Archive for the ‘SJSU’ Category

San Jose Bike Party is Tonight!

Were you like me this week, too lazy to go to the gym? Or maybe you’re already dreaming of Father’s Day BBQ’s? Well tonight you have the chance to ride with the rest of the city (projected attendance is between 3500 and 5000 cyclists) and get some good exercise.

San Jose Bike Party takes to the streets every third friday of the month, with a different theme every time. This month is all about The World Cup, so come out sportin’ your team spirit, be it in jerseys, face paint or waving your flag on a 26+ mile victory lap around San Jose. SJBP and SJMB likes to remind you to ride safe (helmets, lights, stop at traffic lights) and ride fun (‘bike party!’). You never know who you’ll be riding next to, somebody you’ve never met before or your best friend from high school. Come out with families and get together with friends! And you don’t have to worry about going hungry, there will be vendors at the pit stops and of course, before the ride starts. Just make sure you recycle and throw away your waste!

The excitement started a bit ago at 6pm, downtown at Shorty Fatz for an open house, followed by the first ever Hooligan Havoc Fixed Gear Trick Comp.

You still have time to make it to the ride ’cause the wheels don’t hit the street until 8pm!

San Jose Bike Party – World Cup Ride

The ride starts at 401 E.Taylor Street and ends at the fountain at SJSU, but you can always break off with your own groups. Like it on Facebook and let everybody know what’s up!

Conan O’Brien Is Not Prohibited In San Jose

just look at him

The San Jose State University Events Center will let just about anyone perform. To prove it they have booked Conan O’Brien for a May the 5th gig. Cinco de Mayo? O’Brien was nominated for the Mayor of Japantown by the folks at Roy’s Station, so it makes perfect sense.  Yes? La respuesta es correcta…

“Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour”
Events Center
May 5, 2010
8:00 PM

Make sure to reserve your tickets early.

SJPL’s California Room Collection Goes Digital

From classic photos from Frontier Village to vintage yearbook autographs, every day you can find more and more in the San José Public Library California Room‘s digital collection.

The California Room has moved into the digital age, as staff there gradually digitize its treasure trove of historic photos and documents. It’s an ongoing project, and eventually you’ll be able to find digitized versions of primary documents, letters, maps and more — right online!

My personal favorite is the Frontier Village collection, with the best photo (in my humble opinion) being this vintage photo of Marshall Clyde. Marshall Clyde’s daughter is my best childhood friend and she and I once perused the California Room’s collection in person, looking for photos of him. Now we can go online and see them from the comfort of our own homes. Ah, I love technology!

And guess what… There’s some fun involved, too! The library is sponsoring a treasure hunt with a digital camera as grand prize (and some great books for the runners-up). Another intriguing page on the digital collections site is the mystery photo page where visitors are asked to help identify the people in various photographs.

This new collection, another positive development in the relationship between the City and San José State University, is quite exciting, and I look forward to seeing what else comes along.

Summer Pops Music Series at SJSU 2009

clefsA free music series at San Jose State University begins this weekend, continues Tuesday, and winds up next weekend, between August 22 and 30.

What kind of music you ask?
John Williams film scores, Lemony Snicket music, a legendary jazz vocalist, Beatles music a brass band, and more performed by Symphony Silicon Valley along with other artist.

The concerts, bottled water, harmonicas for children at the Family Concert and ice cream at the Brass Band Concert, are all free.

Saturday August 22, 7:00 pm
John Williams Film Scores

Maestro Bruce Hangen and the orchestra’s performance may include Jurassic Park, ET, Star Wars, Jaws, Schindler’s List, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter.

Sunday August 23, 3:00 pm
Family Concert

A family concert, with Lemony Snicket music The Composer Is Dead and harmonica virtuoso Robert Bonfiglio playing Gershwin. The first 1,200 kids receive a free harmonica.

Tuesday August 25, 5:30 pm
Cleo Laine & John Dankworth

Jazz songstress Cleo Laine and saxophonist John Dankworth the “king and queen of British jazz.”

Saturday August 29, 7:00 pm
Classical Mystery Tour

A Beatles tribute band from the Broadway show “Beatlemania” joins the orchestra to perform classics from the Lennon-McCartney Songbook, strings and horns! Classical Mystery Tour conductor Martin Herman along with soloists Jim Owen,Tony Kishman, Chris Camilleri, and Tom Teeley.

Sunday August 30, 3:00 pm
Brass Band & Ice Cream Social

The 39-piece band led by Tony Clements, principal tubaist with Symphony Silicon Valley perform Bugler’s Holiday, Thoughts of Love, Holst’s Mars, and selections from Phantom of the Opera. The ice cream is free.

The concerts held on the grassy mall at San Jose State University; enter at 4th Street and West San Carlos. Bring a picnic and your beach chair. Arrive early!

408-286-2600 x 23

San Jose’s own Jarron Gilbert picked up by da Bears

Famous for jumping straight out of a pool in a crazy YouTube stunt, San Jose State’s Jarron Gilbert has just been drafted by the Chicago Bears, according to ESPN. Watch his interview here.

Not only can the man leap like a frog on steroids, but can squat 635 pounds and can dead lift 655 pounds. It took three of his teammates together to do the same. says Jarron should be thanking his father, former New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Daren Gilbert, for his athletic genes. Maybe, among other things, he should be thanking YouTube.

Earth Day at SJSU


Captain Planet at SJSU (TwitPic credit: @tnisatard)

Captain Planet at SJSU (TwitPic credit: @tnisatard)

Confession: I’ve actually been too tied up with homework today to participate in SJSU’s Earth Day celebration, but I did want to procrastinate for a bit and point out a few notable things about today’s occasion on campus:


  1. According to, the founder of Earth Day is an SJSU alumnus. Gaylord Nelson graduated in 1939 and began Earth Day in 1970 while serving as a U.S. senator. There’s a book on his life here, which has a quote from Al Gore saying that Nelson is “widely regarded as one of the leading environmentalists in American history.” That’s saying something.
  2. Did you know you can recycle a dead cow? For those of you who live in Santa Clara County, the Recycle Stuff Web site will tell you exactly what you can and can’t recycle. (The Center for the Development of Recycling, which maintains the site, is an SJSU-based project.)
  3. To see what the SJSU campus itself is doing nowadays for the Earth, and not just for Earth Day, check out the Environmental Resource Center at SJSU and the Environmental Club (outdated Web site but from what I understand an active club). Also check out the Environmental Studies department.
  4. I also dug up this document published in 2008 that outlines the campus strategy to be more environmentally sustainable. Highlights: Looking into installing solar panels for select buildings, increasing use of recycled water in the MLK Library, using recyclable and compostable packaging in food and dining areas, and using locally grown produce. (Document from here.) How much of it is feasible? How much is already implemented in the year since this document is released? What’s been tabled? I’ll have to do some more digging and calling. But instead, since I really do have to get back to my schoolwork …
  5. Captain Planet was on campus. That is all.

Conversations – An exhibition of artists’ books


There’s a wonderful interactive exhibit going on the second floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library called “Conversations.” Coming from a group called the Bay Area Book Artists, it’s no surprise that the exhibit takes the idea of art and the form of a book and reinvents it. 

The first thing that caught my eye was a book of mailed art called “Conversations by Mail” by Nancy Welch that encourages visitors to pick it up and flip through it. I was jealous that anyone can get so much mail from such creative people. Which reminds me: I should probably get a pen and paper, maybe some glue and scissors, and send actual snail mail to people I care about. Will I ever have time? I suppose I just need to make time.

The next thing that grabbed my attention was a wire installation called “Overheard” by Karen Cutter that had scrolls of paper tucked in each slot. The papers had sentences and phrases that have been overheard. By whom, I don’t know, but I do know that each snippet of overheard conversation I read was funny, amusing, surprising or touching. 

I must have read about 20 before something else caught my eye on that same wall, called “Childhood Secrets… What’s Yours?” by Becky Barber. It was a couple of cans stringed together, but on the string were clipped circular pieces of coloring book paper with writing on it. These were people’s anonymous childhood secrets, and an envelope tacked to the wall invited anyone to add their own secrets to the line. I love PostSecret and was sad I missed their recent event in Walnut Creek. Perhaps as this Conversations exhibit remains (through May 16), this little project can be just as powerful.

There are two events attached to this exhibit, one called “Make and Take” (which sounds fairly self-explanatory), which will be on Saturday, April 18, 2-4 p.m. The other is Artist’s Talks on Tuesday, April 21 from 7-9 p.m. 

With such an engaging exhibit, I hope turnout is overwhelming.

Spring in San Jose

Cesar E. Chavez Monument

Cesar E. Chavez Monument

It was beautiful weather for students at San Jose State University today.

The Cesar E. Chavez Monument, also known as The Arch of Dignity, Equality and Justice, was really beautiful today and I had to share it with those of you who don’t spend time on the SJSU campus.

Enjoy the weather today, it will be back to the 60s the rest of the week (but still sunny!) and possibly rain on Monday.

The Kite Runner at the San Jose Repertory Theatre

kiterunner_6web1The San Jose Rep has been having an exciting season and it’s not over yet! The stage production of The Kite Runner has its world premiere run now through April 19 and it is not to be missed.

After reading the book a couple years ago I was very interested to hear about the stage production. Apparently SJSU Professor Matthew Spangler also loved the story; he adapted the novel to stage himself. “Its epic structure – spanning the continents and nearly 30 years – its powerful moments of high drama and its engaging characters make this an ideal story for live performance,” states Spangler.

But this isn’t the only connection the novel has to San Jose. Novelist Khaled Hosseini moved to San Jose in 1980 when he and his family were granted political asylum from war torn Afghanistan. San Jose and the area around us also serve as a setting for part of the story. “No matter where you are born, what language you speak or what religion you practice, there are human experiences that bind us all, and The Kite Runner speaks to those experiences,” states Hosseini.

The Kite Runner is a tale told through the lives of two boys growing up in Kabul in the same household, but in two starkly different worlds. Amir is the son of a wealthy businessman, while Hassan is the son of Amir’s father’s servant, a shunned ethnic minority. But fate, global politics and historical tragedy threaten both their lives and their friendship. If you have read the novel you know the story is not for young children, but the two violent scenes, integral to the storyline, are committed offstage. The chilling effect however is still strong.

“If you aren’t beating back the tears by the final tableau, you had better see a doctor because there may be something wrong with your heart.” Karen D’Souza, Mercury News

Playing: Now through April 19th, 2009
Price range: $33-$62
By phone: 408.367.7255
San Jose Repertory Theatre, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113-2603

Cinequest: ‘All About Dad’

Mark Tran

Mark Tran

The theme of Mark Tran’s ‘All About Dad’ hits close to many homes here in Silicon Valley. Not only must the characters (Vietnamese immigrants and their children) struggle with common generational differences, they must deal with the parents’ ideal of success.

The film more than lived up to the expectations of the packed theatre. Members of the filmmaker’s family were in attendance for the screening, and I may have been seated next to the proudest “papa” in the house, Scott Sublett. Mark’s script was developed in Scott Sublett’s (‘Generic Thriller’) San Jose State screenwriting class.

The only fault I found with the production was that the father’s epiphany happened unrealistically fast, although this is a minor quibble in an otherwise exceptional film.

‘All About Dad’ a Cinequest best bet.

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