BANANA at USC This Saturday November 21

Not only will you be able to meet AzNHearthThrob & Cbruhs, but you’ll have the opportunity to criticize all the major Asian American bloggers in one spot: “YOU ALL ARE SO CRITICAL AND DON’T DO SHIT OTHER THAN SIT IN YOUR ERGONOMIC DESK CHAIRS AND TYPE JUNK ALL DAY ABOUT MING NA WEN AND LUCY LIU ON YOUR MACBOOK PROS!”

Criticize us all you want, just make sure you come out and join us for drinks at the afterparty (and the hotel lobby). Or parade through the USC campus with me and violate vandalize Tommy Trojan with blue and gold spray paint.

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BANANA: APIA Bloggers Roundtable-Nov 21st

For all you folks who want to see our fugly mugs in person or give us a piece of your mind/rotten tomato, here’s your golden opportunity:

BANANA_flyer

Peep the blogroll!

Lac Su, author of the much-propped I Love Yous Are For White People (see AZN’s review here), in partnership with Steve Nguyen, TV/film producer and head of LA channelAPA.com, have organized a (FIRST!) massive roundtable of APIA bloggers, including some heavies like Angry Asian Man and 8Asians, and advocates like Asian Pacific Americans for Progress and AARising . Believe you us, BCB is deeply honored to share table and flyer space with these folks.

During the filmed event, we’ll be discussing the future of the online APIA community’s voice, how we can work together on relevant issues, and other fun stuffs. This will be followed by an audience Q & A and meet & greet, and here is your chance to give AZN your phone number and let me stare deeply and creepily into your eyes and compliment your haircut. This is your cue to buy me a drink. Single malt, please. Wait, where are you going? Cheapskate.

See you there!  More info here.

Saturday November 21st

4 to 6 pm

Uni of Southern Cali

Taper Hall Room 201

FREE, Cheapskates!

Lac Su’s I Love Yous are for White People: The Asian American Identity in America

I Love Yous Are for White People is definitely a great read. I was going to write a review, but my boy Minority Militant has one already, which you can check out here. I just wanted to touch on what I found most compelling about the book, the subject of Vietnamese American identity, and what it meant to me when I was reading the book. There are some spoilers below, because I mention some of the folks in the novel… So be warned!

The only time you'll see Dodger Blue on BcB. The ONE exception.

Lac came over to LA-LA at a time when Vietnamese folks were still new to the states and Westminster was developing as a Little Saigon. So he, like many Vietnamese folks coming over, was jumping from one world to the other (VN to the US) and then discovering his own identity in a city with a ridiculous amount of diversity: A Latino street gang, a Vietnamese American graffiti gang, a predominantly Chinese (then White) high school, a loving Latino American family and Lac’s own Vietnamese family all played prominent roles in his life. The book depicts pivotal moments in Lac’s life where he was given a choice of several different worlds. Because to accept one, is to reject the other. There was hardly any overlap when you’re rolling with a Latino gang or a Vietnamese American graffiti gang. Lac’s description of growing up Vietnamese in America surrounded by Latinos is a unique perspective that not many get to experience in the world.

Reading about Lac’s childhood at that time, in that place, gave me some insight on how the “American transition” for folks back then was like. The way Lac grew up learning about “nhau” felt like he was seeing it as something inherently foreign, but surprisingly familiar. I think we all feel that way about our Asian motherland’s culture when we experience it as Asian Americans. What does it mean when I go to “nhau” spots in OC to eat pig intestines and drink Beer 333 and end up relating to it no differently than when I hit up Korean bars and eat Dukbokgi with soju/OB beer or Teppanyaki with Kirin at a Japanese spot. I feel like I am so far removed from the experience, that although I speak the same language and grew up in a Vietnamese household, in some ways, I am fetishizing my own culture like I grew up as a My Trang. I can’t speak for Lac when it comes to this outsider looking in perspective, but I can definitely tell you that this is how I felt while I was reading his book.

So I would say this book easily appeals to all folks that are close to the immigrant experience, but still on the cusp of both cultures. For all the folks that took ESL classes in school and learned very early on that its hard to stay friends with your elementary school rainbow collation friends forever, this book is for you. For those of you that are repulsed by the mere mention of coagulated duck blood you should probably read The Lost Symbol (doesn’t Robert Langdon get into the craziest situations?!). For those of you that just came over from Viet Nam, and not entirely fluent in English yet, this book is for you if you bug Lac to get the book translated, especially for his pops.

And to Lac, my biggest criticism is the same as TMM’s, I felt the book was cut short. I  wanna hear about your life in high school and what it was like during that time to be in an interracial relationship. That would provide a lot of people, including myself, that have tried to figure out if losing the comfort of being two nondescript Asian folks dating or the ease of speaking your native tongue to Vietnamese folk is worth the sacrifice of all the stares you get when you’re out with a girl of a different race. I’d like to say yes, to some degree, for the right person, but I’d like to hear the story from your own perspective, Lac. Your idol, Augusten Burroughs, blessed us with more than one book, and I hope the same for you.

And send me an iTunes playlist of your music too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Etta James next to Tupac on a playlist before…

Herro Kitty Turns 35 Years Old

Herro copy

I can’t believe Hello Kitty’s been around for 35 years? I still remember heading to Eastridge Mall to watch my cousin Aim pay $2 to spin that Sanrio wheel and “winning” a pencil and eraser. And now for her 35th year anniversary, Sanrio is having an exhibit in SoCal at the Royal/T Café/Shop/Art Space in Culver City from October 23 through November 15, 2009.

Part of the press release:

Hello Kitty has long been a muse to artists & designers. In honor of Hello Kitty’s 35th Anniversary celebration, SANRIO, Inc. is bringing an event to the U.S. like nothing America has seen before. ‘Three Apples’ is a multi-dimensional exhibition and celebration of all things Hello Kitty running from October 23 to November 15 that will kick-off with a VIP media event and be followed by unique displays, an art sale for charity and special fan events that will be open to the public, free of charge – all celebrating this beloved pop icon! The celebration, at Royal/T in Culver City, CA, is targeted at Hello Kitty fans of all ages.

Nom Nom on Some Banh Mi

I know! He's HOT, right?!

I know! He's HOT, right?!

Love or hate the Kogi Korean taco truck in LA, but the business has not only transformed the way restaurateurs do business (Tweets? Pit stops on the westside and in Echo Park?) and the way people eat their food (on a sidewalk with sauce dripping down their leg). It has also spawned copycats likeminded small business operators that see the initial cost of entry as low (truck + staff + food). See the newest edition to the LA food truck landscape: Nom Nom Truck, selling banh mi straight from OC to your Westwood door step. It was created by a threesome of Vietnamese and Chinese folks who wanted Westminster-style Vietnamese sandwiches without having to deal with the I-405/I-22/Johnny Tran bike gang nightmare that is Bolsa.

Peep their website or the Twitter for updates on their whereabouts.

Korean Pride Yelp Reviewer

Why do the skinniest Asian girls always happen to be the biggest eaters I know?!

Why do the skinniest Asian girls always happen to be the biggest eaters I know?!

After the success of RiceBunny, I thought I’d do it again and showcase another AA female internets star. This time, its Yelp reviewer J “the next dog whisperer” L, who is a:

1. Korean American
2. Resident of the Marina
3. Frequent visitor of Los Angeles

But she’s also a belligerent Yelp reviewer that acknowledges all the above with no qualms and much Korean pride.  Check out her “best of the best” reviews here or read this little snippet gem on L.A. Live in Downtown LaLa Land:

L.A. Live

1 out of 5 stars

Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA 90189
(866) 548-3452

$15 for parking?

for WHAT?

WTH?

WTF?

SCREW YOU LA LIVE…

for like 5 restaurants, lucky strike and what? an ESPN Zone thats not even opened? and what the hell? no validation whatsoever? what is this?

seriously, someone tell me. for freakin what and why on earth did i have to pay $15 for some sh#thole place… you gotta be outta your mind. i swear, i’m most likely paying for their electric bill with all those lights in between…..

none of the parking attendants even knew when LA LIVE was going to be up and running for the general public…

i swear, i literally stayed at the LA LIVE, AT MOST 10-15 minutes TOPS and left….

i demand a refund! right now!!!

Dear God,

Why have you forsaken us? Its understandable that you spite the cities of Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas with hurricanes, earthquakes, drought, but what has San Francisco done? American Apparel? Sure, I understand. A RCVA store? Of course. CB2, Barney’s, North Face, and H&M. Why not. But this? Really? I’m hoping its for the tourists and not the locals. Tourists from Miami, Las Vegas, and Miami…

Christian Audigier

Christian Audigier Boutique, 40 Grant Ave., San Francisco, CA