The Moment I Found Out I Wasn’t White

I was advised a long time ago to keep not only my personal stories to myself, but also my views on politics to myself and away from social media. It doesn’t feel right anymore to stay silent. For months, I retweeted and quoted tweets never taking that firm of a stance on Yow Yow, but the news of the weekend has taken a toll on me. I’m distracted at work. I’m losing sleep because I am consumed by what is happening in our country. You can ignore all of this for a long time and focus just on what directly affects you, but the truth is – this affects all of us.

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I was 5 years old and in Kindergarten when it was pointed out to me just how different I was. My hair wasn’t brown or blonde, but black. My classmates had similar clothes to me and we were the same size. I imagined that everyone could speak two languages at home. I just didn’t know if it was the same as mine. No one had ever treated me as if I were different up to this point. You were considered the “bully” of our class. My parents told me to not engage and back then, I hadn’t discovered how confrontational I could be yet. I boarded the bus like I did every day and took a front seat because the sooner I could get off the bus, the faster I could get to my seaweed wrapped rice crackers that Grandma always put out for me as my afternoon snack.

You singled me out. Pointed to me. “Go sit in the back of the bus.” An order.

“Why?”

“You don’t belong up here.”

*****

Every day I climbed on top of the chair to talk to my mom as she prepared dinner for our family and she would ask me about my day. “Today, he told me to sit in the back of the bus. Why did he say this to me?”

What I remember is the glass shattering moment that I discovered how white I wasn’t. The part I don’t remember is the look on my mother’s face.

What I didn’t realize until I was much older was how much I tried to self-correct myself after this happened to me. For years in my childhood, I pushed myself to be athletic because I thought it was who I was supposed to be. I never liked participating in sports, but all of my caucasian friends were in cross country and track. I didn’t want to bring rice for lunch; I wanted a Lunchables. I stopped speaking Vietnamese until I forgot how to completely. Instead of embracing the culture that I grew up with, I did all that I could to be anything, but different so as to never feel as isolated as I was during that moment when I was five.

*****

I think about this story all the time, but I never thought to ask my mother about how she felt when I came to her until Sunday. I wish I had a recording of this phone call, not to share it widely, but because it was so honest and meant a lot to me to hear her own point of view. What she told me was that she never forgot that moment. Like me, she too, thinks about it. Back then, she couldn’t go too into depth about race or Rosa Parks or the kind of hatred that could live within a child without them truly understanding. I wouldn’t have understood it fully and I sure as hell could not have taken that discussion with me back to school. She admitted to me that she knew my life could be challenging and that I would have to always work harder and be smarter just to be considered equal to my peers. The expectations for me would be much higher and that I might endure more instances like this in my life in different forms. And I did.

*****

So I watched what reminded me of a witch hunt this weekend play out on Twitter. I read the articles about the young man named “Peter” who decided to March at UVA on Friday with a torch and then claim that he’s not the angry racist we see in that photo. And I wondered how a man this young could be taught to be this way – to have this kind of hatred in his heart. Who taught my 5-year-old bully to also have this same way of thinking? I’ve tried to be patient. I tried to understand and read the point of views from both sides to have this awareness, but I’m disappointed and frankly, heartbroken. I never want to have to explain this to my future son or daughter the way my own mother had to with me.

So your vote wasn’t the same as mine. It’s not about our egos and our pride, but let’s move forward. Let’s just agree that we need a better future than what is our current state right now.

And because this is an important recap from the weekend…

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Wedding Mondays

We are overdue for a Wedding Mondays post and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share this one with you all this morning. I’m actually headed to a wedding this weekend – my last one of the season! – however, before we get excited about that one, I wanted to express how much it pained me to have to miss the nuptials of Alyssa and Eric. I’ve known both of them since my freshman year of college and even remember meeting Eric during my first week at orientation. They both have been great friends to me over the years so it was difficult when I learned I couldn’t make their special day.

This video was everything though. I’m elated to see how special their day was and it was nostalgic thinking about how their relationship blossomed into what is now a marriage when I look back on their years of dating in college. Alyssa was a stunning bride and I’ve never seen Eric look so handsome. These two are so perfect together <3

Thank you both for sharing some amazing photos and this video to catch me up on what I missed. I wish you two a very happy marriage and a lifetime of happiness together.

 

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Food Tutorials by David Ma

Following instructions or a recipe doesn’t always come easy to me. Sometimes I get tripped up on even the simplest steps. Other times I am better reading things out loud or just viewing a visual. Food artist, David Ma, recently created these recipe tutorials and molded them from the inspiration of four very well-known directors. My favorite is this “S’Mores” one inspired by Wes Anderson. At the source, you can check out the other pieces that will remind you of Quentin Tarantino, Michael Bay, and Alfonso Cuarón.

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Song of the Day

Passion Pit – Undertow

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Pumpkin Spice is Coming

Y’all, I don’t know if you know this – but I drink Starbucks pretty much every day. I’ve been very fortunate that all of my offices have always been within a block and that I am quickly able to develop new friendships with my favorite baristas. For the last five months, I’ve been on a repetition of Toffee Nut Lattes, but all of that will soon change! Pumpkin Spice is coming and this year Starbucks is announcing a new change to the PSL. Instead of just purchasing in stores, you can now find it at your nearby grocery store (out later this month!)

According to the release, the beverage consists of “high-quality arabica coffee with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove spices, and creamy milk.”

The drink will be iced, and comes in a 14-fluid-ounce bottle for $2.79.

Additionally, Starbucks is releasing Pumpkin Spice Flavored Ground Coffee, so you can brew your own at home. The light roast coffee features notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Starbucks suggests adding a splash of cream and sugar in order to get a similar taste of the PSL. An 11-ounce bag will run you $9.99.

Personally, I prefer my Pumpkin Spice Latte to be hot so this doesn’t actually apply to be, but it’s funny to see how this cult favorite is expanding! The article says the drink is slated to return mid-September, but I’ve pretty much been asking my baristas every day for the last week if it’s arrived… and I know at some point they’ll probably let me have it a little earlier.

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Snaps for a Snapshot

Who: Lea Michele

Wearing: Cushnie et Ochs

Where: ABC TV Summer TCA Tour

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Asian Bachelorette

Some of this is cheesy; a handful of it is spot-on.

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A Trip to the Color Factory!

I was introduced to the Color Factory in mid-July about a couple weeks before the actual opening through a press email. The Pop-Up was organized by Oh Happy Day– a team of creatives that I’d been following for years. They’re famous for all of their DIY ideas and in general just bringing more color and happiness to things. When I heard that they were behind this project and collaborating with other well-known artists in this space, including Geronimo Balloons, I didn’t even bother trying to dig for more information. I bought the tickets the first chance I got and for Day 1!

By the time it opened officially, they were completely sold out for the month of August. Interestingly enough, they only planned to be open for one month, but decided to extend through September because of demand. Personally, I love things like this. Not only is it something to do, but it’s fun to be a part of a pop-up experience! The collaborators put so much work into it and it’s beautiful. People of all ages will love it. In a way it’s sort of like a giant playground for adults.

Here’s what I love about it:

  • When you get tickets, you select a designated time and you need to arrive within 30 minutes of your window in order to get in. This really stressed me out because it was the first day and trying to rush there in San Francisco traffic, I wasn’t confident if I could make it. It ended up working out and the reason why they do this probably is to control the crowds. During each half hour, they know how many people are actually going through the pop-up. The best part is that it never got too crowded! I could get the pictures that I wanted and I didn’t feel rushed. I could just go at my own pace.
  • It can be educational. Each piece has a little description and a note about the artist so that you can learn as you go along.
  • It’s interactive! There’s a lot that you can see, but you’re also taking part as the creator too.
  • Going through the pop-up takes about an hour, which I think is pretty decent for the ticket price. I heard the Museum of Ice Cream takes around 30 minutes, which doesn’t seem very long to me.
  • Everyone is so friendly! The staff was so incredibly nice and you can just tell that they’re having a great time with you. There’s a lot of love and passion that went into making this for the people of San Francisco.
  • There are designated areas within the pop-up that allow you to take photos hands-free! All you have to do is get a photo card when you arrive and program it with your name and email address and then at these spots, you would scan your card and then a timer will count down until it takes your photo. It’s great because you don’t have to take a bunch of selfies and you can do group photos altogether. The area where they can improve is probably being a little bit more clear about where to stand in the photo so as to not include other people or be off center.

Things that could be better:

  • The snacks throughout are a nice touch, but it’s not a lot. It’s no Museum of Ice Cream. You’re not really going for the food anyways.
  • It can be pricey! It’s a fun experience for sure, but ticket prices are higher than what I thought they’d be.
  • When I said earlier that it’s a giant playground, I really meant it. As cool as this pop-up is, I imagine that there’s a lot of germs around because you’re touching so many things, you’re even doing a scratch and sniff and there’s a ball pit. Maybe… take a shower when you get home.
  • It’s sold out already and you have to put your name down for September. :(

Also – just to note, this place is a Boomerang heaven! I actually ended up taking more Boomerangs than photos and the reason why I’m limiting some of them here is because I think you should go and see it for yourself! I definitely don’t want to spoil it for you. Don’t make the same mistake that I did though. On your way out, you can continue the “color tour” by picking up a map that will take you to other colorful spots all around San Francisco in conjunction with The Color Factory opening!

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In A Heartbeat

Happy Saturday everyone! It looks like I’ve been busy on Yow Yow! today and that’s because I’ve mostly spent my day dedicated to it after a long week at work. I’m now getting to catch up on some things that I’ve been meaning to watch, read, and listen to and here is one of those pieces. In a Heartbeat is a short animated film about a boy named Sherwin who has a crush on another classmate of his. In a time where there is so much hate and negativity in the world, I seeing something that promotes love and acceptance above all else. I hope you’ll enjoy this as much as I did.

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Cool Carson City

I would not have ever known about Carson City if one of my friends hadn’t relocated there earlier this year. In fact, I really knew nothing about it and for some time even thought it was in the same vicinity as Lake Tahoe. Close enough, right? A few of my friends and I took the weekend off to venture over there to see her new life. I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors and living in Seattle, you got to be pretty close to it without having to go to far. I wouldn’t exactly say that Carson City was in our backyard though. I’ll admit, the drive was hard for (especially being the driver) and even though you’re not that far, the difference in cultural views and how you’re treated by other locals was definitely an eye-opening experience for me.

That being said, I enjoyed the time away and spending time with my favorite girlfriends.

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Song of the Day

J Tropic – Think of U

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Fall 2017 – Favorite Picks from Aritzia

Rains Jacket – $125

Don’t worry, we’re still trying to enjoy as much of the summer as we can and for those that live in San Francisco, you know it isn’t very long. The changing of the seasons is always so exciting for me though! I’m very fortunate that I’ve lived in areas that experience all four of them. Imagine if you had to wear the same wardrobe year round? The swapping in and out is really the best part, wouldn’t you agree?

If I could shop at one place for the rest of my life, it would be Aritzia. I have a good relationship with the retailer and even more so with the ladies down at The Valley Fair shopping mall! S/O to the ones that always bring me the best pieces that I always end up buying. <3

As we head into fall, I’m already thinking about how to revamp my wardrobe especially one that is appropriate for the girl now living back in the city again. Here are my favorite picks, but don’t be alarmed – some of them aren’t just “fall” specific.

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The Closet: July 2017

 

Warehouse Ditsy Floral Ruffle Hem Midi Dress$105 – $42

The five pieces that stole my heart for July and the last five we’ll see before we head into a dreamy fall! I’ve got one more wedding this month so clearly, I’ve had wedding guest dresses on my mind and a lusting for some items from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale which I stayed very very far away from.

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