Let me introduce you to Aja Dang. A student at the University of Southern California, future broadcast journalist and current Maxim Hometown Hotties contestant.
What inspired you to enter Maxim’s Hometown Hotties contest and why should people vote for you?
Aja Dang: I’ve been wanting to write for Maxim for a while now and in my twisted mind I figured that applying for Hometown Hotties would get me in the door so I could meet the right people and talk to them about my column idea. I think it would be great to have a column where guys write in to the magazine and ask questions about girls, sex, relationships, life, etc. from a girls point of view…And frankly, who better to ask than your very own Hometown Hottie?!
Maxim’s Hometown Hotties contest is a great starting point for girls, whether you want to model or write, so I’m really appreciative of the opportunity. I think people should vote for me because I am what a Hometown Hottie is supposed to be: intelligent, genuine, outgoing, approachable and friendly. Voting for the winner starts in November, so check out HometownHotties.com to check out myself and all the other Finalists.
Who is Aja Dang? Describe yourself in 140 characters or less. #TwitterChallenge
Aja: Versatile,open&loyal. Proud of my heritage & love my friends&family. I love the finer things in life incl. Pokemon & I believe Jack Bauer is real.
Right now you are giving Kelly Hu a run for her money as our favorite Hawaiian. What is the best kept secret about Hawaii that most don’t know but should definitely check out?
Aja: Kelly Who?! Just kidding! She is one of the local beauties Hu (get it?) I admire, so that is such a compliment! I think going on hikes is the best way to really appreciate Oahu. Olomana in Kailua is probably my favorite hike because the view is amazing. The hike is scary as shit for someone who is afraid of heights (like myself) but climbing on the side of a mountain is 100% worth it for the views. The Lanikai Pillboxes is a nice and easy hike and every time I go home I have to hike up Koko Head just because it is a killer workout.
There is a lot more than meets the eye with you. Studying Broadcast Journalism as a grad student at USC, do you want to take my job? Should I be worried? What got you interested in going into that field and what are some of the projects you work on?
Aja: Haha, there is no need for you to worry! Although I am getting my masters in Journalism, I ultimately want my own travel show. I love traveling – I try to go internationally once a year and have to get out of LA at least once a month…for sanity’s sake. Traveling is amazing because you can meet different people and experience new and different cultures. Coming from Hawaii, which is a very culture-rich state, I was pretty disappointed moving to the mainland because I felt people weren’t as open to other cultures and learning about different ways of life. Although people might not have the means to go to Thailand or Paris, they can certainly learn about the history, culture and people, and I hope one day to be the person to connect them.
However, until my dream job comes around, I currently write for Neon Tommy and 1st & Spring. 1st & Spring is a LA specific news blog, which focuses on city policy. I try to focus my articles around environmental policy so over the two years I have been reporting, I have unknowingly become quite the expert on electric buses, natural disasters, bike policy and plastic bag bans! At Neon Tommy I have more flexibility with what I produce, so I have covered topics ranging from entertainment, national politics to the LAUSD and the environment. I had a popular column called Blacklisted, which highlighted the most bizarre stories in popular culture, and I’ve also covered red carpet events. I am also the co-host for a show called USC Report where I talk to someone about USC football… which has been actually pretty interesting considering I’m a Notre Dame fan 😉
I’m not sure which is more alluring… Your smile, your incredible body or your intelligence. What do you look for in a guy? What features attract you?
Aja: Ugh. If I knew what I was attracted to, I wouldn’t be single! In all seriousness, I need a guy who is driven, intelligent, funny, easy going, rational and passionate. I also need someone who cares about the environment and loves to travel because those are very important to me. I can’t really explain physically what attracts me to someone because the guys I have dated come from many ethnic backgrounds. However, a warm-heart and someone who can take my sarcastic personality is at the top of my list. Also, I need someone who can put me in my place because let’s face it, us girls are crazy sometimes!
What is best, worst or craziest date a guy has ever taken you on?
Aja: The best dates are when guys take me places I have never been before. My ex-boyfriend took me to Sausalito on our first date and that was amazing because we just walked around and I was able to experience somewhere I had never been before.
If we want to talk about worst dates, I have had a doozie! I went on a date with a guy who is a big producer in the music industry. First, he was 30 minutes late to pick me up, which is one of my pet peeves, so that wasn’t good. Then when we were driving to the restaurant he took two business calls, put them on speaker phone so I could hear the multi-million dollar deal he was trying to pull and forced his driver to talk to me. Then he takes me to Mel’s Drive Inn on Sunset and proceeds to tell me how he can get any video model he wants but is in love with me and wants me to have his baby…this was the first (and last) date and second time I had ever talked to him. Basically it was the date from hell.
Now I know you are a die hard San Francisco Giants fan… So who do you think is going to win the World Series this year and what do the 2010 Champs have a chance next season?
Aja: Milwaukee has great team chemistry this year and Prince Fielder is a boss but I really want Detroit to win. I feel like the city could really use a World Series win to bring the city back to life and give them something to flaunt in our faces for a year before the Giants take the title back. But in order for that to happen the Giants need to step their hitting game up. We have a great pitching staff but don’t have any consistently good offensive players to back them up. We also need to get injured players back on the field because not having Posey and Freddie Sanchez this year really hurt us.
What are some of your favorite hot spots in LA & SF?
Aja: I’m still trying to get adjusted to LA life but I’ll tell you this: Sunday night at My Studio in Hollywood is my shit because they play hip hop all night! Some of my favorite restaurants are Izukaya, Larchmont Bar and Grill and Bazaar at SLS hotel. Also a little shopping tip, Loehmann’s by the Beverly Center is the best because you get all your favorite high-priced labels for 50% off! I’m a gold card member 😉
San Francisco is easy. AT&T for a game, Ozumo for sushi, International Orange for an amazing massage, the boutiques in the Marina for shopping, Haute Bride for jewelery and Manor West for a night of dancing.
Which would you rather have? A day on the beach, at the ballpark or hustling and grinding in LA?
Aja: Is it too greedy to ask for all three? 🙂 A perfect day for me is waking up early to spend a couple hours at the beach, go home to watch the Giants spank the Dodgers, take a nap and then go out to a great restaurant with my family or friends.
Between Facebook, Twitter and your web site do you think you have enough stalkers? Tell the people how they can find more from you…
Aja: There is no such thing as too many stalkers! I tried my very hardest to avoid the Twitter craze but USC made me get one for my graduate program so people can follow me at @ajadang. My Facebook page, www.facebook.com/iamajadang, is also a great way to connect with me. With both Facebook and Twitter I like to post a lot of pictures and videos and I really like engaging with my fans so if you have a question for me or just want to say hi, I definitely try to respond to every post. However, if you’re in the mood to read up on some news stories in the Los Angeles area, my online portfolio, AjaDang.com, has all my articles and videos I have written and produced since I moved to Los Angeles. Basically, whether you’re in the mood to look at hot bikini pictures or read up on current policy issues, I’m your girl!