Dreams and Relationships Take Center Stage at Cinequest 2012


Now in its 22nd year, the Cinequest Film Festival, held each year in San Jose, Calif., once again presents a fascinating array of independent films from around the globe. Each year, I write reviews of Cinequest’s Asian and Asia-related entries for ThingsAsian.com.

This year, of the fifteen Asian or Asia-related entries, nine were available on DVD for pre-screening and review: Warrior Woman, Touch, Av Mevsimi (Hunting Season), Children of the Green Dragon, Mixed Kebab, Black Tulip, Past Summer, Thelma, and No Look Pass. Each film has its own unique theme and style, yet all revolve around the fulfillment of dreams and profoundly meaningful relationships.

Here is a link to my reviews on ThingsAsian

On Valentine’s Day…

across space and time

this crimson thread binds my heart

to the one i love

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Today marks the beginning of the lunar new year. According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, which begins on January 23 and ends on February 9, 2013. The Dragon is the fifth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, a creature of myth and legend. The celestial Dragon is the ultimate auspicious symbol, signifying success and happiness.

The Dragon is a beautiful creature, colorful and flamboyant. An extroverted bundle of energy, gifted and irrepressible, everything Dragons do is on a grand scale – big ideas and extreme ambitions. The dragon usually clutches a pearl, symbolic of its supernatural powers. Accompanied by thunder and rain, dragons move like lightning and whirlwinds: All powerful yet totally unpredictable.

The Year of the Dragon is a good time to get married, have children or begin a business venture, as the year tends to bring good fortune and happiness. Business should go well and money will be easily made. Dragons like to spend money and have an all-or-nothing attitude, throwing caution to the wind. Therefore, throughout the Year of the Dragon it is important to exercise a measure of caution, because failures as well as successes will be magnified, with many surprises and tempestuous acts of nature. Bottom line: The Year of the Dragon is a time to prepare for the best…and the worst…and give it all you’ve got!

Welcome to *Crab & Nectar*


From April 2004 through December 2011, I wrote a weblog on ChopstickCinema, a sited dedicated to my daily adventures in Asian food and film. Seven days a week, 365 days a year, I posted hundreds of recipes, film reviews, and food-related essays; and over time, blogging became like breathing for me. It’s just something I do. But after nearly eight years {alas} the site owner has decided to shift his focus from blogs to electronic publishing.

So…to fill the void left by Chopstick Cinema, I am pleased to introduce my new blog forum, Crab & Nectar: Falling in Love Again…with Culture…with Nature…with Life! Musings filled with sugar and spice and all things nice (and a goodly measure of snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails).

There will be Food… there will be Music… and Art… and Poetry… and Books… and Film… and…the occasional Epiphany

*Merry Christmas Eve*

Every year since 1994, my son Will and I have spent Christmas Eve together. There have been times throughout those years that we joined in social gatherings, but in recent years, it’s been just the two of us. I make a gourmet dinner and we open Christmas gifts.

This year’s menu is Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp (Will’s favorite), Vietnamese Roast Pork Loin, Baby Bok Choy Stir-Fry, and Coconut Crème Brulee. And  I’m hoping that by evening’s end, my *Christmas Wish* comes true…