Nico's Room
Today’s outfit: August 13, 2013 Weather in Oxford: sunny, H 75/L 50
I realize I’ve been terrible about posting outfits for the 365-day challenge, but over the past few days they’re repeats of outfits I’ve already posted this summer. Or, I’ve been hermiting in my workout clothes!
Today I wandered around town & campus in the flowered dress from Suey!

Today’s outfit: August 13, 2013
Weather in Oxford: sunny, H 75/L 50

I realize I’ve been terrible about posting outfits for the 365-day challenge, but over the past few days they’re repeats of outfits I’ve already posted this summer. Or, I’ve been hermiting in my workout clothes!

Today I wandered around town & campus in the flowered dress from Suey!

» My Asian Supermarket Childhood

Staring into the confounded gaze of a sardine, I think, “Clear eyes. Fresh.” I don’t lurch back in disgust or point and squeal at the glistening fish preciously tucked into its bed of crushed ice. I grew up here, among the briny bodies, the mollusks and, further out in the fluorescent sea, the giant bags of rice, the agar, the beloved monosodium glutamate. I was raised beneath the swell and peak of Chinese opera, jostled down channels by hip-high gray-haired women who indiscriminately elbowed kidneys in their haste. I have always been the random grain of brown rice in the Asian supermarket.

 My mother was born and raised in Singapore, one of six siblings in a family so ethnically diverse that to ask what we are is to start a never-ending, inconclusive argument sharply punctuated by “lahs” and “eh-ehs,” so my sister and I discovered during our first visit. I may not know my precise ethnic makeup but what I do know is that my maternal family eats Asian food. Because my mother’s palate developed in multicultural Singapore, her cooking exposed my sister and I to an abundant variety of Asian flavors.

My father, a chef, didn’t enjoy coming home from a long day of cooking to fire up the stove in his own kitchen, though he would occasionally concoct a perfect pot of smothered chicken for dinner. If my sister and I weren’t preparing our own meals, it was my mother who handled the cooking and certainly all of the grocery shopping. Which is why we spent so much time scanning the aisles of Hawaii Supermarket for Yan Yan and individually wrapped prunes with the seeds which, to my mother’s horror, my pearly baby teeth would crack open for the cherry-flavored liqueur secreted inside.

It was among the boxes of Vitasoy and endless bowls of instant ramen that I discovered I could simultaneously exist in the ancient, umami-flavored world of powerful potions trapped in the dried fibers of mushrooms and roots, and in the bright, exhausting future of colorful, complicated packages that promised impossible flavors in their vacuum-packed treasures. It was beside soft fruit individually padded by netted foam skirts that I learned to locate the canned quail eggs, baby corn, and straw mushrooms for those common enough nights of taxi rides from school and late nights in the office for mom and in the kitchen for dad. Stir-fry noodle nights. And it was beneath a cloud of unrecognizable words and characters that I became skilled in the art of steering around shopping carts screaming across slick floors and bodies perilously compelled by unbreakable momentum.

That’s part of the beauty of the Asian supermarket: food means business and business means no nonsense and no nonsense means nobody had the luxury of time or patience to spend a minute passing a wary gaze over the ethnically ambiguous young woman and her African-American daughters. In Alhambra, one of many Asian meccas in Los Angeles, we would buy our galangal and screwpine, our fish heads and oxtail, without a cold shoulder, a glare, or an ill-mannered question, though even as a kid I somehow expected all of these things. We would drive our haul down the street to pick up my mother’s dry cleaning from the nice Korean lady who was ever-astonished by my mother’s age, and end our day at the friendly Chinese bakery next door for custard tarts, meat pies and sesame buns filled with sweet red beans.

I inherited a sense of comfort not in a loaf of ground beef glazed in ketchup or cinnamon and sugar coated apples baked into a flakey crust, but in the sweet, nutty aroma of steaming rice; in the pungent, aggressive note of shrimp paste; in green rice flour “worms” squirming around in my mouth with coconut milk and palm sugar. So when I have to call my landlord to fix something for the fifth time or my inbox at work is filled with impatient emails, when being an adult is much too much, I grab my car keys and head to Alhambra to hustle down the aisles with the rest, a different kind of fish in a collectively hungry sea.

S. Zainab Williams, a voracious eater of food and words. She blogs about writing at szwordsmith and eating at Little Porkpie. The rest of her free time is consumed by obsessive revisions of her young adult fantasy novel and her horror graphic novel. She pillages eateries and bookstores in Los Angeles where she resides with only a cat and a bottle of wine for company, and works a day job you’re not interested in reading about. She has an English degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and was once told that her degree is only good for getting a job writing copy on the back of cereal boxes. Follow her on Twitter @szainabwilliams.

pinoy-culture:

Made rebloggable by many requests.

pinoy-culture:

Made rebloggable by many requests.

» CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Anthology of Asian Pacific Islander American Women's Experiences with Mental Illness

asiansnotstudying:

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Anthology of Asian Pacific Islander American Women’s Experiences with Mental Illness

What are Asian and Pacific Islander women’s experiences with mental illness and mental health? How do Asian and Pacific Islander women’s multiple identities intersect, shape and influence unique experiences of mental illness? How can we seek a deeper connection with our Asian and Pacific Islander American communities around issues and experiences of mental illness? What does the journey to mental health look like for Asian and Pacific Islander American women experiencing mental illness? 

DEADLINE: September 30, 2013

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(via wocinsolidarity)

This book was $8 on the bargain table at the grocery store today. I flipped through it because I am a sucker for coffee table/photography books like this. Alas I did not buy it because this is ~240 pages of pictures of phenotypically White people, letting me know that POCs like me still aren’t America and aren’t at home. 

This book was $8 on the bargain table at the grocery store today. I flipped through it because I am a sucker for coffee table/photography books like this. Alas I did not buy it because this is ~240 pages of pictures of phenotypically White people, letting me know that POCs like me still aren’t America and aren’t at home. 

On “Big Brother” and Hate Speech, part 2: Standing up for Oneself

This has been a frustrating season of Big Brother for minorities in the house and minorities watching at home as racist, homophobic, and misogynistic slurs seem to be the theme. Now that some of the racism has “blown over,” the POCs are going out one-by-one, first Howard, and this past week, Candice. I tweeted during Thursday’s episode & got a response as seen in this screen capture:

image

[Insert crickets] while I wonder which part of my tweet said, Candice should not stand up for herself. Standing up for yourself is childish and pointless. My tweet, rather, implied that there are effective ways of standing up for oneself that CAN have a point. I’m an Asian American woman, and although I have never been “bullied,” I have encountered plenty of racism and misogyny and I’ve learned the difference between standing up for myself and fueling a fire to my own disadvantage. Candice, on every occasion that I saw on TV, did the latter. 

I’m thinking of three confrontations in particular: 1) the house meeting prior to Howard’s eviction night that ended in Candice harping, “Keep my name out your mouth”; 2) the POV competition fight with Amanda in which Candice said “every stereotype people give me, imma just play it”; and 3) the pre-eviction squabble with GinaMarie. I definitely take issue with the overwhelming number of hate speech utterances in the BB house this season, and I would never tell anyone to ignore the problem (the way Howard did), but addressing this problem requires strategy, which is what Candice lacked. 

Read More

Dropped by a yard sale in the neighborhood on the way home from the Farmer’s Market Saturday morning. For a mere $2 I bought a weaved laundry basket, a hand-carved wood jewelry box, a Ralph Lauren button-down, and a Vintage Wood Book Collection Jenga that the homeowner says was never played. What? 

Dropped by a yard sale in the neighborhood on the way home from the Farmer’s Market Saturday morning. For a mere $2 I bought a weaved laundry basket, a hand-carved wood jewelry box, a Ralph Lauren button-down, and a Vintage Wood Book Collection Jenga that the homeowner says was never played. What? 

It poses a perfect example of hypocrisy, no? People [who] are intellectual leftists, they say I am expensive and horrible, “How can you sell clothes at that price?” Simply, it’s the cost. If you pay people to do everything with the right system, things are expensive. And the same people that criticize the [dangerous production environments], when it comes to cost they like the inexpensive pieces because they think it’s more democratic. This is an example of hypocrisy.
Miuccia Prada, when asked about Fast Fashion (via peternyc)

(Source: peternyc, via whiskeysoaked)

August 2-8
  • home + Momma’s mung beans for dinner
  • morning productivity at Panera
  • Twinlunch with David at Aladdin’s
  • visit to Grandma
  • Wood County Fair, funnel cake, & Beach Boys
  • lunch with Thomas at Burger Bar 419
  • Backstreet Boys!
  • back to Oxford 
  • Last day of class + Fiesta Charra lunch/drinks with Brenna & Kathleen
  • Crock pot cake! + Peabody Manor Potluck
  • goodbyes & sending off le Tony for Baton Rouge :(
  • productivity in the Art/Architecture Library

Weekend Wishlist

  • Welcome Mixer for the new cohort 
  • Farmers’ market
  • productivity
  • house cleaning, laundry
» The Dream 9 Come Home

Congratulations to the Dream9! Go Marco! 

Yesterday’s outfit: August 4, 2013
Weather in Toledo: sunny, H 75/L 63

For the BSB concert with these lovely ladies!

Salmon polka dot shirt with White & Navy twill skirt (Buffalo Exchange, 2013)

Yesterday’s outfit: August 4, 2013
Weather in Toledo: sunny, H 75/L 63

For the BSB concert with these lovely ladies!

Salmon polka dot shirt with White & Navy twill skirt (Buffalo Exchange, 2013)

Yesterday’s outfit: August 3, 2013
Weather in NW Ohio: Sunny, H 79/L 64

I know you can’t really see what’s happening, but it’s the best I’ve got! 

Lacey button up sleeveless shirt, belted around my middle (Plato’s Closet, 2013)
Taupe casual pants (Forever 21, 2009) 

Shocking how many pairs of F21 pants & jeans I have been wearing for 4-5 years. Better quality than I expected!

Yesterday’s outfit: August 3, 2013
Weather in NW Ohio: Sunny, H 79/L 64

I know you can’t really see what’s happening, but it’s the best I’ve got!

Lacey button up sleeveless shirt, belted around my middle (Plato’s Closet, 2013)
Taupe casual pants (Forever 21, 2009)

Shocking how many pairs of F21 pants & jeans I have been wearing for 4-5 years. Better quality than I expected!

July 26-August 1
  • New House! 
  • Movie night and homemade pizza at Peabody House
  • Sunday morning tea in the park with Brenna & Kathleen
  • Mattress shopping
  • Return-from-Chicago-dinner with le Tony 
  • le Tony’s moving out of Oxford :( + Fiesta Charra lunch
  • Loveland bike ride, early dinner at The Works, Cupcake date at Abby Girl, pig finding in Wyoming with le Tony
  • helping Nicole move to new apt. 
  • laundry

Weekend Wishlist:

  • Home adventures! 
  • Twin date
  • Beach Boys and BSB
  • reading, writing
  • visiting Grandma

Wow. The summer that reality TV shows were suddenly racist keeps getting atrocious. In this clip, BB15’s Amanda, the contestant so many lauded because she confronted Aaryn during the second week for her hate speech, is spewing just as much hate speech. But, let’s also not ignore everyone else in these clips who are laughing with Amanda, egging her on, or joining in with her instead of confronting her. Now, BB seems to only benefit from all the bad press their contestants are getting this week, and production’s only solutions have been to remind house guests to be nice and to waive their own responsibility with a disclaimer at the beginning of the show. And, as minorities start disappearing from the house (because the Aaryn thing is blowing over and it’s safe to stop sympathizing with her victims), the contestants consistently spewing hate speech are permitted to stay in the house, even when some of that hate speech borders on violence, such as Amanda’s wishing that Candice trips and dies because she borrowed a pair of tweezers, or saying she wants to kill her. I suppose just like in reality, phenotypically White people do not get punished for their hate speech, so I guess the production team at BB doesn’t need to reprimand these HGs either. NOT. 

Read the story by the Huffington Post. 

Related Posts: “On ‘Big Brother’ and Hate Speech" and "Texas State Student Leaders Call for Discipline for ‘Big Brother’ Contestant

Today’s outfit: July 31, 2013
Weather in Cincinnati: morning rain, cloudy; H 77/L 64

For a bike ride in Loveland with le Tony:

  • Gray Polka dot tank top (Ragstock, 2011)
  • Gray striped long sleeve (PacSun, 2011)
  • Navy Bermuda shorts (JCP, 2011)
  • Purple Adidas (Kohls, 2008)
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