Enforcing The Silence: Tony Nguyen And Unlocking The Mystery Of Lam Duong's Life And Death

Thursday, March 31, 2011

This sounds like a great project and they've already raised a little over 50% of the goal.

From the kickstarter campaign.

ENFORCING THE SILENCE is an hour-long documentary that explores silence and loss in the story of a young community worker who may have been murdered for expressing his political beliefs.

Lam Duong founded the Vietnamese Youth Development Center in San Francisco and published a liberal newspaper that reprinted stories from communist Vietnam following the Vietnam War. On July 21, 1981, the 27-year-old was shot dead outside his apartment in broad daylight. Local police have never convicted anyone in the killing, so the motive remains unknown. But within days of Lam’s murder, news spread that a shadowy, anti-communist group had claimed responsibility, sending a chilling message to Vietnamese refugees everywhere: stay in line with your political views or risk death. Between 1982 and 1990, five more Vietnamese Americans – four of them journalists – were violently killed, many believe for political reasons. Vietnamese journalists are the largest group of immigrant reporters murdered on U.S. soil, claiming five lives out of the ten immigrant journalists that have been killed in America since 1981. All the Vietnamese murders were linked to a terrorist group in the Vietnamese American community, but police and federal officials have yet to solve any of the cases, including Lam’s.

Thirty years later, new filmmaker Tony Nguyen unlocks the mystery of Lam Duong’s life and death, and uncovers truths that Vietnamese Americans have never publicly explored. For the first time on film, Lam’s loved ones, federal investigators, and present-day journalists speak out about their experiences and reveal the risks that Vietnamese Americans have faced for exercising their first amendment rights in the U.S.

Mixing personal interviews with startling historical and present-day footage, ENFORCING THE SILENCE provides a disturbing in-depth look at a war-torn community that continues to struggle to find its place in a democratic society. As America finds itself entrenched in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, this film offers fresh insight into the long-term costs of war.


Since the late 1990s I have had the privilege to work in Vietnamese American communities in Washington D.C. and the San Francisco Bay Area in the fields of youth work and community organizing. Throughout my years of activism I have always been warned by other Vietnamese Americans to watch what I say and do, that people in the community have been killed for expressing views that were perceived as “pro-communist.” Driven to find out the truth, I began researching the reported assassinations of Vietnamese Americans in 2005 and discovered that since 1981, ten immigrant journalists have been murdered in the U.S., and that five of them were of Vietnamese descent. The first murder victim was a 27-year-old named Lam Duong, whose story left an indelible impression on me. Here was a young man whose liberal views didn’t seem too different from some of my Vietnamese American friends or from that of my own. Was Lam and other Vietnamese Americans really killed for exercising their free speech? Wasn’t freedom the main reason my community fled communist Vietnam?” Deeply moved and shocked by what I was discovering, I felt compelled to share this forgotten history with a broader audience but didn’t know exactly how.

Then in winter 2008, I came up with the idea of making a documentary about this subject. I had never made a film before, but I had a three-month sabbatical from my prior workplace coming up that summer. I decided to use my sabbatical to learn the basics of video production and to begin a journey to understand Lam Duong’s life and death, and what had happened in my community. I thought I could film, edit, and release the film in about a year and half. Little did I know it wouldn’t be that simple.

Nearly three years have passed since I began this project. This year 2011 marks the 30th anniversary of Lam Duong’s death and I am pleased to have a final cut of the film ready for audiences to see. Making this film has been a kind of dual discovery process for me – one that involved unearthing and unpacking a complicated story while trying to figure out how to shoot, edit, and finance and distribute a film.


I am thrilled to announce that ENFORCING THE SILENCE will be world premiering at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in late spring 2011! In addition, I recently received a small grant from the Puffin Foundation that will go towards the cost of coordinating our film’s San Francisco premiere this summer. We are also in the midst of setting up further screenings around the country.


Our next step is logistical and quite costly. We must raise funds to cover the expenses of distribution – exhibition tapes, DVDs, digital downloads, film festival submissions, licensing fees, publicity materials and outreach. With your support, we can raise the funds to ensure that the film is widely seen.


If you believe in the importance of this film, please consider making a pledge to the project. Any amount, however small, will help. You can also support the film by posting this link on your Facebook, Twitter, and by emailing it to your friends and colleagues who might be interested in a film that explores issues of free speech and the long-term costs of war. Together, we can bring an end to the thirty-year-old silence surrounding Lam Duong.

Forget You: Kero One + David Choi

Thursday, March 31, 2011

3X: April 22nd, Warped Tour, April Chase, Still Breathing, And Time Won't Actually Tell

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time Won't Tell (Clip)

Forever (Clip)

Full Version (Too Short To Ride)

Vote For April Chase On The Warped Tour

I don't want to tell you what to do, but really?

Do it now.

Wendy Cheng, Peter Coffin, Kimi Kobayashi, And Your Fake Girlfriend

Thursday, March 31, 2011

This is too complicated to actual post on (albeit because I'm really lazy) so I'll just give you the simple version.

Aspiring YouTuber (Peter Coffin) talks about his Japanese GF (Kimi Kobayashi) for eight months posting pictures and having conversations with her on Twitter.

Coffin later on goes after Wendy Cheng (aka Xiaxue) who blogs about her plastic surgery.

Cheng and Peter clash.

Cheng then finds out that Kimi isn't quite his GF.

She's real. But she accusses Coffin of taking her photos and creating online accounts for her and that her name isn't even Kimi Kobayashi.

And that she's actually Korean.

Kimi's Twitter account with 17,000 followers is shut down.

Coffin's lawyer sends a cease and desist letter to Cheng because she completely busted him.

The letter from his lawyer came from his own e-mail address.

Gawker posts the whole sequence of events letting everyone know what a colossal idiot this guy really is.

30 Hmongs In A House And KDWB: That's Some Fucked Up Shit From Some Fucked Up White People (Who Should Get Their Ass Fired)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A friend of mine told me about this - and while yes - I could talk about stereotypes, racial bias, the still limited avenues for POC in real institutions of power, and the connections between them - I figure let's just call this what it really is (and just in case you forgot I'll say it again for emphasis):

That's some fucked up shit by some fucked up White People.

And we all know it.

From The Pioneer Press

A song parody that recently aired on KDWB's Dave Ryan in the Morning Show has created a stir. During the station's morning show last week, listeners were asked to send in title suggestions for a song that the show's personalities would have less than an hour to write. Steve "Steve-O" LaTart, the show's producer, said a Hmong listener texted in the titled "30 Hmongs in a House" and LaTart proceeded to pen words set to Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." In his parody, LaTart sang about how Hmongs live like "sardines" with no room for a couch because they sleep on the floor. He also made reference to Hmong women getting pregnant by 16 with "seven kids by 23" and "over the hill by 30." By Wednesday morning, the show's Facebook page was filled with comments about the song, including those who found it offensive. When asked to comment on the controversial parody, LaTart referred all questions to the station's program director, Rob Morris. Morris did not return our calls, but this statement was posted shortly before noon on the Dave Ryan and the Morning Facebook page.
Lyrics From The MPR Site And Article
No room for a couch 'Cause we sleep on the floor One big group of Vangs Hmong family of twenty-four Kids work in St. Paul Hang out at the mall 'Cause I know they dwell so well Thirty Hmongs in a house Hmongs get pregnant early First baby at 16 Seven kids by 23 Over the hill by 30 Like sardines they live Packed in a two-room house with the kids But you know they age quite well They be Hmongs.
Twin Cities Asian American Journalists Association Response
Last week, one of the Twin Cities' top-ranked radio stations, KDWB-FM 101.3, featured a parody song on its morning program that has offended some members of the Asian-American community. The two-minute song by radio personality Steve-O mocked housing issues and teen pregnancy in the Hmong community. The song, which has gone viral, was part of an occasional segment on the popular "Dave Ryan in the Morning Show." After soliciting listener-suggested song titles, Steve-O writes and sings a song, which is often meant to be in jest. While the Minnesota chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association acknowledges the role of parody, we've heard from members of the community who found these remarks offensive and in poor taste. We know KDWB has a large Hmong listenership. We urge the station to take heed when promoting material that stereotypes and marginalizes a large segment of its fan base. It appears that the station recognizes the legitimacy of these concerns. We commend KDWB for addressing the situation. The station has issued a statement (which can be read below). It has also promoted a healthy discussion on its Facebook page, where many Hmong listeners are chiming in with comments. In regards to Asian-American issues, we hope AAJA can serve as a resource to KDWB's programming in the future.
And Just In Case You Were Wondering Here's The KDWB FB Response
KDWB-FM and the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show are very proud that members of the Hmong community are some of our most loyal listeners and fans. Our listeners understand that The Dave Ryan in the Morning show is a comedy show meant to entertain, and that much of its content is parody. While we've received positive feedback from many Hmong listeners who let us know that they found the song in question very humorous, we apologize to anyone we may have inadvertently offended, as this was never our intent.

KSW's Sensory Feast Of Local Flavors

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If you don't love food I don't really want to know you. And if you don't want to have a good time with food - I surely don't want to know you - which all leads me to the following statement:

I ate all those Wasabi peas.

Now I have nothing to munch on and I'm kinda hungry.

Curated by Kearny Street Workshop Opening Thursday, April 7, 6-8pm 18Reasons 593 Guerrero St. @ 18th San Francisco, CA Exhibition on view through May 27. Gallery hours by appointment or during public events. To schedule an appointment, email info@18reasons.org Are you what you eat? The nine artists of A Sensory Feast: Local Flavors ask you to take a closer look--or even a whiff--at the meaning of food. Beyond sustenance, nourishment, comfort and ritual, we live in an increasingly food-obsessed world. An inseparable part of Asian cultures, food marks migrations and milestones; it can provoke our deepest memories. Through taste, smell, touch, sound, and sight, this show investigates how food can shape our perceptions of the cultures and identities they can represent. These artists play with their food and invite you to do the same. Featuring Jean Chen, Brandon Bigelow, Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, Yosh Han, Amy M. Ho, Hiroko Kikuchi and Jeremy Liu of The National Bitter Melon Council, Imin Yeh and Jennifer Yin. For more information visit kearnystreet.org or 18reasons.org Only at the Opening, April 7: *Signature-scent-inspired cocktails by Eau de Yosh *Temporary food tattoos by Jean Chen

Ladder To The Moon: Maya Soetoro-Ng

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

From the Japanese American National Museum:

Ladder to the Moon by Maya Soetoro-Ng Wednesday, April 20 • 1 PM *NEW TIME* From Maya Soetoro-Ng, sister of President Obama, comes a lyrical story relaying the loving wisdom of their late mother to a granddaughter she never met. Come hear Mrs. Soetoro-Ng read from her new book, Ladder to the Moon. Space is limited. RSVPs are HIGHLY encouraged. Little Suhaila wishes she could have known her grandma, who would wrap her arms around the whole world if she could, Mama says. And one night, Suhaila gets her wish when a golden ladder appears at her window, and Grandma Annie invites the girl to come along with her on a magical journey. In a rich and deeply personal narrative, Maya Soetoro-Ng draws inspiration from her mother’s love for family, her empathy for others, and her ethic of service to imagine this remarkable meeting. Evoking fantasy and folklore, the story touches on events that have affected people across the world in our time and reaffirms our common humanity. Yuyi Morales’ breathtaking artwork illuminates the dreamlike tale, reminding us that loved ones lost are always with us, and that sometimes we need only look at the moon and remember.

Digital Martyrs Remix Beatrock

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


From Boom-Bap to Dubstep, using dusty samples to digital pulses, Digital Martyrs breathe new life into the songs of Bambu, Power Struggle, Rocky Rivera, Otayo Dubb, Kiwi and The CounterParts. Hear Beatrock Music like you've never heard before on this 16 track remix compilation which also features a few emcees from the Digital Martyrs/#Skynet camp. Mikial (#Skynet), Task1ne (#Skynet), and Digital Martyrs' own Archetype all go in on this project to make it one of the most dynamic releases from Beatrock Music to date. Artwork by Mark Canto (markcanto.com).
DIRECT DOWNLOAD: http://www.mediafire.com/?ql7nnxy38vcf4db BANDCAMP: http://beatrockmusic.bandcamp.com/album/digital-martyrs-remix-beatrock

In Pictures Circa 2008

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Flickr Link.

Support Activists In NYC And Partner Today With The Asian Women Giving Circle

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I've talked about the Asian Women Giving Circle before and today I got sent in an e-mail about their current fundraising campaign and just wanted to say that you too can help be a part of this organization which only looks to serve the APIA community.

We, the Asian Women Giving Circle, have arrived at the most important time of year, when we are reviewing grant proposals and raising those dollars to fund the wonderful projects we get to learn about. The Asian American women activists and artists who write to us are inspiring and powerful. They are harnessing immense personal and community strength to get their stories about oppression, injustice, hope, community solutions, and individual survivors out to a greater public. And we, at the Giving Circle, have the enormous privilege to fund a handful of them.

We received 33 applications, asking for a total of $450,000. We will be able to fund only a small fraction of the projects requesting funding, many of which are both very worthy and really interesting. Just a few of the projects under review right now are - a documentary film about a South Asian woman's family's multi-generational domestic violence legacy; a spoken word performance piece about three Asian American women in conversation with female religious icons around the themes of religious tolerance and 9/11; a mother/ daughter multi-platform conversation around the recent Tiger Mommy drama including stand up comics, an open mic and a panel discussion; an after-school empowerment program for South Asian girls using writing and visual arts to explore identity; and a documentary about biracial sisters who overcame prejudice (during the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act) to become a jazz vocal group in the 1930s and 40s.

You can see that our potential grants docket for 2011 is diverse and bursting with creativity; and that these potential grantees are all dealing with potent and important social issues of our day around race, immigration and gender - all set within our own New York City, and all led by Asian American women who use the tools of Art to further their Activism.

This is your chance to support projects that activate the social imagination to spur new and provocative ways to understand complex social issues. Please join us in our efforts to fund this inspirational work by making a donation to our grant making "pot." All donors have the opportunity to vote on a ballot of finalists.

We are hoping to raise and give away $100,000 this year, and all donations must be received by Friday, April 8th to count towards this year's grant making. Please add your voice to ours in support of amazing work being done in our Asian American communities. To make an on-line contribution, click here. Or visit our website for mailing options.

Thank you for your time and I hope you will join us!

With all of our best wishes,

2011 Asian Women Giving Circle Steering Committee

Danny Shinya Luo: Awesome Watercolors

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Got this sent in and wanted to post on up.

Los Angeles, CA (April 1st, 2011) - La Luz de Jesus Gallery, the birthplace of the Pop-Surrealism school of Post-Pop California Art announced that they will be opening an exhibition for critically acclaimed local artist, Danni Shinya Luo.Her exhibition, titled "Chaotic Harmony" is a seminal exploration of how nature and emotions interact - often with seemingly opposite goals. This rousing tribute to all things female and primal is an experiment in empowerment, which confirms that hopes and dreams cannot be suppressed (the artist is a Chinese immigrant, whose sometimes edgy subject matter would likely be outlawed in her native country). The exhibition opens April 1st, 2011 and runs through May 1st. "Shinya's art is really indicative of the type of programming La Luz de Jesus was established to promote," says gallery owner Billy Shire. "As a Chinese woman, she's an overwhelming underdog, which is empowering -the work moves beyond the superficial and sheds valuable light onto what it means to be young." "It's not easy being a young woman in this society, never mind an immigrant" says director Matt Kennedy. "What Shinya's art does is show other young women that its possible with hard work and the right education to take control of their lives, be who they want to be, and tackle whatever taboo they wish." "I am very honored to have been invited back in this capacity," says Miss Luo. "I constantly strive to outdo myself conceptually and technically, and I'm thankful to my parents for the many sacrifices they made in coming to the United States, providing an environment that encouraged education and self-fulfillment. I'm proud of the work I've done and I'll be grateful to all of my family and friends when they attend the opening reception." At the age of 11, Danni Shinya Luo moved from Shanghai, China to California's San Gabriel Valley in 1995. She had a natural affinity for illustration and learned watercolor painting as an understudy to Chinese grand master Ding Ha. In 2003, she entered the world famous Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, graduating with honors in 2006. In 2010, she earned a place in art history when her artwork for X-23 #1 became the first mainstream superhero comic book cover created by an Asian woman. The success of that comic led to other covers for Marvel Comics. San Francisco publisher Last Gasp will be releasing a volume of her pin-up illustrations this fall.

Not Really Pugnacious: Kristi Yamaguchi + Dream Big, Little Pig

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm apologizing right now for the title of this post (I just couldn't help it). But other than that, I simply give you the following:

(Chicago) Olympic gold-medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi has added another accomplishment to her already impressive résumé: New York Times bestselling author!

Yamaguchi’s first children’s picture book, Dream Big, Little Pig! (ISBN: 9781402252754; Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; MARCH 15, 2011; $16.99 U.S.; Juvenile Fiction/Picture Book; Hardcover) debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list for the week ending March 19.

“I am so thrilled and in awe that Dream Big, Little Pig! has achieved this honor,” Yamaguchi said. “I had always hoped that children would fall in love with Poppy the Pig like our family has.”

Dream Big, Little Pig! was inspired by Yamaguchi’s lifelong motto “always dream,” which has carried her to Olympic gold, to a winning turn on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and, most importantly, as mother and role model to her two daughters.
“Having two young children of my own, I realize how important early childhood literacy is in determining a child’s educational success,” Yamaguchi said. “Therefore, a portion of the proceeds will benefit my Always Dream Foundation’s early childhood literacy programs, which support underserved communities.”
Independent publisher Sourcebooks is thrilled to be partnered with Kristi Yamaguchi in spreading her inspirational message to “dream big” through the charming character of Poppy the Pig, brought to life by illustrator Tim Bowers.

“We believe Dream Big, Little Pig! is nothing short of a classic,” said Sourcebooks publisher and CEO Dominique Raccah. “It’s charming and fun, everything you want in a picture book—and it’s a great read-aloud! Kristi and Poppy share an inspiring story, BIG dreams, and now the rest of us can share those dreams too."

Sourcebooks is set to publish a second book with Yamaguchi, due out in Spring 2012, that will continue to follow Poppy in her adventures.

“It was a delight working with Kristi on her debut picture book, and I'm thrilled to see young readers embracing her message to always dream,” said Rebecca Frazer, acquisition editor, Jabberwocky. “I'm looking forward to reconnecting with Kristi on her second book and following Poppy on another lively adventure!”

Dream Big, Little Pig! features Poppy the Pig, who has big dreams—lots of them! But following her dreams isn’t always easy, and whenever Poppy thinks it might be time to give up, her family reminds her to “dream big!” While on a “pig’s day out,” she has so much fun ice-skating that she doesn’t even notice those around her who think pigs can’t skate…and without even knowing it, she achieves her dream while doing something she loves! Poppy realizes she can succeed at anything as long as she believes in herself and has fun doing it!

Kristi Yamaguchi is an Olympic gold medalist and world champion who knows about dreaming big. The motto “always dream” serves as Kristi’s personal inspiration, as well as the name of her charitable foundation for children. This philosophy has contributed to Kristi’s success on and off the ice, and she aspires to instill it in the hearts of children.

Following her figure skating victories at the 1992 Winter Olympics and World Championships, Kristi embarked on a successful professional career that went nonstop for more than a decade.

This past year, Kristi Yamaguchi’s Friends and Family TV special aired on NBC for the fourth straight year, and she became the first woman since the debut season to claim the trophy on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. One of her lasting legacies will be her Always Dream Foundation, which was founded in 1996 and has been an active fundraiser and supporter of children’s charities in the San Francisco Bay Area, sponsoring, among other events, annual Christmas toy drives.

For more information, visit www.KristiYamaguchi.com

Guest Post: The Business Of Adoption Agencies From The Inside (A Korean American Adoptee's Perspective)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

By Kevin

Please bear with me as I indulge some of my personal rants. Specifically, please be patient as I vent about the largest adoption agency in the lovely state of Minnesota.

My name is Kevin, and I’m what some call a KAD – Korean adoptee. Yes, I’m Asian. Yes, I’m Korean. Yes, I’m transracial. Yes, I love me some kimchi. And, no, strange girl from UCLA who opted to go off on Asian students, I don’t talk on the phone in the library.

I’m also a recovering “agency person” as well. A few years ago I worked for the largest adoption agency (as well as the second largest agency) in Minnesota.

Here begins my story . . .

During my time with this agency, I was a part of the team that recruited new, potential adoptive parents. I even worked with adoptive parents after they finalized their adoption to recruit other adoptive parents! It was fantastic. I was pretty good at my craft. Not as great as Blake from Glengarry Glen Ross, but I was a “closer.” Let’s just put it this way. There was a demand for a particular “product” and I helped meet that demand. Heck, I would go as far as to say that I even helped create a need for this demand.

At the same time, I was given the task of expanding the agency’s relationship with international and domestic adult adoptees, a significant group in its “constituency” with which it had an up-and-down relationship. Let’s just say that this agency had a knack for pissing off adoptees; it had a habit of blowing off adoptees and their thoughts and perspectives. In performing my duties as assigned, I attempted to cultivate deep relationships with some of the more vocal and active members of the adoptee community. I did so by reaching out to adult adoptees, meeting with them in person, inviting them into the agency to talk with members of the leadership, setting up an adoptee forum, creating an adult adoptee “advisory group,” etc. You know. I did all of that “relationship building” stuff.

Simultaneously, in performing my duties as assigned, I confronted, head on, the vocal and active members of the adoptee community who took issues with the practice and business of adoption. For instance, I had no qualms about openly criticizing adoptees involved in Adoptee Solidarity Korea (ASK) and Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea (TRACK)!

Again, I was pretty good at my craft. I wasn’t a “closer,” but, at the very least, many of the adoptees with whom I engaged trusted that I was working on their behalf, which I too believed.

I was so naïve . . .

In the whole scheme of things, this adoption agency was good to me. It brought me to the states as a seven year old and placed me with my adoptive family in rural Minnesota. It was somewhat involved in my reconnection with my birth family in Korea. It additionally created a new position for me after I was let go by the second largest adoption agency in the state. And I made lifelong friends there; I consider one of its past vice presidents and directors true adoption advocates. Yeah, it was good to me.

Conversely, I was good for the agency. What better way to recruit adoptive parents than have a composed, well adjusted, transracial Korean adoptee who loves adoption? (“It’s the best thing since milk and cookies!”) What better way to engage potentially pissy adult adoptees than with an adoptee who openly talked about his pissy, non-well adjusted past? What better way to confront strong adoptees, with constructive arguments against adoption than with another adoptee who could easily express, with conviction, equally compelling arguments in support of adoption? Yeah, I, the poster boy transracial adoptee, was good for the agency. I played the “good Asian” role very well.

As they say, all good things must come to an end. I left the agency in 2006, absolutely disgruntled with the whole “adoption thing.” Through my job, I came into more contact with other professionals from different agencies and much of what I saw didn’t please me. Many adoption professionals, for example, are frankly patronizing to adoptees who work in agencies: “Oh, isn’t that precious? An adoptee who’s ‘giving back.’ Good for you.”

Some are self aggrandizing. “This is God’s work. I’m saving the world’s children! Do you know how many children I’ve placed?” The job got me to a point in which I started getting a tad bit pissy at certain adoptive parents. Some adoptive parents ask the most obscene questions: “Has my son’s teenage birthmother had another child so that she can put him/her up for adoption? Boy, my son would love to have a sibling!”

Some are the most entitled people in the universe: “Would it be possible for me to expedite the Russian adoption process for my wife and me? We could just pay the $35K right now. We have the money. Do you want a donation?” Some adoptive parents, in particular adoptive parents who work for adoption agencies, are frankly clueless: “Why would any adult adoptee have ill feelings about adoption agencies? We gave them good homes!” (uttered by a current president of a well known agency).

The job also got me to a point in which I started getting frustrated with certain adoptees. Let’s face it. Some of us adoptees are the most self centered individuals, and some of us just take ourselves way too seriously: “We bear all of the burdens in adoption!”, ”Do you know how hard I work in this adoption agency to make sure that the much needed voices of adult adoptees are heard? Do you have any idea how important that is? Don’t even think about questioning my motivation!” (uttered by me *sigh*).

The job, more than anything else, got me to a point in which I started questioning myself. After leaving the agency, I repeatedly asked “Have I been wrong this entire time?”

Fast forward. Within the last year, I had an employment conversation with the largest adoption agency in Minnesota, well, at least a few members of the agency’s leadership. I approached the agency not because I needed a job (I offered to take a very drastic pay cut.) Rather, I approached the agency because, like many nonprofits, the agency was financially struggling. As a result, it was laying off a number of people (individuals whom I considered friends) even though, in my estimation, some of the people the agency was letting go were the best employees for aiding the agency to rebound financially. Furthermore, the agency was hacking away at its already minuscule post adoption education budget when, at least in my estimation, post adoption services could actually be the “money maker.”

For me, as a fundraiser (the career path I chose after leaving adoption) I saw a great opportunity for this agency: what better time than now to reach out to adoptive parents and adoptees? What better time than now to ask for them to reconnect and remold the agency, to make it a better place?”

I talked with a few of the agency’s leadership about the idea of me rejoining “the team” to help fundraise. We talked about how I could help the agency to philanthropically engage adoptive parents and adult adoptees: to work with the leadership in creating lifelong relationships with adoptive parents and adoptees; to work with adoptive parents and adoptees to support the agency’s general operating expenses and post adoption programs. Gasp! I even suggested for this agency to reach out to the Korean adoptees living in Korea who are advocating for the end of international adoption in that country. What a statement it would make if the largest Minnesota adoption agency, in conjunction with their international counterparts in Korea, crafted a plan with ASK and TRACK that would aid Korea in thoughtfully ending international adoption!

I was so naïve . . .

The conversation went sour. The folks with whom I had been in talks decided that, if I were to join the team, I would only raise money for humanitarian aid – not for general operating costs and certainly not for post adoption education.

I fumed. I declined the employment opportunity.

Why? What’s wrong with humanitarian aid you ask?

Altruism definitely plays a key role for adoption agencies that have humanitarian aid programs. Many of these programs are run very well and support some fantastic endeavors in orphanages and child caring institutions.

However, there’s another reason why adoption agencies have humanitarian aid programs. Money. Money plays another key role for adoption agencies that have humanitarian aid programs. Humanitarian aid programs function as a way for adoption agencies to keep their international country partners (i.e., the individuals running institutions like orphanages) happy: “Hey, my favorite international partner in China! Did that supply of goods make it to your place? How’s that building we helped you renovate? You know there’s way more where that came from!” Happy country partners are much more apt to make more referrals, i.e., the children whom the partner agencies recommend for waiting parents to adopt. For adoption agencies in the US, more referrals mean more families moving through the adoption process. More families moving through the adoption process means more money for agencies.

Oh, right. I’ve failed to mention that the agency in question was having referral problems, that referrals weren’t coming quickly for them . . .

To put all of this differently, the agency was, once again, asking for me to help them “create” more adoptive parents and adoptees. They wanted me to do so without focusing time on another pivotal component in the field of adoption – post adoption education, support, and outreach for families and adoptees after the fact, something that the agency promises. Trust me folks. There is a significant amount of adoptive families and adoptees out there who would benefit from something as straightforward as an outreach program.

Yeah. Intentionally or not, the agency wanted me, a former orphan and a person who identifies as a transracial Koreaan adoptee, to sell out my own kind . . . again.

When I left this agency the first time, I absolutely felt as though I had sold out my own kind. Much of the anger I felt was directed internally. I had, for years, advocated for the business of adoption, and I had perpetuated one of the biggest lies in adoption – adoption agencies are there for adoptive parents and, most importantly, the adoptees for the rest of their lives.
Patently false. Absolute bullshit.

Most adoption agencies only care about the creation of adoptive families. The Minnesota agency in question serves as an example. Contrary to what the largest adoption agency in Minnesota says, its post adoption program exists only on paper (to interested folks, check out the agency’s website, read what is supposedly offered, and then call the agency to obtain more details. You’ll be very disappointed after the phone call). But, hey! If one takes a look at the agency’s last newsletter, there are plenty of events and information sessions for individuals who are interested in adopting and for potential adoptive parents who are in the process of adopting.

From what I understand, the agency has no plans to ramp up its post adoption services. To quote one of the individuals from the agency’s leadership, “Post adoption has never brought in enough money.” It has no plans, even though there is a great need for post adoption education, outreach, and support in the state of Minnesota, which is home to tens of thousands of adoptees. It has no plans, even though the agency has no qualms about placing children of color into heavily Caucasian communities in Metro and Outstate Minnesota.

I can see it coming now. The largest adoption agency is going to say, “Listen. I don’t know what planet you live on, but we’re in a recession. We can’t afford to have a lively post adoption program. And, you know what, we offer way more than the other agencies.” Well, in case the agency decides to respond in this particular manner, I have a few suggestions:

1. Perhaps it’s time for you to focus some attention to raising money for areas within the agency that actually matter. Perhaps it’s time for you to raise money for programs that people find of interest.

2. Perhaps it’s time for you to get creative. Perhaps it’s not working for you to continue the practices that you’ve been using for the last however many years. Perhaps your ideas are stagnant.

3. Perhaps it’s time for you to develop deeper relationships with some of your oldest constituents. Perhaps it’s time to work with adoptees, adoptive parents, and birthparents as equal partners.

4. Perhaps you would be surprised by all that you could accomplish if you quit being so interested in money.

5. Perhaps you’ll surprise many of us, but most likely not. Who am I kidding . . .

Ok! That wraps up my rant! If none of it makes sense, so be it!

And oh…before I forget. To the largest adoption agency in Minnesota . . .

I just brought it. I invite you to, ah, bring it.

Trailer Love: K-Town Reality Show Sizzle

Monday, March 28, 2011

Been seeing this everywhere and wanted to post up on here too.


Online Auction To Benefit Japan: SIUniverse, Secret Identities, Greg Pak, Tak Toyoshima, Bernard Chang, Keiko Agena + More

Friday, March 25, 2011

Help the people of Japan by bidding on items donated by members of the SIUniverse family.

March 25, 2011 — Two weeks ago, the world was stunned by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that ravaged northern Japan. Though the aftermath of the natural disaster and resulting nuclear crisis is no longer front page news, the people of northern Japan still need our help. This is why SIUniverse Media is announcing SIUniverse For Japan, an online auction to raise money for ongoing relief efforts in Japan.

Through ebay Giving Works, 100% of the final sale of any item sold through SIUniverse For Japan will go toward GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. Search for eBay seller ID “siuniverseforjapan.”

Over the next several weeks, fans will be able to bid on everything from original artwork, action figures, t-shirts, DVDs, CDs, comics, books, and other unique items donated by some of the creative talent behind Secret Identities and know that all proceeds will go towards rebuilding the lives of the people affected by the disasters. The first item, a copy of Secret Identities plus a bookplate signed by Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, Keith Chow and Jerry Ma, will be up for bid beginning on Monday, March 28.

The following SI-affiliated artists and creators will also have items available for bid in the coming weeks:

Keiko Agena
Jimmy J. Aquino
A.L. Baroza
Jef Castro
Bernard Chang
Lynn Chen
Tanuj Chopra
Keith Chow
Jamie Ford
Martin Hsu
Michael Kang
Shin Kawasaki
Kazu Kibuishi
Greg LaRocque
Sonny Liew
Jerry Ma
Greg Pak
Koji Steven Sakai
Alexander Shen
Parry Shen
Tak Toyoshima
Glenn Urieta
Gene Yang
Jeff Yang

In addition to the SIUniverse For Japan auction, through April 3, SIUniverse Media’s Jerry Ma will be donating 100% of every sale made at his website Epic Proportions to benefit Japan disaster relief as well.

Late Mindy Kaling + Charlie Sheen

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just in case you missed this last week.

Virginia's Umbrella And A Few Quick Drinks

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ray William Johnson And The Stereotypes Song (AKA Koreans Have Small Dicks). Yay!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

If this gets any views like Ray William Johnson's other videos from his YouTube cartoon channel YourFavoriteMartian, there could be millions of people humming the line "Than your brain is small like a Korean penis".

Who knows - you too might even be able to get a t-shirt with this printed on the front.

Don't know about you, but I'd really love me some chinky t-shirt like that commemorating what can only be described as a craptastic spontaneous implosion (because don't tell me there was any actual work put into this).

I mean I'm all up for laughing at ourselves, but Bucktooth Asian guy?

Small Korean dick jokes?

Is that the best that YouTube's wunderkind can do?

Kinda sad.


If you want to argue that when the line about Korean penis comes up (which btw I hear is extremely nutritious however not as nutritious as Vietnamese penis which I'm told is excellent for the diet and should be consumed on a daily basis) that the cartoon looks more like Kim Jong-il and it's some sort of political commentary, all I have to say then is that it's poorly executed because the rest of the video is nondescript in terms of recognizing any other actual political figures.

But then again - WTF am I talking about - we all know this isn't a political cartoon.

Akufuncture's Japan Disaster Relief

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

From Akufuncture:

"The Monkey King Loves Japan" Akufuncture is donating 50% of the proceeds to American Red Cross to help the many in need through the aftermath of the major Earthquakes that hit Japan.

One-Year Anniversary: The Affordable Care Act

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

From The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

WASHINGTON – The President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders joins the Administration in celebrating the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The law provides millions of Americans with more freedom and control over their health care choices.

“One in six Asian Americans, and one in four Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are either uninsured or underinsured,” said Daphne Kwok, Chair of the President’s Advisory Commission. The Affordable Care Act provides more choices for the community to take control of their health care and consequently improve their lives.”

Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander communities experience high uninsurance rates; 26.7% of Hmong Americans, 22.5% of Bangladeshi Americans, and 17.4% of Micronesians live in poverty; and 35.5% of Korean Americans, 18.3% of Vietnamese Americans, and 17.7% of Indian Americans lack health coverage. Additionally, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders continue to have a high prevalence of diabetes, chronic hepatitis B, liver and cervical cancers.
The Affordable Care Act specifically assists the AAPI community by expanding coverage to 32 million Americans and strengthening the role of disease prevention and health promotion in addressing these chronic diseases.

Thanks to the law, AAPIs and all Americans are enjoying:

Lower Costs

- Seniors have the freedom to get the care they need, including free preventive care, lower cost prescription drugs, and Medicare they can count on. Nearly 4 million Americans who hit the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the “donut hole” received $250 tax-free rebates, and will receive a 50% discount on brand name prescription drugs if they hit the donut hole this year.

- Up to 4 million small businesses could receive tax credits to make employees’ health coverage more affordable.

- Insurance companies can no longer overcharge consumers just to boost profits and CEO salaries.

New coverage options

- Children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage in new health plans.

- Adults who have been locked out of the insurance marketplace because of a pre-existing condition can now buy coverage through a new Pre-Existing Condition Plan.

Better quality coverage

- People with insurance are free from worrying about losing their insurance due to a mistake on an application, or having it capped unexpectedly if someone is in an accident or becomes sick.

- All Americans in new insurance plans will receive preventive services without being charged a deductible, co-payment, or co-insurance.

“The Affordable Care Act not only gives individuals increased access to care, but our communities as a whole now have the policies and resources to better care for one another,” said Sefa Aina, Vice Chair of the President’s Advisory Commission. “Under the Affordable Care Act, we have an opportunity to address policies affecting health disparities – including improving federal data collection and reporting systems, developing our primary care workforce and expanding our community health care system so that culturally and linguistically appropriate services are accessible to our most underserved communities.”

That's Just A Great Comment To A WTF Were They Thinking Moment

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Some background from College Media Matters:

A student newspaper at California State University, Long Beach, is apologizing for running a negative commentary on an American Indian campus event that was “construed by many as an assault” on Native American culture.

In the article, headlined “Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay,” the campus editor of The Union Weekly espoused an “unflattering view” toward a recent campus Pow Wow. He equated the annual cultural event staged by the school’s American Indian Studies program and American Indian Student Council with a “large, Native American themed flea market.”

The student writer specifically mocked the food– at one point comparing frybread to “a Mexican pizza from Taco Bell, but sh*ttier”– and a traditional dance that involved some spectators throwing money to the performers. As he noted about the latter, “The entire scene felt disingenuous and cheap. Donations are great, and necessary, tossing them unceremoniously on the ground is crass and borderline obscene. Even the homeless have hats and cups.”

Take It From Someone Who Knows What They're Talking About


We gather together for solidarity,kinship, to network, and enjoy the similarities of all tribal communities. We are unique in that we are Native to this continent, and have already endured genocide, biases, predjuces brought about by this type of thinking. I had higher expectations for the college community and the campos editor. I hope in the future, the Native community will not have to endure such denigration due to poor journalism and hatred.

Annie Le's Murderer Pleads Guilty

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In case you missed this from last week, Annie Le's murderer Raymond Clark plead guilty to a sentence which will keep him behind bars for 44 years while being spared the death sentence.

While the family was satisfied that justice was done I have to admit - I can't help but think he got off easy because if it were up to me I'd make an example of him so that future Rice Chasing psychopaths might no when to stop.

In Pictures: Viet Am Fashion Designer Phuong My

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Phuong My (3rd from the right)

You link.

CAPE, Harry Shum Jr., Kelly Hu, Archie Kao, Dawen, Paul Datech, Wilson Cruz, Tia Carrere, James Kyson Lee, And The Japan Relief Fundraiser

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CAPE Japan Relief Fundraiser!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 (6:30pm - 11pm)
The Factory http://factorynightclub.com/
652 North La Peer Drive West
Hollywood, CA 90069-5602

$25 Admission cash, credit cards, or checks (payable to American Red Cross and note: Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Fund)
FREE Food and Drink

There will be chance giveaways for snorkeling sets and a roundtrip to Hawaii!

Visit our Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=193876787318563&ref=nf

Lee Ufan + Guggenheim

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I got invited out to the Guggenheim later this month and while I'm still thinking about going, while you might not be able to attend the press event, you can still think about your schedule this summer (because even though spring just got here we can't help thinking about those hot days that afterwards).

Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity
June 24–September 28, 2011
This exhibition is made possible with lead sponsorship from Samsung.

Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity is the first North American museum retrospective devoted to artist, philosopher, and poet Lee Ufan, who has been active in Korea, Japan, and Europe over the last forty years. The exhibition charts the artist’s creation of a visual, conceptual, and theoretical language that has radicalized and expanded the possibilities for sculpture and painting. Lee is acclaimed for an innovative body of work that emphasizes process, materials, and the experiential engagement of viewer and site. The exhibition features some ninety works from the 1960s to the present—including a new site-specific installation—and will be installed throughout the museum, beginning with the rotunda floor and extending up the six ramps of the building and into two Annex galleries. The selection of paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and installations includes Lee’s most iconic works, many presented in America for the first time.

Lee Ufan was born in Korea in 1936. He earned a degree in philosophy from Nihon University, Tokyo, and has from the earliest stages of his work been critically engaged with the writings of Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault, and Nishida Kitaro. In the late 1960s, Lee came to international prominence as the visionary theorist and most representative practitioner of the influential Japanese art movement Mono-ha (School of Things), applying the theories of structuralism and phenomenology to construct a model of otherness that was highly critical of modernism and in dialogue with international Post-Minimalist practices.

Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity is organized by Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Sandhini Poddar, Assistant Curator of Asian Art, and Nancy Lim, Asian Art Curatorial Fellow, provided curatorial support. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.

Make It Bump: Koda Kumi + Far East Movement

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

According to Tokyo Hive the track will be released on the Japanese edition of Free Wired, getting ready to hit stores soon (no word on a video).

Club certifiable.

Butt Plugs, Blocking, And Apparently I Helped Influence This Video

Monday, March 21, 2011

No really.

That's what they said.

Fundraising, Film, Descendants Of The Past, Ancestors Of The Future, And Albert M. Chan

Monday, March 21, 2011

Got this sent in from filmmaker Albert M. Chan and wanted to post up the PR he sent out my way.

Boston, MA - March 22, 2011 - Chinese-American director and actor Albert M. Chan has launched a fundraising campaign for his upcoming dramatic film DESCENDANTS OF THE PAST, ANCESTORS OF THE FUTURE. The campaign's promotional video, which can be viewed at http://descendantsofthepast.com, features interviews with production team members about their own ancestry, their ideas for the forthcoming film, and how people can become a part of the project to receive unique items such as DVDs, posters, producing credits, and on-screen dedications to family members. Featured in the video are Chan, producers Brian D. Evans and Richard Possemato, and editor Aaron Howland.

"The film's story is one that's very close to my heart," Chan reveals. "It's based on the circumstances half a century ago that led my grandfather to immigrate to San Francisco while my mother immigrated to Toronto. The story is told in the present day from the point of view of a Chinese American who's about to become a father to a baby girl. But before she's born, he desperately needs to find out how his mother and her own father could have lived apart for most of their lives."

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 as well as the myriad other production costs. Thus far, he has already raised $7,500. "It's a great start, but we need to continue the momentum by partnering with more sponsors and spreading the word," says Chan encouragingly. "I can't stress enough that no donation is too small--it really all adds up in the end." A description of the full range of sponsorship levels and incentives can be found at http://descendantsofthepast.com/donate.php.

"The film is a moving and poignant story that embodies the authentic voice and depiction of a multi-generational immigrant family," says Chan. "I think it'll resonate 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 children of immigrants like myself, who often struggle with issues of cultural identity and their sense of belonging."

As part of an underrepresented ethnic minority in film and TV, Chan wanted to tell a meaningful story from his own cultural perspective as the son of Chinese immigrants. 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.

The project reunites much of the team from Chan's previous film, FATE SCORES, which won an award from the National Film Board of Canada and was acquired for distribution by Moving Images Distribution. FATE SCORES 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.


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

That Is Fucked Up: Apple Approves "Gay Cure" App

Monday, March 21, 2011

From Change.org

Exodus International, the notorious "ex-gay" organization, has just released an iPhone app that, according to its website, is "designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders." The Exodus website further boasts that its app received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning that it contains "no objectionable content."

No objectionable content? We beg to differ. Exodus' message is hateful and bigoted. They claim to offer "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ" and use scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients. They endorse the use of so-called "reparative therapy" to "change" the sexual orientation of their clients, despite the fact that this form of "therapy" has been rejected by every major professional medical organization including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Counseling Association. But reparative therapy isn't just bad medicine -- it's also very damaging to the self-esteem and mental health of its victims.

Crazy White People: Sammy Hagar

Monday, March 21, 2011

From sex tents to being abducted by aliens, I think he really has gone mad.

The X Factor Wants You The API Community

Monday, March 21, 2011

At least that's what was sent in to me.

THE X FACTOR, the highly anticipated singing competition debuting this fall on FOX, will hold auditions in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 27 at The L.A. Sports Arena. Registration and wristband distribution will begin at 6:00 AM on Saturday, March 26. The show is searching for undiscovered talent 12 years old or over – both solo artists and vocal groups – who are willing to brave the panel for a chance to make their dreams come true.

Interested solo artists and vocal groups should sign up now for audition information at www.fox.com/theXfactor or call toll-free 855-345-5678.

Audition cities, dates and venues include:

Los Angeles, CA Sunday, March 27 L.A. Sports Arena
Miami, FL Thursday, April 7 Bank United Center
Newark, NJ Thursday, April 14 Prudential Center
Seattle, WA Wednesday, April 20 Key Arena
Chicago, IL Wednesday, April 27 Sears Centre Arena
Dallas, TX Thursday, May 26 The Dallas Convention Center

In a departure from other singing competition series, the first time a contestant auditions for THE X FACTOR judges, he/she will do so in front of an audience of thousands – raising the stakes and increasing the pressure to impress not only the judges, but also a potential legion of fans. This will be the ultimate test to prove they have the vocal ability, charisma and stage presence that it takes to become a global superstar and win an unprecedented $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.

THE X FACTOR is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. Simon Cowell, Rob Wade and Siobhan Greene are executive producers for Syco Television. Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Richard Holloway and Andrew Llinares serve as executive producers for FremantleMedia North America.

The Third National Asian American Theater Conference And Festival

Monday, March 21, 2011

From the L.A. Times

East West Players of Los Angeles and TeAda Productions of Santa Monica will host the third National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival in Los Angeles from June 16 to 26.

It will be L.A.'s second time hosting the gathering of scores of Asian American theater professionals. Los Angeles was home for the inaugural conference in 2006; the second conference, in 2008, was held in Minneapolis.

SFIAAFF Winners + Mark Tang

Monday, March 21, 2011

And extra nod to Twin Cities' filmmaker Mark Tang.

Best Film: The Imperialists Are Still Alive!, Dir. Zeina Durra
Jury Statement: "Great filmmaking has to be courageous. This film has a clever and engaging script and an inspired sense of humor. Depicting a slice of life of an artist, it takes us inside the world of eccentric artists in New York and reminds us of the freshness of Wayne Wang's Chan Is Missing."

Special Jury Prize: The Taqwacores, Dir. Eyad Zahra
Jury Statement: "It's an important thing for this film to be made because it shows the diversity of Islam that we don't see in popular media. With well-drawn characters that we care about, the film is engaging to a universal audience."

SFIAAFF 2011 Documentary Competition

This year's documentary jury included Anita Chang, an educator and award-winning documentary filmmaker; Jessie Mangaliman, a veteran journalist and local board member of the Asian American Journalists Association; and Alex Rivera, a digital-media artist and filmmaker.

Winner, Best Film: Made in India, Dirs. Rebecca Haimowitz and Vaishali Sinha
Jury Statement: "An unflinching and surprising look at a rapidly growing industry that puts women's bodies on a new global market."

Winner, Visual Achievement Award: Summer Pasture, Dirs. Lynn True and Nelson Walker
Jury Statement: "A lyrical treatment of an ancient living tradition - set against a harsh and breathtaking landscape – battling the forces of urbanization and the free market."

Winner, Award for Achievement in Citizen Journalism: Open Season, Dirs. Lu Lippold and Mark Tang
Jury Statement: "A nuanced approach to an urgent contemporary issue – that of refugee and migrant struggles to find a home and justice in 21st-century America."

Alhambra AAPI: Launching Initiative To Naturalize Residents

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Asian Pacific American Legal Center and other Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations are launching a statewide campaign aimed at helping Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders become U.S. citizens, officials announced.

The statewide AAPI Naturalization Network will consist of free citizenship application workshops in six regions throughout California.

The workshops will help green card holders determine citizenship eligibility, complete the naturalization application and assess their eligibility for waivers.
Read it in full.

In Stitches And Dr. Anthony Youn

Monday, March 21, 2011

I didn't really know about Dr. Youn before I got this sent in and just wanted to pass it on.

In Stitches is a book about growing up, not fitting in, about not knowing what's coming next and living with pressure from all sides. It's also about Dr. Youn's own life-changing experience with plastic surgery that ultimately led him to his current career. The book comes out April 26, through Simon & Schuster.



Loves Me Not

Monday, March 21, 2011


Say Hi: Mondega

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Last Of The Nisei Cougars, Lynn Chen, AK's, And A Really Large Age Gap

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Definitely sounds like a free reading you don't want to miss because I can't even begin to imagine how this all turns out.


The Japanese American National Museum Presents
A FREE reading of a new play


Written by Philip W. Chung
Directed by Jeff Liu
Produced by Koji Steven Sakai
Stage Managed by Rosa Kwon

With Emily C. Chang (COLIN HEARTS KAY), Lynn Chen (SAVING FACE), Ki Hong Lee (ABC Family's upcoming THE NINE LIVES OF CHLOE KING) & Kim Miyori (ST. ELSEWHERE)

50-year-old Nisei widow Sashi Hirano hasn’t been with a man since her husband passed away 30 years ago. Until 19-year-old Korean adoptee Dennis Johnson unexpectedly enters her world. A new comedy about finding love at any age.


March 27, 2011 @ 2 PM
Japanese American National Museum
Tateuchi Democracy Forum
369 E. First St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Top 10 Korean Films Of 2011 (So Far)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

From Koreanfilm.or.kr:

  1. DETECTIVE K : Secret of Virtuous Widow
  3. Glove
  4. Children...
  5. Gulliver's Travels
  6. Battlefield Heroes
  7. Hello Ghost
  8. Black Swan
  9. Heartbeat
  10. Tangled

Rise Up: United Prodigies Showcase Fund Raiser

Friday, March 18, 2011

Come be a part of our new UP Movement!!!

United Prodigies (UP) is a NEW grassroots movement founded by a group of passionate community members. UP focuses on raising awareness about social issues in our community, promoting education, and supporting youth to raise their voices up through arts and activism.

In efforts to do that, we are having a HUGE CELEBRATION inviting some of the MOST talented artists to come perform.

We welcome people of ALL AGES to come join United Prodigies in celebrating our first Launch Event at Hamline University. This will be an opportunity for you to network and embrace local artists and of course to come see what programs UP will be providing in the near future and how they plan on making a difference in the community.

Saturday, March 19 · 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Hamline University: Student Center Ballroom
1536 Hewitt Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104

Featured performers are:

The Return of Delicious Venom
with Ly Vangsoua Thao
Ariston Band
Jeff and Cicily
Tousue Vang
Matt "Phrazed" Yang
Blackbird Elements
Bao Xiong
PK Yang
Pong Vang
Free Souls
Speakers of the Sun
Gaoiaong Vang
Chilli Lor
Kindbeats: DJ Creashinn and DJ Phil
Nina Thao
and more...

If you have any questions contact:

PK Yang (763) 607-9199
Email: Unitedprodigies@gmail.com

We are always available to answer your questions!

We are so excited to see you all there!!!

Co-Sponsored by HSA Hmong Student Organization of Hamline.

I Love You Amy Ma

Friday, March 18, 2011

Not so much Andrew Zimmern though...

And I can't really tell you why I was watching it except that I think it was to lead me to you.

Wonderful you.

Foodtastic you.

I would do anything...


I didn't mean for that to sound creeepy.

I should probably go now.



Words I Never Want To Hear Coming From A Seven Year-Old's Mouth

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Mommy. When I grow up I want a big fake pair of titties. Bigger than yours."

Thankfully, I didn't actually hear this - it was relayed to me via txt from a friend - who just in case you were wondering is all natural - and not that I have anything against augmented breasts - because I don't - I just wanted to let you know.

But on to my other thought I wanted to post:

Some things just don't need to be txted...

Big Ass Reads And EWP

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Even though I'm book illiterate (because that really hasn't changed - I haven't read a single book since my last read-a-thon I think - even ones that were gifts) - I'm still smart enough to at least remember the phrase "Reading is fundumental" -- even if spelling isn't (sorry - I could't help that. It sounded better when I was naked?).

The Big Read 2011 at East West Players

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s premier Asian American theatre, presents The Big Read, an initiative to restore reading to the center of American popular culture. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.

Moderator Prince Gomolvilas, director Leslie Ishii, and a professional team of East West Players theatre artists and educators will bring Amy Tan's "The Joy Luck Club" from the page to the stage. Selected audience members will have the opportunity to read scenes with actresses from East West Players' 2008 theatrical production of "The Joy Luck Club" adapted by Susan Kim from Amy Tan's novel. This workshop is designed to give the audience an opportunity to actively participate and observe an acting class and to offer insight into the process of lifting a passage from the novel into a live theatrical experience.

“This is a great opportunity for members of the community to get involved with reading, acting, theater, and to participate in the performance process,” says EWP Arts Education Director Marilyn Tokuda. “We are very excited to be presenting Amy Tan and Susan Kim’s work to audiences.”

The Big Read is sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and is a free event. The event will be held on Saturday, March 19, 2011 at East West Players’ David Henry Hwang Theater at 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 at 10:00 am to 11:30 pm and again at 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm. Parking is available in Lot 7 next to the theater for $7, or metered street parking.

East West Players is the longest running theatre of color AND the largest producer of Asian American artistic work. Located in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, it is committed to teaching American history, diversity and respect for many different cultures.

For more information on this event, please visit www.neabigread.org, or contact Arts Education Director, Marilyn Tokuda at (213) 625-7000 x15 or email mtokuda@eastwestplayers.org.

For more information on all of East West Players’ productions and educational programs, please call (213) 625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

Han Benefit Concert

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I got this sent in by reader Myung Eun Jung who's putting on the fundraiser.

Give it some DIY love.

1 in 3 children in North Korea is malnourished.
Stunted growth can rarely be corrected but it can be prevented.

All proceeds from Han Benefit Concert will sponsor Global Resource Services' micronutrient program for nursing mothers and infants in North Korea.
A $5 donation can sponsor a nursing mother or infant with essential nutritional support for a full year.

Your donation of $20 will sponsor four mothers and infants and a donation of $100 can change the lives of 20.

The TOP Altrock Acts from South Korea (Vidulgi OoyoO, Galaxy Express, and Idiotape) and New York (PaperDoll) are coming together to perform at Han Benefit Concert.
A once in a lifetime opportunity to rock out hard core while making a difference.
Let us, through music, treat Han(sorrow) through Han (unity).

For general donation and ticket purchases, please visit

Rock on and live out loud!

Concert Information:

Date: March 25 (Friday)
Venue: Soiree (199 Bowery, New York, NY 10002)
Time: Doors open at 7pm; Concert starts at 8pm
Tickets: $18 online; $25 at door

Remarks By The President On The Situation In Japan

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Just in case you didn't get a chance to hear it.

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release March 17, 2011


Rose Garden

3:35 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everyone. Over the last several days, the American people have been both heartbroken and deeply concerned about the developments in Japan.

We’ve seen an earthquake and tsunami render unimaginable -- an unimaginable toll of death and destruction on one of our closest friends and allies in the world. And we’ve seen this powerful natural disaster cause even more catastrophe through its impact on nuclear reactors that bring peaceful energy to the people of Japan.

Today, I wanted to update the American people on what we know about the situation in Japan, what we’re doing to support American citizens and the safety of our own nuclear energy, and how we are helping the Japanese people contain the damage, recover and rebuild.

First, we are bringing all available resources to bear to closely monitor the situation, and to protect American citizens who may be in harm’s way. Even as Japanese responders continue to do heroic work, we know that the damage to the nuclear reactors in Fukushima Daiichi plant poses a substantial risk to people who are nearby. That is why yesterday, we called for an evacuation of American citizens who are within 50 miles of the plant. This decision was based upon a careful scientific evaluation and the guidelines that we would use to keep our citizens safe here in the United States, or anywhere in the world.

Beyond this 50-mile radius, the risks do not currently call for an evacuation. But we do have a responsibility to take prudent and precautionary measures to educate those Americans who may be endangered by exposure to radiation if the situation deteriorates. That’s why last night I authorized the voluntary departures of family members and dependents of U.S. officials working in northeastern Japan.

All U.S. citizens in Japan should continue to carefully monitor the situation and follow the guidance of the U.S. and Japanese governments. And those who are seeking assistance should contact our embassy and consulates, which continue to be open and operational.

Second, I know that many Americans are also worried about the potential risks to the United States. So I want to be very clear: We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the United States, whether it’s the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, or U.S. territories in the Pacific. Let me repeat that: We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, or U.S. territories in the Pacific. That is the judgment of our Nuclear Regulatory Commission and many other experts.

Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health experts do not recommend that people in the United States take precautionary measures beyond staying informed. And going forward, we will continue to keep the American people fully updated -- because I believe that you must know what I know as President.

Here at home, nuclear power is also an important part of our own energy future, along with renewable sources like wind, solar, natural gas and clean coal. Our nuclear power plants have undergone exhaustive study, and have been declared safe for any number of extreme contingencies. But when we see a crisis like the one in Japan, we have a responsibility to learn from this event, and to draw from those lessons to ensure the safety and security of our people.

That’s why I’ve asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to do a comprehensive review of the safety of our domestic nuclear plants in light of the natural disaster that unfolded in Japan.

Finally, we are working aggressively to support our Japanese ally at this time of extraordinary challenge. Search and rescue teams are on the ground in Japan to help the recovery effort. A disaster assistance and response team is working to confront the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. The U.S. military, which has helped to ensure the security of Japan for decades, is working around the clock.

To date, we’ve flown hundreds of missions to support the recovery efforts, and distributed thousands of pounds of food and water to the Japanese people. We’ve also deployed some of our leading experts to help contain the damage at Japan’s nuclear reactors. We’re sharing with them expertise, equipment, and technology so that the courageous responders on the scene have the benefit of American teamwork and support.

And the American people have also opened up their hearts. Many have given generously to support the ongoing relief efforts. The Red Cross is providing assistance to help meet the immediate needs of those who’ve been displaced. And I would encourage anybody who wants to lend a hand to go to usaid.gov to learn more -- that’s usaid.gov -- to find out how you can be helpful.

As I told Prime Minister Kan last night, and reaffirmed at the Japanese embassy here in Washington today, the Japanese people are not alone in this time of great trial and sorrow. Across the Pacific, they will find a hand of support extended from the United States as they get back on their feet. After all, we have an alliance that was forged more than a half century ago, and strengthened by shared interests and democratic values. Our people share ties of family, ties of culture, and ties of commerce. Our troops have served to protect Japan’s shores, and our citizens have found opportunity and friendship in Japan’s cities and towns.

Above all, I am confident that Japan will recover and rebuild because of the strength and spirit of the Japanese people. Over the last few days, they’ve opened up their homes to one another. They’ve shared scarce resources of food and water. They’ve organized shelters, provided free medical care, and looked out for their most vulnerable citizens. One man put it simply: “It’s a Japanese thing. When hard times hit, we have to help each other.”

In these hard times, there remains, nevertheless, hope for the future. In one small town that had been flattened by the tsunami, emergency workers rescued a four-month-old baby who had been swept out of her parents’ arms and stranded for days among the debris. No one can say for certain just how she survived the water and the wreckage around her. There is a mystery in the course of human events.

But in the midst of economic recovery and global upheaval, disasters like this remind us of the common humanity that we share. We see it in the responders who are risking their lives at Fukushima. We show it through the help that has poured into Japan from 70 countries. And we hear it in the cries of a child, miraculously pulled from the rubble.
In the coming days, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety of American citizens and the security of our sources of energy. And we will stand with the people of Japan as they contain this crisis, recover from this hardship, and rebuild their great nation.

Thanks very much.

END 3:42 P.M. EDT

Snapshot: Far East Movement Chart List For Rocketeer

Thursday, March 17, 2011

If you're wondering what the numbers mean: the first number (left) was last weeks position, the middle number is the weeks on the specific chart, and the last number (far right) was its peak postion.

Watched It: Melanie Fiona - Gone And Never Coming Back

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Julian Yeo

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sounds like a good time to me.

March 2011- Acclaimed Australian Jazz vocalist, Julian Yeo has paired up with hot young American jazz pianist Adam Birnbaum to deconstruct the all-time favorite standard "You and the Night and the Music" into two stunning albums - an upbeat swing album YOU AND THE NIGHT and a smoldering piano/vocal duo ballad album NIGHT AND THE MUSIC. The two-disc CD set is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and cdbaby.com.

In promotion of the new album, two special preview performances will be held in advance of his appearance at the famed Iridium Jazz Club in New York City:

March 17, 2011 at 7PM – Free Preview Performance
March 17, 2011 at 8:30PM – Free Preview Performance
Time Out New York Lounge at New World Stages (340 West 50th St).

March 30, 2011 at 8PM – Iridium Jazz Club
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 212.582.2121 or online at www.ticketweb.com

YOU AND THE NIGHT portrays an evening between two lovers; an old flame, new lust or life-long love. Upbeat and lighthearted, fun bubbles up to a jazzy fizz with sultry Manhattan as the backdrop. Imagine the spirited and carefree essence of a jazz club straight out of the 50s.

NIGHT AND THE MUSIC is a piano vocal duo album recorded in the wee hours after wrapping up with the trio for "You and the Night.” Julian's direct and honest delivery, coupled with Adam's exquisite piano styling capture the smoother, darker soul of "night.” Loneliness, sadness, reminiscence, pain and death - but all of them amidst the hint of hope that romance inspires.

An original retro-jazz-vocalist with a unique “new-old” approach, Julian blends classic charm with a contemporary twist. Inspired by the relaxed and lightly swinging phrasing of Bing Crosby and other legendary musical giants, he could have easily fit into the 1930s pop/jazz scene. He’s made a strong impression in New York, having performed at at New World Stages, Iridium Jazz Club, the Reprise Room at Dillon’s, the Triad, Banjo Jim’s, and the Underground Lounge among others.

Raised in Australia, Julian remembers hearing Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra's recordings early in his life. He took piano lessons and appeared in a few singing contests while focusing on his education, earning a PhD in accounting. He moved to New York City in July 2004 to accept a professorial position at Columbia University in its business school. “After moving to New York, the chance to finally unleash the music stirring up in me became real,” recalls Julian. “A booking manager saw one of my performances at an open mic and encouraged me to put together a show. Since that first show, there’s been so much encouragement from the audiences here in the U.S, Europe and Australia. I feel blessed to do be able to do what I love all over the world.”

Yeo is joined by Musical Director and pianist Adam Birnbaum, one of the emerging as one of the top young voices in jazz piano. Since arriving on the New York scene in 2003, he has become increasingly prominent performing in clubs and festivals around the world, working with artists as diverse as Greg Osby, Al Foster, Eddie Henderson, Carl Allen, and Wynton Marsalis. Adam has performed frequently in New York jazz clubs such as the Village Vanguard, the Blue Note, Birdland, the Jazz Standard and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, as well as in national and international venues such as the Gilmore Festival, The Kennedy Center, The Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy.

This is Julian’s fourth release and follows his hit 2010 release Deep Purple Dreams, 2008’s Unusual Passageand his critically acclaimed 2006 debut CD Old, New, Borrowed, Blue. WHLI Radio named Unusual Passageone of their “Top Albums of 2008” and TalkinBroadway.com raved, calling it a “a gratifying, stylish time warp that’s refreshing and rousing.”

In addition to broadcast outlets across the United States, Julian’s recordings have been featured on radio stations in Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, France and Argentina.


1. You and the Night and the Music 2. Lover, Come Back to Me 3. Manhattan 4. I'm in the Mood for Love 5. At Long Last Love 6. It's De-Lovely 7. I Want to Be Happy 8. It Might as Well Be Spring 9. It Could Happen to You 10. After You Get What You Want, You Don't Want It 11. I Wish You Love 12. Boy Wanted 13. If I Were a Bell 14. I Get a Kick Out of You 15. It All Depends on You


1. I Thought About You 2. Embraceable You 3. Dancing in the Dark 4. Stardust 5. Alone Together 6. Miss Otis Regrets 7. 'Round Midnight 8. Prelude to a Kiss 9. After You've Gone 10. The Party's Over 11. I Walk a Little Faster 12. Avalon

The Warriors Asian Community Night

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

NAPABA Statement Of Sympathy On The Disaster In Japan

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Got this sent in and just wanted to post it up.

Dear Members, Colleagues, and Friends:

It is with a great sense of loss and sympathy that the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) extends its sincerest condolences to all those affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday, March 11, 2011. We have been shaken by the tragedy that has fallen on Japan and the Pacific Rim, and recognize how deep our connections are to that nation and its people - many of our members here in the United States are of Japanese descent, and so too do many of us have friends, family, and colleagues in Japan. We deeply admire the bravery and community spirit that has been so apparent as the Japanese people undertake to work together to confront the ongoing situation and relief efforts.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, I urge you to contribute to the disaster relief efforts. The earthquake and the subsequent tsunami have destroyed many people's sense of security, leaving them without water, food, or shelter, and tens of thousands of people continue to be unaccounted for. A Dateline MSNBC clip caught our attention for being particularly moving and descriptive in its depiction of images from the port city of Sendai, one of the areas worst affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

If you would like to help, the Japanese Red Cross is accepting donations from the American Red Cross. In addition to monetary donations, the American Red Cross has deployed a disaster management expert from its Washington, DC headquarters to Japan to assist in relief efforts. You can donate to the American Red Cross through their website or simply by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Another way to assist in efforts is through InterAction -- InterAction's member organizations are deploying response teams and have strong partnerships with civil society groups in Japan who are responding to the disaster. Many of InterAction's member organizations are accepting donations. Please click here to donate to these member organizations.

Several NAPABA affiliates are mobilizing to raise funds -- please also support these efforts.

Many NAPABA members, friends, and colleagues were affected by this tragedy. Let's join together in uplifting those in need. We will continue to keep our hopes high and our resolution strong through this period of strife for the people of Japan.

Paul O. Hirose

Best Thing Ever: David So + Asians In The Library - UCLA Girl (Alexandra Wallace) Going Wild On Asians

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Earthquake In Japan

Friday, March 11, 2011

If you don't already know, there's been a huge earthquake in Japan spawning a tsunami in the Pacific which even has the West Coast scrambling - and I'm just hoping that if you have friends or family in the area that everyone is doing okay.

More later when I'm back at a computer.

Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, We Are, And Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Got this sent in my way and wanted to make sure and post it up.

Three years ago, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre made history when they presented their Vietnam Project, featuring the first professional production to be performed in Vietnamese on a New York stage. This spring, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre will continue their pioneering tradition of presenting bilingual productions with Vietnam Project II: Past and Present at the West End Theatre (263 W. 86th Street between Broadway & West End Avenue in the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew, 2nd floor). The second edition series launches with its first of two plays from Vietnamese-American playwrights, WE ARE. Written and directed by Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc, WE ARE is a bilingual production performed in Vietnamese and English, incorporating the traditions of Vietnam’s rich cultural past.

WE ARE plays March 28th – 26th. Featuring an international cast from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and North America, WE ARE fuses Vietnamese legend and traditional theatrical techniques such as Cai Luong (southern style of opera), and movement. WE ARE introduces five powerful female characters in five chapters that explore the historical legacy of Vietnamese women who marry or work abroad. WE ARE features Lê Khanh, Thái-Hòa Lê, Ngoc Dang, Leon Le, Nguyen thi Minh Ngọc, Chantal Thuy and Tienne Vu. The scenic design is by Kim Tran; costume design by Bao Tron Chi; and lighting design by Ji-youn Chang. The music by Trịnh Cong Son is performed by singer Kim Minh and guitarist Duc Tri. The translation is by Ian Bui.
Get more down at their site.