oh beezy

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

holy sacrilegious travel ad! to the popemobile!

So, Kayak.com has a hot new ad out. In case you haven’t seen it:

The Pope’s not gonna like that. He’s probably busy drafting the next Harry Potter ban, though.

Of course, this is well-worn territory. Nuns as transgressive sexual beings have been featured in many TV spots and ad campaigns, including The L Word and this widely publicized Bennetton image:

The world can use one more, though. Enjoy!

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wow. i love living in the future!

Ugh. Valentine’s Day is coming up, and with it shitty jewelry ads. While I can’t find a video link (who wants heart-shaped shit when you can YouTube screaming chickens?), the sickly-sweet Kay Jewellers spot goes something like this: Woman is cooking, man is reading candy hearts. He reads them out to her to prove their oracular nature: “My girl! You’re sweet! You’re an amazing woman and you’re all I’ll ever need!” I’m about to propose to you… maybe.

“It doesn’t say that,” says sensibly-dressed girlfriend stirring pasta. You’re making me super uncomfortable…

And then he springs it: the heart-shaped diamond necklace. OMG!

“Gasp,” goes girl. I can sell this for a grand!

No you can’t. Because it’s cheap, silly! Oh, and because this necklace is supposed to complete you.

I suppose there’s not much point in railing against these kinds of V-day ads, but in a year where so much has already happened (earthquake, Prop 8 trial, worldwide economic collapse), pushing shitty mall bling seems a bit outdated. Girlfriend doesn’t even look as impressed and owned as she should!

V-day is rough for many people. The pressure, the idea of presents. The endless red and pink marketing. The stale themed candy displays that you can’t get rid of for weeks, or bring yourself to eat. I actually enjoy the day: I loved giving valentines as a kid, and I’m not too proud to admit that I like receiving the odd card or candy heart. Munch.

But once the heart-shaped advertising farce is done, let’s turn our attention to what should be the main event in nationwide love news: the Prop 8 trial. Watch the reenactment here. And fortify your hunger for justice with this little ditty:

Happy almost Valentine’s day, queerlings. I love you all.

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shades of ray; andy suzuki

Shades of RayI just finished watching “Shades of Ray,” which turned out to be one of those movies I couldn’t even try to give an objective review of because it is about being a mixed race (South) Asian American. There are so few narratives (filmed or written) I’ve encountered that are consciously centered on mixed race Asians, which means that the minute I do find one, I’m smitten with the mere idea of it. That said, “Shades of Ray” did receive some critical acclaim at festivals, so maybe there isn’t pure self-indulgent fluff behind my two enthusiastic thumbs up.

The main character, Ray, is a half-Pakistani, half-white self-described “mutt.” (I remember my grandpa’s reaction when I labeled myself that in his presence at around nine years old. It was the one time he ever spoke to me in an angry tone of voice). Ray is in love with a white gal, Noelle, who doesn’t say yes right away when he proposes because she has to convince her parents to accept a non-white fiance. (Uh, why this was not a double red flag in the first place is unclear to me… his love is a bit too blind). In the meantime, Ray’s Pakistani dad thinks he made a mistake after three or so decades of marriage to Ray’s white mother, and is pushing Ray to find a “nice Pakistani girl.” Ray acquiesces to a blind (family) date with a woman his dad recommends in return for his dad making an effort to patch things up with his mother. Sana, the “nice Pakistani girl” turns out to be, in fact, half and half just like Ray. You can tell where this is going. Of course, it wouldn’t be feature length unless Ray was all conflicted about who he’s meant to be with.

Anyways, I loved “Shades.” (Spoiler alert) It indulges what could be a commonly held fantasy amongst mixed people like me that a deeper understanding and connection can be found with a mixed partner. “You get me. And I don’t even get myself half the time,” Ray says to Sana. Maybe fantasy is the wrong word. Hope?

One small thing that made me smile (granted, I was a smiling idiot the entire film) was the use of Priscilla Ahn’s “Are we different?” during a scene when Ray is talking to Sana. Ahn is half Korean, half white (I’ve blogged about her before on here). Did the film’s writer/director, Jaffar Mahmood, mixed like his protagonist, include Ahn on purpose? Yay, either way. (Another thing I liked: Fran Kranz, of Dollhouse, as Ray’s roommate).

Hearing Ahn prompted me to check my music blogs (I can’t kick this tendency to have two screens going–TV and computer). Via A-tunes.net, I read about Andy Suzuki, an unsigned talent who I’m happy to add to my list of hapa musicians to follow. Check out this utterly sincere video from his blog about the inspiration behind his song, “300 Pianos:”

There’s another video about Andy trying out for American Idol. Definitely interesting for anyone who ever wondered about the audition experience, as well as a testament to the fact that Idol has a minuscule quota for actual talent (ya ya, no shit, i know). Final note: Just putting it out there, but imho he’s a no-brainer for a Disgrasian Babewatch post… Disgrasian is my new favorite blog, by the way. Read about the bloggers behind it in Hyphen’s latest issue. Here’s my favorite post so far:

http://disgrasian.com/2010/02/best-of-craigslist-teach-me-how-to-kiss/

**end stream of not-s0-consciousness**

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esna yoon

i love everything about this video–the gal, the song, the lighting, the framing and direction. hell, even the font. It’s the tasteful work of The Mighty Fifty, “a creative group of talents that revolves around all aspects of production.” Check out their site, the design and functionality of which I also love.

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happy MLK day.

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asian gals w. guitars

Well, not just guitars–pianos, too. Regardless, I tend to ❤ them. Here are a few:

Priscilla Ahn. So lovable, no? ‘Living in a Tree‘ is actually my fav song of hers, but I wanted to bring attention to a-Tunes.net, which alerted me to ‘The Boobs Song,’ as well as this next artist.

Jane Lui. I want a homemade music box.

Kina Grannis. Like Jane, a born-digital star via YouTube. (They’ve toured together, actually). She entered the video of her song, “Message from Your Heart,” into a contest that won her an airing during the Superbowl and a record deal.

Zee Avi. Yet another “YouTube sensation.” Aw.

Meiko. Meiko’s a quarter Japanese–she and her sister adopted Japanese names, kinda the way I replaced my middle name with my Grandma’s maiden name to get some filipina-ness in there. Kina and Priscilla are half (Japanese and Korean, respectively). So are Rachael Yamagata and Norah Jones. Represent, MIRAs. Yes, still pushing the hapa replacement label. Deal with it.

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to the tea

I’m into tea. All kinds. These days, tea is branching out. Here are some examples.

Hanger TeaHanger Tea. Does this not make so much sense?

Tea Bag CurtainsTea Curtains. Don’t just drink it. (Click on the image to read the how-to on making these, courtesy of Time Out NY).

Tea shirtTea shirt.

thirsteaBubble Tea. It’s flourishing in NYC. This is my preferred provider, on East 10th between 1st and Ave. A–Thirstea. Follow them on twitter for the occasional discount and whatnot.

earl grey ice cream

Earl grey ice cream. So good. Here’s a recipe. I plan to combine some of my favorite things in life and make earl grey ice cream mochi someday soon.

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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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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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it was all a dream

So, time for some shameless self-promotion. And Biggie adoration, too!  I recently saw the new biopic Notorious.  Check out the review here.

Even though I knew B.I.G.’s biopic was going to be a bit of a bust, the trailer made me hope.

But even if the movie doesn’t measure up to the music, I’m glad the Notorious B.I.G. got his own tribute.  It’s about time for some parity.  No offense meant to Tupac, of course–it’s hard to compete with his charisma and otherworldly beauty on the hip hop memorial circuit.

It’s just too bad that the film didn’t give Biggie his due (and gave a lot of credit for what he did do to producer Puffy, or P. Diddy, or Diddy, or Sean Combs, or whatever name he chose right after the credits rolled).

Let’s not give any more credit to the industry that Combs has built on Biggie’s legacy. Instead, thank him for rapping (and thanking Brooklyn)…

…and enjoy his songs. They always take me back.

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