Archive for June, 2010

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Steam Punk, Vampires, and a Little Rat Dog

June 23, 2010

Familiar with Steam Punk? If not, it’s lots of fun — the music, the outfits, the mindsets. If you care, my favorite band from that genre is Abney Park, (current) favorite song of theirs’ is “Victoria”  — so pretty, so poignant — it’s a like a little movie. Give it a listen.  For something more hardcore, listen to “The Wake.” And if you really want to hear something wild, check out their version of  “Little Drummer Boy”  — so very, very different, you’ll forget it’s a Christmas song.

Four pieces of Steam Punk jewelry I made last Spring, crafted from analog watch parts, a cannibalized typewriter, and tiny miscellaneous electronic bits:

If ever there was music to put you in the mood for a good vampire romance/soap opera/epic storyline, it’s Rasputina. They have some dark-mood inducing covers (“Transylvanian Concubine” and “Wish You Were Here,” for starters). Here’s a pic to help set a vampiric atmosphere:


How about something for bad dreams?

But, hey, let’s lighten things up a bit, because it is vacation time (!) after all:

This ratter is the star of his own series of video shorts — if you’re interested, watch them here.

Adios, amigos.  See you in a few weeks.

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Details Details Details

June 22, 2010

Tucson Botanical Gardens: You might be thinking, why go look at a bunch of brutal cacti in all this heat and dust? How about because the detail inherent in such things, in such places, is wonderful upon closer examination. Case in point, here are a few close-ups:

A saguaro:

Pavers beneath your feet:

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A silver cistern against a blue sky:

A psychedelic succulent:


In Vampire News (via TMZ, natch): Xander Harris gets probation for assaulting a cop last Spring! Maybe Willow worked her good-witch magik on the authorities. Maybe Xander should be banned from The Bronze for a while.

No Xanders Allowed.

Oh look, more party hats:

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One of Many. . .

June 18, 2010

. . . things to love about the Desert Southwest are the various old missions, some still functioning as churches (like San Xavier del Bac, aka The White Dove of the Desert),  but most existing as historical sites. San José de Tumacácori is a personal favorite, and a roadtrip there never fails to feel like we’ve been sucked back into a harsher, haunted time. You find it, miles from any big town, crouching in the heat and dust of southern Arizona like a giant, sun-drowsy lizard.  It’s been around a long, long time — since 1691 (!), when it was founded by Jesuit missionary Faher Kino. There’s always something a bit eerie about old churches, anyway. Inside, it’s very quiet and the air is cool — not hard to imagine you hear the echo of faint Gregorian chants.

Approaching the mission, it’s always a little surprising how small the structure is:

Inside, there are remnants of beauty,  now literally crumbling away:

Imagine what these details must have looked like when they were newly painted:

There is a small cemetery out back,  of course:

Tumacácori is a wonderful place to indulge in old-west-Gothic musings. (And I do.)

Hot husband under a shady ramada (yeah, that’s double entendre, people.) Doesn’t he look like he is going to bite you? Yikes! (= Yay!)

The cutest kid ever, taking a break in the shade.

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Summer Time Travels

June 16, 2010

Is it summer-time travels, or summer time-travels? Either way, ’tis the season to get up and go. Quoth Mr. Bowie: “Sometimes I feel / The need to move on / So I pack a bag / And move on. . .”  (Though that’s also played in my head when I just had to have a change of emotional scenery, if you catch my drift.) Travel back with me, chiddren, to the summer of 1983 (the Reagan years, for God’s sake!), when I had the good fortune to wander around Italy. Unfettered and free, as the saying goes.

Below is the real deal, Juliet’s balcony — seems so tiny for such a monolithic story.

I think the following picture was snapped in Milan, but I’m not sure (and I didn’t make notes). But the nuns, they look happy.

And a silly, simple poem for the wanderlust frothing in all of us.

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Itinerary

airships & dogsleds
wander freely around the world
cross all meridians
lands and seas
make perfect circles
pass through the antipodes
but always begin and end
at the same point

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Can’t leave a post without a pic of the Mostest Shaggy One, Now Shorn:

Is he thinking holy thoughts? Kinda doubt it.

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Jerome

June 15, 2010

Last December, we took a roadtrip to Jerome and Sedona — Jerome’ s an old mining town (established in 1883 on Cleopatra Hill — which has a 30 degree incline!). We stayed at the Connor Hotel, in a room right over their rowdy bar. The town has several wineries — we did a tasting at the Jerome Winery(delightful patio with amazing views).

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at the canyon’s edge
a gathering of stars
pulled down by the lavish
dream of gravity

(excerpt from my longer poem, “Planetary,” that suits Arizona roadtrips)

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Took a daytrip on the Verde Canyon Railroad, where you can actually see bald eagles, nesting and soaring. But beware if you’re a little doggie:

What would a trip to an old mining town in Arizona be without ghosts and eerie things? Boring, that’s what. Look what we found:

Guess this car will never grow up to be a highway diner. Also found some great, creepy old doors — portals to the local Hellmouth, or just to forgotten places? Will post those another day.

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Graceful, Amusing, Unsettling

June 13, 2010

A gourd vine clinging and climbing up the wall; the unintentional hilarity of kids’ art at the local library branch; an afternoon visit from the watermelon man — all things graceful, amusing, unsettling.

This fellow has been wandering around our wall; baby gourds are finally beginning to sprout. There’s definitely a beautiful slow dance going on here, as with all vines.

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Kids’ art in the meeting room of our local library branch: zombie cowboys. Not so, you say? More like cowboy witches? Oh, as if.

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These zombie/cowboy/witches inspired my horrorku (an actual genre — I did not make it up):

open field of wildflowers
zombies thrash and flail
famished buzzard blinks

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Afternoon visit from the Watermelon Man. He comes, he sits, we chat. Then he eats his own head. Zombie!

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MMMmmmm. Sweet juicy red stuff! I’ve almost finished reading Dawn of the Dreadfuls. It’s very funny, and sometimes gruesome, a combination I find deeeelightful. Hope they make a movie out of it.

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Finally Summer!

June 9, 2010

Temps here are now hovering around 103; time for some cool stuff.

From a roadtrip:

From summer camp:

From our backyard:

And an old poem, written while living in southern Ontario, when the AC broke down:

The Failure of Central Air-Conditioning

an evening breeze comes at last
carried in on the slim shoulder
of crickets       serenading us

with lullabies to forget
how to hate the summer’s heat

with lullabies to embrace
the languid season’s delicious warmth

so that our seams will loosen
hours later     our pods split and we uncurl
slender-green and growing

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(It was not nearly as hot up there as it is in southern Arizona, but holy mole, it was humid.  Hawaii, too,  is hot and humid, but with a delicioso island breeze. And better scenery.)