Monday, February 13, 2012

Seriously GRAY matter

So....first entry in a while. Just thinking about colors.

I started noticing something about colors a long time ago. I used to despise beige and gray. I thought who would have ever decided walls need to be gray or tan or some other neutral color. Now I get it. Give me a William Alexander (famous PBS TV artist/instructor) moment. Art 101. Grays make colors POP. But the lesson doesn't stop there. Watch any old B&W TV show or movie; Casablanca, I Love Lucy, Superman, The Lone Ranger--or the greatest crossover from Sepia to Technicolor, The Wizard of Oz. Superman's costume in the B&W episodes wasn't red and blue. It was a couple shades of tan and brown

The world of B&W/grays is full of wonderful tones that mix and match beautifully. And what does high contrast + grays do for the story? Doesn't it make everything seem to be precisely planned.....each scene is easier to 'read' as our minds are not as confused with too much information. We tend to process only what's important; the picture story flows like a river. That's the moving picture in B&W.

What about natural light? I'm experimenting with grays and blue grays lately. I noticed after a good rain, the sun came out just before sunset. The sky was still mostly gray, but the sunlight glow was a bright yellow. The yellow street light was more vivid than normal. And the greens were saturated--grass, trees, and bushes were technicolor green. A true magic hour.

I had my office painted last year. I had chosen a couple colors but before anything was done, I got a beautiful shade of a cool gray primer on every wall. I almost couldn't paint over it. It was so incredible how the other colors in my office even the wood tones seem to jump out. I lived with that for a day or so and hated to see the gray go away, but it did. Someday I'll go back.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vampire bats, Popeye and Vitamin K

I am not a doctor nor have a played one on TV. But I am a vitamin taker..or at least I used to be. I still have my favorites chewable Vitamin c, Vitamin E, cinnamon bark extract and so on. But I recently heard of an affect a certain vitamin has that i think everybody should be aware of because it is THAT serious.

Vitamin K is one of those among many, but I just want to clear my mind of this blog subject so I can move on.

A friend recently had been diagnosed with "minor blood clots" found in his lungs. Minor being "non-life threatening, at least not in the immediate future. The doctors said they can prescribe anti-coagulants to help thin his blood and then begin to regulate it for an exact viscosity which I guess they know for certain. Once they got him started on the anticoagulants, they gave him a list of foods which contain Vitamin K.

What is Vitamin K and what does it do? Basically Vitamin K is the nutrient that makes green leafy, vegetables green. I'll stop here for a minute and say that I always thought eating spinach just like Popeye was supposed to be a good thing for everybody. Not so. In fact, for anyone who might be prone to their blood clotting for whatever reason should in fact be careful of eating too much of a good thing. So my friend gets a long list of stuff containing Vitamin K and told to eat only a certain amount a week, once they determined the anti-coagulants, which by the way happen to be bat saliva which, you guessed it, makes a decent blood anti-coagulant. My friend, who also happened to be knowledgeable in Latin read the name on the label and asked the nurse....."Wait a second is that bat spit, you're putting into me?!"

I begin asking lots of questions about what's good to eat, what's not, etc. One thing became clear to me what's good for one person may not necessarily be good for another. In other words, we shouldn't go around self-prescribing or worse telling everybody else what they should eat, what vitamins they should take and so on.

There is a cool website, in fact lots of them which offer lists of foods, nutrients, etc. and as someone once said, everything in moderation.

The cool thing is that they regulate the effect of the medicine by re-introducing a small portion of veggies back into his system. So instead of raising or lowering the dosage of meds, which he has to be on the rest of his life, they actually say eat x-amount of green beans this week, or broccoli or whatever.

Basic rule of thumb--perhaps it's a good thing to not self-prescribe or consume just anything without knowing what it does...or worse, prescribe to others something you "feel" will be their next wonder nutrient.

Ironically, we had been eating items anyone can purchase at organic food chains such as barley powder, potassium supplements and drinks. Things I thought of as safe for anyone and can make anyone feel better. But I count myself as a lucky one who learned soon enough that all the vitamin taking I had been telling my friend to take for the last 20 or so years was not doing him a bit o' good. In fact, had they not caught it in time, those blood clots could have created worse damage or even death.

Read the labels. Don't eat just anything a cartoon character tells you to eat. Read labels. Ask your doctor. Find out the facts. Read the labels. Google it! This information contained herein is not to be used to prevent or cure any disease. In fact, I'd check with your own doctor to find out if Popeye has been telling the truth after all these years.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

LIfe is short play...hard? more? less?

We've all the phrase "Life is short, play hard" and other variations and it is true.

We make friends; we lose them. We keep in touch. We lose contact. We reconnect. It seems like an insane cycle in which quality is lost and gained; then a sudden something jars us back into reality. We wake up and find new inspiration to live better, do more and be happy...or shouldn't we?

That's happened to me more than once in this life. Life is like a painting, a long series of corrections if you pay attention. The surprises have come to me when I'm not paying attention. Having lost family members, co-workers, associates and friends over the years, experiencing the loss of someone through death is always profound either a little or a lot.

What do you do when you get a jolt back to carving out the crap of life and making a renewed focus on quality? Follow your bliss....follow your bliss....follow your bliss...and start by

1. Be okay when you've lost contact with friends and know they represent the other half of the equation.

2. If there is someone or a group of people you want to be in contact with, make the effort, do the work. Good friends will be glad you called and you will be glad.

3. When making new quality friends, "quality" is the key. Make sure that's what they are after too. If not move on.....you have better things to do.

4. It's not just about other people, take care of yourself and give yourself "permission" to do things you want to do. Start by thinking of what it is you would like to have accomplished by the end of your life and start doing them. Otherwise, you are the only one that will have the regret in the end.

5. Live life with no regrets and therefore no fear. The world of media and commerce is bent on creating a need often by instilling the "fear of" the "something unknown, if you don't act now." Get rid of that feeling of dread now. It serves no one except Madison Avenue. The world is more than just commerce. Human beings are more than just commerce.

6. Love recklessly and enjoy the people you are with.

7. Go! Start today. Make a plan but don't get bogged down in the details. Just...GO!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

OOooooohhhh, Charlene!

Personal note: We just celebrated our dear friend, Tony Perrett's memorial. He was far too young, but he lived large and celebrated each moment. Today, I found his last email to me from 2007. Thank God I'm a pack rat, even with email. I'm also grateful we had spoken since then but this is our Tony (on the left) at his all time best.....the way he should be remembered. At the very least, he deserves an eternal spotlight on a world-wide blog. His partner Ryo is on the right; neighbors in the center. There is to be another memorial in New York March 19, 2010, one day after his 51st birthday. I'm sure he'll be there.

Anthony Craig "Tony" Perrett
March 18, 1959 - December 22, 2009

07-17-2007

Helllooooo Charlene-

Hope this finds you well and happy!!! I hear Dallas is now Seattle! Are you considering living on an ark? I see your home address is new? When did you move?

Not much to report here…I LOVE New York…and I still LOVE my job! I see lots of theatre-which you know makes me happy! I have new found passion too and that’s Opera…I guess it comes with age! (as you might have guessed, I’m pushing 50)…Can you believe 70% of the music on my Ipod is opera? Of course the rest is show tunes…some things never change!

We bought a condo last year and finally moved in this past April in Brooklyn…we love it! The view is spectacular and it’s ours! Much better than throwing that money away on outrageous New York rent!

This Thursday Ryo and I celebrate our 4 year Anniversary; can you believe he’s put up with my shit for that long? He’s a Saint!!!

Are you and Alvaro still together?

Seen any of our friends? Anyone we know?

We should get together some time when I am in Big D….

Kisses to ya!
Tony


PS. The photo is Ryo and I with our crazy new neighbors at my last work party! Ryo’s the one in the hat! I’m the old one!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Brain: A Visual


Recent art piece...I say "recent" as in the last couple years. Try navigating in here. (points to head)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Googie Art: Bowl-A-Rama Coffee Shop

Here's a link but don't stop there. Googie lovers, that is, people who love Mid-20th Century architecture and design, will love to take a walk down Retro Avenue and see what you've been missing. If you like it, you'll be there for hours, perhaps even days. Grab a snack now.

http://www.lileks.com/

The style of the 1950s and 60s has a look all its own. The cool thing is these roadside images were meant to be seen from your car. They had to be spectacles and you had to be overwhelmed with desire to stop. Before there were an insane numbers of chain restaurants, chain hotels, chain EVERYTHING, there were unique one-of-a-kind little eateries, which are now so rare.


By the late 60s, these places seem to disappear, although there still exist a few, across the USA, but especially in Southern California...but you have to be looking for that certain neon sign or crazy-angled rooftop.

Some time ago, I decided to make an attempt to preserve this style and create some googie art signs which I hope will be a respectful tribute and appreciation of our retro future past. I've gone crazy with my new love, named Googie.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Synesthesia Part 2

There are very distinct smells that go along with other childhood memories. Three favorite brand name smells are Crayola™ Crayons, grape Koolaid/ grape flavored candy, Hershey's chocolate.

A couple non-brand name  smells are Kindergarten class construction paper and tempera paint. At Six Flags, where I worked as a teenager, the smell of creosol  near the train tracks was somehow always a happy smell...at least on a cool day.


Last year I blogged about favorite smells and flavors at Christmas time. I remember we would stick our heads in our Christmas stockings and take a big whiff of all the mixed up smells. The olfactory combination contained oranges, peppermints, Hershey kisses (yeah...I LOVE chocolate), walnuts, Klondike bars, Junior Mints, small wrapped packages (cellophane tape?) and finally, the smell of the bright red flannel stocking itself.