Tag Archives: FOB

Fob revelation: the shoes must come off!

OK, here’s a scenario for you to ponder. Obviously you know you’re a fob when you have to take your shoes off before entering your house.  We all know that.  But what if it’s not your house, and the host keeps his shoes on in the house?

This weekend, I stood at my friend’s parents’ doorway feeling horribly torn — they kept their shoes on in the house.   Should I take my shoes off?  Or would that make me look odd?  Should I just enter, and walk around with my shoes *gasp* on?!

My friend saw my dilemma, and insisted I just walk in with my shoes on.

The experience was more uncomfortable than walking around in five-inch heels that are a size too small.

It sounds silly but I seriously could not think about anything else the whole time.  I just wanted to take my shoes off!  The worst was when I walked on the carpeted parts of the house.  I was picturing all the dirt I’d walked on in grimy downtown San Francisco, all the gunk of strolling around Oakland Chinatown that’s now being imprinted all over the beautiful carpet.  And didn’t I just barely miss stepping on dog poop the other day?  All that stuff, just getting ingrained in that soft, fully carpet.  Oh, the guilt of being raised a bona fide fob.

What would you do in this situation?  Walk around sans shoes on the admittedly dirty floor?  Or defy your fobby side and keep the shoes on?


Fobulous by fluke: accidental Chinese hipsters

We AbFobbers are all about embracing our inner fob and being unashamed of who we are.  But you know your fobulosity is at a whole other level when, as one Tumblr author put it, you’re an “Accidental Chinese Hipster.”  I stumbled on this awesome Tumblr via Angry Asian Man that captures the essence of fobs who are so hipster, they don’t even know it.

Think you’ve got pics of your own accidental Chinese hipsters?  Submit there here!

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It’s National Karaoke Week! 5 tips to fob-style karaoke

Omg, how did I not know about this most awesome commemorative week until now?  This week is National Karaoke Week!  Apparently, the last week of April marks this wonderful “holiday.”  If you know anything about me, Emily and Amy, you’ll know that one of our favorite pastimes is cramming into a tiny karaoke lounge and singing like our lives depended on it.  In fact, I actually don’t like karaoke-ing with huge groups because it means less airtime for me.

Now, I’m not talking about the “American” style karaoke.  Cheesy bars with an old, beat-up machine on a stage?  Pass.  I’m talking fob style — private 10 by 10 (or smaller) room, huge ass speakers, a remote-controlled karaoke machine, and a “music video” for each song featuring random scenes of waterfalls in Malaysia and Asian ladies in early 90s-style bikinis.  And if you’re a true fob, the word isn’t pronounced “care-ee-oh-kee,” but “kah-RAH-oh-kay.”  Or, if you’re a China fob, it’s “KTV.”

So from us karaoke stars, here are our five tips to fob-style karaoke:

1. Know no shame. American karaoke typically involves dragging a really embarrassed, drunk person to sing on the stage.  But fob-style KTV is enjoyed in the comfort of a private room, where karaoke regulars sing their fave songs with unabashed confidence.  And if you need a little liquid courage, there’s soju, sake or beer to go around!

2.  Pay attention when the waiter explains how to use the remote control. The buttons are typically in Korean, Japanese or Chinese.  If you’re like me and have the Chinese reading skills of a five-year old, pay attention!

3.  Don’t be a KTV jerk. There’s nothing I hate more than people who hog the mic or cancel other people’s songs.  Ugh.

4.  Pay up. Sometimes you’ll arrive late to KTV night, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.  Karaoke rooms charge by the hour, so just pay your fair share.

5.  Love your fobby fob. Obviously, you already do.  But when the non-English songs start playing and you have no idea what the words are, just sit back and chill out.  We need our fob time!

Fob style singing is the best…Yelp your local Asian karaoke lounge and celebrate this blessed week!

Think you’re killer at karaoke?  Read about the KTV lover’s ingenious iPad app, Thai red shirt soldiers busting out in song, and the cursed karaoke song that strikes singers dead in the Philippines.

Fobby must-haves: Chinese fruit cakes

Confession: I am really, really terrible at baking.  I blame it on the fact that in Asia, most kitchens aren’t equipped with ovens.  The first time I used an oven was after I moved to the US, since my college dorm room had an oven.  I happily tried to bake banana bread for my boyfriend.  I successfully ended up with a nice little banana brick.

Despite the lack of ovens in most Asian kitchens, there’s something I’ve realized:  Chinese fruit cakes are effing uhh-mazing.  I admit the decoration is usually a little on the fobby side, but it’s the only kind of cake I like (I’m not a big cake fan).  It’s so soft, light, not too sweet, and topped with fresh fruit.  Drool.

If you haven’t tried a Chinese fruit cake yet, Yelp “Chinese cake bakery” in your local neighborhood.  You’ll thank me later!

Fob revelation: chicken wing is the ultimate fob test

People, I think I’ve found the one test for true fobs: how they eat a chicken wing.  Call me crazy, but I think I’m onto something here.

If you had a scale, my mom would probably be on the fobbiest end of it.  Once she’s done eating the meat, she starts chewing the cartilage.  And once she’s done with the cartilage, she starts chewing the apparently flavorful bone…by the end of it, there’s a little pile of powdered bone on her plate.  Wing has been totally destroyed.

Then, there’s the opposite end of the spectrum.  When I moved to the US, I found that people here love wings (especially buffalo wings), but there were clearly some huge cultural differences in eating them.  First off, they don’t eat the chicken wing tip!  It gets thrown away!  Whaaaa???  My mom would be horrified.  Not just that, but the meat is chomped at with very little attention to detail.  Look closely, and you’d notice that chunks of meat are sometimes left on the bone. (*gasp*)

OK, I know I may be sounding like some kind of crazy person…what’s the big deal, it’s just a chicken wing, right?  But seriously, pay attention the next time you’re eating wings with your fobby friend, versus your non-fob friend.  You’ll know what I’m talking about!

Fob revelation: Not all white people look the same

My embarrassing fob moment?  Introducing myself to one of my coworkers…for the third time in a day.  “Hi! I’m Suzanne!” I said.  He stared back at me for a while, then said, “Uh, we met this morning.”  Doh!  I guess I’m really fobby, because I’ve realized I have a harder time distinguishing between Caucasian people.  And it’s particularly bad with guys for some reason.  Either I’ll forget ever meeting the dude, or I can’t remember his name for the life of me.

Not to mention, there have been so many times when I’m watching a movie, and I’m utterly convinced that the white actor or actress is someone else.  Maybe it’s proof of the “other-race effect,” but here are some actors and actresses that I literally cannot tell apart.  I mean, I know not all white people look the same, but don’t the people below totally look like twins?!  (At least totallylookslike.com agrees with me.)

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AbFob girls to speak at BANANA bloggers’ conference!

Hey HEY!  We’re excited to invite you, our awesome readers, to join us at BANANA 2, the national gathering of Asian-American bloggers at LA’s CBS Studios.  And yes, we will be speaking on a panel!  We’re super excited and honored to share our fobby perspective — check out the blurb on our panel below.  Whether you’re a fellow blogger or avid blog-reader, we’d LOVE to meet you there!

Bananas, Twinkies, Coconuts & a lot more: The rainbow of the AAPI blogosphere

Creator: Gil Asakawa (of Nikkei View)
Panelists: Emily Nakano Co and Suzanne Leung (of Absolutely Fobulous), Erica Johnson (of Hapa Voice), & Daigo Fujiwara (of Japanese Ball Players & Boston Globe Red Sox Podcast)

The Asian American blogosphere (as represented in the richness of Banana’s panels) covers a lot of ground, from the political to the whimsical, from foodies to Asian pop fanatics to bloggers that focus on specific communities. AAPI blogs can be about the Asian experience or exclusively about the Asian American experience. There are even blogs by Asian Americans that have nothing to do with Asian American culture, values or identity. What does it mean to be an Asian American blogger?

Register here to attend!  And check out the full line-up of panels, speakers and break-out sessions here.

‘Lost Boy’ of Sudan goes home, debates whether to forgo fob status

I’m grateful for how much I’ve been able to travel around the world — the global outlook I’ve gained is one of the main reasons we AbFob girls think being an immigrant can be a positive experience. One of the cities that has seared itself in my memory is Cairo, Egypt, where I lived for a month during the summer of my freshman year in college, working with Sudanese refugees. (As a very brief background, the violent conflict in Sudan has displaced millions of people from their homes, many of whom traveled to neighboring Egypt, living there for years while the fighting ensued in their home country.)   The NY Times just wrote a moving piece on the homecoming of a Sudanese refugee, one of the many “Lost Boys” of Sudan who sought refuge in the US.

For those who don’t have time to read the full article, here’s a video clip.  I was stirred by Joseph Gatyoung Khan’s internal struggle on whether to return to Sudan for good, where his family lived, or to stay in the US.  While I obviously can’t imagine how much he’s been through, I felt like I could relate with his predicament.

Sudan will hold a critical national vote in January 2011 to determine whether the conflicting North and South should split. Many Sudanese immigrants living in the US will return home to vote.

For more on what’s happening in Sudan, George Clooney has done a great job at raising awareness on the conflict.

International politics gets us talking. Read similar articles, like Thailand’s anti-government riots, the bittersweet North and South Korea family reunions, and Japan’s government changes after half a century of same-old.

What to do when you spill water on your laptop: Use rice

I’m pretty klutzy, so it wasn’t very surprising when I recently missed the seat I was trying to sit on, fell to the ground, and spilled orange juice on my laptop. Luckily our web designer friend, Art, was there to the rescue.  He caught my cup before all of the liquid spilled on the laptop, and gave me some wise (and, might I say, quite fobby) advice.

First, I gotta turn off my computer immediately for a day, which is quite hard as I can’t survive without the internet. Next, I need to bury my laptop in a sack of rice. Yup, I had the same reaction, too. Rice?! You mean my precious white rice that I eat every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Art said that it apparently soaks up some of the moisture from the computer. OK, it kinda made sense to me. But, my biggest issue with it was that it’s such a waste of rice. I asked Art if I could reuse the rice and cook it later, but he said he’s never heard of anyone doing that.

My question to you readers is: would you cook the rice that you used to soak up stuff from your computer?

Like this article? Then read all about fobby rice bowls and the coolest bento boxes.

Special Announcement: AbFob gets press coverage!

We’ve got some exciting news to share with everyone.  Absolutely Fobulous just got its first piece of press coverage!  A couple months ago, a journalist from Mother Jones contacted us — she was writing a column piece on how blogs like ours are redefining the word “fob.”  Next thing you know, Absolutely Fobulous is in Mother Jones, one of our most admired publications!  Woohoo!

Check out the link here!