Or: Why I proudly strive to break racial stereotype.
[warning, this post contains graphic language]

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, then you know I’m a get-after-it kind of guy. Some examples of that:

I also happen to be a Chinese-American immigrant: born on foreign soil and raised and naturalized in the US.

The attributes I described in the first paragraph run directly counter to our society’s conception of Asians – meek, quiet, humble people who are sexually non-threatening (this applies mainly to men), don’t cause any trouble, and do what they’re told.

Well I’m not interested in abiding by that bullshit.


Believe it or not, there was a time in my life when I was shy and quiet, primarily interested in books and got bullied / beat up after class. And I did bust my butt to get good grades and good SAT scores so I could attend a top university like Stanford.

But at some point I realized the lie that my Chinese mother (unknowingly) told me:

Working hard and doing well in school will get you a good job and make girls want to be with you.”

Perhaps that worked in China, but it doesn’t work here.

Turns out, being successful at work OR in romance requires you to make noise, take risks and be aggressive. These lessons and many others are ones I’m still learning and striving toward. It might be simpler to just keep my head down and my mouth shut, as I see many of the men of my father’s generation do, but I know that that strategy won’t help me retire early or ask out that cute girl I just met.

And I won’t accept that. Continue reading

So, while there’s one thing yet to do, and there’s always one thing yet to do, or a fraction of time to do it in, Don’t die on third.  Study conditions, learn all you can, use all you learn, summon your strength and courage, defy luck – and, then bold player – just by doing this, you have already scored. Something great is strengthened within you.  The run may fail, but you have not, and there’s another game tomorrow.

William J. Cameron in Play Ball Son! (1945) via
Ben Nesvig.

This short, dialogue-free film, I still have a soul HBO Boxing, is definitely worth 2 and a half minutes of your time. A powerful reminder that if you want something bad enough, you don’t let anyone or anything stop you.

The video was made as spec work for HBO’s Boxing After Dark program by a team of guys known as Contraband according to Funny Commercials World.

Also – apologies for the delays in posting – I’ve been super busy and dealing with issues with my hosting provider – Bluehost. If you’ve got suggestions for other providers, I’m all ears.

Welcome to Kick Ass Interview Number 4!

Today I have a very awesome guest, Lingbo Li, who I mentioned in another post about the power that blogging can have in creating luck. I’m lucky enough to have her on the AoAK for an interview. Here’s a quick peek at what you’ll learn:

  • Having conquered cow genitals, the one “food” she’s still squeamish about
  • Her advice for anyone contemplating entering a beauty pageant
  • What the best part of her Harvard experience has been (hint: it’s not the classes)
  • How she gets herself to learn challenging skills like programming
  • Her strategy for breaking out of a conventional life path

1) You say on your website that you have a mission to eat everything. I know lots of people who aren’t interested in trying things that might not taste so good but you seem to be pretty fearless about it – and even enjoy it. What drives you to do this? And why did you choose to document it on your site?

It’s part of my personality. The thing I find most boring is routine and predictability – which is what some people expect from their food. I take the opposite tack. I see every meal as a new adventure, something I haven’t experienced before. More rare items – like veal testicles, or shish-kebabed bull penis – just aren’t available in daily life, so I’ll jump at an opportunity to try something for the first time. Even if it’s just Chinese delivery off Foodler, I’ll try out a new place instead of ordering from a tried-and-true restaurant. The worst that happens? It doesn’t taste very good. (Like fermented shark. Texture of rubber and scent of ammonia.)

I like writing about unusual foods because it’s more interesting to write about than trying to tease out why the 50th cupcake I’ve eaten is different from the other 49 cupcakes. It allows my personality to come through, and it’s a great way to encourage other people to take more risks with their food, even if it’s just trying a different restaurant.

That being said, the final food frontier for me is actually… insects. They kind of freak me out. I also realized, after staring down my first crayfish, that they’re just overgrown sea insects. I ate it anyway. Continue reading