Posts Tagged ‘questions’

The name game

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

With our civil ceremony fast approaching, Panda and I are preparing to jump through the legal hoops. One of these items is the marriage license application, with which I will need to indicate how (or if) I will change my name. The only thing we’ve agreed is not necessary is for him to change his name. But when it comes to mine, I was all for adding his name as a second last name, ie, Qin Bear (assuming his full name is Panda Bear, you see). I remember reading about a blogger who had done this and claimed to be able to use Qin or Bear or Qin Bear. That’s exactly what I’d like – a tie to his family name without actually really changing my identity. On the day-to-day, I’d still be Mary Qin. When it came to anything related to him, I could be Mrs. Bear. If it was something related to the kids (who I plan on naming with his family name), I’d be Mary Bear to match their surname.

However, I’ve been digging in to it and it seems things might be more complex than that. Technically adding the extra last name is changing mine, which means I’d still have to go through the annoying process of updating all my records (no thank you). Then there’s the question of whether two last names (NOT hypenated) is truly acceptable and whether the two can sort of be used interchangeably. If I indicate my new name is Mary Qin Bear, would a check written to me as Mary Qin be just as valid? I haven’t a clue… [any lawyers in CA please feel free to chime in!]

We were talking about this last night and he sees no need for me to change my name. I’ve built an identity around it and it’s a strong name. I actually have far less of a connection with my first name than my last. Perhaps I should drop it and make my name Qin Bear! You may call me Qin from now on. 😉 I did want to add his to have that connection to his family roots and also share part of my last name with the kids. To some extent, I didn’t want complications because my surname didn’t match theirs, but Panda makes a valid point that our mothers raised us with their own last names and never had an issue. So should I just keep my name entirely? Seems a little lacking, after all this time that I was planning on adding a name.

And then of course I have intense debates with myself in terms of what the social influences are that are playing into my decision. Am I being too deferent to tradition by including his name? Am I being too headstrong by not? What is actually making me choose the way I am and does it make sense with my values? I’m thoroughly confused. Is it legal to list Mary Qin Bear on the marriage certificate but not update all my legal documents so I continue to use Mary Qin but have Bear floating in there on the marriage license? I think I might go with that.

Thinking of all this last name drama reminds me of an amusing fact: all three of my cats have different last names. Molly was given my mom’s last name, Missy was given my last name, and Smokey was given Panda’s last name. I sure hope it’s less confusing with the real kids. 😛

Half mast

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

I’ve often wondered: Is there some sort of information site that tells you when a flag should be half mast?

american flag billowing at half mast in front of police stationI mean, there are the standard holidays every year that people know about – Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and now Patriot Day. But sometimes you get the unexpected, like most recently with the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard. There was one time I remember someone important in politics died (and the reason I knew was because the flag at my post office was at half mast and I wanted to know why).

So how do all the public institutions and businesses ranging from office buildings to plazas to fast food joints know when to raise the flag? Do they check on a website? Back before the WWW came about, did they each have to call in to some pre-recorded line? I mean, this is something that fascinates me because it’s ubiquitous across America. You’ll see flagpoles all over the place, and if you fly a flag, I think you should be respectful enough to pay attention to when it should be lowered. Nowadays with the internet it’s easy to get the word out, but I’m curious how this age-old tradition was managed in decades past.

I don’t know why it intrigues me so much – perhaps just the logistics of effective communication baffling me – but I think it’s pretty amazing no matter how they do it. It takes a concerted effort to pull off something like that, yet to most people it’s probably you never think twice about. I just love how it works so well behind the scenes day in and day out. To all those who are the flag-raisers, thank you for doing what you do.

That ring thing – help!

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , ,

custom made engagement ring with purple sapphire center stone in black jewelry boxOk, so I’m still pretty new to this whole engagement thing and I am so curious what people (especially women) typically do with their rings. Do you wear it all the time? Do you always take it off to wash your hands? Do you often forget it at home? I have no idea what is normal for ring-wearing behavior and I could really use some guidance. My parents are from a generation of Chinese who did not have rings, so growing up I didn’t have role models for that sort of thing. In fact, I’m not sure if any of my relatives have rings. Well, they might have rings, but not really wear them. However, my generation of cousins are getting married now and I think some of them have rings. Still, I don’t think it’s as common or as big a deal as it is in the US.

I’m always concerned about getting the ring wet so I make sure to take it off to wash up. I’m also very careful about where I put my hand since I don’t want to scratch it up or anything. I see older women who seem to have had their rings on for so many years now that they basically forget about it. Do they also meticulously take them off each time they wash their hands? It seems like such a hassle.

What about at home behavior? Do you just keep the ring(s) on all day, every day the way I do with my stud earrings? Or is there a special place you keep your rings at home? How do you make sure to remember to wear them? Or do you just leave them and forget to put them on frequently? Just yesterday I was running late and headed out completely forgetting my ring. I figured it didn’t matter since I was getting a massage and would have to remove it anyway, but I felt a little bare. Should I just keep it on at home too?

Oh and speaking of ring etiquette/habits, do you wear yours on the left or right hand? I’ve seen both and I know different cultures have different habits, but in the US I kind of expect them to be worn on the left hand. Yet I’ve noticed a ton of people wearing rings and bands on their right ring finger… are those just decorative or is there some other meaning to that? Or is it just due to personal/cultural differences perhaps?

And finally, why am I even so concerned about this? I’m sure everybody has their own way of doing it and really it’s a symbol that I don’t need to show to the world all the time. Just because I don’t have a ring doesn’t mean I’m not committed and just because I have a ring doesn’t I’m bound. When it comes down to it, it’s what’s in my heart and mind that matter and I don’t need other people to know what my relationship status is. But, since we live in a society where we do use symbols like these and I do have a ring, I’m super curious about what other women typically do.

So tell me, what ring habits do you have?

Sunday Social: past & future

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday Social 
I really like the prompts for yesterday’s Sunday Social so I thought I’d join in! I saw them when catching up on Ramblings of a Suburban Mom and hey, better late than never, right?

1 year ago I was doing…
A bit of relaxing and enjoying life. I had just quit my job, was trying to find my way in the world of self-employment, but took a break to go back to China and attend my cousin’s wedding. Not long after, I had a grand vacation with Panda (our first time flying together!) in Hawaii before figuring out what to do with my entrepreneurial endeavors. I started by launching and later created On the blogging front things were still tootin’ along as they have been since 2009, when I decided to do more “for the public” blogging. Prior to that, my blog was really more of an online journal/diary.

5 years ago I was doing…
Training for UCLA Orientation. I had not yet met Panda (wow, can’t believe I’ve only known him for less than 5 years when it feels like ages). I still had a month left before the quarter ended and I walked for graduation. It would be 6 more months before I finished up my classes since I took an extra quarter. Over the summer, I met Panda and we began our little romance, which has been tough but rewarding! I also went back to China at the end of this summer, getting a chance to check out the Paralymics in Beijing and visit relatives.

10 years ago I was doing…
A whole lot of adjusting and trying to grapple with living in California. I had just moved from New York the year before, was finishing up my junior year at my new high school, and still kind of hated LA. The weather was too dry (my skin hurt), I was still bitter that I had been torn away from my old high school and friends with little notice (we moved within 2 weeks of me finding out), I missed NJROTC (had to transfer to an AFJROTC unit since there was no Navy one nearby), and I didn’t like having to choose between track or swimming (they’re the same season in CA but not NY). Yeah, I was probably a bit of an angsty teenager. Oh, and I had just started to hear of this college called UCLA, which hadn’t been on my radar before.

1 year from now I’ll be doing…
Some sort of steady work. I’ve decided to get back into the “normal” workforce so I certainly hope I’d have a job by then! I’d love to continue my blogging and eBay sales on the side and hopefully will get my blog above the 1 mil Alexa rank threshold. I started off around 7.4 mil just over 2 weeks ago, when I decided I wanted to bring up my rank. As of now, I’m at 4.1 mil and I’m sure it will only get harder to move up but I’m confident that I can make it into the 6-digits range. Panda and I will be engaged, but I do not expect to be doing any wedding planning yet. We’ll both be living and working together (finally!) and building a nice little home life together before the craziness of kids.

5 years from now I’ll be doing…
The motherhood thing. I’ll probably have had my first child, if not a second as well (assuming there are no fertility issues). I’m sure Panda and I will both have our hands full. By this point we should have been married for a few years (whew, thank goodness! I will be glad when the wedding is over). I have no clue on the work front what I might be doing – maybe I love my career and keep it up, or maybe I decide I’d rather stay home. My ability to make money from home could help decide, or maybe Panda will decide he wants to be a stay at home dad. If we’re both working, our parents might come help watch the kids at times. I expect to have my cat Missy as part of our household too. Molly’s old so I don’t know if she’ll still be around, plus she loves my mom so maybe she’ll stay at my parents’ place.

10 years from now I’ll be doing…
Yikes, this one is the toughest one. I really can’t imagine what life will be like in 10 years. Ideally, Panda and I will both be working in careers that challenge and excite us. We’ll have a beautiful home with all kinds of personal touches we added over the years. We’ll probably have two little kids who are just starting the education journey and dreaming of their lives as adults. We’ll have a comfortable life filled with family activities and vacations and probably a terabyte of pictures stored away. I’d love to be getting a variety of subscription boxes so I can have a ton of mini projects to do, ranging from crafts with the kids to cooking with Panda. I’m sure I’ll still have way too many skincare items but a hopeless addiction to trying new ones nonetheless. I might still be trying to use up any single bottle of nail polish. I think I’ll still be blogging and trying to win stuff and selling on eBay on the side. We’ll see!

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