If you’ve been following this blog, you know I am a big fan of Din Tai Fung. Back in October, I happened to have made a last minute trip up to the Seattle area and was lucky enough to eat at the Din Tai Fung in Bellevue, Washington. Well, by chance, in November I had to fly down to Los Angeles for work the same week that Din Tai Fung was opening up a new restaurant in Glendale, California and had a chance to eat there.
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Suffering from Attack on Titan season end withdrawals, I was searching through Youtube for that show’s soundtrack music to listen to while working, and I stumbled upon these piano versions of the songs that were just absolutely enchanting. I get a lot of my music interests from watching Japanese anime and other media from Asia, so I started searching up other soothing piano performances based on Japanese anime or video games and created this little playlist. It’s about 37 minutes, but I thought I’d share it so that if anyone needs a moment of beauty in a hectic life, press play, and I hope it brings you a measure of peace. Best enjoyed with a cup of cleansing tea or heartwarming coffee.
Recently the NYTimes ran a piece celebrating a significant milestone in
North American Western Hollywood TV; two of the strongest and most interesting female leads are being played by Asian-American actresses; Maggie Q as Nikita and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson on Elementary.
However celebratory this milestone may be, the following quote almost strips it away:
“… the truth is that they resonate with two of the most common sets of images — or clichés — about Asian women: the high-achieving, socially awkward Dr. Joan Watson is a refined example of the sexy nerd, and the lethal, sometimes icy Nikita, able to dispense violence while wearing tight, microscopic outfits, evokes a long line of dragon ladies and ninja killers.”
Despite the complex fleshed out characters of Nikita and Watson, they still seem to fall in some sort of spectrum of stereotypes … or as I’d like to look at it, HUMAN CHARACTERISTICS.
I suppose I should give kudos to Kale, while enjoying the programs, still managed to catch that regardless of ethnicity, these two characters managed to reach for an Asian stereotype. He goes on to mention other Asian-American/Canadian actresses, who are not particularly playing front and centre characters, but seem to find themselves plotted on some weird Venn Diagram of Smarts (re: Nerds) over Sassy Dragon Lady antics.
I’m no fan of the Miami Heat, but was happy to see the Heat’s Head Coach Erik Spoelstra, a Filipino American, join the NBA, NBPA, and Miami HEAT in support of UNICEF and their ongoing relief efforts in the Philippines in this public service announcement. For links to donate, click here. Unless you’ve been asleep for the past few weeks, the Philippines was hit by the most powerful typhoon in history.
Arsalan Iftikhar, senior editor at The Islamic Monthly, posted a picture of this defaced Gap advertisement on his twitter account. This ad featured Sikh-American designer Waris Ahluwalia and model/filmmaker Quentin Jones. What, if anything, would the Gap do?
As I was browsing MMA videos, I came upon this hilarious video of Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson on martial arts comedy webseries Enter The Dojo Show. Waterson gives a little instructional on how to do the axe kick, which is then ridiculously re-interpreted by Master Ken. It wasn’t long before I had devoured the entire two seasons of this brilliant martial arts comedy series.
Master Ken is a caricature fashioned after the classic McDojo’s that have been endemic across the American martial arts landscape for the past few decades. Anyone who’s ever taken any martial arts can appreciate the ways in which he takes real life dojo experiences and just runs with it. Imagine The Office but with martial arts and Michael Scott as the dojo’s master. Genius. I laughed till I cried.
During a press conference (about her recent stint on “The Bachelorette India”), a female journalist from India accused Bollywood star Mallika Sherawat of giving India a bad name abroad because of her previous statements on the topic on the state of women in India to worldwide press in other interviews. The journalist says that Mallika had given an interview at Cannes saying that “India is regressive and depressing.”
Not one to let her statements be used against her, Sherawat fired back, clarifying what she had previously said and then this:
“Indian society is regressive for women.”
“With female feticide, infanticide happening on an almost daily basis; with gang rapes making the headlines of almost every newspaper; with honor killings…”
“I think it’s a very, very regressive state for women.”
“And I stand by it!”
“As a woman, I should lie about the state of women that’s in our country? So I didn’t lie. I said the truth.”
The original interview of Sherawat was actually done a few months ago (before “The Bachelorette India” had even come out), and evidently drew some “internet trolling” in India at the time because of her “fake accent,” but has gone viral worldwide this past week.
Whereas the video was “NBD” when it first came out, part of the reason this video has gone viral now is because of the brewing debate on feminism in India that is happening in the light of a major rape case against news organization Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal. Tejpal stepped down for six months from his organization after a female colleague accused him of sexually assaulting her. This case is receiving much public scrutiny because Tehelka has been on the forefront of urging Indian society to confront sexual violence with its coverage. However, as Tejpal’s rape case began to receive attention:
[T]he magazine’s managing editor, Shoma Chaudhury, sent an announcement to her staff that “there has been an untoward incident” and that Mr. Tejpal had apologized and would “recuse himself” for six months. A remorseful letter from Mr. Tejpal, which was leaked to other publications, described “a bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation.”
An account in an email posted on a social media site shortly afterward, evidently written by the victim, described two episodes of assault that took place when she was cornered in a hotel elevator.
Many journalists and activists fumed over Ms. Chaudhury’s treatment of the episode as an internal matter, especially because the magazine, Tehelka, has pushed for Indian society to confront hidden cases of sexual violence. [full story from the New York Times]
After attacks from all directions, Chaudhury resigned from the paper, drawing further ire for “not really being a feminist” when push came to shove. In contrast, Sherawat is being championed as a feminist for standing up and speaking out about women’s issue, leading to various editorials comparing the two.
The actor, comedian (and yes, doctor) Ken Jeong recently guest co-hosted SportsCenter on ESPN. Having grown up in North Carolina, gone to Duke for undergrad and UNC for medical school, it’s no surprise that Jeong is a big basketball or sports fan. As a Duke grad school alum, it brings me great joy to read:
“I was one of the Cameron Crazies back in the day. I’ve mellowed out now. You’d have to … you can’t stay crazy for that long. One of my neighbors went to Duke, so he gets some people together for the Carolina games and we all watch at his house on the big screen.”
But I can’t even imagine what Jeong was like at Duke if he considers himself mellowed out now – maybe as a sports fan, but certainly not in most of the characters he portrays in television and film. ESPN put together a nice montage of Jeong’s best moments as guest co-host which is fairly entertaining. Enjoy!
8$ is a series which occasionally highlights interesting crowdfunding projects. Every day, the 8Asians team is inundated by many worthy pitches. We are unable to highlight every one that comes our way, or even the ones we might individually support. The projects selected for 8$ are not endorsements by 8Asians. (To be considered for 8$, we highly suggest you not harass the writers or the editors of 8Asians.)
WHO: Jane Lui
WHAT: Kickstarter project: One-Take Cover Video: “Waterfalls” by TLC
WHEN: Deadline to contribute is Sunday, Dec 1, 10:00pm PST.
It will feature Tamlyn Tomita, Lynn Chen, Phil Yu, & guests. Playing toy instruments, typewriter, plastic jug, & stuff!
The goal is to make a cover video of TLC’s Waterfalls with friends using toy instruments, typewriter, jugs, and stuff. I’ve recruited two gal pals to complete the trio:
Tamlyn Tomita (Karate Kid, Joy Luck Club, Hero’s..), who is ridiculously funny with a sexy low voice that she’s been hiding. AND!
Lynn Chen (Saving Face, Nice Girls Crew..), who plays piano and sings like a FIEND ’cause she studied music!!
We’ll be joined by kind friends of mine: Goh Nakamura, Greg Friedman, Daniel Blinkoff, Andy Lowe, and more to hold down the song with toy/classroom instruments, water jug, typewriter, bells, and stuff.
Who’s rapping? Phil Yu – Angry Asian Man
One of my favorite Starbucks convenience alternative stops is Tea Station. It’s a grab-and-go or sit-down place with a decent variety of tea pot loose leaf traditional hot teas, herbal teas, or sweet milk teas along with snacks or full meals. Although I’ve found their tea to be pretty good, my dad, the tea connoisseur, tried a box of their Monkey Pick tea bags and declared, “Tina sucks at buying tea.” I generally do like the teas I buy at Wing Hop Fung better, so he’s probably right in saying that the Tea Station tea isn’t as good. Nevertheless, what’s nice about this location is the functional variety of the place. It’s perfect for a quick hang out, a meeting, or a full on meal, and there’s something for everyone. Often I stop by solo to work for an hour or two while grabbing a bite to eat. Some of my favorite items are a hot pot of almond milk tea with Taiwanese sausage or a traditional tea with a bowl of red bean soup with rice balls. You can check out their entire menu online.
Next up, Part 3: Boba Shops.
Our former 8asians.com blogger Eddy Hong reached out to me to let me know his latest television commercial gig. In this commercial Eddy plays a fan of the movie The Hobbit, dressed up as Gandalf, along with his other geeky, dorky friends. What’s amusing is that the Denny’s waitress talks to her customers in Elvish, the same language that they are speaking. Apparently Denny’s has a Hobbit-inspired menu items, a tie in with the second release of The Hobbit series, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Personally, my favorite commercial that Eddy has been in, was commercial for StreamateParty.com…
In 1887, a group of Chinese miners were killed not only for their gold but out of pure hate–not only were they shot and robbed of their gold, but they were hacked to pieces and thrown in the river. The local community in Hells Canyon, Oregan has placed a memorial in remembrance of the massacre. A new documentary is out now based on the book Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon written about one of the worst racial hate crimes in American history.