Friday, February 27, 2009


K'Naan is a local boy...well, as local as about 80% of the other Torontonians, which means he lives here, but comes from somewhere else. In his case, Somalia. I heard him interviewed on the radio the other day and thought he was surprisingly intelligent for a rapper (I bias). He talked about the issue of pirates in the waters off Somalia, how it feels to carry the burden of stardom for the entire Somalia community in Canada, and how one makes adjustments to this country when coming from somewhere so far away.

I was impressed enough to buy his new album, Troubadour. It's really amazing -- hip-hop fused with Afro-pop and world beat. There's some really great moments when he raps in Swahili, which shows the reach of hip-hop culture around the world.

K'Naan is one bright young man. I would love it if his music could reach out and embrace you too.

Here's a good article about one of his recent shows.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Blast from the Past!

Facebook is pretty amazing for finding old friends. Just today I caught up with an old friend from "Phelan High," Pam Elfgen. And, in case you can't tell, she obviously isn't somebody to be messed with!

Great to see you again Pam!

Man on a Wire

Well, Trouble the Water didn't win best documentary, but another interesting film did: Man on a Wire, which is about Philippe Petit who did crazy tightrope stunts in the 1970s, like this crossing between the towers of the World Trade Center. You can read more about it here at the Mexican Pictures blog of Raul Gutierrez.

In the Night Garden

Amado uses my blog more than I do (apparently), so I thought I would post his new favourite show here. It's "In the Night Garden." Like the Teletubbies, it's another show which, in Wendy's words, " obviously made by some English guys on acid."


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Little Man Nate

Wendy got us tickets to see the Toronto Raptors play the New York Knicks for my birthday (back in November). The game today was great, partly because the Raptors won, 111-100, and partly because we had a chance to see New York's diminutive guard (well, he's 5'8", which is small by NBA standards) Little Man Nate Robinson who's fresh off winning the slam dunk contest at the NBA All-Star game.

Little Man Nate is shorter than pretty much all the players, but he's built like the rapper 50 Cent and has a similar attitude. We even got to see him dunk on an alley-oop over Toronto's 7' center. The little man shot through the air like one of those dolls that attacks people in that horror movie (I am pretty sure only I know what I'm talking about here, but that's ok. Just imagine it.)

Trouble the Water

I don't plan on watching the Oscars. But I hope Trouble the Water, this documetnary about Katrina, wins something for the people left behind.

Thievery Corporation

New Music: Thievery Corporation is a fantastic Washington D.C.-based band that plays a powerful mix of conscious reggae, Afro-pop, and electronica music filled with revolutionary, dissident lyrics. Great stuff.

"Radio Retaliation is definitely a more overt political statement," says Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation. "There’s no excuse for not speaking out at this point, with the suspension of habeas corpus, outsourced torture, illegal wars of aggression, fuel, food, and economic crises. It’s hard to close your eyes and sleep while the world is burning around you. If you are an artist, this is the most essential time to speak up.” So that’s exactly what they do with their new album.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Amado and Gigi

Amado's grandmother Gigi (Wendy's mom) stopped by the other day for storytime. I'm not sure who is reading to who here, but the book is Robert Munsch's "Up, Up, Down."

We read this book 100s of times, 1000s of times. We all have it memorized, but we turn the pages anyway.

"Be careful. Don't climb."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rio Yañez

Some great new Chicano art here:

Religion vs. Evolution

I admit, I've never really understood why God and evolution can't co-exist. And 99% of the Christians I know have no problem with Darwin or evolution. However, we would be horrified to see creationism taught in public schools.

Pew Research Center: Darwin Debated: Religion vs. Evolution

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Some years it just doesn't turn out the way you think it's supposed to.

(You understand, I'm not talking about my Valentine's Day, right? I'm just saying. These things happen.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So You Think You Can Potty Dance?

Don't know what I am more offended at - the commercialization of kids, the commericialization of social media, the commericialization of hip-hop, or the fact that Amado likes this video!

What Is Marriage?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Save the Clothesline!

It seems absurb that people have to organize for their right to hang clothes on a line in their own yard, but that's the way it is in many North American communities. I remember I was astounded the first time I heard of clotheslines being outlawed, this was in about 1991 in the continent's first planned community, Columbia, Maryland.

Hanging your wash outside is basically free. The clothes smell great afterwards. It's environmentally sound. For many of us hanging clothes on a line brings back memories of our mothers and grandmothers doing the same thing.

Ban the clothesline? That's crazy-talk, man!

Read more here: "Is your clothesline illegal?" (LA Times)

Friday, February 06, 2009


I have a bad stomach flu (as does Wendy), and I just couldn't bear to see those huevos again. So here's a water lily. I hope it calms things down.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Que Huevos!

When I started Alma's Soulfood, I imagined it would be filled with pictures like this. But the way we use the web has changed. People no longer think blogs have to have a theme or be about anything. Now the only thing I would change about this are the flour tortillas. I prefer corn, but good ones are hard to get in Toronto.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Coop's Scoop

I love my Mom's art (with Irene as her co-creator and muse). You can see a photo collection of her creations here.

Amado and I took a look yesterday. He likes the spiral on pink the best. I like them all, but yesterday this "Desert Gal" (above) caught my eye.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Mi Amor

A cute picture of Wendy (my wife, for those who may not know) from a couple of days ago. If you want to see it later you had better download it. She will probably make me delete it when she sees it here. :-)

This morning in High Park

...don't worry, I got him before the wolves began to circle.

There's Probably a God.

Here's a version of our WonderCafe ad that ran in the Globe & Mail yesterday (full page!) inviting people to dialogue about the question of God. It's getting a lot of media coverage here in Canada because it plays off another highly publicized ad campaign by an atheist organization.

The original campaign comes from England -->

--> and was created by writer Ariane Sherine (above).

The point of the WonderCafe campaign is not to oppose the atheist's position, but to take their lead and invite people to dialogue about the existence of God and what believing in God really means. You can join the discussion on WonderCafe here.