need to lose weight.
F: Yeah, you say that to my almost-six-pack! >:O
D: I’m 4 inches taller than you and you weigh almost the same as I do.
F: Brave words that you probably shouldn’t say to someone who could beat you up! :O

M: We can get your freckles removed this summer.
F: WHAT. NO. Do you not like the way my face is right now? Are you saying that you think I’m ugly?
M: No, that’s not what I meant! I just think you’d be prettier without them.
F: I see how it is. So you’re saying I’m ugly because I have freckles.
M: No, that’s not what I meant!
F: Alright, then what did you mean?
M: (cannot find words to dig self out of hole)
F: My job is done here!

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that sounds like a bad idea

“I just had a bunch of margaritas and now I’m gonna go work out!”

ninja’s itinerary

My mom sent me an email the other day titled…well, what I titled this post. I’m really confused.

For those of you who don’t know, Ninja is my cat. I rescued her from a homeless shelter (yes, homeless and not animal) when she was 6 weeks old and she’s been living with us ever since. I took out the dates and phone numbers in case there are creepy people out there, but…does this not sound like my cat will be traveling the world without me? I shouldn’t be jealous, but I am. I’ve always wanted to go to South America. ;_;

Dear Farrah,

I want to let you know Ninja’s itinerary. Just in case any thing happen, you know where she is.

She will be at

Buenos Aires, Agentina
Cruise Celebrity Infinity
Puerto Iguazu, Agentina
Rio de Janeriro, Brazil
Buenos Aires, Agentina

Hope you have a mild winter, have fun and good grade in every quiz and exam. We love you. Happy Chinese New Year and God bless!

Mom and Ninja

explain them tags

It occurred to me the other today that some of the tags in my posts don’t make too much sense if you’re not me or the people encompassed within that particular group, and while it may not matter to most, I feel like explaining em’ today because I miss the contents of said tags. I think the whole concept of having a name for a group of people came out of sheer laziness/convenience (because who wants to have to name every single person in the group every time they mention it?). In any case, they are invariably tagged in many of my recipe posts because we wholeheartedly believe that food is an event. I swear we do other things than eat, but generally speaking, the only pictoral evidence I ever have of our gatherings is for the food, because hell knows I never seem to take pictures of anything else.

If there’s one thing I have good taste in (I say this only because my first couple picks in dudes were pretty effing questionable), it’s in my friends. <3 You’ll probably notice there are several people who overlap consistently in these groups because we’ve basically been friends for what seems like forever and logic concludes that if you find a good one, you hold onto them. I’m gonna attempt to go somewhat chronologically. This is, in short, the main cast of characters in my life. <3

.CCL4.

Everyone except me, because I’m taking the picture. :P

This consists of my closest elementary school friends (me, Joanne, Jun, Amy). I’ve known Amy and Joanne since fourth grade–Joanne is the first friend I made when I moved to the other side of my hometown. We have been through a shit ton together, and I’m super glad that we’re still awesome friends. :] Her mom has at one point mistaken me for her girlfriend (nope nope). I like to refer to Amy as my “favorite neighbor.” She lives across the street (times two) from me and for the majority of elementary school throughout high school, we’d walk to school together. We don’t really talk all that much anymore, but back in the day, we’d have annual sleepovers with the four of us and where we’d watch stupid movies, play games and be awesome. Amy coined the term for our group name, which is short for “ChenChanLiFongtastic Four,” a conglomeration of our last names. I shortened it to CCL4 because that’s carbon tetrachloride, although technically, it should be CCLF4. CCl4 had a better ring to it though. :O

.whibefariends.

Evidence of our hang-out-itude in high school. This was us at Keat’s house before senior ball. :O

The only two high school friends I consistently hung out with throughout high school (e.g. during lunch, etc.) that I remained in contact with. (I’ve known most of my closest friends since elementary school, but we didn’t necessarily hang out in the same groups in high school. We used to write in notebooks and pass em’ back and forth throughout the week to keep each other updated on our lives and such. Then we split to 3 different UC’s and then to different parts of the state (country, in my case) for a while, so now we keep in touch through facebook and try to make it a pact to hang out at least 1-2 times per year through gathering together to garner new hobbies and make stuff (e.g. last year, I learned to knit and we started making all kinds of stuff). whibefariends is a combination of the first couple letters of each of our first names. Yes, we were trying to be ghetto.

Here’s us with our creations (scarves). :O

.9F.

This is the kind of stupid shit we do together. Yep. The idea arose because we owned matching underwear. We’re awesome, I swear.

Our lonely (hah, “lonely” group of two, so named 9F because that was the apartment we lived in together for two years. This consists of none other than Jun, my college roommate/facebook husband. We lived together for all four years of college and have been married on facebook since July 8th of 2006 (which I believe trumps many actual relationships in length and quality), coupled with a 2-year long engagement. We go out every year for steak or whatever we’re craving for our anniversary lunch or dinner and usually drag along friends to celebrate the joyous occasion. We’ve been friends since we were 11-12. <3

.6F.

At my junior recital! <3

This consisted of the merging of 9F with Nadia and Rey, who lived in 6F. To this day, we still blame Kayleen for wanting to sit with the sushi boats on her birthday back in freshmen year of undergrad because if not for that, it is highly likely that we would have met each other sooner and started living together/making even more awesome memories sooner. But better late than never! We had about a year’s worth of awesome times together and they are the reason why I am hesitant to ever live with anyone else again because the only way to go from there is down. I’ve technically known Nadia since freshmen year of Davis, but didn’t get to know her until around junior year. I officially met Rey in my junior year as well (she is my “dirty mistress” and collectively, we’re known as “Reyrah,” and the four of us hit it off immediately, so we replaced their former roommates the following year. <3 I miss them lots, and basically became Nadia’s weekend roommate from 2010-2011.

.supah speshal awsum.

Us as the Alice in Wonderland cast!

This the blanket term for everyone in Fremont/Davis that we hang out with, and it’s the name we used for mogwee (a group chat application that we all downloaded one day because Florence was working for the company that made it and we were being their free beta testers). It’s butchered English for “super special awesome” [just in case you can’t tell] because we tend to regress (that’s not even the correct term because only one of us is actually a fob) into fob speech when we’re around each other. Right now, it mostly consists of Diana, me, Florence, Joanne, Jun, Kayleen, Steph and Nadia, but can stretch to encompass others (anyone we hang out with back home, basically). The pictures I have don’t have Florence or Steph because I apparently stopped taking pictures of anything other than food/pole dancing after I moved back to Fremont.

I think this picture most aptly describes our friendship.

.coterie.

We’re missing Sylvia because she’s taking the picture! :[ This was on our SF trip.

Although I’ve known Mekala since the 4th grade, we actually didn’t become friends until around freshmen/sophomore year of college (weird how that works, huh? it only took 9 years, haha). I had treble ensemble with Sylvia, but again, we didn’t become friends until sophomore year, and I met Kaitlin at Davis too. We had physiology and/or our creation of Dames & Fellas A Capella together and bonded over that, and after we all graduated and moved back to Fremont (other than Kaitlin :[ ), Mekala and Sylvia became my running/recipe experimentation buddies. We try to all meet up somewhere in the middle of where we all live once a year because we miss each other, and are all freakishly busy/not in the same time zone otherwise, since I’m generally in the eastern time zone, Mekala’s in the middle, and Sylvia/Kaitlin are in CA. This group name is taken from the name of our group texting app (yep, that’s how we keep in touch. that and the ecards Sylvia sends us). :O

Yay! Here we are. :O They came to see my senior recital! <3

.MH gang.

Here’s us with our landlord at our white coat ceremony! :] It’s blurry because this is a picture taken of the picture my landlord gave me (it’s the only one that has all of us!).

MH is short for the road/hill we live on, but this is basically me and my neighbors in WV. Both of them are full of all sorts of awesome and I am beyond lucky to have them as my neighbors, although I’ll have to admit that I’m pretty biased towards Adam in terms of bonus points of awesome because we never see Dustin anymore and because Adam cooks me meals (my parents are likely hanging their heads in shame over this because I seem like a total eternal freeloader, but I swear I try to reciprocate ;_; ), picks up random stuff at the store that he knows I’ll like, functions as my alarm clock/cold-weather-living advisor, as well as my study buddy. We spend inordinate amounts of time together studying, so it’s a really good thing that we get along so well, or shit would go down. All in all, I couldn’t ask for better neighbors. :O I’ve become severely spoiled and am not really sure what I’m gonna do without them after these two years pass by. :[ :[

We have yet to figure out a name for the group I hang out with at med school other than my neighbor (this doesn’t happen so often anymore because I started studying at home/med school happened, but we do still see each other! :O). We keep each other sane and often make food to share with each other. For the ones who can’t cook (e.g. Kosina, despite the fact that her name means “kitchen”), they buy stuff and bring it in so we’re usually all in good moods. I’ll retag when we get hit by a couple bouts of inspiration and figure out something to collectively call ourselves. :O

“I’m giving you STDs.”

Definitely not something you hear every day. Especially not with a big smile.

But! It’s what my friend Dave told me yesterday.

Since I’m finally back from Asia, we made plans to hang out and shoot things. Golden Gate Park has hay bales set up, so if you bring your own targets/bows/arrows, you can shoot all day for free. For me, the only expense is actually getting to SF, and if it’s for archery and good company, it’s definitely not a problem. What I like about going to SF for archery while using BART is the fact that no one tries to mess with me. No obscene comments, no one randomly sitting down 3 feet next to me and masturbating while staring at me… it’s wonderful. (Probably because I have 21 arrows to stab into them if they try something on me, but I’ll take it. The same goes for knitting needles.)

I haven’t done archery regularly since I was guest TAing for Jen’s archery PE class back at Davis. (Those were good times. *-*) The last time I went was also with him (last August, if I recall correctly).

Anyway, before we took our stuff to the park, he told me that since I’d gotten into medical school and everything, he’d gotten me a present to congratulate me.

F: :O! That’s so nice of you! You didn’t have to!
D: It’s okay; I wanted to! When I saw them, I basically had to get them for you. They’re perfect.
F: :O
D: I’m giving you STDs!!! :D!

He really wasn’t kidding. I now has HSV2 (otherwise known as the gift that keeps on giving) and “the clap” (so named because “clapier” is the old French word for ‘brothel’). It definitely made my day.