Monthly Archives: March 2015

Hong Kong Betty

Hong Kong Betty

Hong Kong Betty

This is an image of my trademarked logo.  I wanted to start a business selling items with this logo on them.  I had T-shirts made but have not made a real attempt to sell these yet.  Why not?  Mainly because I’m scared.  Scared of what?  Who knows?  Rejection?  Maybe.  Maybe I have very low self esteem.  I find it easier to sell other people’s stuff than my own.  My first born has the same problem.

How did I come up with Hong Kong Betty?  I didn’t come up with the name by myself.  My Aunt Betty, who lives in Michigan, wanted to open a new Chinese restaurant in Ann Arbor.  My brother and I were sitting in a restaurant in New York, trying to think of names for her new restaurant.  We threw out a few ideas.  We didn’t want her to name it with the traditional lame names like Chop Suey, Tea Garden or Panda Express (I might be jealous of the last name there).

Aunt Betty already had a restaurant in Belleville called “China King.”  She said she came up with that name when she saw Burger King and thought why not drop the “Burger” and replace it with “China.”  It worked and she was very successful.  She was also the only Chinese restaurant in town at the time, so who knows what difference the name made.

Have you ever noticed that no matter what kind of town it is, there is always a Chinese restaurant?  This is true in other countries as well.  I wanted to do a documentary called “Chop Suey” to take a look at this phenomenon.  There was once a Chinese guy who tried to shoot someone in the midwest and the news report made sure to show the Chinese restaurant his parents owned in town.

Aunt Betty is always doodling Chinese girls, so we thought why not put up one of these doodles as the image for the restaurant and then my brother blurted out, “Hong Kong Betty” and we both loved it.  Aunt Betty never opened that restaurant so she didn’t use the name.

I always loved the name so I kept thinking of how I could use it.  My husband drew a picture of what he thought Hong Kong Betty would look like.  She basically looked like a Chinese prostitute with a cigarette hanging from her lip.  I liked it but thought the cigarette was a bit much and dropped that.  I asked a friend who does Chinese calligraphy to help me write out letters using Chinese calligraphy strokes.  I loved what he came up with.

Being a lawyer, I spent money on another lawyer to trademark the name for me.  Remember the saying, a doctor who treats himself, has a fool for a patient.  I don’t think that’s the exact saying but you know what I’m trying to get at.  I also don’t practice anymore so I’m rusty.

Whenever friends asks if they can use me as their lawyer, I agree and say, “you get what you paid for.”  If someone I meet (and it’s usually someone I don’t know) asks for a discount, I say, “you get the friend discount, which is 10% above my normal fee.”  Because you know they are going to be a pain in the a$$.  This usually makes them think twice.

So where am I at with Hong Kong Betty?  I’m having a friend help me set up a Facebook account.  I started one but never finished it.  I’m not very savvy with this internet thing.  It took me almost a year to really start this blog.  I will also set up an Etsy account to sell the T-shirts, along with my children’s T-shirts.

Stay tuned on this and I will update you as soon as I set these shops up.

It’s the old ladies that get attacked

At 42, I started taking JKD (Jeet Kun Do) classes.  It’s now four years later and I’m still taking classes.  It’s Muay Thai these days.  Muay Thai is not my first choice, but it’s the only class offered at PMA in the afternoons.

I started out in Foundations.  A woman taking the class kept trying to get me to join, because everyone knows misery loves company.  Sifu tried to get me to join 7 years ago when he saw me tackle a little boy for a belt at my first born’s birthday party.  (It was part of the game, people.)  He stopped harassing me when I got pregnant.

I joined after thinking about it for 7 years.  I was nervous at first, because I’ve never really been physical.  I took Tai Chi back in college, a fighting type of Tai Chi at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  My teacher was a pleasant, short Asian man who was working on writing a cook book.  I was the only girl in class, but my fellow students were kind to me.  After class one day, I walked out and everything got hazy and I couldn’t stand.  I almost fainted and never went back.  I didn’t take care of myself back then and probably didn’t eat before class.

Several years later, at Boston University Law School, I took a step aerobics class.  The class after mine was a martial arts class, which I later learned, was taught by Donnie Yen’s mother.  If only I was a bigger martial arts nerd back then, I would have definitely taken her class.  Man, I missed a big opportunity there.  I should have taken the class just because a woman was teaching martial arts.  I was too much of a chicken.  She was teaching a sword class.

The woman, who finally got me to join, partnered up with me in class.  We would make sure we went to class so that we had a partner.  My first class was nerve racking.  I started doing sit ups, push ups and squats at home to prepare for that first class so I wouldn’t embarrass myself from failing the warm up.

Then my friend got a job at the school and could no longer take classes with me.  I moved up alone.  It was hard to get myself to go to class because I’d be nervous about who I would have to partner with.  There weren’t that many women in class.  It’s not like the guys are not nice, I was nervous that I would get hurt or be a bad partner.

It got harder to go.  Whenever I told my husband I wanted to quit, he would say, “it’s the old ladies that get attacked.”  I’d just look at him with a snarl on my face.  First, he called me old.  Second, he’s right, the older I get, the more likely I’ll get attacked.  Every time I seriously considered quitting, there’d be a news story on how some old lady got attacked.

So I continued.  I made it to one class a week.  At some point, I decided that if I was going to continue with martial arts that I’d have to get serious, so I recruited a friend to go to the afternoon classes with me.  We pushed each other to go to class so that we had a partner.  That friend recently quit because her contract expired and she’s moving so she didn’t want to renew.

I’m still going, twice a week.  I recruited my wonder twin to join and she’s in Foundation.  She’ll move up to my class in a few months, maybe sooner.  She’s my wonder twin because we both have the same name and we look alike (although some people think all Asians look alike), except that she is much younger than me.  I call myself, her future self, I’m who’ll she’ll be in the future, if she’s lucky enough.  She looks more like me than my own sisters.

Recently, I’ve been the only girl in my class and it’s been mentally hard.  The guys are good to me, no one tries to hurt me needlessly.  The guy I partnered up with last Thursday was trying to help me.  In fact, most of them say to me, “you can hit me harder” and I’m like, “I am.”  I’m 100 pounds.  How hard do you think I can hit?

Sometimes I pair up with this really big guy in Muay Thai class.  I learn a lot whenever I work with him.  He’s very nice.  We were getting ready to spar when he stopped and looked at me.  He said, “you’re wearing make up, I can’t hit you.”  He caught me off guard.  Why would wearing make up make a difference?  What does make up do to guys?  I usually don’t wear make up to class.  Why bother when I end up sweating.  He took it real easy on me.  After class, I asked him:

Me:     Why does make up make a difference to you?

Him:     I just can’t hit you with make up on.

Me:     What if I was a guy?

Him:     Then I’d hit you harder.

(Note to oneself:  wear make up.)




Ghetto Socialite

It dawned on me one day while driving that if I was rich, I would be considered a socialite, but because I’m not, I’m a housewife.  Then I thought, no, I’m a ghetto socialite.

People make fun of me because I go out to lunch a lot.  I’m not going to fancy places, but they could be considered fancy if you’re on a budget.

While having lunch with my wonder twin at Mizumi, after Muay Thai class, I got this idea, why not a reality show showcasing my ghetto socialite life.  I’m a stay at home mom, which means I do nothing all day long but sit around eating bons bons.  I volunteer on the PTA, charity work.  I do martial arts and zumba, workouts.  I hang out with my friends, lunches.  What else do socialites do?

My posse would include, my wonder twin, who is an heiress to a restaurant empire in Flushing.  I said we could film her cutting the line to one of her dad’s restaurants and she said, “no way, my mom would kick me in the head and say, you’re not a paying customer, go eat in the kitchen.”  I pictured her squatting in the corner of the kitchen eating a bowl of rice.

Then there’s my other friend, who is building an online empire with her husband, while living in the basement of her house.  Her husband won’t let her volunteer in school anymore because they are too busy, but all their new employees are women she met while volunteering at school for Lunar New Year.  I told her that I’m going to help her spend her newly earned fortune, which she hasn’t seen yet.

My white friend asked what her role would be in this posse and I told her that she represents the status friend.  I can tell people I have a white friend, which shows how classy I am.  You know how people are always saying they have a black friend to prove that they’re not racist?  Well,  I have a white friend to prove how I’m moving on up, I finally got a piece of the pie.

Stay tune for more “Ghetto Socialite.”