Sunday, May 29, 2011

tim burton

The much anticipated Tim Burton exhibition opened at LACMA this weekend. I've always been a fan, although perhaps not die-hard enough to wait in line for hours for a chance to have him sign my exhibition catalogue (although I did consider it). I loved Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, and of course Vincent and Frankenweenie. I enjoyed Batman, Beetlejuice, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, and Corpse Bride. He's got a unique aesthetic -- even if it does get a bit repetitive sometimes -- a nice mix of ghoulishness and sensitivity.

Although it wasn't easy for anyone, I think the LACMA presentation is quite wonderful. Yes, it's incredibly dense with over 700 objects, but you can take what you like and ignore the rest. If you're deeply fascinated by Burton and his artistic process and influences, the exhibition demands many repeat visits. If you're a more casual fan, you can move through more quickly, but how can you not love the black-light carousel room with all its quirky creatures dancing around an electrical glass orb?

And how can you not love a whole case full of Jack Skellington heads that help visualize how grueling and time consuming the whole stop-motion animation process really is? Never mind another case full of various sized eyeballs, and the myriad skeletons, martians, and other bizarre characters that have appeared in Burton's movies, short films, and writings?

The LA Times (Christopher Knight) gave the exhibition a scathing review. Brutal. Yes, it's a money-maker, especially in this town. And yes, maybe the MoMA curators could have made a bigger impact by being more selective in the works they chose to exhibit. But I still think it's pretty fabulous that we're able to showcase the career of a local-boy-made-good while he's still relatively young. And I know there are tons of people who will love the exhibition, and will thoroughly enjoy soaking up all the imagery and history that's showcased there. Furthermore, I think it's potentially an inspiration to young aspiring artists to be able to study the career of a boy who was able to put his creative imagination to such prolific and successful use. Plus, it's FUN!

That being said, some of my favorite pieces are outside the main gallery walls. Check out Balloon Boy, the Topiary, and the crazy dancers:

And of course, there was the opening party. Please, could we be more L.A.? I was disappointed that people didn't really dress up in Burtonesque attire, but there were plenty of celebrity sightings, including Mr. Burton himself of course, Danny Elfman, Martin Landau, Crispin Glover, Johnny Knoxville, Slash, and the glorious Jane's Addiction performing live to top off the evening with a bang. So LACMA. So not the Getty. And honestly, that's the last time I'll ever compare the two institutions.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

support a good cause

I support a variety of what I consider good causes through modest financial contributions and volunteer work, but I've never done a walk-a-thon or any other charitable/fundraising event associated with a disease or illness. I've supported many others in their walks for breast cancer, AIDS, and other equally just causes, but I've never felt enough of a personal attachment to these causes to participate myself. Of course now that has changed.

For a while, even after my parents died, I didn't want to be associated with heart disease and leukemia. I mean, really, who does? They're nasty things. But alas, they do exist and they do impact many people. Of course we can't support every worthy cause that exists, and so we must be selective in the charities and activities that we do support. I don't think I'll ever become a rabid advocate for heart disease or leukemia research/prevention, but this year I've decided to participate in walks for both causes, in honor of my parents. I was lucky that neither of my parents suffered very long from either of these ailments, so I don't really have any direct experience with the actual diseases, but I certainly know that the end results can be devastating, so participating in these walks just seems like a good thing to do this year.

For Mom, I'm walking in the American Heart Association's Heart Walk 2011-2012 in San Diego on September 17. If you'd like to support me in this effort, please visit the website below:

For Dad, I'm walking in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night walk in Hollywood on October 1. If you'd like to support me in this effort, please visit the website below:

Like I said, I've never participated in one of these before, but I think I can do it. They're just WALK-a-thons, right? Not marathons. So all I need is a good pair of walking shoes, appropriate attire, and a water bottle (all of which I already own), and the right attitude, and I can do it. And hopefully I can raise some money for these worthy causes, and enjoy the feeling of being with other people who understand loss and are willing to spend the time and energy coming together to build a happier and healthier future for all of us.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

bunny torture

I brought home a little blue Easter bunny that I found at Mom's place last month. It was tucked away in a box with some other stuffed creatures, and it just called to me, so I thought I'd bring it home. It actually may have been a bunny that I gave to her one Easter (we used to send each other Easter boxes with silly little gifts and candies inside). At any rate, this poor innocent bunny has been co-opted by Marzipan.

No matter where I put the bunny, it always appears in strange new places. She never fails to find it, grab it by the ears and fling it across the room, and shake it until it's dead. Several times I've come home only to rescue it from the cat food bowls, sitting casually, or occasionally, face down in kitty crunchies. Most recently, I found it in this compromising, and no doubt uncomfortable, situation among the cacti on the hearth. Yes, he's impaled on a cactus spine!

Tonight I found her digging through one of Mr. G's bags by the armchair. She's not usually so nosy, but upon further investigation, she wasn't taking anything out of his bag, but rather she was hiding the blue bunny IN his bag. A little gift for the man she loves?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I will slowly be reentering the earth's atmosphere in the coming weeks. Except I don't know if it's possible to do such a thing slowly. And I hope I don't burn up on the way down, and end up as just a crumbly chunk of black rock by the time I reach terra firma. I'm actually hoping to land in the middle of the ocean somewhere so I can bob around quietly while I get my bearings, and then maybe gradually start swimming toward shore when the time is right. Gravity sucks.