oh beezy

miscellaneous cultural commentary from two urban twenty-somethings. on this here interweb, we go by "bee" and "zy."

it’s the little things.

Me– Embarrassing move of the day: waving my hands in front of a paper towel dispenser… for several seconds longer than it would take most people to realize that it is not, in fact, motion-activated.

Friend– Well I’m sure the paper towels were appreciative of you trying so hard to say hi.

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make it stop

Sometimes I get really down on the world, like when I was canvassing for a democrat’s political campaign a few years ago and some guy let his attack dogs out on me instead of answering the door. That moment, combined with being spit at a few days later and a slew of other negative experiences, wholly dampened all political aspirations I once had. Who wants to represent the interests of assholes?

Today’s downer is this news story: Marine Uses Craigslist to Arrange Assault of Girlfriend.

“Need a real aggressive man with no concern for women,” read an ad posted on Craigslist in early December. It included a photo of a woman from Wyoming. She did not post the ad. A week later, she was attacked.

According to police, a former boyfriend posted the ad on Craigslist, seeking someone to assault his ex-girlfriend. Jebidiah James Stipe, a Marine stationed at Twentynine Palms, California, wrote the ad on December 5th, pretending to be a woman looking to fulfill a rape fantasy. The victim saw that ad two days later, and contacted police, and Craigslist, and the ad was removed.

Unfortunately, two days was just enough time for Ty Oliver McDowell to see the ad and respond. Stipe and McDowell began a brief correspondence, with Stipe posting as his ex. McDowell told police that during an online chat, Stipe told him what “she” wanted: “humiliation, physical abuse, sexual abuse.” He also provided McDowell with her address. On December 11th, he broke into her house and attacked her, saying: “You want an aggressive man, bitch, I’ll show you aggressive.” Immediately after, she called 911 and reported the assault. Upon arrest, McDowell told detectives he thought he was fulfilling her fantasy, and was unaware that he had raped anyone.

I can’t take it.

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c’mon Tina.

Sometimes I find myself investing a surprising amount of concentration on wanting something to be as good as it sounds, like those seasonal pumpkin chai rooibos earl grey vanilla spice concoctions advertised at Starbucks (which I rarely actually order unless I can figure out a way to indicate I want it without saying “rooibos”). One recent object of such focus was the trailer for Date Night, starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey. Sadly, my willing-to-be-awesome powers had no impact, though I will say the one scene with James Franco and Mila Kunis made me laugh and hope that the two of them will collaborate on a comedy in the not too distant future.

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Leap Year a Load of Shit

Following up on Zy’s post bemoaning Amy Adams’s recent career moves, the media concensus is that Leap Year is notably awful.

In other news, I strongly recommend bento blogs as a nice little addition to your daily visual intake. Of course, I have a lot of love for Hapa Bento. Hapa Bento

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i am not a gleek.

I just really really like Kevin McHale, who plays Artie. OK, and the whole show, but I will NOT blog about that.

However, I did want to mention that I think McHale is terrifically quirky and lends a bit of strangeness to an otherwise very clean-cut show. I thought it couldn’t get any better when I realized he had played Neil, the morgue assistant/fangbanger, in True Blood.

But my little sis Hannah tells me that before these shows, Texas native McHale was actually in a boy band called NLT (Not Like Them). Think N’Sync, only in 2007.

He’s obviously multi-talented, and willing to work multiple angles of the industry. And he’s the only one of them that seems truly committed to the ridiculous spectacle that is a boy band dance move.

Here he is, introducing the band:

And here’s their big single:

My inner 13-year-old is squealing.

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i know this much is true

My sister has the privilege of working for someone who brings her dogs to the office. Popeye apparently worked so hard today he couldn’t even make it totally into his bed before passing out. Who can blame Popeye? Publicity is a rough business in the city of angels.

I have no explanation for the title of this post except that it felt right.

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multiracial asian north american book list

I readily admit that my being a mixed race Asian American has prompted a slew of related obsessions, one of which is finding and reading books by and about other people like me.

Aside: You may notice that I am not using the work “hapa” in the title or body of this post. Ever since reading an article in Hyphen MagazineRethinking Hapa by Wei Ming Dariotis–I’ve attempted to instead employ (unfortunately looong) substitutes such as “mixed heritage Asian,” “Asian-descent multiracial,” and so on. Also, I’m saying “multiracial asian north american” in this post title because the list, which I promise I’ll get to eventually, includes American and Canadian authors

Aside #2: So we need a replacement for hapa that has no sense of appropriation or ickiness. How about MIRA (MIxed Race Asian)? Too forced with the “I?” Hmmm… Let it marinate, as they (slash Kissing Jessica Stein characters) say.

Ok, for real for real, here’s my list-in-progress of MIRA (indulge me) books:

  • My Year of Meats, All Over Creation, and everything else written by my current idol, Ruth Ozeki, who I forgive for never responding to my email telling her so.
  • On Borrowed Wings by Chandra Prasad
  • Mixed: An Anthology of Short Stories on the Multiracial Experience, edited by Chandra Prasad, and including a story by Ruth Ozeki as well as a slew of other people whose writing should be required reading for, well, everyone.
  • Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
  • Where the Long Grass Bends and short stories by Neela Vaswani
  • Sum of Our Parts: Mixed Heritage Asian Americans, edited by Teresa Williams-Leon and Cynthia Nakashima (this is a collection of awesome academic essays)
  • Not a book, but a super short must-read: Dr. Maria P. Root’s Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People.

…more to come!

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Why I wish I still loved Amy Adams.

So, it’s February rom-com preview season, and along with Valentine’s Day (subtle title–I guess they felt no other ploy was necessary) is an Amy Adams-Matthew Goode vehicle, Leap Year.  If you haven’t seen the previews, the whole plot (as indicated by the trailer) goes something like this: American gal decides that the “old Irish tradition” of allowing women to propose to their fiances on February 29 (really??) is a good reason to travel to Ireland, grab her conventionally good-looking polo shirt of a guy and do just that. During a harrowing flight, she resolves not to die without getting engaged, right before emergency-landing on the wrong side of the quaint little isle she’s chosen as the backdrop for her bridal fantasy. A local, accented, rugged (read: has stubble) Irishman is enlisted to drive to her to the right side of the island in time for her leap-day proposal. Road-trip hijinks and romance ensue. And guess who she ends up falling for? Seriously, GUESS.

There will be charming locals, troublesome livestock, electrical appliance failure, and…mud! Shrieking! Spirited pouting! YELP! I think I’m falling in love, but I have to tumble down a hill first! EEE!

I suppose it’s a bit passé to complain about a romantic comedy plot. After all, rom-coms are usually pretty cookie cutter–and at least the heroine doesn’t start out as a servant or assistant who gets rescued by a handsome boss. But it’s not the existence of this movie that bothers me so much as the fact that Amy Adams is in it. Even last year’s Julie and Julia was difficult to watch at times, mostly because of Adams. Whether by choice or direction, her Julie Powell was practically channeling Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail, down to the flustered typing and self-pitying arm flailing. On a second viewing, I found myself wishing I could edit her out so that Streep could evoke Julia Child’s warbly good nature unimpeded.

What happened to Adams? Though she was never exactly a full-blown indie darling, and her earlier films had her playing wide-eyed innocents, she was using that innocence to good effect.  As a displaced princess in Enchantment, Adams’ goofy charm helped propel the plot. After all, who else would be believable as an animated Disney Princess gone astray? Who else could sing to rats as they helped her clean and make it hilarious? Let’s not forget Adams’ wounded nurse in Catch Me If You Can, and let’s especially not forget her as Ashley Johnsten in Junebug:

That movie was devastatingly beautiful because of Adams: her vulnerability, her curiosity, and her open-faced belief that her new sister-in-law Madeleine would be as enthusiastically receptive of her new family as Ashley felt. The fact that Ashley is attempting to make a connection with all the Johnstens is heartbreaking precisely because of her wide-eyed, childlike faith in the fact that if she just keeps talking, they will all love her back.

Now, a drama like Junebug and a rom-com like Leap Year are nowhere near each other in terms of scope and audience. One is a money-grab while the other is reaching for a prize. But I really wish that Adams’ mainstream success–not to mention that of other actresses–didn’t have to come at the expense of nuance and artistry. After all, we shouldn’t all have to pretend that we are flustered and out of control in order to get the recognition we want and deserve. Talent and desire should play a part, too.

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some dreams must be shared

Such as this one:

I am Lindsay Lohan. I am bright and bubbly, at least for the moment.

I am attempting to branch out into directing. Unfortunately, when I arrive at the set of my new movie, my co-director is Janice Dickinson.

When I arrive she criticizes my clothes (I am wearing sneakers rather than boots) and informs me that I am not a director but, actually, have been downgraded to treasurer (a role I didn’t know existed on movie sets).

She then forces me to go to an amusement park where I am arrested while carrying a wax log (a prop?) which a police officer insists is filled with dangerous amounts of tobacco. I cannot reach my girlfriend via cellphone.

Then I realize the officer has not written down my name, leave, and arrive at set on time, in boots.

Interpret away.

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recent & random thoughts

1. Please gawd, make me a kick-ass jazz musician so I can get paid to travel the world just to play.

2. Brand new macbook, don’t be a mofo hater.

3. If I were to forced to make sweeping, likely false generalizations, it seems that Indian men flock to Match.com, unemployed men to OkCupid.com, and guys with very little time to actually date–and a tendency to lie about their height–to Jdate.

4. Wicked, the musical, is an awesome revisionist take on the Wizard of Oz, and reminded me a lot of Mists of Avalon. In both, the witch (Wicked Witch of the West in the former, Morgan La Fey in the latter) takes center stage to reveal how “truth,” to quote the musical, “is just what everyone agrees on.”

5. Cervical biopsies are not fun, even if you’re given anesthesia and get to wear a stylin’ pink hospital robe.

6. I cannot finish The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I’m just not cool enough.

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