A Message To My Biggest Fan: Rest In Peace, Jason Kinnison-Holmes

At 8:34pm this morning I received an email from Ama Yawson with the title: The article is live. Please share it. Ama is a writer for the Huffington Post and she interviewed me as part of her series highlighting the gift of individuality as presented in her children’s book, Sunne’s Gift.

huff

Minutes after sharing, my Facebook notification bar blew up with cheers and congratulations. My family, high school friends, and blog readers came in unison to pat me on the back. My girlfriend, Livi, asked me, “how do you feel?” “I don’t know, I’m excited. I’m still digesting it.” As blessed as I felt, bathed in this giant pool of compliments, I felt something was missing. Hours later I found out why:

obit

Jason Kinnison-Holmes was a long-time blog reader of mine residing half-way around the world in Runcorn, UK, age unknown, cosplay expert, and one prone to seizures. We first spoke in 2011 when he messaged me out of the blue:

convo

Since then, Jason had always been that fan who would message me and ask questions that I would always try and avoid. Not because I thought he was annoying, but because his questions were. Even though my response would take days, sometimes weeks, he would still be there, eyes peeled to the screen to hear my next bit of rushed advice. Most of his inquiries were in regards to Asian women since that was his interest. As an interracial dating writer that focuses on Asian Male centric dating, I found it quite interesting that this random Black Man from the UK saw me as trustworthy.

“Can I ask a question? How can I deal with her mood swings?”
“How do you and Livi make things work?”
“I need your help! She’s pissed off bigtime because I showed her a quote on my phone’s lock screen saying “Love is… Wonderful!” and she started going crazy at me because I had a innocent picture of a girl in a Gothic Lolita dress instead of one of her, the problem being that I don’t have one of her.”

I don’t even write for this guy’s demographic! I have nothing to say about Asian women! I’m not that blogger! Still, he continued to message, seek advice, and follow my every word. One day, he messaged me with excitement about a woman he had met: Aya, a Filipina girl from Japan. I could tell he was finally happy, and so was I. But even outside my blogging, Jason had always been a pro-Ranier kind of guy.

Any time I posted anything, he would always pop up with encouraging words. “I agree!” “Great post!” “Another awesome blog!” One day, he asked me for my address and a few weeks later I received a postcard. Months after, I received another. A couple months after that, another.

PCD1

PCD2

Perhaps I have a soft-spot for things done the old fashioned way, but there’s something so romantic, thoughtful, and caring about a post-card stamped, written, and sent by hand. I didn’t expect anything less of him.

PCD3

I guess what I’m trying to say through all of this is you can’t underestimate the weight of someone’s heart just because your only connection with them is online. Be it my friendship with Jason, or Jason’s love with Aya all the way across Japan. And although I can embrace the likes and shares and comments from my dearest fans, my heart is really missing one of those comments from Jason. I know he would be proud of me. I know he would re-post it and say something cheesy. But I don’t care. He was always a much better friend to me than I to him. He would have been such a great boyfriend to Aya, or even a great father. He would have made her so incredibly happy – with or without my advice.

As I sit back and scroll through the images of his face, with those eyes full of thought and curiosity, I can’t help but let the soft roll of tears crash loudly on my lap.  I miss you, Jason… I should have responded faster. I should have taken more time giving you the advice you deserved. I should have written back. I would have written back.

 

I can’t write back…

jason

I haven’t been active on this blog in quite some time and had intended on not doing so, but just for you, knowing how much you appreciated me and how much you supported me, I will go back. For you. To help someone who might be just like you. Because the Jason’s of this world deserve the time of day and, of course, their very own postcard.

PCD

Be well and may your soul dance freely among every hall of every comic-con and anime convention your heart desires.

With great Love.
Your friend and fan,

Ranier Maningding

“What Kind of Asian Are You?” – An Asian Man Dressed as Other Asians

Every Asian person has heard that magical question before.

“What kind of Asian are you?”

This question is often followed by a series of random guesses. “No no, I got it! You are, uhhh… KOREAN! No! Wait, Cambodian?” I can see them studying my face trying to measure the angle of my slanted eyes. Or the bridge of my nose, the shape of my jaw, and the shade of yellow on my skin. It’s interesting: they have absolutely no clue what to look for and yet, they truly believe that the hours they’ve spent watching Asian porn and dining at the local Chinese takeout restaurant have bestowed upon them the ability to guess my ethnicity. And when I tell em’ their wager is wrong they think I’m lying.

“Filipino? NO YOU ARE NOT! Are you sure? I think you’re Chinese.”

I sometimes wonder how these idiots change their behavior once  they figure out which Asian I am. Do they change their approach or speak to me differently now that I’ve been exposed as one Asian over another? Most importantly, what Asian do I myself identify with? Well, here’s my answer:

Some days I wake up with a quiet calm inside my chest. I move around the house methodically, moving each of my limbs one by one like an animatronic robot in Disneyland. Here, I feel Japanese.

Other days I might be cruising through East Side San Jose with my shades on. The smell of sweat and gasoline, the screeching of tires and the sound of clanking utensils reverberating throughout a run-down pho shop. Now, I’m Vietnamese.

Then, in a split second, I’ll switch on some K-Pop and BAM! I’m no longer Ranier Maningding, I’m Ryung Minjun. My eyes gaze harder and my shirt starts to unbutton itself.

As an Asian-American, all of us are asked to check one box. Korean? You’re Asian. Japanese? Asian. Filipino, Taiwanese, Cambodian, Laotion, Vietnamese, or Hmong? Asian. Sometimes this can give you the sensation that your identity doesn’t matter. But to me, it does. Being Asian-American means I can blur the lines between which Asian I want to be today, and the one I choose tomorrow.

Care for some Chinese?

This Is Why You’re Single: “I Can’t Date Someone Outside My Culture – They Won’t Understand Me!”

You know that strange sixth sense you get when you can feel all the eyes in a room watching you? Like a giant spider peering into your soul, the room grows silent and all you can hear are a thousand eyeballs moving as you think to yourself, “goddamn, what the HELL are you all looking at?!” I knew I was the only Filipino in that Vietnamese restaurant, but damn, did I look that out of place? Then I realized something: they weren’t looking at me – they were looking at my girlfriend…

My Black girlfriend.

But I’ll get back to that story in just a minute…

One of the laziest excuses I hear from people uninterested in interracial relationships is their need to satisfy their culture. “How can I date a non-Indian man? What about my culture? How will he like my food?” “But, I’m a Black woman! There are things that only a Black man can understand about being Black and I need that in my Black life! How the hell can an Asian man understand what I’ve been through?!” “Aye dios mio! Yo soy Mexicana! Esta chino? PORQUE, NO!”

I get it. I really do. You value your heritage and your connection with your culture is so tight not even a TSA agent with a latex glove and a bottle of Astroglide can get through. You know your religion and interests are important so you feel like dating someone of the same background will be easy. A stress free relationship where you don’t have to explain why you do the things you do to a person who, in your mind, simply cannot understand “your people.”

“OMG like how can I date a guy who won’t understand my passion for corny Bollywood films? I AM NOT WATCHING IT WITH SUBTITLES!!”

But you’re wrong.

Since when have ANY of your damn relationships been easy? Most of the shittiest relationships I’ve been with were Asian women themselves who I shared the exact same culture and heritage with. The problem with the culture argument is that it assumes all relationship problems exist for culture reasons when truthfully, it’s almost always a personal issue.

Many moons ago I dated a Filipino girl who had a Filipino mom, Japanese dad, she ate rice and liked listening to R&B slow jams – basically your standard Asian girl. Unfortunately, she cheated on me and my 14 year old self was overly jealous. It was an epically disastrous relationship equivalent to Satan shitting on the Hindenburg just as it fell from the sky. But guess what? All of those reasons had nothing to do with our culture, it had everything to do with her infidelity and my insecurity.

“It’s OVER, Tyler! I don’t care if you slept with my grandmother! How could you NOT like the Red Sox and Mayonnaise as much as I do?!”

Now ask yourself this: does the success of a relationship truly hinge on whether or not your boyfriend likes Salsa dancing? Will your relationship crumble if he doesn’t know how to properly roll a Pierogi and shop for deli meats for your Russian family? Is he less of a man because he can’t fully understand the struggles of being a Black woman in modern society? Will you care for and love him less because he can’t speak your native language?

No.

“I’m sorry, ridiculously chiseled and immaculately styled Asian Man that is making me hot and heavy, I can’t date a man that hasn’t even attended a single Barmitzvah! GO AWAY, COMMIE!”

Believe it or not, culture can be taught. We as humans can learn to adopt and learn to understand and learn how to cook the way your grandmother does. Those are things you can teach a man. But honesty, loyalty, a sense of humor, a taste for an unexpected road trip or a passion for corny scary movies? THAT is something you cannot teach. Those are the beliefs that make your relationship great. Those are the true values that erect the foundation for a healthy love that lasts. If you can find those key qualities in a man and he just so happens to be Asian, or Black, or Sri Lankan, why not go for it? Why let that ONE thing get in the way of an amazing relationship?

When I sat in that Vietnamese restaurant earlier today, with all eyes on my girlfriend as she masterfully rolled and ate Banh Xeo with all the veggies and fish sauce intact, I completely forgot that she was Black. All I cared about was, damn, my baby got skills. She may not look Asian or have experienced life as an Asian, but she’s willing to understand my life and my interests while also teaching me hers. Because at the end of the day I didn’t choose her for her culture or heritage, I chose her for her heart, her mind, and our shared love affair for trying something new.

Culture does not define you – you define it.

 

7 Reasons Why Arthur Chu Is Actually A Jeopardy-DOMINATING Money-Making BADASS!

The fact that you are reading this is a disgrace. How do you not know who Arthur Chu is?! Have you been living under a ro…

Oh…

Well, Arthur Chu is basically the Zeus God of Jeopardy and is making a KILLING with his use of game theory. He essentially says “fuck it” to the conventional way of playing Jeopardy and uses his Asian wizard powers to dominate and crush his opponents. Unfortunately, the racists have splashed from within the toilet bowl to spew their moronic, ignorant comments. But you know what? FUCK THAT! Arthur Chu is your dominatrix and your are his ball-gag-wearing bitch. Here are a few reasons why:

1. He’s not phased by Alex Trebek

Arthur Chu was never starstruck by Alex Trebek. In fact, after winning Jeopardy Arthur went to Trebek’s office, sat on his chair, and began eating a roast beef sandwich while Alex wiped the crumbs off his chest. Arthur does whatever he wants.

2. Arthur Chu = the Villain from James Bond: Goldeneye, Odd Job

Arthur Chu inspired the character of Odd Job due to his ruthlessness and intelligence. Correction: Odd Job was the CHILDREN’S version of Arthur Chu because once, Arthur Chu bit off a man’s bicep because he accidentally sneezed in Arthur’s way.

Lesson learned.

3. He’s Pretty Much The Mark Zuckerberg of Jeopardy

After his fourth consecutive win on Jeopardy, Arthur totaled over $100,000. People criticize him for his style but guess what? He’s so CASH MONEY he doesn’t even need to wear clothes. In fact, underneath the podium is a team of fans “servicing” Arthur’s Dong-Zilla. SO TRUE. Just google it. Trust me.

4. He Does Voice Overs – As a SIDE JOB

DUDE! That puts him on the same league as Morgan Freeman. How can you watch that video and NOT be all excited about Sous-Vide? I want one. I want one now. And if you’re a single woman and you watch this, GOD HELP YOU and your erupting panties.

You’ve been warned.

5. PLOT TWIST: He’s A Family Man

You know how in movies when they reveal the Villain’s motives and you suddenly realize, “holy crap, he’s not a bad guy after all!” Well, this is where Arthur’s evil personality takes a turn: he’s happily married and he’s planning for his future family. He doesn’t give a damn what anyone says about him on Twitter or Fox News because he knows he’s winning big money, and he sees how much his family will benefit from it. So who cares what the hell Jimmy McDonald from Florida says about his shirt, or his eyes? In an age of father-less children who have never had a chance to call anyone dad, this is something I have great respect for.

6. He’s An Asian American BAUCE On National Television

It amazes me how few Asian Americans exist on television. From our misrepresentation on shows like “The Bachelor” to our horribly stereotyped characters on “Broke Girls”, I can’t help but feel pessimistic about America’s attempt at highlighting our stories. So to see Arthur Chu rip a gaping hole in the minds of racist Americans through his abrasive playing style makes me giddy like an Anime school girl. To me, I just love the fact that he’s a regular Asian dude doing great things and THAT is an accurate representation of how us Asians truly are doing in America.

7. He’s In An Interracial Marriage!!!!

SURPRISE, MOTHAF*CKA!

How dare you think I wouldn’t make this relevant! HOW DARE YOU! But yes, Arthur Chu is in an Interracial relationship. So that just makes him that much more of an Asian-American, Jeopardy-Crushing, Money-Collecting, Interracial-Dating, Hero.

# IN ARTHUR CHU WE TRUST

15 Reasons Why Barack Obama Is Actually Asian

The other day I came across this photo of Barack Obama with his extended family. Notice anything?

HELLA ASIANS UP IN HERE! Upon further investigation I was SHOCKED to find out just how Asian Barack truly was. Could it be? Could it be that Asians aren’t just Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Nurses, and Pharmacists? Could we actually be… THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?! Here is definitive proof that our 44th President is indeed a full blown Asian.

1. His Mother re-married an Indonesian man

Obama spent a few years in Indonesia and his step-father was Indonesian. Now, I’m not the most experienced when it comes to Indonesian people but I do know this: they’re brown like me, they probably like eating meat and rice, and they most likely sing Karaoke – so you KNOW Barack indulged in some of that!

2. His Sister is half-Indonesian

You already know Obama and his sister grew up on Anime. YOU ALREADY KNOW THIS!

3. His sister married a Chinese man

Uhhh, hello? Asian Brother-in-Law = Blasian hangouts! The two of them probably drink Ramune, eat pocky sticks, and gossip about how much they like Hawaii Five-O.

4. His half-Brother married a Chinese woman

OH COME ON!! Obama is so Asian when he breathes he smells like Oyster sauce. His brother can even be seen online wearing traditional Asian clothes and you know, YOU KNOW Obama walks around the White House wearing it too.

5. He loves a good MMO RPG

Here’s a photo of Obama playing Starcraft with his online friends, Young Ji and Seonghee. He’s probably winning.

6. He knows how to do “The Asian Bow”

If you read my last post about “How to do the Asian Bow” then you’ll notice that Obama is an expert. He knows not to look into the eyes, bow low, and keep his feet together. HIS FORM IS IMPECCABLE.

7. Obama loves taking selfies

Originally, this picture was of Obama throwing up an Asian peace sign but his buddy didn’t think it was Kawaii enough. Whatever, man…

8. Obama enjoys a good K-Pop marathon

Mr. President has often been spotted watching re-runs of Flower Boy Ramen shop though his favorite pastime is keeping himself updated on the latest K-Pop stars.

9. He’s a big FOODIE

Asians are the biggest, most obnoxious foodies in the world – and so is Obama. President Barack Obama also has a private instagram where he photographs his meals and posts captions like, “nom nom nom” and ” yummy! ^__^”

10. He LOOVES shaved ice

Maybe it’s the Hawaiin in him, or maybe he’s just HELLA ASIAN LIKE THAT. You see, Asians are too cheap and lazy to turn on the air conditioner because they’re afraid of getting a high gas bill. Instead, they eat shaved ice. It’s cheaper, and it tastes like childhood memories and success.

11. Did I mention he LOVES shaved ice?

There’s an infinite supply of photos of Obama eating shaved ice. He’s totes addicted.

12. He’s always chillin’ with his fellow Asian brothers and sisters

Here he is in Korea with his buddies discussing where to go for good Bibimbap.

Now he’s meeting the president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino, as they shake hands and agree to a Karaoke battle. I think Obama won after that killer rendition of Richard Marx’s “Right here waiting.”

13. Mr. President loves making noodles

I always thought of myself as a noodle expert, but Barack takes it to the extreme: he hires his Chinese noodle buddies to make it for him fresh. That’s dedication!

14. He loves making corny word puns

Asians love making word puns. Here he is whispering a good one into Michelle’s ear.
Barack: Knock Knock
Michelle:
Who’s there?
Barack: Pho
Michelle: Pho who?
Barack: Gurll, your body looks un-PHO-gettable!

15. Barack has those beautiful Asian eyes

YOUR MIND HAS BEEN BLOWN.

Asian Culture Tips For Non-Asian Girls: How To Do The Asian Head Bow

I get a lot of fan mail from my blog readers about how much they love Asian culture. They talk about how much of the Korean language they’re learning in class, and how good they are at chopsticks. Up front I congratulate them but deep down in the center of my cold Asian heart — where my future Tiger Father will soon flourish — I want to *politely and gently* slap them with all my might.

“Go away. I’m allergic to Weeaboos”

You see, Asian culture really isn’t that difficult to understand. Whether you’re a pro at it or you can’t tell the difference between Kimchi and Toyota, I have a handful of easy tips to place into your non-Asian bag of tricks. First things first…

Learn The Asian Head Bow!

Obama rockin’ the Asian head bow like a champ.

You know how in movies whenever an Asian businessman meets an American businessman for the first time there’s always that awkward handshake scene? Yea, don’t even try to bow to your hot Asian date. Why? First off, most younger Asian guys don’t even do that kind of bow and second, it would come off as racist if you do it to him.

How It’s Done:

In most cases, 15 degrees is perfect. Anything more and you better be meeting the president of Taiwan or Kim Jong Un.

1. Position your body like you’re ready to bow down

2. Bend from your neck/upper chest — kinda like you’re nodding your head.

3. Bend down only about 15-20 degrees.

4. You can maintain eye contact while bowing down if you want. If not, no biggie.

 

Why You Should Do It:

“I like my girls curvy, tan skinned, and raised to respect their elders!”

The Asian head bow is something that no one has ever instructed me to do, I just do it because I see other Asians do it. It’s basically a casual way of saying, “I acknowledge you and I respect you” — or whatever kinda of zen bullshit you wanna come up with. It’s essentially the non-verbal equivalent of saying thank you and can be used towards anyone.

When To Do It/To Whom:

If all else fails and you can’t score with your Asian date, bowing to the cute Asian waiter might catch his attention! YOU NEVER KNOW!!

Whenever you’re engaging in some sort of business transaction: paying the cashier at the bookstore, giving your credit card to your waitress, or thanking the Sushi Chef after you leave the restaurant, make it a point to do the head bow. It doesn’t have to be some grandiose spectacle that requires precise timing and background music — you just do it. It’s quick and simple, much like a head-nod or a thumbs up. You especially do this towards older Asian people.

 

How You Can F*ck It Up:

lulz

Timing, intensity, and location are key. You can’t bow too slowly or else you’ll look like you’re seeking attention, nor can you bow too low or you’ll just look like those awkward Americans who doesn’t know jack shit about Asian culture. Additionally, you shouldn’t just do it any damn time you like or you might run the risk of coming off socially awkward.

It should merely be the cherry on top — not the entire goddamn ice cream itself. So relax… it’s not that difficult.

What You Should Learn From The Racism Against Lorde/James Lowe

I think I’ve come to a point in time where racist tweets, journalism, and overall bigotry isn’t just common, it’s expected. I’ve learned to accept the fact that as an Asian-American in the 21st century we are not welcome at the table of America. We do not sit at the same table, we do not eat the same food, and we certainly don’t go back home and share the same stories. Our narrative is different because our experiences are different. We are different because America makes us feel like we are.

But one of the beauties of being a minority is that although we sit on different sides of the room, away from the rest of white America, we can relate to the struggles of our Asian brothers and sisters from afar: UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, and anywhere else we’ve managed to call home. And although our problems may be different in many ways (job discrimination, racially motivated violence, racist media) we all feel a connection of pain.

So when I read the news about James Lowe, boyfriend of New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde, being the target of racist tweets, I felt compelled to say something. “So…” you may ask, “what’s the big deal?”

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a non-Asian woman that has a penchant for Asian Men. You love us when we’re nerdy and awkward, and you swoon when we’re ripped and sophisticated. So how should you feel about this Lorde/James Lowe issue?

You see, interracial dating is actually much easier than people think. The problem is rarely you or him. The biggest problem seems to be other people. If you’re dating an Asian guy now or look forward to finding one in the future, you need to understand that you will eventually come across racist shit like this. You will walk down that street and people will shout, “you need a real man!” or “why are you with him?!” Your boyfriend will be passive-aggressively teased by relatives who say, “are you Chinese? Can you do Kung Fu? Haha!” And even if you’re big and famous like Lorde, your boyfriend will not be off limits. If anything being popular will encourage more of that bigotry.

So my advice to you is this: expect the oblivious men and women that will make stupid comments about you and your relationship. Know how to deal with it by standing up and shouting, “YEA, my boyfriend is Asian. We’re also sleeping together. WHAT ABOUT IT?!” I’m not too sure if Lorde has addressed the racism but I can only hope that she does. And if it ever happens to you, you need to prove that you’re a woman worth fighting for by being the woman that fights for him.

It’s bad enough that Asians don’t get any breaks or support from the public when we are ridiculed and harassed, but you? His girlfriend? His fiance? You need to fill that gap. And if you can manage to be this brave, this loving, this supportive, I can assure your Asian boyfriend will always have a seat for you at his table.

Please, especially if you’re a non-Asian WOMAN, you need to speak up against this shit. You need to be the counteractive voice to these idiotic children. Write something, post something, or share this. You say you like Asian culture? Then voice your opinions.