As American as Chinese take-out

November 6, 2009 § 4 Comments

golden bowl

Photo courtesy of Allie Hinman

My buddy Robby’s birthday is coming up, and the least I can do is give him a free meal pass to the Golden Bowl Chop Suey, my family’s restaurant. He has mentioned interest in going for years. But I can be pretty flaky when it comes to making and sticking to plans, so I still have yet to treat him to a Golden Bowl experience. For one thing, it can be out of the way. Forty minutes is quite a commute just to get some Chinese take-out (considering that Panda Express is two minutes away). Sometimes friends would assume that my family’s restaurant is located in Downtown Detroit–perhaps a nice place to get dinner bef0re a show at the Fox, or lunch before an afternoon at the  DIA. But we are located in the part of Detroit that is cut-out from the maps. Some people would call the area a wasteland; some people refer to it as the “bad parts”, the ghetto.

What I’m trying to say is most places, especially Detroit, cannot be appreciated without context. So although friends may expect that a trip to the Golden Bowl would be quaint or light-hearted fun, without context, it comes to nothing more than a 40-minute car ride just to spend a total of 15 minutes placing and waiting for your order in a cramped lobby with green folding chairs and two random lawn chairs lining the walls, and blown-up menus (with some infrequent spelling errors). Its Chinese take-out in Detroit, you go in and get out.  …But that depends a whole  lot on who you talk to because to our loyal customers, neighbors, to my mother, my father, the Golden Bowl can mean many different things.

A former professor of mine (who happens to be one of two Republicans I not just tolerate but like) gave an interesting first assignment to our class (Political Campaigning 423).  Before talking political strategy, he wanted us to tell him (in 600 words or less) what we believe in. He said matter-of-factly, if you don’t know what you believe in, what are you doing in politics? Good point. Well lucky for me, I believe in something. The following piece is what I turned in, and I hope that it provides a little bit more context to the Golden Bowl for those that are interested.

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One year ago…

November 4, 2009 § 1 Comment


I feel oh so warm and fuzzy. No, not because I just devoured a creamy, steamy bowl of fresh cranberry, ginger oatmeal, but today marks the one year anniversary of a very special election day. Last year’s presidential election was historical and personal on multiple accounts. It was the first time–after living in the states for over 25 years–that my grandparents voted. And my sister 家 (Ga) and I had the privilege of being their translators. Below, you can revisit the experience in photos. Enjoy.

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How many ways can sex and pleasure go together

November 2, 2009 § 1 Comment

Let’s start with the title, Because It Feels Good. Debby Herbenick’s message is so basic, so obvious: sex should be pleasurable. Yet many women—whether in love, out of love, avoiding love or hesitatingly dipping their toes into love—are having sex without pleasure. Whereas sex is increasingly becoming another task on a person’s to-do list; and continues to be a topic enshrouded in shame, guilt, embarrassment and misinformation; Herbenick take us back to the basics, bringing pleasure back into sex.

Patient, accepting and knowledgeable, Herbenick is an ideal sex coach. She offers no guarantee for “instantly better sex!” because that is not her sell or her goal. So if you are in search of a book that tells you how you can have mind-blowing sex all of the time, this ain’t it. And if you come across a book (or pill) that does, remember what they say about what sounds too good to be true…  In a culture where people are anything but upfront about sex, Herbenick is plainly honest. She is upfront about that fact that sex will not always feel incredible no matter how well educated you are about the subject matter. And just because you don’t have incredible sex 100 percent of the time or you are not always craving sex, Herbenick is not going to write you off as dysfunctional, and prescribe you with 228 pages of her book. What she does promise is that there is room in your sex life for improvement and more pleasure.

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