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Month: February 2012

lucky stomach

lucky stomach

This weekend I was the lucky recipient of Sam’s culinary experiments again.  On Saturday she made macaroni and cheese.  Her goal was to compete with Beechers, but her ingredients ended up a bit different and influenced the taste to go in another direction.  It was still great but I’d have to put it in a different “mood” category for mac n’ cheese.  This was more flavorful, whereas Beechers is more smooth.  I think I enjoyed it more though as I could mix it up the way I like it (MORE CHEESE SAUCE) and I wasn’t stuck with penne (Beechers only serves mac n’ cheese with penne).

For lunch on Saturday Sam cooked steaks to perfection and served them with grilled mushrooms and angel hair pasta (and more cheese sauce from the night before).  Not only did I get to eat this for lunch on Saturday, but I’ll eat it for lunch every day this week (minus the steak).



On Saturday night Sam and I headed to Culver City to check out a group show at the WWA Gallery called Critters and People.  We were going because we’re fans of one of the five featured artists, JAW Cooper.   The gallery has a large outer space and a smaller back room with unsold art from previous shows.  All of the images on this page were lifted either from the artist’s own site or the WWA page. We both liked the piece below from the current show.

Tom Haubrick – Look Past Yourself

Then we traveled along the sparsely art-dotted white walls back to the more dense area of unsold work.  It was here we found pieces from the Julian Callos show that we had to miss last fall because we were in Thailand.

Julian Callos – Deluge

There were also other interesting pieces from other past shows.

Jana Brike – the most delicious bloom

Sam really liked the following two pieces by Jeni Yang.

Jeni Yang – Infusion

Jeni Yang – A subliminal mind conversation part 1

Wandering back up into the main area we found a wall of Jessica Dalva’s sketches.  Jessica is known for her sculptures, which were her main entry in the show, but I think her line work in her sketches is far more interesting than any of the things she does with wire and sculpey.

Jessica LL Dalva – the time spent waking up

Jessica LL Dalva – things you lost

Jessica LL Dalva – waves in the grass

Last, we came to JAW’s work in the front of the gallery.  We’ve been following her since we saw her at the Soap Factory in a group show long ago.  Unfortunately the majority of her pieces in this show were only sketches.  Now, that being said, her sketches look 1,000 times more interesting than a lot of people’s finished work – but we were still dismayed to not see more fully fleshed work from her.  My favorites were the two below.

JAW cooper – Freeze

I really like this Elk (?) piece.  There are so many interesting things about it – the third antler that is partially shaped like a woman – the woman with twigs stuck in her back – the woman holding up the throat.  I suppose I’m fond of people in agony with things stuck in their back.  See here, here, here and here.

JAW cooper – spite


This Modern Life

This Modern Life

Religion is a touchy subject in America.  Despite what both sides of the argument would like to think, it always has been.  The first European immigrants slipped away to America to escape religious persecution only to think up even more horrific dogma to enslave themselves with years later.  The burning of witches happened only 300 years ago.  More recently, African Americans were lynched in the American South based on interpretations of the old testament.  My parents were both alive when that happened, it wasn’t that long ago.  Terrifying events inspired by God aren’t a relic of our distant past.  9/11, anyone?

The confusing thing for agnostics and atheists is that the very beliefs that lead to such gross acts are prospering even in a society that is more literate and has more access to scientific knowledge than ever before.

So how does this happen?  “Get em’ young!


As I was scrolling through the detritus on facebook one Sunday morning I happened to see a startling headline from a high school classmate.  Usually a phrase like “gave her life to the lord” is used to denote an untimely death.  Obviously upon a second look I realized she meant “pledged her life.”  However, the fact that pledging and giving life are interchangeable in the christian context is a transparent display of the control cults have over their members.  I don’t give my life to my boss, I pledge to work for him in exchange for money.  We don’t even give our lives to our spouses, we vow to honor our commitment to them.   But when it comes to the LORD, we have to GIVE our lives away.  We are no longer independent, we are God’s property, and that means by proxy, the church’s.

Do you think that is a concept that a five year old girl can even accurately acknowledge, much less understand? Either God is an abstract concept that seems to make mommy and daddy happy, or God is as real as Santa Claus.  I certainly doubt Little Angel was given the bible, the quran, the talmud and a copy of God is Not Great and asked to choose for herself before “deciding” to “give her life to the LORD.”

Think about the value this woman puts on her daughter giving her life to God and ask yourself if she’s paused to explain that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny aren’t real yet.  To her daughter they are one and the same.  Won’t this cause some cognitive dissonance later on?  Of course not, because Jesus is real, and we’re not raising some devil-worshiping atheist here.

oh, okay.

These same parents will probably get uncomfortable in about seven years when the middle school starts testing Little Angel and asking her what colleges and careers she’d like to explore.  Or, better yet, when the 6th grade science teacher attempts to obtain parental permission to teach basic knowledge of human sexual reproduction.  “Isn’t she a little young for that?!”

Too young to learn about how her life was created, not too young to give it.

It would all be a harmless exercise if it wasn’t perfectly clear that indoctrination when young leads people back when they’re older and need something to guide them.   It works really well, and I’d be really happy that those people found their feet again no matter what method they used to get there; except that the religious method enables those to escape their problems by ignoring them instead of confronting them.

I’m depressed because I’m going to die –> Don’t worry, keep working at taco bell and stay married to that wife-beater and when you die you’ll go to heaven and it’ll be awesome!

Even worse, instead of embracing others, religion subtly nudges its most vulnerable to become the most bigoted.

Why is the world messed up? –> It’s those gays everywhere, god doesn’t like them – and it’s your job to tell them!

Having gone through a minor bout of depression myself years ago I can say that religion isn’t a necessary fall-back to dig yourself out.  Escape just comes slower when you have to work for it.  My family and friends were there for me because they love me – not because we’re in the same special little club that loves something ELSE.

I know this sounds highly critical of my facebook “friend” (and it is), but I’d like to make clear that I know she isn’t doing this to her daughter out of malice.  In fact, I have a few good memories of this particular woman being nice to me even though we existed in separate social circles that intentionally rarely overlapped.  This hasn’t been a critique of this one well-meaning, but misguided, woman.  It’s a rant about how prevelant this sort of thing is in our society and the long lasting damages this behavior produces.

In 1986 some little girl with blond hair and blue eyes just like Little Angel gave her life to the lord.  When she needed an escape from her problems in 2005 she “turned to the lord” and the lord delivered her.  In 2008 she voted yes on Proposition 8 and told homosexuals they were lesser human beings than she was.  It wasn’t her choice, though.  She gave that to the LORD.  We have a mixed up world where corporations are fighting for rights of personhood, and religious Americans push hard to take rights away.

If they can’t have them, nobody can.