3rd annual emerging leaders in philanthropy awards, march 2

This week, the Asian Pacific Community Fund, in partnership with Asian Americans/ Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, will recognize young leaders and organizations that are making a difference in the API community through their philanthropy work and leadership at the 3rd Annual Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy Awards Reception.

This year's honorees include Tuesday Night Project, China Care Bruins, Lisa Chong, Jonathan Chi-Lin Lee, Jonathan Lee and Robert Lee. The reception is happening Wednesday, March 2 at Elevate Lounge in downtown Los Angeles. Here are some more details about the event:

casting call: experimental short still life with

This casting call came my way the other day, thought I'd share... Ami Patel is looking for actors two fill two female roles for her five-minute experimental narrative short, Still Life With, about the experiences of a queer South Asian woman as she examines her love of self, partner and family. Here are some more details:

randall park signs talent deal with nbc

Speaking of Asian Americans in sitcoms, here's one that I actually want to see rocking it on national television... Recently heard the news that our friend, the very funny and talented actor/comedian Randall Park has signed a talent deal with NBC: Two Comedians Land Talent Holding Deals.

two arrested, one sought in vegas casino robbery

Asians behaving badly... casino robbery edition! In Las Vegas, three men -- Edward Land, Hiroyuki Yamaguchi and Steven Gao -- are accused of robbing the Rio last Thursday: Court hearings scheduled for two men accused in Rio robbery.

Land and Yamaguchi were arrested Friday on charges of robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary with the use of a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery. They're scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, authorities are still looking for Steven Gao, who is accused of walking into the Rio wearing a fedora hat, a wig, a fake mustache and sunglasses, then stealing $33,200 in chips and leaving in a taxi.

music video: "master piece" by emi meyer

Here's the super lovely new music video for "Master Piece" by Japanese American singer/songwriter Emi Meyer. Directed Emi and Shingo Annen, and shot inside a museum in Los Angeles, the track is from her upcoming English album Suitcase of Stones. Take a look:

david chiu announces run for san francisco mayor

This morning in San Francisco, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu officially announced that he's running for mayor. Chiu made the announcement on the steps outside City Hall, where more than a hundred supporters were gathered, and then headed to the clerk's office to file his declaration of intent to run.

If he's already previously announced that he's going announce it, is it really a true announcement? Whatever. I guess this makes it official. Chiu now joins an already-crowded field of major candidates making run for San Francisco's mayor:Chiu announces run for mayor. The announcement had been anticipated for a while:

the chin chens teaser trailer

A little while back, I wrote about an The Chin Chens, an Asian American-themed sitcom in the works from an Atlanta-based production company.

The show, which started production last fall, promised hilarity in the form of the Cosby-esque members of a Chinese/Vietnamese American family who own a successful chain of nail salons and Chinese restaurants. I give you the recently released teaser trailer:

Julie Su appointed as California's Labor Commissioner

Last week, I received the awesome news that Julie Su, litigation director at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles, has been appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to be California's Labor Commissioner.

She was already known as a fierce labor law warrior, but this appointment takes her asskicking to a whole other level. You dare violate California's labor laws? Face the battle-tested and state-approved justice of Julie Su! Here's APALC's press release:


this weekend's big winners

A huge contratulations to artist Australian author/illustrator Shaun Tan, whose adaptation of his award-winning children's book The Lost Thing won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short. The film, co-directed by Andrew Ruhemann, tells the story of a boy who finds a misshapen creature on a beach and tries to find a home for it.


the loft presents luminance, february 27

If you're in San Diego, and want to check out an evening of some cool music, The Loft at UC San Diego presents its latest edition of Luminance featuring Michael Carreon, Jennifer Chung, Jane Lui, and Casey Nishizu. It's happening Sunday, February 27 at UCSD. Here are some more details:

film fundraising: horror short film green plastic sandals

Last year, I posted a casting call for Green Plastic Sandals, a supernatural horror short film in the vein of Japanese horror classics like The Grudge and The Ring. Directed by Stephanie Wu and produced by Gerry Kim, they're currently in the process of online fundraising to finish the film. Some details from their IndieGoGo campaign:

kollaboration acoustic 5 auditions

Do you want to be part of a world-famous Asian American talent show movement, showcase the best and brightest of our community's entertainers? Kollaboration is looking for talented singer/songwriters, instrumentalists, spoken word artists, and other acoustic performers to perform and compete in Kollaboration's first Los Angeles show of the season. Auditions for Kollaboration Acoustic are happening Sunday, March 13 at CGV Cinemas in Koreatown. Here are some more details:

job openings: 2011 los angeles asian pacific film festival

Hey! Want to work for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival? Our friends at Visual Communications are looking for some outstanding, motivated individuals for employment in preparation for this year's festival, happening April 28 through May 7 at the Directors Guild of America, Laemmle's Sunset 5 Theatre, and CGV Cinemas. Here's how you can be part of the team:

police searching for suspect in teen's fatal stabbing

This news is a couple of weeks old, but I didn't want to let it slip by... In San Francisco, police are looking for the man responsible for the February 8 murder of 16-year-old Victor Zheng, who was attacked and fatally stabbed while walking on the street in Ingleside: Teenage boy stabbed to death on S.F. street.

Zheng was walking with a friend when a man approached and punched him numerous times without provocation, then stabbed him the chest. It sounds completely senseless. Last week, police released a sketch of Zheng's killer, who is described as an Asian man, 18 to 19 years old:

angry reader of the week: ki hong lee

Hey, everybody. Time for another Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is actor Ki Hong Lee, who can currently be seen in East West Players' Wrinkles.

surrogate valentine trailer

Check it. Here's the newly released trailer for Surrogate Valentine, directed by David Boyle and starring musician Goh Nakamura... as musician Goh Nakamura. The film is a sweet little rock-inflected road comedy "keeping a dream alive, the roads you take, and the people you meet along the way." Take a look:

guest post: the military wants us to say sorry

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend and participate in the ECAASU 2011 at UMass Amherst, the oldest and largest Asian American student conference... where some very interesting stuff went down. When I arrived at Amherst late Friday night, the conference was already buzzing about it...

Lai Wa Wu, program coordinator at MIT Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program, and Professor Vijay Prashad, Director of the International Studies Program at Trinity College, were both keynote speakers at the conference. By the end the weekend, they had both emphatically publicly called out the U.S. military, the coast guard and CIA -- "war-makers" -- and their funding of ECAASU.

This, of course, did not sit well with the conference's armed forces representatives -- many of whom were sitting in the audience, in uniform. I was present for Vijay's address, and while it was a tense moment ("awkward," as Professor Prashad put it) I felt it needed to be said, and both speakers were well within their right to speak out on this matter.

In the ensuing fallout, the military has apparently threatened not to pay their promised contribution to the conference, and ECAASU's National Board has sent out emails disassociating itself from the keynotes' remarks. Lai Wa Wu and Vijay Prashad have responded to the controversy with this essay in Counterpunch. I'm reprinting it here with their permission:

UPDATE: The ECAASU National Board has issued a response to Lai Wa Wu and Vijay Prashad's essay. I've also re-posted it at the bottom.


second generation presents 14: instant vaudeville

If you're in New York and want to see some innovative new theater, check out 14: Instant Vaudeville by Second Generation, featuring brand new works by Nora Chau, Samantha Chanse, Clarence Coo, Deen, Patricia Jang, Mrinalini Kamath, Kristine Haruna Lee, Victor Maog, Edgar Mendoza, Don Nguyen, Qui Nguyen, Matt Park, Lloyd Suh, and magic from Ruy Iskandar. It's happening Friday, February 25 and Saturday, February 26 at HERE Arts Center. Here are some more details:

nike commercial: throwdown

I got a big kick out of this cool new Nike commercial, "Throwdown," which stars off with some Asian b-boys and b-girls challenging a double dutch crew... setting off a chain reaction of some pretty incredible feats of athletic badassery across multiple sports. Take a look:

2011 cause leadership academy

Another great opportunity for college students... The Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE) is currently accepting applications for the 2011 CAUSE Leadership Academy, a program dedicating to developing the leadership skills of college students who are interested in exploring a career in public office, public service or community advocacy.

Previous students have been selected from Ivy League schools, the University of California system, community colleges and local high schools. Graduates of the program have gone on to run for elected office, work as legislative staff or work in the nonprofit sector. Students with an interest in APA affairs, leadership development, community service or politics are encouraged to apply. Here are some more details:

free music: jen kwok's secret uke recordings

Hey! How about some free music? How about the some free secret music? Comedian/actress/writer/ukelele player Jen Kwok, who last blessed us with the "Tiger Mom Rap," shares some of her Secret Uke Recordings, recorded secretly with her friend soce, the elemental wizard. Download and enjoy five secret songs here. But I guess they're not such a secret anymore!

four arrested in asian-on-asian hate crime

Oh man, this is insane. In Los Angeles, four Korean American men were arrested in connection with the robbery and assault of a Chinese American man outside a restaurant in Rowland Heights, in what authorities described as a hate crime: Chinese American man beaten by Korean Americans in alleged hate-crime attack, authorities say.

Yeah. Asian on Asian violence. F#@%ing idiots. The four suspects, Jachin Yi, Peter Kim, Jae Du, and Hwan Huh, are allegedly connected with the Korean American street gang "Asian Mafia Assassins," based in eastern Los Angeles County. They attacked this guy for no apparent reason, other than the fact that he was Chinese:

ameya pawar is chicago's first asian american alderman

Some cool political news out of Chicago... This week, in something of a surprise victory, voters on the Northwest Side helped make history and elected 30-year-old Ameya Pawar as the city's first Asian American alderman: In 47th Ward, a long-shot outsider relishes his victory.

Pawar, the son of Indian immigrants, entered the race last year as a long-shot outsider against 35-year-old incumbent Eugene Schulter. As a relative unknown, with considerably less campaign money than his opponents, his chances of winning were slim. But things turned when Schulter unexpectedly dropped out of the race:

quest crew: airstrike!

In case you feel like having your mind blown by dance awesomeness, check out this kickass video of Quest Crew taking the stage in Melbourne, Australia: Quest Crew AIRSTRIKE! The America's Best Dance Crew season three champions would like you to know that they are still pretty damn fantastic. As you can see:

cbs pilot two broke girls: seriously, you named the asian character "rice lee"?

Oh boy. So the other day, I get these audition sides passed along to me, for Two Broke Girls, the new CBS comedy from Sex and the City creator Michael Patrick King. The show is described as a "multi-camera comedy about two 22-year-old girls who tackle life in New York: two broke girls, one expensive city."

The show -- at least, the pilot episode -- features an Asian character named Han Lee, described in the script as 33, Korean Born, Lovable, Thin Man; Thick Accent. And it's pretty much downhill from there.

From what I've seen, the running joke appears to be that Han Lee adopts a new, more "American" name ("Bryce Lee" -- which at some point becomes "Rice") and is constantly getting his funny-but-lovable bad English corrected. I'm reposting relevant parts of the script below:


to the top: an evening with the bay area's taiwanese american all-stars, february 25

More cool music stuff happening in the Bay Area... This Friday, TaiwaneseAmerican.org, TAP-SF, RAMA and vive present To The Top: An Evening with the Bay Area's Taiwanese American All-Stars, featuring Cynthia Lin, Johnny Hi-Fi, Alice Tong, Jack Tung and The Soonest. It's happening February 25 at Glas Kat in San Francisco. Here's the breakdown:

tijuana teen arrested in murder of san diego professor

Last week in San Diego, authorities arrested a 17-year-old boy in connection with the stabbing death of San Diego State University professor Henry Abalayan Acejo in what is being described as a crime of passion: Tijuana Boy Admits Murdering SDSU & Southwestern College Professor.

According the Mexican authorities, the teen -- identified only as "Gerardo N," confessed to killing Acejo, whose body was found with multiple stab wounds December 19 at his apartment in Tijuana's Rio Zone across the border from San Diego. The two were apparently in a relationship:

jabbawockeez x the bangerz releasing mus.i.c. soundtrack on march 1

Heads up. Our favorite masked America's Best Dance Crew winners Jabbawockeez, who are currently electrifying audiences with their very own Las Vegas show, have teamed up with Bay Area DJ/production team The Bangerz to release the upcoming soundtrack album Jabbawockeez MÜS.I.C., due out next week, March 1.

job announcement: director of development, asian americans for community involvement

Here's a job announcement from a great Bay Area nonprofit organization... Asian Americans for Community Involvement, the largest community-based organization focused on the health and well-being of Asians in Santa Clara County, is seeking qualified applicants to hire as Director of Development, responsible for fundraising, marketing and community outreach on behalf of AACI in San Jose. Here are some more details about the job:

big ratings for our america with lisa ling

Thought it was worth noting that Our America, Lisa Ling's new show on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, is a hit. At least, according to last week's premiere numbers. The documentary series, which examines hot-button issues, averaged 574,000 total viewers during its debut: Lisa Ling's new documentary series premieres to strong ratings on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

why tiger mothers are superior (during a zombie outbreak)

You've heard all the reactions. You might have strong opinions, one way or another, about Amy Chua's controversial Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, or Tiger Mother parenting in general. But have you considered tiger mothering in the context of surviving of a zombie outbreak? I mean, really -- have you?

In this recent Wired piece, Roger Ma, author of The Zombie Combat Manual, has a point by point explanation of Why Tiger Mothers Are Superior (During A Zombie Outbreak). Lots of reasons you never really considered... something you might find out the hard way, at the cold hands of the undead. For example:

fresh baked cookies delivered on a dangling string

Cookies! This was spotted on Laughing Squid last week: Cookies Sold by String Dangling From San Francisco Apartment Window. This is how Eve, Kathleen and Clem of Fat Cookies distribute their goods to the people of San Francisco. Fresh baked cookies delivered from their window -- on a string!

congressman david wu explains his bizarre behavior

Some more on Rep. David Wu's super weird behavior... The congressman appeared the other day on ABC's Good Morning America, speaking out publicly for the first time since news broke about his crazy conduct. He expressed regret and calling his past behavior "unprofessional": Rep. David Wu Has Regrets.

Over the weekend, Willamette Week reported that the congressman's staff members had made repeated attempts to stage "interventions" over concerns about his erratic behavior, demanding he seek mental health treatment. And of course, there was the infamous tiger costume photo...


loft ensemble presents 100 days by weiko lin

If you want to catch some new theater happening in Los Angeles, check out The LOFT ensemble's 100 Days, a world premiere play by Weiko Lin. Directed by Brett Erickson, the play is about family, tradition, and relationships, and was inspired by the death of Weiko's own mother. It's playing now through March 20 at LOFT ensemble in the Little Tokyo Arts District.

furthering asianpacificamerican content in entertainment summit, march 20

Save the date... Next month in Los Angeles, MAPID and the Japanese American National Museum present Furthering AsianPacificAmerican Content in Entertainment Summit (FACES), a community-wide summit and expo for APIs in entertainment. It's happening Sunday, March 20 at the Japanese American National Museum. Here are some more details about the event:

short documentary: represent! asian americans in politics

Check out this seven-minute short documentary on Asian American identity, career choices and leadership, by ex-lawyer-turned-filmmaker Michael Wong. It starts off kind of slow, but stick with it: REPRESENT! Asian Americans in Politics. Watch it here:

ted lieu easily wins state senate seat

Almost forgot to mention this little bit of political news out of Southern California... In last week's special election, former assemblyman Ted Lieu easily defeated Bob Valentine to win the state's 28th Senate District race, with 57.1 percent of the vote: Lieu easily wins South Bay state senate seat.

The senate seat was vacated when former Sen. Jenny Oropeza died in office last year of complications from a blood clot. Valentine, who posed the only serious challenge to Lieu, collected just 25.1 percent of the vote. Under new election rules, since Lieu won with a majority, no runoff was required:

music video: "run together" by iz

Some new music for you! 454 Entertainment presents the official music video for "Run Together", a remix of Kanye West's "Runaway" by Los Angeles-based rapper IZ, from his freshly dropped mixtape IT IZ WHAT IT IZ Vol. 1. It's his personal tribute to the artists and friends who have inspired him over the years. Take a look:

vote for diane mizota in the popchips vp search

Check it out. Just helping to spread the word about this... So actress Diane Mizota is currently in the running to be Ashton Kutcher's VP of Pop Culture for Popchips. I know -- what the heck does that mean? Well, the winner gets to host content for Popchips for a year and gets paid $50,000. Yes, being VP has its perks.

Diane shot, produced and edited her own video entry for the contest, and is currently among the top twenty entries, and rising fast. She needs your votes to help her win this thing. To watch Diane's video and vote, go here.

dts: the speaker orchestra

Hey look! Behold our friend George Shaw looking very much in his element and starring in this cool commercial directed by Ross Ching. Apparently inspired by this video, it's a DTS promotional piece created for CES in Las Vegas, featuring lots of crazy colors and sound and gloopy drops. It's quite an audio/visual extravaganza. See for yourself:

updated asian nerd alert: revised casting call for fun size

A few weeks back, I posted a casting call for Paramount Pictures' upcoming feature comedy Fun Size, looking for a "Debate Team nerd" character, "Peng," who sounded a bit like the second coming of Long Duk Dong. Well, it looks like Paramount has posted an updated casting call with a significant revamp to the character. To refresh your memory, here's the original character breakdown:
[ PENG ]
16, the son of recent immigrants from Korea. Peng is a puny guy who talks twice his size, and sports thick glasses that darken automatically in sunlight. Roosevelt's best friend and fellow Debate Team nerd. PLEASE NOTE AGE (AND DATE OF BIRTH IF UNDER 18) AND HEIGHT ON SUBMISSION!!! THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT ... LEAD
And here's the new version of the character, "Stuart":


my ninja! two year anniversary party, february 25

Yo, Los Angeles! My friends at My Ninja! are celebrating its two year anniversary, and are throwing a party to mark the occasion. There will be DJs, free giveaways, free booze and free tacos. Also, my man Dumbfoundead will be performing. You like that? It's going down this Friday, February 25 at Senor Fish.

As you know, last week marked this blog's 10th anniversary. I'm actually in the middle of putting together a big celebration in a few months (more info to come). But I can't wait. Thus, I'm making this Friday the unofficial AAM10 anniversary party. Celebrate with me, won't you? Come out to the My Ninja! party, people. Here are some more details:

driver killed, ten injured in church youth group bus crash

Terrible, tragic news out of Southern California... Earlier today, a bus carrying a Korean church youth group home from a weekend retreat collided with another vehicle and crashed down a steep embankment, killing the driver and injuring at least ten passengers: Driver dies, 10 seriously hurt as bus careens down a mountainside near Lake Arrowhead.

The bus, belonging to Light of Love Mission Church in Pasadena, was headed down a windy, treacherous part of California 189 outside Twin Peaks in the Lake Arrowhead region when it lost control, collided with an SUV traveling in the other direction, and plunged 25 feet down the mountain into a grove of trees:

cyclist finishes race with nine-inch splinter stuck in his leg

How badass is Azizulhasni Awang? Over the weekend, the Malaysian cyclist crossed the finish line at the Track Cycling World Cup with a 7.8-inch piece of wood sticking through his left calf... and walked away (well, not quite literally) with a bronze medal: Cyclist has wood removed from leg after crash.

You want to know what tough means? Awang was competing in the Men's Keirin Final at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, England, when he got into a high speed crash, sending a huge-ass splinter through his leg. But he managed to remount his bike and finish the race:

petition for asian american studies at rutgers university

I recently heard from several students about the ongoing struggle to establish a substantial Asian American Studies program at Rutgers University. To that end, dedicated students have been circulating an online petition: Petition for Asian American Studies Program at Rutgers University.

Rutgers' student body is roughly 25% Asian -- the school's largest minority population. Yet, as things currently stand, the school has an Africana studies program, an African American studies program, a Latino studies program, an East Asian and South Asian studies program... but no Asian American studies program. Here's what the petitioners want:

the bizarre behavior of congressman david wu

What in the world...? Yo, what the hell is going on with Rep. David Wu? According to Willamette Week, just days before last fall's midterm elections, the Oregon congressman was behaving so strangely that staffers staged multiple interventions and requested he seek psychiatric help: Documents Show Congressman David Wu's Staff "Threatened to Shut Down His Campaign."

looking for a filmmaker to produce documentary on soviet koreans

Got this unusual but fascinating request from a longtime reader... Jon Chang has spent the last five years collecting extensive interviews, photographs and other research on the Korean experience in Soviet Russia, and is looking for a filmmaker to produce a documentary on the amazing stories of these Soviet Koreans. Jon explains:

postsecret: extremely aware of my race

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. Here's another interesting sort-of Asian-themed one. I'm pretty sure this is a sentiment a lot of college students have experienced -- myself included.

Don't know if the person in the photo is the secret-sharer, or someone else entirely. (I do hope this photo was used with permission.) To be honest, the person I'm really concerned about is the faceless individual wearing the kitty cat vest. (Thanks, Lola.)

two charged with beating and robbing chicago cab driver

Oh what the hell. In Chicago, two students from Korea have been arrested for allegedly beating and robbing a cab driver early Saturday morning after one of their credit cards was declined: 2 charged with beating cab driver.

22-year-old Sung Wong Chung and 19-year-old Alexander Choi were ordered held on $125,000 bond each for their assault on Iwowari Wright. They were both charged with felony aggravated robbery and aggravated battery of a taxi driver:


the house of suh screening at upenn, february 21

This is for my friends in Philadelphia. The amazing documentary The House of Suh, directed by Iris Shim, will be screening this week at the University of Pennsylvania.

The award-winning film tells the story of a Korean immigrant family whose pursuit of the American dream ends in the ultimate tragedy. It's happening on Monday, February 21 at UPenn, Huntsman F95. Here are some more details:

music video: "on your own" by a+ dropouts

Lots of videos of kickass kids today. Here's another one of young people making some noise... This is the music video for "On Your Own" by A+ Dropouts. Hailing from northern Virginia, they're a group of middle school rockers fronted by 13-year-old Cheska Zaide. Classroom hijinks and fun stuff for the tween set. Take a look:

orange county congressional candidate gets prison time

This week, former Orange County Republican congressional candidate Tan Nguyen was sentences to one year and a day in prison and six months in a halfway house for lying to investigators during his campaign against Rep. Loretta Sanchez in 2006: Former candidate Tan Nguyen: 'It's been hell.'

Nguyen was convicted last December of obstruction of justice in an investigation of "intimidation letters" he sent to thousands of Latino voters just weeks before the November 2006 election, claiming they could go to jail or be deported for voting:

10-year-old's "born this way" video gets lady gaga endorsement

Check out this video of 10-year-old Maria Aragon of Winnpeg, Canada, whose spirited homemade rendition of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" went viral -- from 3,100 to more than two million views in less than 24 hours -- after catching the attention of the pop superstar herself. You can't deny that she's one amazing little performer. Take a look:

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