exploratorium

The family and I have been meaning to check out the infamous San Francisco Exploratorium since we moved this way. So in an effort to see new things, and spend time with friends, we made plans to meet up with our homie Pablo and his kidlets. It was a beautiful day for it that’s for sure and a Sunday which means avoiding football. I hate football.

The new location for The Exploratorium is located on one of the piers of the Embarcadero. The building takes up the entire pier and if you are a science nerd, it is an absolute must you go visit. Plan on an entire day though cause there is a lot to take in and despite the many hours we were there, we did not get through everything. I guess we will have to return, twist my arm.

In any event, the museum was more about experience and some things just don’t translate well for photographic purposes. Even then I managed to squeeze out a couple of shots and I will let them speak for themselves.







After several hours we ended up calling it cause all three of us “adults” decided we had enough audio/visual stimuli. It can be really overwhelming, especially after all the sight related experiments, your eyes start giving you the finger.

We walked over to a park so the kids could run around and we were met with the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill. I had no idea SF also has a population of wild conure! There were so many of them! (and LOUD)

And just like that all of the kids were turning into pumpkins so we said our goodbyes and parted our respective directions. And man, talk about a horrible view on the way home… just dreadful.

*****
The rest of the photos from this day can be viewed HERE

she may

As we were getting ready for bed last night I walked in to check on her one more time. This is what I found. She may be 7, use words bigger than her age, whip our asses at Monopoly on her second game ever, sass us like she is 13 and she may think she has it all figured out.

All I have to do is walk in to scenes such as this to realize that the little peanut is still in there somewhere. The peanut that insists on too many pillows, sleeping on top of all of her blankets in her Cinderella nightgown, on having books in the bed with her, her pillow pet, Build A Bear cat she named Brittany and her faithful sidekick Gomez, who will only sleep with her in this manner.

I hang on to moments like these.

DIY: a drawer of secrets and curiosities

It is painfully obvious that I am a collector of knick knacks and oddities. A couple years ago I finally decided to make a cabinet to display them all. Over the years I have outgrown my cabinet with all of my little treasures, especially with the tiny things that just don’t get displayed properly.

Many years ago, I picked up a vintage letterpress drawer on ebay. This was way before it became a “thing” and way before I turned into an antique hunting junkie. Either way, it has been used once before to put a lot of Reza’s small toys and now… well, I took it back and decided to give it a little life and this is what happened…

(click photo to view bigger)

So what do you need to make something like this? I will show you!

1 letterpress drawer
Several scraps of awesome paper (I used scrapbook paper from Halloween and vintage spelling pads)
Double stick tape
x-acto knife/scissors
flathead screwdriver, hammer, drill and mounting kit
Lots of awesome collectibles, tchotchkes and treasures.

I won’t lie, this is not a cheap endeavor because of all the magic that goes in it. A lot of it is years worth of collecting… and a drawer can run you anywhere from $40 and up, most of which I have seen in the $50-100 range depending where you get it.

This is what the drawer looked like before.

With the flathead, you want to dig up and remove all of the nails on the backing. It’s a pain in the ass but well worth it. Once all the nails are removed, you want to gently pry it apart. This is what it would look like.

If you got a particularly crusty antique on your hands, dust it off with a rag prior to continuing the project. Careful when handling it because the slots/partitions can come out/apart. My drawer had some slots that were very small, too many, so I pulled out some of the dividers to open up more space for larger items.

Set the frame aside and lay down the backing, front side up. This is the fun yet tedious part… take your papers and lay them across to map out where you would like to put them. The cool part is the back had the spaces kinda worn in so I could make better planning when it came to what papers I wanted where. Stick them down with double sided tape so you can reposition accordingly. You can glue if you want to but I didn’t in case I want to change the papers and the frame will hold them down anyway.

You with me up to this part? Cool. Pick up your frame and place over the backing just to see if everything is placed where you would like it, then remove once more. If you need to reposition and switch things up, now is the time.

Gently flip over your backing and cut off any trim or excess papers off the back and then reassemble the drawer.

I was lucky enough to get one that already had the mounting hardware on it. If yours doesn’t have some, some screws and picture frame wire would suffice. Mount on the wall! You will need to screw in some of the corners to the wall in order to keep it nicely anchored.

Then the fun part… fill with treasures and revel in the awesomenesss.

jumbalaya

And in typical disjointed fashion….

Yesterday I escaped for a couple of hours and headed north to Healdsburg to do some antique hunting. The downtown area is really cute… lots of shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and it doesn’t hurt Bear Republic Brewery is up there which of course turned into a growler fill for Josh. Not sure what it is about craft beer guys and women but you roll into a beer section area and all of a sudden everyone is SO HELPFUL. The best part is I don’t even drink beer. Yes, I am one of those girls.

Antique hunting is therapeutic and most of the time I don’t buy much but you never know if that ONE thing I have been looking for will pop up…. like the turquoise pyrex bowls I need to replace because Gomez broke 2 of them. In any event my headphones and music are the best company. I do take lots of photos, most of which end up on my Instagram. One of my favorite photos to take are the stacks and covers of vintage books, or texting Josh photos of the utterly bizarre – like this ridiculous acrylic toilet seat.

While sitting in an intersection yesterday, some guy was trying to get my attention by gawking and honking his car horn at me. It was quite comedic really. Picture yourself walking into an elevator where someone who just had eggs for breakfast, farted. Imagine the face you would make. That is the face I dished at this dude. I’m still cracking up just thinking about it. I never understood guys, the whole cat calling and being crude as a means to get your attention. That “hey baby” shit doesn’t work yo! I mean, maybe it works for some girls (the wrong kind) but I’m just not that easily swayed.


1. Cupcakes from Moustache in Healdsburg. That empty spot was supposed to be a red velvet and I get home… NOTHING. Travesty.
2. Reza and the giant Santa Rosa Hand
3. Still plugging away in my Q&A journal. Pick one up, you won’t regret it.

I was going through Pinterest today and I saw something that made me shudder. Confession time! I cannot stand the sight of french manicured toenails. Totally skeeves me out! I don’t know why but they really do.

After we took down the xmas tree, I decided to set up our extra desk in its place. Josh and I have been sharing one desk and for an artist/musician in one house, one desk just wasn’t cutting it. It was a nice surprise for him to come home to. Here’s something a lot of people don’t understand: It isn’t just being creative, if you don’t have a space that is even semi-conducive, the output will never come out. It’s a total case of dry vagina. Funny enough, since this change in set up, he has been working more on music/writing and I have been drawing more.

It’s almost the middle of January and realized that I haven’t send out one piece of snail mail. I guess Halloween and Xmas burned me out just a tap. Anyway, I need to break the seal with this and decided I am going to do so with a small MYSTERY PACKAGE GIVEAWAY. What is in it? Well, I guess you will have to enter and find out what it is. How do you get in on it? Comment to this post with “MPG”. Drawing at the end of the week and I will gather together some goodies from my personal stash, art, goodies, treats, my favorite things… it depends. You have until Friday. Yes, this is a DL giveaway cause it’s for people who actually pay attention and yes, I will share the contents once it has been sent out.

Speaking of holidays! Valentine’s Day is on the horizon and I want to send out custom valentines to make up for my xmas card debacle. I know people hate on VDAY and love to spew all kinds of “hallmark holiday” haterade. Whatevs. Haters to the left, I love it and it has nothing to do with “having someone”.

Last night Josh and I were laying in bed when I brought up the fact that this May will be our 10 year wedding anniversary. It’s a trip cause I never imagined this is where my life would be. We’ve been together almost 13 years and it hasn’t felt that long. This is what it is like when you’re perfectly happy with who you chose to spend your life with. Woot!

And just like that, time to head out to pick up the man from work. May I not almost get in a car accident like I did earlier today when I almost got swiped by some oblivious woman. Some chicks really need to not have licenses. Lord.

her

I was kinda having “a moment” yesterday and decided to check out and catch a movie by myself. I don’t mind going to the movies by myself even though it’s nicer to go with someone so you can talk about it. In any event, I usually hate movies on Saturday nights cause they are always full of dicks and I hate paying to see a movie when all I am going to do is be aggravated by inconsiderate people yakking or playing with their phones. I took a risk considering Santa Rosa isn’t huge and I went to see an indie type film, aka less people.

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I saw the new Spike Jonze movie “Her”. I hate to make comparisons but the aesthetic, color palette and art direction was very reminiscent of Lost In Translation which is funny considering it was directed by his now ex-wife. I won’t get into the story line much but it was a touching film in many aspects, emotional, kooky, funny and awkward in spots, incredibly verbal and the message undertone resonated with me.

I should go to the movies more often, even if by myself.

This is the hard part. With 2 cross country moves under our belts and both to new places, I find myself in this space where I really don’t have friends. I mean, I do, but none within immediate proximity. The days of calling up my homies and doing some last minute chicanery are long gone. I won’t lie, it’s upsetting when you are no longer a part of someone else’s world. Out of sight out of mind if you will. I can’t spend my time trying to change situations and relationships when they’re taking their natural course.

It reminds me of the time I almost drowned in the ocean when I was a child. You feel the current taking you under and eventually something in you can no longer fight and you let it take you down. There comes a time where you just need to let the natural course of things take you, even if it isn’t where you want it to go. Such are relationships. You can only try so much but if you’re not being met with reciprocation of effort, there comes a time where you need to cut the strings.

Funny enough, I made this piece earlier this week.

Almost autobiographical and totally unintended. The hands I have been using are referenced from photos I take of my own. I have been pouring myself into my newest sketchbook, trying to draw daily. “Trying” being the operative word. It has been nice to have something sequential and consistent though. Most of it will be shared on my flickr account/Instagram, so if you are inclined to keep up with it, you can do so here.

In any event, this post was supposed to be about a film and somehow went in another direction. I am cool with that. That’s the beauty of a film vs a movie…. they leave you with something more than just being entertained.

“Her” is one of those.

******
Photo from “Her” by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture – © 2013 – Untitled Rick Howard Company LLC

the fart by the window

So the new year is here and one of the many things I have seen going around on people’s Goal List is “spend less time on Facebook”. It’s true, we catch ourselves endlessly scrolling in the evil vortex of doom and all it is doing is pissing us off and sucking up your time. Meanwhile your laundry has piled up, you’re arguing with someone over politics and ultimately what is fun is no longer fun. YET THERE WE ARE. It’s hard! I know cause I have tried and failed miserably.

One thing I have noticed, at least in my own personal experience, is that I am seeing a lot of the same, a lot that bothers/pisses me off/is irritating or lot of things I really don’t care about….

Examples?
Articles from Fox News
Posts from George Takei and you aren’t George Takei (let’s face it, everyone is his “friend”)
Political topics and conspiracy theories I do not wish to engage in
Check Ins, apps, games.

You catch my drift.

Why am I spending so much time getting annoyed at something that is meant to be social, fun and entertaining?! I like networking, I like keeping up with friends, shit, I like making new friends! I have met some great people because of fb. I am not alone here. But in a day and age where it has almost become a necessary evil, how do you make it tolerable or even enjoyable? I have devised a plan and somehow it is actually working for me. I figured I would share.

MY GUIDE TO MAKING FACEBOOK FUN AGAIN

The FAQ on that site can be lame, unhelpful or confusing. I am going to make this nice and simple.

1. Get rid of the ads.
Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 7.50.32 PM For those of you on the desktop version, you are bombarded with a bunch of crap you don’t want to look at. Many months ago I installed AD BLOCK and let me tell you, it is a godsend. No more pesky ads to places you don’t shop, weight loss bullshit, you name it. Do it! You won’t regret it. It is available for many browser versions.


2. The Art Of Unfollowing
This comes in multiple parts…

While in your feed, say you see a post from a person you don’t like, hover on the top right corner (under the line) and you will get a drop down menu that looks like this

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 7.47.58 PM

– You can hide just that post
– You can unfollow that particular person
– You can hide EVERYTHING that is being shared from that particular website they shared from.

That last one is a nifty option. You will never see a post from website X again, unless you go there.

3. It’s Not You, It’s Me

There comes a time where your friend or relative starts posting a bunch of malarkey, to the point where you really don’t want to see anything from them anymore. IT’S OK! Don’t feel bad if you do. We aren’t all the same, we differ in opinions so much and there is nothing wrong with closing the door to something that is only going to upset or offend you. It doesn’t mean you have to write your Aunt Jane out of the will, you just don’t want to see the stuff she posts. Again, IT’S OK.

This is the tough one for people cause they feel bad that they put you on the hide list. Look, don’t feel bad about it! You’re not removing them all together (unless you want to *snicker*), you are just removing them from the daily and sometimes multiple times a day invasion. Besides, if your friends, family or acquaintances base their relationship on whether you read their Facebook feeds then you got to wonder if hiding them was actually a good thing.

So here you go…

If you can’t do it like I explained in #1, go to their page and you will see this…

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 7.49.19 PM

Click on “following” and it will change to “follow”. AKA you will no longer see their posts in your feed. No, it’s not going to send them an email telling them either. (This is the best option for those of you on your phones)

All of this sounds horrible doesn’t it? See it this way… your feed is an open window and every time someone farts, smokes or coughs near your window, that business is coming IN YOUR HOUSE. As much as you don’t want to admit it, the things we subject ourselves to online trickle into your headspace and not everyone has the capacity to just let it roll off their back. I know I don’t.

Trust me, you will feel liberated and after a while you don’t even think about it anymore. You can still check in on your people from time to time but you get to do it on your terms. Try it.

I know this because I recently went on a massive hiding/unfollowing spree. Why? Because my house smelled like fart and I wanted it to change. So now all I see is art, friends who don’t post a bunch of shit, music, musicians, people who inspire me, websites I subscribe to and enjoy reading. That’s it! And guess what? It works. My use of Facebook has decreased, I am not on there so much cause my feeds are significantly shorter and I am subjecting myself to something that can be fun, useful and it’s on MY terms. Bonus: more time to do shit I should actually be doing… like art and folding the ignored mountains of laundry.

Pretty cool place to be, yo.

December: the photo edition

In true slacker form, I am sharing some December photos in January. AWESOME.

First off, I couldn’t be more stoked for our yearly ornament acquisition in the form of mariachi calavera. I am even more excited to be back in the land of World Market.

Then there were one a many nerdy gifts on xmas morning.

Oh yeah, and Santa came *wink*

Gomez conquered the mountain of holiday carnage!

Three days later was Josh’s birthday. I surprised him in the form of Spencer! We went to the Haight…

and then to Ameoba! Josh scored some Cure vinyl and a David Bowie poster for Reza’s room.

Then we headed to The Tonga Room where he was surprised with even more friends, dangerous tiki drinks and one a many happy faces! Much fun was had and he was totally BAMBOOZLED by all the surprises I had planned for him!.

Me? Well, behind the camera as usual and I have been sick since xmas day so I am not in the “self portrait” kinda mood. You get my fingernail.

The end.

the little things…

Happy 2014 friends! I know a lot of people come into the new year with high hopes that it will only be better than its predecessor. Some will come into it with clear intention, some not so much… so I made a list that could help kick start your thought process!

  • Learn how to do something new. Hobbies, recipes, languages, you get the picture. We are creatures of comfort, break out of that mold.
  • Have some free time? Volunteer it! Be it with critters, people, helping a non-profit.
  • If your health permits, sign up to be a marrow donor with Be The Match or donate some blood. Life is a gift! As a recipient of a life saving transfusion, I thank you in advance.
  • Tell people you love them ALL THE TIME. We may know, but it’s also nice to be reminded.
  • All those people on Facebook who do nothing but piss you off or irritate you? Hide or remove them even! Seriously. We all have differences of opinions and not everyone is going to jive with you. IT’S OK. Your reading their feed does not equate friendship or love.
  • Unsubscribe from websites and mailing lists you no longer or rarely patronize. It’s a pain in the ass at times but think of all the bombardment you will be avoiding!
  • Do not underestimate the power of a candlelit bath, in silence or with your preferred music of choice.
  • Snail mail! I cannot stress this one enough… That note or postcard you send means a lot more than your e-mail, text or Facebook wall birthday post.
  • Do something for someone who cannot repay you. Revel in the magic that is giving without receiving.
  • Carry a pocket sized journal on you, write down the good you experienced that day. Go back and read it when you are having a bad day.
  • Speak the truth. The only person you fool is yourself and lying is toxic… no one likes that business.
  • Don’t wait anymore. You may never get that chance again. Use this rule wherever it applies best.
  • Revel in nature. Hike, climb, skip stones on ponds, collect rocks and leaves. The outdoors is the best therapy you can get… and it’s FREE.
  • Get a library card. You would be so surprised how many people don’t have one! Make it a habit to go and check out some books, real ones, none of this kindle bullshit.
  • Avoid the comments sections to news articles online. Let’s face it, they’re always full of trolls, stupid and ignorant people. Spare yourself the rise in blood pressure. Arguing with strangers on the internet is about as useful as giving a fish a bicycle for xmas.
  • Put more value in your health. Not everyone may be as lucky and they would probably kill to have the health you complain about.
  • Listen to music on your headphones while errand running & grocery shopping. The grocery store is a whole new place when you are blasting some Prince or Cameo in your ears. Word up.
  • Humility, humility, humility. It’s great to like “you”, like what you do, but don’t be a dick about it.
  • Pay attention to those who love you, forgive those who have hurt you, remove those who do not serve or benefit your existence.
  • Learn and master the art of saying NO. So many times we find ourselves living to please others, and at our own expense no less. It’s time to say yes to yourself. And don’t feel bad about it either!

Need more ideas? You can read last year’s list as well.

signaturesmlres