rosemead, california

isabella loved henri very, very much.


they played


and played.


but when the weekend ended and we had to leave, i told izzy to say goodbye to henri,
and she screamed, “no!”

and cried


and cried.


it's all good.

home at the parents.
dad is in se asia
so i’ve been sleeping with mom despite having my own bedroom here
because her bed is awesome and i miss being close to her,
even though i have to kick her in the back every other hour to keep her from snoring.

happy holidays!



currently listening to:
adam is a total punkass who likes to take advantage of my gullibility,
but he produces some good stuff, some damn good stuff.

the stoop

download his album here.

it's tricky is the title, here we go..

i feel very small here.


i found this while packing.


i was a funny looking kid,
but apa looks like such a badass with that video camera in one hand, ciggie in the other.

always tagging along,
being surrounded by audio/video gear growing up,
i should’ve guessed i would’ve ended up just like him (in all my sweaty glory).

one of the perks of this job:
i got to meet dmc of run mthrfckn’ dmc!!!

an eight-second clip of his performance i shot today.

gad damnit.

i walked in on my aunt anh
sitting in a chair with my razor on her foot.
i was like, “what are you doing?”
she goes, “oh, i just borrowed your razor to scrape the dead skin off the bottom of my feet.”

motherfucking ew.

da lat, vietnam



her children bought her this house in da lat where she lives by herself.
she’s a tiny eighty-year old woman
and the house is so massively huge that she can’t clean up everything
and she doesn’t want to hire maids because she’s afraid they’ll steal from her.

so i spent yesterday
sweeping, mopping, dusting cobwebs and killing various critters around the house.
i hate cockroaches. especially the flying ones. die biotch!

vi wants me to post pictures of cute vietnamese boys,
and omg i met the cutest boy yesterday.


his parents named him “lucky.” how cute is that? :)

the idea of sleeping in mosquito netting seemed awfully romantic..
until i pulled down the netting and half a dozen dead flies dropped out.


but of course, i had to sleep with it anyway,
otherwise the mosquitoes would have gotten to me again.
i feel so dirty.

fall out easy.

my cousins from socal came to visit
and i finally got to meet my little niece isabella.

omg i just want to bite her cheeks.



alec, izzy’s brother, underneath the kitchen table.


i totally fell in love with izzy so i told richard (her dad) that i wanted to keep her.
he joked around with alec and said, “alec, we’re going to leave izzy here okay?”
alec adamantly replied, “no” and then started to cry.
it was so sweet.

mcduh: I wish you had come to the Phuturo RIP party on Tuesday!

i really wanted to have one last night of old school drum&bass
before leaving san francisco for good
and i missed my chance. :(

i guess richie hawtin will have to do..
says the girl who made this (for chris jackson).

currently listening to:
bass drops at 00:58. i must have this record.

dj rap’s intelligent woman

thanks max for the track id.

kieu premiere

yesterday, i went to the san jose premiere of kieu
at the san francisco international asian american film festival with a bunch of my friends and family.

i play the awkward new girl at the brothel/massage parlor who speaks choppy vietnamese/english.

jeremy said seeing my face on the cinema screen was the most surreal experience.
“it’s like.. actor. actor. actor.. veanne?”

for me, it was uncomfortable.
since this was my first movie,
i did not realize that acting for the camera required a whole new set of skills
different from acting on the theatre stage.

i was unaware that every single expression on my face would be magnified that intensely.
my nostrils were like one feet wide on the movie screen!
i know now not to make that face when on camera.
i just looked.. weird.

my aunt said, “oh you were so beautiful, but only when they showed your profile.”
thanks auntie. :)

at the san francisco premiere: christopher, me, kathy, thu ha and debbie.


[photo by]

about kieu:
kieu is a modern film adaptation of truyen kieu,
an epic poem written by the 18th century writer nguyen du.
in the poem, the character kieu was a beautiful, lyrical archetype who sells herself into prostitution
in order to save her father and brother from political imprisonment.
her duties as a caretaker were deemed heroic
and in turn her character was well loved by the vietnamese community.

the modern day kieu, however, is an amalgamation of real life sex workers
living in the san francisco tenderloin district.
despite being ubiquitous in the vietnamese communities throughout the united states,
vietnamese sex workers have a stigma attached to them and are rarely spoken of.
inspired by her outreach program with sex workers,
debbie nguyen (the producer and one of the writers) felt it was her responsibility
to give these sex workers voices and identities beyond their stereotypes.

the movie was not produced to entertain,
but rather to trigger discourse in the vietnamese community
and for them to ultimately reshape their opinions about vietnamese sex workers.


kieu will also be premiering at the chicago asian american film festival on april 2nd,
and at the los angeles asian pacific film festival in early may.

love my brother

i took vinh to his first warehouse party on saturday.
he was a little overwhelmed because i had introduced him to so many people.
when we left, i asked him, “well do you remember anyone’s names?”
he said, “osby.”

outside the evilbreaks party.


currently listening to:
normally i’d tease vinh for his crappy taste in music,
but i thought

this track
was pretty dope when he blasted it in the suv.

che che

this past weekend,
my cousins and i met halfway in san luis obispo
for a relaxing all-girls retreat
away from work, school, the children.

friday night at the madonna inn,
i dolled up suzanne and tc
and we hammed it up for the camera
(tran, just as adorable, was camera shy and went to bed early).



yours truly.




dollin’ tc up.


we tried to act sexy






serious (though i think tc thought i said constipated)




but then suzanne fell


and then tc’s eyelash fell off


and then the pictures got blurrier


and blurrier


and then i tried to call it a night, but then this crazy old lady..


we had an awesome time at the beach
and ate lots of awesome cookies

currently watching:
and i have the most awesome cousins.
check out this .mov of suzanne,
doin’ the head bounce to some renaissance music at a restaurant.


found in the red box

after kindergarten,
while the other kids got to go home and play,
i had to go to chinese school.

my parents dressed me in the ugliest clothes.


one day, i hope to receive an email from that one girl up front
saying, “omg! that’s me!”
that would be rad.

currently listening to:
love uk garage.

just one kiss and we’ll be flyin’ high

suzanne and neil

a simple, classy wedding


that reflected a simple, classy couple.


benjamin takes a nap after the tea ceremony.


goofiness runs in the family

big head and i printed out this photo.


and framed it for the old man.

» »»

memorial day weekend 2001,
danny and i made beats on his laptop
during a twelve hour drive to oregon.
today, i found the reason file for the first song i ever made on a back-up cd.

the track names made me smile. so unprofessional. :)


currently listening to:

dad used to sing santana a lot when i was younger

wa wa wa wa..

my parents just a bought a new house
so we’re packing up stuff.

i saw this in my mom’s box of junk.
“i found it in your old bedroom in the closet.”
she had no idea what it was.


blueish white

poe and twitch on my parents’ matching cellphones.


missed them!

mom and dad are home from their one month vacation in thailand and vietnam,
tanned and healthy as ever.

dad bought me a pipa as an early birthday present.


hi again.

my family will be in vietnam for the holidays.
i needed to fill the void
so i found a piano,
neglected for ten years in a den, covered in dust.
the owners wanted to get rid of it
and my fingers were bored of tapping on tables
so i recruited mark, tyler, jeff and ryan to shlep it up three flights of stairs.

she’s not a yamaha or a baldwin.
she’s not a shiny, pretty ornament.
she’s tattered and out of tune,
but she deserves to be loved just like the rest of us.

i named her sabine, after griffin’s muse.


i'm self-sufficient, but this is sweet.

my dad told me that it doesn’t matter how rich or powerful a man is,
all he needs to win my dad’s approval
is to love his daughter,
take care of her
and stand by her no matter what.

“because that is the type of man i respect.”

i really love hearing my dad laugh.

he has this exuberant “woo hoo whoop!”

an amp from his antique collection.


and his early 1900’s camera.
i am so jealous.


currently listening to:

perfectly matching my mood

criticized and ridiculed by anyone,

i could not care less.

but one discouraging comment from my parents
breaks my spirit.

when dad returned

from his sabbatical a few months ago,
he quit his job and began selling antiques and electronics on ebay.
“i don’t have to fight traffic, i get to work on my own schedule,
i can take afternoon naps and i make a lot more money than i used to.”
i have never seen him happier.

mom left for europe on sunday so i will be taking care of him
for the next two weeks.

every day after his afternoon nap,
we take strolls through hellyer path.

on our path is this bridge
and underneath this bridge lives a coterie of vietnamese men.
as we pass them,
dad hollers, “how are you?!”
and one of them responds, “hi ong tai!”

i asked dad, “how you know them?”
dad explained to me that he talks to them every time
he passes by the bridge and that i shouldn’t be afraid.
“they’re me;
immigrants who came here looking for a better life..
except they just weren’t as lucky.”

friday afternoon,
chris and i took his son tyler to the park.
kids are difficult to photograph. they move so fast!

tyler j.



apart for a week and we’re already missing each other,
so nat flew into town this weekend to see me.
i am whooped.

in california for july

i spent my 4th of july at
a beautiful family reunion in los angeles.

my little nephews, alec and benjamin.


auntie: wow! you used to be really skinny.
you are big and healthy now! did you gain weight?

me: no, i’m pregnant.

» »»

back to san jose then to san francisco
to hang out with joey for the weekend.
my first encounter after stepping out of the car:
bum: you’re stupid.
me: excuse me?
bum: spare any change?
me: um, no.
bum: fuck off then.
it’s good to be back home. :)

california visit recap

nothing is more comforting than
catching up at the family dinner table with mom’s home cooking.

all girls slumber party at vi’s house.
we were all being sissy la la while watching the ring.
the freakiest part of the night was when the phone rang
immediately after the movie ended.
we all jumped up and screamed.
vi also surprised me with a birthday cake.

fresh catfish and stir-fried yummies | vi, karla, me & the birthday cake |
karla doing the cabbage patch


techno party in oakland.
it was nice seeing the reaction on people’s faces when they saw me.
“WTF?? what?? you’re here!!”

nico went all crazy on us | alida looking as cute as ever | miki and me


hung out in san francisco with tina and bought snowboards.
it felt like summer.

me in summer gear | tina in summer gear | patrice and her friendly snake


zeitgeist with rick, sean, tina, and lauren.
then dna lounge for goldie.
ran around the streets with tina tina the sperm cleana,
hollerin’ at random cute boys (like old times).
fell asleep in sean’s car before midnight and missed the whole show.

corey on the decks at dna | tequila shots | trailer at butter


lots and lots of sleep.

snowboarding in tahoe with vi, khai, tina and patrice.
found hikaru on the sugar and spice run,
got too excited and we fell on each other.
i took pics on a disposable camera.
i’ll upload when i develop them.

i will be here until sunday.


this past weekend,
i met up with nat and my parents in arizona for thanksgiving with my relatives.


the cao family, we’re a capricious, loud, happy bunch.
poor nat was probed with unreasonable questions
by my meddlesome, chatty aunts,
“you graduated from mit? wow, you must be really smart. what was your gpa?”

i felt a little flushed from embarrassment.
nat was a good sport though.
i love that boy.

shiny happy people

some of my friends have been accusing me of being a crackmonkey;
depriving myself of much needed sleep,
plowing into projects for which i have no time,
while still trying to maintain a normal work_school_social life schedule..

but really, i couldn’t be happier.
my only regret is not having enough time to read as much as i used to.

tidbits from my past week

club icon,
crazy asian kids at the dj booth..


[pics by nat]

alee, my uber rad hairstylist uncle,
and his girlfriend peggy were in town from los angeles.


a bunch of us raced cars at malibu grand prix
for ian’s birthday.


the birthday boy.


two phly kids at the sfraves ten year anniversary party.

[pic by sean]