Entries on Mondays

Cineclub · · Tucson

Swagger

First of all, I want to say something about a pair of Parisian twenty-somethings I met at a street vendor’s crepe cart in 2010.

I was trying to remember French prepositions I didn’t learn in high school so I could ask for Nutella and coconut on my crepe when two sleek young black men who looked like dancers from Madonna's “Truth or Dare” introduced themselves like this:

“Hello. Please, please say aus coco, again.”

So I did and when they stopped laughing they lamented their lives in Paris with the same hopeless tone of street people begging for money for food. “Paris is so boring. Please, there is nothing to do here. We are dying of the boredom.” They wanted to live in the United States, where life is like in the movies.

“You are from Arizona? Cow-boy!”

I thought about how when I was a teenager, all of my pals would have lived in Paris given the chance. Then I thought about how young people are bored no matter where they are.

Swagger. Dir. Olivier Babinet. 2016


“Swagger” is a beautiful environmental portrait of a group of African and Middle Eastern youth at a school in a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris. The things they talk about are the same things young people everywhere talk about: Dreams, love, the future, and what it feels like to be an outsider.

But when they speak of being outsiders, it's with a bittersweet degree of understanding of the World that most of us don’t have the credentials for. They dream of being French and living in Paris; and even though they are, they aren’t.

So close and yet so far away.

If you like honesty, light, hope and laughter or even if you don’t like any of those things and the only thing in life you like is drone photography, see this movie.

Recipe · · Tucson

Sad Love Story Scrambled Eggs

  • 4 eggs
  • Oil or butter

Coat a skillet with the oil or butter and place it on the stove over medium heat.  Crack the eggs into the skillet and cook until the whites are no longer transparent. Flip the eggs, exacly as you would if you were trying to prepare them over-easy. A large chunk of the whites will end up on the stove top. If they burn, it will set off the smoke alarm. Try not to worry about it. Use a wooden spoon to sort of scramble what's left. 

Whatever. 

Serve the eggs with sourdough toast and a some freshly cracked black pepper. You hoped things would turn out differently.

Note · · Tucson

UA Science Lecture Series: Problem Solving with Algorithms

We attended the first lecture for this year's UA Science Lecture Series at Centennial Hall, Humans, Data and Machines.

Professor Stephen Kobourov humorously explained how algorithms, which have been around forever, are used in computers to solve problems such as: What are you drawing? Also, are the robots drunk? They sure walk like it.

Thanks to the algorithms used in machine learning, those robots will one day outgrow this awkward phase. By then they'll be self-aware, which is a kind of self-consciousness they'll prove to everyone by effortlessly passing a Turing test. Then they'll stride over to where we're sitting and exhibit frightening self-confidence as they knock our phones out of our hands and begin exacting revenge for laughing at them before.

When this happens, we may not know what it is they're thinking, but at least we'll know how.

Music · · Tucson

Sometimes

I am enjoying an early morning vigor that is rare for me when calendar driven forces pair the moment with a specific measurement of time and space whose namesake is Monday. Unsupervised sunbeams promise a cozy morning and lure me from the soft polyester safety and blunt grays of my lover’s hybrid vehicle. I stand in the dusty driveway, still in sneakers and the throes of a mixtape and cardio-induced flashback. I am here and this is now and I shall express my solidarity with an at times foul and unpredictable universe with a dark breath bestowed upon me by Saturday night’s pot of black beans.

Photo · · Tucson

Terry’s Frida

Terry's Sharpie pen Frida Khalo

Terry created this tribute to Frida Kahlo using a Sharpie pen and flowers made from repurposed plastic soda bottles. I like to think Frida would be as proud of her as I am.