26 February 2011

ghetto fob: (it’s time for the) ejaculator

Previously mentioned ghetto fob Michael Kevin Lallana was found guilty this week of “2 counts battery and 2 counts committing a crime for sexual gratification” for ejaculating into the water bottle of a female coworker.

Seriously this is just some nasty isht.. 

Prosecution’s opening statement:

“The defendant says he found Tiffany very attractive. You’re going to hear him say that what essentially turned him on about this is that he knew that her lips had touched that water bottle. And there was something about her lips that kind of touched it and this was as close as he could get to somebody that good looking.”

And for the defense:

“Mr. Lallana never assaulted, because the crimes are assault and battery. The evidence is going to show that Mr. Lallana never assaulted Tiffany G. The evidence is going to show that Mr. Lallana never battered her in any way. The evidence is going to further show that any acts proven that Mr. Lallana did were not as a result of sexual gratification.”

Dude popped off into her water bottle and put it back on her desk.  Twice.  He also went off “into cups, paper, and his own water bottle”.  In the office

Sick, but - according to expert testimony Lallana is actually suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

“A psychologist said he showed a pattern of a need for admiration, immature behavior, and passive-aggressive tendencies.”

Immature behavior: check.  Passive-Aggressive tendencies: check.  However I’m not sure how what he did fulfills his need for admiration.  Try again.

An expert witness also stated that:

“…as a Filipino man, Lallana claimed that he was often disturbed by the thought that Asian women would choose Caucasian men over Filipinos. Lallana also claimed that his own mother preferred--she herself married--a Caucasian.”

Ok Ok WAIT.  I understand how you could feel that way. Filipino (and I would argue all Asian American) men have been fighting that one for ages.  THAT DOESN’T GIVE YOU THE PERMISSION TO PUT YOUR STUFF IN A WHITE GIRL’S WATER BOTTLE AND PUT IT BACK ON HER DESK.

I can’t think about this anymore.  I don’t need to know why.  I don’t want to know why.  I hope this poor woman can move on with her life and that no one ever associates her with this story ever again.

All I know is that I’m gonna be freaking myself out around water bottles like when I was a kid watching Prince of Darkness for the first time late at night.  It really wasn’t that great of a movie but I couldn’t touch a dang mirror after dark for a week.

[ABS-CBN: Alleged Filipino ejaculator confesses | Psychoanalyst: Ejaculator is not a sex offender | Pinoy 'ejaculator' found guilty of sexual crime]

24 February 2011

Chicago's First Asian-American Alderman

Overshadowed recently by the news that Rahm Emanuel would be the first non Daley Chicago mayor in over 20 years is that Rahm's own 47th Ward had other things to be celebrating.

Ameya Pawar, a long shot against current Alderman Gene Schulter's hand picked (and well funded) successor picked up over 50% of the votes (50.78% to be exact, and avoiding a runoff) in a ward whose residents are only 5% Asian-American. 

Chicago born from Indian immigrants Pawar grew up the north suburb of Des Plaines, is a fellow Alum from IIT, and holds another master's out of the University of Chicago.  He has been living in the 47th ward for the past four years and was an unexpected surprise victory in this week's elections.  (Even my mom, who still lives in the neighborhood was pretty excited.  "The Asian guy won!" were the first words out of her mouth when I spoke to her after the elections.)

From the Chicago Tribune:

Pawar, 30, entered the race last year as a long-shot outsider against 35-year incumbent Eugene Schulter. He pulled together a few friends with political experience, turned his North Center apartment into a campaign office and hit the streets.

"After a few months, I figured out how much I could walk in a night," said Pawar, a program assistant at Northwestern University's Office of Emergency Management.
And further from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Pawar was able to pull of his stunning victory because he worked hard, personally knocking on 80 percent of the doors in the ward, and because people liked his message, he said.

"People are voting on issues," Pawar said. "A lot of these long-time
Also from the Trib:

Pawar said he will accept only $60,000 of an alderman's $110,000 salary and will only seek two terms in office.
Pawar for the People indeed.  So, congratulations 47th Ward, and congratulations Ameya Pawar.  Let's have lunch on me - I'm partial to Budacki's on Damen, but whatever works for you..

[www.renewchicago.com]
[Chicago Sun-Times: City's first Asian American alderman glad to have 'seat at the table' ]
[Chicago Tribune: In 47th Ward, a long-shot outsider relishes his victory]

22 February 2011

must be asian, right?

Here’s the story – mom is pissed that her 15 year old son isn’t pulling his grades.  ‘Conventional’ punishment like stopping phone privileges don’t work, so she forces him to stand on a street corner with a sign telling the world what his GPA is, hoping that the embarrassment alone would push him to do better.  When mom is criticized she says, “In the long run he’ll thank me for it.”

Must be Asian, right?

When I first heard of this all I could think of was, “Dang it don’t be Asian. Don’t be Asian.  Seriously, don’t be Asian.  The last thing we need is to push this stereotype further.”

I feel bad for the kid (and yes I would still feel bad for him if he was Asian), and according to the story there may be potential for a happy ending here as he has now been setup with a mentoring program. 

At the same time I can’t help but think what the ending of this report may have been if this dude had been Asian.

[MyFoxTAMPABAY.com: Corner punishment is working, Mom says]
[via Chicago News Report]

21 February 2011

news

I never really hung out with my dad that much when I was growing up.  One of the few consistent times I'd be able to spend time with him would be on Sunday mornings.  My mom was always the one who wanted to go to the first mass of the day, so when we'd get back home my dad would usually still be sleeping.  I'd get myself some cereal and try to get it to their bedroom (it had the TV in it) without spilling anything.
 
You see, when I was still in grade school the one day of the week I could chill with my dad was only possible because of two things.  One was Samurai Sunday.  (All you Chicago cats should know what I'm talking about.)  Each Sunday, a new poorly dubbed kung fu flick, complete with all the acrobatics and goofy sound effects.  We'd sit there and watch until it was over and then he'd take off to do whatever he went and did.
But prior to the movie starting (or maybe it was directly after, I don't remember anymore) there was another show I'd watch with him.  Some days my mom would might stop whatever she was doing and sit with us for a little bit when it came on.  It was a locally produced show about news from the Philippines.  I never really understood what my dad saw in it back then.  To be honest, as a kid all it was to me was a bunch of clips and people talking about what my dad called home, but I didn't have that same feeling he did.  
This was back in the day before cable or the internet and all that, and I don't think I ever appreciated what that show meant to him back then.  I mean, today the world is much smaller.  Technology's made it possible to access news from around the world wherever I am.  News feeds allow me to scan headlines from Philippine sources any time of the day.  Today you could pay some extra cash for TFC or GMA or whatever and watch the actual shows being put on over there.  Back then the only news was on the local news shows on broadcast television.  For Philippine news all you had was whatever you could get your hands on at your closest Filipino store.  Maybe if you were lucky a sentence or two would show up in the newspaper's International section, but in terms of media that was pretty much it other than this.
Although I didn't really understand it then, I think just sitting there watching and listening to my dad talk about what he saw reinforced in me that there was a whole part of our history, another part of us that he was trying to stay connected to.  Outside of the occasional hand written letter or the late night crappy sounding collect call, this was his link to his country, his past, and his family.  And it was in those small moments that it became a part of mine as well.
I don't think it was until I had kids of my own that I started to think about hard about my childhood.  To be honest I've spent most of my life trying to find ways to forget most of it.  Parenthood changes you I suppose, trying to make it so they don't have to go through the same crap I did.  In the end, isn't that why our parents tried to get here?  As much as my dad wanted to keep that link alive, I hope that I'm able to continue it with my own kids and that it doesn't stop there.
Thanks for reading.

15 February 2011

bamboo bikes

Some cool stuff coming out of the Philippines.  Well, at least cool to me.

While this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a bike made out of bamboo, it’s the first time I’ve seen it as a base product for a company.  I have to admit I’m not so sure about what would happen to a bamboo frame long term, but if they can create a niche for themselves in the bike world and provide jobs for the local folks who needs them, who am I to argue.  Local materials and local labor sound like a win to me.


(For all you hipsters out there, imagine showing up to your local ride with this fixie..)

Looking around on their website, I have to admire the workmanship in the closeups of these frames. I don’t agree so much with his arguments that bamboo bikes could start to replace traditional materials used in frames, especially if the frame itself runs between $500 – $600.  Once you add up all the other components you could be looking at a grand just to get the thing on the road, and I personally don’t know that many people right now with a lot of disposable income for that. 

Maybe I’m wrong though.  While you’re never going to see anyone win the Tour on a bamboo frame, I think it would be pretty cool to see more of these around.

On a side note, I miss being on my bike.  I used to travel the whole city on two wheels, doing errands and commuting to work.  The responsibilities of having a young family have pretty much sucked up all the time I would have spent on the road.  It’s been probably four years (and twenty pounds) since I last spent any significant miles with my bike.  I was healthier and a lot less stressed back then, and I need to figure a way to get myself back to that.

[bambike.com]
[reuters.com: Bamboo bikes – a growth industry]
[Calfee]

11 February 2011

a video game based on illegal immigration?

I don’t know what bothers me more about this.  The idea that someone makes a video game about illegal immigration, or their justification for it.

The game is Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration.  It’s a simple concept – you’ve got a truckload of folks in the back of a pickup and you floor it to the border trying to get as many as you can across.  A Green Card is awarded to those who get the most people over the border safely, while a Smugglers Run award can be had for getting over the fastest with at least one passenger.

Insensitive?  Absolutely.  But hey, it’s a free country so I’ll give you that.  What bugged the hell out of me was their justification for making it.  Apparently I’m getting too sensitive in my old age, because it’s satire:

“Smuggle Truck was inspired by the frustration our friends have experienced in trying to immigrate to the United States. With such a troublesome issue being largely avoided in popular media, especially video games, we felt the best way to criticize it was with an interactive satire.”

“This idea originated as a result of learning that the process of legal immigration was not as straightforward as we had assumed. As we lived through a painful 12 months of our friend struggling through the absurd legal minefield that surrounds U.S. immigration, we felt that we should create a game that touches on the issue. The comment was thrown around that "it's so tough to legally immigrate to the U.S., it's almost easier to smuggle yourself over the border", and thus Smuggle Truck was born.”

So, I’m supposed to believe that you were so frustrated with your friends trying to get into the States legally that your only outlet was to create a video game about Mexicans doing border runs.  And you think that it’s easy to do it in real life.

“Throughout the creation of the game, we maintained a meticulous eye to avoid depicting stereotypes and specific locales.”

Hrmm… last I knew there were only two countries bordering the US.  And I don’t believe illegal Canadians are coming over through the desert.  But again, I’m probably being overly sensitive over this whole deal.  Maybe the next version can be a bunch of Chinese folks sneaking in via cargo ships, or a bunch of Filipinos posing as caretakers.  How about a first person version for the WII or Kinect so that you could actually be the border runner!  

There are dangerously real reasons why people risk their lives trying to get into this country.  Trivializing it by making a video game out of it and calling it satire will do nothing to help move the discussion forward.

[Sign On San Diego: Immigrant smuggling video game called insensitive]
[FOX Chicago: Boston company draws fire for 'Smuggle Truck' immigration game app]

08 February 2011

04 February 2011

snow politics

Anyone who lives (or has lived) in Chicago long enough knows there are VIP lists for everything.  And snow is definitely no different.  Almost every neighborhood kid knew which homes had clout, and God help those who didn’t have anyone special living close enough to them.

A veteran employee at Chicago Streets and Sanitation says his department has a "priority list" of who gets plowed first. It is said to be unwritten but understood, and it features the names and home addresses of well-connected Chicago political figures and sometimes their families, including numerous current members of the City Council.

Funny to see on the original article how some of the Alderfolks are speaking up with the not me’s

The best part?  When the news crew gets to Alderman Sandi Jackson’s house, the plow comes by with her riding shotgun.  On her street.

We can’t make this stuff up, as all you folks in Chicago probably know all too well.

[Second City Cop: Nicely Played Aldercreature!]
[ABC 7: Intelligence Report: Not all side streets created equal]

03 February 2011

snow

And this is how you take advantage of a crappy situation… my thoughts to the folks stuck on the Drive for hours on end only to have to abandon and walk through the mess yesterday.