Category Archives: Loves

Pilates is My Yoga

I have tried yoga a handful (two handfuls, really) of times and I still haven’t been hooked. I’m sure I will try it again sometime in the future but I find it more frustrating than calming. Unless you are in a smallish class, as a beginner, you’re pretty much on your own. Also, there is always that one guy or gal who has to exhale orgasmically after some downward dog or chattaraunga. Aside from being unnecessary and a little TMI, it also makes me feel like I am definitely doing it wrong. My inner not-so yogi wants to shout: show-off!

Enter Pilates. It requires controlled breathing and focus on your body and posture, but the nature of the discipline and the Reformer make it more clinical, which suits me just fine. I started practicing after I had spine surgery, as a form of physical therapy, but I have come to find it soothing as well. I have arrived at class, full of road rage from an evening commute and left calmer, stretched out and sweaty. Not to mention having to log roll out of bed the next morning because my abs were so sore.

A goal to strive for.

A goal to strive for.

I tried a new class last Friday–Pilates Jumpboard. I love it. A board is placed at the foot of the Reformer and with only 1-2 springs attached, it’s plyometrics, while lying down—perfect for a lazy exerciser like myself. My instructor, Jenny Tate, is awesome. She is high energy without being overboard, always has a fun playlist and the classes are limited to 5 students, which is basically semi-private. As my friend I says, after a certain age (any age, really), exercise is no longer a luxury or an option. It’s medicine. If you live in LA, you should check out Jenny’s studio. Just don’t take my Reformer!

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I Love Ansel Elgort, Part Two

Dreamy and a do-gooder!

Dreamy and a do-gooder! Image courtesy of Prizeo.com

Ansel Elgort recently celebrated his twenty-first birthday (at least it’s legal to have a crush on him. Appropriate? That’s another topic entirely.) and in lieu of gifts, he decided to start a Prizeo campaign. Prizeo is like Kickstarter for celebrities with a cause; donate and you can win certain prizes like autographed photos, t-shirts, and “once-in-a-lifetime experiences.” In our modern, celebrity-obsessed society, this is a great use of social media, providing an easy platform for celebrities to pimp themselves out for a charity (and I mean that with the utmost respect. For once, no sarcasm-really!)  Ansel has chosen the Thirst Project, which works to build freshwater wells in communities without access to clean drinking water.

So of course, I totally donated. Because Oriental Lady strongly believes that everyone worldwide should be able to enjoy a cup of hot, clean water. And the shot at winning lunch with Ansel is okay too, I guess.

I donated at the “Dauntless” level, which earns me a t-shirt, ten entries into the “Lunch with Ansel” drawing and an email from Ansel. Check it out here if you’d like to donate too! If you are donating purely to provide others with clean drinking water and don’t want to eat lunch with an adorable, talented young man who thinks about things other than himself, please feel free to donate your contest entries to me (or pretty much any preteen/teenage girl). Now that he’s twenty-one, I’d love to buy him a drink. ;)

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I Love My Friends (aka Bitmoji Love, Part Two)

Last week, I waxed poetic about the Bitmoji app that I had heard about on the “Today” show. It literally makes me laugh out loud at least once a day. I have been trying to convince my friends to make their Bitmojis. Several of them have humored me and no one has regretted it (well, ok, they regret it in the sense that they are also becoming obsessed with it):

I need two more for...Bitmoji Hollywood Squares!

I need two more for…Bitmoji Hollywood Squares!

This is has been no easy feat. Except for the gentleman in the leotard, my friends and I are technological dinosaurs. We did not have smartphones when we were in high school. Or college. Or graduate school. (Ok, I’ll stop now!) After I kept bugging her, one of my friends above recruited her twelve year-old daughter to make hers. Thanks for indulging me, guys!

Yes, this is a thinly veiled attempt to guilt more friends into joining the tribe. You know who you are.

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I Love My Peeps

These will be a collector's item any day now.

These will be a collector’s item any day now. Note the original packaging.

For some, spring is heralded by the arrival of warmer weather, daffodils and birds chirping. For me, it is the appearance of marshmallow bunnies and chicks covered in colored sanding sugar. I love toasted marshmallows, s’mores, marshmallow fluff, marshmallow sauce, chocolate covered, floating in hot cocoa, etc. but I don’t like plain marshmallows. I find the coating of flour/cornstarch/whatever they use to keep them from sticking to each other to be a little off-putting. Behold, the genius of Peeps: coat puffy clouds of sugar with…more sugar!!!

Behold, a wand of marshmallow magic.

Behold, a wand of marshmallow magic.

I’m not sure how it started, but I have an annual tradition of gifting my friend N the coolest new Peeps item I can find. Some past finds: Peeps plushies, a giant hollow chocolate egg with Peeps inside, Peeps shaped cookie cutters (if you are reading this, N, that was a not-so subtle hint for you to bake cookies and bring them to work). I honestly look forward to seeing what the peeps at Peeps come up with and surprising N. Of course, I usually have to buy myself one of whatever I get her. Except for the cookie cutters. Why do I need them if she if going to bake me cookies?

Great with coffee.

Great with coffee.

I have a threadbare t-shirt in my closet I refuse to throw out: it says “Give Peeps a Chance” and has a cartoon of a Peeps chick with an olive branch in its mouth. If you know where I can get a new one (this one has now shrunk from normal to baby tee to not-suitable-for-public-wear), let me know. But if you think I love my Peeps, check out these folk who love to get their Peeps diorama on!

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I Love My Mom

The second worst thing about the Missing Year (which was actually 17 months, to be exact) other than having to live through it, was watching my parents live through it. As mentioned previously, I was not only absent from my own life, but also from the lives of those I love. I am well aware how lucky I am to have parents who are spry and healthy at their age, but I regret causing them to age exponentially last year. After a previous episode many years ago, I vowed not to put them through that again. I failed.

I have said before that my mother has given me life more than once. Even though she didn’t completely understand what I was going through, didn’t always say the right thing (my last iPhone met its demise when I hurled it on the floor during one of our conversations—a move that is very uncharacteristic of me and also not so smart if you have hardwood floors), she has always made it clear that she is there for me, no matter what. There were many months when I didn’t want my parents to visit and sometimes did not even want to speak on the phone. I know this was hard on them, especially my mom, whom I often chat with on my commute to work when I am in my usual state of mind. She put her feelings aside and let me know that I should do what I needed to do, but that I could always pick up the phone and she would be there. Even as I started to function better “on the outside” (e.g. with strangers, at work), in the comfort of those closest to me, I regressed to being a sullen teen. I hated myself for not being able to act more mature, sitting there with a long face and monosyllabic answers. While it must have been hard, she comforted me by saying that I shouldn’t feel like I had to pretend around family, that I could be whoever I was at the moment and I was still loved.

From what my friends who are parents have explained, there is nothing worse than seeing their child in pain. Worse yet, to feel helpless in the face of pain that they cannot fix. I know I felt awful when I saw my mom crying and knew it was because of me.

So, as much as it has been a joy to me to feel better, it has made me especially happy to see my parents also get back to their normal lives as well. The spark in my mom’s eyes is also back; her posture, the expression on her face, lighter and relaxed. Again, I am so very, very grateful to be feeling like myself again. And so very grateful for the most supportive parents one could ask for.

My mom loves her some emoticons!

My mom loves her some emoticons!

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I am Obsessed with Bitmoji

I heard about this new app called Bitmoji from watching the “Today” show last week. It is genius. You make an avatar of yourself and then it creates a myriad of emojis (cartoons, really) with “you” in them. Some of them are so random and/or ridiculous I have actually laughed out loud (I am a dinosaur and refuse to LOL) while sending them. Such as this one I sent to a friend who texted that she had food poisoning:

imoji (1)

There is a good one of “me” sitting on a toilet too but a lady would not post that publicly. I have been trying to convince my friends to download it, because the cartoons are hysterical and to be honest, I just want to see what they look like in Bitmoji. So far, three of them have caved. And yes, they are now obsessed too.

In case you were wondering what I really look like.

In case you were wondering what I really look like.

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I Love LINK

Ask your question. Out loud.

Ask your question. Out loud.

So continuing with the series on things I love, I just spent another afternoon at my new favorite Lazy Sunday hangout, LINK. I always end up staying there about an hour (or two or three) longer than I intend to. Other than making their own sausages on premises (this Oriental Lady does love a good sausage…interpret as you will), they also have a large selection of beers on tap and a full bar with a pretty badass mixologist. And they are walking distance from my house, which is a plus, since they also serve bottomless mimosas on weekends. The latter being the reason that I am usually only sober for the first thirty minutes I am there and why the staff gets to enjoy has to politely listen to my ranting and raving. I am a purist, so my favorite is the Hollywood: a classic pork link with relish, caramelized onions, and mustard. I told one of the owners that I detest most condiments but they make their own relish (it tastes like the pickled vegetables on a Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich) and it is really good. What I also like about LINK is that everyone who works there is genuine, funny (i.e. they laugh at my jokes) and passionate about what they are doing. I’ve always thought it would be cool to have a Cheers to hang out at, but I am about as close to being a barfly as I am to being a supermodel. But due to aforementioned ranting and raving, I’m pleased to say that (almost) everyone who works there knows my name. If you happen to be in LA, check it out for yourselves—they are so serious about happy hour, they do it twice a day from 4pm to 7pm and 10pm to midnight, every day! I highly recommend sitting at the bar. I swear I don’t work for them nor do I have any vested interest in singing their praises…

How can you not love a place that uses this signage?

How can you not love a place that uses this signage?

Okay. Maybe I lie. Maybe I expect a pint on the house the next time I’m there. ;)

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I Love Hot Water

I'm S'well, thanks. How are You?

I’m S’well, thanks. How are you?

I am just full of love these days, apparently. But in all seriousness, I love hot water. I hate ice water: room temperature and higher only please. Even in high school, my friends would tease me about being an eighty year-old Asian lady when I would ask for hot water in restaurants. To be fair, it is pretty comical to see a seventeen year-old asking for a cup of hot water at TGI Fridays. (Hot water? Yes, hot water. Tea? No, just hot water please. Would you like lemon with that? No thanks, just hot water.) What can I say? I was raised with the idea that ice water is bad for digestion and I have sensitive gums. I swear I am not actually eighty.

I like to bring my own water to work, partly because I am too lazy busy to walk down the hall all day to get refills and partly in an effort to be environmentally conscious. I already feel quite guilty about using my fair share of non-latex gloves (mind out of the gutters…I work in a hospital) that probably take about a hundred years to degrade. Enter the S’well Bottle. Its website promised: “Drinks stay cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 without any condensation on the outside, ever.” I was intrigued, but skeptical. Plus, my inner FOB balked at the thought of paying $35.00 for a thermos. But they came in such pretty colors and textures (they have “Glitter” and “Shimmer” lines–I love sparkly things!) that I caved. I love my S’well Bottle! It really is awesome. I have actually burned my tongue at 4pm because it really does keep stuff f***ing hot for 12 hours, as promised. And they donate to various charities like the Unicef Tap Project, helping to provide clean drinking water to children in third-world countries. What’s not to love? I swear I do not work for them either, nor do I own their stock (but only because they are still privately-held, damn it), although the FOB in me would not refuse if they wanted to send me a gift bottle for my product-crush gushing. That’d be S’well :)

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I Love Trader Joe’s

I got carded last night while buying a chardonnay at Trader Joe’s. I’m not a wine drinker, but I’m having company and I’m serving fish so I basically picked one of the two white wines I’ve tasted and can remember the name of (Edna Valley, 2013 if you’re wondering). It’s probably a sign I’m well past the drinking age when my face lights up and I’m excitedly digging out my driver’s license. One perk of being an Oriental Lady is that we tend to appear younger than our stated ages but let’s just say that it is physiologically possible for me to have birthed a child who would be of legal drinking age today.  I’m not sure what the kids are drinking these days, but I would hope that if you did get your millennial hands on a fake ID, chardonnay would not be on the top of your list. Unless it’s cool because of that whole hipster irony clause. A few years ago, I was carded for buying dry cooking sherry and parmesan crisps (I know how to party). Again, I was flattered and giddy, but also thinking…seriously?!

Anyhow, thank you Trader Joe’s cashier lady, you made my night! Did I mention I love Trader Joe’s? Great prices, huge selection of (sometimes odd but always interesting) items and carding? I swear I don’t work for them, but I would buy their stock in a hot minute if they weren’t a privately held company. Yes, I actually looked into it :)

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I Love Ansel Elgort

Matt Lauer just interviewed Ansel Elgort on the “Today” show. He is adorable and I have a mini-crush on him, even though I am old enough that it would be way more appropriate to have a crush on Matt Lauer. I am not ashamed. If you haven’t seen him as Augustus Waters in “The Fault in Our Stars,” you should indulge your inner teen and do so (I am a physician, so I watched it as research on cancer patients. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) I recently found out he is the son of Arthur Elgort, the famed fashion photographer. I stared at his photos in Vogue as a teenager, daydreaming about how cool it would be to be a model (bummer that there were no high-fashion Asian models back then and I also stopped growing at 5’7″. Again, that is my story and I’m sticking to it. I wanted to be a model so Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran might want to date me.) In summary, if you read this, Ansel Elgort: you are the cutest thing ever.

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