SubDrift: free-for-all open mic and Desi love fest made wonderful by warmth, camaraderie, and a really awesome quality of performance. This particular evening was NYC SubDrift March 2013. I test-drove a bit of my book with a South Asian audience for the first time and was pleased to find it grip despite the fact that it’s the stuff of our daily lives — the one early S. Asian reader commented that I was writing for clueless white people.

Speaking across cultures seems a reasonable mission statement to me. I grew up in a town where half the population and many of my close friends were Chinese, and yet learned things from The Joy Luck Club I hadn’t known. So I chose, in many places in my book, to state the obvious. There was the possibility of this audience reacting with terminal boredom, but that is not what happen. I am pleasantly surprised

This evening was also my coming out as an auntie-at-large in the diaspora, and considering what Desi aunties can do, it was greeted surprisingly cordially. Possibly because I let on about the secret of our culture: at 30 you get to start thinking what you want, at 40 you occasionally get to do what you want, and at 50 you’ve turned into the enemy (an auntie, or, presumably, an uncle) and can tell other people what to do.

Also my favorite adopted niece gave me chocolate, so all in all it was a fun evening.

coppahead’s deviantART gallery

Brilliant black & white portraits from a young Malaysian photographer and Red Cross relief worker who spent this long weekend locked down with his colleagues in their base because of random shootings and kidnappings. Do check them out. The people are radiant. And send a good thought to the photographer.

EcoDesign’s art from lottery tickets

Facebook gallery link: “Artist collective Ghost of a Dream uses discarded lottery tickets to create brilliant installations of what lottery winner just might buy with all that cold hard cash. The installation above features over $70,000 worth of discarded lottery tickets to create the ultimate ‘Dream Home’ full of expensive art, antique furniture, and of course a lottery ticket encrusted chandelier.”

For the non color phobic. I think it’s gorgeous.

Glorious “soup boys”

Soup song na love failure song. Soup boys na kadhal tholvi adaindha bangam boys. Doubt clear aa ? God bless.

Which in English means β€œSoup song means failure of love. Soup boys are guys who get rejected in love. Are your doubts cleared? God bless.” (from Danush’s twitter stream via a Indian movie blog) Enjoy. Movie expected mid-Jan, so now I know what I’m doing on that date.

The flu and the Gita

Oh goody. I can hazz flu now?

Heading back to bed. Would take a copy of the Gita but one is on storage and the other in CT. In other news, there is a line in Farrell Brickhouse‘s artist statement that is almost exactly like a quote from the Bhagavadita (Prabahananda-Isherwood translation). Wanted to look it up. G’night.

Panic in the Zero Decade

Where we are now comes from where we went on and after 9/11. The ‘new now’. Here are raw and honest journal entries & sketches from a Brooklyn artist who was at work at WTC on that morning: the decade of our transformation, through a raw and honest human prism.

Thank youΒ Lawrence Swan. (I have been reading these for several weeks now.)

Return from San Luis Obispo

1K miles driven under CA’s luminist skies. Ocean, coast, mountain and central valley in stunning vistas, intoxicating new-baby pheromones and fragrance of spit-up, mimosas in the night and robust western wine at the table with equally robust Chinese duck. An old friend’s embrace. A new friend’s sweetness. A sweetness of friends all round, in fact. I am refreshed.

And now the next lap…

The non-fairytale version … would also include: crossing the coastal mountains at dusk and dark, in the rain, with winds gusting to a gale, wiper blades that turned out to be worn (a borrowed car), brights that didn’t work, and getting desperately sleepy at the wheel. One would also have to remember the old friend’s parting embrace and – from the sublime to the ridiculous – much bad highway food.