A Dark Cloud And A Coke Machine

My mom in front of lush hills in Taiwan. A water stain on the Polaroid looks like a dark cloud hovering.

Here she is blurry in bright blue against Coke red. 


Asian Goonies Never Say Die

I was in love with Data from The Goonies. My god, he invented the Pinchers of Peril and Slick Shoes! Also, there weren't any other non-dorky Asians to crush on so he was the obvious choice. My weekly ritual was watching a recording of The Goonies I had taped off TV. I'd switch between that and Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, where he played Indy's Cantonese cursing sidekick. Then I'd play the Goonies 2 Nintendo game. You can tell I'm one of those people at revival screenings who shouts every line of the film.

A college friend was family friends with the actor Ke Huy Quan and lent me her autographed photos. I suppose they're on permanent loan since I haven't given them back. The backstory is Ke (or Jonathan as he goes by now) is ethnic Chinese from Vietnam, and grew up in Alhambra. I'm glad he's one of the only FOB character actors who made Asians look badass.

I tried to stalk him when he was going to USC film school but was unsuccessful at securing a date. I am also disappointed with myself that I didn't make it to The Goonies reunion earlier this year.   

In perfect stalker form, I have photos of him at a pool party with my friend Lyn (to the right of Ke). 

Ys Strategy Guide In Chinese

As a kid I collected import Japanese games for an obscure gaming system called the PC Engine. I wanted to learn Japanese so I could play text heavy, convoluted role playing games like Ys. I had Ys Book I and II in Japanese and the strategy guide in Chinese. I consider this attempt a total failure since I could read neither.

Ys II, how luscious! So like Slave Leia.


I like the creature with infinite teeth. He has a mouth within a mouth within a mouth.

(FYI I do a super zine about video games. I know its old but you can get it here.)


The Ladies Of Chinese Pop On Cassette Tape

If I had a tape deck in my Honda Accord, I could take the ladies of Chinese pop everywhere I go.

I'd take Teresa Teng, the favorite of all Chinese around the world. (See Maggie Cheung in Comrades, Almost A Love Story for a full explanation of how much the Chinese love Teresa Teng.)

The ladies of Chinese pop are moody and sensitive. They are thinking about past lovers and the sorrows of living. They have many faces. 

Here are a sample of their sounds. This is Teresa Teng's "Mei Jiu Jia Ka Fei" according to Shazam. My mom used to play a tape like this as she'd drive me to school in the morning. 

I can't catch all the words but I know she is singing "one glass followed by another glass." It sounds like she's trying to convince her lover to stay for just one more drink. I'm going to have to get this translated.

Most of the tapes are warped or just really bad, but I'm going to start posting the better ones. I have to since I just keep coming across more tapes!

I couldn't identify the following song but I know my mother liked it. I've heard it so many times that I know every verse. I call it the Horserider's Song. It has wind effects like you're in the Sahara, and synth trumpets over a beat that sounds like galloping horses. 

This spring, I happened to be in Taipei around the fifteenth anniversary of Teresa Teng's death. Teresa on the news all day and her music was being played on every station, as if she had just died. At the top of Asia's tallest building Taipei 101 was a shrine of her merchandise and a life like cut-out.

Miss Teresa, I still have your tapes!


Mini Skirt Dresses My Grandmother Made For My Mother, 1975

A box of Wearever cookware contains a trove of dresses. The post-it reads, "mini skirt dress fx [sic] (my mother) made for me, 1975." 

Is "Fx" suppose to be "fix" as in fix these dresses? "Mother" in parenthesis is either a mistake or my mother wanting to emphasize her mother.

My mother was heartbroken when her mother died so I'm not surprise she wanted to keep these things, even if they were outdated minidresses that no longer fit her.

Here what's inside the box.

A burst of color and a red silk flower. Dresses she wore when she was young.  

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