Thursday, May 23, 2013

Asians Out Loud: Katherine Sui Fun Cheung

Today, I'm going to highlight one of my very favorite Asian American firsts. Her name was Katherine Sui Fun Cheung and she was the very first Asian American female pilot in the United States!

Katherine Cheung: 1st Asian American Aviatrix

Talk about amazing. In a time when race and sexism were hurdles many women could not break through, Katherine opened her wings and took flight.

Born in China in 1904, Katherine joined her father in America at the age of 17, studying music at the University of Southern California. During that time, her father had agreed to teach her how to drive, which was a rarity in the 1920's.

Luck would have it that Katherine's father brought her to an empty parking lot next to the Dycer Airfield to practice her driving skills. As she watched the airplanes land and take off from across the field, Katherine's love for aviation was born.

She was a very quick learner and after merely 12 1/2 hours of flight lessons, she took her first solo flight. By 1932, Katherine earned her pilot's license, making her a member of an elite group of aviatrix (only 1% of licensed pilots in America were women at that time).

As one can probably gathered from her determination to break society's rules, Katherine decided to continue her flight career as a Barnstorming pilot. What does that mean? It meant that during the 1930's Katherine travelled to towns across America going to fair after fair, performing dare devil stunts. She took part in acrobatic loops, barrel rolls, spiral dives and even flying her open cockpit plane upside down. How amazing. She was a true adventurer.

By 1936, Katherine was invited to join the prestigious Ninety Nines Club, which was an international group of female pilots founded by Amelia Earhart. Katherine and Amelia forged a great friendship and she was devastated when Amelia disappeared over the Pacific.

Ninety Nines Club
(Bottom 3rd from left) Amelia Earhart (Top 2nd from left) Katherine Cheung

Katherine was also very much involved with the Chinese community and was a good friend of the Hollywood actress Anna May Wong. During the war, Anna May Wong helped raise the funds to purchase a Ryan ST plane for Katherine in hopes of providing aid to the Chinese resistance against the Japanese. Unfortunately, Katherine's cousin crashed and died in the new Ryan ST while pulling a prank. Katherine never made it to China, promising her father she would never fly again.

Katherine did fly a few more times after her father passed away, but she soon settled into daily life. She has been inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame, the Museum of Flying's International Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum as well as other honors.

She once said in an interview:

There's no feeling like it in the world......being up in the air, the wind blowing, the exhilaration....that's my definition of joy. It's complete freedom. You haven't lived until you've truly felt that.

Katherine is a truly inspirational woman.....I want my children, especially my girls, to know that they too can achieve things, even when society frowns upon it.....have courage and passion to follow your dreams. You never know where it can take you.

Who inspires you?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Asians Out Loud: Dr. Sammy Lee

Dr. Sammy Lee is the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal for the United States.

Sammy was born on August 1, 1920 in Fresno, California and is of Korean descent. At the age of twelve, he dreamed of becoming a diver.

Unfortunately, due to racial discrimination, people of color were only allowed to use the pool one day a week (Wednesday.....the day before they drained the pool for cleaning). However, this did not keep Sammy from working toward his goal of becoming an Olympian.

His coach dug him a pit in the backyard and filled it with sand......and that is where he practiced during the week until the following Wednesday.

Despite the hurdles and racial discrimination he faced, Sammy fulfilled his dreams. He won his first gold medal in the 10 meter platform dive and then a bronze medal in the 3 meter springboard during the 1948 London Olympics. He then returned to the Olympics in 1952 and won his second gold medal in  the 10 meter platform dive, making him the first man ever to win back to back gold medal in Olympic platform diving.

After the Olympics, Sammy went on to become an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor and served in the United States Army Medical Corps during the Korean War.

Later, he coached the US diving team, mentoring future Olympians such as Greg Louganis, and he is a member of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

 Sammy's story is a powerful one that shows us what we can do if we only keep trying. Will power and determination will help break through barriers and set new standards for future generations.

Thank you Sammy!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Project 52: Crop It

{crop it}

The challenge was to show a before and after view of the same photo.
recipe: crop,tranquil effect, color boost

These photos are submitted for Bella's Project 52 in response to her prompt "Crop It".

This is week 4 of a year long photo challenge.
See more photos submissions here at  Crop It.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Project 52: Street Art

{street art}

This photo is submitted for Bella's Project 52 in response to her prompt "Street Art". 

This is week 3 of a new cycle and I'm excited to be joining in at the beginning. 
To see more photos submissions here at  Street Art.

Project 52: Microscopic


Catching up: This photo was taken for  Bella's Project 52 in response to her prompt "Microscopic". 

This is week 2 of a new cycle and I'm excited to be joining in at the beginning. 
To see more photos submissions here at  Microscopic.

On the Home Front ~ Diving Into our Renovation

Just realized this is my 100th post. Yippee! I really appreciate your support. Thank you for your interest in A Dose of Jules and for reading my blog. You are the best.

I'm taking a quick breather to give you all a mini update with the ongoings in my world.

After the craze of posting/writing a poem a day (I must admit.....I was fried!!!), my brain refused to do anything productive in terms of posting and life around the house got a bit hectic.

The biggest thing....we started our kitchen and bathroom renovation at the end of April. Yes, after 11 years of deliberation, we decided to bite the bullet and go for it. If not now, then it's never happening... because the college tuition train will be pulling in very shortly....and it won't be leaving for a long time!

Our renovation is pretty involved.... we are fiddling with a weight bearing wall, pushing into a Florida room, moving the bathroom and bringing the laundry room upstairs. We met with a few contractors, but I didn't feel comfortable with any of them.....I was a bit suspicious because some of the quotes were off by $40,000.....that's a lot of, and after much discussion, our good friend offered to do the job for us ~ Thank you JP!

Now, my husband is sleeping much better at night. That's when he gets to sleep.....we have to pay the bills....sleep is over-rated anyway. (poor guy ~ love you hon)

Before work began, I visited the cabinet maker with pictures of kitchens I liked and choose my cabinets and knobs and pulls all on one day! What did I pick? Well, I will share that with you in the next On the Home Front post.

So, with our plans already done, a reliable and honest contractor by our side, all we needed to do was to nod our heads and pouf.......let the demolition begin.

That is after we get all the rooms cleared. Demo was scheduled to begin the week after we got back from Spring break, so..... I had one week to clear out the kitchen AND the basement below.

Phew~ One week later.....not bad.....patting myself on the back! Especially since my darling husband was conveniently away on a golf trip during that time. Not cool...... no worries, I have something planned too!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Are you working on a house project? Have you gone through a kitchen or bath renovation?

Share your stories or link up your post.....I would love to see what you've done. There is more to come regarding my renovation, so make sure to stop by and see what we are doing next.

Do you have any tips or advice?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Asians Out Loud: Anna May Wong

Anna May Wong was the first Asian American Actress. Born in in Los Angeles, to second-generation Chinese parents, Anna developed a love for the movies and began acting when she was in her teens.

During the Silent Movie era, Anna was casted in Toll of the Sea (1922), one of the first movies to be made in Technicolor and in The Thief of Baghdad (1924). She soon became a fashion icon and reached international stardom.

Although she soon was know throughout the world, Anna was not happy. Unsatisfied with the roles that she received while in Hollywood, Anna decided to head to Europe. There she starred in many notable films and plays, such as Piccadilly. She also received many featured roles during the early sound era, in movies such as Shanghai Express with Marlene Dietrich.

After a disappointing rejection from MGM for the leading role in Pearl S. Bucks The Good Earth, Anna moved to Paramount and worked in several movies that portrayed Chinese Americans in a positive light.

When World War II broke out, Anna refocused her energy to helping the Chinese cause against the Japanese. She donated her money and auctioned off her Hollywood costumes in efforts to help the Chinese refugees.

After a 6 year absence from the film industry, Anna returned in 1949 with the movie Impact. In 1951, Anna May Wong was given her own television series The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, which was the first American television show to have an Asian American lead.

Anna May Wong died in 1961 at the age of 56, while sleeping in her Santa Monica home.

She has been credited with "humanizing" Chinese Americans in the eyes of white America during times of discrimination and racism.

Way to go Anna!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Show Off Your Blog Party Hop!

It's that time again! Let's Party Hardy this weekend at The SHOW OFF Blog Party! Woop! Woop!

There's a lot to celebrate this weekend too! My 3 AWESOME co-hostees did a remarkable job hosting the party for the last 3 weeks. It's their last week, so stop on by and thank them for being wonderful hostees with us!

Let's do some SHOWING OFF! My co-hostees and I thought these bloggers did a phenomenal job working their stuff:

Let's make sure we're aware of how many kids are affected

Women Empowerment! Let's Show it off!

I LOVE Foodie Stories!!! 

Read how mom raises her child through personal experiences

Congratulations to all our featured bloggers! Please take our
button to "SHOW OFF" that you were featured at the SHOW OFF Blog

Show Of Feature Button photo

Don't forget to win a wrap
to get you swimsuit ready for the summer! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you ready to party? Before you begin, remember these simple


  1. Link up your favorite posts. It doesn't matter which one, just
    make sure it's family friendly! 
  2. Follow your host (that's me! The Wondering
  3. Follow all 3 co-hosts: JulesBrittany, and Tiffany 
  4. Leave a comment if you'd like them to follow you
  5. Visit at least 3 other bloggers 
  6. Show them your blogger love too if you'd like them to
  7. Remember, it's not a party unless you mingle, so mingle around and make some friends! 
  8. Take our beautiful badge and proudly display it on your side
    bar to encourage others to party with us! 

FavePost PartyBadge photo

Interested in co-hosting The SHOW OFF Weekend Blog Party next
month? We have spots available for June! $4.00 to reserve your spot for a month and a discounted
rate for ad space! We won't disappoint. I promise! Please email for more

Let the party begin! 

A to Z Challenge: Is it Over?

I can't believe I was able to pull it off. As many of you may know, I decided to combine the A to Z challenge with NaPoWriMo (which required me to write a poem a day ~ even on Sunday).

Although I love writing poetry, I must admit it was a challenge to write a poem with the letter of the day in mind.....I couldn't just write had to speak to me in some way....I had to feel it and then and only then would the words flow. Seriously, it wasn't easy thinking up a poem about something starting with C, W, Q and Z.....just to name a few.

This whole month of April, I could be found writing on the plane, in the car, in bed, on a couch in the lobby of a hotel....anywhere I could find so that I could post my poem every day.

I was often lost in thought during the day and then burning the midnight oil at night to get the words just perfect.....most nights I stayed up until 2 or 3 am! I even wrote until 4 am once.....ugh!

I didn't have much luck trying to stay ahead of the game by writing my poems ahead of time, because I was constantly playing hide and seek with my muse. I was able to get some poems done ahead of one of my trips where I wasn't going to have access to a computer, only to find out 15 minutes before I left that I had accidentally erased one of the poems! WHAT!!!!

Talk about panicking.....I lost my X post. I tried to re-write it from memory, because I didn't write it in my notebook. Fortunately, I remembered most of the words by the time I got through security and I called my daughter and had her type into my blog. It wasn't exactly how I originally wrote it, but it was close enough and the plane was taking off with or without me. Talk about stressing out.....ha!

But, I must say that I loved this challenge. I combined the two challenges and through this process, I came across many amazing blogs (there is no way to list all of them here) but I would like to highlight a few of my favorite A to Z Challengers:  Zainab of Metamorphosis, Sania of Embracing Dawn, Nick of Scattergun Scribblings, Sarah from  Simply Sarah, Dana of The Daily Dose, Julia from Writing Jewels, Sandy from Oozing Out My Ears, AJ of Words from Sonobe and Kate from Another Clean Slate.

I learned a lot about myself.....and so did my kids. By the second week, my kids were trying to help me come up with subjects for my poems that fit my so called "requirements" as they saw son said....what starts with R that is depressing and sad. ha!

Anyhow, it's been such a wonderful experience and I look forward to next year....I must say I'm a bit lost since it's been over. Kind of sad.

Thank you Arlee and everyone else who helped get this challenge rolling. I can't wait for next year.

I also want to thank all my readers for taking the time to read and comment....I hope to continue this amazing blogging journey with you all.

Are there any other writing challenges that you are participating in?

Also, which of my poems was your favorite? I would love to know. Thanks!

A: Among the Broken Glass
B: Beauty
C: Confusion
D: Death
E: Erase
F: Fate
G: Glimpse
H: Help!
I: Inspirations
J: Jupiter
K: Kryptonite
L: Loss
M: Moments
N: Nothing
O: Oblivion
P: Precipice
Q: Quiet
R: Revelation
S: Stifled
T: Tangled
U: Untethered
V: Vengeance
W: Weep
X: X Marks the Spot
Y: Yours
Z: Zoning Out

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Asians Out Loud ~ Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai

I have decided to kick off Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a poem by the Chinese-Taiwanese American def jam poetess Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai.

Like Kelly, I'm a Chinese American....or as we sometimes call ourselves, an ABC (American Born Chinese). My parents were both born in Mainland China and then fled to Taiwan during the war. After graduating college, my parents decided to come to the United States to live the American Dream.

Throughout my childhood, I have struggled with my ethnic background and growing up Chinese in America. I never felt that I truly fit in....not in America and sure as heck not in China or Taiwan.  I just wanted to feel like I belonged.

For most of my adolescent life I felt as if I were teetering between two colliding worlds, and it was hard for me.....the racism that I encountered and the uneasy feeling that I would never really be accepted because of the way I look weighed heavily on me. It has taken me awhile....but I have learned to embrace everything that has made me the person I am today.

I am me
I am American

Click below to here an interview with Kelly from the HBO documentary East of Main Street: Asians Aloud. Kelly shares a little bit about herself and recites a one of her poems that I feel captures the emotions/thoughts that I have felt growing up Asian in America.

Do you have a def jam poet that you enjoy?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

National Asian Pacific Heritage Month

YES! There is a month dedicated to the Asian & Pacific Islanders of America and it is celebrated during the month of May.

The Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

How many of you knew that this existed?

Back in 1978, Congress had passed a resolution to commemorate the Asian American Heritage week during the first week of May. Two factors played in the choosing of this week. First, it marked the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7th, 1843 and secondly, it marked the completion of the  transcontinental railroad by the Chinese on May 10, 1869. It was later decided in 1990, by President Bush, to expand the celebration to span the entire month of May....and so we now have the National Asian Pacific American Heritage month.

There are many festivals that will be taking place during this month all over the United States, so if you get the chance, do a little research ~ you might find one near you.

If you are in the New York area, there will be two festivals held. One on May 4th in Flushing and one on May 18th in Chinatown. You can get more information here at CAPA Online.

If you are interested and near Washington, DC, there will be a festival on May 18th, 2013. The festival will showcase a variety of things, such as art, food, performances and many other multi-cultural and interactive displays.

I have decided that during this month, I will highlight some famous and not so famous Asian Pacific Americans and give my readers some tidbits of Asian American culture. There are so many things that I never learned in history class, and I think that it's always a good thing to learn a little about the those who have contributed to the history of the United States.

I hope you join me this month.

You can also read more about APA Heritage month by visiting the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center