Han Solo In "Mythomania"

My friend Derek Kirk Kim, cartoonist turned film auteur who's also responsible for the short documentary about the garage (Raina Lee vs. The Infinite Garage) just completed a hilarious web series called Mythomania about the life and times of indie cartoonists. These aren't the guys who draw steroid pumped dudes in capes, but the ones at the small press ghetto at Comicon with Xeroxed and stapled autobiographical masterpieces. Zinesters and other misunderstood artists will be able to relate!

I lent Derek a few nerd props to decorate the cartoonist's living room, such as my life size Han Solo cut out and Bladerunner Laserdisc (mounted on the right wall), the Director's Cut. So I had a minor infatuation with sci-fi era Harrison Ford in high school. Notice my friend Vivian Bang (right), who sported garage fashions last year in her shoot with Vivica Fox. I'm glad the garage gets around!

Anyway, awesome job for a first time filmmaker. Congrats, Derek!


World's Shortest Champagne Tasting Party

Going to dispel the fine wine myth.

Grew curious about the quarter century cases of Riesling and champagne from our beloved Numero Uno Pizzeria. Broke out the bottle of Andre bubbly and knew it was going to be the world's shortest tasting party.

Is old champagne suppose to look like diluted soy? Seemed like I could marinate adobo in it. Sadly, the brut just tasted like vinegar.  

The Gift Undies

I was still uncovering new things before the estate sale, like these delectable (f)undies. NWT (new with tags) from The Limited offshoot Cacique, this navy satin bikini brief has a repeating print of wrapped Christmas gifts!

They're perfect, really. When you put them on, the present is ultimately you.


A Maps of Remainders

There's enough space to rollerskate in the garage, like the goddess Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu. I must say that every time I throw out a few things because I fucking love Xanadu. But this time it's for reals.

To the layperson it may look like a lot of stuff. My good friend Vivian, a Korean minimalist gasped when she saw what I still had left. Unlike the Chinese, Koreans are compulsive chuckers of things. They anti-hoard mainly because like to have new stuff. Chinese people like to keep their old, crappy stuff just like a Depression survivor. Another Korean friend takes clothes to Beacon Closet's every week. But when we're about to go out she complains that she doesn't have anything to wear. Koreans-- you gotta love them.

I think I've done well. I feel as if I'm only carrying a few feathers whereas before I had a giant pile of rocks.

Remainders consist of:
  • Boxes of 1-Up Zine, the video game zine I edit and publish. Keep punk rock publishing alive--  buy some for your local bookstore! 
  • Electric organ. I couldn't sell it. Maybe it was because the ex came over and played it once, and we had a nice time. Or I'm just not giving up the idea of having an Infinite Garage Band, even if I don't have a garage in my next place of residence.   
  • Trash pile.  
  • Donation pile.  
More about the estate sale later. I haven't been updating because I've been busy freaking out about the sale, but I'm back before I start freaking out about the contractors. The sale however went swimmingly. It also did not lack drama. Someone got slapped. Someone got tossed out the front door and crashed with a great thud. Old friends and lovers came by. It felt a bizarro "This Is Your Life" amongst a crowd of people fighting over my things and memories.

So the Garage isn't over yet. How do you punctuate infinity? I'm still trying to find a way.

Waiting for Salvation to load it all up tomorrow.


Fashion Friday: Political Fashion

As a kid I remember a handful of inspirational Chinese Americans ladies in the public eye. Ice skater Tiffany Chin, news anchor Connie Chung, and California Secretary of State March Fong Eu. It was nice to know that I didn't have to grow up to be the mousy, awkward Asian that most of us are raised to be. I could figure skate, work in news media, and even run for political office. I went on to do all three, if you count my appointment as ASB slideshow historian at Peninsula High as political office.

My parents were not particularly political, sometimes swaying Republican because their aversion to democratic taxes, other times standing completely still. What excited them however was the Chinese lady in the California state office. Since all Chinese people know each other, my parents ended up at a political fundraiser for March Fong Eu in the mid 80s, where this photo took place. March Fong Eu was the first Asian American woman voted to state constitutional office and served almost 20 years. She comes from the illustrious California Fong political clan, which also spawned Republican terror Matt Fong.

I love that March took photos with people in front of a Victorian-age portrait of herself. Do you look at the real or fake? She might have thought, "If I put myself out there enough times, as clones or flat likenesses you will have to remember me again and again." 


Golden Shark Fins

Found a box of golden wings and marveled. They are actually dried shark fins, calcified bundles of clear golden fibers that curl like hair at the ends. They glistened. They smelled of the ocean. I hate to say it, but they smelled like the end of a multi-course Chinese banquet, which is shark's fin soup.  

To the Chinese, shark's fins are the penultimate delicacy. The soup can fetch $100 a bowl. It's served as a display of wealth and cultivate at fancy banquets and weddings. But the past few decades the Chinese obsession with shark's fin soup has lead to the gradual extinction of the species. Fisherman "fin" the sharks, a horrific practice where the fins are cut and the de-finned sharks get thrown back into the ocean. In recent years global movements have risen up against the sale and consumption of shark's fins. Yao Ming stated he will never eat shark's fin soup again, and the state of Hawaii was the first in the U.S. to ban the sale. My dad's family loved consuming exotic and obscenely expensive Chinese cuisine (dried mussels, abalone, or dried roe) so this is not surprising. It's just very strange

The fins themselves don't taste like much. After they are soaked they become a gelatinous noodles that is rubbery like calamari but also crunchy. You're in it for the soup. It's faintly fishy, supposedly with restorative health properties. I can recycle these golden shark fins one day for a very special occasion like my wedding or much closer on the horizon, when I finally move out of the house. Yes, these will be the last shark fins I will ever eat. 


Electric Organ From The Infinite Garage Band

My tiger parents had me hitting the ivory keys at age three. We had an upright Yamaha which didn't get as much use as it should have. I played for seven years, long enough to learn Fur Elise, the most widely recognized song in Taiwan. There, you'll hear it in electric greeting cards, music boxes, and as department store Muzak. I learned the piece to please my mother. Only after then did she finally allow me to give up my not-so-great piano career. 

To inspire me even more, my parents purchased this Schafer and Sons Electric Organ. It's been in the garage for over two decades now and I'm stoked that it even works. It has all sorts of instrument sounds like the Hawaiian slack guitar and the banjo, and has canned beats like Bossa Nova, Teen Beat, March, and Dixieland. I'm now equipped to start my low-fi Infinite Garage Band which will only feature instruments from the garage! It's going to be a bitch to go on tour with the organ though.

Here's a demo: 


Music Monday: The Frog Prince

From my grandfather's record collection, the Frog Prince.

There is something weird happening on this record sleeve. Some fight for attention. The pretty girl sweeping her hair back, interrupted by the small man in the corner signaling "Stop! I have my shirt buttoned all the way down! She is nothing!" 

My aunt said the dude is a singer named Gao Ling Feng. He was short and flamboyant in the 70s. He always travelled with two hot chicks. He called himself the Frog Prince, because even though he had toad-y looks he wanted to ladies to know he was a prince on the inside. During his later years he started wearing low cut jumpsuit like Elvis. Fittingly, he was best known for a song called, "Flaming Phoenix."  
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