Showing posts from July, 2010

Sheena Iyengar on the art of choosing

Sheena Iyengar studies how we make choices -- and how we feel about the choices we make. At TEDGlobal, she talks about both trivial choices (Coke v. Pepsi) and profound ones, and shares her groundbreaking research that has uncovered some surprising attitudes about our decisions.


Sarah Palin: the 21st Century version of Dan Quayle.

Movie Review: Why Am I Doing This?

"Why Am I Doing This?" trailer from Tom Huang on Vimeo.

Ever stop for a moment, reflect on your life and think to yourself, "Why am I doing this?"

That's the question all actors ask themselves when times are tough, when good roles are hard to come by. It's the question the movie Why Am I Doing This? is supposed to answer, but never does:

"Tony Chang (played by movie's writer and director Tom Huang) is a struggling Asian American actor who can only gets auditions for parts as Chinese delivery boys or sushi chefs with bad accents. He loves acting, but everywhere he turns seems to be a dead end for his career.

"Tony works multiple jobs to pay the bills, one of them being Spider-Man for kids’ parties. At one of the parties, he falls for a girl in a Pink Bear costume, Katie (Lynn Chen), later trying to establish a relationship with her.

"Tony’s best friend and roommate, Lester Niles (Anthony Montgomery), is a struggling African-American stand-…

Who Are You - Part 2: Identity

Not too long ago, on another blog, I commented on identity, bi-culturalness, and if there was such a thing as an Asian American community. I remarked that I didn’t think there really was a singular Asian American community and that I wasn’t even sure what being Asian American meant. At least, not for me. Our experiences are so varied and we come from many different places.

I’ve always been interested in the notion of how we fit into the American culture. There are those who have much closer roots to their immigrant past and there are those whose families have been in the US for several generations (this includes me). It seems as if assimilation into the predominant culture (ie, the white, mainstream culture) does lead to a watering down of the “old country” values and customs and a loss of something as everyone blends into this so-called great melting pot. I think this holds true even for the European immigrants. I’ve had a few white friends tell me they’re a little envious of the b…

Who Are You - Part 1

The other weekend, I ran into a woman who worked for the Illinois State Police in the human resources department. She told me that she had gotten her doctorate in psychology and since I have some interest in it, albeit from a more spiritual bent, we had a nice talk about Jungian archetypes, personality types, self-understanding and self-knowledge. One thing we agreed upon, since we're both in public service, is that the the bureaucracy is broken and that how we deal with it is dependent upon understanding who we are dealing with. In addition, we both were in agreement that you can't ever change anyone; instead, you have to change your response to that person. We both laughed because we finished each others' sentence. And that we both talked about how we seemed to know ourselves pretty well.

I thought I'd take the time to post a thread about the topic of self-knowledge. In my younger days, I use to think that psychology was too theoretical, cold and clinical. And a lot t…

Fun Employed - Episode 6


Fail Forward

So I was watching Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle the other night. There's an elevator scene where Harold has approach anxiety. Harold can't think of a thing to say to this beautiful Latina girl in the elevator. In fact he doesn't say anything at all.

Many people, regardless of race, will have approach anxiety when they are put on the spot. Women have a hard time empathizing with this, because socially they're not required to make the initial contact. Sure they send the signals, but sending a flirtatious body language cue is much easier than approaching an attractive stranger and gaining their interest.

I know 2 guys with 2 very different approaches to women. I've written about guy #1 before. We'll call him Mr. Bohemian, since he lives that type of lifestyle. He is the most unassuming man you will meet, but he is a friendly and passionate person. He likes what he likes and he doesn't care what people think about what he likes.

One thing that he likes a …