I had a great experience volunteering for artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s gunpowder paintings. Here’s an account & video of what went on.
A small bit of it:
The gravity in this place is different. I’ve spoken to others who’ve traveled out here, too, and returned home safely. When you become one of them, you learn quickly that you share a language others can’t understand.
The trick, these fellow travelers tell me, is to accept the not knowing and find your equilibrium in that new gravity. Calm the mind. Find your balance out on the cold planet, whether or not you know the next step, or the date of the next appointment, or what good or bad news the Technetium-99 isotopes floating around in your blood during the last scan reveal.
I’m kind of hot for teacher.
Kenny O’Brien teaches online drawing classes on Mahalo. He’s a little bit dorky in a Mr. Rodgers kind of way, but mostly he’s kind and funny and extremely good at teaching. The first thing that hooked me with these courses was the way he made drawing the NW states look easy. This is the easiest chunk of the country to draw, but I found it pretty hard - the sketch above took over an hour.
I’ve started watching Kenny’s lessons on my computer and following along using my iPad as a tablet. I highly recommend investing $15 in a stylus if you are going to try this. It works a lot better than drawing on the screen with your finger. Mahalo also has a drawing course iPad app hosted by Kenny that is worth the nominal fee.
Kenny also encourages students to email him sketches and questions and seems like a total sweetheart. I am taking this from the very beginning now and learning how to hold a pencil properly. Kenny promises that I’ll be drawing SpongeBob in no time!
Powell’s Books in Portland is the best book shop on the planet. The gigantic main store (Powell’s City of Books) is full of great book reading mojo and proud, intelligent employees. They have an app that provides turn-by-turn directions to find books within their store.
I often lurk on their website learning about new books to read. But what I do most of all is lust after their Indiespensable offerings. Subscribe to Indiespensable and you get a semi-monthly shipment featuring a gorgeous, limited-edition printing of a recommended book and some other goodies that the Powell’s staff chooses. Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus came with (among other things) salted caramel corn. Anne Patchett’s State of Wonder came with an advance copy of the new Miriam Toews novel and the first edition of McSweeneys/David Chang’s food magazine Lucky Peach. The packages are always clever and full of well-curated items. It’s book porn, I tell you.
An Indiespensable subscription is $39.99 for each shipment, and while I think it’s worth every penny, I’m having trouble pulling the trigger on buying it. I spend at least that much on books every month and really want to support such a fantastic indie bookseller, but I’m hesitant to start steady flow of physical stuff coming into the house. I wish Powell’s had a way to sell me books for my Kindle - I’d love to give them money that way. I’d totally subscribe to a monthly e-book deal.
I’m trying to research this - does anyone know the story?
There are a shit ton of broken skateboard decks on one of the pilings about 20 feet below the Embankment bridge.
Who is doing this…and why? Do skateboarders save their broken decks in order to throw them here? Do they sometimes miss and end up with boards in the Thames?
I haven’t found an answer yet, but it sure is intriguing. Anyone? I’m going to try and figure this out tomorrow - will report back if knowledge is found.
ADDENDUM: I posted this on Craigslist last night. Have a skate deck to throw off the bridge? (Embankment) - please, please let someone reply.
June 17, 2008 was the day that same-sex marriage went into effect in California. ..before Prop 8 took away this right the following November. I was so proud that our state was part of leading the way that I showed up at Beverly Hills city hall with a camera and without a plan, hoping to share in the joy of the day.
It turned out that quite a few couples were so swept up that they forgot about photos. Many of them welcomed me into their ceremonies as their photographer…and often as their witness.
The ministers began calling on me throughout the day when couples needed a witness or wanted photos.
I can’t think of a day before or since when I felt so much a part of something important. I hope to do it again when this state gets off its ass and offers equal rights to everyone.
Being a big fan of Andrew Sullivan, having my photo on his blog is very exciting. That is indeed a view from my office window.
Bobby Sullivan has been offering up a free, beautiful desktop wallpaper on The Desktop Wallpaper Project every week since 2007. He works with incredible painters, designers and photographers from around the world. His blog is called The Fox is Black and it’s all about design and art.
The image above is my favorite wallpaper from Cole Gerst/Option G.
We put this website together about the honey we make…and by “we” I mean our bees. The bees make the honey, we make the website. FeralHoney.com
than a blog post about how someone hasn’t been blogging enough? I think not.
Last summer I had the great privilege of participating in the “Friends Cook” program at canelé restaurant. I came up with a honey-driven menu that featured LA beekeepers’ honey in all of the courses. I was nervous and intimidated beforehand and ended up having a blast. I learned a ton about cooking that day and was blown away by the talent and professionalism of everyone at the restaurant.
Corina (chef/owner of canelé) is letting me do it again. I’m more keyed up about this year’s than I thought I’d be - I will no doubt get some nice burns and drop some stuff on the floor.
When: Tuesday, August 31st - 5:30-10pm
Local Honey Dinner II at Canele:
-Honey & pimenton roasted root vegetable salad
-Crispy, honey-basted half-chicken* with corn pudding & something green
-Eastside honey tasting with cheese & nuts
*You silly Vegetarians will get shell beans instead of chicken.
I’d love it if you came.
I’m pretty sure I planted too much shit in this garden. I drove all the goddamn way to North Hills to go to the best nursery ever, and they had 6-packs of plants for the same price that two would cost. What would you do? I couldn’t afford to not buy them.
The tomatoes on the right were planted about 5 weeks before the rest.
What we’ve got going here:
I had some help with the garden last year, so I’m a bit nervous about this solo outing. Any advice from you smart people would be great.
Going to do my best to keep this up to date again. Stories from Italy are up next.