Monthly Archive for July, 2010

DUDE WTF ASIA: Japanese People Laugh at Scaredy Bear

A bunch of people sent this video to me saying that I’d find it funny, but I just watched this in horror. Basically this video is of a cute little bear cub being scared out of its wits by a baby lion, monkey and monkey’s shadow. Ok, so maybe that shadow thing was kind of funny. But overall, I thought it was pretty cruel what they were doing to the bear. Adding in the facial reactions of the Japanese variety show folks and the soundtrack of the audiences saying “Kawaii!!!” didn’t change that, but maybe I need to see the full version of this, which evidently shows the bear cub exacting its revenge on its (previous) terrorizers. What do you think?

[Originally posted at 8Asians]

Joz in the Taiwan Daily News (Sunday, 7/25/2010 Edition)

This past weekend I was an invited speaker at Rosemead City Hall for a TACL
(Taiwanese American Citizen’s League)/TUF (Taiwanese United Fund) writing
salon called "Voices of Taiwanese America." I was honored to sit alongside
George T. Wu, author of "The Formosa Furies" as well as Chi-Hung (Luke)
Hsieh (謝奇宏), who published his autobiography "Unicorn, You Taught Me How to
Fly" at the age of 25, on the panel.

Here is the article in Sunday’s Taiwan Daily News. I sent this off to my
Aunties & Uncles who read Chinese. (My Mom is mad at me because I didn’t go
get a stack of paper copies of this.) If you’re curious about the article,
basically it reported that I was one of 3 speakers + it listed the names of
all the high school kids who got scholarships from the TACL.

I was asked about future writing projects and I told the audience that I
am currently researching a book about my (maternal) grandmother Huang
Yu-Jiau (黃玉嬌). A lot of the people (1st generation) there told me
afterwards that they remembered either Grandma or my father, or both.

Text article (no image):
www.taiwandaily.net/gp2.aspx?_p=kSF1c9zU9HS0gywQgs7CiWf6I…

Image at: news.taiwandaily.net/JPG/7/A08.jpg (link expires in a week)

TACL獎學金頒獎典禮

(記者林蓮華/羅斯密市報導) TACL台美公民協會於7月24日(週六)在羅斯密市政府舉辦「2010年台美人社區獎學金頒獎典禮」,今年共有21 名應屆高中畢業生榮獲每名500元獎學金,及獎牌一面。當天並邀請三位台美人作家George Wu、Jocelyn Wang、謝奇宏以「台美人之聲」為題,主講他們從事寫作的心路歷程及提供寫作的訣竅。當天市議員勞朱嘉儀及洛僑主任簡許邦皆主席頒獎。

三位台美人作家,前總統府資政吳澧涪之子George Wu著作「The Formosa Furies Fight for Freedom」以童話故事,描寫台美人如何為台灣自由與民主的信念奮戰不懈的艱辛之路;Jocelyn Wang是一位台美最知名的網路作家,她以「8Asians」道盡亞裔在美國生存的酸甜苦辣;謝奇宏身為特殊殘障人士,以其「不向命運低頭」的努力寫下「獨角獸你教我怎麼飛」。他們親身演講,在場學子紛紛表示收獲良多,並對台美人士更深切了解。

TACL理事長賴慧娜表示,頒發獎學金已邁入第11年,由於不限族裔,在經過審慎的評選後,今年從70多位申請者中,遴選出21位,每位學生都是品學兼優,最重要是這筆獎學金將有助於他們減輕進入大學的負擔。

獎學金得獎名單分別為阿罕布拉高中Michelle Ruan、Rayond Yang、Stephanie Wang、Zerena Diaz;亞凱迪亞高中Lily Yin;鑽石吧高中Frederick Peng、Pu Fang Hung 藝術高中(HS of Art)Sharon Jan;Los Altos 高中Amy Lee;馬凱勃高中Benjanmin Lee、Patricia Song;聖蓋博高中Charles Le、Carrie Ho;聖瑪利諾高中Jonathan Lin;南方高中Nicole Lee;南丘高中Alan Chen、Michelle Kung;天普高中Kimberly Luu、Veronia Lin;喜瑞都高中Christopher Lai;南艾爾地高中Daphne Chien。

What was Joz doing on Sunday? (You get 1 clue & 1 guess)

Whose bright idea was it to paint the ceiling, anyway? Oh right, it was
mine. (Yoshi did try to talk me out of it.)

Maybe it was a good thing our paint sprayer was broken and we had to go old
school and use a roller and paint brush. By the way, popcorn ceilings are
pure evil.

Special thanks to the Bro for coming out to do the hard stuff. Sad to
believe but we’re still not done. Doh.

Home.
7/25/2010.
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Due to popular request, this is my signature: (-_-) Did someone blink?
www.jozjozjoz.com

Why @ProfessorEric is a true friend.

A true friend will lend you a hand whenever you need one.

(The post-it above was inspired by this chat from today)

11:26 AM me: Hi baby
Are we ever going to see each other?
12:03 PM Prof: really soon i hope.
or i will cut off my arm and mail it to you.
which won’t help at all… but you know, it is the thought that counts.
12:11 PM me: That’s a very disturbing thought, but thanks for the offer.
12:12 PM Prof: welcome
12:18 PM Prof: i just sent you a photo on your phone.
12:21 PM me: I think I see it downloading
(Joz looks at the photo)
12:30 PM That is disgusting, but thank you.
Prof: welcome.

Post-It/Photo sent via MMS
+ gChat IMs
7/23/2010.
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8Questions with Ken Watanabe: Actor who plays Saito, “The Tourist” in ‘Inception’

My interview with Ken Watanabe, originally published at 8Asians

I was lucky enough to attend an early screening of Inception at the Arclight in Hollywood on Wednesday night. Like Dino-Ray, I enjoyed how thought-provoking the film was, and truth be told—two days later, I’m still reeling at how mind-blown I was by this film.

You really have to see the film for yourself to appreciate the brilliance of Christopher Nolan’s writing and direction, but without strong characters and actors to take the audience through the emotional journey, I think the story driving Inception might have easily lost in the amazing visuals as well as the overwhelming amount of chasing, shooting, fighting, and other action and suspense sequences. So for me, it was the strength of Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance, balanced with those of all the supporting characters– in particular the characters played by Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Dileep Rao, and of course, Ken Watanabe that made the film so compelling.

Last Friday, Ken Watanabe was good enough to spare a few minutes on the phone with me for a quick chat about Inception, his own reaction after seeing the film, his thoughts about different audiences worldwide, and what he’ll be doing next.

Joz: You’ve had a long and notable career in Japan prior to your exposure to American audiences in ‘The Last Samurai’ and other English-language films. What are the main differences and similarities you find when you’re doing a film for an American (and international) audience, versus that of a Japanese audience?
Ken Watanabe: I couldn’t find [any] different perspective. To make a film just, I need to connect one audience, not [different] people. All people have the same feeling and same mind — a little bit different custom and culture and background and language, but same feelings, I think. I’m [an] Asian and Japanese actor so I want to try always [to balance]. [Like a] Japanese brush painting is [just] black and white [watercolor] — not oil — but still really sensitive [and shades in between]. Not yes or no, but just between good or bad, happy or sad… sensitive… between-gray area.

Asian Americans often criticize the lack of roles in Hollywood productions for Asian or Asian American actors that aren’t straight forward martial arts roles. Tell us a bit about the role of Saito and what it was like to do such a prominent and rich dramatic role.
It is my first experience in Hollywood in a really contemporary role. Also, it’s the same director that I worked with before, and it was a little bit of a different kind of window opened for me in Hollywood, because I always think about I try contemporary role with contemporary English, thinking, maybe I could do it. It’s really interesting, and in the future I can do it [more].

You and director Christopher Nolan both said that you wanted to work together more after your earlier work together in ‘Batman Begins.’ What was it like to have work with him in the role of Saito?
He told me, “I wrote a role for you.” It’s so incredible. I was really proud and honored and really glad to join this project. He has great ideas and imagination. I always want to cut open his head and see the inside! (laughs)

’Inception’ is about dreams, but hinges on the idea that someone’s dreams can be shared or even “implanted” with new ideas. What do you think about this?
NEVER. I never want to do that. It’s so scary. Please no one get in my dream! Anybody!

’Inception’ features themes and concepts that are synonymous with Asian thought and culture (such as reality as an illusion and the significance of dreams). What can you say about the significance of dreams?
Maybe it’s a similar feeling that Western people have. [Many Asians believe dreams] forecast for the future and some signal for the future and yeah so [if you dream something, maybe you] need to think about your style of life or something and change of mind.

I’m not a big dreamer and I always forget what I dream. But then I had a nightmare after the screening of ‘Inception!’ I woke up at 3:30 am and — yeah — I felt I got some great “inception” from Chris Nolan! (laughs) Totally different story!

The cast is truly International and the filming took the team all over the globe. What was the best part of being involved with such an international cast, crew, and production?
I’m Japanese actor, so many international cast: Marion Cotillard (French), Cillian Murphy (Irish), Ellen Page (Canadian) … but Chris Nolan wanted personality as an actor, as much as the character.

And then my character is not typical Japanese, any other “country” could be his character. I tried to some difficult way to make the character because it’s a really unique point of the movie is that the character enters other people’s dream. I tried to emphasize different aspects of my character each layer of the dream. It’s really interesting process to make up the character. In some sequence, I tried to make him more radical and powerful, seem like a villain to give to audiences violent feelings. And then some sequences he’s more sharp and calm, more closer to his real personality. Yeah, it’s really interesting, I enjoyed it as an actor.

What do you hope audiences will get out of seeing ‘Inception?’
Surprised!

Our readers are highly engaged in social media– they read blogs like ours and follow celebrities on Twitter and Facebook. Have you embraced social media and how can our readers follow you online online? What do you think of engaging your fans directly through the internet versus traditional forms of media & publicity.
I don’t have a web page or Twitter or Facebook or blog. My expressive piece is the movie. I want to connect to the piece. Just watch the movie, yeah, please. I don’t want to show them my private life.

What do you think of Americans’ fascination with celebrity?
I’m not a celebrity, just an actor. I try to put everything into the movie.

What projects are you looking forward to beyond ‘Inception?’
Nothing yet, after the promotion I will have a great summer vacation! (laughs)

Thanks so much to Ken for sharing his time and thoughts with us at 8Asians!

Congratulations to all the winners of our 8Asians Inception Prize Package Giveaway as well everyone who got to attend the advanced screening in L.A.! Don’t forget to “Like” his character on Facebook at InceptionSaito! Inception opens tonight in theatres in IMAX.

h/t: @TheOtherYoshi for transcribing the recorded interview for me so I didn’t have to hear my own voice

An oldie from Ernie’s tumblr: Efren overshares

Efi and I have known each other for a long, long time. He still shares
inappropriately and I still get sucked into his crazy. When will I ever
learn?

Originally seen here:
ernie.tumblr.com/post/575479273/why-i-love-being-a-part-o…

Facebook & Ernie’s Tumblr
5/5/2010
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Due to popular request, this is my signature: (-_-) Did someone blink?
www.jozjozjoz.com

“Joz can race!” (insert Asian female driver joke here… or is this picture it?!)

An old friend from college invited me to an amazing event that I
couldn’t say no to.  His company organized "GIRLS CAN RACE: Ladies
Night at K1" and featured professional racers as our coaches in a
night that was centered around fun, learning, and improving (instead
of competing and winning). The guys who came out to support their
girlfriends/wives had their own activity for the evening: an arts and
crafts table where they were given the task of making signs to cheer
us on.

I was in a group that was coached by Craig Stanton– 2005 GRAND-AM
Rolex Series Champion– and pretty much the best is the biz! Craig
and all the professional racers were so nice and helpful in answering
our questions and giving us tips and advice.

Considering that this was my first time racing, I figured I the bar
was set really low. I was happy that I didn’t come in last both times
I got to drive. (So I came in 11th out of 12– beating out a little
girl both times– still not last! Yay I drive better than a little
girl!) Heck, I was just glad that I didn’t hurt myself or run anyone
over. I did crash once but it wasn’t my fault– someone tried to pass
me from the outside as I was making a hairpin turn. KABOOM! She spun
out but I just kept driving myself to second-to-last place!

Thanks to Sean Heckman and The Media Barons, K1 Speed, all the
professional racers & coaches, and all the ladies who came out for
making it such a fun night!

Here is the event description:
GIRLS CAN RACE: Ladies Night at K1

Date: Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Location: K1 Speed, Torrance
Street: 19038 S. Vermont Ave.
City/Town: Gardena, CA

LADIES NIGHT AT K1: Featuring pro coaches Craig Stanton, Oriol Servia,
Kelly Collins, Duncan Ende, Nathan Swartzbaugh… and possible cameo
by Tommy Kendall!

RSVP IS ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED!!! Only 30 spots available

Never gone racing? Want to come to the track and beat your man every
time? This is your chance.

Presenting the first ever ladies-only night of racing and coaching,
The Media Barons and K1 Speed present a fun evening of racing,
instruction, and just plain fun. Directed by 2005 GRAND-AM Rolex
Series Champion Craig Stanton, one of the highest-rated private
instructors in the world, our night will feature a number of on and
off track ways to not only improve your race and street driving, but
also have fun in the process.

Featuring some of the top professional drivers in the world, this is
the sort of experience that racing schools would offer for thousands
of dollars, but we just ask for smiles, so get out here!

-FREE INSTRUCTION (both on track and classroom sessions)
-FREE FOOD
-GIVEAWAYS AND PRIZES!

Does your man want to join? Bring him out! There will still be
on-track sessions and opportunities for boys to come out and race
while they wait.

ONLY 30 SPOTS AVAILABLE! RSVP REQUIRED!!!

PRO COACHES:
Craig Stanton- 2005 GRAND-AM Rolex Series Champion
Oriol Servia- IndyCar Driver, Indy Lights Champion
Kelly Collins- 2009 GRAND-AM Rolex Series Champion
Duncan Ende- GRAND-AM Winner
Nathan Swartzbaugh- 2006 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Champion

…And Possible Cameo By…
Tommy Kendall- 4-Time Trans-Am Series Champion

K1 Speed
Gardena, CA
7/6/2010.
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Due to popular request, this is my signature:  (-_-)  Did someone blink?
www.jozjozjoz.com

5.4 Quake Hits So Cal

2010-07-08 - 00-13-25UTC - 32_34_-118_-116I first suspected an earthquake might have been happening when I felt a tiny shaking while I was sitting at my desk. Then some stronger shaking occurred and I looked at my Twitter stream. All my friends in L.A. were tweeting “EARTHQUAKE.” It was good as confirmed.

Of course, it’s not really confirmed until a seismologist at USGS has reviewed the quake findings:

Magnitude 5.4 – SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Date-Time Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 23:53:33 UTC
Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 04:53:33 PM at epicenter

Location 33.417°N, 116.483°W
Depth 11.7 km (7.3 miles)
Region SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Distances 22 km (13 miles) NNW (332°) from Borrego Springs, CA
23 km (14 miles) SE (131°) from Anza, CA
33 km (20 miles) NE (52°) from Lake Henshaw, CA
41 km (25 miles) SW (215°) from Indio, CA
45 km (28 miles) S (174°) from Palm Springs, CA
94 km (58 miles) NE (41°) from San Diego, CA

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 0.6 km (0.4 miles)
Parameters Nph=122, Dmin=10 km, Rmss=0.26 sec, Gp= 29°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=4

Don’t forget to fill out the “Did you feel it?” shake survey and check out the Shake Map!

(Originally posted at: blogging.la. Also, this is my first post made at the newly re-designed blogging.la site since it was re-launched after being known at LA Metblogs for several years.)

Joz & The LXD/GLEE’s Harry Shum Jr at the #LAAPFF Filmmaker’s Welcome Party, May 2010

It was such a pleasure to meet the amazing Harry Shum Jr aka Glee’s "Other
Asian" and member of the LXD!

2010 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Filmmaker’s Welcome Party
Madang Courtyard
Ktown (Koreatown), Los Angeles, CA
5/1/2010

(This is like 2 months old but I just found it in my "Drafts/Unsent Email"
folder. Oops. I wonder what else is in there.)
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www.jozjozjoz.com

Joz gets a small mention in SF Gate’s “Asian Pop” by @originalspin (Jeff Yang)

"Hot summer fights" is the title of this installment of Asian Pop.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/07/01/apop070110.DTL

Amongst other things, Jeff asked a bunch of us for our summer movie, music, and book lists. I got quoted under "Good Reads" as saying:
"I’m hoping to read ‘Delivering Happiness’ by Tony Hsieh of Zappos.com. I love shoes. Oh wait, the book isn’t just about shoes? Oh well, I’ll probably still read it." — *JozJozJoz, 8Asians*

Ok, so it’s not much of a mention, but it’s there. And there’s a link back to 8Asians.

Read the full story at:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/07/01/apop070110.DTL

Supposedly, there is more to come at his blog: originalspin.posterous.com/

Thanks for including me, Jeff!

Originally published at the San Francisco Chronicle (online)
on 7/1/2010.
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www.jozjozjoz.com

Thinking of Dad… 4 years after his passing…

Sometimes I get really sad when I look at old pictures of my Dad because I
love him and still miss him so much. I scanned this photo years ago and
have no idea when it was taken or what the occasion was. Store-bought cake
probably meant that it was someone’s birthday and my Dad is cutting an
Italian Rum cake with Baby Joz on his lap.

I love how young and happy my Dad looks in this picture. At this time in
his life, he would have been done with graduate school a few years prior,
moved from New York to Los Angeles after school, started working for a large
architectural firm, gotten married to my Mom, and had become a new Dad to
boot. The world and was still opening up to him– and I believe my
Grandparents (his parents) had also immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan,
bringing the people he most loved together in the United States– a land of
freedom, independence, and opportunity. I imagine that all areas of his
life were coming together at this time and I hope he got to enjoy it a bit,
seeing as he was the type of person who never took the time to "enjoy
himself."

I’m realizing that he was probably about my age (or maybe even younger than
I am now) when this picture was taken. We still have that table somewhere
in storage, I think. Some of that stemware is still around, too.

Oh and see how fascinated with the cake I am in the photo? I guess some
things never change.

From last year (2009): Thinking of Dad… 3 years after his passing…

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Picard Facepalm – Vuvuzela



Picard Facepalm – Vuvuzela, originally uploaded by @jozjozjoz.

I wish I knew the original source of this photo (I looked– let me know if
you know the source), but it is one of the best uses of Photoshop I’ve seen
this month. (Of course, the month is less than a day old, so I guess I
really mean "today.")

Patrick Stewart / Jean-Luc Picard + World Cup Vuvuzela + Facepalm? What’s
not to love?

See also:
www.jozjozjoz.com/2010/03/22/picard-facepalm-ascii-art/

The Intarwebs
7/1/2010.
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Due to popular request, this is my signature: (-_-) Did someone blink?
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