Black Unicorn

A few exciting things in the works! I’m being flown out to Orange County for a portrait commission for a week (I feel so Tamara de Lempicka right now) and as a result, I will be in attendance for the group show “I Believe in Unicorns, Too” at WWA Gallery in Culver City on Saturday Feb. 16th 7-10pm.

Here is one of the paintings…

BlackUnicorn75

“Black Unicorn” 16×20″ oil on panel.

I’ll also be in a group show called “eyeCandy” at WWA Gallery in March with Aaron Jasinski,  Gustavo Rimada,  Edith Lebeau,  Brandi Read,  Robert Bowen, Charlie Immer,  Audrey Pongrancz, Jason Johns, and  Ken Keirns!

It’s been weird doing a portrait after not doing them for a while. I better get back into it before I fly to Los Angeles next month. Speaking of non-portraits, I only have one copy of my mini catalog left, so I made it available thru MagCloud.com, it includes a preview and all that snazzy stuff.

Finally, the Red Hot Chili Peppers Book!

One of my secret little side jobs that I’ve had for about 8 years or more, is transcribing interviews. While I seem to focus mostly on music, I’ve done it for fashion and design related projects too. Journalists and publishers find me, and I tackle this tedious aspect for them.

I was doing it for several writers at the LA Weekly, but my main squeeze was Brendan Mullen for both his oral history books (The Germs, Jane’s Addiction) and various articles. I tell you, working for Brendan made me a seasoned pro and very fast; you try transcribing interviews conducted by a Scotsman, using a cassette recorder, outside, with helicopters and garbage trucks going by! As hard as this could all be, I was so fortunate to hear interviews and interesting stories from everyone involved in the L.A. punk scene during the 80s. You could never say I was bored with any assignment, really.

The last project I had been working on for Brendan has finally come out! The Red Hot Chili Peppers book was incredibly interesting to hear, it was rounds of interviews. Friends, parents, producers, former dealers, and so on. Even if you never were crazy about the band, it is still an amazing story.

Brendan called me while I was in Boston on vacation asking for more help on another round of tapes he was sending me. He died of a stroke days later. The book was finished off by his partner Kateri, and this was not an easy undertaking. The thing I will miss the most is our phone conversations. They would go on for hours (which was typical for anyone talking to him) because we had similar ideas about so many things; I think I was one of the few women he knew who could gab as much as he could! There were times when he would visit my husband and I at our apartment in Hollywood, or we’d be at a party, and we’d blab on and on about music and politics for ages in a corner somewhere. I wish I had met him sooner than I did. He was a fixture in Los Angeles and always a character…


L.A. & OC Winter Vacation

I traveled back to SoCal for a bit while Knitgrrl had to teach some classes all around the area. Saw friends, went out, saw the folks, and caught a nasty flu along the way. I blame the smog! Next time we go off together, we’re hitting Joshua Tree and Vegas, so watch out!

We discovered that having a cane is a golden ticket to easy street in airports. Priority lines, no getting felt up, I got to ride the beep-beep cars everywhere, and extra legroom at no extra charge. Oh, and the first-class bathroom! These were small luxuries when sharing a plane with 5 small children; I swear none of their parents thought to change their diapers before or during the flight, I wished I had a cold because I thought the smell was going to kill me! This is why I drive everywhere I can manage.

We first stayed with my pal Susan in Westwood. Susan owns more Gerald Laing prints than I do!

She also still has these creepy big eyed pieces. I remember these were up around our dorm room at CalArts!

The theme of the trip was “driver, driver! What’s this on my hand?” and other Rachel Zoe references. Well hot damn, look who Susan lives down the street from!!!

After lunching, munching, a few trips for drinks and tacos, (and I kid you not we saw a woman INJURE HERSELF SHOPPING in Beverly Hills!) and eating French macaroons driving around to Depeche Mode, we decided it was time to go find David Lynch! I used to drive up in the hills ages ago looking for his house, and again, we had no success. But, I got some nice views up from Mulholland. David, where are you?

“you there!” to stinky downtown LA. Which I should say, my old street where I used to work has cleaned up a lot! There’s actually stores, and people aren’t peeing in front of you anymore! Anyways. We had to jam it to Burbank, so we went shopping at It’s A Wrap (the Ugly Betty cast offs were way ugly indeed!) and visited the vintage store where the Mad Men costumer gets all her clothes for the show. The lady talked Shannon into buying a few brooches. I however, was a good girl and bought nothing.

It was time for the book signing Shannon was doing at Unwind in Burbank. It was packed! There was actually a guest list just so they wouldn’t get over capacity! They also brought out a cake for Shannon’s birthday, nice huh?

While Shannon was busy doing knitty things, I met up with my friend Donna from Clockwork Couture, and we went to a faux dive hipster bar for vegan bratwurst. Yes, faux dive in Burbank! I always laugh at these kind of places, because they look like every bar in the rust belt! Except our Blatz light fixtures are real and weren’t bought on Ebay, baby! The brats were good though!

oh you guys.

So figuring Shannon would dig on the animatronic woodland creatures, we headed to the place where I spent every Tuesday and Wednesday night of my life for 2+ years: The Bigfoot Lodge. It has since gotten fancier bathrooms and a better floor, but beyond that? The same old place.

The DJ booth my husband and I spent many a night.

I wanted to take Shannon to see the Thai Elvis for her birthday, but alas he was no more…or the restaurant wasn’t, or he just didn’t feel like showing up. Whatever the case, the next best thing? My old favorite Thai place across the street, with a picture of Elvis on the wall. Good enough I say!

I was actually really upset to see a lot of old landmarks and places that were no more. Mo’ Better Meaty Meat Burgers down where I lived on Pico is now a Walgreens. The French Cottage Motel (where many crack whores hung out) that was in front of my old pad in Hollywood is now leveled. The neon sign should have been kept at a historical monument! But in LA, nothing gets kept and all is torn down. Well, except anything having to do with…

The Church of Churchology! Erm, Scientology. They weren’t too happy about us taking photos. This was a hospital at one time, but now, it’s just creepy.

So it was at this point that finding Crispin Glover’s house became important. We can’t have David Lynch? Well, as Donna informed me, Crispin was not at home (touring with his films, rather) so why not settle for him? OK! And no, I’m not a creepy stalker, I’M NOT. I’m sure his security system got some interesting footage of me rubbing myself all over the flowers outside his home. What?

At least I didn’t go poking to see what kind of cars he had under the tarps in the front yard. Because I could have!

Well, now we had an appointment in downtown to go find fabric. I think this chair would look great in Crispin’s house…or my house with Crispin…when he becomes my second husband — you know — if anything were to happen to my current husband. Just saying. What?

It’s fabulous, I’ll take it all!

Turn your truck around and gimmeh a taco! I love these hand painted signs.

My favorite cake shop in my old neighborhood. I see Cher is still there…

As well as the cake I wanted for my 23rd birthday, but we settled for booze at the Kibitz Room instead. I still wouldn’t mind a boobie cake. Just sayin’

That evening we went to La Luz de Jesus for a quick stop into to see the 4-person show that was up. Wish I could have stayed longer, but my leg was acting up and the pain was a bit much at that point. A man kept daring me to use my cane to lift the hat off the taxidermy.

We had a mini CalArts reunion at Good Luck Bar on the schedule, wish I had gotten more photos of people, but here’s one.

Crazy that we graduated 10 years ago. The best were current and former students of my friend Helder being super drunk and their minds being blown at seeing him outside of school…at a bar. “I’ve know Helder since I was 18, and I’m 21 now, THAT’S CRAZY!” to which his girlfriend replied, “yes, we’ve known him since we were 17 and are in our 30s now”. Dude, her brain got broke at that point — it was amazing. Also, things you find out after years of not seeing people? That your college boyfriend became a porno actor and escort! I wish I was making it up, I really do. But supposedly he’s not doing that anymore. I can only hope.

The next day I sat in on the Social Media class Shannon was conducting for TNNA at the Long Beach Convention Center. We actually got lost in the shipyards on the way there, it looked like Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and I was hoping Tina Turner with those awesome earrings was going to pop out from being a shipping container. Alas she did not.

TNNA is a huge thing, I had no idea. It’s like a “thing” and a whole industry.

Speaking of social media, I went to a Social Media Club meet-up in San Juan Capistrano. Yeah Cleveland, we need to have ours at locations like this more often, just sayin’

Here’s Maria Brophy talking about arty farty things and how to utilize social media for all things arty farty.

Darin here proves that you can’t throw a stone in the air without hitting one anywhere in SoCal…

Casa Dana in Dana Point, aka the homestead. Despite it being 58 degrees versus 22 in Cleveland, I got my California blood back and was actually cold!

Speaking of Rachel Zoe. This was my best “raisen face” I could muster.

One of the things I forget about being in a surf town is that everything is EXTREME. Even the tacos.

Here’s a new David Miretsky my mom got. I discovered when I got home I had one waiting for me as well.

This is the big one bought the year I was born. It always scared my friends in school when they came over. “Why is the man eating himself?!” they’d ask.

This Soudekin I grew up with too (I used to stare at it constantly), but it was falling apart badly. After a year or more, it finally is back at home and repaired by a pro. Although I have to say, I hate the frame!

One of the creatures in the house. I think my mom was a tad upset Shannon claimed him for the weekend.

The poodle who flops.

File this under “goths in hot weather” because we both have canes! Albiet mine is the TSA approved one for when I travel. Andrea and I used to hit the goth clubs back in high school!

So aside for all of that, I tortured my mom and step dad with this video and this video. They wanted to understand the Crispin Glover thing. It’s a thing okay, I like his nose. This is the good part about visiting a place and no longer being a resident: doing stupid and wasteful things because you have the luxury of time to do them! Because I tell ‘ya, LA traffic has gotten worse and I look forward to never having to drive it when I have to be somewhere on time! Cruising along to First Wave and eating French macaroons is a better way of doing things.

RIP Brendan Mullen

After returning from Boston I came to find out my friend and occasional boss, Brendan Mullen, had died. He had just emailed me while I was away, so to find he was gone the next day from a stroke has been surreal. I’m also getting really tired of my friends dying the past few years!

You can read more about Brendan and his contributions in both the Los Angeles punk scene and his writing here and here.

For about 8 years I have been doing transcribing work from Brendan for his articles appearing in the LA Weekly and various magazines, my husband and I also helped with the book Whores: An Oral Biography of Perry Farrell and Jane’s Addiction. Brendan and I had been working on the forthcoming Red Hot Chili Peppers oral history/photo book, the 1st draft complete, but more interviews had been done since and I was about to begin work on those. The amount of interviews and work put into it is astounding, I’m unsure of the fate of the book, but there is enough for it to be released eventually; it was almost finished other than perhaps the gathering of photos and layout. As tedious as all these assignments could be, they were also fascinating for an old punk like me, and I’m grateful I was able to be a part of them and to work with Brendan. He, much like myself, had the gift of gab and was always fun to have at parties or bump into. There wasn’t a thing about music — it seemed — that he didn’t know and I will miss our phone conversations that used to go on for hours sometimes.

RIP Mr. Mullen.

Forgotten Saints in Hollywood

Art Core presents "Forgotten Saints" a group show Saints that never were but should have been.
@ The Congregation of the Forgotten Saints 7569 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles Ca. 90046

Attendees at February 13ths black carpet opening reception can expect
the same over the top extravagance and attention to detail seen at the
Metal show reception. "Saints" will be set amongst a backdrop fitting
to the theme. Installations will include themed murals, a new archway
welcoming the participants into the world of "Preachers and fools", an
altar (set with hand carved statues, candles and flowers), an
interactive "Confessional" and special "Holy water" to quench your
thirst after an evening spent confessing your sins to a truly unique
group of unholy martyrs.
Art Core's last event at The Congregation
of Forgotten Saints saw over 900 art fans cross its threshold, so
showing up early is recommended. There will be plenty of street parking after 8pm. Make sure you wear your Sunday best, all attendees will be photographed on the Black Carpet upon arrival

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Back from California

I spent about 8 days in Dana Point and Los Angeles for an extended Thanksgiving trip. It was fun getting to be a sort of tourist in my own city as it were. However, I never want to go back there for that long again! As much as it is nice by the beach and getting around to certain shops and museums, I was glad I didn’t live there anymore. As I drove around all I could think was, “I never want to die here”. As ugly as Cleveland can be at times, L.A. and Orange County can be just as ugly, but in a different way. I had so much friggin’ fun with my friends who I haven’t seen in ages, but that can never mask the uneasiness and stress I feel anytime I set foot anywhere in SoCal. I always feel manic energy spewing from the basin, and my pulse rate goes down once I get to the desert or further north. Anyhow, it was a long trip for me, and even though I skipped going to some old haunts, here’s what I remember:

– Giving a neck massage to a large goat at a petting zoo. Because all animals deserve a break I think.
– A small boy falling into a swimming pool, me fishing him out in a panic, only to have him say, “that was awesome!”
– Getting lost downtown with my friend trying to find a party, “I feel like it is 1990 and I’m trying to find a rave”
– A mod dance party on the set where they film CSI Miami laboratory scenes.
– My friend getting bitched out for daring to play Led Zeppelin at the dance party.
– Lots of Tecate
– Spray painted pictures of Che everywhere, which turn out to be pictures of Stallone for the new Rambo movie.
– A $100 gallon of KY Jelly at the Westwood CVS, with full hand-pump included.
– Loads of art shows in Culver City, Laguna Beach and Beverly Hills
– A rather famous artist sending dirty — therefore hilarious — emails to my friend.
– Shuffleboard
– Dancing in a parking lot
– Getting lost in Beverly Hills, “I’m in front of Michael Kors, what street is that, where am I?”
– A stripper pole in someone’s dining room.
– Riding around in the back of a Rolls Royce for an afternoon to various museums.
– The Murakami exhibit, which was so out of control and such overload that I couldn’t even sleep that night.
– Watching the rough edit of Snoop Dogg’s new reality show to give a critique on it.
– The “Salvation” sign at the Silverlake Lounge, it had been so long since last I saw it.
– Drinking more Starbucks than ever in my life.
– Getting stuck on the 405 for two and a half hours (it wouldn’t be a trip to L.A. without that)

I forgot my camera on this trip, but it isn’t like people don’t see pictures of SoCal cities and art shows all the time anyways. But yes, that was what I’ve been up to.