Archive for February, 2009

Gordon N. Chan Post Office

Gordon Chan

Gordon Chan

The Main Post Office at 1750 Lundy Avenue was renamed as the Gordon N. Chan Post Office in a ceremony on February 18.

Back in October 2008, the U.S. House and Senate passed Public Law 1110-442 renaming the Lundy Avenue Post Office in honor of Gordon Chan at the request of Congressman Mike Honda (D-Campbell).

“Gordon served in many entities of importance in our valley and was the living example of a business leader who understood that giving back to his community was an honor and a duty for successful citizens such as him,” Honda said. “I thank my colleagues in the House and the Senate for voting to recognize Gordon Chan.”

The first Chinese-American to be appointed to the Santa Clara County Planning Commission, first and only Chinese-American president of the Santa Clara Farm Bureau, he also served on the County’s Redistricting Commission, Trail Commission, Open Space Authority, Cut Flower Commission, and the Fair Board. Chan also served as executive director of Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), as executive board member and founder of the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project (CHCP), and as president of Hee Shen Benevolent Association.

Chan earned a B.S. degree in ornamental horticulture from California Polytechnic University in 1959; that year he married Anita, who he met at their church.

Chan took over family ownership of the T.S. Chan Nursery (located about a mile from the post office), one of Santa Clara County’s largest commercial flower growers.

He died of a heart attack in 2001 (born 1936).

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Cinequest Friday

I got the real Festival experience Friday night, hitting three films at Cinequest. One thing I realized is that 90 minute films are great. I don’t normally go to movies often, and when I do its often a 200 minute blockbuster like Lord of the Rings. Unlike those blockbusters, with a 90 minute film you can make the movie part of your evening out instead of it having to be the whole evening out.

My first film for the evening was How am I not Going to Love You? (Como no te voy a querer?), the U.S. premiere of a Mexican film about young soccer fans in Mexico City. Although the CQ blurb makes it sound like the film is about the relationship between the two young people, Hugo and Julia, I found the conflicts in Hugo’s family were the more compelling story. Focusing on that story, the movie becomes a story about mistakes made, and how they can be overcome. It’s a really moving story, and the best I’ve seen so far in the festival. Highly recommended. How am I not Going to Love You? will be shown again Thursday, March 5, at 9 pm at the Camera 12.

Next was Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders (CQ program blurb). This documentary follows two groups of Medecins sans Frontieres volunteer doctors in Liberia and Congo. Their passion to help the people of these war-torn countries and their disappointment and struggle to accept that their resources and abilities can’t hope to satisfy their monumental medical needs are the focus of the film. Particularly evocative is the story of Davinder Gill(?), a young doctor sent on his first volunteer mission to a remote village in Liberia, where his post represents the only organized medical facility in an entire province. The difficulty of getting needed supplies and support at his remote location drive him near the edge, and make him the most dramatic figure in the movie. Again a highly recommended film. Living in Emergency will screen again Sunday, March 1, at 11 am at the Rep, and Monday, March 12, at 12:45 pm at Camera 12.

Finally, I saw Corpse Run, billed as a romantic comedy about the video game generation, and presented last night in its world premiere. The film was made on a microscopic budget, which shows in the video-quality picture and is even explicitly noted in segments where establishing shots are replaced with on-screen text; but that wouldn’t matter if the story was really captivating. Unfortunately there are a few weaknesses there, too, which I might be hypercritical about being a 30-something geek myself. For one, the dialog is occassionally marred by scenes where the characters seem to be reading Wired magazine articles about the psychology of (late) Generation X to each other; and in another instance in characters who might represent LA geekdom in their designer shirts and hairstyles, but who aren’t believable as geeks when compared to the engineers I work with in my day job. On the other hand, the romp through the cultural icons of the born-in-the-70s generation, from the Atari 2600 and Muppets drinking glasses to Ranma manga and Everquest, was great fun, and there are lots of laugh-out-loud (I should say, “LOL”) moments, so this is still a worthwhile and fun film, but don’t expect to really believe in it if you are a geek yourself. Corpse Run shows again Sunday, March 1, at 1:30 pm at the Rep, and Wednesday, March 4, at 5 pm at Camera 12.

Cinequest 19: Day 2

capers-the-film

Day 2 started with a soiree at the Hilton San Jose. The hotel did it up with delicious offerings of cheese, vegetables, fruit, little desert bites, etc.
There I met up with the cast and crew of ‘Help Wanted’ a short film by Teo Guardino.

I made it over the California Theatre just in time to view ‘Capers’. This film revolves around the safe of a much hated pawn shop owner, all the while making fun of ethnic groups, religion, and sexual preference. What could have been an absurdity, was fashioned into an uproariously funny piece.

Capers:

Friday, Feb. 27th @ 4:30 PM – San Jose Repertory Theatre

Sunday, March 1st @ 9:30 PM – Camera 12

* Filmmakers at the Great Collaboration Forum

Friday the 27th @ 1:30 PM – San Jose Repertory Theatre

flickr set

Cinequest 19: Opening Night Gala

I’ll begin by saying, “If you missed the opening, you missed a fantastic night out in San Jose.”

Ellie Kranner’s ‘Wake’ was the perfect quirky pick up my spirits (pun intended) film I’ve seen in some time. Bijou Phillips captivating portrayal of Carys had me laughing and crying along with her. And who could resist Ian Somerhalder as Tyler. Jane Seymour (Open Heart Necklace bejeweled) as Carys’s mother added a, “Oh, look at Jane”, moment.

When the curtain came down and the applause died, Ellie Kranner was gifted a Vivienne Tam HP Digital Clutch Notebook. We were then treated to cast interviews. Someone asked how long it took to film. I was surprised to learn that they had ‘it’ in only four weeks! Yes, I asked a question too. I wanted to know if Jane Seymour was actually paid a salary, or was the flashing of her necklace enough? A laughing Ms. Kranner assured me that they did indeed pay Seymour .

As I was leaving the theatre I spotted a familiar face – Bijou’s sister, Mackenzie (American Graffiti, One Day at a Time). I told her that it was nice to see her. To which she replied, “Nice to be seen.” Did she had something to share with San Jose Metblogs? Yes, her tell-all book( Simon & Schuster) in the spring.

Before the show I made sure to introduce Mark Tran, ‘All About Dad‘, to Jason.

flickr Cinequest 19 set – I later spotted the Phillips sisters on the sidewalk in front of the California Theatre taking a smoke break. Some guy asked me to lower my camera, so just imagine smoke billowing round their heads.

Tonight – ‘Capers’ 7:00 PM California Theatre –

Bijou Phillips

Library events coming up

Two events are worthy of note at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Library this weekend.

First, a new exhibit of photography by Amber Hsu will be opened in the 4th floor exhibit area. Hsu’s photos of Taiwan and Western China capture rural life “in the peripheries and borderlands of an increasingly globalized world.” The exhibit will be open from Sunday, March 1, through April 30, and viewable whenever the library is open. The exhibit will open with an artist’s reception on Sunday from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

Second, the Friends of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, Library will hold their monthly book sale on the south patio, behind their regular sale area. On Saturday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm hardcovers will sell for $1 and paperbacks for $0.50; on Sunday from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm $5 buys all the books you can fit in a shopping bag. These book sales held every month (usually on the last weekend of the month) are a great way to support the library and get something to read without worrying about return dates and overdue notices.

Cinequest Film Festival 19: Transform

2319507628_4e32b26b59

February 25 – March 8, 2009 Cinequest will transform a three block area of San Jose through celebration, innovation, humor, love, provocation, and inspiration.

Opening night: ‘Wake’ (as in funeral) starring Bijou Phillips, Danny Masterson, and Jane Seymour makes its world premiere here in San Jose. Mezcal at 25 W San Fernando and Billy Berk’s at 99 S. 1st St. are hosting the post screening party(s). Will actors and filmmakers show up at both? General admission price of $12.00, or $40.00 if you include the party. 7 PM at the California Theatre.

Closing Night: The world premiere of ‘The Nature of Existence’. What a deal. A documentary that explains it all… Why are we here? Does God exist, etc.? All for only the general admission price of $12.00, or $40.00 if you include the party – appetizers, desserts, cocktails and entertainment at E & O Trading Co. 7:30 PM at the California Theatre

Maverick Spirit Recipients:

* Louis Gossett Jr – Academy Award winner® – ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’.

Award presentation and screening of ‘The Least Among You’.

March 3rd, 7:00 PM – California Theatre – General Admission $10.00

* Kevin Pollak – The Usual Suspects’, ‘The Whole Nine Yards”, ‘That Thing You Do’; ‘Casino’

The evening includes stand-up film comedy by Pollak.

March 4th, 7:00 PM – California Theatre – General Admission – $20:00

* Diablo Cody – Academy Award winning® screenwriter – ‘Juno’.

March 6th, 3 PM – San Jose Repertory Theatre – $15 ticket for the conversation – moderated by Lew Hunter.

Local Filmmakers World Premieres:

* ‘All About Dad’ by, Mark Tran a Vietnamese-American comedy.

* ‘Canary’ by, Alejandro Adams (Around the Bay, Cinequest 2008) Organ harvesting.

Get a Cinequest Mobile iPhone – iPod Touch App

Quadruple Transit of Saturn’s Moons

SaturnYep, Tuesday morning February 24 there will be a quadruple transit of Saturn’s moons.

Okay, what the heck does that mean? It means Titan, Mimas, Dione and Enceladus will pass directly in front of Saturn and you will see their silhouettes crossing Saturn’s cloud tops all at the same time.

This all begins Tuesday morning at 2:54 am PST with Titan. Titan, being as big as a barn, may be seen looking through a small telescope.

The smaller moons Mimas, Dione and Enceladus one by one will follow Titan. At 6:24 am PST, all four moons will be in front of Saturn.

To photograph the smaller moons, you will need a mid-sized telescope equipped with a good CCD camera.

Of course, this is all weather dependent and your willingness to be awake at those hours.

Also, keep an eye out for the green Comet Lulin. It should be observable in the dark skies with binoculars; best on Tuesday, February 24 just below Saturn.

Cinequest Parking

downtown-parking-map
For infrequent visitors to Downtown San Jose parking can be an adventure. Especially, which lots/garages have the best rates, which are free on weekends and which accept validation.

Well kids, there is an interactive map that provides you with that information. Click on a lot/garage and a popup window gives rates, hours, validation information (including Camera 12 Cinemas 3 1/2 hour validation), and other helpful info.

For the free lots, there is no charge for parking from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays. If you exit after 6:00 pm, you will be charged a flat $3.00 fee. There are also lots that charge the $3.00 flat fee weeknights when you enter the lot after 6:00 pm.

For on street parking, parking meters are in operation Monday through Saturday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The time limit for meters in Downtown varies from 12 minutes up to 4 hours, with the majority being set for 1 hour; meter rates are $1.00 per hour Downtown.

Parking Map

Validation Information

National Pancake Day is this Tuesday

ihop-2009Tuesday February 24, 2009 is National Pancake Day. IHOP is celebrating National Pancake Day (also known as Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday) by giving away a free short stack of pancakes from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. In return, they ask you to make a donation to support the Children’s Miracle Network (an international non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children’s hospitals) and other local charities.

Head on over (early) to your nearest IHOP, have a free short stack of pancakes, make a donation, and remember to tip your server.

There is a limit of one free short stack per guest at participating restaurants for dine-in only while supplies last.

644 N. First Street
San Jose, 95112
294-4130

5403 Stevens Creek Blvd
Santa Clara, 95051
996-3393

4200 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, 95054
980-8887

5687 Jarvis Avenue
Newark, 94560
(510) 794-5687

491 Veterans Blvd
Redwood City, 94063
(650) 367-8849

VTA to Text Alerts and Information

vta_logo

Soon VTA riders can sign up to receive a cell phone text message that will alert them to any unforeseen change in bus or light rail service.
Next Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009 visit the VTA website and click “Sign Up for E-mail Updates” for new information and updates.
While on the VTA site I noticed the Adopt-a-Stop Program – visit the website
I saw an Adopt-a-Stop sign on Hamilton Ave. just east of Leigh Ave.
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