Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Thing not to be missed.

The Thing. I missed the Thing while it was here, dammit. Don't you miss it too.
Or this either. I heart Ms. Miranda J.

Echos of Ornette

Ornette Coleman Quintet at the Masonic Center, absolutely mind blowing, mesmerizing, a psychedelic soup. Free jazz defined. My ears are still burning with the sounds of the drums (played by Coleman's son), the acoustic bass, and the genius behind it all, Mr. Ornette Coleman. Blue plaid suit, black leather hat. He slowly took the stage with the unparalleled grace of a 77 year old jazz man, to a standing ovation. Sax, trumpet, violin all played by the master himself. 1hour 30min straight sent the crowd roaring to its feet. After three encores and three overwhelming standing ovations, I turned to leave as I saw the drummer wiping tears away.

Diseased & Diminished chords

It's been a busy week of SF Jazz Festival volunteering & gardening class. Learning all about plant diseases & bugs from the queen of community gardening in SF, Pam Pierce. My first volunteer show at the SF Jazz Festival, was Kronos Quartet. They're so totally wild--everything from cacophonous screeching strings accompanied by beats, a beautiful cover of a Television song, to traditional Korean and Indian music, an experimental piece with sound artist Walter Kitundu that featured 5 record players going at once and a phonoharp, And the grand finale, a piece composed by the Glen Kotche, also known as the drummer for Wilco...there were some beautiful moments. Tonight: Ornette Coleman--he's composing new music for every new show he plays. Holy shit, I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Healing turned to hurt

Went to Dr. B, my chiropractor today--thought I was on the mend, but I started having crazy back pain by the time I reached the MUNI. The worst of it, it hurts when I laugh.

At least I got to roam around Berkeley/Oakland and grab some delicious bread from La Farine bakery!
I love Book Zoo. The most bizarre book store--you'll find stuff you'd never look for and never find what you're looking for. Pure Berkeley.

Found rad mailboxes too.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Time to take notice...

Check it here

Lake Mead--half full. Unbelievable.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunshine after the rain

Get lost (or find yourself) on Free Soil. Intersection of all things art, activism, life, craft, & resource list of everything otherwise.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Shape of Things

Spending my Wed & Thursday nights at transportation meetings for work. It's not as boring as it sounds--gets me thinking about how the way you get around in the world shapes the way you see the world, what you see of the world.

Here's some of what I see everyday...

See Broken English. It will renew your faith in Parker Posey.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Open Art Studios @ Fort Mason

Todd Friedlander--I want this photo.

Love these little linotypes by Janet Jones--sea vistas by memory printed on watercolored old navigation maps.

Worth the trek to Fort Mason: Vegetarian take out window from Greens restaurant. Best eaten on a bench with a view of sailboats on the Bay.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My Russian Sister

Thursday's CSA day--I walk up 6th Ave to the CSA pick up house & fill my canvas bags with produce. (Today: rome apples, sweet potatoes, potatoes, grapes, collard greens, lemon verbena, romaine lettuce, cucumber, & red onion. No photos, night time light in the apartment makes for bad, bad photos.)

A stop at the corner store has become an essential part of the CSA pickup routine--I pick up a bottle of wine or some flowers, but really I stop to talk veggies with my Russian sister. I would call her my Russian aunt, but she started the sister thing. . .

In her late 50s, wearing a uniform of faded pastels adorned with faded apron & bandana to match her light skin and silver hair, my Russian sister holds court at the corner store. The first time I stumbled in with my CSA veggies she got so excited: where did you get them? where can I buy them? what did you get?

The second time I came, she greeted me with another barrage of questions: "Hey Sister. What you cooking for dinner? What you got this week? Where can I get them?" No matter how many flyers I bring her on the CSA veggies, she still says the same thing: Sister, this is a good deal, where can I get them?

Tonight was the best though, I got a recipe. I love when people tell you favorite recipes known by heart--eyes closed, remembering taste first, you can almost taste it too...My Russian sister was so excited she reached over the counter and started to pull vegetables out of my bag "what you making for dinner?" The greens came out first.."Oh I cook this..." then she taught me how to make stuffed chard leaves, just like dolmas. I could taste it too.

Beautiful day at the beach. Really.

Columbus Day: morning yoga taught by an aspiring bass singer & a solo afternoon, book and pen in hand, on Ocean beach where I discovered the beauty of gray.

Where's Progress?

Checked out this amazing Louis Malle movie last night: ...and in the Pursuit of Happiness. It's a look at immigration in the 80s through the eyes of an immigrant. Absolutely thought provoking--after twenty years where's the progress? Racism fueled by ignorance & bad immigration policy has only intensified over the past two decades. But most of all this film is striking in its sense of determination, courageousness, & hope in each portrait. So good.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Inspiration: Eat at Bill's: Life in the Monterey Market

I love the DocFest! Went to see Eat at Bill's last night. Check out a preview here. An absolute gem that leaves you with a huge grin on your face and a craving for next season's cherries.

The film follows local food hero, Bill Fujimoto through three seasons at Monterey Market in Berkeley. Directed by an Ojai Pixie Tangerine farmer, Lisa Brenneis--as the film unfolds you realize that Monterey Market isn't just about being the best produce store, it's about supporting small local farmers, unique varieties (check out a puff ball mushroom, like this one), creating community, connecting farm-food-and table. Small farmers have not only survived due to Bill's support,they've thrived. Creating a market that is absolutely overflowing with gorgeous seasonal produce that you can practically smell & taste sitting in the theater.

I wish there were more markets like this---it's so much more satisfying to have a direct link between farm and market. Farmers can't survive on farmers' markets and CSAs alone--they need a Monterey Market that will support them through both buying in quantity and buying unusual varieites for the right price. Monterey Market also caters to chefs, supplying produce to up to 12 chefs per day from places like Zuni & Bay Wolf. This takes an incredible amount of work and committment. Bill goes above and beyond the traditional model: farm>distributor>supermarket, all with an infectious enthusiasm and down to earth perspective--it's all about the produce.

I want to be like Bill.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The best little food on film: The Market.

Finally! I found this amazing film that I watched at Garden for the Environment's film night. Gotta love Creative Commons!
Here it is: The Market by Ana Husman:

Today is a good day.

Funny clip of little me on TV: "Pricing out Congestion" Instead of saying 'um' I just blinked slowly, a lot. But it's not bad for my first TV interview.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Focaccia Hot or Cold? BART without a book & the countdown to cubicle land.

Blogging @ lunch, it's a first. Lunch: salad from home featuring my favorite, the lemon cucumber, accompanied by focaccia from the bakery downstairs, begs the question: focaccia hot or cold?

Realized today that I have less than two months left in plush office land in Rockridge before ED 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, 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. I won't miss the commute and its accompanying price tag=$160/month.

Last random thought of lunch...I finished my book on the MUNI ride over today, found myself without a pen for writing or book for reading in the face of a 25 minute BART ride. Panic. I took to people watching in my uncaffeinated state and saw a BART standby, the ruthless couple fight. What is it about BART that leads couples to implode? Is it the lights? The waiting? The gross carpeted seats? I've been there before, and it's not pretty. What's so ruthless about BART fights is that they take place in silence. Seething anger silence is the worst. It hangs in the air. But you can't have an all out screaming match on the BART, it's just not how we do. So instead you have these painful silences...
In said morning fight, woman & man wait for east bay train. they talk. then woman walks away from man with luggage. man smiles. thinks: this must be a joke. oh no honey, she's not joking. she gives him the icy cold shoulder, all the way from Civic Center to 19th street, ouch. You can feel the seething anger in the air. Finally, Woman finds solace in a book. Boy finds solace in a spoon. Yes a spoon, I don't know where this spoon came from, but he pulled it out of his large backpack and began to channel all of his thoughts & emotions into this silvery spoon. This is not looking promising. Woman gets off at 19th. Man slouches behind. As we pull away from the station I get a glimpse of him lugging her suitcase up the stairs. maybe they survived the BART after all.

I think this is both the first & the last of my blogging at lunch. Time to go outside.