Thursday, August 30, 2007


Among the many things I've been remiss in is letting yall know when I've put a new post up on the Anti-Racist Parent site at or follow the link to the right (see, 'cause Carmen will email me and ask, "Where's your post?" and I'll be like, "OH, shit! It has been a minute . . ." and I'll pencil-in time to write something. But, see for this here blog, if it's not Xander saying "Wassup wit the posts?!" then I'm like, "It can wait." And wait. And wait.). Since the last time I told you about a new post, there have been two. The first one was about my thoughts and feelings regarding an attempted murder-suicide between my uncle and aunt earlier this year (my uncle attempted to murder my aunt and then he killed himself). That was posted on May 9th. The most recent one was posted August 8th and it's about transracial adoption, giving some do's and don'ts for people who are or will be transracially adoptive parents. These articles can be easily accessed by going to the home page and clicking on my name under the "Authors" list in the right-hand column. Or you can go to

Now before any of yall go to read these posts, let me just say a couple of things. Before I submit most of these posts to Carmen, I really struggle over whether or not I should--I mean, I have come really close to not submitting them and posting them up. For one thing, there're very personal. I write mostly about my life and, so far, I have focused on not-so-very-happy things. This is mainly b/c this website is about being "anti-racist" and how to be better parents--or just people--with that kind of consiousness, so I write about my own experiences with racism, especially as a kid growing up around my white family. But while these posts tend to serious, I am grateful for the opportunity to write them b/c I get to talk about things that mean something to me but that I don't get to address.

The last post I wrote about transracial adoption was a departure from what I usually write in that it wasn't about me per se but about what I've learned from the countless transracial adoptees I've met over the years while writing and performing poetry. In this post, I share some personal stories that had been shared with me by certain folks (all with their identities protected, of course), so that I can issue a warning of sorts to any people reading the blog who might be considering transracial adoption. I was responding to a comment that a white woman had submitted to an earlier post by someone else where she became very defensive about being white and wanting to adopt a child from another country/race (Ethiopia/black). I volunteered to do this after much deep thought and internal debates about whether or not I had a right to speak out about and for transracial adoptees. And to make the points I thought were imperative to make, I knew that I would have to share some details from private stories told to me, running the risk of stepping on adoptees' toes or, possibly, upsetting a reader who may have been one of those adoptees over the years who has told me their personal stories of pain and struggle.

I am in awe of and respect so much the adoptees who have waited in line after a show to spill out their hearts to me, sometimes telling me in five or ten minutes all the heartache they have endured for a lifetime. And honestly, this rush of pained words is what prompted me to write the post--b/c I have known pain in my life and I care when I feel someone else's. And I kept thinking "What else can I do with some of these stories but try to make things better?" And so I wrote the post and submitted it to Carmen--releasing it and letting it affect how and who it will.

Now, I don't usually read or respond to comments that folks make about my posts--I've learned over the years that reading other folks' comments sucks away any postive energy I have--I'm challenged enough in that regard. But I was really concerned about this post, so I read the comments. Anyway, I'm writing all this now b/c I just want to say to any adoptees who may read it and feel "uncomfortable" like they've "just walked into a room where everybody is talking about" them (I'm paraphrasing one person's comment), I'm very sorry for over-stepping any boundaries. I also want to tell anyone who may recognize their story in the post, that I'm sorry if you feel betrayed in any way; I really took great pains to make sure all stories were anonymous, except for the last one which is a summary of my friend Dan's recent dramatic monologue performance titled "Perfect" from the "Edge of the World" show we did in June. Above all, though, I want folks to understand that with sincere intentions, I wrote this post to be a mirror to white parents or anyone else who may be adopting children of another race--to assess the image coming back to themselves so that they may have greater respect, love and appreciation for their adopted children and make adjustments where necessary. With these hopes, I do not regret anything I have written.

Much love always,

Friday, August 17, 2007

NAATF and Saying Good-Bye to AAI

Back on June 10, I performed in the last show to be held in the Asian Arts Initiative's Cherry Street space. That weekend, AAI previewed shows that would be featured at this year's National Asian American Theater Festival, held in NYC mid-late June. I was one of the writers/performers in the "Edge of the World" show, which was conceived by Omar Telan. Other members of the writers/cast included Dan Kim, Anula Shetty, Regie Cabico, Gary San Angel, Robert Karimi, Traci Kiriyama, Ryan Suda, Kristina Wong, John castro, and Royd Hatta. Here are pics of us rehearsing in the space that Sunday before the final show at the Inish:

After our show, Asian Arts Initiative staff members passed out small pieces of paper and asked audience members to write down a hope or message for the future of AAI. We then tied our "hopes" to helium-filled balloons which were released one-by-one out of the Inish's windows.

The staff officially vacated the space at the end of June, and we anticipate the opening of the new space on Vine Street sometime in the near future. I leave you with pictures of some of the messages folks wrote on the walls of the Asian Arts Initiative, including mine and Catzie's. Good-Bye, Cherry Street--you have given us many wonderful memories.

Much love always,

Thursday, August 16, 2007


FINALLY, I have some time to post something new on this neglected blog. One things I/we haven't been keeping up with is all the shows and other events we've been doing. Ugh, ugh, ugh! To begin the catching up process, here are some photos and details about our feature performance at the The Five Points Variety Hour in Chinatown, NYC held at the end of June.

We double-featured with Harry and Mark from Two Warriors:

That's Mark on the left and Harry on the right. This is the best picture I have--most of the pictures came out too dark, and since I wanted to get a post out on-the-double, I didn't have time to fix it on Picasa! Sorry we can't really see your faces, guys!

Anyway, there were so many wonderful folks performing at the show--and my pics are too dark. It was the first time I really saw Adriel and Ruby from Ill-Literacy--really amazing and charismatic. I've probably seen Adriel before and the memory of it has been sucked away in the nether-areas of my "Mommy Brain." Speaking of which--if you ever come up to me and tell me that we've met and I look completely blank, please don't be upset or take it personal. Having kids has given me a severe case of "Mommy Brain" filled with and distracted by all kinds of mommy-need-to-know things like drinking too much juice will make the kids pee themselves, or watching Hi 5 and Spongebob on a loop won't make my kids comatose, or pizza is a good meal 3 days-in-a-row. If it's not a mommy-need-to-know thing, then I have to write it down or it's into some other irretrievable abyss within my brain.

Anyway, because I got to Silk Road Mocha so late (oh-my-god, traffic was sooo bad coming into NYC) I didn't get a good seat. Feliza found a spot for Myong and me on the far wall from the stage-area--Catzie got much closer but, alas, I don't think she was taking pictures. Well, here are some pics that aren't too bad. First, Jeannel, who I seem to remember read a poem in Edison but only introed folks this night at Five Points:

And here's an amazing young poet who we first met when we double-featured earlier in the year with Two Warriors at Ti-Fusion in Edison, NJ. I believe his name is TJ--Mommy Brain!--and he has great stage presence and some good poems. This night, one of my favorites was the one he did acting out a video game.

Finally, here's a picture of me and my daughter, Myong, with my friend, Doris (wearing the red jacket and who is married to Dan Kim of Asians Misbehavin') and her friends, Chris and Allsion, who came out to see the show:

Thanks, guys, for coming to see us! And thanks, also, to my friend Jessica who made it to the show just in time to see us perform and who walked with Myong and me back to our car.

Even more and brighter pics can be viewed here from The Five Points website. Myong really enjoyed the young lady who sang that night, Alexandra Kelly. Her dad was sitting next to me in the audience and overheard Myong ask me if she could get her autograph. He gave Myong a free copy of Alexandra's CD. The funny thing was he had no idea I was going to be performing later that night, and after our Yellow Rage set, he came up and said to me, "You just never know who you might be sitting next to."

Our next show was on July 13 at East Meets West Bookstore in Cambridge, MA, and was organized and sponsored by Boston Progress Arts Collective.

Catzie was running late and the place started to get packed--and, boy, did it get hot in there! You'll be able to tell b/c in all the pics my face is bright red--ugh!

Finally Catzie showed up, but we started rehearsing and I didn't get to see anyone perform. So I only have pics from after the show was over. Here are some pics with folks we met and with members of Boston Progress.

You can read the post about the show on the Boston Progress Radio website. I think some of our performance and an interview we did are also being aired on Boston Progress Radio, so tune in--but don't tune in just for us. Listen to all the great APIA artists and musicians that BPR is playing too. Anyway, here are Eugene and Delia, two of the wonderful people we met from Boston Progress:

They were so nice--they picked me up at my hotel and brought me back after the show. Because this trip to Cambridge/Boston was my family's vacation this summer. Although I've been to the Boston-area a few times before, it's always been to perform and I pretty much just zip in and zip out, and I never get a chance to enjoy the city. So my husband and I thought we'd attempt our first family vacation with ALL the kids--which means we braced for any toddler-tantrums from Victor and Vanessa.

All-in-all, it was a good vacation even with the couple of screeching meltdowns Vanessa had and the wrestling that took place every night trying to get the kids to lay down and go to sleep. Here are some pics of us vacationing. First, Myong and me at Boston Harbor:

My son, Victor, was so enthralled with the living statue performer outside of Faneuil Hall, who moved and gave you a fortune when you put a dollar in his/her collection thingie:

My husband (in the blue t-shirt) let Victor put $1 in two different times, and during both, Victor was so excited and tickled when the performer started moving--afterwards he kept talking about it and wanted to hold the fortunes in his hand most of the afternoon (he eventually lost them). I think Vanessa was a little scared even though she's the little-Rage in the making. Don't mess with Nessa--she'll bite, scratch, kick, and punch if you make her mad enough. You wouldn't know it from this sweet face, huh?

Don't let her fool you--she don't play! How's this for a mean face?

That's my little Buttercup! And here's my whole beautiful family:

Some lady offered to take our picture while we were on a harbor cruise. This was right before Vanessa's major meltdown which Catzie witnessed later in Boston Common. But we had a great time; Boston was good to us while we were there. So I leave you with this gorgeous view of the city, taken while we were out on the harbor.

I'll try to post again soon--there's so many updates from the last show at AAI's Cherry Street space to the National Asian American Theater Festival to the APIA Spoken Word and Poetry Summit. I'll get on it soon!