Archive for February, 2012

3/24: Salon, You’re On! A House Full of Stories

Saturday, March 24 at 7:00pm

Salon! You’re On! presents

A House Full of Stories:
The Walls Can Talk

Hosted by:

Eth-Noh-Tec  Kinetic Story Theater

Weaving ancient metaphor and myth with modern message.

Storytelling Tale by Tale, Room by Room
Meet the Storytellers!

Olga Loya
Diane Ferlatte
Bill Amatneek
Sara Armstrong
Elaine Muray
Craig Harrison
Doris Feyling
Kirk Waller
Elaine Stanley
Nancy Wang
Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo

and maybe more!


Eth-Noh-Tec Studio
977 South Van Ness Ave map »
(between 21st & 20th Streets;
close to 24th Street BART)
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 282-8705

Tickets at the Door

$8 – $20 (sliding scale)

Filed as: Programs, Salon! You're On!  

2/25: Salon! You’re Wong!

Mark your calendar for this month’s salon featuring Chinese American artists with the last name Wong (and one Wang): Salon! You’re Wong!

2/25 at 7pm
Salon! You’re Wong!

Hosted and performances by:

Eth-Noh-Tec  Kinetic Story Theater

Weaving ancient metaphor and myth with modern message.


Nellie Wong

Poet, Author, Activist, welds words flowering from the political and social lives of working people. Her latest book is “Breakfast Lunch Dinner.”

Flo Oy Wong

Co-founder of the Asian American Women Artists Association, Flo is a mixed media visual storyteller whose work meets at the intersection of art and history.

Bill Wong

(writer) uses his journalist experiences to explore a multi-cultural landscape: from history to culture, from ethnicity and politics to the arts.

Shirley & Betty Wong

Born across from S.F. Chinese playground, it was inevitable for the Wong twins to ‘lap up’ chinese music like mother’s milk, giving birth to the Flowing Stream Ensemble and Xinjiang music of the Phoenix Spring Ensemble.

Theresa Wong

Cellist, vocalist and composer who seeks the possibility of transformation in performance through improvisation and the synergy of multiple disciplines.

Nancy Wang

Nancy Wang of Eth-Noh-Tec, storyteller, dancer, therapist, and a long life – all contribute to her personal story of becoming Wang.


Eth-Noh-Tec Studio
977 South Van Ness Ave
(between 21st & 20th Streets;
close to 24th Street BART)
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 282-8705

Tickets at the Door

$10-$25 (sliding scale)

Filed as: Programs, Salon! You're On!  

Happy Valentine’s Day! Your lovely answers…

Love, love, love!

In this era it is sometimes hard to feel love when so much unloving is going on. But it’s exactly the time to make more love!! I don’t mean sex. We don’t have to worry about more of that in this world of ours!

What I mean is that we have to become more conscious of what in our lives we do love and maybe take for granted. Do I love the rain? Yes. Do I love Occupy Wall Street? Yes. Do I love that there are so many of my friends who understand the need to be green? Yes. Do I love what artists bring to our world? Yes. Do I love the hard work of the animal activists? Yes. And I love the environmental activists, the people who bring medical supplies and skills to the disenfranchised – basically I love people who care.

There are so many who need more love in this world – the homeless, the poor, maybe even those who seem bent on destroying our world. These are people filled with hate and a disdain for too much. That has to feel horrible. And, it’s hard to love them. But is that what happened to them in the first place? They didn’t get the love that would result in more love?

I want to make this world more loving. I will become more conscious and look for where I can be more loving, more kind, more compassionate, more proactive in supporting those in the field of handing out love. I will be vigilant finding where I can be and give more love in the world. And I will feed myself with love by gazing at babies, a tree, a mountain, a forest, a snowy day, warm sunshine, the ocean, a slow winding river, a blue sky, a red-orange sunset. Love is everywhere if we just look for it.

Happy Valentine’s!

Nancy Wang, Eth-Noh-Tec

What about life do I love?

I love watching the city awaken in the early morning
Quiet peace
As the night people exit
The plant life begins to stir as the sun stretches
Touching everything with its glow.

I love the smell of coffee
Listening to the flutter of birds.

I love smiles,
Warm hugs,
Moments of reflection,
Whispers of love.

I love watching babies explore.

I love seeing the glint of understanding
Appear in the eye of a listener.

I love loving and being loved right back.

What needs more love in our lives today?

We need to love ourselves and the earth we live on.
We need to appreciate each other and not accept mistreatment from someone who profess to love us
Yet show us something different by their actions.
We need to show more love to the spaces we occupy the most.

How will I implement this love?

Smile, Smile, Smile!
We never know when our smile is the one that the person nearest needs to continue.

I recycle because I believe it is important to the survival of the earth.

I keep a ‘green’ bag in the car to limit my use of plastic. Hopefully, I’ll get better and better at this so that I can eliminate it.

I must hug more, especially at home. Sometimes we neglect home because we think more positive thought than we actually say. Home needs the words like everyone else.

I smile and bless people wether they reciprocate or not. As I mentioned earlier, we never know when our smile is the one needed.

I love you Eth-Noh-Tec. You bring smiles to many. Your spirits are so uplifting. Thanks for sharing love with all you come into contact with.

Peace and Blessings,
D. Kucha Brownlee

What about life do you love?

I love life itself for it provides me with substance, depth and expression to be me.
I am able to take the breath of joy, excitement and anticipation for my moment.
That’s what I love about life.

What do you think needs more love in our lives today?

I think what needs more love is our ability to love ourselves first. It is my belief that if you don’t love yourself first, no one else will either. Always remember you are the reflection in the mirror that needs love more. Give it to you and you can give it to others.

How will you implement this love?

I will implement this love by loving me first and then I can truly express my best with others. Always try to remember love is like breath if you don’t have it you won’t be here to give it.

When you impart with love and you will ignite a flame of infectious positive well intended warm on others. Love on!

– Tony Brown

Hot Shark: a love poem

the chinese in her wanted to suck him in
scalding hot shark fin soup
burnt tongue a blessing
deep slurps an homage
to the chef of all things romance, desire, hurt

starts, fits, starts again
he surprised her
he moved her from a hard place
into liquid fire

hot soup is good when it is too cold to
think of other things
she drinks him in
deep as she dares
this man-soup slurps back
he suckles her mouth

her tongue is burning but she doesn’t care
she wants as much as her belly will hold

he knows he has her
in a three point lock:
1. his shark teeth chewing through her words
they both smell blood in the water
and it excites them
2. he asked her to take him slowly (it is a school night)
3. people talk about wanting companionship, connection, community, but they forget to say love

he leaves a mark
but not the one he’d thought to

chinese-style, soup is just
the first course
and she plans to eat a banquet

– Wei Ming Dariotis

Filed as: At the Moment  

Our Final Week in China, Part 1

Hainan — The Hawai’i of China: December 6, 2011

After leaving Gengcun, we made our way back to Beijing by train and then left the next snowy morning for Hainan, an island in the south of China. We craved some warm weather, more retreat time to write, and wanted to study Chinese at the Language Institute there.

We arrived in pouring rain…but there were palm trees, coconut trees, a balmy breeze! It was warm! In the 70s! Ahhhh…For the next 3 days it was overcast with high clouds, still in the 70s until yesterday when it felt like San Francisco in the low 50s. Everyone bundled up. We donned our winter jackets again. Today, however, the sun has peeked out. Lovely breeze — the low 70s.

Chinese Lessons

What did I (Nancy) learn the first lesson? That I’ve not understood my own Chinese name all my long life!!

I’d been told by my parents that my Chinese name meant Perfect Jade — which I viewed as a heavy burden!! Now it turns out that due to my not being able to write my Chinese name clearly, the teacher gave me three possibilities for the ‘perfect’ character depending on how it is written. It could mean 1) whole or all, but usually this one is used for males; 2) a bamboo fish trap (!); or 3) fragrant — all depending on whether it has 2 crisscrosses above the character, or if it has a crossed line, or if it has neither! Now which would you choose? Both my parents have passed, so I have no way of knowing.

Am I Whole Jade (the closest to perfect) or Bamboo Fish trap jade or Fragrant jade?!

Nancy taking on the Chinese Language... YIKES!

One of the things Robert learned was how to say mixed blood in Chinese!! The way he looks and with his last name, he’s been a curiosity!

This school is really quite wonderful and relaxed. We’ve met students of all adult ages from the US, Russia, Germany, France, Canada — all studying Chinese for various reasons. Mostly they’ve said that they are studying because it’s an important language to learn in this era.

We all laugh a great deal in our attempts to speak the language in class. The teachers are friendly, fun and patient. However, once we’re out of the class, and we attempt to speak to the taxi driver or at the market or restaurant, all they do is look at us oddly and shrug their shoulders! It’s those dang tones!! And to think, Mandarin only has 4, while Cantonese has 9 to 11!! Still, we’re loving it!

This is our 5th time in China (actually Nancy’s 6th), so it’s about time we learn the language – not that we can imagine being fluent! Luckily they use Pinyin (Roman letters) on most every sign throughout China!

The Chinese are still surprised that Americans can look Chinese. I’ve just learned to say that my ancestors came from China. I’ve been saying that I am Chinese American, but they might think that means I’m part Chinese and part white since most people around the world think Americans are only white, or black as well because of American sports and movies.

Today we had many children who are learning English come to our class and they loved that Robert was part Japanese because they all love Japanese Anime. But I must say, the children seem wild here — not like the Chinese kids in America. They explain that it’s because they are spoiled as an ‘only child’ due to the one-child policy. They call them Xiao Huang Di — Little Emperors, named after the first Emperor Huang Di (who built the Great Wall). The girls would be called Xiao Huang Hou — Little Empresses (according to online translator). And if they are really ornery…hmm maybe instead should be named Ci Xi — the Empress Dowager! Some of these single children, in their one-child only households are quite energetic!

Hainan Language School- Always fun learning with people!


The Streets and Traffic

Like everywhere in China (and many places around the world), there is little attention paid to what we would call traffic rules when it comes to driving a 3-wheeler, a bicycle, a car, a truck, a bus, taxis or a scooter. Forget the pedestrians! There is one rule that is maintained: the Rule of Survival!

One takes one’s life completely in one’s own hands. Sometimes there are no lights for pedestrians to cross. There is so much jaywalking. Scooters will drive against traffic — i.e. on the wrong side of the road. Even scooters and bikes ‘jay’ drive! You look for where the most pedestrians are crossing and join them, hoping that safety in numbers will stop a car from driving over you!

Cars park on the sidewalks. Scooters park on the sidewalks. Bikes park on the sidewalks. As pedestrians we are constantly changing from walking on the cement platforms in front of large establishments, then down a few steps to broken tiles as sidewalks, then down off the curb to walk on the side of the street because either there are no sidewalks or they are crammed with vehicles. It all seems so impossibly unruly! I keep thinking of the American game – the Chinese Fire Drill!

On a positive note- we do see that the majority of scooters, bikes and motorcycles are electric thus cutting down on fossil fuel consumption. Boy, I wish we could get our hands on several of these electric bikes. Last time we asked about costs, we were told one could be purchased for only $200- $300 US Dollars. (Hmmm, the problem would be how to get it into the airlines over head luggage bins!).

The cars are darling. Small, gas efficient. Some even had eyelashes!

Go- go - go- go- go! ... blink of an eye!

The streets are filled with vendors selling fruit of all kinds. Their displays are so very colorful. There are absolutely no chances to starve here. The Chinese love food and Robert keeps saying that the Chinese culture has the most varied dishes in the world. So we’ll see tiny stalls serving soup, others dumplings, others noodles, others meat on a stick. Restaurants are plentiful with amazing prices ($4) to prices almost like in the states. We did however stop to buy a mango and it was $10! It was from Australia. We put that baby back and got one from Hainan.

Our Hotel

Our hotel is called Hai Kou Hotel. I think it means ‘welcome’ — hai meaing hello and kou meaning mouth. Don’t necessarily trust me on that, though…It is situated in a very busy busy neighborhood full of stores, karaoke clubs, restaurants and huge buildings full of stores which they call plazas. Besides Chinese clothing stores, there’s Playboy, Esprit, and Calvin Klein and lots of McDonalds and KFC — which seem to be the favorite food of the kids that came to our class.

Luckily there is a non-smoking floor here and a fairly bouncy mattress. Our balcony looks out over roofs and across to other tall buildings. Noise is constant, especially at night with the clubs and Karaoke singing. But, they have put double sliding doors so the sound is kept out pretty well. The cost? $30/night. It’s not the penthouse, but it’s just fine.

We see a canal blocks away from one balcony, but not the beach. Hainan is a pretty huge island. We’ll be skipping seeing the beaches this time. Like in SF, we rarely see the ocean.

Bustling Boom of High-rises

Like any tropical point of destination, especially in a booming economy as China, Hainan serves to offer relaxation and great weather. With the rise of a middle class comes rising real estate, and towering high rise apartments for vacationers and the youth, income-generating urbanite. Just googled an image what this waterfront property formerly looked like: the bird’s-eye view showed hutong style villages — similar to the old style single family home, probably belonging to local fishermen, service workers, low-skilled laborers and their families. All of this bulldozed to make way for the modern towers.

Giant high rise loom over 2 vegetable farmers

Here an old couple maintains a small oasis of agriculture amidst the construction rubble — still able to produce lush green vegetables.

As the Chinese have been on a fast track to modernize, so have they inherited the woes of an alienated, urban dominated culture. The breakdown of classic, rural-based social structure, the sweeping advances towards capitalism and massive increase in urban populations have caused an increase in what we in the United States have become eerily accustomed to: the homelessness.

Spare Time

Having some evening downtime with no phone ringing for us, no junk mail to go through…basically no distractions have given us well needed time to work on our long term projects. I write the blog (which we found out is bo-ke in Chinese) and just relax after class now that I have bronchitis and a cold…bummer. But, I’m taking a very effective syrup from here and it’s working!!

Robert in his spare time after class continues to work on the Kojiki — Japan’s Creation myth. It’s so complicated and we’re slated to perform it in April, so lots to do. It will be at least one hour long! Mixing pleasure with work is a good thing, giving meaning to our time.

But stay tuned for Part 2 of this final segment of our China trip for more ‘pleasure’!

Filed as: China 2011, Programs