Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Time-Lapse is Not Just for Nature Shots

It's also for LA Asian American arts communities making a natural habitat in front of a church converted into a theater and arts center. Beautiful time-lapse photography of the June 5th Tuesday Night Cafe, from set-up to clean-up, by Ant Barrerra of Fistic Soul (a.k.a. long-time TNC sound engineer a.k.a. cool dad a.k.a. stylish downtown resident):

If you look closely at the sidewalk on the left, you can see me zip in and park my bike 'round 8pm, and zip out again at 9pm to catch the last Gardena 1X home. 
TNC still feels like home, though it's been nearly a year since I ran around as Stage Manager/Co-Producer. Such a magical, intimate space (intimacy and cliquey-ness can be mistaken for each other; when I first arrived, I observed it as the former and thought
Cool, a place where people don't act like strangers and have obvious history/chemistry with one other). 

Here is a terribly incomplete list of some of the folks currently making the magic happen and where they putter on the internet! Go look! I do. Often...maybe too often?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Opportunity: LA Wilderness Training Internship

How many nonprofit Executive Directors do this?
After I wrote about my relationship with rock climbing as a queer, Khmer American, woman, James Mills, a writer and independent producer, contacted me to dialogue further about people of color and the outdoors. James was the first African American sales executive for the The North Face back in the 1990s. I got to learn more about Expedition Denali, the National Outdoor Leadership School's effort "To inspire youth of color—and particularly African American youth—to get outside, get active, and become stewards of our wild places."

I mentioned to James that I was interested in learning traditional climbing, and he told me about Chelsea Griffie, one of the women who will also be on Expedition Denali and who recently moved to Los Angeles to start LA Wilderness Training, modeled after Bay Area Wilderness Training. She's also co-leading a Women of Color backpacking trip in Yosemite this summer with Elizabeth Sy, a Khmer American woman (yay!). 
 I got to meet Chelsea via Skype a couple of weeks ago and she mentioned that she's looking for interns to help get LAWT off the ground. (Funny that I met James, who lives in Madison, Wisconsin in person, and that due to hectic weekday schedules and LA traffic, Chelsea and I met via Skype.) 

So, those who are interested in getting some experience helping to build an organization from the ground up, get in touch with Chelsea! She's badass (as pictured). As of our conversation, she'd already trained 28 adults who work with youth to lead trips outdoors.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bike Lanes, Gardena, Safety, Fear

After a harrowing weekend involving a bicycle accident (it was serious, but luckily and thankfully without serious injury) on San Fernando Road and Roswell while trying to get to the LA River Bike Path, it was bittersweet to find that at some point between Friday morning and Sunday afternoon, new bike lanes were painted on Figueroa and Vermont along the paths of my morning and evening commutes.
This is another Good Thing, most definitely, but I can't help but be like the mouse who was given a cookie and wish that there were bike lanes along the narrower, scarier roads, like Rosecrans Avenue. The stretches of Figueroa and Vermont have ample space for bikes, which is probably why there are bike lanes there now-- it's just easier. One thing I noticed while biking along Rosecrans is that drivers seem to become more and more hostile as I get farther west, toward Manhattan Beach. I'm not sure why that is. I know that some drivers get very anxious or fearful around cyclists, which is valid-- I just know how much more fear there is in being the one on the bicycle, hoping not to get hit, and how much more vulnerable a cyclist is than someone in a two-ton killing machine.

I was already quite cautious around cars, and I'm even moreso now. Some things I do as a cyclist that help me assuage some of my fear:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Easy Ways to Save Water for Your Garden

Courtesy junior partner
Keep a bucket in the shower. Or a big pot.
  • Place the bucket in an area that can catch the water that isn't used--avoid collecting soapy water, though it shouldn't be harmful if you get a bit in, especially if you use natural soaps. You can save this water for your indoor plants since the salvaged water from the kitchen may breed gnats or unpleasant odors.
Keep an airtight jug by the kitchen sink.
  • Capture water (sans soap) from rinsing out your coffee cup, carafe, filter, french press (after you compost the coffee grounds). Plants love diluted coffee water and coffee grounds.
  • Keep water from blanching vegetables, cooking pasta, and washing rice. If you use enriched rice, there might be even more goodies going into your plants. Who needs Miracle Gro?
I easily keep my indoor and outdoor plants happy with just salvaged water. Of course, the best thing to do is to use as little water as possible in the first place, so I'm experimenting with sub-irrigation for gardening with a reduced water supply.