Sunday, December 22, 2013

You might have been kind of adopted

November 2013 reigned as National Adoption Month. Because I'm a slacker adoptee and blogger I haven't gotten around to mentioning it until now.  HEY, FELLOW ADOPTEE TRIBAL MEMBERS!

Occasionally adoptees are written into popular culture, such as Superman, Buddy the Elf, Princess Leia, Thor's devious brother Loki, and Po the Kung Fu Panda.  I have a special fondness for Po and his adoptive father, Mr. Ping.  The martial arts Panda and his ever-laboring father are written with chemistry, humor, and touching realism.

Lara, Crispin, and Shia

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Korean trail mix

Thanks to our sweet neighbor, Mrs. Yoon, for the delicious kim chi!

He's working that lightsaber

Star Wars- Empire Strikes Back by Victo Ngai

Is this really Billy the Kid?

If I could meet one person, historical or current, it would be Billy the Kid (1859-1881).  I'd ask the Irish immigrant-turned New Mexico cattle regulator-turned outlaw about his upbringing in New York, his recollections of his mother (who died from TB when he was young), his aims for life as a young man, his relationship with John Tunstall and New Mexico's Mexican community, how he coped with being slight of build in such a volatile environment, his escapes from Silver City's jail and Lincoln's courthouse, and what he thinks of his death and his Wild West legacy.

If you're a Billy the Kid fan, you know there's only one verified photo of the gunslinger who was killed at age 21.  The tintype, taken in 1879 or 1880 in Fort Sumner, shows a scruffy, bucktoothed Billy with his Winchester rifle and Colt revolver.  He presented the picture to his close friend Dan Dedrick (and reportedly gave another to his girlfriend, Paulita Maxwell).  This grainy tintype earned a whopping $23 million at auction in 2011.

Old West historians and Billy the Kid fans are abuzz again over a newly surfaced tintype that forensic scientists believe features dark-haired Dan Dedrick and William H. Bonney together.  The two lads are shown in white shirts and combed hair.  Could this really be Billy the Kid?  One thing I immediately notice are the eyes of the possible Billy.  Many people who knew him commented on his remarkable blue eyes.  In the new photo, his eyes indeed appear unique and brilliant.  Unfortunately, we may never know if it is truly Billy the Kid.  For now, the Old West legend lives on in one grainy image and on the open trails within people's minds.

See American Experience's timeline of William H. Bonney's short and tumultuous life.

Photos via Silber Studios, Albuquerque Journal

Friday, November 29, 2013

New jewelry alert

Large wooden bracelet decoupaged with zodiac animals from an everyday Chinese restaurant placemat: Not all animals could fit on the bracelet, but auspiciously the dragon (my year) and those for my husband, parents, and brother are all on there.  I found this snappy bracelet at a consignment shop in Minnesota.

Purple wooden bracelet painted by artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico: I bought this from the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. They have wonderful jewelry in their gift shop.

Gold "hi" earrings.  I don't usually wear gold, but these playful earrings spoke to me.  I discovered them at The Movement in Old Town Orange where my husband was buying tank tops.

"Yoo Lee" necklace.  I sent away for a personalized necklace (of my Korean middle name) from Etsy shop SpeciallyForU.  Artist Bea shipped the necklace in a pretty drawstring bag which I'm using as makeshift cell phone case.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I'm thankful for...

  • My able body
  • My ability to verbally communicate my wants and needs
  • My parents and extended family (my brother, my dozens of cousins, and Great Aunt Doris)
  • My man
  • People who are thoughtful of and compassionate to animals
  • People who volunteer and help those less fortunate
  • My friends of all ages
  • My job, and the privilege of not having to work multiple jobs
  • My kind neighbors and anyone who calls out hello to me
  • My car (Damn you are fun, little red car.  You are fast and lithe, and you shine like a beacon in every parking lot.)
  • Clean drinking water and the ability to drink from the tap!
  • Asian American Youtubers
  • Jeremy Lin
  • Living in a country where people can protest and demonstrate
  • Seeing a variety of races when I step outside my door
  • Beautiful weather in Southern California
  • Mountains and the ocean
  • People who do unseen grunt work in life that makes mine more comfortable and carefree
  • My two white hairs and the fact I don't have a trillion of them
  • My dog, Cooper

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I got a smart phone (welcome to the 21st century)

I finally broke down and purchased a smart phone.  I owned one for a milisecond five years ago, but canceled my data contract because I hated paying so much to a stupid corporation.  Why pay a million dollars a month for a smart phone when I can call my mom in Minnesota to ask her a museum's hours and location?  After having the horrid experience of hitting a dog a few weeks ago, I learned how having a phone with internet access is priceless in emergencies. Now I have a smart phone (aka A PHONE, since almost no one has an old fashioned phone anymore), which means I had to choose a case.  I searched all 250 pages on Etsy and chose Radiate by Aeropagita Goods.

Ayumu Hirano: snow and steez

Ayumu Hirano (straight out of Japan) has a style of snowboarding that reminds me of Jet Li's wushu.

Best opening line to a Vietnamese restaurant review

If you're going to go to a Vietnamese restaurant outside Little Saigon, you better have a goddamn great explanation.

-Gustavo Arrellano, reviewing Long Hai Restaurant in OC Weekly

Photo via Long Hai

Monday, November 25, 2013

Year of the Horse 2014

Year of the Horse (1978, 1990, 2002, 2014) is galloping around the corner.  If you're born in the Year of the Horse, you're known to be healthy, an able manager, easy to get along with, active and animated.  Horses dislike being made to feel guilty and are known to be hot-headed. 

Pic via From Japan with Love

What my dog does NOT want for Christmas

A Chihuahua hood!

Photo courtesy of Voyagers K9 Apparel

The Goldbergs in the middle

 I've been faithfully watching The Goldbergs (and Trophy Wife, which has very witty writing) on ABC this fall.  Cut from life in the 1980s, The Goldbergs is based on the childhood of Hollywood writer Adam F. Goldberg  (Note: This is not the same Adam Goldberg who starred in Dazed and Confused, or who dated Christina Ricci.  I was dazed and confused over this for this about a week.)  Goldberg descends from a family of expressive yellers.  In addition to his vocal parents, he had two older brothers.  On The Goldbergs television show, Adam has an older sister and only one older brother named Barry (played by Troy Gentile).  Most of me wishes producers allowed Goldberg to keep his two brothers.  I love his brother Barry on so many levels!

Then I wondered if The Goldbergs stayed true to life, would it just be an 80s version of Malcolm in the Middle?  If so, I would undoubtedly still watch.

Photo via The Glossy

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day of the Dead imagery @ MOLAA

Photography, sculpture, and community art abound at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, CA.  These days they're celebrating Day of the Dead.  They also feature a colorful, outdoor sculpture garden with vividly painted walls. Someday I'll throw a party there.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Log Lady Costume for 2

I want to throw a Twin Peaks Halloween party.  Problem #1: I have only four friends (having recently moved).  Problem #2:  Only one of them is familiar with the 90s TV series.  If I dressed as a Twin Peaks character, it'd be the Log Lady.  Check out the Log Lady costume from Chinotto is my Nemesis, above.  How genius to get her kid involved!  The real Log Lady from Twin Peaks is below.

And here's my chihuahua, Cooper.  He's named after the diminutive car and the Twin Peaks FBI agent, Dale Cooper.

California, why U so boring?

California hails oceans, mountains, valleys, palm trees, cacti, a colorful Hispanic culture (among others), and movie stars.  So why the heck is our license plate so BORING?  It's been boring all through history.  Part of me thinks the government makes license plates plain so police can easily read them when pursuing vehicles, which they do frequently.  Other states have car chases but boast interesting and attractive plates.  They prove aesthetics don't have to fly out the window.  My favorites are:

Utah: Bold, bright. Utah has cool rocks and they know it.
Hawaii: When I see this plate I feel like smiling.

Mississippi: Do it, Mississippi.  This state doesn't scrimp on colors.  It looks like they commissioned Thomas Kinkaid to design their plate.  Now I want to go to Mississippi, sit on the shore and gaze at this lighthouse at sunset.

Georgia: I have a strange obsession with images of fruit.  I appreciate the graphic simplicity of Georgia's purty peach, combined with how its image immediately brings to mind their state.

Oregon: Oregon's not trying to fool anyone.  They're not known for sun or fruit.  They strut their stuff with three solid colors offset by white, showing threes and mountains. 

You can see license plates from all 50 states (some which are a few years old) at The US 50.

Images via The US50, Tenkara USA, The Plate Shack

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Steven Yeun without eyebrows

Delightful, devilish pumpkins

I love Halloween.  I love that kids get to make believe and dress up. I love that they get to go to neighbors and ask for candy. I love that they get to gather a stash of sweets. I love giving candy to kids--even teens if they're polite and don't show up wearing their regular clothes.  I love that Halloween involves ghosts, goblins, and the dark side.  Speaking of the dark side, Martha Stewart and her staff have come up with a load of creative, spooky decorations for All Hallow's Eve.

James Franco's art in This Is the End

Do you recall the paintings hanging in James Franco's house in the movie, This is the End?  It turns out he created them himself.  See his work at Business Outsider.

Almost any photo of James Franco is a good photo.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Even Better Haircut of 2013: Shaun White

Praaaaaaaaaaaise beeee!  Shaun White looks sharp in his new do.  Somewhere in Southern California Shaun's mom and grandma are clapping their hands. 

Haircut of 2013 (Sorry to bump you, Tim Lincecum.)
Haircut of 2011

Favorite jam out songs for the road

Few pleasures can beat a sunny day, my favorite songs, and a traffic-free highway.  As I speed down the road, I'm listening to:

Call Your Girlfriend by Robyn
Dancing on My Own by Robyn
Hang With Me by Robyn
Applause by Lady Gaga
Forever by Chris Brown
Somebody Loves You by Betty Who (Mark J. Remix)
Who's That Girl? by Rihanna (feat. David Guetta)
Renegades of Funk by Rage Against the Machine
Phone Number by Jinusean
Bad Girls by M.I.A.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Even Superman can't stand your driving

Like writer Laura Barcella, I am attempting to rid myself of road rage.  I realize it's unhealthy, impractical, and dangerous.  I mainly experience it on the highway when traffic is heavy.  My biggest pet peeves are 1) slow cars who refuse to get out of the fast lane and 2) people who let everybody and their brother in front of them during stop-and-go commutes.  When drivers grievously offend me, one strategy I've found effective is to imagine though they suck on the road, they're extremely kind to their pets at home.  Pics via Funny Junk, Dallas Observer, Very Funny Pics

♥ The beach is my happy place ♥

L i n s a n i t y (2013) directed by Evan Leong

Usually when people start talking about God my brain turns off. However, the more I've been around Asians and Asian Americans, the more I have become accustomed to God playing a part in people's everyday lives. Believing in a god isn't a bad thing as long as it doesn't close you off from accepting others or leave you thinking you've got a free pass to do whatever you please. Trusting there's a creator or higher power out there might keep people humble and grateful for what they have.

Having watched the 2013 documentary Linsanity about NBA player Jeremy Lin, a friend felt unsettled by Lin's comment that he played basketball for God.  I told her he probably means he's not playing for money, fame, or to please others.  I think it's nice he's not hiding the fact he's Christian, unlike how celebrities hide the fact they support animal rights because it's not glamorous.

Linsanity runs about 15 minutes too long. Perhaps some footage of Lin practicing on his own, eating meals, and wheeling his laundry could be edited. Also, the music while generally inspirational sometimes seems contrived.

All in all Linsanity presents a multi-dimensional Jeremy Lin-- talented, hard working, smart, thoughtful, and funny.  My favorite parts include Lin talking about when times got tough (you could feel his disappointment and fear seeping through the screen), a perfect ending and what it means to him, Yao Ming's advice to Lin, and Jeremy's response to Kobe Bryant's dismissive attitude.  The footage of Asian American fans going bonkers with Linsanity is a treat, too.  I found myself holding my breath when Lin shared how he's been called chink by NBA fans.  Watching the film in a theater full of Asian Americans, it's a slur all of us had likely experienced.

Finally, whoever decided to include footage of Jeremy Lin training with his shirt off in Linsanity, THANK YOU.

Linsanity, an official section of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, is playing in Chicago, New York, Houston, Honolulu, the Bay Area, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Taiwan.

Update: You can also stream Linsanity on Amazon.  It's currently the #1 documentary on the site.  My husband watched it last night, and from the comfort of home the film doesn't seem as long or the music as overly dramatic.  I still recommend the editing changes, though.  And I still enjoyed seeing Jeremy Lin without a shirt.

The craziest thing about this photo

There's mucho craziness going on in this photo.  The nuttiest thing is the guinea pig placed atop the Capybara.  Pic via Capybara Madness

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Physics of Friendship: A Tribute to The Big Bang Theory

In the Beginning There was Nothing, Which Exploded by Richard Oliver

Nucleus Gallery is hosting The Physics of Friendship: A Tribute to The Big Bang Theory, October 19 to November 10.  Nucleus features both a gift shop of interesting and quirky items and a large gallery space.  Their hours are Tuesday-Thursday, 12pm-8pm, Friday-Saturday, 12pm-10pm, and Sunday, 12pm-8pm.  They're located at  210 East Main St, Alhambra CA 91801.  Parking is available on Main and in lots behind the gallery.

I started watching BBT a year ago in syndication.  It took me a while to get used to Johnny Galecki's nerd voice.  I 'm down with Kaley Cuoco's portrayal of Midwestern, struggling actress Penny and everyone else on the series, however.  Though I wonder how a struggling actress working at The Cheesecake Factory could afford such a nice apartment in Pasadena all by herself.  Tips must be good.  Sheldon is the alpha male on BBT.  All hail Sheldon.  When reading Anne Lewis Hamilton's L.A. dating story, I can't help but think Sheldon has come to life.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Team Jiga

I experienced a two week point between getting a job offer and starting my new position where I had oodles of free time.  Since I was not making an income I stayed home and spent A LOT of time online.  I now have seen most kevjumba and nigahiga YouTube videos. 

From a fan's perspective, these days it seems Kevin Wu has reached a point where he's making personal and professional changes.  This is natural for someone his age.  His videos, however, have hit an awkward phase.  (His video blog, "I'm Not Cool" from 2011 is one of my favorites.)  Ryan Higa, on the other hand, has hit his stride.  His videos are still extremely funny, yet also surprising and even touching.  Whereas Kevin is taking on roles outside of his well-known web persona, Ryan and his friends plug away as themselves, which is how their millions of fans (aka lamps) like it.

There was a hey day when Kevin and Ryan made videos together.  They reminded me of a pop culture superhero team.  Other times they seemed like they could be my two little brothers. 

Kevin: witty, ambitious, mischievous
Ryan: loud, creative, sweaty

Let's hope these two collaborate again in the future.

Friday, October 4, 2013

So much STRESS

I saw a new doctor, this week, to discuss my blood pressure medication I've been on for six years.  He asked me if I was an anxious, stressed person.  I almost laughed out loud.  I wanted to say, "Well, yes!  I'm Korean," but I didn't because he was Korean, too.  I didn't know if he'd think that was funny.

#KoreanRage  #DrKimtheMostLaidBackKoreanEver

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I want it: Plush Pac-Man

You know the mental condition where someone sees something and suddenly she MUST HAVE IT or she'll blow up the entire building?  I have that problem.  I believe it's commonly referred to as immaturity.  The other morning I walked into Denny's and saw a crane game full of plush Pac-Men and ghosts.  I am a child of the 80's and Pac-Man was a big part of my life.  My brother and I played Atari until both joysticks broke (Atari 5200 joysticks were such a joke).  I even had a Pac-Man themed birthday party when I was in elementary school. 

In the end I decided against trying to win the plush Pac-Man dolls.  I know I would have gone crazy if one slipped through the crane hand.  I had the option of paying for one, but they cost $20!  I could buy five boba teas or my entire Denny's meal for that price.  In the end, maturity and common sense won out.