Double Happiness: Old Wives Tales

Growing up, my immigrant family – particularly my mother and grandmother subscribed to certain beliefs and superstitions regarding maintaining one’s health, increasing brain power, and warding off sickness.  Here’s my shortlist of their prescriptions, remedies, and warnings that I have rarely subscribed to and often defied.

1. Don’t leave your hair wet or else you’ll get a headache.  I’ve often defied this rule as I prefer the au natural air-dried look and lack the patience and talent to craft a perfect blow dried and hair sprayed homage to Flock of Seagulls ala new wave offender Anderson.

2. Black sesame seed darkens your hair.  I’d like to see Jim Jarmusch try that one.

3. Walnuts make you smarter.  It’s because those nuts look like brains.  But it doesn’t apply if your brain is in fact the size of a walnut.  So what happens when you eat geoduck?  Fellow offender, Roger - are you willing to put that one to the test?

To Moscow With Love

After recent tragedies in Moscow, Guest Offender Bobby (Justin’s assistant) and I got together for lunch and recalled our fond memories of the Fast & Furious European Red Carpet Premieres.

Anson:
Last year, a movie called Fast and Furious made its world premiere in Los Angeles and I had the privilege of being one of Offender Justin’s assistants during the production. It was my first taste of seeing how a big budget studio movie was being created. From witnessing classic cars being chopped up to stunt men flying off buildings to eating craft service willy wonka style, I quickly realized I was probably the luckiest man alive. Just the chance to meet people who worked in the industry and experiencing the circus tour schedule was an opportunity of a lifetime. But when the world premiere came, I felt a pinch in the arm and woke up from the dream ride. Little did I know, I was leaving on a jet plane for a trip of a lifetime.
Bobby:
One funny thing about working in film production is how you always find yourself in the oddest situations and places that you’d never think you’d get into. Sometimes I’ll just be focused on work, work, work….then I stop and look around (usually happens when I’m on set and sleep deprived at 3AM) and think…”Wow… How the hell did I end up in such a random place and situation?!?” Like standing in a 5 degree desert in Ridgecrest at 4:30am, or sitting in Howard Hughes’s rotting old office (where he used to pee in jars), or randomly driving Megan Fox two hours out to set. But one of the most exhilirating and surreal places that Offenders Anson, Justin, a couple other friends and I ended up in (courtesy of Fast and Furious)….was a little place called….MOSCOW.

SPAM – the misunderstood meat

I feel for Spam. 

This under appreciated meat has had such a bad rap.  People have come up with backronyms like “Something Posing As Meat” and “Spare Parts Animal Meat,” when really it stands for…uh…what exactly does it stand for?  According to Wikipedia, it stands for “Shoulder of Pork and Ham”. 

True, Spam is not a white meat and maybe it’s not exactly a red meat. I’m not sure if it’s meat at all actually.  I do notice, however, when I open up a can of Spam, it smells strikingly similar to the Tender Liver and Chicken Feast cat food I feed my cats.

My Worst Career Mistakes: Part Two

DHH

David Henry Hwang is a playwright who has been producing plays, musicals and operas for three decades. He won the Tony Award for his play M. BUTTERFLY and also writes for movies and television. This is the second blog where David opens up about his worst career moves and unleashes his Asian Shame.

If you accept the theory that many Asian cultures hit upon Shame as a means of societal control, then you have to hand it to our ancestors. Shame is not only a powerful emotion, it is also incredibly versatile. In my previous blog, I wrote about the most obvious, garden-variety Shame: the kind derived from having betrayed one’s own ideals, and acted in a manner which is immoral, unprincipled or just plain stupid. In my case, this involved penning the 2001 turkey THE LOST EMPIRE. (I have since seen an interview with BATTLEFIELD EARTH screenwriter J.D. Shapiro, apologizing for his turkey. I hope this isn’t shaping up into a trend, because screenwriters complaining about the films made from their movies could rapidly exhaust the capacity of most industrial internet servers.)

Another kind of Shame occurs when one sets out to accomplish a goal which is not inherently shameful, but fails to achieve it. In my case, this experience was compounded by my feeling that I failed to satisfy, or even connect with, one of the most beloved of Asian American actors.

WORKING WITH PAT MORITA

Scarface School Play

This cannot be real. I’m being punk’d, right? This is apparently an elementary school stage production of Brian DePalma’s Scarface. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uovMpapeCJQ[/youtube] After further trolling around, I found this CNN.com report that it’s definitely a hoax.. sort of. This is from producer Marc Klasfeld, who has a penchant for these viral videos. You may have seen his previous work of people approaching a store front in MC Hammer gold lame parachute pants and start randomly dancing. His reasoning behind this video:

“What’s interesting to me and my wife is that the video is shocking, yet everyday, we have to guard what our children view from television commercials or video game violence. So, it’s interesting to me on a lot of levels and it’s creating that debate.”

If It’s The Asian Fit, You Must Commit

Longtime YOMYOMF readers — particularly   those with larger hat sizes — know well of fellow offender Justin’s obsessive proclivity toward noggin immensity. And while Justin postulates that dome bulk equates to cute, cuddly and welcoming, I admittedly conclude that “big head” meant “big laughs” likely due to my own inclination to the disproportionate cartoon and comic strip characters that entertained me throughout most of my latchkey kid youth.

Now, as far as I can remember, I’ve always been a sunglasses dude. I liked the way they shielded my sensitive, quick-to-dry eyes from the elements and I liked the way they kept my eyes stealthful when they surveyed or even pried. And they made me look cool too. But, things began to shift sometime between my frosh and sophomore years of college when I noticed that the Vuarnet Cat Eyes and Rayban Wayfarers I favored since high school felt a tad snugger than before and, quite frankly, looked a tad smaller on my face.

’80s New Wave & the Viet Immigrant Experience: Offender Anderson Flavah

Offender Anderson wrote the other day about the influence of ’80s New Wave music on young Vietnamese immigrants. He posted some cool pics of Vietnamese youth sporting the ’80s look but for some reason none of himself. We all know he was thick in the middle of this scene and if he’s not willing to share, then I am:

“if I had a photograph of you, it’s something to remind me…I wouldn’t spend my life just wishing…”

One Good Thing, One Bad Thing

One Good Thing

Went to the dentist yesterday.

No cavities.

This might not seem like much to whoop whoop about, but when you have a raging sweet tooth like I do (and the four fillings and two root canals to prove it), why, this just makes you want to break out a box of Jujubes to celebrate.

Washed down, of course, with some See’s caramels. And by the way, can we all please just finally admit that See’s chocolates are better than Godiva, Josef Schmidt, Scharffenberger and the all those other high brow confectioners?

Their packaging might be more elegant, but their product blows. I’ve tested this rigorously, and it simply is true. Plus I like the little old ladies in white dresses and nurse shoes who always give you a free sample.

Awesome Japanese Toys!

If you’re a regular reader of my blogs, you know how freakish awesome I think the Japanese are (see examples here and here). Well, let the awesomeness continue. Saw some interesting Japanese toys over at the Huffington Post and thought I’d share some of them with our readers plus other equally interesting toys I dug up elsewhere. Enjoy!

KABA-KICK

‘Cause it’s never too early to teach your kids how to play Russian roulette.

GOD JESUS ROBOT

Since God and Jesus sometimes take a long time to answer your prayers (if and when they even do so at all), the God Jesus Robot is there to do the job when you need a response now. You: “Dear God Jesus Robot, does Jenny like me?” God Jesus Robot: “The scriptures say, NO!”

“We Are The World” — Japanese Flavah

If you’re like me, you’re still trying to shake off the memory of the recent “We Are The World” re-mutilation (Seriously–Justin Bieber? Vince Vaughn? Really? Was Screech from Saved By The Bell not available?). Yeah, it was for a good cause, but luckily you can donate to the relief efforts without downloading the song. However, the Japanese have once again stepped up to school us on how it should be done. Here’s their version of the song performed only in the way that they can do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdsxjSZFuTo&feature=player_embedded

50 Movie Cars on 1 Poster… Geekgasmic!

Check this out from Chile based graphic designer and artist Juan Pablo Bravo (this guy gets a gold star for coolest Latin name ever) — It’s a poster outlining 50 cars from the history of movies, ranging from Herbie the Love Bug to the various iterations of the Batmobile to Bond cars to even the VW wagon from Little Miss Sunshine!

This is so geektastic. OK, enough with the geek puns. You can download this very cool poster in various file sizes on the designer’s flickr site.

(Thanks to @bentut for forwarding this to me)