9.30.2008

david yoo's stop me if you've heard this one before


Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before, the latest novel from author David Yoo is out in stores today. If you've been reading this site for a few years, you know that I absolutely loved his 2005 debut novel, Girls for Breakfast. I even did an interview with David. So I was thrilled to hear from him about the new novel. I started reading Stop Me... over the weekend, and so far I'm really enjoying it. Here's the official description:

9.29.2008

delivery man shot in the head, but likely to survive

Another Chinese food deliveryman shot in New York. 31-year-old Fengwang Chen was shot in the head by robbers while delivering a $22 order in Williamsbridge on Saturday night. Thankfully, it looks like he's going to survive: Bronx deliveryman shot in head, but likely to survive.

The robbers didn't even get any money from the attack. They apparently fought him for the food—an order of pork fried rice, chicken wings and french fries. The police found Chen, bleeding from the head, with $280 in his pocket.

win tickets to the san diego asian film festival

All right San Diego film fans... the 9th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival kicks off next week, October 9-16 in San Diego, and October 21-23 in Riverside. Year after year, they've grown to become one of the coolest and funnest Asian American film festivals in the nation. It's definitely an event I look forward to attending every year. I'm going. You should go too.

matcha: japanese tattoo, october 2


San Francisco friends, something cool to do on a Thursday night... the time has come once again for MATCHA, the Asian Art Museum's monthly evening art/music/mixer series. This month's theme celebrates the time-honored art of Japanese Tattoo, featuring prolific, award-winning tattoo artists Horitaka, Shige, Mutsuo and others. Here are some details:

the secret identities book tour is coming

Some very cool comic book stuff coming to your town very soon... For a while now, we've been anticipating the publication of Secret Identities, the first-ever graphic novel anthology of Asian American superhero stories. We've still got half a year to wait, but it sounds like it's going to be pretty kickass.

It's a groundbreaking work brings together many of the top Asian American creators in the comics industry—including Gene Yang, Bernard Chang, Greg Pak, Sonny Liew, Greg LaRocque, Christine Norrie, and Francis Tsai—as well as new and established creators from film (Mike Kang), television (Keiko Agena) and literature (Jamie Ford). They've been hard at work and will have some very cool stuff to share when it finally arrives in April 2009. We already got a short preview last year of what's to come.

In the meantime, the Secret Identities folks are in the midst of organizing a book tour, and are seeking opportunities at colleges/universities to host a book event during APA Heritage Month from April to May 2009. Possible programming includes:

register to vote


All right, my friends and allies. It is time. It's time, if you are eligible and have not done so already, to register to vote. We've got everyone and anyone and no one telling us how Asian Pacific Americans are going to make a significant impact in next month's historic presidential election. No doubt, this will be a definitive, measurable way for our communities to make a difference and make our voices heard. But none of that happens if we don't vote.

new stuff at caachi

I believe I've mentioned Caachi here a few times before. It's a web-based film download service featuring some of the best independent films you've never seen, including a number of really interesting works by Asian American filmmakers. It's stuff you're not going to find in the DVD aisle at Wal-Mart.

rapist faces 210-year sentence

Sickening. Earlier this year, 55-year-old Michael Joseph Pepe of Oxnard, California was convicted of brutally raping with seven Cambodian girls, ages 9 to 12. He faces a maximum sentence of 210 years in federal prison. If you ask me, that's not severe enough for this sicko pedophile rapist scum. He needs to be hanging from his balls for the entirety of those 210 years.

sandra oh is beautiful


This is just wrong: SandraOhIsUgly.com. I'm not going to pretend that Sandra Oh is the most photogenic woman in Hollywood. She's not. But to go out of your way to make a site like this... it's pathetic. And not really that funny.

I'd say more, but the gals over at Disgrasian have already done a damn fine job: DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! SandraOhIsUgly.com. Tasteless, stupid and racist. And for the record, I think Sandra Oh is pretty frickin' awesome.

tim kawakami vs. the oakland raiders

I've been hearing about this weird-ass incident that recently occurred between San Jose Mercury News sportswriter Tim Kawakami and Oakland Raiders senior executive John Herrera: At Lane Kiffin Press Conference, Raiders Executive, Reporter Nearly Come to Blows.

At a press conference last week, Herrera came really really close to kicking Kawakami's ass, because he was mad about... something. There's a bunch of drama involving owner Al Davis allegedly wanting to fire someone, and a column distributed to reporters, and a bunch of stuff I simply don't care about. The Raiders might suck, but their front-office drama makes things even worse, and this is a prime example.

Watch the now-infamous video of the confrontation here: Why Raiders Bouncer John Herrera Was This Close to Losing It on Writer Tim Kawakami.

9.27.2008

sdaff's reel in the vote 2008 finalists



The San Diego Asian Film Festival received more than 40 entries for its Reel in the Vote PSA competition. The contest asked folks to submit 30-second videos promoting Asian Pacific Islanders to get out the vote, and it looks like they received some really kickass entries.

They've posted the top ten finalist PSAs here. Take a look, because it's great stuff. The winner will receive $1000 and a Sony Camcorder, and their PSA will be screened before all film programs at the film festival. (Thanks, Taz.)

intel vs. intellife travel

This is pretty ridiculous. Intel, the big ass computer chip company, filed a lawsuit last week against Intellife Travel, a small Northern California travel agency that caters to Chinese Americans and expats, for trademark infringement: Trademark Fight: Intel Is Worried You Might Think It Is A Chinese Travel Agency.

kim ng under consideration for mariners gm job

It looks like there's a strong possibility that the Seattle Mariners could be hiring the first female general manager in the major league. Los Angeles Dodgers assistant GM Kim Ng is apparently under serious consideration for the job: Mariners hint they could hire woman as GM.

imprint culture lab 2008

The Imprint Culture Lab conference returns to Los Angeles next week for its third year. The event was founded "to investigate and curate global creative culture, and foster cross-pollination between business and creative entities." Basically, they discuss cool trends in Asian pop culture. Wednesday, October 1 at the Japanese American National Museum.

scientist accused of selling secrets to china

Quan-Sheng Shu, an internationally recognized scientist based at the Jefferson Laboratory in Newport News, Virginia, has been arrested and charged with violating federal arms controls by illegally exporting launch data to help China's space program: NN physicist charged with selling information to China.

9.26.2008

asian kids welcome former wamu customers



The financial crisis continues. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Inc. came to the rescue of Washington Mutual Inc. yesterday, buying its banking assets after WaMu was seized by federal regulators in the largest failure ever of a U.S. bank. This is the second time in six months that JPMorgan Chase has taken over a major financial institution crippled by bad bets in the mortgage market: JPMorgan Chase buys WaMu assets after FDIC seizure.

really random lazy link roundup

Home Boy: TIME has a story on Asian American rapper (and Barack Obama's buddy) Jin, who recently relocated to Hong Kong from New York City this summer, and found a whole new audience with the release of his Cantonese-language album ABC.

Golfer Kim Makes Winning His New Habit: After initially making a name for himself as a bit of a cocky, underachieving party animal, rookie golfer Anthony Kim is now the winner of PGA Tour events and coming off a kickass performance for the United States Ryder Cup team.

Rachel Yamagata's mood-altering music: At long last, singer Rachel Yamagata is releasing her follow-up to 2004's Happenstance, the double-disc sophomore album Elephants... Teeth Sinking Into Heart. It's out on October 7, and I can't wait to hear it.

Mariners malcontent centering on Suzuki: While Ichiro Suzuki might be having another great season on the field, things apparently aren't going so well behind-the-scenes in the Seattle Mariners clubhouse, according to an "insider" who claims a number of players really dislike him.

watch manoj online



Comedian Hari Kondabolu, whose work I've recently become a fan of, informs me that his short film Manoj is now available for viewing online. "It's beef!"

It's a really funny, interesting mockumentary about a very very Indian standup comedian, Manoj n Krishnamurthy. Definitely one of the best shorts I saw this year on the film festival circuit. The unedited version is playing tonight at the DC APA Film Festival.

Hari is one funny dude. Learn more about him on his website here. And his MySpace profile here. He recently performed on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham. This riff about racism is one of my favorite bits from his act.

9.25.2008

sun yue arrives in los angeles

Yesterday, 6-foot-9, 22-year-old Sun Yue of China met with reporters to announce his signing with the Los Angeles Lakers: Sun Yue draws a big crowd. The press conference drew over 30 members of the press—mostly Chinese language media.

dc apa film festival opens tonight



All right, DC friends. The 9th Annual DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival begins tonight with the Opening Night presetation of Richie Mehta's Amal at Landmark's E Street Cinema. Here's a description of the movie, according to the festival website:

silicon valley hits linguistic milestone

The San Jose Mercury News reports that after decades of immigration from Asia, first a majority of Santa Clara County residents speak a language other than English at home: Majority of Santa Clara County families speak foreign language at home.

rolling stone interviews journey's arnel pineda

Rolling Stone has a story on everybody's favorite Filipino rock 'n' roll cinderella story, Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from obscurity last year via YouTube to become the lead singer of Journey. His story is downright legendary.

Here's the shortened, more downbeat version of the article that ran in the print version of Issue 1061. It definitely dwells quite a bit on the negative side of touring with Journey. It makes it sounds like Arnel actually hates it: Sad 'Journey' for New Singer.

9.24.2008

your power psa



Filmmaker Patricio Ginelsa of KidHeroes tells me about the public service announcement he's created to help get word out about voting: Your Power.

The video features comic book artist Whilce Portacio, turntablist DJ Kuttin Kandi, and activist Christine Araquel. And a flaming fist. Watch three different versions of the PSA here. And vote! Please, people. Register to vote.

esquire's most influential

Esquire recently named its list of The 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century. Isn't it a little too early to be presenting such a list? And I'm not sure why they stopped at 75. Why not just go for the full 100? At this point, just eight years into century, it couldn't be too hard to come up the most influential. Right? (EDIT: Ah, it now occurs to me that the list was in honor of Esquire's 75th anniversary.) Anyway, among the 75, the list names:

ben huh has cheezburger

The Los Angeles Times has a profile on web entrepreneur Ben Huh, who has built an unlikely mini-empire with the online LOLcats craze, anchored by the ridiculously popular I Can Has Cheezburger. Funny photos and badly misspelled captions. Who'd a thunk it? It's like printing money: His kitty site became a caboodle.

9.23.2008

the 3rd annual mr. hyphen competition


Heads up, fans of awesome Asian American men. Back by popular demand Hyphen presents the 3rd annual Mr. Hyphen competition, celebrating Asian American men who devote themselves to worthy community causes. The man who is crowned Mr. Hyphen wins a $1000 cash donation to his nonprofit organization. Here are some details:

a whole lot of wayne wang

Seems like I've been seeing mention Wayne Wang all over the place lately. First, here's an indieWIRE review of his latest film, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, which opened in select theaters last Friday: REVIEW | The New World: Wayne Wang's "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers."

Salon.com has a great profile on Wayne Wang and his curious, all-over-the-place career since he arrived on the scene 25 years ago with the now-classic Chan Is Missing, comparing him to the likes of Jim Jarmusch, Alex Cox and Spike Lee: Wayne Wang isn't missing.

heroes season three premieres



The third season of Heroes premiered last night. After some serious missteps last season, along with that pesky writers' strike, the show looks like it's returned to form, with lots of the usual twisty super-powered craziness.

9.22.2008

id film festival, september 25-28



For those of you in Los Angeles, don't miss the opportunity to catch a very special film festival this week... The ID Film Festival, dedicated to contemporary digital films that explore and celebrate identity crisis in our diverse Asian/Pacific Islander community. Thus September 25-28 at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo.

Things kick off this Thursday with the Opening Night screening of M. Frank's Ra Choi, a docudrama that tells the story of four Asian street kids trying to make a life for themselves in Sydney's Little Saigon. Watch a brief trailer for the film here. And here's a breakdown of the rest of the festival

the first asian master of wine

The Institute of Masters of Wine recently announced that Jeannie Cho Lee, Head of Education for The Fine Wine School, has successfully completed all parts of the Master of Wine Examination to become one of only 277 MWs worldwide. That makes her the first Asian person to achieve the distinction in the history of the program and is one of just 15 candidates to earn the prestigious title this year: Jeannie Cho Lee becomes first ethnic Asian Master of Wine.

The notoriously difficult Master of Wine Examination is considered the "PhD of wine" and the highest level of academic accomplishment in the world for the industry. Over four gruelling days, candidates must pass exhaustive theory and practical examinations as well as submit a dissertation. Basically, it's a crazy hard test:

what's up with kosuke fukudome?



For fans of the Chicago Cubs, it's looking good. 2008 National League Central champions. That's gotta have a nice ring to it for the Chicago faithful. And with a 9-5 win this evening over the New York Mets, the North Siders clinched home-field advantage in the N.L. playoffs. It's been a long, hard hundred years since they've won a World Series. Could this be the year it finally happens?

Meanwhile, things haven't been looking so great for Kosuke Fukudome, who started out the season as a slugger with huge hype and promise, but has since seemed to have disintegrated offensively. He's barely been a factor in the Cubs' clinch: Fukudome's Hitting Is Downside on the North Side. What happened?

u.s. wins ryder cup

Over the weekend in Kentucky, the United States won golf's Ryder Cup, beating Europe for the first time in nine years, thanks in large part to 23-year-old rookie Anthony Kim: U.S. Receives Jolt From Energetic Ryder Rookies.

house to vote on separate filipino veterans bills

Last week, the House Veterans' Affairs Committee introduced a new bill that would authorize a one-time payment to Filipino veterans who served a critical role on behalf of the United States during World War II. H.R. 6897 provides payment to Filipino service members who served between 1941 and 1946 - $9,000 for non-U.S. citizens and $15,000 for U.S. citizens.

These servicemen, who risked their lives for the United States, were supposed to receive their benefits half a century ago. But in 1946, Congress passed the Rescission Act which stripped them of their veteran status and denied them the right to any benefits. This bill will provide a small measure of recognition for their service... but is it enough?

Here's the press release from the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity, which does express some concern over this one lump sum proposal:

9.21.2008

stephen chow will star as kato in the green hornet



Oh man. My dreams have come true. Last week, Sony Pictures announced that Stephen Chow will not only star as Kato alongside Seth Rogen in the upcoming Green Hornet movie, he's signed on to direct the movie as well: Chow to Direct and Star in Green Hornet!

9.20.2008

obama benefit performance of wong flew over the cuckoo's nest

Just wanted to remind all my friends in Los Angeles that my pal Kristina Wong is currently performing her critically acclaimed one-woman extravaganza Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next through October 5 at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica. The show is described as "a swear-to-god-not-autobiographical, serio-comic portrayal of the high incidence of mental illness among Asian American women."

I particularly wanted to highlight Kristina's show this Sunday, a special benefit performance with proceeds going to the Obama/Biden campaign. Sunday, September 21, 3:00pm. Tickets are $20. To purchase tickets, go here or call 310-998-8765 . For more information about the show, visit the TeAda Productions website here.

9.19.2008

"go back to india!"

Did anyone else see the report on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson last night, about the post-Hurricane Ike situation in Texas? The segment featured a cop in a heated argument with a South Asian driver over a roadblock on the way back to Galveston. As the motorist drives away, the officer tells him to "Go back to India!" Straight up.

Tell me what you really feel, officer. There's brief video of the moment here. And there are currently over 2000 comments on the segment at the ABC News site here. When pushed past frustration, the cop's true colors suddenly become apparent. That's racist! (Thanks, Marlow.)

take out opening in southern california



After a successful theatrical run in New York earlier this summer, Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou's indie feature Take Out opens today in Southern California. Here's an article on the movie from the OC Register: Film shows plight of Chinese illegal immigrant.

18 mighty mountain warriors' 21: the movie



If you're one of those folks who weren't happy with the movie 21, and its ridiculous Hollywood casting that magically transformed real-life Asian characters into beautiful white actors, you might get a kick out of this brief clip of sketch comedy troupe 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors. It's from their Just Like White People show. Can't wait for their version of Genghis Khan movie. (Thanks, Eric.)

george allen to speak at gop minority outreach rally

This is rather astonishing... but somehow, it appears to be true. Northern Virgnia Republicans, realizing that it might be a good idea to improve their appeal among ethnic minorities in the region, are planning a "unity" rally this weekend that they claim will draw 1,000 people. Suddenly, the ethnic voting bloc looks pretty damn important: GOP Rally Reaches Out To Minorities.

But here's the real kicker. One of the featured speakers at this Totally Awesome Minority GOP Outreach event is none other than former Senator George Allen, now infamous for his campaign-defining "macaca" moment. What. The. Hell.

9.18.2008

reminder: cinema under the stars



A reminder for all my Bay Area friends about the Center for Asian American Media's free outdoor screening of Mamoru Hosoda's The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Tomorrow night, Friday, September 19 at Peace Plaza in San Francisco Japantown. Here are some details about the event:

trailer park



Hey! Asians in the movies. Or at least, spotted in a handful of recent trailers. Looks like my man Raymond J. Lee has a bit role in Ghost Town as a Greenpeace guy trying to get Ricky Gervais to help stop global warming. The movie opens in theaters tomorrow.

ichiro's eighth straight 200-hit season

Ichiro Suzuki rules. Last night, the Seattle Mariners center fielder tied Willie Keeler's major league record of eight consecutive 200-hit seasons: Ichiro ties Keeler's record with 8th straight 200-hit season.

12-year-old invents nanotube solar cell thing

Talk about a bright kid! William Yuan, a 12-year-old seventh-grader from Portland, Oregon, has developed a three-dimensional solar cell that absorbs UV as well as visible light. I barely understand what even means, but apparently the combination of the two might greatly improve cell efficiency: 12-year-old Revolutionizes the Solar Cell.

the worst club recruiting video ever



Got word about this from Jennifer, who attends the University of British Columbia... A student social club at her school is facing possible sanctions, and even disbandment, after creating and post a series of online "recruitment" videos that many Asian students are calling culturally offensive: UBC social club video 'culturally offensive'.

Last week, dozens of complaints poured into the Alma Mater Society, the campus body that regulates student clubs, labeling the videos as offensive:

dc apa film festival kickoff events

DC! This is for you. The actual "film" portion of the 9th Annual DC APA Film Festival doesn't actually start until next week, but things kick off this week with a couple of special events. I guess they just couldn't wait to get the party started.

9.17.2008

east west players presents be like water



This is awesome. East West Players, the nation's premier Asian American theatre organization, launches its 43rd anniversary season with the world premiere Be Like Water by Dan Kwong, directed by Chris Tashima, with martial arts choreography by Diana Lee Inosanto and Ron Balicki, and dance choreography by Blythe Matsui.

Set in the 1970s a few years after Bruce Lee's death, Be Like Water tells the story of 14-year-old Tracy Fong, who is trying to deal with school bullies and famly expectations. As a huge fan of Bruce Lee, she trains in martial arts to deal with her rivals. However when she bypasses the philosophies of Jeet Kune Do, the Ghost of Bruce Lee appears to guide her.

It's kind of like the Asian American theater version of No Retreat, No Surrender. Awesome. The show opens tonight at the David Henry Hwang Theatre in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo, and runs through October 12. Here are some details:

kqed's forum on the model minority myth

Last week, KQED's call-in talk radio program Forum in San Francisco did an interesting show on Asian Americans students, the model minority stereotype, and whether the societal assumption of academic success is a burden or an advantage: Model Minority Myths.

9.16.2008

racist shirts from david and goliath



More idiotic, racist t-shirt designs from David and Goliath. Available here and here. Spotted recently at the David and Goliath store at the Venetian in Las Vegas. (Thanks, Matt.)

the sound of young america interviews adrian tomine



The Sound of Young America, which is an awesome podcast, recently recorded an interview with acclaimed graphic novel artist Adrian Tomine, creator of Optic Nerve and author of Shortcomings. It's brief, but pretty cool to hear from the artist about his (sometimes misunderstood) work. Listen to the show (or download it) here. And check out Adrian Tomine's website here.

michelle still needs a donor

Michelle is still in search of a bone marrow donor, and time is running out to save her life. 26-year-old Michelle Maykin is a Vietnamese/Chinese American from San Francisco who was unexpectedly diagnosed with Leukemia, and has been bravely fighting for her life for over a year. I've mentioned her before, but you can find out more about her condition at the Project Michelle website here.

sulu got married

Over the weekend, actor/activist George Takei married his longtime partner Brad Altman in Los Angeles: George Takei marries longtime partner Brad Altman. The two were among the first couples to receive a marriage license in West Hollywood when California began granting licenses to gay couples in June.

9.15.2008

meet ken of survivor: gabon


Oh boy. The new season of Survivor premieres next week.

This time, among the castaways, we have Ken Hoang, a 22-year-old professional gamer from Westminster, California. Yes, as in video games. According to his bio, he is the current international champion of Nintendo's Super Smash Brothers Melee game, and apparently known to the gaming community as "the King of Smash."

3rd annual los angeles community leadership conference

For those of you in Southern California, mark your calendars for a valuable opportunity happening next month... LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc) is putting on a one-day leadership conference offering six innovative personal, leadership, and community development workshops.

Designed by and for Asian and Pacific Islanders, these workshops aim to teach participants to leverage their leadership skills and lead community action in the API community and beyond. Workshops will include Networking, DISC: Personal Profiling, Strategic Planning and Thinking, Speak to Persuade, and Entrepreneurial Leadership. Maybe this is something you need.

The conference also provides an important opportunity for the API ethnic communities to meet and discuss common issues and challenges, fostering coalition building among community advocates. Here's some registration information:

wayne wang returns to his roots... again



The New York Times has a good article on veteran director Wayne Wang and his 25-year career since 1982's Chan Is Missing, deftly straddling the line between indie cinema and Hollywood studio movies: Bridging Generations and Hemispheres.

in pursuit of tiger

Here's an interesting profile on golfer Anthony Kim, who won his first PGA tour event earlier this year at the prestigious Wachovia Championship with the lowest score in the tournament's history: Kim inspired by Woods in quest to be the best. Seriously, does the subheadline really have to describe him as a "scrappy little American"?

This week, he's going after the Ryder Cup. The 23-year-old Kim is often compared to Tiger Woods—his professed boyhood hero. Some have gone as far as saying Anthony Kim is The Next Tiger Woods. To which he replies, "Me? The next Tiger Woods? Hasn't there been about 150 next Tiger Woods?"

kearny street workshop's 10th annual apature


This week in San Francisco, the Kearny Street Workshop, the nation's oldest Asian Pacific American multidisciplinary arts organization, presents its 10th annual festival of emerging Asian Pacific American artists, APAture, September 18-27 at venues throughout the city, including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Intersection for the Arts, and the Manilatown Heritage Foundation..

That's ten days of events spotlighting over 90 artists, filmmakers, musicians, spoken word poets, writers, comedians and performers. Featured artists include Weston Takeshi Teruya (visual art), The Invisible Cities (music), Richard Wong, H.P. Mendoza (film), Samantha Chanse (performance), Pireeni Sundaralingam (literature), and Hellen Jo (comics and zines). Here are their bios:

crash tv series trailer


I recently came across this trailer for the Crash TV series, based on the Academy Award-winning movie. Can't say I'm too impressed by this trailer. It just makes me kind of tired. I'll admit, I'm a little curious. We know that Brian Tee is in the starring cast, and we could always use another interesting, three-dimensional Asian American character on television. Here's a description of his character, Eddie Choi:

making chicago a better place

The Chicago Sun-Times has been running an ongoing series naming the "50 People Who Make Chicago A Better Place." While Kanye West is nowhere to be seen, the paper did recently recognize Dr. Kap Joon No, #33, whose medical practice many consider a vital part of Chicago's Korean American community: Doctor is heart of Korean community.

daniel dae kim pleads no contest to dui charges

Last week in Honolulu, Lost star Daniel Dae Kim pleaded no contest to drunken driving charges and was ordered to pay a $500 fine, $212 in court fees and perform 72 hours of community service for his DUI arrest last October: 'Lost' star Kim pleads no contest to DUI charges. He also had his driver's license revoked for six months and was subjected to a drug-and-alcohol assessment.

9.12.2008

ping pong playa giveaway winners

Thank you to all who entered the Ping Pong Playa giveaway. The response was overwhelming. Apparently, a lot of you out there like free stuff. And really, who doesn't? We have our two winners, drawn at random:

wat misaka, basketball pioneer

I've mentioned Wataru "Wat" Misaka a few times over the years. The 5-foot-7 point guard was the first non-white players in the what is now the NBA. Yes, the first Asian American pro basketball player. The first player of color, period. Here's a recent story on Misaka from the Salt Lake Tribune: Utahn broke ethnic wall in NBA.

bobby lee as john mccain



I really don't know what to make of this. It's crazy... but I like it! In a weird twist of racial casting, comedian Bobby Lee will play Senator John McCain on the season premiere of MADtv this Saturday night: Bobby Lee to Play McCain on MADtv.

9.11.2008

the lawsuit that won't die

Roy Pearson, the loser behind the infamous $54 million lawsuit against a D.C. dry cleaner over a missing pair of pants, refuses to let it go and his heading back to court. A three-judge appellate court panel has agreed to hear an appeal of this idiotic, frivolous case next month: $54 Million 'Pants' Lawsuit Headed Back to Court.

free korean music concert in los angeles' macarthur park



Live and direct from Korea. My friends over at Chaos Theory Music inform me that the critically acclaimed South Korean ensemble Gongmyoung, known for their signature fusion of the unconventional with traditional Korean music, will be performing a free concert this Friday, September 12 at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. The concert is co-hosted by NetKAL, Network of Korean American Leaders and the Levitt Pavilion, and also supported by Arts Council Korea. For more information about the concert (including video links), go here.

adoptee returns to china for beijing paralympics

21-year-old SuGui Kriss was born in Kunming, China, but was came to the United States at age 8 when she was adopted by an American couple. Last week, she returned to China for the Beijing Paralympics, representing the United States as a member of its sitting volleyball team: Adoptee Returns to China and Helps U.S. Team Win.

writing workshops at the japanese american national museum

For those of you in Los Angeles, here's a cool opportunity... This fall, Asian American Poetry and Writing is partnering up with the Japanese American National Museum to offer community-based creative writing workshops for aspiring and emerging writers. Their goal is to provide affordable and culturally-sensitive classes that allow writers the space to explore craft and theme in their work, in a variety of genres.

The classes run once a week, October 4 through November 8 at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. They range from fiction, to poetry, memoir/personal writing, and screenwriting. For more information and to enroll online, go to Asian American Poetry and Writing's website here.

reminder: ping pong playa giveaway

Just wanted to throw out a reminder about the Ping Pong Playa Giveaway. The response has been good so far, but your chances are still pretty good. You have until the end of today to enter for your chance to win a PPP prize pack that includes your very own Ping Pong Playa logo-emblazoned ping pong paddle and balls. Yes, it can be yours. Use it to vanquish your table tennis enemies.

To enter, email me with your name and mailing address, and "PPP GIVEAWAY" clearly written in the subject line, by the end of today (Thursday, September 11). Entries that do not follow these simple instructions will be thrown out. Duplicate entries will also be thrown out. From all the entries, two will be picked at random. And then we'll have two winners.

jazmin on mtv's top pop group



With America's Best Dance Crew over for the season, what will host Mario Lopez do now? Have no fear, he is back the network's newest show MTV's Top Pop Group. Goodness. I'm glad to see that A.C. Slater has found his calling. Yes, this season, nine groups will vie for the coveted top pop title. Wait, hasn't this been done before?

join the ohana obama family

Founded by a group of passionate volunteers from San Francisco, Ohana Obama is a movement dedicated to empowering young voters to convince their family and loved ones to vote for Barack Obama. By speaking to your family and friends about supporting Barack Obama, you can actually multiply your vote this November.

9.10.2008

audition for kollaboration 9



Seeking talented Asian Americans performers of all shapes and sizes.... Kollaboration, the nation's premiere Asian American talent show, is holding auditions for Kollaboration 9, its biggest and baddest show yet.

new rules to combat bias bullying in new york schools

Last week in New York, Michael R. Bloomberg announced new regulations meant to combat bullying based on bias in city schools. The policy is intended to deter intimidation and harassment based on ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability: New School Rules on Bias Bullying.

phil fung, winner of manifest hope gallery contest



Forgot to mention this one last week... Phil Fung, a Miami-based visual artist, had his portrait of Barack Obama chosen as a finalist for for MoveOn.org's Manfest Hope Gallery Contest. As one of the winners, he had his painting on display at the Manifest Hope Gallery during the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Very cool: Guerrilla artists voting with street signs.

the double eyelid dilemma

Ah yes, another article on double eyelid surgery, this time in the OC Register: Asian eyelid surgery still sparks controversy. About every year or so, we get an article updating us on the double eyelid situation. It's out there, and lots people are getting it done. Some people are cool with it, and some people aren't.

If you haven't noticed, many of us Asians do not possess that very special fold in our eyelids, giving the distinct appearance of smaller eyes. However, blepharoplasty—eyelid surgery—can magically change all that. With a few snips, the procedure creates an upper eyelid crease for Asians folks' eyes to appear wider. Because, you know, bigger eyes are more beautiful. Or so they say.

free outdoor screening of the girl who leapt through time



San Francisco friends, mark your calendars. Here's a cool cinema event for the family. The Center for Asian American Media and the Japantown Merchants Association present Cinema Under the Stars, a free outdoor screening of Mamoru Hosoda's The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Friday, September 19 at Japantown's Peace Plaza. Here are some details:

asians got it on in the year of the pig

Last year was the Year of the Golden Pig, my friends. And that means Asian people were getting busy. According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the city had a surge in local births during 2007—half of which could be attributed to a sharp increase in births to Asian women: An Asian Baby Boom, in the Year of the Pig.

more on d.c. schools chief michelle rhee

From CNN, here's another profile on Michelle Rhee, the controversial chancellor of the District of Columbia's public schools, and her crazy plan to shake it all up: '100 mph' school chief seeks 'radical changes'.

9.09.2008

wong flew over the cuckoo's nest in los angeles



My pal Kristina Wong, performance artist extraordinaire, tells me that her nationally acclaimed show, Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next, is coming through Los Angeles one last time. ("No extensions! No more plans to come back through Los Angeles! Wong is leaving the building!") It runs September 19 through October 5 at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica. Tickets are on sale now. Here are some details:

chef arrested for throwing hot oil on customers

Last week in Brooklyn, a Chinese resaturant chef was arrested for dousing two women with scalding cooking oil after they complained about bad take-out food: B'KLYN CHEF BURNED THE DINERS: COPS.

9.08.2008

vote in the dc apa film festival trailer contest

Check out the three finalists in the 2008 DC APA Film Festival Trailer Contest. This contest offered the opportunity to all filmmakers and film-interested people to come up with their own thirty second trailer to help promote the upcoming festival.

thao nguyen's tiny desk concert


Singer Thao Nguyen recently performed a Tiny Desk Concert for the people at NPR, literally at their office. They've got the video here: Thao Nguyen's Tiny Desk Concert.

religious asian american adolescents more depressed?

A new study looking at the effects of religious participation on the mental health of minorities suggests that for some of them, religion may actually be contributing to adolescent depression: Participating In Religion May Make Adolescents From Certain Races More Depressed.

아줌마 for obama shirt



This is for my Korean friends (or those of you who can read Korean)... thought some of you might get a kick out of this this t-shirt. You see, everybody can get in on the Obama support. Buy one for your momma. There's more stuff where that came from here, from New York-based artist Jee Yun Lee.

suspect sought in cricket tournament shooting

Last week in Sacramento, sheriff's deputies arrested 24-year-old Gurpreet Singh Gosal in connection with a shooting outside a Sikh temple complex that left one man dead and another wounded: Man Arrested, Another Sought in Fatal Sikh Temple Shooting.

new asian americans for obama site/nevada roap trip

Well, there's just about two months left before the big election. The final stretch. It's time for the APA community to step up and make our voices heard in electing Barack Obama as the next President of the United States. That means putting up numbers that will make people take notice, and spreading the word.

Asian Americans for Obama is kicking off a major grassroots campaign to get the word out, with a newly re-designed website launch, including new social networking tools, a page of featured endorsements from prominent AAPI political and community leaders, RSS feed to alert users of new content, and a blogroll of Democratic and AAPI-related blogs, among other things. View it all here.

Also be sure to joing Asian Americans for Obama group on Facebook and the My.BarackObama.com network. And of course, you can make a donation here.

Meanwhile, my pal Oiyan is helping to organize a road trip from California to help swing Nevada for Obama-Biden. They need volunteers. Here's some info:

passing on ethnic heritage to your children

This is a really interesting aritcle in the New York Times about second generation Asian American parents (well, one in particular) and some of the challenges they face in trying to pass on their ethnic heritage to their children: In Any Language, a Full Plate.

risd's new president

This week, on September 12, graphic designer/computer scientist/author John Maeda will be inaugurated as the 16th president of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, founded in 1877 as one of the country's first colleges to offer a combined education in arts and design: Rhode Island School of Design Selects John Maeda as President.

9.05.2008

lpga backs down on english requirement

The LPGA Tour appears to have gotten the message. Feeling the pressure from lawmakers, sponsors and community groups since making this ridiculous announcement last month, the LPGA Tour backed off plans requiring all players to learn English, under threat of suspension: LPGA backs down on English requirement.

The policy planned to suspend players who cannot speak English well enough to be understood at pro-ams, in interviews or in making acceptance speeches at tournaments in the United States. It just so happens that the LPGA has a significant number of golfers from South Korea.

LPGA Tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens said she would have a revised plan by the end of the year that would not include suspensions, although fining non-English speakers remains an option. Here is Bivens' statement rescinding penalties:

international secret agents concert this weekend



For those of you in Southern California, just wanted to remind you about the big International Secret Agents concert going down this weekend in San Gabriel.

Featuring Far East Movement, Wong Fu Productions, Magnetic North, Jennifer Chung, Tatum Jones, Quest Dance Crew, Paul Dateh and more.... it's going to be huge. Sunday, September 7 at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. Go here for details. There's also some ticket sales info above. Peace!

samurai girl premieres tonight



Samurai Girl, which we've been anticipating for the better part of a year, finally premieres tonight on ABC Family, and runs through the weekend as a three-night "original event." The network has been hyping the hell out of this thing, with nonstop commercials, a panel at last month's Comic-Con, and all sorts of crazy stuff on the show's website ("samurai-ize your desktop"). If the premiere goes well, it's likely that Samurai Girl will be picked up as a full series.

ping pong playa giveaway



This is a call out to all you Ping Pong Playas. To celebrate the release of the Ping Pong Playa in select theaters today, I'm giving away two very special PPP prize packs containing a ping pong paddle and two balls, pictured above. You like that? It can be yours.

9.04.2008

racist mother goose and grimm cartoon



Kimchi Mamas first blogged about this a couple of weeks ago...

What kind of messed up nonsense is this? This Mother Goose and Grimm comic strip is a couple of weeks old, but dude, what the hell? Come on! Really? They really had to go there with the idiotic Korean dog-eating joke? And then take it one step fruther with the Kim Jong Il caricature?

I'm no fan of Kim Jong Il, and honestly, I welcome any kind of intelligent lampooning of his evil dictator craziness. Because the man is nuts. But this is a one-note jab, a cheap laugh that squarely aims for Kim Jong Il's ethnicity. And then seen by millions of Americans, in newspapers nationwide. That's racist! (Thanks, Toni.)

a resource for autistic asian americans

Just read this interesting San Jose Mercury News story on the Friends of Children with Special Needs Dream Center, which runs an all-day camp providing a fun, cultural and helpful experience for predominantly autistic kids and their parents of Chinese heritage: Autistic Asians get a window of opportunity.

the satire behind "korean parents"

A lot of folks were a bit confounded by Randy Newman's "Korean Parents" song that hit the news a fews back. I'll admit, I was kind of scratching my head too. Thankfully, Jeff Chang has a very astute and insightful analysis of the song and its context, as well as some of Newman's other often controversial, satirical work, over at Slate: Korean Parents for Sale. It's a good piece, so check it out.

yellowface puppet on youtube


What the hell is this?

Seriously, what is this? This video, and more like it, can be found on this YouTube channel which is apparently part of CBS's Mobile programming. And there are twelve more videos in this idiotic "Farnfucious" series. I know it's just a puppet, but damn.

I cannot believe someone would deem this appropriate material to post as part of a major broadcast network's online content. I actually originally found them on CBS' main YouTube channel, but they were taken down pretty quickly.

Does it still count as yellowface when you dress up a white puppet character like an old Asian man? That's got to be a first. It's ridiculous. Once again, someone thinks racial caricatures mocking Asians are funny. That's racist! (Thanks, Andrew.)

bay area asian storeowners/restaurants targeted by robbers

Last week, a Chinese restaurant in El Cerrito, California became the latest target in a rash of takeover robberies in the East Bay: Robbers hold up El Cerrito restaurant.

Two men, one armed with a gun and the other wearing a mask, stormed the Yuet Foo Seafood Restaurant and robbed customers and employees. There have recently been similar restaurant robberies in Oakland and other cities, including Castro Valley, Hayward and Daly City, although it's unclear whether this latest one is linked.

9.03.2008

sheena on america's next top model, cycle eleven


The 11th season of America's Next Top Model premieres tonight on the CW. While there are very few redeeming qualities about this program, I mention it here because one of this season's contestants is Asian American (we seem to get one every three seasons or so).

danny lee becomes youngest u.s. amateur champion ever

Last week in North Carolina, 18-year-old golfer Danny Lee of New Zealand became the youngest U.S. Amateur Champion ever, supplanting Tiger Woods and beating Drew Kittleson in style 5 and 4: Lee supplants Tiger as youngest US Amateur champ.

p.i.c. shows in los angeles this weekend



My man Steve from the New York-based swingin' hip hop jazz band P.I.C. informs me that they'll be in Los Angeles this weekend for two rare West Coast shows. See them live with labelmates The Jack Lords at Fais Do-do in L.A. and the 17th Annual Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture in San Pedro:

help for a rape victim and her family

Earlier this year, on April 24, an 18-year-old high school student in Tampa, Florida was brutally beaten and raped while returning books to a public library. The attack left her blinded, brain-damaged, and unable to talk, swallow or walk: 'My soul is broken,' mother of beaten teen says. More here: Prayers abound for Hillsborough rape victim and family.

9.02.2008

ping pong playa in theaters this friday



All right, moviegoing friends. Ping Pong Playa opens in theaters this Friday, September 5, in San Francisco, San Jose, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Glendale, Alhambra, Irvine and New York, then on September 12 in Seattle and Houston.

Starring Jimmy Tsai (who also co-wrote the script), Roger Fan, Smith Cho, Jim Lau and Elizabeth Sung, the movie is a fun, crowd-pleasing indie sports comedy that seves up some solid laughs and good times. It deserves to be seen by any people as possible. And hey, it's fun for the whole family.

profile on fanny pak's cara horibe

Since I started writing (obsessively, I know) about America's Best Dance Crew, this season, there's been one individual who folks have been consistently inquiring about. Fanny Pak's Cara Horibe. What ethnicity is she? Where's she from? Does she have a boyfriend/girlfriend. Seriously. Like I know.

watch online: a village called versailles

I recently heard about A Village Called Versailles, S. Leo Chiang's documentary-in-progress about the inspiring rebuilding of the Vietnamese American community in post-Katrina New Orleans East. PBS' Frontline/WORLD has posted a 15-minute online version of the film here. Check it out.

9.01.2008

the colbert report: asian guy with obama



Check out this great clip of Konrad Ng, Barack Obama's brother-in-law, getting some attention on The Colbert Report. Colbert's stark analysis of Obama's moment at the DNC was foiled:

it's gonna happen: pacquiao vs. de la hoya

Last week, it was announced that boxer Manny Pacquiao, pride of the Philippines, will face off against Oscar De La Hoya at MGM Grand in Las Vegas on December 6, for what will undoubtedly be the biggest fight of 2008: Pacquiao to move up two weight classes to fight De La Hoya.

matcha: tea & spice, september 4



Bay Area friends, once again, it's time for MATCHA, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco's monthly art/music mixer series. This month's edition, Tea & Spice, will be all about getting your tea on. Sample and sip teas from all over the world, or check out the museum's exhibit, Power and Glory: Court Arts of China's Ming Dynasty, before it closes next month. Here are some details:

letters to the lpga

This is the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association's statement on the LPGA's idiotic English-only rule, which requires all of its member golfers to learn and speak English, or else face suspension, beginning in 2009:

angry archive