Thursday, August 30, 2007

Charbucks Chapter One

I've been thinking more and more about internet mini serials like the dreadful one I posted a few days ago, and thought I'd youtube this flash version of my old Charbucks saga.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Moving Day for Pepper-

Dawn of a hot day with a load of worries. Pepper was moving to his retirement home and would never see Tia or the goats again. I've been planning/putting off this day for several years, but here it was...

I'd bathed him yesterday but I wanted him to feel cool in the trailer so hosed him off again. He loved it. The trailer was late and it was almost unendurably hot at Bell Canyon. Tia and the goats left first, headed to a horse show in Burbank. The goats caused pandemonium in the parking lot because they didn't want to get in the trailer. One horse had a panic attack and broke free from his handler, then chased goat Margarethe. It took six of us to get the goats loaded, and four were professionals! Pepper meanwhile was downstairs in the wash rack, neighing for Tia. He seemed especially needy today. I gave him some watermelon.

Finally the trailer arrived, and Dinah walked Pepper upstairs. He loaded well, even though he hasn't been in a trailer since the fires two years ago. He was looking out the window as it pulled out of the parking lot. I called out, "Goodbye Pepper" and he started screaming. I burst into tears.

We drove out to Moorpark, but the trailer got there first. He'd already met his roommate, Roo, (I think that's his name), and they seemed to be absolutely best friends immediately, which almost never happens. They were delighted with each other, necking, staying close in their giant pen, (at least half an acre), so different from what Pepper had been living in before. Pepper came to me when I held out some tasty watermelon, but he really wasn't even interested in me. He'd already bonded with his bud.

It was such a great relief. I think he will be really happy there. Since Dinah's leaving for college in two weeks, it's a lot of end of the road emotional adjustments for me. For a long time riding was my very favorite thing, and when Pepper was in his prime we had a lot of exciting times.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Creative Capers Website- Great Flash

I got a nice email yesterday from the daughter of Jeff Hale, a long-ago friend who ran an animation studio in San Francisco. She works at Creative Capers, so I thought I'd look at their website before I wrote her back. It's wonderful! Great use of Flash, don't you think?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hollywood Bowl Last Night

We haven't been to the Hollywood Bowl in a few years, and Linda Pearl invited us to join her. We hadn't heard of any of the artists but have missed seeing Linda P. this summer. We put a picnic together and headed into the Bowl. You can walk there from Linda's house. This time we knew to rent cushions.

The first act was The Brazilian Girls. But there was only one girl-- hmm...

I really dug her outfit: an olive leotard set with a butterfly like skirt attached behind that she flipped a lot. It had stiffeners in it and was semi transparent. Her boots were essence of filigree. Some tick like tattoo on one arm and her hair combed entirely over her eyes. She pranced like the hottest thing, but got tiresome and almost fell off the walkway she strolled across in her stilettos. She didn't sing all that well, had a great drummer, and weirded many in the audience with her choice of two songs that were much too graphic, "Your sexy a@@hole" and "PUSSYPUSSYPUSSY".


This gal was called Zap Mama and she looked like maybe she was Anita's mama in cartoonland. Dressed in a strange gown that hinted of Nancy Reagan's old Chanel suits and a quilted bathrobe.
She made the crowd count to seven. In fact all three performers made the audience do stupid things. She did several cartwheels on stage, amazing for an old gal like madame zap, and everyone oohed when they saw her white underpants. She wore big sneakers for that part of the act. The persona was Dangerous Sister Sorcerer.

Macy Gray was the headliner, and the perky picture of her on the web site must have been taken quite some time back. She looked very wobbly and stoned, but the crowd went wild when she came on stage, making this part of the night the most entertaining. Her eyes were wild and unfocused, and she leaned dangerously as she sang.

Early on she did a wonderful blues number, singing about how she came home and couldn't find her man, so she looked in the bedroom, but he wasn't there, she looked in the closet, but he wasn't there, on like that to the west wing, he wasn't there, the east wing he wasn't there.

Some gals older than us, sitting a row behind, were calling out to Macy as if they were testifying in church, "NO, Macy, he's not there!" with their arms in the air extended. Wild.

So we went to two concerts this summer, amazing for "off to bed at 8:45" Sal.

p.s. Namowal, I've been inspired by all your nice drawings and that's why I did this post in Photoshop.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Dixon CA

I just love this picture I found in a drawer the other day. The girls dressed up as pilgrims for Thanksgiving in Dixon, Ca, at least 25 years ago. That's Robert Armstrong's sister and wife Patty and unknown dog.

Here's his Mickey Rat ukelele:

Since Dinah's going to U.C. Davis, maybe I'll get to see them this year. By the way, Robert Armstrong and his Pasadena pals were the ORIGINATORS of the term COUCH POTATO! Must post more about that later. He and Allan Dodge made two beautiful soundtracks for my cartoons. I loved those guys!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

afterworld myspace disappointment

I read about this in the L.A. Times earlier this week: a new Internet animated series of 130 episodes, produced in L.A. I've got various mini episodes started all over my blog and site, and think short series entertainment is a likely future form. If anyone ever called me, I'd certainly have quite a variety of mini stories to pitch.

Anyway, I'd held onto the paper till today, when I had a little free time between haircut and sheepherding lesson. I couldn't even get through three minutes. It was so pompous, under animated and boring. They didn't even spell the main character's name right, for the way it's pronounced.

But I'm a duck out of water at myspace anyway. I learned last week that there are myspace accounts for just about any dead animator you can think of, and when I looked at one, for Ward Kimball, all the individual friends posted: "Thanks for the add, Ward." Stuff like that. Add means letting someone be your friend I think.

I don't even like the forced layout of myspace, but realize for many it's a way of life. Here's a link to episode 1 of 130! Voice over has interesting retro feel.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Kathy Rose Performance Artist

I want a dress like this!

Kathy made a number of nifty animated films on paper before becoming a performance artist. I hadn't seen any of the performance work until the last couple of weeks and youtube.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Paintings continued

This lovely painting is by Edmund Yaghjian. He painted in South Carolina. His son went to Amherst and lived on a nearby commune with Tom Hoffmann et al when I was at Smith.

I imagine he studied with Fairfield Porter. Strange to see a contemporary self portrait on google,

when I remember him as a soft-eyed romantic hippie guy with big hair who painted beautifully and had a strange girlfriend Margaret who was also from the South, (and did weird paintings with (very) Old South imagery.)

The internet really slams you with the passage of time when you look up long ago friends.

When I start thinking about all the talented people I've known over the years, it overwhelms me.

Another old boyfriend: Gary Spinosa

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ajax Stronger Than Dirt #1

I remember my mother complaining about this commercial getting in her dreams.

Louis Wain interview and gallery

How could I forget my favorite insane painter and postcard artist, Louis Wain, whose works are often used to illustrate the onset of schizophrenia.

At the website linked above there is even an interview with him from 1896 as well as a wonderful gallery of his work.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Favorite Painting

George Caleb Bingham, Fur Traders Descending the Missouri, 1845. Metropolitan Museum of Art. I think about this painting sometimes, when I'm walking around Lake Balboa, and thought I'd look it up. It's one of my favorites. What are yours?

Yes, he did do the jollyboat men. It appears that painting was so popular that different versions were done, and I was VERY surprised in general at how hard it is to pull up a good and true color version of a well known painting. There are all these art poster shops on the internet which the links take you to, whereas the museums are utterly STINGY in the images they release. Also on superficial run around it appears that information on less famous artists is not easily obtained at all.

Namowal, thanks! I'd never seen this painting before you posted it:

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

I remember the name Otto Dix, but none of the images I saw looked familiar.

Here's another one I like, by an early 19th century painter who is interesting to read about, (if you can find the book!) George Catlin, one of the first artists to paint Native Americans.

Katy, just spotted your post. I love George Stubbs paintings, will enjoy following links to others later.

One more by George Caleb Bingham, just a detail but I couldn't find the full image anywhere.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mighty Fine Candy Blog

I came upon this blog this morning, (after retrieving diary from garbage, where it belongs) and I can't stop looking at all the marvelous candy. Some of it is really weird. My favorite candy doesn't seem to be anywhere on the blog-- insane-- but I'll keep reading. Maybe if I ate breakfast i wouldn't be so entranced. She rated this candy a 10!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

San Francisco 1971

Found this taped inside the diary I just tossed. In case you can't read what Sparky Duck is saying out the window:

1.Don't be Lazy
2.Keep Working! Don't Give Up!
3.Beware of Gobblers and Goblins
4. Be True

The only other thing I saved from the diary was this odd poem, about someone who is now no longer alive.

hey, I went to Smith College, home of everybody's favorite, Sylvia Plath. If you can't read my writing, all the better!

Australian Crested Doves

We've had this pair of doves for more than ten years. They have beautiful iridescent colors and orange eyes. They panic easily. In Australia they're quite common, but rarely seen in the U.S.

For years we kept hoping they'd mate and we could sell the babies, but though they do a courtship dance quite often, spreading tail feathers turkey-style and hopping around in a circle, and one sits on a nest from time to time, no joy there.

Our common white doves raise babies fairly often.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

Nice witch's hat

currently at $190 on ebay. The face looks a lot like characters in "Spirited Away."

I've been listing some Halloween collectibles on ebay over the last days. What's weird is I start out thinking "I just want to get rid of this junk, who needs it?", then spend a part of each day looking at how nothing is selling and what the competition is, and get that distinctive creeping feeling coming on: the WANTS!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fickle Wiklepedia

Last night we were talking about encyclopedias and disagreeing about Wikipedia, which I've never felt comfortable with. Dinah had various reasons for why it was as good as the Brittanica.

(My old favorite was the early 50's World Book... anyway)

I told her I had a nice write up in Wikipedia, which shocked her. So I went to show her and: IT WAS GONE!

It had been this really nice, detailed description of everything I'd done, and was accurate in the details and not overly excited about anything. And I had nothing to do with it. Now I have a one liner with a question mark after my birth date.

I wonder how this happens. I feel sorry for the original poster who'd done such a nice job of gathering information. I tried to make sense of the options available if you think there's been an error, but it looked too complicated to get into.

Are any of you wiki competents?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sandy gets the cans

Ran into Sandy the trash can gal this morning as she was rushing from can to can with her object picker. She's had a bad weekend. She was trying to get to the Englebert Humperdinck concert, (now how many people do you know who have that as their destination?) when she "ran over something." That part freaked me a bit, as she's around 76 and blind in one eye and sort of nutty on top of it. Drives fast, does everything fast. So the something could have been vegetable mineral or animal. eek.

The something disabled her car so much that she had to spend the weekend in Needles Ca while they tried to fix the car. Average daytime temp there was 115.

They ran into problems fixing her car and she had to rent a PT Cruiser and drive back, which put her in total rant state. "What kind of car is named Cruiser and doesn't have cruise control?" etc. Now this babe should not be using cruise control, in fact she shouldn't be driving at all!

She gets to the park around 5 am for the bottles and cans. Says they're for beer money. She usually has her hair in rollers and full nicely done make-up. Favors an Apache style red and white striped shirt. She's always got an odd story to tell you, usually ending in some grim detail that she likes to emphasize.

I'm quite fond of her.

Just a quick before dinner sketch.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hell's Donut House

Hot as the inside of Hell's Donut House around here. Actaually I got this email today, "You are Hell's Donut House's newest contact!" People pick a lot of weird screen names, but I thought that one was one of the best. I haven't had a chance to do anything more about it, aside from this cheery little picture I grabbed and goofed on. Looking forward to making contact with the new , uh, friend of donuts. This friend comes from flickr-- I need to put more pictures up I guess.

There must have been some posting about my youtube channel somewhere today, because I must have gotten more than twenty new subscribers, a ton of comments, and sold four dvds. None of the screen names of the subscribers could compare to Hell's Donut House.

I've been working on a website for my sheep herding instructor, and am deep in the realm of Flash code.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pioneer Woman Blog

I'm probably the last one around to come upon this blog, but I like what I've read and seen.

She's got Confessions of a Pioneer Woman

and The Pioneer Woman Cooks

She takes beautiful photographs, and writes well too. funny funny.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Some horse's digital diary!

Now that Dinah is getting ready to go to college and taking her horse and her horse's two goats with her, it's time to move Pepper out of his current expensive and inappropriate stable, and into a retirement home.

I've been emailing and searching the web this past week. The picture above is from a ranch I was considering, in Badger, Ca. You must know where that is! It seemed like a decent place, but the picture is sort of like an Italian kidnapping shot.

Once a month they send you a picture of your horse, with a dated newspaper in the front, so you know your horse is alive! It actually makes sense, since Badger is a long way from anywhere, and how else would you know that you weren't paying board for a horse who was running with ghost riders in the skies? But also a little creepy. Place is called "DUNROVEN"- get it?

I found a place I liked today. Dinah liked it too. More money than I wanted to spend, but I think Pepper will be well taken care of there, and it's close enough to home (Moorpark), that I could visit often. All the retired horses there looked in great condition and well cared for. There is a llama on the premises as well as quite a few goats.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Whole lotta shakin going on

Earthquake last night in Chatsworth/Northridge. A 4.5 centered on Oat Mountain I'm thinking, judging from maps. Jon's office, the only room upstairs, took a little rearranging-- I'd just straightened it yesterday, making all the papers set at right angles. Note Robocop all atumble on the desk. I failed to notice the phone off the hook until I tried to make a phone call a little while ago and the line was dead.

This is a picture of the same room, (and tiny Dinah) after the 1994 Northridge quake.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Old Frog Story, New Fish Story

Many years ago when Dinah was about seven we took care of a dumpy tree frog named Hoppy. We put Hoppy's little aquarium next to Pixie's. Pixie is our African pixie frog pictured above. We've had Pixie for about fourteen years. She lives in the kitchen.

Dinah and I came home and noticed something was very wrong with Pixie. She looked as if she would explode any minute. Then we looked for Hoppy. Hoppy was missing.

Yes, Pixie ate Hoppy. We searched pet stores for another Hoppy before our friends came home. I told my friend what had happened, but not the kids, who were baffled by Hoppy's change in appearance and behavior. Hoppy 2 hopped more.

Bad Life Lesson for Dinah.


Cut to 2007. Dinah's in charge of the koi pond, which Jon takes great care of, while we're in Colorado. Dinah has a full time job, a boyfriend, two horses to take care of, etc. She's a bit overbooked.

No she didn't eat the koi. She fell asleep while refilling the pond, which overflowed greatly and quite a few fish died. She didn't tell us on the phone, when we checked in.

She didn't tell us the first night we got back.

But there were papers around the house listing koi dealers in Southern California, and my computer was on, googled to koi stores. I looked in the pond, and the fish didn't look familiar. I called her at work. Long pause, after the big question.

She went out and bought hundreds of dollars worth of koi!! She said she was going to tell us! It was an unhappy scene all around. The new grossly expensive fish aren't even pretty. Did my bad example of Hoppy 2 make her think this might work?

Monday, August 06, 2007

What's nice about dial-up: reading

The first part of this year I read maybe four books:

Stones for Ibarra-- (seemed dated)
The Beat Hotel (very interesting non-fiction)
Twilight of the Ice- couldn't get past awkward phrasing
I Carried Water for the Elephants- I threw it in the trash, fake cute drek.

The rest of the time I seem to be on line going here and there.

In three weeks in Colorado I read:

Wuthering Heights (weirder when you're older)
Jane Eyre (sublime sensitivity and description of female ideal of romance)
Firewall (Henning Mankell, my current favorite author-- Scandinavian detective
The White Bicycle (about music in the 50's-60's- written well)
Streets of Laredo - couldn't put it down though not as deep as Lonesome Dove
Weather in the Streets Rosamund Lehmann
The Skin Chairs Barbara Comyns
A Touch of Mistletoe Barbara Comyns
skimmed a book on how to read a compass
Dazzler bio of Moss Hart- more facts than feeling
Flash CS3 Professional/Advanced - well written, made me like it better.

Probably won't read another book until I'm back there. nuts!

bummed out in L.A.

We left this:

drove all day, pulled into the gas station in Primm, Nevada (state line) around 4:30 for fuel, and wondered if we should turn back. Can you read the name of the place? It's actually called "Terrible's."

It was about 110 degrees, and filled with battling SUVs. The extra wide ones, built to hold the extra wide people who were inside standing 20+ in line for their extra wide frappucino nutrition. I joined the line. The place smelled like the sewer line had broken, but it also smelled that way three weeks ago on our drive up... eeeuch.

The baRRista laughed in my face in a Starbucks snotty way when I couldn't remember the Starbucksian word for medium. (omitting right wing rant here... besides I spent years satirizing Starbucks.)

L.A. is icky sticky hot and I feel so restless and out of sorts. Sure tomorrow it will feel like home. Molly looks depressed. There seem to be fewer fish in the pond, same number of chickens and one new dove. Way too many people and traffic in L.A. but I'm not the first one to notice that.

One more closeup of nasty Primm, NV: