Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

forest frog oviducts

coconut juice sweets
with forest frog's oviducts
what the hell is this?

phoenix rising in beijing

out of the Wuhan ashes...

tofu, shrooms galore
organic greens, local farms
not cooked in pork fat

... Wow!

generic shop

tell it like it is
don't even try to stand out
fire the marketer

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mid-Autumn Festival at Wuhan airport

stormy afternoon
ramen, moon cake, juice for lunch
watching planes take off

a bird in Wuhan

amidst soot and noise
a bird issues an urgent song
remember, i'm here

the inconvenient truth

in Wuhan twilight
tree leaves collect toxic dust
heavy red sun sets

street scene in Wuhan

[above: the street scene right outside my cheap hotel. Note the Wuhan Dude look at the trunk of one of the turquoise taxis: t-shirt or tank pulled up to the nipples and belly hanging out. It's very popular these days.]

heat index 110
i can feel my brain melting
trapped in hotel room

Wuhan alleyway

through an alleyway
i saw the rest of China
crumbling concrete walls

one-room families
young boys smoking cigarettes
grandmas sorting trash

amidst smoke and stink
irrepressibly human
people laugh and play

Friday, September 17, 2010

squat n knit

waiting for small shifts
in this giant human mass
gives meaning to time

from Inner Mongolia Prairie regards

mongolian beef
a gift from the TB ward
dead weight in my bag

haiku pen

good time! lies run sprints
but the truth runs marathons
haiku from a pen

(watch out: i found the cute stuff store in my hotel's 'hood in Wuhan!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

on a stick

street food in Wuhan
sweating over a hot grill
all for 20 cents

warmly greeting from Wuhan

Wuhan Infectious Disease Hospital

i am super squirrel
storing it all in my cheeks
leaping tree to tree

here i come to save the day
PPTs are on their way

(too bad squirrels are mostly ignored)

Hangzhou No. 6 People's Hospital HIV department

after a workshop
Hangzhou 6 HIV crew
i'm the one with teeth

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hangzhou traffic at 6 am

rainy september
one of the four furnaces
Hangzhou wet and hot

noise never ceases
men yelling at phones
cars honking at 4 am

China is busy
creating work for work's sake
taxing the spirit

he cha guan: afternoon tea

a hot cup of longjin tea
eating lotus seed
births some interesting talk

amateur scholars at the classical west lake in Hangzhou

my cousin QingQing and me
wannabe poets
admiring fall lotus patch

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

my mobile office

I know that I am traveling too much when I have a specific "office desk" at SFO. You can't beat the North Food Court (in front of Emporio Rulli and before the security check point)... it's got a working electrical outlet, free wifi, a nice big clean table, decent chairs, snacks nearby, and is reasonably quiet.

I am sitting here now, typing this up with the bluetooth keyboard you see here. I took the photo with my iphone, which is why it's missing on the table (hopefully i won't get yet another iphone stolen!). Very handy... everything I need for hyper-american-productivity with less than one minute of set-up.

tomato jungle

It's a jungle out there, folks. Here's what grew out of those tiny little seeds we saved from farmer's market salads last year...

One of the vegetable beds our tomatoes are growing in (the one that is hidden in this photo by the tomato super-growth) was built by Young Whan this spring!

saving and growing tomato seeds

We're already saving seeds from this year's tomatoes in preparation for next year's round. You can see our seed baths next to our garden's tomato basket in the photo. It's super easy and fun!

Here's how to grow your own tomatoes from tomatoes you eat:

1. use heirloom seeds: if you can, make sure you have an heirloom tomato. That means that the seeds are fertile and tends to be related to its parent plant (which you are eating), plus you'll be preserving the natural tomato genetic diversity... and growing super tasty tomatoes. Hybrid tomatoes like sun golds, sweet hundreds/millions, and early girls do not have seeds that will produce a tomato exactly like the parent tomato, though they are mighty fine tomatoes anyway, and worthy of buying seeds for every few years.

2. pull out seeds and put them in a water bath: before you chew and swallow the tomato piece, use your fingers or a spoon to pull out the little seeds (avoid pulp) and put them in a little cup to allow them to ferment in a water bath for 2-3 days.

3. strain and dry the seeds: pour the water with seeds in it into a fine mesh strainer (or cheese cloth), and then allow them to dry as is or wipe them onto a paper towel to dry

4. save for next season: once dry, store the seeds in a clean, dry and dark location. I usually pull them off the paper towel and put them into little plastic baggies with labels (when you have 30+ tomato seed varieties it can be easy to mix them up if you're not careful!)... and then store them in a closed glass jar in a closet.

5. get ready for magic next season! I usually start my tomato seedlings indoors in February, transplant them to larger pots in late March, and then plant them outside in mid to late May. Last year my tomato plants were small and purple and spindly in March and April... and finally after fussing with their light, water, etc., I realized that they didn't have enough nutrients in the soil I used to sprout them in. They promptly grew into a tomato jungle after I added organic tomato/vegetable food. And voila! After that initial scare, we now have a wonderful bounty of delicious heirloom tomatoes every day! It's amazing how responsive plants can be.

totally tomato!

Tomato season is finally here, about half-a-month late because of prolonged spring and strangely cool summer in the East Bay.

This is the year of the Great Tomato Experiment: I saved 20+ varieties of heirloom tomato seeds from tomatoes I ate last year from our local farmer's market and grew 15 varieties of tomatoes in our garden. (Props to Happy Boy, Lucero, Tomatero and Surly Girl farms - sorry, didn't know that last farm's name so I made a name up in honor of the slightly cantankerous woman who works the market.) People tend to be mighty impressed when they find out our tomato jungle originated from tiny seeds from last year's salads, but lemme tell ya - it's a lot easier than it looks. See my next post for instructions.

I tried to choose tomatoes with lots of color diversity... it's my way of being a graphic-artist-garden-nerd. I've also decided that cherry tomatoes do especially well in our short growing season, plus they pack a flavor punch in a small package. What you see in the photo here includes pretty much what we're harvesting every day now in early September:

-currant tomatoes: tiny orange-red bright sweet little thangs
-super snow white: lemon-white sweet cherries
-green grape: yellow-green when mature, a very gourmet umame, almost porcini mushroom taste to it!
-black cherry: a deep purple cherry with a mellow sweet taste
-isis candy: a very deeply sweet cherry tomato
-sun golds: bright orange hybrid with a complex but still clean flavor, and an amazingly productive plant - we're getting hundreds of these tomatoes!
-sweet million: bright, clean red cherry tomato flavor, also a worthy hybrid (that means you have to buy seeds from people who especially hybridize two parent tomatoes to create the sun gold and sweet million seeds)
-moskovich heirloom: a regular-sized red tomato on the smallish side, but with an amazingly bright and complex umame. This is our favorite regular-sized heirloom tomato.