Monday, June 27, 2011

By plane or by car?


Last week my good friend, Victoria, brought Naomi and I to the San Diego Wild Animal Park (well, that's what I call it, they've changed the name to safari park or something that I can't remember). Here I am with the kids puzzling over the map. Despite the heat we had a really nice time exploring the park.

My friend was excited, but agitated most of the day as she'd just booked a flight to visit a friend this summer.  Unfortunately she's terrified of flying, but not as terrified as her friend is, so she's the one braving the trip.  I tried to console her with the same old adages about how it's safer than driving to the supermarket.  I don't think it helped very much.

As if on cue to back up my claims our other good friends here in San Diego were in a collision just a couple days later.  Their car was hit by a young woman who plowed through the red light as she texted on her cell phone.  Their car was totaled and two out of three of them left the scene in an ambulance.  We went to visit them on Saturday and they will be okay after they have some time to heal.

So, I concluded, flying is the safe way to travel- right?  Perhaps, or perhaps you should consider this anecdote that was recently shared with me...


I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area. So I went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up. She smiled and told me not to worry because they were trained professionals, and I was in good hands. "Now," she asked me, "Has your plane arrived yet?"
In conclusion idiots are everywhere.  The End.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another Magical Monday...

Tomorrow morning we go live again with "Art of The Red River".   We have a star studded guest line-up this month and I hope you'll consider listening in!  I know 12pm Central time may not be a perfect moment for some of you, so lucky you!! It gets recorded for your convenience!
Penny Farthing Bike from Steam Crow

 Anyway artist Daniel Davis from Steam Crow studio will be with us.  Steam Crow is a Phoenix, Arizona studio, that designs, illustrates and creates astonishingly good monster goods! Established in 2005 by Daniel and his wife Dawna Davis, they’re dedicated to making amazing and odd goods using the Steampunk aesthetic.  Daniel Davis will be joining us to discuss their books, their toys, their prints and and the phenomenon that is Steampunk!
Bruce Fuller working on a piece for Hell Boy II

New York native, Bruce Spaulding Fuller is a sculptor, makeup artist, puppeteer, and concept artist on scores of motion pictures. We're thrilled to have him join us on tomorrow's show. His filmography includes such classics as Army of Darkness, Misery, Resident Evil Extinction, Aliens vs Preditor, and all three Underworld Films. Currently his handiwork is on display in such features as Marvel's Thor , Xmen First Class, and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. He lives and works in Hollywood, California. 

Bridge of Bottles by Tom Brown


Tom Brown will be talking with us from his new residence, on a long boat in England. He was scheduled for an earlier show, but due to his recent move has rescheduled to join us this time! Over the years, art has taken Tom to some strange conceptual places including a Christmas card featuring Lovecraft, and H.P. Lovecraft mythos themed designs for a deck of cards. He'll be talking with us about his  web-comic  Hopeless Maine, which was recently nominated for an Eagle Award.

As you can tell, I'm so excited to be offering such quality programming!  It should be a wonderful show!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Father's Day Open House

For Father's Day we went to Santa Ysabel to tour the Hubbell house, studios and grounds for their annual open house. It was tucked away in the mountains... Too tucked away and we drove in circles with queasy kids for far too long.  Then we found it....

We didn't expect a crowd after twisting through mountain roads, but 700 other people also showed up to tour this unique place created by artist James Hubbell and his wife Anne.



Every building is a work of art.  This is outside the Kiva Gallery.  It's designed after a Native American sweat lodge. 


Naomi in the garden, and on a garden wall....


The grounds were pretty big...


Full of many little buildings....


Like this little chapel.


...And this shed....


Here we are by the garden shed...


Inside the Kiva Gallery was quite amazing...




But the little"house they built for their four sons was really the place to see...



Naomi going in...


Every window was stained glass.


This is a picture of the loft.


A wall inside the bathroom.


The bathroom was oddly enough the most popular place!


Not for the usual reason either, but because it was gorgeous!


Like everywhere else, inside the boy's house was crowded.


Even the roof was something to behold!


I was worried a visit to an artists house might be a bit dull for the girls, but they were as amazed as we were!


After the house we walked over to the pool.


Which was again beautiful....


...And functional.


There were many studios to visit as they are a foundation and run workshops and various programs...


Everywhere we walked there was more to see...




What could be missing?  If you were thinking a fireplace full of tiny people ....


You'd be wrong.... As the open house continued we stopped in for the refreshments of strawberries and tortilla chips and more (like with any art opening the food was free, however they skipped the wine).


Then we did a final walk about before heading to the shuttle....


A few more sculptures...



A walkway to the roof...


Peering out of the stained glass studio.


Naomi peering in...


A beautiful place, but it was time to go.  The way home was easier, but Phoebe still got sick. So much for all those strawberries.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Learning about teachers and more Hollywood stories

Back in September I was upset.  My youngest daughter, Naomi, was assigned the strictest teacher for first grade that I'd ever encountered. She had rigid classroom rules.  Naomi had to make journal entries each night in addition to several pages of homework.  Most first graders in her school could barely write more than 2 sentences, and all this work felt like torture.  We even considered switching her class, and other parents did move their kids out of the class.

After a long adjustment, Naomi got used to the work load and even won an award for most improved student.  She and her classmates each presented an oral report to the parents that her principal declared was a fifth grade assignment.


In April we invited all the teachers to see the girls in "Seussical", and Ms. Chavez was the only one who showed up, even though it hailed that night (here in San Diego that's way too much like the sky is falling to venture outside!).  Now she's the first teacher Naomi's had in California to arrange a field trip for the kids.  They're going to the Aquarium and Naomi can't stop talking about it!  I'm so glad I didn't switch her from this class, and I'm beginning to realize that many teachers are so strict because they really care.

Last weekend we went to our friend, Jason Hite's, art opening up in Hollywood. My younger 2 kids were at a sleepover so we just brought Chloe.  It was a late night, but it was nice to get out without ALL the kids.  Jason was a recent guest on our radio show and happens to be a very talented sculptor.  Chloe and I weren't properly draped in shear black clothing like most of the women from the Hollywood crowd that showed up, but we were in absolute awe when James Durbin, a recent contestant from American Idol walked through the door.

I was feeling pretty bashful, as people you feel you "know" from TV tend to glow in a surreal way, but then I saw Mike just walk up and start chatting him up like he's known him for years..... So I walked over and said "hi".  He seems like a nice guy.  He's rehearsing in Hollywood this month for the big world tour. Apparently I'm not even as tall Ryan Seacrest (yes, I asked, I just had to know!).  It's such a strange thing living around here where all these people from TV are just walking around living their lives.  Don't they know they're supposed to be imaginary?!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Celebration Weekend

Last weekend was 17 years since the day Mike and I stood in my grandfather's rose garden in the harbor village of Northport, NY and got married.  Since our plans last year dissolved in a confusion of poor planning and overwhelming obligations we went a bit overboard this year.   We started off Saturday by driving up to Hollywood and using our passes to Universal Studios (as a Southern California resident the annual pass is about the same as a single day's visit).  Here we are waiting in line...




The line was for the studio tour and while it was massive, it moved briskly.  


Once aboard the tram we headed to the Universal Studios front lots.  The Scooby Gang's Mystery Machine was parked outside of one of the warehouse like buildings.


However the front lots were dull, even though we knew they were filming inside.  It wasn't till we reached the back lots that the tour became interesting.


The buildings on the left are not real.  They are sets and have been in many films and TV shows.  On the right the tram is entering "Skull Island" from King Kong. Which was an incredible 3-D experience, and made the huge wait in line almost worth it! 


This set was used in the "Back to The Future" movies.  They removed the clock tower to use it in a different film.

Naomi kept her 3-D glasses on hoping for more giant monkeys.


We tooled past some famous cars.  This ship was from "Serenity", which was interesting, but not nearly as exciting as the next cars we saw....


These were stunt cars that came roaring towards the tram and stopped in midair!


We drove through "Wisteria Lane" from "Desperate Housewives" and saw that one house had a film crew inside and a very bored security guard posted outside as we passed.


Then we came to "Whoville" from "The Grinch" movie.  This was fascinating for me as I just spent 3 months building and painting sets for "Seussical".


It was amazing to see "Whoville" in  real life!


Oddly enough they built Whoville behind "The Bates Motel" from the "Psycho" movies.


The tram brought us to this Mexican village, where they demonstrated weather effects and flooding.


The set of "Jaws" where they startled us with a jumping shark.


And then of course, there was my favorite set, perhaps because we've seen this movie so many times.


This is the plane crash set from "War of The Worlds".


Much of this movie was filmed (and took place) near where we used to live in the Hudson River Valley in New York.


In fact several people from Greenville (the town we lived in just a few years ago when I started this blog), were extras in this film. 


They stood for hours shivering in the rain being filmed. Nearby Tom Cruise walked about with another man, who followed him closely with an umbrella, obviously assigned the task of keeping Tom Cruise dry.  It turned out to be a great movie, and this scene with the plane has always stayed with me.


After the tour the kids cooled off before dinner.


After dinner we stopped in the candy shop to see this Marilyn Monroe, made of thousands of jellybeans.

...And ended the evening with a stroll through "city walk".


The next day we headed downtown to take the ferry to Coronado.  While we waited for the boat we checked out the 2011 Urban Trees exhibit on the waterfront (I wrote about the 2009 exhibit here).


I'm not sure what Naomi had in mind climbing up on there.


I guess it was just a good spot to sit!

 
 The time came to board the boat.


It's a great trip through the harbor.


The kids made friends with other children on board in the fifteen minutes or so it takes to get there!


We arrived to a huge crowd.... I guess everyone thought it was a good day to head to Coronado!


But our destination was the Art in the Park exhibit , not the beach.  In the end it was great anniversary, and a great weekend, even though we all got sunburned.  :) 
"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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