Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Stylish Blogger Award



This week I was given the Stylish Blogger Award.  At first I was thrilled, then I was horrified.  You see this award come with instructions.  The first thing I must do is thank the ladies who gave it to me,  Carol and Stacy from Intentional Conscious Parenting.  

The second task is to share seven things about myself.  So as not to bore my readers I'm choosing to share 7 things I've never mentioned here before...

  1. I don't cook most of the time, or very well when I do. My amazing husband, Mike takes on the difficult and tedious task of cooking for our family.  I do the cleaning. We play to our strengths around here
  2. My family lived in Scotland for one summer when I was a child.
  3. I'm getting a lot of white in my hair these days.  Since I'm a red head I like to say I'm going pink.
  4. My good friend's father is part of the Obama administration.
  5. I once worked with Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) on a pitch for an animated TV show.
  6. When I lived in Argentina I told the customs officer that the package I was shipping was "Muy peligroso" (Very dangerous) instead of "Muy pasado!" (Very heavy)… Good times.
  7. I've left my purse on a train, in a Taco Bell, in a Woolworths in NYC, in Sedona, Arizona, in a coffee shop across the street and even in Canada.   Unfortunately this is an abbreviated list, but the point is that it was always returned… Mostly intact ( the Canadians emptied it out and mailed it back to me).
The third task was the hardest and the part that made me think this was less an honor than a chain letter without the threats of doom attached.  Then when I tried to do it I realized that I was very carefully choosing blogs to include it wasn't arbitrary at all.  You see I have to now give this award to 15 up and coming blogs out there.... So, here's my list:

-Jon Lewis, author of the popular Grey Griffins book series has a really cool blog too!

-her daughter's stop motion Vampire video was fun to watch!

- host of the "Dr Twisted Horror Review"…love the creepy sculptures he posted!

-children's book author and illustrator… a really great writing blog by an accomplished creator!

-a great blog with some wonderful art

-She reviews some really great kids books, and is an author in her own right!

-Carrot Jello is hilarious and her blog should be hugely popular!!  I so-o recommend this blog!

-With a title like that how can you even question why I gave her this award?

-A wedding at McDonalds…brilliant!

-living the simple country life in the Ozarks


-NASA will pay you $160 per day to lie in bed at a somewhat titled angle… Meet the author of this blog, she's paid to be in bed and blogs… ALOT!


-
by Katherine, a very talented and funny 20 something writer.


-Anna is a great writer and humorist!


-A charming and funny blog by a British girl living in NYC


-Hang on! Susan's life is a wild ride. :)


-Ok... Phew!  That was fifteen... The last bit of this award is to notify all these bloggers.
Congratulations! Please don't hate me.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bits and pieces


I don't care how old I live; I just want to be LIVING while I am living!-Jack Lalane

Jack Lalane died this week at the age of 96 and since I'm over thirty I know who he is (for the under thirty crowd he's a little like Richard Simmons without the ridiculous hair and lisp). Apparently he was working out every day till the end (on the day I die I think I'll probably lay down!). Anyway, since the holidays I've been having trouble getting myself back on the stairmaster, until this week, so I have to thank him for getting me off my bum.

All the extra energy has got me moving on "Final Resting Place", the film that I'm working as project designer on.  I have about two more images, then I'll be opening it up to the other artists/animators.

"Tell him  NO Roger!!!"



"If he answers, there's no turning back!"

As you can see from the captions his new wife is a little upset that he is volunteering to be buried alive for a few days.  (Or maybe's she's upset that she's fallen for an idiot and just realized it!).


On thursday Mike and I went to our first production meeting for "Seussical" with the Looking Glass Theater and I worked out this sketch for one of the set pieces. The 2 black windows will be cut out and actors dressed as animals will be sticking their heads through.   Hopefully it will go over well.

This week we received a notice that my daughter has been late to school 5 times this year and we need to arrange a meeting to discuss it with some one who can't sign their name (so I don't know who they are).  Considering the schools don't supply buses and I have to get my kids to 2 different schools in opposite directions each morning at 7:30.  Then, when I arrive at her school there is a police officer there, but no where to park legally (so I must drive around or wait for one of the ten legal spots).  I'm pretty impressed that we've only been late five times since September! 

Oh well... It's off to the stairmaster!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

An Art Show....

Late last week I completed my system training and my first radio show is coming ever closer. This is a link to the show on Blog Talk Radio.

I'd like to introduce my co-host, Wade Zahares, who himself is an amazing pastel artist as you can see...


He's a resident of Maine, shows in galleries and has had numerous works produced as jigsaw puzzles. He'll be interviewing my husband, Mike Dubisch, for our first show next Monday.  Mike will be mainly discussing his upcoming solo exhibit in Hyaena Gallery in Burbank.

SpongeBob Strange pants



From Beyond

  I will be talking with a remarkably talented illustrator from Davis, California, Jed Alexander.  He illustrates for the children's market, the comic's market and recently won an award for his piece in the Society of Children's BookWriters and Illustrators Exhibit in L.A....



So don't forget to tune in next Monday at 12pm Central for, Art on The Red River!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The tar pits at night

Yesterday the girls had off from school so we took the youngest two (Chloe had a school paper to write) with us up to "The Hyaena Gallery" in Burbank to take a look at the space for Mike's upcoming solo art show.


The girls found this quite dull, so we took a drive through Hollywood,  and headed to the LaBrea Tar Pits.  I took this snapshot as we drove past (I had to-there was a dinosaur!).


We got to the tar pits at dusk, so the museum was closed, but the park was open!


The museum had some amazing relief murals on the outside.



And the park was filled with interesting sculptures...



But, of course we came for the tar, which was bubbling out of the ground...


And filling up this very smelly lake...


Well that's why I came.  The girls were just there to roll down the hills.  Maybe that's how all those poor animals fell in there!


It was a nice place! We'll have to come back sometime in the daylight.


For the last few years my daughter Phoebe has struggled with nightmares.  I've even written about it here before (click here).  However since we've moved to San Diego it's gotten significantly better, in fact I don't even remember her last nightmare.  What has been happening though is that she's been sleepwalking.  She's gotten up in the middle of the night, had conversations with one or more of us and either returned to bed or wound up on the couch with no memory of any of it.

I found this all to be fairly alarming so I turned to the vast collection of knowledge and nonsense we call the "world wide web" for answers.  Did I find them? Well...no, but I did find this posted on one of those "ask a question" sites....

Help! My Four year old is sleepwalking and peeing around the house!

....So now her problem doesn't seem so bad!  


Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Multicultural Festival and upcoming shows (of all sorts)

As the title of this post would indicate we went to the Multicultural Festival yesterday near the harbor.


There was a pretty good crowd.


First order of business; Purchase brightly colored treats!


The dancing, Spanish-speaking lion gave away backpacks!


Can you even have a Multicultural festival without the skulls of various animals?!


Then we found the "Rad Hatter's" very crowded hat making tent....


We busied ourselves with the scraps of materials we could find.



Now we're festivaling!  

Today it's been confirmed. Mike and I will be designing props and sets for The Looking Glass Theater group's upcoming production of "Seussical".  That should be fun and of course I'll be posting pictures of our progress here.  

My husband, Mike's big art show up in Burbank, CA is coming up.  It will be hung on Feb 1st and the fantabulous opening day is Feb 5th!  It's at the Hyeana Gallery and will be worth stopping by if you're in Southern California. ( If you haven't seen Mike's art click here!).

My system training begins next week for my new radio show.  I've lined up my first artist to interview, Jed Alexander, a talented illustrator in both comics and children's books. The first show will air Monday, January 31st, please tune in if you can!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pointing the finger

Today at church my nine year old's Sunday school teacher approached me and asked where Phoebe was this morning, she missed her.  I told her with a grin that Phoebe was in Phoenix with her father this weekend.  She wrinkled her brow and gave me a worried look and said, "Well I hope she's okay!"
I grinned weakly and walked away, not saying what I should have.  Which is; Arizona is not a state under siege.  In fact most of the nine year olds in Arizona are just fine.

 The tragic shooting that occurred yesterday, resulting in 6 deaths and numerous injuries was just that, a horrible tragedy. My heart goes out to the victims and their families. Now the politics of this horrible event ensues, where we talk about hate speech, and gun control and Sarah Palin.  No one of course will mention the struggles of the mentally ill.  How difficult it is to get diagnosis and treatment, or even to get someone like Jared Loughner safely committed before he does any harm.

When I was attending class at the School of Visual Arts in NYC in 1990, there was a young white woman in one of my classes that hailed from South Africa.  I'm ashamed to say I immediately assumed she was a horrible racist, supported aparthied, and wasn't someone I wanted to know.  Is any of that true? I don't know, but I do know I should have given her a chance. I was really wrong not to.  Just as anyone who speaks ill of the residents of Arizona are wrong.  I know many of them.  They are hard working people, who pay their bills and love their family and friends.  They live in one of our country's most beautiful states and we should as a nation come together and support them in this time of tragedy.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Search For Traditions- The New Year Bell

I'm not very good with family traditions. I get tired of doing things again and again each year. The one family tradition that we established and have been quite good at doing year after year since we had children is that every New Years Eve, we sit around making New Year's hats. Usually they come out quite ridiculous....



It's a great tradition, but after ten years of doing this consistently I'm a bit tired of it.  This year we decided to search for a new tradition, especially since the girls are older now and can stay up later.  So at 11:30pm we headed out to the end of the peninsula at Shelter Island to ring the Yokohama Friendship Bell.  A Japanese tradition run by Buddhist monks, people line up to ring the bell 108 times as this is the number of human imperfections that the Buddhists recognize (I think that's generous, a lot of religions would put another "0" on that number!).


We stood in a long line and the monks did a brief "sutra" or prayer.  The the line began to move forward as people crossed a little bridge and up the steps , weaving around behind the bell to ring it.


As we approached the bell became louder and louder.



The girls were shaking with excitement as they anticipated their chance to swing the big log!


As we wove around the ringing bell I could feel my fillings vibrate in my teeth!



Naomi barely tapped the bell with the big log.  They called her back and helped her give a good "gong".  Mike bounced the log off the bell with a an amazing sound.  Phoebe had trouble but did better than Naomi.  Chloe and I were about the same with an average thump.  Here's a blurry picture of me giving it a shot!


As we walked away more and more people wove up the steps to ring the bell...



We wandered over to the little table with Buddhist pamphlets, cookies and candy.  While we munched on the little cookies, Phoebe looked at me with excitement in her eyes and said, "Mommy, can we do this again next year?"
"Sure!" I grinned. "Happy New Year!"


"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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