I have a brother-in-law (and other holiday tidbits)

December 28, 2009 § 4 Comments

Ohana, our family cat, sits under the tree Christmas morning.

Christmas (secular style) has always been one of my favorite holidays.  To my friends and family far and near- countless thanks for another festive and delicious holiday. I am so blessed to be able to close the year with such good company. Since Christmas is one of four days in the year that the Golden Bowl Chop Suey closes its doors, I reserve December 25th for family. Ga, Yun, Sum and I have always made it home for the holiday. This year, however, Yun stayed in New York, making it the first time we were not all together on Christmas. But there some other more positive “firsts” this holiday break–this was my niece Natalie’s first Christmas, the first time Goonjan proposed to Sum (there is a second proposal planned), and the first time Ga and I went “spinning”. And oh, there is also a notable “last” too–this was the last year for our trusty fake Christmas tree that has been in the family for over twenty five years.  Sorry, Yun, you weren’t able to say bye to it. But here, you can see the tree in its final glory, and I have included some other snapshots. Enjoy.

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TIME names “The Chinese Worker” third runner-up for person of the year; now, all I want for Christmas is a Chinese worker

December 21, 2009 § Leave a comment

Just wanted to share something silly I came across in TIME’s end-of-the-year issue… It is not silly that “The Chinese Worker” was in the running for TIME’s person of the year. That just makes sense. China’s rapid economic growth has made it into an impossible-to-ignore-nation when it comes to any world matter—economic, military, environmental, etc. And as TIME so astutely points out, that economic growth would not be possible if not for those spirited Chinese factory workers.

What’s silly is that TIME’s gushingly romantic portrayal of “The Chinese Worker” is considered professional reporting when it reads like a product of China’s state-controlled media; or closer to home, it follows an American tendency to over glorify the average ol’ American worker (recall Joe the Plumber?) in a way that makes invisible the true struggles faced by workers, and takes attention off of the governmental and economic system that creates and sustains social and economic immobility, low wages, and poor working conditions. It reads like a pat on the back to Chinese workers: keep on doing what you are doing because you are among “the people leading the the world to economic recovery”.

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Sexual assault on campus: the University of Michigan is no exception

December 6, 2009 § Leave a comment

This month the Center for Public Integrity released their investigative report on what Ann from Feministing describes as the “dizzying amount of utter bullshit faced by survivors of sexual assault on college campuses”.

The report titled Sexual Assault on Campus: A Frustrating Search for Justice shows that colleges and universities across the nation—religious, private, public, liberal or conservative—all, in practice, demonstrate a pathetic level of commitment to the safety of their students, and to justice for survivors of sexual assault.

The report confirms a previously found statistic that 95 percent of college women who  experience sexual assault do not report to campus police or officials. The report brings greater transparency to the convoluted and re-victimizing processes that survivors of sexual assault go through when trying to seek justice in the status quo.

Here is where the University of Michigan is not an exception. Sexual assault is not only a social problem, but also an institutional one. Michigan students: please take part in strengthening U of M’s policy and, thus, ability to give survivors a fairer chance at receiving a just verdict.

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A greeting card for all those times you’re not sorry

December 5, 2009 § 1 Comment

For those who regret not apologizing for a previous misdoing, there is the aphorism: it is never too late to apologize. But what about for those who apologize, not because they feel sorry, but because they want to pacify a tension; or because they felt they had to in order to appease authority. Have you ever said you are sorry, and then wish you didn’t?

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