Friday, March 25, 2011

friday dance - girls girls girls

just thought i should show that i'm an equal opportunity kpop fangirl... i present as evidence three videos of korean girl bands that i wouldn't kick outta bed... :)

girls generation/snsd - genie
(the japanese performance video is "sync'd" up to the korean audio...)

2NE1 - clap your hands

brown eyed girls - abracadabra

happy friday!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

pinoys in the lindy hop house!

(image from Through My Father's Eyes: The Filipino American Photographs of Ricardo Oreto Alvardo 1914-1976)

i've been feeling very nostalgic lately - dancing'll do that to a girl... :) and i started to reminisce about all ("all" - what like 5?) lindy exchanges i've been to in the (dating myself) 14 years i've been dancing... and i kinda got a little misty that i'd never travelled to one overseas... i would've especially loved to attend an exchange in japan, south korea and (hello!?) the philippines.

and then, i saw this tweet by the dept. of tourism - philippines:

"Every Filipino is encouraged to do their own share in promoting local tourism. Mahalin ang sariling atin! Good night, guys! #pilipinastarana"

so, i googled "lindyhop philippines"... and got a big ol' goose egg... i mean - there's like a gazillion pinoy lindyhoppers (incl. teachers, djs, dancers, bloggers) in the states -

even the black eyed peas/apl de ap got in on the action:

"Bebot: Generation One" (Directed by Patricio Ginelsa) from Kid Heroes on Vimeo.

srsly, are there any lindyhoppers in the PI?

so that's when i started to make a list of all the stateside pinoys/pinays i know (not necessarily personally) that also lindyhop:

anna marie panlilio - photographer and dancer. see also cianna's video below.

bernard of hollywood

brainard llanes - i should really post a pic of him in his halloween tooth fairy costume. this video is located in his channel btw :

cianna stewart (anna marie is in the video below too)

claudine co (chinese but grew up in the PI - counts! totes!) - she swivels in on the :50 mark (noah galang also swivels in this at the 1:46 mark - then its like a sausage fest...)

dexter santos

erwin amurao

jerry almonte - dancer and lindy hop blogger

josie say i couldn't find any video of josie dancing which is a shame cuz she's amazasian! :)

john joven

loreto agdinaoay - dancer and dj

meeshi ravi

noah galang - dancer and teacher see claudine's video above...

noel hipona

roy samson - roy is the first lead in the jam.

rick panganiban

tessa auza (plz don't kill me) - at the :53 mark, claudine is in this one too at the 1:30 mark

at the 2:45 mark, tessa is dancing with john joven:

last, but certainly not least - victor deleon - a dear friend, fellow bay area old school dancer, lindy hop event promotor/ambassador (who takes me out for my first wedding jam at my reception):

and don't forget me! :) (teaching w/ frankie manning - probably the most humbling experience of my life...)

and then it occurred to me... can you imagine if all these (really HAWT) folks got together - HOPPED A PLANE TO THE PI - and threw down an workshop/exchange called... wait for it... wait for it...


with just the group of dancers above - alone - you'd have teachers to teach beg/int/adv lindyhop, blues, hip hop, leader/follower styling, dips/tricks/aerials, etc... AND some of the best DJs to spin for dances and late night parties, etc...

add to that all the filipinos i DON'T know (insert infinite number here) - PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD NAMES AND LINKS IN THE COMMENTS - and BOOM! you have a mindblowing way to support tourism in the philippines AND get your groove on.... a white sand beach... while enjoying a tall frosty glass of halo halo.... *sigh*

SO HOW - HOW??!! - HAS THIS NOT HAPPENED YET PEOPLE!!!??? make. it. happen.

project restyle - sweaters

sooo... i've been slacking off on the sewing (and doing a fair amt. of fiction writing) for a while and boy howdy is that gonna bite me in the *ss - paloma's first communion dress is still awol... she is not amused... O_o

i did manage to eek out a project for project restyle though! :)

this time i had two sweaters. the patterned sweater never fit me right, the empire seam hit me too high on the bust... yeah. patternmaking fail... the ribbed turtleneck is one of my favorite sweaters EVAR... i was sad to cut it, but the turtleneck color faded and lost some elasticity too... :(

ennyhoo... i've been watching a LOT of korean dramas lately... i need an intervention frankly... and i LOVE all the beautiful scarves that these stylists put on their actors... seeing my lump of sweaters on my table kinda reminded me of them.... ergo:

i still have the tops of the sweaters that i may or may not make into shrugs or legwarmers.... jury is still out... :)

right after i sewed the scarf up, i looked out my sunny window and thought "ooo, a scarf! just in time for this 60 degree day." *facepalm*

however, lucky for me, it might (might) hit 40 today in chicago... and we're even expecting snow showers in the evening... *facepalm*

happy wednesday! thanks for coming by!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

stylish blogger award

waaaaay back in january, i was awarded a stylish blogger award by Sewing Daisies blog

i'm very honored and humbled to get this award! Thanks Sewing Daisies! (and so sorry it took so long for me to acknowledge the award...)

apparently, i now have to tell my readers 7 things about myself they might not already know....

so for the new readers, i would like to direct you to my idiosyncrasies post which is a list of some of my peculiar behaviors/characteristics.

for all the oldie mcoldster readers to my blog, i give you these newish facts:

1) i'm often in my pjs.

2) i am totally obsessed with kpop boy bands. HWAITING!

3) i have learned how to say the following in korean from korean dramas:

a) hi!
b) i'm sorry.
c) thank you.
d) i love you.
e) leave!
f) do you want to die??!! (hee hee... that's my favorite.)

still trying to learn a) can you pretend to be my husband/wife? b) we switched bodies!? c) i've lost all the memories from our time together - everything else i remember! d) i want to marry you, but you're the sibling i never knew! e) we have absolutely nothing in common and i hate you for many good reasons, but i am also strangely attracted to you.

4) this summer i plan on taking more hip hop classes. TOTES. bring on the public humiliation!

5) we MAY be moving out of our apartment in may. same neighborhood, hopefully to more affordable digs... *squee*

6) when i go running, i take some mini carrots to toss at the rabbits i run by.

7) i often say "even blind squirrels find nuts" when referring to my freaking amazeball friends who i love like bananas. interpret/define at will who is the blind squirrel and who is the nuts... ;)

lastly, i'm supposed to award the stylish blogger award to other bloggers... so - if you are reading this and you have a blog - Ka-BOOM! you have now been awarded a stylish blogger award! :)

thanks for coming by and reading! happy tuesday!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

friday dance pt 2 - swing baby swing!

so, this weekend is a big dealio for the swing/lindyhop dancing set here in chicago...

1) on saturday - 14th Annual Swinger's ball at Willowbrook Ballroom. on sunday, Swing Baby Swing at Fizz... i'm cohosting the event at fizz - btw... :)

i think i've been to two previous Swinger's Balls. they're a LOT of fun, but they tend to run long - especially afterparty after afterparty... my body just can't take that beating anymore... i'm really looking forward to seeing everybody all gussied up and to feeling the giddy anticipation of some fun and memorable dances... :)

an old school dancer/teacher/swing ambassador hosts Swinger's Ball at Willowbrook Ballroom - here's an old video of Riley (and Margot) competing at Midwest Lindy Fest (not sure of the year...)

Swingers Ball usually has some performances from local groups... here's a bunch of yahoos i know that performed a while back (when dinosaurs still roamed the earth...)

2) Dancing upstairs at Swing at Fizz on Monday nights has been a miracle of sorts for me... i really feel as if my dancing has been resurrected after so many years lying dormant... the friendly/motley crew of patrons and staff at fizz is always ready to show you a good time... just check the bathroom stalls for their phone #s... (kidding!)

i'm actually in this crowd somewheres. music starts at the 1:30 mark... (but a moment of silence for Frankie never hurt anybody...) :')

and below more shenaniganizers dancing at fizz:

so if you can please please please - if you're in chicago - please come out to these events and say/wave hi to me... :)


friday dance pt 1: big bang

so, despite my best efforts, very little positive stimuli has been successful in lifting my gloomy mood from last week - save for GD & TOP (*swoon*). this is the first song i ever heard from them:

insert *earsplittingfangirlsquealing*

i can also be found booty shakin' to their mv/song Knock Out. *giggles* then, i read somewhere that they were part of a larger band, Big Bang.

and their newest mv/songs Tonight (below) and Somebody to Love have proven to be welcome auditory escapes for me... :) (yez. i have seen the eatyourkimchi hilarious takedown/secret garden parody of the song.)

additionally, when i searched for the tonight video i came across this performance rehearsal of the song:

if my (limited research) is sound, it was choreographed by Shaun Evaristo of Movement Lifestyle. i checked their facebook page and realized i'd just missed a workshop he did in chicago with local choreographer Ian Eastwood:

Of course, *I* could not attend (survive) a workshop from either of these dancers - but if you're interested, Ian Eastwood and Erica Sobol are hosting a workshop THIS weekend:

Visceral Dance Center
2820 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL
Saturday, March 19 · 6:30pm - 10:00pm
3-Classes ! $20/class---$55/all 3


Friday, March 11, 2011

friday dance: arigato we love you

you may have noticed via my twitter acct that i'm not really in any mood to dance as i'm absolutely heartbroken/horrorstricken over the continuous footage/coverage of the devastation in japan... :(

just wanted to say that i'm praying for everyone struggling there... and sending lots of love and positive thoughts...

i'll end this surreal day with one of my fave japanese bands - pizzicato five. and one of my fave songs - arigato we love you...

if i could wish for anything today, it would be to have a "RESET" button to press for japan... :(

Tuzki Bunny Emoticon

Friday, March 04, 2011

friday dance: SHINee!!!

*SQUEE!* i was SOOOOOOO excited to receive this SHINee cd in the mail this week!!!

um.... for my daughter.... yes! i got it for my kid..... yeah! :) 'cause why would i - an almost 40 yr old woman - want a korean boy band cd... psh... WHAT?!

*cough*asiancougarmom*cough* O_o *facepalm*

ennyhooo... i saw this rehearsal video SHINee did for what i can only assume was for a live performance of "lucifer". it's been viewed over 5 million times (2 million are probably from me... hee hee...) try not to get too mesmerized by taemin's shirt:

i was looking for the official dolled up mv with english subs and found this one - a FANTASTIC mashup of lucifer and super junior's (aka largest boy band on planet - 13 dudes at last count) bonamana... *SQUEE* music starts at the :28 mark:

last but not least - for those of you who are gluttons for punishment like myself - here's a tutorial by (another filipina) makdoongie for the tutting portion of the video at the very beginning.... she often posts very clear tutorials for dance videos like this one... she's the awesomesauce! the tutorial starts around the :36 mark... :)

happy friday!!!!

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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

read it: battle hymn of the tiger mother

As per usual, I'm late to this party.... Weeks and weeks ago, Asian and parent bloggers alike went bananas over this WSJ article by Amy Chua’s about her book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”.

Although the article painted a horrific picture of what the book and the author were about, I couldn’t help but think of other blogging controversies where someone was quoted out of context and blown completely out of proportion.

At least, I really hoped that was the case. I was disappointed that most of the posts I’d read were written by bloggers who’d not read the book. These posts by Disgrasian and Jeff Yang encouraged me though. I finally picked up the book a few days ago. I finished it in two days. And I really liked it.

Here’s a description of the book:

Chua imparts the secret behind the stereotypical Asian child's phenomenal success: the Chinese mother. Chua promotes what has traditionally worked very well in raising children: strict, Old World, uncompromising values--and the parents don't have to be Chinese. What they are, however, are different from what she sees as indulgent and permissive Western parents: stressing academic performance above all, never accepting a mediocre grade, insisting on drilling and practice, and instilling respect for authority. Chua and her Jewish husband (both are professors at Yale Law) raised two girls, and her account of their formative years achieving amazing success in school and music performance proves both a model and a cautionary tale. Sophia, the eldest, was dutiful and diligent, leapfrogging over her peers in academics and as a Suzuki piano student; Lulu was also gifted, but defiant, who excelled at the violin but eventually balked at her mother's pushing. Chua's efforts "not to raise a soft, entitled child" will strike American readers as a little scary--removing her children from school for extra practice, public shaming and insults, equating Western parenting with failure--but the results, she claims somewhat glibly in this frank, unapologetic report card, "were hard to quarrel with."

I could relate to it in a few ways: as a tiger mom (lite) , as a tiger cub of a tiger mom (lite), and as friend to tiger cub of tiger mom (heavy). Without a doubt, Amy Chua is (or was, if you read the book) tiger mom. She mentions in her book that she uses the terms “Chinese parent” and “Western parent” loosely - that Chinese parents can be non – Chinese and Western parents can be non-Western. Although I agree w/ her to an extent, I can’t help but think that maybe she should have come up with other terminology to differentiate – in this small way, I think use of that term does encourage a model minority stereotype as well as a sense of us (foreign) v. them(domestic). Maybe a Strict mom v. Lax mom conflict instead? I think what she also fails to reflect on is the economics of this. In my (limited) experience, most (not all) of the tiger moms (heavy) I know/knew were moms from affluent/educated families like Chua’s. And tiger moms (lite), like mine, were from educated but not necessarily affluent backgrounds. They differ in that tiger mom (lite) is usually slightly less aggressive and demanding, prone to redirection, instead of confrontation. They do share a high regard for work ethic and an almost visceral contempt for laziness.

Early on in the book, Chua strikes a dissonant chord with me, personally:

“Of course, I also wanted Sophia to benefit from the best aspects of American society. I did not want her to end up like on of those weird Asian automatons who feel so much pressure from their parents that they kill themselves after coming in second…. I wanted her… to have hobbies and activities… not… like “crafts” which can lead to nowhere – or even worse… rather a hobby that was meaningful and highly difficult with the potential for depth and virtuosity.” (emphasis mine)

crafts are neither meaningful or difficult, without depth or virtuosity. (!!??) I know. I had to put the book down at this point and take in some cleansing breaths. Memories of my own parents who pounded fists to tables and screamed “NO!” when I told them I was going to study poetry and fashion design at art school came flooding back.

Funny thing is, later in the book, Chua writes about her oldest daughter’s debut, “This time I’d really gone wild. I’d spoken to Jed, and we decided to forgo our winter vacation for the year. Sophia’s dress for the event was a charcoal satin floor-length gown from Barneys New York…” HA! *snort* How can something so meaningless cost a portion of a family winter vacation? Why/how does she justify that expense?

As I read further and further into the book, I was slightly unnerved to find I had more and more things in common with Chua. I am also married to a Caucasian (ok, he’s mixed – Puerto Rican + insert European country here, but he looks white) and have two mixed kids. Although her parents aren’t Filipino, they spent a chunk of time in the Philippines before Chua was born. After her parents emigrated, Chua also grew up in the Midwest. I can especially relate to her memories/feelings of being an “outsider” in America, with one of my feet planted in the Philippines and another in the US.

When she writes about disciplining her daughters, although oftentimes, a little too harsh for my taste, it is not uncommon to my own disciplinary routine. It’s very common for my kids to lose toys to the donation box as punishment. I was never allowed a sleepover and was only allowed one sleepover in my entire childhood. And it was miserable. Honestly, I don’t trust anyone with my kids for sleepovers – too many tragic stories of abuse from trusted family /friends have scared me away from the idea. Paloma has been on one sleepover. In one big living room, I slept on the couch, while they slept in a tent.

However, I’m thankful that Chua and I don’t share the same determination and focus when it comes to achieving a goal. Times when she mentions asking her daughters to practice for 9 hours, driving for 18 hours to a lesson w/ a dog and a child in a cast, the cost (financial and emotional) of all these lessons from different and exclusive teachers, etc… Although, I can only speak from our economic level… Clearly, Chua and I are not equals there… I don’t know what’s it’s like to have the kind of wherewithal to take a family of 4 on a annual/bi-annual vacation.

I think it’s also important to note that Chua’s final resignation to her daughters’ differences and her parenting style changing accordingly is something that should be attributed to the tunnel vision that siblings acquire. I think there’s something more to be explored re: one’s place in the family – maybe because Chua is the oldest of four siblings, her tiger mom style works “better” with the older daughter and not the younger. Although Chua mentions that all of her siblings are successful, she assumes her mother addressed their conflicts similarly.

However, Chua’s own mother criticizes her for treating Chua’s daughters the same when they are so different. Later in the book, Chua’s daughters also have completely different ideas about who is the “favorite” daughter and why. She retells a portion of her father’s life with his tiger mom. He was the 4th of 6 children, the perceived black sheep of the family who got the short end of the stick. Fed up with the abuse and disrespect, he ends up leaving his family and has nothing to do with them again. All of these perspectives were resonant, revelatory and heartbreaking.

All in all, I found the book entertaining and easy to read and to relate to (in a scary way...) But again, i think that may be because I'm asian and all too familiar with this style of parenting which "worked" for me as a child and some aspects of which work for me as a parent. On the flip side, the thin man read it almost as quickly as i did and HATED it...

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