Browsing all articles tagged with Public Appearances

Stalking 101


Wednesday, 03.21.2012

The term stalker gets tossed around very lightly these days, like salad (which I don’t get very often in Asia ’cause these crazy kids over here don’t enjoy a good ol’ spring mix).

“Ew, are you stalking me?” jokingly asked when bumping into someone at the same frozen yogurt shop.

“I’m going to Facebook stalk him” in reference to learning more about a friend’s new boyfriend.

But to be literally stalked is not a pleasant nor light subject.

Privacyrights.org gives this definition for stalking:

Stalking refers to harassing or threatening behavior that is engaged in repeatedly. Such harassment can be either physical stalking or cyberstalking.

Physical stalking is following someone, appearing at a person’s home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing one’s property.
Cyberstalking involves using the Internet or other electronic means to harass. A January 2009 U.S. Department of Justice report found that 23% of stalking victims suffered some form of cyberstalking, and 6% suffered electronic monitoring such as spyware, bugging or video surveillance.

I met Dude through mutual friends. I am not someone who is flirty by nature but I am someone who opens up easily to strangers and try to be welcoming. Somehow that got misinterpreted in our communication. Dude had an off about him from the get-go. It’s in the detached way he strikes up a chat, his questions always a little too forward, a little too aggressive. It’s in the way Dude made comments, something always seemed a little…

off.

Yea, that’s the word.

The calls and texts first came friendly at first. I kept my responses courteous and brief, not wanting to give him the wrong idea. This means no happy face emoticons in the texts, no giggles in the calls. None of that.

Yet, the attention still persisted. And I’m not talking about a text or a call here or there. I’m talking about 7 repeated voicemails or 10 texts in a row with messages like, “Hey Janice, how are you?” “Hey Janice, why aren’t you responding to my texts, did I do something wrong?” “Hey Janice, where are you?” One after another after another after another. I found this attention a little annoying but harmless. Just a persistent person who wants to be friends. Dude also showered my other female friend (let’s call her “T”) with the same amount of unwanted attention. Though we would often not pick up his phone calls or respond to his text messages, he never got the message (ironic). Once, I did answer his call and chatted with him for an hour, schooling him that if a girl does not pick up the phone after 14 consecutive missed calls, it means they’re not interested. Give up. Take the hint. He responded that he understood what I was saying. And at the end of the call, he asked if I was dating anyone.

The boiling point came one Halloween afternoon. I took a nap for three hours that day. Within that time frame, I received 7 missed calls and 14 text messages in a row. One after another. I listened to and read the messages. Each got angrier and angrier and signified huge, irrational mood swings in the time span of minutes. From then and there, I never picked up or answered another one of Dude’s phone calls.

Throughout the next year and a half, I would receive rounds of electronic contact in sporadic spurts. They always started cordial. Friendly “hey Janice, how have you been” but always followed by mounds and mounds of “WHY AREN’T YOU RESPONDING TO ME? ANSWER ME NOW.” Dude also started messaging the mutual friend who introduced us, cussing at her and accusing her of being in love with him even though…she’s related to him. Twisted, right? In the emails, he alluded to a conspiracy put together by his friends, which included introducing me to him, forcing his attraction to me, me ignoring him, all a cruel, cruel joke which he is the victim. There were more narratives, an accidental run-in at a tea shop became a suspected staged meeting. I became the one bothering him, annoying him, not leaving his head.

Mental problems are not often discussed in Asian and Asian American communities. It’s mostly brushed under the rug by our parents. Out of sight, out of your mind, right? But as Dude tried to contact me more and more, I came to realize from his messages that he was delusional. He would often forget facts and information. He often got things twisted around. His mood swings were more volatile that a yo-yo.

It’s one thing to know when you’re up against a sane, rational person who understands the lines of social conduct and cared about how they make other people feel. It’s another to go against someone who may not be in their right mind, who is dealing with things going on inside their brain that they cannot control. What do you do about that?

I decided to call his parents. I figured having a total stranger call them to tell them their son may have some mental issues may make them stand up and take action.

Boy, was I wrong. No parents want to face that their child might have problems and this was no exception. The first time I called, Dude’s parents apologized to me and told me, “If our son hurts you, can you please forgive him?”

Huh??!!! I would prefer him NOT to hurt me in the first place!

Then, not only did the parents not try to seek help for Dude, they yelled at him for bothering me for which in return he tried contacting me again to yell at me for calling his parents.

I tried talking to his parents a second time after half a year went by and he still hasn’t stopped bothering me. By this time, the calls started rolling in at 2 in the morning and grew increasingly creepier and creepier. It would range from declarations of love to calling me a stalker who won’t leave him alone to commanding me to answer my damn phone. “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” He would yell into the phone, dragging each syllable out endlessly. My transcription of all his messages and voicemails have now reached 25 pages long.

This second time, Dude’s parents pretty much insinuated that I was a hussy who was knowingly leading their son on. That I was toying with his emotions because he was so inexperienced and I was soooooo experienced with playing with boys’ hearts.

That time was one where I felt helpless and like I had lost any form of control over my life. That’s what stalking does to a person. They feel like there’s hidden danger at every bend and that there’s nothing they can do about it, no way they can prevent it.

My story ends for vigrx wikipedia now with a surprise visit from Dude to my office, a place I worked, even though I never told him the address (it’s easy to look up online) as well as a visit to my good friend’s wedding even though it was made clear that he was not invited, banned even. Luckily, I had good friends and loved ones who steered me away from much contact from him both times. I’ve blocked him from all my social network sites, filtered his emails straight to my trash, and have moved to another country. Digging through my email’s trash just now, I see that he is still sending emails one after another after another. Sometimes, his sentences run in a stream of consciousness. Sometimes, they are in all caps, as though he is shouting at all of us, as though the voices in his head are shouting at him.

I’m well aware how conceited posting my story may seem. “Oh, poor Janice, she is too nice for her own good so she has a stalker, oh boo hoo” but the truth is, no one can really understand the stress, the anxiety, the suffering a victim of stalking feels unless they have experienced it themselves. And I never really realized how many people actually have been victims of stalking until I started verbally sharing my story. Friends, friends’ boyfriends, friends’ cousins. I wanted to share this story on my blog because I feel like stalking and mental illnesses are one of those problems that are so infrequently talked about until it is too late. I would never want to take this so lightly until something happens to me and then think, “I should have.”

I pray for you, Dude. I understand that you are going through things in your head not many can understand and empathize with and I wish, from the bottom of my heart, that you will truly seek help. Seek help from God, seek help from medical professionals, seek help from your loved ones. Stop pretending everything is fine when it is not — many people can testify to this.

I thank you, Dude, also. Because if it weren’t for you, I would stay naive in my own sheltered American ways thinking that everyone is as opened and welcoming as we assume it to be. But now, I’m wiser. I’ll never stop being nice to people but I’m more watchful of opening up to someone so quickly.

I also thank you for turning me away from being such a media whore. I used to love posting every single of details of my life on Facebook or my blog but that novelty has worn off as I realized the dangers of people knowing too much about you.

Because of you, I’ve also come to realize that when someone needs help, you don’t ignore it and brush it under the rug. You do everything you can to help that person as long as it is within your means and boundaries. I’ve done what I could letting your parents know about you and what they decide to do is up to them. I truly hope that they can see that really loving their son is doing what is ULTIMATELY the best for him, even if it means hurting him in the short run, not doing what THEY THINK will be the best for him by protecting and sheltering him from the truth.

For those of you reading this who may find yourself in a similar situation as me, here are some tips I’ve found that I felt helpful for victims of stalking.

*Set your profiles to “Private.”: It’s really incredible how much information on a person we can find over the internet nowadays. Googling my own name, I find numerous images of myself, web sites with my information on it, videos, etc. Granted, I do work in the media industry so I tend to be a little more open with my private life but even I’ve set all my information to private and am selective with who I choose to be friends with on social networking sites.
*Avoid posting information about your current or future locations: So many of my friends use Foursquare or other devices on their cell phones that allow them to check in to places they’re at and I can only just shake my head. This is all facts to help a person track you down faster.
*Find out the stalking laws where you live: According to the California criminal laws, a stalker is someone who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another (victim) and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place the victim or victim’s immediate family in fear for their safety. The victim does not have to prove that the stalker had the intent to carry out the threat. The criminal penalty for stalking is imprisonment up to a year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. There are more severe penalties when the stalker pursues the same person in violation of a court restraining order, with a sentencing range of two to four years imprisonment. Persons convicted of felony stalking also face stricter penalties if they continue to stalk their victim(s). Courts may issue restraining orders to prohibit stalking.
*Let people know that information about you should be held in confidence. Tell your employer, co-workers, friends, family and neighbors of your situation. Alert them to be suspicious of people inquiring about your whereabouts or schedule. If you have a photograph or description of the stalker and vehicle, show a photo or describe the person to your neighbors, co-workers, friends, family and neighbors.
*If you are a victim of cyber-stalking, act promptly and firmly to defuse the situation. Take potential threats seriously. Very clearly tell that person to stop, saying something like, “Do not contact me in any way in the future.” People will often look at you like you’re a drama queen if you tell them you’re being stalked but stand your ground. You are NOT overreacting or being overly dramatic.
*Keep a log of every stalking incident. Collect a paper trail. Phone logs, email messages, photos, etc.
*Make a police report. Consider getting a restraining order: Make some sort of contact letting the law enforcement know that you’ve tried to seek resolution to your stalking problem.
*Carry pepper spray and/or take self defense classes: Try to get out of the mentality that you are helpless and train yourself to be confident in case anything does happen.

Stalking and mental illnesses need to stop being taboo subjects to talk about. When they’re brought into the light, victims stop feeling as helpless and receive better knowledge of how to take appropriate actions to defend themselves. I share my story in the hopes that it will prevent more incidences like this from happening, or if it happens anyway, that it will be handled better.

Um, so how is everyone doing these days?

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posted by Janice | Comments: 12 | Category God, Personal, Public Appearances, Uncategorized

2012 Miss LA Chinatown Pageant


Friday, 01.27.2012

There’s nothing that will make you feel more old than attending a pageant you participated in two years ago, a pageant filled with pretty young thangs strutting their stuff on the stage.

Nonetheless, I covered up my wrinkles and sucked in my belly and attended the 2012 Miss LA Chinatown pageant.


‘Twas lovely to catch up with my adorable court (including Jani who emceed the event and missing dear Dow-Ning and Chantel)


Congrats to the new court Cialis! Get ready for a year of servitude selling raffles chipaos ogling from strange old men of fun!

Lucky(?) for the 2012 pageant contestants, I was itching to make more use of my monopod so I documented their entire q&a section and posted it on Youtube. I think this will be helpful for all future pageant contestants interested in seeing different ways of answering the q&a’s. I consider them educational videos. You’re welcome, future Miss America.

Enjoy!

 
posted by Janice | Comments: 1 | Category Chinatown, Los Angeles, Pageant, Public Appearances

I’m A Hustler, Baby


Saturday, 10.2.2010

When people ask me how I’ve been these days, I always respond that I’ve been hustlin’.  Then, I realized that I’m not even really aware of what this word hustlin’ means.  So I looked it up. Good old Urban Dictionary got my back, yO

Hustlin: Havin the ambition and drive to do everything and anything to make mad money. See hustler… Also a term used for “tryin to obtain sum booty”.

Err… not quite what I’m doing. How about the next definition?

Hustlin: hustlin’s doin whatever you gotta do to get that paper.

Okay, so I think that these days, the term hustling should be expanded. I think if you replace “money” and “paper” in those definitions with “dream,” it would be a more accurate description of what I see my friends and cousins and sister, even my dad, and I going about doing everyday.  Yes, we are still trying to make a living, but doing it the way we want to live. We’re hustling to make our dreams come true. Working hard 24/7 to do it. We don’t have everything mapped out because in this day and age, there is no clear path to get you to where you want to go. And anyway, where do you want to go?  Best to go with the flow. But keep an itinerary in mind. But stop and smell the roses. You catch my drift? (It doesn’t smell like roses, huh?)

I don’t know how everybody else is going about it, but here are snapshots of my hustle:

I spend a lot of time on my computer. I don’t usually look this clean doing it (this was for a photoshoot) but I do have to stare at my macbook a lot.  I wish I didn’t spend as much time as I do on Facebook or G-chat or Twitter or Google Reader. They give me a headache.

 

I have this problem. I have a need to share with the world my passions and interests and hope that they will also enjoy it. Hence, this blog is born- to showcase some of the things I'm most fascinated with. Most of the posts relate to the media as it relates to me. (Blame the early twenties neurosis of thinking the world revolves around you). (More..)

Email: jjann[at]themediamaid.com
Facebook: facebook.com/mediamaid
Twitter: @themediamaid

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