Sunday, June 25, 2006


We are in shock this morning at the news that our UCSC Chancellor, Denice Denton, jumped to her death in San Francisco yesterday. Apparently she had been depressed, but the sadness and reverberations will resonate throughout our community for a long, long time. I didn't know her personally, as she started just after I retired from UCSC, but I know many of the people she worked closely with, and I know the culture and the issues at UCSC. I also know something of the pressure cooker environment in which she has been working Her job has not been an easy one, right from the start. Being a woman and an Out lesbian can't have made it easier. It is such sad news.

This news comes as we are packing up the car and getting ready to leave for Denver tomorrow morning. Daniella will be showing her paintings at an art festival called "Cherry Creek", over the weekend of the 4th. Our dear pal, Christopher, will join us in Colorado and he and I will explore that area, while DD shows (and hopefully sells) her paintings. We will stop on route in Grand Junction to visit old friends, Mark and Missy Smith, who left Santa Cruz years ago to start the Main Street Bagel Bakery in GJ, a huge success. So we are excited to be traveling! Zuma will stay home with my son, Tommy.

I had hoped to have lots of time to spend with friends here in Santa Cruz during the month of June, but alas it was not the case. Between getting a little sick one week, and then all the preparations for leaving town for the rest of the summer, time sped by. We'll be back briefly after Denver, then I'm heading to Whidbey Island for the rest of the summer. So, to all my dear friends here, farewell for now, and wish we could have had a little more time together.

We're taking along lots of books on tape for the drive, including a couple of books by Laurie R. King, our own local mystery writer. Last night we heard her give a talk at Bookshop Santa Cruz. She is so smart, witty, intriguing, and full of energy. Anyway, I'll write periodically over the next several days, and then more frequently when I finally get to the island!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Why is it that just when it is time to go away, home seems sweeter than ever? I've spent days working on the yard, the house, watering and fertilizing all the plants, setting up sprinkler systems, cleaning out cupboards, fixing little things that need fixing. Our little nest is looking pretty great, and it is tempting to just sit under that back yard umbrella, with a cool drink and a good book, and relax deeply. Instead we are preparing to drive to Denver for Daniella's next art show, followed by the rest of the summer spent in Washington State, on Whidbey Island. I love going up there, and will love every minute of the time spent there. But just for today, I'm sure loving my Santa Cruz home, my dazzling nasturtiums and poppies, my bubbling red fountain, the sunny cool days when the coastal fog just hangs out in the bay and keeps the air fresh.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Cut and Run Liberal, and Proud of It

This morning I read an excellent article on-line, by Stephen Pizzo. It's entitled Cut-and-Run-Liberal and Proud of It. I agree with almost everything it says, and wish we all could stand up to the Bush administration personally and tell them "no more, no more, no more!"

Also, if you haven't yet had an opportunity to see Al Gore's excellent film, An Inconvenient Truth, run to your nearest theater and watch it. It is beautifully done, and so important. Take a bunch of friends along.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge

Several of my fellow blogging pals are posting wonderful self portraits this month, part of a self portrait marathon. I've been thinking about tagging along on this one, and at the urging of my blog pal, Divajood, here goes. This drawing was made last year in my beginning drawing class. I think I've progressed since then, but don't have time this week to make a new one, so I'll just post this old one.
Off now to walk the dog, then set upon my long list of chores and tasks "to do" before leaving for Colorado! Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Out of Circulation This Week

It's been a strange week, with no blogging to show for it. On Tuesday, we went to San Francisco to look at the newly redesigned DeYoung Museum. It was quite breath-taking. It looks nothing whatsoever like the old one, a completely new space, inside and out, clad in copper sheeting, with punched out designs in it. The show we saw was the "International Arts & Crafts" show, on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, a stunning collection of Craftsman style furnishings and artifacts from not only England but many other countries as well. We also enjoyed the new 9th story tower room with a 360 degree view all over San Francisco, glass walls all around.
It was pretty fabulous! Later we had delicious dinner with friends (the artist Eileen Goldenberg and her partner, Judith).

Somewhere in that day, I began to feel physically unwell. I had no idea what it was, but kind of a vague nausea and extreme tiredness. The best I could relate it to was the post-chemotherapy feelings I had once upon a time (1994). Nothing specific, but just feeling punk. Over the next several days, it became clear that I had some kind of a "bug". It turned out to be a mild stomach virus, I guess. No appetite, no energy, lots of stomach cramps. Today it is finally gone, yahoo! But the week was spent in a kind of fog. I slept a lot, read books, took short walks with Zuma, and slept some more. Nothing accomplished except to get better.

Yesterday I sprang back into action and hosted a wedding shower here at the house, for my darling friend Michelle, who will be married in early July. She lived with us about 10 years ago, and has moved in and out a few times since then. She's a school teacher, a role model to so many young teens. She is one of my all-time heroines in life, a young woman with so much aliveness, soul, brilliance, wisdom, and self-awareness. I hope that Cade, her guy, knows how lucky he is to be her partner! She is the best!!

Now begins a week of getting ready to travel for the rest of the summer (if all goes according to plans). We leave on the 26th for an art show in Denver, then back here for Michelle's wedding, then I'm taking Zuma to Whidbey Island for a well-deserved break for both of us. Daniella will join us in August!

So that's where I've been, and where I'm going!

(DeYoung photos by Dan Heller

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Refrigerator Art Challenge

The lovely and (we now have first hand evidence) WAY charming Tara Dharma challenged us to a June 11th event, posting our refrigerator art! We are happy to rise to this challenge with a small selection from our kitchen for your viewing pleasure!
The Wall of Kitsch
Homage to 2000-2006
Some of the Many Reasons Why We Don't Eat Beef
One of the Many Reasons Why We Love Chihuahuas (and other pocket size dogs)

Postcard advertising the White Album concert we recently attended, to our huge delight! Beneath it, our dearly departed Lola.

Thanks Tara! This was fun. Hope others will take up the challenge!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

What Makes A Mother's Heart Beat Faster?

A few days ago my middle son, Phil, graduated from our local community college. He graduated with High Honors, having taken a ton of difficult math and science and pre-engineering classes, in which he got straight A's. He worked so hard, and also held a job through most of the time he was in school. Now he's planning to head off to get an engineering degree, specializing in alternative energy engineering. I'm so proud of him, so, so proud!

I have to say that I've waited many years to have a kid of mine graduate from any college. All of them have attended, but nobody so far has a degree to show for it until now! I always told them "education will always be available" and I know that is true. I think I was trying to hold an awareness that many people are not ready to simply go right from high school into a 4 year college. I did it, but looking back on it, I was not very into it. I went because it was expected, I had no choice, but I would probably have been better advised to take a couple of years off to experience a little life before I got serious about school. I didn't maximize a precious opportunity. Even though I got a great education, at a top notch Ivy league school, I didn't have the maturity or focus to really make the most of it. Now I see Phil, with all that focus and motivation. He has taken his time off, been a musician, travelled all over the world, gotten married, worked, and now he burns with desire to get an education and have a profession. It is a joy to watch this happening.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Evolution of Dance

I saw this video on the blog When The Fat Lady Sings. It made me laugh out loud, (and there is precious little that does these days). I am re-posting it here so maybe others can enjoy it too!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Busy Weekend

All weekend we had an Open Studios tour going on at our house. Four painters showed their work, as part of the annual SPLAT tour. So we had people streaming through our home all weekend, and through our back yard. Daniella (Dotty Stripes of Encausticopolis) did really well with her art work, sold some paintings, got lots of raves, and we saw so many wonderful friends and interesting art lovers.

Yesterday I woke up full of energy and just rode it all day. First I turned over my compost, an annual chore that is deeply satisfying - just to see that black, rich soil that awaits down at the bottom of the pile, all made of nothing but our household food scraps - it's like a little miracle in itself. After that was done, I decided to clean out my "shed". This is an area at the back of my property where I keep my tools, garden supplies, lawnmower, paint, and whatever other odds and ends I can't think of a place for. Yesterday I dragged everything out into the back yard, then went in with brooms and brushes and tackled the dirt and spider metropolises that had taken over the place. Finally I put things back, but was able to remove a sizeable pile of things that will no longer be residing with us. There's now a large dump trip coming up, a trip to the toxic waste recyclable center, and an impending yard sale. Best of all, there is space - empty shelves, clean floor, minimal clutter. Deeply, deeply satisfying!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Moulin Rouge - Your Song

Here's a little sample from
DW - how wonderful life is now you're in my world!

The Internet - The Greatest Toy!

In the last few days I've discovered two great new (to me) internet sites that offer limitless possibilities for fun and entertainment. Not that there isn't already enough out there to marvel at, but hey, in the words of an old friend, "too much is not enough" when it comes to the internet! The same could be said for fun!

The first site is . This is a place where amateur videographers of all persuasions, ages, and levels of talent upload short video clips, which can be viewed or downloaded. There are thousands of short videos available to watch, and it can be a truly addicting experience.

The other one is . This is a music-centered web site which acts like a customized DJ for your own musical preferences. All you do is type in a favorite artist or musical piece, and they begin playing that artist and then a wide range of other music that is similar and that Pandora thinks you might enjoy. You then create your own "stations", bookmarked as favorites, to which you can return. I haven't fully gotten the gist of it, but so far, with minimal understanding, I'm listening to a great bunch of stuff that I got by typing in "Beatles".

Sculpture by Jacques Tinguely

Thursday, June 01, 2006

You've gotta love this headline!

Just saw this headline on Yahoo news! Bush admin. wants to cut meth use 15 pct.

The content of the article is inane enough. Cut meth use by 15%? Why not 17% or 25% or, golly, 100%? How did they pick such a low-ball number? But the headline itself sent me into such laughter! If only meth use was the key to why the Bush admin is so whacked out. We could send them all to rehab, lock, stock and barrel. But no, as usual they want to fix (15%) of everybody else, not themselves. Sigh.....

The Great Masters Visit Storm King

Last night we had our final "life drawing" class for the semester. Our last project was to draw a group of people, using either old master drawings or models. Some were to overlap, all were to be in perspective and have the light and shadows work together. The composition was to include some kind of setting. Mine is about 22 x 30 inches. I copied old master drawings, and put my group at Storm King, a 400 acre sculpture garden, on the Hudson River in New York State. This was a place I visited last summer, and really loved.

Now that school is over, it is suddenly summer for me! I have a bunch of projects in mind for both fun and home improvement. But it's tempting to just sit out in the sun and enjoy the beauty of each day!