Thursday, December 31, 2009


every mistake is a lesson
every friend is a blessing
 learn from them both

be thankful for every single one

happy new year

Monday, December 28, 2009

a cast of thousands

I call it "a cast of thousands" because, in the end, that's what it's going to cost (adios Hawaii :o[ ). The Scottish in me does not think this is amusing at all. Methinks if Lady MacBeth had had a cast it surely would have been as red as this one, especially after using it to club you-know-who over the head. She'd use it as a red flail to out out that damn spot.

But the goofy in me knows that goofy is what will save me, so I'm considering auditioning for the role of Sissy Hankshaw, the swollen-thumbed hitchhiking heroine of Tom Robbins' seminal 1976 novel, "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues".

"Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps." 
-William Blake

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

it wasn't all bad

So what if I broke my arm yesterday?  I also had a permanent wireless backup connected to my computer.  Even better than that, I bought two terrific paintings from Tracy Helgeson in her half-price sale! Woo-hoo!

down-payment on uppity

Some of you may have noticed that I was getting a little uppity about conquering the computer and this blog.  Well, shut my mouth!  Yesterday at about 5:30 when it was as dark as a pocket, I was walking the dog, and a car came around the corner.  To avoid becoming roadkill, we moved over to the side of the street.  Unfortunately (understatement), it was the icy side of the street.
Before you get to fill in the blanks, let me.  I did exactly what you're not supposed to do when you flip up into the air and gravity takes over.  I "broke" my fall with my right arm. That's right, my right (fore) arm.  Oh Sam, so wrong wrong wrong!

Skiers know about broken bones; we know about how it happens, when it happens, and why it happens.  We know the awful telltale signs of shock.  You'd think all that knowledge would help, but all it really does is deliver the bad news to you before anyone else.  At least you know when to sit and stay like a good dog.

Long story shorter...the interminable wait in the ER, the xrays (already had enough to glow in the dark), a splint, an appointment next week with my trusty osteopod (he designed and built me a new knee 7 years ago), and a no-doubt overdue downgrading of my hubris to humility.  Therefore, my blogging days must change.  I will be spending a lot more time reading your blogs, so take advantage of this captive audience.  I am here to learn; please impart wisdom.  In the meantime, I will be gazing longingly at my new full set of Unison pastels.  Sigh.
The dog is outside chewing on a bone.  How ironically thoughtless of him.    

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

silent monks

What do you do if you've taken a vow of silence but still want to sing Handel's Messiah?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"my" cat

Depending on who you ask, the resident cat who rules the house on Sunset Beach is known as Fortitude, Moochie, Herekittykittykitty, or sometimes Gitouttahere!. We just call him 'Tude. I published a previous post about him last February which best describes his feral little self. 

Of course, being in Hawaii is wonderful, but unfortunately it means being without the dogs I love, a hardship at best. However, if there's an animal more than able to stand in for all of them put together, it's the 'Tude. Therefore, when I'm there, he is "my" cat. As long as I fork over whatever's on my fork, he's willing to be the littlest Big Dog I know. A real go-along-ta-git-along kind of guy. But I know nothing else about him. I don't know where he comes from, how old he is, who else he dates... Nothing except that he has a strong, if somewhat demanding, personality.  

Yesterday, I heard that the people who were there just a few months ago, the people who know and love him as "Moochie" miss him and want to know where he is. My heart sank. Oh my, so do I. Even though he has more than enough good sense to survive, I know being feral is a very hard life, and in spite of his gumption, even a cat with so much fortitude has his limits. 

Well, I've decided that his Moochie mom simply failed to come up with da kine of salmon pate that he likes. I'm going to take a deep breath and expect he'll greet us in January, yowling, "Where the hell have you been?!"

Why do I feel like my dog just died?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

and the winner is...

The Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational held yesterday was won by Greg Long. According to all accounts, it was one of the most awesome surfing events of all time. After 25 years, everything came together perfectly to make it a truly legendary tribute to Eddie Aikau. Read the official news report here. If you're lucky enough to have access to FUEL TV, don't miss this special sporting event on Friday, Dec. 11th at 6:30 PT- 9:30 ET.  

hawaiian exercise

Well, someone's got to take care of the cat...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

quiksilver update

As I had feared, the Quiksilver site is jammed. You can still try today, but you'll have a better chance in the next day or two (after it's over, of course). Believe me, it'll still be worth it. In the meantime, the press package will give you a lot of info about the event's line-up, history, etc. 

the quiksilver

The North Shore of Oahu is getting hammered by 30' to 50' waves today through Thursday or Friday, which means The Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau is on! It doesn't happen every year, actually rarely, and only when the monster waves are thundering in. Today's sets seem very promising (can you say HUGE?), and the judge will likely call it a "go". Thirty of the world's best big wave riders are ready and waiting at Waimea. Unfortunately, we won't be at Sunset until 1/15/10. Just as well... the house is full of judges for the Triple Crown, and the waves will be threatening the porch. Yikes! But as the surf rats say, "Eddie would go!"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

wild eyes

This handsome guy never took his eyes off of me until...

the sun set and his girlfriend finally showed up for their date.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

christo and jeanne-claude

I love Christo's art.  Excuse me, the art of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.  The Valley Curtain, The Umbrellas, Surrounded Islands, Running Fence, Wrapped Trees, Pont-Neuf, the in-progress Over The River project here in Colorado, etc.  Even when they offended my environmental sensibilities (they did, but I got over it), I've always admired their belief in their vision, their persistence, and maybe especially, their controversiality.  Their self-confidence challenged the Pharoahs' grand scale egomania, but to their credit, they left no pyramid behind.  I mention them now to honor Jeanne-Claude's passing. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

medicine cape

I thankfully out-lived thinking I could sew and painted my medicine cape instead.

Friday, November 20, 2009

shy dog

so smart so sweet so shy
what a girl

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

garrett the great

This is Garrett.

Part Aussie Cattle Dog---"telltale" white-tipped tail and herds all his toys and bones into perfect piles.

Part Cherokee---a rez dog from northeastern Oklahoma.

Part raccoon---handsome longish brindle coat and thoughtful generosity.

Found at the local shelter, he's one of the most interesting dogs I've ever known. If I were one for making dogs wear clothes (boy, am I not), I'd get him a t-shirt that says,
                                   DAMN THE AKC 

Monday, November 9, 2009

leaving honolulu

Hawaii is so gorgeous, right up to the very last minute.

P.S. I assume everyone who posts pastels knows that the colors are so much more vibrant than they ever appear on a blog. Argh!

Friday, November 6, 2009

anything's possible

I don't even remember when I painted this. I do know that it was totally different (even upside-down I think). I decided I had nothing to lose but pride and painted over it. Losing the attachment often saves the day.

I keep it around to remind me that anything's possible.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

more stuff

These were willed to me by a best friend. She was a painter and a legendary multi-media artist. She never wore the shoes; she bought them at the Goodwill in San Francisco because she saw them as the beautiful objects they are. Indeed they are.

A perfect size 7.  Silk.  Couture.  Hmmm... just imagine what their story might be.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Like a fool, I sometimes paint dogs who exist only in my head. Admittedly, it can be pretty dark and scary in there. Just me and Cerberus deciding who gets through. There are no photos; there are no posers. Although, just like people, some of the dogs certainly have enough attitude to be poseurs. Because I have no visual cues for these paintings, they can wind up looking, well, quite literal. Okay, so my mind's eye can be a little anal. Depending on my mood, it has either too much discretion or not enough. Ain't it always the way...

I start with a sketch, made with the charcoal leaving nothing more than an outline. Occasionally, I do check photos for anatomical references. Anything after that shows up while I paint. What the values and hues are, where the lines get lost and found, the impression, the expression; one thing leads to another. I apply a few rules but generally try to stay out of the way. That's how dogs like Juniper get to be here. Believe me, I'm not about to tell him he doesn't look right.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

dia de los muertos

This is one of my very favorite holidays. Back in the day, I was raised as a Catholic, on my Irish side. Oh sure, we Celts were pagan, but we had no idea how cool it could be. We never ever dared to party in the graveyard. Never. Little did we know that, like the Mexicans, it was our birthright.

Come to find out, there was an Irishman by the name of William Lamport (b. 1615). He was quite the rake, and a love affair-gone-bad (real bad) caused him to flee all the way to Mexico. Once there, he was outraged by the poverty and degradation of Indians and Africans. Ultimately accused of plotting a war of independence against the government, he was imprisoned. He escaped ten years later and lived as a fugitive, continuing his life and love affairs in the New World. He was eventually captured and sentenced to death by the Inquisition, which launched his name into legendary martyrdom. At the time, his adventurous and charitable lifestyle was well-known, and citizens dubbed him,"El Zorro." Like I said, little did we know.

I have a good collection of DD stuff, including several dioramas; they're my "little altars". As an artist, this "Frieda" one is special to me.

Click on the title of this post for some good video about Dia de los Muertos.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

personal style

everyone's got one

Friday, October 23, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

my stuff

I have some interesting stuff (don't we all?). Big things and small things, but not too many things. And every thing is a story. I have no trouble jettisoning junk, so the treasures I end up keeping undergo a harsh review. To me, it's art (in some way), or it wouldn't be here. Tell you what, I'll show you something once in a while; you make up the story. Then tell that story. Paint it. Sing it. To yourself. To us. But tell it.

Meanwhile, the boyfriend stands here waiting with his flowers. You'll see him again; he's very photogenic and holds a pose like a brick. Isn't he wonderful?

Friday, October 16, 2009

ghost dog

This painting came out of, well, I won't say nowhere. But I can say that this one came out of itself. That highlight in the eye showed up while I reloaded my brush; I saw it just in time to stop painting. To be honest, I'm afraid knowing when to stop doesn't happen nearly as often as it coulda/woulda/shouda, but when it does, it's a real thrill. It's as good as making the right mark.

Though I swear there is no velvet Elvis in my past, sometimes I like to mix color with a metallic iridescent. In this case, yellow oxide and some sienna with metallic gold. The resulting light shift gives it some life, some movement. And makes it almost impossible to photograph. "Almost" means I'm still trying.

Sounds like life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Once I stopped taking everyone else's advice, the art, the camera and even the unfriendly computer finally got all kinds of friendly. Relief with a capital R. Which spells "riverbank".
Add Image

Sunday, October 11, 2009

snow already?

This fox likes to nap in the clematis vine on top of the gazebo next to my studio; these photos of him are from the window up in the loft. He slept soundly through several hours of hard cold rain, wrapped tightly in his gorgeous tail. Slept so hard his snores rocked him to and fro. How nice.

Then it started to snow. You can see (click) that the fox was as thrilled as the rest of us at winter's early onset. He stood, stretched, and shook himself back into shape; then he hightailed it outta there. Btw, the dogs and the fox and I think it's pretty ironic that they call a tail a "stole" once they steal it. How nasty.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

float this quote

I've added some more blogs I like. Susan Cornelis had this quote in hers the other day. It's worth repeating.

"When you start working, everybody is in your studio – the past, your friends, your enemies, the art world, and above all your own ideas – all are there. But as you continue painting they start to leave, one by one and you are left completely alone. Then if you are lucky, even you leave."
-Philip Guston

As soon as I get back, I plan to post some pictures.
If there's anything cheaper than talk, it's plans.

Friday, October 2, 2009

holy boomerang!

Alleys are a walk through the backside of a town. It's a tour of things people don't want out front on the porch but generally don't mind allowing in their backyards. I've always been an alley-rat; no matter where in the world I am, it's what I want to see. Others can have the tourist Meccas. I prefer the souks out back, where the trash cans are lined up like ninepins (unless the racketycoons have been bowling for garbage the night before), and occasional treasures teeter on the edge of belonging. Whenever in whichever town, this is where the dog and I walk.

Along with its other face, Boulder's backside has undergone an, excuse the expression, dramatic shift. Some say good; I say not so good. During the past decade+ of mobiling upward, its trash has evolved from something typically smelly, to something to actually be considered, if not downright desirable. Why, it's a regular Ali Baba's cave out there.

So when I found the boomerang, the dog reminded me, "Life is about learning, grasshoppah. Rub the lamp."
How To Throw A Boomerang

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

four a.m.

Four a.m. is the Armpit of Time. It's the hour no one wants to ever see. It predates when most early-risers go vertical, and even the nocturnals have burrowed in by then, quick! before daylight nails their coffins shut. However, others do seem to like it, like hunters and fishermen. I suspect they prefer the cover of darkness for the killing. A few other people are awake, praying for the souls of the dying deer and the gasping trout.

Here is some other stuff which happens at four o'clock:
I am awake and I can't get up. After all, what if I can get back to sleep? Hey, it could happen. It won't, but it could. Meanwhile, the neighbor's dog is hollering, "HEY, I'M UP!", as he waters the bushes. If I didn't know and love the cur, I'd be beyond pissed. Speaking of dogs, my dog might, having scarfed his weight in plums fallen from the tree, be in the bathroom exploding with diarrhea. Knowing toilets are only for drinking, he's no doubt using the carpet. I love dogs, but I must say that their timing for eliminating toxins sucks. Also, the fact that he made it to the bathroom would impress me much more if it weren't my bathroom.

Four is even too early to put on the coffee. As if that would help.

Monday, September 28, 2009

how strange

My laptop took this bizarre picture of the windows in my studio. Totally unbeknown to me and without my permission. You think I'm surprised? No. Terrified? Yes.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I have reservations about poking my head out. But I don't know if you lose your place in the line to the loo if you don't ever pee in the pot.

Piss on it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

running backwards

For me, blogging is running backwards in wet sand. I fall down and I can't get up. It's not blogging that boggles me; it's computers. Okay, it's both. For whatever reason(s), I just don't seem to be able to even want to compute.

For now, I'm going back to the studio to do what I know how to do. Life is short, and I sure don't want to spend it hassling with computers. I'd much rather do what feels right, so I'm going paint. Period. To me, doing both is like patting my head and rubbing my belly. I'll figure out another way besides blogging to show my art. A yard sale comes to mind. That's not to say I won't use this blog as a place to post occasional blurbs, scrawls and brilliant bon mots.

I admire those of you who can do it all. Keep it up. Meanwhile, I'll be in the studio with all the dogs and their brilliant knowses.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Credit where it's due... the Obamas did rescue their new dog. Bo's name before it was Bo was Charlie and dog knows what before that. At only 6 months of age, the poor little guy is now in his fourth home. Hopefully, four, not three, will be the charm. I mean, how charming can you get to have your fourth home wind up being the dog almighty White House?

He says, "Works for me. Call me Bobama."

Monday, April 13, 2009


Bo and The Godfather

One of the reasons I like having Obama in the White House is that I don't have to worry. I know I probably should, but what counts is that I don't feel like I have to. Maybe it's just the contrast; Bush scared the bejeezus out of me. I do keep my ear to the rail, but I haven't heard anything alarming thus far. Good reason, I guess, to pay attention, especially when the water is flat calm. Like, just before a squall hits.

Oh dear. Storm warnings. Right when I was having myself a sigh of relief, the Easter Bunny showed up with a purebred Portuguese Water Dog named Bo for Sasha and Malia Obama (beware the ironclad campaign promise). Being people of conscience, their parents had been looking forward to rescuing a shelter dog. In addition, the First Lady has planted an organic vegie patch out by The Rose Garden. That's what I mean; you can trust that they're good people. Anyway, before they could do the decent thing for some needy hound, Teddy Kennedy stepped in and offered a puppy from some eugenic breeder (probably one of those kajillion Kennedy cousins). Obama is wise enough not to mess with the double karmic load of Teddy being genuine American royalty plus a cancer patient. If you're the new President, you probably ought not to mess with that old political icon for any reason anyway. So the result is, even in this 21st Century, there's still a Kennedy in the White House.

The First Daughters looked at what the breeder had to offer and of course chose the dog who most resembled a stuffed animal. Eugenics gave the sweet little thing adorable curly hair, cleverness and a bouncy personality. Totally irresistible to the two girls, but just wait until the family, not to mention the whole White House staff, get a load of what "bouncy" means in Portuguese. A PWD is one of those kinds of dogs you should never let be in charge. As if there's a choice. I wonder if any human can truly outsmart a clever dog.

Then there's that pesky word "water". It's the PWD's middle name, for dog's sake. They have to have water and lots of it. They were bred for water sports. Last time I checked, there's no sizable lake, let alone the preferred ocean, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I can see how this is going to turn out; that clever dog will wind up living out his days surfing the sunny beaches of Oahu. By the way, I have no doubt that PWDs can learn to surf.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

blizzard antidote

It's snowing at a rate of 2 inches an hour and blowing so hard, I can't see the fence 75 feet away. As of yesterday, we hadn't had a drop of anything in over 6 weeks. Nothing but winds over 70 mph and spot wildfires. Ah, yes... Springtime in the Rockies. So Mother Nature is celebrating with her typical attack of whimsy, blessing us with more than a foot of snow. It could be worse; this could be Fargo, where the Red River is flooding at historic proportions and it's blizzarding.

Happily, I don't have to go anywhere today except my studio, which is buried somewhere out there in the whiteout. However, to get out there I have to shovel-grunt-push a path in the snow. Maybe watching me struggle into my down jacket, boots, hat, scarf and mittens will amuse the dog enough to get him out of his bed and into the storm. By then, the snow will be deeper than his legs are long; no doubt he'll need a snorkle and doggles.

To soothe the shivering, chapping and cussing, I've posted this picture of another world where storms are beautiful in a very, very different way. It helps just knowing it's out there somewhere.

Friday, March 20, 2009

surprise balls

Surprise balls. You know I couldn't just let that one go. When a childhood friend emailed me her joy at the reminder of them but speculated about the possibility that they may no longer exist, the thought totally bummed me out. A world without surprise balls?! Oh, say it ain't so!... Okay, it ain't so. Like a lot of things you thought were done and gone, they can still be found by a good search engine. Whew!

For those of you who missed them, surprise balls are "the toy you destroy to enjoy". The very definition of delight for a kid. Made of paper streamers wrapped round and round, with goodies and toys tucked inside, treasures pop out randomly as you unwind the colored yards of crepe. By the time the ball is all unwrapped, the fun has just begun. Rings and things with plastic gems, small dogs and little men, tiny dinosaurs and wooden trucks, hot cinnamon hearts and candied nuts. And enough streamers to fly away with you. I remember feeling like I'd positively bust. My thrillometer pegged.

Sometimes, writing a blog can be like a surprise ball. When I start a post, I have an idea of the destination, but I try not to look where I'm going and frequently surprise myself. That last one about abstinence is a good example; I have no idea where it came from.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I am an omnianimal lover. Obviously, dogs. And cats. Yes, even cats. Not a lot of them, mind you; just the ones who appeared to have a reason to appear and stay. There have been 3 of those. Also every other clever beast who swims, slithers, runs or flies by. We share this life with them, but what some of us are doing to some of them is unspeakable. Many species, given our roughshod bullying, are leaving. But there are others who will survive, adapt and refuse to leave us. Fortitude is one of those.

This cat, this dude, this Fortitude, is fierce and feral. He lives at the house on Sunset Beach. Rather, he owns the house on Sunset Beach. The setup is nice, or he wouldn't put up with the people who "visit". Besides, he has the routine down cold. He works it like this: 1st day--accept pity and food, 2nd day--take food, then put em in their place with a claw, 3rd day--run to greet em, get food, 4th day--disappear 'til day 5, 5th day--run to greet em and get food. Basically, good cat bad cat. From then on it's a piece of cake. Or maybe salmon pate. Sit in their laps and feel the love, man.

Monday, March 16, 2009

what a face



A lot of dogs have memorable faces and names to match.
If you can't forget this one, he belongs in your family.
So click on him, and take him home.

P.S. Now that I've sort of figured out this trick, I promise I'll only harass you with the unforgettables.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

driving home alone

Twilight finally gave up its ghost on that first evening of Daylight Savings. Ran out of savings, didn't pay the bill and the lights went out. It was Sunday, so the streets were dark and empty. No one around but me and my stealth car, Alma Negra. Not even anybody breathing in the back seat. The stark absence of the usual other life form, the dog, left the deep primordial hum of nothing. Yikes. It was the sound of my head. If you hold my head up to your ear, you will not hear the ocean; you will hear NOTHING. Come to find out, synapses are silent. From the outside anyway. For reassurance, I opened the moon roof (you pay extra for the moon, Alice). BAM!... There was the moon. Worth every silvery dime.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

missed the bus

Not to be disrespectful, but I know people who'd die to be alive for blogging. They also happen to be the ones who would've done it best. Am I right, or am I right? Bet you know some, too. Blogging zombies. They sit on our shoulders while we post. We love them all.

(sorry, no embed--copy&paste)


I'm suspicious that yesterday was auspicious. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was. I met my doppelganger. "Huh?" you ask. "So?" you ask. All I can ask is, "Well, do you have one?" Here's a clue: if you have a blog and are on a list of like-mindeds, odds are there's a doppelganger out there somewhere with your face in their place. I've not had one before, one which I knew about anyway. So far, it's a sweet mindblow. As if to mark the occasion, a full moon popped up last night. The Maple Sugar Moon. Sweet, indeed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Hey. Let's say you sell a painting. Maybe for a few hundred dollars. Maybe more, maybe less. Whatever. Now let's say you take that wad and give it to your local animal shelter. All of it. Just this once. The whole damn pie. A la mode.

I'm just sayin'...

Kitchen 24:  Skillet apple pie a la mode!! by evilmidori

Sunday, March 8, 2009

time turned on me

I had a crazy friend (that "had" would take a whole nuther post, one which would undoubtedly be libelous and would definitely spike my blood pressure) who likes to pass as a tough ol' cowgirl. As long as she's on a horse and dressed in dust, chaps and a kerchief while swearing blue lightning, you'd have to think so. Well, don't be fooled; the kerchief is French silk, and she probably bought and trained the horse in Portugal. She comes, as they say, from money. In spite of that, she has an excellent sense of the absurd, communicates easily with animals (although she's beyond pissed at the coyotes who keep eating her cats), her photography is soulful and beautiful, and because those twisted sisters, the Muses, are sometimes amused by unjust excess, she also cranks out truly admirable oil paintings. She has a very very good eye. In her spare time, she runs her ranch at 10,000 feet which you can't get to in winter and is an international horse broker. Oh, and did I mention her mellifulous ability on her marimba? As you might imagine, she's adult ADHDXYZ and as crazy as a bedbug. In my judgment, it's one of her finest attributes, but the combination of money and lunacy could make anybody sorta, well, dangerous. On second thought, okay honey, you are one tough ol' cowgirl.

Don't worry; I'm getting to the point. That tough ol' cowgirl can talk out the side of her mouth. But I swear some of what she says and how she says it would make you more than happy to die laughing. Believe me, I've come close more than once. One of my very favorite expressions of hers is, "The damn fill-in-the-blank turned on me!" Now, she could be talking about a horse, a headache, the weather, her pick-me-up truck, a piece of fish gone bad, friends and/or relatives, or one of her bankers. Really any old thing at all. It's best when the offender is an inanimate object like, "That damn rock turned on me!". In that case, what really happened was a rockslide that sent a boulder the size of an outhouse crashing down onto the roof of her truck. In her world, whatever slows you down must be at fault. Animism is invaluable when apportioning blame. You'll never have to answer to a rock in court.

I thought of her when the Time changed to Daylight Savings. More accurately, I thought of her at 4 AM when I woke up and spent the next 3 hours trying to figure out what time it really was and how much sleep I had missed. You could say arithmetic is my OCD. But, given enough time, I can do it. How ironic, seeing as how it was Time that turned on me. By the way, I also burned some fat thinking about Father Time and Mother Nature. Remind me sometime, and I'll tell you another story...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I just noticed it's March. It's always been a favorite month of mine, when Spring comes around the corner. Hard to tell, though, when it seems like it's been here since sometime last year. On this third day of the month, the temps are strangely in the 70s, rain and/or snow hasn't fallen from the sky in over a month, and Daylight Savings begins this coming Sunday. It's confusing when the gummint keeps changing milestones like Time and the cost of a stamp. However, neither politics nor the screwed-up climate impress the local birds. The flickers are doing drumrolls by banging their heads on the metal chimney cap, and the male house finches are beginning to sing arias. The drumming and the arias are both love songs, full of enchantment and come-hither. Wow. Each to his/her own, I guess.

Monday, March 2, 2009

no big deal

The haircut is good, over, and it's always nice to see Gracie. I'm rarely hair-obsessed. Unless it's bad. I'm human; a bad hair day can spin me into apoplexia. But I cut my own hair for years. That's a person who might have something more on their mind than the thatch growing out of it. Or might be someone who plain doesn't give a damn.

Truth will out... I'm prone to get a wild hair now and then. I must confess to a time in the '80s when I had a burgundy perm. I looked like a raspberry. Scary thing is, it was very cool at the time.

coup de jour

I thought "coup de jour" was quite a good title for a post about my haircut later today. Wrong. It's perfect. The dictionary's third definition says, "Coup: a contusion caused by contact of the brain with the skull at the point of trauma. Compare with contrecoup." Of course, "contrecoup" is not in the dictionary, but I'm pretty sure it means, "No, I don't think I'll get my hair cut today after all."

I remember when mothers and hairdressers conspired to convince us that cutting your hair made it grow faster. That's why they had all the nuts; they had clever, squirrelly logic. It's sad to think that's all it took to get us into the chair. Gawd! Are kids these days as stupid as we were? Probably not. Come to find out, it was a luxury.

Will I or won't I? Should I or shouldn't I? Should. Shouldn't. Will... Won't..... Such a quandry! But for a good (enough) reason; my hair hasn't been cut, 'cept for one ill-advised just-an-inch, in almost 3 years. If I crank my neck back far enough, it goes past my waist. I'm in my second hippiehood.

But it's time to brush my teeth and go. Think I'll play some dirge CD in the car on my way over. The Dead comes to mind. Interesting aside: my hair cutter's name is Gracie. Mary Grace Murphy. Saints preserve us!...

Friday, February 27, 2009

saving grace

The current incarnation of Boulder is pretty hard to take if you have a memory. I remember when I can stand to but generally try to avoid harkening back. However, I am still here because this town has always managed to have at least one outstanding saving grace. These days, it's saying grace over Hosea's food.

Hosea Rosenberg is the chef at Jax Fish House here in Boulder. He makes my crab cakes, my cioppino, my peppered Fijian Tuna, my fried calamari. It is all superb, and I am one very lucky customer. The restaurant is always packed, so take-out becomes the dream-come-true of eating Hosea's food right in your own home. Moan. Shoot me now.

For several weeks, Bravo has been airing a show called Top Chef, another one of those reality shows which mostly make you wonder about how much real the contestants can take. If you saw any of it, you know what a grueling (no pun--oh go ahead--pun) contest it was. As a measure of the challenge, the first prize was $100,000, a Bon Apetite cover article, invites to cook at both Aspen's Food & Wine Festival and some major food fest en France (ma zut!), plus more notoriety than could possibly be anticipated.

You know where I'm going with this... On Wednesday, Hosea won. He is Top Chef of America. OMG. His immediate reaction? "Whew! Now I can finally tell all my friends and family (after 5 months of contractual secrecy), and "Wow, I've never had to have a real signature before (while he signed everyone's everything)." Local foodies went nuts; you could hear the crowds cheering all over downtown. Someone observed that Boulder hadn't been this giddy since the election.

All I can say is, can another saving grace possibly top Hosea? Hard to imagine. Can Boulder save grace? Can it save face? Maybe yet another Nobel Prize...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

birthday blog

One of the best reasons I know of to have a blog is for when you've got a really good friend whose birthday is today and you forgot. I think it's okay though. We share forgetfulness and history (it takes both of us) and crazy-ass dog love.

Anyway, I can use my blog to cover my crazy ass.


Sunday, February 22, 2009


What is this slumdog I keep hearing about? Sounds like a swearword to me. It sounds mean. What about the guys you see up top on the right? Are they slumdogs? Or are they just felons?

Thursday, February 19, 2009


The labs bin lopin' along long enough. They need a labnap.
Enuff!, they puff.
Okay, I say.
I'm tryin' to hold my horses,
tryin' to ride this crazy horse of a computer.

I'll meet y'all up at the cee-ment pond.

Friday, February 13, 2009

off the air

We've been undergoing equipment adjustments. Which invariably leads to... (the font REFUSING to cooperate!) attitude adjustments. Are we done? Are we having fun? In a word --- NO! But, as always, labs help. They remind me to love every minute there is.

Easy for you to say, you bums who count time by errant crumbs.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

pupukea lost

Something tells me we're on a different north shore
back home here on the range.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


One of the best things about going back to the same place twice is that you already know what you don't know. It's a good headstart. I also know what it is to be a PFA. I've been one before, and I'm one while on the North Shore. It keeps ya humble. I try not to be too obvious by running backwards in wet sand. As it turned out, the sand got me anyway but not until the very last day.

As you've read, we landed in Oahu about 18 hours before the storm did. I'm a sucker for storms anyway, but this one was absolutely amazing (ain't they all?). Sitting on our porch, I appreciate not having to guess what's coming over the mountain next. Nothing between me and the weather but some whales and the Pacific. I watched the storm and the rainbows gather (everything comes with rainbows in Hawaii) until it all began to hurl rain sideways. The waves off of Sunset Beach ran in four directions all at once. Come to think of it, they always do, which is why Sunset is world-class. But at least for these 2 days no one surfed. However, nothing stopped the kite nuts from hanging it out to dry. Insane.

The next couple of days were spent loving being back in the house again, gawking, riding bikes, saying hi to friends and dogs from last year, going to Foodland, playing gin, gawking, picking up the camera equipment at FedEx in Pearl City (damn near Honolulu), and blogging. Yes, suddenly I noticed I was BLOGGING in front of a view out the window to die for instead of looking out the window. Then a funny thing happened. The computer space bar (I am not making this up) broke. The computer was broken, and I was relegated to using own my paltry memory banks. Uh-oh... I went MIA. The good news is that the camera stuff is due back here in Boulder today so I can look at my pictures and maybe remember what happened next. How exciting! Stay tuned. Maybe the stars will align, and I'll actually be able to post some of those pictures.

Monday, January 19, 2009


They walk down to what they perceive to be the edge of the water. With hands on hips, the People From Away (PFAs) survey their ocean like they own the place. I can see it when what to do next comes to them; their shoulders set. Being human, they must conquer it all over again, because once is never enough. Brave determination sets in, and bending over, they begin to oh so carefully and neatly roll up their cuffs. This calls for a stunning combination of oceanography and fashion sense. Adjustments are made until the cuffs are judged to be dead on perfect.

A wave swells with pride. Irony rules (duh), and the PFAs start running backwards in wet sand. A movement doomed. The Pearl S. Buck Memorial Wave hits dead on perfect before they can stand up again. Come to find out, dry pants don't matter a squat even if they are dead on perfect.

getting to the Point

It's Jan. 19th, and the beach has finally been re-opened after 3 days of somber reverence for the mega storm. The storm proper lasted maybe 36 hours from Friday, with its killer waves and currents continuing on through the weekend. Today broke clear, the waves are standing at a 20-foot minimum, there are 50+ surfers and surfettes and the actual lineup on every break is at least ten death-wishers. So far, uncountable guys have busted their boards in half. Another one staggered past on the beach with his board in 3 pieces. Looked a little shocky. A Waring Blender comes to mind.

Yesterday, the 18th, I think I finally landed. Four things tell me this: I took a nap in the sunny hammock, rode bikes down past the Banzai Pipeline to Waimea Bay, did a face-plant in a heavenly, dead-ripe papaya, and wound up the day riding up to Sunset Point, where locals like to sit in silence, while they drink a sacramental beer and watch the glorious sunset. It's like church, so while I did wear my hat, I did not take my camera. I'll try not to make that mistake again.

As I look out through my knees, I see a swarm of eensy-weensy surfers way out there on the green green waves, looking eversomuch like sea lions to sharks. Meanwhile, no matter what the big dogs holler at him, a genuine sea lion is flopped out for a snooze on the warm sand over at the Point. I wonder if the sharks know the difference. Or care.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

chocolate waves

I know I should have a picture, but I figure its enough of a miracle for me to just post this as is. So you'll have to take my word for it that the waves are way too big to surf. Flew in on Thursday and drove straight up here to the North Shore. Stopped at Foodland for important provisions like bacon and beer on the way up to Sunset Beach. Arrived here to the yeowling of the Welcome Wagon, a.k.a. "Fortitude". Named by some previous Aussie guests, he's the feral Siamese tabby who lives under the house and lords it over all. He expects to be fed, asap. "Yo,'Tude!" I yeowled back at him as he wove himself through my legs. Ick. "Happy to see you made it through another year! Even if this is Hawaii, you're such a fierce kitty. You are the dude with 'tude!"

Friday the 16th dawned to big WNW winds and dark incoming clouds to the west. One of those Kona lows fresh in from Japan, no doubt on it's way to poor Seattle. Waves as big as apartment buildings. Beach closed to even the big wave surfers. Big enough but too sloppy and violent to hold the legendary Quicksilver (refer to future post). Suddenly, 5 or 6 KITE-SURFERS!!! appeared next to the house and all launched. My very favorite extreme idiots doing my very favorite extreme sport. Right next to the porch. I am beyond lucky. Watching those guys do what they do so well also deserves its own future post (which one of you liars out there told me there's
no homework with a blog?). Anyway, being true watermen, something told them to get out of the water, and they disappeared. At 1 pm, the radio was talking about how Waimea Bay was 'liquid chocolate', referring to the intense churn. By 2, all the waves on up to here were big capuccinos, brown with cafe au lait foam and dumping unimaginable amounts of brown sugar sand on the beach.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "This place is not real."

Long story short, the air got as juicy as it possibly could, the front hit, the wind roared in off the Pacific at near hurricane force (60 -70 mph), the rain came sideways, and it kept it up until early today. This morning the humidity was gone, it was cooler (plunged to 74), glorious blue skies, but the waves are still too big to surf. Beach closed. Perfect.

I am here. Blogging is not for here. Not now anyway.

Monday, January 12, 2009

goin island

we be goin island
later dudes

Sunday, January 11, 2009

little big guy

A good way to start your day is with a chocolate puppy fix.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I can't wait

First light to long past twilight, no wave is ever wasted.

switcheroo yahoo!

It's now 10 days into 2009. I'm still on my old iBook G4. There's a new MacBook Pro in it's box on the floor across the room. It's waiting to step into the fray; it'll have to keep on waiting. I'm handing it over to a MacPro to transfer all my files, etc., while I'm gone. More on that later... Meanwhile, in yet another attempt to 'spress maseff in this blog without assist (clearly, I'm cyber-masochistic-stubborn), I've switched browsers from Safari to Firefox. Safari is definitely not copasetic with Blogger. Like a really bad blind date. I'm hoping Firefox can dance. So please forgive all typos and squashed toes.

While I'm gone where? Back to the North Shore of Oahu. Sunset Beach. Where the waves are huge, the surfers are beyond fear, there are no restaurants or hotels, and tourists last for maybe an hour and are gone. Hoodies and flipflops are de rigueur. Definitely my kind of place.

I'll now attempt to attach a picture from last year to this bad boy. It was the first one taken on the very first morning from our porch. Something told us we were in the right place. We're going back next week.

P.S. OMG! IT WORKED!!! Woo-hoo!