Jenni's Blog:: June 2003

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June 2003

June 30 - Cultural Crisis, Act NOW!
Man! With a bizarre twist, the California Arts Council budget for 2003-04 has taken a massive hit. We have been fighting to keep the cuts to a mere $20 million for the arts, but last week, Budget Bill AB 1769 recommends complete ELIMINATATION of the Arts Council in order to "balance the state budget." It has been defeated on the Senate Floor twice, but only by a narrow margin. Please make your opinion known. It takes less than two minutes. ACT NOW!

1. Go to: http://econstituent.votenet.com/vh1
2. Fill out your name, address and email The advocacy website will automatically send emails out to your California legislators and Governor.
3. For more details, you can check the California Arts Advocates and California Arts Council and Great Leap websites.

Please consider the following economic facts:
1) For every dollar the government invests in non-profit arts eight dollars are returned to the economy.
2) Arts and culture in California generates 10.1 billion dollars in event related spending by arts audiences.
3) Arts and culture as an industry in California supports 400,000 full time equivalent jobs and generates 830 million dollars in state income.
4) There are 36 million people in California; The California Arts Council is asking for $18 million ... 50 cents per capita ... that's all it takes!
5) More people attended arts events last year than professional sports events.
6) The budget cut will result in 15% cancelled performances. Assuming that 75% of the people attending cultural events eat out, it is estimated that 1 1/2 million people will not be spending money at restaurants!
This is just the economic impact. It does not include the way the arts changes peoples lives, gives people hope, a sense of justice. Please think about it and do the wise thing ... not the convenient thing ... Please help keep arts alive in California.
That said, now I gotta go work on the 268 emails that came while I was away. Peace. Out.
Monday, 6:45 pm - Click here to comment:

June 29 - 12 Days of Inspiration
I've been gone a long time... 12 days. I spent 3 days at the Summer in Arts Management Institute at U Mass-Amherst, pronounced Amerst, did a lot of arts networking and learning, saw Mishell Ndegeocello in Northampton, then drove to Boston for a day to look at murals, community gardens and some exciting housing projects in the Dudley Street triangle. Then I spent 3 days learning the best practices of New WORLD Theater in Amherst, a very progressive and innovative theater space for artists of color. For the 3rd leg of the trip, I met Tony in Detroit to help design a mural with Detroit Summer, participate in the revival of Detroit's Chinatown, celebrate Grace Lee Boggs' 88th birthday (yesterday), and attended the 40th anniversary event of The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker's Notebook by James Boggs.

Earlier today, I was in Detroit for my 6th trip in 3 years. Now I'm back home, just off the plane, unpacking, cleaning the house, doing laundry, getting organized for a very busy upcoming week, while eating Greektown Olive bread from Avalon Bakery. Got a lotta photos... coming soon. I'll have more stories and details of my trip soon. The trip was refreshing, I learned a lot, got a lot of great ideas, got to reflect on Great Leap without being in the daily grind, and was reinspired by the wonderful activism and spirit of Detroit. Wish I was still out and about traveling, but I was running out of clean clothes and it's nice to be back home. I got a lotta blogs to catch up on. Peace. Out.
Sunday nite - Click here to comment:

June 18 - Webiversary
So I just renewed the kuidaosumi.com domain name, which reminded me that it is our one year anniversary since the birth of our "real" online presence. We had originally launched the site on January 1, 2002 with a Geocities site (it's still there!), but we didn't become official until June 2002. What has changed since then? Well, the original site was even more basic than this one. As one who does everything manually, and has no web, design or html training, it was pretty bare bones.

I think the most significant change has been my obsession with the big/blog/life/world. When I originally started the web journal, it was a place to let my friends and family know when I added a new photo page. Someone's wedding pictures or a family get together. Very simple. But that has changed. My journal entries became my weblog, with monthly updates. Then, as things started heating up politically, I would write weekly updates. And then, other people started googling onto the site. Then strangers started sending me sweet emails, then I would check out their sites, and leave them comments. Then I added my own comments section. Then I would find a new blog, and find MY name on their blog roll. Amazing! Then the strangers became my virtual friends, and now, they're just friends. It's hard to explain to non-bloggers about the connection between bloggers. Some bloggers I visit once a week, some every few days, and some I visit daily. And now, I check the (Sitemeter) several times a day to see who came, when, for how long, and how they were referred here. I check frequently to see if anyone left a comment and am thrilled beyond reason every time I get one. It's a crazy thing, this www connection.

Anyways, the next few weeks are busy busy, so things might be kinda quiet around here. Course that didn't stop me from blogging tonight. Peace. Out.
Wednesday, 1:25 am - Click here to comment:

June 17 - Tree Hell
Oh my gosh! I got an urgent message on my cell phone tonight. My friend, who is out of town, had a freakin' huge tree fall on her car and hit her house, seriously damaging her car. I can't even believe it. She has been complaining to the City for years to come cut back and/or get rid of this City tree which is more than twice the size of her house. I mean the roots have created about a 2 foot high crack in her sidewalk. She used to spend entire days raking the leaves from this tree. I seem to remember some street work being done, maybe it weakened the roots. Anyways, I got two phone calls from her friends, and a fax from her mom when I got home. Tomorrow morning, I'll go check out the damage. When she gets back, there's going to be h-e-double hockeysticks (hell) to pay. Peace. Out.
Tuesday nite - Click here to comment:

June 16 - Weekend Activities
Tony and Bill today (above)
See below for the GQ look!

True to expectations (see June 13), Tony's friend Bill and his family, Pauline, James and Amanda came over Saturday and we ordered Tito's. Then today, we met them at Johnnie's Pastrami's for lunch. Enjoyed their visit. Here is the "today" photo, with Tony and Bill in front of Johnnie's with the Tito's sign barely visible behind Bill's shoulder.

This morning, I uploaded 3 pages of photos onto the Manzanar site that I've been working on this weekend. After lunch, we ran some errands, I worked in the yard, getting some compost going with my decomposing veggie scraps and grass clippings, transplanted some mint and yellow squash, checked out the 4 baby birds nesting in our patio, then went out to my parent's house for a Father's Day BBQ, watched the Spurs win the championships, and played with newly-crawling baby Kyle. Now I'm back home, working on my overdue column. I'm heading into a very, very busy week, don't know how much I can blog. Peace. Out.
Monday, 1:00 am - Click here to comment:

June 13 - Hot and Handsome

It's funny, I've known Tony for 8 years, but have never met his best friend from childhood, Bill. Bill married Tony's ex-girlfriend's cousin and moved to Delaware very early in our relationship, so we've never met. I met Bill's wife, mom, sister and daughter a few years ago, we ate at Tito's. Anyways, Bill and his family are coming into town this weekend. Tony's looking forward to getting together, trading funny stories, bags (insults), and memories about their high school days. They will probably go to Tito's or Johnnie's Pastrami's.

I love this photo of Tony (left) and Bill (right). Aren't they hot? On the day of their high school prom (circa 1985), they went up to the mountains in their tuxes, matching red Rx-7s and took lots of photos of themselves. It cracks me up. So today, I'm posting the handsome "before" photo, and this weekend, I'll post an updated picture.

I'm having problems with my Comments. Sometimes it works. Sometimes not. Peace. Out.
Friday, 9:45 pm - Click here to comment:

June 11 - Modern Day McCarthyism
I have two stories reminiscent of McCarthyism. First the bad. Ryan forwarded an article about two Southeast Asian high school students from Oakland High who were interrogated by the Secret Service after their English teacher reported them for allegedly making anti-Bush comments like "Bush is whack." This in a school where the principal made students take down anti-war posters. I couldn't find the link for the article, so I just pasted it and uploaded it to my site.

The other is that Laura & I got tickets to see Chavez Ravine with Culture Clash last night at the Mark Taper Forum. It was terrific! It was a great combination of my passions--theater of color, urban planning, fighting oppression, and community empowerment. I won't give away too much, but it is the true story of Los Angeles communities La Loma, Palo Verde and Bishop, which were demolished by eminent domain for a public housing project over 50 years ago. The residents fought the evictions, and yet the project was killed during the McCarthy era. Years later, the land was sold to create Dodger Stadium, which the community again fought. Anyways, I highly recommend the show, it runs thru July 6. I had heard that the show was almost sold out, but I got excellent seats over the phone, just one day in advance. Peace. Out.
Wednesday, 11:30 pm - Click here to comment:

June 10 - Taiko Klutz
Just a quick update cause I'm at work. Taiko last night was fun again! I did a little better than last week's disaster in "the gauntlet," and we learned slicing and circle eights and something else, not sure what it's called. What I really like about the community taiko class is that everyone is so encouraging. And even though i knocked the stick out of someone's hand last night by accidentally hitting her stick, and stepped on someone else's foot, people are very nice. The shy insecure girl in me feels like she's in over her head, but the dragon in me says that I can do it! I just have to practice, get my body to do what my mind tells me to, and make sure my mind is on the right beat, with the right rhythm at the right time, and faster. I tell you, it's not easy being a klutz with no rhythm. But, I can see my arm muscles starting to form, and running 7 minutes is getting easier and easier. And I'm happy that my cousin Russell has joined the class, as well as some other friends.

Oh, and welcome to old and new friends, who seem to be googling and stumbling on to our humble little website. I'm loving the Guestbook diversity. Read it. Sign it! Love and Peace. Out.
Tuesday, 1:15 pm - Click here to comment:

June 8 - June Gloomy Weekend
The whole weekend has been a little June gloom-y and mellow. Friday after work, went to dinner with Lily, Lisa, Jay, baby Kai and Lisa's two friends at Real Food Daily, an organic/vegan restraurant in West Hollywood. It was pretty good, I don't know why LA doesn't have more places like this, where they cook in stainless steel pans and use filtered water. We saw anti-war activist/actor Mike Farrell there. Yesterday was a lazy day. Tony pulled weeds while I worked on the backyard, did dishes, straightened up and did laundry. In the afternoon, our friends Mike & Laura came over and we went over to Uncle Darrow's Louisiana-type food and met a few of their friends there. I had the crab gumbo ya ya, which had jumbalaya/rice in the center. I drank the delicious soup and gave Tony the crab, lobster, shrimp, chicken and sausage. Not too many food options at Uncle Darrow's when you're trying to be healthy. Afterwards we all came back to the house and hung out for a bit. Tony and I went to Chipotle for dinner, my new favorite, but Tony said, "How do you say 'mediocre' in Spanish?" We rented About Schmidt with Jack Nicholson and The Bourne Identity this weekend.

This morning Gayle, Kieth and I went shopping for her birthday present. We have sort of a tradition to treat each other to a "shopping trip" for our birthdays. We both got the same pair of pants except hers is a size 4 and mine is a size 12. After, we ate Baja Fresh for lunch. Kieth is so cute and can now have 2 year old conversations and tell you what he thinks. When he drops his sippy cup, he says, "oopsie daisy" with that cute smile that just melts Auntie Jenni's heart. Peace. Out.
Sunday, 2:40 pm - Click here to comment:

June 6 - Friday Five Love
I decided to do the Friday Five. The photo at right was taken at kuidaosumi's wedding.
1. How many times have you truly been in love? Does Scott Baio count? What about Paul Michael Glaser? What about the crushes in high school who we were too shy to talk to. The times I've loved and been loved in return is 3. The first was 1983 to 1991. That was obsessive naive love. The second was 1993 to 1995. It was good for me and helped me to define what I was looking for. The third, started in 1995 to... right this very moment.
2. What was/is so great about the person you love(d) the most? Tony, my partner in life supports everything I do, pushes me to do more, and cooks for me. Tony has given me the freedom to change my life to be more meaningful and fulfilling.
3. What qualities should a significant other have? Tony has creativity, passion, talent, integrity, commitment and community. He also has a great smile.
4. Have you ever broken someone's heart? Not that I know of. If I have, click the comment below and let me know!
5. If there was one thing you could teach people about love, what would it be? (1) That it will come if you open your mind. (2) You can't teach love, but if you love yourself first, that's the most important thing to finding love. Peace. Out.
Friday, 12:02 am - Click here to comment:

June 5 - Heart & Soul

This picture is from today's filming of "The Triangle Project: Homecoming Home" with Nobuko from Great Leap, PJ from San Jose Taiko and Yoko from Kodo in Japan. For the past two days, these women have been filming songs, dances and music they have been creating for the past two years. They are making beautiful music, rhythms and songs from the soul. They have plans to tour the Triangle Project in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Tonight, Tony and I went to the Figueroa Hotel to The HeArt Project fundraiser and auction. Tony enjoyed the Moroccan food. I was taking notes about how to raise a lot of money. Their tag line is "connecting teenagers, artists and community." I like that. A few of Tony and Kathy's students were there. Side note: my neck is much better. Heart. Beat. Peace. Out.
Thursday, 11:00 pm - Click here to comment:

June 3 - Feeling the Pain
Hate to complain, but I've got a pain in my neck. After taiko last week, I pinched a nerve in my neck. I saw Victor, my chiropractor/healer on Thursday, and he got the kink out... for about an hour. This weekend was pretty draining physically, added to all the extra computer time I've been doing at work and at home. Sunday was horrendous, I was miserable for most of the day, then Sunday nite, it expanded to an excruciating pounding headache. Yesterday, it wasn't so bad, and taiko was so fun! I wore myself out. We "intermediates" (aiyah), I prefer to think of myself as a Beginner 2. Anyways, the adrenaline was pumping and I was so jazzed. We started to move around joining the advanced group, it was so hard, but lots of fun. Anyways, I woke up this morning and my neck is worse than ever.

Sunday, we took Tony's Uncle Meg, Aunt Janice, friends Kathy and Mark to see Lily Tomlin in "In Search of Signs for Intelligent Life." It was really witty and clever. She's an amazing performer with a lot of stamina. Tony said he wished it was more political, but I thought it was pretty good for a play at the Ahmanson, with an almost ALL white audience. I want to see "Chavez Ravine" with Culture Clash before it closes or sells out. We got tickets to see August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean" in August. Peace. Out.
Tuesday, 10:15 am - Click here to comment:

June 1 - Feeling the Colors
Just testing out some new colors... too bold? I prefer pastel colors, but thought it looked a little bland and I was getting a little tired of the light background. Is this too hard on the eyes? I think it's a little jarring, but I really like some of the sites that have lots of unusual color combos. I know Tony's going to have things to say about it. I'm archiving the May blog today.

Yesterday we had a "surprise" party for my parents' 40th anniversary on the 41st anniversary of when they met. I can't even believe how many ways it was not a surprise! (1) After hearing about the decoy dinner we had a month ago to celebrate their anniversary, mom's friend said, "Oh you had the party already? Sorry we couldn't make it." (2) My sister Gayle sneaked their wedding photo album to the side yard. Mom and dad were waving goodbye, so she drove away, reparked the car and ran back to pick them up. Dad caught her. (3) Two different cousins sent cards with a note, "Sorry we can't make it to the party, happy anniversary." (4) We called and told them to come half hour later. (5) They saw a bunch of cars parked out in front of the house. (6) Gayle's truck still had a few extra chairs in it. Oh well, we had fun anyways. My friend Toi catered Thai food for us... kabocha noodles, eggplant and basil and ground beef sauteed in black bean sauce, salmon tofu salad, summer rolls with mint, noodles, veggies, chinese chicken salad, garlic pepper chicken drummettes, rice and mochi roll with azuki bean and coconut. Peace. Out.
Sunday, 12:30 pm - Click here to comment:


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