On the road, but this time a mother-daughter team in “Miss You Like Hell”

Having read Jack Kerouac’s 1957 classic On the Road, I am fascinated by the idea of the “road trip.”  To just go-despite being “so lonely, so sad, so tired, so quivering, so broken, so beat”-represents absolute freedom and complete agency.

Road trips have come to be an essential part of American society. The romanticized notion is best captured in Jack Kerouac’s book, “On the Road.” (image credit: 2010 movie “On the Road”)

The advent of automobiles in the 1950s, combined with highway expansion (the Interstate Highway System was created by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956) and cheap gas prices ($0.60 per gallon), strengthened accessibility and mobility throughout the country. Driving, or road trips, became synonymous with the American identity.

John Steinbeck declares in Travels with Charley: In Search of America that Americans hunger to move: “I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation-a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any Here.”

This past Saturday, at La Jolla Playhouse, a road trip took place. The road-less-travelled kind, that of a Latina mother (Beatriz) and her 16-year-old daughter (Olivia).

"Miss You Like Hell" takes a complicated mother/daughter story and brings that relationship on the road, literally traveling from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. (Image Credit: La Jolla Playhouse/UCSD)

“Miss You Like Hell” takes a complicated mother/daughter story and brings that relationship on the road, literally traveling from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. (Image Credit: La Jolla Playhouse/UCSD)

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English of Bangladeshi descent, Akram Kahn danced above and beyond with “Chotto Desh”

There was one dancer onstage, and from this single dancer stemmed the street of Bangladesh.

The voice-over informed you that the young man, although of Bangladeshi descent, identified himself with his birthplace, London. He was a boy when he first visited his father’s homeland. The cacophonous sound of the street traffic enveloped the dancer: cars honking, tires screeching, pedestrians chattering. He reached his arms first to the left then to the right as if pulled by an invisible force, his eyes looked alarmingly in the directions paralleling his limbs; the audience tasted his disorientation.

There was one dancer, but somehow his presence felt larger. Dancer arrived as a boy, then he morphed into a driver. The driver got into a car accident and Dancer turned back into a boy, Then, Dancer transformed into a crippled beggar, then a boy, then a man pulling a rickshaw, then a boy, then a woman carrying a basket on her head, then a boy…

Blending a mix of dance, text, visuals and sound, dancer/choreographer Akram Khan took a breathtakingly beautiful approach to storytelling using modern dance.

Taking elements from his personal life, Khan gave birth to Chotto Desh, meaning “small homeland”; it is a growing-up story of a young man grappling with his cross-cultural background. Profoundly moving, innovative and magnificent, Kahn moved seamlessly among realms of Bangladesh and England, past vs. present, imagination vs. reality, and tangible vs. visceral.

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Not just a pretty facade, Highline illuminated “Blood Mirrors”

“Up Late,” a two-hour after-dark event from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., brought together music, immersive theater and installation art to the High Line located in Manhattan’s Far West side last Thursday. Arguably one of the most eye-catching exhibition was New York-based artist Jordan Eagles’ High Line projections.

The mechanics behind the display was simple, requiring only overhead projectors and transparencies. Operating on the principle of which a focusing lens projects light from an illuminated side onto the glass top, the rich hues from the transparencies were superimposed unto the High Line.The allure, however, was not in the sheer magnitude of the installation, but its constant fluidity. If someone happened to stand in front of a projector, a shadow was cast; if someone came across the path of a projected image, his or her face instantly changed into something alien, tribal even.

Indeed, High Line projections extended beyond static frameworks of traditional paintings, Instead, the artwork’s preexisting state of being continue to morph and transform in reaction to the passing onlookers. Attendees turned from passive lookers to active participants. Actions, whether standing still or moving, reconstructed the projected millisecond by millisecond.

chelsea-highline-art-jordan eagles

New York-based artist Jordan Eagles added another coat to The Highline, that of preserved and suspends blood.

Eagles’ work was pretty, interactive and selfie-worthy. But what if I were to tell you the transparencies were reprints from blood? Continue reading

Lessons from natural world animal misfits, being different is awesome

From Bacchus, the Roman god of agriculture and wine, to sublime-invoking divineness celebrated by Romantic poets to “The Magic” in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel The Secret Garden, Nature has consistently been a large part of human consciousness. Even a vertical city like New York, where every square footage of land boasts a premium price tag, Central Park and its 778 acres of prime real estate would never be turned into luxury condos or high-end retails.

Nature is glorious, soothing, frightening, powerful, beautiful and the list of adjectives continues. In fact, after watching a PBS documentary “Nature: Animal Misfits,” I realized that some of my seemingly ill-equipped-for-survival animal friends are remarkably well-adapted in their chosen way of life. Furthermore, they offer great lessons on health (giant panda), love (kakapo), work (sloth) and life (nautilus).

Being different can be awesome sometimes, like the animal misfits. It's about finding your niche and just go "Whoopee!" (Seoul, Korea/December 2010)

Being different can be awesome sometimes, like the animal misfits. It’s about finding your niche and just go “Whoopee!” (Seoul, Korea/December 2010)

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Beauty up with animal (panda) mask

As much as I enjoy the busy news cycle of a financial journalist – reporting, writing and sometimes grabbing a cocktail or two, a girl must take care of herself. In addition to my regular beauty routine, facial masks are wonderful boosters. Nothing beats facial masks: simply clean your face, put on your mask for 15-20 minutes, remove, massage/pat the remaining extract unto your skin and feel your skin radiate with joy!

Ooh, I am feeling wonderful! What’s this? Hydrated? Moisturized? (Sherry’s post-facial-mask skin raving, ha!)

My latest obsession are animal masks (see link for Panda Facial Masks). I mean, if you are already going to look ridiculous no matter what — this is inevitable, I mean, surely nobody can look hot with a Phantom of the Opera-esque mask — why not have fun?

Facial masks are great instant beautifier, add fun into your beauty routine with panda mask!

Facial masks are great instant beautifier, add fun into your beauty routine with panda mask!

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Spring into spring with pink, purple and something black

To buy a bouquet of flowers, from a return on equity point of view, is bad investment. Flowers start to die the moment they are removed from the stem, and as they loose their freshness, their value depreciate. But we adore flowers nonetheless.

As Michael Pollan pointed out in his book, The Botany of Desire, attractive flowers have a higher chance of being noticed by insects and animals (acting as agents of pollination), and thus bearing fruits first. Humans are also susceptible to this attraction.

Of the humans, Sherry has been most fatally afflicted. In addition to pink calla lilies and yellow daffodils in my office, there are also a variety of blossoms in my apartment, including snapdragon, forget-me-not, pansy, zinnia… You get the picture. And to top off my flower frenzy, a seminar on flower arrangement!

(image credit: Web/Ashley Kate HR)

(image credit: Web/Ashley Kate HR)

Word of the Day: Flower 
Flower 花(hua/ㄏㄨㄚ)

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Discovery of unicorn suggests the perfect man exists! (albeit a little hairy…)

Speaking of the unicorn — no, not your super tech startup valued at over $1 billion, but the white, mythical horse-like beast with a long horn spiraling from its forehead, it’s nice to know that it is real! A new skull fossil discovered near Kozhamzhar in the region of Pavlodar of Kazakhstan by researchers for Tomsk State University confirms the existence of the Siberian unicorn, or Elasmotherium sibiricum. 

American Journal of Applied Science published the findings.

The skull suggests a male, Siberian unicorn had once roamed the landscape. The mammal stood roughly 2 meters (6.5 feet) tall and 4.5 meters (15 feet) long and weighed about 4 tonnes.

The unicorn, instead of being white, ethereal and beautiful, is rather hairy… well, there goes reality! (image credit: Web/ The Guardian)

Great news right? Absolutely, I can tell my college-day girlfriends that we might still find that perfect man. “Hey, remember unicorn-stallion-mustang-horse-pony-donkey? Well, about Mr. Right…”

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“I got served the ellipsis!” (A note on email etiquette)

A financial reporter is a funny state of being. I am certainly no financial expert (I majored in English and Asian film studies, and I imagine if I had majored in economics, I would opt for other better-paying finance-y jobs), yet my job requires me to speak to many experts in my field, including investment bankers, debt brokers and traders. In fact, talking to the right person(s) is often what makes stellar news stories. But what if the right person(s) doesn’t want to talk to you?

Well, now enters the personality. Sure, I am professional, courteous, but I also want to connect with my sources on a personal level. It is after all a conversation. And it needs to go both directions, hence the extra seasoning with questions like “How was your [vacation/weekend/day]” or “What are you doing this [weekend]”, as well as throwing in a little about myself and various doings.

But what to do when I was given… the ELLIPSIS?

Ellipsis sorta, kinda drives me crazy. As minions can… (image credit: Universal Studio/Web)

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