A Passion For Sound

Roberto Gomez for USC

When we go to the movies to see Hollywood films such as Days of Thunder, When a Man Loves a Woman, Armageddon, or Crimson Tide, do we ever think of who creates the sounds effects or the film’s atmospheres we get immersed in? Probably not. This is the work of Sound Editor Migde Costin. After working in more than 20 films, she is now the Kay Rose Endowed Chair in the Art of Sound and Dialogue Editing at the USC School of  Cinematic Arts.

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Mr. Wilson’s Ways of Knowing

Photo Credit: Sarah Bennett

I now confess that I am one of the readers who didn’t get into Lawrence Wreschler’s Mr. Wilson Cabinet of Wonder. And up until the moment I met the real Mr. Wilson at his Museum of Jurassic Technology (MJT) in Los Angeles, I wondered why I was not enjoying a book that had won among many other awards the National Critic Circle Award for Non Fiction and finalist for the Pulizer Prize. While reading I tried hard to appreciate Wreschler’s writing style yet I couldn’t really get a sense of the Museum nor the man who created it. Wreschler’s insatiable search for answers, the many phone calls and interviews he made in search for truth, and his use of graphics and drawing throughout the book’s 193 pages made me dizzy. While reading I was trying to grab so tight to Wrestler’s vocabulary that I felt I was riding the Cony Island Cyclone Roller Coaster. When I got off the ride, I concluded that my resistance to this book might had to do my own limitations.

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Walking the Talk

Photo Credit: Gemma Cubero

Writing about what I hate is not an exercise that I do often in my daily life. I try not to spend much time exploring what I dislike. Yet it was easy for my mind to remind me of a book I hated. This past summer I struggled with The Pilgrimage written by Paulo Coehlo as I carried in my backpack while I walked the Way of Saint James, known as The Camino de Santiago. I must confess that up until then I have only heard about Coehlo’s talent but never read any of his previous work, not even his award-winning novel The Alchemist. The good critics made me believe The Pilgrimage would be the perfect companion for this solitary journey.

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Gamja -Gol

Photo Credit: Gemma Cubero

Ever since I moved to Korea town, my bus ride drops me at the corner of Olympic and Normandie. As the days get shorter, the neon sign of the Gamja Gol Restaurant becomes a calling. There is nothing fancy about the restaurant’s façade, yet the large photos of GamjaTang, Yukgaejang and Bibimbap seduce me and I walk in.

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Bread Takes Me Home

Photo Credit: Gemma Cubero

Bread is the ingredient that always reminds me that I am not from here. I have been living in the United States for more than 18 years and I have yet to understand why in this country such a staple food, made with the same ingredients all over the world – flour and water – is three or four times more expensive. I can buy a loaf of bread in Spain for less than $1.50 while the same kind here would cost me no less than $4.

Bread has always been an essential component of Spanish life. Going to the bakery is an experience that all Spaniards can relate to. At the Panadería we catch up about life with our neighbors, talk about the world’s events and forge new friendships. It would be strange to be invited to a Spanish table and not be served a loaf of bread with every meal.

In Spain we not only eat bread, we think bread.

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