Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Painted toes

When Caden wants me to paint his toenails, I usually convince him that "Boys only paint their big toes." (This way, I can selfishly delay any discussions about gender roles, societal norms, etc.)

But today, he got his way. "Why should girls have all the fun?" he asked.

Can't argue with that...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Caden!

Five years ago today, God bestowed upon me a wonderfully magical gift. A bundle of joy and beauty in the form of a perfect little boy. Happy Birthday Caden Chi-Sung. My warrior poet. My heart is yours forever...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Public breasts

Was at In-N-Out today and saw Earth Mama standing in line, ordering her hamburger and fries-- with babe suckling at her breast, uncovered. Everyone around her stood in silence: in equal parts of shock, fascination and horror.

Why is it we don't bat an eyelash when we see a woman half-naked, yet when we witness her breastfeeding in public, we go bonkers?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Homemade yum

What we had for dinner: homemade pizza, lovingly sauced and cheesed-up by my 4-year-old. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Open hands

How will you choose to live your life? With a clenched fist or an open hand?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beethoven to Bieber

Caden got his very first haircut at the salon last night.

My boy was blessed with a gorgeous head of hair (he was born with a full head of it!) and I've had the privilege of cutting it since he was a baby. But alas, yesterday was one of those days I was running all over town with two kids and not a moment to spare. With Caden's school photos looming over my head, I knew his locks needed a good clean-up job.

So there he was, sitting in the stylist's chair as the scissors went snip-snip-snip and a good portion of that shiny, silky hair fell onto the salon floor. The final result? My son's look went from Ludwig van Beethoven to Justin Bieber in about 15 minutes.

And I must say, I love it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Call 911

I just died from witnessing too much cuteness. Someone call 911. Someone resuscitate me!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When you're racing, it's life

We took our aspiring race car driver to his first go-kart race this past weekend. Seeing Caden's face light up as the cars sped down the track was watching pure delight unfold. The sound of the engines revving, the karts screaming past as they hugged each turn-- even the smell of gasoline was intoxicating.

It's one thing to watch these cars in action. I can only imagine what it must feel like to actually drive one of them. No wonder my son is drawn to it like a tractor beam. Caden's always had an affinity for all things fast. Even as an infant, if he wasn't moving, he'd let his displeasure be known.

When I toted him around in the baby carrier, he'd cry the moment I stopped walking. When we were in the car, his cries escalated every time we'd approach a stop sign (the wailing got louder and louder as the car would decelerate). From the moment he could grab things, it was all about cars, trains, airplanes. Anything with velocity. Which is why for the first three years of his life, Caden was obsessed with the Disney/Pixar Cars movie.

Now, as a whirling dervish of a 4-year-old, my son is fixated on race car driving. His favorite movies are Le Mans and Grand Prix (both made in 1971 and 1966, respectively). Caden knows that movie perhaps as well as the directors who made them. He can quote the film as if he were reading the script, as well as tell you what happens next after every scene.

There's a line Steve McQueen's character, Michael Delaney, says in Le Mans that sums up how Caden looks at the world:

"When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting..."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On motherhood

I came across this beautiful passage the other day and it reminded me how empowering it is to be a woman and a mother:

"There is nothing on earth like the moment of seeing one's first baby. Men scale other heights, but there is no height like this simple one, occurring continuously throughout all the ages in musty bedrooms, in palaces, in caves and desert places."

This part is exactly how I feel about my daughter:

"I looked at this rolled-up bundle... and knew again I had not created her. She was herself apart from me. She had her own life to lead, her own destiny to accomplish; she just came past me to this earth. My job was to get her to adulthood and then push her off."

--Katharine Trevelyan, from "Through Mine Own Eyes"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fleshy thighs

Recent conversation with my 4-year-old:

Caden: Mommy, you have chubby legs.
Me: (Slightly mortified) Really? Uh... Which part?
Right here (cups his hands around the fleshiest part of my inner thighs and proceeds to jiggle them).

Me: (Laughing uncontrollably) Oh my God! Caden, is it really that bad?
Caden: No Mommy, don't worry. It's just a little chubby.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pure joy

This is the personification of joy. Pure, unadulterated J-O-Y.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words

This says it all. Brother is stoked. Sister is pissed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Best birthday card ever

Best. Birthday card. Ever.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Just buy a new mommy

This morning, in the rush of getting the 4-year-old ready for school and finishing packing lunches, I was explaining that I needed to eat breakfast first before feeding the baby. While said baby whimpered in her bouncy-plaything, I told her, "Sweetheart, I know you're hungry. But Mommy needs to eat first and then I will feed you." Or else Mommy will be a cranky mommy, and that's no fun for anyone, I said under my breath.

"Yeah, and if Mommy is cranky, then we'll have to buy a new one," my son interjected.

HA! I never knew I was so disposable!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Melty pants

I pledge my allegiance to these ugly pants.

Do you own an article of clothing that you simply cannot part with? Perhaps an old college sweatshirt, a favorite baseball cap, or a concert tee you got in the early 90s?

For me, it's a pair of black, cotton, wide-leg pajama pants I purchased from Old Navy. I must have bought the pants 12 years ago. Yes, that's right. It's been over a decade and I can't let them go.

In the beginning, they were used for weekly visits to the gym. My faithful workout pants got sweaty and grimy and did a lot of time in the laundry-- which is how they started getting super soft. Pretty soon I realized they were way too comfy to waste on 24 Hour Fitness, thus the pants got promoted to wear-around-the-house status.

The first thing I used to do when I got home from work was change into those pants. It's was much like Mister Rogers' daily ritual. Fred took off that stuffy jacket and those stiff leather Oxfords and slipped on a soft sweater and broken-in sneakers. All the while singing and smiling and looking so darned content. It's exactly how I felt when I wore my favorite pants.

I watched TV in them. I lounged around my apartment in them. Sometimes, on weekends, I would wear the pants for 48 hours straight. Wake up in them, eat breakfast, bum around the house, go out for coffee and lunch (thank God I wasn't being stalked by the paparazzi), make dinner, sleep, wake up, etc.

Then one day, I got a bright idea and decided to cut them. Who knows why I made them capri-length. They looked horrible. I was crushed. I demoted the pants to doing-work-around-the-house status. I cleaned the bathroom in them. I painted my son's nursery in them. They were my "crap pants"-- but still as comfortable as ever.

About six months ago, I was changing into my pants and noticed a chilly, breezy sensation near my bum. No...could it be? My worst nightmare come true: I had holes in my beloved pants! It was a minor crisis. Do I keep them? Do I dare throw them out?

"Dear Pants: We've been through so much together. Marriage, career ups and downs, two kids... how can I kick you to the curb?"

So I decided to repair the holes. Seventh grade home-economics class came in handy, and within five minutes-- voila! No more holes. Granted, the material is gathered and bunched up now, and when I wear them it kind of looks like I have a permanent wedgie. But I don't care. I love my melty pants. Some day they might spontaneously combust.

Until then, only death can pull us apart.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Drive-thru bliss

Sleep-deprived mom + Starbucks drive-thru = hallelujah moment.
(Illustration by Leann E. Johnson) 

When Starbucks started opening drive-thru cafes in my neighborhood, I scoffed. "Who the heck would be lazy enough to stay in their car for a latte?" I said to myself as I drove past one. "It's tantamount to fast-food culture. So uncouth."

Of course, I was very judgmental before I had kids. Now, as a parent of two young children, I get it. I love it. Heck, I will say praises about Starbucks' drive-thru 'til I'm blue in the face. When you're an on-the-go mom, sleep-deprived and in a I-must-have-caffeine-or-I-feel-like-I'm-gonna-die kind of mood, then the drive-thru is your Hallelujah moment. Add to that sleeping kids in car seats and drive-thrus become imperative.

Now, if they only had drive-thru boba...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bring 'em home

President Obama says "it's time to turn the page," marking the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq. Although tonight's address from the Oval Office left me with many questions, I was still relieved. Let's bring our troops home and start re-building here on the home front...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Holy sh*t!

How could something so huge and so stinky and so disgustingly gross come out of something so petite, so precious and so wonderfully sweet?

These were my thoughts when my 6-month-old daughter laid this gargantuan (well, gargantuan for an infant) Number Two. This one puts South Park's Christmas Poo to shame. I mean, look at the shape, the sheer size and the multi-colored awesomeness of this poop. "Holy shit!" I said as I opened up Isobel's diaper. Holy shit, indeed.

As you examine the above photo, I know you're cringing in horror, yet strangely intrigued and fascinated at the same time. It's like slowing down on the 405 and rubber-necking the eleven-car pile-up in front of you. You just have to look.

Before we became parents, my husband and I never really gave poop a second thought. But after two kids, you'd be surprised how preoccupied we have become with the subject:

Me: "Wow hon, did you know Izzy pooped three times today?"
Husband: "That's amazing! Were they pretty healthy-sized poops?"
Me: "Yeah, substantial and really smelly."
Husband: "Must be the solids she's eating."
Me: "Uh huh. Our little girl's growing up!"

And we're not the only parents who are poop-obsessed. In fact, if you Google "parent websites about poop" you'll get more than 1.9 million results. You can find information about your child's pooping problems, read about tips for potty training, instant chat about what to do if your toddler is playing with his poop, and read blogs about the kid who pooped on dad's foot or how embarrassing it was for mom to poop on the delivery table (yes, there are sites about this).

So why is the topic of poop so engrossing? For parents, it's hard evidence (sorry, a lame pun) that you're doing your job. It's proof that your child is either being fed well (soft poops) or needs a change in his/her diet (hard poops). Good poops = happy child. (If you've ever witnessed a constipated baby, you know what I'm talking about. So heartbreaking.)

Whatever you call it-- poop, crap, shit, caca, dookie, dump, doo doo, brown trout, brick, baked potato, nugget, lump, loaf, nuclear meltdown, one-wiper, Captain's log, chocolate shark, patty, torpedo, Chalupa, steamer, grumpy (the list goes on and on)-- you have to admit, it's a must-discuss topic.

Illustration via Pinterest.

This week's obsession: blackberry cabernet sorbet

My latest dessert obsession: Ciao Bella blackberry cabernet sorbet.

I found this treasure while perusing the frozen food section at my neighborhood Vons. At first I was a little skeptical. "Hmmm, blackberry and cabernet?" But then I thought about it: my favorites (ice cream and wine) married in a dessert? Genius.

When I got home, I opened the pint and was pleasantly surprised by the smell of cabernet. I scooped a small amount onto my spoon and gave it a try. Mmmmm, the wonderfully sweet taste of blackberries with a hint of fragrant red wine. Man, this stuff is going to be dangerous.

I am eating the rest of it as I write this, and I'm think I'm gonna have to run out to Vons tomorrow and re-stock the freezer...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hello, Apple

I'm taking a big leap of technological faith and finally joining the 21st century. I'm now the proud owner of a new iPhone 4. Here we go!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Courageous woman

Shocking image on this week's cover of Time magazine.

Yes, it's disturbing, but I agree 100 percent with managing editor Richard Stengel, who says, "I felt that the image is a window into the reality of what is happening — and what can happen — in a war that affects and involves all of us. I would rather confront readers with the Taliban's treatment of women than ignore it. I would rather people know that reality as they make up their minds about what the U.S. and its allies should do in Afghanistan."

I'm running to my nearest newsstand in the morning to pick it up and read the article.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Brother Sister

The best part of having two kids? Watching them delight in each other's company.

In this photo, I love how my son Caden relishes his role as protective big brother. And see the intense look on Isobel's face? It's as if she's saying, "Yeah, just try to cross me and my older bro will pounce you."

All Asians look alike... or do they?

A former colleague at the newspaper I used to work at wrote this post on her blog. Apparently, she often gets mistaken for me and is always asked, "How is your baby?" (btw: she's single and doesn't have a baby).

I wrote a column about motherhood while I was at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. It was one of the best jobs I've had in journalism and it's nice to know my columns made an impression on readers...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Salt" needs more spice

Saw "Salt" a few nights ago. One word: BLAND.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You had me at Tiffany

This summer, fell in love with:

1) a sexy pair of Calvin Klein heels

2) kelly-green Kate Spade handbag
3) amethyst cocktail ring from Tiffany

Sunday, July 25, 2010

From the mouth of babes

Today, I explained to my 4-year-old that women have babies and men don't. And that the reason I was so sick last summer was because I had his baby sister in my tummy.

"Mommy, thank God I am not a woman," Caden says. "Because I don't want to throw up in the toilet like you did all summer. And I don't want to have a fat belly."

Ah, from the mouth of babes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

IndyCar driver Milka Duno

I wrote this article in the July '10 issue of Max Sports & Fitness Magazine:


By: Jennifer Cho Salaff

IndyCar Race Driver Milka Duno is the Whole Package.

Never in Milka Duno’s wildest dreams did she expect to become one of the fastest female race car drivers in the world. As a child, she was more accustomed to losing herself in books than playing with Hot Wheels. Raised in a family that placed the utmost importance on education, Duno was groomed toward a straight and narrow path to academia, earning four masters degrees (three of them simultaneously) and eventually becoming a naval engineer. Then fate intervened one afternoon in 1999.

After her studies in Spain were completed, Duno returned to her native Venezuela to spend time with family. On a whim, she agreed to attend a driving clinic at the invitation of friends. “Why not?” she thought. “Sounds fun.”

She will never forget that day. She climbed into a Porsche, fired up the ignition and marveled at the sound of the engine. She was impressed with the car’s handling as she sped down the track. The speed. The precision. The mechanics. It was all too irresistible. She was in love.

“In that moment, I discovered I wanted to do something different with my life,” Duno, says. “I realized it wasn’t my destiny to be an engineer. It was my destiny to be a race car driver.”

Of course, her lawyer mom and salesman dad weren’t exactly pleased with the change of profession because of all the time she’d spent on education. And when their 24-year-old daughter finally broke the news, they were shocked. “They said, ‘Are you crazy? All those years of studying!’” Duno recalls. “But when I want something, I do it.”

It’s that razor-sharp focus and love of a challenge that has always driven her. “It’s just my personality, I like difficult things,” she says.

Thus, a racing career was born. In 2000 – Duno’s first year of professional racing – she scored two podium finishes and placed fourth overall in the Venezuelan Porsche Supercup Championship. The following year, she competed in the Women’s Global GT Series Championship, ranking an impressive 4th place at the end of the season. In 2000, she received “Venezuelan Driver of the Year” honors after winning both the Panoz GT Series Championship and the Ferrari Challenge (becoming the first woman to win a Ferrari Challenge race in the US).

It was clear to everyone, including Duno’s family, that she was built for speed. Racing was the one thing that quenched her innate competitive appetite. And the accolades kept coming: five wins in the American Le Mans Series - including the first woman to win the prestigious Petit Le Mans, a race that she has won twice; three wins in the Rolex Sports Car Series - becoming the first woman to win a major race in North America; and a 2nd-place finish in the legendary twice-around-the-clock 24 Hours of Daytona - earning the highest finish ever by a female driver in the 45-year history of the race. “That was the proudest moment (so far) in my career,” Duno says, referring to the Daytona race in 2007. “It made me feel real good. But I want more.”

As a woman, Duno has helped break down barriers in the male-dominated field of sports racing. When her career first got started, there was the normal resistance and scrutiny from her male counterparts. But her work ethic earned the respect of her peers and proved the disbelievers wrong. At the end of the day, Duno says it’s not being a man or woman that matters on the race track. It’s about what each athlete brings to the sport. “It’s why I don’t feel that different,” Duno says. “When you talk about profession, it doesn’t matter if you are a woman or man. It has to do with your abilities to do the job.”

In addition to talent and smarts, Duno allures fans with her unavoidable sex appeal. With full lips, long locks and voluptuous curves, she’s not your typical race car driver. Duno has graced the covers of numerous fashion magazines in Latin America and last year was named “Hottest IndyCar Driver” in a MetroMix.com poll of Indianapolis fans.

“It’s a part of our culture, it’s a part of me,” Duno says unapologetically of her sexy image, which she says is also part of being Latin American. “I am a woman. It’s my personality. It’s not a bad thing.”

Her background as an engineer has also given Duno a unique advantage over her fellow drivers. Long before she was revving engines, Duno designed oil recovery ships for a petroleum company. As a naval engineer, she worked long hours, often being the only female on the job. She has a broad range of knowledge and expertise on subjects like mechanics, electricity, calculus and hydrodynamics.

As a result, she has the uncanny ability to understand a car the way only an engineer would. She has a deep appreciation of the technical aspect of racing—the mechanics, the handling, why something is or isn’t working. She pays close attention. She takes meticulous notes.

“Milka wants to know the reason for everything,” says her race engineer Len Paskus. “Her organizational skills are superior and the way she approaches a problem makes her different (from other drivers). She’s very driven, very motivated. And she works very, very hard.”

It’s hard for Duno to explain what compels her to the sport. There’s the thrill. The sheer horsepower. The risk. One thing she knows: she comes alive when it’s just her, the car and the open road.

“Race car driving is very complex, it’s not an easy thing,” she says. “You need a good trainer, a good car, a good crew and engineer. You have to be in top physical condition. You have to war with your concentration. You have to put all these things together to win races. People think you just put in the gas and go. But it’s a little more than that.”

In fact, only elite athletes can defeat rivals at triple-digit speeds. Consider this: race car drivers must train their hearts like a distance runner, build their muscles like an NFL-player, and condition their bodies to withstand 150-degree heat. Not to mention being strong enough to take inertial forces of up to 4 gs (a space shuttle launch is about 3 gs) while avoiding potentially-fatal collisions with other cars going 200 mph.

To prepare for races, Duno follows an intense training schedule. It’s a constant process, both physically and mentally. She works out with a trainer at her home gym in Miami, one to two hours a day, four to five times a week. And, she trains with a trainer in Indianapolis. Duno lifts heavy weights, does a lot of cardiovascular exercise, spends hours in front of driving simulators and logs hundreds of hours on the track.

She’s now one of only five women on the IndyCar circuit and in 2007 was the first Latina to race in the famed Indy 500. “I want to win an IndyCar race,” she says. “That’s next.”

In the Latino community, Duno’s something of a superstar. She’s in the Latin American Sports Hall of Fame, she received a National Hispanic Woman of the Year award from the Los Angeles-based Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, and has been nominated for a Univision Youth Award. Last year, her autobiographical children’s book, “Go Milka, Go!” won Best Young Adult/Sports Recreation Book at the International Latino Book Fair in New York. “I feel very happy with that, to give my contribution to the people,” Duno says of being a role model in her community. “It’s just part of the things that I am doing.”

When she’s not on the track, Duno squeezes in visits to schools to spread her message about the importance of education. Founded in 2004, her Milka Way Program has reached students ranging from elementary to university levels in more than 10 countries around the world. Whether it’s speaking to first graders or engineering students, Duno uses her celebrity status to inspire future generations. “It’s the most powerful tool you can have,” she says of education. “Kids come up to me and say, ‘Milka, I want to be like you,’ I tell them, ‘Sports are great, but it’s temporary. Education is forever.’”

Her life speeds ahead and the pace is often exhausting, but Duno would have it no other way. She makes it a goal to visit one or two schools (she’s even been known to visit three schools in a day) in every town where she races. “I think that Milka Duno is inspirational in the way she takes time to visit with young people,” posted a blogger from the Christel House Academy in Indianapolis, where Duno visited before competing in the Indy 500 this past May. “Good luck to you Milka and your team at the race.”

Harry Capehart, who works closely with Duno on her speaking engagements, book signings and public appearances, says Duno understands her role as an athlete/celebrity and takes advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. “One day, she was up at 3:30 a.m. to be on a TV segment, then visited two schools, did a book signing and got back to her hotel at midnight,” Capehart says. “It’s a grueling schedule, but she enjoys it. She likes challenges, I think she equates it to an interesting and fulfilling life.”

For Milka Duno, the road to success never ends. Naval engineer. Race car driver. Children’s book author. Motivational speaker. What’s next? “You know what I say? I say I’m working on the present,” she says. “What I’m doing now is going to give me a successful future.” MS&F

Sunday, July 4, 2010

5 things I love about being an American

What I love about being an American:

*The cultural melting pot
*I can have an opinion and voice that opinion freely
*Hot dogs, BBQs, jazz (not necessarily in that order)
*New York City
*The freedom to chart my own path and fulfill my wildest dreams

(OK, so technically it's eight things, but who's counting?)

HAPPY 4th of JULY!

*One of my favorite paintings depicting the Revolutionary War; "Washington Crossing the Delaware" by Emanuel Leutze; 1851.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer is here!

What an awesome way to kick off summer!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Help a Zambian child get off the streets and back into school

Every life matters.

In the summer of 2007, I had an extraordinary opportunity to do some work in Africa. I was part of a photography/journalism/film team and our assignment was to report on the AIDS crisis in Zambia. We spent two weeks meeting and interviewing aid workers, community leaders, pastors, teachers and government officials. We also spent a lot of time with orphans.

Many of these children-- part of some 1.5 million without parents-- find themselves in orphanages. These are the lucky ones. The others end up on the streets.

One night, our team visited a group of these street kids. It was like a chapter out of Dickens' Oliver Twist, but more harrowing. Little boys, between the ages of 6 and 12, huddled together around a makeshift fire, crackling embers and black smoke rising into the moonlit sky. These little souls, without mommies or daddies to tuck them in at night. They sang Christian hymns for comfort. They sniffed glue to keep warm. They were starving. High. Desperate.

I will never forget that night. It's burned in the recesses of my brain.

I told myself I could never return to America and not do something. Anything. When I got back home, I started raising money so some of these kids could get off the streets and back into school. Each year, we raise tuition for a kid named Chips. It costs $832. That's less than what you probably spend on all the venti chai lattes at Starbucks every year.

It's time to raise money again. And this time, I'm hoping we can send more kids to school. If everyone I'm friends with on my Facebook page donated $20 (that's 347 friends x $20), we could raise $6,940. That means eight kids off the streets and in the classroom.

Visit www.knowledgeempowers.org and help make a difference. And please, please pass the word!

*Thank you to Chad Lauterbach for the beautiful photos!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On being 35

Yeah, that's what they say. Who the "they" is, I'm not sure.

This morning, I woke up and discovered the "one or two" gray hairs at the crown of my head has now turned into a colony. DIS-GUST-ING. I'm usually excited to whip out the tweezers and get to work on those whitish-gray suckers (pluck, pluck, pluck--- so satisfying!). But today, I saw the horror of the bunch and my heart was anything but gleeful.

On most days, I embrace being 35. In fact, I've never really had a problem with telling people my age (some say it's rude to ask a woman her age, I say, "Go ahead, ask!"). Perhaps in the back of my mind, I know I have my genes as age insurance. The Asian DNA. I look at my 61-year-old Korean mother, with her luminous skin and bright eyes and beautiful smile, and I hope to God that I look that good in 26 years.

But the colony of tiny, silvery hairs has shaken my confidence. That, coupled with my soft, fleshy, post-partum body (read: blubbery, stretched out belly) and being tired all the time (I've got my 4-month-old to thank for that), makes me feel more like a frumpy hausfrau and less like the fabulous 30-something I strive to be.

For me, it's less about staying "young" and more about feeling beautiful and strong and empowered. To that, I say "Damn you, white hairs! I will fight you one tweeze at a time!"

(Until I have to start going to the colorist...)

Monday, June 21, 2010

The best dad in the world

I got real lucky twice: this guy is the best husband in the whole world AND the best father in the whole world.


Happy Father's Day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Andres and his Oscar

This morning, my brother-in-law is basking in the glow of his new Academy Award.

Perhaps he's just waking up, curled up in his sheets and in the comforts of his swanky Hollywood hotel room, staring at the award sitting next to him on the nightstand. "Good morning," Oscar says. "Yes, you won me last night and I am still here."

We celebrated Andres' win last night at the 37th Annual Student Academy Awards in Beverly Hills. Andres' short film, "Lifeline," won bronze in the category of animation. It was a wonderful evening of inspiration and festivities with filmmakers from around the country being honored for their achievements.

Andres, I am SO PROUD of you! This is just the beginning of an amazing career...

Friday, June 11, 2010

You mean "The Kung Fu Kid?"

The Karate Kid starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, opens today. I'm curious if it will be as good as the original. All I know about it so far is that it's set in China and the "karate kid" (Smith) learns kung fu from maintenance man Mr. Han (Chan).

OK, was this a complete oversight by Hollywood, or is it me? But how can you call the film "The Karate Kid" when the main character is learning kung fu? Who on earth green-lighted the screenplay? Good grief.

Obviously, it's about money.

The Hollywood bean counters are tapping into nostalgia and hoping that it will equal digging into our pocketbooks. But as a child of the 80s, and as someone who spent years studying martial arts, I find this a bit offensive. First of all, they should stop making cheesy, half-assed 80s remakes and concentrate on original screenplays. Secondly, respect culture: karate and kung fu may be cousins, but they are hardly the same (one originated from Japan, the other China).

If you're saying karate is no different from kung fu, then you might as well say all Asians look alike...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

5 things every woman needs

What every woman needs in a husband:

*Someone who will be a good friend, lover and father
*Someone who has a great sense of humor and can make you laugh, especially when you're sad or stressed out
*Someone who works hard and works honest
*Someone who plays hard and plays honest
*Someone who loves God and honors Him through his life and how he treats others