Tuesday, January 28, 2014

3 Opinion-Editorials worth reading today

Teaching "The Odyssey" at San Quentin by Bill Smoot
He worried the inmates would dismiss the ancient story.  Instead, they saw themselves --and the power of literature. Read more.

The 'How Are You?' Culture Clash by Alina Simone
Ask a Russian, “How are you?” and you will hear, for better or worse, the truth. Read more.
A Boundless Love Contained by a Single ZIP Code by Wendy Kennar
Born at the same hospital, went to the same schools, rode the same bus.  Love grows even when the territory doesn't.  Read more.

Images via BLDG BLOG (Willy Pogany),  LA Times (Gail Anderson/Joe Newton), Girly Bubble

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bad timing- Angry Asian Man posts

Angry Asian Man is one of my favorite sites on the Web.  AAM covers pop culture, politics, and news involving the Asian American community. The site's creator, Phil Yu, unabashedly wears his heart on his sleeve in many posts.  He doesn't shy away from the good, bad, or ugly.  I am a huge fan of AAM, but I was disappointed to run across two posts by Phil within a day of each other--one that reported a woman had been beaten to death by five people on a street, and the other cheering on endless asskicking in a new movie.  The movie's still features a woman (holding a hammer) brawling with a man on a subway.  

I realize that Phil doesn't make the news, he just reports it.  Still, for me it feels wrong to cheer on violence in movies within a day of mourning Kim "Annie" Pham, who was hit and stomped to death in a fight outside of a nightclub. Or if we're going to champion violence in entertainment, we shouldn't act aghast when it's acted out in daily life.

Monday, January 20, 2014

He's been told he looks like a Kennedy

Farewell, to thee, Piercinald Anastasia Hawthorne!  You will be missed around the study table on Community. If it weren't for your Reformed Neo Buddhist beliefs, you might be enjoying blurple cocktails with Earth Kitt in heaven right now.  Here are a few of my favorite Pierce (Chevy Chase) moments:

Pierce, always up on the latest technology, and his ear-noculars

Pierce dressing up as the Beastmaster for the Day of the Dead party, switching pills with fellow student Starburns, then tripping balls

Pierce and his Greendale music rival,Vaughan

Pierce, the Level 5 Laser Lotus Buddhist, in his robes

Pierce pointing out Jeff's shirt is trying to escape through his pants

Pierce attempting to paint Annie's apartment, only to spill paint everywhere and suffer major hallucinations

Pierce throwing a Gay Bash at Greendale hosted by his family's corporation, Hawthorne Wipes

Pierce showing up uninvited to the gang's Dungeons & Dragons game with Fat Neil

Hopefully Community fans will see more holograms and flashbacks of you in future episodes. 

Photos courtesy of Community Wiki, CDN Hollywood, Stylinonline, Girls Gone Geek, and Rubazahran

Asian rockabilly hair

Friday, January 17, 2014

Birds I miss from Minnesota (basically all the birds I ever saw in my backyard)

Yellow Finches
We had days when 11 finches would be in our yard at once!  They'd collect at the bird feeder, sit in the trees, and hop around on the grass.  From inside my kitchen, I felt like Snow White.
American Goldfinches

For six years, through rain, shine, and sub-zero cold, a Cardinal couple came to our feeder each day.  When most birds flew south for the winter, they stayed. The male added a burst of beauty to many bleak winter days.  I hope they're still thriving. 

Dark-Eyed Juncos
I appreciated all the birds that visited my yard, not just the pretty ones. Juncos looked like little puffs of dirt hopping en-masse on the ground.  I see Juncos in Orange County, too.  I'm not sure if they've migrated or if they're permanent residents.

Grey Nuthatches (Photo by Bob Moul)
I have a soft spot in my heart for Nuthatches.  You'll often see them walking down trees or hanging on suet blocks head-down. 

Red Finches (Photo by Casey Tucker)

Mallard ducks may be a dime a dozen, and may poop everywhere.  However, they're mild-mannered sweet birds.  They're not poisonous.  They don't throw your garbage all over the street, and they don't attack you on back trails.  And let's give them credit for flying all the way South while being shot at by hunters.

A Mallard couple recently starting showing up in our apartment swimming pool at night.  Sadly, on Tuesday around 1:00 AM, one duck went missing with the other in a loud panic.  I keep hoping to see them together again.

Update:  They're back!  I saw the mallards leisurely floating in our pool last night.  My wishes for them include staying safe until they can fly back to whence they came, and to never encounter dogs or meddling children for the rest of their days.

Hairy Woodpeckers
If you live in Minnesota and have a wood house, you likely have woodpecker holes in your siding. 

American Robins
Robins don't usually eat birdseed. If you have them in your yard at winter, you can spread dried meal worms to help them out.  I liked how the robins would stalk me and my hose when I would water my garden. These birds had the best time in our birdbath.

Photos via Wikipedia (American Goldfinch, Robin), Oiseaux Birds (Nuthatch), Aviation Conservation (Red Finch), Desktop Nexus (Cardinals), TGreybirds (Mallards), Wikipedia Commons (Bald Eagle), South Dakota Birds (Woodpecker)

Happy Friday/Geek moment

Every time a motorcycle passes me on the freeway, I look to see if it's Heath Kirchart.  Photo by Brian Walnum

Lunar New Year watercolor

Lunar New Year is coming!  Buy your forsythia.  Get your red envelopes and stuff them with dollar bills for your nephews!  Hang your Fu sign upside down with hopes good fortune will visit your home in 2014.  We need lots of luck, so I'm putting ours up early.

Charming New Year's watercolor by Bay Area artist, Jana Bouc

¿ kiNETic TYpoGRaphy ?

Have you ever wondered what is kinetic typography? Mark Randall Rich's video will explain it. 

It's interesting how as a teenager I laughed at Office Space, and now as an adult I LIVE IT.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

If Penny's apartment was real, you know the floors would be covered with her hair.

Penny's Living Room in Pasadena

 Her apartment's entry

 Her kitchen

 Her bedroom

Photos via Photobucket, Little Miss Finkle, Daisy's Dollhouse, Big Bang Theory Wiki

The Night James Brown Saved Boston (2008)

Snuggled in for a night of television, my options were celebrity gossip dailies, Vietnamese talk shows, and public television. I opted for PBS.  A documentary came on about a 1968 concert given in Boston, by James Brown, following Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.  City officials were scared out of their minds about black concertgoers rioting in Boston as was happening in large cities around the States.  They considered canceling Brown's show.  In the end, they encouraged people to stay home and after finagling with Brown and his manager, Boston's PBS station aired Brown's concert live. 

Three things stand out about the documentary, The Night James Brown Saved Boston
1) James Brown was a dancing, singing, screaming, entertainment dynamo.  (There was a point when he stopped to sing a ballad. I could hear faint echoes of Bruno Mars, but with layers and layers more depth.)  His impromptu dancing while his band played was nonstop.  My husband said it was obvious Brown was enjoying himself.

2) Until watching this documentary, when I imagined James Brown I pictured Eddie Murphy dancing around his hot tub.  Or Brown's 2004 mugshot would flash through my mind. I did not realize following Boston, Brown traveled to DC to discourage riots there.  I didn't know he regularly visited fans in poor neighborhoods, children in orphanages, or that he endorsed politicians (both Democrats and Republicans).  How interesting!

3)  There's a scary moment near the end of Brown's concert in Boston when young fans are leaping onto stage and cops are intervening, pushing them off like bouncers.  It escalates to where Brown stops the show and keeps telling everyone to wait, and the police to back off.  It is THE MOMENT where the entire hall and city could explode into mayhem.

You can watch The Night James Brown Saved Boston.

Photo via Collider