Friday, April 30, 2004

THE DAY SAIGON FELL

On this day 29 years ago, Saigon fell. A country separated by decades of war, imperialism, and ideology was abruptly reunited in communism. After years of living alongside war’s atrocities, despair and horror, by nightfall, Saigon was suddenly no more; it was re-named Ho Chi Minh City.

April 30, 1975 was an unforgettable day for Viet Nam and its people, and a day that changed the world. In the panic and uncertainty of a united country, many fled their Viet Nam. It is estimated that during the first ten years after the fall of Saigon, over a million people fled by boat across the perilous South China Sea seeking freedom and a new life. In the light of the moon, boats over packed with desperate people wandered into the dark of sea. The homeless “boat people” willed the waves to carry them to safety. Those who survived, those who didn’t encounter pirates, those whose prayers were answered landed in refugee camps in Thailand, Philippines or Malaysia. On their way to freedom...

Looking back, the sea is so powerful. It brought many of us to a new life. But too many drifted into the endless waters and lost their way. Gone. On the anniversary of the fall of Saigon, we who are the lucky ones, can not forget that other boat people, our Viet Nam brothers and sisters, died seeking feedom and a new life. Everyday is good.

Friday, April 23, 2004

WHAT I'M OBSESSED WITH...

REALITY TELEVISION:  I’m pretty perplexed as to how this happened. I love The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno (I love Veronica!, even though she’s a bitch), but somehow I got sucked into watching High School Reunion (sooo good), Survivor (why does everyone hate Shii-Ann? Racism!) and American Idol! Yep, I vote for the Asian contestant. Go Jasmine!

THE GYM:  I am there about 5.5 days a week and dammit, I am going to lose some body fat. Unfortunately, when I last measured a few weeks ago, I was around 19% body fat (which is so not good for someone my size); but I’m aiming to decrease my body fat to around 10%. And though I always thought my chest was pretty big, seeing other people's huge chest at the gym, I want bigger ones now. I want a huuge chest too!

HILLARY DUFF’S METAMORPHOSIS:  Maybe she can act, but she definitely can’t sing. The lyrics are laughable, her voice screeches. Sure, like teeny poppers before her, Hillary Duff is molded towards 12-year-old girls, but I’m not embarrassed to admit it - I like her a lot! My advice - turn it up really, really loud and suddenly So Yesterday and Come Clean sounds awesome! And, yes, Jean, I will burn you a copy. You're...welcome!

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

DETAILS, DETAILS

Applause, applause to people who raise their voices and make a difference.

Last month, Details published a racist, homophobic, and humorless article perpetuating archaic and offensive stereotypes of Asian Americans and gay Americans. The piece features a well-dressed Asian male with the headline "Gay or Asian?," and with text orientalizing Asian culture. This kind of blatant act of racism and homophobia, if left unopposed, reduces Americans of color, Americans of different sexuality to caricatures, relegating them to otherness. Which breeds ignorance. I am dismayed that a publication that reaches so many people can display such lack of class, awareness, and tolerance.

But ignorance will no longer go unchallenged. Americans are raising their voices. The Asian Media Watchdog and Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York galvanized people of concern to protest at Details' offices in New York. And many individuals have launched online petitions, including Daniel Lee and Julia Oh. I applaud their work.

I implore you too to take action. Cancel your subscriptions to Details, tell your friends to cancel their subscriptions! Sign the petitions or write to Editor-in-Chief Daniel Peres at dan.peres@fairchildpub.com, or educate writer Whitney McNally at whitney.mcnally@fairchildpub.com. Raise your voice. Be heard!

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

NEFARIOUS FRIED CHICKEN

The pieces of fried chicken taunted me. Eat me! Eat me! You know you want me! They winked knowingly. I looked around and saw no one, save for the pieces of fried chicken. Gulp!

Everyone talks about quitting this, doing that, but don't. I'm one of those people too. But when you want it enough, whatever it is, you must make the commitment. A commitment is an agreement that you are willing to do the work it takes to succeed. If you are, you must develop a plan that holds accountability for your actions and commit to doing the work. It's okay not to succeed everyday, but be honest about your progress. Remember, discipline is doing it even when you don't want to. It's hard, but you too can succeed.

Staring at the fried chicken, I knew I had to make a life-altering decision and commit myself now to being healthier or never. So, with much sadness, I shrugged and left the pieces of fried chicken. They were not happy, but I was actually okay. Hmm... Maybe there'll still be there for me tomorrow. Hope no one eats 'em!, hope no one eats 'em! (Shrug).