The State of The Union

>> Thursday, April 29, 2010

I don't know if it's because we have a black president but all the racists feel like they can justifiable enough to march out on the main street and raise hell. It's completely chaotic. The ongoing Arizona immigration shenanigans are already horrible, at least the rest of the country are closely monitoring it, cities and states are starting to sever their relationship with Arizona. Activists are urging people to boycott Arizona based company for added pressure. Surprisingly Arizona Ice Tea is not from Arizona but New York, while U-Haul, Best Western and Stone Cold Creamery are, so draw your own conclusions. It's not like I patronize any of these establishments right now. At least I don't plan on it.

Arizona Governess Jan Brewer who signed the Neo-Nazi inspired, extremely discriminatory bill into law palled up with Sarah Palin and wrote this on her FaceBook page: "Had such a great time with Sarah Palin last night that we went to the Diamondbacks game today before she left town. It was great talking to her about my efforts here in Arizona of securing our borders, fighting Obama Care and preserving our 2nd Amendment rights." Apparently for to be a top Republican these days, you have to perform ridiculous acts to appease to the so-called "American values". Here's how another chum does it:

Yup, eliminate driving tests in foreign languages. Make everyone else learn English! Republican candidate for the governor of Alabama Tim James claimed that eliminating the test would save the State of Alabama money. "Maybe it's the businessman in me, but it'll save money and it makes sense, does it to you?" It makes no sense to me, of course. You don't have to know English to understand most signs, and it turns out billions in federal transportation funding are contingent on multi-lingual driver's license tests, so by eliminating these tests Alabama will be giving up these fundings. Common sense? Are we going to boycott Alabama if this bozo gets elected?

Another bozo comes from Iowa Republican governor candidate Pat Bertroche who suggested "I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I microchip an illegal?" First, comparing illegals to dogs or pests is insulting beyond belief and second, if you can round up the illegals and plant a chip in them, why can't you deport them? Some bloggers are saying that the GOP are committing demographic suicide, but I think it's not that simple. There are a lot of crazies/uneducated folks out there that will agree with this sentiments or vote Republicans no matter what. It's scary, George W. Bush was a 2-term president, let that be a lesson.

Often, I'm glad that I'm not a woman. I too will be upset if I have to bleed out of my hoo-haa every month and suffer pain, it's an innate inequality, a monthly punch in the stomach from nature or God depends on how you see things. To add insult to injury, the state of Oklahoma just passed a law requiring doctors to perform a vaginal-probe ultrasound for pregnant woman who wants an abortion. The purpose is to show them the fetus as an attempt to coerce the person out of their decision to get an abortion. Classy. I doubt that it's an easy decision for anybody and that's before considering extreme cases like rape or incest victims. They will ALL be force to get probed and persuaded out of an abortion.

Fox News is now the number one cable news channel for the 100th month and the top 5 iPhone free app. Louisiana's failure to include gay adoption to its adoption law. An executive from Goldman Sachs trying to argue something that is written point blank on paper and this crazy chick from a Texas state-run University giving an highly inappropriate bizarre religious prayer/speech where she repents for her peers for worshiping the intellectual mind on her graduation day, crying and then go into a seizure. Seriously, doesn't the University approve the speech before they let her give it? Isn't there any more suitable or stable candidates? Once again, I fear for the educational system in Texas. All this have me pretty dismayed of the state of this country. Maybe just because I'm a gaysian and feel the discrimination from both side but it's hard to feel great with chaos like these.


You've Got To Know Your Chicken

>> Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Republican senate candidate Sue Lowden from Nevada made a comment on TV that got ridiculed earlier, instead of the ongoing health care reform she suggested the "in the olden days our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor, they would say I'll paint your house. I mean, that's the old days of what people would do to get health care with your doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I'm not backing down from that system."

Of course with an highly unrealistic statement like that , she will receive a landslide of mockery. I mean we're not living "back in the days" and we're not living in a small, small town with only one doctor who's in charge of the health care of the whole village and chickens are not rarities or a feast for the rich anymore. The Democrats jumped on it and offer up a form letter to send to Sue asking her help to locate a doctor that would treat anything from scurvy to swamp fever for the fee of 10 chickens to 5 sets of overalls. I reckon that's probably about the right price. My favorite though has to be the chicken converter where you can calculate the approximate cost of various medical procedures to the number of chickens required to pay for it.

What is the doctor going to do with all these chickens? By the calculation, if a chicken farmer wants to give birth, she will have to work for at least 5 years in hopes to pay for the medical bills. Lowden later stood by her statement, her spokesperson said that "Americans are struggling to pay for their health care, and in order to afford coverage we must explore all options available to drive costs down." I find it puzzling that her original statement was aimed to reject the idea of health care reform but now she wants to explore everything starting with a chicken exchange program? She continued by saying "Bartering with your doctor is not a new concept, there have been numerous reports as to how negotiating with your doctor is an option and doctors have gone on the record verifying this."

Yes, we mock but at least the statement issued by her spokesperson is not without merits. I have had visited doctors when I have yet to start working whom charged me less or give me sample medication in order to help with my situation. Since doctors are relatively well-off, they can afford to be more generous. But can you imagine everybody asking for a discount of barter with the doctor? There are always trouble makers who will sue anyone if anything is not up to their liking and then the whole vicious cycle begins and new rules and procedures will be put in to protect the doctors and patients, insurance will be purchased for potential lawsuits and then the costs will drive up just like the system we have now. Just because you're paying your doctor with labor or at a discount doesn't mean you won't sue him if something goes wrong and then where does it leave us? Now if I can only find a doctor that will accept sexual favors as payments. I'm sure they are out there, I've heard tales.



>> Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A few years ago, I was in a relationship with someone who's an illegal immigrant. I don't what you'd call it, I was probably committing a crime by knowingly harboring him but since I don't know the law and there was no manual being given to me on what I can do or can't do, I consider it fair game. I brought that up because one year, the state government or maybe it's the country decided to start coming down on illegal immigrants, hard. One Walmart decided to close their gates on their overnight cleaning crew on pay day and let the cops come in to arrest all the workers instead of paying their already low rates. Go figure. My ex told me that they started to stop cars and asking suspicious people for their IDs. That was rumored to be happening around West Chester where illegal immigrants were hired to farm mushrooms and in Norristown where a lot of them resides. I dismissed it, I mean how can cops just go around racial profiling people and asking documentations? If I were stopped on the street because I'm Asian and there are no lacking of illegal immigrants from Asia, I will feel so violated and discriminated against, but I guess it did in fact happened whether it's by the law or under the radar.

Now The state of Arizona has just passed a bill making that part of regular police work. It actually requires police officers, if they form a "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal immigrant, to determine the person's immigration status. Does anybody know if it's a legal requirement for a person to carry their ID or driver's license with them at all times? I didn't know that it was. I couldn't help but feel for every Latino living in Arizona for the possibility of getting humiliated in public.

So look at the shoes if you don't see them robbing people and intentionally causing accidents on the freeway. Herd them up like animals and put a gate around them. Surely, there's no easy answers for illegal immigrants but racial profiling in the spectrum of answers is probably worst than a mandatory bar code tattooed in everyone's forearm for easy identification. While preventing illegal immigrants to enter the border might not necessarily be racism, racial profiling most definitely is.

In another racially charged news, a couple from the Great Britain was visiting Naples, Florida and while staying in the Ritz Carlton, they demanded to be served by an all-white staff. An employee sued the hotel resort for accommodating such a humiliating request. The hotel stated that after the incident, the family had been contacted and banned from the Ritz-Carlton chain but I think it was the hotel's fault for accommodating the request at the first place. I could demand to only be served by half naked muscled men, doesn't mean they have to say yes and to ban me after agree to accommodate my request is beyond bizarre.

And since I can't help myself, there's this:


Odd Crimes in Philadelphia

>> Monday, April 26, 2010

I don't know why or where it was brought up, but I was made aware of a wave of elderly criminals. Is our state of economy really doing that bad? It was reported that last June, a man in his late 60s to early 70s showed up bright and early in his baseball cap, big sunglasses, khakis and Timberland boots and robbed a Citizens Bank with a pillowcase to collect his dough. He escaped on foot and got away with it.

Another report in La Jolla, San Diego an old man around the same age who wearing an argyle sweater and a sport jacket robbed a bank last September robbed a bank while he was carrying an inhaler and an oxygen tank. There is also another report of a similar case in Florida. Elderly gone wild? I guess maybe they got ducked by social security and all the other retirement plans they had. I'm just very surprised by elderly bank robbers, I mean how fast can they run anyway?

From the old, we'll go to the young spectrum where the Lower Merion School District has given out computers to their students and after losing 80 laptops, they have secretly activated the cameras on all laptops in an effort to recover the missing laptops. It wasn't until a student noticed the red light on the laptop that the students realized that they were being monitored. Over a period of two years, they have taken 56,000 photos of the students. This couldn't possibly be legal. A 16 year-old claimed that there's at least 400 pictures of him in various stages of undress. Since a lot of them are hormonal teenagers, I can only imagine what some of the photos could be.

To the more serious spectrum of things, we have two shocking road rage case in the past week. First a 47 year-old firefighter and his 21 year-old son drove up to an intersection where they got into an argument with a 54 year-old man about the right of way. The verbal argument turned into a physical altercation in which the father and son slammed the pedestrian into the ground, punched and kicked him. The pedestrian ended up in a coma for 13 days. A portion of the man's skull was removed to alleviate brain swelling and he also suffered a broken nose and clavicle. He later died in the hospital.

Another case involve a 50 year-old engineer with a gun license. You know how this one goes, with a spark of road rage, he started shooting at the car next to him with his handgun hitting the female driver once at her knee and once at her elbow. The engineer had a history of anger issue, speeding and reckless driving and somehow people gave him a gun license. He called his lawyer later on and surrendered himself to the authorities. He spent two days in jail, got bailed out and shot himself with a rifle and a bottle of Oxycotin and Percocet each.

I guess they all work in high stress jobs. One thing I can never understand, especially since I don't drive, is what can you accomplish by speeding. You're already in a car, you're going fast, speeding might save you 15 minutes. Running a red light might save you 3 minutes, driving to the edge of the street blocking the zebra crossing saves you zilch. So you get home or your destination 20 minutes earlier, you'll just spend it in front of the TV or something, so what's the point? The downside of it is fines, causing accidents or inconvenience for pedestrians, general rudeness and bad feelings. Is it really worth it? Worse, look at these guys either ending up in jail or killing themselves, how does it justify anything? And by the by, who brings a gun while driving? You're actively looking for trouble. It's just another example of Philadelphia being the capital of gun violence. We seriously need gun control.


Weekend Meme: What Not To Do Meme

>> Saturday, April 24, 2010

This weekend's meme is brought to you by The Queen's Meme.

What NOT To Do, when you’re...

1. On a first date - be rude.

2. Intoxicated - get into fights.

3. In the shower - indulge on performing every bodily function available.

4. At your ex’s wedding - if you still have feeling for the person maybe it's best not to attend.

5. In jail - telling people you're in it for child molestation.

6. being stalked - go into dark alleys.

7. Stuck to an igloo - attempt to pull away by force.

8. In sewing class - poke yourself in the eye.

9. Asleep in a helium balloon - you shouldn't period.

10. At a birthday party for twins - just bring one present

11. On a nude beach - take pictures. What happens at the nude beach stays in the nude beach, it's like Vegas that way.

12. At the opera - comment on the fat lady's weight or how improbably that the male lead would fall for someone so fat.

13. You’re falling in love - post on every venue that you're so in love and every other disgusting comments like someone I know.

14. Low on gasoline in a bad part of town - draw attention to yourself.

15. Having a baby - don't kick the baby!

16. On fire - stand there and wait to be rescued.

17. Lost at the mall - It's kinda hard to be lost at the mall, they have maps!

18. At a single’s dance - I guess it's not that different from being at a gay dance club. Just dance!

19. Riding a bike on the Jersey Turnpike - I don't think you should be riding a bike on any turnpike.

20. Driving your significant other's car - try not to crash it.

21. Being robbed at gunpoint - don't be a hero?

22. Kissing - no biting!

23. Paying the hotel cashier - try not to heckle after the fact.

24. Buying lingerie - I was taught it's best to buy a smaller size of clothing for ladies than a larger size.

25. Commenting on a blog - be nice.

Have a nice weekend!


Loser Watch: Stephen Baldwin

>> Friday, April 23, 2010

My infatuation with hairy men started early with Tom Selleck and Alec Baldwin. I was a teenager in the late 80s and nobody is sexier than Alec Baldwin. It's fortunate for Alec to have 3 brothers, I thought the handsomeness should be multiplied and benefit the world but understandably not everyone can be as good looking or as successful as Alec.

Reading Slog, apparently someone (probably Stephen Baldwin or someone close to him) has created a site called Restore Stephen Baldwin asking for donation for Stephen Baldwin. It claims that after he announced publicly that he's a Born Again Christian in 2002, his income has decreased 70% and in the name of God we should help him out.

The site claimed that Stephen is used to Hollywood's glitz and glamor and after being born again, he took a stand and refused a lot of roles with gratuitous sex and violence and for that reason he was forced to file for bankruptcy. He has since been ridicule and mock for his belief and so he should be restored to his former celebrity status in order for him to reach millions with the Gospel and glorify God. I was thinking that might be a joke but it looks more like a pastor is using his name to get donations from people that those two might probably split.

Um, okay. The only problem with this is that Stephen Baldwin was never a megastar, given he has the Baldwin name but he seems to have been the least successful of them all. Ironically, his most famous movie for me was Threesome about a love triangle where the gay lead was infatuated with fratboy who was played by Stephen, who was infatuated with the girl who was infatuated with the gay lead. The other sorta famous movies were The Usual Suspects that I have yet to watch and The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas where he played Barney Rubble which is sorta religious-like when you count the belief that dinosaurs and human coexisted. I dare you to name 3 other movies that starred Stephen Baldwin by heart, I know I can't.

Nowadays his relevancy is appearing in one episode of CSI in 2005, going on The Apprentice, I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Outta Here and Celebrity Big Brother which I'm guessing aired in the UK which is as high as any heights in his career. So it begs the question "What exactly are we restoring Stephen Baldwin back to?" Before his Born Again Christian thing, he was a drug addict, he was at best a C-list actor. When you don't make it in Hollywood, there shouldn't be a safety net. Tons of people get famous and then go out of style, just ask Vanilla Ice or MC Hammer. The best example would be Mr. T who work hard to be in people's face doing commercials, he didn't have to reject or accept immoral roles and I'm curious on what kind of violent or sex roles are Stephen Baldwin being offered. Amateur porn?

Maybe the title of this post is a little harsh but I can't wrap my head around how someone is used to fame and fortune so we must help him to stay that way, it gives me almost as much rage as helping out major banks by bailing them out and then they turn around to use the funds to give their employees bonuses. Read the Q&A and don't miss these ridiculous golden nuggets:

Q- Why does Stephen need personal wealth?
A- Stephen’s influence is in Hollywood. Hollywood worships money and without it you are seen as a loser and cannot be an effective influence to this group.
Q- How much money does he need?
A- From what I read in public court documents Stephen needs several million dollars to pay all of his creditors but he deserves hundreds of millions for his Job like faithfulness in the face of relentless loss and persecution
Some have asked why $4.21. Job 42:10-11 is the model and inspiration for this movement. $4.21 is the lowest possible left to right combination of these scriptures.


Chef YvesPaul's Installment: Tiramisu

>> Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When I first came to the States, I bought a piece of Tiramisu in celebration to my friend's birthday. I was very uncultured back then and I didn't even know what Tiramisu was. I thought it was something Japanese related given the alternate vowel and consonant in the name. The light, creamy, chocolatey, coffee piece of fluffy heaven that is Tiramisu is pretty much my go-to crowd pleaser. I have yet to meet anyone that doesn't like it. Though I'm surprised that after making it so many times, I've failed to take a picture of the end product.

The recipe I use is from a Williams-Sonoma series of cookbook I purchased with minor tweak on the sweetness level. I love this recipe because it's simple and quick. Quick, meaning I don't have to work on it for a long time. It still requires a bit of refrigeration time but there's absolutely no baking involved.


Coffee Mixture:

2 Cups of Espresso, freshly brewed or made from instant powder
1/2 Cup of Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Dark Rum


6 Large Egg Yolks
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1 1/2 Cups of Mascarpone Cheese
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream, Chilled

4 Dozens of Ladyfingers
2 (1.55 oz) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bars


First mix the ingredients in the coffee mixture together until sugar is well dissolved and let cool.

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar for 2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is light yellow. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan with simmering water or a double boiler. Using a electric mixer, beat mixture on medium speed until egg yolk mixture becomes very thick, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. When it cools, mix mascarpone and vanilla extract into the egg yolk mixture until smooth and blended

In another bowl beat heavy cream with electric mixer until stiff peak forms. Gently fold whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture with a spatula.

To assemble, use a deep 9-inch square cake pan or a big bowl. First, lightly dip the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture and arrange them in the bottom of the container in one whole layer. spread one-third of the mascarpone mixture on top and spread evenly. Repeat alternatively with another layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers and half of the remaining mascarpone mixture. Then another layer of ladyfingers and the remaining mascarpone. When finished, you can dust cocoa powder on top but I prefer to use a vegetable peeler on warm chocolate bars to make curls and decorate the top with them.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

The end product will taste a little bit like ice cream with the most tender of cakes. The dipping of ladyfingers into the coffee mixture is the key here, if you dip for too long, the cake will end up soggy and terrible. Also avoid over heating when beating the eggs on the double-boiler, you don't want to end up putting scrambled eggs int what's supposed to be a light custard cream. Since the recipe used raw eggs, people who's pregnant women or with compromised immune system should avoid eating this, so are the people with alcoholism.


The Boys On Henderson Island

>> Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The boyfriend and I both own an iPod Touch and being gay men, particularly nosy ones, we do have the Grindr app installed. For the few that aren't gay or haven't heard about Grindr, Grindr is an application that is used to detect other Grindr users sorted by distance. In nowhere does it mention that every Grindr users have to be gay, but it's understood that the primary function of this app is for gay people to seek out other gay people for the purpose of cruising, for sex.

In truth comparing to all the other gay cruising sites, Grindr is already quite demurred. There's practically no nudity involved, mostly you'll see someone in their undies or a naked headless torso featuring the user's head and abs. Two weeks ago, Apple started to clean up their act and now you can't even show pictures wearing only your undies in your profile. No foul or suggestive languages are allowed, it became most PG-13. In fact I was shocked when I first signed in on it to see the lack of functions and pornographic values. I have to say it is fun to see how many gay people are around me and how they look like since being gay is not necessarily an obvious quality, but as you see the people around you are the same every single time the fun of the application wanes.

Over the weekend, the boyfriend told me a new way to play with Grindr. The boyfriend being an Asiaphile, has discovered that a bunch of people would turn off their Location Services in their settings and their location will default to a tiny island in the South Pacific called Henderson Island. You will then find a lot of Grindr users at the same location, most of them Asian from Japan or Taiwan and such. I wonder if these Grindr users are there because they are closeted or too embarrassed to show themselves in their home location, or maybe they are just bored with seeing the same people over and over again and started to use the application as an international chat room. I'm sure there is an interesting sociology paper somewhere in this waiting to be written, and if I were in college taking the course maybe I'll venture on putting a stab in it.

Speaking on Henderson Island, I have no clue why the default location of iPods would be there. The only reason I could think of is that you wouldn't mistaken it as your current location. Henderson Island is one of the Pitcairn Islands located in the South Pacific Ocean somewhere between New Zealand and the coast of Chile, and it's one of the World Heritage Sites designated by United Nations for its uninhabited and virtually untouched by humans. If you see your map showed that you're there, you know that your iPod has made a mistake. I mean, the island does not even have any kinds of wireless access or any buildings for that matter. Once a year, people from Pitcairn Island (the only inhabited island of the Pitcairn Islands) will travel there by boat and harvest some wood, but that's the only human influence to the ground. Some might think that this might be paradise, but a paradise without internet access? I don't know about that.

Oh and Happy Cannabis Day!


Cruel and Unusual Punishment in California, And For What?

>> Monday, April 19, 2010

Via Slog

If you thought Constance McMillen's case where she got banned from going to prom and then the school threw a fake prom for her while all the other kids attended their prom at an undisclosed place was unusually cruel, consider this:

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place—wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes. Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

What happened next is even more chilling: without authority, without determining the value of Clay and Harold’s possessions accumulated over the course of their 20 years together or making any effort to determine which items belonged to whom, the county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned off all of their belongings. Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Clay from his home and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county workers then terminated Clay and Harold's lease and surrendered the home they had shared for many years to the landlord.

Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home. Because of the county’s actions, Clay missed the final months he should have had with his partner of 20 years. Compounding this tragedy, Clay has literally nothing left of the home he had shared with Harold or the life he was living up until the day that Harold fell, because he has been unable to recover any of his property.
And this is why gay marriage is important. Not for anything else, there always will be mean-spirited people who will enjoy separating a gay couple and make them suffer to satisfy their own religious beliefs or their own value system. I hope Clay wins the case and even he can't get back his partner's final days or his house and possessions, I hope he gets the monetary equivalent which should be a boat load. Justice needs to be observed.


Movie Review: Kick-Ass

>> Sunday, April 18, 2010

After walking in the zoo for hours yesterday, me and my boyfriend were tired and looking to sit and rest for a while, so we decided to go to the movie. I was sincerely pooped and thought I could possibly do the rare nap during a movie but no such luck. Kick-Ass was awesome.

The movie started out with a high-school comic book geek Dave who get bullied and robbed all the time. He wonders why there are no real life superheroes. Even without superpowers, anyone should be able to go out and fight for justice. So there's what he did, he bought a scuba suit, modified it and walked around with batons and wait for crime to happen. Without training, he got beat up a lot and ended up in an accident that screwed up his nerve endings and made him that much more persistent to pain.

After saving a person's live and became an internet sensation, he inspired a lot of people to be vigilantes, it also helped him in his personal life. More importantly, it gave ex-framed cop Damon McReady and his 11 years-old daughter Mindy a way to act on their revenge on local mobster Frank D'Amico.

While Aaron Johnson who played geeky unassuming Dave was weirdly adorable, the show stealer is Chloe Grace Moretz who played Mindy who later transformed into grimy Hit Girl. It is indeed a one-girl show, from the beginning where she gets shoot by her father Damon (who's played by Nick Cage) so she can get used to the shock and then the debut where she kills a room full of people in 2 minutes sharp. Other than leaving a massive blood trail, she also left the audience all jaw-dropped in awe.

The storyline is simple, the action satisfying. Nick Cage played Damon pretty well, though when he's wearing costume it does show that he's quite out of shape and his jaw surprisingly wrinkly. There are plenty of realistic scenes of beating people up and lots of blood, despite having a kick-ass kid in the movie, this movie is definitely not suitable for children. As an adult though, I thoroughly enjoyed it. B+


Weekend Meme: Animal Meme

>> Saturday, April 17, 2010

I guess this week can be called Animals Week here. Other than going to the zoo and posting those clips yesterday, the Boyfriend also took a bunch of pictures of the various Lego Animals he owns for a children story presentation he's doing for his Korean class. So you can say we're trying to get in touch with nature, with the help of a bottle of expired Zyrtec I found of course.

Anyhow, this week's meme is found online from a blog called Migrations, a simple five-questioner that I'll spruce it up with some pictures. Hopefully I can think of some interesting answers.

1. An interesting animal I had

One day during my mid-teens, a black and white crow/parrot type bird flew in the living room where my grandma and I lived in Hong Kong. It was quite large in size with his leg spotting an obvious limp. I didn't know what to do, no birds ever came in that far before. Certainly we have shrubs and different plants on our open balcony but at most birds would just rest on the branches and see what they can pick to eat and fly away. So I threw a colander on top of him and grandma bought a huge cage to put it in later. I wanted a pet, ok? A local bird expert came over and looked at it and said it's of the speaking variety that probably escaped and flew in.

It was a mean little bugger and constantly peck my hand. I don't particularly enjoy cleaning his cage and feeding him every now and again anyway. Three months later, it opened the cage door and flew away.

2. An interesting animal I ate

The most interesting animal I've ate might be a sea cucumber, by itself it doesn't taste much but the texture is spongy and crunchy at the same time. It absorbs whatever gravy and flavor you put it in. The Chinese do a pretty good stir fry and put it in a bird's nest for weddings and banquet.

3. An interesting animal in the Museum

I guess I have wondered about the extinction of sabertooths and the woolly mammoth. The mammoth has enough hair to survive the ice age but maybe the lack of food brought their demise. Sabertooth tigers have really impressive tooth and probably can survive, so the cause for their extinction is a mystery.

4. An interesting thing I did with or to an animal

When I was a kid, my mom brought me to one of her friend's house and they have a giant fish tank. During that visit, they showed me how they feed their fish and I witnessed a few worms slowly sinking down the tank squirming around as they did. I wanted to try feeding them and they let me do a little bit of that. When they're not looking I took the whole can and "made it rain"! When they saw, they were horrified and had to change the water immdiately so they don't get so full and explode.

5. An interesting animal in its natural habitat

When I lived in Macau there used to be a lot of mudskippers in the harbor and whenever the tide falls you'll see a whole bunch of them hopping around. It's kinda cool. Also there are also dragonflies flying around too. It's very magical.

Have a great weekend!


Animal Stampede

>> Friday, April 16, 2010

I usually don't put videos about animals on here, but yesterday a few friends posted some of these things on Facebook and it was a bit cute and uplifting. At the same time, I'm supposed to go to the zoo with the boyfriend where they have a Gay Day at the Zoo event. One of the "exhibitions" will be a piece where they use Legos to build endangered animals as a way to draw attention to the issue. Legos and animals, I'm sure the boyfriend will be in heaven.


Does anybody else wonder how the dog broke his spine in the first place? The below two videos are about cats and iPads.

Love the piano app, I wonder what it's called. Hope your spirits are lifted!


Out's Power 50

>> Thursday, April 15, 2010

I used to subscribe to Out Magazine just to feel like I'm on top of the gay culture so that I can get a feeling that I belong. But while I can get a glimpse of some beefcake and some funny articles, the magazine has been in financial trouble and shrunk from being a monthly magazine into publishing once every two months and the lifestyle it portrays is one of riches and lavishness that I cannot match. Obviously I don't have the money to buy the latest LV leather gym bag or the palladium Cartier cufflinks that goes so well the new season of Veronique Branquiho shirts. So in the standards of Out, I'm sure I'm an Un-Gay. Come to think of it, the demise of Out Magazine might be from further alienating an already small audience and categorizing them by their income status and only catering to the elite, rich ones, much like the Human Rights Campaign.

In the same spirits, their Power 50 list for this year has came out detailing the 50 most powerful gays and lesbians. Their criterion are influence on culture and attitude, political clout, individual wealth, and a person’s media profile. Here is the list:

1. Ellen DeGeneres 26. Perez Hilton
2. Barney Frank 27. Suze Orman
3. Anderson Cooper 28. Dan Choi
4. Rachel Maddow 29. Chad Griffin
5. Adam Lambert 30. Dustin Lance Black
6. Barry Diller 31. Andrew Sullivan
7. Neil Patrick Harris 32. Alan Ball
8. Joe Solmonese 33. Bryan Lourde and Kevin Huvane
9. Tammy Baldwin 34. Nick Denton
10. Jared Polis 35. Michael Patrick King
11. Marc Jacobs 36. Wanda Sykes
12. Rich Ross 37. Robert Hanson
13. Tom Ford 38. Andrew Tobias
14. Tim Gill 39. Martha Nelson
15. Matt Drudge 40. Adam Moss
16. Jann Wenner 41. Jodie Foster
17. Fred Hochberg 42. Rufus Gifford
18. David Geffen 43. Gus Van Sant
19. Gene Robinson 44. Thom Browne
20. Scott Rudin 45. John Cooper
21. Peter Thiel 46. Jim Nelson
22. Richard Berke 47. Tim Gunn
23. Christine Quinn 48. Brook Colangelo
24. Anthony Romero 49. Simon Halls & Stephen Huvane
25. Lee Daniels 50. Urvashi Vaid

I guess I should be ashamed because of all these people, I don't know at least half of them and then I'm confused, how are these people powerful? Certainly some of them have the wealth to do things, others are famous celebrities. But partners at a successful PR firms or talent agencies, TV and film producers, writers can hardly be called powerful. Even if they can be called powers, they are not necessarily powers that affect the masses. So you are the agent that manages the Jonas Brothers, so what?

Unlike Ricky Martin, Sean Hayes and many others, some of the folks on the list are not even openly gay. And other than the very few on the list, who has openly done anything for gay rights? Most in the entertainment business are afraid that people will see them participating in activism as being volatile and unstable, while others are comfortable sitting in their elite gay chairs just to be worship for their clouts but not doing anything substantial. Adam Lambert frequently appears on the popular American Idol, while he kissed a boy on the MTV award show, he's not exactly being loved for it yet he's 23 positions ahead Dan Choi who's out protesting and letting his voice be heard. Barney Frank is too much into the White House's side to do anything constructive and while Joe Solmonese is supposed to be the largest recipient of donations in LGBT efforts, he only communicates with the elite, rich gays and his agency don't have the initiatives.

Of course after taking the time to read the list I realized that I shouldn't have took it as seriously as I did. I guess it's hard to find 50 openly well-known gay personalities, even rarer gay activists. So where does it leave us? And seriously, Adam Lambert at Number 5?


Chef YvesPaul's Installment: Magnolia Bakery's Banana Bread Pudding

>> Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I made this about two months ago after tasting it in person and then recreating it from a recipe I found online. After sharing with friends, one of them requested that I share the recipe with her. I guess I'm a little selfish. Sometimes I regard the itty bitty recipes I found and modified, like treasured bits that magicians learned that makes their acts unique. And if I gave away my trade secrets, I will be very replaceable. So I was reluctant and put it off, but after being asked to do it again, I thought I might as well give it to my friends here as well. So here it is:

Magnolia Bakery's Banana Bread Pudding

1 (3 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix (French Vanilla/Vanilla/Banana)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
2 teaspoons of rum
2 cups heavy cream
1 (12 oz) box of Nilla Wafers
4 sliced ripe bananas

Do not follow the instructions on the pudding box. In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the rum and the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate until set, it will take around 4 hours or overnight. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.

To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours - or up to 8 hours, but no longer - before serving.

Alternatively, you can assemble them the same way in individual containers. Bananas will go brown after prolonged refrigeration, so it is important to control the chilling time.


Asian in the Media (Apr 10 edition)

>> Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Maybe it should be named the yellow fever edition, for I am having a fever. Over the weekend I attended a friend's barbecue and stayed up all night playing Mahjong and then ended up feeling sick. Sore throat, upset stomach, body ache and fever would say that I'm having a flu but the Chinese will say it's because I had too much barbecue which its nature in hot and that's what caused the sore throat and I should drink more hot tea because herb's nature is cool and it will help neutralize it. Or maybe I'm getting old and my immune system is weakened by the lack of rest.

So another Asian team has won America's Best Dance Crew; An all-Asian male dance crew Poreotix from Westminster California has won Season 5 of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew, proving that some Asian can dance and dance pretty good too. I haven't really watched many of the episodes but from the summary below, they seemed to be able to incorporate humor in their dances.

Another MTV creation that features Asians seems to be underway. The Tyrese Gibson production company has posted an ad in Craigslist (of all places) for a casting call for Asian Americans:

Looking for interesting, attractive, colorful Asian-Americans to cast in a reality show similar to JERSEY SHORE, REAL WORLD, THE HILLS, etc. We need attractive Asian-Americans with lively, strong, and unique personalities between the ages of 18 to 30 with equally interesting life stories and perspectives to share, especially individuals who know about and/or experienced the Koreatown life. If you are not Asian but are obsessed with Asian culture or people in some way, email us and please explain
Much like Jersey Shore, they are not looking for Koreans specifically but "Asian Americans", so it could be Asians of any heritage. I do doubt it would be a series since I don't know a lot of people who would want to see a show just about Asians.

The past week's Masters tournament marked the comeback of half-Asian pro golfer Tiger Woods. Does anyone care? I'm more than creeped out by his new Nike Commercial. I mean what kind of ad campaign is this? Does it make people want to buy more Nike products? And isn't Nike's motto "Just do it"? Or did they modified it into "Just do it and except the consequence"? Or "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission"?

In other golf news, Golf Digest's writer Dan Jenkins tweeted “Y.E. Yang is only three shots off the lead. I think we got takeout from him last night.” Proving that golf is still a sport for middle-aged, privileged, White men. It also proves that impulse twitting can be very harmful. Later, a Philadelphia Inquirer reporting talked to Jenkins and he dug himself deeper by saying "It was just a joke. I was making fun of the name. Sounds like PF Chang." Um, hello? Anybody there? How is that different than saying he looked like a Chinese delivery man? No matter how hard he tries, he will still fail to make golf relevant.

Last but least only in the age way, is 12 years old Adora Lily Svitak, a writing prodigy that got discovered at 6 and published at 7. She spoke at the prestigious TED2010 and pretty much blew everyone away. I can't remember what I was doing at 6 or 7, for that matter when I was 12. Marvelous, I'm in awe.

Oh and let's not forget to root for RuPaul's Drag Race's Jujubee, she has made it to the finals!


Weekend Meme: George Carlin Meme

>> Saturday, April 10, 2010

This week has been really warm. Wednesday and Thursday had been in the high 80s and the heat get trapped in the buildings, subsequently trees had been pollinating and even with my mild allergy, I've been sneezing and my eyes itching like crazy, not a great sight. They are calling it the worst allergy season ever, my Facebook page had been full of messages about allergies as well so it's not just me.

I'm glad it's cooling back down. I hate the heat and honestly I'm already looking forward to Fall and we're only getting to mid April. Six more months to go. Today's meme is from What If This Is As Good As It Gets. They are all quotes and questions inspired by George Carlin's stand up show.

1. Why do they ask you to get on the plane? Shouldn't you get in it? When was your last flight?

The last flight I was on is probably the one from San Francisco back to Philadelphia. I was in San Francisco visiting friends and attending Folsom Street Fair. Great experience, I'm looking forward to doing that again soon.

2. Why do they call two planes getting too close a near miss? Shouldn't it be a near hit? Have you ever been on a plane that was in trouble?

I do like flying, every time my heart flutters to the excitement of flying up in the air and landing at my destination. It's like a roller coaster ride. I still get nervous anticipating the landing, though I have not had experienced much trouble. The only trouble I've had was a flight attendant demanding me unplugging my headphones but that's small peas.

3. If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap? What have you done when your child swore?

I actually do get annoyed by obnoxious children and teenagers if they swear, though it's a bit hypocritical since I don't find there's anything wrong with swearing.

4. How about a restaurant for anorexics? What would you call it? The Empty Plate? When was the last time you went out to a fancy restaurant?

A fancy restaurant? That's hard to define. I did go to a nice restaurant by one of the Iron Chef yesterday for lunch but it's not really fancy. For Valentine's Day me and the boyfriend went to a Brazilian steakhouse but that's not incredibly fancy either, but I did get charged and arm and a leg for it. Oh maybe a few months ago I went to New York and dined at Jean Georges and that was kind of fancy.

5. Where do forest rangers go to 'get away from it all'? What do you do to get away from it all?

I travel out of the city, usually to another city or a beach. It'll be beach weather pretty soon.

6. Why do people who know the least know it the loudest? What do you do to get a know-it-all to shut up?

Ignore the person. Do my own thing. I'm pretty good at shutting a person out.

7. If a man speaks in the forest and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong? Men: does your woman (or most recent) think that you are always wrong? Women: Do you believe that men are always wrong?

Well, the boyfriend and I like to tell each other what to do sometimes and it's mostly out from caring so it's okay.

8. If a turtle loses his shell, is it naked or homeless? Tell us about a time when you were caught naked.

Um, I have yet to be caught naked. It's not such an easy feat to be caught naked.

9. Would a fly that loses its wings be called a walk? How badly do flies annoy you?

Sometimes I do get annoyed by flying insects. That's one of the reason why I dislike Summer.

10. Why do they report power outages on TV? When was the last time that you went without power?

Sometimes if I don't charge up my phone or iPod I'd still be bond in such situations. I think last summer I have experienced power outage when everyone turned on their air conditioning.

11. If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat? Have you ever been or considered to be a vegetarian?

No, I love food too much to restrict myself to just vegetables. Though I do enjoy a vegetarian meals every now and then. When I was a kid, grandma use to go to worship in temples and when that happens it usually follow up with a vegetarian banquet. It's tasty food, I especially like the corn congee and the fake Chinese barbecue utilizing marinated seitan and tofu skins instead of meat. Good stuff.

12. If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent? Tell us about a time when either you were arrested or came close.

Once I was in a field trip to a water park and the visit got cut short because of a thunderstorm. It was raining cats and dogs and the park had to close so their patrons don't get strike by lightnings, everyone was trying to get out of the park and the traffic was so bad that no one was moving. A park ranger decided to use his patrol car to block the nearest exit to the highway. So one of us went out in the rain trying to persuade the ranger to move out of the way instead of having us driving in circles. The guy just wouldn't, I started going out to argue with the guy and ending up yelling at him. It's not until later a cop showed up in civilian outfit and tell me that a park ranger is pretty much like a cop and I could be arrested by him that I know that it's a serious offense. Other than that I have yet to brush against the law.

13. Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food? Have you ever owned a cat?

No. When I was growing up my grandma on my father's side owned a cat, other than that my good friend who I was living with owned a cat that he called "Kitty" and Kitty used to be the mobster who struts around the premise and who made a dog ran away in whimpers after scratch the dog's nose. Cats are cool but too moody, I prefer dogs.

Have a great weekend!


Pixels By Patrick Jean

>> Friday, April 09, 2010

It's a visual feast!


What Can You Do With These Talents?

>> Thursday, April 08, 2010

I guess by now most people have seen this guy sing Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You". He has been deemed the Chinese Susan Boyle. More accurately he should be called the Taiwanese Susan Boyle.

Apparently "Little Fatty" here has entered puberty but his singing voice remains to be a countertenor. I really liked how close to Whitney he got, it must have took him sometime to study the song to make it so much alike. His version of Amazing Grace was a bit strained and not as stellar. It's still a very amazing thing. I suppose Whitney can hire him to sing in the background while she's miming the words, at least that way she won't be booed off stage and she won't need to pay for refunds. That is, if she has the energy to dance and pose around on stage. It's quite sad how a former superstar can't even sing or open her eyes anymore because of drug use.

I'm sure somehow "Little Fatty" will have a career in Taiwan, maybe as a singer, I don't know what kind of market a chunky boy who sings like a woman will generate. Maybe middle aged housewife who finds that cute? His nickname "Little Fatty" in Mandarin is not degrading but meant to be cutesy and endearing. I'm sure the sudden rush of international fame will help him out a lot.

In the same spirit of strange musical talents on reality competition show, there's "Big Mouth" from Pilipinas Got Talent singing Banal na Aso.

You have to say it's a little fierce. I don't know Tagalog so I don't know what the song is about or why it required a horse to neigh. He has the potential of being Philippines' Lady Gay Gay but where is there a market for scary looking gay guys who imitate animals in songs? He's too scary for children songs and I don't think anyone need an adult version of Old McDonalds Has a Farm. I'm sure he'll make a very successful modern art performing drag queen, in the realm of Sophia Lamar or Amanda Lepore.

I've seen people doing Doble Cara before, they mostly perform tangoing with themselves. Singing a duet is nothing too, too new. I sort of get turned off when Reggie Ramirez here exaggerate the femininity a little too much but the effort is definitely there. Again, what would he do if he wins the talent contest? It is definitely not star material, if you're a magician, at least you can tour in Vegas, but can you make a whole show out of dressing up in half-man, half woman gears and singing duets? I really doubt it. I do find his male singing voice attractive and I can definitely see him being a nightclub act though.

Well at least they have a talent right? And it's definitely entertaining.


Pad Bashing

>> Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Over the weekend, Apple has started to sell their iPads. A product with an unfortunate name. It's not quite a notebook, a notepad. The price is low enough for it to be very popular amongst hipsters and trendsetters alike despite complaints that functionality-wise it might be a bit lacking.

There has been complaints that the iPad doesn't have a camera or an USB port for different gadgets or even the utilization of Flash, a wildly popular software for most websites, though I'm sure this new toy would provide its user hours of excitement and pride for now. And if it doesn't there's always this:

And this:

Normally, I wouldn't know why people will get a new gadget just to destroy it, but since people can make money out of view counts and there's already a million counts on each of them, I guess you can earn some cash and get famous just by destroying a $500 iPad, however wasteful and stupid it is.

Personally, I never like to be a beta- or gamma-tester for new gadgets. I'm quite sure that there will be bugs like the lately reported difficulty to connect with wireless network. HP will be releasing their own version of a notepad tablet called Slate in June, Slate will feature USB ports, a video camera and memory card slots. It will be competitively priced. I wonder what is the fundamental difference between these tablet and a regular laptop. It will be wise to lower the price of everything to make computer technology that much more accessible and replaceable, so that once a laptop breakdown nobody has to break the bank to get another one.


Happy Belated Easter!

>> Monday, April 05, 2010

This weekend has been quite exhausting for me. First on Friday I was invited to an Easter party, so the night before I've started making pastries - lemon tarts and strawberry tarts. Strawberries are right now $1 a pound, apparently the harvest is so great that it drove the price way down. Some farmers decided that they need to burn the crops in order to save the price line. So I try to take advantage of that. The supermarket I went to also gave out a free ham for their loyal customers, so with tarts and ham in hand, I got to the Easter Party around noon and didn't go home until the next morning at 8. We stayed up all night playing mahjong. It was a rare occasion.

Saturday I was supposed to go to Atlantic City with some of the very same friends for some shopping at the outlets during the day a concert at night. But after a long day of play and not having enough sleep, none of us were up to it. The mother of one of the girls is doing PR in one of the casino and she had reserved a room and tickets for us so we'd be expected to be treated like VIPs. But none of us have heard of the singer who's going to perform or any of his songs for that matter and ended up going to the burbs and had Japanese buffet having a great time complaining how much food we ate and how full we all are.

Other than it being Easter Sunday, this is also Children's Day in part of Asia and coincidentally, a Chinese festival called Ching Ming - which is a day where people visit graves to commemorate our dead relatives and ancestors. In Philly, we also had a zombie pub crawl where lots of folks dressed and made up like zombies while drinking from bar to bar on South Street. The amount of people this year is minimal, but it's still fun seeing people made up and screeching at passing traffic. There was a zombie Jesus, a zombie Hulk, a zombie Spiderman, a bride, ghostbusters and a completely unrelated puddle of blood two blocks away with some bare footprints.

I have a friend who's going to New York visiting her family grave plot and an 7.6 earthquake in Baja California which none of my friends living in the West Coast felt. No doubt it's the marking of the second coming of Jesus Christ returned as a zombie. Hopefully everyone had a good time eating. The boyfriend brought back a large amount of leftovers from his family gathering, no doubt we'll be eating that for days to come.


Case Study: The Other Asian

>> Friday, April 02, 2010

About a year and a half ago, there's a 20-something Asian guy who moved into my building. He was friendly, around the same build as me. Days in and out, I'd see him hanging around the hall or seating on the stairs talking to various people. Then I'd spot him hanging around the various convenient stores all around my neighborhood, which in itself was intriguing. He said he was a student.

While I was looking to expand my social circles and get to know more people, I thought he could have been my friend, but I also know that these things can't be forced. We say hi in passing but seldom talk, The only time we did was when he was sitting at the stairs right outside my apartment, we talked for about 5 minutes just for me to be cordial and social - a nice neighbor. One night after going to the bar and having a few drinks, I stopped by one of those 24 hours convenient stores to get a hoagie and saw him there, I said hi. I was with the boyfriend and I was a little inebriated and I got his name wrong. He has one of those names that is made out of two different initials and I got one letter wrong. He might have been seriously offended, but he got very rude saying "That's not my name! Go down the alphabet." I have remembered his name since but I detect a slight change of attitude.

Let's say he has a very expressive face. Every time I see him since, he has seemed a bit arrogant or displeased. I usually don't bother with people like that. I remain to be nice and say hi even though it might not be wanted, it's not like I can avoid something living in such close proximity. It's the attitude that kills me. I was going out for groceries and chores yesterday and when I was just about to get out the front door, I saw him and his friends coming in, so I opened the door and held it for them to come through before I go out. Just before I leave, he held the door open and say "Close it gently, my friend." It's not like I was slamming it shut, I just let it go after I crossed, absolutely not unusual for me. And then I hear the sarcastic tone of the "my friend". I was being the absolute gentleman and intentionally held the door open for them, what gives?

The more I thought about, since I tend to be obsessive, the more I think that maybe he changed his attitude after seeing signs that I might be gay. That's the only reason I can think of. I'm not trying hard to hide my sexuality but at the same time I'm shocked that he could be a potential homophobe, just within the building there are at least half a dozen of us gay guys, we ARE living two blocks from the center of the gayborhood. If one really doesn't like the gays, maybe one should not live around this general area.

It does bother me a little knowing someone has ill will against me and to be verbally abused every now and then. I reckon I can talk to him next time I bump into him again but I doubt it will be constructive in any way. Lately, all the anti-gay folks all turns out to be closeted themselves, I don't suppose it's the same situation here and I'm not trying to be a mentor if it is. Maybe I'm all wrong and actually it's my looks that offends him, if that's the case there's nothing I can do. Meh.


Dew Bugs

>> Thursday, April 01, 2010

Via Daily Mail

Around 3am, 37-year-old amateur photographer Miroslaw Swietek used a torch to seek out motionless bugs in a forest next to his home in Poland. Then he setting up his camera in the dark and flash just millimetres from them. The results are these amazingly stunning photographs of dew-covered bugs that looks like crystal ornaments. I especially like the first one which is colorful and the eyes look very futuristic. Hope you like them as well.

Oh and Happy April Fool's!


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