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Don’t update this much anymore; maybe one day I’ll delete. But I do like that banner.

medailles-5-031I’m dying to find a Photochaining memory card:

“The Photochaining blog is a continuous project where people practice the art of leaving memory cards in public places to be picked up and used by others, who then do likewise.”

To participate:

1. Take funny/original/humoristic/creative photos with your own camera (use a cheap memory card) .

2. Write a note in which:

– you explain in few words the PhotoChaining concept to the “finder”.

– you provide a name* to the memory card (research on PhotoChaining to ensure that the designated memory card name has not already been allocated. If so, choose an other name).

3. Put the memory card and the note in a transparent plastic bag.

4. Leave the plastic bag in a public place.

*Only one word.

Have you found one? If I start a chain, what kind of pictures should I leave behind for the next person to take in? And God, isn’t it cool, these kinds of massive, distributed public art projects nurtured so well by the Internet?

06ramhanusitarainreflect1One of the best movies I’ve seen so far this year is “Sita Sings the Blues,” a retelling of the Ramayana set to the Jazz Age stylings of Annette Hanshaw. The animation is delightful — highly recommended. You can watch it free and in full online at Reel 13.

… to my conversations tonight:

Anonymous donors

Climate change

Creative common

Dorothy Michaels

Fair use

Immigration

Interlopers

Pneumatic tubes

Red zones

Rooftop bars

Spicy crab rolls

Winnie the Pooh

Insanity at work + general malaise + the novelty of posting on Twitter + 95 degrees outside = dead blog. Crickets. Ayiieeee! (Also, my social life has been incredibly active these days: Rilo Kiley! Russian Vodka Room! Professional geekery! Caipiroskas and the book club! NYPL tour and cocktails at Library Bar! Exclamations!)

Anyhow, am pledging to write more.

Deterioration:

Rejuvenation:

Boobs!

T does Central America: currently WiFi-ing at the Black Cat Inn, a hostel in Antigua, Guatemala. I speak un poquito Espanol and am quickly realizing that that’s probably not enough.

Anyone in town for Semana Santa? I’d love to meet up with any like minds! Photos, etc., to come.

 dib014.jpg

… for the perfect teapot. The spout of ours lamentably broke. I am mopping up a lot of spilled tea these days, and that’s just a pity. I’d love to get the Black Forest Teapot (by Bodo Sperlein for Dibbern), but it’s $185. And I’m pretty clumsy; my butterfingers are classic.

 kingofkongposter.jpg

 King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters lost at the Oscars, but boy is it winning on Netflix — it’s the No. 1 on-demand video they offer.

Watched it last night, and it was just so winning. Incredibly dorky, but winning. Steve Wiebe forever! Billy Mitchell and Brian Kuh are douches! More on competitive videogaming here

Jezebel reports on a new exhibit in France aimed at educating children and teens about sex. Elsewhere, teachers, parents, and students debated sex ed in Indian high schools; the education ministry in Israel pushed for programs to raise awareness about sexual violence and harassment; and in America, the battle continues over abstinence-only courses and those with a more comprehensive view of sex education. Is it me, or does it seem strange that other cultures are attempting to embrace the availability of information vitally important to public health while America seeks to repress it? Perhaps this is not a fair assessment — indeed, maybe I should be criticizing other countries for not more wholeheartedly embracing sex education to this point — but I am continually amazed about the ignorance displayed by so many of my countrymen (and women) concerning more base affairs than should probably be mentioned in this space. No, I don’t think that 11-year-olds should be trading sexual favors, and in general, I think a lot of people have sex before they’re really ready — but isn’t it more effective to, at the very least, equip those with the options in front of them with basic facts about reproduction, rights afforded by our Constitution (and judicial precedent), and resources they can turn to if they get in a jam?

I don’t care if dead bodies occasionally bump the side of my schooner — the Times’piece on the houseboat people of the Hudson has me piqued. Anyone selling a reliable watercraft built for two (and a couple cats)?

LINK.

Ajaa ajaa ajaa ajaa ajaa ajaa ajaaaaaaaaaa!

Barack the vote, from New York to New Delhi!

And, for you non-Hindi speakers, a rough translation of the lyrics is here.

Despite a late-breaking sty (thus adding to my growing list of travel ailments, which includes giardia, a bacterial infection on my lip, and countless episodes of sun stroke), we managed to eke a bit of fun out of our whirlwind trip to visit the in-laws in Bradenton, Florida.

Being deathly pale, I made sure to wear a T-shirt, capris, and thick sunblock, but others at the beach seemed nonplussed by the dangers of skin cancer. Alas, their foolhardiness is surprisingly picturesque,

 

Just finished reading Foreign Babes in Beijing, a nice little memoir of Rachel DeWoskin’s time as an unlikely actress in the Chinese entertainment industry in the 1990s.

I’ve been batting around the idea of writing some creative nonfiction about my time in India (tentatively entitled Outsourcing Myself), but I’ve been having a hard time structuring my thoughts, which I think has a lot to do with the fact that I haven’t really processed the whole experience. Writing used to be my way of getting through these things, but instead of chapters surging forth from my keyboard, I find only snippets of conversations, pungent tastes on the tip of my tongue, half-formed Hinglish crowded out by the everyday concerns of paying the rent, feeding myself, and trying not to get lost in New York’s seething mass of humanity.

If I do ever get past this writer’s block, I’ll be in good company. Here are some of my favorite books by foreigners trying to parse the subcontinent:

And, a bonus link to Kamat’s Potpourri, which has a compendium of links to historical accounts of foreigners in India (such as Chinese traveler Fa-Hien’s account of Buddhism from the fourth and fifth centuries AD).

Excellent op-ed in the Times today, “Putting a Plague in Perspective,” by Daniel Halperin (a senior research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health and the 2005-06 HIV prevention adviser in southern Africa for USAID) — Halperin marshals an argument that by focusing on funding AIDS projects in Africa, rather than wider public health concerns to address problems such as inadequate access to safe water. He writes:

“Many millions of African children and adults die of malnutrition, pneumonia, motor vehicle accidents and other largely preventable, if not headline-grabbing, conditions. One-fifth of all global deaths from diarrhea occur in just three African countries — Congo, Ethiopia and Nigeria — that have relatively low H.I.V. prevalence. Yet this condition, which is not particularly difficult to cure or prevent, gets scant attention from the donors that invest nearly $1 billion annually on AIDS programs in those countries.

I was struck by this discrepancy between Western donors’ priorities and the real needs of Africans last month, during my most recent trip to Africa. In Senegal, H.I.V. rates remain under 1 percent in adults, partly due to that country’s early adoption of enlightened policies toward prostitution and other risky practices, in addition to universal male circumcision, which limits the heterosexual spread of H.I.V. Rates of tuberculosis, now another favored disease of international donors, are also relatively low in Senegal, and I learned that even malaria, the donors’ third major concern, is not quite as rampant as was assumed, with new testing finding that many fevers aren’t actually caused by the disease.”

Morning
Oolong tea
You and me

Family, food, cream puffs, tiny disco balls … what more can a girl ask for?

Back to blogging. New and improved. Preemptive publishing goal for 2008 (hello, resolutions!): Updated content five out of seven days of the week, or 260 posts per year.

And: What’s with the title? Well, “bed tea,” in India, is the tea that you have right when you wake up, or right before you go to sleep. It’s a habit, but a pleasurable one; without bed tea, the day feels just a little bit emptier. This little corner of cyberspace is dedicated to beautiful daily traditions that don’t have to be a drag; it’s dedicated to art in the every day, to the making of new habits that die hard, and to friendly collaboration with a tiny kick of caffeine — the jolt that gets one’s neurons to firing.