a writer's world

If there were any doubts in my mind about the wisdom of my moving here, they're all gone now. I finally understood why I am so drawn to this city. And its called Litquake, San Francisco's annual literary festival.

Picture this: 350 authors in a week full of literary events, from readings to workshops, poetry, music, politics, storytelling, theater, and children's lit, all for the love of the written word.

To a geek like me, this sounds too good to be true. Yet its really happening here. In fact, I just went to an event called Off the Richter Scale today and I was blown away. Most of the readings were so powerful that they were almost too much to take in. One of the authors, Adam Mansbach, recited the prologue of his novel Angry Black White Boy from memory. He gave such an awesome performance that I felt goosebumps on my arms, and I didn't even understand half of what he was saying! When it was all over, I went away inspired and slightly disoriented, a feeling that usually happens when I am in the presence of something or someone who makes me think.

And that was only the beginning. There's still so much in store for the rest of the week. Their line-up includes Pulitzer finalist Dave Eggers (author of the book A Heartbreaking Work of Stagerring Genius and one of my favorites), Deborah Major, Phil Cousineau, Constance Hale, Luis Alberto Urrea and so many more, including actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who will read from her children's book titled Is There Really A Human Race?

The best part of it all is that it's free, most of the events are anyway. One of its traditions,
Lit Crawl, promised to get everyone "drunk on words" next Saturday evening. I can't wait. I just hope I'll be "sober" enough to write here. Something like this is definitely worth blogging.

parallel synchronized randomness

Yet another reason to make me stay in this city is the convenience of watching independent and foreign films. While in L.A. you have to drive so far to go to an indie film theater, here its only a 15-minute ride via the Muni.
Last night, I watched Michael Gondry's The Science of Sleep starring Gael Garcia Bernal. I've always admired Gondry's work ever since I saw his award-winning movie Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind. And of course, everyone knows how much I love Gael (read my entry here), so I just had to see this.

Set in Paris, the story is about Stephane (Gael), a creative yet somewhat immature visual artist who has a hard time separating his dream world from his lived reality. He falls in love with his neighbor and for the rest of movie tries and fails miserably to pursue her. Stephane believes in the phenomenon of PSR (Parallel Synchronized Randomness), where two people end up finding each other because they have similar thoughts. Sort of like soulmates, but in a childish way, complete with plastic time machines and a broken pony.

This film, however, is more chaotic than what its storyline suggests. Gondry is a genius when it comes to visual effects and the end result is surreal and dreamlike, which you have to see in order to appreciate. As usual, Gael was great and I really enjoyed watching him play a nerdy and boyish character as opposed to his more "serious" roles (think Amores Perros). And I loved how he switches between 3 languages: French, Spanish, and English tinged with a Spanish accent.

Overall, I think The Science of Sleep is a charming, quirky, and very much "out there" movie. You will either love it or hate it, there's no in between. Personally, I loved it. But if you like cookie-cutter Hollywood films, then this is probably NOT for you.

on a shallow note

I just need an excuse to swoon, so I thought I should share this video clip of Gael's French Levi's ad. I know, I'm hopeless!

But really, what's not to love? He's beautiful, he's smart, he's an amazing actor, he picks films that are socially relevant, plus he traveled all the way to South Asia to support Oxfam's global campaign to Make Trade Fair. I'm a little worried though because he is also starring in Brad Pitt's upcoming movie Babel. Could it be that he has finally succumbed to Hollywood's lure? I hope not, for I really want him to stay indie.

Enjoy this YouTube video!


  1. your site is so cute,
    take care

  2. Oh yeah. He had me at Hola in Y Tu Mama Tambien. ;)

  3. OMG, Gael is hotter than tabasco!!! Does he speak French too?

  4. his french was ok in the movie i guess. but i'm not sure if he actually speaks it.

    but yeah, he's definitely smokin' hot in that commercial.