Category Archives: race / ethnicity

tumblr: Instant Boobs?! Also seen @ Daiso in Cuperino. Oh please,…

"Instant Boobs" package - front
"Instant Boobs" package - back

Instant Boobs?!

Also seen @ Daiso in Cuperino. Oh please, please, somebody who reads Japanese (I know for a fact some of you nerds are more than fluent / literate in Japanese and have lived or live in Japan now) translate this for me because I’m pretty sure, given the drawings and the look on the girl’s face as she discovers her new ginormous bosom at the end of the instructions, something more is going on than just stuffing her bra.

Posted via tumblr: published on March 24, 2014 at 01:01AM

tumblr: Irie man Sherwin, you never told me about your career as a party…

Japanese Party Wig at Daiso

Irie man Sherwin, you never told me about your career as a party wig model in Japan!

Seen at Daiso in Cupertino. I can’t tell if the guy is a light-skinned black guy, a dark-skinned Japanese guy (more likely a Korean or Pilipino model then), or something Blackface-like going on with the makeup. I also can’t tell if it’s racist or not. I just feel like it’s what conservative Japanese businessmen think of as a “crazy party wig” when most of us probably know at least one guy that just looks like that normally.

Or are one of the tons of guys that just looks like that normally.

Posted via tumblr: published on March 24, 2014 at 12:55AM

tumblr: Only took 3 days to make (sort of— most of that time is…

Only took 3 days to make (sort of— most of that time is waiting for the fresh ginger + sugar base “marinate” in the fridge), but now I can mix & heat up Mommy’s ginger tea at the office— that little 12 oz (1.5 cup) Martinelli’s bottle of concentrated tea will easily yield at least 3 big mug-fulls of yummy tea for both health and comfort. Will post recipe soon.

Posted via tumblr: published on January 07, 2014 at 11:04AM

tumblr: Happy New Year All! Too bad I never want to crawl out of this…

Happy New Year All! Too bad I never want to crawl out of this lovely cocoon, bundled up inside one of my favorite blankets I brought back from NY. My grandmother originally brought it with her when she immigrated from Korea— you can maybe make one, but definitely can’t buy a blanket like this in America.

Posted via tumblr: published on January 01, 2014 at 02:48PM

tumblr: One of the best parts of being home: by the time I get up and…

One of the best parts of being home: by the time I get up and come downstairs, my mom has already been up for hours and is ready with a list of breakfast options. This morning- 빈대떡! (Bindaetteok- type of Korean pancake; just Google it…)

Posted via tumblr: published on December 28, 2013 at 08:46AM

tumblr: My uncle is quite a talented artist with no formal…

Cigarette Carton Floral

Magic Marker Diptychs

My uncle is quite a talented artist with no formal training— as is often the case, life got in the way of him possibly becoming a professional artist, but still, he often creates amazing drawings like these with the simplest and most inexpensive materials.

For example, the first piece above is around 20+ years old and you can’t really tell from the photo or even when it’s framed and hanging up on the wall unless you get up close, but there are a few horizontal creases because his “canvas” was the blank side of an opened/flattened cigarette carton. I even remember him creating a big, gorgeous watercolor on a cheap paper tablecloth.

The bottom two pieces were from a sketchbook full of drawings my uncle did with just whatever pens/markers were available while he was visiting my parents for a few days (I think to help them fix up the back porch/deck a bit— he’s also got some great carpentry skills).

Rather than try to align them perfectly for a single frame, I’ll probably hang the bottom two as diptychs, but either way, I can’t wait to get home and hang up all three!

Posted via tumblr: published on December 27, 2013 at 12:17PM


Here’s a little story to illustrate how curious my parents’ perspective on even the simplest things in life can be given everything they’ve lived through:

My father has been having increased trouble walking for various reasons over the past year to the point that he even has a handicap placard now because he has trouble walking even short distances, although he isn’t quite at the walker or even cane stage yet. I was talking to my mom yesterday about how he was doing and in describing the way he used to walk, instead of just describing a limp, she said (paraphrased from the Korean):

Remember the Korean president who had trouble walking? He was limping like that.

She was talking about Kim Dae-jung (김대중), president of South Korea from 1998 to 2003. I was actually lucky enough to hear him speak at Stanford (and see him limp in real life) shortly after he won the Nobel prize in 2000 for his policy of engagement with North Korea, known as the Sunshine Policy.

Now, the reason Kim had a limp was from being injured during the years of political persecution and exile along the road to his presidency and his longtime involvement in the struggle for democracy in South Korea. (Yeah, news flash: the Korean War didn’t magically make South Korea a democracy. It’s not even technically over.) According to Wikileaks data, when Kim passed away in August 2009, the U.S. Embassy in Seoul described him as “South Korea’s first left-wing president”. Specifically, Kim was a vocal dissident of the Yushin (유신) program of then president Park Chung-hee (박정희) which granted him near dictatorial powers, and after narrowly losing the presidential election to Park in 1971, Kim permanently injured his hip joint during a car accident. The accident was actually a failed assassination attempt by Park himself; later, in August 1973, Kim was eventually kidnapped by intelligence agents of the then military government of South Korea that was, of course, led by Park.

This was all around the time my parents immigrated to the U.S. and this is how my mom describes a limp. This is literally her automatic / natural frame of reference to describe something as relatively simple and seemingly innocuous as a limp.

And FYI, who was the father of the current and first female president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye (박근혜)? Former president Park Chung-hee.

Intentional Americans

U.S. Flag There are many wonderful things I could say about the HBO documentary “Citizen USA: A 50-State Road Trip“, but here is a quote from newly naturalized citizen and intentional American Zeenath Larsen that captures not just one of the primary reasons people to come to the US (legally and illegally), but a valuable message for US-born American citizens (especially those who think immigrants come to the US just to steal jobs, collect welfare, and commit crimes), the politicians who are looking to influence, lead, and win over the support of the people, and any American who has ever taken America for granted (me included):

“The bottom line is that your country and you have to be on the same page where values are considered, principles are considered, what you believe in. And if that is not the case, then it’s… you may be born somewhere and brought up somewhere, but then you don’t feel that same type of loyalty. Because loyalty comes through ideas, not through the earth, not through mud and trees and hills. That’s the same everywhere in the world. Is there any country in the world that has it enshrined in the constitution that you have a right to be happy?”

And to underline the point even more, note that Larsen is originally from Pakistan. Food for thought– check out the trailer for “Citizen USA” below:

The Daily Show on DC, NPR, Juan Williams

Excellent (as usual) Daily Show segment on the NPR/Juan Williams firing. I already tweeted the hilarious part on DC’s city design/architecture (do you know how to navigate a roundabout?), especially re: all of the columns on the buildings– “… simultaneously magnificent and useless… like they designed the whole thing as a metaphor.” But the best part is discussion between Team Black and Team Muslim, having fun by playing on the irrational fear of Blacks and Muslims, culminating with Aasif Mandvi’s response to the accusation that their behavior only feeds into things:

“If they’re not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?”