The Aziz Moment

•October 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

A successful TV Show, a burgeoning movie career, voiceover work, a national comedy tour that sold out arenas and several highly watched comedy specials later, I think its safe to say that Aziz Ansari is the current king of the mountain when it comes to culturally relevant American Brown people.

Of course, he isn’t the first to hold this title– with others such as M. Night Shyamalan and Kal Penn before him. He also won’t be the last as Brown people see more opportunities in television and movies, with Mindy Kaling and Hannah Simone leading the way. It’s great that these actors are helping push the boundaries of how Brown people are portrayed. We’re no longer just cabbies, doctors or convenience store owners.

Having said that, it wasn’t Aziz’s career that caught my attention recently, it was the following story that was trending on Twitter and featured in celebrity gossip guide, Us Magazine:

Aziz Ansari Dating Courtney McBroom: Exclusive Details

With that one story, Aziz went from actor/comedian to celebrity. It’s a fine line that most brown people in his position haven’t crossed.

Granted, some people will say “who cares about actors’ personalize lives?” or that the Kardashianization of his life is a bad thing, but that’s not the point.

20 years ago would you have ever thought that a major American magazine would write about the relationship status of an Indian dude? Let alone a short, dark-skinned, bearded Indian dude. Hell, could you have even imagined it 10 or 5 years ago?

Even if you could have imagined it, would you have thought that the article would have no mention of the racial differences?

More often than not, Asian (both East and South) actors and male characters are seen as unsexualized sidekicks or hypersexualized social deviants. It’s nice to see one of us get the same type of attention often reserved for..ahem, “traditional” leading men.

Of course, I can be a cynic and say that this was all a publicity stunt, or she just wants him for his money. But hey, call me a romantic.

Better Late than Never

•August 24, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Damn, has it really been 8 months since my last post? It’s weird to think that I haven’t written at all this year. Back in my blogging (Xanga) heyday, I wrote a post twice a week. Here’s the REAL sobering realization–that heyday was a decade ago. DECADE.

Feelin’ kinda nostalgic, so I think I’ll do a random thoughts post.

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I was thinking about this earlier today. There are songs that instantly improve your mood. I believe “Tonight”  by  Felix Cartal ft Maja Ivarsson from The Sounds  has just cemented its place in my own personal list of mood enchancer songs.

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Dusting and vacuuming are by far my least favorite household maintenance activities.

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It’s been two years since I’ve had a party at my place. I really should change that now that the parking construction at my building is close to being cleared up.

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As a football fan I’m so tired of the bullshit and talking heads. I only pay attention on gameday now, when it actually matters.

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On a related note–why is the idea of changing the name of the Redskins so offensive? I mean, people are angry at the IDEA of changing the name. The argument people make is that its “traditional” and that it honors Native Americans. Let’s be real for a moment, you take away the Sammy Baugh era and the Joe Gibbs/George Allen eras and we have a pretty shitty history.

There are grown adults that have been through college and grad school without knowing a Washington Football championship. This vaunted tradition you talk about is a generation ago.

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We’re all expecting either Iggy Azalea or Charlie XCX to end up in rehab sometime in the next couple years, right?

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We’ve seen pictures of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman for the new Batman Vs. Superman movie, but I’m really interested in seeing how Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor will be.

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Wow, did Blink 182 really just come up when I set my Google Music to random? Seriously, what’s my age again?

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When it comes to Taylor Swift, the question of her hotness comes down to the following question–are you a leg, butt or boob man? Leg men have a solid argument, the others don’t.

Cuteness is an all together different argument.

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Jessica Williams of The Daily Show is intensely beautiful and there’s got to be a bidding war brewing for her talents. She’s already funnier than whoever is hosting SNL’s Weekend Update these days.

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Fin

Holiday Jams

•December 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Since I finally got into the Holiday spirit, I thought I’d share a few favorites. Christmas + Chanukah + New Years song.

Sting — “I Saw Three Ships”

 

Barenaked Ladies — “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” 

 

TLC — “Sleigh Ride”

 

South Park — Dreidel Song

 

Matisyahu — “Miracle”

 

Trans-Siberian Orchestra — “Christmas in Sarajevo”

 

The Lonely Island — “Dick in a Box”

 

CeeLo featuring the Muppets — “All I Need is Love”

 

Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt

Being a Grown Up

•December 8, 2013 • 1 Comment

The thing is, no one really tells you when you’ve become an adult. There aren’t any truly objective signs that point out when you’ve reached that certain level where you are officially a “grown up.”

Sure, I’ve had milestones along that way that signal various parts of adulthood, such as graduating from college, getting a job, moving out of my parents’ house, buying my own place, buying my own car, turning 30, watching your friends get married and have children. But through all those things, I’m not sure I’ve every really felt like an adult and I certainly didn’t act my age.

At the end of the day, I’m not sure that anyone really wants adulthood, but often times its just thrust on you. And man, did that happen to me this year.

I haven’t talked about it on any of my social media channels, but earlier this year my Mom got diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, we caught it early. Surgery and six months of chemo later, she’s doing much better. In fact, just last week she finished her last round of chemo (hopefully ever). She’s got another 8 months of another medication she has to take, but that has far fewer side effects and she should be getting back to her normal healthy self soon. Fortunately, we worked with top notch doctors and nurses and received some of the best care this area has to offer. As a result, her prognosis is good.

Let me tell you, nothing will make you grow up faster than hearing the word “cancer” associated with one of your parents. Beyond that, the second half of this year has been pretty tough as well. In September my grandmother passed away–which was extra difficult because Mom and Dad were scheduled to be in India that month, if not for the chemo treatments. In addition, because Mom’s been out sick for so long, she’s being forced to retire; one of my Dad’s best friends and one of our closest family friends’ passed away; my Aunt and Uncle’s house got broken into; work has been hectic; and my Uncle recently fell pretty ill on a trip to India.

One of those “perfect storm”/”when it rains, it pours” scenarios, right?

It’s weird, when shit like this happens, your initial thought is, “this is supposed to happen to other people, not us.”

Luckily, I’ve built a great support system of friends around me that are willing to lend a hand or be a sounding board for all the issues that have been going on. At the end of the day, that’s what you build up friendships for, right? To deal with years like this one.

What they don’t tell you  when you’re growing up is exactly how challenging adulthood can be. However, those challenges do bring you even closer to those closest to you: your family and your friends.

So, my advice is pretty simple. Stay in touch. Call or text somebody you haven’t talked to in a while and say hi, see how they’re doing. It may just take 5 minutes, but it could make a world of difference.

Cheers.

J.

Inspiration

•August 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Recently, whenever I’ve felt meh, I remind myself that somewhere in the world this woman exists, and that makes me happy. (Via the Sartorialist)

 

The Sartorialist. August 1, 2013.

9 to Know – Music

•July 29, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I feel like its been a really great summer for music so far. Below are a few songs that you need to add to you playlist ASAP.

1. Lorde – Royals

Great voice, great beat and immensely catchy. You’ll find yourself nodding your head to this song asap.

2. Saint Motel – My Type

It sounds like it should be one of those new Heineken commercials. Will immediately wake you up from whatever doldrum you are in.

3. Lolo – Heard it from a Friend

Starts Fiona Apple, goes into Adele-like range, sprinkled with classic Alanis anger.

4. FRIENDS – The Way

If you like Prince and if you like Janet, this will sound familiar. This is a good thing. It’s the electric guitar that kills it and makes it sound so classic.

5. Panama Wedding – All of the People

This year’s version of Foster the People with a little more 80s flair. It sounds like it should be part of the musical montage in an Andrew McCarthy or John Cusack movie from 1986.

6. Touch Sensitive – Pizza Guy

Sounds like it should have been on the “Drive” soundtrack.

7. Kanye West – Bound 2

My favorite track on the “Yeezus” album. Kanye really is the best at soulful sample.

8. Wale ft. Sam Dew – LoveHate Thing

Just so damn good. DC representin’.

9. John Newman — Love Me Again

A great story-telling video that I didn’t expect.

Thought

•July 14, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Aren’t most of us secretly happy that Facebook, YouTube and Twitter weren’t around in our high school years? I KNOW I would have posted some regrettable, embarassing crap.

I mean, we all see the corny, annoying things that our younger brothers, sisters, cousins post and we think to ourselves, “glad I was never that stupid.”

But the fact of the matter is, we probably were.

J.