The Best Quotes and Moments from the MTV Nicki Minaj Documentary: “My Time Again”

nicki minaj mtv my time again

Last night MTV aired the documentary Nicki Minaj: My Time Again centering around her recent VMA performances and new album. I’ve been listening to the Pinkprint non-stop just like what I did with the Beyonce album when it dropped in 2013 so imagine my delight when I heard there would be a TV special (apparently this is part two of a trilogy, YASSS).

There are several occasions of Onika crying, tearing up, and about to cry on television—it is incredibly refreshing to see the tough queen of rap not worried about being seen as vulnerable. Candidly yet without any privacy-compromising details, she discusses the end of her recent long term relationship, abortion, and wanting to be a mother eventually.

The segment shows both personal and professional sides of Onika, presenting her as a hardworking perfectionist who keeps challenging herself while being extremely appreciative of her supporters and coworkers. During her VMA performance rehearsals, she definitely was not afraid to give out constructive criticisms for others or admit her own slights. During a break, she surprises the dancers by showing them the finished Anaconda music video for the first time, and it is obvious from the excited shrills how happily proud everyone is of the end result. Then she rallies everyone back to rehearse once again with enthusiasm.

When she finally has time to visit her childhood friends in Southside Jamaica, Queens to recharge from her hectic schedule, she gives us a tour of where she grew up. She pointed out the streets where she used to see drug dealers and crack vials, and stands in front of the land where her father burned down her family’s house. Nicki pays her regular visit to her favorite local nail salon and draws a crowd of schoolchildren outside. She is touched by their love for her, and hopes that she serves as an example of being able to make it out of this rough neighborhood. After shouting at the screaming crowd that she loves them, she signs a little girl’s piece of lined paper “Be good in school” and tells the kids repeatedly to stay in school from inside her chauffeured car.

In the studio sharing her new album with fellow rappers D bigz and Brinx Billions, they joke around with her giddily, but when Nicki discusses how she doesn’t just want to be a “female rapper,” they support her statement: “She came up with the dudes and surpassed every other dude, and is now able to stand next to the people that she looked up to…She’s one of the best rappers.”

I highly recommend watching the 60-minute special (Link to full video here. Really 41 minutes without commercials) but I also went ahead and typed out some of her own words verbatim below. You’re welcome.

On “Anaconda

“I wanted to make a sexy record that was fun. I wanted it to be super singalong…It was geared towards being proud of your body. It empowers women. There are lots of thick girls who tell me, ‘Thank you.’”

On her recent low point in life

“…Sometimes when things are difficult, we try not to see them, but I’m learning how to face reality.”

On the emotional aspect of her new album 

“I didn’t know when I set out to make this album that it would entail an emotional roller coaster in my own real life…It’s just that I write my life.” 

“I didn’t want to make an album that was just being fake-happy: I wanted to deal with it, and leave it, and move on, and be real-happy.” 

“Brokenness leads to such beautiful art sometimes, and I think I was really really broken writing this. The brokenness is okay as long as it inspires people.”

“Imma put my album out…for girls that want to have some truth and who see my heart in it. I just want people to see that it’s heartfelt.”

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Life Lessons I Learned from Yoga, or How Yoga Keeps Me Sane

yoga blog post image

Here’s a pretty nature scene photo I took in Taiwan, because it’s kind of weird to take photos in yoga class.

I’ve been doing yoga consistently for about 10 years now. If it were a person, I would marry it.

In the past year or so, I took a hiatus from blogging here, not on purpose but just due to the sheer amount of the priorities I made willingly. I switched jobs twice. Some new faces entered into my life while some left. I continued some hobbies and dropped others. I know everyone goes through changes like these, and for me, yoga has been a trusty companion that helps restore my physical and inner balance through my ups and downs.

Yoga releases the stress caused by my demanding work projects or upsetting situations. It reassured me during my multiple waves of quarterlife crisis by calming my crippling anxiety and panic about uncertainties. I have silently shed a few tears during Child pose and shavasana multiple times. In my opinion and experience, this form of moving meditation is one of the best methods of anger management. When I would enter a studio furious or disappointed, after exerting myself to exhaustion for a while, I leave knowing that I can eventually forgive, let go, and move on. Yoga has provided important positive reminders of my blessings and confirmations of my strengths through all of my breakups and heartbreaks. When friends tell me about certain hardships they’re facing that I cannot help with besides offering emotional support, I pray for them and send positive energy towards their way when I shut my eyes during lotus pose.

There were plenty of triumphs and happy moments to share with my metaphorical old friend too. During the classes I attended right after achieving something important to me, I felt invincible from controlling my body to take actions in just the ways I want. Very often when my mind is cleared from moving from pose to pose, the things I appreciate and those I treasure in my life would randomly pop into my mind, and I would be grateful for their existence. And maybe it’s all the “heart-opening poses,” but when I am happily in love, I would smile and giggle through the movements and my affection for that person would feel intensified somehow afterwards. At the peaks of my self-confidence, I would feel extra powerful and beautiful from being able to move gracefully, making me feel like a badass Peaceful Warrior.

Through doing and the words from instructors over the years, I’ve learned the following from yoga:

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Quarterlife Lessons From the HBO Show “Girls”: S2E6-E9

(Post about the season 2 premiere is here, the post about S2E2 is here, the one about S2E4 is here. S2E5 here. No, I didn’t write about episode 3, and I slacked off for 4 episodes. Stop yelling at me.)

Tonight is going to be the season two finale of the HBO show Girls, in order to honor Lena Dunham, I decided to finally stop procrastinating, hunker down, and blog about the last 4 episodes during my one-month blogging hiatus.

——————–

“Boys” Season 2 6th episode or #16 overall

Or the episode where you realize that Ray is a lot more screwed up that you thought before

(Official HBO recap video and “Inside the Episode”)

This episode is aptly named because just like none of the four central female protagonists have matured into real women yet, none of the male ones are real men either. They’re dudes, they’re guys, and they’re boys.

I love, love, love the scenes with Adam and Ray. When Adam randomly asks Ray for help, he was flattered that someone would deem him manly enough for “extra muscle type of backup.: And when Ray agrees, Adam awkwardly says “Ummm alright. Ummm thank you,” it’s so endearing but you realize that he is simply not used to expressing gratitude. When will our society stop pushing socially constructed gendered roles and instead encourage open communication in men, starting when they’re young’uns? I want to know.

Anyway, I think what happened is that before, Ray at least feels like he’s better than a few people in the world and that included Hannah, but now that Hannah might become a semi-legit writer, he feels the need to belittle her to feel better about himself. Ray tries to get Adam to agree with him, thinking it’ll be real easy to hate on an ex, but Adam surprisingly is very honest about the situation, which is that “everyone’s difficult” and they are both flawed.

LESSONS:

  1. If you have to barf in public, try to do it into a trash can– When Hannah gets offered an e-book deal verbally (…seriously, I would ask for that stuff in a legal document to sign and date), she gets so nervous that she throws up right outside a café, onto a tree by the curb to much of the other patrons’ horror. I used to get sick a lot when I was in elementary school, so I know from personal experience that you should try to master the skill of holding that in or run for the nearest dumpster, ditch, or toilet.
  2. Women and men have very different ideas about what outlines the steps mark the progress of a romantic relationship.- When Booth Jonathan asks Marnie to host a party at his house for him, both Shoshanah and Marnie immediately assumes that this means he thinks she’s girlfriend material when really, Marnie’s just a good PR hostess to him. I can totally see the ladies’ reasoning: “Oh I’ll be presented as the lady of his house to all his friends and party guests? I must be his girlfriend! Totes.” It is tricky to know whether someone introduces you to his friends because he likes you and wants his friends to get to know you, or if as soon as you go to the bathroom, he smirks and boasts to his friends “Yeah so I’ve banging THOSE great tits wassup?!”  Continue reading

Quarterlife Lessons From the HBO Show “Girls”: S2E5

(Post about the season 2 premier is here, the post about S2E2 is here, the one about S2E4 is here. No, I didn’t write about episode 3. Stop yelling at me.)

Yes I’m writing this blog post on Valentine’s Day, because that is what a single girl like me do on Single Awareness Day.

ANYWAY! So “One Man’s Trash” is definitely the hottest episode so far, but also the most thought-provoking. I feel like this episode was sort of a fairy tale. Not the kind with the “happy ever after” ending, but the Grimms’ Brothers’ kind that’s dark and with a deep moral (Did you know in the original version of Little Mermaid, she DIES IN THE END? Well, now you know).

I feel like both Hannah and Joshua needed this. They’re both at a f-ed up point of their lives, and they’re just two extremely lonely people who just want to give and receive affections without facing the reality. When they happened to meet at the same place and same time, they live out this sort of temporary fantasy to escape their situations, which are full of problems. It’s kind of like what people say about a foreign vacation fling: It’s only so much more magical and passionate because this stranger is exotic to you, and you don’t need to care enough to get to know them as a person since you know this won’t last.

From Hannah’s angle, she needed to know what happiness feels like, even if it’s built on a false foundation. Ignorance is bliss, no? And with a man who does not know about her past, she is finally comfortable to ask for what she wants, whether it was in bed or making Joshua beg her to stay. Hence the super hot sex scenes!…

As for Joshua, I feel like he was SO NICE to Hannah because he knows he was supposed to do all these wonderful things for his wife, who left because he got too busy and ignored her basically, and this was making up for his past mistakes indirectly.

When Hannah started crying in Joshua’s bed, I started crying too. She’s so happy that she’s finally happy for once but she realizes that this isn’t real. This person doesn’t know her at all, and she doesn’t know him either. It hit her all of the sudden that she wants this level of happiness but with someone else. She tries to share parts of herself with Joshua and asks him to do the same, and unsurprisingly, he avoids it and runs away.

*SIGH* Here are some things I thought were meaningful from the show:

  1. 1.    If you’re planning on apologizing to someone, say “I’m sorry” early or you just sound like you’re excusing yourself.- Ahem, Hannah! People tend to ramble a bit when they feel bad about something, but verbalize it sooner than later. And when in doubt, apologize again in the middle and or the end.
  2. 2.    If someone’s seems too good to be true, they probably are.- Handsome and fit doctor with a great house? Yep, still married.
  3. 3.    If you’re dating someone and you have the ability to lift them up on a counter, DO IT because it’s SO HOT.- Just be careful. Don’t drop them and make sure there are no sharp or breakable obstacles.
  4. 4.    People are afraid to admit that they’re lonely, but we all really are sometimes.- Hannah has friends and family, but she only realized how lonely she is in “such a deep, deep way” until she had a taste of conditional intimacy with Joshua.
  5. 5.    There are many things in life one can try to achieve: financial success, popularity, the dream job, “being cool,” etc., but the one thing that is the hardest to accomplish and the most important one is happiness. 

Lastly, to people who say that Lena Dunham isn’t attractive enough to sleep with Patrick Wilson, you’re part of the reason why 1 in 150 fifteen year old girls suffers from anorexia.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chin

Pt 2: Strange Advice My Dad Gave Me On Very Important Things in Life

Still the most badass picture of my dad ever. Worth reposting.

This week is Papa Lu’s birthday. Since he enjoyed telling his friends that I wrote a blog post of things he told me last time, I decided to write another one.

————–Encounter with a Gangster————–

 

Recently I was walking down Mission Street with my dad, and a man came up to us and spewed made-up words in a fake imitation Chinese accent out of nowhere. Maybe he got inspiration from Rush Limbaugh. I don’t know. Anyway, I was SO offended and furious, especially he could clearly see I was with my father. I’m pissed if you diss me but if you want to disrespect my older family members? HO! PREPARE FOR A SMACK DOWN!

…At the same time, I knew my dad hates violence or unnecessarily conflicts, so I just gave the ignorant man a death stare and asked rhetorically “Are you done yet?” The man laughed manically and exclaimed “Oh the Chinese speak English!” I gave him my beautiful, elegant middle finger while walking away.

My dad could tell I was riled up so he sighed and said “Do you remember when I used to live in an apartment with three guys in college? Let me tell you…

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Amazing Life Advice from Older and Wiser Ladies

I am trying to take a peek at a store that has not opened yet. This pretty much sums up my attitude in life.

Last week thanks to my job, I had the chance to hang out with twenty women who are mostly mothers for a whole day. I know, don’t be too jealous of me. They were bloggers we invited to an event for Method who makes green cleaning products. These ladies were inspiring with how much they do and how well they do it. As more wine started flowing, I think I actually told some of them that they were role models. How embarrassing!

Anyway, over this course of time, many of them bestowed some valuable life lessons upon me, which I happily and gratefully accepted. I also heard some stories about being pregnant and giving birth, but you can Google those.

This couldn’t have come at a better time since I just turned the age of 24, AND found a strand of grey hair on myself for the first time ever a few weeks ago. Almost everyone’s reaction when they found out how young I am is “Wow, 24! That’s a wonderful age!” But many women slightly older than me have said that quarter life crisis, just like midlife crisis, comes in waves and may last for years. Needless to say, I’m a bit freaked out and scared.

Overall, the ladies told me to not worry so much. I am a Type A person who tries to plan everything in her life, from miniscule things like working out on which weekdays to far away schemes like where I plan to live when I’m 30. Of course, the majority of my meticulous plans fall through, but I can’t help making to do lists, both on paper and in my head.

Many of these smart women admitted that they had similar perspective when they were my age, but gradually came to realize that there’s no point in trying to plan something before the situation arises because you can’t predict the future. Life has turned out SO differently than what they imagined years ago, but they wouldn’t want it any other way. So just deal with making decisions as the choices appear, and not get stressed about them beforehand.

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