And I was having a good time… you damn racist

I went out with some of my new friends that I made in Michigan.

I was out in Royal Oak, the supposed “rittenhouse” and yuppie area of Michigan.

Yah right.

I was out there, we were at a bar and restaurant. This dude who was WHITE came in with a fro, told us it was with his company, cuz they were doing an “event” (not sure why it had to be a fro???),  but he was sitting next to us.

He asked us why I was there, I said I was new around the area. He said, why? I said my husband was a doctor and I just moved from the East Coast. He said his brother was also a doctor from this small hospital in Michigan. I was like, ok, great. I can’t even remember what happened next, but very quickly, he said I was Asian. I said I’m very aware that I am. Then he called me black. (WTF?!?!? I’m ASIAN, BUT how am I BLACK???). Then he proceeded to tell me that I don’t belong around here. And before I could even defend myself, he walked off. To tell the next few people in the restaurant loudly that I don’t belong there.
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I never thought of myself of a hard core Democrat… or even a “Liberal”…

Today, I was doing some routine grocery shopping, yes, in that suburbian looking SUV of mine… shopping in these ridiculously stepford wives looking areas…

I walk into a grocery store… and I lift an eyebrow as I walk past a sign saying “Impeach Obama”.

I finish my shopping, and now there is a guy standing there. A young Caucasian male with another young African American woman. I’m loading my groceries into my car trunk, and then the start waving at me and my husband. They were waving and saying hi to us. I was not in the mood.
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Pop?

I’ve heard about this controversy before, but never had I actually lived in it.

Occasionally, I will have friends that have just moved from the Midwest and when they order a soda/fountain drink, they’ll call it pop. Usually the group laughs and makes some funny remark, we give our friend(s) a slap on the back or a high five. But pretty soon, the friends are all calling it soda or fountain drink.

Now, I’m in an overwhelming population that terms it “pop”. And there’s no assimilation about to happen here, because everyone around them also calls it “pop”!

Initially, I was at a restaurant, and the lady asked me if I wanted a pop. Now there is this recent drink gaining more and more fame. It’s a liquor mixed cocktail, topped off with pop rocks, yup, that’s right, like when-we-were-kids-pop-rocks. They coat the glass rim with pop rocks and then they also add some pop rocks into the bottom of the drink, and you’ve got bubbling sugar. Pretty tasty, actually.
So here I was, in a restaurant with some children around the table. Because as soon as she asked me, I was like, umm, this is a family dinner, are you asking me to order pop rocks in my cocktail and take it to the next level?? I had already ordered a cocktail, so I thought she was asking if I wanted to add pop rocks to it. Not that it’s indecent to add pop rocks, but it’s kind of a more festive, going out at night kinda thing. I kinda look at her, lost for words. She looks at me blankly, like this is just any normal day in the world. I look around my table, and my family and friends seem completely unperturbed and they continue to look at their menus. I take an unusually long time to finally regain my bearings. I look around the table and saw that some people had ordered sodas, I finally realized she was asking me if, in addition to my cocktail, I wanted another soda drink…. Ohhhh…..

So much for the pop rocks drink idea…
This was a good drink mix:(try it at home! It’s quite fun! and works for the holiday colors and holiday cheer!!! Of course do it only in adult company, or else it really confuses the kids… “Mommy! I want that Pop Rocks drink, too!” ……. awkward……..)

Rum + Triple Sec + Flavored Liquor    <— Rim with Pop rocks and add pop rocks (you can match your pop rocks flavor to your liquor flavor. hahah)

*Edit: It was actually extremely difficult to find an image of “soda” when you look up “pop” in the search engine. Maybe 10% of the images were of “pop” as a beverage/soft drink. But the other 90% of the images were like pop music, pop rocks, pop (the sound), popcorn (pop secret), lollipops, cake pops, blow pops, etc etc… But if you type “soda” into the search engine for images, it’s all about the Coca Cola and Pepsi products plus many many more…. interesting. Even Google Search has a preference for using Soda over Pop… (maybe it’s because it’s also on the coast? Apparently coastal regions use the word “soda”. Or it could be the population that uses Google search engine more frequently calls it soda? Or probably because soda solely means… soda… while pop can mean many other things.)
** See also demographic and geographical maps about the distribution of who/where calls it “Soda”, “Pop”,  or “Coke”.

Where did all the restaurants go?!?!

I wanted to go with my husband to Saturday brunch tomorrow. Simple. Easy. No sweat. Everyone does it, and it’s so common, right?

NO!

Apparently, only ONE place offer brunch, and apparently it’s also only on Sunday. What?! Where is the brunch businesses?? Why isn’t anyone eating/demanding brunch service?

Apparently, it’s been a trend that has only been heavily wide spread in the last 5 years around NYC and Philadelphia and Boston. But Michigan is in the same time zone, EST… so why hasn’t the wild fire spread here yet?

Fine. It’s Friday afternoon, and Maybe they’ll have some restaurants with some outdoor seating with heat-lamps. You know, like the ones at Rouge or Parc or Farmers~!

Nope, they stop seating outdoors once September comes. “You’re 4 months too late!” they say. UGH~ what?! with heat lamps you can sit there till the middle of February! (Minus the time that Philadelphia had 60+ inches of snow and no money to plow the snow, and SEPTA (our buses and trains and subway) decides, at the same time, to throw a fit and go on strike. cry-babies…)

Alright, fine. We’ll sit indoors, and we won’t go to brunch, we’ll go to the normal lunch. Wait, no lunches available on Saturdays either. OMG. FINE. We’ll just go to the normal person dinner then! Let’s find us some restaurants! 🙂

If you are looking for a way to quickly find a list of restaurants (for whatever purposes: dinner, happy hour, lunch, brunch, etc), I’d highly recommend you pull the city’s Restaurant Week roster. This usually will give you about 80% of the nice restaurants in town. The other 20%  will either come on board next year or have a big nose that they stick  in the air and don’t care to join in. (Yes yes, I agree that Restaurant Week is a nightmare and the patrons are horrible. I personally DON’T participate in Restaurant Week, I just use the list… haha). Oh, and you ask why the other 20% will probably come on board next year? Because since the bad economy hit in 2007-2008, restaurant businesses have been losing a lot of money. If you notice the trends, you’ll see that restaurants that used to be too upp-ity to join restaurant week or Center City Sips, now have joined. In addition, MANY restaurants have regular daily happy hours and many places have ADDITIONAL specials for Mondays and Tuesdays (these are the famous dead days in the service industry, service industry including bars and restaurants).

Anyhow… I digress. My point is, let’s go pull up Michigan’s Restaurant Week. Let’s look at their downtown, where some of the best restaurants in the state are located. Apparently, they also have a few Iron Chef restaurants that reside here. Getting excited! The list, ladies and gentleman…(drumroll, please!)…… 20 restaurants.
WHAT?! is there another secret list that I don’t know of? (and I’ve already been to 10+ of the 20…) Some of them are just burger joints. I’m dying here. What happened to a list of over 200 restaurants? ok, fine, 100? no… fine, 50? Nope… 21 restaurants. 😦

I will STARVE out here!!!

Someone please mail order me some gourmet food!!!!

Let it snow Let it snow…

I’m in the tundra…

It’s been snowing since last night and it’s still snowing and it’s already noon here. WHERE IS THE SUN?!

I just checked the temperature for today. It’s supposed to be about 19F here in Michigan tonight and I’m supposed to go to a formal holiday party. Say What?!

It’s currently in the 50F’s in Philadelphia. I still have so many of my 40F-50F outfits that I haven’t worn yet, and Michigan has already sped up it’s snowmakers… and it’s now in the teens?! I did not expect this! I was still dilly dallying in my peep-toe shoes and mid-heavy jackets. Yes, we have seasons on the East Coast.

That probably answers why a week ago when I went to dinner with my girl friend (out of the total of 2 friends I currently have in Michigan), she told me to get into boots instead of my peep-toe heels. To which is laughed, “What? Wear boots to a girls’ dinner out in November? Please!”

Ok, I see what she means, there is obviously no autumn here. I still have yet to wear skirts and dresses with boots… Oh c’mon, you know what I mean! It’s when the weather is cold enough to wear boots, but still warm enough that you can wear a skirt/dress without having to wear leggings underneath the dress and boots. Right? Can I get an Amen?

Ok, hopefully I’m not the only one who calculates weather and depends heavily on the gradient of the weather for trying out different combinations of outfits. (Men, that’s why we need so many different coats, shoes, clothes in general. Our wardrobe season spans much more than just the summer and winter. We also have cool summer, hot summer, early spring, wet spring, windy spring, overly hot spring, early autumn end of summer, crisp autumn, warm autumn, cold autumn, sunny but cold winter, gloomy winter, snowy winter, freezing look-like-a-marshmellow winter, sunny and warm winter, etc etc…)  But this morning, looking at the piles of snow in Michigan makes me realize that I may need to:

1. Put away my late autumn early winter wardrobe, fitted for the only the East Coast.

or

2. Hurry and quickly wear those early winter (still slightly warm) outfits before it gets colder (apparently it gets worse around here. omg…) and even though it’s gonna be a bit cold, I need to just suck it up and get through it. Live in my own East Coast winter…

I choose 2.

(Wow, I feel really shallow that I had such a long inner dialogue just about the clothes regarding the mini-seasons*.)

*mini-seasons: my new term that describes the in between seasons from the major four (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter). See above for more detailed breakdown.

And now… how to pump gas…

So no matter if you’re driving around NYC or Philadelphia, you always… and I mean ALWAYS gas up in New Jersey. Why? Because on average, NJ gas is about 40-50 cents cheaper. Yes, I know we’ll have to pay for all those bridge tolls and NJ turnpike is a nightmare… but still, when we make that NJ trip, we fill up our gas tanks and get some groceries in their huge Wegmans and go shop in their crazy malls. Free clothes tax, remember?

So the cheap gas is why we fill up in NJ, but there is another thing that is an added on bonus…. FREE SERVICE GAS STATIONS!! Actually, it’s not always the best thing. If you open up your door, you WILL get yelled at by the gas station attendants. Apparently, it is the NJ law that all gas stations are full service. It is also the law that a customer CANNOT pump their own gas (I’m not complaining~!).

So… after being completely spoiled with not only cheap gas but also someone pumping your gas all the time… I realize that I don’t know how to pump gas. (Taiwan gas stations are also full service).

I’m in Michigan now, and there is no more full service gas stations. I have been struggling. Like I forgot to open my gas tank cover as I got out the car today, and I did the whole swipe your credit card thing. Then I got the nozzle (which took me a few times to figure out how to unhook) and realized I needed to open my car door, to get to my gas tank door button thing. So with the nozzle in hand, I ballerina over the hose, open the open door, pull the tank door, close my car door, all the while dripping gas…. gross.

And it’s COLD now, too! It’s freezing!

So now… I have pumped my own gas… twice. Yessss!

As I drive out of the gas station, I look at the high non-NJ prices, and am really sad that I can no longer sit in my warm car, as I roll the window or crack the door to say “Regular” or “Premium” and hand them my credit card as I wait for the tank to fill.

I came home kind of sad today. But then again, I remember that I’m really just doing what the rest of the 49 states are doing, freeze while gassing. Just decades later than most.

Why do guys like long hair?

There is something about the long hair on a woman that men love… and can’t stop loving.

Sure, the occasional celebrity scores a bob or an above the shoulder cut and still is deemed hot, if not even hotter (re: Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman, Katie Holmes).

But for us “common folk”, it seems like long hair is the way to go, and short hair is the way to lose a guy. (I’m talking the 85%… Gals with stunning bobs no need to be offended and can stop reading here if need be…)

So why is it that guys like long hair more than short hair? And it’s not even just long hair in a bun or ponytail… it’s long hair let down… That’s right. All that hair, untied, not pulled back, blowing in the wind, getting in our faces and having strands stick out centrifugally from our faces… You can’t even hardcore hairspray that “let your hair all down” look… since it needs to “sway” and “blow” and “move” naturally. And of course… the hair flip…

So why long hair, and especially the all let down look? Here are a few reasons I’ve heard.

1. So it doesn’t feel like I’m dating a dude.

My rebuttal: what?!?!?! Does my FACE look like a dude’s? Or that mascara that I use? Or the lips that I have? Hello!! And besides, just because a woman gets a short hairdo, her haircut is usually different than that of a dude’s. Does Katie Holmes haircut look like Brad Pitt’s? Didn’t think so. (Although I can think of many men (read: Justin Beiber?) that have haircuts like Katie Holmes… just sayin…)

2. I can’t play with her hair.

My rebuttal: Aw.. how sweet. Um, we’re not in 2nd grade here. If you’re talking about braiding our hair, that’s just creepy. If you’re talking about pushing the hair out of our eyes, or maybe tucking that lose strand of hair behind our ears… we’re not BALD, we just have shorter hair! And we have bangs, so you can push that hair and tuck that strand. You say, so I can run my fingers through her hair! Ok, we girls “run our fingers through YOUR hair” as well… and sometimes all you give us is a buzzed army cut! but We make due!

3. It just looks more feminine.

My rebuttal: Ok, while I can pull up many many examples on google images showing women that look much more feminine and sophisticated with their short hair looks, I can understand this misunderstanding. Long hair is the thing that many men think differentiate the male to the female (nevermind the lumps on our chest or our softer skin or our different facial features, lack of the adam’s apple, softer/higher voices, etc etc). But truth be told, many women look childish and young with long hair, and especially when it’s all let down, the hair looks messy, she looks unenergetic, unprofessional, etc etc. So the short hair helps some women with looking more sophisticated, and some to look more professional (so they’re taken more seriously at work in a man’s world… read: irony).

4. But the long hair can’t be too long.

My alarming shock: WHAT?! How demanding can you men be regarding our personal head of hair?! You want it to be long, but not too long. So it needs to be past the shoulders (at least), best if it’s a few inches past. But it definitely should not be long to the butt (or even touch the top of the lower back). You guys are crazy. So too long looks childish and unsexy to the men. Interesting. And too short also looks unattractive. So really… you men like: middle ranged hair.

 

Well, I’ve had long hair (never had the patience to go past the lower back), and short hair (bob style! yay!). I’ve had that middle neck /on the shoulder length. And also had it straight and curled. I honestly think that though men have a “preference” (albeit odd but the majority), I will say that a women’s attractiveness is not all in her hair. So whether you have long hair or short hair, a real man who is really worth your time will see that you’re beautiful as you are and see you as a person worth getting to know. Not write you off because your hair is a few millimeters off his range standard.

And so should you keep your long hair and resist that urge to try out that stylish bob (like on Katie Holmes)? Or should you resist that urge to trim your hair because now you want to grow it out?

Nope. I think you should do what you want with your hair. Try out that bob or keep your short hair. If you love the way you look, people can see that. And I promise you, that’s way more attractive and alluring than the “long, let your hair down, hair flip, flip flip flip” look.