Sunday, January 30, 2011

Daughter of Amy Chua, who wrote 'Why Chinese Mothers are Superior,' responds to controversy -

Daughter of Amy Chua, who wrote 'Why Chinese Mothers are Superior,' responds to controversy -

Now the daughter speaks out to defend mom. I think it is cool she is doing it...but yes I am still a hater and bitter party of one over here. I wrote about how I felt in another blog posting on Amy Chua. It is just very hard to take her book and her seriously, to me anyways....raising her kids super 100% Chinese style yet she is herself married a white/Jewish boy. I mean come on...I am just curious if she ever dated Asian men. I am curious if being raised by a "Tiger Mom" made her move away from dating Asians and eventually marrying a non Asian.

I have to repeat myself before I get all kinds of hate. I am ONLY giving crap to Asian ladies that will ONLY DATE WHITE. There are many many out there. I am fully supportive of finding LOVE...heck I am looking all the time. If you are Asian and dated different people and then found love with someone outside of your race then hey all good. I have MANY FRIENDS that have married and have wonderful lives that are mixed. I LOVE THEM ALL. I may tease them but I know they just happened to find love with someone outside of the Asian race, it is all good.


I too have experienced this....I am talking with a co worker or friend...and maybe I see a Facebook pic with them and a bunch of friends. I see a cute Asian girl....typical conversation goes like this...

ME: hey who is that? She is cute! What's the 411?
FRIEND: Oh that is my friend XXXX, she is the best! I love her! Yeah she is cute!
ME: she single?
FRIEND: Yes she is....
ME: hook it up! Find out if I can email or call her! Make it happen!
FRIEND: Well..sorry. You are not her type...she only dates White Boys. All her previous BFs were all white. Sorry about that.

I cannot tell you how many times I have had THAT conversation...verbatim.

I have even more proof ala 0nline dating sites. Click a cute Asian girl's profile and 8 out of 10 times, her preferences will be WHITE ONLY.

Anyways...those are my thoughts...take it or leave it. I don't know Amy Chua's background. Maybe she dated exclusively Asian and had her heartbroken by some fob and she ran into the arms of her white knight. I don't know. OK rant is off. I guess in the end...who is the loser...who is alone and not married and who is the one happily married with kids and a super popular, controversial, best selling book, speaking tours etc....we all know how it will turn out in the end.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What is the internet?

My Fave Taco Stand - Highland Park, CA

I have been here 4 times in the last week.  Yes...Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and tonight...Saturday.  The pork...Al Pastor.  BOMB.  Period.

Deep in the heart of my hood...Highland Park.  York and Figueroa.  I found this place one evening, I was working late and finally getting home around 830PM.  I was hungry and felt like tacos.  I was interested in trying the MANY pop up stands in the neighborhood.  This was close and exactly on my way home so I gave it a shot.  I was not disappointed.  I originally ordered 2 Al Pastor and 2 Carne Asada.  The asada was OK...but the star was the Al Pastor...the pork is so good.

 Mystery meat...I think there is some tongue in there and tripe and other bits....I passed on all that.
 Right here...this is the business!
 goodies for your tacos...lemon, cilantro, onion, salsa, radish, cucumbers.....
 Grilling it hood style!
 $1 way you can beat that.  Del Taco, Taco Bell or even JITB...can't beat these.

 I killed these badboys.....LOVE THEM!

A couple fun pick ups = more junk in my life

I have not had a chance to update a couple cool things I have picked up.

Old School - Oakley Frogskins Limited Edition, Grey Fog

I remember Frogkins when I was in Jr High.  I had some cool clear ones with an orange iridium tint on the lenses. I was sooooo cool. I saw these on HypeBeast and had to have these.

 These are a limited edition in Grey Fog.  Very is a standard tortoise shell print but in GREY.  So it is a grey tortoise shell...with grey lenses.

Headphonies -

Skully - premium mini loud speakers.  Very cool.....

 you plug this into any 3.5 head phones jack, it gets charged via USB and it has amazing sound for this tiny little toy.  It has to be is very cool and looks cute!

great for traveling and you need some tunes in your hotel or in the bathroom.  Definitely check out the website and see...they have tons of different styles.

Air Jordan 3 Retro - Retail Box

Just received my second pair of the Air Jordan 3 retro, retail version.  If you read my blog you will know I had these shoes in December.  The official release was Jan 22.  So yeah I had the shoes a month before.  But...since I had the early version, it did not have the final retail box which really made the shoes even more special.

This is the retail version.

 As you can see the box is really nice.  Jordan has went retro with the box, beautiful with black, red and elephant print. The shoes even came with a plastic hang tag like the originals except this is the jumpman instead of the Nike word.

Apparently the shoe was NOT that crazy in demand.  It just goes to show the newbies and youngins dont know the classics.  People literally walked into stores and bought the shoes with no lines and you can still pick up pairs online for retail.  Weird....if I have more money next paycheck I will probably pick up one more pair.  These are classic.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Modulare Wheels - I got the hook up

Modulare Wheels - check it

To anyone looking for high end custom built to spec wheels for their ride...hollah at me.  I have a good hook up at MODULARE WHEELS.  Like above.  Quality, legit wheels...not the fake crap that is out there at your local tire store.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Whitest Oscars in a while?

Great article on the lack of diversity in this year's Oscars.

My good friend and old boss Ava DuVernay was quoted here:

Ava DuVernay is founder of the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement -- a collective of black film festivals -- and the writer-director of the independent film "I Will Follow." DuVernay said the nominations ironically come at a time when she has jokingly been calling the Sundance Film Festival "Blackdance" because of its abundance of minority films this year.

"The Academy Awards represents what is being distributed and exhibited year-round," she said. "It's challenging when people expect to have this onslaught of diverse nominations when it hasn't been a diverse year."

DuVernay said films such as "Precious" and directors such as Bigelow are anomalies and that the nominations over the past few years have not been incredibly diverse. The atmosphere in the industry has not changed just because there are a few breakthroughs here and there, she said.

"Ultimately, if we have people that are serious about diversifying films, whether it be black films, women's films, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) films or Latino films, they have to be building those structures year-round," DuVernay said. "Then that becomes a conversation where there were these amazing black films, Latino films, LGBT films and films made and directed by women that were ignored."

Angry Asian Man was also quoted...good for him!

Phil Yu, who runs the blog "Angry Asian Man," said he "follows the Oscars like sports fans follow the Super Bowl."

Yu said that because there are really no proven, bankable Asian actors he has little expectation of roles that might attract the academy going to Asian actors. He said this year he was also not surprised by the decided overall lack of diversity because there was no early buzz about any actors of color as potential nominees.

"Movies are a business," Yu said. "Consequently studios are as risk-adverse as it gets, and they want to go with something tried and true."

Monday, January 24, 2011


One of the most frequent questions entrepreneurs ask about when they raise a little bit of money or are getting close to launching their first product is whether they should hire a PR firm.

There is obviously no black-or-white answer, but I’ve tried everything from working a large international agency, to hiring in-house people to doing it myself. This post is a short guide to what I’ve learned:

1. PR is a process, not an event - For starters let me say that you shouldn’t do PR around milestones. It’s a continual process. You need to take months & years to build relationships with journalists. You help them on stories, act as a source, develop real relationships, read their stories and eventually when you have news they’re more willing to have a conversation. They get pitched by so many blowhards that more genuine people who aren’t in it for just a story stand out from the crowd. I wrote about how to build relationships with journalists in this post.

2. PR isn’t something that can be delegated – The other thing that tech execs often want to do is to delegate the PR to their marketing person. Obviously you should have somebody that helps you research journalists, gets you meetings, pitches stories, helps prep you for interviews & helps make sure your writing is cogent. But some CEOs then try to have more junior people in the company take the interview. In a startup this is a mistake. Heck, even in a big, successful company like the CEO, Marc Benioff, still takes many of the interviews himself.

The reality is that a journalist who’s writing a story about you – a relatively unknown entity – wants to hear directly from the founders and/or the CEO. You have to learn how to interact with journalists, understand how to do interviews, understand how to frame a story and get comfortable with the fact that if you want PR coverage you’re going to have to dedicate a non-trivial amount of time to it.

I was talking a month ago with a founding team who was lamenting the fact that their competitors got way better coverage than they did when they felt that their traffic numbers were > 2x the competition. I pointed out the fact that they only ever talked to the press when the had an announcement and that it was a continual process. They seemed to understand what I was saying but not be interested in putting in the effort. Their competitors took it seriously. And as a result their competitors were able to raise a considerable VC round from well-known firms.

3. PR on a limited budget – So, should you use an external firm? Let’s say you’ve raised only a modest sum of money (sub $2 million) yet you still want to get coverage. In this instance I typically recommend that startups NOT hire a big, well-known PR firm. My rationale is that you won’t have enough budget to be able to get enough of the senior team’s focus.

All too often I’ve seen senior PR people from big firms come in and pitch for new business to startups while having 22 year-olds who do all the work once it’s won. And even then this newly minted college graduate will be working on multiple clients at the same time. They don’t have enough billable hours to be able to really understand what you do or effectively pitch it. Plus, with so many other clients they will likely be pitching a journalist several stories.

If you feel you need outside help I recommend either going with a small firm local to you or an individual who is working as their own agency. You need somebody for whom your business is important enough for them to care about the results (and they’re obviously hoping you’ll grow and become more successful). Actually, this is usually the same advice I give people about recruiters, accountants, lawyers and similar trade professionals.

There is one carve out. There are some excellent PR firms that will occasionally take a “strategic view” on you as a startup. Maybe they think you have a terrific background & solid investors so they’re betting you’ll become a big deal and they want to get in early. I’ve seen this model work really successfully for others. But generally I think it’s best to go small until you become larger and have larger budgets for PR.

4. PR in house – Equally I often recommend that teams hire somebody in-house. You can do this by hiring somebody who has multiple functions of which one is PR, hiring an intern who has PR experience, hiring a consultant 2 days / week or hiring somebody full time. Obviously this is dependent upon available budgets.

But as I often tell teams, working with an agency (in whatever capacity) is mostly a waste if you don’t have somebody on the inside of your company who is working closely with the outside firm. You need somebody who is helping push out information on what is up-and-coming in the company. You need somebody who can react quickly to inbound journalist questions. You need somebody who is thinking laterally about how to creatively get extra attention at conferences or trade-shows. You need somebody who REALLY understands your company, its customers and its competitors. And you need somebody who is committed to keeping up your presence in blogs, social media and other online forums.

At almost every portfolio company I work with I encourage them to think hard about hiring internal PR staff. In my opinion it’s worth its weight in gold. Whether we like to admit it or not, PR drives behavior with customers, investors, employees and competition. What is said about you publicly matters. And one of my favorite sayings about PR is, “if you don’t define the story about you, somebody else will.” I believe in a good offense.

5. PR with a major firm – Once your business is scaling and you have the money to pay for a major agency I personally can’t think of any marketing budget that is more effective. A great PR firm coupled with a business that is doing meaningful things is golden. It’s the best marketing ROI in my opinion. The ability to get inches in major journals (NY Times, WSJ, The Economist) as well as your industry trade journals and tech blogs in invaluable. I can’t overstate how important it is in shaping influencers. The number of stories that I have in my career about a senior executive who read about a company in a magazine on a flight, clipped the article and then followed up directly are numerous.

And when you work with an external PR firm you can’t keep them on a short leash, trying to measure their immediate impact one whether they got you X number of articles or Y numbers of inches. It will take them time to know your company, socialize your story with the right journalists, wait until those journalists are gearing up to write relevant stories, etc. You need to have a longer-term view on PR results.

Some final thoughts on PR

1. Be authentic – Nobody likes being spun. Nobody likes talking to a robotron who spews out corporate BS again & again like a politician on a Sunday morning talk show avoiding the questions. Talk like a human. Give real answers. Show a sense of humor and humility. I notice, for example, that some CEO’s on Twitter never do anything but parrot their companies news. I find this so inauthentic. And then others will send out company info but occasionally show a human side. Always more appealing. That’s why keeping a personal blog is so great.

2. Have a point-of-view – Too many senior executives are risk averse when it comes to talking with the press so they tend to either be milquetoast in their responses or sit on the fence. That’s fine if you’re a senior exec at Apple – you’ll get inches anyways. But for you as a startup you need to have a point-of-view on topics. You need to be wiling to take risks and be out-on-a-limb with your views. I’m not talking about being aggressive against companies, disparaging people or saying inappropriate things to get covered. I see too many people who do that. But be willing to have an informed view about – GroupOn, Google doing social networking, whether apps is a better metaphor than browsers, whether Quora is really a transformational product – whatever! In doesn’t have to be these cliched topics – you just have to have & express opinions.

3. Don’t cry wolf - There are companies who send press releases every time they launch anything – practically putting out press releases announcing they fixed a bunch of bugs. And then when they have substantive news they’re surprised that nobody takes it seriously. Make sure you’re not spewing out meaningless reams of press releases. It’s OK to push out extra ones on your website or blog. It’s OK to produce a lot and then selectively push them out via different news sources. Just don’t spam people. Or when you send the good stuff it will get lost in the sauce.

4. Get media training - One of the most useful exercises I did with a major agency was “media training” where they taught me how to do interviews & how to handle TV. It was invaluable and has shaped my press interviews ever since.

I’m the kind of person who likes to answer every question in detail. I feel it’s my duty to respond to every question and make sure the person asking understands my answer. The problem with this in interviews is that you can take an interview totally off course of the journalists asks questions that aren’t relevant to your story. Media training helped me figure out how to keep interviews on track and focused on the story I’m trying to communicate. They taught me to keep things simple and repeat the key points to make sure that they come across.

Thank you to Nathan Lustig who reminded me to included this by writing his excellent commentary here in the comments section, the key points of which are:

“We hired a PR firm to help us for about 2 months around our launch. They helped us get some good stories, but their biggest value add to me was that they gave my cofounder and me media training and actionable feedback.

They gave us a few mock interviews, helped us distill our 8-10 big points into the three most important that would interest journalists most and then listened to us giving our for 5-6 interviews. Then we did “after action reports” where the person who listened in told us what we did well and where we sucked.”

This is some of the most valuable knowledge you will acquire the first time you work with a PR firm.

*** Appendix (just an aside, no need to read):

Wait a second. How can you advise on PR? You? The guy who has typo’s in every blog post?

Once / month I get comments on my blog about how horrified some reader was because I spelled your as “you’re” or some similar mistake. Yes, I went to school. And I actually got pretty decent grades in English and writing overall. And yes I learned that you can’t start a sentence with “and.”

When I write I’m looking for human tone rather than perfect sentences. I write on my blog how I think in my head. When I write business letters I use perfect sentence structure. And complete sentences. And no irony. I optimize for output of thoughts over spelling perfection. If I worried about that latter I’d write half as much. Which I know would greatly please those who are so annoyed by typos

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bruce Lee was THE MAN.

Amy Chua - Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother : TYPICAL Asian Chick...bleh!

OK...I just had to post something on this.  As the 5 people that read my blog, I posted this story not too long ago about Amy Chua's new book that is getting huge reactions everywhere.  Just google her and you will see.  Anyways...I have no opinion on her book as I was not personally raised that way but I know tons of kids that were.  Being ABC, I can 150% relate to her book and reading that excerpt made me smile and think I GET IT!  Again...not my point in this blog post.  I recently heard an interview with Amy on NPR where she was a guest talking about the book. She was in studio with her husband.  HER WHITE JEWISH HUSBAND.


I know I can be bitter and maybe I am.  Here is a smart, educated, "pretty", outgoing, CHINESE WOMAN...and who does she shack up with?  A NON ASIAN.  Sigh....why am I surprised?  She is part of the 90% of other Asian girls/women out there...that ultimately end up in mixed marriages.  Whatevers.

I had this discussion at work with my colleague that is Asian, single and definitely smart and successful.  I brought up Amy Chua and my dislike that here she is writing about growing up to Chinese immigrant parents and  embracing her culture and this and that but yet marries outside her everyone one else.

Here is my ONLY problem with girls like Amy is this.  I need to ask one question.  HAVE YOU EVER DATED AN ASIAN MAN?  I only "hate" Asian Girls that will ONLY that EXCLUSIVELY NON ASIANS.  That is the part that gets me sick.  If you dated Asian men, and Latino men or even Black men but found love with a white guy...all good.  But...if all your life you make a statement - I ONLY DATE WHITE.  Then I have a problem with you.

Being a single Asian guy is frustrating on so many levels...and when I am CONSTANTLY reminded that all these awesome Asian Girls are dating ONLY white can see why I am bitter table for one.  In the end I want to support her, as an Asian author making news and writing a book about my culture, but I have to wonder, did Amy ever give the "brothers" a chance before she married her White/Jewish hubby?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Waiting to meet MAX!

Went to Gabe and Leelana's baby shower this weekend to celebrate little Max's pending arrival.  Here are some pics from the event!

Birthday Sunday Brunch!

My sister's birthday is on Jan 20th, but we celebrated early today since my lil brother goes back up to Cal this evening.  This way everyone can be around to celebrate.  We headed local to LUMINARIAS which sits on a hill in Monterey Park CA.  It was their Sunday Champagne Brunch and it was actually ok.  Not too bad at all.

 Fountain outside of restaurant.
 My first plate...had to try a little of everything right?
 Mini waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.
 Carnitas on a handmade flour tortilla.
nice way to start my morning and celebrate sis' birthday!


I finally got around to picking up a copy of MOMOFUKU.  I am a big fan of David Chang I think he is just bad ass and dude is just cool.  In all his interviews and times I have seen him on tv, he is so direct and honest.  Just make good food and be done.  Momofuku is on my list the very next time I am in NYC.  I have to eat there and get his ramen.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Knew It....Thanks Mom!

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

Can a regimen of no playdates, no TV, no computer games and hours of music practice create happy kids? And what happens when they fight back?


A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:

Amy Chua with her daughters, Louisa and Sophia, at their home in New Haven, Conn.

• attend a sleepover

• have a playdate

• be in a school play

• complain about not being in a school play

• watch TV or play computer games

• choose their own extracurricular activities

• get any grade less than an A

• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama

• play any instrument other than the piano or violin

• not play the piano or violin.

I'm using the term "Chinese mother" loosely. I know some Korean, Indian, Jamaican, Irish and Ghanaian parents who qualify too. Conversely, I know some mothers of Chinese heritage, almost always born in the West, who are not Chinese mothers, by choice or otherwise. I'm also using the term "Western parents" loosely. Western parents come in all varieties.

When it comes to parenting, the Chinese seem to produce children who display academic excellence, musical mastery and professional success - or so the stereotype goes. WSJ's Christina Tsuei speaks to two moms raised by Chinese immigrants who share what it was like growing up and how they hope to raise their children.

All the same, even when Western parents think they're being strict, they usually don't come close to being Chinese mothers. For example, my Western friends who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments 30 minutes every day. An hour at most. For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It's hours two and three that get tough.

Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, there are tons of studies out there showing marked and quantifiable differences between Chinese and Westerners when it comes to parenting. In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that "stressing academic success is not good for children" or that "parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun." By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way. Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be "the best" students, that "academic achievement reflects successful parenting," and that if children did not excel at school then there was "a problem" and parents "were not doing their job." Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.

What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something—whether it's math, piano, pitching or ballet—he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more.

Chinese parents can get away with things that Western parents can't. Once when I was young—maybe more than once—when I was extremely disrespectful to my mother, my father angrily called me "garbage" in our native Hokkien dialect. It worked really well. I felt terrible and deeply ashamed of what I had done. But it didn't damage my self-esteem or anything like that. I knew exactly how highly he thought of me. I didn't actually think I was worthless or feel like a piece of garbage.

As an adult, I once did the same thing to Sophia, calling her garbage in English when she acted extremely disrespectfully toward me. When I mentioned that I had done this at a dinner party, I was immediately ostracized. One guest named Marcy got so upset she broke down in tears and had to leave early. My friend Susan, the host, tried to rehabilitate me with the remaining guests.

The fact is that Chinese parents can do things that would seem unimaginable—even legally actionable—to Westerners. Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, "Hey fatty—lose some weight." By contrast, Western parents have to tiptoe around the issue, talking in terms of "health" and never ever mentioning the f-word, and their kids still end up in therapy for eating disorders and negative self-image. (I also once heard a Western father toast his adult daughter by calling her "beautiful and incredibly competent." She later told me that made her feel like garbage.)

Chinese parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents can only ask their kids to try their best. Chinese parents can say, "You're lazy. All your classmates are getting ahead of you." By contrast, Western parents have to struggle with their own conflicted feelings about achievement, and try to persuade themselves that they're not disappointed about how their kids turned out.

I've thought long and hard about how Chinese parents can get away with what they do. I think there are three big differences between the Chinese and Western parental mind-sets.

First, I've noticed that Western parents are extremely anxious about their children's self-esteem. They worry about how their children will feel if they fail at something, and they constantly try to reassure their children about how good they are notwithstanding a mediocre performance on a test or at a recital. In other words, Western parents are concerned about their children's psyches. Chinese parents aren't. They assume strength, not fragility, and as a result they behave very differently.

For example, if a child comes home with an A-minus on a test, a Western parent will most likely praise the child. The Chinese mother will gasp in horror and ask what went wrong. If the child comes home with a B on the test, some Western parents will still praise the child. Other Western parents will sit their child down and express disapproval, but they will be careful not to make their child feel inadequate or insecure, and they will not call their child "stupid," "worthless" or "a disgrace." Privately, the Western parents may worry that their child does not test well or have aptitude in the subject or that there is something wrong with the curriculum and possibly the whole school. If the child's grades do not improve, they may eventually schedule a meeting with the school principal to challenge the way the subject is being taught or to call into question the teacher's credentials.

If a Chinese child gets a B—which would never happen—there would first be a screaming, hair-tearing explosion. The devastated Chinese mother would then get dozens, maybe hundreds of practice tests and work through them with her child for as long as it takes to get the grade up to an A.

Chinese parents demand perfect grades because they believe that their child can get them. If their child doesn't get them, the Chinese parent assumes it's because the child didn't work hard enough. That's why the solution to substandard performance is always to excoriate, punish and shame the child. The Chinese parent believes that their child will be strong enough to take the shaming and to improve from it. (And when Chinese kids do excel, there is plenty of ego-inflating parental praise lavished in the privacy of the home.)

Second, Chinese parents believe that their kids owe them everything. The reason for this is a little unclear, but it's probably a combination of Confucian filial piety and the fact that the parents have sacrificed and done so much for their children. (And it's true that Chinese mothers get in the trenches, putting in long grueling hours personally tutoring, training, interrogating and spying on their kids.) Anyway, the understanding is that Chinese children must spend their lives repaying their parents by obeying them and making them proud.

By contrast, I don't think most Westerners have the same view of children being permanently indebted to their parents. My husband, Jed, actually has the opposite view. "Children don't choose their parents," he once said to me. "They don't even choose to be born. It's parents who foist life on their kids, so it's the parents' responsibility to provide for them. Kids don't owe their parents anything. Their duty will be to their own kids." This strikes me as a terrible deal for the Western parent.

Third, Chinese parents believe that they know what is best for their children and therefore override all of their children's own desires and preferences. That's why Chinese daughters can't have boyfriends in high school and why Chinese kids can't go to sleepaway camp. It's also why no Chinese kid would ever dare say to their mother, "I got a part in the school play! I'm Villager Number Six. I'll have to stay after school for rehearsal every day from 3:00 to 7:00, and I'll also need a ride on weekends." God help any Chinese kid who tried that one.

Don't get me wrong: It's not that Chinese parents don't care about their children. Just the opposite. They would give up anything for their children. It's just an entirely different parenting model.

In China, Not All Practice Tough Love The Juggle: Are U.S. Parents Too Soft? Here's a story in favor of coercion, Chinese-style. Lulu was about 7, still playing two instruments, and working on a piano piece called "The Little White Donkey" by the French composer Jacques Ibert. The piece is really cute—you can just imagine a little donkey ambling along a country road with its master—but it's also incredibly difficult for young players because the two hands have to keep schizophrenically different rhythms.

Lulu couldn't do it. We worked on it nonstop for a week, drilling each of her hands separately, over and over. But whenever we tried putting the hands together, one always morphed into the other, and everything fell apart. Finally, the day before her lesson, Lulu announced in exasperation that she was giving up and stomped off.

"Get back to the piano now," I ordered.

"You can't make me."

"Oh yes, I can."

Back at the piano, Lulu made me pay. She punched, thrashed and kicked. She grabbed the music score and tore it to shreds. I taped the score back together and encased it in a plastic shield so that it could never be destroyed again. Then I hauled Lulu's dollhouse to the car and told her I'd donate it to the Salvation Army piece by piece if she didn't have "The Little White Donkey" perfect by the next day. When Lulu said, "I thought you were going to the Salvation Army, why are you still here?" I threatened her with no lunch, no dinner, no Christmas or Hanukkah presents, no birthday parties for two, three, four years. When she still kept playing it wrong, I told her she was purposely working herself into a frenzy because she was secretly afraid she couldn't do it. I told her to stop being lazy, cowardly, self-indulgent and pathetic.

Jed took me aside. He told me to stop insulting Lulu—which I wasn't even doing, I was just motivating her—and that he didn't think threatening Lulu was helpful. Also, he said, maybe Lulu really just couldn't do the technique—perhaps she didn't have the coordination yet—had I considered that possibility?

"You just don't believe in her," I accused.

"That's ridiculous," Jed said scornfully. "Of course I do."

"Sophia could play the piece when she was this age."

"But Lulu and Sophia are different people," Jed pointed out.

"Oh no, not this," I said, rolling my eyes. "Everyone is special in their special own way," I mimicked sarcastically. "Even losers are special in their own special way. Well don't worry, you don't have to lift a finger. I'm willing to put in as long as it takes, and I'm happy to be the one hated. And you can be the one they adore because you make them pancakes and take them to Yankees games."

A Prison for Parents? Those Tough Chinese Moms I rolled up my sleeves and went back to Lulu. I used every weapon and tactic I could think of. We worked right through dinner into the night, and I wouldn't let Lulu get up, not for water, not even to go to the bathroom. The house became a war zone, and I lost my voice yelling, but still there seemed to be only negative progress, and even I began to have doubts.

Then, out of the blue, Lulu did it. Her hands suddenly came together—her right and left hands each doing their own imperturbable thing—just like that.

Lulu realized it the same time I did. I held my breath. She tried it tentatively again. Then she played it more confidently and faster, and still the rhythm held. A moment later, she was beaming.

"Mommy, look—it's easy!" After that, she wanted to play the piece over and over and wouldn't leave the piano. That night, she came to sleep in my bed, and we snuggled and hugged, cracking each other up. When she performed "The Little White Donkey" at a recital a few weeks later, parents came up to me and said, "What a perfect piece for Lulu—it's so spunky and so her."

Journal Communitydiscuss“ I am in disbelief after reading this article. ”

—James Post Even Jed gave me credit for that one. Western parents worry a lot about their children's self-esteem. But as a parent, one of the worst things you can do for your child's self-esteem is to let them give up. On the flip side, there's nothing better for building confidence than learning you can do something you thought you couldn't.

There are all these new books out there portraying Asian mothers as scheming, callous, overdriven people indifferent to their kids' true interests. For their part, many Chinese secretly believe that they care more about their children and are willing to sacrifice much more for them than Westerners, who seem perfectly content to let their children turn out badly. I think it's a misunderstanding on both sides. All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. The Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that.

Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions, supporting their choices, and providing positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment. By contrast, the Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see what they're capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits and inner confidence that no one can ever take away.

—Amy Chua is a professor at Yale Law School and author of "Day of Empire" and "World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability." This essay is excerpted from "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua, to be published Tuesday by the Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright © 2011 by Amy Chua.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Spam Musubi King!

This holiday my great friends Norvin and Tami picked me up my own Musubi maker, which I think I posted up already.  Well, I just broke it out and made myself some lunch for tomorrow!  WIN!

Check it!  WOOT!

 I don't know about you, but I likes my spam fried up nice and crispy.....
 maybe this is too crispy? was perfect!
 Works like a charm! This was my first one...way too much rice on the bottom....oh wells.

 Shared some with the fam and pulled a couple for myself for lunch tomorrow.  Not bad if i do say so myself.
Success is always best when you can eat it after wards!