lextopia

my thoughts . my memories . my family . my projects . my fears
Subscribe

Archive for the ‘NewsQuake!’

Good Luck, Everyone!

February 05, 2008 By: admin Category: Campaign 2008, India, NewsQuake!, Politics

flag500.jpg

When we were driving through Kolkata toward Soma Home one day, Nandini and I passed huge crowds on their way to a rally. We passed easily hundreds of thousands of people marching and chanting. We were silent in the taxi, for the most part, until Nandini looked outside and said: “They take the voting process so seriously here.” She went on to proudly explain the high rate of voter turnout in India. “People really understand that their vote counts for something here. They take great pride in that.”

Today I vote in the CA primary and I’ve never felt such pressure in a primary before. There is so much at stake and we all — Americans — seem to know it. We have a lot to clean up with the nest administration: Iraq, the environment, education and health care.

Tonight I will “live-blog” the returns from an Irish pub in downtown LA. There’s something so perfect about the idea of being surrounded by a shitload of young people all gathered for the democratic process. These kids are the future. Let’s see what they do… :)

Back In The Saddle

February 04, 2008 By: admin Category: Health, India, NewsQuake!, sustainability, The Film

sherwood-front-yard.jpg

Molly and I have been convalescing. Relaxing. Trying to let our bodies heal from the twin assaults of Influenza B. Somehow, adding the “B” after “Influenza” makes it seem more like I got out of a war zone with all my limbs intact. It wasn’t a war zone we were in, but I still feel good about having all my limbs….

Anyway, the flight home SUCKED FOR ME. My sinuses were clogged in a way that they’ve clearly never been before because as we were descending after our first 10 hour leg the pain was so excruciating I started to cry like I was being killed. A stewardess even came over and asked Molly if there was anything wrong. She gave me earplugs — too late — and a kind smile. Seriously if I never feel that pain again it’ll be too soon…

At that point I hadn’t slept for about 5 days. The coughing had woken me up every 20 minutes and caused me to sweat dramatically, which, coupled with the unseasonable cold of Kolkata at that time, served as the perfect jumping off place to me getting a bad chill. By the time we got home I was sick as hell.

Molly’s Dad, a doctor, took one look at my raw, inflamed throat and proclaimed: “It’s antibiotic time.” My own father, the next day, insisted that I go see my doctor immediately and so that’s what I did. She gave me antibiotics, steroids to build up my crushed lungs, an inhaler, and an expectorant which has done a remarkable job at dislodging all the phlegm in my chest that’s been keeping me from, you know, breathing.

Being back home has been surreal so far. Today is better as it’s really the first day when both of us can actually get up and do stuff. I spent the other days reading emails and doing research for my job–just trying to get back into the swing of life in the USA. I had some amazing experiences in India, but there are priorities now that need to be addressed. I always knew I’d spend a few days decompressing, but also knew that it wouldn’t be forever. I don’t want to dwell. I don’t want to forget either, and I won’t–that’s what the film will be for–but I do want to move forward. This year can be one of the best of my life in so many aspects and I’m ready to go out and make that all happen. :)

Tonight, I’ll be filming someone for my sustainability series!

Imminent India

December 07, 2007 By: admin Category: General, India, iPhone, Mom, NewsQuake!, sustainability, Video

My mother never missed a chance to say a word in Spanish. One of her favorites was “pa-sa-port-ah” for “passport.” *head shake, smile* She certainly had a unique charm about her…

photo-9.gif

Plans for India are going well. My renewed passport finally came, so I guess I’ll have to wait on that heart-attack, and the visas are easily filled out online, although I did have a mini heart attack when I realized I hadn’t sent them via trackable method. After getting the smog check done on my car I ran back to the postal place and redid the passports to be sent via certified mail. Dodge a bullet. The visa process is actually surprisingly easy. Fill out the form take a couple of mugshots, send it in. Everyone is upgrading to online…

Also just found out today that we’ll be going to SXSW Interactive Fest for work! Very cool! I’ll be running around trying to get ideas of how to expand the site. We’ll see. I’m currently exporting one of my videos using Apple’s “for iPhone” compression settings. I want to see how well original video looks on the iPhone so I can have a couple of the Sustainability videos to show folks at SX what we’re doing…

Yesterday

December 04, 2007 By: admin Category: Beer, General, NewsQuake!, sustainability, Video

I woke up yesterday after having barely survived another upload. Mondays will never be the same to me. For years after this series is done I’ll flinch on Monday mornings and wonder if i remembered to upload a video. Monday is Upload Day. It’s actually Sunday night, but by the time I get around to uploading, it’s early-as-hell on Monday.

Monday morning I went to bed close to 3:00am and got up just after 8:00. I was dreaming about buying batteries at Costco. Double-As. By God’s good grace all of the major components of the 2-camera kit I’m taking to India take double-A batteries. It’s such a relief not to have to stress about Cs or Ds. They represent the rough alphabet of filmmaking.

Yesterday was another great interview. Ann Gentry. Celebrity vegan chef who owns 2 restaurants here in L.A. Whatever you think about L.A., or, truly, any major city, owning a restaurant and having it be successful in such a demanding environment isn’t easy. So I respect this woman a great deal. I also think it’s amazing that she chose to go vegan. *shakes head* Maybe it’s because I was a vegan cooking slave for 6 years, but that doesn’t sound like “fun” to me. Meat sounds fun. Steak. Juicy, charcoal-grilled rare beef covered in salt and garlic powder, an ice cold amber lager on the table beside it.

Late Night Salad

December 03, 2007 By: admin Category: Blogging Dinner, Cooking, Fatblogging, Food, Living, Mom, NewsQuake!, Randomosity, sustainability, Video

Sneezing is my body’s way of flushing tension. Once, when I was really high on mushrooms and freaking out, I began crying uncontrollably–runny nose and everything–because I was terrified that I would stay this way forever. Then I wiped my nose and a lightbulb went off: “That’s how it’s going to leave!” I shrieked with joy, and began blowing my nose furiously.

I’m eating an organic salad–red butter lettuce and green leaf lettuce–because I think i might be coming down with something. I’m exhausted…

I’ve never been mistaken for a rocket scientist. Just another pretty girl in the room who’s destined, in everyone’s mind except mine, to be second. Standing in line for the ice cream truck once at age 7, I asked my mother: “Mommy, am I second?” And she said: “No. You’ll never be second at anything.” Somehow, even coming from a rough childhood in socially backward 30s Peru, Mom knew just what feminist vibe to deliver to her young first-generation daughter. Not much has changed. Except that now I have to make up what she would say.

I too, like my new idol, Elizabeth Gilbert, will travel the world. I don’t know if it’ll be on my own or for a company, but the time will be mine to do with what I want. I feel the need for this coming soon, and am so moved by the warmth from my father’s voice whenever we talk about me going back to India. I grew up with my parents being afraid of me traveling. Or maybe it was just Mom, I don’t know… But Dad’s not fearful now. He’s encouraging, and sprinkles his reactions with touches of awe.

It’s 1:00am and I’m still working. I know… But I really feel a sense of responsibility to finishing these videos on time. I set the schedule for myself, but it’s not about that–I really want to ‘show up” for those few folks who are actually “watching” this series. Who knows how many they really area, but even if it’s just me, it’s enough.

Sustainability Series: “SHELTER, Part 3″

November 20, 2007 By: admin Category: NewsQuake!, sustainability, Video

This video almost killed me. Not cuz it was tough to assemble but because I couldn’t upload it at the highest resolution. So I stayed up until 4:30am last Sunday trying to find as un-shitty a resolution as possible that would accommodate a goddamed 103MB file. I hate YouTube. 100 MB is a kiss-ass amount.

Anyway, so now I’m on an odd schedule, but the “series” itself is coming along nicely. Who knew?

Why I’m Not Voting for Hillary

October 10, 2007 By: admin Category: Campaign 2008, Faith, Iraq, NewsQuake!, Politics

The following is a recent article I wrote for Propeller.com‘s original blog, “NewsQuake” (Propeller is the new name for Netscape.com, where I work. “NewsQuake” will be changed as soon as we figure out a name that works with “Propeller.”):

When Hillary Clinton was first elected senator from New York in November 2000, I was living in Brooklyn and was still a huge Clinton Family fan. I’d voted for her husband twice, and now I voted for her. I was thrilled to have the incredibly smart ex-First Lady as my state’s new senator. She was so savvy and politically experienced, poised, charismatic, and–a woman!

480px-hillary_rodham_clinto.jpg

Sadly, the glow would wear off sooner than I could imagine. On October 10, 2002–less than two years after she had been elected–Senator Clinton gave a speech on the Senate floor, discussing the pending resolution that would grant President Bush unprecedented military powers, as well as the authority to invade Iraq. In her 2,476-word speech, Clinton urged the nation to tread very carefully. Saddam was bad, she said, but war was far, far worse. “If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us.” She spoke of tyrannical Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and his eventual defeat. “We and our NATO allies did not depose Mr. Milosevic, who was responsible for more than a quarter of a million people being killed in the 1990s. Instead, by stopping his aggression in Bosnia and Kosovo, and keeping on the tough sanctions, we created the conditions in which his own people threw him out and led to his being in the dock being tried for war crimes as we speak.” It started out as a good speech–a great speech–but didn’t end as one. After delivering about three-quarters of a very convincing and passionate anti-war message, Senator Clinton voted for the resolution.

Her entire speech was spin, and I felt betrayed. But I wasn’t the only one. In the years since she cast that vote, Clinton has been haunted by it. She has had to answer again and again for that decision–her presidential campaign has been dogged by it–and she has had to watch as military decisions based on her vote failed time and time again, costing trillions of dollars and many thousands of lives.

Because of her vote, I was angry at the senator for a long, long time. For me, her support of the war was the ultimate line-crossing, an unforgivable act. And yet, when she announced her candidacy for president in January 2007, I decided to give her a second chance (as did many Americans and New Yorkers). Betraying my earlier instincts, I reasoned that the past was the past, and told myself that there was little she alone could do about the current debacle in Iraq. In short, I started letting myself like her again.

As her presidential campaign unfolded, I was once again charmed by her intelligence and poise. I was inspired by the idea that she really could become our first female president, and would therefore be more compassionate. There was a desire for change, a promise of strength, but most of all, there was the hope that Clinton, with her eight-year track record as the most politically active First Lady, could repair our nearly devastated foreign relations.

And then the other shoe dropped.

On September 26, 2007 the Senate assembled to vote on the politically psychotic Lieberman-Kyl Amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill–an amendment that, in no uncertain terms, authorizes military action against Iran. Now, let’s put aside for a second the awkward fact that the amendment was being debated while the President of Iran was visiting this country. Let’s also put aside the question of where the troops for such an invasion would come from. Instead, let’s consider how much data there is clearly demonstrating how much Americans don’t wish to launch another war.

As I read the amendment, I wasn’t as terrified as I usually am by such things, because I was sure that Hillary (as I was now calling her) would lead the logical and overwhelming opposition. Here was the chance to correct her earlier, gargantuan mistake. She could use her clout as a presidential candidate to quickly vaporize the lunatic project.

Imagine my sense of betrayal when she did just the opposite, and voted in favor of the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment.

Candidate Clinton has now voted for war not once, but twice. No additional sanctions, no continued, UN-driven multilateral talks–war. It is therefore that, with heavy heart, I give up on her. I have no other choice. If she can do this as a senator, what insanity would she approve as president? She had, and still has, the opportunity to lead by example, to show the world that we aren’t a nation of bullies and Lone Rangers, but rather one for whom diplomacy and negotiation are the stuff of foreign policy. Let’s hope she turns it around. I’d like that, but I’m not going to hold my breath, and, in the interim, will seek elsewhere to cast my vote.

Netscape at the One Care Now healthcare rally in L.A.

August 13, 2007 By: admin Category: Campaign 2008, NewsQuake!, Video, Web 2.0

When I saw Michael Moore’s new movie, “SiCKO” one story stuck in my mind and has remained in the forefront of my thoughts since I first heard it: that of 18-month-old Mychelle Keys as told by her mother, Dawnelle. In the following video Dawnelle tells hers and Mychelle’s stories at a rally organized by the One Care Now campaign in Los Angeles in support of SB 840, a state bill for universal healthcare.

A Case for Universal Healthcare in California

August 05, 2007 By: admin Category: Campaign 2008, Health, Living, News, NewsQuake!, Video

 

CaroleLutness

Here’s my latest video from Netscape. Click on the picture above to download the stream.

Since it’s release on July 29th, 2007, Michael’s Moore’s documentary “SiCKO” has created a buzz about universal health care. In the following video I explore one such instance in Santa Clarita, CA where a group of activists lobby for the passage of Senate Bill 840, called “The Universal Health Care Act.”

“Primary Targets”

July 08, 2007 By: admin Category: Campaign 2008, News, NewsQuake!, Politics, Video

Latest NewsQuake Video.

This was actually shot in late April, but a few issues have kept it from coming out to y’all until now. Enjoy!!!