“While I began hobnobbing with reality TV stars, my mom started hobnobbing with the Chinese horoscope. She became a devoted fan of the popular Chinese radio show Master Ming’s Suan Ming Hour after meeting Master Ming in person at the Chinese New Year Festival in nearby Monterey Park. Master Ming had billboard ads all over San Gabriel Valley and was a local celebrity who was especially popular with the ladies because he was a handsome man in his early forties who claimed to have learned his craft from several generations of acclaimed fortune-tellers in China. He also wore a round hat and a mandarin robe like he was still in the 1800s.
After reading Master Ming’s fortune-telling books, the pages of which were printed on the thinnest of gray pulp, my mom relayed what she claimed were the zodiac’s predictions for each family member. At best, the future would be tragic and, at worst, apocalyptic. My dad was born on a year of the Dragon, and according to my mom’s horoscope readings, because September 2001 was a bad month for Dragons (as were January through August and October through December), she told my dad to brace himself for a car accident. Nothing ever happened, of course. Because fortune-telling is Chinese for bullshit.”