Monday Dare (& Some News): Ugly People

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link to see the complete list of Monday Dares or to learn about its origin.

This week: Trust others less. Trust myself more. 

I set aside a few hours each week to work on rap lyrics. Cal is going off to college in 4.5 years. Instead of feeling forlorn and displaced with my new empty-nester status, I plan to use that time to build my rap career. It’ll be an excellent way for me to stay in touch with Cal because I could do a college tour, and I’m pretty sure she would want her school to be one of the stops. Maybe she could bring her friends. I’d give them a once-over to be certain she’s not hanging out with a bunch of hooligans, and also, that would be more people at my show. Two birds + One stone = Winning at this crazy thing called life.

I’ve been reading a lot of self-improvement books lately because I don’t want my rhymes to be about just bitches and tricks and Bentleys. Sure, that might work for the young bucks, but when you come to the Rap Game as an Asian female in her mid-thirties, your lyrics have to offer something more. I want to be insightful and inspirational, and the best way to do that is to work on myself and become a solid person. When you rap from a place of truth, the sky is the limit.

There seems to be a trend with these self-improvement books. It doesn’t even matter what broader issue they’re trying to address. Nestled in each is a browbeating about being less judgmental.

I’m always pressuring myself to be less judgey because, come on, who knows the real back story of why the balding man standing in front of me at the Burger King in Barstow with the Papa Smurf tattoo near his left eye and extremely clogged nose pores is wearing an ankle bracelet? Maybe the crowbar really DID slip out of his hand 17 times. Maybe no one’s ever taken the time to show him the benefits of a Clarisonic face brush. He’s an imperfect person. I’m an imperfect person. Should I judge?


I’ve spent some time surveying the people I’ve let into my life over the past decade. I decided not to look at the years before I was 21 because everyone is really stupid before they are 21. A lot of people are still stupid afterwards, but for the sake of my exercise, I had to draw the line somewhere.

I have allowed too many Ugly People to pass through my life. It’s probably because I lack the ability to pick up on things quickly. Ugly People are hard to spot sometimes because the most Hideous of the bunch are often the most skilled at hiding their true nature. They pretend to care about your well-being. They send you thoughtful text messages and emails because they haven’t heard from you in a minute. They invite you places and introduce you to people and laugh at your jokes and stroke your ego. Everything around them seems shinier. This is not an accident.

Everyone’s true character comes out…eventually. When I start to see the cracks and inconsistencies, I usually doubt myself. There I go, being all judgey again, I think. I let one injury slide, and then it becomes seven jabs, and before I know it, I’ve allotted years of my life to friendships that were never a “real thing” in the first place. It’s not a “real thing” when the other party is incapable of giving.

When I think of all the time I wasted on fuckjobs because I trusted our friendship more than I trusted myself…I ain’t gonna lie, I get pissed. But to operate out of spite and piss-offedness (that’s a word, yes?) would make me an even bigger loser.

The next time I read about being less judgmental, I will cross that nonsense out with my large-tip Sharpie. I may not be all that smart, but my instincts deserve to be trusted. You too. Follow your heart. That shit is legit, yo.

Monday Dare (& Giveaway!): I see you on that Facebook Grind

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link to see the complete list of Monday Dares or to learn more about its origin.

This week: Put down the goddamn phone

Sometimes, I like to play “What Would You Save If Your House Were Burning Down And You Could Only Take Three Things And Don’t Say Your Heirloom Dining Room Table Cuz Ain’t No One Strong Enough To Carry A Goddamn Solid Oak Table” with my friends. I’ve overheard a few snickers and complaints about the length of the title, but I don’t let it get to me. Hateful words often stem from jealousy. Not everyone has a flair for Game Naming.

My mint-condition collection of Yo! MTV Raps trading cards were part of My Three until recently when I had all the good ones matted and framed. I’ll be the first to admit my physical limitations. My shoulder muscles aren’t developed enough to carry an extremely large Rap Shrine.

I’d save Cal’s baby book even though I stopped updating it when she was four months old because clearly, I’m just too lazy to do even one thing right for my only child. Whenever friends and family ask to see recent pictures of Cal, I just tell them to “Facebook that shit, motherfucker.”

I thought about saying some socially acceptable answers for my other items, but that’s not how our friendship works, and I honor that.

I would save my iPhone. Everyone always responds with three items, but I don’t need that many. When you’ve got a mostly empty baby book and your best friend, what more do you need?

Vincent (don’t even try to pretend that your phone doesn’t have a name too) and I have been through a lot. We recently took a trip to San Francisco together:

I saved this picture on my computer as BestBuddies.jpg. It probably would have been a much better shot if my three friends from the Ghetto Genius Crew weren’t crowded around us. Jay Wunder, the Ghetto Genius himself, wrote afterwards on his site:Flo-Rich was glued to her fucking phone Facebooking, Twittering and Instagramming so much that Anonymous pulled her ass to the side and said she was two posts away from a goddamn intervention. 

I made an effort to keep Vincent in my purse the next evening, but my hands weren’t used to being unoccupied. My ears weren’t used to the silence. The constant ding of emails and texts and tweets and notifications from Facebook and Instagram and Words with Friends and phone calls and weather alerts is what lets me know I’M ALIVE, BITCHES.

I slipped away and locked myself in a bathroom stall. Maybe I took too long, but I’m sure there are perfectly good explanations for being in a public restroom for 47 minutes, none of which I could think of when I heard a knock on the stall door: “I SEE YOU ON THAT FACEBOOK GRIND. PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE.”The first step is admitting I have a problem. That’s what I learned from my friend H-Bomb during my intervention inside the women’s restroom at O’Reilly’s


I fucking love presents. Maybe you do too. To celebrate this holiday season, I’ll be doing a giveaway each week until the end of the year. Get connected on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page, on Instagram (username: flourishinprogress), and on Twitter (@ElizabethJLiu) for giveaway updates, (t)hug life thoughts, pictures, and other random shit.

This week: MNKR “Fuck the Fuckers” T-shirts Giveaway

I proudly wear this t-shirt in public all the time. Except when I have to go to PTA meetings. Then, I’ll throw a delicate cardigan over it, and all you can read is “UC H CKE.” Yesterday, I bumped into Kandace, one of the brains behind MNKR’s fierce line of apparel and accessories, and she generously offered TWO Fuck the Fuckers t-shirts (one women’s, one men’s) for this giveaway. Thanks, Kandace!

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with the three things you would save if we were playing “What Would You Save If Your House Were Burning Down And You Could Only Take Three Things And Don’t Say Your Heirloom Dining Room Table Cuz Ain’t No One Strong Enough To Carry A Goddamn Solid Oak Table.” Only comments left on THIS POST qualify. I’ll announce a winner next Monday.LAST WEEK’S SKULL NECKLACE WINNER: Danielle with the numbers 0212 in your email address. Please email me at flourishinprogress at gmail dot com.

first image via pinterest