Saturday, July 16, 2005

To Whom it May Concern (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Hits BKK)

To the Boy Standing Behind Me As We Waited in Line For Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at Central Chidlom's B2S:

Hi, remember me? I was the person standing in front of you and your mom at the line at Central Chidlom, aka the person you referred to oh so eloquently as "that old person."


Now, I do realize that at the age of 10, anyone above the mighty age of 20 might come across as older. However, note I use the word older here, for while I am certainly much older than your tender 10 years, I must also note that I AM MOST CERTAINLY NOT OLD!!!!

I mean, since when is 22 old???? Huh? HUH?


Now, I also realize that, when you referred to me as such, you might have been trying to make a point to your otherwise very unenthusiastic mom, someone who apparently does not seem to appreciate the joy of reading, nor the joy of all things magical and Harry Potter-esque (and I feel for you here, I really, honestly do). That, however, does NOT give you the right -- in my book, at least -- to go around pointing at random people and be all, "See Mom? Even THAT OLD PERSON is buying Harry Potter. I told you OLD PEOPLE like to read Harry Potter, too."


And by the way, I find it really sad that your mom should think that reading about magical creatures and magical worlds is nothing but a "waste of time and money." Do keep in mind that it is only because of your mother's obviously very negative attitude towards books and reading that I have looked deep within my heart and chosen to forgive you, despite your not-so-cool faux pas.

Unsincerely yours,


To the Group of Loud Gossip Girls Standing in Front of Me as We Waited in Line:

Though you lot didn't refer to me as old, ancient, decrepit, or anything else of that category (and for that, I am grateful), I, however, cannot say you were much nicer than the "that old person!" boy.

First of all, it's not really nice to talk about other girls at your school and refer to them as "fat bitches." So maybe the FBs have crushes on your boyfriend, who, according to your posse of girlfriends, is "like, sooo hot," but I still don't think it's very nice of you girls to go around planning ways to "get back at those fat bitches" for simply admiring your boyfriend from afar.

I mean, I may not have been in high school for about five years now, but whatever happened to us girls sticking together, huh? The Immaculate Sisterhood and all that?

Secondly, as much as I love the color pink, I do not think it makes for very nice eyeshadow, even if it DOES match your hot-pink spaghetti strap top and the "yo bitch!" imprints on your six-inch long stretch mini-skirt. Oh, and a friendly word of advice -- you know, sister to sister -- ten layers of eyeshadow -- regardless of the color -- never did any girl any good.

Of course, if you want to be mistaken for a Patpong go-go bar girl, then hey, I say, GO FOR IT!

Alas, perhaps the biggest blow of all was when I learned at the end of your little girl talk episode that you -- of all places -- currently attend the high school I once did.

I am ashamed and appalled to see my fellow alma mater sisters acting in such a way.


Shamefully yours,


To the Boy Who, in a Flurry of Excitement Upon Purchasing His Copy of HP&HBP, Turned to the End of the Book, Audibly Gasped, and Announced For All to Hear WHO WAS GOING TO DIE AT THE END OF THE BOOK:

You know, that wasn't a very cool thing to do. No, not very cool at all.

It is because of you that my reading experience for the sixth Harry Potter book has now been ruined -- RUINED!!! Now, as I morosely flip through the seventh chapter, where I left off at to write this here entry, all I can think about is your tearful -- yet oddly jubilant-sounding -- voice crying out, "******** dies!!!" (Note to any HP readers: the number of asteriks hold absolutely no meaning whatsoever, so even if they happen to coincidentally match up with a character's name, like, say, Buckbeak, do keep in mind that I just punched in any random number of asteriks and that they hold NO MEANING AT ALL.)

Now why would you do that? WHY???

I guess I don't have much to say to you...

Other than YOU SUCK.

Scathingly yours,


To the Group of Teenage Girls Dressed Up in Witch Hats, Who Came Armed With Truckloads of Harry Potter Memorabilia and Daniel Radcliffe Fan Zines:

You guys were kind of cute, mostly because you remind me of myself when I was 14 and very much head-over-heels in love with a certain band.

However, I do hope you don't wear Harry Potter shirts on a regular basis, because as cute as Daniel Radcliffe is in that pre-teen, geeky, pasty-faced sort of way, he doesn't look all that nice with his face stretched clean across your burgeoning chest, which, I must sadly say, is probably much larger than mine will ever be.

But never mind me.

Also, the large lightning bolt scar you drew with eyeliner across your foreheads is also very impressive and telling of your love and dedication to all things Harry Potter-related, and is indeed something I think is very creative, especially since our favorite hero has one, too. I do think, however, that there IS a limitation to how far you should go with the eyeliner, unless, of course, you're Johnny Depp channelling Captain Jack Sparrow, in which case I say, By all means, do wear all the eyeliner you want.

I mean, simply put, drawing lightning bolts across every last square inch of your face is not cool. Nor is drawing them across your arms, because then you just look like an over-tattooed, slightly off-his-rocker, washed-up rock star from the 80's. And that is not a very nice look to aspire to when you are a glowing and youthful 14-year-old.

Anyway, your enthusiasm was very cute nonetheless, and excessive and misdirected eyeliner or not, I would so much rather hold a conversation with you than the aforementioned Loud Gossip Girls.

Sincerely yours,


To the Way Adorable Girl at the Table Next to Ours at Starbucks, Who Spent the Morning Explaining to Her Mom and Dad Why Harry Potter is So Cool:

Now YOU are too cute for words. When I have kids one day, I want them to be exactly like you.

Not only did you not once refer to me as "that old person," but you didn't reveal who dies at the end of the book and didn't call a single one of the girls at your school a fat bitch. Kudos to you.

Plus, your parents knew all about Hogwarts and every single last Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, which, I must say, is indeed very commendable. And as if that wasn't cool enough already, your mother -- who, from the sound of things -- seems to have a sort-of-crush on Alan Rickman's version of Severus Snape. So kudos to your parents, too!

Admiringly yours,


Regardless of the Big-Mouthed, Ending-Revealing boy, I refuse to let him take away from my HP&HBP reading experience; I am happily reading away about Harry, Hogwarts and all that good stuff. Also, as if finally being able to hold the book in my greedy little hands wasn't cool enough already, I was also given -- compliments of B2S -- a Harry Potter shirt that will most likely never be worn outside the confines of my house, and a free frap from Starbucks. Thanks, B2S!

Currently Playing: Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve.

Currently Reading: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling, of course. Six books on and still this series remains one of my most loved ever.

>> Click to continue reading <<

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Happy 16th, Niffles

In honor of my brother's birthday today, I thought I'd do a little joint blog with him to commemorate his sweet sixteenth (why do they even call it that? There was nothing sweet about my sixteenth year. Bittersweet, maybe, but definitely not SWEET)...

LYNN: You look kind of confused here.
JASON: Hey, I was pondering the meaning of life.
L: AND????
J: I'll get back to you later on that one.

L: Um. No offense, but what's up with the lazy eye you got going on here?
J: Well, considering I'd just been born three weeks prior to this photo, I think I look pretty damn good.
L: Good? Whatever. You look more like a newly hatched chickadee. Or a sumo wrestler on the brink of attack. I mean, check out those fists!!!
J: I do NOT look like a sumo wrestler. Or a chickadee.

L: Sorry to be such a spoilsport, but you kind of have a double chin thing going on here.
J: You know, I've seen your baby pix, and let me tell you, you didn't look all that hot either.
L: Actually, this is true. I was not a cute baby. On the contrary, I WAS HELLA UGLY.
J: Yes. Yes, you were. In fact, you weren't a very cute kid either, now were you?
L: Jeez, no need to agree all at once.

L: This would've been a really great Xmas picture -- you know, the kind that Mom and Dad could've turned into a Christmas card to send out to all of their friends -- but then you had to go and RUIN IT BY FLIPPING THE BIRD.
J: I was not flipping the bird. My middle finger was just slightly more extended than the rest of my digits.
L: No way. That's definitely the bird. Jeez! I have no idea where you pick that kind of stuff up!
J: Well, everything I learned, I learned from you.
L: That is also true.

L: By the way, did you know you had this really bad tendency to drool? Like a dog? Anytime, ANYWHERE?
J: No, I didn't.

L: Well, you did. YOU SO TOTALLY DID (case in point, this picture). And all over my shoulder whenever I held you, too. It was like you saved up on bucketloads of drool, only to dispel of it the second I picked you up.
J: Well -- just as a dog can't -- it's not like I could talk. How else did you expect me to tell you 'thank you'?
L: Are you calling yourself a dog?
J: No, that would be you.
J: What, you were born in the year of the dog, weren't you??
L: Sadly, I was. I guess that makes me a w(b)itch.

J: Anyway, excessive drooler or not, that didn't keep the girls away from me.
L: Not too fast, grasshopper. This picture of you and Laura DOES NOT count. I distinctly remember us bribing her to lean in and smack one on you. Naturally, she was very hesitant at first (you being a drooler and all), but when we held out a very tempting tootsie roll pop, she was so unable to resist such a bribe and thus decided to risk a few cooties in exchange for that lollipop.

J: Well, then how do you explain this? Both Caitlin AND Laura obviously couldn't keep their eyes off me.
L: Puh-LEASE. They weren't looking at YOU (who was obviously too busy stuffing his face with food, as evidenced by the chewing mouth and potato chips in BOTH hands). They were looking at the CLOWN standing over in the near distance.

J: Clown? Oh, you mean YOU?
L: HEY! That was an outfit from one of MOM'S FRIENDS. I was OBLIGATED to wear it. You know, out of POLITENESS. Plus, telling from that picture, it's not like I was all that happy to be wearing it.
J: You do have a point there. You look more constipated than happy.
L: Ya see? I told you.
J: You know, I don't know what's more disturbing -- the baggy Aladdin-ness of the outfit, or the Hawaiin theme.
L: Both. I say both.

L: You know, for a guy popular with the ladies, you were kind of a wuss.
J: Hey, the shark was big. HUGE. And it had teeth. SHARP teeth.
L: Riiiight.

L: This is an interesting picture.
J: Interesting? I think it's kind of cute.
L: Well, obviously, considering it's a picture of YOU.
J: Fine, what's so interesting about it?
L: Well, you and Mr. Jack-in-the-Box look like you're greeting each other Maori style, like in that Whale Rider movie.
J: Hmm. It kind of does.
L: Maybe you were Maori in your last life.
J: Maybe you were an alien.
L: Maybe you're right.

L: I took this picture, you know. In Santa Cruz.
J: I like it.
L: You would.

J: Well, what is it with you and your obsession with TAKING PICTURES OF MY ASS????
L: Hey, I had to hone my photography skills early on. It's not like I gained my proficiency for candid photography overnight, you know.

L: Anyway, drooler/ass-lover or not, I'm still really glad you popped out today sixteen years ago.
J: Gee, thanks.
L: No, really. I totally mean that.

And I do. I really really do.



Currently Playing: Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet. Well, sure, Jet, but only if you ask nicely.

Currently Reading: Still 1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz. Forget visiting all these places; I don't even know if I'm ever going to finish READING about them.

>> Click to continue reading <<

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Thanks, Mom

A lot of people tend to think I'm a generally unathletic person. And maybe, considering the fact that I haven't regularly played a sport (not counting high school PE) for, oh, I don't know, about A DECADE now (treadmill running and gym foraying, not withstanding, of course) I guess I can't really blame them.

Still, whenever anyone learns about the long list of sports I used to play way back in the day, they tend to be surprised. Mind you, this athletic propensity of mine was not because I was of the sports-loving type, but rather because my mom wanted me to be as ordinary an American kid as I could possibly be.

Say, what?

Well, by talking with other moms in the PTA, she got this strange notion that all American kids played sports, and that if I ever wanted to be an ordinary American kid (apparently my actually having been BORN and RAISED in America wasn't enough, but whatever), I was going to have to play every single sport known to mankind. I mean, never mind the fact that most American kids I knew went home after school to play with their Nintendos and Gameboys and to pig out on Cheetos and twinkies, and that they never so much as touched a baseball HAT, never mind a baseball bat.

So while I -- introverted bibliophile that I was -- wanted nothing more than to sit in my room with my nose buried in any of the Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley (don't tell me you never had/have any guilty pleasures), Roald Dahl, or Jane Austen books, I was instead relegated to spending many a traumatizing afternoon under the sun.

As a result, throughout 4th to 6th grade, I was thus plagued by the following:


Ahhh. Soccer, soccer, soccer (or, as the British would call it, football, which, when you really think about it, makes so much more sense, as it's a game that involves kicking a ball with your, you know, foot). Out of all the sports my mom signed me up for, soccer was perhaps the one sport that plagued me the most. Indeed, it was none other than soccer that gave me the most nightmares and made me want to scream, "BUT I DON'T WANNA GO!!!!!" whenever Friday afternoon swung around.

I was the smallest kid on the team -- basically your typical midget-sized Asian kid -- and God did that soccer ball scare the crap out of me. It'd come flying at me from out of nowhere, and instead of running towards it and ramming it back down the field from whence it came, I'd, well, run away from it as fast as my little stub-like legs could carry me.

Hey, human instinct and all that, ya know.

Of course, I soon realized that if I didn't want to sit on the bleachers the entire season like a total loser, I was going to have to swallow my fear of fast and flying balls and just kick the living daylights out of that thing, even if it meant getting the wind knocked out of me and falling backwards on my ass like a Dork with a capital D.

Which happened more times than I'd like to admit.

Oh, and as if the whole getting-the-wind-knocked-out-of-me and falling-backwards-on-my-ass prospect wasn't frightening enough already, I soon learned that our team was called the Blue Bruisers -- THE BLUE BRUISERS! If that doesn't paint horrifically terrifying images in your tender 9-year-old mind, then I don't know what else does.

The thing is, there were these two girls on the team -- Meg and Amy -- who went to a different school than I did. Our team was made up of a variety of girls who came from various schools in the Northern California Santa Clara county area, both public and private, I myself having hailed from ye average Los Altos public school. Meg and Amy, however, were students at a certain private school, and were, simply put, the SNOTTIEST witches in the world.

And when I say witch, I actually mean another word completely that sounds a lot like witch, but starts with the same letter that birkenstocks does.

Anyway, during practice, Coach Boyd would usually pair us up randomly and have us practice by kicking the ball back and forth and blocking said ball with our foreheads -- something I am convinced has since caused me permanent neurological damange, as I am certain my current inability to comprehend anything math or physics-related is directly linked to those very crucial moments when my 9-year-old highly sensitive and developing brain was forced to collide head-on with soccer balls that travelled at what felt like 100 miles an hour.

Now, on occasion, I would get paired up with either Meg or Amy. Whenever this happened, they -- rather than kick the ball in my general direction so I could, you know, RETURN THE BALL -- would instead kick it about ten million feet away from where I was standing. And in the opposite direction, no less.


Because of this, I would have to go scrambling off in the opposite direction after the ball like a total nutcase, and whenever Coach Boyd -- who had impeccable timing, I tell you -- turned around, in his eyes he would see this totally frazzled-looking kid racing after a ball that had managed to land way over by, like, the kindergarten sandbox or something.

This made me appear to be an even crappier soccer player than I really was (and let me tell you, I was pretty damn crappy). This was not fun. Not fun at all. Whoever said soccer could be fun? Who? WHO???

(Of course, this was way back in the day; way back before I knew certain soccer players existed, namely strong female role models like way cool Mia Hamm, and appealing eye candy players like way hot David Beckham. But still.)

Unable to tolerate any of this w(b)itchery much longer, there was this one time I got so incredibly infuriated, I actually ran up to them w(b)itches and told them to CUT THE CRAP OR I'LL USE MY KICK-ASS MUAY THAI MOVES ON YOU AND GOUGE YOUR EYEBALLS OUT.

Of course, I didn't -- and still don't -- know any kick-ass Muay Thai moves, but that doesn't mean I should deny my natural right as a Thai to use said excuse in extremely dire circumstances.

Anyway, despite my very menacing and genuinely hostile threat, said w(b)itchery went on for the remainder of the season (though they did back off for about a week or so, much to my short-lived delight). Nevertheless, it was all worth it, because when we played the final game against this really kick-ass (no pun intended) Amazonian-filled team from San Jose, we totally creamed them, thus winning the Santa Clara County girl's soccer league championships.

Even cooler than that, however, was the fact that three of the most crucial blocks made during that final leg of the game -- thus preventing three potential goals -- were made by none other than yours truly.

Really! I almost couldn't believe it myself!

I mean, there I was, standing around thinking about how I would so much rather be reading about Jessica and Elizabeth and the rest of the Sweet Valley gang, when this total AMAZONIAN girl came barreling at me at, like, 200 miles an hour.

I thought -- knew -- I was dead meat.

I gulped, and I prayed. Hard. After all, seeing as how I was the smallest player on the entire field, and thus the girl most likely to cave in and let her pass without putting up much of a fight, Amazonian Girl naturally decided to barrel on over in my general direction. But wait, here's where things get really weird:

Just as she was nearing me, I suddenly got this sudden surge of, what I can only assume was sheer insanity, and went charging right at her.

What happened next totally boggles me to this day. After colliding head-on, I managed to kick the ball from right under her nose. Seriously. The ball went careening in the opposite direction, and Amazonian Girl, so clearly surprised, fell on her butt. She gave me this really nasty look, but seeing as how I was too shaken and dazed, I hardly noticed. In fact, in my moment of temporary insanity, I managed to block her two more times that game, thus earning me the Best Blocker award.

Tee hee. Meg and Amy didn't get any awards. Not that I'm gloating or anything.

Anyway, it was a shame I didn't fall completely and totally in love with soccer until the last game of the season. Nevertheless, though I used to hate its guts, soccer will always and forever hold a special place in my heart.

Which brings me to...


Talk about a total one-eighty. Right after soccer season ended, my mom promptly went and signed me up for ballet.


In an attempt to reason with her, I said, "Um, graceful, elegant, swan-like girls are supposed to take ballet. Did it not occur to you that I AM THE MOST UN-SWAN-LIKE GIRL ON THE PLANET?" But no, my mom brushed my comment aside and said that I was being ridiculous, especially since all girls have at least a small modicum of grace within them that's just waiting to emerge and come into full bloom.

Hah, I scoffed. Go ahead and sign me up, then. I will make you eat your words when, after two seconds in a tutu, you will come to learn the hard way that your first-born was born without said modicum of grace.

But then she threatened me by saying that it was either ballet or tap. Take your pick.

I obviously chose ballet, because everyone knows tap dancing is for dorks. (Alas, I came to sincerely regret this decision some ten years later when my celtophile self learned that the basis for Irish dance is, indeed, tap dance.)

So ballet it was. I went to class, which was taught by Mademoiselle Anastasia, and who was obviously SO NOT French, but who insisted -- INSISTED, I tell you -- that we all call her Mademoiselle Anastasia. Or else. Or else, what? I honestly don't know. No one ever bothered to question her further, because between her tattooed-on eyeliner and eyebrows, not to mention her many emphatic "zut alors!" and "merde!", she was SCARY AS HELL.

In the end, just like soccer, ballet ended up surprising me, because, as it turned out, I actually COULD do plies. And, hey, who would have thought that prancing around in pointe shoes and a tutu could actually Because it was. It really was. In fact, I fell so in love with ballet, that I came thisclose to asking my mom to seriously consider allowing me to further my ballet studies by sending me off to Julliard (hey, every girl can dream).

However, my dancing dreams came to a screeching halt when Mademoiselle Anastasia took her pointe shoes off one day, and I witnessed -- in total horror, mind you -- the nasty way her feet had sprouted these utterly grotesque, stub-like wings that had begun to seriously resemble the bound feet of my poor female Chinese ancestors.

I promptly kissed ballet goodbye and went running from it quicker than you could say "a tout a l'heure, ma cher."

Alas, summer came calling, which brings me to...


When my mom signed me up for swimming lessons, I, for once, didn't put up a fight. In fact, I actually looked forward to swimming lessons because, even though it was the summer of '91 and Titanic had yet another 6 years to hit the cinema, I knew full well the significance of knowing how to stay afloat, especially should I ever end up stranded at sea without a life vest, floatation device, or Leonardo DiCaprio to hang on to for dear life.

Also, I soon found out that, instead of allowing me to revel in a stress-free summer vacation, my mom had gone and signed me up for day camp. And not just any kind of day camp, either, but SPORTS day camp. SPORTS.

So, seeing as how swimming was pretty much the numero uno activity at Golden Eagle Sports Camp, I said, rather enthusiastically, "Sure, Mom, I'm all for swimming lessons."

Which I was, until I actually got into the pool, of course.

After my first lesson, I had a pretty hard time getting into the swimming groove of things again. Maybe this had to do with the fact that, during my very first swimming lesson, I NEARLY DROWNED because the swimming instructor let go of me to rush off and save this snot-faced kid who'd been playing on the diving board and had accidentally slipped into the deep end of the pool while doing a really moronic Barney the Purple Dinosaur impersonation.

I mean, never mind that I was only in five-foot deep water, an admittedly shallow depth in the grand scheme of things. And even though -- despite my midget-like four-feet height -- I could have easily grabbed onto the wall, I was, however, a) too preoccupied with flailing my arms in a lame imitation of the chicken dance to do so, b) too dumb to turn around and realize that the wall was easily within reach and, you know, RIGHT BEHIND ME, and c) too busy taking in large gulps of water, as I believed then that doing so would thus prevent me from inhaling chlorinated water through my nose.

I obviously wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, if you catch my drift. (Of course, I could attribute this to all the getting-rammed-in-the-head-by-the-soccerball stuff that I'd had to endure during soccer season just a few months prior, but whatever.)

So I soon began to loathe swimming. In fact, I was so scared senseless of swimming that, whenever it came time for swimming lessons, I would fake stomachaches and headaches and -- after learning about the concept of food poisoning and parasites from my all-knowing cousins in Thailand -- even told my mom that I suspected I had a twenty-foot long hookworm writhing away in my colon, and that if she made me continue my swimming lessons, the combination of the aquatic activities and my hookworm friend would no doubt make me DIE.

But did I receive any sympathy from her? NO. Instead, she soon caught on, and as much as I fought and sunk my heels in, away to the community pool I went.

My fear of the water continued to linger, and as a result, I stayed in level 1 with the 6-year-old kiddies for about four weeks, much to the dismay of my swimming instructor, who had since apologized profusely for ditching me and thus wreaking aquatic horror on my then very tender and developing mind.

I would have remained in level 1 for, oh, I don't know, ETERNITY, maybe, if it hadn't been for my dad. One weekend he tricked me into going to the pool with him at one of our Thai friends' house over in Fremont. For the entire day, we hung out in the pool until I was so shriveled, a prune would've looked like a baby's butt next to my very wrinkled self. But finally, after much coaxing and cajoling, my dad eventually got me to loosen my grip and float -- FLOAT! -- smack center in the middle of the swimming pool. Like, miles and miles away from the walls...the very walls from which I'd once held on to with a deathgrip.

By the end of the weekend, I was floating on my back and doing the backstroke like a 6-month-old fetus in her mommy's amniotic fluid-filled uterus. Come Monday afternoon, my swimming instructor didn't know what had hit her. Needless to say, she was ecstatic and I was thus promoted to level 2, eventually reaching level 10 two summers later when I later learned to do the backflip off the diving board. I can't exactly do said backflips off the diving board now (you know, old age and all), but I attribute my ability to swim and stay afloat in water to my old man. So, thanks Dad!

And no, the list ain't nearly over yet, because now it's time for...


As mentioned earlier, I was one seriously vertically challenged kid. The fact that I ever managed to make it to my current five-sixish -- five-seven, even, if I stretch my neck hard enough and imagine myself as a llama in my mind's eye -- is indeed a miracle; one that still manages to boggle and amaze me to this very day (delayed growth spurt much?). So, when my mom told me that she wanted to sign me up for basketball next, I had a cow. A serious cow. "How," I cried in utter pre-teen angst, "do you expect my midget-like self to steal the ball -- never mind actually shoot and score -- from those AMAZONIAN white kids????"

Mind you, at four-feet, anyone taller than four-foot six was a regular Goliath to me. As if soccer hadn't been traumatizing enough already, now my mom wanted to sign me up for basketball, the most height-obsessed sport ever known to man?

I was thisclose to disowning my parents, namely my mom.

Nevertheless, I decided to give it a shot (again, pun not intended). I mean, I'd been through soccer, ballet, and swimming already, surely I could survive basketball, right?


I joined the team, and -- OH. MY. GOD. -- everyone else on the team was at least ten heads taller than me (read:
everyone else on the team was at least four-six or taller). I almost expected the coach to go, "Um, you there, midget wringing her hands in nervous fright? Yeah, you. You're too short to play with us mighty giants. Scram."

But alas, much to my dismay, he never did. Looked like I was just going to have to rough it.

And rough it I did. Every time I tried to steal the ball, some huge-ass girl would shove me aside. In fact, I was scoring more bruises on my butt than I was actual points. Needless to say, it was a very sad and sorry time for my 10-year-old self. I hated basketball. I hated the NBA. I hated Michael Jordan for endorsing Nike and telling everyone to "just do it", because as much as I tried and tried and tried, I OBVIOUSLY COULDN'T.

But then, just as miraculously as I'd managed to block three goals during soccer season the year before, I was again blessed by the Fairy For Seriously Athletically Challenged Kids during one of our final games, because here's what happened:

Not only did I manage to get the ball in my hands long enough to attempt to shoot, but I actually scored. SCORED! And twice! TWICE!

Pretty soon basketball became my new favorite sport. I'd head down the street to Los Altos High and shoot hoops there with my dad every weekend. In fact, I became so hooked, I used to spend every single summer watching the NBA finals. I was the biggest Chicago Bulls fan (Jordan, Rodman, Pippen -- they were my HEROES), until, of course, high school came along and I became more interested in boys than sweaty, temperamental NBA players...

But anyways, moving on. Just when I was beginning to seriously toughen up, my mom decided to go and sign me up for...


WHY??? Why, of all things that are holy, GYMNASTICS???, I implored of my mother, whom I had long since concluded was insane. Because, she replied all-knowingly, it is a beautiful sport that shows off the human prowess and dexterity to the best of its ability. (WTH?)

Now, I know I said I also approached soccer, ballet, swimming, and basketball with much fear and trepidation, but let me tell you, gymnastics really took the cake. First of all, all that required stretching? Nuh uh. So not gonna happen. No way was I touching my scapula with my toes. Oh, and that swinging from the parallel bars thing? That Chinese girl, Shirley, who I used to know in 1st grade back at Fremont Christian School, might have mispronounced my name by calling me Ling -- Thai for monkey -- but no way was I doing any monkey-swinging from any parallel bars of any type anytime soon. No way.

But my mother turned deaf ears to my fervent pleas, and went ahead and signed me up anyway.

And well -- surprise, surprise -- I fell totally and utterly in love with gymnastics. In fact, I was convinced that it was my calling. MY PURPOSE IN LIFE. Finally, after so much trial and error, I'd finally found a sport that actually EMBRACED short midgets like myself. With hardly any effort at all, I could jump on the trampoline, do double backflips in the air, cartwheels on the balance beams, and even, much to my delight, the whole monkey-swinging thing on the parallel bars.

I was so, so certain I was going to be the next Dominique Moceanu.

But alas, my dreams were promptly shattered when a story came out about a girl who fell from the balance beam one day and was left completely comatose. Before I knew it, my parents had quickly withdrawn me from gymnastics and I never saw another balance beam or parallel bar
ever again. Sigh.

With a reluctant heart, I moved on to other things, namely...


Why the game is called softball rather than baseball is beyond me. Do the way sexist little league Big Guys think that, by calling it SOFTBALL, the game will appeal more to us wimpy girls, and that we will thus be more likely to pick up our bats and take a swing (hee, okay, pun totally intended this time) at the game?

Jeez. Anyway, at the age of 11, I had toughened up quite a bit by now and actually got around to asking my mom if I could try out for softball (I know, talk about the biggest shocker of the year). She, in a moment of sheer joy, said, YES!

So I did.

And I got in.

And man, did I have fun. So maybe I wasn't the best batter in the world (I mean, I could connect bat to ball all right, but it's not like I was a regular home run-scoring Babe Ruth or anything), but I was pretty damn good in the catching and throwing department. I guess that, because of all the sports I'd been playing for the past three years, my arm had toughened up considerably, and that, instead of having limp string beans as arms, I had, you know, the slightest semblance of muscle attached to my bones. This was good, because compared to shapely biceps, string beans as arms aren't really all that attractive (I'm talking to you, Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Ritchie).

Of course, compared to the cow-legs-for-arms I've got now, I would probably trade them in for my old string beans anyday. But never mind me, I've gone off on a tangent again.

Alas, this thus concludes my childhood forays into the athletic world. I may have cursed my mother a zillion and one times during those tumultuous childhood years for torturing me by putting me through all those sports (jeez, and I haven't even gotten started on the Thai classical dance, piano, flute, khim, Spanish, and art lessons she also signed me up for), but looking back, I now realize that I needed it more than ever. After all, through all that traumatizing agony, I came to learn about teamwork, sportsmanship, how to lose like a winner, how to stick to something and not give up, how to toughen up my sorry wuss-like ass, and, most importantly, HOW TO DEAL WITH NASTY, SNOT-FACED W(B)ITCHES!


Of course, I'm not exactly a butt-kicking Lara Croft type now, but at least I know how to hold my own. Most of the time, at least.

So really, what I guess I'm trying to say is, thanks, Mom. Thanks a whole lot. :)


Currently Playing: Fix You by Coldplay. I've really been vegging on Coldplay as of late. Fix You's one of the prettiest songs I've heard in a really long time.

Currently Reading: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz. My brother was awarded this book this past weekend at his school's annual Speech Day. Apparently he has the most spirit and is the most participative in the whole of Byron House (yes, it's all very cool and British; they have HOUSES, just like in Harry Potter). I personally cannot even conceive of him emanating any form of participation, as a lot of said participation is usually lacking at home, like whenever he mutters he's too lazy to PUT THE DAMN TOILET SEAT DOWN when he's done using it. Anyway, about the book: For a travel freak like myself, this is all very bible-esque for me. I've only been to about 50 of the places in that thing, which is really kind of sad when you think about it. Hopefully I can get around to visiting at least 200 of those 1,000 awe-inspiring places before I die.

>> Click to continue reading <<

Monday, July 11, 2005

"We've been bombed by a better class of bastard than you."

My prayers and thoughts are with you, London. Kudos to you for being so incredibly strong and resiliant* during times like these. I pray we nab those bastards and give them what they fully deserve.

*Link to Live Journal community hosting quotes by Londoners. Do check it out, as this is further proof as to why Londoners rock.

>> Click to continue reading <<