What It's Like to See "Magic Mike XXL" With Your Mother

My mother had been repeatedly asking me to take her to see Magic Mike XXL (although she calls it "Magic Mike XXX") long before the film's actual theatrical release, which ought to give you an idea of just how much anticipation had been building inside her 68-year-old body, mind, and soul, ever since this stripper sequel was announced last year. The first Magic Mike was surprisingly low on camp and high on stark realism and melancholy, so I kept questioning my mom about her excitement over the second movie. She explained to me at various times, "I like to see nice bodies, okay?!" and "I want to see the naked man!" and "Chadding Taddum make me so hot!" (She also calls Channing Tatum "Shannon," depending on the day.)

My Asian Weekend: "Cowboy Versus Samurai," "Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam," and "Steel Magnolias"--Wait a Minute, What?!, "Steel Magnolias"?!

West Liang and Feodor Chin. Photo by Michael C. Palma.
I met Michael Golamco five years ago at the Asian American Theater Conference when we were on panel that had a faux-provocative title, "What Happened to Our Funny Bone?," a kind of thrown gauntlet that challenged us to prove that we were hilarious Asian Americans. I don't remember much more than that, but, if that panel were held today, I would turn to Michael and say, "I just saw your play, Cowboy Versus Samurai, and your funny bone is definitely intact"—before punching him in the face because I can't stand to be reminded that I have not cornered the market on Asian-American comedies.

Three Neo-New Kids on the Block Songs That Are Actually Pretty Good

The first job I ever had was working in the men's underwear department at JCPenney. I rang up packages of tighty-whiteys and replenished shelves of wife-beaters. It was during high school, and I never would've imagined that I would eventually stumble into writing reviews of men's underwear on The Bilerico Project. (Jokingly, of course. Jokingly!)

My department was adjacent to the young men's section, where there was a display of three stacked television sets that would play videotapes of music videos that were brought in by employees. Clearly, this was the best part of the job.

So I would spend hours at home, taping my favorite pop songs off MTV (you know, when they still showed music videos?). I provided eclectic playlists, but made sure there was plenty of New Kids on the Block. You see, rearranging boxer shorts over and over again went by a lot faster with "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" and "Hangin' Tough" in the background—but I never would've imagined that I would still be thinking about the New Kids on the Block today.

Tips for Actors: Stop Hitting Yourself! Stop Hitting Yourself! Stop Hitting Yourself!


This blog post is for all the actors I know, as well as all the actors who have never had the pleasure of listening to me reprimand them. In other words, this blog post is for every actor in existence and all those to come in the future until the end of time. That means you too, Meryl Streep!

As you may know, I've seen a lot of stage plays in my lifetime, and I've worked on a number of plays as well. As you may also know, I love and respect you, actors. You bring my characters (and other playwrights' characters) to life, and you tend to be good company, even as I fight you to be the center of attention. But there's one thing that I've seen you do that happens to be my greatest actor pet peeve. And you have to stop it. Now. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself! STOP HITTING YOURSELF!

Five Thai Commercials That Will Make You Cry Like a Baby

Thai commecrials are sometimes so so sad.

For some reason, acts of kindnessparticularly acts of givingmove me deeply. That's why on any given night you might find me on my couch watching Secret Millionaire and weepingabsolutely weepinginto my green Ikea Polarvide Blanket. This reality show, in which rich people go undercover in struggling neighborhoods and pretend to be poor for a week, makes me feel a bit icky inside (oh, the deceit!)but I can't help but have a real emotional breakdown when the secret millionaires reveal their true identities at the end of each episode and start giving away money.

This is probably why the following Thai commercial made me cry. A Thai commercial, I might add, for a telecommunications company. But wait! I'm not the only one! Apparently, this three-minute video, which is based on the Thai urban legend of Dr. Prajak Arunthong, has gone viral, and it's making people all over the world sob! I've long wondered how I would ever melt your heart of coal. And now I have a solution. Watch this!: