Losing More Than Just a Bike

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I took this photo exactly one week ago. Mid-bike ride, on my way to meet a close friend across town, I felt the need to stop and capture the moment. I didn’t care if it was a great photograph or not. Oakland was just so warm and sunny and beautiful and riding my bike made me feel warm and sunny and beautiful. On that day, in that moment, I felt so purely good. If you’ve spoken with me at some level of depth in the past four years you’ve probably heard me talk about my deep love and respect for Oakland and for how much life and history its streets hold. In the past two years if we’ve spent time together you have probably seen or know about my bike, Giovanni. These two consistent pillars of my life are very linked.

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Google, Sisterhood, and International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. I’ve seen articles, comics, and personal expressions appreciating women popping up on my feed for many hours now. Even Google greeted me with recognition of the holiday. The home page doodle is transformed in to a minute and half long video with clips of women and girls of diverse generations and ethnicities, all speaking different languages, in different countries, expressing their dreams, goals, and aspirations. Watching it, I have to admit that I teared up a bit (or maybe more than a bit). Witnessing snippets of stories from women who are working, living, loving, taking up space and making noise all across the globe is pretty beautiful.

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DIGGING IN WITH “AUBERGINE” PLAYWRIGHT JULIA CHO

“The play elicits food memories across the lives of all the characters, however seemingly disparate their stories are, allowing the audience to also think about our own emotional and cultural associations with food. An early review from the San Francisco Chronicle has already praised Aubergine pointing out that the audience comes away “fully engrossed in the people, ideas and language of playwright Julia Cho…A combination of theatrical ingredients so fulfilling that a standing ovation is in order.””

Read the full article on the Center for Asian American Media blog.

Originally Published March 2016

Reclaiming My Year

I received a text from a friend the other night: “Mulan is on t.v.! Because it’s Chinese New Year!” I sent back a dragon and a monkey emoji and flipped on my television. I was making mandu, my own small ritual to celebrate the Korean Lunar New Year, and as I finished up folding the delicate wonton skins I caught the end of the movie.

I received a text from a friend the other night: “Mulan is on t.v.! Because it’s Chinese New Year!” I sent back a dragon and a monkey emoji and flipped on my television. I was making mandu, my own small ritual to celebrate the Korean Lunar New Year, and as I finished up folding the delicate wonton skins I caught the end of the movie. I watched Mulan save the emperor of China, garner respect and honor for her family, and live happily ever after with hunky Captain Li Shan.

Remembering countless viewings from my childhood I couldn’t help myself from being moved by the totally corny (and culturally reductive) story. For many East Asian folks of my generation this film was of the only mainstream depictions we saw featuring people that looked like us (even if they were cartoons). As I sat there, waiting for my dumplings to cook through, what at first felt so heart-warming evolved into anger and sadness.

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An Interview with Filmmaker RENEE TAJIMA-PEÑA on “NO MÁS BÉBES”

I interviewed professor and filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña about her most recent documentary, No Más Bébes (No More Babies). The film follows the stories of ten Chicana women who underwent forced sterilization procedures after giving birth via cesarean section in the L.A. County Hospital in the early 1970s. The film chronicles the resulting class-action lawsuit (Madrigal v. Quilligan) and sheds light on this landmark reproductive justice case.

Read the interview on the Center for Asian American Media Blog.

More information on No Más Bébes can be found here.