You are currently browsing posts tagged with Hardass Asian Grandmas

AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Lisa Lee And Lynn Chen’s “Thick Dumpling Skin”

February 21st, 2011 | 4 comments | Posted by Diana

In all of my three decades of life, I have never once been skinny.

Now–before you get all up in my grill with the, “Ohmygawd Diana, you’re NOT fat” words of soothing or the “You bitch, don’t talk to me about not being skinny” words of annoyance, please know that I’m not fishing for compliments, nor complaining about my size, nor stating I’ve never been a healthy, normal weight. I’m just saying, I’ve never been skinny.

But Asian girls are supposed to be skinny, right?

That’s like, the Asian girl thing: “Oh gosh, I just eat and eat and eat but I can’t gain any weight.” And “Urggg–they ran out of size zeros.” And “I was the skinniest person on my softball team in high school and I always hated it.” And “I can’t believe it, Yennie and I both hit three-digit weights over the holidays and we almost died!” Slight frames and narrow shoulders and bony hips and knobby knees and protruding ribs and flat asses and tiny breasts and slender thighs and stick arms. It’s our answer to the world’s Amazon legs and blonde waves and sexy curves. We’re skinny, betches.

Well, some of us.

Are we all meant to look like this?

Then there are the rest of us. We are sized 4, 6, 8, 14, 20. Medium and XXL. We do not eat whatever we want. Our clothes don’t “hang” on us. We cannot fathom wearing thigh-high boots. We have learned to like Diet Coke. We see photos of ourselves at weddings and realize that our arms are the same size as our cousins’ legs. We do not get lifted whimsically in the air by men. We have never liked our knees. We walk into an Asian supermall and watch them shake their heads–Your size we do not carry. We have Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Lisa Lee And Lynn Chen’s “Thick Dumpling Skin”

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Lisa Ling: Some Secrets Are Worth Sharing

December 10th, 2010 | 1 comment | Posted by Diana

On the day of my grandma’s funeral, I found out that she had miscarried four times in her life. She ultimately gave birth to eight healthy, wacky, Hardass children (one of them, my mother), but the news of her failed pregnancies remained secret until after she had passed away from cancer. Afterwards, I never went to my own mom to ask what happened, how the miscarriages affected her mom. I just didn’t really feel like I should.

But since then, I have been quietly fascinated, or maybe the word is troubled, by the secrecy of miscarriage.



As you may know, Lisa Ling appeared on her TV alma mater, The View, today and shared an intimate story of disappointment from having miscarried a 2-month pregnancy six months ago. Watching the segment, I was saddened–though not surprised–to learn about her reaction to the news:

“It was so shocking for me, as someone who is a very ambitious and–in my own head–competent person to have had this happen. I just felt like such an incredible failure.

It seems like such a double curse that a woman who experiences a loss of this nature (I use the term “nature” purposefully, since in the end, she’s the woman really responsible for how the story goes) must also feel a kind of personal accountability for the bitter outcome. And the emotional corridor hardly ends there–choose from Door #2–shame, Door #3–loneliness, Door #4–fear that it will happen again. That’s a lot for one person to handle on their own. And the sad fact is, most people in this situation–like my grandma–do go it alone.

But this is why Ling decided to share her story in the public arena, an attempt to destigmatize talk of miscarriage. And, perhaps with an understanding that not all ladies have her balls of steel–or confidence to put all her cards out on the table, she and friend/partner Sophia Kim have taken this action a step further by creating a site called Secret Society Of Women. On the site, women sign in anonymously and unearth secrets: confessions of unsatisfying sex lives to shame about STDs to guilt about affairs Continue reading Lisa Ling: Some Secrets Are Worth Sharing

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BIRTHDAY CELEBRASIAN! A Few Words Of Birthday Chatter For John Yoo

June 10th, 2010 | 10 comments | Posted by Diana

There’s only one way to celebrate John Yoo’s 42nd birthday (it’s today)–and that’s to bestow upon him the sort of kind words my Hardass Asian Grandma would offer a grandson like him if she were still alive today:

“How old are you today? 42?

Ai-ya!!! 42 is so old. So old. Life is over.

You know, you not look healthy, John. Now that you so old you have to think about your health. Your face is so fat. Your blood pressure is bad. When grandpa was your age he weigh 140 pounds and move dressers and refrigerator all around our house. Grandpa was strong and healthy.

You know, your mother says you do not visit at all, only four times a year for holidays. Such bad children after they come to America, they do not care about taking care of their mothers.

You look so old, John! You should exercise. Your wife leave you if you look too ugly.

My other grandchildren, they give me three and four and five great-grandchildren. What you give me? My friends at singing group tell me you like torture children. Ai-ya! That is bad, devil child! Why you so bad?

I work so hard all my life to get grandchild like this. 42 years waste!

Here, take some leftovers home with you.”

WHAT, GUYS!?!?! THIS IS HOW WE CELEBRATE!

[Wikipedia: John Woo]

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Motherf*cker Means Mother and Father, Right? [VIDEO]

July 30th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Dude. I always thought that my brother and I were evil for calling our grandma “Wipes” (that’s short for “Wai Puo,” or maternal grandmother). But this guy “K-Dawg,” who teaches his Chinese grandma how to say “Fuck you,” “Bullshit,” and “Motherfucker,” is going straight to hell in a hilarious handbasket:

File this under Lost in Translationanigans!

[via Neatorama via I have seen the whole of the internet]

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All the Ragian: P.F. Chang’s

May 19th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Fake Chinese food is all the ragian during this recession, according to a recent story in Slate. While other higher-end chain restaurants are suffering closings and profit losses, P.F. Chang’s, the first Chinese (using the term loosely) food-chain to net $1 billion, has not closed a single one of its 350 restaurants (the Pei Wei Asian Diner chain–more pan-Asian and fast foodie–is also part of its empire), profits have increased by 38 percent since the first quarter in 2008, and its stock, incredibly, has doubled in the last six months.


So what is P.F. Chang’s–the “P.F.” is for founder Paul Fleming, the “Chang’s” is for Philip Chiang, the chef who designed the menu–ancient Chinese secret?

Running its businesses more efficiently without hurting the product, cross-training kitchen staff to perform multiple tasks (like prepping and cooking), and offering discounted lunch specials and prix-fixe dinner menus.

Hmm, let’s see…working more efficiently, multi-tasking, and discounting…in other words…P.F. CHANG’S IS FINALLY BECOMING ASIAN?

It’s about damn time its ka-ching-chongery added up to more than just lanterns and corny Xi’an terracotta soldier knockoffs scattered all over the place. Now, if only they could find a way to make their food Asian, too.

[Slate: The Secrets of Chang]

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Thanks, Huong!

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Gaining Weighsian

January 28th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Listen, guys. I’ll be honest. I haven’t done yoga in almost two years. I take the stairs up to my office–sometimes. I walk the dog around the block in the morning and night, and sometimes I walk fast, but that’s about where I max out. The way I see it, “exercise and my blogging life don’t mix.”

Sure, in the wee hours of the night, I somehow manage to make time to munch on sour ropes while wasting zombies on Xbox. Meanwhile, I find a way to house burritos at my local taco cart after any given night of drinking. And certainly, I don’t miss an opportunity to indulge my sweet tooth after gobbling the pie, crust and all, at Pizzeria Mozza.

My point is, I’m like anyone. Sometimes I get a little chubsy, sometimes less so. Perhaps it’s face bloat or hormones, post-holiday or high-stress, but sheez–it happens to us all. And I can deal with that. I have to. My favorite aunt and godmother–a zaftig, warm, no-nonsense, little woman–used to hug me hello with her big, soft arms. After a good squeeze, she would inevitably step back and say, “You are a little fatter than the last time I saw you. Most of it is in your face, but your legs are a little big, too.” It’s not a bad way to look at it. It’s just the truth; not really a positive or a negative, just the big, fat truth.

Yesterday, I posted a picture of Jessica Simpson, who is arguably enjoying her rejuvenated love life, and is (as always) compelled to dress up her new curves with detestable lycra and the world’s most unflattering pair of high-waisted pants. This is hardly the first time she’s dressed herself up in this fashion when riding the love train. In fact, her inclination to do so is now striking me as a behavioral pattern, which is just weird.

Apparently, I’m not the only bored blogger raising an eyebrow at Jessica’s puff. Some folks laid into her rather hard, and because she and her sister don’t have much in terms of career to speak of, they paid attention.

Ashlee (lil’ sis) even blogged about it (and since we’re blogging, I’ve included my responses below in RED):

I am completely disgusted by the headlines concerning my sister’s weight. A week after the inauguration and with such a feeling of hope in the air for our country, I find it completely embarrassing and belittling to all women to read about a woman’s weight or figure as a headline on Fox News.

Wait, are we talking about the same Fox News that boasted the “Obama/Biden, Osama Bin Laden, Coincidence?” headline last year? Or the Fox News that captioned The First Lady as “Obama’s Baby Mama?” Don’t be fooled by the moniker, lady–”News” is hardly their forte.

All women come in different shapes, sizes, and forms and just because you’re a celebrity, there shouldn’t be a different standard.

Uh, Ash? Celebrities are held to a different standard, particularly female celebrities. You should know this, and moreover be glad about it. That’s why y’all make magical livings just for being famous-ish. It’s why you’re photographed doing mundane activities like buying gas (just like Us!) and shopping for ugly cotton clothes on Robertson Boulevard. You, and your sister, like most of this decade’s celebutards, are not the most talented performers of our generation–if one would argue that you’re talented at all. You’re clothes hangers, club promoters, restaurant PR tools. The least you can do is keep your face clear, keep your tummy tucked, and name check Ed Hardy in OK! Magazine. Do your part. There’s not much to it.

Is this something you would say to your wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, or even a friend?

I seriously doubt it.

I wouldn’t say much more to my mother and grandmother than, “My job is great! It pays very well. I honor you and our ancestors!”

My grandmother, on the other hand, had no problem telling me when I was looking plump and juicy.

How can we expect teenage girls to love and respect themselves in an environment where we criticize a size 2 figure?

I don’t know man, that’s a question for God, I guess. Let me know how that Q&A goes.

Now can we focus on the things that really matter.

Yeah! Like why any person would name their baby after Mowgli, a goddamn Jungle Book character? Jungle Book, which, besides being the world’s lamest source of name inspiration, is actually a racist fucking story. Wait, should we table this conversation and just deal with it on Fox News?

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Burke Up If Ya Wanna

October 24th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Lord knows I am not a big fan of Cheryl Burke or her show (I’ll admit, I can barely bring myself to talk about the mega-hitness of Dancing With the Stars, much less watch the program), but amidst all of this season’s complaints about her weight by blogs, internet losers with nothing better to talk about, and tabloids, I think she has handled herself pretty well. In a similar position, I don’t think I would have given all of the haters the satisfaction of a widely publicized response in People Magazine–I don’t think we owe morons a response; then again, I’m not a celebrity/sublebrity/paparazzi whore/public figure/cast member of a mega-hit TV show of any kind. I’m just a nerd with a laptop. The kind of nerd that crumbles up and cries in the corner when their 83-lb., 4′ 11″ grandma rushes up and grabs their arm, only to say, “You are looking fatter these days and spend too much time in the sun. Best way is to eat less and not spend time in the sun. [Motioning with arms] Too big! Too big!”

It’s one thing to take criticism from a bunch of nameless, faceless, ball-less losers out in the Interwebs, but a whole thing altogether when those piercing words blast at you from your grandma or your friends. In Cheryl’s case, it’s now coming from her male dancing peers at DWTS, Louis Van Amstel and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (again, very publicly–can’t these people have one conversation in a dressing room, for chrissake?). Chmerkovskiy told TV Guide this week: “When I first saw these women this season, I said, ‘Guys, you know the camera adds 10 pounds… You have to do something about this.’”

Van Amstel was quick to add: ““If you want to gain weight, it’s your prerogative… We all put on weight because there was no summer tour. But you have to deal with the consequences.”

Ah, spoken like true douchebags men who have never had birthing hips or PMS hunger. Sure, it’s not the most sympathetic take, but at least it’s honest (I guess? I’m still baffled at how some news group employee is collecting a paycheck for fact-checking stories like this. Isn’t there lots of genocide and a U.S. Presidential election and a war going on and stuff?).

Here’s the thing, though. When Van Amstel justifies the criticism by saying:

“(People) look at this show to be inspired and think, ‘If I just work hard enough, I can look like that,” Louis Van Amstel, who in “DWTS” season 6 was paired with Priscilla Presley, told the new issue of TV Guide. “If they watch someone who’s dancing her butt off and she’s still heavy, they can be discouraged. You have to take that responsibility.

…I’ve gotta pipe up. Okay, sure, some people watch DWTS to be inspired. But I would argue that more of them watch to see big ol’ football bears proving miraculously light on their toes, villains like Heather Mills falling on their asses, and useless people like Kim Kardashian being unceremoniously dumped on by the judges. They watch because they don’t want to click to the news on the next channel and find out that they can’t retire next year because their 401k is worth about as much as a pile of warm shit. They, like me, would rather do anything than finish compiling their stack of overdue expense reports. They can’t help but like Cloris Leachman. They like glittery costumes and fast footwork. They like the stunning rack that Brooke Burke’s plastic surgeon ex handily crafted for her. Lots, lots, lots of reasons.

Perhaps they’re looking to DWTS for inspiration, but y’know what? There are other places to find it. If Cheryl’s slight tummy pooch is enough to discourage them from keeping their ass in gear, we’ve got much bigger problems.

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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Congratulasians, Spain!

August 25th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

¡Hola España Basketball!

Boy, that was a close one. You certainly gave Team USA, aka The Redeem Team, a run for their money in Sunday’s gold medal game. And, sure, we’ve given you some shit over the last coupla weeks, but we’re totally over that now and would like to congratulate you on winning Spain’s first Olympic medal in basketball since 1984! You kept the game oh-so-close through four quarters, and now you can walk away with your heads held high, silver medal in hand.

A silver medal! From the Olympics! Has it sunk in yet? Sure, you must feel slightly disappointed that you didn’t win it all, but a silver medal from the Olympic Games is still major. If Diana’s late Hardass Asian Grandmother had been around to see this, she would’ve been quick to assure you that being second is just like being first.

First Loser, that is.

Anyhoo, felicitaciones!

chinkily yours,

DISGRASIAN


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Automasian for the People

May 8th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

My wai puo is a dear sweet woman. She’s a cancer survivor and devout Catholic; she’s lived through colonialism, civil war, getting forced out of China, losing my grandfather at a young age, and immigrating to a new country. She is traditional and set in her ways–though she’s lived in Canada for the last thirty years, she’s never learned English; she’s also never owned an answering machine and has no idea that the internet exists. Generally, she’s long on patience, except at the mah jong table, where she won’t tolerate any fucking around. Behavior that qualifies as “fucking around”: excessive talking, being slow to make a move, playing for fun rather than money, winning with a junk hand, and, god forbid, shuffling the tiles incorrectly.

Shuffling the tiles before each match is a ritual shared among the four players. It is called “washing” in Chinese, and it involves moving your hands over the tiles in a circular motion not unlike Mr. Miyagi’s Wax On, Wax Off technique (upon reflection, I wonder if my grandmother has been secretly trying to teach me karate over the years). When wai puo first taught me and my brother how to play, we washed the tiles in a brutish way. It was so fun hearing the pieces click-clack against each other that we would toss and tumble them like rocks. Look at us! We’re playing mah jong! This is exactly like the Joy Luck Club, except nobody’s crying! Whee! After getting some tongue-lashings about long-standing customs and several withering looks from wai puo that brought us close to tears, we quickly fell in line, because there’s something about getting shamed by a tiny person with wrinkly, arthritic hands and a profound history of hardship that sets you straight in an instant. Again, it’s not unlike the effect Mr. Miyagi had on Daniel-san after he made Daniel do all those chores and THEN revealed that he had been to Manzanar, fought in WWII, and lost his wife and kid because of the lousy conditions at the internment camp. I mean, how are you going to be a lazy, ungrateful slob after knowing that?

I can say with certainty, then, that my grandmother would not approve of the Automatic Mah Jong Table featured on Boing Boing yesterday. Though it claims to be both “high tech” and “hi-efficient,” two qualities prized in Chinese culture, it also shuffles and deals the tiles–gasp–automatically.

Even the fact that this table is made in China would not keep my Hardass Asian wai puo from wondering:

Why would I spend $680 for something I could do myself?
What are young people today so lazy? So spoiled?
This is a disgrace. To the race.
How do you work this thing exactly?
Wait, $680?! Where the @#$% am I going to get $680?!?

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Thanks, Jasmine!

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Grandma Wants Her Jacket Back

February 11th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

What’s up, Hayden? My wai puo called to say she wants her jacket back. She said it’s, like, totally cool that you’ve had it for so long, but wonders if you’ve remembered to store it in not one, but two plastic grocery bags in your closet, so moths don’t get to it? Also, she said that if you really want one of your own, she can teach you how to make it, right down to those complicated-looking frog closures. They’re really not that hard to make, apparently. You just need to sit down with wai puo for a lesson. She’ll give you some ribbon, then show you how to tie a few knots with it, and you’ll copy her exactly before she suddenly rips the closure out of your hand and says, “Never mind. Your knot looks clumsy and amateur. I’ll do it for you. You go watch TV.”

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Prayer Hands Ain’t Gonna Save Ya Now

December 17th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Oh Britney, Britney, Britney. I just got ready to watch your new video for “Piece of Me” and it got me all nostalgic, reminding me of the olden days when I worked out at the gym to the tune of “Oops!” and “I’m a Slave 4 U.” How I used to envy the shadowy sinews of your svelte seventeen-year old frame! How I admired your success at hiding a distinct inability to sing or speak in proper English. How I desperately wanted to move like you, ’cause GIRL, could you DANCE. You had MOVES!!!

What the fuzz has happened to your ability to hip shake? Seriously, I know you’re crazy, and your face is all toreUP, and you’ve got thighs like Thor, but none of those things should have an affect on your ability to move yo’ body. WHY CAN’T YOU DANCE ANYMORE? WHY ARE YOU JUST LAZILY SHUFFLING AROUND THE DANCE FLOOR? My grandma has a saying that goes something like, “if you aren’t going to be the best, kill yourself.” I’m not saying that you should kill yourself, ’cause that’s wrong or whatever, but I am calling you out on your half-assed two step. This shit is not gonna fly.

Listen to my grandma, Brit Brit, and next time you shoot a comeback video, show up for your choreography rehearsals.

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Shanghai Surprizzze

November 23rd, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen
“So, like, you just suck the juice out? I’m really good at that!”


Paris Hilton is in Shanghai to inexplicably host the MTV Style Gala, which will honor China’s leading fashists tonight. At a news conference promoting the awards show, Paris made really really smart comments about the “Paris of the East” like, “Shanghai looks like the future!” She also racial dragged it up in a qipao mini holding a portrait of her and a Panda.

I wish my 88 year-old grandmother could see this. Unfortunately, her only news source is the Chinese newspaper, she doesn’t know what the internet is, so she is one of the lucky few who doesn’t know who Paris Hilton is either. But if she did, she wouldn’t hug her like this lady did in Yu Yuan Gardens, a Shanghai tourist attraction…

…instead, my waipuo would grab that skinny bitch, throw her over her creaky knees, and beat the shit out of her ass with a hard hairbrush.

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Thanks Greenie!

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