Saturday, April 30, 2005

Minority Cultures

So, Mount Holyoke College has, until recently, set aside funds for what we call the ALANA students. ALANA = Asian Latina African and Native American. It's a form of affirmative action, but I believe it is more than that. Affirmative action is, as defined by good ole dictionary.com, "A policy or a program that seeks to redress past discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity, as in education and employment."However, while that may get us ALANA students INTO college [as, I, too, have unwittingly benefited from being a student "of color"]-- we don't realize that being branded as an ALANA student sets us apart in the eyes of the college and our peers, and thus makes the road to equality a little hard to follow.

Recently, some ALANA alumnae from Mount Holyoke contacted all "alumna of color" in an attempt to get a feel for whether or not there would be support if they established an ALANA alumnae group. They had us fill out a survey, asking whether we'd be for or against the establishment of such a group. Below is my answer for the why or why not section:

"I do not believe in separating ourselves by the color of our skin. I know that ALANA is a way that people of "minority" races to bond, find common ground, seek support, etc. However, despite my feelings that one should always remember your cultural background, how often do we, as "ALANA" members wish that we weren't distinguished by our ethnicities, but by who we are? Doesn't establishing an ALANA group then automatically set us apart and readily supply a 'group' name for those who would be looking to single us out in the first place? How many of us would rather not be seen as "that Asian/African/Latina/Native American chick", but seen as [insert your name here]?"

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Supporting Same-Sex Marriage

If a parent were trying to dictate whom their child loves by saying that a certain race or kind of people is bad, society would tell them they are still in the past and that they are flawed in their views. Society is trying to dictate who an entire community of people should love. Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in this? And all this spawned from a religion that preaches "love thy neighbor."

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Work: When it Rains, it Pours

Apologies for the long breaks between posts. I always long into blogger, but somehow get pulled away from the computer by some not-so-pressing issue.

So... the big news is... I got a full-time job! About time, I know. I started this past Monday at PacRim Marketing Group [http://www.pacrimmarketing.com] as the Integrated Marketing Services Advertising Assistant. Long name, I know. But it seems that I handle incoming/outgoing ad materials for our publications, deal with publisher communication, advertisers' deadlines and that kind of thing. I also have been doing a LOT of Japanese-->English translations which is REALLY difficult for me. And all my correspondence with the publishers are in Japanese. AND I've been doing some ad material editing.

The sad thing with this is that I had to give up my chance to work with J-wave to do it. I was really upset about it. On the one hand, PacRim offers me steady income [although it's not as much income as I'd like], gives me health insurance and dental and gives me set hours-- not to mention the ability to move up on the ladder if an opening... well, opens. But J-wave would have given me fabulous experience, crazy connections, and possibilities at a career in Japan. EXCEPT that it was a part-time gig, with no health insurance and at the point of hire, DIDN'T KNOW how much they were going to pay me. I did the math, and with the number of hours they were offering, even if they had paid me $20/hour, I would have still barely made $1000/mo. Unfortunately, with all the bills Yoshi and I have, that wouldn't have cut it.

And randomly, I got a phone call yesterday from Dr. Michael Pascuale, who apparently is a plastic surgeon here in Hawaii. He said he saw my resume on CareerBuilder.com [which is odd, since I took my resume down a few days ago] and said that he's interested in meeting with me to offer me a job. I told him I already had one... but he said to meet with him anyway and hear him out. He's apparently going to be part of a few new makeover shows, or something, and since I listed Extreme Makeover in my work history, he thought I'd be perfect. I was kinda... eh... but I'll be meeting him at Starbucks tomorrow afternoon.

Seriously, all these job offers came all at once and they all overlap each other. I keep thinking to myself, where the hell were all these offers these past THREE MONTHS?? Sigh. Anyway, that's the dealio with me now. Any questions?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Zanzabar

I meant to write about this incident last week... but told myself that I'd wait until I wasn't as irritated with the man in question before I wrote this entry. It would seem, however, that it doesn't matter and the man finds ways to irritate me even when he hasn't spoken directly to me in over a week.

This man is none other than the previously mentioned Poopy Head. If you're an avid fan of my blog, you'll remember him as the man that bitched me out for trying to make him a website for KZOO. Well, his "I know all" mentality has outdone itself again, and he managed to completely embarass Kanzaki and myself at what would have been a potentially prosperous meeting.

The idea: Poopy Head pitched an idea to Zanzabar, a higher-end dance club/bar in Waikiki. The idea? To host an Asian night with KZOO providing the 'experienced djs' and the danceable Jpop.

The reason: To get KZOO's name out there.

While this, in and of itself, isn't the worst idea... and in fact, might have been a great idea, it is the following part of the story that showed Poopy Head for the head full of poop that he is.

Poopy Head made an offer to Kanzaki, saying that if he provided the music and djed at Zanzabar, that he'd receive $150/night for his efforts. Multiply this by 4 Friday nights and hey, that's a $600 inflow for the otherwise overworked and underpaid Kanzaki. Now, Kanzaki being the ever-loyal and sharing friend that he is [and perhaps because he was truly hesitant about doing the gig by himself] he invited me to join him in the djing endeavour and offered to split the profits 50/50. Awfully generous chap, him.

Anyway, our concern was this: when Zanzabar asked for djs, did they mean true club djs who could actually mix? Or did they just want someone to push play on the CD deck? Of course, we posed this question to Poopy Head, approximately A THOUSAND [or ten] times, and time and again, without listening to our reasoning, he assured us that he knew the dealio and that we should rest easy since all we would have to do is bring in the tunes and press play. No biggie.

Still hmming and hawing as to whether we wanted to do it, because somehow, we couldn't believe that Zanzabar would pay ANYONE $150 to press play and then stand there to look pretty, we went with Poopy Head, his wife, and Mosquito Yamazaki, another KZOO dj, to Zanzabar for what Poopy Head said would be "training."

Now, when Kanzaki and I heard the word "training," we again were struck with terror at the thought that perhaps Poopy Head was mistaken [as we know, it wouldn't be the first time] and that mixing was more than just an expectation. We walked in and met "Frankie," long-time Zanzabar DJ. Mosquito, Poopy Head and his wife left after a mere 10 minutes of flapping their jaws and left the two of us, unsuspecting victims that we were, to "learn."

Frankie was nice. When he met us, he was cordial and actually excited to be trying something new for the club. But as he continued to question us about our expertise and experience in djing at a club, and as we watched him mix with looks of absolute horror and amazement, he made the comment that we were "scaring" him. He soon realized that we knew absolutely nothing about mixing or djing outside of radio and was at a loss for what to do with the two gawking kids that were left behind to rot behind the turntables. He stopped talking to us. We thanked him and left.

He had made several very good points, though: it takes time to learn to mix, you need equipment to learn, and you need practice, practice, practice. We had 2 weeks from that time to prepare ourselves.

As Kanzaki was driving me home, he called Poopy Head and proceeded to tell him that, beyond a doubt, there was no way in hell we could pull it off unless Poopy Head bought us the mixing equipment and we practiced like crazy. Of course, Poopy thought we were overreacting, insisting that we were just nervous, and that if we needed to practice [which we shouldn't need to do because, according to him, it's "just pushing play"] we could use the recording studio at the station. He would neither listen to reason, nor could he understand the extreme embarrassment we'd experienced, or that "mixing" equipment is NOT the same as an equalizer, a couple of CD decks, and the ability to crossfade. He did not, would not try to comprehend our position. He told us to get back to him about whether we wanted to do it or not.

But, hadn't we just done that? *le sigh* Anyway, as an update to the story, though I don't know all the details... Kanzaki and Poopy Head had a big blow up about the whole thing the other day. Apparently, Poopy Head finally realized that we had no intentions of doing the gig, since we didn't think that we could pull it off successfully. [I mean, hey, NO publicity for the station is better than SHIT publicity, any day, imho.] INSTEAD, he wanted to implement plan B: forcing Kanzaki to provide the tunes and then having the Zanzabar DJs spin them. Kanzaki said no, quite forcefully, and apparently used the words FUCKING and PORKY somewhere in the conversation with Sir Poopy Head. More updates as they become available...