Opinion

A Guide to Getting a Girl’s Digits

Last night, our friends got together to celebrate Chris turning another year wiser.

We went to this bar/lounge/club in Orange County called The Commissary Lounge. I would like to rename this place The Meat Market. I have coined it The Meat market because my girlfriends and I could feel the eyeballs scanning us from head to toe as we walked into the empty room at 9:30. Picture a big warehouse, empty in the center of the room, and the perimeters lined with couches, a full bar, and a DJ. As the time passed on and the center started filling in, I did notice some women whenever I scanned the room for Chris. But it was definitely a sausage fest from where I was standing. So much of a sausage fest that there was an endless rotation of men who approached we three girls the entire night.

Credit: Yelp

Credit: Yelp

As one of Chris’s friends puts it, “You know you’re a hot commodity when you’re drunk and you didn’t even pay for a single drink.”

Chris has written posts about how he thinks men should approach women. Given yesterday’s eventful night, I’d like to share a woman’s perspective of what works and what doesn’t work. Without further ado, I share with you a tactical guide to getting a girl’s number.


WHAT WORKS: Approaching a girl and asking her common questions like, A/S/L? I must have told at least 5 guys that we were from Arizona and I now live in Fullerton. *Yawn*.

WHAT WORKS BETTER: Small talk and basic get-to-know-you is okay, but what really stands out is when someone can spark a common interest or make an interesting observation off the bat. It is also refreshing when someone can show off their sense of humor or personality instead of interview you. Maybe I am annoyed by the interview questions because I’m a recruiter Monday-Friday. Leave me alone.

Example: A guy started asking a series of “Would you rather” questions. “Would you rather be fat with a beautiful face or have a model body with an ugly face?” … “Would you rather live life to the fullest and die at 35 or live a stable, ordinary life until 60?” … “Would you rather have hair all of your body and not be able to shave or be hairless everywhere?” The defensive shield lowered with every laugh.


 WHAT WORKS: Early on in the night when the room was empty, us three girls sat on the couches. We were engaging in conversation until a pot head randomly sat down on one end and proceeded to have a conversation with Ms. Hot Commodity. This approach was okay, as he ended up conversing for around 15 minutes. Apparently he was pretty deep with the aid of Mary Jane.

WHAT WORKS BETTER: A really outgoing, confident dude came up to all three of us on the dance floor. What was really smooth about this approach was he didn’t single any one of us out. But what he was able to pick up from this conversation was that I was in a relationship, another was engaged, and only one was available. Even then, he continued to engage with the engaged girl, making jokes like, “How did I not notice that? Look at that ring. That must be a VS2.” Girls look to their girlfriends for approval and by being friendly with a girl’s girlfriends, you’ve just made allies. Plus, if you are able to learn multiple girls are single, you can then make your move instead of strike out with the, “Sorry. I have a boyfriend.” move. Often told by single girls as a shield.

WHAT DOESN’T WORKA dude literally came up to me and introduced himself as we shook hands. The next question he asks is, “Where are you from?” As I internally sighed, I explain I’m from AZ but moved to Fullerton. He follows up with, “What made you move out here?” I replied, “For love.” What happened next? This fool literally walked away. Good luck getting close to my single friends!


 WHAT REALLY WORKS: Be genuinely nice.  There were a group of guys towards the end of the night who offered to buy us girls multiple drinks. But then one of them realized Miss Anonymous probably had reached her limit, and offered to get her water. Not just tap water but bottled water. This doesn’t really matter too much to me because when I’m dehydrated I could care less if it is filtered but bonus points to this super considerate nice guy.

By the way, this guy was the only one out of all the sausages who ended up leaving with a number. 🙂

dwight the office

#Winning

~Emily

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#StopYulin2015 – China’s Thanksgiving

If you have been on social media the past few days, there is a high chance you have seen the social media campaign #StopYulin2015. When it first popped up on my news feed, I glanced at it and shrugged, this must be an anti-China propaganda hoax. It wasn’t until I read CNN articles and watched this short VICE documentary that I realized, Holy shit. This is real.

Before I share my opinions, I think I should share two things:

1.) I am a dog lover and a dog owner.
2.) I am of Chinese descent.

I share this with you because I’m tired of reading comments like, “Chinese people are barbaric.” “Avoid all things and people from China.” “Chinese people are so disgusting and horrible.” “Chinese thrash race really should be driven extinct, kill all of those motherfuckers.” (I’m not quite sure what this last comment means. But it was ranked as a top comment.) If you can’t tell, I have a low tolerance for ignorant generalizations and racist remarks (and bad English).


As a dog lover and a dog owner, can I picture my Kang Kang being Thursday night’s dinner? I named him. I bathed him. I walked him. It would be unthinkable. I winced at least 25 times throughout the 17 minute documentary, feeling sad that these cute, furry animals were being skinned, boiled, burned, and stewed.

As a Westerner of Chinese descent, could I be angry at the people my parents could laugh and converse with? No more than Indians spite those that eat the sacred cow. When is the last time you ate beef or bacon or pork? (If you are a vegetarian or vegan, good for you. You truly stand on higher moral ground.) As a Westerner, I know I have consumed countless pounds of meat, even with the knowledge of how unethical farm factories are. Much like the dogs in these videos, the cows, chicken, turkeys, and pigs Americans consume on a daily basis often come in similar conditions: crammed, diseased, parched, starved, mass slaughtered. Whenever I see a juicy burger I often think to myself, “Out of sight. Out of mind.”  Its presentation is packaged so aesthetically that I forget a fattened, malnourished cow sacrificed its life.


In many cultures, dog meat is a delicacy. Countries like Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Switzerland, Canada, to name a few, also have records of human consumption of dog. Many countries view it as a gourmet cuisine, a cultural tradition, and an affordable dish filled with health properties. It is important to understand why people do the things that they do instead of attacking one’s culture or imposing one’s cultural values on another. VICE did a great job documenting the justifications of locals in Yulin:

  • “Beef is more expensive” = Dog is more affordable to consume.
  • “Dog is healthy” = Throughout various cultures it is believed that dogs provide nutrition.
  • “What am I supposed to do, be a whore?” = A dog seller’s economic response as the dog trade is a major source of income to feed her family in a developing country.
  • “If people want to eat dog who am I to stop them?” = Basic principle of supply & demand: drugs, organ, sex trafficking – all illegal and immoral but a black market exists.

According to ASPCA, there are about 2.7 million animals euthanized each year in the U.S. (1.2 million or 31% being dogs; 1.4 million or 41% are cats). These dogs are often cremated because they are diseased or homeless. If another culture thinks they could be eaten instead of cremated, then to each his own. Like the host mentioned in the documentary, at least they are wasting no parts of the animal. What I don’t agree with though is dognapping a master’s companion. If it is true that these dogs are pets that have a loving home, then I agree with the uproar. Dognappers are no less evil than kidnappers and human sex traffickers.

The second part I don’t agree with is the handling, or should I say torturing, of these dogs. At least when a dog is euthanized in the States, they are given a sedative and/or given the solution that is supposed to be administered fairly quickly and painlessly. If the supply and demand of dog meat never diminishes, then my only hope is that there could be a way to make already deceased dogs available. But I suppose this is no different than how pig pet owners feel towards carnivores like me who devour pork and bacon.

Factory Pigs.

I think it is time to officially convert to a Pescetarian (baby steps),

Emily

Should Parents Post Photos of Their Children on the Internet?

I stumbled across an interesting AskReddit thread posing the following question:

Within the next 10 years, a generation of children whose parents posted their entire lives online, without their consent, will become young adults. How do you think they’ll feel about it?

Pause. Think about that. It is a really great question. We all know from this article titled, “How Many Kids Do You Want?”, I am rather dog obsessed and not child obsessed. My only “child”, a 5 year old, is very hairy, walked from day one, and still hasn’t talked. Do I post photos of Kang Kang online? Hell yes… he has more followers than I do (follow him!). Do I ask him if I can snap photos and post him on social media? Hell no! But again, he is a dog and he can’t talk back. This is why dogs are man’s best friends and “children”.

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@oclhasa — doing what he does best: act cute!

But would I care as a human being? The best way to answer this personally is to think back through all of my photo albums sitting in my mother’s home. You know, the Polaroid and Kodak moments where every snap counted because you only had limited film. As a baby, I was often told I looked like a monkey… I had fine, static-infused hair that stood straight up, huge cheeks and deer-in-headlights eyes. My mother also had an interest in taking naked photos of me. I often wondered if Instagram was around in the 80’s, would I go viral as @NakedMonkeyBaby? Transitioning into a pre-teen, things were not looking up in the appearance department. I had awful hand me downs from my older brother who was 7″ taller. His shorts were my high-waters when high-waters weren’t in. I often cried, “Why can’t you be a sister?!” I wore these really ugly coke-bottle glasses with metal frames that took over half my face (you can’t even pass them off as hipster). I grew up surrounded by 4 male cousins and as a result turned into a bit of a tomboy. There is actually a photo of me at a park in the scorching AZ summer – topless – with 4 topless boys. I have to admit I could really pass off as a boy, especially with my identical bowl-shaped hair cut that matched my brothers. My hair was never brushed and I never wore dresses. As a teenager, things started finally looking up. I started to blossom and became more confident. I was able to save up my own money and bought new clothes that actually fit. In the final year of high school, I registered for a Facebook account and started posting photos of my teenage self on my own. I liked having the say in which photos were Facebook-worthy and which were to be deleted and never surfaced on the web.

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Brother & I (with monkey hair)

Going back to the original question, I think it’s safe to say I’m just thankful my parents still don’t know how to use the photo function on Facebook. My response is out of sheer embarrassment of being an ugly duckling monkey growing up. I’m not sure if I would feel differently if I were cute or pretty. What I can say though is I do enjoy gathering in the living room with family and friends, browsing through physical photo albums, and allowing them to laugh at my expense. There is something sentimental about not having all of your photos visible to just anyone online. Funny side note: My mom is on Facebook and she is my friend. I once posted a photo of my brother and I. She commented, “Good picture. Put on Facebook.” This illustrates how technically savvy they are (thank God).

My advice to parents if they want to post photos of their kids is 2-fold: 1.) Make sure it is a flattering photo – save the embarrassing ones for a private album and 2.) Make sure metadata or geolocation settings are disabled. When I posted photos of Kang Kang on Instagram I had my “Add to Photo Map” setting on. Chris pointed it out and said to remove it because if you zoom in you can actually see where we live! It’s pretty spot on. God forbid any dognapper knowing my routine over the course of 10 posts and one day dognapping him! Apparently there are stories of this happening to children so be diligent. The other thing to consider is your photos can end up anywhere as you’ve given permission when you accept the Terms & Conditions on sites like Facebook. There was a Facebook lawsuit when a girl realized her face was part of a sponsored advertisement photo. Facebook won (surprise!); lucky for the girl it wasn’t an STD campaign. Oh, and don’t forget about the creepers. Child pornography exists. I would be mortified if my physical photo albums ever become Facebook albums. Which leads me to the next point – don’t accept friend requests from strangers. I keep getting weirdos inviting me to be friends. To which I say:

DeleteDeleteDelete

Let’s discuss! What are your thoughts to this question?

The F Word

This past Sunday, the most recent episode of Game of Thrones aired, ending in cringe-worthy fashion.  A female character was raped on her wedding night after being forced into a marriage. The scene set the Internet ablaze with complaints and protests about the show’s depiction of women. The upset viewers cried, “Did she need to be raped in order to keep her character interesting?” Thrones, an adaptation of the widely popular book series A Song of Ice and Fire, is deviating from the book’s story more and more.  In the book, this female character wasn’t raped; this particular scene was added by the TV showrunners. As a result, many viewers who saw this scene as gratuitous and sexist are vowing never to see another episode.

Beyond female nude scenes and gender roles on TV shows, a broader topic has emerged to the surface-feminism. What is feminism? Who is qualified to speak about feminism? Are men allowed to chime in on women’s rights, or are we all inherently the oppressor because we are males?

I’ve seen tweets throughout the week from women urging other women to ignore the opinions of men when it comes to feminism because they are not us. I posted a question on my Facebook-Can men be feminists? Women responded with Yes and Absolutely. This role of men in feminism has been debated by women for years.

My belief is this: feminism exists because there’s an imbalance in society. I am fully aware that women have it much worse than men do in general terms. Women have to bear children-that sucks. Women are constantly degraded to being nothing but sexual objects by men-that sucks. The vast majority of domestic violence and sexual harassment in the workplace occurs at the expense of women-that really sucks. Perceptions and stereotypes also affect women: If a woman is quiet in the office, she’s often considered timid and lacking in leadership qualities, whereas a quiet man may be looked at as introspective and refined.

In my opinion, feminism is the belief that women deserve the same basic rights as men do. I also believe that it’s very important to be wary of generalizations when it comes to men and women: not all men are creeps and misogynists, and not all feministic women despise men.


The biggest badass on the planet right now is probably Ronda Rousey. She has risen to the top of the mixed martial arts world, obliterating the competition along the way. She has dispatched her opponents so quickly that entire fights can be shown on a single Instagram post. Sports Illustrated, the magazine that normally puts women on their covers because they’re wearing bikinis, recently put Rousey on the cover with the headline: Ronda Rousey Is The World’s Most Dominant Athlete. I tend to agree.

Ronda Rousey is on top of the sports world.

Ronda Rousey is on top of the sports world.

But even Rousey isn’t impervious to gender biases. She continues to get asked from time to time, “Why are you single?” Some may believe the underlying message behind the question is a compliment-You’re successful, attractive, and men must throw themselves at you, so how do you not have a man? Others, however, may see the question as a gender-biased slight, inferring that something must be wrong with her since she’s single while, on the other hand, successful, famous single men are celebrated for being such ballers and pimps.

Rousey has said that she never intended to be an example for women, but that’s exactly what she has become-a role model. She is a woman at the top of a predominantly male field. Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), once famously said that women will never fight in the UFC; he has since changed his tune dramatically. Ronda Rousey was merely pursuing a passion of hers, blocking out any noise about her gender. She now realizes that she is doing much more than that. This 15-minute segment on Rousey by HBO’s Real Sports is worthwhile to watch:


I do believe in gender equality, just as I believe in racial and sexual orientation equality. But is saying that enough? What role should men play in this battle?

I don’t want this to be a woe-is-me situation; I know that the world’s smallest violin is playing for me. Like many things related to women, I’m just left wondering.

 

– Chris.

 

Checkout Charities – To Donate or Not To Donate?

TJ Maxx Home Goods Cashier: OK. So total today comes to $86.43.
Me: OK. I’ll put it on my credit card.
TJ Maxx Home Goods Cashier: Would you like to donate to Save the Children Foundation today?
Me: No thanks.
TJ Maxx Home Goods Cashier: Are you sure?
Me: *awkwardly* …Yes.
TJ Maxx Home Goods Cashier: [in a condescending voice] Okay. (Shoves me my bags of pillows and other decorative items clearly necessary for daily survival.)

It’s not that I don’t care for children despite my article of potentially never wanting to have children of my own. The same interaction generally happens at Petsmart, except there is no human asking you if you would like to donate, it’s on the credit card screen as:

Would you like to donate to your local humane society?
No Thanks   $1   $2   $3   Other

That is smart. Automated computers never get tired or forget to ask the question. The man in front of me donated, and as the cashier handed him his receipt, he announced, “Thank you for your generous donation today.” Then it was my turn to be rung up. *Gulp*. Now that my wallet is out and it’s clear I have $60 to spend on Kang Kang’s grooming, I should donate at least a dollar to a poor homeless dog, shouldn’t I? I’m sure the woman behind me heard the other man’s donation. Will she judge me and think I am a selfish, awful human being with no heart if I click that ‘No Thanks’ button? Will the cashier smile at me the same way he smiled at the donating man?

That is the problem I have with Checkout Charities. It has capitalized on human psychology and was invented to make a consumer feel trapped, guilted, and selfish if they decline on donating. I once asked a cashier at Albertson’s, “Can you tell me more about this charity? What percentage of the donations go to the actual charity? How much of it goes towards their cause?” She didn’t know how to answer a single question, not even the mission. Well, that is just fantastic.

It really is astounding. According to Cause Marketing Forum’s report, retailers raised $358.4 million in 2012 through this method. Its great for retailers because it makes them look like they actually care about non-profits and great for non-profits because they can profit. All the meanwhile the donations come from the consumer who really has no idea where the money is flowing to.

An article came out in the NY Times recently, titled ‘4 Cancer Charities Are Accused of Fraud‘. Everyone can relate to knowing someone who has been affected by cancer, right? Its devastating and we all want to find a cure or at least make the cancer patients remaining life better. So we slap pink ribbons on everything and hundred of millions of donation dollars later, there goes the executives taking a trip to Disneyworld… without the cancer patients. Only 3% of proceeds actually went to cancer patients?  This is ludicrous.

Not to be confused with Ludacris, a rapper.

Going back to human psychology, I find it really interesting that many stores now ask, “Would you like to round up your change to the next dollar?” I almost always say yes on this one. I don’t know what it is about nice whole round numbers. And for some reason knowing you are donating less than a dollar almost makes it feel like 0. What? My total is $3.01? Sure, let’s round that to $4. Add 99 cents …pfft that’s not even enough to buy a junior cheeseburger post tax.

Anyways, my point is, don’t get scammed into donating. Donate to causes you care about and donate anonymously. Unless you’re in the PAC party, there’s no need to share with the public who you support unless your end goal is to get others to donate to your cause you’ve researched and feel passionate about. Look at every charity as if they are a homeless drunk man asking you for a dollar. Would you trust this person?

Let’s discuss! To donate or not to donate?

– Emily

The Bait and Switch Follower

There we were Friday afternoon around 3pm, listening to our iPhones simultaneously chime as the WordPress notification’s cheerful tone went baaddiinngg!  Scrambling to our phones, unlocking our screens, there it was. The beautiful shiny badge:

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100 Followers! As we hugged each other, jumping up and down like we were at a Tiesto concert, we giddily gushed about our excitement that 100 readers subscribed to our infant blog. Pop the champagne! Order the 3-tier chocolate lava cake! Put on some Kool & The Gang. Release the streamers and balloons! It’s celebration good times, come on!

Eager to see who our 100th follower was, I looked back at our notifications. Wait a minute. Were we hallucinating?? It says we have ninety-nine! 99 followers and a bitch ain’t one. The follower bitch unfollowed us! The nerves. This bait & switch act is preposterous! It is like…

– Chasing the girl of your dreams until she finally gives into a first date and you say, “HA HA HA SIKE! YOU’RE SO EASY.”

– Clicking on a Buzzfeed article in hopes to learn something slightly intellectual based on the title, only to see it’s another post filled with cats and Justin Bieber’s hair.

Bait and switch followers. I can’t imagine what goes through that followers mind. “Hey Bruce, watch this… I will follow this person’s blog, let them feel a glimmer of excitement and pleasure, wait 10 minutes, just enough time to allow them to click on my profile and follow me back. Wait for it… wait for it.. *clicks unfollow*.” Their justification is they are higher up on the internet pyramid and therefore walk on mighty internet ground. They matter-o-factly state, “I will continue to rise with a higher follower:following ratio while they stupidly think their ratio continues to be 1:1. Bahaha. Call me the Phantom Follower.”

The real life version of following and unfollowing would be like befriending someone and letting them live the rest of their lives thinking they are a great friend who is just always busy. The call went straight to voice mail — she must be on a plane. The iMessage was read but 24 hours later still no reply back — it must be her two year old who opened it. The Instragram post shows she was tagged in a photo at the bar — it must be a #lategram. She said she couldn’t go out.

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Don’t be that friend or follower!

Be the loyal follower – follow us until we compromise our blogging integrity by posting lists like 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bieber or posts filled with quizzes like Why Don’t Your Friends Like You. If you’re on Bloglovin’ follow us if you really like what we have to write. For those that haven’t unfollowed yet — stay cool!

– Emily

The Real Life Modern Day Disney Princess

Belle. Cinderella. Ariel. Snow White. Sleeping Beauty. What do all of these Disney princesses have in common? Opera voices. Perfect dance moves. Gentle demeanor. Dashing princes running to their rescue. Size 0 waists. Long, thick, shiny, perfect Pantene Pro-V hair.

Disney has built itself an empire over the princesses that so many girls fantasize about. This success didn’t come without scrutiny or controversy, however. Over the decades, Disney has responded to some controversy by diversifying its princess line from classic white beauty to Pocahontas (Virginia Indian), Jasmine (Arabian), and Tatiana (African American). To combat other controversies of princesses being too weak, they created heroines like Merida and Mulan. Still, the controversy continues. Many mothers and feminists report Disney is hurting girls’ self esteems because Disney is what it is… fantasy. Much like Barbie, it’s really hard to achieve the ‘perfect’ look unless you are willing to go under the operating table. That got me thinking…

Who would be a great real life modern day Disney princess?

In my opinion, the real life modern day princess can still sing and dance, but she is her own prince. She doesn’t need to act helpless to have a prince save her in the end, because she is independent. She doesn’t have a size 0 waist, she is whatever size, and feels confident in her own skin. She has a great sense of humor and charms strangers by showing her authenticity. She doesn’t have the perfect tousled hair but she embraces it in an Orthodox Jew ponytail.  The real life Disney princess creates her own happily ever after.

Does this description sound familiar? Why, yes, it is indeed Fat Amy.

If Disney could make a movie with Fat Amy as the main princess, it would be the best Disney movie ever. Perhaps The Big Mermaid is a fitting title. As Fat Amy would say, “Crushed it!”* Until then, I can’t wait for Pitch Perfect 2 to release!

*If you have no idea what I’m talking about I highly recommend you watch the movie Pitch Perfect.

Let’s discuss! Which pop culture celebrity or character would you like to see as the next Disney princess?

~Emily

*Chris was conveniently unavailable to weigh in on this post.