Monthly Archives: July 2010

viewing ad-visor-y

posted by missmsian

Dad and I caught a woman committing a serious traffic infraction the other day. As we waited at a light, said woman, who was crossing the street, popped a visor on her head and proceeded to, errr, ride wit’ her top down.

Y'all are familiar with this classic image ...

Although Dad grumbled that it seems only Azns choose embarrassing head toppings like that–a fact apparently confirmed by @mymomisafob‘s avatar–I begged to differ and started looking for more visor-related fashion crimes. Here are the fruits of that research …

WARNING: The following images may not be appropriate for a young … or any … audience.

Comes in different colours:

Poor pooch:

Just … WHYYYYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!:

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being azn: resentment, regret, re-evaluation

posted by telleou

What does it mean to be Azn? For me, in the early years – it had a lot to do with resentment; now – regret, and regret is inevitably linked to re-evaluation.

I grew up in Whitey-Ville, where I was one of six Azns in the school. My best friend was an Indian Muslim from South Africa. I was not the politically savvy, racist-rebuker I am today.  I didn’t understand the fierce pride that came with laying claim to a minority status; I was nine, and all I really wanted to do was fit in with everyone else.

So I resented everything that marked me as an outsider: the rice in my lunch box, the cute little keipos my parents thought to dress me in. Even my parents themselves; I couldn’t understand why they didn’t understand … that a bagel in my lunch box would make everything easier, that a t-shirt would do. I hated when there was mention of Chinese New Year; I hated how everyone looked at me to be a spokesman for the country that I was not part of and did not want to be part of. I wanted to turn my ethnicity on and off–Chinese  at home and white whenever the situation called for it.

Now, I hate the fact that I don’t qualify for the Mandarin course for heritage students at UofT.  (That one stung quite a bit … Is it not my heritage?) Now, I hate that my conversations with my parents sometimes rely on Google Translate. Now, I regret.

I regret the grey area I chose to isolate myself in–‘neither here nor there’ and at the same time, ‘on the outside looking in.’ Too distant to be part of the wars of my father, and much too close to something much too unfamiliar.

I regret that I grew up thinking that the immediacy lay in trying to change into someone else, instead of retaining who I was.

I regret that I never saw my parents for who they are: two incredibly strong people who bore the burden of systemic discrimination. Two people that work a whole lot harder than they should have to; two people that still love more than they hate.

Now, I’m re-evaluating.

Posting to the invazn is part of that. (I still don’t like to draw attention to my ethnicity. When it happens, I’m usually pointing and screaming, ‘Racist!’)

Who would have thought the girl who was scared to be Azn for the first half of her life would announce her ethnicity like this?

Who would have thought that the little Azn girl in first grade, who barely had a useable grasp of English, would go on to be an English major at the University of Toronto?

I’m doing some re-evaluating. And everyone else needs to do some too.

I’m looking forward to moving forward.

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azn jokes

posted by eunac

I don’t know if this is just a Korean thing specifically or an all-around Azn thing, but there’s a joke that my family members (myself included) always recite whenever we can. In order to “tell” the joke, a piece of food needs to be stuck to you (usually it’s rice). When someone points out that there’s food stuck on you, you respond with, “I’m saving it for later.” My dad, who loves getting a good laugh out of people, usually takes it a step further and tells us more details about when specifically he plans on eating the piece of rice.

This was a relatively pointless post but it’s something that happened at dinner tonight so I thought I’d share :)

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free & cheap: mtl edition

posted by jroselkim

Tam Tams - aka MTL having a good time, every Sunday

After reading missmsian’s post on free and cheap things to do in Toronto, I wanted to write one for my adapted “home” Montreal immediately. For someone recovering both mentally and financially from grad school, the city has offered numerous diversions and fun nights which often don’t cost a thing.

Sure, the streets are a little grungy, the construction may be ongoing, and the French might sound weird to non-Québecois ears, but the city is literally full of things to do for 10 dollars and under.

1. Tam Tams – Mont-Royal park
Every Sunday in the spring/summer*, Mont-Royal park is filled with a drum circle that goes on almost all day (anytime between noon until 8-9pm), medieval live battles, line-walkers, jugglers, and picnic-ers out to enjoy the spectacle and the beautiful weather. Want to see a guy in full samurai armour battle against an aspiring sword-wielder (made out of duct tape and broom)? Check. Sketchy people whispering “weed” on every corner of the mountain? Check. Handmade jewellery? Check. It’s a truly unique event to Montreal and a great place to people-watch.

*when the weather is nice enough for everyone to be sitting outdoors

2. Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (185 rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest)
The Contemporary Art Museum presents many exciting multimedia pieces and interdisciplinary exhibits, including past exhibitions like Sympathy for the Devil – which examined the intersection of rock and art. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for students, or free every Wednesday evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The museum has also started a special series called Musée Nocturnes with live music performances (one of them featured the dynamic Tune-Yards, whose live performance will seriously blow your mind) every first Friday of the month, which can be enjoyed with a regular admission ticket.

3. Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (1380 rue Sherbrooke Ouest)
The permanent collections at the Museum of Fine Arts are always free to the public. And while exhibits will cost $15 for adults and $7.50 for students, the museum still makes it under the $10 mark every Wedesday evening (5-8:30pm) when it offers half-price admission . Don’t let the somewhat restrictive name fool you – the museum offers a diverse range of exhibits – from the beautiful art of J.W. Waterhouse to the love story of John Lennon and Yoko Ono – and collections.

4. A Bixi adventure
Last year, Montreal rolled out Bixi bikes – public rental bikes with stations all around the city (with the exception of the Westmount borough). You can sign up for a yearlong membership for $78 (which comes with 6 transit fares until Jul. 30) and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Montreal instead of smelling someone else’s armpit on the bus or the metro. It’s great for visitors too – it costs $5 to use the service for 24 hours. This means that you can use a Bixi bike to ride for 30 minutes or under each time (be sure to check the time – the service will charge a $1.50 fee if you go over the designated half-hour time). It’s a handy way to get around the city and much more economic than using the transit system, too. Make a day of biking to different areas and exploring the distinct neighbourhoods of Montreal.

5. Piknic Elektronic
Every Sunday in the summer, Parc Jean-Drapeau (a short metro stop away from the central Berri-UQAM station) becomes a big dance party with 6 hours of electronic/house/techno beats by artists from Canada, US and Europe. It is as fun and exhausting as it sounds, all for a modest cost of 10 dollars.

6. Lachine Canal
Located near Lionel-Groulx metro station, this beautiful canal has great waterfront green space ideal for a picnic and a bike ride. It’s also home of Atwater Market, one of the Montreal public markets, where you can buy locally grown produce or delicious Quebec beers such as La Fin du Monde and L’Éphémère Cassis (my personal favourite), and some squeaky cheese curds too.

7. $2 chow mein at Chez Mein
You’ve hit the clubs hard, or are pulling an all-nighter and need a midnight (or post-midnight) snack, there’s only one place to go and one repulsive/awesome snack to have. On St-Laurent at Pins, you’ll find “Chez Mein” – a little shack (really, just a window with a counter – I have yet to see anyone go inside to eat). Their specialty is the house “chow mein” for $2; I put these in quotation marks because these are not your regular greased-up chow men of Chinese restaurants. No, they are something much more – first you see them pan-fry the noodles with a bit of soy sauce and oil. When you order one, they ask if you want “sauce” with it – this sauce is straight-up melted peanut butter, no joke. It’s a delicacy that cannot be captured until you try it out for yourself. I will say this: it has a special place in my heart for those brutally cold nights when you’re walking home from a party or a bar far away, and have forgotten all feeling on your feet.

If you live in MTL, or have visited it often that you have your own events/spots in mind, I’d love to hear’em.

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one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish

posted by missmsian

Black Sea. Red Sea. White Sea.

That's racist! (Just kidding.)

Am I the only one who didn’t know that the north part of the East China Sea is known as the “Yellow Sea”? Apparently … because here are records of the sea’s properties and significant events in its history:

WWF: “The semi-enclosed Yellow (Huanghai) Sea … is one of the largest shallow areas of continental shelf in the world. Although warm currents are present, the water becomes cold and rough during monsoons and some sections turn into ice fields in the winter.”

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names lists “Yellow Sea” as the body of water’s official name, with “Huanghai Sea” as a variant. Of course, “huang” is yellow and “hai” is sea in Mandarin, which makes the second “Sea” redundant, but we can’t expect the U.S. to know.

There appears to be some debate over its name, as the U.S.’s federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agency refers to the body of water as the “West Sea.” Figures!

On August 10, 1904, a Russian fleet stalled at Port Arthur by the Japanese navy’s blockade since February of that year tried to join up with another Russian fleet, starting the Battle of the Yellow Sea during the Russo-Japanese War.

Condensed version of snorefest (sorry, not a military history junkie): the seven-hour battle took a turn when Japanese Admiral Heihachiro Togo fired … something … into the flagship Tsesarevich, killing the admiral on board. The short of it is that 6 Russian battleships, 4 cruisers and 14 destroyers left Port Arthur. Five battleships, 1 cruiser and 9 destroyers made it back. The aftermath? In December of the same year, the Japanese brought heavy artillery to Port Arthur and sank or damaged the remaining ships. Ouch.

Japan 1, Russia 0. (Looks like a World Cup score. Oh wait … Russia wasn’t even in the top 32.)

And there you have it. Things you and I didn’t know about the Yellow Sea.

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hot azn alert! jeremy lin

posted by missmsian

Harvard Crimson point guard Jeremy Lin could be the first Azn-American in the NBA. He’s playing in the Summer League for the Dallas Mavs. ‘BOUT TIME PLAYAS!!!!!

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fantasia international film fest 2010: azn films galore!

posted by jroselkim

Poster for the South Korean film 'A Little Pond,' official selection of Fantasia Film Festival 2010


If you’re a fan of independent/sci-fi/azn films and are in Montreal, check out Fantasia International Film Festival for some great film gems, including many fine azn films. The festival kicked off on Jul. 8, but there is still plenty of time to catch numerous film screenings – many of them North American premieres – including free outdoor screenings until Jul. 28.

Here are some azn films I’m particularly excited about:

The Executioner (South Korea, 2009, North American premiere)– this film drew a lot of attention and controversy as it was the first film to be shot in an actual Korean prison. The story is about a rookie prison guard learning the harsh and brutal realities of the Korean prison system through a jaded, senior guard. The arrival of a notorious serial killer, whose crimes have garnered much public outrage, opens up the possibilities of a death sentence – a first since 1997 – which threatens to change the lives of the guards forever.

J.A. de Seve Theatre, Concordia University (1400 de Maisonneuve West)
July 18, 9:30pm and July 20, 3:20pm
$8

A Little Pond (South Korea, 2009, North American premiere): This is another film that met a lot of resistance from the Korean government (and public) due to its critical nature of the American troops (who are often seen as heroes who saved Korea from the Evil Communists). But after 8 years of planning and financial struggle, it’s finally here! The film takes place in a peaceful village in Korea, which turned upside down when the Korean war breaks out, with one of the most brutal massacres of the war on Nonguri Bridge.

J.A. de Seve Theatre, Concordia University (1400 de Maisonneuve West)
July 25, 9 :30pm and July 26, 5 :30pm
$8

Power Kids (Thailand, 2008): Move over, Nickelodeon, here comes the muay thai champions. Four friends must unite their muay thai powers to save their friend in a hospital with a heart condition.

Free outdoor screening, part of ‘Fantasia Under the Stars’ – at Parc de la Paix (Boul. St-Laurent, between Ste-Catherine and Rene-Levesque), 7pm

Other highlights include a digitally restored, original cut of Fritz Lang’s classic film Metropolis at Place-des-arts on July 28 (along with the Fantasia gala) and “Le sang d’un poète,” where Steven Severin (of the Siouxie and the Banshees) performs a live score to Jean Cocteau’s avant-garde film of the same name at the Rialto Theatre on July 22.

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