Thursday, October 16, 2008

UniquEco Designs Needs Your Vote!

Ooh, it's been awhile since I've posted a blog and, sparing you the gory details (not very blog-like of me), let me just say that I'm going to get back on track!

Many of you will remember that I put a short film together for UniquEco Designs when I returned from Africa.   I'm very happy to report that they are one of twelve finalists in the World Challenge 08!!

World Challenge 08 is a global competition aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level.  The winner will receive a grant of $20,000 to put back into their project/business, and two runners up will each receive $10,000.  Your vote for UniquEco Designs can help give them the resources they need to open up new markets for their products.

When you sign in to vote you are asked why you picked this particular project.  My answer:  "I met Julie Church when I was traveling in Kenya and made a short film about her business.  I was (and continue to be) impressed by the way this work cleans the environment, provides a sustainable income for the workers AND celebrates art as a medium for conservation.  The people at UniquEco are doing great work and I'd love for them to get the support they need to do more."

The polls are open now and you can vote up through November 21st (midnight GMT).  

It takes nothing but a moment of your time.  I love giving away other people's money for a good cause, don't you?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mazingira Monkey Film Wins!

For those of you who don't already know... I'm happy to report that my documentary film The Mazingira Monkey Project won the online film festival sponsored by FilmClick!

Thanks to everyone who watched the film, voted for the film, bought a monkey or otherwise supported me and the monkey man.  We bask in the glory of first place.

Later we will toil in the field of editing the rest of the stories I captured that fabulous summer of 2007.  For now, I'm all about the basking.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Video Recap

Last week I went back to my former employer for a visit and a lunchtime video show.  It was great to see people again and wonderful to be able to share my adventures them.  Many people wanted to know where to learn more about the people we saw and where to see the movies again.

As promised... below is a recap of the movies we saw and links to the corresponding websites. The easiest way to find the movies themselves (and save me hours of uploading time) is by going to the Hey Miss K Channel on YouTube.  You can also become a subscriber so that you'll be notified any time I post something new and exciting!

The only video you won't find is the Habitat Madagascar video... right now that one is 19 minutes and too long to put on YouTube unless I cut it in two - which I have yet to do.

A group in Uganda that promotes community tourism (stay with locals, tour the neighborhood, learn how to cook local food) as a way to raise money for projects that benefit the entire community. 

A business in Kenya focused on turning flip flops into art, it's a win-win-win.  Local people earn a sustainable income working here, used flip flops are taken off the beaches and helping clean up the environment, you and I can buy all sorts of groovy items in the name of making the world a better place.

A man in Tanzania who works with his wife to clean up their town.  He collects plastic bags from the streets and (after washing and disinfecting them) then uses them to stuff toy animals he and his wife sew at home.  Although he sometimes doesn't sell enough animals to support his family, he still buys food and clothes for homeless children who he asks to help him collect the bags.

If you're interested in ordering toys from him... your best bet (for those of you who work together) is to coordinate one big order, collect the cash and send it to him via Western Union. You can make your arrangements by emailing him and you can feel free to copy me on that email to help smooth it all out.

Global Village is a 2 week volunteer program that brings people from around the world together to build houses with those in need.  The GV team (that's you) works with local people to build the house(s) and has the pleasure of experiencing a country and a culture in a much different way than passing through as a tourist.

Una and I lead trips every two years or so, and while there's nothing planned right now - I would encourage you to go to Habitat's site to see what current trips are available and/or let me know you want to be on our early bird notification list so you'll know when we'll be leading another trip.

Thanks for your interest in these projects and these people.  They rock and so do you.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monkey Man Needs Your Vote!

Hi All,

The Mazingira Monkey Project has made it to the finals of an online film competition and I'd appreciate your vote! I want to make sure you keep your skills up in preparation for November.

In order to vote for the movie (and watch it again if you'd like) you'll need to register with Film Click. Once you're registered, you can vote for the Monkey Man every day from now until August 26th! Go ahead, vote more than once... you don't always get that opportunity. Plus you'll be supporting my filmmaking efforts and getting further recognition for the monkey man - I can sense you sleeping better at night already.

And while you're in a voting mood - here's another person who needs your help: Roz Savage. A friend of a friend, she's rowing across the Pacific Ocean - by herself - to raise awareness of environmental issues! She's been rowing for the last 84 days and should be in Hawaii in the next month.

You can support her by visiting the Members Project, an initiative by American Express that let's members vote for groups making a positive impact in the world. Winners will split a pot of 2.5 million dollars but votes need to be cast by tomorrow to cut the field down to the top 25! You don't have to have an American Express card, they'll let you register as a guest. Roz could use your vote now!

Thanks for taking the time to vote for the Monkey Man and Roz. In October, I'll tell you about a BBC sponsored competition the flip flop lady is in so you can vote for her too!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Improv Saturday, Segways Now

Hey All,

I'm happy to report, I'm the guest performer this Saturday with Secret Improv Society!  The show is at 10pm and should be a lot of fun, so if you're in the Bay Area I encourage you to swing into San Francisco and check us out!

I'm also happy to report that the Segway tours have started!  My first group was from Hershey, PA.  When I talked about Ghirardelli and handed out some chocolate, they reached into their pockets to give me some Hershey's chocolate.  At the end of the tour, the adult gave me a tip and the teenager (who learned this was the inaugural tour of our company) gave me a dollar suitable for framing.  Aw.

How do you experience the joys of riding around San Francisco on a Segway (and some Ghirardelli chocolate to boot)?  Contact Pam at the City Segway Tours office (415-409-0672) and tell her you're a friend of mine and want to book a tour with me! 

Tours  are 3 glorious hours and friends of Kristian receive a 10% discount on the tour price (making it $63 rather than $70).  I normally work during the week (10:00am and 2:00pm) but will give tours on weekend days upon request.  If you get a group between 5-7 people, we can book it as a private tour and go at whatever time suits your group.

So bring yourselves, bring your friends, or just send your out-of-town guests to get them out of your hair for an afternoon.  You'll be happy you did.

Monday, July 21, 2008

48 Hour Film Screening - The Transfer

Hey All,

Team Lordy Lordy participated in the 48 Hour Film Project this weekend and I'm happy to report, we turned in our movie with a
few minutes to spare!  

On Friday night at 7pm, the team gathered at Danny's house and waited for the call from Jarie with the information we'd need to get started.  All the movies shot in SF as part of the project this year will have to include the following elements:

Character: Gus or Gloria Lorenz, Trade Expert
Prop: bus, plane or train ticket
Line of Dialogue: "Forget it.  I already have."

Each team then draws a genre from a hat.  We ended up with "comedy"!  It's a bit scary when you have to make your film funny, but it's not half as scary as trying to make a "historical fiction/period piece".  

After brainstorming what in the world our movie would be about, Alex, the main writer got to the task of writing a script.  We shot on location at a bar in SF called The Transfer most of Saturday morning and into the late afternoon.

Saturday night and Sunday were spent logging tapes, editing, reshooting some footage, running the movie to a musician who scored the film, and then a down-to-the-wire adding of credits, transferring the movie to dv tapes to submit and speeding through the streets of San Francisco.

Were the nights with only a few hours of sleep and the stress of the last few hours of the project worth it?  Of course they were.

See the fruits of our labor for yourself by attending the screening this Wednesday at The Roxie in San Francisco at either 7 or 9:30! Get your tickets here.

And for those of you who missed Lordy Lordy's 48 Hour Film Project debut in 2006, you can see the film we made then by going to and searching for "The Cure" (the San Francisco movie).  That year's info was:

Character: Mark or Margo Plantagenet
Prop: pillow
Line of Dialogue: "When are you going to clean up this mess?"
Genre: mockumentary

We won "best prop" that year and once you watch our movie, you won't have to ask why.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Windy City Road Trip

I'm back from Chicago and the whirlwind trip my friend Allison won to go see the Giants play the Cubs at Wrigley Field!

Friday July 11 - Cubs 3, Giants 1
The morning started with a City Segway Tour of Chicago (that's the same company I'll be working for here in SF).  

After seeing the sights we headed to the Red Line to take us to Wrigley.  Our favorite quote of the trip came from a woman standing at the platform. When she heard the announcement that the next train would be an express to Fullerton, she clapped and shouted "Haaay, that's my stop!" I've never seen anyone that excited about MUNI.
The Giants lost yet we braved a visit to the Cubby Bear, where we commiserated with other Giants fans and listened to a rather annoying victory song "Go, Cubs, Go".  

Not ones to wallow in sorrow or waste any time, we finished up the evening with a Second City show, pizza and dancing!

Saturday, July 12 - Cubs 8, Giants 7
Off to a slow start, we made it back to Wrigley for game #2.  The Cub fans next to us were entertaining, but by the bottom of the 8th with the Giants behind 7-2, we decided to leave and go get some deep dish pizza.

While riding the bus away from Wrigley, the bus driver asked two guys who boarded if the game was over.  "No, it's tied 7 all in the bottom of the 9th."  WHAT??  Yeah, the Giants scored 5 runs in the 9th inning.  Five!  After riding further away and kicking ourselves for leaving, we jumped off the bus, got in a cab and drove back to Wrigley.  But once you leave, they don't let you back in so...
we rolled into Goose Island Brew Pub to watch the rest of the game on TV. Sadly, the Cubs scored in the 11th inning.  Not only did we lose, but they had to play that song.

On to Millennium Park, the bean, the Crown Fountain, some bizarre acrobatic show of sorts and a late dinner.

Sunday, July 13 - Giants 4, Cubs 2
For the first time of the weekend, we were there for the entire game and the Giants won!  No irritating song and no overwhelming crowds at the Cubby Bear!  We were able to eat a Chicago dog (which has tomatoes on it - what the hell?) and then dance up a storm with a guy from South City - viva la south side!

Gino's deep dish for dinner and then bowling with Jennifer Hudson!  Well, you know she was there with some people, we were there and frankly, I wouldn't have seen her at all if Allison didn't say "That was Jennifer Hudson" as we passed her outside. But you know what.  Jennifer Hudson was  holding a pair of 10 Pin bowling socks and I have a pair now too - so I was practically bowling with her.

It was an exhausting but fabulous trip.

Coming next... recap of the 48 Hour Film Project that I'll be participating in this weekend!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Do you suppose Carly Simon was singing about me? Yes, well, moving on.

Saturday I had a birthday bbq at the Cube.  It was a fun event with family, friends, good food and a pinata shaped in the number "40".  If that's not enough motivation to swing a stick erratically through the air while people stand around and laugh, well then, you're either under 40 or you don't like candy.

Speaking of candy... I've got plenty left.  And there's tortilla chips and 2.5 pounds of shredded cheese that someone needs to eat. If you find yourself hungry and in my neighborhood, stop by for some food.  If you don't know where I live, well then you'll have to fix your own dinner.

Did the excitement end there, you ask yourselves?  No!  I went to Beach Blanket Babylon with some friends later that night.  It's always a fun show and given the fact it's been 17 years since I've seen it... it was full of new surprises.  Nancy Pelosi singing "Leader of the Pack" with Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein as her backup singers was priceless.  

Did the excitement end there, you ask yourselves?  No!  Sunday was the big ol' Pride Parade! Although I got there too late for the Dykes on Bikes kick off (and Charo was a no show), we did see  Cyndi Lauper, a float of Charo drag queen look-a-likes and a whole bunch of proud Marys. I didn't have my camera with me, so you'll have to let the internet be your guide.

The excitement almost ended there, but then I went to my friend Danny's house to play Wii Rock Band!  I am much better at the drums than guitar but that leaves me with nothing but room for improvement!

Okay.  The excitement has ended.  Must now get back on task with this whole figuring out my life thing.  After just one more piece of pinata candy...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Update for My Three Fans

Hey All,

I do believe the number of people reading this blog has dwindled from it's peak last summer during my African adventure.  I think many people don't know I'm still posting and, admittedly, I'm not posting that often.

But for the 3 (maybe 4) of you out there who are wondering, what's up with Miss K... here goes:

On to new Scary Cow film projects.  Well, at least the one that had a meeting.  Pre-production work (location scouting, prop collection, script revisions) is underway with filming scheduled for August.  You can now see the award winning film from the last round, Echo's Wonder by clicking on the link.  It will be the first movie that pops up on the page.

The improv show the other week was a lot of fun and I will perform with the Secret Improv Society again sometime in early August.  Details to follow when I have them.

The Segway job should really, really start next week.  I'm eager to actually take people on a tour.  We'll see how much of the fabulous information I have in my head I can convey while making sure no one falls off in front of the streetcar.

I'll be going to Chicago in mid-July with my friend Allison who is sharing the bounty of a trip she won to see the Giants play the Cubs at Wrigley Field.  It should be a fun time and, even though I'm not so up on the Giant's this year, I figure I'll be okay as long as I don't make any shocked comments about not seeing Barry Bonds.  

The only other thing happening is me turning 40.  Say what?  That's what I say.  A little celebratory barbeque at the Cube and a night at Beach Blanket Babylon should make it all okay.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kristian Performs on Saturday!

Hey All,

As I mentioned in the last post, I'll be the guest performer this Saturday (June 14th) with the Secret Improv Society! 

The show starts at 10pm - giving you time for a disco nap - and should be over around 11:30 - giving you time to jump on BART before it stops running for the night.  Could it be any more convenient?

Sure it can... you can buy your tickets online by clicking this link I'm So Excited I Have to Buy My Tickets NOW.

It's a fun group of people and should be a great show.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Award Winning Film at Scary Cow!!

At what?

Scary Cow.

It's an indie film co-op that I joined to learn about making movies and meet my people. I'm happy to report, I've done both!

Even more exciting... the first project I participated in, a film called Echo's Wonder was a winner at a screening of all recently made films yesterday!! My role (other than a riveting performance sitting on BART reading a newspaper) was location sound. Yes, I was the person wearing the headphones and holding the boom microphone. There's even production photos to prove it.

It was a great experience, good team and very educational to see how you make a short film when you've got more than 10 hours and more people than just yourself.

That's the news for now... stay tuned for info on an upcoming improv show I'll be in with Secret Improv Society. Well, I guess if you just clicked the link, you know everything you need to know. So, stay tuned for some inside scoop, which I will dig up between now and the next post.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lions and Zebras and Bears - Oh My!

Okay, no bears. But what else did Tracy and I see on our safari that is only one syllable long? Snakes, trees, birds? Yes, but bears seemed like the most exciting, if inaccurate choice.

I'm happy to report that I've divided the safari footage into Part I and Part II and posted them both on YouTube!  I'm also happy to report that what started as 3 hours and 15 minutes of raw footage turned into a 16 minute final version... you should be pretty happy about that too.

So that is the big thrill/accomplishment for the end of May.  The beginning of June should bring (keep your fingers crossed) the start of the tour guide job.  I'll keep you posted on that so - once I've got a few runs under my belt - you can book a tour for yourselves, your local friends or your out-of-town guests.

Now I must work on some footage from Zanzibar - (use your jazz hands, open your eyes as wide as you can and repeat after me) ZANZIBAR!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Are You My Customer?

Hey All,

As you may have noticed when watching the movies I have posted on YouTube, I end them all with a copyright to Hey Miss K Productions.  But at this point, what is Hey Miss K Productions? Something I've printed on a business card.  Seems to me like it needs to be more.

So - I've been taking classes with the Small Business Administration.  I've been given an overview of the tax implications of incorporating as a sole proprietor vs. a c-corp or an s-corp (best if you don't ask me but take the class yourself) and I've learned of all the elements I need to consider to put together a business plan.

The first question is "who is your customer"?  When I think of who I want to see these movies, the answer is "everyone".  That seems a bit too broad.  Then there are the questions about what the unmet need is for this group and how your service will fill it.  If that's not enough, one must identify a market, scope out the competition and forecast sales.  Those things seem so much more straightforward if you're opening a restaurant or an eco-friendly dry cleaning business.

It's quite possibly time for me to go sit in a cabin in the woods to figure this all out or brainstorm with people or write down some options, put them in a hat, close my eyes and pick one.  

Instead of doing any of this, I've started editing safari footage!  3 hours and 15 minutes of footage has already been cut down to 35 minutes as I have realized you CAN have too many shots of elephants walking.  The best news is... there's still more cutting to be done.  You'll be thrilled to know there will undoubtedly be a 30 minute version for Tracy and I to relive the trip and a 10 (or so) minute version for everyone else who wants to see it, but only a little.

Why here's a little now!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Further Adventures in Filmmaking

Hey All,

What in the world has been going on with me lately, you ask?  Good question.

I've been sharing the story of the monkey man with as many people as I can.  I've entered the movie in a competition at an online site called Film Click.  Right now it is a featured film on the front page and I would encourage you to go there and click to watch it.  You don't have to watch it again if you've seen it, but click the link and go get a coffee - it will up the number of views and that can only be helpful.

I've also posted the movie on Current TV as well as nominate the Mazingira Monkey Project for World Challenge 08 is a global competition aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level.  There is potential for Juma to win a lot of money and expand his business.

Both the Film Click and World Challenge competitions I was invited to participate in by people who saw the movie at the Alice Film Festival.  So, getting myself out there has proven to be a good thing!

I remind myself of that as I'm forcing myself to go to a networking meeting/thingy at the Small Business Administration tonight.  While I'm working on getting a tv show - should I do something about Hey Miss K Productions?  I copyright my movies to this name, I put it on business cards I printed out but at this moment in time... it isn't technically a business.  Or is it?  Do you see what I'm dealing with?  But I try to make forward progress.

In other filmmaking adventures, my team from the Scary Cow group has finished filming our movie, Echo's Wonder.  I'm a bit sad the photo of me was shot in the bookstore shortly after 6:30 in the morning when I'm not at my peak, but you must admit, with the headphones and crazy microphone, I do look like quite the official location sound person.  The film screens June 1st at the Victoria Theater and I would encourage anyone who is around to come check it out. The sound is going to be fantastic.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dream, The Trailer

Hey All,

As most of you know, not only am I trying to make documentary films... I'm in one. In fact, many of you have been asking... "what's up with the documentary and when can I see it?" Well, scroll to the end of this message where I'm happy to share a short promotional trailer that's been put together!  It features everyone who is in the documentary and gives you an idea of all our stories.

I'm happy with the sections on me, though I'm begging the director to cut out the section where I say a dream looks like a cloud that you suddenly realize is a puppy. What?!? I must have been smoking rainbow flavored crack through a hollowed out unicorn horn when I said that. Honestly. When I think of what a dream looks like now, I see myself driving down a freeway... I know I'm going in the right direction but I'm not sure which lane will get me there the quickest or what exit I should take. Admittedly, not as cute to look at as puppies.

Seeing how the filmmakers have put together footage that I shot in South Africa gets me motivated to make more progress editing all the stories I have and finding a venue for them. Lately, though I've been a bit distracted from that task. Why, you ask?

Well, because I've been reading up on San Francisco history in preparation for my new part-time job as a tour guide!  And not just any tour guide, mind you, this tour will be conducted on Segway scooters!  People who live here are already suffering the consequences of my research and my need to pass on random tidbits - Lillie Coit dressed in men's clothes so she could play poker with the boys, Ghirardelli came to San Francisco in 1849 looking for gold but ended up getting back into the chocolate business when that didn't work out for him, Shanghai Kelly had 3 trapdoors in his bar to speed up the transfer of drunken sailors back to outbound ships. I love it!

So - if you're in town, or planning on coming to town, look me up and get ready for your riding tour of San Francisco.

Meanwhile, take a look at the trailer below and stay tuned for further information on when you can find this movie in a theater near you!

Thanks for sticking with me!
Miss K

DREAM - The Trailer

Monday, April 14, 2008

Que Sera, Sera

Hey All,

Well... the monkey man and I didn't win the film contest but by jove - we were in it!  

The film got a good reception and the entire event was a fun time.  There were some great films that made it into the finals and I am thrilled that I was among them.  One of my favorites was the winner in both the comedy category and the overall winner for the night and you can view it here:  The Job

What next for me?  Essentially to keep on truckin'.  

I've got much more footage from Africa to edit and get online (much more I tell you).  Two new videos on the Boomu Women's Group in Uganda and the flip flop recycling company in Kenya can be found here:  Miss K on YouTube

Meanwhile, I'm getting back in the swing of improv - and will let you know if I become part of a regular gig as that is the goal - AND I just took a job as a tour guide.  Not any tour guide, mind you.  I will be leading Segway tours in San Francisco!  No, I haven't ever ridden a Segway before and yes, they will give us some training.

The job should start around mid-May which gives me time to brush up on my history of all things San Francisco - but mostly things you can see from Fisherman's Wharf, Aquatic Park and Crissy Field.

So - keep checking in on the blog or on YouTube to see more videos from Africa and when you're ready to roll along the streets of San Francisco, give me a shout!

Miss K

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tonight's the Night We Make History!

(Styx flashback anyone?)

Hey All,

Tonight is the night of the Alice Film Festival where my film on The Mazingira Monkey Project is one of the 5 finalists in the drama/documentary category!

The event is sold out and on the verge of being a fire hazard because of the number of people attending.  The documentary film crew that will be there to film me (as the final bits of the Dream documentary) has to hang out in the lobby... it's that crowded.

I must say, today as I have been running errands, driving with the top down delivering film festival tickets and contemplating what to wear tonight I realized that, while this hasn't earned me any money yet, it sure beats workin' for "the man".

Regardless of the outcome tonight, this is a great opportunity for me to get more visibility for me, the monkey project and (hopefully through increased YouTube hits) for all the people I'm profiling.  I'm thrilled to be a part of it!  It very well may be "the best of times".

Please keep your fingers crossed and tune in soon for the results!

Miss K

PS - Because I know it's stuck in your head now and you want to hear it:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mazingira Monkey Makes it to Film Festival!!

Hey All,

Exciting news!  The short documentary I did on the Mazingira Monkey Project has made the final cut for the Alice 3-minute Independent Film Festival!

The festival is next Friday, April 11th at Bimbo's 365 Club.  All the details can be found at the link above and tickets can be purchased at

Come cheer on the monkey man (and the filmmaker) as we make our debut on the big screen!

Miss K

P.S. Coming soon - the link to the Boomu Women's Group video, which I just posted today.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mazingira Video!

Hi All,

I'm happy to report the first of the short videos from Africa is posted online and ready for viewing!  I'm a bit sad to say the file size is so big that I can't display it here, only provide you with a link.

Many of you will recall the man in Arusha, Tanzania who was cleaning the environment (and supporting his family) by collecting plastic bags from the trash and using them to stuff animals for children.  Well now, you can meet Ramadhani Juma and see just what it takes to make this happen.

I'm so excited about how this turned out and so eager to spread the word about this project, I've submitted this piece to a local radio station's film festival, in hopes that it will be shown! And now it's about time you get a chance to see it, wouldn't you say?

Hey Miss K Productions proudly presents:

Comments are welcome and orders for toys are gladly accepted.

Miss K

Monday, March 3, 2008

Climb Every Mountain - Raising Money for Nepalese Schoolgirls

Hi All,

Want to help educate two Nepalese schoolgirls without getting altitude sickness?  Then support the climb-a-thon my friend Kate (pictured here) is undertaking on Wednesday!

I've pasted her letter below (because yeah, I couldn't figure out how to attach it - but I can send it to you if you ask).  Plus, she describes why this particular family and how the climb-a-thon works.

A Swiss woman living in South Africa raising money for people Nepal and receiving support from people around the world.  Yes, we can be quite the global community if we put our minds to it!

So - I encourage you to support her if you can.  She's a fabulous person and I'd like to help her achieve her dream!

Miss K

PS - Please contact Kate ( or me directly to get her banking details... didn't seem like that was something that I should put online for the world to see.  And now to her letter:

While I was in Nepal in 2005, I was deeply touched by the hospitality, friendship and kindness of the local people, even though they had, themselves, many hardships to bear. A porter, Dawa, who trekked with me and my friend for a few weeks, was badly affected by the political situation in his country and the resulting lack of tourists. Because of the shortage of work, Dawa could no longer afford to send his 2 daughters, Chotti and Tschering (then aged 7 and 9) to school. 

Many of you very kindly supported me in my fundraising activity in 2005, to raise money for Chotti and Tschering’s education. I successfully raised 4 years worth of schooling for each girl. Tragically, Dawa became another victim of the violence in Nepal; he was shot and killed just outside Katmandu in May 2006, just one day before he was supposed to go trekking. His children and his widow now rely completely on outside support. Because I knew Dawa personally, it is very important to me to ensure that his girls will be educated and looked after until they can support themselves (and their mother). 

I have chosen my next adventure to be a means of raising money to finance the following years of Chotti’s and Tschering’s schooling. Please, let me explain… 

In April/May 2008 I will attempt to climb Cho Oyu, 8’201m, the world’s 6th highest mountain. I am asking you to donate a chosen amount per 100m of altitude that I achieve, starting at 5’500m, ending at the highest point I reach (climbing up and down does not count double). Here are some examples: Jim would like to donate 5 Swiss Francs (CHF) per 100m of altitude that I achieve. If I reach 5’600m, he will donate CHF 5 (1 x CHF 5), if I reach 7’000m, he will donate CHF 75 (15 x CHF 5) and if I summit, he will donate CHF 135 (27 x CHF 5). All currencies and all amounts are welcome. 

Once I have completed my climb I will let you know just how high I reached (on tippy-toes, with stretched arms) and how much your donation works out to be. I would then ask you kindly to transfer the amount into my Nepal fundraising bank account in Switzerland. From there I transfer the school fees each year. 

I strongly believe that education is the key to a brighter future. “Give a man a fish and he is fed for a day. Teach him to catch fish and he can thereafter feed himself and his family”. This will be my, and I hope our, contribution to the futures of Chotti and Tschering. Every single cent donated will go directly to benefit Dawa’s family. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me, email would be the simplest ( If you decide you would like to be part of my fundraising project, just let me know how much you would like to donate per 100m, the rest you can leave up to me. 

I will sign off with a big THANK YOU to all of you that decide to support me and go out for a run in preparation… 

A big hug to you all, 



Thursday, February 21, 2008

And the Beat Goes On

Hey All,

Being in San Diego earlier this month and meeting the other people who will be in the documentary film was a wonderful thing.

First off, I got to catch up with my old roommate, Ramon! Although he is quite happy living in San Diego... I'm still sad not to have him as a buddy to see bad performance art with. But in San Francisco, there is a never ending supply of bad performance art and friends you can convince to go with you (at least one time). But I digress.

Our first full day in San Diego was spent sailing around on a yacht and drinking champagne - while being filmed and trying to act casual. It was a beautiful, sunny day and a great way to get to know each other before the hard work of Friday. Seriously.

Friday was spent sitting at a round table (after a visit to the make up artist and the sound crew for our microphones) trying to ignore the four cameras that captured our every move while discussing questions like, "how do you recognize the dream that you're going to follow and what do you do if you don't get support"? Good lord. All this while trying to make sure that no one looked at the cameras - which were surrounding us, really - and that we gave each other a relatively equal amount of time to talk, though it shouldn't seem like we were going in any order. Do I hear the make up artist telling us to sit in her chair because we're getting shiny?

The other people involved in this project are an interesting lot: a guitar player who dreams of rock stardom, a dean who wrote a play for children about divided groups coming together, two women (with a website under construction) who are working to educate people on the importance of banking your infant's umbilical cord blood and finally the man (also under construction) who started it all - the soon to be finished documentary movie . If he has his way, we'll all be on Oprah talking about the film.

Hearing what everyone else had done made me feel a bit like a slacker and vow to get back on track when I got back up to San Francisco. Slowly I'm doing just that. I'm starting to edit the video again, I'm learning about how one improves a blog, I'm reaching out to the connections people are giving me and I'm trying to clarify what in the world it is I'm trying to do in the first place. All that and I've joined the Netflix revolution - so I can rent documentaries - for research. Come on.

The movie should be finished sometime in August and then will be premiered in all the cities where there are cast members. To save yourself a trip to Tucson, why don't you plan on seeing it in San Francisco. Either that or Tivo Oprah.

See you in the movies,
Miss K

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

San Diego or Bust!

Hey All,

The screening last month was a big success!  The room at the Bay Area Video Coalition was packed full of people who watched some of my early comedy and film projects before we got to the main event of the African stories.

Featured that evening were stories about the Mazingira Monkey Project, UniquEco Designs, the Boomu Women's Group and Habitat for Humanity.  People in the audience were a big help filling out a brief (I thought) survey to help me figure out how to make the stories better.  

On top of that, as a group, we ordered 30 toys from the Mazingira Monkey Project - which is somewhere between 3 and 6 months worth of work for Juma and his wife!

The next day was spent with the director of the documentary film "Dream" and yet another film crew running around San Francisco and answering questions .  I'm getting quite used to having microphones taped to my shirt, strapped to my leg or clipped to my pants.

All good to know, you think to yourselves, but what's this about San Diego?

Everyone from the cast of this documentary film is being flown to San Diego tomorrow as a combination "thank you for being in our film" and one last opportunity to film.  It will be the first time any of us have met each other and I'm looking forward to finding out who these other people are and what their dreams are all about.

After that, the idea is... finish the film by the end of the summer, have a premier in San Francisco (and other cities where they have cast members), then take it on the film festival circuit and ultimately get in on television!  I will certainly let everyone know when the movie will be showing in SF so that if you're local - or close enough - you can attend.

I'll check in again when I return from San Diego.  It's also my goal to get some of the videos posted on the internet before the month is over so, as always... stay tuned.

Miss K

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ready for My Closeup (Almost)

Hey All,

It's been awhile since you've heard from me. I've been adjusting to the swing of life back in San Francisco and getting through the holiday season. Now it's a fresh new year and the heat is on!

I've been editing the video footage of a few of the stories from my travels. In order to make sure I actually do more than sit in front of the computer reliving my trip and feeling sentimental - I've scheduled a screening for the 14th of January!!

I just sent out an invitation to 73 people. The only issues are that I'm not done editing and I don't have a place to have the screening. The footage at this point, while still a work-in-progress is pretty good and will be in even better shape by the 14th. The location... well that's a bigger problem but I'm casting the net of phone calls I'm making wider in faith that I will find something big enough in time.

This is especially important as the documentary film crew will be in town and is coming to the screening. Aaaah! The things I do to get myself motivated.

So - if you're reading this blog and you didn't get an invite. Well, let me know who you are and I can add you to the list so I can tell you where it is as soon as I know.

Will post the video clips here as they are finalized for the whole wide world to see.

I know... I can hardly wait either!
Miss K