Thursday, June 28, 2012


So, before I get you guys like the new summer themed background for our blog? Comment below and tell us what you think!

Since it's summer I am slowly becoming a couch potato. I sort of just stay inside the whole day and draw and surf the web.

Yesterday, I finally got off the couch and woke up at 6:00 to go cherry picking with my basketball team. Our former coach, Steph, is like a big kid herself. She always takes us on all these fun trips to build team camaraderie, with her boyfriend Akira providing the food and helping out. Steph and Akira are both professional chefs. Steph is a desserts chef and works at the Scarpetta Restaurant at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills for celebrity chef  Scott Conant, judge on the show "Chopped" on Food Network. Akira works at a high end Japanese restaurant called Takao in Brentwood.

Villa Del Sol Sweet Cherry Farm (at is in Palmdale so we had to leave around 7:00. It was about a 1 1/2 hour drive. When we got there we were given instructions and baskets and then we could enter the orchard. They had 4000 trees!!!! and 2 different types of cherries: The Rainier and Bing cherries.

The regular red kind (Bing), and Rainier cherries (yellow)
The Rainier cherries tended to be sweeter, and the bigger and redder they are, the sweeter they are. Rainier cherries are also much more expensive in stores because they are rarer and take longer to grow. The Bing cherries are also sweet, with a hint of tartness. The darker the Bing cherries, the sweeter they are.

At the orchard, we weren't allowed to climb the trees but the guides used long stick like hooks to pull different branches down for us to pick the cherries. The cherries were in bunches all over the trees. I never saw a cherry tree before so it was really cool!  The orchard also sold Cherry blossom honey. They have many bee hives in the area to pollinate the flowers, but the bees are removed during cherry picking season so customers don't get stung. The only thing you have to worry about are snakes! Luckily we didn't run into any.

Picking cherries

We tasted the cherries as we picked them. The cherries are $3.50 for a pound and have no pesticides at all. Plus, you can pick whatever kinds you like best.

We left the orchard by late morning because it got hot in Palmdale. The cherry season will be over in about a week and a half, so hurry up to go pick them. We were surprised to learn that most of the cherries are given to homeless people but the rest are all left there for the birds!!!!

Me and my basketball team with coach Steph in front on the left.
Here is Villa Del Sol Sweet Cherry Farm's website:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Train Ride, Anyone?

Let's see.  We've traveled to a lot of different cities in the United States: Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Washington D.C. Overseas, we've been to Mexico City, London, Tokyo, Paris, and Rome. One thing in common about these cities is that there is always a rail system where we can hop on a surface rail line, or a subway system and go from place to place without much delay.

In Los Angeles, however, we always seem to be going to places in the car.  It takes forever to get anywhere because the surface streets and freeways are almost always crowded. Any pleasant family outing becomes unpleasant because our dad would get mad and start cursing the traffic and other drivers. During rush hour, you want to avoid driving at all costs because a normally 10 minutes drive can take you one hour or more.  This is especially true in West Los Angeles, where we live. Buses are not much better, because they too get stuck in traffic.
Map of Los Angeles Metro Rail
But wait! Something is happening in Los Angeles.  A couple of days ago, on June 20, 2012, Los Angeles Metro opened up the Exposition Rail Line station in Culver City. We were in the car when we heard on the radio that Metro was giving free rides on the Expo Line all day. Mom got really excited: we parked our car at the Culver City station, hopped on a train and rode all it the way to downtown and back. It was so exciting. I felt as if I was in a foreign country! The Expo train goes from Culver City (which is almost close to our house) all the way to downtown Los Angeles, passing through South Los Angeles, the Natural History Museum, USC, and the Los Angeles Convention Center (where the Anime Expo is taking place end of this month) along the way.

Riding on the Expo Line
In a couple more years, the Expo Line will go all the way to the Santa Monica beach area. Hooray! Having a rail line gives teens like us more freedom to go places. Kids in other cities already have this freedom. We won't need to ask for rides from our parents all the time anymore. We now have a great city with an expanding rail road system that everyone can use.  See you on the train!

Art work at the Farmdale station

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Boys Over Flowers

So, recently we started watching Korean Dramas again. The first one we saw that was about 20 episodes (which is very short compared to other dramas) was called A Pasta in Love.( I love these titles). I think I know the formula for Korean dramas. They have such outrageous plots and situations that the audience gets all worked up and start yelling at the TV screen. Yet we want to find out how the characters resolve those stupid situations anyways, so we continue to watch.

A Pasta in Love

Right now, my sister and I are watching a very famous drama called Boys over Flowers based on the Japanese Manga Hana Yori Dango. It's about a high school for very rich kids in Korea, and it has a problem with bullying. The leaders of the whole school is a group called F4. F4 gives certain kids they don't like the Red Card.

The Red Card is placed in the victim's locker, and everyone in the school starts to bully that kid. (Because all of F4 is really rich and  "good looking" so everyone does what they say. Strangely, there are no teachers or adults around at all).  The main character Geum Jan Di, a girl from a very poor family gets accepted into the school on full scholarship for swimming. She hates F4, and even when they give her the Red Card she stands up to them. The leader of F4, Gu Jun Pyo (Lee Min Ho), falls in love with her...and Ji Hoo (Kim Hyun Joong)  falls in love with her......and then the love triangles and problems arise. There are times when you really want to kick the girl though, because you want to root for a spunky girl yet sometimes she just acts dumb and clueless. I probably said that I hated her about 100 times by now (to the TV screen), although the bullying effeminate boys are equally offensive . . .and charming.
Boys Over Flowers
The show has 25 episodes. I recommend it. You can find it on Netflix, or probably anywhere online. Make sure you watch the KOREAN version though. I think that the Japanese, or Taiwanese versions aren't as entertaining. We've seen the actor who plays Jan Di, or Koo Hye Sun, before in a drama called Pure in Heart. In it, she plays a spunky, hard working poor girl as well. We like her a lot. I think she got that role of the spunky and funny doormat down. The drama is really good.

Anyways..... Any other recommendations for dramas we can watch? It's summer vacation, and we're allowed to indulge in some non-academic nonsense.

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Short Film By Trevor Zhou on Flight.

Have you guys ever wished you could fly? I have, and still do—and I’m not alone! Trevor Zhou’s short film, “The Problem of Gravity”, explores the common childhood dream to fly in its story of a young boy and his numerous attempts to defy gravity. The boy, an Asian American kid named Tim, is first inspired to fly when he spots an airplane flying above his yard. From there, his dreams of flying take off (yes, pun intended). In his backyard, he builds cardboard wings and dresses up as Superman to fly, all to no avail. In the end, he gets his wish in a more conventional way.

What I love about the film is the way it exemplifies childhood—the curiosity, the perseverance, the naivete, and the excitement—without making it seem too fantastic. As a matter of fact, Mr. Zhou modeled it partially after his own childhood dream of growing up to be Superman. And the film doesn’t just appeal to kids; the story is very down-to-earth and something many of us—kids and adults alike—can really relate to. Isn’t the idea of being able to fly high over the rest of the world a main theme of all Hayao Miyazaki's work as well? It’d be convenient, too; as Mr. Zhou says, “imagine the places you could go and the money you would save on airfare and transportation! No more waiting for trains”!

Trevor Zhou is a Chinese American filmmaker from New York. He is an artist, but also worked in the entertainment industry as an actor, appearing in commercials and TV dramas. He eventually became interested in writing—which his how he came up with and got around to directing and producing“The Problem of Gravity”, a film that has been accepted into the Brooklyn Film Festival and the Korean American Film Festival in New York.
Director/Producer Trevor Zhou

(and no, it's not a bad perm. His hair is naturally curly!)
 Some of the films Zhou likes are Survive Style 5+ and the short film “Shift” by Jonathan Yi, and our favorite as well, Justin Lin's Better Luck Tomorrow.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fan Girls and Fan Boys Unite!

There is a funny and ridiculous ritual that we fan boys and fan girls do when we really really really like a movie, a book, manga, anime, or a cartoon show: We draw pictures of our favorite characters. We come up with scenario's that we would like our favorite characters to be in, and we then draw or write our own stories of those scenarios. People even dress up for cosplays of their favorite characters and attend Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center (June 29-July 2, 2012), or Comicon in San Diego (July 12-14, 2012). I've visited both in the past. Of course, there's the Star Trek Conventions too for the older nostalgic set. The goings on with fans in those places are just crazy fun.

Fans at the Anime Expo dressed up as
Wobbuffet and Jigglypuff from Pokemon

There are websites out there that allow us to indulge in creating those fantasy story lines or situations and then publish them online for other fan boys and girls to see, comment on, and admire. For drawings of my favorite characters, I use Deviant Art.

Korra characters in School uniform.
By freestarisis on Deviantart.

To develop new stories about our favorite characters, some kids use Fanfiction. Some of the stuff out there are so hilarious, nerdy, and outrageous that only other fans can appreciate.

Some Fanfiction titles based on Harry Potter

Sadly, I am one of these people. I don't do crazy stuff like some other fanatics, but I do look up different pictures or draw stuff relating to shows I like. But after a while I have to back away from the computer screen because I just can't deal with too much of that completely alternate universe stuff for too long. But, I still go on Deviantart just to look up Legend of Korra drawings.. . most of which are pretty amazing, and encourage me to draw more. Same with other shows such as Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, Adventure Time, Percy Jackson and many many MANY more.

"Wait up, guys. I can't keep up." One of my fan
drawings of CoolAsian Kid in Tintin style.

I guess it's just human nature for someone to want their favorite stories' storyline to go perfectly and exactly how they imagine it to be. If it doesn't happen in the actual shows, fan boys and fan girls make it happen on line. I guess that's just how it works.