Thursday, October 27, 2011

I just had one of those "only in LA" moments. I came home from work and was parking my car when I noticed a strange golf cart parked in my neighbor's spot. It was black, clearly customized and had "Nerd Machine" painted on the side. We have a lot of film students in the building, so I figured that it was just something from their school or a prop. After I parked my car, I got out to look at it, and when one of the film students exited from the laundry room, I asked if it was his. He told me it wasn't and went into the courtyard.

Seconds later, a tall, very good-looking man exited the courtyard and saw me standing there. I asked him, "Is this yours?" The man, whom I didn't recognize as a neighbor, said it was, and thinking he'd parked in my spot, apologized. I told him no worries, I was just amused by the cart and wondered whose it was. I asked him about "Nerd Machine" and he told me that Nerd Machine, his company is a "nerd" community that has all kinds of fun gear. During this explanation, I realized he looked familiar. I laughed and said, reminds me of "Nerd Herd." It was his reaction that made me realize he was familiar, and that I was speaking to Zachary Levi, who plays "Chuck" on the show of the same name. If you aren't familiar with the show, his character, when working at the Buy More, works for their "Nerd Herd" tech support fleet. When I made the connection, I pointed at him. "Wait, you're..." He stuck out his hand and said, "Zac."

Turns out he was visiting a neighbor who lives in my building. After the introductions, he asked if I was his friend's neighbor, and I confirmed I was, but said I didn't know him very well. The person he knows just moved in a couple months ago. I told him that I used to write show recaps for his show, and that it was one of my favorites. I then said, "This town cracks me up."

I didn't catch on at first because well, one just doesn't expect to run into Chuck in the carport of their building, and I was especially hampered by post-work low blood sugar and post-traffic thousand-yard stare. Nothing better than a fun encounter like that to snap you out of it.

He was a very nice guy, so visit his company website, Nerd Machine.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Me Upside DownLast night after work, I found myself in Barnes and Noble, and while sitting on the floor looking through vector clip art books, (all on the bottom shelf, mind you), a voice boomed over the loud speaker, "Attention Barnes and Noble customers, for your safety and that of others, please DO NOT sit on the floor. There are chairs around the store and benches in the magazine area for that purpose." I was the only one sitting among the group of shoppers, young artist types who all turned and looked at me. Suddenly in the spotlight, I threw my arms up in the fashion of a gymnast who just stuck a perfect landing. Everyone cracked up, me included. Chastened, I stood up and continued to peruse my clip art as we all continued to laugh intermittently.

I've been collecting clip art to use as a reference for some projects I'm have planned for when I'm going to have a lot of downtime. I'd be doing these projects anyway, as I've already started on them, but I'm doing all the pre-work now. As for what the projects are, they are art pieces that have been floating around in my head for ever. And finally, I'm going to take them out of my imagination and put make them a reality. I want to see where I go creatively with them, as whenever I've done like projects for fun, I'm amazed at the zone in which I find myself, when the vision flows directly from the mind onto whatever medium I'm working on to accomplish it. The last time I did it was a last minute idea, when I made a collage makeshift Christmas tree for my mom and Jack when they visited for Christmas. I just got the idea, and started making it, improvising as I went along. I must have taken 20 Free Christmas coupon books from Vons because they had the perfect gradated green. And as you can see, jewelry ads provided my ornaments. My mom and Jack loved it and so did I to be honest, and still remember the looks on their faces when they saw it.

The reason I'm going to have more time on my hands, or at least I think I am, is because I time out at Disney on November 11th. At Disney, you can only work as a contractor for 18 months. I will hit that on 11/11/11. My boss wanted to hire me, but there's a freeze on headcount in my department. It's too bad, because I have an awesome boss. From day one, we just clicked. I won't lie however, that I am looking forward to the time off. I'm at that point where I need a break and to sleep late for a couple weeks straight, as well as go somewhere for the holidays. So now, I'm collecting color swatches and textures from magazines and other sources to give me a rich palette to work from when I'm ready to start experimenting. And, forcing my friends to take pictures of me like the one above. What appeals to me about collage, is that I can incorporate my writing into it. So, after I hit "publish," I'm going to a paperie store to check out their papers.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Desert TreeI'll explain the origin of this incredible photograph in a bit. I'm going to feature them on my blog, but if you don't want to wait until I post, I'll tell you where you can see more.

I've been busy this last month, and can hardly believe it's already October. Along with my Disney job, I've been working on a freelance job that I just finished up last week for a fabulous company called Naked Princess. They are launching in the Fall with their gorgeous luxury lines of lingerie, home and body products. My friend is Chief Creative Officer and co-founder, and for the last two years has worked with a team to put a gorgeous line of products together with the finest of materials, designers and crafts people. I've been working with another awesome woman, the Chief Editorial Officer. I'll just state here that when I describe both of them, please don't envision the twats you see on TV who play at being what they think are admirable women. In a town full of bullshit artists and posers, these two are the real thing. Funny, fashionable, smart, hip, creative and absolutely real, who get other creative people and bring out the best in them. No posturing, because it's not needed. They are accomplished and I'm honored that they invited me to be a part of something that they've worked their tails off to make what it is. And, managed to also achieve their personal creative goals. Ayn, the editor, just had the feature rights to her book purchased by the same company that produces Californication.

At the end of October, I'm going to be in a photo shoot for the company along with the other contributors to their editorial publication, which I'm not sure I can mention yet. I have no idea what to expect, but I think it will be a lot of fun. One of the women is the founder or a contributor to Apartment Therapy, whom I'm totally looking forward to meeting. If any of you have been following my blog in the last few months, the reason why is obvious. I'll be working with them more in the future and look forward to it.

A few posts back, I mentioned that one of my dad's paintings had been featured in the Etsy Finds blog. Well, last month, he sold his first painting on Etsy! I was so thrilled to look at his shop one day and see "1 sale." And, so proud!! My dad and Marie were in the Czech Republic when I saw it, going on a cruise up the Danube River. I called the cruise ship and spoke to an extremely nice woman who became very excited when I told her the message to give to my dad. She said in her thick Eastern European accent, "Oh, he is artist? I did not know!"

Speaking of Etsy, that brings us to the photograph of the tree. Finally, after several months of cajoling from yours truly, Shannon has opened an Etsy shop, featuring photographs that he's taken on trips, out and about and when inspiration hits. He's been a professional portrait and wedding photographer for almost two decades and has a photographic eye that only comes from natural, artistic sensitivity and awareness to his surroundings and self. And, the technical talent to capture and translate that into a photograph. He's been on Etsy for less than a month and already sold three photos. It's just the beginning for him artistically in this venue and I can't wait to see what his shop and photographic work becomes. I was bugging him to open his shop because art like his shouldn't be hidden. It needs to be seen and made available to others who seek that respite and need a reminder that beautiful moments like this exist. It's been fun seeing him fall in love with photography again and hearing about the people who have been touched by his work and reached out to him through his shop.

So, visit Shannon's shop, and if you are on Etsy and don't have walls that are in dire need of gorgeous photos, add him to your circle and if you feel so compelled, favorite some of his photos. He's constantly adding photographs, so check back often.

Me at Micelli's in HollywoodAnd speaking of Shannon, we had a great time on his birthday at the original Micelli's in Hollywood, with singing waiters and the first cognac I've had in a long time. The bartender suggested a French Connection, which mixes Frangelica with cognac. I hadn't tried the drink before, and I have to say, it was awesome. Rich,deep and warm with a bit of the burn taken off by the ice. That was my idea, adding a few cubes and that made it perfect. I sipped it through the entire dinner and it was a great time. The photograph is me at the bar waiting for my "Connection."