Order HERE from Amazon.
Visit Ray's WEBSITE.
Morning everyone! Roast Master Jason here. I've got Ray Wong marinating backstage for his roast. Let's all pound on the table with our forks and knives to give him a warm welcome!
Interesting fact about Ray: he has two birthdays. Please remember that when considering his age, you must divide by two. Of course, counting by twos has it's benefits. He was the hippest 11 year old at the bar scene. But coming home smelling of whiskey got him grounded a lot.
Why two birthdays, you ask? (You did ask, right?) Because Ray has two cultural identities, each looking to a different calendar. He was raised in China, then moved to the United States as a teenager. It's more than metaphorically that the Pacific lies between these lives. Yet, in the face of all that distance, his two identities mix, sometimes in confusion, sometimes in unique harmony. Ray explores these themes in his novel, The Pacific Between, which centers on Greg Lockland, who returns to California for his parents’ funeral and discovers letters suggesting an affair between his father and his ex-lover, Lian. Suspicion, anger and jealousy take Greg on an transpacific journey to find the truth.
Let's take a look:
Rarely a summer would sweep by without at least a few days or even weeks spent discovering Lantau. It was only an hour or so of boat ride away, a quick escape from the fanatical rhythm elsewhere around this narrow nub in the South China Sea. The countryside was always lush with hues of green, and the surrounding sea seductive in deep, dark blue. On those early summer mornings, while we were high up in the hills, the layers of fog lingered in the valleys, forming a contiguous ring around the emerald heaps--scenery straight out of a Chinese watercolor painting, drenched in sublime divinity.
All I can see now are buildings and bridges and factories and construction sites and cars and people and a future without regard for its past.
Progress, I suppose.
On our way in, the taxi crawls through the thick traffic on the west side of Hong Kong Island, and I notice how things actually haven't changed much here on the strip, only more people, more stores, more cars, more cell phones, and less room to breathe. Gone are the Union Jacks. Instead, proud Chinese flags fly. Chaos abounds: loudspeakers, car horns, tram bells, stores brimming with Chinese herbs, dried scallops and ginseng root, side-street vendors and their cheap imitation merchandise, McDonald's, Ah Yee Noodles, obnoxious neon signs, tall glass houses. Hong Kong is like a grandmother--no matter how man more wrinkles she has, you will always remember her face.
The taxi drops me off outside of the Grand Hyatt in the fantastically packed Wanchai. It's a sparkling hotel towering on a prime cut of real estate. I check into a quiet corner room on the thirty-fifth floor that overlooks the spectacular Victoria Harbor and half of the Kowloon Peninsula. Down from my window, the new, mammoth Exhibition Center stretches out on the waterfront, a giant white turtle perched on a flat rock.
I sit on the King-size bed and extend my tired limbs, loop my hands around my sore neck, twist and crack it twice, and feel immediate relief. Exhausted, I lie down and shut my eyes for a second, catching my breath. It's so quiet that I almost forget I'm half a world away from Los Angeles and only moments into my past.
Ready to rock the contest?! Let your fingers do the walking on these three questions. And if you'd rather kick back and just chat, do that too! Ray is an actor and model in addition to his keyboard-intensive pursuits. Stop by his website (link above) and discover all things Ray!
1. If Ray gave you the Pacific, what would you put it between?
2. China spelled backwards is ANIHC. Using this as an acronym, give us the name of a charitable organization suspected of having a paltry membership. (For example, Association of Nobody Incinerating Hot Chocolate--A.N.I.H.C.)
3. Remember SAT analogies? Complete this one: McDonalds is to China as dipping sauce is to _________________.
I do declare the contest open!