"I suppose there are people who can pass up free guacamole, but they're either allergic to avocado or too joyless to live."— Frank Bruni

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

eats news

Some oldish news bits from last week:

Word on Eater and ARLnow is that Michael Landrum is once again tweaking his mini local empire of eateries! Oy. Ray's the Steaks expands to include Retro Ray's.

(photo cred: ARLnow)

Sad BVBC-related news: Capital City Diner has closed. The diner was the venue chosen for our first BVBC brunch. Sad to see it go, especially after reading a Denny's has opened up nearby, which probably contributed to Capital City's hard times.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

ugly pretty or pretty ugly? throwbacks

For this Friday fashion post, let's talk about uniforms again, but this time, basketball unis. Yesterday's Grizzlies and Clippers game has garnered lots of talk regarding the throwback uniforms they sported, as seen below.

(photo cred: Sportsgrid who got it from JordansDaily who got it from ESPN)

I am a fan of any throwback uniform, even the bright orange Bucs ones...:

(photo cred: here)

...so it's not surprising that I was a fan of the mismatched Memphis uniforms, but I am one of few. After watching some ESPN programming today, it seems that myself and Tony Reali are the only ones. <3 you, Pettitte look-alike ;)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

obvious thoughts about apple

My last post about Apple got me thinking of consumer choices. I am completely guilty of buying things made abroad, but how can I or you or anyone not be? I suppose there are Americans who are scrupulously selective in their purchases, but I find it truly hard to believe that a household can be 100% rid of any imported goods. For big ticket items, however, I do consider many more factors before making my choice than with smaller purchases. I've even considered buying an American car (for whenever I am ready to buy a car), in support of the revived auto industry. I'm proud that my parents bought American when purchasing their new van last year (despite it being a gas guzzler). I just hope the Big Four come up with more fuel-efficient vehicles, especially in the minivan and SUV classes.

...but back to Apple. Although I use Apple products because it was either given to me or it's what G has at home and it's faster than my laptop which is currently in storage, I have made the conscious effort of not purchasing Apple products. At first it was because I thought there's got to be excellent competition and they can't be the only folks who can make a good phone or computer. But now, recent reports of poor manufacturing conditions bolsters my decision even more. Foxconn, Apple's supplier, runs the largest, most productive factories in China and is its largest exporter (according to the Times and Li Qiang of China Labor Watch). Therefore, it sets the industry standard for workers' conditions and pay. According to Li Qiang, Foxconn has improved things and looks great when compared to other industries, but with the bar set low, that's not saying much, hence Foxconn still sucks. I appreciate that Apple has made strides to improve working conditions, and also acknowledge the fact that many other companies are also guilty of dismal conditions in their respective manufacturing plants. However, given Apple's tremendous success in recent years, especially those that have overlapped with the recession/current bleak economic climate, it is responsible for resetting foreign manufacturing standards as well as setting other standards such as moving more manufacturing back into the country. Apple reported record profits for the last quarter - $46 billion! That figure blows everyone else out of the water. With the company's success, it can be hugely influential in changing things. It's like Taylor Swift and Britney Spears. Both are influential, but I'm going to bet Taylor Swift can influence many more people right now than Britney.

I know I'm stating the obvious but whatever. People are still buying Apple products and will continue to do so. Consumer outrage helped improve Nike and Gap manufacturing conditions...maybe the same can be done for Apple. Wouldn't it be something if iPad, iPod and MacBook owners used their devices to mobilize change in Apple?

c'mon apple...

...guess it'll still be a while before I make my first Apple purchase.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

i doubt any of the republican candidates would do this...

...just sayin'. Dare I assume? Yes.

As a follow-up to my last post, I failed to recognize that our current president has indeed thrown Asian Americans quite a few bones, including the video above. To his credit, he has shown numerous acts of recognition of the AAPI population, perhaps the most significant being the restoration of the White House Asian American Initiative, after the Bush administration let it die. Immigration topics aside, and whether it's just politics or his personal ties to Asians, I'm going to go out on a limb and say President Obama has already done more than the current Republican candidates will do for the AAPI population, even if it is just recognition.

asian americans not on radar

Faux pas, Newt. Faux pas.

 (photo cred: Associated Press)
Yet another Republican candidate debate was on last night - this one was in Florida. Shown on NBC and moderated by Brian Williams, the debate also had 2 guest moderators, one of whom was Beth Reinhard from the National Journal and formerly of the Miami Herald.

Reinhard asked the candidates (but mostly directed this question to Newt) why is it okay to push for English as the country's official language, yet campaign in Spanish. I suck at paraphrasing, but allow me to try: Newt's response was that historically, campaigning has always met the voters on their own ground, in the terms of their culture. He continued his (what I thought to be convoluted) defense of his use of Spanish-language campaign ads, saying it's similar to interacting with Greeks on Greek Independence Day or Irish people on St. Patrick's Day.

The Irish on St. Patrick's Day?? The last I got drunk off multiple green-colored beers, I thought everyone who cared to wear green, get drunk and/or enjoy cabbage 'n' corned beef celebrated St. Patrick's Day. Aside from leprechaun decorations, St. Patrick's Day is as Irish as General Tso's chicken is Chinese. Americans have pretty much made it their own holiday (yes, even if there is an Irish Heritage Month, which I bet most Irish-Americans don't even know about). Sure, its origins are Irish but how many 'proud Irishmen' in the US celebrate it as an ethnic or cultural holiday? I doubt millions. Which brings me to my next point.  There are, however, millions of Asians in the US and billions worldwide who celebrated the first day of the Lunar New Year yesterday. According to the Census, there were 3.8 million Americans of Chinese descent alone in 2009. For this to not be on the mind of men who want to be president of the United States, especially when one can have the ability to think of something like Greek Independence Day (no offense to the Greeks), is a complete faux pas. Ignorance perhaps, but definitely unwise. Newt didn't have to say the Lunar New Year; he could have said Eid for all I care. I would just like to be refreshed by hearing recognition of the world beyond the West.

Yes, I'm biased, and yes, I'm always ready to use the race card, but that's because I've been correct in doing so time and time again and because it's natural for you to look out for your own, but this goes beyond that. Perhaps I'm thinking this through way too much, but implications for foreign and diplomatic relations can be milked from this too, since the rest of the world is undoubtedly watching, but it definitely reflects how Asians are constantly off the radar of policy makers (with a handful of exceptions) and how there is still a lack of cultural awareness. Maybe I'm being oversensitive. Maybe. But after thinking I may be oversensitive my entire life thus far, it seems to me that by now, I and other Asian Americans should have been thrown a bone by now.

Monday, January 23, 2012

still stings...

...but it was a great season, nonetheless. Come back with a vengeance next season, Niners.

(This ridiculous picture is from NinersNation.com, posted by this person. Reading this site actually makes me feel better.) 


(photo cred: Xinhua Press via The Guardian)

恭喜發財! 新年快樂!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

thakoon pre-fall 2012

Last week, Moda Operandi sent me (and a million others) a peak at the Thakoon pre-fall 2012 collection, and boy is it a fuzzy, pastelly, and lovely sight.

Although the sleeves of this coat look too slim to fit any clothing under it, the coat as a whole is refreshingly different and when coupled with those slip-on masculine shoes, this look is perfect (but probably unpractical because when is it cold enough for a coat like this but warm enough to bare naked legs?).

Check out this other fuzzy eye candy:

...and its fuzzy companion: 

Super cute!

One more: 

The collection includes some bolder-colored items with sharper lines too but these softer confections are  what I like to look at.

(all photos courtesy of Moda Operandi)

Friday, January 20, 2012

lovely clunkiness...

...from Free People.

(all photos courtesy of Free People)

Looking forward to warmer weather!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

go 9ers!

Why so emotional, Vern? Your pants weren't pulled down :)

(photo cred: Larry Brown Sports)

I kid. Keep up the good work. Go Niners!! I vote for a HarBOWL!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

ESPN's Chris Broussard reminds me of Dave Chappelle playing a white anchor man.

(photo creds, top to bottom: ESPN screengrab from here, CharlieRose.com, and LMBAO.org)