We’re almost a month out from the devastating events in Japan and I still feel a little weird talking about something as lightweight as food. But you probably don’t come to this blog for Japan relief updates, so this week I’m compromising with this quick post on two more opportunities to help, and a full-length post on food. In fact it is the post I had ready to go the night of the March 10th when my priorities took a sharp left turn for a little while…

Which brings me to my first, albeit self indulgent cause: The benefit concert I’m helping organize with the Japanese Cultural Fair of Santa Cruz. April 23rd from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Rio Theatre here in Santa Cruz. We’ll be featuring Watsonville and San Jose Taiko, some Tsugaru Shamisen stylings and Hawaiian music and dance. Tickets are $20 in advance ($25 at the door) and 100% of the proceeds go to the relief fund set up by the  Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California. You can read more about it on our Facebook event page. And if you can’t make it please post it or invite your friends — we want to sell out, and of course, to raise the roof!

The second cause is close to my heart as a runner (gotta burn off all those foodie calories!). May 1st in Mountain View you can run 8K to raise funds for Japan in the “Run for Japan.” As the proud owner of an ugly race shirt collection I am also excited to say they plan to sell shirts with the race logo, which I think, is the best graphic I’ve seen so far for this cause. And if you do come out — I’ll see you there (probably as you pass me!).

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