Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Silly Quiz

You scored as Angel. Angel: Angels are the guardians of all things, from the smallest ant to the tallest tree. They give inspiration, love, hope, and positive emotion. They live among humans without being seen. They are the good in all things, and if you feel alone, don't fear. They are always watching. Often times they merely stand by, whispering into the ears of those who feel lost. They would love nothing more then to reveal themselves, but in today's society, this would bring havoc and many unneeded questions. Give thanks to all things beautiful, for you are an Angel.













What Mythological Creature are you? (Cool Pics!)
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Thursday, May 12, 2005

The best vacation ever...

I arrived home yesterday from my trip to San Diego and I am happy to report that I had a BLAST!

I had never been there before and so I really didn’t know what to expect. My sister recently moved down there with her boyfriend and so my mother and I went with the intention of seeing her and perhaps celebrating both her belated birthday as well as Mother’s Day.

We arrived Friday morning and were treated to a scenic drive through this most beautiful city. Between the weather, the architecture, and sheer number of things to do, I was amazed. We ate at some wonderful restaurants, and of course went shopping. On Saturday we went to “Old Town” which was a state park that is a string of shops and Mexican food restaurants each with beautiful architecture and ambiance. I say “was” because it has now closed down… after being there for many, many years; their last day was a scant two days after our visit. (Now it is reportedly to be converted into an old Western themed park.) While there, we ate mediocre food (the only time the whole trip that the food wasn’t fabulous) and listened to some incredible live music. (The guitarist was amazing, playing his guitar and an Incan Pan pipe simultaneously.) Later that night we went to Croce’s for drinks (we seem to have drank a lot on this trip! Hmmmm...), a jazz bar/restaurant where we listened to even more live music while enjoying a Bailey’s & coffee… Mmmmm… the taste of true civilization. ;)

The next day we went to Mexico for Mother’s Day. My mother and I had never been, and so it was definitely an experience for us. We drove to the border and then walked across, grabbed a cab (another experience) and then had a very scenic drive that alternated between horrifying and beautiful. I was told to expect that I would see “poor areas” but my mind had conjured up images of the homeless in San Francisco, or of the seedier places in Oakland. What I saw was more akin to those images you might see on TV asking us to “save the children”, the only difference being the presence of graffiti… homes falling down, crumbling, burnt out… things so dirty and inhospitable that no one could possibly live there… except for the telltale clothesline that betrayed the fact that someone actually did. It was very sad. 

But driving southward along the coast we saw the golden sun shimmering upon the bluest ocean I had ever seen. The day was clear and bright, and the waves lulled up upon the shore with a magical presence. We stopped at a couple of resorts, and had our standard margaritas on the beach, where we alternated between dodging the sombrero-wearing man with a whistle who attempts to force you to drink tequila (he almost got me… tequila running down my chin). When we arrived at our destination, a town called Rosarita, we found a beautiful hotel right on the water, and so we enjoyed a lobster dinner outside on the patio, watching the ocean waves. I was in awe of this ocean scenery… for one, it was so blue! For another, there was not a boat, nor a pier, in sight. Just a massive stretch of ocean and sky that seemed to wrap around the patio and into infinity… it was nothing short of amazing to see.

Another cab ride to the border and then we crossed and came home. Another adventure completed.

We, of course, made the mandatory trip to Sea World (which was OK), and then to the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park (which was amazing). Entire herds of animals can roam free and they have it all set up so that you can observe their natural behavior. In the lion encampment they have it so that you are able to get right up against them with only a thick piece of glass to separate you. If the pictures turned out then I should have some great photos of the lioness. I’ll post them here if they turn out.

I also got an opportunity to meet with Dominic and StarChild over dinner and discussed some things both gay and Feri. It was great to meet them in the flesh and I hope to do it again soon.

Add to that some great food (I highly recommend the Kensington Grill), some great wine, some cocktails, and a lot of good conversation, and you pretty much have my whole trip.

I’m glad to be home now… I need to rest!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Guestbook Sniper!

Today I got the following entry in my guestbook (now deleted):

Guestbook Entry: Sadly your art reflects no originality. Unfortunately all I see here are graphics you have gathered from sources on the web (i.e. google and yahoo images) and have added bits of clipart and color too, and attempted to pass off as your own creations. Your "Summer King" is a well known picture originally entitled "The Oak King". You should be ashamed.

No email address was given (of course), but my guestbook stamped it as being posted from, which seems to have originated from a Comcast address somewhere near Seattle, WA

My response: I was only half upset at reading this today. Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion, but the charge that I have collected other people's work and passed it off as my own is simply false. Interestingly enough they specifically mention "The Summer King", saying that it is someone else's artpiece that I simply re-titled... weird. The model in this piece is a friend of mine (just as ALL of my models are... I have all the original pictures from the photoshoots, copies of their IDs, and signed model releases for each of them). Even the flowers and scenery are either pictures from my own backyard, or from one of my trips. Admittedly, the stag head is a picture I found on the web, but it has been so re-worked as to be completly unrecognizable when compared to its original form. I suppose it is possible that someone else has stolen this piece from me and is now passing it off as "The Oak King" (I've caught three or four people stealing my art before) but I find it tiresome that someone might see this and then fly off the handle and accuse me of artistic plagiarism with no real knowledge to back it up. For the record: The vast majority of the photo components that I use are my own original pieces, and while it is true that I may from time to time use a publicly available image as a part of a larger composition (animals, plants, historical sites and statuary, etc.) I make a concerted effort to change them so that they are unique to the piece that I am creating. Could this be what they are referring to? I certainly do more than just “add bits of clipart and color” to my pieces.

So... Artista... if you are out there reading this... calm down and think next time before you accuse someone of wrong doing. Do some research. Make sure you know what you are talking about. Don't waste your time being ashamed... just use your energy to better yourself. Or at the very least refrain from signing my guestbook!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Website UPDATE

Happy Beltane! (And a big happy birthday to nullzeit!)

In celebration of the Witches' sexiest holiday, I have uploaded two new art pieces to my gallery. Comments, though not required, are certainly welcome.  ;)