Friday, November 28, 2008

순두부 찌개. Soondubu, soft tofu stew.

Soondubu jjigae from Maangchi on Vimeo.


12 dried anchovies,1/3 cup of kelp, half onion, 5 cloves of garlic, 3 shiitake mushrooms
100 grams of beef, 1 cup of mixed seafood, 3 shrimp
2 green onions, 1 green chili pepper, 2-5 tbs of hot pepper flakes, olive oil, sesame oil
2 tubes of soon du bu (soft tofu), 2 tbs of fish sauce, and 2 eggs

Prepare stock to make tasty Soon du bu:

Pour 5 cups of water into a pot and add 12 dried anchovies after removing intestine part. Add half onion, some dried kelp (about 1/3 cup), 3 dried shiitake mushrooms, 5 cloves of garlic and boil it over high heat. Approximately 10 minutes later, lower the heat to low medium heat and boil it for another 20 minutes. Set aside the stock and take out the mushrooms and chop them into small pieces. Heat your earthen ware (or ceramic pot) on the stove and put 2 ts of olive oil. Chop 100 grams of beef and put it into the pot and stir it. Add the chopped shiitake mushroom and stir it. Add 2 tbs – 5 tbs (1/4 cup) of hot pepper flakes and keep stirring for 1 minute.

* Tips:
2 tbs—mild
3 tbs—medium
4 tbs—hot
5 tbs (1/4 cup)—suicidal hot ! : )

Pour 2 cups of the stock you made. It should be sizzling. Add 1 cup of mixed seafood and 3 shrimp. Add 2 tbs of fish sauce. Cut the 2 tubes of Soon du bu (soft Tofu) in half and squeeze it out into the pot and break the tofu with a spoon several times in the pot. When it boils, add 2 chopped green onions and 1 green chili pepper. Crack eggs and drizzle some sesame oil before serving. Enjoy hearty winter comfort food!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

咸鱼妹;Salt Fish Gurl

First in a trilogy of integrated arts stage productions based on the novel Salt Fish Girl by my friend, Larissa Lai (Van based writer). Cum check out my video installation part of dance performance @ Winchester Theatre on 24/25th.

Friday, June 13, 2008

大佛,你玩我呢?Buddha, r u testing me?

I've only been back in town for a week & it's been 1 too many senseless tragic deaths around me. First Kyle was taken away by Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) essentially Mad this:

Got word today from Dylan's cuzzin that he was gun down last nite while sitting in his Jeep with engine still idling, innocently waiting for a friend just down the street from me! If there is a superior being somewhere, tell him no one is allow to die around me no more dammit!...give it a rest @ least for the rest of this remaining year!

Didn't wanna let all this get to me...So I stopped by crime scene en-route to Thai food tonite shaking my fist in dee wind & shouted out 'f-u!' as I rode my iron horse against dee odds of straying bullets & had myself a hunk of cow 4 dinner in defiance! (of Mad Cow)

Crime scene had police shell case markers everywhere. It looked like Al Capon's St Valentines Day Massacre. They were obviously hit by a spray of gunfire! The black Range Rover was still there & you could still clearly see where bullets had smashed through the windshield and the metal body of the vehicle! But Police investigation is still claiming it as "innocent victims of a car jacking that went wrong". I don't buy that. Why would any1 spray a "marketable" vehicle with bullets if they were trying to jack it?

I don't get Jetlag & was doing fine with the i'm all fucked up stayin up all nite listening to Ethiopian rock n roll wide awake.

...maybe afraid to sleep like I might not wake up again...

In memory of Kyle & Dylan. May you journey to a better & more peaceful place than ours.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

'Opening Shot' revisited...中餐館首播.

My mom said seeing my Chinese name roll up the credit at 7:30 pm tonight on OMNI 2 was dah best Mother's Day gift I've given her so far ! Even though she secretly wishes the broadcaster had gone with
牛仔國... She has put her prodigal son back on dah WILL !

The Chinese version of Chinese Restaurants series debut this weekend on OMNI 2 Television, broadcasting one episode a week for the next 15 weeks. Starting May 10, each half-hour episode will be shown at 7:00 pm Saturday, and repeated at 11:00 pm Saturday and 9:30 pm Sunday. The series is narrated in Cantonese by John Sham, with original language dialogue and Chinese subtitles.

Join us this summer on an epic global journey, travelling from The Canadian Prairies to The Arctic Circle Oceania; stopping along regions in The Carribeans, Latin America, Middle East, The Indian Sub-Continent, Sub-Saharan Africa; bringing you into the lives of extraordinary families as they share moving stories of struggle, courage, displacement and belonging, and what it means to be “Chinese” today.

For information about OMNI 2 schedule, see
For information about Chinese Restaurants & Clips, visit

We don't do Chinese Food deliveries if you get dee munchies for Chicken Balls with dat glow in dah dark florescent orange sauce, but please spread the word for huddles around dah telee....


關卓中編導的《中餐館》系列中文版將於本周末起在OMNI2電視台首播。 自5月10日起,連續15個星期,每個星期六晚上7點至7點半播放一輯,並於當晚(星期六)晚上11點及次日(星期日)晚上9點半重播。本系列所含方言均配有中文字幕,並由岑建勳擔任粵語旁白。


Monday, May 05, 2008

I gave dis HOTTIE 12" on National Telebision!

"So I just found out from the Slice website that you and dah boyz will be on next Tuesday's episode airing May 13th @ 9:00pm sharp on Slice TV, Channel 41. Looking forward to re-living the moment when I hacked off your mane. My new favourite men's look: Asian Urban Cowboy!  xox Kel."

Superstar Hair Challenge II. See link for multiple air times:

"I considered rocking the faux hawk & lost my locs to this Biker Chic on Slice !"

Sunday, April 20, 2008

背叛. Nerakhoon

Great Film! Check out Ellen Kuras & Thavisouk Phrasavath's repeat screenings on April 22 & 27 @ HotDocs.

"NERAKHOON (The Betrayal)" is the personal story of a Lao family who survives the ordeals of the Lao secret air war. This ordeal starts with the father joining the CIA, the forced exile of the family to America, continuing after the split of the family. It is an epic immigrant drama, full of humanity,wit and tragedy, poetry and ancient philosophy. Its form is unique, merging the documentary and narrative in a poetic memoir with the viseral edge of cinema verite that unfolds over 23 years.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sunday, April 06, 2008

狗!他们正在日本佬,而不是漢人! Jiggah not Chiggah DAWG!

if nigga dont get good grades nigga not gonna go to college if nigga dont go to college nigga cant get job if nigga dont get job nigga dont make money if nigga make no money nigga cant get BMW7series nigga...
...wonder if phucker who posted this is from RFK (Rob Ford Klan). He seems to think all Asians are Chinese.
Asians in video are Japanese dawg! title credit even says JAPAN TV dawg! There're Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Singaporean, Thai, etc. in Asia. Not all the Asians r Chinese, DAWG!...even Russell Peter knows better.
...& not all Han Chinese r anti-Tibetan...not all Chinese r part of BEIJING REGIME! many of us that got slaughtered during TIENNANMEN were HAN CHINESE! DAWG!
Not condoning nor excusing BEIJING REGIME for Tibetan oppression, just want to point out that Chinese r also victims of BEIJING REGIME. Peace & Rice.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

阿婆爆粗. Cursing Grannie.

笑死我呀! This video was apparently posted solely to entertain and not to insult grandma according to the maker. Every1 so far thinks it's my mom but it's not. Although my mom would curse with that same vigorous intensity, but she would also kill me with the same vigor if I ever did this to her online.

Having been shot in Guangdong, I highly doubt that Cursing Grannie would ever have an opportunity to insult any English mom on the other hand does so quite effectively on her own in TO without any lessons from me!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

客家市区牡蛎! HAKKA BALL & Urban Oysters!

Thanx y'all for dee bIRphdAY wIShes...& TINA TURNER's bright red Pomegranate lips w skin tight hugging spandex. Especially to Helen for closing dah nite with me @ late nite Persian Vodka Bar ( on Queen West dat served Dom balan - ‘Urban Oysters’ (lamb testicles marinated in vodka)! 

I tried gettin photo...but 'em horny buggers run away quick! I guess I would too if some1 was tryin tah have my balls with their vodka!

I tink dis officially qualifies me an 'OLD FART' status update!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

现代种族主义范式.Modern Racist Paradigm

A well researched documentary that exposes the "White" Media's long-term agenda to standardize Caucasian people as the "social norm" for general society. Through the globalization and centralization of the "White" media and its constant propagation of repetitive images depicting Caucasians in positive roles and as protagonists while usually depicting Non-Caucasians as background characters and antagonists -- which are often connected to negative themes and stereotypes -- the media elite have been able to effectively condition general society subconsciously into adhering to a racist social hierarchy in which Caucasian people are at the very apex.

The documentary addresses many modern-day internalized racist psychological dispositions (subconscious forms of internalized racism) which are unknowingly passed down from generation to generation due to the globalization and pervasiveness of "Whiteness"; a cultural assimilation process of which, is directly derivative to historical European expansionism, colonialism, and imperialism.

For more detailed research, please go to:

The article in the link above (which has much more information than in the video) also exposes "race" as being nothing more than a social construct. It (the article) exposes the fallacy of "race" and the color labels that are part of it; examples include the terms "Black" and "White", etc., and how those color labels are subconsciously associated with underlying negative and / or positive themes.

Note: This video is designed to serve as an introductory presentation to the article itself.

Note: This is the stuff 'White Media' conjures up! Luvly...huh!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

山珠穆朗玛峰在更好的日子.'给和平一个机会'. Mt Everest in better daze.'GIVE PEACE A CHANCE'

My Han cuzzun with 喇嘛大哥 (ex-Tibetan Lama brother) last month. Would Tibetan brothah turn his knife on Tin Chor this week? Wat dah phuck has happened ?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The '08 Tibet Games.

大昭寺上个月. Jokhang Temple last month.

My Han & Tibetan friends were one with dee Universe last month at Jokhang Temple before the violence erupted... what dah phuck happened last week?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

重访天安門和缅甸.Tiananmen & Myanmar revisited.

Photos from The Economist, the only foreign news organisation with official approval to be in Tibet—which was applied for and granted well before the unrest erupted.
Toilet paper as make-shift Khatas (ceremonial scarves given at greeting or departure),“inviting” China to leave Tibet.

Check out these links:

Thursday, March 06, 2008

我们不是地毯 We're not carpets!

Toronto councillor Rob Ford draws rebuke, saying 'Oriental' people are 'taking over'.

"You want to see workaholics, those Oriental people work like dogs, they work their hearts out, they are workers non-stop. They sleep beside the machine. I'm telling you that's what makes them such hard workers. Those Oriental people are slowly taking over," he said during a council debate on whether or not to keep retail stores open on statutory holidays. His comments were offensive and inappropriate.

Councillor Shelley Carroll quickly retorted by quoting Asian American comedian Margaret Cho who said, "carpets are Oriental, people are Asian."

It's not the first time Ford has been accused of uttering racially-fuelled remarks. In 2002, his colleague Giorgio Mammoliti filed a complaint under the harassment and race relations policy at city hall, saying Ford called him a "gino boy." Ford denied making that comment. It's unacceptable in this city and it's unimaginable that we have an elected official making these comments.

I don't get where 'work like dogs' came from neither...cuzz my bitch just lies around & licks herself all day long! Ford had obviously just passed thru HK on an oriental carpet tour & missed LMF (LazyMuthahFuckahs) WHAT DAH FUCK!

The lyrics are ironically appropriate in Ford's context. It's LMF criticizing Tung's puppet government in HK. They're sayin shit like he's got no dick & should step down & so on...well u get dah drift...

Friday, February 15, 2008

愛是 LazyMuthaFuckas' Valentine

One of my favorite Valentine tunes. I always prefer this live raw version over Sammi's even though 华仔 sounds like he's doing 'a constipated Elvis on the throne'!

Sammi's video looks like a bad PSA...But it's quite funny if you play both simultaneously slightly outtah sync like badly dub Kung Fu flix. Why ju LazyMuthaFuckas have to go breaking up!?#!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

你到底爱不爱我?! 'do you fucken love me or not?!’

It wasn't even Kareoki time yet @ my cuzzin’s Fukien Wedding last week when I caught this DJ belting out obliviously ‘你爱不爱我?你到底爱不爱我?’(Do you love me or not? Do you phucken love me or not?!) with his IPOD headsets on as if no one else was listening… one else was watching. I just happen to be passing by to get an extension cable from my car & the dude was on a smoke break.

I Youtubed the song in my futile attempt to decipher its lyrics & here it is:

I speak Cantonese, all I’ve been able to get in my limited Mandarin is the chorus thus far. But the key words 到底 really drives the message home. 到 literally means ‘to arrive at or to get to’ & 底 means ‘the bottom’. I think the chorus is saying ‘let’s get to the bottom, cut the crap & tell me if you love me or not’. So depending on the tone of voice, ‘你到底爱不爱我?’ can be asking sincerely, ‘I need to know, so just tell me, do you love me or not?’ or with a little more intensity, he's sayin ‘do you fucken love me or not?!’ 

Monday, February 11, 2008

我們可以. Bush Is Not America, Amen! 南大門, 告别. Namdaemun farewell...

REST IN PEACE 南大門 NAMDAEMUN. The National Treasure of Korea & one of my favourite Night Markets in Asia was brought to a blaze by arson last nite. I remember buying a knock off Korean made Fender Stratocaster there when I shot 'Broken Roots' few years ago. Considering how much of Korea's historical treasures were destroyed by Japanese occupation (including the city walls that surrounded Seoul up until the early 20th century), it's a shame that someone wouldn't have enough respect for the few landmarks that are still standing.

Friday, February 08, 2008

年初二 開年, 財神倒 . Rebel Of Dah Neon Gods.

Red packets for sale in a Taipei, Taiwan market before the Year of the Rat
Today, we pay tribute to our Ancestors & Deities. It's believed that the second day is the birthday of all dogs so it's tradition to be extra kind to dogs and feed them well (instead of eating them...LOL!). So Bailey, it's your lucky day!

We Cantonese make 開年 'Hoy Neen' offerings to start our business on the 2nd day, burning Joss Sticks & offering food (usually 白斬雞 a whole steamed chicken or 烤魚豬 roast piglet) to our Ancestors & Deities. We pray to be blessed with good luck and prosperity in business for the year. This is also a Cantonese custom done at the beginning of every Hong Kong Teli/Film production. It's treated with utmost priority if not @ least with equal importance to any other pre-pro issues! 

財神; Choi Sun (red face dude in 1st drawing) is the Deity of Prosperity. Though he started as a Chinese folk hero, later deified and venerated by local followers and admirers, Taoists and Buddhists both came to venerate him as a god. 

財神's name is often invoked during the Chinese New Year celebrations. He is often depicted riding a black Tiger and holding a golden rod. He may also be depicted armed with any one of several iron weapons.

Several versions of 財神's political affiliation and subsequent deification have circulated. It is unclear whether he is a genuine historical figure, though the vast majority of stories agree that 財神 lived during the early Qin Dynasty...


ChinesePod? it's not the cuzzin of Godzilla...LOL! If you can ignore her annoying Rice King sidekick Ken, Jenny is a funky online Mandarin tutor podcasting out of Shanghai. If you like this, check out the Superbowl podcast from Feb. 3rd below. Jenny's a real hoot!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

年初一, 新年的回憶...New Year Memoirs

…centre of the table sat a circular wooden dish, enameled and gilded, in whose compartments were oranges no larger than a hickory nut, air dried in sugar, and very palatable; an assortment of rock candies, small Chinese fruits, candied; betel nuts sliced and looking like nutmegs, and melon seeds–as inevitable in their theatres as peanuts in the pits of ours. A dish of mammoth oranges, a saucer of melon preserved in syrup, and many delicacies of which even through our accomplished interpreter, we could not learn the nature, only that they were all to be nibbled, and were not quite offensive to our unsophisticated palates. A saucer of American tobacco and another of the saffron-colored fine-cut Chinese tobacco always stood side by side...
Lunar New Year, Quesnel Forks, Cariboo Gold Rush circa 1890's.

I posted this because like everyone else at the time, my Great Grand Father had gone up to Quesnel Forks initially for gold, but saw an opportunity to provide food for those too busy looking for gold. He opened the only canteen/food store in town. I sojourned to Quesnel Forks in '93 & found the only building left in semi collapse with 年画 faded Chinese New Year idioms throughout, 菜乾 dried preserve vegetables still hanging intact from the ceiling & what appeared to be two fire pits for large woks in what would have been the kitchen.

My fondest memories of Lunar New Year were those growing up in 長沙灣 Cheung Sha Wan, my old hood in Nine Dragons 九龍. The smell of Joss Sticks conjuring spirits to summon me back to a long lost land. I'm guided through winding alleyways carpeted with firecracker flakes & the scent of burning offerings from the sprinkling of Buddhist temples dedicated to various Deities. 

長沙灣 was a congested, poor ghetto full of cottage industry factories (where Li Ka-shing 李嘉诚, now the richest man in Asia started out with his modest plastic flower manufacturing) & government housing projects with Mah & Pah whore houses fronting as barbershops. We didn't have much 紅包 (lucky money). But we always took time out & indulged with food over the Lunar New Year Holidays.

I remember gorging out on all sorts of deep-fried things like 芋头角 (taro grenades as we kids use to call 'em), and Mah & Granny always made these rock hard dumplings filled with sugar, coconut and peanuts inside then deep-fried. They were so rock hard you can throw them against the wall & cause some damage for sure! She doesn't make them anymore & now I miss them...perhaps only becuzz they were called 角仔, which sounds like my name sake in Cantonese.These taste memories lasted over 45 years in my mind until, one day, I realized the deliciousness was not from the taste but from the deep rooted memories of my soul to the land that raised me.

Today, we welcome Deities of the heavens and earth. Like many Buddhists, we abstain from meat consumption on the first day because it is believed that this will ensure longevity for them. But I thought it mirrored my Western New Year resolution which was to get healthy just so I can wreck myself good all over again with booze, drugs & dark angels LOL! Some also consider lighting fires and using knives to be bad luck on New Year's Day, so all food to be consumed were cooked yesterday.

Most importantly, the first day is a time when we visit the oldest and most senior members of the family. So I'm enjoying 羅漢齋 (Buddha's Delight) at Mah's house after my teaching day in the great white north (Seneca@York not Nunavut). Watched Asian game shows on teli (a contemporary NY tradition) with Mah tonite. This was a hilarious tribute to The Beatles.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

恭喜發財 GONG HEI FATT dirty rats!

It's Lunar New Year's Eve 年夕tonite I'm busy helping or more like watching my Mah make Lorr Hon Jai (Buddha's Delight) Hoh Sie Fatt Choi (sounds like 'great life, great fortune or propserity' in Cantonese. But essentially a Sea Moss Stew with Oysters... yum) & Lorr Bak Goh (Daikon Puddin). All Chinese New Year tradition yummies. We Cantonese don't care much for recipes. But for all the Chinese Foodie Virgins, here's my abberation on foodie buddy, Susur's Lorr Bak Goh recipe:

Grate Chinese turnip (Daikon). Mix mushrooms, dried shrimps, Lap Churng (Chinese sausage), seasonings, and sesame oil together. Mix flour and water thoroughly in separate bowl. Combine mushroom mixture with flour and water mixture and heat until thick (do not let boil). Transfer mixture to a bowl and steam for half-hour. Garnish with green onion, coriander, shiitake mushrooms and cooked Lap Churng.

Stuff you need:

3/4 kg Chinese turnip or Daikon (grated)
225 g rice flour
38 g wheat flour
1 tsp dried shrimp (chopped)
1/4 cup shiitake mushrooms (diced)
1/4 cup Lap Churng (Chinese sausage)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
6 cups water
seasoning salt
white pepper 

Monday, February 04, 2008

超级 (super) 碗 (bowl) in Shanghai & 1 unlikely die-hard Cowboys Fan

Worlds collide here as SuperBowl culture gets podcast in Shanghai while Mao rolls over his grave in the face of his worst nightmare, an American invasion...or maybe he's just cursing "炒马特·米兰鱿鱼" which translates "fry Matt Millen squid" a colloquial way of saying "fire dah fucker". Isn't Chinese great!

Here's the NFL teams list:

布法罗比尔 Bùfǎluó Bǐ'ěr Buffalo Bills
迈阿密海豚 Mài'āmì hǎitún Miami Dolphins
新英格兰爱国者 Xīn Yīnggélán àiguózhě New England Patriots
纽约喷气机 Niǔyuē pēnqìjī New York Jets
巴尔的摩乌鸦 Bā'ěrdìmó wūyā Baltimore Ravens
辛辛那提猛虎 Xīnxīnnàtí měnghǔ Cincinnati Bengals
克利夫兰布朗 Kèlìfūlánbùlǎng Cleveland Browns
匹兹堡钢人 Pǐzībǎo gāngrén Pittsburgh Steelers
休斯敦德州人 Xiūsīdūn Dézhōu rén Houston Texans
印第安纳波利斯小马 Yìndì'ānnàbōlìsī xiǎomǎ Indianapolis Colts
杰克逊维尔美洲虎 Jiékèxùnwéi'ěr měizhōuhǔ Jacksonville Jaguars
田纳西泰坦 Jiánnàxī tàitǎn Tennessee Titans
丹佛野马 Dānfú yěmǎ Denver Broncos
堪萨斯城酋长 Kānsàsīchéng qiúzhǎng Kansas City Chiefs
奥克兰突袭者 Àokèlán tūxízhě Okland Raiders
圣迭戈闪电 Shèngdiégē shǎndiàn San Diego Chargers
达拉斯牛仔 Dálāsī niúzǎi Dallas Cowboys
纽约巨人 Niǔyuē jùrén New York Giants
费城老鹰 Fèichéng lǎoyīng Philadelphia Eagles
华盛顿红皮 Huáshèngdùn hóng pí Washington Redskins
芝加哥熊 Zhījiāgē xióng Chicago Bears
底特律雄狮 Dǐtèlǜ xióngshī Detroit Lions
绿湾包装工 Lǜwān bāozhuānggōng Green Bay Packers
明尼苏达维京人 Míngnísūdá Wéijīng rén Minnesota Vikings
亚特兰大猎鹰 Yàtèlándà lièyīng Atlanta Falcons
卡罗来纳黑豹 Kǎluóláinà hēibào Carolina Panthers
新奥尔良圣徒 Xīn'ào'ěrliáng shèngtú New Orleans Saints
坦帕湾海盗 Tǎnpàwān hǎidào Tampa Bay Buccaneers
亚利桑那红雀 Yàlìsāngnà hóngquè Arizona Cardinals
圣路易斯公羊 Shènglùyìsī gōngyáng St. Louis Rams
旧金山49人 Jiùjīnshān sìshíjiǔ rén San Francisco 49ers
西雅图海鹰 Xīyǎtú hǎiyīng Seattle Seahawks

I like 金山49人 translation best!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

'我的藍莓夜 My Blueberry Night'

Looking forward to this release on Feb.13th...hope it's not just a Wong Kar Wai for dummies!

If you're "In The Mood" to ride the "Chunking Xpress" to station "2046" for "My Blueberry Nights" on "Days Of Being Wild" "As Tears Go By" thru "The Ashes Of Time"...drop a line or meet me @ The Memphis Bar & Grill, we just might be "Happy Together". 

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Some Morning Routine!

Although both riders are pretty whacked...I'm more impress with shooting than subject rider in front. Still...some pretty phucked up shooting & riding in Kamakazi NYC traffic. Don't try this @ home kiddies...especially not with your own camera! 

Friday, January 18, 2008

'Opening Shot' revisited

First day of the odyssey and my first shoot with Cheuk. Not sure what to expect. Just doing what I do best… going with the flow.

Big blue Western sky…Endless fields of wheat… A perfect Neil Young album cover shot. Even with the gorgeous warm amber prairie light, it’s so freakin’ cold that I can see my own breath inside the car as we make our way on a two-hour drive from Saskatoon airport to the remote town of Outlook.

We take our time stopping along the way to grab beauty shots of the prairie landscape. It’s magic hour by the time we arrive in Outlook. We drive down the main drag like two modern day gunslingers rolling into the sleepy prairie town. All that was missing were the tumbleweeds and the Chop Suey Western sound track. We arrive at the New Outlook Café, home of “Noisy Jim”. I’ve been looking forward to meeting this old Chinese Cowboy.

My mum nicknamed me Ngow Jai, which has a double meaning, Cowboy or Little Cow. It was old village superstition to hide the identity of the eldest son moi, from the demon so no harm would come to me. Some families gave their number one son female names… but my mum got creative and decided to disguise me as an insignificant Little Cow.

Everyone including my close friends find my whole cowboy obsession odd and eccentric because I’m Asian and not White. Yeah… I don’t look anything like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood, but the whole cowboy spirit has little to do with race. It has more to do with a state of mind, a pioneering spirit of risking the unknown against all odds. Since my ancestors risked the unknowns to build the railroad that eventually connected these wild Western frontiers to the rest of the country, I feel a kinship and birthright to their cowboy spirit. I’m the quintessential Banana Kowboy.

The gregarious cowboy, Noisy Jim, and I have a lot in common. He came to Canada as a “paper son”, as my father did. His adopted dad Chow Yun paid the Head Tax to get into Canada and worked as a houseboy serving rich white folks as my Great Grandfather did. We both came from a long line of family-run Chinese restaurants and speak the same singsong village dialect from Toishan County. I feel a warm familiar déjà vu like a long lost son on his home coming sojourn as I enter the New Outlook Café even though I’ve never been there before.

The odyssey eventually took me around the world to these other diaspora stories...

I went into this journey without any expectations. I believe that expectations only bring you disappointments. So…two cameras, thirteen countries, mega miles of digital media, more mileage than Che’s motorcycle can rev up, copious varieties of Chinese food, an extended global family and five years later… the "fat man’s feet" has shown me more than just the global extent of our culture. It has transcended my own ethnicity and cultural boundaries beyond my imagination. This series has made me much more confident in terms of who I am. I’ve been subconsciously living on the margins without borders for most of my life. But the series became the glue that solidified my experiences and now I’m making peace with that notion.

For more journal archives, please visit Rice Bowl Diaries were my way of keeping balance or sane. Anyone’s questions it may address are as irrelevant as the answers are absurd. The film may be the only possible answer. And getting to it might mean little to anyone but us. I hope to find strength in recollecting my experiences as they had happened… and hopefully by sharing and exposing my vulnerabilities to you. My memories or thoughts in Rice Bowl Diaries might only have resonance then because they’ve been the things helping me move on.

Peace & Rice.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Border

Funny bizz aside. Last night, I watched the premiere of "The Border", CBC’s expensive sensationalized glam fiction about the two prongs of good & evil. The show is indeed slick, well-acted, and not badly written, portraying a gritty faux reality which of course makes it worse.

The CBC world of "The Border" is not mine. I'm not Muslim. However, I could not help but reflect on a different but parallel historical context (The Racist Head Tax & Exclusion Act) that my community is still waiting for remaining redress shortfalls. As China rises to world power, it will become a threat to the US more than Iraq had...& I have no confidence that Canada will not follow Big Brother's homeland security policies & revisit that same historical past.

When I finally got my Canadian Citizenship after being in Canada for over a decade, my White co-worker congratulated me jokingly with " can now officially go to arrivals at the airport, wave your fist in the air and yell "damn you immigrants, coming to steal our jobs!""Not that I would want to call anyone a damn immigrant. But I still don't feel much like a Canadian after all that's said & done with the whole Citizenship shpeel. I still remain on defensive guards in the face of racial profiling & will continue to do so.

I realize that "The Border" is a fictional world and a fictional show. But so much of this type of material gets swallowed up by mass appeal. l think the racial profiling used in the shows online games are irresponsible & more dangerous than our reality. Despite the slick production, this expensive glam show is not doing any good in educating the public, the realities of immigration & border agencies. But it is instead, fueling the life of a long senseless & evil war brought on by corporate America.