Looking young is what most people wish for. People spend thousands of dollars on creams and surgery and all that. But really, looking young is only advantageous if you're over 40 or so... and purely for the sake of vanity. I'm 28 and look 18 and there are no advantages to that at all, none whatsoever. People generally don't respect you (esp. at nice restaurants), don't take you seriously at work even if they're your subordinate, you get carded all the time, and it's hard to get a high level job when, during the interview process, they are secretly wondering how many years you've been out of high school.

Earlier this month I was volunteering at the Asian American film fest and it was mostly high school groups during the weekdays. This teacher started approaching me and I was getting ready to answer whatever questions he might have. As he got closer, he kind of mumbled, "oops, I thought you were one of the students. I was going to ask you to sit down." And his class was from a MIDDLE SCHOOL, not even a high school. I'm sick of people telling me how grateful I should be that I look young. Maybe I'll be grateful when I am 40, but right now I wish I just looked my freakin' age because I'm sick of being constantly treated like some snot nosed teenager. Maybe I should screen my ID and resume on a damn t-shirt and wear it every day.
The other day in my Asian Americans and Mass Media course, we were discussing the LA Riots which took place in 1993. The media made it out to look like a racial conflict between Korean storeowners and Blacks. One independent film named Sa i Gu (literally April 29th) involved really touching interviews with many residents of the area, both black and Korean and most of them pointed out that the cause of the riot was not racial tension but poverty and anger at the police and judicial system after 4 police officers were released after beating the shit out of Rodney King. Were the black folks angry? Hell yeah, but not at the Koreans. They just happen to be easy targets since they can't go and attack the LAPD directly. Both sides noted that white run media love to pit subordinate groups against each other to deflect negative attention from the real issue - the fact that both groups blame white dominated institutions including the LAPD, judicial system, government welfare etc. It was really enlightening to see that point of view. Anyways, during this discussion the prof asked what we remembered of the very biased media coverage of the incident (angry black people, hysterical inarticulate Korean women, Korean men pointing guns at looters from rooftops). The response? "I don't really remember, I was nine at the time." Damn that was a reality check. I'm freaking almost a decade older than many of my classmates, at least in my undergrad classes. I cannot wait to get these undergrad prereqs and electives over with.


This guy on the plane next to us flying from YVR to SFO had a funny hat. A white trucker type baseball cap. It said Northern Louisiana Juvenile Detention Center. I was thinking this could be one of two things. First, it might've been some attempt to be funny. Kinda like when people wear those shirts that say they escaped from Alcatraz or some shit like that. Second, it could've really been a hat from a juvenile detention center. Kinda like when you get a shirt or hat that says hmm Sun Microsystems or NetIQ or something. But then I thought, who the hell would want to tell people that they have something to do with a juvie? Actually, why would such an institution even order hats or shirts unless it's part of some uniform? Bizarre man. Anyways, I didn't really feel like asking because generally I don't like to strike up conversations with people on a plane cuz then you feel obligated to make small talk with them throughout the trip. I'm so anti-social.
Back from Vancouver last night. I swear I tidied up before I left but everytime I come back from a trip there's these little gnomes who come into our place and make a huge mess for me - papers all over the coffee table, clothes on the couch, laundry hanging to dry in the living room *sigh*. Oh well, it was an awesome trip made even better by some great deals we got. First deal, hotel room we booked with Hotwire.com. It was one of those deals where you pick the price and hotel quality ($105 USD, 4 stars) but don't know what hotel you'll get, how many beds (minimum of two singles I think) and (what I realized later) whether or not the room is non-smoking. We lucked out and got a place at Le Chamois at the base of the Wizard lift at Blackcomb. It was non smoking and not just two beds, but two beds in two separate rooms with two tvs and two full bathrooms. Damn, we could've split the cost with 3 other people but unfortunately no one else could make it. The hotel room was sweet! Deal number two, we headed to Seymour on Saturday so I could teach Simon how to snowboard. Price should've been $25 for the equipment rental and $26 for each of our lift tix (after 4pm). Somehow we only got charged the price for rope tow ($14) instead of lift so the grand total for 2 lift tickets and a rental was $50. Later that evening we headed to the Latin Quarter (1305 Commercial Drive, awesome Spanish tapas) for dinner. We had two pitchers of sangria at $25 each and fed 5 people about a dozen dishes (ranging from $8 to 16, mostly around $12 I think). Somehow the bill came out to $168 (including tax). We think they didn't charge us for the second round of stuff we ordered but we didnt look at the bill too closely. All this brought flashbacks of these stupid quizzes I took for my ethics course and how the ethical thing to do is report anything you think was undercharged. Fortunately I've been ripped off too many times for me to feel guilty about things like this.


It's been brought to my attention that this pic of Ray
bears some resemblance to the gay dog on South Park.

Found a new site today Blogs Canada. I'm liking the logo. I'm debating, what are the benefits of publishing one's blog on a public directory? It's kind of fun to think you might be communicating your passing thoughts to the masses. One drawback, however, would be getting unwelcome/obscene comments on my backblog which I can't edit because I dont wanna pay for premium membership. hmmm
Apartment/condo living is always so hit and miss even if your place is nice. Well ours isn't what I call nice but my point really is that the variable you cannot control is what your neighbors are like. Back at Miramar, we loved the place but I wanted to kill my downstairs neighbor for launching unjustified complaints about noise (it was impossible to go up our spiral stairs without it echoing to his apartment, poor design, not our fault). Of course I fought back by complaining about him coming upstairs and peeking through our window. Now at Admiralty, our neighbour to the right is a really nice guy, really friendly. However we never see him with his wife. But I do get to hear her yell at him at the top of her lungs on average 3- 4 times a month. Obscenities and cursing aplenty I tell you. Soonafter, he usually goes out to his balcony and has a smoke which then carries into our apartment so I have to run around and shut all the windows. The family on the left side are these God-fearing people with a huge picture of Jesus and Mary on their front door. They're not terribly friendly. They also have this fucking windchime that goes crazy on windy days of which we had many last month. Simon wants to put up a sign that says "God hates windchimes". I just want to hop the divider on the balcony, rip it down and stuff it down the throat of their teenager who is currently blasting hip hop music that is shaking my walls. So any good neighbour stories?


I just finished my first big essay of the semester. It amounted to 7 pages double spaced. I've written papers four times that length but I'm so out of practice it has completely drained me. Actually writing in general, when I actually devote care, attention and effort to choosing just the right words, makes me really exhausted. I once wanted to become a journalist. I wonder if I would've quit by now for fear of losing all my hair and developing ulcers.
OK sign this. http://www.petitiononline.com/ccbanzai/petition.html


Yay on the Ban Banzai front, Yum Foods (pizza hut, taco bell), Wendy's Restaurants, United Airlines and Ikea have agreed not to advertise on Banzai. Here's my letter to Comedy Central:

Dear Comedy Central,

I am shocked and appalled by your plans to air Banzai after Fox pulled the show in response to numerous complaints from the Asian American community. Banzai is extremely offensive to Asian Americans. The show uses exaggerated expressions, broken English, mock Asian accents, and even features Caucasian actors in yellowface (those geishas showing their panties are white women passing as Japanese - this is absolutely hideous and nothing of the sort has been shown on TV since Charlie Chan in the 1930s).

I'm sure Comedy Central would be instantly opposed to showing Blacks wearing bones pierced through their noses and cooking people in cast iron pots. And showing Caucasian characters in black face would be absolutely unthinkable.

Well Banzai is no different.
The stereotypes and depictions of Asians in that show are hurtful, archaic and disgusting. Anyone at Comedy Central who passes it off as harmlessly funny is WAY off base and needs a good history lesson. You can't just mask racism with stupid humor.

I am thoroughly disgusted by this program and ask that it be pulled. Wendy's Restaurants and Yum! Brands (Pizza Hut/Taco Bell), who pulled their advertising from Fox, have already written to us and agreed not to advertise on Banzai on Comedy Central. Ikea and United Airlines have also agreed not to advertise and our concerns have been voiced to other Comedy Central advertisers as well.

Vanessa Au
more info at


Vanessa Au

Candidate, M.A. Radio & Television,

San Francisco State University

On Banzai:

"It's just all the backward images of Asian-American people," says Guy Aoki, co-founder of Media Action Network for Asian Americans, a watchdog group that monitors the portrayal of Asians in media. "This is like an Asian minstrel show." It's no wonder that people like Aoki are up in arms at Banzai's shoddy portrayals of the Japanese and their customs. Even if Banzai is plainly theater of the absurd, it comes dangerously close to masking racism under the guise of stupidity. Just because something is idiotic, doesn't make it any less offensive.



Nothing feels better than writing a good protest letter once in a while whether it's to free Tibet, free the latest political prisoner or to get racist shirts pulled off the shelves at Abercrombie. People really don't take advantage of the fact that we live in a democratic society where we can take action to induce social change without getting caned or executed. North Americans really need to get more active. Complaining to your friends gets you nowhere, but organized action can actually produce results.

Lately I've turned my attention back to media portrayals of Asians since it's my area of study. Just recently, efforts to get Banzai off the air (from Fox) were successful. Banzai is a UK-made parody of Japanese game shows complete with fake accents, horrible Asian stereotypes and even Caucasians in yellow face. It would pretty much be the equivalent of showing Blacks wearing bones pierced through their noses and cooking people in cast iron pots, plus a good number of Caucasian characters in black face for good measure. It's just not right and anyone who thinks Banzai is harmlessly funny is WAY off base and needs a good history lesson. Letters to Fox's advertisers got the show pulled but now it's being picked up by Comedy Central. If you want to help get this bullshit off the air go to the Asian Media Watch site and send off a few letters to the network and their advertisers. Asian Americans are typically stereotyped as passive and politically inactive, let's show 'em otherwise.
Today I made my mark on a bathroom stall. No not with a sharpie. With a piece of chalk. The facilities managers at SF State probably realized that students are going to doodle while they, uh, doodle regardless of the rules, so most of the bathrooms stalls are equipped with a small chalkboard and chalk to allow us to make our voices heard as we squat. What a wonderful idea. I responded to a message about impeaching Bush by posing my own question, "what about Arnie and his cuts to CSU?" Too bad I dont remember where I wrote this and wont be able to check for responses.


Heading back to Van for my spring break in a couple weeks with Simon. As with my last couple trips I'm hoping to avoid the always disappointing club and after hours scene in favour of restaurant and lounge/bar hopping. We want to get a taste at as many restaurants as possible and then do a not-too-strenuous lounge or bar night. Nothing too crowded (Shine), pretentious (ie Voda or Au Bar) or expensive (Ginger/Crush). Something along the lines of Jupiter Lounge. Any other restaurant or lounge suggestions?


I love this beautiful weather. Shorts and tank top weather in March! But for some reason, the sun brings allergies and right now I'm so damn congested, I'm wishing I could breath through my ass. I tried steam, eucalyptus aromatherapy oil, Claritin. Nothing. I even discovered this great home remedies site but not much written on nasal congestion.


I'm watching the funniest shit on VH1. Some game show host is out in a mall asking people to complete nursery rhymes. Some people obviously weren't read to when they were young. Here are a few that I remember:

- There was an old woman who lived in a... A: project?
- It's raining, it's pouring the old man is... A: drinking?
- Jack and Jill went up a hill to... A: have some fun?
- Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was... A: all sticky

How tragic.
More on phone-o-phobia. Concept, I think you have helped me to figure out the source of this nonsense. I too used to screen calls like crazy at work. Almost all my calls were either from these bozo corporate marketing people in Houston asking me stupid questions or nagging at me for something or from the international marketing/pr people asking me even stupider questions. I've honestly never liked talking on the phone at great length since I was oh, 16 or so, but the phone avoidance behavior I think definitely started at work. I also have this fear about leaving my phone on by accident and having it ring at an inopportune time (e.g. when I was doing my fiction reading for a small audience at some arts center) so now I only turn it on when I'm out and about on the weekends. My close friends have my house number so they know to reach me there during evenings and mornings.


I have a problem I call phone-o-phobia. Quite opposite of what most other people have - an obsession with answering their phones, checking voicemail, text messaging, calling people and talking for hours. I think that I might have accidentally become conditioned (in a Pavlov's dogs sort of way) to hate using my cell phone, and my house phone for that matter. Maybe I received bad news over the phone or got so many unwanted calls that I learned to associate those ill feelings with my phone ringing and me answering it. I always screen my calls and ignore numbers I don't know. When I get a voicemail, I absolutely dread checking it and often wait til I've collected 10 messages over a week or so before I check em all at once. By that time most of those messages are dated and, well, pointless. But I cant help it. I dont like answering my phone. I'm a little more ok with calling people, but not by much. I'm really not ok with long phone conversations. I feel crippled talking without seeing or being seen.

However, I have become hopelessly addicted to computer mediated communication - IM and email. I think it's the fact that I have a choice over what to read, when to read it and have an opportunity to preview what's coming and get a sense for whether it's good, bad, neutral, boring, waste of my time etc. Is anyone else out like this or should I be seeking free counselling at school before the budget cuts take effect.
My allergies are telling me that Spring has most definitely sprung. I constantly have that irritated throat yeet hay feeling, my eyes are itchy, my throat is itchy, my nose is runny and I am all wheezy. Luckily they now have Claritin OTC here but for whatever reason, it ain't working that well. Might need to stock up on Reactin on my trip back home. I wonder what Chinese medicine prescribes for allergies.


This is a long post but it is my last Toastmasters speech which I delivered on Wednesday night and I kinda had a fun time writing it so I thought I'd share:

As far back as 1993, 98% of U.S. households owned at least one TV set, 64% had two or more TVs. Children in America watch an average of three hours of television programs a day. This does not include other uses of the TV, like movies and video games. In total it is estimated that children spend about the same number of hours in front of the television as they do at school.

One could say then that children learn as much from television then as they do from school. This is highly problematic, not just for children but for adults as well.

Now, if I learned everything I know about the world from television alone, I would be inclined to believe that
families come complete with two children and a supportive mother and father
I'd believe that problems within the family can be solved in a mere 30 minutes, minus commercials and that non-traditional families such as single parent or divorced families are completely and 100% dysfunctional

If I learned everything I know about the world from television alone, I would be inclined to believe that people don't work that hard to make a living and that one can actually afford to live in a Manhattan apartment on the income of a struggling actor or masseuse
I'd believe that everyone is happily employed and that poverty is not an issue in this country
But I'd believe that every other country outside of the US is a third world country

If I learned everything I know about the world from television alone, I would be inclined to believe that violence, aggression and other anti-social behaviors can be carried out without negative consequence and might even be rewarded
I'd believe that there is a constant threat of a terrorist attack or violent crime, even in my neighborhood
I'd believe the police are always impartial, always on my side and never abuse their power

If I learned everything I know about the world from television alone, I would be inclined to believe that men are stronger and wiser than women, women are slyer than men and gay men are better than anybody at choosing your wardrobe.
I'd believe that lesbians are angry and trans-sexuals are just plain crazy
I'd believe that sex = power, even for high ranking women

If I learned everything I know about the world from television alone, I would be inclined to believe that Asian women are conniving or erotic, Black men are funny, Native Indians are slow and primitive, Middle Eastern men are terrorists and Asian men never get the girl.
I'd believe that white=default, that Caucasians are more trustworthy and racism is a non-issue
I'd believe that people with physical or mental disabilities simply don?t exist

If I learned everything I know about the world from television alone, I would be inclined to believe that the ideal body includes buns of steel and 6 pack abs, and that nothing is more shameful than gray hair, body hair, stretch marks, blemishes, wrinkles and, God forbid, erectile dysfunction!
HOWEVER, I'd also believe that there is a product out there that I can buy to solve any issues I have with my body

Like it or not, television is a source of socialization for viewers of all ages. It influences the way we think, act and how feel about the world.

You must remember that television does NOT equal reality.

Don't let the commerce-driven agenda of TV networks and advertisers distort your view of yourself or your world. Spend more time observing the world YOU live in and be critical of what you see on TV.


I'm sitting here trying to write a short paper comparing the codes of ethics for 3 societies of professional journalists and listening to a CD full of 80s classics that Jane made me. I hate working on this paper. This music has inspired me to jump on google and do my regular "where are they now" searches. This time for Tiffany whom I was just listening to. I'm so fascinated by the eighties. The fashion was horrible but I think my favourite music came out of that decade with maybe a little spillover into the early 90s. Check out this site and, oh, dont forget the Tiffany fan site. Not sure if you grew up in the eighties? Check here. I am also obssessed with watching those VH1 specials. The specials on 1984-1988 were awesome. Long live Atlantic Starr, Air Supply and The Police! OK shit, back to this stupid paper.