CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 28, 2012 |
Recently, I was jarred to read an essay that ran on the front page of this newspaper two decades ago. "Suddenly, I am scared to be Asian," the author wrote. "More specifically, I am afraid of being mistaken for Korean. " Those words were mine, a fourth-generation Chinese American, written as large swaths of L.A. were smoldering. I'm sure my remarks made some readers suspect I had slept through Political Correctness 101. Had the violence racking the city really rubbed me so raw? It's easy to forget how confounding the events of that spring were for Los Angeles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 20, 2012 |
Last fall, a state inspector strode into Great Beginnings preschool and declared the tree house and climbing structure too high. They would have to come down or be surrounded by extra padding. The metal ladder to the playhouse, which had been there 30 years, could pinch the children, said Beverly Wright-Chrystal, a state child care licensing representative. Also, a log worn smooth by generations of boys and girls playing horsy and hide-and-go-seek would have to be sanded and painted because of a potential "splinter hazard," Wright-Chrystal determined.
November 20, 2011 |
Thirty-five years ago, when I had just graduated from high school and was starting out in journalism, one of my first assignments was covering City Section cross-country. I had to copy the names of the top three finishers in each league race and write a short story about what happened. Even then, I was curious about these crazy high school kids who ran 50 to 60 miles a week, didn't receive much attention but loved the challenge. So there I was last week at the City finals at Pierce College, looking for a little inspiration.
October 22, 2011 |
There's the grown son bridging the distance with his alcoholic father, an old woman's girlhood memories of working in her grandfather's dumpling restaurant, a student's search for an inspiring former teacher. Like pages ripped from a diary, they're personal stories about love, loss and just coping with everyday life in this crowded and stressful society. But these private thoughts are presented in a public place: The short tales, signed by their authors, are part of a new storytelling program on Seoul's Metropolitan Subway System.
April 18, 2011 |
My little bit of a nervous breakdown started 10 years ago, when my daughter — then five — was diagnosed with epilepsy. After six weeks of smiling through neurologist appointments, EEGs, blood tests and boatloads of worry, I started having panic attacks, which are aptly named. They feel like total, uncontrollable panic. Mine started with a tingling in my head and quickly spread to tunnel vision, sweaty palms, thumping heartbeat and the belief that I was about to die. One panic attack invites many, and in the weeks to come I had them in stores, at home, in the day, in the night.
April 15, 2011 |
Take down four or five streetlights, remove a scattering of TV antennas, scrape off the asphalt from twisty narrow streets, and the Calabrian mountainside village of Caulonia would look virtually as it did in medieval times. Caulonia and its environs are the setting for native Calabrian Michelangelo Frammartino's enthralling "Le Quattro Volte" (The Four Lives), inspired by the region's great philosopher Pythagoras' belief in four-fold transmigration, which holds that the soul is passed from human to animal to vegetable to mineral.