Friday, November 20, 2009

beisbol bery bery good


I was watching CNN at the SF Passport Agency today and saw this update at the bottom of the screen:

US and Cuba practice baseball diplomacy.

Hmmm... I had to investigate.

From the article in the Associated Press:

"Pingpong diplomacy" thawed relations between the United States and China in 1971. Can "baseball diplomacy" help do the same for the U.S. and Cuba?

Read more here.

Friday, November 06, 2009

et glou et glou et glou et shoe



The really funny part is that I've actually done this before in a moment of desperation.

All I ever really needed to know I learned in France.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

a sweet thank you note from an unexpected guest

Thank you so much for making my final stop so wonderful Kristin,

The french cafe - the pomegranates and learning how to pronounce Guillaume

The view out to the water

The mist rolling in

Cloud purring on me - when you weren't there ; )

Riding on the cable car - the wrong way

Reading the Tao

Freezing outside CBS cause I didn't realize the doors were open

Walking the stripper district and exploring the city lights bookstore

Freezing outside city lights

Our Italian dinner and interesting service personnel...

Red wines

Learning about the men of your life

Sleeping in

Cream cheese and fresh salmon on toast with flax and yoghurt on the side

And of course Numi's lime tea!

Learning how to pronounce lao tze

Celebrating the sale of gloves

And most importantly:

Enjoying the best burritos in the WHOLE World

See you in Rio,

Simon

x

Baby Naoko


Baby Naoko, originally uploaded by jojohead.

My friend Sujata after giving birth to beautiful baby Naoko!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

that better be one good caipirinha

I bought a ticket to Rio de Janeiro today to celebrate New Year's on Copacabana beach. I'm quite sure that I made the right decision.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

quinn deveaux

I saw Quinn DeVeaux perform solo at Amnesia some time ago, maybe it was last year. He was opening for a band I had been following, The California Honeydrops, and even though he was playing solo, I remembered being impressed by his voice. You could tell he was singing wholeheartedly, without any sign of pretension. He was at the club because he believed in the music he was offering to us. And in turn, we all believed in him. So I signed his mailing list.

Now Quinn has a full band, with three backup singers, and through the weekly emails, I keep seeing that he has more and more shows coming up. I just had a peek at this podcast in which he and his band perform their songs in a studio. It's gorgeous to look at, and even moreso to listen and tap your foot to. Enjoy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

drifting away

P1050157
Cats can be in any position and tune anything out, drifting away into a meditative state. (At this particular moment, she was tuning out the street noise and my rendition of Jacques Brel's Amsterdam.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

self-identified crazy person

video
I shot this video of myself after a shoot I did with Jessica a few months ago for our film: Forms of Identification.

What do you think? Should I stay in the picture or is this gonna end up on the cutting room floor?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Drink... Then Drive!

Forget Gas, Batteries — Pee Is New Power Source

* By Eric BLand
MSNBC, July 8, 2009
Straight to the Source

Urine-powered cars, homes and personal electronic devices could be available in six months with new technology developed by scientists from Ohio University.

Using a nickel-based electrode, the scientists can create large amounts of cheap hydrogen from urine that could be burned or used in fuel cells. "One cow can provide enough energy to supply hot water for 19 houses," said Gerardine Botte, a professor at Ohio University developing the technology. "Soldiers in the field could carry their own fuel."

Pee power is based on hydrogen, the most common element in the universe but one that has resisted efforts to produce, store, transport and use economically.

Storing pure hydrogen gas requires high pressure and low temperature. New nanomaterials with high surface areas can adsorb hydrogen, but have yet to be produced on a commercial scale.

Chemically binding hydrogen to other elements, like oxygen to create water, makes it easier to store and transport, but releasing the hydrogen when it's needed usually requires financially prohibitive amounts of electricity.

By attaching hydrogen to another element, nitrogen, Botte and her colleagues realized that they can store hydrogen without the exotic environmental conditions, and then release it with less electricity, 0.037 Volts instead of the 1.23 Volts needed for water.

One molecule of urea, a major component of urine, contains four atoms of hydrogen bonded to two atoms of nitrogen. Stick a special nickel electrode into a pool of urine, apply an electrical current, and hydrogen gas is released.

Botte's current prototype measures 3x3x1 inch and can produce up to 500 milliwatts of power. However, Botte and her colleagues are actively trying to commercialize several larger versions of the technology.

A fuel cell, urine-powered vehicle could theoretically travel 90 miles per gallon. A refrigerator-sized unit could produce one kilowatt of energy for about $5,000, although this price is a rough estimate, says Botte.

"The waste products from say a chicken farm could be used to produce the energy needed to run the farm," said John Stickney, a chemist and professor at the University of Georgia.

Monday, August 10, 2009

à table!


I started a blog (finally) about my other passion: Food.

The blog is designed to help promote my new food project, Ediblease.

This pic is from our pilot shoot. Kara and Úna prepared a delicious cold cucumber soup.

Friday, July 31, 2009

SF's Best Dressed Boyz!


Slideshow #2 is up on NBC Bay Area! Don't forget to vote on how you feel (thrilled! intrigued!)! Merci!

Forms of Identification


Jess and I created a blog for our short experimental dance film Forms of Identification. We'll be posting updates on screenings of rough cuts, trailers and other clips and or photos of the film here. You can also stay tuned to hear how post-production and our distribution and funding plans are going. So come back often!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

new food for SF!


San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom today issued the first ever comprehensive food policy for San Francisco, and a sweeping action plan to make improvements to food that is available in the region. The plan, which Mayor Newsom issued through Executive Directive, aims to ensure that all regional residents have access to healthy food, and will have far reaching impact throughout Northern California by increasing support for area farms.

Read more here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

kermit does corks


Kermit Lynch has partnered with ReCork America in a program to reuse and recycle unwanted corks! I've been saving corks for years since my dad and I both knew artists who used cork as their medium. Now there's no reason for all y'all who don't save corks to start, and pick up a bottle of your favorite Cotes du Whatever while you're at it from good ol' Kermit!

Monday, June 22, 2009

back to the basic goat


I saw these goats grazing on a hillside behind USF last Thursday evening. Apparently they belong to City Grazing, an alternative to lawnmowers, weedcutters and other gas-guzzling yard equipment.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

sequoias giganticus

As Bay Area residents, we often get visitors who want to tour California, see the City, the Coast and of course the Redwoods. About 12 years ago, a Swiss couple came to visit, and inquired where they could see the big Redwoods. My dad steered them away from Muir Woods and toward Sequoia National Park where you could experience the really big old trees. After a few martinis, he insisted on calling them by what he thought was their Latin name "Sequoias Giganticus." This has been a running joke in our family ever since.

So a couple weekends ago, my dad and I went on a photo weekend to Amador, Stanislaus and Calaveras Counties. We stopped by the "Big Trees" National Park to picnic. I took a brochure so we could figure out what kind of big trees were in the park.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

cloud on my mind


I love this double image of Cloud. It's like she's dreaming, and this little reflection of her is seen in the mirror behind her, which makes it look like a little mini-me of Cloud is floating above her head.

Friday, May 01, 2009

rudo y cursi


OMG! Ay Dios Mio! What an enjoyable and fun film! And great acting to boot. I'm a fan of Mexican film, and I'm also a footie fan, AND I'm also a Gael Garcia Bernal fan, so how could you go wrong with Rudo y Cursi, a charming and funny film about a couple brothers/campesinos trying to make it as First Division footballers in el DF. And, Bernal even sings and plays accordion (thump thump goes my heart), even if he's un poco riduculo in doing so. I'm not even going to tell you what his big hit is.

Rudo y Cursi will be back in theaters for a week in SF starting May 15. Go see it!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

it's them... isn't it?


I just saw this amazing film from Quebec at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Here's the write-up from the SFIFF newsletter:

It's Not Him, He Swears
Vandalism. Breaking and entering. Arson. Suicide. Not typically the stuff of a movie centered on a ten-year-old boy, particularly one who plays with kites and has a sweet tooth for Fudgesicles. But Léon, the protagonist of Quebec director Philippe Falardeau's It's Not Me, I Swear!, is one maladjusted mischief-maker, coping with his parents' separation and his mother's abandonment to disastrous effect. Falardeau, who appeared at the Festival in 2007 with the farcical Congorama, was careful to ensure his film would “blend humor and drama simultaneously.” The movie opens with an incident that is both horrific and bizarrely amusing, setting the tone for a comedy wrung from tragic circumstances. “The opening scene, it's absurd,” said Falardeau. “When you look at it, it's funny. But when you actually think about it, the situation is not funny. And life is like that.” When one audience member commented that he was “profoundly disturbed” by the film, Falardeau noted that “about 20 percent of the audience always has that reaction. But oftentimes a viewer's reaction to a film says more about his personal experience rather than the film itself.”

Sometimes, he said, kids are better judges of what's truly unsettling. “In Berlin, this film was shown to a theater of 11-year-olds. I didn't think they should see it. In my mind, this was a film for adults. But, it turns out that the children take it better than we do. They laugh much more. The thing that traumatized them most was the kiss” between the two child stars. When asked how he worked with his exceptional leads—a ten-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl—Falardeau shared a secret. “Candy. We threw candy at them when they were good.” In reality, he rehearsed for weeks with the kids, who, despite their lack of experience, turned out to be professional and intuitive actors. “We would discuss the characters and Antoine L'Écuyer, the young actor who played Léon, would be dead-on about 80 percent of the time. And professional actors are just children anyway. So there's almost no difference.”

It's Not Me, I Swear!
screens next on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Poem For Spring

One of my favorite places in San Francisco, The Red Poppy, has a mailing list that I've subscribed to for the past several years. Today I received this Pablo Neruda poem from them, and now I offer it to you.

A Poem for Spring

(Poem 14 from Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)

Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and in the water.
You are more than this little white head I hold tightly
like a cluster of grapes between my hands every day.

You seem like no other since I've loved you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
Ah let me remember you as you were then, before you even existed.

Suddenly the wind howls and knocks against my shut window.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowed fish.
Here all the winds come to give, all of them.
The rain strips off her clothes.

The birds pass by, fleeing.
The wind. The wind.
I can only fight against the power of men.
The storm gathers dark leaves
and lets loose all the boats that last night were moored to the sky.

You are here. Ah, you don't flee.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Cling to my side as if you were scared.
But once a strange shadow ran through your eyes.

Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and you're perfumed all the way to your breasts.
While the sad wind gallops killing butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites your mouth plum.

How you must have hurt as you accustomed to me,
to my solitary and savage soul, to my name that drives everyone away.
We have seen the evening's first star burn so many times, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the twilights untwist in revolving fans.

My words rained over you, caressing you.
I've loved your sunned, mother-of-pearl body ever since.
Until I believe you own the universe.
I will bring you elated mountain flowers, Chilean copihues,
dark hazelnuts, and rustic baskets of kisses.
I want to do with you
what spring does with the cherry trees.



translated and (c) Mark Eisner

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Global Spirit


The series I edited for Link TV, "Global Spirit" premiered on Sunday evening, but you can also watch the episodes online. The New York Times also wrote a favorable review about our series. I highly recommend it, so please take some time to check it out.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Out of the ashes, rises the Phoenix


I wrote a letter to the Universe this morning. It was a visualization about my future life partner, and how I imagine we will be together. The vision made me feel very supported and happy. It was as if he were already here in my life, and all I have to do now is keep walking down my path, and all the love, beauty and happiness that I visualized would soon be here.

Monday, April 06, 2009

our eloquent prez

This post is way overdue, and for lack of anything better to say at the moment, I give you these profound words from da Prez.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

rub-a-dub-dub


My dad sent me this pic of my nieces, and that is the only caption that is needed.

Monday, March 23, 2009

smile! you're on candid camera!


Although I seriously considered it, the only reason I didn't take it was that perhaps there was a hidden camera crew somewhere, ready to make me look like a petty thief.

Friday, March 20, 2009

kitty for hire!

My friend Alex realized that she had a mouse problem in her flat last week, so she asked if she could borrow Cloud to scare the mice away.

Here are a couple shots of Cloud on the job:



She's killing them with cuteness!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Van is the Man for US


Van Jones is my hero. He is also the perfect man for me. I just wish I had met him and made him fall in love with me before he met his wife and had adorable children with her.

But, we can all be happy that he left the Bay Area on Sunday (sniff) for Washington to be Obama's adviser on green jobs. I had the honor and privilege of witnessing his last public speech in the Bay Area and also as the head of his non-profit Green For All before he boarded the plane to start his new gig on Obama's Green Team. Mr. Jones is not only inspirational (not to mention incredibly handsome), he's also got a great sense of humor in the face of adversity, a positive attitude that we could all use a dollop of on our morning toast and is a saving grace to the disenfranchised whose voices have been ignored for decades and centuries by previous administrations.

Thank God we have the right men in the White House (finally).

Here's an interview with Van the Man who Can from Alternet.

Monday, March 09, 2009

stage fright

I just had to pee in the stall next to Dana King. She was mic'd so it kind of felt like my bathroom break would go live on air and that made me more than a little nervous.

Friday, March 06, 2009

text Hillary

I just texted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about how ensuring continued humanitarian aid and ending genocide in Darfur should be her immediate priorities. You can text her too by sending a message to 90822. If you don't believe me, read about this action here.

smiles for everyone

I have been going back to one of my favorite books lately, Peace Is Every Step, by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. In the foreward, there's a poem that has offered me simple, yet profound inspiration lately. I would like to share it with you, my friends and readers (whoever you might be):

Peace is every step.
The shining red sun is my heart.
Each flower smiles with me.
How green, how fresh all that grows.
How cool the wind blows.
Peace is every step.
It turns the endless path to joy.


Wishing peace, smiles and joy in all that you do, feel and experience.
:-)

save the honeybee!

So much depends on the honeybee - from the food we eat to our survival as a species.

Tell the EPA to protect honey bees from a toxic pesticide.


From the NRDC website:
Bees help produce about one-third of the food we eat, and yet as hives across the country are being devastated by colony collapse disorder, the EPA is allowing the use of a pesticide that is highly toxic to honey bees. Tell the EPA to protect honey bees and other pollinators from this toxic threat.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

this is big news

Warrant out for Bashir. At last!

dear john

I wrote R. the letter last night. It was perfect. Cloud wanted to let me know that she didn't care for him anyway.


I imagine she's saying to me, why would you need a man when you have furry white cuteness to snuggle up to every night?

Monday, February 23, 2009

i might be mentally ill (i need the eggs)

After just four weeks of dating R., I am even more convinced that the state of being enamoured with someone falls under the category of mental illness.

And to revisit my quest for the Trifecta, I must now ask, when do love and infatuation ever make sense? Feel good and inspire... sure, why not? But make sense?

Perhaps it is the Holy Grail after all.

Monday, February 16, 2009

things that make you go hmmmmm...

I'm currently meditating on Rob Brezny's advice to me (a Virgo) this week (though I think it applies to all people):

"The person one loves never really exists," said Arthur C. Clarke, "but is a projection focused through the lens of the mind onto whatever screen it fits with least distortion." Your assignment, Virgo, is to prove Clarke at least partially wrong. See if you can figure out a way to dissolve or elude your own projections long enough so that you can see the raw truth about a certain person you crave or adore or care about. Not a reflection of the dream lover who hides in your heart. Not a fantasy you wish your beloved would become. But the perfectly imperfect soul who is actually there in front of you.

We like to think that we are smart enough to not project and not to have unrealistic expectations in a budding relationship, but I think that part of being an imperfect and weak human being, is that we all naturally project our vision of what it means to be in love and in a relationship upon an adorable person who might be kissing us and telling us how beautiful we are, but that we may barely even know.

I'll tell you this, taking Rob's advice requires a heck of a lot of will power and re-training your brain how to think and react in these circumstances.

So is your loverboy just a man, or a love god? And as much as I like to think of myself as a goddess, am I, too, just a woman?

Dang.

Friday, February 13, 2009

marmalade lady

I just made some orange marmalade over the last three days. I had never done anything like this before, but with my abundance of citrus fruits I took home from the market last Saturday, I had to do something! And let me tell you... YUM!

I found the recipe online. Here it is (from Cooking With Amy):

Bitter Orange Marmalade
(more a formula than a recipe)

Ripe or unripe oranges
Sugar

Wash and dry the fruit. Cut unpeeled into quarters lengthwise then slice very thin crosswise. Measure fruit, place in a large pot and add twice as much water. Let stand overnight.

The next day, bring to boil covered then uncover and simmer 1 hour. Let stand 24 hours.

Measure the fruit and liquid and add no more than 1 1/2 cups of sugar per 2 cups of fruit mixture. Boil until it reaches the consistency you like, probably between 10 and 20 minutes or so, it will thicken slightly as it cools.

Sterilize jars in whichever method you prefer. (I wash them with soapy water then fill them halfway with water and microwave for about 5 minutes, until the water boils, remove with potholders and empty them just before filling.) Pour marmalade into hot jars and seal. If your jars do not seal airtight, just keep the jam in the refrigerator.


Now I just have to figure out what to do with these Meyer lemon and Persian lime slices (more marmalade? suggestions?)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

say orange!


I volunteered at the Farmers' Market on Saturday for the Citrus Festival. Jacob, the pre-teen culinary impresario and my fellow volunteer, and I posed for a pic!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

if you live in the Bay Area and like theater...

then go see My Children! My Africa! at the Marin Theater Company before it's gone!

Unbelievable acting and fantastic writing and a very timely message for our times and always.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please"

I, like many Americans, am still beside myself after listening to Obama's speech yesterday. As I watched with other SFers in front of City Hall yesterday morning, I was struck by our new president's ballsiness to criticize the former administration outright. Where some orators use euphemisms and allusions to policy and concepts that were corrupt and wrong, Obama chose to give his millions of supporters across the globe a confirmation on his promise for Change by blatantly describing where his administration would pave the way for a completely different (and long overdue) path, one that resonates with the integrity of what this country (and we as its citizens) is really about.

I felt like I was taking a shower in optimism and accountability and cleansing myself of those dirty words used by Bush to describe America's mission in the world that negatively tainted our image worldwide. I felt like I could own my nationality once again.

When I was at UCSD, majoring in History, my favorite professor, David Gutierrez, asked us to write a term paper about whether or not the 1960s era left any real significant legacy on our country. We had all become so cynical, after the Reagan administration and then that of George Bush, Sr., and how corporations had taken over the country and multinationals over the world. I remember that I began writing that term paper arguing that all was lost and our country had flushed idealism down the toilet and steered toward a comfortable apathy that stemmed from an unhealthy diet of over-consumption and greed. Then I threw the paper away and started over again because I wanted to believe that progress is possible, and the work of grassroots organizations and inspiring leaders have really made a difference in people's lives, their attitudes and mentalities, especially among the disenfranchised. Yesterday morning felt like confirmation of that notion that I had way back in 1991. (I got an "A" on my paper, by the way.)

I can't say much more, because I'm sure you heard what he said too. It was a phenomenal speech to mark the birth of a nation.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

embryonic cat


I believe that this is what Cloud must have looked like in the womb.

Only smaller and with less hair (but just as cute).