Saturday, December 30, 2006

My little (big) brother

So I woke up this morning and had this conversation with my husband:

O: It's my brother's birthday, but I can' t call him because he's in Africa.
J: Actually, I think he's in Spain today.
O: Oh, Spain.
J: Tough life.
O: Must be nice.

He's officially my little brother, because I was born Dec. 9, 1974 and he was born Dec. 30, 1975. That puts 12 months and 21 days between us, which means for 21 days of the year I am two years older than him, instead of just one. I liked that when we were younger. Now he's 31, and all I can do is pray that his 31 is better than mine was.

He's my big brother because he's the one with a job and a condo in his name, whereas I still rent and am currently not technically employed. One day we were having a Biggest Loser pissing contest and decided to call it a draw, since he's not married but I don't have babies--and those are the two standards (after are you a doctor or an engineer--again, he qualifies, but because I'm married to a man who will be a doctor on June 1, 2008, I think I squeaky by with a pass) that Indian children are supposed to live up to.

But we've never really lived up to Indian standards, so why start trying now. We just have to avoid situations where we have to talk to Indian people of a certain generation or certain members of our generation and we do OK.

Then later I got an e-mail message from mom that they got a text from Neil that he and his traveling mate are in Seville and OK: "12-30-06 6:23 am Greetings from Seville we are safe and sound possibly south towards the coast manana, adios Jen and Neil."

Mom followed his lines with this message: "Just wanted to let you know that in case you see the web news about a bomb blast at Madrid International airport on the 30th."

Thank God he sent the message or Mom would (no joke) be considering sending a private detective to Spain, or me (which would be OK), to find them. I'm sure Jen is the one who suggested they contact their folks; in his 31 years of adventuring (including getting lost in the mall pre-child-leash days) he has yet to think to call home in a timely manner.

In case anyone detects a tone of resentment in my voice, it's really not there. I'm happy that my brother gets to travel the world and maybe one day I will too. After all, I will be married to a doctor. Also, maybe I'll get to do like Patti Fox and get an Artist in Residency gig in Eastern Europe or where ever it is she has gone.

But for right now, I have to prepare to shoot a Jewish wedding tomorrow morning and a reception that is in a backyard on New Year's Eve and a beach BBQ tonight. Thank God I invested in the good flash. Today, between downloading hundreds of bachelorette party photos and doing several loads of laundry I think I will finish reading Dry by Augusten Burroughs--an amazing read--and rearrange my paintings in my house so that I can paint more.

Maybe one day I'll be a destination wedding photographer because I'm so good people will want me to fly with them and capture every moment of their journey to matrimonial bliss.

God bless 'em all.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Adams Avenue Grill: Great Food & Photo Show!

Hello friends! Please visit our favorite neighborhood restaurant between Jan. 8-Feb. 5, and see three of my photographs on display with the Photo Arts Group show. Yes, they were taken without a filter--God made the stars shine in the daytime for me by shining the sun on the ocean water on the rocks. I looked down and said, "Diamonds and stars!" and then I took one photograph.

There will be two others at the show--also from the same location, but you'll have to go there to see them! (I know some of you are cheating and just looking online instead of going to the shows...) Besides, if you don't go to Adams Avenue Grill you don't get to have their scrumptious Tomato Soup--they'll serve it in a cup (literally--a mug) or a bowl and it feels so good on a rainy day like today; there's a special tang to it that I've never found in another tomato soup, plus an occasional piece of bacon... it's so creamy and lovely that I might just have to walk over there today and get some! BTW, Justin and I recommend the lunch menu for those of you on a budget, while the dinner atmosphere is quite romantic (though you can still color the paper table clothes with crayons) and the servings are larger, the prices are higher. At lunch time the quality of the food is still fabulous, and you can order from a pre fix menu that includes dessert. Here's their link if you'd like more information: And did I mention the service is delightful and friendly and if you're going to a show at the nearby Ken (movies) or Diversionary (live) they'll do their best to make sure you get there on time? (It's your own fault if you dawdle over another glass of wine!)

Monday, December 25, 2006

So, Christmas is weird

Justin and I have no money, so we did not buy Christmas gifts this year.

Actually, we went to Las Vegas last weekend and called it our gift to each other and later, when the sales are on, we are going to go shopping together and buy some things we "need" and call those our gifts too. We figured, since we don't get much free time if we're going to spend it shopping (something we both hate) we should shop together (togetherness being something we love). So there it is.

Last night and this morning were the first Christmas Eve & morning sans gift excitement.

It feels a little off. Like we're just doing Sunday again (church this morning). But we say Merry Christmas to each other, and we did get gifts (I gave him my "Dream, Reach" painting because it is his favorite (it's blue) and because it's how he makes me feel--like I can reach my dreams. And he gave me a card--it's our sixth Christmas!) . We did Christmas with our families on Saturday the 23rd. We'll see Brian and his family later today, so it is Christmas. We have a cone-shaped Rosemary tree in a red pot on our dining table, the landlord decorated the courtyard so thoroughly we might live in a shopping mall, and the gays at the end of the hall who never close their windows have a gorgeous tree and decorations everywhere, so it's like we walk through our Christmas-y yard and living room and then come into our room and it's OK that we're lowkey on the holiday gear.

It's just a little bizarre. Last year I hated it because I missed and wanted our child so much, but I powered through with so much energy I finally cracked. This year I'm so OK with it all that I...

I don't know.

It's like we finally GET Christmas; it's the not-really-his-birth-day-celebration-of-Christ's-birth and it's become a consumerism nightmare and except for the love of our friends and family and the church part of it we're just not participating. Which might mean that we're participating in a way Jesus would prefer?

Who's to say...

it's not about rejection

Just a little clarification: It's not about rejection. It's about wasting my time and possible opportunities to have sold my work to someone else.

I would not have minded at all had the owner of the coffee shop told me over the phone that they do not accept nude figures in their shop. (I actually asked, knowing that some people do not feel comfortable with the human body on display when they're least expecting it (you go to get coffee, you don't necessarily expect to see a naked woman). I would not have minded if I had gone to the shop, shown them my art and they said it wasn't their taste. I mind that they accepted it, and then it lay in a hallway during the 72 hours before Christmas instead of being on display in the gallery I removed it from to take it to the coffee shop. I mind that my time was wasted.

I really, really, don't mind that some guy didn't like my work. I like it.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


I just got a call from Mr. Rodriquez (supposedly a co-owner of the coffee shop) who told me that despite Atousa accepting my art and storing it in the back of her coffee shop for the night (rather than hanging it as she had promised) he does not approve of it and so will not be hanging it in his shop.

He gave me this ridiculous and condescending line about rejection being difficult and everyone having their own taste. I assured him I did not need his validation to know that my painting is beautiful. I simply asked him what was wrong with it for his shop. He said it was a problem that there were nude figures because children go to that shop. That coffee shop. I said, "Oh, and children do not see human figures ever."

The only truly nake woman in the art is a sitting pink acrylic, titled, "Cure." As is Race for the Cure. As in Cure Breast Cancer. As in inspired by my own needle biopsy, mammogram and lumpectomy of the summer which (praise Jesus & God) found me to be cancer free. As in a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation.

So, don't go there. The coffee was not that good and the service was actually quite rude and abrupt. I had chalked it up to a busy day, but apparently it is simply a part of owner's personality.

I will be picking my paintings up from their back hallway as soon as they open tomorrow morning.

Cheers and happy holidays to all you sane and openminded art lovers out there.


Friday, December 22, 2006

A new venue in Point Loma!

Hi everyone! Thanks to my beautiful friend Grace Ann, who forwarded me the Craig's List ad about it, I now have several paintings hanging in a well-trafficked coffee shop in Point Loma. It's a shop under new ownership and Atousa liked me style, so she accepted my paintings. The cool thing is, I will be rotating my work in and out every few weeks, so you can keep going back and seeing new art and drinking yummy drinks. Plus, I think that they make really good Persian food, since she's Persian and made lunch for her mom while I was there. These are all good signs. :)

I'll be showing there for about six months, and then she's going to get new artists. Neat idea, huh?

So, here's where to go: it's at the cross of Midway and West Point Loma, in the shopping plaza with the Long's Drugs and the Souplantation.

Cafe Loma
3960 West Point Loma Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110

Phone: 619.222.1239


Right now, they have:



That Night

Open (and also a yellow and orange one like this one--but smaller)


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Softballs, fireflies and falling stars

Steven, Jareb and I watched the meteor sprinkle (this is San Diego, people, no showers here (FYI "sprinkle" in this context was first dubbed by Chuck last night)) from the roof of a cabin on Mt. Palomar. It was a party of photographers and nature enthusiasts--at least enthusiastic enough to drive more than 4000 feet up from sea level to see darkness and ancient light, though I must note that Steven and I were the only two people fully-dedicated to sky-gazing, while certain others were also interested in wine-drinking, dry-sauna-sitting, sleeping, camera-setting, food-eating and other activities I can only imagine based on the sounds and silences emanating from the vents on the roof. It was probably nothing, and I do not know all of their names.

I brought my camera, but in my journalistic fashion I quickly decided that while the people would make fascinating subjects, the falling sky would not be captured adequately in words leave alone mega-pixels.

It's good to know that as a storyteller I can recognize the best recording device is oftentimes simply God's creation un-"advanced" by man's creations.

Knowing my limitations meant that I didn't miss the two times when at least four of us (Eros, Steven, Jareb & I) caught black-speckled-white-unmoving-sky flare with a white blaze that streamed through space leaving a trail of time lingering as though the crowd of light-particles moved were standing and applauding as they watched a fast ball go by. (It's an image I'll work with--I just need to get notes down now so that I can get to the library in time to read at story hour.)

When it happened, we four lying down shrieked and rose and pointed, and the fifth (a working-at-the-moment photographer) said he "could see it reflected on our faces."

"Literally or figuratively?" I asked, wondering if he could guess its brilliance based on our brilliant joy.

"He means he could see the light reflect on us," Steven said.

I don't know which is true. Probably both.

I will never forget the Milky glow, the shooting stars, the shared wishing-ways or the warmth of coldlovedcreation. I did not miss it for the lens or the wine.

Sometimes the sparks flew from the chimney, tricking us into believing in fireflies or catchable stars. Once, I glimpsed a meteor framed through the treeline horizon and compared it to a softball.

"Maybe it was."

I did capture the essence of some of the people on the way in and out of the cabin and just before the down-the-mountain ride.

Steven: goodness of the pure and real and grounded sort. He held the ladder (mostly) while the girl-scared-of-heights-even-for-other-people came down and then he got the firewood when the man-in-only-a-towel-and-wine asked him for help so that the others could stay warm. Steven even brought in more logs for later, so they would not have to go out into the cold dark.

Man-in-wine-and-towel-who-asks-for-future-warmth. Sweet.

Jareb: "someone alive and singing about it," I think is how he puts it. I would add the adverbs beautifully and inspirationally to the sentence.

Eros: beautiful sad clown, trailblazing-eldest-child-like-me ran away to Cirque du Solae (sic--google, sit) while I went to therapy. ;)

Chuck: owns the cabin and the wiener puppies and I assume the food and wine they served, slept on the roof while we observed.

ok... I'll insert photos later (in an edit, not a repost), but now I have to get ready to tell other stories. (Later I'll add the part about not quite knowing for sure where the driveway was and listening to the navigators instead of getting out to look for myself before straining to see over my car's hood saying, "Are you sure this is right? I feel like I'm pulling a Thelma and Louise here! It's scary!" And then I pushed the gas pedal and stopped.

The drive was beautiful--the parts we talked, the parts we sang (Indigo Girls and Dixie Chicks), and the parts they slept and I drove with me and my thoughts and my borrow-twenty-something-boy-children in the car.

Bad Poetry & The Writing Process

  • I know the poem below sucks.
  • It only sucks in its current form, which was written in a quick bit of time before a 9:30 a.m. yoga class for which I was nearly late because I lost track of time.
  • Blogging is publishing and thereby gives people access to my writing--even the crappy stuff.
    • It may not be a good idea to write directly into the blog.
    • Writing directly into the blog could teach people the writing process.
    • Because of today's technology, very few artists will live in posterity by their scribbled notes of song lyrics or poetic phrases and their revisions because those re-creations and deletions never exist outside the backspace button, the author's fingers and the computer screen.
    • I pushed the backspace button at least 76 times (I just counted) in writing the last two bulletpoints.
    • I will leave my crappy poem "published" so that readers can at least observe my writing process--insofar as the computer allows it to exist visually.
    • I will still write some thoughts or poems or lyrics or stories in a paper journal because while everyone can have this font, only I have my handwriting, crossout-lines included, and I love seeing Tupac's childhood scrawl and John Lennon's beginnings-of-some-things in a museum.
  • ...just so you know.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Confession & Repentance

She did not confess
that they had come together;
Created in the image of Love
He did not need to hear
the story
He wrote.

She did not confess
that they had come together;
She needed His love
and his
and his
and hers.

She did not confess
that they had come together;
He knew their Love
and His
and hers
and his.

She did not confess
that they had come together;
He need not forgive Love
created in His image
and his
and hers
and his.

She did not confess
that they had come together;
She turned her face toward Him
and He was there with her,
so together they faced what was within
her heart
and his
and hers
and his.

She did not confess
that they had come together;
still He told her she was loved
and He was there through all her life
and his
and hers
and his.

She did not confess
that they had come together;
but when she saw his pain
she confessed and turned to his face
and his
and His
with hers.

She did not confess
that they had come together;
but she turned to face what was within her
and him
with Him
and him.

She did not confess
that they had come together;
but together they turned and faced each other
and found a truer Love
and better choice
and came together again
with Him
and her
and him.

She did not confess
that they had come together;
He knew the story
and shepherded them to a softer Light
more real and complete
for him
and her
and him.

She did not confess
that they had come together;
and together they walked
to the next place
He made for her heart to heal
and his
and his
with His.

She did not confess
that they had come together;
She knew Love
and Love guided her
to him with Him
and they grew to share His love
with him
and her
and him.

She did not confess
that they had come together;
and together they confessed their love
and His love gave them life
with Him
for him
and her
and him.

He knew
they had come together;
and with them He danced.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Did you miss the opening party?

Don't worry, you can still catch the shows at ANI Homes during the month of December. They are located at 3827 30th Street, North Park, 92104.

Again--it's up for the month of December, unless someone should decide they want to give something a good home or to a loved one for the holidays. :)

Will it be you?

"The Cure"

Justin looking at the photos ("Double Dare" and "Take Off" and bio; "That Night" acrylic painting in the background.

"Welcome" & "Possibilities"

Justin and I in front of "Man Alive" acrylic paintings and three photographs.

Friday, December 08, 2006

For a while I thought it was a real spelling bee

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: steven
Date: Dec 7 2006 11:30 AM

i'm going to get $20 or $30 (cash) rush seats with kaitlyn and peijean for sunday's 1pm show... we prolly have to buy tickets about 11 or noon on sunday...

all (well, most) are welcome to join us. :-) just call me.

hugs to all (well, most)!

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Olaina
Date: Dec 7 2006 6:38 PM

LOL I won't call and interrupt Survivor but are you seriously paying $20-30 to go to the spelling bee? I'd do it for 10, but $30?

Justin said: But what about if you're poor? That means you can't watch your kids do well?

Oh my gosh... For seriously?


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Steven
Date: Dec 7 2006 7:54 PM


like, for seriously?!


yeah, i REALLY want to see it. REALLY. so if you want to pay $20 and sit separate you can...

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Olaina
Date: Dec 7 2006 10:38 PM
ohmygod! I've finally met someone funnier and more geeky than me. So funny! My God I'm seriously considering going just to laugh at youl With you. On my birthday Sunday. Who would have thought. Putnam County? Spelling Bee? Seriously? Really? I kinda don't believe you... I kinda am going to have to look at the website to see if your for serious reals. A Spelling Bee. People pay to go to the spelling bee. Have you seen the movie yet. I'm going to add it to my Netflix list now. Wait. Are you talking about the movie?

Oh my poor little spelling bee head.


J: Saturday, after breakfast what are we doing?
O: I don't know. Maybe we can take a nap. I get to decide then.
J: Sunday, your birthday Sunday, I heard you say... can I study Sunday?
O: Yeah, for all I know I'll be at the spelling bee.

Sweet Jesus.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Utility Box at University and 30th, North Park

Sometime in my formative years I must have put a sticker on something I wasn't supposed to vandalize.

Yesterday I did my penance.

I am painting The World in A Grain of Sand on a utility box the size of a small European car, but first I have to clean it well to make sure the paint doesn't peel off later.

This means removing the graffiti (in permanent marker and other substances), the band posters (thank you for permanent clear tape), and the stickers.

I am armed with a scraping spatula, some chemical that is still making me cough today, and sand paper.

Thank God the yoga classes of last week have given me visible arm muscles--they are being well used.

In the meantime, I have met the owner (Neil) of the new salon and the contractors and electricians that will be finishing the job by Saturday, when Neil is set to have an opening party.

Me too. The whole neighborhood is having a party for my birthday and I will have the car painted by then.

Here's a picture of the before.

I'll take my camera down today to get some shots of the during and Godwilling after ( maybe tomorrow). The guys from George's camera come out to say hello every now and then, and ANI Homes is across the street, where I will be showing my work on Saturday.

I'm off for more fun! (It really is fun.) :)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Major Art Weekend on It's Way!

Start with Expressions in the Garden--it's a great way to start an evening with yummy warm drinks and dessert... and then go to Taylors in PB to hear Jareb sing some more and ring in my 32nd birthday with some good cheer!

Then, on Saturday enjoy a nieghborhood full of art--but be sure to stop in at ANI Homes where I will be showing some more work and Jareb will also be performing. I hope to see you there!


Today I advertised Expressions in the Garden (Friday, Dec. 8) to teenagers, medical students and musicians. Also, the guys at the Garden had their interview with the North Park Times reporter, and I gave my permission to the Trolley Times publisher to use my byline and graphic for the story going into their paper.

Tonight I found a great band without a name, got another gig marketing local musicians for free and may have solved the recording studio problem.

Plus I made a few more good friends.

When people are doing something that they really believe is good and right and true they look different. It's in their smile and their eyes and so their whole face and body and sound. It changes the conversation.

It's so interesting to have conversations that are about art and music and life instead of administrators and meetings and lawyers. It's so different when it seems like there are so many possibilities, and the life that might change based on the decisions people make is my life. It's oddly like having both more control and less control at the same time. I have more freedom. With that freedom I lose some security financially, but I gain security personally because I don't have to fight whole-heartedly for half-truths. I know what I can give. I know what my resources are. I do not have to lie. I am not held to impossible expectations or non-existent support. So then, now, on this precipice of tomorrow I fly. I soar. I land. I decide.

Would you like me to name your world? I'm a poet.
Would you like me to record your joy? I'm a photographer.
Would you like me to entertain your guests? I'm a singer.
Would you like me to color your eyes? I'm a painter.
Would you like me to gather your thoughts? I'm a writer.
Would you like me to charm your heart? I'm a lover.
Would you like me to organize your life? I'm a thinker.
Would you like me to feed your soul? I'm alive.

Friday, December 01, 2006

look what Grace and I made!

I so totally know why my journalism kids kept me at school until 2 a.m. sometimes...
most times....

Interestingly enough this is orange in the file I copied it from.... let me try one more....

It's because it's CMYK. I'm not changing it back just for online now. It's 1:32 a.m. All my doctors (and the gonnabe) are going to be mad!

Good night!

ok I lied.....