All posts in: People

06 Oct 2018

Can We Be Better?

photo cred | Associated Press

I recently read this article that struck a chord with me and made me want to share a similar story with all of you. The article is about how a video went viral of a homeless man shaving on the train. You can imagine that it was probably some millennial that filmed it. This person not only did it so that others could join in on ridiculing a stranger, but they also tried to sell it to other media outlets. The story was frustrating to say the least.

It’s more than just poor taste. It’s dehumanizing. There is so much to love about social media. I enjoy it because of the communities that it can form and the positivity that can be spread. At the same time, being in this space, I know that the internet can be a dark place. This is one of those moments and it’s heartbreaking to hear that someone used this video to try and gain viral status.

In San Francisco, I meet different kinds of people regularly. It’s through work, through my candidates, friends of friends, etc. I recently met someone who was trying to explain to me that the neighborhood we were in, though somewhat more gentrified now, is still as bad as it was years ago. He further explained to me that “just the other day, he was walking down the street and saw a homeless man digging out of the trash with his pants down at his ankles.” He took a photo of that moment and offered to show me. I could’ve died. The conversation and that evening needed to end right then and there.

In this day and age, I get it. The lines are blurry. Things on the internet are funny, but not at the expense of others. I’m not saying I have always gotten this right. I learned tough lessons about this in the internet age a long time ago and even before the internet was more of a thing. This is a friendly reminder to all of you to think before you post and to not film or take photos unless you’ve asked for permission. If you don’t feel comfortable asking permission, then you probably shouldn’t be doing what you are doing.

10 Sep 2018

Wedding Mondays

Wedding Mondays is still my favorite way to kick off a week. I was discouraged from even posting today because I sat near a group of men at lunch who expressed some strong hatred for weddings. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. And even though it was a huge damper, I came home and remembered how much I loved this video. What can I say? The song makes everything.
On top of that, what makes this wedding video even more special is that it comes from the first wedding video vendor I ever loved – Shark Pig. In it, you’ll find their signature vintage-y spin on it, but you’ll also see a lot of modern elements. 
These crystal pumps!
For the entire wedding feature, click [here] to visit Green Wedding Shoes

09 Sep 2018

Blog Roundup

  • The Guide to Every Wedding Dress Code (for men) [Esquire]
  • Second Life Podcast: Linda Wells on Founding Allure, Being Fired and Moving On [My Domaine]
  • 30 Days Inside Chinese Livestreaming [Beme News]
  • America’s Best New Restaurants of 2018 [Bon Appétit]
  • How the 1 Percent Do Burning Man [NY Post]
  • 50 Things Every Guy Should Know How to Cook [Cool Material]
  • How Heath Ledger’s Joker Was Born

  • Stretchy Ice Cream Is About To Be Your New Summer Obsession [Thrillist]
  • Constance Wu’s Beauty Picks [New York Times]
  • 8 Ways to Make Your Flight Better [New York Times]
  • Secrets of Las Vegas’s Exclusive High-Roller Cosmopolitan Suite [Bloomberg]
03 Sep 2018

Wedding Mondays

Happy Labor Day everyone! I hope you all had a restful and relaxing weekend. Having recently started a new job and taking a month off beforehand, it was tough to jump right back into it. I’m grateful that I had a long weekend to help with the ease of this. Right before starting work, I went to not one, but two back-to-back weddings. They were both in the Bay Area which meant two things a) I got to experience more of the place I get to call home and b) I didn’t have to travel far to celebrate my friends.

Tonight’s wedding Monday is also another San Francisco wedding! I’ve been following Nikki on Instagram for some time and have always admired her style. Her feed is full of looks we want to emulate and of course, #travelgoals. I recently watched her entire Instagram story outlining the details of her wedding from her invitations, to her looks, to the venues that she used and each one was chosen with such intent. The video highlights a beautiful day with an extremely loving couple. I’m pretty sure this video doesn’t even do their day justice, but we couldn’t not feature it.

26 Aug 2018

You Are What You Eat

I want to start this post by getting something out of the way. A year ago, I wrote a piece on Yow Yow! sharing a difficult childhood moment that I faced that had to do with my identity – my ethnicity. It was challenging for me to write to begin with. After it was posted, I received backlash (from an individual), which resulted in me having a panic attack on my way to work. It was yet another moment in my life where I felt isolated and even having this platform for nearly nine years at the time, I was made to feel like I had done something wrong.

In the last few years, I’ve started to share more about my life when I can muster up the courage. It is never my intention to offend anyone. With every sensitive post I consider writing, I send a first draft and sometimes a second draft to Veronica before posting. I want to make something clear. I’m not a journalist. No one currently writes on Yow Yow! except for me. I’m not trying to push my opinions onto anyone else. You can choose to not read Yow Yow! ever if something I say upsets you. I never come in expecting my experiences to resonate with anyone. I consider myself lucky if I get just one person that can relate, but it is okay to walk away from this and not feel anything. We all process experiences and feel emotions differently towards a variety of things and that is fine.

That one day of backlash from one person wasn’t great. I was only able to get over it after receiving messages from people that thanked me for sharing my story because it is often stories from Asian Americans that get overlooked because we don’t fit in. At its core, Yow Yow is here to share the stories of others, which we’ve done so many times and mine when I feel brave.

*****

I started a new job a couple of weeks ago, which is never easy. The other night, I was invited to dinner with my coworkers and a question that was thrown out to the table was “what were your lunches like growing up?” In this moment, I was appreciative that my coworkers expressed curiosity because what that time represented for me was shame. In my first few days of Kindergarten my parents sent me off with leftovers from dinner the night before – a standard of rice with marinated beef or chicken prepared by my mother. Delicious, but what some may consider “potent smelling”. My attempt to blend in wasn’t working. I needed a meal that smelled more like a bologna sandwich.

I often times wonder to this day if my parents were hurt by me asking, “Can I please just have a Lunchables every day?” “Can I have a Capri-Sun?” “Can my peanut butter jelly sandwiches be cut into 4’s or at the very least halves?”

A lot of “Can I’s” in an attempt to feel like everyone else. I’m certain that it wasn’t much more work for my parents to adhere to my requests, but likely more expensive. They wanted me to be happy and we all wanted to fit in, right?

For the longest time, I used to say that I grew up mostly never having Asian friends or identifying with that part of my life. But I wasn’t really trying, was I? I wanted the things that everyone else had: A normal lunch, to run for student government, to be decent in school, but nowhere near an overachiever because that would put me in a stereotype. I longed to be good at sports, but that was never going to happen.

At the same time I was confused. I didn’t have the idols that everyone else had. I loved the Spice Girls and Britney Spears, but I couldn’t relate to them ever. For me, there was Lucy Liu, Mulan, Julie from The Puzzle Place, the yellow Power Ranger, and Kimi from Rugrats. As I got older, I admired Lisa Ling and Suchin Pak. I sometimes get annoyed at the articles that are saying that we are having a moment now, but the truth is, everyone has been hustling. We’ve always been here, but never truly seen.

*****

This chapter in my life is called embracing. Leslie, Tommy and I got tickets for Crazy Rich Asians the night that it opened and I had been looking forward to it all week. I laughed at the jokes that I knew my family could relate to. I smiled from my nearly front row seat looking up at Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) because she was a heroine in this film. By the last quarter of the film, my entire face was wet and the tears were flowing. I couldn’t articulate why, but I knew it meant something powerful to me. It was this idea that even though Nick’s family looked like Rachel, she was a stranger and could never be seen as anything close to family. It’s so hard to talk about the film without giving spoilers away, but there are many themes within that resonated with my upbringing – the standards that are held for us, the shame and disgrace that you can bring upon your family, and the pursuit of happiness vs. expectations.

For weeks, I continued to hear this phrase, “representation matters”. I couldn’t say it myself because I didn’t know what it meant until I felt it. This past week has been overwhelming for me, full of emotions, a sense of accomplishment and solidarity. For those of you that connected with Crazy Rich Asians and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Asian or not, it meant the world to me to hear your praises and how much it resonated with you. Please continue to be curious and to seek these stories. The ones below are some of my favorites and paint an even clearer picture than I am able to.

 

30 Jul 2018

Wedding Mondays

By now, y’all have a sense of the kind of wedding videos I like, but every now and then I like to throw a few curve balls. How funny is this one that looks like a rap music video? It’s only one minute long, but I honestly wish it could have stretched out longer because of how fun Leslie and Cano are. 
This morning I woke up to a text from my best friend letting me know that she’s getting married next week at City Hall. Following that is going to be her reception which she’d love for me to make if I can. As I check the date that she has just given me, I realize that it happens to be the weekend I already have two back-to-back weddings. The date that she says is a Thursday so while technically, I am free that night, I would have three back-to-back weddings. Is your head spinning yet? It kills me to have to miss one of my best friend’s weddings, but what’s a girl to do? I’m there in spirit and of course the Bachelorette Party that will technically come after the wedding.
As we get older, I know we’re all going to have our fair share of wedding woes. This is my first big one, but what other ones have you all faced? 
And back to that other wedding…! Here are my favorite details that you absolutely cannot miss:
This flower wall! You better believe I saved this to my Pinterest board. 
The groom’s blue floral printed suit!
The bride and her ‘maids in red!
For the entire feature, click [here] to visit Green Wedding Shoes! 

30 Jul 2018

Blog Roundup

  • Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market Sold to Fish-Throwing Employees [The Seattle Times]
  • The world’s most Instagrammable sneakers [forward2me]
  • The horror film, The Purge, is being turned into a television series for USA Network and it looks just as terrifying as the films.
  • Mara Wilson’s thoughts on how Allison Mack got roped into NXIVM [Elle]
  • An interview with Stripe’s CEO, Patrick Collison on culture and growing startups [High Growth Handbook – Elad Gil]
  • How an ex-cop rigged McDonald’s Monopoly game and stole millions [The Daily Beast]
  • The bowling mechanic keeping America’s favorite pastime alive
  • The legacy of Benihana [The Ringer]
  • Being 30 in Seattle: It’s a lot harder today than it was for your parents [The Seattle Times]

  • How Marie Kondo Created a Decluttering Empire [The Every Girl]
  • He Kissed Me…and then Unmatched Me [The Every Girl] – just a funny take on online dating in 2018

  • Giant NASA Space Blanket Will Cover This Year’s Burning Man [Hypebeast]
  • The 18 Best New Restaurants in America [Eater]
  • Lyft Announces New Subscription Plan [Refinery29]
23 Jul 2018

Wedding Mondays

I’ve been holding onto this video for at least a month, but writing about this wedding video requires a bit of care. For my best friend, I can’t just toss a bunch of words together. Despite the showers that day, Ashley and Daniel’s wedding went off without a hitch and became one of my favorite days this year. The two of them had an engagement that lasted a year and a half and boy, did that timeline just fly by. In the months leading up to her wedding, we had the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and then the big day. It was a busy last three months, but it meant that I got to see Ashley consecutively more and more leading up to everything. 


Y’all already know how I feel about weddings, but being asked to be a bridesmaid is one of the best asks I’ve ever gotten. I loved every minute being a part of this day. San Diego isn’t just where the wedding took place. It also happens to be the place where Ashley and Daniel have made a home for themselves. To have the celebration there and to be a part of their day was so special.


I kind of love watching this video over again because there’s always a new small detail that I’m catching. The video also doesn’t do the day justice. There really were so many moments that didn’t make the cut, but for a day that went by so fast, this is a great recap. Can you spot me standing at the front of the church wiping tears from my chin? I’d rather have that moment make the cut than when I was ugly crying into my napkin at dinner!

Videography by SJ Videography and Photography by Aga Jones Photography
23 Jul 2018

A Collection Part 51

For those of you who have been following Yow Yow! for years now, you know that these are some of my most intimate posts. Often times, I’m saying more with the images that I select than in the paragraphs I’m writing ahead of the post. For the first time ever, I’ve selected images that come from only one source. I recently discovered a new Tumblr that has become a fast favorite. Worried at first that I wouldn’t have enough material to use or even that the post would be an inaccurate representation of what I was hoping to convey ended up not being a real concern after all.

It has been a week of being completely stress free and living in my moments without having a plan. I think these photos depict an image of that. I think this is what carefree-ness and whimsy looks like and it’s entirely how I’m feeling. In these photos, you’ll notice that there are some up-close shots of a part of a body or detail zoomed in. I may not have known it at the time when I was picking out the photo, but it ended up being more intentional than planned. I wanted to focus and hone in on one thing specifically as opposed to doing the whole “big picture” thing.

Read more “A Collection Part 51”

19 Jul 2018

Blog Roundup

  • A Spice Girls Exhibit Is Coming This Summer [Nylon]
  • The Emojis We Don’t Need [Vice]
  • Aly Raisman Takes The Floor [ESPN]
  • America’s Ramen Obsession, Explained – I don’t know if I agree with how yummy all these creations are supposed to be! [The New Yorker]
  • ‘Sister Survivors’ and victims of Larry Nassar Accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS last night [Vogue]

Instagram

  • Striking the balance of cozy and silkiness 😌
  • Keeping it 💯 and tropical
  • Today was mess and Winny saved me from getting hit by a car in the city so onwards to tomorrow!
  • l u s h
  • 🆙
  • Quit playing games with my tots @tacotimenw #KandHdoTT
  • Melty in your mouth scallops
  • yes, we can get through this week 👊🏽
  • Pacific Northwest tones

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