Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Criticizing Cultures

Elizabeth S.D. Englehardt’s A Mess of Greens was a well written and accessible book. Many in class have related that friends not in food or academics have read and enjoyed this book and it would be one that I would recommend. Perhaps because I still feel like a teenage girl, I most enjoyed the chapters about them. Although I have not participated in illegal activities and never brewed beer, let alone moonshine, I felt that the chapter on Moonshine shed a light on much of what was going on in the South at the time and pop literature reflected that. At a time of jazz, flappers, migration from rural towns to urban metropolises, and teenagers and leisure, fear of all this change could be wrapped up into a want and need to tame a young woman, especially a moonshiner. Female moonshiners in literature also shine a light on how could one provide for oneself if the main provider died or was no longer in the picture. Lack of opportunity and skills for a woman made the prospects dismal. So dismal, that to empower young women and in hopes of keeping them home instead of heading off to the mills, tomato girls clubs were formed. These clubs helped keep girls at home but enabled them to earn money, help supplement the family income and in some cases, save money to go off to school and become teachers and librarians. These clubs were the foundation and precursor to 4H and I wish that the chapter had taken that further step to explain and paint of picture of the transition from boys corn clubs and girls tomato clubs to 4H’s beginnings. Of some interest to myself today is how many urban schools and areas are taking youth and funneling them into urban 4H competitions and projects. The book also talks of educated women heading to the hills to help educate the women of Blue Ridge to move from corn bread to “cleaner”, more “sanitized” biscuits. This triggered the first time I ever saw a debate on placing ones ideals and criticizing another way of life. Surprisingly, I was 25 and in grad school and I walked in on a girl who was talking before class about how inhumane rodeo was...odd since the class of Cinema Against the Grain and we were viewing avant garde films. A brave kid in front turned around and calmly stated that one should be careful on criticisms like that, and that this girls was taking on a whole way of life where animals are an integral part and that rodeo is a celebration and competition and gathering of farmers and ranchers. I guess because my father had grown up on a farm and visited the grandparents there, I was always interweaving and navigating between different cultures and ways of life. Although I knew I didn’t fit in there, I had enough respect and enjoyed things like auctions and fairs and rodeo. It may have been this moment, that I realized thinking before speaking is important and trying to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is a saying that goes a long way. It is perhaps the basis to why when I started teaching technology, I decided to try something new every year so that I could remember what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes and also how hard a new skill can be. It also made it less of a “bucket list” and more of an active adventure to look forward to and now I can say, I’ve traveled alone to a country, not knowing any of the language, I’ve learned to skeet shoot, I’ve barreled raced and I’ve rowed crew- to name a few. All these experiences have created eye opening moments that have helped me to avoid criticizing other cultures. _______________________ _________________________________

Monday, October 22, 2012

Keeping it Local- Solutions? to a Giant Problem

Civic Pride gets pulled through a machine in Alabama Getaway. The answers or questions Allen Tullos raises put me more in Belfast Northern Ireland in 2002 than in the South. By questioning putting efforts into education over jails and other blights in society I kept seeing why I was in Northern Ireland. My father worked for Allstate Insurance for most of his life and was sent as a consultant to Northern Ireland for half a year or so in 2002, after a delay due to the terrorist attacks and travel logistics post September 11, 2001. Allstate’s company line was that because of the tech and dot com boom, “they just couldn’t find enough programmers” but the reality was that Allstate Insurance like all American companies was outsourcing. The company set up in Belfast was called Northbrook Technologies Northern Ireland and within three years was one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland, eventually taking on other projects beyond the Allstate workload and demand. NTNI was seen as a stop gap to keep the best and brightest in Northern Ireland in Northern Ireland as many would go off to University and stay in London or find other lucrative jobs elsewhere. The argument is that while preparing youth with a better education foundation, if one only invests in this, the bigger picture is missed. If we do a better job of educating youth in these poor states, what industry is here to keep them in the region? Allen Tullos seemed to criticize and suggest but the writing and theories went beyond a utopian ideals. The picture was as if all is broken and rusted and can’t be fixed but it should be fixed. Even with this feeling from the reading, I felt as if Tullos needed to talk to Gerry Adams and those involved in Sinn Féin politics as this book and much of Tullos’s arguments seem close together on the political wheel. The desire for better roads, education, and industry ideally can help improve quality of life for the people of a state and keep them there rather than the alternative of relocation, away from family and community. _______________________ _________________________________

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Local Tourism

Mockingbird Song by Jack Temple Kirby was a book chosen for class with a category of Ecological South and although the book twists and turns and talks of terrain and how people of the south have manipulated and worked with it, we determined that this book is as much autobiographical as it is about where one lives. It feels as if I have been labeled the California girl here in the Southern Studies program, partly because when asked where I moved from, the response is Los Angeles. I then often expand that I had lived in Minneapolis, Chicago, Savannah, Durham and Hendersonville (as well as Daytona Beach) for stints of time. My favorite response by a woman in the Southern Studies program was - ‘well more importantly, where were you born?’ and I always find myself light up when I respond Dallas. The long answer is I can usually navigate and find enough to talk about that relocation and moving from different states can be easier but people who don’t do it (and that is a majority) do not realize how regionalistic the United States can be. This same majority is impressed with all the places in Europe I can name and yes, Dublin, Madrid, and Prague are places I would return to in a heartbeat, Savannah is just as magical and special for me. An acquaintance (and fellow Southerner in LA) once talked at a dinner we were at about the importance of being a local tourist and asking everyone about this place- whatever place you are in. It’s an instant in because in his experience, everyone has some sense of civic pride for the place they reside. This thought kept running through my mind in reading Mockingbird Song where Jack Temple Kirby seems to embrace history and where he lives. All the interest in Florida shared in his book shows how he embraced retirement and relocation and change to mold it into the civic pride he expressed in the book. I am in the rocky waters of relocation where solitude and loneliness make the days and nights long. I have laid groundwork, but eagerly await festivals and events where I can get involved and meet a variety of people in the community but sadly these can’t come soon enough. I think I shall be pleasantly surprised what civic pride and what becomes endearing about this new community I have put myself in. _______________________ _________________________________

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Labels and Life and as Rebel

I have been trying to figure out what it means to be in Southern Studies and wondering what will eventually become my thesis. During my short time here, I have been driving to auctions and flea markets, reading lots of heady texts with five dollar words on the South and watching tv with Southern themes. It’s amazing that the show Honey Boo Boo has the high ratings it does, as well as the visual fact that this family needs subtitles underneath them to be able to understand them. The label I have in this new place seems to be the girl from California. People ask about culture shock, expecting an answer to be shock about the South. Instead they find out that my family is from Texas and I grew up in Dallas AND Chicago. I’ve worked in the South in Daytona Beach with other Southerners, as well as in Flat Rock and Durham, North Carolina for summer theatre. I taught in Savannah at the college and own a house there. The culture shock isn’t a West to East move, it’s a teacher back as student and an older student navigating a group of mostly younger people in a new course of study. In watching Southern themed television, it’s been about Texas. I watched and was hooked on the new Dallas, partly after working with Linda Gray and in part I was the right age this go round-I was sent to bed around the time the original Dallas aired. I enjoy seeing how the series features the city that I grew up in. It’s pure soap opera but fun. Then with a swing of the pendulum in the opposite direction, I move to the Texas themed cartoon, King of the Hill. My mother once stated that the character of Bobby “is so weird, he’s normal”, and that probably covers much of the show and its situations. The pilot was on the other day and the subject dealt with a neighborhood that gossips and a chain of circumstances that lead to child protective services looking in on the family. What shows from the creation of the show is that it is a family that loves each other (and it’s one of the funniest pilots I’ve seen). The couple can’t have anymore children and they love and support the son even though he isn’t the stereotypical all American boy (his dream is to grow up to be a prop comic). The family is loving and open enough to take in a niece and support her in her dating life and attempted career as a beautician. Although a comedy, the show depicts a loving family and supportive group of neighbors in a Texas town. The comedy comes through pointing out and playing up the stereotypes. The small Texas town and football are two other stereotypes that play through in Friday Night Lights, although popular with critics, this show never found the audience it deserved because of the misconception it was a sports show. It was so much more. Many critics felt that it really showed a partnership of a marriage. The scenes with Taylors at school and at home really portrayed something that felt pure and realistic. I could also mention the outrageous comedy of GCB but in viewing all these shows, there stereotypes exist but the foundation and the core of the show comes from loving families. _______________________ _________________________________

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Expositions and Reality

After reading Segregating Sound, an excerpt about Black America triggered thoughts on the modern exposition. The display boasted authenticity, plucking “real” people from their environment to another area, with the expectation they would continue their everyday life but with observers, in a city, in another district. Black America of many years past, to me, parallels the 42nd Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival where it “explored the rich culture of the Kingdom of Bhutan” and boasted “100 Bhutanese artists, dancers, craftspeople, cooks, carpenters, farmers and representatives of monastic life who celebrated the traditions that define and sustain their culture.” I’ve always been curious what a World’s Fair would look like and this type exposition seems to be our modern interpretation. We are searching for the untouched and the authentic. My coworker went to Bhutan to work at a new radio station, as the country was opening up and changing from a monarchy to a democracy. Bhutan spoke English since in the King’s wisdom, he had chosen that English be learned and American television be broadcast as the media came into this tiny Buddhist country. The coworker later brought a young Bhutanese woman over to America and Los Angeles to visit. The story meanders from there and developed into a book deal. Sadly, the author’s complaint that she never got to do long investigative stories that deserved attention- just three minute radio pieces- turned into a memoir that never explored anything deep. The book instead took a colonial and imperialistic view of the culture she visited. Forget being contemporary or enlightened in modern times, history often keeps repeating itself. She instead exploited the young woman’s story and ruined her life in Bhutan, changing European expats names but not the Bhutanese woman’s. The question is why the need for authenticity or purity of a culture? In the search for these cultures, the seeker imposes their own thoughts and notions on them. They never let it be. Anthony Bourdain and the show No Reservations make good tv but they are well aware in showing a treasure, rarity, or dying food tradition will give people the desire to visit. This desire brings money to the country and area but it can often destroy it as well. The tiny kingdom of Bhutan has rapidly changed in the last few years. The women were working on the second radio station in the country and they now have stations in the double digits. The country stayed closed to survive and then opened to survive and the floodgates have opened. The South never experienced floodgates of tourists and money but there continues to be a desire for authentic Southern Food or culture. Unfortunately, like music in Segregating Sound, media and television covering in the South seems to exploit a pocket of a backwoods culture, in its search for interesting characters. Reality tv plays on ‘true Southern’ with shows like a version of the Housewives franchise in Atlanta, Toddlers and Tiaras and the spinoff Here comes Honey Boo Boo- not to mention Duck Dynasty, and a version of Storage Wars and Pawn Stars. Our classmate mentioned scripted shows like True Blood that also molded ideas of what the region is, giving someone an idea without even visiting or living in it. The bottom line is that more people need to realize their perspectives and life experience interfere and inform travel. One should work to be as open to new experiences and culture when navigating different destinations and regions. _______________________ _________________________________

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Paris Syndrome and Dreaming of Dixie

Dreaming of Dixie talks of the idealized South and how misconceptions of the South may populate. The author, Karen Cox, suggests that the nation as a whole, bought into these ideas of what the South was or possibly more accurately, what the antebellum South was. California expert, Norman Klein writes of the art of remembering, or as the title of his book suggests, The History of Forgetting. Klein’s book focuses on tear downs, urban planning and re-creation of neighborhoods in Los Angeles. With his theories and meanderings of the text, he also gives an ‘anti tour” of Los Angeles, focusing on movies and noir novels, discussing how a majority of the population, all over the world, have a convoluted idea of what Hollywood is- this perception of what they think the city and movie making is. Reinforcing his statement of these perceptions, a student documentary based on his book has a scene of a foreign tourist posing and looking into the camera as the film makers interview Klein on a street. The tourist has this eschew idea that he will be on film or tv and faces the camera and stares at it. Odd behavior and idea but became true by that footage making the cut into the documentary. Klein has gone on to state that all in the city of Los Angeles are guilty-like a nation buying into Southern stereotypes and ideas. Dreaming of Dixie also made me recall hearing of Paris syndrome, where many Japanese visitors to the city are over come with disappointment, stress, and breakdown when interacting with the reality of a long idealized romantic European city, a dream city where a tourist finds the character to be the complete opposite of their own. This very real and extreme culture shock comes with a twenty four hour hotline to the Japanese embassy. Karen Cox reinforces this with excerpts from diaries and accounts of tourists visiting the South and it not being Southern enough. In playing into the tourists ideas to make money, Southerners were just as guilty for the myth as all the tin pan alley songs that writers who had never been to the South were creating. There have been times I have experienced something similar to Paris syndrome although I’ve never been overwhelmed with culture shock like that. Most recently, it came more in the form of disappointment. Lucille’s Barbecue was coming into our suburban Los Angeles mall. When it finally opened up my friend and I went to check it out. The food was dry and the sauces weren’t tasty. The restaurant decor has self taught and primitive art on the walls and the waiting area looks like a living room. My friend stated that we had been spoiled by good food and some of the best-best barbecue in other areas. I related that when he came to visit, I would take him to the real thing-Ajax in Oxford. It didn’t have the Southern facade but the real thing- food, art, people, and all. So often the idea or recreation can not compare to something grounded in place, and not trying to be something of a themed destination. _______________________ _________________________________

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Calendar Events-Day of Play Oct 6

So I put myself out there again and this could count as a try something new because it put my in my student's shoes. Go out and play Oct 6. _______________________ _________________________________

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Covers- Muse- Feeling Good

A little more edge than the Nina Simone version but it's really hard to top the original. Heard this version watching Luther and had to share: _______________________ _________________________________

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Don & Dales #oldtype

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 4,5,6&7 #30dayphotochallenge

First time with fried okra
He was staring at me in the WalMart
Hung some more pictures and am more settled in the house
Old Sticker-Love coming to work 

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 3 #30dayphotochallenge Southern Studies Reading

Mostly Foodways with a dash of Seminar

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day 1&2 #30dayphotochallenge Mississippi perspective

Ripley First Monday

Post blue moon, right at sunrise

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Girls Night on Friday the 13th=Perfection!

We drove and yelled at the GPS as we went our own way in rush hour and then once at Dodger Stadium we ate the dogs, I had magic water, and we flatten pennies for the ultimate souvenir.  The sunset was amazing last night and then after the 7th inning stretch, we moved down to the ultimate upgrade with the finale being able to sit on the first base line and watch the fireworks. _______________________ _________________________________

July Photo Diary-Post July 4th

So July 5 meant a trip to Bricks on Lyons with a few friends for lunch.  It was a good impromptu and got me out of the house.  I caught a glimpse of the succulents in a barrel and snapped a pic.
Then July 6th was another day of being open to the universe.  A friend came over-he brought the meat and I had the veggies plus beer n booze.  He grilled a mean pork chop.
A high noon walk on July 8th made me snap the pic-it was getting hot-not like the 4th!
July 9th was happy hour with Mr. Porkchop-loved that he brought Starbucks in.
July 11 was 7-11 and Six Flags Magic Mountain had a promo going to pay $7.11 after 7pm but the line was long and they ran out of coupons so we went off to Wing Wednesday instead.
Thursday, July 12, was Downtown LA Art Walk-we went to both MOCAs- art always being an inspiration-and it was Young's first time at Starry Kitchen.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Momentum lost- #30dayphotochallenge June/July recap

So, I had some trouble posting and keeping up this month.  I've been busy with a ton of stuff so the #30dayphotochallenge doesn't look like it's gonna happen for awhile.  That being said, I wanted to celebrate the friendships and moments I have had lately.  It already feels like I've crammed a whole summer in the past few weeks!  Here's a recap:

I spent time with friends from college and went to see the LA Derby Dolls and visited with friends at my local watering hole-best part is that I can walk there!  Summer solstice wasn't very significant this year, as it has been in the past, but I did manage to get this pic taken!

I started to learn to ride a motor bike and then the next day went and learned to shoot a rifle.  The day ended up with me trying a scope to settle a wager at the end of the range.  I had the opportunity to hit 400 and 600 meter targets at rapid fire.  I also went to happy hour and found myself looking up at my stair case and thinking it was beautiful!  I also so a chester molester van with kidnapped mannequins in it at the mall.  Who would pass up that photo opp?  Lastly, I had a night with my row crew where the girls decided to visit me when I move and we have a meet up in New Orleans- but that night was reserved for Trader Vic's fruity drinks and then on to strippers with the movie, Magic Mike.

I then met up with my audio guy- also named Mike and we hit Thai food.  It feels as if I have to get my quota in on Asian as I don't think the deep South will always deliver when it comes to that cuisine.  Another happy hour--I'm branching out from bourbon and going to a rum filled summer.  I also went out to the movies with a coworker to check out Brave.  It was a treat to go so long with out hitting a movie theater and then to see two entertaining movies in a few days....July 4th meant that I was keeping the masses safe by making sure they stayed out of the fallout zone-which also meant I got a great view and perspective so I snapped this unreal photo of the finale!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Women Athletes and Nike "Voices"

AS I sat on my couch talking myself out of a workout, my friend tweeted this: Yes it plays on our empathy and shallow romantic side, but that doesn't mean this @nike ad isn't moving so true, and with with misty eyes, I'll be lacing up my shoes (not nike) and getting out there to start the day! _______________________ _________________________________

Monday, June 18, 2012

Moon River- Honey Trees and Breakfast at Tiffany's

People asked about what music was in Breakfast at Tiffany's and I mentioned that although it's not a musical it IS one of the only movies where we hear Audrey Hepburn's voice. My co worker mentioned this cover and I thought it was great! _______________________ _________________________________

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Friday, Saturday, Sunday end of one #30day photochallenge and the start of another

Starry Kitchen

Day 30
Friday was a night out with the LA Rowing Club girls. This club has amazed me in what friendships have formed. The ladies were all so hungry and tired, the only pic that was taken was of Downtown Frank, me with the Lionel Richie tour sign, and proprietor Nguyen Tran.

Warning at Westfield Mall Valencia

Day 1
I worked Saturday and it was a great lunch eating leftovers from Starry Kitchen.  I was really spent and so stayed in the rest of the night.

Doll Factory, LA Derby Dolls

Day 2
Spent the day with the boys-old friends from my early days in California and watched and exhibition match for roller derby.  I think seeing strong women duke it out is a great way to spend Father's Day! _______________________ _________________________________

Here's to Dad- Happy Father's Day

I love my dad.  He's a shy quiet type with an insane sense of humor.  He's never told me no-just "I don't think that's a good idea".  He packs a mean trunk when we take a road trip and he cries at movies.  He played catch with me and he came to all my sports events.  This is one of my favorite pics of him from the parents' last trip to visit me. _______________________ _________________________________

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 29 #30dayphotochallenge friend's portrait

 So- I cheated-had a few dark days with no pictures but I want to finish on a great note and I loved the picture my friend @_JRQ took today. So fun! Bring it! _______________________ _________________________________

Thursday, June 14, 2012

day 28 #30dayphotochallenge Culver City Movies

day 28 #30dayphotochallenge It was a last minute change of plans and an invitation to see the movie Prometheus in Culver City. The movie was well done but I was thinking -meh- and the friend next to me kept jumping and I thought it was predictable. The company was amazing and such a great change of plans! _______________________ _________________________________

Leaving work early!-honda commercial

I'm a huge fan of Jim Rash and was surprised and delighted when he won an Oscar. In my continued search for a commercial about a man at a crossroads looking to his left and right and thinking about a girl in Savannah, I found this...this feels how my current job runs things. RELEASE THE HOUNDS!!!! _______________________ _________________________________

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

day 27 of #30dayphotochallenge

day 27 of #30dayphotochallenge
Kings game redux upset that Big Wangs wanted a cover-never!- and as I pulled into the crowded parking lot down the road, I knew Gameday was a bust once I saw the news truck! _______________________ _________________________________

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

day 23, 24 & 26 #30dayphotochallenge Kings and Current Events and my girls!

day 23 #30dayphotochallenge Kings Game 'nuff said.

day 24 #30dayphotochallenge we had been discussing earlier events of the day and discussing this girl out of Georgia that has been building pipe bombs. I had put out on Facebook that "this girl from Gainsville GA that is accused of building bombs teaches one that Facebook pictures could be used on a news package so bikinis and girl on girl kissing may not be a good idea also saying you're a Christian Anarchist looks a little odd too" where friends had replied in their own ways and I wondered if I could recreate her photos and get a grant for performance/installation art. My boss then handed me this and my bestie at work blurted, "Careful, it's a Bomb!" and I admit I was wondering if this was really his handwriting....

    day 25 of the #30dayphotochallenge 

it was a rocking day with the girls- shoe shopping with Carrie and the Happy Hour with Shawna
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 21 & 22 #30dayphotochallege Ole Miss and Back to Reality

 day 21 of the #30dayphotochallege This panorama was taken at a Confederate and Union cemetery that is situated on the Ole Miss campus. I chuckled to myself that I seem to not like to deal or face death and funerals and yet I like cemeteries, and I came to the conclusion that perhaps I like the quiet, I like the way life still goes on with grass and vegetation growing, and I like the way the spirits have an opportunity to whisper their stories to me- like Spoon River Anthology.

  day 22 of the #30dayphotochallege brought very little excitement- mainly it was back to work and since I didn't have any groceries, I continued my vacation upon return to work by eating out. My manager suggested Red Robin for the bottomless fries and the hamburger was good too. I was right next to this sign and I thought of California's ban on foie gras and my nights out with the girls to eat at Animal and the LQ@GGD experience to eat the last days before the ban and of course I sent this snap to the girls! _______________________ _________________________________

Sunday, June 10, 2012

day 18, 19 & 20 of the #30dayphotochallege Oxford, MS

day 18 of the #30dayphotochallege I forgot what it feels like to be on a real university campus-and there is something so special. In working at a California Community College, all I could see was a bunch of portable buildings out in the middle of the desert and call it a school--this had history-- we were in one of the few ante bellum buildings on campus.

day 19 I decided to try to be a tourist in Oxford and found out why there are a number of notable writers from this town- there is very little to see or do. In exploring the bar scene, I cut through an alley and came across this reflections of windows on this building

day 20- I did the same five minute walk about Oxford that I had done the day before- blink and you'll miss the town! I laughed and found promise in Oxford population when I saw this stenciled street art. _______________________ _________________________________

Commercial Sound Design- Inspiration

in looking for a video for a commercial that seems to only exist in my mind, I came across this old Honda commercial with some crazy sound design--I will have to remember this for some inspiration on my next design.
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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Volkswagen Redux suggestion

The last few years, when they are saying that the gulf states are hurting, I keep wishing that Volkswagen would take up the challenge and do a part 2 or a homage to "syncronicity" from a few years back! _______________________ _________________________________

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

#30dayphotochallenge nite n day

It was a morning on the West and an evening in Central (timezone that is). It is always a flip of night and day in dialect and scenery, and no matter how prepared you are it still is quite a surprise. I look forward to the days ahead and surprises to come. (as well as the stories)
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 16 #30dayphotochallenge 500 Days of Summer

 I've been dealing with a huge, horrible migraine but over the weekend 500 Days of Summer was on and not only have I been listening to the soundtrack, but watched the movie again.  I took this photo around Tom Hansen's bench and it's been my favorite spot in the city for awhile (since 1999 actually).  I think this movie is most wonderful because I have felt the pain that Tom feels and his passion for such a wonderful city Los Angeles is, especially Downtown LA.  I also recall watching this movie and crying through the whole thing at my boyfriend's house while he was at work.  Perhaps that was a big sign that the boy was just a summer fling and not right.  Maybe I knew I was Summer or perhaps I knew I'd feel like Tom and I needed to pull myself up by the bootstraps- either way it's taken two more years and it got worse.  Only now does it look like it can get better and this summer is one way to come out of the dark and into the light. _______________________ _________________________________

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 15 #30dayphotochallenge -Memorial Day

I remember everyday with the one person I know that has served and died in combat. Here's a look at what's on my fridge.
Here's what I wrote about my friend Gary. _______________________ _________________________________

Sunday, May 27, 2012

#30dayphotochallenge Day 10, 11, 12 &13

Day 10 #30dayphotochallenge  Hotel digs: I usually like traveling in a job but this pic reflects how lonely, stagnant and stifling this job really is…the trip went as expected-no socialization with others, no fun.  It also shed light on how I am so out of practice of packing for a trip- I have gone no where in the last year and I can't pack efficiently anymore.  I have never been so stuck or tied to a place before- I feel like a dog outside on a chain.  I can hardly wait to get back to the things I love and the life I had.

Day 11- First day of seminar and the only cool and funny guys lived and worked too close to the hotel for the company to pay for the overnight expense.  As I was hanging with them, couple cars were being brought into the hotel.  It always makes me giggle to think as a kid I thought everyone pretty much had a 8-6 type job.  Dad would drive us to school and we kiddos had school.  It still amazes me what people do for work and what time they do it.

Day 12 #30dayphotochallenge Last day of seminar and we’re in the basement of a hotel where the room smells like mold or at least water, one mirrored ceiling tile is missing and the surrounding lighting is starting to buckle and give.  During the morning we are gassed out with the smell of WD40 and I really start to wonder-how did I get here? This is not my life….

Day 13 I’m back at work and these showed up- felt masks of different colors.  At the end of the day, this happened.  I felt a little like Amelie—perhaps I need a stratagem myself.  Turns out, one of my favorite gals bought a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack and the masks came with it.  No idea which turtle I was… _______________________ _________________________________

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

#30day photochallenge day 8&9 time with friends

Yesterday was two great meals with friends.  These guys know just the right thing to say and they were the right people to be around yesterday.  Thanks Jeremy and Naomi- good coffee talk (with cherry pie) and great experience at BistroLQ pop up at the Good Girl Dinette.  I loved the fact that the courses and food I didn't care for you loved and the things I loved, you scrunched your nose at. I am so glad that I found rowing and the friendships from it.  I can't wait to get back into rowing this year.
 It was a pleasant surprise to meet up with Shawna and have some girl talk and possible summer dreams of road tripping.  Sandwiches were great as always at Dinks. _______________________ _________________________________

Sunday, May 20, 2012

#30dayphotochallenge: day 7-partial eclipse of the sun

I worked all day, and all I had to look forward to was this partial eclipse of the sun but then circumstances got in the way…I would be off work only half an hour ‘til full “peak” so as usual, I wouldn’t see the climax.  I pulled over to capture a little of it and kept trying to resist the temptation to look at the sun.
This whole thing reminded me of the time in college-probably Spring of 95 when I was studying for finals and scrambling to help some upper classmen pass Modern Western Civ the day of an eclipse.  The sun changing like that just does something to you and the same weird feeling came over me today.  Mostly I recall making a sculpture out of jello for my basic art 3D class, the eclipse happening and a group of us looking through pin holes outside of the art building.  My friend Brad took some liberties and ate my newly graded art project like it was a jello shot.  He was a grad student so I assumed he’d had lots of practice where that was concerned.  
All felt right with the world and the future was promising.  I hope this partial eclipse resets these hopes and brings back the same feelings I had so long ago.
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Ultra Cave Invite 1-7 July

Love that my picture of DTLA is on an invite for a show in London! Check out the credit at the bottom.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 6 Hot Tub and Sore Muscles #30dayphotochallenge

I can't believe it was only yesterday I was downtown.  That was only the morning as my day included lunch with Shawna, writing, and strength training with my old trainer.  Epson salt soak in the bathtub only did so much and I cried as I worked my way down the three flights of stairs and headed to the hot tub around 10 this morning.  It was peaceful that time of day and it was just starting to warm up.  A hot soak, swim in the pool-shooing away a mallard that keeps coming round-then back to the bubbles made a bit of a difference so I could slowly clean house as I watched soccer and horse racing.  #30dayphotochallenge _______________________ _________________________________

Friday, May 18, 2012

#30DayPhotoChallenge Day 4&5 Starry Kitchen and Groceries

After my San Diego quick trip, the day was just a get through the day kinda day.  —Good news: I did!  I felt like I had been hit by a truck-probably from trying to sleep on an Amtrak train and I had the makings of a migraine.  I had been eating like a teenager at a slumber party and was paying for it.
I really didn’t have any food in the house and I’m trying to behave- both the health and money budget for the next few weeks.   Recently I have taken a few trips and eaten expensive food (last week’s excursion) as well as taking a trip next week and the week after.  Only excitement of the day was my trip to Trader Joe’s and I even forgot to take a pic of my basket.  That would’ve probably been a better self portrait but here’s the sack it all went in….

It was a Creative Mornings LA morning,  meaning I wake up even earlier than usual on my day off and fight traffic to get to an inspirational talk somewhere in LA on my day off.  It usually keeps me plugged in and energized for the month and I end up making art or writing or something (making me still feel like I “have it”!)
Starry Kitchen was speaking. I was curious what would happen.  Nguyen Tran and his wife, Tri, run one of my favorite places to eat in downtown Los Angeles (Starry Kitchen) and he is a piece of work.  He, like the food, is bold and in your face and his talk was the kickstart I need for summer. I can’t wait to see how my story unfolds, and I can't wait to finally get my rowing friends active for a night out in DTLA and a night at Starry Kitchen!
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Another #30dayphotochallenge-Days1,2,&3

Day 1: I woke up cranky and tired with a touch of ennui. I then proceeded to hustle it to work where I was greeted with a splat of bird crap on my car, which then made me giggle, knowing that this was the photo I would use today for the start of the thirty day photo challenge!

Day 2: I am stayed with my friend, Tim, in San Diego and I met a sweet but idiot dog named Maynard and his three legged friend Bailey.  That mini vacation was just what I needed!

Day 3: So tired from the trip…the train stopped on the tracks multiple times and so I didn’t get home until late or later and had a tough time winding down. This day went like clockwork and I got through it, thinking long and hard about my time with Tim, celebrating my acceptance into Ole Miss and our conversation of how creatives don’t do well in a corporate environment. I finished the day with a car wash to get the bird crap off my car from day one of the #thirtydayphotochallenge _______________________ _________________________________

Saturday, May 12, 2012

MY PASSION--Go Row the Boat!

"Sit down you're rocking the boat"!!!--not quite that bad, but a little over two years ago, I checked off one of my "bucket list" or what I call new things to try list and joined Los Angeles Rowing Club's group of Learn to Row. I have since met sincere friends, people I think are friends for life. It's been a lifesaver and as this has been pulled away from me recently- brought clarity to what I need to do next in life. It's the hardest workout and it's about doing your personal best but being held accountable like a team. I never want to be the weak one in the boat and I never stop no matter how much it hurts. I love it!
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Back to Santa Barbara this Sunday. All Aboard the Vino Train! Woo! Woo!

The beginning of this month was spent on the Santa Barbara Vino Train.  I celebrated my half birthday-a first for me, and as we stepped off the platform in Santa Barbara to tour the Urban Wineries, another group got on to ride up to San Luis Obispo and celebrate a grandmother's birthday.

The Vino Train is a ride in style. My trip was in a private lounge car and on bigger group days, a second observation car with a dome is added.  I am interested to see what that looks like this Sunday when I guide this time around.

Our group hit two wineries just steps away from the train platform.  Santa Barbara Winery was a great first stop- lots of gifts for the food and wine goer- cheese plates, olive oil, and of course wine.  They had a great deal on their 2009 Riesling and I plan on opening that bottle, partnered with some of my favorite Thai food when Mom comes to visit in the next few weeks.

Across the street, the group went over to an old tire shop, converted to the Oreana Winery.  It looks as if the place reflects the owner, with a pacman arcade game and an interesting "library" collection and artwork on the walls.

Our day continued with a leisurely walk over to a block of other wineries including Municipal Wine (Muni) and by that time my tasting buddy and myself were feeling why you shouldn't drink all of the tasting.  We hit Mac's Fish and Chip Shop.  The food hit the spot and we ducked into one last tasting (Kalyra) before waiting for the train and heading home.

Both rides- to and from- was beautiful as the day was clear and you could see the Channel Islands all along the coast.  It's a great adventure and I look forward to Sunday, seeing what happens.  I can not believe that this April, for me, has included three trips to Santa Barbara! (all with a little wine) _______________________ _________________________________

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cowboy up! Senses and Cowboy Poetry Festival

So this is what's happened in Awesometown (aka Santa Clarita) in the past few days:

Thursday was a perfect storm of warm weather and good food, not to mention the coming weekend for Cowboy Poetry.  The city had been on local tv that morning for KTLA and so Senses on Main in Old Town Newhall was a crowded night.  I worked so no drinks, but I was eying the Whiskey Girl themed drink the Vu had.  Food trucks did well and I made the conscious decision to go for Kogi's sweet chili chicken quesadilla- a dish I've broken out eating before.  No blisters this time but my dogs were tired at the end of the night,- almost as tired as my friend's dog Bailey, who greeted everyone and was ready to leave or fall asleep at the end of the night.
Saturday and Sunday was Cowboy Poetry Festival.  The City of Santa Clarita has been doing this for years and doing it up right.  I saw lots of interesting things while working one of the stages.  My favorite two was the man who tucked his suit pants into his boots and the woman on a segway in her purple track suit, jazzed up bicycle helmet, and blinded out red, white and blue bag.  

I was at home wearing the jeans, boots and hat.  The crew is always the hardest working but they know how to get along, and play hard too so Saturday night was a good gathering of the crew and then Sunday as the festival goes into autopilot for a few moments, corn hole games and jokes were exchanged.  So if you've ever wondered about Cowboy Poetry Festival- it's worth going-plan on it next year!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Free Day on Tax Day

Found my new boyfriend-look out!
It was scenes from a mall.

I had cashed in on the food court Panda Express at lunch. Shanghai Angus Steak was the tax day freebie and I met the girls after they had cashed in on their portions for their "after school snack". I had had a day where only a milkshake would cure the feelings I had--so we headed over to Chick-fil-A and used their free WiFi and waited 'til six when the Cinnabon had two free minis.  It was the way freebies should work- I tried things I wouldn't otherwise try and will return to have more.  This United Way poster was near the line for Cinnabon and I've never seen a group of teenage boys more uncomfortable at seeing adult women being silly and taking snaps and posing- Kodaking as my grandmother would say.  I think they were just jealous they didn't think of it first!

We then headed to the newly renovated and newly located Disney store and colored and posed for some more snaps.  I never was a "mall rat" as a kid and was surprised that two hours of freebies and fun could make a good evening! _______________________ _________________________________