Monday, June 18, 2012

Doopy doopy doo

Couldn't think of a better title for this post. I got your chocolate landscape. Thank you! I love chocolate and landscapes so much. I never thought to combine the two—brilliant. Plus a note written on cardboard chocolate is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY. If I had an alley, that is.

I didn't take photos today (updated: yes I did, a few days later) because I've been distracted by Jackson. He had tummy aches all weekend (thus beginning summer vacation on a down note). Doing better today, but we scheduled his medication early this week, rather than later, as had been planned. Hopefully his immune system will calm down and he'll be feeling good after tomorrow. The near-impossibility of feeding Jackson became insurmountable the last 48 hours. He's terrified to food at the moment. I've compensated by teeny tiny snack-meals throughout the day. Anyway, it's been a rough few days.

Kaiser, bless them, has been very responsive, so I think things will be better very soon.

So I had two postcards, ready to mail to you that Jackson made last week specifically for our project. But when I double-checked with him, he decided he wanted to hang on to them. I should have just mailed them--he never would have missed them, I'm sure. Duh. I had a question for you that was supposed to go in the mail:

[You have answered my question. Thank you.]

Also, I will miss the project for a month, but taking a break is always a good plan when lots of stuff is going on and I completely understand. I hope wherever you're going, inspiration awaits you for inchies or footies. I'm thinking you should have a show this year--yes? A cafe show, a library show, a business-lobby show. These are all good alternatives to galleries, because galleries, while nice, are kind of a pain. Just throwing this out there. Into the stratosphere.

Oh, this was a treat. Guess who was with me yesterday when I got your mail? That's right--John Hughes. We were on our way to see a stage production of "Xanadu," the Broadway show, based on the Olivia Newton-John movie. It was being put on by Walnut Creek Center Rep Company. They do a really good job. I've seen three of their plays this season and they were all really good. I missed a bunch last year and I vowed that wouldn't happen again. They're so impressively professional. The leads are all union actors and they use live bands for their musicals and I haven't seen a dud yet.  Anyway, John was the only person on Earth that I knew I could interest in seeing this show. We loved it. The lead wore roller skates the entire time on stage and she was really good. A very funny, ridiculous show.

Anyway, the mail came and Keith brought it to me as we were on our way to drop John off at BART so he got to see mail art in action! He loved it. He says hello. He was wearing a delightful hot-pink shirt and Bermuda shorts. I love when things happen with good timing. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mail Art Block

I'm having a little bit of mab (see above). I started one today but it wasn't doing what I wanted it to do so I'm gonna have to start it again. I kind of have an idea percolating but it's going to have to back burner for a few days. I'm working this week and won't be able to get to it again until Thursday... :P <~ meant to convey a kind of summer inspired exasperation brought on by heat inspired torpor.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hulk. Incredible.

Speaking of cartoon characters, this guy appeared in the mail yesterday and then I saw him again this afternoon on the big screen in The Avengers. You really got not only his likeness but his persona. He's so fierce looking but there's also a cuteness about his ferocity. And believe it or not, my insomnia was kept at bay last night. I have the Hulk to thank for that!

Cartoon characters

Wednesday night, and yes, this involves insomnia but only tangentially, we were watching a YouTube video of this old Betty Boop cartoon. Adam had heard that Coco the Clown, one of Betty's friends, had a little hidden in-joke attached to him, literally, that involved Hebrew letters that spelled out something I can't even remember. The short was an enactment of a song called, "I'll be glad when you're dead you rascal you" sung by Louis Armstrong. We spotted the thing we were looking for, but while watching, I realized there was something oddly familiar about this very trippy cartoon.  Around the middle of it, when Louis Armstrong's head floats up into the sky and sings to Betty, Coco and their little dog from up above, I remembered I'd seen something very much like this before in a movie.

Ok, it's been a while since I saw New York Stories. I hardly remember it, except for Oedipus Wrecks and the part where Woody Allen's character is mortified by his mother who has suddenly become larger than life and is floating above the city telling everyone on the streets below stories about her son's most embarrassing moments. Woody Allen plays Sheldon, the tortured son, and in my addled memory, Debbie Reynolds  played the mother.  Anyway, to make things more complicated, I had to look the movie up on imdb but found out it wasn't Debbie Reynolds at all.  It was an actress named Mae Questel who played his mother.  Of course, being the amateur sleuth I am, I looked her up and coincidence (?) of coincidences, Mae Questel was the main voice for Bettty Boop in the 1930s (

Of course I had to see if Woody Allen had been inspired by the above mentioned Fleischer Studios cartoon but could find no mention of it on the internets.  Just for kicks, I emailed his publicist to find out if there was a connection between the cartoon and Mr. Allen's short.  I doubt I hear back but you never know.  I suppose I've got my insomnia to thank for another mystery partially solved.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Celebrity Matches!

So clever. What a delightful piece of mail—thank you! As I mentioned, Jackson was fascinated. He wanted to know if he could really burn them, of course. It's kind of enticing—that idea. Not in any reality-based way, of course. Just as a ritualistic purging concept of our overwhelming culture of CELEBRITY. And Justin Bieber is just so excited! Good God.

We were making self-portrait collages in Jackson's class a couple months ago. The kids were supposed to bring in a photo of themselves and put items or people or concepts in their collage that were really important or personal to them. One little girl needed help making a large "J" and a "B" out of yarn and glue because, as she earnestly explained to me, "Justin Bieber is VERY important to me." I did my best to form the initials which had such meaning to her. I think in order to appreciate the guy, you have to hang around a nine-year-old girl or two. I mean, it was love. I saw it in her eyes.

Anyway, the care you put into your mail is very inspiring and yes, uplifting. I was telling my parents about our project and they wanted to see all the art, so I brought out my growing pile and they were delighted. Completely delighted. They were really impressed with your ideas and fabulous execution of them.

I sent you a piece today, hoping it slips through the mail regulations. It was truly the only thing I accomplished during my week of illness (besides buying sponges today at the store—a triumph). My Mom wants me to see a doctor and I might, but I think it's just a really nasty flu that's lingering, like they do. Jackson's doing better, but he's still coughing in the morning and gets tired easily, so it's just a bad, bad virus.

I wrote a song about having the flu for one of my bands. It's called "Flu Vacation." That's what I've been on. The chorus goes "Everybody black out / pass out on the floor now." I've seen a lot of episodes of "Justified," starring Timothy Oliphant (speaking of celebrity crushes). He looks good in a cowboy hat. Or any hat, for that matter. Set in Kentucky among U.S. Marshalls, based on an Elmore Leonard short story. Not sure I would like this show as much if I didn't have the flu. It's the perfect escapist show, I guess. Like when I watched a ton of Sopranos while pregnant. I have to watch the opposite of what I'm going through. I think Tim Oliphant would make a great celebrity match!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Workaholics post

I saw this Workaholics post and thought you and Adam might enjoy the animated gifs (and story). Did you know that two of these guys grew up in Concord and went to my high school (Clayton Valley)? Well, they did. I think this explains a lot about their comedy genre. I knew this factoid a while ago thanks to this story on the Claycord blog, which is full of news and information about my hometown area (tire slashings, meth labs, escaped pit bulls, 7-11 robberies, NRA vigilantes—good stuff every week). The deep East Bay is ripe for comedy.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Exquisite Corpses

I thought I'd show you some of the artwork from Jackson's class a couple weeks ago. Jackson and I have become so sick since then—I'm trying not to let it get me down, knowing it's temporary. I've got the cold/flu from hell. He's recovering from that but keeps getting these awful migraines and missing more school. I would just home-school him but he learns better from non-family authority figures. And he needs to be around his peers more, not less.

Here's some kid art. The kids had a total blast in this class. It was more like an art party. Given that they're almost out of school, any lesson that doesn't involve testing is like a party at this point.

Another mom/helper took the photos. I left my camera's memory card at home by accident. Duh. That's the equivalent of not bringing film for the camera, which I've also done on occasion in the distant past. Since it's such a big class (34 kids), we had the teacher group them in 3s or 4s, so mostly it was friends working with friends. This resulted in a lot of pretty princesses and monster-robots in the first go-round. The second time we tried, everything got a little looser, but there was some collaboration as well. It's tough to keep drawing a secret process with 34 kids all jammed into one room. I hope some of them try it at home with their family and friends. For that element of surprise.