Right now I feel a storm of emotions inside me as I reflect upon this unforeseen and unofficial nine-month hiatus I took from my blog. Nine. Friggin’. Months. Man. What reason did I have? It’s not like I was pregnant or something (I thought about creating a fake baby but it got creepy really quickly when I tried to mix Daniel Craig‘s face with mine).

So what new life have I birthed, in the figurative sense, this past 3/4 of a year? No, I didn’t go on an “Eat Pray Love” journey or take time to revamp my blog. But I did travel a ton. Met amazing people. Stretched my view and understanding of the world. Ate incredible food. Gathered more fodder for the funny stories farm. Mourned the death of a beloved character on The Walking Dead. Attempted to destroy a demonic cilantro plant.

And so from these experiences, in this context of my blog, shouldn’t there be something justfiveletters can bring to the world? Shouldn’t I have a Simba to show you on Pride Rock? Or burst out of the cocoon as a beautiful butterfly? No, I hate butterflies. They make the hairs on my skin rise like most non-human creatures. I change my metaphor to…a pie. Yes, shouldn’t I be a magnificent pie coming out of the oven, luring you with my sweet aroma?

Sadly, I come back from my hiatus with no great revelation, and no particularly valid excuse for my absence. Most things that happened in this “gestation” period are too serious for this context anyway (God continues to grow me and change my life blah blah blah).

But take me back, because it’s time again. Yes, come closer. Put your arms around me. Hold me. Okay, let go now. Dude seriously, get off me.

And just for kicks, here’s the lovechild of Daniel Craig and I:

She sure does have her father's piercing blue eyes.

She sure does have her father’s piercing blue eyes. (original photo from etsy.com)

This is Amy Hu signing off for March 18, 2014.

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On Father’s Day, I was reflecting on the many ways that I’m grateful for my dad.  I was able to think about Papa Hu’s philosophy on life, and how incredibly intelligent, thrifty, sacrificial, and loving he is. But what I also realized, now being older, was that perhaps those traits of his are not always aligned with my own values. Mixed with his traditional southern Chinese background and attempts at adjusting to American culture, some of the things he believes has made me chuckle, and at times ask “WTF?” So I invite you to learn about these “Dad-isms,” specific to my own father, and laugh with me.

10 Dadisms from Jim Wang Hu:

#1 “Money can’t buy everything. But no money, can’t buy anything.”
So obvious, yet actually profound.

He is always willing to do the silliest of things when it comes to a good photo opp. “Gung hay fat choy! Now put this money into your future kids’ college funds.”

He is always willing to do the silliest of things when it comes to a good photo opp. “Gung hay fat choy! Now put this money into your future kids’ college funds.”

#2 “Everyone knows Chinese people are the smartest.”
Perhaps his wisdom is limiting…

"This is why I won't get skin cancer."

“This is why I won’t get skin cancer.”

#3 “Don’t sleep with your head by the window or your hair will fall out.”
I doubt he’s conducted a study on balding men/women and the correlation to where their beds are positioned, but it’s science, right?

I don't know how that or the white "skunk" stripe patch on his head is scientifically possible. Also, him and my grandma have the same haircut.

I don’t know how that or the white skunk stripe on his head is scientifically possible either (maybe there was a breeze one night). Also, he and my grandma have the same haircut. Great way to honor your mother.

#4 “My daughters will learn how to drink at a young age so they will not be fools at parties.”
Started with a can of Budweiser at the age of twelve. Everyone knows that alcohol is the solution to foolishness.

I had my first drink at the age of twelve. Besides reading the newspaper, this is one of his favorite things in the world. He does not go a dinner without this kind of "dietary supplement."

Besides reading the newspaper, this is one of his favorite things in the world. He does not go a dinner without this kind of “dietary supplement.”

#5 “Why go out to eat when I can just make it at home?”
And he totally does. As awesome has his cooking abilities are, it’s kind of annoying when we don’t get to go out. Dad, sometimes I just want to pay for someone else to cook my food.

And he totally does. As awesome has his cooking abilities are, it's kind of annoying when we don't get to go out. Dad, sometimes I just want to pay for someone else to cook my food.

The master at work. When I lived on my own after college, his present to me was one of his best cleavers. If I didn’t get it before, I definitely understood how much he loved me in that moment.

#6 “I buy snacks at Costco if it says ‘new’ on it.”
His English is limited, and the “new” strategy is a hit or miss with us. Sometimes it was awesome fruit snacks, and other times it was bran cereal.

His English is limited, and the "new" strategy is a hit or miss with us. Sometimes it was awesome fruit snacks, and other times it was bran cereal. About five times a day, you'll find him falling asleep somewhere. Staying on top of the news and the latest snacks is hard work.

About five times a day, you’ll find him falling asleep somewhere. Staying on top of the news and the latest snacks is hard work.

#7 “I’m obviously the funny one in this family.”
No one can keep up with the corniest man on Earth.

Dad is the funniest

1) My mom can tolerate it most of the time. 2) Yeah, he only has three daughters, but he likes to make my mom feel young. 3) Some of his silly notes that I keep in my room. 4) He is the king of messing around during photos.

#8 “I can tell when anyone is lying.
When I was a kid, I used to save up money to buy sweets and definitely had too much. My Dad noticed it, and would actually do regular “candy raids” in my room to see if I was lying about not having any. I really didn’t think he’d go into my underwear drawer. I guess the shame-based culture didn’t apply to finding your daughter’s bag of Buncha Crunch in her Target-brand undergarments.

This toy rifle doesn't make him look that threatening, but I do my best not to piss this guy off. Angry Dad was never fun...

This toy rifle doesn’t make him look that threatening, but I do my best not to piss this guy off. Angry Dad was never fun…

#9 “Always find the best deal, and if it’s not there, you make it happen. There’s no shame in wanting to save money.”
I question this when I find myself at a car dealership and my dad, already getting a great discount on a vehicle, is pissing off the salesman by demanding two more free key chains. Why Father, why?

My dad got free guest pass last year, and I decided to workout with him. It's a little frightening how much we look like each other in this photo.

My dad basically made me to go the gym with him because he got a free guest pass and it was going to expire. I laugh at this photo because of how alike we look.

#10 “Never miss out on anything.”
I have a tendency for living life to the fullest and experiencing everything I can. But my dad takes it to a whole new level. One time, we were vacationing in Canada’s Banff National Park and stopped at a place to ride the Gondola up the mountain. That should have taken 20 minutes or so round trip. My Uncle Don ended up waiting 4 hours for us in a van because my dad had to take us on that hike, pay for the cheesy photos, and see the museum.

Dad in the big ass tire (cropped)

“I have to know what it’s like inside a huge tire! I may never get another chance!”

In conclusion, though I may not follow all of his Dadisms, I love the man behind them all and am beyond grateful for the gift that he is to me.

Though I may not follow all of these Dadisms, I love the man behind them all and am beyond grateful for the gift that he is.

Love you always, Dad. Also, everyone’s attention in this photo is towards the stage. What are you looking at?


This is Amy Hu signing off for June 20th, 2013.


Taking out the trash is never fun. When you tie up that big bag of unwanted goods, the smells of a few days’ debris just slaps you in the face. It’s not particularly fun to leave a full trash can sitting overnight. Therefore, most people complete the chore of heading to the dumpster in the evening. And it is always creepy. I have learned to enter the dark abyss (a.k.a. my apartment complex parking lot) slowly and cautiously. The trash bin is literally about 30 feet from the building entrance, but after all the crime shows I watch, anything can friggin’ happen.

And about two weeks ago, something did: I met my nemesis.

My roommate Laura was gone for ten days, so I was on extra high alert. It was just a typical Tuesday night, and the odor from our kitchen waste bin needed to GTFO. I went outside with my pepper spray, scanning left and right. The area was clear for travel. So I took a deep breath and scurried to the dumpster. As I tossed the heavy load into the bin, I felt a sigh of relief. But that didn’t last long when a huge raccoon jumped out and I screamed. If I had been about 6 inches closer, I probably would have had to make an appointment for a rabies exam.

The dumpster has been claimed. Bandit Eyes rules the wasteland.

Raccoony Freedom Meme

I’ve seen Bandit Eyes quite a few times since that frightening day, and I always stare (from behind my car like a complete weirdo), thinking angry thoughts. Who does this guy think he is? This fat and furry creature just takes and takes. You don’t see me jumping out of a tree nest and scaring you. Yeah yeah, human beings have forced you and your raccoon kind to depend on urban environments. But you’re still annoying.

Yesterday, Bandit Eyes brought a buddy of his. It was about 1015pm, and so my camera phone couldn’t capture the two at the buffet well. But here’s a security-camera-like photo for you to identify the perpetrators:



We had about a 30 second stare down, and they won. My zoophobia kicked and I realized what I was doing. I wish my grandma was here because she’s an expert at trapping animals with homemade devices. But then again, she also cooks them. Hm…so maybe not.

I have resorted to taking the trash out in the daylight, and making lots of noise before I enter the premises of refuse. I fear that Bandit Eyes’ new companion is female, and that they will reproduce offspring for takeover. My window faces them, and I can hear them plotting through the night. I pray that I will live to tell the tale.

This is Amy Hu signing off for June 4th, 2013.


The earth is one crazy, unpredictable planet. And it scares me.

Here in the Midwest, we’re in a season of thunderstorms. The other night, I saw tornado warning maps on TV and heard the strong, gusty winds shake up my windows. I pressed my face against my glass sliding door and looked out nervously. Californian weather just pales in comparison to Wisconsin. The rolling thunder and flashes of lightning woke me up a few times in the night (I now fully understand how annoying paparazzi are).

Please thunderstorm lightning, I know you love me let me sleep!

Please thunderstorm lightning, I know you love me let me sleep!

I do recall one bad storm growing up in San Jose. The winds were so bad that it knocked over our neighbor’s 50 ft tree, damaging our roof and splitting our orange tree in half. That also meant the fence that separated our two families was now nonexistent, which made it really awkward at times. The morning after it happened, I came downstairs to the kitchen and saw my middle-aged Filipino neighbor out in his backyard, wearing striped boxers and a wife-beater that didn’t fit him (half his beer belly wasn’t covered).

Our interaction basically.

He stood there, frozen, just staring at me through my kitchen window. I, was of course, really creeped out. As I tried to quickly toast my brown sugar and cinnamon Pop-Tart, I realized his eyes weren’t fixed on me at all. He was in shock, taking in the fullness of the damage that was done. I don’t remember why I decided to go outside to say hi, but the only words he could utter were “Oh man, it’s really bad.” My dad was especially angry because our neighbor had been advised to cut down the tree a few weeks back, but obviously did not think it necessary. We were left to pay half the damages (pretty unfair huh?). In protest, Papa Hu would passive-aggressively clean up our yard only when my neighbors could see him breaking his back because of their carelessness.

It seems silly to really fear the weather in a time where we have plenty of people all over the nation devoting their lives to keeping an eye on it. The hard work of meteorologists allow me to lay my head down in peace most nights, but something recently has both baffled me and made me appalled at the structure of the earth. Something neither I nor anyone could ever get used to.

Picture this: It’s Tuesday night and you’ve just put the kids to bed. You made sure the doors were all locked, the stove is turned off, and toys are not in walking paths around the house. You set the security alarm for the downstairs area and climb into your bed looking forward to a good night’s sleep. You feel accomplished at what a great parent and spouse you are, being cautious in all the right ways. THEN THE EARTH OPENS UP AND DEVOURS YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE HOUSE AND ALL YOUR EFFORTS WERE FOR NOTHING.

Sinkholes. Freakin’ SINK. HOLES.

You can’t beat them or join them. You can only be digested by them.

Just a couple of weeks ago in the South Side of Chicago:


If you still aren’t frightened and in awe of the power of the earth, please browse through this slideshow from NBC.

This natural phenomenon, though exacerbated by humans, is scarier than a clown with a “mandatory hugs” sign. That clown has the potential to be sucked into the core of the earth. The third rock from the sun wins.

I wish there was a support group for “sinkhole paranoia.” We’d probably meet in a plane or a space shuttle.

This is Amy Hu signing off for May 22nd, 2013.


It’s a new acronym I came up with. SWTTM will now stand for “strangers who talk too much.”

Now don’t get me wrong–I am totally that person that loves to talk to the checkout girl, barista, butcher, mechanic, your third cousin, or the creep at the party (partly because my intuition somehow failed me pre-conversation). But what I’ve found is that there is a threshold that some folks cross and end up breaking certain social boundaries. Whether it’s time, the content shared, or something just feels funny, I’m sure many of you out there can relate. I will now proceed to give you three examples of what I mean by this (all with names I’ve assigned to folks):

1. Talking Tollbooth Tonya

One of my favorite pictures of Michelle. It's her "IMA KILL U" face.

One of my favorite pictures of Michelle. It’s her “IMA KILL U” face. You just don’t mess with that.

On the way back from dropping off Michelle (who came ALL the way from California to visit me for my birthday, ugh I love her so much), I was exiting the Milwaukee airport garage and stopped at the tollbooth. A beautiful smile greeted me as Tonya took my ticket and put it in her machine. Noticing that I spent some time at the airport, she asked me who I was seeing off. I told her that it was a best friend, and she then immediately asked “Oh, guy or girl?” For some strange reason, I answered “guy” on accident. Big mistake.

Her eyes lit up, knowing that there was potential for juicy drama in a cross-gender friendship. She proceeded to ask me if it was more than friendship (oh, but of course). This is a prime example of where I fall short as a decent human being at times, because I decided to go along with this for fun. From her interview, I had managed to create this story: we were just friends, and his wife was absolutely okay with our relationship to the point where he would come alone to visit me. She was not convinced, and this is where she began to break the threshold.

Toll booth TonyaTonya started to share about her own past relationships, especially her current male friend who she desired to be her beau and not bro. A good two minutes with me giving (quite honest) empathetic “mmm”s, “ohh”s and “wow”s, (the punctuation there needs major work sorry), I began to feel that the appropriate time I could be at her booth was expiring. This especially was felt when a car unfortunately decided to drive into our line.

With Tonya still rambling for another couple of minutes, and the man in a fancy sports car looking out his window slightly impatient but very confused, I just didn’t know where to cut the woman off. The words coming out of her mouth were just getting more and more vulnerable. The more I let her go on, the harder it was going to be to put a loving cork in her so she could do her job. I passively hinted at her by turning around dramatically at the man, but only to get a reaction of “Eh, it’s okay. He can wait.” Oh boy. My eyes opened even wider and realized I was going to have to just drive away and not worry about hurting the many feelings of Tonya.



I lifted my foot off the brake and began to inch, trying to leave the situation as smoothly as possible. She finally ended her story with something along the lines of “Yeah, but he’ll never know because I’m not confident and he’s so oblivious.” Still inching forward, I told her I appreciated her sharing with me and that things would get better. I hit the gas and I think it actually scared her. Not so smooth after all, Hu.

2. Lenscrafters

An rare normal photo of myself with my new red glasses. Just in case you were curious.

An rare normal photo of myself with my new red glasses. Just in case you were curious.

I had been itching to get a pair of red glasses for a while, and so I hit up my local Lenscrafters who was having a 50% off sale. I saw my winning pair and as I was trying them on, a rather flamboyant and talkative employee approached me and said “Oh my God honey, those look so good. Aren’t they cool? They’re totally cute, but still make a statement, ya know?” I affirmed his comments, pretending I was going for what he was saying. I obviously liked them regardless of what he said, and decided to make them the latest addition to my face. While he was getting down the details of my prescription and frames, I was trapped in the world of Jerry.

Jerry kept going on and on about how he and his boyfriend just “burned” $500 at Express because they were building an entirely new “preppy but chic” wardrobe. He then added that his man just bought his second Audi, and that tonight they were finally going out to some fancy shmancy restaurant they’ve been dying to try out. I obviously could neither relate as a single, not-wealthy woman, nor understand how these kids had so much money to spend.

A lot of my gay male friends would laugh at the stereotype my local eyeglasses salesman fell into, and I admit I was rather entertained. He was talking a million miles an hour, showing off his other job at Coach. He loved venting about how he had to work so many hours at both of his jobs (while a good amount of others in this economy are unemployed).


To be honest, I didn’t really care about Jerry’s materialistic and somewhat naive outlook on life. But for some reason, people like Jerry feel that in conversations with complete strangers, it’s necessary to show off all you have, and shamelessly share details about your love and work life. Even as an extrovert, Jerry tired me out in fifteen minutes. I wished him a happy Friday and hoped that his dinner date would be fun.

3. Mallory Most Wanted
I used to work at a private postal center that did shipping, mailbox rentals, and other basic copy/printing needs. You can imagine the variety of characters that came in, and how much I hope to write a sitcom with such a premise.

We have a lot of regulars, but Mallory was not one. She came in panicked and frazzled, gripping a large envelope in her hand. She began to explain the most bizarre situation–how she was friends with a leader of a country I will not name, and that people were after her. She had to mail it as soon as possible, and that this international piece of mail was of utmost importance. Inside, I obviously had a million of emotions and thoughts, ranging from skepticism to confusion to worry about my own safety in assisting with such a task.

Mallory started telling me details about what they had done to her apartment, and how she was now on the run. She even spilled to me things she had talked about with the leader of the country–my average citizen ears were sweating nervously. I tried to be calm to keep her less stressed, but it wasn’t working. I wanted to quickly do my job so she could get out of the store and not have some hired men coming after me as well.

What I should have said.

Why do I look like someone you can trust? Why do I have that face that says “please, tell me everything about your life because I don’t know you and want to.” I have a genuine interest in people, but with limits. To this day, I have no idea if Mallory had some mental struggles or if she was telling the truth. Either way, I am saving up for a Mongolian dagger to keep under my pillow.

In conclusion, SWTTM’s are everywhere. You can tell me how you can’t wait to get off your shift to go see your daughter’s ballet performance, or that you love the same author of the book you are ringing up for me. That is wonderful human interaction and I enjoy that. But when you tell me your relationship history and disregard other customers, show off your materialistic lifestyle and luxurious lover, or include me in some dangerous foreign operation, that is when you have become a total SWTTM. You have crashed through the appropriate thresholds of stranger to stranger interaction and need to GTFO.

This is Amy Hu signing off for April 20th, 2013. Hope you made wise choices today.

Happy Birthday

To. Me.



Not you.

Or her.

Or that guy.


Obnoxiousness comes with the day, sorry.

But so does pure excitement:

The 54 Best Animated GIFs Of 2012


I know, I know. My birthday was a couple of days ago. But didn’t you hear? It’s a birthday season. And I’ve been celebrating since last Friday.

Funny Birthday Ecard: Let's celebrate your birthday as many times as celebrities celebrate themselves during awards season.

As I’ve become older, my birthdays have definitely become increasingly more to my liking. It’s mainly because my friends (not my parents) actually know what I love. For example, during senior year of college, my friends threw an “Undead” party for me where they lit a dorm room red, baked zombie cupcakes, and scared me by dressing up like a mummy.


You can watch the video on Facebook here.

Looking back on celebrating such a day, I decided to share some old photos in order for you all to understand me a bit better. Over a laugh-filled Skype session, my sisters managed to help me find some rather hilarious photos. Let’s go back in time:

Amy’s 3rd Birthday:

The biggest 3 year-old you'd ever seen getting her own birthday. The golden years of living with Grandma, Grandpa and cousin Tina in San Francisco before being reunited with my family.

The biggest 3 year-old you’d ever seen getting her own birthday. The golden years of living with Grandma, Grandpa and cousin Tina in San Francisco before being reunited with my family. Soon I would discover that my birthdays would need to be shared.

Amy and Tammy Turn 6:

This change not only affected me of course, but as you can see from this photo, my clone, Tammy.

This change not only affected me of course.  As you can tell from this photo, my clone, Tammy, is not very happy (that’s our older sister Vera lurking in the background). Sorry beb, we gotta share this Simpsons-themed birthday together.

How to Blow Out Your Candles If You’re a Twin:

Step 1: Suck in as much air as you can like a friggin' maniac.

Step 1: Gear up for the big moment by inhaling as much air as you can like a friggin’ maniac.

Step 2: Be too busy being dramatic about making it the best thing ever and let your twin do the job without you.

Step 2: Be too busy being dramatic about the whole thing and let your twin do the job without you.

Damn. So close.

The ridiculous face I'm making in this photo is probably the beginning signs of me using humor as a coping mechanism for, in this case, missing out on extinguishing my shared birthday candle.

The ridiculous face I’m making in this photo is probably the beginning signs of me using humor as a coping mechanism for, in this case, missing out on extinguishing my shared birthday candle.

Here’s our 11th birthday:

I think that may have set me up for being less enthusiastic about cutting the cake with Tammy in years to come.

I think that may have set me up for being less enthusiastic about cutting the cake with Tammy in years to come. Having to hold the knife together annually just isn’t that effective. I am too cool for school with my two nasty 90s spaghetti-like “bangs.”

I haven’t shared a birthday with my sister in a few years because we haven’t lived in the same city since college. As nice as it is to get your own cake and presents, only your name on a poster, and have a party all for you–it’s just not the same. I haven’t mastered using a big knife to cut a cake on my own yet.

Well, I’m excited for year 26. Still in my mid-twenties, and still look like I’m seventeen. May more ridiculous things to share with you all come about!

This is Amy Hu signing off for February 21st, 2013.




I almost came to the conclusion that maybe dogs aren’t so bad after seeing this adorable post about a boy and his dog. But then I remembered what happened to me two days ago while grocery shopping at Copp’s. I was ready to walk through the automatic doors when my zoophobic senses were in red alert. I turned to my left instantly, and there he was: the biggest golden retriever I’ve ever seen in my life. Yes, they are known to be the kindest dogs in the world, but when a dog of that size makes a b-line for you at full speed, your nerves have to shake a little. And with my terrible track record with canines, I was frozen in fear, eyes wide open, and thinking about all the ways I had lived a good life right before my 26th birthday. No, I didn’t die obviously. But this obnoxious dog kept pouncing on me and then proceeded to “kiss” me–he didn’t even ask me out to dinner first before slobbering all over my face. The owner of this dog was yelling across the parking lot while all of this was going on, and eventually asked if I could grab his leash. Me? Really? Could there be any worse person to fulfill such a request at this moment? Would you give Russell Crowe a record deal after ‘Les Miserables’? No. You wouldn’t. But because of my ENFP compassion and desire to meet others’ needs, I attempted to grab Comet’s leash and fell flat on my face in front of the Redbox customers in line. So close to actually respecting dogs.

I almost wanted to throw my popcorn at somebody a few of weeks ago in the movie theater. I was coming back from the gym and had this huge desire to go see ‘Les Miserables’ after weeks of enduring all its buzz. So I impulsively hopped into my car, got my ticket for one, and felt like I deserved the world’s most expensive hot dog and soda after my workout.

This is what I should have done right when I saw them.

Going to the movies alone definitely has its benefits: you can take your smelly post-workout shoes off, cry all you want because you look like a loner anyway, and eliminate any possibility for direct conversations during the best scenes. Five minutes into the movie, a couple walks in and decides to sit one seat away from, and puts their possessions right next to me. It was a later weeknight showing and the theater was practically empty. Dozens of seats and you have to sit right near me? Don’t you want your space? You came together, so you don’t need my company. The theater is heated, so you don’t need the warmth from my body. I already ate my hot dog, so I can’t share it anyway. GO. AWAY. Not only did they interrupt the movie at the beginning, but the woman had the craziest congestion and kept fighting the mucus oozing from every facial cavity throughout the film. I doubt my tears were solely from “I Dreamed A Dream” and “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.”

Excuse me while I bury myself.

I almost looked like a pervy filmmaker recently. For my work, I had to recreate some funny scenes for a hilarious video that pushed the point: both ‘word’ and ‘deed’ are required to following Jesus, not just half. The video was to be used for our Greek ministry in InterVarsity, and so we of course shot this video at a fraternity house. One of the scenes was to have one of the fraternity members walk in with only half a shirt on, cut down vertically. Theoretically, it was genius. But as the only woman in this fraternity filming with my two male coworkers, I somehow found myself taping a half-naked college frat boy’s chest to the shirt I cut up. I paused for a second and realized what was happening, and did my best to not make it awkward and roll with it. As the filming began, one of his fraternity brothers (who is not involved with InterVarsity), walked in on us, gave us the most confused look, and yelled “What the f***?!” Don’t worry bro, we’re a Christian group. So, it’s cool right? Yikes.

(You can watch the original video my team made here)

I almost gave up beef for Lent, but Copp’s had NY strip steak on sale.

steak pan-fried





It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which means:







This is Amy Hu signing off for February 13th, 2013.