Theresa Celebran Jones


Theresa Celebran Jones was born and raised in Connecticut and has moved cross-country four times. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young daughters. She works full-time as a technical writer and is an MFA dropout. Her only other hobbies are reading, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and listening to hip hop. Clearly she has no social life.

Baby Cobra: A New Totem for Motherhood

In my kids' earliest years, the TV mom I think I most often tried to channel was Claire Huxtable. Claire had long served as my totem for motherhood — she was loving but firm, intelligent and strong, and not terribly cutesy or sentimental about motherhood. Minus the healthy, loving relationship (and recent revelations about Bill Cosby aside), she was the only TV mom who reminded me of my own mom and aunts, as both a professional and a present parent. Yes, she cared deeply about her kids, but never allowed herself to be a martyr to motherhood.

Representation Matters: the Growing Asian American Presence in Children's Programming

Since the birth of my older daughter, I've given myself the healthy challenge of finding books and toys and programming that reflect positive images of intelligent, adventurous, three-dimensional girls. Racially diverse characters on television were a plus, but mixed-race or Asian American characters were the holy grail for me.

Itsy Bitsy Shorts: LAAPFF for Kids!

Parents of little ones in the Los Angeles area -- if you’ve been aching to go to the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival but have had some trouble finding a babysitter, I have the perfect event for you. Playing this Saturday is Itsy Bitsy Shorts, a program for the youngest festivalgoers, about "the joys of traveling with others, and the need to sometimes fly solo."

Lily Bee and Her Lovely Ukelele

There’s only one type of music I love more than hip hop: downtempo love songs by female vocalists. It has been my life’s work to get everyone I know obsessed with my favorite singer of all time, Esthero. I tend to act like an annoying hipster about my love for Amy Winehouse (I got Frank when it was released and liked her before anybody in the US knew who she was!). I tried to keep my love for Corinne Bailey Rae on the low, but cried for two hours when I first heard “I’d Do It All Again,” and then cried for another half hour when I first saw the video. And now I have a new singer to gush about.

Flourish In Progress: New Years Resolution Tips from Elizabeth Jayne Liu

Elizabeth Jayne Liu has been at her resolution for four months already. On her birthday in September, she decided she would go against all pleas to stimulate the economy and take a stand against consumerism. She would stop shopping for one year. "This past summer, right before I turned 30, I realized that my material gains weren't going to be the answer to my fulfillment or my happiness," she explains. "I wanted to find out what would make my life richer and fuller, so I needed to take away my biggest distraction."

Hip Hop Roundup: Far East Movement for Starters

If you're hooked up to Hyphen on Facebook, you already know that Far East Movement is covering the next issue. These guys were my first professional interview in 2006; they have a special place in my heart and I'm proud to see them completely killing it in 2010. "Like a G6" bangs so hard it went double platinum this year, and even 50 Cent did a remix.

Manny Pacquiao: Our Hero, Ourselves

The husband, the dun, and I were strolling around the new shops at Santa Monica Place two weekends ago, and the new Nike store had four displays full of the sun of my parents' flag. Right in the entrance, on a platform closed off by ropes, was a mannequin wearing his robe, his shorts, and boxing boots with the Filipino flag. And the storefront was emblazoned with Manny Pacquiao, the largest cardboard cutout of a Filipino I had ever seen.

Did I ever think this day would come?

Flipping the Cultural Script

I'm not that big into personal finance blogs, but I love Ramit Sethi's I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Last week he had a great post about the invisible scripts that guide our lives, and specifically, the invisible scripts embedded in him through Indian culture. The comments section is an enlightening look at red-blooded American ideals, but a few in there talk about the experience of coming up under two or more cultures (and some of the commenters don't live in America, which adds another great layer) and how these values sometimes stand in opposition to each other. 

This got me thinking about the invisible scripts I grew up with, some uniquely Filipino values, and some values specific to the immigrant experience that affected my cousins and me and set us on our paths. Some were helpful, others not so much. Some scripts I came up with:

Banksy's Asian Sweatshop on The Simpsons

My Facebook was ablaze last night with the Simpsons opening sequence as reimagined by UK street artist, Banksy. At the time of this posting, Fox has already shut down all the versions on YouTube, but in case you got out of bed really late today, I'll quote you an entire play-by-play from Feministe:

The Other Side to Mail Order Brides

Recently I got a friend request on Facebook from somebody I didn't immediately recognize. Our mutual friends listed my mom, aunt, and a cousin from the Philippines, and I realized the friend request was from a cousin whom I hadn't seen since I was ten. She had moved to Staten Island a couple of years ago after she'd married somebody from a penpal list.

Me, You, and Your Mama Too.

In December of 2008, a study was released that showed married women in Japan who live with their in-laws are at higher risk of suffering a heart attack. Another study released last year confirmed that in-laws were one of the leading cause of divorce among Indian, Chinese, and Malay couples in Malaysia. But I'm sure this idea has a wider reach and can be applicable to many married Asian American women who have close contact with their in-laws.