Everyone is crazy drunk on "Crazy Rich Asians", including me.
There's a lot to say about the movie "Crazy Rich Asians". The movie opened August 15 and Asian Americans (and friends) have gone absolutely nuts -- buying out theaters hoping to get a gold open at the box office to prove to Hollywood that yes, Asian Americans matter and they will spend the money.
Why is it such a big deal? Maybe because Asian Americans have mostly been portrayed in media as foreigners, geeks and martial artists... and never (or rarely) romantic leads, sexy, smart, or funny.
But the Crazies say... not today Satan!
Crazy Rich Asians is the first movie in two decades to have an all Asian or Asian-American cast since "The Joy Luck Club" (which is also one of my all-time favorite movies.) It is a fun, romantic-comedy that can relate to anyone.
And Constance Wu is my queen.
A couple of weeks ago, a special screening was held in Seattle -- apparently the city appeals to the filmmakers because of its large literary crowd (the movie was written by Houston native Kevin Kwan) and because of its large Asian community.
I dragged my pregnant butt out for a late night--]not only to watch the movie but then hang out at Ethan Stowell's restaurant Cortina for pizza, appetizers and a meet and greet with the director Jon Chu and one of the stars, Henry Golding.
Henry was so nice. His friend (or handler) told him that my husband and I had been trying to have a baby for 9 years and goes, "Henry, you have to listen to this! This is the best story of the night!"
Henry was so kind and gave me a hug. We took this picture and he reminded me that Henry is a nice name for a boy. Henry is also hapa, so I can't help but think, oh, I hope my son is as handsome as he.
Also, on a side note, some people have criticized Henry for not being Asian enough. I hate this criticism so much, but he did address it in a recent story from Jim Dever of Evening Magazine.
This movie is exciting for Asian Americans who didn't grow up with strong Asian role models. This is for our children who should grow up with confidence and validation. I know it's a lot of pressure to put on a romantic comedy, but so far it's holding up to the task. I've already seen the movie, but I'm going to financially support it again, in hopes of sending a message that yes, we matter--all of us do!
Sometimes I don't even realize my brain is storing a list of things I'd like to do. Some of it seems impossible (like move abroad for a few years) while others seem fairly attainable. When I think of some of the things I'd like to accomplish, it really comes down to regaining the confidence and carelessness I had when I was a young person. Where did that person go?
Slowly but surely, I'm finding time to find me. That's one reason I took an adult tap class!
My friend and colleague Mimi Jung inspired me to take a dance class a while back... and her recommendations led to a couple of classes before finally signing up at Barclay Shelton in Edmonds.
For the last few months (basically a school year), I have been taking an adult tap class once a week. However, I was quite surprised when I learned we would have a number in the school's dance recital! I nearly panicked! But at the end of our show(s), I felt as if I had accomplished something special. The women I met in class became such comforting faces and friends, and I can't wait to see them again when we start class in the fall. It is such an awesome group!
Right now I only have this grainy cell phone video, but you get the idea! I did this at five months pregnant and am in the first row on the right. I was so nervous the first two nights, but by the third afternoon I was just having fun! This is video of our first night...
We talked about it on Take 5 (our new show...which I realize I haven't talked about on this blog yet... sorry, pregnancy brain.) But, my question is... what's something you've always wanted to do? How do you follow your heart?
It felt so good to do something like this, and I got messages from viewers saying they felt inspired to do something new. The challenge of re-learning a skill (I took dance up until I was a teen) and performing on stage helped me realize that life can be a lot more fun when you lean in, make some friends and put yourself out there! You're never too old or out of touch to start!
If you haven't ever been to the Walk For Rice, I encourage you to check it out! It's an easy 2.5 walk/run around Seward Park and raises money for the only food bank in Washington that continually provides food for Asian families, thanks to the Asian Counseling and Referral Service. And for the second year in a row, I got to emcee with Derek Wing!
You might say to yourself, "Why do Asians need special food?" It's not that they need special food, but many of the standard food banks don't continually support the needs of communities of color.
For example, did you know most Asian people are lactose intolerant? Also, many rely on rice and noodles and don't know what to do with bread, milk or cheese.
The ACRS' food bank provides fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, noodles, and many other Asian staples. Since it's in the Chinatown International District, volunteers and workers serve many homeless people in the area with hot emergency meals. And even though the food bank serves primarily Asian children and seniors, it's open to EVERYONE.
When my sister moved here from Korea, the ACRS was the very first place I took her for guidance. They provide so many resources on topics like citizenship, jobs, and education.
I am proud to help this wonderful organization. Together the community helped raise more than $140,000 for the food bank and nutritional programs -- that is a lot of rice!
I just had the chance to be a judge at a meatball contest and it did not suck.
My gal pal Amity Addrisi and I served as a judge for the Jet City Meatball contest by Charles Smith and Kick Ass Wines. So many restaurants competed, but only one would be crowned KING and take home $5,000 for their charity.
In the end, Artusi took home the crown. We took home stomach aches. But also we met some really cool people, including Rachel Hart, a Wisconsinite from Madison Magazine, my former workplace.
Anyway, great times! I’m ready to go back and would love to take some friends.
Lunar New Year is in full swing so that means it's time to bust out your red and wish someone a prosperous year.
The Asian American Journalists Association of Seattle just held its yearly Lunar New Year dinner! My partner in crime, Patranya Bhoolsuwan, helped co-host the event since we're the VP of Events for the group.
This year we hosted the event at House of Hong in the Chinatown-International District. Patranya did a great job finding the venue... and we had so many wonderful performers thanks to all of our talented friends int he community!
I love our board so much. We are all busy with our journalistic responsibilities, but we somehow manage to find the extra time to raise money forstudents of color and help out with professional development for our members.
And I also love the fact that it brings together so many of us from other stations. KOMO, KIRO and KING are all represented well at these events... and we are all friends!
One thing I love is that we do a dessert dash at the event. If you don't know how that works, tables have to collect money at their table... and the winning table gets to pick out the first dessert. We had an array of awesome desserts to choose from, including these uniquely delicious ube-custard donuts made with from Nate Daep from Big Boys Filipino Truck in Kent.
We had wonderful performances by the Morning Star Korean Cultural Center, Evan Yanagida, and Justin Young!
We had so much fun, and I just want to thank everyone for their continued support of AAJA. It takes a lot of work to serve on a board, but many hands do little work! It is special to have so many caring and supportive journalists and friends helping each other in this community!
And also thanks to my husband Jim for supporting us, too! He's not in any of these pictures, but we were there together!
It really is champagne dreams and caviar wishes.
I recently had a chance to check out the Ocean Alexander, an $11 million yacht on display at the Seattle Boat Show. Just let me say you can buy standup paddle boards and $900 fishing boats, but it’s really fun to check out the dreamy eye candy.
The boat show will be in town for the next week or so, and this year there are three locations — South Lake Union, Century Link and Bell Harbor Marina. BHM is the new location and offers visitors a floating lounge near the yacht and other eye catching vessels. Definitely worth checking out since water is the star of our area.
Have you ever wanted to revisit something you did as a young(er) person? For me, that is dance. And thanks to my friend and colleague, Mimi Jung, I found the courage to do it.
Here she is is at a recent performance by the Westlake Dance Center:
My husband Jim and I went with our other friend and colleague Alex Rozier to see the performances and were absolutely blown away by the talent on stage!
We all agreed we were not living our best lives... we need to get out and dance more.
Aside from that, my dance recital will be in June. There might be a picture afterwards but don’t count your breath.
One year ago today, we were in Hawaii, glamping our asses off. And since this year I'm sick as a dog with bronchitis, I thought I'd retouch on what we did.
I always meant to write down what we did and then basically kept forgetting to do it. Good thing my resolution for 2018 is to write stuff down!
We went to Camp Olowalu in Maui. If you don't know where that is, it's basically between Lahaina and Kihei. If you don't know where that is, then it's on the western side of Maui. If you don't know where that is, let me Google that for you.
Camp Olowalu is a beachfront campground with tentalows and cabins. We stayed in a tentalow for $80 a night. It has an attached shower and a front porch... and is perfect for people wanting a chillaxing vacation. I should add -- at the time, I looked at vrbo and airbnb and all of them were close to $200. If you're lucky, you might be able to find better deals!
Who stays there? Lots of locals, families and hipsters. It felt like it was our little secret because there were so many people from Maui who were just spending some down time on the island. Occasionally we'd see campers and hikers passing through. There was also some sort of youth group staying in one of the main cabins. That looked cool for a family reunion, actually.
Because we stayed there so inexpensively, we were able to spend money on things we wanted to do and not worry about it. We went biking down a volcano, went whale watching, and ate out with little care.
Two local places that kicked ass were Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop, which is right by the camp. Another was the little grocery mart it's attached to -- they have THE BEST SHAVE ICE on the island. Seriously, some little Asian lady makes this ginormous shave ice for like $5. I would buy shave ice all across the island and would always want to come back home to see our lady.
In the end, here's what worked for us -- our first day we spent getting gear at Goodwill and Walmart. (Walmart was just what was close.) We bought two mugs, cups, soup plates, utensils, food stuffs and a camping stove. When we left Maui, we dropped it off at Goodwill!
The last day we checked out of Camp Olowalu and bought a spa package at the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui. Um, thank you Groupon.
This was the best way to end our vacation -- totally pampered in the spa and showers plus you can have access to the hotel and beachfront. We got a couple's massage and then hung out until about 5 or 6 and grabbed an awesome dinner at The Mill House right before we took off for the airport.
So my lasting thoughts on glamping: Do it. Hands down, do it. It's great for families and it saves so much money (and now they're building family tentalows.) We loved making lunches and heading to the beach or cooking by the campfire. Going to bed under the stars with the ocean waves in the background was dreamy. We still had our laptops and phones, but we limited ourselves to technology. Ending the trip super glam was a very nice treat and one that we could afford with all the money we saved in the earlier part of our trip. In all, there's nothing quite like nature to bring you back to a peaceful state of mind.
Since I moved to Seattle in mid-2016, I've kind of become disconnected. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it probably has something to do with my sleep schedule (lack of sleep on the am show) and stress.
2017 was not a banner year. It was more like a pain in the ass.
Between deaths, divorces, miscarriages, natural disasters, and cantankerous political postings...I've felt little joy that makes me want to share what's going on in my world. It seems like there was an unusual amount of loss close to us this year.
But, of course, there were great things that happened, too. New babies, new opportunities and new outlooks took place in 2018, making it not all look so gloomy. I became a godmother for the first time. My dog Piper seemed to escape death. I started anchoring at KING. My sister Hyun Jung moved to Seattle. We all traveled back to Missouri to see family. I went to DC twice, NYC, Houston... and Jim and I went glamping in Hawaii and trekked through the Olympic Peninsula. So now that I'm writing this, maybe I should shut up. We had some awesome moments.
But in 2018, I promise to find more joy, choose happiness more often, and consider working out a little harder. Who am I kidding. Scratch the last one.
Here's hoping for a happy and healthy year ahead! It's going to take me a couple of weeks to shake off the last few crappy weeks of 2017, but that's just residual poop. Bring on the good times!
I love Thanksgiving because it gives me an opportunity to make dressing.
I love this so much, but I feel like I can only make it once a year -- too many calories! I have been making this just about every year since 2002.
It's so easy and everyone loves it! You can also make pretty easy adjustments for the vegan or vegetarian in your life.
Sausage and apple stuffing
1 lb. sourdough bread cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 package of maple pork sausage
2 T butter
1 large onion
3 large celery stalks, chopped
2 apples, chopped (any kind)
2 T thyme
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 eggs, beaten
2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper for taste
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Place the bread cubes in a large baking pan and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. You may have to stir. Transfer to a big bowl.
In a frying pan, cook the sausage, crumbling with a fork. Cook for about 10 minutes until browned and transfer to the bowl with the bread.
Using the same sausage pan, add the butter to the drippings and cook the onion and celery until tender, about 8 minutes. Then add the apples and thyme for another minute or so. Add to the bowl with sausage and bread.
Next, add the stock to the pan to pick up any browned bits. Bring it to a boil and then add to the bowl. Beat the eggs then mix them in the bowl, too.
To bake in a dish, preheat an oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 13 x 9 baking dish and spoon the stuffing into it. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is crisp, which is about 30 more minutes.
If you're baking in a turkey, fill the cavity and increase the roasting time of the turkey by 30 minutes. You will probably still need a baking dish to cook the remaining stuffing.
I would love to hear your favorite Thanksgiving Day recipes!