the rest of world food day-week was a whirlwind!

so much so, that a week later, i was caught up in writing proposals and attending meetings. it’s one week after and i’m still getting caught up. isn’t it amazing how, after every awesome event you attend, ergo all the amazing individuals met at the events, there’s much to think about and do? 

i think that i left off at wednesday, october 17th. the rest of the week went like this:

on thursday, i was a ball of excited nerves. it was the 50th anniversary of the Ontario Human Rights Commission code and they hosted a celebration and dialogue. i was honoured to have been asked to be on a panel to discuss the future of human rights with fellow panelists: Aiden Johnson, Lali Mohamed and Mark Campbell, all “activists” in the areas of social justice, racial and LGBTQ equity, arts and culture. i fit in there, like i always do, in the gaps and covering as an umbrella…

i haven’t chosen my words or style too carefully in this post. it’s a struggle for me to just write. just. trying not to try is a challenge for me. i’m hoping that at some point here, i’ll be able to articulate myself, as my good friend puts it, “ness, uncensored ness is best with one glass of wine down, another in her grip.” he teases as he’s seen me struggle simultaneously as i unintentionally over-think my audience and intentionally try to be unintentional and then get caught up in a “politically correct” mess of saying not quite what’s on my mind.

so, i used quotation marks above with “activist” because i meant half-heartedly or rather to draw attention to it here. 

ugh, i’m thinking this post is a mess and also, ‘stop thinking!’

activist. huh. the following day – that’d be friday – i was interviewed for a book that will come out in about 2 years, probably out of UofT press. the interview was conducted by a post-doc fellow, with funding from a professor with whom i am acquainted to her work. whatever. the points are… the first relevant point is that i was recommended as a “female activist in the food movement”. yeh, most of us are female or gay males. i mentioned that in my interview. but “activist?!” the word is spoken by me – in my head and when aloud – as though italicized. i’m not sure about this label. (and then i’m annoyed that i’m over-thinking again). 

i will leave it at that because i’m rambling and getting the urge to write a new post about “activists” and then interrupt myself with the story about an potential investor for one of my food ventures (the BIGGIE) who noted we might as well date, as long as i stopped this hippie shit and always, always had my nails done. female activist, food movement, nails…

expectedly, i had questions for the interviewer.. rhetorical perhaps. no, i don’t really think so. just framing. it goes: i wonder if it’s the combo of helping and food that makes the “food movement” so overwhelmingly filled with women. what if it was helping dilapidated cars be upcycled for the environment.. and throwing in [scoping] teaching and paying street youth to do it? would the [scoping again] sector be so woman-heavy? my bet is the funders, executive directors, directors, spokes people would be dudes and the ladies would be doing the doing… 

saturday and sunday i wrote a cool proposal… but took too long. must find (multiple) voices faster-faster orally and in text formats!

that’s it. nighty night.


she’s not outta your league

November 25, 2011

You’re a 7 and she’s a 9.5. Objectively, subjectively, how ever which way you look at it, she’s outta your league.
WRONG. (I’ll get to why and how later. Patience, pal.)
So you aim lower, at her homely-looking gal pal (they rarely travel in pairs of equal beauty – even by different measures). She’s a 6.5, maybe 6 in daylight. Sure fire right?
WRONG. (Wait for it.)
If you’re lucky, homely-girl gives you silent treatment and just pretends with a shoulder shrug that she doesn’t speak english or any language for that matter. Or maybe she gives you constipated, cut-eye – you know, it’s supposed to look mean, but she looks like an idiot. Occasionally you’ll run into an HG that’s verbally violent: “F-you, you F’n A-hole. Get out of my F’n face!”, or is a douchey diva: “Buy me and my friend drinks, then maybe we can talk.” Worse, the HG that thinks she’s slick: Ms. Chatty smile-side-step-siddles you to the bar, orders drinks for her hotter guy and girl friends, and then leaves you with the tab.

Outwardly, you’re thinking: ‘What a bitch! She’s SO a 5″
Inwardly, you gotta ask your self: “Maybe I’m not really a 7. Am I the 5?”

Dude. Here I have to tell you: STOP.
You’re wasting your time with mid-range chicks. I’m not saying they’re right, but think about how you’d feel consistently and constantly being the “affordable option”. Even the sale-priced floor model was once ogled. HG is the everyday option for dudes ranking 1-10. She’s heard every lame line…

… that WILL work on the 9-10s. You don’t believe me? Fine.
Maybe? Right. This is the deal. Males waste their time on the ladies within reach, or so they perceive. Meanwhile, Miss. Hotness/Beautiful inside and out/Sweetlady goes home nary a moment of eye-contact from the opposite sex, save the douche-bag who’s actually a 6 and thinks he’s a 10.

You’ve heard it before and it’s true. Poor-lil’-pretty-girl, no one wants her. How’d Mr. 5 get Mrs. 8? Must be his fat wallet. WRONG. Stop submitting your bruised ego to the average chick who will bash it due to what she doesn’t want to admit to anyone, let alone herself. Be wiser. Be nice to the 10 and welcome to the big leagues.

squid sashimi

July 22, 2011

fresh seafood should not smell fishy right? just as most high quality sashimi should melt in your mouth.

well, raw squid is, to me, the antithesis of sashimi. it tastes like the milk of less than fresh seafood, made worse because of its chewy texture that prolongs the experience.

that description either entices people to try squid sashimi, or conjures up advice not to become a food writer.

whether you decide to taste it or take my word for it, you’ll find to be entrancing the preparation of freshest squid sashimi in this video:

i’ve have yet to try the sashimi made from nearly live squid as in the video. it could just be that the raw squid that i ate was not at its prime. but until the next time i travel to a place where it’s fresh from the sea, i won’t be attempting squid sashimi again. 3 X chewy seafood milk = bleh.

on the other hand, i love well-prepared cooked (even under-cooked) squid. yum!

angry inside

June 19, 2011

i’m not often so, so angry inside. however, when this severe irritability takes hold, i tend self-impose isolation. there’s a violent rage pinging off my insides.

friends have told me that i would benefit from surrounding myself in good company. while that sounds comforting, i can fathom nothing worse than familiarity while in this mood. i worry that i will on the one hand have to act fake or bring another down in my muck, and on the other hand i will unreasonably lash out.

my isolation is less about solitary confinement, and more about away from anyone who might have expectations of me. i prefer loud and crowded anonymity or quiet alone time. please don’t engage me in a conversation. and then i wonder if this is because i’m “faking it” in my daily life. i also question the roots of my inability to show a “weaker” side of myself – is it insecurity, distrust, perfectionism, guilt…?

hopefully i wake up on the right side of the bed tomorrow.

it offends me.

“white” is a category in a racial hierarchy. and for the record, in that hierarchy, i happen to be asian.

i disagree with associations of my lifestyle to being “white”, just because i care about issues of race, class, and gender, advocate for those i care about, choose not to strive for gucci, and ride a bike. what about these preferences – ways i consciously choose to live my life – make me “white”? i feel exhausted by being shunned by my supposed community.

despite the interests and activities that i partake in, i cannot remove my skin, my face, my eyes, my history, nor my lenses. i see how you see me, how your eyebrows raise and your lips reveal a slight smile, ‘oh how nice for the community to represent’. it was and is enough to discourage my attendance, to grace my token presence – to allow you the satisfaction of my colourful presence at your ‘cultural event’. i am sick of being asked to represent my supposed community.

because i speak up for issues of equity and will not speak my “mother tongue” when you hang that grimy appropriated carrot, i’m bound by the strings of enlightenment, empowerment, emancipation.

“white” and “asian” are social constructions – we make’em happen through interactions, with real results. but what does this mean for me? makes me think of the catchphrase: “if you can’t beat’em, join’em”. but join who?, and i don’t want to beat anyone… just belong  (boo hoo, i know) with equity.


i’ve had this blog for some time now – what, maybe 6 years? – and have not published many posts. to be sure, i’ve been writing – jots, random thoughts, and a lot of unfinished drafts. but then i would hem and haw, fiddle, delete, insert, delete, fudge fudge fudge with structure, point, flow… too many voices.

it’s time i learned to structure my arguments, more quickly and concisely.

i’m going to write more often. i won’t set myself up for failure with a schedule of posts yet, and “more often” won’t be difficult to achieve given my track record.

i’m doing this because… rather, i didn’t do this earlier because i thought that it might put me in a box. i wasn’t ready to choose a theme for my blog. i’m still not. and that’s ok.

as well, i resisted the idea of writing short quips because i felt i could not support my arguments and some topics are just worth much more than a few lines afford. i realized that could and would try to support too many arguments, and maybe in the future i’ll pick one perspective and write holes into the others. i recognize that a blog is not an academic forum, but it is a good place to work out some ideas, and hopefully get some feedback. moreover, with  i just caught my self trying to defend another point. yay, progress!

cheers! here’s to the first of potentially many, voice-schizophrenia* blogs!

all voices will remain anonymous, but it’s still just.ness 🙂

3 x 3 = values

February 15, 2011

was cleaning the bathroom while listening to CBC this afternoon. guest was a lifecoach based in Ottawa and offered a simplified version of getting to the career that’s you.

have you thought about that? insofar as our work defines us, does your job do a good job of explaining you? totally other topic.

without further adieu, and in my own words, this is what she had to offer:

how to figure out your values:

a) what do you do for play at work? or what could you just keep on doing without feeling the toil-side of that which may be considered “work”. what’s fun? other what doesn’t leave you drained and gives you energy to keep going?

– say you’re a program coordinator at a non-profit organization and your job involves (wow, where do i begin?!) recruiting and training volunteers, developing and designing the project materials, public-speaking, setting up events, researching the latest best practices, writing articles or proposals, monitoring and evaluation, etc. at the end of the week, what might you have no problem taking “away” and fiddling with in your own time? maybe you like tinkering with the decorative features of brochures, or perhaps you like talking to people and getting them interested in your “cause”. pick 3 things.

b) who are 3 people you admire? could be anyone, whether you know her/him personally or not. why or what about those people puts them on a pedestal?

– lemme pick:

my dad because he works so hard and is able to set aside/step over petty bitching to get things done because: a) he loves his family and b) there’s little that he feels that he can change.

my best friend/business partner because she is able to ignore/rationalize her belief system because – for her – it’s the best route to: a) acquire greater financial success and b) make change, from within.

my other best friend because she is ignorant/oblivious to issues that may cause her grief, because: a) she is focused on personal happiness and b) there’s little she can do about it.

this exercise leaves me in a tough spot. i’ll have to come back to it.

c) what did you do for fun as a kid?

– well. given that i had to grow up quick, and that the things i really enjoyed were taken away from me, or were perhaps swayed by praise, i also need to think this one out too.

umm… i liked reading, arts and crafts, and cooking. i still do.

now what? well you’re supposed to go through your list and circle common words. like i said, i have to come back to this, and will soonish.