Local Chill: Café Kem

Saturday, July 31, 2010

While it's been open for about three months now - technically they're having their grand opening - and if you've never been here, you really want to check it out.

Great wi-fi (because you can't always say that about other cafes and especially not my hotel in NYC). A really chill atmosphere. Slick music. Seating for groups as well as individuals. The Mango Bubble Tea I'll definitely recommend. The strawberry Gelato I'll dream about - and how can you deny a place that has all that (including Bánh Mì) but still makes a kick ass iced coffee?

You really can't.

2524 Nicollet Ave S #101
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone: 612.208.0254

Getting Your APIA Open Mic On At The National Poetry Slam

Saturday, July 31, 2010

You've got a voice. And you have some words to share - I know you do. But if you've kept it inside and are looking for a place to let it out - now's your chance.

Asian Pacific Islander American Open Mic at the National Poetry Slam

Saturday August 7, 1:00pm - 2:30pm
At the Lowry Lab Theater
355 Wabasha Street North
Saint Paul, MN

Hosted by the Twin Cities' own Bao Phi and Sonic Rain.

This event will feature local and national APIA spoken word poetry talent. Door charge is $3.

It will also be a community building event in anticipation of the National APIA Spoken Word Poetry Summit that will take place in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota July 28-31, 2011. More information on that will be made available here:


*Note* Please don’t mistake The ‘Lowry Lab’ Theater for the ‘Lowry’ Theater, as they are in the same building. The Lowry Lab can be accessed via St. Peter Street.

And you have been challenged.

Tadashi Nakamura, Jake Shimabukuro, Center For Asian American Media, And Blue Roses Falling

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Is it just me, or am I one of the luckiest people in the world?

I think I must be, because I get sent in some of the greatest things - take for instance the above clip that ended up in my mailbox via filmmaker Tadashi Nakamura of a video he took of Jake Shimabukuro performing "Blue Roses Falling".

If that clip is any indication of what the documentary film about Jake Shimabukuro is going to be like (produced by the Center for Asian American Media and directed by Nakamura) - all I have to say is that I can't wait to check it out and I could kick myself for not seeing Shimabukuro live when I had the chance.

Good things come to those who wait?

Albert Chan And Descendants Of The Past, Ancestors Of The Future

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Got word from Chinese American director and actor Albert M. Chan about a new project he's working on and wanted to make sure and post on up about it (more later as I pass on some questions his way).

Boston, MA - July 30, 2010 - Chinese-American director and actor Albert M. Chan launched pre-production this week for his upcoming dramatic film DESCENDANTS OF THE PAST, ANCESTORS OF THE FUTURE with a new website and fundraising campaign. Visitors to the website, located at http://descendantsofthepast.com, can read more about the film, watch behind-the-scenes videos, and make contributions to the project.

"The story is one that's very close to my heart," Chan reveals. "Based on the circumstances a half century ago which led my grandfather, Art Kem Lee, to immigrate to San Francisco while my mother, Betty Chan, immigrated to Toronto, the story is told in the present day from the point of view of an expectant father who desperately needs to find out how his mother and her own father could have lived apart for most of their lives. DESCENDANTS OF THE PAST, ANCESTORS OF THE FUTURE is a universal story about the sacrifices families make, and the powerful bond that ties all generations of a family together - living, deceased, and yet to come."

The project will be beautifully shot on 35mm film by Emmy-nominated cinematographer Cira Felina Bolla. "Cira's words to me was that she was 'completely blown away' with the beauty of the script," Chan recalls. "She's one the few female cinematographers around, so she brings a different interpretation and sensitivity to her work." Chan's goal is to raise $25,000, which will cover the costs of shooting on 35mm film.

The music composer will be Ryan Leach, a graduate of Berklee College of Music. "Ryan's so incredibly talented as well," Chan raves. "His diverse musical background makes him a master at blending different styles and genres. I'm really looking forward to hearing how he'll blend western and eastern styles for our film."

The project also reunites much of the team from Chan's previous film, FATE SCORES, including editor/producer Aaron Howland, actor/producer Brian D. Evans, and assistant director/producer Richard Possemato. FATE SCORES won an award from the National Film Board of Canada, was acquired for distribution by Moving Images Distribution, and screened at major festivals across North America including the Boston International Film Festival, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Asian American International Film Festival (NYC), Sedona International Film Festival, Memphis International Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, and Connecticut Film Festival.


As part of an underrepresented ethnic minority in film and TV, Chan wanted to tell a meaningful story from his own unique cultural perspective as a Chinese American. Chan hopes to connect the finished film with audiences at international film festivals, immigrant advocacy groups, educational institutions, Asian community groups, Asian youth groups, broadcast television, socially conscious artistic groups, and Asian historical organizations.

"I really hope the film resonates strongly with immigrants like my mother and grandfather who had the bravery and foresight to forge a better future for successive generations, as well as with the children of immigrants like myself, who often struggle with issues of cultural identity and their sense of belonging," Chan says. "Hopefully, they'll understand the incredible strength of kinship, which can span generations and continents."

DESCENDANTS OF THE PAST, ANCESTORS OF THE FUTURE is produced by Chanal Productions LLC (http://chanalproductions.com/).

Hot Tracks: SiOW

Saturday, July 31, 2010

You know I love music - and I got contacted by an Asian artist named SiOW - born and raised in Melbourne and now out of Londong - and if you like some R&B/Soul you definitely want to take a listen - and I haven't even heard all the tracks in full.

Put on some headphones and check out the vibes - and remember the name - because if you're not hearing about SiOW after his debut album drops at the end of 2010 - I must be tone-deaf.


Siow is in London recording and performing independent R&B where real instruments meet the current R&B sound. Born and raised in Melbourne Australia, he began playing the piano at age five and has had a love for music ever since. Legendary composer John Altman said “it’s like a breath of fresh air” when listening to Siow’s music where live instruments such as the piano, guitar and saxophone feature from track-to-track. Siow’s debut album is set to be released at the end of 2010. He is currently working on his first single release and music video. While encouraging audience participation in his performances, Siow enjoys playing either with his live band, or acoustically on the piano and will be making live appearances in the United Kingdom.
And Because You Wanted To Know More

Listen: http://www.reverbnation.com/siow
Download something free: http://www.officialsiow.com/

I Suck And I've Found Some Bliss

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Man I suck this week - but last night - I found bliss.

Sure bliss comes in the form of technology and more screens being multiplied and watching my people do the things they do.

But I'm geeky. Dorky. Things that make my bliss, won't always make yours.

That's all.

Back to posts and doing what I do, 'cause I kinda feel like I've been out for a bit.

Oh wait.

I have.

That Was An Unintended Break

Friday, July 30, 2010

I guess work afer a week off + summer = not a hell of a lot of posts this week.

Back to your regularly scheduled show.

Oh wait....

When Norman Mineta Went To The Smithsonian

Monday, July 26, 2010

One day I'll have my picture hanging in The Smithsonian as well. Sure, it might be because of something horrible I end up doing like coming up with a way to clone just bits and pieces of people so I can sell on underground market (which also goes to show you that even in my fantasies I'm not all there because if I could clone things then why would I need to sell body parts....).

Either way.

A portrait of the first Asian Pacific American to hold a presidential Cabinet post is being installed in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. The portrait of former transportation and commerce secretary Norman Mineta will be installed Monday, becoming part of the museum's permanent collection.
I clone you.

Get In The Know: DramaFever Audience Favorite Short Film Award

Monday, July 26, 2010

From the PR:

Today, DramaFever.com and Asian Cinevision (ACV) announced the creation of a brand new eight-week online short film festival and audience favorite award contest to find the next break-out Asian filmmaker. Running today through 12 noon Eastern on September 6, the “DramaFever Audience Favorite Short Film Award” festival and contest is designed to expose 20 emerging filmmakers of select AAIIFF screened film shorts from USA, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The winner will be announced September 15 and have their work featured on DramaFever.com’s front page for one week.

DramaFever.com will host the contest and festival on a dedicated DramaFever-ACV Festival page at www.DramaFever.com/ACV.

DramaFever, the leading video website for mainstream English-speaking U.S. online audiences interested in the best of entertainment from Asia and Asian-Americans and ACV, presenters of the Asian American International Film Festival (AAIIFF formed a partnership, which effectively extends the reach of the AAIIFF. The AAIIFF is the first and longest-running Asian film festival in America and takes place in New York theaters every summer.

"With this brand new online contest to find the ‘next Ang Lee’, DramaFever has the rare opportunity to help emerging filmmakers share their work with hundreds of thousands film fans instantly,” says David Hou, vice president of DramaFever. “Typically, directors spend years to have their film screen in dozens of theaters on the festival circuit for one or two days, and this partnership with ACV frees film makers from traditional limitations.”

Shades of Yellow + National Queer Southeast Asian Conference

Monday, July 26, 2010

Here's a good write-up about a conference that happened a few weeks ago that I wanted to make sure and post on up.

The first ever National Queer Southeast Asian Conference took place at the Radisson University Hotel in Minneapolis last weekend. The conference was hosted by Shades of Yellow, the Twin Cities Hmong Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) organization, and provided a space for Southeast Asians and allies from around the country to discuss issues that are important to the Queer Southeast Asian communities.

The event started off with an opening dinner on Friday at Pagoda Dinkytown where State Senators Scott Dibble (DFL-60) and Patricia Torres Ray (DFL-62) spoke of their support of the Queer API movement along with PFund Board Chair Lupe Castillo.

Participants were able to attend workshops all day on Saturday which included, Coming out/Growing up Queer as Southeast Asian, LGBTQ in Southeast Asia vs. America, Queer Immigrant’s Rights, Creating Queer API Safe Spaces & Organizations, and Women, Gays, Trans, Ally and Youth Caucuses.

This conference was organized by the Queer Southeast Asian Network which includes member organizations: Shades of Yellow in Minneapolis; Providence Youth Student Movement in Providence, RI; Freedom Inc. in Madison, WI and Khmer in Action in Seattle.
Read more about the conference here and check out Shades of Yellow down at their site.

Irvin R. Lai

Monday, July 26, 2010

I didn't know Irvin Lai, but I'm always a saddened to hear when a community leader passes away making me think about what I really do know - and what I should really care about.

Born in 1927 on a farm outside Locke, the historic Chinese settlement in the Sacramento River delta, Lai was a third-generation Chinese American who moved to Los Angeles in his teens, served in the U.S. military during World War II and the Korean War, went to college on the GI Bill and eventually worked in the family's restaurant, refrigeration and construction businesses.

But his heart and all his spare time were devoted to serving the community, a virtue he acquired from his mother, Effie Lai, a volunteer social worker who helped new immigrants from China adapt to life on California's old frontier.

"He was probably one of the greatest Southern California civil rights leaders I've ever known," said Democratic Assemblyman Mike Eng. "He was at the forefront of virtually every civil rights issue in Southern California."

As an active promoter of Chinese culture, history and civil rights, Lai took on numerous leadership positions, including national president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, head of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, commissioner of the Asian American Education Commission and director of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association.
Read it in full.

Daphne Kwok And The President's Advisory Commission On Asian American And Pacific Islanders

Monday, July 26, 2010

From the White House Media Affairs Office to my inbox and now on to you.


Commission to work with White House Initiative, community leaders to advise federal agencies on needed services for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

On Monday, July 26, President Obama appointed Daphne Kwok of San Francisco, Calif. as Chair of his Advisory Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders. The Commission was re-established last year by the President as part of a White House Initiative to improve the lives of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities underserved by federal resources.

White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders Executive Director Kiran Ahuja said Kwok’s more than two decades of experience as a community leader at both the national and state levels make her an invaluable asset to the Commission.

“Daphne knows what services and protections Asian American and Pacific Islanders need and what resources they can bring to the table to build a strong collaboration with the Obama Administration,” said Ahuja. “Together, we’re going to work hard to let all Asian American and Pacific Islanders know the resources the Administration has available to help improve their everyday lives."

Kwok is currently the Executive Director of Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California. She previously served as the executive director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, as well as the Organization of Chinese Americans, a national civil rights organization with more than 10,000 members. She was also the first-elected Chair of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans.

In addition, Kwok has served on the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Council and on the boards of a wide range of Asian American and Pacific Islander groups, including APIA Vote, National Japanese American Memorial Foundation, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development and the Asian Pacific American Caucus of the American Political Science Association. She is also a Founding Board Member of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund.

As chair of the Commission, Kwok will work with the White House Initiative to increase public- and private-sector collaboration and community involvement in the effort. Kwok will work closely with Ahuja and the Initiative co-chairs, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, in addressing issues that are critical to the AAPI community.

Thus far, the White House Initiative has held dozens of meetings with top agency officials and community leaders from across the country on issues including education opportunities, housing, jobs, employment issues and health disparities. The work of the Commission is more important than ever as AAPIs have experienced the largest decline in homeownership of any racial group over the last year and their poverty rates, work-related injuries and job losses have also increased.

Random Dumbass Comment

Sunday, July 25, 2010

As most of you know - or at least some (including my parole officer) - I don't always comment back in comments. Maybe it's because I don't always want to fuel the flame. Maybe it's because comments are spread across posts months or even years ago. Maybe I don't feel there's a need too - because a good comment is just a good comment and sometimes it's just nice to listen - but for some reason I just felt like sharing a comment from "Patriotic American" who had the following to say on this post:

No, we all know how utterly messed up it is that hordes of economic terrorists from Mexico and many other countries are allowed to stay and breed in our beloved country. As for you and your utterly messed up racist, liberal attitude - why don't you find another country which shares your moronic views and go there
Honestly - it's just funny to me in some ways - it doesn't even get me angry. It's like I've seen so much of this, heard it too many times - online, offline - and it's kind of like really? Can't you please come up with something new - at least some sort of argument that actually might be dialogue worthy other than calling people terrorists and to go find myself another country?

Yeah...probably not...

Trailer: The Social Network

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Yeah - as I was seeing Inception last night I caught the trailer for The Social Network (which also has Brenda Song in it btw) - and completely - even though I don't actually use FB anymore (unless it's my stalker profile) - I can't help but want to see this.

Headline That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Saturday, July 24, 2010

This article just made my day:

JUST CURIOUS: Did Obama Eat At A Racist Ice-Cream Shop?

One blogger even went as far as to suggest that Obama chose this ice cream shop to send out a message to his “core radical base.” Even though he’s a powerful man, I highly doubt that this much thought and deliberation went into deciding to go to this very ice cream shop.
Is it okay if I end this post with the word Sweet?

Alyssa Lobit + The Things We Carry

Saturday, July 24, 2010

When I was down at AAIFF over last weekend, one of the films I wanted to make sure and catch was The Things We Carry - which ended up being one of the best Asian American films, and just movies in general, that I've seen as of late. On every single level - the story, the characters, the acting, the way it was filmed - I got lost inside it.

It took me to that other place.

Afterwards I got a chance to talk with Alyssa Lobit - who both wrote and stars in the film - and who was nice enough to answer some of my questions (even when I had to resort to capturing the interview on my iPhone - because apparently I'm just not that prepared).

Here's some of our conversation.

Did you consciously think about how you were going to portray Asian Americans in this film, or did you just say “We just want to have a story with Asian Americans?”

The latter, definitely. We just wanted to tell the story - and for me it was important to just tell a story where the people in the movie happened to be Asian because that’s kind of my experience in my life.

I’m a person and I happen to be Asian. My mom’s Korean – but I’m also mixed. So I have White culture - or he’s French Scottish by way of Oklahoma. So I have these two things happening. Neither one alone defines me.

I think that especially in the media and in Hollywood the way that’ll we know that Asian Americans are fully integrated in the mainstream is when people stop talking about them being Asian. So I kinda of wanted to go – yeah – and you know show things like they go to Korean food and have the mom speaking Korean because that’s just who she is, and they eat K-food because that’s what they do. It’s not a big deal. It’s not, well let’s all be real Korean and go eat K-Food – it’s just like no – let’s get something to eat. So hopefully we did that, because I wanted it to be that way.

Can you talk about some of the projects you’re working on?

I’ve written an indie romance called It’s All Love and it’s got a similar thing in the unique offbeat characters ‘cause that’s something that always attracts me - similar to Sonny’s friends - and these people that you look at and are like "They’re kind of interesting, or strange, or just, don’t make sense." I like to go talk to those people.

I’m also writing a sci-fi action, which actually, going to the Asian thing - the Asian actor thing - obviously a lot of Asian actors and actresses do the fighting, do the ninja stuff, whatever - and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think the same as with The Things We Carry, I’d like to do [in my sci-fi action] bad ass fight scenes - and they just happen to be Asian, not that it’s because it’s the only thing they can do.

Myself, I just think it’s - I don’t mind the roles, I think it’s the lack of roles we get so…


You know…

Well, and I think hopefully that’s changing and we’ll continue to just be…it’s all about integration, and just integrating everyone into everything. And it happens through festivals like this. And we have played festivals that were not Asian American - which that right there is us going like no - we’re being integrated and we’re integrating ourselves. And at the end of the day we’re all human beings - so I just want to remind people of that.

You kind of talk about the mixed experience. Did you want to say anything personal through the movie about the mixed experience?

No, in the same way that I didn’t want to address over the head that they’re Korean or Asian - kind of just put it out there. I mean we show the dad - he’s White. We show the mom who’s Korean. We don’t have a scene that explains this is my dad, this is my mom, and we are the offspring, which is how I wanted it to be. It’s just that that’s normal. It’s just a natural thing and it’s not a big deal. And in a weird way it ends up being one - other people do think it’s unique - which is cool. I love being mixed - but again, no one thing defines me. I’m not just mixed. I’m also from Los Angeles. I’ve been to UCLA. I have all these different little pieces that make me up.

Ok. Five best things about NYC?

Five Best Things?


Ok. So, well I’m staying at the Chelsea Hotel and it rocks. There’s so much history there and it’s amazing…I think you guys have LA Beat on the public transit, because there’s none in LA…weather, I don’t know…my hair’s a little frizzy so I think LA has that one, and there’s just a lot of artists everywhere. I mean I’ve met people, and they’re not all actors, and I think in LA, most of the people you meet are actors - even though I’m an actor too - but it’s just cool to have a mix.

A true melting pot mix of all these different flavors of people.

Okay I think that was only four…

Jeremy Lin Signing With Golden State Is A Gimmick? Hmmm.....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

See, I have no problem with a lot of what Dennis Velasco said - except of course with the fact that he calls the signing of Jeremy Lin by Golden State "part-gimmick to appease the huge Asian population in the Bay Area".

And I know - it's not like I'm writing news for SI.com, Yahoo!, SLAM, Hoops Hype, or the NYT - but call me crazy - I kinda think there's something wrong with this picture:

Being Asian-American, I have to say Jeremy Lin. Do I think the Golden State signing is part-gimmick to appease the huge Asian population in the Bay Area? Yes, totally. However, Lin has some skills and can hoop… not just as an Asian, but as a person. I’m going to be pulling for him, despite the fact that he’ll probably spend most of his time on the pine. There will be a lot of pressure for Lin to represent Asian-Americans and that is no easy task to take on. Of course, he really owes Asian-Americans nothing, and I hope the pressure doesn’t get to him and he actually excels.
Obviously, marketing can play into who you sign - even if Lebron never wins a championship in Miami you know another team will give him a shot if only because they know he'll fill seats. But do we have to call Jeremy Lin signing with Golden State a gimmick right off the bat? Didn't he have interest from other teams? Were they all thinking about signing him too in part simply because he was Asian American?

I'm going to go with no on that one myself. I'll take the belief - maybe wrong as it is - that people were interested in him simply because he is a baller.

Because everyone passed up on him maybe in part because he was Asian American.

But yet he's getting in in spite of it.

Does the fact that he might be marketable also help?


The NBA is still a business - and just like you want to win - you also want to sell right?

But calling his signing with Golden State "part-gimmick"? Like there would have been riots if they wouldn't have signed him?

Call me crazy - and you probably already do - but I think the extension is a little long on that reach.


The fact that people will bring this up, or that it can be debated just goes to show that in the long run we'll need a lot more Jeremy Lin's - because one just isn't going to cut it.

Legaci On NBC Bay Area News (Plus More Asian American Goodness)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Definitely check out this clip which highlights Legaci, YouTube artists like David Choi, Gabe Bondoc, and Cathy Nguyen as well as Asian American producers.

The LXD Episode 5: The Lettermakers

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The LXD Episode 4: The Uprising Begins

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm Actually Syncing That?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

So as I was getting chastised by a friend a couple weeks ago that I have nothing actually on my iPhone except pretty much Asian/Asian American music - but that's simply because I'm kind of lazy - I decided to sync a few more gigs/folders from my laptop and one of my NAS boxes - and it's amazing all the great music I can't believe I've never actually transferred so I can listen to it as I drive:

  • Blood Rave Techno - Blade Soundtrack
  • Bullet And A Target - Citizen Cope
  • Sugar Were Going Down - Fall Out Boy
  • Keep Ya Head Up - 2Pac
  • Smooth Operator - Big Daddy Kane
  • Nothing [Remix] - N.O.R.E.
  • Ribbons In the Sky - Stevie Wonder
  • Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight - Amos Lee
  • Leaving On A Jet Plane - Chantal Kreviazuk
  • Falling In Love In A Coffee Shop - Landon Pigg
  • Happy When It Rains - The Jesus And Mary Chain

And then there are these - some of which are guilty pleasures and others where I'm just looking at them going....hmmm....

  • 5 songs by Mandy Moore (I will not divulge them)
  • Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
  • Love Train - The Ojays
  • New Age - Sounds of Nature - Relaxing - Wind In The Trees (I have no idea what the name of the song actually is - it's just that way in the Name column).
  • I've Been Thinking About You - London Beat
  • Here Comes The Rain - Eurythmics
  • Bad Girls - Donna Summers
  • By Your Side (Reggae Mix) - Sade
That's it.

On Bended Knee: Kero One ft. Sam Ock

Friday, July 23, 2010

From his latest album, Kinetic World, Kero One presents the official first music video entitled On Bended Knee feat. Sam Ock. Written from Kero One's own personal experiences, On Bended Knee is about finding “the one” to spend the rest of his life with despite having traveled the world looking for love previously “in all the wrong places.” And if you are wondering what happened with the girl he’s rapping about in the song, she said “yes.” Their wedding was literally a few days ago. The video was shot and directed by Johnny Le from Portland, Oregon.

Joy Osmanski, Wedding Palace, Surrogate Valentine, And I Think I'm In Love

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sure, you can say I have no business being in love with someone who married their college sweetheart and whom I don't even know - but I say I don't really care what you have to say because my internet love is forever and withstands what you may call reality.

Since, we all know that "by forever", I really mean next week.

See Joy Osmanski sometime in the future.

You Could Be A First: Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Word from the street.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to name 3rd District Court of Appeal Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye as the next chief justice, making her the first Asian American to lead the state's judiciary and giving the California Supreme Court a female majority for the first time in its history.

Cantil-Sakauye, 50, a Sacramento native who rose through the trial courts, served as deputy legislative secretary and deputy legal affairs secretary under former Gov. George Deukmejian. He plucked her from the Sacramento district attorney's office and later appointed her to the Sacramento Municipal Court.

Kokuhaku (Confessions) + Autoreiji (Outrage)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chalk these up as movies I want to see.

Rich Cho Becomes The First Asian American General Manager In NBA History

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is it just me or are we really starting to come up in the NBA - even if just a little? I mean you have Erik Spoelstra who's coaching a dream team and now you have Rich Cho who's becoming the first Asian American NBA General Manager (not to mention the growing Jeremy Lin fanbase).

Hmmm...yeah - I think so.

New Trail Blazers general manager Rich Cho says while he's impressed with Portland's youth and depth, the team is still lacking the piece that will bring the city another championship. Cho, who spent nine seasons as an assistant general manager with the Oklahoma City Thunder, was introduced as the Blazers' GM on Monday. He replaces Kevin Pritchard, who helped usher the team out of the Jail Blazers era several years ago but was ultimately dismissed last month [...]

Cho interviewed with Blazers owner Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, last week in Helsinki, Finland. Allen, still traveling in Europe, said in a statement: "Rich has depth of character, a foundation in business and legal matters and a knowledge of the game of NBA basketball that will help our team get even better. He is part of the new generation of NBA executives." With a law degree and also a background in engineering, Cho has gained a reputation for his expertise with the salary cap and the collective bargaining agreement. He's also got scouting experience.
To be called the new generation of NBA executives? And he's Asian American?

How slick is that?

And This Is What I Have To Say On True Blood

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If people would have told me that Anna Paquin was running around wearing short skirts and touching herself, and there was lots of gregarious sex, honestly, I would have started watching this show a long time ago - because episode one and that piece from episode five I caught when it first came on - that just didn't do it for me.

Thank goodness for DVDs and friends who loan them out to me.

Ly Tong, Dam Vinh Hung, And Pepper Spray

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

All I'm saying on this one is that I don't think pepper spray is as effective as dropping thousands and thousands of leaflets - but I'm not a freedom fighter - I'm just a regular guy who never be mistaken for a "James Bond" type.

It was a seemingly sweet moment, captured on video near the end of a Vietnamese pop star's concert Sunday in Santa Clara. Someone who appeared to be an old woman approached the stage with a long-stemmed flower, and singer Dam Vinh Hung bent down — amid great applause — to accept it. Or so Hung thought. As cheers turned to cries of horror, he staggered back — wiping what police believe was pepper spray from his eyes. And that sweet would-be admirer? Santa Clara police say "she" was none other than Ly Tong, the self-styled anti-communist "freedom fighter" best known locally for a 2008 hunger strike aimed at persuading San Jose officials to name a retail district "Little Saigon." [...]

Notoriety is nothing new for Tong, 61, who has long fancied himself a Vietnamese James Bond. In 1992, the former South Vietnamese fighter pilot hijacked a passenger jet and dropped 50,000 leaflets over the former Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison but was given amnesty in 1998. Later, he dropped leaflets over Cuba. And in 2008 he was detained by South Korea after a foiled attempt to drop 20,000 anti-communist leaflets over Seoul during a visit from the Chinese president.

An Open Letter To Tomo And Emmie

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dear Tomo And Emmie,

You know that sometimes this place is just for me.

Vent, hype, shout, be still, think through things, and just be - in whatever way that is - and I was thinking to myself a few weeks ago that there's no reason it shouldn't include the two of you.

That it had to include the two of you.

And I wonder why it's taken me so long - because when all is said and done, if I'm writing about some of the things that really matter - that really make me think - that I truly draw passion and inspiration from - than I have to write this,

It just wouldn't be right if I didn't.

While I know I've been there. Given an ear when needed. A shoulder if necessary. In my own way helping each of you grow - because friendship, love, and everything in-between is reciprocal -

I can't help but think that I have been, and always will be, getting the better part of the deal.

One in the city, one a call away, one with that Scotts Irish Native mix but a Mountain Girl at heart, and the other my Viet girl, my Immigrant 2nd Gen - I'll never be able to truly say what each of you means - how your voice, your vision, the way you just go and never look back - take what's yours because you know you deserve it - those late nights, those long conversations, that honesty, that clarity that's each of you,

I really don't know what I did to get so lucky.

But I'm glad that I was,

That I've had a lover, a friend, an oracle in training, passion, truth, a reason, five feet of fury, South Carolina, Savannah, confessions, Thailand, Mexico City and Green Cabs, that place I call Chattaquaca somewhere in NY close to the Falls, late night texts from the WPB, Hooks Fish And Chicken, Scrabble, infectious laughter, Franklin Street, University Avenue, Elliot Park, how you always know when to find me even though you're never on time, fights that only made us understand each other more even though they were few and far between, and that room where you first told me about you in Boston, and those endless things that will always be no matter how many zip codes you travel through to get to the suburbs -

I don't really know how to say it other than that,

Other than what it is,

And I hope always will be.

Asian Pacific American Legal Center Goes To Fight Arizona's Bullshit Law

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We all know how utterly messed up Arizona's SB 1070 is so it's great to see groups like the APALC getting on down and standing up against it.

PHOENIX, AZ - On Thursday, July 22 at 10 a.m. PST, Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) and a coalition of civil rights organizations will argue in a federal court in Phoenix that Arizona’s racial profiling law, known as SB 1070, should be blocked while their lawsuit against the unconstitutional measure is being litigated. Immediately after the hearing, the coalition will be available for questions from the press. The U.S. Department of Justice will also ask the court to block SB 1070 in a hearing at 1:30 p.m. PST on the same day.

The civil rights coalition filed its lawsuit challenging the extreme law on May 17, charging that it interferes with federal law, invites racial profiling, and violates various constitutional guarantees including the First Amendment, equal protection, and the right to travel.

The coalition includes the APALC, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), ACLU, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), ACLU of Arizona, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The law firms of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP and Altshuler Berzon LLP are acting as co-counsel in the case.

WHAT: Court hearing on Friendly House, et al. v. Whiting, et. al and press availability with lawyers from the civil rights coalition. Clients represented by the coalition will also be available for interviews.

WHO: Julie Su, Litigation Director, APALC

Nina Perales, Southwestern Regional Counsel, MALDEF and Omar Jadwat, Staff Attorney, ACLU will present argument at the hearing.

Karen Tumlin, Managing Attorney, NILC
Lucas Guttentag, director, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel, MALDEF

Co-counsel from ACLU of Arizona, NDLON, and Munger Tolles; and plaintiffs from Friendly House, et al. v. Whiting, et al. will be available for press questions outside the courtroom. .

WHEN: Hearing at July 22 at 10 a.m. PST
Press availability to follow immediately after hearing

WHERE: Courtroom 200 (Special Procedures Courtroom)
Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse
401 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona

Founded in 1983, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for civil rights, providing legal services and education, and building coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Pacific Americans and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. APALC is a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, which also includes Asian American Institute (Chicago, IL), Asian American Justice Center (Washington, DC) and Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco, CA).

K-Town Reality Show + TMZ Part 2

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So it seems the last video clip was taken down, but the YouTube Channel KTownRealityShow has put up their own clip - and yeah I know - love those jokes by SNL and Chelsea....ughh.

In case you were wondering this is from the YouTube clip's notes:

This cast reel is NOT an official teaser or trailer to the K-TOWN show. The reel was cut from the collective cast members' audition tapes and was meant solely for presentation purposes to our agents and managers. Since TMZ has leaked it, we are forced to release the full version of the K-TOWN cast reel.

News Is This: Golden State Signs Jeremy Lin

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If all the rumors are true - including ESPN's Marc Stein - Jeremy Lin is going to Golden State.

The Golden State Warriors are closing in on signing summer-league sensation Jeremy Lin, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.

Sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that the Warriors, by offering to guarantee more than half of Lin's potential first-year salary of nearly $500,000, have reached an agreement in principle with the point guard from Harvard. Lin is expected to receive a multiyear deal, sources said. [...]

A Western Conference scout said of Lin's play in Las Vegas: "He showed that he can be an NBA point guard. He showed us he can finish, defend and has above-average athleticism."
I guess we'll all be following some Warriors next year?

Rumble + Ken Leung + Interpretations

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

AAIFF 2010 Round Up, Boy Bands, Kick Ass Film, Feeling Concrete, And That Random French Woman I Met

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Now that I'm back home in Minneapolis, rested, sleeping in my own bed (well not now) and have gotten the majority of my pictures off my camera, here's what I've got to say on AAIFF 2010 and other random musing from my quick jaunt out to NYC.

I should note that I'm also rotating between Atmosphere's tracks "God Loves Ugly", "Lovelife" and the "Mko - Memories - Energized Vocal Remix" two of which I'm listing below.

Chill. More Chill. And Feeling Concrete

If day one in the city felt a little hurried, albeit seeing some great film - day 2 was less hurried, the gods of Subway saw it fit to not make me go anywhere I didn't intend too (and a local I was talking too told me how the weekend and current diversions even made his life hard) - and I just walked, enjoyed some great people, some kicking music, one of the best Asian American films I've seen as of late, felt the concrete beneath me with some kick ass techno, and enjoyed the city.

I Have Pictures?

So here's more random thoughts on the festival with pics (which is still going on) and let me say for the record - some of these pictures really do kind of suck - but I try people - and really - isn't that all that counts?


This was the key to tickets. Present your press pass and get tickets for shows you want to see. In a way, it's kind of like a magic fountain and I like magic fountains.

Is it just me or is Toyota everywhere sponsoring everything Asian American these days? I decided not to take a picture of the Prius however for two reasons. One is that I know someone with a Yaris, and two - well - you may or may not already know my history with the Prius (which I blame on the rental people and not looking at something called a manual).

I give you a picture of some of the good folks running the Toyota survey area (who also gives out tote bags btw). I don't think they really knew what to make of me and why this strange and funny looking guy in front of them wanted to take their picture however. Now we know.

When you come into AAIFF you'll be greeted by some of the nice staff/volunteers most of whom I think are under the age of 25 which only shows you that Asian American film is in good hands. And don't they just look sweet and not like they want to beat you down? This is unlike that dude in the Subway who shouted mercilessly at me that I should take the Downtown subway and that my iPhone was full of crap.

This is just some random guy that bummed a smoke off me, and since I paid $8000 for a pack of what we have to now call Marlboro Golds because apparently they're not really Lights, I'm like "Let me take your picture". If only he would have known what the cigarette really cost him...

Random Signage.

These were people who were waiting outside, which I decided to take a picture of, and if you notice the guy in the checkered shirt looking down at some object, that was iPhone 4.0. Asian people + looking at phones + film = isn't that just regular?

This is Louis who I met down as he was covering some films and who's also the Executive Director & Co-Founder of the Soho International Film Festival. Nice guy. Always moving. And extremely photogenic (even though I just snapped him without a 1-2-3).

This is the worst picture that I took of people when I was down there, but I couldn't help but post it because these two were just too cute standing side by side and when I actually said that it made the staffer on the right laugh in a hearty pirate Hello Kitty way which I know doesn't make sense, but trust me - it did happen.

People waiting outside the Interpretations Panel. It was free.

If you ever wondered what the backroom/hospitality area looks like at AAIFF - at least at this one, and at least in the CV theater - wonder no more.

This was Art. I met Art at one of the films I saw on Sunday - and let me just say this for the record. Totally kick ass MF who had a ton of great things to say on Asian America.

This is a picture of Elaine Chin who I cornered, and I say that because the ever so gracious Elaine seemed to be talking with anyone and everyone who wanted to bend her ear about the industry and by the time that I accosted her outside I think she was ready for dinner. But even then, looking to avert my semi-stalker look (because I really do have that look) she still let me bend her ear if only so I could say it was nice hearing the panel speak, be completely random, and ask if she visited any of the great recommendations people gave her on NYC food.

And just for the record, the only reason I think she actually let me take her picture - as she said she preferred to stay behind the camera - was because I used the line "But I'm kinda pathetic and geeky, and you kind of have to say yes because of that."

See my fellow uglies? We do have privileges.

These are some of the good folks who ran the CACF table after the film "The Things We Carry" (CACF also co-sponsored the film) who also confirmed for me that things in Chinatown really do close that early, and - at least this is the word on the street - the only one who really counts in this picture is the girl in the middle.

Because she gets paid.

All I have to say is that I smell boy band. In fact I think JYP should get his ass on down to AAIFF right now to sign this stunning group of kick ass guys who hammed it up for the camera and who I get the feeling really can sing (if only Milli Vanilli style).


To The Cheeky Young Staffer

Who as I was walking out saying to my new friend Art that I would be up at the Hospitality lounge after I "feed my habit" said to me "That's a good way to put. Very eloquent." I just wanted to say thank you, because not only does it show that the staffers and volunteers at AAIFF put in their blood, sweat, and tears (especially dealing with people like me) but that they can also have a little fun doing it at the same time. And isn't what it's really about?

One Of The Best Asian American Films I've Seen As Of Late

I end up seeing a decent amount of film (among other things) and I'm just going to put out there that the movie The Things We Carry is one of the best Asian American films I've seen as of late - and one of the better films just in general that I've seen.

But more on that later as I make one final post.

Closing Thoughts On AAIFF

AAIFF is a film festival you definitely want to get out too and support if you haven't already and I say this not having been able to attend every film, every event, and every venue. They show great movies, the staffers and volunteers make sure you get to where you need too, they support great film, offer a venue for emerging productions and audiences, have cool venues and events, and if my time there was any indication - well - it's just a good time.

And To The French Woman I Met

I just wanted to say thanks...

East West Players + Hip Hop

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Catch it if you can.

On Saturday, August 14th, East West Players (EWP) will kick off its 45th season with One Night Only: Hip Hop and Hot. Directed by Marilyn Tokuda with musical direction by Nathan Wang, this one night only benefit performance offers the fun and excitement of a night of watching some of southern California’s best dance crews and performers live and in person!

“Over the years, East West Players has showcased some of the best Asian American acting and musical theatre talent. Our One Night Only fundraiser gives us the opportunity to highlight Asian American talent ranging from hip hop dance crews to breakdancers,” says Producing Artistic Director Tim Dang. “We want to show that Asian Americans can dance and breakdown the stereotypes. These performances will match the level of entertainment that EWP is known for and will leave you wanting more.”

Performances by dance crew Velvet Nation, soulful singer Sue Jin, and beatbox crew Fresh Beats Inc!.

Velvet Nation, a Los Angeles born one-of-a-kind-Janet Jackson Impersonator show, hails from Hollywood and was created by dance industry professionals: Ryyn Chua and Raymond Stover. Led by Stover (as Janet Jackson) followed by his “nation”, featuring prominent dancers in the entertainment industry, Velvet Nation performs with unparalleled energy and authenticity. Chua and Stover are meticulous in reconstructing the original choreography to create an atmosphere that is nearly identical to Miss Jackson's very best moments.

Sue Jin is an inspirational figure in the world of Asian American Artists. After graduating in 2005 with a BA degree in Anthropology from UCLA, she decided to pursue her passion for music. Since then, she has performed throughout Los Angeles and Hollywood, been a featured artist for numerous university events, appeared on MTV's My Own, and was a top 10 finalist for Asian American Popstar. Drawing elements from Alicia Keys, India Arie, Joss Stone, Jill Scott, Ella Fitzgerald, Evanescence, and the legendary Stevie Wonder, she has developed her raw talent and made it acoustic soul. For more information, check out her website: www.myspace.com/suejinmusic.

Fresh Beats Inc! is a beatbox crew that was formed in January 2009. The crew members consist of Beat Rhino, KayG, Q-Flush and Airickq. The crew performs as individual artists as well as a group. They have performed in Kiwins Club Distric Convention Talent Show (won 1st place), Miles of Styles Bboy Jams, and an OCC club fundraiser. They’ve also co-hosted and organized Orange County’s first official beatbox competition with Irvine’s Youth Action Team. Besides beatboxing, KayG raps and is planning to produce a mixtape. Airickq and Beat Rhino are working towards becoming a DJ and beat producer, respectively. For the future, Fresh Beats Inc! aims to perform more frequently and promote beatboxing as a legitimate type of music.

Additional talent to be confirmed.

One Night Only: Hip Hop and Hot will be held on Saturday, August 14th, 2010 at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts located at 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. The event starts at 6:00pm with a hosted bar and reception, continues with the performance at 7:30pm, and concludes with a raffle drawing and dessert reception. One Night Only: Hip Hop and Hot is a benefit performance, and all proceeds will go toward East West Players’ arts and education programs. Various levels of sponsorships are available ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Single tickets are $250 for VIP, $100 in the orchestra and $60 in the balcony. For more information on sponsorship and tickets, visit www.eastwestplayers.org, contact the Development Manager Lisa Tang at ltang@eastwestplayers.org or call (213) 625-7000 x17.

Ten Transracial Asian American Blogs

Monday, July 19, 2010

I haven't read through a lot of these - although 365 Days Of Being Single really caught my attention because it's kinda like a k-drama - and many chosen in part simply because of them being up to date - because that tells us something - but who's really checking right?

Because a list is still a list.

Yes. Yes it is.

Jeremy Lin Goes To LA?

Monday, July 19, 2010

This is mixed news for me down at ESPN - Jeremy Lin who I've pondered on before - might be making it into the NBA after all - which is spectacular.

Although it might be for the Lakers.

Really? Really Really?

Thank goodness I didn't put in for that transfer to LA because then I'd have to wonder somehow, if a small part of me would have to be Lakers' fan?

Actually I hear there are plenty of Celtics bars in the area...

"We're just trying to sort out the best roster fit, the best situation for Jeremy, but we're highly considering the Lakers," Montgomery said in a phone interview Monday. Montgomery said the Lakers aren't the only team vying for Lin, with the Mavericks and an unnamed Eastern Conference team also in the mix. Added Montgomery: "As of late there are a few more players involved as well." [...] The California native (Lin won a state championship at Palo Alto High School) turned heads last week in a summer league matchup against the Washington Wizards and No. 1 pick John Wall. Lin scored 13 points to Wall's 21, but did so on 6-for-12 shooting in just 28 minutes.
Like I said earlier - the ball don't lie.

The People I've Slept With Is Coming To NYC, LA, & SF!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Got some word sent in from Koji Steven Sakai that the film "The People I've Slept With" is getting released in theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and San Fransisco this August and September - so if you haven't seen it - or even if you have (because you can always bring some friends) - make sure to get on out and support the movie.

People Pictures is proud to announce the New York theatrical release of The People I’ve Slept With, directed by Quentin Lee (Ethan Mao, Shopping with Fangs) and written by Koji Steven Sakai. The film is self-distributed by People Pictures and will open exclusively August 13, 2010 at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas in New York.

"I am thrilled to be opening The People I’ve Slept With in New York at the Clearview Chelsea Cinemas. It's an indie filmmaker's dream come true,” says director Quentin Lee. “With the film closing the New York International Asian American Film Festival, I believe many New Yorkers will enjoy and support the adventures of the film’s heroine.”

The People I’ve Slept With is a sexy, romantic story about Angela (Karin Anna Cheung of Better Luck Tomorrow), a young woman with a zealously active sex life, who after every sexual conquest, makes keepsake “baseball cards” of each of her male conquests. One day, Angela finds out she is pregnant and begins a quest to find the identity of the father. Together with her gay, best friend and co-worker Gabriel (Wilson Cruz of He’s Just Not That Into You, My So-Called Life), the two go on a comical and raunchy hunt through her past hook-ups and dates to find her “baby daddy.” But as Angela peels back the layers of her frisky past, she begins to realize that the answers she is looking for, reveal themselves in surprising ways.

Featuring a sparkling and daring performance by Karin Anna Cheung (Better Luck Tommorow), The People I’ve Slept With co-stars Archie Kao (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Lynn Chen (Lakeview Terrace, Saving Face) and screen legend James Shigeta (Flower Drum Song, The Crimson Kimono). The film has found strong support with sold out festival screenings including Hawaii International Film Festival, San Francisco Int’l Asian American Film Festival, Outfest Fusion, along with being selected as the official Closing Night Presentation of the upcoming 2010 New York Asian American Film Festival on July 21. The film is set to open theatrically in Los Angeles at Laemmles Sunset 5, August 27 and San Francisco at the VIZ CINEMAS, September 3.

Random Musical Note

Monday, July 19, 2010

I popped in an old DVD with music videos and what do I get?


Sweet sweet ducky lady.

See White On Rice (On Demand, iTunes, And Amazon)

Monday, July 19, 2010

I missed this movie completely at the festivals I've been too so far - and I just got something sent in my way that you can still catch it on Comcast and Time Warner Cable up until July 31st - cool huh? At the same time, you can also get it on iTunes and Amazon, and...wait...how about I just give you the list.

  • Comcast
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Cox
  • Charter
  • Verizon
  • Cablevision
  • RCN
  • Insight
  • Mediacom
  • Bresnan
  • Suddenlink
  • Videotron (Canada)
  • Cogeco (Canada)
  • Shaw (Canada)
  • Telus (Canada)
  • Amazon VOD
  • Microsoft X-Box
  • Sony Playstation
  • Apple iTunes

It's A Cemetary + Picnic. How Can You Not Want To Indulge Yourself

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nice. Kinda creepy. But still nice.

Twilight Heritage Celebration
Saturday, July 24, 2010 from 6:00pm-10:30pm

Bring a picnic and a blanket and come enjoy this 30 acre arboretum in the heart of SE Portland while learning about the City of Portland Urban Forestry program and the Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery. Visit the three heritage trees being dedicated by Commissioner Fish: the lone Douglas fir for which the cemetery was named, the General Lane maple, and a 100-ft-tall cedar. Metro Council President David Bragdon invites you to stay and enjoy featured artists from the Lone Fir Cemetery CD “Dearly Departed” and then watch the screening of the documentary “Come Together Home” by Ivy Lin. Come learn about the early Chinese settlers and rail workers who were interned and later disinterred at Lone Fir Cemetery and the plans for a memorial park on the sacred site known as Block 14.

Schedule of Events:

6:30-7pm Heritage tree dedication
7pm – 8:45pm live music, tours & entertainment
9pm – 10:30 pm "Come Together Home" screening

The K-Town Reality TV Cast (And Video Does Not Lie)

Monday, July 19, 2010

All I know is that I will watch this whenver, and wherever I can see it - and what I find interesting about some of the coverage - like from Chicago Now's Pop Buzz! blog is that they actually say "The show features 4 boys and 4 girls living and partying together in Koreatown, Los Angeles. And I have to admit that The Situation has nothing on body builder and rumored porn star Peter Le. Seriously, are all these people models?

You Koreans. Always getting the limelight with your good looks, hot tempers, and love of drinking...and being semi-nude - wait a second - you will make an exceptional Reality TV show.

Cast above includes: Young Lee, Joe Cha, Peter Le, Steve Kim, Jennifer Field, Scarlet Chan, Violet Kim, and Jasmine Chang.

Here's the TMZ Video

I Give You Summer Of Pork Filled Players

Monday, July 19, 2010

From my inbox and now on to you and let's just hope summer lasts a little longer and if you're out in Seattle - well - you can always use a little more pork.

Summer! Finally! And some news from the Pork Filled Players, Seattle's oldest sketch comedy group!

New Video from PFP

PFP has just released a new video of our piece, Matchmakers, from our last show. If you're part of our group, Pork Filled Phans, on Facebook, you've caught it...If not, here it is on YouTube:

Check it out and pass it along!

See Kindred Spirits, by PFP Head Writer, Maggie Lee!

A full length, honest to goodness play from PFP's head writer!

Henrietta is a sensible young woman who knows better than to believe in ghosts. But when she moves into the Campbell Manor, she soon discovers that the lonely old house happens to be truly haunted, in more ways than one. Blending together both paranormal mystery and wry, bittersweet comedy, KINDRED SPIRITS is a modern ghost story that explores the haunting power of love and memory, shedding new light on the restless spirits from the past that we can never let go.

Don't miss this World Premiere staging of the new play by Seattle playwright, Maggie Lee. Directed by David Hsieh. Starring Ashton Hyman, Hana Lass*, May Nguyen, Joel Putnam, and Walayn Sharples.

* Member Actors Equity Association

Stage Managed by Monica Finney
Production Designed by David Hsieh
Costumes Designed by Christine Meyers
Lighting Designed by Evan Merriman Ritter
Sound Designed by Roger Tang

NOTE: No one under 5 years old will be admitted.

Start Time: Friday, July 16, 2010 at 8:00pm
End Time: Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 10:00pm
Location: Richard Hugo House
Street: 1634 Eleventh Avenue
City/Town: Seattle, WA

Tickets available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/112181 (priced from $6 to $12 online).

Random First Impressions: AAIFF 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

This was a random trip for me out to AAIFF - since I don't really utilize the press passes people send my way as much as I should ('cause that involves lots of traveling for me) I was like what the hell - lets pack a backpack and head on out, cause the last time I was out in NYC was for KAFFNY, which was a kicking festival, and before that - years - like a decade.


How I loathe and semi-like thee at the same time.

Subways with construction, a cornucopia of little side streets of food and people, the clusterfuck that is Times Square - which has the slowest Starbucks ever btw (because how long does it really take to make an iced coffee? It's coffee + ice. It's not a smoothie) - and just for the record - I didn't actually want to get to Times Square (the Gods Of The Subways Of Construction just happened to will me there).

At this point in the post - because I am dead tired and I really don't know what I'm typing - I'm just going to give a shout out to the Tokyo Subway System and scrap booking (and I can't really tell you about the latter, because that'll just get me thrown into jail even though really, it would be false imprisonment but that's a story for actually, never?).

But This All Has Nothing To Do With Anything

So instead I give you my thoughts on AAIFF so far (whom I'd like to thank for giving me a press pass so I can get into free movies which gives me an excuse to write posts like this).

One other quick note is that while I've taken a picture or two of people - some which are exceptionally horrendous because apparently in some lighting my camera is possessed by Glenn Beck - you get no accompanying photos in this post. But have no fear. My camera, nor I, have any shame whatsoever, so once I get back to what I sometimes like to refer to as my cave of masturbation, I will post pictures.

And without further ado.

  • I almost thought I was going to have to get in the middle of an East Coast West Coast War at the Interpretations Panel when the topic came up on NY versus CA for filmmaking and getting your actor vibe on. I thought it was going to come to fisticuffs. Really.
  • Who'd a thunk it, but I didn't actually want to touch Ken Leung. I thought when I saw him I might want to poke him or blow him soft kisses and make eyes at him, or at least try to grab some ass just to say "I grabbed Ken Leung's ass", but nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. I bet it's firm though.
  • If there was nothing else here that I did except see the film Yang Yang I'd be fine with that because it was just that good.
  • Seriously - and you can take this however you want because we all know I'm an ugly MF and you can't always trust the words of The Ugly - but there are just too many outstandingly good looking people that come to this film festival. I can't really say that about the bar I went too down in Chinatown - but AAIFF - if you haven't grabbed a ticket just to be surrounded by good looking people and support some great film - I just don't know if you really like yourself.

And that's my random short thoughts on AAIFF 2010 for right now (because I'm just waking up to finish this from last night).

More later complete with bad pictures.

You Are Here: AAIFF

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Well you may not be, but you could be, and that's all that matters - and there's some great film and panels to be had - so if you have nothing to do and want to support some Asian and Asian American film - you know what to do.

All the way through Monday (get your tix now) and hit the sidebar to check out the site and see what's playing this weekend.

And I'm Off To See The Wizard

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yup. It has been quiet over the last few days in part because it's summer, I'm working my ass to the bone, and - well - now I'm off the see the Wizard AKA...kicks ass films.

Updating you as you wish I actually were - which doesn't really make a ton of sense - but does it really matter?


No it does not.

Rotten Tomatoes Worst Of The Worst That I Actually Kind Of Liked

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I was talking with a friend a few days ago and asked the question of movies that kind of sucked but that they really couldn't help but liking, and I thought to myself (as I was asked the question back) that I really need a measuring stick of what is considered a bad movie (because I think many films have redeeming qualities).

So I've decided to go on out to the Rotten Tomatoes list of the Worst Of The Worst from 2000-2009 and post up a few films on that list that apparently I didn't think were actually that bad.

Judge me all you'd like. Make your assumptions. But remember:

Everyone is beautiful in their own way.


Honestly, I kind of blame k-drama that I liked this movie, and I can't really even tell you the full storyline anymore, but I just remember that I kind of have a fond place for it in my heart because after I got done watching it I said to myself "I don't think it sucks that bad."

Good Luck Chuck

I just think there're a lot of people who are a little jealous of Jessica Alba and that's really all I want to say about this specific choice.

Code Name: The Cleaner

In all honesty, I can't remember one damn thing about this movie whatsoever. But I did watch it in full. And I did laugh. And I don't think it could have been that bad could it have? I might have to watch this one again.

One Missed Call (Remake)

For the sake of argument, let's call my other picks iffy. I'm not backing down on this one, because this remake wasn't actually that bad and I don't understand why it gets such a bad rap. Watch the original of this and the original The Eye, and then watch each of the remakes - and while I have to give something (if only because "Glitter" is on this list) - in the world of remakes - this one wins.

The LXD: Robot Lovestory

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From around the way:

Dealing with Asian Parents When You’re Gay

It’s inevitable when you’re gay and Asian. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll disappoint your parents when they find out you’re queer. The question for most gay Asian children is how to lessen the blow. This problem is universal, whether you’re gay and Asian in the U.S., Canada, Asia, or elsewhere in the world. To get around this problem you could always try the “fake marriage” solution that The Wedding Banquet used, but it’s less than ideal and fraught with problems as the movie showed. On the other hand if you decide to come out to your parents, it’s likely they will ignore your pronouncement and insist you still need to get married and have children.
Take Our Jobs!

To address that one anti-immigrant sentiment that refuses to die: “Illegal immigrants take away jobs that belong to Americans”, UFW (United Farm Workers – founded by Cesar Chavez) has extended an offer that will make you put your money where your mouth is [...]
My Dad, The Vagina Man

Thank God my dad is a doctor. And not just any doctor – he’s a lady’s man, Delivery Daddy, King of Pap. Yup, he’s an OBGYN. And this morning, when I felt an awful burning sensation when urinating, I knew it was time to call dad to phone-in a UTI prescription at my drive-through Walgreens. No waiting for a doctor’s appointment for me!
"the chink in the china trade"

Saw this uploaded on FAIL Blog: Cultural Sensitivity Fail. This unfortunate screen shot comes from this Bloomberg video about Google's bid to keep its internet license in China. Yay for that, but whoever came up with that caption, "THE CHINK IN THE CHINA TRADE" is a friggin' idiot.
Eat, Pray, Merch: You Can Buy Happiness, After All

Cultural provocateur and sex academic Camille Paglia made the case in the NY Times recently that American women don’t have sex any more because of our middle class values and the cultural movements we’ve experienced over the last 100 years or so, with one exception: “Only the diffuse New Age movement, inspired by nature-keyed Asian practices, has preserved the radical vision of the modern sexual revolution.” (Which may explain why the “pray” portion preceded the “love” portion in Gilbert’s book, and why those two parts took place in Asian countries, India and Indonesia, respectively. Which means, no stereotypes here, they haven’t run out of sex or spirituality in Asia yet–phew!)
Toward a Post-Tool Society

On my most frequently used freeway exit -- which is perpetually backed up -- I always glance to my left and see a big yellow sign that reads: POST TOOL. I Googled it and it turns out it is exactly what it sounds like: a store that sells professional tools for contractors and hardcore home improvement enthusiasts. It has nothing to do with the colloquial definition of "tool," which is synonymous with "asshole," "douchebag," or "jerk-off." We all know a tool or two or 100. You may be a tool, yourself. We're all familiar with tools.
Warning: The following comedy clip is extremely fobby

It took me a couple of years of living in the US before I really got the humor of The Simpsons and Family Guy, so maybe we’ll be able to starting acquainting our non-fob fans with our sense of humor!
Q&A with Fair and Kind's Anand Subramanian

Recently, I interviewed Anand via email for MTV Iggy and thought I’d share an excerpt with you Sepia folks - first because we’ve blogged about them before and second since the two will be performing at UNIFICATION 2010, in August, an event I’m working on in collaboration with BROWNSTAR and hope to see you many of you attend.

And VietChannel It Is

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If you've been wondering where I've been getting some of these slick ass Viet Pop videos from - wonder no more - it's called VietChannel. Kind of sporadic, but full of V goodness not all of which I'll ever post, because just like everything else, I really do have standards - but take off your hat to the crew down there for making it easy to find some kicking pop and a good place to get familiar with some fresh faces without having to wade through - well - everything.

I Like It: Oracle VM VirtualBox + Snow Leopard

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

For anyone that wants to run some Mac OS X but can't help but love their Windows machines - there's a nice tutorial down at Lifehacker.com on using Oracle's VirtualBox to run Snow Leopard.

My Trip To B & N (AKA Books On Floor)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Even though I don't really read I can't help but like bookstores. There's just something about having some coffee, laughing at a Tori Spelling book, finding a good deal on something I didn't know existed but suddenly wanted, and sometimes seeing if anyone really cares if I take merchandise into the bathroom (it's kinda 50/50 btw).


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If you're down at AAIFF this weekend definitely get on out to the YOMYOMF Interpretations Panel where you'll be treated to some moderation Jennifer 8 Lee style along with panelists Elaine Chin, Evan Jackson Leong, and Ken Leung.

Join us as we screen our commissioned shorts on the big screen and engage in a lively discussion about INTERPRETATIONS and the general state of Asian American film with our distinguished panel (see below). We’ve also commissioned a brand-new INTERPRETATIONS short film from actor Ken Leung (Lost) specifically for our NY event so come out and be the first to see that. Ken will also be in attendance.

The event will be on Saturday, July 17, 5 PM at the Clearview Chelsea Cinema. Tickets are FREE and available now along with all the other info you need here. Reserve your seat now before we sell-out.

The panel will consist of:

Jennifer 8 Lee (Moderator)

Jennifer 8. Lee was a reporter at The New York Times for nine years. She harbors a deep obsession for Chinese food, the product of which is the best-selling book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, which explores how Chinese food is all-American. At the Times, she wrote about poverty, the environment, crime, politics, and technology. She has been called, by NPR, a “conceptual scoop artist.” One of her better known articles is on the Man Dates, and also on the fastest growing baby name in the history of America. Jennifer is a former member of the Poynter Institute National Advisory Board, a board member of the Asian American Writers Workshop, and has been featured in the Esquire Women We Love issue.

Elaine Chin

Elaine Chin is an independent producer based in L.A. and one of the founding bloggers at YOMYOMF which is launching INTERPRETATIONS. Currently, Elaine is based in Los Angeles, developing and consulting on film projects with writers and directors as Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow, Fast & Furious), Stephen Chin (Gummo, Another Day in Paradise), and Eric Lahey (Century Plaza, Spoons – Sundance Lab 2007) and serves as an adjunct professor at UCLA Extension’s Entertainment Studies Certificate Program and National University’s M.F.A. Program at the School of Media and Communication. She was previously a Director of Development and Production at HBO and 20th Century Fox where she worked on such films as Angels in America, The Notorious Bettie Page and Mongol.

Evan Jackson Leong

Evan Jackson Leong is a 6th generation Chinese American native of San Francisco, California. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s Degree in Asian American studies. As a short form filmmaker he has directed numerous music videos, commercials, shorts that have played on MTV in the domestic and international markets. As a long form documentary filmmaker, he has directed two half hour nationally broadcast projects: Him Mark Lai: The People’s Historian and Forging a Feature: The Journey of Better Luck Tomorrow. In his growth as a young filmmaker he has been mentored by Justin Lin with various credits in Better Luck Tomorrow, Fast And Furious 3 and as a co-producer on Finishing The Game. He recently completed a feature length documentary, 1040, which explores the happenings of Christianity in Asia. Evan also directed the boys from Far East Movement in the INTERPRETATIONS commissioned short, Far East Futura.

Ken Leung

Ken Leung is an actor. His film and television work include HBO’s Sopranos, ABC’s Lost, and Showtime’s Sucker Free City directed by Spike Lee. Rumble (Ken’s INTERPRETATIONS short) is his first film as director.

4ME: Are They Really That Bad?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You know my shameless love for all things fluffy and poppy and while I'm technically not the target demographic for this band (who ranges in age from 13-20) I couldn't help but see if they were any good and how they might stack up against some of the K & J girl groups out there - and maybe it's just me - but I don't think they're that bad.

I'm not saying they can act ('cause I gotta draw the line somewhere), but give 'em a few years and who know's - Wonder Girls + 4ME Meets JYP?

Just Say No Illinois. Just Say No (And Nancy Reagan Was Kinda MILFY?)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Because who in their right mind wants to be the new Arizona? And yes, I felt bad actually just typing that...

Two weeks ago, the AP reported that lawmakers or candidates in 18 states say they plan to push for legislation modeled after Arizona's SB 1070 when they go back into legislative sessions next year. Thanks to two Republicans here, Illinois has joined those ranks.

Speaking at a Decatur press conference Thursday night, State Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) and Adam Brown, a Decatur city councilman and GOP candidate for the 101st Illinois House District, promised to push an enforcement-only immigration bill this winter.
Read more about the insanity.