Thursday, January 30, 2014

Super Moon Year of the Horse

Tonight is the Super Moon - meaning two new moons in the same month, AND the start of The Year of the Horse for Chinese New Year! I don't know much about it all, but I have been told that it's a great time for change, rebirth, forward motion, being honest with who you are (and want to be) and with others. All motion should be going forward, like those horses. Choices should be made for the good of the whole, shifting from Me to We. Dreams manifested now have all sorts of planetary alignment helping out to come true, and more importantly. STAY true.

So it was fitting that on my stroll today, I saw another sign on the street. Dream BIG.

AND dream small. But dream.

Hopefully you can see the moon rise where you are (We can't, but we NEED rain, so we're doing that dance instead this time) and feel its power. HAPPY Year of the Horse! Giddyup.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bless Pete Seeger

We lost one of the true greats last night ... beautiful Pete Seeger.

If you never have, please watch Pete Seeger: The Power Of Song. At a time when it seems there are so few American men to look up to, in any real way, this loss is especially glaring and harsh. Watching the swagger and bombast of the Grammy Awards the night before, with the dudes strutting by with their sunglasses on inside at night, was pretty sad actually, when you realize that not one of them comes close to the integrity, the sheer belief in MUSIC and GOODNESS, and the shining example of humanity that skinny old Pete Seeger lived his entire long and happy life.

Let us celebrate THAT kind of life ... not the emptiness of celebrity culture. Let us all be REAL. Be Meaningful. Be GOOD. Be people that try to make the world a better place every day.

Let us all be like Pete.

"Being generous of spirit is a wonderful way to live." - Pete Seeger

Friday, January 24, 2014

Schoolz In The Hood

I was out riding my bike and this cracked me up.

Venice - keeping it funny, no matter what.

Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK Day In Venice

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is one of my favorite holidays ... and one of the most deserving people we've ever had to be commemorated with a "Day" of their own. Venice got into it down at the graffiti walls ...

And inspired me to do an MLK tag of my own - on a sweet potato pie.

The day was spent laughing with friends, celebrating freedom, equality and peace - and lots of good food. Just like all the very best holidays.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Moonrise Kingdom Venice

It was so beautiful last night at the beach, you hardly knew where to look. We took a walk down to get some fresh air, vent a little about life stuff, and perhaps howl at the full moon a little.

The sand was full of people with the same idea, as the 80 degree in January days have spoiled us into a constant endless summer vibe. The colors at this time of day are my favorite, and I love to see the people and birds silhouetted against the setting sun (the bad fires nearby give it all a smoky mystery too). It's all very o.g. O.p. looking.

Our heads were swiveling back and forth between the gigantic moon rising and the spectacular sun setting, book-ending Venice in jaw-dropping beauty. It truly never gets old.

I heard a guy in the park say to his wife, "OK, Sunset, accomplished.", like he was just checking stuff off his list. The wife and I shared an eye roll.

It was so pretty out, there wasn't any need for words. Pictures are never as good as the real thing, but I hope you are here sometime to sit under the full moon rise extravaganza. The colors will stay with you a lifetime. Gratefully.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Fine Art Of Justin Herber

Justin Herber is one of my very favorite artists - and friends. I first wrote about his art when he had a show up at The Other Room back in 2010 - when it was the highlight of that year's Art Walk for me (though not officially a part of it, as is often the case). His wood stain pieces depicting celebrated musicians lined the walls, one cooler than the next. The one I loved the most was Bob Dylan (Minnesota), and I've dreamed of it ever since.

Well, guess what?! Justin hand delivered that Dylan piece to my house the very day of my Glögg Fest in December! I own an original Herber! I'll never get over it. As every person who has visited my pad since has stood in front of it with their mouths agape, I wanted to put out a public - and ecstatic! - thank you note to Justin, so others can know about (and acquire) their own piece of awesomeness.

Herber is from West Texas, and spent a big chunk of his childhood very sick - like in a bubble sick. That led him to drawing, not only as self-entertainment, but as a means of survival. He overcame his illness 100%, but never lost his passion for drawing and painting - which led to his attending Pepperdine University's art program out here in Malibu.

Since then, Herber's life has been all about art, story and travel. Currently the Creative Consultant for Tom's Shoes, Herber handles all of those aspects within one job - living the dream. He also worked with National Geographic, traveling the world to tell our stories through art and a vision of working together for a more positive world.

His wood stain pieces came out of his love of street art and stencils, but his family's Texas farm background led him to try working with more natural, organic materials ... and his style was born. I think that's also why I love them - I wouldn't be into some big hero-worship style photo (and I pretty much revile our celebrity culture, especially here in L.A.), but the woodsy elements appeal to my own background in Minnesota, and I absolutely love these works. Every one of them.

Painting icons can be tricky, but the warm elements of the wood make it all the more approachable, and somehow you feel more of a connection with the work - and the person - because of it. Like a giant photograph of Dylan somehow wouldn't be as cool, you know?

With all of Herber's travels and other projects taking up a lot of his time lately, he hasn't had as many shows for these fantastic images to be seen, but he's in talks to reproduce some of them as a line of prints, and maybe a cool line of cards.

He will also do works on commission (I feel like there needs to be a Herber Bob Marley and probably a Joe Strummer in the world ... etc.), but not of your baby. Yet. Icons.
I'm so happy there's such good, quality people in this world, that are also such world-class talents. It's always the best (and increasingly rare) when they're both, and Justin Herber surely is.

To discuss your own never-ending conversation piece, you may contact the artist at

Eternal thanks, Justin! - from this Girl From The North Country.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Here Is Good

Happy 2014!!! Here we go ... !!! What will happen this year?!?! It's all very exciting to wonder about.

With almost the entire rest of the country in a deep freeze, and my home state of Minnesota being colder than MARS this week, I took it to be my duty to go to the beach yesterday on behalf of everyone who can't even go outside without the threat of freezing to death. I really didn't mean it in a rub your faces in it kind of way, just that if it was this nice out here, someone had better take advantage of it for everyone.

Which is the funny thing ... not many people were. I had the beach pretty much to myself, other than a giant dolphin party so close I could swim to them (if the water wasn't so cold). Those are the rewards (along with tan lines) that come with taking a few moments for yourself to appreciate the warmth, and where you are.

After listening to great music, having great thoughts and having a couple chats with great folks back home (not gloating, just chatting), I packed up to head home as it was kind of getting chilly as the sun went down. Not Mars chilly, but still.

On my walk home, I looked down to see once again, almost exactly what I'd been thinking, spray-painted on the sidewalk:

Here IS Good. And no matter where you are is good, if you make it so. Today especially reminds me of a favorite Camus quote that especially makes sense today, when so many people are dealing with the frigid air and feeling daunted ...

“In the midst of Winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible Summer.

And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” 

 BE the Summer. Here is Good.