Back in January, I was able to meet up with Korean American Dave Min,
Min was raised in the Palo Alto area and we have a mutual friend who introduced us to each other. Min is currently a law professor at the University of California, Irvine. From his campaign website:
“A first-generation Korean-American, Dave worked as an enforcement attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission, as an economic and financial policy advisor to Senator Chuck Schumer, and as an economic policy director at the Center for American Progress. Dave grew up in California, and Dave and his wife Jane settled in Irvine where they both teach at the UC Irvine School of Law while raising their three children.”
I had a chance to chat with Min at a local Starbucks for almost 17 minutes to ask him about running against Republican incumbent Representative Mimi Walters along with a field of Democratic candidates (including another UC Irvine professor!)
From a demographics standpoint, the 45th Congressional District (CD-45) is fairly diverse and highly educated:
More importantly, Orange County in 2016 49.8 percent voted for Hillary Clinton compared to 44.9 for Trump when Walters got re-elected. Although Orange County has traditionally been fairly conservative (certain for California), given how unpopular Trump is in California, there’s a good chance for Min or another Democrat to defeat Walters.
Best of luck to Min – it’ll be interesting to see if he can make it past the open “jungle” primary with so many running for the seat.
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Fresh Off the Boat, Season 4, Episode 18: “Measure Twice, Cut Once”
Original airdate March 13, 2018.
Synopsis: Louis has second thoughts about buying Kenny Rogers’s half of Kenny Rogers’s Michael Bolton’s Cattleman’s Ranch. This frustrates Jessica, who’s sure it’s a good deal. Jessica accuses Louis of always overthinking decisions in his life, and she flies her psychic to Orlando from D.C. to spur Louis into action.
Evan gives up Live with Regis and Kathie Lee for Lent. His behavior annoys his brothers, so Eddie and Emery try to trick him into breaking his Lent commitment.
I been in the game for ten years making rap tunes: This episode is a good example of how well Constance Wu and Randall Park work together. They make little moments super believable even in the middle of a plot where Louis is literally a turtle and Jessica is literally a white infant.
I also like that Evan’s faith isn’t just something used once for the sake of an interesting plot a year ago. I often hear people claim that boys his age are incapable of having a serious faith, especially in non-religious families, but this just isn’t true, and the writers respect Evan’s adherence even while Emery and Eddie make fun of it. Yes, Evan is being silly in his earnestness, and older brothers will tease mercilessly about such things, but there’s a way to tell this story while respecting all parties, which this episode does.
That turtle sequence is absurd but pretty dang funny.
Lines I liked:
Jessica: You have to act first and apologize later, like I learned to do.
Louis: You never apologize.
Eddie: I can’t wait to be reincarnated. I know who I’m coming back as. The RZA.
Jessica: Pee or get off the toilet.
Ever since honeys was wearing Sassoon: What was up with the lobster subplot? It feels like something thrown in just to give Matthew Chestnut something to do.
FOB moment: This is a bit of a reach, but Grandma’s explanation of yin and yang is interesting. It seems unlikely that both Louis and Jessica would have come this far in their lives without already knowing this stuff, so that’s kind of unbelievable, but Grandma’s explanation is one of the best I’ve seen in pop culture.
Soundtrack flashback: I watched this three times and didn’t pick up anything, which is a disappointment in an episode where the RZA does a cameo. Geez.
Final grade, this episode: It feels like kind of a throwaway episode, but I laughed aloud at least five times on my first viewing (zero laugh-alouds on the next two), so it certainly doesn’t stink. C+.
Ok that was for the SEO. Now let’s begin this not-really review. Why not really? Because
1. I’m mostly stealing from the pages in this book with roman numerals
2. I’m not going to tell you hardly anything about the book or whether you’ll like it or not. I’m just going to tell you to read it.
Foreword. Viet Thanh Nguyen:
The existence of Go Home! testifies to the power of language as a home open to all, albeit one that we must often fight for. Against the racist demand that we go back to where we came from, we say that we are already at home, not just in the United States, but in English.
Reading this collection, I visited all of these writers’ home and experienced their homelessness filtered through their stories and poems. All of their works were gifts to me, and I thought about how homes can be gifts too.
Editor’s Note. Rowan Hisayo Buchanan:
But this one book can’t contain all the vital voices. After you close the last page behind you, please open many more. Consider this book a doorway. The world presents ever-increasing ways in which we can be homed and unhomed. You may not see your own definition of home in theses pages, but we hope you find resonances and use them as a starting point for your own writing and thinking.
There. That’s the argument.
Read Alexander Chee and Karissa Chen. Read Mia Alvar and Chaya Babu. Read Marilyn Chin and Muna Gurung. Read the acknowledgements (always read the acknowledgements).
Go home, whatever, whoever, however, wherever that might be, and take this book with you.
I just saw this new Panda Express TV commercial, “Introducing Peking Pork – Breaking the Ice“:
“New Peking Pork from Panda Express is peking your appetite with crispy pork chop bites, hand- cut peppers and white onion, wok-tossed in a sweet and sour glaze. It’s American Chinese comfort food that’s made to satisfy in any situation.”
It surprisingly stars Wong Fu Productions’ Philip Wang. I think this is the first time I’ve seen Wang star in a TV commercial. Also, I think this is the first Asian Male / Hispanic Female pairing in a commercial ever. Additionally, I wonder if we’ll start to see more of Wang in TV commercials, then television and then movies (like how Randall Park’s career progressed).
The premise of the TV commercial is that Wang plays the Asian American boyfriend who is bringing Panda Express takeout to his Hispanic girlfriend’s home. The woman’s father is not exactly that friendly – until Wang offers (or is “breaking the ice”) some Peking Pork for the father to try. After that, the father lets down his protective guard.
Krystal Sital’s debut memoir, Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad, is an intimate and powerful memoir about three generations of her family — their stories, their traumas, their secrets, and their relationship to the author’s grandfather. Eloquently written and deeply personal, Sital dives deep into her own history, the contradictions, and the troublesome relationships between men and women that powerfully shaped her grandmother and then her mother’s lives on the island they were all born on.
Trinidad is our fears and our loves. There we discovered our beings, we dug deep and planted our roots assuming we would never leave, sucking on the armored cascara with its silver-plaited shell, devouring the sweet flesh beneath, the only fish the legend says ties you to the land forevermore, smacking our lips when we were done. We never thought we would have to leave this place . . . But in the end we chose to flee.
A story of diaspora and migration, it is also about family and obligations and culture and tradition. Their flaws and freedoms. Shiva Singh, the author’s grandfather and a wealthy Hindu landowner, is the circle around which much of the book revolves. As he lies in a hospital in New Jersey, Sital watches her mother and grandmother cope with the decisions of his care. It leads to a slow unraveling of her mother’s story, of her childhood, her relationship with the man lying prone in a hospital bed undergoing weeks of surgery. A brutal past full of trauma, beatings, and terror.
A recent New York Times article covers Toyota’s marketing efforts:
Companies have developed commercial campaigns aimed at minority groups for years, often in conjunction with specialized ad agencies. But Toyota’s efforts show how major companies are adjusting their marketing tactics as the nation’s demographics shift.
Some wonder, though, if these kind of specialized ads are even needed when the country’s population is getting more diverse.
“You see a real blending and a more progressive acknowledgment that there is significant diversity” in mainstream advertising, said Shalini Shankar, a professor at Northwestern University and the author of the book “Advertising Diversity.” Still, she said, “it doesn’t hurt to have more stuff that acknowledges that race is real.”
For Toyota and Asian American consumers, this is what was reported:
“In the commercial titled “Captivating,” a Chinese-American father picks his daughter up from baseball practice in a red Camry. She is focused on her tablet in the backseat until he turns Pandora on. As the music kicks up and the engine revs, both of their faces light up.
The ad is from interTrend, a Long Beach, Calif., agency that specializes in marketing to Asian-Americans. It is the only Camry broadcast spot to focus on a father and daughter. The father was specifically cast to “highlight a not-often-seen behavior,” said Julia Huang, interTrend’s chief executive, who is Taiwanese-American.
“Traditionally, Asian fathers show less emotion and affection toward their kids,” Ms. Huang said. “We wanted to show that driving the Camry brought out a different side of an Asian dad and how he wanted to share the experience with his daughter.”
I think that maybe 1st generation Asian fathers show less emotion and affection toward their kids, but for those born-and-raised in the U.S., I think the opposite is true. I see this with my brother and his daughters. Though I think most dads who are driving their kids are fairly conservative drivers…
I found the same exact commercial on Toyota’s YouTube channel with an Indian American family instead:
I’m always interested to see how commercials are shot, and re-shot or footage reused. Same exact commercial but definitely catching the eye of its intended audience as well as the general public.
Fresh Off the Boat, Season 4, Episode 17: “Let Me Go, Bro”
Original airdate February 27, 2018.
Synopsis: Eddie stuns his family when he announces he’s to be inducted into the National Honor Society. Evan isn’t surprised, but he’s furious with Eddie for not thanking him. Evan has secretly been supporting his brother’s good efforts because he’d like to visit him “at Stanford, not prison.” When Eddie says he doesn’t need Evan’s help, Evan schemes to set Eddie up for failure. Jessica, still getting notes from her editor for A Case of a Knife to the Brain, goes on a ride-along with police officer Bryson, in order to make her police language more realistic. She’s disappointed when Bryson’s work seems mostly to involve getting coffee and helping citizens bag their dog poop. Kenny Rogers tells Louis he’s going to sell back his half of Kenny Rogers’s Michael Bolton’s Cattleman’s Ranch, now dubbed Kenny O’Rogers’s Michael O’Bolton’s Cattleman’s O’Ranch in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Louis is overjoyed, but Kenny Rogers tells him he has to fire Matthew Chestnut, with whom Louis has developed a close friendship.
Know When To Hold ‘Em: Awww. We get a major, massive dose of Nice Guy Eddie, plus Evan in kind of a cute not-so-psycho-but-still-intense mode. Emery gets to play the amused observer, a role that suits him. I really like the way Emery’s character is growing. You’d like it if your daughter wanted to date him. Jessica gets to do some physical comedy that works well for her (including a textbook faint). And as I’ve said recently, Louis directing his energies for someone else’s benefit is one of the better Louises.
“Hey. I still need you. Do you want to make me pancakes or something?” (Emery to Evan)
“The Saturn is where we talk when things get real, and he said he wanted to make sure our safe space stayed safe.” (Nicole to Evan, about Eddie)
Know When To Fold ‘Em: This is just far too big a role for Bryson, who’s okay as a very minor character but annoying in anything larger. I’ve been glad to be rid of Mitch at Kenny Rogers’s Michael Bolton’s Cattleman’s Ranch, but Matthew Chestnut has been an equally irritating replacement. I would have welcomed his firing, but Louis keeps him aboard, which likely means we’re not through with him yet. Bleah.
FOB moment: Didn’t spot one this time. Did you?
Soundtrack flashback: “Insane in the Membrane” by Cypress Hill (1993), the second time this song has been used on FOtB. “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers (1978).
Final grade, this episode: Did anyone else think this had the feel of a series (not season) finale? If they cancel FOtB tomorrow, and this is the last we see of the Huangs, it would be a good note on which to part. I love Eddie in this, and I like the overall vibe of the whole episode. There’s a lot of vulnerability going on, and the actors are there for it. I’m pleased to see a strong episode that’s not one of my issues episodes! A-minus.
Kim Fu’s latest novel The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore is a gripping tale about a group of teenage girls at summer camp who set off for a fateful kayaking trip. Opening at Camp Forevermore, the novel then jumps through time and perspective, following the girls into their futures, but always returning to camp and that trip. Slowly, Fu offers more and more details about the moment that acts as the gravitational center of the novel. What exactly happened that summer?
Every chapter reveals something intriguing about human nature, closely following each of the five girls. What happens to a group of girls left alone in the woods? When everything is stripped away and survival is at stake who will they become? And as adults, how will this one moment, one night at summer camp, affect the rest of their lives? How will they handle the experience and the darkness of their choices? Some will be happy, others will be tortured. In each, Fu weaves a masterful story about rebuilding, redefining, yet being built and defined by this singular moment and the choices made during it. Small pieces of the camp story are told. Then we fast forward to one girl’s future. For Nita, Fu unravels a tale of motherhood. For Isabel, of marriage and loss. With The Lost Girls, you don’t always know where you’re going, but you know you want to go wherever Fu is taking you.
“Don’t worry. She’ll be okay. You would be surprised what children can forget.” Nita stirred. In defiance, she wanted to hold on to this memory. The plastic chairs, the strangers’ voices. But she felt it slipping away form her even as it happened, becoming clouded with sleep and doubt.
This year, I was particularly interested since after watching the movie The Post (about The Washington Post and its reporting of the Pentagon Papers, which was leaked by Daniel Ellsberg), the keynote speaker this year was was Daniel Ellsberg, who apparently lives in Northern California.
Ellsberg did not disappoint! Ellsberg’s keynote was I thought, very thought provoking, discussing that the Trump America we know today existed before Trump was elected. Ellsberg also thought that if there was another “9/11” event that there would be indeed Muslim concentration and deportation camps. Ellsberg said the events of Charlottesville with the white supremacist and Trump and Trump’s administrations’ racist attitudes and that a very large fraction of America is actually represented by Trump. Some may want just jobs, and not all are racists, homophobes, misogynists, etc… it is not 1% There are a lot of contradictions in American, like the first 11 out of 15 presidents of the United States owned slaves, 8 of them while they were president.
The whole program in the video includes:
I first heard that Olympic Gold medalist in halfpipe snowboarding Chloe Kim made the cover of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes while watching an interview with her on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and then later, finding the press release:
“To celebrate Chloe Kim’s Gold Medal win with Team USA at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Kellogg’s® has announced that she will be featured on Gold Medal edition boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®. Boxes are available in limited quantities for a short time only on KelloggsFamilyRewards.com.
The Gold Medal Edition Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal box is available on KelloggsFamilyRewards.com, while supplies last. Fans can visit KelloggsFamilyRewards.com for information about how to become a member and order their very own collectible box.”
But I was disappointed to not only learn that this special edition box was only available online, but was already sold out:
“On Wednesday night, the Chloe Kim “Gold Medal” box was announced on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and became available online. It sold out in seven hours, according to Sam Minardi, director of brand marketing at Kellogg Company. “That is a record,” Minardi said in an email.”
I wonder why Kellogg decided to only make this available online! I mean, Nathan Chen’s box made it into retail, and he didn’t even medal (though he was expected to …)
Congratulations to brother-and-sister duo Maia and Alex Shibutani on winning the Bronze in the 2018 Winter Olympics for Ice Dancing. No doubt, if you’ve been watching the Winter Olympics, you’ve seen this ad, which really doesn’t seem like an ad, highlighting the sibilings’ journey to the Olympics:
“Minute Maid is proud to support Maia and Alex Shibutani on their journey to The Olympic Winter Games. The siblings and teammates know a thing or two about healthy competition, but they also know that the best moments – both on and off the rink – are often shared. Cheers to the #ShibSibs“
I had noticed recently that the Shib Sibs had posted a YouTube video seeing for themselves for the first time on some Minute Maid cartons:
So I wound up going to my local grocery store to check out the Minute Maid cartons. However, I could only find three out of the four that they mentioned:
I wonder what the 4th carton is?!?
Also, I had noticed that Intel was one of their sponsors as well, when I noticed on Facebook, Intel congratulating them:
I knew that Intel was an Olympic sponsor, given that they powered the Drone exhibition during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.But I didn’t know that Intel had sponsored any athletes. But a quick Google search came across this press release listing their sponsored Intel athletes (which I thought was kind of an oxymoron …):
It’s interesting that Intel sponsors non-U.S. athletes, but then again, they are a global company with global customers.
Again, congrats to the Shibutanis on winning the Bronze!
While watching the Olympics, I saw this United TV commercial and was surprised to see U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen, since I wasn’t aware that United was one of his sponsors, unlike Kellogg’s, Bridgestone and John Wilson. The super hero-themed commercial itself is a little bit weird if you ask me:
Helping superheroes fly for 38 years. Proud to fly Team USA.
Also, on United’s YouTube channel, they even have a 60 second “origin” video which discusses how Chen got into figure skating:
Congrats to Nathan Chen on his historic performance at the 2018 Winter Olympics!