Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Look who's on the cover of the issue I'm published in! Posted by Hello

Here's to Iris

Well, I *finally* found a bookstore carrying the Feb/March issue of Audrey magazine. Before, I wasn't even sure the magazine had come out because the staff sends contributing writers a comp copy. And I was worried cuz I hadn't received anything. And I've been waiting for my article on Iris Chang's passing and accomplishments to come out. Back in November, the managing editor asked me to write something; I think it's mainly becuz I live so close to her family, hehe. The whole experience--learning more about her, talking to her husband, Brett, and her parents who seem so kind--was sorta surreal. In college, I actually did a phone interview with Iris and then I met her in person when she came to UCLA for a book signing. I remember that she was really nice and really passionate about having the Japanese government atone for the Nanking massacre. It's still hard to believe that someone like that would sink to a point where she thought suicide was the only solution. Nevertheless, I'm really glad I got this assignment. It seemed like a unique way to honor her. Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I made a major error in my UCLA Daily Bruin article on her book, RAPE OF NANKING. I still cringe when I think of it. For some reason, my brain cells weren't all there and I had called Nanking a "village" when in fact, it was China's former capital city. I still feel bad and wonder when Iris read the article, if she thought I was a total ditz. I feel especially foolish because I still would like to have a career similar to hers--journalist and novelist. Though I'm more about pop culture and chick lit then hard-core investigative journalism that makes a difference. All in all, I'm really proud that I got a sort of do-over and the end result is an--I believe--accurate and in-depth portrait. The article won't be online for a couple more months. If you want to read it, you'll have to see if your local Borders or Barnes & Noble carries Audrey. And I know people will think I planned this, but you'll never guess who's on the cover of this issue. Look at the cover above.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Me "hanging" with Lea at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library in November '04. Posted by Hello

V-Day thoughts

So, I keep forgetting that today is the day Cupid turns a profit. On Saturday, I went to see Lea Salonga in concert at the Nob Hill Masonic Center in the city. If you didn't know that Lea is one of my favorite singers, then that means you and I must get to know each other better in the future. Most people haven't heard of her because at the music store, her work is filed under movie soundtracks (Jasmine in "Aladdin" and Mulan), showtunes (Kim in "Miss Saigon"--won a Tony for that--and Eponine in "Les Miz") or easy listening (a pop album that didn't fare too well here). She's from the Phillippines but resides in L.A. now. Anywho, San Fran was the first of four concerts on her first U.S. tour.

In between belting out Broadway numbers and Pilipino songs, she crooned "Someone to Watch Over Me," prefacing it with Valentine's Day talk about how it doesn't matter if you're gay or straight, she truly believes every person has someone he/she is meant to be with. Nothing against her ideals, but I don't know if I like the idea that there's only one person for me. How am I supposed to find him? There isn't any special detector or sonar equipment. Also, it's liket that scene with Meg Ryan and Carrie Fisher in "When Harry Met Sally." The man I'm supposed to be with could already be married. As I write this, he could be eating dinner with some other girl. And I only be left thinking "That b**** is eating with my guy!" BTW, I'm pretty calm right now; I know it may not seem like that, hehe. Well, I'm too young to be that cynical yet. Best be off before my ranting gets me tangled in a butterfly net. Laters!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Yes he's real and he's even cuter than Dumbo. Posted by Hello

Help Wanted? Anyone?

For the first time since arriving back from my trip, I took an itty-bitty baby step--more of a crawl, if you will--in my quest for a real, honest-to-goodness job. I attended a job fair today put on by ASNE (American Society of Newspaper Editors) and the San Jose Mercury News. The all-day affair drew about 15 recruiters--mostly from California-based dailies--and many jobless applicants and fresh-faced college grads. Although I feel more simpatico with magazines, I am open to possibly being a features reporter at a big or small newspaper. And as you all know, I need to chuck the internship shackles. Obviously, I'm not quite ready to jump in as a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times or the San Francisco Chronicle. Overall, the "diversity" job fair was encouraging and discouraging.

In my naivete, for about a minute I thought a real job lead might come out of it. Then I started hearing the same old song: we're not hiring right now, but here's what the candidate-mold--which you don't quite fit. Basically, I'm quite ripe for a position on a community newspaper or if a tiny town is in need of a town crier. The recruiter from the Oakland Tribune complimented me on my writing style (which I liked) and said what I needed to do was get the heck out of the Bay Area for at least a year and live in a small town like Tracy (which I didn't like). If I have to move, I will move. But can't I be picky about it?

Joe Grimm, the recruiter for the Detroit Free Press, was the keynote speaker at lunch. I had never heard of him before though he's quite the known figure in journalism job circles. He's quite a funny guy. He gave a "speech that wasn't really a speech" by telling us different recruiting anecdotes and asking us to say if what the applicant did "works or doesn't work." The last story he told really has you questioning how much of the brain a human neglects to use. A long time ago, a young woman who was the movie reviewer for the Free Press, was driving when a branch fell onto her windshield, resulting in her death. Just one of those unfortunate freak accidents. Shortly after, as the staff began mourning together, Joe received a call that started something like this: "So, I hear you need a new movie reviewer..." Though Joe said it was a little premature, the guy wouldn't quit pestering him so Joe said he could send in his clips of past movie reviews. The very next day, the clips arrived. Aside from not being very well-written, they came in a messy fashion--as though someone had spilled coffee on them. The guy called back and asked Joe to pass them onto the arts editor. Joe said no because frankly, they weren't good and they were stained. This is how the rest of the conversation went:
Applicant: "Oh, THAT. My cat got sick."
Joe: "You turned in clips that your cat got sick on?!"
Applicant: "Don't worry. He died."

After lunch, I caught the end of a panel--"How to get your first job." The Mercury News had rounded up four of their younger employees. By coincidence, they were mostly Asian American women--one of them was my editor for a year at the Daily Bruin(!)--and two of them write for the A&E section. I couldn't help but be a little envious. What can I say except I'm human. I felt like I was watching a special club in which I still haven't been able to gain membership. I haven't gotten out from under the shadow of internships (not that I'm not grateful for all the opportunities I have) but here are these girls who are of similar age and ethnic background and they somehow made shorter paths to very cool career destinations. Yeah, I know a lot of it is timing and luck. But, there's only so many times I can tell myself that without going too nutty. Oh well, if I feel blue, I'll just look at my baby elephant picture (See above).