Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
5. Teenagers who are actually not gang members get to act like big, dangerous thugs for being from there. Or even from near there. Or even from El Cerrito.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Some potholes near the Myrtle Street Review Headquarters have turned into magical portals, with messages from the Netherworld.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Artist, Writers, Musicians, Performers: Need a way to bankroll your great idea?
Come to Sugar Mama!
We provide wholesome, hearty, home-baked, all-natural microfinancing for artists, and we put the fun back in funding.
What it is
Sugar Mama is a fun-hearted, unpretentious microfinancing event for visual and performing artists.
How it works
We host a cool party at the Myrtle Street Review Headquarters in West Oakland. We sell the tickets. You − and 5 other finalists − give a 10-minute proposal to show the audience your project. The party guests eat soup, drink beer, and vote on which project to fund. The winner takes the proceeds to fund a project. (Tickets sell for $25-35, and we expect to sell 40-50 tickets.)
What you get (if you’re a finalist)
If you win the vote, you’ll receive the evening’s proceeds to fund your project.
If you don't win, you'll still get to meet 40-50 really cool people who want to support artists, may be artists themselves, and are interested in getting to know you and your work.
How to enter
Send a brief proposal to sugarmamaparty at gmail dot com. Please cover all these bases:
- Your name
- Your contact info
- Tell us what you’ll do with your Sugar Mama grant (Include a general description of the project you’d like to fund and a list of items/supplies/services you’ll spend the money on and their estimated costs.)
- Give us a little background information about what you’ve been working on that led you to this project and how your idea unfolded.
- Include images, audio, video or a url that will give us a good sense of your general style and/or a project you’ve completed in the recent past.
- Paste or attach your artist’s resume/bio. (Your resume will not weigh heavily in the selection process. We’ll use it mainly to cull a few highlights so we can better introduce you to our guests.)
Entry deadline: June 3
Act now! The first 10 submissions will enjoy slightly higher priority.
What we’ll ask for later
We’ll ask the grand-prize winner to keep us posted with news and photos/video/web site of your project in progress and upon completion.
What’s the deal?
We’re not a public agency. We’re not a non-profit organization. We’re two well-connected individuals, Sussu Laaksonen and Kris Vagner, combining our resources. We heard about Sloup on NPR and promptly decided to copy the excellent concept.
Sugar Mama's mission is to make being an arts patron fun, easy and accessible to everyone and to fund cool projects quickly, easily, directly and democratically.
Sussu Laaksonen is a script writer with hundreds of hours of Finnish television programming and two screenplays to her credit. Currently she’s working on a Finnish feature film called “Like There's No Tomorrow” (Kuin viimeistä päivää) for , a TV series concept, and a feature project that's still a secret. Sussu’s are listed under Susanna Laaksonen, her legal name. You can reach her at sussubot at gmail dot com.
Kris Vagner is the former Co-owner and Programs Director of Fireplace Gallery in Reno. She specializes in connecting artists with new audiences and illuminating the inner-workings of artists, exhibits and arts institutions for a general readership. She covers San Francisco art and culture for the SF Examiner and has written for Oats Park Art Center, Johansson Projects Gallery, East Bay Express, The Oakbook, Reno News & Review, Neon, Ceramics Monthly and other publications. For links to recent articles, please visit www.krisvagner.blogspot.com. You can reach her at kris at vagner dot net.
Why do we do it?
Brooklyn has FEAST. Portland has Stock. St. Louis has Sloup. We heard about Sloup on NPR’s Marketplace, drank some wine on Sussu’s roof and cooked up our own version of the party-as-arts-funding plan. Now Oakland has Sugar Mama.
We've been in the position of needing just a little funding to do something we believe in. We've also been patrons of the arts when we can afford it. We believe in supporting other artists and creating enthusiastic community. Sugar Mama is a way of bringing together the things we love to do, and some of the cool people we like to do them with.
We’d love to hear from you. Contact us at sugarmamaparty at gmail dot com.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Well what do you know, now the tree in the middle of the Myrtle Street Review Guerrilla Garden is bearing fruit of poetry. Here's the current poem (which originated from Stephanie Stolorow's yoga class at Square One). If you'd like to pick the fruit, find this tree and just take it. I bet a new one will pop up!
One day the sun admitted:
I am just a shadow.
I wish I could show you
the infinite incandescence
that has cast my brilliant image.
I wish I could show you,
when you are lonely or in darkness,
the astonishing light
of your own being.
- Hafiz, a 14th century Persian poet
Friday, April 9, 2010
George Nissen, builder of the world's first trampoline, died today at age 96. He lived to such a high age, no doubt, due to the exhilarating and fitness-enhancing powers of the trampoline. It's a good thing we have a trampoline on our roof to jump on.
George Nissen was trampolining (or tumbling, as the official sport is called) almost to the end of his life.
In 2008, he said "I feel that I should have never left the sport. I should have remained as a coach or something involved in the sport as a profession. I love this sport, and it is the single most exciting thing that I have ever done in my life. When I was active in the sport I woke up every day with a smile on my face, a goal in my head, and a positive attitude on how the day was going to go."
He thought that giving up on the most fun thing in his life, and following others' advise to have a sensible professional career, was his biggest mistake. That's something to think about.
This guy called Paul made a bike trailer house for Burning Man. It has wind turbine power, a solar cooker and solar water heating. You can read about it and see pictures here.
Since a lot of people liked it, he had a design challenge on his blog for people to create a mobile home for homeless people, that you could use as a pushcart for recycling collection by day, and as a shelter for sleeping and living for night. It has a toilet, cooler, cooker, and everything. Incredible. I'd still prefer that homeless people have homes, but I guess this could be like a band-aid until then.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I miss those scraper bike guys, too, I wish they'd ride around the neighborhood again!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I don't usually blog about businesses - there are lots of great Oakland blogs featuring our local small businesses and their offerings, and I love to read those and try to always support local when I can. Since that area is covered by so many talented, enthusiastic bloggers I don't feel like there is a need for me to be in that niche.
The reason I'm going to make an exception and write a little bit about Square One Yoga Collective (in Emeryville, a mere 2 miles from my house) is that for me, they are such a great representation of a trend I believe in and see as the way of the future. Square One looks to me like a business that is a strong, authentic expression of a person's beliefs and mission. The business is oddly stripped of "appearances" and that vaguely annoying and fake feeling that comes when yoga studios and other businesses are trying to be something that they think they should be to get my attention. You know that feeling you get when a yoga teacher is giving you "spiritual" teaching despite clearly being an ego-driven mess themselves? Or when a restaurant is so enthusiastic about its superiority you know that they don't actually buy their own hype? That awful saccharine taste of Marketing? It's so last decade. Last century, even.
I have been reading the blog by Square One's owner, Katy, and reveling in the naked realness of it. This is near-complete transparency. I have never before been a customer of anyone who so frankly shared the annoyances, triumphs, insecurities, and daily grind of being a business owner. She's not trying to make it pretty for fear that her customers can't handle real.
It's powerful. It's not why I've chosen this yoga studio - I like the studio and the teachers and think that they offer excellent value for my money - but it's incredibly liberating for me as a customer and student. It builds trust, because I feel like I am not paying for a fake image, I am just paying for a service that I appreciate. The lack of frills and the startling honesty may be why I commit to this yoga studio.
In a world full of people trying too hard, it's truly refreshing to engage with people who are just honestly trying.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
A brief message stating "Suck ma balls" elicited this fantastic response from a random poet in the Myrtle Street Review Live Notebook:
Long day running
that sharp cactus
so calm and
is good too.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
This is due to weather and other conditions in the netherworld - as I wrote earlier, everything there is upside down to us, so their water pressure and stomping herds of dead livestock push things out on our side of reality.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Pothole gardening is the way of the future. I've guerrilla gardened the square of dirt around the tree in the sidewalk in front of our door, and this is where I'll take my efforts next. Join me in a silent, and really pretty, demonstration!
Monday, March 1, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Objects to bury around West Oakland to confuse future archaeologists: (all these can be found at our house)
Monday, January 4, 2010
The break-up predicted by Panarin would be the result of mass immigration, economic decline and moral degradation, all of which would trigger a second American civil war, and the collapse of the dollar. This would then lead to the break-up of the United States, by mid-2010, into half a dozen regional sub-entities. These would be dominated or absorbed outright by foreign powers.
- Alaska would revert to Russia, and Hawaii would become Chinese or Japanese.
- The West Coast (the three Pacific states, joined with Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Arizona in a Californian Republic), would fall to China or at least be under Chinese influence.
- A Texas Republic, which would also include New Mexico, Oklahoma and all the other traditionally southern states (except the Carolinas, the Virginias, Kentucky and Tennessee), would similarly be either directly or indirectly under the sway of Mexico.
- The aforementioned southern exceptions would join the northeastern states in forming a bloc that might join the European Union.
- The rest – all midwestern and western states – would be at Canada’s mercy.
Item spotted on Strange Maps.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
The Auschwitz Arbeit Mach Frei sign theft was organized by Swedish Neo-nazis, on commission from a wealthy British collector. The Neo-nazis were going to fund terrorism attacks in Sweden with the proceeds.
Which gives me some ideas. Since right wing loonies are hungry for terrorism cash and largely not in the top intellectual percentile, let's all start pretending to be wealthy evil masterminds and sending them on wild goose chases after crazy shit that will get them caught!
Go steal the Hope Diamond! Donald Trump's hairpiece! Dick Cheney's rifle! Go smuggle Barbies into North Korea! I'll pay you ten million as soon as you're done, I promise.
Speaking of Cheney, for being completely irrelevant these people sure manage to get press.
Photo from Mean Streets.