Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Paths Not Taken by Simon R. Green - John Taylor and company continue their trek through the weirdness that is the Nightside. In this one, John discovers his mother's plan to destroy the Nightside. Since she's Lilith, the first wife of Adam and creator of the Nightside, it is well within her power to do so. John and his comrades, Suzie Shooter and Tommy Oblivion, travel thru time to stop Lilith's destructive plans.
This series is growing on me. I have really liked the last few books even though they are strange. Strange but pretty easy reads nonetheless. I believe this is the 5th one and as urban fantasies go, they're not too bad.

Angela Gives Birth

Got a message from Kim about Angela's bouncin' baby boy...

"I don’t know if you have heard yet, but Angela had the baby today around 4! She went to the hospital Monday and they gave her some meds to try to induce her. She starting going into labor last night, and today was in a lot of pain. Brandon said the epidural didn’t work! They ended up doing a C-section. I think she had a pretty rough time. She is resting now, and hasn’t even gotten to see Colton yet! He is NINE POUNDS! Brandon said he is beautiful and doing well. PLEASE keep Angela in your prayers as she heals, and the whole family in your prayers as they adjust to parenthood!!! I’m sure they will send us all a more detailed update."


Sarah and I saw the motion picture version of "Rent" yesterday. I've got to was tough to watch. Don't get me's a well-made movie but the subject matter is tough. And it all seems just a bit dated to me. It's all about the bohemian lifestyle in NYC during the late 80's. Being an artist, I can relate and yet, I can't. I didn't go in for that self-destructive suffer-for-your-art kinda lifestyle. I'm a fairly normal person who just happens to be an artist and a talented one at that.
I spent the 80's in art school. Several to be exact. It was quite the experience hanging out with all the tortured would-be creative types. It amazed me that more than half the people enrolled had no business being there. I guess they too had bought into the whole artistic lifestyle thing. I did not. I didn't (and don't) have to be a heroin/coke addict who experiments with alternative sexual lifestyles while living in squalor with a crossdressing voodoo priestess. I didn't buy into it and I did okay. (More than okay actually but I am not here to toot my horn today)
If not for the BS slung around NY during the 80's, some of my favorite artists might be alive and making art today. But as it is, Keith Haring died from AIDS and Jean-Michel Basquiat of a drug overdose. Heck, even a guy I knew in high school and later at Memphis College of Art died from AIDS. The lifestyle that folks were selling back then killed people. They were lead to believe that it would feed their creativity but all it did was feed on them until there was nothing left. So, perhaps I'm a mediocre artist (which I'm not) but at least I'm alive and still working. I may not be famous but I'm breathing and making art. That's a good thing.

Downtown Fun

Monday night, Sarah and I went downtown for a bit of shopping and Christmas cheer. The lights were not as impressive as I has hoped but it was fun nonetheless. We saw the snow at Pacific Place. (they shoot the foam snow at you) We went to Macy's and talked to Santa for a moment. It was a slow night for him. To be Macy's, their Santa set-up was unimpressive. Nordstrom's has them beat by a mile. We ate dinner at P. F. Chang's and it is quickly becoming one of our favorite places to eat. The food is excellent. Sarah found a few bargains at Old Navy and I bought a magazine at Barnes and Noble. (I spent a lot of money at Target earlier) was a fun night.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Tyrannosaur Canyon by Douglas Preston - A thriller involving the race to discover the fossilized remains of a T-rex. I was pumped about reading this one since I enjoyed Preston's last solo effort "The Codex." I didn't enjoy this one as much. The whole thing disintegrates into a chase with your typical villians, government agents good and bad, and a reluctant hero. Something tells me Preston and his writing partner, Lincoln Child, have run out of ideas. I haven't found many of their novels involving Agent Pendergast to be very good. I'm hoping they will break from tradition soon and go in a new direction. Their first few books were outstanding but they've lost the edge they used to have.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Map of Bones by James Rollins - "Hooded men invade midnight mass at the Cologne Cathedral and slaughter almost everyone present, then break open a gold sarcophagus and steal... the bones of the Three Wise Men. Grayson Pierce, top agent in the Department of Defense's covert Sigma Force, takes a team to Rome, joins up with love-interest Rachel Verona, a carabinieri corps lieutenant, and her Vatican official uncle, Vigot. It seems that the Dragon Court, a medieval alchemical cult-cell that still operates within the Catholic Church, is to blame, and it also seems that the bones of the Magi aren't really bones, but the highly reactive Monatomic gold that the group plans to use to accomplish its ultimate goal—Armegeddon."*
This book is very Da Vinci Codish which is not a bad thing. The action is fast paced and the characters are likable. Unlike his last book (Sandstorm) I enjoyed this one alot. I understand he is going to write more Sigma Force novels. That sounds good but I can't help thinking that the Sigma Force crew bear a striking resemblance to Matthew Reilly's Scarecrow and company. Seems there's a lot of similiar ideas floating around. I'm so glad authors don't copy one another. (ha!)
* Description from Publisher's Weekly

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Summersalt Writing

I spent the week in Rock Hill, SC with the scriptwriting team from the SC Baptist Convention (Angela, Steve, Cory, Kim). I believe we were productive. We got about half the week written and will work on the other half over the next few months (with a finish date in Feb. - we hope). It was nice to see everyone again and to see Angela 8.5 months pregnant. Little Colton could arrive any day now. I flew back to Seattle today and I am beat. I've been up since 12:30 am Seattle time. I just may fall asleep when my head hits the pillow tonight...something that never happens. I start work on Taproot's Christmas show tomorrow night so...gotta be rested.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Jean Dubuffet on Painting

Lay It On Thick
"A painter's basic action is to besmear, not to spread tinted liquids with a tiny pen or a lock of hair, but to plunge his hands into brimming buckets or basins and then rub his palms and his fingers across the wall offered to him. He has to putty it with his soils and thick paints, grapple with it, knead it, impress upon it the most immediate traces of his mind, of the rhythms and impulses that drum through his arteries and course along his innervations. He has to employ naked fists or else, if they happen to be available, improvised instruments (a chance blade or small stick or stone chip) as good conductors that neither cut off nor weaken the currents of waves. After that, it scarcely matters whether you find few or many colors there or which colors they may be! How trifling an issue whether the white is a bit dirty or the yellow a bit drab. All you need is mud, nothing but a single monochromatic mud, if you really want to paint, and not just color some silk neckerchiefs."

Little Women

Sarah and I were fortunate to get tickets to see "Little Women" last night at the Paramount. (Thank you, Anne!) I was skeptical. Louisa Mae Alcott's seminal book set to music? Well, it was pretty good...even though it was like watching a chick flick. Sarah enjoyed it a lot more than I did. But it's cool to be able to see all this theatre. We began our evening with an upscale dinner at Mickey D's. (wow) It was a "white trash goes to town" kind of night. Oh, Maureen McGovern was in it. (of "The Morning After" song from "The Poseidon Adventure" fame) So, it was a fun evening, a cheap evening. I could get used to this.

Green Bean Review

This is a review of the coffee house run by Sanctuary Church. (where Sarah and I are attending) It's next door to Taproot Theatre.

Friday, October 28, 2005
With the Green Beaners, kids -- and adults -- will find a happy scene
There's already plenty of good karma to go around at the Green Bean Coffeehouse, but the supply just increases each time we walk into a radiantly friendly greeting from the counter barista, or hear the storyteller at 10 a.m. Tuesdays exclaim, "I'm so glad you came!" to complete strangers. Don't even worry about overstaying your welcome; flowery chalkboard script on the wall instructs customers to "sit long, talk much."
The real do-gooding is endemic to the coffeehouse's existence, though. It's all organic, free trade ... and dedicated to using its money to help others, with plans to become a registered 501c3 organization. Proceeds from the tip jar, for instance, go straight to the cause of the month, such as the $2,400 sent last month to the Salvation Army for Hurricane Katrina victims.
The artwork on display benefits those in need -- and is sometimes created by them, such as the fabric aprons assembled by women in the Amani Ya Juu program -- a training project, as the Green Beaners explain, for African women affected by wars and ethnic conflicts.
There are connections throughout the store to both local and international causes; one line of greeting cards benefits a downtown non-profit, another benefits schoolchildren in Sierra Leone.
"People are going to buy coffee anyway, right?" said Lisa Etter, who conceived the business with friend Hayden Smith. "Why not do something with it that's going to help people, and raise awareness?" The business is loosely associated with the Sanctuary church, which meets down the street at the Taproot Theater, but none of the money generated by Green Bean goes to the church, she said.
Neither cause nor comforts would matter, of course, if Green Bean's coffee wasn't good. Fortunately, it is: Beans come from Brown & Co. in Shoreline, lattes are well-made, there's a short list of decent food (quiche, soup and the like).
Bakery goods are better than average, with the big plus of being freshly made (some premixed), so that we sometimes walk in just in time for muffins or scones that are hot from the oven.
Decorations are warm and charming, from the china teacups and plates built into the corner fireplace to the colored prisms dangling from the ceiling lights. And, while all this positive energy could induce guilt among customers for their own shortcomings (remember that peanut butter jar that went to the trash instead of the recycle bin?), it seems to spread goodwill instead.