Mark Your Calendars

Mark Your Calendars

Today I received an invitation to a friend’s annual Chinese New Year’s party.  The e-vite promises the opportunity to “come hone your dumpling making skills, learn a little more about your Chinese horoscope, get a red envelope and a tarot reading.”  It also woos those with children by promising an origami table (good thing, since last year one idle toddler made off with my shoes).

While seeing a street in San Francisco’s Chinatown adorned with Southwest Airline banners announcing the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade isn’t the most authentic way to honor the upcoming celebration, I couldn’t get to Chinatown’s grocery stores to catch a shot of moms and grandmothers filling baskets in preparation for the celebration’s dining experience.

The Chinese New Year begins February 18, 2007. Mark or otherwise note it in your calendar.

Chinatown

© Laura Genao 2007

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Going Away, Coming Home

Going Away, Coming Home

I really like public art.  Going Away, Coming Home by Hung Liu is a 150 foot glass mural sitting in Oakland’s airport.  It’s got two panes of glass with both sides hand painted, airbrushed or photo etched with an overlay of digital photos of California’s coast and the Asian Pacific. 

Going Away, Coming Home

© Laura Genao 2007

Las Gallinas Feroces

Las Gallinas Feroces

My mother and I take evening walks in my neighborhood.  As we walked one night last week, my mother looked toward a wooded area on our route and then announced, “un día me gustaría ver una de esas gallinas feroces.”  My response to her request to see a ferocious chicken must have been a very confused look, because she quickly clarified, “tu sabes, el tipo que dicen que se hechan a los leones.”

I looked at my mother, and then at the hillside, and then back at my mother.  “There are gallinas that attack lions?” I asked.

“Si,” she responded.  Still sensing my confusion she added, “tu sabes, las que salen en ese canal de los animales que te gusta.”

It was only after her reference to the Discovery Channel and my fascination with wild animal documentaries that I recognized she had mistaken the word “hyena” for “gallina.” 

And here I was hoping that an issue in my local city council race would be the ferocious chickens out to terrorize the neighborhood.

© Laura Genao 2007

Pray for Shackleton

Pray for Shackleton

I’m reading Endurance–Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage which is about a group of explorers who get stranded in Antarctica when their ship (the Endurance) gets crushed by ice.  I also happen to be thinking about the qualities possessed by effective leaders.  With those two things in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to come across this passage describing a tribute paid to Ernest Shackleton, the Endurance’s captain.

For scientific leadership give me Scott; for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen; but when you are in a hopeless situation, when there seems no way out, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.

Now that seems like a leader worth having on your side.

© Laura Genao 2007

Morrissey on a Tuesday

Morrissey on a Tuesday

While I appreciate hearing Mikel Erentxun’s rendition of “Esta luz nunca se apagará” from time to time, it does not bring a smile to my face like hearing anything by The Smiths.  My early morning foul mood was, ironically, brightened by hearing Morrissey signing “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.”

© Laura Genao 2007