Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Most of us who carry on an online existence are aware of Internet pitfalls in the form of hacking, spamming, snarking and stalking, but have we really contemplated the impact of our tech empowered words?

It amazes the heck out of me how fast information travels these days with the aid of the Internet and social networks. Combine the Internet with television, radio, and attached at the nip cell phones, and by golly, the power of communication is overwhelming. The Internet exhibits lawlessness rivaled only by the wild, Wild West with its "anything goes" society and culture.

After reading today's deluge of articles about republican congressman Joe Wilson's grand misstep last night during President O'bama's congressional healthcare address, it really hit home just how potent the Internet and social networking has become.

I'm continually fascinated by the basic power that web sites such as Facebook, Myspace and Blogger wield... but sites such as iReport and Twitter have really stepped up the sharing process to a whole new level; a level yet to be completely realized. The sheer speed of response parlayed straightaway over Wilson's heckled "You lie!" is astounding. It's disturbing that 2 words can immediately make someone an Internet sensation. Come morning, one never knows what you’ll wake up to online after a few Z’s.

Not to defend Wilson's rude and disrespectful outburst, but its serious when user generated web sites such as Wikipedia are forced to restrict the defamatory remarks posted about him. Justified or not, it's scary when sites like can be quickly constructed and open for business with the sole purpose of poking fun at Joe Wilson's expense… Or conversely, on the heels of his apology to President O'bama, Joe Wilson's speedy solicitation of cash to fend off attacks from political opponents on his web page today, geared toward those who are now holding him up as some kind of folk hero. And what about the efficiency of the Democratic Party and the 2010 democratic contender for Joe Wilson's job, raking in overnight, hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions, no doubt accomplished through Internet means?

Now that's power... power at every persons fingertips... power of communication and condemnation... power to influence, to shape opinions and to excite the masses... power that plays on emotions and emotional reactions... power that is pretty much unchecked. Power that signifies just how easy people can be stirred up, much like lighting a fuse to a powder keg that ignites a wild fire.

We don't really know what's to become of all this instant sharing we do. Seems to me that it's not too far of a stretch for any emotional online frenzy to jump track and be taken to the streets.

Brings to mind just how responsible we all need to be with what we post online and how unqualified most of us are to sport such freedom of speech. It's not just about relaying the truth and being heard. It's about looking at the big picture, and keeping in mind the strength of our words and what they might instigate and generate.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

TP Roll Sculptures

Since childhood, Haiti-born French artist Junior Fritz Jacquet has been fascinated by paper. He explores and experiments with different techniques to fold and crumple, creating new forms and poetic objects that decorate his life.

Talk about art from scrap... I don't think I'll ever look at an empty toilet paper roll the same way again. :) Take a gander...

Chocolate Heaven

If you are a chocolate lover, this is the absolute best chocolate cookie EVER… promise. They can be described as a brownie on the outside and a chocolate truffle on the inside. Rich to be sure, but why bother with anything less than pure confectionery decadence?

Chocolate Truffle Cookies


4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
6 tbsp. butter
2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


Heat oven to 250 degrees.

Chop unsweetened chocolate and cut butter into pieces. Place the chopped unsweetened chocolate, cut butter and 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips in an oven safe, preferably non-stick pan. Melt all 3 ingredients in the oven, stirring occasionally. Cool.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Stir in melted chocolate mixture, then flour mixture and finally the remaining 1 cup chocolate chips.

Cover cookie dough mixture with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Shape chilled cookie dough into approximately 1 inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until cookies puff up... about 10 minutes.

Note: As with any cookie, the longer you bake them, the crispier they become. So for a chewy, gooey cookie, keep an eye on them and don’t over-bake.

Tips: Baking is all about precision, so for the best tasting cookies, use exact measurements (no pinch of this or that) and use premium ingredients… real butter, pure vanilla extract (no imitation), high quality cocoa powder and chocolate. Also, bring eggs to room temperature prior to mixing. To prevent ruining the mixture, it’s a good idea to break eggs into a separate bowl before adding them to the other ingredients, just in case you get a bad egg. And, for the best results when baking, hang or position a portable oven thermometer inside the oven to insure correct temperature since most household ovens are not calibrated correctly.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cheeming Boey: Coffee Cup Art

I saw an interesting article published in the OC Register about artist Cheeming Boey...
check it out here ~

MORNING READ: Cheeming Boey's art draws crowds at Laguna Beach Art Walk.
I found that Boey does some pretty creative things with a Sharpie and a standard issue foam cup.

"Red Kimono"

"April in December"



"Coffee Cup Speed Draw"

(Music: Midnight in a Perfect World by DJ Shadow)

For more Boey: Flickr ~

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cribbin' It AT-AT Style

I was cruising Topless Robot today and came across the greatest bed that ever stomped on a rebel. It's so spectacular, I just had to kype-the-post.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


SarahPalin Announces Resignation as Governor,
Part 1

Sarah Palin Announces Resignation as Governor,
Part 2

"Um, by the way, sure wish folks could ever, ever understand that we ALL could learn so much from someone like Trig - I know he needs me, but I need him even more... what a child can offer to set priorities RIGHT - that time is precious... the world needs more "Trigs", not fewer." ~ Governor Sarah Palin

… say what?

Well, I suppose by now anyone who is up on current events has seen all the hullabaloo that yet again has been stirred up by Sarah Palin; this time by way of her vacant, uncomfortable, high speed resignation speech on July 3. She said a lot of nothing really, just her standard vague comments, innuendo and abused campaign rhetoric, all punctuated by deep gasps of breath and nervous energy. Amazing how she can spin and spin and barely say anything of consequence. I wonder if I’m the only one who gets distracted from her words by her presence and delivery. I get caught up in her weird granny-like intonations and facial gestures… Bugs.

So anyway… What in tarnation is going on? What new direction is she taking? As we all can deduce, she didn’t specify what it is she plans on doing after resigning as Governor, which beckons the question, “How is it acceptable that she resign a year and a half shy of her full term of office and not fulfill her job commitment?” Doing so sounds unreliable to me. If she loves Alaska as dearly as she repeatedly says she does, what’s the real reason for abandoning her post and not seeing her full term through to the end? She speaks of not being a dead fish and going with the flow, and of not taking the easy way out because that’s what quitter’s do, but she’s giving mixed signals. Her words sound disingenuous and her resignation comes across as the definition of a quitter. She isn’t the straight shooter she’d like us to think she is.

Something is amiss. I’m suspicious of her all the way around. Briefly, I pondered the idea that perhaps the shit’s about to hit the fan in regard to rumored criminal activity. This inkling isn’t too far fetched considering she’s had 19 allegations (so far) based upon ethics violations and what not. Her broad stroke admission that she is personally facing a half-million dollars in legal fees to settle unnamed matters, doesn’t speak well of her on any terms. Hard to say… I get the distinct feeling that by quitting, she is somehow putting herself first and in a more advantageous position. I can only guess what she has up her sleeve. As Lou Dobbs asked today, “Political suicide or political savant?”

She states that she has made herself clear, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, what does resigning free her up to do precisely? Her excuse is weak, suggesting that too much legislative time and money is being spent on her personal issues… Well then, stop creating issues. She took an oath of office and a tax funded pay check. I think the people of Alaska deserve a viable explanation, as do we all if she plans on running for president in 2012. Now there's a real doomsday scenario. Let’s hope she’s not hitting the campaign trail early. (ughh… just kill me now)

For the life of me, I cannot believe so many people buy what she is selling. I'm completely dumbfounded and irritated to no end by the phenomenon that is Sarah Palin. “No more politics as usual” is right. At this point in time Maverick, Jr. does not have what it takes. She had chance after chance to prove herself during the last presidential campaign, but what will be remembered is her dirty laundry and coming up way short when asked fundamental questions that any worthy elected official should know the answers to. (See below for links to transcripts of Katie Couric's interview with Sarah Palin.)

She's plainly not knowledgeable enough, nor savvy enough to handle the highest office in the land. I highly doubt her overall intelligence and wherewithal. I cannot in my wildest imaginings ever see her on par with foreign dignitaries of which she is no peer. I mean, please… this is the woman who publicly dueled with David Letterman for 10 days fueling a blown-out-of-proportion issue over an off color joke he made about her daughter Bristol… Who I’m sorry to say became fair game as fodder for late night TV opening monologues through her own doing and by her mother’s public standing, nudging her entire family into the spotlight. Sure, defend your daughter, but don’t drag the incident through the media for days making it appear as though remaining in the public eye is the constant primary goal.

If she truly cares about Alaskans and our country, Palin will forfeit center stage and the spotlight for a more behind-the-scenes approach to her coveted Do-gooder role. The last thing we need in the Oval Office is someone who more closely resembles a ditz rather than a political wunderkind… a celebutard of sorts whom I’m sick of hearing about and hearing from, who contributes very little and who I wholeheartedly wish would just quietly go away.

Frankly, instead of running around serving her own ambition and misguided intent, I would respect Palin if she settled down and made her 5 children her primary focus, all of whom have "special needs". I would admire her if while earnestly getting herself up to speed on important issues, she stepped back and away from media attention and public affirmation. I would admire her if she supported the endeavors of President O'bama in a productive manner and refrained from publicly squawking criticism that is devoid of any and all constructiveness. Her anti-productive complaints are almost anti-American in nature as she constantly pops up like a wound up Jack-in-the-Box disrupting federal attempts at improvement and progress. Pop goes the weasel indeed.

Most of all, I would have respected her had she been more forthcoming in her resignation speech leaving no room for the speculation that is guaranteed to plague our news sources for some time to come. You can be sure that wherever Sarah Palin goes, drama is sure to follow.

*Palin on Foreign Policy
**Palin on the Economy

(Huffington Post: Click here for text of speech)

Kaa-Pow!”... After writing this blog I came upon an article written by Washington Post reporter, Sally Quinn who says it best…

Palin's Peculiar Family Values

I did not understand one word of what Sarah Palin said in her 18-minute resignation speech the other day. I really tried. What I got out of it is that she wants to spend more time on the issues she cares about, energy independence and national security. It wasn't until the end of her incoherent explanation that she mentioned that her children were all in favor of her stepping down. One of the reasons, she said, was because they were upset that their 14-month-old brother Trig, who has Down Syndrome, was "mocked and ridiculed by some pretty mean spirited adults."

I'd like to know the names of those mean-spirited adults who mocked and ridiculed her special needs child. I don't believe it for a second. I think what she is talking about is that she was criticized for the way she dealt with her pregnancy with Trig and her caregiving of him after his birth.

Remember, Sarah Palin is a right-wing, evangelical Christian for whom "family values" and the role of the mother are paramount. Many right-wing Christians don't believe women should work outside the home. Yet here was Sarah Palin, resigning as the governor of Alaska, for political reasons.

This is not putting your family first. We should not be surprised.

This is a woman who hid her pregnancy until the last two months, and who was so ambivalent about having a Down syndrome child that she admittedly contemplated aborting her child (wasn't it nice that she had the choice to do that?). This is a woman who took off in an airplane from Arizona to Alaska after her water broke and barely made it to the hospital to deliver Trig. This is a woman who accepted the nomination for vice president with a three-months-old special needs child (all studies show that the mother's role in infancy, especially for these children, is crucial) and an unwed 17-year-old daughter pregnant by another high-schooler.

This is a woman who took her children to the convention and paraded them on the stage, including Trig, (not in bed until late hours) and pregnant Bristol and her soon to be announced fiancé ("whatever"). This is a woman who then spent two months on the road, relentlessly campaigning, dragging the baby around with her (or not with her).

This is a woman who continued to exploit her children while she was running, and afterward, whenever she was criticized or they made a good photo op. After the election, she continued to travel, doing television, speaking and partying, making sure she stayed in the limelight. When her extended dysfunctional family, including the father of her daughter's baby, began to surface, she blew that up into a major media event instead of keeping her silence. She then encouraged Bristol to sign up with the Candie's foundation to go on a promotional tour with her baby to promote teen abstinence. By doing so Bristol became an adult public figure, making her a legitimate target for public criticism.

Yet when David Letterman made his remark about her daughter being knocked up, Palin blew it up into a national media fest which lasted for a week. Letterman rightly apologized, and acknowledged that he was not referring to her younger daughter but to Bristol. Palin knew that Letterman was making a joke about Bristol, but she still dragged poor Willow into the mud as well.

Now Palin has resigned as governor. Why? Who knows? She gave so many excuses that one was left reeling. The clearest one was that it was good for the state of Alaska. Again she created another needless media storm, with another photo op surrounded by her children, including Trig, her Down syndrome child. She has been roundly criticized but also has managed to keep the spotlight on herself for nearly a week. She has signed a lucrative book contract, in which I'm sure she will discuss faith and family values. Her ghost writer is a senior writer at the Christian conservative magazine "World". And there will be a special edition by the bible publishing house Zondervan.

I don't know what Palin has in mind. Maybe she'll run for President, maybe she won't. I couldn't care less. What I do feel sad about is her missed opportunity.

She could have stood up in front of her family and said one thing that everyone would have understood and everyone would have applauded. It would be the greatest cliché of all time and for once it could have been true. She could have said, simply, "I'm leaving so that I can spend more time with my family." And she could have elaborated. She could have said that from now on she would use her immense celebrity, her power, her charisma, her popularity among a huge base of Christian conservatives to educate people and advocate for children with special needs.

It might seem exploitative of Trig to some who are so cynical about her that they believe everything she does is for self-aggrandizement. So what? But if she really did it she could change the our culture and the way our world views those with disabilities. She would not only be helping millions of people around the world, but her own child as well.

Leaving her job because it's better for "the state" or to pursue her interest in energy or national security is laughable.

Sarah Palin should live up to her self-proclaimed Christian "family values" and do what she says is the moral thing to do: put her family first and help those who cannot help themselves.

By Sally Quinn | July 8, 2009; 12:39 PM ET

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Love at first sight...

While playing the dream house game, I came upon this little gem. I recognize a kindred old soul in turn of the century bungalows and Craftsman homes. I think they are so lovely...

Property Features
  • Year Built: 1907
  • 3 total bedroom(s)
  • 2 total full bath(s)
  • Approximately 2300 sq. ft.
  • Two story
  • Master bedroom
  • Dining room
  • Hardwood floors
  • Fireplace features: Fireplace in the Living Room
  • Copper plumbing
  • 2 car garage
  • Parking features: Detached Garage
  • Heating features: Forced Air
  • Cooling features: Air Conditioning
  • Lot is 8194 sq. ft.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

B.U.B. (Belly Up Buttercup)

Adrift in a lonely sea with no company
Verve and vigor exhausted without moor
Heavens weight does further drown
body water bound
Raindrops touching tears

Limbs churn vast open waters until sinew burns
Approachable, no man is an island
All redeeming behavior
the savior will shun
Remains wash ashore;
a beached shell nothing more

by S.M.F.
January 30, 2009
Inspired by the song "One Day"
Written and performed by The Verve

Saturday, January 24, 2009

" 44 "

For at least a year or two, I have been among the many that have followed and supported Barack O’bama. I have taken great interest in the man, his campaign and what he stands for. Since he became our 44th President I have felt “obliged” to acknowledge his election and the impact he has made, not only here at home, but globally.

While clicking away at my keyboard trying to conjure up an eloquent and fitting homage, I think my sense of obligation has somewhat stamped out the fire that I feel I should duly possess. I’ve been perplexed as to why my excitement is muted. Perhaps it’s because the man and his presidency are so complex and his role as our new Commander in Chief so gravely important to the well-being of our nation as a whole. The sheer enormity of problems facing our nation is demoralizing and overwhelming. We have been without respectable, solid, wise and visible leadership for a discouraging length of time.

Regardless, embers of enthusiasm still glow within me. In my own little way, I feel a kind of duty to congratulate and share my outspoken support for President O’bama. He deserves it, and we deserve a new lease on life through him.

Now the real work begins; the true test of the man, his Cabinet and citizens at large. I’m daunted at the tasks at hand. After all the festive hoopla, I’ve reined in my grandiose expectations and hope. Reality has taken hold and I’ve adjusted my outlook to a more realistic and befitting long haul perception. The problem ridden state of our union… our war on terrorism, our broken economy, the dismal and ever worsening job market, substandard health care, feeble education, energy and conservation programs have all been left unattended for so long that their failings have grown to almost insurmountable proportions.

We didn’t catch the cancer early… A more invasive, long term treatment is necessary to loosen and rid ourselves of its grip, and in the process, we will be left weak and vulnerable. I do believe it will get worse before it gets better, and I do believe we have no other choice but to remain positive and optimistic. It’s very important to recognize baby steps and small victories for that is how we will beat this thing.

Today while reading the news I noticed an article about President O’bama by my favorite and most respected political analyst on CNN, David Gergen.

…he said, “America at the moment is in a highly celebratory mood, as it should be. The man, the moment, and his message of hope all came together beautifully on Tuesday. But we should brace ourselves: we will need every bit of the energy, unity and goodwill of the past few days to get us through the coming months.”

So you naysayer’s out there, shame on you. For shame “Americans Against O’bama”, “Nobama” and the like. Now is not the time for ignorance, bias and stubborn ways, habitually clinging to old school thoughts and habits. Now is a time for unity and support; not unfounded criticism of an untried president. Now is a time for community action, change and brotherhood; not bitter partisan politics, racial bias and personal irresponsibility.

Now is indeed the time for change, but change begins within each of us at the most basic level. “I” am the building block of change and “We” are its foundation. Barack O’bama is the President of the United States, not Merlin. He is taking on a job that not many of us would dare to sacrifice and commit ourselves to.

We all have a stake in what is going on around us and one man alone cannot be expected to be a wizard and save our sorry asses all by himself. “We” got ourselves into this mess... Now “We” need to work together to get ourselves out of it. We should be thankful that someone stepped up in these trying times and offered to put himself on the line in order to lead us.

Stay in the know...

Monday, January 19, 2009

One Voice

Blogging… a phenomenon sweeping our world.

For some time, I’ve had an urge to start up a blog spot. I haven’t up until now because it’s always felt like a daunting exercise in futility, accompanied with a responsibility to be enlightened, factual, just and non-judgmental. I fight an all pervasive feeling that my one voice will count for little and be lost among the many.

But then, I decided I’m missing the point and by doing so, missing out. I told myself that it’s a free-spirited enterprise, embrace it. Go ahead and say what you wish no matter how trivial, emotional, deep or out there… just do it for heaven sake because it’s fun to write and share.

… uh huh.

Seriously, why do we blog? Is it to satisfy a creative urge? Are we selling ourselves? Is it just a medium to vent and make our opinions known? In some cases, is it the proverbial “cry for help”? Do we share a desire to be understood, or is blogging merely a means to an end in order to attract attention for whatever the reason? Do blogger's share a need to be heard by the masses when one good ear isn’t sufficient? I think it’s more about tossing bits of ourselves out there as a way of being part of the Universe at large.

I questioned what it is I want to say here. Let's face it, depending on what we choose to post, by writing in a public forum we reflect who we are as a person; we take a stand. It requires a bit of courage to publicly reveal our opinions and beliefs, our likes and dislikes. It’s documented. There is a sense of distinct vulnerability in this process as we show our true colors through words. No matter what, we ultimately cannot hide behind our words. The person we are leech's out around the verboseness. Nevertheless, I think it's human to gravitate towards being recognized and known.

My intentions are good. However impotent, I do not wish to clog the system any more than it is with pointless ramblings that no one cares to discover. I care very much to share something substantial and meaningful. As a byproduct of creative ventilation, I would love to hit upon and contribute a bit of clarity and insight amidst life's confusion... maybe connect in some way to the chain of humanity, substantiating that we aren't alone; that I'm not alone feeling like a castaway stranded with only Wilson to talk to.

... that being said, I shall attempt to let go of preconceived notions, boundaries and self-imposed rules. It’s going to be a hit and miss endeavor; but hopefully, every now and then I’ll come up with something halfway intelligent and interesting to share. It sure would be swell to actually be constructive and provide a good read… we shall see. The only thing I can promise is my blog will be a crazy quilt of musings and a mish-mosh of shiny things that have caught my eye.

So, what the heck… here ya go… some half-baked dish…