O and I love to walk around downtown Los Angeles. It offers a perspective of a city most people don't experience or take for granted if they live in dense high-rise areas. The fog was rolling in this time. When we looked up, it felt like we were walking in the dystopian city in Bladerunner.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Well, our favorite gallery, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, just had a vernissage opening this evening for Camille Rose Garcia's latest body of work entitled: The Hydra of Babylon.
I was always more intrigued by Camille's art than O. But this time, Camille's sensibilities had really evolved for the better. Both of us like it a lot. It's richer and more complex from both subject matter as well as technique and color.
Camille's work comments on the contrast between what is man made and destructive and what is from nature that is wonderful and healing.
The gallery was packed by 9:00pm. Camille was constantly surrounded by fans wanting her autograph. One fan showed her a tattoo of a trademark character on her back. She asked if Camille would autograph it so she could have it tattooed. BTW- If anyone so wishes, Camille encourages them to take something she drew or painted for tattoos.
There were others who dressed up as their own inspired versions of Camille's characters, making the evening feel like a fun Japanese anime character parade. Painters like Todd Schorr and Edward Walton Wilcox were also there.
Anyhow, the work is worth seeing. Camille is definitely one of L.A.'s very own best original illustrative pop painters.
170 South La Brea
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 933 4408
September 12 - October 10
Photo by Merrry Karnowsky Gallery
Friday, September 11, 2009
O and I were playing ball in the pool when suddenly two very loud booms rattled the sky and space all around us. We weren't too sure if it was thunder from a cloudy sky or sonic booms from some military launches nearby. So we quickly got out of the water in case it was thunder.
The two distinctive very loud booms were so close it felt like the entire sky and air around us was struck by it. The vibration was tactile.
When we found out it was the landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery both of us suddenly felt chills up our spines. How cool is it when two seconds of your daily life is affected by seven people returning home from SPACE?
We take for granted the achievements of our society when astronauts are floating nearly 400 miles above us, working on advancing our collective future. So we ignore the news or at best, glance through it. But when the booms shook me to the core, I realized how amazing it is that my normal life can be inspired and touched by grand visions.
I've been recounting the sound of the booms and thinking about the seven astronauts flying home from a mission in space as a matter of course. It makes me think that perhaps before I die, I might be able to fly into space as a tourist. The feeling is amazing and uplifting. Very special and unique indeed.
What a fitting memorial to the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
Check out the following:
Monday, September 7, 2009
I think everyone agrees, the whole health care debate is pretty frustrating and exhausting. This is because no one really knows what the bill entitles. So everyone on both sides speculate every day, to their political and mostly ignorant advantage. And the average person believes in the nonsense and blatant lies the GOP/corporate lobbyists espouse. President Obama and his team are really starting to burn their good will.
America once had the world reputation of the "helping hand" or the "big brother who would come to the aid of the weak". Everyone looked upon the United States as the place and the people to emulate.
Somehow in the last 8 to 10 years, the U.S. turned into a very selfish people and country. From taking over countries where we have no reason to enter (except of course for greed); to the need to have more than the other person as demonstrated by stores like Costco and Walmart where one can buy bulk; to not wanting to help the poor and needy as demonstrated by the people who say they don't want to pay for other people's troubles and weaknesses.
And to add salt to the wound, people don't seem to mind when we spend billions: on the war that does not benefit the average person; that puts our whole society in unprecedented financial crisis and unemployment. But they balk and cry fraud when a single cent is spent on something that benefits us and society as a whole. For a supposedly Christian country, it's disgusting to see most people behaving mostly unchristian-like.
What if these parsimonious and egocentric people were doing well- Then suddenly, due to a financial crisis like we are experiencing now, they lost their job, their insurance and their house and all those things that made them better than that poor schlub who couldn't get his or her act together? Then all the social systems that our country put in place despite their greediness and intolerance would step into place and help them tie things over when they have nothing. If they continue to think selfishly, then one can imagine, it would be natural that they would end up homeless, sick and suffer. Maybe even die prematurely.
When you point out their predicament, you know these egoists would say they paid into the system when they were working, despite them fighting against it. And now, they deserve to be served by our country. From the very thing they didn't want to pay for! I am astounded by the number of hypocrites who live in this country.
I for one love America for it's old values of caring for the weak and the poor. It was the core of the American character. I cannot imagine a society that is all about each person for themselves and screw the rest. It would mean the desecration and disintegration of what is human and humane. Somehow these selfish people have taken away all of America's sense of moral decency.
I hope come this Wednesday, when President Obama addresses Congress, he will clearly and graphically show what the health bill is all about. And I hope he does not renege on his promise of universal health care/ public option. It's his last chance to redeem himself. It's what we have to achieve in order to be a human and humane society. And its success will demonstrate our country's character and moral decency.
BTW, the cartoon here could well be a snap shot of reality today where Americans fly to places like Mumbai, India and spend 1/4 or less for elective surgery there than it costs here in the U.S.. Talk about outsourcing on an individual level. That's irony at it's peak.
Cartoon by Seppo Leinonen
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Everyone who knows me know I am not easily star struck. Okay, I lied. I was star struck by two icons! Lambchop and Gregory Peck. But that's it. No one has ever been able to wither and buckle my knees since my meeting with those two on separate occasions.
However, I can easily be impressed by humility and humbleness in people. My neighbor is one such person. A tall unassuming man, John is always happy to see you. Always happy to greet you. Always cheery and matter of fact about any subject he talks about. He makes no judgement about anyone or anything.
John came to Hollywood to become an actor from humble beginnings in Tennessee. Movies transported him when he was a child and he thought it would do the same if he worked in them. He worked hard to stay in Hollywood including cleaning out garbage cans that others wouldn't touch. This allowed him to take acting lessons which soon paid off. He took all the money he was happy to make as an actor and bought up property in the Hollywood hills. He even stayed in a cheap room rental back in the 1950's just so he could save the money while buying property.
When acting jobs became far and few between, he took his savings and built or remodeled houses, giving him independence. O and I live in one of the many he amassed over the decades.
John told us he was an actor in the early days but he never boasted or anything remotely like that. His wife is equally as wonderful. It took me a while to dig out the films and TV shows he worked on because I didn't know that he used a stage name of Compton. He took it from an English woman he met while visiting New York when he was very young. He is grateful for his time in the TV and film business and knows he's been lucky ever since.
We're lucky to have the star of Jack Webb's The D.A.'s Man as our neighbor and friend.
BTW, in the video clip, John is the man on the right without the hat. Pretty cool dude.
O and I were photographing downtown L.A. again, when I bumped into a very gentle man who was taking a break from work. He introduced himself as Felipe and is a chef in one of the big hotels there.
He was warm and friendly, so I asked if I could take his picture. He said as long as I wasn't going to use the photo to harm him, it would be okay with him. I promised him that my intentions were honorable and that I only wanted to put his picture in my blog as a nice man I met on my photographic journey. He agreed with a smile.
I thought about what he said. I can't imagine a stranger would have to ask me if I would harm him. For me it's unthinkable. I guess innocence is lost when you're an adult.
Our friend, Joe, sent us this clip. It's pretty telling how little our society cares about the future when people have to produce videos to explain the consequences of our actions if we don't.
Please pass this on.
You can read more and get the video from: http://www.weareallone-support.org/