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Asian Pacific American Bachelor 2016: Daryl Iijima

My favorite feature of the year is here! This month's search for APA Month 2016's Bachelor of the Year took a little longer than any of the previous years - and it's worth it! 

Daryl is 4th generation JA so I had to Asian him up with bamboo and milk tea

Daryl is 4th generation JA so I had to Asian him up with bamboo and milk tea

Daryl serenades the ladies on his ukulele   

Daryl serenades the ladies on his ukulele


Daryl is an EDM DJ who combines his passions for music and his faith. And since I know you ladies appreciate a James Earl Jones basso like do, I have a special treat - APA Bachelor's first ever VIDEO interview!

Name:  Daryl Iijima
Age: 29
Height: 5'8"
Profession: Toy Licensing

Do you cry at movies: If it Hits Home

Boxers or Briefs: Boxers

Instant turn-on: Funny & Genuine Smile

Dealbreaker: Entitlement/Smoking

Karaoke song of choice: Rather Play the Uke/Sing or DJ :)

Boba flavor of choice: Brown Sugar Milk Tea

On a Friday night you'd prefer to: If it's a Long Week, I'll Rest at Home. Otherwise, I Enjoy a Great Food Adventure/Movie/Game/Show/Trip.

Last Friday you actually: Packed for my DC Trip.

Message to your future wife: I'm not the Biggest, Fastest, Strongest, or Smartest, but I will give you All of Me. All the Love, Care, & Respect that I Possess will be Yours. At the End of the Day, I Hope it's Enough.

BONUS QUESTION: If your entire life was an EDM track, which songs would be mashed in: Alesso & Swedish House Mafia - Pressure Remix VS Don't You Worry Child

Daryl's original mashup:

Is Daryl your man? Leave a comment below and I'll deliver him to you!

APA Month Charity Spotlight: The Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation

Marc Ching is not just a dad, husband, and powerful herbalist. He also flies to Asia repeatedly and physically carries dogs out of slaughterhouses into safety. Many die on the way to the emergency room.

It's hard for me to watch some of the videos, and they don't even show a fraction of what Marc sees when he rescues these dogs - but the videos have happy endings.

If you have even $3 to spare (I scraped that much in coins from the car), please DONATE - and if you have time or love, consider FOSTERING or volunteering.

And if you really don't have anything to spare, or are just a heartless person*, consider making them your charity of choice when you shop at Amazon. It's completely FREE and effortless for you! 

*Yep. I'm Asian guilting you because it's APA Month. #tigermom

Know any animal lovers? Please hit SHARE below and spread the mercy:

Filming Griot Good in Phoenix
© 2016 Lee-Sean Huang and Sophia Chang

© 2016 Lee-Sean Huang and Sophia Chang

#nomad2015 has concluded!

Introducing Griot Good

I spent the 13th and final month on the road in beautiful Arizona shooting the first season of my brand new cooking show with fellow storyteller Lee-Sean Huang.

Griots are West African traveling storytellers and musicians. LS and I have wandered the world eating and singing since our Harvard days (much longer than we care to remember) and now we're bringing you the goods in food culture!

© 2016 Sophia Chang

© 2016 Sophia Chang

There could not have been a better way to start 2016.

We cooked and ate until I had heartburn, did yoga, watched Melrose Place (the original) late into the night, hiked the stunning Sonoran desert in a desperate attempt to lose what we were gaining, and made mochi versions of everything.

Episode 1 is live now! We're dressing up in traditional Chinese wear and making Beer + Chocolate Short Ribs on a Spicy Slaw. It takes 100 subscribers to get us a personalized URL so we'd really appreciate if you subscribe to our Youtube!


We are @griotgood on all social media:






Sophia's Bucketlist: Drum Lesson from John Chong of Run River North

A gazillion years ago Kevin Kim, my APA Bachelor of the Month 2012 told me I had to go see his bandmate's OTHER band. So I show up at this hipster little venue in Silverlake and met the BEST BAND EVER.

I evidently did something stupid and lost the photos of me with Run River North at their first big show at the Satellite, so here's one of RRN attending The Nehemiah Band's show in East LA.

Look it's keyboardist Sally (L) and lead singer Alex (R) © 2015 Sophia Chang

Look it's keyboardist Sally (L) and lead singer Alex (R) © 2015 Sophia Chang

Every time Run River North plays the Troubadour, I stand behind John Chong and gape slackjawed as his manbun unfurls repeatedly in the ecstasy of his drumming. It's been on my bucketlist for a few years to take drum lessons from him.

John takes us around the world for five seconds © 2015 Sophia Chang

John takes us around the world for five seconds © 2015 Sophia Chang

Tonight I caught up with John after the RRN concert in Orange County and told him my dream. He immediately led me onstage to his own kit for an impromptu lesson.


I promised a photo of me and the NBA-sized Chong brothers in the video, but alas it is floating in the ether of "Sophia Doesn't Back Things Up Anal-Retentively Enough."

FOLLOW ME on Periscope to catch more bucket list hijinks on #nomad2015!

The Ballad of Dante Basco

This photo has been decades in the making.

psst...that's exec producer Phil Yu of  Angry Asian Man  peeking over heads in the background. #stayangry

psst...that's exec producer Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man peeking over heads in the background. #stayangry

The Chinese have a term called yuanfen, which Wikipedia defines as "fateful coincidence" and my parents defined simply as people who were meant to run into each other over and over.

I have this with Dante Basco.

The Endless Saga of Sophia's Yuanfen with Dante Basco

I watched Hook like 20 times as a tween. Now dreamboat Rufio, my future husband (after Keanu Reeves), was standing there in a suit.

I first saw him as the leader of the lost boys when I was in elementary school in New York.

10 years later I moved to Hollywood with a pair of flip-flops and a newly minted degree from Harvard that did absolutely nothing for my career as a film and TV actor. (It's also way more freezing here than the pictures show.)

After accosting Ang Lee at an awards ceremony (who already knew who I was because my mother had accosted him in Asia a few weeks ago), I saw HIM.


That was the very first time we exchanged numbers, which I'm sure he kept framed by his bedside.

After sleeping with the phone under my pillow for 3 months and my door unlocked in case he wanted to drop by, I finally accepted the truth.

He had lost my number.

You can READ THE FULL ACCOUNT HERE. Needless to say, I never saw Rufio again.

October 2011

My bookworm friends forced me to watch Airbender, where Dante had become Zuko. I featured him on my old YA writing blog as the October Crush of the Month and it immediately became the #1 read post.

Then this happened:

The decade-long disappearance (and name misspelling) is immediately forgiven. 

August 2013

Just another day visiting the headquarters of Screen Actors Guild for a singing workshop.

Walking out of SAG is him.

"Dante! I'm Sophia Chang."

"Oh, I follow your blog."

When he heard I was a writer we exchanged contacts again.

Silence ensued.

Dante, ever-fleeting.

Bless you Joz for aZn-ing out in this photo

Bless you Joz for aZn-ing out in this photo

July 2015

I'm attending the red carpet screening of Awesome Asian Bad Guys with my beautiful friend Joz of 8Asians.

There he is in front of the cameras.

Pix or it didn't happen, I say to myself. There's no escaping this time.

And Dante says, "I still follow your blog."

...not The End...

Asian Pacific American Bachelor 2015: Donald Lee

Happy Asian Pacific American Month! After living in the motherland, it's a bit odd to be in a country that needs to have a month, but hey I'll take it because...

I get to revive my favorite blog feature - introducing you ladies to an eligible bachelor of my people!

I present to you Donald Lee, a basketball coach (hi height-loving girls) with a Silicon Valley job (hi Chinese moms!). He got my vote after he defended me from an aggro internet commenter - so if you're looking for a man who stands up for your honor, leave a comment below! 

Name:  Donald Lee
Age:  41
Height 5'10"
Profession:  Senior Solutions Engineer (by day) / Basketball Official (Other Times)

Nickname: Coach41 - Years ago, after college, I was selecting a new email address. I was coaching youth basketball at the time and pagers were hot then. I used my pager code ID ("41", which is my birthday) and "coach41" was born!  

Guys, girls, both, something in between:  GIRLS

Do you cry at movies:  I'll admit it....YES.  I watched Furious 7 a few weeks ago and the Paul Walker ending was great but SAD as heck.  

Security Blanket you sleep with at night:  DEPENDS ON WHERE I SLEEP!  :D My new sofa is very comfy.  I'll have my blankets over me and I'll fall asleep with my TV on into the early morning.  Explains why my electricity bill is higher lately!

Looking for a man who can call the shots? #whydontIgetpaidtowritepersonalads

Looking for a man who can call the shots? #whydontIgetpaidtowritepersonalads

Boxer or Briefs:  Briefs!  Much more comfortable!  

Instant Turn-On:  Smile and/or Nice Legs

Deal Breaker: Smoking

Karaoke Song Of Choice:  Valentine - Jim Brinkman / Marina McBride

On A Friday Night You'd Prefer To:  
With most of my friends busy with their families, I prefer to stay active on Friday nights.  I may be officiating basketball or volleyball around the City (San Francisco).  If I'm not officiating, I will be at the gym working out (Body Pump / Body Combat or similar).  Since I am a big Warriors fan, I may be at some games during the season.  

Last Friday You Actually:  
I did not do anything I just stated above!  I had a relatively busy week with work and a few other activities after work.  With a busy weekend ahead, I chose to just decompress and relax.

Boba Flavor Of Choice:  
I actually don't drink much tea (not much of a caffeine person).  But I do like fruit drinks like Watermelon Juice or similar.  

The Purpose Of A Relationship Is To:  
Share in life's joys and divide the sorrows.  We all can have friends to fill this to some extent but that special someone is truly unique and special.  

Message to your future wife:   
I want to let you know what I will be there for you for anything you need and I hope you feel the same way.  I have many great friends but have never usually counted anyone as a "best friend".  But if I've chosen you, then you are definitely are unique enough to be called my best friend.  

Bonus Question!  
What basketball player's career most resembles the relationship you'd like to have? Why?

Deep question but ultimately an easy one.  I'd have to pick Jeremy Lin for a multitude of reasons.  As most people know, Jeremy Lin's NBA career has gone though the lowest of the lows (Warriors), the highest of the highs (Knicks) and everything else in between (Rockets / Lakers).  Through it all,  Jeremy stuck to his beliefs, got support from his friends / family and continued to improve. 

Relationships are also like roller coasters.  You go through the ups and downs.  It's important to enjoy the ups but also ride the downs as well.  You have to persist even when things are tough. Jeremy Lin has said he's learned from his down years and appreciates basketball / life more.  I also feel the same way.  When you ride the downs and get through it, you appreciate the experience.  This is what I always try to do with anything I do in life from work, to friends and to relationships.

Thanks Don! And if you ladies want to know HOW to date #tigermom style - check out my article 3 Ways Asians Got Dating Right

For dating life tune-up in general, GET COACHING FROM ME HERE

Genius Chang and the Berenstain Bears: Why Competition and Jealousy Are My Friends

Raise your hand if you had that annoying genius cousin your parents always compared you to. (Oh are you Chinese too?)

Mine is pretty unbeatable:

Name: Genius Chang (not his real name)
Grade Skipped: 1st
Instruments Played: piano, violin, clarinet
# Ivy Leagues Accepted Into: ALL of them

Even I was so impressed that I wanted to marry Genius Chang. Then I grew up and discovered you can't marry your cousin. (At least not in New York.)

Because he was out of my league, I never tried to compete with Genius - except in one thing.

When I was 4, I watched him read an entire book as easy as speaking, then throw the book at me.

"Here, you read." He sauntered off.

But I couldn't.

That night I demanded my parents teach me to read.

Over the Berenstain  Bears HE BEAR, SHE BEAR, my parents helped me turn print into gold.

Women especially shy away from competition: writers blog about the pain of jealousy and extol the virtues of going at our own pace; entrepreneurs advise us to follow our own paths and not be distracted by the success of others. 

Fine - if you're OVERLY focused on others, life gets painful. 

But this mantra of keeping our eyes on our own page also sucks the juice out of what makes us human - that we're social creatures who NEED to see the success of others in order to realize how high we ourselves can go.

Tweet it!  We're social creatures who NEED to see the success of others in order to realize how high we can go. 

If I hadn't been so envious of Genius's ability to conjure stories from squiggles, who knows how long it would have taken me to unlock this world of words I now consider my purpose in life.

If I hadn't been livid at a gal pal's weight loss a few years ago, I wouldn't have finally found the motivation to lose 15 pounds and regain not only my figure but my self-confidence and ability to dance again.

And if I didn't get jealously obsessed of every woman who's making six-figures working part-time from home, I wouldn't keep hustling and improving myself, my vision, and my work.

Don't fear the voice that says, "Damn them, why not me?"  That's exactly what the voice is asking:

"Why not, You?"

And for the record:

Name: Sophia Chang (real name)
Grade Skipped: 12th
Instruments Played: Piano, violin, guitar, mallet percussion, voice

College Genius AND Sophia chose: Harvard

Thank you, Genius Chang, for always giving me something to reach for - and surpass.

Ready to turn jealousy and ego into your minions? SIGN UP for The Experiment 2015 HERE