Friday, December 25, 2015

One of my favorite memories growing up was seeing Swan Lake performed at the San Francisco Ballet as a child. My mother took me exactly one time when I was about 5 or 6 years old. Hearing the first few magical intro notes to "four little swans" always reminds me of Christmas. I was so inspired by the performance, I asked my mom for ballet lessons. I ended up taking lessons at Ballet Russo on Clement Street. Photo provided by google earth- HAHA. I lasted maybe two years being a tiny ballerina. But as everyone knows, as a five year old, I was probably already over the hill. It was one of the first activities I tried and quit so ballet and my Russian ballet teacher will always have a special place in my heart. Merry Christmas! 
      The two trees in 1936.
On Christmas Eve, 1931, during the height of the Clutch Plague, workers at the Rockefeller Center construction site decided to pool their money together to buy a Christmas tree, a 20-foot balsam fir that they decorated with handmade garland from their families. The men lined up at the tree to receive their paychecks. Two years later in 1933, Rockefeller Center decided to make the tree an annual tradition and held the first official lighting ceremony. In 1936, they put up two trees to mark the opening of the skating rink and also held an ice skating competition.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

                    MASAFUSA SHIBUYA

satin, organdy, and silk thread needlework illustration 1994


Saturday, December 5, 2015

saw this sick hat by at lb skate  

I have to admit after watching this History channel documentary about "Trump" on the airplane, even though the older lady next to me kept looking over every time I laughed at a Trump clip, there is something to be said about how relatable he is to his core constituents just because he says whatever I imagine an embarrassing drunk uncle at a white person's Thanksgiving would ramble on about. Sidebar: It's kind of the same feeling I get when I am deboarding the same said flight, and a drunk Long Beach couple about my age, looks at me and says "Shie Shie ( Thank you)" while allowing me to pass through the public airplane aisle. Because what else do you when ur drunk af and see two unrelated Asians sitting together? Like I can imagine someone's drunk uncle approaching the 'fall down' zone and yammering about building a wall with Mexico with a big giant door and making the Mexicans pay for it type shit. On the other hand, Uncle Bernie would be like that other uncle who lives on a boat in Marin and is the family member you'd always want to hang out with because he's just so cool and slightly weird and all your politically minded friends want to meet him. This is sort of a multi layered rant- my point being Trump totally sucks but there is something to be said about the "political correct" atmosphere and times we all live in where his bigoted foot in mouth disease has been embraced by a shit ton of people - As much as I am offended and my blood hisses when people do and say stupid shit to make me feel like a foreigner, most of the time it is an offensive bark with no bite. Just like there are butt grooves in a well used couch, these three feelings: being uncomfortable,being annoyed and being pissed are the well worn butt grooves of my soul couch that has probably made me a more mindful person about others I come across. People are just fucking stupid and you can't cure stupid unfortunately. Was that politically correct?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Damn I've been stewing over some shit the past couple of days and now I'm ready to share.. The world has become increasingly more globalized largely due to technology, not only by disrupting institutionalized economic models and industries- but with those shifts come the cross pollination, assimilation, appropriation, and tragically, violent reactionary byproducts of differing ideologies. If I were to measure what social progress means to me in this era- in the face of extremist terror whether it’s state sponsored, religiously fueled, domestic or abroad- any person or group that believes in a centralized ideological supremacy risks the consequences of a one size fits all solution. To me, being cloaked in any flag means acknowledging the imperfections and missteps that plague any country’s exercise of their chosen set of ideologies. That by merely being a sore exception to someone else’s sacred beliefs, your existence is a threat to their very way of life. 

When I hear mind numbingly jingoistic cries of “attacks on our way of life” there is one part of me that immediately repels because it makes me feel like I’m being recruited for an army of mental slaves because I’m not sure which way of life I’m supposed to assume they’re talking about. But there is another part of me that readily accepts at the core of our imperfect reality- my very real way of life I enjoy is because of the proximity of my privilged nationality. A nationality that was inherited because of a lifetime of sacrifices made not only by a lineage of those related to me but also to countless suffragettes, social activists, free thinkers and doers, and anyone who has given their life to freedom- who all believed in a different, better world that gives voice, value, and equal rights to those who historically have been denied. Because of this, it makes me more vigilant about the milestone social progressions and strides that have sent loud messages to not just the rest of the world, but also to those of us living in these so called first world countries what can and does happen when people continually come together to understand the injustices and welfare of others that are different from ourselves. 

So when I think of how “our way of life” is being attacked, I think that though often times “our way of life” can be and is criminally imperfect and dysfunctional, it is important to continue to be critical of even our own ideologies because our interconnected futures in this global society are probably not as linear as we would like to believe. Peace is not a given. Achieving and maintaining it is a process that in this day an age, to benefit from it seems like a first world privilege and exception to the overwhelming toll of human suffering that has always existed. I think as long as the future doesn't slip into a complete "Idiocracy" type situation, there will always be hope.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

One word- WOW. One question- Peacock? One thought- soundtrack reminds me of the intro to "Amelie".

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fall classes are starting now..

Shout out to the HD reader who misses my musings. That's love right there. I don't think in the history of Heavy Discussion dot blogspot dot com have I ever not posted for an entire month. Forget almost two months! Fuck- blowing it. This blog used to operate as both an escape and an archive for my thoughts. But recently in the past month of launching Onto, it's been non stop; my point of view as an individual, as a designer, and as an entrepreneur are going through some major thresholds of transformation which is both scary and exciting. At the bottom of this post is a great Business of Fashion lecture about the realities of starting a "fashion" business. I recommend it to anyone who's ever thought about it or know people who have or are.

Picked up Wild Swans by Jung Chang in Hong Kong recently and am halfway through this epic book. It's given me a great insight into my own history as a Taiwanese/Chinese American currently traveling to China/Asia as much as I do. Most Chinese people do not talk about the past ever which makes this book all the more unique. I don't think there's any book like this out there and I just wanted to share it with others who are interested in the subject. It's also an incredible read for those who are interested in the lengths governments go to indoctrinate ideologies for the sake of "social stability".

"Wild Swans, in which 100 years of Chinese history is told through the eyes of three women (her grandmother, her mother and her), became the highest-selling non-fiction paperback book ever published.Translated into 37 languages, and selling more than 10 million copies, it established Chang as the spokesperson of 20th-century China, a woman who experienced the Cultural Revolution first hand – including her parents’ torture, her own brainwashing as a member of the Red Guard, periods of forced labour, and subsequent disillusionment – but who recorded it with a calm if moving dispassion." -

Friday, July 10, 2015

These remind me of my grandma (RIP). It's funny how sentimental the most common, mass produced items can somehow become meaningful and personal over time. So bizarre how there's actually a book that features this specific object as a token of anthropological significance. To quote the excerpt, these tins definitely appeared "all over the house". The book I came across is called "Visual Anthropology: Photography as a research method" by John and Malcolm Collier.

Natas almost always has an epic t shirt on.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

In it’s 220 year history, only four women justices have served on the Supreme Court: Sandra Day O’Connor (1981-2005); Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1993-Present); Sonia Sotoymayor (2009-present), Former Solicitor General Elena Kagan (2010-present). The latter two nominated by President Barack Obama. 
There are a lot of things that are constantly happening in the world, and this week is no exception. It’s been one hell of a week. I’m still processing it as much as the next person. 
“Progress on this journey often comes in small increments, sometimes two steps forward, one step back, propelled by the persistent effort of dedicated citizens. And then sometimes, there are days like this, when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt,” Obama has eloquently put.
Growing up I went to a non-sectarian, private girl’s school in San Francisco where as a Kindergartener and lower school student we were immersed in classrooms where countless portraits of historic American women filled the walls above the chalkboards like feminist wallpaper. Founded by a Women’s suffragist, our educational curriculum revolved around the names and contributions of American women, many of who made lasting strides in the struggle for equality. This formative experience undeniably formed a unique basis of my understanding of self and identity at a young age. 

To be taught that women are capable of great things at a young age is beyond empowering. To experience being raised by mostly a single mother, for me, was character building. To see three women sitting on the Supreme Court who continue to empower that legacy for others as our democracy evolves, in what will always seems to be uncertain times is a steadfast reminder that the future never announces itself, it arrives like a thunderbolt.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

VIVA DAL SANTO. Bad Brains? Check. 50-50 no comply reverts. Check. Not giving a fuck. Double Check. Thanks to Dogbone for the find!


"Sadly missed, warmly remembered." RIP Dewitt.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Quartersnacks featured an interesting article about the original creator of the throwback and iconic "solo jazz" paper cup design. The idea of appropriation is part of America's cultural history and future, and as much as the idea of "authenticity" is slippery at best, it's always great to see and learn about these unsung artists and image makers.

Carolyn Davidson is also another anonymous artist who is solely responsible for creating the Nike swoosh logo in 1971. She was a female graphic design College student who charged Phil Knight $35(up for debate) for her work. Really interesting story.

Question: “I am a new shareholder, what does the swoosh mean and where did it originate?”
Phil Knight: I remember that. That was 38 years ago, and we were coming out with a NIKE line and we had to have a logo.
And we hired a graphic art student at Portland State University, and told her to come up with something that connoted speed, and we gave her $75.00 for what she came up with. When we went public in 1980, we called her back up and gave her 500 shares of stock, which she has never sold, and is worth close to $1 million this day.

Friday, June 19, 2015

MUST WATCH. Jon Stewart is the truth.

Remove the Confederate Flag From All Government Places

To be delivered to The South Carolina State House, The South Carolina State Senate, and Governor Nikki Haley
Symbols of hate and division have no place in our government. It's time to stand up for what's right and take down the Confederate Flag!
There are currently 194,777 signatures. NEW goal - We need 200,000 signatures!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The idea of "race" adapted as a political tool throughout history til now. It seems like this German scientist was able to invent the world's most divisive human pyramid chart without actually making a pyramid. (Not that caste systems and human slavery didn't predate this: maybe taglining science helped reinforce it) It's actually interesting how malleable such a rigid word has been throughout time, where crossing state lines in this country could be the difference between being "black" and "white" according to state law (by blood). Let's also not forget that for a long time there were confused "racial statuses" of "ethnic whites" in this country that would change to accommodate the political agenda over a series of eras (immigration/wartime/labor/etc). The most surprising thing I learned was that in one single year between 1929 and 1930 if you were Mexican American you went from being "white" to " non white" to limit immigration and then in 1942, they were switched back to "white" to increase the U.S.'s wartime labor force.

But even if you were to deconstruct race to a simple "myth" that guides tangible discussions among people with different experiences and histories, there are a prism of human extremists that will always go out of their way to destroy others that challenge any of their beliefs. And I think that's just a shitty human problem people are going to need to work on. Maybe moving into the future, there will be more discussion about "culture" than that of "race" because culture is something that as Americans we all share- but it seems that "race" is a better headline and it's easier to sell newspapers over a photo of yet another "white" gunmen mowing down innocent people of color. This does not discount the fact that what happened is a tragedy, it always is a tragedy, and in the future there will be so many more.

For now I guess the overall acceptable idea of American culture if you were to look at news outlets is definitely "sex and violence" with a side of unexpected "free love". Let's also not forget what's currently going on in the Dominican Republic right now, where naturalized citizens are being denied their country because they have lineage that simply traces to Haiti. Maybe if this was 50 years ago, the government would have just killed them all but in 2015 they're just sending them back to Haiti, where a catastrophic public health crisis could easily happen. The world has always been kind of fucked, but now I guess it's a more "politically correct" kind of fucked. You know, substitute mass killing fields for sanctioned public health crises or a long, enduring history of disenfranchisement of marginalized groups that might justify violations of human rights and freedoms based on the interest of one system.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Let's go Warriors!!! 1975, 2015.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


The other day on facebook, I made a post about Technology: "

As much as I appreciate technology, it sure does suck out the romance and mythology out of life." Today I came across an article posted on facebook embodying similar sentiments. When you can find the better written articles about this particular topic, it's easy for curiosity to turn into a morbid fascination of our current state of dating affairs. I don't think there is an actual term yet for the quiet majority of people in my generation who abstain from using apps as a crutch for dating. Because it basically is a crutch and I've had plenty of time to think about it and feel like a party pooper. I've always felt myself a proponent of technology from a young age, creating my first web page through Javascript at 9 years old, but at 30 maybe the curmudgeonly side effects of age within a hyper app driven backdrop are starting to rise. It's do or die, ain't nobody got time for this algorithmic driven bullshit.

"We don’t commit now. We don’t see the point. They’ve always said there are so many fish in the sea, but never before has that sea of fish been right at our fingertips on OkCupid, Tinder, Grindr, Dattch, take your pick. We can order up a human being in the same way we can order up pad thai on Seamless. We think intimacy lies in a perfectly-executed string of emoji. We think effort is a “good morning” text. We say romance is dead, because maybe it is, but maybe we just need to reinvent it. Maybe romance in our modern age is putting the phone down long enough to look in each other’s eyes at dinner. Maybe romance is deleting Tinder off your phone after an incredible first date with someone. Maybe romance is still there, we just don’t know what it looks like now."

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

It was only a week ago I saw Ryan. We joked about Vanessa Torres missing her flight to the xGames with no alcohol involved and we nerded out on the evolution of Girls skating in So Cal for a while. He then secretly dubbed himself "The Godfather of Girls Skating" to me and we laughed even harder. Dewitt had a big heart and his kindness was legendary. I am grateful to have known him and shared that moment. I don't think anyone that knew him will ever forget how special he was.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Got to see RIDE play last week. It was really amazing- they still rip. I guess they're playing another show at Irving Plaza this week. HMMMMM... Wish my life came in these colors..

Easily one of my favorite RIDE songs.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Eric Pinto's archive of skateboard history. One word: wow. Skateboarding's history as a pursuit of sociological fanaticism and archival documentation is right up my alley.

My friend Julia's super amazing house in SF featured on designsponge. No big deal. But seriously, they're in the running for best parents ever? Creativity runs deep in this family and the kid friendly party vibes in this house run deeper.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

"One week in Kabul is intense."
"In the spring of 2009 four professional skateboarders received an invitation for a skateboarding trip to Kabul. Louisa Menke from the Netherlands, Americans Kenny Reed and Cairo Foster, and Syrian-Emirati Maysam Faraj were asked by German documentary producer RenĂ© Kock to feature in Skateistan, Four Wheels and a Board in Kabul. The film would document the Afghan capital’s first skateboarding school Skateistan. As the first professional skateboarders to visit Afghanistan, the four were to work with the Skateistan students while recording their impressions of daily life in Kabul."-via Skateistan
Both Melissa Ip and myself hosted a very casual interview with photographer and skateboarder, Louisa Menke about her latest project “Some Time To Smile”. The premise was to explore Louisa’s very unique, experience skating in Afghanistan “as a woman being able to do something a man couldn’t do”.
I first met Louisa at Tompkins Square Park through our mutual friend, Nugget. Nugget told her my name was “Jizz” instead of Jilleen. We skated that day together, and we’ve been friends ever since.
This conversation took place in Central Park in May of 2015, following the book's initial reception at Marlborough Gallery. You can visit to purchase a book. All proceeds go to the NGO Skateistan.

I support Erotic Skate Fiction. Stoked to see old Autumn/TF heads working on projects outside of skating and making them a reality. There's also a recent interview on Quartersnacks with Andrew that's pretty good.

To support:

Friday, May 22, 2015

BEST NYC YOUTUBE. "I walked Bob Dylan up on stage- WHO THE FUCK R U?"I have to agree I'd much rather watch this guy rant than listen to a guy play his trumpet, simply because this guy has pulled off a masterful performance of "Crazy as fuck, old NY guy"

Thursday, May 14, 2015

This cover wins.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

There's a really great article up on about Frank Boistel, the designer behind Sole Tech's many iconic skate shoes from the Millennium era. With just a background in graphics and advertising, Frank was able to learn from scratch how to be a shoe designer for skateboarders in an era where the aesthetic of "tech" skate shoes experienced rampant popularity and growth. I was undoubtedly shaped by the aesthetics of this era so I find this interview especially meaningful since shoe designers, unlike regular fashion designers, often evade the public eye.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Met Arpana through Manu Kondo. She is a super talented NYC based artist/jewelry designer born and raised in Nepal. She has started a Gofundme page to raise money directly for SHELTER, a children's home, and other organizations that she is still narrowing down. 
"1 USD = 101.94 NRS. 
That is almost two meals worth for an average Nepali. Now we can only imagine what we can do if we raise even 1000 USD." she says.

Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.
That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.
The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

I largely agree with this article although I think it's quite obvious that what it means to "be American", the VERY DEMOCRATIC IDEALS, that separate us from "Third World Dictatorships like China" and "hardworking Americans" from "everyone else in the world", is that we still manage to find ourselves in another delusional, fucked up, and violent reality that nobody from any country would be proud of.

Friday, April 24, 2015

NYC from the 1500's until now.

Quartersnacks has a really great travelog entry on their visit to Yume Farm in Japan.

"Japanese culture is well known for its attention to detail. They seem to master everything they pursue, sometimes even surpassing original versions of things indigenous to other places. Why else do Americans fly to Japan, convert dollars to yen, and spend money on superior Japanese versions of traditionally American products? So in hindsight, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to learn that the most impressive D.I.Y. spot I’ve ever seen — save Burnside, FDR and places that have been around for twenty-plus years — was in Japan."

Heard "Cab Fare" on this youtube and started to try to remember who skated to this song in an actual video. It's probably one of the best possible songs to skate to, ever. When I die, I definitely want this on the soundtrack to my funeral. So google gave me this youtube. "H Street 1990-1991 Carroll" lines at EMB, not mad at this at all. 

Hong Kong Is Using DNA Analysis to Publicly Shame Litterbugs

Feeling this jam. Really feeling Madeline Follin of Cults in this.

Monday, April 20, 2015