"Maman, I told you not to get food at Costco again!"

I stared in dismay at the gargantuan mound of frozen fruits and various gluten-free, non-GMO things battling for space on the table.

"I know, sweet pea" she started, "but we have to eat, you know. How else? We have no more food in the fridge."

I smiled. "I know. And you know me, I'm not one to turn down food. But Papa said not to buy things at Costco anymore; you know how he feels about the way Costco treats its workers."

I watched as the conversation replayed itself for the hundredth time.

"Does your dad cook? Is he the one making meals?" she said angrily, but not too angrily. There was a glint in her eye.

I rolled my eyes. "He says the workers there are slaves."

She threw her hands up, in the way she usually does. "And what am I? Am I not a slave too? Always making meals for you and your father…"

The familiar jingle of her phone came on. Soon, the old iPhone would be mine, at the end of this month to be precise.

"Allo?" she responded. "Isabelle? Ah oui! Donc c'est decider: tu viens?" she strung rapid French, inserting her own onomatopoeia into the conversation, the way she usually does. I imitated her and she pretended to frown, but we both knew I was just teasing.

I always tease her in this fashion. I wonder what's for dinner tonight?


So much homework. I think of this as I stare at all my books. In particular, I have a big project due next week. I should have listened to Miranda; don't take English honors, she warned me.

I text Jamie, my project partner.

You there?


What subject are you doing your research on? I have the Cambodian Genocide. U?

Human trafficking, hav u talked 2 Avril?

Avril was our other partner. She was sort of a slacker, which was a bad thing because this project is worth a lot of points.

Yep. She said she'll do the comparison, not sure tho.

K. I need to leave now, bai.


I logged off, and turned to the search engine. I searched "Cambodian Genocide – Human Rights."

Several results came up. Cambodia – 1 million dead. All people wore the same black clothes. Pol Pot. If 3 people gathered, they were arrested and killed. No singing.

After an hour of research, I was done for the night. I went into the kitchen to pour myself a bowl of frozen mangoes. Here, I encountered my mom.

"Not in bed yet?" she queried.

"Nope." I retrieved the bag from the freezer, dropped several other bags in the process. "Homework."

My mom clucked and shook her head disapprovingly. She doesn't believe in homework. Then again, she believes in equal health care for everyone, something which she should know is simply not a possibility.

"In France," she would tell me, "everybody has equal health care. You don't have to pay to get urgent care, unlike this crazy country."

I poured some mangoes into a bowl. It made a plinking sound, like a mango avalanche.

"How come you still aren't done?"

"Well, see, if you would let me have the iPhone 6 plus, then maybe I could install this app I told you about with which I could complete my project much more efficiently," I not-so-subtly hinted.

"Fais attention, Mandy. Be careful what you wish for."

I stomped back to my room, huffing. As I lay in bed, watching Korean drama on my computer and sucking on the sweet, cold mangoes, I thought of all my friends who had the latest iphone.

Sometimes I feel as if I truly live in a despairing world.


Today, my mother bought an electric can opener. I told her I didn't see what was wrong with the old one.

"It's amazing, hein?" she smiled in awe over the opening can, as it if were the parting of the Red Sea. "I'm sorry, but that's the way to go."

I'm convinced we live in a world where technology is taking over everything. I could handle computers taking the place of textbooks and flashy "as seen on TV" kitchen Aids replacing hand beating the eggs, but this was too much. Gone would be the pleasure of hard labor, the grind of the mechanisms and feel of the cold, blistering metal under my hands as I prepped the can of garbanzo beans. No, all of that would be replaced by a heartless machine who didn't need my help.

We live in a dismal world.


6 pounds.

That is how much weight I gained while visiting New York. All of the walking to and fro various towers was all in vain – 6 pounds of chocolate, cheese, and boba milk tea are currently sitting proudly on my stomach.



Operation Deflation has begun: today I begin a new life. Gone are the days of sitting around on my bed and watching youtube videos while snacking on peanut-butter covered bananas. I will get up every morning 20 minutes before my usual time to do planks, crunches, squats, and other disgusting things. I will drink green tea every morning, and limit my portion sizes per meal. And no more ice cream.


I'll start tomorrow.


Okay; new order of operations. Limiting food sizes seems to not be an option. Also, getting up at 5:30 in the morning, although sounds good the night before, has turned out not to be a feasible plan.

A new plan must take place; I will detox.

4/26/16, later that day

My mom, on her usual Costco raids, has brought back important loot in the form of cleansing teas.

"Je suis pas sure que tu aimera…sweetie (I'm not sure you'll like it, sweetie)," she announced from the kitchen.

"Oh, of course I will. I love tea," I told her, taking on an urbane tone to match my hipster needs.

I approached the cabinet, an area I frequented a lot. I hummed happily and opened the familiar odious cream colored doors to come face to face with said tea. My eyes scanned the ingredient list, my head nodding approval of each ingredient.

Until I came to the last one. Licorice. Licorice.

I screamed and dropped the box containing the forbidden stuff. My mom came running in frantically. She should have been just as traumatized as I, after having made such an unforgivable mistake. But she just let out a relieved gasp and reprimanded me for worrying her unnecessarily.

"Unnecessary? How can you call this unnecessary?"

Apparently you can, which I was left to find out in my room.


I have a Model United Nations conference coming up. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, MUN is an institution of the highest prestige in which students with only top GPAs come together and show off their top notch negotiation skills in a simulation of an actual United Nations conference.

Pah. I wish.

Instead, it was a hellish place in which our teachers dumped all students whose parents were Asian. There, we were expected with no knowledge whatsoever to discuss solutions to world problems that even the persons in charge of it in real life have no answer to.

I got the country of Iran on the subject of Diplomatic Asylum. Just peachy, ain't it?


Yesterday was the first day of the conference. I've already located all the arrogant jerks. China thinks he's better than everyone else just because he actually researched. Egypt thinks he knows what he's talking about – an affirmation I can discredit based on his proposition to transport water in helicopters instead of pipelines. Syria thinks he's the smartest one there, despite being the only senior in a beginner conference, and proposing to flood Ecuadorial Guinea in order to conserve water.