Friday, April 27, 2012

Today I probably shouldn't be blogging...

Blogging when you've had an exceptionally crappy day is kind of like drunk dialing.  It's really not a great idea and you probably should just not do it.

I'm just way out of sorts.

I don't know what this blog is suppose to be anymore.  I love all the design and decor stuff and it's so popular (all things being relative - I realize some people have 100,000 + visitors to their blog a month, I'm just getting up around the 8,000 mark...but still) and I really do love having a place where I can explore that part of my personality - the part that is really interested in decor, and art, and photography.  I just like pretty things.  I'm like a little kid that way.  I like the shiny stuff.

A long time ago I blogged more about my life, about disappointments or things I was doing, sometimes about my kids - milestones, etc.  Sometimes I even wrote more artistic or literary styled posts.  And the thing is I always really loved writing.  When I was a really little girl I sent away from the back of a magazine for one of the ads where you sent in a writing sample?  Those things are total scams - it's like that thing where you draw bird in the turtleneck?  or whatever he's suppose to be - and then they tell you that you should totally come to art school?  But anyway - I did that and I got this packet in the mail inviting me to join their writing program. I was so excited.  I was 10.  I'm pretty sure they never even read that story.  I went and told my mom the exciting news.  She had to break it to me.  Which really sucked.

The thing is I have a lot to say.  I have really interesting stuff and terrible stuff and sad stuff and disappointing stuff - I have a lot of stuff in my life I could write about.

But I always kind of stop myself - I always hold back a little because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  I don't want to say things that make people uncomfortable.  I don't want to come off the wrong way.  In short, I worry way too much about what people think of me to REALLY be a writer.  If you're going to be a writer, you just have to go for it, and as of yet, I haven't quite figured out how to do that.

Today was terrible because it feels like my whole future is riding on things I can't control.  Or that I have very very little control of.  And I hate that feeling.  I hate  worrying about things like that.  And I hate that I'm not just naturally smarter.   I hate that this math and statistics stuff feels like it's going to be the end of me.  That just sounds so stupid.  If someone else was saying this I would tell them to just put on their big girl panties and shut up.

And I really want to write about all the things that have been happening in my life.  How sometimes my days vacillate between being totally hopeful and grateful for all these amazing things that I love and at other times I am just filled with abject fear and terror.  

I was driving home from Scottsdale tonight and just feeling super sad about so many things today that I just couldn't control.  And I just felt so tired.  Like every bone in my body is bruised.  And then I rolled open the sunroof, and I rolled down the window and the smells of Phoenix just hit me.  How it smells like cut grass and kind of swampy because we have so many canals and so much irrigation, and then an instant later it smelled like hickory wood from a restaurant stove, and then a slight perfume - and that air is just that temperature that you know if there is a temperature in heaven, that's what it will be.   And all the twinkling lights when I came up over the hill on Lincoln Drive heading back down into Phoenix again - towards home.  And for a minute, it seemed like somehow everything would be okay. 

That's really all.  Today just sucked and I probably shouldn't be blogging.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mad Men Jet Set House - Midcentury Dream House

So when I was catching up with all the Mad Men episodes I had missed over the years that I wasn't really watching it I came across a couple of episodes which for various reasons are my favorites.  One is Summer Man from last season, and the other is Jet Set.  There are a lot of reasons why I really like Jet Set.  Even though we've seen Don play hooky from work before, I don't think we've ever seen him do it with such reckless abandon.  We see this interesting juxtaposition of Don while he's hanging out with these wealthy bohemians and I loved that contrast.  But in addition to that (and other themes that episode explored) I LOVED the house where they filmed this episode.

It was quite simply maybe the most gorgeous example of mid century architecture I've seen.  At least in the sense that it is rather like a mid century dream house.  So I did a little sleuthing and it is a house known as the Frank Sinatra Estate, also know as the Fox Residence and also known as the Farralone estate.  It is currently on the market for $12 million dollars and is located in Chatsworth CA which is a suburb of LA.

Notable things about the house:  Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli were married there.  It was rented to Frank Sinatra for about a decade, during which time he sub-let the guest house to Marilyn Monroe (and the location where she allegedly hooked up with Jack Kennedy).

If you're inclined to buy it the owners say that it makes about $2 million a year in income earned as a filming location for tv, movies and commercials.  It's 10,000 sq. feet and has enough parking space for 200 cars.  It's located on the top of a hill away from the eyes of prying neighbors with a long gated driveway that curves up the hill to the house.

In short, it's totally dreamy.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Los Angeles Photo Essay

One of the great things about LA is there is such a diversity of neighborhoods and things to see & do.  I had a much needed quick trip this weekend, and it was a very nice short break!

The agenda included downtown LA, the fabric district, as well as what I could only call the fashion/accessories/plasticfantastic district(s), a little trip into Culver City, Manhattan Beach Pier, some yummy street food (possibly the best pico de gallo I've ever had on a hotdog), fantastic Indian Food, and delicious sushi, Pasadena Antiques (where I scored a cool find...more on that later), and Claremont/Scripps.  Enjoy my photo essay:

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I'm getting ready to head out of town tomorrow for a few days of much needed vacation.  It's badly needed and yet I still don't feel like I can possibly take the time to go.  That's when you know you really NEED a vacation - when you can't even figure out how to leave for less than 3 days.

I love travel and I love vacations, but in my life right now, I don't really get much of that sort of thing.  My dream vacations are always beachside with no schedule to keep.

Every once in a while I pretend I'm on vacation while I stare at my pool in the back yard.  It's not really the same.  Still, I like to think if I didn't live at my house, coming here and spending time in my back yard would FEEL like I was at a nice resort or something.  And that makes 24 hour study (which is all I do these days) a little more bearable while sitting by the pool.

Here are some beautiful pool photos to give you a little mental lift.  There is just something about a pool - not quite as good as the beach of course - but still, it does make one feel just a little more relaxed.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Understanding Murakami

So in reading a book called "7 days in the art world" I had a chance to learn a little more about Takashi Murakami.  Most people have seen his art work, even if they don't realize it.  He's a really interesting guy.  Even though much of his work seems almost like anime, it actually all started as social satire.  Much of his work is somewhat explicit and even, if you think about it for minute, disturbing.  Which is interesting considering most people look at it and think it's all just cute girls with blue hair and smiling orbs.  He uses ideas by artist like Jeff Koons, and then takes them in a slightly different direction.

He has this theory he calls "superflat", which basically means that elements of high and low culture have become virtually indistinguishable from one another.  He takes elements of things normally considered "low" art and incorporates them into things that become "high" art.  A good example of this is his design which is used for Louis Vuitton, you've probably all seen that ubiquitous LV with the bold colors on the white background.  That's Murakami.  It becomes and interesting statement.  You're paying a lot of money for something that is mass produced.  Yes, Louis Vuitton uses good materials, but you're paying for this really high end item and it literally looks kind of like someone slapped a bunch of bright colored letters on your purse.  And you want  those letters because you want everyone to know you spent a lot of money on a purse...a purse that looks like thousands of other purses exactly like yours all around the world...a purse that looks a bit like japanese animation.  Do you see how interesting this circle becomes?

He's part of a hugely financially successful machine and yet he's still "making a statement".  He's a very eccentric guy.  Sleeping on a mat and still working non stop, he's consumed by his art.

In 2010 there was a showing in the palace at versailles of his work.  The photos of his weirdly low/high art which look like exploding colorful characters being displayed in Versailles - which was known as the palace of conspicuous consumption of it's day - well, it's all very interesting.

How do you feel about the fact that some of his art work is the most expensive sculpture in the world - selling for upwards of 15 million dollars?

I love art.  But sometimes I think about what it all means - the way that art becomes valuable,  or doesn't as the case may be, and it's all very complicated.  Interesting, but also confusing.


I mean, did you really realize that Louis Vuitton print is like kind of maniacal frog-like eyes staring out at you?


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