Archive for July, 2011

Are You Going To Give…

a shit? As the vociferous Netflix war rages on, comedians have their turn at responding. See, I’m not the only one who thinks this is ridiculous apparently.

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Interview with Will Friedle, Matt Mercer & Kevin Michael Richardson

Spoke too soon. I get to see him after all. Does his shirt look familiar? Must be his “Go To'” shirt.

Seeing this video today really cheered me up as I was thinking about my late grandpa. The funeral is tomorrow. It just shows how little it takes to put a smile on my face.

On another note, just got a text message from someone asking to write a screenplay together about our culinary school days. Oh the memories of drama & crazy people came flooding back to me. I’d love to write about that. It’d be an exposé! ;0)

Rags To Bitches

Our women’s group, PMSTA, is having a comedy show fundraiser, Rags To Bitches, on 8/18/11 at Spice Monkey Restaurant in Oakland! Please spread the word and buy your tickets early!

08/18 Rags to Bitches Comedy Show

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT

July13, 2011

Maggie Suarez-Calixton pmsthruart@gmail.com (510) 386-1595

Pinays Maintaining Sisterhood Through Art

presents

RAGS TO BITCHES

Filipina Standup Comedy Show

WHEN: Thursday, August 18th

7:30pm to 9:30pm

WHERE: Spice Monkey Restaurant

1628 Webster Street

Oakland, CA 94612

TIX: $10 Advance http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/189271

$15 – $20 Sliding Scale at the Door

Please join us in celebrating Pinays Maintaining Sisterhood Thru Art’s new production by attending the RAGS TO BITCHES COMEDY SHOW featuring the best of Filipina American standup comedy headlined by comedian Kat Evasco. Featured comedians are Lilibeth Helson, Aivy Cordova and Tatiana Dayers.

RAGS TO BICHES will take place on Thursday, August 18th from 7:30PM-9:30PM at the Spice Monkey Restaurant located at 1628 Webster Street in Oakland, CA. It’s a show that will lead you with tears of laughter. Please support us by purchasing advance tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/189271. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 – $20 Sliding Scale at the door.

After a 3 year break and with a few new cast mates, Filipina American Women’s theater group, PMSTA (Pinays Maintaining Sisterhood Through Art) is coming back in full force with a new show, “DEATH OF A PLAYER.” A variety of funny and absurd imagination on what goes on in a woman’s mind facing chaotic challenges in life. DEATH OF A PLAYER will be presented in October 2011 at the newly reconstructed Bindlestiff Studio, 185 Sixth Street in the South of Market Area, SF. With this ecstatic news, PMSTA will need to raise a total of $10,000. Please help us reach our goal of $10,000 to further educate and inspire all women in our society by laughing with us at RAGS TO BITCHES.

ABOUT KAT EVASCO

Our comic headliner, Kat Evasco, began her career in stand up comedy at the famous open mic at Brainwash in San Francisco in March of 2007. With dedication and respect for the craft, she continues to perform all over the San Francisco Bay Area at venues including the legendary Purple Onion, the San Jose Improv, the Napa Valley Opera House, the Montblue Casino (Lake Tahoe), and the Haha Cafe (N. Hollywood). Kat is part of the Five Funny Females Festival, has competed in the San Francisco International Comedy Competition 2010, the same competition known for discovering Robin Williams and Ellen Degeneres. In November of 2010, Kat opened for the amazing Marga Gomez at Le Pena in Berkeley and was invited by Marga to perform at the Berkeley GAY COMEDY FESTIVAL in June of this year.

ABOUT PMSTA

Pinays Maintaining Sisterhood Through Art (PMSTA), was founded in November 2007 by a group of former cast mates from the Women’s Show called, “The Fountain of Youth is a 16 oz Jar of Vaseline,” directed by Gayle Romasanta. With much inspiration, the cast mates, Andrea Almario, Aureen Almario, Ann Borja, Kat Evasco, Jamie Nallas, Gayle Romasanta, Tonilyn Sideco, Maggie Suarez-Calixton, Ava Tong, and Nicole Villanueva, decided to open new doors for other women who can voice out their struggles and accomplishments.

Pinays Maintaining Sisterhood Through Art (PMSTA) strives to foster and develop strong, creative expressions and increased visibility of Filipino American women through theater, performance, literature, visual art, and music.

ABOUT BINDLESTIFF STUDIO

Established in 1989, Bindlestiff Studio is the only permanent, community-based performing arts venue in the nation dedicated to showcasing emerging Filipino American and Pilipino artists. Bindlestiff Studio provides the often under-served Filipino American community access to diverse offerings in theatrical productions, music and film festivals, workshops in directing, production, acting, stand-up comedy, and writing, as well as a children and youth theater program.

Bindlestiff Studio

If I Can’t See Him, I’ll Read Him

Just sharing an interview with Will Friedle. My favorite part is where he said “It was so cool. I mean, I try to keep it cool. [In laidback voice] Yeah, I’m playing Lion-O. But man, inside I’m just jumping up and down.” He’s just like me. :0) Thank you, Miss Angela!

“ThunderCats” Star Will Friedle: “It’s just the coolest thing in the world” by Angela Henderson

I admit, I’m totally a geek. I love “Star Wars” (the first three, which are now the last three), I love comic books and comic book movies and especially animated series based on comic books or even action figures…

It all started with the “Wonder Woman” TV series and “Super Friends” when I was a little girl. That morphed into “G.I.Joe” and “ThunderCats” when I got a little older and then “Batman: The Animated Series,” “WildC.A.T.S,” “X-Men,” “Batman Beyond” and now the DC Universe animated movies.

So, it’s no surprise that I love talking about those things. But I never dreamed I’d get to talk about them with someone who’s actually been a part of some of them…

Yet, there I was, talking cartoons, “Star Wars” and much more with Will Friedle, who gave voice to Batman/Terry McGinnis in “Batman Beyond.” He’s currently the voice of Lion-O in the Cartoon Network’s update of ThunderCats, which premieres Friday, July 29th at 8 p.m.

Here’s the transcript of our conversation as we talked about “ThunderCats,” giving voice to the ThunderCat call (“Thunder, Thunder, ThunderCats, ho!”), why we won’t see him on camera again and the wonderful creepiness of one of my all-time favorite animated movies, “Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker.” Plus, Will interviewed me a little about what I thought about the new show…

Tell me how you got involved in “ThunderCats.”

I always say luck. Every time I get to do a show like this, I always attribute it to luck. Luck and friends, I think I would say. I’ve been lucky in that I was able to work with these producers before on a number of other shows and the director Andrea Romano for many, many years. But then like everything else, like every other actor, I had to go and audition. I mean, they don’t just give you anything, no matter how friendly you are. You’ve got to go and you’ve got to earn it. And I originally read for the role of Tygra and started there and found out four or five days later that in fact, I was going to be playing Lion-O and I was just ecstatic.

It was so cool. I mean, I try to keep it cool. [In laidback voice] Yeah, I’m playing Lion-O. But man, inside I’m just jumping up and down.

So I’m going to presume that means you were a fan, or are a fan, of the original.

Was and am. Yes, huge. I was eight years old when “ThunderCats” came out. So I was exactly the demographic for this show and I would run home and watch this as often as I could and it was the coolest thing in the world. I think one of my first crushes ever was on Cheetara. So the idea that I got a chance to then do the new version of the show was…I still don’t really believe it. It’s funny, Matthew Mercer, who plays Tygra, occasionally whether it’s after the ThunderCats call or some other cool ThunderCats line, we’ll both look at each other and again, it’s like we’re both nine years old and kind of going, “Can you believe we’re actually doing this? Like, this is the coolest thing in the world.” So yeah, we’re pretty excited.

I watched the first two episodes of the show and I was a fan of the original, I admit. You mentioned the call, that’s the moment you’re waiting for. Like the whole hour, you’re like, “Would he just pick up the sword and do it already!”

[Laughs]

So tell me, the first time you did it, was it like this rush?

Actually, the very first time I did it was during rehearsal and I stopped before I did it. We were reading the lines, you know, you read it like a straight radio play so all the actors are in the room. Everybody’s reading their dialogue and I think by about the second line of the page, I was looking down at the bottom and I realized it was coming. And I started getting nervous and by the time it was there, I stopped. And the whole room was quiet and I looked up at Andrea and I said, “I don’t know if I can do it.” And then Kevin Michael Richardson, who plays Panthro, grabbed me and started shaking me back and forth yelling, “I want to hear it! I want to hear it!” So, I’m shaking back and forth the very first time that I actually did it. But, yeah, it was, when we actually got a chance to record, I was a little more relaxed and I was able to give it a little more voice. I think I had a smile just etched on my face the next day and a half knowing that I had an opportunity to do that.

Well it was awesome…

Thanks, now you said you were a fan of the original show. So what did you, did you like the first pilot? Do you like the hourlong episode?

I do. You mentioned Cheetara. As a girl you relate to the girl heroes. And I always thought she was such a wimp in the original. And I always hated that.

Oh yeah. Not any more.

Yes, in this one it was like finally, we get to see her kick butt and take names.

Oh, and it’s just starting too. Wait until you see some of the stuff that’s coming down. It’s awesome. She’s awesome. It’s very cool.

I’m glad you liked it, though. I like to hear from the original fans whether this is something they really enjoyed or not. So I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

Well it’s a great update. The spirit is the same, but obviously the storyline and the origin are taking a different take. And I think that’s good.

I think so too. We also, you know, I’m a huge fan of fantasy. That’s pretty much all I read. So I love the idea that they’ve gone almost the high fantasy route with the kings and the queens. I love that kind of stuff. So, very excited for a lot of the stories coming up.

You’re so familiar with this world, you know how it is. You know there are people out there going, “Why are they doing this? Why are they screwing this up?” What would you say to the original fans to kind of put them at ease?

The first thing I would say was give it a shot. Because there’s a lot of people out there that are saying…which is how I was for instance when I heard they were remaking “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” It was that initial, what are you kidding me? I’m never going to watch this. What were you thinking? And then after about a month my friends were like just sit down and watch it. And I watched it and I went okay. They went a completely different route. It was very entertaining. I could separate it from the original. So that’s the first thing I would say would be give it a chance and watch the show. If you were a fan of the original show, just sit down and watch it and then make your judgment. Because I think we’ve kept, like you said, to the spirit of the original show. I think we’ve maybe improved on the story arc a little bit, a little bit of the backstory and you get to delve a little deeper into the characters. And I think that’s really what it comes down to. I was such a huge fan of the show, the original show, and such a huge fan of the original characters, that to me, as a fan, getting to read these scripts and seeing some of the backstory and creating some of the stuff that maybe we didn’t know before I find very exciting. So I think the fans of the original will feel the same way. So they can kind of say, “Okay, I see what they’re doing, they’ve gone a little bit of a different route, but all the characters are there, they’ve kept the characters with essentially the same personalities they should have. They’ve just amped them up a little bit and I think fans are going to be happy. We also understand that there are going to be purists and you can’t possibly please everybody, but I think we’ve really tried. And I do believe that as a fan of the show, I could watch the show even if I wasn’t involved and go, “Hey, wow, this is pretty darn good.” So, yeah, I’m excited to see what the people will say. I know some people are hesitant but I think once the show airs and people really get into the story, they’re going to be pretty excited.

Now you’ve been down this road before with “Batman Beyond” because there was this same kind of talk of what are they doing and what is this new character and that obviously went very well. Were there some lessons that you learned from that experience that are helping you with this one?

The lessons that I really learned from “Batman Beyond” were about myself as a voice actor. That was the first show that I had ever really done. And talk about trial by fire. It’s like, “Oh, you’ve never done an animated series before. Well, now you’re Batman.” So it was kind of one of those oh man, wow. And I was so lucky to have people like Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill and these other really wonderful actors around me. Kevin Conroy, who of course, is Bruce Wayne and was Batman in the original animated series, has that amazing deep bass gravely voice. He kind of took me under his wing in the voiceover world. And it’s little things, the diaphragm and the breathing and stuff like that. From “Batman Beyond,” I really learned more about how to be a voiceover actor than anything else.

As for the show, you can just never tell. You do some shows that you’re sure are going to be huge hits that nobody likes and other shows where you’re like I don’t really know about this one and they become enormous. So you never know. When we did “Batman Beyond,” I loved doing “Batman Beyond,” I loved the story, I loved playing the character and that’s how I feel about “ThunderCats” and that’s really all I have to go off of is the fact that I’m having a blast and I know the rest of the cast is having an amazing time. We love the scripts. We’re constantly sitting there talking and it’s one of the first shows I’ve ever been on where when we’re not recording, the actors we’re texting each other, we’re e-mailing each other. “Hey what do you think of this?” That’s kind of a new experience for me in an animated series where we’re even when the show’s not going on talking about the project all the time. And I think that bodes well. I think that’s a good sign for things to come, so yeah, we’re all very excited at this point.

So, is there some kind of frame of mind or process that you do before you head in there and start recording?

Not really. You obviously want to have read the script and gone through your lines and tried to see the tone because again with something like “ThunderCats,” the tone will change occasionally from episode to episode, whether it’s an episode that is a darker type of episode that leads into the arc or like the original episode where there’s occasionally an episode or two that are a bit lighter and a bit more kind of 80s “ThunderCats.” So you really kind of have to set the tone the night before when you’re reading the script and knowing what you’re getting in for and then it’s just everybody getting in and playing. And Andrea Romano’s great with that. We go in and we read the whole script back to front in just a readthrough so everybody gets to know what’s going on, everybody gets to know the tone. And then we just jump right into it. It’s more the process of getting prepared to actually record than it is getting into character or anything along those lines.

I know you can’t say much, because there were a lot of twists and turns just in the first hour. But, give me a little teaser about what people are going to get.

[Laughs] A little teaser. Let’s see. What can I throw out that won’t get me in trouble? You know, it’s one of those things where there’s going to be some very cool backstories that you get to learn about. Some old characters that people were sure weren’t coming back may be, and there’s again a lot of, like you said, there’s twists and turns in the first couple episodes, just wait to see what’s happening. It’s twists and turns all over the place and it becomes pretty cool. So I think everybody’s excited. Again, I don’t want to give too much away. But I think, it’s one of those things where legitimately the scripts kept getting even better and better and better. To the point that when we recorded the last one of the first season, it was stunned silence when we finished. It was one of those kind of like, man, that’s awesome. So we’re pretty excited to see everything come down when the animation gets back.

I would compare the end of the first hour to an “Empire Strikes Back” situation where the heroes are like oh, what do we do now? We’re going to get together and we’re going to…

Right, exactly. It has the bit of the “Star Wars” at the beginning with the young kid trying to find himself into “The Empire Strikes Back.” And we’ll just skip “Jedi” and the other three movies. [Laughs]

Did I just reveal my geekiness to you? I’m sorry.

Are you kidding? I could talk about this stuff forever. [Laughs]

What are the kinds of movies and books and characters that you’re really into right now?

It’s one of those things where I love reading. You talk about geekiness, if I had a hobby it would be reading. I know that sounds odd…

No, I’m right there with you, so it’s okay.

So good. So yeah, I try to read everything fantasy I can get my hands on. And I’ve gone through, you name it, I’ve gone through it. Whether it’s Terry Goodkind or Robert Jordan or David Eddings. I actually just read a great series by a woman out of Washington named Robin Hobb, who wrote a series called “The Assassin’s Apprentice,” which was really, really good. So, yeah, that type of high fantasy I enjoy. David Eddings called it building the world and I love to think of a writer sitting there with a blank piece of paper and completely building a world of his or her own whether it be the caste system or the magic system, whatever they have to do they have to start from the beginning. And I love that. I’m always drawn to that kind of thing. And that’s one of the reasons why I love this iteration of “ThunderCats” so much. That’s really what they did. They took these amazing characters and took the world that was already built and just kind of added a little bit more structure to it, which I think really brought it into kind of the high fantasy world, which you know, had me at page one. So, I was very excited to be a part of this.

You’ve carved out such a great voice career for yourself. Are there any projects coming up where we’ll see you in front of the camera again or do you really just enjoy the voicework now?

No, I hit 30 and I retired. I’d done it for 20 years and I came to the realization I just, I couldn’t do it anymore. On camera is a much different world and it was one that I enjoyed. I thoroughly enjoyed for a while, but I hit a certain age and said, “You know what, I don’t think I can do this anymore.” And I was so lucky in my voiceover career that I was really able to continue to do that which was, it became…It was one of those things where I had never done voiceover before and then I started “Batman Beyond” and about minute two I was hooked. It’s just the greatest job in the world. You are working with the most wonderful people in the world. It’s such an interesting form of acting. It’s just you and a microphone and they had me. By that point, it was one of those things where I said, hey, if they’ll allow me to continue to do this then this is what I want to do forever. So, I’ve been very excited. And then when you get to smile and say, by the way, I’m Lion-O, it’s like come on. It’s just the coolest thing in the world. Any time you can look at your nephew and say I’m Batman and Lion-O and not be lying, that’s pretty cool [Laughs]

Well, if I can share one more geeky thing with you, I still think that “Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker” is one of the creepiest and coolest animated movies ever made. That was a great piece of work that I don’t think got the recognition that it deserved.

Well thank you. Yeah, that was one of four or five days of solid recording. We just had so much fun. I was literally sitting between Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill so it was kind of one of those looking around left to right going um, one of these people doesn’t seem to belong here and I think it’s me. So, what the heck is going on? And we had a great time and I agree. I think that’s a phenomenal movie.

Well I mistakenly watched it alone in the dark the first time I saw it. I think I was creeped about for about three days. Just that moment when [SPOILER OMITTED]…

Now did you watch the unrated version?

No. I have it. I figured sometime in the daylight I’m going to watch it.

You should because if you were creeped out by the original, wait until you see the flashback scene of the one that’s unedited. That one is pretty intense.

Okay, sometime when my husband’s here…

Yeah, that is a lights on situation. Not a by yourself in the dark situation. [Laughs]

You can see more of my thoughts on “ThunderCats” in tomorrow’s “Stay Tuned” column in “The Herald-Dispatch.

Photo Credits: Cartoon Network and Warner Home Video
SOURCE

ComiCrazy

This year, I had the pleasure of going to my first Comic Con in San Diego. This is not a review of Comic Con, just a summarization of my experience. This was a birthday trip for my friend, Cheryl. I went with two of my BFFs, Cheryl & Marianne, and out of the three of us, I’d have to say I had the best time. I had gone to Wondercon back in April so I felt that that experience really prepared me for Comic Con. I made it a point to make this trip work for me so I looked through all the programming and found all the events I wanted to attend.

In order to avoid any kind of meltdown, I was prepared to stand in lines and sit through panels I wasn’t interested in so that I catch the ones that were of interest to me.

Key events I wanted to see were:
1) The Dungeon Master screening at the SDCC International Film Festival
2) The Thundercats premiere
3) Photoshop CS5 Demo
4) Comic-Con Film School 102: Production
5) Comic-Con Film School 103: Working with Actors & a Crew
6) Cartoon Voices II panel
7) An Evening with Kevin Smith

I caught all of these except for the Kevin Smith program because I had to choose between Kevin Smith or Photoshop as they were happening concurrently. Really glad I chose Photoshop because I learned a LOT. Now I have to get the program and start using it.

Anyway, the thing that really made this event for me was seeing The Strong brothers & their short film again and meeting Danielle Fishel & Jason Marsden. If it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t have considered my first Comic Con experience to be so spectacular. Reason being that I grew up seeing their faces on my TV, especially with Boy Meets World. Considering I had a Boy Meets World marathon(twice), for my birthday this year, it makes it even more special to see them in person. My heart is truly content right now.

The best part of seeing Rider & Shiloh was that I was shocked that they recognized me. After the Dungeon Master screening, Shiloh came up to ME to say hi. How weird is that?? I guess I should give them more credit. I told him I didn’t even think he remembered me. I didn’t take a photo with them because they were wearing the same thing they wore at the Sonoma Film Festival where I first met them and I didn’t want to embarrass them by posting a pic with the same outfit. Hey, we all have our “Go to” outfits. :O) I gave Shiloh a hug and he thanked me for his support but really, I should be thanking him and Rider. Their passion for creativity really inspires my own creativity as well. Marianne gave me the idea of asking Rider to sign my copy of Whiskey Island, a literary publication from Cleveland State University that published a short story that he wrote. I actually just brought it for Marianne to read. I didn’t think of getting it signed because I don’t usually like to ask for autographs but I thought it was a great idea so I asked anyway.

I walked around the floor and watched artists do demonstrations of their imagination. This one artist said that whatever creativity you want to make, just do it. When you are fueled by your passion to create something you think is beautiful, chances are, there are going to be other people who will also find your art beautiful. That hit home for me. I’ve never been the type of person to toot my own horn, to give myself credit, or to reveal the products of my creativity. I’ve been lectured over and over again about this by fellow artists but have still been unable to accept it. A good example is when my friend failed to put me down as Assistant Director in the credits for a video we shot & I was completely okay with that. However, the artist in me came to her senses and added my credits to it. Another example was when I was an understudy for a short stageplay and at the 1st rehearsal, the director, who is a fellow artist I truly admired and respected, said “Ava! You’re a REALLY GOOD actress!!” I was in complete disbelief and it was difficult for me to take her compliment. Why, I don’t know.

So after this weekend of being around so much art, magic & technology, I’ve decided to take my imagination, blow it up, and spread my ashes wherever there is a place for them. Whether it be monologues, scripts, jewelry, drawings, puppets, acting, films, comedy, etc., I’ll take responsibility; I’ll give myself credit; I’ll love it, own it, & work it.

Okay, I went off on a tangent. Back to Comic Con. I also wanted to meet Danielle Fishel and knew she was going to be at the Dungeon Master screening so I took a photo with her. God, I wish Comic Con had come 2 weeks earlier when I was 5 lbs. lighter. It really shows for me and I hate that. Damn gravity, you’re killing me! Anyway, Danielle was a sweetheart, she loved my NKOTB sweater. She was with Lea Palmieri, who is the producer for “Cocktails with Patrick” on Cosmo Radio. Lea was a sweetheart too.

On Sunday, I was able to attend the Cartoon Voice II panel (thanks to a generous friend) and see Jason Marsden in action. I had always wanted to see that in person and it was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience! They did an example of a cold read with Snow White & The 7 Dwarfs and it was so titillating to watch live. I can see why these actors fell in love with voice acting. It could have been my imagination but I thought Jason waved at me in the beginning of the panel but then I thought, “There’s no way. He doesn’t even know me. Is there a famous person sitting behind me? Who is it?” But when I went up to him after all the crazy autograph hungry fans dissipated, the first words he said to me were “Hey Ava!” On the inside, my eyes got 10 times as big, my heart dropped to the floor and my brain exploded. I couldn’t believe he knew my name. He’s so much cooler & down-to-earth than I expected and I truly appreciated it, but my mind still thought, “OMGWTF! *THUD*” Hahaha! But luckily, I’m celebrity-jaded so all I could muster out was a smile and an undercover enthused “Hey.” How’s that for acting? No one knew that the younger me on the inside was jumping up & down, running all around in fangirl status so I’d say……WINNING! I later found out from Twitter that he was indeed waving to me so now, I feel like an asshole for not waving back. Hope he at least saw me smile. I had so much I wanted to say to him, questions I wanted to ask him but I kept getting interrupted by other people who wanted to talk to him. Ah well, that’s just the way it is and I was used to that. At least my wish came true!

I also got to check out The Aquabats show at House of Blues because my friend Amy, who works for The HUB Channel hooked us up with tickets. They are a very entertaining band, I must say, complete with spandex costumes, masks, and theatre-like superhero shenanigans onstage. Other highlights included delicious meals at Extraordinary Desserts, Cafe Zucherro, and Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza. Oh, and of course, the famous San Diego carne asada fries!! Got them at Santana’s, which is now Fresh MXN Food. Yes, had a dose of that at midnight and LOVED it!! Getting hungry just thinking about it. I also went shopping at a couple of bead stores & bought supplies (because y’know, might as well do business if you’ve got the chance).

The lowlights of my trip were:

1) feet were killing me. I need a foot massage now.
2) Will didn’t come. Too bad because I was ready to let him pound me into the ground. (hey, I’m allowed to throw my mind in the gutter every once in awhile.)
3) umm…that was pretty much it so nevermind. :O)

Here are some pics. Enjoy!

Some kind of Transformer? Voltron? I dunno
comic con robot

Dungeon Master panel
Dungeon Master Panel

Met Danielle Fishel (she’s a sweetie, so beautiful!)
Me with Danielle Fishel

Rider Strong autograph (I don’t usually do autographs but this short story was rare)
Rider Strong autograph

Aquabats Show at House of Blues
The Aquabats Show

Thundercats panel (watching the premiere episode gave me goosebumps, it was so good!)
Thundercats Panel

With Captain America
Me with Captain America

Met Jason Marsden (he’s super down-to-earth, very nice guy!)
Me with Jason Marsden

Cake from Extraordinary Desserts
Cake from Extraordinary Desserts

Forno Ziti from Cafe Zucherro (it was the BEST I’ve ever had!)
Forno at Cafe Zucherro

San Diego’s Famous Carne Asada Fries (got it at Fresh MXN)
carne asada fries

Going Home
Us at Airport in SD

Snow White & The 7 Dwarfs Cartoon Voices Panel

Part 1

Part 2

Last Words to Grandpa

Dear Gung Gung,

Thank you so much for raising me all these years. I’ll never forget all those elementary school years where I would come home to watch Scooby Doo and you always had a glazed donut waiting for me. Maybe that’s also why I got so fat? And when I moved back in with you when I returned for college, you always had a beef with rice & egg waiting for me whenever I came home from school. This is how you showed your love for me and I appreciated every single donut and every single box of rice. And I appreciate you, grandpa, for teaching me that love is more than just saying “I love you.” It’s the actions that matter and your laughter, hugs and warmth will always be with me in my heart.

Do you know how many times I worried that you would leave us? When you slept, sometimes I would watch you, to make sure you were still breathing and I would always be relieved that you were, especially when your health began to deteriorate. First you lost most of your sight, then you had to use a cane. Then you were in a wheelchair, and then you became bedridden. It has been really hard to see you this way but my love for you has never changed. The last time I saw you, you had already taken your last breath, one I will never see but wish I had. While you are not here with me in person, I know you are here with me in spirit because you always asked puo puo where I was and whether I had eaten yet. I could never forget hanging out with you and your mahjong friends as a kid while you were “babysitting” me. I’m glad you decided to stop smoking so that you could stay with me just a little bit longer, gung. It meant a lot to me. I’m sorry for cutting your cigarettes in half and scattering those brown things all over your desk. Like you said, it’s your actions that show the most love. If you were here, I know you would tell me I don’t have to cry, that there’s no reason to cry, but I miss you. I’ve missed you for a long time now.

You don’t have to worry about grandma, ok? We will take very good care of her for you. She loves you so very much even though at times, she said it wasn’t easy being married to you during some of those 72 years. When you left last Thursday, I came over as fast as I could. Grandma took me to your room and she said, “Gung. Gung! Ava is here to see you.” She shook you to wake you up but you didn’t open your eyes. I told her it was okay, that I didn’t mind. She said that I was always your favorite grandchild, but I think you loved us all equally. You always had plenty of love to give us all. I know you lived a very happy life with all of us. I still feel your presence with me and I’m sure that will never change. You’ll always stay in my heart and I cannot wait to see you again someday. Gung gung, I can’t show it anymore but I wanted to tell you I love you very much and always always will.

Always,
A-wah

Grandparents & Me
Grandma, Ava & Grandpa

Grandpa cutting his cake
grandpa cutting his cake

Grandparents with Brother
Grandparents with Brother

Grandparents with Aunt & Cousin
Grandparents with aunt & cousin

Grandparents with Cousin

Grandpa with his Kids
Grandparents & his Kids

Netflix Prix Fixe

*written in Rolling Eye mode*

So Netflix announced yesterday that they were hiking up their prices 60% and now their customers are protesting by cancelling their subscription and writing nasty comments on their Facebook page. I’m a pretty frugal person but I’m sorry, while I hate that Netflix has risen their prices, I would have to say it’s probably a necessary move they had to make to cover costs of licensing and shipping. After all, it is a for-profit company, is it not?

People are saying they are going to Redbox & Hulu.com. Seriously, those are not going to replace the fantastic service that Netflix has been offering to their customers. Hulu.com is great but I don’t recall them streaming entire movies, do they? I could be wrong, I rarely use Hulu because I hate the advertisements that pop up in the middle of my shows. Secondly, Redbox to replace Netflix? The DVDs come right to YOU, muthafuckers! Redbox is cheap, yes, but you have to go to THEM! Am I the only one who sees the difference here?

If I were these angry Netbitchers, I wouldn’t pound fists over a measley $6. Netflix is catering to all the lazy people who don’t want to get up off the couch and drive down to a Redbox location to enjoy a movie while, yes, still sitting on the couch again. And may I recall, the cost of a movie in the theatre averages around $10.50 and that’s just for one movie, one day, one time only. If people are willing to pay that, what’s the big deal of paying $16 a month? That’s an average of 53 cents a day. If you don’t want to pay that, revert to their previous service of DVDs by mail only and quit bitching. I mean, if Netflix had never offered the streaming movies for free in the first place, would you still be complaining? Imagine, before the free streaming was available, what if they offered at an extra cost and you yourself chose to order it? If not, then you’re still paying the regular plan of DVDs by mail.

For all those who cancelled, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least 50% resumed their service in the future. And if $6 is still that big of a deal, there’s always Greencine. :0)

Monkees & Food

My weekend in pictures.

Had Ethiopian food at Queen of Sheba in Davis, CA.
Ethiopian Food

Made dim sum with friends

Raw siu mai
Raw siu mai

Shrimp Har Gow
Shrimp Dumplings

BBQ Pork Bun
BBQ Pork Bun

BBQ Pork Bun filling
BBQ Pork Bun inside

Chinese Sausage Bun
Chinese Sausage Bun

Homemade Dim Sum
Homemade Dim Sum

Finally saw The Monkees in concert (minus Mike Nesmith) on their 45th Anniversary Tour at The Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA. They literally Monkee’d around onstage, LOVED it.
The Monkees

The Monkees 2

Me with Peter Tork
Ava & Peter Tork 2011

Me with Davy Jones (My 1st crush!!)
Ava & Davy Jones

Me with Micky Dolenz
Ava & Micky Dolenz

I drew this logo in college, had it pinned to my bulletin board. They signed it. :0)
Monkees Autograph

Davy performing one of my favorites, “I Wanna Be Free”

Life is good and you know it.

NKOTBSB Favorite Moments

In no particular order:

Seeing KFC, my favorite “New Kid”
Ava & Kevin

Seeing myself in the NKOTBSB concert montage
Ava in NKOTBSB video

NKOTBSB descending from above
Their holy first appearance

Standing so close to the Marshmallow
Donnie Wahlberg butt

Getting a 5* view of my favorite DJ at work
Crunchy Kevin DJ

When Donnie went shirtless at afterparty
Shirtless Donnie Wahlberg

Dinner with the awesome bootch, Christina
Ava & Christina at Bottega Louie

Taking this picture
Foot Circle

Laughing Blockhearts
Blockhearts laughing

Kevin joining BSB onstage, making their fans so happy

Shaking Howie Dorough’s hand

Seeing the Pink Hearts dancing
NKOTB Pink Hearts

When Donnie recognized me at the afterparty, took my hand, and kissed it

Representing the Pink Hearts
Pink Heart at NKOTBSB concert

Other moments not captured on camera:
1) Flying Virgin America
2) Giving KFC a bday present
3) Seeing my favorite SoCal NKOTB friend, Yvonne
4) Walking in LA without a car
5) When KFC kissed me on the cheek and gave me the best hug
6) Seeing all my Blockhearts in San Jose
7) Donnie tweeting “Pink Hearts were representing hard in NorCal tonight!” after SJ show. Love him.