Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mojave, California

A while back my little sister told me that I might want to visit Mojave, California. She knows I get so bored and restless and that I love to get away and see new places.  So I finally took her advice and drove out there.  It's about 90 miles north of Los Angeles proper -- way, way, way out in the boonies where there are few people and traffic is pretty much non-existent. It is quiet, stark, scenic, and kind of bleak. But it was fun to wander around, feel tiny in a big landscape, and take these pics.

While in Mojave, I kept hoping (worrying?) that I'd run into a gang of tweakers that might let me take their photos if I gave them enough money to buy an 8-ball (yes, I know that term -- long ago I messed around with the second/ or third? tackiest drug of all, but those days are way behind me).  Anywhoo, no such luck.  I saw some down-and-out types at a gas station, but no obvious tweakers.  But maybe that's for the best?  Probably.

Many decades ago, my parents were heading out on their honeymoon.  They spent the first night in Oakland, California, and then headed south on their way to the Grand Canyon.  After about 7 hours of driving, my mom said they needed to find someplace to stay for the night.  They ended up stopping in Mojave, Ca.  Not exactly romantic!  HA!  My mom said it was roasting hot, the air conditioning didn't work, and my dad somehow got locked out of the motel room while wearing nothing but his underwear, and he had to crawl around banging on windows until my mom let him back in the room.  Or something like that?  Ridic.  

My parents currently live in my idea of a suburban nightmare neighborhood, on Mojave Way.  My mom says it is incredible how often people mispronounce the word "Mojave", calling it MOW-JAVE.  HELLO?!?!?!??!  Born in a barn??????  

Hmmm. What else can I say here?  Not much, really.  Nothing new or exciting that I'd care to share. The last year or so has had many ups and downs [yesterday was the anniversary of one of my worst experiences in life -- UGH -- I am so happy to have the year behind me so that I can hopefully get over it and just fucking MOVE ON already], but isn't that true for almost everyone in existence?  Every time I get into "woe is me" mode, I think about Syrian refugees and I shut my pie hole.  I feel like i am constantly RECALIBRATING lately.  Just re-adjusting to life, to circumstances, to expectations, etc.  If that makes sense?  But don't we all have to do that constantly?  Maybe I am just more conscious of it now.

A friend who is going through really tough times recently had some words of wisdom for me (courtesy of her recently passed father): stop rowing the boat and just see where it goes.  Of course I immediately pictured a boat moving precipitously towards a waterfall, LOL, but that's just me.  It is interesting advice, and I'll take it under consideration.  :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Deedee Cheriel: When Brown Chicks Take Over The World

Ahhhhh.  A new exhibition of Deedee Cheriel's works are featured at KP Projects through April 1, 2017.  

I just love her art.  I think I love anything that transports me to a new reality, or to a new experience beyond the ho-hum predictability and banality of everyday life, even if it only happens briefly. This applies to visual and intellectual experiences, and I guess all other types of experiences too.  I suppose I'm always looking for more/more/more interesting thoughts and perspectives and things to see.  Not that I don't want to be reality-based.  And sometimes one can find comfort in predictability, but sometimes I just get so bored and I love to feast on the new and unexpected.  Then again when I am exposed to lots of new things I quickly get over-stimulated and way too excited and I CANNOT SETTLE DOWN -- like a pinball machine on overload.  Lol.  You can't win with me.  Lord, I'm babbling and probably making no sense.  Anywhoo, here are my favorite works in this latest exhibition.  I want to make the pink one MINE.  So fab!!!!

About the artist....

Nalini ‘Deedee’ Cheriel is a visual artist who started out creating record covers and T-shirts for the Oregon music scene in the early ‘90s. Born in the hippie town of Eugene, Oregon, she began her own band and record label at the age of 19. Influenced by the popular DIY culture of that time, she played in several all-girl bands (Juned, Adickdid, The Teenangels, The Hindi Guns) and co-created the semi-autobiographical film Down and Out with the Dolls. This artist has lived and studied abroad: Honduras, Chile, England, Portugal, Spain and her native India.

Now residing in Los Angeles, Cheriel’s work explores narratives that recognize the urgency and conflict in our continuing attempts to connect to the world. With influences derived from such opposites as East Indian temple imagery, punk rock, and her Pacific Northwest natural environment, her images are indications of how we try to connect ourselves to others and how these satirical and heroic efforts are episodes of compassion and discomfort. Bold elements drawn from landscapes -both urban and natural- and pop culture suggest the ability to find commonalities and relationships between ourselves and our surroundings that inevitably confirm our greater humanity and quest towards love.

Here is a link to her store, which has some affordable stuff.  Yay!  I bought one of her prints several years ago, and I just love it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


I was just nomming on my lunch while reading a bit of news on-line when I read this article.  OMFG!!!!!!  

The 42-year-old Indian woman was in deep slumber last Tuesday night until she awoke around midnight to a “tingling, crawling sensation” in her right nostril.

At first, the woman, a domestic worker named Selvi, brushed the feeling off, assuming she might be catching a cold, the Times of India reported. But she soon felt something move.

She spent the rest of the night in discomfort, waiting for the sun to rise so she could go to the hospital.

“I could not explain the feeling but I was sure it was some insect,” she told the New Indian Express. “Whenever it moved, it gave me a burning sensation in my eyes.”

As dawn arrived, with her son-in-law in tow, the woman visited the clinic closest to her home in Injambakkam, in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

She was soon referred to a second hospital, where doctors suspected she might be suffering from a nasal growth. At a third hospital, doctors recommended a scan, and told her the discomfort may be coming from “a foreign body that seemed to be mobile,” the Times of India reported.

Finally, in her fourth doctor visit — at Stanley Medical College Hospital — doctors used an endoscope to find the culprit: a blob with a pair of antennae.

“It was a full grown cockroach,” M.N. Shankar, the head of the ear, nose and throat department, told the Times of India. “It was alive. And it didn’t seem to want to come out.”

The insect was sitting in the skull base, between the eyes and close to the brain, Shankar said.

Doctors first tried to use a suction device to remove the cockroach, but the insect clung to the tissues. After a 45-minute process, using suction and forceps, doctors were able to extract the bug, still alive.

Because of the critter’s location, doctors had to first drag it to a place from which it could be extracted. It had been lodged inside for about 12 hours, the Times of India reported.

Doctors placed the insect in a container, its wing spread and its legs moving rapidly.

“If left inside, it would have died before long and the patient would have developed infection, which would have spread to the brain,” Shankar added.

Shankar said this was the “first such case” he has seen in his three decades of practice, the New India Express reported. In the past, the hospital’s ENT department has removed a leach, houseflies, and maggots from patients’ nasal cavities.

“But not a cockroach, said S Muthuchitra, one of the doctors, “especially not one this large.”

This is by no means the first time a cockroach has crawled and nestled into a human body. A 1994 story in The Washington Post described a similar local case involving a one-inch cockroach that crawled into a George Washington University graduate student’s ear.

Shannelle Armstrong, the student, woke up screaming before dawn with a piercing pain in her left ear. She was taken by ambulance to the emergency room, where doctors flushed out the live cockroach.

One ear specialist quoted in the story said hospital doctors are sometimes called upon to remove different kinds of bugs from patients’ ears, especially in the summer. In urban areas, he said, roaches are the most common.

The graduate student’s medical report added the following advice: “Consider sleeping with hat on.”


Side note: I recently re-read Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis.  It really is an outstanding read!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tapir Time

I subscribed to National Geographic about a year ago, and I am finally finally FINALLY slogging through past editions.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy them.  I feel the need to read every single article, so it takes time.  They are invariably interesting.  Informative.  Often times depressing.  But they are well written, they address important issues of our times, and they have amazing photographs.  Rarely do they make me laugh, but this particular article in the October 2016 edition made me cackle:

If it is too hard to read from the image above, here is a transcript:

Tapirs Are Surprisingly Well Endowed 

Their genitalia is “ungainly” but evolved that way for a reason. 


Perissodactyla, roughly translated, means “odd number of toes.” It’s the order of mammals that includes rhinos (three toes), horses (one hoofed toe), and tapirs (three toes in back and four toes in front).

Extra toes are an evolutionary advantage that helps barrel-bodied tapirs with weight bearing and traction. Another adaptive trait that male rhinos, horses, and tapirs share: They’re “extremely well endowed,” says tapir expert Michele Stancer, director of animal care at Utah’s Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City.

An aroused tapir’s manhood is so “large and ungainly,” Stancer says, “I actually have seen the male step on it and scream.” Maneuvering the organ into mating position involves many swings and misses. And yet, she says, the male “had to evolve to that size and shape to get where it needs to go” in the female’s lengthy genital tract to inseminate her. Another evolutionary adaptation: large flaps near the end of the penis that Stancer says “make a seal inside the female” so that tapirs can successfully breed underwater as well as on land.

Tapirs’ sex lives start when they’re about two years old and can last into their 20s. If all goes well in a tapir tryst, the female likely will bear a single infant (or, very rarely, twins) 13 months later.

BAH!  I think I read this article 3 times, and then unfortunately I felt the need to poke around a bit and get a visual.

Warning: Proceed with caution and only press play if you are certain you can handle it.  You won't be able to unsee this!!

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Crying Game

Well Happy New Year to anybody that bothers to check this blog anymore!

I was listening to the radio the other day and some deejay said that the average woman cries 60 times a year, and the average man cries 6 times a year.  Hmmm.  We are sixteen days into this year, and I think I have already cried 3 times (new year, possible new dude that I am ridiculously excited/nervous about, so that means new issues plus old hang ups from my last relationship DEBACLE, but it's all good and we will see what happens).  LOL!  Whatever.  If you need a good cry, go for it.  Why not.

I found this article on-line which elaborates on the crying thing:

As stereotypes go, it is one of the oldest. But women do shed a tear more often than men, a study shows.

The researchers said hormonal differences between the sexes could be to blame, but social conditioning plays a part too.

Women well up between 30 and 64 times a year, while men shed a tear between six and 17 times per year, the study found. 

And when women cry, it is also for longer than men. Researchers found women’s tears last for six minutes on average, while for men, they last for between two and three minutes.

The study was carried out by Professor Ad Vingerhoets, a clinical psychologist at Tilburg University in the Netherlands and author of the book, Why Only Humans Weep: Unravelling the Mysteries of Tears.

He spoke to more than 5,000 people in 37 countries and asked them questions about their emotional responses.

Among men, 66 percent of participants cried for less than five minutes and 24 percent cried for between six and 15 minutes. 

With women, however, 43 percent cried for less than five minutes but more cried for between six and 15 minutes – 38 percent.

Also, more than twice as many women cry for between 16 and 30 minutes: 11 percent versus 5 percent of men. 

The findings also showed women cried twice as often as men for between 31 minutes and an hour, as well as for 60 minutes plus. 

Professor Vingerhoets said the differences in the sexes ‘could perhaps be explained to a large extent by the fact that women more often watch tearjerkers and read sentimental literature’.

The findings suggest men should be more understanding next time they watch a romantic film with their partners. Professor Vingerhoets said at the sight of a woman crying, men ‘often feel irritation and tend to ignore the crier’.

However, it’s not just women that cry at the movies. According to Esquire magazine, the films that make men cry include The Shawshank Redemption, Saving Private Ryan and surprisingly Babe, a comedy drama about a talking pig.

Previous studies showed tears contain prolactin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland associated with emotion. 

Women have higher levels of this than men, which could explain why they cry more often.

And because men have bigger tear ducts in their eyes, it takes more for them to well up and for the tears to spill over.

Thoughts on this?  I have never bothered to CHART how many times a year I cry, nor have I bothered to track the duration of each cry, and I think it varies quite a bit.  Mostly I just wonder how the above-referenced data was collected and verified (Did participants agree to time themselves on each occasion that they cried?! Was their crying monitored? Verified? If they were monitored, did that inhibit or encourage the process?  Yawn to all of my questions.), but I'll let my irritating questions go for now because who really cares.  

In ridiculous news, my cat Simba has this new thing -- when I am sitting on the couch he likes to climb on my chest and lay his head on my shoulder while I pet him and pet him and pet him.  It's like having a 15 pound furry baby to hug and love on.  And if you need a good cry, he is willing to soak it all up while you do it, as long as you keep petting him.  WHAT A DREAMBOAT HE IS!