2008 Summer Update

It has been a while since I have given the rest of the world a glimpse into my universe which this missive hopes to rectify. And yep, for those of you whom haven’t received one of these mock belles lettres before, I do speak and write like this. The current color of my sky is jumping between blue-green and gray (according to the mood ring spectrometer). The land is moist and full of weeds, and apparently a few sunflowers have poked through to my delight. My family is now healthy which is of great relief to us all. I adapted well to role of Daddy-Mommy-Nurse as it was needed but it does tire one immensely. I have done things, some which might surprise and amuse you and a few which even surprised me.

The first big surprise was my first adult acting role. And I do qualify this by saying “Yes, I know, adult IS acting for me”. Yet I ingest. Or repress. So I had the wonderful experience to be a ‘Mad Scientist’. Again, I know many people would not perceive this as me acting. My family (in-laws as such) works and volunteers and works some more at Lutheran Church of Our Saviour. I have on many occasions volunteered work there, done artwork and design for them, and taught martial arts (Don Jitsu Ryu) there. It being a church, it is no wonder that they would have a Vacation Bible School. Curiously, this years’ theme was SCIENCE. Now, as an aside, I feel compelled to tell you that on weekends, I occasionally have a kitchen full of neighborhood kids as we do science experiments. My son Alexander loves science and that was one of my passions as a youth, so I encourage it as much as possible, and so he and I do experiments, then he invites over his friends, that is how it grows into a neighborhood event reproducing last week’s episode of MythBusters in the front weeds (not lawn) because at that point we have been correctly shooed out of the kitchen by my lovely wife, who invites her family over. Yes, Mentos and Diet Pepsi are always on our shopping list. I have sown the seeds and drawn the map for you to understand how I, of all people, ended up spending three weeks of lunch-breaks in silly costumes doing science experiments for children at a VBS. My son was my trusty robot assistant X-10!

As a coincidental cosmic counter balance to the Lutheran Science demonstrations, at the beginning of this year I took the Wicca 101 class at Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa and Circles in the Woods CUUPS. It was a great class, with wonderful instructors, great classmates, and lively discussions. I learned a great deal and suggest whoever has interest and is in the Tampa Bay area find a way to attend the next class for it is well worth the minimal money (which goes to the UU Church). http://www.geocities.com/uutampa/CUUPs/calendar.htm

Don’t think I have neglected writing and cartooning, I think about that enough myself, however; I have produced some items worthy of reportage. To begin with I once more reestablish myself as an artistic footnote by being thanked for my scholarship and work on the Robert Stackhouse Print Archives housed at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum in the catalogue of said archive. This is as important to me as being footnoted by the Guggenheim Museum’s Arakawa / M. Gins catalogue. I am deeply honored for being noticed and associated with artists who I admire so greatly. I shan’t elaborate more details since that was the focus of my last missive.

I would like to mention, so I will mention, that the Jose Marin catalogue is available. I and many people have anticipated this commiserate publication. The bittersweet is that Jose, a friend and co-worker of mine, deserved an exhibition and catalogue of this magnitude. Unfortunately it is a posthumous exhibition, many years after his untimely passing. I missed him when he moved across the country and missed him more so when he died. This was a fitting tribute.

It’s not all about me.

The Pilcrow Literary Festival in Chicago was May 22-25. http://pilcrowlitfest.com/ Lynn Brewer, the editor of Cliterature online journal spoke on a panel among other glorious editor activities. Before she went, she emailed to me “I'd love to use an excerpt from ‘Lost in Urban Landscaping’ that was published in the Hags & Witches issue in my speech, and of course plug your name and work along with it.’ I do believe I said “YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! That would be acceptable.” Or something along those lines. I am very sorry I was unable to attend the festival. Travel has been one of my banes this year. I do love the acknowledgments though.

Mostly, it IS about me.

In July, Cliterature Volume 8 “The City” was published http://cliteraturejournal.com/thecity.html. And I am excited to say that they included two of my poems: “Lost In Urban Landscaping #33: Ybor City” and “smog”. I am very happy about this and hope we have a long term publishing relationship. They produce an entertaining and thought provoking magazine that I am proud to be associated with. I think that is enough sucking up for now, but I may have more later.

Tokyopop magazine and Sakura Pens and the Grand Sumo Tournament had an art contest. http://sakuraofamerica.com/?q=node/297 The grand prize was two tickets to the Grand Sumo Tournament in Los Angeles, CA. Unfortunately, my bane of being unable to travel prevented me from attending so in my place went Max Waterman and friend. I hear they had a good time and met Elain Chang, my charming contact at TokyoPop who coordinated the details. However, I did receive two LA Sumo Tournament T-shirts, an official "Sumo Sign-in" Kit, an assortment of Sakura drawing pens, and best of all a tegata (handprint signature) of Hakuho.

And as if my life isn’t going in enough different directions I have purchased a guitar and a ukulele. I took guitar lessons way back when I was in High School, I never took ukulele lessons. I have been practicing and will take some real lessons soon. Hopefully, with five or six more years of random plucking on these instruments I might be able to play a song. Maybe.

I have taken some of my more recent images and made them available as clothing and accessories via CafePress. Many of these are specifically being released in honor of “National MUTT Day” on July 31. http://www.nationalmuttday.org/ The money raised from many of these items will go to the starting of Michele Martin’s “Lucky Dog Organics” (pet food and services) or to the Pinellas Animal Foundation http://www.vetsforpets.org/process.cfm?PageID=1













This morning I resumed my fledgling acting career and auditioned for the Florida Pirate Festival. The audition went well and I had a lot of fun doing it and met some really nice folks. I had some great advice from David Waterman on how to survive the audition, we will see if backrub and bribery were enough.

There is more in the works and as usual I am only informed about some of them, as they make themselves apparent to me, I shall share them with you. Be well.

Lizard Loves Ya!