Skip to content

I am so over Bath and Body Works.


When I was a kid (“once upon a time”), Bath and Body Works was a mythical land where a girl's friends discovered all the best things to get you for your birthday, be it hand sanitizer or lip balm. Then it got way out of hand. Every single friend, girl or guy-accompanied-by-girl-who-doesn't-actually-know-me-but-is-clearly-an-expert-on-girls, would go to BBW and buy on average three different items to give me for my birthday, every time I attempted to celebrate my birthday. Oh, yeah, because of that, my baby sister came to believe that BBW was the only place to buy good birthday gifts, so she usually wheedled my mom into shopping there for my birthday presents, too. I issued a ban on Bath and Body Works products. It didn't totally work since not everybody read the memo, and others, cough-little-sister-cough, just ignored it.

Even with the ban and me living on BBW to try to use it up, I still have 8 shower gel bottles (4 unopened large bottles, 2 half-used large, 1 mostly-unused smaller aromatherapy bottle, 1 partly-used travel size), 3 fragrance sprays (1 mostly-unused large, 1 large donated to my little sister, and 1 mostly-unused travel size), 1 aromatherapy lotion, 1 hand cream, 4 lip balms (3 mostly-used tubes and 1 little can-like thing), 3 little candles, and 3 – 4 tiny bottles of hand sanitizer. Oh, and a bottle of aromatherapy shampoo. It took me years to use up that first bottle of hand sanitizer (they were much bigger then and much cheaper per ounce). I used up some stuff but I also managed to regift a number of things. That's how ridiculous the BBW craze is.

The thing is, though, they don't even have good stuff.

I don't know about way back when they weren't cycling through new scents like every 3 months, but right now, I can tell you that the lotions leave my skin feeling greasy and nasty rather than soft or whatever and are the reason that I am strongly lotion-averse, that the hand cream gives me a rash, and that the shampoo fries my hair. What's the point of getting a pricey lotion if it's not even actually nice? And it's great that their products aren't tested on animals but if the hand cream has an allergen, it should at least be labeled if it's really impossible to make it hypoallergenic. I don't even know what's wrong with the shampoo but I suspect that it's a combination of harsh, oil-stripping ingredients (maybe the citrus components of a fragrance), the lack of a conditioner to balance the pH, and our friends the phosphates. Barring all else, it can't be that hard to make a phosphate-free version of the shampoo, can it?

The hand sanitizers, shower gels, and candles are not problematic for me—I haven't tried the air fresheners but some people are allergic—but they have different issues. The hand sanitizers (the regular kind? I know that they had a foaming sanitizer phase), which no longer come in bottles bigger than 1 ounce, keep going up in price, and the shower gel has been going up, too.

Also, a lot of the smells are starting to be unidentifiable because of the nondescriptive naming—“Country Chic” is an adorable name that tells me nothing about how it smells and they really should've made it smell earthy, like hay, instead of whatever it actually is—and the smells are no longer on point like before. One of the big draws of BBW when I was younger was that everywhere else, ‘strawberries’ didn't smell like strawberries but at BBW, ‘apples’ smelled exactly the same as apples at the grocery store. At BBW back then, even some improbable fragrance like ‘cotton’ smelled like cotton. Most of the new fragrances smell much too rich, as if the BBW fragrance experts can't smell anything unless it is overdone. If it says cookie or pie or anything like that, it probably smells like a brown sugar overdose. If it says anything else, then it probably doesn't smell memorable at all.

There are people aggressively defending BBW against complaints about spilled air freshener damaging upholstery and allergic reactions. By “aggressively”, I mean that they say things like, “You'd have to be really stupid… BBW is not responsible for your stupidity.” OK first, not all outlets are upright. So a leaking air freshener is a design flaw that probably isn't hard to fix. All you really have to do is design something that you can rotate with a little click whenever you plug it into a sideways outlet. Second, I don't know that much about air fresheners but I wouldn't expect an innocuous, chubby owl-shaped thing to contain substances that will burn through all the things except said container. Third, nobody except people who break out over every little thing expects to develop angry rashes in reaction to a product that is supposed to be designed for their skin. Who in their right mind would get tested for allergies just so that they could buy a $911 product?

I guess the big hint that Bath and Body Works iswas in the fragrance business and NOT the bath and body business should have been the fact that they don't offer choices that a real company would offer. Where other companies label their products things like “For dry skin”, “For oily skin”, “For damaged hair”, “hypoallergenic”, BBW just reissues everything with shea butter.

They're not a BAD company. They're getting there, what with watering down the products and raising prices, but they don't develop bad hand cream for the lulz. They're simply in the fragrance business and instead of trying to find someone to pay them for their fragrances, they package them themselves into bath and body products. They're very good at selling, too. Much to my annoyance. (Good grief, how much shower gel do people think I need?)

It has been a while since I first issued my ban on BBW presents. I just started thinking about it today because I have these nasty hives due to a body wash product—not a BBW product as it's their hand cream that gave me a rash—which reminded me of said hand cream, which reminded me of all the complaints I (and, obviously, other people) have about BBW.


Dream 10


Dreamed that I dreamed that people came to my house to stay. One was a Chinese man with oddly curly hair. The other was a diminutive Chinese girl. While we were eating, I noticed the girl take a knife and thought, “She seems kind of psycho. Should I be worried?” I don’t remember what happened immediately after but I think I might have made an offhand comment to clock her reaction. Later, I was defensively holding a knife myself (and not really sure exactly how I should be holding it but before I could figure it out), she attacked me. I fought her off and ran away, trying to get someone to call the police. My mom was all confused while I was thinking, “Got no time to explain but I’m super dead if she doesn’t get put away, like, now,” so I got frustrated. I talked to Curly, who somehow believed me and agreed to help tie her up by pretending to cut her hair and then also binding her while putting the poncho-thing on her. I hid and watched him do it, than ran off to try to find someone who knew how to get her into an insane asylum. At some point, I read on my phone about something related to Kokopelli (I don’t actually know a lot about him so that was very random) and I somehow knew that it had to do with her (maybe I was looking something up and that was the result OR maybe it was dream logic, I don’t know)… so apparently, she was possessed or not even human. Yay. I hid in the closet at some point, too. I went to see what happened and she’d given him the slip (maybe killed him, too?), and I investigated and found out that there was another girl who was supposed to have come with them but the other girl had disappeared. Meaning that when she kills somebody, the body just vanishes. We fought again and I managed to pin her, knife and all. I thought that there was a possibility that she was possessed, so I said, “Demon, get out.” She stopped struggling, so I cautiously relaxed… but then she lunged at me so I pinned her again. I don’t know what happened next or if anything happened next. Maybe I woke up into my next dream, maybe somebody took her away.

So. In my next dream, I was in a room telling people at my house about this crazy dream I had. My parents had some family friends over, and they opened the door to introduce 4 kids about the same age and to say that they’d be staying with us. I think one of the kids was a blonde girl with blue eyes and more blue somewhere else or something, and maybe someone else with green eyes, but anyway, they were little kids. I recognized that in my first dream, they’d preceded the crazy events, and screamed. I ran out to tell my dad that he absolutely had to send them away. He exploded, infuriated that I would treat friends this way and said that he would hit me if I kept up my attitude. I said that he could hit me but I would never change my mind (because even if I weren’t too hysterical to explain why, which I was, nobody would have believed my ravings). So he hit me a few times, but I think that someone else explained to him why I was acting the way I was, so he apologized, although he did include a slightly resentful, “If you’d just told me why, I wouldn’t have gotten angry.” And he explained to his friends that he couldn’t take their kids, and I heaved a sigh in relief. And then I woke up.

K-pop stage names


I recently read a comment on Soompi voicing the opinion that Koreans should use 한글 names, not anglicized names. And I don’t disagree. I don’t totally agree, but anyway, if I were to say that there were a reason to use Korean names, the first is that the English names get pretty cheesy.

The pun that is 2NE1 is something that I would have thought was awesome… in elementary school. And that’s without the whole “new evolution of the 21st century” or whatever the meaning was supposed to be. They should’ve just said, “It’s 2NE1! Like 21! But like To Anyone! Sorry, we just thought the whole numbers and letters code thing was cool. HAHAHAHA but yeah anyway. Hi.” But they didn’t.

Also, don’t even get me started on Nu’est (pronounced new east, “New Established Style and Tempo”) and Nu’est M (M as in marvelous/multiply/mystic), TRAX (Typhoon of the Rose Attack on X-mas), SHINee, EXId (pronounced E X Id), B1A4 (based on blood types), et cetera. Compared to most names, Piggy Dolls was one of the few that were actually decent: “Hi, we’re three overweight women who are giving the finger to all the haters by being proud of our bodies.” (Now they’re gone not around any longer, which I’m honestly disappointed about.)
Then again, some of the Korean names are pretty cheesy, too (Kangta/강타, Girls’ Generation/소녀시대).

The second reason would be to encourage Korean pride in young Koreans. I feel like most K-pop-related things are not actually Korean but copy stuff from the US and try to make it better. For example, K-pop producers make catchy retro-inspired pop… but it’s weird because retro’s not from Korea. Psy was so popular internationally because he put out a music video about Gangnam, a Korean district, and it didn’t feel like he was trying to copy somebody from the US. When you express your own cultural pride, other people enjoy it, too.

An internet-naïve parents’ guide to identifying clickbait articles


Clickbait websites are the tumors of the internet.

Some of them are benign, and maybe even a little helpful. Let’s be honest, though; you’re not going to use everything from that list of useful websites.

Some of them are malignant and waiting to metastasize, using a really gruesome (and Photoshopped) picture to get you to click. This often exposes your Facebook account or computer or both, posting to your Facebook, sending messages to all of your friends, and sending emails to all of your contacts.

The shared goal of all clickbait headlines is to increase traffic to their websites.

It doesn’t cost you anything but time–well, time is money–but because all they want is traffic, people who get sucked into looking at clickbait articles often don’t realize that they’re wasting a lot of time on empty distractions. Do you want to waste time on empty distractions? Or beyond that, do you want to waste your time as a result of being tricked?

I don’t really worry about savvy 20- or 30-somethings. Most of them know what they’re getting into, and they’ve probably been on clickbait sites enough to recognize when to stop. I do worry about kids but even more, I worry about their parents. After all, how are parents going to tell their kids to cut back on the internet if the parents have themselves been ensnared?

Most parents do not go looking for clickbait. Usually, someone forwards an email, or an old family friend shares something on Facebook. Here is a list of red flags. If you see these words (or photos, I may include one or two), RESIST CLICKING ON THE LINK.

  • # Clickbait articles frequently use headlines like “13 Things that Everyone Does.” It has also become increasingly common to add something like, “and You Won’t Believe #11,” because your natural reaction is curiosity: “What is it that I won’t believe?”
  • ALL CAPS When people yell, it’s usually something important (and sometimes, it’s a ShamWow! commercial). Capitalizing all letters is kind of like yelling except on the internet, most cases are commercials trying to get you to click.
  • He or She or These or This or What Your natural reaction is, again, only curiosity (“Who is ‘He’?”). But you don’t need to know the answer.
  • I or Me or You Good headlines usually don’t address you personally, and definitely not in full sentences. Establishing a fake emotional connection is another easy way to trick people into clicking.
  • Incredible or Never or Shock or Unbelievable If it’s too much of *something* to be true, then reports are probably exaggerated.
  • This is a lotus pod. If you see a picture of skin with pods in it like this, IT'S NOT REAL. The real thing is just a plant.
    This is a lotus pod. If you see a picture of skin with pods in it like this, IT’S NOT REAL. The real thing is just a plant.

    If it looks kind of gross, just keep this in mind: This is what the lotus actually looks like.
    This is what the lotus actually looks like.

Kids on the internet


This comment on Youtube caught my eye: “OK, I’m 11 and I didn’t understand more than half of that” [edited for punctuation]. Trust an 11 year-old to open up for attack by leaving unnecessary comments on the internet, I thought. This kid needs to be told politely and in no uncertain terms to get the hell off the internet before the trolls show up and eat her (I think that it was a her) alive. So I asked, “If you’re 11, you’re a little young to be using the internet, aren’t you?” Her response was, and this has been slightly edited in the interest of coherence: “No, WTF makes you think that? So now you’re saying that I shouldn’t be using the Internet, I swear that there is something wrong with you, mind your own business, stay out of my life, ’cause I got this.” My gut reaction was, “YOUNG LADY, YOU DO NOT TALK TO YOUR MOTHER LIKE THAT.” Because when people talk back like they would their mother, I pick up on the script.

Anyway, this kid is clearly not mature enough to be allowed on the internet. A lot of 18-and-older-s are just as bad but if they want to say something stupid, they’re old enough to make that decision. Not that I was trying to make any decisions for this particular kid but for the parents, you guys need to be parents. My kid sister mouths off a lot. When she does it out loud, my dad has this thing that he likes to say, “Every time you think that you’re being smart, you’re probably doing something stupid.” When she does it online, I’m the cyber parent so I annoy her with lectures and threaten to block off sites (which I don’t because then at least I can kind of monitor her activities).

Parents and teachers need to stop telling kids how smart they are just because they know their way around smartphones and things. I agree that seniority can be utter bullshit when someone is older but less capable or less clever but kids are way too arrogant these days. My generation has a lot of douche-y people but if you look at today’s elementary school kids or even high school kids, they really think that they’re all that.

But it’s far too late to fix most of the parents and teachers, and principals and vice principals and school counselors. The reality is that arrogant kids don’t believe what you tell them unless they’ve learned it the hard way. Even if you try to raise your own kid right, she’s got her little friends at school influencing her. Not all of us can be Helena Bonham Carter with our 12.75-inch unyielding dragon heartstring and walnut wand, scaring away the kids that we don’t want around ours. So we need workshops for adults who are active on the internet on how to effectively convince obnoxious underage users that they need to mind their own business before they have permission to tell us to mind our own business. How do you teach a kid to think before they type? I guess that this kind of project would require some field research.

Side thoughts: kids are arrogant off the internet as well. I see them dressed to the nines to seem twice their age, either acting bored with everything or trying to mingle with the 20-something-s and 30-something-s, laughing like they get what we’re talking about. My kid sister has the gall to tell me that I don’t have an fashion sense when I in fact do have an eye for what looks both good and appropriate (appropriate for age, occasion, et cetera). I just feel really, really uncomfortable about wearing anything nicer than nice jeans (comfortable without being hideous) and a thinner cotton shirt than usual.



You know, I feel kind of sorry for Cain. He just wanted God to like him. He killed Abel because he was jealous for God’s acceptance, but doing that just increased the distance between him and God, who couldn’t let a murderer stay in his presence. Bible study groups and such tend to focus on the fact that he wasn’t good enough because he didn’t have the right attitude, but God was clear about where he stands when he gave Cain his mark. He didn’t want Cain to end up like that but even if everyone else is wrong, God has to be right, and being right means that when Cain chose to be jealous and kill Abel instead of asking for Abel’s advice or help, God had to kick him out.

Cain’s just a fool, and I think that at least I, if nobody else, have similar feelings to Cain. A lot of times, I think that I’m trying properly, but other people think that my attitude isn’t good or that I lack character. They might be right. But it’s frustrating, upsetting, and angering for me when I think that I hauled major effort and someone looks at the results and sees laziness or lack of consideration. Personally, I don’t think that I have an instinct for doing the right thing, and whenever I see someone being considerate, I mentally kick myself (“Why didn’t I see that this needed doing?”) and I’m jealous because that’s the kind of person that I wish I were.

That doesn’t justify Cain displacing his frustration onto Abel. But when we talk about him, we shouldn’t try to distance ourselves from him, by making the lesson about having the right attitude or about not being haters. Abel’s a good person but the story isn’t about him. The lesson should be that we’re just like Cain, or at least I am, and Cain is exactly why y’all need Jesus… … OK but seriously, not killing people doesn’t mean that we’re any better and the purpose of grace is for the sake of people exactly like Cain, people who want to please God but can’t. There, but for the grace of God, go I.

God didn’t sacrifice Jesus for us to be like, “Cain, that horrible, horrible person”—he did that so that if people like Cain turn around and say, “God, I just wanted to be good enough but I screwed up and I’m tired of this whole trying-not-to-screw-up-but-screwing-up-anyway thing,” instead of God saying, “I’m sorry but you’re done for,” God can say, “Way ahead of you.”

Re: 김진수, “Why bad things always happen to good people?”


Bad things happen to everyone and good things happen to everyone. It’s just more jarring to see bad things happen to good people, or good things happen to bad people, because it contradicts the natural sense of fairness.



There’s this whole obsession with beauty and relationships and guys and girls, like, “It’s OK, someone will find you beautiful,” or, “Every girl should be told by a guy at least once that she’s beautiful.” You know what? Screw that.

I know that some guys find me reasonably good looking (or whatever reasonably above average means). But I also know that I dress with the aesthetic sense of a 10 year old boy… that I always smell like sweat and dogs and chicken shit because my backyard is a small farm… that I have all the grace of Bambi on ice (which is to say none at all)… that I have an aggressively prideful personality (I despise guys who try to help me when I don’t need it)… et cetera.

And what I want to know is why on earth do some people want to convince me that having a boyfriend is important? I don’t know how I could possibly attract any guy when I don’t even know how to carry my purse-bag-thing without feeling awkward. Sure, I find some guys admirable, or even attractive, or even cuddly, BUT I’m totally fine with them dating someone else as long as the girl’s a decent person. People act like I should be upset when someone that I have acknowledged as having attractiveness value becomes taken and I’m like, ‘is it wrong to be OK with people choosing whoever makes them happy?’ Because I know that I sure wouldn’t be able to make anybody happy. It would take an almost perfect guy to make up for my weaknesses and if he’s really that good, then he should go make perfect babies with someone who’s his equal, not waste time chasing the kind of girl who wishes that nose-picking were more socially acceptable.

If personality and all that stuff is considered in a beauty rating, then I’m ugly. And I don’t care. I don’t care that I’m not attractive enough to be anybody’s girlfriend because since when has friendship been a second class relationship? I get honestly angry about this because I feel persecuted. I ‘have’ to want a relationship and if I say that I don’t, it means that I’m ‘in denial’, because ‘GOD IN HEAVEN FORBID THAT A BOYFRIEND NOT BE ONE OF MY PRIORITIES.’ OK, so that’s false attribution but keep up with me, OK? Like, ‘Hi, I’m a mild heterosexual, not a rabid one. I HOPE THAT’S OK WITH YOU.’

And this is exactly why it’s so frustrating. The more I try to convince people that I don’t need their advice, and that I especially don’t need advice designed for people who actually want a relationship, THE MORE THEY BELIEVE THAT I’M ‘JUST IN DENIAL’… and it goes in a vicious circle of frustration and ingrained refusal to believe me.

I honestly don’t think the problem is with me. Like for Christians (and others who believe in God): don’t you guys have anything better than to do? Read your scriptures! Yes, love is important, but love is not what you think it is. Maybe a small part of it is companionship, but it’s so much more than Go Forth And Multiply, OK? For those of you who don’t believe in God: your brains are capable of programming computers and useless but immensely, absorbingly interesting things instead of just the useful, survival-related stuff. Take advantage. All of you: put your energies into something other than fussing about attraction.

Serving in church


When people talk about leadership (or what we like to call servanthood) in the church, we often picture someone who is kind, understanding, organized in thought and in habit, a model of self discipline (at this point, I’m just describing this one guy that I know and I think that some of the people who kind of know me might be able to guess whom I’m describing)… and I could never, ever, ever be that person.

I mean, I get that all Christians are supposed to aspire to be the kind of person that you would see doing coordination-ish work in the church like planning out Bible studies or checking in with people who seem lost or out of it. I think that maybe I just enjoy often irreverent, sometimes inappropriate humor and other less-than-godly forms of down-to-earth-ness too much to be such a considerate, organized person.

For example, I’ve always been a very negative person. My eyes are drawn to things that aren’t right. Once upon a time, I would kick people and throw things over those things. Now, I specialize in carefully crafted, verbose rants. It’s not that I don’t enjoy goodness, nor that I can’t see it, because I do. Show me someone that I know, and I can tell you what I think is good as well as what I think is bad, but it’s extremely rare that I both know someone and have nothing bad that I could say. And even then, that in itself is bad (people who are too good are often intimidatingly unapproachable).

There’s another side to being negative. Imagine that positive people are very colorful. Well, I am grey. (I actually really like that color, by the way.) I can’t gush about everyday things if I don’t mean it. If I do, I get that fake-ass hearty tone like Harry Potter does when he’s trying to sound like he’s not being consumed with resentment. If I really feel a certain way about something, I will spell it out but if I don’t, I won’t. Seriously, this is what happens when someone offers me food that they’re crazy about: “It’s deLICious, RIGHT?” “Erm, well, it’s… good…” “You don’t like it??” “Well, I do like it; it’s all right, that’s all. Er, just, don’t mind me.”

That’s really what it’s all about, with me: I’m all about expressing myself only when I mean it and only how I mean it. I’m sorry, I enjoy sass, whether it’s M calling James Bond a misognistic dinosaur, gifs on Buzzfeed of NeNe Leakes throwing shade, native Americans making fun of missionaries (sorry but real talk is real talk and it is FUNNY), or Tumblr being Tumblr. So I will indulge in sass myself. Unfortunately, being sassy is not a very humble thing to do.

At the same time, I doubt that God would prefer that I dress myself in a fake personality. I try to keep me real, and I can handle getting called out when I’ve done something wrong. I don’t always change because changing is hard, and it’s even harder when people don’t tell you how to do it. But I try to process the feedback and be a little better, without snuffing out the semi-rebellious independent streak.

An entitled person perceiving herself as suffering


I was in a bike accident by myself. I mean, there were a lot of causes but it’s probably more the bike’s fault than anything else.

The thing is, though, that I wish I had hit my head.

People say that I’m really lucky that I haven’t even chipped a tooth. They say that God must have been watching over me. While I agree that God was watching over me, I don’t think that he did it as some special service. I’ve had a lot of close calls. I’ve fallen off a moving ATV. I’ve fallen asleep at the wheel. I’ve hit a divider on the highway because I didn’t change lanes soon enough. Actually, when I drive, I have this weird feeling in my chest, like I just want to let it fly beyond my ability to control it, like the car will fly into the dark abyss that is the night sky and carry me somewhere all the things that don’t really matter that are stressing me out will disappear, leaving only the things that really count. Anyways, I’ve had a lot of reminders that I could die any time and that I’m being held in reserve for something that I don’t see yet.

Isn’t that how it always is? You don’t die until it’s your time.

In the mean time, my dad rushed to the hospital to make sure that I was really OK and wasn’t just saying so. I know I couldn’t live with myself if I made his worst fears come true. I don’t want to do this any more, though, because I have a really strong feeling that I can’t. Just like your body forces you to sleep before you die of sleep deprivation by making you hallucinate and stuff, I think that this whole ‘vicariously’ living from midterm to midterm, paper to paper will result in me getting myself kicked out before it really becomes too much for me to handle.

Because of my experiences, I have this perception that everyone who looks put together on the outside, walking on the street, chatting with friends, playing with their dogs… I think that inside, they’re also falling apart. And they’re not falling apart because Grandma died. They’re falling apart because some small thing is gnawing at them. Maybe they’re also worried that everyone sees their social ineptitude and finds them selfish or plain annoying, and that’s why they front so strong like they don’t care. Maybe they’re addicted to the internet and hate themselves for it, and want to be free of it. Maybe they hate their successes and wish they went for something that they were actually interested in. Maybe they have so many things that they want to do, like reading 10 books a week, like learning a new sport, like reliving the time that they felt like they could do anything, like writing a story… so many things and they can’t do a single one of them or feel obliged to abstain. I don’t know. It’s how I stop myself from going all the way to the thought that I’ve been set up to be miserable.

I’m dragging my feet through life. I’m supposed to be young, but I feel old. And the reason that I feel old is not because I’ve been through so much but because I’m just atrophying away. I want to be energetic, smile and make faces without caring if I look stupid, and make something myself. Instead, I’m just withering away and there’s just one thin strand of sanity left. It’s strong because it’s founded on all the right things, but it’s weak because there’s not much of it.

I’m not always this way. A lot of times, I’m straight up elated. But right now, I’m in the dumps about something stupid, and I can’t unwrap myself from the thought. And I feel like I shouldn’t be allowed to be depressed because somewhere out there, someone is being killed, someone is being raped, someone is terminally ill, someone hasn’t eaten properly for months. Somebody is out there, who would swap with me in an instant, whom I wouldn’t swap places with for anything. Sometimes, I think my family tries too hard to be good to this bitter old-young sinner because how else would I have ended up in a situation where I’m not happy with what I have? Yet it doesn’t make me feel a mite more grateful.

The things that are possible appeared impossible, and the thought made the possible become impossible. Time is moving slowly for me right now, yet it’s also too fast for me because I want it to just stop so I can take a nice, long nap.

%d bloggers like this: