Thursday, January 31, 2008

A needed dose of sunshine...

It is utterly grey and cold once again here in SF--so I started looking for some old pictures bathed in sunlight. Just looking at them gave me a much needed dose of energy & happiness! Here's one uber bright one to keep me going on these rainy days...
In other news, I've been off the coffee for almost 2 weeks (only 1 smoke in 3 wks) I just wanted to get away from my addictive 1 cup of french press in the morning followed by one Peet's double cappuccino in the afternoon. Such a ritual that I depended on. But I don't know that I'm actually feeling any positive affects. Maybe I'll keep it up for another week...but it's prime coffee drinking weather!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We are insensitive to the needs of the body and the pleadings of the heart.

Wow I love that quote! It's from The Ecologist...

The Ecologist appeared in my life last week. I know it's been around for awhile, but somehow I've missed it. It's a pretty radical enviro rag from the UK. I love hearing what people from other countries think, especially when it comes to the environment. Most other citizens of the world have such a different perspective from us...

My favorite article so far: Ugly. "How living in an ugly world affects our attitudes and actions" A random list of rants about ugly things in life like: reality tv, junk mail, diminished childhoods, and sexist ads. It's a bigger better rant than I could ever attempt!

My favorites: (quoted from The Ecologist)
Bagged Salad: how hard is it to rinse the dirt from a beautiful, fresh head of lettuce straight from the ground? ... we've been conned into believing that it's healthier and more convenient to eat bagged salad leaves that have been washed in toxic chemicals and then packed in plastic.

I-podism: It is ugly to live in a world where all you see or connect with is yourself. It is ugly that we no longer talk to our neighbours or help the old lady across the street. It is ugly that we are so plugged into our devices that we can't hear the passer-by ask us for directions, it is even uglier that we ignore them when we hear them ask

Unconsciousness. Most of us walk around in a state of unconsciousness on a day-to-day basis. We are unaware of ourselves and what motivates us, how we affect others and are in turn affected by them. We are insensitive to the needs of the body and the pleadings of the heart. We have no understanding of the self or the psyched and how they work through us.

It's time to get up on your feet & go for a walk!

This is my photo of the day.
Why don't I have a more interesting photo of the day? Because I didn't even take a real lunch break The trouble with bringing your lunch: you don't leave work. I can barely motivate a walk around the block unless it's to go buy something. What is up with that?

What is this photo? My makeshift/eco-friendly bag to drag my life home after work. Bag=10lb orange bag purchased at the Ferry Plaza Tuesday farmers' market (10am-2pm). Contents: one empty tiffin (used to transport pasta & greens lunch), one New York Times Week in Review section from last Sunday (featuring an interesting article on gas guzzling meat production, one more reason to keep up the vegetarianism), one SF Bay Gardian, and one Ecologist magazine. Damn, I'm not usually this much of an eco-lefty-literature toting woman...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pedal-power & other projects...

A couple of projects I'm working on & could use your help:

1) Bike powered compost chipper--never been done before, but I'm determined to do it now for Garden for the Environment. Know anyone who builds bikes? Let me know!

2) A little zine/website called Source--it's going to be a resource for sustainable living in the Bay Area. First issue: Edible City--foraging resources for the Bay, everything from a map of the best dumpster diving spots to where you can find wild spinach to collect for your salad. Ever make a zine? I need some advice. Know someone into sustainable/off-the-grid/eco-friendly lifestyle? Let me know.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Another breathtaking view from my 9 to 5 perch on the 28th floor. One of these days I'll get good at taking these photos!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Everyday is a new beginning.

This photo a day thing isn't quite happening yet...but hopefully it will. I have a habit of leaving the camera on the coffee table. Yesterday I went for my first walk in Golden Gate Park in two weeks! I've been too sick, too busy or scared off by the rain to attempt it. And it was beautiful. I'm really into the winter trees right now. They're so graceful without their leaves, a quiet stillness surrounds them. Breathtaking.

The photo of the day was taken post-movie at the Embarcadero--it was magical out. The streets downtown were deserted, the rain had washed the streets clean, it was perfect for a rambling walk...

Go see Persepolis--it's amazing and totally intense. The animation is incredible, so textured and simply beautiful.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rainbow drill!

Got a glimpse of a most epic Rainbow today while in a work meeting. I ran to the window like a little kid, made my coworker lean out the conference room door and scream rainbow! out at the office. People actually came running from their desks to see it. Awesome.

Wish I had a picture of that for my picture of the day (a new pursuit, find something beautiful or ugly or interesting to shoot everyday). But my camera was sitting at home. Waiting. Until I got home. And found a bathroom sink and tub, meant for cleaning, meant for washing off the day, instead, caked with dirt. But taking this picture made me look at it for a minute like a fingerprint, or a river basin from an airplane. For a minute.

In color: what does the world eat?

I checked out Peter Menzel's Hungry Planet at MOAD this weekend...I've been wanting the book for months, but seeing the pictures enlarged up on the gallery walls was even better. See more here and here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rainy day from my kitchen window.

And a birthday present for Kerry--a few from the drunkin Shamrock...


How much water do you use?

Check out this water calculator here, pretty rad: H2o Conserve
Most Americans use about 1,100 gallons of water/day!

Time for a new perspective on the war.

"I’ll take you to the root of the problem. The original policy was to divide Iraqis into Sunnis and Shiites…..It was a big mistake to divide Iraqis along religious and sectarian lines. Why couldn't the division have been on political lines? Like in the United States. Like anywhere in the world where you have the right-wing conservative parties and the left-wing leftist parties and on the center. Why did it have to be on religious, sectarian, and ethnic lines? If it explains one thing it explains that the US right administration administration look at Iraqis in a racist way." Baghdad-born activist Yanar Mohammed interviewed on Fresh Air. Listen to it here.

Totally blew my mind...what if we had looked at the Iraq war in this different way from the beginning? But think of how much more politically challenging this would've been on the home front...sometimes I forget how base this war is, just another war between Christianity and Islam.

Yanar Mohammed also talks about the forgotten: women in the war. Check it out. Check out Terry's entire series "Iraq: What's Next for the US" she interviews dozens of people with so many different perspectives.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Food riots. What does it take...

...for the world to start caring about our food system? The NY Times has started a new series called The Food Chain, the High Cost of Food. Check out the first article: An Oil Quandary: Costly Fuel Means Costly Calories.

The part that took my breath away: "In some poor countries, desperation is taking hold. Just in the last week, protests have erupted in Pakistan over wheat shortages, and in Indonesia over soybean shortages. Egypt has banned rice exports to keep food at home, and China has put price controls on cooking oil, grain, meat, milk and eggs. According to the F.A.O., food riots have erupted in recent months in Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan and Yemen"

The issues driving this unravelling of our food system are so huge--globalization, climate change, international trade laws, federal farm policy--that it doesn't seem as if we, as individuals can do anything. But we can...

Make informed food choices--ask questions about where your food is coming from. Go to your local farmers market--get to know the farmer behind the mountains of produce, you'll get to know your food better and learn so much. Grow your own food--even if that means just planting a basil plant in your windowsill. Ask your favorite restaurant where they get their vegetables, if your rib-eye steak is hormone free and if that grilled fish was harvested sustainably--they may not know the answer the first time you ask, but just keep asking. Learn more about these issues here:
Sustainable Table
World Hunger Year
Find out where local foods are in your hood: Food Routes

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Retro beauties...

I made the mistake of typing vintage sesame street into YouTube...this could take up hours of my life if I let it. I guess it already has--in between Reading Rainbow & 3-2-1 Contact from ages 3-8. So, so good.

'How Crayons Are Made'

'Construction workers alphabet'

Philip Glass + Sesame Street

Monday, January 14, 2008

Soaking up the sunshine

First trek up Twin Peaks, a new favorite!

Today: muscles hurt that I didn't even know existed....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Tiny beautiful things.

Artists Walter Martin & Paloma Munoz turn snow-globes into beautiful things. Read more here.

One ridiculously nervewracking hour of my life. Live.

Little me on KQEDs morning radio show Forum, talking congestion pricing in SF. More info here. I still can't bring myself to listen to it yet...It was one of the longest hours of my life.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Get political.

Still haven't decided who I'm voting for--but I'm starting to get into it. Whatever happens, I'm definitely volunteering to get the voters out in November.

Check Gloria Steinem's latest on Hilary: Women Are Never Front-Runners.

Who knew voting machines would make really interesting portraits? Check out Alejandra Laviad's portraits and an interesting article in last week's NYT magazine here

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The aftermath of the storm...

Photo from SFist... The streets are filled with abandoned umbrellas that didn't make it through our hurricane winds yesterday. Whew. I got stuck in a huge wind tunnel on the way to work, it was amazing. I saw the wave of wind coming about a block away, one by one people's umbrellas were unfolding and shredding. Then it hit me too, shredding my umbrella all while buckets of rain poured down. Totally unreal. Pretty fun to watch the storm unfold from the 28th floor of my work. The sun is trying to come out, I better go enjoy it while I can. Stay dry!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Truth is the light and the light is the truth

Inspiration to revisit a classic, Invisible Man, recreated by Jeff Wall.

Throw light into the shadows of my existence

A powerful, not to be missed film: Manufactured Landscapes. The ugliness of industrialization through the lens of a beautiful photographer. A hard look into our resource abuse and our waste, China at each step of the way--extraction, destruction, and construction. In that order.

My question: if we've manufactured these apocalyptic, superficial landscapes can we reject it? Can we say we've done it wrong until now and step back, create a newly manufactured landscape with sustainability, culture, (& at the risk of sounding too idealistic) with love in mind?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Bringing in the New Year

Big sis is in town--we brought in the new year with a trip to Muir Woods, walks in Golden Gate Park, Grandview, & the Garden for the Environment. A 5 course meal at Limon topped with drinks at Monk's Kettle (go there, drink beer and eat local food). Lots of home cooked epic gratins (the way to celebrate winter's root veggies) a Les Blank movie: Gap-Toothed Women.

D & I braved the winds at UCSF and toasted the new year with a bottle of wine & a fireworks's to 08.

I always remember loved ones by their hands & their laughter.