Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunset Cruise

Sarah and I took one of the last sunset cruises of the year on Saturday night. They stop offering them after Labor Day. It was a nice evening for it. A bit on the cool side but very enjoyable. We saw bald eagles flying around this time as well as a sea lion and chinook salmon. We wanted to finish the evening off with dessert at the Cheesecake Factory but the line was out the door so we opted to head home instead. If you want to see more pics from the cruise, head over to my photo site.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wardrobe Update

The jeans have been found! And at Fred Meyer no less. So, no need to go to Old Navy. Boo-hoo. I was so looking forward to perusing teen fashion while listening to pseudo-techno-modern music. It's one of my fave things to do.
I don't mind Old Navy's clothes but I hate the atmosphere. Am I old? Probably.

Queer Arty for the Straight Marty

We went shopping yesterday to find me some clothes that would be more dressy and, dare I say, hip for art openings, band gigs and the like. Apparently it was the right day because I found 7 shirts (2 of which are not contenders for Thursday night's art opening) each under $10. We also bought a pair of dark jeans (apparently more hip than light) which I found to be a bit to baggy and low riding when we got home. We are going to Old Navy downtown this afternoon to see if we can find a pair in my size. If not, I guess I'll wear these.
So, which shirt do you like the best? I know these aren't the best pics in the world but we are talking about turning a sow's ear into a silk purse your best.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Unreal Estate

Would you like to see how ridiculous the price of houses is here in Seattle. Go here and here. Both of these choices are in our neighborhood. I shake my head in sadness and disbelief.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Other Side...

...of the postcard. This side has my name on it.
No, I'm not vain and I don't think that song is about me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Here's the invite to my next art show. It's part of an open house for Lustre Communications new digs in downtown Seattle. From all I've heard from the folks down there, it's going to be quite the happening. If you're in the Seattle area, stop by if you can. Should be fun.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Would Jesus Glue?

Well, I broke down and bought the above domain name for my art website. Heck, it was on sale so why not. So, as soon as it takes effect, you can reach my site via or
Kent, you've created a monster.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Once - Blackfield

I love Steven Wilson's other band, Porcupine Tree, as well.

Friday, August 22, 2008

It Didn't Feel Like Church Today

"Too many well-meaning Christians confuse worship with a "feeling." If you "feel good, feel blessed, felt God's presence," then it was "great worship" and participants walk away feeling blessed (hear *energized*). However if the feeling isn't there --"it didn't feel like church today"-- then they'll walk away feeling short-changed. Either God wasn't there or the worship leaders were inept. And we all know that God won't catch the flack."

Here are some great comments from my friend Mark who is celebrating a birthday today. Having been a worship leader (and still doing it a little bit) I've heard these comments (and worse) before. I can certainly relate with the fact that God isn't the one who's going to catch the flack. Perhaps worship leaders should wear a flack jacket to repel all the negative comments they receive.

Just An Observation

This is the second day in a row I've had to wear a jacket on my walk to work.
It's August.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


War Day by Whitley Strieber and Jim Kunetka
This book chronicles a fictional journey two men take to investigate the state of America five years after a nuclear war.
I read this book a long time ago...probably when it first came out. I think I checked it out of the library at college. I'm very much into post-apocalyptic literature, movies, etc. I don't know why. I have no desire for there to be a nuclear holocaust. I guess I just like stories involving people who have to survive tough situations. That said, I like portions of this book. I like the parts about people. Unfortunately there are other segments that feature technical specs like fallout predictions and political poll results. Those I didn't enjoy so much. I tended to skip them...hence, the book didn't take as long to read. The only reason I picked it up in the first place is because I didn't have anything else to read. That's when I grab an old standby off the shelf.

Wanted by Mark Millar and J. G. Jones
I had heard lots of positive things about the graphic novel so I grabbed it from the library. Apparently the plot in the book doesn't resemble the plot in the recent movie. Heck, I just read it a week ago and I don't remember much about it myself. It was violent and graphic with strange superheroes like the guy made entirely out of poop and the fellow with talking genitalia. The story revolves around an ordinary schmoe who discovers he has powers that he was not aware of. He then uses said powers to become a supervillian and kill everyone in sight. I don't remember much else so I guess it didn't make an impression.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Swastikas Scrawled on Hay Bales in Marysville Field

Giant marshmallows for skinhead cocoa?
Anti-Semitic messages from Swiss Miss?
The story is here.
I hate Nazi cows.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ah, Domesticity

Tonight, Sarah and I finally spent our Christmas Penney's cards. There was a big sale on appliances so we bought a $150 blender for about $37. We also bought an ice cream maker. This was something that Sarah wanted. I don't know how it works. I'll be curious to see it do it's thing the first time she fires it up.
Also on the agenda tonight we had dinner at Red Robin and made a quick trip to Target. What an evening. It makes my head spin to think about the jet set life we are living. It was fun though.

Toto Calls It Quits

"After a period of rumours and some allusions, on June 5th, 2008 Steve Lukather made an official announcement on his website, stating: "The fact is yes I have left Toto. There is no more Toto." Lukather further stated that after 31 years of recording, producing and playing with Toto without even missing one single gig, he couldn't do it anymore: "I just can't do it anymore and at 50 years old I wanted to start over and give it one last try on my own." With Lukather being the only original member left in the band (Bobby Kimball was also an original member, but was out of the band from 1984-1998) there was no other option than to call it quits. As the main motivation for his decision, Lukather said: "When Dave retired that was REAL hard for me 'cause we started the band together. Hell, it's 35 years if you count High School where the core all met. When Mike fell ill and had to leave that was it for me. If there isn't Paich or at least one Porcaro how can we even call it Toto?" Luke also stated: "Honestly, I have just had enough. This is NOT a break. It is over. I really can't go out and play Hold The Line with a straight face anymore." The break-up of Toto after 31 years received mixed reactions from the fans, but in general the decision was understood and many agreed with Lukather's reasons to quit the band.
On April 5th, 2008, Toto played what would be their last show ever, in Seoul, Korea, as a part of their Falling In Between Live tour. This left lots of fans without a real farewell tour."
While I understand the decision and agree with it 100% I am still saddened by this news. I have been a fan since the 70's. The one regret about this whole thing is that never got to see them live. They played Pensacola Beach once but I wasn't in a position where I could attend. I do, however, have both live DVDs they've released in recent years and I know I can look forward to new music from Lukather.
Man, I am bummed about this.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Folks from the Past

I was just reading my friend Adam's blog where he had posted pics of his parents from a recent visit. It was so good to see them. For those of you who don't know, Adam's dad was my youth minister when I was a teen. He was also the church's minister of music. No matter how old I get they will always be Bro. Gary and Miss Becky. I suppose if you wanted incriminating stuff about me from that era, he'd be one of the best sources but I'm not putting you in touch with him. I know that me and my cronies tested Bro. Gary's patience but he was a lot of fun.
I could reel off a bunch of memories but I don't have time for that. I'll just keep it to one or two. One of the things that sits at the forefront of my mind is that, at the time, we were convinced that he was a ninja. Now, we didn't know what a ninja was at that time but Bro. Gary sure fit the description. I remember at one camp we stayed in these cabins that were set up high off the ground. At night, when we were getting ready for hijinx, we would look out the windows on all sides to see if the coast was clear. 9 times out of 10, Bro. Gary was out there watching us. And it was if he was teleporting from behind one tree to the next. We would call out, "He's over here," and then a second later someone else would call out, "No, he's over here." Spooky.
Gosh, I'm just flooded with good memories here. I was an adult when this happened...a counselor at a youth camp...and we had a talent show. Bro. Gary and Miss Becky got up there and did this weird flashlight up the nose thing to "Dueling Banjos." So funny.
Good memories.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One Silver Astronaut

Sarah and I went to the Nectar Lounge last night to see One Silver Astronaut, an LA band that our friend Pat plays with. Pat was the worship leader at our church but left last year for the sunny skies of California.
The show was good and the place was filled with Pat fans. I wasn't sure I'd like the music but I did. They have a good sound that I am too old to classify. I am just not up on all the modern rock stuff since I don't like about 80% of what I hear. Check out their MySpace page. You can give them a listen there. I enjoyed their set. It was accented by solid songwriting, a stellar drummer, electric violin and nice harmonies. I bought the CD only to find out that the current line-up is not on it hence the current instrumentation isn't as well. Disappointing but I'm glad to support the band. I hope they do well.
PS: I got the above pic off Pat's Facebook page. I forgot to take our camera last night. Bummer.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Childhood Fears

I was just listening to a podcast that mentioned a guy who saw The Shining when he was 6 and it scarred him for life. Well, when I was little, I saw a movie that scared the crap out of me. You can watch the trailer above.
When I was growing up, our local CBS station had a daily movie at 3 pm called The Big Show. When I got older I loved watching the old horror movies they showed, especially the ones about radiated creatures growing in size and demolishing cities. But when I was wee tot, I was at my Aunt Betty Lou's house with all my cousins and 20,000,000 Miles To Earth was on the tube. I'm sure my cousin David was the one watching since he was the only one old enough to really appreciate that sort of thing at the time. I didn't see the whole thing but I saw enough to freak me out. From that point on I was convinced there were giant monsters roaming the earth seeking out cars to step on or houses to smash. I thought at any time a giant foot could come crashing in on us from the outside. I'm not sure when this fear abated but it scared me for quite a while. It made me not want to play outside. I also remember there was a truck commercial on at about the same time that had a giant stop-motion monster in it. That just added to my being convinced that they were real.
Eventually I grew a bit older and actually embraced the monsters that had scared me so badly as a child. Ray Harryhausen, the man behind the Ymir in the above mentioned movie, became a hero of mine. Now that I am older I no longer believe in giant monsters. There are scarier things to fear nowadays.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mickey is Better... thanks to all of you who said a big pet prayer for him. We appreciate it.

"I'm Comin' To Join Ya..."

I talked to my parents this morning. They joined a new church yesterday and the pastor is coming over to their house today for a visit. The pastor's name? Fred Sanford.
I wonder if he fakes heart attacks to get people saved.


The Devil You Know by Mikey Carey
Felix Castor is a freelance exorcist, and London is his stamping ground. At a time when the supernatural world is in upheaval and spilling over into the mundane reality of the living, his skills have never been more in demand. A good exorcist can charge what he likes — and enjoy a hell of a lifestyle — but there's a risk: sooner or later he's going to take on a spirit that's too strong for him.
After a year spent in 'retirement' Castor is reluctantly drawn back to the life he rejected and accepts a seemingly simple exorcism case — just to pay the bills, you understand. Trouble is, the more he discovers about the ghost haunting the archive, the more things don't add up. What should have been a perfectly straightforward exorcism is rapidly turning into the Who Can Kill Castor First Show, with demons, were-beings and ghosts all keen to claim the big prize.
But that's OK, Castor knows how to deal with the dead. It's the living who piss him off. - from the book jacket
Okay, I said I wouldn't read another dark/urban/fantasy/horror book for a while. This one seemed different so I thought I'd give it a go. It was more well written than most and had a definite British flair. (probably because the author is British - duh) All in all, it was an okay story...more a mystery with some supernatural elements. I will say that I love the way Brits in cinema and books deal with the supernatural. Americans are all bravado until they see the thing and then they wet themselves and cry for mommy. The Brits see a ghost and remark, "I say. There's a ghost over there. What do you think we should do, Nigel?" "Nothing," replied Nigel, "until I've had a proper tea." You get the picture. It's funny

Sgt. Piggy's Lonely Hearts Club Comic: A Pearls Before Swine Treasure by Stephan Pastis
I've never read this comic before but it's pretty dark for the funny pages and it's hilarious. The art is nothing to write home about but Pastis makes the most of his ability by crafting simple but well designed characters such as Rat and Pig. The jokes are what makes the comic soar. I'm not about to start reading the funnies again but I would consider myself a fan of this strip from now on. It's great.

Swamp Thing: Dark Genesis by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson
This trade paperback collects the initial 10 issue run of the comic from the 70's. I never read these as a kid. I saw them and loved the art but never actually read them. The art is spectacular. Wrightson is a great artist. The writing is what it is for an early 70's horror/hero comic. I got bored with the words and concentrated on the art.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Ballard Art Walk

Tonight was the opening reception of my show at Velouria. Sarah picked me up at work and we headed over. We arrived pretty much on time...and then sat there. It was pretty slow. The rain seemed to give people pause. After a while, Phyllis showed up and then Mary. After we jawed for a little bit I suggested we walk around and check out some other art. On the way my wife found some shoes she liked so she bought them. What is it with women and shoes? We eventually arrived at Sev Shoon and Ballard Works, an art space I had heard about but never seen. Sev Shoon is a printmaking studio and there are art studios above it. I really enjoyed wandering thru there. We didn't have much time so we'll have to go back next month to really explore. Once again I was lusting after the studio spaces. It would be so great if I could take some printmaking refresher courses and perhaps get to the point where I could teach there. It's a goal. Something to shoot for.
We headed back to Velouria to grab our stuff and the place was pretty packed. While I was gone they sold 2 of my pieces. I think I've discovered the secret of selling my art. I need to not be there! Perhaps I'm off putting because I don't look artsy enough? Oh well, whatever. I hope they sell them all over the course of the month. That would be amazing.
After that, we went to Starbucks for a bit. Mary is a night owl but none of the rest of us are. We sat around chatting for a bit but then headed for home promising we'd see each other at church in the morning.
A slow start but it turned out to be a fun night of art and hanging out with friends. Very cool!

The Happening

Well, M. Night's latest film finally made it to the $3 theater so Sarah and I decided to give it a go. It wasn't too long ago when we did the same thing for Lady in the Water. We left the theater wondering why so many people panned Lady because we loved it. We now know why The Happening was panned and agree. It's pretty bad. But...
...I read an interview with M. Night and he said he purposefully made the movie as a B horror film. Why he would do this I cannot say. True to his word, the movie is a B horror film similar to those other "nature strikes back" films of the 70's. Perhaps that was his model. If so, he did a bang up job imitating them. He successfully got the actors to act badly, the dialogue was goofy, and even the death scenes, while violent, are a bit otherworldly. But why? I am still convinced that M. Night is a talented guy. I still think he has it in him to outdo himself. Will he? I don't know. He seems to have some sort of block.
At it's core, this could have been a good story. There were parts of the film that worked. Just not enough parts. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing a bad film that could have been really good.
C'mon M. Night. I'm rooting for you but you've got to do better. Much, much better.

Sick Mick

If you don't mind praying for animals, say one for our cat Mickey. He's been under the weather all week. He has Inflammatory Bowel Disease and has been on chemo for over a year. He has lived past what the vet has said and has generally been doing well. This week he's been lethargic, has had some balance issues, and yesterday his eating decreased. Sarah is going to take him to the vet today.
We can't help but think it might be close to the end. We know it's coming but it's still hard. We want to keep the little guy around as long as possible. We had to have Max put to sleep a couple of months ago so it's constantly on our minds. We really hoped that both of them would just fall asleep in a comfy spot and not wake up. Having to have a pet put down is hard.
Pray for us too.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Weird Day

Yesterday was a weird day.
It started when we got up and my wife went looking for our cat Mickey. He's been a bit under the weather of late so we've been keeping an eye on him. She found him curled up in the closet. She thought he was dead. He wasn't. He was sleeping very hard with his eyes open. He does this from time to time. She had never seen him do this so it freaked her out.
Work was crazy too. I don't want to mention what happened on my blog but you can ask me about it. It wasn't anything bad...just one of those crazy life things. Because of it, I ended up working a 9 hour day.
After that we went out for pizza and arrived too early for a friend's art opening. Sorry about that Laurel.
I hope today is a bit less eventful. And by the way, Mickey seems better today.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Domain Man

I bought my first domain names today. I'm so proud.
To get to this site, you can now also enter using To get to my art site you can now use I hope this is the beginnings of some new developments in my online presence which will, in turn, lead to moving onward and upward with my career as an artist.
Special thanks to my friend Kent for showing me how to do this stuff.

Mart History

I've been a bit lax in posting to my other blogs but I wanted to let you know that I have added new content to the Mart History blog. I am going to try and do at least one new entry per week. I'm sure I'll fall behind at some point but I am making a concerted effort to give you something new to look at more often. Visit and enjoy the good and awful art of Marty's art history.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Different Drum

This may not come out right. I'm not sure I know how to communicate how I feel.

I march to the beat of a different drum. While the rest of the world marks time to a steady 4/4 beat, I am all over the place. Sometimes I line up and hit the 4/4 with everyone else but that gets tedious after a while so I jump off into a nice 5/4 or a 7/8. If I'm feeling real adventurous I might go off the deep end and try an 11/8 or a 13/8. Of course, I never do a 3/4 or a 6/8. That just looks too much like dancing.
Okay, this weird little intro is my way of saying I just don't think I fit in. Anywhere. I know that somewhere out there (with apologies to the singing mouse) there must be a community of people that I could hang with but I don't know where they are. I wish I did. I am getting lonely again.
The move to Seattle was one of the toughest things I've ever had to do. First, I had to move all the way across the country away from family, friends and the south. I did it to be with Sarah and I don't regret that at all. I also have found that I love Seattle as a city. It's beautiful and so full of cool things to do that we'll never get to it all. But Sarah and I found that people here are not friendly like our friends in the south. For the most part, people keep to themselves. The first year was very lonely for us. We both hoped that we would have friends at work. That didn't happen. We both hoped we could connect with people at the first church we went to. That didn't happen. Then we found Northwest Church and we have made many friends there. Quite a few of those people I love to death. But I still get lonely because we just don't operate on the same wavelength. I still don't feel like I can be myself without offending someone. I feel like I am walking on eggshells alot and it's a very uncomfortable place to be. I have felt this way before especially in churches. My solution then was to try and conform to their culture. It didn't work. That is just not me.
Now, here's part of the problem. While I don't swing far enough to one side to be comfortable among Christian folks I also don't swing enough the other way to fit in with the artsy crowd. Deep down in my soul I can be as weird as any of them but I just can't do the piercings, colored hair, retro clothes, etc. It's just not me. I wish I could pull it off but I know I can't. Trying to would be disastrous.
So, where do I fit in? As Popeye always said, "I yam what I yam," and I'm okay with that. But I'm lonely. All I'm looking for is some good conversation with someone who can understand where I'm coming from and not look at me like I'm from another planet.
Who knows. Maybe I am.

I told you this wouldn't turn out the way I wanted it to. SIGH.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Eddie Echarri

I just got the news that Eddie Echarri has passed away. It was only a week or so ago that I found out he was ill. I can't say that Eddie and I were friends but we knew and worked with each other at one time back at my home church. He was quite a guy. I remember him telling us stories about his past life as a gangster in NYC. Gunfights, drugs, the mafia...the stuff of a Scorsese movie. But Eddie moved to Pensacola and had a dramatic life change. You can read about it here. (go to the bottom of the page)
Eddie touched a lot of lives and built a great ministry at my home church. I know he will be missed but his legacy will live on for a long, long time.
I really only have one Eddie story but I'll never forget it. At that time I was serving as a youth intern at my home church while seeking a ministry position elsewhere. One day as I was leaving the church I was confronted by a very irritated homeless guy. He had a bone to pick and, since I was the only one around, he was going to pick it with me. I tried to walk away from him but he wouldn't allow it. Someone else came out and I told them to call the cops. As he continued to rant and rave, I stood my ground and waited for reinforcements. In a couple of minutes our Administrator Davecame out followed by Eddie. Dave tried to get to the bottom of his irritation but he was having none of it. Eddie took up a position behind Dave and I could see that he was ready to pounce. I'm glad the guy finally moved on because Eddie was prepared to tear him another one. I'm glad he was there that day. I wasn't scared but I'm not really a fighter. I know if it had come to it, Eddie would have protected us all.
Glad to have known you, Eddie. Rest in peace.

Blue's Blues

Right about now my wife is watching the Blue Angels at a friend's house. I am at work. That sucks.
The upside is that I'm from Pensacola, FL, the home of the Blue Angels. I've seen them dozens of times. The best show I ever saw was at Pensacola Beach. The Blues were doing a rehearsal the day before the actual show. My friend Karen and I were out there and just happened to be in a great spot. We missed the crowds but saw the same exact show everyone else did.
So, I wish I was there watching with my wife but I've seen the Blues from a better vantage point than they have so I shouldn't complain. Besides, it probably would make me homesick.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Lights Out

Last night, at around 11:40, I heard a distant boom. The lights flickered. I got up to look out the window and heard another boom. Shortly after that, the power flickered and died. Power was restored about around 5:45 this morning. Because there was no power we had no fan therefore no white noise therefore no sleep. It's amazing what a fan will drown out. Thankfully we live in Seattle and it stays cool at night. Heck, we don't have air conditioning. But we do love our window fan for white noise and air circulation.
Right after the power went out Sarah and I agreed that there would be a traffic accident on our corner. Within 5 minutes there was. Both vehicles drove off. Some well meaning neighbors with flashlights stayed out on the corner for a long time trying to warn people of the loss of the traffic light. It's a wonder they weren't run over. People in Seattle drive like idiots.
I found out this morning that the outage was due to a busted insulator. Due to the booms I thought a transformer had exploded. I've seen that happen more than once. It's amazing how little you have power outages here. Not like back home in the south where if you sneeze the power goes out. A thunderstorm or a power outage out here is a rare thing.