Off to Egypt!

image uploaded to latimes.com by Irvine res­i­dent

The hills around my office are on fire. Part of a huge firestorm in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. The air is filled with smoke, and close to half a mil­lion peo­ple have been evac­u­at­ed from their homes in sur­round­ing areas, but life remains strange­ly famil­iar. The dusky sun­light gives an eerie cast to the day, but busi­ness­es are open here and peo­ple are out doing errands while ash snows down on their heads.

Amid all the con­fu­sion and chaos, I am still pack­ing and prepar­ing for a vaca­tion to Egypt. My ordi­nary life has become sur­round­ed by the remark­able and extra­or­di­nary, so the nor­mal antic­i­pa­tion has been turned side­ways. I am no longer escap­ing a nor­mal life and return­ing to a nor­mal life. The incred­i­ble things I’ll see as part of my trav­els will dove­tail with the incred­i­ble things I am see­ing on tele­vi­sion and out my win­dow.

I won­der how this will all fit togeth­er in my mem­o­ries.

Good luck, René and Sandy!

101-0180_IMG.jpgI have just learned that my friend and band­mate, Rene, is mov­ing back to NYC to attend nurs­ing school. His part­ner, Sandy, is also going to be leav­ing Cal­i­for­nia for New York to start school. I know that Rene must be excit­ed to be going back to New York, even though he’ll miss San Fran­cis­co. You will both be missed.

…and cil­ia enters yet anoth­er chap­ter in its geo­graph­i­cal expan­sion…

May 1, 2006 Action

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05–01-06_1552.jpg,
orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by mon­de­li­cious.

It was my priv­i­lege to march with 8000 to 10,000 peo­ple (The Los Ange­les Times web­site reports 10,000 to 15,000) in a pro-immi­grant ral­ly in San­ta Ana. Small­er in scale than the mas­sive ral­lies in Los Ange­les and oth­er cities, but still inspir­ing.

A quick glance at the online cov­er­age of the event reveals that there were about 60 counter pro­test­ers, but I did not encounter any.

Dubbed The Great Amer­i­can Boy­cott 2006, or A Day With­out an Immi­grant, this call to action is hoped to spread aware­ness of, and to protest against, recent immi­gra­tion law reforms. Peo­ple were encour­aged to stay home from work or school, and to refrain from buy­ing or sell­ing any­thing today in order to demon­strate the sig­nif­i­cant eco­nom­ic con­tri­bu­tions of immi­grants in this coun­try.

The cat­a­lyst for the wave of immi­gra­tion pol­i­cy protests is The Bor­der Pro­tec­tion, Antiter­ror­ism, and Ille­gal Immi­gra­tion Con­trol Act of 2005, aka H.R. 4437 (wiki). The result of this bill would be the cre­ation of mil­lions of felons and increased spend­ing on bor­der pro­tec­tion, in the form of 700 miles of fence. As Bill Hing of UC Davis School of Law points out in his arti­cle, The Moral Choice in Immi­gra­tion Pol­i­cy, fences and the increas­ing mil­i­ta­riza­tion of the bor­der have not been effec­tive deter­rents to ille­gal immi­gra­tion.

I am not sure that I can real­ly claim that blan­ket amnesty would be a wise idea, but I am deeply trou­bled by the bill as it stands and I do not believe that it will make any of us safer.

More info about the bill can be found here.

My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)

TotoroI have been on a Stu­dio Ghi­b­li mini-ben­der this week, in cel­e­bra­tion of the fact that My Neigh­bor Totoro has final­ly been re-released on dvd, with a new Eng­lish dub and the Japan­ese sound­track.

My Neigh­bor Totoro is eas­i­ly one of my favorite Stu­dio Ghi­b­li films. The Eng­lish sound­track from the US VHS release was def­i­nite­ly a bit screechy and left a lot to be desired, but it nev­er pre­vent­ed me from falling in love with the movie. What a dis­ap­point­ment it was when I learned that the Fox dvd release includ­ed nei­ther the Japan­ese sound­track nor Eng­lish sub­ti­tles. The Dis­ney re-release promis­es to be all that I had been hop­ing for. I am anx­ious­ly await­ing deliv­ery from Ama­zon.

In the mean­time, I amused myself with Howl’s Mov­ing Cas­tle and Pom Poko.
Con­tin­ue read­ing “My Neigh­bor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)”