Rock-Solid Ego

(Los Angeles) Scientists discover that people may just be self-absorbed balls of insecurity. This discovery came after an observational study of one woman over the course of a three-hour period.

Scientists were initially interested in studying the behaviors of prospective students in a social setting and how “peacocking” or the need to impress, manifests in these types of interactions. However, scientists discovered that the woman provided an unexpected alternative area of research.

“We were really excited with our initial findings,” the lead scientist noted, during a recent press conference. “The data suggested that prospective students are really full of themselves.”

When asked for examples, the lead scientist noted this could be seen in the reactions to questions on the graduate degree of interest, and the manner in which degree(s) were considered and rejected.

“When a prospective student responded that they were interested in a Doctoral program, another student said, ‘Whooooooo.’”

The scientist went on: “Then, there was also a conversation between two young men about having considered, and rejecting, a medical degree. The content of the discussion appeared civil but the exchange was reminiscent of ancient wrestling between olive oil-coated men.”

During the data collection process however, the scientists notably noted the woman’s demeanor when recounting such interactions.

“She was really annoyed, and kinda mean.”

“I was super annoyed,” the woman confirmed. “I started to talk about what happened, and I couldn’t help getting riled up about it.”

Yeah, you didn’t want to go to med school because you didn’t want to spend 20 years learning? Oh, your brother is a doctor? Oh, and yours is too?,” the woman went on, unprompted and in a sarcastic tone.

“As if the choice of not attending medical school was entirely up to that kid,” said the woman in her usual voice, rolling her eyes.

Scientists noted that shortly after, the woman shifted to statements that suggested guilt and remorse.

“We noted that after initial sarcasm,” scientists explained, “the woman’s neural and verbal processing changed. We noticed a spike in the use of tangents and qualifiers in her speech pattern, indicating that she wanted to remove herself existentially from her earlier behavior and statements.”

“I felt bad,” the woman confirmed. “They were just kids – what did they know anyway?”

After quick conference with other scientists, the study shifted to catalyst identification for the feelings of guilt and remorse observed in the woman. Scientists reviewed the woman’s prior transcripts and observational data, and discovered the key to such insights: the woman.

“I told them why I started to feel bad,” the woman recounted. “They are me.”

The scientists further explained: “[The woman] identified with these children, and the insecurities they expressed.”

“Her sarcasm was an indication of the self-loathing she was experiencing, and transference onto others,” the lead scientist went on, “not to discount the woman’s assessment of the situation.”

“They did seem really annoying.”

The study concluded that the root of the woman’s annoyance was self-identification with the source of such annoyance.

“I wanted to be thought of as smart and capable,” the woman shared. “I mean, I don’t want to be like that weirdo who said she’s been working on her application for three years. Something’s wrong with her.”

“But,” the woman course-corrected, chagrin look on her face, “I’m probably weird too. I want to do a good job, and have people like me.”

The study’s abstract notes that further study is needed to conclude, to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, that the theory applies to a broader population.

Such future studies can include a control study with psychopaths, or rocks.

(image source)


Don’t Worry Baby

(Los Angeles) One woman has started using Tinder without knowing what she was doing, according to official sources. She downloaded the popular dating app on November 10, 2017.

“Lots of people I know been using it,” remarked the woman, when asked why she chose Tinder. “Well, actually two… but one is now engaged!”

So with little instruction or wherewithal, the woman started using the app. Mishaps began immediately.

First the woman became confused with which direction to swipe.

“I was looking at the app upside down to get my friend’s opinion,” explained the woman. “But even then it was still confusing.”

“I would just look at her and ask, ‘What do you I do?’ She also did not know.”

After adapting to slow swiping in order to confirm the “Nope” or “Like,” the woman soon remembered that being on a dating app means needing to use the app.

“For some reason, the woman forgot she needed to be social,” reported one official who asked to remain anonymous. “How can someone forget that (they’re) on a dating app?”

The woman soon adapted to sending messages and responding in kind. Through use of the app however, she found that there were subcultures of which she was not even aware nor a part. These included:

– “420” as a reference to marijuana usage, not an area code;

– Selfie hotspots of bathroom, gym, and gearshift of vehicle;

– Vitamix; and

– Man toys, including cars, motorcycles, boats, etc.

“Men also apparently liked to begrudgingly claim that they are tall,” observed the woman. “They write, ‘I guess it’s a thing here,’ but it’s obvious they’re proud of their height.”

Officials have since confirmed that tall men do do this, through an industry term known as the “humblebrag.”

Despite many men posting multiple shirtless photos of themselves, the woman did connect with a few men and began exchanging messages. The official report notes that this was when the woman met M (name withheld for privacy purposes).

“M seemed cute,” recalled the woman, “he was Italian, and had an interesting job in government.”

Officials have reconstructed the following timeline:

– Messages were exchanged on Tinder on November 10, 11 and 12

– WhatsApp was then used for messaging starting November 13 and phone messaging on November 15, with messages including:

EXHIBIT A (11/13):

M: Hello dear

M: How are you doing

Woman: Hey M?!

M: How are you doing

Woman: How was your day?

M: Bright

M: Do you live alone

M: Please tell me more about yourself

M: I want to be more than a friend to you


EXHIBIT B (11/13):

Woman: Are you by chance up for talking on the phone sometime?

M: Yes

M: But I have a lot of Italian accent… I hope you can understand?

Woman: Would it be better if we met in person?

M: Yes sure… I will really like that

Woman: Great… How about Saturday [November 18]?

M: I will be at work then dear

Woman: Oh, ok… When could work for you?

M: 25th of November

Woman: Hahah, ok. That would work for me.

M: Oh really… It will?

M: How as your day?

M: Hi baby

M: Are you there


EXHIBIT C (11/16 on WhatsApp):

M: Did you sleep well last night?

Woman: Yeah, it was so nice! I should try harder to get more sleep.

M: Lol

M: Hope your job isn’t stressful?

Woman: My job can be stressful but not all the time… Is your job stressful?

M: Well not stressful, but I do travel in between my work

Woman: Oh, travel for work always seem fun. Do you like the travel part?

M: Yes I do

Woman: Ok I’m about to go into the subway so I’ll lose service. Hope you have a good day if I don’t get a chance to message!

M: Okay baby… But you can receive text messages from your phone number??

M: I can text you

Woman: Yes!… It’s just sometimes I’m too busy to get my messages or respond.

M: Okay baby

M: Hope your job pays you well… Coz you sleep a lot


EXHIBIT C (11/16 continued through phone message):

M: Honey I want to ask you a question

Woman: Oh, ok sure

M: Baby did you delete your tinder… I deleted mine coz I found you I want you to do the same

Woman: That is very sweet but we haven’t even talked or met yet?!…

M: Yes but I believe we have a lot of chemistry

M: Talk to me on what’s App

M: I want to share something with you

M: Please delete the tinder app tpo

M: Too*


EXHIBIT C (11/16 continued back through WhatsApp):

M: ????

M: Baby

Woman: Sorry I can’t keep up with the different apps!? You wanted to share something?

M: Yes baby



M: Are you there

M: Don’t you like????

Woman: Wow!? Thanks for sending me these. I have to get going but I hope you have a good night!

M: Don’t you want to talk to me?

Woman: Sorry! I have work to do tonight and I need to go to bed too!

M: Okay….

M: Are you interested in me?


When officials recited the timeline for the woman’s concurrence, her response was noted as “Yeah…”

“Yeah…,” also responded an anonymous source close to this matter. “(We were) really rooting for the woman to have a good experience. But we still have hope (for her).”

“Everything will turn out alright.”

The Age of Old

(Los Angeles) Officials report that one woman is decidedly aging ungracefully.

“Based on what we know of her demeanor, we would have expected that she embrace aging with wisdom and humility,” says one official, who requested to remain anonymous.

“However, that is clearly not the case.”

Aging gracefully means taking steps to stay healthy, including remaining active. According to sources, watching too much television reduces life expectancy. For every hour of television watched, those over the age of 25 lose 22 minutes of life expectancy.

Upon discovering “The Crown,” “Victoria,” “The Good Place,” and “Mindhunter,” officials estimate the woman has lost 10 hours and 42.4 minutes*, not including the time she has lost to watching “Jeopardy!” while eating dinner.

“Whoa,” responded the woman, when informed of this calculation.

Aging gracefully also means having beauty routines, and then being discreet about them. The woman recently started coloring her gray because the combination of color and texture, as she puts it, “was horrible and wonky.” Soon after coloring her hair however, she blurted out to a group of relative strangers that she just colored her hair and then added nothing else. When officials inquired of her skincare routine, the woman sheepishly answered that she usually washes her face, and applies lotion and facial sunscreen.

“Sometimes I forget though,” the woman responded, defensively. “Or I do not feel like it.”

Aging gracefully can also mean being discreet about age. The woman is admittedly blessed with appearing much younger than her age, and is often asked about it in subtle ways.

“In work settings, people often ask me how long I have worked with my organization,” the woman shared. “I know that they are really asking how long in order to calculate my age, but just recently I blurted out ‘Almost 18 years!’ You can see the shock on their face, and see their lips moving as they calculate under their breath.”

“And then I remember I was not going to answer that question anymore.”

While adjusting to being 40 is a transition that many do everyday, this woman still finds it aging surprising in general.

“I did not really think that I would be this old,” confided the woman. “Not because I was living a reckless life, but because I was not consciously choosing it.”

“But as Helen Hayes once wisely said, ‘Age is not important unless you are a cheese.’”

(image source)

* Mathematical evidence of woman’s shortened life expectancy:

Season 1 of “The Crown”: 577 minutes

Season 1 of “Victoria”: 392 minutes

Season 1 of “The Good Place”: 287 minutes

Season 1 of “Mindhunter”: 496 minutes

Total viewing time: 1,752 minutes or 29 hours and 12 minutes

1 hour of TV viewing time = 22 minutes of life expectancy lost

So 29 hours and 12 minutes of viewing time = 642.4 minutes of life expectancy lost

642.4 minutes = 10 hours and 42.4 minutes

Who Do You Want To Be Today?

Editor’s Letter

Forty is a birthday milestone that should be celebrated. According to Wikipedia, if I was born in Asia between 1950 and 1955, I would be dead by now.

But I was not and I am not. I was born in 1977 in what is considered a “more developed region,” so I can expect to live to a glorious… 72.

So… moving on. What to think now of being 40? Last year, I thought 40 meant I needed to be “accomplished” in my life – a completed bucket list to show that I have lived a life worth living. Loyal readers may recall the “Twenty Before Forty” series, which still remains to be published in coming months, that reflects this perspective.

But as much as this checklist has been challenging and fun to complete, I’ve realized that I was going about this 40th birthday all wrong. Turning 40 shouldn’t be about the things I’ve done or even who I’ve become, but who I want to strive to be… What character do I want to be and show up in the world? 

First is temperance, as described by the VIA Institute on Character. (I’ve never been a big drinker, but this is not what I mean.) Temperance includes virtues such as forgiveness, humility, and self-regulation. While I am far from the perfect role model for temperance, I do want to be more accepting of others’ shortcomings, and show empathy and acceptance rather than condemnation. This goes a long way in dealing with bad drivers and annoying cashiers. I also want to be more humble, and recognize that it’s better for accomplishments to speak for themselves rather than needing affirmation and explicit approval. I often let my emotions or impulses get the best of me, so greater self-control would also make me happier. As I’ve learned unfortunately several times, a tuna melt, corn dog and half-dozen doughnuts does not. 

Second is courage, which includes being brave, persevering, and being honest. I was once called brave in 11th grade for telling a boy I liked him, despite not actually knowing that much about him. But I never really considered the possibility of my actually being brave until recently. By speaking up about how I feel and what I want, I’ve experienced a vulnerability I was too afraid to endure in the past. As for perseverance, the experience of online dating more than suffices. And yet, soon I’ll be embarking on that journey again because I hope for love and companionship and I know I can do what it takes to keep that a possibility. And finally, honesty about who I am and what I need. This includes accepting and even loving my introvertedness, and not shying away from fiercely protecting my alone time – even if this comes up against my desire to please others, which is also strong and not always for my highest good. 

Third is transcendence, including an appreciation of beauty and excellence, hope for the future, humor, and gratitude. Appreciating beauty and excellence requires slowing down, and really seeing. I was fortunate to visit Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks recently, and there is truly nothing like a solo hike to allow you to see – really see – nature around you, including every alarming lizard, cheeky squirrel, and noble tree. And despite nothing that can prove it or support it, I have hope for the future. It is hope that compels me to try online dating again, hope that I can make a difference through my work, hope that I can exceed Wikipedia’s expectations and live another 40 years to appreciate, enjoy, contribute and help improve this world around us. For all of this must be with humor, as I cannot imagine my first 40 years without laughter. Being able to laugh at the world, and most importantly myself, is the quickest way I know to endear and be endearing, to make the rough patches endurable, and the high points worth sharing. As Maya Angelou wisely puts it, 

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

 And finally, gratitude. I have so many things to be grateful for, the people in my life and the life I have lived, that it is truly beyond any comprehension or deserving… That I have this space, this Tastes Like Onion to show up in the world and express my found voice, is amazing.  

Thank you for allowing me to express gratitude that you have joined me on this journey. Thank you for choosing to spend your precious time to be with me, one post at a time. Thank you for indulging the musings of one 40-year-old woman.

Thank you. 
Warmest regards, 

S. T. 


(image source)

He’s Just Not That Into You

(Los Angeles) One woman’s attempts to woo an acquaintance have utterly failed, according to official sources. 

She first met this person several months ago through a shared interest, and had exchanged a number of awkward but un-noteworthy hugs since that first meeting. It had only been in recent weeks, however, that her interest turned romantic.

“I was intrigued by him at the beginning,” said the woman in an official statement. “He was traveling to Italy, my favorite country in the world. But then I started dating someone,” continued the woman, “and I did not really think about him in that way.”

When asked what had changed, she cited being single, and the classic textbook indicator, jealousy. 

“He mentioned going on a date,” noted the woman in an official statement, “and I felt this flare of jealousy.” 

“He was supposed to only like me!”

Since then, the woman initiated several attempts to subtly convey her interest. These included asking him if he wanted to hang out to sketch (to a quick ‘no’ and head-shaking response), telling him she was hungry (to entice a dinner invitation that never came), and asking him how to know when you are in someone’s “friend zone” (‘It is personality,’ he says). 

“I do not know how I could have been more clear,” the woman went on to report. “I literally told him that if he wanted to do something together, let me know, but that if he did not want to I would not be offended.”

This last statement garnered a glance in her direction, according to her peripheral vision, but nothing further.

While reliable sources describe the love interest as “awkward” and “kinda creepy,” the woman had been undeterred in her pursuit. This is no longer the case, according to official sources.

“If he is not interested in me, there is no point in forcing him otherwise,” the woman noted. “Or this might be my rebound crush, in which case it is good that nothing is happening now. Either way, the people on the Gold Line knew what was happening, even if he did not…”

“Besides, if we stay just friends – it is the perfect formula for romance!” 

(image source)