It’s time to relocate this weblog and buy the URL already. More culture commentary can be found here:
Tomorrow marks our third week of practice with Team in Training for the Monterey Triathlon in September–thankfully it’s not a swim in the Bay just yet, but I want to kick off the most important part of the race: raising money for people with leukemia and lymphoma.
I haven’t done a triathlon in the past, oh, ten years, but I figure there’s no better way to honor my late cousin Julia’s life than getting out there and trying something crazy that also helps other people. She was always quick to break into a wacky dance or run, and she’d love the idea of meeting a bunch of people around you to do something unexpected (such as say, an Olympic distance tri). And if there were costumes involved..well, forget about it. You can see a little tribute of her here on Current.
Team in Training supports research for blood cancers that are a bit different from the kind that Julia had, but I’m participating with thoughts of her and the 823,000 Americans currently in need of cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. My teammates and I are going to be training around the Bay Area this summer to offer hope, support, and, of course, funds for people with these diseases. I hope you can help (even if it’s with a comment).
I’ll keep it updated with photos of myself (hopefully upright) on the bike and run. Donations are tax deductible and enable life-saving research. I cannot tell you how much the help is appreciated.
And now, off to the races.
As a longtime reader of Bitch Magazine’s commentary on popular culture, academics and media, I’m excited that a piece I wrote about SF arial dance troupe Flyaway Productions last year landed in their pages. Choreographer Jo Kreiter’s performers have an ethereal quality and are breathtaking to watch, even (or especially) above Chinese donut shops in the Mission. See the magazine’s latest Genesis issue–it’s a great tribute to Bay Area dance pioneer Kreiter’s vision.
This week brought the Embarcadero opening of the film Surfwise about a doctor and his wife who raised their eight small children in a 24-foot camper while surfing up and down the US coast and Mexico. The documentary depicts the upbringing of seven sons and a sole gutsy daughter and their recollections of “Doc” Paskowitz, a visionary and somewhat hostile father. The bright design elements by SF production house Mekanism are beautiful, and you can only imagine what a bear this project was to edit after eight years of interviews. The family members’ stories about sexual angst and sharing clothing on the road ultimately make for a fun romp of a film, and it’s just enough to get you on the phone this Father’s Day.
Tokyo-based culture blog PingMag turned me onto new designs from Afro Coffee, a South African roaster whose iconic packaging is instantly memorable. It doesn’t take much to get me talking about my affinity for coffee or Cape Town, but this company’s efforts to get people thinking about where the coffee they drink comes from is admirable. As Ping quoted Afro’s Grant Rushmere:
“‘Our goal was to refocus people on the origins of coffee – that it in fact originated in Africa before being discovered by the Arabs and from Yemen, exporting around the world. Many people don’t know this, so we attempt to capture and celebrate this African spirit in our packaging and all we do.'”
Primary colors and beach-themed fabric are used to create coffee bags and tea tins that I’d love to see stateside. I’m not sure that drinking Afro Coffee will people’s solve problems of “no money and no ladies” as the roaster promises, but it’s certainly fun enough to help you get past that. The caffeine helps too.
Take a look at Ritual Roasters’ slick new site. Napa location coming soon.
My high school art history project research and affinity for painter Frida Kahlo’s work came back when I was in Mexico City recently. The colors! The monkeys! The imagery! But my frustration with her art being on tour during my visit was relieved by the exhibition’s upcoming stop at the SF MOMA this June. Locals need no explanation of why the museum is such a good one with its frequently changing exhibits and a size that’s more manageable than New York’s. They’ll be doing timed appointment-style tickets for the Kahlo show (which is here until late September) to limit the number of attendees at any given time. Ticket costs are a steep $20 but I can’t resist.