My Official, Unofficially Official Bucket List

I’ve carried around a Bucket List of sorts in my head for sometime now, but I thought that I should put it down somewhere semipermanently, let it grow and let it really sink in. So here I go. My Official, Unofficially Official Bucket List. I’ll add to it, take away from it, check it off, and let it come back to haunt me in 20 years. In no specific order, here are all my selfish and unselfish wants for myself:

  • Grow Feminist Photo Blog Project into something big. Perhaps a book of all the photos. Perhaps a documentary. Perhaps World Domination.
  • Get some of my Feminist Idols to participate in FPBP. Like Margaret Cho, Shirin Ebadi, Gloria Steinem, Jackson Katz, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Lisa Ling, etc.
  • Sit courtside at a Clippers game while Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and CP3 are all still there. Preferably at a game where they’re playing the Celtics and Rajon is also still around.
  • Get Clippers season tickets. Level 1 or courtside.
  • Get straight A’s in grad school
  • Meet Ellen Degeneres
  • Write a book
  • Visit all continents (3 down, 4 to go)
  • Buy my own house
  • Buy my own car
  • Get my Masters and my PhD
  • Pay off all my current and future school loans and pay off all my debt. Be in the bonus.
  • Live in NYC for a couple of years
  • Live in San Fran for a couple of years
  • Be a board member of some of my favorite nonprofits
  • Lecture at some capacity at the university level
  • Obtain a grant for FPBP to help it grow
  • Learn how to write Chinese
  • Learn to speak Spanish fluently or conversationally
  • Live abroad for a couple of years
  • Grow in my Catholic faith
  • Buy a DSLR
  • Learn to swim
  • Skydive
  • Scuba dive
  • Be a foster mom to shelter dogs
  • Be a happier me
  • Give back to LMU on a grander scale
  • Learn to surf
  • Climb some high mountains
  • Get over my fear of heights (that just made me real nervous typing that)
  • Meet as many influential feminists as possible
  • Get something published on an awesome blog like Jezebel or Feministing
  • Road trip across the USA
  • Become a vegetarian again. At least for a few years
  • Live a greener life
  • Become a pro at balancing professional and personal aspects of my life
  • Be a mom
  • Go to a murder mystery dinner party
  • Ride a camel
  • See the Amazon
  • Swim with dolphins (this will probably be best after I learn how to swim)
  • Learn how to skateboard
  • Improve my penmanship

to be continued.. 🙂

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I love you, Margaret

I had to share this with you all. I just had to. I love Margaret Cho for so many reasons. Those reasons mostly revolve around the fact that she is an outstanding, fierce, unapologetically strong person. I also love that she has become somewhat of a face of Asian-American women. I love that in a world where diversity is not yet fully embraced and feminism is still stigmatized, I can call Margaret Cho a sister in this journey towards…goodness. I don’t know. I just love her, dammit!

She posted these tweets a couple nights ago that I retweeted and loved and yeahhh… “You criticize a woman’s body – and young girls see it, you murder us all inside. you are responsible for our slow genocide. may you suffer.” “don’t try to fight me with tweets. you will inevitably lose. i’m sorry. i can make the world stop turning with my words. don’t try it.”

And she just posted a blog on her website going more in depth with her thoughts and opinions on the matter. It’s entitled, “Being Mad on Twitter.”

I read it and almost shed a tear. How wonderful it is to have Margaret on our side. When I say “our,” I mean humanity’s. I have never met her and I may never meet her (though that’s on my bucket list in a very non-creepy way), but I feel like I know her, through her stand-up, her comedy, her interviews, her blog posts, and her twitter. I feel like I get her, like she gets me, and she will fight for me. And to have somebody like that who is in show business, who has a good degree of “power,” and who identifies as an Asian-American woman, well geez, I just feel so interconnected with her cause. You ask me what her cause is? Well, based on what she has relayed to the public in various forums, I feel I can sum up Margaret Cho as a human being for other human beings. Yes, she can be crass, yes, she can be loud, but she is crass and loud with cause, with love, with empathy for those who don’t have the forum she does. And I love it. I love her.

 

Here is a little excerpt from her post: “I want to defend the children that we still are inside, the fragile sensitive souls who no matter how much we tried were still told we were not good enough. I want to make the world safe and better and happy for us. We deserve beauty, love, respect, admiration, kindness and compassion. If we don’t get it, there will be hell to pay. I am no saint, but I am here for you and me. I am here for us, and I am doing the best I can.” 

You can’t read that and tell me that there is an ounce of maliciousness in the passion that fuels her words. She is all about love, about dignity, about standing up for the voiceless. ALL ABOUT IT. and I can’t get enough of it.

 

Can someone help me get her to post on Feminist Photo Blog Project? Just saying. 🙂

why huuuullooo there!

it’s been a while since i’ve updated. i guess that my little mood swings regarding my social life and hermit tendencies also affect my blogging patterns.
some of my close friends may know that i go through weird moods of being really social and active for a couple months, then kind of closing off and doing my own thing and being invisible for a couple months, and that’s sorta how i roooooll. ya feel me?

anyway, it’s 2012! wow! 2011 went by fast. i catch myself still saying, “last year, when i was in nyc,” and i have to remind myself that that shit happened TWO years ago! not one! holy moly.

i don’t have a very good sense of time, so i’m not sure i can come up with a list of accomplishments from 2011. i don’t really like to box things like that anyway, so screw it. i’m proud of me and i’m proud of who i am becoming every day and i love being alive. yes, sometimes i wish i would take more advantage of life and sometimes i wish i could be more spontaneous, daring, adventurous, careless, etc., but at the end of the day, “everything i’m not makes me everything i am,” AMIRIGHT KANYE??

i’m starting grad school tomorrow and i’m not gonna lie, i’m kinda freaking out about it. i’m nervous about failure, i’m nervous about trying to be social again, and i’m nervous about being nervous. that kinda sums me up in a nutshell, though. or maybe a tough, nook-laden walnutshell? hm. interesting.

i’ve also taken on quite a fascination with death the last few weeks. and i’ve decided that i don’t like death. death is yucky, it’s inconclusive, it’s too conclusive, it raises too many questions, it causes too much pain, and it’s no fun. i’m deathly afraid of death. i would like for death not to exist. but if death does not exist, would that make life nonexistent? then where would we all exist? fuck. see, this is what goes on in my head all day long. somebody save me.

just kidding that wasn’t a real cry for help. i’m not troubled.

well.

i am. but not in an impending doom kind of a way. just in a kooky, kink–wait. no. just kooky. no kinky. unless we know each other well, in which case, sure i’m down for some kink.

aiyoh. this has gotten out of control. let me stop.

final thoughts? life is good. god is good. i love basketball. i enjoy genuine, fruitful relationships and i am eager for success. and i’m eager to work hard for success. and success brings happiness and all kinds of the warm & fuzzies.

good night.

Sadie

Okay, listen, I won’t hate on you for posting pictures of your baby, so let me document Sadie in peace! Haha.

I know I post too many pictures of my dog but I can’t help it; she’s my family now!

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putting myself out there

no, this post won’t be about dating, or trying to get guys’ numbers or anything of the sort.

I am unemployed, young, eager, curious and passionate. So I’m going to put myself out there. I’m going to take advantage of this time that I have to do things I love. Or, do thing I love. And that’s women’s issues/feminism. I talked before about rediscovering this passion of mine but I’m really going to be proactive in trying to make things happen for myself and trying to learn more about what I can do to make a difference!

I’ll be attending Stanford University/The Clayman Institute for Gender Research’s “Ms. @ 40 and the Future of Feminism” events in January of 2012. I am also hoping to attend the Momentum: Making Waves in Sexuality, Feminism and Relationships in Washington, D.C. in March/April.

I’m keeping my eyes and ears open for other conferences, panels and workshops to attend that relate to feminist activism, feminism in social media, women’s rights, and empowerment. So please help to keep me in the loop! I’m from Los Angeles County so events happening in SoCal are also great!! 🙂

 

Happy feminist-ing!

Bullying

Hearing stories about people who end their lives due to incessant bullying really does something to me. It makes me cringe, it makes me sad, it makes me remember all the dark places I once was becuase of bullying. But then it reminds me of how much more I am than those incidents of bullying.

Since I was young, I’ve been hurled insults and “jokes” all across the board. “She’s so fat,” “She looks like a boy,” “Look at what she’s wearing” “I’d rather fuck a whale,” “Don’t you belong at Sea World?” “You’re so ugly,” “You’re such a nerd,” “No one likes you,” etc etc etc.

All through elementary school, middle school and high school, I was bullied. It went from focusing on my weight and my looks when I was younger to becoming more personal, psychological attacks as I got older. I was in a constant state of paranoia because even my “closest friends” would laugh about how needy I was or how they got me to drive them somewhere because I was the only one with a car.

I did everything in my power to fit in. I tried to starve myself, I tried to change my wardrobe, I tried to be more “girly,” I tried to do things for people MORE. I sacrificed my own character and my own soul just to try to be liked, to not be laughed at, to not be talked about. I wanted to be loved but invisible all at the same time.

I remember being in elementary school and just being alone. I had friends, sure, but those friends didn’t help when it came down to facing those demons inside of me. It was hard enough to have gone through the things I did as a child at home, but then I had to go to school and also face rejection and pain. I would cry at home, I would rebel and I would latch on to people who were bolder, stronger than me, who would take advantage of me and use me for my resources.
When I was in middle school I thought about hanging myself. I tried to find rope. I mapped it out. But I never went through with it. Things got a bit better.
Then in high school, it all started again. I felt alone, I felt rejected on a constant basis, I could hear people talking about me, I was a loner. I would go home during lunch and drink from my dad’s stash of alcohol. I’d take bottles of random pills. I’d drink more. I’d drive back to school drunk. I drove and drove and drove and thought about driving my car into a building. Thought about driving off a cliff. Tried to walk into oncoming traffic. Cut myself. Punched myself in the face. Beat my head against the wall hoping to go unconscious.

My parents were persistent. They told me to love myself, told me I was special, told me to ignore the haters. They insisted on giving me self-worth when I was down to my smallest drop of any kind of belief in myself. My dad did this thing with me when I was about 10 that I look back on and am so grateful for. He would make me stand in front of a mirror, look into my eyes, and say, “I love you.” He would stand behind me and I wouldn’t be allowed to leave until I could say it out loud, convincingly, looking directly into myself. He used to say, no one else will love you unless you love yourself. So we’d stand there. Sometimes we’d be there for hours. I would look up, look to my side, look away, so ashamed of myself, so hurt with who I was, not wanting to look at myself. But he’d make me stand there, waiting patiently. I’m so grateful for that. I’m so grateful that he loved me so much and believed in me so much that he could do that with me.

I went to college. I met people like me. I connected with others. I found that I was worth a whole lot more than anyone in my childhood ever led me to believe. I found that I was an incredibly smart, witty person. I realized I had a great ability to connect with people on an emotional, personal level. I found that I was a great writer, a dependable person, I had a strong voice. I realized that there were so many things about myself that I absolutely loved. So there was no way I could ever consider ending my life again. I’m too amazing.

I’m thrilled to be here today. I’m thrilled to say that I love myself. Of course, I’m not perfect. There are things about me, on the inside and the outside, that I’d like to improve on. But that’s okay. I’m alright with that. Because the number of things I love about myself completely outweigh (hah pun) the things about myself I don’t like as much. I love who I am, I love what I represent, I love the fight I have in me, I love the stories I tell with strength, conviction and confidence, I love my aura, I love me so much, that no words, no sneers, no dirty looks could break me down. They may sting a little, they may pick at the scabs of those scars I received at a young age, but they can’t break me. Nobody has the power to break me down. Only I can determine how others make me feel and how they affect me.

I hope that some young person reads this. I hope you know that there is a whole world out there that you can conquer. If you just give it a chance. I know it hurts to be told “it’ll get better,” “hang in there,” but please. Hang in there. It will get better. Please don’t give up. Please try to find someone to talk to. Talk to me. I’m here. But don’t end your life. I know from experience that ending everything seems like the quick, easy fix. But quick and easy are nothing compared to the feeling of overcoming a hurdle, of accomplishing something big, of reaching a goal.

I should be a psychic

Last night, one of my dreams consisted of driving on the freeway, in heavy traffic. I was annoyed and frustrated behind handfuls of cars in almost standstill traffic only to find there was a man walking on the freeway.
This morning as I’m folding my grandma’s laundry, I hear on the news that there’s a man standing on the 110 freeway!

I should get paid for my talents.

Bosnia, Herman Cain and Joe Paterno

I was listening to Dick Gordon’s The Story segment the other night on my way to Los Angeles and completely engulfed by that night’s story, “Facing Their Accusers.” The segment consisted of Dick talking to Peggy Kuo, a trial attorney for the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal in regards to the Bosnian war and the crimes against humanity that were carried out. Peggy specifically worked with the women who were raped in the town of Foca.

Peggy talked about the systematic rape of Muslim women and her work to gather the stories of the women in order to make a case against their rapists. Many of the women didn’t want to testify as witnesses originally, for various reasons.

For one, the war happened so many years prior that many women had moved on (at least figuratively). They had jobs, partners, lives that existed beyond the scope of their being raped. Many of the women had also not divulged the details of their rape to others, so sharing these stories with Peggy or her peers would be the first time some of the women ever spoke of their experience. Another reason the women didn’t want to speak up was fear. They were fearful of the power their rapists still likely had. The last, most poignant factor, I think, was the fact that the women simply did not think their voice and testimony would matter. Imagine, being so dehumanized that you still do not think that speaking up will matter.

The women, during the war, were taken out of their homes. Oftentimes, they were paraded through town naked after being raped. Peggy said that the experience of the women “wasn’t just the physical act of rape, it was the entire degrading, humiliating treatment they were forced to undergo.”  Peggy said that the Bosnian Muslim women were subjected to all sorts of violations by these Serbian men of rank in the military and police. She went on to describe the men’s actions signifying their attitude towards the women of, “you can do what I want, your feelings, your humanity, your dignity doesn’t matter.”

I can’t imagine what it would be like, to have had my husband and sons taken out of my house, killed or put into labor camps, while my daughter and I sit with many other women, basically fearing for the moment we’re pulled up, beaten, savagely raped, our dignity and our humanity completely disregarded, oppressed, to be seen as just a piece of meat to be used, humiliated, then discarded.  Continue reading

reclaimed passion

I started the FPBP on November 2 and in just 12 days I feel like my life has taken on a whole new meaning. I’ve reclaimed my passion for women’s issues, feminism and humanism. I have found myself sitting at my laptop or on my iPad, reading more and more blogs and articles re: feminism, reproductive justice, educational justice, women’s issues and more. I feel such a pull towards dedicating my life towards feminist activism right now.

I have not even gone onto Perez Hilton. I watch less TV (except for Dexter, Homeland and sports). I have even caught myself eating less. My whole life right now is just consumed by feminism and I love it so much. Instead of reading about Britney Spears or checking up on movie trailers, I’m watching talks by Jaclyn Friedman, Hugo Schwyzer, Shelby Knox, Miriam Pérez and other activists and feminists. I’m so captivated by these people and am trying to model some kind of a life path or career after them.

I’m starting grad school in just 8 weeks and part of me wants to start over and go back to undergrad, major in Women’s Studies, and build more of a foundation. But I guess this independent research I’m watching now is sustaining me and giving me direction. I need to figure out how to channel this, though. Yeah, I’ve got FPBP, but I want to do more. I want to write a book. Or speak to high school students. Or just read and read and read what some of these amazing people have to say. I have a list of feminist conferences I want to attend. I want to connect with people who have similar ideals as me. I have an ever-growing list of books I need to buy, topics I need to research and history I need to brush up on.

Point? I’m fucking excited. My reclaimed passion is driving my soul right now and is fueling me to do something greater than me, to continue my work in empowering young people, especially young girls. Yeah, maybe foster care isn’t the right field for me to do that in, but damn, I know for sure that I want to dedicate my life to spreading the word. Being a feminist evangelical, as Jessica Valenti and Jaclyn Friedman might say.

Thanks to those feminists and activists who are motivating me right now, who are connecting to something within me telling me to take action. I’m in love.