Archive for March, 2009

lady don’t tek no

Friday, March 27th, 2009

how do i define a good work week?


* miraculously mustering up the discipline to get to the gym on mondays and tuesdays, and riding the bike to/from work the remaining three days. most people can pull it off. not me. the sloth is my spirit animal, and it shows!

* using up most of my groceries. it’s harder than you’d think. even if i plan to cook every night, it doesn’t mean it will happen, so when i can utilize most of my perishable materials, it feels (sadly) like an accomplishment. i HATE throwing out stuff i never got to use.

* pleasant weather. can’t believe i was one of those mopey goth girls who abided by shirley manson’s “only happen when it rains” rhetoric. PFFFFT, whatevs! it’s all about a climate in which i don’t have to fret about wearing my thickest, warmest $hit for fear of being cold. leaving the house with just a hoodie — now that’s comfort.

* treating myself to a fiiiiine, delicious, skilled meal prepared by someone else (thank you melissa claire’s kitchen!). this is why i’ll end up destitute at retirement age, but i can’t help myself.

* putting together an unprecedented combo culled from my crap wardrobe, and being somewhat surprised that i don’t look like a walking havel.

* some sort of socializing with a favorite person/peoples. if it’s not physical contact, then even an insightful or meaningful conversation can be nourishing.

* being able to ride the bike home on a friday after work, when the sun’s still shining


yeah, i’d say it was a pretty good week. the only thing that would’ve made it better if i was more efficient at work. i hate being a slacker.

how do you define a good week?

spring is here


Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

this sort of thing helps get me through the work drudgery

for shame


monday mehs

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

of all the crazy kooks in masters of the universe, merman was always my fave. will you just look at that mug? what a goof. in my bedroom sits an action figure version of him, and it always gives me a smile.


i saw this book at kinokuniya weeks ago. i was really taken with the simple but darling cover. from lazy gleaning it seems to be a cooking / food / home / lifestyle magazine series. the kind of thing that made me wish i could afford to buy beautiful things i can’t even read. ryan? rui? care to translate the text on the cover?


this wknd was a flurry of activity. friday night i had the nervous pleasure of shooting sutro (cliff house) right at sunset — now with celebrity four star chef george morrone at the helm. i was agitated and stressed, but everything thankfully turned out okay. george, like any passionate, hardworking chef, is intense and intimidating. i am terrified yet deeply respectful of these guys (chefs), and have learned that as long as you’re aware of their space and tread lightly, letting them approach you, then it usually works out. he was gracious and playful, all the while acting as master of his domain.

(to see the final product click here)

on saturday i pulled a SFIAA film festival hat trick in san jose. it was exhausting and whirlwind but lots of fun, watching movies with my mom, sis, peg, her mom, and her brother. regina even popped in for the first film. even though it was nice to hang out with such fine folks, i was too busy running around taking photos for the fest, so i couldn’t really take advantage of the time together. bummer. in between screenings, i finally ended the dry spell with one of my favorite SJ restaurants, habana cuba. got back into the city around 1am.

on sunday, i shot giovanni at gitane for eater sf. pretty challenging given the bordello-esque lighting of the dining room. i’m lucky i brought along my light scoop, even though it barely sufficed. it’s time to think about investing in a speed light. anyway, i initially felt guilty that he had to come out at a random time on sunday, but things quickly warmed up and we had a good time.

afterwards i indulged in a three hour nap, which helped in coping with the paralyzing sunday blues. then finally FINALLY watched in the name of the father. DDL is a magnificent specimen.

i’m already looking forward to this coming weekend.

don’t let the bastards grind you down

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

we’ve all been there.

Illegitimi non carborundum

this is my dear friend brigid (a san ho) with her gorgeous, adorable lil’ girl elliott skye. she was born on christmas eve! elliott is brimming with personality and is a real thing of marvel, already armed with a million different facial expressions. i look forward to my auntie training with my first “niece.” she is so amazing.

exhausted but elated

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

i know i’m overdue for an update when i can’t even remember what my last post was about.

lots of photography things have happened, so i’ll debrief here. everything’s been thrilling and enriching, but i’m not getting my hopes up. “photographers” are a dime a dozen, and anything good that’s come my way is 95% luck and guanxi. so far, i’ve been dang lucky. i’m having a great time, and that’s key.

en route, the air canada magazine contacted me asking if they could use a photo of mine of dottie’s for a piece they were doing for SF. yes, of course! pretty random, but there’s an example of why it pays to tag the hell outta your pictures on flickr. that’s how they found it. the funny thing is that it’s a totally random, useless photo.

i guess a couple of my photos made it into the april issue of food & wine? in an article about gastropubs (magnolia). i’ll have to hunt down a copy. to clarify, they used photos i had taken for magnolia gastropub awhile ago. it’s not like they hired me to shoot for them, though ultimately that’d be my dream!

and then i woke up this morning i found an email from jeff adachi — our public defender and passionate filmmaker — asking if he could use my photos for his film’s (you don’t know jack: the jack soo story) website.

i also recently bought a domain! jenntakespictures.com
all it does is take you directly to my flickr portfolio page. chintzy but practical. it’s the best i can do at the moment, and anything’s better than giving people a cumbersome, lengthy link to work with.

not a big deal, but for a small fry like me these little things can make or break my day. okay, so on to the recap:

i splurged and purchased a bigtime beautiful lens (60mm 2.8), thanks to all my wonderful friends (and ringleader peggy) for getting me a GC to looking glass in berkeley. this pup’s been especially good for portraits, and i haven’t even taken it for a macro spin yet.

new splurge, thx to friends' bday gift

in february i shot for SF Beer Week. dave mclean, the kind owner of magnolia and alembic (both of which i’ve previously photographed), asked me to take pictures so i jumped at the opportunity. i documented nine events, each one a little different. i met many sweet, passionate people (the craft brewing community is not unlike the comics community), and cultivated a deeper appreciation for the craft. i was TERRIFIED with nervousness the first night, fumbled like an idiot poseur, but quickly dropped the whiny little bitch act and acclimated. another bonus was that i had to rent some gear, and that in itself was a big step. learning how to operate a speed light (though very crudely) was nice.

these guys were at a 21st amendment event. i overheard them speaking mandarin and found out that two were from taiwan, and one from china. i enjoyed meeting them.

SF Beer Week Strong Beer / Brewer's Sunday Tea

SF Beer Week Alembic Sunday Supper

SF Beer Week Magnolia + Fatted Calf Feast of Meat

SF Beer Week Magnolia + Fatted Calf Feast of Meat

SF Beer Week Cask & Queso @Thirsty Bear

there was a slight sabbatical from eater sf’s “gatekeeper” series, but it returned with a spotlight on bar tartine’s lovely, hospitable xelina.

bar tartine**

afterwards i ate there and awkwardly took some general shots during the peak of their brunch hour.

bar tartine

bar tartine

bar tartine

and then, just this past weekend, i suddenly threw myself into the fire and signed up to be a volunteer photographer for SFIAAFF, thanks to gracious photog albert chau for offering me a chance. it all transpired on friday afternoon. i was hella stressed and didn’t feel adequate, but despite my baggage i thoroughly LOVED the experience! it’s a perfect fit for me — i’ve been a film fest groupie ever since working at the museum, so it makes sense. going year after year after year, you get a strong sense of community, and being able to capture the energy on camera is a pleasurable thing.

the highlight must’ve been seeing older generation asian american folks like these, and being able to photograph them. they were so plucky and cheerful, just having a jolly ol’ time with each other. tugged on my heart strings.

3.15 SFIAAFF Jack Soo doc followed by reception with Jeff Adachi and friends

here’s our public defender at his post-screening reception

3.15 Jack Soo doc followed by reception with Jeff Adachi and friends

kiyoshi kurosawa

3.14 Kiyoshi Kurosawa / Tokyo Sonata @ PFA

3.15 SFIAAFF Kabuki Theatre

joan chen

3.15 SFIAAFF Kabuki Theatre

3.15 SFIAAFF Kabuki Theatre

well, that’s it for now. fingers crossed for onwards and upwards…

The Dragon’s Gift

Friday, March 6th, 2009

via flickr.com

For our Bhutan exhibition — which, btw, is chockful of stunning eyecandy — we have two visiting monks from Bhutan (super sweet fellows) who protect the sacred art by praying for it, twice daily. There’s also a colorful altar to which they contribute offerings (photo shown). All the art in the show is religious and still in active use in temples and monasteries. It took years working with the Bhutanese government to allow these precious artworks to go abroad. They’ve never left the country, let alone their homes. So yeah, it’s a big deal.

Here’s a snapshot of one of the offerings made by the monks. Traditionally made from flour and (yak) butter, these are created from sculpey.

I really really love the one on the right because it’s so Woodring! Am I right? It feels so familiar.

A word on Himalayan Buddhist art in general — not only is it beautiful, meticulous, and painstakingly detailed, it appeals to my morbid sensibilities because of the sometimes gory motifs: severed heads, human skins, flames of wrath, evisceration, etc — all for enlightenment purposes.

Try to see this show if you can. And if you do, take the time to check out the facial expressions on the sculptures. I love them.

Asian Art Museum design contest – come one, come all

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

To all the artists in the hizzouse, I'm asking you not only as a friend, cohort, and supporter of the arts, but also as a desperate museum professional, to please help spread the word about a design contest we're hosting. Deadline is March 13, 2009!

The Asian Art Museum is counting on talented designers to come up with a provocative, compelling creative treatment for MATCHA — our popular evening mixer program that unites art and culture with cocktails and mingling. Geared toward the younger crowd, this is a thriving Thursday evening event offered at a discount price.

The winning design will be used prominently in the MATCHA marketing campaign, which entails but is not limited to print ads, posters, online banners, postcards, club cards, t-shirts, website, e-blasts, etc. Prizes include $500, membership to the museum, guest passes for friends and family, MATCHA swag, a conceptual and visual challenge, and good exposure. More importantly, the winner would be part of a vibrant, fun, educational program from the largest museum in the western world devoted exclusively to Asian art!

For details, guidelines, and more, please visit (yup, it's Posterous!):

Questions? Shoot them over to: jyin[at]asianart[dot]org

I'm hoping that I can count on you to share this with all of your friends and family. I know y'all are in the know and have a ton of creative pals. THANK YOU!

Posted via email from ELECTRIC ANT ZINE BLOG

secret lives of comic store employees

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

most if not all of you have already seen wired’s photojournalistic piece on comic store employees. ryan was the first to point it out, and i’ve noticed it’s picking up steam all over the internets. of course, as a former comic store employee, it hits home, and as a comics geek, i love it. conceptually it’s great, but two things (a minor grievance and a statement)

1) WHERE IS COMIC RELIEF?! i’m grateful that the bay area got some love with the presence of dr. comics & mr. games and amazing fantasy in the feature, but seriously, where’s comic relief? it’s a bay area institution, not to mention a real anchor and mainstay in the overall comics community all over the country. i wonder if it didn’t make the cut?

2) if there is a follow up edition, i want to shoot for it. i would really LOVE it, and i think my photos would pass muster. should i write the editors or something and make a pitch? what do you guys think? how do i get their attention?

sigh. that is all.


Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

i was flipping through the latest VIZ book catalog and one thing jumped off the pages: OISHINBO A La Carte. WOW! a manga about japanese food?! that’s a killer double whammy in one lovely, enticing serving.

according to the catalog, the series synopsis is about this slacker who is designated with the task of coming up with the ultimate menu to celebrate his workplace's (a newspaper) 100th anniversary. even though he's a lazy, blunt guy, he was chosen because he has an exquisitely discerning palate, an encyclopedic knowledge of food and drink, and a masterful touch in the kitchen.

i'm sold! from what i can glean, the artwork is easy on the eyes; clean but not terribly stylized. and depictions of food are extra handsome and draftsman-like. also, word on the street is that not only is it decent storytelling, it's educational as well.

it's apparently regarded as THE food manga, the first volume sold over 1 million copies in japan (in general it was a perennial bestseller), and became a "virtual institution" that spun off anime, movie(s), and fan websites. let's hope VIZ's retooling and repackaging of this supposed gem is worthy.

here's a review that breaks it down in a digestible manner, and the comic reporter's take on it.

as a diehard kuishinbo, i absolutely can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

See the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from ELECTRIC ANT ZINE BLOG

this place sucks

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

i love pizzeria delfina’s fun, subversive, and clever semi-rebellion against yelp. they found the choicest quotes from yelpers’ one star reviews of their establishment and printed them on t-shirts for waitstaff to wear.

back when yelp debuted, i was an avid participant, but now i can’t help but feel loathing and disrespect for it.

good idea, pizzeria delfina!

via sf eater via 7×7