Monday, August 31, 2009

outside lands festival

I've been a Pearl Jam fan, in all of my anger and angst, for the better part of my teenage and adult life; have listened to their live recordings and imagined being at one o' their shows somewhere in the world- in Boston, Seattle, Verona, Prague. This past Friday night at the Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park, I finally saw Pearl Jam perform live for the first time. I was very, very far away from the stage, most of my fellow fans were blazed out of their minds, it was the end of a long week, and Eddie Vedder was just as unintelligible as expected. It was great. AND I can honestly say that I enjoyed myself more dancing to the only other band I got to see that night, a super fun Mexican band called Kinky (top photo) introduced to me by my friend Adam. I used to see a lot of bands live, and not so much anymore, but each and every show brings new bands to know, new albums to buy. Heart-thumping thrilling every time.

theme of the week: 31.aug.09


Sunday, August 30, 2009

My diptych choice based on Bonnie's theme "on the road":

(click for bigger version)
washed up

The idols of the elephant god, Ganpati, are taken to the ocean to be deposited as the final act of a week long festival with fanfare and lavish rituals. Invariably, though, some don't make it to the bottom of the sea. The next day, on my walk to the beach, I encountered countless "decomposed" idols. They looked morbid, sad, and sacrilegious.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

dancing in the streets

Friday, August 28, 2009

sand dunes at sunset

Last night I crossed the Bay Bridge into San Francisco to meet up with my friend Amy at Ocean Beach. Got there just in time for sunset. We sat and talked about the color of the sky, the flight patterns of the birds. Ocean Beach is one of my favorite places on earth. I needed it. I really, really needed it.

And now, friends, off to the Outside Lands Festival....

label reads:

I am so pure I make a wordly-worn out cliché like "pure" seem new again. So pristine, I could have only survived twelve hundred meters above the rest of the world. So removed, the only things I've been in contact before you are sun, wind, earth, and snow. I am one of the purest things you've laid your hands on. I hope you're thirsty.

Plus, it's called "Himalayan." Genius, really. Who wouldn't want to put this to their lips after reading that? Also worth mentioning is that this bottled water is distributed by India's largest business group and multinational company, Tata.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

breakfast with joey

Introducing Mansi

Say hello to this beauty. My harmonium, Mansi, got here today. From a mini photo shoot:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Today flags flew at half-mast to honor the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

i am not trying to start a food blog, but

Lately I've been obsessed with tomatoes like Shelley's been obsessed with Juhu Beach. This is amazing only because I used to feel about raw tomato the way someone might feel about, say, raw bacon- like maaaaybe I'd eat it if it were mixed in with a whole bunch of other stuff and slathered in Ranch dressing and you could guarantee to me that I wouldn't die afterward, but really now, why not cook it first? Then I discovered that good tomatoes actually taste good. So in loving tribute, I made some pasta with raw tomato last night (out of this cookbook).

It was pretty bomb. And now I swear I'll stop being one of those people who make food and then take photos of their food. Unless I make something like this, in which case I will be taking LOTS of photos of my food.

One year old Jiya in a birdcage swing

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ganpati Festival

Today was the start of the Ganpati festival which is a huge deal in Maharashtra. Ganpatiji's statue was specially made and then welcomed into the home today, first day of the festival. There was a big ceremony this morning (the floor was painted with footprints as if he'd walked in on his own) and there will be events this whole week. The culmination is in seven days and will involve a parade to the ocean...! I don't know much more than that, but based on how it started off, I'm sure it will be extravagant. I'm posting an unusual number of photos, but know that this is just 1% of the pics I took and this as much as I could narrow it down despite my best efforts. ;-)

theme of the week: 23.aug.09

"on the road"

Saturday, August 22, 2009

sand sand

I went to Juhu (again) and took lots of pics (again). I can't' help myself! But I promise that I will try and diversify soon. In the meantime, what I noticed today is all the intricate designs that the sand makes. I hung out, nose inches from the sand, bent over in curiosity, for at least half an hour walking all over the beach looking at the sand and trying to figure out what they reminded me of. The designs look so organic, so spontaneous and at the same time like they have been carefully formed, and intricately designed. How??

The first one: Is it a patch of trees on the edge of a lake and their reflection? The "branches" look so much like roots, too. Or veins. Or capillaries. Or an aerial view of a delta with little river estuaries spreading out into the sea. Or like snowflake designs. And probably so many other perfectly designed things on this green earth of God's.

The second one: Another aerial view but of the Rocky Mountains? Is there a valley in there somewhere? There's water running over some of the sand in the frame and the slowed shutter speed makes that area look like muscle tissue. And probably a whole bunch of other things. I was fascinated like whoa.

Friday, August 21, 2009

farmer's market bounty

I finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a little while ago. Haven't read Michael Pollan yet, but he's next on my reading list. I'm re-reminded of why it feels important to me to support local farmers and sustainable food sources. Kingsolver does a super job of addressing a lot of the myths associated with eating locally, such as that it's more expensive (it's not), that buying imported produce somehow helps poor farmers (instead of, say, Dole Corp.), or that it just doesn't matter.

If anything, I'm busy enough that Safeway can kinda have its appeal--not to mention that I get to sample the gummy bears out of the candy bins... shhhh--but when I can make it to the farmers market, it's a total pleasure to sort through 8712 different varieties of locally grown fruits. And the samples of organic peaches are ACTUALLY free, not just... you know, "free."
can't get enough

oh, beach, I don't understand how you keep looking more and more magical.

I don't know what they're carrying in the first pic, but I couldn't resist the silhouette.

In the second pic, I saw a washed up piece of cloth or a plastic bag that was blending in so beautifully with the sand.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

view from autorickshaw

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"my" entrance to the beach

It's not exactly mine, but i like to think so because everytime i walk down this ramp, it's like being there for the first time. I get the same tinge of excitement and there's always a possibility to encounter the unknown, something new. I took this on my morning walk today. Have i mentioned that i get to see the ocean everyday?


A couple of months ago, I won a furious bid for a Minolta XG-M on eBay (which, by the way, is a pretty ingenious concept- auctions, I mean. People like winning things, right? So an auction essentially frames things as "Congratulations! You've won the right to pay for something!!!" And I actually get excited). I've since fallen in love with the camera and it's been treating me well. If it weren't for the fact that I have to pay to get film developed, the Minolta and I would probably be monogamous. Alas......

Anyway, I just developed my first few rolls of film off of the camera yesterday. I love that film doesn't offer instant gratification- that it can be days or weeks or months before you see the photos that you thought worthwhile to shoot old-skool style. That there are no take-overs. That you are inevitably surprised by the photos that you took and how they turned out. There's always the photo you don't remember taking. And the photo you were really excited about that ends up being all underexposed, dammit. And the last frame on the roll that more often than not ends up being one of the hottest photos ever taken, y'know?

I shot many of these film photos last week in California's Anderson Valley, where a whole crew of friends and I vacationed for a week leading up to two dear friends' wedding. Looking at these photos makes me so happy, in part because I got to experience the unexpected when I saw them for the first time and to remember some perfect moments.

It was a whirlwind week. Among many other things, I... lay out under an epic night sky and watched a meteor shower; celebrated my birthday with 40 friends (it was a night so overwhelming and love-filled that I cried so hard I couldn't breathe); biked a total of 110 miles along ocean, redwoods, vineyards and sheep; helped to organize a Grilled Cheese Invitational; participated in a Little Mermaid singalong; did a lot of singing, talking, crying, celebrating, shit talking, eating, coffee drinking, and chillin like a villian; and attended one of the most beautiful, heartfelt weddings I will ever hope to participate in. A couple of mementos: