Uncontained Rants...

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Quizzes are lame

Are You Down?
The Code for Being a Young AA/APA/APIA/AAPI Activist
By Minnie Yuen ’04, Margot Seeto ’04, and Lisa Wong Macabasco UC Berkeley ’03 (guest writer of UC Berkeley’s Hardboiled). * Idea swiped from ParryShen's site. One point for each question answered in the affirmative.
(I usually hate these lengthy quiz-like things, but some of these are right on point)

1. You own a BlackLava t-shirt. (+1 if you have the V. Chin shirt, +2 if you wear it to Asian American events.) * 1pt.

2. You own a spoken word CD. *1 pt.

3. You are or once were a spoken word artist. (+1 If you performed in a skinny scarf and spaghetti strap tank top.) *Going to any spoken word event always inspires me, but I’m a wannabe and don’t think I fall into the “artist” category. 0 pts.

4. You hate Abercrombie & Fitch and dog on Asian Americans who wear it, even if they bought it pre-boycott. *I won’t shop there b/c A&F sucks for various reasons (as my BlackLava shirt will attest), but I won’t dog you if you do. 0 pts.

5. You think Yuri Kochiyama is totally rad! *That’s right. 1 pt.

6. You own an autographed copy of “Better Luck Tomorrow.” (+1 If you were on the street team for BLT.) - 7. You have a poster of one or both of the following: 1. Che 2. Malcolm. *I should have bought BLT bootleg in Vietnam when I had the chance. Does having a BLT poster autographed by Justin Lin count? (0.5 pt) And does telling everyone I knew to go watch the movie count as Street Team? (0.5 pt) =1 pt.

8. You HELLA think that San Francisco is the center of the universe and the APA Movement. *I say hella way too much for not even being from Norcal. And if you took Asian Am 99/10 or whatever intro course, you’d know SF is where its at. 1 pt.

9. You dyed your hair bright red at one point. *Been there, done that. 1 pt.

10. You protest the Euro-centric, hegemonic, patriarchal, heterocentric, capitalist petty bourgeoisie of THE MAN. *Haha. Good one. 1 pt.

11. You are a “brother” or “sister” of the “The People’s Movement.” *Hmm…I’m an avid supporter. 0 pt.

12. Instead of saying “goodbye,” you say “peace”. *Another good one. But I don’t have people skills, so I just turn my back and walk away. 0 pts.

13. You have a Xanga, are on Friendster, and were a part of Asian Avenue. *1 pt. Although the "new" Xanga/Friendster is www.myspace.com

14. You write your Friendster testimonials in Spoken Word verse. *Not so much. 0 pt.

15. You AIM name includes the words “Angry” or “Asian” or “Yellow Brown Power.” *Nope. But check out www.bigbadchinesemama.com. Hilarious. 0 pt.

16. If you wear glasses, they must be the thick, plastic, black rimmed glasses to show the world how intellectual you really are. *Thick, yes. Plastic, yes. But they’re brown! To go with my highlights of course! 1 pt.

17. You are an APA conference whore. *Hmm.. Ex-apa conference whore. 0 pt.

18. You cried the first time you heard “I Was Born with Two Tongues”. (+1 If you actually cried and not just claimed you cried.) *But they were so passionate, stunning and mesmerizing! Plus, Dennis’s voice is so…sexy. Haha. 1 pt.

19. You majored in, minored in, or helped start Asian American Studies at your school. *It all began with that one intro course…turned into a minor and ended up as a major. 1 pt.

20. You only listen to hip hop and only really enjoy Talib Kweli or Dead Prez. *My musical tastes are a bit more eclectic. B.Lai sums it up by asking, "How can you listen to this (pointing to my *Nsync cd) and THIS(holding up Dilated Peoples-Neighborhood Watch)?" 0 pt.

21. You have read one, part or all of the following: The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Fast Food Nation, Stupid White Men, or anything by bell hooks. *All of the above. Currently reading No More Prisons. good stuff, pick it up. 1 pt.

22. You’re so underground, you’re f****** magma. *I will never be underground because of my love for ‘Nsync, but that’s ok. O pt.

23. As you chain smoke, you intellectualize how nicotine is the tool of THE MAN. *No, it’s not and I intellectualize about other "stuuuffff".

24. Every time you watch TV or movies, your Asian-dar kicks in. (“Look! Asian woman’s arm in the back! WHAT WHAT!”) *For reals though. My exact words to my sister, “Hey look! Asian!”. 1 pt.

25. You mad dog Asian women with White boyfriends (minus 1 if you've ever had a White boyfriend; minus another 1 if you actually admit you had a White boyfriend, but you swear it was when you were really young and before you became down). *That’s soo angry asian man/woman complex. I’m all about the love. 0 pt.

26. You hate on AZN Asians as much as White people, if not more. *Ok, I wouldn’t say hate, more like extreme annoyance. So I think that qualifies as 0.5 pt.

27. You hate on Asian fraternities or sororities, but used to go those parties before you were down (minus one if you ever pledged an Asian sorority, minus two if you were a Little Sis). *Julie and Greek system don’t go together, but didn’t everyone go to Black Sunday? 0 pt.

If you scored 21 or more:
Congratulations, Poster Child de La Revolución. You’re so down, you’re abajo. After finishing your manifesto and reaping vegetables in your biosphere, we’ll see you at ECAASU 2005, fool. Paz.

11- 20: Poseur. What’s up, poser? Put down that copy of Audrey and read Asian Americans: The Movement and the Moment already. Practice raising your fist and looking hard in the mirror when no one's looking.

0 – 10: You’re a tool of THE MAN. Proceed immediately to San Francisco and get a picket sign already.

Julie’s total: 13.5pts. Haha. I am only a poser. But what if I already own and have read Asian Americans: The Movement and the Moment? Ok…I’ll try harder to “be down” with the movement. Peace!

Julie’s Commentary: When it comes down to it, it is a choice whether you want to be socially conscious or apathetic. Most people I know aspire to be a little more "aware", but end up falling into the cycle of consumerism that this American life so readily offers. I understand. And oftentimes, the cloud of being an "activist" can be just as hard to see through...smoke gets in your eyes, and one can become just as judgemental and elitist, builing up walls just as high as those they're trying to break down. So, my conclusion is just to stand by your beliefs, dare to be different, to be educated about the struggles of ALL peoples, and live your life accordingly. All it takes is one mind to be opened and changed. And, if you can have some fun in the process, then that's what life is really about, right?

After a few unexpected delays and an on-going countdown, alas, I have completed my undergraduate education. Walking away from UCLA with degrees in Sociology, Asian American Studies and Education, I can be nothing but grateful for the enriching experience that was my college education. A grab bag of madness in every aspect of my life. As for what comes next, I have no idea, but I operate under that idealistic assurance that everything will come in time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Wannabe FOB

I have OFFICIALLY entered the ranks of Vietnamese wannabe F.O.B. (As much as I'd like to, I can't technically be one). Yesterday while waiting among the hordes of Vietnamese people at Brodards for lunch (tangent. Here's some advice: DON'T show up at Brodards at 1pm on a Sunday and expect to be seated on arrival. You scribble your name on the clipboard and unless you're nipping at the heels of the seating guy when he calls out "Julie-5 nguoi! (people)" you best be willing to wait another 10 minutes 'cuz he'll scroll right past your name and let the couple with the screaming kids go ahead of you) ANYWAYS, so instead of standing there with the rest of the patient Vietnamese folk (ha! that's an oxymoron for ya!) I wandered over with my Mom to the Vietnamese *cough-bootleg-cough* music store. I spotted My Tam's Karaoke Hits on DVD and grabbed it. "Mom! My Tam!" I squealed. (If you didn't know, she's on heavy rotation in my cd player) My mom looked at the track listing and tossed it back into the $4.99 pile. I walk over to the Sanrio corner and watch the latest installment of Paris By Night on the jumbotron as the techno "Asia beats" pound in the background, trying to keep my eyeballs from rolling out of my head. Just then, the guy at the register pops in a different CD and the melodious voice of Lam Truong fills the store. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he's Thao's 5th husband, after all the members of F4, or whatever the hell they're called) My ears perk up and I ask the guy what CD is playing, in which he reaches around and pulls a CD off the wall of bootleg hits behind him. I look at the cover and the CD title, "Micki Selection 09" (subtitled: V.I.P Only)" glares back at me. I"m guessing the only Micki around here is the guy who just handed me the disk (note #1: Micki? Micki? Is that short for....MickEY? note #2: V.I.P only?! haha. you know what i'm talkin' about Mike. that's so vietnamese it's not even funny) and since he reeks of "shady music compilation master" I buckle and purchase the CD for $5 although it's probably worth little more then $0.30. Yes, weak is me. The CD is now playing as I type and hum along. I must say, Micki does have some decent Viet music selection chops. Thanks Micki, thanks. The End.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Top 10

J.Vo's Top Nine life-related current events:

9. High-class dining and dancin' at The Sunset Room. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time celebrating J.Lu's bday, but I'd much rather be chillin' at The Hop Inn Bar down the street from my house. Well, I've never actually been to the Hop Inn Bar down the street or any of those other nameless bars on the dark/shady corners with the neon signs, for that matter...but I SO wanna go. You know what kind of places I'm talkin' about. Every city has a few of those shiesty-beer-guzzlin'-chain-smokin'-fake-perms n' nails-infested watering holes/divebars. Maybe I'm just sick of the tired LA scene or hankering for some cheap drinks. oh wait, none for me. (see #2 below) Or maybe the REAL reason is I'm just nostalgic for those poorly lit, pool table dancin' ex-pat bar days. Well, close enough. Alright- Hop Inn Bar, here I come! Who's in? C'mon, don't be scared. I'll be there to protect you!

8. Celebratin' B.Tran's degree acquisition in Torrance. The events of that night has led to my decision to take a sabbatical from any and all alcoholic beverages (well, at least until my graduation. Hey, 2 weeks can be a long time, y'know!) I won't go into detail, but let's just say I had one too many "Heeey, heeere's to Bruceeee!" shots.

7. N*gger, Wetb*ck, Ch*nk. Closing night. Brilliant. http://speaktheaterarts.com/speak.html

6. Nancy's getting married. That's like whoa. So Norlyn and I both end up tuckin' utterly raunchy and ridiculous edible undies into our Vicky Secrets giftbags for her. Ha! Figures. Southeast Asian women-we be crazy, y'know.

5. Work

4. School

3. Work & School

2. Driving up,down and all around the 405 and 10 freeways for...surprise surprise, work and school.

And the #1 Current Event in J. Vo's life?

#1. I found a new cafe!!! woohoo. Yes, I am lame and yes, I'm ok with that. The newest diamond in the rough is Velocity Cafe in SanMo, referred to me by JT Mammen. In addition to the great drinks...Awesome factor #1: Free Comp/Internet Access. Awesome Factor #2: The furniture. Although the tables are endearingly rickety, the chairs are perfectly comfy. Awesome Factor #3: The RANDOM almost life-size ceramic horses (2) right smack dab in the middle of the place. Only Downer: Closes at 8pm/10pm on weekends. What more could a girl ask for...well, besides the funds to open up my own coffeehouse, but that can wait.

Alright, that's my mindless and random update for now. Hope everyone is doing well. Graduation is comin' up. You can all join me in breathing a sigh of relief once I reach the top of that hill. (One of many more down the line, I'm sure) Aights. I'm out...like bodysuits and the Macarena.