Helen Jo: First Asian American LA County Fire Deputy Chief

Thursday, July 31, 2008

This is interesting news:

Helen Jo is also the first woman to be promoted to the position in the department. She received her new badge today. As Helen Jo worked her way to the front of the room to receive her new badge, a stream of colleagues, family and friends crowded and cheered around the freshly promoted deputy chief -- the first woman and Asian American to achieve such a rank in the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Yellow Rage - Chinatown - August 1st

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just wanted to make sure to post that if you're down in Chinatown in NY on August 1st that you can check out the spoken word duo Yellow Rage (click on the pic for a larger version).

Wisit In A Month

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Even though I don't really get the show Top Designer and have really only watched a couple of episodes I did want to highlight Wisit (because I just might forget about it when it actually comes on). Here's his bio info:

Guided by a love for all things beautiful, Wisit studied art history, fashion design, interior design, and music. Wisit holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of California at Davis, and a degree in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design. Some of his favorite design icons are Stephane Boudin, Billy Baldwin, David Hicks, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, and Oscar de la Renta. He describes his personal style as modern classic elegance. Also a trained countertenor, Wisit performs the work of Handel, Mozart, Strauss and others. Born in Gibson City, Ill., Wisit credits his midwestern upbringing for his love of nature and gracious demeanor. He is currently a self-employed designer and fashion design instructor in Los Angeles.
Catch it on Bravo on Sept 3rd.

Iron Chef Meets Louisa Chu

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I was watching some Iron Chef America a few days ago (maybe a week ago) and wanted to post on one of the judges Louisa Chu who also blogs down at Movable Feast.

Here's some info from an interview she did a couple of months ago:

What's your favorite hidden gem (in Chicago)?

Gourmet Food in Chinatown, hidden in plain sight and known to every Chinese person within a 50-mile radius. Gourmet Food serves huge rice boxes filled with home-style Chinese comfort food for somewhat suspiciously low prices. My base meal is the minced beef on rice with a fried egg, plus another order or two. Each box costs less than $5 or so, and easily feeds two or three people.

You've become sort of the local de facto absinthe expert. Does it really make you hallucinate? Does the stuff on the market even really resemble the composition of what was available hundreds of years ago, or is there some market gimmickry going on here?

I blame Bourdain for getting me hooked. I had my first taste from his glass when we shot the first episode of "No Reservations" in Paris. Absinthe doesn't make me hallucinate, but I can't speak for everyone else. I have a very good friend who's a no-BS, internationally respected journalist who swears that the night after she drank her first absinthe that she awoke hearing horrific screams.
Read the full interview here.

An Open Letter To Michelle Wie

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hey Michelle:

Hope things are going well. I know it's been a little while, and I'm still a little perturbed about your last disqualification - but I'm getting over it as I'm sure you are too.

I just wanted to write you and let you know that even though someone like Annika Sorenstam is giving you some hell for skipping a major to play on the PGA Tour this week, I'm all behind you because winning is really in the eye of the beholder and I like what you've been trying to to do - make the cut on the PGA tour and do something special.

And when you do - because you will - just remember that I've been behind you all the way so some gifts, free tickets, or anything else you want to throw my way - because 100 signed shirts by you personally could get me a ton of tacos al pastor - you just let me know and I'll get you my address.

Gotta run,

P.S. Do people get you confused with Nintendo now?

Jodi Long Interview

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Photo From Asiance Magazine (Shannon Lin)

There's a good inteview down at Asiance Magazine with Filmmaker Jodi Long on her documentary Long Story Short:

Jodi Long is the actress you may recognize from Broadway, The Hot Chick, or Margaret Cho's mother in All American Girl, or currently as Eli Stone, a judge. Now she is a filmmaker herself and with the help of Christine Choy, the Chair of NYU’s Graduate Film and Television Department and Patricia Richardson (of Home Improvement) she has come out with an inspiring documentary called Long Story Short, about her parents' struggle as Asian American actors/vaudevillians in the 40's and 50's. The film details the lives of her parents' through photographs, pictures, their special appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1950 and snippets from her own monologue performances. She talks with her mother about the experience of being sent to a Japanese internment camp during WW2. Her father's experience as a Chinese-American is shown through the film and his early role on Broadway, in Flower Drum Song, which (the later version) Jodi herself was cast in.
Check out the full interview here.

DVD: My Love (aka Love, First)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This was a pretty good movie (if you like the cute popcorn flicks that I sometimes can't help but be drawn too) that I watched over the weekend which came out in SK in late '07 and hit the DVD shelves this year:

Subway engineer Se-jin (Kam Woo-seong) is madly in love with his free-spirited and spontaneous girlfriend, Ju-won (Choi Kang-hee), but his deep affection for her makes him feel increasingly insecure.

College student So-hyeon (Lee Yeon-hee) makes a big move on her love interest Ji-wu (Jeong Il-woo), by asking him to teach her the art of drinking.

Su-jeong (Lim Jeong-eun) is constantly rejected by Jeong-seok, a copywriter and widowed dad. But despite the damage to her pride, she perseveres.

Tree-hugging activist Jin-man (Eom Tae-woong) returns home after six years to find his ex-girlfriend, though chances are slim.

Popular actors convene in this warm drama, which pieces together different love stories in the tradition of "Love Actually".
Here's the trailer

Just Because You're On Cable Doesn't Mean You're Different

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Media Matters put out a study looking at four programs on each of the three cable news networks during prime time - which you can read here (in PDF format) - and I wanted to post a couple of bullet points:

In total, 67 percent of the guests on these cable programs were men, while 84 percent were white.

MSNBC showed the greatest gender imbalance, with 70 percent of its guests being male. CNN and Fox News were not far behind; each of those networks featured 65 percent male guests.

Fox News was the whitest network, with 88 percent white guests. CNN and MSNBC were close behind, with both featuring 83 percent white guests.

Latinos were particularly underrepresented. Though they now comprise 15 percent of the American population, they made up only 2.7 percent of cable news guests. The worst of the three networks on this score was MSNBC, which featured only six Latino guests out of 460 prime-time appearances during the entire month.

A number of ethnic groups were shut out entirely, or nearly so, on some networks. During the month of May, Fox News and MSNBC each featured a single Asian-American guest. Across the three cable networks, there were only four appearances by guests of Middle Eastern descent, two on Fox and two on CNN. There was not a single appearance by a Native American during the entire month.

Just one Asian American in the whole month?

I thought there might at least be two.

That's pretty bad people.

Obama And Being An Honorary AAPI

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I was reading this article in the Washington Post and as much as I want Obama to win his bid to become the President - I can't help but kind of go "but..." when I read the part that went like this:

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) introduced Obama at the fundraiser, held in a ballroom of Washington's posh Mayflower Hotel, noting that Obama's family includes Asian Americans and that he spent part of his childhood in Indonesia.

"The son of an immigrant, raised among AAPI's in Hawaii, Barack Obama understands the struggles of immigrants searching for an identity in America," he said.

The candidate's entrance was greeted by an extended ovation. His 20-minute speech dwelled heavily on immigration and Asian-American issues, as well as his own background. Born in Hawaii, raised for a time in Indonesia, Obama said his first college roommates were Pakistani and Indian. "Most importantly," he said, "I have a sister who is half Indonesian, who is married to a Chinese Canadian. I don't know what that makes my niece."

"Being here is especially meaningful to me because I consider myself to be an honorary AAPI member, and I think I've got some pretty good credentials," he said.
I guess to me it falls short because you're not Asian American or even an honorary AAPI member (because in that context nothing like that even exists) just because you have some Asian American family members and you understand the immigrant experience. It might help you in understanding aspects of certain Asian American communities, but it doesn't really make you a part of the group because to be Asian American, you have to be Asian American.

I'm not saying it's wrong to look to those parts of his life that will help him connect with the AAPI community or talking about it for an article - because it's good fodder to chew on.

But when all is said and done - if Obama wins - I'll still be here hoping for a day when I see an Asian American in the same place that he is now.

Benefit Concert For Burma And Sichuan

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just in case you didn't know (been popping up at different blogs like AAM and Hyphen) there's going to be a benefit concert down at Glas Kat Nightclub which sounds like it should be pretty cool, and of course is for a good cause:

Just a reminder for folks in the Bay Area... This weekend, check out a cool event for a good cause. Over twenty community and professional organizations are partering up with AsianWeek to present help: Benefit Concert for Burma and Sichuan, Saturday, August 2 at Glas Kat Nightclub in San Francisco. Watch a promotional video for the event here.

The event will feature American Idol semifinalist Paul Kim, Burmese-American singer Natalise, and local band Mud, performing a rare acoustic set. All net proceeds from the concert will be donated to UMCOR to provide food, water, and temporary shelter in the most devastated areas of Burma and Sichuan.
For more information on tickets go here.

Because you want it: Lee Hyori Live From Music Bank

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nothing gets me out of a Corey Haim mood where I've posted, deleted, edited, and then deleted again like some comeback Lee Hyori live.

Smooth Track: Jay'ed - Zutto Issho

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tropic Thunder, More Southeast Asians With Guns, And At Least In The Movies The U.S. Can Win In Vietnam

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another band of brothers on their way to shoot some Southeast Asians!

I've heard about this before, but more about RDJ's white man as a black man character, and while I'd have to see the movie to actually know if they're really saying something about race in an intelligent manner - I do know that at least from an Asian/Asian American character POV from everything they've shown - it's just another group of good 'ol boys from the U.S. taking it to my savage people in Southeast Asia.

'Cause you know - my peeps just live in the jungle and run drugs and grow up with machine guns.

I mean how else do you explain the U.S. government getting their ass handed to them in Vietnam?

Oh - I'm sorry - should I not have said that? Open up some old wounds? Feel like I'm denigrating lost lives?

Welcome to the club.

But don't worry if your still bleeding, because your prescription is simply a bunch of good 'ol boys (sans any Asian American good 'ol boys of course) in movies where the U.S. is taking it to a bunch of guerrilla drug running Southeast Asians.

Because if it didn't happen in real-life, at least it can happen in the movies right? And that's at least some consolation.

Yeah - I just might have to skip this one.

The Fat Princess, Asian Americans, and Ben Silverman

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So I was reading this article down at Yahoo! Games called Feminists cry foul over Fat Princess which is basically about sites who have an issue with the main character in a new Sony game, who you can help escape capture by locking her up, and feeding her with cake so she gets ginormous and isn't easy for your enemies to haul away (which seems to be the object - but that's really besides the point).

Ben Silverman (the dumbass who wrote the article) while quoting out some sites who are against the game (like Melissa McEwan from Shakesville and Feminist Gamer's "Mighty Ponygirl") makes it a point to end his article with this:

Sony has yet to issue an official response, although Joystiq did receive a particularly informative update from James Green, Fat Princess' lead art director, who clued gamers in on the origins of the game:

"Does it make it better or worse that the concept artist (who designed the look, characters, everything) is a girl?"

Hmmm...hope the game's detractors don't mind eating a bit of crow.
So let me see if I get Silverdick right - because you know - I don't want to get this wrong. If a girl created it - it's O.K.? So it doesn't matter what type of girl she is? She speaks for everyone? Because she's the all knowing I know better than everyone else girl?

What gets me about this is that this is the same thing people do when it comes to race, racism, and the camera rolling to an Asian person when someone does an Asian joke - because if they like it - if that one Asian person who happens to be there likes it - well then - it must be fucking good then doesn't it? It couldn't possibly be some racist piece of crap spewing from some hack's mouth right?

Does no one else except white males have any sort of individuality where one doesn't speak for all?

Not women. Sure as hell not black people. And forget about us Asian people - we're a fucking collective.

And while you might think I'm completely off for posting on this - I just can't help but go off on this type of generalized what the fuck are you thinking type of thought pattern because it's the same dumbass thinking that says "If Obama gets nominated that means that racism is gone!"

And you know these people are out there too (and I have to question if Silverman is one of them).

It's like I don't speak for all Asian Americans - and seriously, do you really want that - there's not one place, no matter what tagline they have, that does.

Because we're individuals.

I mean is this that tough to get?

72 Hour Film Shootout Follow Up: Better Late Than Never

Monday, July 28, 2008

O.K. - So I know the winners were announced two weeks ago, but I just caught all of them from the website a little bit ago, and after watching them once online, downloading them and taking them to a coffee shop and watching them again a day later, and then burning them to a DVD and watching them again a day after that - I figured I had to make a post on my favorites and give out some special awards because viewing them all was something I really enjoyed - and hey - I'm still within a decent amount of time from when the shootout actually ended and I figure they should endure longer than a film festival because there was a lot of Asian American sweat put into them - right?

Quick capture

When I watched them and popped them onto my computer I organized them into folders right away which were Ehhh, So So, Pretty Good, and Really Good - because for the most part I get a feel for what I like and don't like right away and what's good and what isn't (bad sound, crappy camera work, etc.). Later on - after I watched them all and saw the good, the bad, and the Are you effing kidding me? - I did re-arrange some of them, but for the most part - my original likes/dislikes stayed. Team names are in parenthesis.

Top Film: Say Goodbye (Cinemasia)

Here's the deal - I'm a sucker for a cute quirky romance and this definitely fits the bill. Out of all the films this is the one I would watch more than three times (and I have). From the camera work, to the lighting, the shots, the sound, and the acting - everything pretty much flowed for me to the point where I was kind of like "I wish this was a full length feature" and out of all the films, I thought this had the most potential to turn into something much longer. It's like you know in the movie Saving Face where Lynn Chen and Michelle Krusiec are by the candy machine and what a great moment that is to watch? This movie did the same thing for me in parts.

If there was anything I did have to look past though it was these two quick scenes which used this slow motion and had this synth sound effect which almost took me out of the fun/quirky/romantic mood that was there throughout the whole film (I thought they just should have done them without the slow-mo and the synth sound).

But in comparison to all the other films I saw, I thought it combined acting, sound, script, shots - everything that I think a film should have - better than everyone else which is why I popped it at the top of my list.

Runner Up: Killer Headline (Last Minute Films)

When I started this post I thought it would be pretty easy. I knew my favorite, I knew my other top films and I knew what I didn't like. But when it came to actually writing this I soon found out that I didn't have a clear second, or third in mind. I had some which could be here, but it wasn't as transparent as I thought and there were a few in the running - but after a trip to the cash machine, Subway, the local convenient store, and four episodes of Gene Simmons Family Jewels it all became clear.

It was the opening credits - that attention they gave to the color and the font that told me they were really going to care about the movie from start to finish. It was the way that the mood of the story was kept throughout the whole film. It was the acting (not including the first character who we never saw again because he over-acted a little). And it was the lighting and the background sound. They all contributed to why I decided to make this my second pick.

But I think the clinching item for me was that in a lot of ways I think it's tougher to keep a mood going when the mood is dark versus when it's lighter (at least from a viewer POV). In a comedy/light-hearted film, you're more likely to overlook things - lighting, sound, acting - but in a film that's a horror/suspense/thriller I think the mood can be broken easier - and maybe there's something to be said for that since the majority of films strayed from this type of mood - so it got extra points for me because of it (this was the only movie which went from my Pretty Good folder to my Really Good folder btw).

Coming In A Close Third: A First Goodbye (Sans Humor)

I went back and forth between this and Cold War, because I thought Cold War was really good, but what ended up making me choose A First Goodbye over it was that I really couldn't find anything wrong with the movie that gave me "Edward from Melco", but I could with Cold War. See, I thought Cold War did a lot - from different characters to a lot of dialogue to different settings and nice edits, it probably utilized more tools than any other film - but I think when you do a lot it's also easier to see what needs tightening (like the bar scene seemed out of place for me because if you're going to lick/kiss some guy you really need to lay it on).

Juxtapose Cold War with A First Goodbye from Sans Humor, and I thought the latter does less in terms of all the objects moving around, but I thought in the end it executed better, but still had a lot of nice pieces to it (and it made me laugh out loud).

And if you really want to know (and I figure if you're still reading this you'll at least pretend) - I was thinking about placing this as my #2.

Films 4-6

Here's the next three films I thought were the best (in order).

Cold War (Color Tv)

Like I said above, this was a close call for me for my number three spot, but I still really thought it was a fun movie, great acting, nice edits from scene to scene, and the idea with the use of theme probably was the most original (and I'd totally use that service). I thought if they would have cleaned up the bar scene and made some sound adjustments (because a couple pieces were too low) it could have swept the shootout.

Drain (Fish Grenade)

I did think this had the best camera shots overall - albeit in a completely art house way - and it creeped me out in a nice fun cartoon sense. The only reason it didn't go higher for me (it was in my Really Good folder right away) was in part because of the dialogue. I do like movies without a ton of dialogue (see Hsiao-hsien Hou) but at the same time I think emotion still needs to be conveyed and I didn't quite get that. I just wanted more somehow.

No Holding Back (Big Egg)

Definitely funny and original and loved the chicken suit and some of the other scenes. Pretty much nothing wrong with this flick in terms of production, and it reminded of Dasepo Naughty Girls (poverty on her back) as well as Jeux d'enfants (because of stopping by the painted STOP). The only reason it didn't get into my top three was because I thought it didn't go far enough in the sense it mixed too much reality with the unreal (like if he can do other things with a guy on his back how come he can't sleep?) - but it was close - could have made my top three and maybe it was more like/dislike than anything else when it comes down to it.

Rounding Out The Top Ten

Almost done - and if you're still reading this you must have nothing better to do, but that makes two of us - and if you're also wondering why some flicks aren't on here, all I can say is that I chose films that seemed more like films to me versus ones that seemed more like skits, even if they weren't as technically sound. In that way sometimes I placed emphasis more on the idea than technical execution (because you can always get someone to hold a steady camera for you, but having a steady camera doesn't always mean you'll have a good idea).

Miles, Apart (White Rabbit)

I thought this was a pretty good flick and really liked the little kid. I didn't quite get what the dad did in this, but I went with it anyway because the film kept me interested (the production was good too in comparison to the other films). My reason for why it didn't go higher was because I thought it was a little too much when the dad threw the cash up in the air, and I didn't think everything quite fit all the time (I thought the skating scenes were out of place). Definitely has potential for a K-Drama like spin-off.

Initial (Team Daft)

Were there some scenes where the acting could have been just a little better? Sure. Did I question the medical expense part of the story? Sure. But overall - that was pretty tight for an action/thriller and was actually on par with some of the DVD's I've seen in my time (except the female assassin needed a better walk). And right or wrong, since there were so few films which tried to utilize gun play with this mood, I had to give it some extra points.

Discard (Grace, Wtf?)

Technically (camera and sound) this wasn't always that hot - but - it had some good concepts so it was easy enough for me to look past that. I think part of it was the mood that was set in the film and how it was carried throughout from beginning to end - and the acting was pretty good - verbal and nonverbal. At the same time, I did debate with myself on this, and a week from now maybe I'll feel different.

Everyone Everyday (SOHCAHTOA)

I know this got DQ'd, and the intro scene could have been cut, and the sound needed some work, and the camera was a little shaky - but I still couldn't help but like this. Like I said above, I'm a sucker for a quirky romantic/almost romantic storyline and at the same time, while not wholly original, the idea of two people who can barely speak with the other person because of a language barrier, but who still have a vibe with each always works for me (see My Wife Is A Gangster 3) - and I did think using Google translation was an original spin (and it made me laugh out loud).

Special Awards

  • Cutest storyline with the word vagina: It's So Hard To say Goodbye (4ward Motion Films).
  • Best use of twirling umbrellas: Mermaid Love (Freakingfree).

  • The Millennium Mambo homage award: The Shortest Summer (Sino Plus).

  • Best film with a quirky white girl digging her way to China: Made In China(town) (Execute Chimera).

  • Best Egg West Coast flashback with a lot a male bitches: Suspense's How To Jedi Mind Trick The Bitches (Azn Rejects).

  • I totally wouldn't sleep with the main character in this film because I'd be afraid my penis would be cut off accidentally in bed by her sword award: The Savage Lotus (Pork Bun).

  • Best film with a Brady doppelganger: Finding A Home (Ying Yang With a Twist).
  • You can say it was the accent, but I really did enjoy the narrative: Goodbye New York, Hello Asia (I love HK).
  • Best film with a dude with his shirt off who looked directly in the camera while singing even though the other two never did: Say Goodbye (Vision).
  • Yes, I thought she was a white girl until she took off her shades in this movie: My Life (Blue Mask Crew).
And Finally

Just wanted to give a shout out to all the Asian American filmmakers, actors/actresses, crew and everyone else who sweated to get these films out - you definitely gave me a nice ride, and I hope to see you all on the big screen, or at least on a DVD that wasn't made at home.

Tehreema Mitha Dance Company

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Just a note that there's a good article on the Tehreema Mitha Dance Company and South Asian American Dance, which is playing down at The Capital Fringe Festival:

Over the past several years, there has been an explosion of local dance companies specializing in South Asian dance. Organizations like SAPAN, Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh, Natyam, Dhoonya, and others are not only presenting the gamut of Indian dance, from the popular Bollywood to traditional forms, but are also looking to break new ground by fusing the classical styles of South Asia and the West. The Tehreema Mitha Dance Company is one such ensemble and is presenting its latest effort to cross boundaries with South Asian American Dance, a show currently running at The Capital Fringe Festival.
The full article can be read at DCist.com.

Networks And Asian Language Values

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm glad they were referencing AZN TV and iaTV in this article, and even though I'm not convinced that the overall programming culture have got it - because look what's not being picked up by basic cable across the U.S. - it is nice to see that people still are at least talking about the value of our community when it comes to programming:

Despite AZN’s demise and iaTV’s (formerly ImaginAsian TV) moves to broaden its audience, operators and programmers remain confident there is a real demand for networks targeting Asian-Americans, especially those offering foreign-language content.

English-language networks aimed at the children and grandchildren of immigrants are “nice-to-have channels,” but it’s the “in-language channels that have the most value,” said Rob Thun, senior vice president of programming for AT&T’s U-Verse TV, an AZN affiliate.

While Comcast-owned AZN, which targeted Asians born or raised in the U.S., reported 13.9 million subscribers, most of the current crop of Asian-language channels count viewership in the tens and hundreds of thousands. But viewer loyalty is high.
I know what you're saying - gotta wait and see if anyone really does something (and on another note it still gets me that they couldn't make AZN TV work with that many subscribers).

Either way - check out the full article down at Multichannel News.

ASU Teams Up With Asian Pacific Community in Action

Saturday, July 26, 2008

To my Arizona Asian American peeps - you're getting some more help on the medical front:

The Center for Health Information & Research at Arizona State University has joined a coalition to improve the health of the Asian/Pacific Islander community in Maricopa County.

The center was awarded a subcontract to work with the Asian Pacific Community in Action, which received a four-year, $600,000 grant from the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation [...]

Grant funding will be used to develop a data system to track the health status and needs of the Asian/Pacific Islander community and its use of health services. The Asian Pacific Community in Action, or APCA, also will develop and implement a cancer screening and prevention plan, Hirano said. "One of the key components of our initiative is to build a solid understanding of the health behaviors and health care utilization patterns of the local Asian and Pacific Islander residents," he said. "With its massive database, CHIR will be a key source of this information."
Read more here.

Yes, I'm Giving Makeup Advice

Friday, July 25, 2008

Well I'm not. But they are - and yes - this will probably be the only makeup YouTube video I'll ever post - but I figure there have to be some people out there who need this information...

Not me ('cause you know - I get it professionally done).

But someone.

I blame this post on bad chicken wings.

Word To My Asian Country Singer

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dude - totally rockin - for more check out his YouTube page.

Get A Prop, Support The Arts

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thought I would post this because by buying something you'll also be supporting the Asian American theatre community:

The Pork Filled Players, ReAct Theatre, Rk Productions and SIS Productions are holding a Rummage Sale

Three of Seattle's well established "Fringe" theatre companies and a local photo/web production company are holding a rummage sale on the weekend of July 26th and 27th from 10am to 6pm on Saturday the 26th, and from 11am to 4pm on Sunday the 27th. This rummage sale will take place at the Prima Vera Arts Center which is located in the Seattle Center area on the second floor of 112 5th Avenue North found on the block between Denny and John Steets and 5th & Taylor Avenues. Access to the second floor of the center is available through the breezeway in back of the building on the Taylor Avenue side. (Just North of Fat City Automotive and a block south of McDonalds)

Please join us at this terrific rummage sale which will feature costumes, clothing, small appliances, interesting theatre props, small furniture, equipment, books, knick knacks and lots of other great finds at bargain prices and all in support of the arts! If you have great condition rummage sale items you would like to donate for the theatres to sell, or to get additional information about the rummage sale, please contact: ReAct at 206-364-3283.

SIS Productions, ReAct and Pork Filled Players are all performing arts companies which focus on developing the writing, acting, production and producing skills of local Asian American and multi-cultural talent. Rk Productions offers photography and web design services as well as tutorials in PhotoShop.

The Repertory Actors Theatre strives to produce quality theatrical entertainment using primarily multi-ethnic and non-traditional casting, by:
• Giving theatre artists of all backgrounds and skill-levels the opportunity to work together on mainstream projects that they might not normally have access to due to race, sex, age, or experience.
• Using our productions to help raise awareness, supplies and financial support for humanitarian and theatre-related charities and organizations.
• Developing in the general public, an increased appreciation for the dramatic and performing arts.

SIS Productions is a production company that strives to create, develop and produce quality works that involve Asian American women, their themes, and Asian American issues. SIS Productions encourages opportunities and support for Asian American women to be involved in all aspects of the production of artistic endeavors.

Since 1997, the Pork Filled Players have fielded both Seattle’s oldest sketch comedy group and the region’s longest running Asian American theatre group. They have appeared at Bumbershoot, Seattle Sketchfest the nation’s first non-profit sketch comedy festival;), SketchOff@%#? (Vancouver, BC), the first Asian North American sketch comedy festival); and the Seattle Fringe Theatre Festival. Equally adept at sketch comedy and traditional theatre, the Players use humor to whack away at notions of race, politics and social norms in 21st CenturyAmerica. The Players are fully armed in their mission to achieve maximum tongue-in-cheekiness, biting cultural and political satire and hilarious racial disharmony with their brand of Amazing Kung-Fu Griptm zaniness.
If you're in the area get on down and pick up some cool stuff - and support some great Asian American theatres.

Hey GOP: Is The Meth That Good?

Friday, July 25, 2008

I was reading an article down at MSNB called "The risk of Obama rapture" and like the title of this post suggests you gotta ask yourself how deep into the methosphere the GOP is when they basically say things like "If Obama's popularity is great abroad, than Americans shouldn't trust him".


So diplomacy is a bad thing? Working with other countries is a bad thing?

Who knew?

I mean I didn't know that working with other countries meant that the great old US of A couldn't be protected. I didn't know that by making it clear to other countries that the U.S. isn't going to be the brick wall that the Bush administration was, that it also meant the U.S. couldn't or wouldn't stay strong on policies that it believed in and that it wouldn't protect its own.

What do I know though - I'm just a regular Asian American hump who thinks that being diplomatic when it comes to working with other countries is a good thing.

Fallout Central Pulls The Plug

Friday, July 25, 2008

I have to admit that I even though I didn't listen to a ton of podcasts from the Asian American themed Fallout Central, I did listen to a few, and some of them were pretty good. - but according to their site, they won't be doing them anymore:

Dear Faithful Fallout Central Fans,

The last Fallout Central Podcast (for the foreseeable future) was held on Sunday, 7/20/08 at 2:00pm ET. The Fallout Central Podcast, formerly composed of announcers William Lee, Albert Lim, and John Kwak, will no longer be recorded until an Asian American person steps forward to lead Fallout Central. The historical podcast episodes and news archive will remain intact until I am no longer willing to pay for the retention of the Fallout Central web server which currently houses the podcasts that have been recorded, or until an Asian American person steps forward to pay for the maintenance of it.

If you would like to step up to the plate and take control of Fallout Central, please contact me, William Lee, at william@falloutcentral.com. I would be happy to assist you in either purchasing your own podcasting equipment (I have very detailed knowledge on every aspect of podcast broadcasting, and I can easily teach you how to do it) or give you FREE studio time at the Fallout Central studio in NYC. All of us (William, Albert, and John) would be happy to serve as announcers on the Fallout Central Podcast, but none of us want to invest the time to lead and produce it.

William Lee
Fallout Central
I guess it was good while it lasted.

Race Roundup

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Arkansas Pulls Hundreds Of 'Racist' License Plates

A series of hundreds of Arkansas-issued license plates are being pulled out of circulation over letter combinations that some claim are racist. "I couldn't imagine putting this on my car," motorist Alice Kunce said as she held up her "018-NGR" license plate.
Rapper Nas joins protest against racist Fox News

Nas joined MoveOn.org, ColorofChange.org as they protested Fox News’ ufair and unbalanced coverage of Sen. Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama by hosts such as Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. The protesters had a petition with over 600,000 signatures which they presented to Fox News. Fox news rejected the petition.
O'Reilly Wants Proof That FoxNews Is Racist: Read Your Own Columns, Bill

Yesterday on his Radio Factor, Bill O'Reilly tried as hard as he could to come up with something that proved the case those dang smear sites were making. That the Fox News channel is racist. He even brought on the ever brilliant, albeit Fox News consultant, Prof. Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, a real live African-American, to try to help him. Problem is, neither Bill nor Prof. Hill ever looked at the "Fox's Quarterback" (Bill's own egoless designation) himself.
Is 'black hole' really a racist term?

"America's educational institutions' dictionaries," she wrote, "define 'black' as harmful; hostile; disgrace; unpleasant aspects of life. 'White' is described as 'decent; honourable; auspicious; without malice.'" She's got a point: black sheep, dark humour, Black Tuesday -- the list goes on. But is the racial burden of word associations really so black and white? We've already learned that a proverbial white hole is worse than a black one. And there are others. Take casinos. Would you rather be holding a stack of white chips in your hand, or a stack of black chips? The black chip is worth $100; the white chip, $1.
Sex Pistol John Lydon denies racist attack on Bloc Party's Kele Okereke

Ageing punk John Lydon must be losing his memory - as well as his morals. The Sex Pistol denied racially abusing Bloc Party's Kele Okereke at a festival in Barcelona at the weekend. But Gruff Rhys of Mercury-nominated Neon Neon told MTV news: "It was horrific. Kele is a very brave man and what he said is exactly what happened."
Pinkberry Removes Racist Juice Gadgets from Stores

From Gothamist, Korean American-owned frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry recently pulled the Alessi Mandarin Juicer from its stores after Asian American customers complained that they didn't want to see one of the most enduring racist images ever while waiting in line for their dessert.
Racist tagger pleads guilty

An Illinois man admitted he spray-painted racial threats and epithets on the home of a black couple and their white friend, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

William Bowen, 25, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to conspiring to violate the civil rights of the three Collinsville, Ill., residents, the U.S. Justice Department said in a news release. He faces up to 11 years in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 31.
Racist attacks force Asian families to flee their homes

Three Asian couples and their terrified children were driven from their Dublin home after just a month because of alleged racial harassment. The young families had to leave an inner-city neighbourhood after tensions rose in the wake of an attack on their home. According to local sources, armed gardai had to escort the victims from their first-floor flat for their own safety as violence erupted in East Wall. One resident blamed the incident on a group of "thugs who don't like outsiders".
Racist sign investigated by San Ramon police

A prominent sign in a parking lot shared by private businesses and the post office was spray painted to say "Whites only." It is unknown when the sign was painted, but it was reported to police on Monday.

Kung Fu Bikini? Become A Kung Fu Movie Host!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I don't have any problem with bikinis, the girl next door, being ditzy, or kung fu, but somehow - putting them all together for this casting call just seems like it has the possibility to be bad news (but who knows - the e-mail is addressed with iatv so....):

Asian-American actresses needed to host Kung Fu movie show

Asian-American actresses needed to host Kung Fu movie show, to be shown on a national cable network. Comedy or improv experience is a plus. Three hosts will be cast to portray three loosely defined characters:

A cute, wholesome, girl-next-door type
A smart, slightly snarky, “I’m better than this” type
A ditzy, boy-crazy type.

Each host will be required to wear a bikini on camera (but there’s no nudity involved in this project, and the feel we’re going for is more fun and goofy than sexy).

There will be 7-8 shooting days in August, plus some prep days the week before. The rate is $300/day. To apply, please send your headshot, body shot, and resume to tnorton@iatv.tv.
Hmmmm...I reserve the right to make a final judgement after I see all the kung fu and the bikinis.

No Green Card Necessary

Thursday, July 24, 2008

So let me see if I get this straight. You're an Asian immigrant with a green card. You've done your due diligence and did everything you should have. You've abided by the law.

Everything's good right?

Apparently not, because under Schwarzenegger's plan you're going to be treated like someone who's here illegally and get denied health benefits:

Sherry Hirota -- CEO of Asian Health Services, which sponsored the event -- said, "With this budget, Asian Health Services alone would lose up to $1.5 million and be forced to close some clinics and lay off staff." She added, "This is unfair to the Asian community. More than 75% of Asian and Pacific Islanders in California are foreign-born. These cuts aimed at new legal immigrants will disproportionately impact the Asian community".
You's think that Schwarzenegger would get it - himself being an immigrant -- but I guess he's just another white politician who couldn't care less about the Asian immigrants.

Just another day in white people's land.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

For some reason when I think Unity - I think of the fictitious rappers "Hip Hop Dalmatians" from the movie Brown Sugar (classic) versus the NPR story on journalists of color down at UNITY (which is from yesterday - but I was MIA so...).

Listen to it here (and yeah- I did want to write "listen to it hear").

Asian Instinct

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Don't know Instinct. Never read Instinct - in fact - I don't even have instincts - but it is cool that Mike Donavanik is the first Asian American on its cover (at least from what I've been told).

Word to Cuba Gooding, Jr. (on second thought - didn't he do that really bad boat movie?).

82 Percent People, 82 Percent

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

With the kind of sort of, sometimes just blatant China bashing, it's nice to see a little news like this for some reason (and isn't she just a cutie?):

Satisfied with the direction your country is headed? The Chinese sure are. The rising nation tops the list of optimistic countries with a glass much more full than those of trailing countries. Eighty-six percent of the Chinese are content with China's direction, compared to 61 percent in second place Australia, according to the Pew Research Center. Eighty-two percent of the Chinese are also happy with their economy.
McCain just wishes he had a half of that percentage of people who believed in him.

Music: Shanghai Restoration Project and Vienna Teng

Monday, July 21, 2008

David Liang

Some random and cool music touring notes for ya'll:

Shanghai Restoration Project

Live in NY and LA: The Shanghai Restoration Project

In celebration of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the SHANGHAI RESTORATION PROJECT will be performing two shows in early August:

Tuesday, August 5th @ THE VIPER ROOM
7:30 pm (doors open at 7:00PM)
8852 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Wednesday, August 13th @ THE CANAL ROOM
8:00 pm (doors open at 7:30PM)
285 W. Broadway
New York, NY 10013

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Click to buy for LA and NY.

The evening will feature SHANGHAI RESTORATION PROJECT producer Dave Liang ..board accompanied by vocalists Amos Winbush, Di Johnston, Heath Brandon, Natural Fact, and Shayna Steele.

Select tracks will be synchronized to video footage of historical and modern day Shanghai. Shot in high-definition format, the clips were produced by Mark E. Lee Productions and filmed by Aasulv Wolf Austad, whose most recent collaboration, Jennifer Phang's "Half Life," was an official Sundance selection and received favorable reviews in Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.

Made possible by Warner Music Independent Label Group.
Special thanks to IODA, Rhino Independent, and Warner Chappell.
Vienna Teng

Tour Dates In August

8/2 Manchester MI - Riverfolk Festival
8/5 Milwaukee WI - Miramar Theatre
8/6 Chicago IL - Schubas Tavern
8/8 Pittsburgh PA - Club Cafe
8/9 Akron OH - Lock 3 Live ** opening for Arlo Guthrie! **
8/10 Charleston WV - Mountain Stage ** w/Mike Gordon, Crooked Still, Carrie Rodriguez & The Rescues **

Asian Stories Premiere: July 25th At The ImaginAsian Center

Monday, July 21, 2008

While it's gotten some play at film festivals since mid 2006 (about 7), the dramatic comedy is getting its U.S. theatrical premiere on July 25th down at the ImaginAsian Center in LA where James Kyson Lee, Kathy Uyen, Kirt Kishita, the director Ron Oda and other cast and crew members will be on hand (for the afterparty as well).

Here's the synopsis for the film:

Jim is a young closefisted Chinese American living in LA who desperately finds himself with a stack of white flower themed disposable cameras, fleur-de-lis invitations, a number of champagne bottles, and a ten-thousand dollar engagement ring bill. The only thing missing is a bride. In financial debt and miserable for having his fiancé leave two weeks prior to Valentine's day, Jim tries to resurface his dignity and wash away his wretchedness by asking his best friend, a Japanese hitman whose passion for cooking fancy entrees extends far beyond his kitchen, to kill him just in time to miss the Hallmark holiday. With less than four days to live, Jim, while wearing his wedding tuxedo the entire time, treks to the mountains to find his fate, meet a pizza delivery boy with lucky charms, the funeral spot of his choice, and a girl.

ASIAN STORIES won the Audience Award at the VC Film Festival/Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and has screened to sold-out audiences at other festivals in San Diego, Hawaii and Chicago.
Good to see it being shown and getting its opening. For more info check out the site.

Dr. Ken On Loveline

Monday, July 21, 2008

Doctor, Comedian, Actor, Guitar Guy - however you know him - Ken Jeong is going to be filling in for Dr. Drew tonight on Loveline and I can only imagine the advice that is going to be given out.

Loveline airs at 10PM to Midnight PST.

DVD I Fell Asleep Watching This Weekend: Carved, Slit-Mouthed Woman

Monday, July 21, 2008

I hadn't seen this movie before so I decided to pick it up, and maybe it was because I just needed sleep, but I just couldn't finish it and ended up crashing on my couch where I woke up with a lot of drool on the pillow (which turned out to be the scariest thing that happened to me all weekend).

Anyway, here's the trailer if you're interested in the movie I wasn't able to finish (although I'm going to try watching it again tonight).

Re-Watch: Hula Girls

Monday, July 21, 2008

There're just movies that you love to watch again, and while I'm always filling up some time with some new films or dramas, sometimes you just want to pop in a classic - and this weekend I was re-watching Hula Girls, and I just can't help it - the movie tears me up to the point where I'm just sobbing like an idiot (albeit in a manly quiet way).

Even writing this now I can't help but think about them running to the train and going "That just really gets me".

It's like Almost Famous - you can watch it over and over again and it's just as good as the first time you ever saw it - and for no particular reason, decided that I needed to show it some blogo love.

I think I need a hug now...

Good Asian Drivers

Monday, July 21, 2008

A while back I posted on the Kit Yan (who along with Melissa Li make the duo Good Asian Drivers) and I wanted to make sure to let people know that their CD's are out, and although I haven't checked out all the songs and spoken word - what they have available at their MySpace pages is pretty cool - so make sure to check them out and pick up a CD if you like their stuff.

Snippets I like: Badass, Mr Mighty, Strap On.

For more on the Good Asian Drivers check out http://www.myspace.com/goodasiandriverstour which has some selections from Melissa Li's CD as well as Kit's CD.

For individual sites, there are more selections at http://www.myspace.com/kityanpoetry and http://www.myspace.com/melissalimusic.

That's F'd Up

Monday, July 21, 2008

I just can't help but want to kick someone in the balls when I hear stories about people getting kidnapped because it's just like "What the hell?" can't you just get a damn job or something?

I mean who in their right mind does things like this except some lazy S.O.B who really doesn't care about anyone except themselves:

Four armed men barged Sunday night into the house of Filipino-American Ver Loyola in the resort city of Tagaytay, south of Manila, tied up his wife and maid, and then drove away with Loyola and his 19-year-old daughter, Cristina, a regional police report said.

The assailants also took two cell phones, assorted jewelry worth $1,570 and $1,900 in cash, the report said.

Three hours later, the kidnappers abandoned Loyola and the car in a nearby town but demanded a ransom for the daughter, a police official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details with the media.

He said the kidnappers were demanding $67,400 for her release.
And I have to ask the question - what's up with the $67,400? Did they think to themselves that they better not round up to $68,000 because it might seem like too much or something?

I just hope these dumbasses get caught and popped into a nice dark jail cell and that everyone ends up being safe.

Crossing my fingers.

I Guess It's News

Monday, July 21, 2008

To be honest I'm not sure why this is news - or why a press release was sent out on it. I mean it's cool, but is really that cool? Has an Asian American, or Chinese American never done this before?

You be the judge:

Chinese-American Planning Council City Councilman to Ring the NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell


John Liu, Chinese-American Planning Council City Councilman, will
preside over the closing bell.

NASDAQ MarketSite - 4 Times Square - 43rd & Broadway - Broadcast Studio

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 4:00 p.m. EDT

Pui Chi Cheng
(O) 718.937.8480; pui.cheng@verizon.net

NASDAQ MarketSite:
Jolene Libretto; 646.441.5220; 347.219.9539

Feed Information:

The closing bell is available from 3:50 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. on Galaxy 3C, Transponder 9. The downlink frequency is 4040 Vertical; Audio 6.2-6.8. The feed can also be found on Waterfront fiber 1623. If you have any questions, please contact Jolene Libretto at (646) 441-5220.

Radio Feed:

An audio transmission of the closing bell is also available from 3:50 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. on uplink IA6 C band / transponder 24, downlink frequency 4180 horizontal. The feed can be found on Waterfront fiber 1623 as well.


A live webcast of the NASDAQ Closing Bell will be available at: http://www.nasdaq.com/about/marketsitetowervideo.asx


To obtain a hi-resolution photograph of the Market Close, please go to http://www.nasdaq.com/reference/marketsite_events.stm and click on the market close of your choice.

About Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc.:

Founded in 1965, the Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc. (CPC) is one of the largest not-for profit providers of social services for New York Asian American children, youth, adults, and senior citizens with over 70 programs at 29 locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
O.K. I guess it's news, maybe, sort of....hmmmm.

Kimchi Western: The Good, The Bad, The Weird

Monday, July 21, 2008

I know everyone is talking about Dark Knight right now - and from what I hear from friends it's deserved (I'll see it sometime in the near future) - but the Kimchi Western The Good, The Bad, The Weird apparently did pretty amazing at the South Korean box office having the best opening so far this year (the previous record in '08 was held by Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull).

Check the trailer (cause it looks tight)

You're Vietnamese And You Can Read Poker Faces

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sure. Obviously. I mean, not all Vietnamese people can read the poker face, but it is an interesting subject to delve into - and one which Andrew Lam takes a stab at in a New American Media blog post:

As a Vietnamese American writer who often addresses East-west relations, I have been asked over and over again: Why are Vietnamese so good at poker? Why indeed when many didn’t really play poker in Vietnam? I can’t claim to have a definitive answer but here’s something to think about: Vietnamese love gambling, and culturally it is not frowned upon. In fact, gambling is part of recreation for many who labored in the fields.

Tet, the new year celebration, is the time when everyone gambles. My fondest memories of my Vietnamese childhood is of my mother’s clan gathering in the back of our grandparent’s villa in Saigon and play Sauter La Banque, and i was six and won lots of cash from this hat (if you lose, you have to match all the money in the hat)... To Jump the bank= to bet all.. quite exciting for a 6 years old.

It was very fun with everyone – young and old -with the young, mostly kids, using their new money given to them by their elders to try to win everyon’e else’s money. The winner often then take the losers to lunch : > to cheer them up.

Children develop a keen sense of game playing and are condoned by their parents, and are often guided by their elders on how to play a better game. In fact, I spent many a summer nights with my siblings and parents playing another game called Tu Xac – same characters as in Chinese Chess – but using cards instead. My father often won and he would never give us back our money no matter how much we chldren pouted.
All I know is this - if someone could teach me to read a slot machine, then I would be in business.

Lam Triet Gets Inspired By Angkor Wat

Monday, July 21, 2008

I have to admit that I'm a little envious of people who can do things like paint and draw - because all I've ever been able to do is put together some stick figures, and even those don't really even look like anything.

I guess I could lament about it and hang my head in shame, but what fun would there be in that (and truth be told, I really like making stick figures and think they're kind of cute)?

A better use of my time would be to highlight someone like Lam Triet who's a real artist:

Triet first visited Cambodia with HCM City’s Committee for Overseas Vietnamese as part of a programme to donate medicine and food to poor Vietnamese living in the country.

"I was deeply impressed with the sculptures carved on Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat hundreds of years ago," Triet said. "I wanted to express part of that beauty in my works."

He said he was especially struck by the depiction of apsaras, considered to be heavenly nymphs in Hindu mythology, on Cambodia’s temples.

The 36-painting exhibition An Tuong Angkor (Impressions of Angkor) includes depictions of apsara dancers and stone figures on the Bayon temple.

Triet was born in 1938 in Binh Dinh Province and studied painting at Hue and Sai Gon Fine Arts schools.
Read more about Triet at Viet Nam News.

Get Your Pan-Asian Game Developer On

Monday, July 21, 2008

Word to my Pan-Asian developers - get your game on and become famous! O.K. maybe not famous, but at least some cash and prizes and a trip to the 2008 Tokyo Game Show:

MySpace China, MySpace Japan, MySpace Korea, and MySpace India - the four Asian powerhouses in gaming entertainment - are joining forces to bring you TheGame08, the first-ever Pan-Asian game applications competition.

Enter your game application for a chance to win big cash and prizes, international media attention, plus a trip to attend the 2008 Tokyo Game Show, one of the largest gaming expos in the world!

Showcase your creativity and talents by submitting your game application on the MySpace Developer Platform. The winning application will be translated into English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean and made available for download by the global MySpace community - that’s more than 117 million people!

Your game will be promoted by MySpace and thrust into the international media spotlight when it is announced at this year’s Tokyo Game Show.

Defining the future of social gaming - it starts with you on MySpace!
If you live in one of the areas - or know someone who does - let em know to get their team together.

Asian Hip Hop Summit

Monday, July 21, 2008

If you're into hip hop you'll definitely want to make sure that you check this out when it comes to a venue near you (click on the pic for a larger version).

For more info check out the site as well as the MySpace pages -and is just me or is AAM going sponsor crazy these days?


APA's Getting Heard

Monday, July 21, 2008

There's a good story on the youth vote, being involved in the election, and just making sure that their voices are heard down at the Pacific Citizen:

Shandon Phan, 28, wonders why he was unable to find a pro-McCain group for Asian Americans on the Internet.

'He's a great candidate. Why is there no group out there?' he wondered.

The young law student took the situation into his own hands by starting Asian Americans for McCain, an independent group focused on reaching out to those interested in Sen. John McCain. With about 10 active members, the group hopes to make an impact by recruiting voters and branching out into the community.

Young Asian Pacific Americans like Phan have been moved by the 2008 presidential candidates and have taken the initiative to make a difference, campaigning for the candidates of their choices and working to get involved in the political process.
While I'm not sure I'd put my stock in McCain - especially if you're betting on the election (at least in a win/lose situation) - as long as you're getting involved, what more can anyone really ask for?

Children of the Atomic Bomb

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's not a fun topic - but it shouldn't be, it can't be - and while everyone in their right mind would go back and change history, it's not something that can happen, and at the very least - we need to learn from it - we have to learn from it.

In what can only be described as a sobering experience to view, the new website from UCLS's Asian American Studies Center, named "Children of the Atomic Bomb" makes sure that we don't forget what happened, and that we try to learn from what happened:

August 6 and August 9 will mark the 63rd anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the history of humankind, Japan and the Japanese people were the only nation to bear the horrific consequences of the atomic bomb; over 100,000 persons died directly, with hundreds of thousands more being exposed directly and indirectly to the bomb. The children, both living and future generations, were especially vulnerable to the genetic effects of the bomb.

To commemorate this event, and to urge humankind to act today upon new medical and scientific knowledge about the long-term effects of the atomic bomb, UCLA's Asian American Studies Center announces the official August 2008 launching of the innovative website "Children of the Atomic Bomb."

The website, found at (http://www.childrenoftheatomicbomb.com), was developed by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center in partnership with Dr. James N. Yamazaki, an emeritus professor of medicine at UCLA. Yamazaki was the lead physician of the 1949 U.S. Atomic Bomb Medical Team, studying the effects of nuclear bombing on children in Nagasaki. The project was funded in part by the Paul I. Terasaki Foundation, along with in-kind funding from the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. Additional funding came from Ms. Dodie Danchick.

The "Children of the Atomic Bomb" website provides Dr. Yamazaki's eyewitness accounts of his experiences in post-war Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and the Marshall Islands. According to Dr. Yamazaki: "Their tragedy has left a lifelong impact on me. Today, an enormous nuclear disaster simmers that must not be allowed to ignite."

The "Children of the Atomic Bomb" website details the Commission's findings on the physical and health consequences of the atomic bombs on the survivors. These include increased incidence of leukemia and other cancers and high rates of birth defects such as malformed brains, caused by radiation injury to developing fetal brain cells. In addition to two video interviews with Dr. Yamazaki, the "Children of the Atomic Bomb" website also features images of drawings and paintings created by survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts.
For the full article go here. To view the website visit http://www.aasc.ucla.edu/cab/index.html.

Kiyo Ann Matsumoto: Only The Second Asian American Woman Ever Confirmed To A Federal Bench

Friday, July 18, 2008

A while back, I posted on Kiyo Ann Matsumoto and her bid to become a federal judge, and yesterday, she was approved by the United States Senate to be the next federal judge in the Eastern District of New York - unanimously - and in doing so, Matsumoto is only the second Asian American woman ever confirmed to a Federal Bench and the first Asian American in that court.

Here's the full story from the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the full United States Senate has unanimously confirmed Kiyo Matsumoto to be the next federal judge in the Eastern District of New York. Schumer, who recommended Matsumoto -- as well as Cathy Seibel to the sit in the Southern District, who is set to be confirmed later this month -- said that these two accomplished women will go a long way toward closing the gender disparity that currently exists on the federal bench. Matsumoto currently serves as a federal magistrate judge in the Eastern District, and will be only the second woman of Asian decent ever confirmed to the federal bench.

“Today is an historic day for the Eastern District and for the entire federal court system,” Schumer said. “Judge Matsumoto is an extraordinary jurist and I wholeheartedly congratulate her on her confirmation. I recommended Judge Matsumoto because of her integrity and qualifications, character and dedication. In addition, Judge Matsumoto’s confirmation brings us one step closer to reversing the gender disparity that exists on the federal bench. Our federal bench must reflect the same broad diversity of experience as America writ large.”

Ms. Matsumoto currently serves as a Federal Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York, where she has managed a docket of over 300 cases for three years. Prior to her appointment as Federal Magistrate Judge, Ms. Matsumoto served the in U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York for over 20 years, as Chief and First Deputy Chief of the Civil Division. Judge Matsumoto’s father and mother spent time in an internment camp during World War II.

"Judge Matsumoto's life and career shows the greatness of those who believe in America and push our nation to its best potential: the woman whose family was subject to the worst injustice under law, now -- as a result of her own talent --has a seat of legal power and influence to judge others with rigor, intellectual excellence and fairness," said Schumer.

In March, Schumer recommended Matsumoto and Cathy Seibel, the current First Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, to the President to fill vacant spots in the Eastern and Southern District respectively Schumer said that right now there are far more men serving on the federal courts in New York, particularly in the Eastern District where only 32 percent of judges are women. Schumer today said that Matsumoto’s confirmation and Ms. Seibel’s expected confirmation later this month will help reverse that unnecessary disparity.

In addition, Magistrate Judge Matsumoto has now become only the second Asian American woman to serve as a federal district court judge and the third Asian American federal district court judge outside of California and Hawaii. She is the eighth Asian American federal Senate-confirmed judge currently active out of approximately 850 nationwide.

The Senate today also confirmed Paul Gardaphe to be a judge on the Southern District of New York.

I mean seriously - how cool is this?

Hot Track: Ishida Yuko

Friday, July 18, 2008

Definitely a slick vibe from the artist formally known as Juan. Check out the song and the video for Changes.

Here's some more info on Ishida Yuko from Wiki.ThePPN:

Ishida Yuko made her debut in 2001 as a member of the dance unit SOUL TIGER, from the television program Batoraku. She also auditioned for ASAYAN. A year later she was awarded Miss Magazine's Reader Special Award and in 2003 made the image girl of Teijin.

When making her debut as a musical artist in 2005, she changed her stage name to "Juan". Her first single's tracks were a throwback to popular Western songs of the 1980s. When she released her album three months later, she had a slightly more sexed-up image and included R&B influences in many of the tracks on the album, although a handful of the songs are 1980s-styled.

With her mini-album released in September 2006, Juan completely changed her style to R&B/hip-hop and took her sexy image a step further by wearing even less clothing in promotional videos and the album booklet. However, this mini-album was the last thing she released as Juan.

In 2007, Ishida became an image girl for Triumph, and in 2008 she released her "debut" single, "Missin' U", under her gravure name as a tie-in for the brand. She also won the Grand Prix award for ZAKZAK's "ZAK THE QUEEN" competition of 2007.

Confessions Of An Independent Filmmaker

Friday, July 18, 2008

This has been going on for a little while - the webseries that is - and it's awesome. It shows "Randon Filipino Filmmaking Guy" and his true quest to make his animated movie (which is pretty much Top Secret for everyone watching at home).

In a way - it kind of reminds me of that indie flick My Date With Drew - except this guy is Filipino, and he's not trying to date Drew Barrymore, or anyone else, and he uses a lot of Godzilla references (so maybe it's not like that movie after all).

Here's the latest from this month

Check out the rest of the episodes here (they're pretty short - and fun to watch).

Profile & Video: G-N From Chio in the morning

Friday, July 18, 2008

Because you always want more hats, here's Asian American DJ G-N from Philadelphia's Wired 96.5 talking about hats:

Here's G-N's 96.5 profile:

Co-host/Female Voice

G-N was born in Seoul, Korea and moved to Arizona when she was just a year old. It's a surprise she talks for a living considering she didn't learn to talk until the late age of 3. Now she is bi-lengual in English and Korean. She's close with her parents and considers her brother one of her best friends. She graduated from the University of Arizona and moved to the East Coast in 2006.

Oprah, Grey's Anatomy, Sex and the City, myspace, all types of music even country, fake eye lashes, Spas, MAC cosmetics, dimples on guys, designer shoes and purses but cheap tops and bottoms, reality shows, scalp massages, animals I can feed, my sidekick, feather beds and sheets over 800 thread count, being scratched while falling asleep, so much more...

Crickets, hang nails, when I have a double chin in pictures, fancy foods like escargot and caviar, bad breath/odor,

Reading books and magazines, dancing, watching tv/movies, shopping, traveling, rock climbing, dining out, running, tanning, learning anything new, taking pictures, etc.

Things Most people dont know:
This might be hard to believe but I graduated from The University of Arizona in just 3 years. I love cleaning and doing laundry. I've had 3 root canals, burned myself trying to make stupid things, went skydiving, am a sorority drop out, and will try anything once! By the way, my wedding ring finger is size 4.5.

Lee Hyori: U-Go-Girl

Friday, July 18, 2008

The song's not bad, although I'm not into it as much as other people - but the video is cool in that you get to see Hyori play a lot of different characters, and it has kind of an old school feel to it in some places.

Update: Finished listening to the CD Hyorish and this track doesn't stand out when compared to songs like My Life, He Will do it, Photo Gallery, and Daughter of a barber man which all just have a better vibe to them.

Check out the video below

The Asian And You Could Be Asian Emmy Nominee List

Friday, July 18, 2008

Steven Okazaki

Here's the deal. I'm not the all knowing Asian American with "the chip" which can spot out Asian and Asian Americans by name alone (which in ways is a good thing) - and to be honest, it's just not possible because of the diversity of people who are from Asian decent.

At the same time, I wanted to get a list of Emmy nominees who were Asian/Asian American and not just ones that everyone knows about (because we all know who Sandra Oh is) because I wanted to highlight Asian/Asian Americans behind the scenes as well - because they definitely make a difference.

So you can see my dilemma.

I wanted to highlight people of Asian decent - but without pictures this can get difficult.

So what do you do?

You make your best Asian estimate and make apologies to everyone who either got left out (and I'm sure you're there because names don't always tell the picture obviously), or you bow your head in shame for putting someone on this list when maybe they shouldn't have been there in the first place.

But for what it's worth - I'm thinking I'm 95% accurate on the people listed below - and hey - show me a list that tries to do this (because if it's there, I just would have copied it).

P.S. - If I missed you or you know someone I missed, feel free to e-mail anything. At the same time, there were a couple people in camerawork that were in multiple shows (but I only showed them once).

Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)

  • Tom Yasumi - Animation Director - SpongeBob SquarePants
  • Patricia Shinagawa - Animation Timer - The Simpons
Outstanding Art Direction For A Miniseries, Or Movie

  • Radha Mehta - Set Decorator - Recount
Outstanding Cinematography For A Miniseries Or Movie

  • Tak Fujimoto - Director of Photography - John Adams
Outstanding Cinematography For A Half-hour Series

  • Michael Goi - Director of Photography - John Adams
Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single-camera Series

  • Yuko Tokunaga-Koach - Key Hairstylist - Pushing Daisies
Outstanding Main Title Design

  • Garson Yu, Creative Director/Art Director - Bernard And Doris
  • Synderela Peng, Designer/Art Director - Bernard And Doris
  • Etsuko Uji, Designer/Animator - Bernard And Doris
  • Karin Fong, Title Designer - Chuck
  • Dana Yee, Title Designer - Chuck
Exceptional Merit In Nonfiction Filmmaking

  • Steven Okazaki, Producer - White Light/Black Rain
Outstanding Picture Editing For A Special (single Or Multi-camera)

  • Narumi Inatsugo, Editor - The AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute To Al Pacino
Outstanding Reality-competition Program

  • Joe Sungkur, Senior Producer - DWTS
Outstanding Reality Program

  • Jeanne Kazumi Petrone, Produced By - Extreme Makeover Home Edition
Outstanding Sound Editing For Nonfiction Programming (single Or Multi-camera)

  • Noz Furuya, Sound Effects Editor -Life After People
Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (half-hour) And Animation

  • Susan Moore-Chong - Weeds
Outstanding Special Class - Short-format Animated Programs

  • Won Dong Kun, Animation Director
Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special

  • Daniel Kumiega, Visual Effects Animator

Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series

  • David Takemura, Visual Effects Coordinator
  • Jamie Yukio Kawano, Lead CGI Artist - Stargate Atlantis
  • Daniel Osaki, Lead Model Maker - Stargate Atlantis

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

  • Sandra Oh - Grey's Anatomy

Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special

  • Easter Xua, Camera - American Idol

Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video For A Series

  • Fred Shimizu, Camera - Late Show With David Letterman

Blogo Love

Friday, July 18, 2008

Some links from around the way:

Shuffled! Theresa Vu of Magnetic North

Theresa Vu is a female emcee with no need for the “female” qualifier. Known for her sharp delivery and no-nonsense rhymes, Tvu has performed nationwide and turned heads from rap superstar Nelly to renowned civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama. She is one half of highly-touted Magnetic North, a duo who consistently ranks among MySpace’s top 10 unsigned hip hop bands in New York.
Satire of the Stupid

Aside from the racial insularity from which it emerges, this art fails on purely discursive grounds. You can't fight demeaning portrayals by actualizing them. If a woman is accused in sexist society of being ugly, the appropriate response is not to draw a picture of her looking extremely ugly according to certain patriarchal standards in order to chuckle about it. That doesn't work. The appropriate response is to undermine the entire set of underlying assumptions and beliefs which give potency to sexist slurs.
SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Reebok Speaks Chine$e

Yao Ming returned to the hardcourt today from a foot injury for 12 minutes against Serbia in the Stankovic Cup, a pre-Olympic tune-up tournament. China won 96-72. Reports said that Yao Ming looked "rusty," but I doubt Reebok really gives a shit how he plays so long as his big ass is out there.
the asian guy in the dark knight

With the latest Batman movie The Dark Knight opening in theaters on Friday, we're probably looking at one of the biggest box office weekends of the summer. I have seen the movie, and it's pretty freaking fantastic. If you liked Batman Begins, this one's going to blow you away. That said... the movie wouldn't quite be complete without a few Asian bad guys.
Japanese Americans get the spotlight in Japanese American National Museum conference in Denver

The conference, which had the awkward and ungainly title but righteous theme of “Whose America? Who’s American?,” also brought more than 800 attendees and volunteers for the four-day span, meeting and greeting and learning about the history, present and future of not only Japanese Americans but also of Americans in general.
The Worst Kind of Wing

The wingman. She's always there if you're looking to have a good time when you want to go bar hopping. You can count on her to rescue you from a sticky situation that you can't get yourself out of. She's the best excuse to use when you're trying to ditch that sketchy guy who just won't leave you alone. She's the Thelma to your Louise. Most importantly, she's the best possible candidate that won't try to cock block you when you're trying to score digits from that cute blonde with the big hands.

Project Slasher: Jerry Tam

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dear Jerry:

Listen. I know you're a fashion designer who unlike some of the other contestants on Project Runway has his own business and is actually making some cash, and in that way you feel like you have to defend your work - and sure - you probably didn't deserve to go home more than Trash Bag Rocker Lady from the 70's with her "whipstitch garbage sack", but c'mon - how can you still stand behind that J-Horror costume you put together that looked like it should have been in Rampo Noir versus for a night out on the town?

Either way - I am still glad you made it on the show (and your intro was cool) and while I'd like to know that there's still another Asian American on Project Runway, I understand the 1 Asian American per show quota, so I'll just have to wait until next season to cheer on another AA.

O.K. - Here's to hoping I see your work in some new flicks.


Get Your Play On: A-Squared Theatre Workshop and The Wind Cries Mary

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

So I got word of this from musician Dawen Wang via Chicago about a new play being put on by A-Squared Theatre Workshop called "The Wind Cries Mary" - and it sounds like it's going to be pretty damn cool. The show will be running next month August 1-24 down at City Lit Theatre.

Check out all the info down below from the press release, and if you're down in the area - make sure to get on out and support some Asian American theater.

A-Squared Theatre Workshop, a new Asian-American stage workshop, is producing Chicago’s premiere of Philip Kan Gotanda's The Wind Cries Mary, running from August 1-24, 2008 at City Lit Theatre.

Loosely adapted from Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, Gotanda's interpretation tackles Asian American political and civil rights themes of the late 1960s. Set in San Francisco, with a backdrop of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement and the Women’s Liberation movement, the play takes place solely within the protagonist’s (Eiko Hanabi) home and engages the audience with the character’s inner struggle to break through her own gender and racial issues.

“We sought out this play because it represents what we struggle with today,” said Max Chung, director of The Wind Cries Mary. “The experience of the Ibsen story is universal, and the script is written so that Asian Americans could share our experience, our viewpoint with a larger audience.”

Playwright Philip Kan Gotanda is one of the most produced American playwrights, having worked with the Asian American Theatre Company, Northwest Asian American Theater, Pan Asian Repertory, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, New York Shakespeare Festival and the Mark Taper Forum. Gotanda also works internationally, recently staging a Japanese translation of other work and at London's Gate Theatre in co-production with the Royal National Theatre.

A-Squared Theatre Workshop is the only workshop in Chicago that is focused on the Asian-American experience. The founders of A-Squared saw the need to build a space that could span the range of ethnic groups in the Asian American community and use it as a place “to work out new ideas.” A-Squared hails some of the city’s well-known talent such as Mia Park, Dwight Sora and Paul Yamada to bring culturally specific issues to Chicago’s stage.

Audiences can catch “The Wind Cries Mary” from August 1 – 24 on Thursday-Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm. All performances are at City Lit Theater, 1020 West Bryn Mawr, Chicago. For reservations call 773.353.5979. General admission is $18, students and seniors $15 and groups of 10 or more at $12.

About A-Squared Theatre:

Mia Park, co-founder of A-Squared Theatre Workshop, has been a co-host of the underground cable music show, Chic-A-Go-Go, for ten years. Mia is a member of SAG, AEA, and AFTRA and has acted in independent movies, national commercials and industrial films for over eight years. In addition to MCing for groups like the Korean Consulate and the City of Chicago, Mia does voice-over work and models. She's performed in the Asian American theater groups Tea Company and Stir Friday Night and has also performed with Collaboraction as Jenny Chow in The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow and was most recently Fumiko in Hana's Suitcase with the
Chicago Children's Theater Company. Mia graduated from the Meisner Program at Act One Studios and has studied at Improv Olympic.

Paul Yamada is a co-founder of A-Squared Theatre Workshop and has been writing and researching American popular music and culture for over 35 years. He has published numerous essays and reviews and has made contributions to events produced by the Smithsonian Institute, the Washington Performing Arts Society, and National Public Radio. More recently, he has contributed profiles of Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Yasuhiro Ishimoto to the JACL newsletter. He curated the music for the production of Seven Out and assisted with the music for Trial By Water.

Cary Shoda is a co-founder of A-Squared Theatre Workshop and a Chicago-based actor and graphic designer. He played Khue in Trial By Water (co-produced with dueEast Theatre Company) and will produce The Wind Cries Mary which opens in August 2008. Other recent acting credits include The Laramie Project (James Downing Theatre Company), Camino Real (Mom and Dad Productions), and video segments in Ceres (Factory Theater). Graphic design credits include McKinsey & Company, Spencer Stuart, and The Museum of Contemporary Art.

Allen Hope Sermonia, co-founder of A-Squared Theatre Workshop, is an actor/director who has been in and around the off-loop theater scene for the past 10 years. He has appeared and behind the scenes with such theaters as Wing and Groove Theatre Company, TriArts, Inc., Chicago Dramatists, and others. As a director, his work has been seen at Chicago Dramatists, Prop Theater, and dueEast Theatre Company. Recently, he was seen in ICT’s jeff-recommended show Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates.

Dwight Sora is a native of River Forest and has been working professionally in Chicago since 2002’s The Rape of Nanking . . . According to Minnie (Stockyards Theatre Project). Prior to that, he was actively involved with the community performance/outreach group Scrap Mettle SOUL based in the Edgewater/Uptown neighborhood, after graduating from the University of Chicago in 1995. Other credits include A Thousand Cranes (Vittum Theater), The Normal Heart (Lincoln Square Theatre), Again (II Roman Senators), and Warren Lemming’s cabaret Cold Chicago. He understudied for After the Quake (Steppenwolf Theatre Company) and Durango (Silk Road Theatre Project), and has fought onstage in Romeo et Juliet (Lyric Opera Chicago) and Tribulation & the Demolition Squad (Chicago Dance Crash). He has worked on several industrial films for corporations such as McDonald’s and Bank of America, and spent three years with the Social Issues Ensemble of Imagination Theater.

Ghuon "Max" Chung is the director of The Wind Cries Mary after having choreographed the movement and fights for Trial By Water. He has been seen on stage with Little Theatre on the Square, Illinois Theatre Center, Marriott-Lincolnshire Theatre, Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, Pegasus Players, The Artistic Home, Light Opera Works and Ravinia Festival. He graduated from Northwestern University and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association. He voiced the character Chang Wong in the Left Behind audio book series and premiered his one-man show, Secret Asian Man…a Korean Kabaret in Chicago.