Bay Area folks take note: You're definitely missing something if you don't go see Yellowman at the Berkeley Rep. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time & got free tickets. Knowing next to nothing about the play, we went & were totally devastated, in a good way, by an incredible performance.

Oh, & there's a Chinese restaurant in the play, too!


If you're bored & need stuff to do, Learning To Love You More has lots of excellent assignments for you. Even if you're not bored but you need stuff to do, it's good. For me, since I'm not bored & I don't need stuff to do, it's slightly overwhelming to contemplate how there are so many fun things to do & I might not really have time to do them. But hey, at least I enjoyed looking through the website.

One of the reasons I don't need stuff to do is that I thought my Knitting Moment had passed, but in fact it has not. (Two words: baby hats.) Also, I have a grant deadline coming up... that's another reason.


Dang. This is so cool. You could spend hours on musicplasma : the music visual search engine typing in bands you like & checking out the groovy diagrams linking to other bands... & then if you click on an album you can listen to samples of it on that shopping tool known as amazon. If you find something you like, then you go down to your local music store & buy it there, right? Riiight! (Does anyone say "right" anymore or is everybody too busy saying "a'ight"? It's not exactly the same thing, though, is it now?)

Happy Year of the Monkey to all you monkeys out there!

An auspicious beginning to the year: According to this menu just arrived in my PO box, Egg Roll Station in Augusta, Georgia (sandwiched between Krispy Kreme & Goodyear Tires, across the highway from KMart) is keeping the faith, with nary a rangoon in sight, & no chop suey either! Way to go, Egg Roll Station! You rock!


Making some progress in my attempts to clean house & studio... Northern California letterpress printers be advised, I am getting rid of some old equipment; a listing will soon appear on the SFCB Equipment Exchange. Or just email me to find out what there is. Sad to say my letterpress days appear to be over for the forseeable future, although things change so quickly around here that "forseeable" really doesn't cover a lot of time. Who knows, in a couple months I might suddenly be begging someone to let me use their Vandercook, just like 10 years ago! Alas, those were sweet days indeed, setting type letter by letter so that my entire relationship to language became slow & careful, & I learned to love each word. Sometimes I wonder if I'm crazy not to be doing that anymore, but then, I remember that I am doing (mostly) what I want to be doing, & it just doesn't happen to involve letterpress right now.


It's that time of year again, a few days before the Lunar New Year, & here I am pathetically trying to clean the house & get rid of stuff. I thought I'd start with my desk. True confessions: all I did was move everything into a big pile on the floor. Doh! Perhaps some of you out there in blogland are also guilty of such crimes? How do you live with yourself? More to the point, how do you deal with that big pile on the floor?

I gotta say, though, this empty desk is really sort of glee-inducing. Hee hee hee! Wheee!

But really, lest you think *so* much less of me... I am going to work on that floor pile right now. Right now!

Meanwhile, the first plum blossom has arrived! I noticed it yesterday. Silly tree... you're early! But so is the New Year this year... hm, d'ya think those Chinese astronomers are onto something?


I realize all of this is getting to be old news by now, but I can finally miss Anita Mui now that I'm warm enough to feel anything. So sad.... But Michelle Kwan lives, & how! Rock on, girl!!! So I can't be all sad. In fact, things are downright bipolar here in the Chinese Chick Icons Zone.


I finally found some intelligent response to that dangling question "Is the film Lost in Translation racist?" Well, the question was dangling for me because I've been afraid to see it... something about forking over $8 or $9 to be offended, I'd rather not risk it, thank you. Especially when there's so many other things to spend that time & money on with plenty of assurance that you won't be offended. A nice ball of yarn, for example... oh, I've become such a total knitting geek!


We have heat! We have heat! I am delirious! I couldn't believe how hot it felt when the temperature reached 65 degrees... in my initial burst of greedy enthusiasm I had set the thermostat to 70, but we quickly realized we couldn't take more than 68 after being acclimated to the mid50s for almost a whole month! Of course, all this happens just in time for the weather to warm up... but hey, I ain't complaining!

More satisfaction: remember the latke & paper towel question? Max writes: "My mom says, her jewish grandmother and mother used to put the latkes, which were fried in chicken fat, on a plate and eat it. Because the schmaltz was great. The whole paper towel low fat thing is some kinda goyisha update. The real jews, and were talking conservatives and orthodox here, eat the fat."

Aha!!! Thank you Max! There is a poetic elegance to this answer that satisfies more than any newspaper/dishtowel/other oil-diminishing answer could have. I mean, of course the schmaltz was great! Duh, why didn't I think of that? The fat is the whole point.


So let me tell you how good Carla Bozulich's Red Headed Stranger album is. I'm in love! I'm obsessed! I can't listen to anything else. It's my new drug. Maybe all the more addictive because I never heard the original Willie Nelson (since I don't like his voice). Hard country meets experimental jazz, with a well-placed dollop of that mesmerizing Indian drone sound. Donna said, "If Catherine Irwin & Neko Case had a child, this is what she would sound like." I would say, it's that kid channeling Patsy Cline through a filter of something bracing & potent, all her own, & pouring it into the form so brilliantly crafted by Nelson. Oh hell, I never said I was a music writer, did I? Just go get the album already. You won't be sorry. (Yes, I do delight in being so perverse as to heap my highest praises upon a white musician covering another white musician, immediately after that last post reviling white music critics perpetuating their own myopic white canon. My musical world is wide that way.)

By the way, there's more where that came from, on Jeff's own blog. You want links with that?

The moon must be in rant: Jeff Chang turns in a fierce one. What I can really relate to in this piece is the incredulity & embarrassment of having to point out the same old racism at this late date. I guess we were very optimistic once upon a time, to think that things would have improved by now... to think that we would have improved things by now. It is heartening, though, to look around & realize that the vast majority of my old college buddies have not sold out, but are still fighting the good fight in some form. (Dang, do I sound middle-aged or what?!)


Snapple has just landed itself on my shitlist, big time. Imagine my dismay when I cracked open a fortune cookie last night & found "Snapple predicts: You will be hungry again in an hour."

Leaving aside for a moment the issue of whether corporate advertising inside a fortune cookie is already rude & tacky enough on its own (that would be yes), all of us at the table were flabbergasted that Snapple had the gall to trot out this tired old racist cliche about Chinese food. Once we got over our shock, we realized that Snapple must be giving these fortune cookies free to the restaurants. The cashier said "they went around giving them to all the restaurants around here." Snapple invades Clement Street! What an outrage! Sounds like maybe other customers have complained too, because she implied they were not going to give them out anymore after this batch. I couldn't help wondering, why not just stop now? Why wait for the batch to run out? My people, my people! Have some pride! Fortune cookies are cheap enough. Throw that Snapple shit in the trash where it belongs! Meanwhile, the rest of us can avail ourselves of the handy corporate website feedback form... work that keyboard, my friends!

On the positive PR tip (I hope), I'm supposed to show up on Evening Magazine this Thursday night the 8th, at 7pm on channel 5 in the Bay Area.


You need a (free) login to read this New York Times article reviewing a show I'm in at the New York Public Library. Nice start to the new year. That, plus our laundry machines are finally hooked up & we're laundering away with great glee. Still no heat though; we continue to hone our skills as heat camels, hoarding warmth wherever we go. I spent most of New Year's Eve literally sitting on our friends' floor register. Did I mention that our liquid dish soap is all congealed into a semi-solid state? It's demoralizing, to say the least. But now that the flannel sheets are clean, I'll try not to complain as much. (That's hard for me!)