Archive for August, 2012

PAC*SJ presents impressive home tour

The Preservation Action Council of San Jose (PAC*SJ), put on an impressive home tour today, highlighting the work of San Jose’s own Prairie School architects, Frank Delos and Carl Wolfe.

Eight San Jose homes were shown, all by the firm of Wolfe & Wolfe, and all showcasing the Prairie Style pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright. The homes all featured the bold horizontal lines, geometrical details, and stained glass that are well-known features of Prairie Style design. They also shared features, like egg-and-dart moldings that seem to be special favorites of Wolfe & Wolfe.

Two homes were highlights of the tour. The Col House, in Hanchett Park, is a well-known architectural landmark, and has been featured in American Bungalow magazine, and is billed as “perhaps the most photographed house in San Jose”. The house presents a spectacular view from the street and was equally well-appointed within.

The Caputo House (pictured) is less well known, sitting among much more recent development south of Stevens Creek Boulevard in West San Jose, but equally spectacular. And homeowner Krista Van Laan, who also led the efforts to put on the tour, has decorated the house to celebrate its architectural heritage.

Overall the tour was fabulously well-run, with traffic moving smoothly through all the houses. Even with the tour locations spread widely across San Jose, my group had plenty of time to complete the tour, even with a lunch break. Many of the docents were able to present interesting background on the houses they were presenting. I was told that the entire ticket supply of 800 was sold, giving PAC*SJ a well-deserved revenue boost.

Congratulations to Krista Van Laan and PAC*SJ for presenting a great home tour. I’ll look forward to more PAC*SJ events in the future.

Stanford Mobile Blood Drive @ Whole Foods Market

Today at 11:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM

Whole Foods Market Blossom Hill
Stanford Mobile Blood Drive
1146 Blossom Hill Road
1 (408) 266-3700

Read why we should give today August 18, 2012

San Jose Bike Party “The Luau Ride” August 17, 2012

It is the Friday that the SJBP (San Jose Bike Party) may take its ride through your neighborhood. For non-bikers it is helpful to know their route. The riders have been known to be loud enough to wake sleeping children. Also, when out in a car it is best to avoid the stream of bikes.

Tonight’s ride “The Luau Ride” on August 17, 2012 will hit the streets at 8 p.m. It will start in the SJ County Parking Lot – 1st St. and Hedding.St.

The SJBP site encourages safe, legal and courteous behavior. So, if putting on your Hawaiian style beachwear we are wishing you a fun ride that will be safe for all.

8 p.m. ~ 1st St. & Hedding St.

R The Alameda
At De La Cruz / El Camino fork veer L to go onto El Camino Real R Lafayette St
L Laurelwood Rd
R Thomas Rd – becomes Mission College Blvd – R to stay on MC Blvd

REGROUP 1 – Mission College 7.5 mi

Exit R Mission College Blvd L Burton Dr
L Wyatt Dr
L Bassett St

R Agnew Rd L Lafayette St – becomes Gold St

R Catherine St – becomes State St

R Spreckles Ave
R Grand Blvd

Continue straight onto Disk Dr

REGROUP 2 – L into Jubilee Parking Lot just before Nortech Pkwy

Exit R on Disk Drive – becomes Grand Blvd becomes Los Esteros Rd becomes Zanker Rd becomes Old Bayshore Hwy

Slight right onto N 10th St R San Fernando St
R 5th St

END: SJ City Hall 5th St @ Santa Clara St


I was a taxi driver here in San Jose for many years and that is how I met my husband Ken. He is a very busy taxi driver.

Between his job and his love for playing pool he wouldn’t have the time for another wife… But, then there is a taxi driver named John who is married to two wives!

Read all about it: RUN FOR YOUR WIFE

John, a taxi driver, is married to two wives who live in different parts of London. Things go well until he rescues an elderly woman from three muggers and winds up in the hospital. The ensuing treatment throws his carefully constructed life off kilter. John’s dilemma is not helped when an upstairs neighbor tries to help and only makes things worse. Add two police detectives, one sexually charged wife, one play-by-the-rules wife and a gay dressmaker and you have the elements of chaos and continuous laughter.

Mary Smith……………….Lucy Littlewood
Barbara Smith……………Cynthia Branch Lagodzinski
John Smith………………..Jim Woodbury
Det. Sgt. Troughton……Joel Butler
Stanley Gerdner…………C. Conrad Cady
Det. Sgt Porterhouse….Spencer Stevenson
Bobby Franklyn…………Jimmy James Allan

Directed by John Baldwin
Assistat Director Gary Laidlaw

Broadway West Theatre Company
4000 B Bay Street, Fremont, CA

Call for info and tickets ~ 1 (510) 683-9218
Tickets are going fast! Final weekend, last three performances.

facebook: Broadway West Theatre Company

Ken with his other "wife"

Interview with local filmmaker Vijay Rajan

Journey Through Fire

Vijay Rajan is co-owner and Chief Creative Office of Siren Song Productions, a media services company and original film studio based in San Jose.  Having journeyed all the way from Virudhunagar, India to become a graduate of Santa Teresa High School and San Jose State University, he is now also well known throughout our own Cinequest Film Festival as an accomplished director of short films.  He is now in the process of filming a very important full length documentary, Journey Through Fire.  Journey Through Fire is a brutally honest and intimate documentary about a young woman who was raped by her brother and his friends throughout her childhood. It is not about what happened to her; it is about who she is now. This harrowing film promises to be unlike anything you have ever seen before – and hopes to inspire support and understanding for those who have endured the unthinkable.  I spoke with Vijay last week about the making of this documentary and how the community can help.  What came out of that is the following long interview which I just can’t see a reason to edit down.  It’s an important film, and I think Vijay gets his message across in this interview.

1. You have chosen a difficult subject with JOURNEY THROUGH FIRE.  Explain to our readers a little more about this documentary.

Sometimes in life you are given the chance to participate in something life-changing. That was the choice presented to me almost a year ago when I discovered that a good friend of mine had been raped by her brother and his friends for several years during her childhood. I was fascinated by her psychology, by the way she saw the world – how much of that was influenced by what she’d been through? And how was she able to rationalize acts of violence committed against her in adulthood? How was she able to still be compassionate?

These are difficult topics and not something that most people want to face. I never felt as if I had a choice. I turned on a camera – and that was the beginnings of the documentary Journey Through Fire.

To be honest, though, I had no idea how difficult a process this would be, not only emotionally for myself, but interpersonally, conceptually, artistically, and in recognizing the large amount of discomfort and apathy that exists towards such a brutal and harrowing topic.

If a survivor of the unthinkable can face these things, however, why not a filmmaker? Why not an audience? And aren’t the most inspiring movies the most harrowing, anyway?

2. Where did you meet the subject of this film and how did you come up with the concept?

For the sake of her safety, I’m not going to answer the first part of the question. She’s already been very courageous in coming forward and speaking her story and to give the details of how I met her just puts her out there further than we’d like.

But I will say this. When I first met the subject – and others have echoed this sentiment – what they are most floored by is her vitality. She is always laughing, she is bouncy, energetic, enthusiastic, and happy. I honestly was quite attracted to all of those qualities. She’s got this light in her eyes that’s really quite something.

When you think of a survivor of something like this, you think of someone who’s in a sense destroyed by it. Alcoholism, drug dependencies, at the very least depression. Not being able to hold down a job. She is none of these things. For her, what happened to her was a normal childhood. She shrugs it off. And that’s what so insidious about what was done. Its effects aren’t obvious. You have to look deep, dig deep, and then you begin to see the huge psychological effects. This is after all the woman who was walking down the street with me, stopped under a street-lamp, and innocently, heart-breakingly, asked, “Is it molestation if it happens only once?”

But for a filmmaker, that was the challenge, perhaps even the attraction. Can a film see deep inside a person’s mind? Can we really see and understand the depths of a person in a documentary? Look not just into what she’s saying but who she is?

And that’s just her story. What happened to her and how it happened and the effects of it continuing to her life now and the effects it has on those that love her — this is such an intricate story. When I began filming this documentary, I could not have predicted the twists and turns this year has taken. I knew it would be complex, but my God… I feel like it’s been much longer than a year. Living in this world, thinking these thoughts, has been a gauntlet.

Yet the constant through it all has been her. What makes this documentary unique is that I love the subject. I really do. She has been one of my closest friends. And seeing her fortitude and her exuberance, the excitement that she feels when she watches Phantom of the Opera, or gets scared of glass elevators, or talks about Tom Hiddleston as an actor, these “normal” things, these things that are her, they’re the light. I’m smiling as I say this because I just referred to her ridiculously irrational fear of glass elevators as “normal.” But that’s her. That’s my friend.

Journey Through Fire

3. Besides financing, what has been the biggest obstacle/problem in making this film?

Getting people to deal with the subject. It’s discomforting. It’s tragic. It’s depressing. But you have to wade through all of that to get to the light. This is an ultimately inspiring story – if for nothing else than it has inspired a movement, small as it is now, but growing every day. I get responses from people every week speaking about how the teaser trailer (now available at has moved them. Yes, there have been those who have said, “I wouldn’t watch the movie. It’d be too hard.” But I’ve also heard from those who want to commit, who want to champion, who want to stand up. i:Scintilla, the popular independent Chicago-based band that is scoring all of the music – all for free unless we get distribution, by the way – they’re champions. I admire them so much. I’ve had other survivors speak to me, share with me, open up to me.

When you let something sit in the dark, you actually become a part of the perpetuation of it. Getting people to deal with this subject has been difficult, but I feel that if you come through it, you don’t feel demotivated or depressed, you feel inspired. You have to know the people, the survivors and the supporters. There’s no way these people could leave you depressed. Choosing to look has its rewards.

And that goes for me too. I would be lying if I said I jumped out of bed every day energized to work on Journey Through Fire. This is draining material some days, especially when it’s about someone you love, its impact on you, the apathy of the world, and the evil that can exist inside of it. But looking back, I don’t really remember those days. I remember instead the ones where she and I conducted a heartbreaking

interview and then ended the night watching an episode of Game of Thrones laughing at Tyrion Lannister’s dialogue. I remember a professor from my old film school, someone I’ve known and admired for years, telling me on Facebook, of all places, that she too is a survivor and she believes in being open about these things, and then the kind words she said about the movie we were making. I remember Kurt Kuenne, director of the phenomenal Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father, signing on to mentor me on the production of this film, because he was so moved by the subject’s spirit. These are people. Extraordinary people. How could the experience of knowing them be negative?

[Read more and find out how to help] (more…)

Chevron Richmond Refinery Fire

Fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond started at about 6:30 PM.

Shelter in place! A level 3 health warning.

I took the photo with the Live Cams Pro App on my iPad.

…as seen over the hills.

Psycho Donuts Bakes Americas Freedom of Choice

Gay Bar

Psycho Donuts is not taking sides (Chick-fil-A). Psycho Donuts has what they call their Psycho Moral System or for short – PMS. They want ALL donut loving Americans to eat what and wherever they wish.

Today Psycho Donuts has baked up a new choice: The Gay Bar – Read All About It!

When: Starting today, August 1st.

Where: Psycho Donuts Campbell – 2006 Winchester Blvd. or Psycho Donuts San Jose – 288 S. 2nd Street.

Call (408) 533-1023 for hours etc.


face it: Campbell or San Jose

SJ 48 Hour Film Project “Meet & Greet” TONIGHT.

48 Hour Film Project








The 48 Hour Film Project is a frenetic, crazed weekend for all types of filmmakers.  They get a team together (writers/actors/crew), meet at a designated place on a Friday evening with other teams, and are given explicit instructions: In 48 hours, return with a completed short film (that means write, shoot, edit and score it).  To make it even more fun/frustrating, they are given a specific character, a specific prop, a specific line of dialogue and ordered to follow a specific genre – all information they only find out that Friday evening.  Usually within a week the films are shown in an actual theater, with a live audience, and judging begins.

Sound like fun? You can be a part of it.  The San Jose 48 Hour Film Project has a Meet and Greet TONIGHT at San Pedro Square Market.  If you’d like to sign up and head a team, if you’d like to join a team, or if you’d just like to come out and meet some really fascinating, charismatic people, head over to SPS Market tonight any time between 5pm and 10pm.  There will be Live music, streamed performances from other cities and the audience premiere for Be My Guest episode 6.

And best of all?  ABSOLUTELY FREE.

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