Thursday, December 27, 2007

Does every blog post need a good title?

Squeeze=75 points. Hell yes.
I'm officially a dork.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Decided against the 3 hour Dr. Zhivago @ the Castro (3 hour movies are better enjoyed in the comfort of your own home) & went for the Savages instead. Laura Linney+Philop Seymour Hoffman+radical Chris Ware poster=not to be missed.

It's an intense movie, subtle and unexpected, and so full of sadness. Sadness, this movie crystalizes that emotion and makes you stare straight at it. Sadness of life's missed potential, sadness of deliquent familial relationships, and sadness that our society ships our elders off to nursing homes.

It made me think a lot about my own deliquent family--then my Dad called. Sometimes, when I can actually find something he wants to talk about and he gets excited for a minute and stops staring at the clock, I can make our phone conversations last more than 2 minutes. Sometimes for a brief moment in time we can have this great conversation, and I can forget all the baggage and the bullshit and it's just good. I wish I could make it last....Like tonight, I found out he's really into old Jack Lemmon movies, who knew?

PS Another not to be missed: the Berlin & Beyond film festival @ the Castro January 11-16!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The precariousness of monocultures...

From Michael Pollan's latest article in the New York Times Magazine:
"Whenever we try to rearrange natural systems along the lines of a machine or a factory, whether by raising too many pigs in one place or too many almond trees, whatever we may gain in industrial efficiency, we sacrifice in biological resilience. The question is not whether systems this brittle will break down, but when and how, and whether when they do, we’ll be prepared to treat the whole idea of sustainability as something more than a nice word."
He's got a new book coming out: In Defense of Food!

Friday, December 21, 2007

For the love of soup & film

Two new loves perfect for winter:
1. Film at the Castro

Classic movies at a classic theater. Until a couple of weeks ago, I had only seen old movies on my tiny TV screen--I'm now completely addicted to seeing them on the big screen! Doctor Zhivago on 12/23 I'm so there.

Don't miss any chance to watch Jack Lemmon & Shirley MacLaine on screen together! The Apartment is one of my all time favorites...

2. And the best new cookbook on the shelf, from the Queen herself, Ms Deborah many delectable soups to choose from!

Tiffin makes it big time

Remember Tiffin? Well he's made it big time...I found this shot on the home page of Design Within Reach!

My body is a battleground

Since I woke up on Tuesday morning, with a fog of nightmares hanging over me, I've been battling the flu or some sort of evil cold that left my bones wracked with aching and a fever for a rough 24 hours. Now I'm just one big stuffy, throbbing head. Boo. I'm good for nothin. That photo there is some healing soup, yummy hot & sour Tom Yum from Marnee Thai. Mmmm. I miss the taste of food....I'm such a big baby, but four days seems like forever! I hope I recover in time to make a big Christmas Eve feast.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Flowers that brave the cold.

My first wintry walk through Golden Gate Park was utterly beautiful. I love trees without thier leaves and winter flowers. Little delicate flowers, steeling themselves against the cold and wind. Discovery; Botanical Garden's Library is epic.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

NYC Food on Film.

Only in New York, only in the Village. A hilarious portrait. Awesome website: I like killing flies.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Now: Cooking night for gardening graduation feast!

I'm trying a new recipe Farro & Roasted Butternut Squash, from my favorite beautiful little food blog: 101 cookbooks. Mmmmmm. Can't wait for the gardening graduation & feast tomorrow night, in honor of 3 months of Saturday days & Wednesday nights spent learning how to garden & compost & how to teach it too. I can't believe I made it.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

In awe of Central Park in Fall.

Highlights of the 10 day trip: An evening stumble around the West Village: Three Lives Bookstore (also happens to be a title of a Gertrude Stein book, a recent obsession) a signed copy of Maira Kalman's The Principles of Uncertainty. A mythic cookbook store: Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, Out of Print & Antiquarian. Serendipity. Drinks at WXOU & Jason's IPhone. Italian food under Bonnie Slotnick's. Shopping for the Thanksgiving feast on the upper west side. Sienna's first turkey. Central Park in fall. Crusing 125 Ave in Harlem. Goodbye Carlito's. Hot & cold wine with friends old & new. Walking the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan on a night lit with a fiery orange full moon. Blunts around the dinner table. Vegan lunch with adamc in a basement steps from Wall Street. Heavenly Babycakes. A solo walk amidst community gardens, missed fortune tellers, and coffee with rockstars. Cheese coma & comedy.

And some good good art. Kara Walker at the Whitney: shocking, abrasive, necessary, a must see. Richard Prince at the Guggenheim (you'd recognize his Sonic Nurse cover) a collector at his core, an observer of the perversity and beauty of American culture. And another not to be missed, Kori Newkirk at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Damn. I could move in a heartbeat. I've gone and fallen in love with another city...

End of an era. Goodbye Ste. 304

Goodbye Oaktown, goodbye tree, goodbye office with a door. Goodbye windows that open. Ready for change...

Here's where I clocked my 7 hours/day:

From an old post:
Realized today that I have less than two months left in plush office land in Rockridge before ED(f) upgrades to the 28th floor of 123 Mission Street, SF. This means cubicle land is not far off...I started thinking about everything I'll miss:
I will miss spending lunches at the bookstore across the street, sax man @ 4:30, sweet samples from the bakery, killer salsa bar @ Cactus, local produce downstairs, chocolate covered almonds, thai patio lunches, dirty chicken, take out fresh ravioli with arrabbiata sauce, the Rockridge library that never has what I'm looking for, the used clothing store fueled by Rockridgites & CCA students, walks in the hood. But most of all I'll miss my tree, my two windows, and the ability to close my door. I've been spoiled & I don't want it to end. That said, I won't miss the commute and its price tag=$160/month.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Composting at home. It's on.

Hell yeah! Here's my beautiful new worm compost bin, one of the many benefits of my gardening class. I never thought I would be into a worm bin at home--but it's so cool. I'll make sure to track my progress on this little bloggity blog.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back on the west side.

Mind & body still think I'm in NYC...had an amazing time. Good friends, good food, good drink & so much art. My NYC crew is the best--thanks Mr. Adamc. and the Cheney third floor crew for showing me the best time, I love you guys! More tomorrow--36 hour marathon begins now: office moving/catching up on work/night gardening class. Go!

Friday, November 16, 2007

NYC Bound...

Heading back to my love: NYC. From my summer visits...

Yo Ill. I miss you. Why you gotta go back to AZ for Thanksgiving?
No more hung over brunches @ the Red Hook soccer fields...

I stand corrected?

Perhaps the hair+mushrooms=oil spill cleanup isn't such a crazy idea after all? Hair and mushrooms create a recipe for cleaning up oily beaches

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mailer on Writing & Actvists on Oil-eating mushrooms

Norman Mailer, interviewed 16 years ago on Fresh Air, perfectly distills the transformative/therapeutic/beauty of writing "If you can absolutely capture a state of mind in a given moment you are very often freed of that state of mind" It's why I scribble in my journal. It's why I breathe in books.
In other things that have captured my emotions: This oil spill has the Bay Area absolutely flailing--reports of a lack of clean-up efforts coupled with volunteers getting arrested for trying to pick up oil globs on the beach. The 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel is extremely toxic (chew some gum around it and the toxins will get in your gum, crazy), and people are picking it up with kitty litter scoopers and dumping it in garbage bags on the sidewalk. Then complaining about headaches from the fumes....Others are inspired by a speaker at the Green Festival this weekend, that proposes floating huge mats of human hair in the ocean to absorb the oil spill, then plant oil eating mushrooms to completely absorb the oil. For real: I'm all about innovation, but this website is straight out of crazyland, encouraging rouge volunteers to expose themselves to toxins.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Field Trip Day!

My GCTEP class got a taste of Permaculture in the East Bay today--these photos are all from Chris Shein's garden at Merritt College. Banana, fig, pomegranate, apple, cacao and persimmon trees, herbs, cacti, bamboo structures--there's a little bit of everything in this 1 acre hillside oasis. You won't see straight paths with row crops here--permaculture is all about common sense, following the paths that nature sets before us. Terrace gardens, built to the contours of the land. Swales provide water catchment for heavy rains. A handful of vegetables and herbs are let go to flower and seed, to bring in beneficial insects & spread seed for the new year. It's all about life-cycle, systems thinking. It's about knowing the land and thinking towards the future.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Discovering my own unoriginality.

An awakening: I've been suffering under the guise of ego, fooling myself that I have a unique perspective on the world, part of which I express on this silly little blog. Until this week of coincidental blog/web sightings so utterly similar to my own...

1. Cover of print version of SF Chron today. above the fold: HEARTBREAKING under same photo of oil covered bird. (see yesterday's blog post)

2. This week's Fecal Face homepage, features both Banksy & green roof of CA Academy of Sciences.

3. Shortly after posting my own photos of a trip to the Carnivorous Flower exhibit I was forwarded very similar, although much better, photos of the same exact exhibit from a friend taken just one hour after I wandered through this plant heaven.

Don't worry. While I've suffered a blow to the old ego (of which I also falsely thought I didn't have a big one. Surprise, surprise, I guess I do.) it's really a new beginning. As Ms. Miranda July says in her new book, Learning to Love You More: "Sometimes it seems like the moment we let go of trying to be original, we actually feel something new — which was the whole point of being artists in the first place."

Thursday, November 8, 2007


See the full report on the oil spill in SF Bay here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The rush of the ballot box and Yes on A. No on H.

I always forget how much I love voting. It's a rush--from the moment I spot the 'vote here' signs I get excited. I love that school gymnasiums, the children's section at your local public library and church community rooms transform into gateways of democracy for a brief day. I love the random group of volunteers that greets you--from retirees to college students. I love when you sign in, receive your secret ballot and retreat to the covered voting booths to cast your ballot. I love seeing your neighbors receive their 'I voted' stickers and put them on with pride. It's pride, it's a process, it's making a decision and standing by it, it's a secret, it's democracy in action.

Today's local elections will most likely bring in a record low voter turn out today. Perhaps it's because these were the main options for the big ticket item, the Mayoral race: George Davis, occupation: Writer/Nudist Activist; Grasshopper Alec Kaplan: Vegan Taxicab Driver; Harold M. Hoogasian: Florist/Coffee Farmer; H. Brown: publisher, SF Bulldog with degrees and certifications in Fire Technology, Cryptology and Emergency Medical Care; Chicken John: showman. Absolutely hilarious, until you reach the reality of the situation, it's a shoe-in for career politician Gavin Newsom who states in the voter info pamplet: 'San Francisco is a beacon'. Yet he can't even make it to one Board of Sups meeting in his 4 years as Mayor.

I met someone today who said they don't vote--why? he asked me, it doesn't matter. These were LOCAL elections that effect the everyday in a very tangible way...and it scared me. I'm scared that I'm part of a generation bogged down by cynisim, oppressed by apathy, disconnected and dispassionate. What does really matter then?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Made my first visit to the Conservatory of Flowers today--just in time for the last day of the Carnivorous Plant exhibit. Glimpsed the insect trapping sundews and butterworts, pitcher plants and bladderworts along with orchids and tropical plants I've never seen before. It was a magical wonderland, one of my new favorite spots on the planet.

Tortoise Plant--it's a wild yam.

Bat plant. I'm really into this bizarre primordial plants. Totally unreal.

Some of the man-eating plants...