Friday, October 31, 2008

I've got a grudge against them making another movie!

Ajumma loves Asian horror. The Japanese film Ju-On and American remake The Grudge made me scream out loud and jump a foot. I would watch them with the lights on while vacuuming and still feel disturbed by vengeful, twitchy Kayako. The Grudge 2, however, is one of lamest horror movies ever made. It's hard to believe that Takashi Shimizu is behind the camera on both films. He should have taken cues from the Pang brothers who directed the frightening film, The Eye, and the equally creepy sequel, The Eye 2. Hopefully The Grudge 3 director Toby Wilkins will take the story back to its original scary roots, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Am I the pickiest woman alive?

Shia came cruising through LAX with his bandaged hand this week. This photo got me thinking about things that turn off most women:

1. When men continually wear dirty pants
2. When men don't wash their hands
3. When men have dirty finger nails
4. When men smoke
5. Or worse, when men use smokeless tobacco
6. When men use "seen" instead of "saw," and "borrow" instead of "lend"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Babies wearing hanbok

The only thing cuter than a baby wearing a hanbok...

might be a puppy wearing a hanbok.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

42 Views of Tokyo

Nucleus Art Gallery in Alhambra, California is hosting 42 Views of Tokyo from from November 1 to November 17, 2008. Never before seen outside of Japan, the show will showcase a visual remix of the nine previously released hybrid CD/DVD albums in addition to the works of 42 artists (graphic designers, illustrators, photographers) who have collaborated and participated in the Tokyo Ten project. 42 Views of Tokyo opening reception will take place on November 1 from 6:00 - 11:00 PM. As always with Nucleus, the artwork on display promises to be fanciful and dynamic.

Parry Shen in "The Tivo"

Angry Asian Man posted this short film by Adam Green, on his blog last week. Check out more fun stuff by Angry Asian Man here.

Parry spoke at the college where I work, last year, about being an Asian American actor in Hollywood. He claims he was off work for about a year after starring in Better Luck Tomorrow with Sung Kang and John Cho, because he refused to take the stereotypical Asian roles offered to him.

Obamas to adopt

Michelle Obama recently told Entertainment Tonight that her family will adopt a dog from an animal rescue after November 4. Ms. Obama said because of the presidential campaign her family currently does not have time to devote to a dog. After the election she assures the public they'll adopt from a rescue rather than a breeder or pet store. Earlier Ms. Obama suggested they'd be buying a Goldendoodle since the breed doesn't have dander like most dogs. PETA and various rescue groups spoke out against supporting breeders, mills and pet stores. Not to be stubborn and ignorant for ignorance's sake like Jennifer Lopez or Beyonce, the Obamas educated themselves on the issue and changed their minds.

I am happy Barack Obama and his famly intend to adopt from a rescue, but think they should visit their local shelter, too. Shelters have many lovely dogs, like Ajumma's personal favorite, Monte.

Guess who's got a new puppy

Rob Dyrdek apparently felt he didn't have enough slobber and stinky butts in his life.

Big bag= big pain in my butt

Hey, chick with the big-ass bag at the Shiny Toy Guns concert. There is something called a shoulder clutch purse that you should invest in if you plan to attend more concerts in small venues.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Beam yourself up, Wes

These new photos of J.J. Abrams' remake of Star Trek are missing one thing:


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


The moment producers of the new Star Trek movie saw this magazine cover you'd think they'd shut down filming, burn all video, and book a vacation to Tahiti for the rest of October.

Nuts about Mr. Squirrel

A squirrel with a suit on somehow it seems so right. This Mr. Squirrel keychain, found on My Favorite Mirror, features an illustration by Ryan Berkley of Berkley Illustrations.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Monkeys & persimmons

I recently bought this woodblock reprint of monkeys teaming up to reach a persimmon tree.

Food love

Ajumma's coworker recently from a trip to Asia. He thoughtfully brought mochi from Japan as a gift to the office. We gathered around the ricecakes filled with black sesame seeds, red bean and lotus paste. Someone said with honesty, "It's different. It's a taste we're not really accustomed to," while I fought the urge not to tip the whole tray into my mouth.

Inspired by the beauty of mochi, here are some my other favorite colorful Asian foods:

Korean Mu, how I miss holding you at the grocery store

Purple sticky rice

Vietnamese bakeries make Banh Da Lon in many shapes and colors

Dragon fruit is bee-yoot-tiful

And looks cool as jelly!

(Hamster enjoying mochi by knittingskwelgurl)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Shiny Toy Guns give us MORE

Shiny Toy Guns are set to release their second album A Season of Poison on November 4. We should all be thrilled, because their 2006 debut release, We Are Pilots, was one of the best pop-electronic albums of the past two years.

Ajumma's excited to see Shiny Toy Guns live in concert on October 24. The band is bringing lights, video and 12 different instruments on stage. It's an all ages show, so according to my coworker Brian there will be many scenester kids there. I certainly hope so. I expect to see lots of Emo pants.

Monday, October 6, 2008

And I thought I was obsessed...

I love the 80's arcade classic Centipede, but obviously not as much as this guy. To play an online version of the Atari game, go here.

Kawaii Not

Kawaii Not is a webcomic by illustrator Megan Murphy. It combines my two of my favorite things; food and sass.

Cuteness overload: Dorrie

Mmmm, edamame.

Die peapod, die!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Tale of Two Sisters redo

A Tale of Two Sisters, the chilling story of sisters returning home after a stay in a mental hospital, became a smash hit in Korea in 2003. Dreamworks aims to release its American remake,
The Uninvited, in January 2009. The Ring and The Grudge proved remakes can be faithful to the Asian originals without spoon feeding clues to audiences. The Uninvited disregards this concept. For some lame reason the mysterious figure that creeps along the floors in the Korean original talks to characters in The Univited. In one scene she hisses, "You're next!" Ugh. She must mean you're the next one to get up and leave the theater early.

Tupperware, meet furoshiki

Want to kick plastic grocery bags to the curb, but need a way to transport your food to work? Try a furoshiki. Furoshiki are decorative wrapped cloth used to carry items in Japan. Furoshiki are practical, attractive, and non-wasteful. As often happens in Japanese culture, the practice of folding furoshiki has transformed into an art. There are dozens of ways to wrap the cloth depending on the objects inside.

Built in handle!

44% of Korean students quit Ivy League

The Korea Times, October 3, 2008

Forty-four percent of Korean students at top American universities give up their studies halfway through. This data is contained in Samuel S. Kim's doctoral dissertation "First and Second Generation Conflict in Education of the Asian American Community'' delivered at Columbia University Friday.

The drop out rate is much higher than 34 percent of American, 25 percent of Chinese and 21 percent of Indian students.

The results come from tracking 1,400 Korean students registered at 14 top American universities - Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Amherst College, Duke, Georgetown, Brown, Dartmouth, Pennsylvania and Princeton - between 1985 and 2007.
As of 2007, 62,392 Korean students were taking undergraduate or graduate courses in America schools, accounting for 10.7 percent of all foreign students in the country, said the Institute of International Education, a non-profit organization. For instance, Harvard University has 37 Korean undergraduates, the third largest behind Canada and Britain.

Kim said in the thesis that such a high dropout rate is largely attributable to Korean parents forcing their children to study rather than participate in extracurricular activities, an essential part of overseas education for foreign students to acclimate themselves to American society and get a good job in the long run.

While teaching in Korea, I'd wrap up my lessons with my high school students at 3:00 PM, and bump into them again as they left their other cram schools at 10:00 PM. The poor kids were heading home to complete their regular classroom homework with the hours they had left in the night. The amount of time, effort, and money that families put towards education in Korea is mind boggling. But that's precisely what it takes to move up in Korean society today.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Clive is old, but he's still hot

Clive Owen turns 44 years old today. I admit I've only seen him in the BMW short films as The Driver. Frankly I don't want to see him do much more than shift, take tight curves and throw his accent around. His pursuit of Adriana Lima in Wong Kar-Wai's dramatic short, The Follow, is practically perfection. Clive proves he excels at comedy, as well, while chauffering Madonna around in Guy Ritchie's Star.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls

Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on November 2. The colorful and festive holiday commemorates loved ones who have passed on. You can't have a holiday without goodies, so here are some Day of the Dead-inspired treats: