Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Oh man this is so cool!

Paper Taco Trucks on Flickr

Now you can print and fold a culinary jewel of the Best Coast and hold it in the palm of your hand.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

I love this guy.

The 99 Cent Chef

He likes the good life, AND he's more thrifty than me! Inconceivable!

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Even though I played Off The Wall just the other night as a soundtrack for dinner with friends, I think I'd forgotten how much I loved Michael Jackson. Or maybe I just took it for granted he'd be around longer than 50 years.

RIP MJ. What a genius. If anyone needs just one reminder...

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Monday, June 22, 2009

When Trevor and I moved to the Bay Area almost 10 years ago, a family member who shall remain nameless chastised us for moving to "the modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah." Still another warned us about not succumbing to Communist ideology. I've gotten some serious mileage out of those two quite serious but ultimately dated admonishments! But we chose the Bay for a reason, and to put it simply it is because we're social progressives (and we love great food!) -- which I suppose could be seen as in line with the things our well-intentioned relatives warned us about.

Even so, it goes without saying that all at once I absolutely love, and can totally hate on, the permissive, "accepting" culture here. Love because I am all about people loving who they want and being who they want; hate because when taken to extremes this can make people become ironically strict in how they feel you should interact with them, e.g naked people covered in mineral oil trying to force you to hug them lest they accuse you of being "clothing-centric" (for real, yo -- courtesy How Berkeley Can You Be?, and reason 5,709,432 why I live in Oakland)

But even so, I must be pretty jaded, because this is the first time I've ever really thought to myself, "only in San Francisco" (even though that's not really true).

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Friday, June 19, 2009

So it seems I can look forward to more than just the new Harry Potter this summer.

This looks wonderful!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm telling you, Japan is leaving the 1950s and heading straight into their sexual revolution...

The Herbivore's Dilemma: Japan panics about the rise of "grass-eating men," who shun sex, don't spend money, and like taking walks

Japanese men have long been expected to live like characters on Mad Men, chasing secretaries, drinking with the boys, and splurging on watches, golf, and new cars....[But] in this age of bromance and metrosexuals, why all the fuss [about grass-eaters]? The short answer is that grass-eating men are alarming because they are the nexus between two of the biggest challenges facing Japanese society: the declining birth rate and anemic consumption. Herbivores represent an unspoken rebellion against many of the masculine, materialist values associated with Japan's 1980s bubble economy.

Interesting that there seems to be a panic around the declining birthrate because these men aren't "Mad Men." As someone close to, as well as fascinated (and sometimes appalled) by Japanese gender structures, I think this article is pure Japanese machismo talking. Remember, this is a country whose former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori advocated limiting pensions to women who had children and where mayor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara decreed that "old women who have lost their reproductive function are not worth living."

My Japanese cousin and many of my Japanese friends will not marry because they don't want their lives to center around catering to the every whim of abusive, philandering, drunken, insensitive -- but especially, state-sanctioned -- chauvinist pigs. They know how things can be, and they want partnerships.

Granted, a lot of "grass-eaters" in this article seem to be portrayed as the last thing a woman would want in a partnership -- self-absorbed, whiny, disinterested. But I doubt that is always, and truly, the case. What I do know is that when my husband was seen allowing me to ride my bicycle in front of him because he wanted to protect me from traffic, a friend's dad thought my husband was being a sissy. I also know that blaming egalitarianism for deep societal problems stemming from outdated gender roles often seems to be the last-ditch attempt of desperate constituencies. Again, the Japanese machismo may be shining through in this article.

I am disappointed that Slate is perpetuating the same tired ideas that come straight from the Japanese good ol' boys club. Where are the all-important opinions of the other half in this declining birth rate equation? Where are the single women's voices? I tend to think it is more likely that grass-eaters could be GOOD for the declining birth rate!

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Friday, June 12, 2009


Flaming Lips, Black Francis, Dandy Warhols, More Pay Tribute to Love and Rockets

Look at this tracklist! Look at these artists!

1. All In My Mind - Black Francis
2. Holiday On The Moon - Puscifer
3. Love Me - War Tapes
4. No New Tale To Tell - Blaqk Audio
5. I Feel Speed - Dubfire
6. Inside The Outside - The Dandy Warhols
7. Kundalini Express - The Flaming Lips
8. Life In Laralay - Sweethead
9. An American Dream - Film School
10. The Light - A Place To Bury Strangers
11. Mirror People - Monster Magnet vs Adrian Young
12. Fever - The Stone Foxes
13. No Big Deal - Frankenstein 3000
14. It Could Be Sunshine - VEX
15. So Alive - Better Than Ezra
16. Lazy - Chantal Claret vs Adrian Young
17. Sweet F.A. - Ian Moore
18. No Words No More - Snowden


Except, um, Better Than Ezra. Really? Though I suppose the top 40 hit "So Alive" is a fitting song for them to do.

I am a tad disappointed there is nothing from the original release of my favorite Love and Rockets album, their debut Seventh Dream of a Teenage Heaven (an album that contains the song that is my online namesake). But I cannot imagine that I will be disappointed in Black Francis and The Flaming Lips -- I hope they do something outrageous with those two fantastic songs.

Artwork is by Shepard Fairey. Fairey is good friends with LNR bassist, vocalist, and frequent sine qua non subject David J, and has been THE it boy in "underground" art (or, to be more fitting, guerrilla marketing) for some time.

I've really never understood the attraction of Fairey's work (and actually think he's a hypocritical tosser), but I can give it to him that he definitely helped get Barack Obama into office with his iconic "Hope" portrait. Anyway, points to Fairey for incorporating the era of LNR with an 80s/90s vibe: tribal/industrial artwork and the classic black and white and red of the Express and S/T albums.

Looking forward to this!

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I have a great affinity and admiration for small, efficient spaces. I even forked over 2500 yen for a magazine-style book in a fancy architecture shop in Aoyama on the (mostly modernist) wacky buildings scrunched into the tiniest bit of vacant lot in Japan. And there is no place where small and efficient is more fully realized than Japan, where 5 seat restaurants and full apartments half the size of Western one car garages are common.

When Trevor and I sold everything we owned and moved to Japan a few years ago (and then moved back almost immediately because we were unwilling to live double, schizophrenic lives as second-class citizens/rockstars), we vowed to never again live in a space dominated by stuff. We moved into a small but beautiful apartment (and even so, it still has a kitchen the size of our Japanese apartment), and decided to make our fantastic neighborhood our living room.

Well, 5 years, a bookstore job with a hefty discount, my rediscovery of vinyl record collecting, and bazillions of shoes later, our place gets a crammed-in feeling if we aren't constantly mindful. Fortunately, our recent acquisition of a platform bed (yay storage!) has remedied some of those problems.

My point with all of this? I am excited to have discovered Little Diggs: a chronicle of "the Big things that make Small spaces livable — 500 square feet or smaller."

Oi, the living spaces there are just dreamy! And many appeal to my outdoor and slow-living aesthetic: I could drop everything and move right now into the Beach Chalet or the Small Cabin For The Masses. But equally represented is the flipside for you sophisticates: check out this wine cellar.

Although two of the small spaces that immediately appealed to me were in the States, funny how so many of these places are outside the U.S., hmmm? No matter. I've been planning on buying a small house -- with land for building additional small work and play spaces -- forever, and these "little diggs" give me so much inspiration!

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Temescal Street Cinema starts tonight!

This happens 2 blocks from my apartment, on 49th and Telegraph in Oakland:

View Larger Map

49th is closed down at Telegraph so people can sit in the street, movies are projected onto the Bank of the West building, and Temescal merchants sponsor free popcorn. Bring a chair or a blanket to sit on and something warm to wear when the sun goes down. Come out to support local film, and the best neighborhood in Oakland!

Get the schedule here.

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Oh yeah!

Foraging Fruit Gains Popularity

Supporters of this movement hold two basic principles. One, it’s a shame to let fruit go to waste. And two, neighborhood fruit tastes best when it’s free.

“There have always been people harvesting fallen fruit,” Ms. [Asiya] Wadud [pictured] said, “but there’s a whole new counterculture about gathering and eating public fruit. This tremendous resource is growing everywhere if people just start looking around.”

Also great about this article: more Oaktown, and more of my favorite thrifty ways.

I've got free fuyus, figs, lemons, plums, and squirrel-nibbled avocados on seasonal rotation in my neighborhood -- what about you?

And from free fruit directly to the compost bin:

S.F. OKs Toughest Recycling Law In U.S.

Throwing orange peels, coffee grounds and grease-stained pizza boxes in the trash will be against the law in San Francisco, and could even lead to a fine.

The Board of Supervisors voted 9-2 Tuesday to approve Mayor Gavin Newsom's proposal for the most comprehensive mandatory composting and recycling law in the country. It's an aggressive push to cut greenhouse gas emissions and have the city sending nothing to landfills or incinerators by 2020.

People very often will not take it upon themselves to change for the better -- especially if it puts them out a bit -- unless they are forced. The haters and libertarians are crying foul about this recycling program, but c'mon, what else is there to do? Where do we think our Earth is going?

So I say good for San Francisco, and I think it's about time, but there has to be real enforcement. Hard to imagine in a city that cannot seem to do a thing about it's shameful homeless population, no matter what programs are put into place. We'll see.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Regardless of what you think about flash mobs, you've got to love this.

I suppose it also helps that I hate hipsters, and love my Oaktown yo!

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Friday, June 05, 2009

I think I love this more than the original. And I love it more and more every time I watch it.

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Congratulations to the people of the State of New Hampshire!

Gay Marriage Bill Signed in New Hampshire

It's coming, California...

A lot of my friends called for the California Supreme Court justices' heads after they ruled that Proposition 8 stands. But I argue that the justices did their jobs, as well as what they could for what is right by upholding the marriages that were performed before Proposition 8. Chief Justice Ronald George said it best:

"In a sense, petitioners' and the Attorney General's complaint is that it is just too easy to amend the California Constitution through the initiative process," wrote George for the 6-1 majority. "But it is not a proper function of this court to curtail that process; we are constitutionally bound to uphold it." Translation: Until Californians themselves change their system for amending the constitution, it will be the people - not the courts - who have final say on even the most fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution.

Let's place our anger in the right place: to change the insanity around California's constitutional amendment process, and to repeal Proposition 8.

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I HATE bureaucrats and lack of common sense, which so often go hand in hand.

The City Taketh Away

About a year ago, Larry Moore was panhandling for booze. Since then, he has built up a popular shoeshine business and hasn't had a drink. He nearly had the $600 needed to rent a place and get off the street until S.F. stepped in and forced him to pay for a vendor permit.

I know the Public Works official is just doing her job, but christ! Giving this guy a break doesn't set bad precedent -- it serves to reward someone trying to do the right thing and demonstrate there's a bit of humanity left in our structures.

Anyway, I may hate automatons in government, but I do love the human spirit.

"I had $573 ready to go," Moore said, who needs $600 for the rent. "This tore that up. But I've been homeless for six years. Another six weeks isn't going to kill me."

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Amid Hard Times, An Influx In Real Superheroes

Mr. Ravenblade, Mr. Xtreme, Dark Guardian and hundreds of others. Some with elaborate costumes, others with haphazardly stitched outfits, they are appearing on city streets worldwide watching over the populace like Superman watched over Metropolis and Batman over Gotham City.

As people become disillusioned from financial woes and a downtrodden economy and look to put new purpose in their lives, everyday folks are taking on new personas to perform community service, help the homeless and even fight crime.

There are apparently even organizations that encourage folks in this direction and offer support, like Superheroes Anonymous.


When I first read this article, I did give a little chortle. But in the context of helping others, if this is what gives people purpose and encourages community activism, why not?

Okay, I suppose the "why not" might involve people becoming unrealistic about what their new personas can and should be doing in the community. And not to go all Watchmen on you, but adding anonymity to the equation could further those problems.

But forget about trying to deconstruct the political and social implications behind such things. I'm such a killjoy! Let's just say we live in interesting times. Now to think of a superhero name...

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

It is about time.

When Del Monte Superfruit Smoothies asked a thousand women who they would most like to lick, they picked the newest Bond, Daniel Craig. So Del Monte got working on a limited-edition "license to chill" ice lolly based on a beach scene from "Casino Royale." It's no doubt the first popsicle with abs.

I'm loving equal opportunity objectification! Thank you third wave.

I'll admit, I can get on a Daniel Craig lolly. The sad thing is, Craig is supposedly quite a sweet man, but let's face it, he's so hot because -- I'm just going to say it -- he looks like he will hurt you *ahem* rough. Any Daniel Craig popsicle has to look good but taste like bad boyfriend.

Now to make delicious frozen treats that look like James McAvoy (Scotch), Bradley Cooper (watermelon), Zachary Quinto's Spock (milk tea with tapioca), Snape (blackberries), John Cho (coconut), and Jason Statham (chocolate), and I think they'll have almost all of my bases covered.

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