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Martha, My Dear, Long-Lost HAM

October 4th, 2011 | 3 comments | Posted by Diana

Jen has, for a long while now, been mildly disturbed by my fascination with Martha Stewart. Admittedly, it’s a bit extensive: I’ve got multi-year subscriptions to her Living and Everyday Food magazines, quietly read The Daily Wag (her french bulldogs’ blog) daily, and once tried to steal my friend Michael’s ex-girlfriend’s dog (named… drum roll… Martha Stewart). Oh, and then there’s the  recent foray into Ball canning jars and seasonal pickling, the frowny face I make when looking at sad flowers in an unbalanced vase, my fondness and collection of coasters. God, I love coasters. I love Martha, man. She scares me and I love it (Funnily enough, the same can also be said of my eternal ladycrush, Jen).

Naturally, when excerpts from Whateverland: Learning to Live Herea humorous memoir co-written by Martha’s daughter Alexis–began making waves all over the webz yesterday, I had to take a look. The selection of Alexis’s comments about mama Martha were referred to as “embarrassing” and “scathing” by assorted media outlets. But perhaps you, like me, found them bizarrely comforting and familiar. Like me, you may have wondered what all the fuss was about. Like me, you may have thought, “DEAR GOD. NO WONDER I LOVE THIS BEAST! MARTHA STEWART IS TOTALLY A HARDASS ASIAN MAMA!”

Alexis and Martha Stewart, getting cozy

The stiff bob. The forced smile. Sure, she drinks gin with every meal and okay, she doesn’t wrap up leftovers in a used plastic grocery bag, but I’m telling you. She’s just like Mom! Here’s proof, based on Alexis’s pull quotes:

‘Martha does everything better! You can’t win!’

I mean, ’nuff said. Should I even continue? Should I EVEN CONTINUE?

Continue reading Martha, My Dear, Long-Lost HAM

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Two Arguments In Favor Of Hardass Asian Parenting

May 24th, 2011 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

Hey look! It’s the mini-me versions of us…

…if we’d been raised in some fucked-up alternate universe where there are no rules, grades, or words like “unacceptable,” “disown,” and “failure”; no forced violin and piano lessons; no math workbooks during summer vacation; no aspirations for NASA or the Nobel; no Hardass Asian Dads forbidding hot pants, high-heeled boots, and hooker poses; no Hardass Asian Moms screaming at us about looking cheap, about how “low-class” tanning is and how make-up prematurely ages your skin not to mention how all this correlates–somehow, don’t ask–with poorer test scores, lower income, and an overall decrease in college, marriage, and life prospects, really.

[via I Hate My Parents]

Thanks, Jasmine!

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‘Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother’: You Hated The Excerpt, Now Read The Book

January 14th, 2011 | 40 comments | Posted by Jen

Three years ago, when Diana and I were kicking around book ideas, there was one that rose to the top for us, one we thought was pure gold. Its working title was: “How to Raise a Child Prodigy.” Although neither of us were prodigies–a fact that filled us both with regret–and neither of us were parents yet, we felt qualified to write the book anyway, because we were products of Hardass Asian Parenting, which was no different, in our minds, from Prodigy Parenting (see: the long, ever-expanding list of Asian prodigies). Plus, we imagined the book as a way to talk about what it’s like to be Asian American without getting heavy, a way to laugh at ourselves, something honest but still tongue-in-cheek. Of course there would be some non-Asians, aspirational parents in particular, who would buy the book for parenting tips and take it seriously…suckas!

Only we never wrote it. We started it as a blog, set to private, but didn’t get beyond a couple of entries. In hindsight, our lack of follow-through shines a light on two rather important details: 1) why we weren’t prodigies in the first place and 2) why we weren’t qualified at all to write the book. During that time, we did manage to bang out a long list of child-rearing ideas, ideas we’d been exposed to personally that we planned to explore in our little parenting guide. A selection of those ideas appears below, from a document dated March 2008:

Continue reading ‘Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother’: You Hated The Excerpt, Now Read The Book

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Shhhhhhhh-E-X

September 3rd, 2010 | 8 comments | Posted by Diana

I spent most of today trying to remember what my official  “birds and bees” talk was like. My memory was just so fuzzy—didn’t my mom walk into my room one day during junior high, sit down on my bed, pat the seat next to her, and ask if I’d been feeling a little different lately? Something like that?

Oh wait, that was a Full House episode or something. My mom never gave me the talk. Like, NEVER. We NEVER TALKED ABOUT SEX.

I mean, when my sister ran away from the house her senior year in ’88 to stay with her awesomely white trash boyfriend’s awesomely white trash family, a long period ensued during which my aunts and mom would call each other from their respective homes in Michigan, Indiana, Missouri and California to speak in hushed tones about the filthy indiscretions. “Your sister, she lays with boys,” my aunt said to me while I was playing with my Barbies. “No man will ever marry her.” (She was wrong, by the way.)

When I was 17 and snuck my then-beau up into my second-story Southern California bedroom, my mom became suspicious at a noise and barreled down the hall, bursting through my door. He swiftly jumped to a hiding spot and I was discovered alone, laying awkwardly atop my fully made bed in a star-patterned bra and panties, looking guilty. My mom was confused and disturbed. She looked me in the eye and said, “You’re… I… I know what you do.” She left the room with no further talk about sex, even though my night probably included it.

I think the conversation, if we’d ever had one, would have been one-sided: “Don’t have sex.” Conversation over.

Hyphen Magazine recently addressed this kind of no-talk policy in an article called “Asian-American Women Who Accept Abortion as a Way Out.” Writer Lisa Wong Macabasco explores how deeply ingrained the denial of sex is in Asian cultures, and how categorical aversion to sex (or proof of it) has shaped generous Eastern attitudes towards drastic measures like abortion over generations. In short: abortion is less shameful than the truly disgraceful act that it functions to hide, sex.

Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Shhhhhhhh-E-X

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Softass Asian Parents

May 28th, 2010 | 8 comments | Posted by Diana

By now you may have seen the Internet-famous photos of Ardi Rizal, a 2-year-old Indonesian boy with a 2-pack-a-day habit.

Bad parenting blows

Although we will admit he’s got a pretty cool smoking style (very Goodfellas! Oh I kid, I kid), photos of the tot on a little truck actually reveal a really frightening fact–Rizal’s smoking has affected his health so much that he can barely move himself without those plastic wheels.

Homeboy is a smoker. And his parents apparently can’t–or won’t–do anything about it.

From Daily Mail:

“[D]espite local officials’ offer to buy the Rizal family a new car if the boy quits, his parents feel unable to stop him because he throws massive tantrums if they don’t indulge him.

His mother, Diana, 26, wept: ‘He’s totally addicted. If he doesn’t get cigarettes, he gets angry and screams and batters his head against the wall. He tells me he feels dizzy and sick.’

Ardi will smoke only one brand and his habit costs his parents £3.78 a day in Musi Banyuasin, in Indonesia’s South Sumatra province.”

So waaaaaaaitaminute. This TODDLER has no degrees, no job, no promise of athletic glory or public office. He costs his parents £4 a day because he’s picky about his pack and his dad doesn’t see a problem? Who’s the boss here? If my late Hardass Asian Grandma read about this situation, she’d probably smack me just to make sure I didn’t get any wild ideas!

But anyway, here’s a solution: Let’s get Cesar Millan over to Indonesia to rehabilitate this little smoke fiend and train those parents! Sheesh.

[Daily Mail: Too Unfit To Run - Two-Year-Old Who Smokes 40 Cigarettes A Day Puffs Away On A Toy Truck]

Source
Thanks, Heather!

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Pandargarten

March 17th, 2010 | 4 comments | Posted by Diana

Aw, look, a panda kindergarten! Let’s watch the video:

Waitaminute, what the heck kind of kindergarten is this? Where are the books and the pencils? Where is the discipline? Where are the uncomfortable desks? Why aren’t the pandas queueing up in perfect lines, reciting memorized poems and literary selections? Where are the abacuses? Where are the violins?

[via NY Post]

Thanks, Jasmine!

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Apolo Anton “What Seven Medals?” Ohno

February 22nd, 2010 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana


Name:

Age: 27

Hails from: Seattle, WA

Occupation: Olympic short-track speed skater

Known for: Championship bling. After winning his seventh Olympic medal on Saturday night, becoming the most decorated American Winter Olympic athlete of all time. Proving that the time-tested technique of Hardass Asian Parenting, via single father Yuki, can pay off in spades. Showcasing excellent hip control. Somehow being extremely hot despite a chronic case of chin pubes.

Apolo’s name was derived from the Greek words “Ap,” (“steer away from”) and “lo,” Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Apolo Anton “What Seven Medals?” Ohno

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Jeremy Lin

December 14th, 2009 | 5 comments | Posted by Diana

Name: Jeremy Lin

Hails from: Cambridge, MA (via Palo Alto, CA)

Occupation: College senior, Basketball player for Harvard University

Jeremy Lin Knows How To Win

Jeremy Lin Knows How To Win


Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Jeremy Lin

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