Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Tis the Season to be Jolly!

Merry Christmas,
Happy Hanukkah
,
Joyous Chrismakkah

and
Happy Festivus for the Restuvus
.


Wishing us all silent nights on a peaceful Earth with good will and equal rights for all.
Can I get an AMEN!

Peanut butter dark chocolate kiss cookies

Be good to each other




Adam Sandler's original Chanukah Song, recorded in Chicago no less. Word up.



Cantus' Stille Nacht. Simply stunning. If you want to be blown away, listen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Idle" Chatter

Breaking news:
Bike Scribbles Cross Atlantic!
"City Cruise"
© Kathleen King 2008

While I can't believe I'm saying this I must admit I am thoroughly smitten with Twitter. At first it seemed like just another techno-gizmo time suck:

"What are you doing right now?"
"Chewing on my pen cap. You?"

Honestly, who among us is moment-to-moment fascinating like, say, Lance Armstrong (who is, you guessed it, also on Twitter. No really, it's him)? Certainly not I.

But I gave it a couple of weeks and POW it started to work its magic. I now swear by it as one of the most brilliant networking tools in existence. I've started meeting all kinds of local creative people and bike people as well as reaching all the way across the US and the Atlantic. Which brings me to the point of this post: The Bike to Work Book by Carlton Reid and Tim Grahl.
One night I was reading the Twitter roll and saw that a British man I knew only from his internet efforts in the cycling world was asking for Americans to look over the rough draft of his new book and make constructive comments. While just breakfast time in the UK it was the wee hours of the morning here so I think I was one of the very few Yanks still awake at the time. I offered and he sent me the pages in an email. Along the way he mentioned that he had seen my website and liked my artwork. Then I had an idea. I sent over a bike Scribble and made a suggestion. Long story short, he accepted. I drew some custom scribbles and in really a head-spinning short time - TA DA! The book is almost here and my Scribbles are part of it!

It is a very timely volume indeed. The perfect manual if you want to sock it to Big Oil in style. Fun to read, energizing and packed with information, these guys have covered every possible question. I've learned several things about biking that I didn't know before and learned about some really cool products that assist in making bike commuting a breeze. And those are from just the first few chapters. The only downside is that when you're done with the read you will be plum out of excuses to drive a car for much of anything!

I am intensely proud of being involved in this project. Carlton Reid is a really good guy (with an amazing 11-year-old cycling son Josh, by the way). I hope this book gets all the smashing success it deserves. Do check the link for a preview and you can leave comments if you like as well. I've never seen an author so gracious about getting critiqued!

Many thanks to Donna Tocci, Tim Jackson and Kris Keim for coaxing me into this fine pot of jam! And thanks to photographer Carson Blume for the digital assistance.

"Zoomin' Through"
© Kathleen King 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The "Wait" is Beginning to Lift

It's a sunny day at the beginning of the Obama Era...

Warning: You are about to see poetry. But not just any poetry, one of the greatest American Postmodernist poems ever written. Don't be afraid. I promise it won't kill you.

In the streets, the shops and on the web it feels like the dawning of a new age. Now I know this man will be just a president and a president is just a man - who needs a congress, a senate and corporate America to cooperate with his vision. Not only that, he will be a president who inherits a generation of troubles to solve. Four years is such a little time. And we'll all need a lot of meditation, good vibrations and old fashioned prayer. But the People! The spirit of the American People is hopeful and excited and able to dream again about being 'the shining city on the hill'.

All my life I had read this poem in a mood of angst and irony. It is one of my top three most favorite. Today I read it and felt for the first time that maybe for some things the wait would soon be over. Please give it a chance and try to get all the way to the end. I hope you will get something from it and maybe love it as I do.

First published in A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1958.

I Am Waiting

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier
and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder


I am waiting for the Second Coming
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep thru the state of Arizona
and I am waiting
for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored
and I am waiting
for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am seriously waiting
for Billy Graham and Elvis Presley
to exchange roles seriously
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped onto church altars
if only they can find
the right channel
to tune in on
and I am waiting
for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder



I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the living end
and I am waiting
for dad to come home
his pockets full
of irradiated silver dollars
and I am waiting
for the atomic tests to end
and I am waiting happily
for things to get much worse
before they improve
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the human crowd
to wander off a cliff somewhere
clutching its atomic umbrella
and I am waiting
for Ike to act
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder


I am waiting for the Great Divide to be crossed
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
by an obscure general practitioner
and save me forever from certain death
and I am waiting
for life to begin
and I am waiting
for the storms of life,
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder


I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am waiting
for Ole Man River
to just stop rolling along
past the country club
and I am waiting
for the deepest South
to just stop Reconstructing itself
in its own image
and I am waiting
for a sweet desegregated chariot
to swing low
and carry me back to Ole Virginie
and I am waiting
for Ole Virginie to discover
just why Darkies are born
and I am waiting
for God to lookout
from Lookout Mountain
and see the Ode to the Confederate Dead
as a real farce
and I am awaiting retribution
for what America did
to Tom Sawyer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder


I am waiting for Tom Swift to grow up
and I am waiting
for the American Boy
to take off Beauty's clothes
and get on top of her
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder


I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
youth's dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder


-Lawrence Ferlinghetti


San Francisco's Poet Laureate and co-founder of City Lights Booksellers and Publishers was born in Yonkers, New York on March 24th 1919. Ferlinghetti, who is also known for his activism, essays and painting, has often been considered a Beat poet though he doesn't consider himself one. Located in San Francisco's North Beach district, City Lights Publishing is most noted for publishing the controversial and legendary Howl by Allen Ginsberg. Ferlinghetti was then famously charged and tried for violating obscenity laws, then acquitted. At age 89 Lawrence Ferlinghetti is still writing, touring, traveling and speaking his mind. His voice and life are heroic and he is one of the greatest artists and Americans this nation has ever produced.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
about to sign my copy of Americus, Book I at D.G. Wills Books in
La Jolla, CA
2005

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Happy Joy Joy

OBAMA WINS!!
IN
LANDSLIDE

I am proud to be an American!

Friday, October 31, 2008

BOO!

HAPPY HALLOWE'EN!

Ha HA HAAAA!


WowEEE

Yikes

Awwwww!

Ooooooooh

TeeHeeHee

SHARK!

Ooops, too late


Mmmmm, fresh pepitas!

Hope y'all have fun!



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

IT'S A SIGN!


"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all..."

And the signs are everywhere.

Signs of intelligent life.

On my last few bike rides through the tree canopied byways of Montecito I have included a little game: counting political posters and bumper stickers. The unofficial tally is roughly 20 to 1 in favor of Obama/Biden over the Republican ticket. So I have decided to honor these brave souls with a gallery of gates. Hopefully it will gladden your heart as it has mine.

Here in front of a very modern Frank Lloyd Wright sort of design

Now why should these displays be so noteworthy? Well, if you haven't heard, the community of Montecito is not merely one of the wealthiest in California, or the US, but in the world. This is the land of estates, acreage, the loooooong driveway/private road and the solemn guard gate. Big, huge, sexy, MONEY by the bushel-basketful . Entry level home ownership starts at $3 mil. This should be a Republican stronghold. Not only that, but this idyllic enclave has a reputation for being reclusive, exclusive, tight lipped and PRIVATE with a 'talk to the intercom' sort of attitude. To declare one's political leanings with a yard sign, especially those that proclaim 'we don't fit the mold' is downright radical. So how can I help but celebrate them!

Atop a loooooong hedgerow

Many of the homes have put out great Halloween decorations

Though hard to see, this is a very handsome gate

One for the road

Oh, one more. I tell ya they just keep comin'!

For those that may think the revelation of my own choice for 2008 here on my blog a little imprudent, I think that cat was already out of the bag. I'm an ARTIST. My clients probably suspect I'm a raving liberal. I'm waiting for November 4th like a four-year-old waits for Santa Claus.
Link
Last but certainly no less important, the signs for equal rights
NO ON PROP 8! Gay and Lesbian couples should KEEP their right to marry.

You have to love these people. These two photos are of the same property.
They used the "No On Prop 8" signs like landscape d├ęcor.

This entry boasted no affiliation whatsoever buts earns a place because they grow amazing hydrangeas and I know the kids will love it on Friday night

Whatever you believe, with all my heart I HOPE you get out there next Tuesday and vote.

An update on my tasty critter friends whose numbers are rapidly dwindling nationwide as I write.
Goodbye Mr. Orange Halloween Edition Hippo (or is that a rhino?)!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Smile, darn ya, Smile!

Urban Wildlife
"Hand over the Mother's Circus Animal Cookies or you'll never see Eli again!"

Mr. Raccoon here, whose lovely wife was behind him in the dark, is as big as the average footstool - about 3x the size of my cat.

Endangered Species

For those of you who don't know (too bad if you don't care; you're out numbered) Mother's Cookies of Oakland California has shut it doors FOREVER which means NO MORE pink rhino cookies, or blue camels, or red lions, or orange elephants with sprinkles! Waaaaah!

crustulum matris bestia circus (leo) rufus

crustulum matris bestia circus (camelus) peteulanus

Women weeping at the Palace of Fine Art at the thought of a world without Mother's Cookies.

The long silence simply means that my head has been preoccupied with empire building, which has hit a few snags of late. But I refuse to accept any reality other than "onward and upward"!

There has also been a lot of cycling my butt off.

Ascending great heights.

And working on my little illustration-esque tarot designs and putting them on canvas.

Eli is making new friends and sending the local rodents to their 'great reward' even without the majority of his teeth.
I've learned a lot about adaptation and perseverance from that little furbrain!

How does the bumble bee fly? Because it thinks it can. BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ!
Over, under, around or through, we will get there.

Friday, August 1, 2008

WooHoo!!

Tim "Masiguy" Jackson comes full circle!

He took his first RIDE on a BIKE since the crash TODAY! Thanks to Donna T. (who got the scoop on me) YAY TIM! Cheers for you!

Watch the video:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Glorious!


The anointed one, Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia) makes it four in the 13th stage of Le Tour de France, flanked on his right by 2nd place Robbie McEwan (Silence Lotto) and on his left by 3rd place Romain Feillu (Agritubel).
The world is his oyster.
photo: Graham Watson for Velonews



4!


Eyes on the prizes
photo: AFP, Road Bike Action
video on Versus

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Congrats Cavendish! (or, take that, ToC)

Yeah Sweetheart, you really did just win stage 5 of Le Tour de France!
photo: AFP

Mark Cavendish, the "Manx Express" has won stage five, the longest stage of Le Tour de France, 232km from Cholet to Chateauroux. Hopes were high after his brilliant performance winning two stages of the Giro d'Italia and now his place in history is assured. The new-to-the-Tour, Team Columbia has made their 'mark' on this tour indeed. I guess we'll have to stop calling them "team boring kit". Champagne all around!

After stage six of the ToC (and before the disqualification decree),
Mark is interviewed by Bob Roll. You can also see the fabled Graham Watson over Mark's shoulder.
photo: Kathleen King

I'll never forget the confusion after stage six of the Tour of California as throngs of press and officials milled around for twenty minutes waiting for the decision that Cavendish would be stripped of his breathtaking stage win on a technicality. Well, take that ToC, this kid's got wings on his feet. It's a great year to be Mark Cavendish. Go Baby Go!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

...and we're Back!

C130
Note the homes at the bottom of the frame

note: My camera has a problem with the protective shutter getting stuck so some shots have black corners.

The hills are still burning in Goleta (north of Santa Barbara) and even more residents, thousands now, have been evacuated from their homes. Some of the residents were allowed back in to Old San Marcos road yesterday 'at our own risk'. I took the opportunity to station myself on the ridge above our neighborhood to witness the heroic firefight that kept the fire from our back door. I was by no means alone. many news vans were parked down the hill and I was passed by five engine companies. Soon after I got there, "Rocky" the chief of our San Marcos Volunteer Fire Department, pulled up in his rig to spot and relay information. Several of the firemen who are residents of the Trout Club had tales of many wildfires that had threatened and burned homes several times in years past. We all watched the flames rise and fall in a tense but stoic mood lightened by the driest of humor.

"Rocky"
Rocky's rig

I cannot begin to adequately describe the skill and bravery of the pilots who pummeled these hillsides dropping load after load of water and retardant. Between my proximity to the flames and all the military aircraft in the sky I felt like a war correspondent. I kept hearing The Ride of the Valkyries in my head. I could hear the flames roar and crackle like an angry beast from hell, feel the heat, smoke, and rumble of engines and propellers. And then the wind came up, in 40 mph gusts; that's strong enough to sting your face and make you lose your footing. From the very beginning of this event we have been at the mercy of these evening "sundowner" winds.

Aerial Acrobatics
The larger craft are led out by smaller spotter planes

The Beast

S20 (?)

Firefighters and news crews assembled at the gates of hell

On the drive to the hotel July 4th

July fourth fortunately ended with a respite and a different kind of red glow. Cathy Mehl of USCyclingReport.com, (also an evacuated hill dweller) invited me out to a party on her friend's boat in Santa Barbara Harbor for the fireworks show. Being new in town and having only got the last truckload of belongings moved in last week, packing up to evacuate just seemed a discouraging bridge too far. Plus it's exhausting to be on red alert in your mind and soul for 36 hours even when you don't move your body all that much. Good food, dark beer and cheering for the glittering sparkles overhead, surrounded by the cool ocean breezes were just what I needed.
Like another world
the fireworks over Santa Barbara Harbor

Unofficially out of immediate danger (and unofficially back in my crib) I can hear the men yelling on the lines, choruses of chainsaws and massive water tanker helicopters flying overhead as they turn around and head back to the latest drop zone a few miles to the west... My thoughts are with all the Goletans to the west and south because the fire is heading their way. At this writing the few puffs of smoke that I saw driving home on July 1st has now grown to more than 6,600 acres.

The hillside today - July 5th

CNN (getting live coverage of a charred hillside...)

Trout Club Cheek
a couch, I'm guessing positioned by Jan and Rocky for comfortable conflagration viewing during the night shift watch
correction: it has since been discovered that Jan and Bob were responsible for the couch and are up there again this evening... fire has now consumed over 9,000 acres...

I can't wait for that first blessed bike ride (tomorrow?!) I did get to see the first stage of the 'Tour DAY Frantz' at the hotel - yes, even with all this my concern over tv access for today never left my mind. Cathy was equally concerned. She wanted to be able to catch it live at 5:30 a.m. We bike nerds are all completely mental I tell you. Certifiable!

and all is well

evening addition: To the tall, handsome men of engine co. #5 from San Gabriel who are keeping watch over our canyon tonight - thanks boys. Your broad smiles and shoulders reassure me we're in good hands. Ahhh firemen, as always they do the human race proud!