Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rice Daddies in the News

So, things have been a little slow around here lately. Here's a little reminder to all my homies listed in the column to the right—come on home! It's okay. Heh. In the time since we've heard from some of you, a few of you have had second kids (that we've never heard of over here), others of you have celebrated milestones like first birthdays (again, that we've never heard about over here, even big ceremonial traditional Korean ones), and others of you have written great stuff in other places that, you know, could easily be crossposted over here. We don't mind. Just come home, brah. We miss you. Heh. And for any other AsAm dads out there who wanna add their voice, just holla.

Okay, so now to some fellow Rice Daddies in the news lately...

Late last month, Thomas Beatie gave birth to a daughter, and the first photos of father and child were released last week. [Psst! Hoy! Wanna blog here, Tom? Just let me know!]

Also last week, the New York Times ran a story about Dr. Arnold Kim, who's finally left medicine to run his blog,, full time. Yeah boy! Besides his love of his subject and his ability to make almost as much money blogging as doctoring, the article points out another reason for the career shift: "He also had a practical reason for wanting the ability to work from home. Her name is Penelope, and she is 14 months old." [Again, Doc, if you wanna blog about things other than Apple, let me know!] [Hat-tip to Angry Asian Man.]

And finally [hat-tip again to Angry Asian Man], apparently, in my quest to find kiddie music that doesn't suck, I've somehow missed Nashville hapa singer-songwriter Steve Lee. His self-released kids' album, What Did You Do Today, Stephen Scott Lee?, is supposed to be pretty good, and is being followed up by an album calld "Steve Lee's Greatest Animal Hits" that includes an autobiographical growing-up-Asian-American track called "Say Herro." That's awesome. He was featured earlier this year in Koream Magazine. [Koream also featured our own MetroDad's Father's Day remembrance and a cover story on the man who's brought AsAm fatherhood to television sets everywhere, Jon Gosselin of "Jon & Kate + 8."] [And yeah, Jon? If you wanna, you know, blog? Right here for ya, buddy.] [And Steve, if you wanna get your CDs out to AsAm parents, please let us know!]

So, that's what's going on in the AsAmdadosphere. Here's hopin' that posting will be more frequent in the weeks ahead.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Summer of 42

I turned 42 yesterday and took a Me Day. Below is a multiple choice list of things I was planning to do mixed in with what I actually did. Take the quiz to see how I spent a rare day off -- from work, from responsibility -- and check your scores in the comments.

I woke up at:
1) 5:30, when Maceo couldn't sleep so I dutifully kept him company and we watched the sun rise from our porch
2) 7am, the usual time, and got Maceo ready for daycare while Wifey got ready for work
3) 9:30am, I slept through the morning routine, a rarity Wifey gifted me on the b-day
4) I'm still sleeping

In the morning, I...
1) Walked the dog, got coffee and leisurely read the paper
2) Took the dog to the groomers and drove to Kaiser to pick out some new prescription glasses
3) Put out some fires at work (from home) and went to the gym.
4) All of the above

For lunch, I ate:
1) Todai, cashing in on the free b-day meal
2) A Clif bar and a glass of milk
3) A Double-Double at In-N-Out w/Wifey and Maceo
4) A spicy two-piece from Popeyes, with a Popcorn Shrimp side

During the afternoon, I...

1) Played in my afternoon work soccer game, showered, and shopped for new boots
2) Hit up Nordstrom Rack, bought bookshelf speakers and went record shopping
3) Got a violent body scrub at the Korean spa and took a long nap
4) Read some books, vacuumed and straightened the house
5) 2&4
6) 1&3

For dinner, I
1) Invited friends over for pizza and beer
2) Met up with Maceo and wifey at my favorite Japanese place
3) Ate leftovers
4) Hit up the other Todai on the east side

Dessert was... (candle included)
1) Key lime cheesecake
2) Deep fried Twinkie
3) Green Tea ice cream
4) Chocolate molten lava cake from Trader Joe's

Answers in the comments section!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Kiddie rockin'

I just put up a long post on my other blog about the free concert I took The Pumpkin to in early June at which the Barenaked Ladies performed from their new children's album, Snacktime. The Pumpkin frickin' loooooves that CD, and it's hardly ever come out of the car since I got it for her [okay, okay, and for me too]. I love how, except for how short they are, some of the songs could totally just be regular cuts from one of their "for adults" albums. I mean, have you heard the lyrics to "Raisins"?

Raisins come from grapes,
People come from apes,
I come from Canada.

I came in first place,
In a non-existent race,
To rebuild the Parthenon.

The Parthenon’s in Greece,
Or was it in Grease 2?
I can’t keep my movies straight.

When I make mistakes,
I use a lot of salt,
Salt makes mistakes taste great.

I don’t want to be a bother, but I think the phone’s for you.

(Whistling verse) x2

I’ve got orange pants,
I wear them when I dance,
But I don’t get out that much.

You are just too loud,
I passed you in a crowd,
Thank you and keep in touch.

I don’t speak Chinese,
Not even words like ‘Please’,
‘Thank you’ or ‘How are you’.

But I can parle Francais,
I parled a bit today,
It seemed like the thing to do.

I don’t want to be a bother, but I think you’re in my seat.

(Whistling verse) x2

I mean, how is that any more or less kiddish or grownupish than "If I Had a Million Dollars" or "Another Postcard from Chimpanzees", right? That's what's awesome about this album, and again, The Pumpkin absolutely loves it, and loved seeing them perform live. We even got them to autograph her CD and her copy of their lyrics-as-picture-book. BTW, she can't pronounce Barenaked Ladies, so it comes out something like "Bear Kid Ladies." Maybe that makes more sense to a 3-year-old.

Now, this being Rice Daddies, I have to take the opportunity to mention that, among the throngs of fans with and without children swarming the fake park thing in the middle of The Grove in LA, there were a lot of Asians. I mean, you know, enough to notice, if you're obsessed like me. And right near me, up at the front near the stage, where I crouched in order to stay near The Pumpkin, who was in the middle of the couple rows of tiny chairs they put out for some of the kids, were two families with Asian American dads, white moms, and two kids each. [One of them even blogged about the concert and how he taught his son to go up and ask for the set list after the show.] Also right near me were at least a few more Asian American kids with various parental units hovering nearby. What does this have to do with anything? Context, my friends, context.

So at one point, after watching my babygirl patiently waiting in her seat for almost an hour-and-a-half (cuz if we didn't get there that early, she wasn't sittin'), amusing herself by "reading" her copy of the picture book of the lyrics and singing along to the CD copy they had on the speakers, I finally squeezed through and convinced her that no, we wouldn't miss the beginning if I took her to the Nordstrom to go potty before the show. And this blond mom with a couple of kids in the row behind The Pumpkin, one of several adults who didn't quite get the concept that the fact that the chairs were tiny meant that they were supposed to go to the kids, looks at me and says, "You're doing a wonderful job with all these kids."

At first, I don't quite get it. I mean, it's crowded, it's loud, I'm trying to get my daughter to follow me to go pee. I just said, "Thanks," and tried to squeeze back out to the sidewalk. Is this another "wow, look at that dad actually parenting" kind of thing? And then it hit me. All the kids directly in front of and to one side of The Pumpkin—Asian, with no discernable Asian parent nearby. Um, did this lady actually think that all the Asian kids were mine? I mean, cuz, what, I was the only Asian dad she saw and they all had to be related, right? OMFG.

So maybe I'm wrong. But for the life of me, I can't think of another explanation. I mean, I was only ever talking to one kid—my one kid. Heh. I got a good laugh out of it, at any rate.

Anyway, go check out the photos and videos [one for each song they performed, though, unfortunately, I didn't have a good angle to get special surprise guest accordionist Weird Al Yankovic on camera during "If I Had a Million Dollars"] I have up on my blog at my new work project,, and enjoy.