Thursday, August 6, 2009


Congrats to Sonia Sotomayor who just got confirmed by the senate to be a Supreme Court Justice! Now let's see what the "Wise Latina" can/will do.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

ny times: symbol of unhealed congo

This article makes me cry inside some more. Male rape victims in the disaster zone that is the Congo are increasing. And honestly, as hard as it is for women to admit being raped, it's just as hard and probably harder for men to admit it and recover from it. If you read the stories in the article all I can get from them is sadness. One doctor writes, referencing the likelihood that Rwanda is maintaining the peace by shoving all the violence next door, "shouldn't the world feel guilty about what's happening in Congo today?" Well, I know I do, but there seems little that I can do about it. More people die there every day (probably every hour) than die in those plane crashes that get sensationalized in our headline news. But what is being done to stop it? What can be done? It seems a political solution is indeed in order but who will help bring it about? I feel helpless and disheartened and can only hope that sometime down the line I will have learned a way to do more than just write.

via nytimes

Sunday, July 26, 2009

my outlet/free time.

Words are never sufficient and though I'm not a crazy talented artist, this kind of stuff suffices as an outlet.

ny times op-ed: "documenting brutalities to change the world"

"I am ... eager for us to create a better world together. When we truly listen to the communities we wish to serve, we absorb their pain and invigorate our search for justice and solutions. We cannot trick ourselves into thinking 'someone else will do it' because we are the ones privileged to have attended college. It is now our responsibility to rethink and implement sustainable change, whether local or global."

This is exactly what I want my life to be. I've no better words.

via nytimes

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

holy jellyfish.

I just saw this picture as I was scrolling through CNN's international news with its accompanying article. This is absolutely crazy! If the whole crisis wasn't so devastating to the coastal villages in Japan it would be funny. But it's not funny :( The jellyfish destroy fisherman's nets and then ruin whole catches which are the basis of these people's livelihoods = economic devastation on top of economic crisis = bad news. Too bad, these things look cool but I can see how much damage potential they have too. Especially when you think about them in large groups.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

follow-up. (labels).

So having had some more days to reflect on Invisible Monsters and digest it some more, I feel a bit of a need to digree more on why the book was so powerful and how I managed to relate to it despite its most assuredly insane characters. Who, naturally, are simultaneously, in many regards sane. But that is another topic.

It's the third quote from the last post that really struck me. In the beginning of my first year of college, we did a few activities based on diversity sort of as due course - things any respectable college must have in some shape or form for all their freshman. In any case, we did two activities and got a rather boring, rather unengaging lecture (which, in my opinion, is one of the deepest flaws in diversity intiatives in most places, not just college campuses). The first activity was one in which you wrote down your reactions to words, like "Blonde" or "Black" or "Queer". This can be a good activity and I've participated in a well-done one, but this was not well done. That is also another story. What I'm really trying to get at is the second activity which was an identity one. On seven or so notecards we wrote down the word(s) that described us for a number of differeny categories that included gender, sexual orientation, age, race, ethnicity, social class, among others. Then we ranked each identity card based on its importance to us from 1 to 7. Next, we got rid of all the 1s (least important cards) and had to order the other cards based on their importance to us. Basically what that means is we had to pick what word that described us from those categories was the largest facet of our identities. Eek.

Ok, I realize I am rambling a bit, but I'm going to keep going anyways, so the choice is yours. Keep reading, or stop. I don't particularly care either way. So back to the story, you probably don't know this about me but I suffer from serious indecision. So I'm sitting in a chair trying to choose a card for this rather inane seeming activity and I find myself shuffling back and forth between three particular cards. One says "Asian", one says "Chinese", and the last one says, "Female". So that's it huh? Those are the three. But which is first? Which is most important? And I'm sitting there going how the hell am I supposed to be able to do this? Cram my whole life and whole life experience into a notecard with my rather neat handwriting spelling out these 5, 6, and 7 letter words. I'm just so tired of being labeled. But of course since nobody really cared about the activity (sad, I know, if only...) I just sucked it up and picked one. And I cheated a little. You see, I'd done the activity before with my orientation group and had picked "Female" that time, so this time, if my memory serves me correctly, I chose "Chinese". If I'd done it again, I'd probably have picked "Asian".

Because here's what I've realized and what I started realizing again or more or I'm not sure what the right word there is, but in any case, I'm so sick of being stereotyped based on how I look. All of those things you can tell based on a photograph of me (Ok, admittedly some people think I'm Korean though I don't actually know how they get there...). "You're so Asian." "You're only saying that cuz you're a girl." Here's the thing though, no one says I do something because I'm Chinese. Maybe that's why I chose Chinese over Asian the second time. (Of course, maybe it was just random, but I'm trying to make a point here). I don't know if people notice this but Asia is HUGE. And I know that now, "Asian" is pretty much synonymnous with "East Asian" but that's kinda harsh on the rest of the Asians. Everyone seems to know what being Asian means for me, and whether this is true or not, I can actually say that not everyone knows what it means to me that I'm Chinese, or rather Chinese-American. I'm not just being a nitpick, it's an important distinction. But again, another story. So here's my big problem. Everyone looks at me and goes Asian, female, maybe they throw in short just for kicks. But what does that mean? I can guess what they think it means off of the stereotypes but can you honestly bottle me up into two or three words?? You didn't even get to ethnicity, or personality, and I know that you just assumed I was straight.

Stop it. (This isn't just a message to you, it's one to me too.) Stop assigning words to people like you know them just by looking.

I mean, if that were true then we'd all be so damn similar I think we'd hate each other with more hate than (sadly) already exists in the world. And sure, sterotypes exist for a reason, like I don't already know that. I was good at math in high school; I play piano; hell, I even play violin. But I just don't want you to look at me and go check Asian, check piano, check math, check female, check feminist. Even if it is true, can't you find it our for yourself and stop labeling me? I know it might mean that I won't fit into a nice little box in your brain and you won't fit into your respective one in mine, but I'll argue with you any day that it'll be totally worth it.

*Edit: Just realized that for all my talk of being Chinese, I did name the blog Tickle Me Asian. So what does that say about me? Still preaching to myself. And old habits die hard. And society has way too much power over my life still.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

invisible monsters.

I just finished an amazing book Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk who also wrote Fight Club and I must say I now understand why the friend who recommended it to me said that he needed to recover from it. It's intense and raw in a way you just have to read to understand. It's certainly not a style that everyone will like, but it's one that, during these moments of my life, fit perfectly.

Here's some of my favorite quotes from the book:

-No matter how careful you are, there's going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn't experience it all. There's that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should've been paying attention.

-The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.

-I'm not straight, and I'm not gay. I'm not bisexual. I want out of the labels. I don't want my whole life crammed into a single word. A story. I want to find something else, unknowable, some place to be that's not on the map. A real adventure.