lextopia

my thoughts . my memories . my family . my projects . my fears
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Archive for November, 2007

Great News!!!

November 29, 2007 By: admin Category: Living

In this grand world of All Things nothing is more sacred than children.

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The above photo shows my friend, Natasha, and her five kids in a courthouse where the judge in the photo just granted her 100% custody of her youngest child–the baby boy she holds in her arms. The boy is her biological son, but she’s been having a whirlwind of a time getting him to be fully adopted as belonging ONLY to her. The day this photo was taken, the adoption was finalized and we are all breathing freely.

M and I have been with Natasha on every step of this odd journey and are so proud of her persistence, wisdom, and unparalleled (REALLY!) calm throughout.

CONGRATS, GIRL. :)

Nothing’s Working

November 28, 2007 By: admin Category: Living, Randomosity, The Album

Sometimes it’s maddening how someone will behave. You give and give and they respond like you’re from another planet. I’m in debt and I’m wondering how I got there. i remember living outside Boston and being sooooo happy. Now I’m jealous of my brother’s house and wondering why I’m not moving back there and buying my own. I’ve broken the cardinal “Alexia” rule: I’ve gone and trapped myself.

I watched “The Descent” last night. It’s really not at all as scary as everyone said. Not even a little bit. Actually, it just ROCKS. It’s awesome to see a bunch of rock-climber chicks open several cans of whoop-ass on many unsuspecting cave creatures. Made me feel like I used to: like a woman who takes control of her destiny. Now, I can’t. I’m as buried in my life as those chicks were in the cave.

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No wonder I’m having nightmares… Last night’s was a doozy. I thought I’d be all freaked out dreaming of cave creatures, but NOPE. I dreamed instead that I was driving a HUGE mack truck. The really, really, really big ones that movers use to haul families of twelve cross-country. When I “woke up” into my dream, I was driving one of these. At first it was okay. I was in control and surprised to find out that someone had trusted me behind the wheel of this thing. Even though I didn’t remember getting in the truck, I figured, “well, I’m dreaming, so I must just have let my mind wander for a moment. I’m sure I know how to drive this.” And with that, I pressed on the brake a little. To my great surprise, the truck responded like it was a sports car–too sensitive! Anyway, so I relaxed and thought, “well, maybe I’ll leave this dream situation as quickly as I entered it and all will be well.” No such luck. As soon as I thought that I “re-re-awakened” and was still driving, although the traffic ahead of me was coming too close. WAAAAAAAAAAY too close… I breathed deeply, trying to settle myself down and looked down at the gear shift. “I can do this,” I said to myself. And, sure enough, I slammed my foot on the clutch and threw the truck into gear. But I was still going too fast. I hit the brakes. Put ALL my weight behind them, but I literally wasn’t heavy enough to have any effect. Additionally, when I’d looked up this time the cab of the truck was open, as if it had been halved horizontally by something it had hit. I was also going down a steep hill–racing fast!–so I had to lean forward to stand on the brake. My hair was whipping around frantically, slapping my face, and my seatbelt wasn’t on. I turned to look at it, thinking I could reach back and pull it forward, but I realized I was too bent forward and that the force of the wind and the speed were too much for me to take one hand off the wheel.

So many things ran through my head as I careened toward the traffic: that I was going to die, that M. was going to die (even though I didn’t remember her being in the truck), and that the hit was going to be a hard, hard hit. I really felt, in my mind, that this was REAL. I kept telling myself to try something, that this was REALLY happening and that I should do something to get myself out of it. Before I could I woke up for real. In my bed. With M sleeping beside me.

The truck definitely represents something I can’t control. Something that has me by the throat. It’s the way I’ve been feeling for a couple of years now, and it sucks. Just sucks. I used to be more disciplined, but when you’re in love sometimes discipline is the first, and eternal, casualty. I try to be more frugal, but it never works. I see something I KNOW M will need for her music stuff, and I HAVE to buy it. There’s just no two ways.

It’s funny, I’m in the business of training people to constantly reevaluate, reassess, try to find a solution around a problem by rethinking the traditional — now I have to do it for myself and I can’t. Awesome. My dreams of owning my own home have all but evaporated unless I change things rather drastically. As the saying goes: I CHOSE this.

Angus The Turkey

November 22, 2007 By: admin Category: Angus, Blogging Dinner, Cooking, Fatblogging, Food

There once was a turkey named Angus
Who was terribly fond of French mangos,
He flew all the way
In one long-ass day
And ended up dancing six tangos.

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Soup For Bean

November 20, 2007 By: admin Category: Blogging Dinner, Cooking, Food, Recipes

CHICKEN
2 packages of chicken tenders (cubed)
Olive oil (enuf to cover bottom of frying pan)
Soy sauce (1/3 amount of oil)

Heat oil & soy sauce.
Add chicken, turn heat down, cover. (You want to make sure you are moistening the chicken)
When chicken is full cooked, turn heat off and set aside.

SOUP
Water (fill 3/4 of a pot)
Salt (approx. 3 tablespoons–shouldn’t overwhelm)
Onions (2 medium-sized)
Garlic (5-7 cloves, coarsely chopped–large pieces)
Celery (1 bunch, chopped)
Bok Choy (1 bunch, chopped)
Potatoes (3-4 large potatoes)
Taragon (approx. 1 tablespoon, to taste)
Thyme (approx. 1/2 tablespoon, to taste)
Pepper (approx. 1/2 tablespoon, to taste)

Heat water and add salt, potatoes, onions and garlic. Bring to a boil.
Turn heat down and add celery and bok choy.
Add spices.

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?

Ear Trouble & Other Stresses

November 16, 2007 By: admin Category: Burning Man, The Album, Video

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I seem to have lost a bit of hearing in my right ear. I know… My Dad is reading this right now and saying to himself: “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT???????????!!!!!!!!!!”

We don’t know how it happened but it seems stress and sleep-deprivation related. Nice, right??? Anyway, I wake up and my right ear is all clogged. I can still, technically, hear with it, but it feels imbalancing and like it needs to POP! Ya know? I was never the kid who had to “equalize” after swimming. Never. But, then again, I was never the kid to puke from smoking pot and we all know how that goes now… ‘Course, I didn’t so much tell you about that, did I…????

Well, then, here it is: I puked on the Playa. From a pot cookie. Yup. One of the cardinal sins of Burning Man is to puke on the playa and I did it. The last night. While the Man was burning. Uh-huh. As SuperFriend Mike wasn’t around it fell to M and my best bud from college, Nathan, to–literally–haul me to my feet and DRAG me off the fucking desert. Isweartogod…. Not my finest hour, but I WAS lucid, which is really, kind of MORE FUCKED UP, ya know? There I was, you know, PARALYZED from the waist down, but making perfect sense. Mind you, all I was able to say was “Thanks, guys. This is so fucked up, I’m so sorry. Thanks so much, guys.” But that’s something, ain’t it? I mean, if you’re going to ruin your friends’ experience of THE VERY LAST NIGHT OF BURNING MAN at least be gracious about it.

Anyway, the Other Stresses referred to in the title has to do with lack of sleep due to The Album freakout. One of the reasons I like being as slap-dash a filmmaker as I am is that I don’t actually have to work very hard. It’s a cop-out, I know, but I have a skill–as an editor I can make chicken salad out of chicken shit–and so I capitalize on that when I go out to film something. Watching M struggle through the process of just RECORDING this new album has been H-E-L-L. I’m like “justfuckindoitalready” and she’s like “the mics aren’t in the right place!!!” *whatever*

Of course, SHE’S right and I’m fucked, but the time it takes to prepare to record an album is enough to keep me faaaaaaaaar away from that as a private personal goal. I’ll still borrow her Korg, snag some samples and make fun experimental tunes myself–for you all, of course–but the seriousness of the prep process is too much for me. I’m a hack and I like it that way. :)

A Bird Flew Into My House

November 07, 2007 By: admin Category: sustainability, Video

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This morning I was reading about the Tongva–a native tribe that’s lived in the Los Angeles basin for centuries. They’re working for federal recognition (which is gross in a way that I can’t even deal with right now…), and are doing other projects to help keep their traditions and culture alive. I found them because I was watching a movie about the various massacres of the native peoples of this land that had been perpetrated right after the Civil War. The actors playing “the Indians” were running, riding horses and living on this beautiful semi-arid land that looked so clean and free. It looked like all the places I’ve seen just outside of L.A. and instantly I felt a pang of shame. I’m doing a “sustainability” series, and I completely overlooked the most sustainable culture in this country: the original dwellers. If anyone knows about how to make and keep this region sustainable, it’s the Tongva, Chumash and other early cultures who have lived here longer than any of us. So, I called the Gabrieleno/Tongva Tribal Council of San Gabriel and left a message for the Chairman saying that I was doing this series and wanted to talk to someone about the land as it relates to the Tongva.

On the tribe’s website I read a story of 78-year-old elder, Lillian Robles, who slept on the site of a proposed development. The land is sacred to the Tongva and was going to be turned into a mall. Lillian stopped it.

At an event promoting the space industry last night a woman told me “Math is power.” She’s an internet geek and space-nut who was answering a question I’d asked about why it was important for girls to pursue science and math. After learning about Lillian Robles, though, it seems that an understanding of what power is comes from a sense of self-love borne of a strong community or family–identity. I am strong because my mother and father always told me that I was part of them, and my brother was part of them. They told me I would never be alone or unwelcome wherever they were and whoever I was with (so the gay thing was a challenge, ya know…???). I have never questioned that unconditional support and it has separated me from most people I’ve known in my life. Which brings me back, full-circle, to the concept of sustainability. Self-love is sustainability. We can’t have anything else–peace, resources–without it. But in order to have it, we need support, and THAT is what we’ve strayed from: each other.

I think I knew this instinctively somehow because I added a Community segment to my little series, and began the series the way I did with Sarah Susanka’s words on making a house “home.” We’ve strayed from ourselves because we’ve strayed from each other, and so it seems that faith–respect for and trust in others–is what we need to re-awaken.

But how do we do this? Is my interest in the New Sanctuary Movement connected to this…???

All these questions were “flying around” my head as I read about the Tongva. I was reading and then suddenly heard a flutter behind me. INSIDE my room. Then our cat, Orchid, dove at the window. For a split second I thought a bird had hit the window and Orchied was chasing a phantom that had fallen to the ground outside, but then I saw that the bird was inside, and, more specifically, inside Orchid’s mouth.

I slowly followed a glee-filled Orchid as she trotted through the house looking for a quiet place to fuck with this tiny bird. I “led” her into the kitchen and there the bird somehow made it’s escape. It flew to a high part on a window where Orchid couldn’t reach it. Then I grabbed Orchid, threw her into the laundry room and shut the door fast. I turned to the window. The little bird was there. A yellow chickadee or something. Terrified. I crept toward it and it didn’t move as I took it gently in my hands. I walked it to the front door and launched it into the air. It flew away.

Maybe this isn’t a sign. And maybe it is. Maybe it’s only a sign if I choose to take it as one. And I do so choose.

Whether or not my little series has any impact, it is my responsibility to use my skills to do what I can to reawaken those who care to listen. I’m not a prophet, I’m just a person who believes–has faith–that we can all change. Maybe it is the collective unconscious, but doesn’t it seem not-surprising that all humans behave the same way in a foxhole…???

Anyway, that’s all for now. :) Thanks, as always, for listening.

Slammed. Wiped.

November 04, 2007 By: admin Category: The Album, Video

I’ve been working so hard for so long that I’m actually burnt out. I need to recharge, but that doesn’t look like it’s coming for some time. The good news is that M’s new live album is going to kick ass. :) She’s still working out all of the kinks in the studio, but basically the donated mics work GREAT. Her songs are just so beautiful…

Anyway, here’s my latest video effort for AOL.

I’m excited about this series, but–as I said above–am slammed. I’ve been blogging, shooting & editing, and working on a new India project, all in addition to helping M get ready for three shows. 2 down, 1 to go. I hope I survive. And then we make Thanksgiving dinner… Oy. I’ll need to slow down in the next week. Find some time to seriously chill.

Hope all of you are doing well and not too busy. :)

Cheers,
alexia