Saturday, February 27, 2010

No More Mr. Hot Stuff?

I went out to Santa Anita solo yesterday and was on fire as a handicapper. I got the pick 4 which means you pick 4 winners in a row, on an $8 bet. It CAN pay hundreds, sometimes thousands, but in my case it paid $84. That will buy a lot of oranges at the Farmers' Market in the morning. Got a lot of other bets right too.

But a horse who's drop dead gorgeous, Mr. Hot Stuff, was running yesterday, and that was actually the reason I went out there. I love this horse's looks, I admit it. He's a sleek well built truly black horse. He hasn't won a race since before the Kentucky Derby and I've bet him to win every time, including in the Derby. He didn't win yesterday either and he still looked like hot stuff. Plus he had my fave jockey, Smokin Joe Talamo on board.

But while walking Molly this morning I thought I could turn him into an internet cartoon strip character, with Whinsey, maybe for the phone. We'll see. I "worked" on it all day. Hard to get good expression on a jet black horse. And then when you're working in Flash you start thinking, gee, if this moved it would be more fun than a still comic- and take a lot longer to do. Rainy weather, sometimes I love you.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

prophecy of darkness

I've been trying to find a good home for our aviary of doves, some of whom are almost fifteen years old. I'm especially fond of that light tan dove in the picture, and it's not an easy task for me. But we'll be in Colorado from May to December and not planning on having someone live in the house this time.

I thought I'd found a perfect person on a pigeon forum I stumbled upon. Imagine, a pigeon forum. I was a little worried that her email address was prophecy_of_darkness@ but kept up the correspondence. (hope she's not going to eat their little heads off.) I learned you have to watch out for hunting dog trollers if you post on Craigslist because they will indeed do bad things to your birds.

So I sent her pictures of the birds. We'd already discussed shipping the birds. She wrote back:
OMG.They're beautiful !!!! I want you to know we will be building an 8ftx8ftx4ft indoor aviary for them,in my bird room(pa winters are far too harsh for them,so they will be indoors,in an aviary-with a very natural appearance).We already have the guy,paid to do it and the plans made,plus some of the stuff bought for it.I will send you pictures of the aviary when it is completed.I hope alls well there,with you.
Have a great day.

Then today I get this grim email:

We are having some family issues right now.My father is not doing well(his cancer is advancing-he told me last night),my partner just got diagnosed with RA,(had pain/swelling in her wrists-we assumed was tendonitis,and went to the drs yesterday-he diagnosed her with rhumatoid arthritis)and my partners daughter is having some turmoil with her BF and is moving out and into a rental,and we are trying to help her out.She has a 3yr old son,that is involved,and we are taking her 3 cats in,on top of it all because the only place she could find wont allow her cats-and she did not want to lose them completely.She is not safe to stay with her BF as he is hurting her.I am very very sorry to have to decline to take the birds,right now.I really wanted to give them a good home.It just would not be the best timing to give them all what they need to feel safe and secure here.My life has just been turned upside down.I hate to go back on my promise to you,I am not like that,and have been struggling with the concept of weather to still take them in or not.When it comes down to it,its whats best for the birds.I would not be being fair to them,if I took them at this point and time.
I hope you understand,and are not too upset about it.I feel bad for doing this to you.I'm very sorry about this,and I hope you find suitable homes for them.

  • Sounds so awful but maybe one awful thing too many? Or maybe her email address really was prophetic.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tia goes home

Tia got to go home on Friday after her scary colic surgery about ten days before. Note her shaved belly and iv patch on her neck. The sounds you hear when she reaches her stable are helicopters spraying crop dust on the nut trees nearby. They fly just barely above the trees.

There's a goldfish in my soup

In San Francisco we stayed at the Hotel Monaco, a nifty hotel near Union Square. We were bewildered by this goldfish on someone's room service tray, really bewildered. (above- I take terrible cell phone pictures)

When I asked a bell man about it he said this pet friendly hotel offers bowls of goldfish for people to borrow during their stay in case they miss the pets at home. We did miss Molly, but didn't think the goldfish could take her place. We snagged one of the free dog biscuits at the front door for Molly but gave it to a homeless man's dog instead.

San Francisco was looking SNAZZY! I wanted to live there again. I had a wonderful time at breakfast on Sunday with Linda Davick who's so pretty and talented and so darn NICE! She doesn't say bad things about people, a practice I should adopt but probably never will.

Midday Jon and I went to an interesting exhibit in the old mint building on the history of long gone Chinese nightclubs in San Francisco, the most famous of which was "Forbidden City."

I also met up with my old pal from high school and Snazelle Films, Jane Cheshire, and it was wonderful to spend time together again even if only an hour.

On Monday we took the cable car over to the Musee Mechanique down at Fisherman's Wharf . All the wonderful penny arcade equipment which was once at Playland and then at the Cliff House is now in this wonderful museum which seems to be supervised by no one.

This was a really creepy mechanical opium den.

This is Laughing Sal, a very large automoton whose laughter syncs up very well with her movements.

We also paid to go inside a world war 2 SUBMARINE that's anchored next door. I'd never been in a real submarine. It was fascinating and emotionally powerful, imagining what those sailors endured, and they were all volunteers.

These are envelopes a woman painted and mailed to her submarine sailor fiancee. The one top right was returned for 3 cents postage. Some postal peeps are NO FUN!

Our visit with Dinah was also terrific- a splendid weekend. I'm working on a video of Dinah's horse coming home from the hospital and that will be a separate post.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

off to Bay Area

Flying out in the morning to see Dinah in Davis, then going to San Francisco late Saturday where I'll meet Linda Davick and see old pal Jane (prb here). Weather looks as if it's awful, but should be good times ahead.

Funny but when I think about San Francisco, for all the years I worked there, my mind still goes back to that first job I had working as a cocktail waitress at Earthquake McGoon's for about 3 months. You can read about the place here . It was very memorable.

In fact a few scenes of the movie "The Organization" starring Sidney Poitier were shot in the Magic Cellar, underneath MaGoon's, and I'm even in a scene or two.

As I understand it, the building on Clay St. is long gone.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Swim Party at Molly's House

Only in Southern California can dogs have a swim party in mid February. You can't tell from this picture but Molly's friend is about the best looking German Shepherd I've ever seen, a red and black long hair named Tilden.

His owner my pal Calone (ipetsitla) and I were pressed against the fence because the dogs were maniacs running around with no consideration of party hosts. "Hey don't you know you're not supposed to run around a pool?"

Look at all the water spilled. They looked more like otters than like dogs swimming around.

Unfortunately Molly still stands to learn some social skills. (above)

Got the camera out only at the end of a very funny dog swim party, alas, and the battery was nearly dead.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Molly at Corriganville

We took a hike in the hills of Corriganville yesterday, where many B Westerns were shot over the years. What I saw on my dog walk today was like a cheap movie.

I was walking Molly across CSUN to the post office on this hot hot afternoon. I tried to stay on the shady side of the street. As we were getting near Reseda Blvd. I saw two guys punching each other in the middle of the street and yelling at each other, as cars zipped around them. I've never seen people punch each other before. It's not the sound you hear in the movies.

I moved into a shadier area thinking I wanted to be out of any line of fire. But I kept watching. There were two other guys also watching the action, one on a skateboard, one with a backpack.

A car drove up really fast and a second guy jumped out and joined in the fight, then two of them got in the car and drove off really fast on the wrong side of the street, straight through two stop signs, heading into the campus, with cars slamming on brakes all around them.

The guy who was still on foot was catching his breath curbside. He looked like his name could be Duane: good looking skinny guy with sideburns and a Western shirt, sleeves rolled up. He said, "God damn they stole from my store." He worked, or managed Rite Aid on the corner. No sooner had he said this than cops converged from all directions. Only a beat after that and there was a helicopter over head!

The victim held his hand out for the cops as they pulled up to show them the license number he'd written on his palm! The guy on the skateboard said, "It was a 1992 4 door Toyota Corolla heading east and they drove through two stop signs. " The guy with the backpack was the one who'd dialed 911. I was just the ninny with the police dog who watched from the bushes.

The first wave of cop cars was off after them.

Another cop car pulled up and the nervous looking officers jumped out convinced that the victim was the criminal. Everyone had to put hands up. (Well, I didn't.) They couldn't decide if the story was true or not. I said to one cop, "It's true what they're saying." I was amazed how detailed the description was that the skateboard guy gave. He had long dark hair and sunglasses, with a funny hat on.

The backpack guy said to Duane, "Hey man, you should have told me you were p.a." What does that mean? The backpack guy had picked up the stuff that was dropped by the thieves and gave it back to the guy.

As I was walking back a CSUN professor on a bicycle stopped to admire Molly and I told her what had just happened. "Citizenry in action" she declared, and said she was going to tell the whole story to her students.

We stopped so Molly could take a swim in the koi pond, then headed home.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

shadow of your smile

It's hard taking pictures with the cell phone because there's a delay, just like in the earliest days of digital cameras. But I kind of liked this picture, taken at Santa Anita as I waited for the horses to load. A weekend of lots of betting and no winning at all.

Books recently read:
  • Gone with the Wind (just leave it alone.)
  • 2 books by John Sandford (decent crime novels)
  • Slouching towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion ok but California has really changed
  • Evidence, Jonathan Kellerman enyuh
  • Jam Today by Tod Davies nifty anecdotal cookbook by a smart pal who writes about making tasty meals from whatever you already have in the closet.
A friend brought a crate of crime novels over so I've been picking through them.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Let's (Not) Have Lunch

I was a tag along yesterday for a miserable lunch. Ever meet somebody who just spews creepy stories? This older British gal next to me claimed the aisle seat in a booth because :
  • she might have spasms and will frighten everyone (because her hip surgery wasn't quite right.)
  • told how she'd been on a run away horse with her daughter beside her and their stirrups got twisted together right before they came to a fence.
  • told how another runaway horse threw her and she broke two vertebrae. (All these horses she owned.)
  • told all about her husband's experimental stem cell cancer treatment as they drained and refilled his body. (he was in the booth too.)
  • told how she and two other realtors got locked into a house by accident the day before and the other two realtors had accidents.
  • warned us that in Italy people come up behind you and slit your throat to get your wallet. (we're going there in two months.)
  • told how her disabled son liked to take his pants off in Harrod's and scream.
  • told me how and what to put in the decoy purse I had to carry in Italy for the pickpockets.
  • covered her ears at possibility of a dirty word as part of her story.
When the waitress came to ask how everything was, (after three out of our four had already sent back their fish and chips for being ice cold), I said "It's awful, it's terrible, it tastes like it was cooked last week and reheated many times." "Would you like a box for that?" the waitress asked.

I never complain about food at restaurants, only when I get home.

Today Dinah's horse had to have emergency colic surgery, and we couldn't locate Dinah. Major awful, but her horse came through it okay. Major awful.

My mother is still living on the S.S. Dementia. Today she said, "They can't decide whether this boat should go across the river or to Paris and back."

She said, "I like disciplined straight lines for everyday living, not for creative things, but for everyday living."

I told her I was going to visit her in about a month. She said, "Are you going to leave the baby in the nursery?"

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Google Surprises

okay I confess, I set something on google to send me notices when I appear on the internet. Thus I came upon this hysterical post.

and this lovely piece eekers.

Both were in the same google announcement and it didn't seem right not to include the second one as well. Or maybe I should just sit down and shut up.

Monday, February 08, 2010

10 days or so!

We're going to visit our daughter in Davis- Dinah's a junior- we've never been there before and are very excited. And we're going to finally meet Linda Davick and maybe see Jane Cheshire too though she doesn't know yet! (prb) Not this weekend but the weekend after.

Talking to Dinah today on the phone, she said "you must have so many amazing stories about living in San Francisco in the 70's." Hmm, thinking...

I was such a bystander during those times. I remember getting off the bus and seeing all the peeps standing in line in Berkeley for the Grateful Dead concert in town center. Things like that. Sleeping over at Snazelle because the zebra killer hadn't been apprehended. A regular Jane Austen of the 70s. (meaning such a stupid prim thing, NEVER liked Jane Austen.)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Rainy Day

so I had to draw a little sunshine. (still using Sketchbook pro trial.)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Goodbye to Elle

Our dear eight year old rooster passed on and we've been feeling sad. I notice the hens don't know which table scraps are good to eat without him standing there and clucking about the food. He was a fine chicken, and old man to a backyard dynasty.

Every night I carried him to the garage so his crows wouldn't bother the neighbors in the morning.

Unlike some roosters he didn't sneak up behind you and kick you.

Here's the video I made of him:

R.I.P. sweet rooster.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Marti McGinnis delights me!

UPDATE: Another blog feature on Marti with pictures HERE!

Marti McGinnis, aka wegwag on twitter, fabulous fantasy horse artist, has been doing some wondrous little unicorn pictures which she sells at ridiculously low prices through her etsy shop to help cover the costs of her equine rescue network.


I find them irresistible and have bought several. When I opened the package that came from Marti today she'd done an extra, above, a portrait of my Pet Society character, toxic dump. I LOVE IT! Thank you Marti! Toxic never looked so good.

Out of nowhere I heard from a few people I really cared about from long ago in the last two days, thanks to facebook. One is my absolute favorite horse buddy of all time...

We're going to meet tomorrow and I'm going to give her one of Marti's pictures. Serendipity!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Support the Dream Act

??? Seen at Cal State Northridge this morning.