The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World by Tracy Slater (Review)

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The Good Shufu is a non-fiction memoir written by a Jewish American woman who falls in love with a Japanese man while teaching in Japan. Tracy Slater is humanities PhD who accepts a position in Japan as an English conversation teacher for Japanese businessmen. She is a liberal feminist East Coaster (Boston) who mostly hung out with other liberal white people, and she had never given much thought to other cultures (which is actually quite common among East Coast liberals–not just the white ones either). She falls in love with one of her students, a young salaryman named Toru, and the book is about their love and and cross-cultural marriage. Along the way Slater also writes about caring for her new father-in-law and her attempts to have a child via IVF.

Jeb Bush on “anchor babies”: “Frankly, it’s more related to Asian people”

Seeking to tamp down the anger over his use of the term “anchor babies,” Jeb Bush clarified by making sure everyone knows he wasn’t talking about Latinos. He said, “Frankly, it’s more related to Asian people.” It’s a pretty clever ruse, but unfortunately not original. The extreme liberals have been following this method for years–when you’re against the ropes, Pin the Tail on Chang. Of course Hillary’s people jumped on Jeb, insinuating that Jeb is a racist and is part of a party that isn’t “inclusive.” Never mind, of course, that Hillary Clinton and her followers support racism in college admissions to the detriment of the people for whom her supporters are claiming to take umbrage. I’m supposed to be angry at some little phrase that Jeb used, while sitting back and watching the Democrats screw young Asian Americans and their families? I’m supposed to care about some little remark and ignore what really matters? I’m supposed to care about political correct etiquette and not care about equal rights for Asian Americans? It doesn’t make sense, but then again, who’s paying attention? Everyone’s too busy watching Trump!

NFL linebacker to return his sons’ participation trophies

Harrison

This is awesome. NFL linebacker James Harrison posted on Instagram that his sons won “participation trophies” for doing nothing and that he was returning them. His message is equally awesome:

I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy. #harrisonfamilyvalues

White collar “athletes”

Photo credit: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Photo credit: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Living in the Pacific Northwest in the smaller of the two big PNW cities, we’re always looking up to our neighbors in the Seattle area where tech behemoths Microsoft and Amazon live. We’ve heard lots about what it’s like to work at Microsoft, but not much about Amazon. Check out the recent NY Times article about Amazon here.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Review)

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I just finished reading Hanya Yanagihara’s 720-page novel A Little Life. It’s the story of four college friends who live in New York City: an architect, an artist, an actor, and a corporate lawyer. As the novel moves on, the focus turns to the lawyer, a man named Jude, and the story becomes about how he deals with the pain caused by a childhood of sexual abuse. Yanagihara’s last novel dealt with similar themes of pedophilia. I’ve watched/read interviews with Yanagihara, and she said that she wrote the novel to explore many issues. One issue was that she wanted to explore lifestyles where there are no kids involved. She said in an interview that she and most of her friends don’t have kids, and she wanted to portray that life. Another issue was the idea that men often lack the vocabulary to talk about their emotions. She said she found it fascinating to write about men trying to find words to discuss what they feel.

I’m only writing positive (or partially positive) reviews on books from now on

I’ve been doing book reviews since 2008. During this past year, I made a decision–if I absolutely hate a book, I won’t write a review. If I hate it, you won’t know that I read it. This is one reason why you’ve seen fewer reviews. This decision comes with the past eight years of experience. There have been several books that I’ve absolutely hated, and in retrospect, writing those reviews has done me no good (although I did eventually become Facebook friends with one of those authors). While there are some really good Asian American novels, many of our other novels are crappy in one way or another. Many deify White people. Others…deify White people. While others…deify White people. Many are well-written but simply have no substance.

Ronda Rousey on Donald Trump: “I don’t want a reality TV star to be running my country.”

Great quote from Ronda Rousey in the video above about the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency. After saying, “I wouldn’t vote for him,” she says, “I don’t want a reality TV star to be running my country.” And congratulations to Ronda for knocking out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds. I was wondering if she might choke–I think I’d be really angry and choke-prone if someone made such a terrible comment about a loved one–but once again Ronda came through. (To be fair, Correia was simply overmatched. I think Ronda was her first top-10 opponent, and #2 barely made it to round 3 in their last fight. Bethe was a 13-1 underdog in betting–putting up $1300 for Ronda would’ve won me $100.)

Backlash against pay increases

Not Asian-related, but this story has got to be one of the more interesting business stories that I’ve seen: A Company Copes With Backlash Against the Raise That Roared. Dan Price is a young 31-year-old millionaire in Seattle who is the CEO of a payment processing company called Gravity. A few months ago, he made the decision that the lowest paid worker at his company would make a whopping $70,000 as a bare minimum. He came up with this number based on reports that happiness tended to rise until one made $75,000. He decided that he’d do his part to ensure his workers were happy. With the new system, even the lowest-paid clerk would make at least $70,000.