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And Since It’s A Long Holiday Weekend…

…we’ve been killing some pretty serious couch time reading new contemporary adult fiction–Christine Son’s Off the Menu–today. And while we don’t frequently partake in the medium-sized print and expressive, decorated dialogue of most CAF (Disclaimer: we’ve both admittedly read Amy Tan’s opus The Joy Luck Club, and I openly wept while taking in Nicholas Sparks awesomely bad The Notebook on the beach in Puerto Vallarta), we couldn’t help but wonder what would come of Son, a Bible-belt Texasian (sounds like Jen!) who has done her parents proud by going to law school (sounds like my sister!) but has always dreamed of writing clever banter between friends and lovers (sounds like me!)–when she actually went for it and wrote a goddamn novel.

Some of it’s to be expected–Son’s primary character is an overworked, Texasian female lawyer who’s billing too many hours and dreams of ditching it all for a music career (as my grandma would say to my cousin, the music major: “Piano, painting, writing… it’s all the same. What kind of job are you going to get? Best to become doctor”). Her two closest friends are, similarly, well-achieved but secretly unhappy and want of something more. Sure, the prose isn’t Didion’s (but even Didion’s fiction was dreck compared to her genius non-fiction)–the author is seemingly obsessed with her characters’ cheeks, stilettos, and the zaftig chef character conveyed as explicitly, repeatedly, bang-you-over-the head fat.

But some of it’s kind of delicious, like family members in NASA, Hardass Asian Parents spouting perfect English, and frequent pepperings of the word y’all. And for its part, Off the Menu has kept tons of things off of my mind during the too-long free hours of this holiday weekend (like bills, work, anxiety about failure, and Mumbai)–so it must be doing something right.

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It’s A Wonder

Okay, I realize that in posting this clip from Star Magazine while saying, “So this morning when I read this piece in Star, I couldn’t keep from sharing…” I’m revealing my hand a little bit. Yes, I read Star. Especially on planes* and while trudging through a long holiday weekend. It’s fantastic! It’s mean! It’s almost inexorably untrue! Alright? Alright? Jeeeeezus! It’s not like I believe any of the stories! And as much as the rag has tried, with countless (and I do mean countless) mentions and features, their editors still haven’t convinced me that I’ve seen the new 90210 or give one soft shit about the remake’s anorexic stars. So there.


But seriously, though. It wouldn’t–nay, couldn’t–take me an overseas plane ride to get through just one issue of the damn thing. And I certainly would have enough respect for myself and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, to put the damn thing down for a long hike.

China should have eaten this slow reader alive.

*the trick is to purchase ‘Star’ and the ‘New Yorker’ before boarding, and just slide the tab rag inside the pretentious Manhattan rag. No one will ever know, besides the person sitting next to you–and even that is a maybe.

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Thanksgiving Daysian


It’s Turkey Day, my very favorite holiday–what other national occasion practically requires us to over-grub on carbs, watch football all day long, and fall asleep early?

Aside from all of the grubbing, here are the top 10 things I happen to be most thankful for on November 28, 2008:

10. Donald Draper


9. The fact that my three older sisters are all celebrating Thanksgiving together–but elsewhere in the country–so that my dignity and pride can remain intact through just one holiday celebrasian.


8. Shiatsu massage (Thank you, Aiko!)

7. Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virgina, North Carolina, New York, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Deleware, Maryland, District of Columbia, and Florida (Yes, Florida).

6. My new black MacBook, which was not stolen within two weeks of purchase like my last black MacBook.

5. My parents, who I live only to bring honor to (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!)


4. Jen’s parents, who I live only to bring honor to, too.

3. Toro sushi and baked crab rolls in soy paper. Also, the NFL.


2. The new Britney Spears song, “If You Seek Amy” (Say it aloud!)


1. JEN–who, aside from being my funniest, purtiest, saltiest, and most fabulous friend, is also my very favorite writer.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We want y’all to give your Interwebs-tired eyes a rest, so pleeeease step away from the computer and go enjoy your friends and family!

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Just Shoot Them

Yesterday, the coordinated terrorist attacks directed at Westerners in Mumbai, India injured and claimed the lives of hundreds.

We watched the coverage in horror.

Yet, apparently, we still couldn’t keep our minds–or at least the CNN news ticker–off of Heidi and Spencer’s fake wedding:





Sigh.

We apologize for the CNN ticker, and our thoughts go out to all of those who were and are affected by these attacks.

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Thai Protestasian

What the hai is goin’ on in Thailand? Thousands of protesters have taken to the street, calling for the resignasian of poncho-wearing Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat. They’ve also taken over the main Bangkok airport and shut it down. General Anupong Paochinda, head of the Army, has asked Somchai to resign and dissolve his parliament, and rumors abound of a possible coup (the last coup, a bloodless one, happened here in 2006).

Meanwhile, two explosions went off in the airport Tuesday, injuring 4 people, and, on Wednesday in Chiang Mai, a Reuters journalist reported seeing protesters in yellow shirts (a tradition) pull a 60 year-old man from his car, shoot and kill him.

After reading these scary tales of upheaval and violence, I was taken aback when I saw this picture in the NY Times of those yellow-shirted protesters who had made, in the Times‘ words, the “seizure of the airport”:


Um, okay…really? Cuz all these protesters kinda look like our Moms, with their sun hats and their kerchiefs and their sporty sunglasses and that orange hair. They don’t look like they’re about to overthrow the government, they look like they’re about to go on a power-walk in their subdivisions. Or like they’re at some badminton tournament where they’ve brought their own noisemakers–those adorable clackers shaped like a hand–which also, I suspect, double as flyswatters. And look at the woman in front, on the right, flashing a peace sign! Or the lady in green swaying behind her, who looks like my Mom at a Josh Groban concert during “You Raise Me Up,” totally about to lose her shit.

Which leads me back to my original question: WHAT THE HAI IS GOIN’ ON IN THAILAND?!

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Toss My Body

Groups that were hurt by the making of this video:

  1. Asians
  2. More specifically, Koreans
  3. More specifically, Korean dudes
  4. Gaysians
  5. Singers
  6. Singing Gaysians
  7. Recording Studio Engineers/Techs/Producers
  8. Ears
  9. Pop Stars
  10. Casey Kasem
  11. Mariah Carey (bringing more shame to this diva is hard to do)
  12. ASCAP
  13. Those with Rhythm
  14. Those without Rhythm
  15. Korean Superpopstar Rain
  16. Paris Hilton’s New BFF, ONCH
  17. Korea
  18. Asia
  19. Jen and Diana
  20. World

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Thanks, Michael!

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You Shoes You Lose

“Some shoes basically beg to be written on,” I said to Jen one afternoon. She had rolled into lunch sans signature Dolce & Gabbana snakeskin flats, not just trumping them with 5-inch Margiela platforms, but with perfectly scrubby old Converse Chuck Taylor’s bearing the phrase, “I LOVE MEATBALLS,”–which was devilishly scribbled in Bic-blue ballpoint ink onto the rubber inside of the left foot arch. I continued: “I love that sentence: ‘I love meatballs.’ ‘Cause I totally love meatballs.”

“I bet you do,” she said. “You wrote that on my shoe.”

Zing!

I’m write right, you know. On both fronts. I do love meatballs (all kinds), and some shoes do indeed beg to be written on. Mark up those Cons, for chrissake. Scribble on all of your Keds. Scratch out the logo on Vans slip-ons. Write a thesis on those hippie-dippie Tom’s shoes. Dirty down a pair of new, too-white Marc Jacobs sneaks.

Most people who know how to write on shoes do it correctly. A tasteful anarchy symbol, for instance, may do the trick. “SONIC YOUTH” over the toes is also a cool gesture. And one can get pretty far just cranking out five-point stars.

Others take it too far (see the Kurt Cobain® kicks above–syndicated scribble is whack!).

And others–often celebs like HSM‘s Ashley Tisdale who are asked to muck up godawful shoes for charity–can really take it too far.

Proof that Young Hollywood actors are often neither “cool” nor “artsy”
Leave it to a bunch of rich, famous jerks to ruin a perfectly good thing.

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Rachael Yamagata


The unthinkable is happening, folks: it’s raining in Southern California. Which means that anything outside of the house is a mess of tumult and wet chaos, from work-hooky to car wreck rubbernecking to mudslides to spoiled outdoor lunches! Most Angelenos know better–when it rains, we simply stay indoors all day, all cozy in cashmere blankets and designer pajamas, gazing out of the window while acquainting our ears with the unfamiliar sound of wet drops on our sundecks.

It’s also a good time to pull out our sleepiest, sappiest, drippiest, droopiest of favorite records–the only miserable champs willing to limp through such an unordinary day alongside us. For me that usually means Bessie Smith on vinyl, or Mark Kozelek on plastic. But today, it’s all about Rachel Yamagata, whose presence and throaty voice are both so pretty, so very pretty. And whose newest sad song, “Elephant” just seems so right as I’m indulging myself for one very rare rainy day.

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Thanks, jRu!

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BABEWATCH: Rinku Singh


Name: Rinku Singh

Age: 19

Hails from: India

Occupation: Newly-signed baseball pitcher

Rinku Singh’s life is playing out like a less gritty but no less remarkable version of Slumdog Millionaire since his signing to the Pittsburgh Pirates this week. Raised in northeast India along with eight siblings in a one-room house, Singh, the son of a truck driver, enters the Million Dollar Arm baseball contest in his home country, having never played the sport. He wins and is brought to America along with fellow countryman Dinesh Patel, who places second. Last week, when the Pittsburgh Pirates contact Singh and Patel, they’ve neither heard of the team (it is the Pirates, after all) nor the town. They get signed on Monday and become the first Indian-born athletes to ever ink a professional sports contract of any kind in America.

With a fastball hovering in the low 90s, Singh has his work cut out for him if he wants to make it to the bigs. But with that solid 6’2″ build and that face, he’s sure to win over his share of admirers (and groupies) in no time.

[UPDATE: Rinku throws a curveball! Who knew?!]

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Thanks, Amity!

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China–Don’t Worry, It’s Just An Album

Media outlets have latched on to a wild headline story printed in one Chinese newspaper this week that erupted in angst towards Guns N’ Roses’ 15-years-ready recent release, Chinese Democracy.

AP reports:

In an article Monday headlined “American band releases album venomously attacking China,” the Global Times said unidentified Chinese Internet users had described the album as part of a plot by some in the West to “grasp and control the world using democracy as a pawn.” The album “turns its spear point on China,” the article said.

I’m no fan of the title, and as many of you remember, not even really one of the first single. But let’s slow down a bit here… should anyone really be giving credit to this guy:


…as any kind of figurehead for the West? Perhaps we should leave that distinction to someone who hasn’t yet forayed into hair-plugs, domestic violence, or general delinquency:


…and doesn’t need fifteen years to make a statement.

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Thanks, Jen!

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Twilight Gaysian

Did any of the millions of you who saw Twilight this weekend think that “Eric Yorkie” (as played by Justin Chon) was coded gay? I thought the flippy hair was a dead giveaway. Also, the fact that he had to be asked to the prom by Angela (that’s their prom picture, left).

I should know…I asked a guy friend of mine to prom, and I’m 99% sure he’s gay (still searching for him on Facebook, but perhaps I should really try Connexion). My date didn’t blow out his hair, but he did wear make-up! Applied by his mother!!!

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Bobby Jindal: Just Another Politasian


Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was in Iowa over the weekend, special guest at the “Celebrating the Family” fundraiser held by the Iowa Family Policy Center. In a speech to 800 attendees, Jindal called for a reconciliasian between conservative voters and their new president:

“Whether you voted for him or not,” Jindal said of the new president, “whether you supported the new leaders of Congress or not, they’re our president. They’re our Congress. They need our prayers. They need our support.”

Smooth move, Bobby Jindal.

Not so smooth was his choice to speak at a banquet held by the anti-gay, anti-choice Iowa Family Policy Center. Same-sex marriage rights will be decided in the Iowa Supreme Court next month, and the Iowa Family Policy Center is leading the hateration against it, calling proponents of gay marriage “anti-family.”

You know what’s really “anti-family”? Half of the poor, elderly, and disabled from New Orleans who are permanently displaced from their homes since Katrina. And the lack of affordable housing or even a plan for affordable housing for these families. Not to mention the thousands of people still living in FEMA trailers.

Get your own house and your own damn family (i.e. Louisiana) in order before you start stumping in Iowa, Bobby Jindal! Sheesh. We thought you were smarter than that.

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