Monthly Archives: May 2006

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot… (c’mon, sing it with me…)

A handful of seeds at South Central Farm, L.A.
photo by Jonathan McIntosh, photographer
(click on image to get to

Ever feel that no matter how much of an influx of information you get, you somehow never know enough substantive stuff? That’s how I felt today, when I found out about South Central Farmers. This isn’t exactly paradise, nor is a parking lot going up, but they want to bulldoze this 14 acre bit of green patch in one of the most depressed areas of L.A., and put up a warehouse. This garden feeds 350 families, provides a green space for gathering, and serves as a space for the farmer’s market.

I struggle with these sorts of issues… when does capitalism get in the way of social and economic consciousness? When is it simply greed and not a sound business decision? We as a nation and populace spend a good chunk of change to help create self-sustainance in poverty stricken areas around the globe, how can we not do the same with our own? Granted, this doesn’t fall into the same category of direness as in the third world countries that receive assistance, but yet I have to question… how poor *does* one have to be before one is eligible for aid? How much of a disparity must there be before those who have help the have-nots? What blows me away in this case is that these folks are doing something constructive to help themselves and that possibility is being taken away from them because of some bureaucratic snafu.

If this speaks to you, you can donate here using PayPal… hopefully the little I was able to contribute today will be of some help. Time is a-wasting…

Art dolls… anyone?

Art dolls, left to right: Totem Art Doll (theme: seasons), Fire Art Doll (theme: elements), Healing Art Doll 1, Healing Art Doll 2, Gypsy Art Doll
(Click to see enlarged view in separate window)

I’m on a major “de-clutter” kick right now, mostly due to the fact that we will be moving next week, and what better time to get rid of “excess” than now? So, I’m clearing out stuff left and right, and was wondering if there might be any interest in my art dolls. You can view my initial work on the dolls and their corresponding journals on my website (and their respective ‘themes’), but they’ve returned to me in their completed forms, fully dressed and adorned. I’ve made five of them, and they are collaborative efforts, and all are accompanied by a journal. I’ll post some images on my blog in a bit, but please let me know if you might be interested in acquiring any or all of these pieces.

Also, I have a toaster oven that’s up for grabs… it’s been used to cure polymer clay, so you can’t (or rather shouldn’t) use it for foods. It’s yours if you come and get it, or pay for shipping. Oh… I also have a small Wacom tablet, with mouse and stylus, minus the driver software (you can probably download it from their website, I’m thinking), if anyone wants it. I got a larger tablet and this one has been kicking around collecting dust, waiting to be appropriated to someone.

Oh… and I’m weeding through all of my stamping supples, my ‘ephemera’, my books, etc. I think, when I’m done, I’ll be replacing the coffee table, which now serves as a dumping ground for most of Gabriel’s “stuff” (he takes offense when I call it his “shit”), with a trunk so that I can store some of the ephemera in proximity to where I work (and once it’s full, I’ll either weed out or stop adding). It reminds me of Mr. Dress-Up’s tickle trunk… man, I loved that show… maybe Casey and Finnegan will come over and play…

on moving and selfies

I was screwing around with my camera instead of doing a million other things that I should be doing (like sorting, packing and trashing for our impending move next weekend). I got up late (well, not that late—9:30AM—but that’s late for me), didn’t have breakfast ’til 11:30… and ended up laying back down for a nap again at 4:00. Gabriel and I watched the Final Fantasy VII DVD we picked up yesterday.

Ripley’s… House of Blues… Hollywood at its finest

A Chastity Belt at Ripley’s Museum


Gabriel and I rode Metrolink into Union Station this morning, and took metro up to Highland again. The plan was to go to Ripley’s museum in the morning and then meet my friend Kelly for lunch. Well, I got a call from Kelly with news that she wasn’t feeling so well, and so we were on our own for lunch. We wandered up Sunset Blvd. all the way to Meltdown Comics. I am never able to leave that place without something in hand. We stopped at a deli along Sunset for lunch and then set out for some more walking. My intention was to walk one of the routes from the Walking L.A. book, but Gabriel was already complaining about being bored with just walking, so I wasn’t sure how much longer he’d hold out.

The House of Blues
Pencil sketch and watercolor
(with liberal artistic license taken during rendering)

After walking about six miles or so, we happened upon a cool, old house with a sign that read “outsider art” so I had to take a look inside. It turned out to be The House of Blues. We got there around 4:30 or so, and peeked into the shop. Gabriel found all sorts of things he thought would be necessary acquisitions. We had wanted to go and have something to eat, but they told us that the restaurant didn’t open for another hour or so, but that we could hang out on the benches outside for the wait, if we wanted.

We wanted… we were done walking… tired and hungry. We sat out back on the rocking benches, waiting for the hour to elapse. I figured that I should sketch something while we waited, and uneasily began to render part of the roof of the structure. People I can draw, but buildings and the like, I’m not so proficient with. As the time drew nearer, the level of activity around us increased… fences put outside to corral a potential crowd, security people coming and going, people walking in and out of the building. I overheard some of the security people discussing that they were accepting people into the restaurant only if they had reservations. Well, shee-it, I thought… if I’d have known that I wouldn’t have sat out here for an hour freezing my tooshie off, so I went up to the guy and asked whether we needed reservations to get in to eat at the restaurant. He said we did, but that he’d check to see if he could get us in anyway. *phew* So, we waited a little while longer and were finally admitted inside.

Gabriel and I ordered the catfish appetizer, and I ordered a mojito. For the main dish, I ordered a penne with chicken dish, and Gabriel ordered a breaded shrimp dish, with spinach grits. We finished up with a delish white chocolate banana bread pudding dessert. Steve finally arrived just a little after we finished up our dessert, and ordered the salmon dish, a couple of beers and finished up with a brownie for dessert. Somewhere between that first mojito and the last bite of dessert, I’d ordered three more of them. The food was excellent, and if it wasn’t for my bar tab *cough, cough* it would have been pretty reasonably priced. My four mojitos cost me $36. Our waitress, Joy, was awesome, patiently catering to us even though we’d been there, once all was said and done (and through both dinner courses), for a little over 3 hours. Next time we might stay for a show…

Oh… and Gabriel decided that the Nag Champa bar soap and sachet were necessary additions to our toiletries…

Still trucking…

I walked to work today, but my camera ran out of juice, so I wasn’t able to take any photos. I recharged my camera when I got home and messed around with it, taking some funky portrait shots of myself. See? Even without my glasses, I’ve got four eyes… Yeah, it’s a slow day on the comedy front… but don’t you like the curlers? C’mon…


Gabriel’s music recital was this evening, and I only found out about it two hours prior. Good thing we were able to borrow a button up shirt from one of our neighbours. The fourth grade class played pretty well. As the teacher said when she introduced the kids… at the beginning of the year, they didn’t even know how to hold their instruments. Next year he’s decided that he wants to play a woodwind instrument. What he really wants to play is the guitar or drums, but they don’t have those as part of the instruments he can select from.

Walking L.A.

Fountain at Union Station
Pencil and Watercolor

My friend Bonnie, Gabriel and I decided to train it into L.A. and do a walking tour. I picked up the book Walking L.A. and we selected walk 19: Whitley Heights & Hollywood Boulevard.

We took the metro to Highland & Hollywood Blvd. and grabbed lunch at Mel’s Diner prior to setting off on our trek, but not before we took in the multiple floors’ worth of memorabilia at the Hollywood Museum right next door. I especially liked the creepy basement, which had old horror and Egyptian set memorabilia (and the costumes worn, including Claudette Colbert’s Cleopatra dress), and Hannibal Lecter’s cell.

The walk was great, though the “moderate” difficulty rating *cough, cough* was designated by a much younger and fitter person. I think this walk would have been just as challenging to me twenty years ago as it was now, because of the pretty extreme uphill portions. My poor little heart, even without two of the extra three nerve impulses, was getting a good workout, but I’m glad it didn’t wig out like it would have prior to my surgery.

There were some pretty spectacular homes up there, all tucked around these steep, narrow streets. There was a cute little English looking cottage, replete with an little garden and fountain out by the front door, that had a Sotheby’s for-sale sign outside. Bonnie and I decide that we would gladly sign up for some house-sitting assignments throughout the neighborhood, and just shift from house to house as the occupants came and went.

Greeted by Fido as I was taking the photo
(see the yellow/brown spot just over the hedge?)
If you squint real hard, you can see the
Hollywood sign through the clearing

I shot quite a few photos with the intention of using them for reference for drawings and/or watercolor paintings. Many of the homes had historic landmark plaques on them, which I thought was really cool. We live in such a ‘disposable’ culture that I think it’s great that folks are recognizing the value of retaining the ‘old’.

While waiting for our train at Union Station, I sketched a fountain in one of their outer courtyards, and we plotted our next walk, probably middle of next month. Stay tuned…

Another day walked…

Leaf imprint on sidewalk

My second day walking to the office. My more sensible selection of footwear avoided any additional blisters, but I’m sure starting to feel the walking in my legs. Hello muscles I forgot I had! My flexor digitorum longus on my right leg is giving me some trouble. I’ve been trying to stretch my calves but it still feels like it’s worked a little too hard and wants out.

I always wonder why folks just chose to use the outdoors as one big garbage bin. Is it the wind just carrying stuff out of the trash bins, or is it too hard to get to the closest trash bin to chuck our garbage out?

Steve treated us to dinner at The Crab Cooker in Newport Beach. Gabriel spent dinner marveling at the gigantic great white shark hanging from the ceiling.

Hoofing it to the office… and back

View onto freeway

After vacilating back and forth this morning on whether I would walk to work, I finally set off on foot in my Spicoli knock-off sneakers at 6:38AM. The photo above was shot not all that much later, as I was crossing the freeway overpass. I made it to work in just under 40 minutes, and when I im’ed my husband to tell him I’d walked, in my Spicoli’s, he said “those aren’t walking shoes… those are shoes to get stoned in.” Go figure… I did manage to cultivate two new blisters… one on my right heel and one on my left pinkie toe. Guess I’ll be wearing better “walking” shoes tomorrow for the trek, and I can cultivate a whole new crop of blisters. Lucky me.

On my walk home this afternoon I took the bike path for part of the way. It never ceases to amaze me that within inches of the bumper-to-bumper freeway traffic there is a little slice of nature, replete with plants and creatures. California is a wonderous place.