August 2007 Archives

on the road

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2 sides of the RV.

after dinner

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Letting Tesla walk around before drivng again. Wearing her new froggy pants from Yuka. At Colfax, CA.

stopping for dinner

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We decided on the Naked Rooster.

off to Burning Man

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See you on the playa or next week!

Our home for next week

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At each of the summer festivals we went to this year, I painted the RV. I was determined to give color to our brown RV. Then, Michelle joined forces, and being an amazing graphic artist, she contributed a ton (i.e. the really cool stuff). Elida and D. Migdal too. I, uh, am totally still working on the abstract mess of I don't know what. I had no plan and it just keeps morphing into I'm not sure what. It's still a work in progress, and always will be, but it's been fun! I wish I had hours and hours to paint...

Tesla and Noi playing

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This video is rather long but it's so cute in my mind. It's from a few weeks ago, but it was so large I couldn't easily upload it.

Dav and I babysat Noi one night, and Tesla was mesmerized. I just loved watching from afar how the two interacted.

At the park with Daddy

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Today has been all about preparing for BM. Painting, errands, packing, etc. all the while taking care of Tesla. Dav and I took turns being at home with T while we went out to shop or get stuff done. At 5:30pm, I realized poor Tesla hadn't been outside all day!

So we went to the park to play. Dad was busy in the garage, but joined us later. Tesla loves the park, and totally perked up when we got there. She double perked up when Daddy arrived. See this video.

An online offline encounter

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I've been busy preparing for BM so this is a day late, but on Thursday, I had one of those moments that made me smile and grin for quite some time.

I was paying for food at Trader Joe's thinking nothing other than what I was going to make for dinner, how I needed to get home, and how Burning Man was just around the corner. Then, a women with a super cute baby and her husband called out to me, "you're Kokochi, aren't you?"

I was at first worried that I didn't recognize someone I had met, and tried to jiggle my memory, but was relieved when she explained that she found Kokochi via a link on SFist (what link?? I'm curious now), and had been following. She knew me as Kokochi, knew about Tesla, and knew Tesla's 2nd burn was around the corner. Some might find such an encounter odd or spooky. But I love it. After all, I yap on and on about the mundane daily stuff that matters to me, and to meet someone who actually reads and knows me? Awesome!

I of course instinctively thought of asking for a picture, but she was leaving with her cutie baby and husband, and I had a baby waiting at home too, so I let it go. It is powerful though, to have an offline confirmation that what I do online is real to someone.

So thank you, Jennifer. (I'm absolutely horrible about names...I hope you remind me your baby and husband's name.) I am very very glad you introduced yourself. Totally makes me happy I blog with full public access.

Schools for Humanity

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Today was an inspirational day at work. We had the founder of Schools for Humanity, David Brown, come visit to discuss blogs, and how a blog could help his cause. It was the kind of meeting that almost brought tears to my eyes to hear about such amazing work this person and his organization are doing. Like Habitat for Humanity, they are building, but they are building schools.

David was working with Habitat for Humanity in Ethiopia, and although many houses were successfully built, he discovered there were no schools for the children. So he began this project.

I know having a blog to get his message out and gain more support will make a definite difference. We are very excited to help out. It was one of those days that made me appreciate working where I do. At the moment, the current site really isn't engaging, is quite awkward, and doesn't communicate the "story." Plus, donating isn't simple or personalized. You can sponsor a student for $20 a month to go to school, including material and lunch (and David provided touching stories about how excited these kids were to have the chance to go to school). $100/month supports a teacher. And everyone at Schools for Humanity is a volunteer, so every dollar donated goes directly to the project. I would not have realized that from the site. Big missed opportunity since I think people are looking for, even crave for, opportunities to make a difference.

One person in the meeting from 6A really wants to join on one of the trips there to help. I wholeheartedly support her. All of us can't wait to get them up and running, and hopefully see an online community grow from the blog. For example, check the Malawi Windmill Blog. Blogs rock!



If you are what you eat in the offline world, what makes up “you” online?

My brother over at MyBlogLog submitted a panel proposal to SXSW. Check out his description. Back in 2004, when I was a lucky duck to be on a panel about moblogging, I had a blast. Lots of energy. I think my brother's panel should be picked, don't you? Wouldn't it be pretty neat to hear from a digital criminal forensics professional?

pjs and a fairy skirt

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Last year sweet Raven sent this blue fairy skirt to Tesla. Again, this was something too big back then. Now that I'm packing for BM, I'm going through all of Tesla's stuff and finding perfect things for the playa.

Here she models the skirt over her long-john pjs. She seemed more curious about what the hanging blue stuff was than anything, but I think she's cute!

growing into

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This is a super cute winter jacket set that Granny Marie gave to Tesla at the baby shower before Tesla was born. Back then, it seemed giant to me. It's still a bit big, but I think Tesla can finally use it. I'll be bringing it to the playa for sure!


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Deborah was in town again. What a treat. She was in SF for a conference so although she stayed with us, she was busy, as I was busy with T and Burning Man prep. But even in between all that, we got to reconnect.

Actually, she came home Friday night after a full day at the conference to find our neighbors M & J over while our babies slept. By the time she walked in the door, our party was in full swing, and we sat Deborah at the table and made her join in the fun. I think we went to bed grudgingly at 1:30 am. We had some good talks though, so all was worth it. The next morning, she was supposed to go in by 10am, I think. I enticed her with breakfast, and she left a bit later :) I'm such a bad influence!

She slept in T's room. I was initially worried that Deborah wouldn't get much sleep, but T has been sleeping pretty well until 5 or 6am. And even with a few cries, Deborah said she never heard. It was cute to see Tesla wake up and eye this new roommate in her room. She was curious but didn't seem to mind. One of the mornings T was playing in our bedroom while we delayed getting up. Usually T runs between her room and ours, bringing toys to play with. But with Deborah snoozing in her room, she somehow understood she shouldn't go in there even though the door was ajar. Sweetie!

We realized Deborah lives close to where Dav's mom is buried. I've been bugging Dav that we really should pay a visit to his mom since he got married and has a kid and all. I value paying respect to ancestors a lot, so it's been on my mind. Now we have even more incentive since we can also drop by Deborah's. Soon...

Hit again!

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I know I'm not a great driver, but what is it about me that gets me hit by others, and it's not my fault? My 1st hit was when I was in San Diego a long time ago, stopped at a red light behind an SUV. A youngster hit me from behind when he failed to see the light in time because he was changing a CD. I was squished between the 2 cars. Came out sort of OK, but that was the biggest hit. Then there was the jeep that was hit when I started going through an intersection when the light turned green. A car (which I think was running a red) hit a motorcycle, and coming out of that, hit me (and Tesla) in the jeep.

I did drive out of our driveway once and hit someone driving down our street. That was totally my fault, so I should mention that.

But then yesterday, again I was rear-ended on hwy 101. Luckily, traffic had just slowed down so it wasn't at high speed, but the woman behind me somehow failed to stop. She claims her breaks weren't responding. Again, Tesla was with me. The impact wasn't too big, but still a shock to the system. Tesla started crying. She perked up as soon as she saw me smiling, singing songs, and pretending all was good even though I was shaking and calling Dav to have him walk me through what to do. I was in the fast lane, so we were stuck on the hwy until the police came to stop traffic and we could drive to the other side.

Dear auto-accident angels: Can I have a break?

Went to the auto car place and it turns out quite a lot of damage is underneath, not immediately noticeable. 2+ weeks to fix! Dav and I thought I could still totally drive the car until the place could fix it quickly, but the guy said, nope. No more driving. I have a rental now so it's not bad, but my goodness. Shows how good the Subaru Outback is. Didn't feel that much, and it really absorbed the impact well.

A meeting on Saturday at 8:00 am

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Hmmm. I wonder who scheduled that in....Looks like a Tesla-concocted-meeting to me. First, it's in baby talk. Second, the schedule was made sometime during this weekend for a time that had already occurred.

real eggs

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I work with wonderful Jane. She has chickens in her yard running around. And she gets fresh eggs from them. From time to time, if you bring in an egg carton, she will come back with fresh eggs for you. I've been meaning to bring a carton in forever, but always forget. Today, coming out of a meeting after Jane had left, I found a carton on my desk with the following note:

From Frisky, Wiskey, and Margarita, and the hens across the street. Enjoy!

I sure will. I've heard about Frisky, Wiskey, and Margarita. And now my family and I will enjoy their hard made eggs. Thank you! How special to have such a close connection to what I'm eating.

I love that we can live in SF, and I can work with someone who has hens, and names and loves her hens! And her neighbor has hens too!

I'm so glad that the demand for cage-free, organically fed chicken eggs is so much on the rise that demand is outgrowing supply. And I'm very happy that there are a lot of organic veges I can buy easily.


I had not just one, but TWO eggs this morning. I cooked one, and it was delicious. Compared to the organic cage-free ones I buy at the store, the shell was much harder and the yoke thicker and a deeper color. The taste was amazing.

I want to have chickens now, but I guess they don't make good indoor pets, and the cats would be terrified ; )

Rumi and Burning Man

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A lovely Rumi poem for Burning Man, sent from Lorene, a friend who wanted to come to Burning Man for the first time this year, but who is in Kabul doing aid work right now. I hope to welcome her to the playa next year. Lorene is the one who gave Tesla a beautiful fur coat.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing,

There is field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

The world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other

Doesn’t make any sense.

-- Rumi

Tesla on Gizmodo Japan

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I totally forgot to post about this neat event: Tesla's picture was used on Gizmodo Japan's 1st anniversary post! We're very honored!

Thank you, いちる

Growing like a weed...

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I love watching Tesla sleeping. Many times I hover over her crib and just stare. She's so relaxed, and I sense her brain doing all the intense work of figuring out each day's activities. I love knowing how reassured she is, and how she trusts and relies on us to give her a great environment to be a baby in. We enjoy showing her new stuff, and watching her eyes stare in wonder; next a tentative hand will reach out to touch, then there will be a grin of approval about the new thing in her life. I imagine how later at night, her brain is figuring out how to store that memory. In the "F" for fun file? Or "P" for pink file? Wait, could it be "F" for fur?

Of course her file system isn't alphabetical order. She is pretty much figuring out that a) having an ordered system helps, and b) what type of system to create. It's quite fun to watch.

Back to growing Tesla. Again, many a nights I tip-toe in and watch her sleeping. I marvel at how big she is. Sometimes for sweetness, I give her the boob just before bedtime. I mainly only feed her once in the wee hours of the morning, and maybe once during the day if I'm not at work. I haven't forced weaning; she's naturally demanded less. Even when I just get home from work, which used to be straight-to-nursing time, she now is busy playing or will nurse for just a tiny bit. When I do nurse her before beddy time, I purposely seat myself in front of her closet mirror. I sit and watch myself hold this giant baby. In my mind she's still tiny, so it's good to see this image. Little by little, I can feel & comprehend how fast she's growing.

As much as I miss Tesla as a tiny baby, I see how smart Nature is because Tesla's personality blooms to replace that. It's hilarious to watch Tesla emerge as a person: the way she says good-bye when I leave (a baby wave while she's busy showing off toys to granny), the way she welcomes me/Dav home (shriek, run, hug), the way she laughs at our silliness, the way she imitates us, the way she plays games with us, or the way she talks to herself loudly even when we say, "shhhh" because it's 6am on Saturday morning. The pace of change is still as intense as a newborn. Every other day, we see new behavior.

Every once in a while, I try to vision Tesla as a bigger girl, a teenager, a young adult, and a grown woman. I realize we're raising a human being who will face life in all its beauty and ugliness, all its amazing strength and heart-breaking weakness. She will be influenced by us as her parents. I found taking care of her as a newborn rather easy in the sense that although physically hard, I knew what she needed. And I wondered how I'd do when she became a toddler, and teaching and disciplining became important. I'm beginning to think that I am ready, that Tesla actually is teaching us how to teach her.

Time will tell, of course, but it's been a lot of fun getting to know her, and her getting to know us. I think we'll be alright : )

Tesla coil

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Sigsy kindly pointed out this strip. Thank you!

what counts

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Rachel just got back from Italy. Hadn't seen her for a while. She wanted to see me, but with Tesla, I can't just hop out easily. Plus I get tired, so staying close to home is better if it's a work night. Bless her heart. She came all the way over from Oakland, with ingredients - like dried mullet roe - to make a pasta dinner (whole wheat pasta with Flax; was great compared to other 'healthy' pastas I've tried). While I fed Tesla dinner, she made our dinner. After we all ate, she hung out while I bathed Tesla, dressed her in PJs, and got her to sleep.

Later, we had about an hour or so of girl talk. She helps me slow down. Rachel is one who gets my love for food (and reminds me to take time to enjoy it), and my weird Japanese ways. Thank you, Kitten!

p.s. yes, I ate ALL that giant plate of pasta...and more!

T stands for Trouble

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With Tesla in town, the following has become true:
  • The kitchen door and baricade must be closed at all times.

  • The cats are now allowed to eat on the dining table so they can eat without their food being taken by Tesla as they try to eat, and thrown across the floor. She loves getting both their bowls, emptying out the wet food contents on the carpet, and clinking the bowls together.

  • Tesla knows that the laptop power cord is important and delights in pulling it out over and over and over.

  • Either way, I must use the laptop out of her reach as she has already broken 2 keys.

  • Cell phones must be kept out of her reach; she actually called my brother early one morning (although it is touching that she got my brother of all the people in my contact list). Ian can testify that this really happened.

  • We have not found a remote to a TV that only turns on with a remote in almost a month now.

  • I have no idea how, but I found my eye shadow in the hallway the other day.

  • She now distributes our pillows (as in the kind that are as big as she is) all over the house.

  • She knows the garbage/recycle cans contain interesting stuff that if pulled out, immediately get our attention, such as: used diapers, food scraps, and beer bottles (which she tries to drink from). Now we have to put a book on top of the cans.

  • If we give her cut up avocado bits that are a bit too soft, she will relish smearing it on the table, her chair, her face, and her hair, even the back-of-her-head hair.

  • She can sign "milk" but mostly chooses to pull at my shirt, reaching down for the boob, even in public.

  • But she loves goat and cow milk too, and will gladly throw to the side (literally) whatever important thing she is trying to hide, such as keys, to have a little.

  • You might find spit-up (small blobs of whatever was in her tummy regurgitated up) randomly on a chair, and you don't notice until you are about to sit down

  • Sometimes it's so hard to put a diaper on her that I just let her walk around naked for a bit.

  • Best of all, when I say, "where's daddy?" Tesla will wander off and indeed look for daddy. It's a nice trick when I need a break. : )

p.s. Her shirt aptly says, "Wild One." It's perfect. Thanks, Mena!!


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Lani brought over some great baby books for her birthday. They are interactive with things to open and such. Tesla is really getting into books not for reading, but at least more than for just shoving into her mouth. She seems to enjoy ones with animals. Lani also gave Tesla the cutest ladybug backpack. It fits and I'm totally gonna make her wear this on the playa : )

Now she moves too quickly all the time so I could not get a single shot in focus...

Nice coincidence

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We have a nifty fold up chair for Tesla that we use everyday at our dining table for meals, and when we go out, we take it with us in case places don't have high chairs. Months ago, Dav took it to St. Francis with Tesla, but when he got home, he realized he had lost a part of the chair that prevents the screw from digging into the table. So at home, we had cardboard that we had to shove between it and the table.

This morning we went to St. Francis for breakfast. The place was full - with babies too. When Dav tried putting on the chair thingy, he noticed there were two of the same piece he had lost before. Apparently, the table was so sticky underneath (ewww), someone else with the same chair at the exact table we sat at this morning lost their screw covers just as we did.

So we not only found a replacement for what we lost, but we have an extra. What are chances of that? Made me happy to live in a city/neighborhood with babies around!

We've been so busy that amazingly, we really haven't done much planning (or thinking) about Burning Man. Luckily, Elaine gathered the core group of us for a fun planning BBQ at their place. Remembering the great group of friends we'll be hanging out with and creating a home for a week together got me excited for BM. Looks like the core will be 16 of us, with small "villages" around us totaling around 60. The core group will take on one day of dinner cooking each, so every night we'll have yummy hot dinners all together. We're not doing combined water, hauling, garbage etc. so organizing is very simple (thank goodness!)

David (not Dav) made a cool "map" of how we should set up our space (click to enlarge). I love it when people spend extra time doing such things. And in the meeting recap, I loved how Tesla was named as a full member. : )

Yay (and yikes)! Burning Man starts in 22 days!

Tesla has big friends

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Cathi, my high school friend, came up from San Diego for her sister, Patty's birthday. Cathi and Patty are a year apart. Their older daughters are days apart. Cathi has a younger daughter, and Patty has a younger son (his name is Genki, which I just love).

Anyway, they all came over to play the other day. I love how these days, hanging out with friends usually means with kids and chaos. We chatted, catching up with each other all the while our kids were running around playing. It doesn't throw me off anymore.

Tesla goes to the park, sees her cousins, and loves seeing her neighbor friend Sofia. But being around a group of kids is still pretty new to her. I can tell she is mesmerized by older kids. She adores watching them even though she can't really participate. I love watching her interact. A few times, she got pushed over by the older girls; she just got right up and continued!