Tuesday, September 30, 2008


As I continue to educate myself on the woes of the world, I am compelled to journal/blog about it a little more.

You may see some added links at the bottom of this post throughout the day as I am finding many interesting articles.

I guess I ought to start by retracting that "woes of the world" statement... it's kind of silly to say that. And with the programs I've been reading about and the growing number of people becoming savvy to possibly ways of reversing issues such as deforestation, I am more hopeful and excited than ever before.

Today I read about the Billion Trees Campaign from Ten's Innovations. This kind of project could change the climate of an entire continent, for the better! Have you ever looked at the Google Earth pictures of Africa? Not all of that used to be sand colored.... I was actually trying to find the street I lived on last year in Shanghai and the satellite photos just weren't clear enough for me to navigate the city- it was too darn smoggy. Point being, we don't really have much excuse to claim ignorance to the changing face of our planet- there are images of the repercussion of our exploitation of land in other places is hardly invisible.

Forgive me, you adventurers who are glimpsing my blog, for embedding the very videos I may have shared with you on your own blogs not too long ago. I think this video is particularly good because we don't always understand how desertification happens and this breaks it down into bite size processing chunks:

Deforestation / Reforestation from Chronicle Project on Vimeo

More videos are available for this particular project at

I will be writing more. But I'm getting hungry... I'll be back, with more links to share with the blog world out there on the topics of desertification and reforestation.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Band Aids

I saw a guy with a band aid on his head, yesterday. He was Black and with a large group of homeless men of color. At first I saw the band aid on his head and thought he had cut himself and the raw skin was showing through- but then I realized it was one of this big H-shaped band aids you put on bigger cuts. It stuck out on his head- it was very obvious.
In a split second I came the conclusion that band aids were made for White people and that doesn't seem right. I cut the thought off thinking that was a little stupid and probably borne out of my tendency as a Sociology student to see race and class disparity in everything... but the logic of my conclusion stuck. I tried to explain it to Matt, just now, and here is what I came up with:
Band Aids are generally made to be "flesh colored" and it makes economic sense that the actual flesh-color chosen is that of more Caucasian tone, because Caucasians are the majority. Thus, Band Aids ARE made for white people. But is that wrong? I considered the reasoning for the flesh-color dye as opposed to a bleached white surface. I think that they are made to flesh-colored so that they blend in. But is this necessary? Only if there is an advantage to hiding your wounds- perhaps obvious injury is unsightly or offensive in some way; perhaps because it could mean you made a mistake and, thus, hurt yourself; maybe because you run the risk of being assessed as physically inadequate for... well, something. There is a social advantage to hiding, or at least avoiding unwanted attention to, an injury. At the very least we can say that this is true in the "white culture" because it is marketed that way.
But the fact that the majority of Band Aids are made this way still doesn't make a whole lot of sense because I think there is an argument to be made for the demographic that injuries actually occur to. Injuries happen when we face hazards, and, I speculate, the the majority of minority men work in semi-hazardous environments as opposed to the majority of White men. Now, it makes sense that the White men in hazardous jobs outnumber the men of color in hazardous jobs, but I don't think that's true... in fact, I'll do some research to verify that but I'm pretty sure that it was presented in a class I had last year that they are nearly even (if only white men versus all other men of color).

So... I'm just gonna end this post here, because it's been sitting in my draft section for a while. But it was an interesting observation I thought worth noting.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shoot at URM today

I just have a few things to say very quickly, before I forget.

Today was an interesting day. We filmed some stories at Union Rescue Mission and it was my first time on Skid Row. Like most people who venture into that area of LA I was shocked by the juxtaposition of the districts. Literally a few hundred yards (if not less) from Little Tokyo, a popular tourist site, the edge of Skid Row begins. This is not necessarily marked by geographical border or particular street- the change happens abruptly. On your way in you see people walking with their satchels or purses; by the time you pass the Little Tokyo City Lofts people on the sidewalks are no longer walking. They are sitting or laying down with packed duffel bags or suitcases. You don't see shopping carts very often- apparently it's illegal to be walking around downtown LA with a cart larger than X by X feet (which, incidentally, qualifies all shopping carts, but not totes or dorky backpacks with wheels.) This seems to immobilize the population on the these streets even more... the sudden halt of motion on the sidewalks is a little jarring. But think about, being in motion is a sign of privilege- the speed at which we get from point A to point B is an indicator of our privilege (who is usually speeding on the highway... the chick in the BMW?), the amount of motion our bodies are capable of shows off our healthy state (we can afford doctors and preemptive check-ups), and the mode by which we exercise our motion puts us in another category altogether (who walks? who takes the bus? the train? their own car?)... I'm not saying this because we ought to feel guilty about our social location (-if you're reading this, I'd bet money you fall into middle class-); but I was definitely struck by amount of privilege I had in contrast to those that were lying down.

I have much more to say... but I just really wanted to jot down some things that I noticed about where I was. In Union Rescue Mission - every single person that walked by addressed me and said "hello". Not in a passing or out of politeness- they would stop, see me, and say things like, "How are you, miss?" "Hey, babygirl, how are you today?" "Hiya, Darlin', are you sitting here by yourseld?" "Are you going to be the cute girl they put in front of the camera, doin' all the talking?" I mean, in teh 10 minutes I sat in the hallway to "guard" out stuff, I had two dozen "hellos" like this.Each one acknowledging that I was in their presence, that they were in mine, that they saw me and noticed that I was a girl, I was alone, I was a new person, and even that I was cute! Why, of all places in the world, have I never experienced a reality like that? Over and over again, my presence and the importance of it was confirmed....

And another thing. This place, URM , it was filled with laughter. Every person walking down a hall, especially the ones who weren't in button-up shirts or blouses, laughed. They smiled when they saw other people, they found a reason to laugh and to get the other person laughing.

Scattered thoughts! Lots of work to get done. That's all for now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I am the only girl in my office.

An interesting conversation preluded by an interesting read

So, THE FINAL class of my undergraduate career revolves around an interesting topic: Hospitality. My professor brought asked us in our last session where we were with our understand in light of our readings* and I had to address my status as one at the bottom wrung... I am not getting this. Because you know what is conjured up in my mind when I think of "hospitality"? The Cafeteria. And all the green shirts running around last year, setting out food in large quantities, bearing identical baseball caps labeling them as "Hospitality Services", i.e. the department that provides the campus with banquets and snacks and meals and Dinner Rally. When I think of hospitality, I think of being served and catered to.
This is not the hospitality that we are speaking of in class. In fact, our senior thesis is designed to revolve around the discovery and practice of our personal ethic of hospitality to our "stranger."
I can tell this is going to be interesting, but I have no idea what such an exploration will yield- I still have no idea what hospitality means. But I have begun to make some connections...

*-The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life
-Economy of Grace
-Disruptive Christian Ethics: When Racism And Women's Lives Matter
-Radical Hospitality: Benedict's Way Of Love
-Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

Oh! I published, but then I returned to edit because I didn't post anything about the conversation!

I was explaining to a friend the sort of tongue-in-cheek blog I posted earlier this month referencing the narcissistic nature of blogging (hey hey now! don't get huffy, I'm blogging, too!) when I realized, in the context of my process of redefining "hospitality" that immersion of blogs is, perhaps, a response to the lack of understanding of a concept of hospitality. It probably goes without saying that this is because of an underdeveloped or lack of encouragement in the practice of community- the root of hospitality.
I came to this conclusion in a funny way. Recently my aunt & uncle and some friends of mine were going to BlogWorld where these very topics were explored; conversations borne out of this trip gave me some language and context in which to express my own, personally felt violations of internet/blog community. After all, who doesn't hate flippin' spam. I mean, yea, these social networks are an obvious way to quantify and reach specified demographics but... I mean come on, I do NOT have a facebook account because I want to know how I can drop 20 lbs. And I actually got RID of my myspace account because I was tired of seeing my boyfriend's log-in page first direct him to a scantily clad lady shaking it for a mortgage company. Ugh.
Being targeted is hardly the issue, though. The fact of the matter is that I don't like uninvited guests. And I might make the argument that these are not event guests, but intruders who leave their ads all over my page or send me ridiculous messages for products and what not. And it is this idea, that was discussed at BlogWorld and amidst my facebook friends (who.. I really do see and call in real life) that inspired a hope in me for hospitality in the modern world. Because in these pseudo-social contexts, these very real values are obviously shared. The community, regardless of the fact that it is the greater Internet which hosts my blogs as opposed to, say my youth group or classmates, is being defended, protected from predictors. It is an indignation for others (as well as ourselves) that is being rebuked- if it was about us only, we wouldn't participate in such networks, and when spam hit, I might argue we'd simply change our identities/profiles or delete it over and over. But instead, we are finding a common ground to resist such violations and abuses to our community!

I think we are beginning to miss each other.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oh I remember.

First of all, this one's for Melanie:

Second of all: Kinda sexy on girls, not cool on long-haired rockers:

Uh oh

I had something GREAT to write about.

But I don't remember! I think it had to do with color coordinating my post-its.

Grr. Crap.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ashley: hi!
guess what?
(you won't guess, but that's okay)
guess it*
me: wait wait let me try
did you run into a celebrity?
Ashley: oh no. something much better.
me: JESUS!
you ran into JESUS
oh crap
are you messaging me from Heaven

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I read them all freakin' day. I'ma start posting, like, non-stop. Like Twitter. But longer. Have you heard of Twitter? I just discovered it! Apparently I'm way behind.

So I just found this:

and I know that by linking it the rating on the website will rise.

I will just keep a running journal of what I think every day. I think everyone on the Internet would like to know what I'm thinking. I'm pretty sure that the general consensus is that thoughts are interesting. Not because they're read, but because everyone keeps a log of their thoughts and posts them online thinking others will find it interesting. Like me!

I had some funnier thoughts earlier, but they were eclipsed by the sudden club-style dancing that 2 of my 3 co-workers recently erupted into. They sorta danced around, and a bit on, the third who said them, "don't ever do that again." One stopped and laughed to sluff of his embarrassment. The other kept dancing. For another two minutes. I don't think he heard the third guy.

I. LOVE. my job. a lot.

I'ma go do it from home for the rest of the afternoon. =D Awesome.
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