When I emailed my uncle the address for Delta Hotel, a small budget hotel in the Chungking Mansions, he immediately called me to express his concerns about the safety and cleanliness of the area. "You should cancel the booking and stay with us," he urged. "A Chinese girl was raped there before. It was all over … Continue reading Why the Chungking Mansions are actually awesome
My dad, who has been hosting on Airbnb for several months, asked me to make some paper cranes as gifts for honeymooning guests. Miraculously, I didn't feel weird about it, despite the strong connection between these cranes and my mother. I placed a pink crane (her favorite color) in front of her photo and burned some incense, and I … Continue reading god of beginnings
My essay is out in The New York Times, and in the process, I got to talk to Daniel Jones on the phone, after years of reading his words and edits. Since then, I have been on the receiving end of so much love from friends, acquaintances, and kind strangers. That has filled at least a few … Continue reading Love and light at the end of the tunnel
Bones Don't Lie This episode tells the story of how a living, breathing organism turns into a pile of bones, and how those bones can tell us about the lives they led hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Ep. 2 features Myeashea Alexander, whom I met at ComSciCon over the summer and who runs … Continue reading Episode 2 of Bone Lab Radio is out!
I finally finished reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I also finished putting together the audio for a Bone Lab episode featuring our interview with a bioarchaeologist. Together, these things are giving me a less despairing lens with which to view this strange and tragic era. And can't we all use a little less despair right now. Last … Continue reading The universal constant
I think my life satisfaction this week was the highest it's been in over a year. Very pleased to see that grad school hasn't totally beaten away my capacity for positive emotions. Highlights: Mon: Quiet Lightning reading. Met and read with some really talented writers and had a blast! Talked to people about race relations, yellowface, … Continue reading Highlights of the week: Poetry, race relations, and cat altars
Last night, I went to a vegan Filipino pop-up dinner by Chef Coco with the grad school friend I visited last year in the Philippines. So delicious! (Note: I am not vegan or even vegetarian.) Incidentally, it's about one year after my/our trip! (click on for photos and the real point of this post) After dinner, I … Continue reading Thank you Chicano Batman
I know a guy who lost his mother in high school, and he is so even-keeled and unflappable and successful, I don’t understand it. Every day, I see him in lab, and I want to ask him, “How are you so normal and functional? Do you ever dream about her? How can you live without … Continue reading grief spasms