I’m a TurboTax user and fan since using the annual service online since 2000. I’ve already finished my taxes (early this year!), but it’s no susprirse that Intuit is advertising TurboTax given we are at the height of the tax season.
So I’ve seen a shorter version of this TurboTax commercial on TV lately and what struck me was the mix raced couple of an Asian American man with a white women (AM/WF) getting married and being a couple. As I have blogged before, the most common interracial couple to be depicted in television commercials (and I am sure in television shows and movies), has been the White Male / Asian Female (WM/AF) couple. The most recent AM/WF that I had blogged previously before was this odd, but funny Old Spice commercial.
Get the day's stories from 8Asians.com, delivered to your inbox every evening.
The above picture is a scoop of curry ice cream from Snow King in Taipei, Taiwan. The first bite I took was surprisingly creamy with a bit of the curry spice kick at the end. I thought I would be able to finish this unassuming little scoop, but alas, after about the eighth bite, I had to tap out. The pleasant little curry spice kick at the end started to wear on my nerves that kept expecting pure creamy sweetness only to be disrupted by the curry. Nevertheless, it was an experience, and there are plenty of other interesting flavors at this little unique hole-in-the-wall ice cream shop. Is that Kidney Ice Cream I see at the bottom of that menu?
Image courtesy of NPR – Chris Pizzello/AP.
Apparently, National Public Radio has started a new series of interviews titled My Big Break, and doctor / comedian Ken Jeong gives his account how he moved from being a doctor to a comedian / actor.
Jeong says his big break was when he played a character named Dr. Kuni in the 2007 film Knocked Up.
Personally, I’ve not necessarily been a big fan of Jeong’s characters in the move The Hangover or in Community, but I am sure glad he is a Hollywood actor representing Asian Americans in non-traditional personalities (he’s also a fellow Duke alum, which I think is pretty cool).
It’s not always easy to find Asian American Female MMA Fighters because they’re often in disguise. For example, when I found Michelle Waterson, it was only because I painstakingly read through each female MMA fighter’s bio that I could find, since her name clearly doesn’t give any clue that she has any Asian heritage. With Jinh Yu Frey, her name at least clues us in that she is probably of some form of Asian heritage American. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find bio information about up and coming fighters to confirm, so if I’m wrong about Jinh Yu being APIA, please someone tell me.
In any case, Jinh Yu created quite the viral video when she executed a total knock out of Darla Harris in her last pro-bout, hitting over two million views and breaking her hand. The other good news is that she has been signed to Invicta FC.
— Jinh Yu Frey (@littleroo1two) March 12, 2014
If you’re a Chinese American child of Chinese American immigrants, then it’s quite likely you spent part of your childhood attending Chinese school. It’s a coming of age ritual of growing up ½ or 1st generation Chinese American. And of course we all hated it when we were going to Chinese school, complained to our parents about it, and if our parents caved we eventually got out of it. It’s also true that once you’re an adult, you realize your parents were right all along, and almost all of us wish we had stuck with it, and learned more in that dreaded Chinese school.
I’m no exception. When I was a kid, my parents sent me off to Chinese school, but since we had emigrated to a part of the country with few Chinese residents, it was not until I was older, almost a teenager, that I actually went to Chinese school, attending a school where the other kids were mostly in kindergarten and first grade. As you can imagine, my rebellion against going to Chinese school was about as strong as you can get for a kid my age, and my parents relented pretty quickly, letting me and my siblings out of the horror of hanging out and sitting in a class with what we considered the toddler set.
Fast forward a few decades, and now I have my own daughter, my own regrets about not having toughed it out in Chinese school, and my own realization that it’s incredibly important for her to learn Chinese. I want her to have an understanding and connection to her heritage and a connection to her relatives in China and Taiwan, and to succeed in a world where knowing Chinese is increasingly becoming important.
Continue Reading »
If you’re in the smartphone industry, you know that Samsung and Apple have been suing each other over patent infringement for the past few years, and the case happens to be overseen by Silicon Valley based judge and coincidentally, Korean American Lucy Koh. The New York Times does a nice brief profile in a blog posting on her:
“Appointed to the federal court in 2010, Judge Koh, 45, is the first Asian-American district judge in the Northern District of California. She lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, a Stanford law professor, and their two children. Judge Koh was born in the United States after her family immigrated from South Korea, and grew up in Mississippi. Her father, who died soon after the first Apple and Samsung patent trial, owned a sandwich shop, where the judge worked while she was a student. Her mother, a college professor, fled North Korea for Seoul when she was young. The judge attended Harvard for her undergraduate studies and law school, and then worked in Washington for the Senate Judiciary Committee and later for the Justice Department. In 1997, she moved to California to become a federal criminal prosecutor for the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. Three years later, she moved to Silicon Valley to be closer to her grandparents, and joined the law firm McDermott Will & Emery, working as a patent litigator for tech companies. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated her to be a judge for the Superior Court of California for Santa Clara County, where she served from 2008 to 2010. In 2010, President Obama nominated her to the federal bench.”"
It’s a small Silicon Valley and even smaller Korean American community in the Bay Area, so I wouldn’t be surprised that someone I know knows her. As for Apple vs. Samsung, maybe there is or not validity in Apple’s claims against Samsung. But personally, I have always found it interesting that Apple claims that Microsoft ripped off Apple with its Windows, when Steve Jobs and Apple clearly got their ideas and implementation of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the Macintosh based on XEROX’s work. And if you think about it, a lot of the User Interface (UI) elements of iOS and the iPhone are based on the work of Palm and their OS.
The National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan holds the largest collection of Chinese art and artifacts in the world. The collection at this museum is so large that it takes 12 years for them to display every single item before cycling back through them again. If you’re wondering why the largest collection of Chinese cultural items would be in Taiwan instead of China, you just have to take into consideration the civil war that occurred in China in that last century, where the losing Kuo Ming Tang fled the newly Communist China and took with them all the treasures they could carry. Knowing what happened in the Cultural Revolution, I would say they saved a lot of those items from destruction when Communist China went about “purging” (read “destroying”) the old.
The museum itself is sprawling hillside complex of many structures. Some of the oldest artifacts here date back to 8,000 years ago. That’s the main reason I go to these kinds of museums. It boggles my mind to stand in the presence of something made by human hands so long ago.
Continue Reading »
The Oakland Asian Cultural Center’s (OACC) #APIVoices video contest will conclude today MONDAY, 4/14!
Submit a brief 30 second to 3 minute video about an issue you care about as an API for the chance to win $50, shoutouts from talented YouTube artists, and VIP tickets to OACC’s Rhythms and Sounds: Celebrating Our #APIVoices concert!
Visit Asian America. Asian America is not just an identity or an idea, it’s a place as well. It is America, and certain parts of America distinctly embody the Asian American homeland. Join us as we highlight different Asian American destinations that you can add to your next travel itinerary.
Asian American Writer’s Workshop is an organization developing and promoting creative writing by Asian Americans.
The Margins, Open City, CultureStrike, Page Turner, etc.
E-mail: [email protected]
So apparently the controversy over the sriracha smell in Irwindale is not over. Residents of the city are still complaining about the spicy smell and sting in their eyes from the sauce making factory, and just yesterday, LA Times reported that the Irwindale Council declares Sriracha smell a public nuisance.
I just visited the Irwindale factory this past Monday, and standing right outside the factory front door, I couldn’t even smell the sauce and had no stinging watery eyes or anything, and believe you me, I tried to sniff for that delicious hot sauce fragrance with all my might. The only time I smelled the sauce was when I was actually inside the factory itself, and even then it was faint. The factory workers are there every day actually inside the factory with all the sauce, and none of them looked like they were visibly rubbing their eyes or coughing or anything. I’m really wondering what the residents are complaining about. To be fair, I wasn’t visiting in chili season, so I can imagine there being more smell during those times, but again, employees are there every day. Are they complaining that it’s a “nuisance”? They would know better than anyone else. Hopefully, we can get a scientific evidence-based resolution to this problem, instead of just hear-say complaints from people, or someone needs to investigate and see what’s really behind this claim of “public nuisance”.
With an dedicated annual festival, fan products, and so much demand that they had to move to a bigger factory, this rockstar hot chili sauce, Huy Fong’s sriracha, is clearly a hit. When I first saw this sauce as a kid, my reaction was probably what the average American’s reaction would be–this stuff is from Asia. The truth is, though, that the sauce is very much made in America. It may have Asian heritage, but it was conceived and homegrown in these United States. My trip to the holy land of hot sauce, the new Huy Fong Factory in Irwindale, CA, has made that all the more apparent.
After checking in with security and donning a sanitary hair cap, visitors for this tour get to hop on a Huy Fong golf cart. How cool is that? Would be even cooler if it was all red.
I’ve blogged about the initial efforts to ban shark fin soup in California. Last July, the ban went into effect. I was aware of, but didn’t know exactly all the details of a law suit trying to overturn the law, but apparently that failed:
“A federal judge on Tuesday [3/25/14] upheld California’s ban on possession or sale of shark fins, rejecting claims that the law discriminates against the Chinese community – where shark fin soup is a traditional delicacy – or interferes with federal management of ocean fishing. The law, passed in 2011, took full effect in July, when selling and serving shark fin soup became illegal. It was challenged by Bay Area organizations of Chinese American businesses and by shark fin suppliers, who argued that the legislation targeted the Chinese community and exceeded the state’s authority to regulate fishing.”
I’m glad that the law was upheld. Of course, the law’s opponents could appeal the ruling. As I’ve noted before, I think shark fin soup is overrated taste wise, generally ordered because it is expensive and often at wedding banquets to demonstrate to the guests that the host is not cheap, and the shark finning does great damage to the ocean’s ecosystem and is close to endangering the very existence of sharks.
I’ve been a long time fan of Just Kidding Films, but this has got to be by far my favorite of their video productions. I was laughing until I was wiping away tears. From research into APIA history in the Old American West for my own APIA Western series Cowboy Ninja, I’ve learned about and criticized the lack of the Asian American story in the Old West (Hell on Wheels), so there was SO MUCH about Gun Fu that I just absolutely adored. I was particularly impressed with the balance struck between comedy and seriousness, which really embodied their slogan “Teaching good things in a bad way”. It has exquisitely timed jumps back and forth between the totally ridiculous and the totally true that was just genius. And there’s actually an incredibly deep moral to the story. How DID they do it? I can’t wait for part 2!