Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Being Strong with Wong

It has been just over a month since I stopped using my car. These last few weeks have proven more difficult as I've been going out at night and going to Orange County to see friends and I've begun to feel like a burden to the people who have generously driven us all around.

To my dismay, I found myself considering purchasing leisure driving insurance and keeping the car.

I was growing weak.

I was mentally calculating what my budget would be like if I purchased insurance and registration.

I was resigning myself to going back to driving.

I was already going insane at the thought of sitting through traffic and looking for parking.

Then, I went to Kristina Wong's website. Wong is "a nationally presented solo performer, writer, actor, educator, culture jammer, and filmmaker" based in Los Angeles. She's funny, she's nice, and at the last Tuesday Night Cafe, I learned that she had recently become car-free (when her vegetable-diesel-fueled Mercedes had caught on fire).

The latest entries on her blog chronicle her newfound car-less-ness in Los Angeles. Reading them helped me push back my weakness and I find myself with renewed resolve to become completely car-free. Thank you, Kristina Wong, you've made me strong.

Her current show, Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, discusses the alarming rate of mental illness among Asian American women and will be showing from September 19-October 5 at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in association with TeAda Productions . Read more about her show and purchase tickets here.

Do as Wong does and take the bus to her show! From Downtown, the Santa Monica 10 and the Metro 4 both go to within a mile of the theater. The 4 runs all night!

Miles Memorial Playhouse
1130 Lincoln Blvd.
Santa Monica

Friday, August 8, 2008

Quickie: Playa Vista has a new website

My building's management company has launched a new website, but for some reason hasn't re-routed or taken down its old one. The new website is a huge improvement (save for the annoying sound byte that plays when you navigate the site).

I also learned was that Playa Vista started accepting rent via PayPal in March. If I had actually received the announcement about this, I would not be out of checks now.

Friday, August 1, 2008

August Goings-On, Part One

Sunday, 3rd, 9AM-12:00PM: Clean Up Griffith Park

A new friend decided to organize a random clean-up fest of Griffith Park. I think it's a great idea to take the initiative. In her words: "It's up to us to do something about the crises we're experiencing now instead of just complaining about it in pseudo-intellectual conversations while holding a cigarette at your favorite coffee joint. Don't be an asshole." I'll be there (probably not by 9AM, but I will make an effort), trash bags and dirty clothes in hand.

Sunday, 3rd, 2:00PM: Park Jam in Long Beach

After getting grimey cleaning up Griffith Park, head over to Park Jam in Long Beach. Cesar Chavez Park is easily accessible from the Metro Blue Line-- just a short walk east from Pacific Station. My first Park Jam was last month, and I had a blast even though I only stayed for a couple of hours. There was food, a lot of water guns (no one warned me about that, but I should have known), a fashion show, volleyball, and a giant crowd of beautiful people sharing beautiful energy.

Tuesday, 5th, 7:15PM: Tuesday Night Cafe

I've gone to almost all of the Tuesday Night Cafes in this, its 10th, season. This next show is a collaboration with API Equality-LA:
API Equality-LA is a coalition of organizations and individuals working in the local Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community to build support for the right of same-sex couples to marry. From its founding in 2005, API Equality-LA has uniquely bridged the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community with the civil rights and other social justice communities, united by a common understanding of the parallels between past anti-miscegenation and current marriage equality struggles.
I'll be performing at the opening of the show, which is incredibly exciting considering I have been following SKIM's music since I first saw her at a Queer People of Color Youth Conference at UC San Diego. I'm humbled to even be on the same flyer.

If you can't make it out to Aratani Courtyard (in front of the East West Players Theater), you can also watch it live via streaming video at the website.

Thursday, 14th, 12PM-9PM: Downtown Art Walk

Art in the galleries, music in the streets, people wandering around Downtown from all over LA, taking it in. I've talked about this event before. Just go. You don't have to stay long if you don't want to, but you'll probably want to. It actually gets more lively after 9PM.

Sunday, 17th, 2PM: ONE Culture Series Presents "We Were There: Asian LGBT Activism in the 1970s, 80s, & 90s" with Andre Ting

Andre Ting is extremely active in the API LGBT community. We met when I was chair of the Asian Pacific Student Association at UC Irvine, when he appeared on a panel we held with API-PFLAG. Since moving to LA, I've run into him at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center and Fusion: the Los Angeles LGBT People of Color Film Festival, and it seemed natural to invite him to be a speaker for the ONE Culture Series, a monthly event held at ONE.

On August 17th, he will be giving a presentation about Asian/Pacific-Islander activism in the LGBT movement in Los Angeles.

Sunday, 17th, 2PM-8PM: Serafemme Queer Women of Color Music Festival in West Hollywood

My first Serafemme was in 2006. I don't think it was an entire weekend as it's become this year (in part thanks to sponsorship by the City of West Hollywood), but I remember the festival in the afternoon. It was lovely being in a sea of beautiful queer women of color, listening to music on a sunny day in West Hollywood. I think I've only seen that intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevard in daylight twice, at most. The Festival takes place in the big park near the library, across the street from RAGE and the Pacific Design Center.

It's going to be a busy month!