Monday, December 27, 2004

Jews and Movies: A Christmas made in Hollywood Heaven

Being Jewish has a lot of advantages, especially at Christmas time. There are no obligations, there's time off from work, which means plenty of time to go to the movies!
I saw two movies, at two very different theaters.
First, M. and I went to the Clay to see Bad Education (La mala educacion). It was great, everything about it was great, Almodovar first of all, so you can't go wrong, and a strong cast led by Fele Martinez and the beautiful and talented Gael Garcia Bernal. Lovely camera work, colors, etc.
We had a good time. Also, there were some pretty good trailers.
Second, I went with D. and H. to see The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou at the Metreon. D. had gotten tickets ahead of time (THANKS, D.!) and we met up near the Chronicle Books display. I'd been paging through the new book of Rock and Roll posters. Definitely worth a look. Anyway, we got seats in the mammoth theater, and then were basically held hostage by commercials for 1/2 an hour. But the movie, once it finally started, was hilarious and heartfelt. I think any Wes Anderson fan would like it. Bill Murray just gets better and better, far as I'm concerned, too.
Anyway, no excuses, there are good movies out there and I plan to see both of these again!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Best News of 2004

Baby sister just got an acceptance letter to Wheelock College.
We are all incredibly proud of her!
You are the best, Kate, the best!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Bus Report #34

Or rather, as April put it so aptly, a 'bus family' report.
This Sunday, I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in the Sadie's Flying Elephant Crafty Bitches craft fair. Applause to Jessie Jane for setting it all up.
Anyway, I get down to Sadie's with all my gear (on a pretty empty 33 Stanyan bus) and snag a table.
And the girl at the table beside me was a fellow 22 rider. She gets on at Guerrero and off at Bryant. We recognized each other immediately and formally introduced ourselves.
Once the fair was at full swing, I noticed another fellow rider browsing some tables.
She gets on at Duboce and gets off a stop before I do.
My neighbor and I both said, "hey, you're from my bus!" and she smiled and agreed. Another round of handshakes and introductions.
This morning on my way to work, the girl from the next booth over waved and said hi as she snagged her seat.
The 22 Fillmore team is getting bigger and bigger. I love it.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Bus Report #33

The other night it started pouring right as I left Trader Joe's, laden with things for my party. I ran for a very crowded 38 and slipped into a seat. Across from me sat The Scribbler, a balding middle aged man who fills about 5 notebook pages a bus ride (from Fillmore to 12th, about 10 minutes), a young woman with a henna tattoo on her hand and several surly-looking men and women, struggling with wet umbrellas and shopping bags. A woman sat next to me talking very loudly in Tagalog into a cell phone. she was talking so loud that she probably could have been heard by her friend all the way across town.
After her phone call, she smiled at the woman with the henna tattoo and told her she liked her lipstick.
The woman with the henna tattoo smiled back, said thank you, then said she wasn't wearing any lipstick. The loud talking lady then asked about the tattoo, and then the Scribbler complimented it, and the three of them had a lively discussion about henna tattoos, marriage and work. It was so cute I kept smiling at them all.
At my bus stop, the henna tattoo woman got out, too. The rain was really coming down and she invited me to share her umbrella. Turns out she lives one block away.
It was a sweet San Francisco MUNI moment. 4 people, one bus and some rain.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Oh, Channukah!

My annual Channukah party is this Friday, and in preparation for this fun and festive event I thought I'd share some observations.

1. Cultural Non-Sensicality/Sensitivity
The major super market chains continue to show their complete cultural incompetence this season. The culprits include Safeway and Cala Food. The stores that have Channukah themed displays still get it wrong. The displays are stocked with Channukah candles and Kedem wine and Latke mix, but they also have Matzah, Matzah meal, Gefilte fish and Yahrzeit candles. Even the most un-Jewish of Jewish people will tell you that the last 4 items are not for Channukah. They're for Passover, a spring holiday and Yahrzeit candles are for commemorating anniversaries of deaths. How very holiday spirited...
The displays do not have Channukah gelt, the foil wrapped chocolate coins that are so tasty.I found them in Cost Plus and Smart & Final, and that's it.

2. Dearth of the Dreidl
I like to give out Dreidls at my Channukah parties. Two years ago I gave out glass ones, last year it was wood and I was hoping for the little plastic ones this year. DENIED. I found 5 at the JCC but those were the last 5. No luck anywhere else yet, either. The JCC suggested synagogue gift shops but I can never get home in time to check those out. So if you're coming over this year, you will get left over wooden ones or you can fight over the 5 plastic ones.

3. Hip Hop Hudios
The Professor called me the other night to share a special holiday treat with me. He was at the Los Angeles Amoeba Records and found an album entitled, "Hip Hop Hudios".
Judios means Jews in Spanish, and the album is done by a collective of rock en espanol (and english) hip hop and rock musicians (If I have this right, it's guys from Jaguares, Orixa and a few other groups.)
He played a few selections for me, most memorably 'Havana Nagila' and 'kike on a bike'.
How funny!
If you know The Professor, be ware: he will probably send this to you this holiday season.

Happy second night of Channukah.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Bus Report #32

Last night I rode an earlier 22 than usual, and ended up chatting with a guy that works in my building. I was embarrassed to admit that even though we have met before I had forgotten his name.
I also saw the rocking-out-on-huge-headphones-guy, not to be confused with headphones-guy, who's name is Jason. R-o-o-h-h-guy always looks content, a little sleepy, and he always smiles. At the driver, at me, at whoever. He is nice. And when his CD player is on, he bobs his head and rolls his shoulders. It's funny.
Back in the neighborhood the accordion player was playing Home On The Range. The previous night it was "I'm looking for a four leaf clover". His repertoire is not big but what he knows he bellows quite loudly.
Even the screaming 5 year olds at Giorgio's couldn't drown him out.
The sunset was pink and green. Beautiful.