Friday, October 26, 2007

In California

Arrived to Northern California yesterday, after stopping over in LAX for about an hour. The sky down there looks white from all the smoke, which doesn't really feel different than the usual smog I have seen the last time I was in LA. But the taste in one's mouth is different. It's metallic.

Because my hostess suffers from migraines, after she picked me up from the airport, I had to drive us back to the coast over Highway 17. I haven't drived in over one year, and to brave Highway 17 in a new car with a friend with a migraine was no easy task. Luckily I didn't hit any guardrails and we made it back home safe and sound.

I can't get over how fresh everything feels here. It seems so much easier to live. Things seem to make sense. The coffee tastes better. The view of the ocean is lovely.

Tomorrow we go to Monterey and Laguna Seca. Turu is warming up today. I can't wait to see him and the racing Alfa Romeo. The Domestic Departures workshop starts Monday in Santa Ana. Not sure how I feel going into the ring of fire. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


By Dana Ford

SAN DIEGO, Oct 23 (Reuters) - As emergency shelters go, the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego might get a five-star rating, with yoga and acupuncture for stressed-out adults, clowns and candy for bored kids and even Kosher meals.

The stadium, best known as home to the National Football League's San Diego Chargers, was converted this week into an emergency evacuation center accommodating 10,000 people forced from their homes by wildfires scorching the county.

City and state officials and legions of volunteers running the center did their best to provide not only for evacuees' basic needs but also lifestyle perks designed to make the Golden State's displaced denizens feel more at home.

Food and water were in ample supply, with tables lining the stadium's main concourse laden with cold cuts, breads, condiments, cookies, fruit and coffee. Dinner included roast beef, fresh vegetables, salad and rice.

Jewish evacuees were able to abide by their dietary restrictions by following a sign advertising Kosher food.

"You hear all the horror stories from Hurricane Katrina, but it's nothing like that here," said Linda Leonik, 22, who was evacuated with her husband and their 6-month-old twins from the upscale community of Rancho Bernardo.

"We have all the resources we need. I'm so surprised how well people pulled together for this."

The almost festive mood was a far cry from the overcrowded, squalid conditions, despair and fear of violence inside the New Orleans Superdome following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, where evacuees spent several days without adequate food, water or sanitation.

While some of New Orleans' poorest residents sought shelter at the Superdome, many of the evacuees taking up residence at Qualcomm came from affluent suburbs of San Diego.

Clowns made balloon animals for youngsters, people dressed as "Star Wars" troopers gave out candy, a ventriloquist performed with puppets and volunteers painted children's faces. Other children spent time in a play area stocked with toys crayons and coloring books.

Acupuncturists set up a makeshift clinic, and signs guided stressed evacuees to yoga and meditation sessions offered elsewhere in the stadium. Crisis counseling and massage therapy also were made available.

Organizers did their best to keep evacuees plugged in electronically, with TV monitors put up throughout the facility and a cell-phone charging station on the concourse.

The stadium was so well stocked by nightfall on Tuesday that San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders issued a statement saying individual donations were no longer necessary.

"There's been such an overwhelming response from the community. There are people here in immediate need and there are people here to give. I'm proud of my city," said Tony Greco, a San Diego native and sergeant in the U.S military.

As opposed to the superdome in New Orleans:

From the sky

Ring of Fire

Hard to believe from rainy and cooler New York that all this is happening on the West coast. I'll see it and feel it and most likely taste it with my own body tomorrow as I fly to LA before San Jose. Domestic Departures workshop inside the ring of fire will be interesting to participate in. Scoured and charred, how will we be able to respond in our own work?

However bad the devastation, though, I can't help but think of the hypocrisy surrounding the rescue and evacuation effort in relation to that after Hurricane Katrina. Images of thousands at a sports stadium, people waiting on line or sleeping on concrete, similar in both cases. But in recent news programs and in the papers, not many people this week are shown starving, dying of thirst, without proper medical equipment or attention, without sanitation.

In Southern California, even the farm animals have been saved, are still well fed and hydrated. Newborns and the elderly weren't treated this well at the Superdome, were they? Maybe I missed something.

It makes me ask myself again (proverbially) why certain types of people's lives are valued more than others' in this country. The lower-class to poor, mostly African American lives destroyed by Hurricane Katrina are still waiting for aid. New Orleans seems to have become a pet project for the rich and seemingly socially conscious (with green building initiatives and tours, documentaries, etc), but not the government. Conversely, celebrities whose (not even primary) homes are in harm's way are being touted around like victims. I'm sure they all left for Hawaii until the smoke clears!

I see the government, the Governator, FEMA, mobilizing at almost stealth speed. I'm stating the obvious here with most of our reserve troops fighting in Iraq, local hands on deck seem to have loads of help, enthusiasm and drive, and support.

I feel embarrassed to be represented by such a transparent, manipulative, and cruel administration. It breaks my heart and makes me incredibly angry that millions of people in New Orleans are still waiting for...pretty much everything, and the most recent homeless of Southern California are basically getting in front of the line.

Very good place to be before a workshop!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Domestic Departures

Exhibit & Workshop

I am pleased to announce that I have been invited to participate in a workshop in conjunction with the exhibit "Domestic Departures" at California State Fullerton's Main Art Gallery.

I will be there throughout the week with 16 other artists. We will open the studios at the Grand Central Art Center to the public at the end of each day from 3-4:30, beginning Tuesday October 30 through Friday November 12.

Main Art Gallery - 800 N. State College Blvd. Fullerton, CA
Grand Central Art Center (GCAC) - 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA

Opening Reception at Main Art Gallery: Saturday, October 27, 5-8 PM
Duration of Exhibit: October 27 - December 7, 2007
Additional Artist Reception at GCAC: November 3, 7:30 - 10 PM
Information: 714.278.3262 or 714.278.7750

Thursday, October 18, 2007


The spiral has come around again (maybe it's because Mercury is again in retrograde), and I'm friends again with a former someone I thought was out of my life forever. Maybe it's because she just had a baby, maybe it's because I'm too tired (and getting older already!) to push things and people out of my life, or maybe because we're both a lot softer than we used to be.

Whatever the reason, I'm glad to have her back in my life.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October 16

It's my birthday today. I'm 33 years old. It's Tuesday, pretty warm...

It feels like any other day. I'm having a party tonight to celebrate.

I just ordered the red velvet cupcakes.

I'd like to buy a new dress or a new pair of shoes, but I probably won't.

Monday, October 15, 2007



halt her


1. of or pertaining to the home, the household, household affairs, or the family: domestic pleasures.
2. devoted to home life or household affairs.
3. tame; domesticated.
4. of or pertaining to one's own or a particular country as apart from other countries: domestic trade.
5. indigenous to or produced or made within one's own country; not foreign; native: domestic goods.
6. a hired household servant.
7. something produced or manufactured in one's own country.
8. domestics, household items made of cloth, as sheets, towels, and tablecloths.
[Origin: 1515–25; < L domesticus, deriv. of domus house (see dome); r. domestique < MF]

de·par·ture [di-pahr-cher]
1. an act or instance of departing: the time of departure; a hasty departure.
2. divergence or deviation, as from a standard, rule, etc.: a departure from accepted teaching methods.
3. Navigation.
a. the distance due east or west traveled by a vessel or aircraft.
b. point of departure.
4. Surveying. the length of the projection, on the east-west reference line, of a survey line.
5. Archaic. death.
[Origin: 1375–1425; late ME < OF departëure; cf. AF departir (n. use of inf.). See depart, -ure]

—Synonyms 1. leaving, going, exit, leave-taking. Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
de·par·ture (dĭ-pär'chər) Pronunciation Key
The act of leaving.
A starting out, as on a trip or a new course of action.
A divergence or deviation, as from an established rule, plan, or procedure: ordered curry as a departure from his usual bland diet.
Nautical The distance sailed due east or west by a ship on its course.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


After the sale of my apartment I moved back in with my parents until the building is complete. I moved back into the room I grew up in, but now I live there with my husband. It's very surreal, but in a way very healing. It is as though we have come full circle but sprialled up looking down at our former selves and our former relationships with each other.

I'm documenting the whole process with photographs and seemingly endless journal entries. As my studio work is all around me, the daily activities of a middle class family in the middle of New York City is a political piece in and of itself. Inside the apartment is familiar, it's the only home I've ever known. But one step "outside" and the surrounding neighborhood is very foreign. We don't look like the neighborhood anymore, now littered with the upwardly mobile and student set.

But to get even a little distance from just being about Me, I'm trying to see this step of the process as part of a larger whole. The fact that, as a product of a middle class upbringing, I'm building a new building on my father's property, and had to move back in for financial reasons, is very very interesting. Taking the time to reflect on family dynamics, geographic constrainsts, and concepts of domesticity (both micro and macro levels) is important to me.

So many photographs look like they'd be great paintings. So many moments galvinized in my memory are at the same time right in front of my eyes. My mother, my father, my husband, my self.

progress shots

Building a home
constructing new structures
theory and reality often become opposing
sometimes i still separate work from My Work (working on it)
these were taken last week

opening again