The Principle of the Matter: Star Wars @ RU

Summary of the day’s events:

I’d been cooped up at home for a few days being sick and all, and really needed to get out of the house to get my motivation running so I could get shit done and start visualizing my future and work on all the steps toward it.  My friend and I had dinner plans at Buffalo Wild Wings because her house has Vegetarian Wednesdays and she hates that and she had a letter that issued a free meal for two from a prior complaint her parents had with the food.  We showed the letter to our waitress, and from the very start, she had the worst attitude and stink eye towards us.  After awhile, my friend wondered aloud if perhaps she had spit in our food.  At the end, I asked her for the receipt, and she all but seemed ready to bite my head off for asking… until my friend said “It’s for the tip” and she seemed startled and said “oh, ok!” and bustled off to get it.

Now, my friend and I are pretty reasonable tippers and usually give 18% for neutral to nice service.  After the way she seemed to hate us, we settled on a 15% tip, which to me seemed generous considering I had an unpleasant experience because she seemed so pissed whenever we asked to order or get a take out bag.  The only thing I could reason with was that she had a terrible day or yesterday.  As someone who worked in retail for a few months, I understand it can be difficult, and I also know that anything regarding customer service can really suck sometimes… but we were nice customers, and she looked straight up angry and antagonistic.  I want to give people the benefit of the doubt, but if that wasn’t the case, then I can assume that this attitude was her norm, or that she presumed upon receiving the letter that we wouldn’t leave her a tip.  Regardless, the Principle of the Matter here would be that regardless of whether or not she knew we were going to tip her, she shouldn’t have had such a bad attitude, and being a decent friendly human being shouldn’t have been contingent on whether or not she would get paid for it.

Now, to play devil’s advocate, I’m comparing this to the countless times I’ve smiled at strangers or held the door open for them, and they don’t reciprocate or say thank you.  Sometimes I have bad days but I still out of habit smile, and then I have the rare occasion day where I don’t bother to smile, but when someone I don’t know smiles at me, it instantly makes my day a bit better.  That said, nobody is obligated to smile back at me, and if someone is accustomed to not smiling back, then is it safe to assume that they live in a joyless world and there is something bigger that they’re going through that makes them incapable and permanently too upset to return the favor?   I’ve noticed in people’s stories, whether in reality or in shows that often when one is going through something real tough and is struggling just to be present and make it through the next day, it can definitely be hard to do something that seems so simple.  Maybe you’re struggling with depression, maybe you just moved to another country as an immigrant and can’t speak the language or don’t have enough money to pay for dinner.  Maybe you’re a victim of domestic abuse and distrust others so much that even a smile can seen suspicious or sinister.  Maybe you just don’t feel like it.  And I suppose that’s ok.  But it still bums me out a little.

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After BWW, I wasn’t sure if there would be close parking to the building where the Economic Costs/Physics of Star Wars lecture was being held.  Apparently the actual parking lot was pretty far for me, but it would be okay to park in the temporary spots if I had my handicap sign up… no luck.  Came back to find a ticket on my windshield.

The lecture was super cool, I love just learning about the new ways in research is being done and the fact that there are other worlds out there outside of our own.  We also got to watch part of the most recent Star Wars.

The Principle of the Matter:  my friend texted this to me when I was complaining about getting a ticket to her, and I think it makes a lot of a sense.  I would compare this situation somewhat to the plot of Les Miserables.  The ethics of that situation was that the main character stole bread, and technically that was a crime and he got punished harshly for it.  But can you really blame him when one cannot afford food and the alternate option is to starve and let your family starve as well?  I think it sheds light on a bigger, systematic problem.  I would still get mad if I got robbed, but I guess if I knew it was going towards someone’s livelihood and they needed it much more than me, I might be okay with it.

Same principle:  Sure technically, I shouldn’t have parked there, but the problem is the simple, basic fact that the parking lot was much tougher for me to do, and there were no handicapped spots.

This principle applies not just to disabilities or economics, but to race, sexism, everything else.  If we don’t make a place for those that are different and placed at a disadvantage, then how can we penalize them for their actions?

 

 

Alter Egos

Shower Post #3

Do you ever react to a situation differently depending on your mood?  I think we all do.  A part of it may be an innate, so deeply ingrained part of us that can’t be changed.  At some point though, I wondered if I might even be bipolar.  What I’ve concluded is that everyone has multiple facets to their personality.  What is the real me?  Does anyone know?  Most people who think they know me might only have met the predominant me, or the stereotyped quiet Asian girl who has been trying to find her voice all these years, and still is.

When I was younger, I feared nothing.  Throw me in the deep end of the pool- I didn’t know what drowning was, so I had full confidence I would float and make it to the top.  Tell me to belt at the top of my lungs to strangers and introduce myself afterwards?  Why not.  Dare me to walk to the edge of a cliff and gaze down the world at my feet?  Sure.  Once upon a blue moon, I was fearless.

At some point, things changed.  Self-doubt had me wrapped around its fingertips.  I became a slave and puppet to the moods of others.  The obstacles leered over me, laughing at me as I became imprisoned in their shadows.  Over time, I withdrew into myself and people knew me as the shy, obedient, and tiny girl who could be easily coerced into doing their bidding, or who would stay silent to their mockery.  It was hard to make friends, but I had all these feelings bottled up inside, frustration mostly.  Multiple circumstances in my upbringing, household, and life molded me into someone I did not like.

If you caught me at a certain phase though, you would have met a different side of me.  Maybe it was the frustration spilling over, lighting a fire to my being.  Quell your voice.  Humble yourself.  Respect your elders and adult authorities.

Jasmine, why don’t you have any friends?

The journey I’ve made is mine, and maybe you do or don’t relate to it, but damn I’ve traveled a long way to where I am now.  The challenges are not over, and yet I can resoundingly say I am proud of myself to still be here, existing.  I am a survivor.  It is vital to first survive and overcome your demons, so that you can really live.  Maybe most of the time, it’s a struggle just to exist, to be.    But if there is a silver lining to all the pain and suffering you feel, it is that it will make the beautiful moments that much more beautiful.  After some self-reflection, I divided myself into Five Identities (more in the future on the ID, Ego, and SuperEgo via Freud)

  1.  The Obvious Identity- Passive, Submissive, Quiet, Hardworking – who most people think is me… only recognizing the side of me who tends to be a pushover, likes classical music, smiles too much
  2. The Fierce Vibrant ID- who likes orange hair, the sensual human body, admires bold and free-spirited women, colors, has a temper, has no time for BS, all kinds of music (yes, I like hip hop music sometimes, depends on the specific song, why is that so surprising… all genres can be incredible, including that genre)
  3. The Dreamy Artsy ID- aspires to mix all kinds of art, loves photography, music
  4.  The Hateful, Depressed, Sick ID- consumed with negative thoughts, some worse than others.  The devil voice that whispers and tells you to give up, what’s the point.  Always tired and uncomfortable, grouchy, withdrawn, pessimistic, blames the world and everyone else (1/2)
  5.   The Overcheerful, Optimistic, Bubbly ID – super happy and excited all the time, wants joy to be spread to all corners of the earth, wants to save the world. (2/2)

 

Do Soulmates Exist?

Shower Post #2

Marriage / Soulmates / My Type of Guy / Age Difference and Double Standards

  1.  Marriage

It seems like marriage has become a prevalent theme in this age where I’ve reached my early 20s.  A couple weeks ago, my friend was sending me diamond ring designs she wanted.  Everyone is getting hitched these days, whether it be my parents’ friends’ kids or cousins, friends or acquaintances updating their Facebook status to “Engaged.”  The appeal of marriage is so paradoxical to me; on one hand, you’re promising to spend the rest of your life happily with your other half, and then maybe you kiss and ride off into the sunset together hand-in-hand.  On the other hand, as Aziz Ansari so hilariously and despondently points out, you’re putting a ring on someone’s finger, and telling them they’re stuck with you until you die.  i believe in the sanctity of the principal institution of marriage, but let’s face it:  it’s fucking terrifying.  Are you ever supposed to know 100% that you want to be forever with another individual?  Especially as someone who has more unconventional limitations than the rest of the ‘norm,’ will I really ever find a guy who will willingly enter a pact of “in sickness and in health” from the beginning?  Let me know if you have any opinions or experiences on this (more in an upcoming post on dating with said unconventional limitations aka… chronic illness (bleh, hate using that term)).

I know there are already a lot of existing memes floating around where women are jokingly distressed about where they are in life in comparison to others.  We’ve already accepted the pressure women face from traditional expectations to settle down in addition to the biological factor of doing so in their early 30s while their eggs are still hip and young.  So if my soulmate is out there, I’m waiting 😉

But hurry up, because we only have 7 years left before society decides I’m a barren and overripe old hag.  Well, I don’t even know if I should have kids.

        2.  Soulmates

My friend and I got into a really deep, philosophical discussion once sitting in the middle of Smashburgers.  I was telling her about a guy I went on a date with, and how we got into an intense discussion about our beliefs:  he said that he doesn’t really know if soulmates exist.  He would like to believe it, but how does anyone really fucking know?  And what if your soulmate died before or after they met you?  Then you’re just what, fucked for life?? Coming from a date, this topic was hella bumming me out.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a hypocrite.  While I have the same doubts and questions as him, I wanted the guy to woo me and convince me otherwise, all that romantic shit… whether it’s the brand of bullshit, I really don’t know.   

Her answer to that was that some people are not meant to have soulmates.  Some people in this world are perfectly happy being alone.

My rebuttal to his question  was that maybe there is more than one soulmate designated for each person, and that’s why love triangles can happen.  Maybe I just watched too many Korean dramas, or maybe these are just faux-soulmates who cause each other more grief than happiness, but love blinds you.  Just because you think you love someone, doesn’t mean they’re your soulmate.  Timing is everything:  who we are at the time our paths cross, what we’re looking for, where we are located.  The idea of soulmates seems to imply that their relationship would transcend all obstacles.   

Personally, I’ve witnessed too many failed relationships and prison-types marriages to have too optimistic of a view on soulmates, but the idea is fascinating to think about.

         3.   My Love Life

Even though I hesitate to quote Woody Allen due to his tumultuous and controversial life with women, I watched Annie Hall awhile back and his rambling monologue in the beginning really stuck to me.

“… originally in Freud’s “Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious,” and it goes like this – I’m paraphrasing – um, “I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.” That’s the key joke of my adult life, in terms of my relationships with women.”

Basically, I want a relationship but I don’t.  Does that make sense?  It’s not supposed to, because love doesn’t.  I think a part of me dismisses most people who like me, because I can’t help but think, “Why?” I question your judgment in liking me, because well, you don’t really know me, all you know is my appearance, so by deductive reasoning, you’re just drawn to the way I look.  Is this cynical?  Yes.  Is there some truth here as to how guys initially pursue girls further?  Yes. Do I perhaps have some trust issues and issues in general?  Yeah…

My Type of Guy:  People have asked me before what my type of guy is.  I used to have a weird list of qualities I was attracted to, but they were more about appearance and physical attraction than anything of substance.

1.  Slight faux-hawk, gelled up hair in the front

2.  Baseball cap backwards

3.  Rides a skateboard really well

In college, I slightly expanded on this stupid list.

4.  Preferably Asian*

5.  Ideally around 5’9”

6.  Dorky humor

7.  Really sweet smile

8.  No chest hair

9.  Kind and patient

-*Think Ryan Higa, the famous Youtuber.  Even my mom thinks he’s adorkable, which is no easy feat

-*Don’t think I’m racist for having yellow fever, I just prefer Asian guys because I guess they’re more relatable in background and culture

You know what the most hilarious thing was?  The actual crushes I have had only sort of match up with this “criteria.”  My first crush was a ginger with derpy blue puppy eyes and the cutest freckles.  One day in 4th grade, I was struggling to open my water bottle.  He offered to open it up for me, so I gave up and handed it to him- of course, he opened it right away.  When he caught the look of frustration and disappointment on my face, he grinned and said,

“You did all the work already, I just opened it up at the end.  You were almost there.”

  I was painfully shy, I probably blushed, said nothing, or stuttered something sassy to cover up how much those words made my heart melt.  Post 4th grade, he migrated more and more towards the popular crowd that began the divisive ranks and cliques formed into high school, we said hi less in the hallways, and thereon-forth became strangers.

Probably none of these crushes had chest hair (no way of knowing ohoho), but nevertheless, I had no way of knowing if they rode skateboards well either, and definitely none of them wore baseball caps backwards. In summation, we often aren’t attracted to people we think we like, as a study previously revealed.

The most recent crush I had was so overwhelming I couldn’t get rid of it, it was like a drug.  If there was one consistent trait in the way I react to people I like, it’s that I like them for a long time.  I’ve had three major crushes at this point that probably each lasted about a year to three.  My friend found the cure and helped me wean off of those feelings by pointing out all the reasons she believed he was gay.  It worked like a charm!  Or at least, 75% worked.

“My love… Saddest moment is when I found out he’s gay. Or a lie I tell myself everyday.”

       4.  Age Difference

We like to think that we’re one of those open-minded people who see a couple with a large age gap between them, and without any judgment think, “age is just a number.”  Don’t lie! I have mixed feelings about it.  If you’re both happy,  then it’s nobody else’s business.  But even someone I know who has pretty liberal opinions said that it’s a little weird for say, a 23-yr old to sleep with a 19-yr old.  A 4-yr old difference isn’t huge, but it’s perhaps the fact that it’s someone who is in their twenties vs. teens in which the maturity level gap is pretty big.

I also can’t help but cringe a little when I see a rich, old Hollywood male celebrity with a beautiful young woman hanging off his arm, someone who could easily pass as his daughter or granddaughter.  This is such a norm though, and we tend to go after the woman as a “gold digger”, but if it was vice-versa, she’s a “cougar.”  Everyone still loves Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, and God knows who else.

  • Other Double Standards Speaking of such, when a prominent man cheats, people are quick to excuse, forgive, or forget their deeds.  People are willing to overlook the creepiness in which Gandhi approached women, and I’ve seen many others defend Martin Luther King Jr. by saying that it doesn’t negate what they’ve accomplished in other aspects.  That is true, but women just don’t get the same pass.  Look at the way we go after Amber Rose with pitchforks, slut-shaming her even though to my knowledge she’s never actually cheated.  Observe the way we refer to Miley Cyrus as having fallen off the wagon for her provocative style change.

I also think while there are deeply rooted problems in the way we victim-blame or slut-shame, they aren’t as white and black.  The only stance I clearly agree with is that no one asks to be raped.  Doesn’t matter what vibe you’re getting or what she or he is wearing.  Watch last night’s Oscars performance by Lady Gaga and rape survivors; it was heartbreaking.  I don’t know why this is so difficult for people to absorb.  Let’s put it this way:  a guy named Bob who happens to be black wanders into a white privileged neighborhood.  Bob gets beaten up by a bunch of white dudes, and then people tell Bob it was because Bob should’ve known better and covered up every inch of his skin beforehand.  I hope we are progressive enough in racist issues to understand this analogy a bit. 

 However, if I had a child, I would still want them to treat themselves with respect, class, and dignity.  There shouldn’t be anything wrong with women casually hooking up like many men do, even though I personally would prefer it if everyone just approached such intimate experiences less nonchalantly, but I’m conservative, what can I say.  I can’t help but judge others when they act trashy, and this applies to both men and women.  I also think it’s a huge turn-off when people mistake arrogance for confidence.  It isn’t okay for anyone to look down on others, and we see this all the time in celebrities who then defend themselves by saying it’s female self-empowerment or passion.  Please lessen the bullshit in the world.

And that’s the end of my rant and ramble for today.

Eudaemonics

Shower Post #1

Technically, I haven’t showered yet but it’s around that time of the day where calmness takes over and transitions from restless reality to dream world, and daytime swims into night mode.  I think best when I’m in the shower. And if you’re actually reading this, welcome 🙂

I’d put off writing my first post because honestly, I was scared of making the first step, initiating, making this too personal or too shallow, or not knowing what my niche is. But now I realize just like how I need to change the way I approach life, I just have to go for it, because my style is rant and ramble till I amble into something worth talking about. As I was brainstorming for words that may properly reflect this blog’s purpose, or some more appropriate representation of me and what my emotions are and what other people want out of life (what the meaning of life is if we want to get philosophical here), I came across this word: Eudaemonics. Maybe it’s not even a real word, since it’s underlined in squiggly red now as I type it… in that case, I am a genius and rightful owner of a made up word, and that’s special too! Googling it gives you the definition of this: the art of acquiring happiness, or the science or theory of happiness.

 This is a blog post about eudaemonics and personal related things, but you should know upfront, this is not a maudlin story. I took that from 500 Days of Summer if you didn’t catch that.  Also, I am studying for GREs and trying out a lot of vocabulary words:  if you see any that don’t make sense, call me out on it, my apologies in advance.  The perspective I stand from in life gives me a lot of time and space to ponder on the most random issues, and I think at the end of the day, all of them lead back to a central theory: everyone deserves happiness. However, the methods of obtaining that happiness manifests itself in many shapes and forms, sometimes in subtle misguided ways. We can trace it all throughout history where dictators rule the land, shackling the people they are supposed to protect, mistaking fear for respect.  When we witness corruption among high-ranking officials and leaders, people in positions of power abuse that privilege because feeling significant seem to translate into happiness- after all, nobody said the source of happiness is always pure. What a lonely and miserable life it would be to be born into a circumstance devoid of happiness; I suspect that is how serial killers fill that void by fulfilling it with an ephemeral joy from murder, and here I refer back to the misguided applications in pursuit of happiness.

That is why I decided to name my blog Eudaemonics because of my strong belief that the reason for everything we do leads back to a deeply rooted yearning for happiness, or the lack thereof.  I will attempt to debunk or analyze some of the issues we have in society in terms of gender equality, ethnicity, politics, ableism, etc., and much of it will be empirical.

In case anyone cares, I actually just showered so this post is officially legitimate now.  Anyway, it is 2:30am.  Thanks for reading.  Brownie points if you can figure out which GRE words are embedded throughout this post!