Asianwhitie's Blog











Being a Korean adopted by Caucasian parents has always been one of those great conversation starters. People always seem to have this curiosity, like I am some exotic person from this mythical place or maybe creepy men just use my Asianess to use some really crappy pick up lines. Or in some cases, I think people are just outright confused on how this Asian person has this heavy Midwestern accent and why mom and dad look about as apple-pie American as June and Ward Cleaver and daughter looks more like Psy. Sometimes, even I forget that I am this Iowa-accented Korean with a white family and just think of me as me, which I think, as Martha Stewart would say, is a very good thing.

But, like most things, someone always has to come and not-so-subtly remind me that I am not this unassuming American Seoul who is just minding my own business (and avoiding all pervy references to Full Metal Jacket). So today, at my real job (the one that pays the bills), the UPS guy who I had met the day before comes in looking for me. This dude actually interrupts a meeting one of my co-workers is having and asks him if he has seen the tall, skinny, Oriental girl at the front. Lots of things wrong with this narrative. For starters, Oriental is about as outdated as Doc Martins. Secondly, I am nowhere near tall, not even in a pair of good stilettos. And I am glad he at least thinks I am skinny. Then Mr. UPS proceeds to ask my co-worker, “I think her name is Chang, it’s Chang, right?” Um, last time I checked Stefanie and Chang don’t sound anything alike. And Chang would be Chinese and according to my birth certificate, I would be Korean. Talk about probably having a bad case of yellow fever or some weird Miss Saigon fetish. I mean, Chang is really the best he could come up with?

Lucky for him, I am pretty good humored and not easily offended so instead of wanting to go all Jet Li on him, I just laughed off the situation. But it is a reminder that there are people out there who lump all Asian people in one category. But that is a conversation for another day. In the meantime, maybe Mr. UPS will figure out that my name sounds more Valley Girl and not something synonymous to a certain popular Chinese chain restaurant.



I feel like lately that race issues, discussions, controversies, etc, have dominated the news cycle. As a general rule, I tend to keep my opinions and feelings about racial topics to myself, seeing that the subject can cause quite a stir among people. But I have thought about it lately, and I realize my true reason for staying silent in these discussions. As a Korean person raised in a Caucasian family, I think I have always felt very torn when it comes to race and rather uncomfortable sharing my feelings (imagine the opinionated loudmouth having a silent moment). So I decided to share some of my feelings, without a sharp tongue, sarcasm and giving some insight into some of my hopefully thought-provoking views.

It seems like most race conversations usually come from a Black and White perspective so maybe I don’t quite know where I fit into the dialogue. As an Asian person (and 3% of the population or something like that), I don’t fall into either category but I think as a minority raised in a majority family, I can see both points of the issues. I can’t deny my Asianess, as it’s pretty obvious when you look at me, but I can’t deny being raised in a White family, that’s pretty obvious by a family photo. I almost feel like an in-between, so to speak. And as a self-called in-between, I think I largely stay silent because I find a lot of the comments from these conversations to be hurtful and uncomfortable on both sides.

What exactly do I find hurtful? I think being an “in-between”, I feel people sometimes think it’s okay to make disparaging remarks about  certain people because I don’t fall neatly into a certain category. Because I am not Caucasian, I have had several non-Caucasian people make comments to me about how White people are racist and and awful, perhaps not realizing that I was raised in a White family and have a White husband. That actually really bothers me a lot and really hurts. To make that assumption is just thoughtless, careless and completely unfair. Unless my family/husband/friends have shown themselves to be racist, you need to otherwise can it around me. But on the flip side, I have had Caucasian people, even people in my close inner circle (friends, family, etc) make comments about other minority groups, thinking it is okay because I am not in that group. That actually really upsets me as well, because I do feel in the back of my mind, “What would you think of me if I wasn’t your family member, friend, etc. Would you maybe lump me in a group of ill-stereotypes about Asians?” Just because you see something on the news, internet, etc, about a certain group of people, doesn’t mean all people fit into that category so please don’t repeat stereotypes/comments around me. It’s about as uncomfortable as drinking a mixture of pickle juice, Sirachi sauce and soy sauce in one swig.

Well, I lied when I said I wouldn’t insert snarky sarcasm but for the most part, I tried to be good. To end on this note and commemorating the recent 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and the great Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” I hope one day these discussions become something of the past and all people learn to embrace each other without judgement, stereotypes, resentment, hate and just learn to love everyone equally.



I know I keep saying that I am done blogging about politics and current news but just when everything seems to calm down, well, as they say in Airplane, “This is where the s%&t hits the fan.”

Seems like no matter what the scoop of the day is (ie: the Zimmerman trial, Rick Perry announcing that he won’t rerun for governor, anything Bush/Obama) you know that the feedback is going to be the equivalent of being around a bunch of bratty kids on a playground. “Georgie’s an idiot,” “Barry is a liar,” “Ricky is a meanie.” Sometimes, news/politics nowadays reminds me of a bad 80’s date movie (cue the music to Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, that former nerd-turned-hottie Anthony Michael Hall…) Here are a few reasons why:

That Coming of Age Awkwardness:

I know sometimes people think that I have no opinion or am a fence straddler about current events and politics (not true, I actually have a lot of opinions) but quite frankly, it’s almost always awkward and never fun to have political conversations with most people these days. It feels like being that nerdy kid that has to take gym class with all the beefy, cool jocks. Awkward, awkward, awkward.

Turning Into a Stuttering, Blithering Idiot:

Sometimes when you want to put your two cents in, it’s like the first time Mr. Shy Guy tries to ask the Pretty Girl out on a date (think Sixteen Candles or some variation of that). You start clamming up, stuttering, just really don’t know what to say. You feel like no matter what, you are going to say the wrong thing and get laughed at or rejected.

Rooting for the Underdog:

I have to admit that I always had a soft spot for Duckie in Pretty in Pink. He was all about Andie and she chose preppy, yuppy Blane. Sometimes, when (fill in the blank) politician is constantly being bashed, you want to jump in and defend that person, even if you don’t necessarily agree with some or any of their views for that matter. It’s almost like seeing the nerdy kid get bullied by getting constant wedgies. I confess that I have almost taken the whole rooting for the underdog thing to the next level. Like during last year’s election, I thought about telling supporters on both sides that I voted for the other person, if I heard them start to unnecessarily bash the other candidate (of course, what I really did will remain my and my husband’s secret.)

The Petty, the Bad and the Outright Jerk-Like:

Of course, what is an 80’s movie without that jerk guy who has nothing nice to say (ie: Biff in Back to the Future calling everyone a butthead). You see, it seems that petty name-calling is definitely prevalent in the news/politics cycle these days. Except butthead would actually be considered pretty tame by today’s standards.

 



For a pause tonight, I actually almost thought about expressing my thoughts sans the occasional profanity slip, snarky comments, joky jokes, biting sarcasm but then I thought, what the hey, how much fun would that actually be? But in all serious, there has been a lot going in FB world, the news, Yahoo comment land that provoked some real and serious (for a change) deep thoughts.

First up, the whole Paula Deen debacle. No need to get into specifics since it’s been blasted on TV, the internet, FB so I am pretty sure everyone knows the greasy and dirty details of the story. But I have two schools of thought on this issue. My first gripe (I mean, insightful thought) is this whole, “Well, why is everyone mad at Paula Deen for saying the _____ word when rappers, athletes, black people, etc. say it. It’s not fair, blah blah blah.” To me, that is just a dumb argument. I will use the old saying your parents used to say, “Well, if everyone else jumped off a cliff, does that mean you should, too?” I mean, what happened to worrying about yourself, does it matter what everyone else does or doesn’t do? My second thought on all this is this notion of whether or not we tend to chastise and crucify people when they make mistakes or say or do something wrong. I mean, I hate to think of what people would say if they knew half of the stuff I have said in my past. To put it bluntly, a whole store of Dial soap might not wash away some of the not nice things I have probably said. And I think if we were to record ourselves for a good part of our lives, pretty much everyone has said something hateful, derogatory, jerk-like. The second part of that second thought is, I wonder if we are hypocritical for lambasting someone for what they say? It’s funny how you see people on FB raking someone over the coals for being an a-hole but then they turn around and bash someone who doesn’t share their opinion. Yeah, you are really an Apple Pie American with such a charming disposition and so consistent as well.

Of course, lots of stuff in the political world. Again, no need to go into specifics but it’s crazy how so partisan and hateful people have become (on all sides of the political aisle). I have always prided myself that I am able to get to know people who have different opinions than me. Whether I agree or disagree, I can always respect a thoughtful and insightful opinion, sans hateful language and childish name-calling. But it seems in the past couple of years, there is this lactose intolerant type of discomfort talking politics with even some people in my close inner circle. When someone starts out a sentence with Bush, Obama, MSNBC, Fox News, it’s almost like getting morning sickness but you’re not pregnant because most of the time what comes next is either something angry, hateful, gloating and just flat out mean. And speaking of our two most recent presidents, forget saying something nice about either of them to the wrong person, it’s like getting put up in front of a firing squad without the blindfold on. After all this, I practically tearing apart the medicine cabinet for some nausea relief.

Well, this is longer than I usually write and not quite as humor-filled (if anyone actually thinks I’m funny besides me). That was a joke, maybe not my personal best. But in all seriousness, it is a sad world when people have become that hateful, hypocritical, non-forgiving, angry….I have to say I love that I know different people and not everyone has the same opinion me. I mean, how boring would that be? I don’t want to like movies or TV shows with actors/actresses that have the same politics as me. I don’t want a bunch of carbon copies of me, I would personally get tired of me after a while. Just some of my quiet thoughts and I hope I didn’t make anyone bash their computer or make a run for their nearest medicine cabinet.

 



{May 28, 2013}   It’s All In the Family

There’s an old saying that goes something like this, “There are just some things that you can’t make up.” Like tonight while perusing the internet, I happened upon a story about a father in Virginia who was accused of kidnapping his own kids. A little background into the story, the father is white and his wife is black so his children are biracial. The father went into WalMart with his kids and WalMart security (per a concerned customer supposedly) thought the family didn’t match or some crazy stuff like that. Here is the actual link to the article:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/white-dad-falsely-accused-kidnapping-biracial-daughters-walmart-shopping-trip-article-1.1351429?localLinksEnabled=false. Well, after reading some of the enlightened commentary in the comment section, I guess some people think this is a case of the family being sensitive much. Growing up as a Korean with white parents and now being married to a white husband, I never had anything to this extent but I did have my share of genius comments from people. Here are just a few of the real winners:

1. If your parents are white, how did you end up looking like Asian?

Yes, I really did have someone ask me this. I guess if I saw parents with children of a different ethnicity, I would automatically assume they were adopted or biracial. Silly goose me, I suppose.

3. But you don’t look like your parents (insert confused face). – when explaining for the umpteenth time that I have white parents to someone who doesn’t understand that I’m adopted.

Well, last I checked, you don’t have the same three-bump nose as your dad or the same cauliflower ears as your mom and yet, I never asked you why you don’t look like your parents.

2. Are you all together? – what happens when my family and I are waiting for a table at a restaurant and we happen to be next to an Asian family. Hostess assumes I am with the Asian family. Guess the hostess didn’t hear me loudly call the bald, white guy next to me “Dad” several times and see me give him a hug.

3. Who is that white lady? followed by “Your mom is a white lady?” – what a boss of mine said when my mom came up to work to meet me for lunch

Okay, when people say stuff like this, it’s cute and funny the first couple of times but it gets old (and I don’t mean like fine aged cheese or wine) after a while having to explain why my parents are white and why they have Korean children.

4. What do your Asian parents think about you marrying a white guy? – real question from a former co-worker when he saw my wedding pictures

In all fairness, I don’t think my co-worker remembered me telling him that my parents were white Iowans but either way, does it matter? I mean, come on, not all Asian parents are tiger moms and dads that insist on their kids marrying a fellow Asian. Luckily, I haven’t had that question too often.

So I don’t know if the family was being sensitive or not because someone thought it was a good idea to call the police on them for suspicion of kidnapping. But for all of those who think it’s no big deal and that they are overreacting, let me ask you this: Wouldn’t you get a little bored and annoyed after a while if something that seemed normal to you (like a loving interracial and/or biracial family or marriage) was constantly the topic of stupid comments and questions. Just a thought to ponder on…

 



It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I wish I had a good excuse for not writing (ie: I became a superhero, I went off to Neverland, I won the lottery and gave my whole three followers the big Sayanara) but the truth is I have just been lazy. Well, like all things in life, I have been motivated to spout (aka: have an unfiltered piehole). So, what has prompted me to get runaway keyboard? I thought with the election being over months ago, people would go back to their normal, boring, crappy lives. But no, FB has lit up like a Christmas tree, probably due to the Bush Library dedication in Dallas. So here it goes again, just some more reasons why FB and politics go together about as well plaid Bermuda shorts and a Hello Kitty tube top. Note, I am using Bush and Obama as examples only because they are our most recent presidents and seem to be the ones that get people’s thongs in a wad.

The Hateful Factor:

I get it, you hate Obama, you hate Bush, you hate (fill in the blank). Well, maybe I hate your mom, I hate your bratty kids, I hate your ugly dog/ratty cat/other pets and I really hate your stupid peacock hairdo. See, I sound like a real a-hole. Just something to think about when being a hater.

The Name-Calling Factor:

So you think Obama is a communist/socialist or you think Bush is a dumbass and you think both of their wives are way fugly?  Well, I think you walk like a rhino and laugh like a dolphin. And did I mention, your smile reminds of something between the cross of a donkey and elephant. Name-calling, obviously not cool.

The Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy Factor:

Yes, I know you are sooooo happy Obama won and Romney lost. I get you are waaaay happy Bush had a library dedicated to him. But do you really have to gloat on FB about it? I mean, I’m happy I didn’t fall on my ass at work (again). I’m happy the cat didn’t crap outside his litter box on my tile floor. I’m happy that Panda Express still makes orange chicken. Anywho, enough happy happy already.

The What Happened to Being Nice Factor:

This kind of goes back to a previous post about the movie Bambi and Thumper’s mom telling Thumper if he had nothing nice to say, maybe he needed to can his piehole. If you can’t find a single nice thing to say about someone (Bush and/Obama or whoever), well, let’s just say hearing constant negative comments about certain politicians is about as pleasant as getting stomped in the butt with a high-heeled shoe for a hour straight.

The Exception Factor:

When all else fails, there is still a few people out there in FB world that give me hope (you know who you are). They are the people that are not partisan and have had positive things to say about politicians on both sides of the aisle. Since there are still a few of those left, I guess I have no need to shut my FB account down and move to Antarctica, where there is no FB or internet but not a whole lot else, either.

 

 



So tomorrow is that time of year that is commonly known as the day that retailers, jewelry stores, florists and your local TT (aka: Tom Thumb) go ka-ching , ka-ching, ka-ching. Yes, it is Valentine’s Day, which means sweeties and honeys profess their love for each other with store bought heart-shaped chocolates, whatever flowers are on sale and dinner at that overly priced restaurant that you know you wouldn’t step foot into any of the other 364 days in the year. For single guys and gals, V-Day might either royally suck or be a day to rejoice not having to spend money on half-dead flowers and crappy chocolates. Whether you are happily hitched or happily solo, here are just a tips from yours truly on how to not become an old cat lady or an old dog like Hugh Hefner.

1. Ladies, being needy and whiny like a lap dog is not cute. Ever. Affection and quirkiness is adorable and infectious, but being a pain in the ass and naggy is not going to win you brownie points with a guy. Think German Shepherd (ie: loyal, loving but can fend for itself) and not Chihuahua (ie: needs to be carried everywhere, yappy, annoying).

2. Fellas, don’t be a tool. Lame pickup lines are not sexy or charming, in fact, they make you look like a desperate douche. Despite what reality TV and movies tell you, there are plenty of women out there who love dorky, awshucks types of guys. So, don’t force yourself to be some GQ suave type of character. You won’t be getting digits or dates, for that matter.

3. Guys do not like chick flicks. If a guy tells you, “Yes, I will gladly watch ‘Titanic’ or ‘The Notebook’ with you,” chances are you will be stuck watching “GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra” or “Transformers” at a later date.

4. I will fess up to laughing at the “Naked Gun” and “Airplane” movies but fart and burp jokes only get so many laughs. So eventually, dudes just have to grow out of thinking that juvenile behavior is going to get ladies swooning over you.

5. This applies to both guys and gals. Don’t try to change someone, they are not play-doh that you can mold into what you want. Do you want someone pointing out your little annoying habits and trying to make you some perfect little Ken or Barbie doll? Didn’t think so.

6. Remember, reality bites. No dude or chick is going to be a prince or princess all the time, if ever. If you are frustrated by your significant others inability to be perfect all the time, well perhaps you have been watching one too many Disney movies.

 



I’m on Week 4 of my new workout routine, and I can already tell that I am getting ripped, as in not-quite-but-almost-there Tomb Raider/Sarah Connor/Matrix ripped. Okay, maybe I am not that ripped but I am definitely feeling pretty damn good. So, in between my near barf-inducing workouts and crappy gym TV, I had some random musings about working out and the whole healthy lifestyle thing. Here are some of my confessions and thoughts on that:

1. I know they have all these different workout programs now (ie: CrossFit, Insanity, P90X, hot yoga) but I swear that some of the things I see people do in the gym are completely made up. That or some people just like to look really awkward and silly or maybe I just have it completely wrong.

2. I get that the gym can get hot and humid but you will never convince me that wearing butt shorts and cut-off shirts with little cute slogans like ‘I’m hot” or “Princess” really qualifies as appropriate gym attire. Unless you are aiming to look like a gym bunny, in that case, you might as well come in with full make up, matching cutesy gym attire and leisurely lift some 1 pound weights while you are at it.

3. Guys, I know you are trying to impress the ladies but stacking up the weights and lifting them with barely a twitch doesn’t count as lifting weights. That’s right, it really doesn’t so lighten up on the load, He-Man.

4. I am all about healthy eating but let’s be honest. There are times when all your body is screaming for is a Coke Zero with some crappy Panda Express. Really, if I wanted to eat bland and cardboard food all the time, I would eat a pizza box instead of the actual pizza.

5. And speaking of healthy eating, I know some people really do enjoy healthy food. But I can’t stand snobby health nuts that have that “I never poison my body with junk food (pop, sweets, fill in the blank)”. It’s one thing if you like the taste of healthy food, but don’t be a butt about it. Maybe the fact that you never indulge in an occasional treat is the reason you have an a-hole attitude.

6. And one last thought, reading on the iPad and doing cardio do not mix, nuff said on that.



Growing up as a Korean raised by white parents, I remember hearing random and sometimes, outright dumb-ass comments. “Why are your parents white?”, “How come your eyes slant?” and “Why don’t you have an Asian name?” were some of the inquiries that I heard from people who were obvious geniuses (note intense sarcasm). So you can imagine, being a teenager, when your life is already angst-filled with shitty fashion choices, boys that don’t like you and a horribly bad stutter, it’s kind of expected that you’re going to develop some kind of crappy complex. For me, between having obvious Asian looks and a noticeable Midwestern accent, you kind of wonder who you are? When Asian people would shun me for not being Asian enough, I wanted to identify with my white friends and family. When I would hear white people make disparaging comments about minorities, I felt the need to identify more with being Asian. As an adult now, I have obviously outgrown the annoying BS of trying to please people and am perfectly fine with identifying as both Korean and being raised by a white family. Just a few lessons (and growing pains) that came along the way.

1. It’s one thing to temporarily change your looks, it’s another thing to permanently try to make yourself something you are not. Colored contacts and dyed hair can be hot and fun, going under the knife and slicing your eyes up to make them look more Western, probably not so much.

2. Even temporary changes to your appearance can look not-so-cute. No amount of doing my makeup to make it look like I have an eye crease is going to make me have an eyelid, Instead, it just looks like I have a goofy ass line drawn across my eye. And putting on makeup 3 shades lighter than my natural skin tone makes me look like the Joker.

3. Embrace the physical attributes you have. While I might not have a cute button nose and doe eyes with long eyelashes, I am sure there are some people out there who find my camel nose, stubby eyelashes and no-eyelid eyes to be kind of adorable.

4. There is nothing wrong with not being the norm. If Bobby Jindal can have a Louisiana accent, then I sure as hell can have a Midwestern accent.

 

 

 



It’s 2013 and of course, with the New Year, brings in all the crappy resolutions and promises that most people won’t keep. Just a quick blurb, in 2012, we survived one bugger of an election and the Mayans’ prediction was wrong wrong wrong (did you really expect it to be the end of the world?) Well, with much deep thought and sarcasm, as always, I have decided to come up with my own list of resolutions for the New Year and lessons I learned in 2012.

Resolution #1: Take down the singing a notch, especially at work. I am sure my office neighbor is sick of hearing the same songs from Miss Saigon for the umpteenth time.

Lesson Learned #1: Never interject your opinion when family members are having a fight on FB. You don’t want to sound like the b-word and I don’t mean bubbly or brilliant.

Resolution #2: Stop doing the same old, predictable workouts at the gym. Can’t complain about having broccoli arms and chopstick legs if I don’t step things up a notch.

Lesson Learned #2: Being unfiltered and honest is a good thing. Being an a-hole with a big mouth, not so much. Just ask Rush Limbaugh or Bill Maher.

Resolution #3: Learn Korean, I am Korean after all, duh! And no, listening to Miss Saigon in Korean doesn’t count, either.



et cetera
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