Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"You're Gonna Move To Bishop, Aren't You?"

Very very tempted, especially now that Black Sheep has a beautiful big new space-- I've been told that they have beer and an open mic night now. I could write and share more rock climbing poetry. I might move to this climbing paradise some day, but not any time soon. 

For now, I'm enjoying Oakland and looking forward to trips to Yosemite and South Lake Tahoe during the coming warm months. 

Some photos from 4.5 days in Bishop

We drove through the night on Wednesday and arrived early Thursday morning. This is how I felt:
Photo by feesh
It was interesting being there for a bouldering-centric trip. There were a lot of bouldering pads. So many that I slept on one and used another as a desk:
I still managed to get two days in at Owens River Gorge. I climbed a lovely long route with great exposure in Upper Elbow Room. I can't wait to try more of the areas that are farther from the approaches. China Wall, All You Can Eat Cliff, Warm Up Wall and Pub Wall see so much action, but there's a lot of fun to be had just a few more minutes in.
The group got motivated enough to wake up before dawn so we could watch the sun come up from a hotspring:
Being outdoors all the time makes it feel healthy to have bacon, bread, and eggs for breakfast every day. This day, I happened to also have avocado. Don't forget the Tapatio (which is made in Vernon! LA love forever).
I got so wrapped up in trying boulder problems that I hardly took any pictures during the days at the Happys and the Buttermilks. But someone did! 

I fell soon after this photo was taken. After I'd gotten through what was supposed to be the harder part. Forgot all about my feet because I was busy sassing someone (not pictured). Next time, Green Wall.
Photo by kilajoules
A bunch of us tried this problem with a swarm of mosquitoes devouring us:
Photo by kilajoules
So much fun climbing with a bunch of awesome women, many of whom are involved with developing a climbing app

Climbing, poetry, and community. So far 2013 and Oakland have been pretty good to me.

Friday, April 26, 2013

All I Want is Some Sunshine and a Nice Place to Climb

I just returned from five days in Bishop, when I got to climb at Owens River Gorge, the Happys, and the Buttermilks (trip report-ish thing coming soon). I haven't been very interested in celebrating my birthday these last few years, but the trip was a great way to begin a new year of life. 

Now, I'm back in Oakland, enjoying the gentler sunshine of the East Bay, but missing all the rocks. I live two miles away from a very nice climbing gym, but with long summer days on their way, an empty wallet and a wealth of time, it's hard to think of climbing indoors. Indian Rock, Mortar Rock, and Cragmont Park are just a few miles away, perfect for getting my climbing fix in between the longer trips.
On Pegboard. Photo from Superbeta
When I do go to gyms, Bridges is my favorite for being small and homey and reminding me most of Hangar 18 in Hawthorne... and because they have such a good Groupon deal. ;)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

If I Were in LA Tonight: Generation Return // Anida Yoeu Ali Art & Justice Tour

Days before I left Cambodia, I finally gained the will to step out of my hermit/incubation period to take an opportunity to sit down with Anida Yoeu Ali at Java Cafe & Gallery. We were able to talk for a precious half hour or so about her work with Studio Revolt, our experience as a Khmer American woman in Phnom Penh, reconciling our Khmer and American identities in Cambodia, poetry-- listing the topics we brushed against makes me realize what a concentrated conversation that was. Perhaps this is what it is always like in the diaspora.

Tonight, Anida's Art & Justice Tour lands in Long Beach, just in time for Khmer New Year. If I were in LA, and if this weren't in conflict with a shoot for TWSS2, I'd be there.

Catalyst Network of Communities will host artist, writer and global agitator Anida Yoeu Ali in her public performance entitled “Generation Return: Art & Justice Post-Genocide and Post-9/11” during the 2nd Saturday Artwalk of Long Beach, CA.
Ms. Ali will present and discuss her works and ideas about contemporary justice and its residual effects on the Cambodian American experience.  
Ms. Ali is actively engaged in international dialogues, community activism, and artistic resistance to multiple sites of oppression. She upholds the belief that art is a critical tool for individual and societal transformation. Ms. Ali, born in Cambodia and raised nearly all her life in Chicago, returned to live in Cambodia in 2011 after nearly 3 decades away. She is part of a returning diaspora of artists and thinkers creating narratives of Cambodia beyond war and poverty. Through her spoken word performance and video clips, she will present a body of work which provocatively considers the diasporic past/present contours of the Cambodian American experience. The video works include her collaborative media lab, Studio Revolt, and their cinematic works with the Khmer Exiled American community (who constitute the deported diaspora).
Art Exchange
356 East 3rd Street
Long Beach, CA90802
It's my third and final New Year of the year, and I'm celebrating by giving my bike some much-needed love today, and spending tomorrow at wat with my aunt and her family in San Jose.

Not until Khmer New Year arrives, one quarter of the way into the Gregorian new year, do I really feel like the transition from the last year is complete. Since the first new year on January 1, I've transitioned between continents, cities, and living situations, and now, with the arrival of my final new year, I feel firmly grounded in a time of building.