Sunday, July 29, 2012

Asian-American, former Harvard point guard, and not Jeremy Lin

Somewhere between the Giants-Dodgers game and the start of the Summer 2012 Olympics Games in London, I watched an awesome documentary called "No Look Pass". Melissa Johnson, a former member of the Harvard Women's Basketball Team, wrote, directed and produced the film.

The film's primary subject is Emily Tay, a Burmese-American point guard who also played hoops at Harvard University.  Emily was a year behind Jeremy Lin.  Her upbringing is typical of many children of foreign-born parents that come to the United States poor, hoping for a better life for them, but even more so for their children.  The goal for a better life is often achieved, but how they want their children to live that life can be a major source of conflict. Something many of us experience from our own upbringing.

Emily's mother is set on getting Emily married to a wealthy man once she graduates from Harvard.  Emily wants to play professional basketball in Europe and has made this known to her parents repeatedly. What Emily's parents don't know is that she's gay. The documentary takes us through slices of Emily's and Katie's life (Emily's best friend and basketball teammate) during their last years at Harvard and where life takes them after graduation.

As an Asian-American and former height-challenged hoopster with foreign-born parents, I could identify with so much of Emily's life. Except Emily is a much taller, faster, better dribbler, shooter and master of the no-look pass than I could ever be on my best day.

I found the documentary on Showtime through my cable provider's OnDemand service. It was also featured at the San Francisco International Asian Film Festival this past March. I highly recommend this film for any Asian-American, straight or gay, who has played sports at a competitive level.

Monday, July 23, 2012

From Sci-Fi to Western in today's Wyoming

Photo courtesy of A&E TV

On another channel surfing expedition this weekend, I stumbled upon a new TV series,"Longmire" (based on Craig Johnson's Longmire Mystery Novels) on A&E, starring Robert Taylor and Katee Sackhoff.  

Science fiction fans know Katee as Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica.  I didn't recognize Robert Taylor and immediately looked him up on the internet.  He's also been in the science fiction genre, as Agent Jones from "The Matrix".

If you're fan of Tony Hillerman's Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels, then I strongly recommend you give "Longmire" a look-see. For me, it's the classic Western tale of good versus evil and cowboys versus Indians in today's complicated world, even in the sparsely populated state of Wyoming.  

Lou Diamond Phillips is also in the cast and there are terrific guest performances by Peter Weller, C. Thomas Howell, Tom Wopat and A. Martinez.  After I finished watching last night's episode, I went to my cable provider's OnDemand feature and watched 2 more episodes. I plan on catching the pilot episode as soon as I can.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lunatic Fringe - Red Rider / Tom Cochrane

Continuing on my quest to showcase music from The Great White North (Canada), this blog entry features Tom Cochrane, the former lead singer of Red Rider.  In 1991, Tom began his solo career with "Life is a Highway".

Several years ago, I heard an updated version of "Lunatic Fringe" on KFOG's Acoustic Sunrise.  It's been awhile, but I found on YouTube an acoustic version Tom did in 1997.  I don't think it's the same one I heard on KFOG, but it's still awesome.  Here it is:

In case you want to relive 1981 (the year the song first came out), get the disposable lighter out (cell phone flashlight is an acceptable substitute) and turn the volume up.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Learn to Bowl by Andrew Frawley

Andrew Frawley is an Australian bowler and currently the head coach of the United Arab Emirates National Bowling Team.  I've included a 4-part series of instructional videos he did several years back called "Learn to Bowl".  For me, the 3rd video on Spare Shooting was helpful as I've been struggling with picking up the 4 and 7 pins (left side) consistently.

I found these videos to be very informational and easy to follow, especially for bowlers new to the game.  He covers lane courtesy in the first few minutes, which is sorely overlooked in non-league bowling.  Keep in mind your results may vary.  Good luck.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

What do I love about bowling?

Watching last night's U.S. Open Championship in Women's Bowling outdoors in the dust and wind in downtown Reno, Nevada made me appreciate more than ever how tough it is to be a pro bowler.  And because there hasn't been a dedicated women's tour (PWBA) since 2003, it's even tougher for females.

Kelly Kulick and Missy Parkin, the bowlers in the championship match, have proven that women can bowl with men.

In 2010, Kelly was the first woman to win the PBA Tournament of Champions.  In 2011, Missy won the USBC Queens.  In college, Missy bowled on the men's team for 2 seasons at Cal State-Fullerton.

It's extremely unlikely I'd ever reach the level of Kelly or Missy. But my love for the game is everything that's described in the above promotional video for last year's PBA shootout.