Monday, November 14, 2011

Mottainai Video Shoot Day 1

By now, I hope you have seen the "Mottainai" music video produced by Great Leap, written and performed by Nobuko Miyamoto, and directed by Dan Kwong. If you haven't, what are you waiting for?  Click above.  Our 2nd environmental video is up to 25,000+ YouTube views in the last 4 months.  I had the privilege of being one of the production assistants, helping with fundraising, marketing, production, craft services, collecting of props (clean recycle trash), stage mom/auntie, donor, and board member.

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of the first day of the 2-day video shoot, which was shot in April of this year.  We shot all of the storyline vignettes on the first day.  The basic idea of the video is showing the younger generation not taking care of Mother Earth's precious resources, and the wise elders, teaching them about not wasting water, eating all their food, reusing, thinking before throwing things away, and about consuming less.  
 Lots of waiting around for crew.  Here's what we do to stay out of the way.
This was the first shot of the day.
 This is Estela, one of 3 wise Grandmas (Anthony Quinn's sister)
 This is Little Mamie.  Isn't she cute?
 Mrs. Matsuda, sharing how to make a crocheted 
water bottle holder out of grocery store plastic bags.
Multi-generational photo shoot, we had 6 year olds and 86 year olds.
Hanging out in the "green room." 
 Craft services outside on a very hot day.
 Phenomenal director Dan Kwong working with sqiurmy girls, Maiya and my niece Kaylee.
 This is a funny moment in the video.
 Maiya, shy while the camera is rolling, mugs when the camera goes off.
 Upcycled utensil art by Howard Swerdloff.
 Why yes, those are plastic spoon earrings.
End of a 10 hour day, but that was the shorter than the Sunday shoot.

 Stay tuned for photos of Day 2 coming soon.

NaBloPoMo#12.  Peace. No waste. Out.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Oh, this girll

This girl cracks me up.
 I want to thank the 2nd grader who taught Maiya to throw gangsta signs.
 Now she thinks she me.
 Disrespecting the yoga poses.
Umm, who does she think she is imitating? Huh? 

This is admittedly posted late and in a hurry.  Peace. Omm, haha.  Out.
NaBloPoMo#11 (Friday's entry, posted Saturday night)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kindergactivism, is that a word?

Some people say that if you bring kids to a political rally, that it's not age appropriate.  Well, we've been bringing Maiya to community events since she was two weeks old (Day of Remembrance commemorating the anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 in 1942, which led to the incarceration of 110,000 Japanese Americans, including my parents as children and Tony's grandparents), and her first of 6 annual trips to the Manzanar Pilgrimage was when she was 14 months old.

I may not be as active in the API/activist community as I once was, as meetings and volunteer work goes, but we manage to squeeze political awareness and social justice values into most things that we do.  Whether it's going to the Farmer's Market to buy fresh, locally grown and organic fruits, participating in 5K walks in a stroller to help raise money for homeless or the arts,  teaching Maiya about the Nestle Boycott and how it affects her Halloween bag, bringing her lunch in stainless steel containers and cloth napkins, explaining in kid-friendly terms what it means to be gay-friendly, enrolling her in Buddhist summer camp to participate in Japanese/Japanese American arts and culture, or a Japanese language immersion school; we try.

These first pictures are from when President Obama came to our hometown and went to a fundraiser for his next campaign practically across the street from our house.  We went down to the corner to watch the POTUS motorcade with Tony's parents, who were in town for Passover (see NaBloPoMo#9).
Also attended a rally, a few streets away from our house.  Most of the participants were students in support of the DREAM Act, and a whole lot of Armenians about the genocide, something I know little about.  Some were talking about the Chemtrails.  Still others were protesting us and calling for no taxes, no government.  No one was necessarily protesting Obama himself (in the same way we used to villify Bush), more they were trying to get his attention for their causes.

A few days later, we took Maiya to the local School Board meeting at City Hall, also walking distance from our house.  The purpose was to protest budget cuts and to keep the cuts as far away from the classroom as possible, and that meant supporting all the teachers who received pink slips.  We saw Maiya's Kindergarten teacher in the audience, one of many red shirts, including us.  The room was packed and we had to leave the meeting before it was over because it was a school night, but we thought it was important to share this with her.
Here Maiya is reading the book "Mottainai Grandma," 
a story about not being wasteful, in Japanese, to her grandma. 
In a few posts, you'll see pictures of Maiya's participation
in Auntie Nobuko's music video called, "Mottainai."
Anyways, I've just coined a new term... Kindergactivist.  NaBloPoMo#10b. Peace. Full. Out.

If it were up to me...

If it Were Up to Me

Maybe it's the movies, maybe it's the books
Maybe it's the bullets, maybe it's the real crooks 
Maybe it's the drugs, maybe it's the parents 
Maybe it's the colors everybody's wearin 
Maybe it's the President, maybe it's the last one 
Maybe it's the one before that, what he done 
Maybe it's the high schools, maybe it's the teachers 
Maybe it's the tattooed children in the bleachers 
Maybe it's the Bible, maybe it's the lack 
Maybe it's the music, maybe it's the crack 
Maybe it's the hairdos, maybe it's the TV 
Maybe it's the cigarettes, maybe it's the family 
Maybe it's the fast food, maybe it's the news 
Maybe it's divorce, maybe it's abuse 
Maybe it's the lawyers, maybe it's the prisons 
Maybe it's the Senators, maybe it's the system 
Maybe it's the fathers, maybe it's the sons 
Maybe it's the sisters, maybe it's the moms 
Maybe it's the radio, maybe it's road rage 
Maybe El Nino, or UV rays 
Maybe it's the army, maybe it's the liquor 
Maybe it's the papers, maybe the militia 
Maybe it's the athletes, maybe it's the ads 
Maybe it's the sports fans, maybe it's a fad 
Maybe it's the magazines, maybe it's the internet 
Maybe it's the lottery, maybe it's the immigrants 
Maybe it's taxes, big business 
Maybe it's the KKK and the skinheads 
Maybe it's the communists, maybe it's the Catholics 
Maybe it's the hippies, maybe it's the addicts 
Maybe it's the art, maybe it's the sex 
Maybe it's the homeless, maybe it's the banks 
Maybe it's the clearcut, maybe it's the ozone 
Maybe it's the chemicals, maybe it's the car phones 
Maybe it's the fertilizer, maybe it's the nose rings 
Maybe it's the end, but I know one thing. 
If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns.

Until just a few moments ago, I thought this was written by my favorite singer, Holly Near, who I have seen in concert maybe 8-10 times, but not in the last few years, but I just found out that it was written by Cheryl Wheeler who I've never heard of.  It is recorded on one of my favorite Holly Near CDs, Edge.  I was thinking this morning on my way into work, that I wanted to blog the lyrics of this song and I was singing it loud and proud in my car.  And, just because, I'm gonna do 2 blog entries today.  

We'll call this one NaBloPoMo#10a.  Peace. No Guns, No War. Out.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Passover Seder 2011

It's been a number of years since we've done Passover Seder at our house.  Tony's Mom aka Granny Franny and Don came to visit for a few days in April.  Fran made Grandma Shereley's Vegetarian Matzoh ball soup.  We also celebrated our sister in law Nina's "39th" birthday (I was the only one who didn't get the joke haha).  We were glad to also have Tony's godsister Beth and her family come as well.  A highlight for me was when Maiya read some of the Haggadah.
This is turning out I'm not so much writing anything.  By the end of the day, I'm really just too tired to try to put words together.  More, I'm just doing photo essays and captions for 2011. Well, so be it. Peace. Shalom. Out.  NaBloPoMo#9.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Spring CicLAvia with the KOs

On a Sunday morning in April, they shut down about 7 1/2 miles of LA streets for people to walk, ride, scoot, push a stroller, or whatever at the 2nd CicLAvia.  What a great sense of community.  So of course, we went to J-town.  I realized though, that it was Maiya's first bike ride not around the block, so the going was slow.  I had thoughts we might go across the 1st Street Bridge, but with me on Tony's folding bike, possibly the first time since I did the 20+ mile Bike Marathon a few years ago, and Maiya on training wheels, it wasn't going to happen.  We only went a few blocks, but we made a lot of stops. What a fun day it was.  I loved being able to ride bikes down First Street in Little Tokyo with my family.

Love this picture.  Corner of 3rd & San Pedro St.
Tony and Maiya at the J-town Mural
Thousands passed Tony's mural "Home is Little Tokyo" 
Bumped into Mike in front of Far East Cafe
DREAM ACTivists getting the message out & representing.
Community, exercise and family time, love it.
Community, exercise, family time & JA history.
Toyo Miyatake plaque at the Sakura Crossing in Jtown
"so this kind of injustice never happens again!" - Toyo Miyatake

This was our first of hopefully many CicLAvia's.  Somehow I just deleted a few photos I wanted to share, one of us in Fugetsu-do ordering manjuu for the road.  Well, there's NaBloPoMo#8.  Peace. Cycle. Out.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Paramount Tour

In April, Tony, Maiya and I went on a tour of Paramount Studios.  Tony had gotten the tickets from a fundraiser silent auction, so we got to go on a behind-the-scenes private tour, by golf cart.   It was pretty fun, interesting and low key.  Maiya actually recognized an area from a kids TV show that Tony and I had never heard of, Fresh Beat Band, or something like that.  After the tour, we had lunch at the commissary, then Tony had to leave.  I was on a furlought day, but had to go to Great Leap later in the afternoon, so me and Maiya walked around for awhile and took pictures.

Thought I'd share some pictures.  BTW, I got a lot of pictures from April, so it may take a few days to get through it.  Hang tight.

NaBloPoMo#7.  Peace. Action. Out.