Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Morning Light: DIY Oil Lamp Lust

I'm glad I got to contribute to the Yumiverse.
About a month ago, I saw a post on Root Simple about an oil lamp made out of a halved orange. I immediately scurried to Tumblr to share the finding with the world. A little while later, Root Simple posted that an oil lamp was the first project in their book, and I went a little mad searching all over the internet for oil lamp designs and ideas and methods. And I also emailed a bunch of people about it, including Yumi, who created the awesome WonderHowTo graphic to the left. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Shots from Earth Day South LA // So much goodness

Earth Day South LA was utterly wonderful. I was so glad to be there for the early part of it, and to watch it fill up with people and energy until I had to leave at 1pm. If you didn't make it, click here to see all that you missed.
CSU-made jam, grapefruit-marmalade, & tomato sauce! 4/14/12
CSU has a program called Tree Of Life Harvesting Corps, which is a group of people who venture out into the neighborhood and harvest fruit from local trees which would otherwise go to waste. Glorious.
Jackie and son.
I ran into a LA Community Organizing Academy classmate and her son, who were tabling for the University Muslim Medical Association Community Clinic.
Earth Day stage.

Monday, April 16, 2012

DIY Pant Leg Chalk Bag: 6 Months Later

I've been using my DIY Denim Pant Leg Chalk Bag for about 6 months and I thought I'd share some of my revisions to my pretty-flawed original design. In hindsight, the safety pins and carabiner were really, really silly. My bag is much simpler now.
I ditched the carabiner I was using to attach it to my harness and threaded the shoelace through the holes instead. I can just barely tie it around my waist, which is good enough for me. It ends up being pretty high, but I haven't had any trouble so far. It's much nicer than having to reach down low for it as I did when it was to my harness.
There was really no point in cinching it closed rather than just tying it closed. Like most chalkbags, a little chalk puffs out no matter how well it seems closed.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wanna learn to keep chickens? // Earth Day South LA April 14

I blogged about the 2nd Annual Earth Day South LA in 2010 with great excitement (because I love this earth, it is so good to me), but this is my first year actually volunteering and attending the event.
Earth Day South LA
Saturday, April 14, 2012
11am to 4pm 
Normandie Avenue Elementary School
4505 S. Raymond Ave, LA, CA 90037
At the corner of Normandie and Vernon 
This event is FREE! Suggested Donation $5+
*No one turned away for lack of funds
Last weekend, I joined CSU with other volunteers to pound pavement to spread the word to the community surrounding Normandie Elementary where the festival will take place. This meant knocking on doors, talking to business owners, approaching anyone we saw on the street, and handing out the beautiful Earth Day flyers. I learned to invite people to the event in Spanish (very rudimentarily), which was great. It reminded me that I told myself to take a Spanish class a couple of years ago and never did.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Deadline for USC Specific Plan Public Comments 4/13

Comments on the plan can be sent to planning@lacity.org by Friday, April 13. I Googled "city planning comment" in order to find out where to submit my comment, and my search came across PDF files of responses to submitted comments. I'm not sure what project they were for, but I wonder whether the planning commission has to submit an answer for every public comment that is submitted?

In perusing some articles at the Daily Trojan regarding the issue, I came across a link to USC2030.com, a website with a great infographic on USC's history of development so far. There's a disclaimer at the bottom of the page, but no one takes credit for the site.

My letter is below. Contact UNIDAD Coalition for more information.
To Michael LoGrande, Director of LA City Planning,

I am writing as a community member, in support of the UNIDAD coalition, to express serious concerns about the draft of the USC Specific Plan and the associated draft Development Agreement.
What I hope is possible is for the neighborhood to transform in an inclusive way and that builds upon the potential of the residents and organizations that currently live and work there.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dayshot: Family Jewel at Malibu Creek

I spent last Sunday climbing at Malibu Creek with friends. It was glorious; perfect weather at Stumbling Blocks all day, followed by not-too-hot at Mt. Gorgeous in the afternoon.
Trying not to fall too many times on Family Jewel. (Taken by Tani.) 04/08/12
As some people put it, climbing at Malibu Creek is often a "jug haul" involving steep climbing with big holds, but body position and footwork still help immensely. I have to work on not having one foot dangle uselessly during a climb. As a shorter climber, I find that I use high knees and wide stances a lot, and the pocketed volcanic rock is great for pseudo-smearing. Is it pseudo-smearing, or is it "real" smearing? I guess it's just smearing. Or just using very tiny footholds.

I got my wish and it was a nice quiet day at the crag-- except for the group of 8 people with 5 ropes between them. Which I was a part of. It was a happy accident. Luckily the few other groups climbing were mellow. OnRope Consulting had a group out, but they were climbing at a completely different area. Malibu Creek is such a great place for summer climbing except for how crowded it usually is on the weekends. I envy those who can get out during weekdays. I guess I shouldn't speak too soon since I will be one of them in a couple of months.

Monday, April 9, 2012

It's National Poetry Month!

March was an experiment in daily blogging here. I told myself that I would attempt to post every weekday for the entire month. It was a success! The practice of writing daily (which sometimes means scraping together a post of questionable quality) can be messy, sloppy, and inelegant, but because we're trained (and perhaps naturally compelled) to revel our milestones, it still feels good to have made my goal. 

Because it is now a month for poetry, I'm concentrating my efforts this month (through June) at my online notebook, Long Cool Hallway. Of course, much of my writing in the last 5 years has been about Los Angeles, wherever I was writing.

I've listed the site at NaPoWriMo.net, and if you're writing poetry anywhere on the internet this month, I encourage you to join. I've come across some wonderful work perusing the site. I like knowing even more people than usual are scrambling to write poetry this month. And Tuesday Night Cafe returned from winter break. And it also happens to be my birth-month. So much to celebrate! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

14th Season of Tuesday Night Cafe Kicks off April 3!

It's April! That means 1st&3rd Tuesday Night Cafe is starting back up again, which is good news for all those who have gone through the winter pining for the intimate, (mostly) outdoor, art+community space that's been gracing Aratani Courtyard since 1999. 
I first started going to TNC in 2008 and I spent a great deal of time with Tuesday Night Project from 2009 until last year when I started Public Allies. I attended my first TNC wearing my Empowering Women of Color Conference 2008 "Decolonizing creativity" shirt (another event in 2008 that was pretty formative for me).

Los Angeles really wouldn't have been the same if I hadn't stepped into Lost Souls Cafe and up to the mic that night. I'll be stopping by at least the beginning of the show. I look forward to seeing the new faces and new energies that both grace the stage and manage it.