Miss Chinese New York 2013 – Part 17

July 10th

To void the world of bias and subjectivity is nearly impossible. When it’s in our favor, we never complain or rebel, but when it’s against us, we want to bite off the person or organization that’s responsible. Personally, I’m probably the same way. When I was “selected” to participate in the redemption round of the Miss Chongqing competition, I was more than happy to cast the unselected aside. I also fought hard for that role.

A month prior, we were asked to submit a few memorable photos of ourselves ranging from childhood to present-day and a art platter made from fruits and vegetables. I submitted them immediately, not knowing what they were for until about a month later. this just shows you, never assume anything and always put your 100% into everything even if you don’t understand why. Anyway, so I was selected among 3 other to partner up with one of Miss Chongqing contestant who were eliminated, to give one of them a chance for redemption.

Though the taping was only for the 4 of us, everyone needed to come along to the studio. The taping began fairly early in the day. We got a chance to briefly speak with our partner and come up with a strategy for each of the rounds. Round 1 was a mini game consisting of a roller tape and a ping pong ball.

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The four of us cleared the challenge at around the same time. I lost the first ball but made the second one in. Key is to slowly roll the ball across the measuring tape. Round 2 was Q&A, except this time, we weren’t given the answers ahead of time. I helped with a few questions but we didn’t even come close to answering as many questions as the dynamic local dual.

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Now may be a good time to explain how the elimination works. Each round, the teams gains a point for winning the round. At the end of the competition, the team with the most point receives a free pass and is saved from elimination determined from the previous round. First round went to contestant 20, or the blue team.

Round 2 was two-part: part I involved one partner, Miss NY, to draw to the best of her abilities, a mystery item that is hidden under the box in front of her. We were given a minute to draw the item. The 4 items for each of the teams were… well, you can tell in the pictures…

Hairband

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Remote control

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Ashtray

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And mine was instant noodles

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After a minute of prep, we happily sketched away.

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Part II of the round involved more than guessing the item. The challenge is that you have to give an elevator pitch to sell the product. The most creative pitch was given by the contestant number 11, the remote control. Her remote controlled anything and everything, very futuristic and made me want to own it. Needless to say, they took the round.

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But hey, at least we looked like the best matched pair, one black and one white.

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My favorite round was the third one, vegetable art! I started cooking at a tender age of 12. I enjoy food, a little too much at times, and I enjoy working with my hands, so I can’t think of a best hobby than cooking. I learned to slice and have had plenty of practice. But I did watch some YouTube videos on how to carve. I also like to think I’m pretty creative, but since this wasn’t my competition, I went along with my partner’s idea of a peacock. It would have made for a neater presentation if we had madelons though. Rushed for time, not everything was perfect. Also, notice I was in heels the whole time. It was very painful.

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As I strutted down the runway, I prayed I won’t trip and spill everything. In the end, we got this round in the bag.

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The last and final round was story telling from a picture. Mine was taken at an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic. There were a lot of stray cats on the resort and new kittens for that matter. Being an animal lover, I lured a kitten into my arms with a hot dog. I didn’t even notice when the picture was taken, pure candid.

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We didn’t get a clear winner for the last round, but elimination had also taken place. The only Miss Chongqing contestant that didn’t win a round was unfortunately eliminated first. The remainder three pair held hands and waited for the verdict.

Drumrolls…

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You all pass!!!

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Yay!!!!

It was bittersweet. Final group photo in front of CBG network.

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Video Blog #1: My Tip on How I Deal with Stress

I want to start a series talking about day-to-day situations that arise and tips on how I would respond. Basically a daily video snippet of something I find interesting to talk about. I’m not a psychologist, a health guru, or a know-it-all, but hopefully some of the things I say resonates and can help someone out there.

Anyway, here’s the first of many video blogs about how to deal with the stress and anxiety of life’s goals. Make a plan, follow through and congratulate yourself every step of the way.

Miss Chinese New York 2013 – Part 16

July 9th

With the temperature reaching unbearable conditions, we received a special treat to the “flea market” and hours of fun at karaoke. We spent the morning browsing through stores upon stores of Chinese memorabilias, snacks and trinkets. The marketplace was actually situated in a structure that resembles the architecture of olden China from way back when. You can see parts of it in the upper left corner of our group photo. Chinese people also really like man-made waterfalls.

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A pit stop at Starbucks for the American coffee drinkers and DQ for ice cream. I can honestly say I have never come across one or noticed one before then. I was educated on the DQ policy of serving the ice cream upside down or get the next one free. How interesting! Of course this DQ appealed to the Asian taste bud with flavors of green tea, red bean and taro. Of course I got the green tea flavored one and savored every last scoop, guilt-free. I was definitely undernourished from all the starvation throughout the trip.

Karaoke is Asian people’s favorite pastime. I like to caveat every performance with, “I suck at singing don’t don’t laugh” and then do just above mediocrity to gain the silent admiration of my audience. It also helps with nerves.

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In our group of 14, we only have a few who can truly sing, myself not included. Singing talent aside, we all just wanted to have a good time so none of that really mattered. So we simply donned our sunglasses and bellowed into the mic like we just don’t care.

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And what’s more fun than a group huddle?

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When the beat drops!

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Did I mention the plate after plate of food? Thank you O-Party KTV for the awesome time!

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Which Supermarket is Cheaper?

I am a huge fan of Trader Joe’s. I love its mission, “The mission of Trader Joe’s is to give our customers the best food and beverage values that they can find anywhere and to provide them with the information required to make informed buying decisions. We provide these with a dedication to the highest quality of customer satisfaction delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit.” I am all for value. For me, value is a formula composed of quality and price. For the same product and the same quality, what am I paying at one store versus another. This is how the argument started with the bf…

Post my shopping spree at Trader Joe’s, I left the receipt on the kitchen counter, to which caught his attention. I should qualify the story with an important statement. He believes in opportunistic buying, which means buying products in season and on sale, and I’m all for it. However, that also means I can’t buy what I want all the time, which when it comes to food, is no bueno for me. Non-perishable items are a different story.

Oh and another fundamental belief he has is that only buy what you can carry. Since I was barely able to carry all the produce I bought today, he questioned whether it was worth the effort, to which I responded yes. Yes because we rarely make the trip to Trader Joe’s since it’s so far away, so I should take full advantage when I’m there.

My next statement really got him going. I simply stated that every item on the receipt compared to the same product at Ralph’s is cheaper. Well, I said at least $1 cheaper in general. Next thing I knew, he wanted to compare every item on the list to Ralph’s to prove I’m wrong. Counting on the fact that I have a good idea how much everything cost at Ralph’s the last time I was there, I accepted his challenge.

So we started going down the list. Notice the crossed out items, he insisted they were not comparable since no exact weight is provided on the packaging and therefore can vary each time. The argument culminated with the ratio of almond/cashew/cranberry in the trail mix and him giving up the argument. Probably because he saw the actual prices and realized I was right. Anyway, we’ll just have to make the comparison, won’t we? Unfortunately for me, when I start something, I’m going to have to see it through. I would say it’s not a matter of winning, but yea, it kind of is…