In this post I’m going to be adding the animal activist artwork that I’m making and hoping to do more of. Animal activism about endangered animals, animals rights, veganism, speciesism, animal abuse prevention, spay and neuter to prevent pet over-population etc… those are the causes nearest and dearest to my heart.
These are some of the paintings and art images I’ve created so far in 2019. I do have some more paintings I was working on until I got tired of breathing the fumes. I’ll finish them when I finally have a room separate from my main living area where I can paint and let the paintings dry and let them finish emitting toxic fumes before I bring them into the living and breathing area. Until then I’ll probably just continue doing digital work.
I’ve recently passed my first year anniversary of eating a strictly vegan diet.
I was vegetarian on and off many times in my life, starting at age 16 while traveling in Africa and seeing so many amazing animals there. Unfortunately I was never able to be completely vegetarian for long and gave up trying for most of my life. I think I’ve been able to eat vegan for this long due to my increased knowledge on the subject, the increased number of vegan food options and supplements options available and the fact that being vegan as opposed to vegetarian eliminates the use and potential over use of dairy on a vegetarian diet. I feel the supplements I take now have been critical for me remaining vegan for the last 14+ months.
Here’s an assortment of images I created in 2017 and 2018.
Most of these images were created on my phone, even the drawings were done on my phone, drawing with my finger. I loved how the limitations of drawing with my finger influenced the style of the drawings. I also loved being able to lay down and be comfortable while I was drawing on my phone after sitting at my computer working on graphic design all day. I do need a newer, better, faster phone to be able to work on any files large enough to print a decent size though.
Several of these images are spontaneous accidental artworks that were created by digital corruption. I love the spontaneously glitched images but I also want to improve my own databending skills someday.
Although I took many many photographs during this time, I consider most of them in a different category such as simply photography, landscapes, future artwork resource material or documentation rather than being my art. I have included a small selection of my favorite unaltered photos here. You can find more of my photography on my instagram account.
Toward the end of 2018, I completed 2 traditional paintings on paper and started a third, that was finished in 2019 and will be added to my 2019 portfolio as soon as I create one. I’m planning on doing a series of small paintings on wood in 2019.
A collaborative musical performance
WOMEN IN THE ROUND: VOICES at BELL ARTS FACTORY in Ventura, CA – July 15th, 2017 featured performances by Amber Bassett (multi-media), Donna Lynn Caskey (banjo), Shelby Figueroa (keyboard), Andrea Landin (cello), & Michelle Rosenblum aka Melody Bird (guitar). Selections range from classical music, classic rock and pop songs, to original music and poetry performed on cello, keyboard, guitar, banjo, and VOICES.
My unfinished instrumental project tentatively named Spaghetti Infinity. “Spaghetti” because some of the music sounds like weird Spaghetti Western style music… and I’ve always loved spaghetti. “Infinity” because it can be something hopeful to believe in but also because some of this music is pretty repetitive.
After posting the dreams from my old blog last night, I decided to gather up the dreams I’ve written since then and am disappointed to find that on my current computer I only have 3 dreams that I’ve typed up. I’ve been using this computer for a few years and don’t have access to my previous computer at the moment so it’s possible that there are more dreams somewhere else, I’ll have to look into it….
I’m still adding bits and pieces from my old blog. Back then one of my favorite things to write about was my dreams and still is I guess. I keep a small diary of my dreams. I have to write them down as soon as I wake up or else I forget them forever. It’s strange how my mind does that. They seem so real when I first wake up but I don’t remember them as long as I would a real event. Unfortunately I don’t even remember my dreams in the morning all that often, but when I do I’m always amazed at how realistic but weird and kinda creative they are. This post will be a collection of dreams from the old blog.
I started building a video to go along with this interview of me by DJ Dominic Trix from Wednesday 6/3/09 2-5pm on KFJC 89.7 FM but I never quite finished the video so I’m finally putting the interview up by itself in the meantime. Here’s the story of how the interview came about and a follow-up meeting between the DJ and myself in Santa Monica. I wrote the below paragraphs back in 2009.
I wrote the following introduction in 2008. I’m re-posting here, now with some minor edits. I can’t believe how much time has passed and that I never finished the new music that I was working on at the time… oh well at least I put some of the old music online…. maybe someday I’ll get back to working on that “new” stuff again or I may just post the pieces that now seem “good enough”, they are kinda cool as is, just very sparse and kinda childishly experimental. I’m not sure I will ever want to finish the others at this point, it might be better to just start from scratch if I ever record again. In the meantime I’m re-posting some stuff from my old blog and adding some new things here and there.
When I was a child, my family took lots of road trips. We would all pile into the Winnebago or the Lincoln Continental and drive to Mammoth Mountain, Sun Valley (Idaho), the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, New Orleans, California Ghost Towns, New Mexico Indian Reservations etc…etc…
On one of at least a couple of trips that we made to Palm Springs, the family went out shopping at Alan Ladd Hardware and Gifts, which was owned by the actor Alan Ladd. An interesting thing about Alan Ladd that I just learned is that his mother committed suicide and then later Alan Ladd himself tried to commit suicide at the age of 48 by shooting himself in the heart, but he survived and then two years later he overdosed on sedatives and alcohol. Anyway that’s another story. This story is about Elvis and how I sometimes wonder how much of an effect seeing him up close had on my young 10-ish year old brain.
This is a combination of blog posts from 2010 and at the end I sum up what happened:
Even though it’s been quite a while since I’ve written any new songs, I still keep a folder on my computer for inspiration, little bits of text, ideas, news stories, memories, things I hear people say etc…. Several years ago I had put this news story from Jan 29, 2010 into my song folder because I thought it could become at least a part of a song… if not the main focus.
I watched the 1944 version of Jane Eyre a few years ago and wrote about it on a blog I was keeping at the time, I’m reposting some of that blog here. I think it was the first time that I’d seen Jane Eyre since I was a child. It really brought back memories of how I felt when I saw it back then. I think I must have learned a lot from that movie.
I just made these 4 free protest signs to take to local version of the Women’s March. I know it’s a bit late since the march is tomorrow morning, but I thought I would share the printable pdf of the 4 signs, if you don’t use them for the Jan. 21st Women’s March, maybe they will come in handy for some other use. The 2 topics that I’m most involved with at the moment is 1. Encouraging the repeal of the Electoral College, so we can stop this type of election fiasco from ever happening again, and 2. Stopping the repeal of The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).
I’ve been watching this video over and over again. I’m in love with this video. I plan to do my own version of this song someday. This is an amazing song interpreted and performed by Stevie Ray Vaughan, written by Doyle Bramhall.
I’m currently living in Ojai, CA again, Mira Monte to be exact. I lived in Ojai near downtown last month though.
I stumbled upon this graffiti near the bike path this morning while walking my dog.
For those of you who may be having a hard time reading the writing….
The first line reads:
THiNgS I HAtP (sic)
But then after that there are dots that lead to the words:
My interpretation of that is the author was angry that he/she misspelled the word HAtE.
The complete statement without the misspelling or expletive is:
THiNgS I HAtE
My mother was born Marilyn Marie Alff in Texas in 1923 to Rudolph E.G. Alff (a sergeant in the Army during World War I) when he was a professor at the Medical College of Baylor University, Dallas, Texas and to Meta Lisette Radtke Alff, a former music teacher. By 1926 her family had moved to Northampton County, Pennsylvania and my grandfather opened a pharmacy where he was a pharmacist for 50 years. As a young girl and prior to the discovery of penicillin, my mother had a bone infection in her leg. She spent a long time in the hospital and recovered using a wheelchair at home. She used to talk about the painful scraping of the infection from her bone and she wore a large scar on her leg for the rest of her life. I remember children looking at the scar on my mom’s leg when we were in public places. It didn’t stop her from wearing bathing suits, shorts and dresses, she didn’t seem to ever try to hide the scar. She always said she felt lucky that she didn’t lose her leg.read more…
I’m not feeling very eloquent at the moment and I certainly have had no idea what the right things were to say to my mother as she suffered with Alzheimer’s Disease for the last approximately 15 years.
I started feeling a little nauseous after picking up some things from the nursing home the day my mother passed away after her body had been taken to the funeral home for cremation. I’ve tried to celebrate my mother’s freedom from her sick body and I am very grateful that she is no longer suffering, but since then I haven’t been feeling or sleeping very well, so I’m going to hold off on writing much until I start thinking a little more clearly.
My mother passed away December 7th, 2015 after a very long illness.
I love you, Mom. See you later.
I was in the bands Laughing Academy and Tin Brood in the early and mid 1980s with Joe Dean. Prior to Laughing Academy and Tin Brood, Joe and I had been in 3 recording and performing bands together in Santa Barbara: fX, a few Circles and Victor the Florist (I may be posting music from those bands at some point). After playing in bands together in Santa Barbara, we moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and formed Laughing Academy which morphed later into Tin Brood. We wrote a lot of material that never made it onto an album. We were good at writing, but bad at selling ourselves. A lot of our music was recorded live with a single microphone or once or twice off the mixing board at live gigs, but we did also record ourselves on a reel to reel 4-track on a few occasions.
These recordings include myself, Elizabeth Montague, Joe Dean and Thom T (that was the name he went by most of the time, but his real last name was something like Tankionovich) on guitar. Joe and I switched off between keyboards/synthesizer, bass guitar and vocals. Joe was an amazing bass player, I had just started playing bass when we started Laughing Academy. If the bass is ripping, it’s Joe playing, if it’s simple with fuzz on the bass, it’s me. We had several drummers over the years and at the moment I’m not going to be able to tell you all of their full names, but I can tell you that Rod (China) Figueroa (Christian Death, Super Heroines) recorded with us early on when we were Laughing Academy. Guitarist Dag Midtskog (Chinas Comidas) played with us at that time. Also as Laughing Academy, we played and recorded with drummer Steve Roth in 1983/1984 (Steve’s current Spiritchasers project). For a short time we played with the drummer from the band DV8 (Barry Schneider) who we knew because Thom used to play with him in that band. We also played with drummers PK, Mitchell, Chris and Ron (last names unknown, sorry guys). Towards the end of Tin Brood, Joe started playing the drums because we were always losing drummers, Joe had an experimental drum style/drum kit, for instance he played standing up and he used a metal trash can lid as a cymbal, he also played synthesizer. During that time, I took over on bass and didn’t play keyboards/synthesizer, we both still sang lead vocals. For our final live performance at the Roxy in Hollywood, we had two drummers (Joe and drummer PK, who also was playing with ‘Detox’ at that time).
If I sang the song, I wrote the song initially and then took it to the band to collaborate on, and that’s the way it worked with Joe’s songs as well. If he sang it, it means he wrote it and then brought it to the band to write our own parts. A couple of songs may have deviated from this method, but for the most part that’s how it worked.
So far most of the songs here are songs that I wrote and sang, I have more invested in those songs, and they were already in MP3 format. It will take a little work to dig up more of Joe’s songs, but I’ll try to get to that eventually. As a band we did about half my material and half his material.
The is Joe’s bio from his Soundcloud page: Joe Dean was born in a log cabin that he helped his Mother build. He has played bass in fX, A Few Circles, Victor the Florist, Laughing Academy, Noise God, Tin Brood, Crawlspace, Maria Silver, Object:blender, Christian Lunch, Constant Llama, ¿What Street?, The Mooseheart Faith Stellar Groove Band, The Watts Band, Three Eyed Fish, The Jack Brewer Reunion Band, Cast of a Thousand and Sassafras. Joe Dean’s current main project is The Wrinkling Brothers.
Around the time that Tin Brood stopped performing, Joe Dean and I recorded this experimental vocal music.
This post is a work in progress. I will be adding to this collection of songs and images over time.
Thanks for listening,
In 1984 my band Tin Brood was the opening band for the amazing Tones on Tail when they played at The Music Machine in Santa Monica, CA. I guess I was too shy at the time to introduce myself to the band, I was stupid that way. Fast forward to 2008 and the age of the internet, I became friends with Glenn Campling, the bass player for Tones on Tail. We were both just starting to use multi-track recording software on our computers, having started both of our musical careers in the analog age, though both being very computer literate using computers as graphic designers. For recording and mixing, Glenn was using Logic Pro and I was using Pro Tools. Somehow in 2009, on different continents, we managed to record this song together.
I’ve decided to finally put some of my old music up on this website. I don’t know why I never have before. Hopefully someday I’ll have time to finish my newer recordings or to make new ones. Life got extremely complicated a few years ago and recording music had to take a backseat to my other work.
The main reason I’m adding a post right now is to test a WordPress plugin called HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter. It’s one of my favorite recent discoveries as far as WordPress plugins. It makes working in the content text editor so much more pleasant. But it had not been working perfectly, at least not with the recent WP updates. Today I woke to an email from the author stating he had fixed the problem, so I’m testing it out. Since I hadn’t written anything here for a long time, I thought I would at least tell people that I’m still here. I just haven’t been doing anything very blog worthy other than my design work and I usually write about that on my design website DSIGNWRX.
I’m basically just in survival mode lately, working all the time, trying to take care of myself and my dog. I will probably be talking about the survival aspect of my life at some later date. I do still pick up the guitar, or lately, the ukulele, sometimes at night after work. I like the lightness and portability of the ukulele compared to my electric. I have an old baritone ukulele that my mother gave me before she became ill. She also gave me an old banjolele which is a cross between a ukulele and a banjo. I had thought it was a toy, I finally just found out what it is and how to tune it. They are both light and fun to play, though they both need work. I have no idea where she got them and now I’ll never know. My mother is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s very painful to see her this way. I have no idea whether she is suffering, but in my heart I know she must be. I hate that disease. Life makes no sense.
I’m having fun making abstract digital art in Photoshop. read more…