Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Justin Beebaaa X SMAP

Justin Bieber visited Japan and who did he perform with?  SMAP, of course.  Funny how SMAP member Takuya Kimura (in yellow) isn't about to be upstaged by the Canadian wunderkind. 

Food trucks: More is more

In L.A. excess is the name of the game, and food trucks are no different. A few years ago there were only a couple gourmet food trucks rolling across the landscape. Find LA Food Trucks now lists the tweets of over two dozen gourmet trucks so you can find who's where and when. Get that food. Cartoon via Yum Tacos

A little pop, a little punk

Andy Warhol decks by Alien Workshop

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Đố Ai

It's been six long years since I've been off the U.S. mainland. As with every spring, when the weather turns warm, time spent in Asia is on my brain.  Here's a pretty scene from Tony Bui's 1999 film, Three Seasons.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oh Smap, China's Premiere meets the boyband

Chinese Premiere Wen Jiabao looks pleased as punch to meet Japanese boyband Smap!  Wen traveled to Tokyo, last week, for an annual summit between Japan, Korea and China.  The 90's superpower-boyband-ajumma thrillers were there as cultural ambassadors.  Do not adjust your computer settings, but the guy with the teased, red mullet is Smap member Nakai Masahiro.

Pics from daylife via Reuters

"Just the Way You Are"

Bruno Mars has done some serious voodoo on my mind. Usually I hate popular love songs for the same reasons I hate blockbuster romantic comedies. But here's something about the way Bruno sings "Just the Way You Are" that seems freakishly sincere. He has me at the first bar.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1966 post and beam: Go hard or go home

As someone who grew up coveting The Brady Bunch's home, I can tell you I love this split-level, post and beam that is unapologetically 60's.

This entry is to DIE FOR! 

Valley Modern says the four bedroom, 3.5 bath house was built by its owner in 1966.  It features a nice fireplace and seating area in the living room.

 A small den off of the living room

 A formal dining room with walls of glass

 A light-filled kitchen (due for renovation)

 Two master suites

A deck, but no pool which is good and bad.  It makes me wonder how much private space exists in the back and what the view is like.  This home comes with a two car garage and duel AC zones.  Valley Modern never says where houses are located.  This one is in "the foothills" of California which could be anywhere.

The asking price is $1 million or over.  Depending on the neighborhood, I say offer $899,999, move in and spend the money you saved on landscaping and a new kitchen.  How about a kitchen ala' ModOp?  Don't miss the listing for this classy post and beam at Valley Modern.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bruce Lee rides shotgun

Here's what I see whenever I get in my husband's car.  It's hard to make out from this angle, but this Bruce Lee charm has well-defined ab muscles.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Destination: California

San Clemente: a pretty little city on the 5

I sound like an ajumma, but...

Sure, Ryan Higa is funny, charismatic, and cute. I am glad the Asian American kid from Hawaii is the most subscribed to person on youtube. The only thing that rubs me wrong is his username nigahiga. Word is he has claimed niga comes from the Japanese language. While nigai means "bitter" in Japanese, the word niga doesn't exist. It may be that he and his buds were messing around and chose the name as a joke. Now that he's gaining widespread popularity, it'd be nice if Ryan would change it to something not racially offensive. Just saying. photo: paidcontent.org

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yummy Dessert Keychains by Heidi Kenney

Let me preface my delight that artist Heidi Kenney is selling Yummy Dessert Keychains by commenting how much I despise blind boxes.  Blind boxes are sealed, unmarked boxes and you never know which item you're buying until you purchase it.  If you're like me you end up with the crappiest toys in the collection over and over.  Imagine if they sold cars that way.

I really want the Jello mold or the S'more. ♥ ♥ See more of Heidi's creations at her blog My Paper Crane.

Flashback: Suji, South Korea

A million, trillion years ago I lived in Korea, working my buns off teaching English to good folks in a town south of Seoul.

When my younger students drew pictures of their homes, they'd often draw their apartment buildings.

My villa was located 2 blocks from my workplace. You can see it in this photo, the third building in from the left.  You can also see elementary school students doing calisthenics in the school yard across the street. Sometimes they'd practice fan dances while holding bright pink fans. I remember lots of school bells, announcements in Korean, and of course, lots of screaming kids day in and day out.

Summer in Korea is hot, humid, and smoggy. My boss realized his two foreign teachers may perish or find new jobs without air conditioning in their apartments. We came home one day to find AC units sitting atop our building's entrance with tubes leading through holes punched in our windows. 

I made a large amount of pasta, corn soup, and Mac and Cheese in this kitchen.  This is also when I became familiar with ajumma gloves, holla!  (Looks like I sported red ones back in 2000.)  I had a black and white photo of John Leguizamo strutting down the street and a postcard of a fresh faced Lee Jung Jae on my fridge.  I also had a picture of Vin Diesel in the shower, which I now think is slightly creepy.

A note about my bathroom.  The showerhead was hooked up to my bathroom faucet.  I activated it with the press of a button--a button I often forgot to release after my shower.  Many a morning I'd stand in my work clothes at my sink, ready to brush my teeth, and would get doused with water from my showerhead.

I loved my students. (Most of them.  A few five year-old girls made me want to throw myself into the Han River.)  Little Tommy, on the left, taught himself to speak near-fluent English.  He was allowed into the advanced class I instructed to kids who used to live in English-speaking countries. Martin in glasses was a pistol, and Liam in blue used to be shy when reading aloud, but noticably improved in the year I knew him.  He also wore two earrings, which was unique for Korean boys.  Jack on the right had a nice attitude and a great smile.  By now these kids are in college or getting ready to graduate.  I hope they keep their spark and passions and don't end up cogs in the system.

Green Tea Ice Cream by Haagen-Dazs

I've tried lots of green tea ice creams; the bright green stuff whose flavor hits you like a baseball bat to the head, to soft green creamery whose light taste unfolds like a treasure.  Thus I was pysched to find green tea by Haagen-Dazs at my local grocery chain. 

THE GOOD: Haagen-Dazs Green Tea All Natural Ice Cream is the perfect shade of soft green and possesses an ideal creamy texture.

THE BAD: Unfortunately it lacks any flavor.  I thought it surely possessed a subtle tea hint that would surface after a second on my tongue.  No, not the case!  I tried it straight out of the freezer and again after it warmed a bit.  Sadly, Haagen-Dazs Green Tea Ice Cream is like a cute guy with no personality.

Geeky fangirl moment

Heath Kirchart by photographer Atiba Jefferson

Ninja toys for your little one

Don't be hatin

Stupidest headline I've read all week

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Home is where the kimchi is

Miwon Pae has been wheeling and dealing in real estate for the past seventeen years.  She's assists kyopo and non-Koreans alike. The feisty and savy agent now goes by the slogan, "Home is where the Kimchi is." Isn't that true!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Asian Like Me" -New York Magazine

I received this link from a graduate of Stuyvesant High School yesterday.  Contributers to "Asian Like Me" discuss everything from traditional Asian upbringing and how it may deter success in the workplace, to Asian male social awkwardness, and the "bamboo ceiling" effecting high-achieving Asian Americans in companies across the United States.  After reading it, I wonder if these aren't Asian issues, but a first-generation American issues.  I know African immigrants also raise children to be obedient and reserved, with noses in school books.  Regardless, "Asian Like Me" is an interesting article and has already generated over 300 comments by readers.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Vietnamese coffee: Think outside the glass

Your favorite condensed milk (and jittery) coffee drink now comes in cupcake form!  Kathy from A Passion for Food blog talks about her tips for getting ca phe su da cupcakes just right.

Kathy's cupcakes, mmm!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Red chairs: YES Gong: NO

Today I feel there's not an original thought in my head.  Thus when I saw Apartment Therapy celebrating red chairs, I decided to jump on that.  Xioa restaurant in Echo Park, California has some smacking red chairs that I love.  In fact, after seeing them I told my friend Joy when my husband and I finally open our own Vietnamese establishment I want red chairs too.  But do red chairs seem too Chinese?   Let me tell you one thing our place WON'T have: a gong that customers get to wail on.  Is that just a Midwest thing?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Buddha in the bathroom

I find it perplexing that people decorate their bathrooms with Buddha statues.  It seems odd to place an image of a spiritual leader in the same place one defecates or gets naked.  It's not like anyone decorates bathrooms using Jesus, right?  WRONG!  Amy and Keith have welcomed Jesus and his family members into their bathroom, here there and everywhere.  See more of Amy and Keith's unexpected, quirky digs on Apartment Therapy.

Blue Buddha The Blue Porch.  Buddha on toilet Summit NJ.