Monday, May 22, 2017

main street, nostalgia.

I don't think he remembers, but somehow, I do. These days, I'm very forgetful – I'll leave the apartment and have to turn back around in 15 seconds to check if I've locked the door. Did I unplug the coffee maker? What about the hot-air brush? One day, I left my bedroom light on all day until I returned at 11PM and thought someone had broken in.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

dream on the horizon.

I sat on writing this entry too long, and now it's past midnight here in D.C. as I try to find the right words I've been weighing on what to say about May 17.

If you asked me 10 years ago where I thought I'd be in a decade, I wouldn't have come close to being right. Ten years ago, when the clock struck midnight, I remember laying in bed and wondering what it meant to graduate from high school and leave behind the bubble I'd grown accustomed to. At Loretto, I felt safe. I knew the 100 classmates I'd gone through the past four years with. The biggest risk I was taking was doing back-to-back performances on the stage of Memorial Auditorium as the Class of 2007 said goodbye to our high school years. Up until May 17, 2007, the only time I'd been out of state were for family trips to Reno (and that one trip to Las Vegas in elementary school); I'd only ever lived in one house in one neighborhood in one city. My world was small, and yet I wanted more without knowing what that "more" was.

But knowing at that moment, when the clock struck midnight, that I would soon be embarking on an adventure soon was both exciting and absolutely terrifying. It's a mixed bag of emotions that's come up again and again in the past 10 years with every step forward into some big unknown: leaving college... leaving California... leaving DC, and then leaving New York.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

favorites: April 2017.

I was so busy last month preparing for this month (I also just launched a podcast with Charles: more about it here) that I don't have many new new things to tell you about, but I have some oldies – but goodies – to gush about. Also, I'm adding a list at the end of what's been on repeat on my Spotify (both new releases and old favorites):

1. Too Faced Sweet Peach Eye Shadow Collection Palette

OK, this one's new(ish): I managed to snag the Too Faced reward from Sephora in February and it finally came in the mail in April. I'm a huge fan of Too Faced palettes, and was slightly disappointed by their White Chocolate Chip release. What's nice about the Peach palette is that it's got a variety of warmer spring tones that's been missing from their chocolate series. It also smells like peaches, which is my second favorite scent!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month | #RedefineAtoZ

I was 8 or 9 the first time I got called a chink on the playground by some school bully. It was words like that – and "oriental" and "China doll," among others – that made me scared to be proud of being Asian American. I thought the definitions about who I was had already been written by others, and I just needed to fit into what those rules said I could be.

We joke in the community that May is just another month, because we're all still Asian American and Pacific Islanders on June 1. But I want to take this month, while we've got your attention (yes, you, out there) to introduce you to some of the things we are that you might not see the other 334 days of the year.

I want to introduce you to Mei Lum and her incredible story about reclaiming the narrative of Chinatown through Wing On Wo & Co. I want to introduce you to Richard Tran, who was introduced to me through our open nomination call a couple of months ago, and whose work I can't stop thinking about. I want to introduce you to Rajuju Brown, whose music through GRUMBY has been the soundtrack to my workdays the last couple of months.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are artistic and curious; we're historic and inclusive, multicultural and resisting cliches. We are tireless. We are versatile. (We are #notyourmodelminority.)

Take the time to check out "NBC Asian America Presents: A to Z," and also watch and share the video our friends at Jubilee produced to go along with our project.

Every day, we have the opportunity and the challenge to push back on the assumptions of others when they see our faces and our skin before they see us, and I hope you'll think about the ways that you too are writing and rewriting what it means to be Asian American and Pacific Islander in America today.