SpaceKitty Wanderings

joyful resistance in difficult timesClick here to send an email to the editor of this weblog. Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Aimée's Recent Radio Work

Visit Scorcher Radio for more radio features and documentaries

Media, Democracy, Peace & Justice. 5 minute audio collage using the voices of "Making Contact" for their 10th anniversary (5 minutes, MP3)

Documenting Torture: Holding the United States Accountable. On this edition, we trace the seeds of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal to 9/11 and previous to that time. We hear from survivors of torture, human rights advocates, and a soldier. And we'll revisit the official government reaction. (29 minutes, Real Audio)

On a Mission. Scott and Joe were both raised in the Mormon community. But being gay puts them at odds with their families and the church.(26 minutes, Real Audio)

January 2008
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Dec   Feb

Saturday, January 19, 2008
two quotes to chew on
 Spirit turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.  Mevlana Rumi

When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. Audre Lorde

1:44:51 PM  comment []    

Wednesday, December 5, 2007
stop before you shop
the <a href="http:\\" >story of stuff</a> is a 20-minute super inspiring on-line movie about the impact of our consumer habits.  very timely for the season.
11:21:27 PM  comment []    

Thursday, October 11, 2007
total awareness moving
The core of movement experience is the sensation of moving and being moved.... It is a moment of total awareness, the coming together of what I am doing and what is happening to me.  It cannot be anticipated, explained, specifically worked for, nor repeated exactly. 

-Mary Whitehouse, The Tao of the Body

1:28:20 PM  comment []    

Tuesday, September 25, 2007
today's tasty word salad
If only
I could throw away
the urge
to trace my patterns
in your heart
I could really see you.


9:23:01 PM  comment []    

Monday, September 17, 2007
life is precious
my good friend paul died way too young.  he had all the signs, but he had no idea, an avid dancer and healthy eater, that he was having a heart attack.  so if you experience these symptoms, please please please get checked out:
  • extreme exhaustion
  • nausea
  • muscle pain, usually in upper body, but in his case it was in his legs.
friend, mentor, a positive force in my life.  pure presence with heart.   big love for you, paul.  big love.

8:36:17 AM  comment []    

Friday, September 14, 2007
more books by my bedside
i'm usually a one book at a time kind of gal.  but school has corrupted that pattern. 
  • gift from the sea, anne morrow lindberg.  written the 50s, a white middle-class housewife who takes a two week break for herself to write and reflect. surprisingly insightful and relevant.  beautifully-crafted writing.   "...woman must come of age by herself--she must find her true center alone."
  • omnivore's delight, michael pollin.  a follow up to the barbara kingsolver book.
  • golden gate gardening.  a classic.  i went to go pick the squash flowers from the garden, inspired by a recipe to fry them, but they were covered in black bugs :(. 
  • writing down the bones, natalie goldberg.  a classic how-to writing book.
  • the prophet--kahlil gibran.  i tried reading this while in high school.  perhaps i will get more out of it now that i've lived longer.
  • playful perception, herbert leff.  a book i picked up in college, but never read.  has really neat exercises for changing your perception of the world.  i just "discovered" 10 new details in my bathroom. spend a couple minutes...  amazing how much you don't see what's in plain sight!
how i love lists!

11:53:19 PM  comment []    

see with your heart
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
7:25:33 PM  comment []    

Thursday, September 13, 2007
i'm a fool for tools
I am embracing impending Fall and Winter. Last year I tacked up blankets to keep the heat contained in areas me and my roommate were using. We saved a lot of money on gas bills. This year, I realized it would be much nicer if I mounted the blankets on curtain rods.

What's a power drill-less woman to do?

Go to Berkeley's tool library of course! Now I can drill, rotototille, mix cement, electric snake, and sand to my heart's delight, all for free using my library card! Berkeley was the first to do this, since 1979. Find a tool library close to you around the world!

4:29:40 PM  comment []    

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Scorcher is the turn of the century term for those who rode their bikes too fast. Women, in particular, were not to exceed 7 miles per hour and ride upright to prevent "stimulation" (heh heh).

At first bicycles were impractical for women, given their confining clothes, but as the bicycling caught on and the machinery was refined, more women began riding. This gave women more freedom to roam than ever before, and paved the way for more practical clothes like bloomers. While pants on women are commonplace today, it was shocking at the time.

Bicycles have done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world, said Susan B. Anthony in 1896. "I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance."

10:25:53 AM  comment []    

sf bike festival
if you love films and bikes--check out the sf bike festival, 9/19-22.  this year's line up looks really great!

here are a couple of examples:

a documentary about snowboarders traveling the Northwest in a bikecar: a four-person, pedal-powered vehicle.

in ghana, a rural village eagerly awaits a shipment of recycled bicycles--the film chronicles the lives of two individuals before they get the bicycles and again one year later.

10:23:58 AM  comment []    

Saturday, September 1, 2007
I am almost finished with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  She and her family ate locally grown foods for one year.  Most of the analysis of why one should eat local wasn't new to me--though still interesting to read because she articulated the reasons so beautifully.   The descriptions of her garden season by season was informative and entertaining, as each new crop had it's own particular chaos.   

Halfway through the book, I returned my library copy and bought my own (so I can lend it to others) AND ordered a vegetable box from a local farm.  Given that I live in such a food rich area, there is NO excuse to not be making more of an effort to eat local.  And after reading her book, I'm looking forward to eating more items in their proper season, getting back in touch with the natural cycle of food and getting further away from our fossil-fueled corporate economy.

11:57:19 PM  comment []    

Wednesday, August 15, 2007
eleanor roosevelt
i never knew that much about her.  but reading some of her notable quotes made me want to know more:
  • A woman is like a tea bag--you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.
  • Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
  • Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
  • Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
  • Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.
  • I could not at any age be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on.
  • I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.
  • If someone betrays you once, it[base ']s their fault; if they betray you twice, it[base ']s your fault.
  • It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.
  • Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.
  • Learn from the mistakes of others. You can[base ']t live long enough to make them all yourself.
  • You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
  • No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
  • People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.

8:29:30 PM  comment []    

what is a subprime loan anywhoo?
This summer I did some office work for the Center for Responsible Lending.  And now that I am winding up my tenure, I thought it would be good to summarize what I've gotten from their literature re: subprime loans.

Subprime is a high interest rate loan given to borrowers with credit
scores lower than 620.  They usually have features that increase the risk
of foreclosure, i.e. adjustable interest rates, balloon payments,
prepayment penalties.  Whereas prime mortgages are more complex and
regulations are not adequate for borrowers to know the true cost of their
payments.  Sub-prime loads were typically used for re-financing.

8:23:32 PM  comment []    

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
quake preparedness
of everyone i've heard discussing friday's shaker, i seem to be the only one that is minimally prepared (water, food, radio, candles, flashlight, first aid kit,,,).  for a moment i felt geeky, like i'm a fear-hound.  but then i realized, everyone else is just sticking their head in the sand.  

well-presented site on EQs.

see where your house is on the shaking hazard map.

a few hours invested could make a BIG difference...

1:55:25 AM  comment []    

Monday, July 23, 2007
his photos are so beautiful they make me cry
A pod of whales was lying like long reclining Buddhas on the sea.  My sister and I put our ears to the bottom of the boat so we could listen to their songs.

We turned to my grandfather and asked, "what do their songs mean?"

"The whales do not sing because they have an answer, " he said.  "They sing because they have a song."

-gregory colbert, photographer

1:49:53 PM  comment []    

Tuesday, July 3, 2007
9 movie recs
These are my favorite movies I've watched in my home theater since the beginning of the year.

Shortbus--by the same director who did Hedwig.  Sex is like the soundtrack.  Fun movie. 
Together--about a Swedish coop in the 70s.  I'd already seen this film years ago, but loved it enough to watch it again.  Very sweet, lots of interesting characters.
The Science of Sleep--interesting fantastical French film about dreams and insanity.  Not your typical romance movie.
Tipping the Velvet--I read and loved the book years ago.  The BBC did a great job translating this story about male impersonators/lesbians in the 1890s England.

In the doc section:
Jonestown: The Life and Death of People's Temple--this doc has so many layers to it. I've always found the story of Jonestown fascinating--ever since I heard the b-side of record a band put out of a recording of Jim Jones telling the mothers to keep their children quiet ("We must die with dignity!") as they are screaming in pain as they drink Kool-Aid laced with cyanide.  Wow, haunting.
Pumping Iron--I did not expect to like this movie.  Just thought I should watch it.  A fascinating documentary of a freaky subculture.  Watching grinning Arnold doing push ups with women sitting on him in L.A., while Lou Farigno (later to become the Incredible Hulk) suffering and cursing in New York definitely shows how accepting pain in order to gain makes the whole experience more rewarding.
Fidel--Interesting look at Cuba
Napoleon--PBS special into that nutty little fellow.
The Life of Mammals--Well done nature flix.

11:42:21 PM  comment []    

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.  On quiet days I can hear her breathing.  Arundati Roy

This is one of the quotes on a beautiful slideshow by Other Worlds about Mali's gift exchange economy.  

A reminder that I want to participate in Berkeley's "bread" local money economy.

9:21:22 AM  comment []    

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Where you shop
interesting link from Sarah:

"Co-Op America is a great green resource! They have an online resource called [base "]Responsible Shopper: Global Research and Action to Stop Corporate Abuse.[per thou] You can search for and investigate corporations and companies to find out more about their environmental and social footprints, and read a number of competing reports on their environmental/social record. Co-op America promotes responsible investing/shopping, letter-writing, boycotts, shareholder activism and a whole host of green/social investment resources and links through their national [base "]GreenPages."

11:53:22 PM  comment []    

get your robot on!

thanks Scott!

11:50:04 PM  comment []    

Friday, May 11, 2007
went to my meditation group tonight.  the theme was expectation.  a few nice quotes from tonight's talk:

"expecting that nothing bad will happen to you just because you're a good person is like a bull not charging you because you're vegetarian."

"expecting perfection is like looking for a turtle with a mustache."

better to cultivate intention instead of expectation.

other zinger from an earlier talk.  respect.  re-spect.  to look at something again.  respect!  it's such a great way of breaking down what respect is, giving someone or something the room to be different, to see it as it is at that moment. a great life reminder.

10:45:25 PM  comment []    

Thursday, January 25, 2007
A few years ago I produced a 5-minute piece on my sister giving birth.   Now, parts of it (my sister grunting and groaning, my nephew being born) are going to be aired in March for a documentary on birth.

2:50:19 PM  comment []    

Thursday, January 4, 2007
StoryCorps is a large scale oral history project run by one of my favorite audio producers, David Isay.   His organization has a recording booth in Grand Central Station in New York, and also has traveling recording booths.  Here are a few samples of stories they've collected:

Danny and Annie
Joshua and his mother
Bobbi and Sandi

for more stories and pictures

5:08:07 PM  comment []    

keeping it simple
i went to a wonderful restorative yoga class on new year's day.  the teacher jay kumar says that all we need is breath and intention.

4:47:37 PM  comment []    

Sunday, December 31, 2006
what's standing in your way?
someone asked me the other day what i think about what is the difference between saying "I want to/should do" xyz and actually doing xyz.  I have a lot of my own thoughts on this, but I'd rather let this stand as a question as it is.  something to ponder as you make your new year's resolutions.

3:39:11 PM  comment []    

i'll meet you there
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
there is a field.  I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in the grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase
each other
doesn't make any sense.


3:31:54 PM  comment []    

Saturday, December 23, 2006
what's shakin'
eek, three baby earthquakes in a few days time (hayward fault). just the earth's little reminder.

are you, my treasured friend, prepared to last at least three days?
  • ****2 gallons/day per person of water, changed every 6 mo.*****
  • non-perishable food
  • first aid kit, flashlight, am radio (kcbs 740 am), fire extinguisher, and small bill cash stash
  • tool to turn off gas (**only turn off if you smell gas**)
  • car always with at least 1/2 tank
  • other useful items: camping stove, tent supplies, matches, garbage bag (can use these in toilet bowl to collect waste).
also it's recommended that you cover under a table (as opposed to doorway as previously recommended, away from slamming doors).
3:14:25 PM  comment []    

Wednesday, December 6, 2006
it's right to bike!
When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.  ~ H.G. Wells

this was a quote on a website for a global warming awareness bike ride across the u.s. 

2:56:56 PM  comment []    

Saturday, November 25, 2006

i just watched an inconvenient truth. al gore definitely got across the urgency of the global warming crisis. it's hard to ignore a map of your home filling in with blue ocean water. there are some crucial tipping points if we don't take this issue very seriously that are going to be hard to recover from.

this got me thinking about burning man. i'm glad this next year's theme is going to be green. so much stuff is burned out there.  the man alone is 76,000 lbs of wood!  i was pleased to find that there are folks--namely scientists who started a project to offset the environmental impact by planting trees and supporting renewable energy sources  (with dairy farmers and native american tribes).

hey. slow down everyone. take a moment to think about your life. do you need to drive, or could you take public transit or ride your bike? what can you do to help?

9:29:30 PM  comment []    

Monday, November 20, 2006
The Electric Car
We have the technology to reduce smog and global warming running cleaner cars but we're not because of greedy profiteers and politics. Very depressing because GM's electric car (now all destroyed) looked like it was well designed and a fun ride! Open your eyes to the car industry underbelly with the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car.

Despite the topic, the film left me hopeful and inspired. My friend Marta turned me onto this cool mini-electric car that's being developed. Meep! Meep!

5:55:09 PM  comment []    

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
i love my neighborhood!
so many great places to go within walking distance of my house!
11:09:03 PM  comment []    

Thursday, October 26, 2006
what's in a name?
After performing an exhaustive search for people with his same first and last name, Alan Berliner invites all 12 of them over for dinner.

Alan Berliner is one of my favorite filmmakers. Brilliant, obsessive, neurotic, and funny as hell. The Sweetest Sound is the only film by him available on Netflix. (His other one, Wide Awake, about his struggle with insomnia and how it connects to his creativity, is in the queue to be released)

I personally could relate to his angst, because I was very upset to learn in my mid-20s that there are other people with both my first and last name. So much of me is wrapped up in my name, how could someone else have it??? How do they say their (my) name, who the hell were they, and why are they using *my* name!!!?? "Get over it" I remember my roommate at the time said, Of course, her name is Maria Smith.
1:56:55 PM  comment []    

Manifest This
In California, it's not uncommon to hear the advice to "manifest your reality." It is a philosophy which says you are in charge of your destiny, all you have to do is imagine it. Sounds good. It's also familiar, because it's basically a repackaging of the American dream myth. Yes, myth, because while this country has allowed a lot of people to re-invent themselves and some become very successful, the large majority are never able to realize their dreams (at minimum wage) no matter how hard they work.

What I dislike the most about this "philosophy" is that it depoliticizes discussions by negating how class, gender, race, etc. impact our lives. No, I do not limit myself because of these categories, but I do face different challenges or privileges because of them. And depending on if something good or bad happened it's self-righteous or blaming. So in this line of thinking: if you are hit by a car or are raped, didn't get the job you wanted, you must have manifested it. If you get the house you dreamed of, you manifested it. It's so appealing to believe in because it gives the illusion of CONTROL.

Here's what I believe: You can create a lot of your reality, both in your brain and external world. And the power of positive thinking can go a long ways. If you sound confident (whether you are or not) people are more likely to put their trust in you, thereby building your own confidence. And once you start setting your intentions in a certain direction, that can open the door to possibilities.

There are also forces/energy outside your control in the outside world (ahhh, chaos, in turn brilliant or terrifying). For example, what if I was born in a part of the world with no access to drinking water? born with no legs? or born a woman in a fundamentalist islamic country? Despite my best manifesting, my reality would be *very* different than it is now.

Ultimately, this whole "manifest"-o is limiting and superficial: the world has so much more to offer than what any of us could ever imagine!
1:31:06 PM  comment []    

Friday, October 20, 2006
sweet little movie with a BIG heart.

thanks, marta!
2:34:49 PM  comment []    

Wednesday, October 18, 2006
books by my bedsite
ronnie gilbert on mother jones--interesting book on labor activist mother jones. little is known about her life, other than the persona she created/embodied fighting for the coal miners and cotton mill workers. ronnie gilbert muses on her lifework, has mock interviews on why she was against the suffrage movement.

anatomy of restlessness--my friend nick says that this book will make me want to travel. bring it on!

the experience of insight--a book on buddisht meditation. i've been chewing away at this one for a few months. very good primer on the subject. thanks vadan!
4:25:35 PM  comment []    

Sunday, October 15, 2006
music is sound that touches
that's a quote from an awesome radio show i listened to yesterday. i'd pass on the link, but i can see that they are waaaayyyyyy behind in their archiving. the show was dedicated to music and neuroscience.
2:39:02 PM  comment []    

Monday, October 9, 2006
goodbye jon...
my friend and colleague jon watanabe died this week. i just saw him last month, seemed as healthy as ever. he was pestering me to get back into radio, as he has been for the past year and a half since i dropped out. i can't quite believe he's gone.

he was a graduate of the kpfa's affirmative action radio training program , which is the same place that i originally trained in radio years before. as one of his mentors, he gave me a piece to critique. it was about a little boy in a wwII japanese internment camp who snuck out on a garbage truck in order to get ice cream in town. i love stories like that, pulling you into the personal (a little boy's desire), revealing the political (lack of freedom and racism).

we went on group trips together, one to the hopi reservation in arizona, another to a conference in chicago. i wish i had pictures of him on these trips, but the computer they were stored on was stolen. such is life.

one of the most memorable moments we had together was when i commissioned (for the radio program i worked for at the time) his first piece for national radio, which went onto win an award. it was about carlos mauricio, a survivor of torture in el salvador. again the personal is political kind of story.

goodbye jon. i'll miss you.
3:55:28 PM  comment []    

Sunday, September 24, 2006
what i am listening to
heard a 30 second sample of ezekiel honig and knew that i had to find more. dangerous because it reminded me about i'd known as a great source for free film clips, but clearly also a spot for music.
11:43:53 AM  comment []    

Thursday, September 14, 2006
30 days
i just watched another episode of 30 days, which is put together by the guy who made "Super Size Me." Gimmicky concept with redeeming value: put clueless people in challenging situations for 30 days.

the one i watched last night was called "off the grid," where they took annoying city folks and stuck them in this eco-community in minnesota called "dancing rabbit." i've heard about "dancing rabbit" for years, so it was neat to see how they run their land: solar power, hu-manure composting toilet, veggie fuel for the car, fire stove for hot shower, grow all their food.

they said if everyone in the u.s. changed one of their lightbulbs to incandescent that's enough to get rid of one nuclear plant. so today i replace the burnt out kitchen bulb with an eco bulb, how exciting! every little bit...

another episode worth watching is the one where they put a devout christian in a muslim community.
9:14:00 AM  comment []    

Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Knowledge of how to prepare:
Flaky and laminated pastry doughs, sweet/rich bun doughs, butter cakes, sponge cakes, butter cookies, meringue, buttercreams, pastry cream.

Pie assembly experience, good manual dexterity and math skills.

Now there's a job description for which I wish I had the skills! This is a position listed at my favorite bakery, crixa. mmmm. tiramisu....

seems odd writing about sweets when the world is such a mess.
10:56:39 AM  comment []    

Thursday, June 22, 2006
Rammed Ass
I've been listening to a Ram Dass tape my friend Erik lent me. I had never heard Ram Dass speak before having his stroke (I highly recommend seeing the documentary on him, Fierce Grace). And his laugh, is one of the most lyrical I've ever heard. Here are few things he mentioned I found useful, in cliffnote form.

*When making a big decision or going through transition, slow down so that you can be in harmony with that decision. When you make a decision with the mind you become unbalanced and that' where the fear is. Wait until it's ripe, like a fruit being picked from a tree. Enjoy the process, the getting there should be as fun as the end product.

*yogic love takes a lot of time and commitment to truth-telling.

*expand to include within self the outside world. A boundaryless way of being in the universe is masked by the mind which is connected to our separateness.

*an empty place in the head is the best place for listening.

*stay with truth, not consistency, even if others do not understand.
9:54:09 AM  comment []    

new world of groove
my friend scott just turned me onto pandora. i am just starting to play around with it, but i can quickly see that it is a dangerous place. you put in music you like, the music genome project (what an awesome name!) analyzes the musical qualities of each song. i.e. "highly synthetic sonority, subtle use of noise effects, trippy soundscapes, prevalent use of groove" and creates a station based on these traits.

right now i am listening to my new station based on plaid. garooovey!
9:15:35 AM  comment []    

Sunday, June 18, 2006
ideas for living life large and cheap.
here are my most recent ways of living cheap(er):

*ushering to see plays or dance for free

*work exchange at yoga studio

*making food at home, only allowing for fresh vegetables, otherwise i must use up what i already have in the house. this has spawned some creative and tasty meals.

*biking everywhere (next step is to sell car, still chewing on that one)

any more ideas?
9:04:47 PM  comment []    

Friday, June 2, 2006
East Bay Creative Re-Use Center
great place for getting rid of silly piles of stuff for never appearing art projects.

also great for making silly art projects! big letter stickers, piles of mah-jong sets, and photos of people you'll never know. dirt cheap.
2:07:43 PM  comment []    

My Two Invisible Tatoos
on the right index finger: buck up the left: let go

i have too much stuff. well, probably not compared to most, but as i get ready for move #4 in the past year and a half, i am trying to purge things that are literally weighing me down. oh the mind demons i am fighting. i am definitely the 'what if' kind of gal, but that's a burden. hence the finger tatoos.

how far will i go? we shall see. i've got some help (from my local library) clear your clutter with feng shui by Karen Kingston. Yes, it has some silly stories about people who've cleared their stuff and then won the lottery. but it also has very practical advice for those like me who put way too much energy and fear onto every item. letting go of the old invites in new.
2:02:30 PM  comment []    


get and give away stuff for free
12:46:58 AM  comment []    

Friday, May 12, 2006
the light in me sees the light in you
10:47:45 AM  comment []    

OM mason jar project
i carry around a glass mason jar for drinking water. yes, it takes a little planning ahead, fill the jar up with filtered tap water at beginning of day, but not a big whoop once it's part of routine. here's why i love my jar:

*save lots of money by not buying bottled water (how did we get snookered into buying water?!)

*supports water as a public right--not a commodity for private companies.

*completely re-usable. even if you recycle the plastic, it's toxic to recycle, and is only re-used once (i.e. sent to china and turned into a jacket) landing right back into the landfill.

*no standards on the bottled water, so not necessarily without chemicals.

*plastic bottles, even the nalgene, leaches into the water. it's an estrogen mimicker. ickk.

*people ask about my jar (with cute turtle sticker on it), so it's a good moment to connect and share another way of being on the planet.

*it's nice to drink outta glass, tastes better.

i've been giving friends the jars with an 'om' sticker on it. so if Masuro Emoto is correct, then they are drinking peace. in any case, i like the symbolism.
10:47:06 AM  comment []    


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