Today’s the day that you may or may not have known you’ve been waiting for: LEX the Lexicon Artist has dropped her debut album. Raging Ego rages in the best way possible, dipping into stories that feel simultaneously deeply personal, wholly relatable and uniquely LEX. This lyric from the track “Curse of Creativity” says it best: “I felt like I was reading your autobiography. With every track it was as if I was exploring your brain and inhabiting your every pleasure and absorbing your pain. I know that all your other listeners have felt like this too, but I’m privileged to have shared something special with you.” The sentiment is mutual, LEX. Meet the artist and entertainer behind the infectious rap rhymes in her personal essay here.
Who’s your family? Sometimes it’s the people we choose, and sometimes it’s those we’re born to. In the case of two Colorado State University students, these relationships are works in progress. Myvy Ngo talks about the evolution of her relationship with her parents who immigrated from Vietnam, and another discusses the familial roles different family members and friends have played at various times in her life. Listen to their conversation above, or read on for a full transcript. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Story: The Company We Meet, the Family We Keep”→
I find several things especially life affirming. These include the butterfly rush from a somersault, when a curtain rises on a stage production, and when a story goes to press. Also when I get to the grocery store and find avocados or good chocolate on sale. Now I can add one more. Recording for radio! Continue reading “Reading on the Radio”→
Last week’s revelation: After ruthlessly defending it, I’ve since come to the uncomfortable conclusion that”Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is much more fragile than I’d like.
I believed in Santa Claus even longer than my little sister, though for years I’d suspected there was something odd about a magical man coming into your home (through a chimney no less) and eating your cookies. Even when she started to question his existence, I defended it. I loved Santa Claus, wanted to believe in him, and did so until that awkward conversation around the dinner table when my parents confirmed my sister’s suspicions to be true. “He lives in your heart,” they consoled me.
Two students at Colorado State University reflect on breaking and following convention. In Taylor Coulter’s case, a social work major, it came naturally with the freedom for her to explore from an early age. Until recent years, the other student found that they were performing to follow convention, putting pressure on them and their relationship with their sister. Listen to these students talk about their journeys using the media player above, or read their conversation below. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Story: Playing with Convention”→
My week in summary: I learned that Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton have been cast in roles originally written as Asian characters and am like, “Um, why?” I became addicted to Shugs & Fats. No, not “sugar” and “fat,” though I enjoy them too — it’s sketch comedy. Continue reading “Looking for Splashes of Color Amid Whitewash”→
When explaining my pursuit of Asian American stories in the Mountain West in a recent interview, I was asked, “What will happen if you don’t find a story?” And I had to smile, because at the end of the day all we are left with is the narrative out of which we make sense of our lives and the world, and that’s a story in itself.
Thursday affirmed this for me. It was the type of day that made me feel so incredibly lucky to be human and have other wonderful humans with whom to share that experience. That afternoon I had the privilege to put on an event called “Let’s Talk Story” at Colorado State University Continue reading “Let’s Talk Story”→
Last week I met a woman who traveled from Thailand to Canada and the U.S. where she pursued her education 25 years ago. She had no intention to stay, but did. It was overseas that she ended up connecting with her Chinese roots.
Now a cultural director at the Wo Hing Museum in Maui’s historic town of Lahaina, Busaba Yip Douglas offered this: “I don’t need Ancestry.com. If we have a good relationship with your ancestors, we don’t have to search for them. They will come to us at the right time, and with the right people.”
This is a story from Cupertino, Calif., a slice of school life. I worked on it for my master’s thesis when I was studying journalism at Stanford and held on to it and didn’t really share it outside of school — I’m not totally sure why. Because I’m embarking on a journey to share more tales from Asian America, I’ll kick it out the door now.
The students featured in here have likely advanced, graduated from middle school or high school or college. Their parents may have retired, switched jobs, something else. I wonder what the community is like now?
In any case, the stories here were recorded in the spring of 2014. The Atlantic published an article called “The Silicon Valley Suicides” by Hanna Rosin last month, and because Cupertino is next door to Palo Alto, where her article is centered, I think it’s relevant to take another look at the various experiences of students in an area exceptional for its multicultural makeup and academic experience.