minute thoughts 2.8.17





Thoughts while LinkedIn-stalking my career crushes and exploring the new layout

1. If you're feeling angry about our new administration and want to help beyond just posting on Facebook, check out CrowdJustice, a new crowdfunding platform for legal assistance with public interest cases. I love this idea; I think it's a great way to support specific causes that you care about, rather than just donating to a whole organization (which is also good!), and I love the fact that you're providing tangible aid to people in need and making legal help accessible to everyone, which, given our very flawed justice system, is desperately necessary.

2. Honestly, with the current political climate, it's really exhausting being outraged by everything. I don't know how activists do it (John Oliver just echoed this exact sentiment on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," saying "It's easy to be angry on adrenaline, but it's much, much harder when you're just tired"). But to not be outraged is to tacitly condone everything that's going on, to exchange our values for social comfort and lose our capacity for shock, and that is a slippery slope. Corruption is everywhere right now, in plain sight. Exhibit A: Betsy DeVos' confirmation as the US Secretary of Education despite being completely inadequate (out of evolution, climate change, and guns, she only thinks one of them should be allowed in schools, and guess which one?), which just proves that if your daddy donates enough money to the Republican party, you're guaranteed a seat at the big kids' table. It's pretty disheartening to see how political politics is. It sounds like a dumb comment, but really, in its most basic form, politics was designed to do good things for the people, to help improve the quality of peoples' lives and keep their best interests in mind. But it's so inaccessible to the general public (read: people criticizing Hillary's discourse as "elitist" and/or all of the formalities involved in passing legislation) and so unfairly weighted in favor of those who can exploit the system, rather than those who are most qualified to make policy decisions for our country. And that should be alarming to us.

3. Things I'm excited about coming home to in just TEN MORE DAYS: cool weather with 0% humidity, Chrissy Teigen's Cravings cookbook, my friends and family, a lot of food, a Fidget Cube, driving my car, avocados, the beach, baking/having a full kitchen, a brand-new Kindle, inexpensive fresh fruit + sushi, and the Urban Decay Electric Palette ♥️_♥️ prepare for a lot of updates! Maybe I'll finally start doing monthly favorites again. It's only taken me two years.

4. I absolutely hate the word "lippie." Oh my god, just seeing it makes me squirm. I can't stand it. It sounds like baby talk and just...no. Can we please be adults and call it lipstick. Why does there have to be beauty "slang." Why do cosmetics companies insist on giving their products such ridiculous and/or provocative names (@Tarte and @Urban Decay). WHY DO I HAVE TO SAY THE WORDS "PURE SEDUCTION" OUT LOUD WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME WHAT FRAGRANCE I'M WEARING. Ugh. I have a lot of feelings about this.

5. I celebrated my first "real" Chinese New Year this year (my family's Chinese New Year tradition is pretty much just us eating Chinese food and watching the Super Bowl), and it was so rad! I was in Cambodia for the first weekend, but because the Lunar New Year celebration period is actually 15 days long, it's still going on, and last Friday my entire office took a half-day and went to the Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel for a lo hei lunch. "Lo hei" or "yusheng" means "prosperity toss," and it's actually a tradition unique to Singapore and Malaysia. You basically get a large plate of vegetables, fish, sauces, and condiments—each ingredient representative of something to bring your family good luck in the new year—and you toss it all together as a family while reciting blessings. It's gloriously messy, and a lot of fun. What I really like about Chinese culture is that it's very symbolic, and all of these rituals are more superstitious than religious, so all families do them. But there are rules for everything: what you should wear, what foods you should eat, etc. It's fascinating to learn about how and why these things developed, and to see them still practiced today. I wonder why Westerners don't do things like this. Maybe we're more cynical? I just find it kind of interesting that Asian cultures are simultaneously very meritocratic and superstitious. It's a bit counterintuitive. 

6. There's a special circle of Hell for people that take elevators one floor up.

7. I still can't decide whether or not I like the LinkedIn redesign. I like the fact that it's less cluttered and a lot more responsive, that it's more social, and that they finally fixed the media display on profile pages, but there's something off that I can't quite articulate. I feel like it's a bit empty; less minimalist, and more just...blank. The only consolation is that we'll forget what the old version looked like in a couple of months.

8. I think one of my (many) long-term goals in life is to open a tea shop. Like a café, but it would only serve tea (I've never liked coffee that much). It would be decorated with a day spa-esque vibe, all wood and hanging tea lights and glass jars and comfy chairs. But it would be much quieter, because there wouldn't be any blenders or anything, just the soft hum of tea brewing, and it would be a nice space to relax and be cozy and unwind. You could buy a full pot of tea for yourself and just sit there for hours with a book or a laptop, or share plates of mini sandwiches and baked goods with friends. There would be a station to mix different types of tea and experiment with different flavors, themed brunches on the weekends, and late-night movies every Thursday. My love of tea became a full-fledged obsession after I went to a tea shop in New York last year, an obsession rekindled since I moved to Singapore, where teh and kopi are such a fundamental part of the food culture. But I think afternoon tea is an excellent tradition and a bit of a lost art, and no one has really modernized it yet. Tea Bar ©, coming soonish.

9. This is still one of my favorite things, and I'm not even sure why since I don't even know who half these people are.

10. I have a thing about tourists. Namely, I dislike approximately 90% of them. I was originally wrote this with Chinese tour groups in mind, because they're notoriously obnoxious when it comes to taking pictures and they were a huge nuisance in Cambodia. But the more I thought about it, it's honestly just a lot of tourists in general. Europeans that take suggestive selfies with the nude statues in temples. Americans that mock foreign accents or act disgusted by unfamiliar food. It's just so uncultured. If you're privileged enough to travel to another country, to be welcomed into these peoples' home territories and sacred cultural monuments, be respectful or stay at home. You're here to learn. So be quiet, follow the rules, and don't be annoying. I will never understand people who claim to "love travel," but spend more time trying to make it look like they're fun, cultured people than actually making an effort to understand the place they're in.