Monday, March 25, 2013

Beast of the Southern Wild ------------>Yes

This movie is hands down a beautiful film. The leading little lady was so captivating, I couldn't keep my eyes off of her. The story is fantastical and raw. The emotion in every scene was so intense. I love this film so much! I'm not going to write anymore. Watch it! Watch it!! Watch it!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

15 Questions for Brandon

Name: Brandon Thomas McLean
Birthday: May 17th, 1981

1. Where are your family roots from?
I'm a native Floridian. I grew up in the West Palm Beach area, and spent a lot of time in the Florida Keys also.
2. How have your parents/guardian influenced you?
My parent's were always supportive of my interests growing up from sports, to art. They both always just instilled in me to work hard and to try my best. My Dad has passed on now, but I still find myself listening to his advice, and trying to recollect things he taught me. I wish I remembered more.
3. Can you remember your earliest childhood memory of happiness and that of fear?
I think the earliest childhood memory from happiness was when my sister was born. I had just turned four, and I remember my dad taking my brother and I to Pizza Hut, and then the hospital to see her. The earliest memory from fear was when I thought I saw someone peeping through my window in the middle of the night, and I proceeded to sleep on my parents floor everynight after that for months.
4. Is there something in your life that you feel very passionate about?
Not one particular something. I think I have passion in a lot of the different things I do or get into. But, I also like breaks from them. So it may be an intense period of interest for a short time, but then I need to get away from it too.
5. If you could be any animal, what animal would that be? plant? and insect? why?
House Cat. They seem like they have it pretty good. For plants I'm going to go with a fern. Just being quiet, and mellow, hanging out in the shade. As far as an insect goes, I'd be a love bug. Have sex all day then get squashed by a Buick.

6. What is it about being an Artist that keeps you satisfied for it to be your career?
I think the process of making art is what satisfies me the most. I care about the finished product, but most of the time for me it's the time spent alone making something, and the discoveries of right directions for things in that moment. I'll come to dislike it later on more than likely, but for a minute there I felt so right and confident in a decision to add blue, or put a mark there. That moment when you feel completly right.

7. What is your process? medium? and heroes? I'm rather haphazard and sporadic in my process. I'm influenced by all kinds of things, and I'm generally pretty disorgainzed, so I find myself getting into working in all kinds of ways. From outside influences, inner ideas, or just the need to get in there and put the work in. I mainly work with mixed media, especially collage & photo copy transfers. I have no heroes. But I admire and respect people who go their own way, and break molds.

8. Can you tell us something that you just learned that intrigued you?
Just read a book on the Escape From Alcatraz, "Riddle of The Rock." I love that there is no conclusion. We'll never know for sure what happened to those guys. I like real life mystery.
9. What is your perception of how people see you?
Most people probably say I'm quiet.
10. What are you listening to these days?
The Black Angels. Literally for weeks now. Also Allah Las.
11. What's the best and worst decision you ever made?
Hannah & Hannah.

12. Can you narrate to me your proudest moment?
Summer League Basketball. The eighth grade. Team Allied Exterminating down by two, final seconds. Pass down low to me. I go up. Get fouled, and make it just as the buzzer sounds. Head out to the free-throw line. The court's cleared. Only me. Sunk it!. Win by one.
13. What do you find most ridiculous about life?
Politics and Religion. 
14. Can you share a topic that causes your blood to boil?
How generally bad people are to one another.
15. If you could take a peek in your future (say 10 years from now), what would it look like?
I hope to find myself in the woods sitting on the porch of a modest home having morning coffee with my beautiful wife.

Thanks Brandon!

Check out his website:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A farewell to Gueli

Yesterday I wrote this:

It's been a tough couple weeks since my mom got the call that her mother, my grandmother, who is 91 years old, is not doing so well. I wrote a little about it during Christmas. My mother has been flying back and forth to Puerto Rico, making sure she is comfortable. This trip, it seems, she's gotten a lot worse and probably won't recover from the pneumonia and weakening of her heart. It's such a mixture of emotions. I mean, she's 91 years old, she's lived to be an old lady but it's the complicated heath issues and limbo ride of life and death that tug at your heart. I talked with her the other day and man, I had to cry because she was just moaning back at me. So sad, she's on the ledge... it reminds me of my aunt/ Titi Desi who passed around Thanksgiving in 2010. The hardest part about seeing your family go is actually seeing or hearing them go. They look different and communicate different especially when they're sick. I have fond memories of visiting my Grandma (Gueli) who lived by herself upstairs in her house right in the center of Ponce. She was a mover and a shaker... she walked all over her town buying groceries and lottery. She was very smiley and giggled a bunch (always putting her hands on her belly yelling out in Spanish "stop, I'm going to pee in my pants" with tears of laughter coming down her eyes). I think she passed this on because my mother, sister and I can make each other laugh so hard / always with tears running down. She was very frugal with money but enjoyed a bit of gambling, not much, just the lottery. She loved to watch her novellas on TV and listened to the radio. She was very very proud of her children and teared up fast when talking about them. I'm happy she got to meet her great grand children, Olivia and Eli, boy did she make them smile.

Things that will always remind me of her: Eating mangoes, Anything Puerto Rico - her name is Selva which translates to jungle - Her name is Jungle! // loud Spanish television // Gazpacho // drying clothes on a line outside // washing dishes at 6am with just a small bowl of soapy water (water conserver) // taking in stray cats (she did this a lot in her home) // and seeing my mother laughing hard // oh and my mom's legs (exactly the same) //

Keep on giggling Gueli!! With so much love to you!!

My mother called me this morning with news that she had passed last night.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

15 Questions for Michelle

Name: Michelle Marie Rider
Birthday: 8/1/81

1. What does the name Rider translate to? Rider translates to Rider. I’m thinking an ancestor used to ride horses, or something to do with riding, like owning a ranch? I got teased in elementary school once because of my last name. A kid imitated riding a horse, and I shot him a dirty look. And a high school teacher referred to the movie Easy Rider when he first met me. I thought he was calling me easy. I should probably give that movie a try.

2. Where are your family roots from? Pretty sure from England, Ireland, & Germany. My mom once said there were some Polish, & Native American in us too...but we can’t trace it back. If you mean by in the States? Tiny towns in upstate New York: Warsaw, Castile, & Silver Springs.

3. How have your parents influenced you? hmmm...that’s hard. In general ways like growing up with cats → hence my love of cats. And baking → I love to bake. My mom loves to garden, but that’s more recently. I’ve recently found my dad is a pretty good listener, and he’s good at being open to new ideas. I say Please & Thank you often?

4. Can you remember your earliest childhood memory of happiness and that of fear? My earliest memory of happiness was falling asleep while being rocked in our rocking chair by my mom or great-grandmother. For fear, I used to have nightmares about a big ball of needles pricking my hands. Strange, huh?

5. Is there something in your life that you feel very passionate about? In the past few years I’ve really focused on gardening & getting my hands in the dirt. I love plants and want to surround myself with them.

6. If you could be any animal, what animal would that be? plant? and insect? why? I would be so many things! A three-toed sloth, an elephant, or a panda bear. For plants definitely a jade plant (succulents!). For insects: either a monarch butterfly caterpillar, or a honeybee. It’s all good to me, so long as I don’t get eaten.

7. What is it about being an Acupuncturist that keeps you satisfied for it to be your career? I really love that Acupuncture is versatile. You can treat a myriad of things either within a patient, or within a practice. I appreciate, and love, that we have so many adjunctive therapies to use as well - herbs, tui na & massage, cupping, & gua sha to name a few. Each type of therapy could become a bigger or smaller part of your practice. It’s just awesome to see people respond well to it. I love that it’s all about helping folks.

8. Can you tell us something that you just learned that intrigued you? There are about a dozen cities in the US that print & use their own currency. Pittsboro, North Carolina is one & they use a currency called PLENTY. It’s only used within town and it helps to promote business locally. It’s taxed like any other dollar and you can even exchange it cash at the local bank. Neat!

9. What is your perception of how people see you? I think it depends on the person. If I don’t really know someone that well I’m less likely to be super open and express all my inner thoughts. My close friends might see things differently: that I’m opinionated, undecided, stubborn - but can go along with things, supportive, sweet, generous.

10. What are the qualities that draw you to people that you can base a friendship on? I really appreciate my friends because they’re genuinely friendly, funny, thoughtful and aren’t afraid to talk some serious s#*t. If I can do that with someone it’s a good chance they’ll be my friend.

11. What's the best and worst decision you ever made? Best decision: moving to New York to be with Chris. Worst decision: letting procrastination take over on interesting projects.

12. Can you narrate to me your proudest moment? I think my proudest moment was when I used to dance. I was asked to perform an Isadora Duncan solo, with a grand piano on stage. Having my family in the audience, & seeing them made me really happy. Other than that, seeing my nephew Noah scream ‘Auntie Michelle!’ and watching him grow up makes me proud. Such a cool kid.

13. What do you find most ridiculous about life? Politics & media. How ridiculous they’ve both become is such a sham.

14. Can you share a topic that causes your blood to boil? There’s a few. Fracking - it’s the worst. Politics. ‘Pro-Life’. Folks who have no sense of conservation regarding the environment.

15. If you could take a peek in your future (say 10 years from now), what would it look like? I think it would look pretty good. On a farm with my man, growing my acupuncture & massage practice, with kids running around.

Thanks Michelle!! XOXO

Friday, March 1, 2013

Furry Fangs: An Introduction

I've been meaning to write about this amazing project my friend, Sara Pointdexter and I //are and have been// working on for the past 5 or so years. There's been some set backs - really just life taking over. I think we are okay with our snails pace since it takes time to figure out what's really going on with this idea. The idea... Sara and I came up with is a metaphor of the //birth of an idea// yeah this post suddenly got harder to write. I'm just going to push on through in hopes it will make some kind of sense. Okay so... birth of an idea - the light bulb turns on and an idea is born. The idea being us collaborating and creating a new fantastical world (metaphorically its our conscious) and the light bulb being birth to The Furry Fangs (protectors of our imagination).

We are ladies of the forest walking along a path connected to our environment by a cord full of life. As we explore the landscape, we dive in deep into our consciousness... we explore the inner world of our imagination. Our guide is the protecter of the forest... our furry friends, the furry fangs! They help us along the path helping us with direction but most of all giving us comfort and compassion. We may have fears and doubts along the way, but we get through them together... fun moments of excitement but a lot to observe and analyze. Where are we? Does it matter? Can we move forward? Should we take a rest? Yes, let's rest before the next phase.

We had a show at Stardust in Winter Park, FL (in January). We wanted to introduce Furry Fangs to our friends, as well as, see if we hit something worth wild. We definitely felt as if we just opened Pandora's box but in a positive way. The ideas have been filling our minds everyday since. We are excited and anticipate our next show. Unfortunately (snails pace) this year seems to be such a transitional year. We are both moving in the summer so that's that. We do plan on future shows in our future towns. That should be fun! Anyway we feel accomplished that our vision has substance and that we will continue to work even if it takes forever.

eye of awareness
pod a.k.a the light bulb
cord of life surrounding us
forest lady outfits
Furry Fang (protector of the forest)
cord of life connected to the pod (light bulb/idea)

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