Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chopsticks 102: Things My Mother Said This Week

(To my 4 month old puppy) “Hurry and have babies! Grandma will help you deliver and then I’ll take one and it will be so much more well-mannered than you!”

“You know he’s only with you because you’re young but soon he’ll realize you’re going to get old and fat and then he’ll be stingy with his money and never let you buy anything!”

“Make sure to eat less! Or better, don’t eat at all!”

“Why did you make my granddaughter so ugly? You know your aunt is visiting in two weeks! Grow faster! Grow faster!” To the dog.

“Why can’t you lose weight? You’re so young but you look like an old lady! What’s going to happen when you get older? There’s no such thing as ugly girls only lazy girls!”

(My brother got a Mr. T haircut so we tried to teach my mother to say "I pity the fool!")
"I pidy what? I pidy food? What I want food for? What food! Why you eat food?"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ricebowl 105: Interview Tips

My brother is going off to college in the fall at a certain UC that also happens to be my alumni. Since he’s intent on becoming a doctor (“You make a lot of money!”) and has been interning at hospitals, I suggested he get a job at a local hospital or in the medical science department to earn money. He informed me during a car ride that he already had hook ups for an interview at the University’s Law School department. Enlightenment ensues.

“So yea, I’ve been practicing interview questions!”

“Oh yea? So you need help? I can run you through some questions. Let’s see, give me an example of when you’ve faced some obstacle and how you overcame it.”
“Oh man, last week that spider! I totally rescued our whole family by killing that tarantula and making sure it didn’t kill us all! Dude, that was totally an obstacle!"

“…something that has to do with  your school work or career. That spider was tiny and it was your fault for coming home at 1AM.”


“Okay, let’s try something else. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

“Easy. With your job, with more pay and with your girlfriend- oh yeaaaaaaaa!”


My bf dryly interjects at this point.

“It’s his first job. I don’t think they’re going to ask him anything that in depth. I think he’s safe.”

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ricebowl 104: Feng Shui

My brother Tom has a great sense of humor. He’s funny, entertaining and is the life of any party or road trip. But he’s also just plain disgusting when it comes to the rules of basic living hygiene. And no, I’m not talking about brushing your teeth or deodorant (although may God have mercy on the soul of whoever thought Axe was a brilliant invention for teens), I’m talking about stuff like throwing the trash away in the trashcan (3 feet away) or taking the leftover dishes out of his room (crusted with cheese from a week ago). If all his cups are dirty, he’ll go out and buy a sweet tea at McDonald’s. Eventually, when he goes to college, I’m sure he’ll be the kid that would rather buy underwear than do laundry. You know, that kid.

His room is a conglomerated mess of weights, dirty basketball clothes, books, test papers, fast food bags, Gatorade bottles and more. It’s gotten to the point where when my dad attempted to push the door open to vacuum on Sunday, he could no longer free a route to the power outlet anymore. We decided to turn to my mother, the unnamed Dragonlady of the house.

Marching herself up to her door (she was brave enough not to wear protective gear), she demanded that he start cleaning. After a 15 minute lecture (to her) about how important his schoolwork was to his grades and how he couldn’t possibly spend the time cleaning, she gave up and left.

The mess grew and shrank, grew and shrank (depending on laundry day) and finally she couldn’t take it any longer. She broke down, went to his room and started to grab books off the floor.

“Mom! Stop it! You’re messing with my Feng Shui!”

That’s it, kids. From now on, if you don’t want to clean your room, just quote the king of dirty dishes. ‘Cause if it’s Feng Shui, it can’t be wrong.

Ricebowl 103: Why uncle V is not allowed at weddings.

Uncle Victor is one of my best inspirations for crazy family stories. The man is not crazy by far, oh no. He’s exuberant, full of life and altogether a very dominating man. He’s the type that walks into a party and you’ll know he’s there all right- huge laugh and all. However, in that same dominating way, he also tends to have a one track mind, straight as the crow flies. Aunt Cee is the opposite in many ways- small, collected, graceful. Her authority comes from a sharp mind (and tongue) but not so much in the yelling, hollering, 10 decibels-higher-than-you way.

Aunt Cee has a best friend who happens to live with her extended family in Texas. (I’m picturing Henry Cho, are you?) Apparently the size of the town is so small that when a wedding happens, the whole town gets invited! Sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Aunt Cee with Uncle Victor in tow arrive as guests of honor three days before the glorious Sunday wedding. Being a minor celebrity in the Asian community because of her television commercials on cable, she of course was basked in the glory of “Have you met Cee? Isn’t she gorgeous in person?” and “I can’t believe I’m meeting you!” Uncle Victor was shuffled to the side. (Awww…I know.) There’s a good reason though (at least according to Aunt Cee). After getting rambunctiously drink the night before the wedding and managing to thoroughly embarrass his tiny wife, Uncle Victor was already on eggshells.

“You do ANYTHING between now and our flight and you had better see what I’ll do!”

Apparently puking all over the dinner table hadn’t been all that endearing. Tsk tsk.

Trying to be quiet and as “un-embarrassing” as possible is a pretty boring task at a gigantic wedding. Left all alone with no one he knows, Uncle Victor decided to attach himself to the fewer male counterparts there- namely, the father of the groom. Who was crying quietly into a napkin.

“Be a man! What are you crying for?  You’re not selling him off, you’re just marrying him off!” The groom’s dad was not very consoled. Trying to think of more interesting things to do (and possibly thinking that if he was invited to drink, he could not possibly be blamed for drinking by his wife), Uncle Vee decided to offer the dad a toast.

“Oh I can’t, I have a heart condition.” The father said, pulling out his medication and putting it on the table.

“But you have medicine.”

“Yes, but I have a heart condition.”

“But that’s what the medicine is for. If you eat the medicine, it’s just cure the condition. Otherwise what’s the point of medicine?  So obviously you can drink!”

“…Are you sure you know what you’re talking about?”

Slapping the groom’s father heartedly on the back, he poured him a glass. And then another. About 30 minutes into the wedding reception the father slumped over at the round table, clutching his chest. Seeing as all the local townsmen and even police were at the wedding proved to be a bit inconvenient. The groom’s family was in an uproar, the bride’s family was screaming, the ambulance was on its way. The groom left with his dad in the ambulance, leaving a sobbing, tear-streaked bride at the front door telling everyone between hiccupping sobs, “Thank you, thank you for coming.”

Aunt Cee did  not speak to Uncle Victor for a week after returning to LA from the wedding. In the end, the father was alright and held no grudges, but Uncle Victor is no longer allowed at weddings.