Squirrelly Art

Sharon, Dan and Annie at the Museum of Jurassic Technology

We called Dan on Saturday. We hadn’t heard from him for a while, and the only Facebook post that I saw all week, had to do with working long hours with power saws. Cue the concerned parents. He is working on his thesis project at CalArts. He is somewhat guarded about it. Probably because he doesn’t want to read about it, on this blog, before it is unveiled. Whoops! I do know that it is big. He has the largest space on campus scheduled. It is also tiny. He has made hundreds of miniature squirrels. They are made out of Green Stuff, a malleable epoxy that dries hard and green. He is in the mist of painting them now. He being Dan, Annie and anyone else he can find to help. I’ve offered to help too.

The photo shows Sharon, Dan and Annie. Sharon is Annie’s friend, from Saint Louis. It was taken at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, which is located in Culver City. Reading the Wiki article, the museum seems to have a rather eclectic collection of novelties, including a display of mice on toast and a mouse pie, they are purported cures for bed-wetting, incontinence and stuttering. The Museum’s founder, David Wilson, received a MacArthur grant, so there must be something to his work. Right?

Dave is in California now, too. He is in San Diego. He is attending the mid-winter meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology. Otolaryngology or ENT (ear, nose and throat) is the branch of medicine and surgery that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, and head and neck disorders.

It is tax season here in the Lou. Anne has already waded through Dave’s returns, with its taxable energy credits (don’t ask), and has started on Dan’s. And yes, in case you were wondering, she is still preparing the taxes for her two, grown, college educated sons. She also still prepares mine too, and I’m old enough to be their father. So, I’ll leave the all high and mighty role to her. TurboTax, as part of filing Dan’s California state tax return, asked if he was qualified for an Ottoman Turkish Empire Settlement payment. Umm, is there a story here? As it turns out, this is for the benefit of victims (and descendants) of the Armenian Genocide, who settled in California. They recently won an insurance suit.

This post, which revolves about the whole SoCal scene, is somewhat apropos, what with tonight being Oscar night. I have seen even fewer of this year’s nominations than normal. You can blame streaming video for that. Via this technology, I’ve seen more movies this year then normal, just not this year’s nominees. The release lag is still too long. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, this will change. Then, I’ll have more of a stake in the Oscars. More than waiting for a faux pas. I might actually care who wins.

And The Winner Is …

Tonight the 83rd Academy Awards will be broadcasted, so what better time for another installment of le Marquis’ Bad Film Festival, except that I have already been upstaged by the Razzies. The Razzies is that awards ceremony that you definitely don’t want to find your name listed inside any of its envelopes. The Razzies is dedicated to recognizing the worst films of the year. I’d seen their nominees list and fortunately the only movie on their list that I had seen was Sly Stallone’s The Expendables and that film was truly expendable. So if I can’t write about bad films that just leaves the good ones, I guess.

In preparation for tonight’s Oscars, on Saturday night, Anne and I went to go see The King’s Speech. After watching this lovely show, I find it hard to believe that the tag-team of Rush and Firth won’t be able to bull-rush their film and themselves to the gold. We’ve seen four of this year’s ten best picture nominees. In addition to The King’s Speech, we also saw The Kids Are All Right, The Social Network and True Grit. I wanted to see Black Swan, but that will just have to wait for DVD.

So rest assure as soon as Monday’s post is written, Anne and I will be in front of the TV with our dueling pair of Oscar bingo cards in hand. We’ll be waiting for someone to say or do one of the following, winner crying, someone wearing sunglasses inside, 5+ people accept one award, “Go to bed kids”, well you get the idea. Bingo is supposed to make the TV show more interactive. I think that I’ll still end up going to bed before the end of the show. By bedtime, I’m sure that I will have imbibed enough glitz and glamour to last me for another year.

I purchased Adobe’s PhotoShop and Premiere Elements (version 9). Not only has Adobe finally synced-up the release of their PhotoShop and Premiere Elements products, but also the Windows and Mac versions too and all in one release. I started playing around with some of PhotoShop’s new features and have included a result. I used their out-of-bounds technique to create the preceding picture of a Great White Egret.

In other new, Chris’s photograph (see below) with this post shows some of Saturday morning’s snowfall in Monterey. Hardy Midwesterners may be underwhelmed with the accumulation, but this is a lot of snow for the central coast of California. Also, Dave never made it back to DC on Friday. He got as far as Chicago, where he had to get a room for the night. He flew back on Saturday.