Go Ahead. Leap!




I know, I know. I’m hippy-dippy. I’m such a dork. I’m too danged happy. I’ve heard all this and more, and it makes no difference.


Today is Leap Day, and I am so friggin’ overjoyed I could just bust my buttons! I don’t know exactly how I’m going to spend this gift of a day, but I can tell you this much – I’ll be leaping. If only once.


Hope you do, too.

The Really Big Show



Oscars tonight. I’ll be watching, as I’ve done every year since I was a kid.


I won’t lie – going into this year’s Oscars has felt like a bit of a let-down. I’ve seen all 8 of the best picture nominees. And I’ve seen “Straight Outta Compton” as well. And that film was fabulous. It lifted my spirits and it broke my heart. I enjoyed it so much and it has stayed with me. I don’t know what else to say.


The Oscars. Here’s hoping Chris Rock brings himself to the show in his rawest form. The Academy could use some truth.




So – today. Without going into details, let me just say I’ll be working with a group of women to facilitate a songwriting workshop for teenage girls. I think it will be awesome. And yet I have no idea what to expect.


But do y’all know I’m a-feared of teenage girls? Well I am. So much so that I’ve been having nightmares about kids trying to kill me. For reals.


But those are just dreams. As for today, I’m trying to remember that I won’t be alone. That I’ll have a bevy of other chicks on the same team. And that the purpose of this workshop is to have fun. I’m also trying to remember to breathe – deeply. This workshop isn’t something I have to do. It’s something I get to do. Hopefully a little perspective will go a long way.

Behind the Curtain – Session 2



This painting, while based on a photo I took in London, will not be photo-real. I sometimes aim for that with architectural paintings, but I’m going for something looser this time. Something a bit more suggestive. And that’s a struggle for me, as I definitely have control issues when it comes to painting. Maybe elsewhere, too, but that’s a subject for another day.


Anyhoo – session 2 found me working on mere suggestions of architectural details. I didn’t want to try and paint the actual building, but I did want to fool the eye into filling in the blanks. There’s a long way to go, but I’m digging the experience.


Here’s your peek behind the curtain for session 2:



Sorry – still not a toilet behind the upside-down man’s butt.

Sewing Machine



This is a Hello Kitty sewing machine. I’ve been a little sewing machine myself lately. (See what I did there?) I’m working on a costume and I’m winging it like nobody’s business. And did I mention there’s a deadline? Well there is. Nothing like a ticking clock to make you bust a move.


I’ll share my costume in a few days. Honestly – I can hardly believe how well it’s going. It’s almost like I know what I’m doing!

The Broad Museum – Downtown Los Angeles



A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to visit downtown L.A.’s The Broad museum (pronounced Brode – with a long o). I say I was fortunate because I was. For while entrance to the museum is free, it can be crowded and require a wait. The night before my visit, my friend Gwendlyn told me she was going and had reserved 2 extra passes and offered them to me. Yippee! I snapped them up and asked my painting buddy Nicole if she was game. She was (she’s a go-er – part of why I like her) and so we did. Go that is. We boarded the subway and headed downtown.



When you’re on an art outing, everything becomes art. That’s how my brain works anyway. Hence the subway escalator photo.



The Broad is located by the Disney Concert Hall, which is pretty danged arty in and of itself.



As for The Broad, its design – by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler – is quite different from that of Frank Gehry’s smooth Disney Concert Hall. The Broad’s facade has all these little “windows” that allow natural light into the gallery space. It’s merely a shell, and it’s massive. I found it to be stunning and the perfect face for the collection it houses.



And what a collection it is! This trippy lamp is located in the lobby. I couldn’t help but think how much I’d love to have that lamp outside my home. By the way, the dude’s head is not part of the exhibit, and I would not like to have it outside my home. But I do like it in the photo.



The rooms are gorgeous.



And some are gi-normous.



Some of the art is fairly gi-normous, too.



It’s amazing to see pieces in person, pieces I’ve only seen in photos.



The Koons works fit this category and were definitely fun.



The majority of the works I saw were new to me. Seriously – da fuh?



Nicole and I took a self-portrait, because you know, that’s how you do.



This work by Takashi Murakami, “In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow,” is 82 feet long! Inspired (at least partially) by the devastating tsumani that wrecked Japan in 2011, the piece is so amazing and large – one could spend an entire afternoon studying nothing else in the museum.



The vault is visible and stores much of the collection on-site. It’s hard to see in this photo, but there are multiple pieces in the racks shown. It was cool to see how they store their art. I’ve never known much about that part of a collection.



After a few hours, Nicole and I had to head back to the train. It was getting dark and the fountain lights of Grand Park had switched on. We were tired, but we were so alive from all we’d seen! The thing about modern and contemporary art – for me – is that it’s pure entertainment. I don’t have to put any of it in my living room. I don’t even have to get it. I just enjoy the viewing. It’s pretty danged fun. And honestly, it’s tremendously inspirational. All those artists create in their own way. That pushes me to want to create more, in my own way. That alone is enough of a reason to appreciate The Broad. I’m so glad that when I was asked to go, I said yes.

The Parts I Hate



I just read this lovely post by Elizabeth Gilbert. I won’t go into its particulars, as she covers the territory so beautifully and sweetly and funnily that I needn’t add a thing.


But can I just say a little something about timing? I happened upon this post yesterday morning. And I had just been going over some thoughts and feelings about myself that were, well, less than love-filled. And while I am constantly in awe of the way the universe brings hope my way (this time in the form of the Gilbert post), I am not surprised. Not anymore. Because once I started paying attention to the magic of this world, it began appearing more regularly. Or maybe it was always there, only I wasn’t. There, I mean.


Today I am present. In my skin and in my mind. And thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert, I get to see myself and the parts I ordinarily hate a little differently. With love.


I’ll take it.

Almost Perfect



You ever have one of those nights where the stars align? Where you find yourself with plans to beat all plans?



Over the weekend, Mister and I went to dinner at a less than a year old joint called Birch. Located in Hollywood, it’s across the street from the Hotel Cafe, where Mister and I were slated to see a show that night. For those of you who aren’t local, let me tell you how thrilled we were to know we could simply park once, instead of shuffling around and searching for multiple, elusive spots. The night was looking good.



So we got to Birch for our rezzie and I admit, we were pretty excited. There’s been a lot of amazing press for the British chef running this place, Brendan Collins. And based on our visit, he deserves each and every accolade. We tried a variety of dishes and all were memorable. Honestly, everything we tried was aces – and then some. Unfortunately, when I made the reservation on Open Table, they listed the restaurant as being a “tapas” scene, so Mister and I over-ordered, thinking we were getting small plates. But we did not get small plates. We got full servings of beautiful, fabulous food. And before we knew it, we’d eaten all of it and it was so, so good and each morsel led to oooos and aaaahs and we were already talking about coming back and maybe we could hit the Sunday Roast and isn’t that good and what a surprise this is and oh my goodness – my pants are too tight. Phew! To our credit, we did resist ordering dessert (and I really, really wanted to try that Skillet Toffee Pudding). We finished dinner and waddled across the street, saying in one breath how great our dinner had been, and in the very next breath saying how bloated we were.



We got to The Hotel Cafe with a few minutes to spare before our friends in Sweet Talk Radio took the stage. This talented duo bring such beautiful entertainment to their fans, and they’re wonderful human beings to boot. So Mister and I were super-enjoying the concert, as we expected, when I started to feel a little warm and thought I should step outside. When I reached the lobby, I saw the ladies room across the way and headed toward it. I felt woozy, which was odd, as I wasn’t drunk. I tried to make it to the door, one slow step at a time. When I finally placed my hand on the door, it was locked. I leaned against the adjacent wall and tried to focus my vision. And that’s when I started to fall. I slid down the wall and hit the floor. I looked around and saw other club-goers, drinking and chatting. And that was it. I fainted. Next thing I knew, 3 employees were talking to me and asking if I was okay. I remember saying I was really hot and dizzy. The chick asked if I needed to use the restroom and I said yes. She told me to keep the door unlocked, in case she needed to come in and check on me. I obeyed and somehow managed to navigate that process without falling down. When I left the ladies room, I was escorted over to a seat and given some water. To their credit, the folks at Hotel Cafe were just swell. I sat for only a few minutes, under their watchful eyes, and then Mister came out and freaked a little bit before helping me to the car and driving me home.


I can’t remember the last time I fainted before this. It’s simply not a common occurrence. I also can’t remember the last time I was so stuffed I needed Oompa Loompas to roll me to the juicing room. It was crazy. And perfect. Almost perfect, that is.


You ever have one of those nights where the stars align? Where you find yourself with plans to beat all plans? And have you ever had a single star that refused to get in line, refused to cooperate? That was how our night went. And it was almost perfect.

Dream Time




The other night I dreamed that Mister and I went to McDonalds (which we never do). As we stood waiting for our order, Mister handed me the receipt. I glanced down at it and saw a line that read “Customer.” Beside the word, the clerk had written “Old People.” Beneath that, there was a line that read “Attitude.” Next to that, the kid had written “Fairly Cool.” I said to myself, “I am totally going to blog about this.” And then, at some point or another, I woke and couldn’t remember anything more from the dream.


Later that day, I was telling Mister about my Old People dream and before I could even finish, he told me I should blog about it. That guy surely knows me.

Textured Wall Project – So Far



This was the living room wall with the too-small mantel. I think you can see why this fireplace isn’t up to code. That mantel and surround could practically fit inside the fireplace. Even if the measurements were acceptable for L.A. standards, the danged thang is wrong for aesthetic reasons. I mean look at it! It just ain’t right, y’all.



So I took the too-small mantel off the wall. And it left a ghost mantel in its stead. While removing old glue and caulk from the area, I started thinking about adding texture to the wall (instead of simply smoothing it out). That was where I last left you.



Well now I’ve taped the surrounding surfaces and am ready to start the textured wall project in earnest. I think I’ve got a fair grip on what to do and a reasonable vision of what I’d like to achieve. Just one more trip to the hardware store for more joint compound, a wider mud knife (mine are all too small), a mud tray and a drywall hawk – then it’s down and dirty time.


Isn’t it wacky that I know terms like “mud knife” and “drywall hawk?” Seems crazy to me.


I’ll update soon. Promise.