Tuesday, November 27, 2007

.: : . .Dehumidifier. . . .

I live in Hai'ku.

This is one of the wettest climates one can live in. We are in the jungle. We keep telling people that and they think we mean we live in trees.

Some out here do live in trees or dug into the side of a hill. But most of us, we have houses, regular homes with roofs, doors, and windows. We even have appliances. But we do live in the jungle.

I have a King bed, carpet, a gas kitchen, a back porch surrounded by green of every shade, a stream behind the house and a bathroom with two shower heads--- the house and the location are amazing.

Except it's dank. Everything is dank. In upcountry Maui, when you are on the hilltops, or perched somehow to receive sun, it all dries out in the daytime. But in Haiku, on Holokai Rd., it can rain for weeks and never get sun. We are in the valley-- better known as a gulch- where the earth resembles a digestive system, everything is decomposing.

If I leave the refrigerator open for a few minutes, water drips from the seams. Anything in the closet that doesn't get washed every week starts to get digested by tiny earthen filaments floating in from the jungle outside my windows. My favorite photographs of my birthday last year and my nieces are molding.

Yesterday, someone mentioned to me that their friend had gotten mold in their lungs. They had to move to Kihei where it's dry. My roommate Jessica works with Malik, one of the leading nutrition and Chinese medicine specialists, who told her when she moved in that she couldn't stay. As I went to bed, the smell of mold crept up from my sheets and pillows. I sprinkled an essential oil of pine on the bed and went to sleep determined to be done with this.

So today, I fixed the dryer upstairs and I bought a dehumidifier.

Everything is different.

The dehumidifier has been on since 4pm (8 hours) and I have emptied about 100 pints of water. My thumbs are bleeding from wrench and metal scratches from installing the dryer. Right now the dehumidifier is in the closet, shooting hot air through the dank clothes.

I am realizing how completely sensitive I am to my environment.

I have lived here for 11 months. I moved in when the rainy season was just ending. That is what I was told. Now, I am told that the rainy season is just beginning.

My questions are:
  • Why haven't I gotten mold in my lungs? How would I know if I did?
  • If I haven't, at what point is this all mind over matter?
  • Why have I been fine for 11 months? Am I just running the dehumidifier out of fear?
  • What else have I been neglecting?
I've looked for a dehumidifier on craigslist for 3 months, starting when my new housemates, Jen and Jessica, moved into the house upstairs, and we started a cleanse for a month. Today, I finally went to Lowes (much better than Home Depot) and purchased the remaining dryer component and the dehumidifier.

Plants sprouting mushrooms
My room has been dank for months
I live in Haiku

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Personal Note: Work Play and Focus

I've got my restaurant work down to about 2 days a week. My new relationship to my job waiting tables is that it provides me a job that I do well, don't have to think about and I get to spend time with a bunch of people I really enjoy. (Nice to get out of the isolation of the studio).

The restaurant is Hali'imaile General Store which in my view is one of the best restaurants in Maui. An operating wing of the company is Celebrations Catering, one of the largest and best Maui caterers. They also cater weddings and special events.

I spent an amazing day yesterday in Hana with my roommates Jenn and Nyema. It was clearing, yet we had stayed up 'til 6 am the night before with 30 of our friends initiating our home with a great party and I was exhausted. Today I went to the waterfall with Rachel.

All the while, knowing I had soooo much work to do (My To Do List):
  1. Finish commissioned artwork for New York client. 5' x 3' painting
  2. Complete and post on youtube, video of Source (interactive arts festival in Maui)
  3. Promote The Black Box. The latest version is finished and available as a DVD. I want edIT from the Glitch Mob to provide the soundtrack and as luck would have it, he is coming out to perform at the Source fun-raiser in two weeks. The Black Box (original version) is on the internet, however the current version is only on DVD for now.
  4. Create the latest Aloha Art Update to promote my artwork and share funky art news. I need to get this out before the War and Peace Art Show closes at the epOxybOx in Venice Beach, CA.
  5. Find a gallery in SF/Oakland for the War and Peace Art Show that is traveling across the country.
  6. Send Invoice for Website Work on HGS website.
  7. pay bills, pay ticket, clean room so it's zen, prepare to go to SXSW film festival in Austin in March where the war and peace show will be...
I'll post in a couple days on how I'm doing.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Close-up of "Burning Angels, Hungry Ghosts and a Million Little Bubbles" now showing at the epOxybOx "War and Peace Art Show".

"Burning Angels, Hungry Ghosts, and A Million Little Bubbles"

If George W. Bush were to meditate, what would his experience be?

The notion that George W. Bush lives in a bubble, isolated from the opinions of the American Citizenry and the world around him, is a projection that we put upon him to relieve our own guilt and responsibility for America's war in Iraq. The fact is, that we as Americans are quite successful, in our own right, at living out joyful lives during war; each of us in our own little bubbles. We have pretty nice bubbles, especially here in Maui.

Like all projections, there is truth in it. Bush has a dogma he prescribes to that, given much external dialogue, would soon reveal it's inconsistencies. So, better for W. to remain in his bubble. Otherwise, the vision he is holding, his vision of freedom, which seems to include a religious polarity of us against them, would falter.

In the title, I am referencing Bush's self defeating starkly dualistic view of the world and religion. I am also referencing the public castigation of author James Frey for lying in his book A Million Little Pieces. Our failure to even censor the President for his lies is a painful hypocrisy.

In early discussions of what to name the art exhibition for which this art piece was created, Maui Artists for Peace wanted something bold and audacious that demanded an end to the war in Iraq. As more artists joined, the sentiment was expressed that it does not serve to fight for peace. To achieve peace, we must be and express peace. It has been said: heal yourself, heal your family, heal your community and the world will be healed. The question is how to manifest peace. The danger is isolating oneself on an island in the middle of the Pacific to the point where in other parts of the world, people experiencing the worst kinds of death and violence, seem a world away.

It was Dennis Kucinich who said, before the war started, that we must have compassion and hold the President's hand as we walk him back from the abyss. In this painting, a plastic bubble (made from petroleum) surrounds President Bush as he sits, meditating in the lotus position.

To manifest peace, I manifest a peaceful George W. Bush.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cleanse and Rejuvenate: Day 22

Getting close to the finish line.
Tomorrow is all water. No supplements. No lemon. No nothing.
It's been raining everyday out here in Haiku. I was thinking of heading to Hana and getting a hotel for the night, but I don't want to be out there in the rain. Instead, I'll head to one of my favorite beaches out in La Perouse Bay for a day of quiet. I'll bring my tent and sleeping bag and attempt to camp.
The beach I'm headed to is serene. Maybe I'll get lucky and call in some dolphins.

All water. I'll pack some Inca Berries and maybe some apples and nuts for Thursday morning.
I'm looking forward to a latte in a couple of days.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Cleanse and Rejuvenate: Day 17 (something positive)

I don't mean to be a grouch about it. I feel great. I just don't feel like totally amazing and uber clear and like super man.

So what have I learned that you might find useful?

  1. Yams. Sweet Potatoes man. Super good for you. In fact, they contain protein, vitamins, minerals, tons of good stuff-- they contain enough to live on alone. Not that you would, but if you are not into yams, get into em. AND they are tasty.
  2. Olive oil is AMAZING for you-- but I knew that-- BUT DON'T ALWAYS HEAT OLIVE OIL. Heating oils makes oils bad-- artery clogging bad, free radical bad. And the solution is easy, heat your veggies in a pan with water or bake them and then pour the olive oil onto it. Olive oil is the only oil that actually reduces the bad fat in your body.
  3. Soak your nuts. (insert Beavis and Butthead chuckle here). When you soak almonds in water overnight they turn out pretty good. And they have turned slightly into a sprout. Sprouts are good for you. This one I have heard over and over and it resonates with my intuition-- sprouting food is like eating a little spark of life energy. In the morning, just drain them and add them to cereal, snack em...
  4. Best Sweetener: Maple Syrup. It's got lots of minerals and stuff. Just don't use processed sugar. Processed sugar strips the goods out of you.
  5. Salt and sodium do not cause heart disease. OK, this one, I bet is well contested by the medical community. According to my raw food class, table salt is responsible for high blood pressure. Sea Salt and Himalayan salt are healthy alternatives. Clearly there is something right here-- we need salt to live.
  6. Recipe for Healthy Tasty Salsa: throw into a food processor-- 4 tomatoes, small onion, garlic clove, small jalepeno, dash of apple cider vinegar, bunch of cilantro... blend for a couple of seconds. Add some avocado up in that mix. Mmmmmm. Yum.
  7. Wheat is kind of bad, sprouted wheat is WAY better. Sprouted grain breads are available at any food store. Ezekial 4:9 is my favorite and they make a good cereal too that is sprouted.
I've tried to convince my roommate Jessica, who is the Teacher Assistant, that Malik needs to have a blog. I'm sure his info would be much better.

Cleanse and Rejuvenate: Day 17

No alcohol, no coffee, no heated oils, no dairy, no meat, no wheat, no smoke.

The gist of the cleanse our house is on through Chinese herbalist Malik of the Dragon's Den in Makawao, HI is a lot of "no's".

The first week focused on cleansing the liver, followed by the kidneys and we have just entered the lungs. We've also had a number of days of just raw-- nothing cooked.

The benefit of a raw diet is explained as such: raw foods generally contain enzymes in their natural state that aid in their digestion.

I've been cheating on the no tobacco, but otherwise have been hardcore. At this point, I am completing the cleanse for the same reason I climbed to the top of Mt. Whitney-- The satisfaction of completion, to get to the finish line. To say I did it, I did it fully, so I don't have to do it again.

Do you sense a little edge? Perhaps I'm edgy.

Day 23 is all water. The last day is integration-- fruits, veggies.

I'm appreciating that I like balance, I like meat, I like a drink...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Smart People, Motivation, Inspiration... TED

I've been to this site a few times in the last year. I've always thought of Tony Robbins as the sort of annoying guy in late night infomercials. I now realize my impression is far out of date.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Original Black Box (2003)

This is the original version of the Black Box that Hope Pritikin and I made 4 years ago and brought to Burning Man and played on the playa. It's about race relations in the United States and begins with the question, "Why aren't that many African Americans at Burning Man". The quality is a bit rough and we would make numerous changes if we were to re-edit, and we actually are re-editing. I am posting it here in it's original entirety.

Original Black Box (2003) from G and Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


here's a saying by ursula k. leguin shared by Amy Halvatzes:

only in silence, the word
only in darkness, the light
only in dying, life
Bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Poem provided by Jamey Austin

Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
The world is tired also

When your vision has gone
No part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
Where the night has eyes
To recognize its own.

There you can be sure
You are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb
The night will give you a horizon
Further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
Except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
Confinement of your aloneness

To learn

Anything or anyone
That does not bring you alive

Is too small for you.

-David Whyte

Friday, June 15, 2007

War and Peace Art Show

The Maui Artists for Peace present Maui's War and Peace Art Show . It is thus far exceeding most people's expectations. With over 200 works of art and 80 artists, it's phenomenal that the call for art went out less than a week before the show opened. The website is mauistopthewar.com

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What I am working on: The Black Box @ Burning Man

This is what I am working on right now. I'm taking the Black Box, the movie that we showed on the playa at Burning Man a few years ago, and putting it in a more current context.

Burning Man was happening while Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. The conclusion we reached after interviewing African Americans about the lack of diversity at a festival like Burning Man, was that, for the most part, black people and white people don't really hang out that much. There are certainly the cross-over points, where groups intermingle regardless of race, but they are rare and special.

I think it's important to look at race in America. Especially considering how Hurricane Katrina ripped away a veil that had tried to hide impoverished blacks from the world. The reaction of the American people revealed our heart while our government revealed our lack of courage

Burning Man is a very American place and the lack of racial diversity at the festival is really just a reflection of our country.

The new version opens with Hurricane Katrina and then zooms in on Hope and me on the playa with the original version of the black box playing on a TV in the background.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


"...others cannot bring us peace. No leader is going to give us peace, no government, no army, no country. What will bring peace is inward transformation which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, is not a withdrawal from outward action."

The time of looking for a leader, a Dr. King, a Gandhi or a Barrack Obama to bring us peace is past. Change will come with hundreds, thousands perhaps millions of leaders. Obama has called for grassroots, for involvement among likeminded people to get involved on a community basis. Helping ourselves and our communities is the best thing we can do for our country and for the world. It is the inner transformation that will bring us peace.

Peace is not just an absence of war, peace is an act of sensitivity. We do not just get along, we act from a place of compassion for ourselves and those around us. By respecting the space of our former enemies, we honor ourselves.

Peace is not just getting out of Iraq. It is having a personal recognition of everyones humanity. Peace comes from the peaceful journey of each person.