Friday, December 19, 2014

Bobby Lee - "You are scientist. I am scientist."

A few weeks ago I was given a workplace credit card to purchase office supplies.  I hadn't even used it yet when I learned it had already been hacked.  Someone used its numbers to try to charge $5000 to a hotel in Michigan.  I BLAME NORTH KOREA!

We won't be seeing Franco and Rogen's The Interview anytime soon but we can always watch Bobby Lee's classic clip as a North Korean scientist (and Kim Jong Il) from MadTV.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jessica Gomes and her eyelids

It is insane to look at swimsuit model Jessica Gomes and focus on her eyelids. I know this, and yet I am fascinated and excited that Jessica Gomes has single-fold eyelids.  I'd be willing to bet if she was a model in Asia (definitely in South Korea) she would have been asked a dozens of times over to get eyelid surgery by now.  Yet, the Australian is a successful model and covergirl so take that fake alien-eye obsessed Koreans with your narrow standards of female beauty!

Have you ever noticed that non-Asian people recognize that Asian eyes are different than their own, but have no idea about single vs. double fold eyelids?  Most of them blissfully are unaware differences like this even exist.  A Mexican friend was trying to describe the different between my eyes (small, moon shaped eyes with single fold eyelids) and those of my husband (huge eyes with deep, full eyelids upon which if he wore eye shadow you could unload an entire Sephora store).  My friend kept saying to me, "Your eyes go sideways more." I shut her down.  What she should have said was, "Your eyes are like happy moons when you smile."

To see more than just Jessica Gomes' eyebrows, watch her and Steven Yeun go on a date for CAPE's I AM Campaign.

Photos via CelebMafia and Zimbio

I'm sold: Tom Hiddleton for Jaguar

Move over, Clive.  There's a new Brit in town whose style and delivery is selling to the fast and furious...and the very rich.  Whereas Clive Owen played the hero for BMW, Tom Hiddleston shows how it's so good to be bad for Jaguar

Previously on The Pad

Photos via Motorward and Hollywood Reporter

California Lottery holiday commercial

This is one of my favorite commercials of all time.  I love the pacing, the use of lighting, and the music.  The people in the ad don't talk but their expression speak volumes.  Whenever it's on TV I stop and watch it all the way through.  I wish California would do a version of this ad with the same music featuring a family walking through their local animal shelter.  They'd encounter a pet in need and add adopt it in time for the holidays.  Cue my heart melting.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hipster Guinea Pigs

Photos by Dutch artist Megan van der Elst.  I feel like these three adorable piggies are in line at a Mac store or a coffee shop. ☕

See more of adorable Booboo and Friends on Megan's site.

Star Wars Vans

In the words of Twin Peaks Leo Johnson, new shoes!  I wanted the charming hibiscus flower Yoda Vans, but ended up buying the far less subtle A New Hope slip-ons because they came in my size.  See more Star Wars Vans!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

♥ Selfie's Mr. Saperstein ♥

My feelings towards ABC's romantic comedy series Selfie ran the gamut from hopeful, to disappointed, to completely turned off, to highly entertained, and now to lamenting its loss-- all in 9 episodes.  Selfie has finally hit its stride with quick-witted writing (especially for supporting characters) and a quirky love-hate relationship between Eliza and Henry.  Through some painfully bad episodes, a particularly well-acted character shined and continues to surprise.  Mr. Saperstein, portrayed by British actor David Harewood, is the fictitious CEO of KinderCare Pharmaceuticals on Selfie.  He is boss to social media-obsessed Eliza and her uptight, mentor colleague Henry. Mr. Saperstein is confident, optimistic, full of life, and oblivious to many social norms that hold others back.  He operates delightfully outside of the box.  Behold, my favorite Mr. Saperstein moments:

Mr. Saperstein calls Henry to the front of a meeting and is so proud of him he plants a giant kiss on his lips.  When Henry protests, Mr. Saperstein assures him Koreans enjoy this type of thing and sends Henry an article titled, "Kissing Koreans" in support of this theory. (Pilot episode)

Eliza and Henry approach Mr. Saperstein with a marketing idea.  Mr. Saperstein gets so into the brainstorming process he begins "riffing;" pretending he's plucking a bass violin.  He tells Henry to play the high hat and Eliza the French Horn.  Eliza has no idea what a French Horn is so she improvises. (Follow Through, Episode 9)

Mr. Saperstein rolls with the times and is no fashion victim.  Henry has a flashback to (I'm guessing the 1990s) when he and his boss created their elephant chewable vitamin.  Mr. Saperstein was sporting braids and Henry a teased 'do.  (Nugget of Wisdom, Episode 4--a good episode focusing on Charmonique, too!)

Mr. Saperstein invites Henry and Eliza to his Santa Barbara estate.  When Eliza suggests sitting by the pool, Mr. Saperstein throws on his orange Speedo and meets everyone poolside.  (Even Hell has Two Bathrooms, Episode 5)

Good news for Selfie fans: ABC is releasing six unaired episodes on Hulu.  Maybe we'll see if Eliza and Henry finally profess their love for each other.  Mr. Saperstein would be thrilled. As he pointed out to Henry, their offspring would be exquisite!

Photos via Getty Images, Hypable, A Fistful of Soundtracks and Entertainment Monthly

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Why I drive stick

My husband of twelve years frequently tells me how more practical life would be if I traded my manual transmission car for an automatic.  He's right, but I cannot fathom going places in a regular old car.  I grew up driving a stick-shift.  I passed my drivers test in one. All my cars have had manual transmissions. My most recent car, a 6-speed GTI, is mine after leasing it for two years. Deciding on the next step at my lease's end was a big moment--should I get an automatic that my husband can drive, in which I won't fear for my life on hills, that won't fatigue my left leg pressing and releasing the clutch in bumper to bumper traffic?

I'm a dodo head for purchasing my VW since it's not what I'd call reliable.  The "check tires" and "check engine" lights come on all the time.  I doubt it's going to reach to 150K miles.  But on a scale of 1 to 10 for being fun to drive it's a 22.  When I'm on the roads I feel like Han Solo racing through space in the Millennium Falcon.  For me it's not just about getting from points A to B, but also the experience along the way. When I'm old I'll have to give up my manual transmission.  Until then I'm going to enjoy the ride.

Photos A Man's Life and The One Ring

Beauty secrets by Ajumma

A person like me dispensing beauty advice is like Quasimodo offering advice on good posture.  However, I've come across a product that so far has offered only GOOD HAIR DAYS so I want to share it with the world.  This hair product is not tested on animals so if you believe in kindness, karma, or the slight possibility of going to heaven, this product is up your alley. Behold, Neuma Moisture Intensive Masque!

I first came across Neuma Moisture Intensive Masque as a sample packet from my local salon.  I now use it once every two weeks or whenever I feel my locks need a boost.  I apply it in the shower like I would any regular conditioner.  My hair is somewhat course, full, and wavy. If I don't blow dry after washing it my hair becomes a gigantic puffy helmet of brownness. With 100% sincerity, Neuma Moisture Intensive Masque makes my hair smooth, manageable, and shiny.  I don't know what it offers people with hair unlike my own, but those with similar hair will agree Neuma ought to rename their product, Neuma Best Damn Hair on the Block Intensive Moisture Masque.

Here's a bizarre tip that I swear works: Rub a teensy amount of Paul Mitchell Super-Charged Conditioner across your brows after showering.  They'll look fuller within a few weeks.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Keanu Reeves' mom and dad

How have I gone years without looking up what Keanu Reeves' folks look like?  Today is the day!  Keanu, who is a genetic mix of Caucasian, Chinese, and Hawaiian, has a stunner of a mom and a Hawaiian pops with a full head of hair.

Keanu spent his childhood in Hawaii, but moved to Canada where his mother, a British performer, raised him and his sister.  Keanu appears to be close to his mother, Patricia.  He is currently estranged from his dad, Samuel, however.  Samuel Reeves feels his own drug use and incarceration has likely been the cause of their separation.

I love Keanu Reeves in old interviews.  He seemed so authentic, open, and ready for anything, much like Leonardo DiCaprio in the 90s and Shia LaBeouf back in the day. I'd think it would be extremely challenging to operate in the Hollywood machine and maintain the same integrity and openness. 

Photos Honolulu Star-Bulletin, NetGlimpse, People Magazine

Monday, October 6, 2014


I'm sitting here at work wearing a brand new pair of skinny jeans.  I stupidly bought them after a tiny boutique owner convincingly told me a size 29 was for me even after I asked her for a size 30.  She looked at me with a straight face and said everybody looks good in skinny jeans.  I expected the ceiling to fall in the second after she said those words, but it did not.  She explained that she could give me other type of jeans to try on, but I wouldn't look fashion forward.  So, due to my vanity/insecurity, I left the store with the Spanish inquisition torture-device jeans.  The truth is almost no one looks good in skinny jeans except 14 year-olds and exceptionally thin college girls.

Off topic, I think this is the best damn photo of actor John Cho ever taken.  Courtesy of The New Potato

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Becky G brings summer

A friend lamented to me she had no official song of summer.  My summer can be wrapped up in a tune by Ms. Becky G, called "Shower."  I like the beat and how the callback in the chorus reminds me of 80s tunes by Martika.  My runner-up song of summer would be "Boom Clap" by Charli XCX.  Talk about 80s!  Though I wish it was called "Boom Crash."  "Boom Clap" makes me think someone suddenly got gonorrhea.

You may be wondering why I posted "Becky from the Block" instead of "Shower."  The reasons are as follows:
  • "Becky from the Block" gets down.
  • It's filmed in Inglewood, California.
  • There's a surprise at the end.
  • "Shower" is a dull video (filmed in an Eichler) with repeated product placements for Cover Girl.  No likey.

To recap, my girl of summer is Becky G.  I like her spunk, her fashions, and how she reps Chicanas and Inglewood.  I hope she stays true to her roots, doesn't allow herself to become too overproduced, and lets her talent speak for itself.  The last time I hoped young talent would prosper it was Justin Bieber and we know how that turned out.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What happened to A Very Young Dancer, Stephanie?

I've been watching the online episodes of Strictly Ballet on Teen Vogue.  I've never been a dancer (my Beijing opera teacher was particularly horrified by the clumsy way I move), but something about their culture fascinates me.  I appreciate how ballet is art come to life, and dancers' relentless drive to make their bodies do what they want.  In this vain, I loved the documentary about ballet students, First Position (2012) and the controversial Oscar winner, Black Swan (2010).

My first foray into the world of ballet came by way of Jill Krementz's photo essay book, A Very Young Dancer (1976).  The book follows Stephanie, a student at the School of American Ballet, as she practices and performs as Marie in The Nutcracker.  I repeatedly signed out the over-sized book from my school library and escaped into the romantic world of ballet in high energy New York City.  I always wondered what happened to Stephanie as an adult.

The New York Times tracked down Stephanie in 2011.  The former ballet student, now living in Wyoming, gave a candid interview about what followed A Very Young Dancer.  The article is a must-read for fans of Jill Krementz's photo essay book.

Photos via The New York Times (Lynn Donaldson), Delightful Children's Books, and Teen Vogue

Monday, August 25, 2014

Booties for your footsies

'I see booties!  They're rubber.  You can use them like galloshes, but they're easier to slip your feet into.  Make them strange looking enough that people will realize they're for private, in-home use, not to wear to the market.  Did I mention the feet holes must be extra large?  And what's great is when you're done cleaning you can cut a whole in the toes and use them as pipes.'

---The creator of Japanese cleaning booties (as imagined by Ajumma)

Bars, bars, bars

If a dessert represented your home state, what would it be?  I'm from Minnesota.  I say that s'mores and lemon bars generally represent the Land of 10,000 Lakes.  Slate Magazine disagrees (slightly).  Writer L.V. Anderson tasked herself with naming official desserts for all 35 states (15 of them already had them).  According to her, seven layer bars represent Minnesota don't cha know!  She may be right on this one.  Seven layer bars made appearances at every church event, funeral, holiday party, and potluck I attended growing up in the ice box state.  Apparently Germans and Scandinavian Americans love the combination of chocolate chips and coconut.

Illustration by Jess Fink

Friday, August 22, 2014

Daniel, Emma, and Rupert

Photo via Business Insider

* Origami wall flowers *

We get keys to our new, one bedroom apartment tomorrow.  I've been freaking out about how we'll fit all of our stuff into the space.  While it has more cupboard space in the kitchen than our current abode, it's sorely lacking in closets.  (Plus we found a guinea pig dumped on the grass a few weeks ago, which means we now have a gigantic cage on IKEA tables, a plastic bin full of hay and pellets, a stockpile of polar fleece, and (truly the piece de resistance) a full size plastic trash can for her refuse.)  I wonder where the hell we're going to put her items, plus our books, coolers, ironing board, mini Christmas tree, box of ornaments, framed art, my husband's office furniture, electronics, volleyball net, and his knick knacks from his Army days.  But, I digress. 

Every wall in our new apartment is white.  I'd like to spruce things up with adhesive wall decals.  I am thinking of buying origami wall flowers by MyVinilo USA.  They remind me of a Korean bojagi pattern.  I can even select my own custom colors!

Previously on Ajumma's Pad
Bojagi mania
We sold our house!
Before and after: Ajumma's kitchen

How to say "ukulele"

Right way to say ukulele: OO-KOO-LEH-LEH
Wrong way to say ukulele: yoo-koo-lay-lee

We Americans have really mucked up the word ukulele, like like how we call karaoke CARRIE OKIE.

Previously on Ajumma's Pad

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hoosier kitchens appeal to the clean freak in me

In the 1920s and 30s, Hoosier cabinets helped homeowners (read: the woman of the house) to stay organized in the kitchen.  Everything was off the floor allowing easy sweeping and mopping.  (I get a serious case of the willies thinking about spaces under modern-day stoves and refrigerators.)  My dad uses a Hoosier cabinet base and table in his art studio.  Someday I hope to inherit these pieces.

Previously at The Pad: I'd totally live here: Bluff Park
I'd totally live here: Hong Kong
I'd totally live here: Ortega-Vigare adobe
Heck yeah, I'd live here: Echo Park

Other home features:
Newport Beach cottage makeover
Neutra home my idea of heaven
San Diego Cinderella home for sale
One house, three exteriors
Venice home restaged, back on market
Dream midcentury house: 1966 post and beam
Report: Lee Snijders at Home & Garden show 

Photos courtesy of 1924 Hoosier Kitchen, PR Log, Live Auctioneers, Etsy blog, Pinterest, and Gallery Hip

♥ Daniel Henney, animal advocate ♥

World news has been utterly depressing lately.  A bright spot is Daniel Henney's support of animal adoption and spaying and neutering of pets via PETA.  Thank you, Daniel Henney.  Aja, aja fighting!

What celebrity would play you?

If you had to cast an actor or actress to portray you in a movie, who would you choose?  While writing features on three colleagues, I asked two females and one male this question. Their answers were Scarlett Johansson, Kristen Bell, and Daniel Radcliffe.  Fascinating to me is that all three colleagues are Asian American.  Apparently their essences can best be captured by blondes and a guy with giant blue eyes.  I'd choose comedienne Charlyne Yi to play me.  Granted she's now thinner and comes off as more endearing than myself.  She's an actress, though, so I'm sure she could pump up the paranoia and hostility needed to play me.

Update: I asked my husband if Charlyne Yi could play me in a movie, and spun around my laptop to show him her photo.  His reaction?  "OH MY GOD.  Yes!"

Photo via Zimbio

Words I learned recently

I am now making an effort to note and remember words that are new to me.  I usually come across new vocabulary when reading news articles.  To make new words stick I have to read them and then immediately look up their meanings.  If I don't do that, the words become, '...that D-word that means a place that is bad and ugly like in Blade Runner.'  Pronunciation guides in dictionaries are amusing because how many English speakers actually understand them?  They're like using hand signals while riding a bike. Riders can use them, but unless others understand what the signals mean they're pretty much usless.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Rod Man loves his Mexican neighbors

Rod Man dished on his Mexican neighbors on Last Comic Standing, last night.  He had me howling.  I am moving to a ritzier neighborhood in Orange County next weekend.  We're moving to minimize my commute to work.  I'm already lamenting the loss of our working class Asian and Mexican neighbors (although many of the Asians drive like sh*t), the eloté cart that a couple occasionally rolls down our street, and being so far from our favorite fish taco restaurant.

Watch:Rod Man and Mexican neighbors

Previously on Ajumma's Pad:
¡Viva eloté!

Pic via Vegas News

Farewell to Robin Williams

We all have our favorite Robin Williams roles.  They seem to vary by age.  My twenty-something companions like the comic in Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire.  I favor Robin Williams' quieter roles such as his portrayal of English professor John Keating in Dead Poets Society (1989) and real-life neurologist Oliver Sacks in Awakenings (1990).  It's a shame Williams' internal pain and hopelessness reached the point he no longer wanted to go on.  I'm thankful for the many characters he brought to life, and appreciate how he positively affected people across socioeconomic and color lines with his entertaining and philanthropy.

Actually, one of my favorite Robin Williams moments is one of his more physical ones.

Photos via Pauline Hughes Ceramics, Reason & Reflection, FW, and Walk in the Dust

Returning to "Breaking Bad"

"Felina," the Breaking Bad series finale aired in September 2013.  The grand finale of five ridiculously intense seasons left me completely satisfied.  I had no desire to read anything about the episode, the stars, or reactions from other viewers.  This was the opposite of how I'd been operating as the AMC series progressed, scouring messages boards for posts by BB fans. However, after a year's hiatus I found myself taking great delight in Glenn Whipp's interview with Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and the show's stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston.  The trio quips about what happened to Jesse once -- SPOILERS!!!! --he busted down the gates of the supremacist compound.  They also discuss alternative fates for master chemist Walter White.  My only bone to pick is I feel they exaggerated the threat Gale posed, but Gilligan is the show's creator and harbors in his mind the corners Gale could have turned given the chance.

Read the L.A. Times interview.

Previously on Ajumma's Pad:
Breaking Bad stars out and about
I'm seriously addicted to Breaking Bad
If I were Giancarlo Esposito
Men in cars
Men in pork pie hats
Breaking Bad stuff I like from the web

Photo from Business Insider

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bird songs for your desk

Stuck in a cubicle?  No access to a window?  Is your view of a concrete wall?  Turn on Sound of Nature-Bird Songs (No Music) recorded by a YouTuber outside the person's home in Poland.  The all natural, high quality video lasts 180 minutes.  I pull up the video and minimize it while going about my work day.  The songs of the birds are calming and pure.  Today, I got really fancy and turned on a clip of a rainstorm while the birds played in the background. Pure bliss.