Tag Archives: Culture

A Collection Part 48

48 posts and counting! I’m convinced that writer’s block is a thing that happens to everyone. I can still remember being in college and becoming upset at myself when I knew I had waited until the last minute to complete a paper. Typical. Writing always came easily when it wasn’t out of desperation and when it wasn’t at a time that I needed it the most. These “A Collection” posts are my favorite because they don’t ever require writing, but I like to write a little piece to go along with it anyways. It’s nice to just sift through a bunch of images and decide on the spot if I want to include them or not. I will usually know within a second and if I’m thinking about one for too long, that might also mean something too. I like to think that all of the images represent the mood that I’m in or a period in my life. I never actually write out the exact feeling at that moment and we’re completely okay with that. If you read into these a bit though, you can always sense a type of pattern.

Enjoy!

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A Vending Machine for Homemade Meals

Now I haven’t done too much international traveling, but I’ll never forget my trip to Japan and how amazed I was by not only everything there, but the amount of vending machines everywhere! Those vending machines get so much use by the locals that it feels like such a norm as opposed to here in America. It’s also entirely normal to just buy decent food at a gas station according to my friends.

I loved this story about vending machine owner, Tadashi Yoshimoto, who refills his curry and rice concoction twice a day using rice that he grows from his own farm.

[Source]

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Blog Roundup

  • How a 6-year old became one of Japan’s Instagram icons [Vice]
  • A woman’s journey to having a career in beauty after growing up on welfare [Allure]
  • A history of those Real World vs. Road Rules challenges [Buzzfeed]
  • Hear women discuss the sexism they face in Silicon Valley – a video [Wired]
  • Why you feel exhausted [Man Repeller]
  • This quiz will tell you your favorite rom-com [Livingly] I got How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and it’s true I’ve seen that movie a million times.
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A Collection Part 47

 

The theme of this collection is minimalism. Before I left my last job, my life was very noisy. My mind was constantly racing with a million thoughts. I wasn’t always able to communicate my feelings articulately. I was stressed with needing to be two places at once, and in general my home – my sanctuary felt cluttered. The time off that I had from working made me feel well again. I felt like I could take care of myself the way I needed to and get that clear head that I was seeking. I couldn’t remember a time where I was THAT happy! And that’s why it was also challenging to get back to work after that… but more on that later. This post is a collection of things that just feel simple to me. There’s not a lot of noise in them and as you’ll notice in these photos, more space than usual. Enjoy!

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Hater

In 2017, there’s a dating app for every kind of person. For a long time, I thought the most creative was “Farmers Only,” but as dating apps grew in popularity, there was no limit or bounds for the specific type of person you might be looking for. With that said, the more specific you are looking for, the less options you end up having. One dating app that came onto the scene this week was “Hater” – for those who have a mutual hate for something. It doesn’t seem like the most warm and fuzzy foot to jump off on, but if it works for people, then why not? According to Vice, if you hate Taylor Swift, camping, or Donald Trump (which I imagine to be a larger population here) then you’re in luck! There’s other people just like you and they might even be compatible with you too.

The app will officially launch February 8th (just in time for Valentine’s Day!) and upon signing up, you’ll get to swipe on all the things you hate. After that, you’ll begin getting matched up with others that have a mutual hate just like you. Currently the app has 2,000 topics you can swipe on, but it’s not clear if you have to do all 2,000 as soon as you sign up. How time consuming! Eventually the people behind the app hope that they can generate more topics for people to hate so that it can build itself out through their users.

For more information, check out Vice – happy swiping!

 

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Ryan Scafuro’s “Election Night”

There have been three very memorable election nights for me – 2008, 2012, and 2016. In 2008, I voted for the first time and I got to witness something truly incredible in my first year of college alongside my new friends. In 2012, I did it again, but this time the celebration was toned down because – you know, we graduated from college already and we were comfortable. In 2016, we got over confident. I almost didn’t vote because I was not registered in the state of California to do so. Tommy made sure that we were going to make that happen though. He accompanied me to the polls (my first time ever!) and he watched me finish casting my ballot in less than a minute (something that I was proud of and that I had prepped for!) Internally, I thought I wouldn’t have anything to worry about. When I got home after work that day, I thought I would be feeling the way I did in 2012 – relaxing on my couch, watching the results, and hopefully having a silent celebration by myself. I felt like I had that “500 Days of Summer” Reality vs. Expectations moment and it broke me. I will never forget how I felt that evening of the election and the sinking feeling I had the next morning when I dragged myself into work.

It was hard to watch this short film by Ryan Scafuro documenting a group of people watching the election results come in. I didn’t want to relive this day again, but it brought me solace knowing that there were people – like me – feeling the way that I did watching the results. Not all of these feelings though resonated with me. There are people in this film that disagreed with my views and I remember watching this and trying my hardest to just understand. I was left with one question. Why do we root for humor or for something that is considered a joke in serious matters like this one? There’s a difference between that and rooting for the underdog that I think people get confused by.

Thank you Herman for sharing this!

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My Favorite Posts of 2016

Typically when I write “end-of-year” posts, I’m always pulling up what I wrote the year before in another tab as a reference. I already know that I didn’t do too much writing this year so it will be ambitious to find 12 posts that I really liked as opposed to last year when that feeling was so easy for me! That being said, I think there are going to be a few treasures in here that we can highlight. They may not be the posts that rank to the top in terms of views, but they are the posts that I enjoyed writing the most and the ones that you know I probably re-read a dozen times before feeling comfortable posting. Thank you all for another fantastic year… now let’s head into our 8th year of Yow Yow! This blog is now older than my previous Polly Pocket collection (7 years!)

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  • This Happened Tonight – I honestly don’t know if this is enough to consider it one of my favorite posts, but this is me totally just fangirling out over here. It might be on my list of funny moments in 2016, but whatever the case – this needed to belong on SOME list and I chose this. I think I like this post just because it reminds me a little bit of how I used to write in the old days – you know back in 2009/2010 – no filter – just blagh! whatever I felt like spewing out at the time. If you read the post though (and you know me!) then you know I’m suppressing my feelings here for the sake of appearing normal on Yow Yow! If only this weren’t so short lived…

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  • Happy 7th Birthday Yow Yow! – We’ve never celebrated a Yow Yow! anniversary like this before. The number 7 has no significance to me or Yow Yow! but after all this time, you kind of just feel like you need to do something different. We were already doing regular outfit photos, so I thought – why not throw in a balloon?! One of the best parts about this post is that Aritiza decided to feature this photo above for their Instagram account. I was ecstatic, but very quickly commenters started to notice that the balloon didn’t actually look like a “7” and actually looked like… male genitalia. So almost immediately, my excitement did a 180.

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  • Looking Back: Space Girl – It’s a weird thing to be in front of a camera. I’m not a natural by any means. Every shoot, Elynn probably takes on average 15-25 photos and while we sometimes get 2-3 really good ones, the rest are of me opening my mouth, fixing my clothes, talking, being awkward, you name it. We’ve come such a long way… this post was incredibly special to me though. Space Girl was everything to me when we were in college. I never could get comfortable in front of the camera and having this helmet on made me feel invincible. When we stopped using it and went back to outfit shoots, you can plainly see how hard it is for me in these photos, but I will never forget the gateway that Space Girl provided for me to get me to where we are today.
  • Wedding Mondays – I know what you’re thinking. How can you choose a favorite? We’ve highlighted so many incredible wedding videos in 2016, but one that I keep going back to (in addition to Mandi’s of course!) is this one featuring Jean (from Extra Petite) and her husband Nick. To this day, we still can’t wrap our head around the three dresses, but we think it’s amazing. Secondly, Long Haul films is no longer doing wedding videos so that makes this one extra special. (see what I did there?) Also, when I was in Boston this past fall for work, I got to stop by the Boston Library and see this venue myself and we fangirled the  same amount we did for BJ Novak. It was just as amazing in person as it is in the video…
  • Revisiting Casual – I like to look at “Casual” as something we continue to pass on. Every year, I’ve gotta share it with someone new and last year that was Manan. Together, him and I watched the entire series from start to finish and he loved it as much as I did! No surprises there – everyone I’ve ever shown this too has fallen in love with the series so it’s not too late if you decide to hop on the bandwagon. We’re still accepting fan club members. In all honesty, relationships are hard, okay? I’m never 100% content with mine and in 2016 it’s tough to date. If I knew in the long run that I was going to be okay then I would love to have that off my shoulders, but if Casual has taught me anything and if life has taught me anything – it’s that it’s all about timing. We have to let things play out the way they are supposed to. Thank you Casual for continuing to be a positive force in my life year after year.

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  • And When We Give Back – It was such a surreal experience to be speaking with students that had been accepted to Seattle University as the class of 2020. Let that sink in a little bit. When I was a kid, I used to think that college was almost the end all be all. It was hard for me to imagine being a woman with a career – not because I didn’t want to have a career, but because it just seemed so far away. I’m fortunate that my friend who works at admissions asked me to do this panel because it put a lot into perspective. It was a very humbling experience to be giving advice to students as to why Seattle U was a great school for me even though I kind of do this in my real life job too. Additionally, it made me appreciate my parents in a way that I haven’t before. Seeing the parents of these accepted students was a little bit entertaining; they were SO nervous. I wondered how my parents were able to handle me going off to college with such ease and tranquility when that is very clearly not the case for most.

  • To Be a “Leftover” Woman in China – Never have I ever ugly-cried so hard over a YouTube video, but this struck a chord with me. It’s 2016 and the pressures of settling down or being in a committed relationship are still very much a priority for most. It’s overwhelming at times! I loved hearing the stories of these young women – young women that I can identify with and find to be so brave for doing something like this. I’m glad the video had a happy ending too, a newfound perspective for their parents.
  • A Girl and Her Bed – I never write pieces like this and I remembered being very on the fence about it because it seems abnormal for me to dispel some serious feelings about a part of my daily routine. In reading it over though, I think the post is kind of beautiful. I’m using words that I don’t normally use and I’m being vulnerable in a way that I haven’t with Yow Yow! before.

  • “The Panic in Central Park” – Is this my favorite TV moment in 2016? Yes. I must have watched this episode at least 25 times and at one point, once a day for a week. We had given up on Girls the season before this one, but after hearing about how much commotion this episode stirred, we hopped back into it. Luckily, for this episode, you didn’t need to know what was happening before it. It was like it’s own standalone episode and it was a beautiful piece. Marnie may be one of the most annoying characters in the series, but in “The Panic in Central Park” she was all of us. We’ve all had that scenario – some version of it, sometimes shorter or longer or more fun or less fun than what Marnie had, but we all got to the same theme at the very end of it.
  • Our Twenties: How We’re Doing – “Be good to yourself” – a friend once advised me. Too many times in a year, I find myself complaining about how I don’t have this or don’t have that. How annoying for those around me that have to listen to this! The truth is, your 20’s aren’t easy. They were never supposed to be so it’s important for us to cut ourselves some slack. Earlier in 2016, I wrote about my New Year’s resolutions. This post though was sort of like our midpoint review. Initially this started out as a mini-project with Casper, but I ended up actually enjoying this more than I thought I would and had a lot of fun with it.
  • Aging and Alone in Manhattan’s Chinatown – I have a thing for pieces that remind me of my sweet Grandma Ruby. This profile by Mantai Chow truly captured a look into the life of an elderly living in Chinatown. I remember watching this video and thinking back to how I never worried about those that lived there because they had what I believed to be a strong community. In reality though, it seems much more lonelier than I thought. These individuals are more brave than I could ever be especially this woman profiled. Hearing her story was one of the highlights in Yow Yow’s 2016.

  • Let’s Talk About New York! – We made it to 12 posts! With all the trips we took this year, how could we not include our favorite one? It took me 26 years to get to New York, but I couldn’t have asked for a better traveling partner and tour guide. Mandi and I took the next step in our friendship and explored New York City together. She was a pro – obviously having done grad school there and me? Well, I could barely have a successful run on the subway without having a mini freak out. There was never a moment for us to stop because we were constantly on the move. And even though we had made a very packed itinerary for our trip, we only ended up doing half the things we were supposed to. I guess that just means we have to go back.
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Aging and Alone in Manhattan’s Chinatown

I had been hoarding this video/article in my tabs for exactly a month now and only this week was I able to finally watch it. After watching it, I asked myself a few questions, why did I keep it here for so long? Shouldn’t I have just watched it and either a) posted about it or b) moved on from it? The other option that also seems pretty likely is c) that I was scared of it. All I knew about it was the title and a screenshot of an elderly Asian woman walking through Chinatown – actually that same one above.

Growing up, my family and I went to Chinatown nearly every weekend in Seattle. To be politically correct, we call it the “International District” because it’s not just targeted towards Chinese people – it’s all Asian cultures. I remember when walking around wondering where their families were – where were their sons and daughters and grandchildren the way that my grandparents had me? Where did they live and did they have family gatherings the way we did? Today, I only have one Grandma left. I was recently told by someone at a funeral that I needed to get married soon so that she could be present at my wedding. Talk about the pressure! Well, if my Grandmother didn’t live 15 minutes away from my childhood home, could this woman in the video easily be her? Yes, probably. And it’s not the life that I would hope for her, but this is the reality for so many elderly people in International Districts all over the country. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone because the woman’s story profiled in the video is worth watching. What I love about this video is that it gives me a sliver of the answers that I was always looking for, but I’m curious to know more. I want to dig deeper into the stories of those living in Chinatown and hustling every day like this woman. Maybe someday, we’ll be able to do that…

Just a warning, the video doesn’t have a happy ending, but DoobyBrain informed their readers that actually the woman is alive and still in Chinatown so hopefully that puts you at ease.

The video profile was created by Mantai Chow and you can watch it here.

[Source]

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My Favorite Meme

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I know I’m like a month + behind on this, but these Arthur memes have been cracking me up lately. I think my coworker had a whole discussion in a Slack channel recently about our favorite ones. Here are some that were posted on Huffington Post. I remember when I discovered this, I didn’t want the scrolling to end. I just wanted more! There’s also something really entertaining about reviving your favorite things from childhood into something more modern, which is exactly this.

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To view the rest, you can click here.

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Blog Roundup

  • Frank Ocean’s album reportedly will be within 72 hours (Frank, pls) [Independent]
  • Meet the ATM for pizzas [Inside Hook]
  • The Filipino diving team is not good. Just watch. [Digg]
  • The captions to use when you post that first photo with your significant other [List]
  • Famous first landing pages [One Month Rails]
  • How the USA women’s gymnastics team picks their music [Fader]
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Blog Roundup

  • 5 Things that are harder than registering to vote
  • Gay Marriage, A Year Later [New York Times]
  • Kevin Durant leaves OKC to join the Warriors. Just give them the trophy already. [ThePlayersTribune]
  • Lollapalooza Columbia cancels entire festival because headliner Rihanna pulls out for fear of Zika Virus [Nylon]
  • Photographing the real Barack Obama [The Guardian]
  • Productivity is about what you don’t do [Jocelyn Glei]
  • The one food you should never eat according to Anthony Bourdain [TIME]
  • JetBlue does something sweet for mothers on Mother’s Day [Travel + Leisure]
  • How awkward are you? (a quiz!) I got the “I’m not awkward, which is awkward.” Man, can’t win [Man Repeller]
  • How to say “Thank You” [James Clear]
  • A generator that guesses your age and status based on what apps you have on your phone. [Washington Post] This wasn’t entirelyyyy accurate for me.

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A Collection Part 45

Interestingly enough, we don’t have a lot of thoughts to share about this A Collection Part post. The last 3 months have been a blur, but a good one. I think we’ll have some thoughts that we can share tomorrow that we’re building up, but for now let’s just enjoy these.

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To Be a “Leftover” Woman in China

“People think that in Chinese society, an unmarried woman is incomplete.”

When you know the story of how your parents met when they were teenagers and how they were married in their early 20’s along with the rest of your aunts and uncles, this naturally already puts some social pressure on you. For years, I wondered if that would be me (I knew through college that it wouldn’t!) Then with every year, that curiosity starts to make you a little bit nervous. Luckily for me, in 2016 – people are meeting their partners later on in life and that’s okay! I’ve never been someone who aspired to be just someone’s wife – and I’m not saying that people who marry young are, but I wanted to spend my 20’s working really hard and focusing on my career. This meant a lot to me. However, that thought of settling down is in the back of my mind and I think others have similar feelings as well. This, I think, is normal.

Until I watched this video, I never knew about the kind of pressures that Chinese women faced when they were later on in their 20’s and unmarried. I can’t believe that there is an actual term for it; shengnu – “leftover woman.” To hear how these women’s parents were speaking out about their daughters being unmarried and what it does to them was heartbreaking. There was so much guilt that went along with it, but the video ends on a positive note and sends a very strong message that all of us can stand behind – that you shouldn’t settle, that it’s okay to be strong, independent, and have a career.

This was my favorite thing that I watched all week and really resonated with me. I hope you’ll all take the 4 minutes to watch it. :)

[Source]

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Blog Roundup

  • How chefs pack their kids’ lunches [Bon Appetit]
  • Stay up to date with this Election Calendar [The Skimm]
  • Tindr for baby names! [Babyname App]
  • Just several examples of perfectionism [Bored Panda]
  • Why it’s important to remember your friends’ sad anniversaries too. [Adulting]
  • 10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has to Be [Thought Catalog]
  • The beauty standards flight attendants have to follow [Cosmopolitan]

  • A funny little story about dating [Cup of Jo]
  • How to support sexual assault survivors [Ask Men]
  • In random news, Katy Perry is moving to Seattle [Headline Brief]
  • The worst kind of bosses [GOOD]
  • A sweet husband’s kind gesture to his blind wife [GOOD]
  • What time to go to bed [calculator]
  • How to microwave leftovers [the kitchn] Yeah, I didn’t know this either.
  • The cutest way a mother could break the news to her son about being a big brother [Facebook]
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How Japan is Raising Independent Kids

I was completely amused by watching this video that I stumbled upon the other day. I think it’s probably because as a kid, I totally thought I was independent, but after watching this I’m now second guessing myself. I was independent in that I wasn’t someone that always needed to be around people, but could I always do things by myself like adult things? No. Would I be able to walk to school? No way, it was too far. So I took the bus with 20 other kids every single day and the bus stop was right outside of my house. I can’t believe this girl took a number of trains every day, but it makes sense when Japan’s crime rate is so low that that’s something that you just don’t have to worry about.

The cruelest part of the video though? Seeing those kids cry when their parents force them to learn how to be independent. :(

[Source]

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