arts & crafts

Diego Robot Designs

I am a big fan of kid art. I wish often that we adults were free enough to produce that non self conscious art that kids do.

My 14 year old son has been into robots and trains since he was about 2 years old (Thank you, Thomas the Tank Engine). He also likes to draw. He is a fan of a great many things. I can almost chronicle his interests by his art designs.

My personal favorite is probably Bowie Bot. He has it up on tee public:


For Christmas he did these on t-shirts and bags and as xmas cards for me to send (silkscreen)

avatar12375325_10153776989169407_8936595410654592759_o15491820_1473380686136309_1874983198_oOMG! SANTA!

Of course there’s batman robot in pink and yellow. I like the pink. He made tote bags out of it.


He’s done many. Andy Warhol Robot (with repeated multicolored silkscreening and monochromatic. Most people think it’s Where’s Waldo.).


Three different Doctor Whos.

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Some of my other favorites of his fan art roboting haven’t been made into t-shirts or tote bags yet. ANd I keep hinting: DUDE GREAT PRESENT FOR YOUR MOM. I give you TOTORO ROBOT:


And for awhile there. Diego and I were hitting the silent film thing pretty hard and then into Weimar (because I’m THAT kind of mom).

Which is how we got to Peter Lorre Robot (in M):


My absolute favorite though? Buster Keaton. SOmething in his rendition looks like Keaton walking down the street about to slip on a banana peel.


He’s always looking for suggestions. Is looking forward into what to do next and how to do it. So proud of the lad. This has become his part time job. There are no lawns in the mountains to cut. Instead he sells totebags (now that California has banned plastic bags) and tee shirts and sometimes makes signs for local businesses.I admire his ingenuity. He bought an iPad a year  ago through saving his cash. He’s made four short films since then (working on a fifth over the break). He’s hoping to next get a go pro (of course) and various accoutrements.  Sometimes I feel like a bad mom for not being able to contribute more to him (I do buy his paints and bags for him). But I really do think as much as kids can buy their own stuff the better.

So …any suggestions for subjects that need to be robotified? There’s a few items left pre-xmas. A couple of Santa shirts and a batman bag. He’s working on a duo-colored reprint of Keaton (yay!).

He even did me…

12809725_10154037467474407_7689070177606356771_n 13151538_10154177921509407_3864066018959310756_n….and Bernie Sanders.


7 Indie Book Recommendations 2016 (+ my projects)

While 2016 may have sucked death and destruction wise (from David Bowie to Leonard Cohen dying to everything in between–and I’m not even touching the election), there was also hope and beauty.

This summer in our quiet little town, boxes upon boxes were delivered of books for our defunct school library. With donations from around the world, we filled our library and gave to seven area libraries and to the local foster care agency for the kids they see. I now keep a box of books in my car (of duplicates and older books) to give out as I see a need.

This year also gave me the opportunity to check out YA titles and other books I was unfamiliar with. I’ve also known some authors who had books come out as well. From tiny books , to books published on a large scale–we had a good deal of great words this year if you knew where to look.  Here’s my quick list of books to check out by independent or small press authors (because the mainstream good ones you can find at Costco–I don’t have to help you with that).


    I first saw V. Kali perform her poetry when we were on the same bill at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA back in 2013? 2012? It was the summer and I was reading poems from my chapbook Alzheimer’s Cul de Sac (my grandfather had just died from Alzheimer’s the year before) and she was reading from a slim volume of pieces that a friend had put together for her. She was phenomenal. Her work blew me away. So much truth in it. And I thought I hope there’s a book by her somewhere. FINALLY THERE IS! Just published by World’s Stage Press (where you can find her reading her work sometimes). GET IT.


    2.  Another Los Angeles poet par excellence, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo’s much anticipated first book of poetry Posadas has been released. Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge is a feminist collection of poetry straddling borders, and arose when daughter of Mexican immigrants, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, traveled from Los Angeles to the Tucson-Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border in August 2011 to volunteer with the humanitarian aid organization, No More Deaths. She hoped to gain a concrete understanding of the “wall,” and the result was a book illustrating a speaker driven to activism by a need to honor her family’s journey.” Posadas!

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  3. Alicia Young is just an absolute treasure to read to read. Hard-hitting and truth-telling. She gives you a window into a world that probably didn’t vote the way you did–and she delivers empathy with her meticulous eye. Schmussy
  4. !.51eyr-zhyil-_sx322_bo1204203200_Totally biased on this one, but have you read Michelle Gonzales’ book yet?! It went into a second printing. Such a great time capsule into the early 90s Bay Area punk rock scene. Can’t recommend this one enough. Spitboy Rule


5. I started getting interested in Lasara Firefox Allen’s work after reading Sexy Witch. Now I realize Jailbreaking is probably more my speed. “Jailbreaking the Goddess is a revolutionary revisioning of the feminine divine. Where the maiden, mother, crone archetypal system is tied to female biology and physical stages of life, the fivefold model liberates the female experience from the shackles of the reproductive model.” This book has gotten me into some really great conversations.


6. Bruja by Wendy C. Ortiz–my favorite of anything she’s published so far.  Dream meets reality and back again sort of thing. “Dreamnoir” it’s being called. Worth reading. Bruja!


7. Pauline Campos’ new journal “Be Your Own Fucking Sunshine” is just some great silly fun. A blank journal with inspirational swears like a drunken sailor messages. Why the fuck not? Fucking Sunshine…

There are many more worthy books of 2016 to read, to be sure, but often the small and indie go undiscovered, and they NEED discovering.

Here are three projects I was involved in this year that could benefit from some patronage as well!


Mary of the Chance Encounters is an audiobook CD or a download comprised of me, yours truly, reading eight short stories from this manuscript of erotica, disturbing, noirish short stories. Produced by Wretched Productions and Ms. Heidi Moore—-who made its first full-length feature film

51uik1w8nrl-_sx425_DOLLY DEADLY–Which my daughter, son, and I are all in at one point or another. I was location scout on this venture, did some sound effects, AND creative services for a vegan crew. If ever I demonstrated an ability to be a jack of all trades, it’s on this project. Thanks, Heidi!

And last but not least, I rounded out the year being art director (and model) for the Pin-ups for Plumas Community Radio Calendar!

il_570xn-1089417800_31cnTwelve women from my neck of the woods–two of us DJs at the station–(that’s DJ Tina Terrazas on the cover), posed for a fundraising calendar for our radio station KQNY . We would absolutely love your support by purchasing a calendar Here.


Chanclas Christmas Present Suggestions…

The other day a friend of mine with still small children (one in kindergarten and one in preschool) bemoaned the fact that their Christmas wishlist was now full of electronics. The kindergartener wanted an XBox. The pre-schooler wanted a phone. She was beside herself. How did she arrive at the stage where her kids only want expensive electronics?

I maintain they want these things because they see  other children using them. But they have the rest of their lives for that sort of thing.  It doesn’t mean that they actually want them or that they are appropriate for them.  I read my kids’ Christmas lists as a guide not a to-do list of essentials.

So we can steer them away from one thing and toward another. My daughter (now in junior high) had a love of architecture early.  So I gave her Shape Mags magnetic tiles (  She played with them for hours. She still takes them out once in awhile when young ones come over. These mag shapes (yes they have wound up on the fridge). I told my girlfriend–go with a manipulative. Something colorful. Something that isn’t a game about shooting.

unspecified Shape Mags magnetic tile building sets that allow little builders to create castles, bridges, trains, buildings, pyramids, rockets, their name, the possibilities are endless. Shape mags come in train track sets, gates and fences, frames, arches, windows, doors, vehicle bases, and of course parents are tempted to play with them as well.

Does that sounds like a cop out? Going away from electronics? I don’t think so. They have the rest of their lives to be overly connected.

I’ve also been going the old fashioned route and buying board games. My kids and I have become  huge Ticket to Ride fans.

th-1 th They satisfy my steampunk urge and at the same time have just enough land speculation so that I feel like a proper capitalist. Reminds me of the old Risk–which I’m also a fan of. The Europe version is probably a little complicated for some kids but the American version is pretty simple.

And then there’s the ultimate in nerd presents. My son loves putting together  Rube Goldberg machines.

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So there you have it. Three things that AREN’T electronic devices where you shoot things for fun.

What non-device presents do you have up your sleeve?

Of course my son has also become a comic book nerd emo book. The other item on his list? An adult onesie. Aye dios mio.


Christmas with Tween & Teen

I am missing Christmas.

The ones where they believed. The ones where they wrote letters to Santa and put out carrots for reindeer and wanted nothing but oodles of lego and craft kits and an American Girl doll.

I would actually buy an American Girl doll right now, expensive as it is, if it would wipe my daughters very tween wish list away.

This is our year of adjustment. The year when they do not believe in Santa but still put stockings out regardless. The year when they ask for cool clothes and cosmetics and music. The year when my son wants a cosplay onesie–so he and his girlfriend can be twins.

I’m having a hard time holding on to tree lighting traditions and sitting on Santa’s lap, and all the other benign merriment of Americana Christmas. They of the eye-rolling stage do not want to participate in much.

Have I lost something?

I count what I have left. They still like my baking. Still like my dinners. Hooray for small things.

They sweetly ask what I want for Christmas. I tell them I want them to clean their rooms and declutter the house.  No Really, Mom. What do you want for Christmas?

I try to think of something that would work for me. A bottle of scotch? A ticket to Hamilton? A potential administration not trying to actively bring about environmental apocalypse? My book finished?

Shit. I’m as impossible as they are.


beauty and fashion

Waterwear Making Me Feel…almost atheletic

I’m in full Christmas mode.

It might seem a little out of season to be thinking of swimwear or yoga wear but I find that the fall season is probably when I tend to pretend to or intend to exercise the most (otherwise I’m sitting at my desk getting through kids’ Halloween candy).

The marketing of UCFIT Under Cover Waterwear is pretty simple really: workout clothes that can be fashionable when you haven’t quite made it out to exercise. So you can look like you are about to do it–even when you haven’t. Maybe it’s part of that notion that if you look the part you can be the part. I love the concept behind the line. Moms do often put themselves last–especially for exercise. Why not be ready for it any moment you can squeeze it in?

UCFit Under Cover WaterWear is also a new (ish) concept in swimwear–modest–swimwear. Showing less on the beach instead of more. When I was asked to check them out I was totally intrigued. Clearly not every woman (self included) wants to head out to the beach in a bikini. Half the time I head to the beach I wear old leggings, which make me feel more comfortable while I’m out there–and more protected from the sun. UCFits clothing are UPF 50+–meaning 98% of UV rays aren’t hitting my skin when I’m out. And that doesn’t matter if it’s at the beach or on the sidewalk.

I tried the black leggings with swim skirt in the photo. So far I’ve worn it three times this week. From far away you wouldn’t even know it was swimwear or active wear. It was super comfortable and paired nicely with a shirt and later with a sweater when I was too lazy to change to a whole new outfit when going out for dinner. I could have—since all of their line is meant to get wet as well—worn this to the beach as well and gone in the water. I’ll have to try out one of the tops to see how that works for me but the bottoms were quite nice. Fit without feeling like everything was sucked in without the ability to breathe. It’s probably one time that something designed for moms doesn’t feel like you’re wearing ‘mom’ clothes.

The thing is the psych out totally worked on me. While I was in my office typing away and usually feeling like my tush is spreading in the chair, I got up and got down and did my stretches. I did a few minutes on my stair stepper in the corner. Usually I am dependent on an exercise buddy to drag me out into the daylight. But there I was doing my own thing and feeling healthier. Also with the psych out? I couldn’t eat bad things for me in it. Okay, so I might just be super impressionable.