Monthly Archives: November 2007

These Shoes Rock.

At a well-produced event for GOOD Magazine last fall I came across a booth for TOMS shoes, a Santa Monica-based company that makes Argentian-style shoes in several fabrics and gives a pair to a child in need for each one it sells (for $40 on average). Lessons to take away? Putting your name in all caps helps (well, it seems to increase your credibility as a company that gives back at least).

The shoes are surprisingly comfortable and I like the idea of giving them away as a holiday gift to employees. Not to worry, this isn’t becoming a gift guide or wishlist to those who sign my payckeck–it’s just hard to keep quiet about given their goal to give away 50,000 pairs in South Africa this year (new soles aren’t the answer to all the world’s problems, but they can’t hurt).
Crazy ColorsCrazy Colors–Hipsters Rejoice!
Crazy colors. Hipsters rejoice!

Maybe this year we could pretend we’ll make no-boil veggie pumpkin lasagne (thanks Recipes.com)

Tonight I’m en route to Detroit (recently–and controversially–named the country’s most dangerous city) for a holiday that promises to be story worthy. A few memories from Thanksgivings past (cue extraneous use of bullet points):

  • Last Thursday of November, 2002: Visiting aunt puts salt in pumpkin pies instead of sugar (but shouldn’t be blamed; Goligoski family’s jars mislabeled); adults smile politely; kindergartener cousin spits out his piece and reaches for beverage to clear his palette; selects Gatorade container in refrigerator, not knowing it contains turkey fat; in absence of former smiles, everyone winces.
  • Mid-May, 2003: Having long forgotten that there seemed to be no weekend-after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches last year, mother is horrified upon remembering that the leftovers were placed on the screen porch when the refrigerator became too full after dinner. When giving a tour of the house to a friend five months later, she is shocked to find turkey remnants that had frozen and thawed several times (after wondering why a slew of cats were lurking all winter–yikes).
  • November 23, 2005: While studing abroad and having a less-than memorable meal of Australian dorm cuisine, I get a phone call from cousins recalling how mother spilled “an entire huge plate” of cranberries, getting them all over the dining room and their white ceiling (“just repainted!”). Barely missed cousin’s wedding veil. Dinner resumed without candied fruit.

Hello Moto.

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“We really expected that you wouldn’t pass your test under any circumstances,” my mom told me the day after emerging (suprisingly) victorious from Bay Area Motorcycle Training. Not that I can really blame her for the lack of confidence in her eldest’s driving abillities–she was the one who drove my 16-year-old self to (and from) both failed driving and mulitple choice tests.

Controlling what felt like a massive Kawaski made for a challenging and somewhat ego-bruising weekend. And a cold one: the photo shows a bright afternoon but the Outer Sunset actually got so foggy I didn’t know there was a building beyond the lot. The other students were friendly (one offered me a ride home, then regaled me with the story of trying to get his DUI removed from his record), the instructors multi-talented (in addition to teaching motorcycle riding, one man also teaches martial arts and rifle and semi-automatic shooting), and my skills sufficient (read: passing with two points to spare, or “by the skin of my teeth” according to the evaluator). The course was fun though, even if it’s only taken for scootering around the city.

archiCULTURE launches

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After some jostling with the title “Architorture” (a reference to the long hours and sacrifices that architecture students make for their craft), the new site for the documentary film project archiCULTURE is up for y’all. In January we’ll start shooting a group of architecture students in their final semester and thesis studio at Pratt Institute in New York. The project is still in pre-production but has garnered some positive attention from students and architecture press.

I wanted to learn more about video production and became interested in the topic when a friend recounted the friends she made during late nights and weekends spent in her undergrad architecture studio. It seems that most people have a good sense of what doctors and lawyers go through for their careers but little sense of architects’ early work. Along with the two architects-turned-filmmakers who came up with the idea of highlighting the intense work that goes into the senior studio, a group of us are looking to create a film that’s as sustainable as possible in an industry that’s notoriously bad for the environment. Carsharing and solar plug-ins for equipment are among the ideas–I’d love to hear yours.

Ms. M.I.A.

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Last night I had the pleasure of seeing British singer M.I.A. perform a colorful set at Mezzanine, a great place for dancing and music in downtown SF. She was incredibly energetic and brought two great backup rappers on stage.

Her stories about growing up in exile in Sri Lanka to militant activist parents, in addition to her unconventional approach to hip hop and dance, seem to have made her a favorite of women’s music magazines lately. I appreciated the Huffington Post’s observation: “We’ve truly arrived in modern times when 5,000 middle-class, mostly white American youth will gladly pay $25.00 to see a South Asian girl from London sing about anti-globalization and Tamil autonomy.”

Those youth certainly made the most of their gem-colored lycra and mimicked M.I.A.’s sunglasses-at-night and bold leotard combinations. The audience was almost as eclectic as her website (may induce seizures).