In Pics: Random Judy Chu

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Grandmaster Chu + The Uncool

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

THE UNCOOL, the newest project from rapper and poet jason chu, is an exploration of honesty and hopefulness in the face of cynicism and hurt.

On the title track, jason proclaims the project’s theme: “I'm tryin’ to make the songs speak about my hopes and my fears”. Through 13 tracks of music and poetry, he does just that, speaking with an uninhibited but thoughtful perspective on hope, trust, and love in a world of fear, anger, and division.

This honesty finds him suddenly blurting out, in the midst of fast-paced rap Automatic Flow: “I'm battling my brokenness / and an economy that's filled with hopelessness”. It also produces Hide Out, a song relating two stories of teenage struggle. The details are true-to-life, presented with a refreshing, nonjudgmental tone: rather than preaching or moralizing, he lets the stories speak for themselves.

ChristianMuslim, featuring Toronto rapper Rah Zemos, finds the two men of faith (jason works at an international Christian church in Beijing – Rah is a practicing Muslim) condemning interreligious conflict and radical militancy with a bold, chanting chorus: “We go back and forth in the name of religion / But both us believe that we are God's children.” Later, in spoken piece MY GOD, jason again touches on his personal understanding of faith (“He knows the shape of my eyes, thighs and veins – and he loves them, even when I think I need to lose weight”).

jason’s lyrical reach isn’t limited to weighty topics; he also revels in memories of the past and old friends (Free Fallin), stories of high school romance – with a hip-hop twist (Six Step, Flip (Bboy Love)) – and a smooth-sounding love song (A Song For You).

THE UNCOOL is a free 10-track promotional mixtape, streaming and for download at The Special Edition adds 3 full new songs and is accompanied by curated photographs and a commentary and lyrics book, also at ($5 USD). All profits go to the Red Thread Movement (, a project of 501(c)3 nonprofit organization Eternal Threads dedicated to fighting illegal sex trafficking in Nepal.

Go: Baiyu, DJ 14, J Chen Project, And Cody Sai

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saturday, October 1st
Bennett Media Studio
723 Washington Street
New York, NY, US

Kollaboration New York 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Time to get ready for Kollaboration New York 2011 this Thursday!

Kollaboration New York (KNY) announced the final lineup of guest judges and performers for the show.

Los Angeles based rapper Dumbfoundead will co-host alongside Kollaboration Global President Roy Choi, and perform a special set with DJ Zo. Guest performers will include electropop trio IAMMEDIC and “superfuture” group Smokey Robotic.

Guest judges include !llmind (Music Producer to 50 Cent, Erykah Badu, Lloyd Banks), Marja Vongerichten (Host of PBS docu-drama Kimchi Chronicles) and Mikey Fresh (Online Music Editor at & Content Manager at MissInfoTV).

Our line up of competitors remain the focus of the show, as Kollaboration New York’s mission is to provide a platform for up and coming Asian American aritsts.

Triangle Offense (@trioffensemusic) Electrohop Band
Mitchell Grey (@ mitchellgrey) Pop/Rock Band
The Wanted Ashiqz (@wantedashiqz) Bollywood/Fusion DanceTroupe
Rooftop Pursuit (@rooftoppursuit) R&B/Rock Band
Cheryl Chin (@mymycherona) Singer/Songwriter
Elijah Park (@elijapark) Singer/Songwriter

The winner of Kollaboration New York will not only walk away with $1000 in prize money and earn the title of New York’s premier Asian American performer, but will also open for rising singer/songwriter and Kollaboration Los Angeles 2010 winner, Clara C, at her highly anticipated New York City concert at Highline Ballroom on November 12. The competition will be judged by a panel of Asian American tastemakers in music and entertainment, who will be announced in coming weeks.

Following a decade-old Kollaboration tradition, audience members will also have an opportunity to showcase their talent during the audience freestyle singing and dancing competition for a chance to win cash prizes.

Kollaboration New York will host an official after party following the show at Pranna, sponsored by Jinro Hite. The event will include free Soju cocktails and beer with giveaway prizes.

General admission tickets are $20 VIP tickets are $45. After party tickets are $5 with admission to the show and $15 without. All tickets can be purchased at

About Kollaboration New York:
As the New York extension of the national Kollaboration movement and 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Kollaboration New York aims to tap into the abundance and variety of Asian American talent unique to New York and develop a supportive network for the city’s budding Asian American talent – a goal fostered from the very birth of Kollaboration, founded by west coast comedian Paul “PK” Kim in 2000. Under the leadership network of students and professionals all over North America, Kollaboration promotes the mission of “Empowerment through Entertainment” in the Asian Pacific Islander community. Today, Kollaboration is now in 13 cities and produces 15 shows a year, and counting. To learn more about Kollaboration, please visit

About Irving Plaza:
Irving Plaza is a three-level auditorium built in 1888. Located at 17 Irving Place and East 15th Street in the Union Square neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, it provides a large-scale, professional performance space. The 1,200-person ballroom-style music venue has been a location for balls, lectures, and concerts. To learn more about the Irving Plaza, visit

Check Out The Performers


Friday, September 23, 2011

That's it.

Akufuncture Fall 2011 Collection

Friday, September 23, 2011

Akufuncture, a Chinese culture inspired clothing brand, launches its sixth season today – drawing inspiration from the historical Imperial Palace to create looks for a contemporary audience.

This season introduces two new tee's: The Guardian Lion tee and Imperial Guard tee – both important symbols in the ancient Chinese Kingdom. The Guardian Lion tee features the lion as the traditional guard of palaces, tombs, temples, and more, stepping on a custom Akufuncture ball. The Imperial Guard tee features a depiction of the flying fish, representing the uniform commonly worn by guards who were bodyguards and the Emperor's secret police.

This season also introduces two exciting new additions to Akufuncture's product line:

- Snap back hats available in both black and grey
- Crewneck sweaters with signature brushstroke “AKU” design

A revamped throwback Urban Monkey King tee and MK2 are also available, as are tank
tops and cardigans from past seasons.

Akufuncture's new season is available for purchase through their website at as well as several retail locations:

- Authentix: 143 Harvard Ave. #A Claremont, CA 91711
- Gallery Nucleus: 210 E. Main St., Alhambra, CA 91801
- Lower Hater: 597 Haight St., San Francisco, CA 94117


Established in 2009, Akufuncture is dedicated to creating Chinese-inspired fashion, riding the fine dichotomy between high fashion and street-wear. Stories of journey, luxury, struggle, and romance – the cultural mystique and ancient heroes of China have fueled inspiration in global fashion for generations. Now, Akufuncture aims to create a clothing line that brings to life a culture with much influence, yet with a history that is lesser known.

For more information, please contact Samuel Wang at or (909) 638-2168.

MM$ & YBZ: Money Makers + Asian Hip Hop Summit

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yellow Boyz, the globetrotting rap trio from Atlanta, will headline the Asian Hip Hop Summit, which will be staged at Princeton University during the 2nd annual IvyCon on November 12, 2011. IvyCon is the Ivy League Asian American Conference, drawing students from Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, and University of Pennsylvania.

Asian Hip Hop Summit is North America's oldest and most widespread Asian arts movement, founded as an annual festival in Koreatown, Los Angeles in 2001. Now an annual concert tour, Asian Hip Hop Summit designated Yellow Boyz as the headliner of this year's tour after they became an international sensation due to their controversial appearance on M-Net's Superstar K, South Korea's version of American Idol. Also joining Yellow Boyz on the Asian Hip Hop Summit 10 Year Anniversary Tour will be Lyricks from Northern Virginia, Decipher from Philadelphia, Jackie Chain from Huntsville, and Smokes from Milwaukee.

Yellow Boyz and company will kick off their tour on October 1 at the R.E.A.C.H Conference (UNC, Duke, NC State) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They will also perform at the A3C Hip Hop Festival in Atlanta on October 7 and will make additional stops, besides Princeton, at Rutgers University, Boston University, and many other schools.

For the updated Asian Hip Hop Summit Tour schedule, see

Big Bang Theory, Weird Indian Stuff, And Ruining Her For White Boys

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eating a glorious meal of rice, microwave pot roast, and microwave green beans while sitting naked with my life size Kermit The Frog Muppet, I flipped to "The Big Bang Theory" and heard the following as Penny and Raj were talking about their "night" together:

Raj: We didn't sleep together in the typical way.

Penny: What? Did you do some weird Indian stuff to me? [...] So we didn't sleep together? [...]

Raj: Can I say I ruined you for White Men?
I'm semi-paraphrasing, but you get the gist (the White Men and weird Indian stuff is pretty much verbatim) and I can't help but wonder that even though Raj got to come back with ruining her for White Men wouldn't it have been better if Penny just said "weird Geek stuff" instead and Raj still got to say the joke about White Men?

Sure, you'd still have the APIA guy lusting after a White Woman, but then again, if she had said it, maybe I wouldn't have noticed that he was lusting after a White Woman versus just his roommate's friend...

Go To The Los Angeles Korean Festival And Throw Down Some Hite And Jinro

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So I've been getting press releases and inquiries from the Hite/Jinro people and while normally I wouldn't necessarily just post up on some random drink company, I figure why not -- I know my Korean people love their drink and who hasn't thrown back a shot of soju while belting out some bitchin' Al Green.

Ready for some fun in the Los Angeles area? Make sure you come out to the 38th Annual Los Angeles Korean Festival! With tons of activities, live performances, unlimited food and of course, alcohol, this festival is the place to be. You definitely don’t want to miss out this weekend! The festival is from September 22-25th at the Los Angeles Seoul International Park from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Hite Beer and Jinro Soju will be the main beverage sponsor located in the ‘Beer Garden.’ Not only will they have fun and interactive games for all ages, but they will also have Soju Man joining in on the fun! (Feel free to dance and take pictures with him as much as you’d like!). You can also refresh yourself with Hite and Jinro’s beverage specials all weekend! $1 Hite and Stout Beer, $3 specialty cocktails, and $4 Chamisul Fresh Soju bottle. Wait, there’s more specials! Check out their Facebook page to learn more on how you can get 1 Cent Cocktails! You will also automatically be entered for a chance to win a $250 Korean BBQ Gift Card.

LA Korean Festival Hite/Jinro

You've Been Nominated: Jacqueline H. Nguyen

Thursday, September 22, 2011

From the White House Office of Communications, to my inbox, and now on to you.

Today, President Obama nominated Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. “Judge Nguyen has been a trailblazer, displaying an outstanding commitment to public service throughout her career,” President Obama said. “I am honored to nominate her today for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals and confident she will serve the American people with fairness and integrity.” Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitJudge Jacqueline H. Nguyen has served as a United States District Judge in the Central District of California in Los Angeles since 2009.

Judge Nguyen was born in Dalat, Vietnam, and in 1975, she fled the country as a girl along with her family as Saigon was in the process of falling during the latter stages of the Vietnam War. Her family was placed at a refugee camp in Camp Pendleton, California, where they lived in a tent city for over one month before settling in the Los Angeles area. She received her A.B. from Occidental College in 1987, and her J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 1991. Judge Nguyen began her legal career at the law firm of Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP, where she was a litigation associate from 1991 to 1994. In 1995, she joined the United States Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California, serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in the criminal division.

There, she worked as a federal prosecutor in both the General Crimes and Public Corruption and Government Fraud sections, and was a member of the office’s Organized Crime Strike Force from 1999 to 2000. She served as Deputy Chief of the General Crimes section from 2000 to 2002. Judge Nguyen was appointed to the state bench as Judge of the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles in 2002 and remained a judge on that court until she was appointed to the federal bench in 2009.
Get to know more about her here.

Random Jeremy Lin

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Released earlier this month, just in case you need some sort of basketball fix.

Hot Asian American Male Alert: Jack Yang

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Last seen on: Fox's "New Girl".

People you want to see him mud wrestle with: James Kyson Lee.

Clothes you want to see him in: None.

Reason I can't hate him even though I want too because he's so damn good looking: Because his picture was also used on an install of Visual Studio .NET and I just find that geeky and loveable.

Grace Yang: Ready For A Close Up

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Caught this linkdown at AAPress and wanted to post up a quick snippet.

In her new book, “It’s a Long Way from China to Hollywood”, Grace F. Yang recounts the story of her struggle to acclimate to the peculiarities of American society while trying to help her daughter break into the entertainment industry. Yang, raised in communist China, moved to Houston with her job and brought over her daughter Yvonne and husband Lu for a better life. Soon, Yang moved again: This time, to Los Angeles when Yvonne expressed interest in breaking into the entertainment industry.

The Story + Turning Their Backs On Bullying

Monday, September 19, 2011

APM/NPR has Wei Chen from Philadelphia High on "The Story". Check out the Archive here.

Breathin' + The Eddy Zheng Story + Kickstarter Campaign

Monday, September 19, 2011

Twelve days to go and close to the goal (but still needs some more help).

Check it out here.

American Woods: Mark Tang, Ed Bok Lee, Fres Thao, And Kachiya Vang

Monday, September 19, 2011

This is a few weeks old, but thought I would post it on up. Here's the YouTube info:

AMERICAN WOODS: a poetry video, written and read by Ed Bok Lee; video by Mark Tang; music by Fres Thao; vocals by Kachyia Vang.

In 2004, eight white hunters in Wisconsin were shot by another hunter, Chai Vang, who is now serving six life sentences for murder. American Woods contextualizes this seemingly aberrant incident into an eye-opening allegory of America's broader troubled, on-going history—all rooted in the unanswered question: Who fired first?

Mayda Miller: Panthers

Monday, September 19, 2011

Theatre Collective: Artists at Play

Monday, September 19, 2011

Because you can always use more Theatre.

Artists at Play is a new theatre-producing collective comprised of Peter J. Kuo, Julia Cho, Stefanie Wong Lau, and Marie-Reine Velez. The group unofficially began when Peter first directed Julia in the 2008 production of Letters to a Student Revolutionary. The following year, the production was picked up for an encore run in Downtown Los Angeles by AddWord productions with Stefanie Wong Lau as the marketing director. Peter, Julia, and Stefanie continued to successfully collaborate on several productions. When it came time to round out this current team of artists/arts administrators, it was easy to include Marie-Reine Velez due to her experience in production, marketing and programming. Having already collaborated on different projects in various configurations, these four are now looking forward to continued growth collectively as Artists at Play.

Peter J. Kuo has directed for East West Players, USC Master of Professional Writing Program, and Metamorphosis Theatre Company. After stints as Membership Coordinator of LA Stage Alliance and later PR/Marketing Manager at East West Players, he is currently the Communications Associate at South Coast Repertory. Julia Cho is an actor who has performed/toured with East West Players, hereandnow theatre company, Lodestone Theatre Ensemble, Will & Company, and sketch comedy group OPM. Stefanie Wong Lau has worked in marketing, public relations, audience development, fundraising and event planning for East West Players, Ford Amphitheatre, Center Theatre Group and Cold Tofu Improv. She has taken part in the first National Asian American Theatre Conference, the National Arts Marketing Project Conference, and a Theatre LA (now LA Stage Alliance) conference. Marie-Reine Velez, a theatre and music events producer since 2005, has worked with TeAda Productions, Center Theatre Group, and co-founded the Eagle Rock Indie Rock Bowling Night at All Star Lanes. She currently works for Visions and Voices: The USC Arts and Humanities Initiative.

Artists at Play aims to create and curate quality theatre in Los Angeles. The goal is to present theatrical productions missing from the local landscape that tells the stories of underrepresented communities. In order to provide new creative opportunities for directors, designers, actors and producers, Artists at Play plans to present Los Angeles and West Coast premieres of plays and theatrical projects that speak to different communities and demographics, focusing on the kind of work that often gets overlooked in bigger theatres. With an emphasis on—but not limited to—Asian American theatre, Artists at Play seeks to bring new narratives to the stage that can challenge, engage and broaden the theatrical experience. By committing to change the face of the Los Angeles theatre scene, Artists at Play will expand its season over the next few years with new productions and play development projects. Overall, audience experience is the priority, to entertain, cultivate and engage.

The Los Angeles premiere of Ching Chong Chinaman, Lauren Yee's biting new comedy recently published by Samuel French and presented across the nation, will be presented by Artists at Play as its inaugural production at The Actors Company's theater November 3 – 20, 2011.

Turning every cliché about Asian American identity on its head, Ching Chong Chinaman introduces us to the all-American Wong family: Ed the patriarch loves to golf, mom Grace wants another child, Desdemona obsesses over early admission into Princeton, while her brother Upton is focused on World of Warcraft superstardom. To free up more time for training, Upton acquires an indentured servant from China. Life in the Wong household is turned upside down with the arrival of Jinqiang (“Ching Chong”) who harbors his own American dreams! Winner of the 2007 Yale Playwrights Festival, East Bay Express Top 10 play of 2009 and City Pages Top 10 play of 2009.

Lauren Yee has been a Dramatists Guild fellow, a MacDowell Colony fellow, and a member of the Public Theater Emerging Writers Group. She has been a finalist for the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the Heideman Award, the Jerome Fellowship, the PEN USA Literary Award for Drama, the PONY Fellowship and the Wasserstein Prize.

Featured in the cast will be Artists at Play founding member Julia Cho as well as Elizabeth Ho, Stephen Hu, Ken Narasaki, Helen H. Ota are Scott Keiji Takeda. Understudies include Sue Chan, Quincy Surasmith, Wanru Tseng and Kurt Yamamoto.

The production will be directed by Artist at Play founding member Peter J. Kuo who directed an all-Asian-American production of Songs for a New World with Yes and... Productions and 20th anniversary commemorative performance of Letters to a Student Revolutionary at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy with Addword Productions and Metamorphosis Theatre Company.

The production team is comprised of Chika Shimizu (set design), Rachel Stivers (costume design), Jose Lopez (lighting design), Dennis Yen (sound design), Ken Takemoto (property master), Rodney To (tap choreographer) and TBD (stage manager).

TICKETS for Ching Chong Chinaman are $12 to $30 and can be purchased online at or at the performance venue one hour prior to performance time.

LOCATION Ching Chong Chinaman will be presented at the The Actors Company at 916a N. Formosa Ave. West Hollywood, CA 90046.

ABOUT ARTISTS AT PLAY: Artists at Play (AAP) is a collective of creative professionals who have come together to curate quality theatre in Los Angeles. Our aim is to present theatrical productions missing from the local landscape that tells the stories of communities underrepresented in Los Angeles theatre. The audience experience is our priority, and we strive to make theatre accessible to everyone.

Ching Chong Chinaman
by Lauren Yee
directed by Peter J. Kuo

CREATIVE TEAM: Chika Shimizu (set design), Rachel Stivers (costume design), Jose Lopez (lighting design), Dennis Yen (sound design), Ken Takemoto (property master), Rodney To (tap choreographer) TBD (stage manager).

CAST: Sue Chan (u/s Desdemona), Julia Cho (Desdemona), Elizabeth Ho (Chinese Woman), Stephen Hu (Chinese Man), Ken Narasaki (Ed), Helen H. Ota (Grace), Quincy Surasmith (u/s Upton), Scott Keiji Takeda (Upton), Wanru Tseng (u/s Grace & Chinese Woman), Kurt Yamamoto (u/s Ed)

SYNOPSIS: Ching Chong Chinaman introduces us to the all-American Wong family: Ed the patriarch loves to golf, mom Grace wants another child, Desdemona obsesses over early admission into Princeton, while her brother Upton is focused on World of Warcraft superstardom. To free up more time for training, Upton acquires an indentured servant from China. Life in the Wong household is turned upside down with the arrival of Jinqiang (“Ching Chong”) who harbors his own American dreams!

TICKETS : $12 for previews, $30 for opening night, $20 for general public, $15 for students with valid I.D., $12 for groups of 10+

BOX OFFICE: Tickets may be purchase at the venues one hour prior to performance time or online at


LOCATION: The Actors Company at 916a N. Formosa Ave. in West Hollywood at the Santa Monica exit off the the Hollywood (101) Freeway.

Preview - Thursday, November 3 at 8 p.m.
Opening - Friday, November 4 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 5 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 6 at 3 p.m.
Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 12 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 13 at 3 p.m.
Friday, November 18 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 19 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 20 at 3 p.m.

If you would rather not receive future communications from AAP, let us know by replying to this email.

Artists at Play, 2949 N. Bristol Street #49P, Santa Ana, CA 92706, United States.

Aziz Ansari + Mike Relm

Monday, September 19, 2011

You might have already seen this, but if you haven't - it's definitely fun.

[AZIATIX]: Be With You (Rock Mix)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rachael Yamagata: Even If I Don't

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dumbfoundead + Andrew Garcia: BRB

Monday, September 19, 2011

Good Luck To Jeff Yang

Monday, September 19, 2011

While news from a week or so ago, just wanted to post up R.I.P to Jeff Yang's Asian Pop column in the SF Gate if you didn't already know. While I didn't always agree with the things he said (but a lot of times I did) - it didn't really matter - because he was a voice for the APIA community in a major newspaper that let him do things his way.

Cindy Nguyen

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hopefully they find the person responsible for ending Vietnamese American Cindy Nguyen's life much too early.

More than 100 San Jose police searched Saturday for a San Jose man whom they described as the key suspect in a violent carjacking and robbery rampage that left a woman prominent in the Vietnamese-American community dead, another man hospitalized and city leaders stunned after police hit the suspect's vehicle with gunfire but he still escaped. Investigators confirmed that Cindy Nguyen, 60, of Campbell, was killed in connection with the incidents, after her Lexus sedan was carjacked Friday afternoon and her body was found early Saturday morning.

"Yesterday, San Jose experienced a crime wave we have not seen in a single day in a very long time," San Jose police Chief Chris Moore said Saturday afternoon. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed announced the city is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Police identified Paul Ray Castillo, 33, of San Jose, as the suspect [...]

The case hit hard in San Jose's Vietnamese-American community. Nguyen worked as an office manager at PN Real Estate Group in San Jose. She also hosted a radio show on Vietnamese station KAZA 1290 AM in San Jose. "We all loved her. We are going to miss her," said Nick Pham, broker-owner of PN Real Estate. "She was a wonderful person, a big sister to all of us. If you ask everybody she knows, everyone is going to tell you the same thing: She would drop everything to help you out. She always had a big smile on her face." Councilwoman Madison Nguyen, the city's only Vietnamese elected official and the representative of the district where Cindy Nguyen vanished, said the crime has resonated widely. "I've been getting so many phone calls," said Madison Nguyen, who is not related to the victim. "It's really shaken up the Vietnamese community tremendously. She's a very well-known figure in the community. She sold a lot of homes to a lot of families in the community. This really signifies a huge loss."

Read the article in full here.

The Health Equity And Accountability Act of 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

I don't know much, but it at least sounds like a step in the right direction.

ALEXANDRIA, VA, Sep 19, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- The American Diabetes Association, the nation's leading voluntary health organization in the fight to Stop Diabetes(R), applauds the Congressional Tri-Caucus for the introduction of H.R. 2954, the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2011. Introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), in coordination with Reps. Donna Christensen (D-VI) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and on behalf of the Congressional Tri-Caucus, the legislation aims to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. The Congressional Tri-Caucus is comprised of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

H.R. 2954 is comprehensive health disparity legislation that includes provisions essential to reducing the impact of diabetes on minority populations through improved research, prevention, public education and health workforce training. It also seeks to reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes and improve surveillance of women with a history of gestational diabetes, which can lead to future development of type 2 diabetes in both the mother and child.

"It's important that we provide more effective treatment and education to those that are disproportionately affected by all forms of diabetes," said Edward A. Chow, M.D., Chair, Asian Pacific Islander American Diabetes Association Action Council. "This bill includes provisions critical to our nation's fight to Stop Diabetes and addresses the unique circumstances faced by minority populations and women."

Diabetes affects Americans of every race, gender and ethnicity. Nearly 26 million people are living with diabetes in the U.S. and another 79 million Americans have prediabetes, putting them at higher risk for developing the disease. While 7.1 percent of non-Hispanic white adults have been diagnosed with the disease, the statistics are much higher for minority populations, including:

-- Non-Hispanic Black Americans: 12.6 percent of all African Americans
ages 20 or older have been diagnosed with diabetes.
-- Hispanic/Latino Americans: 11.8 percent of Hispanic/Latinos ages 20 or
older have been diagnosed with diabetes.
-- Asian Americans: 8.4 percent of Asian Americans ages 20 or older have
been diagnosed with diabetes.
-- American Indians and Alaska Natives: 16.1 percent of the total adult
population in the care of the Indian Health Service (IHS) has been
diagnosed with diabetes.

Gestational diabetes also occurs frequently among African American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latina, and Pacific Islander women. Gestational diabetes occurs when a mother's blood glucose levels rise too high during pregnancy. It affects up to 18 percent of U.S. pregnancies.

About The American Diabetes Association The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to stop diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit . Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

I'm off to get a greasy hamburger now.

Washington Post + Verizon + Ads + I Accept My Model Minority Stereotype?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Caught this down at the WP. Not anything we don't already know, but always good to keep the dialogue going.

Verizon Wireless also says it’s a mistake to read any larger meaning into its TV spots featuring Asian American actors. The company cast actors of Asian descent because the commercials were originally intended to run on Korean- and Chinese-language TV programs and not because it was trying to suggest that Asian Americans have superior technical knowledge or talent, said spokeswoman Brenda Raney.

The casting, she said, was simply part of Verizon’s efforts to portray diversity: “We work very hard to make sure our general-market advertising is reflective of society as a whole.” Verizon subsequently decided to run the ads on English-language programs, too, Raney said.

Scholarly research shows that Asian American consumers accept the “model minority” advertising stereotype about themselves. In a study conducted last year, Yoo, the University of Texas researcher, showed panels of Asian Americans two sets of mock ads for mobile phones, the first featuring Caucasian models and the second with Asian models. Then, she repeated the experiment with ads for a “non-tech” product, cologne, alternating ads with Caucasian and Asian models.

Result: Asian American consumers were more favorably disposed toward the tech products when they were endorsed by the Asian models. They also liked the non-tech products more when they were endorsed by Caucasian models.
Oh wait - that last part maybe I didn't know...but let me think about that for a second...

So anything not tech related I want to see from White People and I accept the model minority stereotype?

Who knew??!!!

Kudos to the Washington Post for reprinting Yoo's awesome findings.

Random Emmy Thought...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Again, not a lot of APIA faces, and few POC either way.

Still a White World.

An Open Letter To The White Girl In The Skirt Who Ducked Into The Bathroom At My Work Because She Thought I Was Leering At Her

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dear White Girl In The Skirt Who Ducked Into The Bathroom At My Work Because She Thought I was Leering At Her:

First, let me just say that I get (as much as I can being a man) being in the workplace and not being able to wear something like a skirt without having misc men sexualize you and not see you for the cubicle worker bee that you are.

Even though I can't actually know what it's like to be a woman in the workplace, at least from friends and other women I've talked with, or who's stories I've read - I at least like to think I'm conscious of sexism in the workplace.

But as an Asian American man, you are not the epitome of beauty. You are not the end all be all that will take me away from my iphone (which I was getting ready to look at to read e-mail as I was walking down the hallway so I could see who in the world of subsidiaries wanted to kick my ass because I have to say "No, you can't have that project on that date because of resources").

It's not my fault the hallway is really really long from the south wing to the north wing and that I was walking behind you. I can't help it if you felt like someone was staring at your ass in your skirt. I actually wasn't (and yes, I can see someone wearing a skirt without having to oogle their ass as shocking as that might sound).

And then you duck in the bathroom and look behind you (a clear sign you wanted to get out of the "voyeurs view")?

I think you noticed me walking behind already - you knew it was me - you knew I was an Asian guy.

I'm not saying you wouldn't have ducked into the bathroom if I wasn't Asian (maybe you just felt oogled) - but the fact that you're White, I'm an Asian American male who's sometimes looked at as a total perv simply because I'm an Asian American male (and you really need to get to know me to know that yes, I really am kind of a pervert) -- somehow it all just felt a little wrong.

So I say to White Women everywhere who think the Asian American guy walking behind you is oogling your ass simply because you're White and you're in a skirt:

Please get over yourself.

You're not that hot and my dick doesn't get automatically hard when seeing you (that's reserved for my Kama Sutra Muppet Edition) .

See you around,

EWP + The Language Archive

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sounds like a good time.

East West Players (EWP), the nation's largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work and the longest-running professional theatre of color in the country, continues its 46th Anniversary Season, themed Languages of Love, with the Los Angeles premiere of THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE by Julia Cho, directed by Jessica Kubzansky. The cast of the production will feature artists of diverse Asian backgrounds: Jennifer Chang, Kimiko Gelman, Nelson Mashita, Jeanne Sakata, and Ryun Yu.

Meet George, a linguist, a master of languages, who cannot express his love for his wife—and ends up losing her. Follow this whimsical and heartbreaking look at love and language that asks, “How do we save what is dying?” Winner of the 2010 Susan Blackburn Prize. THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE will run November 3 – December 4, 2011. The LANGUAGE ARCHIVE is presented by special arrangement with Dramatist Play Service, Inc., New York. Generous support for this production is provided by the S. Mark Taper Foundation Endowment for East West Players.

“We are excited to continue our season with this emotion-filled play," says EWP Producing Artistic Director Tim Dang. "Previous productions have had non-Asian casts, but by casting Asian Americans in the roles, there is definitely a new perspective and poignancy that the play offers from a cultural standpoint."

JULIA CHO’S (Playwright) plays include THE PIANO TEACHER, DURANGO, THE WINCHESTER HOUSE, BFE, THE ARCHITECTURE OF LOSS and 99 HISTORIES. Her work has been produced at The Public Theater, The Vineyard Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, South Coast Repertory, New York Theatre Workshop, East West Players, The Theatre@Boston Court, Theater Mu and Silk Road Theatre Project among others. Honors include the 2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Award, the Barrie Stavis Award, the Claire Tow Award for Emerging Artists and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award. An alumna of the Juilliard School and NYU’s Graduate Dramatic Writing Program, Julia is a member of New Dramatists. Her plays are available from Dramatists Play Service and

JESSICA KUBZANSKY (Director) is Co-Artistic Director of The Theatre @ Boston Court and an award-winning director working nationally at South Coast Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, The Geffen, Illinois Shakes, Portland Center Stage, The Aurora, etc. With EWP: Dawn’s Light (also at Silk Road, Chicago). With Julia Cho: the development of 99 Histories and BFE, among others. At T@BC: Camino Real, Mother Courage, world premieres of Futura, Courting Vampires, Gulls, Bleed Rail, Unfinished American Highwayscape…, Light, Cold/Tender. Recently elsewhere: Breadcrumbs, Hamlet with Leo Marks, Winter's Tale (Theater 150), Tree (EST-LA [Inside the Ford]), Mauritius (Pasadena Playhouse). LADCC Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatre.

The design team consists of set designer Francois-Pierre Couture, lighting designer Jeremy Pivnick, costumer designer Soojin Lee, sound designer Bruno Louchouarn, and property master Michael O’ Hara. The stage manager is Katherine E. Haan. Additional support for this production of THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE is provided by the California Community Foundation, Shubert Foundation, LA County Board of Supervisors through the LA County Arts Commission, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and Bank of America.

All performances of THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE opens Wednesday, November 9, 2011 and closes on Sunday, December 4, 2011. Opening night will be accompanied by a pre-performance cocktail reception and a post show reception with the cast and creative team. Performances are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Previews are Thursday - Saturday November 3 - 5, at 8pm and Sunday, November 6 at 2pm. The Pay-What-You-Can Performance will be held Wednesday, November 23 at 8 pm with a suggested $5 minimum donation.

General Admission Tickets range from $31 - $41. Preview tickets are $20 for all seats. Please call theatre for opening night ticket availability and special event pricing. For ticket purchases or more information, please call East West Players at (213) 625-7000 or visit Senior, student and group discounts are available. Dates, prices, and details are subject to change.

Anousone Phanthavong: Amy Senser Gets Charged With Vehicular Homicide

Friday, September 16, 2011

Well, it may not be justice, because you know that if it was the other way around Anousone Phanthavong would have been in jail right away, but at least it's something for right now.


The Hennepin County attorney has charged the wife of a former Minnesota Vikings player in a fatal hit-and-run crash in Minneapolis last month.

Amy Senser, 45, of Edina, is accused of one count of criminal vehicular homicide operation in the death of Anousone Phanthavong on Aug. 23, according to a complaint given reporters before an afternoon press conference by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Phanthavong, 38, of Roseville, ran out of gas on the Riverside Avenue exit from Interstate 94, less than a mile from True Thai restaurant, where he was head chef. He pulled over to the side of the ramp and was refilling his tank when he was struck about 11 p.m., according to the State Patrol.

The complaint said Phanthavong's body was found 40 feet in front of his Honda Accord, and a blue gasoline container was found between his body and the Accord.
Remembrance Of Ped

Here's a reprint from Anna Pramsomphol Fieser's blog submitted to the Star Tribune (which at first did not respond, but later evenutally posted it up on their site)

Anousone "Ped" Phanthavong was a dear friend and valued coworker of mine. We opened our restaurant, True Thai, in 2002, and Ped was the only person still working for us who was on our original staff. The State Troopers woke me at 3:45 a.m. because I was the pre-registered owner of Ped's car. My partner slept through the Troopers knocking on our door, but awoke immediately upon hearing my cries of anguish at hearing that Ped had been killed.

The next day I saw the place where Ped had pulled his car off the ramp and onto the grass. I saw bloodstains from his body being dragged forty feet by the Mercedes SUV that hit him. Later I talked to the partner of one of our hostesses who had taken that exit shortly after Ped was killed. His shoes and pants had been ripped off by the pavement as he was dragged up the ramp, leaving him clad only in his white t-shirt and underwear on the pavement where he was left for dead, only three-quarters of a block from Riverside Hospital's Emergency Room.

Over three-hundred people jammed into the funeral home for Ped's funeral. Everyone wore white, the Buddhist color of mourning. It took four cars to bring all the floral arrangements to the funeral home. All white because that was Ped's favorite color. He always wore white t-shirts. Even on a moonless night it would be difficult not to see Ped on a well lit freeway exit ramp.

The day after Ped died the State Troopers told us he was hit by a Mercedes SUV. They told the news media and shortly after that the Senser family's attorney contacted the State Troopers. It would be another nine agonizing days before the Senser family told the Troopers that Amy Senser was driving that night. That did not stop the rumors.

Since Amy Senser came forward, many people have passed rumors on to me and our employees. A daughter was driving, the rumors say. Are the rumors true? We do not know. All we know is what the Sensers have told the State Troopers, and that is not much. So little that a State Trooper advised Ped's brother that the family should get a high-powered attorney. The Trooper perhaps should not have said that, and he didn't say why the family needed an attorney, but by then it was obvious that the Sensers were not going to send the Phanthavongs so much as a sympathy card, let alone meet with them to discuss what happened that night.

Joe Senser is a sports broadcaster now, and has many friends in the media. Since the accident WCCO's Esme Murphy posted about the accident at her blog. She said that she could not defend a hit and run, but then spent the rest of her post defending the Sensers' right to a fair trial. Almost immediately an anonymous commenter posted Ped's arrest record in the comments. That comment was not removed, and it was a shameful thing for the Phanthavong family to see. Yes, Ped had some run-ins with the law. Many refugees from war-torn countries do. It takes a while for young men to understand that while fighting helped them to stay alive in Laos, you do not need to fight to survive in the United States. Ped ended up spending some time in the Ramsey County workhouse, but we picked him up and took him to work each day. Not just because we liked Ped, but because he was, from his first day at True Thai, our best cook.

After Ped was reunited with his family, he spent every day helping his mother cook, and she taught him well. As True Thai won award after award after award for our dishes, Ped grew more confident in his abilities and cleaned up his life. He had been sober for almost three years but he did not trust himself. Almost his entire paycheck would go to his parents. Ped never carried over $20 cash because he was afraid he would weaken and spend that money on bad things. Ped knew his limitations and still managed to overcome them. Exactly one month before he was struck and killed on that off ramp, U2's tour manager stood in our kitchen and watched Ped cook Bono's pre-concert meal. She was so pleased she referred Sade's tour manager to us. Sade's tour manager told us she would refer all her tour management friends to us. None of these bands ever saw our restaurant, but they ordered from us because of Ped's cooking.

But Ped was not a celebrity. Esme Murphy is not the only Twin Cities media personality to defend the Sensers. The Star Tribune's Gail Rosenblum also wrote about the Sensers. Yes, she mentioned Ped, but like all the other local media she just repeated what I had written about him in my blog. Until they held a press conference two weeks after Ped's death, not one Minnesota news person bothered to interview Ped's family. My day job is as a public health nurse for Ramsey County. If the local news media cannot find Lao-English interpreters, I can refer the media to dozens of them.

But I do not think the local news media cares about Ped's side of the story. Gail Rosenblum's column does not allow people to leave comments. You can leave a comment at Bob Collin's MPR News Cut blog, but if you defend Ped, he will argue with you in the comments.

That is OK. Joe Senser is a media guy, and you stand up for your own. But maybe the media should read my eulogy for Ped that was read at his funeral:

Ped is my brother and my best friend. When I was mugged last summer, Ped was the first person to show up to comfort and reassure me. Ped often stopped by the restaurant on his days off to make sure everything was OK. After my mugging, he would come around to check on me to make sure I was OK. I give some of our employees a ride home after work. After the mugging, Ped began stopping by on his nights off to give his coworkers a ride home so I could get a little more sleep.

Ped helped me to keep my feet on the ground, and gave me guidance when I wasn't sure what I should do. More than even me, he cared so much about True Thai and all of us who worked there but Ped loved everyone, not just his friends. Once he made me park my car so he could help a stranded motorist change her tire. When a panhandler would ask Ped for money, Ped would tell them to wait and then would run and cook them a meal.

Each night when I go to True Thai, I go into the kitchen because seeing Ped in his white t-shirt gives me comfort and lets me know everything is running the way it should. I will never see Ped in our kitchen again, but this week I have seen him many times. I will be working up front and I look up and there he is, smiling in that slightly sad, boyish way we all knew so well. His spirit is with us still at True Thai, guiding us, telling us everything is alright.

Ped, when I think of you, the one thing I always think of is your kindness and generosity, which were written all over your face. Such a kind person. Others always came first. You would feed your coworkers first, then you would eat. You always put others before you.

Ped once told me, "Anna, I know I am going to die before you do." Ped, I am so sorry you were right. I will remember you the rest of my life. You were the soul of True Thai. You are the soul of True Thai. You will always be the soul of True Thai. Thank you for always being there for us.
Ped's family and friends and I all miss him very much. Only the Senser family knows for sure what happened that night, and they are not talking. Not to us, not to the family's attorney, not to anyone. But they do have friends in the media. At the press conference a reporter asked me something about "why the family is just after the money?" I was so shocked I could not answer him. The Phanthavongs did not "lawyer up" until after a Trooper suggested they should, and well after the Sensers had decided to speak only through their attorney. No one in the media is trying to find out what happened. It has been decided that the lawyers will do all the talking and that this might take years to be resolved.

Well, I am talking. And I will keep talking about this because I miss my friend Ped, and I am angry that the woman who admitted to driving the Mercedes SUV that dragged him forty feet up an off-ramp still has her drivers license, and is still free to go about living her life. The media can feel sorry for her all they like, but some day the Phanthavongs will have their day in court and I will be there every day to see that they receive the justice they deserve. But that day will not come soon. Until then Ped's nephew and two of his nieces will be working at True Thai, bussing tables and waiting on customers so that their grandparents will not be cast out into the street while waiting and waiting and waiting for the trial of the woman who ran over their son.

Anna Prasomphol Fieser is co-owner of True Thai Restaurant where Anousone "Ped" Phanthavong worked as head cook.

Vote For Baiyu

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If you like Baiyu's video "Together" vote for it down at Mtvu's The Freshmen.

Voices For Justice: M.anifest, Maria Isa and Mayda

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good Music. Good Cause. What else would you like?

M.anifest, Maria Isa and Mayda join forces for "Voices for Justice" a concert benefitting Headwaters Foundation for Justice featuring the best of local hip hop, pop and funk. Hear these great local musicians and learn more about the social justice work Headwaters supports.

"Voices for Justice" will be held on Thursday, October 6th, 2011 at El Nuevo Rodeo (2709 E Lake Street), from 8-11pm. Doors open at 7 p.m., concert begins at 8 p.m.. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. To learn more about the event, the artists and to purchase tickets visit:

Proceeds from the event will go to Headwaters' community grants program supporting grassroots organizing in Minnesota. The concert is sponsored by DERO Bike Rack Co., Minnesota Monthly, and El Nuevo Rodeo.

"Headwaters sees this event as a way to get more young adults engaged in the very important work of social justice by introducing them to the work that Headwaters' does with local grassroots organizations. More so than just introducing them to the work of these organizations we see this as a way to invite young people to become philanthropically committed to organizations that address the root causes of injustice," said Executive Director Trista Harris.

For the past 27 years, Headwaters Foundation for Justice has been a catalyst for social, racial, economic and environmental justice. The Foundation was established in 1984 with the belief that the power for fundamental social change is in the hands of ordinary people. Through grantmaking and organizational assistance, Headwaters focuses on grassroots efforts, engaging and partnering with a committed community of donors and allies in its work. The Foundation distributes over $450,000 annually to groups working for social change. In its history, Headwaters has provided organizational support to more than 850 projects and trained 2,500 community leaders through its capacity building program.

For further information on Headwaters Foundation go to

Scott "Kubryk" Sawitz + Inside Pulse + Seedy Asian Massage Parlors?

Monday, September 12, 2011

I was reading some reviews of the HBO season finale for "Entourage" and happened to stumble on this quote:

And with those two storylines given some sort of finale in the end, including an appearance from Terrance McQuewick (Malcolm McDowell), you have a happy ending that wraps up the show in a nice happy bow. Entourage is all about the happy endings, like a seedy Asian massage parlor, but here’s the thing. It was happy but the entire season felt compressed and rushed.
I don't know about you but I'm in utter awe. To have such command of the English language. To be able to deftly write with such precision - and with such originality - I just can't believe I've never heard of this wordsmith before.

What magnum opus comes next I ask?

Somehow there's a void deep inside me and I can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be there if I just would have read this a little earlier in life.

I guess I can only dream.

Emiko: Free Download + Any Favours

Monday, September 12, 2011

Get the single "Any Favours" which hit #1 on Japan's YouMusic Pop Charts. Download it here.

Extra Credit: Ed Bok Lee And Bao Phi Book Reading

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ed Bok Lee and Bao Phi: Joint Book Launch and Conversation


Pohlad Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, MN (612) 543-8000
The program will open with performances by the poets, followed by a conversation and Q&A with the audience, and a book signing. Emceed by multidisciplinary artist and spoken word performer Shá Cage, the evening will feature music by DJ Nak, and light refreshments to precede and follow the main program.

Sponsored by the Hennepin Library Foundation and Coffee House Press.

Fox Sports + USC

Monday, September 12, 2011

You've probably already heard about this - but just in case you haven't, check out the commentary out here down at BCB and the below from the San Jose Mercury News:

Fox Sports is apologizing for an "inappropriate" video filmed on the University of Southern California campus that critics say mocks Asian students -- most of whom appear to know little about college football -- by singling them out and prompting them to welcome Colorado and Utah to the Pac-12.

The video has since been removed from Fox's website. But a University of Colorado ethnic studies professor said Tuesday that he finds it troubling, saying it perpetuates racist myths about Asians being "un-American."

In a statement provided to the Camera on Tuesday, Lou D'Ermilio -- a spokesman for Fox Sports Network -- said the network apologizes to the USC community for producing and posting the video.

"The context was clearly inappropriate and the video was removed as soon as we became aware of it," he said in the statement. "We will review our editorial process to determine where the breakdown occurred, and we will take steps to ensure something like this never happens again."

Magnetic North + Taiyo Na: Fukushima

Monday, September 12, 2011

Make That A Week And A Half

Monday, September 12, 2011