Happy Spring Eqinox, or that time when there is equality between day and night or light and darkness if you prefer. That and bring on the fertility.
I’m not feeling that balance being in the end stages of climbing out of a technology fail. I learned my lesson a number of years ago and a dead hard drive does not mean now what it did then. Backing up makes a difference, really. As I was on a quest I opted to upgrade software in particular going from CS2 to CS5. There’s an intricate learning curve and I’ve got some ‘light’ reading and experimentation to do. I’m involved in workshopping images at the end of this month and it would be my preference not to feel internally like an unadulterated fool or let’s face it appear like one.
Now that images have been retrieved it’s time to mention that the house I rented in Palm Springs backed up to the abandoned Palm Springs Country Club. No, this information was not mentioned as one of the ‘highlights’ on the website. In the 1950′s this oasis in the desert was marketed as the place to be, hosting movie stars and presidents. While the property was in foreclosure a number of years ago the owner died leaving extensive debt so it has just sat.
Visually I found it captivating in a plaid short cultivated Armageddon fashion.
Golf courses have changed the climate of the desert. I read that Coachella Vally has sunk a foot in the past ten years in relation to ground water use for irrigation. Another apparent fact is that a golf course uses as much water in a day as the average (whatever that is) American family uses in four years. Can you tell I’m not a golfer?
The website ’20 x 200′ offers in their own words “great artists, affordable prices, new prints every week” and sometimes that’s the truth in the context of individually being drawn to a piece. One cup of coffee into my Saturday morning and something about this photograph speaks to me. ”Food Sign” by the photographer Bryan Schutmaat can be yours or mine 11″ x 14″ for $60.00. That’s not paying his mortgage but I think it’s a steal for a piece of work that one might even love. ’20 x 200′ can be found at http://20×200.com and, happy hunting.
We’ve returned from our Winter Break in the desert, Palm Springs to be explicit. There are words and images in the works related to said adventure. But on this Wednesday evening when the only motivation for my son to appear on a semi daily basis at school is the loss of the what appears to be extremely addictive WOW, LOL and the more social Magic the Gathering and my anticipation of dental surgery in the morning which is really about not being able to have coffee in the iv it felt point on to play around with the format of this blog. The changes are truly minor but daunting when you want to avoid the majority of what one should be focused on. I’m not sure I like the links appearing way on down, a bit further now, on the page. The multiple fonts, now that’s a plus. I leave you with the look, but pleasantly not the sounds of Lawrence Welk.
Marin’s newspaper, the Independent Journal recently had an article written by Master Gardener Marie Narlock on the topic of the myths that we might be buying into regarding our gardens. It’s a good read. Click on the lawn image and you will be transported to the article.
Image shot by John Mutrux
When it comes to beauty in the garden it’s truly all about the garden and not the gardener. Especially after attempting to move five yards of topsoil before the last rain, at least that’s the story a ‘friend’ told me. Maybe it’s the memories of Glamour ‘do’s and don’ts’ or the popular definition of crazy which would be doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. I’m not sure what drives the desire but I do know that I’ve always wondered who got the job of naming all those lipsticks and nail polishes. On that note my tip for the day is dark polish on a short nail. I’m partial to greens, browns, red in December and purples. Recently I’ve also been drawn towards the turquoise blue that appears to be the color du jour but the purchase has not been made. My current favorite polish is Essie’s ‘Smokin’ Hot’ a Paynes grey purple. The bliss of a dark color is that it always hides the dirt that lingers under one’s nails. This works for the staining that happens during the grape sorting portion of wine harvest as well.
Essie's 'Smokin' Hot' Nail Lacquer
If I were in charge and yes I often picture life that way even though more often that’s not the case I would have chosen ‘Helleborus’ as the name. ‘Smokin’ Hot’ is a bit tired. As these blooms age (this one is showing a bit pink) there is more of a smoky purple tint.
While I don’t think it’s an auspicious start that any of us can now be detained as a potential terrorist, thankfully when it comes to the garden things are both more and less complicated. At least it’s a context that’s familiar and generally not threatening. This year I hope to reach the bottom of one of my compost piles, hunt down those deep crabgrass roots once and for all (yeah, right), grow a few more edibles, revive my broken and wonky drip system, and catch some rainwater if it ever rains. That and more travel to view the efforts of others. Whatever the state or size, may your garden reach its own perfect equilibrium of imperfection in the coming year.
What's in bloom January 1, 2011
Lucky Peach Issue #2
Wandering Kinokuniya bookstore in theory shopping for others (tis the season) I discovered ‘Lucky Peach’ a quarterly food and writing publication. Attractively matte, this could be pretentious second issue is a McSweeney’s collaboration with chef David Chang (yes of Momofuko fame), writer Peter Meehan and the production company responsible for ‘Anthony Bourdain:No Reservations’. I know this now thanks to Google the verb.
My reaction has been one of infatuation. Based on the $58.00 asking price for copies of Issue #1 listed on Amazon I’m not alone. A subscription costs $28.00 and yes, I’m going to. Quirky, arty, high and low food culture, food photography, recipes, commentary, and travel all with a hearty helping of humor makes for a good read, one to keep out of the recycling for the time being. My of the moment favorite portion of the current issue is a page of artist designed ‘fruit stickers’ just waiting to be used. I both want to hoard and share them. Easing into the sharing thing with a visual or two, keeping the sticker for the time being.
For more about ‘Lucky Peach’ here’s a link to an article from The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/06/2011s-best-new-food-magazine-david-changs-lucky-peach/240804/
Happy Thanksgiving, Turkey Day, Indigenous People’s Day however you may like to refer to it may the day be filled with warmth, good company, painless travel and cheer.
And, much as I’m attached to words,
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
John F. Kennedy
Amidst being haunted by the images filtering out of U.C. Davis this week another set of visuals impacted what for some is an iconic (the reporter’s choice of word) breakfast item. When I think iconic breakfast, dishes like eggs benedict, joe’s scramble, or french toast come to mind. Don’t forget the side of bacon. However, what has been newsworthy is the Egg McMuffin pictured below in all of its fineness.
The Egg, or in this case Egg and Sausage McMuffin has been flooded with attention because of a video capturing the conditions of the factory farm that supplies McDonald’s with their eggs. These conditions are nothing like the sunlit mythical old timey farm portrayed in their commercials. Footage which is as unappetizing as it gets was filmed with a hidden camera at one of our largest national egg producers. You can get a glimpse of it here at this link, 20/20 Sparboe Farms. What’s intriguing is that both McDonald’s and Target (another retailer supplied by Sparboe) have dropped the supplier and in the case of Target pulled the eggs from their ‘grocery’ section. Given the volume of eggs needed probably another ‘farm’ where the chickens never see daylight is in the works, but hopefully one where some basic standards are met. Or, you can just skip that Egg McMuffin.
Glancing at the date of my last post explains the interior resistance when it comes to putting word to screen. Let me be the first to welcome myself back to the world of the writing. Being the cool kids that you are I know it’s not news that creating or owning a terrarium is where it’s at. If you’re in Portland, Oregon sign up for one of Artemisia’s workshops or just descend on the S.E. shop. This popular retail venture is exclusively about terrarium varietals. If you’re not so close to the Pacific Northwest order up a kit or even trust your own instincts with a decadent array of supplies, decorative and live. If just in the research stage you might want to check out this book.
There’s also no reason to leave the sofa if that’s more your style. Rowanberry 128 on Etsy has this deer and mushroom delight.
That said, something crossed my consciousness that will appeal both to those who like to garden in a small tight space (terrarium) with perhaps a master of the universe mindset and whom also might have a small technology addiction. Hello to the Samuel Wilkinson designed Biome Flora Terrarium. Get this, the delicate balance of this petite eco-system is monitored, controlled even by your iPhone or IPad. The designer refers to this as a “live Tamagochi” whose environment can be anything from tropical to desert. This piece was part of a ‘Slow Tech’ show so no details on production or retail that I’m aware of.