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Happy Mother’s Day 2011

I hope everyone has taken today to celebrate all that our mother’s have given us – particularly your life. Whether your mother is alive or deceased, near or afar, known or unknown to you, it is all important that we take the time to honour her for you are here today as a result of her months of bearing you. A mother’s job doesn’t end after the pains of birth, but for all the effort that they’ve put in to raise us. Although there may be exceptions to this, whether you love your mom or hate her, you owe this very moment you are looking at these words to her.

Happy Mother’s Day (2011) – May we all cherish what we have or had as they’ve played a very important role in our lives

As of course I am celebrating with my mom, I will be keeping this post short 🙂

Societal Norms Clashes with Culture

I know Sophia’s going to have a lot of fun with this topic, but I’m thinking lots of people have been wedged between soceital norms and culture. I have a varied group of friends, from (true) white Canadians to those of my own background and I have often noticed distinct differences to opinions based around what our society determines to be normal. Living in Canada, I must say I’m very fortunate that most around us are very accepting and tolerant of differences and everyone sticks to their own without meddling in others affairs. However the other day as I was having a discussion amongst friends, everyone seemed to have a very different outlook on core things… particularly with living environment. Let me elaborate.

Being raised in a traditional Asian household, it has always been accepted that one’s children and family will always be accepted in the household, whether you are 18 or 80. Most of my white-Canadian friends have moved out while I am still at home. I always ask them, “What is home?” I have one friend in particular who I thought was joking to me when he told me that when he turned 18, he found a note from his father who essentially said, “You’re 18 now, get out of the house.” To me, that’s shocking because 18 is an age where most people are still struggling to find themselves, let alone move out. Certainly, there are many who survive leaving home at this age, especially those who seek independence, yet why?

Being in my mid-20’s, I think people look at me weird for still “living at home.” To be honest, I’m comfortable living here and see no necessity to move away. Of course when I have my own family one day, I’m sure I’ll leave ‘home’ – but I currently, there’s no legitimate reason why I should other than what society defines as the norm. Why must one leave home at a certain age – does it imply independence? In the past, I have pondered whether bebe looks down on me because I’m still at home and we’ve never really discussed that. To me, my whole life revolves around my family and I know many people use the word “weird” to describe people who sitll live at home with their parents. Of course my circumstance is a bit different as I live at home also because of my father who passed away a few years ago, leaving my mom on her own. I cannot fathom what sort of son would ditch his mother for the sake of being labeled as independent by society.

Don’t fool yourself, because I have a friend who asked me after my dad’s death whether I would move out. I asked why and I explained that it’s hard for my mom to life on her own without a source of income and no one to take care of her (since my mom had me, she has not been back into the workplace) as my Dad did all that – everything from finances to even doing the gardening. His response was that, “You should leave your mom behind, she’ll survive.” and to me, that was a pretty shitty thing to even think. Perhaps in his culture, as a white-Canadian, this is a totally acceptable thing, but to me, it is not. I know that it’s possible to fulfill a son’s obligations to his parents without living with them, but currently, I don’t have my own family yet, so of course I intend to take care of my mother in the same house until the situation presents itself where I can no longer do that. Had my father still been alive, moving out would of course be a potential route to take.

I think what people these days don’t realize is the cost of moving out. Everyone wants independance and of course if you have a family of your own, wife/husband/partner/kids, I can see it being a need, but to move out just because is foolish. Unless you have an amazing job, you will find trying to make ends meet is very hard. This is definitely a very culturally-based thing. Talking to an Indian coworker of mine, she says she has kids of various ages, from school-age to into their 30’s and many of them still live at home. She says, “I welcome and encourage my kids to live at home any time.” This is a very conflicting thing with Canadian societies expectations of kids being booted out of their homes. You will find many Asians live with their parents or even grandparents if they are lucky enough. Having a tight-knit family should not be discouraged. I suppose another big thing is that many people don’t get along with their parents. My retort to most people when they say I need to get out of the house is, “Just because YOU have a dysfunctional family and don’t get along with your parents, doesn’t mean I don’t!

I live at home because not only do I have many advantages of having meals prepared and ya… even my bed made, but also because it’s financially sound. Why move out when there only needs to be one set of bills to be paid? Why move out and cause financial strain on both my mother and I? Why move out when we could cook-for-two and save money? Don’t forget things like utilities are generally fixed costs and you’re simply doubling it by moving out (two different locations). I think most people seek that independence so much it blinds them to the financial aspects. By living at home, in a few year’s time, I will have enough money to fully purchase a quarter-million dollar house with no mortgage by living at home. Let’s just say for the sake of argument, bebe can contribute the same amount, we could be living in a half-million dollar home easily and not owe the bank a cent. For anyone who’s holding a mortgage, you will know that the few thousand dollars you save every month could be used for LOTS of things. By living at home, the first year I worked full-time I had already saved up enough money to put a down-payment for a decently priced house. Now you must think that I just freeload, but I actually pay a good portion of the household bills, especially with my mom having no income, and of course my own stuff like car insurance, life insurance, internet, gas, etc. Do people not realize the savings for both your parents AND you by staying at home?

After having this conversation, I did think back about whether bebe has ever looked down on me for still being at home. I know we’re both very family-oriented people and value the importance of it, but I’m not sure if she views me poorly as a result. I mean, I still wouldn’t move out just to please her, but I would certainly want her to know the reasons why I’m at home, but also respecting the fact that one day when we’re financially capable, to move out on our own. When people ask me why I’m still at home, I simply tell them I have “no need to leave home right now.” Hell, I don’t even want to leave home until the situation presents itself. It’s not a matter of me not being able to fend for myself or that my mom is incapable of surviving, but it’s about making sound and rational decisions. For the most part, I get all the freedom I have being at home, than moving out. I’d dare say I get even more freedom since there are many things I don’t need to do know that I would being on my own (ok, I do admit to a bit of spoiling, but I’m not USELESS at least).

Our culture definitely plays a large role on how you perceive others or even yourself when it comes to “staying at home.” In many cultures, it’s pretty much acceptable to stay at home until you get married. In other cultures, this is totally frowned upon and makes you appear not self-sufficient enough. Many will give you weird looks or already generate prejudice based on who’s roof you live under. I think it’s much worse to “get a place of your own” in a dead-beat basement of someone’s home than living comfortably under the same roof with your loving family. Do I have short term plans to move out? No. Will I ever leave home? Probably. I think there’ll definitely be evolution as to what the plan is as bebe and I progress, but I don’t want her to believe that I’m going to latch on to mommy’s leg and not go anywhere. I have a responsibility to take care of my mother and I don’t want bebe to see this as being a burden on me where she will have to deal with the consequences of it. When the time comes, I will need to balance both sides and yet allowing bebe and I to have a place of our own to raise our own family.

Listening to a variety of my coworkers discuss their kids staying at home and such, it really places an emphasis that those who are not “of colour” are more likely to have kids who have moved out (or been booted out), more than those of non-Canadian culture. I love being Asian, yet living in Canada, but there are times when I find them my cultural mentality differs from what Canadian society expects and demands – because we are judged on such things. I proudly live at home, because I can save money, contribute to the well-being of my family and also take care of my mother. Yes, I am “older than what I should be” to still be at home, but I have the freedom here as I would with my own place. Funny that the other day I was discussing how my mom would not like it if I had girls over in my room because I was testing the traditionalistic side of my mom… only to find out she’s more accepting of reality than I expected. I said, “Well mom, you wouldn’t like it if a girl stayed overnight anyways…” and she said, “Well, I wouldn’t be happy if it was just a girl you just met, but if you have been dating her for a while, I’d be ok with it.” Suffice to say, I was quite surprized that my mom would be, of all people, to be so open to an idea such as that. Of course it’s not that I’m thinking about doing something like that, but it was to see how much freedom I really have “at home.” This is a great house and household to be living under and I have what others seek when they move out – freedom and independence… I have all that here, plus more!

Weekend Shopping and Updates

Hi Everyone,

Thought I’d relax this weekend without a period post, but I did manage to get some shots of “period-related” things for those who come to my blog for the flow-lovers value rather than actually caring about my life 😛 Don’t feel guilty! Everyone visits sites for certain values and topics that they only care about while others are more interested in learning about the author as a whole!

This weekend was an interesting one and let me start on Friday. I received an email from an uncle telling me that a friend of his will be arriving from Hong Kong to help his son get organized for the upcoming school semester as an international student in Canada. Since I had helped arrange these things and for residence at a local host family, his parents really wanted to take me out for dinner as thanks and to meet me, since other than by phone and email, we have never formally met. I really enjoy the love of helping people when it’s within my means and don’t expect gains other than goodwill and appreciation. When we met, they also happened to bring along a friend who had a daughter (I can already see some people grinning as they read this) who happened to live in the same city and will watch over their son while he’s here.

Everyone talked over the course of dinner and my mom invited them over to our house just to have some tea, sit and chat. I enjoyed showing them my computer and gun collection and of course with all but the one girl, the rest were boys who tuned right in to the idea of being able to shoot a firearm. The girl was very shy but eventually joined us. She screamed the first time she fired off a shot, just like my mom – lol, it was kind of funny to watch. Apparently while all the “kids” were downstairs, the adults talked upstairs about random things. Most notably, I think especially Chinese people like to involve relationships in their conversations because I swear we have nothing else to talk about. Her mom grilled my mom on how old I was, what kind of education I had, the type of guy I am, whether I had a girlfriend or not and how my career is going and such. At the end of the night, her mom was very pleased with me (which is kind of scary… and you’ll find out why later on) and determined me to be a “very good guy.” It’s always interesting because I think over the past while, I’ve come to realize that I’m the type of guy that “girls” my age don’t like, but I’m totally the type of guy that mothers like for their daughters 😆

This is not the first scenario of the case above and happened again on Saturday. The acupuncturist that I go to has a daughter and yes, she is quite pretty – considering the fact I think most Chinese-mainlander girls are ick. I’ve had several opportunities to talk to her informally before, about school, life, sports and other general interest things and have found her to be quite intelligent – or at the very least – appears to be able to hold an intellectual conversation. Aside from the awkwardness of her translating “erection” for her mom (the acupuncturist) to English for me, we have a pretty good time talking when she’s there on the weekend helping out with receptionist work. I figured that especially with “doctors” they would generally not want their own son/daughter interested in a paitient since they know all the “dirty details” about you, like what things are wrong with your body, that you’re overweight or whatever – because in general, you don’t see doctors for good things. Suffice to say, my mom was saying how the doctor was asking about my age, whether I was single, commenting that her daughter was single, what I do for a living, whereabouts I live, whether I was “interested” in girls and that I was a “very good boy” because I’m always chauffeuring my mom around, I have a good relationship with her and I pay for everything. I think from the viewpoint of most “moms” – I appear to be a guy they would definitely want for their daughter knowing I’d treat them well (based on what they know about me).

The awkwardness of most situations is that these girls that their moms want to set me up with are all horribly not within my age range. One of these girls and I won’t mention which one, would actually be illegal. Now I know that Canadian law does not dictate any “age requirements” for dating, but obviously they do have age enforcement for sexual relationships. I’m not saying that when I date a girl, all I ever think about is getting in her pants, but obviously if you want the relationship to progress healthily, that is obviously one of the things that will come up. So yes, one of these moms wanted to practically set me up with her underage daughter. The second mom at the very least, tried to “inquire” about me on behalf of her daughter and at the very least, the girl just turned 18 so at least for legal standards, she would not make me act under a criminal capacity. I think about how immature most university-aged girls are nowadays, let alone consider a relationship with a girl who just turned 18. Speaking of which, I know that this would be a dream for almost any heterosexual male – those “fresh”, “barely legal” girls and I can understand that, but not so much for me if I’m looking for a real, working-relationship. I think that a lot of guys my age don’t want to settle either or care about commitment. A few guy-friends when hearing that bebe was going to be out-of-the-country for 6 months asked me whether I was going to “find another girl to bang” while she was away or a girl to “keep me company” (how you want to interpret that is up to you). It’s not going to happen – just because bebe’s not around doesn’t mean it gives me a right to mess around and don’t confuse that I say a girl is “pretty” or “beautiful” means I think I like them – it just means I can appreciate their beauty and doesn’t replace my love for bebe!

While shopping on Saturday, I finally took some pictures at T&T Supermarket in Mississauga in the pad section! I could inconspicuously bring my camera out since it’s attached to my phone and snap a few pictures. I’ll have to get them sometime when my girls go shopping with me. The Elis DX360 is $9.99 – geezzz, but has side-barriers like the Laurier Superguard – weehh! On the left edge of the shelf was some Laurier Thins and Center-In SaraSara pads… not exactly a big fan of thins, but I can’t be biased now can I? Only someone who’s in a tight pinch would ever buy “local” pads/tampons from a Chinese store because be prepared to have your wallet stripped of its money.

Sunday I got a call early in the morning… like shit-time early and my friend asked me what I was planning to do for the day. I was just aiming to relax a day and do a bit of gaming but asked me to join me at her place for a BBQ. Yes, that’s right – a girl doing BBQ, isn’t that just awesome? It’s already super-hot for girls who know how to prepare a proper meal, let alone one who can even work the barbecue, RAWR! She made a delicious meal and although I helped out here and there, it was pretty nice that she spoils me sometimes and we can just chat while she puts some wings, skewers and seafood on the grill! She had a couple of drinks, but I didn’t since I have to drive and Ontario alcohol laws are tighter-than-ever when it comes to enforcing drinking and driving laws. I stayed until about 9PM or so when we called it a night and I went home to get ready for sleep. Why would I sleep so early? Got a damn email telling me that I have an early-morning Monday meeting! UGH.

Anyways, that’s it for the weekend and I hope my fellow flow-lovers enjoy the pictures. I don’t have much on my mind right now so toodles for now!

Motherly Worries: Rogaine and Side-Effects

Just wanted to drop in to note a funny conversation with my mom today.

My mom just finished listening to a radio broadcast about rogaine which I have been taking to combat my unfortunate hereditary hair-loss (in which I thought about getting a hair transplant if it gets bad enough or I can’t get a decent cut that fits my face-shape).

Aside: Although I’m far from becoming bald, I certainly notice having “less hair” than I used to. Obviously my first approach was to seek my doctor in which he reported there were no abnormalities with my body. Phew! He recommended if I really cared that much about my hair (which I really don’t, but my girlfriend does), then to start on this topical cream. I’ll tell you, it isn’t comfortable either and causes a bunch of reactions like itchy scalp, flaking and signs of dandruff, all quite embarrassing… for the sake of her – bleh, the things us guys do for women, LOL.

Anyways, she came to me very worried, indicating to me that it would affect my ability to “have babies.” My mom is one of those people that will “half listen” to a story and “half not”… and she’ll always pick things out and turn it into a worst-case scenario. She came to me and told me after my year of using it, she wanted to me to stop because she was worried I wouldn’t be able to have kids. She knows that I “plan” to have kids and she warned that if I still wanted them, that I should stop using it. I smacked my face and I told her that using rogaine doesn’t reduce sperm count, it may (MAY – keyword) cause a reduction in sex drive as well as the inability to maintain an erection but does not necessarily cause the “inability to have kids.” My mom grew up in a very old-fashion family where sex was not a common topic and where her exposure to “facts” of about sex may not be very high. For those who do not know, it is actually possible to ejaculate without having an erection. On that note, it also means it is possible for a guy who has erection-issues to still possibly cause conception as long as his sperm-count is not an issue. Although I certainly wouldn’t want myself not to be able to maintain an erection, my mom also needs to clear up the facts as well 😛

Obviously the conversation ended there, but rest assured, I don’t appear to have any problem with my sex-drive. Speaking of which, even if it did reduce it a bit, I really wouldn’t mind, LOL. I’m a 2x-year old guy, do you really think I have a problem with a lack of sex-drive? My greater problem would be having too much versus not enough 😆 From what I recall, this is probably one of the most annoying thing about being a guy! Furthermore, I don’t appear to have a problem maintaining an erection and yes, spontaneous erections are not fun either. Getting a few less of these wouldn’t kill me, nor my to-be-kids…. Anyways, if these side-effects do become apparent one day, stopping it for 2 weeks to a month seems to clear up any sexual dysfunction issues from using rogaine.

Don’t worry mom, you’ll have grandchildren one day….. HAHA 😀 Oh mom… poor mom….

Laugh of the Day: Motherly Concerns

Today, I definitely got my kick-of-the-day! A few days ago, I had asked whether I could purchase a new video card as a “reward” for all the efforts I’ve put in at work lately. It was a fairly expensive card and before I submitted it, I was very hesitant, worried that I might be chastised for choosing that one. For me, my most expensive video card I’ve ever bought came to $260 CAD – which to me, is already at the “limit” of what I could pay for personally to buy… I seriously cannot justify to myself (or my wallet for that matter) forking out more than that to play games.

Given that I’m always the “silent one” at work and while everyone else has asked for tons of stuff all the time, I thought I’d finally try my luck! Sure enough, with a bit of ass-kissing and letting my boss borrow one of my games, he put the order in right away. I asked him at 1:20PM and he replied at 2:52PM telling me that it has been ordered and that it’ll arrive in my name in 5 days! God damn – it was a shock and I just saved myself $550! This year, I was finally planning to buy a new computer, so I’m slowly building my “collection” of parts to do over the summer. It has been many years since I’ve gotten a “new computer” and I find myself earning a lot (not “a lot” as in the actual amount, but the quantity of the act) of money and yet, not really spending it. After all, money is useless if it is not spent and ONLY saved. It isn’t until when the money is used for a product or service, that the value of the amount is actually realized, since that is what (hopefully) brings us pleasure, happiness or relief. Certainly over the past while, I have spent more money than I normally would since my girlfriend and I are eating out more often, going to more places (thus gas and maintenance) and whenever I see things she may like, I buy it. Certainly, this money hasn’t brought me joy directly, but seeing her happy sure as hell does! I digress… like I always do.. but anyways, this is my FIRST part for my new computer coming this summer!

This video card that was purchased it outrageous… yes, it really is and I went “over the top”… heck if I’m going to ask for something so rare, I mind as well make sure that it is going to last a while since it isn’t every day my boss is willing to dig into the budget and get me something, lol – although I should mention I’m extremely grateful and I will certainly put more effort into my job when he asks me to do something! Call it a bit of employee bribery sometimes 😛

This is what I got…

XFX Radeon HD 5870

Oh yes baby, I’m drooling! 😀

But this totally wasn’t the point of my post. My mom, makes me laugh a lot….. because what she said today was totally unexpected coming from MY mom in particular. As a result of getting this new video card (which I spent more than enough time talking about, LOL), I had to measure the inside of my computer tower to make sure it would actually fit. According to what I’ve been reading, the video card is 11 inches in length – holy shit and I thought the card I have now is long! The one I have now is already at the “edge” of my hard drive plug, making it a very tight squeeze so I am quite worried I will actually need to upgrade my case. Only time will tell when I actually get it out of the box!

I dismantled the side panel of my case with the intention of checking the clearance and whether the card would actually fit (based on the dimensions I have). Unfortunately, I have this really poor estimation of sizing, so I prefer to get a more accurate measurement. Nevertheless, I don’t keep a ruler in my room because… well, because I don’t have a need for one. I went out to my home-office to grab one from the drawer. Just as I was walking back into my room, my mom sees me walking into my room with a ruler. Today was fairly hot here, so I only had my boxers on.

So here I am… wandering into my room, ruler-in-hand with one piece of clothing away from being completely nude. My mom just looks at my hand and then quietly says (Oh, I should mention the conversation was completely in Cantonese, but I’ll translate it to English for the sake of most of my readers), “[My name], I heard a lot of guys your age like to measure their penis to see how long it is…. it is ok, close your room door, there is nothing to be ashamed of..” — MY MOM THOUGHT I WAS MEASURING MY OWN PENIS – holy shit, lol. The damn ruler was the measure the clearance in my computer case to see whether or not I could fit my video card in!!! 😆 I suppose grabbing a ruler, walking into my room and being 90% naked didn’t exactly appear “innocent” although I had absolutely not intentions of measuring my cock 😛

So here I am now, writing about it because it is still making my laugh. My mom, although bringing me many moments of anger and frustration, also brings me great laughter during the day. I could not help but feel weird and I’m glad it wasn’t like I was having this huge erection which would’ve made the situation even more awkward. I told her it was to check my computer and I don’t think she believed me… because when I came out of my room, she offered to wash the ruler. Oh god, LOL. 😀

—————–

Anyways, I found this blog entry pertaining to an artist who had her work-of-art censored at an art gallery as a result of her “questionable display” of used tampons. Ok sure, it isn’t the most welcome scene in every-day life, but given there often is a large variety of “grotesque” scenes in art galleries depicting worse-than-a-bloody-tampon displays that should have been “covered” rather than hers. I can imagine being an artist what she feels like, being “supressed” by a societal taboo while seeing other ones displayed openly. It is amazing that in 2010, our society still finds a used feminine hygiene so disgusting that it must be sheltered from the world. Surely, if there was any place “acceptable” to find something like this would be at a ART GALLERY.

Please feel free to read: http://ncacblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/tampon-photo-incites-controversy-at-the-fashion-institute/

and also the official artist @ http://blog.jessicachowdesign.net/post/588334701/viva

Please note that both the above links will take you OUT OF MY BLOG – which means you may be subject to the otherwise deemed “inappropriate” pictures (they are non-pornographic) as posted by the respective authors and I bear no responsibility henceforth.

Please drop by and show your support, especially if you happen to go to the same institution as her!

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