Fried Green Tomatillos

Living life fully each day, with pictures, recipes, music and love.

Oh My God Oh My God Oh My God

Take a picture of your life for a second now

I don't think we watch the clouds enough. They're awfully pretty. After my run this evening I laid on the grass and watched them for a bit.

Today, I luckily Saw this:

Listened to this:

Bought these:

And made this, yumm:

More Alice

Alice in Wonderland Teaser. One of the only things I wish I was getting to see at Comic-Con this year is Tim Burton speak about this movie. Anyways here is the teaser. Looks revolutionary in film design. Excited much? I am.

Jeffe just notified me of Music Fest NW of which will be occurring the first week I am in Portland a few minuted later I also recieved an e-mail stating I only have to be on campus for one little part of the festival.

Some people I'm excited to see: Sunny Day Real Estate, The Get Up Kids, The Arctic Monkeys, Explosions in the Sky, Passion Pit, Frightened Rabbit, Blind Pilot...

I love music and I can't wait to move. What a welcome.

Please Read this with an Open Heart

In this media circus we have lost the focus of what needs to be remembered. I am so sick of the MJ coverage. It's all over, leave the man alone. But still, I was inspired by him. His music is fantastic, and the dancing, well there are no words for it. I've wanted to say something to speak of the great things he did, not denying there were likely bad things too, but was afraid of sounding cliche. My delightful and lovely little sister Cheyna wrote this on accident and my mom encouraged her to send it to the family. I thought it was honest and beautiful, she said the things I was looking to say and she said it better, so I wanted to share it with my favorite picture of him.

Something to Remember ~ June 26th, 2009 .....

It's a lovely sunny day down here in Cali. Just debating what to do with my day until work at 1. I've had a bowl of cheerios with banana slices, delicious indeed. Been watching Michael Jackson on every channel all morning. Driving back from getting the truck this morning, I had a run in with the water works. Silly isn't it? I don't shed a tear for just any reason, and try to hide it when I do. Listening to all the tributes (which I think I could do better than half the dj's out there) was interesting... but that's not what made me have a moment over MJ. It was listening to the words, over and over, of every song playing on the radio. The greatest impact of his passing, I think, is the greatest impact he had 20, 30, 40 years ago. His music. His songs. The lyrics. The messages he was trying to send to the world. The overall message: love everyone and help those that really need it... the children. Black or white, male or female, it's time to make a change... which starts with the man in the mirror. Yourself. If anything his message has just been put in
BOLD and underlined with his death, life is short-the change is now.

He paved the way for a new genre. Danced the way he felt, and wore whatever the hell he wanted. He never gave up his style or himself TO BE famous. Fame was something he encountered from a greedy money grubbing father who put his children in a band, whom he abused in ways that are beyond our own grasp, traumatizing, bewildering, and just plain sick. A bittersweet luxury for Michael. A way for him to escape his problems, but not the scars left behind. A way for him to spread his message and make a change, while sacrificing his own life to the ugly world of the media skeptics and public scrutiny. He was a gift put on this planet to help spread an easy message, which is something people lost light of the last fifteen years: Peace & Love. Never did he exploit his fame or see himself as better. He couldn't see himself as his fans did, he couldn't love himself as his fans did and do. I don't believe that was ever a focus of his.

My mother and I had a discussion this morning, and a few of her remarks talked about his crazy publicized stunts. I replied back with my own interpretation of a man whose life has been put into recluse due to his fame. When was the last time MJ could go into public, the grocery store, anywhere without a thousand person mob and fifty cameras in his face..? 1995? No. 1988? No. 1968? No, because that's when little 13 year old teeny boppers screamed his name from miles away as he made his appearance on bandstand as an 11 year old star.

With thousands of people screaming your name outside your hotel room for hours and hours and hours and hours in a foreign country, wanting to see your child... would you not finally do something? He did not dangle his son out of a hotel window, he gave the people what they finally wanted after hours of commotion. He showed the people his baby boy without jeopardizing his sons right to personal identity thus holding a towel in front of the child's face. No one can understand his loneliness and troubles. I feel for the man, and am glad to see tributes showing what Michael Jackson truly was, a goodhearted man who wanted the world to love everyone, especially the children. He wanted to protect the children from a childhood like his... among the other negatives in the world: starvation, war, sickness, etc. Music was his way of making a change, getting a message out to the world. The gathering of herds in L.A. and worldwide are once again a remembrance of MJ, and hopefully they take his message with them.....

(written by Cheyna Swartz)

Can't Stop Listening To: Happy Up Here

Mmmm, Norwegian electronica yumminess. Royksopp's new album Junior is what I've been programming to all night. A few of my favorites: Happy Up Here, Royksopp Forever, and Vision One (which features Karim Dreijer from The Knife). Girl and the Robot is growing on me, it features Robyn...yes that Robyn from '98, this track also reminds me of Erin.

In all, great chill summer music.

Last Thursday Jeffe and I had date night (love date night, especially when it's with musica!).

We went to Pokez and then to the House of Blues for the Xavier Rudd show. Now, I am going to preach the gospel about this man because not only is he PETA's hottest vegetarian of 2007, but he is an incredible, under appreciated musician and person all-around. I wouldn't say I hate PETA, as they do a lot of really great things, but extremist groups like them don't usually appeal to me since they do ridiculous stuff that unravels the things they accomplish [all the f-ing time].

Regardless PETA likes Rudd and I like Rudd. His records are great, but live, well... His music rips at you, just pulls at your soul and your mind. It's the kind of music that you can see, swirling around you in a multitude of colors. During Xavier's set, I noticed two things: a large Sea Shepard flag and the Aussie Aboriginal flag (thought by some to be Australia's true flag). His website and myspace page is full of causes and his lyrics are simple but powerful with the constant underlying message: individuals change the world, for better or worse. He holds no prisoners in his lyrics, criticizing and applauding humanity in turn, but there is always an underlying positive message.

During the show, he had an incredible bassist and percussionists accompany him, but the music is essentially still Xavier, who is often described as a one-man band as he sits in the middle of layers of instruments including the fantastic didgeridoos in different keys and multiple slide guitars, bongos, a gong, a harmonica... I heart the slide guitar. The concert (I feel like it was almost too intimate for that word) was akin to feeling like you were in the middle of the largest, most talented and moving drum circle you could be so honored as to imagine, all led by Paul Simon and John Lennon's love child, with Dave Matthews singing backup. Needless to say I enjoyed it, danced like crazy, and even teared up a few times.

Everytime I listen to one of Rudd's songs I am OVERWHELMED with inspiration and the motivation to do something to help people, help the world. That's what great people do, they inspire you. I don't know if Xavier is nice, I don't really care. All I know is that usually when I listen to "Better People" I get the urge to sell everything, quit my job and go save the seals in Canada. One of the reasons I'm going back to school is to gain the tools I need to change the world. This music urges me to go and make that difference. It's as simple as picking up that bottle or planting that garden. Go now, listen and believe. Better yet, go to a show.

Flick this.

Jeff sent this to me this morning. Like I need to spend anymore time on FLICKR. The programming alone I think is awesome.

How do you spell amazing? B-U-R-T-O-N

Just a quick note on how excited I was to see the promo shots for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland this morning, and I just had to blog about it.

I have both of Carrol's Alice novels on my ipod, and it's one of the few Disney films I own. I think it is a story that can be endlessly adapted for new generations and the dark/sinister twists could be fun to bring out. On that note I am of course a big fan of Burton films, and especially Burton/Depp collaborations. I find I am in awe of the creativity bursting at the seams of this man and have yet to dislike anything he has done. He is the prefect person to spin a new Alice tale for the big screen, using the latest technology properly and not going all "Lucas" on us.

Apparently it's a "return to Wonderland" sequel/female power movie and it looks super freaky awesome. 40 days of filming and the rest is CG, 3D, and motion capture. The possibility of a musical is there, not so sure, as the screen play was written by Linda Woolverton who is responsible for a number of remarkable feats on Broadway [so wish I had seen Lestat] and the cast is entirely musically trained. It's supposed to be pretty dark, even though it's DISNEY, for instance Carter's Red Queen has a moat that contains "bobbing noggins"...delicious.

Not to mention that the makeup alone is incredible in this film. If you can't tell in that picture it's Johnny Depp (Mad Hatter), Helena Bonham Carter(Red Queen, <3), Anne Hathaway(White Queen, double <3). A few years ago Emily and I went to the International Make-Up Artists Trade Show and got to see a few demonstrations with prosthetics and air-brushed make-up for cinema. The competition that year was Lord of the Rings, so you can use your imagination to think of the fantastic things we saw made in front of us. If I wasn't a scientist, I'd be a make-up artist and this is still one of my favorite things to see on the screen or stage.

The rest of the cast includes Alan Rickman (Caterpillar), Michael Sheen (Rabbit), Christopher Lee (Jabberwock), and Timothy Spall (Bloodhound). I noticed this was entirely people Burton, Depp and Carter have worked with endless times. I'm going to assume this could be only a good thing, with actors hand-picked for the parts. Right, and I adore Anne Hathaway so I'm happy with that new addition. March of next year is a long ways away.

Can I just mention that Edward Scissor Hands was made 30 years ago? I saw it on t.v. the other day and it is still just as great.

ces soirées-là

So Broadway... I love Broadway. You'll recognize the song if you like Jersey Boys.

I <3 the French.

Endless Hearts...

to Erin on her birthday. I wish I could celebrate with you this weekend. Lots of love and fun times to come my dear. More shoots specifically in the next few months.

Kisses and hugs!! And Happy freaking birthday.

Magic in the Moonlight

Originally uploaded by Tasji
"So much to say. And so much not to say! Some things are better left unsaid. But so many unsaid things can become a burden." V. M. Axline.

I talk a lot. To anyone who listens. I blog (at the moment on three, soon to be four blogs), I write to myself and others, always trying to keep up with my e-mails and constantly falling behind. I assume people feel neglected, like I don't have time for them. Not true. There are just so many things to say right now that I try to channel more time into the more important things. Trivial and frivolous moments have been left in the dark in the last month, and will continue to be for the next one.

However, although this is a full weekend of work I am going to demand that I take at least an hour each day of this lengthened weekend to do something leaking frivolity. After my paying job today I'm leaving for the Mountains in which I will be pressed against my technological workbench, doing web and graphic design, and possibly some Ad copy. At least I have a monster group of machines to help me with this and I'm surrounded by a fantasy of Nature's best stuff.

And I will take advantage of that momentarily luscious (soon to be dry, brown and dead) world and take some time for myself. Tonight I'm going to break out the telescope and if it's a clear night, do some long-exposure photos. Tomorrow I'm going to paint and hike to the observatory. Sunday I'm going to shoot film with the pentax and possibly record some music in the studio. Depending on the heat there might be an adventure to go get some pie and apple cider in Julian (YES!) Monday is rock-climbing.

I decided to write down these goals, to make these commitments on the blog, with the promises of posting the results so I am accountable to do these things and take time to make my soul happy while I work to make others happy.

As the time draws closer for me to leave home I feel people slipping away. I hope that I am not overloading myself with work to distance myself and ease into a new life. It is possible, I am defensive, and though open, I am private. I suppose I will say, because it needs to be said and put out in the universe, that I have not forgotten anyone. There is no ignoring and I will try to commit more time for the social things being 24 has to offer.

It surprises me how easily offended people get by silence, when often they would rather not hear the truth in the first place.

Rock ON Indie Evolution

I will gladly admit that though I'm not 'scene' I rotate through the hippie/emo/indie/prep worlds depending on my mood and the day. I can be clichely indie as I will grow to hate a band/song everyone loves and get irritated when I connect with an author that is on the NY Best Seller's list the following week. Can't seem to help it. Since the 'scenes' are pretty much the same kids wearing different clothes, I find it easy to overlap them and take whatever I need from their sphere. There is also nothing wrong with these musicians/writers/directors finding fame and fortune. They likely deserve it because they f-ing rock. I'd even argue that the popularity I resent is the reason I know about them in the first place. We like to think we are non-conformists, but I feel like EVERYONE is trying to keep from conforming and thus they all end up the same anyways. I'm pretty sure there are A LOT of ears pressed up against the underground. And really, if the whole world starts reading, eating, watching and listening to better shit, then we should be celebrating the evolution of taste. Love this [so true and it reminds me of my roommate Cory]:
Music in general should be celebrated, and while slightly hypocritical, I am no hater. I try to embrace the things other people love, if they're awesome anyway. In that vein, I do really like the fastly growing We Are Scientists and will admit I hate how popular they are. Awhile back they caught my initial attention for their name alone, but seriously I think they're pretty talented [dammit]. Today, I just found they did a cover of a song I love by Sigur Ros [a decidedly super Icelandic band that people love to tout while attempting to keep secret though I think they get plastered across the U.K. scene and even won an MTV award]. So, check out the video from Sigur Ros with the music covered by We Are Scientists [still sung in Icelandic circa 2006]. And check out both bands too if they [somehow] haven't crossed your radar, because they've gotten where they are for a reason.

Hope Springs Eternal

Originally uploaded by Tasji
I just wanted to mention that Maine legalized same-sex marriage today, New Hampshire earlier in the week. Gov. Baldacci is a Roman-Catholic who has previously supported only "opposite-marriage" [snicker], and before reversing his position and signing the bill the moment it hit his desk, he had listened to the statements of voters and legislators alike. He claims he explored his feelings on the matter (much to the dismay of his religious support base in Maine) and ultimately found it a matter of "fairness" and that he had to stand up for civil rights.

It will never cease to amaze me that people don't see it that way. How is it anything but fairness and a civil rights issue? Gay citizens are not 2/3 of a person or a vote, but they are denied basic rights of marriage. One [white] man in the state legislature points out that previously he would not have been allowed to marry his [black] wife of 25 years unless a law had been changed. I hope in 25 years we are not still fighting this battle and people look back with shame at the hate they have spread around.

I still have faith in the people of the world to do the right thing. The voters of Maine can veto this much like CA's voters did in November. I hope they stand up for each other and a growing minority in this country that needs all the help they can get to be considered 'equal'.


Sun and Moon
Originally uploaded by Eva Funderburgh
In addition to two jobs, taking pictures and making endless dinners, I can't stop reading Real Simple and Design Sponge. Yes, I know how trendy DS has become and that Real Simple is done by Martha's team, but I love the Sneak Peeks and the bright ideas from both. It has me so unbelievably excited for the upcoming move to Portland that I can't wait to decorate my own apartment.

One wall: Just photographs, mine and others. I'm going to start working on Erin to let me print a piece or two of her work. I think it's lovely in it's simplicity. I want a wall in my home that holds just a slice of the magic this world has to offer.

Speaking of magic, I have stumbled upon Eva Funderburgh (also thanks to DS). She's a Seattle based sculptor and I think she's amazing. She creates lively little creatures out of clay, fires them, and I swear they're the type of things that would come alive at night and party in the living room. They are also beautiful in their simple earth-tones, but more importantly, they're fun. I envy that level of creativity. Hopefully I can save some money soon to buy a piece. I imagine any house I have will have an extraordinarily eclectic mix of art, but I hope it all breathes with life like Funderburgh's work. I find them inspiring to say the least. Maybe I'll even start doing ceramics again (not likely, I suck at it).

35 mm, A New Analogy for Life

I like film. I had forgotten how much. It's been over two years since I shot a roll of film and before that it had to be at least three or four. I've had digital camera after digital camera and I've broken them all save my new Rebel [which if broken Jeffe will kick my ever-loving ass]. Somehow I still have retained this very old, very heavy Pentax ME Super [circa 1979] that actually spawned my on-off love affair with photos. I lose and break everything but apparently not this lil' baby. I finally got some old rolls of film developed and they turned out interesting, which was awesome since I had actually thought they would be crap. They look aged and subdued, but I notice so much more about each picture, congratulating myself on some little rock in focus or superb colors. Probably because normally it's easy onsite to check every shot for the correct white balance or fix the curves later in Camera Raw [never, however, will I give up my passionate love of Adobe products]. Film leaves no prisoner behind.

The four rolls are from two very different quintessential days that I had, until recently, forgotten. One day was camping with old friends on my favorite San Diego beach for the first time in years and it truly marked my dive back into photography. I got to explore a grimy homeless grotto and appreciate the simple, but happy and profound messages and images hidden from those not daring enough to find them. This would be the first day I was inspired by Erin.

The other 'lost film day' was the first time I had gone back to the house my family had built on Palomar Mountain to explore the devastation from the 2007 fires. It was my first look at what I can only remember as a truly Martian landscape. Nothing but gray and black, half the roll came out gritty from the copious amounts of dust in the air, which additionally had made it difficult to breath. Everything in view of the house had burned. This was a place of peace for me, Nature at it's absolute best, one I've had compared to a real life, Middle Earth Shire. This is what it looks like two years later. But to remember it burned and desolate still breaks a little piece off my heart. Right after I moved off the mountain, the fires came, and licked the sides of my house. The dogs were let out to fend for themselves and my dad literally escaped with a wall of flames behind him. For those that weren't in San Diego, it is hard to express what it felt like, not able to reach friends and family, feeling like the fire was closing you in on all sides, and just waiting for that automated ring telling you to evacuate. Everything turned out okay, we rebuilt what was burned, and spray on fire retardant gel [which I'm sure is horrible for the environment] saved a lot of memories.

Back to the film after the ramble. The digital vs. film horse has been beaten to a pulp. With a limit of 10, 12, or 24 exposures [compared to the 350+ allowed by my 4GB card] you take a hell of a lot more time setting the aperture, the shutter speed, focusing on the object in your viewfinder. I suppose what I wish is that I took that same patience with every photo, but also with every day, in general, to most of the aspects of life. I'm so busy all the time that I forget to notice details [in my viewfinder] far too often. I don't take pictures just to shoot anymore, and like life, I generally think mistakes in photos make them more interesting. So this is my Tuesday resolution for the week. To focus on my life and my moments as if I have a limited number of exposures, to strive for great or striking color but maybe not perfect focus or composition. It's often said we can learn from the past and I have to say that my old adventures with an out-of-date machine have been truly eye-opening. I'm leaving soon, this gorgeous paradise I was blessed to grow up in, and I feel the time is slipping away too quickly.

boys boys boys (and Food Review)

It happens to be the Lady Gaga song I'm seriously obsessed with, likely because it reeks of summer. It makes me want to rock around my lab, sing, dance, the whole shebang. It's a shame I work with humans instead of lab rats. I imagine they wouldn't look at me like I was crazy if I danced from the water bath to the sonicator because, well, they're lab rats.

On another note, this morning I had my first Soy Joy bar. I run 4-5 times a week so I'm big on protein snacks throughout the day, especially in this heat. Ideally full of some sodium and potassium to get my muscles pumping that lactic acid away. I attempted the safe Strawberry flavor, I've got to hand it to them on the actual marketing of the product, and it has a decent amount of good stuff in it (protein, carbs, good fat and potassium) that matters to me as a runner.

But I could not get over:

1. Appearance. The Soy Joy bar is perhaps one the most unappetizing looking things I've eaten. Since I enjoy Ethiopian food, I feel like this says a lot. Basically, it straight up looks like the excrement from an organic robot (or poo, rather).

2. The texture is also unpleasant. The best comparison is the mouth feel freakishness of a Bocca burger for me. It's chewy but flaky and just wrong in so many ways.

I find this unfortunate because the thing actually does taste good, it has little dried strawberries in it and a nice subtle flavor, not too sweet, not too salty. Yet I find myself not wanting to even attempt the almond one because of the look and feel of the poo bars, so I will delve back to my Larabars and continue to experiment with breakfast/energy bars looking for the holy grail. Now healthy foods don't have to look or feel good in your mouth, but I don't see why not. There is no reason you cannot make good for you, yummy snacks that don't look like they've been scraped off a forest floor.


Last weekend I got to sit in the park at the Presidio, sipping iced coffee and reading with Jeffe, after a fabulous Mexican brunch. One of the best days in a long time. Sometimes the simple pleasures (like reading in the grass) get lost in all the things we have to do each day. I miss the simpler life of high school and college, where time seemed to stretch forever. So I'm going to bring some of it back into my world, some of that lazy idealism.

Among my favorite things is when the seasons change, albeit it's a subtle move in sunny Southern Cali, and I'm a big fan of starting new projects when time makes a substantial shift. This is my last Spring and Summer in San Diego, possibly forever. This is motivating me to start my new project: a lifestyle blog. Granted it will likely be mostly 1. Photos and 2. Food. Pretty much two of the best things ever anyways. So here is my [cheers!] to Spring and enjoying the little things.