Inside

Editors' Note

Trekking the trail leaves my pals and me stinky, hairy

Mob Psychiatry, Snuff Films and Cop Corruption

Another tour of duty in the urban war zone

Left-hand Column

Top 10 Rejected Fortune Cookie Fortunes.

10. Confucius says cheap tipper get food with spit.
9. Help me I've been kidnapped and forced to work.
8. Invest in Internet stocks.
7. Stuff the bag with cash and don't hit the alarm button under the counter.
6. Buddha says "Fuck Confucius."
5. He who pops a cap in someone else's ass can expect a cap back.
4. After your meal, come enjoy our illegal casino in the basement!
3. Don't ask what's really in our Mushu Pork.
2. Beanie Babies on sale here, every Sunday afternoon.
1. Don't blame me. I voted for Bob Dole.

Top 10 Beanie Babies You've Never Seen.

10. Child sweatshop worker Beanie Baby
9. Aborted Beanie Baby
8. Free-range Chicken Beanie Baby
7. Beanie Baby Carrots
6. Refried Beanie Baby
5. Impeachment Beanie Babies (authentic Monica is wearing blue dress)
4. "The Exorcist" Beanie Baby
3. Octuplet Beanie Baby (all are half-size and one of them "dies")
2. Thalidomide Beanie Baby (a k a "Flipper")
1. Repressed Homosexual Beanie Baby

Top 10 Books for Dummies.

10. ...For Dummies for Dummies
9. "The Idiot's Guide to..." For Dummies
8. Books For Dummies
7. Avoiding Self-Help Books For Dummies
6. Breathing For Dummies
5. Mob Hits For Dummies
4. Getting a Life For Dummies
3. Dumas For Dummies
2. Mummies For Dummies
1. IUDs For Dummies

-- Gordon Mah Ung and Jason Lloren

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Re-Orienting Rock: Are Asian-dominated bands just another gimmick?

Rants and Riffs [ more stories ]

Money for Nothing?
Bribery scandal gives us pause to consider Olympics' true purpose
By Matt Johanson
"As it grows from snowball to avalanche proportions, Salt Lake City's Olympic bribery scandal is burying American and international officials implicated in the corruption and freezing the spending impulses of corporate sponsors who suddenly question whether those Olympic rings are still worth their $50 million price tag."

Chicken Soup Recipe for the Soul
This job sucks; time to feed some good work advice
By Judith H. Bernstein
"There are several reasons God made Jewish mothers, and the turmoil we've had with the weather this winter in New York -- one day, it's 60 degrees, the next, you're scraping ice off your windshields -- is one of 'em."

Barbie's High-Tech Makeover
By Viki Reed
"I'm a new mother of a baby girl. Now I must confront Barbie. She's not going anywhere -- Barbie, that is. Last year a computer-ready Barbie -- Talk With Me Barbie -- was released. She came with a CD-ROM and plugs into a PC. An infrared pick-up in her neck receives the information from the tiny computer in her head and Ivoila!/I Barbie talks to you! The journalist reviewing her announced: 'Sorry, Ken; Barbie has assimilated. Buy her; resistance is futile.'"

What... Me Thirty?
By Amy Pang
"I'm very surprised that I'm 30. Quite honestly, I never thought I'd make it this far and used to think how glamorous it would've been to die young. Now that I've resigned myself to living out a normal life span (I'm assuming), I actually will enjoy this new decade. Being in my 20s was okay, but I was doing a lot of learning and not enough living. Now I feel like the smart, savvy hipster chick I wanted to be ten years ago."

Barry, Barry, Quite Contrary
In a Life of Many Lows, I Always Had Manilow
By Kim Girard
"Mom and I are finally over Barry Manilow. That 1970s enthusiasm-verging-on-obsession is now but a dim memory. Not that we no longer care about the heartbreaker. Mom, the bigger fan, still cries a wistful 'Barry' if we mention his name while she's sticking a Kenny G recording in her CD carousel. My dad rolls his eyes with a relieved sigh. After all, poor dad had to compete all of those years with this icon."

"The Rules" of dating in a small town
By Heidi Holtan
"There are many things I've learned in my brief, but not always brilliant career as a rural Minnesotan. First off, even if someone who disliked an earlier column labeled me the town whore, it doesn't necessarily mean I am. Sure, I've gone on a few blind dates lately, but that hardly justifies such a harsh moniker. You see, since returning to my hometown of Brainerd, I've been doing unusual things. Not unusual for most folks necessarily, but certainly a break away from my normal social patterns. I've been dating."

Neat freaks, stand up and take a bow
How about some kudos to those who keep things in order -- all the time
By Belinda Pitco
"I'm having a panic attack. The kids are fighting, my sister wants me to fax her family documents pronto, it's PMS week, the laundry's piling up. And I'm out of Lysol."

Dear ÜberAsian: How do new-school Asians attain super status?
By ÜberAsian
"Dear ÜberAsian: I just started reading your column recently, and I find it very interesting, however, all these tips are for middle-aged Asians. What about young college-age Asians like me? I will be a freshman at Georgetown in a couple of days (sorry, couldn't get into Columbia where there is a 24 percent Asian minority) are there any tips on how to achieve super Asian status on campus? Especially for the East Coast Asians because we're different over here. Just compare the two Chinatowns. I think myself and other young Asians would appreciate your tips."
Media [ more stories ]

Re-Orienting Rock
Are Asian-dominated bands just another gimmick?
By Valerie Moorhead
"Asian girls and boys with guitars. Nothing new. Not another ingenious marketing device. Yes, really. Forget those racial stereotypes that Asian Americans are attracted exclusively to the world of Euro-electronica (New Order, Monaco, Erasure). They can rock out just as well as the next, er, non-Asian guy. I'm not talking about bands with the token Asian guy on bass or keyboards, but rather Asian American-led bands -- one hand on the guitar, the other on the mike. Kind of an interesting visual, since such images aren't usually viewed in the large, mainstream scope of America."

Mob Psychiatry, Snuff Films and Cop Corruption
A Critical Roundup of Recent Movies
Film Reviews by Jason Lloren
"Robert De Niro is the godfather of acting, and not just for tough-guy roles. Be it 'The Godfather, Part II,' 'GoodFellas,' 'The Untouchables,' 'Heat,' 'Raging Bull,' 'Casino,' or 'Cape Fear,' De Niro proves he can be street-smart, cool and silky smooth, or just plain animalistic - or a complex mixture of these qualities."

Gibson's Latest "Pays" off Well
Film Review by Jason Lloren
"Porter, the character Mel Gibson portrays in his latest action flick "Payback," must have some serious hemorrhoids. For sure, he's got a huge grudge he, his wife and a fellow crook just stole some loot off some Chinese money launderers and now those two just shot Porter in the back and left him for maggot food. He's pissed. Seriously pissed. Doesn't-crack-one-damn-smile pissed.

When It Stains, It Reigns: Film Flashback '98
By Jason Lloren
"This past year of films was a cornucopia of cumshots. And blood spots. And guts, non-stop. Let's put it this way: If it smears, it was probably in a hit movie in 1998. That's not even counting the crap, usually anything that pretended to be a horror movie and starred a bunch of teens. But more on The Bad later. It seems as if the end of "Seinfeld" earlier in the year and all its legendary episodes concerning social unspeakables - masturbation, pee stains, you name it - meant the dawning of a new age in film entertainment."

Ink [ more stories ]

persistence of memory
Poem by Chris Rhatigan

Circles
Poem by Chris Rhatigan

Constellation Surprises
Poem by Kathryn Berit Hoyme

My Boat
Poem by Kathryn Berit Hoyme

Welting Roses
Poem by Kathryn Berit Hoyme

That Spot on his Tooth
By Heidi Holtan
"As Emma walked through the automatic doors of Wilson Library she was positive she never looked worse. Her hair was matted down on one side due to skipping a wash this morning and she had sprouted a whole new crop of blemishes on her chin. And she reeked. Of onions from leftover Thai food and the stink of cigarettes from the concert at First Avenue the night before. It was just her luck that she would run into Robert."

Diary of a Christmas Tree Ornament
By Jim DeSelms
"We just arrived at the store today. It was a bumpy ride, but we're all so snug and happy in our little box. We just enjoyed the ride, singing our little Christmas carols. What joy it is to be a little Christmas ornament! We aren't very fancy, just simple colored glass Christmas balls. But we totally make up for our lack of glitz with pure class and charm!"

Nigiri Nirvana [ more stories ]

All-you-can-eat ecstasy, McSushi Blues
By Rod Wong
"We stumbled onto this sushi treasure purely by accident. It's located in the back corner on the second floor of a small shopping center. We stood outside of Sushi Taisho for a couple of minutes trying to decide if the advertised $19.95 all-you-can-eat sushi was just another sushi buffet with little selection and brown colored nigiri, or if it was really as advertised. Feeling the hunger pangs, we decided to give it a try."

Passport [ more stories ]

WE'RE HIKERS NOT HOMELESS, DAMMIT!
Trekking the trail leaves my pals and me stinky, hairy
By Christina Stoltzfus
"Few of the hikers I encountered carried razors, and I grew accustomed to the look of unshaven legs, armpits and, of course, faces. Previously, I'd always viewed facial hair with disgust. It seemed unkept-looking and I frankly wondered why any man would have a beard when every woman I'd ever known had an aversion to them. My views, interestingly, would turn completely around by the time I was finished with my 6 1/2 month hike of the Appalachian Trail, a 2,000-mile walk that stretched from Maine to Georgia. I now have a fondness for wildly bearded men, whether I know them or not."

Food for the Soul
A visit to a tiny restaurant in Vietnam becomes a family affair
By Daisy Nguyen
"'I want to take you to my city so you can see the real deal beyond Indochine,' my father told me as we drive through twisting cliffs looking over sky-blue water on the way to Hué. I rolled the windows down to smell the salty air and take in the beautiful scenery. In Vietnam, you can see more shades of green than you thought existed. We head to the former imperial capital of Vietnam, which served as the setting for the famous Regis Wargnier film. My father grew up in this mythic city, and I realized in his statement that he wanted to show me the Vietnam he fondly remembers, something beyond the western movies about Vietnam I watched growing up in America."

Must-Flee TV
The shows suck in Vietnam! (But at least you can get a pirated copy of "Titanic")
By Daisy Nguyen
"Whenever I travel, I usually pack a light bag and always carry a good book to read. Years of experience have taught me to avoid carrying a heavy burden on my shoulders, especially one that will weigh my mobility down. Having a good book to read, however thick it may be, is an essential survival tool. In moments waiting around airports or train stations, a book can be your best friend. When you're stuck in a relative's home, and you're sick to your stomach from watching the load of crap on television, turning to a book may save your life."

Royal Thais
During a simple vacation, I suddenly got to be queen for a day
By Nitaya Chayankura
"To the outside observer, my life is as plain and ordinary as anyone else's. I live with my parents, I have no boyfriend, no job, and I stay at home most of the time. All I do all day watch television, eat and sleep. I watch MTV and daydream of a glamorous life and stare at beautiful girls in fashion magazines and wish, 'Man, wouldn't my life be so much more exciting if I was a cover model or something?' and sigh."

Rocky Road
The ups and downs of trio climbing in Yosemite
By Matt Johanson
"As the sun dropped slowly toward the mountain horizon, I thought of Malaki and Hillary for the first time in ages. We had met years before while rock climbing at a popular spot near Sonora, Calif., where the couple irritated my partner and me by hogging our intended route during their clumsy, unsuccessful effort. But it was the ridiculous adventure in Yosemite National Park they later described that earned them our deepest contempt.