Thursday, April 21, 2011

I love this! Irish Dancing with hands!

I was just over at Strawberry Lemonade blog and saw this adorable video!

I love creative folks and musical is even better! Check out the website for this duo: Yes, they also do Irish dancing with their feet. :) Enjoy!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Los Angeles Artist Model ~ Miyoko

Years ago, when I first graduated from University, I got a job on campus, with the same department that I graduated from, Art! My official title was "Administrative Assistant" (aka secretary!), but the scope of duties I covered, far outweighed the title. One of the subcategory jobs I did was to manage the Life/Figure Model program for our Anatomy, Life Drawing & Painting classes. There were lots of interesting characters whom I had the pleasure to work with at that time and one of them in particular, I will always remember. Her name is Miyoko. I'm sad for my bad memory, as I cannot remember her last name and therefore cannot find much information about her on the internet.

When I had the honor of working with Miyoko, it was about 1999-2001. She lived in a resident hotel in Downtown LA, did not have her own phone (I had to call the hotel mgr to leave messages for her), she took the bus to all of the gigs she had at all of the colleges & universities around the greater LA area, wore stiletto healed, thigh high leather boots, a mink coat and a sexy little spandex mini skirt & tube top. All this with a shock of teased out salt & pepper hair atop her head. Miyoko was born sometime in the mid 1920s. I remember seeing her birthday on her employee info card and couldn't believe that this woman in front of me was 75 years old! Her English was broken and I think many who gazed upon her, were more frightened or unsure about talking to her. But I am glad that I did! She told me about when she first came to the United States, how she always worked as a Life Model in the universities in NYC, how she came to California because of the sunshine, about her pre & post War experience in Japan. She was a lively person who had a life full of adventure and creativity and is someone who has left a good memory with me all of these years later.

I recently thought I'd try to find some info about her on the internet. Surely for someone with a prolific Los Angeles art model career as she, there would be something about her on the world wide web! But alas, the last I can find about her was written in 2009. She seems to have had quite a long and sincere relationship with an LA artist named Robert Vargas. The only photo I can find of her is of him kneeling before her, paintbrush to paper, while she sits with her elbows on knees and chin cupped in her hands, mink coat, stiletto boots and that shock of hair that was her trademark. Apparently, she disappeared at some point in 2009. By that time, she would have been well into her mid 80s! I know everyone goes at some point or another, but Miyoko is one of those people who I wish I could always have the chance of running into on the street or in a drawing workshop or on the bus. I'm grateful to have had the chance to meet her and get to know a little bit about her when I did.

Please take a look here for more info on Robert Vargas and his muse, Miyoko:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Catching up with my Netflix!

The last two days, I've been home sick. I don't mind having days off of work, but I would like to be well so I can truly enjoy the time off! Instead of sitting around twiddling my thumbs, I decided to check in on my Netflix Queue. I haven't had much time to take advantage of this handy service that I pay monthly for lately...but a sick day or two provided the right opportunity! I got in a string of 4 documentaries. Following Sean; Exit Through the Gift shop; The Modernism of Julius Shulman; and Waste Land. Waste Land left the biggest impression on me. The subject of the film is the Pickers of Jardim Gramacho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the largest landfill in the world and provides a livelihood for some 3,000 pickers who sort out the recyclable materials that would otherwise be buried. A Brazilian expatriate artist now living and working in NYC returns to his home country and to Jardim Gramacho to create a body of work with the pickers assistance and with the recyclable materials that they collect every day. His purpose is to bring light to the important role these people play and to help them better themselves. Here is the trailer:

Here is a short film put together by the pickers themselves to document the work that they do:

In a completely opposite part of the world, there is another place similar to this. A photograph in a recent Dwell magazine caught my attention. It is called Garbage City and it is on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. Here is a good report:

It always strikes me how the rich and wealthy don't really concern themselves so much with their garbage, but the poor and downtrodden keep our society running through the sorting of this garbage and recycling out of necessity.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Too Late by Mandrill...I love this tune!

Thanks to Bagatelle's I am able to have this single in my collection for a most affordable price! Thanks to my BF for introducing me to it in the first place! Perfect tempo for a Sunday afternoon. I highly encourage you to check out more Mandrill. Lots of great albums & tunes to discover!

Do you remember your first bicycle?!

I remember my first was yellow with a black seat. My dad always had interesting or unusual cars and I spent lots of time with him at car shows and in the garage...not sure how I learned about Ferrari's, but at age 4 or 5, I somehow got my hands on a Ferrari sticker and put it on the seat of my bike. I thought I was the coolest kid and that the sticker made my bike extra fast! ...well, maybe not the fastest! My second bike was one with a Banana seat and it was blue. I loved that one! You see, as a kid alive in the 70's, Banana seat bikes were the top dog! If only we would have known how much those bikes would become collectible...but guess that's the same with lots of toys from that era! We had fun with them while we had them and the memories to last us!

Northern Soul Legend: MARY LOVE is coming to SF!

April 22nd all of you Soulies out there might like to partake in this special event!!! Mary Love, Northern Soul Legend, will be at Milk Bar in SF, singing all of her legendary classics! Unfortunately for me, I've got my regular Soul/Funk/Disco/Rare Groove DJ night that night, so I won't be able to make it...but that doesn't mean that you should miss it too! Tickets are only $5! Plus you get San Francisco's own: Franco Nero and The Satisfactions, as well as 3 great soul & vintage reggae DJ's: Dirty Dishes, Soul Fox & Bryan Martin (from SF Vintage Reggae Society). This event is being put on by my friend First Round Promotions...keep an eye on his upcoming listings...there's lots more legendary music to come!!!
p.s. If you like the flyer design...that's my handiwork...I'd be happy to work with you on any graphic design needs you might have! Thanks and enjoy the show!!!