photography is not a crime

September 30, 2007


Friday was my beautiful, charming niece Chelsea’s 18th birthday, and a pretty good cross section of our extended family celebrated it Saturday night at a popular Los Angeles tourist attraction. Tom and I had a blast breaking bread, swilling down chianti and reconnecting with folks we hadn’t seen in a while.

When my family gets together, we resemble a small mob. We laugh loudly, talk a mile a minute, hug, dance around and bump into passersby, waving our hands wildly in an effort to accentuate our rampant story telling. It’s quite a scene, and I try never to miss any of these wonderful gatherings.

Tom, having a photojournalistic background is never without his trusty Canon 5D. A cool camera, very professional and impressive looking. (Takes good photos too.) Tom has been recording family events throughout the seven years we’ve been together. He does a top-notch job at capturing precious moments, humorous, poignant and everything in between. He’ll disappear from time to time, and when he does I know what he’s up to. He’s on photo safari. He’s wandering around, shooting colors, moods, taking advantage of interesting light. He’s shooting faces of folks walking around, known and unknown to us, and freezing moments for all eternity.

It was while he was doing this that some of us in the group noticed no less than 7 security guards approach the area we were inhabiting. What on earth could be going on Read the rest of this entry »



September 29, 2007


I carry with me, at all times, a ginormous purse. I could say it’s a fashion statement, big purses being quite popular right now, but that would be a lie. This monstrosity is filled to capacity with “necessities”. Upon inspection you will find the usual, cell phone, makeup, keys, papers ranging from important to trash and no less than three pairs of glasses (a whole other story). Peering deeper into the bowels of my beloved bag, you will also find gum wrappers, empty pens, lint, cracker crumbs, wadded up tissues, expired coupons, expired coffee shop cards and occasionally half a sandwich. You will also find (or not be able to find) my trusty little Canon Elph, because you never know when a photo op may present itself. The list goes on. In short, my purse is a black hole from which the gravitational pull renders all light and matter unable to escape.

Now the real absurdity reveals itself whenever Read the rest of this entry »

bunny in boots

September 28, 2007


This strange little guy is here today for one reason. He’s the only drawing I’ve done that actually lives on my hard drive at work. So up he goes. I’m about to head to my mom’s for our Thursday night standing date, but still wanted to post something, since I am trying to post a drawing every night.

Does this count, I wonder?

The interesting, (or not so interesting, you decide) thing about Bunny Boots, is that it’s the first time I ever created a digital image without first sketching it out, erasing, redrawing, agonizing, scanning, then bringing it into Illustrator. Nope, I was at work, wanted a quick little thing to cheer Tom up one day a few months ago. So I just jumped in with bezier curves and made Bunny Boots and emailed him off.

He did get a big smile from Tom, by the way.

So don’t judge too harshly. He’s just there for pure entertainment value. Love him or hate him, he’s there for you.

fly slayer

September 27, 2007


Right after the Autumnal Equinox, year after year, as if on cue, our home becomes housefly central for a day or two. It’s not a gradual thing either. Tuesday night, after work, I managed to fix myself a little snack without incident. However the very next night, while attempting to fix dinner, several flies circled my head in what seemed like a holding pattern, while many more of their comrades paced across the cutting board with their nasty little bug feet. At least 50 or 60 flies crawled, flitted and buzzed over every inch of our kitchen. One even got stuck in the butter!

“That’s it!” Tom growled. “This is war!”

He grabbed an old Bonny Doon Wine Club pamphlet, and started Read the rest of this entry »

my own personal summer

September 26, 2007


How do you explain a hot flash to someone who’s never had one. Hmmm, well, I’m having one as I write this, as my moist fingers slip around on the keyboard.

Hot flashes probably differ from person to person, but I would describe mine as volcanic. Super-heated lava roils in my solar plexus for a moment or two, then shoots it’s way through my upper body until it spews from my head in the form of sweat.

This is not an attractive sight.

Just the other day, while standing in line at the grocery store Read the rest of this entry »

guilt trip

September 25, 2007


Tom and I got home from what could never be described as a low-impact Monday. I wasn’t in the best of moods, but I knew a triple furball greeting was awaiting me, and it made me smile. As we walked through the door, Spooky, our Maine Coon was the first to greet us with his high pitch “meep, meeeeeeeeeeep!” He twirled a few times on the tile floor scampered spastically into the bedroom and started clawing at the rug like a maniac. Not sure what that means exactly, but I got the idea he was happy to see us. This was Joey’s cue to waddle over to me, head butt my leg a few times, “meeeeyattt” 3 times, then waddle, more quickly this time, into the kitchen. They all know what time it is. It’s time for wet food, or schmear, as we call it. Even Iggy, our painfully shy little calico girl, condescends to join us in the kitchen.

It was after they had all gathered that I realized, not without a few choice expletives, that Read the rest of this entry »

smelling the truth

September 24, 2007

Any time we introduce something new into our house, be it grocery bags, purse, shoes, mail, lint, the immediate response of all three of our kitties is to nonchalantly saunter over, and give it a thorough sniffing. With an ability to smell fourteen times what we humans can, kitties depend on this impressive sense for most of their information gathering. They can tell if you grabbed a quick bite on your way home, if you stopped to pet that infidel dog next door, or if you have any treats in your pocket. These are important questions that need answering. Their little wet noses can do the job.

Imagine if we humans had a cat’s sense of smell. Upon meeting someone for the first time, we could Read the rest of this entry »

it’s still raining

September 23, 2007

This morning I woke up with the strangest image in my head. Turkeys. Because, you know, when in rains, one often thinks of turkeys. Actually I was reminded of that urban myth about turkeys being so dumb, they look up in the sky when it rains, and thereby drown. A story obviously perpetrated by the turkeys themselves to gain sympathy around November.

A little digging around on the internets revealed the fact that turkeys don’t have binocular vision (i.e., the ability to focus both eyes on the same object). A turkey’s eyes point sideways, so looking up into they sky to check the weather; not likely to happen. Whew, that makes me feel better. This, of course should curtail any future turkey suicide attempts.

So now, it’s Saturday night and it’s raining. Tom and I are at our computers, working on our respective projects. Radio Paradise serves as our soundtrack, playing one remarkable gem after another. Tom is uploading photos taken earlier. I’m working on a cartoon idea I came up with upon waking this morning. The tantilizing aroma of spaghetti sauce fills the air. Yes, I am cooking. Cooking for the first time in months. The house is immaculate, because we had an appraiser over this morning (we’re refinancing our home loan). Soon we’ll be firing up David Lynch’s new flick “Inland Empire”, while we enjoy our spaghetti dinner. Does it get any better than this? Maybe, but I can’t think of anything at the moment.

raining in L.A.

September 22, 2007

Something amazing happend today. Rain! Yes rain, cloudburst, precipitation! In fact I just came in from the garage, where I’ve been sitting captivated by the smell, feel and music of the rare wet stuff. Light from the lamp post outside our house reflects and dances off the drenched streets, making them sparkle. Even the distant barking of the neighbor’s dog, annoying on most nights, has a mysterious and romantic quality tonight. I am a rain fan.


September 21, 2007


In about 30 minutes I get off work and I will be heading up the 101 to Ventura. My mom and I have a standing Thursday night date. We started this ritual about a year ago, and it’s been a great way to stay connected.

Staying connected. Not the easiest thing in the world to do anymore. We allow ourselves to get swallowed up in this fast-paced lifestyle of standing in line for a cup of espresso that we gulp down in lieu of breakfast, then hop on the freeway for a long commute to a job where you run yourself ragged, whether physically or mentally. Then another long commute home, maybe if you have the energy, stop by the gym. You get home finally, feed the kitties, give them a quick pet and collapse, maybe in front of the computer. Maybe you scribble out an e-mail, or IM your friend.

Funny, while sitting at the Town Center, the consuming mecca of Valencia, CA, Tom and I noticed a strange thing. Every, (and I mean every), group of humans that ambled by us had at least one member of that group on the phone. What is that? You are out in the world, surrounded by your friends and or family,and you would rather be talking to someone else? Someone with whom you cannot make eye contact with? I ask you, is that really connection?

In this technologically advanced age, where communication has been made so effortless and so varied, with cell phones, e-mail, instant messaging and even blogging, are we really communicating with each other more effectively? Are we connecting?

Maybe we are, I don’t know. But as rewarding as it is to be able to keep in contact with each other through all these different methods, I still can’t help feeling like we need to get some face time with our loved ones. Brew up some coffee or tea, some milk and cookies, a couple shots of Jameson, what ever your poison, make conversation, make some eye contact, and really connect!

By the way, above are Tom’s and my Simpson’s avatars. Make your own, right here. It’s fun.

my first blog block

September 20, 2007


I’ve been staring at the monitor for about an hour now. I seem to be drawing a complete blank. Feels like my brain is on strike. Also, Tom is at his computer, next to me, looking through his library of awesome images, searching for something to post to his blog, and it’s very distracting. For the most part, it’s our life together and all the fun things we’ve shared and little adventures we’ve been on together, including many of the great people we’ve met along the way. It’s a very sweet trip down memory lane, and I think I’d rather be there right now.

Above is a character I was developing for a previous children’s book idea that I abandoned. Her demeaner fits the pissy mood I’ve been in most of the day, (present photo viewing moments excluded, of course).

Alright then, think I’ll go watch a Tivo’d “Daily Show” or two and hit the sack. G’night!

exorcise me please

September 19, 2007


Sunday night, much like every Sunday night for the past month or so, Tom and I made a pact to get back to the gym. We’ve been a couple of lazy, slovenly blobs for quite some time now. We are very much aware that working out not only helps keep one’s middle aged body from completely heading south, but also works as natures own prozac. So if you’re stressed out and getting a little soft in the middle, it’s not a bad idea to excercise as many times as possible during the week.

Perhaps my whining about what a time suck it is, has something to do with the sharp decline of gym visits. So we both came up with the bright idea that Read the rest of this entry »

finding my way

September 18, 2007


Penelope Kellogg,
married a bull-frog.
hoping he’d become a prince.

So she planted a kiss
on his future highness,
but the poor frog morphed into a blintz!

For most of my adult life I’ve dreamt about writing and illustrating a children’s book. I suppose in addition to making 7-10 year olds giggle, my goal has been also to create something visually interesting, maybe even beautiful, on my own terms (as much as possible). I’ve become so very tired of the type of creativity that is, in fact, not so very creative. I spend most of my waking hours coming up with ways to help sell someone else’s gadgets, services or bull poop. Ah, such is advertising.

So last year, I finally caught on fire. I started writing some little nursery rhymes and silly poems, and roughed out whimsical, fun pencil sketches to go with each poem. Pretty soon, it started looking like I actually had a pretty solid start of a children’s book.

But as luck would have it as soon as I got to the crucial part, Read the rest of this entry »

cat days of summer

September 16, 2007


Seems like the dog days of summer (or cat days, depending on your pet bias) may finally be over. Today in Valencia, CA it is a cool, crisp 87 degrees. This as opposed to the mid 90’s of last week, and weeks and weeks of triple digits, leading to a climax of 116 degrees during Labor Day weekend.

So, 87, heh, I’ll take it! Now this is coming from an ex-coastal dweller. Until 5 years ago, I spent about 20+ years in Ventura, CA, a lovely little beach community north of Los Angeles. A place where no one even knows what A.C. stands for, and you either wear, carry, or wrap a sweater around your waist all during the summer months. Seldom does the mercury rise above 75 or drop below 55. Heaven!

Living in Ventura, I looked forward to summer. No need to plan all my activities around the danger of suffering heat stroke. I could take a walk, go for a run, dash goofily about and otherwise exert myself at anytime of the day. There’s a lot of freedom in that.

These days, summer is something to dread. While running simple errands, I’m sure I must resemble something right out of “Dawn of the Dead”, as I shuffle from my car to the grocery store, only coming alive again once I’m hit in the face with a blast of A.C. (I do know what that stands for).

Tonight, there is a hint of Autumn in the air, I can actually smell it. I can feel my will to live slowly return. So, I’ll pour myself an iced tea, more ice than tea, and pray for rain.

another day in paradise

September 16, 2007


You know that store, the quirky store you go to when you are having a social gathering? The one where you can get all those fun cheesey, triple layered dippy, appetizer thingys, chocolate covered soy beans and meatless meatballs, for a fraction of the price you would pay anywhere else? The store that has all the micro-brewery beers with the adorable, edgy labels, and the wine, oh the wine…where else can you get such drinkable wine for 2 dollars? I ask you? Don’t you just love it? And don’t even get me started on Read the rest of this entry »