Archive for I do nerdy stuff. I love it.

decal love

My previous post keeps on giving me a headache. It’s not as fascinating as I originally thought. Anyways…

I went to my first Food Journalism decal today, hoping I would hate it.

But I love it. Especially because I’m already thinking of this:

From Olivia Bee. She knows love. She’s also 15. Check her out.

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Today’s Garden of Eden

Not Quite, but close! But that’s the title of my paper on The Edible Schoolyard, (yes, the famous garden and kitchen non-profit founded by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse) and I think it’s clever enough to not part with it, as of now.

Once a week, I come to Martin Luther King Jr Middle School and volunteer at the Edible Schoolyard. This experience has been the highlight of my semester, and I’ve never enjoyed more working with kids.

Because I know nothing about harvesting and planting, I chose to work in the Kitchen, which has been an incredible experience. The kitchen classroom is my ideal kitchen. They use top-notch kitchen gadgets, fresh ingredients fill the countertops, the brightly-painted walls are adorned with unique garlands of garlic and herbs, and hand-written recipes and books line the walls. Each one hour period, we prepare the ingredients, cook the food, set the table, eat together, wash the dishes, and have time to learn the importance of seasonal foods and organic cooking. (Although there’s always one kid who raises his hand and yells, “hells nah! organic makes me puke!” I hope he learns something here…) They often use fresh vegetables and fruit straight from the garden! I tried freshly pressed apple cider, honey, and ricotta cheese. I also ate their eggs from their hens—-really, it tastes wonderfully different. No wonder there’s so much hype about this place! I work with 8th graders, so they’ve been doing this for 3 years, which means they know how to do things a lot better than me. All I do is just make sure they don’t talk to much. Life is so good!

Yesterday, I came early so I took a stroll in the garden. I think it’s about an acre big. Anyways, welcome!

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Kiwi!

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Rainbow chard. We made autumn harvest soup with these. So delish! Come over and I’ll make some for you.

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Weird fungi that exploded. It looks like a dead animal carcass. Flies were all over that thing.

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A wood fire pizza oven that a volunteer donated a while back. They actually use it!

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A solar powered coy pond. In theory, it should work.

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Dinosaur kale. Scary looking, no?

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Tool shed in the back. These kids are so lucky!

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Real free range hens! Look at those plump feathers. I was too scared to stand too close…

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What composting should look like. Watch out chicken!

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They always have fresh cut flowers in a vase on the eating table. More often than not, there’s a huge bug crawling around the petals, and subsequently, there’s always a huge commotion about it.

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I never knew artichoke grew on the ground! I also never knew how many different spellings artichoke could have. The kids write “ardichok” “artychoc”…

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ancient corn fields. I forget the name of the beautiful red stalk plant…

Let me know if you ever want to come see this for yourself. Really, you can’t live in the bay area without having seen this.

 

 

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I’m in a new relationship.

With good looking, good tasting sexiness known as local, organic, non-processed food.

This past week was quite momentous–I started out with going to the Edible Schoolyard as a kitchen volunteer (we made yellow cucumber, red bell pepper, and fennel salad; yum!), watched Food, Inc. the next day (which included a panel with none other than Michael Pollan, the director, and Eric Schlosser) and heard Michael Pollan talk at Zellerbach the following night.

Michael Pollan is a wonderful storyteller, very engaging and humorous. He’s so intelligent, genuine, and creative with his approaches to telling people about our food industry and diets. I vigorously took notes so if you want to hear what was said, let’s make a date over a delicious slow-cooked meal. (I’ll cook for you.) So why did I decide to commit to a new relationship? If we eat the way we do, including me, the sometimes health freak, we’re all going to die. The world’s going to die, cute puppies included. OK, maybe I’m being too dramatic. But really, if you only knew what was in your Breast Cancer-supporting Special K with strawberries, whole wheat bread, “natural” yogurt, and “100% apple juice,” you would be scared too.

So now what? How do we know what to eat? You can ask yourself, “Would my great grandmother recognize this food?” You should’ve seen him trying to explain gogurt. Or Twinkies. And if it has more than 5 ingredients, don’t eat it. (Which is funny because the food industry is always trying to redesign food to fit the rules, but they’re all just messing it up regardless. Like Haagen Dazs’ new “5 ingredients” ice cream.)  Let’s start going to Farmer’s Markets. Health is not about eating good nutrients (I guess I have to throw out my “brain pills” my mom forces me to eat) but making relationships with people, nature, and thinking about the environment for once.

Thus, I decided today to take my chance and start this relationship with local, organic, all-natural food. I went to the Farmers’ Market down on Shattuck and here’s what I got.

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Aren’t these tomatoes beautiful? I had a nice conversation with a small, old lady about the colors. I just picked the ones that looked the prettiest. All this was $5.

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Look at this beauty! The glaze was so delicious. I actually bought it for Denise, but since she’s on a fast (sorry!) I made the sacrifice and ate it for her.

I also bought a loaf of bread from Vital Vittles, a local bread company. The guy selling them was so nice and welcomed me to the market (I told him I was a newbie). He was quite cute too. So I guess this truly IS about relationship building…if you know what I mean!

Meditate upon these slogans: “you can save the world with every bite” and “vote to change the system 3 times a day.” Thank you.

For now, I feel like I can do this. We’re only dating, seeing if we’re compatible. So please don’t judge me if I cheat a couple of times. But in my heart, and body, I know this one is a keeper!

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Fancy and Imagination

These images capture both my, as Coleridge would say, fancy and imagination.

reach

This is what we do in 301.

bird

the caged bird sings!

dog

all you need is a hug and a kiss.

hot air

grab on tight! it’s a bumpy ride.

Fancy is playfulness and the ingenious capability to make clever connections. It testifies the creative ingenuity of the inventor but involves our lower faculties and idle, pleasing things.

angel

Beautiful, useless wings

night

I’m going to start wishing upon the moon.

walk

If only it snowed in the bay area…

Imagination is discovering connections and affinities that exist between things deeper down in the universe.

“The creation of beauty is art.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature and Selected Essays

via Ana Aceves

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Dave Eggers and Junot Diaz

Intersections for the Arts hosted a talk with Dave Eggers and Junot Diaz for a fundraiser to support the arts community. This is why I love SF. The event was held at Glide Memorial Church. Reverend Cecil Williams’ wife came up to say a brief intro. I bet she’s around 50 but she’s super hot. She wore this tight skirt and black stilettos and her hair was huge. Anyways, as she was introducing the church, one of the first things she said was “We took down the cross b/c it’s the symbol of death and filled it with new life.” My sister and I glanced at each other. Ironic that the sanctuary still looked empty and dull.

In any event, I thought the two authors were going to just talk about the work they do, but the whole event was geared towards mainly Junot, since one of Intersection’s best selling stage performances, Fuku Americanu, is based on Junot’s book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. This book has always been on my wish list on amazon, but I never got a chance to read it before the talk. Junot is hilarious. He’s so socially awkward and fidgety, well Dave included, and really nerdy. Not to mention super humble, genuine, and goofy. Like a fella from the hood. Junot talked about writing his book for 10 years and how strongly he felt the humility of a decade of failing. After all, he said, Melville wrote Moby Dick in something like 6 months. He graduated from the MFA program at Cornell and now teaches creative writing at MIT. He complains how those techy nerds step into his class, and the first thing that comes out of their mouths is, “I’m only here b/c they forced me to.” Lame. Junot, stop wasting your time there and come hither!

Dave and JunotWhat I love about both Junot and Dave is how they’re so passionate about working with the underrepresented. Dave works with high school kids in the mission and publishes their stories. He started McSweeney’s, a publishing company for local writers and students. Read some of the stories. They’re amazing. Junot started Voices, an organization for colored folks who want to be writers but circumstances like family and low income prevent them from going to graduate schools. He said he was sick of reading any more writing from 26 yr old hipsters. lol. Skin privilege is for reals, mang! And what’s more impressive: Junot’s favorite book is Song of Solomon. People cheered when he shared that. Or maybe I cheered so loudly in my heart that I heard sounds around me. He said that it shows the possibility of transformation at the most fundamental level in the human world. Amen brother. Dave said his favorite is a new translation of the Koran.

Anyways, my friends, as Junot said,  we’re in a war to keep reading alive. Yes, we need lots of writers to keep producing stories to overcome the vast silence that still exists in our underrepresented communities. But what’s even more important is to have more readers to actually read the stories that writers produce. So read anything and everything. I’m so embarrassed that now, Americans can barely read more than 140 characters at a time, aka twitter. If you read my blog, well this entry up to now, you have read 438 words. Congrats! I hope it wasn’t too painful.

I want to start a secular book club. And I’ll be fine if it’s only me and Olivia. But you’re missing out.

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