Friday, April 29, 2005

untitled #1

Thanks to everyone who has informed me of the story about the newly spotted ivory billed woodpecker.

Since I'm on a t.v. fast (I've lost 7 inches and 5 lbs.), I haven't seen any video footage, but I heard there is some.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

too much tv

Most people smoke a lot of weed or take horse tranquilizers to withstand the amounts of tv I've been watching lately.

You'll all be glad to know that I'm really done with Extreme Makevoer. For good. I saw it last week, and they tricked out two perfectly normal looking women. It pissed me off and I didn't cry like I did when they fixed up some people in past shows with double rows of teeth and other things that shouldn't matter, but nevertheless are really troubling flaws or blemishes.

Blind Justice seems kind of lame, and I bet I'll never watch it. I don't know if the blind guy is a cop, a lawyer, or a judge. I think it would be funny if they made him a narcotics agent or something.

I really like the NBC version of The Office, but mostly, I'm really uncomfortable when I watch it. A line like, "I don't really like to touch things" is fine and kind of on-the-sly funny. But for the most part, the characters are so painfully stupid or mean. The character Dwight is even creepier than than the BBC one. In general, I don't like to watch tv or movies with characters who get ickier and ickier. For example, I didn't like that wine drinking movie so much because of all the humiliation the characters went through. I don't know how much more I can take of The Office even though I think it's really good.

Everyone on American Idol sucks except the bigger white guy. But he sucked last night.

I watched local news, entertainment tonight, extra, and or insider edition last night. It's all one big blur of programming if you ask me. So Brad and Angelina are together after all? I wasn't paying close enough attention, but there was some reporting about them being in Africa together. It's too bad I care about that. The Michael Jackson trial is still going on. People are being gunned down on the freeways again. There's a mayoral race in Los Angeles.

Finally, I understand that the NBA play-offs are going on right now. Since the Lakers went out, it's like there's no such thing as basketball in LA. It's the weirdest basketball season I've ever been through in Southern California. It's like a silent spring or something.

Charlie Rose had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, and Bill Russell on his show on Monday. All three had well phrased ways of describing the NBA, and I was surprised to be so interested in what these athletes had to say. Of course, they're all retired, and it doesn't hurt them to be critical of the business of the game. (Working athletes seem to follow really boring scripts, and if they don't, they're labeled freaks.) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is impressive, and I like the way he moves his shoulders and smiles when he talks. Also, he wrote a book about a battalion of black soldiers in WWII. I would like to talk to him about the sweater/shirt combo he wore on the show. I know Charlie Rose is on PBS, but come on ... .

So there you have it -- tv is good and bad and I need to cut back.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Passover Report

[Editor's note: I swear this post will conclude my Passover musings for the year. I'm not going all Kabbalah or anything like that. I just love food, history, religion, and posting photos.]

I went to the book club/Passover Seder last night. Discussions of both Friday Night Lights and the Exodus were illuminating and interesting.

Seder plate with:

- Karpas (parsley);

- Beitza (egg for spring and renewal);

- Charoset (apple salad representing mortar used in slave labor);

- some Matzah bread;

- Maror (bitter herb representing bitterness of slavery -- Daniel, our "leader" couldn't find Passover horseradish, but he found a tube of wassabi, which is typically horseradish and coloring, at a Japanese market.);

- salt water (representative of tears shed by slaves and used for dipping the Karpas); and

- Z'roa (lamb shank bone to represent the lamb's blood used to mark the homes of people who were passed over for the death of their first born sons -- here, it's a chicken bone from Costco).

That's some Charles Shaw in the background. Clearly, the meal wasn't Kosher.

Dessert ...

Pecan Torte

I found a recipe for a Passover Pecan Torte in the April 2005 Martha Stewart Living magazine. It doesn't appear to be available on the on line edition. The cake has pecans, eggs, sugar, and few other things -- no flour, no leavening. I served the cake with a lemon curd (lemons from my neighbor's tree) and berries. It was yummy, but the sprinkled powdered sugar and the transportation was a little off (representative of the haste with which I fled my home to make it to the gathering on time).

I still don't get why God made the Israelites go through so much suffering in Egypt if he could have used his power to stop the suffering before anyone had to die or suffer from enslavement or one or more of the plagues.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Books and Food

There's a book club I get emails for, but I never attend the gatherings. This weekend, the group is combining the book discussion with a Passover Seder. Because I probably won't get invited to another Seder this Passover, I'm going to read the book and attend.

The book is Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger. If you've read the book or seen the movie, give me some insight or thoughtful things to say. So far, I feel the drama, and it's compelling. These Texas folks really invest their hopes and souls in the game. The high school players have mixed feelings off the field as the struggle in their lives and worry about their futures, but get really focused when they play. It's magical and special. Everyone in the town experiences the wonder and excitement. Wow. Etc.

Really, I'm having a hard time getting through it the book. There doesn't seem to be anything about Jews or Passover, so I don't quite get the tie-in.

I've been researching the food and eating and drinking possibilities for the seder. I have a copy of a Haggadah from a hippie-vegetarian Seder I attended a few years ago. The Haggadah is, from what I can tell, a play book for the meal. The copy I have relates the story of the Jews in Egypt to modern struggles of oppressed people. It provides that we eat and drink the following items:

vegetable in salt water
bitter herbs
matzah & bitter herbs sandwich
"festival meal" (what does this mean? is this the plate with egg and bone? or can we eat a real meal?)

There are some prayers and explanations that go with the food, but I can't read Hebrew.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

White Smoke

I just got out of the conclave, checked my messages, read Xui's piece, and returned a few very important calls.

I'm thinking about resigning because the election results didn't go my way. I stupidly thought the church might benefit by promoting the idea that redemption happens through acceptance and change.

Also, I lost 25 cents in a bet I shouldn't have made.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Arts and Crafts

I don't watch t.v. every night, and Extreme Makeover doesn't always make me cry.

The other night, for example, my roommate and I hosted a knitting/crocheting party. I cannot boast of anything spectacular, but check out Indra's (Eli's sister) work (modeled by yours truly).

Indra's work

All three pieces are originals and demonstrate Indra's concern for texture and shape. You can't see it, but the handbag has a flat bottom panel that permits a fullness you don't often see in more 2-dimensional craftwork.

There's another neck piece she made called Road Kill. 'Wish I had a photo to show you. You'd agree that it earns the name as it looks like a bunch of red-stained pelts strung up on an otherwise nice looking scarf.

Yeah Indra!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


I like the American version of The Office better than the British one. Am I evil?

Some one in my family dreamt I was pregnant with Chuy's baby. Am I a floozy too?

Monday, April 11, 2005


I saw Sin City last weekend. I thought it looked great, and I wasn't bothered by the writing. I just didn't really care for the stories.

Hookers standing up for themselves, even though it is such a strong feminist story to tell, just doesn't ring true for me. Did people notice how there was less and less tit, and more and more ass, as the movie progressed?

Why didn't Robert Rodriguez direct From Hell? Why wasn't Jessica Alba in it instead of Heather Graham? (Again, in a hooker roll.)


Why doesn't someone make an edgy comic book movie with no hookers?

Friday, April 08, 2005

just a few things

I didn't shed one tear for the life and death of that woman in Florida, the pope, or Johnnie Cochran. Every time some natural disaster (like lots of rain in Southern California) displaces families who have lost really nice homes built on cliffs and whatnot, I don't feel bad for them. Yet I keep tearing up when I watch the reality t.v. shows Extreme Makeover (not the home edition, I mean the one with plastic surgery and people with bad teeth) and Nanny 911.* What's wrong with me?

* I think one of my independent film making friends had to take some work for money doing post production on this show. That makes it good, right?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I Heart My Peeples

I haven't see Sin City like everyone else. If I like it, I'm sure I'll share my thoughts with you all. Don't worry, I get to see stuff. I had Baadasssss around for a week (thank goodness for netflix and no late fees).

I loooooved it a bunch.

Melvin Van Peeples (played by his son, Mario Van Peeples) was stressed to do his thing, but I wasn't too stressed to see him do it. He was a jerk and inappropriate as a father. On the other hand, he had a great body and liked misfits and weirdos. I liked the alternative lifestyle images and the multi-racial radical front that seemed to hold so much promise in California way back when. Also, Mario has a lot of love in his heart to reconcile such mixed sentiments about his dad. Touching for sure.

For my film making friends (like Yolanda and Indra), you must surely relate to the independent film making drama. So many setbacks and flying by the seats of pants.

I didn’t care for all the naked ladies and violence. I also didn'’t like the anti-union slant as it was oversimplified. Don't get me wrong. I understand that unions need to be criticized for being racist, exclusive, and too expensive for independent film making. But we, workers of the world, need to keep in mind that if everything is nonunion, wages and benefits for workers will be driven down as low as possible.

[I'm kind of kidding with my use of the rhetoric, but kind of not with my true concerns for exploitation that's way worse than negative images and stereotypes, ok. Some day, I'll write more about unions. I'm in one, you know.]

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Kind of Random, but Overdue

I've been meaning to say, in my blog, R.I.P. to the Pope, Johnnie Cochran, and that lady in Florida. You all stirred shit up good.

I saw Johnnie Cochran at a conference about police misconduct and violence a few years ago. I hope he's remembered for his honorable contributions to social justice.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Eating Out

I went out to dinner with Indra to Rita Flora Kitchen on La Brea the other night. For dinner, the menu offered a selection of tapas style dishes. (Indra says you can get nice, full size sandwiches for lunch.) We had really yummy salad greens. I didn't think the 5 or 6 spears of white asparagus was worth $8. The dessert was kind of stale, and that bothered me. Restaurants need to toss out desserts daily. Make the waitstaff fat on pastries. Give leftovers to the poor. Compost them. Don't serve them to people for 5 or 6 dollars per portion.

The waitstaff consisted of really fit, attractive and friendly people. They were dressed in bright colored American Apparel style outfits. What a bunch of cuties!

Today's my dad's birthday. He's 78 years old.

Friday, April 01, 2005

More on Ed

My brother, Ed, made dinner the other night and used up ham, veggies, and rice from Easter. He is as thoughtful as everyone says, and I loved that he used ingredients I had on hand.

The next day, he packed my lunch for me. I had a big helping of the rice dish. Two little extras made it my most special brown bag lunch ever. First, he wrote my name on the bag. No mix ups in the group fridge at work. The not-in-my-handwriting made it clear to others that I am cared for. Also, there were two little candies for dessert. Since I feel like I have to do almost everything for myself, it felt good to have someone else do it for me.

Spring break is over for Ed, and he left today for home. Too bad for me.