Monday, October 27, 2008

a couple things that make me happy before the elections

Ted Stevens is convicted of a felony, which means the Democrat running against him for his seat in the Senate is likely to win.

And Alaska's largest newspaper endorses Obama for President! I only hope this discredits Palin in the eyes of even more Republicans.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

how about a round of applause?

Last night I went to Yoshi's SF to see my fave local band, Rupa and the April Fishes (Yes, again. Good music never tires).

My accordion teacher is one of the musicians in this group. And when I was watching her in amazement, it hit me that not only are we paying to see them do their thing, but their thing is also their job. I mean, I might be a musician if I actually had that gift. (I don't, which is why I'm not, and which is why I pay to see others perform.) Needless to say, the show was amazing as always, and the crowd at Yoshi's, though a little more subdued than the usual raucousness of an April Fishes show, showed their appreciation for a exceptional job though a standing ovation and loud cheering and clapping.

So the other thought I had was, wouldn't it be nice if we had cheering sections at all our jobs? I mean, I have talent too. I'm an editor, and maybe I would be more motivated to cut if I had a group of fans encouraging me as I worked. Granted, editing is less glamorous, awe-inspiring and sexy than performing live music on stage, but it's cool too and deserves appreciation, no?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I had a dream the other night, some may call it a nightmare, that it was the apocalypse, and that we all knew that the atomic bomb was about to drop on us all. It's funny what you do when you realize that you have only a few minutes left to live, and I chose to ride my bike through SF, dance with my niece to Brazilian music and worry about what was going to happen to all the animals.

When I woke up, it was clear to me why I was dreaming about the apocalypse, and honestly, it looks something like this. Click on different things in the room to get a better idea of what will happen (especially the red phone).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

crazy for bonito!

My friend Michael told me about bonito flakes about a year ago, and since then, Cloud has learned how to ask for them by name. She has a special kind of meow when she wants more bonito. There is an air of desperation to it.

But bonito flakes at the pet store are so expensive! How can I possibly satiate my cat's addiction to this flaky dried fish?

I found a couple markets in Japan Town that sell bonito for humans at a much lower price. I head over there and buy several bags at a time, so I have plenty in stock and Cloud will never go through withdrawals. The last time I went there, I found a 100 gram bag for $4.50 a bag. So I grabbed four of them and slyly went to the register, thinking I could pull off the guise of being a cool white chick who really likes to make Japanese soup.

The cashier took one look at me and asked, "Are these for your cat?" I think my face went red. I had been found out.

"How did you know?" I asked.

"You have cat hair all over your jacket," was his reply.

I guess I am a dead giveaway.

Friday, October 17, 2008

a frightening prospect

Monsieur, there is mold in your cellar!

Recently I attended a party in San Francisco with a lot of interesting French people. I met a troglodyte, a guy from Tours who grew up in a cave, and his parents still live in the cave. At the same party, another girl told me that during the war, Parisians took to growing mushrooms in their basements because both money and provisions were tight, which is why they are called les champignons de Paris.

Here's a funny ad I found online about these French fungi:

And here's a shot of a French cave dwelling:

This leads me to my theme of the day. Growing mold in your cellar... on purpose! I just read this engaging article in the IHT about Philippe Alléosse, a Parisian man committed to making cheese according to French artisanal tradition, taking on industrial cheese producers and fighting to preserve his country's culinary heritage. He's doing it in his own cellar, just like those Parisian pioneers and their 'shrooms.

But of course, what's at stake here is greater than one man dedicated to making cheese the old fashioned way. Like José Bové and the hunger strikers against GM crops and foods, and like Joel Salatin, the "beyond organic" grass farmer in Michael Pollan's outstanding book The Omnivore's Dilemma, Alléosse plays a crucial role in our global fight to preserve food as we know it, or I should say as our grandparents knew it. Chicken that tastes like Chicken. Cheese that tastes like Cheese. The NYT had an article yesterday about Bill Niman, the famous beef-rancher who recently turned goat rancher. Goat that tastes like Goat.

I'd also like to contribute my own story here about the way food ought to taste. The first time I went to France, I was a twelve year old zit-faced girl with braces. At that point in my life, I thought cheese was a yellow thing that came in individually wrapped slices that my mom put in our sandwiches. Nachos were another part of my regime. On this particular trip, my dad took me to the market on Rue de Seine, and showed me what I now know is a Crottin de Chevre. I had never tasted cheese like this before, especially with some slices of fruit and a fresh baguette. It became our mission from that moment on to find the moldiest cheese we could find. "The moldier the better" became our motto.

But wait, there's more! At the age of sixteen, I found myself in Belgium. One morning at breakfast, my host mother put a kilo of tiny strawberries in front of us, and we made tartines aux fraises, kind of like a strawberry sandwich. These strawberries were so sweet that no added sugar (or worse, HFCS) is needed. I had never encountered a fruit so sweet, perhaps because I had never tasted a real strawberry.

On a final note, my friend Sarah told me over lunch today that she just joined a new CSA for Marin Sun Farms because she no longer wants her boyfriend to buy Safeway beef from Cowschwitz. My point, of course, is that whether you buy from a CSA, grow your own or buy from the farmers' markets, by all means, do something to protect our food! And cheers to the NYT and IHT for publishing such important articles!

was it something I said?

I got a message this morning that really made me laugh out loud. I met the Twins Brothers on my last trip to Paris, two DJs from the banlieue. They're coming to SF in November to deejay at the End Up and asked me if I knew anyone that could help them get a few more gigs while they were in town. I put them in touch with my old friend DJ Seven, who in turn gave the Twins several leads. I was copied on the Twins' reply to DJ Seven this morning, in which one of the Twins thanked him and told him, "I hate to meet you."

I'd say something was lost in translation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

dances with david [come take a ride]

I have been so negligent. I have had a lot on my mind. I haven't been able to formulate what I want to say here. I will be back with more ruminations from KT's brain soon.

In the meantime, I saw David Byrne (my hero) at Davies Symphony Hall about a week and a half ago. It was quite a sight to see people boogie-ing in the aisles during the concert since all my previous visits to Davies have been to sit and listen to a symphony.

The show rocked to say the least, and for lack of better words (of course it rocked, you say). For the second encore, Extra Action Marching Band (friends of David) traipsed through the crowd from the back, joined Byrne and friends on stage and they literally brought down the house with a truly symphonic rendition of Burning Down The House. A religious experience for me.

David Byrne recently wrote about his visit to SF on his own blog, and I although I am aware that he travels with bicycles wherever he goes, I am quite pleased to learn that he toured the Tiburon Peninsula and Muir Woods à vélo. What I wouldn't give to go on road to nowhere with David Byrne by bike.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

dances with chicken

So I've got my pic with Bill, with Gavin, and now with Chicken!

Chicken John that is. He snored next to me all the way from New York to San Francisco (coming back from my European vacation). He also told me all about a boat that he built in the Hudson Bay that runs on hydrogen. More about that on his blog. (Actually, as a gift, he gave me a Ticket to the Moon, so I wonder if that gets me a ride on the boat. I'll have to ask him.)

Monday, October 06, 2008

start wearing it

I want to think that Gogol Bordello is the reason that purple is the new "it" color this season.

Photo by Sarah Cervinski

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

peur[s] du noir

I can't get enough of French film! Especially animated ones! Peur[s] du Noir (Fear[s] of the Dark) reminds me a little of Persepolis in style, yet draws on psychological nightmares instead of socio-political ones for content.

Watch the trailer here.