16 Things
Portrait of the blogger as a guilty toddler.

The “16 things about you” meme has been spreading among Blythe collectors (or as I like to call them, Blythelords) on Flickr like news of a fire sale on Barbie chunky-soled Mary Jane shoes. I was tagged there and I had so much fun thinking of things to write and reading the ones my friends filled out that I thought I’d share my answers here, too:

1) When I was in high school, my career aspirations included make up artist (can’t you just tell), psychologist or journalist. The latter won out.

2) I am still sad that “Nowhere Man” ended without a resolution. Who is Thomas Veil?

3) I’m a minority here in Taiwan, and I am a minority at home in the US, too, and what I have learned so far from this experience is that a sense of belonging needs to come from within yourself.

4) My mom read a blog entry I’d written about particularly obnoxious bigoted things people have said to me and sent me a Chinese saying — 禍福相依 — that means when something bad happens not everything that comes out of it is negative, and when good things happen it doesn’t mean it will bring all positives, and that the reason we meet people like that is to remind us not to be like them. I thought that was amazing and will carry it with me for the rest of my life.

5) I know 3 and 4 make it sound like I’ve been having a hard time in Taipei, but the opposite is true. Yes, it’s been a challenge, but it’s also been a very dynamic period personally and professionally and I am never bored.

6) Every time I read something in Chinese, I think to myself “wow, I’m reading something in Chinese!”

7) I love the “Little House” books because I identify with Laura.

8) I also love “Scarface” and someone once said to me that that is a weird favorite film “for a nice Asian girl.” Oh yeah, like anything in recent world history has proved that Asian people are genetically programmed to be peace loving (eye roll).

9) Because of what my family went through during the Cultural Revolution, I am very, very wary of any political ideology that I perceive of as being too extreme, even if I agree with certain of its tenets.

10) When I was little, I used to hide underneath our dining room table and write things on its bottom like this.

My 10-year-old handiwork

11) My interest in secondhand and vintage clothing started because I could not find mod-style mini-dresses in the mall when I was 11.

12) My Meyer-Briggs personality type is INTP. I think that, as fun as it is, the MB personality test has a lot of methodological flaws, but certain people would say that that just proves I am an INTP.

13) When I was younger I used to mouth off all the time, but now I think I know how to pick my battles more wisely.

14) I remember the first time I saw Ron. It was a month into grad school and by that time it was all sweatshirts and ratty ponytails for me. He walked into our masters thesis group wearing a fitted suede jacket and knitted beanie. I thought, “damn you new classmate for making me feel sloppy!”

15) I’m reserved when I meet new people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I thought you were sooo serious when I first met you!”

16) I guess I do have a quirky sense of humor.

And a few extra ones from another “16 things” I did earlier:

1) I can’t stand shiny, transparent orange things, like orange stained glass, orange jello or orange Jolly Ranchers.

2) “Mad Men” is one of my favorite television shows ever. That scene in the first season where Don finally shows his brother some tenderness by hugging him good-bye after bribing him to leave town made me cry so hard I nearly started hyperventilating.

3) Speaking of stuff that makes me cry, whenever I watch the end of the ‘Mother Simpson’ episode from ‘The Simpsons’ where Homer looks at the stars searchingly after saying good-bye yet again to his on-the-run fugitive mom, my eyes well up.

4) I also cried when I read about that poor little toddler in Singapore who had to get his toes amputated after his fake Crocs got stuck in an escalator.

5) I actually don’t cry that easily. I just like posting lists of potentially embarrassing personal anecdotes in a public forum.

6) I think going to Sarah Lawrence College is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

7) I believe that you can have everything you’ve ever wanted, just not all at once.

I don’t want to tag individual bloggers just in case you hate memes, so I’ll just do this: if you have ever read one of my newspaper articles from beginning to end, feel free to consider yourself tagged (and thanks for your support [smarmy wink]. If you do fill the meme out, please comment with a link so I can read the answers.