Monday, October 25, 2010

The "Lite Fright"



That's what they called this haunted house for younger kids. As you can see there was a Scooby Doo theme, which implied that it might be a fun afternoon.






It's run through a junior theater group... Here we are going in...



This is in the waiting area...










There were some interesting artifacts around...





Before too long we were in a group with a tour guide, and searching for the "Backlot Phantom" who was causing havoc or something...





Hmmm... no "Phantom" in here...



It's old, but not scarey...

 

You guessed it... No "Phantom" here...


Okay, suprise, suprise...Here he is "The Phantom". In the last room of course, and he would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for us meddling... ummm... group of mixed aged people!

The End

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Really! This isn't a fish blog, but....

Bubbles 2 took a suicidal dive onto the living room rug in the night. Monday morning's are lame enough, but starting the week with three devastated kids was pretty awful.

After school yesterday we picked them up and wove our way through the city looking for a pet shop. We finally found a dusty little shop in city heights. After describing our tiny bowl to the man he quickly led us over to the "feeder fish".




So here he is ...."Weenie"!!!
Snatched from the jaws of a hungry turtle!

He's named for "Halloween" since he's black and orange (also because he's teensie!).




Anyway my book "The Horribles" has been getting some buzz online with 2 new reviews! One is here on "The Horror Drop" website, and the other is here on Dean Konop's blog!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Day My Friend Died

It was a sunny day, not to be taken for granted in a place like Long Island, New York, in May 1988. My friend Celine was biking with a friend. She was training for a bike trip our youth group was planning, when she was struck by a car and killed. The driver was a classmate of hers, and since we went to different schools, I didn't know him. Celine always wore bowling shoes, and was outgoing, friendly and very religious. When, just days before the accident at a youth group meeting I didn't attend she announced "I'm not afraid to die. It could happen tomorrow and I'd be OK with that", her words seemed foreboding, and almost as if she'd beckoned death to her door.

When the accident was described in hushed whispers in the funeral home, she was said to have been biking in heavy traffic and there was just nowhere for the car to go but into her. I developed an irrational fear of biking, and of being fully satisfied with life, but I wasn't extremely close with Celine and life moved me forward from that day.


Half a Life

Last week I noticed an article about an author I'd read. He had a new book out, and I quickly clicked on the link, anticipating another historical fiction (a genre I love). As I read his interview I felt a falling sensation, like the world was shifting. Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng, a book I loved, wrote a memoir about killing Celine. Darin Strauss was the driver that day, and while I moved on from my friend's death Darin (and her family I'm sure) was left with the wreckage.

His book "Half a Life" begins with the accident, in which she inexplicably swerves into him and follows him through college and young adulthood where she haunts his conscience on a near daily basis. Learning more of her story (and his story) was a profound experience for me. As I read it I realized Celine did not beckon death to her door, she ran through that door on her own, and maybe bicycling is not as dangerous as I let myself believe.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Feeding the turtles...

Chloe's school requires a lot of Community and Service credits each year, so when the opportunity came up to enter the San Diego Zoo's annual zoo walk for the elephants came up, we were there! This came with the added perk of free admission to the zoo last Saturday.

I was sure I'd shared my limit of zoo pictures for a blog, but then we were given the chance to feed the zoo's oldest living residents... The Galapágos Turtles! They showed up on the first day I guess. These guys are incredible! They also like broccoli.


Here's Chloe with some broccoli trying to get his attention!


Naomi watched Chloe after dropping her piece.


There you go!



Tasty!


This guy's in for a bath.



Here's Phoebe feeding one her broccoli.


Getting out of his pool.



Looking good in a close up!



This one is the soft shelled variety. Anyway I think that's enough turtles for one post.

If you live in the New York area and have the evening free tomorrow night, you can head over to "The Visual Arts Gallery" on West 26th St and check out the Ink Plots Show, I hear there's free food and drinks, and hey, my book "The Horribles" is in it!!!
Also, a  new review came out for The Horribles. Fortunately she liked it. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Last Day

This is the Hollywood Theater that hosted the Lovecraft film festival last weekend.



There were Cthulu monsters and Mike had "Special Guest" status (which is better than just "guest"!)


We didn't catch any of the movies though....



Because my brother, Duncan and his wife Kristin showed up! Here we are heading over to the Saturday Market.

It was crowded.



But they brought their dogs!! Who are very cute, but seem to attract LOTS of attention from passersby.



It took about an hour, but eventually all these lovely ladies found new hats!



The cute little dogs kept them up all night, though, so while Duncan and Kristin caught up on some sleep, I brought the girls over to Jamison Square.





Next to the square was a bride and groom waiting for the streetcar (everyone uses public transportation here!!)


Naomi took this opportunity to get a little wet.




No, I did NOT pack enough clothes for her.

Monday, October 4, 2010

In the park in Portland

On our second day we headed out to Washington Park.




We wandered up into the Arboretum




Hiked... Got lost....And Naomi attempted to pick every flower she saw.



We also found this petrified tree stump.




It was outside the Forestry Center.



Tired and a bit cold we decided to go in....




There turned out to be a lot of fun exhibits here.... Too bad the canopy ride was closed!



We headed over to the zoo to eat at the cafe... On the way we met some bears.




Naomi found a robot dinosaur.




Mike and Chloe tried to take control.




After lunch we headed back to our hotel. Mike headed over to the Convention to set up and I took the girls to this park right next door. Not pictured is the fountain in the middle of the park where Naomi danced and splashed, and got utterly drenched.... Yes, again.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Odyssey to Oregon...Chinatown

We headed to Portland, Oregon this week for another HP Lovecraft film festival. Mike was invited as guest artist and my brother, Duncan, and his wife, Kristin, came down from Seattle to meet up with us!



Here we are waiting our extra hour at the airport after wandering barefoot through security.



This is the lumpy tree outside our hotel!


Phoebe and Chloe in the park by the hotel... (No-Chloe doesn't wear glasses now, just a mysterious decision to punch out lenses on 3D glasses. I guess it's a middle school thing.)

The first evening here, we hopped the light rail or the "MAX" over the river and headed to China Town.



These drinking fountains are on every street corner and run constantly... There's no drought in Portland!




These are banners in English and Chinese.





Resting by the Chinese Gardens.



Is "Louie" a Chinese name? Ok, maybe a last name but it makes me think of an Italian guy in Brooklyn.



We headed over to the riverside park.





Phoebe settled in on a rock.




Naomi found some fun in this fountain.



Chloe watches her as she realizes we can't eat dinner in China Town with a drenched little sister.





We decided to bring a dripping wet Naomi back through the square to the light rail.




As we wait for the train to the hotel she eyes another fountain.... hmmm.
"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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