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adventures of a half-chinese yalie in hollywood

Cut my Leg Into Pieces. This is my Last Razor.

Cut my Leg Into Pieces. This is my Last Razor.

As I determine a daily blog post schedule, I’ve been tracking readership patterns across the time of day and day of the week. Surprisingly, there’s a huge spike of referrals during times when people are on Facebook. Tuesdays and Wednesdays seem to be the days of highest traffic, and the closer to the middle of the work day, the better. Understandably, traffic takes a nosedive as soon as Friday hits. Sunday is a readership nadir, as presumably the Violet on Orange faithful are at their houses of worship, atoning for the sin of Facebooking during work hours in the preceding week. (Side note: Never stop doing this, and thanks for visiting!)

Then, of course, there are the outlier traffic events, such as when your sister dashes off a “polemical break-up text” and equally incendiary commentary that goes globally viral. This sends hordes of curious looky-loos from the likes of Australia, Poland and Pakistan, who, upon realizing there is another Woodward Pu blog, seek to suss out whether the violet sprouts far from the crazy Quin tree. (Side note: Never stop doing this, and thanks for visiting!)

Just to be confusing, this is me with my other sister (non-viral).
Just to be confusing, this is me with my other sister (non-viral).

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Just as in this photo, she didn't ask for this attention. She will countenance none of it.
Just as in this photo, she didn’t ask for this attention. She will countenance none of it.

So what better day than this Friday to write a post announcing my new favorite find? Wait, don’t go! This isn’t an advertorial; I’m not being paid. I haven’t been asked nor have I advised the company in question about this evangelistic review. I just have to share! But first, a word on spice, $h*! and shaving.

Here I am with the razors in question. Keep reading ...
Here I am with the razors in question. Keep reading …

Do you remember the Dollar Shave Club? Speaking of virality, they had an eye-catching ad last year that got passed around like the communion chalice on low-blog-traffic-Sunday. Personally, it wasn’t my cup of tea. One of my greatest pet peeves is the willy-nilly usage of curse words. This was one of my biggest gripes with the “Shit My Dad Says” phenomenon (and “$h*! My Dad Says” CBS show). Surely some of this is my Southern roots coming into play, but I find liberal cursing to be 1) a terrible crutch, and worse, 2) extremely inconsiderate to the rest of the creative world.

Of course curse words are shocking. I compare them to cardamom. Deepak and I keep a small jar of cardamom around for cooking, baking and drinks. We use the spice for one of our favorite treats, mango lassi. But did you know that cardamom is one of the most expensive spices? Sure, it’s not saffron. And it’s not even vanilla. But it’s actually right behind them, as the #3 most expensive spice in the world! Being terribly frugal, we (well, only I am terribly frugal, but Deepak gets sucked into my competitive parsimony and often finds himself bending his mind to my save-money-quick schemes) devised an experimental plan to bring our cardamom cost down. At our grocery store, you can buy spices loose, by the ounce. But in purchasing the barely scale-tipping bird’s eye chilis (note: the tiny, infernally hot ones), we’d noticed that sometimes the loose-goods scale can’t register anything below 0.01 lbs (or .16 oz). When this happens, the cashier usually just manually punches in a few cents, you pay $0.10 for a pepper, or whatever, and go on your merry way. Hypothesis: when you gather an amount of cardamom just under .16 oz (including bag weight, of course), it won’t register on the scale, and thus you will pay a rate cheaper than the normally quoted $48/lb. as the cashier keys in some random figure out of sheer frustration and a desire to keep the line moving.

So, armed with this strategy, I called Deepak on the phone as I went through the line (note: I think it’s incredibly rude to talk while someone’s trying to ring up your groceries, so I just left the phone on for him to listen in. I wanted him to hear the dings and “no weight detected” error messages and enjoy the triumph remotely!). Then, the moment of truth as the cashier weighed my cardamom bag. Except, on this occasion, when the minuscule baggie rang up as “no weight,” the hard-line cashier keyed in 0.2 POUNDS. But I was so distracted by having to deal with the headset wires, and/or embarrassed that Deepak was listening in, that I didn’t even say anything and just paid. To recap: I paid for 3.2 OUNCES of the world’s 3rd most expensive spice and got less than 1/20 of that! This was close to $10 for a mostly empty bag!

Point is, once I got that silly bag of overpriced cardamom, counterintuitively, I was driven to use it all up (rather than hoard it) so we could get the thing out of the house and cleanse my mind of the time I was hoisted by my own cardamom pod-tard. (Going for broke with random literary references: the cardamom pods were jeering me from the cardamom cupboard, much like the tell-tale heart in “The Tell-Tale Heart.”) So the next time I made a lassi, I dumped in TONS of cardamom. Or at least, whatever out-of-proportion amount “tons” is when you’re working with a <.16 oz bag. And, to quote “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” re: cardamom’s potency: “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” (Out-of-place literary reference hat trick!) [caption id="attachment_1695" align="alignnone" width="224"]Secret ingredient in our blended drinks: chia seeds! Also: "She Blinded Me With Science" glasses. Secret ingredient in our blended drinks: chia seeds! Also: “She Blinded Me With Science” glasses.[/caption]

Also necessary: a little tipple for the bartender.
Also necessary: a little tipple for the bartender.

In sum: the lassi was FOUL. Too much spice spoils the dish. Too many curse words spoil the sitcom. Much like cardamom in a lassi, cheaply shocking words should be husbanded with care, not dispatched for a quick and ultimately meaningless laugh. Old people expressing curmudgeonly disapproval is funny — my dear late grandfather used to greet his beloved grandchildren (at least, I assume we were beloved?) with mild expression of frustrations like “dadgum!” and “Confound it!” We still laughed. Meanwhile, a sailor-mouthed grandpa who spits out the most taboo words of the English language at the pace of Walter White’s M60 is not adorable to me. Not to be rude, but the only thing Gramps’ 4-letter blue streak demonstrates is that his prefrontal cortex has gone the way of the printed Yellow Pages. Apprehending the alarming similarities between my elders and Phineas Gage does not make me want to giggle.

Our nonplussed attitude upon consuming the overly cardamom-ed lassi. (Paved the way for our new insult: "Your MOM!" Comeback: "Your CARDAMOM!" *Visceral gag*)
Our nonplussed attitude upon consuming the overly cardamom-ed lassi. (Paved the way for our new insult: “Your MOM!” Comeback: “Your CARDAMOM!” *Visceral gag*)

Now that you know my thoughts on $h*! My Dad Says and Dollar Shave Club vis-à-vis South Asian spice, let me get my plug out. Did you know that the eponymous cheap razors they sell through DSC are available to the public, even cheaper, directly through the Korean company that supplies them? They sent me a referral link a while ago to pass along discounts (and, I’ll admit it, get referral fees for myself) but it’s since expired. So I’ll just link to their Facebook page, where you can get now get the same enticing discounts, but without putting any money in my coffers. If the fact that I’m passing up an opportunity to get more money for my cardamom fund isn’t a heavy endorsement for these razors, I don’t know what is.

Finally, we just gave up and bought a blended drink at a restaurant.
Finally, we just gave up and bought a blended drink at a restaurant.
♫ Cardamom police: Arrest this (wo)man. ♫
♫ Cardamom police: Arrest this (wo)man. ♫
Two things indicated by this photo:  1) Our relationship survived The Great Cardamom Lassi Debacle of 2013. 2) I need to work on my selfie/couplie technique.
Two things indicated by this photo:
1) Our relationship survived The Great Cardamom Lassi Debacle of 2013.
2) I need to work on my selfie/couplie technique.

Happily, cardamom did not tear us a-pod.



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