Friday, May 28, 2010

Sex is here!

Tomorrow, I will sit in a movie theater with my gal pals and be transported to New York City (and the Middle East) and live vicariously through my four favorite faux girlfriends: Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda.

I can't wait to be "Carrie-d" away (I know, I couldn't help it).


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why I love Korean markets

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The two Koreas

Things just went from bad to worse in my mother country. Today, North Korea severed all ties with its southern brother as punishment for blaming the North for sinking a South Korean warship two months ago.

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak has re-classified North Korea as his country's main enemy. Meanwhile, dictator Kim Jong-Il is ready for war.

I am saddened by this crisis. Brothers and sisters fighting against each other. One people divided. An entire country broken apart by war... Is there no hope for a unified Korea one day?

Click here for today's New York Times article.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I (heart) Radiohead

I can't believe it's been ten (10!!) years since Radiohead released "Kid A." I love this album (then again, I love every Radiohead album, what's not to like?). It reminds me of my mid-20s, getting my career started, the single life in LA.

I unearthed this CD from our collection a few days ago. Can I say it's an oldie but goodie? When do records become "oldies" anyway?

I could listen to "Everything in It's Right Place" over and over again. 

God bless Radiohead.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The early works of Caden Salaff

I love how we all look like flowers in bloom...

Friday, May 21, 2010

This week's obsession: Janelle Monae

I just can't figure out Janelle Monae: she's girl, she's boy, she's part Michael Jackson, part James Brown, a bit Lauryn Hill, a little Ella Fitzgerald, kinda Grace Jones, futuristic, from the past. Her music is soulful, classical, rock n' roll, doo-wop, jazz, rockabilly.

A freshly-pressed, crisp white shirt, bow tie, black tuxedo and 50's-style saddle shoes are her uniform. Her signature look includes the perfectly-coiffed pompadour. She moonwalks just like the King of Pop (I've never seen a chick do it as perfectly as Janelle). She belts out notes like the greatest of cabaret singers. She is, quite frankly, the "whole package."

In today's tired music scene, filled with too many lip-syncing Barbie robots, this adorable and classy five-foot wonder from Kansas is totally rocking my world.

Check out the new video to her single, "Tightrope" (from her album The ArchAndroid), and you'll know what I'm talking about. If you're not compelled to dance while listening to this song, then something is wrong with you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My brother-in-law: the Academy Award winner

My brother-in-law, Andres, is one amazingly talented illustrator and animator. He's one of the most creative people I know (he comes from a family filled with wonderful artists, musicians and designers). I know he's going to make waves in the entertainment industry-- and I'm not the only one who thinks so.

He is one of three winners of the 2010 Student Academy Awards. His film, "Lifeline," was one of more than 500 entrants. From the 500, the Academy members narrowed it down to eight finalists, and from eight, he recently found out that he's in the top three. That means he will take home the gold, silver or bronze at the awards ceremony on June 12.

Past Student Academy Awards winners have included Spike Lee, Robert Zemeckis, John Lasseter (Toy Story films) and Trey Parker (South Park). Andres is in good company.

"Lifeline" follows a grief-stricken scientist as he travels through space and time in search of his long-lost love. What moves me about Andres' film is not only the beauty, style and originality of the animation, but the profound story. We are all in search of our true love. We are all seeking hope and meaning in life.

I'm thrilled for my bro and I can't wait to celebrate with him on June 12.

Click here to check out this award-winning film.

Good food, good friends

What I love about my friend Sarah Yi: she's spontaneous. We became friends when we both lived in New York almost ten years ago, and throughout the years, I've always admired her sense of adventure (she's traveled all over the globe and goes somewhere interesting every year), her childlike spirit ("When I grow up, I hope I never become a grown-up,"), her wit and intelligence (she'll keep you on your toes), and how she drinks in life (she's designed costumes for summer Shakespeare in the Park productions, been a volunteer police officer in NYC, ran a marathon in Dublin, got a degree in forensic there anything this woman can't do?).

Well, spontaneous Sarah dropped by tonight and we all shared a lovely meal together. She and Caden crafted homemade pizzas together (sausage, spinach, mushroom, onion, red bell pepper...YUM!) and we washed down the delicious personal-sized pizzas with Belgian beer (only the adults, of course).

Good food. Good friends. Life is so full when you have these things.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Miley Cyrus: Hollywood's newest wannabe

Is it me or is tween poster girl Miley Cyrus suddenly acting more like Madonna and less like Hannah Montana? I mean, have you seen her latest music video, "Can't Be Tamed?" Looks like the Hollywood machine has churned out yet another Britney clone, complete with the faux-orgies, hip-gyrating/pelvic thrusting choreography, glossy porno-lips, over-done smoked Kohl eyeliner, and of course-- plenty of post-pubescent cleavage. God help us.

Call me a bore, call me square, you can even call me a prude: but I am absolutely OVER it. Can we please stop sexualizing our young girls? Why is it OK for teenage girls to traipse around half-naked on our TVs and the Internet? For that matter, please tell me why are the following things OK:

1) Infant girls in bikinis (am I the only person who thinks this is wrong?)
2) Toddler girls in low-slung, hip-hugger jeans (yes, they actually make these!)
3) Grade school girls baring midriff or wearing those ridiculous ass-baring short shorts (NO ONE should wear ass-baring short shorts in public)

Yeah yeah, I get the whole wanting-to-grow-up-fast thing. Miley wants to shed her squeaky-clean Disney Channel persona for a vampy, grown-up version of herself (it's probably why the first single off her upcoming album is called "Can't Be Tamed"). She wants to exert her independence. She's announcing to the world that she's confident and beautiful and fabulous and sexy and powerful. But it makes me wonder: why do female entertainers (especially the teenage ones) think objectifying themselves is the only way to portray that confidence/beauty/fabulousness/sexiness/power? What about smarts? What about charm? What about wit. Hell, what about a little modesty?

Perhaps Madonna--the Queen Bee of sex-in-your-face music videos--started it all. However,
I'd like to point out the fact that she didn't break out into the music scene until she was in her early 20s (she was 23 when her self-titled album debuted). Twenty-three is an adult-- and in Madonna's case, by the time she was in the spotlight, she was a woman who had experienced a childhood and evolved into an independent, decision-making grown-up. Maybe that's why she never had a public meltdown, came out with a sex tape or ended up in rehab.

Miley Cyrus, on the other hand, is 17. She's still a kid in my book, and watching her rub up against a group of horny boys while singing lyrics like "I go through guys like money flyin' out their hands," is kinda wrong. With over 7.6 million views on YouTube (and her album doesn't even drop until June 22), she certainly knows sex sells.

That's what's so disturbing.

Watch the video and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cool cat of the week

Name: Colin Johnson

Age: 32

Occupation: Booking Agent

Hometown: Every-ville, USA

What he's wearing: Official (hat); Calvin Klein (sunglasses); American Apparel (sweatshirt/hoodie); Heritage 1981 (jacket); Puma (shirt); Levi's (jeans); Nike/SB (shoes).

How he would describe his style: "Re-contextualizing hipster-wear back into a sporty, urban, unique style of my own."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to all you mamas!

Love and hugs and kisses and blessings to all you mamas out there. You are your children's treasures, society's heroines and the reason this world is full of goodness.

LOVE LOVE LOVE to my own supermom: everything I am is because of her.

And of course, LOVE LOVE LOVE to my two children: I am so thankful God chose me to be your mama.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Iron Man 2: Pretty good but not mindblowing

Saw Iron Man 2 last night. Two words: kinda underwhelmed. I had a feeling it would be hard to top the first one (dropped $22 bucks to see it twice in the theater a few years ago); unfortunately, my instincts served me correct. The sequel--though packed with all that Hollywood-blow-em-up glitz and glitter--was formulaic and (yawn) predictable.

Thankfully, Robert Downey Jr. didn't disappoint (he's always spot-on in practically every film). Gwyneth Paltrow did a decent job as Pepper Potts. Totally disappointed they replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle (Cheadle had zero charisma or humor as Rhodey-- too bad because he's a great actor). Mickey Rourke as Russian nemesis/genius/physicist Ivan Vanko? I couldn't get images of The Wrestler out of my head. I didn't know Scarlett Johansson could kick ass as Black Widow. Her fight scene was pretty cool (showcasing a different kind of martial arts, not the cliched Kung Fu choreography spawned by the Matrix movies), but I wished there were more. Perhaps my fave character was Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer: he nailed the role as total D-bag.

Iron Man 2 = 2 stars (out of 4). But still worth seeing in the theater.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Swagger wagon

If you're a parent (or appreciative of what your mama or papa went through to raise you), then you have to watch this. I died laughing. It's clever. Although not clever enough to make me buy a minivan.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How do you spell Coke?

We were at In-N-Out for dinner the other night. Had this conversation with our 4-year-old (who has been very proud of himself lately for his mad spelling skillz):

Caden: (To Mom and Dad) What are you drinking?
Us: Coke.
Caden: Can I try a little?
Me: (Reluctantly) OK. But just one sip.
Caden: Does it have caffeine?
Me: Yes.
Caden: (Takes a sip, pauses to think) I know how to spell Coke!
Dad: Oh yeah, how do you spell it?
Caden: C-O-C-K!
Dad: (Looks up and smirks) Wow, Caden. That's great spelling!
Me: (To husband, laughing) You just don't have the heart to tell him...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cool kitten of the week

Name: Ame J.

Age: 1 1/2

Occupation: Playgroupie and Trouble Coming Your Way

Hometown: Culver City, CA

What she's wearing: Old Navy (sweater peacoat); Guess Jeans (sweater dress); The Children's Place (pants); Target (boots); Munchkin (snack cup).

How she would describe her style: Boho Hapa w/ a twist of cute

Monday, May 3, 2010

Would you wear Madonna's sunglasses?

Madonna's latest venture: sunglasses. Sunglasses? The singer-songwriter-dancer-record producer-"actress"-film director-children's book author-fashion designer-philanthropist is launching a line of eyewear this month with Italian fashion designing duo Dolce & Gabbana.

The MDG shades, ranging in price between $248 and $298, are nothing to get excited about. The designs vary from dark, oversized Jackie O-type sunglasses to sleek aviators (apparently, Madge co-designed them with D&G, but what does "co-design" mean these days? Did she sit down with a sketch pad and flesh out ideas herself, or merely sign off on designs she looked over and liked?). Yes, the glasses have Madonna's name on them, but honestly, you could probably buy a comparable pair at Target for $16.99.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to diss Her Madgesty. I've always been a Madonna fan. The first album I ever bought was "Like a Virgin" (I was 10 years old and my dad was horrified). I have every record from her self-titled one to "Hard Candy" (with the exception of "American Life;" I hated the single: Madonna rapping about soy lattes and driving a MINI Cooper and "feeling super-duper?"-- she lost so many cool points for that). But I wonder if all these side ventures-- the books, the clothes, the films-- take away from her music. Her last great album was "Ray of Light," back in 1998.

Dear Madonna: I'm waiting for another great musical work of art. Maybe you should stick to the songwriting and forget the sunglasses.