Today’s A 2 Z

A: Angry Asian Man
B: Blogorrhea
C: Chocolate, dark and bitter is good
D: Dr. Horrible
E: Elliot Smith
F: Fonts
G: Grace Lee Boggs
H: Hamblog
I: Improvisation
J: Juice, carrot-orange
K: KBOO
L: Lost, yes I’m enjoying it again
M: Colectivo La Malagua
N: Naomi Iizuka
O: Octavia Butler
P: Parks
Q: Quince paste and manchego cheese on a nice cracker
R: Racialicious
S: Spectacles
T: T, the letter
U: Ursula K. LeGuin
V: Vernal equinox
W: Word games, puzzles
X: Malcolm X
Y: Yam, roasted, but not candied
Z: Ruth Zaporah

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donut wedding

My friend Lena just moved here from Boston. Her sweetie Paul just, just moved here from London. Today they got hitched in true Portlandia style – at the legendary Voodoo Donuts. Proprietor Tres Shannon did the honors. There were kazoos, a pirate and of course, lots of donuts. It was very sweet!

Here’s a few photos. More on flickr.

Seth’s Quake

Here’s a short story I wrote a few years ago. I had developed this exercise inspired by some work Matt and I were doing at the time. “Oppstacles” we called them – opportunity-obstacles. I created four buckets to inspire some flash fiction – 1) Word/Object, 2) Place, 3) Relationship/Character, and 4) Song (lyrics). For this particular piece, my randomly chosen items from these oppstacle buckets were: quake, parking lot, obsessed, Bizarre Love Triangle.

Seth’s Quake
Seth was sick and tired of being the “bad” brother. Sure, Osi was righteous and all that, but geez can a brother get a break? Osi has a beautiful wife and a son, and what about Seth? Nothing. Torrents. Terror. Destruction. Again, he’s lonely sitting here at the Costco parking lot for the 100th day in a row. Why? To see if Isis will appear again. She doesn’t show herself often, but Seth knows that Isis can hardly resist the wholesale quantities like a crate of fresh strawberries or that 24 pack of toilet paper. Seth has loved his brother’s wife since third grade when her voice cut through the torrent of anger and humiliation he endured as Osi yet again found victory at the school spelling bee. Isis told Seth, “You spell fine, but your real talent is to move the earth with your heart.” And from that point on, Seth did just that. His first natural disaster was a landslide in Peru. 18,000 died. Another kicker was the monsoons in Thailand. 10,000 died. Seth felt great power and shame. Osi, meanwhile brought food to drought stricken Ethiopia. He clothed poor in China. He built houses for homeless in Guatemala. Seth and Osi were like two sides of the same coin. One couldn’t exist without the other. It’s just that Seth’s side got such a bad rap. How can being so good at something be so bad? Finally, in the 23rd hour of the 100th day of waiting, lovely Isis appeared with her perpetual baby boy in a sling. Seth slowly rose up from his waiting spot in parking space 301. Each movement from Seth snowballed into a thundering rumble and shaking of the ground, as he reached forth to his unrequited. Before he could reach her to tell her of his undying love, she fell through the cracks of the broken ground slowly floating, like a feather in the wind. She waved as she always did, the broken record of missed connection between one who loves and one who is loved.

Day 8 NaBloPoMo done. Quarter of the way there.

zombie haiku

apparently haiku is a favorite form on twitter. i recently discovered a special niche – zombie haiku (#zombiehaiku). here are a few of my picks:

Oh, friend, lasting friend, you have taken a mouthful. I am whole no more. @lamusique

Silent morning air / still as a lonely graveyard / morning rendezvous @Christwitery

rigor mortis pain / the living all move too fast / a zombie’s lament @kristen_pfaff

With a strong sucking, they pop right into my mouth. Eyeballs taste like grapes. @WootiesDotNet

i am grey on the outside, blue inside, dead all over so sue me @t_love_pdx (yes, that’s me)

the boneyard

When Matt and I went to Las Vegas back in March, the one thing I wanted to be sure and see was the Boneyard. It’s part of the collection of the Neon Museum, an organization preserving, salvaging and restoring old signs so they just don’t end up in the dump. They are also all about celebrating the “neon sign” as a uniquely Las Vegas artform. For now, the Boneyard is a big lot (actually two lots) where they store all the signs that they’ve salvaged. In addition to neon signs (many of which also also use incandescent bulbs) the museum ends up salvaging all kinds of other large signs. I thought it was pretty dang groovy, and a great Vegas activity if you’re not much of a gambler or need time away from the regular action. You can only visit by appointment only, so don’t forget to call at least a week before you want to go.

Here’s a few of my favorite photos from the Boneyard. My whole set is up at flickr.


Next time, I’ll be hitting the Liberace Museum.

reading list

In an effort to create better life balance, I’ve made time to read more lately. I’m really into sci-fi right now, especially women authors. Any other recommendations are welcome! And please share your reading lists, too.

t-love’s Reading List May 2009

Current

  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • Standing Up To the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times by Amy Goodman and David Goodman
  • The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2006 edited by Dave Eggers

Recently finished

  • Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
  • The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. LeGuin

On deck

  • Tales From Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Storycatcher by Christina Baldwin

NaBloPoMo day 5.

news roundup

It’s May 4, which means Day 4 of my NaBloPoMo month. Only 27 days to go…

Here are some random news and headlines that have caught my eye over the past few days:

When Coffee Wars Get Bitter: The Floyd’s Saga – There’s some shady stuff happening with one of my local coffee shops. Our PDX explains how Floyd’s, the cool drive-thru coffee shop, were forced out of their space. Photo courtesy of One True b!x on flickr.

R.I.P. Al Robles and Manong Al Has Left the Building– Longtime Filipino-American community activist and poet Al Robles passed away. He’s best known for his work around the closing of the I-Hotel in San Francisco, a former low-income residence for lots of Asian American elders that got torn down amidst lots of controversy and not-without a huge resistance from the community. He is featured in Curtis Choy‘s classic documentary Fall of the I Hotel as well as his latest film Manilatown is in the Heart, currently hitting the film festival circuit. Hyphen and Racewire report.


Brazilian theater director August Boal dies – Another sad loss for the community. Boal is the founder of Theater of the Oppressed, which he continued to teach until now. His work has been incredible in empowering communities to communicate and make powerful change. Photo courtesy of Teia 2007 on flickr.

If Pigs Could Fly: Traveling in the Time of Swine Flu – Interesting commentary from Sandip Roy at New American Media about America’s new-found role in the swine fly scare.

Highest Paid CEOs for 2008 – In case you’re not pissed off enough already. Based on AP research here’s an unfuriating list of some folks who’ve made off well, despite the rest of us struggling. And yes, 4 of the top 10 are from our friendly banks.

sweet shamelessness

Time for some shameless promotion.

First me…

Here’s some recent audio work I’ve done at KBOO Community Radio. I’ve been part of the APA Compass Collective for the last couple of years. I also recently started a new pilot show with S.W. Conser called Behind the Screen focusing on local filmmakers and festivals.

I also write for the Asian Reporter. Here are a few of my recent opinion pieces:

Now to brag about my friends’ projects…

  • My friend Sarah Liane Foster is a brilliant clown. Check out her new solo show The Last Show You’ll Ever See playing later this month at Curious Comedy Theater in NE Portland.
  • I know a bunch of folks involved with the live soap opera Soap St. Theater including creator/director/writer Eric Martin Reid, musician Ralph Huntley (of Live Wire! and Super Project Lab fame) and actors Adrienne Flagg (also Creative Director at IFCC and founder/artistic director of Portland Theatre Brigade), Jennifer Lanier (also a Portland Theatre Brigade teacher) and Sean McGrath (another LiveWire! cast member).
  • My friend Risa Morimoto’s documentary is airing nationally on PBS‘s Independent Lens this week for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The film is called Wings of Defeat, which reveals the true stories of World War II Kamikaze pilots. Check your local PBS listings for exact times.
  • A bunch of friends and colleagues organize and are taking part in the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival going on right now. It’s their 25th Anniversary! Congrats folks!
  • Levi Ethan Cecil is a musician I know (and also a dj on KBOO – his show is Midnight Mixtape) who’s doing something very grassroots to try and get his CD released. Check out his website to learn more.

Okay, that’s it for now. I’m sure there will be more later!

Day 3 of NaBloPoMo done.

Buck Howard, pretty great

NaBloPoMo Day 2. I managed to work the “sweet” theme in…

Matt and I adventured to Living Room Theater to see The Great Buck Howard. I didn’t know anything about the film, but the description sounded intruiging, and just the right light tone we were looking for. It stars John Malkovich, who I often find is annoyingly just shades of the same character on screen, but we still thought we’d give it a go.

Malkovich plays Buck Howard, a washed up stage entertainer as a mentalist. (The character is inspired by real-life mentalist The Amazing Kreskin. The film’s director Sean McGinly was actually Kreskin’s road manager for a while.) A mentalist is kinda like a magician (though he hates being called one) and a hypnotist rolled into one. His claim to fame is that he had appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson 61 times. The story follows Buck through the eyes of his new road manager, Troy Gable, played by Colin Hanks (aka son of Tom, both in real-life and in this film). Troy is a law school drop-out who finds himself sucked into the world of the Great Buck Howard.

Buck and Troy travel his circuit of civic centers in third class cities like Bakersfield and Akron. Despite his corny and outdated performance style, Buck still enthralls the audiences, especially with his signature finale. The “effect” (what one might call a trick or an gimmick, but with mentalist, you just write things off as fake) is this: Buck enlists two audience members to hide the cash that he’s receiving for the gig somewhere in the theater. He enlists another two volunteers who stay with Buck and his entourage backstage in the Green Room while it’s being hidden to ensure that he is not cheating. Once the money is hidden, Buck returns and somehow, someway, always sniffs out that wad of cash.

The trajectory of the film moves toward Buck’s big new effect, which he insists will be the impetus for comeback he’s been waiting for. I won’t give it away, but I will say that the end is both predictable and not.

I loved John Malkovich in this. He creates such an interesting, specific and empathetic character in the guise of a diva buffoon. In his shiny suits and gawdy sunglasses, Buck has these hilarious mannerisms, such as an overly vigorous handshake and his constant demonstrative declarations, “I love this town!”

Overall, I found both the writing and the performances to be quite good. Colin Hanks is extremely likable, Emily Blunt is capable, Steve Zahn is wonderful as an overzealous Cincinnati “groupie.” Tom Hanks even makes an appearance, albeit, a rather forgettable one as the senior Gable. There are also lots of other fun cameos from the likes of David Blaine, Jon Stewart, Griffin Dunne and others.

If you’re looking for a sweet, interesting character comedy, I would check it out. And if you see it at Portland’s Living Room Theater, I would also recommend the chocolate cake with peanut butter cream icing. Yum.

Sweetness

I’m trying NaBloPoMo again this month. I tried it a few months back and lost steam because I went out of town a few times. For the month of May I will post on my blog once a day. Yes, every single day in May. That’s 31 posts. Of course I picked a month with 31 days! But it is spring, so I suppose I’m feeling inspired. The theme for the month is “Sweet” if I choose to use it. Today I will…

If we’re talking sweets, we’re talking dessert. If we’re talking dessert, then for me, above all else, we’re talking CHOCOLATE. And I mean the real kind, not the icky, weird concoction they call “milk chocolate.” Here’s a few factoids and trivial things about our friend chocolate:

  • The Mayans and Aztecs were the original chocoholics. Some of them loved it so much they even grew cacao in their backyard gardens. Now, that’s my kinda urban gardening!
  • One of my favorite chocolate books is Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquival. Each chapter of the book begins with a recipe. The novel employs a heavy dose of magic realism which works well with the foodie, soap operatic plot.
  • Xocolātl is a popular cacao drink that the Mayans and Aztecs made. Dagoba makes a bar they call Xocalatl.
  • Seeds from the evergreen tree Theobroma cacao are used in making chocolate.
  • Another fictional chocolate I enjoyed is the film Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. The themes aren’t entirely different from Like Water for Chocolate with passionate chocolate making and high drama about a small conservative French town who receives a big shake up with a new chocolatier in town.
  • Theobromine is the bitter alkaloid in chocolate that gives you that nice chocolate buzz.
  • “Chocolate gives you zits.” Remember that old rumor? Well, bust that myth, cuz it ain’t true.
  • Portland is home to some pretty nifty chocolatiers. Alma Chocolate, Cacao Drink Chocolate, and Moonstruck Chocolatier are some of the standouts.

Here’s a young girl after my own heart. Photo courtesy of RIPizzo on flickr.