Asian Pacific American Heritage Month on PBS


Submitted by Ruel Gaviola:

PBS has a full schedule of programming for Asian Pacific Heritage Month, including over two dozen films streaming online.

“Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May and every day with a special PBS collection of stories that explores the history, traditions and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.”

Among the titles to keep an eye out for:
Soul of a Banquet
Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry
Ana May Wong: In Her Own Words
Mulberry Child
Fallen City
Road to the Globe, Pacific Heartbeat
A Winning Girl
Cambodian Son

Michelle K. Sugihara is New Executive Director of CAPE

8A-2015-05-13-CAPE-MichelleSugiharaAfter a thorough nationwide search, CAPE’s Board of Directors is excited to announce the appointment of Michelle K. Sugihara as its new Executive Director. CAPE is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to improving Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) images and representation through media and entertainment. In partnership with industry sponsors including Warner Brothers, NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Final Draft and Verizon, CAPE’s signature programs include the CAPE New Writers Fellowship, #IAM Campaign, educational panels and networking mixers targeting emerging and established entertainment industry leaders and creative talent.

“We’re thrilled that Michelle has joined the CAPE team as an integral part of our organization,” said Wenda Fong, CAPE Co-Founder and Interim Executive Director. “Michelle’s non-profit experience, strong community ties and legal background make her well-positioned to lead CAPE and take us to the next level. Her ability to address issues both analytically and creatively will serve her well as Executive Director.”

As Executive Director, Sugihara will lead the organization and advance CAPE’s mission of championing diversity by educating, connecting and empowering AAPI artists and leaders in entertainment and media by focusing on fundraising, programming, strategic growth and operations.

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8Questions with Dr. Sandra Lee, AKA: Dr. Pimple Popper

I admit it, I’m a popaholic and I’m proud. Not sure what that is? It’s a person who loves watching videos of pimples, cysts, blackheads. The bigger, the better. For a long
long long time, I never told anyone. I mean, once in a while, it slipped out. I’d show my wife a video that I liked. Her disgusted face was enough to reinforce that I shouldn’t share my love/fascination with anyone else. My wife is legally obligated to love me. Everyone else, not so much.

Anyway, that’s why I was so excited when I saw this article about Dr. Sandra Lee on BuzzFeed. I realized I wasn’t alone. There are people out there like me — and not just a few, but a lot! And the more I read about Dr. Lee, the more I admired her.  She’s helping people and creating hours of entertainment. I thought it was time to  introduce the world of poaholic’s and Dr. Lee to 8Asians.

I had a chance to sit down with Dr. Lee and ask her a few questions:

IMG_0287 (1)

1. Tell us a little about yourself. e.g. Where did you grow up? What is your profession? And the most Asian of questions, what university did you go to and what degree(s) did you get?

My dad and mom came to America (Queens, NY) via Singapore and Malaysia the year before I was born, so that my dad could complete his dermatology residency in New York (yes, my dad is a dermatologist too (now retired)). I’m Chinese, but my dad’s from Singapore and my mother from Malaysia.

I was born in Flushing NY, but we all moved to Southern California when I was about 5.

I’m a board certified dermatologist, but I mainly consider myself to be a dermatologic surgeon, and I specialize in skin cancer surgery and cosmetic procedures and cosmetic surgery (I do liposuction, laser resurfacing, eye lifts, etc.)
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Traveling Japan: Tokyo Sky Tree 634 Musashi Restaurant


So after eating mostly train bentos and convenient store food for the majority of the trip, my friends and I did give ourselves a little break from the cheap eats and forked over some dough for a fancy feast up at the Tokyo Sky Tree 634 Musashi Restaurant. Needless to say, the meal was not only delicious but gorgeously presented with a beautiful night view of Tokyo city on top of that to boot. The main course was venison, and after my run-in with the rather pushy Miyajima deer (more on this later), I had to qualms about chowing down on this deer meat.



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Charlie Rose: San Francisco Benu’s Chef Corey Lee

To be honest, I have never heard of chef and restauranteur Corey Lee nor the San Francisco restaurant Benu until I watched a recent episode of the PBS late night talk show Charlie Rose. But seeing a Korean American chef being interviewed on TV certainly caught my eye, as do other Asian American chefs like David Chang and Ming Tsai.


Lee was a guest on the show to help promote his new cook book titled, benu, which he describes as a 33 course tasting menu (which is not something offered at his restaurant). Lee also highlights his background, life and philosophy around food to Rose in this interview.

Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson Signed to UFC

So the big news buzzing around the world of mixed martial arts this past week is that Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson has signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) and has her first fight set with Angela Magana on July 12th.

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Asian American Commercial Watch: AT&T Bedtime Story at Airport

UntitledI really like this commercial for two reasons.  First, it shows a family with an Asian American Dad behaving as an active loving parent.  Second, it has actor and model Rick Lasquete in the foreground.  Rick lived around the corner from me when I was growing up and is still a friend of my family.

NPR: The Frightened Vietnamese Kid Who Became A U.S. Army General

Last year, Viet Luong made history by being the first Vietnamese American to become a U.S. general.

Forty years ago this past week, Luong was a 9-year-old boy in Saigon (now known as Ho Chi Minh City) fell to the North Vietnamese Communist and he and his family fled Vietnam to eventually settle in the United States. This NPR piece tells, in his voice, his story:

NPR_Viet_Luong“Luong and his family spent weeks in refugee camps in the Philippines and Guam before arriving in Fort Chaffee, Ark. Eventually, they moved to California. Luong attended the University of Southern California and joined ROTC, keeping good on the promise he made on that carrier flight deck. He would join the Army. … Luong knows there is irony in his presence here: A boy who fled America’s longest war, only to grow up and advise foreign forces in what became America’s new longest war. Like many back home, he talks about the parallels between the fights in Vietnam and Afghanistan.”

I’ve always admired Asian Americans that have entered the armed services, as that is not something I had seriously considered, except briefly looking into ROTC to possibly finance my college education. I probably wouldn’t have made it through the physical requirements anyways! But I think as more and more Asian Americans enter military service, the concept of the “perpetual foreigner” will slowly get chipped away.

Traveling Japan: Tokyo Sky Tree

tokyo sky tree

Previously, the tall building to visit in Tokyo was the Tokyo Tower, which I have been before, and although it’s kinda nice and affords a decent view of the city, it wasn’t so breathtaking that I wanted to visit it again the next time I went to Japan. Now, they’ve got the brand new Tokyo Sky Tree which pretty much is now the reigning monolith in the city. I would definitely want to visit the Sky Tree again because not only is the view spectacular, but because you can see so far and wide, the time of day and the season has a dramatic impact on the view.


Luckily, this time, I was able to see an outline of Mt. Fuji from the tower 90 miles away. Ridiculous right? You can’t see it too well in this Instagram I posted on it, because of the glare of the setting sun on the window, but I would just love to see this on a blue-sky day. If only I had gotten there sooner. The cool thing they did with the windows was to frame them like postcards so that when you take a picture, it looks like a postcard, but it’s like a living one since it’s always a different picture. Very nice idea, whoever thought of that one. Definitely makes it more of an “instagram”.

#tokyo #skytree postcard ready window view. #nihon can you see #Fuji in the distance?

A photo posted by @tinabot on

I love it when I look down from a really high place and the city and all its people looks like a dynamic toy model, like so.

#tokyo #skytree #nihon

A video posted by @tinabot on

#skytree #tokyo #skyline

A photo posted by Carlomus Prime (@carlomusprime) on

Clearly, I don’t really have a fear of heights, but if you do, you may want to bring some pills or something, especially if you’re going to try out that glass window in the floor you can step on and look straight down at the steep drop of the tower.
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The College Admissions Game Addendum 1: Rankings, Ratings, and Registering


How much is getting into a top ranked college worth? One family from Hong Kong offered up to $400K to a popular Silicon Valley consultant to get their “C” average student into a top ranked school. This raises many questions, but I’ll concentrate on just a few. Is getting into an Ivy really worth $400K? What are these rankings anyway? Are rankings and reputation the best way to select a college? How does one make a final selection between colleges? My family encountered these questions when Number One Son didn’t get into his top choice and had to decide where to register between the colleges that admitted him. When I took a closer look at a variety of ratings and rankings, I found a number of interesting points that I think are relevant to Asian American parents and parents in general. Continue reading “The College Admissions Game Addendum 1: Rankings, Ratings, and Registering”