's AAPI Empowerment Series With Yul Kwon

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Got this sent out my way and just wanted to make sure to post up on it for anyone that wants to get involved:

We're thrilled to announce the second conversation in's AAPI Empowerment Series, with Yul Kwon!

Yul is the winner of "Survivor: Cook Islands," and the first Asian American to win a reality show. The interview will be held Tuesday, June 9 at 6 pm PDT (9 pm EDT). Phoebe Eng's June 2 will be rescheduled; stay tuned for the new date.

Yul is quite active in the AAPI community -- he was in Denver for the Democratic Convention and was in Denver again in May for an AAPI Heritage Month event. He’s a great role model because of his accomplishments, and because he’s on a mission to dispel myths and stereotypes about Asian American Pacific Islanders, and to urge AAPIs to enter the political process.

He's sure to be an inspirational interview!

If you registered for Norm Mineta's interview, you're already registered for Yul Kwon. If you're new to's AAPI Empowerment Series, just register here:

You can read more about Yul Kwon here:

Here's how the AAPI Empowerment Series conversations work: The interviews are conducted over FR*EE teleconference lines (long distances charges may apply) and via webcast (always free). Once you register, you'll receive information on how to dial in for the interview, and you can also submit questions for Yul both before and during the interview.

Our goal at is to connect you with Asian American Pacific Islander pioneers and leaders, and empower AAPIs to find their voice and stand with vigor in everything they do!

Erin Yoshimura and Gil Asakawa, Founders,

Yuta Tabuse Gives The NBA Another Shot

Sunday, May 31, 2009

So Yuta Tabuse who was the only Japanese player to ever make it in the NBA (for the Phoenix Suns in '04) is going to be giving it another shot, leaving the Japanese National Team to attend the Dallas Mavericks' summer camp, and while it doesn't provide an automatic in by any means - being invited to the camp is at least the first step.

2009 APIA Spoken Word & Poetry Summit

Saturday, May 30, 2009

You can follow all of the info via as well as down at their Facebook page (do a search for APIA Spoken Word & Poetry Summit).

Nationwide Vigils For Laura Ling And Euna Lee

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Maybe in the end we all can make a difference when it comes to matters like this - and when push comes to shove - I guess we at least have to try.

Here's a list of all the vigils being held across the country as well as the Facebook Group from the Asian Wire Press release:

Washington, D.C Freedom Plaza
14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
6:00 pm Ð 8:00 pm

New York, NY
Washington Square Park (The Fountain)
6:00 pm Ð 8:00 pm

Chicago, IL
Chinatown Square Plaza
Cermack and Wentworth Streets
7:30 pm Ð 8:30 pm

Birmingham, AL
Linn Park (tentatively)
223 Carrington Lane
7:00 pm Ð 10:00 pm

Portland, OR
South Park Blocks
SW Park Avenue from Salmon Street to Jackson Street
6:30 pm Ð 8:00 pm

San Francisco, CA
Front Steps of San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
6:00 pm Ð 8:00 pm

Santa Monica, CA
1413 5th Street
7:00 pm Ð 9:00 pm

National Organizer:
Brendan Creamer

Facebook Group

Wan Goes City Council

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Caught this up and just thought I'd post out the snippet for all my people out in Atlanta - District 6 to be exact:

On Wednesday morning, gay business owner and community volunteer Alex Wan met with Southern Voice to announce his bid for the seat, which is currently held by Anne Fauver, the Atlanta City Council’s only openly gay member.

Fauver had initially said she would seek a third term, but dropped her reelection bid last month, leaving gay business consultant Steve Brodie as the only announced candidate. Brodie came within five votes of unseating Fauver in 2005.

“I think an openly gay person or Asian-American person being elected to City Council sends a huge signal about how open the city is,” Wan said. “If there is representation on the governing council of the city, I think that alone sends a huge message about openness and diversity.”
Read it in full here.

Another Quick Post On "Up"

Friday, May 29, 2009

Thought I'd post up a link to another article on Pixar's Up talking about the Asian American lead character (in case you didn't know previously the history of who Russell is based off of):

One of the few places where it’s essentially been confirmed is in an interview that Scifiwire did with Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera. When asked who they based the character of Russell off of, Docter responded:

Yeah. … [Pixar animator] Pete Sohn. He’s just such an entertaining guy that we thought, “OK, when you’re looking to create memorable characters, … if you can climb a couple stairs on your way up by basing it on someone that you know or whatever, that’s a great head start.” And he’s definitely a character.

Stinky Tofu Shirts

Friday, May 29, 2009

Got sent out this email about some stinky tofu shirts and just wanted to post it on up. You can pick them up at this link. Here's some info on the creator:

Hamburgerpanda is Cindy Yep, whose work is inspired by science fiction, nature, and Asian pop culture. She studied printmaking, interactive art, and programming at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and UC Santa Cruz, and also works in advertising as a freelance interactive art director.

So why Hamburgerpanda? Because pandas eat only bamboo, it's the one panda searching for a different flavor.

Flickr, Jean Shin, And Common Threads

Thursday, May 28, 2009

If you ever wanted to know what went into the setup of an exhibition at a major art museum, now's your chance to see it up close and personal at the Smithsonian's American Art Flickr page where you can catch artist Jean Shin install her works for her exhibition Common Threads.

The Wall And Don Wakamatsu

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Caught this article down at about Don Wakamatsu who wants to help out with a new project in Seattle:

The first Asian-American manager in Major League history was shown an article in Monday's Seattle Times, glanced at the first few paragraphs and said he wanted to be part of the project.

A campaign to raise the $1.2 million needed to build a wall of 4,000 bricks, each four inches by 12 inches in size and inscribed with the names of an internee or veteran, began on May 1.

The wall would honor those people of Japanese ancestry who were interned during World War II, served in the United States military and, in Wakamatsu's case, relatives that did both.
Read it in full here and look for more information on the project in the future.

1 of 3? Judge Sonia Sotomayor

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I don't know enough about Sonia Sotomayor (Obama's nom to the highest court) as I probably should (or will eventually) - but from what I've found out initially - sounds good so far.

She's extremely qualified - more so than anyone else was at this point from what I understand - a woman of color, and according to news outlets, the first Latino American to ever be selected for the post and while the latter isn't everything - 107 out of 111 of the justices so far have been white men - so on that front it - I'm all for it.

Will she uphold Roe v. Wade? From tidbits here and there, even though she hasn't ruled on anything in the past that gives a clear answer - people seem to at least think she will - which I think is important (because I'm all about choice no matter what way you go) - but is she a centrist on that topic?

I guess we really don't know.

But you know what I can tell you?

It's that I liked reading these quotes from her in 2001 (the last from a forward to an '07 book "The International Judge"):

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.
...I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society.
...all judges have cases that touch our passions deeply, but we all struggle constantly with remaining impartial
Striving to be impartial and hold the Constitution and the law in the highest regard, but acknowledging that being a person of color and a woman, just like being white and male, still can affect the lens through which a judge may make a ruling?

I get that.

EP And Video: afterschoolspecial

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wanted to post up an update on a band from a previous post - afterschoolspecial - that they just released their EP which you can pick up on iTunes as well as at:

Access Music
1537 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109

Check out their MySpace page for all the info and the video below for the single "Not One For Words".

Mika Nakashima: Over Load

Monday, May 25, 2009

The new single "Over Load" released this month (and currently rotating in the top 10).

It's Over: The Great Slanty Read-A-Thon, And Stealing Buddha's Dinner

Monday, May 25, 2009

While I know I shouldn't feel this good - I can't help it - I don't really do this that much anymore because like I've said in the past I'm illiterate when it comes to actual books these days - especially when it comes to reading for fun.

But after deciding late Saturday night to forgo hookers, gambling, strippers, copious amounts of drugs, and blowing my money on other needless (albeit fun) activities - who would have thunk it - I ended up reading this thing from cover to cover in one sitting because I happened to enjoy it that much (although I did need a couple of smokes because I couldn't handle the shakes anymore - which is my own fault for trying to rid my body of vices for one evening cold turkey style).

I think what got me about it was that deep down it was a story about food and relationships where everything revolved around food (or at least seemed to be): the mixing of cultures and race, being Asian in a White world, Asian versus Asian American, the ties of family - in that sense I guess I read it like I've watched Eat Drink Man Woman, Mostly Martha, The Scent of Green Papaya, or Like Water For Chocolate - I saw it, I tasted it, and I guess in the end, I just wanted to know how it ended.

It probably also didn't hurt that it was an Asian American story, because if I look at the books I actually have been drawn too, those ones I just don't want to put down - even if they are few and far between - they're Asian American stories, by Asian American writers.

And I think there's something to be said for that.

Now I'm not going to say I'll be picking up a book a month, or even with the extra time in my read-a-thon another full blown on novel (because technically it's over now that I've fulfilled my below average expectations -- and like a good Asian American setting the bar low I've actually overachieved and I'd like to keep that taste in my mouth) but who knows - maybe I'll forgo another night of debauchery and instead curl up with a good book.


It would help greatly if the next book had something to do with being Asian American, the main character had an aversion to clothes, and there was a chapter in it about street food - and there should be heavy drug use in it too - but not the life sucks intervention style I'm going to kill myself drug use type of story, but more along the lines of "who knew we would end up in a field of weed with a dog named Muddles and two strippers named Tommy and Cheryl handcuffed to our arms just as it seemed all hope was lost in getting the money for Mr. Chu's operation so he could finally live his life as Donita Nguyen".

Because I'd be all over that.

PostMimi: A Postsecret For Asian Americans

Monday, May 25, 2009

Correction: The first mimi posted wasn't actually from Karen herself, but was sent in.

I got an e-mail sent down to me from Karen who's starting up the blog/site called PostMimi which is dedicated to becoming a PostSecret for the Asian American community and although it's just started (there's a couple of entries) I'm liking the idea.

Here's the first Mimi sent in (which I'm sure might provoke a few thoughts):

And so we begin...The first Mimi

1. I love half asian people. They are incredibly beautiful, and I'm excited as an Asian woman dating a white man to one day produce one of these beautiful creatures.

2. I wish I spoke better Chinese so I could better communicate my life to my Chinese dad. My parents divorced when I was young, and so every couple of weeks when I meet up with him I have so much to say, and so little to convey it with.

3. It always feels so easy for people to mock a Chinese person, especially when their English is subpar. I think my parents are always a little scared of the world, that someone will harass them for their grammar and race. That makes me sad.
If it peaks your interest check out the blog/site down at and submit your own.

The JANM And Secret Identities

Monday, May 25, 2009

Got word of this event that's going to be happening down at the Japanese American National Museum this Saturday - check it out, set the date, and get some autographs.

Come celebrate the Los Angeles premier of the 1st Asian American Superhero comic book anthology at the Japanese American National Museum. Admission is
FREE! (Make sure to stay for the light reception after the program!)

Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology
Saturday, May 30, 2009
6:30 PM

Asian Americans have become a driving force in the contemporary comics renaissance, as artists, writers—and fans.

But there's one place where Asians are still underrepresented in comics: Between the four-color covers themselves.

That's why, in Secret Identities, top Asian American writers, artists and comics professionals have come together to create 26 original stories centered around Asian American Superheroes; stories set in a shadow history of our country, from the opening of the West to the election of the first minority president, and exploring ordinary Asian American life from a decidedly extraordinary perspective.

Join the editors:

*JEFF YANG, founder of the pioneering Asian American periodical "aMagazine" and author of the biweekly column "Asian Pop" for the San Francisco Chronicle

*PARRY SHEN, best known for his lead role in the movie "Better Luck Tomorrow"

*KEITH CHOW, freelance writer and comics-in-education specialist.

*JERRY MA, the founder of the indie comics studio Epic Proportions

--along with several contributors as they share previews of their respective stories through slide shows and video trailers. Make sure to stay to celebrate the LA premier!

Copies of SECRET IDENTITIES will be on hand for purchase and will be signed by the editors/contributors during the reception afterwards.

Another Reason To Be A Donor

Monday, May 25, 2009

Do I have to say anymore?

Nick’s mom, Carole Wiegand (another dear EMC employee), has informed us that what is needed to save Nick’s life is a bone marrow donor who is a match. The doctors have advised that they think it is highly unlikely that they can find a match for Nick as a match would need to be 3/4 Caucasian and 1/4 Asian. The doctor indicated that there was probably a 0% chance of finding a donor from the donor list , although they are still currently looking for a match for Nick and this is due to the fact that there are not enough 3/4 Caucasian and 1/4 Asians registered to choose from. Time is of the essence in finding a donor for Nick. Right now his white blood cell count is up to 1,500 (3,500 is low normal) of which the cancerous portion is climbing and has doubled in just a few days. Nick needs a donor match NOW.
Become a donor.

Inaugural Asian American Golf Classic

Monday, May 25, 2009

This one's for all of you golfers out there (which still doesn't include me because I refuse to be tied down to something called a "rule" which involves me wearing clothes), but for anyone else that doesn't mind not being naked on the green - here ya go:

Asian American Federation, Chinatown YMCA, and Coalition for Asian American Children and Families cordially invite you to the:

Inaugural Asian American Golf Classic
Monday, June 22, 2009
At the Manhattan Woods Golf Club
One Ahlmeyer Drive
West Nyack, NY 10994

9:00 AM Arrival/Brunch
11:00 AM Shotgun Start/Best Ball Scramble
4:00 PM Cocktail Reception
5:00 PM Dinner/Award Ceremony

Golf Attire and Soft-Spike Shoes Required

Sponsorship Packages

Platinum (includes 2 foursomes and signs at 4 tees, cart, banner, tournament trophy sponsorship, & other special recognition) – $10,000

Gold (includes 2 foursomes and signs at 3 tees, cart, banner, and tournament trophy sponsorship) – $7,500

Silver (includes 1 foursomes and signs at 2 tees & banner recognition) – $5,000
Bronze (includes 1 foursomes and signs at 1 tees) – $3,500

Individual and Foursome Prices
Single Player – $500
Foursome – $2,000
Single Non-Golfer – $200 (driving range, brunch, cocktail hour, and dinner)

Features & Amenities
All individual and sponsorship packages include:
- Full country club amenities: locker rooms & shower facility
- Driving range and balls
- Fore Caddy
- Golf Cart
- VIP Gift Pack
- Buffet brunch, grill on turn, cocktail hour, dinner, and open bar
Maybe I'll have to rethink my stance seeing as they have an open bar.


The funds will benefit, in part, the Coalition for Asian American Children & Families. Check here for more information.

Submit: Kearny Street Workshop APAture

Monday, May 25, 2009

Kearny Street Workshop, the nation's oldest Asian Pacific American multidisciplinary arts organization, presents its 11th annual APAture September 17-26, 2009. APAture's Call for Submissions is now open. Please click here for a PDF of the artist submission form, or submit online here. The submission deadline is July 11, 2009. To receive announcements about APAture, including upcoming special events and fundraisers, join KSW's email list.

About APAture

Kearny Street Workshop's APAture is an annual multidisciplinary arts festival showcasing the work of emerging Asian Pacific American artists. APAture's mission is to provide artists with an early experience presenting their work at a large event; to build audiences for emerging APA artists; to strengthen the sense of community among artists; and to raise awareness of the existence of and diversity within the APA arts community. APAture values community-building, ethnic and artistic diversity and collaboration across ethnic and disciplinary lines.
And you're waiting for?

Will Chang Becomes The First Asian American Owner In The MLS

Monday, May 25, 2009

I have to be honest - I've haven't followed Major League Soccer in quite some time (we're talking years), but after reading in and The Washington Examiner that Will Chang has become the sole owner of D.C. United (after buying the majority interest from Victor MacFarlane) - I might just start following MLS again.

Okay - maybe not.

But it is pretty damn cool that there's one of our own pulling the strings in the background.

In Pics: Last Airbender

Monday, May 25, 2009

Caught the above pic from SCI FI Wire.

Good enough for cartoons, not quite ready for real-life says Hollywood.


Wonder Girls Interview

Monday, May 25, 2009

Interview: Jeff Yang, Secret Identities, And Brian Lehrer

Monday, May 25, 2009


East West Magazine Returns This June 8th

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nice to see them get back on the horse after their lengthy hiatus:

The magazine shuttered in April 2008, after four years of publishing, and its Web site has not been updated since. However, according to editor and publisher, Anita Malik, site traffic has grown since the shuttering — which left the magazine's archives searchable — thus encouraging a relaunch. The site will undergo a redesign and resume daily updates on June 8, to be followed by a 20,000-circulation print edition in September.

“Our audience has been there, even though the Web site has been completely untouched, and I felt like we were lucky that people had not forgotten the brand, but after a year we would be pushing our luck,” Malik said. “I think niche print has a home once people calm down. Everyone is scared right now, but good content will prevail. Our audience is completely underserved, whether in a good or bad economic, and it's definitely a growing market.”
See the site for more information and here for the full article.

Chicago Public Library And APAH Month

Monday, May 25, 2009

Just in case you were looking for something more to do, here's some info on events from the Chicago Public Library:

Events for Chinatown branch:
• May 1-31, 2009
• Inventions and Engineering in Ancient China
• Thursday, May 28th, 2009
• 6:30 p.m.
• Science of Acupuncture

Chinatown branch:
• 2353 S. Wentworth Avenue
• Chicago, IL 60616
• 312-747-8013

Week Of Service And James Kyson Lee

Monday, May 25, 2009

Caught this down at AAM. Get involved any way you can.

Go down to AAPI Momentum for more information.

The Tale Of Sriracha

Monday, May 25, 2009


I caught this down at TMM and who knew there was this much history about our beloved Sriracha:

Really though, I thought this sauce was produced straight from the pepper fields of Vietnam through child labor and exploitation. How else would it have tasted so fucking delicious? I was dead wrong. It turns out I've been lied to most of my life. After squeezing this stuff on my all my pho bowls and just about every meat product I consumed without bread, I find it hard to fathom it was made right in our backyard.
Read it full here.

Anoop's Dating Megan Corkery?

Monday, May 25, 2009

I was reading down at antisocial-ladder that according to gossip news (which I'll take as the truth for right now) Anoop and Megan Corkery are an item - which I'm all for because we all loved Anoop (or most of us) and I really liked the old school vibe Corkery put out.

And it just seems like a nice pairing (because they're both pretty hot).

Maybe they could be the new AI power couple (although I'm not sure if there ever was an old AI power couple).

I smell duet.

Jordan Nagai, Up, And Russell (Cute Chubby Asian American Kid)

Monday, May 25, 2009

If you haven't heard by now - because blogosphere has been buzzing (at least the AA blogosphere), the voice of Russel in the Disney/Pixar film Up is voiced out by Jordan Nagai (see Asian American kid) which makes sense since this character is Asian American

Don't take my word for it though - here's what other sites say too:

Having won many awards playing Lou Grant from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and his own spin-off "Lou Grant," Ed Asner does cranky well, but young Jordan Nagai steals the show as Russell, a chubby Asian kid constantly jabbering and asking questions to the impatient old man. We don't want to spoil too much of the fun that happens once they arrive at Paradise Falls, but once there, they start to encounter a few other strange characters who'll be along for the adventure including an odd colorful bird who the boy names "Kevin" and... a talking dog.
USA Today

As for Up, Pixar's 10th outing, which opens May 29, about a cranky codger and an overeager Asian kid who fly off to South America in a house hoisted by helium balloons, it will likely be the first film that all three — father, mother and child, who turns 2 today — enjoy together.
All you have to do is look at the kid - he's Asian American.

But now there's at least some more text backing it up.

Judy Chu Wins Special Election

Monday, May 25, 2009

In previous posts you've heard me talk a lot about Dr. Judy Chu and her bid for the East Los Angeles Congressional seat - and last week she did in fact win - well sort of - because she didn't win by 50% there'll be a run-off election this July:

"I'm really excited, and I feel so honored by the votes of the people in the district," Judy Chu said at her victory party at Nick's Taste of Texas restaurant in Covina as the ballot tallying neared an end.

Judy Chu, a Chinese American, campaigned on her experience and deep roots in the district and worked to build coalitions across ethnic lines. She will face a Republican and a Libertarian in a runoff.
Read more here.

The One Days: HK - Dream Line

Friday, May 22, 2009

That's Neaat/Hay Qua: Mini-Fest In NYC For Vietnamese American Creative Thinkers, Dreamers, Doers

Friday, May 22, 2009

Does these people never sleep?

The imaginative and unconventional "That's Neaat!/Hay Qua!" Mini-Fest is unfolding, almost out of nowhere, fast and furious. A collaboration between VASCON and NEAATO , Mini-Fest was also quick to partner with highly-anticipated Kollaboration New York 2009 (KNY2009) and take inspiration from TED with very humble beginnings. The Mini-Fest will present its out-of-the-box programming during the day on June 27th at New York's iconic Bitter End venue, home to legends like Woody Allen and Norah Jones, followed by KNY2009 later that evening a couple of blocks away at NYU Skirball Center.

Mini-Fest has at least one goal: to alter the way you think about life, dreams, and everything in between. Already, rabble-rousing publishers, award-winning architects, writers, musicians, film directors, environmentalists, and rising chefs are signing up to present their bite-size talks and performances about what stirs their hearts and opens our eyes.

Sharing a mission to elevate Asian Americans in entertainment and creative fields, KNY2009 and Mini-Fest are excited to provide a discounted 2-in-1 registration package, for a mere $40 (limited time only). VASCON veterans will be elated to hear that VASCON royalty Magnetic North, Vudoo Soul, and VASCON board members among others will be in attendance for the reunion of the year. A number of them linked up in KNY2009's latest remix of Ne-Yo's "Closer", as seen here:

The $40 Early Bird combo registration kicks off on May 21st until end of month (or while supplies last!), with Regular registration following on June 1st. There is limited seating, so make sure to book your flight and register before the events sell out. Flights to New York for that weekend are currently averaging at $250.

Visit the continuously-updated website for more information:

Email: thatsneaat [at]
Official Website:

More Glee, Patrick Gallagher, Iqbal Theba, And A Few Other Thoughts

Thursday, May 21, 2009

If you didn't happen to watch the pilot episode of the new FOX show "Glee" you missed a few great things including Iqbal Theba as hardass Principal Figgins, Jenna Ushkowitz's character Tina doing this:

Patrick Gallagher as the weed smoking single football coach Ken Tanaka, and of course - some nice tunes along the way (if you're into that sort of thing).

At the same time...

It'll definitely get old if Ushkowitz's character doesn't get over her stuttering problems pretty quick - because then that's just another female Asian American character who's relegated to mute status - and I'm hoping they put in as much thought into Tanaka and Figgins just like they will with Jayma Mays and Jane Lynch's characters - because it would be a waste if they didn't.

Crossing my fingers and whistling.

Update: The Great Slanty Read-A-Thon

Thursday, May 21, 2009

As some of you already know, I embarked on a seemingly herculean task otherwise known as The Great Slanty Read-A-Thon - and while I'm not ashamed to say that I still have yet to make it to page 5 of my book (and I'll probably have to re-read those pages again) I have made it however to page 45 of Secret Identities - and I figure there's something to be said for that.

So that's what I'm saying.

Granted: Asian Women Giving Circle

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Definitely love getting these types of release because what's better than showcasing organizations in the community giving to other organizations?


A documentary film about Anna May Wong, an artists’ collaborative that hopes to launch the first-ever gay and lesbian-themed float in NYC Chinatown’s 2010 Lunar Year Parade, and large-scale installation about ‘comfort women’ during World War II are among the ten local non-profit Asian American women-led projects in New York City that received $70,000 in grants from the Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC). These outstanding organizations and projects were chosen for their excellence in using the tools of culture, the arts and education to raise awareness and catalyze action around critical issues that impact Asian American communities. Grant checks will be distributed at a garden party at the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, during the evening of June 17th (media are invited).

In its four years of raising resources and philanthropists, the AWGC has raised and distributed $270,000 in New York City to thirty individual artists and community-based organizations. “Given the extraordinary economic circumstances of this year, we felt it is more important than ever to support Asian American artists and arts projects because they are under-represented as grant recipients,” said Hali Lee, founder of the Asian American Women Giving Circle. “Because so many of our grantees are experiencing intense difficulty with fundraising, we felt a special obligation to stretch our giving by making more grants, for slightly smaller amounts.”

Year 2009 Grant recipients are individual artists (with fiscal sponsorship) as well as community based organizations: Adhikaar, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, Chang-Jin Lee, Esther Chae, New York Asian Women’s Center, Q-Wave, Rising Circle Theater Collective, Third World Newsreel and Yunah Hong.

More information about each project follows:

Adhikaar - Hamro Katha, Hamrai Aawaz “Our Stories, Our Own Voices”

Founded by four women in 2005, Adhikaar, which means rights in Nepali, is a New York-based women-led organization working with the Nepali speaking community to promote human rights and social justice. This project is a multi-media storytelling project for young women (ages 16-25) of Nepali descent. They will be mentored by two South Asian artist activists who will lead workshops in a variety of media to explore youth relevant themes, such as migration, home, gender, sexuality, race, love, family. For more information, please visit

Asian American Writers’ Workshop - Talk Story: Sharing Stories Across

GenerationsFounded in 1991, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop is the largest non-profit devoted to creating, publishing, developing and disseminating creative writing by Asian Americans. Talk Story: Sharing Stories Across Generations is an oral history project pairing elderly and young Asian American women to share the stories of their lives. It aims to bridge inter-generational gaps as well as create a historical archive of personal narrative by Asian American women. The project will take place in Flushing, Queens and in Brooklyn’s Chinatown, and it will be led by women writers who reside in those neighborhoods. Stories will be recorded in bilingual self-made chapbooks, on the Workshop’s website and podcasting – for which the Workshop has approached Story Corps. For more information, please visit

The Center for Traditional Music & Dance - Chinese Women’s Music Initiative

The Center for Traditional Music & Dance is one of the nation’s pioneering music arts
organizations, dedicated to preserving and presenting the performing arts traditions of New York’s immigrant and ethnic communities since 1968. This Initiative will provide a forum for young women (ages 12-18) in New York’s Chinatown to meet and study with established female master musicians on selected Chinese instruments that are prestigious yet have not been traditionally accessible to women and girls. Weekly classes will culminate in a public performance of Chinese opera scenes, with all roles and instruments played by girls. For more
information, please visit

Chang-Jin Lee - Comfort Women Wanted

Chang-Jin Lee is a Korean-born visual artist who lives in NYC. Her large-scale public art project, “Homeland Security Garden” at the World Financial Center Winter Garden explored our political and psychological insecurity in the post 9-11 world. The grant will help Chang-Jin develop “Comfort Women Wanted,” a large-scale, interactive public artwork to be placed in a major transportation hub such as Grand Central Station. The piece aims to increase awareness of the 200,000 women who were sexually enslaved in Asia during World War II, connecting this historical atrocity to the continuing sexual exploitation and trafficking of Asian women today. For
more information, please visit

Esther Chae - So the Arrow Flies

With only a turn of the chair, Esther Chae portrays four strong women of Korean descent. This theatrical, one-woman show explores the ramifications of the War on Terror, identity, national pride and allegiance, through the lens of Asian women characters’ and their love for one another. Esther was selected as a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design Conference) Fellow this year for this play. She was mentored by Anna Deavere Smith at NYU. Esther
requests funds to premiere her play in NYC. For more information, please visit or

New York Asian Women’s Center – Workplace

Founded in 1982, the New York Asian Women’s Center helps battered Asian women to
overcome violence and govern their own lives, free of abuse. Workplace is an interactive multimedia installation based on the stories of Asian American women survivors of domestic violence – exploring how domestic violence affects women in the workplace. Collaborators include musicians and artists Woody Pak, Heather Greer and Liubo Borissov. The installation will simulate a workplace environment, including a telephone where visitors may leave their own stories or comments. For more information, please visit

Q-Wave - Lunar New Year for All

Q-Wave, founded in 2004, is dedicated to strengthening the voices of lesbian/ bisexual/ queer women and transgender/ gender variant people of Asian descent. This is a collaborative community art project championing LGBT equality at the 2010 Lunar New Year Parade in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The spectacle may incorporate a float, giant puppets, mobile murals, stiltwalkers, dancers and musicians. It will be designed in collaboration with local community organizations. Q-Wave will also host art and education workshops, hold a press conference and sponsor a Lunar New Year for All poster contest. For more information please visit www.q-

Rising Circle Theater Collective – Q Up

Rising Circle Theater Collective, founded in 2000, is led by theater artists of color committed to producing work that reflects the diversity of the world in which we live. Q Up is a pilot program aimed at Asian American high school girls in Queens. It is a four-day workshop with professional
Asian American women artists in which the girls will build skills and produce their own work. The workshops will take place in the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadow Park. For more information, please visit

Third World Newsreel - Asian Girls Empowerment Through Media

Third World Newsreel, founded in 1967, fosters alternative social, cultural and artistic visions in media, particularly visions by and about communities of color, marginalized communities and that address social justice issues. This project is a summer-fall workshop series for young Asian women (age 14-21) who will be trained in multimedia production while exploring media literacy and activism in the context of race, class and gender. The goal is to equip young Asian women with the ability to deconstruct the layers of mainstream media messages with which they are bombarded, while empowering them to create their own. The series will culminate in a public
screening at Anthology Film Archives and at the Newsreel’s 40th anniversary conference at Hunter. It will be included in the educational distribution that the Newsreel provides to thousands of schools and colleges nationwide. For more information, please visit

Yunah Hong - “Anna May Wong: In Her Own Words”

Yunah Hong is a Korean American documentary filmmaker. Her documentary film’s subject is Anna May Wong (1905-1961), a laundryman’s daughter who became an international moviestar, an activist and artist despite the limitations of the day. She achieved worldwide popularity in the 1920s and 30s. The grant will help Yunah distribute her film, launch a website, and implement an outreach program to schools and community groups. The Center for Asian American Media is helping Yunah prepare her film for a possible PBS broadcast, and will broadcast it via its own satellites to local stations. For more information, please contact

About the Asian Women Giving Circle

The Asian Women Giving Circle is a group of Asian American women pooling their money to fund other Asian women in NYC who use the tools of art to further a social equity goal. We work together to raise resources to support Asian American serving, Asian American women-led social change organizations in New York City’s under-served communities. We raise resources and philanthropists. AWGC is a donor advised fund of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (

Check out for more information and to support on up.

You Got Remix: Mike Shinoda Teams With DC Shoes To Benefit Scholarship Program

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just reprinting up from the press release:

Mike Shinoda, co-frontman for two-time Grammy winning, multiplatinum rock band LINKIN PARK, has re-teamed with DC Shoes for the release of the Xander, his third project for DC’s Remix Series™, and fourth overall for the popular footwear brand.

"We got an incredible response to the Xander Remix, a shoe I designed last year,” says Shinoda. “I felt that a 'summer version' would be exciting; it’s new, with lighter colors and patterns, but retains the comfort and durability of the last shoe. I wanted them to be worn every day yet still look and feel great, so I tested them personally. I wore them while on tour, in countries all around the world and they performed great.”

The limited-edition shoe was inspired in part by Shinoda’s Japanese heritage. He chose traditional Japanese patterns and koi scale textures for the shoe and packaging. The sole features custom fish scale tooling created just for this project and artwork sublimated underneath. His art is found on the shoe’s upper, insole and the outsole; his signature is on the heel and the words “limited edition” are embroidered in Japanese on the shoe’s tongue.”

“As a kid, I used to fold paper samurai helmets as part of the tradition for Japanese Boys' Day, a national Japanese holiday that falls in early May and celebrates children,” he says. “It's kinda funny that the holiday coincides with the release of the shoe, which has origami-inspired patterns."

Proceeds from the Xander will go to the Michael K. Shinoda Endowed Scholarship, helping students at the Art Center College of Design in California. The school is regarded by most as one of the top art colleges in the world. The excellence in education comes at a sometimes-challenging price: on average, roughly 76% of the students are on financial aid. Shinoda’s DC Remix Series™ shoe benefits those students so they can follow their passions and meet their educational needs.

Shinoda was the youngest of his graduating class from Art Center College of Design in 1998, with a B.A. in Illustration. He’s had a hand in most artistic facets of Linkin Park’s imagery, including album artwork, band merchandise, web design and on-stage production art. In 2004, he broke through with his first show, Gallery 1988, in Los Angeles. The show, entitled “Diamonds, Spades, Hearts, and Clubs,” featured collaborative artwork with Gary Baseman, graffiti artist SEEN, DALEK, Greg “Craola” Simkins, and Linkin Park’s Joe Hahn. Last July, he debuted a new art show titled “Glorious Excess Born,” to a sold-out crowd at the Japanese American National Museum. Fans lined up around the block to see Shinoda’s art, and the venue saw its highest one-day store sales in history. This August see Shinoda continuing that theme with a new show, Glorious Excess (Dies), at the Japanese American National Museum.

One of the most successful rock bands to emerge this decade, Linkin Park has amassed more than 45 million worldwide sales, a remarkable string of chart-topping hit singles, a pair of Grammy wins, and an international fanbase whose members number in the millions. The band (vocalists Shinoda and Chester Bennington, drummer Rob Bourdon, guitarist Brad Delson, DJ Joe Hahn and bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell) is currently working on the follow-up to blockbuster hit MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT (Machine Shop Recordings/Warner Bros. Records), which sold more than 6 million copies.

Linkin Park will embark on an international tour this summer that will see them headlining stadiums and festivals in 8 countries, including their 2nd stint in China, where they are widely regarding as the biggest western rock band.

Casts And Calls: Better Late Then Never

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Extremely late with posting these up (although I just got the second one today) but you still might be able to get on in tonight (as well as for future info):

Gentle reminder: if you want to hear the interview with former Secretary Norm Mineta live tonight at 6pm Pacific (and ask questions), you need to register at the link below. There are two ways to join this fr*ee call: phone (long distance charge may apply) or listen to the call on your computer via webcast.
If you can’t make the call tonight, go ahead and register anyway and you’ll receive access to listen to the call later. It will only take you 20 seconds to register.

By registering, you’ll also hear about upcoming interviews.

Here's the link to the registration page:
Please forward this to your friends or anyone who may be interested!

Best regards,
Erin Yoshimura and Gil Asakawa, Founders
See. Do. Become.
Asia Society

On behalf of Asia Society, I would like to invite you to tune in to a free live webcast we are hosting tonight from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Vishakha N. Desai, president of Asia Society, will be giving a lecture on the complex relationships between curators and collectors in addition to focusing on the decades of collaboration between Lee and the Rockefellers as the family built their Asian art collection. The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art became one of the most notable collections of Asian art in the United States and was fundamental to the creation of the Asia Society.

The video webcast will be available live on from 7:00-8:30 PM.

I would also like to kindly request your assistance on spreading the word about this free educational event. Asia Society would greatly appreciate any blog post or even a link to this event that is accessible from any computer. Thanks so much for your help, and I hope you enjoy the program.

If you would like more info on the event, please visit:
I know I know - but didn't you see my last post?

If You Think I'm A Bad Blogger...Check Out My Photos

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sure. I've been consumed by bad t.v. over the last couple of days. Yes. I haven't really posted much. No - I won't disagree with that either.

Well sure, but...I least I'm not posting photos like this all the time.

My Palm Your Or: Cannes Loves Shu Qi

Monday, May 18, 2009

Since the Celtics are out of the playoffs, at least I can take heart that the good people at the Cannes Film Festival finally realized that Shu Qi really can act - because she's not always that photogenic - and decided to put her on this year's jury.

And there's also that Zhang someone or another too.


Brown Rice Family: I Just Like The Name

Monday, May 18, 2009

You really do want to check out this video - simply, and if only for the hair.

Watch and you'll see what I mean.

I think you could store some nuts there.

And probably an apple too.

Buy Cute Shirts And Support The OCA

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm not saying anything about anything - but cute really is dependant upon each person's taste - however the money does go to a good cause - and really - they are cute - so pick one up and support the OCA scholarship program.

Aung San Suu Kyi: And I Wonder What's Going To Happen Now

Monday, May 18, 2009

You know what people - I just don't like the feeling I'm getting from the news I'm reading on the current trial for Aung San Suu Kyi who's bascially getting the shaft for some dumbass who decided to swim across a lake and sneak into her home earlier this month - because let's face it - the timing is suspect.

Hmm...I wonder what's going to happen now.

Sometimes A Good Quote Is Just A Good Quote

Monday, May 18, 2009

I like it when I hear Asian American politicians saying it like it is:

Yoon, who traveled with his finance director, Frank Woodruff, was at ease in the crowd, laughing, mingling, exchanging business cards and delivering a powerful exhortation on Asian-American political empowerment.

"We don't have time to lose," he told the crowd. "We are the community in this country who is the least represented in the halls of government, who have the least amount of experience in campaigns and politics. That's just a fact. And yet our history goes back to 150 years, when the Chinese came and built the railroads. We have to catch up. So there is no time to lose. Now is the time."
Damn straight.

Because it's not just our month - it's our time.

Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix

Monday, May 18, 2009

Here's a snippet from an interview with author Cindy Pon on Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia:

Where were you and what were you doing when you found out that your novel was going to be published? What were your first thoughts and feelings? How did you celebrate the good news?

my book went to auction and i disbelief. it was utterly surreal. i had phone chats scheduled with editors from major publishing houses in new york city between packing lunches for my bubs and putting them down for naps. i really couldn't wrap my mind around it. when i made the decision to go with virginia (my editor) and greenwillow books, i was still feeling so stunned. i couldn't believe that i was given my dream. i was thrilled and TERRIFIED. i've said it before and i'll say it again--it takes a lot of courage to chase your dream, it takes even more courage to live it.

What are the challenges and rewards of being an Asian American young adult book writer?

i think the fact that what i've chosen to write is a little different than what's out there. it can be seen as a "risk". but honestly, i've only met so much encouragement since being published. i couldn't have asked for more support from the writing and reading community. i know it's impossible to write a book that every reader will love--but if Silver Phoenix touches a few in the way i intended, it'll all be worthwhile. if i inspire any other asian-american teens to follow their own writing dreams, that would be amazing
Check it out in full here.

When You're Losing In The Polls Just Infer That Your Asian American Opponent Isn't American (Create The Spy Link)

Monday, May 18, 2009

It seems that Judy Chu's opponent Gil Cedillo - who's behind in the polls - thinks that a heavy dose of Yellow Peril - Japanese Internment Style - is going to help him win the election.

Even though Chu gave back a donation once donor Katrina Leung was charged with being a Chinese spy in 2003 (where the charges were ultimately dismissed), Cedillo seems to think that he can create a connection between the two simply because they're Asian.

Because as you and I both know - we're all MF spies.

And we all know each other.

And we share each other's toothbrush.

And other...ummm...things.

That's just the way it is.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Word from around the way.

Podcast: Micah Moore, Blake Faucette, and Eva on Stereotypes and Film

Yesterday, we had a podcast with Micah Moore and Blake Faucette from All Aces Media, along with Eva, Vu Nguyen (BcB), and myself...It’s 24.2 mb, and runs around 53 minutes. In the first part of the podcast, we discuss Dogs of Chinatown and the controversy that surrounded it–for those unfamiliar with the controversy, see here and here. In the second part (around 14:05), we discuss how we can change the filmmaking industry for minorities.
All charges dropped against the kid who fought back

Vindication! Meet Jack Kang. He's the 15-year-old student at Keswick High School who faced expulsion and criminal charges for fighting back against a classmate who was racially abusing him during gym class: Meet Keswick's Karate Kid. Thankfully, this week, the Crown dropped all charges against him: School fight over slur ends quietly.
Asian Chicks: Hold On Loosely, Don't Let Go

FINALLY! A web site showcasing Asian women in all of their glory: holding great jobs, holding down the fort, holding hands! Or just...
Masturbate-A-Thon 2009 Champion Masanobu Sato Speaks

Well, it's been a week since Masanobu Sato blew away his own masturbating world record at the 9th Annual Masturbate-a-thon, held by the Center for Sex & Culture last Saturday. This guy was a pro, bringing an arsenal of masturbating aids from the Japanese sex product company he works for.
Openly Gay Asian Americans Discharged from the Military

The problems with this are pretty obvious. To fire one of the 54 Arabic translators serving in the military, in an age when Arabic translators serving in the military in high demand, is beyond ludicrous. What’s worse is the inaction coming from the White House; I wrote before how November 4th’s was sort of a bittersweet day because of Prop 8 here in California and this doesn’t make it much better. Despite reaffirmations from President Barack Obama, in forms of speeches and hand written letters , that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would be repealed - and apparently it could easily be done so - it still very much stands and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.
My Favorite Asians

Though I'm notorious for being the Asian American enthusiast with the fewest actual Asian American friends, I thought I'd do my part by singling out my favorite peeps of Asian descent. These will mostly be actors and musicians and the like, but that's because I'm shallow. Terribly, terribly shallow.
Mapping the Digital Diaspora of YellowBuzz (a Dissertation Blog)

At the onset of my field research in summer 2007, I launched a blog – – with the intention to: 1) archive and organize my field notes in textual and audio-visual form; 2) convey my research purpose and progress to informant musicians and the public; 3) self-position as a “participant” in the scene. Since then, I have made over 160 posts, some directly linked and others tangentially related to my research findings about the activities and media of Asian American indie rock musicians. Over the past one and a half years, my field research blog has received attention from both print and online media. Evidently, this blog has constructed a community consisting of musician- and music-enthusiast-visitors with an interest in Asian American and transpacific music-culture.
Cherry blossom time in Japan

No doubt about it, the springtime blooming of sakura, or cherry blossoms, in Japan is one reason the country is special. The Japanese treat the season with wonder, with weather forecasts about the optimal blooming days and following the cherry blossoms from the warmer southern climate all the way up to Hokkaido, the northernmost island, where the sakura bloom late.
Asian Hipster Grifter Returns!

Well, not really. I saw this “wanted” ad off Bedford and 7th in Brooklyn the other day. Although she’s got the glasses and bangs and probably the tattoos, this one is either playing off the Hipster Grifter or Williamsburg is just full of these drones. The economy must be bad if this out of work artist has to advertise her ish like this.
Duck, Duck, Gook!

Since there are plenty of you self-hating Asians out there that don't realize the consequences of what you are doing to the rest of us, the militant has started a quest for answers. In my years of studying Asian American history and popular culture, I've decided to break it down for all of A-me-li-ka to see -- one silly Asian celebrity at a time. It's now time to bring the big guns out and spray you Asian clowns down with pellets of A-me-li-kan reality.

Brenda Xu And Marie Haddad

Saturday, May 16, 2009

FATGUMS X BAMBU: ...A Peaceful Riot...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

So as I've been catching up on messages (because from the lack of posts over the past couple of days you might have deduced that I've got some catching up to do) I got dropped some info via MySpace (thanks Fatgums) about the new 10 song EP FATGUMS X BAMBU ...A Peaceful Riot... which became available on iTunes a couple of days ago (you can also pick it up at

I've listened to the EP twice now (which is kind of a misnomer btw because it's got more music than most full length CDs) and it's definitely growing on me -- which means that you should be picking it up 'cause it's pretty damn hot.

A mix of deep beats, social justice, and personal introspection/observation that sometimes makes you wonder if there's such a thing as too much honesty (and in the end there isn't) it's music with a consciousness, carrying a message we should all be hearing, but in a way you can still get down too especially with tracks like "Good Clothes" and the anthemic "Peddlin' Music" (one of my favorites) that have a lighter feel.

First Impression Hot Tracks

  • Peddlin' Music
  • Strapped
  • Gunslinger II
  • Won't Walk Away
And If You Want More *FYI*


Fatgums, born and raised in the San Francisco / Bay area, grew up with a love for Hip Hop. His first memories of creating Hip Hop music are in 1992; it started with his older brother's turntable and the 12" single of Pharcyde's "Passin' Me By". Only 12, Fatgums manipulated the acapellas with the turntable, played the instrumentals out of his boombox, and recorded his own remixes onto his mom's classroom tape recorder.

His bold musicality continued as he spent endless hours, with his partner in crime DJ Gammaray, mixing and scratching on the tables. He explored the possibilities of each record; taking in influences from everything from Hip Hop producers like DJ Premiere, to turntablist legends like Skratch Piklz, to soul music from the 60's/70's. Fatgums' also learned from Gammaray's favorites: Terminator X and Ali Shaheed Muhammed. Together they put out Fatgums' first mixtape in 2000 called OHHSSH!!!.

In 2008, Fatgums had to make the decision to either pursue music and any resulting opportunity, or to put music completely on hold until he graduated from medical school. He tried to do both, but discovered that it really took away from both music and learning. Fatgums finally decided to take a leave of absence. The majority of production for "...A Peaceful Riot..." came from that period away from school.

Bambu grew up in Los Angeles in the early 80's; it was a childhood steeped in gang culture and 'street mentality'. The oldest male of his family to make it past a violent death, Bambu eventually learned to stop wasting his potential against his community and began to change himself. Turning his destructive energy and applying it to music was a natural progression for Bambu. Between '92 and '96, he joined friendly rap collectives. But it wasn't until he joined the Bamboo Brigade, and later the Poorhouse Projekts that he started making a name for himself in the Los Angeles underground Hip Hop scene. In 2002, Bambu released his debut solo album, self titled. The LP received incredible critical acclaim and write-ups in Jointz and URB. The fanbase grew, linked up with emcee Kiwi to form the popular duo Native Guns (the group disbanded in 2007).

Bambu has been lauded by fans and contemporaries for his lyrical storytelling. His vividly detailed narratives are characterized by an honesty that are equal parts brutal, thought-provoking and liberating. His talent has brought him to share the stage with acts like Common, X-Clan, Dilated Peoples, Medusa, Visionairies and more.

PBS Lineup For This Month

Friday, May 15, 2009

Definitely late posting out on this, but wanted to make sure to post up the list of programs PBS is airing this month in honor of APA month (grabbed out from the CAAM site).

AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY by Kimberlee BassfordCo-presented with ITVS and PBS HawaiiOn PBS stations nationwide May 2009Ahead of the Majority is a one-hour documentary that explores the life and times of the late U.S. Representative Patsy Takemoto Mink (1927-2002), the first woman of color in Congress and driving force behind Title IX, the landmark legislation that mandated gender equity in education.

BOLINAO 52 by Duc NguyenCo-presented by ITVS and KTEH/San JoseOn public broadcast stations nationwide May 2009In 1988 a group of Vietnamese boat people attempted to flee their country in search of freedom. Once at sea the boat’s engine died leaving over 100 people stranded in the ocean. What happens next is an unbelievable story of perseverance that changed the lives of the survivors forever.

HOLLYWOOD CHINESE by Arthur DongOn “American Masters” May 27, 2009Hollywood Chinese is a captivating revelation on a little-known chapter of cinema: the Chinese in American feature films. From the first Chinese film produced in 1916, to Ang Lee’s triumphant Brokeback Mountain almost a century later, Hollywood Chinese brings together a fascinating portrait of actors, directors, writers, and iconic images to show how the Chinese have been imagined in movies.

WINGS OF DEFEATby Risa Morimoto and Linda Hoaglund On “Independent Lens” May 5, 2009What were the Japanese Kamikazes thinking just before crashing into their targets? When Risa Morimoto discovered that her beloved uncle trained as a Kamikaze pilot in his youth, she wondered the same thing. Through rare interviews with surviving Kamikaze pilots, Morimoto retraces their journeys from teenagers to doomed pilots and reveals a complex history of brutal training and ambivalent sacrifice.

THE MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN by Brittany HuckabeeCo-presented by WETA on America at the Crossroads June 15, 2009A small university town in West Virginia becomes the unlikely battleground for the soul of Islam in America when Asra Nomani fights for the right of women to pray alongside men in the local mosque. A thoughtful, even-handed documentary about a community struggling with change while trying to hold itself together.

Wong Fu, When Five Fell, And David Choi

Friday, May 15, 2009

Some clips from the Wong Fu Channel including the trailer for When Five Fell, and the music video for David Choi's Won't Even Start.

Game 7?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

While I love me a good game 7....this is one game 7 I'd just rather not have.

I'm just hoping Pierce gets a knee injury midway through the game.

PR Profile: Jason Hsiao

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Who: Jason Hsiao

What: Co-founder, President and Director of Animoto


Jason is a New York-based television producer. He is the creator and co-executive producer of Dirty Stinkin' Politics, a political series for Comedy Central, which he has developed with five-time Emmy winner Eddie Feldmann (HBO Dennis Miller Live). He also recently produced Comedy Central's The Showbiz Show with David Spade. Jason's other major credits include the 2006 VH1 Big In ï06 Awards, MTV's Viva La Bam, MTV2's Stankervision, the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards with Chris Rock, the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards with Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central's Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, and Comedy Central's Crank Yankers. He hails from Dartmouth College and has a prior career as a consultant at Mercer Management Consulting where he specialized in data-driven business strategy. Jason proposed to his girlfriend, Jen, with an Animoto video. Despite this, she said yes.

Created by entertainment industry veterans, Animoto uses Cinematic AI technology to think like an actual director and editor – its technology analyzes and combines images and music with the same sophisticated post-production techniques used in TV and film. Once created, Animoto videos can be emailed, uploaded to blogs, YouTube, Facebook, or mobile devices. Animoto’s iPhone app, introduced in January, lets you make MTV-style music videos on the go.

Paige Wiser, Meet Captain Obvious

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So down at the blog for the Chicago Sun-Times journalist/writer/alphabet studier Paige Wiseron asked the following questions:

I don't want to take anything away from the brother-sister team that was smart enough, athletic enough, and sane enough to win the race. Yay for family, etc. But I can't get this nagging question out of my mind: Was it fair for Tammy and Victor to dominate the challenges in China, considering that they are of Chinese descent and speak Chinese? Especially considering one of the challenges was, um, to speak Chinese?

The leg was late enough in the race to give them a significant boost. I don't think that anyone should be penalized for specific talents, but it seems like it wouldn't have been that difficult to change the restaurant challenge to something more fair. It would be like casting me in the next season of "The Amazing Race" -- and then scheduling roadblocks in Woodfield Mall. I might even recuse myself.

Am I overthinking this?
Uh - yeah - I think you are Paige. And while I could go on and on about how this is an issue simply because Tammy and Victor are Asian versus if it was a white brother and sister team who were Italian, spoke Italian, and one of the challenges was in Italy - I'll just reprint some of the comments from one poster in particular:

Captain Obvious says:

-Mirna and Charla were in TWO series of the Amazing Race, their season(5) and All-Stars and guess what? Mirna spoke fluent Spanish and used it all the time when they went to South America and they LOST both times.

-Last season, Terence and Sarah...Sarah spoke FLUENT Portuguese and Spanish and used it all the time in Brazil(where Portuguese is the main language spoken)and Bolivia. Oh yeah, they lost too [...]

Examples from recent memory-

AR14-Oh no, lets not let the sisters on because they're former college athletes! They can win every athletic challenge and hey, the former cheerleaders...let's not let them in because they can memorize a dance routine better than anybody else like it's second nature. Oh yes, both teams lost.

AR 13-Leg 9 (Kazakhstan → Russia), Toni and Dallas...Dallas had to carry those heavy bags of flour. Oh no, let's not let him in the race, he was too strong and fit compared to other competitors. Oh yeah, they lost too [...]

Do I even have to mention all of the other past contestants that have spoke other languages(and have USED them in the countries visited)and not won? Or does Paige Wiser need to be Wiser and take the foot out of her mouth before being so ignorant?
Well said Captain Obvious.

Well said indeed...

The Yao Of The Tiger, And Maybe A Little Green

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In two brief sporting news updates - which you might already know if you either play golf, follow golf, or just happen to be keeping tabs on something called the NBA Playoffs - Yao is out for the season, and Tiger lost his stroke.

Better luck next time?


And in other news - is it really possible?

Roxana Saberi Freed

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In past posts you've heard me talk about journalist Roxana Saberi and just in case you haven't heard - Saberi was set free this week and plans to return back to the states:

"Roxana Saberi, the US-Iranian journalist released from jail in Iran on Monday, has thanked all those who helped to win her freedom," the BBC reported on Tuesday. She was freed after four months in prison when an eight-year term on charges of spying for the US was cut. She denied the charges. Speaking publicly for the first time since her release, Ms Saberi said she was happy to be free. She said she was looking forward to spending some time with her family. Ms Saberi's imprisonment drew international attention and sparked protests calling for her release. She is now able to leave Iran, but has been banned from working as a journalist there for five years. Speaking outside her home in Tehran, she said: 'I am very happy that I have been released and reunited with my father and mother. I am very grateful to all the people who knew me or didn't know me and helped for my release. I don't have any specific plans for the time being. I want to stay with my parents,' she said. Her parents live in Fargo, N.D.
One down. Two to go.

Guest Post: Taiyo Na And Five Asian American Artists Who've Inspired Him

Monday, May 11, 2009

by Taiyo Na

There have been many, many Asian American artists who have inspired me along my short way, so to keep things succinct and perhaps more interesting, I’ll only talk about a handful of artists who have made an impact on me through some sort of personal encounter in my life.

Peeling the Banana

They were the first Asian American performers I had ever seen I my life. Circa 1996, when I was a little 13-year-old high school freshman, I attended an Asian American youth conference held at NYU, and I saw a group of four guys—Gary San Angel, Bertrand Wang, Parag Khandar and Michael Kang—all who are venerable artists, movers and shakers in their own right now, perform a collection of scenes, stories and songs. This blew my mind. I couldn’t really articulate it then, but I know now that seeing them at age 13 forever changed the way I viewed myself in the world. They performed this number that day called “Asian Man in America,” and 13 years later, I still remember it like it was yesterday. Powerful.

Fay Chiang

Fay is a poet, a remarkable one, and was the director of the Basement Workshop, the first Asian American arts organization on the East Coast, for most of its 15-year history. When she was 18 years old or so, circa 1971, she taught the first Asian American Studies course in New York City at Hunter College while she was a freshman there. She’s mentored hundreds of youth through her work as Program Director of Project Reach, an at-risk youth center in the Lower East Side. Fay’s also been battling breast cancer for the last 6 years or so, successfully. A survivor, a fighter and a mother, she’s inspired many here in this city to live a more meaningful life, and I’m certainly one of them.

Charlie Chin

Charlie’s like our Woody Guthrie, but saying so would diminish the uniqueness of both individuals. I had met Charlie a number of times through Fay, but the first few interactions were very awkward because I was so nervous and intimidated. Finally we all had lunch one day, and I completely eased up because as much as this man has done, I saw that he was a New Yorker like me with a similar sense of humor and street smarts. Since then, he’s marveled me with stories of hanging out with his old buddy Jimi Hendrix, hearing Malcolm X speak on a soapbox in Harlem and singing with the late, great Chris Iijima as a part of the pioneering Asian American music troupe A Grain of Sand. Charlie has this beautiful, soul-stirring song called “The Ballad of Vincent Chin,” and hearing that number live, let alone sharing the stage with him, has been one of the most memorable moments of my life.

Jessica Hagedorn

As messed up as I feel like my youth was—abandonment and masculinity issues galore—I was also very blessed to have encountered many of these artists early on. Jessica’s daughter went to my high school, and that’s how I first found out about her work. It was this fascination in the beginning where I kept on asking myself, “Who is this wild woman who’s also my friend’s mother?” Jessica’s life has been one of adventure—danger and beauty, as the title of one of her books goes—and I’ve always found great inspiration in that. She’s refused to ever be boxed in as one thing. She’s been a poet, playwright, performance artist, novelist and leader of the Gangster’s Choir, her rock band that included the mighty Vernon Reid on guitar! As a person, too, though, I’ve always admired how she’s someone who won’t take anybody’s shit yet can also be very kind. When I was 19, I gave her a chapbook of my poems. She sent me a sweet email afterwards and even sent me a copy of her awesome, new book at the time, Dream Jungle. I didn’t think it was a very even trade—my humble, little chapbook for her hardcopy, beautiful, new book—but it’s these acts of kindness that have inspired me to become better and better as an artist and person, so that one day I can return it in some way.

Ron Domingo

When I was a host for the now defunct Comcast channel AZN TV, the producers of the TV show I was working for assigned me an acting coach. I was even rougher around the edges than I am now, and the producers gave me the coach to get me more polished. That coach they gave me was Ron Domingo, and he has since been one of the most life-changing people in my life. Ron is a real actor, with years of work on the stage, screen and film, and boy, did he show me what time it is. He got me to see for the first time the great beauty, intensity and discipline behind the craft of acting. Until then, I don’t think I had ever met a more visceral and impassioned guy like him. A devoted father of two now, he really gives every fiber of his being into his work. I once saw him in a play about the Cultural Revolution where he took on two roles at the same time, one of a wealthy schoolboy and one of a meager peasant. He seamlessly took on the unique life and rhythm of both characters, and it was outstanding. I asked him, “Man, how do you do what you do?” He led me to an acting studio he studied at, and coupled with the lessons he’s given me, I really haven’t been the same since.

[Slanty Note: Ron can also be seen in the new Slow Jam King DVD]

Born and raised in New York City, Taiyo Na is an MC, singer, songwriter and producer who has performed nationwide at venues such as Lincoln Center, Knitting Factory and many more. Hailed as “undeniably soul-rootsy” with “storytelling through music at its finest,” his critically acclaimed debut album Love Is Growth (Issilah Productions, 2008) features the song “Lovely To Me (Immigrant Mother),” an ImaginAsian Entertainment Original Song Contest Winner. He is also a curator of the monthly Sulu Series at the Bowery Poetry Club and Entertainment Series host for the PBS-syndicated TV show Asian America.

Amazing Race: Tammy & Victor Win It All!

Monday, May 11, 2009

I thought it was over when they kept on dropping the pig and then got the arrangement all wrong.

I figured they were just too far behind to make up the time and when Luke got to the final memory task before everyone else I was just going "Nooooo!!!!! You've Got To Win!!!" - or at least beat Jamie and Cara.

And wouldn't you know it?

They pulled it out.

Winners of the Amazing Race, Asian American, and a million dollars richer.

Does it get any better than that?