Monday, May 26, 2008

The Flower Drum Song Film

As fore mentioned, I have received several packages which I have poured some bit of economic currency into person enjoyment. One being the DVD release of Flower Drum Song.

Originally a novel by C.Y. Lee, Rogers and Hammerstein adapted the story into a Broadway Musical before it was finally made into a film. Set in the sprawling San Francisco Chinatown of the 1950s, the musical was a fascinating and beautiful story that really preserved a part of Hollywood history that, in this little girl's opinion, has yet to be surpassed (at least not by mainstream media).

The story of Flower Drum Song starts with Mei Li and her father Dr. Li being smuggled into America on a ship hiding in crates. As a picture bride and through an arranged marriage, they find Sammy Fong, her unwilling fiance. So, he passes them off to the Wang family, the center of our diverse conflicts of being Asian and being American. Mei Li is immediately taken with Wang Ta, the eldest boy. Although they connect, Ta is enamored with Linda Low, the lead performer at Sammy Fong's club (who she's been seeing for 5 years, but he's not committing). Love and romance, humor and joy, a wonderful story thus begins. A story about love, family, culture, and music.

That short description doesn't even begin to do the story justice! On with the mini analysis.

Despite being born decades after the release of the film, the authenticity of the experience mirroring the cultural clash and generation gap still rings in clarity. Flower Drum Song tells the story of Asian Americans as truly people of their time and, in my opinion, able to transcend time. Once people get past the backlash of the film on Asian American representation (not to mention some stereotypical roles for women), one can see the importance of this film as a tiny window into that particular time period; although still slightly glamorized by Hollywood (they never did explain what Master Wand did to end up being so wealthy). Where in the world would you be able to see Asian Americans of all walks singing, dancing, and loving on the big screen?

Miyoshi Umeki was so sweet as Mei Li (trivia: She was the first Asian to ever win an Academy Award for Best Supporting actress in Sayonara).

Nancy Kwan was gorgeous as Linda Low (she did the commentary too! So nice and gracious).

James Shigeta played Wang Ta; he's incredible charismatic and handsome (they don't make em like they used to ^_~. If only I was born a decade or two earlier...*fans self*...time only made him better *happy sigh*).

This was Jack Soo's first movie and I have to say, he was by far one of the best comedians ever. Elegance, deadpan, and incredibly expressionistic. I want all his films. All.

Benson Fong was hilarious as the father (despite him being rather young at the time).

Juanita Hall, of mixed black heritage, played the wonderful Auntie (I told people I was not crazy when I said I considered myself black. Color is color and white people are actually pink, so there!).

If you look carefully, you'll see a very young James Hong.

Honestly, this is one of my favorite movies. When I first saw it in college on the old thoroughly loved VHS, I knew I cannot wait for it to be on DVD. I didn't even know why I never saw it before! There were times when I had take a step back and remind myself of the time period the story was set it. Although modern, certain stereotypes were still hard to shake. At least there weren't the usually forbidden lovers, weak exotic women, or demure uber smart twits.

Rogers and Hammerstein as well as Joseph Fields tried to stay true to the characters. They were a lot more respectful to Asian Americans in their times, when Asians were basically sidelined and blacklisted due to yellowface and the yellow peril, even more so than Hollywood today. Yes, there are a lot more great Asian films today, but if we look at Asian American films- the good ones are far and few in between. Very often, the good films like Saving Face , Picture Bride, Undoing, and The Namesake (and many more) were made as independent films. Even the rather good Joy Luck Club film (Russel Wong- another gorgeous man that ages very well), although empowering to women (to a degree), was actually very unrealistic in their portrayal and continual stereotypes of Asian Americans-especially the men. Attractive hot men and just that, incredibly sexy people. If people can transcend borders, couldn't people do the same to stereotypes? Now I'm going off topic.

It's Asian Pacific American Month, I have to be a bit annoying with all the information *wink*.

The music and songs were very catchy and I find myself humming and singing along. The movie also gave me this urge to go dancing, take dance lessons and just break into song and dance. *grins* It's a happy romantic film full of humor with a twinge of educational value.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Packages full of Surprise

When an entire week was dragging a slow and painful death in a torturous regression in environment. Not the good kind of regression. This long weekend has not been so welcomed as the drought driven desert reaching for and soaking in the rain.

The wake up call was not that pleasant, but the reward soon after was. Since dear friends of mine have been well known to cancel on me, it was not a surprised that before I fell asleep on the sweet Friday night, I received a text of one friend cancelling. The second one this morning nullified the entire outing.

Instead, a giant rectangular box came today. My books!!! A sigh of happiness and content would have escaped if I was not trying desperately to hide them from my parents. Sadly it was discovered and the lectures of money management refused to end. It'll probably last for as long as I live, thus I saw no need to end the inflow of stories-old and new.

The obsessive reading will probably start soon, but a few movies came along with my package.
Flower Drum Song, anyone? I'll probably devote an entire blog to it tomorrow. Such happiness all filled into such a simple plain brown box.

Working Order

Can someone try commenting on here? I think something is wrong with my blog and things are not functioning correctly. If it doesn't work, please send me an email to let me know. I don't know what is going on, or how to fix it, but I want to be sure first before I start attempting to contact tech help.

Thanks!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Halfway to HLO Island

There is a saying about mirages. Something so very trempting and blindlingly beautiful, yet always so far out of reach the slight sting of every blink brightens the unseen illusion.

If a fantasy can be a type of mirage; one created by the very mind that should help with distinguishing what may or may not be truth, then an obsession with something created by another may be a sign of some gentle disturbance and a visions of a little girl slowly backing away into the canopy green forest. Can you hear the song of childish giggles?

(Long live the HLO- You cannot stop us, no one can threaten us...you know you love us ^_~)

It is not such a bad thing- to love. It is not such a good thing- to possess. Dangers wait in hiding, ready to spring at every expected turn. Maybe knowing that such a danger exists and disregarding is the truely wary action.

(I don't need to keep explaining the HLO mission statements and such do I?)

Something is brewing beneath the gentle surface. No matter the turbulent storm upon the ocean surface, the quiet howling sea has plans of it's own. Am I making sense?

Probably not, but that is not important. The piles of letters from heroines are growing to mounting proportions *cough*, increasingly worried voice messages and upset emails. Pleas, angst (on the terrible gut wrenching angst), and outrage. Hut *looks around and whispers* orgies may sound wonderful, but it really is rather unsanitary at times. Sand is not too comfortable either. So why would no one want to use our wonderful facilities? A place for true rest (not crazy sex and dusting >_<). Besides, I'm getting tired from trying to keep the many heroines calm.

Have you been in a very large group of hysterical women pissed off about having their men taken? Many whom can snap my fragile bones with two fingers? O_o Look at my battle scars!!! *flays arms around* Amy and I are tiny!!!

Well, let me tell you, it's rather unpleasant. My short fuse is meaningless against witty and eloquent women with super strength, shifting abilities, very sharp teeth.

No more! Action shall be taken. After the brewing plans are finished that is. I'd start cackling here, but it might get me in trouble.

Amy and I have tried the sweet approach (if one could call it as such). Now, it's time to try another one. Hehehe...

For the DIK list, please go to Amy's site (I'm having some electronic computer malfunctions these days...). The complete history of bolder and bolder (if not kinky) DIK timeline To see the complete draft history go to the following sites:ROUND 1: CarolynJean's.ROUND 2: Sarai'sROUND 3: lisabea's.ROUND 4: MaryKate's.ROUND 5: Christine's.ROUND 6: Katie(babs) & Kristie(J)'s. ROUND 7: Sula's.

Don't say I didn't warn you. Don't say I didn't ask. Injuring me does nothing because the HLO are just middle people. The rebellion shall not end! Viva la revo...uh...wrong story. *ahem*

Please note: It's only with love that I am doing this. Love and minor obsession. Okay, some obsession, but mostly love... the season of may sure brings around the bees. ^_~

Unlikely Friendships

This made me smile during a time when tears were inevitably closer to the surface than need be.

Tiger and Dog

The tiger was rejected by it's mother and was adopted. It grew attached to the dog and now they're good friends. ^_^ Anyone know more stories like this?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hot Summer Days

As the erratic temperament of the weather shifts with between joy and displeasure, the noticeable changes towards summer has began. Yet, even the blistering inferno of the sun cannot mask the chilling darkness of the universe cloaking our tiny orbiting Earth.

Along with the changes of the environment, some personal scheduling must be shifted around with it.

While staying inside a dim-lit room for the voyeuristic viewing some story for an hour or two may be rather enjoyable, the heavy burden of economic instability deems this venture to be an occasional event these days. Once upon some time ago, this would have been a weekly event. Alas, nothing lasts. Especially stability. Doing a similar activity in the comfort of one's home uses the electric aspect, especially if the weather is not ideal and requires mechanical environmental adjustments.

Thus, the need for something more, to be relieved of daily pressure, social discourse, and mundane repetition has one seeking the long traditional venue of story books.

In my case, there happens to be an abundance of romance novels. It's amazing how in one order, Blue-Eyed Devil got sent before Sugar Daddy. This causes minor irritation since I do not want to read out of order. Now, the temptation is building beyond physical endurance. Instead, the one thing left to do is divert attention.

Those whom know me well, or at least have hear me rant, understand my love of mangas and animes is only second to my love fairytales, folklores, legends and myths. In all of these stories, though, I must insist on a thread of romance. Only a very minuscule few are able to escape the rigid assessment (Junni Kokki/Twelve Kingdoms).

I had finally weened myself off of the most dangerous objects of my affection. I took Japanese for a little while so I would able to read Gakuen Alice, Ghost Hunt, BLEACH, Skip Beat and many many more because my Chinese was too weak, the books came out slower, and my school cancelled the classes. Then I had to stop watching very good Asian dramas. Now, I realized before I would develop rounds in order to keep myself in check. Switch from one type of obsession to another; romance novels, mangas and animes, television and movie series, and one month of break where I go shopping a little bit more.

This year, however, I think I've created a problem. I'm doing all three. So far, only the shopping has been held off.

My actual dilemma now is if I should stop and finish what I have, proceed with the current path of economic damage yet with a very high happiness factor, or maybe just one final question: where shall I start first?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Beginning of the DIK Hero Shelter and Liberation Get-Away

As the 7th Round of Heroes Draft comes to a close (currently at Sula's), the huge disappearance of heroes has become devastating to the world!

The tension mounting *coughcough*, panic and chaos growing to dynamic proportions! (Please go to CarolynJean's, Sarai's, lisabea's, MaryKate's, Christine's, Katie(babs) & Kristie(J)'s to read the...uh...mounting... violence and *whispers* sex.)

Heroines (and certain heroes) everywhere are aghast to the drafting of their significant others and heroes no longer feel safe and secure in their own storybook homes. Even heroes that have come to us for protection fear for their safety!

The HLO (Amy and I) have created a safe haven, where heroines can request our services to reunite them with their love. Heroes are here to seek protection and a little relaxation (no enslavement! no massages! and definitely no dusting!!! We're on a desert island, there's sand everywhere, why in the world would we want to dust?)

Our duties as the HLO must expand! We must protect and rescue. Reunite those whom have been secretly drafted to an island of sexin enslavement, forcefully domesticated, and torn from their beloved partners and creators.

Most importantly, they're not sharing! Not even the rum!!! Oh, the shattered glass and bloody mess (not in the English sense).


Thus, drastic measures must be taken to hand! Action! Movement! Chocolate!!! Uh...I mean, oh well *shrug*: to chocolate!

No matter the distance, despite any fear of bodily harm- the HLO shall not be stopped.

For our heroes:

Hari (Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu)
Morgan Grant (Someone to Watch Over Me by Lisa Kleypas)
Julian of Macedon (Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon)

Nick Gentry (Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas)
Daemon Sadi (Black Jewel Trilogy, by Anne Bishop)
Rafe McCay (The Touch of Fire by Linda Howard)
Wren Tigarian (Unleash the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon)
Haku/Nigihayami Kohaku Nushi (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi/Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki)

Hawke, Riley, and Drew (Psy/Changeling by Nalini Singh)
Douglas, Duke of Ethingham (Lessons in Seduction by Melissa Schroeder)

Drustan and Daegus MacKeltar (Kiss of the Highlander and Dark Highlander by Karen Moning)

More heroes has come to seek shelter:
Marc (Craving Beauty by Nalini Singh)
Rome Masters (Playing with Fire by Gena Showalter)
Royce Powell (Animal Instinct by Gena Showalter)
The Winston Brothers (The Winston Brothers by Lori Foster) I suddenly feel as if I'm repeating myself...
Charlie (Dark Dreamers by Marjorie M. Liu)
Straif Blackthorn (Heart Choice by Robin D. Owen)
Howl (Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones)

Soon...the time is coming. It is almost upon us.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Desert Island Keeper Hero Shelter and Liberation Get-Away

As the wonderful rounds of...uh...rather passionate...er...debates and decisions on which Heroes people would bring to the Dessert Island Keeper...umm...resort increasingly moved towards blood and violence, the situation has become more tense than one would have liked when stranded on a desert island with friends and rum.

ROUND 1: CarolynJean's.
ROUND 2: Sarai's
ROUND 3: lisabea's.
ROUND 4: MaryKate's.
ROUND 5: Christine's.
ROUND 6: Katie(babs) & Kristie(J)'s.
And an Author's bonus at- Lisabea

Next...ROUND 7: Sula's!

Alas, as I only brought my six books (also chocolate and apple cider, these two latter things are just as important) and not had watched in wide-puppy-eyes shock (also in hiding to avoid any unnecessary intrude) onto the escalating hero enslavement, it was time someone did something!
Welcome to The Desert Island Keeper Hero Shelter and Liberation Get-Away ~~*~~*~~*~~hosted by the Heroes Liberation Organization (HLO) = Amy and I ;)

Current Shelter List as previously stated by Amy:

* Hari (Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu) - For both Amy and Alice (yes, we share!!! ;p)
* Morgan Grant (Someone to Watch Over Me by Lisa Kleypas) - For Alice
* Julian of Macedon (Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon) - For Amy
* Nick Gentry (Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas) - For Alice
* Daemon Sadi (Black Jewel Trilogy, by Anne Bishop)- For Amy
* Rafe McCay (The Touch of Fire by Linda Howard) - for Alice
* Wren Tigarian (Unleash the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon) - For Amy
*Haku/Nigihayami Kohaku Nushi (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi/Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki)- For Alice (I want him for my child, I want him to be with Chihiro and them as my children!)
*Hawke, Riley, and Drew (Psy/Changeling by Nalini Singh) - For both Amy and Alice
*Douglas, Duke of Ethingham (Lessons in Seduction by Melissa Schroeder) - For Alice

This shall now begin the next alternate world of happiness. Aside from providing a safe haven to the dwindling heroes, please note, HLO's manifesto states that we (for the love of characters, stories, and insanity) are trying to reunite heroines with their stolen heroes. All characters, male and female are welcome here...for relaxation, boredom, or escape for safety *cough*.

Rules: As a shelter and liberations get-away, please leave your shoes outside as to not trek sand into the huts. There is a natural spring (bubbly water), so we'll have to make our own drinks. Also a hot spring. Chocolate will be air shipped to the island (along with other food). All are welcome to come and go so please relax, come for a break from the excessive exercises and please try not to enslave anyone.

Onto the next chapters at Amy's ^_^ *~~<~~@ * @~~>~~*

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

For the Love of Romance part 1

While clearing out for some space to sleep on my rather large bed, I began to notice how most of the books cluttered about my room consisted of romance. Granted, the two biological sources of my genetic makeup complain, nag and try to toss out (yes! they try to throw away my books, especially when I am out working, or when I was schooling) enough to make the grating hum of a mosquito during twilight sound like an opera; I tend to ignore them, as all good children do, to maintain what little sanity that remains in my very small head.

For me, stories have always been as essential as the air I breathe. More than fulfilling the emptiness inside, stories offer a window to peer out from the hollow isolation into as various worlds and possibilities as there are cells in a human body. A story can hold the truth and clarity lacking due to the very human biases that exist. It allows the most closed individual to listen; teaching the impossible to those whom have forgotten how to learn. Why then, would such a powerful tool be so divided and critical of each other? How is it that one does not notice the interwoven worlds genres share?

Those whom know me understand I have an obsession for love stories. It does not matter what genre from which period penned by the most foreign author, I want to know if there is romance. Please rest assure that the definition of romance used in this instance is a bit more vast than I could explain. Instead, the romantic nature of a story may not be fully evident, nor can it truly be defined as a clear cut romance. If words are symbols used to describe the intricate patterns and muddled impressions from within our being, then each letter and word used by one person shall differ slightly even if the definition is clearly written. This may be one reason why problems persist. Only a very minor one though.

What is it about romance, then, that has become so prevalent in quietly filtering our everyday life? Once upon a time, the union of two people for love was nothing more than a fancy-something not even strong enough to be a dream for the inequalities between people were so dire one can only try to survive to the next day. Now, in the supposed modern times of our era, we believe that marriage of love is a right. Despite class, race, and gender. Yes, prejudice still runs ramped, slowly sinking behind the veil of civility. Even so, there are always those whom believe and continually fight for such a right we now believe should be.

Even with impossible odds-when all may seem lost, we may turn to the stories of our youth, the fairytale of our childhood and seek answers, if not only comfort.

Stories may contain our deepest desires, our simplest wishes. Nothing more than an hour or two of escape; somewhere truly safe and secure when so many things in the world we live in, the environment that surrounds us going through rapid and sudden changes. People leave; things come and go. Yet the memories we hold, slowly melding into the dreams we spin to stories continue on. It is a give and take then, this story of ours; it builds and grows, changes and adapts. Through people, culture, and time.

So, maybe, just maybe, through stories we seek the confirmations of our beliefs, the hopes of infinite possibilities, and maybe, just maybe, a tiny near-invisible path leading us out of the very woods we had perceived as our prison.

As sleep beckons and a full day of work dawns closer, the second half in regards to stories (romantic stories!) shall have to wait another day. A day that just may be filled with something more.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

DIK: Desert Island Keepers stowaway



This first started with Katie(babs), Kristie(J), Sula, Christine, CarolynJean, and LisaBea on AIM (something I should probably get back into) stranded on a deserted island, each allowed 6 books. No repeats. Known as the "Desert Island Keepers."
So far it has expanded to include more people than countable (I'll try to list everyone, but if I miss someone, let me know; I'm recovering for a fever and my brain isn't functioning that well) and have moved to second rounds of Heroes to bring.
Additional stowaways: Sarai, Tracy, MaryKate, Shannon, Ciaralira, and Sarah. I know I'm missing people. I just know it, but for the life of me cannot remember.
Although I'm not really included (too many people), I decided to use seaweed to tie together some driftwood to make a raft and paddle my way through the turbulant waters onto the island with my backpack full of chocolate, sparkling apple juice (what, I like it) and my six books. ^_^ I'm pretty sure these haven't been listed, but I can always remedy and correct.
Worth Any Price- Lisa Kleypas
A previous bad guy turned good. What's not to love?
Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen
Did no one list this? It's Mr. Darcy!!!
Tiger Eye- Marjorie M. Liu
Great start to an awesome series.
Craving Beauty- Nalini Singh
An older one, but I liked the dynamic.
The Winston Brothers- Lori Foster
So adorable, yet hot.
If anyone knows someone else having books listed above, let me know and I'll change it to one of my many backup books. ^_^ So many books.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Back

I'm very happy to be home, but will miss New York. The rain was not helpful.

There is a bit of culture shock now that I'm back (mostly good), but I've caught a cold from the trip. It's not good. I am starting work tomorrow. One day off is not helping me recover.

Write more when I'm feeling better.