Friday, May 25, 2007

AZN Asian Excellence Awards!

AZN Asian Excellence Awards!

Waddup My peeps,

It's been way too long since I wrote anything... so here I am, lying in my bed with my wife passed out next to me, two cats crashed at my feet (I have 5 and 3 kittens), watching the Dodger game... the game just tied up. Maybe I'll continue this in a sec. Also the battery on my laptop is down to 18 minutes. Ok, here we go... oh damn, Dodgers just took the lead 9-8 over the cubbies. Ok, AZN Asian Excellence Awards:

My Mom call me a few weeks back and asks me if the invite she received is anything special? I told her in a very toned down voice "Mom, it's a pretty big deal". So she tells me I'm her date and we start making plans to go. First off, it's black tie so I rent a tux. Second, It's at UCLA's Royce Hall to which there is no place to eat around. Third, Dodgers win behind closer Takshi Saito... I know it has nothing to do with the awards but he's asian, right???!

So Mom flys in on Monday and she brings some leis, my favorite flakey donuts from Napoleans bakery and a smile.

The show is on a Wednesday, May 16th and Mom and I decide to go to the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills hotel for a pre-party light dinner. On the way there, we encounter LA traffic, naturally, but this time it's a car fire on the 405 North bound. A new Audi was fully engulfed from the inside. I tell Mom, he was probably trying to light his crack pipe while texting on his blackberry all the while driving with his knee. I do that too, the driving with the knee part, not the crack-berry part. So we arrive at the Bev Hills about 15 minutes late but it's all good. Very old Hollywood. A bunch of 'Industry' types working on their laptops talking shop on the patio. We have a few appetizers and split. The bill... $80 for 2 appetizers and some bottled water.

We arrive at UCLA and park my Chevy Tahoe in the structure because I'm very low maintenence. We hit the Red Carpet at about 6:30pm and it is packed. We follow John Cho and decide to navigate our way through. I recognize a few people but don't stop. We get past the billboard wall and there is a slew of fans and students with cameras waiting to see their favorite stars. One guy says in a japanese accent, "Aloha" so Mom starts talking to him and as she leaves says "ALOHA" and about 20 people yell it back. We get to the end and I realize that we haven't taken any pictures so we go back and snap a few pics and see Sanjaya Malakar from American Idol and a few others.

We make our way to the VIP party and no one is there, naturally, because they are all stuck on the red carpet. We head to the back room for some sushi and drinks and sit down and start talking to Nobu Matsuhisa who was to be honored. We find out that he is opening a new restaurant in Hawaii so Mom gives him her business card in hopes of being invited to the opening. John Cho drops by to say Hi. I see Carrie Ann Inaba (from Dancing with the Stars) who is also from Hawaii. Quentin Taratino blows through and floors me, I am Star Struck. As we head to our seats I am complemented by Beau Sia on how beautiful my lei is. He is a very cool guy. I caught him on Def Poetry Jam. The Asian voice of our generation.

So the show starts with Far East Movement performing "Satisfied". I'm convinced, they are the new Beastie Boys, keep an eye out for them. We sit on stage right in the same row as Will Yun Lee and are near Yul Kwon from Survivor (Who I voted for as favorite reality star) and Jin (the Rapper), also Tamlyn Tomita, Kal Penn, Dat Phan and Russell Peters are all nearby.

Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park kick off the show. Grace towers over Daniel because of her heels, I'm sure they are about the same height in the real world. My favs were the comedians. Russell Peters rocks, Margaret Cho is always conscious of current events but Dat Phan killed. He had me rolling. Okay, Here are some show highlights:

Roger Fan comes out in a yellow track suit ala Kill Bill with bow tie and sunglasses.
Maggie Q looked awesome, very slim, but awesome (from Hawaii).
Rex Lee was very gracious and had a very humbling speech (that was cut in the broadcast)
Many of the featured presenters didn't show like Adam Carolla, Elisha Cuthbert, Bai Ling, Elisabeth Rohm, and few others.
John Cho grabbed Kal Penn's ass as he congratulated him on his win for best Film actor.
Mom kept telling me to go and be a seat filler so I can be on TV. I'm sure she aws joking.
There were a lot of commercial breaks that became much shorter as the program went along.
Rob Schneider (who I meet in a Chinese Restaurant bathroom in Glendale) offended a few with his brand of humor.
When they announce the nominees, a camera man stands and shoots the nominee until the acceptance speach is over. So, if you are a loser, you have to hide it and hide it well for a very long time.
The show started late at 7:45 but was over by 10p.
There was a few catagories that were NOT a part of the show like Outstanding Independent Film and Outstanding Supporting Actress for Television.
There was also a lot of MISSING Nominees. What's up with that. Represent. Unfortunate.
I didn't know Sharon Leal of "Dreamgirls" is half Filipino.
The tribute to Chow Yun Fat took the cake. He was extremely gracious and a real class act.

I had a great time. We even tried to get into the after party but didn't have tickets.
It was very empowering to see my Asian brothers and sisters all in on place to celebrate our heritage as Asians. I like what Kal Penn said "8 to 10 years ago there was no platform for Asians on I hope in 8 to 10 years there will not be a need for one". Inspiring.

I saw a number of people who I recognized but failed to place who or where. I don't consider myself a celebrity by any stretch of the imagination especially since I was not invited but was tagging along with Mom. I told Mom next year she can be my date. Hopefully, I'll have done something worth being invited and or recognized for. We shall see. 2008?


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