Best Asian American Podcasters

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Justin Yu and Wilson Tang From CNET's The 404

Also known as Turkey Thigh and Ankle Breaker (as well as the Yu-Tang Clan), the CNET podcasters (along with Jeff Bakalar) have one of the most informative, irreverent, and just plain cool shows out there talking about everything from tech to film to pop culture to your favorite video games - so if you haven't heard these guys yet - definitely give them a listen (although Yu didn't officially come on until episode 101). Here's a link to a podcast earlier this month where they talk about the Man Bra, Twatter, and a browser specifically designed to help you download and hide your porn.

Best Indie Band With An Asian American Frontman (Who's Also Got A Foot Fetish)

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Morning Benders

I guess you could say it wasn't a bad year for Chris Chu and his band The Morning Benders.

SPIN magazine gave them Artist Of The Day, the video for "Crosseyed" was featured on YouTube's front page, they came out with their full length CD Talking Through Tin Cans, and iTunes Indie Spotlight named their debut one of the best albums of the year saying "it made the biggest impression on us".


Not bad for four guys who used to work at Disney Land.

Boarded Doors

Damnit Anna

Greatest White Hype To Fall From Grace

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Eliot Spitzer

Just a few short years ago he was the badass of white crime fighters with the nickname "Eliot Ness". In some circles it was even rumored that he wouldn't just run for President on the Democratic Party's ticket - but that he would win it all.

And now?

Now that seems like ages ago. Now we just know him as Client-9, George Fox, "I want me some Kristen and Cocoa Puffs" - the guy who's gone from being Governor of NY to someone who writes an article here and there for The Washington Post and Slate magazine on the economy and financial crisis of 2008 (and yeah - I'd like to see the pictures he's blackmailing people with too).

But I still can't help but wonder - just a little - what an Eliot Spitzer White House would have really looked like.

I mean can't you just imagine the debauchery?

Sujewa Ekanayake: The Indie Film Blogger Road Trip

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here's a clip by indie filmmaker Sujewa Ekanayake who shot, directed, and edited Indie Film Blogger Road Trip.

A little bit about the clip and the film:

In this 9 minute segment from Sujewa Ekanayake's documentary Indie Film Blogger Road Trip we see: Anthony Kaufman talk about the moment when he knew he would "make it" as a professional film journalist, Sujewa Ekanayake introduce the documentary, and Tambay Obenson speak about the community that one becomes a part of by blogging and how that community and blogging has helped him develop his career as a filmmaker. Music by Kevin MacLeod. The full 95 minute documentary will be available at screenings and on DVD in 2009. For more information and news about the project please visit: http://indiefilmbloggersmovie.blogspo... Indie Film Blogger Road Trip was produced, directed, videotaped, and edited by Sujewa Ekanayake. Indie Film Blogger Road Trip Copyright 2008 Sujewa Ekanayake/Wild Diner Films.
Check out Sujewa's blog here.

Your 19 Going On City Council

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Forget about trying to get a fake I.D. - political office is where it's at:

Asian American Michael Udomratsak, 19, has announced his plan to run for the city council in the southern California city, next spring. The China Press reports that Udomratsak is a student at Cerritos community colleagu. His father is from Thailand and his mother is Chinese. Udomratsak says he wants to help new immigrants, especially Asian immigrants, build a diverse city government in Cerritos. His other wish is to promote communication between the elderly population and the younger generation in his city.
h/t New American Media

Best Remake By A Japanese Trio Of A Song Originally Penned By An 80's Popstar Who Got Caught With His Pants Down

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Last Christmas By Foxxi misQ

With a slick vibe and danceable beats, the 2008 mashup by Dem, Chie, and Yu-a didn't just get me through the holidays without the need for a caffeine drip (and that's saying a lot), but as an extra added gift it also washed away that lingering bad taste in mouth from the '07 rendition by Ashley Look At Me Pole Dance At Rockefeller Center Tisdale.

And seriously - that alone is worth an award.

Best, Worst, And Unforgettable of 2008: And So It Begins

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

With the new year just around the corner, it's time to take a look back at everything this year gave us whether we wanted it or not, and while you* were drinking way too much asking for that fourth helping of food you know you shouldn't have had, masturbating yourself into oblivion with the lube you had to buy yourself because no one understood the real you - Santa Slanty was in the workshop getting ready to unwrap some of the extra presents he's tucked away for the review of 2008 over the coming weeks -- so be on the lookout, and just like last year, check the sidebar for easy linkage.

* Fine. That was really me over the Holidays, but I'm a multitasker, and yes, I will continue to refer to myself in the third person and as a fictional character called Santa even though Xmas is over (at least while I'm still a little drunk and sticky).

Azn Lifestyles TV, FM, And Asian Drinking Games

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

FM Interview

Asian Drinking Games

Check out more down at the Azn Lifestyles TV YouTube channel.

Word To My Honda And Wu: Asian American Students Get Some Help

Monday, December 29, 2008

I was reading this down at AsianWeek, and in addition to just being good news for students in college who need some help, it's also recognition - at a somewhat basic needs level - that the Asian American community isn't one homogeneous A+ ivy league bound mind meld - and I like that.

We need that.

Instrumental in the genesis of AAPI serving institution program were Congressman David Wu (D-Ore.) and Congressman Mike Honda (D-Calif.), chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

“For too long, harmful stereotypes have clouded the needs of our community,” said Congressman Honda. “Through the AAPI Serving Institutions designation, the challenges of our low-income and underserved communities will finally be recognized at a federal level, and this designation is just a beginning. In addition to student support services, curriculum development, research and other improvements at designated schools, the designation will provide a foundation for resources, funding and outreach from the federal government to our underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander communities through important community partners. This is big step for our community.”
Read it in full.

Photo News: Chinese American Museum

Monday, December 29, 2008

I just liked the photo from this story in the LA Times about the Chinese American Museum which is marking its fifth anniversary so I wanted to post it up.

Kind of peaks your interest doesn't it?

Kicking It With David Yoo

Monday, December 29, 2008

Caught this interview with author David Yoo who came out with his second book Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before a few months ago (and who wrote Girls for Breakfast):

I recently raved over David Yoo’s Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before, and I am so excited that he agreed to answer some questions. Hopefully this interview will pique your interest in reading the book!

1.) I could tell you were inspired by teen films from the 80s. What’s your touchstone film? And if Albert & Mia were 80s teen films, which ones would they be?

Sixteen Candles was my touchstone film. In my opinion it’s by far the funniest and least corny of the John Hughes canon, but I definitely had a complicated relationship with this movie as a teenager. On one hand it was a revelation for me in terms of how honestly it treated its teen characters, but at the same time, as an Asian American boy growing up in New England, the movie frustrated me to no end merely because it was responsible for producing the character Long Duk Dong, the William Hung of my generation. I can’t tell you how many times strangers at the mall, even adults—sometimes, would mutter lines to me like, “What’s happenin’, hot stuff?” in broken English, but I’m getting off topic.

As for Albert and Mia, well, I suppose they’d probably be Some Kind of Wonderful. That’s easily my least favorite Hughes movie, although I kinda have a begrudging respect for it now. Back then I just never bought that any guy in their right mind would be so oblivious to the innumerable charms of Mary Stuart Masterson, but then once I got out of high school I realized that that’s precisely what makes the movie so realistic—high school guys get so obsessed with the popular girls that they’re blind to anyone else and it’s like an unspoken rite of passage to go to college and feel utterly perplexed as time and time again your new freshman buddies peruse your old high school yearbook and point out all the nerdy girls as the prettiest ones…anyway, I guess that would make Albert the, um, Mary Stuart Masterson character? Which would then make Mia the…um, Eric Stoltz character? Now I’m confused, does this mean my novel was–previously unbeknownst to me–an allegory for two teens growing up the wrong gender? Eh, maybe I should just go with Pretty in Pink, although Albert’s nothing like Duckie, and it seems ridiculous to compare a guy nicknamed “The House” to a character legally-named “Blane.” You know, when I first started typing this seemed like such an easy question…sigh.
Read it in full down at and learn more about David down at his site.

You Can't Defend The Racist Magic Negro Song, So Stop Trying

Monday, December 29, 2008

Chip Saltsman. Dumbass white guy.

Seriously - WTF people.

From CNN:

A candidate for the Republican National Committee chairmanship said Friday the CD he sent committee members for Christmas -- which included a song titled "Barack the Magic Negro" -- was clearly intended as a joke.

"I think most people recognize political satire when they see it," Tennessee Republican Chip Saltsman told CNN. "I think RNC members understand that."

The song, set to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon," was first played on conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh's radio show in 2007.

Its title was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column that suggested President-elect Barack Obama appealed to those who feel guilty about the nation's history of mistreatment of African-Americans. Saltsman said the song, penned by his longtime friend Paul Shanklin, should be easily recognized as satire directed at the Times.
From the NYT:

Speaking to The Hill newspaper on Friday, Mr. Saltsman, a longtime Republican operative, described it as a “light-hearted” gift that would be received in “good humor” by members of the Republican National Committee.

In a party that had big losses this year among minority voters, not everyone took it that way.

“I am shocked and appalled,” Mike Duncan, the current party chairman, said in a statement released Saturday. Mr. Duncan is competing for a second term against Mr. Saltsman and four others.

“This is so inappropriate that it should disqualify any Republican National Committee candidate who would use it,” Newt Gingrich, a Republican former House speaker, said in an e-mail message. Referring to Mr. Obama, Mr. Gingrich said, “There are no grounds for demeaning him or for using racist descriptions.”

Saul Anuzis, the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and another candidate for party chairman, said, “This isn’t funny, and it’s in bad taste.”
And you wonder why I'm not a GOP loving Asian American?

Food Porn From Your Filipina Mom

Monday, December 29, 2008

Just like the title says, I really did get food porn from Filipina Moms.

All I want for Christmas is Red Ribbon's Chocolate Mousse

You wouldn't think to look at it, but Red Ribbon's chocolate mousse is as Pinoy as polvoron and leche flan. Moist chocolate cake, rich chocolate cake, airy whipped cream.... what Filipino hasn't tried and died over this?
Check more out down at Filipina Moms...and a dash of patis.

Kollaboration 9: February 21, 2009

Monday, December 29, 2008

Like they say in the video below - make sure to save the date - and get ready for an all star year down at Kollaboration 9 which is going to have the following competitors/lineup: Jane Liu, Paul Dateh, David Choi, Kenichi Ebina, Jazmin, Kina Grannis and Lilybeth Evardome. They'll also have special performances by Kaba Modern, Fanny Pak, Norman Ng and Jo Koy. Celebrity Judges include Moon Bloodgood, James Kyson Lee and Teddy Zee.

Random Reader Comments

Monday, December 29, 2008

Some reader comments that have been made on various posts:

From P On BoA Tackles The U.S., Part I, MTV Iggy:

I really hope she manages to croos over because I think she has all the right elements- she can dance, sing, and she has catchy hooks. I think Asia is exploding with a lot of musical talent and it's a darn shame that none have been able to make it. Is America ready to accept an Asian, dance/ r'n'b singer? One can only hope that they are, especially with the acceptance of a black President. I'm black, btw, and I am rooting for an Asian take over in North American music.

P.S. Why haven't any Asian musicians tried to break into the Canadian market first? I ask because they are Asian Canadians who have made quite an impact here (George, Elise Estrada etc). I think it's because it's such a multi-cultural environment and people are generally more tolerant.

From Support OC On O.C. Welch, "Rice-Ready", I Need Me Some Sauerkraut, And What Does Buy American Really Mean?:

You're the ignorant one and a race bater on top of it all. Why is it that 'red neck' is perfectly acceptable in this country, yet 'ricer' isn't when it comes to an auto -- not an individual? As far as the domestics go, they invest 17 billion annually in R&D to keep the country you live in competitive in a global market place.

if the big 3 had used only 35% domestic content to build their autos last year (like the imports did) they would have spent $95 billion less here in the US. That $95 billion in lost sales would have cost between 200,000 and 330,000 Americans their jobs (and that's not even on the assembly lines)

Fact of the matter is, the domestics employ about 5 million American's directly or indirectly related to the auto industry. What does that mean? That means that if the domestic were to close up shop, the ramifications of that would even affect the US worker on the Toyota line in some form or another (that's how far reaching and crucial the auto industry is in this country when it comes to jobs) And it should be no mystery either, that a Japanese corporation would have any concern whatsoever with the welfare of the assembly line worker in another country.

Also, Toyota does business with rouge nations such as Iran and Syria. Considering the latter, they don't sound so committed to their bought and paid for 'American ' image to me.

From Sylvie On Santas Of Color And The Gedde Watanabe Reach-Around:

you're missing out, Slanty. Helen Zia gives a mean lap dance...

From Jeff On White Man Claims $150,000 in racism lawsuit: Powershift?:

Are you nuts?

2. On a whole, racial slurs against white people (specifically white males) when looked at in context of the history of oppression against people of color, do not hold the same weight as a racial slur against a person of color in regard to power and prejudice.

On a whole, given that black violent crime on whites is far more prevelant than the reverse, a white man should suffer much greater distress, than would a black in the reverse, when a black uses racial language which could be interpreted as fighting words. Somehow, in your self-righteousness, you have missed this obvious factor. In the context of two individuals, whites are far more likely to suffer violence at the hands of blacks than vice versa. Therefore, the trenchant analysis is not upon societal level discrimination, but rather on the individual level and the societal level. Whine about something else.

From Minority Militant On Kay And Colin:

This is soooo 1972. Do these guys think they're doing something new? "The ultimate likeable underdog," huh? "Plays against stereotype by pursuing her dreams despite a stern traditional Chinese upbringing." More like playing for stereotype.

From Gil Asakawa On 50 Blogs/Sites And Their Myers-Briggs Personality:

Thanks for the analysis, Slanty... I kinda agree with the "Doer" bit for, but I laughed out loud at this part: "engaging in physical out-door activities." I'm more the couch-potato, DVD-watching type. In fact, I'm watching "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" as I type this...

From Paul G. Bens, Jr. On Keanu Reeves, 47 Ronin, And Being A Cat Who's Really A Pumpkin Who Wants To Be A Labradoodle:

Been lurking for a bit and usually don't have anything to add, but this topic was one I actually had some thoughts and background on.

When I was a film and television casting director (and someone who worked with the Asian American Entertainment Industry), this issue would come up a lot. And I have to say that I understood both sides of the coin. However, what it came down to me was this: Asian Americans are (and have been) amazingly marginalized in the entertainment industry for decades. If we start casting only Japanese Americans to play Japanese characters or Vietnamese to play only Vietnamese, aren't we simply marginalizing the actors even more? After all, producers and casting people don't make sure they're hiring an Irish American actor to play an Irish character, or Polish American actor to play a polish character? Why should Asian American actors be limited to playing only their specific ethnic heritage? Isn't that discrimination in its self.

After the Miss Saigon incident, producers got it into their minds that they had to hire the specific ethnicity to play an ethnically specific character. They misunderstood the real issue at hand (I personally felt they absolutely understood the issue and were only going the ethnic specifc thing as a passive-aggressive punishment), which is white actors should not play Asian characters. And especially not in yellow face. As a result, a lot of talented Asian American actors and actresses couldn't get through the door for Asian roles because they weren't of that specific ethnic group.

In fact, years before Geisha ever got made, those who were developing it asked my partner and I for some actor recommendations. When we brought up non-Japanese American actors, they were like "No, no, no." So it was interesting to me when it did get made to see the mix they came up with.

When I produced a feature film with a 99% Asian American cast, the director (also Asian American) didn't want to hire this amazing actress because she was hapa. His reasoning was "She's hapa...she'll have more opportunities." This in a film that was trying to break Asian American stereotypes. Now, this actress wasn't someone who was 1/100th part Asian; not someone who looked mostly white. She was hapa. Luckily, he agreed that the best actor should get the role and she did.

I always looked at it this should always be the best Asian American actor for the role. If the role requires that the actor speak a specific language, then the best Asian American actor who can speak (or be taught to speak) that language effectively should get the role. It is hard enough in Hollywood to get producers to cast an Asian American in a non-Asian roll (it still almost never happens unless it is a bit player part). If we start limiting Asian American actors to playing only their specific ethnic heritage, Asian American actors will only become more marginalized and limited in the roles and jobs they can get. And that means less Asian American actors who can stick out the struggle between rolls. And that means fewer Asian American actors for producers to choose from. And that can only mean less Asian Americans on screen. And we need more on screen. There are amazing Asian American actors out there who deserve to work in good roles.

Anyhow...just my thoughts. =-)

From Quan On Anh Joseph Cao: And You're The First:

"I can't help but wish that he was a Democrat."
Yeah God forbid anyone whose views differ with yours take such a high position office! Blasphemy!

Presents Under The Tree? Just Gimme Win Number 20

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dr. Margaret Chan: You're Powerful...Or At Least You're Going To Be

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Here's one of the names from Newsweek's list of people who they think are going to be the most powerful in 2009 (called the Global Elite).

44: Dr. Margaret Chan
Director-General, World Health Organization

Wikipedia Info:

Margaret Chan was initially trained as a Home Economics teacher at the Northcote College of Education. She then earned her B.A. degree in Home Economics[2] and her M.D. degree at the University of Western Ontario in 1973 and 1977, respectively, as well as her M.P.H. degree at the National University of Singapore. She also attended Harvard University Business School[3] in 1991 to study management development. In 1997, she was given the distinction for the Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom and was also awarded the OBE by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.[4]

She joined the Hong Kong Government in December 1978 as a Medical Officer. In November 1989, she was promoted to Assistant Director of the Department of Health. In April 1992, she was promoted to Deputy Director and, in June 1994, was named the first female in Hong Kong to head the Department of Health. She left the Hong Kong Government in August 2003 after 25 years of service to join the World Health Organization.
Check out the full list down at Newsweek.

Asian Men Redefined

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Caught this out down at The Minority Militant a few days ago and wanted to make sure to plug it too as it's for a great cause.

Here's a re-post of the information from the Asian Men Redefined "About Us" page:

All About Asian Men Redefined

Asian Men Redefined is produced by Dannydan Photography ( as a charity cause for Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center ( All of the work involved are mainly volunteer effort, either by the photographer, models, crews, and everyone else who help this cause. The 2007 Calendar was the first calendar that was produced in September 2006. The 2007 Calendar has given $1,588.00, which is half of the calendar profit, to Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center on May 19th, 2007 at the Banyan Tree event at Metreon, San Francisco. The 2008 Calendar now follows its predecessor and now available for purchase through online and retail stores.

The Beneficiary: Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center

Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center (A&PI Wellness Center) is the oldest non-profit HIV/AIDS services organization in North America targeting Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities.To meet the needs of our clients who are often immigrants orrefugees, A&PI Wellness Center's staff speak many Asian languages including: Cantonese, Hawaiian, Hindi, Ilokano, Japanese, Malay, Mandarin, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Visayan.

A&PI Wellness Center's HIV Care Services provides free andconfidential HIV treatment case management, mental health and substance abuse counseling, on-site primary medical andpsychiatric care, client and treatment advocacy, and group andindividual support to A&PIs living with HIV/AIDS.Our HIV/STD Prevention Services reaches youth (straight, queer and questioning), gay and bisexual men, transgender persons through community organizing and outreach, workshops andsupport groups, peer counseling, and prevention casemanagement.

We offer HIV/STD/Hepatitis testing, social marketing and health promotion campaigns, community events, internships, andvolunteer opportunities.

The Community Development & External Affairs (CDEA) builds HIV prevention capacity in A&PI organizations and communities throughout the United States and its Pacific Territories; conducts community-based research; and trains non-medical serviceproviders in HIV treatment throughout California.For more info about Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, please visit

The Photographer: Dannydan

Dannydan’s interest in photography began in college where he took photography courses while studying Molecular Biology in University of Wisconsin, Madison. After relocating to San Francisco in 2000, he worked for a scientific publishing company while continuing to photograph primarily Fine Art, both in black and white and color. After doing several gigs for an event planner, he started Event Photography. His work quickly led him to editorial work where he has chalked up an exciting portfolio; including a spread for Noodle magazine, advertising campaigns for Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, and numerous local and national advertisements. He now lives in San Francisco where he continues to work in Event & Wedding Photography. You can see more examples of his fabulous work at his website
Check out the site. Pick up the calendar. Support a great cause.

Dichen Lachman And The Dollhouse

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

If you're looking for a new show to pick up next year and want to support an Asian face, check out the Dollhouse with Dichen Lachman (of Australian and Tibetan descent) who'll be playing the character Sierra - and yes I know what you're thinking - we don't have to bomb Australia after all.

Here's the Yahoo snippet on the show:

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon returns to the small screen with "Dollhouse," a sci-fi series that could very well become yet another cult hit. Echo, Sierra, and Victor all belong to a very unusual (and highly illegal) underground group which wipes away its members' personalities in order to imprint them with new personas. Confined to a secret facility called the Dollhouse, the three carry out assignments given to them by leader Adelle. After completing their assignments, which usually involve catering to the wealthy and powerful, the group must return to the Dollhouse to have their thoughts, feelings, and memories erased so they can enter the next scenario with a blank slate... but what happens when Echo stops.
More info on Dichen from Wikipedia:

Dichen Lachman (born 22 February 1982) is an Australian actress.

Lachman was conceived in Japan but born in Kathmandu. Dichen lived in Nepal until she was 7 and then her family moved to Adelaide, Australia. She is of Australian and Tibetan descent.

Before Neighbours, Dichen filmed an advert for Wanadoo tele-communications which was filmed in Australia and aired in the UK. She attended Norwood Morialta High School, Annesley College and the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, where she grew up.

In 2005, Lachman joined the cast of the long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours as Nurse Katya Kinski. She originally auditioned for the part of Elle Robinson, Paul Robinson's daughter, but as she wasn't ideal for the part, the character Katya was created for her.

Lachman also played a small role in the movie, Aquamarine. After she finished shooting the role of Aaren in the upcoming film Bled, Dichen then visited Hawaii to film Aztec Rex with Director Brian Trenchard-Smith.

In a recent interview with The Soap Show Dichen mentioned how she visited England in late 2006 and appeared on the BBC television show Ready Steady Cook. In the interview Dichen explained that she is currently in Los Angeles to further her acting career but mentioned that she would love to work in the UK and back home in Australia at some point in the future.

Dichen has recently been cast in the part of Sierra in the upcoming television series Dollhouse created by Joss Whedon.

Random Flower Drum Song Film Post

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I don't know about you, but I think Helen got some that night.

Getting Down With The Brown In Oklahoma City

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Word to my peeps in Oklahoma:

Tran started his American life in Pittsburgh at the age of 32. He had been a soldier in the South Vietnamese army, but he was originally from North Vietnam. He immigrated to South Vietnam in 1954. His immigration would not end until he lived for a time in Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Fla., and Houston, where he was reunited with his family in 1979.

Tran and his family moved to Oklahoma City in 1980, and they have lived here ever since. Tran now works for the City of Oklahoma City Planning Department. The Asian District is one of his responsibilities.

Oklahoma City is home to more than 20,000 Asian-Americans, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Many are first-generation refugees and immigrants, but an increasing number are second- and now third-generation Americans.
In full down at the

David Mura, Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire, And Waxing On The World

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Saw this snippet via some alerts and just thought it was great seeing an Asian American artist get inspired by other Asian American artists because when you really think about it - as much as we hope everyone else is going to hype us - it's gotta start somewhere, and sometimes - the best hype is from a fellow artist:

In May, Theater Mu and Pangea World Theater hosted the National Asian American Theater Conference. At the opening showcase, amid the raucous laughter at Sun Mee Chomet's satire on the plight of Asian American actresses, I experienced my first epiphany.


My second epiphany occurred at the Loft's release party for Nation of Immigrants?, a CD of spoken-word performances by minority artists in Minnesota, organized by Thien-bao Thuc Phi.
Read more.

Judy Chu And Congress

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Caught this news down at The Sacramento Bee:

California Board of Equalization member Judy Chu said today she's running for the East Los Angeles congressional seat now held by Hilda Solis, who has been picked by President-elect Barack Obama to be his labor secretary.

When she was in the Legislature, Chu represented the 49th Assembly District, which is in the congressional district, as is the city of Monterey Park, where she began her political career on the city council.

"I've served the district for 24 years and know it well," Chu told The Bee.

If elected, the Democrat would be the first Asian American from Southern California sent to Congress in more than a decade.

Check out in full here.

Rain's Coming To US

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I have to be honest, I have mixed feelings on Rain making a U.S. debut. It's not that I have a problem with him trying to crack into this market - in fact I think it's a good thing to do if he can succeed - but that's the thing - I'm not sure if he can because everything he's done as of late has been - well - lackluster to say the least.

I guess it's worth a shot though.

And who knows - maybe the U.S. is his new market...

Best-Loved Chinese Proverbs

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

For all the readers - or people that just want to skim on through:

Laura Lau is a recent UC Berkeley graduate student, and a business school graduate from UCLA's Anderson School of Business. Recently, She also added author to her resume.

Lau's new book- BEST-LOVED CHINESE PROVERBS (Collins/on sale December 23, 2008/$12.95, trade paperback) help pass wisdom and insight throughout the ages and communicate fundamental truths about the natural world and the human condition. In addition to collecting and translating more than 300 ancient Chinese proverbs, Theodora Lau has included notes on interpretation wherever necessary to help a modern American audience discover the subtleties and depth of the original language.

The proverbs are divided into 26 essential categories, such as:
Knowledge – "By filling one's head instead of one's pocket, one cannot be robbed."
Strategy – "Do not hit the fly that lands on the tiger's head."
Love – "Love for a person must extend to the crows on his roof."
Perseverance – "Even the tallest tower started from the ground."

About the authors
Theodora Lau is the author of The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, The Chinese Horoscopes Guide to Relationships, and Chinese Horoscopes for Your Child. First published in 1979, Theodora's books have been translated into over 17 languages and have introduced many topics of Chinese culture to readers all over the world. She was born in Shanghai and later moved to southern California with her husband, Kenneth.

Kenneth Lau is an author, calligrapher and illustrator whose work has been featured in The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, The Chinese Horoscopes Guide to Relationships, and Chinese Horoscopes for Your Child. Born in Shanghai, Kenneth is fluent in multiple Chinese dialects and skilled in a variety of Chinese calligraphy styles. After living in Asia, Kenneth and Theodora have made southern California their home for the past 25 years.

Laura Lau is a recent UC BERKELEY graduate and a writer whose work has been featured in Chinese Horoscopes for Your Child. The daughter of Kenneth and Theodora Lau, Laura is a second generation author on Chinese culture and horoscopes. Best-Loved Chinese Proverbs is her first book. Born in Hong Kong, she lives in southern California with her husband, Harsh.

Raymond Townsend And The NBA

Monday, December 22, 2008

Check out the article with Raymond Townsend down at Asian Journal. Townsend was the first Fil-Am to ever play in the NBA:

There was a Filipino-American who played in the NBA.

He was a groundbreaker for Filipinos, Fil-Ams and Asian Americans but he’s not recognized as one, as he should be.

Fil-Am Raymond Townsend played three seasons in the NBA. Many people forget his contributions because he played from 1978 to 1982, a time when the NBA was barely setting its foot to commercial success and the only race that mattered was black or white.

Townsend was the first Fil-Am to play in the NBA. He played for the Golden State Warriors and Indiana Pacers. He was the first Fil-Am and only Asian American to ever be drafted in the first round of the NBA draft.
First and only.

Check it out in full here.

Po Boy Tango

Sunday, December 21, 2008

For all you stage buffs:

Northlight Theatre continues its 2008-2009 Season with the World Premiere of Po Boy Tango by Kenneth Lin, directed by Chay Yew. The production, featuring Ken Narasaki, Jeanne Sakata and Jacqueline Williams, runs January 7-February 15, 2009 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie.

A celebration of the human spirit and the joy of cooking, Po Boy Tango tells the story of Richie Po, a Taiwanese immigrant who turns to his estranged friend Gloria to help him recreate his mother's "Great Banquet." Despite the challenges of shark fin soup, duck po boy sandwiches and underlying cultural tensions, Richie and Gloria find common ground through their shared humor and the blending of traditional Chinese cuisine and African-American "Soul Food." Helped by lessons from Po Mama's television cooking show, the two discover a deeper understanding of food, culture and the nature of friendship.

Po Boy Tango comes to the Northlight stage for a full production after a successful workshop and reading as a part of the Northlight Interplay series-the third production to make such a transition (Lady, Better Late).

"Po Boy Tango was another of our Interplay readings that piqued our interest because of its fresh themes, unique characters, and unusual theatricality. I don't ever remember reading anything like Po Boy. The fact that it dealt with diverse cultures facing each other's prejudices and differences made it an interesting choice for our audience" says BJ Jones. "The need for nourishment, not just of the body but of the spirit and the soul, is central to Po Boy, and it celebrates the commonality of all people and all cultures. The taking of a meal allows us to reach out to friends, affect rapprochement with adversaries, or simply settle into the silence that allows us to gather our strength"
Check out more here.

Five "D" Words, Phrases, And Lambda Expressions For Entertainment Weekly And Marc Bernardin

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kind of like the title of this post already told you, here are five "D" Words, Phrases, And Lambda Expressions for Entertainment Weekly's Marc Bernardin who wrote the following on "casting rumors":

EW scoop-hounds nowhere near the development of Iron Man 2 have learned that John Cho has been cast as the Mandarin in Jon Favreau's follow-up to the gold-plated blockbuster. Cho, having appeared as both Harold and Sulu, will make the Asian geek trifecta with this role as the power-ring-wearing, power-mad villain. Other horribly placed sources tell us that Tommy Chong is being eyed to play the Mandarin's father, who claims to be the real genius responsible for the weaponeering success of Howard Stark, Tony's beloved dad. Does that sound real enough to start a casting rumor? Feels like it to me. After all, was there any more than that to go on when people started talking about Tim Robbins in Iron Man 2, Eddie Murphy as the Riddler in Batman 3, or Rachel Weisz as Catwoman in the same? (Let the record show that I am 100 percent in favor of a Rachel Weisz Catwoman.)
1. Dumbass

2. Douchebag

3. Dickless desipient who got deflowered by a D-List Dumblebrity

4. Dragoon

5. var dweeber = dweebCollection.Where((assObject) => assObject.StartsWith("You're a dumb motherfucker"));

News Round Up

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Words from blogosphere and beyond.

S.F. police chief praised for her integrity

Law enforcement experts say five years is an eternity when it comes to running a police department, and many of San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong's friends and critics agreed Saturday that after her five years on the job, it's time to move on.

Fong, who has been a police officer in the city for 32 years, was the first Asian American woman in the nation to lead a major city's police department and was San Francisco's first female police chief. News of her departure was met Saturday with a mix of relief and sadness: Fong was roundly praised, even by critics, for her integrity and overwhelming commitment to the city, but her laid-back management style continues to vex many rank-and-file police officers.
Go Hmong Boy!

The mass exodus of the Hmong hill-tribe from South East Asia in the 70’s brought new families, new cultural traditions and new stories to the United States. Hmong-American storyteller Tou Ger Xiong raps, chats, and tells us his family's true tale of escaping persecution in Laos by crossing the Mekong River.
Healthy Choice Makes Awful Choice With 'Asian Inspired' Dinners

Uh Oh. Once again, a less than clued in marketer has rankled sensibilities by using tired stereotypes to promote product. A new site from ConAgra has been created for the brand's Asian Inspired Health Choice. It's lame. Truly lame. But we're going to give the floor to our reader who had this to say about that:

"Where do I begin? The ad people who came up with the 'lonely fortune writer' idea should be fired. The brand manager that approved the concept and execution should be fired. Anyone who approved this work should re-evaluate their values.
Hmong get a mixed debut in new Eastwood film

On online Hmong chat boards, people have already criticized the movie for perpetuating stereotypes. But Garvey said the film shines a positive light on the close-knit nature of the Hmong community in Detroit.

And she notes that the film isn't meant to be a documentary about the entire Hmong people. "It's really a movie more about people learning to live with each other ... and meet the people that you fear most," Garvey said. Doua Moua, who plays one of the lead gang members, graduated from the International School of Minnesota in Eden Prairie and moved to New York to follow his acting dreams. He still works in an Italian restaurant to finance his career.

Moua, 21, he didn't have any regrets about stepping into the role of a gangsta. After all, Moua said he saw how gangs consumed his brother's life while they were growing up in St. Paul. "A lot of the first-generation Hmong people went through this, too," he said. "You know, like the hardship of these young men trying to assimilate to the American culture, but because they don't have a fatherly figure there with them ... they come together, form gangs, support each other, and kind of become each other's lookout."
Nguyen is the Ngu Smith

One of our readers unleashed a terrible truth on me today: the nameless ginormous boob skank (Wait, don't call her that!) that shot to anonymous fame via one unfortunate Michael Phelps photo-op actually has a name--and that name is... Nguyen.

In fact, Naomi Nguyen, apparently a former fighter/now actress, has her own official website, replete with more ginormous boob photos...
The Asian Male Calendar Release

This one's for you folks that love your Asian men, and those that have a thing for them. Asian Men Redefined just came out with their 2009 calendar a while ago and I just wanted to spread the word. Every time I get a chance to help promote the masculinity of my peeps, cause you know Hollywood won't, I do it at will.
daniel henney in x-men origins: wolverine trailer

Oh snap! Ladies, gather 'round. It's superhot model-turned-superstar South Korean actor Daniel Henney showing up in the new trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The movie is a prequel of sorts, telling the origin story of the adamantium-clawed mutant superhero Logan, aka Wolverine of the X-Men.
White-Washing Avatar: The Last Airbender?

Entertainment Weekly recently announced the casting decisions by M. Night Shyamalan for his latest project, Avatar: The Last Airbender, a live-action version of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon.

With names like Jesse McCartney, Twilight’s Jackson Rathbone and Nicola Peltz, it’s clear to most fans that Shyamalan has missed the biggest point (and possibly, the biggest draw) about the show and its Asian influence.

Letting You Burn: At Least Chin Was Part Of The Dissenting Three

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The only thing good to come out of the recent case where the California Supreme Court ruled that you can be sued for helping someone out of a life or death situation was simply that at least Justice Ming W. Chin was a part of the dissenting Justices who said this (written by Justice Baxter):

Under the majority’s distorted statutory reading, an uncompensated lay volunteer — whether or not trained in the rudiments of first aid — is immune for any incompetent and injurious medical assistance he or she renders to a person in need of medical treatment, but is fully exposed to civil liability for emergency rescue or transportation efforts intended to prevent injury to an endangered victim in the first instance, or to ensure that a victim in need of immediate medical treatment can receive it.

Thus, in the majority’s view, a passerby who, at the risk of his or her own life, saves someone about to perish in a burning building can be sued for incidental injury caused in the rescue, but would be immune for harming the victim during the administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation out on the sidewalk. A hiker can be sued if, far from other help, he or she causes a broken bone while lifting a fallen comrade up the face of a cliff to safety, but would be immune if, after waiting for another member of the party to effect the rescue, he or she set the broken bone incorrectly. One who dives into swirling waters to retrieve a drowning swimmer can be sued for incidental injury he or she causes while bringing the victim to shore, but is immune for harm he or she produces while thereafter trying to revive the victim.

Here, the result is that defendant Torti has no immunity for her bravery in pulling her injured friend from a crashed vehicle, even if she reasonably believed it might be about to explode, though she would have been immune if, after waiting for someone else to undertake the physical and legal risk of rescue, she then caused harm by attempting to administer to the victim’s injuries at the roadside.
I cannot believe the Legislature intended results so illogical, and so at odds with the clear statutory language. I therefore respectfully dissent from the majority’s interpretation of section 1799.102.
Just for the record - if I see kids trapped inside a school bus that got turned over in an accident and there's a bunch of smoke coming from it and no one's there yet - I'm not doing shit because I'm a law abiding citizen and this ruling tells me that unless I'm administering medical assistance I should let those kids burn -- because I could get sued, and if I could get sued that means I'm probably doing something wrong or breaking the law and that's really the last thing I should be doing.

But I will lob some barbecue sauce into the windows courtesy of the California Supreme Court.

Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai

Friday, December 19, 2008

For any fans out there, check out the latest BPR Shuffled!:

Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai is a Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based Chinese Taiwanese American spoken word artist who fights for cultural pride and survival through how she spits and how she lives. Touring extensively worldwide, she has featured at over 300 shows across the continental United States, Hawai’i, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Kenya, and the Netherlands.

Kelly has rocked stages at venues like the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, the House of Blues, the Apollo Theater in Harlem, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and three seasons of “Russell Simmons Presents HBO Def Poetry.”
Read it in full and see what's on Kelly's playlist.

Music: Animal

Friday, December 19, 2008

A little late with this, but even with some delays you can get on out and pick up the latest Far East Movement effort Animal down at where you can check out the track listings (and then head on over to their MySpace page to check out some cuts).

Got Milk? Michelle Aguilar And The Biggest Loser

Friday, December 19, 2008

I don't really watch this show but a friend of mine has and he let me know that the winner was none other than AA Michelle Aguilar who's walking away with $250,000.

Here's a video of her talking about the win.

Got Milk?

In addition to getting a quarter million dollars, reconciling with her mom, and losing the weight she wanted - she's also being featured as a Milk Mustache Celebrity.

Not bad huh?

The Stage, Freak, And Race

Friday, December 19, 2008

I felt like posting this clip up because it speaks to the recent report the NAACP just did on the state of whiteness in television (which I can't seem to get off my mind apparently), albeit in a broader sense.

If you're not familiar with this film it's from John Leguizamo's Freak directed by Spike Lee, and in this scene he's stumbled into an audition by accident.

Still relevant.

NAACP, NY Daily News, And TV For White People

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I was reading this article down at the NY Daily News which was talking about the NAACP's report on how television is still too White and a few things stuck out at me:

1. It's spelled NAACP not NCAAP which was the way it was spelled in the NY Daily News headline.

2. Even though we already feel like we know this in some ways - it's great to see hard numbers as well as other information on segments like writers and who's behind the scenes.

3. Saw this comment and kinda cringed:

Is this really important given the plethora of issues that plague many blacks in this country? I don't see a significant number of Asians or Native Americans on television either, but Asian people don’t seem to be particularly concerned about that. Asians seem to be more concerned with becoming educated and climbing the social and economic ladders in this country, which is something more black people need to be concerned about.
Here's a link to the AP article, and here's a link to the NAACP where you should be able to download the report.

Kay And Colin

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Caught this on

This Casting Call filed in: Casting Calls in New York, NY, Paid Auditions and Casting Calls, SAG Auditions and Casting Calls

Casting call for romantic comedy “Colin and Kay”

Colin and Kay, a romantic comedy. Sebastian Conley, co-prod. (winner, Outstanding Broadband-General Interest, 28th Annual Sports Emmy Awards).


Colin: male, late 20s, Caucasian, the ultimate likeable underdog, maybe a touch on the nerdy, indie side

Kay: mid-20s, Asian, outgoing, spunky, plays against stereotype by pursuing her dreams despite a stern traditional Chinese upbringing.

Email -
No large files.
Pay scale TBD by funds raised from trailer; copy, credit, and meals provided.

SAG Ultra-Low Budget Film Agreement.
Shooting trailer in Feb. in Brooklyn.
This is another one of those 50/50 things. Great for an Asian face to get out there, but would it kill someone to ask for an Asian male lead in a romantic comedy?

Santas Of Color And The Gedde Watanabe Reach-Around

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I was reading this article down at about how more and more places are adding a little color to Santa, and while the article is a good read - check out some of the comments I ran into:

"I'd like to see a black Santa so the black kids can ax him for presents."

"Why is it offensive to Black people that white people have white angels, saints and Santas, but when black people have only black saints, angels and Santas is good for the kids. Perhaps black people should set an example and be as accepting of white people as they want us to be of them."

"I better start seeing a white MLK."
I mean seriously - how much of a dumb racist motherfucker do you have to be to come out with comments like those when all we're talking about here is having a Santa that actually looks like the people around him?

Is there a rule that says we have to keep on stuffing fat drunk white guys into red suits to act as someone who's not even real?

And since - if Santa was real - White Santa keeps on jacking my shit anyway.

No firetruck, no island of Slanty, no bags a cash, no lap dance from Ann Curry and Helen Zia - I didn't even get a perfunctory Gedde Watanabe reach-around in my stocking.

I say fuck White Santa.

Give me a Santa Of Color.

Boston, Bilingual Ballots, And Sam Yoon

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Definitely have to give it up to Yoon who's making sure that those who want to vote, but who still might have a harder time with the language, are getting the fair shake that they deserve.

The struggle to make elections accessible to all residents of Boston, Massachusetts moved forward after the Boston City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to extend fully bilingual ballots to Asian American voters in the city. The council approved a new home rule petition introduced by Boston City Councilor Sam Yoon. It must now be signed by the mayor and approved by the state legislature.

"The community has won the first round," Councilor Yoon said. "There is still more to do. The state legislature must act to ensure elderly Asian American citizens will be able to participate in our elections," he said. The measure approved Wednesday addresses objections raised by Secretary of State William Galvin to an earlier measure.

Earlier this year, Councilor Sam Yoon sponsored a similar home-rule petition to allow bilingual ballots in the City of Boston. After unanimous approval by the City Council and Mayor Menino, the petition stalled in the State House. The session ended before the legislature could act on it.

"Chinese and Vietnamese-speaking citizens should be able to participate fully and independently in our elections, and bilingual ballots are key to voter participation," Yoon says. "This is about voter access. We cannot take a step backwards in protecting the rights of citizens to cast a ballot independently. We must do everything we can to guarantee confidence in our electoral system."

In 2005, the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the City of Boston for violating the Voting Rights Act based, in part, on allegations that city poll workers were interfering with voters who spoke little or no English. The city reached a settlement agreement which called for the city to translate ballots into Chinese and Vietnamese.

Read it in full here.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Random Sa And Consequence

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Alvin Lau: Free.Will.Power

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I got this sent out out to me yesterday, and you'll definitely want to check out spoken word artist Alvin Lau who gets the vibe going for the Free.Will.Power initiative - and seriously - who really wants to live in a country that's No-Choice?

Interview: Bryan Thao Worra

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In a recent post you heard me talk about poet Bryan Thao Worra - but you know me - I'm kind of half assed somedays so I'll leave it up to better folks to take on the real work:

As a fellow Laotian American, I've come to somewhat understand cultural identity and displacement, but have yet to grasp the entire concept. When I see a writer like Worra break it down for me in prose, I begin to see it come to life. As far as I'm concerned, he's done a great deal for history, literature, and the community. I think there's something admirable about not forgetting your roots and taking that extra leap for those who need a helping hand. Well, here's my exchange with Worra on his background, poetry, Asian American literature, activism, and life.
Check out the full interview here.

Yahoo! Movies' Top Stars Of 2008: Not An Asian Man To Be Found

Monday, December 15, 2008

While there's at least some representation for Asian faces overall on this list - should I really be surprised that I don't see any Asian male faces on this list whatsoever?

And isn't that somehow wrong?

I mean shouldn't I at least fake it?

Getting Your Asian American Film On Netflix Style

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thought I'd do a random post on some Asian American films that you can get from Netflix (old and new - titles and descriptions grabbed from their site).

The Slanted Screen

In this hourlong documentary, filmmaker Jeff Adachi salutes groundbreaking entertainers while turning a critical lens on the ways in which American cinema has depicted Asian men. Segments focus on the career arcs of playwright Frank Chin ("The Year of the Dragon"); producer Terence Chang (Bulletproof Monk); actors Dustin Nguyen ("21 Jump Street") and James Shigeta (Flower Drum Song); and comedian Bobby Lee ("Mad TV").

Searching for Asian America

Gary Locke, the son of Chinese immigrants who became governor of Washington State, is living the American Dream. Martin Bautista and Jeffrey Lim, two Filipino immigrant doctors living in the American heartland, find that being Asian American in a rural town is more challenging and rewarding than either could have expected. These are just two profiles that address what it's like to be Asian American in today's ever-changing United States.

Planet B-Boy

This Tribeca Film Festival selection affords viewers exclusive access to the underground world of break dancing, charting the highs and lows of five B-boy teams practicing for the all-important "Battle of the Year." Combining stunning dance footage from Japan, Germany, South Korea, France and the United States, documentarian Benson Lee sets out to show that break dancing didn't fade into history -- it merely evolved into a remarkable art form.

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

Having satisfied their urge for White Castle, Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) jump on a plane to catch up with Harold's love interest, Maria, who's headed for Amsterdam. But the pair must change their plans when Kumar is accused of being a terrorist. This fun comedy follows the hapless stoners' misadventures as they become fugitives and try to evade being recaptured by the Department of Homeland Security.


Set in Los Angeles's Koreatown, director Chris Chan Lee's stylish neo-noir follows a small-time hood named Samuel (Sung Kang) who returns to his hometown to avenge the murder of his best friend. With the help of an aging gangster (Tom Bower), Sam may get the revenge he desires, but can he also find redemption for his past mistakes? Kelly Hu and Russell Wong also star in this tense underworld thriller.

American Zombie

Part mockumentary, part unabashed gore-fest, American Zombie follows filmmakers Grace Lee and John Solomon -- both playing themselves -- as they infiltrate a Los Angeles zombie community in an effort to document the undead subculture. Finding that the reanimated aren't much different from the rest of us -- save for some patches of rotting flesh -- the moviemakers offer a comical look at their marginalized subjects.

Asian Stories

After getting ditched by his fiancée (Lauren Kim), despondent Jim Lee (James Kyson Lee) exhorts his longtime pal Alex (Kirt Kishita) -- a hit man -- to put him out of his misery before Valentine's Day. But while searching for a mountainside funeral site scant days before his scheduled death, Jim falls in love again in this off-the-wall indie comedy. The supporting cast includes Kathy Uyen.

The Namesake

While he respects his immigrant parents (Irfan Khan and Tabu) and their decision to rear him in his United States birthplace, Gogol Ganguli (Kal Penn) is torn between Indian traditions and the modern Bostonian lifestyle. Jacinda Barrett and Zuleikha Robinson also star in director Mira Nair's thought-provoking coming-of-age drama, which explores first-generation Americans' delicate dance between culture and identity.

Robot Stories

This collection directed by Greg Pak includes four stories. "My Robot Baby" features Maria (Tamlyn Tomita) and Roy (James Saito), who must care for a robot child before adopting a real one. In "The Robot Fixer," Wilson is in a coma after a car wreck, prompting his mother (Wai Ching Ho) to fix his toy robots. Pak stars in "Machine Love," about a robot that works in an office. And in "Clay," John (Sab Shimono) fights a memory-merging process.

The Motel

In Michael Kang's compelling story about growing up, Ernest Chin (Jeffrey Chyau) is a Chinese-American teen who works in a seedy motel with his hard-nosed mother, grandfather and younger sister. With no male role model to turn to, Ernest must deal with the trials of adolescence on his own. Sam Kim (Sung Kang), a charming Korean American with a dark past, sees himself in Ernest and decides to mentor the boy, but things don't always go smoothly.

Better Luck Tomorrow

Ah, the pressures of being young, rich and brilliant. Discontent with his current lifestyle of straight A's and upper-middle-class monotony, overachieving high school student Ben Manibag (Parry Shen) seeks a lifestyle of excitement and danger. He finds it with help from a suburban gang of other misguided youths, who get caught up in a disturbing downward spiral of sex, drugs and crime.

The Debut

Talented high school senior Ben dreams of going to art school, much to the dismay of his strict immigrant father. The struggle between his family's Filipino traditions and his own American dreams explodes on the night of his sister's 18th birthday party, when he's pressured by family to attend the event instead of hanging with his white friends.

Charlotte Sometimes

Soft-spoken Michael (Michael Idemoto) is secretly in love with next-door neighbor Lori (Eugenia Yuan), who's committed to boyfriend Justin (Matt Westmore). Unbeknownst to Justin, Michael and Lori develop an intimate -- though sexless -- friendship, and Lori encourages Michael to find a girlfriend. But when he does, jealousies erupt with the other couple, threatening relationships all around. Nominated for two 2003 Independent Spirit Awards.

All-American Girl: The Complete Series

Drawing on comedienne Margaret Cho's impersonations of her traditional Korean mother, this short-lived sitcom follows the efforts of hip, club-hopping Margaret Kim (Cho) to Americanize her immigrant parents (Jodi Long and Clyde Kusatsu) -- and her grandmother (Amy Hill) proves an unlikely ally. While the series didn't last long, this barrier-breaking show was the first to focus on a family of Asian protagonists.

The Crow

Young rock guitarist Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his fiancée are brutally killed by a ruthless gang of criminals. Exactly one year after his death, Eric returns -- watched over by a hypnotic crow -- to seek revenge. The Crow features Lee's last performance before his untimely death.

Saving Face

Dutiful daughter Wil (Michelle Krusied) sidesteps her mother's (Joan Chen) attempts to marry her off in Alice Wu's romantic comedy set in New York. At 28, Wil's the old maid of her traditional Chinese family, so there's no way she can tell them about her budding romance with Vivian (Lynn Chen). But there's no avoiding mom's meddling matchmaking when she shows up on Wil's doorstep looking for a place to stay.

Music: EJ Jung

Monday, December 15, 2008

Caught this singer while I was checking out YouTube and ended up stopping by her MySpace page - and if you're looking for some new singers to check out and support - stop by and take a listen. Here's a link to a video of her down at the SM Global talent competition where she was one of the nine finalists.

Random Monday Morning Tunage

Monday, December 15, 2008

Asian American Bloggers In The News

Monday, December 15, 2008

News and pics of your Asian American bloggers in the news:

APA Blogs: Creating Societal Change in the Blogsphere

As the media transitions into the cyber world, the means of personal expression also enters the online frontier. What used to be a personal diary hidden under the pillowcase can now be read by anyone with the increase in popularity of blogs and Web communities.

"I started the Alpha Asian Blog as a way to showcase the creativity and positive energy of Asians and Asian Americans," said James Chan, creator and administrator of Alpha Asian Blog, which showcases original videos and forums by APAs. "I've observed lots of talented Asians representing the community in a positive manner and contributing to society. I wanted to compile these positive and talented role models and present them to the world."

From community activism to concert reviews, like many non-Asian bloggers, APA bloggers write about everything from the presidential election to an up and coming new band.

"The purpose of YellowBuzz is to fill in the void of Asian American representation in music," Wendy Hsu, creator and administrator of Yellow Buzz, said. "The blog explores the diverse musical lives in Asian America. It discusses performances and recordings involving Asian and Asian American musicians."
Fame or Shame in Asian America 2.0

Asian American theater company East West Players brought together last weekend at The Grove those behind the academic, the angry, and the “viciously hilarious” voices on the Internet to discuss how technology impacts perceptions of Asian American beauty.

Featuring bloggers Phil Yu from, Disgrasian’s Diana Nguyen and Jen Wang and Ada Tseng from Asia Pacific Arts, “Beyond Brains or Boobs, Beauty in Asia America 2.0” was one of four panels organized to coincide with Jon Lawrence Rivera’s production of The Joy Luck Club, which closed last weekend at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts.

The panelists, who all had grown up during the 1980s, recalled how Wayne Wang’s 1993 film version of Amy Tan’s 1989 bestseller was a groundbreaking.

Ahney Her, Bee Vang, And The Red Carpet

Monday, December 15, 2008

Some pics of Ahney Her and Bee Vang from the premiere and after party of Gran Torino.

Competence, Diversity, Blah Blah Blah

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I happened to catch this letter written down at someplace called the Daily Record and the thing I love about these op-ed pieces is that always go under the assumption that when people of color and their communities want people that look like them in positions of power - that they won't be qualified.

And it gets old.

I mean people of color or my peeps from the LGBT crowd - or both - aren't as qualified as anyone else?


Affirmative Action - or whatever you want to call making sure that anyone who isn't a white male (or wasn't a Vietnam Veteran) - is in place to make sure that white guys who aren't qualified don't keep on getting into positions of power over other qualified candidates.

See the difference?

Amadeus Cho and Greg Pak

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Here's a quick post down at the LA Times "Hero Complex" blog about Greg Pak and his character Amadeus Cho:

The Los Angeles Times puts a premium on bringing in journalists with varied backgrounds and life experiences, which is one of the reasons it is such a fascinating place to work. One of the newest writers here is Corina Knoll, who was born in Korea, raised in Iowa and schooled in Minnesota. She sent over this Q&A with Greg Pak for Hero Complex.

Amadeus Cho is a trash-talking teen who rides a scooter while cradling his coyote pup. He also happens to be the seventh smartest person in the world, a quality that comes in handy when he’s backing up his friend, the Marvel Comics man-god Hercules. (Being good with numbers means you can do things like send an alien electromagnetic pulse to a government computer and force its chasing heli-carriers to plummet to the ground ...)

But the most unusual thing about boy genius Cho? He’s Korean American.

In the mainstream comics universe, Asian American characters are relatively rare, and when they do show up, they usually aren't a fully formed central character, which is why filmmaker and writer Greg Pak ("World War Hulk") jumped at the chance to create one.
Read it in full here.

Ricepaper For Poets

Sunday, December 14, 2008

For my poets out there who want some international fame (well...Canada):

Ricepaper (BC), an arts and lit quarterly that focuses on Asian Pacific arts and culture, seeks submissions of poetry and fiction on any subject, in any form. Poetry and illustrated submissions: 8 pages max; short fiction: 6000 words max. Authors must be of either Asian Pacific or mixed descent. Include a short biographical note with submission. For more details, send email to

Sad News For NPR Listeners

Friday, December 12, 2008

I have some more to say on this - but for now here's a snippet from the a blog post about the death of News & Notes:

Unemployment Line: NPR Cancels Only African-American Focused Show ‘News & Notes’

Without notice, National Public Radio today canceled its African-American news show ‘News & Notes’ hosted by well-known broadcast and digital media journalist Farai Chideya—thus signaling the end of one of the best national radio newscasts dedicated to African-American news and views.

Citing insufficient levels of audience listeners and the lack of national underwriting, NPR sent an email to its staff announcing the cancellation of ‘News & Notes’ and ‘Day to Day.’ However, several staff members report a different reason given to them for the cancellation, which had nothing to do with audience levels or funding.
Read it in full down at where you can also get information on contacting NPR.