Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Floating Sculpture

I studied sculpture in college, and made painted reliefs mostly, although my plaster of paris electric lamb with blue light bulb eyes was memorable. In the 80's I thought I had to personally help the trash stream with all the giant pieces of styrofoam packing material that were un-recyclable. I made numberous painted sculptures, using the bigger size styrofoam and cel vinyl paint. They looked quite nice floating in the pool. This one had a hook nose but you can't tell from the picture. I had a very cool electric wire styrofoam cutting device but it gave off a hideous odor and after awhile I felt the two were cancelling out-- the awful odor versus the styrofoam in trash cans. Besides, where do you store all this junk after awhile...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bad Day on Google for me

I can't believe I spent almost the whole day online, trying to find the right drivers for Dinah's old cel phone, so she could save all the pictures she took, onto her pc, now that she has a new phone. I don't even have a cel phone, so that sets me back a bit.

There were hundreds of posts by frustrated phone owners who'd bought the cable, as I did two years ago, so they could download their camera phone pictures. But the drivers are elusive, and of course you're always walking into a mine field when you're looking for free drivers to download. And all the cell phone forums (and there are many!) I passed through today... with the same topic chewed on in different ways, and no sure solution... For many of them you have to join just to do a search, and joining is a three or four step journey.

By the end of the day we tried propping the cel phone on the step and taking a picture of its image with the digital camera. aah. Seen here is dear old Luna from her last summer.

Monday, May 28, 2007

And I did get my baklava!

Already eaten three, trying to achieve the whale look on the tray in one day.

Persepolis is now an animated feature

Jon pointed out a review of Persepolis from Cannes Film Festival, in Variety today, written and directed by Marjane Satrapi, based on her fine graphic novel of same title. It was produced in France, and looks as if it retains the interesting graphic style of the novel. No immediate release date announced.

The Beat Hotel

Since I was stuck in the lawn chair or bed all weekend, I mostly finished this book on Beatniks in Paris in the late fifties, early sixties. It was fairly interesting and remarkable in how different the attitude towards poetry is today, fifty years later. These poets really felt they were important-- and in their way, in history, they were. The book is all about the inhabitants of this one nasty hotel in Paris where Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, William Burroughs and others came and went and wrote lots of poems.

Allen Ginsberg seems like he was a decent guy. He loved looking at old buildings-- I liked that, and there's a wonderful short anecdote about him discovering a chateau within the city that seemed as if it had fallen out of time. It was occupied by the Russian Royal Ballet. He seems like he had a big heart, and when he leaves the book, 2/3 through, to go back to the states, the book drags.

The book has no index, which is annoying, because many odd unheard of books are mentioned, which I thought I'd look into later. I was surprised how much heroin Ginsberg and everyone else mentioned in the book was freely consuming in Paris. William Burroughs seemed like an evil snaky presence, but then I never read NAKED LUNCH. There was no crossover of cultures, with the Beats and the intellectuals of Paris at the time, even though the Existentialists were right there in the same city, and they all seemed fond of being seen and published. A number of the minor poets earned checks writing dirty novels for Olympia Press.

I saw Allen Ginsberg once, and I think it must have been at Smith. He was fat, his hair was long and wild and he seemed so launched into his point of view regarding politics, drugs, Jack Kerouac, (who might have just died then) that it was hard to get much sense of him. It was a time when people's politics could make them seem so one dimensional, especially if they were also stoned.

They brought a number of unusual writers and artists to Smith, including Tom Wolfe, Anais Nin, Anne Sexton, filmmaker Stan VanderBeeck, W.H. Auden. I distinctly remember each of these-- I'm sure there were lots more.

The image isn't an advertising link, ie I don't get 5 cents back, but you might be able to go straight to a look inside the book from it, I'm just not sure if that's how it works. I use the look inside feature at Amazon a lot, since I'm such a fussy reader. Sometimes you have to sign in before you get your free look.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Prom Night 2007

Dinah last night, on the way to the prom. She picked up her date, Cameron, in Santa Monica. (where he LIVES!-- I don't mean she PICKED him UP!) We had her car detailed before hand, and it also looked beautiful.

Too bad I didn't get her room detailed too:

Prom Night 1967

As Dinah was getting ready for Prom last night, I showed her a picture of me at prom my senior year at St. Mary's in Raleigh. It was called Freshman Sophomore dance, because the school was two years of high school and two years of college. My father's side of the family has long ties to this old school, which started in 1842, before the Civil War.

What's weird about that prom, aside from my sour expression, (the one on the left), is they let me do the decorations and I painted grotesque giant sized American tourists on banner paper that covered the walls! (Like the tourists in my film four years later, "fun on mars." ) Talk about romantic decor. Where are my crepe paper roses, lady? My date's name was Bob Kluttz. He was a great guy. The girl on the right is Jane Snyder.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I want my Baklava

Every year the Valley Greek Festival is held right around the corner. Greek music, Greek food, and Greeks! The menu never changes, and I start salivating just thinking about the feta cheese and sausage plate, and the fried calamari, and best of all the Greek pastries which the ladies of the church spend the year preparing, and freezing, and finally baking for this event. Sometimes I take home eight of them and eat them all myself. I especially like the novelty ones, one of which is made with cornmeal. The rest of the year I have no interest in baklava, but I'm a major pig come Memorial Day.

But.. but.. I got a stupid cold and just don't know if I'll even make it over there. I'm wondering if I caught it at the all "girls" party I went to last weekend, where you were supposed to bring clothes you don't wear anymore and take home whatever you want. Jon and Dinah were appalled by my choices. There was a girl at the party who said, "My mama used to call me Peaches, but now she calls me Ho-Rina." Nice name you got there, Horina. Hope you didn't give me this cold, though.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Another silly bit of code

from about five years ago...flash 5 code... click the yellow button with indecipherable writing. It's all done with numbers in arrays. funky old code.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

what's on your Tennesseeasel?

Tennessee Sally
wants to see the same easel redecorated. If you draw on this one and press go, you should see some action.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Face Like A Frog Artwork

An online art gallery selling my art

After about a week of intensive code work with Flash's new language, ActionScript 3, I managed to build this html page, with video of my film Face Like a Frog, and means to go to the approx. place in the video where the background was used. This new code language is extremely different from the old days of on(press), so I was amazed that I could get it together.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

my old flame

tried to post this last night without success. mae west was the anita inspiration.

Monday, May 21, 2007


This Vitaphone short is utterly charming. Gracie Allen was brilliant! Love everything about it!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I've always loved horses

Linda asked who liked horses first, Dinah or Sally? I've always loved horses, started riding when I was seven, and used to walk out the door and become a horse when I was a child. I rode in high school, in college, then couldn't ride when I lived in San Francisco and didn't have a car to get to a stable. When Jon and I met we went on wonderful rides on the beach, and then in England, and even once in Scotland.

My dear friend Kerry Mellin used to live in Sylmar on a chicken ranch that had belonged to Marlene Dietrich! Kerry and I would go for weekly rides galloping in the hills above Sylmar, the best riding times I ever had. She found Luna for me, the first horse I owned, a truly great horse. She was half Throughbred and half Appaloosa, brave and kind. When I got into show jumping, I bought Pepper, and Luna eventually became Dinah's horse. Luna died a few years ago at age 25 or so. We still miss her.

This is a picture of Dinah and me on Southern Comfort, one of Kerry's old horses. Dinah's not even a year old here. I think this was the first time she was on a horse.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Banquet at Sportsmens' Lodge

Last night was the Interscholastic Equestrian League banquet at the Sportsmens' Lodge in Studio City. We'd received a call checking whether Dinah was coming or not, which implied she might be winning an award. That's Dinah on the left, with Randy Cano , (I designed his site here) and Ben Banuelos, her riding trainers since she was five years old. We love them! She's eighteen now!

The senior awards came at the end of the evening. The winners were still a secret. The speaker described a wonderful girl who'd spent countless hours working with handicapped children at Strides, and was so kind, devoted to helping others, etc. etc. I nudged the nice trainer next to me, whom I hadn't met before, and said, "they're talking about Dinah."

Haha, foolish me.

As Dinah is about to put her napkin on the chair and stand up, they read off another name. woah.

But, but, the next senior award recipient is described as funny, eccentric, original, determined to change the world, one of a kind, eccentric (again) and yes it was Dinah and look, she won a $2000. check! Thanks, IEL!

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Racetrack Contest

Here's a cool contest that starts Sunday- it's free, and you'll waste lots of time trying to win-- at least I know I will. Each day you pick one horse in one race that you think will win, place, or show. If you're right, you proceed. If not, it's over. It goes on for about a month, with ultimate prize of $5000. Make Me Psychic, again!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Laurel And Hardy 'The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine' 1937

I love this and have looked for it for a long time.

are you my?

Out at the stable, Dinah and I were crabbing about this and that. She's 18 and I'm not. I looked over at this scene and saw the cat walking away. I grabbed that cat and placed it back and took the snap. Sort of resembled our relationship or maybe not...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's official: I'm a Dummy.

I tech edited this book, and one or two editions before this also. I got my free copy today. I'll probably sell it on ebay, oops. They put references to my site in the book, which really pleases me. The editor was charming and friendly, which made it more fun.

In a tech editing job like this, I get sent the manuscript in Word, (a horrible program), and am allowed to beta test the new software. The job is to find errors or things that don't make sense or seem obsolete, and also to test all the examples. It's a job where I get paid to be critical, thus rewarding an irritating personality trait of mine.

About five years ago I tech edited a whole string of beautifully designed books on Flash for the Brit publisher "friends of ed." There was no ed, and they stiffed me and everyone else mightily in a surprise bankruptcy. Tech editing pays very little, and even less when they go Chapter 11.

I love Flash and feel it's underused by experimental animators. Adobe owns it now, and this new version has a code language that is so complex, it's sure to shut out most newcomer designers and animators, unless they have a back up coding team, which is too bad. (This book barely touches code-- it's truly for dummies.)

I still think interactive animation is the future for 2-D animation, but waiting for the rest of the world to agree with me.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Do something about it! My mother is really, really funny, and at 92 can still tell a great story and crack people up. This picture was taken two years ago on her 9oth birthday.

Her eyesight isn't so good any more and neither is her way of thinking. Yesterday I called her to thank her for the little flowers she sent me, and asked if she'd gotten the flowers I sent her. She said "I wondered who sent me those flowers. I thought the florist sent them to thank me for my order. I thought these florists were getting awfully extravagant with their thank yous." (The flowers I sent cost $80!)

An ongoing dilemma concerns the books I published for her on this year. She's got about fifty copies, and I made little inscription labels for them so she can give them to special friends, and those are all signed, and we have envelopes for them. But she still hasn't given them out, because she doesn't want people to thank her and secretly think she's conceited. So she has decided she wants to wait and give them out at her funeral.... MOM!

We're going to the racetrack with a group of friends today, and we're betting money! I'm even going to try for the Daily Double! exacta, trifecta, all these terms had me tossing in bed last night. A horse named Sally So Sure is even running. Dinah's bringing her boyfriend Cameron. Wish me betting inspiration. Make me psychic!

Post race wrap-up! We had a great time. I goofed on the Daily Double, but our friend Linda Pearl won that one. (You bet on who's going to win the first and second race.) Then the next race I did an exacta box but one of the two horses I picked had acquired a different number since I studied my info, so blew that one too. It wasn't looking so good. Then a $2.00 bet to show brought me $15, and I was looking better... goofed on a few more, wondered why I read all those handicappers' reports.

But then, ah psychic joy... the last race, #8, the only stakes race, I had a sudden inspiration to add to my studied bets, and put $2.00 across the board, meaning win, place, show, on a horse nobody had mentioned that looked hot to me when I saw him walking in the paddock. Odds were 17-1, and d@mn if that horse didn't win, and I got $54 . Now I'm way over confident and can't wait to go back.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I Am a Mole

I spent too much time this week doing this silly video. Song was from "Hello Children Everywhere", a set of British audio tapes.

I blogged this from youtube, which is a new feature they have.

I didn't imagine the Southlanders were a real group, or one that existed anymore, but then after Linda posted her note I googled them, and discovered their site here! Off to the lake with Molly, will explore this later.

Beezie Madden World Cup 2007

Beezie Madden went into the World Cup as a likely US favorite to win. When she fell off Thursday night, her horse continued to jump two more fences, including the one where Beezie went off. Pretty amazing.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Interesting Art Form I didn't know much about

Smery Tofu Keychain

My friend Rob Hardy directed me to this site,
Feel like spending money?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Futuristic Me

Just got this email from cnet:

Subject: Better check to see if your car is spying on you!

Dear CNET members,
Last week's community hot topic was about alternative fuels for cars. Usually I don't make it a habit of doing two car topics in a row, but I just couldn't pass this one up. You folks have to check out this latest Security Watch column: Is your car spying on you?...

I did an animated piece on this theme in 2005! Let's see if I can link to it. HERE!

Fiery Sunrise

This was around 5:30 this morning at our watering hole, Lake Balboa, where Molly and I go most mornings. We're about 15 miles from Griffith Park.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Fire Season so soon

(right after i posted this, i pulled the roasting asparagus out of the oven, and the hot olive oil spilled all over my left hand. we googled burns, and are following advice, ooowwwwwww! one handed typing.)

Everything is so dry here it is just weird. It's been the driest year on record. This fire shot is from two years ago, when Bell Canyon was on fire and we had to evacuate the horses. (We've had to do that twice.)

We live in suburbia: Northridge, Ca., so the wildfires don't affect our houses, but the horses are another story. When I was at the stable this afternoon all the horses were acting a bit loco, spinning around on lead ropes, and not just my old horse Pepper who always does that. I was checking the sky to make sure there wasn't an unreported blaze, but it was clear, and the Griffith Park fire was far away.

But can you imagine the procedure to evacuate a zoo, which was being discussed this afternoon. (now it seems to be out of danger.)

Monday, May 07, 2007

New Tree

In January our Pepper tree blew down.

We had a new one planted this week. It looks like the old one just fell in a big hole.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Break Out Sunday

We're going sheep herding.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Kentucky Derby today!

It's Derby Day, and I've spent the last hour reading Daily Racing Form and trying to decide on my favorites.

I'm not planning on betting, but I'll be in front of the tv and taping it. Is there a way to bet on line? I like Great Hunter, Street Sense, and Curlin, in that order, but I'm just an amateur.

Hardspun and Zajero also look nice, and Storm in May is a mudder. It's been very wet in Kentucky. The Queen of England will be there. Who would you pick?

I always love hearing Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home." I wish they'd play that at big horse shows instead of "Star Spangled Banner", which is a dreadful tune and singers puff up and do such silly and grand versions of it.

Post Race:they came in 1. Street Sense, 2. Hard Spun, 3.Curlin. I picked two out of three, and got Curlin right in three. Dinah put Street Sense as first, and I picked Hard Spun pre-race as my wild card. So our horse sense was not too shabby, but just as well that we didn't put money down.

Friday, May 04, 2007

String Devils Beta Site

I didn't use this garish cow image, but if you have a chance, please beta test the site I've just done for The String Devils, and tell me what you think. Thanks!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

They must live in Northridge

Found this in google images while looking for a Mexican devil mask.

Chased by Pitbulls!!

We went for a nice little morning hike in Ahmanson Ranch this morning. Molly, my German Shepherd, was on leash, and I was keeping an eye out for rattlesnakes. We were half an hour out when I turned a corner and saw in a flash some guys with bandanas and a German Shepherd off leash, and shovels. So I turned fast and headed back down the trail, ran down the trail, coward that I am.

We're getting close to the park entrance when I see a PITBULL off leash running towards us. I use my Exorcist voice and yell "NOOO!!". (Summoning my Bart the Bear spirit of course.) The dog turned around and ran off. I took a side trail and waited out of view until the dog had passed, as well as the woman who owned him. We start back on another little trail, turned a corner, and there stand two teenage boys smoking dope. I scared them. I told them there was a pitbull loose, and their eyes got round like cartoon eyes. Now they were more scared. They took off.

I followed them. As I came around the next hedge there were the bandana guys with the German Shepherd on a leash now and no shovel, so I followed along behind them back to the street.

I'd just come out of the gates to the park, when I see a dog charging down this ditch walk at righ angles to the street, with its owner screaming behind him to stop. He's a Pit Bull mix. He bolts across the street straight at us. I yell "NOOO!" in my Exorcist voice and turn Molly away. It doesn't phase him. I throw my water bottle at him. Doesn't phase him. Both dogs are doing the growl bark and lunge thing. The lady grabs her dog, but then he breaks loose and comes at us again. I throw my keys at him. (Another stupid thing to do.)

When she finally grabs her dog, she yells at me that I shouldn't have kept running off because it made it harder to catch her dog. I told her she shouldn't let a dog off leash that she can't control and I didn't say anything insulting.

Great Horned Owls

inquisitive owl?
Originally uploaded by artolog.
Art Siegel has documented a pair of Great Horned owls on Bernal Hill in San Francisco, in an amazing series of photographs which he's kindly allowed me to link to. These photographs are truly beautiful. One of the pair of owls has since died, sadly.