minute thoughts 9.14.15

Thoughts while taking shots of Jack Daniel's at the office

1. Boba update: Anyone in New York should try CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice. I'm on a perpetual quest to sample every almond milk tea I come across, but they didn't have one so I got the jasmine milk tea instead. And it was a very good decision because it was delicious—the tea was super creamy (but still light) and the boba was nice and chewy. New Yorkers call it "bubble tea", which I think is very strange.

2. I absolutely love texting my ye ye (grandfather on my dad's side). He's the cutest thing. He likes to send me emojis on his iPhone which is really adorable, but he also always makes sure to say "I love you" or "have a good day" in all of his messages. Whatever stereotypes exist about Chinese people being cold and distant, he's the opposite. He's very caring and fairly conversational, even if he's not entirely confident in his English skills (which is unfortunate, because I'm not entirely confident in my Chinese skills). I always ask him to have lunch whenever I visit New York, because I genuinely enjoy his company.

3. I could probably spend an entire day on IMDB reading movie trivia. It's legitimately one of my favorite pastimes and I have no idea why.

4. Or even regular trivia. I just really like trivia in general. I have a knack for memorizing useless facts that I'll never, ever need to recall. I'm really fun at dinner parties though.

5. One of the things I like best about New York is its aliveness. I can't think of any other word more fitting. It's September now, so the humidity is beginning to fade, and the air is cool and light. My favorite time is just after dusk, when the sky is just starting to color with traces of inkiness, and you can see the stars scattered around the silhouettes of the buildings. And the cars rumble past and you see fleets of headlights like clusters of diamonds in constant motion. It's quietly noisy, all hours of the night. I think there's a certain romanticism to it, and I'm going to miss it a lot.

6. I love that chokers are back. First-grade me would be so psyched.

7. I heard an argument the other day that gun control is pointless because hammers and hospitals cause more deaths than guns do. And it made me so incensed because it was such a stupid argument. "Oh, there are no calls to limit hammers and hospitals"...seriously?! I don't know, maybe hammers and hospitals have a greater intrinsic purpose than killing and that's why there's no call for "hospital control"...?! The guy in the video compares taking away guns to "cutting the horns off of a gazelle" being pursued by a lion, and assumes people who want to limit gun ownership want to "make it easier for the predator so the predator will go away." Which is not only a ridiculously huge logical fallacy, but an incredibly weak argument against gun control in itself. Who are all of these people that NEED guns for protection on a regular basis, anyway? Are they living in a zombie apocalypse movie? And while I support the Constitution and America and freedom and everything, it's idiotic that we're still defending and living by the same rules that were created in 1791. Yeah...in 1791, we also thought it was okay to OWN PEOPLE. And as someone who has witnessed a school shooting happen three blocks from my house, carried out by a maniac who easily and legally procured a gun despite a history of mental illness, it still astounds me how many people defend the right to purchase and own guns willy-nilly. In more current research (the hospital argument was from 2013 I think), the National Journal published this chart linking gun control to gun deaths, by state. Hawaii had the lowest number of gun deaths and the strictest gun laws, while Arkansas had the highest number of gun deaths and the most lax gun laws. Surprise.

Edit: My friend made some very good points about gun control the other day. He noted that charts by state can be misleading, because some states have disproportionately high crime rates to begin with (not necessarily in relation to gun violence), and that the only way to properly study gun-related statistics in relation to crime is to cite them after gun control laws were enacted. Which is a valid argument, considering that states like Maryland or Illinois or New York have very high crime rates compared to states like California and Hawaii.

While there is often a correlation-causation problem with gun control and gun-related deaths (note that the chart lists "gun deaths" as also including suicides and accidental shootings), and it is a multifaceted issue as is any political hot-button topic, this post was not meant to be an all-inclusive or full-fledged argument. It was simply a response to the "hospitals and hammers" argument, which almost everyone can agree is idiotic. Personally, I am specifically concerned with the issue of access and how it affects gun-related deaths (namely, mass shootings, which is a very exclusively American problem), NOT crime in general, as I believe that's a separate but relevant issue.

But of course, there are other sides to the issue which is why the important takeaways, regardless of which side you support, are that a) You should always do your research, b) It's important to facilitate open discussions like this rather than wild, one-sided speculations, and c) It is entirely possible to have a civil, respectful debate about gun control. Politicians, take note.

8. Nothing brings out my inner social justice warrior like gun control and sexual violence. Nothing.

9. Something I wrote at work the other day made it into a presentation to one of our clients. And that client happened to be Jack Daniel's. GAH.

10. I still think closure is a good thing. But sometimes it doesn't turn out quite the way you want it to. And the key is, you have to be ready to accept it either way, and move forward from there. And that's the difficult part.