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We just had a great couple days at Oak Flats outside Superior AZ. It took a long time to get there (400 miles!) so we checked into the only motel in town rather than set up camp at night. After Chile Rellenos at Casa Denogean, we slept good. Friday found us in Euro-Dog Valley (the Mine Area was closed) and it was very cool showing the kids around one of my favorite places on Earth. They spent more time shoe-skating on the frozen creek than bouldering, but I enjoyed the stone. After the most punishing camp ever, water bottles froze solid, we went back for another full day in the canyon. I am so sore that even a jacuzzi and soft Phoenix bed doesn't help. Still, it's all worth it so climb hard again!

- Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 01:58:37 (EST)
We started our roadtrip, but didn't get far. The kids haven't been to the Jacumba Spa before, so it seemed like a good idea. After soaking and the sauna, we hit up the restaurant for pasta (two kinds!) and a veggie burger. There were three TV channels and two didn't work, so it was early to bed. Caleb woke me up clunking around with power plugs for is PSP, so I guess I'll go cook some coffee.

- Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 11:33:14 (EST)
We got our X-Mas Shopping done and packaged during the weekend. That's always a goode-sized task. With that out of the way, we had a whole weekend to enjoy. First off was the Soundwaves exhibit at the MCASD La Jolla. It's closing this week and it was worth a final look because of it's innovative views on sound and how it affects art. Speaking of, we were finally able to pick up our Kokoshi Dolls at Subtext and install them at home. Purty! Come evening, we hit up the drive-in for National Treasure: Book of Secrets. It was exciting enough. Being in the car adds something special to the event and makes it fun. Enchanted was the 2nd feature and it was as fun as the first time we saw it. Amy Adams is adorable! Sunday morning was suspenseful because they were waiting for the delivery of presents from their mom. Caleb pouted that he couldn't open them up immediately, but Saphira grasped the concept. Being a nice (winter) day, we spent most of it at Sunset Cliffs. It was a mega-low tide and many unaccessible coves could be reached and explored. Plus, the sand was washed out, exposing some gnarly and brittle climbing. We had sushi at the Hanalei to validate our parking pass to the jacuzzis. That's a fine example of my fuzzy economics!

- Monday, December 24, 2007 at 11:48:15 (EST)
We have a roadtrip planned (Bishop? Arizona? Carmel? Laguna Hansen?) for next week. Google Maps pretty much documented multiple destinations. What an awesome program. I just spent the whole morning researching Parque Nacional de Constitucion de 1857 in Baja Norte. It will be a grand adventure without driving 1000 miles like the other trips. The kids have never been to Mexico, so this will be a tame introduction. All the beach cities (Rosarito & Ensenada) will be mega-americanized, undoubtedly. Dad took us there years ago and all I remember is big rock domes rising from a dry lake. That's enough for me! I'm gunning for El Gran Trono Blanco and the Guadalupe Canyon Hot Springs. To get ready, I took the van in for a check-up and it came out running worse. They disabled the "throttle switch" this morning, and now it works fine. One thing that will make the road smoother is that LPL gave me a bonus this morning. It didn't go far toward paying off my credit cards, but it'll work.

- Friday, December 21, 2007 at 16:29:59 (EST)
We caught a couple cool movies at the theater last night starting with Enchanted. Amy Adams was lovely as a fairytale damsel banished to Manhattan. When she got the Central Park crowd to join in her song about true love, it created the sweetest movie scene ever! Adorable! The Golden Compass was playing too, so we got some free refills on our large popcorn & soda (AMC movie tip)and really enjoyed it. There was some cool sci-fi and retro going on with armored bears and external soul demons. Dakota Blue Richards played the young girl that was the secret to the world's salvation and Nicole Kidman was the villain trying to take it away. Pretty standard stuff, kinda like blending Zathura with Narnia, but a good show nonetheless.

- Monday, December 17, 2007 at 13:16:43 (EST)
We started out the weekend right at the Subtext holiday party. It's always cool to chum around there and be part of the scene. Plus, we all got a new toy. The next day, the kids went to Laura & Rebecca's for the night so I had some time to kill. Ward wanted me to come by and help him use his computer. He learned right click and shift click, which pretty much changed his project flow. I had been wanting to watch Planet Terror but thought it would gore the kids out, and I was right. It was mostly zombies getting their brains blown out and eating guts. Awesome! I was still up at midnight, so I made it a double feature with I Know Who Killed Me. It was surprisingly cool and edgy. Lindsey Lohan was a stripper. Oh yeah.

- Monday, December 17, 2007 at 12:09:20 (EST)
We made a weekend out of visiting the SUB 1K show at the Distinction Gallery this weekend. It's a really fun thing for us to stay at the Palm Tree Lodge Motel and goof off around town. We visited the nearby malls, but it was pretty slim pickings for highbrow Saphira and punkrock Caleb. We did marvel over the world's tallest liquor store sign on the corner, however. The art show was fantastic and included works by some of my favorites including Josh Taylor, Caia Koopman, Patrick Fatica and Jenna Colby. Best of show was a tie between two new artists. The Devil Is In The Details, by Alex Willan was beautiful, but The Long Goodbye by Haubs packed the biggest emotional wallop with a subtle double meaning. Unfortunately, my budget didn't allow any of these because I was gunning for a new Kelly Vivanco. It was an agonizing choice (buying art always is for me) but now Beachgirl is hanging right next to my office monitor so it's lovliness can be enjoyed all day long!

- Monday, December 10, 2007 at 12:20:52 (EST)
It's been Chanukah for a few days, so it means candles, latkes and presents! They kids have been getting the coveted U.B. Funkeys and Scary Girls on most nights, supplemented by other useful stuff. Caleb's 5.10 Prima climbing shoes were so tight he cried, so they got sent back. He was psyched about his Ricky Bobby die-cast car, and for good reason because it's pretty durned cool. Saphira has been non-stop on her Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi gameboy doo-dad. That is, when she can tear away from Monkey Business, her new Sarah Mlynowski book. I'm reading Fishbowl myself and it's lots of fun. Still, I wonder why I like chick stuff so much?

- Friday, December 07, 2007 at 12:28:40 (EST)
Last night we hit up SubText for the opening and sale of Daniel Monahan's eagerly awaited first art toy, Sancho. I couldn't justify spending $125 for the extremely limited Marigold edition (only 50 pieces worldwide), so we sprung for the Turquoise model instead (run of 250). The artist was way cool and rapped with us quite a bit explaining the process of making vinyl toys, outsourcing to China, and signing our box for us. Especially cool is how the toy has many parts, including Sancho, his hat, serape & mandolin along with Ostrich, and Toro. We can't wait to see the top-secret Corpse Flower edition!

- Sunday, December 02, 2007 at 13:19:52 (EST)
I finally got around to watching The Last Samurai last night to kill time while waiting for the kids to come home. Turns out it was incredibly captivating and they got mad at me for ignoring them because I was soooo in the zone. It was the story of a disaffected civil war hero (Tom Cruise) sent to Japan to train imperial troops. The way of the Samurai strike a chord in his heart, however, and he is forever changed. The battle scenes were way wicked, like 300 in Japanese. The real push was honor. In this way, it totally reminded me of a Usagi Yojimbo comic and I love those stories.

- Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 11:55:43 (EST)
Thanksgiving at my sister's was pretty mellow. Being the youngest at 47, we are all getting a little old for drama, which is a good thing. The kids had fun with their cousins and I had a chance to dig into my new read, "A Hole In Texas" by Herman Wouk. On Friday, the kids came to the office (ghost town) with me for a few hours so I could get caught up, then we lunched at a cool place nearby, Crazy Buffet. The weekend proper began with Saphira going to Maddies and Caleb an I hit up Santee Boulders. Many classic lines were ticked and just as many failed. Caleb fried the last of his strength on the famous mercilously thin crack. That night found us at Quint Contemporary Art for "Once Again, Differently and Other New Painted Sculptures," the new show from Jay Johnson. It was pretty interesting stuff and we saw some of our favorite art people there. Our regular dinner spot, Aloha Sushi, was delicious as ever. It's fun to be highbrow from time-to-time! I spent most of Sunday helping Saphira with a technical paper house building school project, then we got vibed out of our first visit to the Hardy dog park because Bob kicked all the pussy dogs asses. It proves that pets are like their owners! The vacation ended by watching the hilarious Talladega Nights. Will Ferrell was awesome as Ricky Bobby and it was fun seeing him and Cal Naughton, Jr. (John C. Reilly)"Shake & Bake" the Nascar circuit. The supporting cast was excellent, with major kudos to Amy Adams as the "true love" and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat!) as the nemesis racer Jean Girard. Family favorite Molly Shannon was cool as was Lucius Washington as the team manager. We still had some time, so we topped it all off with some Sex and the City reruns. Carrie totally blew it with Aidan by boffing Big. Pretty dumb move for someone so smart.

- Monday, November 26, 2007 at 11:56:40 (EST)
Our trip to Joshua Tree was an incredible success. It turns out that the days before Thanksgiving are way better for visiting the park. We had Indian Cove pretty much to ourselves and just tore it up! Caleb became a climber on this trip and bouldered like a champ while Saphira holed up with her latest Sarah Mlynowski book, Fishbowl. One problem scared him, so we came back with some gear and he placed a nut on lead and topped out on "I Did It With One Nut." Our camp (41) was in a new area, the Campfire Crag, and it was a wonderland of unexplored stone. Right above us was one of the first cracks I ever led (nuts & hexes!) way back when, years before the kids were born. At a stout 5.6, "Picnic" was a trip-long project for the kids and after many tries, they both sent it on the morning we were to leave. I couldn't have been more proud! At night, we were excited to watch our first iPod movie, but Chalk was so stupid that we turned it off and looked at the stars from our bed instead. Of course, there was an assortment of grilled campfire goodies and shenanigans galore. I felt bad that I couldn't afford to get the kids designer stuff at Cabazon Outlets on the way home and it was quiet for a while in the car. They eventually started up with their regular screaming, however, and all was well.

- Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 12:35:40 (EST)
We started out the weekend with a visit to the GRRRRRL Power show "It's Good to be a Girl." This San Diego female artist collective known for their eclectic art shows in unconventional spaces, partnered with the newly refurbished Women's History Museum and Educational Center in Golden Hill for an exhibit of paintings, sculpture, photography, mixed-media and other mediums. It wasn't so great, but it was still fun to be in the scene for a little while. Things got worse the next day because it was spent in Traffic School, which was pretty painful. In the olden days, it took the place of paying the fine. My fine was $160 for crossing a solid white line. After paying the administration fee, the court will get $188 on top of the $40 for this all-day class. That's a lot of money! Turns out people with much higher fines still paid $188, so I guess I got jipped. Needing some giggles, we hit another double feature starting with August Rush. It was an awesome love story between Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers concerning their son, played incredibly by Freddie Highmore and the circumstances that brought them all together. Saphira wanted a more literal ending, but I thought it was beautiful. Next was Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium and it was equally sweet. Dustin Hoffman did a great job as the quirky Magorium, but Natalie Portman stole the show as a gal who found herself under more than strange conditions. It was bittersweet and captivating and wonderful.

- Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 12:26:01 (EST)
I'm in traffic school now and it's pretty painful. In the olden days, this class took the place of paying the fine. That's no longer the case. My fine was $160 for crossing a solid white line. After paying the administraton fee, the court will get $188 on top of the $40 for this all-day class. That's a lot of money!

- Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 12:11:36 (EST)
Last night we had the pleasure of watching a truly wonderful movie (love it when that happens!) called The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. It was a period piece from the days when I was a baby and portrayed the family dynamics of a struggling father and an ambitious mother with a large blood of kids. Tagged as "The true story of how a mother raised ten kids on twenty-five words or less", it showed how Evelyn Ryan, charmingly played by the adorable Julianne Moore, supported her family by winning contests. She won a freezer, then filled it by winning a shopping spree. In this way, she offset her husband's (Woody Harrelson) alcoholic behavior and shortcomings. The whole thing was beautiful and authentic. It's said that some of the dresses worn by Julianne Moore in the film actually belonged to Evelyn Ryan. Her children had saved them and offered the use of them for the film. Credibility was reinforced by the cars, furnishings, milkman and attitudes. There was even a brand new Radio Flyer bicycle (another prize). Released in 2007, this didn't get much theater play, but it should have because it is one of the year's best films and receives my highest recommendation.

- Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 12:20:12 (EST)
We went to the opening of the master's thesis show for SDSU artist Haibo Li and were pretty impressed with her efforts. It was all digital multimedia, which I love, projected at all angles on the walls of the Flor y Canto Gallery. The kids played shadow games with the works, which the artist thought was pretty cool. At one point, they were asked to keep it down (first time that ever happened... NOT!) because it was annoying. Still, it's a good thing that they are comfortable in the scene. The works were hand painted on a tablet, then compiled in Premiere. It's an awesome process that I need to explore on my own. We have the hardware capability for the whole video thing, but just haven't done it yet. It was entirely inspiring to see the video blog by quarterlife. I need one of those!

- Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 11:40:35 (EST)
I got a cool tool yesterday that syncs my Google and Outlook calendars so that I can have them both on my phone.

- Monday, November 12, 2007 at 13:00:58 (EST)
Saphira had some birthday parties during the weekend. The first was at IHOP in Escondido, an odd venue chosen so her mom could come. On the way, we stopped to get party favors and Caleb picked out a couple U.B. Funkeys with his own money. They are cool vinyl dolls (gotta love that!) with embedded electronics. Turns out they needed a base station to connect with a PC. Luckily, Saphira got a Target card from one of her friends, so we were able to score that piece for free. Turns out it was an awesome choice and lots of fun. Saphira also got a Gap Kids card, but everything in that store was too small, being how she's all grown up and stuff. The big-girl store had a classic gray dress in her size, however, that's gonna look pretty hot. She got lots of other presents at her house party, including a huge bag of art supplies from her daddy. The kids were wild, which is to be expected. My girl had a fun day, which pretty much means everything to me.

- Monday, November 12, 2007 at 12:58:30 (EST)
We hit up Culture & Cocktails again last night and it was cool as ever. Typically "fabulous" people were grooving to DJ Sergio and his latin beats. He gave me a hot tip about California Sound & Lighting because I need a serious turntablist upgrade. I've had the same one since junior high school! Alex Julian (Judo Girl)was doing portraits in the rotunda, so we just had to sit in for one. Classic! He's an awesome illustrator. Saphira was doing her book report on Gilgamesh while I shmoozed and boozed. The research continued at Ichiban, then it was typed, edited and printed at home. Not your typical homework experience. But, then again, she's MY daughter so that kind of thing is to be expected.

- Friday, November 09, 2007 at 19:37:12 (EST)
I asked Caia what the keyhole hand meant in her painting and she said "The key hole is meaningful to me as a symbol of our human intellect, the thing that separates us from all other life on this planet and if used in a positive way can reconnect us with everything for a symbiotic existence and if used in a negative way will cause mass extinctions and ultimately destroy the earth, but that's just me, please feel free to make up your own meaning." Wow.

- Thursday, November 08, 2007 at 16:40:31 (EST)
I was finally able to score a Caia Koopman painting after months of trying. (yeah!) We passed up the piece at the SubText Witching Hour show because it was a bit pricey and was amazed to see it didn't sell when the show ended. Dylan got her to knock a chunk off the price, which made it a steal at 40% of the value of her current works. So, Sibilation is now hanging right next to me in my cubicle lookin' all killer an' stuff...

- Thursday, November 08, 2007 at 12:11:03 (EST)
We caught another double feature picture show during the weekend. I really wanted to see Dan in Real Life because I thought it was an Emily Blunt (hot!) movie. Turns out her part as Ruthie "pig-nose" Draper was pretty small, but it was no disappointment to see Juliette Binoche in the lead as Marie, a wonderfully exotic and smart gal caught in a snarl between Steve Carell (great job, again) and Dane Cook. It was a super movie and it had it's moments, but it wasn't even in the same league as Martian Child. John Cusack was a widower that wanted to adopt a troubled kid named Dennis, brilliantly played by Bobby Coleman. On one hand, his sister (Joan Cusack) tried to talk him out of it saying "a boy who spends his whole day in a cardboard box is a big red flag". On the other hand, his dead wife's best friend, (Amanda Peet) supported him and his "little Andy Warhol". It was great to see how thing developed and it's always nice when everybody gets what they deserve.

- Monday, November 05, 2007 at 12:35:09 (EST)
We started the art weekend with an opening at Subtext of Kokeshi dolls. The hand-painted wooden works are a traditional art form in Japan and, for this show, dozens of artist worldwide were invited to participate. I had no intention of buying any, but it was pretty cool seeing them all displayed and critiquing them with Saphira. (Caleb was outside playing with his new Blow-Up dolls) There were many awesome designs, but the ones we bought were the best of all. Turns out that their creator, June Kim, is a well-known illustrator from Brooklyn. I also picked up an awesome Gary Baseman purse-thing to keep stuff from rattling around in my bag. The next day we trollied down to MCASD for family day. Saphira got bent out of shape (again) over the craft project (mobiles) but livened up at the museum store. We got some pill shaped canisters, a Happy Hippo Pencil Sharpener and a t-shirt. We just had to stop at Subtext again on the way back. Caleb got some cool new So What toys and Saphira got another Finders Keepers. Since I had a 10% off coupon for being a supporter, the charter copy of Illo Magazine made it into our sack as well.

- Monday, November 05, 2007 at 12:08:47 (EST)
The kids had their Halloween party this weekend and it was a whole lot of fun! We got loads of party favors and games to make it extra-festive. The spider ring toss was pretty exciting, especially when the winners got to dig around in the prize grab-bag. Also, musical tombstones made for some rowdy craziness. We never got around to pin the face on the mummy because we turned on The Blair Thumb. It wasn't scary enough, so we switched to Interview with the Vampire. That did the trick!

- Monday, October 29, 2007 at 17:10:29 (EDT)
We barged the Apple store Friday for the release of the new Jaguar operating system and got some t-shirts out of the deal. The OS was o.k. The coverflow view on documents was pretty slick, but it didn't justify the hassle and expense. Saphira and I spent most of our time messing with the iPhone. I needed to see how it handled Google Docs (viewing, but not editing) and Saphira tried to add to her blog. Neither thing worked, but we were able to send this picture via email. Caleb was in gaming heaven on the speedy machines with huge monitors. We got him True Crime: The Streets of L.A. and he played it for six hours straight. I spent the same amount of time installing a new video card and reformatting the PC hardrive to accept SP2 for an installation of Zune. We found one on the trolley, which is good because I would never buy one of those pieces of crap. Their software far exceeded my expectations for stupidity by being totally useless.

- Monday, October 29, 2007 at 15:12:05 (EDT)
I haven't blogged any movies lately, but I just have to mention some love stories of note. A super-sweet one was The Truth About Cats & Dogs with Janeane Garofalo and Uma Thurman. It was a classic relationship triangle with a twist. Janeane was smart and Uma was beautiful, so together they were the "perfect" woman, except only one of them could have him. The kids fell asleep during Mumford, but I loved it! Jason Lee was the draw as a skateboarding billionaire who pretty much owns the town. Personally, I'm in love with Zooey Deschanel who played another zany role. There were so many great characters in the story and all of them had a happy ending. Gotta love it! Love and Other Disasters was a cute teen flick with Brittany Murphy. Turns out we have lots of her movies and they are all fun. In this one, she has a gay roommate (Matthew Rhys) who she tries to set up with a guy at work (Santiago Cabrera) who turns out to be straight and in love with her. You could see it coming for miles, but it all worked out in the end for everyone. Plus, the line of the week, came from it: That's the problem with life... It's nothing like the movies.Some others seen this week included Wild Hogs, (kinda cool) Ghost Rider, (pretty cool) and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains. (damn cool) I'd love the soundtrack to this punk classic!

- Monday, October 29, 2007 at 14:18:16 (EDT)
W had the day off yesterday due to the fires and while delivering invitations to the kids upcoming halloween party we stopped by a local comic shop to see what they had. Turns out I found some Dead World back issues I had been looking for for 20 years! Some other treasures were a couple of Concrete stories I didn't have and a Tank Girl book. Major scores! We will certainly be back because there was an overflowing $.25 bin the kids went nuts over. Plus, there were some whole Sin City series that I didn't have. Dang!

- Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 14:27:55 (EDT)
Well, San Diego is on fire again. A lot of stuff would have to burn down before our house gets toasted. I kinda wish it would, in some ways. I'm sick of the city and I hate the seediness of our neighborhood. Loosing our art and other collections would be a drag, but our house is a dump. Expensive, but a hovel nonetheless. If they don't get it under control, Saphira might miss sixth grade camp next week. Now, that would be a bummer!

- Monday, October 22, 2007 at 17:53:30 (EDT)
On Sunday we were invited to the studio of one of our favorite painters, Kelly Hutchinson. It was pretty amazing and inspiring. Plus, he gave us the bonus deal on The Propaganda Machine since we are pretty solid supporters of his projects. He had paintings everywhere, which pretty much blew my spacing out the pieces philosophy away. Saphira never really bought it anyway. So now, we are stacking them up in our gallery home. Also, we started the conversion of our basement into a studio. Saphira was the first to use it and made a stencil and spraypaint piece with some materials I dug up. That stuff is hidden in boxes and it will be cool to get it all in one place. My next project will be a sticker series with my Fear of Life stencils. Finally, we headed down to the Animated Painting show at MASD. I fully expected it to suck and was pleasantly surprised that it didn't. The first thing we saw were some kick-ass graphics by Julian Opie (Suzanne Walking & Ruth Smoking) displayed in wall-mounted monitors. I loved watching the processes from within and outside the Motion Barn, but the kids got more kicks from Pink Dot by Takeshi Murata. We all agreed that Bellona, by Ann Lislegaard was the show-stopper with its wonderous renderings of "walls on pivots controlled by subterranean machines."

- Monday, October 22, 2007 at 12:38:39 (EDT)
First thing Saturday, we found this year's Spirit Halloween store in El Cajon so the kids get get ready for the annual carnival at Hardy. Caleb got an Unknown Phantom costume. It was poor substitute for the zombie punk he wanted, but it was hella expensive. Saphira just got vampire makeup and a black wig, but the effect was awesome. Her pasty face and blood was just too much. It was cool that her other middle-school chums showed up as well and we all had a ghoulishly good time. My bolt through the head was a big hit. In the afternoon we trollied down to MCASD for the opening of a huge installation by Robert Irwin that commanded the entire gallery. There was much that was incredible. The Primaries and Secondaries paintings were beautiful minimalist statements and were installed in a massive manner. As a leader of the West Coast Light and Space movement in the late 1960s, he truly commanded the venue. Our favorite was a room full of screens that revealed different levels of opacity and transparency while exploring within it. Plus, we met him and he was an awfully nice guy.

- Sunday, October 21, 2007 at 12:08:17 (EDT)
We started the weekend in a hurry to get to the Quint Gallery for the opening of a new show by our our friend Kim MacConnel. The fact that we can call him a friend is pretty amazing, considering how he is a renowned world-class painter and a foremost member of the Pattern and Decoration movement, which flourished in the 1970s and 1980s. His Woman with a Mirror series on exhibit is a wonderful blast of color with tribal cubist influences. We couldn't stay long because we had tickets to the Anthology supper club, a hightoned concert venue in Little Italy. Usually they host lame jazz acts, but Lee Rocker was playing and I just couldn't resist, especially since it was an all ages show. The kids were styling and the club was swank. We set a new pricey menu record with a $19 hamburger! We also got Lee to autograph a copy of his new Black Cat Bone album, which is pretty damn good.

- Saturday, October 20, 2007 at 11:47:46 (EDT)
During the weekend, we made a roadtrip out of visiting the Distinction Gallery for their If Opened Alarm Will Sound show. It featured the work of Ekundayo, Shay and Paul Torres. We didn't find their work captivating. In other words, there was no "buy me" reflex. Still, there was tons of other stuff and artist studios in the two-story complex. We hung out playing Rubick's Cube with Peter in Kelly Vivanco's space, which was pretty dang cool. Saphira really wanted a print from her, but with so much "urban art" to choose from, I wanted an original and fell in love with the work of Anna Cangialosi. I just couldn't resist buying her MTV 9 piece. The story is she painted the series for MTV and it hung in their corporate office for years. Distinction got them and I got one. Awesome. We love to support the arts, especially when the result hangs in our gallery! There were lots of Escondido Hotels to choose from, but I hate big stupid chain venues. Finally, we found the Palm Tree Lounge with it's bungalows and gardens. Ahhh. Plus, the Wagon Wheel Restaurant was in the parking lot, which gave our weekend a fitting "country" conclusion over breakfast.

- Monday, October 15, 2007 at 12:39:15 (EDT)
Caleb had his first skatepark experience this weekend at Tierrasanta. It was the first place I went when I started rolling again, so it seemed a good fit. He was hooked from the start and went from gameboy to skaterboy. It was cool to see him charge and it was an infectious energy. I hadn't skated in a while and beefed pretty harsh on the wallride tranny. It feels like my ribs are broken and I'm sporting a solid roadrash. It didn't keep us from visiting the El Cajon park the next day, however. I like it much better because it has a lot more flow, but my boy was way intimidated by the bigger and steeper terrain. It was fun being a dad and cheering him on as he learned to carve and kickturn. We practiced all weekend on streets, driveways and banks. He even got kicked out of his first spot when the guard at Fashion Valley came along. He was pretty proud of it.

- Monday, October 08, 2007 at 12:23:52 (EDT)
We started out another art weekend at the opening of the Witching Hour show at SubText. It is a very cool show full of interesting art. We just love that place. Caleb got a bunch of new Dunnys. We even got some Finders Keepers dolls there for Saphira's birthday present to Becca! Speaking of which, they went to Disneyland for the weekend, so it was boytime all weekend. We visited an awesome poster show at SDSU on the way to picking up my Gentleman Loafers by Dark Vomit! Cool! That night we went to a stupid show full of common art and pretentious idiots. I have nothing but loathing for both. We actually walked away from free food and wine to dodge those old farts! Our next stop, Voz Alta, was much more to our liking. We sat on haybales eating guacamole and checked out Puno de Tierra, an exhibit consisting entirely of paintings of chickens by Anselmo. Funky, but comfortable.

- Monday, October 08, 2007 at 12:08:58 (EDT)
Last night we rushed down to subtext for their VIP preview of the new Witching Hour show because I was hot to get something by Caia Koopman. After much deliberation, negotiation, and even tears, we settled on a Grey Cerebration print. I became peeved dwelling on how it wasn't the one I went to get and it was my thing and even my thing is their thing... I got over it, however, after cappuchino, panini, bruscheta and gelate. Then, one trolley stop to SDMCA for the Music and Technology Fashion Show. Most of the designs were kinda freaky, but there were some good ones by Acamonchi, Tania Candiani, Grammatique and more. The hair (salonTONIC) was fabulous, however, and some of the models were scorchingly hot. The electronic sound-art theme wore thin after a while. Besides, I was in a hurry to get to Chabad for Simcha Torah anyway. We didn't dance in the street this year, but it was still chill to be with our people for a while.

- Friday, October 05, 2007 at 12:30:42 (EDT)
We drove the coast road home from Encinitas and made a stop to shop a little in Del Mar. It was fun, but a little pricey. Saphira found a pair of sunglasses that were marked down to "only" $79. I was amazed to see that some of my stuff (watch, writing tools) had appreciated to incredible amounts. We went in some other stores and got bored with the pretentiousness of it all. Things got good, however, when we ate at the Veg-N-Out vegan restaurant in North Park. I've been wanting to check it out because our kosher/vegetarian diet limits our choices. For the first time in years I ordered a bacon cheeseburger. Caleb was fully slobbed-out by his chili cheeseburger. Saphira had a meatball sandwich with a cucumber salad. What a feast! It is, hands down, the best restaurant in town!

- Monday, October 01, 2007 at 15:54:34 (EDT)
We ran into Jean Lowe in both La Jolla and Downtown (she's at ALL the cool shows) and the kids finally put together the long discussed but never completed visit to her studio. It turns out that her husband, Kim MacConnel, is an accomplished painter in his own right, so it was a bonus visit! I can't even begin to describe how awesome it was to visit the home of these world-class master artists. That they would extend themselves toward my kids and I says much of their wonderful kindness. They lived at the edge of the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, so their custom cinder-block house was bordered by wilderness. They live among fish ponds, fruit trees (mulberries!) and garden plots of all types. Their studios were the thing, however. Jean has a giant barn full of materials and completed works both sculptural and painted. For her huge canvasses, she needs the space. I was amazed to see all the unsold paintings rolled up on shelves. Particularly fascinating was a bookcase 20 feet high filled with her fanciful faux books. I'm nowhere near the collector that can afford her work and I was hoping she'd cut us a deal. Oh well. Even Saphira couldn't charm her into it. Kim had his own studio full of art as well. It was truly amazing. The true marvel of the day was the apricot pie she baked for us. How cool is that?

- Monday, October 01, 2007 at 15:39:02 (EDT)
On Saturday, Caleb had Jon's birthday party down at the bay. Saphira and I hung out for a while, but split for something a little more exciting. We ended up at Flashback's in Hillcrest, which is pretty much our favorite store. My job was to search the racks and hand stuff into and out of the dressing room. There isn't anything more fun than dressing up my daughter! She must have tried 30 dresses before settling on a sleek shoulderless deal. Such a big girl! Plus we got a matching choker and earring set that matched perfectly. Why such a get-up? Because come nightfall it was downtown to the L Street Gallery downtown for the first installation of this year's SD Art Prize featuring the work of Marcos Ramirez Erre and emerging artist Allison Wiese. As usual, it was an awesome event with all sorts of gourmet snacks and drinks. The art, however, was kinda hard to get. Both artists created signage that had deeper meanings hidden within a common context. The problem was, we couldn't quite find the depth. Oops! The jalapeno sausages, BBQ chicken squewers and free drinks made a nice consolation. Plus, we are starting to have lots of friends in the art world, which is very very cool. We snuck into the Omni across the street for a late-night hot tub session, then home to bed.

- Monday, October 01, 2007 at 15:10:50 (EDT)
We started off an awesome art weekend with a visit to the La Jolla MCASD site for Soundwaves: The Art Of Sampling. It was an incredible show (free beer! hor de'overes!) based on how sound can be artistically rendered. The artists applied radical methodologies such as matching musical notes and colors, then creating a composition based on that palette. Others created works that generated sound. One artist made wild videos showing "spiritual technology." Also, the drawings of our friend Iana Quesnell were featured in the Cerca exhibition. Way to go Iana on having such a high-profile show! It was all good stuff, plus the kids were styling. Caleb got a new suit and Saphira walked into the Georgiou boutique before the show in one outfit and walked out in another. Fun! Because we were early, we got gelates and cappuchino before the show. So highbrow! After the show we feasted on Thai food at a wonderful spot called Kitima. The service and food was so excellent that I gave my first 20% tip. I was feeling flush because we won a 30gb Video iPod. My tipsy logic told me I was a couple hundred buck ahead. It doesn't help me much today, however, after all that spending!

- Monday, October 01, 2007 at 14:21:01 (EDT)
Last night we slept and ate in our Succah. It was really very cool. It's always a full "harvest moon" on Succot, so it was bright as morning most of the night. At one point, the coyotes were singing, which was pretty exotic. We were able to say the Laishaiv Basuccah blessing over this "full body" mitzvah. It's pretty much the only one, except for Mikveh. It's a supreme dud that I'm at work on the Chag, but we had a series of "business development" meetings for my whole department and I have to act interested. It's a trade-off of my favorite holiday that I love for something I care very little about in the grand scale of things. Oh well... At least I was able to arise early to wave the Arba Minim during Hallel and make Kiddush with the kids before rushing into my mundane life.

- Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 11:53:35 (EDT)
Saturday was Yom Kippur and we didn't go to shul (gasp!). I still did my prayers all the way through Neilah. It was weird. I had a violent sneezing fit (bloody nose!) right at the end and I was sweating bullets under my tallis during Viduy. Plus, the kids kept coming in and interrupting. It will be a miracle if we have G'mar Chatimah Tovah. On a more secular note, we sold all our kittens but one during the weekend. It was sad to see them go, but I don't really need 10 cats! Plus, we made $150. Dang!

- Monday, September 24, 2007 at 12:31:07 (EDT)
After the Supergirl Jam, we hit up Galactic Comics so Saphira could check out the Ugly Dolls. Love 'em! She scored on Gato Deluxe after much deliberation. Her Scary Girl choice was not as easy since they come "blind" in unmarked boxes. School Girl (cute!) was available unboxed, but it lacked the essential essence of mystery she needed. So, she shook all the boxes and used her scientific method until ending up with "The Boss". Not as cool, but still VERY cool. Caleb moped when I tried to talk him out of Spawn figures because he had his heart set. Lenore (the Cute Little Dead Girl) and Hellboy and the machinegun leg girl from Grindhouse didn't do it for him, so Spawn it was. Man, I love toys.

- Monday, September 17, 2007 at 15:11:07 (EDT)
Sunday was the long-awaited Supergirl Jam in Mission Beach and it was a shred-fest! Cara Beth Burnside and Gretchen Bleiler (wow!) pretty much dominated the huge halfpipe, but my favorite was Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins because she was totally aggro and pushed it way hard. Holly Lyons put in a solid effort and certainly sk8ted for the best causes. Vanessa Torres and Amy Caron tore up the street course with their smooth girl-power, but kids took the top prizes. Lacey Baker (15) was Saphira's favorite and won. Leticia Bufoni (14) was second and cutely said "Sorry, I don't speak English" when the kids got their autographs. I almost broke my leg catching a t-shirt in the bleachers. Speaking of t-shirts, there was a Fashion Show. How cool is that! Finally, The Donnas took the stage. Dang! The guitarist, Allison Robertson, was a total rockstar and after seeing her I don't love Avril quite so much. I liked the singer, Brett Anderson, the most because she reminded me of one of the moms at school. It was an awesome day!

- Monday, September 17, 2007 at 14:10:20 (EDT)
Saturday was a sleepover at Maddie's for Saphira, so Caleb and I had lots of time to goof off. We wanted to get the Lara Croft action figure in Mission Valley, but the store was closed down. Tragedy! So, we went to Galactic Comics instead. Lara wasn't there, but (like usual) there was so much cool stuff that we had to postpone our buying until sister was with us. On the way home we hit up the Gentleman's Loafer show on Adams Avenue and ordered some Dark Vomit slippers. I've been wanting Caleb to see Johnny Mnemonic and he was so creeped out (cool) when it was over that he wanted to see something nicer. The Weather Man totally fit the bill. I could relate to it because Nicolas Cage's character was such a loser. Nobody has thrown food at me though, which is only because I'm invisible. He fell asleep during The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, which is understandable since it was like 2am.

- Sunday, September 16, 2007 at 12:53:43 (EDT)
We watched It's a Boy Girl Thing for some good ol' teen fun and weren't disappointed. It was a Freaky Friday kinda thing with a romantic twist. Samaire Armstrong was super cute as Nell Bedworth. When she hooked up with Woody (Kevin Zegers) all kinds of mischief happened! High school politics were a big part of it, similar to Mean Girls. This movie was sooo clich?d, but in a good way. A brilliant cameo was Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon as Woody's mom. I was wondering where I saw Robert Joy (Nell's dad). Turns out he was the boyfriend in Desperately Seeking Susan. It's a keeper!

- Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 14:40:44 (EDT)
Man, my life has become a commuter hell. It took me over an hour and a half to get to the office this morning! First Saphira gets dropped at her school in Allied Gardens, then back to our neighborhood to drop off Caleb. The worst happens when I get on the freeway with the other thousands of people driving alone to distant destinations that are probable as meaningless and trivial as my own. I hate sucking resources and wasting my life the way I do. Much of my days are spent longing for a more simple way of living. My whole adult life I have wanted to unplug myself from the grid and I swore I would never live the way I do. The kids are all for it, but I'm a damn coward. Always have been afraid to change and do what I want. I don't know how I became such a wuss. What ever happened to writing books and making art? I gave the kids some important advice on the trolley this weekend. I said "don't get used to taking the easy way out." Now all I have to do is follow my own advice...

- Monday, September 10, 2007 at 12:51:32 (EDT)
We stopped in at the ASR Tradeshow on the way to Artwalk on the Bay and the former took all the fun out of the later. After being underwhelmed by the uninspiring art, we winged it back to the convention center to see Juliette and the Licks tear it up in the crazy action hall. Between her wild antics onstage and the mad-dog skateboarders running amok, it was quite the scene. We spent much time watching the muralists at the Glue Network's "Love Requires Action" booth. I'm stoked to report that I finally scored the "Bridge" posters. Plus, we got custom silkscreen shirts by Kelli Murray! Saphira's big score came later when we hit "Girls Night Out" at SubText. It was a show true to her heart... handbags! She scored the Fogg Jr. by Holly Aiken and, needless to say, she is quite stoked on it. After many free beers, we trollied back to town for the High Octane show. Kelly Vivanco had some stuff there which was incredibly beautiful. The one I was after, however, was Pamela Jaeger. I love her work and, after meeting the artist last night, I kinda love her too. Cute! We'll have one of her paintings soon, you just wait and see.

- Sunday, September 09, 2007 at 12:15:02 (EDT)
It appears that my ISP has begun to participate in Traffic Shaping which was making it impossible to seed my torrents. Well, I discovered Message Stream Encryption and enabled it in in my client. Now everything is working again.

- Sunday, September 09, 2007 at 11:34:35 (EDT)
We were all pretty stoked last night at the Reel Rock Tour. It was mega-cool to see Josh Lowell's latest movie, King Lines, on La Paloma's big screen. It was like the surf movies seen there in years gone by. During the rad scenes, the crowd would hoot and holler! There was tons of stuff tossed out into the crowd before the show, but we didn't get any :( The kids did get a couple gift certificates for a pair of new Evolve climbing shoes. I just ordered 'em online, which is awesome since my old pairs are all pretty much blown. The DVD we bought (autographed!) had a free subscription to Urban Climbing magazine. Plus, we won 10 passes for Vertical Hold climbing gym. Swag central! The kids met Chris, Josh and the crew, took pics and got signed posters & bookmarks. They were so excited that they talked climbing all the way home from Encinitas!

- Thursday, September 06, 2007 at 12:36:02 (EDT)
We were up at the crack of dawn to get Saphira ready for her first day of middle school. I'm really quite proud and scared for her at the same time. I got seriously messed up when transferred to Horace Mann from Jackson Elementary. I became a racist that year, and a punk. To this day I'm trying to outlive some of the decisions made that year. At least her school isn't in the ghetto like mine was. Plus, she's a smart girl whose dad has had lots of talks with. She knows what she's getting into. My big girl was styling with her Red Tango bag full of school stuff we compiled. It should be fun! Caleb and I had some time to kill before his school started, so we chilled over some powdered doughnut holes and goofed off a bit. Now I'm in the office, but still goofing off. Once a kid, always a kid!

- Tuesday, September 04, 2007 at 12:13:26 (EDT)
We trollied down to Family Day at MCASD and did some crafts based on Richard Wright's window painting created using gold leaf. The kids tried to get too fancy with it and got frustrated. Bailing that, we went upstairs to make stained glass windows with crayon bits melted between wax paper. They did better with that one, but we didn't grasp the see-through concept until it was too late. I kinda snapped from Saphira's perfectionism until we got to SubText. Everyone is so cool there and the store has so much fun stuff that I just couldn't stay mean. Plus, we were able to pick up our painting by Kelly Vivanco. It hangs in the bedroom now and fills me with scary pride because we love it so much but I could in no way afford it. Whoever said the best things in life are free didn't collect art!

- Monday, September 03, 2007 at 11:50:39 (EDT)
It was so dang hot yesterday that we just had to beat it down to Dog Beach for a cool off. The tide was neutral, so it was good snorkeling in the channel. Crazy Bob could have drowned swimming across to be with us. If anything, that dog is loyal. It's a bit annoying how he has to ferociously defend us against all comers, but we love him. The current changed in the afternoon, creating a cool oceanward riptide that we could ride out to sea to an island sandbar that developed in the low tide. Bob once again swam out to be with us and play frisbee. It was over 90 degrees in the house when we got home, so I just laid around grumpy and finished As Seen on T.V. by Sarah Mlynowski. It was a very fun book with that kind of romantic happy ending I love so much. If you don't know her work, she has my highest recommendation.

- Sunday, September 02, 2007 at 11:35:17 (EDT)
I saw in the paper that Scarlett Johansson's new movie was out, so we hustled down to the theatre to see it. We got there early, so we ducked into Underdog first. We have actually been looking forward to it because Jason Lee does the dog's voice, and we love Jason Lee. It was a funny movie that deserved more than to be filler before the main event, but that's what it was. Then, we saw The Nanny Diaries. It was truly wonderful. Many times I was moved to tears. I even saw Saphira wiping some away. Scarlett remains on her throne where she has sat since Ghost World so long ago. Her list of great movies is perhaps the longest and this blog is full of them. What made it so good? Perhaps it was the fear of growing up or the strong ties of love. Maybe the witty social satire. It was a lot of things that all came together to bring us the year's best movie, hands down.

- Saturday, September 01, 2007 at 11:40:46 (EDT)
I pretty much joined the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park because of the Culture & Cocktails events. The one last night was a major blow-out full of beautiful people and a posh vibe. DJ Sergio was spinning his awesome blend of incredible unknown tunes. Where does he find that stuff? I had about a gazillion Coctails by Jenn which were fantastic, exotic and FREE! The Impressionist Giverny show was typically tame stuff. The museum is so entirely mainstream that it is almost boring. Because of that, I probably won't renew our membership. It's cool to have a place to duck into at the park, however.

- Friday, August 31, 2007 at 13:13:29 (EDT)
We're in the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center Library right now goofin' off. We came to see the For The Birds art opening and eat some free snacks. Caleb found this computer and of course I had to start hacking on it. One cool thing I did was install Gspace on this computer and found it was Firefox compatible. Pretty cool. Caleb fell in the water outside, so I had to spank him (just kidding). Saphira made a fort by rearranging the furniture. Now the library is trashed and we're leaving. Bye!

- Saturday, August 25, 2007 at 18:29:48 (EDT)
We went to the Warped Tour yesterday and the kids were pretty much in shock. For one thing, it was WAY noisy with multi stages playing at once. Also, most of the bands as we walked around were growling hardcore (yuch). The first good band we saw was Flogging Molly and we all found them to be awesome. The kids took turns on my shoulders to see the unique violin and banjo punk. Yeah. It's amazing that I haven't seen Bad Religion before, being old-school punk and all. I got the kids close to the stage before they started so they could experience a "pit". Dang, I used to love moshing! We had to bail the intensity, which was good because we were able to catch Civet on the skate stage. Now those girls could rock! Theirs was the only CD we bought all day. Pennywise finished the day and, by then, we were thoroughly punked out! We finished off by wandering the wasteland scrounging groundscores, then dosed up on energy drinks for the drive home. It was a crazy day and well worth the huge bank dropped to make it happen.

- Saturday, August 25, 2007 at 12:52:32 (EDT)
We headed up to La Jolla last night for alt.pictureshows at MCASD and had a good ol' time. After a quick tour, the kids went outside to play on the cannon see-saw and allowed me the chance to view some films. The first was The Oates' Valor by Tim Thaddeus Cahill. It was interesting and a good warm up for the night's champion, BITCH by Lilah Vandenburgh. Soooo funny! Notable mentions must be made for Press or Say 2 (Mye Hoang) Horror Makeup (Jillian McDonald) and Death to the Tinman (Ray Tintori). Saphira loves Surrealism, but confronted with Luis Bu?uel and Salvador Dali's Un Chien Andalou she was beyond bored. In fact, the whole show made both kids tired. Their highlight was getting more Voodoo String Dolls in the store. I was able to ditch them after that for a while to see some music videos on the back patio under Nancy Rubins' awesome Pleasure Point installation. The best one was by Orrin Anderson for Kristin Hersh?s song In Shock. Another good one was by Cam Archer for Djuna Bel?s song Mighty. It was a fun time for all, then we headed out to Alfonso's of La Jolla for dinner. I've always wanted to go there...

- Friday, August 24, 2007 at 12:28:26 (EDT)
By the time we got to Round Valley, we were all cussing with exhaustion. It was a 2.1 mile hike on the map, but it didn't mention how half of it was up the friggin' mountain. The kids were troopers and we all felt accomplished when we finally arrived at the Buckthorn Camp and got all set up. The tent, inflatable mattress, and new down sleeping bag made for some deluxe digs. The hot drinks made lugging a stove along worth it too. The crash pad made it all the up the mountain, but we were too pooped-out to do any climbing. The place was a boulder wonderland, but it will be like pulling teeth to get the kids up there again. Now, camping in the sandy cave we found at the Trailside Kingdom shouldn't be too hard to talk them into...

- Wednesday, August 22, 2007 at 14:37:31 (EDT)
I'm typing this from the business center of our hotel in Palm Springs. Gotta love the internet! It's like a gazillion degrees here. We're taking the tram up into the mountains for a backpacking night and some bouldering. I hope it's cooler up there! I just finished Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck and it was one of the best books ever. He was truly the voice of his generation and the greatest american writer ever. I thought I had read all his books, so this one was a surprise, and a pleasant one at that! Well, I better get out to the pool and get the kids!

- Monday, August 20, 2007 at 13:48:07 (EDT)
I have been looking forward to the opening of the new paintings by Kelly Vivanco for a long time. The show, which we visited last night, was entitled Dispatch From The Peppermint Forest and was packed full of her incredible work. She's about my favorite artist and I broke the budget wide open to buy One To Be Planted. It was my first major oil acquisition, but it hangs in the show until 9/2 before it can come home. It is so exciting! The kids got toys too. Saphira scored some Scary Girls and Caleb got some Dunnys. I was having so much fun talking with the Subtext Guys and drinking free Widmer Hefeweizen that we almost missed the Bowling For Soup concert that was the evening's actual main event. They were downgraded from the big stage, so we didn't recognize their acoustic lounge act until they did "1984" and "High School Never Ends." Eventually, the show declined into You Can't Even Fuck With Us in which members from the opening bands joined them to play songs by bands whose names were yelled by the crowd. Now, that was fun!

- Saturday, August 18, 2007 at 12:26:15 (EDT)
Being a dad helps me get away with things like going to the Hilary Duff concert last night. I wanted to be aloof because I'm too cool to like such a pretty little popstar, but the kids were in bliss (Lizzie McGuire!) and it was a bit infectious. Explaining that moving up to better seats was the concert-going way didn't sway them at first, but when she sang Fly we moved down to the lower section for a better look. She had these go-go dancers that were fun to watch. Plus, she kept changing her clothes and shoes, which Saphira thought was pretty cool. Caleb was zombified by her proximity. We rushed the stage for her encore and were in the second row for Someone's Watching Me and even I was choked up for that one. After the show, she gave a darling speech and her gratitude and pretty/shy smiles were quite genuine. We appreciated her honesty, although it was like revealing an enigma to see her in real life and up close. Surprisingly, it wasn't sold out. Then again, at $62 a seat, I can see why some parents wouldn't do it. I'm glad I did. It was fun!

- Wednesday, August 15, 2007 at 12:23:43 (EDT)
No friends, no fun, no future... That pretty much sums up my current job. In yesterday's staff meeting, I had more senority than just about everyone in the room, but my position is about the lowest. Three times I was passed up for promotion and nobody asks me jack. Being hired by a web development client and re-entering the life insurance wholesaling business turned out to be one of my worst decisions ever. Now my skills have slipped for the only field I ever felt passionate about. I've probably sent out 100 resumes trying to get back to where I was. The most recent batch focus on sales, project management and customer service. I figger that I'm doing that now, so it might as well be in a cool field instead of this incredibly lame one.

- Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 12:56:26 (EDT)
The kids got back Saturday afternoon in time to hit Ray at Night. It's getting kinda boring. We had a way better time Sunday at my company picnic. The first thing we did was a paddle-boat ride. I cut that short due to my weak cardio condition. The kids then went out on paddle-bike cruise while I sat and drank beer and wondered about how they would be rescued. By the time they got back exausted, they confessed that they too were wondering how they would get rescued. Then it was a free lunch (burgers, chicken, pasta & potato salads, more beer) and off to the circus. That was surely the weekend's highlight! There's a reason why it's called the greatest show on earth! Caleb liked the tigers. Saphira liked the dog show. I liked the acrobat pyramids. Cool.

- Monday, August 13, 2007 at 19:30:28 (EDT)
The kids were at Uncle Daniel's a couple nights ago, so I ripped a stack of vinyl singles into my iPod. It began as a whim and ended up being a major all-night project because I kept adding more and more to the pile. By the time I passed out Afrika Bambaataa, Alternative TV, Chumbawamba, Cockney Rejects, The Cure, Daily Planet, The Dickheads, Elvis Costello, Iconoclast, Klark Kent, Middle Class, Patti Smith, Penetration, Suburban Lawns, Wendy O. with Lemmy, and 45 Grave were done. It was an epic punkrock binge!

- Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 13:14:26 (EDT)
I did one of my favorite things this weekend, a comic book binge! I dug into the pile for everything by Ted McKeever that I hadn't already read. Industrial Gothic came first and was the regular apocalyptic machine-man stuff. Toxic Gumbo, a Lydia Lunch story, took it a step further by adding pollution mutation to the mix. Enginehead, written by Joe Kelly, was a weak story but the art was brilliant. I love Ted McKeever! Eddy Current, Transit, Plastic Forks, Metropol, The Extremist, Faith... All top-shelf stuff in my collection!

- Monday, August 06, 2007 at 12:36:03 (EDT)
We had a cool art weekend, begining with the Radioactive Future show at the Zedism gallery. Pamela Jaeger had a beautiful painting of a stylized "nature girl" that contrasted sharply with the comic-style geometrics of Mary Fleener that hung beside it. Scott Saw and Tonya Van Parys both had cool stuff, (and many others... Good Show!) but the show-stoppers were the scary erotic assemblage things by some artist who's name I didn't catch. Saphira said they made her "uncomfortable." In other words, they were cool. For a small gallery, they had the best spread. Veggie food from Jyoti-Bihanga and bottles of Hangar One vodka. I had my fill of that tasty stuff straight up! The next day we trollied down to MCASD for family day, a regular good time thing for us. On the way home, we stopped at a cool gelato spot in Little Italy for lunch (yum!) and ended up at subtext spending money I didn't have on ultra-cool toys. It's now our favorite store in town, hands down!

- Monday, August 06, 2007 at 12:18:35 (EDT)
We fed our snake for the first time yesterday and marveled over how she opened her jaws to consume a baby mouse. We weren't paying attention as it courted it's prey, but looked back in time to see just the tail sticking out of it's mouth. Cool.

- Friday, August 03, 2007 at 14:33:07 (EDT)
We went to TNT last night and had a grand ol' time (like usual). We love being members of MCASD. That place is so hip and happening! The craft exercise was to create your own flying moustache-on-a-stick object that is all at once a puppet and a mask, a bird and a moustache (in the spirit of Robert Therrien's sculptural whimsy). Well, we ditched the stick and glue-dotted the felt cutouts right on our faces! Our moustaches, sideburns and beards were downright freaky on the trolley ride home! Another fun thing was playing musical chairs with live melodies by the Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra. I was knocked out second and won a great TNT t-shirt. Saphira won (!) and got, ta da, a great TNT t-shirt. There were some fantastic new exhibits by Jean Lowe & Peter Simensky. More on that later, or in the forum.

- Friday, August 03, 2007 at 12:48:45 (EDT)
I took the day off to be with the kids during their vacation and went to have a check-up at the doctor. I've been pretty hypochondriatic lately with huge fears of dying young and leaving my kids orphans. My list for the exam included: a weird throat feeling, skin bumps, psoriasis, failing eyes, sore feet... Guess I'm getting old. My blood work results should be back in a couple days. He said I need to exercise, diet, lose weight (239 lbs!) and quit smoking. Pretty basic stuff, but oh so hard for someone with no self-discipline like me!

- Thursday, August 02, 2007 at 08:57:38 (EDT)
Our lives would be a lot easier if we lived downtown. We were there Friday night for the "Love/Hate" opening at subtext. It was a true hipster scene with very cool art on auction and a keg of beer. Of course, the kids ran me out before I had enough of that! We went across the street to Mimmo's Italian Village for an awesome dinner of bruschetta, pizza, eggplant, lasagne and Pironi. Speaking of hipster scenes, the next night we hit up the Artist's Lofts downtown for the Glue Network benefit art and fashion show for the Invisible Children. I bid on a rad backside coping grind photograph and am still waiting to hear if we won. The big event of the weekend (downtown again!) was Comic Con. If you've been there, nothing need be said. If not, than get your butt there next year! I spent every $ in the bank and 21 more on books by Stan Sakai (custom drawing inside just for us!), Gilbert Hernandez (signed in person!), Paul Chadwick (Concrete!), Chester Brown (Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography!), Batton Lash (Supernatural Law!), and more! (Emily The Strange, Too Much Coffee Man). Now I'm dead broke.

- Monday, July 30, 2007 at 13:01:11 (EDT)
We put our new pool together last night and had a swim. Ahhhhh. It has been hella hot lately. Guess that global warming is kicking in! While the kids swam, I formatted my iPod to our iMac and re-loaded with with 60gb of music. It took a while, but it will be so much easier since that is my main piracy workstation. I grabbing some Tom Verlaine LPs right now. I used to move files to the PC with a pen drive or through the wireless network. Lately, that piece of crap won't even start up most of the time and I'm sick of it. Now it's sole purpose is to sync with my PDA, which is basically useless now that iGoogle is my calendar, to-do list, notes and spreadsheet application. Do you have a Google homepage yet? Mine is totally buffed out.

- Friday, July 27, 2007 at 14:44:54 (EDT)
I'm sitting in the classroom waiting for the second day of my Series Six Securities license class to begin. We are starting to market Variable products at work, so the accreditation is needed. It will be a miracle if I pass the test. actually. The content is bewildering! I may have to study... I hate it when that happens!

- Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at 11:23:24 (EDT)
Last night, my iPod once again had a "sad icon" on the startup screen. Nothing would work to get the thing started. In desperation, I turned to google to find a fix and got a novel solution. Whack it against something hard. It seemed counter-intuitive since I have always been careful NOT to do that very thing. Still, it was dead anyway, so I punched that sad icon in the nose and it started right up! I got a chuckle out of thinking that's what the support people would have done when I took it in for repair.

- Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at 18:19:49 (EDT)
We had a garage sale last weekend as a fundraiser for the kids to buy a snake with. Well, the sale was a bust. We made $3.50. Being the dad I am, we got "Cora" anyway ($170 with tank and supplies) and found it to be a pretty cool pet. It's a Sinaloan Milksnake and super beautiful. It's like a foot long, but should grow to about three feet. We're all pretty psyched about it. Me, because it's easy to take care of (a small mouse per week) and the kids because it's all squirmy and cold with a darting tongue. It's the best pet ever, except for maybe Bob and Mama Cat. Speaking of mama cats, both our black cats had kittens, so the kids are in bliss. Obviously, I'm a pretty pet-tolerant parent.

- Monday, July 16, 2007 at 17:10:47 (EDT)
We went to see the Adam Belt show last night at Quint Contemporary Art in La Jolla and were incredibly underwhelmed. His thing was little drawings of dams on giant while canvasses. Granted there were off-while textures indicating the landscape, but mostly it was pretty weak. Check out his works and you'll see what I mean. Fortunately, the back room had some stuff from their collection of Mel Boucher and Ryan McGuiness works that were excellent. Plus, there was a phenomenal digital media thing that blended time-lapse live video with imagery coded into the software. It was pretty awesome. Plus, there was free wine. Gotta love free wine.

- Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 20:58:58 (EDT)
The kids just about broke the bank last weekend doing chores. I had them doing some nasty yardwork and cleaning, but they didn't mind as long as they got paid. I'll tell ya, inflation has really raised the allowance rate! I would have had to work a month to make what they did in a weekend. They even had a lemonade stand. I asked them later what the motivation is. They want to get a snake. Great. Just what I need is another pet. At least it won't make much noise.

- Monday, July 09, 2007 at 19:24:10 (EDT)
We went to TNT last night for "Graphic Identity." It was pretty cool to see the collaborative collage built with some inspiration from the awesome Ryan McGinness mural on display in the gallery. We linger over it every time to pick out the datailed logos and graphic iconography he lays down in a graffiti style. Also on display were graphic designs from the fellas at Subtext. Finally, we posed as Pantone color chips and were projected onto the wall above the stage where The Brisbanes were popping. A fun night for all, but we got home on th trolley entirely too late, again. I guess I'm not much of a stickler for bedtime on school nights!

- Friday, July 06, 2007 at 19:02:22 (EDT)
We went to Sea World on the 4th of July (what was I thinking) and stood in line all day. The very first thing we did was ride the Shipwreck Rapids and get soaked. For the rest of the day I had wet feet and shorts. When we got to the Journey To Atlantis rollercoaster there was a two hour line. Bail that! We got to see R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse, the Cirque de la Mer show (which was pretty cool) and Pet's Rule. That's it for the shows because they were full when we got there a few times. The rest of the time was spent messing with the California Tide Pool, Forbidden Reef and climbing the excellent rock wall problems at the Shark Encounter. We struck out on my plan to watch fireworks from bayside. Saphira finally found us a spot where we could see the awesome grand finale. The crux of the day was leaving the parking lot after the fireworks. Cars were standing still for HOURS. We actually quit trying to GET OUT OF OUR SPOT (that's right, we didn't move) and went to sleep in the van. At midnight, I was able to finally drive home and there was still traffic on the roads. I got to bed at 2am!

- Thursday, July 05, 2007 at 18:01:08 (EDT)
I got off early for 4th, so we headed to the theatre for a movie marathon. First off was Evan Almighty. It was a highly anticipated event because we have loved every Steve Oedekerk movie. Steve Carell did a great job as the "Noah of New York" and it was cool seeing Morgan Freeman play God again. Especially fine was Lauren Graham as the mom. I really have a thing for hot moms lately. Speaking of hot, Megan Fox truly was one in Transformers. It was a crazy cool movie so action packed that we were in awe. The kids were gripping onto me. Plus, we were in the second row because the theatre was full when we snuck in. After that, we saw a third movie, Ratatouille, that was a whole lot of fun. It was like 11:30 when we left the theatre and everyone had a different choice as to which one was their favorite. Guess who like which one the most.

- Wednesday, July 04, 2007 at 10:47:28 (EDT)
We had a cool art weekend, beginning with the final exhibition of the San Diego Art Prize with works by Raul Guerrero, Yvonne Venegas, Jean Lowe, Iana Quesnell, Ernest Silva, and May-Ling Martinez. It was a great party, like always, and we had a great time. Interestingly, we trollied it this time and had a late-night adventure on the way back. It was full to capacity with folks standing in the aisles. Plus, we found a Zune in our seat. The next day, we were back on the trolley for MCASD Family Day. The first station had us making self-portrait collages out of magazine cut-outs. Then, it was upstairs to paint a Campbell's soup can masterpiece in Andy Warhol style. Plus, there was the art. Robert Therrien had two sets of giant (we walked under them!) tables with chairs in a new installation. It was pretty spectacular!

- Monday, July 02, 2007 at 11:34:00 (EDT)
The kids and I both are hella sunburned after our snorkle adventure in the dog beach channel yesterday. It was a worm day and the water temperature was perfect. After the first swim I thought the place was a dud and laid around like a beached whale. The kids didn't let me get away with that for long before they pulled me back in. We swam across the channel to the jetty and found lots of life in the rocks. I tried to show Saphira a giant starfish and octopus-looking thing I found, but she had washed away with the current and had to be rescued! I got her back to the spot and held her so she could see it. Caleb too. I almost drowned myself in the process when my snorkle filled with water. Pretty exciting!

- Monday, June 25, 2007 at 16:24:05 (EDT)
Madison has a sleepover last night and Caleb wouldn't let me nap, so we grabbed our skateboards and headed down to Hillcrest. We parked on the end by Park Boulevard and skated all the way to Fourth Avenue checking out shops and people all along the way. After scarfing chili fries and a root beer float at The Corvette we dragged our tired selves back across town to the car and got home late. The boy wanted to watch a "guys" movie, but passed out during The Bourne Identity. I don't know how that is even possible, since it was mega-exciting. Oh well... he's just a kid!

- Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 12:21:03 (EDT)
We went to Simayspace on Friday to see the San Diego Art Prize show for the "New Contemporaries." Turns out the damn Padres had a game that night and, since the gallery is located in the Art Academy on G Street, there were thousands trolling for the parking space we were seeking. Since I hate looking for a parking space, we bailed to the Athenaeum to see Alida Cervantes instead. Turns out it was a great show of messy oils by a pretty Tijuana-based artist. It was fun, if not hoity-toity. It's always cool to slum it in La Jolla. While munching at Wahoo's Fish Taco we got the idea of a night swim. The kids were freaking because they had never done it, but the night was calm and the shore deserted. Turned out to be an awesome experience for all.

- Saturday, June 23, 2007 at 22:47:38 (EDT)
I had my long anticipated salary review at work today and received all sorts of glowing praise and complements, which is unusual because I've been fired from every other job I've had. My raise will be (ta da!) $62.50 per paycheck! I guess I won't be getting that new car after all, but it looks like I'll still have a job. And, with kids and a mortgage, that's a good thing.

- Monday, June 18, 2007 at 19:24:23 (EDT)
We went snorkeling in the ocean for the first time yesterday. The surf was pretty high so we couldn't see a thing. It was wild. The place we went (dog cove in OB) had big rocks and strong currents. At times the kids were scared to tears and I had to do a couple rescues. Caleb was sucked out in a riptide and Saphira washed up on the rocks. Some nosy guy said it was unsafe, but the kids wouldn't have it any other way! They loved being thrashed about. If anything, they are thrillseekers. Caleb found some dead fish and was carrying them around to feed the crabs with when I got the bright idea to cut them into small pieces with some scissors I had. It was so gross the way the guts got all squishy! Yuch! The crabs would fight over the bits of gore. It was pretty cool.

- Monday, June 18, 2007 at 13:07:46 (EDT)
We've been going to the movies right when they come out because there have been a lot of good ones lately. Yesterday, we rushed to the early morning showing of the Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer movie and just loved it! They did an awesome job of rendering the intergalactic space rider and made him do all sorts of cool stuff like glomming right through buildings and stuff. Jessica Alba was hot, but in a whole different way than Emma Roberts was in Nancy Drew. It would be kind of creepy to think of a 16-year-old girl as sexy, but she was awfully cute. Plus, it was fun watching her sleuth. We couldn't decide which movie was better later in the food court. It was the a couple weeks ago when we saw Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Spider-Man 3. The black demon entity was pretty awesome, but nobody is more quirky that Captain Jack Sparrow. Also, there is no telling who is cuter between Keira Knightley and Kirsten Dunst. Sometimes you just can't choose a winner.

- Sunday, June 17, 2007 at 11:43:09 (EDT)
On Saturday the kids were in a show at the Del Mar Fair for their Heartlight Aerobics class at school. It was pretty fun for them to get up in front of a big crowd and do their thing. Plus, Saphira and Caleb both announced their group at the microphone! We got into the fair for free, but I still dropped a bundle on rides and food. Just by luck, Third World and Steel Pulse were playing a concert there so we listened for a while. Everywhere we went, the crowd was using Reggae music as an excuse to smoke ganga. There is nothing more pathetic than a white Rasta. It was a good chance to talk to the kids about drug use, considering how the people right next to us had a big ol' glass bong. We cut out of the fair early to make it to Ray At Night. It was the same overpriced crap and lame bands as usual, but my old mate Ken Nielson from art school had a show. It was cool seeing him and his fine art. A highlight was finding the keg at Planet Rooth, my favorite Ray Street gallery. SSI was churning digital mixes there on their Mac and let the kids do some mixing and filtering. That was pretty cool.

- Monday, June 11, 2007 at 19:12:10 (EDT)
When we stepped off the trolly at MCASD last night, it was right into the member's reception for the Modern American Masters exhibit featuring major modernist works by Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, and Ellsworth Kelly. We had seen the art already, but it didn't keep us from feasting on mini-burgers and chicken quesadillas. Plus, all the free Absolut Lemon cocktails you could drink was a perk. When the bar packed up, we went across the street to TNT for the Surprise Party based on the witty and often humorous work of Cerca Series artist William Feeney that explores the surprising and unexpected hidden in the everyday. The activity was creating "flip books" that displayed image progression, like little movies. A very cool thing was the Secret Box where we wrote one down. It was then photographed and displayed with all the others on a big screen. It was fun reading them...

- Friday, June 08, 2007 at 15:15:00 (EDT)
We had a super art weekend! Friday night we visited the Voice 1156 Gallery for a crazy-scary show called Cryptozoology: A Monster's Manual with paintings by Skinner, Matt Furie, and John Stuart Berger. The extreme, intricate and colorful installation was very cool, and disturbing. The kids have grown to expect this sort of thing there and took it in stride. The idea behind Cryptozoology is the search for animals hypothesized to exist, but for which conclusive proof is missing. In other words, paintings of gruesome monsters. The Vik Muniz: Reflex show at the MCASD La Jolla was a whole different story. The artist utilizes an astonishing variety of materials including dirt, sugar, wire, string, chocolate syrup, peanut butter, ketchup, color chips, plastic toys, junk, and diamonds, to reproduce famous paintings and protographs in freaky ways. The discussion of whether the pile of junk or the photo of it was the art never really ended. The junk pile is long gone and all that's left is the photo. It all boiled down to process. The kids were bored out of their mind during his talk at the opening, but I was facinated by how he created "drawings" out of stuff. Sunday was MCASD Family Day on which we met Cerca Series artist William Feeney and did a wierd project involving stuffed animals and tape. The idea was to transform and ordinary, everyday object into art that changes the way you see things. Mostly, it just made the kids cry with frustration, but happy in the end.

- Monday, June 04, 2007 at 13:32:36 (EDT)
On Friday night, the kid's school had their annual "Spring Fling" and silent auction. It's always lots of fun to bid on the stuff. Each class builds a basket with contributions from the students. Caleb put some cookie molds in his "Kitchen Kit" and Saphira contributed a tire puncture repair thing to her "Road Emergency" collection. I got outbid on a new skateboard for Caleb, but we did win some horseback riding vouchers for the Julian Stables. We ended up paying more than it costs (the regular auction thing, actually) but Saphira had a point that we probably wouldn't do it if we didn't have tickets. So, keep posted to find out about our mountain adventure!

- Sunday, June 03, 2007 at 18:10:07 (EDT)
Last night I took the kids into the storm drains like I used to when I was a kid. We went under 54th Street first. The entry was totally covered by iceplant. When I parted it and went through, they gasped with glee. Since the end was visible from the beginning, it was pretty wuss. That wasn't the case when we cut under Collwood Avenue. That tunnel took a few turns and had total blackness. They were remarkably brave with this. It helped to have our yap-dog Bob in the lead to sniff out any threats. It was way longer than I remembered it. Turns out it was lengthened when a new housing complex was added. The end was new too, a drop-off into a manky pool. I sure wasn't going in, so we had to turn around. There was a ladder, so I led the way upward and pushed up the cover to emerge in a condo parking lot all covered with spiderwebs. Cool.

- Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 14:24:39 (EDT)
It was a long weekend, so we packed it up and headed out to Joshua Tree. We got a late start and it was kinda late by the time we got to 29 Palms, so we checked into Motel 6 rather than mess around with setting up camp. The next day, we swam in the pool first thing before heading out to Indian Cove. It was hella hot and our spot didn't have any shade, so the first thing I did was rig up a tarp and crawl under it. Saphira found a breezey spot for us and we spent the rest of the day laying around reading. As the evening came, we emerged and explored around a bit. The campfire made us sweat as we cooked our sausage sandwiches over it. Being lazy, I proposed "sleeping under the stars" because I was in no mood to wrestle with the tent. Turns out the kids found it a cool adventure to sleep out, after I talked them out of their fear of coyotes and snakes. The desert moon was so bright that we had to cover our faces to shut it out. At sunup it was immediately hot, so we packed up and split without doing even one climb.

- Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 13:59:42 (EDT)
It's a funny thing about art openings. My main motivation, I suppose, is to be part of the scene and drink free booze. Such was the case at Culture & Cocktails. It was our first opening at the San Diego Museum of Art since becoming members and was a highly anticipated event. There were tons of beautiful people there. The Pre-Raphaelite show sounded interesting since Raphael was an important artist with prominent works. When we finally got around to looking at the exhibit, I was disgusted. Turns out a group of London artists in the mid 1800's didn't like "modern" art and turned back the clock to create weak imitations of an already boring style while rejecting the exciting impressionist and expressionist styles. What a bunch dopes! What was very cool was seeing DJ Sergio on the turntables again. Plus, all the free Absolut Peach I could drink was bonus. Also, we picked up the Andy Warhol Martini Set we've been wanting.

- Friday, May 25, 2007 at 12:55:30 (EDT)
On Friday night we went downtown to the The Love Movement Benefit at the Voice 1156 Gallery, my favorite boutique in town. They always have killer art, and this show was no exception. It was a tough sell getting the kids to agree on which piece to buy until we saw Do The Right Thing in the front window. Now it's ours! There was a band, which was cool, but the damn kids still ran me out like they always do. We went uptown and wandered around a bit, but it was too late for shopping. Saturday was birthday party day. Caleb had one at the Ultrazone and had a blast playing laser tag. Saphira was at a sleepover at Helena's, so Caleb and I went to see Spider-Man 3. Awesome! We also saw Shrek The Third while we were there. Yesterday we trollied downtown to see the new installations at MCASD, but never made it because of our unusual adventure at Ikea San Diego on the way. I'll have to tell you about that one later...

- Monday, May 21, 2007 at 12:04:17 (EDT)
I spent the morning yesterday installing art in the house, one of my favorite things to do. We've got so much now that things have to be moved around to make space. The kids finally said enough's enough and pushed me out the door to do anything but move pictures around! My bank has a free museum month program, so we headed to the Museum of Man. The parking was heinous and we ended up on the other side of the park. Thus, stops at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the Botanical Building and the San Diego Museum of Art came first. It's funny... We had seen the art a zillion times already, but since we were members it was possible to go in just to use the restroom. Ha! We went into the gift shop and it was a narrow escape from buying an Andy Warhol soup can print and martini shaker set. We finally got home and I spent the rest of the day playing Tomb Raider.

- Monday, May 14, 2007 at 17:59:03 (EDT)
We went to this cool event called Art in the Garden at the City Farmers Nursery on Home Avenue. It was truly an oasis stuck right in the heart of the old city. I remember skateboarding past the place every day in my teens. Now, there is all sorts of plants and garden doo-dads collected there. Plus, there were artists tucked into various places hawking wares. I just had to buy a bracelet made by Saphira's boyfriend, Ben. Also, we picked up some watercolor flowers at another table. We dropped in on Ray at Night as we always do on the second Saturday of each month and we finally got a painting from Franklin Bolster that we have been coveting for quite some time. I was especially pleased by my new piece called Get Me Off This Island by Jeff Claassen. I wanted everything he had. He was that kind of artist.

- Sunday, May 13, 2007 at 15:27:58 (EDT)
I had the chance to see Factory Girl and thought it was a great but disturbing film. The performances of Sienna Miller as Edie Sedgwick and Guy Pearce as Andy Warhol were top notch. It really captures these pop icons in a believable and captivating way. The "poor little rich girl" was pretty pathetic in the end and it was sad to see a person so down on their luck. For some reason I thought Mary-Kate Olsen was producer or something, which made this a somewhat anticipated event (even though my daughter thought she was disloyal to her fans by being involved in an R movie). Turns out she was just an uncredited art gallery patron in some scene. I'll have to look for her next time cuz she's kinda cute.

- Friday, May 11, 2007 at 13:59:48 (EDT)
It took weeks, but I finally finished Herman Wouk's Youngblood Hawke last night. All his books are great, and this one was the best. It was one of those "lay there for 20 minutes hugging the cover and pondering while drying your tears" type of novel. I found it compelling because it was about an author and I have always wanted to be one. Youngblood Hawke was a Kentucky mountain boy who makes it big in New York and wins the Pulitzer Prize. His lifestyle eventually does him in, along with his bad romantic choices. Sounds like someone I know... His tombstone said "Death is only a sadness. Tragedy lies in waste." Well said. That's a concept I deal with daily.

- Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 15:08:58 (EDT)
We trollied down to Family Day at the Museum of Contemporary Art yesterday and the kids had a blast recording sound loops with instruments they made and having them mixed into compositions by techies from the Trummerflora Collective who were on site. It opened my eyes to a whole new media which I have the hardware to mess around with, Phonography. This involves recording environmental sounds which are sucked into software to generate tracks. Pretty cool stuff. We recorded a bunch of sounds on the way home and it's gonna be fun figuring out how to use Garageband to record our own multitrack creations.

- Monday, May 07, 2007 at 18:00:32 (EDT)
We went out to the Campo-Lake Morena Round-Up yesterday to see the Gunfight Competition, Bull Riding and Gymkhana (fancy horse tricks) and it turned into quite a roadtrip. We've been thinking about moving to a small town, so I showed the kids Alpine. It was still small, but there was way too much new building to suit my taste. Pine Valley was very cool when we stopped into Frosty Burgers for lunch. The kids liked it, but there was some boredom concern, which is understandable since we are city-folk. Plus, there was a hella commute from there, which means I'd have to find a new country job. We visited Crest on the way home and it seemed to fit our needs. People had horses there and big views, plus it's a reasonable drive to my job. One house we liked was over $800,000 (ouch) and a mobile home we didn't like was $89,000 (I could buy that with cash after selling my house). Interesting...

- Sunday, May 06, 2007 at 22:29:52 (EDT)
We trollied to TNT at MCASD last night and had fun checking out music, art, and dance from the Trummerflora Collective. Their stuff was pretty avant-garde. For music they had household items repurposed into instruments. The dance was more like performance art. They interacted with Ernesto Neto's hanging blob things and again with the Richard Serra's steel cubes in the foyer. Then, it was upstairs for origami. We had pizza on the way home and finally got to bed around midnight. What a night!

- Friday, May 04, 2007 at 20:22:26 (EDT)
We went to the Lakeside Rodeo during the weekend and just loved it. Getting decked out in cowboy clothes gets the mood started. The show always starts with a synchronized horseback flag ceremony, which is cool. This rodeo's first event was bareback bronc busting and from then on it is one exciting thing after another. Calf roping and wrestling, team roping and bull riding... Our favorite is the "pretty girls on fast horses" during the barrel racing. Whooo! This year, the rodeo clown was The Wild Child who combined jokes and pranks with awesome motocross riding. I even got his autograph!

- Tuesday, May 01, 2007 at 11:40:26 (EDT)
On the way back from Artwalk the trolley stopped, switched tracks, and returned to Old Town. (A car barreled into two electrical poles, cutting power to the Orange Line track between 62nd Street and Massachusetts Avenue in San Diego, according to SignOnSanDiego.) So, we jumped off and went exploring. Saphira is quite the authority on Old Town since she spent a week there in school. The Whaley House cost money and I was broke after buying lotsa art, so we had to settle for the El Campo Cemetery instead. You can't visit Old Town without having Mexican food. Being poor, I found a ghetto spot called Rancho La Le?a and split some Fajitas with the kids. More goofing around, then back to the trolley. Some psycho serenaded Saphira, which was creepy. Finally, we got home and passed out watching My Name Is Earl re-runs.

- Monday, April 30, 2007 at 13:26:53 (EDT)
We trollied to Little Italy yesterday for Artwalk and had an awesome time. What made it extra cool is I got a check form Google Adsense (ka ching!)and was able to buy some stuff! Saphira was wild over the floral photographs on canvas that Gregory Ballerino had. He got my $ because I greatly appreciated his digital to Photoshop method. Plus, he was a great guy. So was Rob Padilla from La Bufadora B.C. His wild colors sucked me right into his booth. Breathtaking! On the money round, he was first on the list and we came away with the Rhino. Man, I'd kill for one of his big canvasses. Another guy I wanted bad was Ed Burgess, but he was way out of my range since all his paintings were original oils. Still, his cartoony stuff was right up my alley. I found a cool print, however, so we didn't leave there empty-handed. We scored some Nelson De La Nuez prints that the kids picked for themselves. Saphira screamed with glee when she found "Shoe Paradise" and Caleb picked the "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots" which brings back some fun memories for me. Robb Rael was way over on the end and was another great artist who's work was out of range. We walked in to see his painted skate decks since Caleb needs a new one. Turns out they were $600 + so we left with just a print.

- Sunday, April 29, 2007 at 12:42:41 (EDT)
I took a couple days off to make a bonus four-day weekend at the end of the kids spring vacation. We did lots of fun stuff, but the coup de grace was the Dolphin Interaction at Sea World. The kids both got into a wetsuit and played with dolphins using tricks a trainer helped with. They loved it! After that, we drove across the street to the Paradise Point Resort and checked in. We have been wanting to stay there after sneaking into the pool a few times. It was real posh and fun. We watched Catch and Release while munching on room service. Now that's the life! I dropped a bundle over the weekend, but it was worth it to see my kids happy. It gives me some perspective on what my folks did for me...

- Wednesday, April 25, 2007 at 12:49:29 (EDT)
We started off the weekend with a fun visit to the drive-in to see Blades of Glory. What a crack up! Will Ferrell and Jon Heder both are super funny men, but there was a whole host of quirky characters in this must-see movie. On Saturday Saphira had a sleepover for Maddie's birthday, so Caleb and I had a boy's night out. First off, we caught Lee Puffer's "Oblivion" opening at SDSU's Flor y Canto Gallery. That's the best place for art shows, except for L Street, because there is always free beer and lots of food. Lee's art was FREAKY with dismembered bodies and inverted heads all built in large-scale ceramics. On the way back, we stopped in for some bowling at Aztec Center. Sunday was Mia's birthday party at Boomers. The kids are still too small to drive go-carts (bummer) but we still had fun on other rides and miniature golf. The especially liked laser tag. I had the chance to read and re-read a splendid article on Jim Bridwell, one of my super-duper heroes of all time, while the kids goofed off. The article made me wax nostalgic on the whole Yosemite climbing thing. For decades it has been my passion and it will be cool to get the kids up on a wall someday...

- Monday, April 16, 2007 at 14:43:55 (EDT)
We visited the San Diego Museum of Art last night for the member preview of the annual Art Alive exhibit. Over 100 floral designers created beautiful arrangements inspired by works in the Museum's collection. It was way crowded, but worth it because some of the pieces were incredible. There were some new installations as well. The one I liked was called "Backs" and featured paintings displayed so both sides of the canvas were visible. There was some interesting things on the back of those old masterpieces! Another cool thing was the "Young Art 2007: Exploring Color" show with school-kid paintings and drawings. We expected food, since it was a member's only night, but there wasn't any. We bailed to eat Sushi instead.

- Friday, April 13, 2007 at 18:37:36 (EDT)
We went to see the Ryan McGinness opening at the Quint Gallery in La Jolla on Saturday and we were all fairly blown away. It was an adventure to even find the place, since it was tucked away in an alley. The venue and art both were like deep underground and well worth the exploration. It says much that all the art was sold before the opening. Some of the canvasses were $85,000! And for good reason. He did this totally unique layered silkscreen thing that was totally amazing. After drinking all the free beer I could, we split to grab some sushi. The alley was packed on the way back checking out the band Grand Ole Party. The gal on drums sang while the guitar spit out off-kilter jams. Overall, it was a class act at the Quint.

- Monday, April 09, 2007 at 12:48:00 (EDT)
It's Passover now and we have been having a good time of it. On the first night we had our Seder at home, which is the very best way to do it. I like leading them and we all took turns reading and discussing. Jen did a good job preparing and we ate like royalty. The cutest thing was seeing the kids read Hebrew. Saphira is pretty enthusiastic about it, but Caleb was frustrated with the whole concept. On the second night we went to the big shul in Hillcrest. I don't really like community Seders because they always do group discussion crap and I don't really like people much. It ended up being fun. The kids liked it, which is the most important. Also, Mom Marsh was cute and it's important to keep her happy. Plus, the Gifelte fish was awesome!

- Wednesday, April 04, 2007 at 11:55:27 (EDT)
At bedtime last night we watched Bridge to Terabithia. The kids had seen it already and tried not to spoil it for me when something was going to happen. It really caught my interest! Good movie! Josh Hutcherson is a favorite from Zathura, RV and Little Manhattan. The star for me, however, was AnnaSophia Robb. She is definitely a hottie in the making! We recognized her from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and her role as Violet Beauregarde. She is so cute and her part in Terabithia was fantastic and tragic. Especially cool were the fantastical creatures conjured up by "keeping their minds wide open." We'll be watching that film again for sure!

- Monday, April 02, 2007 at 16:31:41 (EDT)
Saphira and I made our monthly visit to the MCASD Family Day on Sunday. The art project was to check out Morris Louis' huge paintings, then create our own works on the plaza with super-cool spray watercolors. I finally had the chance to watch Eija-Liisa Ahtila The Hour of Prayer video installation in its entirety. We sniffed our way through Ernesto Neto's fabric room installtion and added a twist by actually tasting the spice blobs. Yuch! We trollied it down there and were pleased to see the finally installed our poster on the wall outside! It was between a huge poster of Nancy Rubins' Pleasure Point (a giant hanging accumulation of rowboats, canoes, jet skis, and surfboards) and one of Andy Warhol. They told us yesterday that we are on the brochure and website as well. Guess that makes us like rockstars!

- Monday, April 02, 2007 at 12:27:00 (EDT)
Saturday was a Sea World day. Of course we rode the Atlantis rollercoaster, but most of the day was devoted to shows. We finally got to see the complete Pet's Rule show (it was rained out last time) and really got a kid out of the trained animals. It's pretty amazing the things they get them to do. My wonderment continued at the Dolphin Discovery show where they did things like jump into the air flapping their tail and barking. How do they train them to do multiple behaviors? Clyde and Seamore's Risky Rescue was fun (again). We think the mime is a funny, funny man. It was a surprize that he had a speaking part in the Sea Lions Tonight show, a spoof of the other attractions at the park and a total crack-up. First time we saw that one. We also saw Shamu Rocks for the first time and it is was a fitting ending to the day. Those killer whales are iconic and for good reason. Wow.

- Sunday, April 01, 2007 at 01:16:48 (EDT)
We went to see Lily Allen at the House of Blues last night and it was truly the social event of all time for my kids. She is our favorite pop star right now and in concert she was more adorable than ever! Her potty-mouth attitude is what made me like her in the first place and I kinda blushed as she turned on the bad-girl charm in the show. The kids were stunned. Still, as she pranced about slagging all things cultural they went wild screaming and jumping. To tell the truth, so did I (even though I was like twice as old as everyone around me). I didn't go to a big concert until I was 19 or so. I guess that makes me a cool dad.

- Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 14:04:53 (EDT)
Embarrasing as it is, I've got to admit that Julia Stiles is just about my favorite actress right now. She has an adorable little toss to her head that I just adore! We watched The Prince & Me last night and it was really fun. It never would have even been on the tube at all if I wasn't a daddy. Now, I have all these new Julia Stiles movies to watch. Pretty funny.

- Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 12:30:06 (EDT)
The kids and I love Jason Lee. Not only have we seen every Kevin Smith movie (questionable parenting style there) ever made, but also all the episodes of "My Name Is Earl" as well. So, when we saw A Guy Thing in the used DVD rack at the videogame store, we just had to have it. What a great, funny movie it was! Lee was engaged to marry Selma Blair, who was cute in her regular uptight way. When he met Julia Stiles, however, things began to get wierd. Because Stiles was in the movie I thought it might be teeny-bopper, but in this movie it became evident that she has grown from a hot chick to a woman. Good stuff!

- Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 11:56:05 (EDT)
For Caleb's birthday yesterday (he's 9!) we went to GameStop, which is like his favorite place in the whole world. He picked X-Men for his GameBoy while Saphira and I combed the DVD rack. We found a Jason Lee movie (more on that later) that looked pretty good. The one we watched when we got home was Superstar. Oh yeah! Molly Shannon played a twisted catholic girl who had the hots for Will Ferrell, until she kissed him. Yuck! Elaine Hendrix is a favorite of ours and she was fun as the girl named after bottled water. "Go drink a bottle of yourself!" At bedtime everyone noticed my new Kelli Murray Painting hanging in the bedroom and had a fit. It sucks. I saved up for something I really wanted and got shot down. My whole life is for others, I guess. The happy ending is it hangs right next to my monitor at work so I can look at it all day long.

- Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at 13:00:31 (EDT)
We watched The Royal Tennenbaums last night and really enjoyed it. It ran like a play with narration and very cool characters. The cast was totally star-studded. Gene Hackman was Royal Tenenbaum, a lovable asshole of a father who disconnected from his family and forced his wife Etheline Tenenbaum (Anjelica Huston) to raise their three kids. My favorite was Gwyneth Paltrow as Margot Tenenbaum. She had this sexy dreary way like Edie Sedgwick that was entirely hot. Her brother/lover Richie Tenenbaum was played masterfully by Luke Wilson, one of our favorites. Another Wilson we love is Owen, who played the eccentric cowboy drug-addict Eli Cash. The last kid was Ben Stiller's uptight yuppie character Chas Tenenbaum who just couldn't forgive and forget. It was an awesome movie that should strike a resonant note with anyone who grew up in a disfunctional family (who didn't?). Well worth checking out.

- Tuesday, March 20, 2007 at 12:07:24 (EDT)
I took the kids to the art museum in Balboa Park to see the Harmonia Baroque Players perform the Old Masters of Music and Art presentation. It was doubtful that they would like it, but it turns out they did. Even punkrock Caleb had his groove on. What's not to like? They had freaky-old instruments like the archlute, harpsichord and viola da gamba. Plus, they were all real cool and answered our questions about how they worked. Then, the music! They played selections from Bach, Barsanti, Quantz and Telemann with an encore by Vivaldi. The soaring and deep music created the perfect setting for browsing the surrounding art from the same time period. It was like stepping into the movie Girl with a Pearl Earring.

- Monday, March 19, 2007 at 15:07:24 (EDT)
Caleb had a sleepover birthday party last night and it was pretty crazy for a while there. Saphira had friends over as well, which made it doubly wild. Mom put a scavenger hunt together in the back yard where the kids looked for hidden stuff. After that, the kids came into the house to play a board game I got Caleb called "Deal or No Deal" based on the TV show. About then, the pizza came. Then presents. Then cake. Basic stuff. Caleb spent the rest of the weekend messing with his new laser alarm things that buzzed when the beam was broken by someone walking by. Some kids went home, leaving Jon, Madison and Jazelle to spend the night. Since the boys were in the living room and the girls were in my room, I was kinda exiled to the big green chair for a fitfull sleep in the early morning. After morning pancakes, everyone went home. The end.

- Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 17:55:04 (EDT)
Patti Smith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today and, for once, I totally agree. Most of the inductees are stupid and that makes the whole thing too lame for her to even be involved in. To me, she is one of the most important artists of our generation. Her response was "One of the things that makes life worth living is being inspired by others, so I would hope that, in giving me this honor, they're saying that I did good work and they have faith that I'll keep doing good work. And that's what I'll do." You can bet that I'll get every cd she ever makes to go with all of her others that I alreeady have.

- Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 14:35:02 (EDT)
Both people I mentioned An Inconvenient Truth to yesterday denied global warning, citing natural cycles, faulty science, and what-not. The irony is that yesterday San Diego's official weather station recorded a record-setting temperature of 86 degrees, surpassing the previous high of 84 degrees in 1947. 86 degrees in the winter? It is interesting that the loudest voices against the problem come from folks who haven't been exposed to the data. Those who have are almost always concerned. There is a long way to go if we want to save the planet...

- Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 12:11:12 (EDT)
While in Balboa Park, we snuck into the San Diego Natural History Museum to check out fossils and other science-type stuff. On a whim, we ducked into the theatre there to see An Inconvenient Truth. It was the story of Al Gore's (hero guy!) fervent crusade to halt global warming's deadly progress in its tracks by exposing the myths and misconceptions that surround it. We were deeply affected and kinda stunned. It was downright scary, actually. I have never really cared if I lived or died, until the kids came. But to see that they, and everyone else, could die in their lifetime from humanity's lifestyle was just too much. Stuff like the amount of flooding (Manhattan underwater) that would happen when the icecaps melt and the raging storms and the record heatwaves were shocking. This important movie was much different from the weekend's other film, Little Miss Sunshine. It was nothing but fun, adorable and cute. We loved it!

- Monday, March 12, 2007 at 12:47:26 (EDT)
On Sunday we hit up the Museum of Art in Balboa Park to see Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life. It's a major traveling show with hundreds of images by the famed photographer. The kids ran around looking for people they recognized (a favorite was Johnny Depp sleeping atop a naked Kate Moss) while my thing was more about her awesome technique. The compositions were just stunning. In another room was Mel Bochner: Drawing from Four Decades. His facination with numbers and technical drawing was apparent. Also of note were his visual puns and word-play. As we walked the exhibit, the art grew on us until, at the end, we were actually impressed. In the next room was Jasper Johns' Green Angel: The Making of a Print. The etched copper printing plates used to make the art were on display and I explained to the kids how it worked. As an aid, there were examples hanging that showed how each impression added to the piece, leading up to the complete original art. The print itself was kinda wierd, but the process was interesting. Other cool stuff was the ancient art (kids listened to the recorded presentation in Spanish and giggled), portraiture (Caleb opened the emergency exit and set off the alarm, which brought guards running), and media library (Saphira found some way to exit the program, allowing us to explore the computer's harddrive) exhibits.

- Monday, March 12, 2007 at 12:27:06 (EDT)
We visited the Pulp Vomit show Saturday because an email said there were free t-shirts for the first 100 visitors. Well, I read it wrong. We got silk screened vomit bags instead. We cut across University to Ray at Night (2nd Saturday of the month) and had a grand ol' time. Joanna Royal was singing with her band and was soooo wonderful! Definately a talent to check out. We were also dazzled by the lacquered artwork of Amy Paul. We ran out of the show when we saw somebody shooting fire out of their mouth in the street. It was Murrugun the Mystic. He continued to wow us with all sorts of demented sword swollowing, piercing, and pain stuff (bed of nails). Caleb actually used a staple gun to attach two bucks to his stomach. Ouch! Another interesting thing was the Clothesline Project. Women who were victims of violence wrote about it on a shirt which was hung on a clothesline for viewers to read.

- Sunday, March 11, 2007 at 09:10:23 (EDT)
We had a blast at the Domestic Deviation show at the L Street Gallery Saturday night The works of Ernest Silva and May-Ling Martinez, recipients of the San Diego Art Prize, were shown. The gallery is part of the Omni Hotel, so the food was top-notch and the beer was free. (Horray!) The kids got to meet the artists and ask questions. They even got interviewed for TV! The art was an interesting modernization of post-war family images. Kinda like Leave It To Beaver meets The Road Warrior. As a bonus, we snuck into the Omni and goofed around. Fun! The next day, Saphira and I rode the trolly downtown to the MCASD Family Day and used Hector Zamora's work as inspiration to create our own reflective collages from photos they took of us. Another cool thing was the barriers were removed from Ernesto Neto's "fabric room" installation and we were able to smell all the different spices for the first time.

- Monday, March 05, 2007 at 13:54:06 (EST)
On a bummer note, my PC wouldn't start up this morning. The screen would come up, then go blank while loading. I tried restoring and repairing the OS, but to no avail. An error message came up though that described a bad video card. It's wierd, it would run in safe mode but not in full. CompUSA has a cheapo card for $50 that I could slap in there to see if it fixes it. But, I don't have $50. Also, I wonder if a video card can be returned? Wadda hassle...

- Friday, March 02, 2007 at 13:02:43 (EST)
Last night we went to our first members opening downtown at the Museum of Contemporary Art to see Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited. It was incredible! Our family membership was motivated greatly by the desire to have free food and drink (Ha!) and we weren't dissapointed. Servers were walking around with foo-foo trays and wine. Plus, there were buffet stations. We gorged on steak sanwiches until we could eat no more! Then, the art... Wow! His painterly technique was a wonder to behold and we spent much time discussing and examining the huge canvasses. Also opening was H?ctor Zamora: Specular Reflexions. It was so modern. We walked into the room and it was empty. What? It turns out that the artist applied reflective film to the windows to "alter the viewer's relationship to the space and brings attention to the process of seeing." Whatever.

- Friday, March 02, 2007 at 12:41:04 (EST)
Sunday was an easy day. Maddie came by for a while for a pizza party. Then, we watched the Academy Awards. Their results are similar to my feelings about pop music (the higher the rating, the worse it is). I hated some of the films that won (Dream Girls, The Queen) and disliked most (Pan's Labyrinth, Letters from Iwo Jima, The Last King of Scotland). I was pleased that Martin Scorsese won for The Departed. It wasn't the best movie I saw all year, but was the best of the choices (except for maybe Little Miss Sunshine). I was very pleased that Marie Antoinette won for Best Achievement in Costume Design. That was actually one of my favorites of the year. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest deserved the Best Achievement in Visual Effects award too, even though I fell asleep in the theatre watching it. It was also cool that An Inconvenient Truth was the best Best Feature Documentary. I actually voted (for once) when Al Gore won the presidency, but that is another story...

- Monday, February 26, 2007 at 14:43:32 (EST)
We spent most of the day Saturday at the hospital watching Be Cool and Bounce while waiting for Saphira's doctor to release her. She needed to get off the IV pain meds first, but mostly it was allowing the staff to just get around to it. Good thing I have insurance because that place charges by the minute, it seems! I'm guessing the bill will be int the five-digit $ range. Still, it was a good experience overall and I felt a bit nostalgic leaving, which was kinda wierd. When we got home we had to take it easy, so we watched 14 episodes of My Name Is Earl back-to-back!

- Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 11:21:21 (EST)
Saphira had an Appendectomy yesterday. Poor little thing! She was so brave about it when we spent the night in the hospital before the procedure. Afterwards was a different story! She didn't know it would hurt so much to get cut up inside. It cheered her up a bit that I got tickets to see Lily Allen at the House of Blues next month!

- Friday, February 23, 2007 at 14:01:12 (EST)
Saphira was sick as a dog on Monday. I had big plans for my day off with the kids (President's Day?) but it was rainy and cold. Not Sea World weather at all. So, I read Douglas Coupland and messed around with my computer.

- Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 12:18:43 (EST)
The unlikely song of the weekend was Hugh Grant's Pop Goes My Heart, an incredibly silly and wonderful pop tune from the movie Music And Lyrics. We saw it at the drive-in and just adored it! The movie was about writing a song and it was so fun watching him and Drew Barrymore (cute!) try to get it done. The resulting song, A Way Back Into Love, is just beautiful. This morning it was turned up loud in the parking lot as I arrived at work and I was a little embarrased that someone would hear it. The other movie, Because I Said So, was also very fun. I love Diane Keaton and have for years. Lauren Graham too. The kids like Mandy Moore and enjoyed watching her, and her mother, grow up in this light-hearted film. It would have been a great double-feature, if Saphira didn't get the stomach flu while we sat there. By the end, she had her head hanging out the door laying on the floor. Poor thing!

- Monday, February 19, 2007 at 10:16:28 (EST)
We were really impressed with The Athenaeum when we went there Friday to an opening of drawings, prints and book illustrations by Georg Eisler, a Realist artist with Expressionist origins. The work was interesting enough. Certainly right up the alley of all the stuffed-shirts there to see it. Still, I couldn't shake the feeling that all it took to be an artist was to have a body of work and that I needed to get busy, rather than waste my life. Finding a book about Frank Lloyd Wright in the extensive art library (wow!) was the drove the point home. His work and life pretty much sums it up for me. His old-age portrait showed that it is never too late. We will become members to gain access to that library, that's for sure. A true suprize was finding the work of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) on display at the Fingerhut Gallery on Prospect. We have been searching for a piece of art to buy with my tax return. It looks like the search has ended. Now I just have to get my hands on that money...

- Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 14:44:29 (EST)
I was reading Jane Magazine online yesterday and came upon their music review archive. Since Jane is a publication I like, I checked out some of the bands that sounded interesting by searching for them on MySpace Music. They were all there and very pop. The Cardigans were interesting enough to check out cuz they had a chick singing. I like that. On the way to work their Emmerdale album was playing and sounded pretty good! On the way home, their First Band On The Moon album was on and I started getting a little tired of them. The swith to Incubus was a bust. After skipping through a couple horrible songs I cued up The Lemonheads instead. I actually turned it up because there was some good songwriting there, even if the tunes were a bit too accessible. The pop foray was interesting, but didn't find me any favorite new band. Oh well.

- Wednesday, February 14, 2007 at 11:58:01 (EST)
I took the day off yesterday to be with the kids (Lincoln Day) and ended up just lying around reading Douglas Coupland. I finished Hey Nostrodomos and, after hugging the book, I turned to Saphira and said "after I am dead and you find my Douglas Coupland books in some box you will hug them too when you read them." Understandably, she gave me a wierd look. I started jPod, yet another techie cubicle tale (gotta love it!) and spent, like, five hours with my nose in it. The kids did drag me off the bed (a new one, thanks to my folks buying furniture) long enough to visit Dog Beach and Sea World, but mostly I just lazed around. What a Slacker.

- Tuesday, February 13, 2007 at 13:42:26 (EST)
Somehow I got a free subscription to Spin Magazine and it serves as a good indicator of what bands NOT to bother with. Top 40 lists, for me, work in a converse manner. The higher a band is, the more they suck. For instance, The Shins were at the top and had a feature article pimping their Wincing the Night Away album. It wasn't so horrible that I couldn't listen to it (like Back To Basics, the new one from Christina Aguilera. I didn't even listen to a complete song on that one!) but it is expelled from podland forever. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood from Neko Case would be there too if she wasn't so dang beautiful! The suprize hit was Alright, Still from Lily Allen. We must have listed to that album five times this weekend. The irony was that she had a tiny review on like page 80 of Spin.

- Monday, February 12, 2007 at 11:42:39 (EST)
We went to the John Q. Public & Citizen Jane show at The SDSU Gallery and had a really cool time. Being junior techies, both kids jumped on the multimedia stuff when they saw a pedestal with a mouse on it. Hasan Elahi's Tracking Transience was quite a grand-scaled piece that I would have liked to explore more. The other interactive piece, Luther Thie & Eyal Fried's Acclair Brain Fingerprinting Session was kinda wierd, though. Caleb liked Raven's big photographs and video that comprised Endurance. Saphira liked Martha Rosler's ironic photocollages. I liked Pamela Vander Zwan's Braille flash cards that helped decipher the message "The government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have." Cool stuff. We saw some interesting art at the Crossing Tracks Gallery at their Love Handles opening (free beer!) and stopped off at the Wierdo show at the Fish Out Of Water gallery on the way to Ray At Night. Everyone was shocked that I wanted to buy somethind at the Wierdo (scary!), but that art is just way more exciting than the overpriced crap on Ray Street.

- Sunday, February 11, 2007 at 13:17:00 (EST)
My daughter and I had an awesome heart-to-heart Sunday as we trollied downtown about happiness and how I can achieve it. She said I set my standards way too high, so it is no wonder that I am miserable. She said to do something possible that would provide passion. She said to write my book. So, today I built an interface that would allow me to write from any computer and add to my book like I do this blog. Maybe the book will be a blog. It's been in me for years, so I'm actually pretty excited.

- Tuesday, February 06, 2007 at 19:25:17 (EST)
The family pretty much pushed me out the door of the Life Is Hard But... So Am I show at the Voice 1156 Gallery Friday night. The art was too scary and the music too loud. In other words, It was AWESOME! I love that place! The next day was more tame as we saw a cool dance concert called Forces Of Nature at the Casa Del Prado Theatre in Balboa Park. Saphira liked the costumes. I liked the choreography. Caleb liked the teenage girls! We also explored the San Diego Natural History Museum while we were there, then hit up Ichiban for fantastic Japanese food. Yum! The next day we went to Gary's BD Party so Caleb could run wild with his school friends. Saphira and I filled up on pizza and eggrolls, then hit the MCASD Family Day on the trolly. We explored Ernesto Neto's forest of spices, then used his work as an inspiration to create our own work of art. Finally, we crowned the weekend with the season one DVD of My Name Is Earl. It is now our favorite show.

- Monday, February 05, 2007 at 14:36:24 (EST)
Last night was the Best of TNT at the new Jacobs and Copley Buildings of the MCASD downtown. The event restages the most acclaimed elements of TNT since its inception, including live grafitti artists, breakdancers, bands, the "Exquisite Corpse" art project, and more. A highlight was finally getting to see the "American Masters" exhibit with works from Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Jasper Johns and Ellsworth Kelly. It was a major scene with a huge crowd. You would never thing there were so many modern art folk in town! We got home about 11 pm totally pooped out.

- Friday, February 02, 2007 at 11:53:03 (EST)
I have been having so much fun creating a custom Google homepage. I linked to my blog input screen from my custom bookmarks thingie there. Too bad you can't login as me to see it. Totally trick!

- Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 12:49:06 (EST)
I've got a secret for you. It's kind of embarrasing, but I have been listening to the new album by Pink for a couple days now. I got it for the kids (they love her!) and it totally slipped past my anti-pop filter. I could be her badgirl stance and potty mouth that does it for me, but the fact is that "I'm Not Dead" has a bunch of beautiful songs on it. Good music is good music, no matter who does it. Hearing it puts a smile on my face. I was grinning ear-to-ear last night watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos. I read the book years ago and remember being blown away by his insightful, somewhat prophetic, layman's cosmology. The 13-part series (bittorent. yeah!) is every bit as awesome. Even the kids liked it, even though it went WAY over their heads. His simple yet deep manner is truly wonderous.

- Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 11:56:27 (EST)
It was Jen's birthday last weekend, so we got a room on the 7th floor of The Hanalei. Saphira organized a family party for her and we brought her there blindfolded. She acted suprised, but she had to know from all the hints we dropped. Still, it was fun. After the hot tub, we dressed for dinner. It was a major dissapointment to find that the Islands Restaurant was closed for remodeling since it was one of the reasons for choosing that hotel. We had a diner-style dinner at the Peacock Room, then settled in to watch Open Season in our room. After our room service breakfast, I was flat broke. In fact, I had to borrow from Saphira just to get to work today. You know... It's all worth it to see my family enjoy their lives. That's why I exist, really.

- Monday, January 29, 2007 at 12:56:17 (EST)
Last night we made the effort to catch Jenny Holzer's "projection" onto the Museum of Art at Balboa Park. It was pretty cool. She would use thought-provoking bits of literature and scroll them onto the fascade with a giant projector. The kids got bored after a while reading the wall, but perked up when I took them "into" the art itself by climbing up onto a window sill and having the words scroll over their bodies. We also walked in front of the projector, which felt like a tresspass but wasn't since it is public space. Here's an example of the text: "Someone will come, and then only where and who and how many shapes and intensions. Maybe he won't be the enemy and will let them live some sort of life."

- Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 13:30:01 (EST)
We took the trolley downtown to attend the opening of the new Museum of Contemporary Art in the Santa Fe Train Station building on Kettner. It is a wonderful space and was full of all sorts of crazy modern art. It was a real happening and hundreds of people showed up. The line was too long to see the Modern Masters show (Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, and Ellsworth Kelly.) but we scored some guest passes to come back at a less hectic time. Another fun thing was watching Who's That Girl?, the classic 80's love story with Madonna.

- Monday, January 22, 2007 at 12:43:45 (EST)
It's been a lot of work, but it looks like everything has migrated to the new servers. My savings are significant and I have a whole new suite of online support and admin tools. There is a spam filter that cut my mailbox down to ONE message! I don't know how much time it saves, since I have to review the excluded messages anyway. But, it's still slick. The subdomain tool was used to set up and, a couple old sites. Our commerce site at is up, but no new orders have come in to make sure paypal is working. Enough for now... see ya!

- Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 14:24:20 (EST)
Looks like the blog is working now...

- Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 17:36:37 (EST)
I asked for the dns to transfer to the new linux servers yesterday and now I have a world of grief. Email doesn't work. The subdomain is not updating to the new site. Probably losing $ there. And, worst of all, the blog is not writing to the new site. Uggg.

- Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 12:23:41 (EST)
I took Friday off since it was the last day of the kid's school vacation. We went to Coronado to take pictures of an "island" for a photo contest Saphira wants to enter. We started under the bridge and worked our way around to the Hotel Del. It was fun, but I got grumpy when our camera quit working. Fortunately, it fixed itself after uploading the pix to our iMac and charging the battery. Saturday was COLD, so we just laid around watching Camelot. A visit to Marcy's hot tub warmed us up, then it was off to an opening at the creepy Fish Out of Water Art Gallery. It was totally disturbing. A flyer there directed us to another opeing at the Rubber Rose Gallery and we stumbled onto "Ray @ Night" and it was a total art happening! Fun! Sunday was Sea World (no comment need to say how cool that was). Monday we bouldered at Mt. Woodson. All in all, a great weekend to end the kid's vacation!

- Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 14:53:16 (EST)
This is a test of my new Linus server. I had to hardcode the ip address into the cgi-bin until the dns is transferred. I hope it works cuz I love this blog!

- Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 18:14:12 (EST)
The kids stayed over at Marcy's last night with their mom, so I took the opportunity to watch a creepy, non-kid movie. The first one I tried was 8MM (Catherine Keener!) but it was in french. So, I popped in Derailed. Wow! I got it when I was on a Jennifer Aniston thing and was pleased by the performance of Clive Owen as well. The breakout performance, however, was by Vincent Cassel in the role of LaRoche. Can't tell you much because there was a major plot twist that totally caught me off-guard. Pretty intense stuff.

- Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 12:52:02 (EST)
We bought Alex & Emma because Kate Hudson and Luke Wilson were in it and didn't really know what to expect. Well... It was great! My favorite kind of movie, it was packed full of romance and happy endings. Turns out it is a Rob Reiner movie and he's one of the funny men of our generation. Most people might write this movie as sentimental and silly. Guess that's why I like it so much!

- Tuesday, January 09, 2007 at 12:28:09 (EST)
Some more media news, from the daddy perspective, was a score from Kraytracker of the phenomenal Jewish Punk (what?) band Yidcore. We listened to their album "Fiddlin' On Ya Roof" and it was mind-blowing! Totally hardcore renditions of the Broadway classic! The kids know the songs by heart and were bangin' along. At night, I laid around and watched Dosage Volume 1 on the bedroom iMac. Again, mind-blowing! This time it was hardcore rockclimbing with Chris Sharma working his projects "Realization" (the first 5.15) and "Mandala". Lisa Rands ticked some killer "girl problems" and Dave Graham slew "Buttermilker" and "The Spectre" at the Buttermilks in Bishop. Dang! I have Friday off in honor of the upcoming 3-day weekend (MLK) so I say... Roadtrip! I'm dying to visit the Happy Boulders and Deadman's Summit!

- Monday, January 08, 2007 at 12:52:07 (EST)
We had a shopping spree at Target this weekend, thanks to my parent's and sister Jan's X-Mas gift cards. Caleb was mad that I made him get replacements for his punky ripped-up jeans rather than video games. Saphira has lots of clothes, so she got something "shiny" instead. It is so precious how she likes pretty stuff... such a girl. We had some cards for Mervyn's as well and had a nice surprise when we got to the register. We thought we spent it all. Turns out the prices aren't the prices, so we spent less than half! The kids grabbed stuff they set aside before and we still had $ left. We finally absorbed it all with Polly dolls. I ended up spending $.19 at both stores for piles of stuff. One thing we couldn't afford was The Lizzie McGuire Movie, but thanks to bittorent we watched it Sunday. It was super cute and fun. The "double Hilary" singing scene was awesome! After that we spent a beautiful afternoon at the beach before hitting the Family Day at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla. The activity was a scavenger hunt through the Latin America exhibit and other drawing and writing assignments. Fun! Then, it was Wahoo's Fish Tacos, grocery shopping, and home to watch Raising Helen (again). Whew!

- Monday, January 08, 2007 at 12:16:44 (EST)
The Thursday Night Thing at the Museum of Contemporary Art wasn't going on last night, so we shifted gears and went to Hillcrest. Our parking spot was right in front of Flashback, so we just had to look at all the retro fashion! Saphira went nuts on shoes and Caleb got all gangstered up. For some reason, I spent most of the time looking at women's pants (go figure) since there were some that were SO cool. Being kinda broke these days, everyone had to put their stuff back. At The Corvette Diner we all split some chili fries and a coke, then drove home in the rain.

- Friday, January 05, 2007 at 12:56:45 (EST)
We watched a fun "family" movie last night, Secondhand Lions. Kyra Sedgwick plays an irresponsible mother who dumps her son on two rich uncles played by Michael Caine and Robert Duvall. All sorts of goofy and moving things happen to the boy. Along the way, the men learn about love and responsibility. Not a great film, but very good.

- Thursday, January 04, 2007 at 18:49:42 (EST)
We had an awesome New Year's trip to Indian Cove at Joshua Tree National Park. The weather was gorgeous... Blue skies every day and mild for winter. It was cold at night, but we were geared up for it with down comforters and sleeping bags. We bought a new twin size air mattress to lay next to the queen we had and ended up with a giant soft bed for the whole family. Our "desert hotel" had the table and cooler chest in the tent with us. Luxurious! The best thing was the climbing. From the kid's "fort" behind the camp I spied a tall climb that looked do-able for the kids. They both got scared, but made it 80' or so to the top! I led it, which was a first for a long time since I had no belayer for a few years. Now she's back and it was a good thing. We were walking the dog and watched a guy leading a crack I have wanted to do for years. I yelled "good job" and they invited me to clean the pitch. Well, it was WAY steep and hard. I was surely at my limit, but made it without any falls. Pretty cool stuff. We dragged the crash pad all over the desert and wore poor Jen out showing her all our favorite problems. A trip to Desert Hot Springs Spa soothed our fried muscles for the long drive home. Saphira pitched in for dinner at Edchata's, which was a good thing. I put my last $10 in the gas tank, which leaves me with $2.79 in my bank account. Sure, I'm poor, but rich with experiences!

- Tuesday, January 02, 2007 at 16:15:36 (EST)

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