Thursday, November 30, 2006


Just went to Recombinant Labs today to tech the show for Saturday. I was definitely inspired. Seeing the films projected around me with the sound score filling every corner of the room made me appreciate how special this place is! And I'm so honored to be part of the event.

Here's the definition of recombinant from

re‧com‧bi‧nant  [ree-kom-buh-nuhnt]
1. of or resulting from new combinations of genetic material: recombinant cells.
2. a cell or organism whose genetic complement results from recombination.
3. the genetic material produced when segments of DNA from different sources are joined to produce recombinant DNA.
[Origin: 1940–45; re- + combine + -ant

I wish I could be more eloquent today, but my brain is nearly fried from all the technological challenges over the last couple days. I'm going to check out Borat tonight.

more on darfur

You can watch a clip about a recent trip to Darfur at the link below: has a post called "Video from Chad" that's worth checking out...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

the rise of slime/global warming

I just read an article in the Nov 20th New Yorker by Elizabeth Kolbert about the effects of global warming on our oceans, notably on corals and micro-organisms. Basically, we are experiencing a rate of change to our ecosystems that is similar to that of the so-called Cretaceous-Tertiary period when a six-mile long asteroid hit the earth. "Half of all the coral became exctinct, and it took the other half more than two million years to recover." She also writes about the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which refers to another period that took place 55 million years ago, when most of the prehistoric mammals became extinct and new species emerged as a result of more CO2 in the atmosphere. These changes occured over a period of one to ten thousand years. The changes we are wreaking on our environment have largely occured in the last century. She writes, "Currently, CO2 is being released into the air at least three times and perhaps as much as thirty times as quickly as during the PETM."

What is it going to take? I'm convinced that we need to engender a new race of ecologically conscious youngsters who see conservation and preservation as not just a priority, but the norm for social behavior. And that humans are merely one species that inhabits Planet Earth, and that it is an honor to even be here.

She quotes another scientist who explains that the result of rising levels of CO2 in the oceans will be that most of the organisms in the oceans' food chain will become extinct and we'll be left only with the likes of jellyfish: "... at the end we will have the rise of slime."

remembering darfur at thanksgiving has a post called "Materials for Thanksgiving Action" that's worth checking out...

Thanks again for including the people of Darfur in your Thanksgiving celebration. We truly appreciate your help.Below are links to download the two documents you'll need.1. A one page Microsoft Word document that provides a brief overview of the crisis in Darfur. … Read more

Friday, November 17, 2006

pic from the past

My dad just sent me this pic from my graduation ceremony from UCSD.

women who have it all

Praise be to estrogen! I am among the lucky ones to have such great friends! Last Saturday my gal pals from UCSD and I converged on Union Square for a mini-reunion. I call it mini because in reality we only had 24 hours, which is not enough when you have big talkers among us, and when so many changes occur in the course of a year. Although I felt that we only barely brushed the surface, I am still thankful that we all motivated and got together. It is important that we all continue to prioritize our bond and make the time to be together after all these years... 14!!!

My mom likes to watch the Today show every morning (of which I don't necessarily approve since it's not really news, but to each her own). There was a story about women who work, travel for work and have families. And Meredith Veira made the point that men who work, travel for work and have a wife and kids are considered to "have a life," where when women have the same, they are considered to "have it all." I think this is a good point. It is a double standard in our society, that women are still supposed to do one or the other, and men are supposed to "have it all," and it's considered normal for men and abnormal for women. So I retract my earlier statement about Hillary Clinton having it all. Let's just admire her for her having what she wants from her life and consider her a role model for young women and women of all ages.

And I'd also like to recognize my girlfriends for having what they want too. Jen for setting the goal and running her second marathon during her first 2 years of motherhood (would she have had the time for this accomplishment had she been a working mom too? I'm sure she would, but not working surely made it easier!!!) Angela for being positive and healthy and ambitious throughout her second pregnancy, working steadily and maintaining her position during another round of layoffs (all the while feeling like she wanted to barf!), as well as patiently supporting her husband's decision to seek professional happiness. Laura for taking the step to search for personal truths through voice lessons (Vegas, baby Vegas!), all the while having to be the mother and father of her 3 sons while her husband is stationed in Greece for a year. And finally Sujata, who boldly went to seek her own personal truths away from family and partner for two months in Spain, and returned with a renewed sense of self and vision for her future. I am proud to have all of you as friends!!!

I'm going to be working on a new video art piece that I'm super excited about at Recombinant Labs featuring choreography and performance from the ODC dance company. Come one, come all. It should be cool. Check it out:

Monday, November 06, 2006

symbols, signs and omens

On Saturday, Young, Julie, Jeff, Sultan and I went to the Day of the Dead altars at SomArts. Some of the altars were very chilling in how they remembered the dead. There was one altar that featured old black and white photographs from the wakes of those who have passed, some of them mere babies. It was very spooky to see a newborn child so still and lifeless. I've been lucky to be present for the births of my nieces and see them only hours after their births. But I had never seen anything like these photographs before. Other installations were less somber and more celebratory about the lives of the people who were lost. All of the installations were incredibly creative. One represented a tea party. Another represented the time period when the artist's grandfather had to leave Germany for Peru to escape the Nazis. The most interactive and fun was a huge statue with the torso of an angel, and when you stuck your head into a chapel with a camera, your face would appear on a round screen above the shoulders of the statue, topped with a halo. We had a lot of fun with that one.

I think about death a lot, mostly because I am reminded how fragile life is because I see so much road kill out here in West Marin. I know that often animals cross the road when it is not necessarily safe, but I am a little disturbed by the thought that the people driving the cars don't slow down at night when they know that nocturnal animals are out and about. I always see deer, raccoons, foxes and rabbits on the side of the road when I am coming home at night. For this reason, I always drive with more caution than usual. But apparently others don't, and when I drive by these listless bodies of deer whose necks and legs are bent in unnatural ways, I am saddened by the loss of life. I want to contact whoever is responsible for Marin County roads and ask them to put up more deer crossing signs and more streetlights out here to protect the sanctuary for the wildlife that lives out here and roams the roads at night in search of food and water.

My friend Tanya told me that the other day she was hiking on Mt. Tam. She actually was trying to find her ex on the mountain. She knew he was up there, and she knew that she shouldn't try to find him because it was over between them. When all of a sudden, a coyote crossed her path. The coyote looked scraggy and skinny and ugly. She took this coyote as a sign and immediately turned back and walked back to her car.

I rode my bike into the city on Saturday. It was a gorgeous sunny day. When I was in Mill Valley, my hometown, a flock of Canadian geese flew in front of me, right as I passed by my old high school in a beautiful V. On my way home from San Francisco on Sunday, I rode by the high school again, when I saw these same geese fly by me again. They were flying so low to the ground that I felt like I could jump into the V and join them on their path.

Friday, November 03, 2006

piece d'identite

I started filling out my application for permanent residence in Canada today. The whole concept of nationality and borders really perplexes me. I mean, how and when did our governments decide to make it so difficult and bureaucratic to move from place to place? Columbus didn't need a visa to come here. The original settlers didn't either. What about Marie Antoinette? Did she need to fill out immigration forms in order to marry Louis XVI and become the Queen of France? Or was the paperwork resolved with a simple handshake?

So when I move to Vancouver, and if I ever decide to become a citizen, will I no longer be an American? What about Tony Aguerre, the Basque man who I've known since I was a baby (Monique's dad)? He is still seen as Basque, even though he's been here for 40 years. But he's lived here longer than he lived in France! And even in France, he's not considered French, but Basque!

This line of thinking reminds me of the questions about identity that Young brought up one day:

1) how do I see myself? (citizen of the world!)
2) how do others see me? (american citizen?)
3) who am I really? (that's a tough one!)

I'm still working with Jessica on our new dance film about identity, which I hope we're able to finish before the end of the year! Anyway, thought I'd share a photo of her and her beautiful foot.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

reveries d'une dejeuneuse solitaire

It's raining cats and dogs today. So I didn't go on a bike ride. Instead I finally cleaned my room and put my clothes away. My mom will be thrilled. I took a bath. It was very relaxing. I had all sorts of aromatherapy products and candles lit to enhance the experience. Before my bath I spoke with Alexei. He sounded happy. Again, surprise surprise, I did most of the talking. Although he told me about how his cousin lives in Denmark and used to be married to a girl from there. When I asked what happened, his response was that his cousin's ex-wife was crazy, and that he didn't think that people from the Caribbean and people from Northern Europe were a good match. Of course, I had something to say about that! I asked him what he thought of a relationship between someone from the Caribbean and someone from North America (especially our two countries). His response was that it was different because he and I have so much in common.

I wonder, how can he know that when our relationship is mostly based on e-mails and a monthly 30 minute phone call?

When I was in the bath, I got a phone call from my friend Angie, with the sad news that some friends of ours are getting divorced. Another international couple, but there is no way one can say that the reasons they are splitting up is that he's from France and she's from England.

What it comes down to, of course, is that the couples that stay together do so because they have learned how to communicate with each other and they grow together and they are still working towards the common goal of being together, not to mention working at maintaining the love and romance of what connected the couple in the first place.

After my bath and after cleaning up my room, I prepared some lunch. I lifted the blinds and sat at the table by the window, so I could feel like I was sitting out on the deck in nature, and still look out the window upon the creek and the raindrops falling on the water, and the yellow leaves falling through the air. As I opened the blinds, I saw a snowy white egret land in the creek for an afternoon repose. A new visitor to my backyard nature sanctuary. (I almost forgot to mention that I saw a fox crossing the road last night on my drive home.) I reflected on the concept of wu wei, and how I can apply the concept to the many decisions I have to make in life. The wu wei concept would say that I don't have to make any decisions, that I shouldn't do anything. This concept constantly reminds me that no matter what we do in life, we will eventually land where we are supposed to land, and things like the egret will unexpectedly land in our path, and we should just wait and see what happens next.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

hillary rocks/i still love hillary

Just finished reading an article in The Atlantic about Hillary Clinton. This woman is a role model for all women. She is proof that we can have it all. She is the New York State Senator, and will be re-elected for a second term. She could run for president if she wanted to and give John McCain a run for his money. Certainly she would be able to raise more campaign funds than he could even imagine. She is a master in front of the press at answering questions so as to never incriminate herself (John Kerry should take a few lessons). She has won the support of many senior senators, on both sides of the political divide. She is extremely successful in her political career and she is also married to probably the most powerful politician in the world (yes, I believe that Bill Clinton has more political sway in the world than W. That man can move mountains if he wanted to). She is the mother to a very intelligent and successful daughter (what better role model could Chelsea have than her own mother?). So long live Hillary Clinton and I am still a supporter of Hillary!