Showing posts from December, 2008

"It's New Year's Resolution Time!" by Asian Female

When I was younger, my girlfriends and I would do this ritual that a friend of a friend had heard about:

1) Write 3 wishes on 3 separate pieces of paper. However, you must write down a *realistic* wish so if you wished for a million dollars, you're just forfeiting that wish.

2) Fold each piece of paper separately and place them underneath your pillow before you go to sleep on New Year's Eve. You're supposed to think about your wishes as you fall asleep.

3) When you wake up the next morning on New Year's Day, pull only one piece of folded paper out from underneath your pillow. That wish will come true in the new year.

The problem was a whole year would take so long that I'd always end up forgetting what I wished for... but the next New Year's Eve, I'd be back to writing my wishes down. It was one of those silly girlie things we used to do. It sure beats making up REAL New Year's resolutions -- this way, we could escape from holding ourselves accountable for …

Bobby Lee's Wing Woman: Ardin Myrin

"Ask, and Ye Shall Receive" by Asian Female

My dad has never been shy of asking for things but ever since my mom passed away over a year ago, he has really embraced the concept of "Ask, and Ye Shall Receive". I would speculate that after having lost such a huge piece of his life, he has realized that everyone should take every opportunity to ask for what he/she wants. It's quite refreshing actually and it has strangely brought us closer together.

He has simple requests like picking up an extra bag of rice at Costco or making a purchase online but oddly, I get a good feeling inside just by being able to do something for him. It makes me feel like he is accepting of what I have to offer and approving of the person I've become. It's weird how expressing your wants can create a sense of openness but I guess that's what a healthy relationship should be - an open exchange of asking, giving and of course, appreciating.

108 Spirits

So here's a website with a congregation of people that I enjoy talking with: 108 Spirits. I like their attitude: no whiny self-indulgent woe-is-me introspection crap. No pseudo-intellectuals with rhetoric and ideological buzz words coming out of their mouths instead of original thought. Just Asian guys from all over the world who talk and act like men: direct, to the point, unpretentious and unconcerned with shit that don't matter.

To illustrate, here's a post at their forum by an Aussie Asian:

"Personally I don't really care about negative media images. I turn the TV off, problem solved! What I care about is inspiring more Asian men to become fearless and passionate, free to express their sexuality and exude a strong presence wherever they go. What I recommend to Asian guys who haven't got their woman problems under control:

- Get your arse to the gym,
pump some iron, baby!
- Eat more beef!!! Put that friggin' soy milk down and don't eat tofu!
- …

Gold in Peace, Iron in War

Sometimes we take things for granted here in the San Francisco Bay Area. News is out that Police Chief Heather Fong is retiring, and a lot of people are surprised to learn of an Asian American female who was the head of a police department. We've had 2 Asian American police chiefs: Fred Lau was the first Asian American police chief from 1996-2002 and is currently the TSA federal security director for Oakland International Airport.

Asian police officers make up 13% of SFPD's sworn personnel. So you will find lots of Asian Americans in rather unstereotypical leadership roles. SFPD is not the only agency, however. You will find Asian Americans in the sheriff's department, the FBI, the district attorney's office, the fire department and various other agencies in the city.

A true sign that an ethnicity has integrated with society is when it's members permeate every aspect of society.

Iron Man 2: John Cho as the Mandarin?!

Apparently these screwballs at Entertainment Weekly are trying to drive traffic to their site by spreading the rumor that John Cho will be cast as the Mandarin and Tommy Chong (?!) will play his father in Ironman 2.

So allow me to geek out for a second here: Fu Manchu stereotypes aside, Cho would make a horrible Mandarin. Obviously, they're not going to portray the Mandarin as the Ming-the-Merciless knock-off from the old Ironman issues (at least I hope not!). But they will probably portray one of the updated Mandarin incarnations, maybe the one where he's a corporate mogul hellbent on world domination. John Cho has too youthful a look to play that type of villian. Seriously, can you imagine Harold kicking Ironman's ass for an hour or two?

It's been a while since I've read comic books, but the last time I saw the Mandarin was in the X-men issue that Jim Lee drew. That was the classic masterpiece issue where Psylocke underwent the "Manchurian Candidate"…

Shop Often, Eat Fresh

I visited my grandparents in Hong Kong one time, and I noticed they had an old 1960's refrigerator. My dad, who grew up in the States, bought this refrigerator for his parents in 1969. I opened this fridge up, and it was completely empty.

Apparently, they hadn't used the refrigerator in 23 years. They had no use for it, because they bought their food fresh daily and never stocked up on items. In fact, during my 2 week stay with them at the time, the only thing that was in their refrigerator was a jar of peanut butter that I bought for myself.

Many countries other than the US are like this: you shop for fresh food frequently rather than once a week at Costco. The main reason people in these countries grocery shop so frequently is that they buy fresh foods, foods that will spoil in a few days if you don't eat them: vegetables, fruits, meat.

Even though it's a pain in the ass to shop so often, it is a much healthier way to eat. Sure, food that comes in a box, can or vacuu…

Develop an Asian American Consciousness and Be Damn Good at Something

During my time in grad school, I presented at a couple of academic conferences on Asian American Studies: one in Hawaii and the other in D.C. My presentation was Racism and Advertising in 19th America in 1996. I had a slide show of all the negative imagery of Chinese Americans at the time. Very esoteric and very pedantic stuff. The Model Minority website snagged my 1996 article and posted it several years later.

Analyzing and cataloging all of those negative stereotypes just burned me out at the time. I didn't feel like I was developing any skills to better the Asian community. My thesis adviser told me something very profound but pragmatic at the same time. She told me, "You want to help the Asian American community? Then get a regular job. Develop some skills and expertise that address the needs of the Asian American community."

Years later I met a great guy who used to be an Asian American Studies instructor. He got his master's from the UCLA Asian American Studi…

Cha Cha Ch***man

I watched this short film (via AA Risings), and all I can say is WTF? It has it's moments and it's entertaining overall, but it does come up with some weird surprises. And what's up with the horrible title? Anyway watch and let me know what you think.

Asian Americans remain rare in men's college basketball

Source: SF Gate

Jeremy Lin has seen it and heard it.

Too short. Too skinny. Picked last. Asian.

Those tags stick to Lin wherever he goes, even as the starting point guard for Harvard's basketball team.

"It's a sport for white and black people," Lin said. "You don't get respect for being an Asian American basketball player in the U.S."

Although the game is brimming in popularity among Asian American youth - there are Asian leagues, club teams like the San Jose Ninjas and San Jose Zebras, and packed courts outside schools, churches and temples - Lin practically is alone.

Of 4,814 Division I men's basketball players in 2006-07, there were 19 Asian Americans (including Pacific Islanders and ethnically mixed), according to the most recent NCAA Student-Athlete Race and Ethnicity Report. That's 0.4 percent.

Players, coaches and sociologists cite stereotypes and cultural factors as reasons that percentage might not rise very much in the foreseeable future. At…

APA Blogs: Creating Societal Change in the Blogsphere

So I was featured in the Pacific Citizen, an award-winning Asian Pacific American semi-monthly newspaper published by the JACL. The article is about the Asian American blogosphere and its influence on the community. You can check out the article HERE. In the meantime, here are a couple quotes from me:

"I started the Alpha Asian Blog as a way to showcase the creativity and positive energy of Asians and Asian Americans," said James Chan, creator and administrator of Alpha Asian Blog, which showcases original videos and forums by APAs. "I've observed lots of talented Asians representing the community in a positive manner and contributing to society. I wanted to compile these positive and talented role models and present them to the world."

"I want Asian Americans to understand that our community has a wealth of talent that is largely untapped. My hope with the (blog) is that Asian Americans would develop a more confident and positive outlook," Chan said…

"Gift Giving - The Chinese Way" by Asian Female

Ah the holidays… the joy of racking your brain for good gift ideas and trying to come up with innovative ones year after year. Why do families always seem the hardest?

I haven’t been a part of any non-Chinese family so I can’t really say that they seem to be the most difficult but it sure seems that way when I talk to other people. There are so many rules associated with gift giving in the Chinese culture:

1) avoid anything with the number four because it sounds like “death”
2) avoid gifts in the color white because it’s the color you wear at funerals
3) avoid clocks because it symbolizes their time to die
4) avoid odd numbers because they bring bad luck
5) avoid giving shoes because it means you want the person to leave you
6) avoid giving books because it sounds like “loss”
7) avoid giving umbrellas because it sounds like “separation”
8) avoid giving anything with sharp edges because it symbolizes severing relations
9) avoid giving gifts that would make it impossible for the recipient to reci…

The Kubler-Ross Model Applied to Asian Americans

Everybody knows of the Kubler-Ross model on grief, but not everybody realizes that this is the name attributed to this theory. The Kubler-Ross model states that when one must deal with a tragedy or a loss, the person undergoes 5 stages:

The funny thing is you can apply this model to Asian American psychology. In a sense, the Asian American experience (at least in the old days) involves loss: many Asian Americans feel culturally disinherited, whether it be a disconnect from the ancestral culture or marginalization in Western society.

The Asian American in Denial- This person strongly denies his/her Asian heritage and is extremely whitewashed. S/he feels a sense of superiority to other "unenlightened" Asians who aren't as assimilated as him/her. In his/her mind, the white way is the right way. Unfortunately, college education has made this person an arrogant, condescending asshole.

The Angry Asian Man, a.k.a. Bitter Asian Man- Th…

Go to China to Lose Weight

I think we've all noticed this effect when we travel abroad, whether it be Asia or Europe: we lose weight! It's interesting to note that many countries eat far more carbohydrates than Americans (notably China and Italy), and yet people from these countries weigh far less than Americans.

Much of this has to do with the fact that people in other countries tend to eat smaller portions, and they walk or bicycle everywhere. Plus, Americans react very poorly to stress, which increases the amount of abdominal fat on your body.

Since Asian countries have become more Westernized and affluent, however, their diets have included more meat and more fats. The Okinawans are the most long-lived people in the world, but unfortunately, younger generations of Okinawans are encountering health problems due to the consumption of fast food.

In China, there is a phenomenon called the little emperor syndrome, where due to the one-child policy "both parents lavish attention and resources on …

Untitled by Asian Female

So my coworker says to me this morning, "Hey you know how Blahbity-Blah has been going through a hard time lately? Well I was talking to her the other day about Christmas shopping for the kids and she mentioned that her daughter isn't going to have much of a Christmas this year because she can't afford the gift her daughter really REALLY wants. So I was thinking how nice it would be if we could start an anonymous fund for her and that way she'd be able to give her daughter a nice Christmas. No pressure, just however much you wanna contribute."

"What does her daughter want for Christmas?" I ask.

The response - a NintendoDS Lite.

Excuse me?!

Only a non-Asian person would think this justifies as reason to start an anonymous fund. Maybe I'm old school but I come from a world where all I had for a toy growing up was a square piece of orange faux-fur. I learned early on in life that priorities need to be made, sacrifices are required and if you don't …

Genghis Khan: The Greatest Pimp of All Time

"The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters"

- Genghis Khan

So according to Wikipedia, the wealthiest person by far (alive or dead) in all of human history was Genghis Khan. I don't know how they came up with these numbers, but this will give you an idea of how much richer Genghis was compared to everyone else ever:

Genghis Khan had a net worth of 713.2 billion dollars, over twice as much as the second wealthiest person of all time, J.D. Rockefeller, who had a net worth of 318.3 billion dollars.

Can you imagine that? You got so much wealth, you can't rid of it fast enough. You conquer over half of the Eurasian continent. Nobody fucks with you, because you've got a reputation as the biggest badass of all time.