An Official Notice

Friendship is a strong bond, and one that has lasted for over 20 years requires you to take action for the other person at times.

This is one of those times.

While Melanie and I were catching up on the phone, she informed me of how she wants to get Netflix. But there was a slight problem: her husband Paul didn’t have the same desire.

I both adore and respect Paul greatly. He’s an amazing friend with a good head on his shoulders. I also understand I’m not the one married to them (despite me inviting them into a committed triad). But sometimes, your friends need to understand that there IS NO LIFE WITHOUT NETFLIX. Dramatic? Hardly.

“Ovaries before brovaries.” “Uteruses before duderuses.” Powerful words from Leslie Knope.

So I decided to send Paul an official letter advising him otherwise. I would not stand by silently. I vowed to advocate for the girl that cleaned up my bloody sheets after my stitches got infected (from an appendectomy) and opened up.

2007: The Year of the Post-Appendectomy Explosion. Just innocent sophomores in our college dorm rooms.

2007: The Year of the Post-Appendectomy Explosion. Just innocent sophomores in our college dorm room.

I think I made a valid argument. Read the letter here.

This is Amy Hu signing off for February 2nd, 2015.

#rhangtions

I’ve decided to invent a term that saves time in describing something we ask every day: rhangtions. 

Rhangtions, from now on (in my small world at least), will be defined as “rhetorical angry questions.” Angry rhetorical questions sounds better grammatically, but it was a little easier to say rhangtions than angrhetorications. Its main usage will be in hashtag form, where people can commiserate with each other’s terrible life situations and ask why things in this world suck so much.

Still confused on how to use #rhangtions? Let me assist in such a task, and you may, in turn, assist me in spreading it. Imagine with me a few scenarios that I’ve experienced in the past and turned into social media status updates:

“Some douchebag just parked his Porsche across two parking spots. Who the hell do you think you are? Do you have any consideration for other human beings? Are you a f***ing giant that feels discriminated by the size of parking spots and needs to stretch out your 10-foot legs?! #rhangtions”

giphy.com, Oh yes, a whole can.

“Another Asian actor is faking an accent. Is there no such thing as Asians with American accents? Do we need a foreign accent to remind people that the Yellow dude on screen is NOT like the others?! #rhangtions”

Image courtesy of Tumblr, talumin, from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

“I just ate something spicy and need water stat! But my idiot roommate decided not to refill the Brita pitcher and left only a drop of water. Do you want me to die from coughing out my lungs? Did you forget the Law of Conversation of Matter and forget that water doesn’t just magically appear in the pitcher every time you pour some out?! Do you like the sound of near death?! #rhangtions

Image courtesy of Tumblr, mymcfries – from “Adventure Time”

“To the woman who used the restroom before me and pissed all over the toilet seat: Are you leaving DNA evidence for me to find you and then DESTROY YOU?! #rhangtions”

giphy.com, WWE never gets old

“The one critic on Rotten Tomatoes that gave the “Left Behind” reboot a fresh rating. Did you mistaken it for “National Treasure 3″? WHYYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?!?!?! #rhangtions

One of my faves from reactiongifs.com, from “APT” (2006)

But be careful my friends, do not abuse this hashtag. This is not meant for you to appear to be a jerk for no good reason. You must be an angry bitch within reason. As much as it sucks that your favorite donut shop ran out of maple bars, you do not get to use this hashtag to question the validity of these hardworking people and ask if the world hates you. Because the answer is yes if you decide to express this. (disclaimer: I’m not perfect and may practice hypocrisy at times)

Just saw someone being the biggest asshole? Oh man, what were some #rhangtions you asked?!

Angry at the injustices in the world? Express it through #rhangtions!

Frustrated at your own mess and just can’t get your life together? Go ahead, #rhangtions that! (I just turned it into a verb there)

Use #rhangtions to express your everyday headaches, big life questions, social commentary, and just how much the world and its living creatures can just suck it. Use it as a form of thoughtful therapy, and just let its cathartic process release you from being, well, pissed off.

This is Amy Hu signing off for October 11, 2014.

Dad-isms

justfiveletters:

Happy Father’s Day, to my pops, who has much wisdom to share. Here is my post from last year. What “Dad-isms” has your father shared with you?

Originally posted on JUST FIVE LETTERS:

On Father’s Day, I was reflecting on the many ways that I’m grateful for my dad.  I was able to think about Papa Hu’s philosophy on life, and how incredibly intelligent, thrifty, sacrificial, and loving he is. But what I also realized, now being older, was that perhaps those traits of his are not always aligned with my own values. Mixed with his traditional southern Chinese background and attempts at adjusting to American culture, some of the things he believes has made me chuckle, and at times ask “WTF?” So I invite you to learn about these “Dad-isms,” specific to my own father, and laugh with me.

10 Dadisms from Jim Wang Hu:

#1 “Money can’t buy everything. But no money, can’t buy anything.”
So obvious, yet actually profound.

He is always willing to do the silliest of things when it comes to a good photo opp. “Gung hay fat choy! Now put this money into your future kids’ college funds.” He is always willing to do the silliest of things when it comes to a good photo opp. “Gung hay fat…

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Hiatus

Right now I feel a storm of emotions inside me as I reflect upon this unforeseen and unofficial nine-month hiatus I took from my blog. Nine. Friggin’. Months. Man. What reason did I have? It’s not like I was pregnant or something (I thought about creating a fake baby but it got creepy really quickly when I tried to mix Daniel Craig‘s face with mine).

So what new life have I birthed, in the figurative sense, this past 3/4 of a year? No, I didn’t go on an “Eat Pray Love” journey or take time to revamp my blog. But I did travel a ton. Met amazing people. Stretched my view and understanding of the world. Ate incredible food. Gathered more fodder for the funny stories farm. Mourned the death of a beloved character on The Walking Dead. Attempted to destroy a demonic cilantro plant.

And so from these experiences, in this context of my blog, shouldn’t there be something justfiveletters can bring to the world? Shouldn’t I have a Simba to show you on Pride Rock? Or burst out of the cocoon as a beautiful butterfly? No, I hate butterflies. They make the hairs on my skin rise like most non-human creatures. I change my metaphor to…a pie. Yes, shouldn’t I be a magnificent pie coming out of the oven, luring you with my sweet aroma?

Sadly, I come back from my hiatus with no great revelation, and no particularly valid excuse for my absence. Most things that happened in this “gestation” period are too serious for this context anyway (God continues to grow me and change my life blah blah blah).

But take me back, because it’s time again. Yes, come closer. Put your arms around me. Hold me. Okay, let go now. Dude seriously, get off me.

And just for kicks, here’s the lovechild of Daniel Craig and I:

She sure does have her father's piercing blue eyes.

She sure does have her father’s piercing blue eyes. (original photo from etsy.com)

This is Amy Hu signing off for March 18, 2014.

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Dad-isms

On Father’s Day, I was reflecting on the many ways that I’m grateful for my dad.  I was able to think about Papa Hu’s philosophy on life, and how incredibly intelligent, thrifty, sacrificial, and loving he is. But what I also realized, now being older, was that perhaps those traits of his are not always aligned with my own values. Mixed with his traditional southern Chinese background and attempts at adjusting to American culture, some of the things he believes has made me chuckle, and at times ask “WTF?” So I invite you to learn about these “Dad-isms,” specific to my own father, and laugh with me.

10 Dadisms from Jim Wang Hu:

#1 “Money can’t buy everything. But no money, can’t buy anything.”
So obvious, yet actually profound.

He is always willing to do the silliest of things when it comes to a good photo opp. “Gung hay fat choy! Now put this money into your future kids’ college funds.”

He is always willing to do the silliest of things when it comes to a good photo opp. “Gung hay fat choy! Now put this money into your future kids’ college funds.”

#2 “Everyone knows Chinese people are the smartest.”
Perhaps his wisdom is limiting…

"This is why I won't get skin cancer."

“This is why I won’t get skin cancer.”

#3 “Don’t sleep with your head by the window or your hair will fall out.”
I doubt he’s conducted a study on balding men/women and the correlation to where their beds are positioned, but it’s science, right?

I don't know how that or the white "skunk" stripe patch on his head is scientifically possible. Also, him and my grandma have the same haircut.

I don’t know how that or the white skunk stripe on his head is scientifically possible either (maybe there was a breeze one night). Also, he and my grandma have the same haircut. Great way to honor your mother.

#4 “My daughters will learn how to drink at a young age so they will not be fools at parties.”
Started with a can of Budweiser at the age of twelve. Everyone knows that alcohol is the solution to foolishness.

I had my first drink at the age of twelve. Besides reading the newspaper, this is one of his favorite things in the world. He does not go a dinner without this kind of "dietary supplement."

Besides reading the newspaper, this is one of his favorite things in the world. He does not go a dinner without this kind of “dietary supplement.”

#5 “Why go out to eat when I can just make it at home?”
And he totally does. As awesome has his cooking abilities are, it’s kind of annoying when we don’t get to go out. Dad, sometimes I just want to pay for someone else to cook my food.

And he totally does. As awesome has his cooking abilities are, it's kind of annoying when we don't get to go out. Dad, sometimes I just want to pay for someone else to cook my food.

The master at work. When I lived on my own after college, his present to me was one of his best cleavers. If I didn’t get it before, I definitely understood how much he loved me in that moment.

#6 “I buy snacks at Costco if it says ‘new’ on it.”
His English is limited, and the “new” strategy is a hit or miss with us. Sometimes it was awesome fruit snacks, and other times it was bran cereal.

His English is limited, and the "new" strategy is a hit or miss with us. Sometimes it was awesome fruit snacks, and other times it was bran cereal. About five times a day, you'll find him falling asleep somewhere. Staying on top of the news and the latest snacks is hard work.

About five times a day, you’ll find him falling asleep somewhere. Staying on top of the news and the latest snacks is hard work.

#7 “I’m obviously the funny one in this family.”
No one can keep up with the corniest man on Earth.

Dad is the funniest

1) My mom can tolerate it most of the time. 2) Yeah, he only has three daughters, but he likes to make my mom feel young. 3) Some of his silly notes that I keep in my room. 4) He is the king of messing around during photos.

#8 “I can tell when anyone is lying.
When I was a kid, I used to save up money to buy sweets and definitely had too much. My Dad noticed it, and would actually do regular “candy raids” in my room to see if I was lying about not having any. I really didn’t think he’d go into my underwear drawer. I guess the shame-based culture didn’t apply to finding your daughter’s bag of Buncha Crunch in her Target-brand undergarments.

This toy rifle doesn't make him look that threatening, but I do my best not to piss this guy off. Angry Dad was never fun...

This toy rifle doesn’t make him look that threatening, but I do my best not to piss this guy off. Angry Dad was never fun…

#9 “Always find the best deal, and if it’s not there, you make it happen. There’s no shame in wanting to save money.”
I question this when I find myself at a car dealership and my dad, already getting a great discount on a vehicle, is pissing off the salesman by demanding two more free key chains. Why Father, why?

My dad got free guest pass last year, and I decided to workout with him. It's a little frightening how much we look like each other in this photo.

My dad basically made me to go the gym with him because he got a free guest pass and it was going to expire. I laugh at this photo because of how alike we look.

#10 “Never miss out on anything.”
I have a tendency for living life to the fullest and experiencing everything I can. But my dad takes it to a whole new level. One time, we were vacationing in Canada’s Banff National Park and stopped at a place to ride the Gondola up the mountain. That should have taken 20 minutes or so round trip. My Uncle Don ended up waiting 4 hours for us in a van because my dad had to take us on that hike, pay for the cheesy photos, and see the museum.

Dad in the big ass tire (cropped)

“I have to know what it’s like inside a huge tire! I may never get another chance!”

In conclusion, though I may not follow all of his Dadisms, I love the man behind them all and am beyond grateful for the gift that he is to me.

Though I may not follow all of these Dadisms, I love the man behind them all and am beyond grateful for the gift that he is.

Love you always, Dad. Also, everyone’s attention in this photo is towards the stage. What are you looking at?

 

This is Amy Hu signing off for June 20th, 2013.

Nemesis

Taking out the trash is never fun. When you tie up that big bag of unwanted goods, the smells of a few days’ debris just slaps you in the face. It’s not particularly fun to leave a full trash can sitting overnight. Therefore, most people complete the chore of heading to the dumpster in the evening. And it is always creepy. I have learned to enter the dark abyss (a.k.a. my apartment complex parking lot) slowly and cautiously. The trash bin is literally about 30 feet from the building entrance, but after all the crime shows I watch, anything can friggin’ happen.

And about two weeks ago, something did: I met my nemesis.

My roommate Laura was gone for ten days, so I was on extra high alert. It was just a typical Tuesday night, and the odor from our kitchen waste bin needed to GTFO. I went outside with my pepper spray, scanning left and right. The area was clear for travel. So I took a deep breath and scurried to the dumpster. As I tossed the heavy load into the bin, I felt a sigh of relief. But that didn’t last long when a huge raccoon jumped out and I screamed. If I had been about 6 inches closer, I probably would have had to make an appointment for a rabies exam.

The dumpster has been claimed. Bandit Eyes rules the wasteland.

Raccoony Freedom Meme

I’ve seen Bandit Eyes quite a few times since that frightening day, and I always stare (from behind my car like a complete weirdo), thinking angry thoughts. Who does this guy think he is? This fat and furry creature just takes and takes. You don’t see me jumping out of a tree nest and scaring you. Yeah yeah, human beings have forced you and your raccoon kind to depend on urban environments. But you’re still annoying.

Yesterday, Bandit Eyes brought a buddy of his. It was about 1015pm, and so my camera phone couldn’t capture the two at the buffet well. But here’s a security-camera-like photo for you to identify the perpetrators:

Disgusting.

Disgusting.

We had about a 30 second stare down, and they won. My zoophobia kicked and I realized what I was doing. I wish my grandma was here because she’s an expert at trapping animals with homemade devices. But then again, she also cooks them. Hm…so maybe not.

I have resorted to taking the trash out in the daylight, and making lots of noise before I enter the premises of refuse. I fear that Bandit Eyes’ new companion is female, and that they will reproduce offspring for takeover. My window faces them, and I can hear them plotting through the night. I pray that I will live to tell the tale.

This is Amy Hu signing off for June 4th, 2013.

Sinkholes

The earth is one crazy, unpredictable planet. And it scares me.

Here in the Midwest, we’re in a season of thunderstorms. The other night, I saw tornado warning maps on TV and heard the strong, gusty winds shake up my windows. I pressed my face against my glass sliding door and looked out nervously. Californian weather just pales in comparison to Wisconsin. The rolling thunder and flashes of lightning woke me up a few times in the night (I now fully understand how annoying paparazzi are).

Please thunderstorm lightning, I know you love me let me sleep!

Please thunderstorm lightning, I know you love me let me sleep!

I do recall one bad storm growing up in San Jose. The winds were so bad that it knocked over our neighbor’s 50 ft tree, damaging our roof and splitting our orange tree in half. That also meant the fence that separated our two families was now nonexistent, which made it really awkward at times. The morning after it happened, I came downstairs to the kitchen and saw my middle-aged Filipino neighbor out in his backyard, wearing striped boxers and a wife-beater that didn’t fit him (half his beer belly wasn’t covered).

Our interaction basically.

He stood there, frozen, just staring at me through my kitchen window. I, was of course, really creeped out. As I tried to quickly toast my brown sugar and cinnamon Pop-Tart, I realized his eyes weren’t fixed on me at all. He was in shock, taking in the fullness of the damage that was done. I don’t remember why I decided to go outside to say hi, but the only words he could utter were “Oh man, it’s really bad.” My dad was especially angry because our neighbor had been advised to cut down the tree a few weeks back, but obviously did not think it necessary. We were left to pay half the damages (pretty unfair huh?). In protest, Papa Hu would passive-aggressively clean up our yard only when my neighbors could see him breaking his back because of their carelessness.

It seems silly to really fear the weather in a time where we have plenty of people all over the nation devoting their lives to keeping an eye on it. The hard work of meteorologists allow me to lay my head down in peace most nights, but something recently has both baffled me and made me appalled at the structure of the earth. Something neither I nor anyone could ever get used to.

Picture this: It’s Tuesday night and you’ve just put the kids to bed. You made sure the doors were all locked, the stove is turned off, and toys are not in walking paths around the house. You set the security alarm for the downstairs area and climb into your bed looking forward to a good night’s sleep. You feel accomplished at what a great parent and spouse you are, being cautious in all the right ways. THEN THE EARTH OPENS UP AND DEVOURS YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE HOUSE AND ALL YOUR EFFORTS WERE FOR NOTHING.

Sinkholes. Freakin’ SINK. HOLES.

You can’t beat them or join them. You can only be digested by them.

Just a couple of weeks ago in the South Side of Chicago:

sinkhole

If you still aren’t frightened and in awe of the power of the earth, please browse through this slideshow from NBC.

This natural phenomenon, though exacerbated by humans, is scarier than a clown with a “mandatory hugs” sign. That clown has the potential to be sucked into the core of the earth. The third rock from the sun wins.

I wish there was a support group for “sinkhole paranoia.” We’d probably meet in a plane or a space shuttle.

This is Amy Hu signing off for May 22nd, 2013.