Monthly Archives: July 2009

Trailers Needed for Asian Film Festival

Enter this contest, folks! Here’s the deal. Make a trailer to promote the festival. Not a movie. A trailer. You can do it. Everyone can do it. Now do it.

Philadelphia Asian Americans

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Mondays are always strange

So in a misguided attempt to distract myself, I managed to read an actual, honest-to-goodness, paper-and-ink newspaper today. Here’s what I found:

1. Chinese chap accused of stealing Apple’s iPhone secrets. Commits suicide. Girlfriend gets laptop for compensation. What?

“Even so, the company paid compensation to Mr. Sun’s family. It declined to say how much, but Mr. Sun’s brother cited a figure of 300,000 renminbi, or more than $44,000, and said Mr. Sun’s girlfriend was also given an Apple laptop computer.”

Your boyfriend just committed suicide so they make up for it with a laptop? I sure hope she refused to take that. On the other hand…I’d do just about anything for a Mac Powerbook.

2. Go unions! Teachers at charter school KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) recently unionized.

“In recent months, teachers have won union recognition at schools including the Boston Conservatory Lab School, a school in Brooklyn that is part of the Knowledge Is Power Program, an Afro-centric school in Philadelphia, four campuses in the Accelerated School network in Los Angeles, and a Montessori school in Oregon. Moves toward unionizing have revealed greater teacher unrest than was previously known.”

Anyone who knows a teacher who work at a charter school knows this is a good thing.

3. The whole Jersey fiasco distracted everyone from Vince Fumo. Good? Bad?

4. I will have no job in the future.

Does Your Pop Music Suck? Nothing Good To Go Bad.

/This post commandeered by guest blogger Don Bito/

I drove into work today without the slightest idea of what I would write about this week.  I hadn’t heard anything new and noteworthy, one way or the other, and I had my doubts about how many weeks I could get away with writing about not-necessarily-recent songs that I just happen to like, and still have you all believe this was a topical pop music review column.

Approaching my desk, a lone tear swelled and dropped from my eye, a single gleaming reminder that the illusion would soon be shattered, the velvet curtain pulled back, that my days as a member of the pop music intelligentsia were now numbered.

And their number…was one.  I was sucked into a greased downward spiral of hopelessness and despair (even more so than I usually am at the start of my shifts).

BUT LO, FROM THE VILLAGE OF INBOX THERE SHON A DIM BUT CONSTANT LIGHT.

Could this be? No, surely it was a figment of my imagination, a momentary hallucination created by my reeling ego to engender false hope and eventually sharpen the pain of my inevitable failure.

YET STILL THERE SHON THE LIGHT.

Oh readers, it WAS true! Not only was I to avoid ruination (this week), but it was none other than the Philly Grrl who had thrown herself upon the seldom-bestowed mercy of my haphazard musical tastes.

A MERCY SHE WOULD NOT RECEIVE. And here’s why…


Continue reading

On Corner Stores, Storekeepers and Race Relations

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A couple weeks ago, I witnessed a disturbing incident on Fifth Street. While on my way to work at the library, I stopped by a mom and pop store on the same block to pick up some Spiderman stickers (for bribing my student, naturally). I was rummaging around the stationary shelf when I heard a scuffle. I peeked over to find the proprietors, who happen to be Korean, scuffling with a young black boy. One man was holding him down and another was patting him down. “You shoplift! You shoplift!” shouted the younger man, as he reached into the boy’s pocket.

“I didn’t shoplift nothing, man!” said the kid. And sure enough, they could find nothing on him.

Now I don’t know whether the kid fit the profile of what they perceived to be a shoplifter, or whether he was just about to shoplift when they confronted him, or whether he was just an innocent bystander. Who knows? As the kid walked out of the door, I met his eyes. He was furious. His face reflected his anger and humiliation.

The neighborhood in which the incident occurred happens to the place where I grew up. Some people call it Little Korea. Some call it the Latin Ghetto. Suffice to say, a large percentage of the neighborhood’s merchants (whose businesses line Fifth Street) are Korean-Americans.  And their customers are mostly black and Hispanic. Race relations in Olney? Everybody minds their own business. We try to get along. We do. Most of the time. Continue reading

Gorgeous & Homely

That’s me in a nutshell.

Hey, Bharat Matrimony. Do you need a copywriter? Because I’m totally willing to help you guys out…

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Let’s all run barefoot. Not.

So there’s this guy. You may have seen him. He runs barefoot on Kelly Drive. Which is fine. Whatever floats his boat. I like to walk barefoot. In a yard, maybe. With grass. I never wear shoes in the country. But given the amount of glass on Philly streets, I doubt I’ll be taking up barefoot running anytime soon. Ugh. Imagine running up and down the street of Chinatown. Yuck!

McDougall now thinks that modern running shoes may actually be the problem.

Their raised heels encourage people to run with a higher-impact, heel-first strike, and their cushioned soles make such a strike less painful – but not less damaging.

And, by preventing the foot’s arch from bearing weight, support features in the shoe may weaken it over time and increase the likelihood of injury.

In contrast, feet that are in direct contact with the ground get constant sensory feedback. They adjust to reduce impact. Except for falls, running injuries are almost unheard of among the Tarahumara.

“In bare feet, you can’t over-pronate, overtrain, or overstride,” McDougall said. “The bare foot is the best coach of all.”

To my hometown of Vineland, NJ

Dear Vineland,

When I was a little kid, I adored you. And even now, as a Philadelphian, I manage to refrain from making Jersey jokes simply because of my regard for you. But please – enough of this nonsense about music festivals. Last summer, there was supposed to be a three-day music festival in Vineland. Our own little Woodstock. My cousins and I were so proud and excited. Our town was cool. We started collecting camp chairs. Made elaborate seating charts. And then. Then you flaked out, Vineland. Some of you formed the a website. The (now-active) NeighborsAgainstRockConcertSite and decided the “logistics” weren’t going to work out.You forced the event planner to cancel the concert. Disaster. Continue reading