Tim is not just a long time, veteran writer at 8Asian’s but also its resident handyman, mega-geek, great dad, and all around nice guy. His posts range from personal to economic/political, always informative and educational. Get to know him better here in 8Questions:
Describe who you are.
I’m a middle aged gay Asian American marketing executive, immigrant, and dad. While I grew up in a relatively low income household in America, I’ve had a rather charmed life. I got a job working at a National Laboratory as a teenager, followed by one working as a front end manager at a supermarket, before even graduating high school. During college I worked for a Federal Appeals court judge and civil rights activist and designed and fabbed semiconductors for a neural network, while working for two world renowned professors, one in biology and the other in electrical engineering. My first job out of college was working for one of the biggest banks on Wall Street, and then got offered a job out in Silicon Valley a year later and moved across the country. I’ve been working in high tech ever since and have accumulated over a million miles traveling the globe for various companies. I was accepted to and attended and dropped out of Stanford graduate school, and then I finished a masters degree at another university. I’ve worked for big companies and I’ve worked for start-ups where I joined as employees number 5 and number 13. And, I’ve done a lot of geeky things in my life, enough for all the other writers on 8Asians to agree I’m the geekiest of the 8Asians lot.
But what truly defines me now, is my daughter, who I feel like I had been waiting for all my life. Even with all I’ve done in my life, it still seems like my life started when she entered it.
I started off by saying I had a charmed life. In addition to my experiences, what makes my life charmed? I’ve never been unemployed, and I’ve always had enough to meet my needs, and I’ve always loved someone and/or been loved by someone.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Mostly nowadays my interests involve my 7 year old daughter’s interests. Either I’m a shuttle service or willing/unwilling partner to her escapades. But when I get the chance, I still love to read and love to write. I’m an avid do-it-yourself-er, and always have some home improvement project going. And I tinker with computers and have way too much in electronic gear that’s taken apart or in some point of assembly/dis-assembly.
What Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) issues are you most passionate about?
That’s a good question, I guess I’m most passionate about LGBT issues as they pertain to Asian Americans and about LGBT family issues, but mostly just interested in seeing the end of discrimination, and wondering if there will ever be a day we don’t need to talk about race.
What sort of articles do you write for 8Asians and why?
I tend to write about family, kids, LGBT and economic issues. The family, kids and LGBT is obvious, the economics may not be as much. I guess I’ve always had a thing about money, growing up in a family where money was always tight, having to borrow to pay for my education, and getting a degree in economics. Even today, when I no longer need to count my pennies as closely as I used to, I still go after the biggest bargain and research endlessly for the best deal. So when I see news about how Asian Americans are doing financially, it always intrigues me.
What other APIA writing or activities are you actively involved in?
In addition to the blog, I’m really not that active in APIA writing, although my writing was included in Voices of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Experience recently and is scheduled to appear in an anthology called The Tao of Parenthood sometime in the near future.
What is the greatest challenge that the APIA community faces?
While we see articles saying it’s hip to be Asian American, really the biggest challenge continues to be discrimination and the lack of equality. As long as we continue to talk about Asian Americans as the model minority while there’s a bamboo ceiling for most, along with under-representation in government, and the disparate odds for getting into colleges, there’s still work to be done.
Who’s your APIA hero?
Wow, this is probably the toughest question for me. I guess I’d have to say my first and foremost APIA hero is Wayne Wang. His movies were the first Asian American movies I ever watched. Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart, Eat a Bowl of Tea, and Life is Cheap… But Toilet Paper is Expensive, gave me hope there actually could be true Asian representation in movies. And then he did Joy Luck Club which may have been widely panned in Asian American circles, but I loved. I thought he did an amazing job of keeping true to the story when bringing it to the big screen. He’s done some great films since then too.
Nowadays there’s so many more to APIA heroes to choose from whether it’s Ang Lee, Jason Wu, Jeremy Lin, or a host of others. And then of course, there’s Grace Lee Boggs who I got to hear about and hear from at V3Con this year.
What is your favorite Asian comfort food?
The food that always reminds me of home and my mom, is a Chinese dish, scrambled eggs and tomatoes over rice, but it’s been so long since I’ve had it and I don’t know anyone who can make it for me. So usually when I’m looking for comfort food, I have to settle for a really good bowl of ramen, usually shoyu ramen, which is closest to the noodles my parents used to make for me as a kid.