At the end of shelter-in-place, I plan on writing a post about what this entire experience has taught me. The biggest eye opener has been how people have reacted to the pandemic. I think there’s several ways that this can go, but some will put others before themselves while others will put themselves first before anyone else. This notion of not being able to recognize one’s entitlement is something that we all witness often.
In times like these, celebrities can’t work from home. To bridge this gap, Tori Spelling thought it would be a great idea to host virtual meet-and-greets with her fans. The caveat? At a cost of $95 per entry. Tori may not be working at the moment, but I would hardly put her in the category of struggling like many others who are at minimum wage, laid off, or out of work because of shelter-in-place. Naturally, this has caused some backlash and her husband Dean came to her defense.
All the studios, everything is shut down. She has no way to work like everybody else. She has no job to go to. So, why can she not work from home and do a live meet and greet with fans and give them some light and love and have some fun?”
Tori’s career is not like everyone else’s currently being impacted by COVID-19. By no means, will she struggle and the right thing to do here would actually be to give back. Many of you know we’ve been watching Ben Gibbard’s weekly streams and he expresses the same. In a recent Rolling Stone interview, he comments, “But I do think that people who are in situations like mine have a moral obligation to help out.” Without obviously stating, he recognizes how well off he is and that giving back is the move instead taking from others. Why this isn’t clear to everyone else in this position at the moment still doesn’t make sense to me. I can only hope that everyone else will get there at some point.
I continue to be extremely impressed with Netflix’s decision to bring more Asian characters to life through film. “The Half of It” is a twist on your typical coming-of-age story. Using her writing abilities to help another classmate write a love letter, Ellie Chu discovers something about herself. When I think about Ellie’s character and what I’ve seen so far, there truly aren’t many characters like her portrayed in film. Sure, there will be some backlash or criticism. However, I think I belong in the camp that will find this portrayal to be incredibly refreshing.
As I’m catching up with my friends this week, I’m noticing that we’re all asking each other similar questions. “What are you watching?” “Any good books lately?” “What are people cooking these days?” There’s a lot of time to spend on things that we might not normally prioritize. More than ever, I’m noticing that I’m seeking recommendations from those in my network for things I might not gravitate towards. This could change week-by-week and we may not be able to post one of these every weekend, but I thought it would be nice to capture what I’m doing now.
What we’re watching: Crash Landing on You (Netflix)
OK, so this is another excuse to post a picture of these two! Korean dramas aren’t normally in my wheelhouse, but when I was suggested to give Crash Landing on You a try from two close friends, I figured I couldn’t make up an excuse. After all, what could I say? I don’t have the time? What I love about this series is that there’s something for everyone. There’s a little comedy, romance, action, thrill, and mystery. It’s actually the 2nd highest rated drama in Korean TV history, which means it’s more than worth checking out. I’ve been watching the show for about a week now and even caught myself going through three episodes in a day. Each episode is about 90 minutes a way. Part way through, I decided to savor the series taking my time because I don’t want it to end!
You would think that since I dress up for work every day normally that I’d do the same at home. In fact, it has been quite the opposite! Getting showered and dressed every morning is still part of the routine, but I also want to be at my most comfortable. I have six pairs of these leggings that I just rotate through and am still probably looking to add more to my collection. Since they are affordable, it’s easy not to feel bad about making a purchase.
What I’m Reading: Chanel Miller’s “Know My Name”
I’ve had this book since December and I’m taking my time with it. As many of you know, this hasn’t been an easy read. I also don’t normally read books these days on a regular basis often opting for shorter pieces online. However, I continue to just be in awe of Chanel – her writing, her presence, and her strength throughout this entire ordeal. Despite how challenging of a read it is for me, I know we’ll all be better for it on the other side and I’m hoping to finish before shelter-in-place ends.
What we’re supporting: local restaurants
There’s no shortage of organizations that we all could be donating to right now. I live near a neighborhood that I spend much of my time in when not shelter-in-place. Many restaurants here are greatly being impacted and one that stands out in giving back to the community right now is [Che Fico.] They are currently selling family-style meals at $50 that include bread, salad, an entree, and dessert which can feed 2-3 people. For those that can’t afford this, students, those impacted by shelter-in-place, you can sign up for a free meal. The restaurant already is contributing 250 meals a night through this program. And for those that can help, you can also donate to this program to help keep it going. As much as possible, I’m spending more time preparing my meals at home, but to have some sort of normalcy, we are getting takeout 1-2 times a week.
What we’re eating: Garlic Noodles
My excuse for never cooking at home is always time. I’m at work late or I have social activities afterwards that prevent me from doing so. Without this excuse, I was able to use my extra time to make a delicious meal for myself. I’ve actually never made garlic noodles before, but Jean Wang of [Extra Petite] had a fairly simple recipe to follow with most of the ingredients already being in my pantry. We tried to capture me in the process of cooking this for my Instagram, but it was harder than it looks! Whatever the case, it was a recipe that we could continue perfecting, but I’ll keep this in my back pocket for now.
During the award show circuit this year, there were constant conversations about how the Oscars continue to be so white. Two pieces of criticism involved both “The Farewell” and “Parasite.” Awkwafina and Lulu Wang didn’t deserve to be snubbed for their work in “The Farewell.” For Parasite, why could they only be recognized for Best Picture, Director or Ensemble and not for the work that the individual actors and actresses did in this film? It was a mystery.
Be Kind Rewind is a YouTube channel that focuses on Hollywood history. In this particular episode, they explore why Asian actors and actresses continue to struggle in 2020 with recognition, but that there has been a long history of it prior. In order for us to change and move forward, we have to understand how it started.
With everything happening with Covid-19, there is no shortage of things to watch. Though movie releases are being pushed back, some television series like our favorite “Killing Eve” is releasing their 3rd season two weeks early. It’s nice to see some small upside in the gloomy times we’re living in. I caught wind of two new movie trailers yesterday though that feature Asian leads.
Sometimes if I share the synopsis, I feel like I’m giving too much away so for now I just want to plug the trailers. Something to look forward to! I think both films will be extremely relatable and I’m excited to watch both.
I’ve never been in a position where I was looking for several things to fill my time, but that time is now. Watching television and movies can only go so far and I’ll admit, sometimes I lack the creative inspiration to always write a post. I had two options: reviving my Neopets account or creating a Tik Tok. I’ll give Tommy credit for this because he actually planted the seed of Tik Tok to me several years back. At the time, I already felt inundated with the number of applications on my phone and I still do.
On a whim, I downloaded the app. Several weeks ago, I came across a tweet of a [Tik Tok] that I couldn’t get out of my head. It had been awhile since I did any kind of dancing, but I figured that would be the most appropriate route if I had an account. I started with this choreography first by watching a tutorial from a teenager.
Then I followed it up with a compilation of Tik Tok influencers that did this exact choreography with their own spin. It was impossible to not go down a rabbit hole. The first post was acceptable and while I posted it to Instagram, I thought I could do better. I redid it the next morning and deleted the original. Starting with one post, we ramped up to do two yesterday and three today. As a hobby, it’s quite consuming and addicting.
The culture within Tik Tok is fascinating. Charli D’melio is considered a queen on the platform with 39.6 million followers at the moment. The most popular Tik Tok influencers (they all seem to be in the same age group as well) live in a house together called “Hype House” where they record Tik Tok’s all day long. Tik Tok’s are typically 15 seconds long and can span across many interests, but comedy and dancing seem to rank high at least on my feed.
Sometimes the influencers re-record the same choreography multiple times and I’m not sure why.
Apparently, there’s a whole subculture that lives within Tik Tok called eboys. Charli happens to be dating one of those named [Chase Hudson.]
What happens next? I feel like a parent saying this, but what do career paths look like beyond Tik Tok?
There are so many different filters and effects within the app. I’m still too scared to touch any of that!
When I first went to my “home” feed, the default is videos that I might like based on their ranking instead of those that I follow. It took me two days to figure out how to toggle.
The dances are fun and short because 15 seconds, but at times can be challenging as with all choreography. Sometimes different dances use the same moves. It’s unclear to me yet if the influencers are the ones creating the original choreography.
Engagement is incredibly high and I’m not sure how distribution is working quite yet, but trying to figure it out.
There’s a very clear demographic / audience using the app that ages me completely.
I now think in Tik Toks. If I hear a new song, I’ll convince myself how great it would be if it were turned into a Tik Tok choreography though I’m likely not the person to do that.
Why can’t you create folders for your likes or rather use a bookmark function like on Instagram?
It’s hard to lip sync, dance, and not make concentration face all at the same time.
It has been nice to just enjoy learning something new again for fun and I realized I hadn’t actually done that in a long time.
It’s a battery killer.
Since I joined, I have been able to convince two of my friends to join. The power of the platform!
At the moment, Tik Tok is the perfect amount of distraction for me. It’s unclear whether I’ll continue after shelter-in-place ends, but for the time being, it looks like we’ll dedicate a video a day at least. To end this post, I’m going to leave you with something that will get a laugh out of you.
I was an incredibly picky eater growing up. I don’t envy the stress I gave my parents on having them figure this out every single day with me. Chrissy Teigen had a cute idea for her daughter by giving Luna the choice every day of what she wants to eat. The books holds all of her usual meals and Chrissy keeps all of the ingredients readily stocked so that she’s ready for whatever Luna picks. On top of this, they give Luna laminated dollars and let her “pay” for her meal.
I’m taking it easy this weekend as I’ve just returned home from my trip and balancing jet lag and the current state of the world! While my company is advising everyone to WFH likely until the end of the month, I have a feeling it will take us in to April. I hope all of you are taking this time to focus on more important matters in your life. Stay connected and keep in touch with your family and friends (virtually, please). Take care of things you’ve been putting off. In a way, we have the gift of time, but we need to use it wisely.
While I was away, there were so many new shows and movies that came out. I want to share some of the trailers that I’m looking forward to here!
Also, I’m way behind on Westworld, but I have many friends who are fans. It just came back last night and if you haven’t started the series, now might be a decent time to do so.