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When you find yourself dwelling on who or what is holding you back in life, think of 7 year-old Annie Clark, a first-grader who recently won a penmanship award established for children with either a “cognitive delay or intellectual, physical or development disability.” Annie, a Chinese adoptee, was born without hands.
Annie’s father, Tom Clark, described his daughter’s other abilities to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“Annie has always been very, very determined, very self-sufficient in dressing herself and feeding herself,” Mr. Clark said. “She can ride a bike. She swims. She is just determined that there’s nothing she can’t do.”
Her father said she also types on a keyboard and uses an iPod Touch with no difficulties.
Man, do I feel like a lazy jerk right about now.
Remember Tze Chun’s film, Children of Invention–the one that racked up all those awards and accolades during the festival rounds last year? It’s hitting theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a week, starting tonight.
Both cities offer Q&A sessions with filmmaker and talent. See showtimes below:
Look, we know everyone’s busy… but there’s a small window (barely a week!) to see this Continue reading New Yawkers/Angelenos, Time To Hit The Thea-tuh [Children Of Invention Theatrical Debut]
Filed under: Accolades, Asian-American Movies, Awards, Children of Invention, Everybody Loves a Winner, Festival Darlings, Filmmakers, Indie Movies, LA, LA Lakers, Movie Theaters, New York, NYC, Popcorn, Pyramid Schemes, Theatrical Release, Tze Chun
Name: Ha Jin
Hails from: Boston, MA (born in Liaoning, China)
Known for: Telling the stories that no one else does (or can). Jin has published five novels, three books of poetry, and multiple collections of short stories–allowing him to stack up a gobsmacking collection of literary honors, from the National Book Award to the PEN/Faulkner Award.
Perhaps we could all learn something from his tireless efforts and pushcart lessons. Peñaflorida said:
“Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry. Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need.”
And right now, from behind our walls of daily snark and selfishness and shame, we kinda believe him.
Our Children of Invention Are Smarter/More Successful/Likely to Give Us Grandkids Than Your Children of Invention
Jen and I typically, like Morrissey, hate it when our friends become successful.
Every so often, however, this is not the case.
Like right now, for example: we’ve been watching our pen pal Tze Chun’s film, Children of Invention, make the festival rounds and rack up gobs of sparkling accolades and awards. And they’re not little awards, either: Special Jury Prizes at the Nashville, Sarasota, and San Francisco International Asian American Film Festivals (for example), The Grand Jury Prize at the Independent Film Fest in Boston, blah blah blah win win win. Agh!
And you wanna know something? We couldn’t be happier. Weird.
Happy Birthday to Dev Patel, who turned the shiny age of 19 today! We gulped a little when we realized that this shooting star was born in 1990–a time when we were still adjusting the shoulder pads on our brightly-colored, oversized blazers–seeing how in his scant years of life he’s already managed to earn a black belt in Taekwondo, act in a Brit telly series, star in an Oscar-winning film, and scoop up a suitcase of performance awards (from SAG to Critics’ Choice, not to mention noms for BAFTA and NAACP). Our inferiority complex is becoming more complex by the second, just writing this.
We can only hope that this precocious overachiever keeps on scoring! And in a bajillion years, when he turns 21, we’d love to take him out for a drink.
receiving a Certificate of Honor from the China Association of
Social Workers. She received the award for fundraising for poor
families and disabled children in China during her “Best Damn Tour.”
BOY: What’s this lady’s name again? April?
GIRL: I don’t know.
AVRIL: Avril. Avril Lavigne. I’m a punk rocker.
BOY: What’s a punk rocker?
GIRL: Somebody with a clothing line at Kohl’s.
AVRIL: It’s a punk rock clothing line.
BOY: If it’s punk rock, should it really be a retail line for a corporate brand?
GIRL: I don’t know.
AVRIL: Hey (hey!)! You (you!)!
BOY: What is she doing?
GIRL: God, I think she’s singing again. I hate when she does that.
BOY: I think she got some eyeliner on my cheek just now.
GIRL: Gee, I hope it wasn’t…kohl…eyeliner. [they laugh uncomfortably]
BOY: Why are we here again?
GIRL: Because the government said they would take our parents away if we didn’t?
GIRL: No. Our names just got chosen out of a hat.
AVRIL: Come a little closer, my little friends! Did you know that I speak Mandarin?
BOY: I have heard that, but I don’t think that’s Mandarin.
AVRIL: It is.
BOY: Okay. Whatever.
GIRL: Are they gonna take our picture or what?
BOY: I hope so. This chick’s face looks like it’s about to melt off.
AVRIL: No it doesn’t! I can hear you, you know.
BOY: Dude, it really does.
GIRL: You could use a facial. Maybe you could get one here.
AVRIL: Waitaminute you guys. This is not about me. This is about me raising money for poor people in China.
BOY: Okay. Thank you.
GIRL: Thank you. From China.
AVRIL: Great. Let’s take the picture! Smile?
GIRL: No, but thanks.
Okay, so I know reading lists are more of a summer thing, and some of you are back in school and already slaves to your syllabi, but how fun would a DISGRASIAN book club be? We could time our meetings to coincide with our periods, drink magnums of red Burgundy, smoke a jay, ooh and aah over each others’ cute shoes, talk lit-rature, and pretend we’re really smart and well-read (which is kinda like how I got through college, minus the good French wine, because beggars and students with Stafford loans can’t be choosers). To kick this thing off, I’ve drawn up a reading list.
Also covered in this 144-page memoir vibrating with a heretofore unseen honesty this side of James Frey: How to Be a Drive-Bisexual. How to Wear Fake Balloon Tits without Blowing Out Your Back. How to Work That Pole. How to Fake-Cry. How to Dump Your TV Boyfriend/Girlfriend. And: How to Hide That Oozy Herpes Cold Sore.
The Pussycat Dolls recently endorsed this book about past-life regression, and, as we all know, their stamp of approval on all matters of intellectual import is SOLID GOLD. Pussycat Doll founder Robin Antin says, “(Many Lives, Many Masters) is about reincarnation, finding your soul mate, and people who are in your lives for a reason.” Methinks it’s only a matter of time before that makes it as a backcover blurb.
(* Many Lives, Many Masters is not to be confused with Many Lives, Many Masturbators, another Pussycat Doll favorite.)
The Booker Prize shortlist – The White Tiger, The Secret Scripture, Sea of Poppies, The Clothes on Their Backs, The Northern Clemency, and A Fraction of the Whole
I know, I know, you’re thinking, Crap, that’s a whole lotta books. This doesn’t sound fun anymore. Does it help to know that a writer for London’s Daily Telegraph distilled the books down to this:
“Token Asian; Oirish misery novelist; another token Asian; Guardian woman; gay; token Australian wild-card with beard who looks definitely a bit foreign.“
Kinda saves us the trouble of actually reading them, when we’re being told that the books are a bunch of PC garbage-truck, tokenizing drivel (Do two Asians on one shortlist still make them tokens? Just checking).
Cool! That means we can skip the book part of our book club and get down to what really matters–drinking, smoking, and talking about each others’ shoes. Gaw, reading is so fun!