Lucky (#180)

Once upon a time, Andy headed off to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. When he came back, I asked how many strip clubs they’d hit.

He said, “None.”

I said, “Liar.” Continue reading Lucky (#180)

Battle of the Bloggers (#127)

Get ready to rumble!

In today’s post, blogger Mary of The Ruby Ronin and I go head-to-head on Tang Dynasty Trivia.

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This is Weina. Don’t be fooled by how nice she looks. She’s devious.

Weina Randel will be officiating the match. Randel spent six years researching China’s only female Emperor. She’s got some brutal questions for us about both her books (The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon), as well as Chinese history and culture in general.

Who will win? The woman who actually speaks Mandarin and lived in China, or the woman who took one class on Chinese history over a decade ago in college?

Let’s find out. Here’s the completely slightly edited version of our game show, conducted primarily via Skype. Continue reading Battle of the Bloggers (#127)

West Meets an Eastern Novel (#117)

Guess what? I’ve gotten so famous that I’ve been asked to review books!

Translation: book needs free publicity and I’m a sucker for historical fiction. Especially for time periods and cultures I don’t know much about. The best historical authors spin information, entertainment, and angst into a yarn that is pure magic. Continue reading West Meets an Eastern Novel (#117)

When Lions Eat Lettuce (#114)

Gung hey fat choi! It's the Year of the Monkey! (Better give the lion some lai see if you don't want to get eaten, Monkey.)
Gung hey fat choi! It’s the Year of the Monkey. (Better give the lion some lai see if you don’t want to get eaten, Monkey.)

Early one February, Andy asked if I want to go to dim sum with his aunt, uncle, and cousins on the weekend.

I said, “So long as you don’t make fun of me for not eating the chicken feet.”

“But they’re so good! And you won’t even try them!”

I shuddered. “It’s the toenails. If you have to spit out toenails, you cannot pretend you’re not eating another creature’s feet.” Continue reading When Lions Eat Lettuce (#114)

Son-in-Law vs. Daughter-in-Law (#110)

IMG_5730When I butted heads with my in-laws, I had a secret weapon. Well, more like a secret label, really. I was able to avoid taking their criticism personally by calling it “a cultural difference.”

Doubling the number of bridesmaids to 8 due to Chinese superstitions about the Voldemort of numbers? It’s a pain in the ass, but fine, I’ll respect your superstition.

Ignoring the fact that I hate seafood and making sure every dish at the Chinese Wedding Banquet was marine? Well, each dish had some cultural significance and my in-laws paid for it. I fed my portions to my new husband and said nothing. Continue reading Son-in-Law vs. Daughter-in-Law (#110)

Sunny Daze (#109)

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My new, China-born mother-in-law had cornered me in the guest bedroom. She’d told her son that she wanted to have a talk with me about “woman” stuff. He couldn’t get out of the room fast enough. Possibly because Andy’s father had already subjected him to the “Ultimate Over-sharing Sex Talk, Given Fifteen Years Too Late.”

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The original cover of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Courtesy of their awesome and useful website.

Well, if Sunny thought she was going to intimidate educate me with some superstitious old world sex misinformation, she thought wrong. Continue reading Sunny Daze (#109)

A Talk with Jay (#108)

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Back to paradise with the in-laws! And oxymorons!

Hope everyone enjoyed the winter holiday blogging break from my in-law issues. Break is over! We now return to Hawaii, almost 2 months after I married Andy.

When last I left you, Andy’s parents, both born in China, insisted on the Daughter-in Law Tea Ceremony, thereby showing me I ranked somewhere around servant status.

Next up was the Chinese wedding banquet, filled with my most least favorite foods. We triumphed only because Andy can eat ALL the food.

Then Andy’s mother tried to re-establish control over Andy with a curfew. Andy refused to be curfed.

You’d think that would be more than enough familial stress.

Wrong. Continue reading A Talk with Jay (#108)

Honeymooners (#77)

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Timo and his wife playing a traditional Finnish game at their wedding. Courtesy of Crazy Chinese Family.

On our honeymoon, the other guests were also mostly honeymooners, and young ones at that. It was a little like high school. No one spoke to anyone else.

This suited Andy fine. “If we meet someone new, you’re going to tell them all the same boring stories I’ve heard a million times. How we met. How you thought I was a terrorist because I had a beard, how I stole you from Ethan, and all that.” Continue reading Honeymooners (#77)

Seven Rules for Your Wedding Rehearsal Dinner (#68)

When it came to our brothers, Andy and I were in the same boat. (Courtesy of the Winniepesaukee Belle.)
When it came to our brothers, Andy and I were in the same boat. (Courtesy of the Winnipesaukee Belle.)
  1. Don’t have a big rehearsal dinner/ party the night before the wedding.
  2. If you must disregard Rule #1, do not serve alcohol at the party the night before the wedding.
  3. If you must disregard Rule #1 AND #2, do not have a morning wedding.
  4. If you must disregard Rules #1, #2, AND #3 absolutely DO NOT have an open bar at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
  5. If you must disregard Rules #1, #2, #3, AND #4 make sure no members of your wedding party have recently turned 21.
  6. If you are seriously such a fool as to ignore Rules #1, #2, #3, #4, AND #5 there’s  no chance you’ll pay attention to this one, but I’ll give it to you anyway. For God’s sake, do not schedule your only wedding rehearsal with the minister AFTER the open bar at the party the night before your morning wedding.
  7. If you disregarded Rules 1-6, you are an idiot.

Continue reading Seven Rules for Your Wedding Rehearsal Dinner (#68)

If Your Number’s Up (#56)

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About a month before I was to marry my Chinese-American fiancé, the first groomsman bailed. This was Andy’s friend from high school, nicknamed “Salad.” Despite the fact that we’d been at Salad’s wedding in Hawaii the previous year, Salad wilted in the face of his new wife’s worries over the lengthy flight from Hawaii to New Hampshire. I figured Baby Greens were on the way. Continue reading If Your Number’s Up (#56)