Annika is a 28 year old Cambodian Vietnamese Chinese French American who recently returned to school to finish a bachelor’s degree in computer science and linguistics. Her hobbies and interests include swimming, cooking, baking, writing, reading, math, symbolic logic, learning foreign languages, and drinking espresso – and of course, boys.
No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.
During my first year of the 13th grade (community college, for those who are unaware), I took an English Literature and Analysis course, as was required for transfer and for graduation. I was under the tutelage of a rather eccentric, yet charming English Ph.D. who was also a musician. He was tall, quite a bit older, but very young at heart. People either loved him or hated him. I, of course, fell into the former as I thought he was insanely brilliant. Or brilliantly insane. Both are pretty appropriate.
We were Facebook friends before the semester even started, but no exchanges were ever made and during the semester, nothing happened that was worth noting. He made a few inappropriate jokes (which I found hysterical) and threw an F-bomb here and there (also hysterical). He was a tough grader and many of my papers came through with a B or lower. It was disappointing and at one point, I thought, “Am I really that shitty of a writer?” and “Should I just drop this class? Nah, better not.” The final book we read was Lolita, a personal favorite that I have read many, many times over and so when it came time to turn in our final essay, which was an analysis of Lolita and its characters (I analyzed both Lolita and Humbert Humbert), I finally came through with an A. Read more...
Coming to a Japanese theater near you…Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okashiin Da Ga aka Recently, My Sister is Unusual aka the live-action feature film version of a manga title about…well, let me quote the description exactly so there’s no misunderstanding:
“…a high-school girl who wakes up one day wearing a magic chastity belt, possessed by a ghost who wants to make her have sex with her stepbrother enough times to fully power said belt and send the spirit to Heaven.”
Yowza! Check out the trailer (no subtitles necessary): Read more...
Sony just released the first trailer for their upcoming reboot of the musical Annie. Starring Beast of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhane Wallis as the titular character who is “adopted” by Jamie Foxx’s billionaire mayoral candidate, this version adds a little bit of African American flavah to a tried-and-true musical classic and, at least from the trailer, looks like this could lead to a fresh and fun take:
So could a similar formula be applied to Asians? Here are my choices for 5 Hollywood musicals that weren’t created with Asians in mind (so no Flower Drum Song or The King and I), but with some slight adjustments could be re-worked into an Asian or Asian American story. Read more...
Dalila Ali Rajah and Shelli Boone in “Secrets & Toys”
It was about a year ago when Dalila Ali Rajah, a young charismatic African American actress, approached me outside the Fusion Lab in East LA. We started chatting, each with a drink in our hands. We had met over the years at Outfest and Fusion and had been talking about doing something together.
“I’m serious. I really want you to make my short. Let’s do it this year,” said Dalila.
“Sure,” I said. “And let’s just make it with whatever budget you have and not wait for that ten thousand dollars.”
I often form strong opinions of people I’ve never met.
There are strangers I see every day at the coffee shop, who, perhaps because of something as unimportant as their posture, I intensely dislike, and others, who, perhaps because of something as unimportant as their posture, I feel warmly towards. Read more...
When you think of the iconic, kid-friendly Hello Kitty, what is the first thing that comes to mind? If you answered Playboy magazine, then French company Collette has you covered.
Collette just launched The Hello Kitty x Playboy line, which includes everything from “candy, mirrors, memo notes, lighters, mugs, Leica cameras, iPhone cases, socks, bowties, boxers, shirts, and more.”
Twenty one year old nursing student Kristina Chesterman, of Chico, California, has given the gift of life to five others, from an ailing infant to a 63 year old woman. As a teen, Kristina wrote down 25 dreams she wanted to realize – saving a life was one of them – but she never intended to accomplish it this way. Her organs were donated last week after she was struck and killed on her bicycle by a 19 year old drunk driver.
But this isn’t about the tragedy of a young woman being robbed of her life. It’s about the beauty and exuberance of a young woman who dared to dream without restraint. Read more...
Okawa was born in 1898 in Osaka. That was the year New York City was divided into five boroughs, the Spanish-American war raged (and ended in December), Chekov’s classic play The Seagull opened at the Moscow Art Theater and German writer Bertolt Brecht was born. In other words, that is old. Read more...
Songwriter Robert (Bobby) Lopez, along with partner Kristen Anderson-Lopez, won the Oscar last night for Best Original Song for “Let It Go” from the hit animated feature Frozen. This makes Lopez the first Filipino American to win the Academy Award, but of course he’s not the first Asian to win. Here’s a list of other Asian winners of Hollywood’s highest honor:
Although I’m a writer, I’m not proud to admit that I don’t read as much as I’d like to. Sure, I read scripts, and books related to my work (i.e. those I’m adapting into scripts, or would like to). But nowadays, I don’t read for pleasure as much as I used to. My most recent book was Eddie Huang’s memoir, FRESH OFF THE BOAT. OK, Eddie sent it to me, and it’s being made into an ABC television pilot, but I don’t have anything to do with that project, so I think this still counts as pleasure reading. Eddie’s a chef, TV personality, and the owner of Manhattan’s Baohaus, where I’ve long enjoyed his cooking. I really enjoyed his memoir about growing up Chinese American in Florida, which reminded me of earlier Asian American works from my own youth, now through the voice of a younger generation, with a brash, hip, in-your-face style.
How about you guys? What was the last book you read for pleasure?