They were ice skating on the beach!

They were ice skating on the beach at the Coronado today...! It seems its an annual tradition--but a bit mind blowing none the less. The Coronado, in general is a bit mind blowing as well--in the Southern California tradition of doing things dramatically, big and bold. The Hotel Del Coronado is in the same spirit as the Greenbriar and other big eastern resort hotels (the Otesaga in Cooperstown, the Mohunk Mountain House in New Paltz, The Fountainbleu and the Biltmore in Miami or even the Eden Roc). The thing the Hotel Del Coronado has over all these other places is that it is smack on breathtaking beach with all sorts of things that blend the hotel with the beach from it's own strand with bikes, a big pool with striped canvas cabanas (a la the Biltmore)) a gigantic hot tub bigger than most pools, with little restaurants and bars with signature cherry red roofs tumbling out from the various activity places. Even the outdoor restaurants had places for blazing fires for chilly al fresco dining. The main lobby had the same terrific shock as the Biltmore when one came in from the brilliant Southern California sun to deep dark wood paneled, multi storied spaces with victorian turnings and panelling. It was dark and cool, a gracious cool hand to a hot brow which even on a winter day was welcome. I loved the marine tree they had in one of the coffee shops that opened out onto the beach. There are ideas in this marine tree that may evolve into something for Steuben. There are ideas here...and people totally love seashells, seahorses, coral, nautiliuses all year long--why not at Christmas. Somehow seems more appropriate than Santie Claus or Saint Frosty.

The area around the Coronado was very Miami like--in the massing of the neighborhoods, the types of stores and shopping and the way the water and the land seem to wrap one into the other.

Lunch at a surfer type place--the combo sandwich/liquor store concept. We amused ourselves with looking at the Mexican sodas and beers and all the crazy tequila labels and graphics as our sandwiches were made. Totally humorous.

Then, back in the car and back to Hermosa Beach where we will be staying 2 nights at the Beaches hotel (glam) --right on the strand with hot cider in the lobby and fireplaces in the rooms. A is working with his new longboard, R. is discovering and the girls are internetting...and drinking tea. It's nice to have a break from vacation!

More later>>

Joes on the Nose

Joes on the Nose
Organic Coffee• Roll Up Service
David Wasserman
We saw this wonderful truck and chatted it up a bit with David Wasserman, entrepeneur and self proclaimed foody. He has this great truck (orange) with great tiki type lettering and the wildest drinks (organic and fair trade coffee, and still looking for the good pure tea) along with eco friendly coffee and foam (biodegradable sleeves (Eco from Canada). He is full of beans and energy being at this business for about five months and seems to have the tiger by the tail.

He says on his website:

I am an orange truck. i am an orange ice cream truck. i am an orange ice cream truck bringing coffee, tea, drinks, zinka and more daily to the beaches and other swell spots of San Diego.

i am now open for business and for general rocking out. keep an eye out for my beautiful orangeosity cruising around. going to be the best orange coffee truck ever. and i'm orange.

Joes on the Nose has organic coffee, good tunes, and will appear when you need me the most.

L'Orange wants to spread Aloha and good times whenever and wherever it rolls. remember, we're here for you. and you. and you, too. even you, though that's questionable. keep on smiling, surfing, sipping, and being the best person you can be. everyone around will notice and i'll like you even more.

you can now get your own personal orange ice cream coffee truck to roll down to your special events, get togethers, weddings, bar mitzvahs, open houses and more. call the Orange line to discuss your ideas, dates, and rates. and please send over suggestions and invites for sd happenings. it would be appreciated. in the most orange of ways.

get out of the water, warm up or cool off with a fresh hot or cold drink, grab something to eat, get some surf wax and sunscreen. roll up service, a la orange.

Who I'd like to meet:
um, you. if you have exact change i'd like to meet you even more.

and he is spreading Aloha whereever he goes.

One night at the Hilton Gaslamp

We decided to try to get another night at the Solamar and rolled the four star dice at Hotwire and ended up in the Gaslamp Hilton about two blocks from the Solamar. The Hilton is really nice--very new and woody. It is within eyeshot of the beautiful convention center--right by the railroad tracks (and the cute trolley system too) so it can be a tad noisy if that sort of thing bothers you. For the magnificent Hotwire price, we all had snuggy beds and a nice time. Plus, we got to try out two hotels in San Diego!


Whoa. Expensive and oddly disconnected. i felt as if there was not much bang for the buck--and we were amongst many who decided that this was going to be their after Christmas fun. Crowds, crowds and crowds with no one really thinking about how crowds move and need to be directed. From the moment we checked in until we left, it was cheek to jowl with about a million other people. To start it was odd. We all waited in line with our upc printed tickets--squeezing down many lanes to use one of the two stations that one placed the card within a laser projected shape the other, a place we had to impress our right forefinger before the turnstyle let us in. Is this truly needed to get into a mediocre theme park? Why is it they need our fingerprint? If they need a fingerprint to get into SeaWorld why don't they need it before you get on an airplane? or a cruise boat? or before you enter a professional baseball arena? It is all "messed up" and feels terribly wrong. Wrong way to make the wrong impression.

It was Christmas full bore with Edwardian carolers singing and playing handbells all day in full period costumes in the brilliant California sun. Little niches throughout the park hyping the holiday spirit. Even Santa in a lawn chair bedecked in a hawaiian shirt with boogie boards. There were the Christmas "icon animals" (as touted)--a camel and a reindeer. There were clydesdales to have your picture taken with right next to the beer pavillion where one could have two "samples" in the compound. There was so much going on combined with the crowds, it was overwhelming.

There was of course, the Shamu show--We had the misfortune to not have the time to see the other Shamu show (the holiday one--that stretches the imagination about what they do--Santa rides Shamu? Shamu jumps through a candy cane wreath? Three wise men bring riches to shamu? it goes on and on). At our Shamu show, we were instructed to believe...and to believe that something black and white could save the world. Again, lots of splashing and hilarity around that. Lots of leaping dolphins and whales. Frankly, I felt sorry for the animals. I would rather have seen them in a big tank doing their own thing versus the trained monkey thing. We saw the leaping dolphins too. It was nice to learn from the peppy trainer that to become a trainer and work with the dolphins or Shamu all you needed was 1. an ability to swim, 2. be a great team worker and 3. Love animals! Imagine! It doesn't take much! Does it?

I can be a trainer! I would get to wear the shamu striped suit and have blonde hair.

We really liked the "feed the seals" set up where you could buy fish and feed the seals. They are loud and very convincing in their pleas to be given the fish...It was sad to think they were trained to beg to be entertainment. K and I loved a heron we saw (with the seagulls) waiting for lunch scraps.

It was sad that Sea World (a part of the Busch empire), an entity that has been engaged in conservation and animal protection, treats their animals in such a silly way. They do not address global warming, preservation of the rain forest, how we must change at a very basic level to begin the process of truly living in more harmony with nature. It could all fit with their entertainment...but somehow the brain part of the equation was left out. More game shows for the masses. Considering this conservation and consciousness aspect of what they represent, the amount of plastic consumed daily in the park is phenomenal and stupidly clueless. Why aren't they using the cellulose based plastics or shifting to unbleached paper? Why aren't they separating trash and encouraging the crowd to do so as part of their green/blue program. Why are they pushing these enormous cups with these molded plastic tops of a cresting Shamu that one pokes a straw in their head (for about 9 bucks)? More crap for the landfill. Profit is one thing--short term profit--and image which is built impression upon impression is another. Anheuser Busch is a smart and savvy company--they can do better with their messaging and purpose. It is tragic. They should decide to be a theme park or a player in the world of conservation and change--and match their messaging to it. Right now, it is very selective and frankly, not very intelligent.

Prior to the shows starting, one of the chipper performers would do the lead in...the first recognizing the fire fighters and emergency people during the recent fires which was verbal and very heartfelt. Then there was an enormous send off (complete with essentially a commercial on the Jumbotron) for our heros (those past and present in the military) that was fine..but felt somehow insincere when you realize that many vets couldn't afford to pay the admission price to get into the park. We saw quite a few on the street with their dogs in the Gaslamp district last night and the incongruity hit me. This war needs to stop. We need to have the funds to take care of our own. We need to rethink or better, think about what is going on and then proceed.

Who would have thought that a trip to SeaWorld would have gotten me on my soapbox? Back to California, please!

IF: Soar

No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.
William Blake
English engraver, illustrator, & poet (1757 - 1827)

To that, I hope you open your wings and fly high in 2008. Opportunities await, people to meet, things to learn, places to see, and a good reason to bounce out of bed every morning and hug life. Best regards to all my Illustration Friday friends.

Hotwire Jackpot

We took a four star crapshoot with Hotwire and ended up with a gorgeous hotel in the Gaslamp district (near the convention center and in the middle of all sorts of high end eating, drinking and shopping in San Diego. We are staying at the Hotel Solamar (part of the Kimpton Chain--with one of their most recognized hotels being the Drake in San Francisco). It is fun and quirky with the rooms (as seen above) bold and well appointed (the bathrobes in the rooms are either zebra stripe or leopard skin terry cloth), to inventive spaces with great, dramatic lighting and furnishings. We got in around 4 and walked to the pool--to see the various cabanas around the outside pool along with a firepit and tiki inspired bar. We strolled over to the convention center (a really beautiful and accessible building) inspired by the public trolleys and ease of doing everything. We got a glimpse of the Bay and immediately all felt hungry, imagine! As it is our 27th wedding anniversary, we decided to go to Mr. Tiki's Mai Tai Lounge, which we learned about on the web and read raves about. The food was good, drinks tasty but the ramped up kitch we were hoping for (San Diego is home to one of the celebrated US tiki fests annually)--wasn't there. They did have cute glass puffer fish as light fixtures that were a good idea for the January 2300 degrees at the Corning Museum of Glass (Tiki Fire and Ice). And the surf and skate videos were a draw for the younger set. There were Mother/Daughter groups gulping down flaming volcanos (enormous drinks) and sliding to the floor in laughter. Made me feel right old (27 yrs of marriage isnt just anything!). A. wanted to join the volcano consumers... It was inspiration to pursue the tiki thing more.

Its late. Need to put my head down. Tomorrow, Sea World!


After a little putzing around Huntington Beach, we stopped in Costa Mesa/ Newport Beach at Wahoo, the center for the fashionistas and sports guys/gals. Wahoo features, as Aunty Baby says, "surf food" which comprises of a little bit of this and a little of that from ahi rice and beans, to tacos and burritos, to hot soups and "bowls". Stickers were the bathroom, on the windows, on the grills, on the register, around the window you ordered from--everywhere. The food was great (I had fish tacos but found out later as I began to break out in red blotches, that maybe there was MSG in the blackening agent --hurray for benedril)), and everyone ate and ate and ate. A. ate two whole gigantic burritos and they declared finally that he had had enough! Its enough to scare you--the sheer volume of food A. ate. But how often is it that one is 14 and still piling on the vertical inches?

It was fun and we loved it...but my money is still on Taco Mesa. #1 for now.

Hermosa Beach in the a.m.

Had coffee at Cafe Bonaparte with A. downing a single expresso like an italiano vero. We were enthralled by the local skateboarders, the board shops, and the general junk available for sale at Hermosa Beach. Identified a great hotel right on the "Strand" which is the walkway between the shops and houses and the beach.

Beach House , Hotel at Hermosa>>

Watched some men throw cookies and bagels into this thrall of seagulls with them hovering, snapping and biting each other for the booty. Seeing a seagull fly away with a complete bagel was a big undoing. We visited a great store beyond the surf joints--Powerhouse 6 with great graphics, the board stuff along with illustration stuff (tees by Jeremy Fish, wallets and accessories along with clothes from Obey, funny Kid-Robot-y toys, all wood (almost furniture like skateboards) boards from Bottega Montana--far beyond the world of laminates and plexi. Cool shoes. Cool wooden cut out (could have been laser cut) jewels and charm-y stuff. Inspired selection that was more about fashion and illustration versus the Surfside lineup (which isnt bad...its more predictable when you see it repeated).

While we were coffee drinking, a man brought two cute herding dogs who immediately leapt up on the pilons defining the main plaza from the eating areas. The dogs were on leashes and were clipped to the screen on the front of the lamps and were the California version of temple guardians. Wonderful. (thus the dog shot).

After about an hour and a half of this fun, it was time to meet up with Aunty Baby for our trek south to San Diego.

shopping at Del Amo

We shopped at Del Amo:

> Metropark: a hipster place for the suburban hip. DJ in residence (not today) but the gear was there. Tons of skate and surf lifestyle stuff more oriented towards lifestyle and not really being the hip real time surfer that Huntington Beach promised. More Obey stuff (will do an entry on Obey as it is fascinating), jewels and pocketbooks, magazine selection and limited mens. Was part of a mall thing, so felt edgy in context.

> Forever XXI:  H&M concept overlaid on an interior that smacks of pre-rennovated small department stores of the late 80s (ie Bergdorfs) with every item being under $24. Wonderful and fun. We stocked up on jewelly bangle bracelets for valentines day for all our gal pals at $6.80 a grouping. Really cute empire waisted short coats in a greyed out chartreuse, beige, white or black. Lots of sweaters, basic tees, and the New Years collection of spangled goodies. It was all tremendous fun...accessable and very now. Worth spending lots of time there digging through the baskets and racks.

> Loved Free People just for their illustrative facade. Another venue for illustrators. Take note>>

> Had lunch at the showstopper, In and Out Burger (menu above). Simple and to the point. About 5 things they offer. The biggest choice you will need to make is what to drink. Everything stacked into small , but tall, red plastic " buckets" to share the deliciousness out of. A must try. Everyone and their brother were eating post Christmas burgers and fries. We had to, too.

> Went to Aunty Baby's barn to check on the perfect "Just in Time" (Justin or Jay). Took a few pix of him to generate some horse images of him. I have never,ever seen an animal able to "strike a pose" quite the way this equine can do it. Impressive. And, images promise to come out of the shoot. There is one where he is bending this neck perpendicular to his body--and the way the light describes the plains is almost sublime.

It was a cool, SCal day. Perfect. Perfect sun, lots of breeze but nowhere near the blusteriness of our beloved plateau. Off to San Diego tomorrow.

Christmas without the traditions

Christmas was a day unlike all others. Meaning, it was not about the traditions. First off, we had a nice breakfast and then watched A. ride his new longboard skateboard--a cruiser--which he fought us as he "didn't want it"--to find out he did. This is our little No means Yes boy. He is thrilled and to be honest, he looks good on it...and he will be very good at this. Plus, the benefit of being the first on the plateau to have such a wonderful thing. We got up and going early to see hoards of surfers running into the surf and seeing if they could may a go of it. It was very zen to see them all waiting for the opportunity to ride the wave in the brilliant light and cold Pacific water. Others congregated on the beach to try out their other Christmas presents, like boogie boards and the like. A three wheeled electric car named Sparky pulled up next to our car while we watched at lifeguard station #22 which was like a special eco present. We all thought it was pretty great. Then off to Boisa Chica, a wildlife preserve to watch a pair of men with impressive cameras take pictures of the birds we were amused to watch. We saw all sorts of coots and ducks, pelicans and egrets along with observing the egret nesting area protected by a fence. It was beautiful and perfect in it's simplicity and attention to what was important--the birds.

We drove down PCH listening to a Christmas concert performed by the Blind Boys of Alabama from the Disney Center, looking left and right at all that was there--chatting about the different beach communitites and which one we liked the best. I snapped pictures of the nutty signage as well. You know, the mexican tradition of wall painting/murals/signage that all seems to blur into itself is very much alive in LA. If you have a stucco wall and a can of paint, you have signage. And interestingly enough, the layout of the "page" or the wall is almost formatted to the stuff we saw in Cozumel. What goes to the left of the door, what goes to the right, the picture of the process of what the person sells or does, the icon of what the name of the establishment is can find American mirrors of the same. i snapped the top image as we sped by this nondescript building on PCH. You will see more of this as I am fascinated.

Then up to Redondo Beach/ Hermosa Beach to have an alfresco lunch at Captain Kidds along with many other families. The Captain was selling seafood--piles of crabs, spiny crabs and lobsters like no one's business. K and I were focused on the selling and buying of lobsters around here. A customer was very specific about the type of lobster he wanted and then asked for the fishman to flip the beast over and then he (the customer) went about this ritual of pulling the forelegs, feeling the antennae, and feeliing its abdomen. Some of the lobsters did not take well to this inspection --snapping and whacking its tail to show it's displeasure. Another customer wanted a big lobster and ordered it up in advance. His beast came all ready to go in the clear plastic bag--and truly it was BIG. The girth of the tail was a good 12 inches at its thickest, and the base of the 20" antennae was a good 1.5" in circumfrence. Top to tail stretched out was easily 36"...and too big for the requestor. So, we had the horror of watching the poor fishman try to extract this crustacean from the tight confines of the plastic bag. It was truly gladiator vs gladiator and we were betting on the lobster being the victor in that exchange.

We heard honking/barking while we ate outside--and found that there were seals nearby--so we went in pursuit of them and after a little stroll--found them happily basking in the Christmas sunshine on some sort of manmade mountain tethered to a rusty big boat. K was delighted.

We had a nice dinner with R's side of the family with the promised tamales and pork. The conversation was lively from family things to the celebrity and friend, Digby, weighing in on Digby's view on things political and philosophical. There were desserts to beat the band and elegant drinks like Poinsettias and Mojitos to round out the evening. We had to leave early as these east coasters were wiped out. We are staying at the Best Western Sunrise and are pleasantly surprised at how nice, clean and big it is--versus the poor Palos Verdes Inn, which has all the bones and none of the investment to make it worth the money staying there. This new place is much better and one can see water and marinas everywhere.

We go to Metropark with Aunty Baby to see what the new and hip in California are doing. Tomorrow off to San Diego for more sightseeing.


Huntington Beach Shoporama

We visited three of the big surf/skate emporiums in Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa:

Jacks and Jack Girls
Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA
Racks of discounted clothes on the street. Every shape and size from tees to snow gear. They had a stack of snowboards discounted for Christmas with boxes of boots and bindings. We found K an Obey tee for significantly lower money than we had seen. Cool bin of belts, socks, hats. The aesthetic is jumble. So, dive in.

Huntington Beach Surf and Sport
300 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach CA
Hurley also has the racks on the street from board shorts to little dresses for the girls. More brands, more of a mix. There were shoes and sweatshirts and even shirts with collars. Inside were boutiques chock a block with a range of lifestyle things through serious stuff like wet suits, surf boards, skateboards, longboards,

233 East 17th Street
Costa Mesa CA 92627
Not presenting the discount look on the street. Not within eyeshot of the beach. However, the most comprehensive and orderly way to see surf and skate gear and clothing in a universal way. Very much the Neiman Marcus of the the three.


--There is a role for illustration in this cool market. Lots of illustration and lots of types too. You don't have to be goth or vectorized, but a graphic style, a linear illustration style, wood-cuts. The skateboards are the place to see the breadth and depth there.

--Fascinating to see a broad sweep of the brands in each sport. Rare to see a skate company creep into snow and vice versa.

--Color in the skate world is minimal. Black, white, grey, taupe. Patterns. Pattern upon patterns. Mainly knits, tees, hoodies, belts and hats for the boys. Girls have the wider reach with cloth jackets, skirts, pants and accessories. Girls as drab as the boys in the skate brands. The boards are the color in this equation.

--Logo and custom buttons and logo badges, zipper pulls are where the difference is to be had.

--Color and humor pokes out a bit more with the snow clothing. Lots of green, tone on tone (black and brown), white--with patterns that are illustration based, collage based, twists on photography (my favorite being a reversed image of dice). However, the boards are decorative and interesting (skulls showing up there too) but more laid back re color. My absolute take home favorite were these "old school" snowboards which were wood with inlay looking like a combination of early surfboards or wooden motorboats of the fifites. Really cool and elegant. We need to take note of this shift. This is original stuff. There were lots of guys using the "old school" phrase when describing what it was that they were looking for. Interesting. I love the idea of real materials beginning to poke into such an invented, brand-y world that the absence of brand is the ultimate chic. To that, embroidery and heavy embroidery is throughout the girls lines...equally as real as the wood.

More later>>

Christmas Candy

Somehow mexican food with multicolored stickers and spiderman doesn't seem to converge very often, but it does, it does it with great style, wonderful taste and presents you with an "in your face" Southern California moment. Eclectic, eccentric, brilliant and shocking in the experience. Particularly in Costa Mesa, the home of where surf, sun, and art collide and terrific thing happen.

Taco Mesa (Costa Mesa) is the place we start. One first sees this brilliant blue building covered in illustration with an outdoor area enclosed by a fence. Even before you get in the building the visual excitement is high with very vertical surface covered in promotional stickers for local skate, surf shops and ancillary lifestyle stuff like bands, radio stations, screenprinters, sticker makers and all round general "make your mark" types of graphics. When you go inside, the fun just begins. There are a zillion things on the menu--all good with fresh salsas and escabeche offered free with the food. There are generally 3 acqua frescas (flavored cold drinks) on ice ready to be doled out. And when the wonderful food and choices seem to overwhelm you in happiness, then the visual barrage (such as the holiday decorations Iwith these insane stars with Marvel or Disney characters --pinata technology, and the liberal application of stickers everywhere. My favorite application being the soda machine. We had the opportunity to meet Ivan Calderon, one of the founders, a friend of Aunty Baby--a lovely man that has his hands full with a multitude of restaurants and the high expectations the world has for the Taco Mesa restaurants.
OC WEEKLY - 1998 Best of OC
October 1998
Winner - Best Mexican Restaurant
& Best Way to Enjoy Taco Mesa “Know the rules”:

Other regions can have their cheese steaks and crab cakes because when it comes to Mexican food, OC is king. And with such selection, we are a county of taqueria nomads, constantly searching for the most flavorful asada and the tenderest tamale . This truth begs a question: Is it possible for one restaurant to meet our complex individual comida cravings? Ivan and Marco Calderon have done it with Taco Mesa, according to your vote, and I second that, carnales .
Orange Coast Magazine - A Taste of Mexico
March 2003

"Tell us how you like it and we'll prepare it your way," is the promise on the menu, reflecting Taco Mesa's philosophy of wanting to please the customers. Dishes represent traditional Mexican recipes coupled with European cooking techniques. Specials such as lobster enchilada with a roasted serrano tomatillo cream sauce or sweet corn tamalito with mango butter and papaya relish supplement the core menu of enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, and tortas.

And to our delight in Aunty Baby's cleverness, we are to have tamales for Christmas made my none other than the Costa Mesa, Taco Mesa. To Baby's mind, the tamale is the know, the Christmas turkey and there is absolutely no choice in having anything but tamales for this festive holiday.

We say, bring it on!

Back to the stickers. I mentioned I would get the true source for stickers in O.C. And, thanks to the Costa Mesa, Taco Mesa, we have it. It is the House of Stickers . Here's the deal. House of Stickers instead of pricing quantities, tells you what you can get for a price, their starting price being $375. Assuming we are working one color, you can get 29,259 stickers if it's a .75" circle. Or more reasonably, 3" circle--3,000 stickers or 4" circle 1500 stickers up to a 18" circle 62 pieces. Their tee shirts are a good price--dirt cheap to my estimation. I will not try to explain their financial table.. Maybe you can do that for me?

Another great resource is a cool, very fashionable teeshirt one can screenprint called Alternative Apparel They are a bit thinner with some stretch--perfect for girls. Prices are a bit higher, but I think one could get more for them as they are so nice. And the cuts, designs and color are far more hip. They even have some cool bags and hats that the dopes in our area wouldn't have the sense to have. So, I think there might be some cool stuff made for Memento Mori in the near future.

More later on the candy colored world of surf and skate>>

Day One: Huntington Beach

Woke up in one place and went to bed in paradise. It was a long day travelling yesterday--with delays in NYC and a puking kid in the row in front of us, spewing onto K.'s brand new shop coat. However, the JetBlue experience was wonderful, timely and what with endless TV, I spent the time prepping for Southern California by watching non-stop Orange County Housewives complete with their endless facelifts, drunken escapades, blonde confidence, heaving bosoms, lives and behaviors modelled on total fantasy and wild, emulating children. I pity all the husbands and boyfriends for their perfidy and falsehoods. It was delightful. And, totally alien to this country mouse from her frosty plateau. Totally holiday fun!

We rolled into Long Beach--strolling into the sunshine--down the ramp into perfection. We rented a really nice Saturn. Bags were quick and we were on our way to the Huntington Beach Hyatt, which, before I go any further, is amazing. It is a rambling big, resort hotel with a heated pool outside and a multitude of little hot tubs sprinkled around the property all facing the water. Birds of Paradise, Clematis (planted in red and white stripes), and a big koi pond along with huge, terra cotta pots with plants are all over the place. There is a holiday image we will post tomorrow as it is so perfect for the 25th. There is a lovely bridge that takes you to Huntington Beach (which we walked down) which, in the early evening, people make these big bonfires to cook and sit by. Bonfires and Southern California makes one pause--but its just me. I'll get over it. The passagiata by the beach was remarkable...with the sunset and all the outside activity that seemed very calm and "safe" compared to the nuttiness that happens on Venice Beach and Santa Monica.

We arrived at the crossroads of surf and skate frenzy with Johns Surf and the Hurley store. A. and K went wild. Tons of their look, long boards, longer boards and longest boards along with surf boards and gear. Tons of stripes, graphics with a sprayed texture added in, more sticker than you know what to do with, colorways are all brown/black/beige and rusty, and more brands than you know what to do with. The big surprise for me was the "Obey" line of skateware by none other than our old pal, Shepherd Fairey. Teeshirts and hoodies using his poster imagery --and of course, the Andre the Giant/ Obey the Giant star. I hope to snap some shots to better understand what he is doing. It feels as if the art is driving the skate stuff...and some throw ins (like black jeans etc.) Aunty Baby proclaimed rightfully, that all the stuff in those stores were made "right here"--and if you go to certain taco establishments, the stars of these businesses will be found there. We hope to get an eyeball of that. As we strolled, there were more and more skate and surf stores along with these cute, blimpy bikes that are stretched out and very comfy looking. Lots of funny surf and skate related holiday stuff (iie a fake Christmas tree decorated with cruising board wheels) or bright red feather wreathes decorated with logo stuff from the industry. Great. Eyepopping. We settled on dinner at a mesquite/mexican place where we all dove into big plates of mexican food...getting us ready for a mexican breakfast this coming morning.

And there will be lots, tons, of picture taking today. I guarantee there will be some money spent today.

Jet Blue Terminal: 10:50 a.m.

Flight was early this morning. We took Shady over to her grandparents and she quickly jumped into bed with GranMary and snored away. We had a little delay getting into our gate as there were small snarls around 8:55 a.m. We found out that our flight to Long Beach was pushed out about an hour as the plane from Ft. Myers was delayed. Best that we are on the front end of today versus the end. We are surrounded by women on cell phones working on issues over the phone with their families. Lots of boots and hip huggers here. Hots of gorgeousity. We wanted breakfast and got sandwiches (Kitty had Pad Thai in a plastic box). There is a lady with a tiny, foxy dog in her carry-on. There is a lovely, white standard poodle with a red pinny that R. took a picture of (I will upload as soon as I am in happier, more plugged in circumstances). To while away the time, I have been messing with iWeb (on the the new OS) which promises to be very beautiful and simple. I may put my own graphic design site up as an iweb project to see if I can make it more vital than the dumb thing I have now.

Gotta go>>

Briar Press--New Resource

Briar Press>>
Briar Press refers to itself as "a letterpress community"-- and it is. They have cuts and caps scans of ornaments and initials from old specimen books converted to Postscript files. Nice selection...not overly wide, but perfect if you are in need of that sort of thing. And free unless its commercial work. Then,its a pittance to use.They have Yellow Pages of letterpress, die cutting machinery and classes and Classified where you can find a press in your area. Boxcar Press, per my friends at Syracuse is a wonder. Our local letterpress/stamping shop is Pioneer Press owned and operated by the impassioned and inspired Joe Seppi--a tremendous resource in Interlaken NY. However, the other offerings from all over the world (even a cool one in Siena Italy) gives one a happy lens through which to view the world. The discussion area is lively and very I feel that I may be peeking in regularly to see what happens.

More later>>

More work on the fish

Did a little more work on the fish. Emptied the thanksgiving leftovers from the refrigerator and scooped all the scientific experiments into the trash. There has been a great deal of stone gathering and moving for the mason, Mr. Dare Daniels (real name, fabulous mason referred to by our main contractor as "the country gentleman"). Now, for real, I need to pack.


All sorts of whatnot

This fish is work in progress for Steuben for a project that may be 6-12 skus with the need for 6-12 illustrations relating to nature, animals etc. on a hexagonal shape. What seems to be emerging is the work that I am doing in black and white is splashing into this more formal/reduction style and this fish is an example of where it could go. As clear glass is colorless, the engraving or monairing process renders black and white cleanly. To get a grey, thin texture must happen for it to be successful. The trout will be in water (white) with maybe some cattails, and the fish will be glass (shiny). I am hoping this project happens (albeit it is always in a crunch situation and not much development time) as I am learning a lot about the process, what style of illustration works and working one color is cool and interesting and has "legs" in the work and in logo work for the design business. I am liking what I see and want to share the progress with you.

There is a slight possibility some of my dog images may be used in a waiting room --big scale. Would do some new images in color for a horse, a llama, a beagle, a lab and a cat which may morph into the Baker Annual Report for this year. It would be cool if these pictures could be used as murals or a hook for this waiting space. Great recognition and would really look original. Crossed fingers.

Packing and parceling today. Prep for our trip (LA) along with the charging of phones, ipods, computers etc. for the day on the plane Reference materials and project lists are printed so some work can be focused. Should be fun. R. set up my new artograph superprism opaque projector which promises to be a lot of fun in the new year. Money is in hand. Extra bags of dog and cat food acquired and ready to go.
The weather is in the high or low sixties out what to take to wear is a little I need to go and figure this out.

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