This is kind of old news, but I wanted to blog about it for the record. Back on June 10th, Michelle Kwan (yes, the figure skater and Olympic medal winner) is joining the 2016 Hillary Clinton for President campaign, as first initially reported by the New York Times:
“Michelle Kwan, a former figure skater and Olympic medal winner, will work from Mrs. Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters on outreach efforts before the Clinton campaign’s formal kickoff rally on Saturday, according to campaign aides. … Ms. Kwan’s focus is said to be on directing campaign surrogates to engage voters on issues critical to working families. Ms. Kwan worked as the United States public diplomacy envoy at the State Department when Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state.”
I had first blogged about Kwan’s involvement in government back in June of 2011 when she worked for Clinton when Clinton was Secretary of State. But Kwan’s first involvement with the government was back in November 2006 (before 8Asians.com existed!) when then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appointed Kwan as the first “American Public Diplomacy Envoy.”
I always wondered where Kwan stood politically. The fact that she worked both for Rice and Clinton, I thought she was possibly a political independent to keep her government or political career wide open. But after Kwan married Clay Pell, who is the grandson of former and late Democratic Senator Claiborne Pell, I figured she was probably a Democrat.
It’ll be really interesting to see how active and promient of a role Kwan plans in the Clinton campaign. For certain swing states like Nevada and Virginia, Kwan could help rally the Asian American vote for Clinton. As we know, Asians Americans generally lean Democratic, but a good number are independents.
Here’s the first YouTube video that the Clinton campaign posted (“broadcasted” via Periscope) on June 13th – the day of her official campaign launch:
Unfortunately, Kwan doesn’t say anything in this very brief clip. Hopefully Kwan will be more vocal in the future! (then again, the video clip is only 8 seconds …)
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When we mapped out getting to Fuji on our own, we realized we would spend a lot of precious time trying to transfer from train to bus to bus etc. just to get to where we wanted and would have to spend a night there due to the time it would take to travel there on our own taking into account the high possibility of getting lost and all that. So we had a travel agent book us a day trip to Fuji that would be bang for buck in terms of how many experiences we could pack in one day.
The first thing we were incredibly pleased with was the absolutely crystal clear skies that met us when we arrived at Fuji on our tour bus. I had read in multiple guide books and sites that often a trip to Fuji could end up being a bit disappointing if there was an overcast that blocked the view of the mountain, and in fact, it was quite common for that to happen. So I was mentally preparing myself for a disappointing view. It was so clear that day that we could see it from far away on the bus already.
Here’s a video of the stream of cloud billowing breathtakingly off the mountain top. It gives the eerie effect of Fuji being active. It was seriously surreal. There was however, a price to pay for the clear view.
As reported in Wall Street Journal, U.S. institutions of higher education expelled an estimated 8,000 students last year for cheating and poor grades.
Imagine an academically focused high school with plenty of Asians Americans and without a consistently usable track and limited athletic funding. What if any sport would it excel in? Why track of course! In this interview at milesplit.com, Lowell High School’s track coach Andy Leong talks about his successes at Lowell and his own career, both of which are much different than the stereotypical image of Asian Americans and athletics.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had a special section on Martial Arts & Self Defense Items. Included on this list are nunchucks and throwing stars. TSA regular posts on Instagram items they find in people’s carry-on luggage, and sure enough, there are ninja stars regularly featured, including those used by Batman.
I stumbled across Patricia Park’s debut novel Re Jane while looking through reading lists saying what should have been on this year’s (not surprisingly) all-white cast of New York Times recommended summer books. And I have to say, that it is a kind of ideal summer read — based loosely on Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (which I confess to not having read) — it follows Jane Re, a mixed-race Korean-American orphan, as she steps into the “real world” after graduating from college. It’s a story about family, romance, friendship, choices, that kind of thing that we like reading about–and it’s written about in a fresh and lively style.
I may be a little bit biased because this is a very New York book, and I am writing this from New York, but I hope that the kind of endearing descriptions of the 7 train and the chaos of trying to find yourself in a big city are equally endearing to those without insider knowledge of New York City’s geographic quirks and layouts. And of course, this story is much more than location, as Jane tries to balance between her upbringing under her uncle’s strict tutelage and her desire to escape from that life. She takes a job as an au pair to a Brooklyn family with an adopted Chinese daughter, and suddenly finds herself in a new kind of family environment.
Shifting back and forth between different micro-worlds, Jane’s voice is full of thoughtfulness and spunk. As she navigates feeling out of place in nearly every situation she finds herself in, her characters shows resilience and humor.
A family death sees her leaving New York for Korea, faced anew with family and a culture she partially fits into. Throughout, Park’s writing pulls threads of Korean language and culture, mimicking Jane’s travels between Queens and Brooklyn, Seoul, and Pusan, and back again–be it jung or tap-tap-hae.
Re Jane was a pleasure to read, the perfect train, beach, or plane book (or plain book). The characters are complicated and relatable. Per an impressive array of author reviews, its an innovative take on Jane Eyre (I’m only sorry not to be able to comment on that, maybe next time). So take a ride on the 7.
Although the idea of the cat cafe started in Taiwan, it really caught on in Japan. In Taiwan, I did get to visit a cat village, so in Japan, I couldn’t miss out on the chance to visit a popular local cat cafe, and the one I was able to get to was the Calico Cat Cafe in super shopping district of Shinjuku.
As expected, there are tons of adorable cats there to satisfy the most ardent cat lovers. Dinner time was especially fun.
My experience there, though, wasn’t exactly what I expected.
At the Dallas Comicon, both Carrie Fisher and Ming Na Wen were in attendance, and apparently, according to Ming Na Wen’s Instagram, they had an exchange that included some undressing. Wen claims to have the video of said interaction between these two legendary women of sci-fi action hero fame.
Thank you to the incredible fans who came out to @dallascomiccon to meet with me! I love you all to pieces! Also, how crazy that Carrie Fisher aka #princessleia gave me the bird when I asked the fans to cheer louder for her & then undressed me in front of them!!! A glorious moment this geek girl won't ever forget! She is a rockstar, a legend, my heroine and favorite princess! What a day! Love to all the fans for their gifts and talent & patience!! Hope you all enjoyed meeting me as much as I did meeting you!! 😘 #foreveryours #starwars #AgentsofSHIELD #agentUNSHIELDED lol
Here is Ming Na Wen’s feature at Dallas Comicon followed by Carrie Fisher:
Nearly two decades after the first release, a remake of the wildly popular and epic Final Fantasy 7 has been announced bringing this classic game up to date. Production on this remake has already begun, and it will be available first on PlayStation 4.
As reported in Forbes, a 8-year study on over 400 Chinese American families by Su Yeong Kim et. al. published in Asian American Journal of Psychology has found that not only is tiger parenting NOT common among those families studied but also that tiger parenting does NOT lead to the most ideal developmental outcomes, including academic success. In fact, most Chinese Americans families studied were of the supportive type that promoted many positive outcomes such as less depression and higher GPAs.
h/t Mike Lee
Having been a Hayao Miyazaki fan for a long time, I just had to finally visit the Studio Ghibli Museum. The unfortunate thing is that photography was not allowed inside the museum, but if you watch the movie “From Up on Poppy Hill”, school clubhouse that they build in that movie is a lot like what the museum looks like on the inside.
Nevertheless, there are a lot of really cool pictures to take from the outside, such as the ticket booth.
I’ve never watched an episode of Entourage, let alone know what the show is even about, so honestly, I have to say that I never knew much about actor Rex Lee was until I saw the ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ episode ‘Blind Spot‘ where Lee plays Oscar, Jessica’s ex-boyfriend.
So when I saw this Wix commercial with Lee co-starring with the famous supermodel Heidi Klum, I was pretty excited. I thought the commercial was pretty entertaining and great to see Lee get such exposure.
Looking at the Wix YouTube channel, it looks like Lee was in another Wix commercial which he’s the anchor for the #ItsThatEasy series of commercials. Here’s Lee with retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre:
that apparently aired during the Super Bowl. Maybe I saw the ad while watching the game and forgot to blog about it? I must have, since I was excited that (being from Massachusetts originally), the Patriots won in amazing fashion. Personally, I like the Klum ads better – because they are funnier!