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(Liu Wen is the “first Asian model” to walk in a Victoria’s Secret fashion show–if you don’t count Blasian Chanel Iman, who also made her VS debut at the same time–November 19, 2009.)
3) Her character is Camille Wray, a “strategically savy (sic) member of the International Oversight Committee (IOA) and the highest ranking one stranded aboard the Destiny.” This is code for “hot lesbian not to be fucked with.”
4) Ming-Na will be engaging in some serious girl-on-girl action with 24‘s Reiko Aylesworth, who plays Wray’s Earthbound life-partner.
5) IRL, Ming-Na is a Steelers fan. Which means Diana would like to make out with her, too.
6) She has been professionally credited as “Ming-Na Wen,” “Ming Wen” and “Ming-Na.”
7) Ming-Na is 45 years old.
8) She has the skin of cherubs after a diamond facial.
9) She may have been the real-life inspiration for Benjamin Button.
10) We would hate on her for looking so damn good, but we’d really like to get the name of her derm.
Gulf Coast League Pirates pitcher Rinku Singh made history Monday by becoming the first India-born player to record a professional baseball win in the U.S. (The GCL Pirates are the rookie developmental team of the Pittsburgh Pirates.) You may recall that Rinku and his countryman Dinesh Patel made history before when they signed with the Pirates organization last November after placing first and second in an Indian reality-show contest called The Million Dollar Arm, thereby becoming the first India-born players to ink a professional sports contract of any kind in this country.
So how did Rinku get his first win? Did he manage to bring up the velocity of his fastball from the low 90′s? Did he paint the outside corners of the strike zone? Did he introduce something nasty and unhittable to his limited pitching repertoire?
My theory: he started keeping his eye on the ball instead of the ladies.
I kid, I kid! (Rinku, if you’re reading this like you did that other time, where you thought I was calling you a perv when I was really calling you a babe, know that this is what we call in America “giving you shit.”)
Then again, he only had to strike out one batter to get the win, so I’m not going to get my panties too far in a bunch over this “historic” moment. (Yes, Rinku, still “giving you shit.” See also “heckling.”)
Boston City Councilman Sam Yoon is currently running for mayor. A Democrat who was born in Seoul, moved to the U.S. at 10 months old, and became a citizen at 10 years old, Sam is the first Asian-American to hold elected office in Boston. Bear in mind that Boston is one of America’s oldest cities, almost 379 years old. To be the first Asian-American elected official in the city’s storied 379 year-history is nothing short of amazian.
We sat down recently for a Q & A with Sam about his campaign. We not only learned of his stellar qualifications–Princeton undergrad, Harvard grad, community organizing–we also discovered something completely unexpected about the 39 year-old politician. As they’d say in Boston, Sam is wicked funny.
Over email, we discussed some of DISGRASIAN’s favorite topics: Hardass Asian Parents, math, advanced degrees, hot dogs, and, of course, the Boston Red Sox.
Why did you decide to get into politics?
Because it was the one career choice that would completely befuddle my parents.
When you decided to pursue a career in politics, did your Asian parents try to convince you to go to law school instead? Were they worried you wouldn’t make enough money as a public servant?
After my parents paid for a very expensive college education at Princeton, I became a teacher. After my brother graduated from Yale, he pursued ministry. We were going into the two lowest-paid professions. My parents got used to it.
You taught math in New Jersey public schools after graduating Princeton. Are you good at math? Are you good at math because you’re Asian?
All of the above. I’m a proud Asian math geek.
How many musical instruments were you forced to play as a child?
Two: piano, then the flute. My immigrant parents didn’t know how much cooler it would have been had they chosen the saxophone. Or trumpet.
We understand your wife Tina has a doctorate in biology from MIT. Do you ever call her Dr. Yoon?
Because she got her graduate degree from MIT and mine’s only from Harvard, of course she makes me call her Dr. Yoon. Truthfully, sometimes we get wedding invitations addressed to “Mr. and Dr. Yoon.” Which isn’t humiliating at all. Really.
When people say, “An Asian-American mayor of Boston? Really? I never really pictured that,” what do you say?
I don’t blame you. Look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mayors_of_Boston
But then try scrolling down this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Us_presidents
What issues will you focus on as mayor of Boston?
Check out my website samyoon.com and while you’re there please donate $500.
The Bruins went to the Conference Semis this year. The Celts won the NBA Finals in 2008. The Sox won the World Series in 2007 and 2004. And the Pats have won three Super Bowls this decade. What’s in the water in Boston these days that’s making its sports franchises so great?
Steroids, obviously. I’m looking into whether or not this is legal.
If you could play any position on the Red Sox team, what would it be?
Pitcher, because I’m sure any Korean could be at least as good as the three Japanese pitchers we have already. Not that there’s any rivalry between Koreans and Japanese or anything.
If you were a Red Sox player, what would be your at-bat song?
“Mr. Roboto” by Styx.
How fast is your fastball?
Faster than Dice-K’s these days. [Ouch! But true. Sigh.--Ed.]
What’s your favorite food at Fenway?
Truth be told, I’m a huge hot dog fan; the Monster Dogs are good.
Hypothetical scenario: You have the choice of saving either a Yankee player or your political opponent from a burning house. What do you do?
Save my political opponent, because I want to beat him.
Hails from: The East Bay, CA
Occupation: San Francisco District Attorney and California Attorney General candidate
Why She’s a Babe: SF District Attorney Kamala Harris is hot because she’s tough. She’s tough on gun felonies, child assaults, hate crimes, and violent crime in general. The only thing she isn’t tough on is, obvs, the eyes. She’s also the Queen of Firsts: the first woman elected District Attorney of San Francisco, the first African-American voted to that office in California, the first Indian-American to hold that position in the United States. And her next move? Becoming the first female Attorney General of the state of California in 2010.
To learn more about Kamala Harris’s 2010 campaign for CA Attorney General, go to her official website.
Become a fan of Kamala’s on Facebook here.
Filed under: Badasses, Blasians, California Attorney General Race 2010, East Bay, firsts, Kamala D. Harris, Kamala Devi Harris, Kamala Harris, Mixed People, San Francisco District Attorney, We Love Being First
Happy birthday to Jin, who turns 27 today! We haven’t heard a lot from the Asian-American rapper–the first to be signed to a major label in 2002–since his song “Open Letter 2 Obama” went viral and became something of an election anthem, and the native Miamian moved to Hong Kong, but there’s recent talk on his official website that a new English-language album is in the works.
That news, naturally, is music to our ears. (And Jin’s revamped geek-chic look? Candy to our eyes. Purr.)
On Tuesday, in front of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Rep. Joseph Cao, the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress, admitted to being a closet case. A “closet Democrat” that is. His exact words were:
“Don’t tell the Republicans, but I might be a closet Democrat,” said Cao to a round of laughter.
Now, this sounds like a prime example of Rep. Cao, who comes from a heavily Democratic district, panda-ring–what you’d call pandering to our people–but methinks there is another explanation.
TRANSLASIAN: “THE GOP SHIP IS A’SINKING. WE’VE GOT THE HEAD OF THE RNC KOWTOWING TO THAT CRACKHEAD RUSH LIMBAUGH AND MY RE-ELECTION IN 2010 IS A HAIR’S BREADTH AWAY. ABORT, ABORT.”
Although no official announcement has yet been made, former Washington Guvna Gary Locke is almost a lock for Commerce Secretary. He would be the third person nominated for this position so far, after Bill Richardson and Judd Gregg, who both withdrew for different reasons.
If his appointment goes through, however, Locke, a third-generation American and the first Chinese-American governor in history, would be the first Chinese-American Commerce Secretary and the third Asian-American in Obama’s cabinet…which is the most reprzentasian we’ve had evarrr.
Did someone say something about being first and making history? Sweet.
JEN: Barack Obama is President!!!
DIANA: Shit’s crazy. I don’t believe it. Pinch me.
Jen pinches Diana on the arm.
DIANA: Owww! That hurt!!
JEN: You said “pinch me.”
DIANA: You’re right. (beat) Dude. Our President is so pretty. I can’t believe we get to stand so close to him.
JEN: Dude. This one isn’t real. He’s made of wax.
DIANA: Shit! I knew it. This is just a dream, isn’t it?
JEN: No, no. What’s happening is real.
DIANA: Okay, then pinch me again.
Jen pinches Diana again.
DIANA: OWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!! You are such a pinchy bitch! But I get it now, this is real.
JEN: And yet it’s also a dream.
DIANA: Yes. Yes it is.
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?!]
Congratulasians to Don Wakamatsu, who was named manager of the Seattle Mariners last week! The 45 year-old, former bench coach of the Oakland A’s is the first Asian-American to hold that position in MLB historayyy.
And that was the easy part. Because now Wakamatsu has the unenviable task of trying to make his team–who went 61-101 this past season and haven’t been to the playoffs since 2001 despite being ranked #9 in payroll–NOT SUCK, which may be a steeper hill to climb than making history.
Occupation: Japan’s first female professional baseball player
Known for: Getting drafted last week by Kobe 9 Cruise, a minor league team, thereby making the high schooler the first woman (okay, girl, who is anybody kidding?) to play professional baseball in Japan since the country’s women’s league folded after two years in the 1950′s; her knuckleball, baseball’s most confounding pitch to hit, which she learned to throw by watching videos of Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield; having what appears to be the opposite of a pitcher’s stone-face–with those cute-as-a-button dimples–an asset that may prove just as distracting in the long run to batters as her trademark pitch.
Thanks to all who sent us this story! You know who you are!
Filed under: Dimples, Eri Yoshida, First Woman in Japanese Baseball, firsts, Japanese Baseball, Knuckleballers, Knuckleballs, Kobe 9 Cruise, Playing with the Big Boys, Teen Wonders, Tim Wakefield, Yoshida Eri